Sergiusz Toll

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Jozefina and Sergiusz Toll Jozefina Sergiusz Toll.jpg
Józefina and Sergiusz Toll

Sergiusz Graf von Toll (22 November 1893 in Warsaw [1]  – 19 December 1961 in Katowice) was a Polish entomologist who specialised in microlepidoptera and particularly Coleophoridae. [2] He was a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. [3]

Warsaw Capital of Poland

Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.78 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Katowice Place in Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Katowice is a city in southern Poland, with a city-proper population of 294,510 making it the eleventh-largest city in Poland and is the center of the Katowice metropolitan area, which has approximately 2 million people.

Microlepidoptera clade

Microlepidoptera (micromoths) is an artificial grouping of moth families, commonly known as the 'smaller moths'. These generally have wingspans of under 20 mm, and are thus harder to identify by external phenotypic markings than macrolepidoptera. They present some lifestyles which the larger Lepidoptera do not have, but this is not an identifying mark. Some hobbyists further divide this group into separate groups, such as leaf miners or rollers, stem or root borers, and then usually follow the more rigorous scientific taxonomy of lepidopterans. Efforts to stabilize the term have usually proven inadequate.



Toll was born on 22 November 1893 in Warsaw, the son of Alexander Toll and his wife Adelaide (or Anna). He had four elder brothers and sisters. He came from a noble family; his great-grandfather, General Karol Toll, was made a count by Nicholas I of Russia and the family owned Uniejów Castle at Łódź Voivodeship in central Poland. He received his schooling in Warsaw and went to the University of Warsaw where he studied law. During World War I, the university was evacuated to Rostov-on-Don in Russia, and while there, he added biology to the subjects he was studying. In 1918, he was awarded his PhD in law. [4] [5] He had already developed his interest in butterflies and moths and while in Russia he studied the lepidoptera of the Rostov region. [6]

Nicholas I of Russia Emperor of Russia

Nicholas I reigned as Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. He was also the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. He has become best known as a political conservative whose reign was marked by geographical expansion, repression of dissent, economic stagnation, poor administrative policies, a corrupt bureaucracy, and frequent wars that culminated in Russia's defeat in the Crimean War of 1853–56. Nicholas had a happy marriage that produced a large family; all of their seven children survived childhood. His biographer Nicholas V. Riasanovsky says that Nicholas displayed determination, singleness of purpose, and an iron will, along with a powerful sense of duty and a dedication to very hard work. He saw himself as a soldier—a junior officer totally consumed by spit and polish. A handsome man, he was highly nervous and aggressive. Trained as an engineer, he was a stickler for minute detail. In his public persona, says Riasanovsky, "Nicholas I came to represent autocracy personified: infinitely majestic, determined and powerful, hard as stone, and relentless as fate." He was the younger brother of his predecessor, Alexander I. Nicholas inherited his brother's throne despite the failed Decembrist revolt against him and went on to become the most reactionary of all Russian leaders.

Uniejów Castle

Uniejów Castle - one of the main places of interest in Uniejów, Łódź Voivodeship; in Poland.

Łódź Voivodeship Voivodeship in Poland

Łódź Voivodeship is a province (voivodeship) in central Poland. It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Łódź Voivodeship (1975–1999) and the Sieradz, Piotrków Trybunalski and Skierniewice Voivodeships and part of Płock Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province is named after its capital and largest city, Łódź, pronounced.


Uniejow Castle Uniejow Castle.jpg
Uniejów Castle

After the war, the family's castle was confiscated, and his parents moved to Bydgoszcz in North Poland. By 1924, Toll had returned to Poland. In 1930 he started work as an apprentice at the National Scientific Institute in Bydgoszcz, and between then and 1934 he studied the lepidoptera of the region, joining the Polish Entomological Society and founding its North Silesian branch. By 1937 he was working at the Silesian Museum at Katowice, and also doing teaching work. [5] His interest in Lepidoptera continued, and after World War II he became the head of the Nature Conservancy Department of the Directorate of State Forests. He became a member of the editorial board of the Microlepidoptera Palaearctica , and was writing the Coleophoridae section, a volume with 1500 pages and 5000 drawings. He had nearly finished this monograph in 1961 when he developed appendicitis, and died of heart failure soon after surgery. [7]

Bydgoszcz City in Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Poland

Bydgoszcz is a city in northern Poland, on the Brda and Vistula rivers. With a city population of 350,178, and an urban agglomeration with more than 470,000 inhabitants, Bydgoszcz is the eighth-largest city in Poland. It has been the seat of Bydgoszcz County and the co-capital, with Toruń, of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999. Prior to this, between 1947 and 1998, it was the capital of the Bydgoszcz Voivodeship, and before that, of the Pomeranian Voivodeship between 1945 and 1947.

