Research on this book - Souvenirs entomologiques

The original version of this book is in French

There are many translations of this great insect observation book in Chinese, but most of the names of the creatures in the translations are very confusing. I don’t know if the translations from other countries have any proof of the scientific names of the species in the book, and if there is any research in France ?

I don’t know much about French grammar, and I don’t really know if anyone has ever done this.

This is the only site I found,The names of the organisms used in the original are French names, and I don’t know where I can look up the corresponding scientific names

If you are interested in the creatures mentioned in this book and would like to confirm which one the author is observing, please feel free to discuss in this thread .


All of the books in the series are available here for free in a variety of formats. These are in French, but the appear to have been annotated with binomials where a particular species is mentioned.

There are a lot of other sources for them too. has English copies for free (the PDFs are scans of the originals). This is Alexander Teixeira de Mattos’ translation published in 1921, not sure if it’s complete or an excerpt, but from the length I suspect the latter:

Many of his other works are here too, both in French and in English translation.

Apparently the Korean translation has all 1500 species mentioned in the series properly identified and named, as well as having an appendix added where French, Korean, and the correct scientific names are listed. Unfortunately, I can’t find a copy of the appendix by itself.

The error-free translation began with the issue of translating the names of more than 1,500 species studied by Fabre - insects, arthropods, vertebrate/invertebrate animals, plants and primitive organisms. First, for the insects that are found in Korea due to similar climate condition to French climate, the names registered in Korean Entomology Association was used. To allow readers to reconstruct Fabre’s observations in the mountains and valleys of Korea, icons were used to mark species that inhabits domestically. However, there are many species that inhabited Europe 150 years ago that does not exist in Korea today. In this case, the name of the native species that is closes to them was used for each and every one of them. There were many taxonomical names for insects used in the original text that were incorrect. Therefore, Dr. Kim made much effort to identify and discover the correct taxonomical name that is used today. Also, even for the names that have changed over time, he traced the evolution of the names and discovered the correct identity of the insect mentioned by Fabre in his book. He not only researched insect names but also made sure that there were no errors or misunderstandings about biological facts and scientific information erroneously treated by Fabre with his friendly explanation in the footnotes.

  • The appendix, “The list of organisms appearing in Fabre’s Book of Insects”, encompasses French names, Korean names and taxonomical nomenclature of all living organisms that appear in the Book of Insects. Using this appendix, readers can find out at a glance the insects studied by Fabre. It also contains the volume number associated with it so that they can pick the right volume to find out more about them.

First, JH Fabre was not much interested in Systematics; second, he wrote his books long ago, and Taxonomy has changed a lot since, so it may not be always possible to get a 1:1 mapping. As an example, his chapters dedicated to the “Scarabée sacré”, surely are not about Scarabaeus sacer in the current sense, as it is outside range, and could be mapped to either S. typhon, S. laticollis, or both.


Both french original and english translation are written in a rich and cultured language, difficult to read if those are not your mother language.
I would be very happy to read them in spanish, I only found this one:
Does anybody know if it Is anywhere a copy of other texts in Spanish?

Indeed, Many observations in the book may not be out of date, but they need certain distinctions and hints.I would also love to try to distinguish and sort the current local nature observations and verify or update past records. ;-)

Wooooooow, great help!!
I’ll try to figure out how to find that list!

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.