Ludwig Karl Georg Pfeiffer

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Ludwig Karl Georg Pfeiffer

Hesse-Nassau, Kingdom of Prussia
Alma materUniversity of Marburg, University of Göttingen
Louise Philippine von Nathusius
(m. 1811; div. 1841)
Wilhelmine Friederike Wagner
(m. 1842)
  • Franz Georg Pfeiffer (uncles)
Awards 4th Class, Order of the Red Eagle
Scientific career
Thesis"De Phlegmatia alba dolente quaedam, adnexa huius morbi historia" [1] (1825)
Doctoral advisorGeorg Wilhelm Franz Wenderoth
Author abbrev. (botany)Pfeiff.
Author abbrev. (zoology)L. Pfeiffer

Ludwig Karl Georg Pfeiffer, also known as Louis Pfeiffer (4 July 1805 – 2 October 1877), was a German physician, botanist and conchologist.

Early life, Education & Medical Career

Louis Pfeiffer was born in Cassel, the eldest son of the jurist

Polish rebellion of 1831 he took the position of staff surgeon at the Alexander-Hospital in Warsaw, lending support to the beleaguered Polish partisans.[6] In addition to the war-wounded he treated at the hospital, he also took a special interest in caring for the many thousands who were stricken with cholera as a result of the upheaval cased by the conflict. In September 1831, the Polish rebels were forced to capitulate to the overwhelming Russian military force, but Pfeiffer had developed such a close feeling of kinship and support for the Poles that he refused to stay on and work with the Russians.[7]

Louis's return to Cassel was overshadowed, however, by the untimely death of his elder brother Carl, who succumbed to the very same cholera that Louis worked so hard to fight in Poland. As a result of the outbreak of cholera across Prussia, Louis was kept in quarantine before he could enter Cassel, which prolonged his and his family's grief, until he was finally permitted to return home and bury his brother.[8] Upon his return home, Pfeiffer undertook his first publication, a personal recollection of his experience entitled Erfahrungen über die Cholera, gesammelt in dem Hospital zu Warschau im Sommer 1831.[8]


Louis Pfeiffer was married twice. His first marriage was to Luise Philippine (née Nathusius, 2 September 1811 – 18 September 1891), daughter of the industrialist Johann Gottlob Nathusius. They were married on May 19, 1832, and divorced in 1841.[8] This union produced three children, all of whom died young:

  • Gottlob Wilhelm Richard Paul (13 April 1834 – 9 March 1835)
  • Louise Marie Anna (5 January 1836 – 29 May 1840)
  • Johanna Caroline Marie (25 October 1837 – 1 June 1840)

Louis Pfeiffer married his second wife, Wilhelmine Friederike (née Wagner, 10 April 1823 - 26 June 1900), on October 9, 1842.[9] Their marriage lasted until Pfeiffer's death, and produced six children:

Scientific Career & Later Life

After his return to Cassel and his marriage, as well as the death of his eldest son, Pfeiffer had grown unhappy with his medical practice, finding the state of medical science at the time insufficient for his intellectual needs, and gave it up to focus on scientific studies and literary works, particularly in the fields of botany and conchology. His first scientific work, published in 1837, was a book cataloging and describing the various cactus species used in German gardens. It was well received, and as a result, he became known as "Kaktus-Pfeiffer".

honorary doctorate in philosophy by the philosophy faculty, honoring a life spent in pursuit of knowledge. Pfeiffer was also awarded the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle, 4th class, in gratitude for scientific service to the nation.[14] Ludwig Carl Georg Pfeiffer died of a lung infection on October 2, 1877.[15]

Animals described by Pfeiffer

He named more than 20 new genera and species, some of which have become synonyms:[16]

