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path, striking the old man down from behind with
SPARROW BRAWLS. a bludgeon; while rifling his pockets, the moon suddenly appeared from behind a black cloud, and
THE social habits of our attached friends lighted up the robber's features; the pedlar recog.
1 the Sparrows, must at this time of year nized him, and calling him by name, told him that
attract the notice of the most unobserving. Like the slow but sure hand of justice would overtake
other parasites, they are not long out of sight him one day. “You shan't be a witness against
at any season, but on the approach of spring, me, at any rate, I'll make sure of you; dead men
every nook around the homestead rings in turn tell no tales :" and the robber became a murderer.
with their squabbles, and there is not a city “You shouldn't have talked about the gallons, old
garden with a shrub in it, which does not re-echo man,” said the ruffian, jeering the dying man;
with their eager reproaches. The noise, considering “where will the witnesses be when you're buried
the size of the performers, is wonderful. The deep down, and the waving corn grows over the
greater frequency of these affrays in the spring place-aba! who'll be your witnesses then, I won. | months leads to the presumption that they arise der ? ” “ These! these!” moaned the victim, from jealousy amongst the male birds. But this I tearing up a handful of blood-bedabbled weeds believe to be an error. My lot is cast in a large from the trampled earth, and dashing them all wet
seaside town, and the chief enjoyment I can get of and reeking in the murderer's face.-“ the wild | the beauties of nature is derived from a few poplar Charlocks that see me die, shall nod their yellow trees, planted, by necessity, much nearer to my heads at you, and my blood's cry to Heaven for ven.
study-window than a country gentleman would geance shall be heard, and the yellow blossoms shall
think desirable. The necessity, however, like most be my witnesses against you as long as the Char. of the decrees of Providence, is not without ad. lock blooms wild in the cornfields.” The wretch
vantage. It brings my feathered friends, in whom trembled as the dank plants struck bim, and stained
I delight, under much closer observation. Here, his face; then he dragged the body away and buried
in their season of verdure, the trees are visited by it deep down in a newly-ploughed field; and corn
Chiff-chaffs, Willow-wrens, and two species of Titwas sown and grew up over it, and all trace of the
mouse; whilst in severe weather strange visitors are horrid deed seemed to be put for ever out of sight.
driven down from the hills, such as the MisselBut the pedlar was missed from his accustomed
thrush, the Blackbird, the Song-thrush, and the beat, and people began to talk and wonder if he had
Redwing. Redbreasts, Brown Wrens, Hedge. met with foul play, and they joked the assassin, and sparrows, and House-sparrows are here at all asked him whether the money he spent so freely had
seasons, and the last fully as, saucy and cunning as been taken from the missing traveller. The spring
any of their tribe. For some considerable time I came round, and the weeds sprang up amongst the
have been in the habit of watching their conduct, green corn; but in one lone field there oame such
and whenever the first note of discord has arisen, I a mass of yellow charlock-weed in one particular have noted their proceedings with particular spot that the farmer noticed it, and sent men to
attention. As would be supposed, the actors are root it up; but it sprang up again and again, and
one female and several males. The latter, however, the guilty miscreant quaked when the neighbours
are not, as would be expected, contending with one talked about it, and at last he was seen stealing out another, but all-excepting one, teasing rather than at night and tearing the rank weeds up. Suspicion
seriously attacking the hen, who always occupies was aroused, the soil was turned up, and the body
the centre. One of the male birds does nothing of the missing pedlar was found and identified. The
but flounder about in a ridiculous manner, throwing terror-stricken murderer confessed, and told the
back his head, drooping his wings, and uttering a whole tale; he was hanged, as he well deserved to
| peculiar chirp, which seems to goad the rest of his be; his 'poor widowed mother went mad with
scx to frenzy. The female frequently rushes at this grief; but, unable to realize the actual death of her
lackadaisical performer, and pecks at him with fury. only child, and with the pedlar's dying cry for ever
He never returns the blow, but retreats a short ringing in her ears, she wandered in the fields tear
distance, whilst one of the males attacks the hen ing up the Charlock, that its golden blossoms might
from behind and diverts her wrath upon himself. not wag their heads and bear witness against her
I have never seen the male birds assail one another lost and ruined son.
