Johannes Thiele (zoologist)

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For the 19th century chemist by the same name, see Johannes Thiele (chemist).

Karl Hermann Johannes Thiele (1 October 1860 – 5 August 1935) was a German zoologist specialized in malacology. Thiele was born in Goldap, East Prussia. [1] His Handbuch der systematischen Weichtierkunde (English edition published by the Smithsonian under the title Handbook of Systematic Malacology) is a standard work. From 1904 until his retirement in 1925 he was the curator of the malacological collection at the Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History) in Berlin. Thiele described more than 1.500 new species of molluscs; until today their types are deposited with the Museum of Natural History in Berlin. Especially important are his works on the Mollusca of the First German Antarctica Expedition and of the German Deep Sea Expedition aboard the vessel Valdivia.


Thiele's classification of Gastropoda has been in use up to the past decade. It modified an earlier concept of Henri Milne-Edwards (1848) with three subclasses: Prosobranchia, Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata. Thiele's classification was based on overall similarity between the species. This classification has been modified over the years, one recent example being the classification of Ponder & Lindberg, 1997, based on phylogenetic arguments. He became the first to describe Geodia exigua in 1898. [2]


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  1. R. Winckworth: Journal of Molluscan Studies, Volume 23, Issue 1, 16 March 1938, Pages 9–11,
  2. "Geodia exigua Thiele, 1898". World Register of Marine Species . Retrieved February 16, 2014.