Plants described by Pfeiffer

  • Alziniana (Pfeiff. 1873) is a synonym for Alzatea (Ruiz & Pav. 1794)
  • Cephalocereus (Pfeiff. 1838)
  • Cuscutina (Pfeiff. 1846) is a synonym of Cuscuta (L. 1753)
  • Discocactus (Pfeiff. 1837)
  • Engelmannia (Pfeiff. 1845) is a synonym of Cuscuta (L. 1753)
  • Epilinella (Pfeiff. 1845) is a synonym of Cuscuta (L. 1753)
  • Gymnocampus (Pfeiff. 1874) is a synonym of Stylidiaceae (R. Br. 1810)
  • Hosta (Pfeiff. 1874)
  • Lepismium (Pfeiff. 1835)
  • Terminthia (Pfeiff. 1876) is a synonym for Searsia (F.A. Barkley 1942)
  • Cuscuta hassiaca (Pfeiff. 1843) is a synonym for Cuscuta suaveolens (Ser. 1840)
  • Cuscuta schkuhriana (Pfeiff. 1845) is a synonym for Cuscuta europaea (L. 1753)
  • Engelmannia migrans (Pfeiff. 1845) is a synonym for Cuscuta suaveolens (Ser. 1840)
  • Epilinella cuscutoides (Pfeiff. 1845) is a synonym for Cuscuta epilinum (Weihe 1824)
  • Verbascum ruderale (Pfeiff. 1845) is a synonym for Verbascum nigrum (L. 1753)

Plant life named after Pfeiffer

Marine life named after Pfeiffer

Nassarius pfeifferi
, a nassa mud snail named in honor of Pfeiffer

In the course of time, 24 marine species have been named after Pfeiffer with the epithets pfeifferi, pfeifferae, pfeifferianus and pfeifferianum, many of which have become synonyms:[18]

  • Asperiscala pfeifferi (de Boury, 1913) is a synonym of Epitonium candeanum (d'Orbigny, 1842)
  • Astarte pfeifferi (Philippi, 1849) is a synonym of Crassinella lunulata (Conrad, 1834)
  • Azorica pfeifferae (Carter, 1876) is a synonym of Leiodermatium pfeifferae (Carter, 1876)
  • Cerithium (Proclava) pfeifferi (Dunker, 1882) is a synonym of Rhinoclavis (Proclava) sordidula (Gould, 1849)
  • Clava pfeifferi (Dunker, 1882) is a synonym of Rhinoclavis (Proclava) sordidula (Gould, 1849)
  • Clava turritum var. pfeifferi (Dunker, 1882) is a synonym of Rhinoclavis (Proclava) sordidula (Gould, 1849)
  • Cymatium pfeifferianum
    (Reeve, 1844)
  • Engraulis pfeifferi Bleeker, 1852 is a synonym of Setipinna breviceps (Cantor, 1849)
  • Eutritonium pfeifferianum Reeve is a synonym of
    Cymatium pfeifferianum
    (Reeve, 1844)
  • Fusus pfeifferi Philippi, 1846 is a synonym of Pseudolatirus pfeifferi (Philippi, 1846)
  • Gibberula pfeifferi Faber, 2004
  • Laimodonta pfeifferi Dunker in Pfeiffer, 1860 is a synonym of Allochroa layardi (H. Adams & A. Adams, 1855)
  • Leiodermatium pfeifferae (Carter, 1876)
  • Nassarius pfeifferi
    (Philippi, 1844)
  • Polynemus pfeifferi Bleeker, 1853 is a synonym of Filimanus xanthonema (Valenciennes, 1831)
  • Pseudolatirus pfeifferi (Philippi, 1846)
  • Reticutriton pfeifferianus (Reeve, 1844)
  • Sargassum obovatum var. pfeifferae (Grunow) Grunow, 1915
  • Sargassum pfeifferae Grunow, 1874 is a synonym of Sargassum obovatum var. pfeifferae (Grunow) Grunow, 1915
  • Sodaliscala pfeifferi de Boury, 1913 is a synonym of Epitonium candeanum (d'Orbigny, 1842)
  • Solen pfeifferi Dunker, 1862
  • Tichogonia pfeifferi Dunker, 1853 is a synonym of Mytilopsis sallei (Récluz, 1849)
  • Triton pfeifferianus Reeve, 1844 is a synonym of Reticutriton pfeifferianus (Reeve, 1844)
  • Vertagus pfeifferi Dunker, 1882 is a synonym of Rhinoclavis (Proclava) sordidula (Gould, 1849)


Partial list of publications:

