What is the supposed owlfly illustrated in Aldrovandi's De Animalibus Insectis (1602)?

Rinaldo Nicoli Aldini*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


With his work, De animalibus insectis (1602), Ulisse Aldrovandi occupies a prominent place in the history of entomology. Of particular interest in this volume are the many original descriptions and woodcuts of insects. Partly due to the ‘Tavole di animali’ [Tables of animals] − illustrations drawn and watercoloured by hand, made by the author previously for the realization of the woodcuts for the printed book − some of them can be identified at genus or species level. For a large number of insects, Aldrovandi’s descriptions and illustrations are the oldest in the entomological literature. Three adult antlions and one adult green lacewing are recognizable in the book and have already been studied; hypothetical larvae of green lacewings can be added and are recorded here. Among the butterflies and moths, there is another rather enigmatic insect, which could be an owlfly (ascalaphid), though there is some uncertainty due to discrepancies between its colouring in the ‘Tavole di animali’ and its description in the book. This paper deals with the possible identification of this insect as an ascalaphid and outlines the origin and meaning of the term ‘ascalaph’.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings of the XIII International Symposium of Neuropterology
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019
EventoXIII International Symposium of Neuropterology - Laufen
Durata: 17 giu 201822 giu 2018


ConvegnoXIII International Symposium of Neuropterology


  • History of Entomology
  • Neuroptera
  • Ulisse Aldrovandi
  • XVII century
  • ascalaphids
  • chrysopid larvae


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