Was Antoni van Leeuwenhoek secretive? His experiments with insect corneas

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It is often claimed that Antoni van Leeuwenhoek was secretive about his methods. However, closer examination of his letters suggests that this reputation was not always deserved. Some letters were not published in the Royal Society Proceedings, and others were edited. This paper describes the repetition of his experiments with the eyes of bees and dragonflies using his own account of his experiments, despite the fact that only one of the four letters was published in the Proceedings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfnz194
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Antoni van Leeuwenhoek
  • dragonfly eyes
  • historical microbiology
  • honeybee eyes
  • insect corneas
  • single-lensed microscope


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