François Pollen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
D.C. van Dam and François P.L. Pollen around 1865

François Paul Louis Pollen (1842–1886) was a Dutch naturalist and merchant. He made major contributions to the study of the Malagasy fauna.


Pollen was born on 8 January 1842 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He had four siblings. His father M.P. Pollen (1806–1857) was owner of the distillery M.P. Pollen & Zoon in Rotterdam. In 1862, he moved to Leiden to study medicine, but Hermann Schlegel encouraged him to study zoology. Together with his companion Douwe Casparus van Dam (1827–1898) he made an expedition to Madagascar which lasted from November 1863 to July 1866. They collected insects, fish, birds, and mammals for the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie in Leiden. Thanks to his wealth Pollen was able to finance this trip by himself. Subsequently he also financed the field work of other naturalists on Madagascar without being directly involved. Further he collected animal and plant specimens on the Comoros and on the Mascarenes island of Réunion. In 1875 Pollen was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany.

Together with Hermann Schlegel he described the Madagascan fruit bat (Eidolon dupreanum) in 1866. In the same year he described the Réunion cuckooshrike (Coracina newtoni ) and again with Schlegel the vanga genus Newtonia in 1868.

Pollen's name is commemorated in the specific epithets of the Comoros olive pigeon (Columba pollenii ), the Pollen's vanga (Xenopirostris polleni ), the Mayotte chameleon (Furcifer polleni ),[1] and the Madagascar coastal skink (Madascincus polleni ).[1] He died on 7 May 1886 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Publications (selected)[edit]


  1. ^ a b Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Pollen", p. 209).
  2. ^ Prospectus in Recherches Part 5,

Further reading[edit]

  • Laurence J. Dorr: Plant collectors in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands: a biographical and bibliographical guide to individuals and groups who have collected herbarium material of algae, bryophytes, fungi, lichens, and vascular plants in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2000, ISBN 978-1900347181, p. 356.
  • Zoologische verhandelingen: Bände 309-311. Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie te Leiden, Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum (Netherlands), Netherlands. Ministerie van Cultuur, Recreatie en Maatschappelijk Werk. 1948, p. 280.

External links[edit]

  • A.C. van Bruggen & F.F.J.M. Pieters (1990): Notes on a drawing of Indian elephants in red crayon by Petrus Camper (1786) in the archives of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie In: Zoologische Mededelingen. Vol. 63 (19). pp. 255–266 (PDF, online).
  • Entry for François Pollen at JSTOR Plant Science.