Collecting localities



Biographical data


Miklucho-Maclay, Nikolaj Nikolajewitsch


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

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


Born: 1846, Ukraine, Russia. Died: 1888, St Petersburg, Russia.



Geographer-ethnologist, educated at Petersburg and in Germany. He made extensive travels under the auspices of the Imperial Court and the Imperial Geographic Russian Society of Petersburg, viz to N. Africa and the Red Sea and subsequently in the Malaysian and Pacific regions (see below). In 1886 he finally settled at Petersburg.

He did his utmost to found zoological stations, in which he succeeded at Sydney only; in the latter place he founded besides a museum which was named in his honour.1

He published many small communications on his travels and studies, but as his notes were in a very confused state, they never resulted in a proper compilation. He is characterized by Wichmann as a braggart of little importance.2

He is commemoratedin the Maclay Coast (being the first European who went ashore there), and in the plant species Illipe maclayana F.Muell.


Collecting localities:

1st Voyage to New Guinea, 1871-72.3 Sailing via Madeira, the Canaries, Morocco, S. America, Tahiti and the Samoa ISLS and New Ireland to the NE. coast of New Guinea: Astrolabe Bay (Sept . 19, 1871), discovering a small bay which he named Konstantinhafen, and settling in the neighbourhood at Garagassi; trips to Bogadjim, lsl. Bilibile and Jambom; tour by boat along the W. coast of Astrolabe Bay (Aug. 1872); Dec. 25 he was picked up in a suffering state by a ship which was in search of him; laid up with illness for 6 weeks in Ternate; sailing via Tidore to the Philippines: touching at Cebu and staying in Luzon (March 21-Apr. 1873), making a trip to Limai; till Hongkong he was a guest on the ‘Isumrud’.-2nd Voyage to New Guinea, 1874.4 Sailing from Ambon to Gisser (= Geser), via Goram (= Gorong) and Watu Bèla (= Watoebela), through Nautilus Strait to the N. coast of P. Adi and the E. coast of P. Namatote (Febr. 27) (both situated S of Dutch W. New Guinea); Dutch SW. New Guinea (Vogelkop): Triton Bay, visiting Warika, and reaching Lake Kamaka; P. Aiduma, Kajuh Merah and Lakahia; Etna Bay, trips in the neighbourhood of Timbona; P. Aiduma; sailing (Apr. 25) via Ceram Laut Isls; Ambon (end of May).-In the same year stay at Buitenzorg, W. Java, for recovery of his health.-Malay Peninsula, 1874-75.5 In Nov. 1874 visiting Johore, going up the Indau River to Mt Janeng, then turning towards the Pekan; Johore Bahru (Febr. 2, 1875); from Singapore to Bangkok (Siam); interior of the Malay Peninsula (June-Oct.), Pahang and Kedah; W. Java: Buitenzorg (Nov. 1875-Febr. 1876).-3rd Voyage to New Guinea, 1876-77.6 Sailing from Cheribon (Java) (Febr. 18, 1876) in the ‘Seabird’: P. Gebe (March 8); Mapia Isls (13); Palu Isls; Carolines; Admiralty Isls (May 26); Hermit Ists; Echiquer Isls; Astrolabe Bay (June 27), Konstantinhafen, residing at Bongu (staying till Nov. 11, 1877), making many trips; via Palau Islands to the Philippines: Mindanao, Zamboanga (Jan. 1878); along the W. coast of Borneo to Singapore (Jan. 19), and sailing for Sydney (arriving mid-July).-Southsea Voyage, 1879-80.7 Sailing from Port Jackson (March 1879); New Caledonia; New Bchrids; Admiralty Isls; Solomon Isls and finally visiting the islands near SE. New Guinea and those in Torres Strait. With regard to the New Guinea part of the voyage the following data are known: Luf (July 1879); between St Matthias and Neu (= New) Hannover (Nov. 12); Isl. Simbo (Solomon Isls) (Dec. 10); Isl. Samarai in China Strait (end of Jan. 1880), leaving the boat, staying for some time and departing to Papua: Port Moresby; with Chalmers several trips to coastal villages, visiting Kalo, Kerepunu, Aroma, etc.; Thursday Isl. (May), from where visiting Jervis Isl. etc.-SE. coast New Guinea, 1881 (Aug.-Sept.), on an English warship: Port Moresby, Kalau (Hood Bay), Keppel Bay, Port Moresby.-In 1882 from Sydney back to St Petersburg (arriving early in Oct.); back at Sydney in Dec. to finish his activities at the Zoological Station; Java: Batavia (Febr. 1883), where he succeeded in persuading the commander of the Russian corvette ‘Skobeleff’, to touch at the Astrolabe Bay (NE. New Guinea) (March, 10 days’ stay); via the Admiralty Islands, Hermit Islands and Palau Isls to the Philippines: Luzon, Manila; he left the ship and sailed via Hongkong to Sydney (arriving July or Aug.).-In 1886 back to Petersburg, next year returning once more to Sydney, to fetch his family.



