Beach hibiscus and Polyphemus moth

    Date
    1731
    Creator
    Mark Catesby (1683 - 1749, British) , Naturalist
    Object type
    Library reference
    18894
    Material
    Technique
    Subject
    Content object
    nature
       > plant
          > flower
    nature
       > animal
          > insect
    Description
    Study of a beach hibiscus specimen, Hibiscus tiliaceus, referred to here as Ketmia, and a Polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus, referred to as Phalaena fusca.

    Written in the associated description: 'The under Part of the Body of the Moth is of a dusky white, encompassed by five brown Rings, the Ground Colour of all the Rings on the under Side is brown, and blended with innumerable waved Lines; near the Shoulder of each upper Wing is a black Spot, in Form of an Horsehoe, in the Curve of which is a white Spot [...]'

    Plate 90 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
    Credit
    ©The Royal Society
    Image number
    RS.18834
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