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- Published: Amsterdam,
- Published date: 1719
- Type: Print
- Technique: Copper engraving / later hand colored.
- Category: Insects of Surinam
- Issue date: 1705/30
- Size: 390 by 390mm (15¼ by 15¼ inches).
- Bibliography: Plate 57
- Stock number: 31111
- Condition: In excellent condition.
Copper engraving, finely hand colored. A fine engraving from M.S. Merian's classic work.
The fruits of the guava are either round or pear-shaped. They are also distinguished by the number of seeds embedded in the soft pulp. The moth Sphinx du tabac with caterpillar and pupa uses the guava as a food plant. She sucks the nectar from the flower in flight. The caterpillar on one of the lower branches, pupates in the ground. The woolly megalopygid caterpillar with the yellow cocoon pictured above belongs to the flannel moth, which mainly inhabits the tropical regions of South America.
Maria Sibylla Merian, daughter of the German engraver and publisher Matthäus Merian, devoted herself to the study of European insects and their metamorphoses. As a result of the wealth of tropical varieties being brought back by the Dutch West Indies Company, she decided to visit the Dutch colony of Surinam herself to study and paint the insect life there. She sailed with her daughter Dorothea in June 1699 from Amsterdam, and remained in Surinam until 1701. Also Maria Sibylla Merian's elder daughter Johanna went to Surinam to complete her mothers work. This plate was engraved by P. Sluyter. (Wikipedia)