Lepidoptera Order of insects including moths and butterflies

Lepidoptera is an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. About 180,000 species of the Lepidoptera are described, in 126 families and 46 superfamilies, 10 per cent of the total described species of living organisms. It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world. The Lepidoptera show many variations of the basic body structure that have evolved to gain advantages in lifestyle and distribution. Recent estimates suggest the order may have more species than earlier thought, and is among the four most speciose orders, along with the Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Coleoptera.

Silesian Museum Voivodeship museum in Katowice, Poland

Silesian Museum is a museum in the city of Katowice, Poland.


Toll's research was mainly concentrated on the smaller moths of the Microlepidoptera group, specialising from 1929 on the Tortricidae and Nepticulidae families, and from 1939 onwards, on the Coleophoridae family, on which he was still working when he died. He reared many caterpillars at home, and worked out the life cycle of a number of species. [7] He accumulated a large collection of insects, and donated about 40,000 specimens to the municipal museum at Rostov. [8] About 100,000 specimens were given to the Natural History Museum of the Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals  [ pl ] of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He also collected about 8,000 bird eggs and 12,000 butterflies and moths during his time living in Bydgoszcz. [4] He scientifically described over 200 lepidopteran species, and undertook faunal surveys of several parts of Poland. [7]

Tortricidae family of insects

The Tortricidae are a family of moths, commonly known as tortrix moths or leafroller moths, in the order Lepidoptera. This large family has over 10,350 species described, and is the sole member of the superfamily Tortricoidea, although the genus Heliocosma is sometimes placed within this superfamily. Many of these are economically important pests. Olethreutidae is a junior synonym. The typical resting posture is with the wings folded back, producing a rather rounded profile.

Nepticulidae family of insects

Nepticulidae is a family of very small moths with a worldwide distribution. They are characterised by eyecaps over the eyes. These pigmy moths or midget moths, as they are commonly known, include the smallest of all living moths, with a wingspan that can be as little as 3 mm in the case of the European pigmy sorrel moth, but more usually 3.5–10 mm. The wings of adult moths are narrow and lanceolate, sometimes with metallic markings, and with the venation very simplified compared to most other moths.

Coleophoridae family of insects

The Coleophoridae are a family of small moths, belonging to the huge superfamily Gelechioidea. Collectively known as case-bearers, casebearing moths or case moths, this family is represented on all continents, but the majority are found in temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. They are most common in the Palearctic, and rare in sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and Australia; consequently, they probably originated in northern Eurasia. They are relatively common in houses, they seek out moist areas to rest and procreate.

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  1. Nachruf: Zeitschrift der Wiener Entomologischen Gesellschaft 47 (1962): 79
  2. Nachruf Sergiusz Toll aus: Zeitschrift der Wiener Entomologischen Gesellschaft 47. Jahrgang, 1962,24
  3. Biography at
  4. 1 2 Gizela Chmielewska (11 February 2012). "O Sergiuszu Tollu, potomku carskich generałów, który odkrył 279 gatunków motyli" (in Polish). Gazeta Pomorska. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  5. 1 2 Grażyna Kuźnik. "Rodzina barwna jak motyle. Sergiusz Toll wiele nowych gatunków odkrył na Śląsku" (in Polish). Dziennik Zachodni. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  6. Przyroda Górnego Śląska (1996). "Dr Sergiusz Hr. Toll (22.XI.1893 – 19.XII.1961)" (PDF) (in Polish). Centrum Dziedzictwa Przyrody Górnego Śląska. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  7. 1 2 3 Marek Bunalski, Jerzy J. Lipa, Janusz Nowacki (eds.) (2001). "Poznań: Polskie Towarzystwo Entomologiczne" (PDF). Wiadomości Entomologiczne XX (in Polish). Retrieved 25 September 2019.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. "Sergiusz Toll" (PDF). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 1963. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  9. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washingtom, Vol.84