at such times. Sometimes their emotion, whatever Bury Cross, Gosport.
its nature, is so vehement, that they are all down together in inextricable confusion; but the moment
the paroxysm is over, they always act as I bave “When Alexander the Great went on his Indian described above. It is the cry of the male bird expedition he opened the way for many discoveries. beginning his singular performance before the The Ringed Parakeet was soon afterwards brought female, which instantly summons all the cock-birds to Greece.”—“ Beautiful Birds in Far-off Lands." 1 in the vicinity to the scene. The first comers dash
into the mêlés without a moment's hesitation. The top of a layer of fine sifted mould, mixed with delate arrivals often take no part in the affair, beyond cayed tan and silver sand : as I never moisten them, cheering on the priucipals with a few sharp notes. they do not damp off, and I have lost but few from At length, as in human squabbles, the absurdity dry rot. I once covered them over with moss, and uselessness of the whole thing seem to strike boiled, according to instructions; but I never saw every one-the outsiders retire, and the chief actors any advantage derived from it; and as you cannot begin to draw off: the lover, if such is his character, see how the pupæ are without disturbing it, I have performs with less empressement, the lady becomes discontinued using any moss for some time. more indifferent to his “chaff.” Agamemnon and There are a great many other plans for rearing Menelaus go off together katå klicias re véas te, pupe successfully, each of which has its supporters Paris himself steals away by degrees, and Helen is and followers, who of course believe it to be “ininvariably left quite alone. Such are the facts, as I fallible." have witnessed them, over and over again, but their I have tried several others, and with more or less significance is not so easy to determine. It should success. I should say laying them in bran is per. be remembered that these birds are not polygamous, haps the worst, as then they invariably dry up; like ruffs and capercaillies, and domestic fowls, cotton wool produced the next smallest percentage wbose desperate combats are intelligible enough. of perfect insects. Another enemy of the moth There is no greater provocation to jealousy amongst in its pupal state is the Earwig (Forficula); also sparrows than amongst linnets or buntings, which Cocktail or great Rove Beetle (Creophilus maxil. are not in the habit of brawling in this manner. losus), and such “Reptiles.” sparrows, indeed, are hardly gregarious in the The Rev. Joseph Green, in his valuable little breeding season; each male bird has his own mate, work on “Pupa-digging,” says, “I have known a and the pair bring up their family in as exemplary slug crawl in a straight course more than a foot up a manner as many a Christian couple. Nevertheless, the side of my cage, to get at a chrysalis, and then there is not one of these staid, business-like charac feast on it till there was nothing left but the ters who is not ready, at a moment's notice, to empty skin.” He also states that he has seen an engage in a furious set-to with his neighbours about earwig eat a soft pupa, and gives an account of his one of the other sex, for whom he cares nothing a pupæ being devoured by a brood of Tinea pseudominute before or after. Moreover, these squabbles spretella, are not confined to the spring season. I have wit. Other enemies of the pupæ, more especially when nessed them in every month in the year, excepting l at large, are fieldmice, which are fond of soft pupæ. during the moulting season. I will not hazard any | Those who damp their pupe will also suffer losses theory respecting them, content to draw the attention from mould, which is very destructive to some of your readers to the facts of a very curious, how. kinds, especially those which have been moved from ever common, phenomenon; the object of which, the cocoon. like the night-crowing of the roost-cock, or the It is curious what clusters larve will often serrated claw of the Fern-ow), is, I believe, very form, piling the cocoons one above another, till little understood.
