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Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Swamp Immortelle with Giant Silk Moth

1702-03

RCIN 921165

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One of Merian’s innovations as a naturalist was to show caterpillars with their specific food-plants. She studied insect habits over long periods of time, recording their patterns of behaviour. In the Metamorphosis she noted that giant silk moths returned to the swamp immortelle three times a year.