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Latreille, Pierre Andre

LATREILLE, PIERRE ANDRE (1762-1833), French naturalist, was born in humble circumstances at Brives-la-Gaillarde (Correze), on the 20th of November 1762. In 1778 he entered the college Lemoine at Paris, and on his admission to priestly orders in 1786 he retired to Brives, where he devoted all the leisure which the discharge of his professional duties allowed to the study of entomology. In 1788 he returned to Paris and found means of making himself known to the leading naturalists there. His " Memoire sur les mutilles decouvertes en France," contributed to the Proceedings of the Society of Natural History in Paris, procured for him admission to that body. At the Revolution he was compelled to quit Paris, and as a priest of conservative sympathies suffered considerable hardship, being imprisoned for some time at Bordeaux. His Precis des caractcres generiques des insectes, disposes dans un ordre naturel, appeared at Brives in 1796. In 1798 he became a corresponding member of the Institute, and at the same time was entrusted with the task of arranging the entomological collection at the recently organized Museum d'Histoire Naturelle (Jardin des Plantes); in 1814 he succeeded G. A. Olivier as member of the Academic des Sciences, and in 1821 he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour. For some time he acted as professor of zoology in the veterinary school at Alfort near Paris, and in 1830, when the chair of zoology of invertebrates at the Museum was divided after the death of Lamarck, Latreille was appointed professor of zoology of crustaceans, arachnids and insects, the chair of molluscs, worms and zoophytes being assigned to H. M. D. de Blainville. " On me donne du pain quand je n'ai plus de dents," said Latreille, who was then in his sixty-eighth year. He died in Paris on the 6th of February 1833.

In addition to the works already mentioned, the numerous works of Latreille include: Hisloire naturelle generate el particuliere des crustaces el insectes (14 vols., 1802-1805), forming part of C. N. S. Sonnini's edition of Buffon; Genera crustaceorum el inseclorum, secundum ordinem naturalem in familias disposita (4 vols., 1806 1807) ; Considerations generates sur I 'ordre naturel des animaux composant les classes des crustaces, des arachnides, el des insectes ( 1 8 1 o) ; Families naturelles du regne animal, exposees succinctement et dans un ordre analytique (1825); Cours d' entomologie (of which only the first volume appeared, 1831); the whole of the section "Crustaces, Arachnides, Insectes," in G. Cuvier's Regne animal; besides many papers in the Annales du Museum, the Encyclopedic methodique, the Dictionnaire classique d'histoire naturelle and elsewhere.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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