image hooke_r_micrographia_276
Image number: RS.9445
Credit: © The Royal Society
Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

Blue bottle fly




Unknown, Engraver


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

Object type

Library reference

RCN 45230




height (print): 305mm
width (print): 183mm


   > Optics
      > Microscopy
   > Entomology

Content object

   > animal
      > insect


Microscopic study of a blue bottle fly calliphora vomitoria, providing a sectional view of its head, showing the compound eyes, antenna and mouth, its thorax and wings, its abdomen and its legs.

Inscribed above: ‘Schem XXVI’

Written in the associated text: ‘All the hinder part of its body is cover’d with a most curious blue shining armour, lookinh exactly like a polish’d piece of steel brought to that blue colour by annealing, all which armour is v ery thick bestuck with abundance of tapering bristles, such as grow on its back, as is visible enough by the Figure.’

Plate 26 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. Before his career with the Royal Society, Hooke had been apprenticed to painter Peter Lely (1618-1680), where he learned to draw and paint. Though he did not engrave the images in Micrographia himself they were engraved after his illustrations.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom