Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monograph of Spiders





Lycosa Tarantula




Thomisus a

Thomisus b

Mygale Plantigrades a


Mygale Plantigrades


Attus saltatoriae

Thomisus Cancroides

Carl Wilhelm Hahn (1786-1835) was a German zoologist and artist. Following a short stint in the armed services, Hahn completed a PhD and took the unusual step of setting himself up as 'freelance natural historian'.

Biographical details are in short supply but it appears Hahn was at least acquainted with the leading naturalists from Nuremberg and his most important early work involved preparing an ornithological publication on bird species from America, Asia and Africa. It is probable that Hahn contributed artwork to a number of books on insects, spiders and birds.

Hahn's most significant publication was the dual-titled 'Monographie der Spinnen / Monographia Aranearum' (Monograph of Spiders) which was issued in instalments between 1820 and 1836. Of the eight or so (near-) complete copies of this work in the world that have survived, none is apparently a definitive version. The history of the publishing is complicated, involving a change in printers following a quarrel, a small number of subscribers, unauthorised episode issues and, when combined with a sixteen year period of publication, the scarcity of complete works becomes understandable.

'Monographie der Spinnen' was the first ever German monograph on spiders and one of the earliest publications anywhere devoted solely to spiders. Hahn provided the original descriptions of a number of previously unknown spider species together with accurate illustrations, so the work is regarded not only as an important historical scientific document, but is still cited today as a primary source in the field of arachnology.

[Nb. The title tags for the above illustrations were taken from the illustration plates but aren't necessarily consistent or accurate in the 'naming sense'. They were simply chosen quickly to distinguish between the images.]


Anonymous said...

YAY! Thanks for this, PK!

Anonymous said...

like this post

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Spiders are such beautiful creatures.

Susan Moorhead said...

I am so pleased to have lucked upon your blog earlier this year. I think it is just amazing. Thank you for so many great posts (love the spiders!) and have a terrific New Year!

PIGNOUF said...

Bonne année 2009.
J'espère que cette nouvelle année sera aussi enrichissante que l'année dernière pour l'ensemble des visteurs de votre merveilleux blog.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Albert Einstein who said "Never lose a holy curiosity." You continue to inspire.

Thank you for your time and notice. I'm honored.

Wishing you a warm and wonderfully aesthetic New Year!

Karla said...

The Lycosa tarantula is strangely less furry than some of the other spiders shown, and nothing like the extremely furry tarantulas I've met. I wonder if it's a completely different species than what's called a tarantula in the US.

I would not go so far as to say I love spiders (especially when they appear in my bedding), but they're always interesting and I do make an effort to protect them.

Unknown said...

Good Lors! I can't help but want to swat them!

Anonymous said...

I love spiders and other little jewel critters too. We try to take care of them at my house and maybe scare off undesirable visitors.
My entry of insect art on wordpress;

lotusgreen said...

i love these spiders so much. and i just realized that if you scroll through them fast it's like a flipbook and they seem to be wiggling!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

How very beautiful they are! I treat spiders with healthy respect, and I would kill any that were a threat, e.g. I stamped very smartly on a white-tail that crawled out of my elderly mother's washing once (exceedingly venomous Aussie spider, causing extreme pain). But that is very rare, and normally I too go out of my way to protect them. They are such sentient beings!

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