EARLY ILLUSTRATIONS OF DESMIDS.

by Mike Dingley, Australia




Having more than a slight interest in freshwater algae - especially Desmids, and also collecting books (among other things) on the subject, my thoughts were re-kindled on the subject of early illustrations.

Some years ago I read somewhere about a reference to a book by O.F. Müller entitled Animalcula Infusoria Fluviatilia et Marina published in 1786. This was quoted as being possibly, the earliest printing containing illustrations of Desmids (and other microscopic forms). I could only remember the authors name and so I did some researching in the Australian Museum library which yielded the very book that I was looking for.

Although placed in the genus Vibrio, the Latin description together with the drawings enable us to place the majority of drawings as Closterium lunula.
 
 

When I get enough time to translate the Latin text fully I hope to ascertain whether figures 8 and 12 are really the same as figures 9-15 (excluding # 12).

The two accompanying images show the title page of the book and that of plate 7 which shows the earliest drawings of desmids. Figures 1-7 show diatoms.

If anyone knows of an earlier publication illustrating desmids the author would be most grateful to hear about it.

Comments to the author sent via our contacts page quoting page url plus : ('mdingley','')">Mike Dingley




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