is dedicated to…

Last updated on August 25th, 2020

Walter Linsenmaier – A personal memory site is dedicated to the memory of Walter Linsenmaier.

I use this site, between public and private, in order to remember the figure of Walter Linsenmaier, expert of Chrysididae, enthusiast of nature, of its shapes and of its colors, and Master.

I met Dr. h.c. W. Linsenmaier several years ago, when I was very young. I sent a letter to Switzerland, to the small city named Ebikon, writing his name and nothing more. Thanks to the scruple of an unknown postman and thanks to the tenderness my letter probably inspired in him, an occasional but constant correspondence between Dr. W. Linsenmaier and I began. I remember an infinite correctness, an always quiet kindness and a deep and serene certainty. In the name of what I had the opportunity to learn from this correspondence, I called him Master and I dedicated the description of a subspecies to his specialistic works. A small gift to thank him officially.

In recent times, after the publication of the “Die Goldwespen der Schweiz” volume, Dr. Linsenmaier sent to me an autographed copy, with a friendly dedication. And that was the last time I received a mail from him.

In front of his departure, remain his memory, the good purposes and the hope of a serious devotion to a way shown with delicate wisdom dwell. I dedicate therefore my electronic job to the memory of Dr. Walter Linsenmaier, with the hope to be useful to the young entomologists, in the same way as the letters of the Master were for me.

The collection of Dr. W. Linsenmaier (250,000 insects with 60,000 Chrysidids) has been acquired by the Natur-Museum of Luzern and represents one of the most important collections worldwide, with beyond 700 species and subspecies holotypes.

Gian Luca Agnoli

Biography of Walter Linsenmaier


18/08/1917 (Stuttgart) – 31/10/2000 (Ebikon)

Walter Linsenmaier (18 August 1917 – 31 October 2000) was a Swiss artist and entomologist. He was particularly known for his highly detailed illustrations of animals, plants, and insects which were widely published in magazines and books. He was also one of the 20th century’s most important experts on the cuckoo wasp (Chrysididae) and described over 600 new species and subspecies of the insect. Linsenmaier was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bern in 1982 in recognition of his scientific and artistic achievements and the Ernst Jünger Prize for Entomology from the State of Baden-Württemberg in 1992.
Linsenmaier was born in Stuttgart, Germany, but his family moved to Switzerland when he was only a year old. He initially worked as stuccoist, the same trade as his father. He then earned a teaching degree in drawing and illustration from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and became a professional illustrator specialising in nature illustrations.

Walter Linsenmaier

He wrote and illustrated several books, the most famous of which, Insects of the World with 1,888 illustrations, was published in 1972. In 1951 Linsenmaier and his father, who was also a talented taxidermist, established the Tierweltpanorama, a private museum with over 800 taxidermied animals from around the world displayed in their natural habitats. Linsenmaier died in Ebikon at the age of 83.

Flora and fauna of the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, CA, USA.
From: “The World of the Insects”, Time LIFE Magazine, : 39(6): 43-55. August 8, 1955.

Papers on Hymenoptera Chrysididae by Walter Linsenmaier

  • Linsenmaier W. 1951 Die europäischen Chrysididen (Hymenoptera). Versuch einer naturlichen Ordnung mit Diagnosen Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 24, Heft 1: 1-110.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1956 Coleoptera and Hymenoptera from a journey through Asia Minor. I In Bytinski-Salz. Revue de la Faculte de Sciences de l’Universite d’Istanbul, Série B, 21 (4): 211-229.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1957 Coleoptera and Hymenoptera from a journey through Asia Minor. II In Bytinski-Salz. Coleoptera and Hymenoptera from a journey through Asia Minor. II. Descriptions of new species and forms. Rev. Fac. Sci. Uni. Istambul, 22: 13-170.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1959a Revision der Familie Chrysididae Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 32: 1-232.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1959b Revision der Familie Chrysididae. Nachtrag Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 32: 233-240.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1968 Revision der Familie Chrysididae. Zweiter Nachtrag Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 41: 1-144.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1969 The chrysidid wasp of Palestine (Hym., Chrysididae). A faunistic catalog with description of new species and forms Israel Journal of Entomology, VI: 343-376.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1974 Insect of the world Various editions.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1982 Neue Chrysididae aus Indo-Australien (Hymenoptera) Entomofauna Band 3, Heft 21: 323-350.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1984 Das Subgenus Trichrysis Lichtenstein in Nord und Südamerika (Hym., Chrysididae, Genus Chrysis L.) Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 57: 195-224.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1985 Revision des Genus Neochrysis Linsenmaier, 1959 (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae) Entomofauna, Band 6, Heft 26/1: 425-487.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1987 Revision der Familie Chrysididae. (Hymenoptera). 4. Teil Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 60: 133-158.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1993 Neue Chrydisididen von den Kanarischen Inseln. (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Chrysididae) Veröff. Übersee-Museum Bremen (Naturwiss.), 12: 721-732.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1994a Grundriss der Chrysis ignita-Gruppe von NordAmerika. (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae) Entomofauna, Band 15, Heft 42: 481-500.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1994b Beiträge zu Cleptes Latreille,1802. (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae) Entomofauna, Band 15, Heft 45: 513-20.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1994c The Chrysididae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of the Arabian Peninsula Fauna of Saudi Arabia, vol.14: 145-206.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1997a Altes und Neues von den Chrysididen. (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae) Entomofauna, Band 18, Heft 19: 245-300.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1997b Die Goldwespen der Schweiz Veroffentlichungen aus dem Natur-Museum Luzer, n° 9, 140 pp.
  • Linsenmaier W. 1999 Die Goldwespen Nordafrikas (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae) Entomofauna, Supplement n° 10 : 210 pp.

Copyright, Authorship, and Ownership statements

All text and images of this page are copyright ©️ unless otherwise stated - please see individual cases for authorship and copyright details. The specimens pictured are from the authors' or other collaborators' personal collections and from the collections of various museums. Unless otherwise specified, the whole content of this web site is for personal, non-commercial, scientific, and educational purposes given proper accreditation to the page from which they were derived are provided, and under Terms and Conditions.

For citation purposes

Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P. (2024) is dedicated to…, in: website. Interim version 18 May 2024, URL: