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Full text of "Hardwicke's science-gossip : an illustrated medium of interchange and gossip for students and lovers of nature"

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HARDWICKE'S 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP: 



1885. 



HARDWICKE'S 



AN ILLUSTRATED MEDIUM OF INTERCHANGE AND GOSSIP 



FOR STUDENTS AND 



LOVERS OF NATURE. 



EDITED BY 

J. E. TAYLOR, Ph.D., F.L.S., F.G.S., F.R.G.S.I., 

HON. MEMBER OF THE MANCHESTER LITERARY' CLUB, OF THE NORWICH GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY', OF THE 

MAKYPOBT SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY, OF THE ROTHERHAM LITERARV AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY, 

OF THE NORWICH SCIENCE-GOSSIP CLUB, OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF 

AUSTRALASIA, OF THE VICTORIAN FIELD NATURALISTS* CLUB, 

ETC. ETC. 

ASSISTED BY 

J. W. BUCK, B.Sc, &C. 



VOLUME XXI. 





UonUon : 
CHATTO AND WINDUS, PICCADILLY. 

1885. 



(All rights reserved.) 



LONDON : 
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, 

STAMFORD STREET AND CHAR'NG CRCHS. 



/ L 6 / 



PREFACE. 



SOME years ago Professor Huxley delivered a lecture at the 
Royal Institution, entitled "The Coming of Age of the Darwinian 
Theory," celebrating thereby the momentous natural history discoveries 
and events, of which the brilliant discovery of our Biological NEWTON 
was the parent, nurse, and suggestor. 

We desire only to compare great things with small. The present 
volume also witnesses the "Coming of Age" of Science-Gossip. 
For twenty-one years we have endeavoured to meet the tastes of 
students of natural science — to treat of the discoveries, theories, 
opinions, and guesses in every department of the same — Ornithological 
Entomological, Conchological (besides many other ologicals) ; Botany, 
in its multitudinous departments ; Geology (including Paleontology, 
Petrology, Lithology, &c.) ; Microscopy, with its enormous and ever- 
increasing " Cast-net " over every science imaginable ; as well as a 
host of subjects bordering on Astronomy, Meteorology, Chemistry, 
Folk-lore, and " Notes and Queries " (which latter will be found 
tolerably encyclopaedic). 

It has been a loving and loveable work on the part of the Editors. 
For the first seven years this Magazine had the advantage of the 
Editorship of Dr. M. C. Cooke — for the last fourteen years, the 
present Editor has had the enjoyment of personal communication 
with all, or nearly all, the writers whose papers have appeared in 
these pages. 

A brief interregnum, however, has occurred. Owing to failing- 
health, the Editor was obliged to take as long a holiday as he could. 
Fortunately, the same able agent who piloted Mr. R. A. Proctor 
through Australia as a Lecturer on Astronomy, came to England, 
and made a similar arrangement with the Editor of SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



PREFACE. 



He went, he lectured, he was generously, and even enthusiastically 
received by the warm-hearted Australian Colonists in South Australia, 
Victoria, and New South Wales. He has returned with refreshed 
mental and bodily vigour. 

But, meantime, a well-known correspondent of this magazine, Mr. 
J. W. Buck, B.Sc, &c, was kind enough to act as Editorial locum- 
tenenSy and he performed his work so well that the Editor feels he 
could not honestly write this Preface to the Annual Volume without 
recognising it. 

The mere fact that we are now chronicling our " Coming of 
Age," reminds us of the almost numberless competitors for public 
favour which " twenty-one " years of active Scientific and Literary life 
in England must necessarily develop. Consequently, it is a proud 
thing to say, on the part of the Editor, that our Magazine was never 
so popular, never so much appreciated, never so widely circulated all 
over the world — in all the eventful years of its history — as it is at 
the time of publication of its Twenty-first Volume. 

Nothing shall be wanting on the part of the Editor to enlarge 
the sphere, and intensify the operations of this Magazine for the 
future. His office is smoothed by the generous patience and kindness 
of his multitudinous Correspondents, who are aware that all their 
communications cannot appear in the next number — as well as by 
those patient students who understand the difficulty of answering 
hard questions in a moment. 

We commence a New Era with our next volume. We are taking 
out a new Lease of Life. The last twenty-one years has seen a good 
deal of the effect of natural selection. Hosts of magazines with a 
similar scope to ours have appeared — and ^-appeared. We recognise 
the vital fact that for a magazine to live, it must prove itself worthy 
of life ! 

Our intentions for the next volume arc that our literary manhood 
shall be fully maintained. Will our numerous readers, all over the 
world, help us to carry out our intentions, by also aiding in the cir- 
culation of Science-Gossip ? 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Acrodus Anuingiie, Jaw of, 109 

Acrodus minimus. Tooth of, 108 

Acrodus nobilis. Tooth of, &c, 108 

Acrodus, section of spine, 108 

Adiantum caudatum, 133 

Adiantum fiabellulatuin, 133 

.Etobatis, Straight teelh of, 270 

.Etobatis, Arched teeth of, 270 

Ammonites lautus, 29 

Ammonites varicosus, 13 

Anemone Halleri, 85 

Anemone Pulsatilla, 84 

Anemone mont ma, 84 

Anthomyia meteorica, teeth of, 4 

Anthracosia ovata, 32 

Apor-rhais Parkinsonii, 28 

Arion, sp., 225 

Arum maculatum, pjpilla; and spadi.v, 80 

Arum maculatum, p ant, conns, starch, 

&c, 60, 61 
Aspleuium fapouicitm, 149 

Botys hyalinalis, Embryology OK, 33 
Brainea insignis, 220 
Broom-rape, 157 

Cardium Hillanum, 12 
Carica Papaya, Fruit and Leaf, 249 
Caricea tigriua, Teeth of, 206 
Ccstracion Philippi, Jaw of, 108 
Cinnamomum Camphora, 248 
Confervas from the Red Sea, 52 
Ctenoptychius pectinatus, 228 
Cuscuta Epithymum, 173 

Davallia polypodioides, 221 

Davallia tenuifolia, 220 

Devonshire, Generalised Section of South 

Eastern, 12 
Diatoms, Diagram of movements, 188 
Dicksonia Barometz, 220 
Diplodus gibbosus, tooth, 156 
Dodder, 173 
Drepanephorus canaliculatus, Teeth and 

dorsal spines of, 156 

Epithemia cistitla, 37 
Exogyra conic a, 12 

Flea, Common ; Development ok, 

Fucella fucorum, Teeth of, 266 

Gervillea anceps, 13 



Gleichenia dichotoma, 105 
Grape hyacinths, 244-5 
Gyrocantlius, Spine of, 271 

//aplographium bicolor, chloroceph ■ilinil, 

ttnuissimum, 197 
Helianthus annuus, 204 
Helix Icevipes var. alba, 77 
Hyalina glabra, cellaria, Drapamaldi, 

nitidula vax.fasciata, 225 
Hybodus, section of spine, 108, 

hi iceramus conce itricus, 28 

Jauassa, Dental Series and Succession 
ok Teeth, 228 

Lathrwa squamaria, 173 

Leucochroa candidissima, 225 

Limn&a glutinosa, monst. intortum; pa- 

lustris, monst. turritnm peregra var. 

labiosa; peregra small var.; stagnalis 

var. expansa and var. elegant ula ; var. , 

180 
Limntea stagnalis, monst. scalariforme, 

77 
Lindscea jlabellitlata, 133 
Lindsa-a heterophylla, 133 
Live cell, Diagrams of, 8 
Lygodium Japonicum, 105 
Lygodium scandens, 105 

Malvern Hills, Diagrammatic Sec- 
tion of, 125 
Meniscium simplex, 177 
Merganser, The Red-breasted, 181 
Mergus Merganser, 181 
Microscope, Direct Illumination, 201 
Microtome, Freezing, 38 
Microtome, Inexpensive, 8 
Mistletoe, 173 
Muscari comosum, 245 
Muscari botryoides, 245 
Muscari raamosum, 244 
Myliobates, Teeth of, 270 

Nephrolepis tuber osa, 177 

Observatory Trough, 135 

Onchus, Spine of, 271 

Oracanthus Milleri, 271 

Orchis mascula, anthers and pollinium, 

101 
Orchis mascula tubers, 124-5 



Orobanche rapum, 157 
Orthacauthus, section of spine, 



156 



Pal&ospiuax priscus, Teeth and Do <sal 

S.'INES of, 156. 
Parexus incurvus, Outline of, 271 
Pecteu quadricostatus, 12 
Petaladus acuminatus, 156 
Petalorhynchus psittacinus, Teeth of, 220 
Pliysa acuta and foutiualis, 77 
Pleuracauthus Icevissimus, Spine and 

section of ditto, 156 
Polyrhizodus radicans, Tooth of, 228 
Pristis, Head and rostrum, 228 
Pristis blast ingsice, Tooth, 228 
Pteris semi-pinnata and serrulata, 149 
Ptychodus ; Diagram of Dentition, io.j 
Ptychodus mammillaris, Tooth of, to8 
Ptychodus polygyrus, Tooth of, 109 
Puccinia Scnchi, 9 
Pulex irritaus, Development of, 252-3 

Rata antiqua, Dermal Tubercle ok, 2^8 
Royston Crow, 129 

Sarcophaga carnaria, Teeth ok, 132 

Scatophaga siercoraria, Teeth of, 59 

Siphonia pyriformis, 12 

Sponge spicules, Fossil 13 

Squaloraja polyspondyla, Skeletal parts 

of, 228 
Staurosira Harrisonii, var. amphitetras, 

37 
Stenogyra decollata, 77 
■Stictodiscus Californicus, 135 
Stomoxys calcitraus, mouth of, 152 
Stomoxys calcitraus, suctorial apparatus 

and teeth, 153 
S trop/wdtts asper,favosus, and reticulatus 

Teeth of, 108 
Strophodus medius, Jaw of, 108 
Sunflower Bracts, stamens, &c., 204 
Surirtlla dementis, 37 

Tooth-wort, 173 
Turritella granulata, 12 



Valvata piscinalis, 77 
Viscum album, 173 

Zygobatis, Teeth of, 271 



LIST OF COLOURED PLATES. 



Eggs of Parasite of Vulture 
Eggs of Vapourer Moth 
Group of Foraminifera 
Polysiphonia clongata 
Polysiphonia/astigiata 
Red Water-Mite 



To face page 265 

» .. 73 

.. 193 

»• » 49 

,. 241 

Frontispiece. 



Seeds of Love-lies-bleeding 
Shell of Barnacle, Section . 
Small Brittle Star-fish. 
Spine of Echinus, Section , 
Toe of Mouse 
Tooth of Anteater, Section 



To face page 121 

„ 145 

» 169 

.. 97 

25 

» ,. 217 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 




E.T.D.del.adnat. 



"Vincent Brooks,!) ay &_Son]ith- 



EYLAIS EXTENDENS. 

DORSAL AND VEN T R A L V I E W. 
* 30. 



GRAPHIC .MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T D. 



No. XIII. —The Red Water-Mite (Eylais Extendens (?)). 




^r^* 



N reference to the se- 
ries of twelve Plates 
published during 
the past year, the 
writer is desirous 
of thanking nu- 
merous correspon- 
dents for valuable 
information, 
chiefly relating to 
minute details of 
st ru c ture, and 
n omenclature ; 
and to reply to 
suggest ions, 
worthy of consid- 
eration, which, if 
accepted (in some 
instances), would 
advance the selec- 
tion of subjects 
beyond the scope of " popularity " into the 
region of biological research. With low powers, 
and special illumination seeking picturesque effects, 
many deep and important peculiarities, possibly 
bearing upon classification, necessarily cannot be 
detailed or even exhibited ; and to enter into intri- 
cacies of structure, with higher objectives (as has 
been proposed), would far outstrip the motive of 
the work ; it may therefore be desirable to repeat that 
the raison d'etre of " Graphic Microscopy " is to en- 
courage the observations of our younger subscribers, 
in presenting them with an attractive and accurate 
picture of a distinct subject : simple, popular, easily 
procurable, and susceptible of artistic treatment. 

The present example, drawn from life, under 

moderate amplification, necessarily screening specific 

character (the same individual furnishing the dorsal 

and ventral aspect), fairly represents in form and 

No. 241. — January 1885. 



general appearance, a British fresh-water spider-mite, 
of the Order Acarina, and Family Hydrachnea, of 
which there are six Genera ; four, Arrenurus, Atax, 
Eylais, Hydrachna, the most attractive in beauty j 
Diplodontus and Limnochares, parasitic and some- 
what obscure. 

The specimen figured is an elegant and lively 
individual of a form commonly met with : Eylais, so 
designated from collation with published description j 
the writer, however, was fortunate in the proof of the 
plate having been seen by Mr. C. F. George of 
Kirton in Lindsey, whose articles in this journal, on 
t'hese particular organisms, commencing Sept., 1882, 
continued at intervals until August 1883, and illus- 
trated with woodcuts "of scientific importance and 
accuracy, establish a basis of valuable authority on 
the subject ; the number of the eyes in these minute 
creatures appears to be a matter of important obser- 
vation, and, as Mr. George remarks, their singular 
peculiarity and arrangement cannot be overlooked. 
In the drawing, their position is only indicated ; 
detail would have demanded an amplification so 
expansive as to have taken the subject beyond the 
scope of a general view of the entire creature ; under 
deeper examination, four eyes are discovered in pairs, 
upon the dorsal surface of the cephalothorax, ap- 
proximating so closely that each pair is seemingly 
combined in one ; even in such minute Acarina these 
organs possess an ocular power superior to those of 
insects, and often the appearance of a solitary eye • 
under closer examination is found to be what has 
been happily termed " helved," the eye projecting on 
two rounded semi-circles, reniform, a fusion of two 
stemmata ; a divided eye ball. Such a minute condi- 
tion could not have been shown in a field involving 
the general aspect of the upper and under sides of the 
same individual, but it is a peculiarity of significant 
importance in the decision of species, and upon this 
point (apart from the portraiture of the specimen), Mr. 

B 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



George is of opinion that it may be a variety of 
some other Family. Living specimens kindly supplied 
by him, disclosed this crucial peculiarity, and substan- 
tiate the division of the Group into those possessing 
two eyes, the Hygrobatides, and those having four, the 
Hydrachnides. 

In every exhibition ot Microscopic life, such 
exclamations as " wonderful," " beautiful," " quaint," 
are ordinary and natural forms of expression : so 
perfect, startling, and novel, are such visions as re- 
vealed by fine instruments, and, conceding this 
sweeping admiration as a condition of the mental 
excitement of a casual observer, most assuredly, to 
the more experienced, rarely are seen gems of anima- 
tion equal to these creatures when exhibited with 
good illumination from an argand gas flame close to 
the mirror, reflected through a carefully focussed 
paraboloid. Under such conditions these dainty mites 
(beyond eccentricity of form) disclose marvellous 
beauty of colour,: scarlets, azure-blues, browns, greens 
and yellows, of such delicate and subdued transfu- 
sions, as might teach a lesson in tone to the finest 
artist, and beyond this, a vivacity of motion, a 
humour of attitude, that every swirl, every movement 
reveals fresh shimmerings of light, and_more comical 
postures. 

In the December, 1882, number of this Journal, 
Air. George states that to convey even an ideal 
representation of their beauty requires the assist- 
ance of " colour." It may be added, as a matter of 
experience, that even a mere semblance requires 
something more ; the highest resources of the palette 
can never approach " light," and what is the white 
of drawing paper, or the most delicateresovrces of the 
lithographer, compared with the glowing hues and 
blazon of microscopical illumination ? 

The life- history of the Hydrachnea has been 
fairly traced ; they are found in clear ponds, and 
slowly running brooks,, easily discovered by their 
peculiarity of motion and brilliancy ; a mustard seed 
in dimensions, a ruby in appearance, routing about 
with unmistakable carnivorous instincts ; in their 
earliest stage they require hospitality ; at birth the 
young swim freely, but eventually become com- 
mensal, possibly parasitic on some aquatic insect. 
They then assume a condition of passive content- 
ment, increasing in size, and passing through suc- 
cessive larval stages to a perfect condition, only 
becoming free when ready for reproduction. This 
is supported indirectly by Westwood, who, referring 
to pond beetles, states, " notwithstanding their large 
size, they are subject to the attacks of a minute 
parasite,''' at that time considered to be a perfected 
creature. But it was proved to be the immature state 
of an Hydrachna, affixed as a minute oval bag with a 
narrow neck to the upper side of. the abdomen, 
infesting particularlyZ>_)'//.sr#.r margiualis, beneath the 
elytra. It is possible the Hydrachnea might be 
developed and reared in a tank in which the larger 



water beetles were kept and liberally fed ; it has been 
observed that an excess of the larger life in a tank 
will develop organisms not otherwise attainable. 
Mexican axolotls, the size of young rats, fed once a 
week on raw beef, have lived in captivity for several 
years in a receptacle of very limited dimensions ; the 
water never changed, but merely replenished, has 
always been in all seasons a world of microscopic life. 

In their perfect condition, the Hydrachnea are 
predatory, capturing with ease, and living upon 
Entomostraca ; they may be preserved for months in 
a vase with fragments of growing weeds ; but living 
food must occasionally be supplied. They should be 
examined "alive" under such conditions as will 
subdue and restrict their activity. Mr. George states 
that, if a specimen be isolated in a saucer in a drop 
just sufficient to keep it endeavouring to swim, and 
then deluged with hot water, it will exhibit all its 
features, necessarily, in a passive condition. It may 
then be transferred to, and closed in a cell, in the 
same water, and kept sufficiently long to afford pro- 
longed examination ; but, as permanent objects for the 
cabinet they appear to be failures, the vascularity 
rotundity, "tightness," and delicacy of their integu- 
ments seem to defy any known preservative medium ; 
" without pressure," they collapse, and become 
wrinkled; flattened, " underpressure," their integrity 
is too impaired, either for accurate observation, or 
drawing. 

Crouch End. 



WINTER BOTANY. 
CHILLON WOODS, MONTREUX. 
(December 5, 1884.) 

WE had arrived at our Montreux quarters for 
the winter, November 26th. After one or 
two days of brilliant sunshine, a heavy snowstorm had 
set in, fully six inches lying on the ground for the 
next thirty-six hours. This was followed by a rapid 
thaw with several very bright sunny mornings. On 
the morning of December 5th, we determined to re- 
visit some of our old haunts, choosing a well-known 
path leading from Territet through the upper village 
of Vey taux, and climbing the wooded mountain slopes 
to descend on the opposite side by the] woods and 
Chillon Castle. In previous years we had found an 
endless wealth of mosses, lichen and fungi, with some 
few interesting flowers still lingering as late as 
December. Nor were we disappointed in our 
search. Even in the snow-covered patches the hardy 
little Gentiana verna had opened its wonderfully blue 
corolla under the influence of the genial sun, and we 
counted twenty-four separate plants, at an elevation 
of 1500 feet above the sea in full vigorous bloom ; 
they were smaller plants, it is true, than the ordinary 
spring growth, but equally brilliant in colour. Hard 



BARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



by, nestling in the thickest bed of moss, and 
sheltered by the stump of an old chestnut, the 
ever-green and tough-stemmed mountain Polygala 
chamabuxus was in full flower ; the pairs of leaves 
closely resemble those of the box-tree, which the 
varied tints of the petals shade from white to yellow, 
red or brown ; a honey-scented plant that grows in 
splendid masses in spring, and very frequently in 
company with Gentiana verna. A strong spike of 
Salvia vcrbenaca, larger in all its parts, and far 
brighter in colour than an English species, was 
growing out of a wall. It had escaped the heavy 
snows, and we left the plant in the hope that sunny 
days might preserve the handsome coloured stem for 
the last few weeks of the year. In the dry bed of a 
mountain torrent a tall mullein stood upright, 
crowded with golden yellow blossom to the very tip. 
The leaves were smooth, slightly clasping the stem ; 
each flower had a patch of brown in the centre, 
while purple hairs covered the stamens'; the species 
apparently being Verbascum Blattaria ; again we 
had not the heart to cut it down. On every wall 
the delicate little creeper, Linaria Cymbalaria, with 
ivy-shaped leaves and lilac flowers, was out in pro- 
fusion. 

Two very striking plants next claimed our 
attention. Helltborus fcetidus, type of the Christmas 
roses, filled almost every crevice : the dark leaves 
deeply cut and serrated with the lighter green of the 
calices, afford a most pleasing variety, especially when 
the sepals have a tinge of reddish purple. Daphne 
laureola, the second of these evergreen plants, is 
also plentifully distributed through the Chillon 
Woods. The leaves are entire, of a dark, shiny 
green ; the axillary clusters of greenish flowers were 
in full bud, but hardly open. A little later, or 
rather early in the next year, the sweet-scented 
Mezereon {Daphne Mezereori) will be abundant 
higher up in these very woods, flowering before the 
young leaves appear. Trailing in a thicket, though 
not in the woods, we found a large quantity of the 
orange scarlet capsules of the Phy salts Alkekengi, or 
winter cherry. Though not indigenous in England, 
many will be familiar with the orange calyx, which 
fades away, leaving a network surrounding the 
orange fruit, which is extensively used as an article 
of food in North Italy, at the Cape of Good Hope, 
and other parts of the world. A handsome decora- 
tion may be made of this plant, which preserves the 
orange scarlet in a dry state for many weeks after it 
is gathered. It is a notable fact that, while the fruit 
of so many genera of this order are deadly poison, 
the physalis is harmless. Even the fruit of the 
potatoe is said to be injurious, and the tubers are 
unwholesome in a raw state. 

By the side of a trickling mountain stream a few 
solitary flowers of Saponaria officinalis still lingered, 
though the beauty of the delicate flesh-tinted petals 
was somewhat lost. Here and there a crimson 



cluster of berries still hung on the boughs of Guelder- 
rose {Viburnum Opultis), a shrub or tree not to be 
confused with V. Lantana, the mealy guelder-rose, s< i 
common to English hedgerows. In rocky rirags, 
above the slopes of brush-wood, a splendid array of 
Asphnium fontanum was in full beauty ; it is an 
evergreen fern, having lacy fronds which would 
enrich any collection, and is extremely easy to 
cultivate. It is said to have been exterminated in 
North. Wales, where it once flourished. We would 
earnestly beg of botanists, not only in England, but 
also in Switzerland, to gather plants and ferns only 
with care and judgment. It is generally so easy 
both to obtain specimens, and at the same time to 
leave plenty of a plant, for propagation. Un- 
fortunately this care is not always exercised, and 
unscrupulous collectors are doing great harm eacli 
year in the Alps. So many thousand plants of 
"edelweiss," for example, have been taken recently 
for trade purposes, that the Swiss authorities have 
been compelled to publish notices to tourists and 
would-be collectors, strongly urging care in the 
matter of gathering plants. Having been diligent in 
botanical collecting for over fifteen years we must 
emphatically repeat an opinion that it is never 
necessary to exterminate rare plants, even while obtain- 
ing the desired specimens. Aspleniutn trichomanes 
and A. viride, we found plentiful in several parts, 
the former, indeed, everywhere. A. Adianttim-nigrum 
is more sparingly scattered through these woods ; 
splendid fronds of Polypodium vulgaris we noted, 
so large as to make us wonder if it was not a different 
species of polypody. While naming the winter 
ferns, we may remark that Polystichum lonchitis, the 
holly-fern, grows in woods, the opposite side of 
the lake, and Ceterach officinale covers one wall not 
two miles away from Montreux. The leaves of 
Chelidonium ma/us, the greater celandine, were still 
fresh on many of the stone walls. Out of curiosity 
we cut through the main 'stem of a strong-looking 
plant to see if the yellow sap was still flowing ; there 
was little trace of the ' colouring matter ; the stem 
appeared dried up and shrinking away. In February 
the fresh life will well up into leaves and stems ; the 
mysterious power in nature which causes the renewal 
of vital energy will once more be in activity, and 
the suspended process of growth be continued. In a 
corner of a vineyard at Chillon, several deep crimson 
flowers of Fitmaria officinalis attracted the eye. On 
the grassy slopes two pink-blossomed specimens of 
Erythraa centaureutn remained, all the leaves faded, 
and, with a few terminal flowers only ; a solitary plant 
of Solatium nigrum, with a cluster of white flowers, 
we found on a heap of [loose stones, having several 
of the rather large black berries on a second stem. 
Of the numerous fungi we cannot say more now than 
to note the size and beauty of the scarlet Peziza 
cochinea, which is plentiful in parts of Chillon woods. 
It was a strange appearance to be gathering 

B 2 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



gentians and other flowers in December, but no 
■doubt hard frosts will shortly kill the few remaining 
species. We must then wait till February when the 
early " snow flakes " will show their heads, hepaticas, 
Scilla bifolia, corydalis, the crocus, sweet daphne, 
and an endless succession of spring flowers put forth 
blossoms. 

To the above list of flowers on December 5, we 
should add Corydalis lutea, out in profusion on an 
old stone wall at the upper end of the village of 
Territet. 

('. Parkinson, F.G.S. 



The fly is about the same size as the house-fly ; is 
of a dark sage green colour, rather thickly covered 
with black hair. The wings have a tendency to 
assume a rusty brown hue towards the base ; the legs 
are decidedly a dead black. 

I have selected this creature as the subject of the 
present sketch, for the reason it may be looked upon 
as a typical example of form — all the teeth being 
similarly shaped, as in the blow-fly, but differing 
therefrom in the following respect : they terminate 
in three distinct points, having perfectly straight 
edges, and therefore differing from Musca domcstica 




Fjg. 1. — Teeth of ' Anthomyia meteorica, mag. 200 diams. a, position of secondary teeth. 



TEETH OF FLIES. 

ANTHOMYIA METEORICA. 

By W. D. Harris, Cardiff. 

No. III. 

HOW troublesome and teasing is that cloud of 
flies {Anthomyia meteorica) which readers must 
often have noticed in summer rides hovering round the 
heads and necks of our horses, accompanying them 
as they go, and causing a perpetual tossing of the 
former (Kirby & Spence). To this might be safely 
added, if they cannot find the horse they have no 
very decided objection to accompany the pedestrian, 
and he must be very thick skinned, or come from a 
very well behaved stock, if he is not tempted to 
speak of his persecutors in language more forcible 
than polite. 



minor. They are very long and narrow, but, neverthe- 
less, very strong instruments, the chitine being quite 
dark as compared with some creatures. 

Three of the central teeth appear to be backed up 
with indications of a second row (a) ; but the chitine is 
very delicate, and if present in the remaining teeth is 
difficult to make out ; each lobe of the proboscis 
contains eight teeth, and here again is a distinction 
which often creeps in when the same form is preserved, 
as will be seen later on. 

On the 5th December, Mr. R. Meldola, F.C.S., 
read a paper at the Geologists' Association, on a 
"Preliminary Notice of the East Anglian Earth- 
quake " of April 22nd, 1SS4. Dr. Hicks also gave a 
paper on " Some Recent Views concerning the 
Geology of the North-West Highlands." 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



EARLY SUN-GLOWS. 

THE remarkable sun-glows of last and the 
present year having attracted a considerable 
amount of attention among scientists, and being 
believed by many to be wholly unprecedented in the 
history of the earth, it may be of interest and value to 
give an account of the occasions on which similar 
phenomena have been observed in North Europe, 
according to the most reliable Scandinavian his- 
torians. 

Such purple glows as we have recently admired 
have been observed in the earliest times, when 
people believed that they were warnings from heaven 
of great coming disasters, as, for instance, war, 
plague, or famine. There appears, however, to be 
no reliable record of such a phenomenon until the 
middle of the sixteenth century. Thus, in the 
summer of 1553, such a glow, or, as it was then 
called, fire-sign, was observed all over Denmark, 
Norway, and Sweden, and, strangely enough, a 
terrible plague visited these countries in the same 
year. In Copenhagen its ravages were so great that 
the academical lectures at the University had to be 
adjourned for several months, and the students left 
the capital. 

The next glow was seen in the year 1636, when 
sailors, returning to Copenhagen from voyages in the 
Baltic and the North Sea, reported that for weeks the 
sky seemed on fire after sunset, and also in that year 
a plague visited the shores of Sweden and Denmark. 
By these coincidences popular superstition was fur- 
ther strengthened, although it was subsequently 
proved that the purple glow seen in 1636 was caused 
by a terrible eruption of Hekla, the great Iceland 
volcano. 

On the night of January 4, 1661, a frightful storm 
broke over North Europe. One whirlwind after the 
other unroofed houses and uprooted trees in hundreds, 
while the tide rose so high on the coast of Jutland 
that large districts were flooded. For several days 
the sky seemed a bath of lurid fire, and a great terror 
was caused amongst the population, most of whom 
believed that the Day of Judgment had come. The 
celebrated Danish historian, Bishop Jens Birkerod, 
writes in his diary " that the sky was terrible to 
behold ; it looked as if on fire ; " while his father, 
Professor Jakob Birkerod, asserts that he felt shocks 
of earthquake in the island of Funen. The same 
authority records that evil prophets predicted the 
last day, and, as the phenomenon passed without 
disaster, they stated that it had only been postponed 
for a period of three years to give sinners time for 
repentance. When August 6, 1664, arrived, great 
terror prevailed in Denmark, and all churches were 
thronged to suffocation. 

The next phenomenon of this nature was seen 
throughout Denmark, according to the first-named 
authority, on May 22, 1680, at sunrise. Long before 



the sun rose the entire heavens were filled with a 
blood-red light, and when the sunbeams shot forth 
"liquid fire seemed to rain from the sky." Again 
people became terribly alarmed, which was further 
increased by the report of a great comet approaching 
the earth'; when it finally became visible in the 
following December, the popular mind was in a state 
of perfect madness. 

Another aerial phenomenon occurred in Denmark 
on Shrove Tuesday, 1707. At about seven o'clock two 
enormous beams of light were seen running from 
W.N.W. to N.N.E., which made night for several 
hours as light as day. Some, however, refer this phe- 
nomenon to the aurora borealis, but it is strange that 
it should not have been more widely recognised^ as 
such in that country. 

But the_most recent true sun-glow was observed 
in 1783 — exactly a hundred years ago — throughout 
Scandinavia. It first became visible in Copen- 
hagen, on May 29th, and lasted until the end of 
September. This glow is stated also to have been 
seen in the whole of Europe, as well as Asia and 
Africa, in that year. The sky was red as blood at 
sunset and sunrise, but there was one great difference 
between this phenomenon and the last one, viz., that 
the sun's disk was semi-obscured during the day and 
almost completely so when rising and setting. In 
other respects, as, for instance, temperature, heat and 
cold, moisture and drought, the phenomena of 1783 
was identical with the last one witnessed. This 
glow too caused great consternation in North 
Europe the last day being believed to be at hand. 
It should be mentioned as a point of weighty 
importance that, in the spring of the same year (the 
exact date is unknown), a frightful eruption of the 
Skapta Jokul, in Iceland, took place. This glow 
seemed in many respects to have resembled that of 
1636, when Hekla was in terrific activity. 

It will thus be seen that, although English records 
of sun-glows such as the recent ones are limited to one 
or two instances, the phenomenon has been observed 
in North Europe, more or less prominently, on 
several occasions during the last three centuries. 

C. S. 



A 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 

By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S. 

CURIOUS statement is made in " The Journal 
of Science," of last October, by a correspon- 
dent who states that, " If a workman is allowed to 
bring his dog into any manufactory where he is 
employed, it is astonishing how quickly the animal 
finds out ' who is who ' in the concern. His 
profound respect for the head of the establishment, 
and for the managers, foremen, and office-bearers in 
general, forms an amusing contrast to his sauciness 
to private workmen." This is an observation well 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



worthy of experimental verification or refutation, 
and the required experiments may be easily made. I 
cannot help suspecting that the officer most likely 
to command the highest degree of canine respect 
would be the watchman or door-keeper, or whoever 
else had the power of turning the dog out, or allowing 
him to come in. If otherwise, a very interesting 
lield of further observation is opened in the determina- 
tion of the dog's mode of arriving at his conclusions 
concerning official status : whether the tone of 
command impresses him, whether he imitates the 
bipeds, or how otherwise he is impressed. 

Further observations are also demanded in reference 
to a curious statement made by M. G. Rafin, in a 
communication to the French Academy of Sciences. 
Restates that a large wood fire having been kindled 
near an ant hill in the Island of St. Thomas, the 
ants precipitated themselves into it by thousands, 
until it was completely extinguished, and he 
proposes to name this species of ant the Formica 
ignivara. The first impulse on reading this account 
of the fire-eating ants is one of incredulity, but 
further reflection on well-known facts modifies this 
impression. The fascination of a bright light on 
insects effects a wonderful amount of suicide. When 
I lived in the neighbourhood of Twickenham 
(towards Fulwell), I observed during three successive 
summers that the bottom glass of the road lamps was 
darkened by a deposit of very small flies that had 
ilung themselves into the flame and perished ; and 
that the ground around the lamps was strewn with 
thousands of their bodies. A multitude of similar 
instances may be named. Possibly the fire exerted a 
similar fascination upon the ants. 

A correspondent to this journal (page 262) inquires 
concerning the food of tortoises. I found the same 
difficulty as he describes in feeding some that I had, 
but afterwards was very successful by simply placing 
them on a garden lawn under an inverted packing- 
case, in the bottom of which was an opening covered 
with wire gauze, or left open to supply light. They 
fed heartily on the clover leaves, and also ate some 
grass. The patches where they had been were 
distinctly displayed by their industrious mowing. By 
cutting away about three-quarters of an inch of the 
edges of opposite sides of the packing case, where it 
rested on the grass, the tortoises were enabled to shift 
their prison, and did so in their endeavours to burrow 
under the raised edges. They thus supplied them- 
selves with fresh pasture during the summer, but died 
in the winter. Their mode of eating shows that it is 
scarcely possible for them to feed upon loose ready- 
gathered leaves. They do not bite the leaf through, 
but simply pinch it between their horny jaws, then 
break it by a jerk of the head, but, for this to be done 
successfully, the leaf must firmly be fixed by roots or 
otherwise. 

The practice of swallowing their own cast-off skins 
observed by another correspondent seems to be a 



part of the established domestic economy of the newt 
during their breeding time, when they live in water. 
Those I kept some years ago never failed to perform 
this duty, though well supplied with earthworms, 
their staple food. 

The International Conference which decided upon 
the adoption of an universal prime meridian, and 
selected that of Greenwich for the purpose, also 
discussed some questions of clock reform, one being 
the desirability of counting and naming the 24 hours 
all round, starting from midnight as 24 o'clock. The 
advantages of this, especially in railway time-tables, 
would be very great, and the chief objections I have 
heard is that which is founded on the mere indolence 
that shrinks from all innovation. But this is really no 
innovation, excepting as to the time of fixing the 
24 o'clock. I spent a few months in Rome in 1842-3 
when the time was reckoned in 24 hours as a matter 
of course ; all public announcements of time were 
made accordingly, but for the benefit of foreigners 
the time of opening certain theatres, &c , was further 
explained by adding the " tempo francese" or " French 
time" as they called the 12-hour enumeration. The 
"tempo italiano" was counted from the chiaroscuro, 
or twilight, a very clumsy device, seeing that the 
24 o'clock had to be shifted every month. Some of 
the public clocks had (and possibly still have) a double 
set of figures. Referring to an old play-bill of the 
Teatro Alibert, I find that the performance on the 
25th January, 1843, was announced to commence 
" alle ore due di uotte,'" at two o'clock at night, i.e., 
two hours after the chiaroscuro. In this play-bill no 
tempo francese is given. 

When will science be decently represented in the 
organization of the British Government in such a 
manner that its scientific expenditure shall be wisely 
controlled and distributed ? The pitiful anti-climax 
of the "Challenger" Expedition brings forth this 
question most glaringly. Here was lavish expenditure 
in the sumptuous equipment of a magnificent yacht ; 
every conceivable luxury was generously provided for 
the selected few who were paid for taking a charming 
holiday cruise, the avowed object of which was the 
obtaining of certain scientific information for the 
enlightenment of mankind at large, and the British 
nation in particular. By the aid of some genuine 
workers at home, the crude materials of the yachtsmen 
have been arranged and edited to form volumes of 
reference. These volumes contain all the fruits of 
the expedition (except the pay and personal recreation 
supplied to the aforesaid holiday-makers) ; all that can 
come to the nation that "paid the piper" is in these 
volumes. All the cost of finding and arranging 
materials, of engraving and setting-up the volumes 
has been incurred, and a few copies actually printed 
at a total prime cost of many thousands of pounds for 
getting up each volume. This having been done, the 
multiplication of copies would cost about ninepence 
per pound for paper and press-work on the sheets, 



HARDWICKE'S SCJENCE-GOSSIP. 



and a shilling per volume more for binding decently 
in cloth. Such being the case, the anti-climax to 
which I have alluded is simply inconceivable. On 
application being made for copies to be sent to our 
public libraries, the Government has declared that it 
cannot afford these few ninepences per pound and 
shillings per copy. 

Compare this with the proceedings of the Go- 
vernment Printing, Office at Washington, whence 
are issued the noble records of " The United States 
Naval Observatory," &c. These are not only dis- 
tributed freely to the American public libraries, but 
are sent across to the scientific libraries of Great 
Britain, and not only to them but to individual 
members of the scientific societies. I have a very 
valuable series of these reports, and of the Reports of 
the "Department of the Interior," and other works 
issued by the United States Government from their 
Printing Office at Washington. These are sent over 
to me through their agent, and carriage-paid to 
London, upon no other asking than that of replying 
to an official letter enclosing a list of works from 
which I am asked to select those I desire to have. 
Generally speaking they are invaluable as original 
records of most important and laborious scientific 
investigation. All Englishmen desiring to be patriotic 
must be bitterly ashamed of this melancholy contrast. 

The present favourable position of the most won- 
derful and beautiful of all the heavenly bodies, the 
planet Saturn, with its mysterious ringed appendages, 
reawakens an old project that I have often longed to 
carry out, viz., the establishment in a suitable part of 
London of a popular observatory. I don't mean an 
establishment with amateur observers pretending to 
do original astronomical work, and thereby supple- 
menting or superseding the Greenwich business ; but 
simply a good astronomical peep-show, where millions 
of people who have never looked through a powerful 
telescope, and otherwise never would do so, might 
have an opportunity of seeing for themselves some of 
the magnified glories of the heavens. I believe that 
it might be made commercially self-supporting if 
well done, and all pedantry severely excluded. No 
mathematical work could be done nor need be at- 
tempted. Both reflecting and refracting telescopes 
equatorially mounted with the simplest of efficient 
clockwork would be required ; and one telescope 
should be provided with spectroscopic appliances. 
The physical phenomena are all that the popular 
visitor would desire to see, and the fact of having 
once seen the most striking of these would leave a 
life-long impression on all intelligent men, women, 
and children. A small charge, with proper regula- 
tions as to time allowed at each instrument, would 
cover all expenses, including a modest salary to the 
showman — I beg his pardon — the director. The sun 
and moon should be shown first with a low power to 
display all the disc, then with a high power for 
particular details. 



Apropos to telescopes, Mr. Cowper Ranyard lately 
read to the Astronomical Soeiety a note on the 
blurred patches that appear in the splendid photo- 
graphs of the sun taken by M. Janssen at Meudon. 
Janssen is himself inclined to attribute them to solar 
clouds or gaseous matter above the photosphere, but 
Mr. Ranyard has made some experiments indicating 
that they have their origin within the telescope itself, 
and are due to heated currents of air in the tube. He 
produced exaggerated representations of these in the 
form of ripples by placing a heated body inside his 
telescope. The difficulty of maintaining a perfect 
calm wdthin the tube of a large telescope must be 
great, and the sensitive film used for these instan- 
taneous photographs cannot fail to display any dis- 
turbance affecting either the transparency or re- 
fractive power of the air in the telescope. I think 
the question as between these two explanations might 
easily be settled by taking several pictures of the sun 
at short intervals apart. If the light patches or blurs 
are due to cloud-matter in the sun they should 
appear at the same place in all the pictures, seeing 
that the space represented by every square milli- 
metre of such pictures is so enormous that no cloud 
could travel to a sensible distance on the picture in any 
short period of time ; while, on the other hand, the 
atmospheric irregularities within the telescope must 
be visibly shifted during small fractions of a second. 



DESCRIPTION OF A CONVENIENT FORM 
OF LIVE-CELL FOR OBSERVATION 
WITH THE MICROSCOPE, AND OF AN 
INEXPENSIVE MICROTOME. 

THE main drawbacks of most cells for the obser- 
vation of living objects are that they either 
leak, or are very difficult to clean. The under- 
described t form, which I have lately contrived and 
used, obviates these defects, and may therefore be of 
interest to the readers of Science-Gossip. It is of 
very simple construction, and can be made up at a 
trifling cost by the help of any ordinary metal worker. 

Take a stout ground-edged glass slip, and have 
fitted to it two sheaths of thin brass, about i|-irich 
wide. These should be made to fit closely, but not 
so tightly as to prevent the glass slip from sliding 
easily through them. To the middle of one end of 
each sheath is soldered a small brass arm (shaped as 
in Fig. 2), carrying a fine screw on one arm, which, 
when secured in position, projects about 5-inch 
beyond the end of the sheath. 

A piece about ij inch long, cut off a thin glass 
slide, and a thick india-rubber ring (those used for 
Cod's patent soda-water bottles serve excellently) 
completes our requirements. 

To put the parts together, slip the sheaths, one on 
to each end of the glass slide, with their two little 
screw arms projecting towards each other. Now cut 



8 



HARDIVICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



a small piece out of the circumference of the india- 
rubber ring, and place it on the slide between the 
sheaths, with the opening towards one of the long 
sides of the slide. Place on top of the ring the short 
piece of glass, and slide the sheaths towards each 
other, till the small screws project over its ends. 
Then, by turning down the screws, the ring is com- 
pressed between the two pieces of glass, and a perfectly 
water-tight cell results. By using rings of different 
thickness, cells of eveiy convenient depth may be 
obtained. 

When one has finished working with it, the whole 



It consists of a block of well-seasoned wood, 
5X3x3 inches. At \\ inch from one end of the 
block a hole is bored of such diameter as may be 
necessary to admit the cylinder of a pewter syringe 
of about \ inch internal diameter. This hole runs 
vertically from the upper to the lower surface of the 
block. Across the opposite end of the block is cut 
a horizontal notch, \\ inch deep and wide. Cut off 
the nozzle end of the syringe, so as to leave a piece 
of tube three inches long, and cut the handle off the 
plunger so as to leave only the piston part. This 
should be packed as neatly as possible, and have 




W/Wa 



Fig. 2. — Live Cell. 



" 



^j 



i&. 



Fig. 3. — Elevation of Live Cell. 



1 



Lrl 



_ _" '","" 



z 



% 



§1 




tabl; 



3 



l§3 



Fig. 4. — Inexpensive Microtome. Vert, section. 

thing can be taken to pieces in an instant and 
cleaned. If a well-polished piece of glass, free from 
flaws, be chosen for the upper plate, its thickness 
will not be found to interfere very materially with the 
performance of any power below J-inch. 

While on the subject of cheap apparatus, I will 
describe a form of microtome which can be made by 
any one, with a slight mechanical turn, for about 
eighteen-pence. In many essential points it is almost 
identical with that of Mr. A. B. Chapman, described 
in your June number, as, however, I constructed and 
used it more than ten years ago, I must claim to be 
guiltless of plagiarism. 



CLASS 3X| 









CLASS 3X1 

■ 





Fig. 5. — Upper Surface of Microtome. 

soldered to its upper surface a small 
Z-shaped piece of tin, so as to give the 
parapin a firm hold on the piston. 

Cement the tube into the hole in the 
block with shellac or 'elastic glue, so that 
one end projects about the thickness of a 
glass slide above the upper surface, and 
cement on to the upper surface of the block, 
along each side of the projecting portion 

7 of the syringe, an ordinary ground-edged 

^> glass slide, taking care to choose a pair of 
equal thickness, and with well-rounded 
edges. Now procure a fine screw running 

on an oblong-nut : the nut to have a hole 

to take the head of a wood-screw at each 
end, and secure it by means of a couple of 
screws to the under surface of the block, so 
that the fine screw works up and down in 
the centre of the pewter tube. Get also 
one of the coarse iron screws with brass 
fittings, such as are used to fasten old- 
fashioned window sashes, procurable from 
any ironmonger, and fasten this to the under 
surface of block, so that the coarse screw may work 
into the notch already described. 

To use the machine, place it with the edge of a 
lath projecting into the horizontal notch. Then by 
screwing up the coarse screw, it will be firmly 
clamped to the table, and projecting beyond it, a 
position extremity convenient for working. 

Now turn down the fine screw, and push the 
piston, with the finger, down through the tube on 
to it. The well is then filled with a melted mixture 
of five parts solid paraffin to one part tallow, 
and the object to be cut embedded in this. The 
sections are then taken in the usual way, the two 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



ground edged slides acting as the guides to the 



razor 



With one constructed in this way, I have procured 
sections finer than I have got with any other non- 
freezing machine. 

I have one further limit to add. In cementing on 
the two glass slides, take care that, if not quite 
horizontal, they may tend to form a V, rather than 
an A with each other, as should the inner edges be 
the least higher than the outer, the razor will be 
very quickly blunted, whereas, on account of the 
razor edge being, as a rule, somewhat curved, the 
circumstance of the outer edges being a little high is 
of no moment. Also do not be tempted to make 
your well of large diameter ; \ inch is quite as large a 
section as one is likely to want, and the smaller the 
diameter of the well, the more even will the sections be. 

Of course a brass tube and plunger may be made 



form sori, seated on scarcely perceptible spots, on the 
underside of the leaves (only rarely on the upper 
side) ; the sori were scattered, or irregularly grouped, 
occasionally in orbicular clusters, round or oval, 
averaging 300 /j. in diameter, convex and elevated. 
The epidermis persisted round the sori, forming a 
somewhat dome-shaped investment, ruptured at the 
summit, where it was pale in colour, but below dark- 
brown, owing to the paraphyses showing through. 
These paraphyses, which formed the most striking 
feature, were arranged in a single ring, surrounding 
the sorus, just within the persistent epidermis ; they 
were dark-brown, shining, oblong-cylindrical, en- 
larged at the apex (club-shaped), inclining inwards 
towards the centre, from 80-100 fi long or more, and 
about 12-15 <"■ thick. (Figs. 6 & 7.) 

Within these were the uredo-spores, oval, obovate, 
oblong, or roundish in shape, surrounded by a very 




.Fig. 6. — Sorus, emptied of spores, showing the paraphyses. X 80. 



'I ' W\ \ U 

f Ji 

Fig. 7. — Paraphyses. X 250. 







Fig. S. — Puccinia So'ichi. a, Uredospores ; b, transition to 

mesospores ; c, mesospores ; d, teleutospore (,:). 

X 250. 



■use of, if desired ; but, somehow, I never got one to 
act as well as my old " sixpenny squirt." Though I 
•made many of them, one time and another, either 
for friends, or in the hope of improving the machine. 
G. M. Giles, M.B., F.R.C.S. 
Peshaivar. Surgeon Ind. Medical Service. 



A NEW BRITISH PUCCINIA. 

IN October la it, Mr. II. Ffawkes sent me, from 
near Birmingham, a fungus upon the leaves of 
Sonchus, which had the appearance of a Puccinia, 
but in which he could find none of the characteristic 
two-celled spores. A careful examination convinced 
me that I had, in all probability, the uredo-stage of a 
Puccinia hitherto, I believe, unrecorded in Britain, 
viz : Puccinia sonc/ii, Desmaz. First, to describe 
the fungus in question :— It occurred in small puncti- 



thick, colourless, warted membrane (Fig. S, a) ; 
contents very pale yellow, with a few oily drops ; 
30-50 n long, and 20-24 M broad. No other spores 
than these could be seen in situ ; but, on scraping off a 
few sori, asmall number of meso-spores were observed, 
which differed in being of a darker brownish colour, 
and less or not at all warted surface ; the transition 
from the uredo-spores to the meso-spores could be 
clearly traced. (Fig. 8, b and c.) A persistent search 
revealed a few teleuto-spores, which were oval, not 
constricted, smooth, and dark-brown ; but so small 
was the number that I incline to the opinion that 
these were accidental intruders, and did not belong 
to the same species. They might have been blown 
on to the leaf from some neighbouring plant infested 
with a Puccinia. (Fig. S, d.) 

The plants on which this fungus was found were 
two small seedlings, not in flower, growing on rubbish 
which had been thrown out of the canal in cleaning it ; 



IO 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



every leaf was infested. If the description just given 
is compared with that of P. soncki, which I will pro- 
ceed to translate from Winter's "Pilze," p. 189, it 
will be seen that ours was probably the early stage of 
the latter, but had not yet reached the time for the 
production of teleutospores. The chief difference 
lies in the fact that I found the circle of paraphyses 
round the pustules of uredo spores. 

Puccinia sonchi, Desm. — II. Sori at first covered 
by the epidermis, which is swollen like a bladder, 
afterwards surrounded by it like a bowl ; roundish- 
pulvinate, scattered or grouped without order, brown. 
Spoies roundish, ovate, elliptic or oblong, with a very 
thick, colourless, warted membrane, and yellow oil, 
23-35 /* l° n S> J 6-2i jx thick. III. — Sori more com- 
pact than in II., roundish-pulvinate, on the stem ob- 
long, often confluent, scattered, or arranged in circles, 
or even grouped without order ; black, surrounded by 
brown paraphyses, which are clavately thickened 
above. Spores on a pretty long, persistent peduncle, 
elliptic or oblong, somewhat constricted, rounded 
below, or tapering into the peduncle, only slightly 
thickened and rounded or cap-shaped, at the apex ; 
smooth, clear-brown, 30-60 /u. long, 19-30 fj. thick. 
Mesospores numerous, similar, but only one-celled ; 
generally more thickened at the apex, reaching 50 jjl 
in length. 

W. B. Grove, B.A. 



HOW-TO KEEP SMALL MARINE AQUARIA. 

IN Science-Gossip for April of this year, I 
described two small glass -jar aquaria, which I 
had started in the middle of October, 18S3, as an 
experiment, and which, up to that time, had proved 
most successful for so small a quantity of water. 
Now, on October 20th, 1884, one jar still remains, 
with four of its original occupants after a most trying 
time of it. 

For the benefit of those who felt interested in my 
former paper, I will briefly sketch the history of my 
miniature aquarium during one of the hottest 
summers we have had for many a year. 

My first death was the small A. dianthus, which 
seemed to grow gradually less for want of. fresh 
sea-water, and ultimately died. About the end of 
May I left home, but before going, I changed the 
water of the two jars (from my reserve quart), and 
stood the jars in a pan of water, covering them with 
a piece of woollen material capable of keeping moist 
by capillary attraction ; finally placing the whole in 
a cool dark place. 

Upon my return, I was sorry to find the mussels 
dead, and the water so offensive that the winkles had 
crawled out, and the two old A. mesembryatitheuiurii, 
were much contracted ; the young had disappeared. 

I thought this was a final collapse, especially as the 
weather had set in very warm. However, I found 



that my reserve sea-water was beautifully clear, so I 
poured off the tainted water, rinsed out jar numbei 
one, which was now to become the receptacle for 
what was still living, and poured the clear water upon 
the survivors. In half-an-hour matters were "in 
statu quo ante." A. mcsembryanthemum unfolded 
their tentacles, and Littorina littorea recommenced 
their travels, although their shells began to show 
signs of want of lime. 

The bad sea-water, the smell of which was simply 
unbearable, I strained carefully, and corked up in a 
bottle, keeping it in the dark, and shaking it up 
vigorously every day. In about ten days it was as 
clear and sweet as the other ; but as the heat of the 
weather increased I found the greatest difficulty in 
keeping my little stock from decomposition. I 
have, however, so far succeeded, that for more than 
one year I kept alive four out of nine animals in 
a pint jar of sea-water, without introducing any fresh 
sea-water or any alga;. 

Now that the year is up, I have put into the jar a 
good clump of ulva, fresh from the coast, and a 
piece of chalk. The effect is evidently gratifying to 
the prisoners, for there is a sudden addition of seven 
young anemones, which I saw ejected myself. 

Considering the great heat, and the fact that I 
confined my experiment strictly to the materials I 
commenced with, I think that there is as little trouble 
in keeping a small marine aquarium as in keeping a 
fresh-water one, provided, of course, that one or two 
simple laws are followed, and that the animals selected 
be hardy species. 



Edward Lovett. 



Addiscombe, Croydon. 



GLASTONBURY AND ITS THORN. 
By William Roberts. 

THE Somersetshire town of Glastonbury is one of 
great antiquity. It was called by the ancient 
Britons Avalon, from the abundance of apple-trees in 
the district ; and by the Saxons Glasln-a-byrig, from 
which its present name is immediately derived. 

Within a short distance of, and in a south-west 
direction from, the site of the present town, is situated 
a place known from time immemorial as "Weary 
Hill," and here, it is conjectured, the first society of 
Christian worshippers established themselves in 
Britain. St. Patrick, who came over from Ireland in 
439, is said to have spent thirty years of his life in the 
convent then existing at the spot. Previous to this 
saint's visit, the brethren had lived in miserably 
furnished huts scattered round about the vicinity of 
the place of worship ; and the primitive form of 
religion, which, after the death of Lucius, the first 
Christian king of Britain, had fallen into disuse, was 
again resuscitated with all its former vigour. 

In 530 David, Archbishop of Menevia, with seven 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



ii 



of his followers, retired to Glastonbury, where they 
greatly improved the church and form of religion, 
and moreover enriched the altar with a sapphire of 
inestimable value. 

King Arthur, after the fatal battle with his nephew 
Mordred, was interred in Glastonbury ; his remains 
are said to have been discovered in the reign of 
Henry II., who instigated a search, which resulted in 
a large cross being exhumed from the tomb, bearing an 
inscription in rude characters something to the effect 
of " Here lies the famous King Arthur, buried in the 
isle of Avalon." Beneath was discovered a coffin- 
like excavation in the solid rock containing the bones 
of a human body, which was supposed to be that of 
King Arthur. These bones were deposited in the 
church and covered with a sumptuous monument. 

In 708 Ina, king of the Saxons, in a sudden and 
spasmodic fit of zeal, greatly improved_the convent, 
but it was left to Dunstan to execute alterations a*hd 
improvements of any magnitude. He caused the 
abbey to be enlarged, and had it furnished in a state 
of unrivalled magnificence and splendour, to such an 
extent, indeed, that in a short time it became " the 
pride of England, and the glory of Christendom," as 
an old chronicler states. This was soon after the 
year 942. 

Edgar, who had a palace within two miles of the 
town, and in a romantic situation still called 
v 'Edgarley," — now a hamlet in the parish of St. 
John — endowed the abbey with several estates, and 
invested the monks with extensive privileges. The 
abbots ^lived en prince ; the revenue having been, so 
far as we can ascertain, quite ,£40,000. This large 
sum of money, in common with the revenues of other 
abbeys, was appropriated by William I. From various 
causes, partly through internal ruptions and external 
civil wars and strife, these magnificent buildings 
vapidly degenerated into ruins, and nothing was 
present in 1797 to demonstrate a former glory, except 
the abbot's kitchen — which was pretty entire. 

Having briefly sketched the history of the ancient 
town of Glastonbury, it now remains for us to mention 
a shrub narrowly associated with the legendary lore 
of this place ; it is the Glastonbury thorn, a variety 
of Cratagus oxyacantha. Its origin is obscure, and 
even that highly-respected individual, "the oldest 
inhabitant," is not, as is usually the case, very dog- 
matic on the point. There are, however, three theories 
in connection with the history of this shrub. According 
to some, it originated with Joseph of Arimathea, who 
is reputed to have visited England, and, having struck 
his staff into the ground, the celebrated thorn of 
Glastonbury grew from it. It is also alleged that 
this same shrub was planted by St. Peter from a staff 
formed from the Jerusalem plant, whence the " crown 
of thorns " was made. The third version is that it 
was planted originally by St. Patrick ; and if we are 
compelled to accept at least one of these theories let 
t be the last, by all means. 



On Christmas Eve, 1753, a vast concourse of people 
attended the noted thorn at Glastonbury, expecting it 
to flower then ; but they were disappointed. It is 
recorded, however, that they watched it again on the 
5th of January — the old Christmas Day — when it 
burst forth flotver as usual. The cause of its blooming 
at Christmas is accounted for by the fact that the 
owner of the original tree— whoever he may have 
been — fixed the staff into the ground on a Christmas 
Day, when it immediately rooted, put forth leaves, and 
the next day was covered with milk-white blossoms. 
It continued, so we are told, to bloom every Christmas 
Day for a series of years with great regularity. 
tempora ! 

At Quainton, in Bucks, we have it authentically 
recorded that above ten thousand persons on one 
occasion went with lanterns and candles to view a 
thorn in that neighbourhood, which was remembered 
to have been a slip from that at Glastonbury. 

Another presumably miraculous wonder inflicted on 
the credulity of the Glastonbury folks in former days 
was a walnut-tree, which was said never to expand its 
leaves before the 1 ith of June — the feast of St. Barna- 
bas — but this long ago ceased to exist. 

Equally absurd is a variety of legendary tales which 
have become interwoven with the history of this 
place ; particularly that in connection with some 
Chalybeate springs. These were numerouslyattended 
formerly by invalids from all parts, ostensibly for the 
purpose of participating in their reputed curative 
qualities. 

Again, adverting to the thorn, its season of flower- 
ing, and the regularity of same, is passing strange. 
We have had it in flower in the sunny clime of Corn- 
wall repeatedly at, or near, but rarely before, Christ- 
mas. We have come to the conclusion, after a patient 
research, and sifting the exceedingly few facts 
known, that its pedigree is not nearly so extensive as 
is popularly supposed. 



THE GEOLOGICAL RECORD" 
HALDON,! DEVONSHIRE. 



AT 



By the Rev. W. Downes, B.A., F.G.S. 

WHEN summer visitors to Teignmouth or 
Dawlish have spent a day or two in boating, 
bathing, and strolling along the beach, and a variety 
in the programme of the day is becoming desirable, 
the first thing probably which will suggest itself to 
them, or be suggested by others, will be a walk upon 
Haldon. Nor could any better suggestion be made. 
That elevated plateau is equally accessible from either 
of the two watering places, and is about equi-distant 
from either. Two miles of stiff and steady up-hill work 
will take the pedestrian from sea-level to 760 feet 
above it, where he will be fully rewarded for his 
climb by the splendid view over land and sea which 



12 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



awaits him. The conspicuous headland, known as 
the " Ness," and the estuary of the Teign will be im- 
mediately beneath him, and his eye will range east- 
ward, and south-eastward along the red cliffs of S. 
Devon ; or, if he faces the other way, along the Tors 
of Dartmoor. A less conspicuous object, but one 
which, if he be a geologist, will have a special interest 
for him, will be the Blackdown range, about 25*miles 
distant, on the far side of the Exe valley upon the 
Somersetshire and Dorsetshire border. 

Of this Blackdown rans;e, the Haldons are two 



supply is nearly exhausted) are still being cut out of 
the hard concretionary nodules of sandstone. At 
Haldon, however, the fossil fauna (corals excepted) is 
comparatively poor, for out of some 200 species found 
at Blackdown 50 only occur at Haldon. 'Whetstones 
moreover are not quarried at the latter place at all. 
The reason of the above facts will presently appear. 

If we examine the general structure of the country, 
we find that horizontal beds of greensand rest uncon- 
formably upon the edges of triassic and liassic beds 
alike (see fig. 9). Both of the latter differ slightly to the 




Fig. 9. — Generalised Section of South Eastern Devonshire. 




TRIAS 



^ 



LIAS GREENSAND FLINT GRAVEl 

.Vertical scale about 800 feet to the inch. Distance horizontally, 
about 30 miles. 



Fig. 10. — Ca?dium Hillamim. 







Fig. \\.—Exogyra conica. Fig.in.—T/triiellagrauulala. Fig. i^.—Pectenquadricostatus- 



Fig. 14. — Fossil 
sponge {Si/>ho- 
nia pyriformis). 



outliers of irregular outline. Great Haldon on the 
north, is about five miles long, and averages about one 
mile in breadth, while Little Haldon, separated from 
the larger outlier by a slight depression in the Trias is 
two miles long, and rather more than half a mile wide. 
In ascending the hill the trias is found to extend to 
within 80 feet or 90 feet of the summit, when it is 
covered by about 50 feet of greensand, capped in turn 
by about 40 feet of flint gravel. 

The greensand of Blackdown is famous for two 
things, its abundant and splendidly preserved fossil 
fauna, and its whetstones. The latter (though the 



eastward. With regard to the greensand it will be 
sufficient for the present purpose to subdivide it into 
three general portions, and to call them respectively 
lower, middle, and upper Blackdown beds. It will 
then be found that the lower and middle beds, which 
contain the whetstones and the chief fossiliferous zones, 
have thinned out to the westward, so that only the 
upper beds are found at Haldon. The upper beds 
themselves have however rather increased in thickness 
westward, and include a coral zone in their upper 
portion not found at Blackdown. This fact, together 
with the greatly increased thickness of the flint gravel,, 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



13 



render the cretaceous matter on Haldon approxi- 
mately (but not quite) as thick as at Blackdown. The 
corals have been described by Professor Duncan. 
(Q. J. G. S., Feb. 1879.) 

The angular flints, which are doubtless the result 
mainly of sub-aerial denudation, presuppose a con- 
siderable thickness of chalk, which at one time capped 
l he greensand, but which has now vanished altogether, 
with the exception of this coarser and insoluble resi- 



that in this way it obtained both its rounded pebbles 
and its plateau features. It became in fact a plain of 
marine denudation. Since that time however it has 
been re-elevated several hundred feet, so that rain and 
rivers have "writ their wrinkles" upon it, and have 
produced a vast hiatus between the outliers and the 
parent mass. 

In conclusion, let us sum up the record. I. We have 
at the base, Trias, which was deposited probably 




^CCjOQGoc 



Fi?. 20. 



Fig. 







Fig. 16. Fig. 17. Fig. 21. Fig. 22 

Figs. 15-22.— Fossil Sponge Spicules, nil drawn on the scale of J 5 th to r^j„th of an inch. (H. J. Carter on " Fossil Sponge: 
Spicules . . . from Blackdown and Haldon," " Annals a.id" Magazine of Natural History," for Feb. 1871, p. 1 59.) 




Fig. 23. — Gcrvillea auceps. 

duum. But sub-aerial denudation is not the only 
physical change indicated by the flint gravel, for upon 
the surface and for about a foot beneath it rounded 
pebbles occur, not only of flint, but also of rocks 
foreign to the bed itself, such as quartz and grit 
derived from the Palseozoic rocks adjoining. 

Here then again come traces of aqueous action. 
And the natural inference seems to be that the bed 
had sunk again beneath the surface of the sea, and 




Fig. 24. — Ammonites varicosus. 

in an inland sea. 2. Subsidence, and more truly marine- 
conditions, when the Lias was deposited. 3. Eleva- 
tion, tilting, and denudation, prior to the depo- 
sition of the greensand. 4. Subsidence, and the com- 
mencement of the deposition of the greensand beds. 
5. Elevation, or silting up, or both, until shallower- 
water and littoral conditions favoured the growth of 
encrusting corals and polyzoa. 6. Subsidence again 
till oceanic conditions prevailed, and chalk beds of 



14 



HARD WICKE 'S SCIENCE- G OSSIP. 



•considerable thickness were formed. 7. Re-elevation, 
at least above sea level, to account for the sub-aerial 
denudation of the chalk. 8. A slight re-subsidence, to 
form the marine plateau and introduce the rounded 
and foreign pebbles. 9. Re-elevation to the present 
altitude, combined with extensive recent denudation 
and excavation of the present valleys. Denudation 
has swept away enormous masses of both Trias and 
Greensand, but happily it is a broom which seldom 
sweeps quite clean, and hence Haldon is left to tell 
its tale. 



BRITISH PLANTS IN NYMAN'S " CON- 
SPECTUS FLOR.E EUROPyE^E." 

By A. R. Waller. 

THE following notes are intended to give the 
readers of Science-Gossip some idea of the 
differences in the nomenclature and classification of 
British plants in Dr. Nyman's " Conspectus Florce 
Europseae." Dr. Nyman's work is most invaluable to 
all systematic and geographical botanists ; as it gives 
the full distribution of all known European species 
and sub-species, and in many cases that of varieties. 
English botanists will have to adopt the earlier 
names he uses, as the only safe rule for botanical 
nomenclature is that of absolute priority. 

The classification of the Thalictrums (meadow rues) 
is rather different to what we have generally been ac- 
customed to use. T. Jacquinianum, K. (=T. minus, 
Jacq. non L.), is the plant we have so long called 
T.majtis, Smith, "Jacq." : T. majus, Murr. "Jacq." 
is not a British plant. England might be added to 
the list of countries for T. alpinum, L. (Alpine 
meadow rue) ; it grows in Yorkshire, Westmoreland, 
•&c. It is mentioned as growing in Scotland and 
Wales. The Jersey buttercup is not thought to be 
Ranunculus charophy litis, L., but R. flabellatus, Dsf. 
var. Europaa. R. sardous, Cr., 1763, rightly replaces 
R. Philonolis, Ehrh. 1788, as the] name of the hairy 
buttercup, and Glaucium flavum, Cr., 1769, instead of 
G. lutcum, Sep. 1772, for the yellow-horned poppy, 
is another change in the right direction. Fumaria 
JBorai, Jord., is elevated to specific rank with F. 
Bastardi, Bor., 1847 ( = /'. confusa, Jord. 1848), as a 
sub-species. Scotland might be added to the list of 
•countries for F. parviflora, Lam. We are not credited 
with Iberis arnara, L. (candy-tuft) ; it is certainly 
native in the centre of England. 

Lepidium Smithii, Hook., is considered a variety of 
L. heterophyllum, Bth. Coronopus Ruellii, All. 1785, 
gives way to C.procumbcns, Gil., 1782. Helianthemum 
vineale, P., appears as a full species with H. eanmn, 
Dun., as a variety, thus reversing the places of the 
two plants. Viola per mixta, Jord., is thought to be a 
hybrid between V. hirta, L., and V. odorata, L., and 
Drosera obovata, Mk., a hybrid between D. lougi- 



folia, L., and D. rotundifolia, L. Polygala serpyllacea, 
Whe., 1826, takes the place of P. depressa, Wend., 
1831, and Silene Cucubalus, Wib., 1799, that of S. 
infiata, Sm., 1800 (bladder campion). S. quinque- 
vulnera, L., is thought to be a sub-species of S. 
lusitanica, L. Scotland might be added to the list 
of countries for Dianlhus Armeria, L. (Deptford 
Pink). 

Sisymbrium Sophia, Sinapis arvensis, Capsclla 
Bursa-pastoris, Batrachium heterophyllum, and 
Violas tricolor and arvensis are found in every country 
in Europe. Erucastrum Pollichii, Schp., is given as a 
native. At most, it is only a colonist. Arabiseiliata, 
Br., and Brassica mouensis, Huds., are among the very 
few plants which are confined in Europe to Britain. 



NOTES ON SOME VARIETIES OF BRITISH 
SHELLS. 

I HAVE in my collection several interesting 
varieties of British shells which do not corres- 
pond to any of the named varieties generally regarded 
as British, but are nevertheless fairly well marked. 
These I now describe. All those described below 
were taken by myself. 

1. Hyatina nididula, var. Shell large, whorls 4, 
slightly whitish beneath, last whorl expanded, and 
having a dull waxy appearance, and possessing a 
rather broad band in thi position of No. 5 in 
H. nemoralis. Found at West Northdown, in 
Thanet. 

2. Hy. glabra, var. Shell greenish-white, glossy, 
and semi-transparent. Bromley, with the type. 

3. Valvata piscinalis, var. Shell shewing tracings 
of spiral banding. I am not sure of the exact locality, 
but it is from some part of Kent. 

4. Planorbis vortex, var. Shell large, concave 
above, keel prominent, and placed almost in centre 
of periphery. From Fuiham. 

5. Limnaa glutinosa, monst. Spire very short, 
sunken, slightly raised at apex, body whorl swollen 
above, top of shell nearly flat. St. Nicholas Marsh, 
with type. 

6. L. peregra, var. Shell showing spiral banding. 
From a ditch near Walmer Castle, Kent. (v. pictat) 

7. L. stagnalis, var. Shell having short spire, 
body whorl large and expanded, mouth wide. Pond 
at Bromley with Lemna minor. Type form not 
present. 

8. L. stagnalis, var. Shell smaller than type and 
shaped like L. palustris. Suture shallow. Shell 
often eroded. Pond at Chislehurst, with Anacharis 
alsinastrum and Callitriche verua. 

9. L. stagnalis, var. Shell much smaller than 
type, usually about % inch to I inch in length, suture 
rather deep. Shell eroded. Pond on Chislehurst 
Common, with Polamogeton crispus and Ranunculus 
aquatilis. 



HARD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G OS SI P. 



15 



10. L. stagnalis, var. Shell shewing traces of 
spiral banding. Pond at Chislehurst, with 
Ranunculus aquatilis. 

1 1. L. palustris, monst. Shell turrited, about i inch 
in length, whorls 5, last whorl more than half length 
of shell. Pond at Bromley, with type. 

12. L. truncatula, var. Shell having 3 whitish 
bands on body whorl, corresponding to 3, 4, and 5, in 
H. nemoralis. Ditch at Bickley, with type. 

13. SpJncrium lacustre, monst. Shell distorted so 
as to resemble Pisidium amnicum in shape. Pond 
at Bromley, with type. 

14. Cyclostoma elegans, var. Shell light yellowish, 
traces of spiral banding on upper whorls. Warling- 
ham, Surrey, with type. 

15. Helix aspcrsa, var. Shell having four well- 
defined bands. Chislehurst Common, amongst 
Pferis aquilina. 

16. Helix aspersa, var. Shell having upper portion 
of whorl chocolate colour, described in a former note 
(p. 91). I find that when the light is allowed to 
pass through the chocolate coloured portion very 
faint mottlings become visible, indicating those 
present in a normal shell. 

17. H. Cantiana, var. Shell smaller than type, 
glossy, and semi-transparent, slightly tinged with 
rufous, especially near the mouth. Lip pinkish. 
Farnborough, Kent, two specimens. 

18. H. virgata, var. Shell large, and having one 
or more interrupted bands. Margate. 

19. H. nemoralis, monst. Shell much distorted 
from repair of fracture, umbilicus wide and deep. 
Chislehurst Common, on Pteris aquilina. 

20. Clausilia biplicata, monst. Mouth of shell oval, 
and contorted, probably from repair of fracture, 
channeling of lower part not perceptible. Three 
well-marked denticles present. Near Hammersmith, 
with type. 

21. C. laminata, var. Shell rather tumid, inside 
of mouth, including denticles, of a purplish-brown 
colour. 

Other varieties are described in former notes. 

T. D. A. COCKERELL. 

Bedford Park, Chiszoick, 1884. 



NATURAL HISTORY JOTTINGS. 
On Wasps, chiefly. 

AS stated in " Natural History Jottings for 1SS1," 
in the May issue of Science-Gossip, 1882, the 
summer of that year, in the neighbourhood of 
Harnham and Bradford, Northumberland, was 
remarkable, from a natural-history point of view, in 
the almost entire absence of the social wasps and 
humble bees. This I accounted for by the very 
severe weather prevalent during the second week in 
June killing off the large females, or queens, with 
the embryo brood which they would be undoubtedly 



at that time rearing ; as these foundresses of colonies,, 
of both tribes, had been plentiful enough during the 
latter part of May and commencement of June, and I 
had already observed the wasps gathering wood 
fibres for the manufacture of the paper of which they 
build their nests and combs.* Moreover, during the 
spell of wintry weather that prevailed from June 6th 
to 10th inclusive, I had discovered a nest of the 
moss or carder bee (Bonibus muscorum), containing a 
large amorphous cell, or wax-enclosed mass of bee- 
bread, enclosing six or seven larvae of varying size 
from very small to what I took for nearly full-grown, 
as well as a single elegantly urn-shaped thin wax 
cell containing a very little clear honey. 

The summer of 1883, however, was remark- 
able for a superabundance of the social wasps, and 
an abundance of the humble bees. To give an idea 
of the great plenty of the wasps I may state that I 
have known of twenty-five nests, or "bikes" (as 
they are here called), within an area of not more than 
forty acres of meadow and pasture land, this area 
being represented by the figure of a square ; as well 
as two more nests a very little outside that square. 
Within this same area were found three nests of the 
orange-tailed humble bee (Bornbus lapidaria), and 
one of the common humble bee (B. terrestris) ;. 
whilst outside of it, but at no great distance, another 
nest of each species was found. 

Of the above-mentioned twenty-seven nests of the 
wasps, fifteen belonged to the Vespa vulgaris, six to- 
the V. sylvestris, five to the V. ritfa, and one to the 
V. Germanica. In addition to these were two others, 
small secondary nests of the V. tufa, built on the 
sites of the first nests which had been destroyed. 

Premising that I was in the district indicated from 
the beginning of the fourth week in July until near 
the close of September ; — that the earthen dykes, with 
their hedgerows and numerous trees, bounding the 
several fields, were mostly stone-faced to strengthen 
them against the rutting and butting of the cattle, 
though with occasional interspaces free from stones ; 
that flies (Diptera) were exceedingly numerous, 
especially in the lee of the dykes and hedgerows, and 
fruit abundant ; and that the weather during the 
most of that period was warm, though variable and; 
moist ; — I shall give some of my observations, on the 
wasps chiefly, mostly as they were jotted down and 
commented on at the moment. 

July 25th, 1883. — Wasps are exceedingly numerous ; 
have already seen nearly a dozen nests, or ' ' bikes. " 

July 30th. — Observe more wasps' nests in the 
dykes. I have also observed three nests in the level 
ground in a small meadow, two being those of the 
Vespa vulgaris and one that of the V. rufa. 

August 2nd. — In the evening, after a very heavy 
and continuous rainfall, the temperature being then 
much lowered, three large nests of the Vespa sylvestris 



* Science-Gossip, May, 1882, pp. 102, 103. 



i6 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



were taken out of an earthen dyke in great part 
faced with stones. Through the lowering of the 
temperature, few, if any, of the wasps were on the 
wing. The three nests were all within a distance of 
■eighty paces, two of them being within only twenty 
paces of each other. All were built well up in the 
face of the dyke, and were near the surface ; indeed, 
one of the nests had a goodly segment of it exposed 
to view ; another was not more than an inch within 
<the small hole of entrance ; whilst the third was 
farther back, but was well revealed on removing two 
■of the stones at its entrance, behind which it was 
situated. These nests were rounded in form, and of 
the size and nearly of the shape of a large turnip ; 
and were composed of grey and grey-green paper, 
•the layers of the shell being large, thin and numerous. 
The cells of the comb are made of similar paper to 
ihat constituting the shell, or case ; and they appear 
to be built up as the larvae grow — as needs required. 
• On the larva becoming full-fed it apparently fully 
lines its cell with white silk, as well as continuing 
the edges upwards and completely covering the top 
of the cell with a rounded cap of the same substance, 
which is tough and strong and greatly increases the 
•strength of the cells, these used cells being again 
utilised after the emergence- of the imagoes. There 
are both large and small cells filled with pupae, or 
nymphs. New and imperfect cells containing larvae 
. are on the margin of the circular platform of paper 
cells constituting the comb ; and there are ova in 
many of the formerly used cells, fastened by one end 
.to the side of the cell towards its bottom. The ovum 
is oblong, curving, white in colour, and of fair size. 
There are larvae of all sizes, and pupa? or nymphs in 
all stages of development to close on hatching : 
.indeed, there were many newly-hatched wasps in the 
nests when taken. All the three sexes were repre- 
sented, there being the workers, the large females or 
queens, and the males or drones with their longer 
antennas and slimmer bodies, all three kinds being of 
large size and bright colours. 

August 3rd. — This afternoon I took a small nest of 
the Vespa rufa out of the same dyke as that out of 
which were last night taken the three nests of the 
V. sylvestris, but on its opposite side, where are also 
two nests of the V. vulgaris. In form it resembles a 
small turnip on a depressed sphere ; and it has the 
oundish hole of entrance and exit in the centre 
beneath, and a single circular platform of comb, about 
two inches in diameter, which is suspended by a 
broad paper pillar from the top of the shell of the 
nest. A second pillar, to support a second and lower 
platform has been formed, being attached to the side 
of one of the central, used, silk-lined and con- 
sequently strong ceils ; and it has a very rudimentary 
cell at its extremity, which already contains one of 
the oblong, milk-white and somewhat curving ova. 
The outer cells of the platform of comb are very rudi- 
jnentary, but each contains an ovum ; the inner ones 



contain larva? of various sizes ; whilst, further in, 
towards the centre, are pupa; or nymphs, and vacated 
cells which again contain ova, mostly two and three in 
number, but in some instances even four : some of 
the cells nearer the circumference, which have not 
before been used, also contain two ova. The larvae 
of this species of wasp are not white, but are yellowish, 
or buff-coloured. This nest was not far back into the 
dyke ; and the mould was easily dug into, so easily 
indeed that the nest was got out with a walking-stick. 
Nearly all the wasps found at it were taken ; fifteen 
in all, seven of which were males, and eight workers. 
In the evening, however, a few more wasps were 
taken from the cavity out of which the nest had been 
dug. These wasps were not at all vicious ; the larger 
ones ( V. sylvestris) disturbed last night were very 
vicious. On the following day I took a few more 
wasps from the nest-cavity, and left yet a few lingering 
about the place. No queen, however, was observed, 
only males and workers ; had there been one, she 
would have, in all probability, been in the nest when 
it was taken. In all there have been not more than 
thirty wasps belonging to this small nest. Is it not 
somewhat singular that there should be males at so 
early a stage of the nest ? 

In the evening a very large and strong nest of the 
Vespa Germanica was taken out of a stone- faced 
earthen dyke. On removing two of the stones the 
nest was fully revealed lying in a cavity behind, its 
entire depth being distinguishable. The case of this 
nest is of a shelled character, the several layers of 
grey and grey-green paper constituting it being laid 
on in large shell-like pieces varying in dimensions ; 
and, though consisting of fine vegetable fibres, it is 
thicker in texture than is the paper of the V. sylvestris 
and V. rufa. There are six tiers, or platforms, of 
comb ; and the nest is the largest I have yet seen. 
The ova in the comb are at the bottom of the shallow 
rudimentary cells at and near the margin of the tier, 
and down towards the bottom, or only midway in the 
deeper cells towards and at the centre ; and are 
oblong, a little curving, and milk-white in colour. 
They are fastened by one end to the side of the cell 
in an angle and project outwards into an acute angle. 
There is here mostly only one ovum in each cell, 
though, in some instances, two and even three ova 
have been deposited in the deeper cells. There 
are, as well as ova, larvae of all sizes, and pupae 
or nymphs in all stages of development up to 
perfection, young wasps emerging from the cells. 
The very young larvae are attached to the side of the 
cell in the same manner and position as are the ova, 
appearing indeed almost to be simply an outgrowth 
from the ovum in the anterior or cephalic region, — 
just as though a head had formed there. As the cells 
are vertical and mouth downwards, some secure attach- 
ment will be absolutely necessary for the suspension 
and safety of the head-down larvae. No males were 
found at this nest, nor the queen (which, probably, 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i7 



had been destroyed in the burning out of the nest) ; 
but there was an immense host of very active and 
very fierce workers, which freely attacked the would- 
be destroyers of their home, and it was no light task 
evading their stings, as they were most persistent in 
their attacks and would follow one far from their nest. 
Also, this evening, a nest of the Vcspa sylvcstris, 
not quite so large as the three taken on the 2nd 
inst., but of fair size and the same shape, was taken 
out of the above-mentioned dyke at no great distance 
from that of V. Germanica. It also was situated in 
a cavity immediately behind the facing stones of the 
dyke, being completely exposed on the removal of 
a few of them that lay in front of it. ' In it were 
found all the three sexes, workers, large females and 
males ; and out of one tier of comb I extracted 
several of the large females, or queens and males, 
that were just about ready to emerge. 

{To be continued.) 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 

Death has been very busy lately with scientific 
men. We have to mourn the loss of two old and 
valued contributors : Professor Buckman, F.G.S., 
whose papers on geology and botany were frequent 
in our earlier numbers, and Mr. J. F. Robinson, of 
Frodsham, whose " Notes for Science-Classes" were 
among the last of his contributions to Science- 
Gossip. Mr. Robinson died at the early age of 
forty-five, an earnest, simple-minded botanist and 
naturalist, who was never so pleased as when assisting 
other students. 

Two distinguished geologists have just passed 
away : Dr. Thomas Wright, of Cheltenham, the well- 
known authority on British Oolitic fossils, and Mr. 
R. A. God win- Austin, of Guildford, whose papers 
and researches on the physical geography of various 
of the geological periods gave a new charm to the 
science, and also aided in the discovery of many new 
truths. 

Mr. A. T. Metcalfe, F.G.S., has communicated 
to the Geological Society his discovery in one of the 
bone caves of the Cresswell Crags of the portion of 
the upper jaw of the mammoth, containing the first 
and second milk molar teeth, in situ. 

The' Natural History Collections at the Albany 
Museum, Graham's Town, have long been known to 
naturalists, who, however, have not hitherto been 
aware of their extensive character. A catalogue has 
now been compiled by the curator, M. Glanville, and 
presented to both Houses of Parliament by the 
Governor. It is in every way an admirable ana 
creditable piece of work, and cannot fail to be 
interesting and helpful, both to naturalists at home 
and abroad. 



The new Executive Council of the National 
Association of Science and Art Teachers held its 
first meeting on Saturday, November 29th, in the 
Technical School, Manchester. Dr. II. C. Sorby, 
F.R.S., of Sheffield, presided, and there were present 
representatives from several district associations. Sir 
Henry E. Roscoe, F.R.S., &c, was unanimously 
elected president. The new rules adopted at the 
Annual Meeting were submitted, and ordered to be 
printed, together with the annual report, an abstract 
of the proceedings of the district associations, list of 
members, &c. Measures were adopted for a large- 
extension of the Association, and a committee was 
appointed to consider the desirability of establishing 
a newspaper or other journal for science and art 
teachers. Several other matters were discussed, 
including a circular of the Science and Art Depart- 
ment, respecting prizes and scholarships, the dates of 
examinations, and details respecting examinations in 
machine construction, and drawing and building 
construction, and in art. It was decided to hold the 
next meeting of the Executive Council in Birmingham 
early in February. 

A notable man, Professor Voelcker, F.R.S., well 
known as a writer on agricultural chemistry, has just 
died at the age of sixty-two. 

Dr. H. C. Lang, F.L.S., has drawn up a " Syste- 
matic List of the Butterflies of Europe," extracted 
from his work on this subject. It is published by 
Messrs. Reeve & Co. 

Mr. Charles Baily, F.L.S., has kindly sent us a 
copy (profusely illustrated) of the resume of the com- 
munications he made to the Leenwenhoek- Microsco- 
pical Club, and the Manchester Philosophical Society, 
" On the structure, the occurrence in Lancashire, 
and the source of the origin of Naias gramiuea, Del. 
var. Deli lei, Magnus." 

Professor Owen has drawn attention to the fact 
that the upper molar teeth of an eocene mammal 
(Neoplagiaulax) from Rheims, has premolars like 
those of the secondary mammal Plagianlax. 

Mr. W. Brockhurst has demonstrated to the 
Linnean Society, that double daffodil flowers can 
produce seeds. k He has raised them. 

The Rev. H. Higgins has published a very 
thoughtful paper, in which is condensed a good deal 
of personal experience in the matter, on " Museums 
of Natural History." He is rather hard on the 
"loungers" there — but can they "lounge" in better 
or more harmless places? 

Dr. Percy Wilde, of Bath, has issued a short 
pan-phlet entitled "Test Type for Determining the 
Acuteness of Vision." It will be found of great 
value to people of failing sight. The paper was 
originally arranged for the " Medical Annual and 
Practitioners' Index." 



i8 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



M. Pouchet, who is still engaged in experiments 
on the subject, states that the blood of cholera 
victims is charged with biliary salts, whilst there is 
always a tonic alkaloid in their dejecta. Experiments 
at Marseilles show that biliary acids are relatively 
more abundant in the blood of cholera patients than 
in others. 

Mr. Ellery, the well known astronomer of Mel- 
bourne, is still of opinion that the recent brilliant 
sunsets are attributable to the presence of vapour in 
the higher regions of the atmosphere. 

Mr. Gibbs Bourne has found ahydriform stage of 
the freshwater jelly-fish, which for several years past 
has made its unaccountable appearance in the tanks in 
Regent's Park. 

"THEBirdsofLancashire,"byMr. F. S. Mitchell, 
of Clitheroe, will be published shortly by Mr. 
Van Voorst. The book is a carefully prepared list 
of the species of birds which, either as residents or 
visitors, have been known to occur within the limits 
of the county of Lancaster. The author has been 
aided with information from observers in all parts of 
the county, and this, added to published matter, has 
furnished him with a vast number of facts. A map 
of Lancashire, showing the physical features, and 
with all the places referred to inserted, has been 
specially drawn for the work, as also plans of Martin 
Mere before it was drained, and of the duck-decoy at 
Hale, with woodcuts illustrating this mode of catching 
clucks. The volume promises to be very interesting. 

At the last meeting of the Royal Microscopical 
Society a new Lantern Microscope with the oxy- 
hydrogen light was exhibited, which will be of great 
service to lecturers who require to exhibit microscopic 
objects to classes or audiences. A number of ana- 
tomical and other objects were exhibited on a screen 
fourteen feet square ; and Mr. Lewis Wright, and 
Messrs. Newton & Co., of Fleet Street, the makers of 
the instrument, received high commendations for the 
brilliancy and sharpness with which the details of 
the subjects were shown. This instrument was also 
exhibited at the recent meeting of the Quekett 
Microscopical Society, when the blow-fly's tongue 
was shown from 6ft. to 14ft. long, and a section of a 
drone fly's eye was magnified 2500 diameters. 

At a recent meeting of the Academy of Paris, 
M. Vulpian read a paper on the aneesthetic action of 
the chlorohydrate of cocaine. So powerful is it that an 
aqueous solution of I part of cocaine and 99 parts of 
water inserted under the eyelids produces complete 
insensibility of the conjunctiva and cornea in the 
human eye. 

On the 14th of November last, I found a sprig of 
hawthorn in full and fragrant blossom in a hedge 
near Ipswich. The sprig bore ripe fruit as well as 
flowers. — J. E. Taylor. 



MICROSCOPY. 

To Clean Cloudy Mounts. — On mounting. 
sections of freshly cut vegetable tissues, they become 
cloudy. Will any reader suggest a mode of clearing 
and mounting to prevent this occurring ? — W. H. L. 

Staining Vegetable Tissues. — A correspondent 
has drawn our attention to the fact that the para- 
graph in last month's Science-Gossip under the above 
heading, by W. F. Pratt, is quoted bodily, verbatim 
ct literatim, from Cole's "Methods of Microscopical 
Research," part xi. for June 1884. 

The Quekett Club.— The Journal of this well 
known club for November 1884, is as interesting as 
usual ; containing, beside the Committee's report, 
list of members, &c, the address by the president, 
Dr. M. C. Cooke, a paper on "A Hydrostatic fine 
Adjustment," by E. M. Nelson ; and a list of objects 
found on various excursions to x Epping Forest, 
Whitstable, and other places. 

The Norfolk Diatomace/E. — Mr. F. Kitton,. 
Hon. F.R.M.S., has issued the second series of his 
" Century," and in every respect it fully maintains 
the high character earned for the work by the first. 

Liverpool Microscopical Society: — The 
ordinary monthly meeting of this Society was held 
on 5th December, the president, Mr. Charles Botterill, 
F.R.M.S., in the chair. Some notes on the " Seed- 
vessels of Senecio vulgaris " were read by Mr. 
William Oelrichs, F.R. Met. Soc. ; special attention 
being called by him to the minute spiral fibres 
emitted from the hairs on the surface of the seed- 
vessels after immersion in water. Another paper 
was read by Mr. A. T. Smith, junr., on the structure 
of Alcyonium digitatum, the dead man's finger 
zoophyte. He described the general appearance of 
the zoophyte during life, both in and out of the 
water, and afterwards detailed its minute structure 
as revealed by the microscope — tentacles, thread 
cells, spicules, &c. 

" The Journal of Microscopy." — The January 
issue of this journal shows no falling off in its old 
vigour, and promises well for the coming year. It 
contains the address of the President of the Postal 
Microscopical Society, Mr. C. F. George ; together 
with papers on " A Piece of Homwrack : Its In- 
habitants and Guests," by Arthur J. Pennington, 
illustrated; " Rambles of a Naturalist near Amber- 
ley," by Miss A. M. Charlesworth ; and "The 
Microscope and How to Use it," by V. A. Latham. 



Does the Sparrow-Hawk attack Toads?— 
Referring to this query (p. 215), I believe such an 
incident to be quite new in the'history of the sparrow- 
hawk • but not uncommon with the kestrel. Is your 
correspondent certain the bird was not a kestrel ? — 
//. M., Ipswich. 



HARDWICK&S SCIENCE-GOSSIP 



19 



ZOOLOGY. 

Notes on the Mollusca of Surrey, Sussex, 
and Kent. — I have lately been on a walking 
tour, and have collected many uncommon shells in 
localities which have not yet, as far as I am aware, 
been recorded. I think that a few of the more 
interesting will be worth recording now. In the 
neighbourhood of Addington, in Kent, I found a 
.single specimen of Helix rotundata, var. alba, and 
the same variety also turned up later on at Eyns- 
ford, where I also got a specimen of H.pomatia, thus 
extending its range well into Kent, in which county 
I had never before taken it, though I found it very 
common in Surrey from Caterham to Shiere. About 
half-way between Reigate and Dorking, Clausilia 
Rolphii was common on a bank on one side of the 
road, and with it Cochlicopa tridens, while close by a 
stream rather nearer to Reigate we found also the 
variety crystallina and some specimens of Helix 
arbustorum. Hyalina (or Zonites) glabra was very 
abundant in^ Surrey, and in some parts of Kent, 
but we did not meet with a single specimen in 
Sussex. The following are a few of the localities : 
West Wickham, Addington, Reigate, Shiere, Pad- 
dock Wood, and Eynsford. H. nitidula seemed 
commonest in Kent ; H. cellaria and H. crystallina 
were, well ^diffused, but H. fulva we only found at 
Haslemere. A few miles to the north-west of Wrot- 
ham I found a few specimens of a greenish variety of 
H. cellaria, similar to one found at Maidenhead, 
which I considered at the time to be alliarius var. 
viridula, the specimen being immature, but com- 
parison with the adult specimens now found convinces 
me that they are identical. Achatina acicula we 
found in two Sussex localities, one being the extreme 
summit of a high hill, a few miles north of Chichester, 
and the other a mossy bank at Robertsbridge, where 
we found several other good shells, such as Clausilia 
Rolphii, which was by no means uncommon, and with 
it Cochlicopa tridens, Helix arbustorum, H. lapicida, 
and others. On a wall at Battle we found some 
specimens of Clausilia rugosa, var. gracilior, and close 
by one C. laminata. Helix cartusiana was found 
only at one place, a little to the east of Worthing, 
where my brother, who was with me, got two speci- 
mens. We found a large number of other shells, but 
I have no space to record them at present, and as 
they are many of them common ones they would be 
of less interest than the above. — T. D. A. Cocker ell, 
August 18S4. 

Capture of Sun-fish. — A fine specimen of the 
sun-fish {Orthragoriscus mold) was captured about 
four miles off Redcar, Yorks, on September 13th. A 
party of gentlemen were engaged in shooting sea- 
birds, when they sighted what they supposed to be 
the fin of a shark standing out of the water about 
18 inches. When within range, the fish was fired at, 



and immediately after the boatman gaffed with the 
monster, which was promptly got on board. On the 
following Monday, Dr. W. Y. Veitch purchased the 
fish on behalf of the Middlesbro' Museum Committee, 
and it is now in the hands of the taxidermist. The 
demensions of the fish were as follows :— From tip 
to tip of fins, 5 feet. From nose to anal fin, 3 feet 
9 inches. From back to belly, 2 feet 3 inches. 
Weight, after removal of entrails, 9 stone 2 pounds. — 
Baker Hudson, Middlesborough. 

Lantern Illustrations in Natural Science. 
— I should be obliged for information respecting the 
best means of demonstrating to large classes upon 
natural history objects with the aid of microscopic 
slides (not micro-photographs) and lantern. I 
understand that there is a method by which the 
image of opaque objects even can be thrown upon 
the screen. How far can an ordinary microscope and 
lantern be adapted to such work ? — E. W. 

Scientific Societies, and the Work they 
are doing. — We have received the Transactions of 
the Hertfordshire Natural History Society and Field 
Club, Parts I & 2. Amongst the papers therein we 
notice the following: "The Diatomacese, with 
special reference to species found in the neighbour- 
hood of Hertford," by Isaac Robinson; "The re- 
corded occurrence of land and fresh-water Mollusca 
in Hertfordshire," by W. D. Roebuck' and John W. 
Taylor ; " Remarks on the Land Mollusca, with 
reference to their investigation in Hertfordshire," by 
John Hopkinson ; " Notes on Mosses, with an out- 
line of a Hertfordshire Moss-Flora," by A. E. Gibbs ; 
" Notes on Birds observed in Hertfordshire," by 
J. E. Littleboy ; "List of Land and Fresh-water 
Mollusca observed in Hertfordshire," compiled by 
J. Hopkinson ; " Notes on Boulders and Boulder-clay 
in North Hertfordshire," by H. G. Fordham ; " On 
the Microscopic structure of Boulders found in the 
North of Hertfordshire," by J. Vincent Elsden ; 
" Notes on Lepidoptera observed near Sandridge," 
by A. F. Griffith ; " Report on Insects observed in 
Hertfordshire during the year 1883," by F. W. 
Silvester. 

The Transactions of the Ottawa Field Naturalists 
Club is of great interest, proving the vitality and 
thoroughness of scientific investigation amongst our 
Canadian neighbours. Besides the inaugural address 
of the president, Dr. H. Beaumont Small, and the 
various official reports of the different sections of 
Geology, Conchology, etc., the following valuable 
papers are given : " Notes on the ' Flora Ottawensis,' " 
by Jas. Fletcher; "On the Sand Plains of the 
Upper Ottawa," by E. Odium; "List of Ottawa 
Fossils," with introduction, by Henry M. Ami ; 
" Edible and Poisonous Fungi," by J. Macoum ; 
" List of Ottawa Coleoptera," with introduction, by 
W. H. Harrington; "Suctoria," by J. B. Tyrrell; 
"On the occurrence of Phosphate in Nature," by 



20 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



G. M. Dawson ; "The Deer of the Ottawa Valley," 
by W. P. Lett ; and a "Note on Doassansia occulta,'''' 
by W. G. Fallow. 

The Report of the Liverpool Science Student's 
Association is mainly occupied with accounts of the 
various excursions made by the members during the 
past session, many of which are of considerable 
interest. Amongst these we notice more especially 
visits paid to Boston Observatory, and to the 
Seacombe Phospho-Guano Works. 

There is also, as an Appendix, a valuable series of 
" Local Notes for Science Students," by Osmond W. 
Jeffs. 

The Report of the Norwich Science Gossip 
Club contains, beside the list of members, Report of 
the Committee, &c, the address of the president, Mr. 
T. Irwin Dixon, which conveniently summarizes the 
proceedings of the Society during the past year, 
briefly describing the various meetings, and giving in 
condensed form many valuable papers and addresses 
delivered by members. t 

The Proceedings of the Folkestone Natural History 
Society contains the following papers : " The Hand, 
considered as an organ of expression; or, Scientific 
Chirognomy as opposed to Chiromancy," by Dr. 
FitzGerald, the president ; "Pain," by Dr. Tyson; 
"The Nautilus and the Ammonite," by Mr. Hy. 
Ullyett, the secretary ; "Earthquakes and Volcanoes," 
Dr. FitzGerald ; and a most useful paper, intended 
as a general guide to the amateur naturalist, read by 
the Secretary at the field day at Lydden Spont. 



BOTANY. 

Sagittaria sagittifolia.— Cette particularity 
de vegetation n'est point signalee dans la plupart des 
ouvrages de botanique, ou les flores que j'ai a ma 
disposition ; cependant Cosson et Germain de St. 
Pierre, dans leur "Flore des^ Environs de Paris," 
s'expriment en ces termes (page 640) : " Souches a 
fibres nombreuses, emettant plusieurs rhizomes qui 
portent une ou plusieurs ecailles espacees et se renflent 
au sommet en une bulbe charnue qui devient libre par 
la destruction du rhizome et donne naissance a une 
nouvelle plante l'annee suivante." J'ajouterai qu'il 
m'est souvent arrive de recueillir des echantillons des 
bulbes en question, flottant dans le fleuve la Somme, 
a Amiens, soit que ces bulbes se soient eux-memes 
detachers de la base, soit qu'ils en aient ete arrachees 
par le passage des bateaux ou par les travaux de 
faucardage (coupe des herbes aquatiques avec une 
faux). — C. C, Somme. 

Parasitic Fungi.— Professor Trelease sends us a 
copy of his carefully drawn up pamphlet, entitled 
" Preliminary List of Wisconsin Parasitic Fungi. ' 



It includes only species which have been examined by 
himself, and, with one or two exceptions, all are in 
his own herbarium. The list includes about 270 
species, and about the same number of " hosts ; " 
but he thinks their number will be doubled by a few 
years' collections. 

" The British Moss Flora." — The author of this 
beautiful and valuable work, Dr. Braithwaite, F.L.S. r 
has now reached his eighth part, which deals with 
the family Tortulacea:. It is illustrated by six plates, 
each giving from eight to ten species, with details of 
structure, &c. This is unquestionably the most 
valuable work on mosses which has yet appeared. 

Leaf of Nepeta Glechoma. — Every observer 
will have noticed that the leaves of the ground ivy 
have a tendency to become patched with white, 
thereby assuming a pretty variegated appearance. 
Has anything been written on this subject ? I have 
examined several leaves under a strong i-inch power, 
and find that the white spots show heaps of black 
refuse, which looks like excrement from some small 
insect that has been feeding on the leaf, while there 
are proofs that the chlorophyll has been consumed. I 
have, however, failed as yet to detect either insect or 
fungus, and should be glad to know whether the 
cause of this peculiarity has yet been traced. — IF. 
Friend. 

Double Dahlias. — It was not until this summer 
that I ever observed two dahlias upon one peduncle, 
back to back, or otherwise. It is evidently due to the 
economy of nature to utilise one peduncle for two 
flowers. The "freak" could not have arisen from 
the want of light ; for my plant, also old-fashioned 
double dark red, was exposed to ample, being in a 
good upright position. I thought at first one flower, 
in its struggle for existence, would outdo the other ; 
but no, both were beautifully developed and remained 
in bloom as long as any other. Last spring I was 
presented with a primrose {Primula vulgaris) suffer- 
ing from the same abnormality ; in this latter case the 
peduncle was much thickened and flattened. — R. If. 
Wellington. 



GEOLOGY, &c. 

Geologists' Association. — The Proceedings of« 
the Geologists' Association is to hand, containing, 
besides reports of the ordinary meetings, papers of 
great interest by members, among which are the 
following : " Fossil Plants," by J. Starkie Gardner ; 
" Notes on the Krakatoa Eruption," by Grenville J. 
Cole; "The Implementiferous Gravel cf North-East 
London," by J. E. Greenhill ; and an address on 
" Fossil Plants from various Formations," by William 
Fawcett. Exceedingly interesting, too, are the 
reports of visits paid by the Society to the British 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



21 



Museum ('Natural History), and to the British 
Museum, Bloomsbury. On the formei" occasion, an 
address was presented by the president, Dr. Henry 
Hicks, on behalf of the members, to Sir Richard 
Owen, on his retirement from the directorship of that 
institution. A valuable address was then given by 
Dr. Henry Woodward, on Fossil Fishes. The visit 
to the British Museum was the occasion of " a demon- 
stration " on the marbles and monumental stones, 
illustrated by the collection in the Museum. 

A new Deposit of Pliocene Age at St. Erth, 
Fifteen Miles east of the Land's End, Corn- 
wall. — A valuable addition to British geology has just 
been made by Mr. Searles Wood, in a communication 
to the Geological Society. The deposit described 
occurs about five miles north-east of Penzance, and 
consists of a tenacious blue clay with shells, resting 
on sand. Mr. Wood has got together upwards of 
forty species of mollusca, inclusive of a few of which 
only fragments have as yet occurred, and of several 
minute species. Among these, besides some that are 
apparently altogether new, are some particularly 
characteristic species of the Red Crag not known 
living, such as Cypraa {Trivia) avellana, Sow.; 
Melampus pyramidalis, Sow.; and Nassa gramdata , 
Sow. (or else N. granifera, Dujardin), as well as 
other characteristic Crag species that still live, but 
not north of the coast of Spain, such as Turritella 
triplicate!, Brocchi (T. incrassata, Sow.), and 
Ringicula buccinea, Brocchi. The most interesting 
feature of the fauna, however, consists in the six 
species of Nassa that the deposit has hitherto 
yielded, of which all but one, N. granulata Sow. (or 
granifera, Dujardin), are unknown from any forma- 
tion of Northern Europe, and occur, whether in the 
living or fossil state, only in the southern half of 
Europe. N. conglobata, a species of a group near to 
that of mutabilis, has occurred in the Red Crag ; but, 
so far as the author is aware, neither that shell, nor 
any of the group to which it belongs, has occurred 
in any other formation of Northern Europe. One of 
these is Nassa mutabilis, Linne, which now lives 
throughout the Mediterranean, but outside that sea 
north of Cadiz (lat. 36 30') ; and two others are 
new species of this exclusively southern mutabilis 
group. Another seems to be a rare Italian Upper- 
Pliocene species of the reticulata group, N. reticostata, 
Bellardi ; while the sixth is the Lower Pliocene and 
Upper-Miocene species, N. scrrata, Brocchi. This 
shell, in the variety of form it presents at St. Erth 
(where it is one of the most frequent shells), seems to 
connect the Red-Crag N. reticosa, Sow., with the 
Italian N. serrata, while the shorter forms of it are 
identical with the Italian Lower-Pliocene A 7- , emiliana, 
Mayer. The fauna is altogether southern, no 
exclusively Arctic shell having as yet occurred in it. 
Mr. Wood regards the bed as clearly Pliocene, and 
inclines to the opinion that it is rather Newer than 



Older Pliocene ; that is to say, it is coeval with the 
Red Crag, but its affinities are more with the 
Pliocene of Italy than with the Pliocene of the North 
Sea region ; and this seems to show that during its 
deposition there was no communication between the 
Atlantic and the North Sea, except round the North 
of Britain, the refrigeration of the water by the nine 
degrees of latitude, through which Britain extends 
northwards from St. Erth, preventing the access on 
he Italian group of Nassa to that sea. 

Flint Hunting.— Remarkable "Finds." — 
During the closing clays of November 1884, a party of 
geologists, one lady and five gentlemen, under the 
leadership of Mr. R. Law, of Walsden, paid a visit 
to the flint deposits, on Midgely Moor, overlooking 
Mytholmroyd village, and about five miles from 
Halifax. On arriving at the place (a bare patch of 
about an acre, from which the peat has been denuded, 
exposing a bed of silver sand and angular stones, 
capping flagstones of the second millstone grit rocks, 
and near to which is a circular embankment of earth, 
marked on the ordinance maps as a Roman mound 
or remains of a Roman camp). The party made a 
vigilant search for "about two hours, and were re- 
warded by finding about forty specimens of flint. 
Besides numerous chips and flakes, from 1 to 2 inches 
long, and two or three chert and flint cores, a 
beautiful flint arrow-head, well worked round the edge 
but broken at the point, a scraper showing marks of 
having been used, a rhomboidal flint was found ; also 
a very rare specimen of flint thought to have been 
used for carving on horns, &c, by the ancient flinf 
makers. If valued by the scarcity, such instruments 
were worth a few pounds at least. The party 
decided to pay another and an early visit, hoping to 
find a barbed arrow-head, similar to what has on a 
former occasion been found here. — J. Fielding, 
Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Life History of Mantis. —The mantis belongs 
to the one carnivorous family of the orthoptera, 
namely, the mantidae. The mantidre inhabit the hot 
parts of Europe and the tropics ; one species, the 
Mantis religiosa, is especially common in the south 
of France, coming as far north as Fontainebleau. Its 
name is derived from (j-ciptis, a prophet, because of its 
reverential attitude whilst waiting for a victim. It 
rears itself on its four hind legs, the thorax being 
almost perpendicular, and the fore arms extended, 
and thus remains motionless, except that its head 
turns from side to side, until some unfortunate insect 
comes by, when it is seized and devoured. The 
mantis lays its eggs at the end of the summer in 
rounded fragile capsules attached to the branches of 
trees, but they do not hatch till the following summer. 
When it leaves the egg the young one resembles its 
parents ; differing only in size, and in having no 
wings. After moulting four or five times it has 
almost reached its full growth, and its wings begin 



22 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



to appear under a sort of membrane. This is a pupa 
state. A final moulting sets free the wings also, and 
the insect is now perfect. — Dunley Owen, B.Sc. 

Phosphorescent Insects. — I venture to send an 
additional circumstance which seems to explain the 
phenomenon described in November Science-Gossip. 
I saw the other evening, on my gravel-walk, a bright 
light, which I found to proceed from a centipede, 
which was being violently attacked by a beetle, 
apparently Steropus madidus. The latter kept 
pouncing on its victim, and biting it with fury, and 
the beetle itself, as well as the gravel around, was 
covered with the luminous matter from the centipede, 
so that its form was distinct, in spite of the darkness. 
I brought the centipede indoors, and it seemed 
injured. It seemed to me to be unusually luminous, 
from the excitement it was in from the assaults of this 
carnivorous beetle. — John C. Scitdamore, Norfolk. 

Water Voles. — To substantiate my conjecture as 
to the carnivorous habits of water voles, I may mention 
that it was on the 5th of February, 1884, that I found the 
shells in their runs, and amongst them was a quantity 
of recent excrement of some small animal. With 
regard to Mr. J. A. Wheldon's suggestion, that it 
might have been done by common rats, I believe they 
only frequent the water during the summer time. 
There is no building of any kind, I should think, 
within a mile of the spot where the shells were found, 
and although I am often walking by the side of this 
canal, I have never seen a common rat there. — F. H. 
Parrott, Aylesbury. 

Mildness of the Season at Arundel. — While 
taking a long walk in Arundel Park on Sunday, 
November 23rd, I observed several new shoots on the 
lime-tree, with their leaf buds expanding, and in 
three or four instances fully developed. A few days 
a friend of mine noticed some new shoots on the oak 
tree. These shoots must owe their early development 
to the then mildness of weather at the time of their 
evolution. Primroses have been gathered here quite 
a month ago. — A. JK Fry. 

Large Unios and Anodons in Nottingham- 
shire. — Mr. Planner's note concerning the Unio 
pictorum, 4 |3 in., will, I have no doubt, be answered 
by Mr. Tuxford himself. I will only say that I 
have collected some from the same locality, as large 
and larger than the size mentioned. So far as there 
is any doubt as to their being Unios, I can only say 
that after fifteen years' collecting, neither Mr. Tux- 
ford nor myself would be likely to mistake the species. 
Mr. Harmer mentions large anodons, 61 in. I took, 
a month since, at Sutton in Ashfield, in this county, 
some 300 specimens of A. cygnea, 150 of which 
measure more than 6\ in. One specimen measures 
7j in., two more 7 in., 30 between 6| in. and 7 in. and 
50 or 60 between 6^ and 6\. These are the largest I 
have ever seen, but the species has been found much 
larger (see old numbers of Science- Gossip). Speci- 
mens have been taken at Southampton, measuring 
8^ in., and in one case as much as 9 in. At Worthing, 
also, very large ones have been obtained, measuring 
"]\ in. and 8 in. Should Mr. Harmer be desirous of 
seeing a specimen, I shall be pleased to send him a 
6^ in. A cygnea, if he will send me his address (see 
exchange column for my own). — C/ias. T. Musson. 

Large Unios and Anodons. — Since writing my 
note respecting the large shells in Ossington Lake, 
I have paid another visit to that locality. I was 
pleased to find that one portion where the shells 
were very plentiful had been untouched by the 



workmen ; here I gathered many large specimens of 
Unio pictorum, several exceeding five inches in 
length, the largest measuring 5f s inches. I also 
obtained many examples of Anodon cygneus, the 
largest having a length of 6-| inches. In respect to 
Mr. E. G. Planner's note, I must remark that I never 
saw an Anodon cygneus which I should consider " a 
very similar looking shell " to Unio pictorum, nor, 
in fact, one that even bore a remote resemblance to 
any of the anodons. If Mr. Harmer has any such 
variety of this species, I shall be very pleased to make 
an exchange of shells with him. — IV. Gain, Tuxford, 
Newark. 

Bats.- — A note appears in your December number 
re bats flying during the winter months. It is possible 
that they do so, and I should say the reason was, 
mild weather during the time they were observed. I 
have noted that some hybernating animals seem to 
sufter, owing to partially renewed activity through 
mild winters, more than they would naturally do 
through a cold one. The warm weather, when no 
suitable food exists, must cause a waste of tissue, 
which cannot be replaced until the following spring, 
hence hybernating creatures such as the bat, grass 
snake, common lizard, &c, would present a more 
attenuated appearance in the spring following a mild 
winter, than if the winter had been cold, and thus 
inducive to complete torpor. I have observed this 
with respect to the grass-snake, but not yet with the 
bat. However, I have one now under observation, 
which is hybernating in a bird cage, and I notice it is 
rather restless on a warm night. — F. W. Halfpenny. 

Camel. — A dromedary is a camel, but a camel is 
not a dromedary. This I learned to recognise in 
repeated travels in Egypt and Asia Minor. The 
dromedary, as its name implies, is a swift animal, 
and bears the same relation to the camel as the fast 
trotting-horse does to the cart-horse, or pack-horse — 
these last being strong, heavy and slow. The drome- 
dary is credited with trotting about twenty miles an 
hour — the torture of such a trot to one unaccustomed 
to it is fearful. An Arab bearer of despatches will 
keep up the pace for hours together. A well-bred, 
well-trained dromedary — for there are great dif- 
ferences — is valuable. A regular camel or burden- 
bearer cannot be forced more than some four or five 
miles an hour. Having ridden these day after day 
across the desert, I can say the movement caused by 
the long swinging sort of walk — though not painful 
to the rider, causes great fatigue till he learns to 
accommodate his back-bone to the motion of the 
animal. The Egyptian camel then and dromedary 
have respectively one hump, and a camel judge 
estimates an animal by the plumpness of this store- 
house of fat. I never saw a " Bactrian " or two-humped 
camel, till I was east of the Crimea. — John Anthony, 
M.D., F.R.M.S. 

Irish Pearls. — In the muddy banks of the tidal 
river Blackwater, Waterford, buried to the depth of 
some inches, is found a shell-fish, commonly known 
as the sugar-loom, and which are used as bait for 
fishing. In some of these shells have been lately 
found a number of pearls, the finders of which looked 
upon them as no value, the shell fish being only 
looked for as bait. A few days ago a gentleman 
encountered a young lad who had several of these 
pearls in his pocket, and one of these having been 
sent to an expert has been valued at j£$, and there is 
no doubt but that a large number of pearls of con- 
siderable value are lying covered in the mud of the 
river. — J. Graves. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



23 



" Peculiar Hailstones." — In "Nature," vol. 
xv., at page 163, your correspondent, Alex. Johnstone, 
F.R.S.S.A. (in the last number of Scienoe-Gossip), 
will find, I think, a satisfactory answer to his 
enquiries regarding hailstones. The article in 
question is an abstract, with illustrations, of a paper 
"On the Manner in which Raindrops and Hailstones 
are formed," by Professor Osborde Reynolds, M. A., in 
which the author endeavours by theory and experi- 
ment to explain the true nature and mode of formation 
of these productions. — J. A. Osborne, M.D., Milford 
Letterkcnny. 

Hailstones. — About nine or ten years ago I 
observed that the form of hailstones was altogether 
different to what I had in my earlier days been taught 
to assume. I had always been under the impression 
that they were spherical, in fact, minute blocks of 
ice — frozen rain drops. On the occasion of my 
enlightenment, I was in a field when a heavy hailstorm 
took place. This admitted of my seeing more perfect 
specimens than if I had been in the street, or on a 
public highway, as there was less probability of their 
being broken in their fall. The enormous size of the 
stones first attracted attention, but upon examining 
them, it was also found that they were conical with a 
smoothish rounded base. The sides of the cone were 
striated towards the apex. Many of the cones had 
broken apices, but sufficient was left to indicate their 
complete form. Those which were perfect began to 
melt first at their apex, the portion last to melt being 
the rounded base. It is believed that this peculiar 
form is due to the nucleus (a frozen ice particle) 
passing from the upper portion of a frozen cloud or 
fog. In its descent it overtakes and adds to itself 
other ice particles, these form the originating elements 
of the hailstone. By continued accumulation of 
particle and pressure on the edges of the base, they 
begin to round, until eventually it partly turns over 
and forms the commencement of the cone which is a 
rapid process. There is much assumption in this 
theory, but there is evidence of its practicability from 
the smoothness of the base, the striae of its sides, its 
conical shape and the melting of the apex (the last 
formed part) before other portions. The firmness of 
the hailstone is proportionate to its size. The larger, 
the firmer, and the harder its base is to its apex, 
the larger, the heavier, and the greater the speed it 
will travel through the cloud. The size to some 
extent infers the depth or density of the cloud 
through which it has passed, perhaps both. The 
conical shape of the hailstone is well known, having 
been seen by other observers. Since first seeing it I 
have often pointed its shape. — Matt. Hedley, F. R. C. V.S. 

The Corixa in the Aquarium.— This insect 
forms a very handsome and interesting object of an 
aquarium. It is closely allied to the water boat-fly 
(Notonecta glanca), and is very abundant in our 
ditches ; in fact much more so than the latter. I 
have several in my aquarium, and they are literally 
the life of it. I caught them from the bridged-over 
part of a ditch, when fishing for minnows and 
sticklebacks, and where the water is nearly in 
darkness. This suggests that they are fond of dark 
nooks. Unlike its relation the boat-fly, it swims with 
its back uppermost as do other aquatic insects. Its 
longest pair of legs are not the last as in the boat-fly, 
but the middle. It is so eccentric in its habits-, that 
its actions often provoke mirth. I have closely 
studied it for seme time past, and find that it 
frequently has to rise to the surface for a fresh supply 
of air which it does by a series of vigorous darts, and 
when it has obtained that supply, it regains the 
bottom by still more vigorous darts, in consequence 



of its increased buoyancy. So great is its buoyancy 
when charged with air that I have seen one raise to 
the surface a dead stickleback which must have 
weighed more than ten times the weight of the corixa. 
When it has descended to the bottom (a task which 
is only performed with the greatest of difficulty, 
judging from the zig-zag course the insect is compelled 
to pursue) it clings to the nearest stone or pebble, 
and stretches out its two flattened elongated legs, 
and remains in this peculiar position for some time. 
I am of opinion that the function which these 
members now perform is analogous to that performed 
by the poisers of a fly, viz. to balance the insect. 
After it has remained in this position for some time 
it performs a number of very comical spasmodic 
movements by quickly passing its two oar-like legs 
over its back, and as quickly withdrawing them. To 
the ordinary observer, this is done by the insect, 
probably for mere pleasure. A close observer, 
however, detects in these very peculiar motions an 
object. This object is nothing less than to break up 
and set free parts of its air-bubble which most likely 
the insect finds renders its body too light. Its under 
surface where the air-bubble is, looks like a globule of 
quicksilver. The facility with which it bends its legs 
in almost any direction is very striking (I mean its 
middle pair). I Jhiink its food consists of the 
disintegrated particles of algae, which I have in the 
aquarium, and which by some means or other have 
become separated from their respective plants. 
Should my surmise prove correct, then the corixa 
will not only be found a pretty and interesting object 
of the aquarium, but also a useful member of it. — 
Arthur Ay ling. 

NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than heretofore, we cannot 
possibly insert in the following number any communications 
which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the " exchanges " offered are fair 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken of our gratuitous insertion of 
"exchanges" which cannot be tolerated. 

We request that all exchanges may be signed with name (or 
initials) and full address at the end. 

W. White. — Apparently your nuts belong to Juglandaceae, 
and are probably Carya amara or porcina. 

E. Lamplugh (Hull). — You cannot do better than obtain 
Dr. Cathcart's new ether microtome, manufactured by Mr. 
Charles Coppock, 100 New Bond Street, to whom write for its 
"illustrated description." 

A. L. — For life-history of, and experiments on the common 
liver-fluke, see paper by Professor Thomas in " Quarterly 
Journal of Microscopical Science" for 1882. A good popular 
paper on the subject was also written by Mr. George Dowker, 
F.G.S., of Canterbury, a few years ago. A good description of 
the earthworm will be found in one of the volumes of " Science 
for All." 

R. H. W.— You will find a good account of Stonehenge in 
the Guide to that place, to be obtained at Salisbury railway- 
station ; or a longer one in Ferguson's " Rude Stone Monu- 
ments' in Great Britain"; for an account of bone caves, see 
Professor Boyd Dawkins' work on " Cave Hunting." Dr. Hicks' 
address on " Bone Caves," will doubtless be published in the 
4n=iJHUJsactions of the Society. 

E. E. Turner (Dublin).— Get Thome's " Botany," edited 
by A. W. Bennett, and published by Longmans. It will 
exactly meet your wants. 

R. C. — We do not recognise the specimens forwarded to us. 
Please send fuller details. 

Ballywilliam. — You will find a good account of the Eu- 
calyptus in the " Treasury of Botany." It has been planted 
in Italy in order to drain the marshes. Its leaves give off a 
great deal of moisture. The Eucalyptus is sensitive to frost, 
and will not prosper where the nights are irosty. 



24 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



A. Shaw. — We do not undertake to name foreign specimens 
of natural history. The objects shall be sought up and re- 
turned to you. You will find Chenu's " Conchyliologie," of 
help in naming your specimens. 

H. \V. S. \V. B. — The best diagrams for botanical class 
lectures are those of Professor Henslow's (drawn by \V. Fitch), 
issued, we believe, under the direction of the South Kensington 
authorities. 

S. C. Cockerell. — There is, or was, a useful list of British 
shells published by Messrs. Mardon, Son & Hall, of St. 
Stephen Street, Bristol, compiled from Dr. J. Gwyn-Jeffreys' 
" British Conchology," by Mr. H. K. Jordan, F.G.S. The 
first part (1866), one shilling, contains all the land and fresh- 
water species, and the marine as far as Littorinidae. The second 
part (1870), one shilling and sixpence, from Rissoa to the end of 
the work. No doubt the publishers would give Mr. Cockerell 
information about it. — G. S. T. 



EXCHANGES. 

Rare British plants offered for British or foreign Spargania. 
6". ramosum, only if in ripe fruit. — Beeby, 14 RidinghouseStreet, 
London, \V. 

Wanted, Sach's " Botany," latest English edition, Mac- 
millan's. Exchange, Watson's " Theological Dictionary," 
1068 pages, and Wesley's " Sermons," 2 large vols., or offers. — 
J. Wallis, 50 High Street, Deal. 

A few well-mounted sections of human teeth, showing dental 
exostosis, in exchange for other well-mounted slides. — Charles 
Arnold, L.D.S., 8 St. John's Villas, New Southgate. 

Wanted, a turntable, also live box for microscope ; exchange 
books, &c. — P., 4 Merridale Lane, Wolverhampton. 

Pup^e of Myrica: and sea-birds' eggs in exchange for Lepi- 
doptera or other eggs : also wanted, fresh killed specimens, for 
stuffing, of barn owl, kingfisher, hawfinch, and goldfinch. Give 
cash or exchange. — R. McAldowie, 1 12 St. Nicholas Street, 
Aberdeen. 

Wanted, in exchange for ?et of diaphragms for photographic 
lens, dissecting-knives, live box, or mounted and unmounted 
objects ; unaccepted offers not answered. — J. W. W., 445 Shore- 
ham Street, Sheffield. 

Wanted, butterflies and live bat (long-eared) in exchange 
for fifteen monthly parts of Routledge's "Every Boy's 'Maga- 
zine " for 1878 and part of 1879, ar| d twelve numbers of "Photo- 
graphic News," 1884. Unaccepted offers not answered. — 
J. W. W., 455 Shoreham Street, Sheffield. 

Wanted, the numbers of Science-Gossip from No. 1 to end 
of 1872, also from beginning of 1880 to end of 1883, bound or 
unbound, separate numbers preferable, all clean ; will give 
microscopic slides in exchange, or apparatus and materials. — 
Lists from J. J. Andrew, L.D.S.Eng., 2 Belgravia, Belfast. 

Offered, 50-inch bicycle, with fittings; wanted, centre fire 
breech-loading gun. — Albert Newton, 24 Ryecroft Place, 
Ashton-under-Lyne. 

Well-blown eggs of British and American birds for exchange. 
— Dr. J. T. T. Reed, Ryhope, near Sunderland. 

A few choice specimens of Anodonta cygnca, from 6i to 6J£. 
Desiderata numerous, I'ertigos, Clausilia Rolphii, &c, named 
varieties. Correspondence invited. — Charles T. Musson, 1 Clin- 
ton Terrace, Derby Road, Nottingham. 

Wanted, to purchase secondhand copy of Jeffrey's "British 
Conchology." — C. W. White, 2 Woodrow Circus, Pollokshield, 
Glasgow. 

Wanted, any species of Naiades from Asia, Africa, South 
America, and Australia, New Zealand, or any of the East India 
islands. For these either liberal exchanges or cash will be given. 
The attention of collectors and dealers, as well as scientific so- 
cieties, is especially directed to this exchange. — A. G. Witherby, 
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. 

Wanted, buil's-ene condenser polariscope, 2 inch objective, 
all of best make, for Ross' binocular. Will give copies of 
"Flowers and Flower Lore," 1st edition, in 2 vols., £1 is., 
Chinese coins, or cash. — Rev. Hilderic Friend, F.L.S , Worksop. 

Will give "Flowers ard Flower Lore" in exchange for a 
good senes of micro slides, sections of injects, micro fungi, or 
foraminifera preferred. — H. Friend, Worksop. 

Foraminifera material (good) wanted in exchange for well- 
mounted slides of horn and hoof sections, selected foraminifera, 
&c. — A. C. Tipple, 35 Alexander Road, Upper Holloway, N. 

Wanted, fossils from upper miocene, middle eocene of 
France, upper miocene of Belgium and Germany, Solenhfen 
stone ; also land shells from Philippine Islands and Madagascar. 
Offered, other foss'ls and shells. — Miss Linter, Arragon Close, 
Richmond Road. Twickenham. 

A large lot of botanical books, &c., in exchange for natural 
history text-book-. Desiderata, a few dozens of fine botanical 
micro slides for first-class mounts only, or for rocks and minerals. 
J. Harbord Lewis, F.L.S., 145 Windsor Street, Liverpool, S. 

Well-mol'NTED slides of insects in exchange for micro pho- 
tographs, diatoms, or foraminifera. Send list.— -J. Boggust, 
Alton, Hants. 

Wanted, collections of wild flowers and plants, or micro 
slides, books on natural history subjects, in exchange for 
violin. — J. W. Whitehead, 10 Seedley Park Road, Pendleton, 
Manchester. 



Wanted, adult specimen of mole cricket {Gryllotalpa vul- 
garis). Young adder (alive), or other exchange offered. — 
F. W. Halfpenny, 2 Fern Villas, Park Road, West Ham, Essex. 

Wanted, a violin, bow, and case ; Beattie's " Castles of 
England and Wales ;" C. R. Leslie's " Handbook for Young 
Painters," or any other work on painting, in exchange for well- 
rooted plants of exotic ferns, blooming greenhouse plants, and 
fine varieties of the Cactus tribe, or British land and freshwater 
shells, or British Lepidoptera and fossils. — F, R. E., 82 Abbey 
Street. Faversham. 

Wanted, Crataegi, Hyale, Cinxia, Athalia, Semele, Rubi r 
Betulae, Agestis, Alsus, Argiolus, Comma, Actseon, Elpenor, 
Fuciformis, Villica, Aprilina, Festucae. Duplicates : Paphia r 
Selene, Cardui, Galathea, Cervinaria, Vetulata, Illunaria, Pu- 
dibunda, Viminalis, Flavocincta, Trapezina, Persicaria, Ocel- 
latus, Tiliae.— J. Bates, 10 Orchard Terrace, Wellingborough. 

Wanted, Charles II. half crown for "Boy's Own Papers,''' 
or James I. shilling for other books. — John T. Millie, Clarence 
House, Inverkeithing. 

_ Wanted, good material for mounting, more especially insects 
(in spirit); also a quantity of any one insect (providing it is not 
common) ; well-mounted slides given in exchange. — C. Collins,. 
25 St. Mary's Road, Harlesden, N.W. 

Tran-section of stem oiHelianthus annuits, double-stained, 
in exchange for other good slide ; diatoms specially desired ; 
send list. Other slides to exchange and unmounted material. 
Offers to— P. Kilgour, 163 Dallfield Walk, Dundee, N.B.; 

Wanted, Science-Gossip for January and February, 1884; 
will give 6d. each, and pay postage, if clean copies. — J. R. 
Hewitson, The Knowle, Mirfield, Yorks. 

Wanted, material for micro-mounting, the following most 
desired: micro fungi, eggs of insects (especially those of para- 
sites), whole insects (preserved in spirit for dissection), or 
foraminifera; will give in exchange' valentines, knife, or good 
mounted objects. — William H. Pratt, 15 Gill Street, Nottingham. 

Wanted, paraboloid or Webster condenser ; good field-glass 
or induction-coil offered — S. C. L., 276 Middleton Road r 
Oldham. 

Wanted, British beetles ; will exchange British beetles, 
lepidoptera, shells, fossils, &c. Send lists of duplicates and 
desiderata. — Delancey Dods, 47 Chepstow Place, Westbourne 
Grove, W. 

I should be glad to correspond with a Coleopterist in one of 
the midland or northern counties with a view to the exchange 
of specimens during the forthcoming entomological season. 
I desire to exchange fresh and well-set specimens of Lepidop- 
tera for Coleoptera in a similar condition. — Address : W. J. V. 
Vandenbergh, Esq., F.R.A.S., F.M.S., &c, 5 Yale Terrace, 
Leytonstone, Essex. 



BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED. 

" Universe of Suns," by R. A. Proctor. London: Chatto & 
Windus. — " Geology of Weymouth," by R. Damon. London : 
Standford. — " Natural History Sketches among the Carnivora," 
by Arthur Nicols. London: L. Upcott Gill.— " Aids to Long 
Life," by N. E. Davies. London : Chatto & Windus.—" The 
Speaking Parrots, a Scientific Manual," by Dr. Karl Russ. 
London: L. Upcott Gill. — "Rabbits for Exhibition, &c," by 
R. O. Edwards. London : Sonnenschein & Co. — "' Biblio- 
graphy and Index to Climate," by A. Ramsay. London : 
Sonnenschein & Co. — "Edible British Molluscs," by M. S. 
Lovell. London : L. Reeve & Co. — "The Naturalist's Would, ,r 
by Percy Lund. Vol. for 1884. Sonnenschein & Co. — " The 
Disk, a Prophetic Revelation," by E. A. Robinson and G. A. 
Wall. London : Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh. — " Annual 
Report of the Metropolitan Public Gardens, &c, Association." — 
"Scientific Romances,*No. 1. What is the Fourth Dimension 1" 
by C. H. Hinton, B.A. London : Sonnenschein & Co. — 
"Book Lore," No. 1.—" Journal of Conchology."— " The 
Gentleman's Magazine." — "Belgravia." — "The Journal of 
Microscopy." — " The Science Monthly." — " Midland Natural 
list." — ''Ben Brierley's Journal." — "Science." — "American 
Naturalist." — "The Electrician and Electrical Engineer." — ■ 
" American Monthly Microscopical Journal." — " Popular 
Science News." — "The Botanical Gazette." — "Revue de 
Botanique." — "La Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." — " Le- 
Monde de la Science." — " Cosmos, les Mondes." &c. &c. &c. 



Communications received up to 13TH ult. from :— 
R. S.— A. S.— M. G.— J. C. M.— J. C. S.-C. W. W.— 
Dr. J. F.— A. R. W.— G. T.— S. A. B.— W. D.— A. G. W.— 
A. E. P.— J. B. B.— S. F.— R. McA.— J. W. W.— E. D.— 
E. A. W.~ J.'J. A.— A. N.-Dr. J . T. T. R.— W.'H. L.— J. W— 
A. W. F.— T. B., jun.-F. H. P.— F. E. C— C. T. M.— C. A.— 
A. N. T.— W. B.— L. E. A.— H. F.— J. T. M.— C. C— 
C. P.— J. B.— C. R. F.— J. A. -J. W. II .— R. H. W.— 
J. W. W.— J. B. (Wellingborough)— J. H. L.— C. C— 
E. E. T.— W. G.— J. E. L.— H. W. S. W. B.— G. S. T.— 
j. \y. G.— A. C. T.— P. K.— Dr. A. D.— W. W.,W.— C. P.— 
H. F.— G. S. T.— Dr. H. W. S. W. B.— F. K.— A. W. L.— 
J. G.— D. D.— D. S.— A. D. W.-A. A.— J. R. H.— M. H.— 
S. C. L.— W. O.— J. P. W.— M. J. H.-A. U.— W. H. P.— 
Dr. J. A. O.— A. A.— W. J. V. V.— R. C— &c. &c. &c. 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 




E.TD.dfiLaa-nal. 



"VmceiitT3rooks,Day &.Sonlith 



TOE OF MOUSE, INJECTED. 

x 30. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



2 5 




GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T. D, 



No. 14. — Toe of Mouse, Injected. 




*^&^£ HIS sub J ect ex ' 
plains itself, 

revealing a distri- 
bution of blood 
vessels, in a trans- 
parent section of 
the toe of a mouse. 
The skill required 
to success fully 
inject the vessels, 
and afterwards 
procure so delicate 
a scission, is es- 
sentially the pro- 
vince of the pro- 
fessional preparer ; 
but, the object is 
sufficiently "popu- 
lar," to be pur- 
chasable, and is 
found in most col- 
lections of microscopic objects. Although not 
approaching the stern requirements of the biologist 
or anatomical student, as revealing disentanglement 
of delicate tissues, or isolation of determinate 
structure, it is eminently a valuable educational or 
class preparation, as exhibiting conditions of distinct 
parts seldom found, in one view so intimately or 
compactly associated. The drawing was made from 
a "happy" cut, just cleaving, without injuring or 
disturbing, the tarsal bones, showing them in perfect 
integrity, surrounded by minute blood vessels 
spreading from the digital artery, and continuing to 
the capillary loops terminating in the papillae of the 
thick, but highly sensitive, and vascular* epidermic 
cushion under the surface of the claw, the matrix of 
which is seen, penetrated with minute blood vessels. 
Elegant and instructive as this preparation may be, as 
a microscopic exhibit, it is as nothing compared to 
such a condition in a living state, with the blood 
coursing through the vessels ; the web of a frog's 
foot, the branchire and transparent parts of a tadpole, 
No. 242. — February 1885. 



the fins and tail of minnows, many of the larva; of 
water insects, and, par excellence, the yolk bag of 
freshly hatched fish, may be, by well-known methods, 
arranged, and disclose on the stage of the microscope, 
exhibitions of energetic life, in the circulation of the 
blood, of the deepest and most impressionable 
significance. 

Addendum. Eyla'is cxtendens : In the January 
article on this subject, it was stated that the comely 
rotundity of the Ilydrachnas rendered them difficult to 
preserve, as permanent specimens for the cabinet, 
except at the sacrifice of their shapeliness, the 
dilemma being to find a medium of just the density 
needed to preserve the integuments from wrinkling 
or collapse. The writer has since received, through 
the courtesy of Mr. Henry Francis, the President of 
the Bristol Microscopical Society, a specimen en 
permajience, mounted three years ago : enclosed in 
a deep circular cell. The medium Mr. Francis used 
is a mixture of eight parts of distilled water (just 
tainted with carbolic acid), to one part of pure 
glycerine ; under severe examination, although a 
little " off colour," its characteristic plumpness is 
perfectly intact, and such important features as the 
curious ocelli, the palpi, the parts about the mouth 
and the genital plates, are so well preserved and 
displayed, as to bear scrutiny under the highest 
reaching powers. 

Crouch End. 



Bats. — A correspondent in the December issue 
tells us he has often seen bats flying about the streets 
of Maidstone in mild weather during the autumn and 
winter months. This reminds me of what I saw in 
Paris on the first Sunday in January 1S71. During 
the service in the church of St. Roch, I saw several 
bats flying about in the church between three and 
four in the afternoon. Afterwards in the evening 
twilight of the same day, I saw a good number flit 
about in a very lively fashion on the banks of the 
Seine.— H. M.,Birkdale. 

c 



26 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



E 



NOTES ON NEW BOOKS. 

LEMENTARY Text-Book of Zoology, by Dr. 
C. Claus. Translated and edited by Adam 
Sedgwick, M.A., and F. G. Heathcote, B.A. (London: 
W. S. Sonnenschein & Co.). To a seeker after 
scientific truth and knowledge that parochial minded- 
ness which w^e sometimes dignify under the title of 
"Patriotism" gives place to a candid recognition 
of merit wherever it is found. Otherwise we should 
have regretted that no English Zoologist had pro- 
vided students with a work of this class. Nicholson's 
Manuals go part of the way, but only a part. A 
really good text-book of Zoology, something like 
Sachs' Manual of Botany, was much wanted. Dr. 
Claus's name, both as a teacher and investigator, are 
well known, and this translation of his well-known 
manual will be thankfully received by zoological 
students. Let us add that we think the work has 
been improved by editing and translating. Certainly 
none could better have fulfilled this task than Mr. 
Adam Sedgwick. The chief feature which strikes 
us in reading the present work is its lucidity. The 
English is of the best, and the illustrations apt and 
pointed. Although it only includes the invertebrate 
animals from the Protozoa to the Insecta (in the 
special part), the preceding general part is of great 
value. Nothing in connection with the science and 
philosophy of zoology has been lost sight of, and the 
comparison of the same organs in different classes of 
animals, of similar structures, their embryological 
and general development, the discussion of the 
doctrines of evolution, natural selection, the histori- 
cal review of Zoology — all of which are duly treated 
upon in the general part — recommend the work as a 
most attractive one. The woodcuts are very numerous 
and of a high artistic character. 

On the Fossil Fishes of the Carboniferous Lime- 
stone Series of Great Britain, by J. W. Davis, F.G.S. 
(Dublin : Published by the Royal Dublin Society). 
Here is a work of quite another character, one which 
demands infinite pains and patience, and that quick 
and ready intuitive diagnosis of specimens which 
almost amounts to genius. And yet the author (a 
young man) is no salaried professor, or state endowed 
investigator, but a British manufacturer, with a 
brisk business to successfully superintend. British 
science owes much to such men, and we are proud 
of them — our Lubbocks, Evans, Tylors, Sorbys, 
and Davises ! The present monograph will be a 
great boon to real workers, particularly on the 
interesting carboniferous limestone. Mr. Davis 
derived the materials for his examination and study 
from the well-known collection of the Earl of 
Enniskillen, now in the British Museum, South 
Kensington. He has laid under contributions the 
collections in the National Museum ; the museums of 
the Geological Society, of Dublin, Cambridge, York, 



Bristol, &c, besides private collections. Mr. Davis 
accepts Giinther's classification ; and without de- 
voting more than half a page to his introduction, 
he plunges at once into his subject, like a practical 
man. The plates are 65 in number, coloured, and 
very artistically got up ; so that the volume is a 
credit to the Royal Dublin Society, and one which 
cannot fail to greatly enhance the : high reputation as 
a palaeontologist which the author has been deservedly 
earning for some years past. 

Phillips's Manual of Geology, edited by Robert 
Etheridge, F.R.S., and H. G. Seely, F.R.S. (London : 
Charles Griffin & Co.). We cannot complain of 
want of manuals in geology, although palaeontology 
is by no means so well off. The present volume is 
devoted to " Physical Geology," and is edited by 
Prof. Seely, who has taken the well-known and 
almost classic work of Prof. John Phillips as a basis, 
and it evolved this book. It must have been a 
harder task for Mr. Seely to work on these lines than 
to have written an original manual. But he has 
loyally fulfilled his work, and under the role of 
editor, has really given to geological students a work, 
whose erudition, painstaking succinctness, and 
thoroughness, none would have more heartily 
recognized than the genial John Phillips himself — 
who would have been amused in no small way at 
finding how his little book had grown into a big one ! 
Many of the illustrations are those used in the 
original work. 

The Student's Elements of Geology, by Sir Charles 
Lyell, Bart., F.R.S. Fourth edition, Revised by 
P. M. Duncan, F.R.S. (London : John Murray). 
It is late in the day to praise Lyell's Elements. It is 
far beyond the region of criticism. But one feels 
glad that so old a friend as this book is — endeared by 
those recollections of the past, when it sent us with 
delighted enthusiasm to the work, and the fossils of 
which it treated — has not been allowed to fall out of 
the ranks of geological literature. It is seven years 
since the last edition appeared, and geology has 
progressed marvellously in the meantime ; more 
particularly with regard to the help it has received 
from microscopical investigation. The publisher was 
fortunate enough to get an editor who has a high 
reputation as a geologist and palaeontologist, and 
who also knows how to write for students. Con- 
sequently this is by far the best edition of Lyell's 
" Student's Elements," which has ever appeared. 

Plant-Lore, Legends, mid Lyrics, by Richard 
Folkard, jun. (London : Sampson Low & Co.). No 
department of natural knowledge has taken such 
a hold on the public mind as plants. No other 
natural objects are so intimately associated with 
the historical mental and moral development of 
mankind at large, or have so grown up, and inter- 
mingled with its hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. 
There is hardly a common wayside weed which is 
not sanctified to us in these modern times by 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



27 



associations of this kind ! It is a right and a good 
thing not to allow these old-world beliefs concerning 
the ascribed virtues, &c, of plants to die out. Con- 
sequently we warmly welcome the handsome volume 
before us, in which the myths, traditions, superstitions, 
and folk-lore of the vegetable kingdom are fully 
worked out. The author is also the printer of the 
book — so that it is everything the book-lover can 
wish as regards type, woodcuts, paper, &c. More- 
over, the fact lends additional point to the remarks 
already made concerning the contributions made by 
British industry to British science. Mr. Folkard has 
the charm of an interesting and clear style, as was 
unavoidable from the thorough manner in which he 
is interpenetrated with his subject. His book 
displays much learning and research, and it is both 
pleasant to read, and useful to refer to. 

Origin of Cultivated Plants, by Alphonse de 
Candolle (London : Kegan Paul & Co.). This is 
another of the now famous "International Scientific 
Series," and it is also one of the most important, 
both on account of the high scientific rank of its 
author, and the importance and interest of the 
subject-matter. The latter is almost as much archaeo- 
logical and historical as it is botanical and horticul- 
tural ; for many of the most important of our food- 
plants have their origin lost in the mists of anti- 
quity, just as the races of mankind are. Prof, de 
Candolle only deals with the plants useful as food, 
he leaves out the medicinal kinds. With wondrous 
patience and learning, he has traced the history of 
some plants for thousands of years back, and shown 
how their culture was carried on at different epochs. 
At the same time he points out, that three out of four 
of the original homes of cultivated plants (as indicated 
by Linnaeus) are wrong. Nevertheless, these have 
been continuously repeated by subsequent authors, 
who will now have a better authority to appeal to. 

Leisure Time Studies, Chiefly Biological, by Andrew 
Wilson, Ph.D. (London : Chatto & Windus). This 
is the third edition of a series of essays and lectures, 
whose literary success is proved by the fact, that their 
republication is thus constantly called for. Dr. 
Wilson has a very quiet but effective way of telling 
what he has to say, which charms his readers into 
following him from essay to essay. Some of these 
(as that on corals, for instance) are models of how 
much information can be clearly and effectively 
packed into so small a space. The last essay on 
science and poetry rises to a lofty expression of 
poetical feeling, and its perusal would be a complete 
answer to those who imagine that science and poetry 
are antagonistic to each other. 

Effie and Her Strange Acquaintances, by the Rev. 
John Crofts, M.A. (Chester : Phillipson & Golder). 
After reading this delightful child's book ourselves, 
we subjected it to the criticism of a little book -worm 
of ten years old, who has read it four times through ! 
This will be considered as a fair test of its readable 



character. The author has skilfully combined the 
form of Kingsley's "Water-Babies" with Carroll's 
" Alice in Wonderland," and has brought out a book 
which plainly shows how much he loves both 
children and flowers, or he could not intellectually 
cater for them so attractively. 

The Geology of Weymouth, by Robert Damon 
(London : Edward Stanford). This is a new and 
enlarged edition of a very successful geological 
handbook to a very attractive and highly fossiliferous 
locality — a locality known to the author for many 
years. The volume is beautifully got up, and well 
illustrated ; and no naturalist, certainly no geologist, 
ought to be without it who wishes to enjoy the feast 
of fat things offered in our Southern English coasts. 

Natural History Sketches among the Carnivora, by 
Arthur Nicols, F.G.S. (London: L. Upcott Gill). 
The delightful freedom from any form of literary 
stiffness which marks all this author's previous works 
is evident in the present. It is a most attractive 
volume, inside and out ; and the subject, although 
to some extent a hackneyed one, is redeemed by the 
graceful style of the author. 

The Speaking Parrots, by Dr. Karl Russ (London : 
L. Upcott Gill). This is a nicely got up manual, 
dealing with the habits, food, training, health, &c. of 
this class of birds. We are frequently asked to 
recommend a book of this kind, and we are there- 
fore glad to draw attention to it, and to speak of it 
as one which seems to fulfil all the requirements of 
" A Manual of Talking Birds." 

The Universe of Suns, by R. A. Proctor (London : 
Chatto & Windus). It requires only the announce- 
ment of a new book by Mr. Proctor, for it to be 
read. The present volume consists of a series of 
essays, chiefly relating to solar and planetary 
astronomy, and embracing earthquakes and volcanic 
phenomena, and even social subjects, all discussed in 
that terse and elegant English of which the author is 
so skilled a master. It is a most delightful book to 
read. 

The Story of a Great Delusion, by William White 
(London : E. W. Allen). A nicely printed, and 
altogether attractively got up book. The literary 
contents are about as hopeless a jumble as we ever 
saw in print, and a believer in vaccination could not 
desire to inflict a more refined act of cruelty upon an 
anti-vaccinator than oblige him to read the present 
volume right through. 

Rabbits, by R. O. Edwards (London : W. Swan 
Sonnenschein & Co.). A handy little manual on 
this perennial subject, as useful to the amateur as to 
the professional rabbit-keeper, with full and minute 
details relating to everything which concerns the 
well-being of these familiar pets. 

List of British Vertebrate Animals, by Francis P. 
Pascoe (London : Taylor & Francis). All British 
naturalists should procure this most useful and 
compact little manual. It will save much time, and 

C 2 



2S 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



assist in securing greater accuracy. The newest 
views and changes in classification are included ; 
and, although the book is a small one, there is a good 
deal in it. 

Nature's Hygiene, by C. T. Kingzett, F.C.S. 
(London : Bailliere, Tindall, & Co.). Although 
this is the second edition of a book which we noticed 
favourably when it first came out, the author has 
improved it by partly rewriting some chapters, and 
adding others, as water supply, sewage, infectious 
diseases, &c. It is a good practical manual on all 
matters relating to health, and we are pleased to see 
the public taking so much greater interest in this 
subject as to require a second edition. 

The Naturalist's World, edited by Percy Lund 
(London : W. Swan Sonnenschein). This is the 
first volume of a bright and attractive monthly 
magazine, published under the auspices of the 
Practical Naturalists' Society. It covers a good deal 
of ground, contains a variety of well-written articles, 
and shows plain proof of careful editorship. 

We have also received a neatly got up volume, 
containing the Reports of the Meetings of the 
Scientific Association recently held in Montreal and 
Philadelphia, as given in the American weekly 
journal Science. It is a very handy volume, and 
contains the pith of the best papers and addresses, 
carefully edited. 



GAULT FOSSILS AT FOLKESTONE. 

DURING a recent visit to the Warren, near 
Folkestone, Kent, in search of Lepidoptera, 
the weather having become unfavourable, I was 
obliged to turn my attention to some other branch of 
Natural History, otherwise I should have to return 
with empty boxes. On looking from the cliffs above 
the Warren, I observed the dark line of gault near 
the beach, and remembering having read that fossils 
were to be obtained somewhere near this spot, I 
thought I would become a geologist, for the first 
time. 

On descending the cliffs, "which are here much 
broken, and often very wet from the springs which 
trickle over the impervious clay to the beach," I soon 
observed remains of shells in various parts of the 
gault, but, on attempting to dig them out, I found 
that it was almost impossible to obtain them in 
perfect condition ; however, I managed to get a few 
specimens of such species as Inoceramus concern 'ricus 
and /. sulcatus, Ammonites interruptus and A. 
itnritits. These Ammonites were mostly broken in 
extricating them from the clay in which they were 
found. 

I then turned my attention to the beach, and 
found the fossils were much more plentiful there, but 
they were in most cases in the form of interior casts 



filled in fact with iron-pyrites, but many were very 
perfect. By searching under lumps of clay and 
boulders, I found many species, such as Ammonites 
varicosus, A. lautus, very plentiful ; Nucula ovata 
and N. pectinata, common, but only occasionally 
found perfect. Nucula -oibrayana, not so common 
as the two other species. Belemnites minimus, B. 
ultimus and B. attenuatus, rather plentiful. These 
singular objects when water worn, are not unlike bits 
of slate-pencil, a comparison which I fear will shock 
a geologist. 

In some places lately left bare by the tide, I 




Fig. 26. — Inoceramus concentricus. 




Fig. 27. — Aporrhais Parkinsonii. 

found hollows in the gault filled by a deposit con- 
sisting of small fossils, pebbles and fragments of iron- 
pyrites. I here found many small species, some of 
which I have net yet got named, Aporrhais Parkin- 
sonii and A. rostellaria, rather plentiful, but very 
imperfect. IPamites tuberculatus, only broken parts of 
this species could be found, also portions of serpula 
tubes, and encrinite stems. Corbula gaultina, two 
specimens only were found on this occasion, but, 
being much pleased with my first attempt at collecting 
fossils, I went again, and obtained many specimens 
of Corbula gaultina and also Cardita tenuicosta, 
Solarium ornatum, some nearly perfect. Acteon 



HARD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G O SSI P. 



29 



pulchclla, Hemiaster minimus, Trochocyathiis har- 
veyana, a few specimens of each were found. Many 
specimens of a cerithium [?] were found, but not perfect. 
Natica gaultina, a few were obtained in a fair state 
of preservation. Hamitcs rotundus, only broken bits 
of this species could be obtained. Rostcllaria carinata, 
a few good specimens were found. I also found a few- 
specimens of Bellaropuina miniata : a species which 
I understand is rather rare ; it is certainly rather 
difficult to find, on account of its small size and 
general resemblance to a rounded fragment of iron- 
stone. A shark's tooth was obtained fairly perfect, 




Fig. 28. — Ammonites lautus. 

and also a number of small teeth, not yet named. 
These are remarkably perfect. All the above smaller 
species require much care to detect and separate 
them from the sand and stones. I observed that the 
few persons who did collect the fossils appeared to 
look for the larger Ammonites only, taking very little 
notice of the smaller species. I think the fact that I 
have obtained nearly thirty species in two or three 
visits to this locality, may be of interest to many. 
My object in writing the above list, is to induce 
others to collect. I am indebted to Mr. Newton, of the 
Geological Museum, London, for his kind assistance 
in naming my specimens. 

A. H. Shepherd. 
London. 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 
By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S., F.C.S. 

THE very active people who have lately been 
denouncing physiological investigations made 
upon living animals, and misrepresenting 97 per cent, 
of them by applying the title of "vivisection " ; and 
who evidently imagine that all perpetrators of physio- 
logical research are mere sportsmen finding personal 
enjoyment in the infliction of pain and death upon 
helpless animals, should read Dr. Richardson's lecture 
on "The Painless Extinction of Life in the Lower 
Animals," delivered at the Society of Arts, and 
published in the Journal of that Society for December 
26th last. They will learn thereby that a very emi- 
nent physician and experimentalist, who according to 



their confession of faith should be a heartless beast- 
torturing ogre, has during more than thirty years 
been working most industriously, at considerable 
expense of money and still greater cost of valuable 
time, without any pay or prospect of pay, in devising 
methods for rendering the customary slaughtering of 
animals absolutely painless. If these denouncers of 
vivisection are really sincere they will at once emu- 
late the truly humane efforts of Dr. Richardson, will 
sacrifice their time, their labour, and their cash as he 
has done, by co-operating in a great national effort to 
introduce the use of the " lethal chamber" in all our 
slaughter houses. There is no excuse for holding 
back, as the effectiveness of the method has been 
practically demonstrated and is practically carried 
out at the " Dogs' Home " at Battersea, where as 
many as a hundred at a time of dogs, that would 
otherwise be violently butchered, are gently made to 
sleep, not suffocated, but lulled by a device as pain- 
less as the cradle rocking of an infant. In this 
simple sleep they remain until the heart follows 
the example of the dormant brain, and beats no 
more. All the practical details are described and 
illustrated in the above named report ; and a society 
is already formed for carrying them out on animals 
to be killed for food (The London Model Abattoir 
Society of which Dr. Richardson is president) ; the 
heaviest of the work is already done. I have a list 
of the names of many that have spoken loudly as 
antivivisectionists, and shall look for those same 
names among the leading supporters of this move- 
ment. If they do not thus appear, I shall be driven to 
conclusions that need not here be specified and which 
will be shared by all who appreciate moral consis- 
tency. 

The Students of the University of Paris are 
forming an association which is to be worthily in- 
augurated by a public celebration in honour of the 
oldest living philosopher, M. Chevreul, whose 
hundredth birthday will presently be attained. In a 
paper which he read at the Academy of Sciences two 
years ago, he had occasion to say : — " Moreover, 
gentlemen, the observation is not a new one to me. 
I had the honour to mention it here, at a meeting of 
the Academy on May 10th, 1812." Here is a 
chemist about as old as chemistry (which can scarcely 
be said to have existed before the discovery of 
oxygen), and still alive, and intellectually vigorous. 
Fontenelle, who died in 1750, was nearly as old, and 
shortly before his death said to his inquiring friends, 
" I have no suffering, but am feeling merely an in- 
creased difficulty of living." In another part of the 
same number of " Nature," from which I quote this 
saying of Fontenelle, are the last words of John 
Lawrence Smith, the American chemist, geologist, 
and engineer ; they were " Life has been very sweet to 
me ; it comforts me. How I pity those to whom 
memory brings no pleasure." Such expressions, 
such feelings in the evening of life are the logical 



30 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



results of earnest devotion to Science. The gloomy 
visions of a wicked, ill-fashioned world, and dread of 
a worse to come, which darken the later moments of 
so many of those who have groped through life in the 
midst of artificial darkness due to the blindness of 
ignorance, is impossible to men who have earnestly 
explored the wondrous harmonies of Nature, and have 
done so not merely for trading purposes, but with 
genuine scientific enthusiasm. Neither the past nor 
the future can appear ill-shapen and miserable to them. 

The influence of coloured light on plants, concern- 
ing which such contradictory conclusions have been 
formed, has been further studied by Hellriegel. In 
his later researches he arranged the plants so that 
they should have the benefit of free air during fine 
weather, and be removed to shelter in bad weather, 
instead of keeping them continuously in a glass 
house. Better general results were thus obtained. 
Barley plants were grown under blue cobalt glass 
and yellow carbon glass. Less ash and more 
organic matter were produced under the blue than 
under the yellow. Those under the blue glass grew 
well, while those under the yellow seemed to be 
retarded, and when shaded were long in the inter- 
nodes, and the leaves were thin and delicate. The 
general conclusions derived from these and other 
experiments are, that leaves are not very sensitive 
to moderate changes in the composition of the light 
to which they are exposed, and consequently that the 
modifications of light produced by the ordinary glass of 
greenhouses can have but little effect, so little that 
there is no practical necessity for specially selecting 
the glass used for this purpose. 

The persistence of an old fallacy has been 
curiously shown by a paragraph which has lately 
"gone the round" of the daily papers. After 
describing the bursting of water mains in Buchanan 
Street and Paisley Road, Glasgow, and the stoppage 
of the music in the churches having hydraulic organs, 
we are told that " sudden thaw after the severe 
frost caused the bursts." 

Another popular fallacy, not quite so elementary, 
is continually breaking out among newspaper corre- 
spondents. The following, written from Vevey, 
appeared in "Nature," December nth. "On the 
night of November 28th, at about six in the evening, 
I went to the window to look at the moon, and saw, 
as it were, a second moon, behind the other. The 
effect was so like what one sometimes experiences 
from suddenly going out of a light room, or other 
causes (my own italics) that, at the time, I fancied it 
was only a defect in my sight. On going into my 
son's room an hour afterwards, he said, * If something 
has not gone wrong with my eyes there are two 
moons to-night.' On this I went out again, but only 
saw one moon "as usual. Later in the evening, a 
young girl who had been meeting a friend at the 
Montreux train, said her friend had said the moon 
looked queer all the while she was in the train. 



The night previous a pretty severe shock of earth 
quake occurred in Geneva and Lausanne, and 
a few hours after we had observed the moon on 
the 28th a very violent gale and snowstorm took 
place." It should be noted that this account states 
that each of the observers saw the double moon 
through windows, and that the writer only saw one 
moon "on going out." Herein lies the explana- 
tion without invoking any of the "other causes" to 
which temporary double vision is usually attributed. 
The moon, or any other luminous object viewed 
obliquely through a pane of glass, is always visually 
doubled. The light passing obliquely through the 
side of the glass next to the luminous object is 
reflected when it reaches the inner surface next to 
the observer, and then is re -reflected by the opposite 
inner surface, and thrown towards him. This second 
reflected image appears near to the directly trans- 
mitted image, but is not coincident with it, the 
distance between varying with the thickness of the 
glass. When the object is large, it only appears 
to have blurred outlines, when small the true double 
character of the image is evident. Double stars may 
thus be discovered without any telescopic aid. 

After all the protection and subsidies and bounties 
that have been bestowed on that very political 
agricultural product, beet sugar, it is now in danger 
of being outrivalled by Sorghum sugar. German and 
French chemists are working out the scientific 
elements of the problem. In Biedermann's Central- 
blatt, V. Pfuel describes his experiments on its culti- 
vation, finds that when the seed ripens there is 15 
per cent, of sacchrose present ; before that time, only 
from one to three per cent. After the autumn cutting 
the plants throw up a good fodder for sheep. N. 
Minangoin, in the same journal, says that Sorghum 
may be cultivated in France at less cost than beet, 
that its yield of molasses is less, but good brandy is 
obtainable from it, and the residue makes good 
fodder. Beet and Sorghum are evidently running a 
close race, with the advantage of the start and 
consequent experience and skill, on the side of the 
beet. But this may not be maintained. 

Two elaborate, and from a purely chemical point 
of view, able papers are contributed to Dingler's 
Polytechnisches Journal by E. Valenta, onjhe action 
of glacial acetic acid on different oils. One of the 
results of these researches, which the author claims, 
is the detection of the adulteration of mineral oils 
with resin oils, the resin oils being soluble in acetic 
acid, the mineral oils almost insoluble. The idea of 
such adulteration is rather amusing now that these 
mineral lubricating oils are so much cheaper than the 
imaginary adulterant. I find by the price current in 
last month's " Oil Trade Review," that the heavy 
mineral lubricating oils go as low as £5 per ton, i.e. 
about fivepence per gallon ; the light mineral oils 
range from 6\d. to n\d. per gallon, while light resin 
oil is 24J. (yd. per cwt. or is. per gallon. This is 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



3i 



something like the supposed adulteration of tea with 
iron filings, which was so gravely and repeatedly 
asserted to be a'widespread commercial villany, until 
(in 1S73) I showed that in China iron filings would 
cost more than tea leaves, and that the adulteration, 
if practised on this side, to the asserted extent would 
demand four or five million pounds of selected fine 
iron filings per annum, sufficient demand to produce 
an extensive and very visible traffic to London, which 
is the tea port of Britain. The fact is, that iron 
filings are practically unsaleable from absence of 
demand. Firework makers use a few steel filings. 



OBJECTS OF INTEREST IN OUR PIT 
DISTRICT. 

A STRANGER travelling through our district 
would meet with no rugged scenery, or 
headlong waterfall. For a radius of a few miles, he 
would find he was entirely free from any mountain, 
and a level piece of country would stretch before 
him. Looking eastward, he would have a clear sea 
view of the sea only a few miles distant. Turning 
in any other direction, he would see numerous small 
plantations mixed with farm houses, and a few 
villages teeming with a busy population. If he were 
fond of botany, he would find some veiy interesting 
plants. If an ornithologist, he would see some fine 
rookeries, as well as flocks of starlings. The latter 
used to be a migratory bird, but has now, for several 
years, remained all the winter through. Often have I 
stood in the summer evenings watching their 
movements. Magpies he would not see, as they 
have for more than twenty years entirely deserted our 
district. The conduct of our youngsters, I fancy, will 
have been the cause of their desertion. The ornitho- 
logist would only on very rare occasions meet with any 
blackcaps, as they are with us fast dying out. Two 
species of wagtail stay with us long after the 
migratory birds have left us. A lover of entomology 
would meet with the two garden white, red, 
admiral, small tortoiseshell, orange tip, meadow 
brown, painted lady, the small copper, and occa- 
sionally the peacock. The small streams are well 
stocked with small fishes. I give an extract I once 
sent to a Newcastle paper on our stickleback. One 
fine summer evening, the sky very clear, the air 
quiet, the scenery calm and peaceful, and all nature 
appearing at rest, I took a stroll by the side of a 
gentle stream. In my company was a gentleman 
who was very anxious to be shown some nests of 
stickleback, as he had never before seen anything 
of the kind. As we wandered along, shoals of 
stickleback darted rapidly past us, for, with their 
keen sense of sight, they soon recognised us on the 
banks as strangers. We sat down on the bank, and the 
fish soon returned, and began their usual pranks. The 



males took their places and stood guard over thei r 
charmed circles, like the Roman soldiers of old went 
on doing their duty, and ready to die rather than be 
driven from their posts. My friend expressed much 
surprise to find all those having the prettiest colour to 
be the worst tempered. " Yes," I said, " that is true, 
but let us look at their motive. You see those little 
raised mounds, with a round hole in the centre ; they 
are nests, and the coloured stickleback you see close by 
are the males guarding their precious homes. The 
males have the places to select, the nests to build 
and to keep in order, the females coming when all 
is right, to deposit their spawn, and, unless the nests 
were closely guarded by the males, not only against 
the attack of other fishes, but even against the 
parents themselves, as the ova or spawn is always a 
precious meal to fishes, they would soon be destroyed." 
Their colour I have found to be mostly due to their 
valour in fighting, the bolder they are the more fierce 
they look, and the more courage they show in 
defending their nests the more colour they get. I 
have frequently seen females go from nest to nest, 
depositing ova without being molested. Yet, at the 
same time, I have seen them chased away, when I 
much fancied they had not any ova to deposit. The 
nests I could see were repeatedly visited by the 
males. 1st. To see the nests are kept in order, and 
to make fast any loose material by a gummy substance 
which they have the power of discharging. 2nd. The 
eggs of the female have to be fertilised by the males ; 
without this the fecundity of the eggs would not take 
place. Now these eggs, and those of snails, frogs, &c, 
that I have examined, are the same shape as the eggs 
of birds, when viewed under the microscope. As I 
was in want of a nest for my home aquarium, my 
friend insisted on taking one home. He stretched 
himself across the stream with his head close to the 
nest which he wanted, and which was only a few inches 
under the water. As he listened very attentively, he 
fancied he heard something moving. Presently the 
whole brood of young ones came away, and so 
fascinated were we with the sight before us, that a 
few seconds passed away before we could speak to 
each other again. He took off his round felt hat, 
and indented the crown so as to hold about a pint of 
water. Into this miniature vessel he placed the 
whole shoal of young. This mass of life, so newly 
ushered into existence, was to us the most interesting 
of all sights we had before witnessed. I have found 
these last few years, that that pretty little fish the 
minnow fails to keep its own in the struggle for 
existence, in some of our very small streams. Where 
it used to be plentiful, it has now entirely died out. 
They fail to stand the repeated attacks of the 
pugnacious sticklebacks. The traveller in our 
country would pass acres of land, scarcely fit to graze 
a single animal. On his route he would notice a 
peculiar looking hill, or heap, varying in different 
shades of colour, mingled with patches of the 



32 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



coarsest of grass, to which no living animal would 
care to give a passing glance. All the strata are cut 
through ; when sinking a pit the rubbish is sent 
away. When the pit gets under way, falls of shale 
are almost of daily occurrence, and the greater part 
of this shale has to be brought away, which soon 
makes the heaps grow larger. The geologist will 
perhaps find in no part of the world so rich in fossil 





Fig. 29. — Anthracosia ovata, a common fossil in coal shales. 

remains, as those refuse shale heaps, met with at our 
colliery places. If he were to split some of the shale 
open, he might find abundance of fossil mussels, such 
as Anthracosia, as well as of fossil ferns and other 
plant remains, and thus discover that even in our 
district there is plenty of interest, although it is only 
a Pit one ! 

John Sim. 
North u in be r land. 



ON THE EMBRYOLOGY OF BOTYS 
HYALINALIS. 

By Dr. J. A. Osborne. 

~\\ 7TIILST according the first place in embryo- 
V V logical research to the method of investiga- 
tion by means of sections, Dr. August Weismann, 
in his latest work (" Beitr. z. Kenntniss d. ersten 
Entwickelungsvorgange im Insektenei," Bonn, 18S2), 
is yet of opinion that the older method, by "contin- 
uous observation of the living and developing egg," 
has of late years been much underrated. "There 
are," he says (loc. cit. p. 2), "certainly phenomena 
of development, where the method by section fails us 
altogether, and of whose course, nay, very existence, 
only direct observation gives us any intelligence." 
Perhaps there are few eggs of insects which, owing to 
their extreme flatness and transparency, are better 
suited for direct observation during development than 
those of Botys hyalinalis. They are small oval discs 
of about 2" 3-2 • 5 mm. in length by 2 mm. or rather 
more in breadth, not thicker in proportion than the 
body of a sole or plaice is to its diameter, and thin- 
ning off in like manner to a sharp edge at the 
circumference. The shell is transparent as glass, and 
the view but little impeded by the somewhat coarse 
reticulations of the chorion in irregularly polygonal 
fields with linear borders and uneven areas. 



On the 4th of August last, I received by post from 
Mr. W. R. Jeffrey, of Ashford, Kent, a small batch of 
seven of these eggs which had been laid on glass 
some time on the morning of the 2nd. The batch 
had a somewhat greasy whitish appearance, and on 
closer inspection the eggs were seen to be arranged 
in an oval or_ ring of six surrounding a central one, 
but all overlapping, in such a manner that the central 
egg was overlain by three at one end of the oval, and 
overlay the three at the other end ; whilst of the 
former three the middle (or remotest) egg overlapped 
the other two, and of the latter three the middle (or 
nearest) egg was overlapped by them. The lateral 
pair of the first three also overlapped the lateral pair 
of the second three, but the eggs of each pair did not 
touch each other. In this arrangement there was 
one egg (only) at the nearest extremity of the long 
axis of the group, which lay directly on the glass 
without overlying a part of any other ; and one 
(only) at the other extremity of the axis, which, 
overlying two others in part, was itself not overlapped 
by any other. The conclusion appears inevitable 
that these eggs were respectively the first and last 
laid in the group : otherwise a later egg must have 
been partially inserted beneath one already deposited 
on the glass — a supposition which the character of 
the eggs themselves would appear to negative 
decidedly. I found it convenient, taking the longer 
axis of the group as a meridian running north and 
south, and designating the central egg as "C," to 
distinguish the others by the points of the compass, 
as N., S., N.W., &c, and regarding the group always 
from the free side. The moth, then, in depositing her 
eggs, must have proceeded along the glass in a general 
direction from south to north ; and the eggs must have 
been laid in the following order: — S., S.W. and S.E., 
C, N.W., and N.E., N. The order of precedence in 
the lateral pairs is no t determinable from these premises . 
Subsequently Mr. Jeffrey sent me the shells of another 
group of nine of these eggs, laid at the same time, 
which give some further insight into the method of 
oviposition. In this group, which has a transversely 
elongated rhomboidal form, the extreme lateral eggs, 
E. and W., which were absent in the first, are present. 
Here it is plain that the eggs were laid in rows of 
three each, forming an acute angle with the meridian, 
and each row beginning a step further east or west and 
further north than the row before it. The order must 
(mostlikely)havebeenS., S.W..W. ; S.E.,C, N.W. ; 
E., N.E.,N. ; or else, S., S.E., E. ; S.W.,C, N.E. ; 
W., N.W., N. I enclose diagrams (Figs. 3o"and 31), 
the better to illustrate my meaning, but if it should 
be inconvenient to engrave these, the grouping may 
be very well imitated with the requisite number of 
pence or half-pence, taking the vertical line of the 
figure on the coin to represent the long axis of the 
egg. In all cases the long axis of the egg-oval lay 
north and south, i.e. parallel with the meridian of the 
group ; and, as subsequent observation showed, in 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



33 



all cases the head of the embryo lay south. The 
question now arises : does the south end of the egg 
correspond with its lower pole or first laid end? 
This question must be answered affirmatively, unless 
we are prepared to admit either, on the one hand 
that the eggs in laying could have been partly slid 
under ones already laid, which their thinness and 
delicacy and their firm adhesion to the glass and to 
one another seems to render impossible ; or, on the 
other hand, that the ovipositor of the moth, whilst 



lower pole, we arrive at the conclusion (somewhat 
important, inasmuch as it is at variance with the 
statement of Leuckart that "the upper pole in all 
cases contains the head end of the embryo." — See 
Entom. Month. Mag. vol. xx. p. 146), that in these 
eggs the head of the embryo normally occupies the 
lower pole of the egg. The physiological reason is 
obvious. In those cases where (as in Pieris brassica:) the 
egg is attached by its lower pole to the food-plant, 
the escaping larva, if its head occupied that end, 



NW. 



SW 




NE 



SE 



Fig- 30. 





Fig. 35- 




S.W 



ISte&kS 







Fig. 34- 



Fig. 33- 



Fig. 36. 




4P s.w 



Fig. 







37- 



Fig. 38. 



Fig, 39- 



depositing the egg is bent in under her venter so as 
to extrude the egg with its lower pole to the front. 
Such an inversion of the normal orientation does take' 
place in the case of the sawfly (Zartza fasciata), and 
probably also, more or less, in the case of other 
insects laying their eggs in mines or in the ground, or 
in other situations where a long ovipositor is required, 
but I am ignorant that there are any grounds for such 
an assumption in the case of Botys. Taking it for 
granted then that the south end of the egg is its 



would not only have to eat its way out of the shell, 
but also through the substance to which the egg was 
attached ; while in the case of Botys if the head of 
the larva occupied the upper pole, it would, after 
eating its way through its own shell, come in contact 
with the egg above it with disadvantage to itself and 
probable destruction to its neighbour. 

When I received the eggs on the 4th of August, 
they were already in the third day of incubation, and 
presented the following appearances. The yolk- 



34 



HA RD WICKE 'S S CIENCE- G O SSI P. 



granules were aggregated in spherular masses, which 
again were arranged in two groups : an annular 
larger mass having a clear space outside between it 
and the shell, and a clear central area in which the 
smaller mass lay in an irregularly curved spiral or 
crescentic form. For the sake of convenience, I shall 
call these two masses of [opaque yolk the Annulus 
and the Spiral. The former was composed of yolk- 
spherules (i.e. aggregated masses of yolk-granules), 
arranged, somewhat loosely at first, but by degrees 
more compactly, so as to flatten their sides and give 
them a polygonal form, in a flat oval ring, having the 
same contour as the egg itself, but gradually wider at 
one end than the other, not unlike a horse-collar. 
The broader end was at first in all cases (except, 
perhaps, N.W.) towards the south end of the egg.* 
It maintained its shape with little change, except 
some diminution in width and increase in density, 
all the time that the eggs were under observation, i.e. 
till the 9th August, when they were unfortunately 
destroyed by an accident a day or two before 
hatching would have taken place. The spiral, on 
-the contrary, was constantly undergoing change, 
and it soon became evident that its convex border 
was the true seat of development. Regarded as a 
mass of unchanged yolk, it had, on the 5th August, 
somewhat the appearance of a double scroll (Fig. 32), 
something like the capital of an Ionic pillar, and 
with a stalk between roughly corresponding to the 
shaft of the pillar, or, at least, the upper end of it. 
The volutes of this scroll or double spiral were not 
similar. One was sharp, dark and well defined ; 
the other vague and changing, and made up of looser 
granules of yolk. In all cases the sharper well- 
defined volute lay towards the north. The stalk or 
shaft between the volutes pointed in a general direc- 
tion east or west, and after some hours became more 
slender and formed an attachment with the annulus 
on the inside. At this time the scroll was not unlike 
the vertebrate embryo in an early stage with its 
umbilical stalk, and, as no doubt yolk granules passed 
into the embryo by this channel, there may have 
been something functional in the resemblance as 
well. 

To explain this annular arrangement of the food- 
yolk it is necessary to refer to the formation of the 
amnion. After the yolk has become surrounded by 
the growth of cells called the blastoderm, and after 
the germinal stripe, or foundation of the embryo, 
has been differentiated along one side of this blasto- 
derm, a double fold of the latter grows up all round 
the circumference of the germinal stripe and finally 
closes in over it, the edges of the fold fusing together 
and the two layers (of blastoderm) of which it is 
composed at the same time , separating from one 



* Under date August 7th, I have the following note. "In 
the three northern eggs it is the northern half which is widest 
now — in the three southern, the southern half, and more dis- 
tinctly so." 



another. The inner of these, continuous with the 
embryo itself, and lying immediately over it, is the 
amnion ; the outer, continuous with the blastoderm 
surrounding the yolk, is the serous membrane. Two 
sacs are thus formed, the one within the other, and 
between them lies the yolk. In the lepidopterous 
egg the yolk next finds its way into the space 
between the amnion and the serous membrane, flow- 
ing over the former, and depressing it and the 
embryo beneath it till both are completely submerged 
in yolk and consequently hidden from view. But 
owing to the extreme flatness of the Botys 1 eggs, little 
or no yolk finds its way to the sides of the embryo, 
but is constrained to lie in a ring around it, leaving 
the centre clear, except that part immediately 
beneath the germinal stripe, which by the involution 
of the two extremities of the embryo becomes soon 
reduced to a narrow capitate peduncle, the " umbilical 
stalk," &c. (Fig. 33). 

A glance at the diagrams (Figs. 30 and 31), will 
show that the umbilicus did not lie uniformly in 
one direction east or west. When it had its 
attachment to the annulus on the west, this meant 
that the venter of the embryo was facing east, and 
that (having its head south) it was lying on its right 
side or with its right side next the glass : and vice 
versd. This arrangement may be very well imitated 
with the half-pence by placing them upside-down, 
and with the queen's head up to represent the embryo 
on its right side, and the figure of Britannia up to 
represent it lying on its left side with the venter 
looking west. The only thing to be noted in this 
connection (and the small number of the total 
observations makes it the less reliable), is that in 
both* groups of eggs all the lateral eggs, i.e. those 
not situated on the central axis or meridian of the 
group, had their umbilici directed towards the 
meridian, and their ventres consequently looking 
outwards. To this statement there were two excep- 
tions in the group of nine ; viz. N.W., which did not 
develop at all, and N.E., which had its venter looking 
inwards, but failed to hatch out. 

There was a considerable difference in the rate of 
development of the different eggs in the group of 
seven. S.W. appeared to be the most advanced, 
although latterly N.E. was not much if anything 
behind it. But N.W. was all along several hours 
behind the others in its development. These might be 
arranged in the order of development thus : — S., S.E., 
N., C. ; but with smaller differences between them. 
On the evening of the 6th August the umbilical stalk 
and spiral had dwindled to a small dense inverted 
cone with a rounded base and having its apex at the 
annulus (v. Fig. 33). On its north side a sort of 
notch separated the sharp curved bird-like beak from 
the rest of the stalk. The clear central area was 



* In the'group of nine eggs I deduce this from Mr. Jeffrey's 
observations communicated by letter. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



35 



therefore much increased in size, but not so limpidly 
transparent as the (empty ?) space surrounding the 
annulus externally. Immediately within the annulus, 
on the morning of the 7th, I observed the clear area 
all round to the peduncle or umbilicus on both sides, 
to have its outer edge crenated. In the more advanced 
eggs these crenations soon developed into a row of 
(ventral) segments, twelve in number, marked off from 
the rest of the central area by a curved concentric line. 
These segments had an optical area from four to six 
times as large as the reticulations of the chorion (say 
about 555 inch in diameter). Soon three of them, 
at the south extremity of the series, appeared larger 
than the rest and furnished with processes sloping 
northward ; whilst still further to the south, but less 
distinctly, two or three other segments could be made 
out having also processes sloping in the opposite 
direction. Into this space, corresponding to the 
region between the head and the body, faint cloudlets 
of yolk-granules appeared as it were passing in from 
the annulus towards the central area. Owing 
probably to the sloping in opposite directions of the 
thoracic and cephalic processes, there was lesspressure 
here of the amnion against the serous membrane and 
freer passage for the yolk. This appearance at this 
region was visible persistently. in all'the eggs (Fig. 34). 
The thoracic processes or legs were about half the 
width of the segments from the posterior Jialf of which 
they took their origin, but considerably longer, 
passing out of sight in the annulus (Fig. 34). About 
this time I noticed also other appearances as of 
curved concentric lines marking out a tube 
(mesenteron ?) but which would require further 
observation for their certain interpretation. Upon the 
same day (Aug. 7) in the afternoon, I noticed eye 
spots (in all but N.W.) a group of about six arranged 
in a circular form (Fig. 35). There were now visible at 
least four cephalic segments, and it was at the base 
of the third (reckoning from behind forwards) that 
the group of eye-spots was situated. Later on I saw 
a fifth larger terminal mass forming the extreme 
anterior extremity of the embryo. The thoracic legs 
appeared to be jointed. At 2.50 P.M. I noticed that 
the twelfth (ninth abdominal) segment was somewhat 
longer than the others and projected inwards towards 
the centre, beyond their level. At 6.55 p.m. this 
inward projection had disappeared, and a very im- 
portant change in the terminal segment had been 
initiated. It had become ventrally incurved upon 
itself (Fig. 36). This segment was elongated, and 
narrowed at the apex. It advanced steadily forwards 
along the ventral aspect of the embryo, followed by 
the others, and growing larger at the same time ; but 
the head remained always in its original place. On 
the morning of the 8th the last three segments (10-12) 
were round the corner (Fig. 37) ; at 9.10 a.m. the tail 
was in contact with the metathoracic legs ; at 12.45 
P.M. it had gone beyond the two posterior pairs of 
legs, which, with the forelegs, were now directed 



forwards in place of backwards as at first. The 
middle of the bend of the abdomen (at the incurvature) 
was between the third and fourth abdominal segments ; 
at 1 p.m. the tail had come quite up with the fore- 
feet ; at 2.40 P.M. it reached fully up to the head and 
fully filled the larger northern bay. At this time the 
stump of the umbilicus on the one hand, now reduced 
to a mere conical point, and a similar projection from 
the opposite side of the annulus, where cloudlets of 
yolk-granules were passing in towards the neck 
region (see Fig. 34), indicated a division of the whole 
interior space into two unequal bays, of which the 
smaller (southern) contained the head, and the other 
the rest of the body. The second abdominal segment 
might be said to form the keystone of the arch where 
the abdomen was bent on itself, but the head, though 
free in its bay, remained mostly in close contact 
with the umbilical stalk. On the morning of the 9th 
the tail reached quite to the level of the head and 
beyond the eye-spots. The embryo lay in a loop 
with the legs inside, a position which it had reached 
by the growth and enlargement of the tail without any 
change of place in the head and anterior segments. 

I have dwelt at some length on this incurvature 
and growth of the tail by which the lepidopterous 
embryo attains the loop-form in the shell, because 
Kowalevski has stated (Mem. de l'Acad. Imp. des 
Sciences de St. Petersbourg, vii. serie, tome xvi. 
No. 12, p. 56), that it does so by the whole embryo 
turning round in the shell after its tail. "Dem 
Hinterende folgend, dreht sich der ganze Embryo so, 
dass er jetzt der ihn noch bedeckenden serosen 
Hiille den Rucken zuwendet, und die Extremitaten 
erscheinen nach innen gerichtet." Perhaps the 
subject may be made clearer by a brief consideration 
of the different kinds of motion which may be 
observed in eggs. These may be classed under four 
heads. 1st. Movements due to gravitation. The 
ventral or developing side of the yolk in the egg of 
Gastrophysa raphani, e.g., turns always towards the 
upper surface, though this change takes place so 
slowly that it may occupy several days in comple- 
tion. 2nd. Movements of growth ; strikingly illus- 
trated in the egg of Calopteryx, in which the embryo 
becomes inverted in the shell (v. Balfour, Comp. Em- 
bryol. i. 334). 3rd. Embryonic movements ; by which 
limbs or parts show movements without any change 
of place in the whole ; and, lastly, larval movements ; 
when the perfectly formed embryo changes its position 
in the shell, or acts in any other way as if it were 
independent of it. The loop form of the lepidop- 
terous embryo, Kowalevski supposes to be due to the 
latter class of movements, whilst in reality it is only 
a movement of growth. When, in its final stages, as 
stated by Kowalevski and as observed in these eggs 
by Mr. Jeffrey, the embryo of Botys devours the 
remainder of the yolk and cuts its way out of the 
shell, these actions may be fairly described as larval 
movements. 



36 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



On the afternoon of the Sth August, I had a pretty 
clear view of the head unobscured by the annulus. 
The four processes were approximated like the 
fingers of the hand, whilst the fifth or terminal lobe 
lay away from them like a thumb (Fig. 3S). Pro- 
jecting into the bay between the thumb and the 
fingers, and crossing the latter obliquely, there was 
faintly visible another process which I was unable to 
follow further. On the other side of the umbilical 
stalk, now worn down to a conical stump, a dense 
crescentic streak of yoke had been as it were detached 
and carried away by the growth of the tail till it 
came to occupy the northern curve of the bay. 
This included yolk, according to Kowalevski, marks 
the extent of the mesenteron, in this case about a 
fourth of the whole alimentary canal. The incurved 
portion of the tail was free from the annulus, and 
its growth seemed to be caused by the formation 
of the dorsal half of the body carrying along the 
ventral segments with it. In the tail this dorsal 
portion increased much in size beyond the ventral, 
both in length and thickness. Up till its full growth 
the dorsal section of the abdomen had been without 
segmentation, but, in the afternoon of the 8th August, 
I observed it to be crenate externally ; and that the 
indentations corresponded to the lines of division of 
the ventral segments. That portion of the dorsum 
extending beyond the venter and beyond the last 
crenation opposite the last ventral segment, was 
much larger than any other division, and showed 
itself a crenate division into three, of which the last, 
much narrower than the others, I supposed might 
turn out to be the anal proleg, whilst the penult 
crenation would represent the anal flap. I thought 
also I could trace the posterior section of the 
alimentary canal terminating in the space between 
the anal flap (?) and the proleg (?) In the evening of 
the same day I was able to distinguish four prolegs 
on the anterior abdominal segments, near the point 
of flexure, but could not see whether one or two 
segments intervened between them and the thoracic 
legs. On the Sth also, in the evening, the remote 
group of eye-spots became dimly visible through the 
transparent head. At first, directly opposite one 
another, the two groups of eye-spots diverged more 
and more till they came to be situated at the lateral 
borders of the head, and between, and rather in 
advance of them, a cupid's-bow-shaped line (Fig. 39) 
appeared to indicate the anterior border of the 
clypeus. The direction of this torsion of the head 
was always such that, whether the embryo was lying 
on the right or left side, its effect was to bring the 
dorsal aspect of the head next the free unattached 
side of the egg, and the under surface next the glass. 

Unfortunately my observations were brought to an 
untimely close by an accident on the morning of the 
9th, so that the last stages, as well as the earlier, 
both of which should have much of interest to offer, 
escaped me. I believe, however, that what I have 



been fortunate enough, thanks to Mr. Jeffrey's 
kindness, to see, is not without some interest and 
importance from its bearing on two points : the 
orientation of the embryo in the shell, and the 
incurvature of the tail. If there were any certainty 
of obtaining similar eggs another season, I would 
have reserved some of the other points for further 
observation : as it is, I cannot refrain from mentioning 
the hypothesis that, as plants are bent to or from the 
light by a preponderance of growth on the opposite 
side, so, here, the proximate cause of the ventral 
curvature of the tail end is the later, but then 
quicker and predominant growth of the dorsal section 
of the embryo. 
Milford, Letterkenny. 



SOME NEW DIATOMACEOUS FORMS 
FROM THE "SAUGSCHIEFER" OF 
DUBRAVICA. 

By F. Kitton, Hon. F.R.M.S. 

HERR GRUNOW in his " Beitriige zur Kent- 
niss der fossilen Diatomaceen Oesterreich- 
Ungarn" (" Beitrage zur palaontol. Oester-Ungarns 
und d. Orients von Majsisovics u. Naumayr," Bd. 
ii. 1882), describes the following diatomaceous 
deposits found in Hungary: (1) " Saugschiefer " 
(absorbent slate) from Dubravica ; (2) Polierschiefer 
Tallya ; (3) the argillaceous tufa from Holaikluk - T 
(4) diatom deposit from Kis-ker ; (5) Kieselguhre 
from Eger and Franzenbad in Bohemia. The last 
named deposits are generally well known to Dia- 
tomists (particularly that found in Franzenbad). 
Ehrenberg described many of the forms in the 
" Monatsberichte " of the Royal Academy of Berlin, 
1840, which are afterwards figured in his " Micro- 
geologie." His figures of Campylodiscus clypeus have 
been frequently copied. 

The Hungarian deposits were almost, if not 
entirely, unknown until the recently published in- 
vestigations of Herr Grunow, which, unfortunately, 
are not readily accessible to Diatomists, excepting 
by the purchase of the volume of the work (at a cost 
of 40 marks) in which they appeared. Having 
through the kindness of a correspondent been 
enabled to examine one of the most interesting of 
them, viz. that from Dubravica, I have identified 
most of the species named in the list which 
accompanied the sample. The deposit is some- 
what delusive ; from its general appearance we 
should suppose it would be easily cleaned ; but this 
is not the case ; when boiled in acids the material 
split up into thin laminae of sufficient tenuity to 
allow of mounting without further manipulation ; to 
separate the diatoms a careful boil in dehydrated 
soda is necessary to dissolve the silicic acid which 
cements the diatoms together. This cementation 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



37 



seems to indicate that the deposit is of ancient origin, 
and this is further confirmed by the appearance of 
the Diatoms ; although no new genus has been ob- 
served, and not more than three or four new species. 
Many of the forms have an old world look, and 
exhibit minute differences from those of more recent 
times. 

As this deposit will perhaps become better known, 
and, as before observed, access to Herr Grunow's 
original paper is somewhat difficult, I propose giving 
a list of the new species and varieties, and figures of 
three of the most remarkable. 

Cymbella abtiormis, var. antiqua, Grun. ; C. 
austriaca, var. prisca, Grun., var. excisa, Grun. ; 
C. gastroides, var. neogena, var. dubrdvka, var. c?-assa, 
C. lanceolata, var. cormita ; C. sturii, Grun. 



S. intermedia, Grun. ; S. brevistriata, var. subacute, 
Grun. 

Surirella dementis, Grun. Valve linear-lanceolate, 
gradually constricted towards the apices, slightly 
cuneate ; aire almost obsolete ; canaliculi marginal 
9 in. "ooi"; centre of valve with a slightly elevated 
ridge or median line not reaching the apices, and 
terminating in short and sometimes curved spines. 
Length of valve, •0040 to '0x348; greatest breadth, 
•0012" to •0015" '; breadth at centre, •ooo6"to 'oooS". 

This very remarkable form approaches in general 
appearance very near to the genus Cymatopleura, 
but a careful examination shows that its proper 
position is in with the Surirella;. The inflations so 
conspicuous on the frustular view of the species of 
the former genus are absent, and in their place alas 




Fig. 40. — Epithemia cistula, ""- 





Fig. 41. — Staurosira Harrisonii, 
var. atnphitetras. 

Epithemia cistula (Eh.) var. hinaris, Grun. Valve 
arcuate, ventral margin slightly rounded opposite the 
turgid dorsum ; ends produced slightly inflated : 
costae distant ; irregular striae moniliform. Length, 
•0020 to •0030. 

Herr Grunow considers this form to be a var. 
of Ennotia cistula (Eh.). I have examined Ehren- 
berg's figures of this species (of which there are 
several in the " Microgeologie "), but cannot see 
any resemblance between them and the above-named 
variety. 

Navicula nobilis (Eh.) Kg., var. neogena, Grun. ; 
N. viridis, Kg., var. semicrnciata, Grun. ; N. 
impress7is, var. semicrnciata, Grun. ; 2V. modesta, 
Grun. ; N. decurrens, var. Eh. var. subsolaris, Grun. ; 
N. haueri, Grun. ; N. radiosa, var. dubraviccnsis, 
Grun. ; N. gastrum, var. styriaea, Grun. ; A r . 
dementis, Grun. j IV. tuscula (Eh.), var. ornata, 
Grun. ; IV. elliptica, var. grandis, Grun. ; JV. 
vcntricosa, var. truncatula ; N. informe ; JV. cruci- 
cula, var. protracta ; Peronia antiqua, Grun. 

Staurosira Harrisonii, W. S. var. atnphitetras, 
Grun. Frustule linear, valve quadrangular ; sides 
concave ; apices produced, rounded ; striae cost ate ; 
length of sides '0015, fig. 2. 

This charming little form is rare in the deposit. 
The type form is, however, common. 



Fig. 42. — Surirella dementis, sss-. 

may be detected, and also a spinous median line. 
This species is not uncommon in the deposit. 
Synedra ulna (Ehr.) ; S. ddicatissima, W.S. ; 6". 
familiaris, Kg., var. neogena, Grun. 

Nearly all the Synedras are more or less distorted, 
apparently caused by pressure, and not by any terato- 
genic influence exerted during the development of 
the frustules. 

Nortvich, July, 18S4. 



A FREEZING MICROTOME. 

IN reply to E. Lamplough, I have' tried many forms 
of freezing microtomes while working in the Strass- 
burg laboratories, and got by far the finest sections of 
soft tissue by using the one described below, which 
was made from descriptions of one which I am told 
is in use in Dr. Klein's laboratory. The freezing 
vessel consists of a small wash-tub, twelve inches dia- 
meter, by three and a half inches deep. Get a cover made 
of wood on which is cemented a plate-glass top with 
a hole cut in the centre, one and three-quarter inches 
in diameter ; out of this hole projects slightly a brass 
or iron grated top. (on which the tissue is frozen), this 
top rests on a hollow pillar screwed on to the bottom 
of the tub, and this pillar is honey-combed with holes, 
to give free access to the freezing mixture with which 
the tub is filled, viz., ice and salt. The microtome is 
made on the principle of a joiner's hand plane, and 
consists of a metal frame (brass is best) to hold three 
large and fine threaded screws, A, B & C, which are 



HA RD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G OSS IP. 



exactly like those used for adjusting a theodolite. 
The razor blade can be made by any blacksmith 
accustomed to fine work, and must be made of the 
best steel ; each end is clamped to the frame by a strip 
of brass, and two screws subsidised by indiarubber. 
The way to use it : fill the tub with ice ; sprinkle on 
salt ; screw on the lid ; put on the tissue on the 
grating which will be hard in five minutes ; adjust 




Fig. 43. — Freezing Microtome. Plan of top. 



B 

-HE. 



A 



PLATE GLASS TOP 



JL^Z ! 



•RAZOR BLADE 



1 r 

Fig. 44. — Section of Freezing Microtome. 

the microtome by means of the three screws, A, B & C, 
until the razor blade touches the tissue plane a slice 
off, then lower the point by giving A half a turn, 
plane off another section and so on. I have heard it 
recommended to tip the screws, A, B & C, with ivory, 
so that they would slide better on the plate-glass 
cover, but I found the brass ones work beautifully. 
Plymouth. B. Sc. 



THE ORIGIN OF DOUBLE FLOWERS. 

AFTER reading the papers on double flowers in 
Science-Gossip recently, I felt encouraged 
to talk about them to my neighbours, one of whom 
showed me a bed of double stocks raised from the 
seed of a solitary plant with single flowers, which, 
growing in an isolated spot, had probably received no 
pollen from the flowers of other plants. Here and 
there a plant with single flowers might be found 
among the lot I saw, but, besides being comparatively 
few, the plants bearing single flowers were small and 
weakly. The next gardener that I saw showed me 
two zonal pelargoniums with double flowers. He said 
that he had raised those plants from seeds, the 
produce of a single flower, with which he had not 
interfered, nor did he think that any insect had 



cross-fertilised it. He had found three ripe seeds 
and sowed them. They all germinated, but one 
seedling plant had died. The other two grew to 
maturity, and each of them bore double flowers. 
Thus we see how double flowers appear on plants 
under cultivation without conscious effort on the 
part of the happy gardeners who raise them. When 
a plant appears which pleases its owner more than 
others he takes the seed from that particular plant 
and sows them apart from other seeds. If the plants 
raised from such seeds are grown together, so that 
their flowers inter-cross, the effect of such inter-crossing 
is not like that of crossing freely with other plants 
not so nearly related, but tends to fix any character 
by which a variety may be distinguished from the 
species. Florists often keep apart the seeds of such 
a plant as they like best, having first been careful 
that its flowers should not be crossed. So, without 
•knowing or intending it, they make arrangements for 
the appearance of double flowers. A striking 
difference appears however between the solitary plant 
with double flowers occurring among a lot of seedling 
sweet williams and the two plants of zonal pelargonium, 
each having double flowers, with no single flowered 
seedling by their side. If the theory of Mr. Mott be 
right, it would not be likely that so many double 
flowers would appear among the offspring of a 
young plant like Mr. Sim's sweetwilliam as among 
those of an older plant under similar conditions. 
Now it is well known that zonal pelargoniums 
are extensively propagated by cuttings which 
retain the character of the individual plant from 
which they are taken, and survive for many years 
to be like Moses in his old age, when the natural 
force of his strength was not abated. If the flower 
of such a plant be fertilised by its own pollen, or 
by that of another flower on the same plant, or on 
any plant derived from a cutting of the same stock, 
nothing would be more likely than that plants grown 
from seed so generated would bear double flowers, as 
it seems they do. If Mr. Sim's sweet william be 
kept for so long as it may live in a state of isolation, 
so that its flowers be not crossed with strange pollen, 
it would be interesting to know whether the plants 
raised from its seed would bear an increasing number 
of double flowers as the plant grows old. 

John Gibbs. 



Curious conduct of Pigeon.' — My attention 
was called to a rather novel bit of Natural History 
on Monday 6th January. It was in the conduct of a 
pigeon playing and splashing on the water, enjoying 
itself as if it was in its natural element. The same 
thing occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday. When 
it was startled it rose with perfect ease and flew back 
to its loft. I can testify to its having been the same 
pigeon on all three occasions. Can any readers assign 
a reason for this occurring ? — A. W. Fry. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



39 



ZOOLOGICAL NOTES FOR 1884. 

LOOKING over my last year's notes, I find one 
or two which may be worth preserving. My 
knowledge of the literature of the subject is not large 
enough to enable me to judge of their general value. 

(a.) Late in the summer, the vital fluids of insects 
seem to become inspissated, in the same way as those 
of leaf-petioles. Hence they may be touched when 
at rest, before able to summon sufficient energy for 
flight. 

(/'.) During the summer, I observed in some marshy 
ground by the upper Thames that an atrous Limax 
was attached profusely to the stems of a rush, whose 
black flowering spike was distantly similar. Is this 
mimicry, and if so, to what end ? 

(c.) On February 15th, after a fire, for the first time 
since the autumn, 4iad been alight an hour or two in 
a room, a blow-fly emerged from its pupa-case, and' 
stayed in the room for four days, although doors and 
windows were constantly open. The cold air would 
seem to have formed an impenetrable barrier. 

(</.) Out of an incomplete brood of P. rapae, which 
perfected early in May, 9 were ^the last to emerge, 
and d the first, the percentage of <? was 22, and in 
the course of a confinement of some two or three 
weeks, all of them died, without having made any 
attempt at coition, the 2 surviving hardily. This 
would point to d as the subjected factor in lepidop- 
terous social life. 

(e.) A lepidopterous larva, not full-grown, having 
been inadvertently kept in an air-tight box for 
24 hours, commenced to pupate, with the apparent 
object of preserving its life. When released, and 
placed with its food-plant, it still proceeded with the 
work of pupation. Bees confined under similar 
circumstances having died, it would appear that 
larvra respire less abundantly than perfect insects, 
and pupae less still, if at all. Also that, when the 
process of pupating has begun, some internal re- 
arrangement of the larval parts takes place at once 
(cf. development of spinnerets), as a result of which 
larval growth cannot be resumed. 

(_/".) An unfortunate and unintentional experiment 
with a T. pronuba would show that the asphyxiating 
property of hydrocyanic acid fumes may be overcome 
if brought into contact with the poisoned specimen, 
especially if of robust habit in time. This may serve 
as a hint to keep up the strength of cyanide bottles, 
in order to prevent needless cacopathy. Thus this 
specimen, after being pinned out, was found three 
days after fluttering in full vigour, its wings being 
withdrawn from the pressure of the setting slips. 
Again,'a Spilosoma menthastri laid 160-170 eggs after 
being stifled and pinned out, although this very 
common phenomenon is no proof of return to 
consciousness. 

{g.) Observed a solitary bee on the wing one mile 
out at sea off the Norfolk coast. It did not secure 



the opportunity to rest afforded by the crab-boat 
whence it was seen. It being comparatively calm at 
the time, the journey must have been to some extent 
voluntary. 

(h.) In the end of June a pupa of C. ligniperda. 
broke through its cocoon, which was buried in a 
flower-pot, worked its way some 3 inches to the 
surface, exserted the head-parts, leaving the abdomi- 
nal parts of the case firmly embedded in the earth, 
and emerged in this way. Another specimen, whose 
cocoon was half-exposed, fixed its pupa case midway 
in the mouth of the cocoon while it emerged. 
Neither the uplifted case, nor the half-protected 
cocoon, was broken or crumpled by the weight of the 
moth. This is an interesting instance of adaptation 

to circumstances. 

Ernest G. Harmer. 



NOTES ON HYDRACHNIDES. 

MR. DRAPER'S beautiful illustration of Lim- 
nesia reminds one that a monograph of the 
British fresh-water mites still remains to be written, 
and therefore a description of the peculiarities of the 
sub-families Limnesia and Eylais, may be of some 
interest to the readers of Science-Gossip. These 
mites belong to Koch's second division Hydrachnides, 
and with regard to Limnesia, he says, " They are to 
be found in large and small pools, tolerably common, 
swim quickly without soon tiring, and are the richest 
in species of all the four-eyed water-mites." He 
describes twenty species : of these Hermann had 
previously described two, and Midler three. The 
mite Koch takes as his type of the species is 
Limnesia fulgida, and is, I believe, the one figured 
by Mr. Diaper. The body is oval, smooth, very 
convex, of a beautiful, somewhat transparent scarlet 
colour, varied with darker markings produced by the 
caeca. Eyes four, in two pairs, each pair rather far 
apart, but the ocellus of each pair near together, 
forming an oblong figure thus — : : Palpi and 
legs blue — the four hind legs are well endowed with 
long swimming hairs, and the tarsal joint of the hind 
legs is without claws. All the legs are used in 
swimming. The sub-family Eylais contains, ac- 
cording to Koch, but five species, and he remarks 
that they differ very little from each other. Eylais 
extendens, first described by Latreille, is the type 
species. The body is oval, but much broader behind 
than before, only slightly convex ; the skin velvety ; 
the colour vermilion. The eyes are placed rather 
near together, forming almost a square thus — : : and 
are arranged on a plate of chitin or thickened skin. 
The palpi and legs are of the same colour as the 
mite ; the last pair of legs has no long swimming 
hairs, consequently when the mite swims, these legs 
are not used, but dragged after it, in a peculiar and 
very characteristic manner, which alone, at once 



40 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



•distinguishes Eylais from all other mites ; the hind 
tarsi also have claws. The differences between these 
mites are therefore sufficiently marked and numerous. 
They differ in the shape of their bodies, in the texture 
of their skin, in the position of the eyes, in the form 
■of proboscis and palpi, and notably in the structure 
of their hind legs. The genital plates of Limnesia are 
also very characteristic ; they differ in the various 
species, and will no doubt, when better known, be 
aids of great value in their discrimination. 

When Eylais extendens is kept in an aquarium, or 
even in a wide-mouthed bottle, it lays large quantities 
■of eggs of a brilliant scarlet ; these produce a minute 
six-legged larva, not in the least like the parent mite ; 
they are very active, running about apparently with 
equal ease on the glass or on the surface of the water, 
and no doubt become parasitic ; but I have not yet 
discovered what is the host, although I have had 
scores of the eggs hatched at various times. With 
regard to the parasite of Dytiscus, I have been able 
to keep the beetle in an aquarium until the mite 
reached the next stage, when it detached itself from 
its host : it belongs to the sub-family Hydrachna, 
which is distinguished from all other Hydrachnidre 
by having a long proboscis, almost, or quite, as long 
as the palpi. 

C. F. George. 



THE FOUR-SPINED STICKLEBACK. 

ALTHOUGH it is well known that the four- 
spined stickleback, as well as many other 
fresh and salt water fish, is in the habit of building 
nests, it may interest some of your non-scientific 
readers if I give a short account of one which I have 
in an aquarium. Before I begin, I may mention that 
the individual to which I refer is darker in colour, 
and has the lower jaw. more elongated than any of 
the others I have, and I believe is a male fish. He 
had not been twenty-four hours in the tank before he 
began to collect the finest fibres of roots, and to 
weave them among the fronds of a small hart's-tongue 
fern, and, after incessant labour for two days, he had 
constructed a beautiful nest about the size and shape 
of an elongated walnut. Having made the exterior, 
he then lined it with still finer material, until it was 
quite opaque, and at length put the finishing touches 
to it by crawling (I can call it by no other term) all 
over the outside until it was perfectly smooth. 
Having finished it to his satisfaction, he sallied forth 
to seek for a wife, and having set his affections on a 
female heavy with spawn, he chased her for half an 
hour, when having succumbed to his attentions, they 
swam quite slowly together up to the nest. Here 
they remained for a minute or two, when he put his 
mouth to her gill, and he appeared to lead her to 
the entrance, into which she went, and settled down 
into the nest. How long she would have remained 
there I know not, but, unfortunately, he bit her tail 



which was projecting out, and she left the nest ; and 
although he has been incessant in his attentions to 
others, he has not again been able to induce another 
one to enter. His time is occupied when not chasing 
other fish, in repairing the nest, constantly pulling 
bits out, and taking fresh material to it. Whenever 
he has been inside himself, his whole body stiffens 
and quivers with excitement. He is very pugnacious 
and jealous, and if an unfortunate caddis-worm or 
"boatman" comes near, he carries off the former 
bodily, and generally manages to frighten off the 
latter. Two stone loaches are objects of his par- 
ticular hatred. If this simple account is worthy of a 
place in your valuable journal, I shall feel obliged if 

you will insert it. 

A. H. Smith. 



IN MONTIBUS SANCTIS.* 
John Ruskin— Loquitur. 

TIS strange my form of scientific thinking 
Upon the public fails to bite or hold ; 
My name with Art it ever will be linking, 
Obdurate, deaf, to other truth, it's told. 

Oft have I sought the Geological Society, 
Of which I've been a Fellow for so long. 

My great discoveries shook its cold propriety, 
It treats me with neglect — 'tis shameful — 
wrong. — 

For with a little clay, and sand, and sugar, 
The earnest student soon may make a trial ; 

And, in two jiffeys with some lugger mugger, 
Learn geologic truths unknown to Lyell. 

Oh, vain and foolish men, they cannot tell 
How grew the stone on aklermanic finger, 

Yet on "catastrophes of chaos" dwell 
Or on the earth's creation longer linger. 

For one and sixpence spent upon my teaching, 
They'd, learn how mountains crystal folds 
enclose. 

How grew the faults, — a theory far reaching — 
Like crystals how contortions first enclose. 

How folds in agates do those truths express, 
Which rub so much 'gainst geologic grain ; 

How all creation beauty doth impress, 
While mine it is to make that beauty plain. 

A Conifer. 

At the monthly meeting of the Geologists' Associa- 
tion on Tanuary 2nd, Dr. Hicks (President) read a 
paper on "Some Recent Views Concerning the Geology 
of the North-West Highlands ; " and Mr. J. Allen 
Brown, another on "Paleolithic Man of the Thames 
Valley in North-west Middlesex." 

* Part I. " Of the Distinctions of Form in Silica." 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



41 



NATURAL HISTORY JOTTINGS. 
On Wasps, chiefly. 

[Continued from />. 17.] 

AUGUST 6th.— In another stone-faced earthen 
dyke there are two wasps' nests, one of which 
belongs to the Vespa sylvestris and the other to the I '. 
rufa. In the former there are males and large females 
or queens present, as well as the workers. In the 
burning-out of the latter no queen was obtained, and 
only one male ; but both may have been present in 
numbers exceeding one, and been destroyed in the 
destruction of the nest. 

In a small meadow of barely four acres, the hay of 
which has shortly been cut, there are no fewer than 
six nests of wasps, three of which are built in one of 
the dykes and three in the ground. Of the three 
nests in the ground two belong to the Vespa vulgaris 
and one belongs to the V. rufa ; and two of them, 
one pertaining to each of the species, are well out 
into the field, the third being much nearer the hedge. 
Of the three in the north dyke of the field, on its 
southern side, one pertains to the V. rufa, one to 
the V. sylvestris, and one to the V. vulgaris ; the 
first-mentioned being the westernmost, the second 
within twenty paces of it to the east, whilst the third 
will not be much more than the same distance from 
the second nest. On the western side of the first 
nest, that of the V. rufa, and only nine paces from 
it is a small nest of the common humble-bee {Bombus 
terrcstris) situated behind the facing stones of the 
dyke, as are also the nests of the V. sylvestris and 
V. vulgaris, that of the V. rufa being at a point 
where there are no stones ; and nearly in the middle 
of the field, in the level ground, is a nest of the 
orange-tailed humble-bee (B. lapidaria). The 
meadow is a moist one, and is overrun with the water- 
rat or vole {Arvicola amphibius) and the field vole 
(A. agrestis), being in many parts literally riddled 
and furrowed with the burrows and runs of the former 
quadruped ; the abundance of these two species of 
vole, not only in this particular meadow, but also 
in other of the meadows and pastures around, will 
probably account for the apparent ease with which 
the various colonies of the four species of wasp 
and the two species of humble-bee enumerated have 
been established, and consequently in part for their 
abundance there. 

Standing by two of the nests that are built in the 
ground, one of which belongs to the Vespa vulgaris, 
and the ether to the V. rufa, both nests being large 
and strong ones, I observed that at both the worker 
wasps were very busily engaged in bringing up out 
of the nest-cavity pellets of earth and small stones, 
and flying away out of sight carrying them in their 
mandibles. These pellets were frequently of the 
size of a small pea, and then were with difficulty 
borne away, the wasp not seldom striving vainly for 



a longer or shorter period being able to take wing 
with its burden. Sometimes the pellet proved 
altogether too large or heavy to be thus carried off, 
when the V. vulgaris would carry it down again into 
the nest-cavity, possibly to store it in some recess to 
be there found, the entrance to the nest being small 
and direct from the surface, not recessed at all ; and 
once I observed a wasp of this species bring up out 
of the cavity a large thin wedge-shaped piece of 
stone or brick which was too heavy to be borne 
away, and which was also again carried down into 
the burrow. In the case of the V. rufa, the pellet 
when too large or heavy was deposited on the sides 
of the rather large recess at the entrance or mouth 
of the burrow ; this nest being only a little distance 
underground. The nest of this latter species con- 
tained many of the large females, or queens, as well 
as males ; and its shell or case was composed of thin, 
fine in texture and moderately tough paper laid on in 
large sheets, not in small convex, coarse, brittle, 
shell-like pieces, as was the nest of the former, which 
contained neither queens nor males, or drones. 

August 9th. — This forenoon, as the wind blew a 
gale from the west, and there were alternations of 
sunshine and cloud and scuds of rain, the nest of the 
Vespa sylvestris was successfully taken from the 
north dyke of the little meadow. It lay in a cavity 
immediately behind two of the facing stones, and 
much resembled another of the rounded grey stones, 
•uch as are much used in dyking, the entrance to the 
nest-cavity being a small hole between two of the 
stones lying in front of it. This nest was of the 
usual form, turnip-shaped ; and it contained three 
tiers of comb, the second of which contained many 
large cells occupied by the large females, and, 
adjoining them, a few smaller ones occupied by 
males, all of which were about ready for emerging. 
There were also many of these large females or 
queens, as well as a few males or drones, in the nest 
when taken. In the comb there were also larvae of 
all sizes from shortly hatched to about full-grown, as 
well as pupae or nymphs in all stages of evolution ; 
but I only observed one ovum. Such was the force 
of the wind, that, standing on the windward side of 
the nest, there was little danger of getting stung, as 
the wasps could not cope with the gale blowing ; 
and the occupants of the nest, after it had been 
dislodged and removed out into the open field, were 
easily knocked down and secured. 

August 1 8th. — A nest of the Vespa rufa taken at 
dusk this evening out of a stone-faced earthen dyke, 
on its southern side, contained three tiers of comb, 
and many of the large females or queens. This 
species of wasp is either remarkably mild in disposi- 
tion, or it is comparatively lethargic, as not one of 
them flew at us whilst taking out the nest from a 
cavity behind the stones, cutting it up and extracting 
the comb : from prior experience in the taking of 
the nest of this species, in the bright and hot 



42 



HARDWICKE'S S\CIENCE-GOSSIP. 



sunshine, I am inclined to ascribe to it the latter 
characteristic. The roundish hole of entrance and 
exit in the case or shell of this nest was on one side 
down towards the bottom of it ; in the small nest 
taken on the 3rd inst., it was immediately in the 
centre beneath. 

In the same dyke, at no great distance from the 
site of the above nest and each other, are two nests 
of the V. vulgaris, whilst somewhat farther off is a 
third nest. All the three are strong and in full 
vigour, as are also several other nests of the V. 
vulgaris known of. The latter species of wasp is 
(the V, Gcrmaiiica, perhaps, excepted) the most agres- 
sive and persistent in its attacks upon intruders. If 
you once disturb it at its nest, you cannot again with 
safety tamper with, or indeed go very near the nest ; 
and in its attacks upon an aggressor it hurls itself, as 
it were, against him, and sticks to him : it has to be 
struck off, and is apparently wholly fearless. 

Charles Robson. 

Elswick, Neivcasle-ufion- Tync. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 

Mr. C. H. Hinton, B.A., has written a pleasant 
and lively] brochure, entitled, " Scientific Romances : 
What is the Fourth Dimension ? " 

In the " English Mechanic" we are pleased to see 
that Dr. Van Hewick and Dr. Royston Pigott speak 
in the highest terms of Mr. E. Hinton's " Diatome- 
scope " as an aid in defining the markings and 
strire on diatoms, &c. 

We have received No. 2 of "The Albertian," a 
magazine got up by the boys of Framlingham College. 
The ability which we noted in the first member is 
equally evident in the present. The interest dis- 
played in science is very striking. Two of the 
papers, "A Scene in Autumn," and "A Holiday 
Week in Derbyshire," show considerable natural 
history knowledge. 

Professor Mobius says that flying-fish are 
incapable of flying, for the simple reason that the 
muscles of their pectoral fins are not large enough to 
bear the weight of the body aloft in the air, and that 
what has been mistaken for a rapid muscular 
movement of the fins is only a vibration of the 
elastic membrane. 

A statement is made in the "Colonial Mail" to the 
effect that insects avoid the ground where tomatoes 
grow. Have any of our readers observed this ? If 
it is correct, the information is valuable. 

The recent appearances of the sun-glows, at 
precisely the same period as last year, is regarded by 
Professor Landerer as an argument in favour of their 
cosmical rather than of their volcanic origin. 



Professor Ray Lankester maintains that the 
"comma bacillus " of Dr. Koch is not a bacillus at 
all, but merely the segments of a Spirillum, the 
result of the breaking of a spirillum into little pieces, 
each piece corresponding to a turn of the spire. 

The Trunk Telephone Line between London and 
Brighton was opened the day before Christmas Day, 
and was duly celebrated by a dinner at each end, so 
that the two dinner-parties enjoyed each other's 
speeches, songs, &c, through the mediumship of the 
line. 

Sir Lyon Playfield will be the President of the 
British Association Meeting, which will meet at 
Aberdeen on September 9th. 

Mr. E. B. Knobel, Secretary of the Royal Astro- 
nomical Society, writes from Booking, Braintree, 
under date January 6 : " Encke's comet readily 
picked up this evening, near computed place ; faint, 
with slight condensation of light." 

At a meeting of the Superintendents of National 
Education, at Washington, Dr. B. Joy Jeffries read 
a paper on colour blindness, urging that the three 
primaries are red, green, and violet ; that blindness 
to the latter is so rare that practically colour blind- 
ness means blindness to red or green ; urging also 
the danger of persons with such deficiency being 
employed in many occupations, and the necessity of 
an experimental method of finding it out. 

Colonel Berkeley who has lately returned from 
the Andaman Islands, fished up, with the assistance 
of sixteen men, a very large bivalve Tridacna 
gigautea shell, which weighed 232-lbs. The inside 
measurement of one side of the shell] is 1 yard 
6 inches, and of the outside 1 yard 8 inches. The 
inside is of a beautiful delicate white. The mantle 
of the fish, when taken out, was a beautiful blue 
colour, and the fish made a sufficient meal for the 
sixteen men and their families. The shell is now in 
England. 

The wing of a fossil cockroach has been found in 
the Silurian sandstones of Jurques, Calvados, France. 

Mr. W. H. Charman writes to say that on 
Christmas Day last, he found a total of no fewer 
than 90 species of plants in flower (of which he has 
sent us a list), within a radius of a quarter of a mile 
from Heath End nursery. On the preceding Christ- 
mas Day he found 75 species in bloom in the same 
locality. 

A proposal to connect Sicily with the mainland 
by a submarine railway from Messina to Reggio has 
been made by the Engineering Society of Venice. 

It is a notable sign of the progress which science 
is making in the public mind to observe that this 
year the Times and other newspapers gave a long 
review of scientific discovery in 1884. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



43 



The Royal Society has made arrangements to 
obtain a Photographic Atlas of the stars of the 
southern hemisphere. It will be under the super- 
vision of Dr. Gill, Astronomer Royal at the Cape. 

Dr. C. Callaway has shown that the views 
recently published by Professor A. Geikie concerning 
the extraordinary_thrust of old rocks on to newer strata 
in Sutherlandshire were published by himself as far 
back as the " Geological Magazine " for March 18S3. 

Mr. Wm. Tylor has brought out a simple and 
clean method of using balsam. It is enclosed in 
compressible metal tubes, like those containing moist 
colours, so that the smallest quantity can be expelled 
at will. 



MICROSCOPY. 

Clearing Fluid for Vegetable Tissues. — 
When freshly cut, put the tissues in alcohol for a few 
minutes. Then transfer them to a clearing fluid consist- 
ing of absol. alcohol, and eucalyptus oil in equal parts. 
After remaining in this fluid for ten minutes, place 
them in pure eucalyptus oil, to remove the alcohol. 
Then mount in glycerine jelly. — Dunley Owen, B.Sc. 

Staining Vegetable Tissues.— It seems from 
last month's Science-Gossip that one of your 
correspondents was under the impression that I was 
quoting the method there mentioned as my own. I 
therefore wish to inform him that I had no intention 
of the sort, but unfortunately omitted to state that it 
was quoted from Messrs. Cole's " Methods of 
Microscopical Research," part xi. for June 18S4. It 
is also mentioned in other papers, and one good 
method which I thought would be of use to querists. 
— IV. P. 

Cloudy Mounts.— The cloudiness alluded to at 
p. 1 8 arises from a minute quantity of moisture 
remaining in the tissue, which, as soon as mounted, 
disperses in the form of microscopical bubbles 
through the balsam. If W. H. L. will look at the 
cloudiness under Jin. O.G. he will see that it is so. 
The fault can be corrected by dehydrating the sec- 
tion (see Cole's "Methods of Mounting"), placing it 
first in methylated spirit, then for a few seconds in 
pure alcohol, and then in oil of cloves, when it is 
ready to be mounted in the balsam. I next get rid 
of superfluous oil of cloves by placing the object on a 
bit of clean note paper for half a minute. Blotting- 
paper (which I have heard recommended) is the 
worst possible for this last purpose, as it goes off its 
fibres.— #! IV. Lett, MA, 

The Royal Microscopical Society. — The 
Journal of this Society for December last, besides 
the ably-condensed summary of current researches 
relating to Zoology, Botany, Microscopy, &c, con- 



tains the following papers — " Description and Life- 
History of a new Fungus (Milowia nivea), illustrated 
by G. Massee " ; Notes on the Structural Character 
of the Spines of Echinoidea," by Professor F. Jeffrey 
Bell; and "On some ,Photographs of Broken 
Diatom valves, taken by lamplight," by Dr. Jacob D. 
Cox. 

Lantern Illustrations. —I fear E. W. will 
find some difficulty in obtaining what he requires, 
unless he is ready to pay for the oxy-hydrogen light, 
and to put up with all its inconveniences. But, as a 
step towards carrying out his desires, I may refer 
him to my direct vision camera, as described in 
the " Quekett Journal " for May last, p. 560. This 
might be enlarged so as to show imagos fairly well 
up to 2 feet, "according to the object. If E. W. is in 
London, I shall be happy to see him at the Hackney 
Society's meeting on the 4th February, when I shall 
be repeating this demonstration. — J. D. Hardy. 



ZOOLOGY. 

Helix concinna. — In my list of Maidenhead 
shells in the December number, I forgot to mention 
H. concinna, of which I got one specimen. On 
page 19, it is stated that I found H. rotundata v. 
alba at Addington, in Kent, but on looking at my 
map I find that Addington is just on the Surrey side 
of the border between the two counties. — T. D. 
Cockerell, Bedford Park, Jan. 3. 

Amalia Gagates. — A few days ago I found some 
slugs at Acton and Bedford Park, in Middlesex, 
which Mr. Roebuck, of Leeds, has identified as A. 
gagates var. plumbea. This species_is, I believe, quite 
new to the London district, the nearest records I can 
find being Hastings and Christchurch. With the 
gagates I found Amalia marginata, type and v. 
mgrescens ; Limax agrestis, type and vars. tristis and 
sylvatica, Limax flavus, L. maximus v. suhunicolor, 
Arion hortensis, and others. — T. D. A. Cockerell, 
51, Woodstock Road, Bedford Park. W. 

Night Heron in Scotland. — On " the 14th 
November last, a fine specimen of the Night Heron, 
{Nycticorax griseus, L.) was presented in the flesh to 
the Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow. The bird, which 
was a female in immature plumage, was caught a few- 
days before by Mr. W. Anderson Smith, of Ledaig, at 
Loch Creran, in Argyleshire, and was in a somewhat 
exhausted condition, having been probably blown out 
of its latitude by the severer storms prevalent at the 
time. The species may be considered rare in Scotland, 
where, since Jardine's time, there are only seven 
examples recorded as having been taken, this being 
the eighth and the first from the West Highlands of 
Scotland. It is a species having a wide distribution, 
being found in both the Old and New World : the 
latter was said to possess a species differing from that 



44 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



found in Europe, but which has now been proved to 
be merely a climatal variety of a slightly larger size, 
but not differing in colour. — J. M. Campbell. 

Rossia MACROSOMA (Belle C///aje).— This interest- 
ing little squid is of rare occurrence on our shores, 
and has not, as far as I know, been observed in the 
West of Scotland. During last summer a specimen 
was taken in Loch Creran, Argyleshire, by Mr. W. 
Anderson Smith, of Ledaig, and by him presented to 
the Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow. — y. M. Campbell. 

Daubenton's Bat in Renfrewshire. — On 
Wednesday evening, 20th August, 1884, Mr. Stewart, 
George Street, Paisley, when insect hunting at 
Cragienfeich, near Paisley, caught a bat in an insect- 
net out of a flock, which on examination, proved to 
be Daubenton's bat ( Vespertilio Daubentoni). I 
received the bat alive from Mr. Stewart, which I 
kept for some time, and the following are observations 
on its habits. For food it got fragments of raw mice 
flesh, pieces of tinned salmon (of which it was very 
fond), and flies. Each fragment of food was seized 
with a sudden jerk, and often with a peculiar file-like 
cry. In masticating it moved its jaws very rapidly — 
so much so as to produce an optical illusion. It was 
very fond of drinking, either water or milk, which, 
from a teaspoon, it lapped with its tongue like a cat, 
but rather quicker. It generally suspended itself in 
its cage by the hind feet, and the head downwards ; 
and in that position dressed its wings with its tongue, 
and with one of its hind feet combed its fur. After 
the bat was kept in the cage for some days, it was 
set at liberty in the house. It often crept on the floor 
on " all fours," moving amazingly quickly from place 
to place with an odd hobbling motion. From the 
floor it often arose to wing with graceful ease. Its 
flight was but moderately quick. During the evening 
and forepart of the night, it spent much of its time 
on wing, hunting house flies. It was a noble hunter, 
only killing the flies when they were on wing. When 
it found the flies resting on anything, it set them to 
flight by bringing its wings close and suddenly past 
them. At first this method set the flies to flight ; but 
latterly they were less willing to rise, as if they knew 
their fate. On the evening of the 27th August it 
took a large fly, and alighted on my shoulder, where 
it ate it all save the wings. It was seldom observed 
to eat the wings of flies. I would recommend the use 
• of this bat for keeping down house flies, but it has 
somewhat of a disagreeable smell. Once or twice it 
hid about the top of my bed, and its whereabouts 
were unknown ; but on the return of night it came 
out on wing. When thus hidden, it came forth about 
3 p.m., on the 1st September, when it was nearly 
dark, on the approach of a heavy thunder rain. On 
the 28th August its weight was 2" 125 drams, avoird. 
On the 7th September it was found dead, hanging in 
its cage by the hind feet, after being eighteen days in 
captivity. — Taylor, Sub-curator, Museum, Paisley. 



BOTANY. 

Nepeta Glechoma. — The variegation is caused 
by an insect which burrows underneath the epi- 
dermis, and feeds on the soft cellular tissue of the 
plant, leaving the epidermis intact, and producing 
beneath it cavities ; thus giving to those portions 
lighter colour than the rest of the leaf. I do not 
know of any work on the subject, and can therefore 
only speak from my own observations. I have seen 
it in other plants, but have noticed that it especially 
affects the Nepeta glechoma. — Dunlcy Owen, B.Sc. 

A " Glastonbury Thorn." — On the 20th of 
November last, near Ipswich, I gathered a sprig of 
hawthorn in full bloom giving out its characteristic 
odour. The same branch bore both flowers and 
fruit. Being so near Christmas, I thought this was 
not an unapt illustration of how the " Glastonbury 
thorn " might have been developed, without the 
aid of any other miracle than those which are taking 
place every day around us. — y. E. Taylor. 

The Botanical Record Club has published 
its Report for 18S3, which will be gladly welcomed 
by all practical botanists, and prove invaluable to all 
practical botanists. It contains, in a compact and 
tabulated form, all the most recent "finds" in 
phanerogamic and cryptogamic botany. 

" The Sagacity and Morality of Plants." — 
I am not alone in holding this view, or in advocating 
it ; nor is the subject so far-fetched as some at first 
thought suppose. Thus at a recent meeting of the 
Linnean Society, Mr. Alfred Tylor read a paper 
"On the Growth of Trees and Protoplasmic Con- 
tinuity," his chief object being to show the principles 
that underlie the individuality of plants, and to prove 
that plants have a certain sort of intelligence, and 
are not merely an aggregation of tissues responsive to 
the direct influence of light. Not only this, but that 
the tree as a whole knows more than its branches, 
just as the species knows more than the individual, 
and the community than the unit. The result of 
Mr. Tylor's experiments, which have extended over 
many years, has been to show that many plants and 
trees can adapt themselves to unfamiliar circum- 
stances, such as avoiding obstacles artificially placed 
in their way, by bending aside before touching, or by 
altering the leaf arrangement so that, at least, as- 
much voluntary power must be accorded to such 
plants as to certain lowly-organised animals. Finally, 
Mr. Tylor contends that a connecting system, by 
means of which combined movements take place, is 
to be found in the threads of protoplasm which unite 
the various cells, and that this connecting system is 
found even in the new wood of trees. He has 
observed that most new wood points upwards, but 
year after year it changes its position, showing great 
mobility even in old wood. — y. E. Taylor. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



45 



Botanical Ingratitude.— Mr. J. M. Macfar- 
lane, of Edinburgh, has just given in "Nature" the 
result of his study of the pitcher plant {Nepenthes 
bicalcarata) . Its flowers are dioecious, so that the 
services of insects are necessary to carry the pollen 
from one flower to the other. Mr. Macfarlane says 
that the same structures which by their secretions 
attract insects for aiding in fertilisation, also lure 
them to the fatal " pitcher," so that their dead bodies 
may help in the nutrition of the plant. 

Abnormity of Plants. — In my garden last 
summer a few peculiar " freaks of nature " occurred. 
In a plant of the new tall French poppy the two 
peduncles, or flower stems on one plant, being united 
together at the top for about a foot, the stems being 
separate at the bottom for a few inches, the two 
flowers were perfect blooms, and the plant was a free 
growing one, unstaked or tied up in any way. The 
same kind of abnormality occurred to many plants in 
a bed of Linnianthcs douglasii, one plant in particular 
having the peduncles united together so as to become 
an inch and a quarter in width, while of the usual 
thickness. This feature was also to be seen in the 
Canterbury bell. Can this be due in any way to the 
dry summer ? — J. C. S., Penrith. 



GEOLOGY, &c. 

A Buried Valley.— In connection with the 
Mersey Tunnel, now so rapidly approaching comple- 
tion, a discovery has been recently announced of 
considerable importance to geologists. It was ex- 
pected that during the progress of the works evidence 
would be afforded on the question of the pre-glacial 
river valley which, it was predicted by Mr. T. 
Melkrd Reade, F.G.S., so long ago as in 1S72, 
would be found to exist below the level of the present 
valley of the Mersey. Mr. Reade's deductions were 
based upon certain borings at Widnes, and the 
upper reaches of the Mersey, revealing an unexpected 
gorge deep below the "drift," on which the town of 
Widnes stands, and connecting the rocky bed above 
Runcorn Gap with that below it by a regular gradient. 
The course of the pre-glacial river was presumed to 
be, in the main, identical with that of the existing 
river Mersey. It now appears that, at about 300 
yards from the Liverpool side, the upper part of the 
tunnel intersects for a distance of about 100 yards a 
gorge filled with boulder clay, containing erratics. 
The clay is hard, and of the usual type of lower 
boulder clay elsewhere found resting on the triassic 
sandstone. Well-rounded boulders of granite, 
felstone, and greenstone were taken out of the clay. 
The rock through which the tunnel is cut belongs to 
the pebble beds division of the bunter sandstone, and 
was found to be remarkably free from faults. The 
tunnel is now, we believe, completely arched in under 



the river, all difficulties having been surmounted 
with entire success. The pre-glacial valley of the 
Mersey is now, therefore, an admitted fact. The 
discovery affords a very complete proof of the truth of 
Mr. Reade's theory, submitted over twelve years ago. 

The Liverpool Geological Society.— The 
Proceedings of this Society for the last session 
contain the following highly interesting papers : 
" On a Section across the Trias recently exposed by a 
Railway Excavation in Liverpool," by G. H. Morton ; 
" Experiments on the Circulation of Water in Sand- 
stone," byT. H. Reade, "On Indented Pebbles in 
the Bunter-sandstone, near Prescot," by Dr. Charles 
Recketts ; and the Address of the President (Mr. D. 
Mackintosh) on " The Time which has elapsed since 
the close of the Glacial Period." 

Obituary.— It is with deep regret we have to 
chronicle the death of one of the most active contri- 
butors to field geology of modern times, Mr. S. V. 
Wood, of Martlesham, near Woodbridge. Mr. 
Wood's name is associated more particularly with 
Pliocene and Pleistocene geology, and only in our 
last number we recorded his new discovery of beds of 
crag age in Cornwall. In spite of his wonderful 
intellectual activity, Mr. Wood has for years been a 
great sufferer. Another geologist of note who has 
recently died is Mr. Alfred Tylor, brother of the 
distinguished ethnological writer and discoverer. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Food of Tortoises.— In reply to an inquiry in 
your issue of Science-Gossip for November, from 
K. H. J. respecting the food of a land tortoise, I 
have found one thrive well on dandelions, grass, and 
buttercups, and even a few rose leaves. It sometimes 
took a little milk, but preferred water. Little food 
is required in winter. — A. U. 

Late Swallows.— It may be interesting to note 
that on the afternoon of the 14th November, while 
walking in a lane near Exmouth, I saw about a dozen 
swallows (house martins). The day was fine and 
clear, and they were flying high above the tree-tops, 
evidently hawking for insects. On the 21st I again 
saw several swallows early in the day, not far from 
the same place. On this occasion some friends living 
near also observed them. — E. S., Exmouth. 

Mounting Insects, &c— I shall be glad of any 
and all information which will enable me to mount 
for the microscope the head of a spider and similar 
objects as an opaque preparation for reflected light 
preserving, without contraction, the natural colours 
and appearance of the head and eyes. Also, to 
know where the pure tin cells with caps or covers (of 
which I remember to have heard or read) can be 
procured. — J. JZ. Brokenshire. 

A Hybernating Cuckoo. — One of the strangest 
tales about a cuckoo was recently related to me that 
I ever heard, and had it not been told me by a friend 
in whose veracity I have the most unlimited faith, 



46 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



I should not have deemed it worth recording. 
Having requested my friend to write down the facts, 
I send them in his own words. "Remembering 
your request, I will now fulfil my promise to send you 
all the particulars I could obtain respecting the 
cuckoo that spent a winter in England. The bird 
was reared when young by hand from the nest, and 
became quite domesticated, flying in and out of the 
house occupied by a farm labourer, whose father was 
an invalid, who never left his room, and who pre- 
vented the bird being disturbed after taking up its 
place on a clothes peg over his bed, in which 
position the bird remained the whole of the winter, 
without moving or taking any food, apparently in 
quite a dormant state. In the month of April it flew 
away uttering the usual 'cuckoo, cuckoo,' and was 
seen no more. The bird on the perch was a familiar 
object to all who entered the cottage during that 
winter and continued to excite astonishment. This 
occurred some years since in the village of 
Humphrey's End, near Stroud, Gloucestershire." 
Surely some witnesses can still be found of such an 
extraordinary event amongst the residents of 
Humphrey's End, and your readers, like myself, 
would like to know what they have to say about this 
hybernating cuckoo. — W. P., Shrewsbury. 

A White Sparrow. — On the 2nd of October 
last, I got from one of the porters at the railway 
station here a beautiful specimen of what may be 
termed a "white sparrow." It had been frequenting 
the station for some time back, and had been traced 
to its roosting-place in the goods shed, where it was 
caught at night by means of a lantern. Its head and 
neck is pure white, its breast and belly of a dull 
white, the forepaws of the wings pure white, the 
flight feathers of the usual colour, centre feathers of 
the tail white, its beak and legs of a very light 
colour with a faint tinge of yellow. I have kept it in 
a cage since I got it, and it is now getting very tame. 
— A. F., Anstruther, N.B. , ; 

Golden Eagles' Eggs. — The relation of a friend 
of mine has in captivity a female golden eagle that 
has this past season laid two eggs of which I am now 
the fortunate possessor. They are of the usual dull 
white colour, and one of them only has the reddish- 
brown markings on it which are rather faint ; the 
other is almost a uniform dull white, with scarcely a 
mark on it. Would the fact of the eagle being kept 
in captivity have anything to do with the marks on 
the eggs ? And is it not remarkable that an eagle 
kept in captivity should lay at all? Perhaps some 
of the numerous readers of Science-Gossip would 
kindly give me this information. — A. F., Anstruther, 
N.B. 

Twin Flowers on same Stalk. — I have ob- 
served the same peculiarity as R. H. Wellington 
mentions in your issue of January, not only on dahlia 
stems, but on hellebore with purple flowers. — S. A. B., 
Cushendun. 

Large Unios and Anodons. — My December 
note seems to have been a little misunderstood. I 
did not cite my 64 in. A. cygnaus as in any way 
extreme, specimens quite equalling the largest men- 
tioned on p. 22 (9 in.) having been found profusely, 
I am told, in Victoria Park, London, a few years back. 
The record of U. pictorum up to 5 T 3 6 in. is most interest- 
ing as being by no means general. A critical synopsis 
of authenticated maximal lengths would form a valu- 
able addition to future works on this subject, especially 
if accompanied by short notes of habitat, as bearing 
on the elaboration of shell-matter. Do the most 



prolific areas produce the largest forms as well? — 
Ernest G. Harmer. 

Yucca. — Is it usual for the yucca to blossom out- 
of-doors in midwinter? At the present time three 
plants of one of the yucca species have each a fine 
spike. The heights are respectively, thirteen inches, 
fifteen inches, and eighteen inches, clear of the stalk 
supporting them. They have not developed into a 
panicle, nor, I should think, are they likely to do so. 
We have now (December 31st) had frost for a week, 
and yet the spikes are only slightly touched by it. 
These plants are to be seen on the south-east terrace 
of a house ; the house coming between them and the 
sea. Birkdale is a suburb of Southport, about seven- 
teen miles from Liverpool, and on the shore of the 
Irish Sea. — H. M., Birkdale. 

The Anatomy of the Cockroach. — The 
authors of the most interesting and instructive papers 
upon the anatomy of the cockroach recently published 
in Science-Gossip would confer an additional favour 
upon your readers if they would describe the methods 
adopted by them in preparing the specimens from 
which their drawings were made. — J. II. Moorhead. 

Lion and Tiger. — I should be glad if some 
zoologist would explain what appears to me a 
difficulty in natural history, and that is, placing the 
lion and tiger in the same genus (Felis), as they are 
so very dissimilar in many respects. The lion has a 
tuft on his tail. Mr. Dallas, in his Natural History, 
writes, " In the typical genus (Felis) the tail is much 
elongated, but destitute of a tuft, and the skin is 
almost always marked with stripes or spots." The tiger 
has retractile claws ; lions have not. The cat family 
climbs trees — lions do not. The cats live in the woods, 
lions roam on the plains ; besides, there are other 
differences between the two animals which will 
occur to your readers. I have talked this matter 
over with a sportsman, who was well acquainted 
with them in their native haunts, and shot many ; he 
agrees with me that they should have a separate class. 
— S. A. Brenan, Cushendun. 

Recent Suggestions. — -Two capital observations 
or suggestions have recently appeared in Science- 
Gossip. One of these refers to the tide of bricks, 
mortar and plaster which is surging all around 
London, and which in its course threatens to so 
materialise the suburbs that scarcely any vestige of 
natural beauty or power will survive. Green fields, 
trees, wild flowers, &c, will rapidly disappear, and 
the wearied artisan, the rambler, the naturalist, will 
alike be deprived of their rural_haunts of pleasure and 
instruction. Epping Forest has been preserved, 
thanks to the energy of some naturalist, or sports- 
man, I forget which ; and now Highgate Wood 
with its flowers and birds, Hornsey with its pleasant 
landscapes and walks, Muswell Hill rich in the 
romance of geology, &c, are threatened with the 
inevitable. Even the very presence of houses in any 
considerable number seems deleterious to vegetation. 
During last summer I spent many weeks in Patter- 
dale, perhaps the most retired and beautiful valley 
in all England, and I can amply testify to the lavish 
and beautiful efflorescence there to be seen. The wild 
roses, the campions, the fox-glove, the stitch-worts, the 
cranesbills, the wound-worts, the garlics, the burnets, 
&c, were exquisite in colour and of a larger size than 
those commonly known to townsfolk. The other 
suggestion, which I alluded to, refers to the establish- 
ment in a suitable part of London of a popular obser- 
vatory. I understand that about ten years ago there 
did exist some sort of peep-show observatory some- 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



47 



where in or near the Euston Road. How it managed 
to go "down the hill," is more than I can say ; but 
that it was not a very remunerative concern seems 
evinced by the fact that, to my knowledge at least, 
nothing of the sort has ever been established since. 
We all remember what a fine show there was at the 
Education Department of the Healtheries Exhibition. 
In a mechanical point it seemed almost perfect ; but 
nevertheless it is true that the scientific culture of the 
English public mind has proceeded much slower than 
that of most foreign nations. We read that during the 
eclipse of October last, the French Government pro- 
vided in the streets of Paris a number of telescopes 
for the gratuitous use of the public. When will the 
British Government be so far actuated by British 
public opinion or feeling, or whatever it be, as to act 
in a similar manner ? — P. Quin Keegan, LL.D. 

Sewage Schemes. — In Science - Gossip for 
September there is an article on sewage which 
reminds me of a plan which is adopted with great 
success in Copenhagen. It is merely this, that there 
is a division by which the liquid is run off from the 
house into the drains. There is nothing in the smell 
from the residue ; in fact, I could not perceive any in a 
large hotel in Copenhagen. The ammonia from the 
liquid is by no means injurious to health ; of this we 
have had ample experience in Smithfield. Of earth 
closets — to make a slop as is done in earth closets, and 
then to put in earth to dry it up, seems a round- 
about way to get rid of a nuisance. I have very little 
doubt, that (in crowded places especially) the Copen- 
hagen plan will have to be adopted. Gas water 
contains considerably more ammonia than the liquid 
which is absorbed in the earth closets, and as this 
gas water is sold for less than a penny a gallon for 
heating sulphate of ammonia, such liquid as runs 
into the drains at Copenhagen is probably not 
worth attending to except in particular situations. — 
J. G., Malvern. 

A Musical Mouse. — One evening in the summer 
of 1883, I noticed a mouse making a peculiar noise in 
the sitting-room of my house. The noise resembled 
that made by a kettle just beginning to boil, or a 
sort of low whistle, and was very clear and distinct. 
This singing (?) power appeared to be under the 
control of the mouse, for as the little creature moved 
about in search cf stray crumbs over the carpet, it 
ceased occasionally, and also when alarmed, as the 
animal hurried off. I observed the little visitor 
hundreds of times afterwards, and it always made the 
same (by no means unpleasant) noise, when out in 
the room foraging. After some months, however, it 
mysteriously disappeared without apparent reason. 
A friend of mine informs me that this "musical" 
power, though uncommon has been observed before, 
and is the result of some disease to which the animal 
must have succumbed. I have also been informed 
by others, that it is a natural peculiarity. Would 
any contributor to this Journal kindly give a true 
solution to the mystery, or particulars of similar 
cases that may have been observed ? — S. H. Vcale. 

Black Rat. — The black rat is still to be met with 
at most of the London docks, and, although it does 
not now occur so frequently as in years past, it can 
hardly be considered rare. The war of extermination 
carried on by the Norway or sewer rat against the 
black rat, means, that not only does it kill its victim 
but devours it too. A friend of mine employed at 
one of the docks, has occasionally found skins of 
freshly killed black rats, turned inside out, in various 
drawers, boxes, &c. ; this seems to be the usual 



process with rats. For experiment I have given the 
carcass of a white rat, to a black and white variety, 
and observed the same result — only a few bones of 
the head remaining attached to the skin. — F. W. 
Halfpenny. 



NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than heretofore, we cannot 
possibly insert in the following number any communications 
which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others.— We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the " exchanges " offered are fair 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken of our gratuitous insertion of 
" exchanges " which cannot be tolerated. 

We request that all exchanges may be signed with name (or 
initials) and full address at the end. 



Vicar. — The " Popular Science Review " is not now in 
existence. It has been defunct about five years. 

Miss L. — We do not insert exchanges gratuitously in which 
the word " cash " occurs. Those are " sales," not " exchanges," 
and have to be paid for as advertisements. 

J. Ellison. — Your shells are: 1. Anodonta anatina; 2. 
Unio pictorum ; 3. Unio, sp. (?) (American) ; 4. U. tumidus • 
5. Paludinavivipara; 6. Limnea auricularia. 

G. Smith and others. — We will let our readers know con- 
cerning the proposed General Index in time. The last was 
published in 1876, price Sd. It included the contents of the first 
12 volumes, and may be had of our publisher. 

B.Sc. — Thanks for the interest you take in our journal, but 
we think it would be a mistake to leave out the botanical names 
in the description of plants, &c, and give only the trivial names. 
It would open the door to considerable inaccuracy and misun- 
derstanding. 

C. G. D. (Guernsey).— Your Coralline is a very fine speci- 
men of the Polyzoon, Eschara foliacea, not uncommon in the 
deeper parts of the sea oft" our southern coasts. 

G. T. — The last edition of Carpenter's " Microscope " was 
published in 1883. It is a fine work, and will fully serve your 
purpose, and answer every question relating to practical micro- 
scopic work. 

J. E. C, jun. — The last number of the Proceedings of the 
Geologists' Association was published in October, and may be 
had of E: Stanford, Charing Cross, price is. 6d. 

J. M. B. Taylor. — Many thanks. All your notes will appear 
in due course. 

W. J. "J. — Rimmer's "Manual of Land and Fresh-water 
Shells" is the best. Nearly all the species are there photo- 
graphed, price io.r. 6d. There is no regular work on the fossils 
of the chalk, but you will find a good deal about them in the 
various works of Dr. Mantell, (" Medals of Creation," 2 vols. ; 
"Geology of the Isle of Wight," &c), or in "Our Common 
British Fossils, and where to find them," by J. E. Taylor, 
which will be published in March next. 

Alchemist.— Meldola's "Elementary Text Books on Che- 
mistry," are among the best used in connection with the South 
Kensington Examination. They are cheap, and published by 
Murby & Co. Apply to Messrs. Churchill, publishers, for in- 
formation respecting an elementary text-book on Medicine. 

R. Connor. — No sketches of objects were enclosed in your 
letter. If you will send them we will do our best to identify 
them. 

A. Shaw. — We do not undertake to name foreign objects of 
Natural History. The shells shall be looked up and forwarded 
to you. 

S. A. Brenan. — The "fungoid growth" was a species of 
Nostoc— the so-called " Witch's Butter." Specimens sent to be 
named are not returned. The one you forwarded us was in a 
state of high decay when it reached us. 



EXCHANGES. 

Wallroth's (Latin) " Compendium Florae Germanicas " 
(1831), vol. iii., containing the rhizopterides, equisetum, ferns, 
lycopods, hepaticse, mosses, and lichens, 654 pp., in strong 
pocket-book binding, to be exchanged for books or specimens 
illustrating the fungi. — W. B. Grove, 269 St. Vincent Street, 
Birmingham. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip for February and March, 1884.— 
G. A. Grierson, 74 Market Place, Sheffield. 



43 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Wanted, to exchange with some one living in North Brftain, 
mosses and hepaticse from Gloucestershire. — E. J. Elliott, 
Middle Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire. 

Ceylon insects, mainly lepidoptera, to exxhange for other 
exotic lepidoptera or entomological micro, slides . — Surgeon 
Clements, Army Medical Staff, care of P.M. O., Ceylon. 

Offered, a geologicil collection of from eighty to a hundred 
well-selected and named specimens for good chemical balance ; 
or what offers in books either on geology, botany, chemistry, or 
animal physiology ? — J. T. Backland, 93 High Street, Paisley, 
N.B. 

What offers in dried plants for Ophioglossum Lusitanicum ? 
— Apply, Free Museum, Paisley, N.B. 

Wanted, bats, any others than the common, long-eared, or 
Daubenton's bats, either bkins or in flesh, for palmated smooth 
newt [Lissottiton palmipcs), in spirit. — J. T. Backland, 93 High 
Street, Paisley, N.B. 

X. Unmouni ed spores of Equisetitm arvense (very curious) for 
well-mounted slide or prepared material. — W. Sim, Gourdas, 
Fyvie, N.B. 

Duplicates: L. stagnalis and P. corneus (very fine), L. 
peregra, P. complanatits, P. spirorbis, D. polymorpJia, H . pi- 
sana, H. lupicida, var. alba of H . virgata, H. caperata, H . 
arbustorum, H. ericetorum, H. rufescens, C. rngosa, &c. — 
Desiderata very numerous, land, freshwater, and marine shells ; 
also algae. — W. Hewett, 26 Clarence Street, York. 

Humatopinus atini 'and other well-mounted slides in exchange 
for lantern photos or micro slides. — Dr. Moorhead, Errigle, 
Cootehill, Ireland. 

Eighteen packets of unmounted microscopic material sent 
in exchange for one well-mounted slide and stamp. — M. B., 
9 Kirkdale, Sydenham, S.E. 

A large quantity of British and foreign shells, minerals, &c, 
in exchange for a small white wood microscopical cabinet, glass 
door required, to hold 144 slides. — M. B., 9 Kirkdale, Syden- 
ham, S.E. 

Wanted, English, silver, and copper coins, tokens, and 
medals ; good exchange offered in fossils and other objects of 
natural history. — F. Stanley, Margate. 

Wanted, well-mounted slides of eggs of insects, moth eggs 
preferred ; first-class slides in exchange. — George Timmins, 
Syracuse, N.Y., U.S.A. 

Wanted, October, i863, number of "Anthropological 
Review," a fair price, or a copy of " A Few Words on Zoology," 
together with "A Short Account of Giraffe," by J. H. Garrit, 
given in exchange ; also Vogt, " Lectures on Man," English 
translation, if not very expensive. — John H. Garfit, The Cairns, 
Boston, Lincolnshire. 

Duplicates : Rhamni, Cardui, Atalanta, Tages, Selene, 
Tithonus, Adonis, Corydon, S. popidi, Oculea, Lllmata, Chi, 
Bipunctaria, Festucae, Glyphica, Illumaria, Betularia, Comitata, 
Bucephala, Perla, Caeruleocephala, Menthastii, Auriflua. De- 
siderata: British birds' eggs, side blown, or butterflies and 
moths. — F. J. Rasell, 30 Argyle Street, S. James End, 
Northampton. 

Duplicates: Io, Atalanta, Corydon, Cardamines, Linea, 
S. popidi, Ligustri, Z. Trifolii, Potatoria, Bucephala, Betularia, 
Atomaria, Piniaria, Rhomboidaria, Perla, Instabilis, Cubicu- 
laris, Haworthii, Libatrix, Meticulosa, OxycanthaeJ Spadicea, 
Lota, Hybridalis, Cerella. Desiderata numerous. Accepted 
offers answered by return of post. — George Balding, Ruby 
Street, Wisbech. 

British birds' eggs. — Duplicates: coot, moorhen, red-legged 
partridge, &c. Desiderata very numerous. — George Balding, 
Ruby Street, Wisbech. 

Wanted, odd back numbers of scientific periodicals : Science- 
Gossip, "Nature," "Zoologist," "Journal of Conchology," 
&c. Will give in return a good series of British Shells. — S. C. 
Cockerell, 51 Woodstock Road, Bedford Park, Chiswick, W. 

Shells for exchange : L. glutinosa, A. acicula, Z. e.xcavatus, 
Bulla hydatis, Lit. ncritoides, Physa acuta (from Kew 
Gardens), and many others. Wanted, Acme, Vertigo, and 
varieties of nemoralis, hortensis, &c. — S. C. Cockerell, 51 Wood- 
stock Road, Bedford Park, Chiswick, W. 

Micro slides offered in exchange for scientific books and 
instruments. — Samuel M. Malcolmson, M.D., 55 Great Victoria 
Street, Eelfast. 

Fossils. — Over 400 specimens, miocene, eocene, chalk, lias, 
oolite, from Red Crag, Bognor, Barton Cliff, Shepton Mallet, 
Lyme Regis, and Portland ; also a few mineral and rock speci- 
mens from Cornwall, in exchange for two pairs of canaries for 
breeding purposes, or Morriss's "British Birds." — T. Lawson, 
9 Marshall Street, Golden Square, W. 

Offers wanted in exchange for 240 birds' eggs, many varie- 
ties, both land and water birds. — Alfred Draper, Abbey Dale 
Road, Sheffield. 

Wanted, microscopist's collecting case, net, &c. — A. Draper, 
275 Abbey Dale Road, Sheffield. 

Wanted, members for Botanical Evercirculator. Full par- 
ticulars on application to — T. F. Uttley, 17 Brazennose Street, 
Albert Square, Manchester. 

Wanted, back numbers of Science-Gossip, from commence- 
ment to present date, to complete volumes. Send list of spare 
numbers for exchange to— T. F. Uttley, 17 Brazennose Street, 
Albert Square, Manchester. 



Science-GosS'P, clean, 1S82, 1883, 1884, plates of "Graphic 
Microscopy." What offers?— John Kitchin, Grosvenor Place, 
Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham. 

Science-Gossip, 1880 (unbound and in good preservation), 
for good scientific (natural history) book of same value. — Arthur 
Ayling, Tarrant Street, Arundel, Sussex. 

Offered, "Scientific Recreations" (unbound and in excel- 
lent condition^, for vols. ii. or iii. of "Science for All," or other 
good scientific books or periodicals. — Arthur Ayling, Tarrant 
Street, Arundel, Sussex. 

Wanted, Continental plants in exchange for other Conti- 
nental or English plants. — A. R. Waller, Low Ousegate, York. 

1500 British moths (many rare), including 400 species, for 
exchange for a similar collection of British Coleoptera ; also 
foreign butterflies for foreign Carabidae and Longicornia. — 
Delancey Dods, 47 Chepstow Place, Bayswater. 

Most of the Longicornes and many of the Chrysomela 
and Geodephaga for exchange. Desiderata : marine shells, 
British and foreign. Lists sent. — G. Pullen, Free Library and 
Museum, Derby. 

Wanted, fossils from Upper Miocene, Middle Eocene of 
France, Upper Miocene of Belgium and Germany, Solenhofen 
stone ; also foreign land, marine, and freshwater shells. Offered, 
fossils and shells. — Miss Linter, Arragon Close, Twickenham. 

Polariscopic. — In exchange for any good micro photograph, 
I will forward a very beautiful slide of copper sulphate, showing 
circles on variegated ground. — Mathie, 42 McKinlay Street, 
Glasgow. 

Offered, Science-Gossip for 1883, in clean separate copies; 
also with covers off for binding 1874 and 1875. Wanted, books 
on British Flora. — A. V., Mount Cottage, Red Hill, Surrey. 

Offered, Black's "Three Feathers," 6s. edition, one vol., 
post free, for last number of " Popular Science Review," edited 
by Dallas, post free. Wanted, terms for this quarterly, second- 
hand, post free. — Vicar, Salcombe Regis, Sidmouth. 

Wanted, to purchase a few specimens of flint implements 
(British). — F. Chams, 10 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford. 

Reptiles in spirits, young crocodile, whip snake, viper, sea 
snakes, scorpion, centipede, <&c.,in exchange for flint and stone 
implements, or British birds' skins. — R. McAldowie, 12 St. 
Nicholas Street, Aberdeen. 

Good specimens of British butterflies wanted in exchange 
for local British plants. — F. and C. Towndrow, 2 Commercial 
Buildings, Malvern Linlc. 

Will exchange a good selection of several hundred dried 
specimens of British plants, for restoration or Elizabethan 
dramas or poetry. Offers requested, silence negative. — W. 
Roberts, jun., Heamoor, Penzance, Cornwall. 

Offered, "Illustrated Science Monthly," first two volumes, 
cost 10s. ; wanted, botanical or other slides, lepidoptera, pupa;, 
&c. — S. M. Wellwood, 320 Duke Street, Glasgow. 

Pinnules of Neuroptcris gigantea, from the coal measures of 
South Staffordshire, given in exchange for other fossils. — A. M., 
Martin's Hill House, Dudley. 

Wanted, good material for mounting, more especially insects 
(in spirit) ; also a quantity of any one insect (providing it is not 
common) ; well-mounted slides given in exchange. — C. Collins, 
25 St. Mary's Road, Harlesden, N.W. 

Microscopic slides, by Watson & Son, to exchange for 
others of similar value. — A. P. Williamson, Chapel Alberton, 
Leeds. 

" Longman's Magazine," vols. 1-4 ; " English Illustrated 
Magazine," vol. i. (both unbound) ; Cassell's "Illustrated Read- 
ings," (2 vols, bound in one) ; offered in exchange for fossils, 
corals, shells, &c. — H. L. E., 34 Ling Street, Liverpool. 



BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED. 
"Authors and Their Works," by Rev. Dr. Brewer.— "The 
Magic Lantern and its Management," by T. C. Hepworth, 
(both from Chatto & Windus). — " Midland Natura- 
list." — "Gentleman's Magazine." — " Belgravia." — " Science 
Monthly." — " Ben Brierley's Journal."— " Science." — "Ameri- 
can Naturalist." — " Canadian Entomologist." — " Medico-legal 
Journal of New York'" — " American Monthly Microscopical 
Journal." — "The Botanical Gazette." — " Revue des deux 
Mondes." — " La Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." — " Cosmos." 
&c. &c. &c. 



Communications received up to 12TH ult. from :— 
T. M. R.— G. T. G.— D. O.— J. D. H.— W. G. C— W. R. P. 
—J. F.-W. R.— E. O. M.— J. C. M.— W. S.— J. R. B.— 
E. G. H.— W. T.— H. M.— T. H. M.— W. D.— Dr. P. Q. K.— 

E. W. O'M.— M. B.— J. E.— F. M.— F. S.— G. T.— J. H. G.— 
C. S.— F. J. R— W. R., jun.— S. A. B.— W. H. C— S. R.— 
S. M. M.— J. E. L.— T. F. W.— A. D.— W. W. B.— W. M.— 
T. L.— J. M'C— A. V.— F. C— W. J. B.— A. C— W. M.— 
T. D. A. E.— S. C. C— W. J. J.-R. McA.— J. G.— J. K.— 
A. P. F. G.— W. H. P.— D. D.— G. B.-A. A.— A. R. W.— 
S. H. V.— G. P. H.— W. P. C. C— J. W. B.— C. G. De.— 
L. M.— J. B. M. T.— W. R.— A. M.— J. P. G.— H. W. L.— 

F. and C T.-F. W. H.— J. C. S.— A. W. F.— S. M. W.— 

G. E. E.— G. S.— W. R. S.— W. T.— H. F.— H. W. M.— C. R. 
H. L. E.— J. E. C— S. C. C— A. P. W.— W. L. R. C— &c. 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 




E.T.D.deladnat. 



VinceritBrooksDay kSonlith. 



MARINE ALG/£ ; POLYSIPHONIA ELONGATA 



x 50. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



49 




GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T. D. 



NO. XV. — FOLYSIPHONIA ELONGATA. 




HEN plants 
were studied 
only in connec- 
tion with their 
medicinal uses, 
the marine 
algae escaped 
scrutiny, and 
were compara- 
tively neglected 
and unclassified, 
the earlier sys- 
tematic botan- 
ists scarcely 
recognised 
their existence, 
and it is only in 
recent times 
that algology 
has assumed the 
importance of 
a scientific speciality. This is undoubtedly due 
to the improvement in the microscope and its 
accessories. Without this instrument the beauty 
of many of the minute species, and certainly their 
structure and mode of fructification, could never have 
been completely approached, or understood. 

In comparison with land plants, the sea-weeds 
differ greatly, and offer many characteristic peculiari- 
ties, depending on the medium in which they grow, 
influenced by abrupt changes of heat and light, 
affected by localization. 

When botany became a science, sea-weed history 
arrested the attention of patient observers, and the 
dim horizon was illuminated by the researches 
(among others) of Greville, Carmichael, Agardh, 
whose labours were eventually consolidated, and 
enriched by Professor Harvey in the " Phycologia 
Britannica," 4 vols. 1846-51, the greatest work on 
the subject. It might be presumed that to supplement 
such results would be impossible, that nothing 
No. 243. — March 1885. 



remained ! But new varieties are yet to be dis- 
covered, and important facts traced and investigated. 

Of the Florideous Alga; (red filamentous sea- 
weeds), the families Delesseriacese, Ceramiaceae, and 
Rhodomelaceae, are the most delicate, and, under 
microscopic examination, singularly beautiful. Poly- 
siphonia elongata, the subject of the plate, is a genus 
of the latter family, and exhibits a filiform articulated 
frond, the filaments interrupted at the joints by 
tubes sufficiently transparent to reveal the purple or 
pink contents. In this family the number of the tubes 
are distinctive of the genus. The circles of longi- 
tudinal cells surround a central axis, not unlike the 
wood bundles enveloping the pith of a Dicotyledonous 
stem, and very elegant microscopic objects are 
transverse sections of such fronds, showing the 
appearance of rosettes — these twisted filaments are 
covered with a thin cellular tissue ; the disposition 
and arrangement of the cells of minute algae, with 
the brilliant colour of the endochrome, in multi- 
farious combinations, are amongst the most attractive 
objects of microscopical investigation. 

The specimen figured exhibits a condition of 
fructification resulting in " ceramidia," cup-like or 
pitcher-shaped capsules, with membranaceous walls, 
thin and filmy, attached to the sides of the branches, 
and containing at the base numerous pear-shaped 
spores. The drawing was made from a permanently 
mounted preparation, necessarily somewhat flattened ; 
but in a fresh condition, in a deep receptacle, the 
ceramidia show a more decided urn-like, or ovate 
condition; under other conditions, " tetraspores " 
are developed in the central cells of the fronds, and 
"conidia," and " antheridia," in elongated whitish 
sacs at the summit of the branches. 

Specimens are frequently found on scallop shells, 
and at very low tides (after heavy weather) some 
rare forms may be collected, which, under ordinary 
circumstances, could only be procured by dredging. 
On a shelving coast terraced with rocks, it may be 
observed that the algae near high-water mark are 

i> 



5° 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



stunted, scattered, and torn, and as a lower point is 
approached, not only greater variety, but more 
perfect specimens are discoverable, although the 
delicate genera thrive in deep waters unaffected by 
rough tidal influences ; many depending for favour- 
able development on comparative darkness, and con- 
tinuous immersion, may be found in rock pools, and 
this condition is essentially the habitat of the 
polysiphonia. 

Specimens of ceramium, lithothamnion, ptilota, and 
many others (exquisite objects under low powers) 
may be arranged or disposed for future examina- 
tion by floating in a shallow vessel of fresh water, 
lifting them on conveniently-sized pieces of stout 
cartridge paper, and after superfluous water drained 
off, drying in beds of blotting-paper under gentle 
pressure. But for microscopic observation a selected 
portion may be at once placed in a shallow cell, in 
glycerine jelly covered and cemented by the usual 
methods. Growing specimens thrive for a consider- 
able time in small glass vases, or test tubes ; success 
depending on placing them in moderate darkness, 
and even temperature. 

A very simple and useful addition to the " material" 
of a microscopist are pieces of ordinary glass (not too 
thick), three and a half inches square ; between such 
plates, specimens capable of being dried and 
flattened without injury, as portions of fronds of 
ferns, zoophytes, wings and parts of insects, sea- 
weeds, and many various objects may be temporarily 
stored, and thus protected from dust, or fracture. 
The glasses are held together by strips of gummed 
paper bordering the edges ; the advantage being they 
can be examined on the stage of the microscope when 
it is desired to select any part for a permanent 
mount. 

Crouch End. 



NOTES ON MUSICAL MICE, &c. 

MICE to which is given the characteristic term of 
"musical," or sometimes "whistling," or 
" singing," because of a peculiar sound that certain of 
them make, are known to the scientific world, as well 
as to many others. I have had one of these mice in 
my possession for some time, and the following are 
observations made on it. The scientific world, it 
would appear, is divided in opinion as to the music of 
the musical mice, whether it is the effect of disease, 
or a voluntary act. The property in which I dwell is 
new, and when I took possession of it in May last the 
tradesmen were not through with it, and then mice 
were not to be expected in the house, neither did I 
observe any in it, but from the 9th to the 16th June 
a flock of mice took up their abode in the house, 
probably driven hither by the taking down of an old 
property near by. The musical mouse did not make 
its appearance till 23 July, when, towards midnight, 



it came from under the grate, having probably made 
its way to the top of the third story behind the ceiling 
or in holes in the wall. I was at once attracted to 
the mouse by its cry. The mouse wandered from the 
fire-side and took up its abode below a chest of 
drawers — its wherealiouts being well made out by its 
incessant music or cry. I drove it from this retreat ; 
and got it into the dark lobby, where, in pursuing it 
with a lighted taper, I caught it with my hand. I 
may mention that I believe this to have been the 
mouse's first visit to this house, for, in moving through 
the house it looked so like a stranger, yet when they 
are suddenly exposed to light they get somewhat 
bewildered. Of this I have often taken advantage 
where they are numerous, as, for example, in a press 
or cupboard. I have quietly but suddenly brought a 
light into their presence, and in their bewilderment 
have taken them with my hands, either to get rid of 
them, or to have them for investigation. I put the 
musical mouse into a cracked water carafe, in the 
bottom of which was a small hole. To this new 
situation it soon became reconciled. In it it slept 
and ate, and when not sleeping it spent much of its 
time in dressing itself, which it did with great activity 
— sitting on its hind legs, with its tongue, like a cat, 
but double as quick, it licked the fur on its belly, and 
other parts, then licking its fore paws with its tongue, 
it would dress the fur on its face and its ears. During 
all these movements of itself, the music was kept up, 
which, as I observed at the time, and entered in my 
observation book as a " round-squeaking sound." 
The only time I ever observed the music stopped was 
when it got into a very deep sleep. Even when 
pursued to be taken, its musical cry was kept up, but 
only somewhat more rapidly, being caused, no doubt, 
by the greater frequency of its breathing through 
exertion, a fact that would seem to point to the cause 
of the music as some disease of the respiratory organs. 
In this water carafe it remained for over a week, and 
became a favourite with the children — it taking frag- 
ments of meat from their fingers, and, it may be added, 
drank from a teaspoon — lapping with its tongue like 
a cat, but much more rapidly. The children made 
somewhat free with the mouse, and took it from the 
water carafe in feeding it, when it made off, yet it 
never left the house. After its escape from the water 
carafe its cry or music became much changed, its note 
was not the same, and was over a double louder, so 
that its whereabouts behind the ceiling or otherwise 
was known. I often went and surprised it and others 
from the cupboard, from which it would jump making 
a dull thud on the floor, but the others darted 
timorously about to make off. After the mouse had 
been some time at liberty, I got a box trap and set, 
and after taking several other mice in it, the musical 
mouse was secured — and at its music as usual even in 
the trap. It was transferred from the trap to the 
water carafe, which it seemed to remember ; and as 
the carafe was on the floor it had to be removed, and 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



5 1 



to keep the mouse from getting out by the hole in the 
bottom of the carafe I put the palm of my hand over 
it, but to which the mouse made so free use of its 
teeth, that I had to set it quickly down when the 
cracked carafe fell in pieces, and the mouse was again 
free. It scampered somewhat awkwardly across the 
floor, keeping up its musical notes as it went and got 
under the grate. I again set the trap in the same 
place, but had not bright hopes of again getting 
the mouse, but, strange to say, it was in the trap 
again in not many minutes. I could hear the mouse 
go up behind the grate, and from hence behind the 
ceiling to the press where the trap was — its constant 
musical cry being so loud. This was on the 20th 
August, and it was kept and fed in the trap, till a 
cage was made for it, and into which it was put on 
the 23rd. A younger and smaller mouse was put 
into the cage beside the musical mouse on the 24th, 
with which at first there was a fight, but soon after- 
wards both were on good terms and remained 
together till the 27th, when, through the opening of 
one of the wires both escaped. The same day the 
trap was re-set, and by night the musical mouse was 
again in it, and was put back to its cage, and in which 
it has remained to the present time (8th November). 
During this time the mouse has been in my 
possession its note has undergone considerable 
change, and has even at times been stopped. The 
following is an extractive summary from the observa- 
tions : — On 25th August its cry during the night like 
a young chicken when warm under its mother's 
wing — i.e. "wet, wet," the vowel being sounded as in 
" eat." On morning of 26th, a friend came to see it, 
but he was not favoured with its music ; it was 
aroused from its sleep, but he was not long gone 
when it began. On 27th two other mice put into the 
cage ; all agreed well, only they were allowed a 
second share of the food as long as they remained in 
the cage ; 2Sth, the musical mouse quite tame, and 
spends much of its time biting the wires of its cage ; 
29th, little music ; its hair sickly looking ; at 1. 30 p.m. 
all three in a cluster sleeping or resting. September 
1st, the other two mice escaped, and the musical 
mouse in great activity. 2nd, resting and very in- 
active. September 7th, it now takes very sound 
sleep during the day, when it is silent, but at night, 
when out, its note is considerably changed, being 
something like the croak of a frog, or cok-cok- 
cok-cok, in quick succession. About 10th, rests 
much; not so much music; hair getting drier, and 
its back somewhat bent up. October 19th, silent 
during day and Dight, but on 20th at a great height 
— crying in its nest, and during the evening very 
loud, but ate cheese and drank milk very lively ; 
again on the 26th, in the evening, had a violent and 
sudden attack ; its cry loud and rapid, and its body 
with rapid breathing terribly convulsed ; I offered it 
some cream which it lapped from a teaspoon, and 
was relieved. At present (November Sth) the 



creature is still alive and active, but little of its 
music is now heard, but when the ear is brought 
near it a complicated wet-ing sound is heard in its 
breathing. The mouse is the common one, Mus 
vmsculus, a female having six teats, in size moderate, 
but for this locality would be called large where mice 
are smaller than in districts where oats are more in 
use. The inside of the mouse's ears is partly covered 
with warts, akin to what I have often observed on 
sick and dying rats in both town and country. The 
above observations, I think, point to the cause of the 
music as being the effect of disease connected with 
the respiratory organs. Another item that favours 
this is its great fondness for fat or butter. 

Looking on disease as the cause of the so-called 
music in our "musical," "singing," or "whistling" 
mice, we may look around ourselves and consider the 
extent to which such a disease prevails among mice. 
In London musical mice have often been exhibited. 
In vol. i. of the "Zoologist" (1843), there is a 
lengthy notice of one, and again in vol. vii. (1849) 
there are two described as "whistling" mice, and in 
the same an extract is given from "A paper on the 
study of Natural History," by W. D. King, where he 
says "much has been written of late years " on them, 
and he says the music of the mice is a voluntary act. 
In vol. xv. (1857) two singing mice are described, 
and another in vol. xxiii. (1865), and in this case the 
editor, E. Newman, in a note, says he believes it 
"to be the effect of some lung disease, perhaps 
tubercular phthisis ," — which, in short, is consumption. 
The Rev. J. G.Wood in "Illustrated Natural History" 
(1865), makes reference to "singing mice," but leaves 
the reader to come to his own conclusions on the 
subject — whether voluntary or caused by disease ; 
but he, nevertheless, quotes from a long letter by 
the Rev. R. L. Bampfield, Essex, who believes the 
cause to be voluntary. In the first volume of " The 
Science Monthly Illustrated," for the recent year 
(18S4), there are references to musical mice, one being 
by W. B. Kesteven, M.D., in which he says, " I in- 
terpreted this musical performance as being the 
expression of intense gratification, comparable with 
the pleased purring of a cat." Another reference 
in the same magazine is by W. T. Green, F.Z.S., 
who took a small musical mouse that died by the next 
morning and when dissected was seen to be suffering 
from pleuro-pneumonia. In Paisley, here, other six 
musical mice, in addition to the one described, have 
been brought under my notice. One of these which at- 
tracted attention by its cry in a room was to be taken, 
when it got on the window blinds, and its cry was so 
increased in its excitement that its pursuer in awe 
left it. Another of these was tied by a string round 
its neck to a gas pipe on the mantelpiece, where it 
lived and was fed for some time, keeping up its music, 
till, at last, it fell over the edge of the mantelpiece 
and was hanged. 

Taylor, Sub-Curator, Museum, Paisley. 

D 2 



52 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



THE COLOUR OF THE RED SEA. 
By Dr. Stonham. 

OX a recent voyage to the East, our route lay 
through the Red Sea, the water of which is 
usually of a bright sky-blue colour ; but sometimes 
we came to long streaks of a red-brown colour, often 
two or three miles long, but of no great breadth — not 
more than two or three hundred yards. These streaks 
presented an irregular but well-defined border, so 
tliat a glance was sufficient to show the exact line 
v. here the red left off, and the ordinary blue began. 
This same appearance was also observable in the 
Gulf of Aden. I only saw it in calm weather, but 
it is rare that the water is very rough in the Red 
Sea, and I am unable to say whether it is to be seen 
in rough weather or not. 

The favourite theory with the sailors concerning 
this colouring was, that it was due to spawn, but of 
what fish they did not seem very certain; others 
again thought that animalcula caused it. 



matter of a pale yellow colour had taken its place. 
Some of the cylindrical bodies could be observed in 
process of undergoing the change ; the segments at 
one end would be visible, while, at the other, they 
were indistinct and filled with granular material. 

The red appearance of the sea was due to the 
bodies breaking up into this granular material ; 
previous to this they gave no colour observable 
more than a few yards off, and for that distance only 
a slight light brown appearance mixed with the blue. 

I find that Darwin in his " Voyageof a Naturalist," 
mentions that he came across red bands of this kind 
near the Abrohlos Islets off the coast of South 
America, and says that they are due to Conferva? 
of the species Trichodesmium cryt/inaii/i, and that 
they are also found in the sea near x\ustralia. It 
appears, therefore, that they are by no means peculiar 





Fig. 45. — Confervas in bundles. X 40. 

On drawing up some of the water in a bucket, I 
found a reddish scum floating on the top, but mixed 
with this, and also distributed through the body of the 
water, numberless little objects just visible to the 
naked eye, and looking like little pieces of cotton 
finely cut up. These were colourless, if seen singly, 
but, seen in the mass, gave a light brown colour. The 
colour to the sea was given almost entirely by the 
reddish scum. After some of the water had been 
kept standing for twenty-four hours, nearly all these 
little bodies had disappeared, but the scum was 
greatly increased in quantity, being, in fact, formed 
by the degeneration and breaking up of these. 

Under the microscope, they were found to consist 
of bundles of long, jointed, cylindrical bodies, quite 
colourless, and made up of from fifteen to twenty 
segments, each segment being nearly square and 
apparently structureless. The last segment differed 
from the others in shape forming a hook. Thirty to 
forty of these cylindrical bodies were aggregated to 
form each bundle, and it was rare to find one detached 
from the bundle. The hooked ends were not arranged 
all at one end in the bundle, but some at one end, 
some at the other. On examining some of the water, 
that had been kept, I found the bundles very indistinct, 
the structural character was obliterated and a granular 



? 



3 




':>/«i $"//# 



A 



1/ 



Fig. 46. — Single confervae, 
when separated from a 
bundle. X 100. 



mm 

Fig. 47. — Confervae bundle 
breaking down into gra- 
nular material. 



to the Red Sea, and can bear a lower temperature 
than they experience in those hot waters. Their 
distribution in the water in bands of great length 
and little breadth, their well-defined margins, and 
how and when they take their origin, are facts which 
I cannot explain, and concerning which I shall be 
glad to gain information. 



THE VALE OF LLANGOLLEN: 
A PERSONAL VISIT. 

HAVING read with great interest the glowing 
paper written by the Editor of Science- 
Gossip in last July number, of his visit to Llangollen, 
my sister and I determined to visit it ourselves. We 
owe Dr. Taylor thanks for our stay at one of the 
sweetest spots we ever stayed at. Armed with the 
number of SciENCE-Gossil 1 containing his paper, we 
went to Llangollen in the middle of September, and 
visited nearly every locality he names for fossils, and 
our searches were crowned with success. Hafod is a 
wonderful spot. We believe we saw there some of 
the identical huge corals which Dr. Taylor describes as 
being beyond his strength to remove, and there they 
still remain for other admiring eyes to rest upon. My 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



sister and I brought away some exquisite specimens 
from Hafod, also from the Eglwyseg rocks, &c. At 
the " World's End " we found very fine Productus. 
In a quarry near the canal, guided there by Mr. 
W. B. Hardy, we found most interesting upper 
Silurian bivalves among the slates ; but, although we 
searched diligently, we could only find small pieces 
of trilobites. Barber's Hill, and all the other lovely 
mountains were clothed in the richest and most 
brilliant autumnal tints, and as we had some 
showery days, rainbows seem to reflect themselves 
on every mountain-top. The river Dee tumbled 
and foamed, and sounded as merrily in its autumn 
tones to us as in its summer voices to Dr. Taylor. 
Wild flowers and ferns gladdened our eyes everywhere, 
our only difficulty being the Welsh tongue. Often in 
our ten or twelve or fourteen mile walks we needed 
guidance, but had to follow signs — the country folks 
could not understand us, nor we them ; the louder 
they shouted, the more we laughed. 

Of course, we put up at the Royal Hotel, and 
found the host and hostess most attentive. No one 
should visit Llangollen without going to the Royal 
Hotel. 

For several weeks we remained in North Wales, 
seeing many beautiful spots. Barmouth, with its 
exquisite Panorama Walk ; Glandovey, with its far- 
famed valley ; Dolgelly with its splendid mountains, 
the old Cader Idris towering above them all ; 
Aberystwith, with the wonderful Falls at the Devil's 
Bridge, &c. But we returned home by Llangollen 
again, and concluded no spot could be fairer than 
this little paradise, so truly and beautifully described 
by our Editor last summer. 

Fanny M. Hei.e. 
Bristol. 



DWARF ELDER OR DANE'S-BLOOD. 

IN the January part of the P. M. S. Journal, at 
p. 12, it is stated, regarding the. 4 nemone Pulsa- 
tilla, pasque anemone or pasque flower, so called 
because it flowers about Easter time; that "there 
is a legend that this flower only grows where Danish 
blood was spilt. From such names as ' Woeful 
Dane's Bottom,' one might certainly conclude that 
fierce battles may have been fought with the Danes 
in the neighbourhood of Minchinhampton." And 
the writer of the article then gives two original verses, 
embodying this statement which is quite new to me. 
I have always heard the legend told about another 
plant, the dwarf elder {Sambucus ebulus) which is 
called in Smith's English Flora, Hooker's Flora, and 
Bentham's Flora, "Danewort." 

In the first of these works is this passage in ex- 
planation of the name, — "Our ancestors evinced a 
just hatred of their brutal enemies the Danes, in 
supposing the nauseous fetid and noxious plant before 



us to have sprung from their blood." And in a 
modern book, entitled "Flower Lore," pp. 233, the 
writer, whose name does not appear, says : "The 
dwarf elder is said only to grow where blood has 
been shed either in battle or in murder. A patch of 
it grows on ground in Worcestershire, where the first 
blood was drawn in the Civil War between the 
Royalists and the Parliament. The Welsh call it 
Llysan gzuaed gwyr, or plant of the bloody man ; " a 
name of similar import is its English one of deathwort. 
It is chitfly in connection with the history of the 
Danes in England that the superstition holds, 
wherever the Danes fought and bled there did the 
dwarf elder, or Dane's blood spring up and flourish. 
It is a well-known fact that if ground be deeply 
stirred or cleared by fire, plants grow up often of a 
species previously unknown to the district. The 
Bartlow Hills in Cambridgeshire were raised in 
memory of the Danes who fell in the battles fought in 
1016, between Cnut and Edmund Ironsides. It is 
probable that the danewort may have been there 
observed for the first time- ; and what so natural as to 
connect the new-found plant with the blood of the 
fallen Danes ?" 

The dwarf elder is not a common plant, but 
wherever found it is mostly abundant. I have never 
heard any legend about it in Ireland. Among 
several of its localities with which I am acquainted 
in Ulster, by a strange coincidence, there are two 
which quite corroborate "the legend of its bloody 
origin," one is the earthen fort of Rathmore, near the 
town of Antrim, where, according to Bede's Hist. 
Eccl., as cited by Keating, Egfrid, king of the 
Northumbrians, fought a battle with the Picts in 
a.d. 684 ; and the other is Moira the modernised 
form of pronouncing Magheath, where one of the 
most momentous battles ever fought in Ireland 
occurred a.d. 637, between the exiled Congal Cloan 
and Donald, king of Ireland, resulting in the defeat 
of the rebels and invaders. 

H. W. Lett, M.A. 



NIDIFICATION IN STAFFORDSHIRE. 

I HAD the pleasure of finding, at Sandon, on 
June 9, 1879, the nest of the pied fly-catcher 
(Muscicapa atricapilla) ; it contained six eggs, partly 
incubated. The nest, composed of dried grasses, 
moss, roots, and feathers, was placed against the 
gnarled side of a pollard oak, underneath an over- 
hanging branch. 

The hawfinch {Coccothraustcs vulgaris) I usually 
find nesting at Sandon ; a friend has found it at 
Eccleshall ; and at Swynnerton, where it was formerly 
scarcely ever seen, it is now becoming comparatively 
common ; the gardener there tells me it is very 
troublesome, being very fond of peas. In the season 
it destroys more of them than any other bird. 



54 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



The nightingale (Daulias luscinia) is coming 
nearer to the north of the county ; in the summer of 
iSSj, many were delighted by listening to the sweet 
song at Sandon. Unfortunately one night it was 
frightened by some dogs, and deserted the place, at 
least it was not heard again. 

It has been heard in Brandesert Park, Rugeley, for 
some years past. On May 13, 1880, I found also at 
Sandon, the nest of the Zwete or Mountain Linnet 
{Linola flavirostris), it was built at the extremity of 
the bough of a holly-tree, just on the ground ; this is 
much further south than the usual nesting range of 
this interesting bird. 

The Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) 
nests with us yearly at Copmere. In June last, a 
friend and I observed the male bird covering the 
eggs before leaving the nest, showing that he was 
sharing the labours of incubation. I have often 
observed the nest of this species, and have always 
found the decaying weeds of which they were 
composed to be very hot ; no doubt this arises from 
their decomposition, and it materially assists to hatch 
the eggs. 



THE MOSSES AND HEPATIC/E OF THE 
FOREST OF DEAN. 

IN March of last year, a small party of kindred 
spirits addicted to confirmed habits of grubbing 
about under hedges and in ditches and bogs, for mosses 
and such-like unconsidered trifles, visited the Forest 
of Dean with the object of ascertaining how many 
species of the classes Mitsci and Hepaiiac could be 
obtained during a day's walk in this paradise for the 
cryptogamic botanist. The day proving all that 
could be desired, in the absence of drying winds or 
hot sunshine, such drawbacks to the successful obser- 
vation of these frail cellular plants, the list may be 
considered a fairly representative one ; and the follow- 
ing record of the species observed during the walk 
shows that this locality teems with good things, 
though having previously decided to record every- 
thing met with in these classes, some of the included 
species are common almost everywhere. The start- 
ing point in the morning was the Newnham Railway 
Station, and the route fixed upon lay by the way of 
Pleasant Stile, through the valley running from Little 
Dean to Soudley Furnace, past the Abbott's Wood, 
thence through the Soudley Valley to Blakeney, in 
time to catch a homeward train in the evening from 
the Severn Bridge Station, after a most enjoyable 
day. The distance traversed would be about ten 
miles ; though collecting was practically over after 
eight miles, on account of the growing dusk. 

The mosses were as follows : — Rhynchostegium 
rtiscifolium, R. tenellum, A', confertum, Brachythecium 
glareosum, B. albicans, B. rutabulum, B. populeum, 
Eurhynchium striatum, E. pnclongum, Piagiothecium 



denticulatum, Amblysfcgium serpens, Hypnnm filici- 
unin, H. cupressiforme (two or three forms), H. pa- 
ticnticc, H. molluscum, H. chrysophyllum, H. stellalum, 
II. enspidatum, II. Schreberi, H. pnruni, Hylocomium 
splendcns, H. squarrosum, H. triquetrum, Catnpto- 
thecium lutescens, Homalothecium sericeum, Thuidium 
taiuariscinum, Fissidins bryoides, F. adiantoides, F. 
taxi/olius, Neckera complanata, Homalia irichoma- 
noides, Pogonatnm nanum, P. abides, P. urnigerum, 
Airichum undulatum, Polytrichum pilip'erum, P.juni- 
perinitm, P. commune, Aulaccmnium palustre, Milium 
undulatum, Jll. hornum, M. rostratum, Bryum bimurn, 
B. pallescens, B. caspificium, B. argenteum, B. capil- 
lare, Webera carnea, Physcomitriutn pyriforme, Philo- 
notis fontana, Funaria hygrometrica, Orthotrichum 
saxatile, O. Lyellii, Ulota crispa, Rhacomitrium cane- 
scens, R. lauuginosum, Grimmia apocarpa, G. pul- 
vinata, Eucalypta vulgaris, E. streptocarpa, Ccratodon 
purpureus, Tor tula ru rails, T. unguiculata, T.fallax, 
T. convoluta, T. muralis, T. subulata, Didymodon 
rubellus, Anacalypta lanceolata, Plcuridium subu- 
latum, Dicrauella heteromalla, D. varia, Dicranum 
scoparium, Weissia cirrhata, Sphagnum molluscum. 

The Hepatiac met with were these : — Jungermania 
gracillima, jf. crenulata, Diplophyllum albicans, 
Plagiochila asplcnioidcs, Porella platyphylla, Ccphalozia 
divaricata, C. bicuspidata, Lopliocolea heterophylla, 
Chiloscyphus polyanthos, Kautia Trichomanis, Nardia 
scalaris, Frullania dilatata, Aneura multijida, Metz- 
geria furcata, Marchantia polymoipha, ConocepJialus 
conicus, Anthoceros lavis. 

The nomenclature of the London Catalogue has 
been followed in this list, which must not be by any 
means considered exhaustive of this interesting and 
delightful locality, as the route lay over only a small 
portion of the outskirts of the forest. It is hoped at 
some other time to supplement this by a further list 
to include other species to be hunted up during future 
visits, and already met with in past visits, but not 
falling under notice in this present one. 

G. Holmes and E. J. Elliott. 
Stroud, Gloucester. 



GEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY, 1SS4.* 

The Two Views. 

The Official View. 

Oil ! where do patent-rights exist 
Outside of governmental camp ? 
Or why with loud complaints rjersist 
When we put the official stamp — 
The survey stamp — on what is done 
By others, by their labour won ? 

What gold, we ask, would circulate 
Until impressed within our mint ? 



* See papers by Dr. Geikie in " Nature " on Highland 
Geology, and letters by Dr. Callaway in " Daily News," &.c. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



55 



Go, cease your howling— can we state 

In larger or in clearer print, 
"That when the survey sheets appear, 
Your work will stand out bright and clear." 



The Unofficial Vicio. 

That then it will shine bright and clear, 
We venture to express a doubt ; 

And pardon us if we do fear 

The work you'll linger long about. 

At all events, we fain would try 

To get some praise before we die. 

Meanwhile 'tis you too greedy eat 

The modest amateurs' food ; 
Come, let us fairly share the meat, 

'Tis on our banquet you intrude. 
Big dogs ! you'd take our only bone. 
Ah ! where have truth and justice flown ? 

A. Conifer. 



HUMBLE-BEES OX THE PAMPAS. 
By W. H. Hudson. 

TWO humble-bees, Bombus thoracicus and B. 
violaceus, are found on the pampas : the first, 
with a primrose yellow thorax, and the extremity of 
the abdomen bright rufous, slightly resembles the 
English B. tcrrcstris ; the rarer species, which is a 
trifle smaller than the first, is of a uniform intense 
black, the body having the appearance of velvet, 
the wings being of a deep violaceous blue. 

A census of the humble-bees in any garden or field 
always shows that the yellow bees outnumber the 
black in the proportion of about seven to one ; and I 
have also found their nests for many years in the 
same proportion ; — about seven nests of the yellow to 
one nest of the black species. In habits they are 
almost identical, and when two species so closely 
allied are found inhabiting the same locality, it is only 
reasonable to infer that one possesses some advantage 
over the other, and that the least favoured species will 
eventually disappear. In this case, where one so 
greatly outnumbers the other, it might be thought 
that the rarer species is dying out, or that, on the 
contrary, it is a new-comer destined to supplant the 
older more numerous species. Yet, during the twenty 
years I have observed them, there has occurred no 
change in their relative positions ; though both have 
greatly increased in numbers during that time, owing 
to the spread of cultivation. And yet it would 
scarcely be too much to expect some marked change 
in a period so- long as that, even through the slow- 
working agency of natural selection ; for it is not as 
if there had been an exact balance of power between 
them. In the same period of time I have seen 
several species, once common, almost or quite dis- 



appear, while others, very low down as to numbers, 
have been exalted to the first rank. In insect life 
especially, these changes have been numerous, rapid, 
and widespread. 

In the district where, as a boy, I chased and caught 
tinamous, and also chased ostriches, but failed to 
catch them, the continued presence of our two 
humble-bees, sucking the same flowers and making 
their nests in the same situations, has remained a 
puzzle to my mind. 

The site of the nest is usually a slight depression 
in the soil in the shelter of a cardoon bush. The 
bees deepen the hollow by burrowing in the earth ; 
and when the spring foliage sheltering it withers up, 
they construct a dome-shape covering of small sticks, 
thorns, and leaves bitten into extremely minute pieces. 
They sometimes take possession of a small hole or 
cavity in the ground, and save themselves the labour 
of excavation. 

Their architecture closely resembles that of B. 
tcrrcstris. They make rudely-shaped oval honey- 
cells, varying from half an inch to an inch and a half 
in length, the smaller ones being the first made : 
later in the season the old cocoons are utilised for 
storing honey. The wax is chocolate-coloured, and 
almost the only difference I can find in the economy 
of the two species is that the black bee uses a large 
quantity of wax in plastering the interior of its nest. 
The egg-cell of the yellow bee always contains from 
twelve to sixteen eggs. At the entrance on the edge 
of the mound one bee is usually stationed, and, when 
approached, it hums a shrill challenge, and then 
throws itself into a menacing attitude. The sting is 
exceedingly painful. 

One summer I was so fortunate as to discover two 
nests of the two kinds within twelve yards of each 
other, and I resolved to watch them very carefully, in 
order to see whether the two species ever came into 
collision, as sometimes happens with ants of different 
species living close together. Several times I saw a 
yellow bee leave its own nest and hover round or 
settle on the neighbouring one, upon which the 
sentinel black bee would attack and drive it off. 
One day, while watching, I was delighted to see a 
yellow bee actually enter its neighbour's nest, the 
sentinel being off duty. In about five minutes' time 
it came out again and flew away unmolested. I 
concluded from this that humble-bees, like their 
conquerors of the hive, occasionally plunder each 
other's sweets. On another occasion I found a black 
bee dead at the entrance of the yellow bees' nest ; 
doubtless this bee had been caught in the act of 
stealing honey, and, after it had been stung to death, 
it had been dragged out and left there as a warning to 
others with like felonious intentions. 

There is one striking difference between the two 
species. The yellow bee is inodorous ; the black bee 
when angry and attacking emits an exceedingly power- 
ful odour ; curiously enough, this smell is identical 



56 



JHAKDWICKE'S SC 1 E NCE-GO SSJ P. 



in character with the smell made when angry by the 
wasps of the S. American genus Pepris — dark blue 
wasps with red wings. This odour at first produces 
a stinging sensation on the nerve of smell, but when 
inhaled in large measure becomes very nauseating. 
On one occasion, while I was opening a nest, several 
of the bees buzzing round my head and thrusting 
their stings through the veil I wore for protection, 
gave out so pungent a smell that I was compelled to 
retreat. 

It seems strange that a species armed with a 
venomous sting and possessing the fierce courage of 
the humble-beff should also have this repulsive odour 
for a protection. It is, in fact, as incongruous as it 
would be were our soldiers provided with guns and 
swords first, and after that with phials of assafcetida to 
be uncorked in the face of an enemy. 

Why, or how, animals came to be possessed of the 
power of emitting pestiferous odours is a mystery ; 
wc only see that natural selection has, in some 
instances, taken advantage of it to furnish some of 
the weaker, more unprotected species with a means 
of escape from their enemies. The most striking 
example I know is that of a large hairy caterpillar I 
have found on dry wood in Patagonia, and which, 
when touched, emits an intensely nauseous effluvium. 
Happily it is very volatile, but while it lasts it is even 
moie detestable than that of the skunk. 

The skunk itself offers perhaps the one instance 
amongst the higher vertebrates of an animal in which 
nil the original instincts of self-preservation have died 
out, giving place to this lower kind of protection. 
All the other members of the family it belongs 'o are 
cunning, swift of foot, and, when overtaken, fierce- 
tempered and well able to defend themselves with 
their teeth. 

For some occult reason they are provided with a 
gland charged with a malodorous secretion. The 
skunk alone when attacked makes no attempt to 
escape or to defend itself by biting ; but thrown by 
its agitation into a violent convulsion discharges its 
foetid liquor into the face of its opponent. When 
this animal had once ceased to use so good a weapon 
as its teeth in defending itself, degenerating at the 
same time into a slow-moving creature, without fear 
and without cunning, the strength and vileness of 
its odour would be continually increased by the 
cumulative process of natural selection : and how 
effective the protection has become is shown by the 
abundance of the species throughout the whole 
American continent. It is lucky for mankind — 
especially for naturalists and sportsmen — that other 
species have not been improved in the same direction. 

Put what can we say of the common deer of the 
pampas [Cervus campestris), the male of which gives 
out an effluvium, quite as far-reaching if not so 
abominable in character as that of the Mephitis ''. It 
comes in disagreeable whiffs to the human nostril 
•vhen the perfumer of the wilderness is not even in 



| sight. Yet it is not a protection ; on the contrary, it 
I is the reverse, and, like the dazzling white plumage 
I so attractive to birds of prey, a direct disadvantage, 
! informing all enemies for leagues around of its where- 
j abouts. It is not, therefore, strange that wherever 
pumas are found, deer are never very abundant ; the 
only wonder is that, like the ancient horse of 
America, they have not become extinct. 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 
By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S. 

I HAVE just turned up an account of the Superga 
Railway in the " Journal of the Society of Arts," 
of September 12th last. Carriages are there run on 
the system invented by Tommaso Aguido, and they 
climb an incline of I in 51 by means of an endless 
rope connected with a stationary engine ; the rope, 
however, does not pull up the carriages, but merely 
communicates motion to the driving carriage of the 
train, thereby saving the weight of locomotive and 
tender, and demanding a much tighter rope than 
would do the haulage. This system having been 
practically tested on a small scale with a gradient of 
1 in 2- 53, the Italian Government gave a subsidy 
of ,£36,000, and the city of Turin a further subsidy of 
,£12,000, together with special concession to a 
company for making the line. This is how such 
projects for the practical application of science are 
generally encouraged on the continent, but what 
occurs here ? A company is formed to carry out a 
project that shall benefit the nation at large— such 
for example as the Manchester Canal, and immedi- 
ately all the obstructive parliamentary machinery of 
both houses is hired by vested interests for the purpose 
of suppressing it. Some years ago I travelled from 
Flintshire to Westminster in order to give evidence 
to a parliamentary committee in favour of the 
Wrexham, Mold, and Connah's Quay Railway, which, 
besides opening out a rich mineral district, would 
have shortened the route between London and 
Holyhead by some miles when extended to Fllesmere, 
&c. But, just in proportion to such usefulness, would 
it compete with the vested interests of the Great 
Western and North-Western Railways, and there- 
fore they combined to crush it. On presenting 
myself at the committee room with others, we were 
informed by the counsel for the small line that the 
chairman of the committee was a Great Western 
man, the rest were either ditto or North-Western, 
and therefore the case was prejudged and no evidence 
could be of any use. We all returned to Wales 
accordingly, and gave no evidence. Finally only a 
bit of the line was graciously permitted by the big 
companies to be constructed, that bit which could 
not compete with their monopoly. The parliamentary 
expenses of this far exceeded those of construction, 
and the trains carried a sheriffs officer " in possession." 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



57 



Still, we Englishmen express our pharisaical horror 
of the commercial corruption of New York. We 
thank God that we are not as those wicked people 
are, and grumble about commercial depression. 

The season is now approaching for testing the 

question of whether or not the tomato possesses the 

property attributed to it by some of the Cape 

colonists ; that of driving away insects from the land 

on which it is grown. Its cultivation under fruit 

trees is accordingly recommended. It may possibly 

be thus efficacious at the Cape, but not so here. 

Our greenhouses afford better opportunities of 

settling the question than any open air plantations 

can supply ; nothing being easier than to carry a few 

pots of growing tomatoes into an insect-pestered 

house, leaving open doors and windows and noting 

the result. If this were done skilfully, we should 

also learn whether insects generally, or only particular 

species, manifest the alleged aversion to this plant. 

Tatagonian geology is not profoundly studied in 
this country, but is very interesting nevertheless, as 
shown by the results of the explorations of Senor 
F. T. Moreno, communicated to the Argentine 
Scientific Society. Palaeontological evidence indicates 
that Patagonia is not, as usually supposed, of marine 
origin, but that much of it is terrestrial and lacustrine. 
Senor Moreno concludes that at the beginning of 
the Tertiary period a vast continent, of which 
Patagonia was a part, extended east and west. 
Oscillation is still proceeding in the southern part of 
the continent, and the depth of the sea around is so 
small that an elevation of 150 metres would unite 
Patagonia with Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland 
Islands, forming a continent there as wide as Africa 
at the Orange River. Less than 2000 metres of 
elevation would further unite all this with South 
Ceorgia, South Sandwich Land, and the Antarctic 
Continent. 

I doubt whether the conclusions based merely on 
this shallowness are sound, I mean those suggesting 
the former existence of such a continent. The sea all 
thereabouts must be subject to continual shallowing 
by the deposits from the icebergs which there abound, 
and are continually thawing. Senor Moreno describes 
the visible moraines that form the labyrinth of islets 
in the Straits of Magellan and their neighbourhood ; 
but besides these, there must be a vast "moraine 
profonde " ever growing upwards from the sea bottom. 
One of the results of the introduction of gelatine 
■dry plate photography, is the supplying of accurate 
pictures of the heavens. The fixed stars, so called, 
-can thus be easily and accurately represented, both in 
position and magnitude, and by putting together the 
different pictures of limited areas thus obtained a 
■complete self-drawn chart of the heavens is obtainable. 
Mr. A. A. Common recently exhibited at the Royal 
Astronomical Society pictures of a part of the 
constellation Orion, and of the Pleiades, in which 
stars of the ninth and tenth magnitudes were shown. 



Such pictures supplementing, correcting, and con- 
firming the star catalogues made in the usual way, 
supply data upon which may be founded the solution 
of that great problem of "star drift," representing 
the greater movements of the universe, compared 
with which those of our own world in its orbit, or 
even the wanderings of our sun in space, are but 
minor creepings. By the spectroscopic method of 
Dr. Iluggins we learn the approach and recession 
of stars in the line of sight ; by the photographic 
pictures we may be shown their movements across 
that line ; by combining these, the actual direction 
of travelling. Shall we thus ever learn the position 
of the universal centre around which all the suns and 
all their attendant worlds are moving ? 

The barrenness of the Pampas is explained by Mr. 
Arthur Nicols in an interesting letter to " Nature" of 
January 29th last. He tells his experience, in the 
Pampas of La Plata, of the ravages of the omnipresent 
leaf-eating ant, which clears away the first leaves of 
any tree that may be planted either naturally or 
artificially. The animals prove their prowess by 
shearing off the hard cuticle of the thumbs and 
fingers of those who pick them up. Nevertheless 
it is possible to overcome them. Mr. Nicols 
describes a splendid grove of Kucalypti of several 
species that were reared from seed by first painting 
a circle of gas tar around each. The disappearance 
of the first leaves was thus prevented, as the ants 
objected to cross the tar, and then by painting the 
stems with tar during the first three years the trees 
made such a start as to grow faster than they could 
be destroyed. Many of these trees were forty feet 
high, and measured three feet round at three feet 
above the ground when eight years old. By lighting 
fires over the nests of the ants during the winter, 
when the colony is all at home, these pests may be 
destroyed. From Mr. Nicols' account it appears that 
their assimilation and distribution of vegetable matter 
has richly manured the surface, and thus prepared it 
for the use of men who are sufficiently intelligent 
and energetic to avail themselves of the services of 
these ants, and regulate their destructiveness. 

The subject of earth tremors is a very interesting 
one. There are good reasons for supposing that the 
so-called "solid" crust of the earth is uplifted in 
tidal waves, is agitated by big waves, by wavelets 
and ripples as the ocean is, but accurate observation 
of these is difficult, one of the chief obstacles being 
the confusion of artificial with natural vibrations. As 
everybody knows, the passing of a wagon along an 
ordinary street, produces earth-waves that can be felt 
as we sit on our chairs, or lie in bed. These of course 
are but local and very limited, but beyond these are 
far reaching natural waves demanding systematic 
study. Much has already been done in Japan, which 
is a stormy earth-region continually agitated by earth- 
quakes, great or little. We reside on a less stormy 
crust, but one that is by no means absolutely calm. 



58 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



The Government grant committee has wisely supplied 
Professor Ewing, of Dundee, with ,£100 for the pur- 
pose of instituting observations of earth movements 
on Ben Nevis. The isolated position of this mountain, 
distance from railways, factories, or other artificial 
disturbers, renders it suitable for such observations, 
which are to be added to the work of the observatory 
already established there. 

According to a communication to the French 
Academy of Sciences (December 29) from M. Sacc, 
there is cultivated in Bolivia a cotton-tree which 
yields abundantly a seed which is richer than any of 
the known grains in nitrogenous food. M. Sacc is 
convinced that the flour from this seed is destined to 
take an important place in human food supply, 
especially in the preparation of all kinds of pastes, as 
it contains so much vegetable oil as to render the 
addition of milk and animal fats unnecessary. The 
vegetarians should look after this and obtain samples. 
Their chief difficulty hitherto has been in finding a 
supply of fatty matter sufficient to meet the food 
demands of our climate, without being dependent on 
animal products. Most of them would like to be 
independent of the dairy ; the leguminous plants 
enable them to be so as regards casein, but still their 
puddings and pastry generally appeal for butter. A 
seed containing both Hour and butter in pastry-cook 
proportions is exactly what they now want. 

Carbon disulphide is growing in importance. I 
remember buying it at two shillings an ounce in order 
to make a solution of phosphorus for the precipitation 
of metallic silver on plaster of Paris casts when the 
electrotype was a new art. Now it is retailed at 
sixpence per pound. This difference arises simply 
from the increased demand which has usually such a 
cheapening effect upon chemical products. At the 
time I refer to the best obtainable was most foul in 
odour, and even now, the ordinary commercial 
samples are very suggestive of essence of sewage. 
Ckandi-Bey (" Comptes Rendus," vol. 99, p. 509) tells 
us that alone and in aqueous solution it arrests all 
fermentations, kills microbes, and is one of the most 
energetic of antiseptics. Dr. Dujardin Baumetz 
administers its aqueous solution as a medicine in 
cases of typhus. He says that it arrests diarrhoea 
and disinfects the breath and excretions of the 
patients. This is curious in connection with its own 
foulness, even though that foulness be due to 
impurities. It certainly does not obey the injunction, 
" Physician heal thyself." 



Singing Mice.— There are several notices of 
singing mice in Science-Gossip, as follows : p. 274, 
1871 ; pp. 47, 65, and 94, 1872 ; and p. 187, 1873. 
As regards the true explanation, that seems to be a 
difficult task, for I find there are some who attribute 
it to disease, whilst others consider it a natural 
peculiarity, and even intelligence.—./. G. Rudd, 
Lufion. 



BRITISH PLANTS IN NYMAN'S CON- 
SPECTUS FLOR.E EUROP/EiE. 
By Alfred R. Waller. 
II. 

Jl/TCENCIIIA QUATERNELLA, Ehrh., 1788, 
J VI rightly replaces M. erecta, Fl. Wett., 1800. 
Stellaria umbrosa, Op., is placed as a sub-species 
of S. media, Cyr., with S. Boreana, Jord., as a 
variety. S. palustris, Ehrh., 1795, takes the place of 
S. glauca, With., 1796, and Sagiua Lintusi, Pr., 
1835, that of S. saxatilis, Wimm., 1S40. Spergularia 
media, Pers., and S. sali/ia, Presl, are thought to be 
species. The form of Linum pcrenne, L., we get is 
L. anglicum, Mill. (Spr.), which out of England is 
found only in West Germany and France (?). Tilia 
platyphyllos, Sep., 1 772, rightly replaces T. grandi- 
folia, Ehrh., 1790, as the name of the large-leaved 
lime. Mtdicago dentieulata, W., is thought to be a 
sub-species of M. lappacea, Desv., while AI. apiculata, 
W., is raised to specific rank. Scotland might be added. 
to the list of countries for Trigonella ornithopodioides . 
The following are changes in the right direction : — ■ 
Melilotus officinalis, Desv., 1797, instead of M. 
aruensis, Walk., 1S22 ; M. altissima, Th., 1799, 
instead of M. officinalis, W., 1S09 ; Lotus uliginosns, 
Schk., instead of Z. major, Sm. ; Astragalus danicus, 
Retz, instead of A. hypoglottis, L. Stellaria media, 
Sper^ula arvensis, Sagi/ia procumbens, Trifoliuin 
repens, and Geranium Kobertianum, are found in 
every country in Europe. Geranium nodosum, L., 
and Osalis stricta, L., are erroneously given as 
natives. 



TEETH OF FLIES. 

THE DUNG-FLY {SCATOFHAGA 
STERCORARIA). 

By W. II. Harris. 

No. IY. 

I HAVE selected for illustration on this occasion a 
very interesting and robust form taken from the 
common dung-fly {Seatophaga stercoraria), whose 
winged eggs are always objects of interest, providing, 
as they do, in a very remarkable manner, for the wel- 
fare of the species. It is necessary for the development 
of the larvae that the eggs should be deposited in soft 
dung, at the same time they must not be immersed 
entirely. To guard against such a misfortune the 
eggs are provided with two lateral expansions, or 
wings as they have been termed, which effectually 
prevents them sinking by their own weight in the 
soft dung in which (during the summer months) any 
quantity may be procured. 

The teeth presented to us in this creature are of 
three distinct forms. Taking the blow-fly a"s the 



HAEDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



59 



original type form (and it is quite worthy of the 
distinction), it will be found the two marginal ones 
retain the shape and general appearance of our type ; 
those situated next depart in some degree therefrom ; 
one portion or dentule, if I may use the term, is 
much more developed, being both longer and broader ; 
of the two central teeth one may be said to be a still 
further development of those last referred to, but 
the large dentule stands out conspicuously robust, 
whereas the smaller one has not been correspondingly 
enlarged ; the remaining tooth appears at first sight a 
simple enlargement of the blow-fly type, but it will 
be seen the difference occurs in the shape of the inner 
edges of the dentules. In the original form these 



division of the muscidse, and so far as my investi- 
gation of their dentition has gone, there appears to be 
greater uniformity in number of teeth, form, and 
arrangement, than is met with in other divisions of 
this order of insects. 

During the coming season I should be glad to 
receive from any person freshly killed specimens of 
Diptera, correctly named, with the view of carrying 
these observations still further. Specimens so in- 
tended, should be placed in a small quantity of dilute 
glycerine and sent to my address, 44 Partridge Road, 
Cardiff. Any specimens having distinctive features 
shall, with the editor's kind permission, be made 
known through the pages of Science-Gossip. 




Fig. 4S. — Teeth of Dung-fly (Scafo/Atiga sterco v aria). Enlarged 200 diams. 



edges are quite straight, whereas in the present 
object they are decidedly curved. Each lobe of the 
proboscis is provided with six teeth, and the whole of 
these teeth still further depart from the blowfly type 
in being very considerably thickened throughout their 
entire width instead of at the margins only. 

It is well known to those who have been close 
observers of the diptera that the Scatophagidse are 
occasionally carnivorous in their habits, they have 
been frequently seen to seize, crush and extract, the 
juices of smaller flies, and appear to be rather expert 
in doing so ; the dentition is very powerful for a 
creature of its size, and as the two series of teeth can 
be approximated, it can be readily conceived how the 
execution is effected. 

All the Scatophagidae are in the acalypterate 



STUDIES OF COMMON PLANTS. 

No. I. — The Cuckoo-Pint. {Arum macu/dlum.) 

By Charles F. W. T. Williams, B.A. Cantab. 

THERE are, perhaps, few plants better known 
than Arum maculatum. There are many 
reasons for this. It is very common, and is found 
growing almost in every spot where there is sufficient 
earth to nourish it. Then again its leaves are 
amongst the earliest to present themselves before 
the delighted eye of the observant rambler ; and, as 
he gazes on them, he knows that spring, with all its 
varied forms of infant life, is not far distant. Lastly, 
there is a recollection of sunny summer days in the 
distant past, when as happy children, we roamed 



Go 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



through wood and meadow, plucking with all eager 
expectancy the spadix of this plant. Thus, as far as 
outward form is concerned, it has been known to most 
from very early years. 

My object in this paper is not however to examine 
into the lore of the plant, or to discuss its various 
common names, but to look somewhat closely into its 



belongs, does not furnish many plants to the flora of 
this island. Examining, first, the underground portion 
of the plant, we find a corm producing leaf-buds at 





Fig. 50.— Corms of Arum maculatum. a, this year's corm ; 
b, old corm ; c, young corm ; d, roots ; e, petiole. 



g * 



% 



^ 









* V „ 



o 0$ 00 



Fig. 51. — Starch grains from corm of Arum maculatum. 




Fig. 49. — Young plant of Arum maculatum. 
b, living corm ; c, old corm. 



a, roots ; 



Fig. S 2. — Transverse section through corm cells and thick 
starch masses. 



construction and economy, considered botanically and 
microscopically. I venture to think that by the time 
we have finished our investigation, it will be found 
that Arum maculatum possesses points of interest 
well worthy the attention of all careful observers. 
The natural order Aroideoe, to which the Arum 



one point and roots at another. (Fig. 49.) It fre- 
quently happens that a specimen is met with in which 
three distinct periods of life and growth may be 
observed. Such is the case in Fig. 50. The corm 
of the arum is of great interest when examined with 
care. If a corm be cut across, a white deposit will 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



61 



be left on the blade of the knife, and also on the 
fingers, if they come in contact with the section. On 
microscopical examinations of a transverse section the 
whole field will be found to be full of a dense mass of 
bodies which are starch grains. Such a quantity of 
starch is stored up in the cells that it is difficult to 
obtain a section giving any clear view of the cell 
structure. Fig. 51 represents some of the starch 
grains highly magnified. Fig. 52 is an attempt to 
show the cells of the conn in some cases empty, and 
in others densely crowded with starch grains, so 
densely, in fact, as to become all but black. A J is 
the lowest power with which to observe these points. 
At the present time the corm of the arum is not, 
so far as I am aware, in any great request, either 
medicinally or otherwise. Dr. Taylor mentions that 
the starch has been " misused " in order to adulterate 
arrowroot.* In order, however, to learn some of the 



wholesome nourishment as well as those sorts which 
are natives of hot climates. The roots when dried 
and powdered, are used by the French as a wash for 
the skin, and sell under the name of Cyprus powder, 
at a high price, being an excellent and innocent 
cosmetic. Starch may also be made from them, but 
the hands are liable to be blistered in using it. They 
have occasionally been substituted for soap. When 
newly dried and powdered the root has been given as 
a stimulant, in doses of a scruple and upwards ; but 




Fig. 53. — Cells of the epidermis of petiole, a, raphides \ 
l>, nucleus ; c, stoma. 



valuable, not to say wonderful, properties of this 
portion of A. maculatum, and some of the uses to 
which it has been applied, it is necessary to go back 
a little for information. 

In a certain dictionary published in London in the 
year 1832, and known as "The Universal Herbal or 
Botanical, Medical and Agricultural Dictionary," by 
Thomas Green, 2 vols, we learn much. Mr. Green 
first informs his readers that if they have been rash 
enough to taste the "root," an antidote will be found 
either in milk butter, or oil. Writing still of the 
"roots" he goes on to say: "When dried they 
become farinaceous and insipid, in which case they 
might be used for food in case of necessity ; and by 
boiling or baking would probably afford a mild and 

• " Half-hours in the Green Lanes," p. 227. 




Fig. 54. — Hastate-cordate leaf ot Arum 
>uaculatu»i. 



in being reduced to powder it loses much of its 
acrimony ; and there is reason to suppose that the 
compound powder which takes its name from the 
plant, owes its virtues chiefly to the other ingredients. 
The pulvis ari compositus, or powder composed of 
arum, is therefore discarded from the London dispen- 
satory, and, instead of it, a conserve is inserted, made 
by beating half a pound of fresh root with a pound 
and a half of fine sugar. 

"In the medicine recommended by Sydenham 
against rheumatisms, the acrid anti-scorbutic herbs 
are largely joined with it. Dr. Lewis orders the 
fresh root to be beaten with a little testaceous powder, 
and mixed with an equal quantity of gum arabic, 
and three or four times as much conserve, and thus 
to be made up into an electuary ; or else to be 
rubbed with a thick mucilage of gum arabic and 



62 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



spermaceti, adding any watery liquor and a little 
syrup to form an emulsion ; two parts of the root, 
two of gum, and one of spermaceti. In this form, 
he has given the fresh root from ten grains to up- 
wards of a scruple three or four times a day. It 
generally occasioned a sensation of slight warmth, 
first about the stomach, and afterwards in the 
remoter parts ; it manifestly promoted perspiration, 
and frequently produced a plentiful sweat. Several 
obstinate rheumatic pains were removed by this 
medium, which he therefore recommends to further 
trial. Chewed in the mouth it has been known to 
restore the speech in paralytic cases, and made into 
a conserve it is efficacious in scurvy and rheumatism. 
It likewise increases the urinary secretion, and is 
good in the gravel. But in whatever form it is used 
the root should be fresh, for it loses the greater part 
of its efficacy in drying, and becomes insipid." 

In these more enlightened days it may possibly be 
difficult to find persons with sufficient faith to try for 
themselves the truth of the above remedies. Certainly, 
for my own part, I should prefer, if suffering from 
rheumatism, a course of our own thermal waters. I 
need hardly say that this plant has ceased to be used 
in medical practice. It is no easy task to procure the 
■corms of A. maculatum. Again and again failure 
marks the attempt to dig them up. I use a fern 
trowel, but frequently do not go deep enough, 
with the result that up come the leaf stalks, leaving 
the corm deep in the earth. The arum loves, too, a 
soil somewhat stony, and when the plant is met 
with in such ground, it is well to leave it alone. 
Anyone who tries to dig up the corm will soon 
discover the difficulty. 

The petioles are sheathed at their base. 
The structure and arrangement of the cellular and 
fibro-vascular tissues is fairly representative of the 
monocotyledons. Here again as in the corm, we 
find starch in the cells, though not in such large 
quantities. Here, too, for the first time, are to be 
noticed with distinction, large numbers of raphides. 
These occur in the corm also, but are not so easily 
distinguished, owing to the dense mass of starch 
grains. In a longitudinal section, through a petiole, 
we get a view of the fibro-vascular bundles, and of 
the cellular tissue with cells containing starch and 
raphides. The raphides are very minute, and a \ is 
required to see them at all well. The epidermis of 
the petiole consists of elongated cells with some few 
stomata as in Fig. 53. 

The external appearance of the leaf varies. Its 
vernation is convolute. The most general and 
marked form of the leaf is hastate-cordate. (Fig. 54.) 
Sometimes the lamina are spotted black, though the 
spots are more frequently absent. On examining one 
of the spots, a mass of cells filled with chromule will 
be observed. Other examples of a like nature will 
readily occur to the mind of the reader. In the 
epidermal cells of the lamina stomata occur, but 



only in very small quantities, and widely scattered. 
In structure, the cells of the leaf are of the ordinary 
type and arrangement, (a) The empty thick-walled 
cells of the epidermis. (l>) Oblong, closely packed 
cells containing chlorophyll, (c) Loosely packed 
cells containing chlorophyll, and so arranged as to 
have air spaces. It must, I should think, strike the 
most casual observer that the leaves of the arum 
show signs of being singularly unhealthy. There are 
several causes for this. Even early in the season, 
many leaves exhibit a sickly yellow waxy appearance, 
very different from the healthy green of some of their 
relatives. On making sections it will be found that 
the vivid green of the chlorophyll bodies is in these 
changed to a golden hue and less in quantity. In 
several cases I have noted, in sections through the 
thickness of the lamina, an increase in the quantity of 
raphidian bundles and a surprising increase in size of 
the same. 

{To be continued.') 



CIVILISATION AND EYESIGHT. 

AVERY important point and one which, in these 
times when health questions in general occupy 
so prominent a position, ought to engage the serious 
attention of school authorities, is the question of the 
eyesight of boys and girls, and the injury which may 
be done by working under bad conditions of light. 
The matter is not ended by seeing that a large school- 
room is as a whole well lighted, because the evil effects 
will probably be found where the pupils sit at some 
distance from the light, near the walls or corners of 
the room, reading, it may be, small print, or working 
by artificial light on greasy slates on which the marks 
are at no time very easy to see, and with here the 
added difficulty, that the desk at which they are 
working perhaps slopes so that the light makes but a 
small angle with the plane of the slate. There can 
be little doubt that this state of things, where it 
prevails, is one cause not only of rounded backs, and 
undeveloped chests, but of injured eyesight and the 
need for spectacles among school-boys. Surely it is 
bad economy to stint light. In a paper on the 
"Influence of Civilisation on Eyesight," by Mr. 
Brudenell Carter, read at a recent meeting of the 
Society of Arts, the author gives very interesting 
details as to the prevalence of defects of vision. 
" An enormously large proportion of the whole 
German nation is composed of the wearers of 
spectacles, and there is abundant evidence that the 
need for such assistance dated from a comparatively 
recent period." In an investigation of a London 
Board School, made last year by Mr. Adams Frost, 
it was found that rather more than one-fourth of the 
children had defective or subnormal vision. Mr. 
Carter thinks that ignorance of what the normal 



HARDWI CKE ' S S CIE NCE - G O SSI P. 



powers of the eyes should be, on the part of parents, 
and perhaps it might be added, of some school 
authorities also, is accountable for such a condition 
of things. Whatever be the causes, he says, that 
there is evidence of deterioration in two special ways, 
viz. short-sightedness "which had come into exis- 
tence within historic time, and into prevalence almost 
within living memory, and which now affects at least 
one-tenth of our population ; " and the malformation 
of "flat-eye." He urges care on the part of parents, 
the testing of the eyesight of children on their admis- 
sion to school, the use of larger print in school books 
for very young children, and the high estimation of 
excellence of vision in connection with athletic sports 
and contests. It is to be hoped that his recommenda- 
tions will bear fruit and do something towards 
checking the evil, not only for the sake of the 
individuals who may otherwise suffer in the future, 
but for the sake of the general benefit of the race. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 

In the " Midland Naturalist " for February, Dr. 
C. T. Hudson describes the very curious Floscularia 
mutabilis discovered last year by Mr. Bolton in Olton 
reservoir, near Birmingham. 

We have received from Mr. William Wesley, 
No. 63 of his welcome and useful " Natural History 
and Scientific Book Circular." 

It is with much regret we have to record the death 
of Dr. J. Gwyn Jeffreys, the distinguished palaeon- 
tologist and conchologist. He was one of the 
liveliest and sprightliest of men, and died suddenly 
at the age of seventy-six. Only the night before he 
was present at the Royal Institution, listening to a 
lecture by his son-in-law, Professor Moseley. 

We have received from Mr. J. E. Ady, an 
additional issue of his able papers, entitled "Deep 
Sea Soundings," illustrated. Mr. Ady also offers 
what he calls " Optional Slides " to his subscribers. 

Mr. Francis Galton contributes to "Nature " an 
account of the development of deaf-mutism in 
America. It appears from the investigations of Mr. 
Graham Bell, which have been based upon the 
experience afforded by institutions devoted to the 
training of deaf-mutes, that, in consequence of their 
isolation from ordinary society, and their being 
thrown so largely upon association with one another, 
and the large proportion of consequent intermarriages 
which take place among them in after life, the 
numbers of deaf-mutes are increasing so much as 
to make it probable that a deaf-mute variety of the 
human race may be established, if means be not taken 
to hinder such a result by preventing the isolation 
that leads to it. 



In the same paper, Mr. G. J. Burch describes 
various experiments on the nature of flame, and 
thinks "that the proof is fairly complete, that the 
luminosity of a candle or gas flame proceeds from 
incandescent matter in a state of extremely fine 
division." If this view be substantiated, it will be- 
practically a return to the old theory of flame. 

Dr. R. von Lendenfeld, who has been studying 
the sponges of the Australian shores for the Linnean 
Society of New South Wales, thinks he has suc- 
ceeded in discovering the nervous system of these 
low animals, which has hitherto escaped observation. 
The nervous system consists of small miodermal, 
spindle-shaped cells, similar to those ectodermal 
elements which perform the functions of sensitive 
cells in jelly-fish and higher animals. 

Professor Flower, in his recent anniversary 
address to the Anthropological Institute, expressed 
his opinion that the Australian aborigines were not a 
pure race, but descendants of a cross between an 
original Melanesian population, and later intruders, 
probably from the South of India, and of Caucasian 
descent. 

A great advance has been made in the life 
history of the Lycopodiacere. Mr. W. T. Thiselton 
Dyer, F.R.S., says that Dr. Treub, the director of 
the Botanic Garden at Buitenzorg, in Java, has been 
engaged for some time on their study, and is now 
acquainted with the prothallia of three species of 
Lycopodium. Dr. Treub has given in a recent paper 
an exhaustive account of the prothallium of L. 
cernuum, and a brief resume of his results is given by 
Mr. Dyer in " Nature " for February 5th. 

J. C. G. writes to " Nature : " In Mr. Johnston's- 
interesting account of the ascent of M. Kilimanjaro, 
in equatorial Africa, which appears from time to 
time in the "Daily Telegraph," occurs a passage 
which seems deserving of being rescued from the 
comparative oblivion of the pages of a daily news- 
paper. It will be found in the number of the 16th 
ult., and is as follows : "Other noticeable features 
in the scene were the tall red ant-hills, and, strange 
imitation, the tall red antelopes, a species of 
hartebeest, resembling faintly in shape the form of a 
giraffe with sloping hind-quarters, high shoulders, 
and long neck. Being a deep red-brown in colour, 
and standing one by one stock-still at the approach 
of the caravan, they deceived even the sharp eyes of 
my men, and again and again a hartebeest would 
start up at twenty yards' distance and gallop off,, 
while I was patiently stalking an ant-hill, and 
crawling on my stomach through thorns and aloes, 
only to find the supposed antelope an irregular mass 
of red clay." 

An account of Dr. Emanuel Witlaczil's researches, 
on the Embryology of Aphides may be found in the 
"American Naturalist" for February. 



6 4 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



The Hemel Hempstead Natural History Society 
has issued its Annual Report for 1SS4, which, 
besides notes of field excursions and fungoid and 
insect finds, contains abstracts of lectures delivered by 
Dr. Collingwood on "The Floating Population of 
the Ocean " and by Dr. J. E. Taylor on " Mountains 
and Valleys." 

During the past month lectures were delivered 
by Dr. J. E. Taylor before the Hitchin Natural 
History Society, on " Coal, and how it was formed," 
and before the Clevedon Natural History Society, on 
" Flowers and Fruit in relation to Insects and Birds," 
and at Alton Institute, Hampshire, on " Earthquakes 
and Volcanoes.'' 

The newly-formed Society of Amateur Geologists 
is making progress. At the last meeting, held at 
31, King William Street, E.C., Mr. Henry Fleck 
read a paper on "Granite;" microscopic and hand 
specimens were exhibited in illustration of the reader's 
remarks. 

Canterbury Cathedral has just received a 
donation of geological and mineralogical specimens 
from the Rev. J. H. S. Sparrow. This is the first step 
towards the conversion of cathedrals into museums ! 

Rich deposits of graphite and haematite have been 
discovered in Aberdeenshire. 

We have received from Mr. W. Henshall a box of 
"fabric" slides, a new departure in microscopic 
mounting, and one which is of promise for the future, 
as it is calculated to render assistance in determining, 
by means of the microscope, the nature and quality 
of textile fabrics. 

A A"ery useful feature in the " Journal of the New 
York Microscopical Society " (a new publication of 
which we have received the first number), is a list of 
articles of interest to microscopists which have 
recently appeared in other journals. This number 
also contains useful matter in connection with the 
application of electricity to microscopy. 

It is said that the supposed new island off Iceland 
does not exist ; that the locality has been examined 
by French and Danish vessels, with the result that no 
new island is to be found. 

We are glad to find that the University of St. 
Andrews (which has always been the first to recognise 
scientific merit by its distinctions), has just conferred 
the honorary degree of LL.D. upon Professor Ray 
Lankester. 

We are pleased to find that the Linnean Society 
has conferred the distinction of Associate upon 
Mr. J. E. Uagnell, of Birmingham, in appreciation of 
the botanical work he has done. 

Mr. S. Gilchrist Thomas, the inventor of the 
basic Bessemer process is dead, at the early age of 
thirty-four. 



We are always pleased to call attention to the 
numerous praiseworthy efforts, now being evolved 
among young people, for obtaining a practical 
knowledge of normal science. We know of none 
better than the "Practical Naturalists' Society," 
formed for the purpose of encouraging practical 
scientific work, &c, among its members and the 
collection, exchange, arrangement, and preservation 
of objects. The society is purely postal, and is 
forming a useful exchange library of reference. 
The hon. sec. is H. Snowdon Ward, Great Horton, 
Bradford. 

Anything which may tend to prevent those 
distressing collisions which too often take place 
between ships at sea cannot fail to be of importance. 
Mr. W. Balch has patented a portable rocket-firing 
apparatus which can be held in the hand, loaded with 
a rocket or shell at a breech in the tube, and discharged 
by a blow from the other hand. The shell when at 
its height bursts, producing a group of red or green 
stars, as the case may be, directing the on-coming 
vessel which way to steer her course. These rockets 
may also be made to give loud and distinctive reports, 
and can be utilised for other purposes in connection 
with shipping. 

It is with unfeigned sorrow we have to record the 
death by smallpox, of an old and genial friend both 
of the editor and his magazine, Mr. E. C. Rye, the 
well-known author of " British Beetles," editor of the 
"Zoological Record," and librarian of the Geogra- 
phical Society. Many will miss his cheery presence, 
his ready wit, his abounding humour, his delightful 
readiness to help anyone who wanted it and deserved it. 



MICROSCOPY. 

Electrical Microscopic Lamps. — "The 
American Monthly Microscopical Journal " con- 
tains an account, with illustrations, of various adapta- 
tions of electricity to purposes of microscopy. The 
incandescent lamps, in which platinum wire occupies 
the place of the ordinary carbon filament, are 
supported on jointed arms, attached either to the 
microscope itself, or to a separate stand, so that the 
light may be placed near the object, and either above 
or below the stage. A warm stage can also be 
provided, by allowing the current to pass through a 
spiral of platinum wire placed in the stage below the 
object. 

Liverpool Microscopical Society. —The 
President, Mr. Charles Botterill, at the annual 
meeting recently held, read a paper on " The Theory 
aml Practice of Microscopical Illumination." He 
first called attention to the importance of the subject, 
pointing out that no matter how perfect the micro- 
scope and its appliances might be, nor how beautiful 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



65 



or well mounted the objects, the result with imperfect 
or unsuitable illumination must be unsatisfactory. It 
was a fact that illumination was very generally a 
weak point of microscopists ; the inference being 
either that they were unacquainted with its principles 
or failed in their practical application. He then 
proceeded to explain and illustrate by means of 
diagrams the laws of reflection, refraction, total 
reflection, &c, so far as they applied to the subject. 
He next passed in review the various sources of light, 
of which a bright white cloud is generally said to be 
the best, but unfortunately it is not often available, 
especially as the bulk of microscopists must neces- 
sarily work only at night. Next to this, in point of 
purity, comes the electric light, but though it has 
been used with a certain amount of success it can 
never be much used on account of its cost and trouble, 
and the same applies to the oxy-hydrogen and oxy- 
calcium lights. Ordinary microscope lamps then 
are practically the best, and of these there are 
various descriptions, some very elaborate and costly, 
but it is doubtful if they are worth (except, perhaps, 
for very special purposes) their extra cost, and if as 
good results cannot generally be obtained with the 
less expensive ones properly managed. He then 
Teferred to the various modes of illuminating objects 
by transmitted light, urging the neces>ity of so 
arranging the lamp, bull's-eye, &c, as to ensure the 
rays of light passing to the microscope parallel to its 
axis. This being the light usually required not only 
for ordinary transparent objects, but also for polari- 
scope dark ground appliances, &c, he expressed a 
•strong opinion as to the advantage of using the 
light direct from the lamp, without the intervention of 
a mirror, and described a simple plan adapted by 
himself whereby the microscope, lamp, &c, having 
been once satisfactorily placed, could after removal 
be quickly replaced in exactly the same positions, 
thereby effecting a very considerable saving of time, 
less than one minute being required for the whole 
operation, from lighting the lamp to beginning to 
observe. After describing various modes of 
illuminating opaque objects, he concluded by urging 
all microscopists who had not yet done so to make 
themselves thoroughly acquainted with the con- 
struction of the microscope and its various accessories, 
so as to understand each part, its use and mode of 
action, for with this knowledge and by the intelligent 
application of the optical laws involved, they would 
be able readily and certainly to obtain results which 
otherwise would only be got by chance, if at all. 

Mounting Insects. — In reply to a query of 
T. R. Brokenshire : — The best cell I have seen, or 
used for mounting insects whole, without pressure, is 
a metal cell with four equidistant projections. It 
was lately figured and described in the Journal of the 
Royal Microscopical Society. The projections on 
the cell are to support the cover glass, and the spaces 



between the projections allow the'balsam or other 
medium, in which the object is mounted to harden. 
The cell is admirably adapted f'ir the purpose for 
which it is intended, and is certainly a most ingenious 
arrangement. Mr. George Wilks, of Weaste, near 
Manchester, is the inventor ; and doubtless a note 
dropped to him would bring far more information 
about the invention, and how to use it, &c, than I 
can give the inquirer. — E. B. L. Brayley. 

Mounting Insects. — Replying to the query 
respecting mounting insects, &c, I beg to call 
attention to a paragraph on page 477 of the " Royal 
Microscopical Journal " for 1S84. Mr. George Wilks, 
Salford, suggests a new cell for mounting without 
pressure in Canada balsam. The cell is made of 
soft metal, and has four elevations alternating with 
depressions, the cover glass resting on the upper 
points of the curves. By leaving an excess of balsam 
round the cell and cover glass, air bubbles ultimately 
escape through the spaces, and loss by evaporation 
or essential oil in the balsam is provided for. If the 
cell is too deep for the object, it can be pressed 
between two glass-slips until shallow enough. The 
utility of this cell has been successfully demonstrated, 
by Mr. John W. Miles, before the mounting sections 
of the Manchester Microscopical Society. — IV. S. 

Diatom Structure. — In a letter on diatom 
structure, which appears in the " English Mechanic " 
for February 6th, Dr. Wallich gives reasons for 
agreeing with Dr. Flogel "that in such genera as 
triceratum and coscinodiscus, the little hexagonal or 
cylindrical cavities, though completely closed by a 
silicious film on the internal surface of a valve, are 
not closed by any such membrane on the outer 
surface of the valve." 

Life Histories of little-known Acari. — 
Mr. A. D. Michael, who has distinguished himself by 
his researches in this difficult and little known group, 
recently read a paper on the Tyroglyphidae before 
the Royal Microscopical Society. In 1873, Riley 
published a report on the ravages of the apple-bark 
louse {Aspidotus cotuhiformis), and described an 
acarus which was supposed to destroy that pest, and 
which he thought might be the Acarus mains of 
Shinier. Riley only describes the female. Mr. 
Michael has found the acarus in England, under the 
bark of reeds, destroying the reeds, not feeding on 
any insect, and concludes that it is probably a feeder 
on various kinds of bark, not on animal life ; he has 
traced the whole life-history. The male (previously 
unknown) presents the exceptional features possessed 
by the male of Tyroglyphus carpis, discovered by 
Kramer in 1 881, and the hypopial nymph has been 
figured by Canestrini and Fanzago in 1877, under the 
name of " parasite of an Oribata," but without 
explanation. Mr. Michael finds in the life-history of 
this hypopus a confirmation of his views that the 



66 



RARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



hypopial stage is not caused by exceptional adverse 
circumstances, as Megnin supposes, but is an ordinary 
provision of nature" to ensure the distribution of the 
species, which it is intended to call Tyroglyphus 
corlicalis. Mr. Michael also called attention to the 
prevalence of Rhizogliphus Robini on Dutch bulbs 
imported into England in 1SS4, and to the destructive 
character of that species, and the damage it did to 
hyacinth, dahlia, and cucharis bulbs, &c, and recom- 
mended that imported bulbs should be carefully 
examined. 

Cole's Microscopical Studies. — All our readers 
will be pleased to hear that this useful and attractive 
publication is resumed. Four parts are now ready, 
dealing with the following subjects : — "The Compa- 
rative Morphology of Typical Reproductive Organs in 
the Vegetable Kingdom ; " " The Primitive Cell and 
its Progeny" (Animal Histology) ; " Alveolar Pneu- 
monia" (Pathological Histology); and "Popular 
Microscopical Studies," as illustrated by the spin- 
nerets of the Spicier. Each part is not only illustrated 
by an exquisitely coloured plate (whose artistic 
character is vouched for by the letters E. T. D.), but 
also by slides of the various objects specially treated 
upon, mounted in Mr. Cole's best manner. Plate 2 
appears to be wrongly named. 



ZOOLOGY. 

Notes on the Mollusca of North Hants. 
— This county has never been thoroughly searched, 
as regards the mollusca inhabiting it, and as I have 
recently found several rare species, I think it may be 
interesting to some of the readers of Science-Gossip 
to hear of them. Unfortunately I have not been 
able to extend my researches very far, the centre 
being Preston Candover, near Basingstoke ; and I 
have examined the country within a radius of three 
miles round that centre ; but even within that space 
I have collected over seventy species and varieties, 
which is, I think, above the average. The following 
is a list of some of the rarer sorts and varieties, which 
may be interesting to some. Valvata pisciuolis, v. 
depresta; Limnaa peregra, and the vars. acuminata, 
Candida, ova/a, labiosa ; Ancylus fluviatilis, var. 
albida ; Zonites alliarius and erystallinus. Helix 
pomatia ; as far as I can ascertain, this mollusc only 
occurs in one locality. II. aspcrsa, vars. zonata, nn- 
dnlata, and an immature specimen resembling var. 
tenuis. IT. nemoralis, vars. libcllula, rubella, castonea, 
IT. hortensis, vars. incarnata, lutea, castonea; IT. 
cantiona, II. rufescens, var. rubens ; II. sericea, var. 
cornea ; H. virgata, var. albicans ; H. caperaia, var. 
oi nata ; II. eritetorum, vars. alba, minor ; H. lapi- 
cida, var. albino ; II. obvoluta and Bulimus montanus, 
from Buriton. B. obscurus ; Pupa umbilicata, var. 
edentula ; P. mar gi nata ; Clousilia rugosa ; C. lami- 



nata, var. albinos (with type) ; Cocldicopa lubrica ; 
Carychium minimum ; Cyclostoma elegans. The rest 
are more common than the above, and therefore would 
not be of such interest to the reader. I am now 
engaged in working up the conchology of North 
Hants, and would be much obliged for any notes of 
additional captures, and to hear of any local lists 
from that county.—//. P. Fitz-Gerald, JII.C.S. 

Helix pygm.ea.— On December 31st, I took a 
single specimen of this species on Barnes Common, 
from which locality it has not, I think, been 
previously recorded. It was amongst rushes in- a 
damp situation, where one usually finds Hyalina 
nilida. Barnes Common also yielded specimens of 
Li max agrestis, var. sylvatica, and J'itrina pellucida 
on the same day. Vitrina is a most beautiful object 
when alive, as these were, and it is very little af- 
fected by cold weather, and a frost seems only to 
increase its activity.— T. D. A. Cockerell, Bedford 
Park, IV. 

Limax flavus, var. grisea. — This variety was 
described by Mr. Roebuck from a single specimen 
taken at Bath, last year, and has not been recorded 
from any other district. On the 4th of January of 
the present year, I found a dark form of flavus at 
Acton, Middlesex, which I sent to Mr. Roebuck, 
and which he identified as belonging to the above 
variety. The specimen, however, was not thoroughly 
characteristic, since it showed traces of yellow, which 
in the type specimen were entirely absent. It was 
found in company with the type form under a log of 
wood. The only other point worthy of notice is that 
it was on the brick-earth, whereas the Bath specimen 
was found on the oolite. — T. D. A. Cockerell. 

The Report and Proceedings of the Belfast 
Naturalists' Field Club for 1SS3-84, contains a long 
paper by Mr. J. Starkie Gardner, F.G.S., on "The 
Age of the Basalts of the North-east Atlantic," in 
which the author discusses the plant and stratigraphical 
evidence for the supposed miocene age of the Antrim 
and Mull beds ; a List of Irish Coleoptera from Notes 
by the late A. L. Halliday, F.L.S. ; an Account of 
the Cromlechs of Antrim and Down, by W. Gray ; and 
Notes on the Prehistoric Monuments at Carrowmore, 
near Sligo, by Charles Elcock. These two papers 
are both illustrated, and both topographical, and 
should be of great use to those desirous of studying 
these remains. 

Mimicry. — To the " Entomologist," for February, 
Mr. Roland Trimen, F.R.S., contributes an account 
of " Protective Resemblances in Insects," in which 
he mentions disguises by means of which butterflies 
are caught by spiders. In one case he witnessed, he 
says, " the actual capture of a small blue butterfly 
(Lycsenesthes) by a white spider of the genus 
[Thomisus]. The butterfly was engaged in honey- 
sucking on a white flower-head of lantana, and 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



67 



explored each individual flower with its proboscis. 
"While I was watching it, the butterfly touched and 
partly walked over what looked like a slightly faded 
or crumpled flower about the middle of the cluster. 
This turned out to be a spider, which instantly 
seized the butterfly, throwing forward its front legs 
somewhat after the fashion of a mantis. In this 
spider the effect of the little depressions on the limb 
of the corolla was given by some depressed lines on 
the back of its smooth white abdomen." This paper 
will repay perusal. 

Land and Fresh-water Moi.lusca of the 
Middi.esbro' District. — In addition to the species 
and varieties already recorded (S.-G. vol.xix. pp. 163, 
185, and vol. xx. p. 91) for the twelve miles' radius, 
having Middlesbrough for its extremity, I have 
pleasure in adding the following: — Planorbis 
nilidus, and var. albida ; Lim/nra peregra, var. 
Jabiosa ; Arion atef, and vars. maiginata and rufa ; 
Avion liortensis, and vars. grisea and fasciata ; 
Limax maximus, var. cellar ia, and a peculiarly 
marked vaiiety, at present under Mr. W. D. 
Roebuck's hands. Mr. Roebuck believes it to be an 
undescribed variety, but its peculiar coloration and 
markings would seem to entitle it to varietal rank, 
and he has proposed to name the variety pallida- 
dorsalis ; Limax flavus, and vars. colubrina and 
■virescens ; Umax agrestis, and its vars. Irish's and 
sylvatica. — Baker Hudson. 

Sinel's Zoological Laboratory. — At Jersey 
visitors with natural history tastes who find their 
way to the Channel Islands this summer, will be 
immensely interested by visiting the above Institution. 
Mr. Sinel has enthusiastically worked the neighbour- 
ing seas for marine spoils of all kinds, and we have 
repeatedly drawn attention to the slides he has issued 
illustrative of the embryological development of the 
Crustacea, &c. The sea-bed of the Channel Islands 
is a wonderful treasure-house to marine zoologists, 
and all those who propose to trawl, or in other ways 
■to explore, would do well to visit Mr. Sinel's 
laboratory first, and there get all the information 
•they can. The geology, mineralogy, natural history 
of the islands will be also found deeply interesting. 



BOTANY. 

White Peziza. — While searching for the pretty 
scarlet pezizas in a locality where I have frequently 
found them, I recently discovered one, pure white in 
colour. It is about half an inch across the cup, and 
is attached to a piece of stick as the scarlet ones always 
are. — //. Miller, jun., Ipswich. 

Notes ox Fasciation, &c— The respect which 
I entertain for every original observer of plants will 
.not allow me to contradict your correspondent who 



ascribes to the economy of nature phenomena which 
botanists in general refer to another cause ; i.e. the 
cohesion of two flower-stalks, by which they become, 
or at least seem to be, one. This is commonly called 
fasciation, which has been the subject of several 
interesting papers in Science-Gossip. Fasciated 
stems do sometimes show such peculiarities of growth 
as to suggest problems to the scientific mind that are 
rather metaphysical than practical, but, in the case of 
primrose flowers on a flattened stalk, there is no 
difficulty in recognising the union of two pedicels, 
each bearing a flower on its top. Such cases happen 
frequently in polyanthuses, which are the subjects of 
cultivation. Sometimes the two flowers are distinct, 
at other times they are blended into one, having ten 
teeth to the calyx, as many lobes of the corolla, and 
a similar number of stamens. In other cases a calyx 
with ten teeth encloses two corollas, each with its 
normal five stamens in its tube. In the dahlias 
mentioned by your correspondent, the case is very 
different. As what is called the flower of a dahlia is 
in fact a capitulum or head of flowers, the stalk 
which bears it is not a simple pedicel, but a peduncle 
or flowering stem. The two flower-heads, if really 
collateral, must therefore be at the summits of two 
united stems. Whether or not two such stems are 
ever derived from the splitting of one, is a question 
as to which botanists are not quite agreed, but the 
prevalent opinion is in favour of the theory that two 
or more stems first grow together, so that fasciated 
stems, however apparently simple, are really com- 
pound before their component parts diverge above, or 
if they remain united, produce at the top more than 
one head of flowers. I have seen in the dandelion a 
phenomenon like that recorded in the dahlia. I have 
often had wallflowers with fasciated stems with two 
racemes of flowers at the top. On one occasion, 
saving some seeds from such a flowering stem, I sowed 
them, and had about twenty young plants with more 
than two cotyledons on each. Most of these plants 
afterwards produced fasciated stems, from which we 
may conclude that fasciation has its origin in the 
embryo. Further observations are, however, most 
desirable. — Joint Gibbs. 

"Fire-Weed." — America has the reputation of 
doing things on a large scale. A correspondent of 
the American "Botanical Gazette " gives a graphic 
account of a brilliant sight he witnessed in Maine last 
summer. A large tract of some 4000 acres had been 
cleared by a fire which broke out, and lasted for two 
weeks. Three weeks after the fire, vegetation re- 
appeared ; and in August, "our road passing through 
this tract for four miles, the whole region, as far as 
the eye could reach, over hill and valley, ridge and 
interval, was one mass of colour from the ' fire-weed ' 
(Epilobium angustifolium). It looked, as one of the 
party said, as if the earth were covered four or five 
feet deep with a fall of pink snow." 



68 



HA RD W1CKE 'S SCIENCE- G OS SIP. 



Double Primrose. — In 1881, I had an abnormal 
primrose (P. vulgaris) brought to me ; obtained 
at Gedling, Nottinghamshire. Its peduncle was 
flattened (as is described at Science-Gossip, p. 20, 
January, 1S85). The throat of the corolla was some- 
what hour-glass shaped, the general appearance of 
the flower giving one the impression that two flowers 
had become joined into one ; it looked as if about 
two-fifths of each of two plants had been sliced away, 
and the two remaining (larger) parts had been joined 
together along their cut edges, forming one flower. 
Unfortunately I omitted to examine its different 
parts. — C. T. Musson, Nottingham. 

The Defences of Plants. — Messrs. Foremy and 
Urbain have recently drawn attention to cutose, the 
substance which covers and protects the aerial organs 
of plants ; and in a paper just read, it is shown to 
approach the fatty bodies in its properties and 
composition. Cutose resists the action of energetic 
acids, it is insoluble in dilute alkalies ; neutral 
solvents have no action upon it, but boiling alkaline 
liquids modify its conditions. 

A New Flora of Oxfordshire, including the 
Berkshire border, is announced to be published by 
subscription under the editorship of Mr. G. C. Druce, 
F.L.S., High Oxford, the well-known botanist, 
author of a Flora of Northamptonshire. The new 
work is to include also a history of local species and 
local botanists. 

Blossoming of the Artichoke.— I am anxious 
to know whether any correspondent has already 
remarked upon the blossoming last autumn (1884) of 
ITclianthus tnberosus. It has done so freely in South 
Herefordshire, though decaying immediately, so 
that no fructification could take place. It would be 
interesting to know whether this was general through- 
out England, or confined to the more southern 
counties. The blossom is insignificant compared to 
the size of the plant, a typical composite flower, like 
a miniature sunflower, about one to two inches in 
diameter. — E. A. 

A Remarkable Primula.— In December 1883, 
my gardener sent into the house a plant of the white 
primula, which was then in bloom. It continued in 
bloom all through the winter, and the plant 
continued to grow ; it went on throughout the 
summer of 1884, and is now a strong vigorous plant 
covered with bloom, which it has never lost. It 
measures now \\ yard in circumference, and eight 
inches in height. It has 5 spikelets of flowers, with 
five to seven flowers in each cluster, and there are 
some more coming. The flower is single-pearl white, 
with crenated edges and a yellow centre. It has 
generally been my companion in my bedroom when 
in cold weather, there is a fire till about midnight, 
but in the summer it is kept in a cool room, with 
the window open all day. — C. P. Bree, M.D., Hill 
House, Long Melford. 



GEOLOGY, &c. 

Dolerite and Hornblende-schist. — In a 
paper by Mr. J. J. Harris Teall, M.A., F.G.S., on 
"The Metamorphism of Dolerite into Hornblende- 
schist, read at a recent meeting of the Geological 
Society of London, the writer referred to two dykes 
in the neighbourhood of Scourie, Sutherlandshire ; 
of which one, the southern, is well exposed on the 
shore on the north side of the bay, and especially at 
the promontory called C'eag a' M'hail. The pecu- 
liarity to be observed is the actual evidence of 
the transition of dolerite into hornblende-schist, 
Professor Bonney pointing out " that while others 
had suggested the relations in certain cases between 
igneous and metamorphic rocks, to the author 
belonged the merit of having demonstrated this in a 
particular instance." It was suggested that this 
observation might not be of very wide application in 
the question of the formation of schistose rocks, and 
the author replied that he had not argued that all 
hornblende-schists were metamorphosed dolerites, 
but only that a particular hornblende-schist had been 
produced in this way. 

Remains of Crustacea from Brick-Earth, 
Wedford, Essex. — It may interest some readers to 
know I have obtained specimens of Crustacea from 
brick-earth, some of which are in a capital state of 
preservation. The remains are principally of crabs 
and lobsters. I have never met with them before in 
brick-earth. I have studied brick-earth, boulder 
clay, and drift-gravels in this part of Essex for 
over four years, and have collected 500 specimens of 
fossils and rocks. Can any reader inform me if they 
are common or not ? — F. Challis. 

Fossil Insects, &c. — Only in our last number 
we had occasion to record the discovery of a fossil 
cockroach in the Silurian rocks of Calvados, 
Normandy. Now we have to mention a still more 
important " find," that of a fossil scorpion, discovered 
in the Silurian rocks of the island of Gothland, 
Sweden. In "Nature," for January 29, there is 
a capital article on "Ancient Air-Breathers," by 
Mr. B. N. Peach, in which an engraving is given, 
from a photograph, of this oldest known "air- 
breather." Mr. Peach suggests that it may have 
visited the shores of the Silurian seas to feed on 
the eggs of Parka and Eurypterids. 

The Boulder-Clay of Lincolnshire.— In a 
paper on this subject read before the Geological 
Society of London, Mr. A. J. Jukes-Browne describes 
the positions of two groups of clays, the grey or 
blue, and the red and brown, the two types being 
rarely in contact. He considers that the " brown- 
clay series," which includes the purple and hessle 
clays of Mr. S. V. Wood, is of much newer date 
than the " blue and grey series," which he considers 
an extension of the upper or chalky boulder-clay of 
Rutland and East Ansrlia. 



HA RD WICKE' S S CIENCE- G OS SI P. 



69 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Praying Mantis.— The insect descried by W. 
Harvey would appear, from the description given in 
the November number of Science-Gossip, ti belong 
to the empusse ; probably it is Empusa pauperata. 
The empusse are distinguished from the genus mantis 
by the high projections over their eyes which Mr. 
Harvey described ; also by the legs being furnished 
with small leaf-like projections. This specimen is 
very likely a survivor from last year. The eggs of 
the mantidce are laid at the end of summer. They 
are placed in peculiar cases, and attached to shrubs 
or stones, or some such object. The larvae are 
attached to the interior of the eggs, which are placed 
in cells, by two silken threads. On their emerging 
from the eggs, they are suspended in the air at the 
end of these threads. They then change their skin, 
and descend to the ground, and search about for 
food. After this the larvae develop like other 
orthoptera. — II. P. Fitz-Cerald. 

Motion in Spider's Severed Leg. — Mr. H. 
E. U. Bull, in Science-Gossip for November, 
mentions the fact of a spider's leg sustaining violent 
motion after being severed from the creature's body. 
This is no unusual circumstance in connection with 
this spider (name unknown to me), and it has always 
appeared to me that this severing of the leg from the 
body was a voluntary action on the part of the spider 
as a means of diverting the attention of its foes whilst 
it makes good its escape. For the legs appear to 
come off with the least touch, and moreover the spider 
does not seem in the least inconvenienced by the loss 
of one or two of its legs, as it makes off to a place of 
safety with all possible speed on its remaining legs. 
However, it would be interesting to hear the opinion 
of other readers of this paper on the subject. — IV. 
Finch, jitn. , Nottingham. 

Paradise Tree. — Can any reader say if there is 
a plant so called in Trinidad, and where we can find 
an account of it ? We are told it cannot be moved, 
so it is not the bird orchid ; that it dies down, or, 
as was expressed, " sinks to ashes every year." The 
blossom was described, " white, like a dove's head, 
with extended wings ! " The party had only read of 
it. Can it be a " traveller's tale ? "•—J*'. S. 

Unrecognised Birds. — On August 4th, in last 
year I saw two, to me, remarkable and unusual birds 
on a Yorkshire moor. Having described them to a 
game-keeper, he said they were stone-snatches ; not 
common even on the moors, but very rare in the 
plains. I shall be glad if one of your readers will 
tell me more about this bird, for I have not been able 
to identify it beyond learning from the game-keeper 
that he calls it a stone-snatch. The colours were so 
bright and decided that at first I thought a pair of 
foreign birds had escaped from a cage. The birds 
were a trifle larger than a king-fisher ; a sharply 
defined purple or peacock -green band ran from the 
base of the beak to the back of the head, back and 
shoulders yellowish-brown, tips of tail and wing 
feathers yellow ; cry, a shrill kind of chirp ; flight 
short and jerky. — //. M. Birkdale. 

. Carnivorous Water Voles. — I, too, believe 
the water vole to be carnivorous. On the banks of a 
canal near Nottingham (the nearest point being about 
two miles from that town), occurring for a consider- 
able distance, we find numerous little heaps of fresh- 
water shells lying in nooks and crannies, on ledges, 
and also in the openings of holes in the banks, most 



of them between the water and the foot-path, where 
it is from two to four feet high, in quantities varying 
from five to thirty or forty specimens in a heap. 
Hidden as they generally are by reeds and grass, they 
are not seen without being diligently searched for, 
with but very few exceptions. The species found in 
the heaps are : A. cygnea, U. tumidus, U. pictornm, 
and D. polymorpha. The shells are all broken, and 
invariably at the posterior margin, sometimes nearly 
half the shell gone, more commonly, only a small 
portion. Some of the shells have distinct marks, 
showing where an animal's teeth have slipped in 
trying to bite a piece out. Now, for several reasons, 
it is clear that no human agency will account for the 
presence of shells under such conditions. That the 
water vole lives in the vicinity there is plenty of 
proof — the presence of dung with the shells, for 
instance ; and though I have never seen them, except 
for the fraction of a second once or twice, many times 
I have started them, and they have startled me with 
that peculiar "plop," always heard on their taking 
to the water ; evidently having been reposing in some 
of the very nooks and crannies mentioned. It would 
seem that in this instance the water voles are in the 
habit of bringing up from the bottom of the water, 
bivalves of various species, selecting a favourite or 
convenient ledge in a retired spot, there to eat their 
meal so easily obtained. This, after a mild winter. 
Probably it is, therefore, a preference for animal food, 
and not "scarcity" of food, that is the inducement. 
My only doubt is whether it really is the water vole, 
or whether it may not be the brown rat. At Sutton- 
in-Ashfield (Notts) we find evidence very similar, so 
far as broken and marked shells are concerned. But 
here they cccur on mud left bare by the retreat of the 
waters (in a mill-dam) during the past long dry 
summer. (In this case "birds " have also helped 
themselves to the supply of animal food present in 
great plenty in the shape of Anodonta cygnea.) Here, 
for various reasons, we conclude that rats are the 
probable aggressors ; though it is quite likely that 
foxes, weasels, &c, may take their share of the food. 
At Lincoln, too, evidence has occurred leading to a 
similar conclusion as to rats feeding on anodons and 
unios. — Chas. T. Jlfusson, Nottingham. 

Water Voles. — Notwithstanding Mr. Parrot's 
" conjecture " of the carnivorous habits of the water 
vole, I continue to believe it to be entirely phyto- 
phagous. So many people have advanced circum- 
stantial evidence against it, and so few (in fact, none 
at all) have had real proof of its flesh-eating pro- 
clivities that nothing short of the latter will convince 
me. Two days ago I had a conversation with an 
enthusiastic fisherman, who had seen a note of mine 
in Science-Gossip. He was convinced that I was 
wrong, and was certain that the voles fed upon dead 
fish, if ever they came across one. But, upon close 
questioning, I elicited the fact that he had never 
seen one so engaged during the many years he had 
haunted a stream where they were unusually abundant. 
I don't wish for one moment to say that a vole would 
not touch a piece of flesh if it could get nothing else, 
though that remains to be proved. But I do assert 
that flesh is very far from being even an occasional 
item on its menu. — J. A. Wheldon. 

Water Shrew. — A gentleman having seen the 
correspondence concerning the supposed carnivorous 
habits of water voles, wrote to me a few days ago, 
and suggested that the gnawed shells, which I found, 
as before described in a previous number of SciENCE- 
Gossip, were brought there by a water shrew 
(Sorcx fodicns), which is purely an animal feeder. 



7° 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



This at once explains the whole matter, and it ought 
to have occurred to me before, as I have read about 
its habits, but never had the opportunity of observing 
them. The same gentleman, who is well acquainted 
with these little animals, gives the following account 
of their mode of feeding. "I have often seen the 
shrew diving for large specimens of Limne^a 
auricularia and Planorbis coriicus ; and the heaps of 
shells I sometimes come across, testified to the 
success of their efforts. They also dive for the 
caddis-worm, of which they are very fond, bringing 
each one separately to the bank and devouring it, 
then diving for another. I have frequently watched 
them when thus engaged. Their appearance under 
water, like that of the water-spider, resembles a ball 
of silver." I therefore beg to publicly withdraw my 
insinuations against the character of the water vole, 
and thus leave it no ground for an action for libel. — • 
F. Haywood Parrot, Aylesbury. 

Beetles' Burrows. — On turning over a stone, 
which lay on the roadside, in the month of September 
last, I noticed two holes in the ground similar to 
those made by dor beetles under patches of cow and 
horse dung, and on digging into them, I found in 
each a specimen of Gcotmpcs stcrcorarins. Perhaps 
some reader will kindly inform me whether these 
beetles are in the habit of making burrows under 
stones, as well as beneath dung. — R. W. Goulding. 

Birds Killed on Telegraph Wires.— It seems 
to be a fact that many of our birds must perish by 
knocking themselves against the telegraph wires when 
they are flying at night ; the wires being unseen by 
them. In the summer of 1870, when wandering at 
night, I started a flock of partridges, which in their 
rapid flight from me struck themselves with great 
force against a set of five telegraph wires, making the 
wires bend considerably, and several of the birds fell 
to the ground. What was the fate of those birds 
that fell I did not search to see, as the wires were 
within a railway enclosure ; but I could hear them 
give out their wounded cries of suffering from pain. 
During the last autumn I examined two birds of the 
family Scolopacidae that were killed on telegraph 
wires in this neighbourhood. One of these was a 
woodcock {Scolopax rusticola), and the other a jack- 
snipe [Scolopax gallinitla). The woodcock was found 
dead on the morning of the 7th of November, 1SS4, 
and the jacksnipe on the 13th of NovemlxT. Both 
these birds in general rest during the day and come 
forth during the night ; but in the case of the jack- 
snipe it is believed that they rest a portion of the 
night, and fly in the mornings and evenings, except 
when the moon is very clear. The nocturnal habit 
of the woodcock is well made out, and the fact is well 
known to lighthouse keepers : the woodcock in flights 
reach our coasts by night, and in their bewilderment 
with the light of the lighthouse, they are taken by the 
keepers. Flights of them continue to come for seven 
or eight nights in succession, and hundreds perish by 
striking against the lamps. At first thought it appears 
strange that these night-flying birds should strike them- 
selves against telegraph wires and be killed ; but an 
examination of my meteorological register shows 
that on both nights when the birds were killed fog 
prevailed. A dissection of the two birds showed 
their wounds to be on the same parts of their body, 
viz., the base of the bill, back and wing. The birds 
had been in perfect health, and were very fat, and 
the gizzards in both were about empty ; but the in- 
testines were full of chyle. The total weight of the 
woodcock was ten ounces three drams, which is a 
light bird when compared with Dalgleish's weights 



of the woodcock shot at Gartincaber, near Doune, 
Perthshire, between i860 and 1870, the average being 
between 11 and 12 ounces ; the heaviest 14J ounces, 
and lightest 75 ounces. Whether the death of the 
woodcock or the jacksnipe on the telegraph wires is 
the most remarkable, it is difficult to hazard an 
opinion. The flight of the jacksnipe is wavering, 
somewhat bat-like, but swift ; and it can turn on 
wing with the utmost ease ; but the night when the 
specimen under consideration was killed, the fog was 
remarkable. In the afternoon and evening it was 
calm, very humid, rain-drops hanging on every twig, 
and the Valley of the Clyde was covered by a dense 
nimbus cloud that was only a few feet from the 
ground, a circumstance that naturally causes birds to 
fly near the earth. That afternoon, when out about 
four o'clock, I witnessed a flock of lapwings and 
rooks nearly get entangled in the telegraph wires, 
and these birds were accustomed to flying in the 
same locality. The jacksnipe is but a winter visitor, 
being here only between October and April, and 
none of them ever remain with us to breed. The 
woodcock is abundant with us in winter. In the 
autumn of 1883 it was very abundant in the neigh- 
bourhood of Johnstone Castle, and in the last autumn 
it was more abundant there than it has been for the 
last seven years. The woodcock breeds in this 
neighbourhood, and has also been observed doing so 
from Wigtonshire to the Orkney Islands. On the 
night when the woodcock was killed, the fog was not 
remarkably dense. — Taylor, Sub-Curator, 'AIusciuii, 
Paisley. 

Tomatoes. — The fact that insects avoid ground 
where tomatoes are planted is well known. Indeed, 
our cucumber-frames and marrow-beds always have 
a row of tomatoes planted in them, to preserve the- 
vegetables from insects. — C. F. W. 

Lion and Tiger. — Mr. Brenan's curious note on 
the Felidae (p. 46) will, I am afraid, not bear much 
serious criticism. It is to be regretted that in dis- 
cussing a question of classification, in which accuracy 
of definition is of the first moment, the terms "genus, ' 
" family," and " class," should have been used as con- 
vertible synonyms. The position of the lion in the 
zoological scale is briefly this : Class, Mammalia ; 
Order, Carnivora ; Family, Felidse ; Genus, Leo. 
Taking it for granted that the class and order are 
not called into question, although it is literally 
contended that lions should have a separate class, we 
may premise that the basis of classification is 
structural intimacy, rather than similarity of habit 
and appearance. It will therefore be clear that the 
family is rightly chosen, as the only, or at any rate 
the chief digitigrade carnivorous families besides the 
Felidse (cats), are the Canidse (dogs) and the 
Mustelidse (weasels). ■ The comparative scarcity ot 
molars and premolars, and the presence of recurved 
papilla; on the tongue — typical of the lion — are two of 
the most unmistakable marks of the Felidre. 
Dealing with the points of difference referred to, it 
may easily be shown that as departures from the 
normal type, they are not confined to the lion. He 
is charged with not having (a) the power to climb. 
But the tiger, an undoubted feline, is no climber. 
(/') A retractile claw. But, granting this to be true, 
and it is open to grave doubt, the claw of the cheetah 
(Gucparda jiibata) is, on the authority of many, only 
partially retractile, if at all. (<) A sylvan halm. 
But this is the case, to much the same extent, with the 
puma (Leopardus concolor). (d) A marked skin. 
But the puma is only so marked in infancy, acquiring 
with age a skin as plain as the lion's. In fact one 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



7i 



would expect leonine cubs to show traces of markings, 
although I cannot say without reference whether 
they do so or not. Lastly, placing the lion and tiger 
in the same genus (Felis) is not attempted, as the 
lion constitutes the genus Leo, the tiger Tigris, and 
the wild cat and its congeners Felis, all three genera j 
making up with others the cat family. — Ernest G. 
/farmer. 

Hybernation of Cuckoo.— I see that W. P. is 
exercised about the hybernation of a cuckoo. Such 
a hybernation has been known before. I remember 
having read somewhere (I believe in White's 
" Selborne "), that a bundle of sticks was on a certain 
•occasion brought into a room, and the heat roused a 
cuckoo which was hybemating in the bundle. This 
is even a more extraordinary case than that mentioned 
by W. P., and goes to confirm the truth of his 
statement. — F. II. Perry Coste. 

Bats. — As another correspondent mentions the 
fact that bats are seen flying in Maidstone in mild 
weather in winter, it may interest him to know that 
according to White, bats fly whenever the temperature 
is above 56 degrees. (I quote from memory, but 
believe I am right in the number.) — F. H. Perry 
Coste. 

Flint or Stone Implements. — I should be 
greatly obliged if any of your readers can inform me 
if any such implements were found in the peat on the 
wild moors of Allendale, Northumberland ? Where 
were they found, and what kind of stone were they 
composed of ? — J. R. Hewitson, Mirfield, Yorks. 

Stickleback. — Can any readers kindly enlighten 
me as to the cause, or probable cause of this fish turning 
an iridescent colour after death ? The reason the 
bodies of sticklebacks become such beautiful colours 
during life, I believe is due to the excitement which 
at such times is generally prevalent. As to how these 
colours, the predominant of which is brilliant red, 
are exhibited by the fish, full particulars concer- 
ning it will be gratefully accepted by me. — A. II. 
Fry. 



NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 



To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than heretofore, we cannot 
possibly insert in the following number any communications 
which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the "exchanges " offered are fair 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken oi out gratuitous insertion of 
'• exchanges " which cannot be tolerated. 

We request that all exchanges may be signed with name (or 
initials) and full address at the end.. 



Investigator. — Harvey's "Phycologia," 3 vols., with 
coloured illustrations of species, deals with British marine algae ; 
the " Phycologia Australis " deals similarly with southern 
species. The " Treasury of Botany," 2 vols., is a work such as 
you require, each short paragraph being written by a specialist. 
No dictionary of natural history is out, except that of Beeton's, 
which would not come up to your requirements. Get Cassell's 
"Natural History," 6 vols., edited by Prof. M. Duncan. 

H.W. D. — The best wav of killing the small animals you 
mention is by means of chloroform. 

W. Boardman. — The " Botanical Gazette" is an American 
periodical, published at Indianapolis. 



Arion. — Address Mr. J. W. Taylor, St. Ann Street, Leeds, 
for information as to the Conchological Society. 

R. F. Z. — The theories about the American gas and oil wells 
have been published in various American Geological Survey 
works. There is little doubt they originate from rocks rich in 
organic matter, and the latter is distilled by the heat in the 
interior of the earth. 

A. E. Hudson. — For all details concerning the Botanical 
Record Club, inquire of Mr. Charles Bailey, F.L.S., Ashfield 
College Road, Whalley Range, Manchester. For Botany of 
Switzerland, see the articles by Dr. De Crespigny, published in 
Science-Gossip four years ago. 

A. P. — In spite of the terracotta representation of a stork 
carrying off a child, we do not think those birds are guilty of 
the trick ! It would have to be a much more powerful stork 
than any we know of to carry off a child. 

J. Hamson. — Get Mr. English's book (price is. 6d.), on 
" How to Preserve Fungi with all their Colours." Address him 
at Epping, Essex. 

G. E. A., jun.— The volumes of the Pateontographical So- 
ciety are published annually to members, who subscribe one 
guinea a year. Applv to the honorary secretary, the Rev. 
Thomas Wiltshire, 25 Granville Park, Lewisham, London, S.E. 
J. S. H. — From your description, we have no doubt the 
object you mention, obtained during your friend's voyage, is 
the glass rope-sponge {Hyalonc/ua mirabilis). 

Ledaig. — The specimen you sent is purple sandpiper (Tringa 
maritima). 

J. Hart. — We thank you for your kind offer. 
James Sims. — Your letter to hand, but the moss is missing. 
F. M. P. — See Science-Gossip, 18S3, Nos. 225 and 226, for 
"A New History of the Sparrow." 

C. A. M. — You cannot do better than get Shuckhard's 
" Briiish Bees" (with illustrations), published by Lovell Reeve 
and Co., at 10s. 6d. 

R. Cairns. — Davis's monograph, "On the Fossil Fi ? hes of 
the Carboniferous Limestone,'' may be obtained, we should 
imagine, of the secretary of the Royal Dublin Society. Apply 
to him. 

W. H. B.— Your specimens are : (1) Filago Gallica; (2) Tri- 
folium procumbens ; 13) is too obscure even to guess at. 

J. Challis — Your specimens (from Broomfield, &c.) are not 
from the Boulder clay at all, but from the London clay. No. 1 
is a phosphatic nodule, just as formed in the London clay. 
These nodules, when washed out of the London clay and re- 
deposited in the crag beds, form the well-known " Coprolites " 
of the latter formation. No. 2 is a fragment of hardened sand, 
whose particles are coated with manganese. No. 3, a cluster 
of macled crystals of Selenite, from the London clay. 



EXCHANGES. 

Good botanical, histological, crystals, polariscopic, diatoms, 
fish scales and miscellaneous, microscopic slides for others as 
good of bacilli, entozoa, algae, desmids, zoophytes, rocks, fossil 
woods. — B. Wells, Dalmain Road, Forest Hill. 

Offered, specimens of Cynomorion coccineum in exchange 
for works on natural history. — Cajetan Platania Platania, Yia 
S. Giuseppe 14, Acireale, Sicily. 

Duplicates : Helix scabriuscula, Fissurclla neglecta, Ha- 
liotis lamellosa, and many other Sicilian land and marine 
shells. Desiderata : British and foreign land and marine 
shells. — Cajetan Platania Platania, Via S. Giuseppe 14, Acireale, 
Sicily. 

Offered, six-chambered pin-fire revolver, nearly new, and 
cartridges. Wanted, skates (full size"), good coins, or other 
things. — A. W. Harrison, Edith House, Parchmore Road, 
Croydon. 

Offered, mounted specimens of the wonderful and beautiful 
lichen Ramalina reticulata, also specimens of Usnea barbata, 
in exchange for rare lichens, ferns, or shells. — J. Reed, Santa 
Clara, Santa Clara Co. California, U.S.A. 

A very good collection of English lepidoptera, well set and 
'n fine preservation, including several hawk-moths, for sale or 
in exchange for works on Natural History. List sent on appli- 
cation. — F. Hayward Parrott, Walton House, Aylesbury. 

A very fine and complete collection of fossils from the chalk 
of Surrey and Kent (specially rich in sharks' palate teeth, both 
in variety and number) together with a collection of minerals 
and crystals (including a group of amethyst crystals 40 inches 
in circumference, and a slab of flexible sandstone) will be ex- 
changed for English coins in fine preservation. — A. B., 97 Burton 
Road, Stockwell, S.W. 

Specimens of Urania Sloanci in exchange for good micro 
camera lucida, or good photographic wide angle lens, or 
offers. — J. Hart, Gordon Town, Jamaica. 

Hugh Miller's "Old Red Sandstone" (1882) and Science- 
Gossip in part, complete from i88r to 1884 for good rock-sec- 
tions. — E. Halse, 15 Clarendon Road, Notting Hill, W. 

Thirty different starches mounted in balsam, for exchange. 
Desiderata : insects' eggs, parasites, pollens, gorgonias and 
histological sections. — N. Irving, 16 Acomb Street, Manchester. 

Last six years' numbers of Science-Gossip for exchange. 
Offers wanted in slides, books or micro-material. — J. Beaton, 
M.A., 219 Upper Brook Street, Manchester. 



72 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



" Bk'tish Wild Birds" from number i to 26, both unbound. 
Wanted, Darwin's " Insectivorous Plants," and " Variation of 
Animals and Plants under Domestication." — F. Willoughby, 
St. Paul's Square, Birmingham. 

Wanted, Foreign and English beetles, will exchange Foreign 
and English Coleoptera and Lepidoptera. Will correspond 
with foreign Coleopterists. — D. Dods, 47 Chepstow Place, 
Bayswater, W. 

British silver coins, in good preservation of Henry, Edward, 
Elizabeth, Charles, Anne. Also Roman coin -, silver and copper, 
offered in exchange for flint stone or bronze implements. — R. 
McAldowie, 12 St. Nicholas Street, Aberdeen. 

Stained sections of Coba-ci scandens, Ilex Aquifolium, and 
several other botanic.il slides, in exchange for other well-mounted 
slides. Lists exchanged. J. William Horton, Brayford Wharf, 
Lincoln. 

Wanted one or two examples of bone, shell, or stone fish- 
hooks from South Sea Islands, or the Eskimo or American 
Indians. Liberal exchange offered in Crustacea, mollusca, 
rocks, or nucro-slides of marine objects. E. Lovett, 43 Clyde 
Road, Croydon. 

For exchange or otherwise. A fine mahogany, 40 drawer 
microscopic slide cabinet with panel door, &c, to hold 1920 
slides, flat. — E. Lovett, 43 Clyde Road, Croydon. 

Wantpd, old English coins. Six flakes from the neighbour- 
hoods of Dover and Hemel Hempstead offered in exchange. A 
coin of the above description, of the value of about one shilling. 
— B. Piffard, Hill House, Hemel Hempstead, Herls. 

Wanted, perfect, correctly named, British and Foreign but- 
terflies, in exchange for some good bulbs of liliums and other 
hardy flowers, British shells, and a few Paris basin fossils 
(named). — J. T, R., Spring Cottage, Dee Banks, Chester. 

OBJECTIVES wanted of half an inch and higher, and other 
micro-apparatus to exchange for micro-slides, collection? of 
phanerogams and mosses, or botanical works. — J. Harbord 
Lewis, F.L.S., 145 Windsor Street, Liverpool. 

Offered, mountain hare stuffed, new, without case, and 
Sciknce-Gossii- unbound, March to May, 1880, and Aug. 1880 
to Dec. 1882 : wanted uncommon British mammals, skins or in 
flesh —J. Kelsall, Ball. Coll., Oxon. 

Wanted a polariscope for microscope. Will give 5 vols. 
(1877-81), " Popular Science Review," bound and in good con- 
dition. — F. Adams, 92 Upper Alma Street, Newport, Mon. 

WELL-blown eggs of golden-winged woodpecker, spotted 
sandpiper, Leaches petrel, and red-winged starling, to exchange 
for others not in collection. — Dr. J. T. T. Reed, Kyhope, near 
Sunderland. 

Wanted a good second-hand slide cabinet to hold at least 500. 
Apply, stating price, or exchange required, to W. Irving, 16 
Acomb Street, Manchester. 

Wanted the vols, or numbers of Science-Gossip from the 
beginning to the end of 1872 ; also any of G. Eber's novels, 
translated from the German. Will give in exchange good slides, 
various. — J. J. Andrew, L.D.S. Eng., 2 Belgravia, Belfast. 

Diatoms. — Exchange twelve prepared tubes of diatoms 
(from different parts of the world), for three well-mounted insect 
slides. — F. Cresswell DuBois, 15 West Cromwell Road, Ken- 
sington. 

Botanists and others in all temperate regions are cordially 
invited to enter into correspondence as to the collecting of 
bulbous plants with a view to exchange for other similar plants, 
not indigenous to their districts ; or to exchange for Geological, 
Conchological, and other Natural History specimens. — J. T. R., 
Spring Cottage, Dee Banks, Chester. 

Chessvlite, bloodstones, jet, actinolite, wood opal, pyro- 
morphite, specular iron, erubescite, dolomitic limestone, gra- 
phite, polished madrepores, practical microscopy by George 
Davis (new); "Human Race," by Louis Figuier (new). 
British tertiary fossils. — Wanted fossils from tertiary formations 
of France, Italy, and Germany. Also rare British and foreign 
shells. — Miss Linter, Arragon Close, Twickenham. 

Foreign butterflies, Orn. brookiana, (Sumatra) ; Morpho. 
cypris (Bogota); Mania rhyplieas (Madagascar); the three 
most splendid butterflies known ; also wings of brilliant species 
for microscopic purposes. Rare papilios much wanted for figur- 
ing, condition immaterial, over two hundred already figured. — 
Hudson, Railway Terrace, Crosslane, near Manchester. 

Two hundred and twenty foreign stamps used and unused, 
valued at 11s. in exchange for entomological apparatus, or good 
collection Lepidoptera, or Coleoptera. — Thomas Mackie, 162 
James Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow. 

Offiiked, Rye's " British Beetles," 10s. 6d., sixteen coloured 
plates; wanted, "Common British Fossils," by Editor of 
Science-Gossip; or what offers? — T. Brewis, Boro' College 
School, Rotherham. 

Offered, Cyclostyle, complete, quarto size. Wanted, equi- 
valent in physiographical or geological books or implements. — 
T. Brewis, Boro' College School, Rotherham. 

Offered Science-Gossip for 1883, new, bound, also "The 
Mysteries of Creation Solved " (new) ; also "Six Months on 
Duty " (new), for works on Astronomy and Natural History. — 
W. M. H., AUtonfield School, Ashbourne. 

Wanted, Vertigo lilljeborgi (West), V. tuntida, V. alpcs- 
tris, V. pmillti and V . minntissima. Other British land and 
fresh-water shells in exchange. — W. Gain Tuxford, Newark. 



Duplicates: Atalanta, Io, Cardui, Galathea, Semele, Ti- 
thonus, Hyperanthus, Egerides, Alexis, Phlojas, Bucephala, 
Caja, Lucipares, Meticulosa, Oleracea, Fluctuata, Rhomboid- 
area, Cratasgata, &c. Wanted, other Lepidoptera. — F. H. 
Perry Coste. 15 Bruce Grove, Tottenham, N. 

Science-Gossip, wanted the following Nos., 43. 46, 51, 52, 
55. 59. 67, 68, 72, 76, 83, 84, 210, 212-216, and for 1865-67, 1883, 
and 1884. Numerous exchanges, periodicals, books, slides, 
Natural History specimens, &C. — W. T. Taylor, Seymour 
House, Keswick. 

Wux give chalk, gault, lower greensand, and post-tertiary 
fossils, also land and fresh-water shells, for British lepidoptera, 
micro-slides, or books. — A. Beales, 37 Kingsley Road, Maid- 
stone. 

Will exchange parts and first 6 vols, of Science-Gossip for 
" Zoologist," or bird skins in good condition. — J. R. Hewitson, 
Knowle, Mirfield, Yorkshire. 

Wanted, eggs of moths, &c, for mounting. — R. J. Cowling, 
47 Dockley Road, S.E. 

Will collect and forward specimens of shells, marine and land 
seaweeds, and, during the coming season, butterflies from 
counties Dublin and Wicklow. Lists sent. — John R. Redding, 
165 North Strand Road, Dublin. 

A few micro-slides of archegonia and antheridia of mosses 
and hepatics to exchange for other good slides ; send lists to 
W. G. Green, 2j Triangle, Bristol. 

Exchangb offers requested for " Science for All," vol. i. 
and last monthly parts; "Amateur Work," 3 vols., and last 
parts; "European Ferns," eighteen yd. parts; " Cassell's 
Popular Educator," cost $os. " Beale on the Microscope" 
wanted. — H. Ebbage, Halesworth, Suffolk. 

Wanted, batches of living Helices aspeisa, nemoralis, hor- 
tensis, and arbustorum, from different soils ; exchange land 
and freshwater shells. — B. Hudson, 15 Waterloo Road, Middles- 
brough. 

Wanted, to exchange upwards of 100 species of North 
American eggs, all side-blown, in complete clutches, with full 
data, for clutches of eggs on British list. Correspondence 
solicited by — W. Wells Bladen, Stone, Staffordshire. 

Exchange for other land or freshwater, fine Anodonta 
anatina, A. cygnus, Unio pictorum, U. tumidus, Unio sp. 
America, Paludina vivipara, Limnea anricularia, L. stag- 
nalis, Helix pomatia, H. aspersa, P. corneus. — James Ellison, 
Stecton, Leeds. 

Wanted, to exchange " Knowledge," vol. v., January to 
June, 1884, for the " Postal Microscopical Journal," 1884. — 
J. B. J., 145 Highbury New Park, London. 

Wanted, first seven numbers of " Knowledge," also Nos. 36, 
40,86,115; will give in exchange micro slides, apparatus, or 
books. Physiological slides to exchange for others of interest. 
— W. Tutcher, 22 North Road, Bristol. 

Skins of spotted eagle, male and female ; exchange for Ice- 
land or Greenland falcon. — Henry Walton, Birtley, Chester-le- 
Street, co. Durham. 

Wanted, birds' eggs, named and side-blown, in exchange for 
exotic and British butterflies and moths, also a good second- 
hand cabinet for birds' eggs. — R. Garfit, Vine House, Alford, 
Lincolnshire. 

Wanted, good material for mounting, more especially insects 
(in spirit) ; will give well-mounted slides in exchange. — Charles 
Collins, Bristol House, Harlesden, N.W. 



BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED. 

"The Collector's Manual of British Land and Freshwater 
Shells," by Lionel E. Adams. London: George Bell & Sons. — 
" The Student's Botany," by C. MacDowell Cosgrave, M.D. 
Dublin : Fannin & Co. — " Medical Annual for 1885," edited by 
Dr. Percy Wilde. London: Henry Kimpton. — "Cactaceous 
Plants : their History and Culture," by Lewis Castle. 171 Fleet 
Street. — "Popular Science News" (Boston). — "American 
Naturalist." — " Report and Proceedings of Belfast Naturalists' 
Field Club." — "Science." — "Journal of New York Micro- 
scopical Society." — "Belgravia." — "Gentleman's Magazine." 
— "Midland Naturalist." — "Ben Brierley's Journal." &c. &c. 



Communications received up to iith ult. from :— 
M. A. M — E. W. O'M.— J. E. R.— F. H. P.— J. A. W.— 
R. W. G.— J. H. M.— R. L. H— A. B.— E. K. L.— J. S.— 

F. M. P.— J. H.— E. H.-F. S.— H. M. B.— A. W. H.— J. S. 
C T. M.— F. W.— D. D.— E. G. H.— C. A. M.— W. I.— 
T. D. A. C— J- M. B. T.— R. McA.— J. F. C— J. H. L.— 
J. T. R.— E. B. L. B.— J. B.— E. L— J. W. H.— A. E. H.— 
A. K.— J. E. K.-F. C— F. A.— W. S.— J. J. A.— L. C— 
C. P.— J. T. T. R.-C. F. W.— W. I.— F. C. D. B.— J. H.— 
C. C— A. A. R.-B. W.— R. C— W. E. G.— J. T. R.— J. E. L. 
_H.— A. W. F.— T. M.— T. W. B.-W. M. H.— W. T. T.— 
J. W.— G. M. B.— E. A.— F. H. P. C— W. G.— A. B.— J. R. H. 
— R. J. C— H. F.— R. D.— A. H. S— J. R. R— A. M. P.— 

G. E. E.— H. E.— F. S.— B. H.— W. H. B.— W. W. B.— J. E. 
— I. B. J.— W. T.— W. B.— A. H. S.— W. S.— W. O.— H. W. 
— C. C— A. E R.-R. G.— C. P. P.— H. S. W.— H. C. C— 
S. C- C.-&C. 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 




EXD. del ad rial 



YmcenfcBrookSjDay &.SonHK. 



EGGS OF VAPOURER MOTH 

x 30 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



73 




GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T. D, 



No. XVI. — Eggs of Vapourer Moth. 




4^{f?^teli^ IIE ' outer "shell" 
(if it may be so 
called), of the eggs 
of the majority of 
insects is composed 
of a chitinous 
membrane, of such 
protective tough- 
ness, that the eggs 
are frequently 
found in the crops 
of insectivorous 
birds, mixed with 
digested portions 
of food, so intact 
and unaltered in 
form, colour, and 
integrity, as pos- 
sibly to be found 
to retain even their 
vitality. In the article accompanying the plate of the 
egg of the house-fly in the October 1884 number of 
this journal, on page 218, an authentic case is referred 
to, of the eggs of the vapourer moth {Orgyia antiqua) 
having been found in large numbers in the intestines 
of a cuckoo, which was captured last August in the 
garden of the old Charterhouse School, London, 
and a detailed account of the circumstances pub- 
lished in the "Field" newspaper on the 30th of 
the same month. The present illustration shows a 
group of these eggs, after having been extracted, 
washed, and carefully dried; although the experi- 
ment was not tried, it is possible they might have 
been hatched. 

The regularity of the various forms of the eggs of 
insects, added to exceptional appearances of colour, 
markings, and even sculptures, render them peculiarly 
attractive as microscopic objects. As a distinct subject 
of interest, they offer great diversity and beauty — 
unlike the eggs of birds, exhibiting external appliances, 
strange structural appendages, fringes of extreme 
delicacy, eccentric forms and curvatures, with lids, 
No. 244. — April 1885. 



and caps of various devices to aid the emission of 
the larva. 

It is not unworthy of note, that sculptured surfaces 
of rare beauty, raised nodules, pitted depressions, 
surrounded with ridges arranged with geometrical 
precision, radiating from the base to the apex, as 
found in the eggs of some insects, are peculiarities 
frequently seen in minute, and isolated germ life, in 
unicellular plants, the cells of desmids, diatoms, 
minute seeds, spores, and particularly in pollen 
granules where external appearances take the most 
singular and elegant forms. 

The collector of the eggs of insects must be guided, 
in his explorations, by the habit of the parent. The 
suitable deposition of the egg, and its future develop- 
ment, depend on the supply and position of the food ; 
it would be impossible to conceive an organism in a 
more helpless condition than a larva just emerged, 
unless it found itself surrounded by, or within reach 
of, abundant nutriment ; the eggs of all leaf-eating 
caterpillars are consequently deposited on the 
branches, and in the interstices of the trees themselves, 
or in close proximity. Particular trees or plants, 
probably with some regard to locality and aspect, are 
selected by different species. In some cases the parent 
collects and stores the future food, depositing an egg in 
a cell, and packing it with just the amount required by 
the larva, anticipating a supply in proportion to the 
size of the cell which invariably is a sufficient, and 
an exact, quantity. Many of the vegetable-feeding 
beetles maintain the preservation of the future progeny 
by rolling up balls of food, in which is enveloped an 
egg — a case where the individual is evidently of less 
importance than the perpetuation of the species, the 
chances of survival being enhanced by the separate 
isolation of the egg. It is engagingly interesting to 
consider the powerful impulses which induce such 
actions ; involving favourable positions, selection of her- 
bage, and often temperature and moisture, as affecting 
the putrefaction or fermentation of organic substance 
in which the young maggots may revel, an impulse 
without doubt emanating from maternal presentiment 



74 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



— for, in many cases progeny are actually nursed 
and protected by the parent, even supported and 
supplied with untiring zeal. As a rule insects are 
only destructive in a larval state — destructive, in many 
instances, in the sense of being beneficial. In that 
condition, development is rapid, and the chief 
business of life, i.e., the preparation for a higher and 
more important condition, is performed. 

In consequence of the minuteness of eggs of insects, 
and the extraordinary care taken in depositing them, 
they frequently baffle detection, but it is certain 
few localities escape, and they may be sought for in 
the most unexpected, and apparently unlikely places. 
Many singular instances might be mentioned : the 
larvae of the Curculios feed on the developing seeds 
of plants, the eggs are deposited in the flowers, 
and during growth, the hatched larvae bore through 
the soft tissues of the "receptacle," and devour its 
contents. In the larger order of the lepidoptera 
extraordinary care is exhibited, even to the extent of 
mechanically providing protection by enveloping the 
eggs in peculiar coverings, or securing a defence with 
glue-like varnishes of considerable tenacity. The life- 
duration of the egg condition, is often a factor. Many 
moths only deposit on fruits just ripening, a matter of 
days, and adjustment of time ; unripe fruits are never 
touched. The cocci, or scale insects (infesting peach- 
houses, and conservatories), fix themselves firmly on 
the leaves and brood over the eggs ; even after death 
the body forms a tent or covering under which the 
young remain until mature. 

The orthoptera dig holes in the earth and deposit 
eggs in groups, enveloped in some instances in a case. 
As in this order the young when hatched immediately 
exhibit the lively appearance, appetites, and instincts 
of the parents, and are capable of at once seeking 
food, a storage of provision, or a contiguous supply- 
is unnecessary. Living and growing tissues are 
often the nidus and receptacle of eggs. The gad-fly 
(Tabanus) has a sheath capable of penetrating the 
skins of animals, and not only depositing the egg, but 
of setting up a condition of excitement necessary for 
the future preservation of the young. The means 
and instruments employed are endless ; the various 
forms of ovipositors is a subject in itself. They are 
capable of cutting into, and boring beneath the 
cuticles of leaves or the rinds of fruits, leaving an egg 
in the parenchyma, with the addition of a corrosive 
fluid of such virulence as to excite abnormal growths in 
aid of the sustenance of the future larva;, producing con- 
tortions of tissues, and excrescences, as in the well- 
known gall-nut ; a curious reciprocity as affecting the 
functions of the plant, and the requirements of the 
insect. 

Space does not admit the pursuit of this interesting 

subject ; our younger readers must be referred to 

Kirby and Spence's most charming Introduction to 

Entomology. 

Among remarkable forms may shortly be specified, 



the yellow eggs of the cabbage butterfly (Picris 
brassica:), the puss moth (Centra vinula), the privet 
moth (Sphinx ligustri), the transparent eggs of the 
honey bee, the cockroach, the cricket, and the eggs 
of most of the parasites, especially those infesting 
the pheasant. Many of these open longitudinally 
through well-marked sutures aided by the tension of 
curvature. For the cabinet, eggs are easily prepared 
as opaque objects, and it is not difficult to arrange 
them for observation on the stage of the microscope, 
in a living condition, showing the movement of the 
larva within, and with patient watching, its ultimate 
emergence. 
Crouch Hind. 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 
By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S., F.C.S. 

AVERY interesting paper on labour and wages in 
America was read at the Society of Arts by 
Mr. D. Pigeon, the Hon. J. Russell Lowell in the 
chair. Among many other facts proving the superior 
education afforded to artizans there, he showed that 
the number of public schools in the United States is 
225,800, or one to every 200 of the entire population 
of both sexes and all ages. In Massachusetts alone 
there are nearly 2000 free libraries, or one to every 
800 inhabitants. No wonder then that Mr. Lowell 
was able to say that "one thing he thought he had 
noticed in the real American workman, was the 
amount of brains which he mixed with his fingers," 
as compared with the workmen of other countries. 
Now that science is interfering with every kind of 
industry, this ability to mix up brains with fingers 
will determine the destiny of nations. Not only the 
arts of peace, but also the grim business of war, is 
dependent upon science. The victory of the Germans 
in the Franco-Prussian war was largely due to the 
mixing of brain with fingers, in the handling of 
delicate arms of precision, and the intelligent use 
of maps by common soldiers. 

At the meeting of the Chemical Society, on 19th 
February, Mr. E. C. H. Francis described a simple 
but very valuable discovery, viz., that if filter paper 
be immersed in nitric acid of 1*42 sp. gr., and 
washed in water, it becomes remarkably toughened 
without losing its porosity, as when treated with 
sulphuric acid in making parchment paper. We are 
told that the paper treated with nitric acid may be 
washed and rubbed without damage, like linen. It 
contracts and loses a little weight, but contains no 
nitrogen. The weight of its ash diminishes, which is 
an advantage in analytical chemistry, especially in 
rough and ready commercial analyses where the ash 
is neglected. As non-chemical readers may not 
otherwise appreciate the important position held by 
filter paper in an analytical laboratory, I will explain 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



75 



that in most cases the quantity of a given substance is 
determined by dissolving the mixture in which it is 
contained, and then adding a precipitant, which 
throws down the substance in question in solid 
insoluble form, usually a compound of known 
composition. The solid is separated by filtration and 
weighed. The filtering agent must be removable, 
and blotting paper answers the purpose admirably. 
If the precipitate is incombustible, the paper is 
burned with its adhering precipitate, which is then 
weighed. Otherwise, it is weighed on the paper, 
after drying ; another piece of paper of equal size and 
proved equal weight, being used as counterpoise. 
Specially made paper that leaves but an infinitesimal 
ash is used. 

In the Records of the Geological Survey of India, 
vol. 1 7, is a memoir by Dr. \V. King, on the " Smooth 
Water Anchorages of Narrakal and Alleppy," on the 
Travancore Coast. These remain smooth even when 
the surface of the sea outside is torn by the south- 
westerly moonsoons into white surf-topped billows. 
The explanation of the mystery is simple enough, and 
is interesting, as affording further evidence on the 
disputed question of oiling the waves. The bottom 
of these anchorages is a soft, unctuous mud found to 
contain oil, and from it is a continuous oozing 
upwards of petroleum. My friend Arthur Robottom 
describes a similar calm region on the Californian 
coast, but at some distance out at sea. Here the oil 
wells up in large quantities, spreads visibly over the 
surface and effectively becalms a great area around 
the spring. Franklin's experiments on the ponds of 
Clapham Common, and his conclusion, that the oil 
prevents the wind from taking hold of the water, by 
acting as a lubricant against the wind-friction, are 
confirmed by these cases, by the experiments at 
Peterhead, and by all that has since been learned on 
the subject. 

In the same volume is an account of a fiery 
eruption from one of the mud volcanoes on Cheduba 
Island, where a body of flame 600 feet in circumfer- 
ence is said to have at one time reached an elevation 
of 2400 feet. Petroleum again. The earth evidently 
contains a much larger store of petroleum than is 
usually supposed. 

Very few people appreciate the interesting collection 
of meteorites in the British Museum. The majority 
of ordinary visitors pass through the whole of the 
show without seeing them at all. A very interesting 
addition is about to be made to this collection — will 
pdssibly be there when this is printed. It is a 
meteorite, weighing 46 kilos (101J lbs.), which was 
discovered in the autumn of 1882, near Durango, in 
Mexico, at a depth of about a foot. The slight depth 
and other indications have led to the inference that it 
had fallen quite recently. Its composition is : iron, 
91*78; nickel, 8*35; cobalt, o*oi ; with traces of 
phosphorus and carbon. Specific gravity, 7 '74-7 '89. 
The detection of the ordinary adulteration of milk 



by water is unsatisfactory, on account of the varying 
composition of the milk from different cows, and 
even from the same cow at different periods. The 
milk of an Alderney or Jersey cow may be much 
diluted, and yet, when tested by the proportion of 
water to cream, shall come out richer than the milk 
from some other cows when unmixed. The method 
recently introduced by M. Sambuc is said to over- 
come this difficulty. Experiments made by him in 
1879, an d m October and November of last year, 
show that the serum of the milk — that which is left 
when the casein and cream are removed, varies very 
little in specific gravity, never falling below i , 0278. 
To effect its separation, the milk is heated to 40 - 
50 C. (104 to 122 F.), and an alcoholic solution of 
tartaric acid is added. After about a quarter of an 
hour the mixture is taken from the fire, agitated with 
a small bundle of twigs, and strained through a linen 
filter. The specific gravity of the serum or whey is 
then determined by a lactometer. 

In Dingler's " Polytechnisches Journal," vol. 254, 
p. 443, is an account of a method of enamelling casks 
invented by F. G. Sponnagel, and apparently not 
patented. Instead of coating the wood with enamel, 
the cask or vat is first treated with an aqueous solution 
formed by fusing 100 parts of silica with 50 parts of 
alkali, and when this has penetrated the wood 
thoroughly the cask is filled with a solution of alumi- 
nium acetate in water mixed with sulphurous acid in 
the proportion of 4 : 2 : 1. , This effects a precipitation 
of neutral enamel of silicate of alumina within the 
pores of the wood. Assuming that such precipitation 
is successfully effected, we obtain in such internally 
enamelled wood a material of great usefulness for a 
multitude of purposes besides cask making. 

In the same volume of the same Journal, page 399, 
an honest method of manufacturing soap is described. 
Perhaps I should explain what I mean by honesty as 
applied in the manufacture of soap. Shrewd, 
observant house-wives know that bars of soap when 
stored in a dry place have a curious habit of shrinking, 
and that the amount of shrinkage varies with the 
samples. Not very long ago a petty fraud was rather 
extensively perpetrated by a gang of vagabonds, who 
strolled from door to door in poor neighbourhoods* 
offering '" salvage soap " for sale. They told a tale of 
the shipwreck of a cargo of soap, and how it was 
damaged by sea water, how they had bought it cheap 
and could sell at three-halfpence or twopence per 
pound. The soap was sufficiently wet to correspond 
with the story. It contained 70 or So per cent, of 
water, on the evaporation of which a long bar 
shrivelled to a short twisted stick. Ordinary soap of 
fair quality contains 20 to 25 per cent, of water, but 
may be made to contain much more, even the salvage 
quantity. Pure soap is a compound of fatty acids 
with alkali, no free alkali remaining. Such remaining 
alkali renders it irritant to the skin, though suitable 
enough for washing greasy clothes or very dirty 

E 2 



7 6 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



people. In these cases the free alkali combines with 
the exuberant grease. In common yellow soap more 
or less of the fatty acid is replaced by resin. 

The novelty to which I refer is the use of a centri- 
fugal machine or drum, which is made to rotate very 
rapidly while containing the crude soap before it 
has been cooled. All the alkali or salt is thereby 
separated, and a larger quantity of the water ; 
the soap is very dense and perfectly neutral, and 
therefore non-irritant. I may add, by way of warn- 
ing, that among the fancy soaps is a vile com- 
pound, in which the fatty acids are more or less 
replaced by silicic acid. It is very smooth, lathers 
admirably, but treats tender skin most cruelly. One 
of the indications of the adulteration and of saline 
impurities generally is the efflorescence of very pretty 
crystals orr the surface of the soap as it dries. 

A more recent contribution of science to domestic 
economy has been discussed by the Hygienic Council 
of the Department of the Seine at Paris. It is the 
use of vaseline as a substitute for butter or fat in 
pastry. It appears that the chief motive of the pastry 
cook in adopting this " improvement " (?) is to obtain 
a. pastry that will keep longer. From the tradesman's 
point of view this may be a desideratum, but to the 
consumer it is not so advantageous, seeing that this 
mineral grease is absolutely indigestible. It may slip 
through the digestive organs by virtue of its 
lubricating properties, and carry with it the particles 
of flour, sugar, &c, which it envelopes, but it cannot 
be assimilated, and probably protects the materials 
with which it is incorporated from the action of the 
digestive solvents. The strongest mineral acids do 
not disturb vaseline, neither do the most caustic 
alkalis saponify it. In the pastry it comes as vaseline 
and goes as vaseline, and probably does mischief in 
the course of its journey through the body. " The 
Council therefore advises that its use for pastry 
making shall not be permitted in France." Let us 
hope that such use may not be permitted in England. 

While M. Perrotin, director of the Nice Observa- 
tory, was making an observation on Hyperion, one 
of the satellites of Saturn, the object suddenly dashed 
to the right of the spider-line of the telescope, and 
then returned. It was the telescope that moved, and 
the earth that moved the telescope. A slight but 
sharp earthquake tremor occurred. This incident 
suggests a delicate means of measuring such move- 
ments. 



We have received the first number of a new 
monthly periodical, the "Journal of Mycology" 
(Manhattan, Kansas). It is intended to be a medium 
for the publication of matter of mycological interest ; 
to note the discovery of new species of fungi, to give 
an account of the literature of the subject, and so 
assist in the extension of North American mycology 
in general. 



THE VARIATION AND ABNORMAL DE- 
VELOPMENT OF THE MOLLUSCA. 

THE variation of the Mollusca is an exceedingly 
interesting subject, but it is as vast as it is 
interesting. There seems to be hardly a species 
which, if sufficiently studied, does not present here 
and there some marked difference from what is known 
as the typical form ; and some, as Helix nemoralis, are 
so variable, that two exactly similar specimens are 
rarely found ; And this variation does not seem to 
rest on mere chance, but varieties are often local, 
abundant at one place, and not to be seen in the 
surrounding country : and, strangely enough, this 
localness seems also to be to a certain extent peculiar 
to what are generally called mere monstrosities. I 
mean the sinistral, scalariform, and decollated forms. 
Miss Hele, in Science-Gossip, records the occurrence 
of three sinistral Helix aspersa, and two H. hortensis, 
all in the same lane, and I cannot think that this was 
purely accidental ; there must have been some reason 
for these shells becoming reversed, but what that 
reason may be, I cannot imagine. On Chislehurst 
Common I took a specimen of the monst. scalariforme 
of Limiuca stagnalis, having the whorls almost 
disunited, and the suture between the fourth and 
body whorl forming an acute angle. This specimen 
was found in a very small pond, where the typical 
form of L. stagnalis does not occur, but the pond is 
crowded with a variety, which is smaller than the 
type, and has a deeper suture. In the same pond my 
brother took another scalariform L. stagnalis, and he 
also found a third specimen in a pond not far off. 
Another brother (L.M.C.) has taken L.peregra, monst. 
scalariforme at St. Mary Cray, two miles from 
Chislehurst, and a scalariform Helix aspersa on 
Chislehurst Common. Whether there is any connec- 
tion between the occurrences of these scalariform 
shells I do not know, but, if so, I suppose it must 
be due to the soil, or possibly, but not probably, to 
some parasite. I fancy the food has little or nothing 
to do with it, but I may as well mention that the 
pond in which the two scalariform L. stagnalis were 
found, contained Ranunculus aquatilis, and Pota- 
mogeton crispus, and the jjond in which the other one 
was found contained Anacharis. 

And now for an instance of decollation. On 
Barnes Common I have found Bythinia tentaculata, 
monst. decollatum, Liiimcea stagnalis, monst. decolla- 
turn, and a decollated specimen of L. palustris* The 
decollation is most marked in the Bythinia, and less 
so in the Limncea. Now in the instance of these 
Barnes specimens, I think there cannot be much 
doubt that the truncated spire is caused by a want of 
calcareous material in the water, and that, if a 
number of them were introduced into a pond contain- 
ing a sufficient amount of carbonate of lime, the next 

* My brother (S.CC.) has also taken the decollated form of 
L. peregra. at Barnes. 



BARDWICKR'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



77 



generation would have perfect spires, the decollation 
not being transmitted. 

White varieties would seem to be caused by the 
non-development of the colour-forming organ, but, 
again, as in the cases given above, white varieties 
are also local, being confined to one spot, or to one 
neighbourhood, and it is rarely that, one having been 
found, a careful search does not reveal others. That 
these white or colourless varieties are due to the 
nature of the food or of the soil is unlikely, because 
they are always, or nearly always, found with 
typical coloured specimens. 

It cannot be due to a contagious disease of the 
colour-gland, as in that case we should find specimens 
which had commenced life with coloured shells, but 
having subsequently lost the colour-forming function, 
would have the last few whorls colourless ; and I 




fig- 55- — Helix ltevij>es, var. 
alba. Calcutta. A nor- 
mally sinistral Helix. 





Fig- S7-~ Limnaa stagnalis, 
monst. scalariforme. 
Chislehurst Common. 



Fie. '56. — Stetwgyra decollata- 
Marocco. An instance, of 
normal decollation. 



Fig. 53. — Valvata piscinalis, 
depressed variety. Crayford 
brick earth. 





Fig- 59- — Physa fontinalis. 
A large specimen. Ealing. 



Fig 



60. — Physa acuta. 
Kew Gardens. 



have never seen or heard of such a specimen. 
Again, there are the colour varieties, also local in 
their distribution, and apparently, though of course 
not really, without cause. The bright colours of 
some varieties of Helices, such as H. nemoralis, seem 
even to be injurious, as they make the shells such 
conspicuous objects as they crawl, and enable the 
birds to find them readily ; and, that birds do eat 
numbers of these brilliantly coloured snails, is well 
testified by the heaps of broken shells round a suitable 
breaking-stone. But there is one instance, that of 
the green H. nemoralis at Crayford (see page 236), 
in which variation would appear to be protective, 
but it was a variation in the animal, and not in the 
shell, that caused the green tint. 

And there are many other points which seem to me 
to need careful study before any conclusions can be 
arrived at, and I will give an instance : of what use 
are the bands to the helices ? why are they developed ? 



and why do they vary so much ? All I can say is 
that I do not know why, but it would seem that 
form from which the now existing helices were 
developed had five definite bands, like H. nemoralis ; 
or perhaps, we may go still farther back and say that 
the form from which all the Gasteropoda sprung, the 
first type of the Gasteropod shell-bearing Mollusc, 
was banded. The reason for this speculation is that 
the bands are always in the same relative position in 
the Gasteropoda when they are developed, the band 
just above the periphery being specially characteristic. 
However, this is a subject to which little attention 
seems to have been given, but I think that it will 
well repay research. 

In the present paper I shall not deal with so huge 
a subject as the variation of the mollusca throughout 
the world ; I leave this to others, and shall only 
describe the variation of the mollusca in the counties 
of Kent, Surrey, and Middlesex, the counties which I 
am now working. 

Gasteropoda. 

Neritina fluviatilis. — This shell does not seem to 
vary much, and I have never taken an abnormal 
form. Nevertheless four varieties have been recorded 
as British.* 

Paludina vivipara. — The bandless form (var. 
efasciata, =v3.r. unicolor), has been recorded from 
Richmond, I have not taken it myself. 

Bythinia tentaculata. —The colourless or white 
variety occurs in the district, and the varieties 
ventricosa and excavata are also recorded. Monst. 
decollatnm I have found at Barnes. 

B. Leachii. — Var. elongata is recorded for West Kent. 

Valvata piseinalis. — I have taken a variety showing 
traces of bands ; var. subcylindrica, a dead shell at 
Hammersmith. The type and a variety approaching 
var. depressa occur fossil at Crayford. 

Planorbis lineatus, var. albina has been recorded 
for East Kent. 

Planorbis nautilens. — This has two main forms, 
the so-called type and the var. crista. Both are 
found in the district. 

Planorbis spirorbis. — A dead shell of var. albida 
at Bedford Park (D. B. Cockerell). 

P. vortex. — At Fulham I have taken a variety 
of this species. (See p. 14.) 

P. carinatus. — I have found the variety disciformis 
near Guildford. 

P. complanatus. — Mr. J. W. Taylor describes the 
monst. sinistrorsam from a specimen found by Miss 
Hele at Wye. This instance of a sinistral monstrosity 
of Plano7-bis is, I believe, unique. The white variety 
is said to have been taken in West Kent, and also 
the var. rhombea. 

P. corneus. — This species varies in size, the largest 
specimen I have found is from Ealing. The young 

* Mr. R. A. Freeman has a specimen having a. broad white 
band below the periphery which he found near Barnes. 



73 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



shells are sometimes striated like P. a/bus. Some 
specimens collected at Minster have a reddish tinge. 
I have taken the white variety in Thanet, and also a 
single young specimen at Kew Gardens. The white 
var. has also been reported as occurring in Middlesex. 

Physa hypnornm. — The mouth of this shell is some- 
times tinged with pink. 

Physa acuta. — This is not really a British shell, 
the only locality for it being one of the water-lily 
tanks in Kew Gardens, where it is abundant. One 
of my specimens has the bands 4 and 5 slightly 
developed. 

Physa fontinalis. — This varies in size ; my largest 
specimen I took at Ealing, with the large P. corneus, 
it is slightly more than \ of an inch in length. I have 
taken a single specimen of the white variety at Heme 
Bay, living with the type. 

T. D. A. COCKERELL. 
(To be continued.) 



AN AQUARIUM IN A BOTTLE. 

I HAVE kept small shore crabs (Carcinus mccnas) 
in wide-mouthed glass pickle bottles for many 
months, and also hermit crabs (Pagurus Pcrnhardi), 
but the former do the best. Serpulae (Serpula 
triquetral and also very small terebellae do well too, 
but I have never been able to keep full-grown mussels 
for more than a day or two. My plan is to fill the 
bottle one-third full of fine sand, and place on this a 
large stone with a piece or two of ulva growing on it. 
This stone is tilted up in such a way, that there is 
deep water (comparatively speaking), in the front of 
the bottle, while behind it is only just covered. 
"When first made a strip of paper should be pasted on 
behind to mark the level of the water, and it should 
always be kept up to that level with a spoonful or so 
of fresh water, as needed, to make up for the loss by 
evaporation. The less water there is in the bottle, the 
better ; it will be found quite sufficient to fill it half 
or two-thirds full (including the sand). The plan 
suggested by Mr. Lovett (vol. xx. p. 75) will be 
found a very good one by those who have not a cool 
place in which to stand the bottle in hot weather. 
If the water turns a little green, placing it in the 
shade a day or two, I find soon remedies it. If 
anything goes wrong, and the water turns black, I 
pour it into a clear glass bottle, put a few pieces of 
confervae in, and place it in the sunshine ; the oxygen 
produced by the influence of the sunlight on the 
seaweed soon neutralizes the offensive gases produced 
by putrefaction, and in a short time the water is as 
clear as ever. I do not shake the water, but let it 
remain constantly still ; shaking it retards the 
purifying process. Although I use bottles when I 
have so many creatures, such as crabs, requiring 
isolation that I scarcely know what to do with them, 
I do not recommend the plan, except as subsidiary to 



other aquaria. A propagating glass can be bought 
for a few pence, and this inverted and placed on a 
suitable stand will be found by far the best. Stocked 
with anemones, serpulae, terebellae, a young nereis, 
periwinkles, very small mussels, and a few acorn 
barnacles with, perhaps, one or two small prawns, it 
will be a constant fund of amusement and instruction. 
A few pieces of green seaweed will make it look very 
effective, but care must be taken not to introduce too 
much, or it will decay, and blacken the water. 
Fish and crabs require vases to themselves, as they 
will neither agree with the other inmates nor among 
themselves. 

Albert Waters, B.A. 
Cambridge. 



A NET FOR MICROSCOPISTS. 

AS the bright days increase in number, every one 
is led involuntarily to look over his collecting 
apparatus in anticipation of that sudden starting into 
renewed life of all aquatic vegetation, and the 
consequent crowds of Infusoria, Entomostraca, &c, 
which afford all those who are keenly interested in 
their birth and " education," such an endless amount 
of pleasant recreation. The pleasure of such collect- 
ing, I always think, is greatly increased by the use 
of a convenient net, which should enable one to 
remove any object of value, and recommence the 
netting without unnecessary loss of time. 

The methods usually adopted for attaining this, 
are, either to wash the muslin in a wide-mouthed 
jar, which must therefore be carried out on all ex- 
peditions, or to use a set of muslins, each one of which 
when sufficiently covered with life, is removed and 
dropped into a bottle, of necessity, large and cumber- 
some. 

I tried the simpler of these two modes, i.e. washing, 
for some time, but never found that the result was 
altogether satisfactory, many specimens of worth 
being washed out of the net, if its passage through 
the water happened to be in the least degree hurried. 

The next that I tried was a deep conical net, 
stretched upon a framework of cane, bent (after 
boiling) somewhat to the shape of an iron hook, ^\— 
Across the semicircular portion, i.e. from A to b, I 
stretched a copper wire, not less than six inches in 
length, which served as a finer cutwater than the 
cane, and made a strong and effectual " scraper " for 
such stems as those of the water lily. I had, from the 
first, considerable difficulty in turning a net of this 
shape inside out, and, to overcome this, at length 
contrived one, whose construction I hope the following 
explanations will render sufficiently clear to enable 
those who may care to copy it to possess one similar 
to my own. The framework is precisely the same as 
that shown above. The muslin bag is so arranged 
that the point of the cone comes exactly opposite to 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



79 



the centre of its mouth when stretched out behind it, 
and within this point is inserted a half-inch test-tube 
having the bottom ground off. The ends of the 
muslin for the space of half an inch are bound tightly 
round the head of the tube ; the projecting rim of the 
glass preventing it from being pulled out. Round the 
whipping is placed a broad band of cork — a wine cork 
with the centre burnt out, and the edges bevelled 
forward, to prevent undue resistance to the water, 
which keeps the tube always behind the muslin, and 
ready to receive the contents of the net ; otherwise, 
when the net is moving very slowly in the water, the 
tendency of the tube is to sink below the mouth, 
thereby causing all animal life to be merely washed 
in and out again. The tube is closed by placing a 
square of muslin over the open end, and securing it 
with a very small band of india-rubber. It is worth 
remembering that duplicates of both muslin square and 
elastic band are indispensable, these being the two 
most important parts of all. 

Care should be taken when cutting the muslin that 
the piece coming from the wire be quite flat and 
remain so after being fixed in its place, for if there is 
any looseness near the wire, thereby forming a small 
hollow below the level of the tube head, solid matter, 
instead of flowing at once into the tube, will " hang " 
in this hollow. When it is required to remove the 
contents of the net to the collecting bottle, proceed 
thus. 

After a favourable spot has been thoroughly fished, 
the net should be drawn in to the bank, raised from 
the water as rapidly as possible, and the thumb of 
the right hand pressed tightly against the bottom of 
the tube, so that it may be kept full of water. All that 
is within may then be readily examined, by holding the 
glass against the light, when organisms of any size are 
at once discerned, and the small diameter of the tube 
does not prevent the use of a pocket lens, which is 
practically useless when the objects are procured in 
the dipping bottle. If the tube contains anything of 
value, the thumb of the left hand should be placed 
upon the head of the glass, which should then be 
turned upside down, the square and band removed, 
and the water gently poured into a medicine bottle, 
this being a shape of vessel admirably adapted for 
carriage in a pocket. In constructing this net, it is 
advisable so to arrange the muslin, that when travelling 
in the water the wire may precede the cane, for, when 
skimming, if the shadow of the framework is allowed 
to pass over the life collected on the surface before 
the wire with the net attached is able to follow it up, 
it is more than likely that many specimens will make 
good their escape. After using this net for a few 
minutes, I have always found more in the glass tube 
than others have been able to collect in as many hours, 
while using the favourite bottle and stick ; and it is 
worth remembering that each plunge of the dipping 
bottle adds seldom less than half-a-pint of water to 
the total amount that must be carried, perhaps for 



miles, while the net and tube increases the amount 
by never more than one table-spoonful. Indeed, 
I have frequently returned from half-an-hour's collect- 
ing with enough in my medicine bottle to occupy me 
for many evenings, and to completely colonise a two 
gallon globe. I generally cut a stick from the nearest 
thicket, to lengthen the handle, which gives one a 
wider field for netting, the size of which, naturally, is 
in proportion to the length of stick obtained. The 
whole construction of this net is so simple that from 
the boiling of the cane to the first trial in the water- 
butt, occupied me for little more than an hour, and, 
to adopt the language of advertisements, " since that 
time I have used no other." 

Should these explanations not be sufficiently clear 
to enable those who are desirous of copying my design 
to do so to their own satisfaction, I shall be very 
pleased to forward more exact dimensions, and a 
paper pattern of my own net to any who may apply 
for it. 

Herbert Alexander Walters. 

77/i? Hermitage, Reigate. 



STUDIES OF COMMON PLANTS. 
[Contuiiied from J>. 62.] 

No. II. — The Cuckoo-Pint {Arum maculatum) 
(continued). 

By Charles F. W. T. Williams, B.A. Cantab. 

THE next disease to be noted is one which fre- 
quently causes mistake and annoyance to the 
ardent searcher after micro-fungi. I mean a decom- 
position of internal cell structure, extending over but 
a small area, and clearly apparent to the naked eye in 
the form of dirty brown or light spots. Again and 
again beginners, and others, who I presume lay 
claim to being something more, send me leaves of the 
arum thus marked, in the fond belief that they have 
found the somewhat uncommon CEcidium ari, in 
large quantities ! Only the other day, I heard of the 
case of a gentleman who devoted much time and 
trouble to the examination of such leaves, but in the 
end confessed to the lady who had brought him the 
valuable specimens that "he could see nothing." It 
may be well then to bear in mind that there are two 
forms of disease which should be distinctly separated 
from one another in the mind and the eye of the 
enthusiastic collector. And this brings me to speak 
of the actual attack of the fungus known as CEcidium 
ari. 

In the first place, as I have mentioned, CEcidium ari 
is not common. The leaves on which it appears are 
not always marked on the upper side, and, as is so 
often the case, are more frequently healthy in appear- 
ance than the reverse. In general, however, there is 
some slight indication on the upper surface of the 



8o 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



lamina of mischief below. On turning the leaf over, 
round orange-coloured spots will be observed scattered 
over the leaf, and in some cases affecting the petiole. 
The central peridia are abortive. Most of these 
points can easily be distinguished with the naked 
eye. 

Dr. Cooke's description is as follows : CEcidium art, 
Berk. ; wake-robin cluster cups ; spots round, con- 
fluent ; peridia circinative, not crowded, central ones 
abortive. 

The whole plant seems to exist very comfortably 
even when severely affected with this fungus. Many 
of the unhealthy plants of arum I have examined this 
season have been entirely free from the CEcidium, 
though in company with numbers affected. The 
plants in this part of the country are only locally 
affected, one locality only furnishing specimens. 

It is now time, I think, to pass on to the contempla- 
tion of that interesting and curious structure, the 
spadix. The spadix of the arum, commonly known 
as " the flower," is well calculated to puzzle the 
novice at botanical description. The spadix is 
enclosed in a green spathe, considerably longer than 
the spadix. This spathe, on opening, is sometimes 
found to be spotted in the same manner as the leaves, 
only the colour is brighter, and the spots have the 
appearance of being raised above the surrounding 
tissue. It does not follow that the plants whose 
leaves are spotted have their spathes spotted also. 
The spadix terminates in a naked cylindric column 
contracted below the middle. The colour of the 
column is dull purple, or sometimes yellow ; rarely 
white. The shades of purple vary somewhat, but it 
is not common to find the yellow and white varieties, 
though I have done so several times this season. 

The column has a very velvety appearance and is 
beautifully smooth to the touch. On examination it 
will be found to be covered externally with minute 
papillae, secreting colouring matter (Fig. 61). These 
are very minute, and the best way to view them is to 
take a very thin section of the column and view with 
a \ or \. The column is of cellular structure with 
every cell so closely packed with starch grains that, 
as in the corm, it is very difficult to discern the tissue 
of which it is composed, except in the centre through 
which run cells with numerous air cavities ; raphides 
can also be seen. I have noticed this year a curious 
disease of the column which may possibly be common 
enough, only it has never before come under my 
notice. In numbers of cases on the spathe opening, 
I have discovered the terminative column of the 
spadix covered with a mould. In some instances the 
column presented a miserable shrivelled appearance, 
while in other cases perfect size was gained. In very 
few cases did the diseased column affect the organs of 
reproduction. Many of the plants noted by me as so 
affected are now in fruit. The column showed very 
plain signs of disease throughout its structure. If 
picked and brought home the spadix so diseased 



gradually reached a gelatinous consistency, and 
emitted a most offensive odour. It would be 
interesting to have the work of some authority, on 
the subject of this mould. Unfortunately, the time 
is so short between the opening of the spathe and the 
fall of the column that almost hourly attention would 
have to be given to the matter. 

Leaving the column and descending the spadix, we 
come first of all to a ring of organs which in reality 
are aborted stamens or staminodes j next to these are 
a crowd of sessile anthers. The pollen possesses no 
special feature in markings or shape. Below the 
anthers are a ring of rudimentary ovaries,- and lastly 
a crowd of naked sessile ovaries. Fig. 62 shows the 




—ft, 




Fig. 61. — Papillae from the column of 
the Spadix. (Mag.) 



Fig. 62. — Spadix 
with the spathe 
removed, a, ex- 
tremity of the 
spadix ; b, stami- 
nodia ; c, sessile 
anthers; d, 
naked sessile 
ovaries. 



spadix with the spathe removed, with the various 
organs I have mentioned. The fruit of A. maculatum 
is a berry, a large quantity being clustered together, 
bursting the base of the spathe, which is persistent. 
When ripe the berry becomes red, and should be 
most carefully avoided by all persons having a 
tendency to taste luscious-looking berries, or the result 
of the repast may be alarming, if not serious. Should 
a child be unfortunate enough to eat any of these 
berries, an emetic should be given, and the mouth 
should be carefully cleansed from all particles of 
berries remaining there. 

There is one curious property connected with this 
plant, which it would be very negligent not to mention. 
I mean the power of evolving heat possessed by the 
spadix on its first opening. I had hoped to give a 



HARDW TCKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



81 



table of my own experiments on this subject ; but 
(hough I tried time after time to take a reading, I 
regret to say I failed. Either I was on the spot too 
early or too late, and I have really nothing, for this 
season, at any rate, of a reliable nature to record on 
my own account. I must content myself, therefore, 
by giving a quotation on the subject from the late 
Professor Balfour's Class Book of Botany, p. 522. 
After remarking on the evolution of heat during 
flowering, and the fact that the natural order Aroideae 
present the most marked instances of this evolution, 
the Professor says, " Deubrocket's examination of 
the spadix of Arum maculatum gives the following 
results : — 



Date and Hour. 


Deviation of 
Thermo-elec- 
tric Needle. 


Heat of 

Spadix 
above Air. 


Temperature 
of Air. 


P.M. 

May 2nd, 4 

5-3° 
,, 6.30 

»> 7 

8 

9 

„ 10 


* 

65 
58 
55 
44 
30 

J 9 


F. 

I7'6 
18-7 - 
12-5 
io"6 

6-3 

3'4 

2'I 


F. 

59"9 
60*2 

60 "2 

6o'o 

59"5 
59-0 
58-6 



From these observations, it appears that the maximum 
of temperature in the spadix occurred at 5.30 p.m., 
one hour and a half after the complete opening of the 
spathe, and that the heat was 187 above that of the 
surrounding air." The spadix emits a curious odour, 
resembling that of the thyrse of the horse chestnut. 

As with the corm so with the fruit, starch and 
raphides are found in every section examined. Pro- 
fessor Gulliver, in his paper on " Plant Crystals," 
(Science-Gossip, p. 97, 1S73) mentions the occur- 
rence of raphides in the berry of A. maculatum, and 
on page 98 gives a figure of the same. The raphides 
of the berry appear to be larger than those of other 
parts of the plant. Many months will have to pass 
before again an opportunity is given of observing in 
all its various details this interesting plant ; but when 
that time arrives, there will yet be found much 
material for examination, and a field for isteresting 
research, and perchance new discoveries. 

Bath. 

Mr. G. C. Walker, F.R.C.S., writing to the 
" Lancet," says that after he had operated for cataract 
upon a favourite fox-terrier belonging to a friend, 
chloroform having been used, the animal appeared 
after the operation to be completely dead, none of the 
remedies tried producing any good effect. At length 
it occurred to him to employ artificial respiration and 
nitrite of amyl simultaneously, instead of separately 
as he had already done. The result was that "two 
or three compulsory breathings of the amyl caused the 
dog to jump up and stagger about the room most 
actively." Since that time Mr. Walker makes it a 
rule not to administer chloroform without having 
nitrite of amyl at hand. 



MY GARDEN PETS. 

By E. H. Robertson. 

Part I. 

" "\ 70 U are so fond of dumb creatures, have you 
JL no other pets ? " was one day the enquiry of 
a friend, who, from my dining-room window, had 
been long admiring my trustful window pets. 

"Many," I replied; "follow me, and you shall 
see them." 

I led him, all expectation, into my garden, where, 
at a few paces from the house, stood a row of bee- 
hives, and smilingly was about to remark that there 
were a few thousands, but was arrested by his dis- 
appointed exclamation, "Oh, bees!" " This does 
not augur well for his interest in my pets," thought I, 
and the added assertion, "But you can't make pets 
of them — they can't be tamed — -such little things 
can't possibly know you,'' drew from me the reply, 
" Indeed ! I not only can, but do, make pets of them, 
and they certainly know me as well as, perhaps 
better than, the birds do." 

Although politeness kept him silent, the look of 
incredulity with which he regarded me told me 
plainly what he thought. 

' ' Are you afraid of bees ? " I asked. His stammered 
out " N-no. Oh, n-no," as, after turning up the 
collar of his coat, and down the brim of his felt hat, 
he plunged his hands into the depths of his trousers 
pockets, and fell into the rear, led me, however, to 
think that it would be wise to protect him from 
possible attack. 

The alacrity with which he retreated into the house 
when I suggested that he should be veiled and gloved 
did just a little amuse me, I must confess, and when 
I add that, although my dear friend is the author of 
works treating largely upon bees and ants, he yet 
does not really know the difference between the 
largest Bombus and an ordinary honey bee, I think 
my readers, also, will give free scope to their sense of 
the ludicrous. Be-veiled, be-gloved, and closely 
buttoned up, my bee-literary friend was again brought 
forth, to be led to a spot where stood my four 
strongest stocks. It was a lovely summer day, 
and, honey being abundant, my pets were, in their 
thousands, pouring in and out. 

"Aren't you afraid of their stinging you? " asked 
my friend tremblingly, as, standing a little on one 
side of a hive, so as to allow homing bees to enter, 
I placed my bare hand upon the alighting board. 
I made no reply, and as the in and out-flowing 
streams passed over my hand and I yet remained 
unhurt, he saw that his question was unnecessary. 
Presently, "Dear me, how very singular — most 
remarkable. Evidently look upon you as a personal 
friend." 

"Well, so I am." 



82 



HA RD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G OSS IP. 



After a moment's silence, he enquired, " Now, 
could / do that ? " 

My answer did not encourage him to try the 
experiment. "Certainly, if you wish, but they will 
possibly, nay, probably, sting you." 

"But tell me — if you can do it, why can't I — why 
can't any or everybody else ? " 

It is possible that, with my friend, many readers, 
who may also be bee-keepers, would like to know 
my secret ; know how they may pass unscathed 
through an army of bees ; may introduce an ungloved 
hand into the midst of a thickly peopled hive — in 
fact, may manipulate with the tiny creatures as 
though they were but bits of cork or feathers. Let 
me at once assure such that, although quite un- 
protected, I move and operate amongst my petted 
host, I yet possess no secret charm ; that my skill is 
no greater than that of a large number of bee masters. 
Rigidly observe but two rules, and success in 
manipulating with bees is, with few exceptions, 
assured. They may be made as much pets of as 
dogs or birds. The first is, ever to deal as gently as 
possible with them. Never jar, jolt, shake, or other- 
wise disturb or irritate them. The second is, make 
them become as familiar as possible with your person. 
In dealing with them it is essential that it should 
ever be borne in mind that, although they have many 
enemies, they have but one weapon of defence, their 
sting ; which is never used, as the bee believes, 
unnecessarily — its effectual use meaning certain death 
to the devoted possessor. Some persons assert that, 
if a bee be not disturbed, he will withdraw his sting 
without injury to himself. I can as confidently assert , 
that he cannot. 

Show that you are not a foe, but a friend, and you 
need never fear being stung, that is to say, not 
intentionally. I use this word advisedly, because, 
the slightest pressure on the creature's abdomen is 
sufficient to project its weapon, and should the inside 
of a sleeve or collar be selected as a snug retreat, the 
almost certain result will be the tiny puncture which 
the timid so much dread. 

"It's all very well," some novice may exclaim, 
"it's all very well saying show yourself to be a 
friend, but how am I to do this ? When I approach 
my bees too closely I am invariably beset." 

Let me say that all depends upon the way in which 
each individual beekeeper's approaches towards 
friendship are made. 

When I commenced bee-keeping, some few years 
since, I had but two stocks ; I have now fifty ; and 
being, of course, as all novices are in any new 
pursuit, enthusiastic, it was my chief delight to seat 
myself upon the hive bench between the hives, to 
watch the proceedings of the busy little workers. 
To familiarise them with my person, I frequently 
gently placed a hand upon an alighting board, and 
although it might sometimes be covered with bees, I 
never withdrew it on that account, and finding, after 



careful examination, that no danger was to be 
apprehended, they would re-enter the hive. In no 
instance was I stung. To the present day, I occasion- 
ally, too, adopt the following plan. However 
seemingly indifferent to the presence of a stranger, or 
foreign body, they may be when the work of the hive 
is in full swing, and the light of day reveals that 
presence, it is quite a different matter when the 
object can be but imperfectly seen in the dusk of 
evening. Disturb a hive then, and instantly the 
contented hum of the fanners is hushed, and not one, 
nor two, but many brave defenders of the hive issue 
forth, to discover the cause of the disturbance ; some- 
times scores, nay, in hot weather even hundreds rush 
out, and should it be the bee-keeper's hand placed 
before the mouth of the hive it will be instantly 
covered with bees, eager to inspect every part of it, 
and, if possible, learn its nature. The arm, both 
outside and inside the coat sleeve, will be ascended, 
and a few more inquisitive than their fellows will 
probably cross the shoulders, and descending the 
disengaged arm will, if it be placed upon the hive, 
return to their home by this route. It requires some 
little moral courage to remain immovable whilst the 
alert insects thus perambulate one's person. Some 
short time since, I was kept a prisoner for upwards 
of twenty minutes before the last of my pets took 
his departure. 

I must here plead guilty to a practice much depre- 
cated by many bee-keepers, nor have I found that 
any evil result has followed. Of course I exercise a 
reasonable amount of judgment as to time, place, &c, 
having far too great a regard for my pets to imperil 
their safety simply for the gratification of a whim. 
I allude to occasional open-air feeding — to me a 
source of pleasure — to my friends of wonderment. 
Always choosing a warm spring or summer day, I 
select a sunny spot in my garden or orchard, some 
distance removed from my hives, and place on the 
ground an open pan or dish filled with syrup, upon 
the surface of which float strips of perforated wood 
or cork, to prevent danger to the bees. Not long 
have I to wait, for in and near an apiary they are 
ever skimming the surface of the ground, and visiting 
plant and flower in search of honey and polltn. 
Sometimes immediately, occasionally after the lapse 
of two or three minutes, a sharp-scented bee alights, 
and after taking his fill of the luscious feast, flies 
home. Meanwhile, probably, two or three others 
have also been gathering a supply ; whether or not, 
the first will certainly soon return, quickly followed 
by some of his brethren. Half-a-dozen soon becomes- 
a score, these soon increase to hundreds, until, as 
the news spreads, the air becomes filled with bees, 
all bound to or from, or in search of, the store. 
Should the supply be a long continued one, there is 
no limit to the vast horde, and when at last it 
becomes exhausted, the vessel is found to contain a 
seething mass of black bodies and glittering wings,. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



33 



mingled with slips of wood and cork tossing upon a 
troubled living sea. Thrust, without injury to the 
bees, a hand into their midst, and though ten thousand 
should be present, not a sting will be received ; 
sharply tap the pan and a thick cloud will arise ; 
carry it away but a few feet, the insects will follow, 
and so eagerly intent are they upon gaining the 
treasure that, regardless of all else, they immediately 
again settle. When holding the pan in my hand, so 
thickly have I sometimes been enveloped by the 
cloud of eager honey-seekers, that timid onlookers 
have often declared that I have been almost obscured 
by them. Realising at last that the supply has 
stopped, the army gradually disperses, the loud hum 
ceases, and the business of the apiary proceeds as 
usual. Not a few patient gatherers most persistently 
hover about the spot until darkness falls ; many will 
most certainly return to-morrow, and each succeeding 
day, and, should the syrup have been often ad- 
ministered in the same place, all through the summer 
my pets will be ever seeking for a fresh supply, and 
when seated on my lawn I am usually attended by a 
goodly company of my satellites. If I were, however, 
to bestow my sweet gifts with too bountiful a hand, 
my whole apiary would soon be in a fierce commotion, 
and my pets would become so demoralised that 
serious mischief might result. As it is, I carefully 
watch, to discover if robbing is likely to take place. 
Should I find that robbers are striving to effect an 
■entrance into any particular hive, I immediately 
narrow the entrance, and a liberal administration of 
carbolic acid and water puts an effectual stopper 
upon their plundering proclivities. 

I never indulge in the amusement, except in suitable 
weather, and would here warn bee-keepers who may 
be tempted to try the experiment, not to entice the 
little fellows from their snug homes when — although 
the sun may be shining — the wind may be cold, or 
the result will assuredly be the opposite to that de- 
sired. There are few living creatures so susceptible 
to changes in temperature as the great family of the 
Hymenoptera. The amount of labour performed by 
them is, to a considerable extent, determined by the 
degree of heat, and the hygrometric condition of the 
atmosphere. It appears, however, to be not so much 
the prevailing temperature as the fluctuation which 
most affects them — sudden falls being particularly 
obnoxious to them. For example at, say, 50 , my 
pets are quiescent — but let a sudden rise to 70 take 
place, and all is life and activity. The delighted in- 
sects issue from the hives in their thousands to gyrate 
and rise and fall in the welcome sunshine, repeating 
on the following day their merry dance ; finally, if 
the weather remain propitious, scattering to every 
point of the compass in search of provender. Should 
the temperature continue to rise, as it almost invari- 
ably does, for about a fortnight, in March, each 
returning day brings with it renewed activity, till the 
air becomes resonant with their cheerful hum. 



But suddenly all is changed — dense clouds obscure 
the sun — the wind is chill, for as quickly as the tem- 
perature rose from 50 to 70 , and thence up to 90 
or ioo°, it once more falls to 70 — the heat which so 
delighted them but perhaps one short week before — 
yet now all is still, not a bee ventures beyond the 
door of his home, and the merry active little rascals 
of yesterday are to-day sluggish and inactive. 'Tis 
the suddenness of the alternation that has wrought 
this change, and when the sensitive little fellow 
gets accustomed to the lower temperature, he will 
once more set to work. 

(7o be continued.) 



THE ANEMONES OF THE ALPS. 
By C. Parkinson, F.G.S. 

VERY soon after the snows and frosts have dis- 
appeared from the lower valleys of the Alps, 
and the sun gains power in the lengthening days of 
early spring, the brilliant anemones of the Alps burst 
into flower, throwing such colour into the woodland 
and hillside scenery, as only Swiss flowers can do. In 
February, we may commence to search in sheltered 
copses for the delicate hepatica (which Swiss 
botanists include in the genus Anemone). From a 
warm layer of moist, leafy mould, the strong shoots 
of the Hepatica put forth, surrounded by the dull, 
brownish-green, trilobed leaves of the previous year, 
which remain hardy throughout winter. The tiny 
shoot is protected by a silvery white covering, from 
which the blue, pink, or white sepals are quickly 
drawn out on a slender stem by a few days of sun- 
shine. Later on, a profusion of fresh green leaves 
are produced, and the woods are brilliant with 
colour. 

It is worthy of notice that the common hyacinth 
of English woods is not known in the Swiss flora, 
and the hepatica (Anemone triloba) certainly takes its 
place. Very early in March, and abounding in 
woods with the hepatica, the graceful little wood 
anemone (A. nemorosa), is as plentiful as in English 
I woods. A fortnight later, or perhaps early in April, 
the Anemone ranunculoides covers the moist 
meadows with golden flowers. The roots of this 
species spread in light, damp soils in a wonderful 
manner ; creeping around, and putting up fresh 
shoots in all directions. The sepals are usually five, 
and less pointed than the yellow anemone. We 
recollect, as figured in Sowerby's " English Botany," 
the flowers are mostly solitary, but sometimes two or 
three on a single stem, the deeply cut leaves branch- 
ing from the same stem. 

In March also we may look on grassy ledges, 
higher up among the mountain paths, for the deep 
violet-coloured Anemone montana, which braves the 
early winds of spring. It is essentially a robust 



8 4 



BARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



plant, covered with a thick down of silvery hairs, 
which lend a peculiar beauty to this, and several 
kindred species. The carpels also, are very hand- 
some with their long hairs and silver down. The 
plant attains considerable height, and specimens we 
have gathered have measured from 12-16 inches. 
It is much larger in growth than an English pasque 
flower (Anemone Pulsatilla), which we may also look 
for in Switzerland on the borders of woods ; it is, 



beauty ; indeed the fields covered with A. sulplurea, 
near the village of Simplon are worth the expedition 
up the pass to see. 

Anemone Baldensis is a small species, having a 
single longish stem, and white flower of 7-8 sepals, 
and delicately cut leaves chiefly radical, but leaflets 
clasping the stem. 

In order to clearly express the different species, we 
give the following classification. 




Fig. 63. — Anemone Pulsatilla, L. 



Fig. 64. — Anemone Montana, Hoppe. 



however, of humble growth, averaging a few inches 
in height, and having the sepal reversed at the tip. 
Less common, and at a greater altitude Anemone 
Halleri (DC.) is found, having lilac sepals ; standing 
erect, and more hoary-looking than A. montana, 
which, however, it resembles. Any of the three last 
species may occasionally be found with white sepals. 
A. vemalis is a lovely plant. We have found it in 
April and May some' 3000 feet above the sea. The 
leaves are all radical, the whole plant is hairy, with 
an involucre of linear, downy segments immediately 
beneath the white sepals which are exquisitely 
shaded on the back. The narcissus-like anemone is 
plentiful on grassy slopes from 2000 to 3000 feet 
above the sea, flowering in May. The large Alpine 
anemone and its sulphur-coloured variety may be 
found in May and June on the Simplon in great 



Genus Anemone (L.). 

Sepals 5-10, coloured ; petals, none ; stamens, 
numerous ; carpels, 1 -seeded ; usually an involucrum 
of cut leaves. 

o. Leaves radical, stem furnished with involucrum, 
carpels plumed. 

1. A. alpina (L.). Involucrum leaf-like ; short 
pedicel ; large flower ; solitary, white sepals ; plant 
hairy ; leaves deeply cut and divided. 

2. A. sulphured (L.). Regarded by many botanists 
as a variety of A. alpina ; plant hoary, and covered 
with white hairs ; sepals sulphur colour ; involucrum 
slighter than the previous one, but also tripartite. 

3. A. vcrnalis (L.). A beautiful plant covered with 
hairs ; involucrum close below the single flower, 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



85 



consisting of narrow segments ; sepals mostly white, 
clove coloured, or silvery at the back. 

4. A. Pulsatilla (pasque flower). Plant some six 
inches high ; silvery down over leaves, stem and 
back of sepals, carpels feathery, sepals violet 
pointed, bell shaped, and hardly curved back at the 
points ; involucrum of linear downy leaflets ; leaves 
small, delicately cut, and few in number. (We 
believe this is figured in Weber's "Alpine Flora," 
vol. i. as A. Halleri.) 



involucrum of 3, 5 divisions ; leaves 3 divided and 
subdivided (a variety occurs with one flower, A. 
monanthos). 

8. A. ranunculoides (L.). Sepals yellow ; 1-3 flowers 
on a stem ; involucrum leaf-like ; carpels pointed. 

9. A. Baldensis (L.). Single flower ; white oval 
sepals 6-9 ; leaflets of involucrum twice ternate, 
leaves the same. 

10. A. sylvestris (L.). Single flower, large white 
sepals ; leaves 5-partite ; unequally serrated. 




Fig. 65.— Anemone Halleri. (After plate in Bennett's "Alpine Plants," vol. i.) 



5. A. montana (Hoppe). Plant much larger than 
A. Pulsatilla, of similar growth ; sepals more turned 
back, growing 12-16 inches high ; leaves cleaner cut, 
spreading; flowers bend down in a remarkable manner, 
and colour is deeper than that of the pasque flower. 

6. A. Halleri (DC). Sepals lilac, about six in 
number, spreading, not so downy on the back ; 
prominent involucrum of broader dark green segments. 
A strong plant, with thick stem and few leaves 
(beautifully figured in Bennett's " Alpine Plants," 
vol. i.). 

/8. Carpels not plumed, involucre sessile. 

7. A. narcissiflova (L.). Several white flowers in 
a terminal cluster or umbel ; carpels glabrous ; 



11. A. nemorosa (wood anemone). Identical with 
our English wind flower. 

12. A. hepatka (Bepatica triloba). Involucrum of 
3 entire calyx-like divisions ; sepals blue, white or 
pink ; leaves boldly tribobed ; each part entire ; carpels 
pointed. 

Of A. hortensis (L.), with rose-coloured terminal 
flower, 10-12 sepals, given by Mortier, in "Flore 
Analytique de la Suisse," as a doubtful plant near 
Montreux we can find nothing. 

The Physical and Chemical Laboratories of Uni- 
versity College, Bangor, were opened by Sir William 
Thomson on February 12. A description, with plans 
of them, may be found in " Nature " for February 26. 



S6 



HARD WICKE'S SCIENCE- G OS SIP. 



NOTES ON NAIADES. 

IN number 239, p. 261, Mr. W. Gain records the 
taking of some large examples of Unio 
pictorum, 4}-! in. long (I take the length as from umbo 
to front margin, analogous to the apex and lip of a 
gasteropod, not as taken by Mr. Gain) and asks 
whether that size has been exceeded. I can answer 
him in the affirmative. I have in my cabinet some 
Unio pictorum, the dimensions and weight (Avoir.) of 
some of them being as given below. 

in. in. oz. 

2 i6 X 5 = 2\ over. 

2 tb x 5 = 4 nearly. 

2 X 5ts = 3i over. 

2^ x si = 31 

2 is X 5+ = 3* over. 

These are careful, fair measurements, the weight 
.not being given exact in every case, as will be seen. 

The shells are clean and beautifully grown, with 
little erosion even on the umbones, and, so far as my 
knowledge goes, they are the finest of their kind 
ever seen. The following are Unio tumidus, 

in. in. oz. 

2^ X 4^ = 5i 

2 16 X 4'i = 5f nearly. 

2| X 4 = 5 over. 

2l X 5 = 5f nearly. 

Both the species occur in a pool near Birmingham, 
which may fairly be called dirty, having the muddiest 
basin I ever saw, with abundance of decaying vege- 
table matter. 

I think I may answer for the accuracy of Mr. Gain's 
identification of the species, which is also confirmed 
by Mr. J. W. Taylor ("Jour, of Conchology," No. 4, 
vol. vii. p. 224). This, for the satisfaction of Mr. E. 
Harmer (Science-Gossip, No. 240, p. 280). 

In order to make this a little record of giant Naiades 
let me note the following : — ■ 

In Science-Gossip, No. 43, p. 160, Mr. W. Ham- 
brough records two fine shells of Anodonta cygnea, 
taken at Worthing, of the following dimensions. 

7^ in. X 45 in. and 8 in. X 5 in. 

(The shells are measured as Mr. Gain's — the longest 
way being taken as the " length.") 

No. 125, p. 11S, Mr. A. W. Langdon, of Hastings, 
gives the size of a Southampton shell of this species 
as 75 inches wide. 

No. 126, p. 136, Mr. Sclater crowns all, by record- 
ing two of the largest shells of which I have heard, one 
being 85 inches wide, the other over 9 inches wide, 
both from the river Dart. It would be interesting to 
know whether these fine shells are still in existence, 
and to have their portraits. 

No. 129, p. 212, Mr. W. Budden gives 7 inches as the 
width of a shell in his possession taken near Ipswich. 
The largest shells I have from this neighbourhood are 



6£ in. wide. All the widest shells among the 

Unionidre I have seen have occurred in pools, the 

placid and even conditions of their life enabling them 

to increase the size of their shell, while in rivers and 

streams they rather increase it in strength, the usually 

rough pebbly or coarse sandy bed in which they live, 

being inimical to their expansive growth. I have a 

grand shell of the variety incrassata {A. cygnea) sent 

to me some years ago by Dr. Buchanan White, which 

weighs 7 oz., an extraordinary weight for this species ; 

an average shell of the same superficial measure would 

weigh under \ oz. Like Unio margaritifer, with 

which it dwelt in the river Earn, it had to construct 

a house which would withstand the knocking of stones, 

and it has successfully done it, coming out of the 

conflict scathless — here is beautiful adaptation. I have 

much to say about my old friends the Naiades, which 

I hope to have an opportunity of saying "some 

day." 

I am pleased to see the growing interest taken in 

conchology as evidenced by the frequent notes in your 

columns. I remember the time when they were few 

and far between. 

G. Sherriff Tye. 

Ilandsworth, near Birmingham. 



JAPAN WHITE, OUR WHITE BUTTERFLIES 
IN JArAN. 

By the Author of " Insect Variety." 

I SEE from my window a white butterfly fluttering 
and settling on the cabbage beds. She scents 
each leaf over with a quick electric touch from the 
knobs of her antenna;, and when she is persuaded she 
is right, the extremity of her body is depressed with a 
spasm, and a melon-shaped egg remains glued to the 
spot. Once upon a time the white butterflies had 
only the wild cruciform flowers to resort to, and it is 
evident that the increase of cabbage culture has 
multiplied their numbers in Europe, for in northern 
Spain they are not nearly so abundant in the fields as 
the Bath whites, nor in Italy are they as common as 
the black veined, and in these countries cabbages do 
not in the same degree populate the wilderness. The 
green vein, on the other hand, has no sense for the 
alien vegetation of the garden, and is still a wild 
butterfly. To purloin her eggs you must go down to 
the inky pool mantled over with water-cresses, and 
watch there until a vagrant piece of white calico 
comes dabbling in the mire, or you must track her 
whims on the chalk cliff where the scentless mignonette 
shoots rank. She is yet wild as the wolves, and has 
none of the cat and poodle nature of your cabbage 
whites. 

I have reared both the small white, and the green 
vein from the egg. Until they attain the length of 
seven lines there is little to discriminate the two 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



87 



caterpillars, save that that of the small white is the 
greater coward, for stretching its prolegs backwards 
you will frequently observe it reposing flat on the 
cabbage leaf, while that of the green vein walks with 
head erect contemplating the sky. After this stage, 
the caterpillar of the small white commonly acquires 
some orange in the clear line along its back, and an 
orange speck on and behind its spiracles. In this 
country the small white butterfly is white or pale buff, 
and the yellow on the under-side is buff or canary 
yellow ; it has also its pale spring and darker summer 
brood, differing in the amount of black marking 
which needs the midsummer sun for its full develop- 
ment. Perhaps the buff coloured variety, which is not 
the result of any especial food, is commoner in spring. 
The green vein varies in precisely the same manner ; 
but I have never noticed the under-surface of the 
hinder wings buff in this country. In Lombardy, 
where we meet with larger races of butterflies, the 
green vein may be found with a buff under-surface to 
the hinder wings ; and this form so nearly approaches 
the small whites of southern Europe, that no disciple 
of Linnaeus could with any confidence say to what 
species a white butterfly from that portion of the 
globe should be referred. 

But to trace the ancestry of the white butterflies, I 
would as soon go east as south. On reading the 
Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, for September, 
1883, my eye was caught by a paragraph by Mr. H. 
Pryer stating that he had bred from eggs laid by P. 
napi many specimens of a summer brood that proved 
to be the P. Mekte, hitherto considered a distinct 
species of butterfly. I wrote to Mr. Pryer in Japan, 
and he had the kindness to forward me, through Mr. 
Janson, quite a series of Japan whites, the oriental 
races of our small white and green vein. But, as I 
said before, the butterflies and moths we knew in our 
school days are giants when we see them come from 
Japan. The climate of the south of Europe adds a 
good quarter of an inch to the wing expanse of the 
green vein, which becomes three-quarters of an inch 
when we arrive at Japan, and these larger forms have 
the same buff colour on the under-surface of the 
hinder wings. In Japan, as in England, the spring 
variety (Megamera) is more or less immaculate above, 
and beneath the hinder wings the veins are strongly 
chalked ; while the summer variety (^Melete) is a 
counterpart of our dusky summer form : Science- 
Gossip, for iS8j, p. 221, d). The spring variety 
appears from March to April, the summer variety 
from May to August. (See Mr. Pryer's paper. Trans. 
Ent. Soc. Lond. 1882, p. 48.) In England the 
dark female green veins appear in May and June, and 
I fancy they result from a retardation in the develop- 
ment of the butterfly in the chrysalis stage, and a 
consequent greater exposure to the photographic 
action of light. With regard to the small white 
butterfly in Japan (var. crucivora), the female is a 
little dark, as it is sometimes with us in summer (but 



perhaps there is also a spring variety), it is a trifle 
larger, but does not differ in marking from those of 
our own cabbage beds ; it is a swarthy race. The 
big cabbage white, which I believe every physiologist 
will recognise in India, despite an idea to rebaptise 
it, has been thought likewise to extend to Japan 
(Proc. Zool. Soc. 15 Nov. 1SS1), but Mr. Pryer has 
not noticed it there. 

Now, somewhat for microscopists, who will find ia 
insect physiology plenty of wonderful research. Let 
any one hold a white butterfly from Japan to the 
light, and a play of yellow radiance kindles on the 
wings like the glare of a lamp, or the hue that falls 
on Alpine snow at sunset. This tincture of a warmer 
sky, peculiar to white butterflies in the east, is owing 
to the scales lying in even rows on the wings so as to- 
throw alternate, distinct lines of reflection ; whereas 
on the wings of our ill-fledged kinds, light grows as 
confused as it does on ground glass and sea foam. 
Nor can I doubt but that these muslin wings, shimmer- 
ing with golden tinsel, are the delight of ardent eyes, 
on the sunburnt meadows of Japan, just as the little 
striations along the plumes of a male purple emperor 
bathe the forest gloom in lovely blue light that blinds- 
the diamond insect eye with all the fascination of the 
prism. To produce these beautiful colours all that is 
required is a smooth evenly striated surface. My 
bookbinder has bound my last volumes of Science- 
Gossip in a lively blue that retains its gloss, the 
surface of the cover being covered with minute beading.. 
When I hold the cover away from the light it is blue, 
when I place it against the light it is orange. Seen 
nearer, the little beads have their shady side blue, and 
their bright side orange, a matter which fairly puzzled 
an old writer in the " Insecten Belustigung," who 
appears to have supposed that the notches along the 
scales of the purple emperors had their two surfaces- 
differently coloured. But any object that absorbs blue 
rays, as a white butterfly with a tinge of blue, or a 
butterfly, more intensely blue, must, if it be a good 
reflector, reflect the complementary colour, and an 
orange butterfly the reverse. Some call the natural 
colour chemical, and the other the dioptric ; if so the 
white butterflies in Japan have a dioptric light. Could 
we not apply the matter to increase the light of our 
lighthouses, and make them dioptrics ? On the sugges- 
tion of a leaf-cricket, I once thought a file attached 
to a drum and fiddled on would make a good fog 
signal, but a mechanical friend said it would never 
hold its own with the steam whistle. 



On February 5th, the Duke of Westminster laid 
the foundation stone of the new Chester Museum, 
which is "intended for teaching, for study, and for 
exhibition." Readers of the life of Charles Kingsley 
and of "Town Geology" will hardly need to be 
reminded of the interest he took in the Chester 
Natural History Society. 



88 



HARDW/CKE'S SCIENCE-G OSS/ P. 



NOTES ON FASCIATION. 

THE subject of abnormal growth is always 
associated with various conclusions as to the 
origin, use, &c, of such abnormalities, consequently 
your previous correspondents came to different 
conclusions. Mr. Gibb does not hesitate to con- 
clude that fasciation has its origin in the embryo, 
and in this conclusion I think he is well supported 
by such instances as the cauliflower, and celosia ; in 
both, fasciation has become hereditary, and the 
malformation is perpetuated by seed. Last summer 
I paid some attention to the subject and found that 
fasciation was far more common in cultivated plants 
than iu our wild flowers. Amongst the former I 
found the compositae especially prone to fasciation 
of the flower heads, dahlias, zinnias, and heli- 
chrysums often occurring with misshapen and enlarged 
heads, due to the cohesion of the capitulum in an 
early state of growth. Azalea Indica, and rose " Paul 
Neron " were both affected with a flattened kind of 
stem, which was clearly traceable to fasciation ; in 
these two cases the terminal bud died, so that I had 
no chance of further observing the growth. 

Amongst wild flowers, I noticed the common daisy 
{Bellis perennis), with an abnormal flower head. The 
white dead-nettle [Latnium album) I found with a 
thickened stem, in which I was unable to trace any- 
thing pointing to two cohesive stems, owing to the 
whole of the stem being very curiously curved and 
twisted. I planted last April a few plants of Chry- 
santhemum k'ueanthemum (the ox-eye daisy), taken 
from a poor pasture, in good garden soil. From one 
of the plants a few misshapen flowers were produced, 
which, on close examination, I found to be due to 
the fasciation of the capitulum. I isolated the plant 
by removing it with a large ball of earth, and let it 
seed itself. This spring there are some fifty or 
sixty seedlings growing under and around the old 
plant, and I shall carefully note what proportion of 
them have abnormal flowers. I noted one other 
instance where the seed does not seem to me to 
perpetuate abnormal growth. Sedum glaucum when 
taken from rockwork and planted in rich soil pro- 
duces "coxcombs," which are due to coalescence of 
two or more stems, but I have been unable to find 
the character in seedling plants. 

In examining cases of abnormal growth, care must 
always be taken to distinguish between mere 
redoublement of the parts of a flower, and en- 
largement due to the phenomenon of fasciation. 

John W. Odell. 
Pinner. 



Sir John Lubbock points out that in old holly- 
trees the leaves above the reach of browsing cattle 
tend to lose their spines. Have any of our readers 
observed this 1 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 

The question of civilisation and eyesight still con- 
tinues to engage attention in recent numbers of 
" Nature." Lord Rayleigh suggests that the reputed 
. advantages attributed to savages are not possessed by 
them, inasmuch as a limit is imposed on the power 
of sight by the aperture of the eye, which limit he 
thinks is nearly reached by civilised physicists, and 
that any superiority which savages enjoy is a question 
of interpretation of what they see. 'Mr. Rand 
Capron considers that aperture may not be a fixed 
quantity, but variable in different cases, and capable 
of modification ; while Mr. G. A. Berry suggests that 
among civilised peoples, where the law of the sur- 
vival of the fittest is to some extent frustrated, those 
who suffer from short sight naturally tend to those 
occupations which suit their condition, tending also 
to perpetuate the condition in connection with those 
occupations. 

In a paper on British Snakes lately read before the 
Warrington Field Club, Mr. L. Greening describes in 
an interesting and popular manner the structure and 
habits of these animals. 

In a recent lecture on the Solar Corona, Dr. 
Huggins, F.R.S., is reported (in the " English 
Mechanic") to have said, with regard to the matter of 
the corona, as distinguished from gas, that " if there 
were but one particle of matter in every cubic mile, 
it would account for the corona, the particles being 
so close to the brilliant source of the light of the sun." 
" In the high vacua used by Mr. Crookes, the 
residual material particles represent a crowded city as 
compared with the coronal waste." 

The death is announced of Dr. Samuel Row- 
botham, author of " Zetetic Astronomy," and the 
upholder of the theory that the earth is flat. He was 
best known under the nom de plume of " Parallax." 

The council of the Geological Society has awarded 
the Wollaston medal to Professor George Busk, for 
his palrcontological researches in the Polyzoa and the 
larger Vertebrata ; the Murchison medal to Dr. 
Ferdinand Romer, of Breslau ; the Lyell medal (with 
a grant of ,£40) to Professor H. G. Seeley, F.R.S., in 
recognition of his investigations into the anatomy 
and classification of fossil reptilia, especially the 
Dinosauri ; and the Bigsby Gold medal to Professor 
Renard, of Brussels. 

In "Science" for February, is an account of the 
building of the Washington National Monument, 
U.S.A. It was begun in 1847, and, after some 
delay, was finished last December. It is a sharply 
pointed four-sided tapering shaft, standing on a base 
of masonry, and built of marble, iron, granite, &C. 
It is probably the loftiest structure in the world, being 
555 feet high. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



89 



As a result of numerous observations on under- 
ground temperatures, and a consideration of the 
conditions under which they were conducted, Professor 
Prestwich, F.R.S., suggests i° F. for 45 ft. as the 
mean rate of increase of temperature below ground. 
This is a more rapid increase than that hitherto 
generally accepted, viz. i° F. for 60 ft. 

Mr. A. G. Bell furnishes statistics to "Science" 
founded on the United States census for 18S0, 
bearing on the question whether defects of the senses 
are correlated to one another. He considers that 
they are, and that instead of a defect in one sense 
being usually compensated by special excellence in 
another, the census returns " indicate that the deaf 
are much more liable to blindness than the hearine, 
and the blind more liable to deafness than the 
seeing ; " and he further thinks that there is some 
correlation between these two defects and idiotcy and 
insanity. 

We have received a copy of the Guide to the 
Fossil Fishes in the British Museum of Natural 
History at South Kensington. It consists of over 
40 pp. and is profusely illustrated, containing aiso an 
Introduction by Dr. H. Woodward, a copious index, 
and a list of some important works of reference. 

Messrs. W. Swan Sonnenschein & Co., will 
shortly publish a translation by Professor Hillhouse, 
M.A., of the Mason Science College, of Strasburger's 
" Das Reine botanische Practicum," a book which is 
a condensation of a much larger work by this most 
acute and active of German botanical observers, 
published in the spring of last year. It is intended 
chiefly for beginners, both students and amateurs, its 
great peculiarity being the method whereby, starting 
with the use of the microscope in the study of objects 
of the simplest character and needing no preparation 
(e.g. starch grains), the student is carried by thirty- 
two successive and easy stages up to work of the 
greatest difficulty. 

The question of vivisection has been again raised 
at Oxford, the occasion being a decree for payment 
°f £S°° a year for three years to Dr. Burdon 
Sanderson, the Waynflete Professor of Physiology, 
"for assistance, coal, gas, water and other expenses 
of his department." The anti-vivisectionists made 
strong efforts to oppose this grant on the ground that, 
though Dr. Sanderson had pledged himself not to 
perform experiments on living animals in his lectures, 
this undertaking would not be binding on his suc- 
cessor. The decree was however passed, after a 
somewhat uproarious discussion, by 412 against 244. 

It appears that even tornadoes have been submitted 
to the art of the photographer. Woodcuts prepared 
from photographs of tornadoes may be found in 
" Science " for February. They are reproduced from 
other papers, and their authenticity is assumed. 



Incandescent electric lamps are to be used to 
illuminate the gardens in the coming " Inventories" 
exhibition, and also in the interior of the shops in 
" Old London," which attractive feature of last year's 
exhibition is to be retained this year. 

The Dover Field Club and Natural History 
Society had, on February 19, a very successful and 
largely attended conversazione, when many objects 
of interest in different departments of Natural Science 
were shown. 

The Society of Amateur Geologists is progressing. 
Dr. Maybury has become the first president of this 
society, and will probably deliver his presidential 
address at the meeting in April. At the last meeting 
Mr. Allen-Brown, F.R.G.S., read a paper on Fala;o- 
lithic Man in North-West London. 

It is said that the Skrivanow primary battery has 
been successfully adapted to the production of 
portable electric lamps for domestic use. The 
materials used in the cells are chloride of silver, zinc, 
and a weak solution of caustic potash ; the light can 
be continued for twelve hours ; and the cost of main- 
taining the battery in working order is very small. 

The following has been forwarded to us by an 
Australian correspondent, Mr. C. Burt, Melbourne, 
Victoria. "As hydrogen gas is the lightest known 
element, and as all water contains in its composition 
eight parts oxygen, and one part hydrogen, it may be 
concluded that a tremendous amount of these and 
other gases were liberated at the late Sunda volcanic 
action of nature, by the decomposition of the water 
by electric force. Should this have been the case, 
the hydrogen and other gases would at once ascend 
to the outside of this planet's envelope of atmosphere, 
or be suspended in it, and the sunlight shining at an 
oblique direction at sunset may possibly reflect to us 
the peculiar tint we see. Hydrogen and other gases 
have the power of refraction of light. Could this 
be proved, in 1899, in the month of November, 14, 
15, or 16, a curious freak of nature may happen, 
when the belt of meteors pass through this planet's 
orbit." 

"The Medical Annual and Practitioner's Index " 
for 1S85, edited by Dr. Percy Wilde (London: 
Henry Kimpton, High Holborn) is in its second year 
of issue ; and, successful as it proved last year, there 
is no doubt the editor has gained by his first year's 
experience, so as to produce a better and fuller volume 
for the present year. Practically, it is a Handbook, 
or Yearly Record of useful information on subjects 
relating to the medical profession. Dr. J. E. Taylor, 
F.L.S., contributes an "Annual Review of Popular 
and General Science," and there are also papers on 
"Cases of Insanity," by Dr. Robert Jones ; " Sani- 
tary Memoranda," by C. W. Dymond, C.E. ; 
" Bandages," by Dr. P. Wilde, &c. &c. 



9° 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



News appears in the " Pall Mall Gazette " from 
Miss Marianne North, who is at present in Chili and 
wrote last December. Speaking of the embothrium, 
which has sprays six or eight feet high covered with 
pure vermilion flowers., she says: "But I saw none 
grow into such a tree as I saw in my cousin's garden 
in Cornwall last year ; perhaps it may enjoy a new 
soil and climate, and treat England as our common 
weeds do Chili ; they have quite driven the natives 
out on the great plain or valley of Santiago, and show 
unbroken masses of camomiles, thistles, turnips and 
cornflowers, far stronger than those of Europe." 



MICROSCOPY. 

Liverpool Microscopical Society. — At the 
last monthly meeting of the above society, Dr. W. 
Carter called attention to some further investigations 
of Monsieur Pasteur which proved that no germina- 
tion of seeds could take place in sterilised earth, and 
referred to some experiments of his own with 
mustard seeds. Afterwards, Dr. J. Sibley Hicks 
read a paper on "The Aphides and their Habits." 
He referred to the wide distribution of these insects, 
and how each plant has its peculiar species of aphis 
which occasionally works immense destruction. The 
ravages of the hop aphis were specially referred to, 
and details given of the enormous loss incurred by 
hop growers through this pest, which in the year 
1S82 amouuted to £1,750,000. This damage is 
explained by the fabulous reproductive power of the 
aphis ; a single female may see in her own lifetime a 
progeny of over 4500 million individuals. Another 
destructive species occurs on apple-trees, and is 
known as American blight, which was first observed 
in 1785 in an orchard near London. In more recent 
times the vine aphis phylloxera has done immense 
damage in the vineyards of France, where it was 
first found, in 1865; these species attack the leaves 
and roots, &c. Fortunately the aphides have numer- 
ous enemies, notably the ladybird and its caterpillars, 
especially the latter, each of which will devour forty 
to fifty daily. Other enemies are the lacewing fly 
and its grub, the ichneumon fly, which deposits its 
eggs in the body of the aphis, where they are 
hatched, &c. 

The Quekett Club.— The March number of the 
Journal of the above club contains the inaugural 
address of the president, Dr. Carpenter, in which he 
gives an account of the structure of Orbitolites. The 
paper is well illustrated, and concludes with some 
remarks addressed to would-be workers in science. 
At the November meeting of the same club, Dr. 
M. C. Cooke, and apparently also Dr. Carpenter, 
agreed with the opinion expressed in a paper by 
Mr. Bates, that at present there is no sufficient 



ground on which to assert the distinct sexuality of 
the threads of the Zygonemacese. At the same 
meeting Mr. E. M. Nelson announced that he had 
recently been successful in detecting a flagellum on 
the cholera bacillus. 

Royal Microscopical Society. — Mr. F. R. 
Cheshire, F.R.M.S., contributes to the Journal of the 
above Society (February) a paper, accompanied by 
illustrative plates, on the receptaculum seminis and 
adjacent parts of bees and wasps. In it he describes 
minutely the anatomical structures bearing on the 
vexed questions of the reproduction of bees. The 
same number contains also a paper on Variations in 
the Development of a Saccharomyces, by Mr. G. F. 
Dowdeswell ; Notes on Tyroglyphidse, by Mr. A. D. 
Michael ; and the usual capital summary of current 
researches. 

Cole's "Microscopical Studies." — These wel- 
come serials are issued with remarkable punctuality. 
Part 3 of the "Studies in Microscopical Science" 
deals with Vaucheria racemosa (illustrated by a 
coloured plate and slide showing oogonia and 
anthrozoa) ; with the " ovary of kitten ; " alveolar 
pneumonia," and "foot of spider" — all illustrated 
by plates and slides, whilst the letter-press descrip- 
tions are remarkably lucid and terse ; in fact, they 
are models of scientific teaching. 

Crystals for the Polariscope. — I should be 
glad to know if any of the crystals of the various 
salts mounted for polariscopic objects are really per- 
manent. "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever," 
says the poet. About the beauty of the crystals 
there cannot be two opinions ; but, alas ! so far as 
my experience goes, it is of a decidedly fleeting 
character. I have slides by Topping and others, 
nearly all of which show signs of deterioration, and 
in some the crystals have vanished altogether. This- 
cannot arise from damp, as my cabinet is kept in an 
exceptionally dry room, in proof of which I may 
state that such a thing as mould I have never seen 
in my cabinets of entomological specimens. Before, 
therefore, I expend anything more on this class of 
microscopic mounts, I would ask for the advice of 
microscopists, and information as to the durability of 
crystals. — Joseph Anderson, jun. 

Staining Nerve and Muscles. — Would any of 
your readers furnish me with the most delicate stains 
and tests for the elucidation of very obscure nervous 
and muscular structure in fresh minute organisms, 
with best mode of application 1—E. B. L. Brayley. 



Unrecognised Birds. — A correspondent says 
he saw two strange birds on a Yorkshire moor. 
They were probably stonechats (Saxicola rnbicola), 
birds which are almost confined to heaths and moors. 
— H. Lamb, Maidstone. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



9i 



ZOOLOGY. 

Motion in Spider's severed Leg. — The 
" spider " referred to under the above heading, in 
■"Science-Gossip" for March, 1885, p. 69, was in 
all probability one of the Phalangiidaj or harvest-men, 
not a true spider. Harvest-men, especially those of 
the genus Liobunus, throw off their legs voluntarily 
and with great facility, but never, so far as I am 
aware, unless the leg is in a captive state. The leg 
thrown off will continue to move for some little time, 
its muscular power and nervous sensibility being 
very great. Escape is doubtless the motive on the 
part of the harvest-man, but whether any idea of 
drawing off the attention of the enemy, by means of 
the motion of the cast-off leg, is mixed up with that 
motion, seems improbable. True spiders, especially 
those of the genus Clubiona, will also throw off their 
legs, but they appear to require a greater purchase to 
enable them to do so than the Phalangids, and their 
legs when severed have not nearly the same amount 
■of motion. I have always found that if a spider be 
held by two of its legs it cannot obtain the necessary 
purchase, and so cannot throw off the limb. It is 
•quite true that the spider, or harvest-man, suffers, 
apparently, a minimum of inconvenience in the loss 
of a leg or two, but there must certainly be a 
•considerable drain on the system as the stump always 
bleeds freely. I once saw an example of Liobunus 
rotundus running with very fair speed, and in wonder- 
fully steady time, having only three out of its eight 
legs remaining. — O. P. Cambridge, Bloxwortk 
Rectory. 

Melanic Variation in Lepidoptera. — In his 
presidential address to the Yorkshire Naturalists' 
Union, " On some probable causes of a tendency to 
Melanic Variation in Lepidoptera of high latitudes," 
Lord Walsingham remarked that northern representa- 
tives of southern forms of lepidoptera showed a 
tendency to assume a darker or more suffused colour, 
the same tendency being observable in those 
frequenting high mountain ranges, and he discussed 
various reasons which have been suggested to account 
for such phenomena. He supposes it to be, perhaps, 
due to the advantages derivable by the insect from its 
being able the more rapidly to absorb invigorating 
warmth ; and also to surplus vital energy leading to 
the deposition of pigment. He pointed out also that 
though the same darkness of colour would cause a 
more rapid loss as well as gain of heat, this would 
not be of so much consequence in the case of insects, 
while in the case of the power of dark races of 
mankind to support tropical climates, the tendency 
of the darker skin to absorb heat would be compen- 
sated by the quicker loss of the same. 

Another attempt to carry humble-bees to New 
Zealand to fertilise the clover has failed. All the 
insects were found dead when the case was unpacked. 



BOTANY. 

Cocain in Different Species of Erythroxy- 
lon. — A grain of cocain, from the South American 
tree Erythroxylon Coca, has been selling in London 
up to three shillings and sixpence as a retail price, 
and the Secretary of State for India has forwarded to 
the Government of India a letter from Surgeon- 
General Balfour, suggesting that the plant should 
be introduced into that country. Surgeon-General 
Shortt has been asked to ascertain whether similar 
properties to those possessed by E. coca, may not 
be found in some of the East Indian species. Sir 
Joseph Hooker's " Flora Indica " enumerates seven 
species there : E. Burmanicutn ; E. Kunthianum ; 
E. lauceolatum ; £. lucidum ; E. monogynum ; 
E. obtusifolium and E. sideroxyloidcs. 

The Edelweiss. — So favoured by legend and 
romance, the edelweiss is worth cultivating, and 
this is easily done. It is rather a new introduction to 
our florists' catalogues, but every lady may soon 
have it in her drawing-room, if she wishes. It will 
flower almost as well in town as in country, at least 
under glass. I got some seed of Freeman's, of 
Norwich, two years ago ; and, sown early in spring in 
a flat pot, with sandy peat and good loam, and kept 
moist, it vegetates in a fortnight, and must then be 
pricked out, and put in a cool frame, and then 
planted out of doors in about six weeks. It takes as 
much sun as can be given it. The above are the 
nursery directions, and, having followed them, I 
raised some nice plants. Any lady who wishes to 
emulate the brides of Switzerland has only to order 
her gardener to sow the seed, and the edelweiss may 
be ready for the boudoir or the hair in a few weeks, 
as easily grown as forget-me-nots. The mystery of 
the edelweiss may be then studied at leisure, as long 
as it continues flowering, or it may be put into an 
album or herbarium when it has ceased to do so. — 
John Emmet, F.L.S. 

Fertilisation of Geraniums.— The following 
observations on Geranium plueicm and G. sanguineum 
may be of interest : — At an early stage of inflo- 
rescence the pistil is surrounded by the anthers in 
such a manner that if the pollen was shed, and the 
stigma ready to receive it at the same time, self- 
fertilisation would be inevitable. After the pollen is 
shed, the anthers fall off and the filaments turn away 
from the style. Then the stigma opens out and 
shows its five-cleft form, ready to receive the pollen- 
grains which may be brought by bees from other 
flowers. Afterwards it closes again and remains so. 
— G. W. Bulman. 

Blossoming of the Artichoke. — The flowering 
of this plant appeared to be general in Middlesex, 
last autumn. Our crop here, in N.W. Middlesex, 
was much liner than usual, and nearly every plant 



02 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



flowered ; early frosts prevented the seed from coming 
to maturity. It would be interesting to know why 
this plant is so shy of flowering, more especially as 
several other species of Helianthus from S. America 
are noted for their free flowering habits ; H. tuberosus 
being a native of Brazil, and not, as its name implies, 
a native of the Holy Land. — J. W. Odell, Pinner. 

Blossoming of the Artichoke.— In answer 
to E. A. (Science-Gossip, No. 243), I have noticed 
the blossoms of Helianthus tuberosus during the 
past autumn in Kent as well as here in Jersey. — 
M. E. Fope. 

Helleborus viridis. — When examining for the 
first time a plant of Helleborus viridis, I was struck 
with the curious form of the stem immediately 
beneath the flower. It has a wrinkled appearance 
for about half an inch. Can any one give me 
information about this phenomenon ; the nature of 
it, and reason for it ? I have examined it under the 
microscope, but cannot see anything remarkable, 
excepting two lines inside the stem, which appear to 
me to be nerves. It is the same as the pulvinus of 
the cotyledons, described by Darwin in "Movements 
of Plants."— If. P. FitzGerald. 

Teratological Notes. Dactylis glomerata. — I 
recently obtained at Bramcote, near Nottingham, by 
the roadside, near a farmhouse, two specimens of an 
abnormal development in a grass, I take to be 
Dactyiis glomerata, the rough cock's-foot grass, but 
the inflorescence is slightly altered owing to the 
malformation, the panicle being very irregular ; it is 
well described in Maxwell T. Masters' work as 
'■viviparous grass." I cannot do better than quote 
his words. " The spikelets of certain grasses are 
frequently found with some of their constituent parts 
completely replaced by leaves, like those of the stem, 
while the true flowers are usually entirely absent ; a 
shoot in fact is formed in place of a series of flowers. 
In these cases it generally happens that the outermost 
glumes are changed, sometimes, however, even the 
outer and inner paleae are wholly unchanged, while 
there is no trace of squamulre or of stamens and 
pistils within them, but in their place is a small 
shoot with miniature leaves arranged in the ordinary 
manner. This occurs in many species, amongst 
others Daetylis glomerata." — C. T. Musson, 
Nottingham. 

Pelargonium Leaf.— A short time ago a curious 
leaf malformation was brought to me. A pelargonium 
leaf had developed into the shape of a wineglass, 
the bell being like a hollow cone, the leaf-stalk 
springing from the apex, and, of course, the hollow 
base upwards. — C. T. Musson, Nottingham. 

The Exploration of Roraima. — Information 
has been received from Mr. im Thurn, who is at 
present in British Guiana, to the effect that he has 
succeeded in ascending Roraima. He found the 



plateau treeless and cold, and by no means so 
isolated as it has been supposed. His party could 
only explore for a short distance, but he speaks of the 
scenery of the mountain and the vegetation on the 
top as most wonderful, and he found several new 
species of plants there, but no new animals. 



GEOLOGY, &C. 

Archaean Rocks of the North-West 
Highlands. — In the October number, lately issued, 
of the " Proceedings of the Geologists' Association," 
is a long paper by Professor J. F. Blake, F.G.S., on 
the stratification of the Durness and Eriboll district 
of the North-West Highlands, where Archaean 
gneiss is found overlying beds of later formation, 
and the subject is also dealt with in the same number 
by Professor Lapworth. In referring last year to the 
work done in the Geological Survey in this region, 
Professor Geikie stated that the prodigious displace- 
ments of strata to be found there are without a 
parallel in Britain. Reversed faults, with so low a 
hade that the rocks on the up-throw side are pushed 
almost horizontally over the others, produce disloca- 
tions to which the name " thrust-plane " has been 
applied, the effects being almost incredible. "In 
Durness, for example, the overlying schists have 
certainly been thrust westwards across all the other 
rocks for at least ten miles." 

Drift-Coal.— The March number of the " Natura- 
list " contains a note by Professor G. A. Lebour on 
an Abnormal Deposit of Drift-Coal in North Durham, 
which consists of a bed, over two feet thick, of 
comparatively large coal fragments, which however 
are unlike any coal-measure coal known in the 
neighbourhood, while they do not appear to have 
travelled far. 

The Flint Deposits on Midgeley Moor. — 
Another vigilant search was made for flints on the now 
well-known Midgeley Moor on Monday, March 2, 
1S85, with very satisfactory results. Among the 
finds may be mentioned several "chips," "cherts," 
a "scraper," and two perfect "arrow-heads," one 
not very well worked, but the other as sharp-pointed 
as a needle, with a rounded base and angular sides. 
The presence of so many chips, cores, &c, with 
numerous arrowheads, it was thought may indicate 
the site of an ancient flint manufactory. — S. P., 
Mytholmroyd. 

" Schillerization." — What is it ? At a recent 
meeting of the Geological Society of London a paper 
by J. W. Judd, F.R.S., was read, on " The Tertiary 
and Older Peridolites of Scotland," in which the 
author proposed the term "schillerization," to denote 
"the development of microscopic enclosures, in the 
form of plates or rods, along certain planes within 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



93 



the crystal, giving rise to metallic reflections or a 
play of colour." He further stated that schillerized 
forms are produced by deep-seated hydration, 
weathered forms being due to hydration near the 
surface. 

A Crinoid with Articulating Spines. — In 
the March number of " The Annals and Magazine of 
Natural History," may be found an account of a new 
species of crinoid from calcareous shales of middle 
Devonian age at Arkona, Province of Ontario, 
Canada, collected and described by Dr. G. J. Hinde, 
F.G.S. The author refers to the description in 1SS3, 
by Professor H. S. Williams, of a crinoid with 
movable spines, to which the name of Arthroacantha 
Itkacensis was given from Devonian strata at Ithaca, 
in the State of New York. Of this, impressions only 
were found, while Dr. Hinde's specimens were 
fragments themselves. This new species, which was 
found at a lower geological horizon than those of 
Professor Williams, Dr. Hinde has named Hysiri- 
crinus (= Arthroacantha) Carpenter/, and he says that 
his specimens " conclusively show that Professor 
Williams had correctly interpreted the impressions 
and casts of the spines and plates in the Devonian 
shales, and that, however, novel the feature of 
movable spines may be in the history of the 
Crinoidea, no doubt can be entertained of the fact." 

Silurian Insect and Scorpions.— The following 
is taken from some Notes contributed to the " Geo- 
logical Magazine," by Mr. Herbert Goss, F.G.S. 
Till lately fragments of neuroptera found in Devonian 
rocks of North Brunswick were the oldest known 
insect fossils. Recently the wing of a cockroach 
(Blatta) has been found in middle Silurian rocks at 
Jurques, Calvados, France, and to this, the oldest- 
known insect, and oldest-known terrestrial animal, 
the name of Pahvoblattina Douvillci has been given. 
Recently also two scorpions, insectivorous animals, 
whose presence furnishes additional evidence of that 
of insects, have been found in Silurian rocks, one 
from the Ludlow beds (upper Silurian) of Lesma- 
hagow, Lanarkshire, and the other from the upper 
Silurian of the isle of Gotland. The latter, which 
has been named Palccophonus nuncius, is said to have 
been clearly an air-breathing animal, and to have 
observable in it " the presence of four pairs of thoracic 
legs, which are stout and pointed like those of the 
embryos of many tracheata, and of forms like 
campodea. This form of the leg no longer exists in 
the fossil scorpions of the Carboniferous formations, 
in which fossils these appendages resemble those of 
existing species." 

Coral-stone converted into Phosphate of 
Lime. — Mr. George Hughes finds that this change 
has taken place in deposits in the West Indian 
islands of Berbuda and Aruba. In the latter case the 
deposit occurs at a headland called Sierra Colorado, 



and Mr. Hughes is of opinion that this was formerly 
the resort of sea-birds, whose excrement, which 
contained soluble phosphates, caused the change in 
the rock. 

Paramorphoses of Pyroxene into Ampiii- 
bole.— From the paragraph in Science-Gossip for 
March, it is refreshing to find that some of the British 
scientists are taking up this subject practically ; as it 
seems rather derogatory to British lithologists that 
just as the Americans are casting aside their "fad" 
about the old crystalline rocks, the former should 
step into their old clothes. Mr. Harris Teall, how- 
ever, can scarcely be said to be the first in the field, as 
there are a few others before him, as mentioned in the 
recently published paper by Professor G. H. Williams 
of John Hopkins College, Baltimore ("American 
Journal of Science "). Paramorphoses is the field to 
which the microscopist ought to turn his attention, 
as by it he learns what changes may and do take 
place during metamorphosism, no matter what is the 
age of the rocks. The changes to which the pyroxene 
is subjected are those more easily seen ; but asso- 
ciated with them are other changes, as of the felspars ; 
the latter, however, seem to be, at least in part, 
more methylatic than paramorphosic, as there appear 
to be new minerals developed ; the change of a 
triclinic into a uniclinic felspar being accompanied 
by the development of accessory minerals. This 
subject is, however, treacherous ground, as it seems 
possible that it may be paramorphoses and not 
methylosis that has been at work ; as the different 
minerals that make up a triclinic felspar may be 
developed and not actually chemically changed. 
There are some peculiarities in connection with 
pyroxenic rocks, often absent, but not always, in 
felstones. Very commonly associated with a 
pyroxenic rock, let it be as an "intende" or mass, 
bedded, or as a dyke, there are schistose portions, 
and the pyroxene in the latter changes much more 
rapidly into hornblende, than the pyroxene in the 
more solid portions ; also a pyroxenic tuff or tuffose 
rock will change more rapidly than a compact rock. 
Subsequently, however, there appears to be a change 
in their relative sensibilities, as, during more excessive 
metamorphic action, the compact rock may change 
into a granyte, while the hornblendyte retains more 
or less its schistose character. The ordinary changes 
seem to be in the following order : — 1st, there is the 
pyroxenic rock, in part tuffose, and in part compact ; 
2nd, hornblendyte, and a rock in part pyroxenic and 
in part amphibolic ; 3rd, hornblendyte and horn- 
blendic gneiss ; 4th, gneissose hornblendic granyte, 
having subordinate hornblendic schistose beds or 
courses ; and 5th, metamorphic granyte ; the action 
having become sufficiently intense to destroy the 
individuality of the original rocks. — G. H. K. 

" Our Common British Fossils, and Where 
to Find Them." By Dr. J. E. Taylor, F.G.S., 



94 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



F.L.S., &c— Our position with regard to the author- 
ship of this book forbids us doing more than an- 
nouncing its recent publication. (Chatto & Windus, 
Price 7-r. 6d.) It contains about 350 pp. and 331 
illustrations. The thirteen chapters of the book 
are headed as follows : I. Fossil Sponges, &c. ; 
2. Fossil Corallines ; 3. Fossil Corals ; 4. Encrinites ; 
5. Fossil Star-fishes and Sea-Urchins ; 6. Fossil 
Worms ; 7. Trilobites, and other Fossil Crustacea ; 
8. Fossil Sea-Mats ; 9. Fossil Lamp-Shells ; 10. Fossil 
Mollusca (Primary) ; II. Fossil Mollusca (Secondary) ; 
12. Fossil Mollusca (Tertiary) ; 13. Fossil Cephalopoda. 
Perhaps the best outline of the author's intention with 
regard to this Handbook will be conveyed by quoting 
the preface : — "The following pages are intended as 
a help to the young student of geology, who is usually 
bewildered by the abundance of invertebrate fossils, 
when he commences collecting them himself. There 
are books of a much higher and more extensive character, 
such as the treatises on Palaeontology by Owen and 
Nicholson, to which I am hopeful this present volume 
will prove introductory. I have not attempted to 
introduce the student to other than invertebrate fossil 
animals, not only because these are by far the most 
numerous, but also because such an attempt would 
have expanded the volume beyond due limits. I have 
recollected the nature of the difficulties which begin- 
ners in fossil-collecting feel, and have tried to meet 
them. My hope has been rather to whet the appetite 
than to satisfy it." 

Flint or Stone Implements. — In reply to query 
by Mr. Hewitson, I may say that there have been 
finds of pre-historic implements in Allendale and the 
surrounding district. The implements were celts, 
arrow-heads, flakes, drippings and cores. The 
materials consisted of greenstone and flint. The 
localities were Allendale Fell, Kilhope Fell, Ram- 
shaw Fell, Tows Band, and Cowburn district. In 
1878, the Rev. W. Howchin, F.G.S., contributed a 
paper on this subject to the Natural History Society 
of Newcastle-on-Tyne. — y. T. T. Rccd. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Arum Maculatum. — On reading Mr. Williams' 
article on this plant I referred to an old work 
wherein I find the following account, which I quote 
verbatim, thinking it may be of interest to him as 
well as your readers. The book is titled " Pharmaco- 
poeia Officinalis Extemporanca, or, a Complete 
English Dispensatory," by John Quincy, M.D. 
printed for Thomas Longman, at the Ship in Pater- 
noster Row, London, 1739, Part ii. Sect. 4. Of 
Balsamics. Radices, Roots of, Ari, Cuckow Pint ; 
distinguished — vulgare by Gerhard, and — maculatum 
cr- 5 non maculatum, by Parkinson. It grows in Hedges 
and Shady Places. This Plant appears very early in 
the Spring. It is most violently pungent and vola- 
tile ; insomuch that the least Touch of its Juice upon 



the Tongue is scarce tolerable, and almost caustic. 
This Quality makes it recommended in all Viscidities, 
and in phlegmatic and scorbutic Cases ; because it 
penetrates and rarefies tough Concretions and In- 
fractions of the Glands and Capillary Vessels. It has 
been prescribed in humoral Asthmas and Obstruc- 
tions of the Bronchia ; and by the great Force and 
Activity of its Parts it breakes thro' and wears 
away those little Stoppages in the Extremities and 
cutaneous Glands, which occasion Itchings and 
Scabs ; and is therefore justly rank'd amongst the 
most powerful Antiscorbutics. Van Helmont com- 
mends it greatly, with Vinegar in Bruises or Falls ; 
because it will prevent the Blood from stagnating 
and falling into Grumes, upon the injured Parts. 
And Etmuller, with a Mixture of Sallads, seems to 
think it will form a Tertium Quid, very much of the 
Nature of Nasturtium. Some have affirmed a Dram 
of this Root fresh powder'd and taken in any proper 
Vehicle, to be a most excellent and infallible Remedy 
against Poison and the Plague. Mathiolus com- 
mends, and with great reason, a Cataplasm made 
with this fresh bruised and Cow-dung, to be applied 
hot in arthritic Pains ; for such a Composition cannot 
but do all that is expected from the most penetrating 
Substances. Schroder reports, that the distilled 
Water from its fresh Leaves, is a Specific in Melan- 
choly and Distraction. Dr. Grew says that this 
Root kept long dry, loses its efficacy ; which it 
certainly does ; the volatile Parts, in which it con- 
sists, flying away, and leaving it insipid. — yohn 
Redding, Dubfai. 

Unrecognised Birds : waxwings ? — The birds 
seen in Yorkshire by Mr. Birkdale (p. 69) were 
probably specimens of the Bohemian chatterer or 
waxwing {Ampclis garruhis, Linn.), an irregular 
winter visitor to this country ; if so, they would have 
a slight crest, a dark throat, and white bands on the 
wings, besides the features he mentions, and the wax- 
like appendages to wings and tail, of a bright scarlet, 
but perhaps, not visible at a distance, from which they 
are named ; in young birds some of these characteris- 
tics would be wanting. The date seems unusual. 
Stone-snatches would be wheatears, whinchats, or 
stonechats. — y. E. Kclsall. 

Last Autumn's Aberrations. — I forward you 
a cherry, gathered on November 6th, rather damaged 
by birds, but rich in colour ; and also a cluster of 
strawberry bloom and green fruit. Both were found 
out of doors. The gardener, an old and observing 
man, never before met with a cherry at this season. 
The autumnal tints, too, were remarkable, and 
surpassingly beautiful. Prior to the rougher nights 
of early November, elms retained full luxuriance of 
foliage, and a few days previously, showed each a 
daily increasing single blotch of sharply defined and 
unbroken orange colour, the rest of the leaves re- 
maining unchanged in hue, and all of them as to 
denseness. — S. S. 

Abnormal Orange. — This orange consists of an 
inner and an outer one ; the inner being of the shape 
of a miniature barrel, flat at the top, and, as it nears 
its other extremity, rather abruptly terminates in a 
blunt point. It is at this point that a pithy stem 
joins it. The outer part of the orange discloses 
nothing unusual to view, being of the ordinary shape. 
It is also remarkable for its paucity of pips. — Arthur 
Ayling. 

Illustrations of Pond Life. — Will any reader 
of Science-Gossip kindly say how I can give illus- 
trations of pond life with the lantern in a small hall. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



95 



In all the lists of Dr. Maddow's photographs of 
microscopic objects, I fail to find any representing 
the Infusoria, Polyps, Rotifers, etc. Can lantern 
photos of these be had ?— G~. M. B. 

Pond Life in Nottinghamshire.— Can any 
reader inform me where the best ponds, ditches, or 
streams, are to be found in Nottinghamshire for 
micro life, viz., Hydra viridis, Hydra fusca, Stentors, 
Vorticella, Volvcx globator, Melicerta ringens, Desmi- 
diacese, or Diatomacea: ? Any information on this 
point will be much valued. — ]V. H. P. 

Branched Tentacle of Hydra. — Some months 
■or so since, Mr. Dunn exhibited at the Birmingham 
Microscopists' and Naturalists' Union, a specimen of 
Hydra viridis, having a small tentacle growing out of 
one of the others, and looking like the letter Y. A 
short time after, I found two specimens of Hydra. 
vulgaris having the same peculiarity, except that one 
branched out much nearer the base than the other. 
Another member of our society, Mr. Henry Hawkes, 
also found a specimen. As I have never read of 
anything of the kind, I should be glad to know if any 
one else has noticed a similar occurrence ? I have 
mounted a specimen, and shall be happy to show it 
to any one calling on me at 33 Geach Street, 
Birmingham. — IVi/liam Tylar. 

Water-Voles (Arvicola amphibius).- — I have 
often seen water-rats gnawing rushes at the edge of 
the water. They are plentiful along the banks of the 
Med way here. — H. Lamb, Maidstone. 

• 

Paradise Tree. — The flower your correspon- 
dent F. S. mentions is an orchid and is indigenous to 
the Isthmus of Panama, and is rare, even in its native 
land. The plant grows to a height of about 4 feet, 
the flower being of a creamy white colour, exhaling a 
faint perfume. The petals of the flower are folded 
back, and in the centre are arranged in the exact shape 
•of a small white dove with wings extended, as if just 
about to take flight. It is regarded with religious 
veneration in its native land, and the inhabitants have 
given it the name of " Espiritu Santo," the flower of 
the Holy Spirit, but I unfortunately do not know its 
scientific name. Of its existence there is no doubt at 
all ; it is, I believe, growing at Chatsworth, and I 
know it is or was in the conservatories at Windsor. — 
M. L. S., Pendleton. 



NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than heretofore, we cannot 
possibly insert in the following number any communications 
•which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the "exchanges" offered are fair 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken of owe gratuitous insertion of 
" exchanges " which cannot be tolerated. 

We request that all exchanges may be signed with name (or 
initials) and full address at the end. 



I". Marshall.— Morris's " History of British Birds." For 
price, consult the secondhand catalogues of W. P. Collins, 
157 Great Portland Street, or \V. Wesley, Essex Street, Strand. 

A. S. B., and others. — Perhaps you are not aware that 
furze may be found in blossom all round the year, under 
anything like favourable conditions. The furze sent is U. 
EitropiEus. 



Faux. — This is not an uncommon thing in bulbous plants, 
but occurs in the orchids more particularly. 

C. Frkd Fox. — The paper you mention on the " Cephalopoda 
of the Isle of Wight," by C. Parkinson, F.G.S., is to be found 
in No. 177 of this journal, viz., September 1879. 

W. W. Bladen. — Your name as author of the paper oa 
" Nidification in Staffordshire," in our last number, was un- 
fortunately omitted. 

G. E. East, jun. — "The Natural History Journal" is not 
in existence. "The Annals and Magazine of Natural History " 
(London: Taylor & Francis), price of an ordinary monthly 
number, 2s. 6d. "The Geological Record " (London: Taylor 
& Francis), is published annually to subscribers, price 10s. 6d. 

E. C. — We cannot undertake correspondence of the kind you 
mention other than that connected with this column. 

F. Harding. — Get J. Harting's "Rambles in Search of 
Shells." 

F. J. G. — Your letter with regard to M. B.'s exchange notice 
is the first we have received. We hope we shall not hear the 
like from others, which might render it necessary to take 
further steps. 

B. B. (Bath). — Thanks for your note. Your address has 
been taken in case it might be wanted for future reference. 

H. A. F. — For information as to works on the botany and 
natural history of Florida, apply to the editors of the " American 
Naturalist " (Philadelphia) or the " Botanical Gazette " (Indian- 
apolis'). 

F. A. — We have received a number of letters replying to 
E. A.'s query about the blossoming of the artichoke in England. 
It blossomed at Croydon and elsewhere, besides the places 
alluded to in the notes now published. 

J. Ritchie. — (1) Grattan's " British Seaweeds " ("Bazaar" 
Office), published at is. 6d. Landsborough's "British Sea- 
weeds," published at 10s. 6d. by Lovell Reeve, coloured plates. 
(2) Stark's "Popular History of British Mosses" (Routledge), 
published at 10s. 6d., coloured plates. Many years ago a 
special number was published of Science-Gossip on Hepaticae, 
by Dr. M. C. Cooke. It is now out of print, but may possibly 
be obtained through some scientific bookseller. Dr. Carrington's 
work on the Jungermanniaceae is slowly coming out. 

W. B. — Your specimen is Betula alba, or white birch. 

H. H. — See articles in Science-Gossip on " Hybernation of 
Swallows." by Dr. C. C. Abbott. 

J. B. B. — Your specimens are as follows: Xenodochus car- 
bonarius, or Burnet leaf; 54, Polytrichum ; 55, species of 
Pterogonium ; 80, imperfect. Probably a pinnule of Aspidium 
Jalcatum. 

P. O'K. (co. Clare). — Your specimens are the cup-moss 
lichen {Cenomyce pyxidatd], the reindeer's horn lichen (Cla- 
donia rangiferina), and catkins of the common club-moss 
(Z. ycopodium cla va turn). 

H. M. — Your specimen is the partition or septum of the fruit 
of the garden plant called Honesty. 

M. A. M. — The specimen you enclosed is a fragment of the 
egg-capsules of the common whelk {Bncciuum widatiim) . 
See Taylor's " Half-hours at the Seaside," for figures and 
description. 

F. R. — Your slide of specimen was smashed. "The white 
object attached to a pebble " and " dropt by a male bird," is 
the entire mass of egg-capsules of the white whelk, referred to 
above. The other object is a fresh-water alga, showing oogonia. 

F. W. C. — See recent numbers of " Nature " for letters on 
lantern screens. A lantern-microscope would be very helpful 
to you in your difficulty. Apply to Messrs. Chatto & Windus 
for Hepworth's cheap treatise on the Magic Lantern, and how to 
work it. 

S. J. M. —The following are excellent works connected with 
Sericulture: "Report in regard to the Manufacture of Raw 
Silk, &c, in India," 1836. " Cultivation of Silk in Australia, 
Sydney," 1870, "Silk Culture in Japan," "Roxburghe's Ac- 
count of the Silkworms of Bengal," " La Sericulture," by 
Bavier, Lyons, 1874. You had better apply for any of these or 
other books on the subject, to B. Quaritch or W. Wesley, 
scientific bookseller, Essex Street, Strand. 

J. E. R. — Your exchanged note is not in hand. 

E. H. — 1st. Foreign Conchology by Chenu, published in 
French ; Wood's " Index Testaceologica"; Sowerby's "Genera 
of Shells." The above are abundantly illustrated with coloured 
plates. 2nd. Any London dealer, or the Assistants in the 
Conchological Department of the Brit. Nat. Hist. Museum. 
For British mollusca, see Gwyn Jeffrey's work in five vols. 



EXCHANGES. 

Good botanical, histological, crystals, polariscopic, diatoms, 
fish scales and miscellaneous, microscopic slides for others as 
good of bacilli, entozoa, algae, desmids, zoophytes, rocks, fossil 
woods. — B. Wells, Dalmain Road, Forest Hill. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip, Nos. 230, 231. What offers for 
Balfour's "Outlines" and Paley's "Theology"? — F. Marshall, 
Benwick, March, Cambridgeshire. 

One or two specimens of Tcstacclla haliotidea, taken in this 
locality, which I am willing to forward alive or dead for another 
equally rare species.— F. Fenn, 20 Woodstock Road, Bedford 
Park, Chiswick, W. 



9 6 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



I will send twelve packets of micro material in exchange for 
a well-mounted slide. — G. A. Baiker, i Northwold Road, 
Clapton, E. 

Sconce-Gossip, 1876-79, bound in cloth ; 1880 in numbers ; 
also 1881, Jan. to April, Nov., Dec. ; 1882, Dec. ; Coleman's 
"British Butterflies;" Wood's "Common Objects of the 
Country;" Wood's " British Moths ;" Brown's "Astronomical 
Geology." All the above clean copies, though marked with a 
stamp ; will exchange for micro apparatus or material, or for 
land and freshwater shells. — B. B. W., 2.3 Batoum Gardens, 
West Kensington Park, W. 

Wanted, a good turntable : also skull of bull frog, and 
skeleton of full-sized common frog. — K., The Manse, Bollington, 
near Macclesfield. 

Wanted, lantern photographic slides; will exchange six 
sculpture and twelve abbeys and cathedral i, six castles, and 
twelve others, send list ; or will «ive microphotographs mounted 
on 3 X 1 polished slips for lantern slides. — R. Blakeborough, 
Guisborough. 

A double nose-piece to fit Hartnack's microscopes, made 
specially by Collins, Great Portland Street, almost new ; 
" Hogg on the Microscope," 6th edition, as good as new. 
Wanted, last edition of Carpenter on " Beale on the Microscope 
in Medicine."— E. R. T., 24 St. Patrick's Hill, Cork. 

Wanted, a pair of healthy bullfinches in exchange for either 
vol. iii., iv., v., or vi. of " Boys' Own Paper," in monthly parts, 
with piates and index in perfect order, or vols. i. and ii. of 
Imison's " Elements of Science and Art," bound in tree calf. — 

E. P. Turner, 6 Dagnall Park Terrace, Selhurst, S.E. 
Micro slides: wing of Papilis Paris (green scales on rich 

brown ground) for other good slide. Plea^e send box. — 
A. Dovvnes, Glenmore, Waverley Road, Bristol. 

Duplicates: Amathusio phidippus, Agauisthos Orion, 
Callidryaspkilas, M egahtra peletts, Papilio thoas. Desiderata : 
other exotic butterflies, or pupa: of British lepidoptera. — Joseph 
Anderson, jun., Chichester, Sussex. 

Fine examples of Australian foraminifera, selected and named, 
including Discorbina, Valvulina, Clavalina, Patellina, Nubecu- 
laria, and other rarities. Desiderata : Carpentaria, Tinoporus, 
Cymbalopora, Hanerina, Cassidulina, or any of the rarer 
species. Also rich foraminiferal material from the Tertiary 
beds of England and the continent. — W. Howchin, Goodwood 
East, Adelaide, South Australia. Parcels in bulk can be sent 
for enclosure, addressed as above, to the care of R. Fenwick, 
Sutton Street, Commercial Road East, London. 

Will forward ant parasites in exchange for anything useful 
in microscopy. — H., 1 Madelaine Square, Liverpool. 

Wanted, a Rosszentmayer microscope stand. State ex- 
change or price required to — S. C. L., 276 Middleton Road, 
Oldham. 

" English Mechanic," Nos. 758 to 796, the following numbers 
missing, 770, 776, 788, 790 ; exchange for fine cock and hen 
bullfinch, or for a piping cock only. A printing machine and 
type also wanted. — E. P. Turner, 6 Dagnall Park Terrace, 
Selhurst. 

Wanted, a hen ring-dove in exchange for a blue pigeon. — 
Frederick Harding, Shipley House, 13 York Road, Eastbourne. 

Will exchange one pair of blue pigeons for pair of dormice. 
— Frederick Harding, Shipley House, 13 York Road, East- 
bourne. 

First twenty-four parts of " Entomologists' Monthly Maga- 
zine," foreign shells, a horn of rhinoceros, minerals, and sucking 
fish (remora\ for foreign curios, or shells or micro slides. — 

F. M., 69 Duke Street, Old Trafford, Manchester. 
Wanted, gold and silver medals, and collections containing 

rare foreign postage stamps, in exchange for natural history 
specimens. — W. K. Mann, Wellington Terrace, Clifton, Bristol. 

Wanted, following nests, with clutches of eags: dipper, ring 
ouzel, nightingale, stonechat, whinchat, grasshopper warbler, 
woodlark, cirl bunting, hawfinch, goldfinch, lesser redpole, &c. 
Offered, eggs, insects, shells, and various natural history speci- 
mens. — W. K. Mann, Wellington Terrace, Clifton, Bristol. 

Wanted, various eggs in quantities, and nests with clutches 
of eggs of uncommon species. Offered, British and exotic 
insects and shells. — W. K. Mann, Wellington Terrace, Clifton, 
Bristol. 

L. C, Nos. 40, 1039, 1127, 1128, 1330, for exchange. Send 
lists to— H. Purefoy FitzGerald, M.C.S., North Hall, Basing- 
stoke. 

Wanted, the February and March, 1884, numbers of Science- 
Gossip. State price or what wanted in exchange. — H. P. 
FitzGerald, M.C.S., North Hall, Basingstoke. 

Offered, six vols, of " Knowledge," complete, up to De- 
cember, 1884, first four bound, and a collection of birds' eggs, 
in exchange for a good half-inch micro objective and slides. — ■ 
C. B. Keene, All Saints, Derby. 

Wanted, any articles of bric-a-brac, viz., coins, tokens, 
medals, seals, china, arms, armour, old Roman pottery, flint 
flakes, or stone or bronze weapons, in exchange for fossils, 
minerals, stuffed birds, &c — F. Stanley, Margate. 

Wanted, axial crystals, quartz plates, &c, for table polari- 
scope, in exchange for lantern and micro slides. — H. E. Free- 
man, 60 Plimsoll Road, Finsbury Park, N. 

British and Foreign birds' eggs offered for others not in 
collection. — Dr. J. T. T. Reed, Ryhope, Durham co. 



Will exchange Goldsmith's " History of the Earth and 
Animated Nature," 4 vols., with plates, almost as good as new, 
for manuals of British botany or geology. What offers? — 
William Lyon, Broomhill Terrace, Keith. 

" Nature," vol. xi. ; the first two vols. " Magazine of Art ;" 
also " Knowledge," two vols, of which are bound, Wanted, 
micro slides in exchange, apparatus, or offers. — H. Moulton, 
37 Chancery Lane, London, W.C. 

Science-Gossip, complete for 1883 and 1884, unbound. 
Wanted, Tyndall " On Sound," Wallace's " Natural Selection," 
or Deschanel's "Physics," vols. i. and ii. — F. R. Tennant, 
Port Hill, Stoke-on-Trent. 

Microscope slides wanted in exchange for pair of photo- 
graphs. General Gordon and Colonel Burnaby, coloured in 
oils on convex glasses, value ior. — Mr. Ebbage, Watton, 
Norfolk. 

Vol. ii. "Christian Million," and several "Rare Bits" and 
"Tit Bits," in exchange for natural history books or apparatus. 
— Frederick Harding, Shipley House, York Road, Eastbourne. 

Shilling editions of Coleman's "Butterflies," Wood's 
"Moths," Wood's "Beetles," and the three last numbers of 
Science-Gossip with plates, will exchange for natural history 
books or apparatus- — Frederick Harding, Shipley House, 
York Road, Eastbourne. 

A very fine and complete collection of fossils from the chalk 
of Surrey and Kent (specially rich in sharks' palate teeth, both 
in variety and number) together with a collection of minerals 
and crystals (including a group of amethyst crystals 40 inches 
in circumference, and a slab of flexible sandstone) will be ex- 
changed for English coins in fine preservation. — A.B., 97 
Burton Road, Stockwell, S.W. 

" A large number of shells in duplicate. Wanted, other 
shells, mounted molluscan palates, and back numbers of 
scientific journals. — S. C. Cockerell, 51 Woodstock Road, 
Bedford Park, Chiswick. 

Desiderata : 5". oblonga, P. roscnm, Vertigos, Acme 
marine shells, and vars. of ncmoralis, hortensis, &c. Dupli- 
cates : Testacella haliotidea, Z. glciber, A. acicula, L. glu- 
tiuosa, P. pusilhim, &c. — S. C. Cockerell, 51 Woodstock Road, 
Bedford Park, W. 

Wanted fossils, shells, or eggs, in exchange for chalk fossils, 
nummulites, Trigonia, Gibbosa, &c. Also beetles from Peru 
and Luscor ; staghorn, Ncciopliorus vcstigator, &c. — M. T. C, 
Wrasenham Vicarage, Swaff ham, Norfolk. 

Offered for other species, either British or foreign : H. 
revclata, Piscina, arbustorinn, aspersa v. temiior, P. contecta, 
L. neritoides, V. verrucosa, H. titberctilata (Herm), M. acicn- 
latus, CI. Rolphii, H. ventrosa, &c. — B. Tomlin, 59 Liverpool 
Road, Chester. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip for 1884, complete with plates of 
microscopy, unbound. Offers, quite new : " Among the Wild 
Flowers," by Rev. H. Wood, or "Wild Flowers, where to find 
and how to know them," by Spencer Thomson, M.D., L.R.C.S., 
F.B.S.E., or pressed specimens of two rare centaureas ; C. cal- 
citrapa and C. solstitialis. — Miss E. A., Dadnor, Ross. 



BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED. 
" The Worcester County Naturalist" (Mass.). — " Feuille des 
Jeunes Naturalistes."—" Canadian Science Monthly." — "The 
American Monthly Microscopical Journal." — " The Naturalist." 
— "Journal of Conchology." — "Journal of the New York 
Microscopical Society." — "Science." — " Report of _ the Ento- 
mologist." — "Catalogue of the Exhibit of Economic Entomo- 
logy." — " Proceedings of the Geologists' Association." — 
"Canadian Entomologist." — "American Naturalist." — "The 
Microtomist's Vade-Mecum," by Arthur Bolles Lee (London : 
J. & A. Churchill).— " Transactions Herts. Nat. Hist. Soc," 
vol. iii., parts 3 and 4. — " Report of S. London Entomolog. and 
Nat. Hist. Soc. for 1884." — "Proceedings of Acad, of Nat. 
Sciences of Philadelphia." — "Popular Science News." — Pro- 
ceedings of the Holmesdale Natural History Club," 18S1-1883. 
— " Handbook to the Geology of Shropshire," by J. D. La 
Touche (London : Ed. Stanford). — " Revista Scientifica " 
(Porto). 

Communications received up to iith ult. from: — 
C. A. G.— A. S. B— F. R.— F. H. L.-W. T.— F. M.— F. F.— 
R. B.— S. F.-J. E. K.-J. B. B.— W. S. S. & Co.-E. H.— 
J. H. C R.-E. W. O'M—W.— E. R. T.-E. P. T.— J. E.— 
E. B.-J. A.— E. F.-S. J. M'I.-W. P.-A. H. F.— A. A— 
W. H.-(H. A. K.)-G. A. B.-C. B.-H. B.-E. T. D.— 
H. A. W.— F. S.— H. E. F.-B. B.-E. B. L. B.— H. A. F.— 
H. P. F.— M. E. P.-S. C. L.-G. W. B.-J. A.— F. J. G.— 
J. R. R.— E. P. T.— A. R. W.-E. A.— B. T.— A. B.-F. H.— 
T. W. O.-Mr. E.— H. F.-F. M.— D. B— J. T. T. R.— 
W. W. B.-W. H. P.-A. A.— C. T. M.— E. C— M. L. S.— 
F R T.— M. T. C— G. E. E.— S. C. C— H. M.— L. M. W.— 
H . S. W.— J. R.-C. F. F.-H. W. K.-W. L.-C. B. K.— 
A M. P.-A. D.— W. K. M.— J. F.— H. L.— Dr. A. B. G.— 
G. H.— 0. P. C— J. E.-A. D— H. G. G.-G. E. T.— 
M. W. N.— C. S.— W. H. H.— T. D. A. C— H. H.— J. M. C— 
W. T.— T. S.— H. M.— C. M.— J. H.— B. B. W.— T. N. K.— 
&c, &c. 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 




E.T.D.del,adnat. 



"Vincent Broaks,Day ScSonMx 



TRANS. SECTION, SPINE OF SEA URCHIN (ECHINUS 



x 75. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



97 




GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T. DRAPER. 



No. XVII.— Transverse Section of Spine of Echinus. 




HE intimate cor- 
relation of parts, 
and the manifest 
mechanical per- 
fection of the 
structures of an 
Echinus, or sea- 
urchin, renders the 
creature peculiarly 
adapted for inter- 
esting and contem- 
plative micro- 
scopical investi- 
gation ; every part 
has a curious fit- 
ness, and expe- 
diency may be 
revealed in all the 
more important 
organs ; among 
other features, the character of the nearly globular 
box, containing the animal, built up of an enormous 
number of accurately-fitting plates, the calcareous 
pieces forming the mouth, the five sharp socketed 
incisor teeth, of great strength, arranged in a circle, 
and in such a position as to simultaneously close upon, 
and crush the hard crustaceous substances, or any- 
thing that comes in its way, as food ; guided to the 
centre of the mouth by a similar number of inter- 
posing osseous processes, with jaws of such complex 
structure as to establish, with the dental system, a 
masticatory apparatus, unique in character and 
adaptability. Supporting this, and enclosing other 
softer tissues is the "lantern of Aristotle," a frame- 
work of five symmetrically curved bones with trans- 
verse ties firmly attached to the interior of the box, 
strengthened by a similar number of elegantly formed 
pieces rising from the base ; all the hard parts are 
formed on a pentagonal principle, a multiple of five ; 
the whole locked together with mathematical pre- 
cision ; exteriorly, the interest is sustained by the 
prehensile suckers emerging through multitudinous 
No. 245.— May 1885. 



apertures, and where least expected, a disclosure of 
rare beauty in the structure of any one of the forest 
of hard spines with which the creature is completely 
surrounded ; each capable of separate movement. 
A transverse section of such a spine, ground and 
polished, is the subject of the plate. 

The case, or envelope of an Echinus consists of 
a somewhat flattened spherical box, made up of 
many hundred jointed pieces, the whole ap- 
pearing like a single shell. In some species the 
texture is light and porous, in others considering the 
number of parts of exquisite solidity ; five pairs of 
" ambulacral " plates, connected by well-marked 
sutures, traverse the shell in polar lines. This set of 
segments is perforated with many apertures for the 
emergence of prehensile locomotive suckers. Between 
each is a similar number of rather wider segments, 
the "interambulacral," accurately fitting the others; 
on these project a double row of knobs, or tubercles, 
on which the spines are articulated by a ball and 
socket joint. All the pieces forming the wonderful 
box are serrated, and compacted with minute precision, 
giving great strength ; the actual substance of the shell 
is composed of calcareous material and silicates 
obtained from the sea, secreted by a soft organic mem- 
brane which invests and permeates every fissure. The 
spines are articulated to the tubercles on small 
polished nipples seen studding the outside of the inter- 
ambulacral plates, and vary in form and size according 
to species ; generally they are grooved horizontally. 

Vertical cuttings of these organs are interesting ; 
but their true beauty is only disclosed when transverse 
sections are made, carefully ground and polished 
to a requisite thinness ; and so diversified are the 
patterns that a collection of many hundred specimens 
rarely discloses two absolutely alike, differences in 
appearance and complexity resulting from the position 
of the cutting, and its distance from the base or the 
apex ; as the spine consists of a series of cones either 
of overlapping or inter-deposited growths, necessarily 
a section reveals annular bands in number equal to 
the cones included in the part where the cutting is 



9 S 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



made, colour being affected by the same cause, 
towards the base generally showing pink or golden, 
and nearer the harder apex, blue and purple tints. 

Some species have hollow spines ; such specimens 
are deeply furrowed longitudinally on the outside, 
and are generally too large to make perfectly circular 
sections to fall within a microscopic "field " of view, 
but delicately cut and ground ; segments of such slices 
display such remarkable elegance and neatness of 
design, that when carefully illuminated, and the 
configuration of the parts studied, they at once 
impress the mind with their adaptability to purposes 
of artistic decoration. It is possible no class of 
microscopical presentations can be more suggestive 
to the designer of geometrical patterns, and under 
various conditions of light they are materially altered 
in appearance. Many parts with transmitted light 
show configuration, and but slight colour or sub- 
stance ; under the radiation of dark ground illumina- 
tion they become totally different, and flash out 
exquisite translucent pearly lustres. With the polari- 
scope, especially when the cutting is carefully selected 
for extreme thinness, but yet preserving the denser 
parts intact, the beauty is incomparable. Even 
mounted as purely opaque objects, under the radiance 
of the side speculum, porcellaneous specimens show a 
rare delicacy. 

A minute examination of one of these sections 
recalls the rings and medullary rays of the stem of an 
exogenous tree, and their number and position (as in 
the tree) depends on the age of the spine and the 
part from which it is cut. In the centre is an open 
network slightly divergent, at intervals zones of 
larger deposits, calcareous tracery intervening, the 
whole cut up by equidistant structural radiations ; 
illuminated with the paraboloid, what appear to 
be the larger "spaces," as distinguished from the 
general intersections, are seen of uniform substance 
and colour. A spine may be defined as a fluted spur 
of connective hard pellucid tissue, with interspaces 
filled with solid glass. Spines of the British Echini 
have no concentric rings, it is supposed in con- 
sequence of periodical shedding, while in tropical 
species in the course of growth, layers are added. A 
crushed spine resolves itself into glass-like particles, 
transparent and brittle. A power of repairing 
fracture and injury has been observed, the vitality 
of the spine and its increase in size is maintained 
through a connective tissue at the base, and although 
the internal structure is apparently unprovided with 
vessels, reparation takes place, as long as the animal 
be living and the injured spine attached ; many 
sections, especially when cut through the length, 
often reveal such interferences of regularity, obviously 
the result of injury, and recuperative power. 

An attempt was made by the writer to depict, in the 
second volume of Coles' "Microscopical Studies" 
(Methods of Research) one of these sections to 
illustrate appearances under four different modes of 



illumination. The difficulty in preserving delicate 
line, with painting effects of colour bathed in light ; 
supplemented by the more limited resources of even 
the best chromo-lithographer (a condition of things 
seen in the present subject) reduces such drawings, 
when printed, to mere semblances of the reality ; 
but they offer, at least, sufficient inducement to 
direct attention to the general elegance found in 
these most popular of microscopical objects. 
Crouch End. 



THE VIOLET. 

BUY my sweet violet, a penny a bunch ! is one of 
the familiar cries we hear every morning at 
this time of year (spring) as we hasten to our 
respective callings in London (and no doubt in other 
cities as well). It is a most refreshing sight, to any 
person who has the least spark of the love of nature, 
to look at the beautiful baskets of button-hole 
bouquets which meet our eyes in the different streets, 
but more particularly in the neighbourhood of the 
Bank of England and Royal Exchange. The city 
clerk on his way to his office, purchases a bunch of 
violets — places them on his desk, surrounded with his 
day-books, ledgers, and all the paraphernalia of a 
mercantile house : perhaps once or twice during the 
day, while his mind is engaged on the routine of his 
daily duties, the delicious perfume from his morning 
purchase causes him for a few moments to look up at 
these emblems of modesty and innocence, and awakens 
a train of thought of the days of his childhood, when 
he and his companions hunted for the fragrant flower 
among the green fields and hedgerows in the early 
spring. 

But time flies ; work must be finished ; no leisure 
for such meditations ; still those few moments have 
not been spent in vain : his brain has been rested by a 
change of thought, and he is enabled to go on with 
his work with fresh energy and vigour. Thanks to 
the little violet. This flower was held in high estima- 
tion by the ancient Greeks. A golden violet was 
offered as a prize in their floral games, and we are 
told in their fables that la, the daughter of Atlas, 
fleeing into a wood from the pursuit of Apollo, was 
through the power of Diana changed into a violet, 
which still retains the bashful timidity of the nymph, 
by partly concealing itself from the gaze of Phcebus in 
its foliage. The Greek name for this flower was v lov, 
said to have been given it because Iov the daughter of 
Inarchus, whom Jupiter transformed into a heifer, fed 
upon violets, or, as some mycologists state, sprung 
from her breath. The Athenians, we know from the 
writing of Anacharsis, had beautiful gardens attached 
to their country houses, in which they cultivated the 
narcissus, hyacinth, iris, and violets of different colours, 
likewise roses of various kinds. All these flowers were 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



99 



extensively sold at Athens in a market appropriated 
for their disposal ; even in the cold season violets were 
to be seen there — for Aristophanes, in his Seasons, 
speaking of the glories of that luxurious city, says : 

" There you shall at mid winter see 
******* 

wreaths of fragrant violets. 
Covered with dust as if in summer." 

Yitruvius, a celebrated writer, who flourished under 
Julius Ccesar, tells us that the flowers of the violet 
were not only used to adulterate or counterfeit the 
celebrated blue of Athens, but were also employed to 
moderate hunger, to cure ague and inflammation of the 
lungs, &c, and the blossoms worn as garlands were 
considered as a charm against falling sickness. The 
Romans used to put large quantities of violet petals 
into casks, and cover them with good wine ; from 
this infusion they procured a drink called Violatum, 
which was only used on festive occasions. The petals 
of roses were also used in the same fashion, and called 
Rosaltum. Pliny gives a long list of the virtues of this 
flower. The ancients believed the seed counteracted 
the effect; of scorpions' stings. The violet has been 
in all ages a favourite flower, and is recognised by the 
poets as the emblem of modesty and innocence. 
Spencer calls it the cool violet, and Shakespeare 
compares the soft strains of plaintive music to its 
perfume. 

" That strain again ; it had a dying fall. 

O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound, 
That breathes upon a bank of violets. 
Stealing and giving odour." — Twelfth Xiglit. 

And again, the touching remark of Ophelia, who 
coloured all nature with hues of her own sad thoughts, 
"I would give you violets, but they withered all when 
my father died." Milton makes echo dwell amongst 
violets : 

" Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph that lives unseen, 
By slow Meander's margent green 
And in the violet embroider'd vale." 

From Googes' translation of that old work, the 
Popish Kingdom, we find that the violet was among 
the flowers used in the ceremony called " creeping to 
the cross "on Good Friday, and, no doubt, it was 
present in all the old floral usages of spring in " days 
gone by." Our old botanist Gerard mentions several 
kinds of violets in his Herbal, but the sweet violet he 
says has a great prerogative above all others, for one 
reason he states, "because they are delightful to look 
upon, and pleasant to smell too. They also bring to 
the mind the remembrance of all kinds of virtues. 
For it would be unseemlie for him that doth look 
upon and handle faire and beautiful things, and who 
frequenteth and is conversant in faire and beautiful 
things to have his mind not faire — but filthee and 
deformed." In the reign of Charles II. a conserve 
called violet sugar, or violet plate, was sold by 
apothecaries, and continually recommended by phy- 
sicians to their consumptive patients. 

This flower has been made the badge of political 



feeling in France, the violet being the emblem of the 
liberal party. In 1814 many pictures were circulated 
in France which appeared to represent merely a 
bunch of most innocent violets, but a little scrutiny 
of the shadows cast by the violets enabled any one 
looking for such a thing to discover portraits of the 
first Napoleon and his wife and son — (vide " Flower 
Lore.") The violet was the favourite flower with 
Napoleon the first ; and the Bonapartists, during the 
banishment of their chief to Elba, while plotting for 
his return, filled their snuff-boxes with violet-scented 
snuff, and when offering a pinch would significantly 
enquire : Do you love this perfume ? and at the time 
when he was expected to return to France, they 
toasted his health under the name of Caporal Violetta 
or the flower that returns with the spring. 

Botanically, the violet belongs to the order Violacese. 
which contains about a hundred species spread over 
the greater part of the globe, but is limited in Europe 
to the single genus Viola, containing several varieties, 
as the marsh violet ( V. palustris), hairy violet ( V. 
hirta), dog violet ( V. canina) — {V. tricolor) heart's- 
ease or pansy — all (except V. odorata) with scentless 
flowers. In all the British violets, except the pansy, 
the perfect flowers seldom set their fruit ; but if a plant 
is examined during the summer and autumnal months, 
large capsules, containing fertile seeds, will be found 
produced by minute flowers almost without petals or 
stamens. 

It was the violet which induced John Bertram, a 
Quaker of Pennsylvania, and the friend and patron of 
Alexander Wilson, to study plants. He had employed 
his time in agricultural pursuits without the know- 
ledge of botany, but one day he gathered a violet, 
examined its formation, and reflected upon it until he 
became so prepossessed with the flower that he dreamed 
of it. This circumstance inspired him with a desire of 
becoming acquainted with plants, he therefore learned 
for that purpose as much Latin as was necessary, and 
soon became the most learned botanist of the new 
world. The colour extracted from the violet by in- 
fusion affords the very delicate test called violet paper 
used by chemists for acids and alkalies, being reddened 
by the former, and rendered green by the latter. 
Syrup of violets is greatly used by confectioners for 
making confections, candies, &c, also by perfumers for 
scenting oils, pomades, and making Eau desViolettes- 
Large quantities of violets used to be cultivated at 
Stratford-upon-Avon for this purpose. The root, or 
rather the underground stem, has a strong smell, 
particularly when dried, and its taste is acrid, bitter 
and nauseous. 

Professor Burkman states, that in some parts of 
Gloucestershire the violet is considered unlucky to 
have in the house, the reason alleged being that these 
flowers "certainly brought in fleas." Probably the 
warmer weather of spring which ushers in the violet, 
said to be "a stinking flower" by the foxhunter. 
causes the troublesome little insect to be hatched. 

F 2 



TOO 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Violets are cultivated on a large scale round 
London, at Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, Rich- 
mond, and other places on the banks of the Thames. 
They are usually grown under orchard trees, a 
position in which they thrive remarkably well. They 
are also grown in large quantities in some parts of 
Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Pevensey, &c. Violet 
culture is said to be a most lucrative industry. 

HAMrDEN G. Glasspoole. 



NOTES ON NEW BOOKS. 

A BIBLIOGRAPHY, Guide, and Index to 
^± Climate, by Alexander Ramsay, F.G.S. 
(London : W. S. Sonnenschein & Co.). This is in 
reality a magazine of systematic notes relating to 
climate, with digests of papers and books, &c, on 
the subject. The volume exhibits immense industry 
and research, and the student will save much time 
by using it as a reference book. 

Edible British Molhtsea, by M. S. Lovell (London : 
L. Reeve & Co.). The second edition of this nicely 
got-up book has appeared, illustrated by beautiful 
coloured plates, and containing a large number of 
recipes for cooking all our natural mollusca. The 
reader will be astonished to find what a number of 
recipes are available. There is a good deal of quaint 
reading in the work, and altogether it is one unique 
in this department of literature. 

A Handbook of the Geology of Shropshire, by J. D. 
La Touche (London : Edward Stanford). Mr. La 
Touche is well known as a field geologist and ardent 
worker with the hammer, and he has laid all British 
students under obligation by bringing out this com- 
pendious little handbook of the geology of perhaps 
the most interesting geological county in Great 
Britain. It is a digest of all that is good and useful 
from "Siluria" to the last published paper of 
Callaway, Lapworth, Hopkinson, Maw, and others, 
besides the author's own original observations ; and 
it is illustrated by twenty lithographed plates, con- 
taining above 700 figures of fossils from the Cambrian 
to the Old Red Sandstone inclusive. 

The Microtomisfs Vade Alecu/u, by Arthur Bolles 
Lee (London : J. & A. Churchill). This is a valuable 
book, especially to medical students who are diligent 
in the use of the microscope, as it describes all the 
methods of microscopic anatomy. It is intended, 
however, more for the instructed anatomist than the 
beginner, and therefore country doctors who wish to 
keep their "hand in " work they always loved, but 
have found little time to continue, will hail this little 
work with pleasure. 

The Collector's Manual of British Land and Fresh- 
tualcr Shells, by Lionel E. Adams (London : George 
Bell & Sons). A beautifully got-up little manual, 
with exquisitely engraved figures of every British 



species. Perhaps no department of natural history 
has come more to the front lately than that of land 
and fresh-water mollusca. Mr. Adams is well known 
as a conchologist, and he therefore knows what he is 
writing about. Moreover, he also knows how to 
present his knowledge in a useful form. The present 
work, besides describing every species, its habits, 
localities, &c, gives an account of all the varieties, 
hints on arranging and preserving shells, &c. 



FERTILISATION OF ORCHIS MASCULA. 
By Edward Mai.an. 

IN a back number of Science-Gossip (Aug. 18S3, 
p. 181), your correspondent G. M. pointed out 
some errors into which I had fallen with respect to 
the fertilisation of O. mascula, and, when, in a 
subsequent number (Nov. 1883, p. 249), I asked 
him to favour me with his address, he did so at once 
with the utmost courtesy. 

To this day, shame on me, he has received neither 
thanks, answer, nor recognition of any sort. 

But I have not been idle, meantime, and if G. M. 
will read what I now have to say, he will see, and, 
I trust, accept the reasons for my lengthened silence. 
The reasons are two. I waited in hopes that 
some one would reply to his remarks, for here and 
there he has not quoted my words quite correctly ; 
and I wanted to make further observations, by way 
of verifying my statements. Quod feci. 

First of all, as regards the quotation from Mr. 
Darwin's book, it was not, of course, given word for 
word. It wasn't meant to be given word for word, 
and I thought that the absence of inverted commas 
would show as much, but I see now that my version 
is different in words and substance from the original. 
I am exceedingly obliged to G. M. for correcting me. 
I will be more careful in future. 

I do not think, however, that my remark about the 
viscid drop, which exudes directly the roslellum is 
touched, is altogether wrong. At any rate there is 
no inaccuracy or confusion in what I said. A viscid 
drop does exude. I have seen it do so frequently. 
For instance, a viscid drop almost invariably exudes 
when the air is dry and the sun shining. Then, for 
some reason, the pollinia are not inclined to adhere, 
and bees, as if aware of this, scarcely deign to visit 
the spikes on fine days. I have fertilised literally 
scores of orchis flowers in Mr. Darwin's own way, 
i.e. with a pencil, and repeatedly a tiny drop of 
milky fluid has remained on the point of the pencil, 
without either pollinium becoming detached. There- 
fore please observe that I did not use the expression 
explosion, nor did I say a pollinia. By explosion, I 
presume, a forcible expulsion is intended. This will 
not apply to 0. t mascula. I have, also, on very 
many occasions, watched with great delight the drop 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



101 



shoot out from the flower of Listera ovata and 
A r eottia Nidus-Avis and once, while fertilising a spike 
of Spirauthes autumnalis, the flowers behaved in the 
same way, though not with such force. Besides, my 
statement is so easily proved or refuted. Let only 
anyone go out this lovely May day, and make the 
experiment with a spike of O. mascula, and, provided 
the sun is shining and the air dry, I believe a viscid 
drop will exude. For it must be remembered that a 
warm cloudy morning is necessary to enable the 
pollinia to escape freely, and indeed it is only on such 
a morning that I have ever seen humble-bees visiting 
the plant. Thus the chances of O. mascula being 
fertilised by humble-bees in the legitimate way are 
very often narrowed down to an extremely small 




Fig. 66. — Anthers of Orchis mascula. 



themselves, concealed from view. For want of some 
name I will call this process the thong. This thong, 
then, is the wonder of the whole. While drawing 
it (May I, 1S82), I was entirely at a loss to account 
for its use, but subsequently it dawned on me. As 
far as I understand its economy at present, it seems 
to be attached at its upper end, something like the 
tongue of a frog, and, apparently, for the same 
reason. It is highly elastic and retractile. I do not 
observe that G. M. notices it. lie says "should the 
pouch be depressed without the pollinia being 
removed, it rises and protects the viscid balls ; or if 





Fig. 67. — Pollinium of Orchis mascula. 



Next, as to the lip ox pouch which covers the viscid 
balls attached to the base of the pollinia. In the 
spring of 1SS2, I made this drawing of the anthers of 
O. mascula, and I think it is correct. I had it by 
me in iSSj, when I wrote my paper, but I forebore 
from describing it, as I had already sent in too many 
diagrams, and there were the plates also in Mr. 
Darwin's book. I should like to make a few remarks 
about it now. 

To my mind, and probably to the minds of those 
who examine the drawing attentively, the most 
wonderful part of this most wonderful piece of 
mechanism, is the central strap-like process arising 
from and attached to the rim of the pouch, and 
passing between the enclosed caudicles of the pollinia, 
until its end is on a level with the pollen-masses 



only one be removed, it rises and protects the other." 
Fxactly so : but why ? The pouch rises and returns 
to its place, I believe, because of this elastic thorn . 
but not of its own accord. And further, I believe 
that this thong is expressly intended to prevent the 
removal of both pollinia at once, which it certainly 
often does do, for the humble-bee becomes quarrel- 
some when two pollinia are attached to his forehead, 
and tries to rub them off. This I have witnessed. 
One single pollinium, on the contrary, appears to 
cause little or no inconvenience. If this is a fact, 
it is a very interesting and marvellous one. 

Then G. M. finds my description of the drying of 
the viscid disc rather misleading. Here is a drawing 
of a pollinium made on May 12, 1SS3. It is the 
most perfect one I have been able to observe 



102 



HARD WICKE'S SCIENCE- G OSSIP. 



Notice the superb symmetry of its proportion, 
Notice particularly the viscid disc, and the way the 
caudicte is attached to it. Now, whether the viscid 
disc as a whole dries or not, seems to me a little 
beside the question. Perhaps it does, and perhaps it 
does not. I am not evading the question, but I 
prefer to ask how it would be possible to maintain 
such a structure as this pollinium perfectly rigid and 
in a perfectly upright position for 30 seconds even, 
without some depression taking place ? How would 
it be possible even on an immovable basis ? How 
would it be possible in architecture ? Let us take an 
instance. A Greek column, the ideal of simplicity 
and strength, tapers towards the capital and thickens 
towards the base. The thickening occurs at one- 
third of the distance from the base, as being the 
weakest point. Experiment with a roll of moist clay. 
The construction, therefore, of this pollinium must 
evidently induce rather than prevent a subsidence, 
and the drying of the viscid disc can only assist 
in a secondary degree. What actually does occur 
during the operation of fertilisation is this. The 
humble-bee alights on the labellum and cranes his 
serviceable head well forward, in order to sweep the 
base of the nectary in a horizontal manner with his 
proboscis, so that when he withdraws his head, with 
a pollinium attached, the pollinium projects from his 
forehead, not at all in an upright position, but nearly 
at right angles. Why a forward movement of 
depression is bound to occur ! and even without the 
depression, the pollen-mass would strike on the 
stigma, only there would not be the same chance of 
leaving so much pollen. I trust this is plain now, 
but I trust also that G. M. will observe and consider 
for himself. 

While touching on this subject, I wish to draw 
attention to another delightful piece of intentional 
adaptation. If, as I have just supposed, the thong 
retains the pouch in its proper position, then a mere 
forward thrusting movement on the part of the bee 
will not be sufficient to disengage the pollinia, a fact 
which I have often proved with the pencil ; but a 
horizontal movement from side to side will be 
necessary, or a rotatory movement of the pencil, which 
amounts to the same thing. Now do please notice 
the shape of the nectary (Science-Gossip, April 
18S3, p. 76), widened as it is towards its end, like 
the mandibles of a spoonbill's beak, and do please 
tell me what it is for, if it is not to allow of the 
horizontal movement of the bee's proboscis ? Perhaps 
you will object that the nectary is not widened 
throughout. I anticipated that objection on Aug. 22, 
1884, by securing the proboscis of a dead bumble- 
bee, and I found that it resembled a spear, with the 
shaft thickened at the base and tapering till it joined 
the head. The head was nearly l inch long, and the 
shaft \ inch long (i.e. the head was \ of the whole 
length), and when compared with the length and 
shape of the nectary, the adaptation was so remark- 



able as to compel outspoken admiration. The nectary 
formed a case for the proboscis as if made to measure ! 
Then, to assure myself of my theory, I took a fly-rod, 
and removing the top-joint, and holding the thicker 
end so as to give the remaining 9 ft. a gentle free 
horizontal motion, I observed the airy delineations 
and peculiar shape the rod took. Well, it was, of 
course, something like a flat paint-brush, the 
minimum of the sweep being at about 2 ft. 6 in. from 
the tip (i.e. \ of the whole, nearly). This was a 
most singularly faithful representation of the bee's 
proboscis, and the reason of the spear-like shape at 
once became apparent. Really this is worth close 
observance. 

( 7b be continued.) 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 
By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S., F.C.S. 

THE Editor of "The Popular Science Monthly" 
(New York) says " Harvard University is to be 
congratulated on its leadership in the important work 
of liberalising the traditional college education.'' 
This refers to a reform of the practice of forcing 
modern students, whatever their ultimate aim may be, 
to waste their time and degrade their intellects by 
the tedious and shallow cramming of memory with 
those dead languages which constitute the sole 
attainments of the dominating pedagogues, whose 
vested interests and monkish inheritance our universi- 
ties are still constructed to uphold. The University 
of Harvard is a great and growing university, its 
degrees are justly honoured everywhere. What then 
will follow ? 

Simply the natural operation of the laws of supply 
and demand. A trip across the ocean is a trifling 
exploit now-a-days, and in itself an almost necessary 
element of a truly liberal education. Therefore, if 
Harvard continues moving in this direction faster than 
our universities the practical British parent, who is 
now groaning with disgust at the intolerable impedi- 
ments that are placed on the threshold of our 
academies, will simply send his son where he can 
obtain what he requires ; the useful and truly 
elevating culture of scientific education, without the 
preliminary penalty of learning what every sensible 
man contemptuously forgets, as soon as he enters 
upon the practical business of life. This competition 
will tell most powerfully on the non-clerical uni- 
versities. Oxford and Cambridge will not for a long 
time be sensibly affected by it, but the London 
University and others which, like it, were intended 
by their founders to supply modern and secular 
requirements, may suffer seriously and soon. They 
will lose the students they can least afford to spare, 
viz. those endowed with the higher intellectual 
powers demanded by science, and who consequently 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



103 



despise the prevailing exaltation of mere linguistic 
grindery. 

In the same magazine is a letter from Mr. E. C. 
Mason, of Madison, Wisconsin, stating a fact which 
refutes the widely prevalent notion— I may almost 
say superstition — that many of the lower animals are 
endowed with marvellous powers of predicting the 
far-ahead weather. In America the musk rat is one 
of these supposed meteorologists. It is there believed 
that when he builds his winter quarters lightly, he 
does so because he is inspired with foreknowledge of 
a mild [coming winter. Last autumn, the musk rats 
of Wisconsin built their houses " exceptionally light 
and unsubstantial." The winter was severe, and the 
rats perished exceptionally. The actual reason for 
the flimsy building was that the autumn was 
unusually mild, and the rats simply adapted their 
present proceedings to present weather. 

This American delusion, however, is a very mild 
one compared with that which still prevails here, 
concerning the complex intelligence, foresight and 
benevolence of the holly, which is seriously credited 
with developing an extra supply of berries on the 
approach of a hard winter, in order that the birds, 
especially sparrows, shall be provided with food when 
the snow covers the ground. 

I need scarcely add that anybody who knows how 
to observe facts accurately, and record them fairly, 
may refute this absurdity. The development of the 
berries, like the proceeding of the rats, is a result of 
past and present weather, with possibly some other 
past and present conditions co-operating. 

Before closing the above quoted magazine, I must 
borrow from it an amusing story of medical evidence, 
given in a trial for damages. A physician, called as 
witness, stated that the plaintiff was suffering from the 
remote effects of an injury to the vaso-motor system 
of nerves, and would in time become insane. In 
cross examination, the doctor was asked whether he 
was acquainted with the works of Grosse "On 
Recent and Remote Effects of Head Injuries," 
Lanery on "Injuries of the Head," Leymaher "On 
the Subsequent Effects of Nervous Shock," and 
Carson " On the Surgery of the Head." The doctor 
affirmed that he had read these books, and that his 
library contained them all. The opposing counsel 
then called to the witness box a clerk from his office, 
who testified that all these works were fictitious, and 
that he had invented the titles in order to expose the 
doctor's ignorance. 

The ruling machine of Nobert is now in London, 
has been purchased by Mr. Frank Crisp, and was 
exhibited at a recent meeting of the Royal Micrcsco- 
pical Society. I remember when a micrometer slide 
for a microscope ruled to ^ m of an inch was an 
object of curiosity, and rather costly. With Nobert's 
machine m ' a6J of an inch is attainable. Remembering 
that the divisions of -^ gave to the strip of glass the 
appearance of being ground where they crossed, the 



lines and spaces being separately invisible to the 
naked eye, this exploit of dividing the invisible 
divisions into 112 parts appears impossible. The 
difficulty does not consist in moving the point, or 
stage holding the glass, accurately through the small 
distance. An ordinary driving engine constructed 
on the principle of those of Ramsden and Parsons, 
which were in active operation 50 and 60 years ago, 
does this easily, but the two other necessary elements, 
a point sufficiently fine to cut a line less than x^-, 
of an inch thick, and a surface of glass capable of 
receiving such a cut presented problems which 
Nobert overcame. The cutting point was of course 
that of a diamond, worked to a knife-edge, either by 
grinding, or chipping, or slitting. 

Everybody has read of the wondrous rapidity of 
the growth of Arctic vegetation. Now that summer 
excursions round the North Cape to the Varanger- 
fjord are running weekly aud even oftener (see 
" Belgravia " of June last) anybody who has a month's 
holiday at about midsummer may witness it and see 
the midnight sun, &c, at less cost than spending the 
time in English hotels. On my first visit to Norway, 
Hammerfest was the ultima thule of steam packets, 
but even on this short journey, the difference between 
the aspect of the country, in the course of ten days 
between going and returning was marvellous, though 
I did not repeat the experiment of the American 
tourist who tells us that by placing his head on the 
ground he could hear the grass growing. Not only 
is the vegetation stimulated to excessive rapidity by 
the continuous daylight, but the leaves and seeds of 
the plants are larger and heavier. Schiibeler has 
lately analysed these larger seeds (see Biedermann's 
" Centralblatt fur Agricultur u. Chemie," 1884, 
p. S60), and finds that the extra weight is not due 
to nitrogenous matter, as this remains unaltered. 
Plants that produce white blossoms in other places 
frequently have violet flowers here. Perfumes are 
remarkably developed. 

The best time for witnessing the rapidity of vegeta- 
tion in Arctic Norway, is about the first week of 
July. Starting from Trondhjem, on, or a little 
before, the first of the month, the northward trip 
displays snowclad regions, which on the return 
journey a fortnight later have become so transformed 
as to be difficult of recognition. 

A very simple method of testing the quality of 
compressed or "German" yeast, is given by O. 
Meyer (Biedermann's "Centralblatt," 1874, p. 792). 
A small piece of the yeast is placed in water at the 
temperature of 25 Cent. (77 of our thermometers). 
If the yeast is in good active condition it will rise to 
the surface in one and a half to two minutes, if of 
poorer quality, in about five minutes. Bad yeast 
will not rise at all. 

Having devoted a whole chapter of my " Chemistry 
of Cookery " to the subject of "malted food," which 
until I wrote about it in "Knowledge" had been 



io4 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



sadly neglected, I am glad to see that its importance 
is becoming recognised by " the faculty." In the 
"Lancet" of April 4th, Dr. J. Milner Fothergill 
commences a communication on the subject by saying 
that " Malt as food has a great future before it." So 
said I, and further practical study of the subject not 
only confirms my original expectations, but greatly 
extends them. Dr. Fothergill naturally looks upon 
the subject from a physician's point of view, and 
describes the value of malt llour as a supplement to 
the food of dyspeptic patients. I am by no means a 
dyspeptic, quite the contrary, troubled with over- 
nutrition and its bulky consequences, but nevertheless 
I have found the use of malt as an addition to every 
kind of food containing farinaceous matter very 
advantageous, and am receiving communications of 
gratitude from strangers who have followed my 
advice 'given in " Knowledge, " and repeated in the 
volume above named. 

So much having been said concerning the value of 
malt as cattle food during the agitation for the repeal 
of the malt tax, we might have supposed that human 
beings should have been considered at the same time, 
but instead of this the idea of using it ourselves is 
almost a new one. The cost has shut out the cattle, 
but it need not exclude us, though I am sorry to say 
that the price I have had to pay for malt flour hitherto 
is simply ridiculous. It is at present regarded by 
vendors as a fancy article, and retailed at perfumery 
rates of profit. This, I hope, will right itself by the 
wholesome operation of competition when it takes its 
place as a primary kitchen requisite. I have already 
brandished a rod of terror in the face of one shop- 
keeper. I have threatened him with William Whiteley 
and the Stores. 

Another difficulty is kitchen prejudice. My pet 
experiment for demonstrating the " potential energy " 
resident in malt is to make a portion of oatmeal 
very thick or pudding-like ; then to add a spoonful of 
dry malt flour to this at the temperature of about 
140 to 150 , and stir the mixture, when, lo, presto ! 
the thick pudding, instead of further thickening by 
the dry addition, gradually becomes thinner and 
thinner till quite sloppy. This effect, so much like 
that produced by adding water is naturally supposed 
by the orthodox cook to be of the same nature ; a 
dilution or " taking out the goodness." When cooks 
are sufficiently educated to understand that all their 
farinaceous thickenings must be reduced to watery 
solutions before doing the work of nutrition, they 
will appreciate the importance of performing this 
necessary first stage of digestion in the kitchen. 

I have recently made an interesting visit to the 
works of Messrs. Burrowes & Wellcome, where 
"malt extract" is prepared on a large scale, by 
boiling an infusion of malt in vacuo, so as to extract 
and concentrate the diastase. The result is a honey- 
like syrup of maltose, &c, the resemblance of which 
to the honey of a Swiss breakfast-table has suggested 



another simple mode of obtaining malted food. I 
spread it like honey or jam on bread or toast, with 
or without previous buttering. A very thin film is 
sufficient to supplement the work of the salivary 
glands in the manner described in the book above 
named. To those who take hurried breakfast, and 
rush off to business immediately after, this is a matter 
of vital importance, however robust they may be at 
present. To supply this and other similar every-day 
domestic demands, the extract of malt must become 
much cheaper than it is now, as it probably will, 
when it becomes a grocery commodity demanded 
by the hogshead like sugar, instead of a pharmaceu- 
tical product supplied in bottles. 

I attended the lecture of Mr. Fletcher at the 
Parkes Museum. His object was to show that we 
may, if we choose, do away with the nasty practice of 
burning coal in dwelling houses, and thereby not 
only griming everything indoors, but also rendering 
our towns and cities hideous by smoke and brown 
fogs. This is to be effected by using gas fuel for all 
domestic purposes. If the gas companies were 
compelled, as they may be, to fulfil the conditions of 
their charters by supplying the public with gas at 
cost price, plus the maximum profit allowed by their 
charter, this wholesale reform might be effected with 
a considerable economy. Mr. Fletcher showed us 
that not only domestic heating may be economically 
effected by gas, but that bakeries, manufactories, &c. 
may be similarly served by means of gas, plus gas- 
coke. He has proved by practical experiment in his 
own works, that with a properly constructed furnace, 
a steam boiler of the cheapest form may be made to 
do better duty with coke, and last much longer, 
than the complex and more expensive boilers fired in 
the usual manner with flaming coal. But the coke 
must be mixed with brains. The users must understand 
that the coke fire does its work by radiation almost 
entirely, while the flame acts chiefly by convection. 
Therefore, the furnace must be modified accordingly. 
It was evident from Mr. Fletcher's description of his 
furnace that its efficiency depended on this principle, 
though he did not thus explain its rationale. 



SOME FERNS OF HONG-KONG. 
By Mrs. E. L. O' Malley. 

A SHORT account of some of the Hong-Kong 
ferns may be interesting to the general reader. 
There are few persons who take no notice of the 
works of nature, and the study of ferns constitutes 
one of the simplest branches of natural science. The 
material for such a study meets us everywhere, and 
there is hardly a corner in the world where ferns are 
not found. In the northern regions beyond the Amur, 
in Scandinavia, and amidst the snows and long 
winters of Labrador ferns flourish, when flowers can 
only show their tender tints and disappear. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i°5 



Countries subject at times to extreme cold and 
long drought are the least favourable to their growth. 
In the temperate zones they abound everywhere ; 
but it is in the deep shade of tropical forests, where 
the air is densely saturated with moisture, and the 
sun's rays can never penetrate, that these exquisite 
plants luxuriate most freely. Nay, if we go back to 
the beginning of creation, before flowers, before 
•trees, long before animal life had commenced, we find 
ferns and their allies, the club-mosses (Lycopodiace?e) 



we fear " fragrant " no longer,* at least not deliciously 
so), cannot be compared in point of size and grandeur 
with our king of British ferns, O. regalis. But there 
are sufficient points of resemblance for any acquainted 
with one, to recognise the other. The clusters of 
spore-cases occupy the centre of the frond, narrowing 
and altering it in appearance. The frond is simply 
pinnate, and often deeply serrate, usually from 2-3 
feet high. The colour is bright green with a firm, 
shiny, erect appearance, differing in this from the 




Fig- 69. — Lygodiutn 
scandens, Sw. 



Fie. 6S. — Lygodium Japoiiicum, Sw 
(Fertile.) 



covering the almost drowned 
world in strange preparation 
for the wants of future ages. 

Can we fail to take an inter- 
est in them? And can our 
interest be satisfied until we 
have bestowed some attention 

upon the structure and classification of the different 
species we meet with in our daily walks ? 

The following notes may be of assistance to those 
who wish to know something about the common 
•ferns growing in the neighbourhood of Victoria and 
the Peak. 

Gen. I. OsMUNDA, Linn. 

[O. Javaiuca, Blume.) 

The species we shall find in many water-courses 
and along the banks of rocky streams (some of them 



Fig. 70. — Glckhcnia dichotoma, Willd. 

herbaceous texture and golden-brown tints of 
O. regalis, and the veins are light-coloured and 
distinct, especially when the plant is young. 

Gen. II. Lygodium, Sw. 

(Creeping or Climbing Fern.) 

There are three species of lygodium to be found in 
I long-Kong, but in Lygodium Japonicum, Sw., we 
have the commonest, if not the loveliest, fern in the 
island. Examine the sori all round the edge, like the 
joints of a cog-wheel. How beautifully the seed- 
coverings are plaited, or laid like the tiles of a roof 
one upon the other, each tiny tenement containing 
one capsule or spore-case, which in its turn holds 
numerous spores (or seeds), almost invisible to the 
naked eye ! The leaves are either in pairs or else 
pinnate (i.e. with pinnae or plumes like a feather), 
the segments or divisions of the frond often numbering 
from 5-10. There is no need to say that this fern is 
a climber. It creeps up anything it can catch hold 
of, and often attains in this way to a considerable 



• The name Hong-Kong 
fragrant streams." 



Chinese means "Land of 



io6 



HA RD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G OSS IP. 



height. A word about it in other lands may perhaps 
be interesting. Miss Gordon dimming says : "Love- 
liest of all are the delicate climbing ferns, the tender 
leaves of which, some richly fringed with seed, hang 
mid-air in long hair-like trails, or else, drooping in 
festoons, climb from tree to tree, forming a perfect 
net-work of loveliness. It is a most fairy-like 
foliage, and people show their reverence for its 
beauty by calling it the Wa-Kalon, or God's Fern."* 
For superstitious reasons also the natives encourage 
it to grow up their walls and door posts. Lygodium 
japonicum has a pinnate frond ; in L. scandens, Sw., 
the divisions are in pairs, broad at the base and 
narrowing to a rounded apex, and of a more delicate 
texture than the last, not nearly so common. L. 
dichotomum, Sw., has fronds 8-IO inches long. 

Gen. III. Gleichenia, Sw. 

{Called in some places " Comb Ferny) 

Gleichenia dichotoma, Willd., is abundant, not only in 
Hong-Kong where it is cut down for bedding for cattle, 
but in the tropics all round the world. If it were not 
for its trailing propensities, it might be compared to 
the brake of our native land ; it is also not unlike 
this fern in roughness of texture, although quite apart 
in the position which by the formation of its seed it 
holds in fern-classification. The spore-cases have no 
covering, but are lightly set in a white flour-like 
substance in loose groups of 2, 3, 4, or 5, under the 
leaf. The fern is not very often met with in seed. 
The arrangement of the long, stiff, pinnate leaves is 
an easy distinguishing feature, as they grow in pairs, 
or forked (hence the name di-chotoma, 2 cleft), each 
fork resulting in another fork and so on, until the 
long straggling branches form in some countries an 
impenetrable jungle, too thick for a horse to break 
through, and mounting 6, 8, or 10 feet high on 
boughs of trees, low shrubs and underwood. It has 
been called the "Comb Fern," as the leaves when 
dry are stiff and like the teeth of a comb. 

( To be continued.) 

For some years past, attempts have been made 
(without much success) to acclimatise the tea plant in 
Italy. The Italian Minister of Agriculture has 
determined to act upon the suggestions of Professor 
Beccari, who has been investigating the subject, and 
to procure some plants from the coldest provinces of 
Japan, as well as some from the province of Novara 
in Italy. The T/iea Sinensis has been grown to some 
extent in the open in Italy, and Professor Beccari 
thinks there is no reason why tea should not succeed 
there, under proper management in procuring plants 
and seeds and in the conditions under which they 
are cultivated. 

* "At Home in Fiji," by Miss G. Gumming. 



CHAPTERS ON FOSSIL SHARKS AND 
RAYS. 

By Arthur Smith Woodward, 
of the British Museum (Natural History). 

IV. 

CESTRACIONTID/E. 

UNTIL quite recent years, the family of Cestra- 
ciontidse was regarded as including all the 
varied forms now grouped under the Orodontidse, 
Psammodontidse, Copodontidce, Cochliodontidre, and 
Petalodontida?, and thus its zoological and palaeonto- 
logical signification has been considerably altered of 
late. The most modern researches seem to show 
that Acrodus and Strophodus are the only important 
extinct genera that can be referred to it with certainty, 
but Ptychodus is also placed here by most pakeonto- 
ists, although it appears much more nearly allied 
the Rays, judging from the little that is known 
about the arrangement of its teeth. 

Reference has already been made to the dentition 
of Cestracion, the only existing genus of this family, 
in the account of the Cochliodonts (vol. xx. p. 270). 
The diagram (fig. 71), however, will give a more cor- 
rect idea of the aspect of the jaw : there is much more 
variation in the dental forms in different parts of the 
mouth than is to be observed among those sharks 
with laniary teeth, such as the Carchariidae and 
Lamnidre, and the hindermost are adapted for 
crushing food, while those at the symphysis are dis- 
tinctly conical and prehensile. Several rows are in 
function at a time. It is a noteworthy fact, also, that 
Cestracion has defensive weapon; in the form of 
dorsal fin-spines, while the members of the families 
just alluded to are destitute of these, their sharp 
piercing teeth being a sufficiently formidable arma- 
ture. Only four species of Cestracion are described 
by Dr. Gvinther, in his British Museum Catalogue, 
living off the coasts of Japan, Australia, California, 
and the Galapagos Isles, and no undoubted fossil 
remains of the genus have hitherto been recorded. 

As in the case of Hybodus, all the more perfect 
specimens revealing the structural characters of 
Acrodus have been obtained from the Lower Lias of 
Lyme Regis. There have been discovered some 
beautiful examples exhibiting the arrangement of the 
dentition, others showing the two dorsal spines in 
association with scattered teeth, and others indicating 
that this genus possessed the four remarkable cephalic 
spines so characteristic of nearly all, if not all, the 
species of Hybodus. The most typical teeth of 
Acrodus (fig. 73) are distinctly of the Cestraciont form, 
and usually differ considerably from those occupying 
similar positions in the mouth of Hybodus, being 
quite flat or only slightly rounded, and ornamented 
with very fine ridges and furrows radiating from a 
more or less central longitudinal line ; the dentition 
of this genus, too, varies more on different parts of 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



107 



the jaw than in the typical species of Hybodus, and 
there are some dissimilarities in microscopical 
structure. The symphysial teeth approach a conical 
form, and there is sometimes a slight indication of 
lateral or secondary cones. It must be remarked, 
however, that some species, such 'as A. Anningia 
(fig. 84), are quite on the borders of the two genera, 
and the ornamentation on a few of even the most 
characteristic Acrodont teeth (fig. 74) is suggestive of 
their close relationship to those of the true Hybodont 
type. 

The dorsal spines of Acrodus, unknown to Agassiz, 
were first described in the " Geological Magazine,"* 
twenty years ago, by Mr. E. C. H. Day. In this 
elaborate paper, he points out how nearly they 
resemble those of Hybodus, and is unable to discover 
more than two points of difference between them. 
He endeavours to show that, in spines of the latter 
genus, the double row of posterior denticles is fixed 
upon a somewhat prominent ridge, as seen in the 
section (fig. 75), while in Acrodus, the back of the 
spine is comparatively flat (fig. 76) ; also, that the 
denticles themselves are fewer and stouter in Acrodus, 
than in Hybodus. But it must be remembered that, 
since the date of these studies, much more valuable 
material has accumulated, and it is questionable 
whether, when a large number of specimens, such as 
are now available, are examined, many intermediate 
gradations will not be found. The object of Mr. 
Day's paper is, indeed, to prove that Hybodus and 
Acrodus are closely allied, and that the only differ- 
ences between them are merely in degree and not in 
kind ; and he concludes a very careful discussion of 
their characters by suggesting that, according to their 
dentition, the Hybodonts and Acrodonts might be 
regarded as forming a single group, divisible into 
three sections : — " the first, with very elongated 
cones, represented by H. basanus ; the second, with 
the cones more obtuse, by H Delabechei ; and the 
third, almost or altogether wanting conical elevations, 
by A. nobi/is." How far these conclusions are to be 
accepted, future research must decide. 

Species of Acrodus range from the Triassic to the 
Upper Cretaceous strata, inclusive. The Continental 
Muschelkalk has yielded A. Gaillardoti and others, 
and the Rhaetic of Devonshire is characterised by the 
little A. minimus (fig. 77). A. nobi/is (fig. 73) and 
A. Anningim (fig. 84) are the most important species 
of the Lias, being found chiefly in the lower divisions, 
and not so abundantly as the remains of Hybodus. 
A. hiodus and A. kiopleurus occur in the Stonesfield 
Slate ; and two species, A. IUingworthi and A. cre- 
taceus, have been described! from the English chalk. 

The genus Strophodus is not quite so well known 
as that just considered. No certain information has 
hitherto been obtained concerning any feature in its 



* " Geol. Mag.," 1864, vol. i. pp. 57-65. 

t Dixon's " Geology of Sussex," 1st edit., 1850, p. 364. 



organisation beyond the dentition,* and only one 
specimen affording a definite clue to the arrangement 
of the teeth appears to be yet known to science. 
This beautiful example is preserved in the Oolitic 
Caen Stone, and was described by Sir Richard Owen 
in the "Geological Magazine" for 1869. It 
exhibits about sixty teeth in situ, and is represented 
in fig. 72. As regards the arrangement of the 
different dental forms, it bears a close resemblance to 
the jaw of Ccstracion, but differs from the living 
genus in the same respect as does the jaw of Acrodus, 
namely, in the symphysial teeth being much fewer 
and relatively larger. There are two principal rows 
of crushing teeth (fig. 72, a, b), as in Ccstracion, and 
there are likewise indications of some posterior rows 
of smaller and somewhat elliptical teeth (ib., c) ; 
but, instead of nine rows occupying the space in 
front of the principal series on each side, only three 
are to be observed (ib., b, c, d), and no median 
azygous row is present. The teeth themselves, when 
isolated, are readily distinguished from those of 
Acrodus by means of their surface-ornament, which 
consists of reticulate markings, but a glance at the 
figure of the Caen specimen is sufficient to show the 
extreme difficulty of determining the species of such 
detached fossils. 

Strophodus ranges from the Upper Permian to the 
Chalk, inclusive. It is represented in the Kupfer- 
schiefer of Germany by S. arcuatus, and at least one 
species is also found in the Triassic Muschelkalk. 
S. magnics is characteristic of the Lower Oolites, and 
other so-called species (S. tenuis, &c.) likewise occur 
upon the same horizon ; ^. favosus is the name of 
some small teeth (fig. 78) from Stonesfield. The 
Middle and Upper Oolites,— particularly the Oxford 
and Kimmeridge Clays, — yield the well-marked 
form, 6". reticu/atus (fig. 79), which is easily recog- 
nised by the prominence of its ornamentation : of 
this species we know more than any other, except 
S. medius (fig. 72), a large number of teeth having 
been found associated in the Kimmeridge Clay of 
Shotover, and described by Agassiz in his great work 
on the " Poissons Fossiles." The Cretaceous series 
contains the last traces of the genus, so far as is yet 
known, and only two forms appear to have been 
recorded from this group ; one is S. sulcatus, from 
the Greensand of Maidstone, and the other the very 
rare and curious S. asper (fig. So) of the Chalk. 

Ptychodus is an essentially Cretaceous genus, and 
has not hitherto been met with in rocks of any other 
age, either in the Old or New World. Nothing 
beyond the dentition is known with certainty, 
although Agassiz, in his original description of this 
shark, associated with the teeth certain peculiar 
elongated fossils which he thought might be the 



* It has been suggested "that the spines known under the 
name of Asteracanthus really belong to Strophodus ; but abso- 
lute proof is at present wanting, and we shall thus reserve their 
consideration for the chapter on " Ichthyodorulites." 



ioS 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



dorsal fin-spines. More recent discoveries in America 
have proved the identification of the latter to be 
incorrect, and Prof. Cope has shown that the 
remains in question are the fin-rays of Teleostean 
fishes, which he places in a family under the name of 
Pelecopteridoe. 



specific characters and arrangement in the mouth. 
Species may generally be founded, with a considerable 
approach to accuracy, upon detached teeth, from a 
consideration of the ornament of the crushing 
surface ; this has been proved by the discovery of 
numerous large groups (each evidently the remains 





Fig- 73-— Tooth of Ac rod us nobiVis. 




Fig. 74.— Ornamentation of tooth of Acrodus- 
nobilis. 





II,;. 71. — Jaw of recent Cestracion Philippi 



Fig. 75. — Transverse 

section of spine of 

I/ybodus. 



Fi». 76. — Transverse 

section of spine of 

Acrodus. 




Fig. 77. — Tooth of 
Acrodus minimus. 




I '3- 79- — Tooth of S/rop/iodus 
reticulatus. 




Fi ? . 78.— Tooth of 
Sf> ofhodiis Javosus- 



Fig. So. — Tooth of 
Stropkodus asfer. 



Fig. 72.— Jaw olStrophodus medius. (After Owen.) 






Fig. Sr. — Tooth of Ptychodtts mammillaris. 



As the teeth of Ptychodtts are so well known to 
all acquainted with the fossils of the Chalk, it is 
unnecessary to describe their general shape in detail 
here, and reference need only be made to their 



of a single mouth), in which all the forms may be 
easily recognised as modifications of a single type. 
About ten species occur in the English Chalk, and of 
these the commonest are P. dccurrens, P. polygyms, 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



109 



and P. mammillaris. The first has the central part 
of the tooth not much raised, with the transverse 
ridges all insensibly merging into the surrounding 
granulated area ; in the second (fig. 82), the trans- 
verse ridges and furrows are coarser and mostly bend 
round on reaching the granulated area, producing 
gyrations suggestive of the specific name ; in the 
third (fig. Si), the central part of the tooth is raised 



British Museum. To whichever jaw this dental 
armature belonged, its arrangement is obviously very 
different from that of Cestracion, and if we were now 
venturing upon innovations, instead of simply 
recording the present state of this branch of Palaeonto- 
logy, we should remove Ptychodus altogether from 
the Cestraciont family, and endeavour to find a place 
for it in proximity to some of the Rays. 





Fig. 82. — Tooth of Ptychodus J>olygyrus. 



Fig. S3. — Diagram illustrating arrangement of dentition of 
Ptychodus. 




Fig. 84 —Jaw oi Acrodus Anningice. (After E. C. H. Day.) 



into a more or less prominent dome, and the 
surrounding granulated area is characterised by the 
delicacy of the markings, and the frequent presence 
of radiating grooves. 

With regard to the disposition of the teeth in the 
mouth, very little as yet has been ascertained, owing 
to the fragmentary nature of most of the fossils ; so 
much is known, however, as is represented in the 
diagrammatic plan (fig. 83), which embodies the 
information afforded by specimens exhibited in the 



One other extinct genus is usually referred to the 
Cestraciontidae, — Plethodus from the English Chalk. 
It is founded upon detached dental plates, which are 
flat, and of somewhat irregular outline, with a 
punctated grinding surface. 

( To be continued.) 



"Engineering" mentions weather vanes illu- 
minated by electricity, and a trial suggested with 
one twenty feet long, with a light at either end. 



I IO 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



MY GARDEN PETS. 

By E. II. Robertson. 

Part II. 

STRING-TIME is particularly disastrous to my 
pets. Tempted by the bright sunshine they 
roam to distant pastures, to provide for the wants 
of a daily increasing family. After a night's rest 
and refreshment, they issue forth full of energy, 
and without impedimenta, but return later in the 
day tired and heavily laden, to be cut down on 
the very threshold of home, by the cruel, biting 
wind, thousands of the weary labourers being thus 
sometimes lost. To a lover of bees it is dis- 
tressing to see the ground strewn with their chilled 
carcases, and, as I never pass a chilled bee without 
making an effort to warm him into life, I gather mine 
into a bell glass, which, inverted over a stand, I 
place before afire. I may have collected but a score, 
perhaps it contains 500 or 600. Soon the inert mass 
shows signs of vitality — here and there a tiny leg or 
antenna quivers, a silvery wing shimmers in the 
flickering firelight, a few moments later and sundry 
pollen-laden little fellows may be seen brushing their 
coats and wings, and loudly buzzing, as they scamper 
up and down the side of their prison, in search of 
some means of escape, and soon nearly all are astir. 
Turning the glass mouth upwards in the open air, the 
thoroughly resuscitated fly off to their hives, a few 
not yet fully recovered, after a short flight, descend- 
ing to the ground, to be returned to the glass, re- 
warmed, and fed with honey until fully restored. 
Sometimes every bee may thus be brought back to 
life, but more frequently a small proportion (say 
from five to twenty per cent.) are not to be so easily 
restored ; they are almost invariably the old and worn 
out, quickly recognised by their black, hairless 
bodies, whose slender thread of life has been severed 
1 iy the north wind's keen edge. If apparently drowned 
bees be placed upon a blotting pad, and thus treated, 
the genial warmth will almost certainly revive 
them. 

To a person not familiar with bees the statement 
that the sounds emitted by them are as varied, and 
as expressive of fear, anger, pain, &c, as are those of 
human and other animals, may seem incredible ; it is, 
nevertheless, strictly and literally true, and the ear 
of the experienced apiarian, or observant naturalist, 
soon learns to distinguish them. There is not a 
greater difference between the soft purr of the con- 
tented puss, and her threatening growl when tearing 
her prey, her pleading ''mew," and her diabolic 
caterwauling, or unearthly sleep-disturbing yell, than 
there is between the droning hum of the tired 
homing bee, and the fierce threatening buzz which 
warns the intruder to decamp. 

The crisp whirr with which the active little fellow 
-prings from the threshold of his hive into the regions 



of light cannot pass unnoticed, and the delightsome 
hum which expresses his happiness, as he circles and 
shoots to and fro, when the cloud-dispelling sun 
cheers him into activity, is pleasant indeed to him 
who loves such rural sounds. His pathetic cry oi 
distress, too, when unable to extricate himself from 
the cruel grip of a spider, or has been accidentally 
squeezed beneath some weight, calls for the ready 
help of him whose ear is alive to the cry of pain. 
This diversity of cries alone should teach the novice 
when to avoid proximity to bees' quarters ; but as 
there is an art in seeing, so is there in hearing, and 
some there are who never learn, and if they have 
anything to do with bees they soon pay the penalty 
of their ignorance. 

Dear reader, have you ever witnessed the contortions 
of a terror-stricken bee observer ? If not I can pro- 
mise you an entertaining sight, and even if you be an 
unfortunate wight upon whose liver that most baleful 
of all subtle malignancies— the east wind — has laid 
its firmest hold, it will most assuredly provoke your 
mirth. It always reminds me of the mechanical 
figures which the cockney void of taste erects upon a 
post or staff in his small garden. The figure gyrates 
upon a pivot, and every breath of wind sets in rapid 
motion, windmill fashion, two fin-like appendages, 
that are supposed, by a wide stretch of the imagina- 
tion, to resemble arms. See but the terrified one as 
he wildly smites the air in his futile efforts to beat 
down his puny foe, and the inanimate figure will 
present itself to the mind's eye. His ludicrous antics 
can have but one effect. The bee, perfectly innocent 
of mischief, naturally enough believes itself to be the 
object of unprovoked attack, and, resentful, makes 
short work of his enemy, and if the latter escape scot 
free his escape is due either to the thickness of his 
garments, or, more probably, to the hastiness of his 
retreat. It may be stated that, as a rule, bees never 
sting when roaming, nor even close to their homes, 
unless irritated by the recent plunder of their store, 
or disturbed by the passing and repassing of any 
person in front of their hives. 

Perhaps there is nothing that more readily excites 
a bee to anger than the latter. The term vicious, so 
often applied to bees and wasps by the ignorant, is a 
senseless misnomer, and although there is probably 
as great a diversity of disposition to be found in any 
one bee community as amongst the individuals of 
other races, they are most certainly not aggressive, 
and the notion that they sting of malice prepense is 
an absurd one. Even a stranger may, with impunity, 
stand before a hive when bees are returning home 
heavily laden, and although his garments may be 
thickly studded with the weary little labourers, not 
one will molest him, nay, if the tip of the finger be 
presented, the tired insect will almost invariably 
accept the proffered aid. Let the stranger, however, 
beware lest some watchful sentinel dashes at some 
unprotected part of his Larson. 



BAHDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



in 



When beekeepers are standing near hives, single 
bees very frequently make close examination of the 
intruder. I am constantly the object of their close 
attention. Perhaps the little examiner is but passing 
away a spare moment by way of recreation, probably, 
mistrustful, he is warning me to give his home and 
friends a wider berth. First he buzzes within an inch 
of one eye, then visits its fellow, then makes a tour 
of inspection, sounding his trumpet first in one ear, 
then in the other, his observations being almost en- 
tirely confined to the head. When I hear his 
threatening buzz, knowing that he is not to be trifled 
with, and wishing to spare his life, I close my eyes 
and remain quite stationary, and, after awhile, my 
little friend, seeing that he has nothing to fear, settles 
usually upon my face, sometimes the lobe of an ear, 
more frequently the tip of my nose, and after a few 
preliminary brushings up pursues his peaceful way, 
and I mine. We have become better acquainted, 
and he is far less likely to trouble me on any future 
occasion, whereas a timid person would, by his frantic 
fears, provoke a catastrophe. His terror may perhaps 
be excused, when it is remembered that the dislike is 
probably mutual ; bees' antipathy to particular indi- 
viduals being as remarkable as their liking for others, 
and, whilst some persons may handle them with im- 
punity, there are others who dare not venture within 
yards of their hives without being attacked. That 
the odour of some persons, not perhaps in itself un- 
pleasant, may yet be disliked by the bees, is the most 
reasonable explanation of the strange facts that can 
be offered. 

Swalcliffe, Banbury, Oxon. 



ARTISTIC GEOLOGY. 

Ffestiniog and its Neighbourhood. 

By T. Mellard Reade, F.G.S., &c. 

IN addition to its reputation for picturesque 
scenery, and the soft beauties of its vale, 
Ffestiniog is a very good centre for the geological 
student. Situated on a sort of promontory between 
two valleys, the Cynfael and the Dvvyryd, at a 
sufficient elevation to maintain a bracing atmosphere, 
the mind and body retain that elasticity which 
makes mountain scenery so enjoyable. At the same 
time, those whose delight is the investigation of 
nature can fully gratify their cravings. I will 
proceed to describe some of the geological problems 
which force themselves upon the notice of the 
thoughtful mind. 

SURFACE FEATURES. 

The grand flank of Moelwyn, perhaps the finest 
mountain of its height I have ever seen, is to my 
mind of more interest than the much, if not over, 
praised vale. It can be seen at one view from base 



to summit. The river Dwyryd runs deep below you 
at the bottom of the vale, while Moelwyn rises from 
a tree-covered breastwork of hills in a great and 
serried scarp from Tan-y-Bwlch to Blaenau Ffestiniog 
slate quarries. Its beauty, to my mind, is its variety, 
the contrast between the ornamental nature of its 
foreground of hills, and the steep treeless scarp of its 
main mass. Facing the south-east, it changes much 
under the varying light of the sun, now lighted up in 
every detail of its structure, and anon a vast mystery 
of gloom. A descent from the village of Ffestiniog 
to the Dwyryd down a steep foot walk gives us some 
very picturesque views. The vale is well wooded. 
We cross the river by a foot-bridge, noticing, by the 
way, some well-rounded boulders in the river bed.. 
Ascending the other bank we strike the main road 
which skirts a deep and picturesque ravine thickly 
timbered. Arriving at the turnpike, we turn towards 
Tan-y-Grisiau, noticing a large bank of drift which 
lies near the fork of two streams, one of which 
rises in Cwm Orthin, the other nearer the slate 
quarries of Blaenau. The road to Tan-y-Grisiau 
skirts the former stream, in which are two very 
picturesque falls. The lower fall is crossed by a 
bridge just above it. Passing over this, with some 
climbing through ferns and heath, and over walls 
ascending the right bank of the stream, we get a very 
beautiful view of this upper fall. The rock here is 
part of a large mass of intrusive Syenite forming Moel 
Tan-y-Grisiau, and the stream has cut back a deep 
gorge into it. Further along, the stream can be again 
crossed by another bridge near to Tan-y-Grisiau. At 
the Tan-y-Grisiau station of the narrow gauge or 
"Toy" railway we begin the ascent of Moelwyn. 
Skirting the railway and ascending a footpath, not 
very difficult climbing, we reach Llyn Trwstyllon, a 
cwm lying under the great scarped face of Moelwyn. 
The rocks at the open part of the cwm slope towards 
the lake. The dip is iS° north-west. It appears to be 
striated south-east, but very faintly. The surface of the 
rock is much broken up in places since the glaciation. 
The cwm is a very perfect cup, broken through on 
the south-east side. The scenery is very fine. A steep 
ascent of green turf-covered slope brings us on to the 
back of Moelwyn. The remainder of the ascent is 
up what appears from below a small hillock, but 
develops into a mountain when you get on to it. It 
is very steep and grass-covered, sheep grazing up to 
the very top. A magnificent view rewarded our 
exertions, the weather being delightfully bright and 
clear, and the light breeze exhilarating. I have been 
up many mountains, but never saw a finer view than 
that to the north-west over Snowdon. I preserved my 
impressions in a sketch taken at the time, in which 
the mountain forms are reproduced in outline. It 
represents a grand series of mountains rising in a low 
but sublime pyramidal mass culminating in the peak 
of Snowdon. The hollow of Llyn Llydaw, the entrance 
to the pass of Llanberis, and the Glyders, and other 



112 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



•well-known features are distinctly visible. To the 
left is a glimpse of the sea high up in the horizon. 
Moel Hebog, the Glaslyn and pont Aberglaslyn are 
also distinguishable. The Glaslyn runs like a silver 
.streak through a mass of green fields to the Traeth 
Mawr. Beyond is the embankment across the marsh 
for the road and railway terminating in Port Madoc, 
the houses showing distinct and clear with Moel-y- 
geist in the back-ground, and in the far distance 
-stretches the long promontory of Caernarvonshire till 
almost lost in the blue haze of the distant sea. The 
Rivals showed like little cobs on the relief map of 
Caernarvonshire. Further to the west shone the 
brilliant orange sands of the estuary of the Dwyryd 
below Tan-y-Bwlch, and beyond this was the sea with 
its shore sweeping round to Harlech Castle, which, 
with its towers, appeared as a little group of dots. To 
the south could be seen the Rhinogs, and the long 
scarped face of Cader Idris beyond, and, to the east, 
appeared a sea of mountains out of which arose the 
Arenigs and the Arrans. To the north the land rose 
and fell in billowy swells till lost in the grey haze. 

The immediate foreground of the view over Snow- 
donia is occupied with the remarkable mountain 
called Cynicht. From the road between Tan-y-Bwlch 
and Bethgelert this mountain looks like a pyramid ; 
but it is there seen in profile. From the summit of 
Moelwyn we see it as a long ridge with its flanks 
scored with gullies and talus, which traverse its steep 
sides like streams till they become confluent in the 
talus cones at the foot. Immediately below, to the 
left, were the rocky north-west precipices of Moelwyn. 
The day was a perfect day, the clouds floating high, 
•the air clear and exhilarating, yet warm. 

I have dwelt upon this view perhaps more than a 
geological article warrants ; but let us pause and 
consider if it will yield us any scientific information. 

The traveller about Ffestiniog will soon find out, if 
he carries a compass with him, that the general strike 
of the rocks is from south-west to north-east. At 
right angles to this the strata have been thrown into 
a series of anticlinal and synclinal folds, broken up, 
and, to some extent, obscured, by faults, it is true. 
Perhaps this feature in the structure of the country 
■can be best appreciated in the general view of the 
mountains of Snowdonia obtained on the coast road 
between Maentwrog and Harlech. It can, however, 
be observed on Moelwyn itself. A slate quarry on 
the back of Moelwyn shows the rock to dip rapidly 
to the north-west. Without going into details, the 
structure of the mountain is a series of shales and 
slates, with an interbedded massive series of felstones 
and felspathic ashes. 

It is these hard massive beds which form the grand 
■scarp in which lies Llyn Trwstyllon. The whole of 
these beds belong to the Lower Silurian series, 
commencing with the Lingula beds in the Ffestiniog 
and Tan-y-Bwlch valley, and terminating in the Bala 
.beds at the summit of Cynicht. The slates of 



commerce are interbedded in the series, and as the 
beds dip steeply to the north-west the quarrying 
operations have to be mostly followed by galleries, 
and not in great cuttings open to broad daylight, as 
is the case with the quarries at Penrhyn, near 
Bangor, which lie in the older Cambrian slates. To 
the north, in the valley of Dolwyddelan, the cal- 
careous ashes there largely developed are the actual 
representatives of the Bala limestone and the Caradoc 
sandstone of Shropshire, and the vast masses of ashes 
that crown the felstones of Snowdon and Moel 
Hebog are but an enlarged development of the same 
strata.* 

To understand the present surface form of the 
country, it is requisite to keep in mind the great fact 
that the whole of the Upper Silurian strata which 
formerly covered Merioneth and Caernarvonshire has 
been entirely removed by denudation. It is only 
when we get as far to the south-east as the river 
Vyrnwy, where the great reservoir to supply Liverpool 
is being constructed, that we come upon the remains 
of the Upper Silurian, here preserved in a synclinal. 
A general glance at the geological map of North 
Wales shows the persistent strike of all the rocks 
from south-west to north-east. It is along these 
lines that the denudation has principally acted, 
many of the main valleys possessing the same paral- 
lelism of direction. The hard beds of felstone and 
ash, and the intrusive greenstones and other igneous 
rocks, have helped to preserve that peaked and ridgy 
character which here gives the distinguishing beauty 
to the scenery. 

A walk down the north-west slope of Moelwyn 
brings us to Bwlch Cwm Orthin, a pass between 
Cwm Orthin and Cwm Croesor, which lies between 
Cynicht and Moelwyn. Here we may stop to 
examine some slate works. The slates are gener- 
ally of small size, but beautifully true and fine. 
Descending the path to Cwm Orthin, we get a good 
view of the Llyn below, now being rapidly filled up 
with the debris from the Cwm Orthin slate quarries. 

At the entrance to the cwm may be seen those 
well-rounded rocks specially noted by Ramsay as 
good instances of roclie moutonnce glaciation. Beyond 
these we may again examine slate works. Here some 
of the slate is of that peculiarly fine and soft nature 
which fits it for manufacture into school slates, the 
process of which may be watched. I impressed on 
my mind the view of Cwm Orthin looking towards 
the glaciated rocks, in the best possible way, by 
sketching it. It is a true rock basin, the dip of the 
strata to the north-west and the hardness of the 
felspathic rocks at the outlet, no doubt being deter- 
mining causes, together with ice, in producing this 
form of denudation. A steep down-hill walk brings 
us to Tan-y-Grisiau station, but we may pause a 
moment to look at the waterfall. The stream from 



* Ramsay, " Memoir of the Geology of North Wales," ist 
ed. p. 95. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



1 1 



tTie Llyn Cwm Orthin has cut a narrow channel in the 
rock, some fifteen feet deep, I should judge. It then 
falls about twenty feet down a nearly vertical joint 
plane. The peculiarity that attracts attention is 
the extraordinarily small influence the water has had 
in eating away the surface down which it falls, and the 
great effect it has had upon its more horizontal bed. 
This is a characteristic that may be observed else- 
where, at the Rhiadr Ddu, or Maentwrog falls, for 
instance. It seems to point to the grinding action 
of stones, sand, and gravel, as the effective cause in 
the sawing down of a stream-bed, in hard rock, in a 
mountain district. These materials propelled along 
the bed of the stream would be always in contact 
with the rock, whereas at the fall they would be shot 
over, often without touching the vertical face. This 
subject of waterfall denudation, is one that requires 
exploration. I am not aware of any geologist having 
specially investigated the subject. 

We have now returned to the point we commenced 
to ascend, having made a circular tour on Moelwyn. 
We may return to Ffestiniog by another route, by 
following the road towards Blaenau. I would 
recommend two excursions to be made of this, which 
I have described as one. A drive to Tan-y-Grisiau 
to commence with, will leave quite enough work to 
be done on Moelwyn. The geologist will then 
commence his work fresh, and will experience no 
difficulty on the return journey in walking back to 
Ffestiniog. 

(To be continued.) 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 

The first balloon ascent ever made in our army in 
presence of the enemy, took place near Suakin on the 
25th of March. The balloon used was made of gold- 
beaters' skin, contained 7000 cubic feet of gas, 
measured 23 feet in diameter, and weighed 90 lbs. 
It was inflated from compressed reservoirs with gas 
made at Chatham, and was guided by means of a rope 
attached to a wagon below. Communication was kept 
up by means of pieces of paper attached by a loop 
to a rope. The balloon remained up nine hours, and 
the results were apparently considered successful. 

We have received a pamphlet by Mr. G. A. 
Rowell, entitled, " Electric Meteorology. What is 
Gas ? How the Theory was worked up. An Appendix, 
1884." 

In " Science " for February, is an account by 
Lieut. Greeley of the geographical work of the late 
Arctic expedition, illustrated by a large map. The 
discoveries made to the westward of his winter 
quarters into Grinnell Land and Arthur Land led 
Lieut. Greeley to the opinion that the western shores 
of these regions will be found at no great distance. 



The " Annales Industrielles " give an account, 
says " Science," of the making of cork bricks, now 
being employed for coating steam-boilers, ice-cellars, 
&c. The cork is winnowed from impurities, ground 
in a mill, kneaded up with a suitable cement, and 
pressed into bricks ; then dried, first in the air, and 
afterwards by artificial heat. They are not hard, and 
not liable to decomposition ; they keep out moisture, 
heat, cold, and sound. 

In its bearing on the question of hereditary trans- 
mission of peculiarities, the following case, recently 
reported to the "Lancet" from Bridgewater, is 
interesting. The abnormal number of six digits 
occurred in the case of a man, his son, his grandchild, 
and two grandchildren (not all in linear descent), and 
in all cases it was the left foot which possessed the 
extra feature. 

In a paper lately read at a meeting of the Chemical 
Society, Mr. H. Brereton Baker, F.C.S., described 
some experiments he had made with reference to 
the effect of moisture upon combustion. He heated 
both amorphous phosphorus and carbon in dried 
oxygen and in oxygen saturated with moisture. In 
both tubes containing moist gas, combustion took 
place, but in the dry gas, the phosphorus slowly 
distilled, forming a red and yellow deposit on the 
cooler part of the tube, while in the case of the carbon 
in dry gas, no apparent combustion took place. Dr. 
Armstrong said he had some time ago come to the 
conclusion that probably chemical action did not take 
place between two substances, and that he had even 
ventured to affirm that some day it would be found 
that a mixture of pure oxygen with pure hydrogen was 
not explosive. 

In the Annals and Mag. Nat. Hist, for last month 
is a description by Mr. C. V. Riley, of a new insect 
injurious to wheat, to which the name of Isosoma 
grandis has been given. 

The strict political economists will have in future 
to make allowance for new motives and new courses 
of action. It deserves to be placed on record that 
the workmen in the employ of Messrs. William 
Cooke & Co., of the Tinsley Iron, Steel and Wire 
Works recently offered a week's work without wages, 
which was accepted by their employers. The men, 
being desirous of assisting their employers in some 
way during the present depression in trade, and 
being unable to accept reduced wages, inconsequence 
of their being controlled by a board in this matter, 
decided to make this generous offer, one probably 
without precedent in English trade, and which has 
naturally attracted considerable notice. 

Sir William Dawson, principal of M'Gill 
College, Montreal, has been nominated president at 
the meeting of the British Association at Birmingham 
next year, 1886. 



