« PreviousContinue »
pipe, as shown in fig. 126, the two pieces of spring which press against the point of the blowpipe holding the smallest portion possible of the crea
an unnatural appearance, to prevent which they are often steeped in a solution of alum for a short time prior to being operated upon. Two or three minutes at the outside will suffice to dry the larva, which may then be removed as finished; but should it be such a larya as that of the Privet Hawk-moth (S. ligustri), it will turn brown after being thus treated, and artificial colouring should be employed, I have seen one of these which had emerald-green puffed into it; and had it been placed beside a living specimen, it would have been difficult to distinguish the one from the other. Only green larve such as this will require much pains bestowed upon them, as the majority of the others will retain their natural appearance very well without being artificially coloured. Larvæ such as that of the Goat-moth (C. ligniperda) will be the least difficult to preserve; those of the Puss-moth (C. vinula) preserve well, and from their peculiar shape have a very quaint appearance. The larvæ of the Gold. tailed moth (L. auriflua) are perhaps the prettiest; but I strongly advise the inexperienced to use a pair of gloves in handling them, or he may turn rather red about the neck and eyes, as if stung by nettles, and, speaking from experience, I can assure him that the pain is quite as bad, if not worse.
With a little patience the entomologist will find himself able to preserve larve well, and thus be enabled to possess the larva, as well as the pupa and ovum, of each imago.
H. A. AULD.
Fig. 126. Blowpipe attached to Larva.
ture's skin: then inflate the larva and hold it in the oven (fig. 127), which should be previously well
season," we cannot complain of the scarcity of new books and new editions, and those of a valuable character. The first on our list may seem scarcely in keeping with the scope and character of our magazine, but in it the student will find a mass of anecdotes, traditions, &c., all of which more or less bear on zoological and botanical folk-lore. The science of comparative mythology—that which traces the vague traditions and myths of all nations to a common source-is one of the most modern, and at the same time the most fascinating. To find the fairy and goblin tales of our childhood possessing a mythological significancy is indeed rather startling. Some of the most learned thinkers and scholars of our time are engaged in collecting the disjointed and scattered facts, and combining them into a clear and incontrovertible story.
Fig. 127. Showing mode of Preserving.
* " Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-Lore; their Eastern Origin and Mythical Significance." By Charles Hardwick. London : Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.
“The Scientific and Profitable Culture of Fruit Trees." From the French of M, Du Breuil. London: Lockwood & Co.
"The Insect World." By Louis Figuier. A New Edition. London : Cassell, Petter, & Galpin.
heated. The larva should be kept blown out whilst drying, but not so much so as to give to the animal |
Among them we may pame Max Müller, Cox, one or two will at once attack it; but if they find Baring-Gould, Tylor, Kelly, and others. Mr. Hard. they are not strong enough to master it, one will wick's book is a contribution to the same general sometimes run away into the nest and give the subject, based chiefly on the folk-lore of Lan. | alarm. Numbers of them then come rushing out to cashire and the northern counties. It displays an the rescue in great anger and excitement, which intimate knowledge of the author's topic, and a subsides the moment their prey is slaughtered loving acquaintance with English literature. More. of which the majority take no further heed, but over, it is pleasantly and charmingly written, in most leave only one or two to drag the carcass home. excellent English, and there pervades in every page wards. I once emptied out a sac of spider's eggs an earnestness which shows what importance he (taken from a neighbouring rose-busl) near to an attaches to it. We have read it through carefully ants' nest. These were speedily discovered, but and profitably, and cordially hope all its readers were evidently a kind of provision that they had will enjoy the same pleasure as ourselves.
never been accustomed to, for many, in endeavouring Du Breuil's work on the “ Scientific Culture of to carry them away, grasped them so hard as to Fruit Trees” is alrcady well and favourably known, break the shell, and they had to stop to devour the and every horticulturist will be glad to see it contents then and there. This accident frequently translated into English. It has also had the ad- happened at first, but they speedily learned to vantage, whilst being prepared for us in our native handle them carefully and carry them without tongue, of being superintended by two able and breaking them; and many times afterwards I fed practical gardeners. This second edition has been this colony with spider's eggs, which were removed revised, and is prefaced by a short introduction by without a single case of breakage, as they perfectly George Glenny. The illustrations are numerous, well remembered the nature of the provision that and such as will be of advantage to amateur gar they had to deal with. deners, and the whole book is got up in a tasteful But the staple food of this species of ant is style.
