image catesbyrs vol254
Image number: RS.18800
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Corn snake

Date

1731

Creator

Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference

18894

Material

Technique

Subject

Content object

nature
   > animal
      > snake

Description

Zoological study of a corn snake, Pantherophis guttatus, referred to here as Anguis e rubro & albo varius, shown in right profile, alongside a greater yellowspike orchid Polystachya concreta specimen.

Signed and inscribed: 'Lychnis &c Anguis &c'

Written in the associated description: 'It is all over beautifully marked with red, and white, which seems to have given it the Name of Corn-Snake; there being some Maize or Indian Corn much resembling this in Colour'.

Plate 55 from volume II of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1731).

Mark Catesby (1683-1749), British naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733. Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, Catesby recorded the earliest western scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the ‘New World’. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized colour plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-colouring each individual print with watercolours.

Associated place

<The World>
   > North America
      > United States
<The World>
   > North America
      > Bahamas