Maria Sibylla Merian: Celebrating Flora & Fauna Illustration

Today’s Google doodle is a birthday tribute to Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the greatest naturalist and scientific illustrators of her time, who was born 366 years ago today. Maria Sibylla Merian revolutionized the fields of botany, entomology, and zoology. In her lifetime, Merian chronicled the metamorphosis of approximately two hundred different insect species. Her most influential work, Insects of Surinam (1705), is a lavishly illustrated work that helped to establish her reputation as both an illustrator and as a scientist. In honor of Merian’s contributions, we’re celebrating all of our illustrated flora and fauna books.

k7713Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs
Whitney Cranshaw
This is the most comprehensive and user-friendly guide to the common insects and mites affecting yard and garden plants in North America. Through full-color photos and concise, clear, scientifically accurate text, it describes the vast majority of species associated with shade trees and shrubs, turfgrass, flowers and ornamental plants, vegetables, and fruits–1,420 of them, including crickets, katydids, fruit flies, mealybugs, moths, maggots, borers, aphids, ants, bees, and many, many more.


k9533Wildflower Wonders: The 50 Best Wildflower Sites in the World
Bob Gibbons, With a foreword by Richard Mabey
This book showcases the most spectacular displays of wild blooms on the planet, from infrequent flowerings in the Mojave and other deserts to regular but no less stunning alpine wildflower “events” in Italy, South Africa, and Australia. This magnificently illustrated volume features 200 panoramic, full-color photographs as well as a color map for every site and at-a-glance information panels that highlight the kinds of flowers at each location and the best times to see them in bloom.


k9668Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History
Carol Gracie, With a foreword by Eric Lamont
This exquisitely illustrated volume provides an in-depth look at spring-blooming wildflowers of the Northeast, from old favorites to lesser-known species. Featuring more than 500 full-color photos in a stunning large-sized format, the book delves deep into the life histories, lore, and cultural uses of more than 35 plant species. Covers topics such as the naming of wildflowers; the reasons for taxonomic changes; pollination of flowers and dispersal of seeds; uses by Native Americans; related species in other parts of the world; herbivores, plant pathogens, and pests; medicinal uses; and wildflower references in history, literature, and art.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees (Second Edition)k9970
David More & John White
Popular, award-winning, and unrivaled for its coverage and beauty, this is a magnificent illustrated guide to nearly 2,000 tree species and cultivars found in North America and Europe. David More spent over a decade painting these illustrations from real specimens, and fellow tree expert John White’s informative text describes key facts about each. The result is an extraordinary reference that will continue to be prized by nature enthusiasts, gardeners, landscapers, and foresters.


k9538Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East
Dennis Paulson
This is the first fully illustrated guide to all 336 dragonfly and damselfly species of eastern North America–from the rivers of Manitoba to the Florida cypress swamps–and the companion volume to Dennis Paulson’s acclaimed field guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of the West. Features hundreds of color photos that depict all the species found in the region, detailed line drawings to aid in-hand identification, and a color distribution map for every species–and the book’s compact size and user-friendly design make it the only guide you need in the field.


k9843The Unfeathered Bird
Katrina van Grouw
With over 385 stunning drawings depicting 200 species, this is a richly illustrated book on bird anatomy that offers refreshingly original insights into what goes on beneath the feathered surface. Each exquisite drawing is made from an actual specimen and reproduced in sumptuous large format. A landmark in popular bird books, The Unfeathered Bird is a must for anyone who appreciates birds or bird art.


k7939Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History
David L. Wagner
Many caterpillars are illustrated here for the first time. Dozens of new foodplant records are presented and erroneous records are corrected. The book provides considerable information on the distribution, biology, and taxonomy of caterpillars beyond that available in other popular works on Eastern butterflies and moths.



k9420Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner, Dale F. Schweitzer, J. Bolling Sullivan & Richard C. Reardon
This lavishly illustrated field guide features more than 800 species of the most common, interesting, beautiful, and important owlet (noctuid) caterpillars found in eastern North America. More than 2,100 color photographs include numerous stunning images, and the guide’s introductory sections offer a wealth of information on noctuid natural history, morphology, larval diets, natural enemies, and classification; suggestions for finding and rearing owlet caterpillars; and much more.


Visit our Birds and Natural History Site to view more illustrated field, identification, and photographic guides.


  1. ilahiler says:

    great read thanks man 🙂