1775 Moses Harris Aurelian Eyed Hawk Moth

1775 Moses Harris Aurelian Eyed Hawk Moth

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Caption: Eyed Hawk Moth (Sphinx occelata) and White Ermine moth (Spilosoma lubricipeda). Plate V original hand colour. First appearance of this plate in the second 1775 edition of the Aurelian by Moses Harris. (Can be distinguished from the 19th century re-issue of Westwood by the laid paper of the 18th Century here visible in texture). A London society of lepidopterists called the Aurelian 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 Sybella Merians works in the previous century.

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Keywords: 1766, 18th century, aurelian, butterfly collector, colour, engraving, entomologist, eyed hawk, gold chrysalis, harris, hawk moth, lepidoperist, life history, merian, moses harris, print, white ermine

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