Otto Friedrich Müller
Müller was born in Copenhagen. He was educated for the church, became tutor to a young nobleman, and after several years' travel with him settled in Copenhagen in 1767, and married a lady of wealth.
His first important works, Fauna Insectorum Friedrichsdaliana (Leipsic, 1764), and Flora Friedrichsdaliana (Strasburg, 1767), recommended him to Frederick V of Denmark, by whom he was employed to continue the Flora of Denmark, and he added two volumes to the three published by Oeder since 1761. The study of zoölogy, and particularly of microorganisms, meanwhile began to occupy his attention almost exclusively, and in 1771 he produced a work in German on “Certain Worms inhabiting Fresh and Salt Water,” which described many new species of those annulose animals called by Linnaeus aphroditae and nereides, and gave much additional information respecting their habits.
In his Vermium Terrestrium et Fluviatilium, seu Animalium Infusoriorum, Helminthecorum, et Testaceorum non Marinorum, succincta Historia (2 vols. 4 to, Copenhagen and Leipzig, 1773–74), he arranged the Infusoria for the first time into genera and species. His Hydrachnæ in Aquis Daniæ Palustribus detectæ et descriptæ (Leipzig, 1781), and Entomostraca (1785), describe many species of microorganisms previously unknown, amongst other dinoflagellates. To these was added an illustrated work on the Infusoria, published in 1786. These three works, according to Cuvier, give the author “a place in the first rank of those naturalists who have enriched science with original observations.”
His Zoologiae Danicae Prodromus (1776) was the first survey of the fauna of Norway and Denmark, and classified over three thousand local species. He was one of the first to study microorganisms, and established the classification of several groups of animals in addition to the Infusoria, including Hydrachnellae and Entomostraca, all unknown to Linnaeus.
He was a member of the Academia Caesarea Leopoldina, the Royal Scandinavian Academy of Sciences, the Paris Academy of Sciences and the Berlin Society of Friends of Natural Science and had a lasting impact on zoological studies across Europe.
In 1769, Müller was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
- Fauna Insectorum Fridrichsdaliana. Lipsiae: Hafniae et Gleditsch xxiv 96 pp. (1764).
- Vermium terrestrium et fluviatilium, seu animalium infusoriorum, helminthicorum, et testaecorum, non marinorum, succincta historia. Volumen alterum. pp. I-XXVI [= 1-36], 1-214, [1-10]. Havniæ & Lipsiæ. (Heineck & Faber). (1774)
- Zoologiae Danicae Prodromus, seu Animalium Daniae et Norvegiae Indigenarum characteres, nomina, et synonyma imprimis popularium.... Copenhagen, Hallager for the author. (1776) PDF "... the first manual on this topic (Danish and Norwegian Zoology) and was for many years the most comprehensive. It was planned as the beginning of a large illustrated fauna, but only one volume appeared before Müller's death; the following volumes the last published in 1806 prepared by Søren Abildgaard and Martin Heinrich Rathke, amongst others, never reached the standard of the Flora Danica begun by Georg Christian Oeder"
- Entomostraca seu Insecta Testacea, quae in aquis Daniae et Norvegiae reperit, descripsit et iconibus illustravit. 135 pp. 1785 PDF
- Spärck, R.(1932) “Otto Friedrich Müller” in: Meisen, V. Prominent Danish Scientists through the Ages. University Library of Copenhagen 450th Anniversary. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard, pp. 60-64.
- "Müller, Otho Friederik". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Müller, Otto Frederik". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.
- --Enumeratio ac Descriptio Libellularum agri Fridrichsdalensis and Favna insectorvm Fridrichsdalina at GDZ Göttigen (Search as Mueller)
- --Gastropod species named after Otto Müller: Helix Aspersa Müller. Pictures of snail and of its anatomy.