image catesbyrs vol288
Image number: RS.18832
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Clamshell orchid and monarch butterfly

Date

1731

Creator

Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference

18894

Material

Technique

Subject

Content object

nature
   > plant
      > flower

Description

Study of an unidentified plant with bulbous roots, referred to as Viscum radice bulbosa [left], a clamshell orchid, Prosthechea cochleata, referred to here as Viscum cariophylloides [right], and a monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, referred to here as Papillio.

Plate 88 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