Olisthopus Ericae

Thomas Vernon Wollaston published this drawing in his book ‘Insecta Maderensia’ in 1854. In the book he thanks Westwood for providing the illustrations, ‘Particularly, however, would I draw attention to the valuable help which I have received from J. O. Westwood, Esq., whose pencil has been so elaborately employed in the figures which I am thus enabled to attach, and by whom many of the minutest of the dissections were accomplished, — with a degree of delicacy, moreover, to which I did not myself at the commencement of this Work (though I have since succeeded in anatomizing the larger portion of them, likewise) lay claim.’

26. Olisthopus Ericse, Woll (Tab. I. fig. 8.). Wollaston wrote the following about this species:

‘It is a remarkably active insect ; and the only successful way in which I could secure them was, by placing a large net beneath the trunks and branches of the trees (an operation which their singularly distorted and flexuose forms rendered extremely easy), and peeling off promiscuously the dry, loosely-attached, external fibre, when the Olisthopi would fall out by hundreds from beneath it. They were generally accompanied by the pupa and imago of a minute Blatta, which, if possible, was even the more agile of the two. They were seldom to be obtained by any other means, although aberrant specimens might here and there be seen, beneath stones, or the chippings of timber,—the too frequent indications of the woodman's axe in those remote regions.’

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
watercolour on paper
Common Name
Olisthopus Ericae
Simple Name
Period Classification
Victorian (1837-1901)
Production Town

Production Date
Production Person Initials
John Obadiah
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low
Production Year High

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Olisthopus Ericae Woll