August von Pelzeln

August von Pelzeln (10 May 1825, Prague – 2 September 1891 in Oberdöbling) was an Austrian ornithologist. He was a grandson to novelist Karoline Pichler (1769-1843).[1]

August von Pelzeln

He studied at the University of Vienna, later working as an assistant under helminthologist Karl Moriz Diesing (1800-1867) in the Hof-Naturalien-Cabinet (from 1851). In 1857 he acquired curatorial duties formerly held by Johann Jakob Heckel (1790-1857),[1] and subsequently became in charge of the bird (1857) and mammal (1869) collections.[2] He worked on the birds collected by Johann Natterer in Brazil (343 species).[3]

He was forced to retire from the museum due to ill health, and died at Oberdöbling near Vienna.

Some birds described by Pelzeln are the orange-breasted thornbird, the spot-winged antbird, the red-legged tinamou, the white-throated tinamou, the short-billed leaftosser, the yellow-margined flatbill and the New Zealand rockwren.

His name is associated with Pelzeln's tody-tyrant (Hemitriccus inornatus).[4] Gustav Hartlaub (1814-1900) named the Madagascar grebe (Tachybaptus pelzelnii) in his honor;[5] Otto Finsch (1839-1917) named the Pohnpei starling (Aplonis pelzelni) after Pelzeln.[6]


  • Bemerkungen gegen Darwin's Theorie vom Ursprung der Spezies. Vienna: A. Pichler Witwe & Sohn (1861).
  • Zur Ornithologie Brasiliens, Resultate von Johann Natterers Reisen in den Jahren 1817 bis 1835, Johann Natterer, Wien, A. Pichler's Witwe & Sohn (1868- 1870 3 volumes). BHL
  • Beiträge zur Ornithologie Südafrikas (1882) - Contributions to the ornithology of southern Africa.
  • Many papers in "Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien" (usually abbreviated Sitz.K.Akad.Wiss.Wien).


  1. ^ a b Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Band 7. Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 1978, ISBN 3-7001-0187-2, S. 401 f
  2. ^ Annalen des k. k. naturhistorischen Hofmuseums Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Jahresbericht für 1888
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (18 November 2009). The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 314. ISBN 9780801895333.
  4. ^ Google Books The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals by Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, Michael Grayson
  5. ^ AviBase Tachybaptus pelzelnii
  6. ^ Pohnpei Starling - Pictures and facts

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