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Bousier, Anoplotrupes stercorosus © Bernie Kohl

Fabre’s favourite species

A few of the insects Jean-Henri Fabre, known round the world as one of France’s most famous entomologists, attentively observed and described in his major work, Souvenirs entomologiques.

During the 19th century, an era of entomology, Jean-Henri Fabre - who said that he was more a naturalist than an entomologist - observed the behaviour of insects. For more than 30 years, the Harmas was his observation ground, where he set up a variety of devices to aid in studying them. He gained knowledge of the world of insects by observing them personally and from the scientific works of the time (such as those by René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, Jules Michelet, Léon Dufour, etc.)

Here then are three of his favoured species as they emerge from the pages of Souvenirs entomologiques, a work that embraces both literature and science.