H. some are not visible. I had last summer in one of
my larger breeding-cages, a group consisting of
5 Drinkers (Odonestis potatoria), 3 Oak Eggars PUPA ENEMIES.
(Lasiocampa Quercis), 7 or 8 Lackeys (Bombyx
Neustria), 5 Figure-of-8 (Diloba cæruleocephala), ON May 2nd, I went to my pupa-cage to look 4 Gipsies (Liparis dispar), and a single Tiger
U for "fresh arrivals,”and was very much "asto (Chelonia Caja). I need scarcely say, I did not nished to find the pupwe were being carried off bodily leave them to come out in this position, or many by a number of large red ants. Several had been · would no doubt bave been undeveloped. I think I partly devoured, and others injured beyond re- have given a tolerably good list of the various covery; but by a prompt and vigorous attack, the
enemics or diseases to which the pupæ of Lepi. pupa were rescued and removed, while the ants were
doptera are liable; but if others have been noticed destroyed by a copious douche of boiling water. A
by subscribers to SCIENCE-GOSSIP, I shall be glad little searching revealed the colony, at about three
to see their remarks. yards distant from the breeding.cage. I stirred them
J. HENDERSON, Jun. up with a stick, and gave them a dose of the hot water; a thin stream of ants were travelling along the wall, having no doubt been informed of the
“Exgland is the sister of Holland, but, being “grub” by their relatives.
more enveloped, I think, in 'mists, owing to the As I keep all my pupä out of doors, and exposed warm waters of the Gulf Stream, it did not recogto the changes of the atmosphere, such dangers | nize until a later period the grandeur of its marimust be risked. I simply place the pupæ on the time horizon."-" Nature," by Madame Michelet.
SHRIMPS AND PRAWNS.
| that when they have arrived at a certain size they
separate from the older ones, the latter retiring TT is astonishing, in vulgar classification, how size
farther from the shore to, return again, however, 1 and colour determine conclusions. Its reason
when they have reached the adult condition. It is ing is based on just the opposite grounds to those
only when they have arrived at the latter stage that of science. The latter investigates, analyses, wants
the fishermen condescend to regard them as true to know the reason for every organ, rudimentary
prawns, and to charge for them as such ! or otherwise, and refuses to be satisfied with the
The tail of the “red shrimp,” or prawn, is worthy statement that they are complementary. It has too
of notice. It is composed of five plates, capable much faith in the wisdom of the Creator to believe
of being folded like a lady's fan. Each plate is in sports or freaks of any kind whatever. Every
edged with setæ, and when alarmed, by expanding organ, whether in use or not, has a meaning; and, the tail and suddenly striking the water with it, its if we could get at it, it would doubtless help us to
possessor can drive itself backwards to a surprising the history, not of the individual merely, but of the
distance. It is almost comical to watch this animal species and even genus to which its possessor be.
investigating a strange locality-to see how ginlongs.
gerly it seems to walk on the very tips of its long Among the common zoological objects with which
feet, and how its swimmerets or paddles are mean. the public generally come in contact, perhaps no
time rapidly working beneath the abdomen. It greater ignorance is displayed than in their notions
progresses by means of these swimmerets exactly on the principle of a paddle-boat, and uses its tail only to retreat from danger.
Another common species of prawn is often sold as a shrimp. This is the Palemon squilla (fig. 105), which resembles the true shrimp even more than
Fig. 104. Palamon serratus.
