MOSQUITO HAWKS, OR DRAGON FLiES.
1. ANAX JUNIUS. 2. /ESCHNA HEROS.
sPragon Flies xs; mosquitoes.
CAN THE MOSQUITO PEST BE MITIGATED? .
Studies in the Life History op Irritating Insects,
THEIR Natural Enemies, and Artificial Checks,
BY WORKING ENTOMOLOGISTS.
WITJt AX INTRODUCTION KV
ROBERT H. LAMBORN, Ph. D.
J). Appleton and Company,
a ^=1 M I u
Br ROBERT H. LAMBORN.
ALLEN, LANE & SCOTT
In tlie early summer of 1889 a circular letter was is-
sued to " The Workiug Eutomologists of the Country,"
offering prizes for essays containing original investigations
regarding methods of destroying the mosquito and the
The object of this effort was to bring about an intelli-
gent discussion of the question, what natural enemies of
these irritating insects may be easily and efficiently ar-
rayed against them.
The voracious and harmless dragon fly, of which our
country supplies so many beautiful varieties, was especially
designated as possessing qualities that made it a promising
subject for careful investigation.
The plan of destruction thus sought for is that so com-
monly observed in operation upon a grand scale in Nature,
where individual species and whole families are swept out
of existence through its operation.
The questions formulated in the circular letter were
widely discussed. Newspapers and other periodicals treat-
ed them from a hundred standjioints — the grave — the gay
— the lively — the serene — a volume could be filled with
articles relating to the subject published in this country
and in Europe.
The most valuable results were, as expected, those sub-
mitted by the scientific experts especially appealed to. The
essays that they presented are the outgrowth of long years
2 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
spent in rearing insects, studying their transformations and
lial)its, and of extensive special reading.
These essays were found so full of valuable scientifie
and po])ular information that the recommendation of the
distinguished judges at-ting under the terms of the circular
letter, to place them in a printed form before the public,
has here been complied M-ith. An article contributed by
Dr. McCook to the "Xorth American Review" is repro-
duced with esjiecial view to his observations on mosquito-
catching spiders. Captain ISIacauley of the United States
Armv furnishes an interesting chapter of his experience
among the dragon flies and mosquitoes of the Upper
By Robert H. Lamborn, Ph. D.
THE DIPTEROUS ENEMIES OF ]MAN.
By Mrs. C. B. Aaron.
Importance of Economic Entomology. — Efforts to master the
insect world — Magnitude of the work — Arrangement of dis-
cussion .... 25-27
Life History and Structure op the Mosquito. — Breeding
jilaces — Female instinct — Descripti( m of oviiaosition — Habits
of young mosquito— External breathing apparatus — Trans-
formations — Period of emergence — Females as tormentors —
Experiments of Drs. Bonavia and Dimmock — Effect of the
bite a source of conflicting testimony — Westwood's opinion
also Packard's — Poison glands analyzed by Dr. Dimmock
and Prof. Macloskie — Hibernation — Migration — Explana-
tion of the prevalence of mosquitoes at the shore during a
land breeze — Mosquitoes as pests in other ways than as
biters— Interfering with arts and manufactures — Devouring
young trout 28-37
Life History and Structure op the Fly. — Habitat — Swarms —
Plague of flies — House fly incapable of biting — Mouth
])arts — Development — Fly's foot as a means of pi'opagating
Life History and Structure op the Dragon Fly. — Classi-
fication according to haljit — Untiring flight — Oviposition—
Varied habits — Protracted development— Power of loco-
motion — Remarkable structure of mouth — Food — Fifty
thousand young fish devoured by dragon flies — Canni-
balism—Length of larval stage — Hours of flight — Vo-
racity—Migration — Enemies— Frogs — Fish— Birds .... 42-51
IMfdical Problem. — Disagreement of scientists — Charges
against Culex — Human i>arasitism — Harborers of dis-
ease — Manson's discoveries and experiments — Malaria-
Ophthalmia carried by flies— Various species parasitic on
human skin 5I-5(i
4 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Possibilities and Cost. — Insecticide substances — ]Many too
expensive to be of practical value — The use of fungoids
a ])romising one — Research by Pasteur — Diseases of the
silk worm — Fly fungus — Yeast fermentation — ]Mould — Mul-
tiplication of electric lights — Chemical and animal ene-
mies — Sunfish— Drainage — Night hawks — AVliippoorwills—
Bats — Lantern traps — Culture of dragon flies— Methods-
Experiments with oil — Cost — General insecticides — Final
summing up 57-68
UTILITY OF DRAGON FLIES AS DESTROYERS OF
By Archibald C. Weeks.
Natural Conditions i-xder which Dragon Flies Breed. —
Valuable and interesting table of time, appearance, locality,
flight, voracity, strength of wing, etc., of dragon flies — De-
scription of ovii>osition— Duration of larval stages — Two
broods of infrequent occurrence 73-75
Experiments in Rearing, Imitating Natural Conditions.—
Success with aquatic Neuroptera — Cages for raising various
species— Caddis fly— Diptera— Upper portion of house util-
ized as a temporary nursery for dragon flies — Bath tub
disguised with sand, rushes, and aquatic grasses . . . • 75 SO
Habits of Dragon Flies limited to scope of Object to be
Accomplished.— Distinctively diurnal — Totally inactive at
night — Light and heat required— Ample space and great
freedom — Butterflies as food 80-81
Natural Conditions under which House Flies Breed. — Va-
rious species — Parasitic varieties — Habitat— Annoyance to
man and beast— Habits— Experiments in rearing . . . 81-84
Natural Conditions under which INIosquitoes Breed. — Flies
AND Mosquitoes.— Habits in general— Flies as scavengers
of earth and air— Natm-e's faithful servants— Relations to
each other— Conclusive testimony— Dragon flies incapal)le
of domestication— Objectionable inhabitants of our homes —
Difficulties of breeding— Centipedes— Methods of abating
the mosquito and fly nuisance — Interrupt the chain of
conditions which is most favorable to their development —
Drainage— Grading — Removal of organic debris — Accumu-
lation of filth in the streets should not be permitted—
Cellars and yards should be visited by a sanitary inspec-
tor — No slaughter house should be maintained within city
limits— Refuse from stables should be removed daily — Po-
lice — Sanitary regulations 84-93
One Wokd for the Birds. — Insectivorous birds should be pro-
tected by law — Wholesale and criminal destruction of birds
has made them so rare that an observation of their habits
is an impossibility 94-95
Conclusions. — A proper enforcement of sanitary laws, and a
passage of a proper law for the protection of birds afford
the best solution 95
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE :M0SQUIT0.
By Wm. Beutenmuller.
Prefatory Note. — Omits the house fly from discussion^
Original observations — The distress caused by the mos-
quito — Vitality lessened — Sick made sicker — Vexations of
the heated term made more exasperating — Valuable dis-
tricts depopulated — General statements from a scientific
standpoint — Origin of the name — North America produces
more than tliirty varieties — Four distinct broods — Two
broods in the Arctic i-egion — Mature mosquito lives about
a week — A few individuals of the last brood hibernate —
Mouth of the mosquito— Poison glands — Proboscis furnish-
ed with surgical instruments— Source of the poison ob-
scure— Macloskie's discoveries 99-107
Life History and Development op the Mosquito. — Egg
i-aft — Breathing — Swimming — Series of moults — Food —
Pupa — Emergence— Dr. Findlay believes that mosquitoes
disseminate yellow fever — Observations in Egypt and In-
dia — Learned discussion— Malarial germs — Problem of di-
minishing the past— Remedy must not be worse than the
scourge — Communities and local governments should join
with individuals in the crusade 107-113
Natural Remedies. — Dragon flies — An automatic machine —
^lethod adopted by Nature — ^"oracity — Experience at Fort
Snelling — Observations at Sandy Hook and Japan— Diffi-
culties of rearing dragon flies— IMutual depredations and
Fish and Waterfowl. — As destroyers of mosquito larvpe of
considerable importance among natural remedies — Mr.
Rijederer of New York found hundreds of mosquitoes in
the stomach of a fish — Aquatic birds — Management of
such fowl c^n be made simple and prolitaljle— Fisli can be
6 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
introdm-ed in oiu- public lakes — The dissemination of para-
sitic fungus— Cultivation of fresh water algfe— Dr. Hagen
calls attention to the use of beer yeast for destroying green-
house pests and potato beetles — Field for practice . . 117-120
Artificial Re.medies. — The use of coal oil in swamps — The use
of poisons to be avoided — Lanterns — Expense and trouble
inconsiderable — General and scientific drainage — Coijpera-
tion and persistence needed factors— ^ledieines and deter-
rents for individual protection — Quassia -wood solution . 120-122
Concluding Recommendations. — A closer study of the life-
history of the dragon fly — Employment of lamps — Raising
of fish— The use of coal oil — Astringents — Drainage — Appro-
priation of a fund to aid experiments 122-123
The Destruction of the House Fly. — Habits— Habitat —
Speedy removal of stable debris — Fly fungus .... 12:5-12-1
Mode of Oviposition of certain Species op Odox.vta . . 125-127
DRAGON FLIES AS MOSQUITO HAWKS ON THE
A Letter from Capt. C. N. B. Macauley.
The sufferings of horees and mules— Smudges— Devil's darn-
ing needles— Disappearance of mosquitoes due to the prev-
alence of dragon flies — Existence bearable again— No further
use for head nets, mosquito bars, or smudges — Mosquitoes
termed the Sioux's ajlies 131-134
CAN THE MOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED?
By Henry C. McCook, D. D.
Antiquity <.if the mosquito—Success in limiting the number
of mosquitoes pivots upon two points : hostile environment
and natural enemies — Cosmopolitan distribution — Habitat —
Oviposition— Caudal swimming appendages— Fairy like
transformations— A vision for poet or artist- Dragon fly
incidents— " Snake feeders"— The spider as a check against
undue increase of insects— Beauty of cobwebs— Despised
Arachne harmless to mankind — AVebs as snares— Two hun-
dred and thirty-six insects in one web 137-147
Bibliography prepared by ]\Irs. C. B. Aaron, accompanying her
essay 151 -15y
Bibliogi-aphical catalogue prei)ared l\v Wm. Beutenmiiller, ac-
companying his essay 161-179
LIST OF PLATES.
PLATE I. (Frontispiece.)
1. Anax .lUNirs.
2. ^ESCIIXA IIER08.
Transformations of Culex damnosus.
Head of Culex, cross sections of Proboscis.
Longitudinal section of Poison Glands.
Front ^iIEW of Dragon Fly's Head.
Foot of Musca domestica.
Larval stages and structure of Flies.
Larval stages of the Dragon Fly.
Five species of Dragon Flies.
Lantern and Pan.
Method of spraying Petroleum.
Suspended Lantern avith Pan.
Eggs and Pupa of Mosquito.
Lantern and Pan on post.
Eggs of Dragon Flies.
By ROBEirr H. LAM BORN, Ph. D.
A NUMBER of years ago, while engaged in building
the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad, I made fre-
quent excursions, in the capacity of director and treasurer
of the company, through the swampy forests around the
head of the great lake. Sitting in camp at supper time,
I often, with a sentiment of gratitude, looked through
my mosquito veil at the dragon flies that collected in the
open spaces among the pine trees. They darted from
side to side, like swallows in a meadow, but with amazing
rapidity ; and at every turn, the natives assured me, a
mosquito "ceased from troubling." Afterwards I haj)-
pened to observe an entomologist feeding a dragon fiy
that had eaten thirty house flies in rapid succession with-
out lessening its voracity. What thought could be more
natural than the one that came to me, that an artificial
multiplication of dragon flies might accomplish a miti-
gation of the mosquito pest. The proposition was >o
evident that I sought among entomological works for
some account of experiments tending to throw light on a
subject of such enormous practical importance, but with-
out result. Then followed consultation with men eminent
among specialists wdiose lives are spent in the study of
insects, and to my surprise the fact was developed that
science had left almost untouched those investigations into
12 DRAGOX FLIES VS. >[OSQUITOES.
the life history of the dragon flies that would enable a
competent opinion to be formed as to the possibility of
making my suggestion practically useful.
From Dr. Uhler, of Baltimore, the highest American
authority in the great class to which the "mosquito
hawk " belongs, the Neuroptera, I received the follow-
"Baltimore, July 16th, 1889.
" Permit me to say that you have taken hold of one of
the hobbies of my young manhood, in which I have
never ceased to take an interest, and that is the develop-
ment of the Odonata in our rivers and marsh ditciies to
such an extent as to greatly reduce the number of mos-
quito larvEe, as well as those of other pestiferous Diptera
which develop in such places.
" How extensively this can be done I do not know ; but
as I have raised all the common forms of our Atlantic
coastal plain region, I know that the dragon fly larvse
can be reared in vast numbers.
" Of course, you know that each locality supports its
own species, and the forms which develop in the brackish
drains and pools near tide, where they are covered twice
each day by salt water, cannot flourish in fresh watci-.
Accordino-lv, for the littoral belt from Long Islaud to
Beaufort, N. C, I would select Diplax berenice, LibcUula
auripennis, and Mezothemis longipcnnis. For the region
next inland from this, multitudes of common species could
be had, such as Anax Junius, ^Eschna heros, Libellula
pulchella, L. luctuosa, L. semifasciata, Plathemis trimacu-
lata, and most of the species of Diplax. In the clear
streams which rush down from the hills, Corduliu,
Epitheca, and Goraphus prevail. In order to raise any
of the species, Cyprinodonts and all other carnivorous
fishes will have to be excluded.
" I agree with you that the mosquito nuisance might be
greatly lessened by filling the mosquito breeding waters
with the larvae of dragon flies.
" I believe this might be done by securing vast numbers
of the eggs of dragon flies, protecting them until hatched,
and then turning them loose in the waters where the mos-
quitoes breed most abundantly.
" Along the seacoast, however, most of the eggs and
hibernating female mosquitoes might be exterminated by
burning the grass, in early cold weather of autumn, all
over the marshes.
" Permit me to say that I hope you will offer the prize,
as stated in your letter, and agitate the subject quite ex-
tensively. Yours sincerely,
^'l\ R. UHLEK."
The Rev. Dr. McCook, the first arachnologist of the
country, took time from his great treatise on " American
Spiders and their Spinningwork " to send me this appre-
ciative note : —
" I have received your communication of July 2d with
very great interest. * * * ^g ^o the matter of
dragon flies — you have certainly hit u})on something that
has in it immeasurable possibilities. If the dragon fly
can be domesticated and utilized to destroy the mosquito
along the New Jersey coast it will render available and
valuable millions of property now comparatively useless,
and it Avill add to tlic comfort of visitors to the 'many
14 DKAGOX FI.IES VS. MOSQUITOES.
sounding sea' inoi-e tlian can possibly be expressed. I
certainly agree ^\itll the learned gentlemen of Harvard
and Yale with whuni you have communicated, that the
subject is at least worthy of careful investigation. I
know of no experiments in the propagation of these in-
sects. I am plunged over head and ears in my * Amer-
ican Spiders and their Spinningwork.' It is the con-
sunuuation of fifteen yciirs of labor and observation, and
now I am prejiaring hundreds of engravings and colored
figures. I can be of little assistance to you, but be as-
sured of my cordial sympathy. It is, of course, possible
that the experimentation will result in nothing practica-
ble; but some of the most heli)ful schemes for the relief
of mankind have begun M-itli less promise than this which
you propose. IJudoubtedly many failures must be the in-
evitable accom})animent of a few successes; and who
knows which will be the success and which the fiiilure?"
Prof. Cope, editor of the " American Xaturalist," whose
knowledge of almost every branch of natural history is so
exact that his general statements have an unusual value,
wrote on the 9th of July : " A prize for a carefully pre-
pared practical essay on the means of multiplication of
the larger predaceous Libellulidje would be apt to bring
out something good."
Not a little encouragement toward an endeavor to turn
additional scientific light upon the question at issue Avas
received by finding in a publicati<jn of oue of our highest
entomological authorities this statement : —
" I^ittle, almost nothing, is known regarding the habits
of the dragon files, and any one ^vho can spend the neces-
sary time and patience in rearing them so as to trace up
the different stages of the larvae to the adult fly, and de-
scribe and figure them accurately, will do a good service
From Dr. Packard, whose original investigations into
the metamorphoses of the house fly are so highly appre-
ciated by scientific students, and whose publications have
done so much toward rendering the study of American
insects systematic and popular, I received upon his return
from Europe the following: "* * * I am glad you
have offered the prize. 1 hope it will elicit a great deal
of good observational Mork as to just what good dragon
flies and others do in reducing the numbers of mosquitoes.
As to house flies, I think that something practical can be
done, as the evil is more easily reached, since they breed
in stables, and by combined action their number can be
diminished. I am sure that the offer of the prize will
do a great deal of good."
After assurlntj; mvself, bv consultation with the highest
authorities, that the extensive and artificial propagation
and liberation of dragon flics could result in no conceiv-
able harm, the following circular was issued : —
" To THE Working Entomologists of the Country :
" Mosquitoes and house flies are, perhaps, the most nu-
merous, widely distributed, and persistent of the creatures
that attack the health and comfort of human beings. Of
their attacks upon our comfort every one is aware. Sci-
entific iuvestio-ation favors the belief that tuberculosis and
ophthalmia are carried from diseased persons to healthy
ones by the house fly, and German experimenters have
shown that serious blood maladies may be transmitted
by tiie mosquito.
10 DRAGON FLIP:S VS. MOSQUITOES.
"Certainly, therefore, any suggestion, however remote,
of a means of deereasing the numbers of or exterminating
these pests should be followed with all possible skill and
patience. I have observed dragon flies gathering in scores
arovmd my camp in Minnesota to fec^d on the mosquitoes.
I recently saw a dragon fly that had devoured over thirty
house flies still voracious for more. Entomologists have
observed the larvse of the dragon fly swallowing unde-
veloped mosquitoes in large nund)ers. Now, mav we not
have in the active, voracious, harmless ' mosquito haw]< '
an agency for greatly diminishing the nund^ers of the
"Prof. Baird's success in produ(!ing millions of healthy
Hsh in a few laboratory boxes and jars; the ])ropagation of
silk worms bv scores of millions from ciry^s carried half
around the world to Italy; the success of the plan for
breedinjj: foreiun bund)le bees in Australasia to fertilize the
red clover — these and many other similar facts seem to
show that scientiflc methods have reached a stage where it
is reasonable t(j hope that a plan may be devised whereby
whole tribes of noxious insects may be exterminated by
the artificial multiplication of their innoxious enemies.
"Xot being an entomologist, I have consulted with
several distinguished students of that science as to the best
means of reaching some practical result in the direction
above indicated, and they agree with me that the follow-
ing preliminary step may be usefully taken : For the pur-
pose of drawing the attention of entomologists to the
subject mentioned, I have placed in the hands of Morris
K. Jesup, Esq., President of the American Museum of
Natnral History, New York City, $200 to be paid by
him in three prizes of $150, $30, and $20 for the three
best essays based on original observations and experiments
on the destruction of mosquitoes and flies by other insects.
" The following suggestions are made as to the direction
in which the investigation should be carried and the
"1. Observations and experiments upon various insects
that destroy mosquitoes and house flies, stating the method
of and capacity of destruction.
*' 2. Observations and experiments to determine the best
dragon flies to be artificially multiplied for the two ab». e
named objects — probably species of ^schna, Libcllula,
" 3. Give detailed statements of the habits and life his-
tory of the species chosen, based on original and careful
experiments and observations.
"4. Suggest a plan for breeding the insects in large
numbers ; with a sketch of apparatus, and estimated cost
of producing them per thousand.
" 5. Formulate a plan for using the insects in the larva,
pupa, or perfect state for the destruction of mosquitoes
and flies (a) in houses, (b) in cities, (c) in neighborhoods.
" The prizes will be awarded after careful consideration
by Dr. Henry C. McCook, Vice-President of the Acad-
emy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and Vice-Presi-
dent of the American Entomological Society, and Dr. J.
S. Newberry, President of the New York Academy of
Sciences, Professor of Geology of Columbia College, and
late Chief of the Geological Survey of Ohio.
" In awarding the prizes, clearness of statement obtained
by accompanying sketches, and new and purely scientific
facts in the life history of the Libellulidse, of whicli so
little is known, will be duly considered. All the essays
18 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
received may be published wholly or in part, at the dis-
cretion of the judges, and full credit will in all cases be
given to each observer. The essays should be forwarded
by December 1st, 1889, to Mr. J. H. Winser, at the
American Museum of Natural History, Seventy-seventh
Street and Eighth Avenue, New York, to whom all com-
munications should be addressed.
"ROBERT H. LAMBORN,
" 32 Nassau Street, N. Y.
"July 15th, 1889."
The short ]ieriod given to work out and answer the
complicated questions set forth by the circular was evident
to every one, and to no one more clearly than to its
author. But that the time accorded was well used by
those entering upon the investigation, every one reading
the essays appended will be convinced, and in awarding
the prizes the distinguished judges placed on record their
appreciation of the value of the results secured and meth-
ods pursued. They say : —
"Under the circumstances, and after careful consider-
'dtion, your committee have awarded the first prize to Mrs.
Carrie B. Aaron, 1832 Pine Street, Philadelphia, and
decided that the second and third prizes should be divided
equally between Mr. Archibald C. Weeks, 120 Broadway,
New York, and Mr. "William Beutenmiiller, 182 East
Seventy -sixth Street, New York.
" The decision to divide the second and third prizes was
determined by the fact that while Mr. Beutenmiiller's
paper exhibited a vast amount of painstaking study and
laborious research of the authorities bearing npon the sub-
ject, that of Mr. Weeks conformed more closely to the
terms of the circular note under which entomologists were
asked to compete for the prizes. This fac^t, together with
the merits of his composition, seem to be a fair offset
to the greater labor bestowed upon tlie paj)er of ]Mr. Beu-
"We have pleasure in bearing testimony to the fact which
has appeared from the reading of the papers submitted,
that the various essayists have pursued their studies in a
conscientious spirit and with painstaking methods worthy
of high commendation, and which give promise that future
investigations and studies, should they seem to be justified,
will be conducted in a manner and with results in every
way creditable to American entomologists.
"Very truly yours,
"HENRY C. McCOOK,
"J. S. NEWBERRY."
It is not too much to say that the work done by Mrs.
Aaron, Mr. Weeks, and Mr. Beutenmiiller is an honor to
science, to American entomologists, and to themselves.
It is important that this good work should be re-
corded in an easily accessible and durable form and lodged
upon the shelves of our libraries. The subject is bne of
great possibilities, and, whatever the final outcome may be,
each step should be faithfully written out and the record
It is not to be supposed that the investigations here be-
gun will rest with this publication. And in order that
any observer may continue the subject to greater com])lete-
ness, reasonably clear that he is in possession of all that
the world has done in this connection up to the year 1890,
20 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
a careful bibliography has been prepared which will refer
him to all important records, in American and Enropean
publications, that beiir upon the habits of the dragon fly,
and several other questions herein handled.
The testimony given in Capt. Macauley's letter is simi-
lar to that of many residents in the treeless country w^est
of Lake Superior, and a thorough study of the character-
istics of the Libellulidse of that great region will be await-
ed with interest.
While the present one is probably the first systematic
attempt to array the Odonata against the Diptera, it is far
from being the first time that the method adopted by Cor-
tez in his much bepraised contest in Mexico, of arraying
tribe against tribe, has been adopted with advantage by
The brilliant success attending Dr. C. V. Riley's plan
of pitting the Cocci nellidse against the Coccidse by colon-
izing the Australian Vedalia cardinalis in California, there
to attack and exterminate the destructive little insect, the
Fluted scale (Icerya purchasi), that bid fair to ruin the
orange industry of the Pacific coast, is the most recent ex-
ample to the point, and grateful Californians will long
honor the scientist and the wise Government that origi-
nates and disseminates knowledge of such inestimable
The automatic method is, I am convinced, the only one
science in its present state designates as likely to finally
succeed in the warfare of extermination that humanity
has entered upon against the smaller noxious organisms,
and to this end the life history of every animate thing be-
comes a matter of public importance. If Riley saved the
orange orchards of a nation by thoroughly studying the
habits of an inconspicuous beetle, who shall say that any
living thing is too minute or too humble to be unworthy
of the gravest study of the wisest minds. "He prayeth
best who loV'Cth best all things, both great and small." A
spot of mould, a streak on a boulder, a tiny insect, may,
through the exhaustive research of a modern scientist,
possess the potentiality of blessing a famishing province
with the joy of permanent abundance.
July 4tli, 1890.
THE DIPTEROUS ENEMIES OF MAN
Their Life Histories and Structure.
A TREATISK tiN
By Mrs. C. B. AARON.
THE DIPTEROUS ENEMIES OF MAN.
Ix this, tlie conturv of invention and age of scientific
discovery, few more permanent records will be left on
the page of history than that which contains the accounts
of man's successful eiforts to master the insect world and
turn the strength or weakness of the various important
species to his use.
The stores of wealth accumulated by some all powerful
syndicate, or wrenched from a helpless community by a
seemingly resistless trust, sink into insignificance when
compared with the vast amounts in value which are an-
nually annihilated by the noxious insects of this conti-
nent. So great has been the recuperative energy of the
American people, and so easy has it seemed in the past
to prepare crops in sufficiency to allow for a large per-
centage of destruction, that the annual loss has not ap-
pealed to them, as a people, but has simply touched the
pocket book of the individual loser and attracted the at-
tention of the economic entomologist. The great volume
of work which has been done and is now in progress in
our various State experiment stations, and on a still
larger scale at our National Department of Entomology
at Washington, is far bf^'ond the ken of the public, and
is even too little appreciated by many entomologists, to
some of whom the work of suggesting new genera and
species is far more fascinating. The records of the agen-
cies for relieving man of the dread etfeets of his insect
26 DKAGON FJ.IES VS. MOSQUITOES.
enemies, which are now estimated at fifteen tliousand
species, teem with the accounts of successful experiments.
Tlie thousands of abortive attempts, which of necessity
were required to lead to final success, are not narrated,
and the magnitude of the work which they entailed is
thus lost sight of. In the United States, so free are we
from a parental form of government, national aid is by
no means a necessity, nor is it a prime factor in a large
proportion of the results coming from these lines of
The public spiritedness of private individuals has been
productive of much which is now recorded of the life his-
tories of noxious insects. It is to this class of incentives
to economic research that this essay, and others with which
it will compete, is to be attributed. Much has been writ-
ten, far more has been said in scientific gatherings, of the
mosquito and flj as destroyers of human comfort; but
the question of their utility is still unsettled, and it is to
the generosity of Dr. Kobert H. Lamborn that the pres-
ent discussion is due. If anything of value be added to
our present knowledge of these pests, the honor and credit
should be his. The circular note issued by him on the
15th of last July has brought about much beneficial dis-
cussion, which must lead to a clearer understanding of the
problem. AVe propose to discuss this subject in the fol-
lowing order : —
1. Life Histories and Structure.
2. The Medical Problem.
3. Possibilities and Cost.
4. A Bibliography.
As much that follows may be made more comprehen-
sible by figures of the creatures or articles under discus-
DIPTEROUS ENEMIES OF MAN. 27
sion, such have been added, made from original studies of
the natural object during tlie past four months. Where
any of these illustrations are taken from tlie works of
other authors, credit will be given on the leaf facing the
Equally important to a- clear understanding of this en-
tire discussion is a knowledge of the literature on the
subject. A bibliography of this sort will be found in
the appendix, with the method of its selection fullv ex-
plained. The system of reference numbers used is prob-
ably the most convenient attainable. A full reference
in parenthesis each time an authority is quoted is cum-
bersome, and foot notes are more or less distracting to tlie
attention ; consequently the bibliographical list has been
arranged alphabetically by authors or journals, and chron-
ologically under each heading. These separate references
have been numbered consecutiv^ely, and these numbers fol-
low an authority when quoted.
LIFE HISTOKIES AND STRUCTURE OF
The Culicidse for the most part prefer stagnant water
for their breeding places ; not, it is believed, for any ad-
vantages in the. food producing effect of such Miiter, but
because the enemies most dreaded by them are only
capable of prolonged life in fresher water. They have
been observed living in considerable numbers, in all stages
up to the imago, in a puddle of water, eight inches square
and one inch deep, made by the rain in an iron pulley in
a foundry yard. They are also to be observed teeming to
overcrowding in the hoof holes in boggy c©w pastures.
