image catesbyrs vol259
Image number: RS.18804
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Eastern glass lizard




Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference





Content object

   > animal
      > snake


Zoological study of an eastern glass lizard, Ophisaurus ventralis, referred to here as Caecilia maculata, shown in right profile, alongside a smooth purple coneflower Echinacea laevigata specimen.

Signed and inscribed below: 'Caecilia maculata Chrysanthemum &c'

Written in the associated description: 'Their Skin is very smooth, and shining with smaller Scales, more closely connected, and of a different Structure from other Serpents: A small Blow with a Stick will cause the Body to separate, not only at the Place struck, but at two or three other Places'.

Plate 59 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