image catesbyrs vol277
Image number: RS.18821
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Southern flying squirrel

Date

1731

Creator

Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference

18894

Material

Technique

Subject

Description

Zoological study of a Southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans, referred to here as Sciurus volans, shown from above, as if in flight. Below is a powdery strap airplant Catopsis berteroniana specimen.

Signed and inscribed below: 'Sciurus Viscum'

Written in the associated description: 'These Squirrels are gregarious, travelling from one Tree to another in Companies of ten, or twelve together. When I first saw them, I took them for dead Leaves, blown one Way by the Wind, but was not long so deceived, when I perceived many of them to follow one another in one Direction'.

Plate 77 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