But the shallows occasionally overflowed and replenished
by rivulets in swamps, the stagnant pools formed by
ditches without outlets, and the vastly more numerous
murky pools made by the joining of tufts of grass in
marshes, are the usual breeding places in the rural dis-
tricts. In village and urban localities, rain tanks, un-
drained gutters, badly paved damp byways, and garden
ditches are the most fruitful places for recruiting their
numbers. These surroundings are selected by the female
with a view to the fact that from three to four weeks will
be required to perfect the changes from the egg to the
imago ; and they must be situated so as to receive suffi-
cient water from rain or outside overflow^ to replenish the
evaporation or soaking into the ground. In this selection
LIFE HISTORIES OF CULEX. 29
the female shows the usual instinct, which is so noticeable
in insect economies. E. A. Butler, " Ent. of Pond.," ^^
has described the oviposition of Culex so graphically that
no excuse is necessary for inserting it here. " Finding
some floating shred of straw, stick, grass, or other support,
the expectant mother rests her two fore legs on this, allows
the next pair gently to touch the water, and crosses the third
pair behind, to form a sort of vise in which to hold the eggs
as they are deposited. Then a long oval egg is lodged in
the angle formed by the crossed legs, with its longer diam-
eter vertical ; another following it is glued on to the side
of the first in a similar jjosition, and so on till some two
or three hundred are fastened into a sort of raft, or rather
lifeboat, as the mass is curved upward at each end.
Then the little vessel is abandoned to the mercy of winds
and wavelets, and so floats about for a few days, benefiting
by sun and air, till the growing embryos, finding their
quarters too close, push open a kind of trapdoor in the floor
of the egg, and take a dive at once into a watery home." . '^' -^
When hatched the larvse hug the sides of pools and
shallow margins ; owing to the frequency with which they
need to come to the surface for air, and the fact that they
are not deepwater feeders, they are not usually found in
the depths. jSIuch of their time is spent at the surface
Avith the orifice of the air tube just in contact with the air.
(Plate II., Fig. 4.) Here they are easily frightened by
any stir or motion from above, but pay little attention to
any dangers which may menace theni from the water.
The approach of other insects or of small fish seems to
afford them no uneasiness.
Very little is known of the feeding habits of Culicid
larvae ; the statement that they are scavengers, feeding on
30 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
decaying substances in stagnant water, is frequently met in
popular works, but there seems to be little that is conclu-
sive in these statements, and we have been unable by ob-
servation to add anything of value. That they do feed
on minute animals, such as Cyclops, Cypris, etc., we have
observed, and that they have destroyed young trout is
attested by Westwood ^'^ and others.
The external breathing apparatus of the larval Culicid
consists of a straight tube branching at an obtuse angle
near the anal extremity (Plate II., Fig. 1); this comnui-
nicates internally with the tracheal system. To use this
breathing tube, the larva needs simply to float at the sur-
face, head downward and the orifice in contact witli tiie
air. After three or four transformations the pupal stage is
reached (Plate II., Fig. 2), and here a remarkable change
in the appearance takes place. The head, thorax, legs,
and wings all being folded in one mass, and the abdomi-
nal segments being left free for the purpose of navigation,
the pupa has a very top heavy and clumsy appearance,
although it is quite as active as the larva, but not capable
Butler ^^ describes an interesting feature of this period
as follows : " The most astonishino; change of all is that
which takes place in the respiratory system ; the entrance
to this is now transferred to the opposite end of the body,
and appears as two small twisted horns projecting from
the gigantic head. * * * Therefore it turns a somer-
sault in the water, and henceforth goes about head upper-
most." (Plate II., Fig. 3.) This change takes place at
the surface of the water within two hours.
Authorities vary in their statements of the time passed
in the pupal state, but our observations on C. damnosus,
LIFE HISTORIES OF CULEX. 31
the commonest species in this h)cality, sliow that only two
days are needed in favorable weather in Augnst ; perhaps,
a longer period is required in the cooler weather of spring
As the insect approaches the imago stage it needs more
air, and consequently remains altogether at the surface,
unless disturbed from above ; it drops quickly below and
rises atj-ain almost immediatelv.
The newly formed pupa is usually nuich paler than
that of a few hours' existence, and its bulk also ajtpears
to increase slightly. When the period of emergence ai-
rives the abdominal segments are distended backwards on
the surface, and the pupa cracks through the middle of
the cephalothoracic region. Now the imago may be ^ecn
to rapidly extricate itself, using its long hind legs to i)ush
with, and balancing itself with the anterior and middle
pairs. Though it can stand for ten or fifteen minutes on
the surface free from the skin, the surface nuist be very
smooth or covered with a scum ; a high wind is siu-e de-
struction, and even small ripi)les make the task a hazard-
ous one. After the puparium is abandoned the imago
stands lightly on the water, holding up first one leg and
then another, evidently drying the feet; suddenly it takes
wing and disappears. This is the method in an open
pond or a tank ; where grass or other growth abounds
along the margins, it is usual for the imago to emerge in
such a position as to crawl directly nj) on some stalk and
proceed more rapidly. We have seen C. damnosus fly
awav in four and a half minutes from the time of emer-
gence, when there was no herbage to facilitate the j)i'o-
ceeding. From this time forth the j)rincipal object in
the remaining brief existence is the duty t)f reproduction.
32 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
To suppose that the tormenting of man occupies any con-
siderable time in the mosquito economy is certainly a mis-
take. It is only the female (Plate II., Fig. 5) which can
thus make our lives miserable. In repeated examinations
of hundreds of individual specimens we have failed to find
a single male with a distended abdomen containing human
blood, and subsequent microscopical study has shown the
male proboscis incapable of drawing blood. Dr. Bona-
via,^ in a readable article entitled "Do Mosquitoes Live on
Animal or Vegetable Juices?" relates the following: '*0n
one occasion I put a plant in a pot in my room. At night
I happened to pass by it with a lamp, and found its leaves
covered Avith mosquitoes, who appeared to me to be suck-
ing the juice of the plant. Plere, I think, I had discov-
ered a clue to the real nature of the mosquito. I think
that naturally the perfect insect lives by sucking the juices
of plants by night. * * * With the foregoing clues
I think now the statements of travelers and sportsmen
in the jungles of Burmali, and of trappers in the back-
woods of America and Canada, become intelligible."
Dr. Dimmock -^ has, by keeping a male mosquito
several days, had the satisfaction of seeing it drink freely
from a moist cloth. We have observed a male to alight
several times on a hand held perfectly motionless, and
after searching for some unfound desideratum, fly off to a
water pitcher and dip its proboscis in a drop on the rim.
We have also noticed a female on a molasses jug imbibe
freely. These habits, -and others too numerous to here
detail, as well as the fact that myriads of these pests are
born in such localities as never to enable them to find
human victims, seem to show that bloodsucking is an
acquired taste to the female alone ; and even to her it is a
LIFE HISTORIES OF CULEX. 33
secondary consideration, a means to an end — the pnrsuit
of snstenance needed until the reproductive period is
passed and her brief span is finished.
The irritating effect of the mosquito bite has long been
a source of much conflicting testimony. Especially in
the popular prints has the '^ sting of a gnat " figured as a
formidable weapon, and at times has it assumed the pro-
portions of a veritable hypodermic syringe, loaded with
the most virulent poison. From Westwood's Classifica-
tion we extract the following : '' It is supposed that at
the same time it instills into the wound a venomous
liquid, which, while it enables the blood to flow faster, is
the chief cause of the trouble." Packard,^^'* after quoting
the above, says : " So far as we are aware, no poison
glands have been demonstrated to exist in the head of
flies or other six footed insects, and we are disposed to
doubt whether any poison is poured into the wound, and
to question whether the barbed mandibles are not sufficient
to produce the irritation ordinarily accompanying the
jjunctured wound." Two biologists of our own country
have contributed nuich of our present knoMdedge of the
sucking apparatus in Culex. Dr. George Dimmock,^*
of Cambridge, and Prof Macloskie, of Princeton,^^^ have
each given the entomological world the benefit of patient
research and study in this department of Dipterology.
To the latter belongs the credit of discovering the exist-
ence and probable nature of certain glands in the antero
inferior region of the prothorax of Culex, which evidently
empty through a duct Mhich, In turn, empties into the
reservoir at the base of the hypopharynx. Says Prof.
Macloskie : "The secret was first discovered by an obser-
vation of fine droplets of a yellow, oily looking fluid
34 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
escaping from the apex of the hypopharvnx." This seems
to settle the opinion hazarded by Di-. Dimniock ^"^ when
he says that he believes, " without as yet being able to
give anatomical proof of it, that the hypopharynx of
Culex contains a duct that pours out its poisonous saliva."
We have copied such of the figures of these authors as
illustrate the discoveries made ; notes of explanation on the
page facing the plate make further mention unnecessary.
It has been demonstrated in many instances that if the
female be allowed to fill her abdomen and allowed to fly
away unmolested, the eifect of the poison is very much
reduced; in some cases entirely so. It is the interrupted
performance which produces the greatest itching. This
seems to prove that, if allowed to finish her meal un-
disturbed, the mosquito will pump back the venemo sal-
ivary secretion, whereas a quick withdrawal of the tul)e
results in the consequent abandonment of this irritating
fluid to be a source of annoyance in the flesh.
AYere our Culicid foes only occasional visitants we
would not be greatly occupied with a means for their
extermination ; it is their overpowering number which
•constitutes the chief terror. Aside from their rapidly
succeeding broods, their nonmigratory and hibernating
tendencies are especially calculated to keep up the enor-
mous numbers which Nature seems to regard as their full
Commenting on the latter, Westwood ^"^ and Young ^^^
call attention to the fact that various species of the mos-
quito tribe hibernate in houses. Our own experiments in
raising many thousands of these insects have resulted in
the presence at this writing of a large number of three
species of Culex in our cellar.
LIFE HISTORIES OF CULEX. 35
The migration of mosquitoes has been the source of
much misapprehension on the part of the pubhc. The idea
prevalent at our seaside resorts, that a land breeze brings
the swarms of mosquitoes from far inland, is based on the
supposition that it is capable of long sustained fliglit and
a certain amount of battling against the wind. Tliis is an
error. Mosquitoes are frail of M'ing; a light puff of breath
will illustrate this by hurling the helpless creature away,
and it will not venture on the wing again for some time
after finding a safe harbor. The prevalence of mosquitoes
during a land breeze is easily explained. It is usually
only during the lulls in the wind at such times that Culex
can fly. Generally on our coast a sea breeze means a stiif
breeze, and during these even the Odonata, and often the
robust and venturesome Tabanidae, will be found hover-
ing on tlie leeward side of houses, sand dunes, and thick
foliage. In the meadows south of Atlantic City, Xew
Jersey, large swarms of Culex are sheltered in the dense
grass or wind battered tree tops on the off side of the sand
dunes. Here, in common with all localities so exposed to
searching wind, the trees and large bushes are much
stunted in growth and battered down to a flat top and
common level by the wind. In these matted branches,
dense with the close clustered foliage, the mosquitoes may
be discovered in such numbers as to bring despair to the
heart of the student who is plotting their final extermina-
tion. While the strong breezes last — whether from land
or sea — Culex will stick close to these friendly shelters,
though a cluster of houses may be but a few rods off,
filled with unsuspecting mortals who imagine their tor-
mentors are far inland over the salt meadows. But if
tlie wind dies down, as it usually does when veering, out
36 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
come swarm upon swarm of the females intent upon satis-
fying their depraved taste for blood. This explains why
they appear on the field of action almost immediately
after the cessation in the strong breeze ; on the supposi-
tion that they were blown far inland, this sudden reap-
pearance would be unaccountable.
So local are the ranges of the Culicidje, that every ob-
server has noted that they may be seen year after year,
flying in tall columns, and breeding swarms in exactly
the same localities as the year previous. " E. L. A." ^
describes these swarms as " so vast that they looked like
the ascending smoke of a campfire, and so numerous that
the_hum of their myriad tiny wings could be heard at
least thirty yards." jNIagis ^^ also writes of this habit.
Unfortunatelv for us, these flights occur at an hour
when even the most untiring Odonat has betaken himself
to his night's rest, and only the swallow or whippoorwill
is likelv to make anv effective attack on these hordes.
This must be remembered when we come to a final dis-
cussion of the dragon fly as a mosquito destroyer ; their
times and habits of flight have but little in common ; not
only their daily period of flight but the annual period as
well must be noted in this connection. One or two
broods of mosquitoes appear in the middle Atlantic sea-
board region after the Odonats have become very rare or
have entirely disappeared.
It now remains merely to allude to mosquitoes as pests
in other ways than as biters, and our treatment of their
life history is finished. As harborers of hsematozoa their
menacing character will be discussed in our chapter on the
medical aspect of this subject.
That they have frequently interfered with the arts and
LIFE HISTORIES OF MUSCA AND ALLIES. 37
manufactures l)y their great numbers, J. AV. Clarke ^^
and others have narrated. Perhaps the most surprising
charge made against them is that of Murray/"^ M'ho states
that he has observed the imago of Culex hght uj)on baby
trout Avhich come to the surface of the water, and literally
pump out their unsuspecting little brains before they
Since writing the above we have been able to observe
the poison droplets alluded to by Macloskie,®^ see page
33, and have been successful in getting this minute
amount of fluid on the point of a needle. An attempt
to inoculate ourselves with the poison was, however, not
successful, owing probably to the inferiority of the needle
as an injector compared with the delicate hypopharynx.
LIFE HISTORIES AXD STRUCTURE OF
IklUSCA AXD ALLIES.
It is not our purpose to devote as much space to the
early stages and habits of Musca and its allies as has
been given to Culex, for the following reasons : —
1. They are better understood and the descriptions in
the various text books of the science are fuller and more
accurate in detail.
2. In the larval or maggot stage they are undoubtedly,
as a family, not open to the attacks of the Odonata, and,
consequently, only such habits of life which place them in
the enemy's reach need be discussed.
3. In the imago state the most casual observer has a fair
opportunity to judge for himself just how far the house fly
38 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
is liable to attack from insect enemies ; such liability can
be left to another chapter for discussion.
As an introduction to our consideration of these insects
it is well to premise our account by the statement that we
will take IVIusca domestica as the type of its group, and all
that hereafter follows will apply to that species, unless it
is otherwise stated.
]M. domestica of this country is undoubtedly the same
insect as the domestica of Europe, its identity and intro-
duction to this country having furnished the systematists
much food for interesting discussion in the past.
One peculiar item of its sygtematic position is that the
name is misleading ; Prof. Snow ^^^ has pointed out that
Domestica is the first visitor at any camp in our back-
woods in North America, no matter how remote from
civilization ; and in using the sweeping net for minute
insects in grass, shrubs, or trees we find Domestica well
represented ; and it can as well be called the commonest
insect aAvay from domestic surroundings as in our houses.
Packard ^^^ has given us a full description of the oviposi-
tion of Musca, the principal facts gleaned from which are
as follows : Fresh horse manure, with plenty of heat and
moisture, furnishes the best food for the young maggot.
From a hundred to a hundred and fifty eggs are de-
posited in irregular, loose sacs, usually within eighteen
hours, and hatching in twenty-four hours or less. The
maggots moult twice ; the three stages of larval develop-
ment being of the following periods ; first stage, one day ;
second stage, from twenty-four to thirty-six hours ; third
stage, three or four days. To this maximum period of
seven days is to be added the same length of time for the
pupal life ; thus it will be seen that fifteen or sixteen days
LIFE HISTORIES OF MUSCA AND ALLIES. 39
are required for tlie entire developiiient from egg to
These stages are illustrated in Plate IV., Figs. 8 and 9.
The rapid changes following so rapidly in generation
after generation make it impossible for the student to sep-
arate broods, and it is therefore easj to account for the
immense numbers of house flies Mhich are everywhere and
always present. Even in years when flies are, by com-
parison with former seasons, said to be scarce, they are
still present in sufficient numbers to be safely considered
the most plentiful insect in America. Harrington ^^ in a
readable, popular account quotes Linne to the effect that
three flesh flies "with their progeny could eat up a dead
horse as quickly as a lion could." This truth, impossible
as it seems at first, coming as it does from the great nat-
uralist, explains why, when the season ftivors and its
natural enemies are greatly abated in numbers, these in-
sects — the whole tribe of ]\Iuscina? — are to be found in
swarms defying computation. S. A. kStewart ^^^ speaks of
a "plague of flies" in Ireland in 1878, so extensive that
stones and plants for about one and a half miles along
the Bann were completely covered Avith the pupa cases,
from which "they issued in millions and attacked both
men and cattle." In a few days the ground was strewii
with the dead flies, in some places lying three inches deep.
J. H. Smith ^^® writes of a column of flies, thought to be
M. domestica, issuing from a crack in the wall of the
palace at Delhi, India. In a band about seven inches
wide they marched out of the shadow of the building,
and as soon as their wings dried in the warm sunlight
took flight. They could not be made to alter their course
by any form of tormenting or destruction which occurred
40 . DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
to the narrator. " Nature " ^^^ published a resume of the
newspaper accounts of the fly plague which occurred dur-
ing August and early September, 1880, in Canada and
northern New York. The buzzing of these swarms was
distinctly heard by many who missed seeing them. The
swarms resembled dark clouds and lasted many hours
while passing. The steamer " Martin," on the Hudson,
near Newbnrgh, New York, encountered what seemed a
"great drift of black snow, reaching from shore to shore,
as far as the eye could reach. There were millions upon
millions of these flies, and they hurried northward as
thick as snowflakes driven by a strong; wind."
The popular and semiscientific journals abound with
accounts like the above, and many references could be
made ; but these will suffice. When we come to that
phase of its life histories in which the testimony for or
against the nnobstructed existence of M. domestica is to
be gleaned, we find that comparatively little has yet been
discovered. In our chapter on the medical aud economic
character of the subject a full discussion will be found.
"Doubtless the great majority of people," says Har-
rington, ^2 " would affirm that the house fly is in the habit
of biting persons. But, from the formation of the fly's
proboscis (Plate IV., Fig. 5) with its feebly developed
mandibles, it hardly seems probable that the skin could
be punctured. * * * However this may be, it appears
that the culprit who thus assails, especially during show-
ery weather and late in the season, is a distinct species,
although it so closely resembles M. domestica. Its name
is Stomoxys calcitrans, and it is distinguished by its long
horny beak, which, as pointed out by De Geer, has a " long
_and very sharp lancet sliding in a groove, while the fleshy
LIFE HISTORIES OF MUSCA AND ALLIES. 41
sucking disks at the extremity of the proboscis are small and
inconspicuous as compared with those of the house fly."
Plate IV., Figs. 4, Q, gives an idea of the differences
between this savage genus of biters and the more numer-
ous, but less rabid, Musca. In describing the wonderful
adaptability of the mouth parts, Packard (Guide, page
409) says : " In the proboscis of the house fly the liard
parts are obsolete, and instead we have a fleshy, tongue-like
organ (Plate IV., Fig. 5), bent up underneath the head
when at rest, the maxillae are minute, and the palpi (mp)
are single jointed, and the mandibles (m) comparatively
useless, small, and short compared with the lancet like jaws
of the mosquito or horse fly. The structure of the tongue
itself (labium, 1) is most curious. When the fly settles
upon a lump of sugar, or other sweet object, it unbends
its tongue, extends it, and the broad, knob like end divides
into two flat nuiscular leaves (1), which thus present a
sucker-like surface, wntli which the fly laps up liquid
sweets. * * * The inside of this broad, fleshy ex-
pansion is rough like a rasp, and, as Newport states, 'is
easily employed by the insect in scraping or tearing deli-
The foregoing gra])liic description of this organ, the ac-
curacy of which we have carefully verified by minute ex-
amination, seems to demonstrate that the house fly is not
Alluding to its raison d'etre, a subject which fittingly
closes this chapter, the same author ^^^ (p^ige 479) writes:
"It should be remembered that flies have an infancy as
maggots, and the loathsome life they lead as scavengers
cleanses and purifies the August air, and lowers the death
rate of our cities and towns. Tints the vounu; of the
42 DRAGON flip:s vs. mosquitoes.
house fly, the flesh fly, and the blow fly, with their thou-
sand allies, are doing something towards puritying the
pestilential air and averting the summer brood of cholera,
dijihtheria, and typhoid fevers which descend like harpies
upon the towns and cities. This useful species, to which
man owes more than he can readily estimate, and with
M'hich he can dispense only when the health of our cities
and towns is looked after with greater vigilance and intel-
ligence than is perhaps likely to be the case for several
centuries to come."
As belonging less to life history and more to the do-
main of the medical question, we omit from this portion of
the essay all mention of such species of Diptera as Qi^strus,
Anthoniyia, et al., which are known to be inimical to the
health and comfort of man by reason of the hypodermic
or intestinal habits of their larvae.
Several continental writers believe that the oily papillfe
which enable flies to adhere to smooth surfaces, are the
means of transporting disease. The fly's foot is illus-
trated Plate III., Fig. 4.
LIFE HISTORIES AXD STRUCTURE OF THE
Ix approaching the life histories of the Odonata, we
find ourselves confronted with a more complicated series
of events, and a far more difficult problem to solve.
AVliile the preparatory stages approximate those of the
CulicidfB, the imagos, on the other hand, are possessed of
habits which, on account of their powerful flight and wary
nature, are extremely hard to observe.
LIFE HISTORIES OP THE ODONATA. 43
Much which is now known is the result of chance ob-
servation, and the patient research of several seasons is
needed to throw light on the subject now under our con-
sideration. In their habits of flight the Odonata may be
divided into three groups, and these are nearly classifica-
tory in value, though not absolutely so. The first group,
comprising such genera as Agrion, Lestes, Calopteryx, et
al., usually known as the "hammer headed dragon flies"
(Plate YI., Figs. 4, 5), frequent the grassy margins of pools
and ponds, and the low bushes and shubbery by swamps.
Flving from stalk to stalk, darting after insects, they are
typically the hawks of the minuter insect world. The
second group, with true ^schna and Corduligaster as its
principal representative genera (Plate L, Fig. 2), are high
fliers and mighty knights of the upper air. They are the
largest of their suborder. They haunt the tall shuljbery,
the middle and upper portions of the trees, seldom come
within easy reach of the collector, and are less frequently
seen over the ponds and waterways. They are preemi-
nently the enemies of all juicy winged insects which leave
the lower levels in their flight. Seemingly, no insect is
too large to tempt them to an onslaught, and this rapa-
cious disposition is often the cause of many a midair
conflict between two or more of their own kind. Their
flight is more sustained than others of ihe Odonata;
they seem to be ab.solutely untiring. From early morn
until evening they are constantly on the wing, seldom
resting save to devour their prey, and not always stop-
ping for that. On account of their later hours it would
seem that this branch of the family are best suited for
an untiring warfare against the evening flying Dip-
44 DKAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
The third group, with the genera Gomphus* and Anaxf
of the a'Eschnina, and Cordnlia, Traniia, Libellula,* Di-
plax,* etc., of the LibeUulina, is far the most diversified
in its habits and numerous in both species and individ-
uals. These dragon flies are nearly as swift on the wing
as ^schna, l)ut not capable of the sustained and lofty
flights. Sunset finds most of them safely ensconced for
the night, and they do not leave their dew bespangled
couches as early as either the ''hammer heads" or "high
fliers." In their methods of oviposition there is but little
latitude for variation. Uhler (Packard ^'^) has observed
Libellula auripennis drop a bunch of eggs while balan-
cing herself just above the surface of the water, and tiie
same insect he has seen settled upon the reeds in brackish
water with her abdomen submerged and there attach a
cluster of eggs. Others of the same genus fly at the
water with a dash, striking the end of the abdomen, and
deposit eggs on the surface. Todd,^*'- calling attention to
this habit in a species of ^schna, suggests that it may
serve as a bath to rid them of parasites. Davis,-'- Dunn,-^
Weir,^"*^ Todd,^^2 and Aaron ^ have all noted the habits
of various species which go beneath the Mater for some
distance. Todd has seen a Libellula remain under water
for half an hour depositing eggs on a stem. M'Lach-
lan^^ has called attention to Agrion mercuriale with a
part of the abdomen incrusted with mud, caused by sink-
ing its eggs in the mud left from dried up pools. Pack-
ard has observed Perithemis domitia depositing its eggs
on floating refuse on a pond. Lacase-Duthiers is quoted
by Packard,^''* as authority for the fact that the Agrions
* See Plate VI., Figs. 4, 1, and 2.
t See Plate I., Fig. 1.
LIFE HISTORIES OF THE ODONATA. 45
make a little notch in the plant for their eggs. With
the exception of this last habit, all that has been nar-
rated has been verified by our personal observation.
On the 12th of October five pairs of Diplax rubicun-
dula were all together in a little bay hardly two feet
square, which ran in from a reedy pool, depositing eggs
so earnestly that the observer was allowed to approach
very close. Two downward strokes of the abdomen
seemed to be necessary to deposit the eggs, which floated
for an instant, although some went at once to the bot-
tom. We are of the opinion, based on personal obser-
vation, that this habit of ovipositing very materially
aids the female in flight and thus enables her to elude
the everwatchful frogs which lie in wait at such times.
Many a hapless female and her carefully deposited clus-
ter of eggs disappear down the cavernous gullet of the
It is evidently with the view of preventing this catas-
trophe that the female of a species of JEschna, as related
by Marchal,^^ has been observed to plaster its eggs with
sand or nuid at the margin of the pool. For the pur-
poses of study, the eggs of the Odonata are readily ob-
tained ; gentle pressure on the abdomen of an egg laden
female will furnish a few.
Owing to the protracted development, we have been
unable to determine the exact length of time required for
the eggs to hatch.
European entomologists give periods varying from six
days to several months, the latter being the case when the
winter is passed in this stage. A lot of Diplax rubicun-
dula eggs obtained early this fall are yet unhatched and will
probably pass the winter so. Packard"^ has described
4G DKAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
the egg development of Diplax minutely, and we can add
nothing to his fnll details.
Odonat larvie are sluggish and unable to make quick,
well directed movements of the whole body. The powers
of locomotion are very poor when their predatory habits
are considered ; the legs are feeble and used for crawling
and burrowing in the mud. The larva, however, possesses
a locomotory power which is derived from its ability to
suddenly force out the water contained in its abdomen,
thereby propelling the body forward for some distance ;
but this function is not entirely under control, the larva
cannot always strike the desired point. It is here that a
most remarkalde structure plays an important part. On
turning over one of these insects it will be found that the
under lip is greatly enlarged and is folded over the mouth
parts so as to earn the name of " mask." Plate V., Figs.
3 and 5, show how it is hinged, and the formidable ex-
tremity. It seems that all the muscular energy and
powers of quick perception were attached to this organ.
Nothing can exceed the rapidity with which the mask is
shot forward and its helpless prey is seized. Then this
arm-like lip is used as a fork to hold the food which it
slowly feeds into the capacious jaws. The size and struct-
ure of this '* mask " clearly indicate, in our opinion, that
such puny victims as Culicid larvse were never intended
as the natural food to be seized by an appendage Avhich is
capable of catching and firmly holding prey quite as large
as the insect to which the mask belongs. Packard ^^^
regards the Odonata as scaveno-ers ; he savs: "In the water
they prey upon young mosquitoes and the larvse of other
noxious insects, * * * j^i^j cleanse the swamps of
miasmata." If, as stated by the same author, mosquitoes
LIFE HISTORIES OF THE ODOXATA. 47
also destroy miasmata, the fact that Odonats feed upon
them would seem to remove them from the category of
useful scavengers. As a matter of fact we have been un-
able to get them to eat anything in the least decayed.
Their preference is for fresh and living food. The Italian
entomologists recommend pieces of fresh fish for feeding
Odonata in captivity, but urge that they be supplied with
fresh sweet food. Biro'^ states that nearly fifty thousand
young fish were destroyed by a species of Libellulina in a
pond in Hungary. Riley and Howard '-^^ mention a case,
on the authority of Mr. W. L. Jones, of Atlanta, Georgia,
where the larva) of Anax Junius were found feeding on
young carp. In our several aquaria we have studied the
apjietites of our larvae under varying circumstances, and
feel prepared to state that, even with thousands of Culex
larvse provided for them, the young Odonats will exhaust
every other source of food first and then attack each other.
