Collecting localities



Biographical data


Bíró, Lajos (or Ludwig in German)


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 5: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement I)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 8: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement II)


Born: 1856, Tasnád, Hungary. Died: 1931, Budapest, Hungary.



 A Hungarian zoologist. Studied initially theology, but his intense interest in natural history induced him to take up zoology. His qualification in the University of Budapest took him many years as he had to earn the means for studying, as a private tutor. Teacher from Budapest, who was sent out to former German New Guinea in Nov. 1895 by the direction of the Hungarian National Museum. During his stay he collected a lot of valuable zoological, botanical, and ethnological objects.1 In 1898 he paid a visit to Buitenzorg (W. Java), during which he took the opportunity to collect and study provisionally various interest­ing forms of animal life.2 After his return from New Guinea7, he was appointed ‘Custos honoris causa’ at the Hungarian National Museum, where he elaborated his collections; he was awarded a Honorary Dr’s degree of the University of Szeged.

He explored several other countries, viz: N. Africa (1902-03), Greece (1906), Turkey (Ankara, 1925), and Bulgaria (1928).

He is the author of many, principally entomological, papers.3

He is commemorated in the plant species Jadunia biroi Lind.4 Schizaea biroi A.Richt. and Biropteris Kümm. were also named after him.


Collecting localities:5

NE. New Guinea, former Kaiser-Wilhemsland. 1896. Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (beginning of Jan.); exploring in the environs of Astrolabe Bay (Jan. 6-end of June), from Friedrich Wilhelmshafen visiting the islands Siar, Gragčt, Behan, and Bili-Bili, further Jomba and the Hansemann Gebirge (Mts); beginning of July-2nd half of Oct. on the islands (Tarawai, Seleo, Ali, Sans Souci, Dudemain) in Berlin Hafen and on the opposite mainland, the Lamin (= Leming) Coast; Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (1897, 1st half of Jan.); Erima and environs (till Apr. 22), proceeding as far as Tjingadji in the headland and as Balai and Bawag in the Oertzen Mts; Stephansort (Apt. 23-Aug.), making trips to the slopes of the Konstantinberg (Uom and Wale), to Bongu, Jam-Jam and Wenki. Subsequently sailing for Singapore and staying in Java (Buitenzorg, see biography above), not before July 1898 appearing at Simbang on the Langemuk-Bucht (= Gulf) in NE. New Guinea again; till Dec. exploring the Sattelberg and various regions N of the Gulf of Huon. After a 2nd stay at Singapore, he returned in March 1899 in New Guinea, Simbang, and investigated anew the environs of Finschhafen and the Sattelberg (till Aug.); Stephansort (Dec.); in the first days of May 1900 with Robert Koch to Herbertshohe, participating in a voyage to various islands of the Bismarck Archipelago (May 13-28), visiting: SE. coast of Neu Mekklenburg (= New Ireland), S. side Gardenijs Isl. (Lihir), San Joseph Isl. (Masahčt), San-Francisco Isl. (Mahur), Tabŕr Isl. (Gardner Isl.), Visscher Isl. (Simbéri), Neu Mecklenburg (New Ireland) (May 23 at Lasu), Nusa (24), Kabóteron Isl., S. coast Neu Hannover (= New Hanover) (25), Sandwich Islands (28), and back to Herbertshöhe (30). In Oct. he went to Sydney and stayed in New South Wales till the 2nd half of Dec.; in the beginning of Jan. 1901 sailing again for NE. New Guinea: Friedrich Wilhelmshafen; near Astrolabe Bay (May). In French Isl., but as collecting there proved to be rather poor, he left for Sydney, doing some collecting in Australia; subsequently returning to New Guinea, making preparations for his home voyage, leaving Dec. 21. End of Jan. 1902 he turned up in Singapore again, from where he went to Bombay (via Ceylon) for a longer stay.



Herb. Budapest [BP]; in Herb. Berl. [B]: 30 nos from the Sattelberg and the Gulf of Huon. Phanerogams and pteridophytes in the Herb. Gen. Ungarian Nat. Mus. [BP]; identified by Prof. E. Gombocz.



(1) A descriptive catalogue ofhis ethnographical collection in New Guinea was published in ‘Ethnographische Sammlungen des Ung. Nat. Mus.’ vol. 1 and 3, 1899.

(2) cf. Dammerman in Ann. Jard. Bot. Buit. 45, 1935, p. 22.

(3) e.g. in Rovartini Lapok Budapest 4, 1897, in l.c. 6, 1899 and in l.c. 12, 1905.

(4) cf. Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 50, 1913, p. 169.

(5) cf. Wichmann, Entd. Gesch. N. G., in Nova Guinea 22, p. 641-643 (as no account of his journey is published, W. derived the data from papers dealing with Biro’s collections).

(6) Schumann & Lauterbach in ‘Nachtr. z. Fl. d. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. etc.’ (Leipzig 1905).

For papers on the zoological collections cf. Wichman l.c. sub 5.

Lichens elaborated by Ö. Szatala in Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Nat. Hung. 7, 1956, p. 15-50.

(7) L. Bíró: ‘Het ér Új-Guineában’ (Budapest 1923; letters written from New Guinea); ‘Újguineai utazásom emlékei’ (Budapest 1932; reminescences from his New Guinea voyage); and some other papers in Hungarian in Természetrati Közlöny 31, 1899, p. 74-75, and ibid. 51, 1919, p. 397-398.


biographical data:

S. Asztalos: ‘Bíró Lajos, a nagy magyar utazó’ (Budap. Müvelt Nép. 1953, 139 pp.); Act. Bot. Ac. Sc. Hung. 1, 1955, p. 273, 275, 276; Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Nat. Hung. 7, 1956, pt 1 (memorial part), German biogr. p. 7-13, with portr