  • 1837 - Enumeratio diagnostica cactearum hucusque cognitarum. Berlin: L. Öhmigke.
  • 1841-1846 - Symbolae ad historiam Heliceorum. Cassel: T. Fischeri.
  • 1843 - Abbildung und Beschreibung blühender Cacteen. Cassel: T. Fischeri.
  • 1846 - Die Gattungen Daudebardia, Simpulopsis, Vitrina und Succinea (Bauer et Raspe, Nuremberg, 1846). In: Küster H. C. et al. (eds.). Systematisches Conchylien Cabinet von Martini und Chemnitz, J. H. Casselis, 1(part. 11): 1-59, pls. 1–6.
  • 1846 - Die gedeckelten Lungenschnecken (helicinacea et cyclostomacea) in Abbildungen nach der Natur. (deux volumes, Bauer et Raspe, Nuremberg, 1846).
  • Die Schnirkelschnecken (Gattung Helix) in Abbildungen nach der Natur, mit Beschreibungen (deux parties en un volume, Bauer et Raspe, Nuremberg, 1846) — ces trois derniers volumes font partis de Neues systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet de Friedrich Wilhelm Martini (1729–1778) et de Johann Hieronymus Chemnitz (1730-1800).
  • 1847 - Flora von Niederhessen und Münden. Beschreibung aller im Gebiete wildwachsenden und im grossen angebauten Pflanzen. (T. Fischer, Cassel, 1847).
  • 1848–1877 - Monographia heliceorum viventium, sistens descriptiones... omnium huius familiae generum et specierum... (huit volumes, F.A. Brockhaus, Leipzig, 1848 à 1877).
  • 1854–1879 - Novitates conchologicae. Series I-V. Mollusca extramarina (cinq volumes, T. Fischer, Cassel, de 1854 à 1879).
  • 1852 - Conspectus Cyclostomaceorum emendatus et auctus. Pneumonopomorum monographiae prodromus.
  • 1855 - Catalogue of phanero-pneumona or terrestrial operculated mollusca in the collection of the British Museum (Woodfall et Kinder, Londres, 1855).
  • 1855 - Catalogue of Pulmonata or air-breathing Mollusca, in the collection of the British Museum. part I.
  • 1856 - Monographia auriculaceorum viventium. Sistens descriptiones systematicas et criticas omnium hujus familiae generum et specierum hodie cognitarum, nec non fossilium enumeratione. Accedente proserpinaceorum necnon generis Truncatellae historia. (T. Fischer, Cassel, 1856).
  • 1857 - Catalogue of Auriculidae. Proserpinidae and Truncatellidae in the collection of the British Museum (Taylor et Francis, 1857). Link
  • 1858, 1865, 1876 - Monographia pneumonopomorum viventium.
  • 1862 - Die Gattung Cylindrella Pfr. in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen. Link
  • 1869 - Die Familie der Venusmuscheln, Veneracea, nebst einen Anhange enthaltend die Chemnitz'schen Lucinen, Galaten und Corbis (Bauer et Raspe, Nuremberg, 1869) — édité dans la série Systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet von Martini und Chemnitz.
  • Synonymia botanica locupletissima generum, sectionum vel subgenerum ad finem anni 1858 promulgatorum (deux volumes, T. Fischer, Cassel, 1870–1874).
  • 1873–1874 - Nomenclator botanicus. Nominum ad finem anni 1858 publici juris factorum, classes, ordines, tribus, familias, divisiones, genera, subgenera vel sectiones designantium enumeratio alphabetica. Adjectis auctoribus, temporibus, locis systematicis apud varios, notis literariis atque etymologicis et synonymis (deux tomes en quatre volumes, T. Fischer, Cassel, 1873–1874).
  • 1881 - Nomenclator heliceorum viventium quo continentur nomina omnium hujus familiae generum et specierum hodie cognitarum disposita ex affinitate naturali (édition posthume, T. Fischer, Cassel, 1881).



  1. ^ a b c d Hodvina 2020.
  2. ^ Pfeiffer 1886, p. 61.
  3. ^ Coan & Kabat 2023, p. 1354.
  4. ^ Casselsches Adreß-Buch. Cassel: Döll und Schäffer, 1854.
  5. ^ Spohr 1862, p. 165.
  6. ^ Piderit 1882.
  7. ^ Pfeiffer 1886, p. 62.
  8. ^ a b c d Pfeiffer 1886, p. 63.
  9. ^ Pfeiffer 1886, p. 64.
  10. ^ Bennecke 1905, p. 144.
  11. ^ Wunschmann 1887, p. 644.
  12. ^ Wilson & Fiske 1892, p. 750.
  13. ^ a b Pfeiffer 1886, p. 66.
  14. ^ Hessische Biografie.
  15. ^ Pfeiffer 1886, p. 67.
  16. ^ World Register of Marine Species : species named by Pfeiffer; accessed : 14 February 2011
  17. ^ "Pfeiffera Salm-Dyck". Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  18. ^ World Register of Marine Species : species named after Pfeiffer; accessed : 14 February 2011


External links