This latter habit is a serious one when artificial propaga-
tion is to be considered. Poulton^-'' thinks that cannil)al-
ism among larvse frequently arises from scarcity of food,
but our experience leads us to believe that they are canni-
bals from choice.
Species of Agabus geoffria and allied genera, and Xo-
tonecta undulata, furnish the young dragon fly with dainty
food, and while there remain any of these the Culex
larvffi are unmolested. The slender, soft bodied " wrig-
glers " usually succeed in eluding the ratlier ponderous
apparatus evidently intended for larger, hard bodied game.
As the Odonat grows towards maturity (Plate V.,
Fig. 2) its form becomes more graceful and its movements
less clumsy, but it is still sluggisli and })refers to remain
at the muddy l)ottom. Butler ^^ thus describes this habit :
48 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
"When you have brought yourself to perform the dis-
agreeable task of hauling out of a dirty pond a mass of
slimy weeds and fetid mud, and have deposited it on the
bank, you see the mass here and there heaving with the
struo-o-les of these uo-lv brutes as thev work their way into
davlio-ht and drag their grimv bodies out of the tenacious
and unsavory mess. What a contrast between this sordid
life and the gay and brilliant existence of the shiny winged
How these creatures breathe is almost a mystery. Ha-
gen"*^ has described the wonderful apparatus which enables
them to respire under any circumstances. Cabot ^^ and
Packard "^ also give details of the same, which are so full
it is only necessary to refer the reader to those authors.
The duration of the stages from the egg to the imago
has not been determined.
Enough is known, however, to lead us to believe that
very few species, if any, are two brooded. Most of the
species are known to live in the imago state a long while,
and oviposition is carried on for a number of days by the
same individual. Larvae of the same brood develop un-
equally, some far outstripping their fellows in rapid
growth and utilizing their tardy companions as the prin-
cipal articles in their bill of fare. From nine to ten
months is required to perfect the dragon fly, whose winged
existence is enjoyed but for a few weeks at most.
When the time for the imago to emerge arrives, the
pupa climbs out of the water on some stalk or dry place;
the back yawns and the perfect insect, a knight in mail, a
very prince of the insect realm, emerges, ready to " tilt
against the field."
Now our Odonats have reached the period in their
LIFE HISTORIES OF THE ODOXATA. 49
tedious and varied existence wlieii, if ever, they are to do
the most effective work in thinning the Culicid ranks.
Enough has been written of the hours and habits of flight.
The season of their usefuhiess is for the most part re-
stricted to the warm weather. Thev become rarer about
the time that mosquitoes are the most obnoxious.
In the matter of flight they are very local, seldom
stravino- from their accustomed haunts, save in case of
migration. To us it seems impossible to conceive that
they could ever be brought to frequent deep woods or city
streets ; yet these widely dissimilar localities are each fer-
tile breeding places for Culex.
In their feeding habits the Odonats are very difficult to
watch. Our experiments and observations lead us to be-
lieve that they prefer robust, meaty insects, such as grass-
httppers and bugs. The study of their food preferences
in confinement is most misleading. So rapacious are they,
so fierce in disjiosition, and so well adapted for aiiy kind
of chewing, that they will eat anything which is forced
upon their notice. In one case an Anax Junius devoured
with evident relish seven of its own abdominal segments
which were severed from the rest of its body.
The habit of migration among dragon flies will militate
against their efficiency as mosquito destroyers. This pe-
culiarity has drawn the attention of entomologists for
many years past. Newton, ^'^- Van Hasslet,^^^ Kuwert,^^
Van Bemmelen,^^^ and Chvzer ^^ have all noted extensive
migrations in Sweden, Denmark, Tlie Hague, Rotterdam,
and Hungary; in one instance lasting four days. Ma-
thew,^^ Shaupp,^^^ and Froniont ^^ have observed migrat-
ing swarms at sea, far from land. Torrey^*"^ gives an
account of a flight at Weymouth, ]Massachusetts, extending
50 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
a quarter of a mile wide and lasting from 8 A. M. until
it was too dark at night to see them. A close observer
watched a flight at Cape May this season, and adds very
pertinently, " The mosquitoes were as plentiful at the time
Southeastern Texas and east Tennessee are localities
where migrating Odonats are no uncommon spectacle.
Several of the above writers have attributed this most
interesting habit to the fact that the ponds drying up in
the neighborhood caused them to abandon their haunts in
self defense. Such an explanation must surely fail near
the seaboard, where many of these swarms occurred. Be
the cause what it may, it will be a difficult habit to over-
come in case these insects are bred in ^^•holesale quantities.
Finally, we must consider the enemies of the Odonata.
In the egg state we have found a small red mite, an Arach-
nid, which skims rapidly over the water in search of an
Odonat egg, upon which it either deposits an egg or exca-
vates it for immediate nourishment. A minute Diptron,
genus unknown, was also seen to oviposit on the egg of
In laying her eggs the dragon fly has always to guard
against frogs, as Ave have already noted. In the larval
state their enemies are considerably multiplied. Belosto-
ma, Notonecta, and Ranatra and insects of that ilk all
prey upon the young larvie ; they in turn return the atten-
tion when they reach the latter stages. Forbes ^^ points out
their liability to attacks from fish. The fact that they are
in this stage their own worst enemy has been mentioned.
To the perfect dragon fly, we have been unable to find
any constant enemy save the birds ; even they do not seem
to select this food with much relish.
MEDICAL PROBLEM. 51
Hersey^* considers them favorite food with the fly
catchers ; M'Lachlan ^* believes these attacks only inci-
dental ; and Thomas discusses the swallow iu this ca-
THE MEDICAL PROBLEM.
The disao-reeraent between the two schools of students
relative to the annihilation of Culex and Musca seems to
be an almost irreconcilable one with the present light
which M^e now possess.
A large and eminent school of scientists believe it un-
safe to overthrow the equipoise of Nature, or, more prop-
erly speaking, that due proportion of individuals in the
animal kingdom. They urge that Nature has eliminated
all useless species and that there is no safety in destroying
any living thing, lest we annihilate some function Avhich
will leave us far worse off for the need of it.
But an equally numerous school take the ground that it
is incumbent upon man to first ascertain the exact nature
of any creature, and utilize or destroy as in his judgment
may seem best. With such creations as the Canada this-
tle, the potato beetle, or the Colorado grasshopper they
hold no parley. Without stopping to question its place in
the economy of Nature, they simply treat such pest as un-
alloyed evil, to be exterminated as quickly as possible,
gladly risking the effects of the outrage thus offered, that
the great evils worked by the species may be prevented.
Whether the mosquito or house fly is to be treated
as an evil it is hardly possible to decide. If the more
harmful relatives of the house fly could be separated from
52 DKAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
it and proceeded against as a distinct class, tlie problem
would be capable of solution.
The obscurity of the facts having to do with human
parasitism and the difficulty of following the feeding
habits of the mosquito and fly in Xature make it very dif-
ficult to come to any definite conclusions. The medical
literature on this subject is too conflicting to guide the
student in forming a final judgment.
The principal charges against Culex are as follows :
(1.) Its female is an unalloyed pest in the imago state, by
reason of its acquired fondness for human blood. (2.) It
is a harborer of Haematozose and consequently a constant
menace to man by virtue of the fact that, as host of these
dread enemies, it helps them towards a period of develop-
ment wdiere they become a serious visitant in the human
system. (3.) It is argued that if it can harbor and trans-
mit such diseases as arise from Filaria and other forms, it
may also be the means of inoculating with malaria and
other diseases. In other words, if Filaria sanguinis hom-
inis can be passed into Culex, the far smaller germs be-
lieved to be the prime cause of these other diseases can
easily be transmitted in the same way or by the more di-
rect method of inoculation by puncture with the proboscis.
There is room for much useful research in this Filaria
problem. Our present knowledge may be epitomized as
follows : Lewis "^ has found twenty female mosquitoes out
of a hundred and forty to be infested with H?ematozoa ;
McLeod, commenting on this, states that the diseases aris-
ing from Filaria in the blood " are very serious." Man-
son ®^ estimates that the blood of one man may at one
time contain at least two million embryo Filarise. As
the individuals of such a brood could not attain any size
MEDICAL PROBLEM. 53
within one human, it becomes necessary for them to have
an intermediary host or *' nnrse," as it has been termed.
In this capacity Culex is said to act; the theory further
calls for the death of Culex and the taking into the hu-
man system the further matured Filaria through "water
in which Culex has died. IManson's experiments are in-
teresting. They are commented on by Dr. Cobbold, who
was strongly impressed. Sonsino ^°'^ has also written on
King ^^ has, in a very readable way, brought charges
against Culex as the cause of malarious diseases. He
reasons on the fact that mosquitoes are found where ma-
laria abounds. It seems to us, as it does to Stebbins,^'^^
that the reasoning should have proceeded in the reverse
direction. Malaria and Culex are widely separated at the
seashore, as many can testify who leave their city homes
to escape the former and are persecuted by the latter.
Liegard narrates the symptoms produced by Culex
pungicus in France, and an account of the serious effects
of an unknown species in the city of Mexico is given in
"Science." 182 *
Vague and unsatisfactory as these charges seem to be,
they are sufficiently suggestive as to warrant greater atten-
tion than they have yet received.
Against Musca we find much graver charges and more
The published researches of Grassi ^^ have been of re-
cent years the most important, and those on which other
papers have been based. Packard ^^^ abstracts the above,
and states that they " go to show that flies are agents in
the diffusion of infectious maladies, epidemics, and even
54 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Grassi's experiments consisted principally in placing the
eggs of a human Nematoid (tape worm) parasite on a
plate, from which the flies sucked them up, for they w^ere
found in the excreta spots on sheets of white paper hung
up for that purpose. The same results were obtained with
the ripe segments of Taenia solium, another tape worm.
" E. P. AV.,"^^^ reviewing the discoveries and speaking
of the fly's food, says : " It may be the expectoration of a
phthisical or the ejecta of a typhoid patient, but, irre-
spective of the material, their next visit may be to the
moist lips or eyes of a human being." He adds : " It
seems scarcely doubtful that in Egypt ophthalmia is con-
stantly carried by such winged visitors." Taylor,^'^*^ Gi-
rard,"*^ and Leidy ^^ record instances in which flies have
spread gangrene and other diseases.
We may dismiss Musca domestica with a plea in its be-
half, that as a well known scavenger it is far too useful
to man to warrant its extermination without mature de-
Leaving the sucking group and coming to the biters, we
have to deal with a very different state of things.
Stomoxys calcitrans is the species of the biters which
is most frequently taken for Domestica, as it is a common
visitor in our houses. It is referred to on page 40, and
its proboscis is illustrated on Plate IV., Fig. 4. Riley and
Howard ^^^ bear testimony to its powers as a biter. Akin
to it is the recently imported horn fly, Haematobia serrata
(Plate IV., Fig. 1), which has been quite common in houses
during the rainy season this fall ; we apprehend that it
will soon be one of our " house flies."
Anthrax, or malignant pustule, a disease much dreaded
in certain countries, has, according to Macleay,^^ been
MEDICAL PROBLEM. OO
traced t(i the l)Ite of an unrecorded species of fly which
has feasted on animals dead from splenic fever, anthrax,
charbon, or Cumberland disease — all names for one mal-
ady affecting cattle.
" Bacillus anthracis, the organism which is the cause of
the disease," says Macleay, '' is most tenacious of life ; it
has been known to retain its vitality in dried bones and
skins for years. Where a carcass has been buried a depth
of twelve feet, the Bacilli will in course of years find its
way to the surface in the bodies of earth worms." On the
other hand, Taschenberg believes that anthrax is not convey-
ed bv flies. Both sides are in need of much added research.
Various species of Hypoderma larvse are occasionally
addicted to burrowing beneath the human skin, though
the lower animals seem to be their natural prey. Hypo-
derma bovis (Plate IV., Fig. 2) is supposed to be the species
which Allen^ found under the skin of a lad who had been
bathing in a stream running through a pasture. The
symptoms caused by these insects are called " warbles " or
"bots." Schoyen,^'*-^ Ormerod,^*^^ and others allude to sim-
Of the same origin is the disease known as " myiasis,"
caused by the screw worm, the imago of ^^'hich is Macil-
laria hominivorax. (Plate IV., Fig. 7.) Marchi, Low,''^
and Williston^'^ all remark on this disease. Snow ^^^ gives
full details of our present knowledge of this terrible
species. Matas®^ says it is the habit of this insect to fly
suddenly into the ear, nose, or mouth, or light on a sore,
and quickly deposit a few eggs. These soon hatch and the
screw like worms (Plate IV., Fig. 7) begin at once their
task of eating away the tissues until removed or the death
of the patient ensues.
56 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
An occasional fly gets into the human nose or ear (La-
boiilbene^^); but this is so infrequent as to indicate that
it is probably as much a surprise to the fly as to the
Maddox^^ finds that if a bit of sugar well saturated
with a bacilliated fluid, is placed in the reach of flies,
they will partake of it, and be attacked with violent de-
jections, in which bacilli will be found in motion.
Anthrax rods, Bacillus anthracis, ^vere also taken up
in the same May. Balbiani^ and Forbes^'' have each
written of the flies' susceptibility to inoculation by bacilli.
Schoch 1^ and Taschenberg have treated of these insects
as the cause of malarious diseases.
AVilliams^''^ queries whether it is not better to bear these
evils than to run the risks incident to their removal.
Riley ^^^ shows how easy it is to mistake a useful scav-
enger for a harmful parasite.
Tlie sudden appearance in new localities, and the in-
jurious habits assumed by certain species, are illustrated
by Riley and Howard ^^^ in the case of tlie horn fly ; the
mosquito, " Science " 1^2 . ^nd the buffalo gnat, Buck.^*'
Brauer^ treats of CEstrus, and its attacks on man,
bibliographically ; Jacobs ^^ also writes of these insects.
Diptera have frequently been cast up by vomiting.
Laboulbene,*^*^ Packard. ^^^
Spicer ^^^ has published and illustrated interesting ma-
terial on human flesh-eatino^ flies.
The foregoing, but a brief indication of what has been
written, will give the reader an insight into this most in-
teresting phase of medico entomological research. A full
bibliography of the subject will be found in the Catalogue
of the Library of the United States Surgeon-General.
POSSIBILITIES AND COSTS. 57
THE POSSIBILITIES AND COSTS.
The insecticide substances and other means for arthro-
pod extermination now known to economic science are
legion. An acquaintance with their properties, and a
knowledge of the experiments which have been made
with them, require years of study and research. It is not
our design to treat of tlie mctliods of the work already
done, or the nature of most of these remedies. A fair
understanding of the former may be obtained by consult-
ing Comstock,^^ and the latter by referring to Riley.'-*"^"'^
There are some insecticides which can best be discussed
at this time. They are substances as will by their union
with water destroy larval life. Chief among these is the
well known pyrethrum or Persian insect powder. That it
is one of our most important insecticides may be judged
from the prominence given it in all our Government re-
ports. But it is far too expensive to be of practical value
in the cases now under our consideration. To mix it in
ponds or pools, or heaps of compost, in sufficient quantities
to overcome dipterous larvse, is quite beyond our calcula-
tions. To attempt to use it against the adult fly or mos-
quito is equally visionary. Various insecticides which
come next in importance, as best adapted to the conditions
in which larval Culex and ]\Iusca are to be found, are
naphtha, sulphurous exhalations, ammoniated water, and
naphthalin. None of them, however, are sufficiently cheap
or easy of application to answer our purposes. The reader
may consult Cornelius,'^ Kiley,^-^ Gratacap,^ and Miot.^^
As partaking of the nature of the above, and being cheap
58 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
and reiidily applied, petroleum in its various prescribed
dilutions may be given a very important place in this
list. Its many qualities commended themselves to us
early in our search after the possibilities, and the great
measure of success met will be discussed further on.
Petroleum compounds have had favorable mention from
several writers in our bibliography — notably, Cornelius,^^
Leaving the inorganic insecticides, we come to a class
of vegetable poisons belonging to the fungoids. Here we
find at once a most difficult, yet promising field ; one that
seems to us to be a more promising one than any yet ex-
plored. As an introduction to this subject we may men-
tion that classic of scientific research by Pasteur ^^^ on the
diseases of the silk worm. So suggestive is this work, so
full of food for thought, that it is surprising to note how
very little has really been accomplished in the study of
The Entomophthorfe, fungoid growths upon insects,
are undoubtedly a potential class of insecticides, with
great recuperative and reproductive capacities, and are
seemingly so organized as only to need a thorough in-
troduction into a colony to enable them to carry on their
death dealing mission. Hagen,^*"'^^ quoting from the late
Dr. Bail, of Germany, asserts that the common Ento-
mophthora musca, or "■ Fly fungus," is none other than
the still more common fungus of yeast fermentation. It
is also said to be identical with the common " mould "
so annoying to housekeepers. In several papers ■*''> "*' ' ^^ he
enlarges considerably upon this theory, and is answered
in the negative by Lancaster ^^ and Prentiss,^'^ both of
whom state that yeast fungus is not a reliable insecticide.
POSSIBILITIES AND COSTS. 59
On the other hand, Leidy,^^ Pasteur/^^ Giard,"*^ Bessey,^
Comstock/^ and many others have testified to the deadly
eifects of the various species of the Entomophthorse.
All observers are familiar with the sight of a house
fly fastened to a window pane by a filmy fungus or cob-
webby growth, or with a caterpillar covered with little
vegetable growths, both members of this insect killing
group. Very little is known of the methods by which
insects may be made to inoculate each other with these
germs. Our own bibliography must not be taken as an
indication of the number of papers written on the sub-
ject, as we have only included a few representing epochs
in this research, and for additional literature we refer to
Forbes' ^^ most complete list.
We regret that our experiments have been unproduc-
tive of anything new, and have contributed nothing to
set at rest the dispute as to their effectiveness.
We believe that the propagation of such forms as at-
tack the house fly should receive more attention from ex-
perimenters ; that is, if the extermination of Musca do-
mestica is to be regarded as a wise move.
Packard'"^ has pointed out that Nature's means of pre-
venting the too rapid increase of insect life is largely
through the medium of parasitic insects. There are sev-
eral insects which prey upon both families of Diptera
now under consideration, but none of them to such an
extent as do the various species of the Odonata.
The preparatory stages of the Culicidse and INIuscida)
are passed under such widely diverse conditions, the
Odonata will have to be considered under different heads.
There are other problems yet untouched by investi-
gators. Prominent among them is that of solar physics,
60 DRAGOISr FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
to ^vhicll Riley, Packard, and Thomas ^^^ have given some
attention in the case of other insects.
The ranltiplication of electric lights may hold forth
some promises, as nrged by some writers, though we be-
lieve that neither Culex nor Musca is likely to be greatly
decreased by this method.
Having discussed those insecticides which are generally
applicable to this work of extermination, we come now to
more specific considerations, to be taken up in detail.
The Culicidse are much more vulnerable in their larval
state, and a consideration, of their early stages yields sev-
eral new points. The means for extermination may be
divided into natural and artificial insecticides and destruc-
tive methods. Under the former may be classed all
chemical or animal enemies, aquatic Hemiptera and Co-
leoptera, fish, Odonata larvae, etc. Of the latter class,
flushing the breeding places with water, draining swamps^
and creating active artificial currents may be mentioned.
Aquatic predatory insects may be dismissed at once ; while
such have been observed to be inimical to the Odonata
while in their earliest stages, such genera as Notonecta,
Ranatra, Geoifria, et al., do not bother themselves with the
slender Culicidte, which lacks substance and pulpiness.
Fish are active and untiring in their efforts to thin out
the Culicid ranks. A small sunfish taken from our
aquarium and put into one of our many tanks of water
well filled with these larvte, had soon to be removed, as he
reduced the ranks too rapidly. Unfortunately it is sel-
dom that fish can be utilized, as Culex usually selects for
oviposition those pools and stagnant ponds where fish can-
not live. Where the breeding ponds or marshes are near
the seashore or inland bays, flushing these pest holes will
POSSIBILITIES AND COSTS. 61
be found an excellent remedy. If plenty of rapidly run-
ning water can be forced into these places and cause them
to overflow into main waterways, the Culicids will be de-
voured by minnows and other small fish to a great extent.
For this purpose we would recommend windmills. The
farmer or neighborhood Avhicli is annoyed by the prox-
imity of a mosquito rendezvous can, by means of a wind-
mill pump the stagnant pools into the stream, or, if there
be no nearby running water, the pools or marsh can be
drained to one point by digging a small pool at a lower
level. From this the water can be pumped and thrown
back upon the land. In this way a circulation of rapidly
moving water may be maintained, and in it Culex cannot
live. In addition to ridding the neighborhood of mos-
quitoes, this plan will also purify the atmosphere of much
of the miasmatic influences which arise from swamps and
stagnant bodies of water.
Where the area of mosquito breeding territory is large,
it will be necessary to drain on a large scale. When the
infested ponds are near the sea, the waves may be made to
communicate their resistless power to a large float, the ris-
ing and falling of which will set in motion the plunger of
a mammoth pump. Very many swampy tracts may be
filled in with earth. If this is done systematically in
connection with these other methods, many a neighbor-
hood now almost uninhabitable will find a rising market.
In the imago state, Culex is much more difficult to
reach with destructive agents. To prevent mosquitoes from
biting, various washes and decoctions have been well tried.
Quassia water and oil of pennyroyal arc strongly recom-
mended. Outside of houses at night time the principal ene-
mies of Culex are probably night hawks, whippoorwills.
62 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
and bats. Harvey ^^ has found six liundred mosquitoes
in the crop of a niglit hawk ; evidently these birds are
worthv of encouragement.
We know that mosquitoes are attracted to our houses
by the iUumination from within ; therefore, if lights are
placed away from our habitations, in suitable localities
near marshes and ponds, and arranged as in Plate VI., Fig.
2, with petroleum in the tray, they may be the means
of destroying myriads of these tormentors. Fungoid
growths have not been tried upon Culex ; we observed,
however, an interesting species of Algae on the head of
No very promising methods remain to be discussed,
save the Odonat cultivation and the oil treatment.
The former is of the most importance from the stand-
point of this essay, as it is the plan which brought forth
the call for the contest. AVe regret that our ciireful and
continued study under all conditions and favorable cir-
cumstances show that the habits of the Odonata remove
them from the possibility of close contact with the Culici-
dae and their tastes are such as to make the latter unsatis-
factory food for them. However, with a view to the pos-
sibility that others may not look upon this problem as we
do, we give the outcome of our experience in rearing the
Odonata. They must be kept in slowly running water,
and the tanks in which they are bred must be free from
all aquatic predatory insects, and so screened as to prevent
the ingress of these or of frogs. Fish must be kept out,
and netting should be spread so that birds may not attack
them when they emerge from the pupae. Owing to their
cannibalistic tendencies, the larvae should be placed in
large tanks with a limited number in each, and fed care-
POSSIBILITIES AND COSTS. 63
fully with pieces of fresh fish. Allowing for five broods
of mosquitoes in a summer, and that one hibernated female
may be responsible for at least ten thousand larvae by the
time the Odonats appear, it will be seen that the one
brooded enemy will need to be produced on an enormous
scale. Liberated in great quantities, as they would be if
bred in sufficient numbers, the dragon flies might migrate
to less crowded localities.
The question of transporting the young larvse from the
breeding tanks to the mosquito infested jjonds is to be
considered ; although they are tough and can stand jos-
tling, only a few can be carried in one receptacle. Twenty
put in one jar would be found to be an inextricable kick-
ing mass of cannibals after a mile's transportation.
We have foiled to find the natural enemy of the mos-
quito to be the dragon fly, and have intentionally re-
served to the last that remedy which to us seems to far
outrank all others of which we have any knowledge or
have been able to devise, viz., the oil treatment.
The United States Department of Entomology and the
various State Reports, as well as numerous economic ento-
mologists abroad, have long recommended the use of petro-
leum in some form for the extermination of plant lice and
many other noxious insects. Petroleum emulsion, sprayed
petroleum, the naphtha compounds, and others from the
same source, are prompt and deadly insecticides. With
this in mind we early began a series of tests with common
illuniinatins: oil on Culicid larvee under all circumstances.
The narration of one series of experiments, typical of all,
will illustrate the efficacy of this treatment. Into a shal-
low pool of wtiter with an area of ten square inches, five
pupse, two grown larvae, and about sixty others in various
64 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
stages of development M-ere put. With tlieni were also
two immature Odonats and a number of Cyclops and
Cypris. On the surface ten drops of oil were placed, and
were observed to cover the entire area in ten minutes.
At once great uneasiness was manifested by the larger
larvse. Then they all began cleaning off the breathing
tube with their jaws, with apparent discomfort.
The very evident effect of the oil was to coalesce the cilia
at the tip of the tube, thus making respiration difficult or
impossible. The annoyance, fear, agony, and, finally, des-
perate frenzy were clearly depicted by their actions. The
two grown larvse were dead in eight minutes ; several of
the half grown died in ten minutes ; at the end of twelve
minutes most of the remainder, save the very smallest,
had succumbed. The pupee had both expired in fifteen
minutes. In an hour and a half everything was dead
except the Odonata and minute Crustaceans ; the former
seemed to be in perfect condition, owing to their multitu-
dinous breathing appliances. After the oil had been put
on the above area, it was at once seen that the propor-
tion was too great. A second pool of the same dimen-
sions was tried with one drop of oil, which was quite
enough to have the same deadly effect, thouo-h the results
were not so rapidly attained. The all pervading nature of
the oil was shown I)y the fact that one of the larvse re-
moved to a pool of eight square inches of surface took
enough oil with it to cause almost instant uneasiness to
the inhabitants of the otherwise fresh water.
These experiments were tried time after time, always
with the same result, and show conclusively to us that oil
is the great hope of nearly every mosquito infested dis-
trict, for the following reasons : (1) Its cheapness ; (2)
POSSIBILITIES AND COSTS. G5
its deadly nature when applied to the Culieidse; (3) its com-
paratively harmless nature as apjilied to other forms of aquat-
ic life ; and (4) the ease with wliich it can be applied.
Of the first claim we only care to say that three dollars'
worth of the crude oil will suffice, according to our esti-
mate, to cover an area of one hundred acres of water surface
five times in one season. In this way every brood would
be greatly retarded or entirely destroyed in that area. In
illustration of the second claim we may state that mosquito
larvae lived as long in pure Brown's Jamaica Ginger as
they did in water covered with a film of oil. The depth
of the water does not signify. Culex must come to the
surface to breathe. If the oil is sprayed, as illustrated in
Plate VII., Fig. 2, it need not interfere with the herbage.
Odonat larvffi will not be found in stagnant water, and fish
must have fresh water, but oil may be carefully sprayed
over any surface however small. The tube may be at-
tached to a fishing pole in order that a spray may be
thrown some distance. A Riley or Cyclone nozzle is best
adapted to this purpose. In closing this account of Cu-
licicides it is well to call attention to a paper by Dogiel,^^
in which a description of the eifect of twenty-two poisons
on Culex are given.
The possibilities for destroying members of the IMus-
cidse are not so promising as are those of the Culicidae,
owing to their hidden habits and the repulsive nature of
their breeding places.
Under the discussion of general insecticides at the be-
ginning of this chapter, the treatment of pyrethrum, gases,
certain parasites, yeast, and other fungi have special bear-
ing on the fly problem.
As it appears to us, the only very promising methods
are cultivation of fly fungus and the oil treatment.
66 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
On page 58 will be found a resume of the present
knowledge of the subject of fungoid growths likely to
affect the fly.
The application of oil can only be made during the
larval and pupal stages. Spraying petroleum on com-
post heaps and other breeding places will be effective.
The methods of applying are described on page 65. We
believe that, after much study and experience, the Odo-
nata cannot be considered a formidable enemy. The
method of breeding them, however, has been described
on page 62.
A Final Summing Up.
To gather together the weight of the testimony in the
foregoing chapters, and to clearly set before the reader
what, in our opinion, may be the best exterminators to
use against Culicidse and Muscidae in their various stages,
Mc close with the following table : —
CuLiciDiE : Larva and pupa.
