Scientific collections

Collection history

Kustodiat Hemimetabola.



Collection History


Boerner - Breddin - Oettinger

Gustav Breddin (1864–1909) — An outstanding taxonomist of bugs

Gustav Breddin, born on February 25, 1864, was teacher in Gotha, Halle, Magdeburg and Rixdorf near Berlin, until he was employed as the director of the ‘Realschule’ (secondary school) in Oschersleben in 1906. He married in 1892 and became father of three children. Suffering from a heart disease, Breddin died on December 22 in 1909, only 45 years of age. Schröter (1910) published an elaborate obituary, which also includes an appraisal of Breddin’s scientific work and a list of his major publications.

Already as a pupil Breddin started to dedicate himself to entomology. As researcher of Heteroptera and at a lesser degree of Auchenorrhyncha (Hemiptera), he became an internationally recognized authority „distinguished by the specially scientific character of his work upon the group“ (Dixey 1910). He started publishing in 1892 with a contribution to the hemipteran fauna of Thuringia. Already in his second paper he studied pest species of sugar cane from Java. Many of his following works focused on species of the Oriental, Neotropic and Australian regions. Besides describing new species, he also discussed zoogeographic and ecological aspects.

The collection of Breddin was bought by the Deutsches Entomologisches National-Museum (former name of the SDEI) in 1910. Larger parts were integrated into the institutes collection already in the same year filling about 200 drawers (Kuhnt 1910, Schenkling 1910), which represented the major part of the Hemiptera collection of the DEI for a long time (Rohlfien 1975).

Catalogs of the type specimens of Breddin, which are preserved at the DEI, were presented by Gaedike (1971) for the Heteroptera and by Gaedike (1971) for the Auchenorrhyncha. However, a number of type specimens have still not yet been recognized as such. These are not labeled as type, but today they may often be detected upon agreement with data given in the original description. Also single specimens, for which “Senckenberg” (i.e., the collection in Frankfurt / Main) was indicated as the depository, may actually be stored at the SDEI. This trouble was supposedly caused by Breddin’s bad health condition commencing in spring 1909 and his too early death. This problem primarily concerns species included in manuscripts of Breddin published after his death until 1914, but also species described earlier.


Dixey, F. A. 1910: The President’s address. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London, [1910](5): lxxxv–cvi.

Kuhnt, P. 1910: Aus der entomologischen Welt. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, [1910](2): 211-213.

Schenkling, S. 1910: Das Deutsche Entomologische National-Museum. XIV. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, [1910](6): 719-720.

Rohlfien K. (1975): Aus der Geschichte der Entomologischen Sammlungen des ehemaligen Deutschen Entomologischen Instituts: 1. Allgemeiner Teil. 2. Die Dipterensammlung. - Beiträge zur Entomologie Berlin 25(2): 261-296. (LINK: Rohlfien 1975.pdf)

Schröter, W. 1910: Zur Erinnerung an den Heimgang von Direktor G. Breddin. In: Woltmann, H.: 13. Jahresbericht der Realschule zu Oschersleben (mit gymnasialem Nebenkurs in den untersten drei Klassen). Oschersleben: Emil Kaulfuß Kreisblatt-Druckerei, pp. i-vi. LINK: 1119871.pdf