"honeydew," which is a secretion forcibly ejected The work of M. Figuier has been before the world from the two tubes on the backs of numerous some time, and the opinion of naturalists upon it is species of aphides. The ants lick this off the sur. generally known. This edition is smaller and more face of the leaves where it has been cast, but they portable than the former, and like it is embellished mostly prefer obtaining it direct from the aphides with a large number of ably-executed woodcuts. themselves, whiel they cherish and protect with As it has come out under the revision and correc the most zealous care, evidently considering them tion of Professor Duncan, it is shorn of a good
as their flocks and berds. This is a well-known many of the startling incidents and attempts at fact. But on one occasion I happened to the marvellous which characterize Figuier's books. under the curled-up leaves at the top of the twig of Embracing the general bistory of insects all over | a currant-bush, an immense muumber of aphides as the world, many portions of their description are usual under their charge, and guarded by a dozen necessarily very mcagre.
or so of ants. Two common “ladybirds” were also there, devouring the aphides in spite of the efforts
of the ants to prevent it, who displayed the greatest THE INSTINCTS OF ANTS.
anger by springing on the backs of the robbers and
trying to get hold of their legs on either side. At TVEN a mere casual observer must sometimes every attempt the ladybirds coolly tilted their
U be struck with the apparent fact that these impenetrable elytra from side to side, so as to leave little insects have the faculty of communicating no room beneath for the assault, and, with antenne with each other, and conveying special information drawn in, continued their meal with perfect imconcerning their own welfare or requirements, and punity. While watching this amusing scene, a also the sense of reasoning to a very surprising prowling earwig made its way up the stalk (earwigs degree, which enables them to meet certain diffi are great destroyers of aphides). It thrust half its culties as they occur.
body under the leaves, and after eating one or two If some moistened sugar be placed near the nest was speedily discovered, but proved no match for of the small black garden ant, a solitary straggler the ants, who, attacking its legs and antennæ, soon will soon accidentally discover it; he imbibes his compelled it to beat an inglorious retreat, hotly own load, and finds his way to the nest with infor. pursued by several of the auts. During the night mation : speedily a number of others emerge, make there came a heavy shower of rain, and a day or so straight for the sugar, and continue to pass to and afterwards I stepped out of the path to see how the fro in the most sedate and business-like manner till ants and their charge were progressing. Much to the whole of the provender is conveyed to the nest. my surprise, I found that they had carried up par. Their behaviour is very different in the case of live ticles of wet loam, and plastered and built up every prey. If a small caterpillar is placed in their way, | cxternal opening between the leaves in a most
substantial manner, leaving only a small entrance beneath: in this manner keeping out all intruders, and inclosing the aphides entirely for their own benefit. The twig in question was near a yard high from the ground, and, as if the colony retained some recollection of their clever piece of work, exactly the same thing was done on this currant-bush the succeeding year.
It might perhaps be argued that there was no special design or intention in this, considering the building instincts of ants; but this year I observed an incident relating to them that surprised me still more :-In an inclosed orchard, at the root of a small plum-tree partly decayed in the trunk, there was a nest or colony of ants, which evidently mostly depended upon the tree for provisions, as there were abundance of aphides amongst the leaves. A string of ants constantly passed up and down, the ascending ones empty, and the descending ones so inflated that tbeir bodies appeared transparent. A few sheep were then turned into the orchard to eat down the grass. These animals sadly disturbed the poor ants by making a rubbing-post of the tree, coating the bark with filaments of wool, which interfered with the passage of the ants, many of which were also probably destroyed, and but few had the courage to venture up. Some time after this I looked again, without seeing a single ant on the stem of the tree. Observing a fissure halfway down, I noticed a large quantity of fine particles of rotten wood, looking like snuff, had been thrown out, and at the bottom of the cavity I perceived a regiment of ants passing up and down. I then found that in the fork of the tree, where a small branch had been sawn off and got rotten at the core, that they had made a passage throughi, having thrown out more particles of touchwood. They had no visible exit at the bark of the tree, but made their way to the nest through some unseen channel in the root. During the recent rains the former entrance to the nest has become filled up, and they do not seem disposed to open it again : therefore the only entrance to their home is some five feet up in the tree, which they now avail themselves of in perfect security and comfort, passing in and out in great numbers.
I state this as I have witnessed it, an existing fact, without having the boldness to assert, that finding the road outside the tree no longer safe or practicable, they should cause their engineers to make a survey, and who decided that the core of the tree was sufficiently soft and rotten to enable them to work a tunnel through, which, from the quantity of débris thrown out, must have cost a great amount of labour. If so, it is very marvellous that these little insects should be gifted with a degree of sagacity, almost amounting to a reasoning faculty, that many large quadrupeds do not possess.