1. Sprayed petroleum.
2. Flushing, circulating, grading.
3. Odonat culture.
1. Pennyroyal vapors.
^. Odonat culture.
MusciD^ : Larva and pupa.
1. Sprayed petroleum.
1. Cultivation of fungoids.
2. Odonat culture.
POSSIBILITIES AND COSTS. 67
The compilation of a bibliography, including papers
produced in the domain of medicine, biology, insect clas-
sification, and economic entomolo2:v, is not the work of
a day nor the outcome of a simple searching in the in-
dex of one or a dozen standard authorities. Nor does
the mere enumeration of a list of the leading text books
suffice, for the bulk of the literature is found scattered
through the pages of the scientific periodicals of the last
twenty -five years. The " Zoological Record " and " Zoo-
logische Anzeiger" have been invaluable aids in this
work. It has been necessary to look carefully in books
and papers M'here the title afforded the least hope that
pei'tinent matter would be found. It was not, however,
alone difficult to compile this list on account of the scar-
city of works having reference to the subject, but it was
quite as perplexing to eliminate from the list those refer-
ences which were either duplicates or such as were con-
densed from more comprehensive productions. It may
be urged against this list that too much has been ex-
cluded, but, in order to make it of the greatest possible
worth to students, writings of the following classes have
been eliminated : —
1. Pertaining to distribution, migration, and habits in
countries very remote from the United States.
2. Abstracts of papers already published in more ac-
cessible form, or abstracts in languages not so generally
read as that in which the originals were published.
3. Publications of a popular nature, in which the in-
formation is given at second hand, and not in such a
way as to make it as accessible as others of a similar
4. Publications in languages such as Russian, Dutch,
68 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Hungarian, Scandinavian, et al., and whieli have been ab-
stracted in papers more accessible to all.
It is believed that all sqmrate papers or works which
have a direct bearing on this general subject, and which
are not excluded by the foregoing rules, will be found in
the list, if they were published during the last twenty-
five years. In selecting papers of an earlier date, greater
freedom has been taken in rejecting such as seemed purely
introductory and elementary. The combined results of
most of these are now found in our standard text books
on the classification of insects. Medical works and jour-
nals frequently contain many references to insects attack-
ing the health of man ; such allusions are not noted, un-
less the habits or aj^pearances arc sufiiciently indicated to
determine the genus.*
* The plates and bibliography prepared by INIrs. Aaron, and ac-
companyiiig her essay, will be found at the close of the volume.
UTILITY OF DRAGON FLIES AS DESTROYERS
By a. C. weeks,
Secretary of the Brooklyn Extomoi-ogical Society.
REPLY TO A CIRCULAR NOTE TO WORKING
In replying to the question proponncled by jNIr. Robert
H. Lamborn, whether dragon flies may not be artificially
multiplied to such extent as to become an important fac-
tor in the destruction and consequent diminution of flies
and mosquitoes or other noxious insects, the entomologist
finds himself confronted at the threshold of the discussion
by the necessity of making special investigations into the
life histories, and relations to man under his present con-
ditions of civilized existence, to Nature in general, and to
each other, of each of the insects above named before
definite conclusions can be reached.
The artificial rearing from generation to generation of
any insect requires the duplication, or some equivalent, of
the following natural conditions : —
1. Conditions under which copulation and fertilization
of ova occur.
2. Conditions under which oviposition will occur.
3. Conditions under which ova will hatch.
4. Conditions necessary to aiford food supply to larvae.
6. Conditions for maintenance of natural element or
surroundings of larvje.
72 dkagon flies \s. mosquitoes.
6. Conditions favorable to formation of pupge.
7. Conditions favorable to pupal existence and maturity.
8. Conditions favorable to perfection of imago.
9. Conditions under which imago will partake of nour-
These conditions vary generally in the same ratio as
the number of transformations, and are frequently want-
ing in the transformations themselves ; each insect is in
fact sui generis as respects these conditions, which can
only be determined by personal observation. Inasmuch
as a failure to satisfy any one of these jjarticulars or con-
ditions, so far as they may be requisite to any insect, will
defeat the rearing, the elimination of any one of them
will operate to destroy ; the result attained being the
same, however opposed the intention.
Bearing these principles and the object to be accom-
plished in mind, the discussion of the question may be
considered under the following divisions : —
I. Natural conditions under which the insects in ques-
tion breed, with life history so far as applicable or known.
II. Experiments in rearing in imitation of natural con-
III. Habits of insects in question.
TV. Relations to each other.
NATURAL CONDITIONS. 73
I. Natural Conditions under which they Breed,
WITH Life History so far as Applicable or
In the vicinity of New York the perfect insects appear
among a few species as early as the latter part of May in
a favorable season, increasing in both numbers and variety
of species until about the middle of August, and de-
creasing rapidly until their disappearance, which may be
extended as late as October 1st.
The following table of time, of appearance, and locality
frequented, prepared from data upon specimens collected
by myself, will be interesting and valuable in this con-
nection, only those species being included which, from my
personal knowledge of their habits, would seem at all
available for the purpose suggested. No accuracy is
claimed for it beyond my personal observation.
S " 3
S ■< o
" Q «
». 3 M J
r « >• g
S (S u 3
< a "
o u tf o
o 5 o
'^ > -^
^ 3 b <u
I— ••— i
si "2 ^
o . »
a 3 a !r
a s a t,
^ iH ^
\* CO CN
(M C>? C<l -^ CO
3 -d s;
EXPERIMENTS IN REARING. 75
By the foregoing table it will be seen that the species
most likely to be of serv'ice are Anax juniiis and ^^shna
constricta and heros, which appear in July and August and
may occur as late as the middle of September, a i)eriod
comprehending some two months, when their usefulness as
destroyers of other insects ceases. The pairing of the
sexes may be readily observed during the months above
named, occurring just over the surface of some fresh water
stream or pond, during rapid flight, which, broken to
make connection, continues uninterruptedly except for rest
in some adjoining thicket or the deposition of eggs. These
eggs sinking, lodge among water plants and debris at the
bottom of the stream and hatch within a short time into
insect devouring larvre, which upon attaining full growth
enter into a semipupal stage, in which they are still active.
What the combined duration of the larval and semipupal
stages is I am unable to state, but it is certainlv not less
than one year, and it is quite possible that it may be
longer. (Dij)lax berenice, from specimens taken by me in
both June and August, may be an exception, and produce
two broods. It is, however, of rather infrequent occur-
rence, closely confined to its birthplace, and rather feeble
in motion.) The knowledge we already have upon this
point is sufficiently definite for our ])urposes. ^
II, Experiments in Rearing in Tmitation of
An insufficient period to satisfactorily test the question
of breeding in all its phases was allowed by the terms of
the circular — for the reason stated above, that dragon flies
require, with few exceptions, at least a year in whicii to
complete their transformations, and, like their cousins, the
76 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
May flies (Ephemeridse), seem only to reach tlie last stage
for the purpose of procreating their species, so compara-
tively short is its duration. The writer has, however, some
years previously made some experiments at carrying the
larvse of many aquatic neuroptera through to the perfect
stage ; and the results of these, coupled with some subse-
quent attempts to obtain oviposition, may serve to answer
the present purpose.
In the spring and summer of 1S75, while at home ujion
my father's farm in Suffolk County, Long Island, which
borders for some half mile upon the Connecticut River,
I constructed three cages for the rearing of any insect
whose larval stage was confined to the watei-. The sides
of two of these were of board, sixteen inches in width and
five feet in length, placed one fiiot apart and kept in posi-
tion by fi)ur narrow pieces of scantling nailed at right
angles to the ends, top and bottom. Painted wire cloth
was fastened to the ends of the cages by wooden cleats, to
allow the passage of water. Escape of the larvse by bur-
• rowing was prevented by a fringe of tin projecting several
inches from the bottom of the cages ; and the cover of each
consisted of two painted wire screens which could be
raised independently for the purpose of keeping a portion
of the imagines confined while others were being removed.
The third cage was similar in construction, but having
three timqs the width. Weights prevented the cages from
floating when in position. One cage was placed in a shal-
low arm of the river, so that the current would readily flow
through it, leaving some four or five inches projecting above
the surface, affording space for the imagines to expand their
wings. The second cage was similarly placed in the stag-
nant water of a M'ide, shallow ditcli in an adjoining bog
EXPERIMENTS IN REARING. / i
meadow, from which the surface peat or turf had been re-
moved. Rough stones, decayed sticks, cress, and eel grass
were placed in the former, while the latter stood on the
bottom of the ditch enclosing such organic material as
happened to be within its sides, together with two or three
pieces of turf. The widest cage was placed so that it
might enclose a section of the water and adjoining bank
of a small stream which drained the meadows.
Numbers of the larvie of the dragon fly, caddis fly, and
even some Diptera were netted out of the adjacent streams
and ditches witli a large net of unbleached muslin having
a wire cloth strainer in the bottom, collected in tin pails,
and emptied into the cages, care being taken to return
each species to the cage more nearly corresponding in situ-
ation to that from which it was taken. The ends of the
cages were frequently cleared of the accumulation of float-
ing material, to permit the easy entrance of such insects as
might serve for food. The result was very satisfactory.
The caddis flies emerged during May and June and occa-
sionally thereafter during the summer. The dragon flies
appeared sparingly at first, but during the latter part of
July and early part of August readily crawled up the
rough sides of the interior of the cages, emerged from
their pupal cases, and expanded their wings by suspending
themselves from the under side of the covers. Several
species of Diplax M^ere abundant, of Anax Junius only a
few were obtained, while Libellula pulchella was fairly
numerous. Other genera, which I do not now remember,
were represented by an occasional specimen. Not a single
instance of pairing was observed, and some little time was
required in drying wings after full expansion before the
insects were able to use them.
78 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
The next experiment was undei-taken for the purpose of
testing the willingness of the dragon fly to mate or to
oviposit while in partial confinement.
A portion of the upper story of my house on Prospect
Heights, in Brooklyn, consisting of bath room with large
skylight, hall with skylight, and adjoining hall room with
southern exposure, was utilized as a temporary nursery for
dragon flies during August and again in September of this
year, my family being absent. Every article of furniture
was removed, the carpet covered with newspapers, the
bath tub filled nearly to the brim with water and plenti-
fully fringed with rushes and aquatic grasses, the roots of
which were inserted in several pans of previously well
washed sand placed on the bottom of the tub ; some boxes
and water jars containing large weeds transplanted from
an adjoining field were distributed at intervals along the
hall and hall room, and a wire fly trap was set in the
kitchen to provide a supply of food for such dragon flies
as might be taken.
In the afternoon of that day (August 17th) some brack-
ish pools a quarter 'of a mile from the beach at Coney
Island were visited, and between thirty and forty speci-
mens of Libellula pulchella and Diplax rubicundula were
captured with a large net (eighteen inches diameter),
care being taken to secure some pairs in copulo. These
were immediately inserted, according to size of insect, in
one of two confectionery boxes lined with mill net, with
sliding covers, each having a hole one and one-half inches
in diameter, through which the dragon flies could be
thrust without removing the cover. The darkness of the
box as well as the lateness of the hour prevented the in-
sects from attempting to fly and thus injuring themselves,
EXPERIMENTS IN REARING. 79
and so far as could be perceiv^ed they rested quietly in the
interior of the boxes upon the net. (As a matter of fact,
the rushes, etc., were gathered in a basket at this time and
placed in the tub on my return that evening.) The col-
lecting boxes and fly traps were also placed in the bath
room that evening, so that the insects could liberate them-
selves the next morning. The floor below was darkened
by closing the shutters, in order that none of the insects
should be induced by the light to pass down the stairway.
The next day was Sunday, August 1 8th, a bright, pleasant
day, and soon after dawn I stationed myself at convenient
points of observation, remaining as motionless as possible
consistent with an occasional change of position. The re-
sult was a disappointment, so far as pairing, ovipositing, or
even the destruction of the flies were concerned. Tlie flies
began to circle around the rooms as soon as they were
fairly light, and as morning advanced flew towards the
windows seeking an outlet, and alternated between the
windows and the objects in the room, crawling over the
walls and ceilings, lighting on the plants, and apparently
searching for food. The dragon flies were indisposed to
activity until the sun began to heat and light the rooms,
about 10 A. M., when they, too, flew toward the windows
and skylights, and though frequently flitting around the
ceilings always returned to the former, and when appar-
ently fatigued with their exertions, or convinced that their
eflbrts to escape were futile, would remain resting on the
sills, unless disturbed by the buzzing flies, which crawled
fearlessly over them. There were no attempts at ovipos-
iting or pairing, and the improvised pool with its rush
lined banks seemed to offer no attraction, probably be-
cause it was lacking in three particulars, viz., a muddy
80 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES,
bottom, a swarm of gnats, and a vertical sun. The insects
were confined in this way for several days, until many of
the flies and dragon flies perished, and out of feelings of
compassion the survivors were allowed to escape. Fre-
quent and prolonged visits during the period of confine-
ment failed to show any attem])ts to oviposit, and a care-
ful scrutiny of the water plants failed to show a single
egg. The following week a pair of Anax Junius in
copulo and several single specimens were captured, and
placed in the rooms with a number of fresh flies, with
the same lack of success ; and again in September, with a
III. Habits of Dragon Flies limited to Scope of
Object to be Accomplished.
The most important results to be attained in the rearing
of any insect is the fertilization and deposition of ova.
With this paper in view, during the month of August, in
addition to the foregoing experiments, I visited a number
of small ponds, marshy pools, and other places frequented
by these insects, to ascertain if possible the necessary con-
ditions under which these acts occur, with the following
result : The greatest activity was developed under a verti-
cal sun, in a quiet atmosphere; a fair breeze slightly di-
minished this, a strong breeze greatly reduced it, while the
passage of a cloud over the sun with a cool breeze brought
it to a minimum. The insects do not take flight at an
early hour, and, with the exception of Anax junius~aiid
^shna constricta and heros, cease from flight as the sun
approaches the horizon. A solitary specimen of one of the
three species above named may be occasionally observed
HABITS OF DRAGON FLIES. 81
flitting; around the sides of buildings and hay ricks, or
skirting the borders of a piece of woods at or sliortly after
sunset. All dragon flies are distinctively diurnal, how-
ever, and night finds them totally inactive. The summer
sun is their god ; when he shines every element in their
being is alive as if in homage to him, when his light and
heat are obscured by clouds or diminished by chilling
winds their worship ends. They are short lived and fre-
quently destroyed in large numbers by heavy showers and
winds through their inability to properly shelter them-
selves from the weather. After a severe storm their num-
bers are greatly diminished for several days, until renewed
l)y fresh emergings. Dragon flies with a few exceptions
(see table) confine themselves to the vicinity of their place
of birth, and even if removed therefrom quickly return.
They require in pairing and feeding, ample space and
great freedom. The dragon fly does not consider man and
his convenience in satiating its appetite, but destroys every
soft bodied insect which is unfortunate enough to fall in
its way, and the destruction of flies and mosquitoes is
merely incidental. I have seen Anax Junius chasing and
even capturing small butterflies which happened to ascend
to its elevation while hovering over a clover field.
I. Natural Conditions under avhich House Flies
Breed, with Life History so par as is Appli-
The number of living North American species of Dip-
tera is estimated to be about ten thousand, with an equal
number in Europe. Only about one-fifth of these num-
bers comprise the family Muscidae, some of the members
82 DKAGOX FLIES VS. IMOSQUITOES.
of which are knowu under various names, as House fly
(Musoa domestica), Bhiebottle fly, Green fly (Musca cse-
sar), Meat fly (jNIusea voniitoria), etc., and which are
the most common species which infest our houses, and,
attracted by the odors and refuse of the kitchen, out-
houses, stables, and poultry and cattle yards, fearlessly
invade the privacy of our dwellings and rudely trespass
upon our persons and food. On the other hand many
of the Muscidee, as Tachina, are parasitic upon caterpil-
lars and coleopterous larvae, and so beneficial are they
in this respect that, so far as my experience goes, it is not
extravagant to say that without their aid there would
be no crops to harvest nor forests for timber. A single
female Tachina will destroy an entire brood of one hun-
dred Datana larvae, each one of which is from twenty to
thirty times heavier than herself — a fact which I myself
have witnessed. Out of three hundred larvae of Danaus
archippus collected this summer, only about one hundred
w^ere free from Tachina, and these escaped very largely by
being taken during the first moult. Again, there are Dlp-
tem (Asilidae) which, though not parasitic as the Tachina,
are direct destroyers of other insects and are of equal
value Avith dragon flies in this respect. The largest and
most voracious species of this family are found in the
fields adjoining our dwellings, where they are distributed
in great numbers, every step arousing one or more. Bee
and butterfly alike are palatable morsels to them, and, as
they never rise from the surface of the ground, they catch
many insects which the dragon fly is unable or unwilling
to take. Besides the Muscidae there are many families of
Diptera (CEstridae — bot flies, etc.) which are very annoy-
ing to man and the lower animals, but, as the dragon fly
HABITAT OF HOUSE FLIES. 83
is obviously incompetent to destroy them, it is useless to
speak of them further. Flies breed in organic matter of
every description, animal as well as vegetable. The large
majority of them are limited in their destructive effects,
filling humble offices in the great scheme of Nature, and
unrecognized and unrecorded except in the collection of
the specialist, check lists, and agricultural reports. Many
species of ISIuscidae are able to retain their fecundated
eggs until hatched in a receptacle provided for that pur-
pose, and are able to excrete the living maggot directly
and in considerable and surprising numbers. I have
seen a female of this family rapidly moving ov^er a small
quantity of freshly deposited dung, and voiding maggots
at intervals of several seconds, until at the expiration of
two or three minutes the entire surface of the material
was plentifully sprinkled with their writhing forms.
The house fly breeds in freshly deposited stable manure,
and its four stages or transformations occupy, at most,
some fifteen days ; M. csesar and vomitoria occupy about
the same period. There is practically no stated limit to
the number of broods in a season, and it is probable that
every hour of the day, from April to December 1st, the
several transformations are occurring contemporaneously
among the different broods.
II. Experiments ix Rearing.
To satisfy myself on the question of the rapid develop-
ment of the house fly, a quantity of horse manure was,
in the latter part of August of this year, placed on the
surface of loose soil with which a soap box was partially
filled, and exposed to the sun in my back yard for one
day, at the end of which time a glass pane M^as placed
84 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
over the box, which remained standing in the sun.
Twelve days afterward the first imago was noticed, and
the numbers increased until the sixteenth day, when quite
a swarm of these flies with some others filled the box.
In crossing a plowed field about the same time I found
the carcass of a large rat which had been crushed by a
farm wagon. A strong wind was blowing at the time,
and the number of meat flies attracted by the odor thus
wafted almost concealed the body from view. A number
of the flies were secured and preserved, and the rat taken
home and after a few hours' exposure confined as the horse
manure had been. In the course of two weeks the per-
fect flies appeared.
I. Natural Conditions under which Mosquitoes
The life history of these insects is so well known, and
has been so frequently described at length, that it would
be a vain repetition to insert any extended account of their
transformations here. The eggs are laid in or near fresh
or brackish water, in which the larval stage is passed, and
a new brood appears about every three or four weeks.
Their period of aggressive activity is not nearly as exten-
sive as that of house flies, but, like them, all the stages exist
contemporaneously, from the frequency and interlapping
of the broods.
II. Experiments in Breeding in Imitation of
None were made, for the reasons stated in I.
HABITS IN GENERAL. 85
FLIES AND MOSQUITOES.
III. Habits of Insects in Question.
Flies are the scavengers of the earth and air, mosqui-
toes of the water; and both are exceedingly abundant
wherever the continents extend from the northern frigid
zone to the southern extremities of their great peninsulas.
As soon as the rays of the returning sun unclasp winter's
icy grip, from every sheltering crack and crevice creep
forth hibernating flies, others emerge from their well pro-
tected larval cases, while mosquitoes arise in myriads from
every marsh and pool — a vast army of Nature's faithful
servants — to consume and destroy corruption and render
the earth a healthful iiabitation for man. No decaying
substance is too trifling to be a nursery for a maggot,
no pool or water-holding-stump too limited to afford a
domicile to the larvae of a mosquito. Not a day has
passed during this present month, November, but I have
noticed house flies, singly or in swarms, in my kitchen
and dining room flitting around the room as sprightly as
if the summer solstice had just commenced, though the
dragon fly and all its congeners have for many weeks
ceased their aerial flights, and their graceful forms are
no longer recognizable.
TV. Relations to Each Other of the Insects
It would seem an unnecessary task to recapitulate the
facts above cited relating to the life history of dragon
flies, flies, and mosquitoes, to show how impracticable
would be the attempt to artificially multiply the former
for the purpose of destroying the two latter. So far as
86 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
the experiments herein described show, it is impossible to
fulfill, in respect to dragon flies, many of the conditions
essential to rearing, viz., pairing and fertilization and de-
position of ova. It is generally easy to carry an insect
through the larval and pupal stages and obtain the imago
or perfect insect, but this is not breeding ; and while the
larvpe of dragon flies may be captured and carried through
the larval and semipupal stages in limited numbers (a
portion will certainly die), this is not rearing, in the sense
in which fish or silk worms are bred. A negative reply,
therefore, to Mr. Lamborn's proposition could be made at
this point, provided the experiments above described in
the direction of rearing dragon flies were accepted as ex-
haustive and conclusive ; and it is to meet that exigency
that so many apparently disconnected details relating to
the life history of each of the insects above named have
been narrated. Irrespective, then, of the question of rear-
ing, we may ask, what chance has an insect producing a
single brood in a year, or even longer, highly sensitive to
every change of temperature, and whose actual existence
in the imago is confined to a few days, to destroy one to
whom every year adds a long line of generations, whose
egg producing capacity is reckoned by the thousands, and
to whom only the severest weather has any terrors ? How
can an insect handicapped as above stated, whose early
stages must be confined to an element in restricted po-
sitions, such as rivers, ponds, ditches, and marshes, where
the water is constant for a considerable period, compete
in numbers with or annihilate the mosquito, a habitant of
the same element, to whom not only such waters, but
every transient puddle, clay pit, pool, hollow stump, or
rocky depression affords a "coign of vantage" to rear
DRAGON FLIES INADEQUATE. 87
its young, and whose generating powers are a thousand
fold greater; or, again, the omnivorous fly, whose sub-
sistence, in both of the active stages, drawn from the
sources of unceasing decay, is comparatively flung broad-
cast over the earth ?
It is safe to say that, were the destruction of flies and
mosquitoes, through the agency of dragon flies, a vital
necessity to the preservation and continuation of the hu-
man race upon the earth, every dollar of wealth repre-
sented, whether by men, machines, or money, could be
expended in vain.
Let us assume, for the sake of meeting every objection,
that dragon flies could be multiplied indefinitely by artifi-
cial means —
1. At the time of their natural annual appearance.
2. At all seasons.
1. AS TO INDEFINITE MULTIPLICATION AT NATURAL
As has been shown, dragon flies are incapable of domes-
tication. No matter how many may be introduced within
or in the neighborhood of a dwelling, their natural in-
stincts would prompt them to instantly betake themselves
to the vicinity of the nearest marsh or body of water,
while the flies and mosquitoes which most annoy us and
frequent our houses would be unmolested. (This fact
would absolutely dispose of the question of their utility
as destroyers of flies and mosquitoes in houses, in cities, or
in neighborhoods.) The vicissitudes of temperature would
soon terminate their existence, brief at the most, and the
relief afforded, at best, provided they were able to measur-
ably destroy other insects, would be but temporary. In
short, there is no creature which Is really so unable to
88 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
cope with the mosquito and fly as the dragon fly. Both
of the former remain, for the most part, close to the
ground, concealed among the heavy foliage of summer,
and comparatively few fall a prey to the dragon fly, which
is able to capture only those which inadvertently thrust
themselves in its way.
In the early part of July, both by day and night, when
mosquitoes swarm in myriad millions, making the life of
the average man miserable, scarcely a dragon fly is to be
seen; and, even at its most plentiful season (July 15th to
August 15th), the few hours in the daytime limited to tine
weather render it a feeble combatant against mosquitoes,
which, largely concealed during the day, pour out in
countless hordes at night, in all changes of temperature,
while the members of their giant enemy are stiff with the
evening dews. Many other objections to dragon flies as
a means for the destruction of other insects are readily de-
ducible from the facts already stated.
2. AT ALL SEASONS.
The reasons stated in 1 apply with equal force to 2, ex-
cept so far, of course, as continuity of appearance is con-
cerned ; but it is proper to add that, however easy it might
be to produce the mature dragon fly at any particular
season, its activity would be regulated by the weather, and
it is doubtful if the period of its usefulness could be
greatly extended. Assuming that it would be content to
remain within a dwelling and capture such insects as
might be attracted thereto, refraining from passing through
an open window or door, even then the disagreeable rust-
ling of its wings, multiplied six or seven fold, would be
an intolerable nuisance, and the bodies of these short
BREEDING OF DRAGON FLIES. 89
lived insects falling behind furniture or other inaccessible
places would attract a brood of Derniestes, the next gener-
ation of which would be nourished on the family furs.
Before drawing any conclusions upon the foregoing, it
is necessary to reply to some of the premises set forth in
the circular. The question is raised, wliy it is not as easy
to breed dragon flies as it is fish, silk worms, bees, etc.?
Let us ask ourselves the question, why it is not as easy to
produce herds of tigers, lions, and some other carnivorous
and herbivorous quadrupeds as it is cattle, sheep, and
horses? We know that there is a diiference; that this
difference is inherent in the habits and instincts of these
animals as shown by experience; and yet why this differ-
ence no one will ever be able to satisfactorily explain until
tlie relation between the organs of generation and the in-
stinctive action of the motor nerves can be discovered.
As among quadrupeds there are species which can be
easily bred in captivity from generation to generation, and
others which cannot, so there exists among insects the
same difference. To illustrate : Of the nocturnal Lepidoj)-
tera, nearly all the species of Bombycidae readily mate in
captivity. So much so, that in the case of the silk worm
(Bombyx mori) pairing will inevitably occiu' if specimens
of both sexes be confined in any space, however limited,
oviposition will as surely follow upon any material within
a definite period thereafter, irrespective of fertilization.
The same fact is true of a large number of the silk spin-
ners, such as Callosamia promethea, Hyperchiria io, and
Samia cynthia (Japanese silk moth, feeding upon the Ail-
anthus, acclimated here), while on the other hand the
species of Sphingidae and many of the Xoctuidre and
Geometridfe can only be mated with extreme difficulty.
90 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
The breeding of diurnals is seldom attended with suc-
cess, and, even under the most tempting imitations of
Nature, with the auxiliaries of light, heat, flowers, and
food plant, fertilization is rarely effected. This summer
I bred some hundreds of V. antiopa. Many of the in-
sects emerged simultaneously within a small box, but
not a pair mated ; and, later, the same box was similarly
filled with D. arcliippus, with a similar result. These
facts are only quoted by way of contrast in this connec-
tion. Of the thousands of diurnal Lepidoptera which I
have reared by capturing the larv?e, not one pair ever
mated, and artificial fertilization of the ova is out of the
question. The same difference exists among other orders
of insects. Among the Hymenoptera, bees may be
reared in swarms from year to year, but it is doubtful
whether a ''hornet" or "yellow jacket," both assiduous
destroyers of flies, could be ; and the very nature of the
Ichneumonidse and Tachina, useful as they are, forbids
any artificial multiplication.
A request is made in the circular that the reply contain
a suggestion as to what insects may be utilized for the
purpose therein named. My own large local collection,
embracing all orders, and well represented in species, with
scarcely an exception the result of my personal labor, and
with the life history of each of which species I am measur-
ably familiar so far as the requirements of this paper are
concerned, has been carefully examined to the above end,
and as a result of such examination I am compelled to
admit that there is not a single insect, from among the
scores of insectivorous species, which can be recommended
as advisable to breed artificially — practicability, economy,
and convenience considered.
HABITS OF CENTIPEDES. 91
It may be laid down as an axiom that in general no
insect destroying insect can be artificially propagated with-
ont multiplying its often injurious prey ; the Australian
Coccinella, used to devour the plant lice on the Florida
orange trees, requires no artificial aid in rearing.
