image swammerdam_j_1669_historia_insectorum_plate_10
Image number: RS.12609
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Life cycle of a butterfly

Date

1669

Creator

Jan Swammerdam (1637-1680, Dutch), Biologist

Creator - Organisation

Object type

Archive reference number

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (plate): 282mm
width (plate): 171mm

Subject

Biology
   > Zoology
      > Ichthyology

Content object

nature
   > animal
      > insect

Description

Entomological study of the life cycle of a butterfly. 12 figures showing the stages of metamorphosis from egg (figure I), to caterpillar (figure III), to chrysalis (figure IV-V), to butterfly (figure VI).

Inscribed ‘TAB X. TERTIUS ORDO. Nympha Chrysallis of Aurelia gulde-popken.’

Plate 10 from Historia insectorum generalis by Jan Swammerdam published by Meinardus van Dreunen (Utrecht, 1669).

Jan Swammerdam (1637-1680) was a Dutch biologist and microscopist. He continued Robert Hooke’s observations of insects in more systematic research which employed a single lens microscope. From the late 1660s, he dissected and studied the development of these creatures, noting their internal organs and methods of reproduction – he concluded that insects were not the product of spontaneous generation.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > Netherlands