science · 10 June 1949 · 72 years ago
Died 10 Jun 1949 at age 75 (born 22 Jun 1873).
Italian entomologist, best remembered for his pioneering work in polyembryony, the development of more than one individual from a single fertilized egg cell. During the late 1930s Silvestri discovered that this type of reproduction occurs in the insect species Litomatix truncatellus. His finding, resulting from a close analysis of the reproductive stages, cell division, and egg structure of these parasitic hymenopterans, attracted the attention of many biologists because of its implications for the nature of the egg and the causes of multiple generation. He also studied the morphology and biology of the Termitidae, the most highly evolved family of termites. He also made a comparative study of the form and structure of the millipede and the centipede.