of "shrimps.” The old adage that all is fish which
Fig. 105. Palamon squilla. comes into the net is realized here, for all are shrimps that are sold as such. The only difference
the foregoing; still you may trace a similar serrecognizable is that some are known as “red
rated rostrum. The antennæ are not so long, and shrimps," and some as “brown." The appetizing
only the first pair of legs have pincers, whilst in flavour of these delicate crustaceans is perhaps not
the fore-mentioned species the first two pairs are conducive to popular examination or dissection
provided with them. The common slirimp has a other than the stomach requires, or the great differ
simple hook, bent, and springing out of a thickened ence between the “red” and “ brown” so-called
base. The serratus when adult is four inches long, shrimps would be recognizable at once. In fact,
the squilla attaining only balf that length. Two the “red shrimp” is not a “shrimp” at all, but a
other and rarer species of prawn inhabit our seas, young prawn! It is known in many places as the
but these are not often sold as shrimps. In “Rock shrimp,” from its habits. The rostrum, or
Great Yarmouth, however, another genus of prolongation of the carapace between the antenne,
crustacean shares the honour with the prawn of is the distinguishing feature of the prawn. In our
being an cdible shrimp. This is the Pandalus common species this is toothed like a saw (fig. 104),
annulicornis, whose serrated rostrum and long whence its name of Palæmon serratus. Of its two
antennæ give it a great resemblance to the serratus. pairs of antennæ, the outer are very long, twice as
So abundant is it off this part of the Norfolk coast, long as the animal's body. It is only in the young
that its capture provides many fishermen with constate that this species approaches our shores; stant employment. It differs from the true shrimp but its times and seasons are well known to
in occurring at a considerable distance from the “shrimpers,” and it falls a victim to its littoral
shore; hence it goes by the name of the "sca curiosity. Bell tells us that in some parts the
shrimp.” The greatest length it attains is two and fishermen consider they drive away the true prawns; I a half inches. . but the Professor believes this is due to the fact ! And now for our old, true, and tried friend, which
has generously lent the credit of its great name to the species above mentioned-the Crangon vulgaris (69. 106). Practically it is distinguished from them by its common name of "sand-shrimp," and still more as the “brown." Notice its speckled back and body, and you bave before you another of those instances of mimicry which naturalists are seeing throughout the animal kingdom. Nothing could more resemble the fine sandy bottom on which it squats, and its protection is rendered doubly sure by the jets of sand it casts up, and which settle down over it and hide it. Here you have no rostrum, but a broad, flat head, on which the eyes are placed at wide intervals between. The internal pair of antennæ terminate in two short feathered filaments, and the two movable plates outside them, bristling with setæ, distinguish the shrimps at once. The female shrimp carries her spawn underneath her
Fig. 106. Common Shrimp (Crungon vulgaris).
abdomen the whole year round-an occurrence | which you will never find in connection with the so. called “red-shrimp,” for the simple reason that the latter is only in a juvenile stage. The spawn is entangled among the “ salse feet,” or swimmerets. There could not have been a better arrangement, considering its habits of burying itself in the sand, than the manner in which the eyes are arranged for seeing-on the top of the head. The “brown shrimps” are fond of company, and their antics on a sunny day are very joyous and vivacious. They dart about, and even skip out of the water, in their exuberance of spirits. But they are always found in shallow water, and that where there is a fine sandy bottom. Singularly enough, wherever the true shrimp occurs you get few or no "red shrimps”. or prawns, one group invariably replacing the other.
J. E. TAYLOR.
Fig. 107. Saws of Saw.flies. Yo. 1. Saw of Large Green Saw-fly. 2. Black ditto, 3. Small
ditto. 4. Brownish ditto. 5. Black Saw-fly, with white banded abdomen. 6. Large Yellow Saw.fly. 7. Yellow ditto, with black thorax.
SAWS OF SAW.FLIES. ALTHOUGH most of the books on the microA scope contain an accurate description of the saw of the saw-fly, and the method of its use, yet in pone is there any mention of the variation in the form of the saw in the different species of the insect, Some deposit their eggs in the hard bark of certain plants, others make incisions through the softer
formation, a few of which I have delineated. They are drawn from nature, with the neutral tint reflector, the 1-inch objective being used. Fig. 1 is the most remarkable saw I have yet seen; for, besides being beautifully toothed, along its sides are arranged a series of scales placed in rows, the uses of which it is difficult to imagine. Having many times watched the process of depositing the egg, after the requisite incision has been made in a leaf by the insect, I cannot agree with those authors who state that the egg is passed along the saws, which form together a sort of tube for its passage to its destination. The real ovipositor is placed above the saw, and when the egg is being deposited,
the saw is withdrawn into its sheath, the large size of it:-"In woods and pastures in central and of the egg, and the very structure of the saw itself, southern Europe, not nearer than central France ; making it impossible for the process to be accom. occurs apparently wild in Stokesay Wood, near plished as described by them. This can readily be Ludlow, and between Whitbourne and Malvern in proved by obtaining a saw-fly full of eggs, and sub Herefordsbire; probably originally escaped from jecting it to pressure under the microscope, when some old cottage garden." the exact relation of the parts will be seen.-James I remember a few years ago taking a friend, who W. Gooch.
