Sclater, Philip Lutley

Sclater, Philip Lutley


Born Nov. 4, 1829; died June 27, 1913. British zoologist and zoogeographer.

Sclater graduated from Oxford University in 1849. During the next decade he traveled throughout Europe, the Americas, and North Africa. In 1859 he became secretary of the Zoological Society of London. Sclater’s main works dealt with ornithology, chiefly the study of South American birds, of which he described many new species and genera. He compiled a four-volume catalog of the bird collections of the British Museum and a catalog of American birds. In 1858, after studying the distribution of birds, Sclater divided the earth’s land area into six zoogeographic regions—Palaearctic, Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian, Nearctic, and Neotropical. This system of regions, refined by A. Wallace in 1876, laid the foundation of modern zoo-geographic zonation.


“On the Present State of Our Knowledge of Geographical Zoology.” Nature, 1875, vol. 12, September 2, pp. 374–82; September 9, pp. 407–12.


“Bibliography of the Published Writings of P. L. Sclater (1844–1896).” Bulletin of the United States National Museum,” 1896, no. 49.