Magnified bee, 1787.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
An insect 'previously undescribed, and unique in this country' according to George Adams (1750-1795), this may be Leucopsis dorsigera, a type of bee. Adams says that the sting or tube on its back meant it was probably 'a species between, and uniting the sphex and wasp, in some degree partaking of the characters of both'. It was apparently found in Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany. Illustration from Adams' 'Essays on the microscope', published in London in 1787. Adams was instrument maker to King George III.