Magnified beetles, 1787.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

Magnified beetles, 1787.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


'Coleoptra-class insect' (Fig 2), 'as seen in the lucernal microscope'. George Adams (1750-1795) says this was called Chrysomela asparagi in the Linnean system, and that it ate asparagus. Known today as Crioceris Fabricius, it is still an economic pest of asparagus. The insect with the thorax projecting like a horn (Fig 3) was called Meloe monoceros by Carl von Linne (1707-1778), although he was not sure of this identification. Illustration from Adams' 'Essays on the microscope', published in London in 1787. Adams was instrument maker to King George III.

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