MAYERNE, Théodore Turquet de
Insectorum sive minimorum animalium theatrum: Olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque Pennio inchoatum: Tandem Tho. Movfeti Londinâtis operâ sumptibusque maximis concinnatum, auctum, perfectum: Et ad vivum expressis iconibus suprà quingentis illustratum.London: ex. off. typ. Thorn. Cotes, 1634.
Edited for publication, and with an introduction by Théodore de Mayerne. Moffet, or Muffet, travelled extensively in Europe and kept copious notes of his observations on insects. He "first studied silkworms while working in Italy, beginning his continued fascination with arthropods in general, particularly spiders. He is most well known for editing and expanding the work Insectorum sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum (Theatre of Insects), an illustrated guide to the classification and lives of insects. Although he is popularly believed to have authored it, he merely inherited and furthered its progress toward publication, which would not occur until thirty years after his death. The book contained significant contributions by other scientists, notably the Swiss scientist Conrad Gesner (1516–65). The prime reason it was published posthumously was that the English market for books on natural science was weak at the time. It appears that it was ready for the press in 1589 or 1590. The original title page (unused) is dated 1589. His negotiations with printers in The Hague failed in 1590. The original illustrations were given up as too expensive and replaced with the wood cuts that appear in the 1634 edition." (Wikipedia article on Thomas Muffet, accessed 04-2017). To date, this was the best work of its kind and it set a new standard of accuracy in the study of the invertebrates. An English translation, Theater of Insects, appeared in 1658. Digital facsimile of the 1634 edition from the Internet Archive at this link.
Subjects: ZOOLOGY › Arthropoda › Entomology, ZOOLOGY › Illustration