Jan Swammerdam on social insects: A view from the seventeenth century

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The Dutch microscopist Jan Swammerdam (1637-1680) carried out the first systematic scientific study of social insects. In the late 1660s and 1670s Swammerdam made a series of observations of bees, ants, wasps and hornets. His exquisite dissections and experimental studies, carried out with extremely primitive equipment, shaped much of our subsequent perception of social insect anatomy and its function. His behavioural observations and interpretations are striking by their accuracy and modernity.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages5
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002