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Half height banner for Maria Merian exhibition, showing a butterfly
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

Branch of Seville Orange with Rothschildia moth


RCIN 921209

Merian described this beautiful moth as having wings ‘like a piece of Moscow glass’, referring to the mineral mica which is transparent in thin layers, like the pale sections on the moth’s wings. She was impressed with the strong silk produced by the caterpillars, and sent some back to Amsterdam in the hope that she could encourage the commercial breeding of the moth.

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