Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pierre André Latreille
Latreille was born into a humble family of Brives-la-Gaillarde, Corrèze, and in 1778 entered the college Lemoine in Paris. He was ordained a priest in 1786 and then went back to Brives, where he spent all of his free time studying insects. In 1788 he returned to Paris and became active in the scientific community there, his Memoire sur les mutilles decouvertes en France gaining him admission to the Society for Natural History .
As a priest with conservative leanings, the French Revolution made his situation uncomfortable; he left Paris, and was later imprisoned at Bordeaux. In 1796 he published Précis des caractères génériques des insectes, disposes dans un ordre naturel at Brives.
In 1798 he was given the task of arranging the entomological collection at the recently organized Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris; in 1814 he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences (succeeding G. A. Olivier), and in 1821 he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor. He was professor of zoology in the veterinary school at Alfort near Paris, and in 1830, when the chair of zoology of invertebrates at the Museum was divided after the death of Lamarck, Latreille was appointed professor of zoology of crustaceans, arachnids and insects, the chair of molluscs, worms and zoophytes being assigned to Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville.
The crab genus Latreillia is named in his honour.
- Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des crustaces et insectes (14 vols., 1802-1805), forming part of C. N. S. Sonnini 's edition of Buffon
- Genera crustaceorum et insectorum, secundum ordinem naturalem ut familias disposita (4 vols., 1806 i8o7)
- Considérations sur l'ordre naturel des animaux composant les classes des crustaces, des arachnides, et des insectes (1810)
- Famillies naturelles du règne animal, exposes succinctement et dans un ordre analytique (1825)
- Cours d'entomologie (of which only the first volume appeared, 1831)
- the whole of the section Crustaces, Arachnides, Insectes, in Georges Cuviers Regne animal
- many papers in the Annales du Museum, the Encyclopedie methodique, the Dictionnaire classique d'histoire naturelle and elsewhere.
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