had travelled in Italy, to the top of the Weo Edge, without telling bim of the fact of the Astrantia growing there, and was much struck by his ex
clamation of pleasure and surprise when he THE ARCHÆOLOGY OF RARE PLANTS.
recognized the plant, then in full blossom, which he TTAVING seen a paper by my friend Mr. Edwin had last seen flourishing on one of the mountains in U Lees in SCIENCE-GOSSIP for April, in which
the uorth of Italy. lie mentions the occurrence of the Astrantia major Can we show that any inhabitants of Italy ever on the Weo Edge in this parish, I beg, with your
had access to this spot? An answer to this ques. permission, to make a few remarks on its probable tion has been found in a most unexpected way. history in that spot.
Within a few miles of the Weo Edge, and close by When a plant is found growing some hundreds of an ancient Roman road which wends its way miles away from its native country, it becomes an between the two places, was discovered a few years interesting question to determine how it may have ago the remains of a Roman villa, including the been transported to its new abode. That it has hypocaust, for thick mass of concrete, supported on spontaneously started into existence, I presume no l a number of little pillars, by which the rooms were one will at the present time maintain. Few either warmed. Imbedded in this concrete was found, by would contend that the introduction of plants has Mr. Stackhouse Acton, on whose ground the villa taken place in a capricious way without law or sys. was discovered, a peculiar shell, the Pentamerus tem. The researches of Darwin and Lyell have Knightii. Now it so happens that this fossil, which clearly shown that the flora of every district is more is of a remarkable and unmistakable character, is or less related to that of the adjacent country, and very abundant indeed at the Weo Edge, but is exthat if any strange forms occur, their presence may tremely rare, if it occurs at all, which is very be traced to some distinct cause. In many cases, doubtful, anywhere nearer to the site of the villa this cause may be extremely difficult to determine ; than that hill. but in some, by carefully attending to the sur The inference from this is apparently inevitable; rounding circumstances and conditions, it may the Roman mason who constructed the bypocaust be possible to form a more or less probable con- used lime brought from the Weo Edge, which is, jecture.
moreover, the best to be had in all the country Now it seems to me that the suggestion which round. was made to me some years ago by a friend who
Many other facts tend to the same conclusion. takes much interest in the antiquities and natural The Astrantia grows chiefly on a kind of bank which history of this neighbourhood, as to the occurrence formed part of an old encampment, such as might of the Astrantia on Weo Edge, has much force, and have been constructed to defend a few dwellings, is, moreover, particularly interesting, as it connects as we may well suppose the Roman colonists had the spot where it grows with those dim ages of a frequent occasion to do. (2) The ground all round remote past which we all delight to picture to our | the spot is completely honeycombed by the remains minds, and so to realize the kind of people who of ancient limekilns, and there are innumerable lived in them.
mounds everywhere of the rubbish which was thrown The place and it is the only place in England | out in raising the limestone; and (3) that the spot
out in raising the limestone; and where the Astrantia grows with any appearance of was frequented by waggons long before the present being indigenous—is the summit of an abrupt cliff roads were made is shown by the remains of roads, of Lower Ludlow shale, some 550 feet above the long since unused, deeply sunk below the level of valley through which a small stream, called the the soil, showing how much they were frequented Onny, flows. As elsewhere in the neighbourhood, in early times. this formation or ridge of hills is crowned by a band! Is it then improbable that when the villa of which of what is known by geologists as the Aymestry I bave spoken was in the course of erection (and limestone, and it is on the soil formed from the there is reason to think that many others of a similar decay of this limestone that the plant in question kind once existed in the neighbourhood), a number has found a congenial home.
of Roman workmen may have settled on this spot, And now, a few words as to its foreign abode. / and that they, in some way, brought this plant with Mr. Bentham in his Botany has the following notice | them? How many instances are there of flowers