On this page...

Read Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations with illustrations by Harriet and Helena Scott.

Austrailan Lepidoptera and their Transformations Volume 2, page 63
Austrailan Lepidoptera and their Transformations Volume 2, page 63 Image: Australian Museum
© Australian Museum

"Of the chrysalis of the Euploea, '[t]he entire surface is brilliantly metallic, and reflects external objects with the fidelity of a mirror, and in different lights it assumes lovely opaline tints, utterly impossible to represent with the brush."

Download the book from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

About the Lepidoptera

Australian Lepidoptera and their Tranformations was first compiled and published by AW Scott in 1864. The publication was spread over two volumes, the first of which was 30 pages long, with nine accompanying coloured plates depicting the life cycles of various moths and butterflies. While 100 copies were printed, only 25 of those were sold in Australia.

The second volume, containing 36 pages and 12 coloured plates, was edited and compiled by Helena Forde (Scott) and Sidney Olliff and published by the Australian Museum in four parts from 1890 to 1898. In total, both volumes contain only 21 plates of the 70 or so finished paintings the sisters produced.

The full title of the publication is Australian Lepidoptera and their transformations drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott; with descriptions, general and systematics, by A.W. Scott. Unusually for a man of his time, AW Scott was happy to give his daughters the credit and prominence they deserved.