F. H. WENHAM.
“MY GARDEN.”* " TOUR round my Garden” has already a appeared in French garb, but it was left to an Englishman to work out the idea perfectly. Shenstone the poet had first constructed a garden in which new scenes of beauty were always meeting the eye, and then had immortalized his attempts in classic verse. But Mr. Smee has shown the world what a treasure of picturesque beauty, of botanical, zoological, geological, and general knowledge, may be obtained in a plot of ground of less than eight acres. In turning over the voluminous work before us, with its one thousand two hundred and fifty woodcuts and plates, one is literally astonished at the faculty which can produce so much out of what appears so little. The estate in question is situate in the hamlet of Wallington, on the banks of the river Wandle, in Surrey. Its owner, and the author of the present work, first introduces us to a brief sketch of the parish in the Celtic, Roman, AngloSaxon, and mediæval periods; after which to a period far older than any of these, when "the Geology of my Garden” was commenced. The geological sketch is ably and experientially done ; for when Mr. Smee first entered upon the land of his garden, he could not walk across it, on account of its being so boggy. Since then drainage and section-cutting has gone on, and as good a know. ledge of geology obtained as pulling about a plot of eight acres could bestow. Situated on the edge of the London basin, all the lower tertiary beds come up in the neighbourhood, although the fossils are chiefly from the chalk. Many of these are
a chemist, his conclusions on this point are worth flourishes to the exclusion of hundreds of little attention. “Some organic bodies,” he says, “ap- gems which should have their place in the garden pear to silicify with ease, others with difficulty. A of every lover of natural objects.” Our sympathies sponge throws down silex readily. He has been are with him also when he condemns the common able to silicify a blood-corpuscle so perfectly that | fashion of making rose-trees look “like a mop, with when incinerated and its animal matter destroyed, it showed its structure. Bones do not appear to throw down silex readily.”
The reader will linger with pleasure over the chapter devoted to the “General Plan of my Garden,” as he feels that here the greatest labour of the author was bestowed. There he learns of ferneries, alpineries, &c., and is assisted in bis comprehension by most charmingly-executed plates of spots that might serve for copies to “Fairies' Dells,” or “Wood-Nymphs' Grottos,” in the Christmas pantomimes. Mr. Smee's object was (after so laying out bis garden as to obtain the greatest Fig. 133. Dianthus chinensis, Fig. 134. Mimulus. amount of picturesque effect) to have such plants, native and foreign, as would be in bloom the whole
the handle stuck in the ground!” This is termed year round. The greater number of woodcuts is a “standard,” and is about as ugly a form as art devoted to the illustration of the favourites; and,
can twist nature into. Instead of this, Mr. Smee coming from the pencil of Mr. Worthington Smith,
trains his rose-trees into a pyramidal form, four to they are gems of wood-cutting art, as the following
six feet high, one far more elegant, and wbich, examples will show.
when adorned by the “Queen of flowers," is a most charming object. He states: "I think that no one who say my pyramids would ever think of growing standards again.”
We have frequently come across excellent botanists whose horticultural knowledge was ridiculously small. Nay, there are few good English botanists who appear to care about "garden plants.” Many of these, however, are of a most curious nature, and well illustrate the flora of other lands and the physical circumstances, extending over long periods of time, which have caused organic forms to be so
modified as to assume their often outlandish nature. Fig. 131. Variegated Pink.
Fig. 132. Coreopsis tinctoria.
We cordially agree with the author in denouncing the common practice of gardeners confining all their floral efforts to crowding one particular summer month with flowers, to their exclusion the rest of the year. “At the present time all gardens look alike; the inevitable scarlet geranium
Fig. 135 is one of these, one of the fly-catching plants, having hairs in the middle of the tube, so arranged that when the flies get in they cannot escape.
also those of garden fruit. One might object that occasionally the illustrations have run riot, as when the author gives, what “Mrs. Lirriper” would
Fig. 137. Brassia maculata. have called, the “portraits” of his garden-roller, watering.cans, &c.! His cuts of the most important | Smee tells us that all the above are difficult to of the curious orchids are very interesting, and cultivate, although two species grow with him in among them there occur Brassia, and a group of the greatest luxuriance.
Fig. 138. 1. Anactochilus urgenteus, Brazil; 2. A. Lori
5. A. xanthophylla, Ceylon; 6. A. argenteus pictus, Brazil; 7. A. setaceus intermedius, Ceylon;
xanthophyllu, Ceylon des Andersen
Nor is the English "Flower-garden” less repre- | not be found” in blossom. Another like unto it is sented by some of our most beautiful native flower- | termed the “Saxifrage Garden,” and still another, ing plants. Many of these occur in what the author called the “Sempervivum Garden." In the former has called, with some indifference to etymological grow most European saxifrages, than which few combination, his “Alpinery.” This is constructed flowers are more chastely beautiful. The Sedums, on a small mound near the "Fern-glen," and in the in their variety of leaf and flower, are scarcely less fibrous loam and stones alpine plants seem to | attractive. In the pretty streams which water this flourish. It is so arranged that “there is scarcely delightful estate grow the Flowering Rush (Butomus any time of the year when some lovely object may | umbellatus), and the Water - soldier (Stratiotes