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Biographical notes on the doctoral dissertation of Jacques von Bedriaga (1854-1906).

In two recent biographical essays on Dr. Jacques von Bedriaga, it is stated that the subject of his doctoral dissertation (1875) was the urogenital organs of reptiles. In fact, Bedriaga dealt in his thesis (which was evaluated by his professor Ernst Haeckel) with these organs in amphibians. This error dates back to Bogdanow (1891); its maintenance until today may also be due to the fact that this – handwritten – thesis has never been published, and that the only existing copy, deposited in the University of Jena, must be considered lost. Only a short piece of the dissertation has been published, dealing with a presumed intromittent organ in male newts (Bedriaga 1878). Later on, Bedriaga (1897) considered this structure to be a turgescent gland serving to spread the cloacal lips of the male newts.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Böhme, Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, D-53113 Bonn.