Erich Wasmann

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Erich Wasmann.

Erich Wasmann (29 May 1859 − 27 February 1931) was an Austrian (born in South Tyrol) entomologist, specializing in ants and termites, and Jesuit priest. He described the phenomenon known as Wasmannian mimicry. Wasmann was a supporter of evolution, although he did not accept the productivity of natural selection, the evolution of humans from other animals, or universal common descent of all life. Rather, he believed that common ancestry was restricted to what he called "natural species" which were generally larger groups than species (which he called "systematic species"), genera, or even families. His natural species he identified with the "paleontological species" of Melchior Neumayr. Wasmann also was involved in a long-running dispute with Ernst Haeckel over Monism.[1] His father was the painter Friedrich Wasmann.

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Die hl. [heilige] Hildegard von Bingen als Naturforscherin [St. Hildegard of Bingen as Natural Scientist], Kempten: J. Kösel, 1914.
  • Die moderne Biologie und die Entwicklungstheorie, 2nd edition, Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1904
  • Modern biology and the theory of evolution, Translated from the 3d German of the preceding, ed. by A. M. Buchanan. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., ltd., 1910.
  • Vergleichende Studien über das Seelenleben der Ameisen und der höhern Thiere, Freiburg im Breisgau : Herder, 1898.
  • Comparative studies in the psychology of ants and of higher animals. Authorized English version of the 2d German ed. of the preceding. St. Louis, Mo. Freiburg (Baden), B. Herder. 1905.
  • Instinct und Intelligenz im Thierreich : ein kritischer Beitrag zur modernen Thierpsychologie. Freiburg im Breisgau : Herder, 1897.
  • Instinct and intelligence in the animal kingdom. A critical contribution to modern animal psychology, by Eric Wasmann, S.J. Authorized translation of the 2d and enl. ed. of the preceding. St. Louis, Mo., B. Herder, 1903.
  • Der christliche Monismus.
  • Christian monism; meditations on Christian truths in the language of modern thought. / Authorized translation of the preceding with an introduction by Rev. Spencer Jones. St. Louis, Mo.: B. Herder, 1923.
  • The Berlin discussion of the problem of evolution; Full Report of the Lectures Given in February, 1907, and of the Evening Discussion. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., ltd., 1909.


His collection of Formicidae, Isoptera, myrmecophile and termitophile Coleoptera( especially Staphylinidae) is in the Maastricht Natural History Museum


  1. ^ Robert J. Richards, The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-226-71214-7, pages 360-371.

External links[edit]