Collecting localities



Biographical data

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Finsch, Friedrich Hermann Otto


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

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


Born: 1839, Warmbrunn, Germany. Died: 1917, Brunswick, Germany.



Zoologist-ethnographer, in 1862 appointed Assistant of the Museum of Natural History at Leiden; from 1864-78 Director of the Nat. Hist.-Ethnol. Museum at Bremen. He made extensive travels, especially making zoological and ethnological collections, viz in Europe, the U.S.A. (1872), W. Siberia (1876); in 1879 under the auspices of the ‘Humboldt Stiftung’1 round the world to Polynesia, visiting New Guinea too. His 2nd journey to New Guinea was made in commission of the German ‘Neu Guinea Kompagnie’, aiming at the foundation of German colonies in the visited regions. In 1897 he was appointed Custodian of the Ornithological Department of the Natural History Museum at Leiden; since 1904 Director of the Ethnological Department of the Municipal Museum at Brunswick.

Besides of the papers referred to below, he is the author of numerous others.2

The genus Finschia Warb. was named after him.


Collecting localities:2

Voyage round the world (Apr. 21, 1879-Nov. 18, 1882):3 New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Sandwich Isls, Marshall & Gilbert Isls, Carolines, Ontong Java, in 1880 arriving in the Bismarck Archipelago: Neu Mecklenburg (= New Ireland), Liki-Liki; Neu Pommern (= New Britain), Blanche Bay, staying till March 29, 1881, making trips in the NE. part of Gazelle Peninsula and to Neu Lauenburg (= Duke of York Isl.); Sydney, Tasmania, New Zealand; islands in the Torres Strait, Thursday Isl. etc. (Oct. 12, 1881-Jan. 14, 1882); Cape York, N. coast of Australia; SE. New Guinea (half a year in 1882), from the Gulf of Papua to Keppel Bay, Port Moresby, Hood Bay, Aroma Distr., Laloki River, Goldie River in the direction of Owen Stanley Range; returning to Europe by way of Java and Ceylon.-In the ‘Samoa’, 1884-85.4 Bismarck Archipelago: Neu Lauenburg (= Duke of York Isl.), Mioko (Sept. 26-Oct. 6, 1884); NE. New Guinea: Konstantinhafen on the Astrolabe Bay (Oct. 11-18); along the north coast in eastern direction to Festungskap; Mioko (Bism. Arch.) (Oct. 29-Nov. 12); Huon Gulf (16), Finschhafen (23), Weberhafen; N. coast of Neu Pommern (= New Britain), Gazelle Peninsula; Neu Mecklenburg (= New Ireland), Nusa; back at Mioko (Dec. 9). On the way to Australia touching at Port Breton (New Ireland) (Dec. 20) Bentley and Goodenough Bay (27) in SE. New Guinea. Operating in the Bismarck Archipelago again: Mioko (Febr. 1-March 22, 1885); to the Bentley Bay (SE. New Guinea), Milne Bay, Killerton Isls, Samarai and Teste Island; Mioko (Apr. 18-May 4); Vulkan Isl.; to the mainland of N. New Guinea: discovering the Kaiserin Augusta River (= Sepik) (9), Cape della Torre, Dallmann Hafen (11), as far as Angriffshafen (May 15) and Humboldt Bay (17) and back along the north coast via Hatzfeldhafen (22), Astrolabe Bay, Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (= Madang) (23), Konstantinhafen; back at Mioko (Bism. Arch.) (28). By way of Australia returning to Germany, Berlin (arriving Sept. 2).



Herb. Berl. [B]: only few plants from New Guinea (prob. coll. 1880-82), more from the Pacific Islands.

Between 1879-82 he collected almost the whole flora of the Marshall Isls (1000 plants) and part of that (200 plants) of the Gilbert Isls; these collections were given, according to his wishes, for identification to Dr Kurtz of Berlin, who shortly after departed for Cordoba (La Plata), so that Finsch did not get any information about them.5 They are still in Herb. Cordoba [COA].6

Finsch mentions2 the purchase of a collection of birds from Hunstein (see there), during his 2nd voyage (1884-85), as he himself had no spare time to make natural history collections; in consequence of this statement, we may assume that he made no botanical collections in those years either.

Some plants were published by K. Schumann.7



(1) cf. Tijdschr. K.N.A.G. 1917, p. 299.

(2) O. Finsch: ‘Systematische Uebersicht der Ergebnisse seiner Reisen and Schriftstellerischen Thätigkeit (1859-99)’ (Berlin 1899).

(3) O. Finsch: ‘Anthropologische Ergebnisse einer Reise in der Südsee and in der malayischen Archipel 1879-82’ (Berlin 1884); ‘Hausbau, Häuser and Siedelungen an der Sudostküste von Neu-Guinea’ (Mitt. Anthrop. Ges. Wien 17, 1887, p. 1-15).

(4) O. Finsch: ‘Entdeckungsfahrten des deutschen Dampfers "Samoa"‘ (Gartenlaube 1886, p. 83-86, 111-112, 192-195, 367-370; and l.c. 1887, p. 295-296, 460-462, 541-543); ‘Dr Finsch’s fünfte Fahrt im Dienste der Neuguinea-Kompanie’ (Deutsche Kolon. Zeit. 3, 1886, p. 11-18); ‘Ueber Naturprodukte in der westlichen Südsee besonders der deutschen Schutzgebiete’ (l.c. 4, 1887, p. 519-530, 543-551, 593-596); ‘Samoafahrten. Reisen in Kaiser Wilhelmsland and Englisch Neu-Guinea, 1884-85’ (Leipzig 1888).

cf. also Nachr. Kais. Wilh. Land 1885/86, Heft 2, p. 8-13; l.c. Heft 3, p. 9-24; l.c. Heft 4, p. 3-4.

(5) cf. ‘Syst. Uebersicht’ (l.c. sub 2) p. 15 and footnote 2.

(6) cf. Chron. Bot. 4, 1938, p. 565.

(7) in ‘Die Flora der deutschen ostasiatischen Schutzgebiete’ (Engl. Bet. Jahrb. 9, 1888, p. 189-223).


biographical data:

Portr. in Finsch, Samoafahrten, 1888; in Finsch, Syst. Uebersicht der Ergebnisse, 1899, bibliogr. p. 35-93, cf. also p. 147-153; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; in A. Gijzen, ‘s Rijks Museum v. Nat. Hist. 1820-1915, Rotterdam 1938, p. 272; Ned. Kruidk. Arch. 52, 1942, p. 385; A.A. Prestwich, I name this parrot .... 1963, p. 34-35.


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