Magnified insects and lumpfish skin, 1787.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

Magnified insects and lumpfish skin, 1787.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


'Lobster insect' (Figs 1 and 6), thought by George Adams (1750-1795) to be a louse or mite with unusual long horns, was originally 'spied by some labouring men who were drinking their porter'. Insect (Fig 3) originally named physapus, called a black trips by Adams, with white wings, and bladders on its feet which it seemed to use for fixing itself to surfaces. Fig 4 shows the wings of the black trips. Fig 2 is a magnification of the skin of the lumpfish showing the tubercles (it doesn't have scales). Illustration from Adams' 'Essays on the microscope', published in London in 1787. Adams was instrument maker to King George III.

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