Ethnological collections from New Guinea at St Petersburg (= Leningrad [LE]). He collected plants on the Maclay Coast, near Astrolabe Bay and the Finisterre Mts, described by F. von Mueller.8 At least some in Herb. Melbourne [MEL].

We have no data as to his collecting plants in other islands, probably he did not.



(1) Dr O. Finsch: ‘Nikolaus von Miklucho-Maclay, Reisen and Wirken’ (Deutsche Geogr. Blätt. 11, 1888, p. 270-309).

(2) cf. Wichmann, Entd. Gesch. N.G., in Nova Guinea 21; in the itinerary I made use of many data mentioned in this book.

Miklucho-Maclay is the author of papers published in the Nat. Tijdschr. N. I. 1873-76; Tijdschr. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. 1876; Peterm. Mitt. 19, 1873 and 20, 1874; Deutsche Kolon. Zeit. N.F. 2, 1889, p. 77; etc.

(3) N. Miklucho-Maclay: ‘Mijn verblijf aan de oostkust van Nieuw Guinea in de jaren 1871 en 1872’ (Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 33, 1873, p. 114-126); ‘Ethnologische Bemerkungen über die Papuas der Maclay-Küste in Neu Guinea’ (l.c. 35, 1875, p. 66-93).

(4) N. Miklucho-Maclay: ‘Meine zweite Excursion nach Neu Guinea’ (Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 36, 1876, p. 148-179); ‘Incidents of travel in Papua-Kowiay, New Guinea’ (Proc. Roy. Geogr. Soc. Lond. 19, 1875, p. 517-521).

(5) N. Miklucho-Maclay: ‘Ethnologische Excursion in Johore’ (15 Dec. 1874-2 Febr. 1875) (Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 35, 1875, p. 251-258); ‘Ethnological excursions in Malay Peninsula, Nov. 1874 to October 1875’ (Journ. Str. Br. Roy. As. Soc. no 2, 1878, p. 205-221).

(6) cf. Peterm. Mitt. 34, 1878, p. 407-408.

(7) N. Miklucho-Maclay: ‘Kurze Zusammen-stellung der Ergebnisse anthropologische Studien während einer Reise in Melanesien (März 1879 bis April 1880)’ (Zeitschr. Ethnol. Berl. 12, 1880, p. 374-375).

(8) In Vict. Naturalist 1, 1885, p. 168 and in ‘Descr. Not. Pap. Pl.’.

N. de Miklucho-Maclay: ‘List of plants in use by the natives of the Maclay-coast, New Guinea’ (Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 10, 1885, p. 346-354) with Appendix by F. von Mueller: ‘Edible fruits from the Maclay-coast, New Guinea’ (l.c. p. 355-358).


biographical data:

E.S. Thomassen: ‘Biographical sketch of. . .’ (Brisbane 1882, + map); Deutsche Geogr. Blätt. 11, 1888, p. 270-309, incl. bibliogr.; Tijdschr. K.N.A.G. 1889 (afd. Verkl. & Aardr. Meded.) p. 320-321, 322; Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 49, 1890, p. 28-30; Encyclop. N.I. 2, 1918; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; Geogr. Journ. Lond., 1938, p. 494; F.S. Greenop: ‘Who travels alone’ ( ? Australia, publ. after the war); D. Fischer, Unter Sudsee-Insulanern. Das Leben des Forschers Mikloucho-Maclay (Leipzig 1956); Poetesjestwië na bereg Maklaja (Moskau 1956).