It may be interesting to note in this connection one
insect whose value as a domestic fly destroyer is probably
not appreciated. I refer to a species of Ccrmatia, proba-
bly forceps, a spider-like centipede having extremely long
and slender legs, the body of which is about two inches
in length, and its speed marvelous. It is of frequent
occurrence in dwellings in New York City and Brooklyn.
During the day it retires to the darkness and dampness
of closets, leaky basins, and cellars, but at night issues
forth, traversing the entire house, and frequently stations
itself head downward along the upright " trim " of the
kitchen or wherever flies are abundant, and \yitli mem-
bers extended seizes and mercilessly slays every fly pass-
ing within its reach. If unable to devour all its captures,
the first is allowed to drop to the floor after receiving a
fatal bite and another substituted of the several simul-
taneously imprisoned and buzzing at different points be-
tween its legs. Its appetite does not seem to become
readily satiated, one specimen capturing flies for an hour
and a half, when my patience became exhausted and it
was taken into custody. One day's confinement in a dry
box caused the insect to shrivel and die. In spite of its
usefulness, I have not encouraged it in my house, prefer-
ring a whitewashed cellar with dry cement bottom and
sanitary plumbing to its company. (According to La-
treille the bite of insects of this genus is poisonous.)
Inasmuch as the result of my investigation has failed to
92 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
produce a realization of the expectations raised by the
circular, it would not be proper to conclude this paper
without suggesting methods of destroying or limiting the
number of flies and mosquitoes.
At the outset the principle is enunciated that in order
to compass the destruction of any insect it is only neces-
sary to interrupt or break the chain of conditions which
are inseparably connected with its life history. It fol-
lows, then, that we may absolutely destroy any insect by
removing every particle of the material Nvhich serves it for
food or as a home during its larval period. If there be
wanting such material or home, no egg will be laid, no
larva will hatch, and no pestering imago will be perfected.
The powders, washes, and mixtures wliich the housewife
and the farmer are constantly wasting time and money in
distributing and applying, only bring other annoyances.
The bed bug will leave a house in one season if, after the
beds and clothing are thoroughly cleaned of nits and ma-
ture individuals, the posts are isolated by being placed on
bricks set in vessels of w^ater ; the potato beetle in the
State would disappear for a considerable period if the
farmers should unanimouslv omit to plant that vegetable
for one season ; the phylloxera w^ould instantly perish if
the vines were totally cut down and burned. Millions of
dollars could be expended in apparatus fo: the breeding of
dragon flies, while the filthy little duck pond or marsh,
which a few dollars would fill up, and costing nothing but
indifference to maintain, would supply mosquitoes enough
to satisfy the voracious appetite of all the dragon flies
that such apparatus could produce.
How shall houses, cities, and neighborhoods, then, be
freed from the house fly and his congeners ? I answer :
THE BEST REMEDIES. 93
by affording him and his tribe no inducements to stay.
In rural districts, householders should allow no kitchen
refuse or other organic material to decay in the vicinity of
a dwelling, nor permit the malodorous compounds of the
stable, pig pen, cow yard, and poultry house to accumulate
in an exposed condition. In cities, householders should
burn every particle of kitchen refuse and garbage in the
range so far as practicable, and remove all decaying or-
ganic matter from the premises, and thoroughly cleanse
cellars and waste pipes. The accumulation of festering
filth in the streets, and of nauseating barrels of garbage,
should not be permitted, or their prompt removal facili-
tated. The cellars and back yards of all tenements (used
in a technical sense) should be subject to frequent period-
ical visitation by a sanitary inspector with power to order
removal of filth in his discretion. No slaughter house or
kindred business should be maintained within the city
limits, and, what is most important, the keeping of every
stable should be either prohibited entirely or else confined
to a certain locality, and cleanliness and the daily removal
of the accumulations enforced under stringent police or
sanitary regulations. The disappearance of the house fly
under such circumstances would be an insignificant item
compared with the decrease in the prevalence of deadly
and contagious fevers.
To banish the mosquito, drain meadow, bog, swamp,
and marsh, fill up stagnant ponds and pools, and level
rain holding hollows contiguous to dwellings, and in the
same proportion as the foul murderer of sleep departs, so
will malarial and miasmatic exhalations.
94 DRAGON FLIES YS. MOSQUITOES.
ONE WORD AS TO THE BIRDS.
Instead of devising methods to artificially breed dis-
proportionate numbers of insectivorous insects, why is it
not much more advisable to foster and preserve Math little
expense the means which we have at hand? I refer to the
various species of insectivorous birds, which used to re-
main with us throughout the year, with the exception of
two or three of the colder months, the most short lived of
which would be more eifective in the destruction (f nox-
ious insects than ten thousand dragon flies. Not a Sun-
day passes in the woods and fields adjacent to our cities
but dissolute bovs and men are maiming, killino;, or
frightening away every innocent bird within the range of
their guns. If the farmer be so blind to his own inter-
ests that he will not assist in the enforcement of laws for
the protection of song birds, and the consequent preserva-
tion of his crops, at least there should be aroused a public
sentiment demanding the adoption of a more competent
law than prevails at present.
It is simply absurd to provide, as the statute now reads,
that the destruction of birds should be permitted to every
collector or so called scientist. Our local birds are well
known, their habits and peculiarities have been described
hundreds of times, specimens are to be found in every
museum, where they can be readily inspected, and there is
not the slightest necessity for the satisfaction of the thirst
of acquisition of every tyro in making a collection of
either local birds or their eggs, or of swelling the stock in
trade of the taxidermist or milliner. As a matter of fact,
this wholesale and criminal destruction of birds has made
them so scarce that an observation of tiieir natural habits
by the general public is an impossibility. A law should
be passed prohibiting the killing of all insectivorous birds,
under a heavy penalty, unless a person lias obtained and
paid for a license, to be not less than twenty-five dollars
per annum, the fees to be used toward the compensation
of game constables, and such license to be granted only
after approval by a competent board of officials.
1. An attempt to destroy flies and mosquitoes by the
artificial propagation of di'agon flies or any other insect,
would be unprofitable, unadvisable, and impracticable.
2. That if such attempt were both practicable in opera-
tion and profitable as to numbers produced, it would still
be unadvisable from a sanitary point of view (the anni-
hilation of every house fly would breed a pestilence).
8. That if the natural conditions under which dragon
flies are produced could be totally eliminated, mosquitoes
would be greatly diminished.
4. That a proper enforcement and observation of sani-
tary laws, and the passage of a jiroper law fi)r tlie pro-
tection of birds, afford the best solution of the question.
ESSAY ON THE DESTRUCTION OF THE
MOSQUITO AND HOUSE FLY.
By WM. BEUTENMULLER,
Museum of Natural History, New York.
ESSAY OX THE DESTRUCTIOX OF THE
The following essay must be regarded as a provisional
and introductory treatise. It is quite impossible to cover
the entire ground, or even part of it, with details of ex-
periments and observations such as would place any one's
conclusions beyond criticism or reversal.
The short time given for its preparation has not per-
mitted me to make the experiments necessary for arriving
at any very original suggestions, though I have been led
to notice in the course of its writing how unoccupied the
ground is, and what interesting questions it opens.
The discussion of the house fly as a mischievous nui-
sance, and of methods for its destruction, has been almost
abandoned by me, but I have made a short separate notice
which at present incorporates the most that now occurs to
me that can be said on this subject.
The far more important weight to be given to the prob-
lem of freeing our communities of the mosquito has re-
ceived recognition, and this essay is in consequence almost
entirely devoted to its discussion.
It will be seen that I have furnished throughout the
essay a series of original observations, which I regard as
useful contributions to science.
100 DRAGON FLIES A^S. MOSQUITOES.
It is certainly to be hoped and expected that Dr. R. H.
Laniborn's public spirited inquiries and attention to this
subject will result in securing some alleviation from the
persecution of the irrepressible and vicious Culex.
My thanks are due to Mr. L. P. Gratacap for his nu-
merous suggestions and assistance he has given me in the
preparation of this work.
Note. — The plates and catalogue prepared by Mr. Beutenmuller,
and accompanying his essay, will be found at the close of the
^ A )
\ . va_
It would be difficult to overestimate the amount of dis-
tress and positive injury inflicted by mosquitoes. Their
monotonous and droning song drives sleep from the eyes
of nervous and exhausted patients, and the sharp puncture
of their industrious lancet introduces in the arteries of
their victims a subtle poison that inflicts an unendurable
irritation. To some its consequences are truly baneful,
and from many, to whom rest brings the refreshment of
renewed strength necessary for their daily toils, it robs of
vitality and energy ; the sleep of babyhood is disturbed
by the mosquito, by the mosquito the sufferings of the
sick are intensified, the heat of summer becomes more
wearisome under their exasperating inflictions, and the
beauty of Nature itself wanes before their vexatious and
In view of such facts and consequences Dr. Lamborn
has prepared a circular, in which he formally invites the
attention of scientific entomologists to this problem, and
opens the discourse by some practical suggestions ; and
these effective inquiries are made urgent to-day, when, in
the neighborhoods of our large cities, useful and inviting
tracts of country l)ecome almost uninhabitable by the
presence of mosquitoes. In the suburbs of New York
City the mosquito forms a veritable barrier to occupation.
Many portions of New Jersey are deserted by desirable
.residents because of the great numbers of mosquitoes, and
102 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
when the hind wind prevails at some of the summering
resorts along the shores of this State the terrible hordes
of this persecutor depopulate the hotels and cottages.
The annals of travel record the wide distribution and un-
failing activity of this abominable tormentor. The genus
Culex belongs to the order of Diptera, family Culicidse,
which contains only a small number of genera, but a large
number of species. The genus Culex is distributed over
the entire globe.
The name Mosquito has been used in popular parlance
for the genus Culex, and derived from the Spanish, signi-
fying little fly. The vernacular of many nations varies
exceedingly in the designation of these insects. In France
they are known as Cousins; in Germany as Schnacken,
Stichmiicke, Singmiicke, and Gelse; in England as Gnats;
in America and hot countries as Mosquitoes (sometimes
spelled Mosqnites, Moustiques, Mousquites, or Mosquilles);
\ and in the Antilles as Maringouins.
' Upward of thirty species are found in North America.
Culex ciliatus, a large species found in the Atlantic States,
bites very severely, but fortunately is comparatively rare,
and does not appear in swarms as Culex tseniorhynchus
(C. damnosus Say), which invades our brackish ahd"~salt
water marshes. Although the mosquitoes are present all
summer, there are four distinct broods in the Middle
States, which only swarm at intervals of one month. Ac-
cording to my friend Mr. W. T. Davis, the first brood
makes its appearance in the latter days of May or early in
June ; the second, third, and fourth broods appear early
in July, August, and September.
In the Arctic region, where the larvBe of the mosquito
constitute the principal food of the trouts that inhabit the
THE MOSQUITO. 103
lakes, they are apparently double brooded ; the first brood
appearing in July and the second in August.^ During the
hot weather of July and August the mosquitoes are most
numerous, and more annoying than during the cooler
weather. The life duration of the mosquito in the imago
state lasts about one week. A few individuals of the last
brood hibernate over the winter. The food of the mos-
quito, besides blood of human beings and animals, con-
sists of the sweets of flowers and other vegetable juices.
(I have often taken mosquitoes with a mixture of molasses
and rum used as a bait for capturing moths at night.)
In this inquiry it is necessary to treat at some length
the disposition and arrangement of tlie mouth parts, the
contents and structure of the poison glands, which together
constitute the offensive and injurious portion of the mos-
The mouth parts of Culex have received the careful
study of many observers, who vary considerably in their
results and give different enumerations of this compli-
cated mechanism. From Dimmock (Anat. of the Mouth
Parts, etc., of Diptera, pages 9-22, pi., 1881), the latest
writer on this subject, I extract the descriptions (with some
condensation) essential for the purpose of this paper. I
have further restricted these extracts to the mouth parts of
the female Culex, as it seems as yet doubtful whether the
male mosquito possesses the sanguinary tastes of its trucu-
lent companion. The difference that obtains in the mouth
parts of the male and female is chiefly comprehended in
the absence from the former of tlie mandibles, and the
1 Eoss, Append. Second Arct. Voy., page Ixxvi.
104 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
unbarbed characters of the maxillsej and by having the an-
tennae plumose. The mouth of the female Culex consists
of two groups of appendages, the elements of punctation
and suction, with 'which are connected the adjustments for
the secretion and emission of the poison, and the parts
which enclose these and form around them a natural
The first group, which are surgical in character, em-
brace the epipharynx, second, the hypopharynx, two
mandibles, and two maxillee; and the second group com-
prises the labrum (upper lip), and the labium, which re-
ceives them into a groove on its upper side. (Dimmock.)
The epipharynx is slightly attached to the labrum, and
this combination, termed the labrum epipharynx, tapers
uniformly from the base to the apex. It forms an un-
finished tube, being completed along its inferior surface by
the oppression of the hypopharynx to the narrow slit be-
tween its separated edges. The channel thus made is the
avenue by which the juices of its host passes to the oesoph-
agus, which is the postpharyngeal passage, and which acts
like a suction pump for the imbibition of the nourishing
liquids, being expanded into a bulb behind a valvular con-
striction of the pharynx. This action is performed by
muscles attached to the epipharynx "having their inser-
tions on the upper side of its wings or lateral portions "
and extending upward and backward over the inner sur-
face of the clypeus, the chitinous escutcheon above the
labrum. The hypopharynx is a linear lanceolate, trans-
parent lamellce of chitin, and is the element needed to
complete the tube of the epipharynx, which it effects by
being placed in apposition with the inferior margins of the
latter. Dimmock discusses the difficult question, whether
THE MOSQUITO. 105
tills appendage may be considered a rod or a tube, and, if
the latter, whether it is not a duct for the injection of
poison. He is in no doubt as to the actual eifusion of a
poisonous fluid, but, from tlie extreme delicacy of the
microscopic examination, is unable to reach a definite re-
sult as to whether the hypopharynx is its channel. The
later examinations (alluded to under "Poison Glands") of
Macloskie seem to place this trying question in a clearer,
if not certain, light. At any rate, the hypopharynx acts in
conjunction with the epipharynx as an instrument of suc-
tion, and both are complementary organs.
The mandibles are the most delicate of the mouth parts
of Culex and are composed of "two very thin, linear lance-
olate lamellte of transparent chitin, which rest with their
inner edges beneath each half of the hypopharynx, their
outer edges projecting beyond its outer edge, on each
side." (Dimmock.) Dimmock describes them but does not
seem to have discovered their significance or suspected it.
The maxillae are also lamellae of chitin serrated with
a minute corrugation, which varies in diflerent species in
its inclination to the strengthening chitin rod on the inner
side of the maxillfe. In some species it is at right angles,
in others obliquely inclined. At the extremity of the
maxillae is a row of papilla?, varying in their number
both in different species and different individuals. The
papilla have been regarded as serrations, by some ob-
servers. The maxillse are accompanied by the maxillary
palpi at their bases, which are four or five jointed flexible
and abbreviated stalks. Dimmock considers the office of
the maxillfe to be the drawing into the perforated skin of
the other mouth parts, but ]\Iacloskie expressly alludes
(Science, X., 106) to their cutting action as the actual or
106 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
accessory apparatus by which the perforations of tlie skin
The second group of mouth parts, the invaginal or
sheathing parts, consists of an upper lip (labrum) and an
under lip (labium) with its accompanying setae, which latter
according to Dimmock form the aggressive cutting or
piercing organs of the mosquito.
The labrum is a thin, lanceolate lamellae of chitin, con-
cave along the under side from the basal portion to the tip,
and its concavity rests upon and fits to the convexity of
the tubular parts of the epiisharynx. It is provided with
its own muscles and possesses some independent motion.
It serves the purpose, together with the labium, of framing
the tensile and extended group of parts just described.
The labium is a long, tapering clumnel, annulated, and
covered with fine hair and scales. At its extremity it
carries two lobate appendages — the label he — which are fur-
nished with muscles by which these latter can be dilated
or contracted. When the combined parts of the surgical
group of instruments are entering the skin, they pass be-
tween the opened angle of the spread labellae while the
labium itself " is seen to be flexing backward in its middle,
the labellae holding the clustered file of setae as they pass
inward through the tissues of the victim. Reaumur, Mem.,
plate iv., gives a very good illustration of the bent labium
holding in position the other mouth parts in act of
This description is found in a letter to Science (Vol.
X., page 106, and Vol. XII., page 144) from Professor
Macloskie, of Princeton College.
LIFE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT. 107
The hvpopharynx, which acts as the poison fang, is con-
nected Math a poison duct which has two branches run-
ning backward into the prothorax. The secreting glands
are in two paired systems, one on each side of the protho-
rax. Each system consists of three trifoliate glands, the
mid-gland being poisonous and the lateral salivary ; the
three ductules uniting into the branch of the poison duct
of its own side.
LIFE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT.
The breeding grounds of the mosquito embrace the
swampy hollows of low grounds, shallow rain pools, cis-
terns, ponds, and the wide expanse of salt or brackish
marshes extending up along the estuarine banks of slug-
gish rivers and the tide-invaded shores of sandy penin-
sulas, and also the wet area in thick woods. \
The first stages of the mosquito are found in the
s giall floating or suspended raft composed of an assem-
blage of many hundred eggs, each subconical in shape,
tapenng to a somewliaf rounded^or obtuse point notched
at the apex. The number of eggs in these rafts reaches
as high as three hundred, and become cemented together
by Tlie glutinous substance secreted at the oviposition.
The period of hatching extends about five or six days,
when the young larva makes its appearance after cutting
through the under surface of the egg. (Plate YIIL,
The young larva remains in the w^ater for about twenty
days, passing througli a series of three or four moults.
The larva when full grown is about five millimetres
long, and is of a semitranslucent, grayish blackish color.
The head is small, subglobose. The first, second, and
108 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
third seo-ments are about twice as broad as the remaining
ones; each segment along the sides is furnished with a
bunch of very short bristles. The anal segment is pro-
vided with a rather long tube, through which it breathes
by rising to the surface of the water. Its well known
rapid oscillating movement through the water is per-
formed by the quick lateral pulsations and lashes of its
tail, while it will often remain motionless for many mo-
ments at the surilice of the water, hanging head down-
ward from the liquid floor. Their food consists of minute
organisms and animal matters, and it has been suggested
that they free the stagnant swamps of miasmic regions of
their malarial and zymotic germs.
The pupa stage lasts about four or five days. The
pupa is of a blackish color, with the wing cases and
thoracic segments enormously developed and the thorax
provided with two respiratory tubes. The abdominal
segments are considerably narrower than the thoracic ones,
and become slightly smaller towards the posterior end of
the body, which is furnished with two ofir like appendages
used for swimming. (Plate YIIL, Fig. 3.) Length
about three millimetres. After this stage succeeds the
emergence of the imago from its encasement. The deli-
cate shell of the pupa is ruptured by a short split near
the head, when the adult mosquito presses through the ori-
fice, and remains upon its fairy like boat, drying its wings
and gathering strength for its aerial or terrestrial life
DISCUSSION OF THE PROBLEM.
The actual injury inflicted by the mosquito can only be
approximately estimated ; the numerous instances, which
must escape all record, wherein the mosquito inflicts the
DISCUSSION OP THE PROBLEM. 109
most serious discomfort, and its sanguinary appetite, can
be imao'ined rather than described when we are made fa-
miliar by personal experience with its habits. The grada-
tions, too, between such mere inconvenience or irritation,
and serious consequences arising from its bite, can be in-
definitely expanded. The wound that brings about a tem-
porary inconvenience may, under other circumstances, be-
come a swelling, lasting for some time, tending to dimin-
ish vitality or retard recovery from disease. These effects
can become more and more important, more and more per-
manent and pernicious, until we reach such a possibly ag-
gravated state of things, wherein exhaustion may disturb
the delicate balance between life and death.
Dr. Findlay, of Havana (see Science, Vol. VIII., page
279), has brought the more unnatural charge against the
mosquito, that it is an agent in spreading yellow fever.
Dr. Findlay asserts that it is his belief that the insect, after
puncturing the skin of a yellow fever patient, retains some
of the germs of the disease, which are communicated to its
next host. Similarly the young of mosquitoes breeding in
neighborhoods afflicted with the disease would even be-
come the carriers of its germs. So convinced is Dr. Find-
lay of this that he avers that the mosquito is the active,
if not the sole, agent for the dissemination of yellow fever,
and he believes that where the mosquito cannot live, or,
at the season when it decreases in numbers, the yellow
fever simultaneously disappears. In corroboration of this
he says that in the summer of 1885 mosquitoes were scarce
in Havana, but were very numerous in the autumn ; and
that yellow fever cases were few in number, but in October
and November they increased considerably, at which times
the mosquitoes appeared. In coufirmatiou of this view
110 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Mr. H. Hammond (Science, Vol. VIII., page 436) says :
"In 1839, during a yellow fever epidemic in Augusta,
Georgia, no cases originated at Somerville, a neighboring
suburb, among the sand hills. There Avere no mosquitoes
at Somerville, which was approached by a rather circui-
tous route from Augusta. Some years after, a straight
broad road was built through the swamps directly to the
sand hills ; cisterns were also built ; and mosquitoes ap-
peared and became an intolerable pest. During the yellow
fever epidemic of 1854 a number of cases originated at
the sand hills abounding with mosquitoes."
I think that, while it may be true that the mosquito as
well as other predaceous Diptera can carry germs of
yellow fever, it would be rather a strained and unreason-
able complaint to urge that they are the sole causes of
that epidemic. These instances, however, emphasize the
noxious character of the mosquito and make the inquiries
and suggestions of Dr. Lamborn of very essential value.
Again, the mosquito has been accused of further mis-
chievous activity in spreading entozoic diseases. Accord-
ing to the researches of Drs. Mason and Cobbold (P. Lin.
Soc, pages 304-311, 1878, and Trans. Linn. Soc. Loud.,
2 ser., Vol. II., page 367, 1884) and others, it appears
certain that these insects disseminate the parasite Filaria
sanguis hominis by absorbing them into their system
when imbibing the blood of their prey, and afterwards, by
their death, contaminate drinking waters into which they
fall with these entozoa imprisoned in their bodies. Sonsino
in Egypt (Med. Times and Gaz., May 13, 1883, page
494, and Sept, 22, page 340, 1883) and Lewis in India
(14 Rep. Sanit. Com, India) have both confirmed Mason
and Cobbold statements as to the entrance of Filaria into
DISCUSSION OF THE PROBLEM, 111
the mosquito. Filaria sanguinis liominis is a minute
nematoid .embryo — which in certain warm countries is
found in the blood of man.
Taking into consideration all the reports against the
mosquito, Dr. Lamborn is undoubtedly correct in his
timely suggestions that any eifort toward the extermina-
tion or reduction of the numbers of this pest should be
followed with all possible skill and patience. But, lastly,
consider how many houses in summer-time, at the hottest
and most trying season of the year, are rendered almost
useless; how much attractive land is made uninhabitable;
how many furious and debilitating nights and days are
passed in agony from the attacks of this insupportable
winged fiend, and the question of its suppression becomes
one of economic and social importance. To be sure, there
is the revers de medaille claimed for the mosquito.
It has been claimed in his behalf that in its larval
stages it destroys the germs of miasma. The plea is futile
and misleading. The germs of miasma are very prob-
lematical and indefinite organisms, and the radical methods
of the extermination of miasma are well known and far
more efficient than any supposititious relief to be expected
from the larvse of mosquito. Drainage and clearance and
sunlio^ht are the scientific methods to overcome this diffi-
culty. Besides, J. AV. Slater (Ent., page 87) is of the
opinion that "aquatic dipterous larvse appear to render
stagnant waters more corrupt." While Dr. A. F. A.
King, in a paper read before the Philosophical Society of
Washington, D. C, endeavors to sustain the thesis that
malarial disease is produced through the instrumentality
of mosquitoes, which by their punctures inoculate the body
with the malarial poison.
112 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
It is absolutely certain that as a preliminaiy conclusion
I can confidently assert that the mosquito is injurious and
that its extermination or its abatement is a benefit.
In discussing this problem we are compelled to avoid
any collision between the achievement of the desired end
by such means as we may employ and usages or comfort
A remedy which considered in itself might be quite
efficacious is debarred from consideration if it interferes
with social usages or is a nuisance. In the discussion,
even, we should be inclined to reject any suggestion which
was recommended simply on the score of its being less
aggravating than the scourge. The remedy should be
complete in itself and harmless in its results, inoifensive,
and if possible attractive, so that with the eradication of
a pest we may substitute a pleasure or an ornament.
Further, we must select by preference all such remedies as
are the least exhausting, the least expensive, most readily
obtained, and most easily maintained. Furthermore, we
should inspect the various stages in the life history of the
mosquito and observe the requisite, feasible, or known de-
vices for its extermination at each stage. In this way it
might be possible to find a method which, applied at one
stage, was many times more effective, owing to the condi-
tions then prevalent, than a more difficult or costly one
used at a later or different period.
There are obviously two distinct paths of experiment in
reaching practical results : first, by natural methods, and,
secondly, by artificial ; and as between ' these, other things
being equal and the results the same, the natural methods
are to be preferred if it can be shown that they will con-
tinue in action automatically after their introduction, or
NATURAL REMEDIES. 113
will require but little outside encouragement or renewal.
Dr. Lamborn brings one of the most interesting of these
natural methods forward to notice, and I have considered
it at length in the succeeding section upon remedies.
It is also requisite to examine the divers conditions of
different places, and to adapt as far as possible remedies
most suitable, adequate, and attainable for the places
Further, it is well to draw attention to the desirability
of a general and consolidated effort on the part of com-
munities in these enterprises, or even to enlist the assist-
ance of local governments towards securing some means
for the eradication of the pest.
With these preliminary observations, and speaking
under the influence of a firm conviction that the mos-
quito is a serious and avoidable nuisance, I pass to the
consideration of the possible remedies.
The Dragon Flies — Odonata.
The first measure which promises relief is the creation
of a sufficient number of the natural destroyers of the
mosquito ; that is, to set in motion an organic device, or
an arrangement of organic machinery, which will work
smoothly and effectively.
This plan is fascinating in itself and is in accordance
with scientific principles, for it invokes the activity of Na-
ture to amend or repair her own mistakes and injuries,
and appears comprehensive and economical. It introduces
that balance of opposite agencies which Nature uses every-
where to repress her own.
114 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
The dragon flies (Odonata), especially the ^schnina,
Gomphina, and Libellulina, are the natural enemies of the
mosquitoes ; they are voracious, they sometimes appear in
great numbers, and as a matter of fact the mosquito dis-
appears before them, while their breeding grounds are in
many respects similar, so far as fresh and brackish water
habitats are concerned ; and, finally, in the metamorjihoses
of the di'agon fly we meet conditions which introduce it
in antagonism to the mosquito at the same stages of de-
The voracity of the dragon fly has been frequently
reported, and it is an old fact that the dragon fly will eat
its own body when ofiered to him. I have experimented
with ^schna heros, which ate forty flies inside of two
hours, while Libellula pulchella devoured twenty-five flies
in the same period.
That the dragon fly does naturally occur in great num-
bers at favorable moments is also a matter of scientific rec-
ord. Mr. E. T. Koppen (Stett. Ent. Zeit., pages 183-188,
1871) gives a chronological resume, from 1494 to 1868,
of records of flights and swarms of species of dragon flies,
especially Libellula quadrimaculata Linn. (See Appendix B
for further information on migrations of dragon flies.)
That the mosquitoes actually diminish in the presence
of the drao-on flies seems in a measure authenticated. Dr.
Edgar A. Mearus informs me that while he was stationed
at Fort Snelling, JNIinnesota, the mosquitoes appeared in
vast swarms, to be shortly after followed by large numbers
of dragon flies (L. pulchella ?), at whose appearance the
numbers of mosquitoes, which were at that time a pest,
NATURAL REMEDIES. 115
were considerably reduced. I had a similar experience last
summer at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, where the mosquitoes
are always abundant. Last season immense numbers of
Diplax berenice appeared and but few mosquitoes were to
be found. Mr. W. T. Davis met with the same fortune
at Perth Amboy, Long Lsland. From Dr. Lamborn's
circular it is also seen that ho has been struck by the same
coincidence. Mr. Pryer (Journ. IST, Branch Poy. Asiatic
Soc, IV., pages 75 and 76) also noticed great abundance
of dragon flies in Japan, where they seemed to keep down
the numbers of mosquitoes.
