This article looks at ways in which Swedish travel to Asia informed the classification of man in the work of Carl Linnaeus. In the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae (1758), Linnaeus made substantial changes to his earlier taxonomy of humans. Through two case studies, it is argued that these changes to a great extent were prompted by fresh Swedish eyewitness reports from China and Southeast Asia. The informants for the Homo asiaticus, a variety of Homo sapiens, and a proposed new species of humans, Homo nocturnus (or troglodytes), were all associated with the Swedish East India Company. The botanical contribution by men trained in the Linnaean method travelling on the company's ships has long been acknowledged. In contrast to the systematic collecting of botanical material, Swedish descriptions of Asia's human inhabitants were often inconclusive, reflecting the circumstances of the trade encounter. Linnaeus also relied on older observations made by countrymen, and his human taxonomies also highlight the role of travel literature in eighteenth-century anthropology.