Michele Lessona

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Michele Lessona
Born (1823-09-20)20 September 1823
Venaria Reale
Died 20 July 1894(1894-07-20) (aged 70)
Nationality Italian
Fields Natural sciences, Zoology
Alma mater University of Turin

Michele Lessona (20 September 1823, Venaria Reale, Piedmont – 20 July 1894, Turin) was an Italian zoologist.

Michele Lessona became a specialist in amphibians. His accomplishments include the translation of certain works of Darwin, for example, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.


Lessona studied medicine in Turin, afterwards relocating to Egypt, where he worked in a hospital outside of Cairo. From 1850 he studied natural sciences at Turin, and in the meantime found employment as a secondary school teacher. In 1854 he attained the chair of mineralogy and zoology at the University of Genoa.

In 1862, with Filippo de Filippi, he took part in a scientific and diplomatic mission to Persia, and after his return to Italy, he was named chair of zoology at the University of Bologna in 1863. In 1867 he became chair of zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of Turin.[1]


Lessona has several herpetological species named after him, such as Pelophylax lessonae,[2] Diploglossus lessonae,[3] and Trapelus lessonae.[3]


Partial list


  1. ^ Library of the Department of Animal and Human Biology – Università degli Studi di Torino (biographical information)
  2. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2013. The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians. Exeter, England: Pelagic Publishing Ltd. xiii + 262 pp. ISBN 978-1-907807-41-1. ("Lessona", p. 124).
  3. ^ a b Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Lessona", p. 156).

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