Breeding Grounds, Habits, etc.
The breeding grounds of the mosquito and dragon fly
are similar in some respects. The larvse and nymphae
are found in sunny places, shallow and especially still
pools, and in swampy areas. But they are different in
this respect, that the dragon fly cannot be raised in wa-
ters of deep or shady woods, having a propensity for the
sunlit areas, both aquatic and terrestrial.
The metamorphoses of the dragon fly, passing as it
does through an aquatic existence, adapt it possibly for
contest with the mosquito life in the larval stage of both,
though on this point more precise information is needed.
The voracity of both larva and nympha of the dragon fly
is well known. It has been asserted by Mr. L. Biro
(Rov. Lapok. I., pages 251-253) that "the larvre of some
species of dragon fly was destructive in the piscicultural
establishments in Hungary. Fifty thousand young fish
were placed in a pond in spring and in September only
fifty-four remained, and there were immense quantities of
116 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
dragon fly larvae." This inference needs corrol)oration, as
the fish may have died from other causes.
In view of all these facts,. I believe it is a feasible plan
to pursue the directions for relief indicated by Dr. Lam-
born, in an experimental manner ; but I am led also to
conclude that remedies less elaborate will yield quicker
results. For there are difficulties to be encountered at
the outset which only patience and ingenuity can sur-
mount, and patience and ingenuity demand time and
money for their exercise. The difficulties connected with
this are in the breeding stages and the somewhat diffi^r-
eut habits of dragon flies and mosquitoes.
Whether the dragon fly can be artificially bred so as to
use the same against the mosquito is a matter for experi-
ment. Their life histories are not yet sufficiently known
to make positive statements in this direction. (Although
I made a series of experiments last summer in breed-
ing Libel lula auripennis, L. pulchella, L. semifascia, G.
trimaculata, Diplax rubicundula, and D. berenice, yet
lack of time prevented my giving it proper attention, and
I failed to rear these species.) The principal difficulty
will be found in the protection of the different stages of
dragon flies against mutual depredation and injury ; I
am inclined also to think that the larvse of the dragon
fly will succumb far more quickly than the mosquito, and
that the delicate conditions requisite for its growth are
not always easily attained. But I would recommend for
experiment Libellula quadrimaculata, which is found in
North America, Europe, and Asia, as a species easily ob-
tained and noticeable for its appearance in immense swarms.
Furthermore, it is to be remembered that the mosquito
is partially a nocturnal insect, while the dragon fly is
NATURAL REMEDIES. 117
diurnal ; that the mosquito nestles in tall grass, seeks the
protection of trees and shrubs, and is practically hidden
in the edges of copses and woods.
Under these circumstances the dragon fly will not find
its prey. Great numbers will escape ; only those en-
countered in its busy flight through the air will be cap-
tured, for the dragon fly does not hunt for its booty nor
scour the forbidden shadows of woods and forests, and at
nightfall the mosquito will elude his pursuer and rise to
his murderous intent.
Besides, as I pointed out in the Discussion of the
Problem, the remedy should be complete and unassail-
able and fit the widest variety of conditions. The dragon
fly may in some genial locations suit the elements of the
question and be of practicable service ; it may, indeed, be
more widely beneficial than we suspect, as the references
above made would seem to show ; but the preliminary ex-
perimental stage of rearing dragon flies and studying their
jjrcparatory stages must be first successfully examined.
For this purpose I have given in Appendix B a biblio-
graphical catalogue of all the known transformations of
the Odonata of the world, and have also inserted in the
same place a short sketch of the mode of oviposition and
description of the egg of Libellula, Plathemis, and Di-
plax. I have also, for the convenience of collectors,
added a list of species of Odonata found in New York
State, with special reference to those found in the vicinity
of New York City.
Fish and Water Fowl.
I consider, in the second place in natural remedies, the
importance of fish and water fowl for the subjection of
118 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
the mosquito. These instrumentalities I regard as of very
considerable importance, and amongst natural remedies
place them as the equivalents, and, possibly, of more inter-
est than the dragon fly. For in this connection it must
be remembered that a method which attacks at its incep-
tion is more likely to lead to radical results than one ap-
plied later, after the scourge has reached considerable
dimensions and is not so readily grasped. If the larval
stages of the mosquito can be reached effectively we have
nipped the disorder, as it were, in the bud. It is true
that distinguished entomologists state that the dragon fly
in its water life attacks and destroys the larvse of the mos-
quito, but I have no information on that point, though,
from the manner in M'hich the larvae of the dragon fly
destroy each other, it seems probable that their carnivo-
rous propensities might lead them to attack the young of
mosquitoes. Yet, in this case, I think the injury inflicted
on mosquitoes would be slight, and the larger number
would escape. But young and old fish, and also aquatic
birds, will devour them in great numbers where they oc-
cur in large masses, and the cultivation of these denizens
of our pools and lakes is, therefore, most advisable, as
striking means for the diminishment of these pests.
Mr. Ludwig Riederer, of New York, informs me that
he has dissected a fish caught in a fresh water lake, and
found in its stomach hundreds of mosquito larvae and
I said in the discussion of the problem (ante) that we
might find it well to use some remedies, in some circum-
stances, that would preclude the use of others equally
eifective, while these latter would be again valuable under
different conditions. Here is an illustration : Aquatic
NATURAL REMEDIES. 119
birds can be adopted for the purpose of destroying mos-
(piito larvae in ponds, rain pools, etc., near houses, and in
ponds in well cleared fields, rolling and cultivated land,
where there is no extent of wood and management of the
fowl can be made simple and their breeding profitable;
and fish can be introduced in our public lakes. In these
different provinces the different agents of this compound
remedy will effect beneficial changes. It has been ob-
served by myself how infrequent the larvfe are in the
Central Park (jSTcw York City) lakes, and that their ab-
sence is due to the industry of the fish and water fowl,
though there is another suspected cause which I will men-
tion in a succeeding section.
The obvious dissatisfaction over these remedies is their
probable insufficiency ; but as helpful and useful, in the
absence of more perfect means, there is in my mind no
Third, this group of natural remedies comprises the dis-
semination of parasitic fungus and the cultivation of fresh
water algae to such an extent as to prevent or retard the
development and health of the mosquito larvae. Dr.
Hagen calls the attention of entomologists to the use of
beer yeast for destroying greenhouse pests, which proved
to be successful against plant lice (aphidae) and potato
beetles. But as this process is so uncertain to use against
the mosquito, I only suggest that experiments in this di-
rection may be made for the observation and record of
facts which may lead to results which are of practical use-
Mr. L. P. Gratacap, of the American jNIuseum of Natu-
ral History, has suggested that the increase of fresh water
algae would greatly impede the progress of the mosquito
120 DEAGON FLIES A^S. MOSQUITOES.
larvae in the water and Ijy entanglement effect their de-
struction before they could rise to the surface for the
respiration of air. This suggestion appears to me im-
portant, and I am inclined to agree with Mr. Gratacap that
the vast numbers of the fronds of Oscillatoria in the Cen-
tral Park lakes have had a deterrent effect upon the prop-
agation of mosquitoes in those localities. The requisition
here is a largely disseminated mass of algse, which, in such
rod-like forms as Oscillatoria, will float through the water
and by its intermixed and diffused stipes embarrass the
development and movements of the mosquito larvae. I
cannot lay especial stress on this suggestion, but regard it
as a very interesting field for practical experiment.
The second class of remedies are those which involve
the use of artificial means, chemical, physical, or mechani-
cal, and which ingenuity has proven to be effective. They
are, first, those which aim directly at effecting the destruc-
tion of the mosquito ; and, second, those which are simply
deterrent or protective to the individuals attacked by
mosquitoes, and therefore of limited and strictly adventi-
The use of coal oil in swamps, by filming the ground,
odorizing the air, and floating U23on the surface of the
water itself, is a very practical and energetic remedy. It
has its disadvantages, and I recall the principle I laid
down in the '' Discussion of the Problem," that no reme-
dy should be recommended which replaced the scourge we
endeavor to eject by an obnoxious substitute. Yet, in
many places removed from general habitations, this rem-
edy can be safely employed. It acts destructively upon
NATURAL REMEDIES. 121
the early stages of the mosquito. The use of poisons or
uncongenial admixtures in the breeding grounds of the.
mosquito is to be avoided.
The use of lanterns so arranged as to attract and de-
stroy the mosquitoes. The lamps I recommend are illus-
trated on Plates VIII. and IX. Their action is simple
and adequate. The mosquitoes are attracted to them, and
are destroyed in the pans of coal oil or kerosene, or
other strong mixtures which may be used. They should
be placed around houses, hotels, and in marshes. The
expense and trouble with their management is inconsid-
erable, as their use is discontinued, of course, during a
large part of the year.
General and scientific drainage of swamps is a very
radical and intelligent course of operation. It goes even
further back than the larval stage, for it precludes the in-
cipient acts of the mosquito at propagation. It robs her
of the congenial nidus for the development of her eggs.
Finally, I beg to emphasize the extreme aid which vil-
lage authorities misrht render in this matter. A small
general fund appropriated to experiments would be of
great assistance in helping to solve the problem. At the
same time no isolated and forlorn unsupported attempts
on the part of a few localities will be of any use. Coop-
eration, combination, unanimity, and persistence are the
needed factors, and only in such consolidated efforts can
we look for any encouragement in freeing ourselves from
this formidable pest.
I append a list of more or less helpful medicines or de-
terrents for individual protection : lemon juice, vinegar,
122 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
oil of peppermint, and oil of pennyroyal. A very strong
infusion of roots of Triticum repens is successfully used
at Simbirsk as a preventive against the attacks of mos-
quitoes, etc. (Ross. Ent. Soc, X., page 10. A weak
solution of quassia wood boiled in water has also been
recommended against bites of mosquitoes. (Nat., XXII.,
page 11, 1880.)
The results of this examination of the problem laid
before the scientific world by Dr. Lamborn, and recom-
mendations flowing from these results, are : —
1. A closer study of the life history of the dragon fly,
which invokes for its objects the exact determination of
the period of the larval condition, habits, etc.
2. I recommend the employment of the lamps men-
tioned (see Plates VIII. and IX,) in swamps and along
coast marshes, in damp woods, and about houses and hotels.
3. The raising of fish in ponds and the encouragement
of raising water fowl in regions where fresh water is
4. Where the conditions are favorable and their use
will not lead to the interference with health, I believe the
use of coal oil in the waters of the estuaries of our rivers
and on the rain invaded areas of deep woods will be ef-
fective in destroying the mosquito in its larval stages.
Astringents, as logwood or alum, will also prevent the
growth of the mosquito in its incipient stages.
5. Drainage of swamps. This is of immense value
and probably a complete remedy where it can be inexpen-
DESTRUCTION OF THE HOUSE FLY. 123
Finally, the question of mosquito extermination or
abatement, I believe, can only be satisfactorily settled by
a conducted movement over wide tracts of land. The ar-
rest of the plague in one portion of the country, when the
next section makes no eflPort to suppress its own annual
contingent, can only lead to discouragement and ridicule.
The approval of local authorities and the appropriation of
a fund for the purpose will greatly aid the cause of mos-
quito extermination, and especially the location of the
worst infected regions, whose baneful progenies are carried
far and wide over their afflicted vicinities.*
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HOUSE FLY.
I DO not think it is possible to introduce the dragon fly
into the streets and houses in cities for the purpose of using
it as an instrument of attack against the house fly (Mus-
ca domestica L.). The latter, from habits, has become
completely domesticated, while the former retains all its
wild nature unsubdued and unchanged, has undergone no
experience which would tend to divorce it from its out-
door life, and probably it cannot be modified in this re-
spect, even after long habituation to new conditions. Its
natural voracity might disappear under such circumstances,
or its tastes be altered. Its aerial and sunny existence
could hardly submit to such a violent change without
some corresponding modification of its nature.
* Prof. E. P. Whitfield informs me that some years ago while
he was staying at Atlantic City, N. J., he noticed that people of
that town were using an astringent in the water to kill the mos-
quito larvae which were at the time very numerous, and upon
inquiries made by him was informed that the chemical used for
the purpose was copperas (ferrous sulphate).
124 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
That the house fly is in some ways a menace to health
may be readily allowed. Scientific literature contains
many instances illustrating this fact. Dr. B. Grassi's ex-
periments (Archiv. Ital. Biol, IV., pages 205-208, and
Am. JSFat., XVIII., page 1267) show that flies are agents
in the diflnision of infections, maladies, epidemics, and
even parasitic diseases. Drs. Spillman and Hanshalter, in
a report made to the French Academy, have come to sim-
ilar conclusions. (Science, X., page 214, 1887.) Leidy
(Proc. Ac. N. Sc. Phil., 140, 1874) found a thread-like
worm infesting the house fly. This parasite was first dis-
covered in the house fly of India by Mr. H. J. Carter,
who described it under the name Filaria muscee, and sue:-
gested that it might be the cause pf the Guinea worm,
Filaria medinensis, in man.
The house fly in its larval stages lives in manure and
other decaying vegetable matters. I would suggest the
speedy removal of all such matters in cities, and also the
refuse in houses, and under no circumstances should our
Board of Health allow the accumulation of manure for
shipment along our river fronts, as has been done in cer-
tain parts of New York City.
Stables are the principal breeding grounds of the house
fly. Kerosene sprinkled over the floor in stables is said
to be an excellent remedy to keep flies away.
The various instruments and methods to trap flies in
houses are too well known to discuss here. As a self
perpetuating remedy, and one allied to the natural means
discussed in reference to the mosquito, the fly fungus (Spo-
rendonema) might be employed and established to destroy
the house fly by inoculation.
MODE OF OYIPOSITION OF CERTAIN
SPECIES OF ODONATA.
The female of Libellula, when laying eggs hovers over
the snrface of the water, and, coming in close proximity of
the same, balances herself by the very rapid motion of the
wings, curves her body downward, and dips the ti^i of her
abdomen into the water at short intervals, and at the same
time deposits from twenty-five to forty eggs, which are
surrounded by an invisible glutinous substance secreted at
oviposition, by means of which they adhere to aquatic
plants, sticks, stones, or any other object they may come
in contact with at the bottom of the water. In order to
ascertain the number of eggs laid each time the female
Libellula dips her abdomen into the water, I captured at
diiferent times several specimens of Libellula auripennis
and L. pulchella in act of ovipositing and held together
their fore wings, allowing the hind wings to remain free
and in action while I dipped the tips of their abdomens
into a small vial filled with water, and invariably at each
dip about the same number of eggs were deposited as
alluded to above. This experiment I repeated until the
supply of eggs of my specimens for the time being was
exhausted, and the results were always the same. As re-
gards my observations of Libellula, they agree with those
made by Siebold. (Germ. Zeit. Ent. II., page 42L) The
male of Libellula, as is stated by Siebold, retains its hold
to the female and directs her movements while oviposit-
ing. Miiller (Ent. M. Mag., VIIL, page 127) confirms
the assertions made by Siebold. Although I have seen
scores of L. pulchella, L. auripennis, L. semifascia, and
126 DRAGON FLIES VS. ISIOSQUITOES.
other species in act of oviposition, the females were al-
ways destitute of the male, and only in one instance I
saw a male retain its hold to the female while laying eggs.
The egg of Libellnla auripennis is irregularly oval, with
very fine granulations, sordid white and semitranslucent,
becoming amber yellow before the young larvse emerges.
Length, one-third millimetre; width, one-fourth milli-
metre. A number of eggs which were laid on July 23d,
at 6.30 P. M., disclosed the young larvae on August 1st.
The egg of Libellnla pulchella is very similar to that of
L. auripennis, in flict cannot be distinguished from it, ex-
cept that it is a little more irregular in shape. Length,
one-third millimetre ; width, one-fourth millimetre. Laid
July 23d at 6 P. JSI. ; young larvae emerged August 31st.
The mode of oviposition of Plathemis (P. trimaculata)
and Diplax (D. berenice and B. rubicundula) is identical
with that of Libellnla. The egg of the former is ellipti-
cal or subelliptical, granulated, semitranslucent, pale yel-
lowish white, becoming amber yellow before hatching.
Length, one-half millimetre ; width, one-third millimetre.
Laid July 13th, at 5 P. M.; young larvse emerged July
23d. The eggs of the two latter species are oval, yel-
lowish white, semitranslucent, and slightly granulated.
Length, one-half millimetre; width, three-tenths milli-
metre. Laid August 12th ; young larvse emerged August
Calopteryx (C. virgo) deposits her eggs on the under
side of leaves of aquatic plants. (Brandt, iNIem. Ac. Sc.
St. Petersb., 1868.)
The habits of Agrion and Lestes differ entirely from
that of Libellnla. They deposit their eggs in a groove
made by their ovipositors along the stems of Avater plants.
MODE OF OVIPOSITION. 127
Both Agrion and Lestes sometimes also go beneath the
surface of the water to lay their eggs. Siebold (Wiegm.
Archiv. Plate I., page 205, 1841) has observed the fe-
male of ^schna clinging to a plant, dipping her body be-
neath the water and rubbing it up and down along the
stem. Mr. AV. T. Davis once saw a female JE. verticalis
descend beneath the surface of a slow flowing spring, but
he has not seen the species deposit an egg as is stated in
one of the volumes of the " Zoological Record." I have
seen, at Sandy Hook, N. J., a species of ^schna laying
eggs in the same manner as Libellula, with the male di-
rectino; her movements.
The best time I found to make observations and to cap-
ture the d liferent species of Odonata is between sunset
until dusk or on a day partly clouded. In the hot rays of
the sun the insects are too active and shy to make obser-
vations about their breeding habits; while during sunset
or on a cloudy day, when the sun is less torrid, thev are
less active and rather sluggish in their movements.
DRAGON FLIES AS MOSQUITO HAWKS ON
THE WESTERN PLAINS.
A LETTER FROM
C. Is^ B. :\[ACAULEY,
Captain axd Assistant Suroeox, United States Army.
DRAGON FLIES AS MOSQUITO HAWKS ON
THE WESTERN PLAINS.
The following letter from an officer in the United
States Army gives valuable information as to the good
service rendered by dragon flies against the mosquitoes
of our Western States : —
In the summer of 18S5 I was on duty at Fort
Abraham Lincoln, Dakota. The post is on the Missouri
River, west side, about six miles below Bismarck. On
my arrival I was told long yarns about the thickness of
I was not inclined to believe them, as I had served
on that river before and had not been troubled at all,
except Mullen I went into the brush on the bank. However,
the " yarns " were more than fulfilled towards the latter
part of June. People who went up the river to Fort
Buford and above — nearly five hundred miles — told the
same story. The pests were so thick that I could hear
the horses and mules in the Quartermaster's corral crying
from irritation. Both in the officers' quarters and the en-
listed men's barracks, thick "smudges," made by burning
half dried grass, were the only things that rendered our
quarters inhabitable. On the target range during the end
of June and about three weeks in July I could not stay,
unless I had on heavy boots — such as are used out there
for riding, thick trousers, leather gauntlets, and a thick
"cache nez" tucked under my helmet and collar of my
132 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
My friend Lieut. H. O. S. Heistand, Eleventh Regi-
ment of Infantry, U. S. Army, told me he had seen
mosquitoes quite as thick at Camp Poplar River, Mon-
tana, a few years before, and had seen them disappear as
if by magic. He said there suddenly appeared a species
of "devil's darning needle" or dragon fly, of rather a large
size. These insects flew in lines slowly. At first he did
not think they had anything to do with the mosquitoes'
disappearance, but the change was so sudden, and without
sufficient change in the temperature to account for it, that
he was forced to the conclusion that this insect was at the
bottom of it. This, he said, was corroborated by some
"squaw men" and Indian traders who had been at Camp
Poplar River for several years. They said these flies did
not appear every " mosquito year," but when they did they
came in droves and cleared the place out. They called
them " mosquito hawks."
While sitting on the target range one day in July,
toward the end of the third week, I think, with the mos-
quitoes as thick as ever, we were talking about the mos-
quito hawk, and wishing he'd hurry up. Just then Lieu-
tenant Heistand shouted, " There's one now ! " For some
time before this I had given up slapping myself, as I
had not been so much troubled. On looking around I
saw a number, about a dozen, of the largest dragon flies
I ever saw. If I remember correctly, they had four
wings, six legs, were about two inches long, and of a
dark brown color. I picked up a dead one some time
later, and was about examining it when I was called
away. I lost the specimen, and so cannot be certain of
my description. The wings had a fine network of blood-
vessels (?) and had the faintest kind of an emerald green
LETTER FROM CAPT. MACAU LEY. 133
tinge. I am not an entomologist, I am sorry to say, so I
cannot describe the " bng " more exactly.
From Mr. Heistand's enthusiastic description of these
mosquito hawks I was curious to see how they caught
their food. I noticed that they flew in an irregular kind
of skirmish line, moved slowly, and every now and then
made what he described as short " dabs " at apparently
nothing. Mr, Heistand said that "each one of these dabs
means a mosquito." It was curious to see how deliberate
they were about it, and how fairly aligned this skirmish
line was. They appeared somewhere about 11 A. M.,
and when I went into the post later I crossed the parade
ground and saw detachments of about half a dozen flying
slowly about. They stayed at ab(uit an average of three
feet from the ground. I do not know how late they
kept it up or how early they began. They stayed until
all the mosquitoes appeared to be gone. I intended
catching one and chloroforming it for examination — I
even made a net for the purpose — but I hadn't the heart
to do it, because of the business like way they made life
bearable. I do not remember how long they stayed —
maybe a week — but I know that at the end of three days
the change was so great that head nets were no longer
needed, and existence was bearable once more. At the
end of September of that year I was ordered to Poplar
River, where the mosquitoes had been just as bati, and I
have a dim recollection of hearing of the appearance of
these mosquito hawks. The following year we had a few
mosquitoes, but as the summer was unusually dry, even
for that comparatively arid country, they were few and
did not last long. The next year they appeared and
were very bad again, but I was ordered to the Indian
134 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Territory at the end of July ; I did not see any of the
" hawks." I heard from time to time that mosquitoes were
very thick there, but how long they stayed, or whether
these dragon flies appeared or not, I do not know.
I am sorry I cannot make a more scientific account
than this, but between an epidemic of measles that broke
out in the post about that time — ^and as the post surgeon
was away I had all I could do to attend to the cases —
and a number of other things that occurred, my letter is
simply a " recollection." Of this I am certain, that for a
time head nets, mosquito bars, and the best way of mak-
hm " smudoes " were about all I could think of, and
that on and after the appearance of these " mosquito
hawks " the above mentioned articles sank into an " in-
They might be bred in the East, but they are an er-
ratic insect. As I said before, they do not appear every
" mosquito year," and it was just my good fortune that I
happened to see them. Officers w^ho were with me in
that garrison, who had been stationed there years before,
told me that it was almost worth a man's life to attempt
to walk up to Fort ISIcKean (a small infantry post on
the foothills behind Fort Lincoln), not so much from the
Sioux, as from what they (the officers) termed the Sioux's
allies — the mosquitoes.
To De. R. H. Lamborn, New York.
Philadelphia, Pa., 22d January, 1889.
CAN THE .ArOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED?
By henry C". McCOOK, D. D.
From thk North American Kevikw, September, 1889.
CAN THE MOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED?
Natural science lias taught the Avorld modesty in its
judgments. Many things thought impossible have been
done, and the imaginary achievements of the genii and
magicians of earlier ages are the workaday deeds of mod-
ern times. Therefore one may well hesitate to say that
the extermination of the mosquito is impossible; yet the
facts seem to point that way. The mosquito is an ancient
inhabitant of this globe of ours, being found among the
fossil insects, and is as catholic in its distribution as vener-
able in its descent. Having thus far held a place among
the myriad creatures of our globe, it is likely to continue
its generation. Let us, then, accept it as inevitable that
the mosquito cannot be exterminated.
Can the mosquito pest be mitigated? That is quite
another question, which has just been raised by a phil-
anthropic gentleman with strong scientific tastes. Dr.
Lamborn, who has recently offered a prize for a prelim-
inary study of the habits of dragon flies, with a view to
their propagation as destroyers of mosquitoes, has found
the ready ear of the American nation. His manifesto was
a "touch of nature" Avhieh has proved our New World
"kin," for, alas! there are few portions of this beau-
tiful domain where the mosquito has not piped her war
song and drawn blood from human victims. I am con-
strained by truth, despite the seeming discourtesy, to say
138 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
"her." It is the female mosquito that docs all the dam-
age ! Her spouse is a harmless creature. Without claim-
ing any knowledge as a specialist of these very interesting
but disagreeable insects, I may offer a few suggestions in-
tended to encourage public sympathy and cooperation with
an enterprise which may seem to many chimerical. Cer-
tainly nothing is ever done by attempting nothing; and if
we wish to rid ourselves of what is an undoubted pest in
certain localities, w^e must at least "make an effort." Suc-
cess in limiting the number of mosquitoes pivots upon two
points : Hostile Environment and Natural Enemies.
"Where the conditions are favorable for propagation and
growth, the mosquito, like other creatures, will iiourish.
If those conditions can be made unfavorable, the insect
must decrease. This compels us to ask, what are favora-
ble conditions for the mosquito's development ?
The question is easier asked than accurately answered.
In point of fact, the mosquito has a cosmopolitan distri-
bution. It is supposed to have its paradise in tropical
countries, but it flourishes in Labrador. It affects low
lying positions, but lovers of the Adirondack Mountains
will recall visions of " smudges," and cheese cloth canopies
on rustic bunks, and battles with swarms of Culicidre amid
the soughing of pines and the sweet fragrance of the bal-
sam. It loves the interior, and many a veteran may recall
the days when he hunted prairie chickens on the plains of
Illinois with mosquito netting twisted around his hat and
face ; yet it is said, though good testimony could be drawn
to the contrary, that "a few" mosquitoes have habitat
along the seashore of New Jersey ! But, wherever found,
CAN THE MOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED? 139
one condition seems to be essential to its active develop-
ment. It must have water.
The mother mosquito deposits her eggs in minute boat-
like masses upon the surface of water. From these eggs
come little larvae, or worms, or maggots, to use popular
words. These wee things inhabit the water, living most
of the time at or near the bottom, where they are said to
feed upon decaying matter and the micro-organisms that
swarm in such conditions. The question has often been
asked me, ''What were mosquitoes made for, anyhow?"
If those who have specially studied the habits of the in-
sects are correct, they certainly render important and useful
service during their larval stage by cleansing swamp lands
and stagnant pools from the miasms which plague man-
kind with various forms of fever. Let this much be said
to the credit of this dreadfully maligned insect, for it be-
hooves the naturalist, at least, to give " even the devil his
due." If our mosquito were only pleased to confine its
existence to this stage, there would be no need to write
this paper, for it would be numbered among the benefac-
tors of our race, or, perhaps, like many another benefac-
tor, be utterly unknown.
The mosquito's brief period of larval life is divided
between feeding upon the aforesaid micro-organisms, etc.,
and occasional excursions 'to the surface for a breath of air.
Unfortunately, the larva soon becomes a pupa with a
greatly enlarged thorax, which gives the body a club
shaped appearance. Two broad paddles or caudal swim-
ming leaves are fixed at the apex of the body, by which
the mosquitoes can wiggle their way through the water.
They are active in their habits, but they do not cat. Per-
haps their larval diet of miasms proves too much fur
140 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
tliem. Soon they awake, at the call of Nature, to another
element and another sphere of activity.
It may shock the aesthetic sensibilities of the general
public to speak of anything beautiful or fairy-like in the
natural history of the mosquito; but really such terms are
truly applicable when the mosquito pupa begins to trans-
form. Let me briefly describe the process as entomolo-
gists have observed it. These little fish-like larvse have
spent their first stage of being swimming about in stag-
nant water, devouring the living atoms that swarm there-
in. They reach their second stage by casting off the larval
skin and becoming pupte. In this stage they remain rolled
up like a ball, and float at the surface of the water for the
purpose of breathing through the two respiratory tubes on
the top of their backs. If disturbed by any unwonted
agitation of the water, they suddenly uncurl their bodies
and whirl over and over from side to side. This Turn
Verein existence, spent with no sustaining nutriment but
atmospheric air, terminates in the course of a few days.
