Born in Goethen (Koethen [Colthen]), Anhalt, Germany, on 18 August 1818, died in San Francisco, U.S.A., on 6 March 1904.
Although he qualified in medicine his main interests were anthropology, botany and some entomology. He arrived in South Australia in 1844 and lived amongst the natives, learning their languages and studying their habits; the results of his observations were published in various journals, including Nature. He described many new species of insects, which were mainly published in Germany. During the period 1844-47 he collected 'vast' quantities of plants, many of which he gave to F. Mueller. Although he returned to Germany in 1847 he later went to California and, as a result of his friendship with Mueller the latter sent him many plants; in this way a large number of Australian species were introduced into California. Dr Behr also published on the plants of that State.
His name is commemorated in the genus Behria and about 40 species of Australian plants; genera represented when the species were named include Abutilon Aristida, Baeckea, Calytrix, Diuris, Eremophila, Grevillea, Malva and Pimelea.
Source: Hall, N. (1978) Botanists of the Eucalypts. CSIRO, Melbourne.
Anthropologist, botanist, entomologist. Doctor of medicine, Berun, 1843.
Arrived Adelaide, S.A, 12 Sept. 1844, living with Lutherans at Bethany & collecting there, also in Pine Scrubs near Gawler, Lyndoch, Barossa Ra, Light R, Murray Flats, Murray R, Onkaparinga; left 9 Oct. 1845 & returned to Germany; passed his plant collections to D.von Schlechtendahl who described new species in Unnaea\ also described several himself. Visited S.A. again, arrived 6 Nov. 1848; again explored around St Vincent Gulf, Barossa Ra, Salt Creek, Mt Lofty Ras, Murray R. near Moorundie, Murray Scrub. Left S.A. Oct. 1849, went to Manila, then to California where he lived from c. Sept. 1850.
Specimens mainly at HAL, also FI, MEL, NSW (2).
Wrote paper on flora of S.A.
Commemorated in Behria & c. 40 species, e.g. Abutilon, Aristida, Baeckea, Calytrix, Diuris, Eremophila, Eriochlamys, Eucalyptus, Grevillea, Lasiopetalum, Pimelea, Senecio. Also collected & described insects.
Source: George, A.S. (2009) Australian Botanist's Companion, Four Gables Press, WA. [consult for source references]