Fabre, Jean Henri

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Fabre, Jean Henri

Fabre, Jean Henri (zhäN äNrēˈ fäˈbrə), 1823–1915, French entomologist and author. He is known for his observations on insects and his study of their behavior. Fabre demonstrated the importance of instinct among insects. He taught until 1870 at Carpentras, Ajaccio, and Avignon, wrote works on popular science at Orange (1870–79), then retired to nearby Sérignan, where he devoted himself to entomological studies. Fabre worked almost exclusively from nature, and his exquisite literary style brought him as much renown as his observations. His principal work is Souvenirs entomologiques (10 vol., 1879–1907); English translations of selections from this work include The Life of the Spider (1912), The Marvels of the Insect World (1938), and The Insect World of J. Henri Fabre (ed. with commentary and biographical notes by E. W. Teale, 1949).


See studies on Fabre by Augustin Fabre (tr., 2d ed. 1921), P. F. Bicknell (1923), and G. V. Legros (1971).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fabre, Jean Henri


Born Dec. 22, 1823, in Saint-Léons, Aveyron; died Oct. 11, 1915, in Sérignan, Vaucluse. French entomologist and writer.

Fabre, a teacher and author of a number of textbooks and popular scientific books on the natural sciences, was primarily interested in the study of the life and instincts of insects, especially Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and Orthoptera, as well as spiders and scorpions. He was one of the founders of ethology. Particularly well known is his ten-volume work Souvenirs entomologiques (1879–1907), in which Fabre describes the results of many years of observation of the way of life of insects and other arthropods, such as spiders and scorpions. An opponent of the theory of evolution, he believed that biological species, with their characteristic instincts and habits, have remained unchanged from the moment of their creation.


Souvenirs entomologiques, vols. 1–10. Paris, 1946–51.
In Russian translation:
Instinkt i nravy nasekomykh, vols. 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1906–14.
Zhizn’ nasekomykh, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad [1924].


Vasil’eva, E. N., and I. A. Khalifman. Fabr. Moscow, 1966.
Giliarov, M. S. “Zhan Anri Fabr—k 150-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia.” Entomologicheskoe obozrenie, 1974, vol. 53, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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