Entomologia Carniolica

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Frontispiece of Entomologia Carniolica

Entomologia Carniolica exhibens insecta Carnioliae indigena et distributa in ordines, genera, species, varietates is a taxonomic work by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, published in Vienna in 1763. As well as describing hundreds of new species, Entomologia Carniolica contained observations on the species' biology, including the first published account of queen bees mating outside the hive.[1]


In contrast to his predecessors Carl Linnaeus and Johan Christian Fabricius, who had used the structure of the insect wing and the structure of the insect mouthparts, respectively, as the main means of classifying arthropods, Scopoli favoured a more holistic approach.[2]

In Entomologia Carniolica, Scopoli described 1153 species of "insects" (a term which at that time included many arthropods), divided into seven orders:[3]

Coleoptera (beetles and orthopteroid insects) – species 1–329
Proboscidea (= Hemiptera) – species 330–418
Lepidoptera – species 419–676
Neuroptera – species 677–712
Aculeata (= Hymenoptera) – species 713–838
Halterata (= Diptera) – species 839–1024
Pedestria (various wingless animals, including silverfish, fleas, mites, arachnids, crustaceans and myriapods) – species 1025–1153


The animals described in Entomologia Carniolica were found in the Duchy of Carniola (also called the Krain), an area at that time under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[2] Nowadays, it is the western part of Slovenia.[4]

For each species, Scopoli gave references to previously published illustrations and binomial names. Few works using binomial nomenclature had appeared by 1763; those cited by Scopoli include the 10th edition of Systema Naturae (1758) and Fauna Suecica (1761) by Carl Linnaeus, and Insecta Musei Graecensis (1761) by Nikolaus Poda von Neuhaus.[3] More than half of the species listed by Scopoli in Entomologia Carniolica were described as new. They include:

Oedemera nobilis, originally described as Cantharis nobilis
Emmelia trabealis, originally described as Phalaena trabealis
Camponotus vagus, originally described as Formica vaga
Bombus pascuorum, originally described as Apis pascuorum
Phaonia angelicae, originally described as Musca angelicae
Philoscia muscorum, originally described as Oniscus muscorum


Entomologia Carniolica was published by Johann Thomas von Trattner in Vienna in 1763.[5] Forty-three plates of illustrations were prepared for publication, but were never offered for sale, and few copies of Entomologia Carniolica include the plates.[2] They illustrate the species numbered 1–815, with the exception of the genus Aphis (species 396–410).[5]

Entomologia Carniolica was published long before the international standardisation of units; to help readers understand his measurements, Scopoli therefore included a printed scale of three Parisian inches, each divided into twelve lines. His inch was approximately 26.5 millimetres (1.04 in) long, making each line approximately 2.2 mm (0.087 in).[2]


  1. ^ Janko Božič & Ida Gnilsak (2000). "Queen mating behavior as an example of basic science observation in beekeeping technology development". University of Ljubljana. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d David M. Damkaer (2002). "Linnaean Legacy". The copepodologist's cabinet: a biographical and bibliographical history. Volume 240 of Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. pp. 49–71. ISBN 978-0-87169-240-5. 
  3. ^ a b Giovanni Antonio Scopoli (1763). Entomologica Carniolica. Vienna: Johann Thomas von Trattner. 
  4. ^ Andrej Gogala (2004). "Heteroptera of Slovenia, II: Cimicomorpha I" (PDF). Annals for Istrian and Mediterranean Studies. 14 (2): 237–258. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-07. 
  5. ^ a b L. G. Higgins (1963). "Entomologica Carniolica: J. A. Scopoli, 1763". Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History. 4: 167–169. doi:10.3366/jsbnh.1963.4.Part_3.167. 

Further reading[edit]

  • D. B. Baker (1999). "The localities of I. A. Scopoli's Entomologia Carniolica (1763)". Entomologist's Gazette. 50: 188–189. 

External links[edit]