Now the little water tumblers are ready for another
transformation. The skin splits on the back between the
breathing tubes, and a little boat is thus formed, as grace-
fully curved at the bow and poop as the imperial barge of
Cleopatra. Out of this fairy bark there suddenly issues
a winged creature. The head, the body, the limbs, burst
from the opening in the hard skin. The slender legs are
raised on the edges of the empty bark until, spreading its
wings and pluming itself for flight into sunlight and air,
the insect rises, while by the reflex of its upward bound
its tiny bark is overset and sinks beneath the wave. If
the poet or artist were to catch this vision at the moment
the insect leaves its abandoned l)ark and stretches its wings
CAN THE MOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED? 141
for flight, lie might well imagine that he had obtained a
glimpse of the good old days when one might see ''old
Proteus" or young Venus "rising from the sea." Alas,
that Professor Gradgrind, the naturalist, should be com-
pelled to tell him that he had oidy seen a mosquito trans-
This is the natural history of the animal's environment.
The practical question is. How can one so control these
conditions as to limit the multiplication of the insects?
Obviously the answer is, Limit their natural breeding
grounds! When swamps are dried up, when stagnant
pools are filled up, when brackish lakes and sluggish
streams are drained and dredged and graded so as to give
free current to their waters, when the swamp grasses,
weeds, sedges, and various plants in which mosquitoes
find refuge after transformation are cut down and cleared
away — when, in short, the scythe, lawn mower, grubbing
ax, and gardener's hand of diligence, thrift, cleanliness,
and care have turned our country into a cultivated garden,
the days of the mosquito as a pest will be numbered.
Culex pipiens and all the other species of CuHcidfe (the
family of mosquitoes and gnats) will still have their repre-
sentatives in the land; but they will be shorn of their
power to deplete the veins of summer cottagers and guests
and the purses of summer landlords.
The second factor in limiting the number of mosquitoes
is that of natural enemies. Of these only two may be
mentioned — the dragon fly and the spider. It is a strange
illustration of human perversity that these two animals^
142 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
whose lives are spent in serving man, should be largely
under the ban of human prejudice. The dragon fly is
dreaded ; the spider is hated ; and yet they are Nature's
checks upon the mosquito and other insects that otherwise
would make our earth well nigh uninhabitable.
Is it practicable so to develop the dragon fly and spider
that their special gifts from Nature can be further used in
the service of man by directing them especially against
the mosquito? The first step in the practical consider-
ation of such a question, of course, is that human preju-
dice should be set aside and these two animals recognized
in their true relations to the insect world.
Dr. Lamborn's circular concerning the propagation of
the dragon fly, which has evoked this inquiry, will doubt-
less call forth a great deal of valuable information from
entomologists better equipped for treating the subject than
myself. But a few words on this point may not be out
of place. " AVhat is a dragon fly ? " asked an intelligent
city gentleman who had read Dr. Lamborn's note. I at-
tempted to explain, and, indeed, took the pains to show
him a figure of the insect. " Oh ! " was the exclamation,
" that's a devil's darning needle ! " Yes ; and the name
is expressive of the attitude of English speaking people
towards this serviceable insect. I have read of a school —
if memory serves me truly, it was situate in that highly
developed centre of American civilization, New York
City — whose session was broken up by the advent of
an innocent dragon fly through an open window. An
alarm raised by one scholar passed through the entire
room : " A devil's darning needle ! A devil's darning
needle ! " The ominous phrase, piped in the shrill
quaver of terrified childhood, alarmed the teacher, and
CAN THE MOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED? 143
the agitation became so general that the school had to be
dismissed as an act of humanity.
Again, I well remember, when a small boy upon the
hills of eastern Ohio, gazing with open eyed wonder upon
the beautiful forms of these insects as they flitted to and
fro, and heard my older companions speak of them as
"snake feeders." "Look out! There's a snake some-
where near ! Here's a snake feeder ! " I do not even
now know the origin of that term, or the meaning at-
tached to it by people generally ; but to my child's im-
agination there came up a picture of these strange insects
haunting some shady nook by running streams, where,
under the shelter of limestone rocks, the serpent reared
his head and thrust out his quivering tongue to receive
his daily supplies of food from his servant, the "snake
feeder." Is it strange if boyish fancy somehow associ-
ated the incident with all sorts of demoniac folklore
and ghost stories ? And yet, within two weeks from the
date of this writing, a well informed gentleman who did
not know this insect by the name of dragon fly recog-
nized it at once when I spoke of it as a " snake feeder."
AVith a keener sense of the beautiful, the French have
called this insect demoiselle. But for the most part
English terminology expresses superstitious fear or ig-
There is, however, another popular name which shows
that the kindly service of these beautiful Neuroptera, the
Libellulidse, is known and appreciated. It is " the mos-
quito hawk." Those who have watched the dragon fly's
habits must have noticed that, as it flits here and there, it
is engaged in seizing and devouring various insects. In
regions infested by mosquitoes, those creatures contribute
144 DRAGON FLIE^ VS. MOSQUITOES.
largely to the dragon fly's appetite. This deadly war,
waged in its perfect estate upon the perfect form of mos-
quito, is only a continuation of the habit of larval life.
Like the mosquito, the mother dragon fly oviposits in the
water, and its young are reared under similar conditions.
The dragon fly larva is as voracious as the imago, and
destroys enormous numbers of the aquatic larvse of other
insects, including, of course, the larvae and pupse of mos-
quitoes. Thus it comes about that in both stages of their
development dragon flies are the natural enemies of the
mosquito in both stages of its life.
Now emerges the query, can this "mosquito hawk" be
propagated in such numbers, in regions most frequented
by the mosquito, as materially to contribute to the mitiga-
tion of the pest ? The question is one that can only be
answered by experiment, and certainly the interests in-
volved to both human property and human comfort are
sufficient to justify the undertaking. There appears to
be no difficulty in rearing the aquatic larvse and pupae of
dragon flies in artificial conditions. An ordinary aquari-
um, a good sized jar, or a glass tumbler will suffice for a
successful experiment. The matter which needs most to
be attended to in such primitive undertakings is to sepa-
rate the more ferocious forms from the less.
Dr. Lamborn's olfer of a prize for a paper upon the
methods of propagating di*agon flies is intended simply as
a preliminary step. If the inquiry should develop facts
that seem sufficient to justify further experiments and re-
searches, no doubt there will be money enough forthcom-
ing to enter upon this larger undertaking. In the mean-
time let us encourage the endeavor. It can certainly do
no harm. It will, beyond doubt, develop many interest-
CAN THE MOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED V 145
ing facts in natural history ; and if it shall fail to reach
its objective point, it will at least have enlightened the
nation somewhat as to the real character of one of the
most beautiful and serviceable inhabitants of our insect
I now come to another natural enemy of the mosquito,
concerning whose habits I can speak with something more
of autht)rity. The spider is Nature's chief check against
the undue increase of insects. Despised Arachne is en-
titled l)y her services to occupy the chief place among
invertebrate philanthropists. It is, I nn'glit almost say,
absolutely harmless to mankind. With the exception of
an occasional alleged " spider bite " issuing in suffering
or death, and delivered by the traditional and indefinite
"black spider," I know of no evil that can be charged
against the spider. True, as, long ago, the wise Proverb-
ialist said, "She taketh hold with hands, and is in king's
palaces." She builds her cobwebs in our homes, but
there is no harm in that. If one will take the pains
to study the cobwebs, they will be found beautiful struct-
nres ; and, at all events, the housewife can brush them
away without encouraging hatred for the harmless creat-
ure that makes them. For, be it considered, the spider
only comes into our homes because mosquitoes and other
insects also come ! She comes, not seeking to harm us,
but to help us ; and, therefore, for the sake of her motive,
if she be not welcome, let her, at least, be thought of
The number of insects of all sorts and sizes destroyed
by spiders simply passes calculation. If one will walk
out on a dev/y morning, with his eyes open for spider
webs, he will be surprised to find how many thei-c are,
146 DRAGON" FLIES YH. MOSQUITOES.
and how various, too, the forms of sphiningwork that
meet him. All over this new plowed field he will find
them ; in yonder meadow, also, hanging by myriads upon
myriads on the grasses. Along that hedgerow they are
nested and have woven their dainty snares. In the
branches of these shrubs and on the foliao;e of vender
trees are other hosts. If one Mill })ush back the fi»liage
he will see yet others, spiders of the wandering grouj^,
that stalk their prey as do the wild beasts of the forests,
crouching on trunk and branches and lurking among the
leaves. If one tui-ns to the earth other myriads are seen
whose homes are on the ground or Avho build slight webs
close to the surface. These have laid the ax at the very
root of the tree, and are destroying the insects ere they
rise from the surface to visit our homes. All these un-
numbered multitudes of spiders are engaged during every
moment of their existence in waging relentless war upon
the insect world. AVhen one considers how many spitlcrs
there are, and that they all thus feed upon their natural
food, the insects, he may form some just conception of
how needful they are to mankind. I do not hesitate to
say that, unless Nature should provide some equivalent in
the way of check upon insects, man could not dwell in
many inhabited parts of the world, were it not for the
friendly service of spiders.
But do the spiders have a special taste for mosquitoes ?
it may be asked. They take what conies to tiiem, and
Tvhen mosquitoes are abundant mosquitoes are taken. I
have counted in an orbweaver's snare, spun upon the railing
of the long bridge over Deal Lake, New Jersey, thirty-
eight mosquitoes at one time hanging entangled upon the
viscid spirals. Times without number have I seen like
CAN THE MOSQUITO BE EXTERMINATED? 147
destruction wrought to mosquitoes by spiders' webs ; for
it is a fact that, even after the aranead has satisfied its
appetite, its snare continues to capture insects. On one
occasion I took the pains to count the number of insects
of various species upon one large web, which was spread
in a favorable position, and found that there were two
hundred and thirty-six. It is a most common thing to
observe three, four, or ludf a dozen flies or other insects
trussed up upon the viscid orb of some of our orbweav-
ing species. It is needless to add the conclusion from the
above facts : if people would decrease the numl)er of
mosquitoes, let them encourage the multiplication of
The writer of this paper has not aimed to enter
learnedly or exhaustively upon the subject, but simply to
give a few hints by way of indicating the lines along
which we may successfully consider the question, Can the
mosquito be exterminated ?
Bibliography accompaxyixg the First Prize Essay.
By ]\Irs. C. B. AARON.
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124. Riley, C. V. Am. Nat., 15 and 817, 1881. Pyretbrum diluted
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125. • Kept. Ins., 1882, 76, pi. 3 and 4. Pyretbrum.
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128. Fourtb Rept. U. S. Ent. Comm., 108, 1885. Parasite
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130. [Report of tbe Entomologist in tbe Comm. of Agri-
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133. Riley, C. V., and Howard, L. O. Ins. Life, 1, 52, 188. Hiberna-
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134. Ins. Life, 1, 58, 1888. Larvse of Anax Junius destroy caq).
135. Ins. Life, 1, 109, 1888. Stomoxys calcitrans injuring
borees in Oregon.
136. et al. Rept. of experiments witb various insecticides.
[Bull. 11 Div. Ent. of U. S. Dept. Agri.], pages 34, 8vo,
137. Reports of observations and experiments. [Bull. 13
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139. ■ Packard and Tbomas, 3d Rept. U. S. Ent. Comm.,
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158 DRAGON PLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
142. Eombouts, J. E. Pop. 8ci. 3Io., 25, 68, 3 Figs., 1884. " How flies
143. Sclianp]>, F. G. Bull. Brook Soc-., 2, 73, 1881. Pwarnis of
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144. Sfhoch, G. M. T. Schw. Ent. Ges., G, ()85, 1884. IMiasmatic
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145. Schoyen, ^V. M. Ent. Tijdschr., ISSG, 171. Hypoderma larva;
140. Selys-Lonchamjjs, Baron de C. K. l-:nt. Belg., 18S4, lxxx\-.
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147. Slater, J. AV. Ent., 1879, 87. Aquatic dipterous larv;e appear
to render water more corrupt.
148. Smith, J. II. Sci. Goss., 1(5, 23(), 1880. Flies man-hing in a
band at Delhi.
150. Smith, W. G. Brit. INIed. Journ., October 1st, 1881. Dipterous
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l"'l- Ann. ^\ II. (5), 11, 213, 1883. Dipterous larv;e beneath
152. Snow, F. FI. Psyche, 3, 339, 1882. INIusca destroyed by Vespa.
153. Psyche, 4, 27, 1883. Screw worm.
154. Sonsino, P. P. v. Soc. Tosc, 1884, 102, or Arch. Ital. Biol., (5,
110, 1884. Culex a nurse for Filaria.
155. Spicei-, ^\\ W. Sci. Goss., 1874, 32 Figs., 27-32. Flies ])arasitic
15G. "S. S." The gnat (Culex pipiens.). Sci. Goss., 1871, 108, Fig.
65. iMosquito possessed of jioison.
157. Stebbins, F. R. Pop. Sci. Mo., 24, 700, 1884. ]\Ios(piitoes and
malaria ; a reply to King (61).
158. Stefenelli, Pietro. Bull. Ent. Soc. Ital., 15, 236, 1882 (also
Xature, 26, 89, 1882). Xymphs of yEschna attack imagos.
159. Stewart, S. A. Sci. Goss., 14, 140, 1878. Plague of flies ; spe-
160. Taylor, Thos. Proc. Amer. Asso. Adv. Sci., 31, 528, 1883.
■Musca domestica a carrier of contagion.
Ifil- Psyche, 4, 134, 1884. Naphthalin as an insecticide.
162. Todd, J. E. Am. Nat., 19, 306, 1885. Breeding habits of Li-
163. Torrey, Bradford. Am. Nat., 14, 132, and 594,1880. Swarms
of Libellul^e at Weymouth, Mass.
164. IT. S. Fish Comm. Bull., 1885, 310. Culex larva? food for carp
in N. J.
165. Van Bennnelen. Tijdsch. v. Ent., 27, Versl. xci., 1884. Odo-
nats migrating in Rotterdam.
1G6. Vail Ilagselt. Tijdschr. v. Ent., 2S, ^'ersl. xii., ISSa. Migra-
tions of Libellulidse.
167. Veeder, jM. A. Nature, 22, 4(i0, ISSO. Pennyroyal a specific
168. Walsh, B. D. Amer. Ent., 2, 187, Fig. 93, 1870. Larvte in the
169. Watney, H. W. Gard. Chron. (2), 19, 7.S5, 188:^. AVormwood
as an insecticide.
170. AVeir, .Tenner. Proo. Ent. See Lond., 1871, xxxix. Agrion
goes under water to oviposit.
171. AVest, T. Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond., 23, 1593, 1862. Tlie foot of
172. Journ. Micr. and Nat. Sci., 4, 38, pi. 4, 1885. Develop-
ment of Culex.
17:5. AA'estwood, J. O. Proc Ent. Soc. Lond., 1872, xxxi. Swarm-
ing of 5 gnats in house at Oxford, England.
174. Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1876, vii. ? Culex only in house
in early spring.
175. Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1885, xxv. Trout destroyed l)y
176. " E. P. AV." Nature, 29, 482, 1884. Dangers from flies.
177. AVhite, T. C. Journ. Queckett (2), 1, 6(i, i)l. 2, 1883. Histology
of sucking apparatus.
178. AA'illiams, E. H., Jr. Science, 14, 103, 1888. AVhicli of two
evils ; mosquitoes or malaria ?
179. AA'illiston, S. AV. Psyche, 4, 112, 1884. Myiasis; the screw
ISO. Young, C. r. Sci. Goss., 17, 141, 1881. Hibernation of gnats.
181. Editorials, Nature, 22, 518, 1880. Swarms of migrating flies
182. Science, 7, 46, 188('). IMosquitoes in ]\rexico causing sick-
ness and death.
183. Gadeau, Henri. Bull. Ent. Soc. France (6), (!, Ixxiii., 1886.
Musca domestica infested by INIermis.
184. Kraei)elin. Zeit. f AViss. Zool., 1883. (See 82.)
185. M'Lachlan. Ent. Mo. Mag., 21, 211. Oviposition of Agrion.
186. Riley, C. A^, and Howard, L. 0. Insect Life, 2, 93, 14 Figs.,
1889. The horn fly; just introduced.
187. AVilliston, S. AY. Ent. Am., 5, ISO, 1889. Description of new
cattle pest. (See 186.)
Records of Migrations of Dragon Flies, especially
LiBELLULA QUADRAMACULATA, FROM 1868 TO 1888.
By WILLIAM BEUTEXMULLER.
Since the paper on migrations and swarms of dragon flies by
Mr. E. T. Koppen, published in the Stett. Ent. Zeit., pages 183-188,
1871 (ante, page 21), I am not aware that a continuation of this
paper af)peared. I therefore add the following records : — ■
1761. Abbe Chappe (Journ. to Siberia, pages 236 and 237, 1770) no-
tices, on July 2d, an immense swarm of dragon flies mi-
grating from north to south.
1867. Pryer (Journ. N. China Branch Roy. Asiatic Soc, vol.iv., pages
75 and 76) notices great swarms of dragon flies m Japan.
1872. Kuwert (Stett. Ent. Zeit., xxxiv., pages 374 and 375) notes on
great swarms of dragon flies observed in Prussia in May.
1878. Thomson (Ent. ]M. jMag., xvi., page 280) notes on the abun-
dance of dragon flies at Zanzibar.
1880. Schaitter (Sitzb. z. b. Ges. Wien, xxx., page 40, and Ent.
Nachr., vi., pages 133 and 167) notes on great swarms of Lib.
4-maculata and L. depressa observed in Galicia, in May.
1880. Anony. (Feuill. Nat., x., page 15) record of a great swarm of
Libellula observed at Havre, on Octoljer 7th.
1880. Torrey (Am. Nat., xiv., page 132) records an enormous swarm
of dragon flies at Weymouth, Mass., on June 2d. The col-
umn was at least a quarter of a mile in width and the mi-
gration lasted all day. On the 2:]d of the same month a
similar swarm was observed near Boston. Both swarms
were flying westward.
1880. Van Bemmelen (Tijdschr. Ent., xxvii. ; Verslag, page 91)
records a swarm of dragon flies in the Rotterdam Zoo-
logical Garden in June.
1880. Chyzer (Rov. Lapok., i., page 125) records a swarm of Lib.
depressa and Agrion pulchellum in Hungary, May 8th,
1880. Eiiner (Biol. Centralb., i., pages 549-557) notes on a migra-
tion of Lib. scolica in September, and also refers to a swarm
162 DRAGOX FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
seen in the Engadine (Reprod. in Stett. Ent. Zeit., xliii.,
page 260, and abstr. in Jahrb. Verb. Wurtb., xxxviii.,
1880. Godlin (Zoo. Gart., xxv., j)age 125) records Calopteryx virgo
in a migratory swarm at Lake Neuchatel on September
17th, flying from northeast to southeast.
1880 (?) Glulian (Bull. Ent. Soc. Ital., vi., pages 227 and 228) record
of the invasion of Anax ephippigera in Italy.
1881. Torrey (Am. Nat., xiv., page 594) records a migration of
dragon flies, on May 24th, at West Hill, in Melrose, Mass.
1881, Mundt (Can. Ent., xiv., page 56, and Rep. Ent. Soc. Ont.,
page 31, 1882) records migration of a swarm of JEschna
heros in Illinois, and also the abundance of Anax Junius
1881. Landwehr (Ent. Nachr., vii., page 280) records an immense
swarm of Lib. 4-maculata at Bielefeld on May SOth, flying
towards the northwest.
1881. Weidinger (Ent. Nachr., vii., 187) records an immense swarm
of Lib. 4-maculata that passed over Dresden on May 28th.
1881. Ent. Nachr., vii., page 216, note on swarms of Lib. 4-maculata
in the Neisse Valley, one of which took two hours to pass.
1881. Blasius (Jahrb. Ver. Braunschw., iii., pages 72-77) records on
a large swarm of Lib. 4-maculata through North Germany.
1882. Riveau (Feuill. Nat., xii., page 123) records that every year
large migi-ations of Lib. 4-maculata take place in Charento
Inferieure at the end of September.
1882. Fokker (Tijdschr. Ent., xx.; Verslag, page 16) records an
immense swarm of Lib. 4-maculata which appeared on
May 30th in Zierikzee, Holland, from 11 A. M. till 11 P. M.;
they came from southwest.
1883. Newman (Nature, xxviii., page 271) records immense swarms
of Lib. 4-maculata which appeared at jNIalmu, Sweden,
from June 25th to the 27th.
1884. Van Hasselt (Tijdschr. Ent., xxviii., Verslag, page 12) re-
cords a migratory swarm of Lib. 4-maculata seen at the
Hague, on July 10th.
1885. Campbell (Ent. M. Mag., xxi., page 192) records a migratory
swarm of ^Eschna mixta observed along the banks of the
Gironde, in France.
1888. Pender (Ent. M. Mag., page 96) record of a migratory swarm
of LibeluUa 4-maculata.
Preliminary Catalogue op the Odonata found in the
State op New York.*
By WILLIAM BEUTENMULLER.
* C. apicalis Burm.
* C. maculata Beauv.
H. aniericana Fabr.
•^L. hamata Hagen.
L. t'cingener Hagen.
*A. saucium Burm.
A. civile Hagen.
A. violaceum Hagen.
* A. asperum Hagen.
G. spicatus Hagen.
G. brevis Sely.
H. brevistylus Sely.
T. thoreyi Hagen.
* M. heros Fabr. M. clepsydra Say.
* M. constricta Say. * JE. grandis Linn.
* JE. verticalis Hagen.
Found at Bergen Hill, N. J. (Hagen, Synop. Neurop., page 126).
* All species marked -with an * are found in the vicinity of New York City.
L. rectangularis Say.
* L. unguiculata Hagen.
A. Irene Hagen.
A. iners Hagen.
* A. ramburii Sely.
* A. hastatum Say.
G. adelphus Sely.
G. fraternus Say.
DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
C. lepida Sely.
M. transversa Say.
E. tenebrosa Say.
C. uhleri Sely.
* T. Carolina Linn.
* C. eponina Dr.
* P. triraaculata De G.
* L. quadrimaculata Linn.
* L. semifasciata Burm.
* L. pulchella Dr.
L. basalis Say.
* M. simplicicoUis Say.
* D. rubicundula Say.
* D. vicina Hagen.
D. semicincta Say.
* L. auripennis Burm.
* L. quadrupla Say.
* L. plumbea Uhler.
* M. longipennis Hagen.
* D. berenice Dr.
* D. elisa Hagen.
* P. domitia Dr.
* N. bella Uhler.
• All species marked with an * are found in the vicinity of New York City.
Preliminary Catalogue of the Described Transfor-
mations OF the Odonata of the World.
Bv WILLIAM BEUTENIMULLER.
1618. Larva. (Fig.) Aldrovand, De Animalibus Insectis, pi. 15.
1671. Larva. (Fig.) Redi, Experimenti circa generat. Insect., page
319 (as Scorpio marinus).
1742. Larva. (Fig.) Reaumiir, Mem., vi., pi. 38, Figs. 1-8.
1744. Larva. (Fig.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii., pi. ix.
1782. Larva. (Fig.) Harris, Exposit. Ins., pi. 30.
1835. Larva. (Brief.) Stephens, British Ent., vi., page 78.
1852. Nymphse. (General.) Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., xvii., 3 ser.,
1853. Nymphte. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., pages 260 and 269.
1857. Nympha. Brauer & Low, Fauna Austriaca, page xvi.
Calopteryx VIRGO Linn.
1806. Larva. (Brief.) Shaw, Gen. Zoo. Insecta, ii., page 246.
1840. Nympha. (Fig.) Westwood, Intro. Ins., ii., page 38.
1852. Nympha. (Fig.) Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., xvii., 3d ser., page
71, pi. 3. (Probably C. hasmorrhoidalis, according to Dr.
1855. Egg. Meissner, Zeit. "VYiss. Zoo., vi., page 283.
1868. Embryology. (Figs.) Brandt, Mem. Ac. Imji. Soc. St. Petersb.,
xiii., page 2.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 162.
Calopteryx splendens Harris.
1888. Nympha. Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 163.
1555. Larva. (Fig.) Rondelet, Univers. Quat. Hist., ii., page 213.
1700. Larva, nympha. Goedart, Met. St. Hist. Ins., Lister Edition,
iii., page 129, 1700.
1696. Larva. (Fig.) Swammerdam, Hist. Insect., pi. xii.
166 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
1742. Larva. (Figs.) Reaumur, Mem., vi., pi. 36, Figs. 5 and 6; pi.
38, Fig. 2; pi. 41, Figs. 1,2.
1744. Larva. (Figs.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii., pi. 10 and 11.
1770. Larva. (Fig.) Drury, Illust. Exotic Ent., 1, page 112, pi. 47.
1776. Larva. (Fig.) Harris, Exposit. Ins., pi. 29.
1806. Nympha. (Brief.) Latreille, Hist. Nat. Crus. and Ins., xii.,
1835. Larva, nympha. (Brief.) Stephens, British Ent.,vi., page 71.
1837. Larva. (Figs.) Westwood, Drury Exot. Ent., i, page 108,
1839. Larva. (Brief.) Burmeister, Handbuch, ii., page 812.
1844. Nympha. (Fig.) Ratzeburg, Forstins., iii., page 236.
1852. Nymphse. Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., 3d ser., xvii., page 72.
1853. Nymphse. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett.. xiv., page 311.
1867. Egg, nympha. (Brief.) Packard, Am. Nat., i, page 306.
1867. Egg, nympha. (Brief.) Packard, Guide, pages 599 and 601,
1873. Oviposition. Dunn, Am. Nat., vii., page 489.
1885. Oviposition. McLachlan, Ent. M. Mag., xxi, page 211.
Agrion puella Linn.
1806. Larva. (Brief.) Shaw, Gen. Zoo. Insecta, ii., page 246.
1840. Nympha. (Brief.) Westwood, Intro. Ins., ii., page 39.
1868. Embryology. Brandt, Mem. Ac. Imp. Soc. St. Petersb., xiii.,
page 2, pi. i. and ii.
1888. Nympha. Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 168. Hab.,
Agrion cyathigerum Charp.
1771. Larva. (Fig.) De Geer, Mem., ii. Hab., Europe.
Agrion scitulum Ramb.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 169.
Agrion genei Pict.
1886. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 18, page 254.
Agrion elegans Vander L,
1886. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 18, page 241.
Agrion pllmilio Charp.
1886. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital, 18, page 243.
PRELIMINARY CATALOGUE. 167
1888. Nymplia. (Fig.) Koster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 168.
Agrion lindeni Sely.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Koster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 169.
Agrion pulciiellum or hastulatum.
1853. Larva. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page .312. Hab., Europe.
1827. Young larva. Cams, Entdeck. eines Blutkreislaufs, page 10.
1835. Larva. (Brief.) Stephens, British Ent., vi., page 77.
Lestes nympiia Sely.
1841. Egg, young larva. Siebold, Wieg. Archiv, vii., pt. i., pages
205 and 211 (as A. forcipula).
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 312.
1857, Nympha. Brauer and Low, Fauna Austriaoa, page xvi. Hab.,
Lestes viridis Vander L.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Eoster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 164.
Lestes Barbara Fab.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ifcil., 20, page 165.
Lestes virens Charp.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., 20, page 165.
Platycne.mis pennipes Pall.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., xx., page 167.
Sympycn.i fusca Vander L.
1888. Nympha. (Fig.) Roster, Bull. Soc. Ent. Ital., xx., page 166.
Anax JUNirs Dr.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., i>ages 15 and
36, pi. i. Hab., United States, ^Mexico, Cliina, West Indies,
and Sandwich Islands.
168 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Anax formosus Vander L.
Nympha. (Fig.) Muralto, Ephem. Nat. Cur., Dec. ii., aim. 2, page
194, as Phrygan perlee.
1852. Nympha. (Fig.) Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., 3rl ser., xvii., page
60, pi. 3, as iEsehna grandis.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 266.
1857. Nympha. Brauer and Low, Fauna Austriaca, page xvi.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, ^Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 13 and
315, j)l. i. Hab., United States, Europe.
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comjx Zoo., pages 16 and 36.
Anax guttatus Burm.
1881. Nympha. Cabot, ]\rem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 16 and 34.
Anax amazili Burm.
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 17 and 36.
Hab., West Indies, South America.
Anax jiai'ricianus (?)
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. ]Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 14 and 36.
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 17 and 36.
Hab., East Indies, Central and South America.
1634. Larva. (Figs.) Moufet, Theat. Insect, pages 321-322 (as
Lacusta aquatica, Pulex, and Scolcopendra).
1706. Nympha. (Brief.) Anonym., Hist. Acad. Sc, Paris, page 9.
1730. Nympha. (Fig.) Frisch, Beschreib. all Ins., viii., pi. x., page 70.
1742. Nympha. (Fig.) Reaumiir, Mem., vi., page 456, pi. 36, Figs.
3 and 4.
1770. Larva. (Fig.) Drury, Illust. Exot. Ent., i., pi. 47, Fig. 3.
1804. Nympha. (Brief) Latreille, Hist. Nat. Crus. and Ins., xii.,
1816. Nympha. Latreille, Diet. Hist. Nat., i., page 181.
1826. Nympha. (Fig.) Kirby and Spence, Intro. Ent., iii., page
125, pi. 16.
1837. Larva. Westwood, Drury's Exot. Ent., i., page 108, i)l. 47.
PRELIMINARY CATALOGUE. 169
1839. Larvae. Biirmeister, Handb., ii., page 835.
1840. Nympha. (Brief.) Westwood, Intro. Ins., ii., page 39.
1852. Nymphse. Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., xvii., 3d ser., page 67.
1853. Xympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., pages 260 and 266.
1867. Nympha. (Fig.) Packard, Am. Nat., i., page 309.
1869. Nympha. (Fig.) Brehm, Thierleben, vi., page 451.
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 18 and 36.
^scHXA coxsTRicTA Say.
1863. Nympha. (Fig.) Sanborn, 10th Rej). Mass. Bd. Agricul., page
149 (as M. clepsj^dra).
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mns. Comp. Zoo., pages 24
and 38, pi. iii. Hab., United States.
iE^CHNA EREMITICA Scud.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 23 and
37, pi. ii., Fig. 2. Hab., United States.
iEscHXA HERos Fabr.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 30
and 39, pi. i., Fig. 3. Hab., United States.
iEsCHXA CYAXEA Milll.
1742. Nympha. (Fig.) Reaumur, INIem., vi., page 39, Figs. 1-9.
1852. Larva. (Fig.) Dufour, Ann. Se. Nat., xvii.. 3d ser., page 69,
pi. 3, Fig. 5 (as M. innominata).
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 267.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., page 20, pi.
iv.. Fig. 3. Hab., Em-ope.
xEscHNA KUFESCEXS Vauder L.
1852. Nympha. (Fig.) Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., xvii., 3d ser., page
69, pi. iii. (as M. De Geerii).
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 267.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, INIem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 4
and 36, pi. v., Fig. 4. Hab., Europe.
.^SCHXA AFFixis Steph.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 267.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, INIem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., page 23, pi.
v., Fig. 3. Hab., Europe.
DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
^sciiNA MIXTA Latr.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comi). Zoo., pages 21
and 37, pi. v., Fig. 2. Hab., Europe.
1879. Nympha. (Brief.) Poletajwa, Tr. Ent. Soc. Russ., xi.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 21
and 37, pi. v.. Fig. 5. Hab., Europe.
^SCHNA JUNCEA Linn.
1879. Nympha. (Brief.) Poletajwa, Tr. Ent. Soc. Russ., xi., page
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., page 21,
pi. iv.. Fig. 1. Hab., Europe.
^SCHNA GRANDis Linn.
1744. Nympha. (Fig.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii., j)!. 3
1771. Nympha. (Fig.) De Geer, Mem., ii., pi. 19, Figs. 12-19.
1782. Larva. (Fig.) Harris, Exposit. Ins., pi. 12, Fig. 3.
1806. Nympha. (Fig.) Shaw, Gen. Zoo. Insecta, ii., page 242.
1845. Nympha. Latreille, Cuvier Regne Anim. Ins., page 87.
1852. Nympha. (Anatomy.) Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., xvii., 3d ser.,
pages 73-108, pi. 3, 4, and 5.
1853. Nympha. (Anatomy.) Hagen (quotes Dufour), Ent. Zeit.
Stett., xiv., pages 313-325 and 334-346 and 368.
1879. Nympha. Poletajwa, Trans. Ent. Soc. Russ., xi.
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 19 and 37.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 25
and 38, pi. 1, Fig. 4. Hab., Brazil.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, ]Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 25
and 38, pi. 4, Fig. 2. Hab., Himalaya.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 32
and 39, pi. iii.. Fig. 3. Hab., Venezuela and Chili.
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., page 31. Hab.
PRELIMINARY CATALOGUE. 171
Neur.eschna vinosa Say ?
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 29
and 39, pi. ii., Fig. 3. Hab., U. S.
G0MPH.ESCHNA FURCILLATATA Say.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 28
and 38, pi. ii^, Fig. 4. Hab., V. S.
Gynacantha sp. ?
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 268. Hab.,
Gynacantha sp. ?
1881. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. INIus. Comp. Zoo., pages 11 and 35.
Hab., Brazil, United States.
Onychogomphus lineatus Sely.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xvii., page 253.
Hab., East India.
Herpetogomphus compositus Sely?
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 4 and
16, pi. ii.. Fig. 6 (as Gomphus sp).
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc., xii., page 256. Hab.,
Herpetogomphus dpsignatus Sely.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 255. Hab.,
Herpetogomphus menetriesii Sely?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 256. Hab.,
Opiogomphus occidentis Hagen.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 259. Hab.,
Opiogomphus colubrinus Sely.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 257. Hab.,
Opiogomphus carolinus Hagen?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 258. Hab.,
DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Opiogomphus severus Hagen.
1885. Nynipha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 2.59.
Hab., United States.
? Opiogomphus sj^.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 259.
? Cyclogomphus sp.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 5
and 16, pi. ii.. Fig. 2 (as Gomphus sp.).
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., jsage 271.
Brachytron pratensis Miill.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 268.
1857. Nympha. Brauer & Low, Fauna Austriaca, page 16.
1881. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 27
and 38, pi. v.. Fig. 1. Hab., Europe.
Nympha. Burmeister, Handb., ii., page 831.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 263.
1872. Nympha. Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., page 15.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 260.
Gomphus pilipes Sely.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 2
and 15, pi. 1, Fig. 3, a, b, c. Hab., United States.
GoMPHus ADELPHUS Sely ?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., jmge 262.
Hab., United States.
Gomphus exilis Sely.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 263.
Hab., United States.
Gomphus spiniceps Walsh.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 5-16,
pi. ii., Fig. 1 (as Macrogomphus).
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 270. Hab.,
PRELIMINARY CATALOGUE, 173
GoMPHUs VASTUS AValsh.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Menl. Miis. Comp. Zoo., pages 3
and 15, pi. ii.. Fig. 4, b (as Gomphus sp.).
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 265. Hab.,
Gomphus pallidus Eamb.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 266. Hab.,
Gomphus plagiatus Sely.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Entj Soc, xii., page 269. Hab.,
Gomphus graslinellus Walsh ?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 264. Hab.,
Gomphus olivaceus Sely?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 271. Hab.,
Gomphus notatus Ramb.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 270. Hab.,
Gomphus vulgatissimus Linn.
1744. Nympha. (Brief.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 263.
1857. Nympha. Brauer & Low, Fauna Austriaca, page 17.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 3 and
15, pi. 1, Fig. 1, b, c
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 261. Hab.,
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 254.
1872. Nympha. (Fig ) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 4
and 15, pi. ii., Fig. 5. Hab., United States.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., pages 261, 262,
263, and 265 (lour s-pecies described). Hab., United States.
DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 268 (two
species described). Hab., Brazil.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 8
and 16, pi. 1, Fig. 5, a, b, c, d. Ilab., Brazil.
1885. Nymi)ha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 264.
Progomphus obscurus Ramb. ?
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. ]VIns. Comp. Zoo., pages 6
and 16, pi. ii., Fig. 3.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 274. Hab.,
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 275. Hab.,
1872. Nympha. (Brief.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 9
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 277. Hab.,
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., page 8, pi.
1, Fig. 5.
1885, Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 276. Hab.,
ASPHYLLA PRODICTA Scly ?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 277. Hab.,
Hagenius brevistylus Sely.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 9 and
17, pi. iii.. Fig. 4, a, c, d.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 279. Hab.,
PRELIMINARY CATALOGUE. 175
Hagexius .tapoxicus ?
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 10
and 17, pi. iii., Fig. 5, c.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 280. Hab.,
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 281. Hab.,
Tachopteryx thoreyi Sel}' ?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. See, xii., page 281. Hab.,
CORDULEGASTER DORSALIS Sely ?
1885. Nympha. (Brief.) Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page
289. Hab., United States.
CORDULEGASTER SAYI Sely.
1872. Nymphfe. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mas. Comp. Zoo., pages 13
and 17, pi. iii.. Fig. 2.
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 290 (as C.
diastatops?). Hab., United States.
CORDULEGASTER OBLIQUUS Say?
1885. Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 291.
Hab., United States.
CORDULEGASTER DORSALIS Sely?
1885. Nymijha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 289. Hab.,
CORDULEGASTER AXXULATUS Latr.
Nympha. Seopali, Faun. Carn., page 259 (is surely an
yEschna) ; Cabot, page 2.
1872. Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 14
and 17, pi. iii., Fig. 3.
1885. Nym])ha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 289. Hab.,
DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
CORDULEGASTER BIDENTATUS Sely.
Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 265.
Nympha. Brauer & Low, Fauna Austriaca, page 19.
Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 14
and 17, pi. iii., Fig. 1, a, b, c, d.
Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 287. Hab.,
Epigomphus? paludosus Sely?
Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, "iMem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 1
and 15, pi. ii.. Fig. 2 (as Herpetogoniphu.«).
Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 272. Hab.,
Nympha. (Fig.) Cabot, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zoo., pages 11
and 17, pi. 1, Fig. 4, a, c.
Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 283. Hab.,
IcTiNus PUGNAX Sely?
Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., jiage 285. Hab.,
Nympha. Hagen, Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, xii., page 285. Hab.,
Macromia transversa Say.
Nympha. (Fig.) Packard, 1st Rep. Ins. oMass., page 319, pi.
1, Fig. 11.
Nympha. (Fig.) Packard, Am. Nat., v., page 427 (as Didy-
mops sp.). Hab., United States.
Epitheca bimaculata Charp.
Nympha. (Fig.) Frisch, Beschreib. all. Ins., viii., page 20,
perhaps not this species.
Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 263.
Nympha. Borre (quotes Hagen), Comp. Ent. Soc. Belg., xxv.,
page Ixx. Hab., Europe.
Cordulia metallica Vander L.
Nympha. (Fig.) Ratzeburg, Forstms, iii., pi. xvi., Fig. 3.
Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett. xiv., page 263.
Nympha. Borre (quotes Hagen), Comj). Ent. Soc. Belg., xxv.,
page Ixix. Hab., Europe.
PRELIMINARY CATALOGUE. 177
CORDULIA jENEA Linii.
1744. Nympha. (Fig.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii.
1826. Nympha. Kirby & Spenoe, Intro. Ent., iii., page 128.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 263.
1881. Nympha. Borre (quotes Hagen), Comp. Ent. See. Belg., xxv.,
page Ixix. Hab., Europe.
CORDULIA CYNOCURA Say.
1871. Nympha. (Fig.) Packard, 1st Rep. Ins. Mass., page 30, pi. 1,
Fig. 10 (as C. hiteralis).
1871. Nympha. (Fig.) Packard, Am. Nat., v., page 427, Fig. 93 (as
C. lateraUs). Hab., United States.
1555. Nympha. (Fig.) Rondelet, Universee Aquat. Hist., ii., page
1634. Larva. (Fig.) Mouffet, Theat. Insect., page 137.
1635. Larva?. (Fig.) Jonston, Compl. Tlieat. Insect., page 201,
1710. Larvae. Ragus, Hist. Insect., page 48.
1718. Larvfe. Ruysch, Theat. Anim., ii., pt. 3, pi. xxv.
1732. Larvae. Roberg, Libell. Lacustri, Upsaliae, page 9.
1842. Larvae. (Fig.) Lyonet, Theolog. des Insect., i., page 156.
1743. Larva. (Fig.) Hebenstreit, Insect. Natalibus.
1752. Oviposition. Bartram, Phil. Trans., 46, page 323.
1770. Larva. (Fig.) Drury, Illust. Exot. Ent., i., pi. 47.
1804. Larvae, nympha. Latreille, Nat. Hist. Crus. and Ins., xii.,
1817. Larva, nympha. Latreille, Diet. Nat. Hist., xvii., page 546.
1835. Nympha. Stephen, British Ent., vi., page 80.
1837. Larva. (Fig.) Westwood, Drury, 111. Exot. Ent., i., ])1. 47.
1840. Oviposition. Westwood, Intro. Insects., ii., page 38.
1841^5. Larva, nymjjha. Latreille, Cuvier Regne Anun. Insecta,
1852. Larva, nympha. Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., xvii., 3 ser., page 70.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 261.
1856. Nymph. V. d. Hoeven, Handb. Zoo., ii., page 421.
1868. Larva. Packard, Am. Nat., i., page 307.
1880. Egg, young larva. (Figs.) Gerard, Am. Ent., i., 2 ser., page 1 74.
* Many species described by older autliors canuot lie ideiititicd and placed in
their proper positions and, only for convenience' sake, have been put in tlie genus
Libel lu la.
178 DRAGON FLIES VS. MOSQUITOES.
Platythemis trimaculata De G.
1890. Egg. (Fig.) Beutenmiiller. Ante, page 126. Hab., United
LiBELLULA PULCIIELL.^ Dl*.
1890. Egg. Beutenmiiller, ante, page 126. Hab., United States.
LlCELLULA AUEIPENXIS Bumi.
1890. Egg. (Fig.) Beutenmiiller, ante, page 125. Hal)., United
LiBELLULA PECTORALIS Cliarp.
1760. Larva, nympha. (Figs.) Lyonet, Recherehes, pages 197-
1853. Larva. (Brief.) Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 262.
LiBELLULA DEPRESSA Linn.
1742. Larva. (Fig.) Eeanmiir, Mem. des Ins., vi., pi. 3f), Figs. 1, 2.
1744. Larva, nympha. (Figs.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii.,
1763. Larva. Scopuli, Ent. Carn., page 260.
1766. Larva, nympha. (Figs.) Harris, The Aurelian or Xat. Hist.,
1806. Larva. (Brief.) Shaw, Gen. Zoo., ii., Insecta, page 245.
1823. Larva. (Fig.) Dumeril, Consid. Gen. Class Ins., page 71,
1826. Larva. Kirby & Spence, Intro. Ent., iii., page 128.
1840. Nympha. (Fig.) Westwood, Intro. Ins., ii., page 38.
1841-45. Larva, .nympha. Latreille, Cuvier Eegne Anim. In-
secta, page 86.
1852. Nympha. (Fig.) Dufour, Ann. Sc. Nat., xvii., 3 ser., page
70, pi. 3, Fig. 7. Hab., Eurojje.
LiBELLULA CANCELLATA Lilin.
1685. Larva, nympha. (Figs.) Menzel, Ephem. Nat. Cur. Dec,
ii., anil. 3, page 117, pi. vi.
1744. Larva. (Fig.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii., pi. vi. (prob-
ably a Gomphus). Hab., Europe.
LiBELLULA FULVA Midi.
1693. Life history. (Figs.) Swammerdam, Hist. Ins., pages 79
and 173, pi. 8. Hab., Europe.
PRELIMINARY CATALOGUE. 179
LiBELLULA FERRUGINEA Rami).
1852. Nympha. Dufour, Ann. Se. Nat., xvii., 3 ser., page 71. Hab.,
LiBELLULA QUADRIMACULATA Linn.
1853. Nympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 262.
1857. Kympha. Brauer & Low, Fauna Austriaca, page 13. Hab.,
1853. Nymphre. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 2()2 (three un-
known spet'ies described). Hab., Brazil.
DiPLAX BERENICE Dr.
1890. Egg. Beutenmiiller, ante, j^age 126. Hab., United States.
DiPLAX RUBicuNDULA Say.
1890. Egg. Beutenmiiller, ante, page. 126. Hab., United States.
DiPLAX scoTicA Don.
1853. Isympha. Hagen, Ent. Zeit. Stett., xiv., page 262.
1857. Nympha. Brauer & Low, Fauna Austriaca, page 16. Hab.,
Europe, Asia, United States.
DiPLAX VULGATA LiuU.
1744. Larva. (Fig.) Roesel, Insect. Belust., ii., pt. ii., pi. xviii.
Hab., Europe, Asia.
DiPLAX sp. (BERENICE?)
1868. Embryology, young larva, pupa. (Figs.) Packard. Am. Nat.,
1, pages 311, 391, and 676.
1868. Embryology, young larvse. Packard, Proc. Bost. Socr. N.
Hist., xi., pages 365, 372.
1869. Embryology, young larva, pupa. (Figs.) Packard, C^uide,
pages 55, 60. Hab., United States.
Mr. Beutenmiiller wishes to state that he was unable to gain ac-
cess to Mr. Cabot's recent work, "On the early stages of tlie Libel-
lulidaj," for the prepai'atiou of the foregoing bibliographical cata-
logue. — [Ed.]
VI 1 1.
PLATES AND EXPLANATIONS.
Fig. 1, Adult larva of Culex damnosus ; from Nature.
2. Deflected pupa of Culex damnosus ; fi-om Nature.
3. Natural attitude of pupa of Culex damnosus ; from Nature.
4. Breathing attitude of larva of Culex damnosus; from
5. Imago of ? Culex damnosus ; from Nature.
6. Head of cf Culex damnosus ; from Nature.
7. Head of ? Culex rufus ; X 20 ; after Dimmock.
8. ^Median cross section of proboscis of d Culex rufus ; after
9. IMedian cross section of proboscis of $ Culex rufus ; after
Explanation op Lettering.
a, six piercing members. d, hypopharynx.
b, labium. e, mandibles.
c, labrum epipharynx.
Fig. 1. Longitudinal section of head Culex tseniorhynchus ; after
Macloskie. oe, oesophagus ; cl), cerebrum ; m, muscle ; n,
nerve commissure ; du, venomo salivary duct ; Ir.e, labrum
2. Venomo salivary duct of the same, with upper nest of
glands ; after Macloskie. sg, salivary gland ; i)g, poison
3. Head of ^Eschna heros ; front view ; after Packard.
4. Foot of Musca domestica ; X 200 ; after Eombouts.
Fig. 1. Head of H?ematobia scrrata ; front ; after Riley and Howard.
2. Hyperderma bovis ; after Packard.
4. Tongue of Stomoxys calcitrans ; after Meigen.
5. Tongue of INIusca domestica ; after Packard, mp, palpi ;
m, mandibles ; 1, labium.
(). Tongue of ^lusca domestica ; after Meigen.
7. ]Macillaria hominivorax ; after Coquerel.
8. Larva of Musca domestica ; after Packard.
9. Pupa of ^lusca domestica ; after Packard.
10. Larva of Musca vomitoria ; from N;iture.
IL Larva of Lucillia hominivorax ; after Packard.
Fig. 1 . Nearly adult larva of Anax Junius ; from Nature.
2. Pupa of Anax Junius ; after Cabot.
3. Pupa of Anax Junius; from Nature, showing the mask
4. Culex ciliatus ; from Nature.
5. ]\Iask of Anax Junius ; from Nature.
All these figures are from Nature.
Fig. 1. Imago of Libellula pulchella, cT.
2. Imago of Goniphus exilis, d-
S. Imago of Calopteryx maculata, 9 .
4. Imago of Diplax rubicundula, 9 .
5. Imago of Agrion civile, cf .
e Male. 9 Female.
Fig. 1. Lantern trap for mosquitoes ; after Eiley.
2. Apparatus for spraying petroleum ; after Riley.
Fig. 1. Lantern trap to hang from trees.
2. Eggs of mosquitoes.
3. Pupa of mosquito.
Original drawings by William Beutenmi'iller.
Fig. 1. Lantern and pan on post to be placed in swamps.
2. Egg of Libellnla auripennis.
3. Egg of Plathemis trimaculata.
Original drawings by William Beutenmiiller.
iEschna, habitat of, 43, 80; hab-
its of, 127.
^schna eonstricta, 75, 80.
^schna heros, 12, 44, 75, 80,
jEschna verticaUs, habits of,
Agabus geoffria, 47.
Agrion, habits of, 43, 126.
Agriou mercuriale, 44.
Algse on mosquitoes, 62.
Anax Junius, 12, 47, 75, 77, 80,
Aquatic birds, 119.
Austrahan coccinella devouring
plant hce, 20, 91.
Bacillus anthracis, 55, 56.
Beer yeast, use of, against plant
Birds, protection of, 94.
Bombyx mori (silk worm), 89.
Caddis fly, 77.
Callosamia promethea, 89.
Calopteryx virgo, 126.
Cannibalism among dragon fly
larvae, 47, 63, 116, 118.
Can the mosquito be extermi-
Carnivorous fish, 13.
Cermatia (centipede), habits of,
Coal oil, use of, 58, 62, 65, 120,
Coccinellida?, 20, 91.
Contagion, 54, 56, 93.
Cordulia epitheca, 12.
Corduligaster, habits and habi-
Danaus archippus, 82, 90.
Datana larvae, 82.
Destruction by insects, 25.
Destructive insects, number of,
" Devil's darning needle," 132.
Diplax, 12, 45, 77, 126.
Diplax berenice, 12, 75, 77, 116.
Diplax rubicundula, 45, 78, 116,
126 ; period of hatching, 45.
Diptera (flies), number of North
American species, 81.
Distribution of mosquitoes, 35,
Diurnal Lepidoptera, breeding
Dragon flies (Odonata), 42, 73,
113, 131, 142 ; as mosquito
hawks, 12, 131-133; breeding
grounds and habits, 42-51, 80,
81, 115-117, 144; description
of eggs, 126 ; devouring fish,
115 ; duration of stages, 48, 75 ;
eggs of, 44, 45 ; experiments
in rearing, 75, 81 ; food of, 144 ;
incapable of domestication,
87; larvae, cannibalism, 47, 63,
116, 118; lai'vfe, enemies of,
47 ; larvae, food of, 47—10 ; lar-
vae, locomotion, 46; larvaj,
structure of mouth, 46; life
history and structure, 42, 73,
113; migration of, 49, 114;
mutual depredation of, 47, 63,
116-118 ; natural condition
under which they breed, 73;
number of eggs, 125 ; oviposi-
tion of, 79, 125 ; pairing of, 45,
75 ; parasites of, 44, 50 ; table
of time, appearance, locality,
etc., 74; ti'ansformations, 48,
Drainage, 61, 93, 122.
Eggs of dragon flies, 44, 45, 125-
127; of mosquitoes, 29, 84,
Enemies of dragon fly larvae, 47,
Entomophthorae (fungoid growth
on insects), 58, 124.
Ephemeridae (May flies), 76.
Experiments in rearing dragon
flies, 75-81 ; flies, 83 ; mosqui-
toes, 29, 84.
Fevers, dissemination of, 54-56,
93, 109, 110.
Filaria (tape worm), 52-54, 110.
Filaria muscae, 124.
Filaria sanguinis hominis, 52,
Fish, devoured liy di-agon fly
larvae, 115 ; stocking ponds
with, 117, 119, 122.
Flies, and mosquitoes, relation to
eacli other, 85 ; destruction of,
123 ; habits and structure, 37,
81 ; larval and pupal stages,
41, 86; natural condition un-
der which they breed, 81 ;
plague of, 39; as scavengers,
41, 85 ; spreading disease, 54.
Fungoid growths, 58.
Fungus, dissemination of, 119,
Gomphus, 13, 44, 116.
Habits of centipedes, 91.
Haematobia serrata (horn fly), 54-
Hammer headed dragon flies, 43.
Hostile environment, 138.
House flies (Muscidge), 37, 38, 83-
85, 123; destruction of, 123.
Hyperchiria io, 89.
Hypoderma larvae, 55.
Indefinite multiplication of drag-
on flies, 87.
Insecticides, 57, 58, 65, 120.
Insects, injurious, number of, 25.
Inoculation by bacilli, 56.
Lanterns, use of, 62, 121.
Larvae of dragon flies, cannilxal-
ism, 47, Go, 116, 118; enemies
of, 47 ; food of, 47-49 ; locomo-
Lepidoptera, diurnal, 90 ; noc-
Lestes, habits of, 43, 126.
Libellula auripennis, 12, 44, 116,
Libellula luctuosa, 12.
Libellula pulchella, 12, 77, 78,
114, 116, 125, 126.
Libellula 4-maculata, 114, 116.
Libellula semifascia, 116.
Libellula semifasciata, 12, 125.
Macillaria hominivorax, 55.
Malaria and mosquitoes, 52, 111.
May flies (Ephemeridse), 76.
Meat flies, 84.
Methods for exterminating mos-
quitoes, 57-66, 93-95, 112-117.
Mosquitoes (Culicidaj) and mala-
ria, 52, 111 ; breeding ground,
27, 107, 115 ; change to imago,
31, 108, 140; derivation of
word, 102 ; destruction of, 57-
68, 92-95, 99-123 ; destruction
of, by night hawks, 61 ; de-
vouring trout, 37 ; duration of
life, 103 ; duration of pupal
state, 30, 108 ; eggs of, 29, 84,
107 ; eggs, period of hatching,
29, 107 ; exj)eriments in breed-
ing, 29, 84; food of, 30, 103,
108, 139; hawlvs, 12, 131-133,
143 ; hibernation of, 34, 103 ;
interfering with arts, 36 ; irri-
tation of bite, 33, 109 ; larvae,
duration of stage, 30, 107 ; lar-
vae, food of, 30, 107; larv»,
habits of, 29, 107 ; motion of,
29, 107 ; life history and struct-
ure, 28, 84, 101, 107; male
stingless, 32, 138 ; migration,
34 ; mouth parts, 33, 34, 103 ;
nocturnal habits of, 117 ; ovi-
position of, 29, 107, 139; poi-
son glands of, 33, 106 ; respir-
atory system of, 30 ; snares
for, 146, 147 ; spreading yel-
low fever, 109, 110 ; swarms,
Musca caesar, 82, 83.
Musca domestica, 38-40, 54, 82,
123; useof, 41, 85.
Musca vomitoria, 82, 83.
Muscidas (flies), 37, 81, 123.
Notonecta undulata, 47.
Number of destructive insects,
Objections to dragon flies, 88, 89.
Odonata (dragon flies), 42, 73,
113, 131, 142.
(Estridae (hot flies), 82.
Oil of pennyroyal, 61, 122; of
Ophthalmia carried by flies, 54.
Osciflatoria (algte), 119, 120.
Ova, deposition of, 80, 86.
Parasites, human, 55.
Parasitic insects, 59.
Petroleum, 58, 63, 65, 120, 122,
Plant lice destroyed by beer
Plathemis trimaculata, 12, 126.
Potato beetle, 51, 92.
Powders, washes, mixtures, 92.
Preventives against attacks, 122.
Protection of birds, 94.
Pyrethrum (Persian insect pow-
Quassia water, 61, 122.
Samia cynthia (Japanese silk
Sanitary regulations, 93, 95.
Smudges, 131, 134, 138.
Spiders (Arachnidfe), use of, 142-
Stomoxyscalci trans, 40, 54.
Tachina, 44, 82, 90.
The medical problem, 51.
Trout, 37, 103.
Use of coal oil, 58, 63-65, 120,
Vanessa antiopa, 90.
Vitality of Bacillus anthracis, 55.
"Water fowl, raising of, 117-119.
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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION LIBRARIES
3 IDflfl DDnD7flt, ^
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Dragon flies vs. mosquitoes.