Achille Valenciennes

Achille Valenciennes ( born August 9, 1794 in Paris, † April 13, 1865 ) was a French zoologist, ichthyologist and malacologist.


He was born in the Muséum national d' histoire naturelle in Paris, where his father worked as a research assistant and lived with his family. In school, collège he shone in mathematics and was planned for him Polytechnic l' École polytechnique give. But his father 's early death forced him to abandon his studies and to work to support his mother and four sisters. Even before his eighteenth birthday he was préparateur in Muséum national d' histoire naturelle, his main task was auszustopften to mammals and birds. But because of its above-average grades, he was quickly entrusted with other tasks. He first worked for Étienne Geoffroy Saint- Hilaire (1772-1844) and then in 1814 for Jean -Baptiste de Lamarck ( 1744-1829 ) where he helped him as an assistant to the collection of invertebrates, molluscs and zoophytes to arrange and classify. This work attracted the attention of Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) on itself. So he worked in a row for Cuvier.

1827 extended Valenciennes his own research on the fish. He traveled to England, Holland, Germany, to learn about fish that exist in museums or private collections. Some years later he became national d' histoire naturelle appointed professor of Malacology in Muséum. His work in the field of ichthyology went still further, such as co -author of L' Histoire Naturelle of Poissons, a basic publication ( in the period 1828-1850 ) in which 4055 species of fish (of 2311 new) have been described.

Nevertheless Valenciennes published a series works on malacology, including the descriptions of molluscs, which were collected in the expedition of the frigate La Venus Venus (1836-1839) under the Command of Captain Abel Aubert Du Petit Thouars (1793-1864) worldwide.

In 1832 he took over the chair of annelids, mollusks, and zoophytes in the Muséum national d' histoire naturelle in Paris by Henri Marie de Ducrotay Blainville ( 1777-1850 ). In turn, two years after the death of Cuvier, so in 1834 the Chair of Comparative Anatomy received and filled him for 18 years.

His scientific studies of parasitic worms in humans made ​​an important contribution to parasitology. His other works include systematic studies of fossil and extant species.

Together with Cuvier, he worked from 1828 to 1848 at the 22 -volume Histoire naturelle of poissons ( natural history of the fish), which he completed after Cuvier's death in 1832. With Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) he formed a lifelong friendship, a total of 70 letters published in both. So he had to describe the beginning of his career, the task, the animals and classify brought by the Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Jacques Alexandre Bonpland (1773-1858) from their travels in tropical America from 1799 to 1803 and sent.

From 1844 Valenciennes was a member of the Académie des sciences.

Named after Valenciennes taxa

  • Acropora valenciennesi, Milne Edwards & Haime, (1860 )
  • Ophiacantha valenciennesi, Lyman (1879 )
  • Glossodoris valenciennesi, Cantraine (1835 )
  • Hypselodoris valenciennesi, Cantraine (1841 )
  • Lithuaria valenciennesi, d' Hondt (1984 )
  • Montastrea valenciennesi, Milne Edwards & Haime (1848 )
  • Symphyllia valenciennesi, Milne Edwards & Haime (1849 )
  • Oculina valenciennesi, Milne Edwards & Haime ( 1850)
  • Callionymus valenciennei, Temminck & Schlegel ( 1845)


  • A. Valenciennes: Aspidophoroide. Dictionnaire universel d' histoire naturelle. C. d' Orbigny ( dir. ), 1841, vol. 2, pp. 237-238.
  • A. Valenciennes: Description d'une nouvelle d' espèce Aspidophore Pêche dans l' une des anses du port de l' empereur Nicolas. CR Acad. Sci Paris 1858, v. 47, p 1040-1043.