image catesbyrs vol276
Image number: RS.18820
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Southern flying squirrel




Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference






Zoological study of a Southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans, referred to here as Sciurus volans, shown face on, eating a fruit from the American persimmon plant Diospyros virginiana.

Signed and inscribed: 'Sciurus volans Guajacana'

Written in the associated text: 'These Squirrels have not membranous Wings like those of a Bat, whereby they can fly to any great Distance, but have only Membranes, covered with their Furr, which grow along their Sides, and are attached to their Legs, by which they can expand them, and so help themselves in leaping from one Tree to another'.

Plate 76 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