Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Meigen, Johann Wilhelm

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1791
J. W. Meigen was born at Solingen, Germany on May 3, 1764. He became interested in insects at an early age, but had little opportunity for formal education. By various circumstances, he acquired knowledge of math and French, and eventually gained access to books. Thus, he became qualified to serve as a tutor in 1784, and moved away from home. He made the acquaintance of Mathias Baumhauer, an ardent collector of insects, and became extremely interested in insects. About 1778 he came to realize that Linnaeus had not described everything, and that the Linnean genera were too inclusive. He began a reclassification of Diptera based on wing venation, which eventually was expanded to include other body parts. Meigen taught himself enough Latin to read the works of Fabricius. In 1796 he took a teaching position in Stolberg. Meigen’s approach to classification, using many body parts, did not find favor at the time, especially with Fabricius. Due to the political turmoil of the era, Meigen...
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  1. Steyskal GC (1974) On the life and influence of JW Meigen. Mosq Syst 6:79–87Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008