- Museum number
Examples of moth, butterfly and fly, from an album of 91 drawings entitled 'Merian's Drawings of Surinam Insects &c'; on the branch of a guava tree, the life cycle of the fly, and with another caterpillar
Watercolour, touched with bodycolour, and with pen and black ink, on vellum
- Production date
- 1701-1705 (circa)
Height: 351 millimetres
Width: 291 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Entry from J.Harvey's commentary to the Folio Society facsimile of the Surinam Album (London, 2006):
'This watercolour shows a branch of Guava, Psidium guineense (Swartz; see also watercolour 18 and 57) with a complete and a dissected fruit. The large larva shown on the left is the moth, Megalopyge lanata (Stoll). Merian studied this larva in detail and rightly concluded that Leeuwenhoek was incorrect when he stated that the “red warts” on the side were eyes. Also shown are the later life-cycle stages of this species, the empty pupal case protruding from the cocoon with the newly emerged adult resting on the fruit.
The butterfly in flight is Thyridia psidii (Linnaeus), Nymphalidae.'
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017 31 May - 25 Aug London, British Museum, Enlightenment Gallery
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred to P&D 11 March 1885 (see note on fly-leaf of album SL,5275.1-91). Transferred from the Department of Manuscripts.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: N,01.19