1683, Maria Sybella Merian, chapter end piece of a black veined white butterfly (Aporia crataegi) from the second volume of her book translated as Caterpillars, Their Wondrous Transformation and Peculiar Nourishment from Flowers" (or simply The Caterpillar Book). Merian first depicted metamorphosis of European butterflies and moths around a single plant and was accompanied by a text in which she described each stage. She also included parasites when she observed those from her own rearing experiments.Thus the book pioneered ecology in a way that had not been attempted before. Because of her insights into metamorphosis David Attenborough has named her as among the most significant historical entomologists.Her work on the natural history of Surinam brought greater fame - but this book is her real contribution to science."
July 24th, 2016
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