Louse and beetle, 17th century

Louse and beetle, 17th century

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Credit: KING'S COLLEGE LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Louse and beetle. 17th-century artwork of two insects. At top is a Menopon louse, with the Italian text indicating its host was a white starling. Below it is a beetle. This artwork is plate 17 from the 1668 work 'Esperienze intorno alla generazione degl'insetti' (Experiments on the Generation of Insects) by the Italian physician and naturalist Francisco Redi (1626-1698). This work concerned Redi's observations on insects, including experiments he carried out that showed that maggots were produced by flies, not by spontaneous generation as previously thought.

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