- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Related people

Müller's great discovery concerned the resemblance between two or more unpalatable species which are protected from predators capable of learning. The protection is often a noxious chemical, perhaps gained from the larva eating a particulat plant; or it may be a sting or other defence. It is an advantage for such potential prey to advertise their status in a way clearly perceptible to their predators; this is called aposematic or warning coloration. The principle is of wide application, but in Muller's case the prey were butterflies, and the predators usually birds or reptiles. The aposematic colours are most often some combination of red, yellow, black, white, whereas palatable animals are usually cryptic.

In 1879, Müller used his flair for mathematics to show that one unpalatable, warningly colored species would benefit from resemblance to another unpalatable species by a factor equal to the square of the inverse ratio of the species' relative abundances (James Mallet, Galton Laboratory, University College London.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.