In 1892, Dr. Jose Rizal was incarcerated at Fort Bonifacio and soon after he was exiled at Dapitan where he immersed himself with the study of nature. Together with his students in Dapitan, Rizal was able to collect numerous species of birds, insects, butterflies, shells, snakes, and plants. His collection of shells was so extensive and was said to be the richest collection in the Philippines at that time. To be exact the collection was over 340 shells representing more than 200 species.
Rizal sent many specimens of animals, insects, and plants for identification to the Anthropological and Ethnographical Museum of Dresden. He did not receive any monetary payment what he wanted in exchange were scientific books, magazines and surgical instruments which he needed and used in Dapitan. In the year 1893, Dr. Jose Rizal sent 12 snakes, one sea horse, two scorpions, and several butterflies to the director of the Anthropological and Ethnographical Museum of Dresden.
In succeeding years, Rizal earned high praises from European scientists for all of the rare species he discovered. Three of which was named in his honor: the Draco rizali, a small lizard popularly known as a flying dragon; Apogania rizali, a rare kind of beetle; and the Rhacophorus rizali, a peculiar frog species.