image hooke_r_micrographia_268
Image number: RS.1885
Credit: © The Royal Society
Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

Drone fly

Date

1665

Creator

Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural philosopher

Object type

Image reference

Library reference

RCN 45230

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (print): 305mm
width (print): 270mm

Subject

Physics
   > Optics
      > Microscopy
Biology
   > Entomology

Content object

nature
   > animal
      > insect

Description

Microscopic study of a grey drone fly, or hover fly, eristalis tenax, showing its head, compound eyes, antenna and mouth.

Inscribed above: ‘XXIV’

Written in the associated text: ‘this outward skin [of the eyes], like the Cornea of the eyes of the greater Animals, was both flexible and transparent, and seem’d through the Microscope, perfectly to resemble the very substance of the Cornea of a man’s eye; for having cut out the clutter, and remov’d the dark and mucuous stuff that is subjacent to it, I could see it transparent like a thin piece of skin’

Plate 24 from Robert Hooke’s Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon (1665), the first fully-illustrated book on the topic of microscopy. In the preface Hooke asserts that he had discovered ‘a new visible World’.

Robert Hooke (1635-1703) British natural philosopher was a founding member of the Royal Society, elected in 1663.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom