1766 Moses Harris Aurelian gold chrysalis

1766 Moses Harris Aurelian gold chrysalis

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 1766 Privet hawkmoth, (Sphinx ligustri), and small tortoiseshell butterfly, Aglais urticae showing "aurelian" chrysalis (lwr right). Plate II in the first edition of the Aurelian by Moses Harris. (Can be distinguished from the 19th century re-issue of Harris by the laid paper of the 18th Century here visible in texture). The name Aurelian derives from the golden chrysalis or pupae of nymphalid butterflies like the tortoiseshell here illustrated. A London society of lepidopterists of that name was founded in 1762 and Harris paid tribute in his title. His book is the highlight of published entomological literature and art of the 18th Century. Harris also took a roll in coining common names for the large hawk moths and some of the butterflies he illustrated. His attention to capture the lifecycle and foodplant of each harks back to Maria Sybelia Merians works in the previous century.

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Keywords: 1766, 18th century, aurelian, butterfly collector, colour, engraving, entomologist, gold chrysalis, harris, hawk moth, lepidoperist, life history, moses harris, print, privet hawk, tortoiseshell

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