H4 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



After a colliery explosion at Unsworth in March 
last, Mr. C. S. Lindsay showed great endurance and 
heroism in endeavouring to save the lives of two 
fellow explorers who were overcome hy choke-damp. 
Mr. Lindsay is said to have carried iron nails in his 
mouth, which he sucked, and was thus enabled to 
resist the effects of the choke-damp longer than his 
companions. The explanation given was that the 
carbonic acid gas coming into contact with oxide of 
iron formed insoluble carbonate of iron and so was 
rendered innocuous. F. R. S., writing to the 
"Times," with reference to this explosion, says that 
the quantity of carbonic acid absorbed by this means 
is inappreciable, as might indeed be expected, and 
suggests a respirator filled with cotton-wool and slaked 
lime or caustic soda, to absorb the carbonic acid gas 
or choke-damp; "or, better still, a cylinder filled 
with the same material carried on the back with a 
flexible breathing tube and mouthpiece will enable 
an explorer to remain for some time in an atmosphere 
charged with choke-damp which would be at once 
fatal if inspired directly." 

Though rather late, it may not be amiss to warn 
those of our readers who are experimental chemists 
against phosphorus trichloride. Dr. Edward Divers, 
principal of the Imperial Engineering College, Japan, 
has had a severe accident through the bursting of a 
bottle containing the trichloride. It had been used 
for years as a lecture specimen, but while Dr. Divers 
was warming the neck in order to extract the stopper 
the bottle burst, and the injury caused was so serious 
that it was feared the sight cf one eye would be 
destroyed. 

A useful means of cultivating among its readers 
that desirable faculty, observation, is afforded by the 
" Natural History Journal and School Reporter," in 
the form of a list of flowers with dates of opening, 
the average of three years, appended, so that early 
appearances may be noted, and a Floral Calendar 
formed. This Journal which is conducted by the 
Society of Friends' Schools, and is published by 
William Sessions, York, is in many respects a good 
example of a school magazine, and the amount of 
attention to Natural Science which it reveals is 
highly commendable. 

Mr. Adam Sedgwick has in preparation a new 
book, to be entitled " The Elements of Animal 
Biology," which is intended to serve as an intro- 
duction to the study of Animal Morphology and 
Physiology. Messrs. Swan Sonnenschein & Co. are 
to be the publishers. 

We have received a report of a lecture by Mr. E. 
Lovett, delivered before the Croydon Microscopical 
and Natural History Club. The subject of the paper 
was the evolution of the fish-hook from prehistoric 
times. 



We must have systematic names in science, we 
cannot communicate our knowledge satisfactorily 
without them, but they are not science. What do 
our readers think of " Amblystoma tigrinum viazwr- 
tium hallowelli suspect um maculatissimum " for a 
systematic name ? But this is the sort of thing held 
out in " Nature," as an example of what trinomialism 
may lead to. It is said that a shortening process has 
been devised, whereby the above may be written 
"(C al ) Amblystoma tigrinum." This looks as if 
scientific knowledge, instead of being open to 
common folk, as it ought to be, "were to be the 
exclusive property of the favoured few, and to be 
hedged round with mystery as it was in the middle 
ages. 

Japan seems at present to be the headquarters of 
earthquake study, and we have fortunately so few 
earthquakes in this country that no such systematic 
attention has been given to them. Meantime the 
one which occurred in the East of England in April 
last year has been turned to good account after the 
event. In the February number of the " Proceedings 
of the Geologists' Association," is a paper with map 
by Mr. R. Meldola, F.R.A.S., on some of its 
Geological aspects. The author, discussing the 
position of the paloeozoic and other rocks below the 
surface, regards the older rocks as not being neces- 
sarily concerned with the origin of the earthquake. 
The disturbance originating below later formations 
was first spread by the harder sub-cretaceous rocks, 
and at the extreme limits the shock was propagated 
along the palaeozoic rocks which acted as mecha- 
nical conductors of the wave, and thus, as it were, 
exaggerated the westward extension of the^effects. 



MICROSCOPY. 

A new Bacillus. — At a recent meeting of the 
Royal Microscopical Society, an account of a new 
Bacillus {B. alvei) was given by Messrs. Cheshire 
and Cheyne. This bacillus is the cause of a serious 
disease which has prevailed among hive bees, exter- 
minating, in some cases, whole stocks ; both larva: 
and bees, including the queen, being affected by it. 
The disease readily yields to treatment, which consists 
in feeding the larva; with syrup containing 1-600 per 
cent, of phenol. 

Micro-organism of Swine-plague. — At a 
meeting in January of the New York Microscopical 
Society it was stated that Dr. Salmon had recently 
demonstrated the presence of micrococcus in Pneumo- 
enteritis, or swine-plague, of which bacilli had been 
said to be characteristic, and that Dr. Sternberg had 
just obtained a pure culture of the micrococcus of 
this disease. 



HA RD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G OS SIP. 



"5 



Staining Nerve and Muscle. — As to the most 
perfect mode of demonstrating the distribution of 
nervous structures microscopists differ. Klein and 
Cohnheim consider that preparation stained with 
chloride of gold will show the ultimate ramifications 
of nerve fibres ; whilst Beale (" Microscope in Medi- 
cine ") says he has never been able to demonstrate 
the final distribution of nerve fibres by the chloride 
of gold stain, but did so by specially preparing the 
specimens and then acting on it with acetic acid. 
Soak the specimen in glycerine for some days, 
beginning with a weak watery solution, and gradually 
increasing the density of the fluid, finishing with 
Price's glycerine, sp. gr. 1240. Now wash the 
tissue with glycerine containing 5 drops of acetic acid 
to the ounce. Put a drop of glycerine, containing 
2 drops of acetic acid to the ounce, on a clean slide, 
place the tissue in it, and apply a thin cover glass. 
Examine with a high power. The prolonged action 
of the acid causes the nerve fibres to become slightly 
granular, and thus to be easily distinguished from the 
tissues in which they ramify. The muscular structures 
of the specimen will also be shown by this mode of 
preparation. — Dunley Owen, B.Sc. 

Examination of Fibres, &c. — The " American 
Monthly Microscopical Journal " for March contains 
a translation, from " Etudes sur les Fibres," by M. 
Vetillart, in which flax, hemp, nettle, cotton, jute, 
phormium, and other fibres are classified and their 
appearance, dimensions, &c, described. The prelimi- 
nary directions given, however, scarcely seem full 
enough, but the translation is not stated to be a 
continuation. 

Crystals for the Polariscope. — It is most 
vexatious that some of these attractive preparations 
should be so fleeting. From my own experience 
this applies to some only, for others appear to be 
just as enduring. I once had a somewhat large 
collection of objects of this class, but as they 
deteriorated I took them to pieces until only a few 
now remain. All crystals containing sulphate of 
copper lost their sharpness in a few weeks, and were 
almost useless in a few months. Sulphate of iron 
also lost its sharpness, but afterwards appeared to 
get no worse, while crystals of oxalurate of ammonia, 
hippuric acid, and salicine are in every respect as 
beautiful and perfect as when prepared some seven or 
eight years ago. That dampness will destroy these 
objects I have had abundant proof; for, once wishing 
to finish off two slides in a hurry, and my brown- 
cement being dried up, I ran a ring of gum-water 
round the cover-glasses and afterwards finished them. 
Shortly, the crystals could be distinctly seen 
dissolving from the outer edge, their gradual dis- 
solution towards the centre being very interesting 
under the microscope. A friend who devoted much 
time to this branch of microscopy once told me that 



pure balsam would preserve crystals, that would 
gradually dissolve if the balsam contained turpentine. 
Perhaps some readers can say whether this is so, or 
whether gum dammar or copal would be a better 
preservative, for any method of micro preparation 
that is not permanent must be very unsatisfactory. — 
J. W. Neville, Handsivortli. 

I venture to ask you to give me space for an appeal 
to brother microscopists in various parts of the world. 
I am desirous of obtaining samples of mud from 
abroad, especially from tropical and sub-tropical 
countries in South America and elsewhere, with a 
view of cultivating them here. I hope, by so doing, 
to bring to light many new forms, both of infusoria 
and rotifera, as the power which these creatures have 
of protecting themselves against changes in external 
conditions is so great. The mud should be taken 
from the surface of the bed of a pond or lake, or 
some similar body of water, preferably from the 
surface of the part which dried up last, and should 
be labelled with the name of the locality. A few 
ounces will be amply sufficient from each spot, and I 
shall be glad to refund any expense incurred in 
forwarding, and to communicate results to the 
senders. — Edward C. Bousficld, 363, Old Kent Road, 
London, S.E. 



ZOOLOGY. 

Astarte Borealis. — I have received amongst 
other shore-shells from the beach at "Warkworth, 
Northumberland, a valve of this shell with a very- 
fresh epidermis. Its condition resembles that of 
specimens taken from a fish's stomach. — R. D. 
Darbishire, in " The Journal of Conchology." 

The Proceedings of the Holmesdale 
Natural History Club for 18S1-2-3, recently 
published, contains an interesting paper by Mr. H. M. 
Wallis, of Reading, on " Character, as one of the 
Causes of the Rarity or Abundance of Different 
Species of Birds." In it the author points out how 
the different qualities of brute courage, "coolness," 
teachableness, and adaptiveness, operate in different 
cases for or against their possessors in the struggle 
for existence. Sparrows drive martins from their 
nests and pigeons from their food, and in the winter 
during stress of weather such boldness would serve 
the sparrow in good stead. The amount of disturb- 
ance birds will tolerate during nesting varies with 
different species, and the more timid a bird is the less 
will be its chance of bringing up its young. The 
Great Auk has been exterminated through its clinging 
to its traditional breeding sites while the Greater 
Shearwater escapes in consequence of its solitary 
habits, so that nothing is known of its nest or eggs. 
Other instances of the adaptive faculties of birds are 
given by Mr. Wallis, whose paper is most readable 



n6 



HA RDWICKE'S SC 1 EA C E-G OSS/ P. 



and interesting. The Proceedings contain also 
reports of many other papers or addresses, together 
with other matter botanical, geological and micro- 
scopical, and accounts of numerous excursions. The 
Holmesdale Club, most of whose members hail from 
Redhill and Reigate, appears to be in a very 
flourishing condition. 

Arion ater, var. bicolor. — This variety which 
I noted in a late number of Science-Gossip, as 
being found near Stroud, and referring to which 
Mr. T. D. A. Cockerell in his note last month 
mentions that I do not give any description of the 
slug, is upon the authority of Mr. Roebuck, the 
recorder for the Conchological Society, to whom I 
sent some specimens, not having noticed it before or 
having means to identify it. He wrote me, that 
though he had it previously sent to him from Ireland, 
this was the first time he had seen it from an English 
locality. Not taking any notes at the time, nor able 
at present to visit the place where I found them, I 
cannot venture upon any accurate description, but, if 
Mr. Cockerell will send me his address, I shall be 
happy to forward him some specimens of this 
interesting variety when I can procure them. I may 
mention here, that the chosen locality of this variety 
seems to be damp marsh spots. Have any readers 
of Science-Gossip, who take an interest in these 
matters, met with a variety of Arion ater, which has 
the wrinkles of the skin and the mantle of a uni- 
colorous ash colour, and the interstices of a much 
lighter colour, almost white, so that when the animal 
is extended it appears much lighter. This I have 
found in company with the common black kind, but 
have not noticed any of an intermediate character. — 
E. y. Elliot, Strou J, Glos. 

Notes on Mollusca, Middlesex and Kent. — 
Limax Levis. On March 29 I found this species in a 
damp spot near the Thames at Twickenham, associ- 
ated with H. pulchella, Z. crystallinus, C. lubrica, 
and Carychium minimum. The river here is very 
prolific in freshwater shells. I have seen the bed at 
lovv water covered with countless specimens of 
Unio pictorum and Anodonta analina, dotted here and 
there with Lim. peregra, Z. aurieularia, Ancylus 
/luviatilis, Paludina vivipara, and Neritina pluvia- 
tdis ; while the grassy banks abound in L. palnstris, 
Z. truncatula, and Snccinea elcgans. On April 5, 
I again met with Limax Icevis living under very 
similar conditions on the banks of the Cray, at St. 
Mary Cray in Kent, this time with Zonites nilidus, 
JT. con a an a, Snccinea elcgans, and S. virescens, as 
well as Z. crystallinus and Car. minimum. The 
river contains Sph. corncum, B. tentaculata, V. 
piseinalis, V. cristata, Plan, vortex, P. contortus, 
P. complanatus, Lim. pcregra, and Z. palnstris. I 
may here mention that Z. lapis is the ninth species 
of slu<r recorded for Middlesex, the others beitis 



Arion ater, A. hortensis, Amalia gagates, A. mar- 
ginaia, LJmax flavus, L. agrestis, L. maxiinus, and, 
last, but not least, Tes/acella haliotidea, v. scutulum, 
which has been found in gardens in various parts of 
the country, including Bedford Park. — Sydney C. 
Cockerell. 



BOTANY. 

Swiss Plants. — Your notice in Science-Gossip 
(January) called my attention to your observation 
about the double dahlia. I have watched the 
enclosed Cyclamen Europaum, apprehending by the 
slowness in its full flower that it would be over- 
powered by the first flower. It has succeeded. This 
plant is cultivated and the second year with me, first 
with the double flower, originally brought to a 
nursery here found only at one place ; up the mountain 
two miles off there I have found it. I have now 
collected over 1000 wild flowers, &c, and having 
duplicates I offered exchange. After five or six years 
search in the four cantons by a celebrated botanist 
here, the result did not exceed 1415 ; a few new ones 
I have found, he has added to the work he had 
published, and is pleased with my searchings. — 
Z. H. C. Russell. 

Helleborus viridis. — Dr. FitzGerald observes 
of this plant : "I was struck with the curious form 
of the stem immediately beneath the flower. It has 
a wrinkled appearance for about half-an-inch." 
Having a number of recently gathered specimens 
before me, March 30, I would remark that while the 
stems immediately beneath the flower have uniformly 
this wrinkled appearance of various length, it is also 
to be observed on the petioles, in one instance I find 
it nearly three inches long. The cuticle of this plant 
seems to be of unusual tenuity, which may account 
for the circumstance mentioned. I am not acquainted 
with the growth of this hellebore at a later stage, 
but hope to note it further on. — F. LL. Arnold. 

Watson Botanical Exchange Club. — We 
have received a Report of this recently formed club, 
the object of which is "to promote more intercourse, 
help, and exchange, between working botanists, and 
particularly with regard to critical species." The 
club already numbers over thirty members, and the 
report contains a long list of desiderata which should 
give them plenty of work during the coming season. 
The hon. sec. is Mr. A. R. Waller, Low Ousegate, 
York. 



A beautiful specimen of the ospiey (Pandion 
haliceetus) visited Copmere in October 1SS2, and 
remained a week on its southern migration. — VV, 
Wells Braden. 



HARDWICKE'S SCJ EJVCE-G OSS/T. 



"7 



GEOLOGY, &c. 

Flint or Stone Implements. — A considerable 
number of flint and stone implements has from time 
to time been found on the top of a ridge of fell-land 
lying between the East and West Allen, about two- 
and-a-half miles south-west of Allendale town. 
Although the number now known to be preserved is 
large, yet the probability is that it does not represent 
a tithe of those which are lost. Until a few years 
ago, the country people living in the district were in 
the habit of picking up these flint implements and 
taking them home to strike a light for their pipe. 
The greatest portion of the implements are composed 
of flint of various colours, white, red, black, Sec, and 
consist principally of arrow heads of various forms, 
leaf shaped, stemmed, double and single barbed, and 
a very few triangular. Some of the double barbed 
are formed with great exactness ; sharply pointed 
with serrated edges and chipped to a fineness almost 
microscopic. The serration is of great precision, 
showing a wonderful uniformity in size, and occur in 
about equal numbers on both edges. Scrapers, 
hatchets, saws, flukes, cores and chippings — the latter 
three being numerous — have also been found. A few 
implements of greenstone have also been found. The 
ground where all these articles have been found 
is covered with a thin deposit of peat of about a foot 
or iS inches in thickness, and it is below this where 
they have been picked up. Similar implements have 
also been found on some of the adjacent Fells ; for 
instance, Kilhope Fell, near Bent-Head, Wellhope 
Fell, Weardale, Langley Mill Fell, Plenmiller Fell, 
&c. — Dipt 011 Burn. 

The Position of Pterichthys. — In the March 
number of the "American Naturalist," Professor E. D. 
Cope gives the results of an examination of numerous 
specimens of P. Canadensis. He points out three 
important peculiarities, the presence of a single 
opening in the middle line above, which is compar- 
able with the "nasal pouch "of the lampreys ; the 
absence of orbits, which condition is comparable with 
that of the lancelet ; and the absence of a lower jaw, 
in which it agrees with both these types. Professor 
Cope finds resemblances between Pterichthys and 
the tunicate Chelyosoma, and thinks that the former 
genus may have descended from such a type as would 
be represented by the larva of Chelyosoma, if that be 
caudate and notochordal as are other Tunicata, and 
especially if the larva? possess lateral limb-like 
processes as in the Appendicularia. The tail has 
been retained in the European form of Pterichthys, 
but no trace was found of it in P. Canadensis. In 
view of the single cephalic opening being the mouth, 
the author considers that this family should be 
removed from the Craniata to the Urochorda. 
Among these, it differs from the Tunicata in having 



the anus in the normal position, and he proposes to 
form a second order of the class to receive it, calling 
the order Antiarcha. Suspecting that /'. Canadensis 
should belong to a genus distinct from P. Milleri, he 
would give it, for the present, Eichwald's name 
Bothriolepis. 

The Granite and Schistose Rocks of 
Northern Donegal. — Dr. Callaway, F.G.S., in a 
paper read before the Geological Society of London, 
considers the Donegal granitic rocks to be a true 
igneous granite, posterior in age to the associated 
schists. No gradation into other rocks was found ; 
where the granite was in contact with limestone the 
latter contained garnets. The granite was distinctly 
foliated, the direction of pressure being perpendi- 
cular to the planes of foliation. The author then 
described the schistose rocks of the region, those of 
the Lough Foyle series, of most of which the semi- 
crystalline condition was characteristic, being well 
seen at Londonderry and on Lough Foyle. This 
series he referred to the Pebidian system. The 
schistose rocks of the Kilmacrenan series, with 
intruave granite, were described as crystalline and 
older than the Lough Foyle group. During the 
discussion which ensued, Mr. Teall and others ex- 
pressed doubts as to the sufficiency of lithological 
composition alone for the correlation of rocks. 

The Relation of Ulodendron to Lepidoden- 
dron, Sigillaria, &c. — At a recent meeting of the 
Geological Society of London, a paper by Mr. R. 
Kidston, F.G.S., was read, in which the author 
expressed the opinion, that the genus Ulodendron of 
Lindley and Hutton included several species and 
even different genera ; the three species which have 
furnished the specimens, usually described as 
Ulodendron, being Lepidodendron Veltheimianum, 
Sternb., Sigillaria discophora, Konig, sp., and 
.S". Taylori, Carruthers, sp. Fie was of opinion that 
the ulodendroid scars marked the point of attachment 
of caducous sessile cones. Mr. Carruthers, in the 
discussion which followed, considered the organs 
borne by these scars to be aerial roots, while Professor 
Boyd Dawkins and Professor Seeley agreed with 
the author that they probably bore seed or fruit 
organs. 

A Recent Tertiary Survival? — At the same 
meeting, a paper by Dr. H. Woodward was read, on 
" Steller's Sea-cow " {Rhytina gigas = R. Slelleri) a 
toothless Herbivore which lived along the shore in 
shallow water. In 1741 it was confined to Behring's 
Island and Copper Island, but it was believed to 
have been wholly extirpated by 1780. Dr. Wood- 
ward regarded Rhytina as a last surviving species of 
the old Tertiary group of Sirenians, and its position 
as marking an "outlier" of the group now swept 
away. 



uS 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Large Unios and Anodons. — In Ossington 
Lake both unios and anodons were extremely abun- 
dant as well as of large size, good food supply, being, I 
suppose, one reason of this profusion. The water is 
very rich in lime, containing i6"2 grains of CaO 
per gallon. This is equal to nearly 29 grains of 
carbonate of lime. Probably a considerable portion 
is in the form of sulphate, as veins of gypsum are 
plentiful in the district ; but I had not a sufficient 
quantity of water to determine this point. I made a 
note of the distribution of the shells, which the 
■ '.raining of the entire lake rendered easy of observa- 
tion. In the upper part I found no shells ; from the 
middle they were abundant. A few were close to the 
edge, about four feet out, a band of from six to ten 
feet wide was closely packed with unios and anodons 
of all sizes. For another couple of yards a few might 
be found. The whole of the middle of the lake was 
bare of shells, except a few empty ones, which had 
probably been carried out by the receding water. The 
only other species observed in this part were one 
.S". lacitstre, and a few L. percgra. — IV. Gain, Tnxford, 
Newark. 

HOLLY-LEAVES. — Professor Henslow, writing to 
" Nature," says that it is not at all usual for hollies 
to lose the spines of their leaves when the latter are 
above the reach of cattle. He had several, from six 
to nearly twenty feet high, and not one had borne an 
unarmed leaf. Sir John Lubbock, in reply, points 
out that Hooker, in the " Student's Flora," says of 
the leaves of holly, "those on the upper branches 
often entire." 

Holly Leaves. — Southey in his beautiful lines on 
the holly tree, published more than half-a-century 
ago, makes the fact the central idea of the poem. 
The second stanza runs thus, 

Below, a circling fence its leaves are seen, 

Wrinkled and keen ; 
No grazing cattle through their prickly round 

Can reach to wound ; 
But, as they grow where nothing is to fear, 
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear. 

— D. S., Exmonth. 

Holly Leaves. — T have frequently noticed that 
old holly-trees tend to lose the spines on their leaves 
when above the reach of browsing cattle, as Sir Tohn 
Lubbock points out. I have noticed it also in old ivy 
bushes, and enclose you three leaves taken from one 
such bush ; the leaves were picked within six inches 
of one another. — M. B. Windiis. 

[Other correspondents have written to similar effect 
as regards holly leaves.] 

Unrecognised Birds.— I am obliged by the 
notice taken of my question by Mr. Kelsall, but I 
am still in the dark, as to my two birds (p. 69). Of 
the waxwing I have a stuffed specimen, and the 
stonechat or wheatear I know very well. Perhaps 
after all my original supposition was correct, viz. 
that they were two foreign birds escaped from 
confinement. The colours were bright and vivid as 
those of the king-fisher. The most noticeable item 
of colour was a distinct and sharply defined purple 
band from the 'base of the beak over the head as far 
as the shoulders. I shall be glad if some one can 
help me in fixing my birds. — //. M., Birkdale. 

Paradise Tree.— I have seen the account of this 
wonderful vegetable curiosity, and though I do not 
know exactly where or when it was published, I 



think I can add a few more "facts '" about it from 
memory : There is only one group of paradise-trees 
in existence, and they form a large perfect circle 
The flowers are exactly like a dove, " every feather 
perfectly represented." For some reason which I 
forget, the flower is never fertilised, and in no other 
manner can any new specimens of the tree be pro- 
duced, so that the circular groove always has consisted 
of the same individuals, and will do till the end ! I 
think the foregoing will show that the ardent botanist 
who wishes to fully and scientifically describe the 
paradise-tree cannot get far wrong so long as he 
makes every item sufficiently miraculous. — //". 
Snowden Ward. 

Paradise Tree.— The dove plant {Pcristeria 
data) mentioned by " M. L. S," is not a deciduous 
orchid, therefore I fail to see how it can be identified 
with the tree described by " F. S." who writes of the 
tree " fading away to ashes." This I take to mean 
simply the leaves dropping off. Even if this were so, 
there would still remain the large pseudo-bulbs, 
which would not correspond with the idea of a plant's 
disappearance. Can your correspondent ' M. L. S.' 
tell us whether the dove plant is epiphytal or 
terrestrial ? I am at present growing it as an 
epiphytal orchid, and have succeeded in flowering it 
under these conditions, but I am unable to say 
myself whether it is a true epiphyte or not. Its very 
large pseudo-bulbs would lead one to consider it an 
epiphytal plant. If this be so, there seems to be more 
reason to identify it with the reputed paradise tree. — 
J. IV. Odell. 

Vegetable Ivory.— M. S. W., Hereford, would 
be glad of information about the perforation by insects 
of vegetable ivory, the nuts of Phytelcphas macrocarpa, 
and whether there are any known means of guarding 
against these ravages. A specimen of the nut, and 
some of the insects, were sent us, the nut being 
bored in all directions, and rendered useless for 
manufacturing purposes. 

Food for Tortoise. — In answer to a query in 
Science-Gossip as to proper food for land tortoise. 
The reason the tortoise mentioned by K. H. I. would 
not eat lettuce was probably because it had left off 
eating for the winter. This they generally do as 
soon as the cold weather sets in, when they make 
preparations for hybernation. I had one two or 
three years, and, although he never hybernated, he 
would not touch a morsel of food throughout the 
winter, from about the middle of September until 
the latter end of April, when his appetite returned, 
and in proportion as the weather got warmer, the 
more ravenously he ate. Roaming at will in the 
garden he would eat of just the choicest plants- 
tiger lilies, pinks, pansies, &c. The proper food ti 1 
give them is any succulent or milky vegetable or 
plant, as lettuce, cabbage, dandelion, milk thistle, 
&c — IV. Finch, jun., Nottingham. 

Food of Tortoises.— Had "W. Maltieu Williams 
been as slovenly a gardener as myself, he would 
doubtless have learned a fact or two in natural history 
of which his prim and well-kept lawn has evidently 
held him in ignorance. It appears from his accoun! 
of the tortoise which fed upon his fine grasses and 
clover, that these alone fail to impart the robustness 
requisite for withstanding the severity of our wintei. 
Perhaps, also, he has not in the middle of his lawn, as 
I have, a number of the old-fashioned fuchsia bushes, 
surrounding a rockery, and offering a tempting retreat 
where a tortoise can burrow, and find a comfortable 
winter's bed. It is seven years next summer, since, 



EARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



119 



in passing " up " the " High Street " of Deal, a street 
-everal feet lower than any of the rest, and perfectly 
level, I observed an Italian with a truck-load of 
crawling tortoises, which he was offering for sale. 
It was a sight calculated, and perhaps intended, to 
excite compassion. At all events, it did mine, with 
the result that I sported a shilling, in order that one, 
at all events, should taste the sweets of liberty. Being 
placed upon my lawn, it soon found itself "in clover," 
such a rare variety of food as, I presume, seldom falls 
to the lot of an alien tortoise. There were docks and 
plantains, milfoil and mallows, daisies, duckweed, 
and dove's-foot, trefoil, groundsel, and dandelion. 
Many of these, with an occasional snap at the young 
grasses and clover, were quickly utilised ; but the 
prime favourite, and the only food I can ever persuade 
it to take from my hand is the dandelion, especially 
the flower. In fact, it is to the dandelion I attribute 
the creature's preservation. It is now buried beneath 
one of the fuchsias, from which I hope to see it 
emerge. — J. IVallis, Deal. 

A Musical Mouse. — E. P. Turner writes referring 
to a recent occasion on which a singing sound, heard 
in the house of a friend, was said to proceed from a 
mouse in the wall. Some little time after, a guinea 
pig which had been injured by a cat was obliged to 
lie drowned. It had kept up almost unceasingly, 
except when moved, a singing sound. "This sound 
struck me as being very similar to the singing of the 
mouse. I held a post-mortem examination on the 
body and detected two small holes in the skin on the 
left side, where the cat's teeth had entered and pene- 
trated as far as the lung, round which there was a 
quantity of gore indicating the rupture of one or two 
blood vessels. Its left fore-leg was also broken int\vo 
places. From the lung being damaged I drew the con- 
clusion that this was the cause of the singing sound." 

Bird's nesting-habits. — I believe it is generally 
taken for granted that our song-birds and migrants 
are in the habit of seeking mates every season, and 
not keeping to the same mate year after year. I do 
not know that any author, standard or otherwise, 
actually states this, but the fact of the raven remain- 
ing paired for life is mentioned, as if it were an 
extraordinary and exceptional fact. Now, in the face of 
this general understanding, and the very noticeable 
frequency with which exactly the same nest-sites are 
used year after year by the same species of bird, it 
would seem as if a wide field is opened for practical 
observation during the present spring. I think the 
conclusion arrived at will be that, almost, if not quite 
all birds are fairly constant in their attachment. If 
this is not so, we must conclude that the regularly 
recurring use of a nesting-site is due either to its very 
apparent suitability for the purpose, or to the return of 
one bird of the last year's pair. In the latter case it 
would be interesting to know whether the old site is 
in bird-law considered the property of the cock or 
the hen. Possibly it is inherited by one of the 
youngsters. — H. Snowden ]Vard. 

The Star of Bethlehem. — Mr. Swinton 
appeared to have a difficulty in accepting the 
explanation of the " Star of the Magi " which I had 
adopted from St. Chrysostom, viz. that it was a 
miraculous appearance in the form of a star, because 
the sacred narrative does not expressly state this. 
But surely it is the manner of the Scriptures to speak 
of celestial phenomena according to their appearances. 
No one supposes that during the battle of Beth-horon 
the sun actually stood upon Gibeon, or the moon in 
the valley of Ajalon ; but they appeared to remain in 
the parts of the heavens over those places longer than 



usual, and the immediate cause which produced this 
appearance is not recorded. But let me refer Mr. 
Swinton to a place in the New Testament where the 
very word star is certainly used for something made 
to represent the appearance of one. In Acts vii. 43, 
St. Stephen (quoting from the prophet Amos) says 
that the Israelites, when wandering in the wildernes 5 
carried with them, amongst other idolatrous images, 
the star of the god Remphan (in the revised version 
Rephan), which is thought to be a name of the planet 
Saturn. Most certainly they did not carry the star, 
but something intended to be an image, representation, 
or likeness of it. — IV. T. Lynn, Blackheath. 

A Choked Perch. — Curiously enough, last 
summer, 1884, a large perch {Percafluviatilis, Yarrell). 
ten inches long, was found in a pond, choked by a 
small perch. A suitable punishment for cannibalism, 
and which happens, no doubt, more frequently than is 
usually thought to be the case. — E. A., Hertfordshire, 



NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than formerly, we cannot un- 
dertake to insert in the following number any communications 
which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the "exchanges " offered are fan- 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken of our gratuitous insertion of 
"exchanges" which cannot be tolerated. 

We request that all exchanges may be signed with name (or 
initials) and full address at the end. 



C. C. D.— See Dr. M. C. Cooke's "Ponds and Ditches," 
published at is. 6d. by the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge. There is no cheap book on Algae. A most elabo- 
rate work by Dr. Cooke is now appearing in 2s. 6d. parts, 
coloured plates. An older book is Dr. Hassall's, of which a 
secondhand copy is sometimes obtainable. Works on Diatoms 
are rare and costly, Smith's " Diatomaceae " fetching several 
times its original value. Leucojum Carpathicum is not a British 
plant ; L. eestivum is the English form. 

A. A. and W. C. C —The exchange columns are intended 
for exchanges, not sales. 

E. H. R. — (1) See our last number. (2) Write to the secretary 
of the Botanical Record Club, Mr. C. Bailey, F.L.S., Ashfield, 
College Road, Whalley Range, Manchester. (3) Probably 
Mr. Bailey will be able to help you in this. (4) Apply to Dr. 
Carrington, Eccles, near Manchester, who is the authority on 
the Hepaticae. 

H. Lamb. — Dried specimens look like (1) Carex glauca; 
(2) Luzula pilosa ; (3) Luzula Forstcri (?) ;. (4) a Lepidium (?). 

W. (Dorsetshire). — (1) The scientific name of cup moss is 
Cenomyce (Scyphophorus) pyxidata. (2) For Dr. Braithwaite's 
" Moss Flora," apply direct to the author, 303 Clapham Road, 
London. The price varies. 

R. A. H. — Perhaps " The Fresh and Salt Water Aquarium," 
by J. G. Wood (Routledge), will answer your purpose. For 
the other, get " Ponds and Ditches," by Dr. M. C. Cooke 
(Sor. Prom. Christian Knowledge). 

In Science-Gossip for 1879-81, the names and addresses 
are given of assisting naturalists who are willing to help 
others in their respective subjects. Will correspondents take 
note of these ? Also see the notice in this number of the 
Botanical Exchange Club. The subscription is is. 6d. per 
annum. 

Will Mr. J. E. Ady be so good as to furnish his correct 
address for publication in this column? 

J. G. — We are not aware that Mr. Stevenson's work on 
British fungi is actually published yet. Perhaps Mr. Steven- 
son himself will supply us with the publisher's name. 

D. B. — Doubtful. Your specimens were too far gone to be 
satisfactory. 

W. S. — Thanks for yours. 

Blossoming of the Artichoke. — On this and on the origin 
of the name Jerusalem as applied to it, see vol. i. of Science- 
Gossip. 

Initials Lost. — It appears that neither Le Maout and 
Decaisne nor Sachs mention the nectaries of ferns. 

For Zwite, p. 54, read Twite. 



I 20 



RARDWICKE'S SClEftCE-GOSSlP. 



EXCHANGES. 

Good botanical, histological, crystals, polariscopic, diatoms, 
fish scales and miscellaneous, microscopic slides for others as 
good of bacilli, entozoa, algae, desmids, zoophytes, rocks, fossil 
woods.— B. Wells, Dalmain Road, Kore<t Hill. 

Science-Gossip for 1883 unbound. What offers? Also 
Cassell's "Technical Educator," 24 parts, unbound. what 
offers?— W. C. C, 342 Green Lanes, Finsbury Park, London, N. 

Science-Gossip, bound volumes, one each of 1873 to 1879, 
two of 1880. Exchange for other books, &c— 6S Middle Street, 
Yeovil. 

Wanted, Rye's " British Beetles," and works on entomology. 
Exchange other works on kindred subjects.— Frederick Bishop, 
50 Bartholomew Street, Leicester. m-i.ii 

Wanted, specimens of carboniferous bmestone from froghall 
and Gloucester, good value given in either other rocks, ready 
for mounting, or well-mounted objects, anatomical or otherwise, 
also pieces of horn of rhinoceros, bison, &c, for cutting sections 
from.— R. M., 59 Hind Street, Poplar, London, E. 

A herbarium of British plants numbering over 1000 speci- 
mens, and including most of the rarest species, all uniformly 
mounted and labelled ; in return, British or other Lepidoptera, 
3 r books on natural history.— J. E. Robson, Hartlepool; 

Large telescope, with tripod stand and brass elevating rod, 
in exchange for turniture or pier glass, framed or not.— E. E., 
4 Padua Road, Penge, London, S.E. 

British land and freshwater shells in exchange for others, 
duplicates and desiderata numerous : also British land and 
freshwater for British marine or foreign marine, land, or 
freshwater species.— W. Gain, Tuxford, Newark. 

Wanted, eggs of insects of all kinds, also parasites of birds, 
fishes &c, or any other good micro material; will give well- 
mounted slides in exchange. — C. Cullins, Bristol House, 
Harlesden, N.W. . . 

Wanted, to purchase the following dried specimens of 
British ferns, viz. : Polypodium alpcstre, Gymnogramma Up- 
tophylla, Aspidium tlielypteris, Asplenium fontanum, Asple- 
i,ii, in Germanicum, Cystopteris montana.—C. F. Oakiey, Lee 
Street, Uppermill, near Oldham. 

Fossils from the Mt. limestone, London clay, \\ enlock teds, 
Great Oolites, chalk infr., Oolites, coal measures, Woolwich 
beds, in exchange for fossils from Teriiary (animal remains), 
Eracklesham, flint implements, or fossil fish from chalk.— 
Geo. E. East, jun., 10 Basinghall Street, London, E.C. 

Wanted, old volumes of Science-Gossip, and the fob owing 
odd numbers: 1S81, Jan. to May, inclusive, and July, August, 
and Sept.; 1882, f-ept., Nov., Dec; 1883, April and May; 
1884, Feb., July, Aug. and Sept. Micro objectives, appliances, 
and material also wanted ; will give in return micro slides or 
British and foreign birds' skins.— Fred Lee-Carter, 25 Lands- 
downe Terrace, Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne. _ 

Foraminifera.— Haliphysema tumanowiczn and Hapio- 
fihragmium agglutinans offered in exchange for other rare 
vpec j es ._F. W. Mellett, Marazion, Cornwall. 

Aouaru-m, 34X15X15. stand slates and rockwork ; will 
exchange for cabinet suitable for minerals.— H. W., 39 Lrower 
Street, Bedford Square, W.C. , . 

Coins or medals wanted. What offers for twenty-four micro- 
scope slides? Six or more exchanged for others. Send list.— 
Henry E. Ebbage, Frnmlingham, Suffolk. 

Nos. i to 54, of "Knowledge" (No. 22 missing) ; will ex- 
change for minerals, fossils,' or micro slides 10 value.— R. H., 
8 Draycott Street, Chelsea, S.W. _ 

Cassell's "Dante," Dore's engravings, perfect condition, 
unbound. Wanted, first-class microscopical objects, scientific 
books, or apparatus.— G. E. Cox, Capworth Street, Leyton. 

Aquantitv of micro slides, well-mounted and of various 
subjects, to exchange for books, micro accessories, shells, or 
curios.— Alfred Drapper, 275 Abbey Dale Road, Sheffield. _ 

Several well-mounted slides (chiefly botanical and micro 
fungi) to exchange for others; or will exchange for books on 
chess, or for scientific works and appliances. — J. W. Horton, 
Bravford Wharf, Lincoln. 

Wanted, good secondhand entomological cabinet ; exchange 
miscellaneous natural history objects, &c. List sent. Silence 
negative.— F. R. Rowley, 60 Lower Hastings Street, South- 
fields, Leicester. 

Lepidostrohiis variabilis fruit of Lepidodendron ; fair ex- 
amples of this I am willing to give for Trilobita or other good 
characteristic Silurian fossils.— A. Eneas Robertson, 3 Hillhead 
Gardens, Glasgow. 

Wanted, back volumes of Science-Gossip or Nature in 
exchange for forty-nine parts (clean and unbound) of " Concho- 
logia Iconica," published by Mr. Lovell Reeve, containing 
upwards of 3000 life-size figures beautifully hand coloured. Or 
what offers? Write first to— S. J. W., 22 Richmond Terrace, 
Clnpham Road, London. . . , _ . , 

Wanted, examples of the British Limnseae from as many 
different localities as possible ; other British shells in exchange. 
— S C. Cockerell, 51 Woodstock Road, Bedford Park, Chiswick. 

Desiderata: northern British (esp.) and foreign shells. 
Duplicates: H. revelata, H . aspcrsa,\3X. tennis, H. pisana, 
//. laiicida, H aliotis tuberculata, PI. nautileus, contortus, 
corneus, Calyptra-a chinensis, B. Leachu, H. vcntrosa, H. 
nine, &c— B. Tomlin, Pembroke College, Cambridge. 



Several fair duplicates of that rare and lovely butterfly, 
Morpho aurora from Bolivia ; also some other South American 
species lately considered unprocurable ; also wings of brilliant 
species for microscopic work. Morplio Cypris exhausted for 
the present; unanswered applicants kindly accept this notice. — 
Hudson, Railway Terrace, Cross Lane, Manchester. 

'" Knowledge," from Oct. 271b, 1882, to Dec. 26th, 1884, 11S 
numbers in all; also Wood's (Rev. J. G.) "Insects Abroad," 
600 illustrations, cloth ; wanted, a good microscope, or what 
offers? — John Inglis, 12 Glen Street, Edinburgh. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip for 1883, also Jan. and Feb. 1884, 
in exchange for vols, xxxviii. (less Nos. 1 to j\ xxxix., and xl. 
of "English Mechanic," all in clean condition. — F. Stainton, 
New Street, Chatteris, Cambs. 

Wan 1 ed, small batches of Helix nemoralis and //. hortensis 
from different soils: shells or phnts given in exchange. — H. P. 
Fitzgerald, M.C.S., North Hall, Basingstoke. 

Waisted, to exchange British plants; lists exchanged. 
Likewise Biitish land and freshwater shells. — H. P. Fitzgerald, 
M.C.S., North Hall, Basingstoke. 

Whll-mounti-d teeth of the Leuciscus rutilus (showing 
anchylosis) in excharge for other well-mounted slides. — Charles 
Arnold, L.D.S., 8 St. John's Villas, New Southgate, N. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip from beginning of 1865 to end of 
1884, either bound or in loose numbers; and also any other 
microscop : cal books or journals. State what is wanted in ex- 
change for them.— Charles Von Eiff, jun., 347 Greenwich Street, 
New York City. 

A SThONG tricycle, in excellent order, cost 21 guineas ; will 
take a good microscope or botanical works in part or whole 
payment. Front steering wheel, central gearing, saddle and 
treadles, ball-bearings. — J. Hamson, 19 Victoria Road, Bedford. 
Well-mounted micro slides for exchange ; diatoms, ento- 
mology, micro-fungi, &c. Lists exchanged. Shall be pleased 
to hear from former correspondents. — Dr. Moorhead, Lrrigle, 
Cootehill, Ireland. 

Fine healthy cock canary, sweet singer, in exchange for a 
good book on British mosses, also a splendid large hen canary 
for a book on lichens or liverworts.— E. A. M. W., 31 Aynhoe 
Road, West Kensington Park, W. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip, any of the following numbers:— 
1-34, 51, 52, 55-59, 67,68, 72, 76, 83, 84. Also any odd numbers 
of "Zoologist," "Entomologist," "Entomologist's Monthly 
Magazine," or Loudon's "Magazine of Natural History." 
Good exchange given in micro slides, birds' eggs (one hole), 
books, magazines, periodicals, &c— W. T. Taylor, Seymour 
House, Keswick. 

Eggs of osprey, grosbeak, grebe, petrel, cuckoo, woodpecker, 
and tern offered for others not in collection.— J. T. T. Reed, 
Ryhope, Durham Co. 

For specimens of Dreisscna polymorpha, Pall., send box and 
stamped addressed envelope to— J. M. Campbell, Kelvmgrove 
Park, Glasgow. 

Eggs of Sterna hirundinacea, Less., from Patagonia, 111 
exchange for other natural history objects. Accepted offers 
replied to per return.— J. M. Campbell, Kelvingrove Park, 
Glasgow. 

Wanted a fine healthy cock and hen bullfinch or extra fine 
cock only, will exchange any of the following: " English 
Mechanic," Nos. 758-796, nos. 788, 776, 770 790 missing. Gray s 
" Natural Arrangement of British Plants," in 2 vols, with 21 
plates. " Boy's Own Paper," either vol. 3, 4. 5. or 6, in monthly 
parts with plates and index. Vols. i. and 11. of Inuson s 
"Elements of Science and Art," bound in tree-calf.— W. S. 
Castle-Turner, 6 Dagnall Park Terrace, Selhurst, S.E. 

BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED. 

"The Metaphysical Aspect of Natural History," by Dr. 
Stephen Monckton (.London : H. K. Lewis).— " Science.' — 
"The Botanical Gazette."— " The American Monthly Micro- 
scopical Journal."— " The Naturalist."-" Feuille des Jeunes 
Naturalistes." — " The Midland Naturalist."- " Journal of 
Microscopy and Natural Science."— " Journal of the Health 
Society " (Calcutta).—" Ben Brierley's Journal. — Report of 
the Mitchell Library, Glasgow," 1884.-" Results of Twenty 
Years' Observations on Botany, Entomology, Ornithology^nd 
Meteorology," taken at Marlborough College, 1865-1884.— L,e 
Monde de la Science."-" Journal of the New York Microsco- 
pical Society."—" Revista Scientifica."— " Journal of the Royal 
Microscopical Society." 

Communications received up to iith ult. from:- 
C. F. O.-G. F. H.-C. C. D.-W. H. H -A. A -W. G.- 
G. A. A.-M. S. W.-H. C. B.-J. H.-E. L.-T. M.R.- 
T G— G A R.-T. E. A.-E. H. R.— F. B.-A.A.-F.H.A. 
-AH S-R D--M. B. W.-E. H.-W. C. C.-C C- 
H r G-F. W. C—R. M.-J. E. R.-W. A. P.-S. J. Mel. 
-DB-C H R-A. R. W.-A. H.-J. W.-C. P.- 
w H P -R A H.-J. W. N.-E. C. B.-S. C. C.-W. S— 
H.' £ B.-T.- W. O.-B. B. L T.-R ■ W. G.-D S.-H M. 
— T H M — C. A.— F. S.— H.— A. E. R — H. P. F. G.— 
P, T-G E C-R. H.-S. J. W.-J. W. H.-J. M.C.- 
FR - R-g'e E.-F. L. C.-E. A. M. W.-F. W. M- 
H W -H E. E.-W. T. T.-J. I.-W. S. C. T.-A. D.- 
J. T. T. R.— C. V. E.— E. H., &c. &c. 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 




E.T.D.cLeL&cLiial 



7mceatBrool£s,Day & SimMh- 



SEEDS OF LOVE-LIES-BLEEDING. 

* 25. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



12 r 




GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T. DRAPER 



No. XVIII. — Seeds of Love-lies-bleeding {Amaranthus caudatus). 




UR plate exhibits 
simply the external 
character and 
appearance of an 
elegant seed, as seen 
with a moderate 
power under the 
microscope. From 
this aspect the 
subject is intro- 
duced, to invite 
attention to an 
attractive class of 
e a s ily-p rocured 
objects, showing 
elegance of form 
and colour. 

The microscopist, 
however, contem- 
plates a seed with 
deeper significance, its hidden mystery, its absolute 
totality, an independent whole, involving an embryo 
lying dormant (often for years), but ready, under 
favourable surroundings, to start a new plant true to 
its species. At such a point it may be interesting to 
devote a few preliminary lines in an attempt to de- 
scribe what may be seen of this compacted quiescence 
when set in action by the force of germination, and 
revealed by the instrument. 

In a dry, intact seed, the embryo of the future 
plant is hidden beyond the power of observation, 
but when subjected to external influences alterations 
commence. At this stage, examination leads the 
imagination to what may have been the primary 
condition ; a germ, enclosed in a simple and minute 
cylindrical body of dense organisation hardly pre- 
senting a trace of complicated or differentiated 
structures, and only when influenced by moisture 
and moderate heat the mysterious principle "ger- 
mination " sets in ; changes appear by the gradual ab- 
sorption and elimination of the surrounding and pro- 
tecting provision ; the embryo then breaks through the 
No. 246.— June 1885. 



integuments and acquires a distinct vascular, tubular, 
and cellular organisation ; this process, or develop 
ment, may be observed. A grain of corn, although 
partaking more of the character of a fruit than a seed, 
is peculiarly adapted for experiment ; by soaking in 
water for a few hours germination is quickly pro- 
moted ; to see the acme of interest, it must not be 
carried too far, in fact, just started ; thin transparent 
sections cut from the centre of the grain in the direc- 
tion of the axis, and placed under a thin glass cover 
in a drop of glycerine jelly or chloride of calcium, 
will exhibit developments which may be assumed to 
be analogous to the germination of other seeds ; a 
minute sheath, or sac, formed by the single cotyledon, 
which represents the undeveloped leaves, will be seen, 
enclosing the plumule, the rudiment of the ascending 
growth ; outside the sheath, the radicle, the nascent 
descending axis. These organs, still confined within 
the seed, or at least, only just breaking through the 
pericarp or outer skin, are sustained by the exhaustion 
of the albumen of which the greater part of the seed 
consists, stored in cells — reservoirs of nutriment, 
starches, oils, and other matters in varied combina- 
tions. Cuttings from grains, soaked in water, taken 
at successive periods, exhibit phases or progresses of 
development. But, from an embryological point of 
view, microscopical interest is lost after the initial 
process is past ; the albumen cells then become 
exhausted and effete, and the minute stem and root 
push forth and assume the character of a plant, 
entirely dependent on external resources. A trans- 
verse section cut through the point of a germinating 
grain shows the cotyledon like a pale oval border, 
surrounding the minute and compacted convoluted 
tissues, which afterwards become the leaves of the 
plumule. 

The gay and persistent blossoms of the somewhat 
weedy shrub-like Amaranthus caudatus (love-lies- 
bleeding) are prominently attractive in old-fashioned 
gardens ; the fruit is a utricle, a seed vessel with a 
loose rind, or pericarp ; rubbed off, or winnowed, it 
reveals the object, as seen in the illustration ; i.i 

G 



122 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



colour, of delicate intermingled pinks and yellows 
with the embryo curved, like an annulus round the 
circumference of a central store of farinaceous albu- 
men ; the object well displays the hilum, or scar of 
union with the mother plant. 

The integuments of seeds are composed of structu- 
ral membranes of significant interest ; after soaking, 
and in some cases boiling, they may be teased out, 
and excellent preparations secured ; the disclosure 
of spiral tissue in the testa of the seeds of Cobcea, 
and Collomia, an oft-repeated demonstration, still 
retains its old interest ; a thin particle cut from the 
surface, placed in a drop of water, between glasses, 
will disclose positive action ; cells bursting, and 
imprisoned coils darting forth in all directions. 

Of seeds, in their simple and natural integrity, as 
objects of beauty, may be mentioned : poppy and 
mignonette, showing reticulations ; Eccremocarpus 
scaler, with membranous wings ; this seed mounted 
in balsam is a fine polariscope object. Antirrhinum 
majus (snap-dragon) roughly corrugated ; the seeds 
of the carrot have curious radiating processes ; those 
of wild indigenous plants are always attractive, and 
exhibit marked peculiarities ; Goose-grass, covered 
with equidistant hooks ; Burr-reed with four ribs 
running longitudinally, terminating in projections, 
each armed with a double row of barbs ; even chick- 
weed has a spinous seed, worth looking at. As 
regards configuration the most striking are the 
reniform, and the obovate, as in the larkspur, 
marked with prominent irregular ridges. 

The following carefully selected list of microscopic 
seeds, as showing peculiarities in great variety, is 
extracted from the " Micrographical Dictionary'' 
(Van Voorst). 

Hypericum, Lychnis, Stellaria, Reseda, Lepidium, 
Nigella, Erica, Anagallis, Orobanche, Linaria, 
Chironia, Gentiana, Datura, Nicotiana, Petunia, 
Sedum, Saxifraga, Capparis, Elatine, Gesnera, 
Begonia, Delphinium, Scrophularia, Antirrhinum, 
Maurandya, Sphenogyna, Hyoscyamus, Semper- 
vivum, Silene, Dianthus, Papaver, Digitalis. 

Seeds perfectly dry and clean, require little or no 
preparation, as opaque objects ; the beauty of many, 
as Drosera, Hydrangea, Pyrola, Orchis, and very 
minute specimens, is much enhanced by mounting in 
balsam in a cell, after a washing in spirit of turpen- 
tine, in this -way, the edges or any projecting parts, 
as hairs, spines, corrugations, hooks, &c, are within 
reach of the dark ground illumination, which added 
to condensed light from above, brings out their 
perfect beauty, with binocular vision, presenting a 
solidity eminently adapting them for artistic study 
and practice as models of form, colour, and shadow. 

Crouch End. 

A new volcano is said to have been discovered in or 
near the government of Smolensk in Russia, and to 
have been showing signs of activity. 



ARTISTIC GEOLOGY. 

Ffestiniog and its Neighbourhood. 

By T. Mellard Reade, F.G.S., &c. 

[Continued from p. 113.] 

JT) WLCH Drzus Ardudwy. — We may devote a 
-L-) good long day to this excursion, which will, with 
fine weather, well repay the geological student no less 
than the lover of scenery. Taking an early train to 
Trawsfynydd on the railway to Bala, we get on to the 
main road from Maentwrog to Dolgelly. About two 
miles frcm the station, and about half-a-mile before 
turning off to the right, on the east side of the road, 
is an outcrop of the Cambrian rocks, here of a blue 
slaty nature, the direction of dip being from west to east, 
which it will be well to bear in mind. Turning off 
along an unfrequented road, we cross the Afon Eden 
by a foot bridge, and about a mile onwards we cross 
an extensive surface of bare rock having a dip about 
nine degrees north-west ; but it varies, as the surface 
is part of an anticlinal curve. No glacial strice are 
to be seen, but the smoothness of the rock may never- 
theless be due to glacial action. 

It may be as well here to observe that we have 
been walking along, and then across a valley denuded 
out of an anticlinal and situated at a very considerable 
altitude, as any one who walks from Maentwrog will 
find out before he gets to Trawsfynydd. This valley 
is a wide trough, running north and south, occupied 
entirely by Cambrian rocks, out of which, indeed, it 
has been scooped. 

The eastern side is for a considerable distance 
bounded by a fault which must pass very near to 
Trawsfynydd station, though I did not see it. This 
elevated valley is remarkable, inasmuch as it is 
divided into two watersheds, the southern part being 
drained by the Afon Eden towards Dolgelly into the 
Mawddach, and the northern by the Afon Pryser, 
which rises in the Silurians to the east, and flows, 
after passing round the village of Trawsfynydd to the 
estuary below Maentwrog, discharging over the 
beautiful falls of the Rhiadr Ddu before alluded to. 

From the smoothed rocks we left off at to describe 
the valley, there is a gradual ascent to the Drws 
Ardudwy, which is a wild pass between Rhinog 
Mawr and Rhinog Fach, two grand Cambrian 
mountains. As we traverse the pass, or the " gates " 
of the Ardudwy, we are going in a south-westerly 
direction. From the time of entrance between the 
Rhinogs to the summit of the pass, we are still 
rapidly ascending. Beyond the summit we may rest 
to survey the prospect, taking care to have a good big 
block of stone behind us, for the wind blows keenly 
through this mountain channel. Looking back, that 
is to the north-east, we have a sublime view of the bare 
and somewhat terraced flank of Rhinog Fawr. The 
grandeur of the scene is due to the enormous mass of 
rock which is almost devoid of vegetation, and the 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



123 



blocks of grit scattered profusely about and around us 
in wild confusion. 

Examining the stone, after fracture with the 
hammer, we find it is a bluish-grey grit, largely 
composed of felspathic materials and almost crystal- 
line. Indeed, at first sight, one would take some of 
the Cambrian beds to be felstone, but a careful 
examination will show the rounded grains of which 
it is composed, and assure us of its clastic character. 
Some of the blocks which have been detached from 
the precipices above are well worthy of study, as the 
grit contains in some cases veins of slate, usually of a 
greenish colour, which by weathering exhibit the 
cleavage distinctly, though the grit is unaffected by it. 
In one block I counted no less than six bands of slate, 
all cleaved in the same direction, the intermediate 
grit showing no signs of cleavage. In another case 
the weathering brought out current bedding in the 
grit itself, though a more unlikely material to display 
this structure it would be difficult to conceive. 

There is no doubt that geology tends to the 
enjoyment of scenery, for many years] ago, before I 
had practically worked at the science, I visited this 
spot and made a sketch of the pass, approaching it 
from Llanbedr ; but it did not yield me the same 
pleasure then as on my last visit, even discounting the 
fact that on the first occasion a horridly cold wind 
was blowing through the pass, and on the last the 
day was sunny and bright. 

After lingering to enjoy this wild scenery we had 
to turn our faces homewards, but not before being 
passed by three travellers, one a lady with approved 
Alpine-stock, who walked briskly and in good style 
through the pass. I could not help admiring the 
swing at which they were going, and watched them 
as far as the eye could follow, curiously wondering in 
what way the scenery affected them. Their feelings, 
however, were a sealed book, for they looked not to 
the right hand nor to the left, nor heavenwards, 
towards the summits of the mountains. They were 
evidently "doing their distance," and could not be 
troubled with such frivolities as scenery ! Still, no 
doubt, they expatiated on the grandeur of the scenery 
when they arrived at their destination, — and had 
time. 

The sun was now getting lower in the heavens, 
and the Rhinogs with the range extending to 
Diphwys was dyeing deep purple, showing sharply in 
outline against the western sky. The structure was 
well displayed ; long low curves ending in scarps 
taking a direction a little eastward of north, showing 
that the strata is not bent merely into parallel folds, 
but has a curvature in a minor degree along its major 
axis. Arriving at the Dolgelly road, we sat down to 
survey and sketch Cader Idris. Lighted up by the 
afternoon sun, the long escarpment showed every 
detail of its furrowed side, exhibiting a marked 
contrast to the forms of the Cambrian mountains we 
had been studying. The golden face and purple 



shadows of Cader were appropriately set off by a 
foreground of bright green turf, with a little farm- 
house and group of trees to the right distinctly 
outlined against the mountain background. Arrived 
at the Trawsfynydd station, while waiting for the 
train we had ample time to watch the soft rosy light 
of evening overspread the scene, while the mountains 
beyond the Rhinogs shone in light golden tint, 
intensified by the dark deep purple of the Cambrian 
range to the right. This was truly, though gained by 
considerable walking, a red-letter day. 



FEATURES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF 
FFESTINIOG. 

Next to Moelwyn, the most prominent objects near 
Ffestiniog are [the two Manods. One is struck by 
the contrast of form they exhibit as compared with 
Moelwyn and other Snowdonian mountains. A 
geological examination shows that they are in greater 
part carved out of massive felspathic porphyry, 
estimated by Ramsay at 1500 feet thick. This rock, 
as may be seen on a smaller scale, weathers into 
rounded forms, the Manods being, in fact, bossy hills 
formed by denudation from a bed of igneous rock, 
ejected during the deposition of the Llandeilo beds, 
upon the lower beds of which they repose. These 
beds are altered by contact, whereas the slaty beds 
above are unaltered. (See section, p. 54. Memoir of 
Geo. of North Wales.) 

An instructive example of the rounded form into 
which this rock weathers may be seen in a hill near 
the slate quarry above Llyn Morwynion, from which 
lake the water supply of Ffestiniog is obtained. A 
climb up to Llyn-y-Manod, a small tarn lying in the 
hollow between the two Manods, will repay the 
exertion. Good views over Cardigan Bay and 
towards Harlech Castle are obtained. The mountain 
is seen to be covered with angular blocks of stone, 
derived from its own mass. The rock weathers with 
a rough white crust forming with the lichens thereon 
a beautiful gray tint in the distance, with the faintest 
dash of purple therein. Underneath the crust is a 
reddish-brown iron stain, which no doubt is washed 
out of the outer skin of the stone. The talus of 
broken blocks are not bad climbing, being filled in 
between with soil and turf, but unfortunately we had 
not time to get to the summit. When we started on 
this journey, clouds and mists covered the vale, which, 
gradually lifting, showed the bright green vegetation 
bathed in the sunlight below. 

(To be co 11 fin ued.) 



The American Monthly Microscopical 
Journal for April contains the first part of a pro- 
visional key to the classification of freshwater alga 3 , 
by the editor, Mr. Romyn Hitchcock, F.R.M.S. 

G 2 



124 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



FERTILISATION OF ORCHIS MASCULA. 

By Edward Malan. 

[Continued front p. 102.] 

THE tubers, I believe, behave pretty much as I de- 
scribed. Most of the plants that I have taken up 
in April, have been about 2 inches below the surface. 
In August it is exceedingly difficult to find the tubers, 
as there is absolutely nothing above ground to assist 
your search, and although I have frequently marked 
the place and position of plants in April, yet I have 
been disappointed when I returned four months later. 
You may dig, and you may dig, but nothing will you 
find. Why is this ? Clearly the tubers descend ; 
and the reason of this descent is to prevent premature 
germination, which, if allowed to proceed without 
the proper interval of rest, considerably weakens the 
plant of the following year. The case of the tuber 
that I mentioned as being deeply planted, was an 
experiment, and it was purposely prevented from 
rising, by being kept at a uniform depth of 3 inches 
below the surface. The result was very disastrous to 
the plant, but the new tubers grew better when the 
leaves were above ground. The drawings which I 
made at the time can be seen. 

Lastly, as to the breaking of the stem affecting the 
flower of the new tuber. Here G. M. has not 
quoted my words correctly. Breaking the stem 
certainly cripples the plant of the following year, and 
prevents its flowering ; at least, I have only observed 
one exception to this, and the notes that I made can 
be had for the asking. But I did not say that I saw 
a perfectly healthy plant minus its tubers : I said 
tuber. This rather alters G. M.'s case against me. 

Now let me go out and select a plant of O. mascula 
and let me explain what I mean. [One hour 
occupied in finding a plant.] This one that I have 
found (March 9th, 1885) will just do. Clear away 
the soil carefully, and do not break a single root. 
Then proceed to vivisect the victim. Just place 
your knife, my classic Ajax, where it will cut 
sharpest, and divide the plant in half, leaves, tubers 
and all. There, the thing is done, and this drawing 
is a faithful representation of the result. We will 
call the left-hand tuber (i.e. the tuber of 1884-5) A ; 
and we will call the right-hand tuber (i.e. the tuber 
of 18S5-6) B; evidently the plant arises from A; 
evidently B has no independent existence as yet. 
Accordingly A answers to the old tuber of my 
description, and B answers to the new. There can 
be no mistake now. 

Last autumn, while men were slumbering and 
sleeping and caring very little for this particular 
tuber, the silent processes of life were at work, and 
A took courage and started the thing going. First 
of all the embryo, containing the leaves and spike, 
germinated little by little, drawing upon A for its 
resources, in this the first stage of its growth. The 
embryo is now the plant on the table before me. 



How long A directly supplied the embryo I cannot 
say for certain, as it appears to depend very much on 
the moisture or dryness of the soil, but it cannot be 
for long, for as soon as the roots appear, the 
germination of the embryo is considerably ac- 
celerated, and A hardly decreases in size at all, 
afterwards. If you ask how I know, I reply because 
I have been there to see. So far, then, my remark 




Fig. 85. — 0. mascula. a, Old tuber ; b, new tuber. 

about the tuber containing a store of food not for the 
leaves and stem, is correct, I believe. The remainder 
of the remark must be considered next. 

A glance at my drawing will show that the roots 
supply the leaves directly, for otherwise why should 
they not proceed from the base of the tuber ? and 
the plant that I mentioned, minus the tuber, ought to 
have been crippled or dead. But it wasn't. 
Therefore my conclusion is that the leaves and 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



125 



spikes are mainly instrumental in the production of 
the new tuber, for how could that new tuber have 
been healthy and plump, when the old tuber itself was 
nearly empty ? I am aware, of course, that I cannot 
argue from a particular to a general case, and so I 
have stated my theory cautiously. I am also aware 
that this conclusion is opposed to my remark about 
the old tuber containing a store of food for the new 
tuber. The fact is this. I am extremely obliged to 
G. M. for pointing out the discrepancy in my paper, 
and thus compelling me to observe more carefully, 
and I hope that he will observe many plants during 
this season and help me further. The offending 
remark was written some time before the remainder 
of the article. 

Then, another thing. I have succeeded, in two 
years, in entirely clearing the leaves of a plant of 
O. mascula of spots, so that the leaves of the plant 
are perfectly spotless. If the roots supplied the new 
tuber directly, why should not one year be sufficient 




Figs. 86, 87. — 0. mascula. a, Old tuber ; b, new tuber; 
c, spike. 



to produce this result ? Look at the drawing atten- 
tively. The roots are exactly opposite the new 
tuber, but they join the plant, and the new tuber is 
connected with the leaves. The spike alone appears 
to descend to the old tuber. O. mascula appears in 
a critical case. If the roots are damaged by wet, &c, 
the plant has to feed on the old tuber, and the spike 
suffers : if the embryo starts too soon, or remains 
too deeply buried, the new tuber suffers. If the 
spike is broken, the old tuber doesn't suffer, but 
somehow the flower of the following year is 
affected. 

There were two misprints in my article (vol. xix. 
p. 52) which have not been noticed. In one place, 
column was written for collum, and in another, skin 
for stem. I also made the mistake of calling the 
embryo the plumule. 

Dr. Erasmus Darwin {Botanic Garden, Canto iv. 
37) says that the seed of O. mascula only ripens 
when the tuber is picked off. Then how can this 
occur in nature, under ordinary circumstances, unless 



some pitiless surgeon of a slug amputates the new 
tuber ? 

I must apologise for occupying so much space, but 
I trust the attention focussed on this interesting plant 
will be excuse enough. 



THE AGE OF THE MALVERN HILLS. 
By J. Walter Gregory. 

THOSE members of the fraternity of the hammer 
who have the good fortune to visit the 
Malvern Hills, will find themselves in a land rendered 
classic to geologists by the researches of Murchison, 
Ramsay, Phillips, Horner, Symonds, Brodie, Salter, 
Holl, not to mention a host of minor names, and in a 
district into whose varied features as many interesting 
geological problems and strata are compressed as into 
any area of England of similar extent. The fossili- 
ferous Keuper Marl and osseous conglomerate of 
l'endock and Moorcourt, the splendid sections of the 
Upper Silurians, West of Worcestershire Beacon, 
the Mayhill sandstone in its typical locality, the 
Ludlow Bone bed of Hale end, the noted Permian 




Fig. 8S. — Diagrammatic section of Malvern Hills, a, syenite ; 
b, gneiss, &c. ; c, Hollybush sandstone ; d, Silurian ; f, Trias. 



breccia of Berrow and Bromesberrow, the Hollybush 
Sandstone and Black Shales with their lavas of 
Coalhilland Fowlett's Farm, the Old Red Sandstone 
of Ledbury, and last but not least the physiography 
of the Woolhope ellipse, are all in the immediate 
neighbourhood. 

But to any geologist above the rank of a mere fossil 
collector, there is one point of surpassing interest on 
which he is sure to commence, and to which he is 
tolerably sure to return. However interested he may 
be in the inversion on the west of the hills, however 
fascinating he may find the study of the denudation 
of Woolhope, and the comparison of the wooded 
undulating Silurian strata of the west with the 
fertile Keuper plain that stretches away on the east 
to the Severn, the question of the age of the rocks 
constituting the chain of hills is sure to retain most 
of his attention. 

In a series of articles on the Pre-Cambrian Rocks 
of England and Wales, published in SciENCE- 
Gossip in 1883, by Mr. W. W. Watts, B. A., F.G.S., 
the author commenced with a brief notice of the 
Malvern Hills, which he boldly claimed as Archean. 
I propose in the present article to see what evidence 
can be adduced in favour of such a conclusion, to 



126 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



discuss its value, and finally to summarise the ar- 
guments which led Murchison to the opinion still 
retained by the Survey. 

First, let us briefly examine the geological structure 
of the range. The hills consist of a central ridge of 
Syenite with much syenitic and granitoid gneiss and 
diorite : on each flank are beds of schist which 
become more and more brittle and contorted as we 
approach the syenitic nucleus which is exposed at 
many points, as at Keys End Hill and the valley of 
the Whiteleaved Oak, and was passed through in the 
Malvern and Ledbury Tunnel.* Resting very 
unconformably upon these schists, we find on the 
west of the Keys End Hill, the Hollybush Sandstone, 
the basement bed of which contains pebbles of the 
igneous rocks derived from the hills, the presence of 
which proves that the sandstone is the more recent 
formation. From its fossils {Trachyderma aiiti- 
quissima, Salter, Scrpulites fistula, Holl, Obolclla 
Phillipsii, Holl, Lingula squamosa, Scolitlnis and four 
undetermined species), Dr. Hicks has correlated it 
with his Festiniog beds (middle Lingula Flags). 
This is the oldest fossiliferous bed in the district, and 
it limits us to two possible theories as to the age of 
the hills ; they may be Archean, or they may be 
Lower Cambrian. 

With the above sketch in, at any rate, its main 
points, most geologists would agree ; but here the 
two paths diverge, the old school holding that the 
hills were formed by the metamorphism of Longmynd 
rocks into gneiss and schist by the intrusion of the 
underlying syenite ; the Archeanists maintaining 
that the rocks were deposited in some peculiar 
manner in Pre-Cambrian times. 

The latter school found their case mainly on the 
three following propositions : 1st (which would only 
be advanced by the more thorough-going members 
of the school) that as no Post-Archean regional 
metamorphism is possible, these rocks being meta- 
morphic are consequently Pre-Cambrian ; 2nd, that 
even if we admit the possibility of Post-Archean 
metamorphism, the period of time between the 
Loncmynd and the Hollybush Sandstone would be 
insufficient for the deposition of these strata, and 
their alteration into gneisses ; 3rd, that the Malvern 
rocks are similar to those from other Pre-Cambrian 
areas. 

Let us briefly examine these arguments. The 
truth of the first proposition most geologists would 
deny in toto ; and while admitting the possibility 
that many areas now considered metamorphosed 
Cambrian may prove to be Archean (as has recently 
been done by Geikie,f with the " Newer Gneiss " of 
the Highlands), when one remembers how many 
instances have been described of the passage of 
sedimentary into schistose and gneissose rocks, and 

* f Symonds and Lambert on Strata exposed in Malvern and 
Ledbury Tunnel. " Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc." vol. xvii. 
"i" "Nature," vol. xxxi. pp. 29-34. (Nov. 13.) 



that its most enthusiastic adherents only claim that 
it is supported by negative evidence — one cannot but 
receive such an argument with great caution. Of 
such instances are the fossiliferous schists of 
Christiania,* the Liassic Mica schists of St. Gothard,f 
and the passage in the Pyrenees so well described 
by Fuchs,! of clay slate through Fruchtschiefer 
chiastolite slate, andalusite schist, and Mica schist 
into gneiss. 

The objection of lack of time cannot be accepted 
when we remember that during the Lower Cambrian 
era were deposited over 500 feet of the Menevian, 
the 6000 feet of the Harlech Grits and the 20,000 feet 
of the Longmynd : even if the gneiss and schists of 
Malvern represent the whole of the Longmynd, we 
have a period represented by the deposition of 6500 
feet, and this would certainly seem ample for the 
elevation of so small a chain of hills, when we bear 
in mind that the gigantic ranges of the Alps, Andes, 
and Himalayas were all elevated during the much 
shorter system of the Miocene. 

In replying to the third argument, that from the 
structure of the rocks, I need not here discuss the 
possibility of correlating rocks by their mineralogical 
composition. We need only note the great differences 
as pointed out by Murchison between the fissile, 
fine-grained syenitic gneiss of the Malverns, and the 
thick-bedded coarse gneiss of the Highlands, which 
differ in every respect save in the abundance of 
hornblende. Nor do these rocks more resemble the 
so-called Pre-Cambrian of St. David's. Dr. Calla- 
way, whose fairness and moderation in a controversy 
that has not been lacking in personalities command 
our respect, and whose able and lucid series of papers 
on the Malvern Hills, the Wrekin, Anglesey, and the 
Highlands, have placed him in the front rank of 
English Archeanists, says : § " The Malvern Series is 
almost exclusively gneissic, foliation is well marked, 
and hornblende abounds. In the St. David's area 
gneiss is absent." He further points out the absence 
at the latter place of schists, as the so-called " quartz 
schists " of Hicks are really granitoids and quartzites. 
{To be continued.') 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 
By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S., F.C.S. 

THERE appears to be fair reason for hoping that 
the cattle plague will become, like small- 
pox, an historical disease. Pasteur's method of vac- 
cination has been successfully applied in India to 
elephants, horses, asses, cows, buffaloes, and sheep. 
I say " like small-pox " because the effect of vaccina- 



* Reusch, " Upper Silurian Fossils in Metamorphic Rocks of 
Christiania. Universitets Programm, 1882." 
+ Ball's " Introduction to Alpine Guide," p. 74. 
J C. W. C. Fuchs, "Neues jahrb. fur Miner," 1870, p. 742. 
$ Callaway, "Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc." vol. xxxvi. p. 538. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



127 



tion is not that of a complete preventive of disease, 
but rather an alteration of its character, a conversion 
from a malignant horror to a mere outbreak of 
pimples. Instead of being the most fatal and the 
most filthy of all diseases, the small-pox, as it 
appears in vaccinated patients, has become so mild 
that there are fanatics who actually describe it as a 
beneficent purifier of the blood. I have heard a lady 
who is an eminent agitator and a healing medium, 
but otherwise fairly intelligent, describe a case of 
chronic life-long suffering as cured by a "refreshing 
outpour of small-pox." On the other hand, I have 
witnessed the horrors of malignant small-pox, a whole 
family — father, mother, and unvaccinated children — 
all in one room, and all in a condition of superficial 
putrescence, a sight and stench too horrible for de- 
scription. This is what Jenner and his contemporaries 
familiarly beheld, but which the lady above-named 
and those who are similarly infatuated have not yet 
seen, but will see presently in Leicester if the agita- 
tion makes much further progress. 

Pasteur's prophylactic for the cattle plague and 
rabies appears to act chiefly in effecting an " attenua- 
tion " of the disease by means of attenuated virus. 
The demonstration of the efficacy of his attenuation 
of hydrophobia is difficult on account of the rarity of 
the disease and the necessary limitation of experi- 
mental proof, but when cattle plague settles in a 
district and threatens an extermination like that 
which occurred in the Cheshire cheese country twenty 
years ago, nothing is easier than to vaccinate one half 
of a given number of cattle, and expose them and the 
other half to the same conditions of infection, and 
watch the result. This has been done in India. 

In last month's "Journal of the Chemical Society " 
is printed a paper read at the Society (with the usual 
omission of the date of reading) by Dr. Peter Griess 
and Dr. G. H. Harrow, on " The Presence of Choline 
in Hops." This substance is otherwise named sin- 
caline, neurine, and amanitine. It is called neurine 
because it is found in the brain. This name and its 
existence there have promoted fanciful theories con- 
cerning its influence, similar to those popularly enter- 
tained concerning the mysterious or quasi-spiritual 
potency of phosphorus as an element of brain- 
matter. 

The writers of this paper find this neurine in hops 
and beer, and conclude their paper as follows : — 
"Whether the circumstance that choline is present 
in beer lias any physiological significance, is a 
question which we are not in a position to 
decide ; it is, however, interesting that this never- 
failing and peculiar constituent of the brain-sub- 
stance should also be present in one of our most 
important articles of diet." 

I will not stop to discuss the question whether 
beer is " an article of diet" I think it better described 
as a drug, but must protest against the description of 
this many-named substance, the choline, or neurine, 



or sincaline, or amantinine, as a " peculiar constituent 
of brain substance." The authors of the paper have 
misused this word "peculiar." It signifies exclusive- 
ness, and thus used implies that the substance only 
exists in the brain ; whereas, as they state in the 
early part of their paper, it is " a constantly occurring 
constituent of several parts of the animal body " and 
" it has also been proved to exist in some plants." 
Its various names indicate various sources from which 
it has been derived. Therefore we need not lower 
the vitality of the mucous membranes of our digestive 
organs by drinking tonic hop bitters, nor stupefy 
ourselves with beer, in order to nourish the brain. 
Cervclli fritti (fried brains) is a standing dish at 
Italian restaurants. I met a man at the Lepre in 
Rome who ate that dish there daily in order to 
strengthen his intellect. The result by no means 
indicated that even this very direct consumption of 
neurine was efficacious. 

Another paper read by Mr. H. Brereton Baker at 
the same society is very interesting and important. 
As Mr. Baker states, his researches were suggested 
by some recent experiments of Mr. Harold B. 
Dixon (Philosophical Transactions, 1884, part 2), 
showing that a highly explosive mixture of carbonic 
oxide and oxygen is not explosive when dry. We 
are so accustomed to regard water as antagonistic to 
combustion that the mere suggestion that ordinary 
combustion cannot take place without the help of 
water appears an extravagant paradox. Neverthe- 
less this appears to be the case. The experiments of 
Mr. Dixon and those of Mr. Baker concur, so far as 
they go, in showing that there can be no fire without 
water. The difficulty in making these experiments 
is that of getting rid of the water. " Water, water, 
everywhere " expresses a great chemical truth. It 
holds on with desperate tenacity to the air we 
breathe, and every gas we produce in our labora- 
tories. I need not here state the particular methods 
adopted by Mr. Baker to dry the oxygen used 
in his experiments. They were the best known, 
and the drying was continued from one to sixteen 
weeks. 

He subjected purified charcoal and phosphorus to 
the action of the dried gas, and to ordinary oxygen 
containing its usual supply of aqueous vapour. 
These placed in comparison tubes were equally 
heated. The general result was that in the moist 
oxygen complete combustion of the carbon and the 
phosphorus occurred, with brilliant outflash of the 
latter. In the dried oxygen there was no visible 
combustion, and examination of the residual gas 
showed that all the moist oxygen had combined, but 
only a small and varying proportion of the _ dry 
oxygen. 

There is fair reason to infer that this small amount 
of oxidation would not have occurred had the gas 
been perfectly dry, a condition at present unattain- 
able. 



128 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Santini (" Gazetta Chimica Italiana," vol. xiv. 
p. 274) has already shown that the flame of hydrogen 
assumes all the colours of the spectrum, and now 
replies to the objection that this coloration is due to 
impurities of the gas, as at first prepared, by making 
it from potassium formate heated with potash. He 
still observes the same phenomena with this. To 
show these colours, the hydrogen should be collected 
in a bell jar about 8 inches long, and 2 inches 
diameter, which should be then held with its mouth 
downwards, a light applied and the vessel gradually 
inclined. A flame pours upwards in which all the 
prismatic colours may be observed as the jar 
approaches the horizontal position. Carbonic oxide, 
sulphuretted hydrogen, methane, and vapours of 
alcohols, ethers, &c, display similar colours. 

In the current volume of " The Proceedings of the 
Royal Society," W. N. Hartley states that the 
sensitiveness of the spectrum in detecting magnesia 
is practically unlimited ; that it is possible to obtain a 
definite magnesium spectrum from a spark carrying 
only a one thousand millionth part of a milligramme, 
(a milligramme is a little more than T y o of an ounce). 
Also that a solution containing one part of magnesia 
in ten thousand million parts of water displays two 
of the characteristic lines of magnesia. These 
quantities are inconceivably small, but still the 
substance is outspread and continuous ; no physical 
indication of discrete molecules is displayed. Some 
of my readers may know that I am a heretic in 
reference to the actual physical existence of any 
ultimate atoms or molecules, regarding all the 
speculations concerning the limits of littleness as 
vain and worthless, quite as vain as discussing the 
boundaries of space. 

A very interesting and important paper was 
recently read at the French Academy of Sciences, 
(Comptes Rendus, vol. xcix. p. 1072) by J. Thoulet, 
describing experiments which justify the conclusion, 
that an attraction is exerted between a dissolved salt, 
and an insoluble solid immersed in the solution, and 
that the amount of this attraction varies with the 
surface of the solid. Thus when marble, kaolin, 
cjuartz, or other solid, is immersed in a solution of 
barium or sodium chloride in which they are chemically 
inert and insoluble, they nevertheless disturb the solu- 
tion, and render it weaker by effecting a deposition 
upon themselves of some of the dissolved salt. 

Important practical consequences follow from this. 
One of the oft-repeated fallacies of the half-learned, 
but not of the unlearned, is that of stating that a 
filter can only remove mechanical impurities from 
water, that it cannot remove matter which is there 
dissolved. This statement has been disproved by 
experiment. By repeated nitrations sea water may 
be rendered less and less salt, until it becomes nearly 
if not quite tasteless. This fact has hitherto been 
rather puzzling, but' is now readily explained by the 
adhesion of some of the salt to the filtering medium. 



It should be, however, understood, as a matter of 
course, that in order to obtain this result, fresh 
filtering material (sand for instance) must be used at 
each filtration, since the sand thus used ultimately 
takes up its utmost attainable supply of salt, and 
then may rather give some back to fresh water than 
take any more away from salt water. 

As far back as 1878 similar results were obtained 
by Bayley, but in a different manner. He let fall 
upon the white blotting-paper used for filtering, drops 
of various solutions, and observed that generally the 
salt remained near the centre, and that a ring of water 
extended round this. By using solutions of metallic 
salts which became blackened by hydrogen sulphide, 
he was able, by simply applying this reagent, to 
obtain a picture of the diffusion, and produced 
similar pictures by staining the blotting-paper with 
turmeric or litmus, and then adding allkaline or acid 
solutions which change the colour of the stain. The 
greater the dilution, the broader the water ring 
surrounding the coloured spot and indicating the 
position of the salt. Concentration of the solution, 
heat, and looseness of the texture of the paper, 
increase the mobility of the solution, i.e. the distance 
to which the dissolved matter may stand before the 
water leaves it. The mobility of different salts 
varies, and in mixed solutions they act independently 
of each other. 

These results have been recently confirmed by 
J. U. Lloyd (" Chemical News," vol. li. p. 51), who 
modifies the experiments by dipping chips of blotting 
paper into various solutions, and observing how far 
the substances in solution climb up the paper before 
they are left behind by the water. Various solutions 
were "thus tried ; in some cases, as with very dilute 
solutions of ferric sulphate, the salt just creeps up 
above the surface of the solution, while the pure 
water travels to the end of the paper (five inches). 
A concentrated solution of the same travels with the 
waters, no separation taking place. Such a solution 
of this salt is like a syrup. 

When solutions of ferrous sulphate, copper sulphate 
and ferric sulphate were mixed, each salt showed a 
limiting line at the same distance above the solution ■ 
as when tested separately and of corresponding 
strength ; the ferrous sulphate travelling farthest, the 
copper sulphate next, and the ferric sulphate lagging 
behind. Other salts behaved in like manner. Even 
sulphuric acid is separated from water when the 
solution is dilute ; water quite free from acid passing 
onwards. By bending the blotting-paper over at a 
height above the reach of the salt, and allowing the 
further end to hang below the level of the solution, 
a perfect filtration of ferric sulphate was effected, 
drops of water free from iron salt falling from this 
lower end. Quantitative experiments were made 
on this and other solutions, showing their relative 
distances of travelling in solutions of measured 
strength. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



129 



LEAVES FROM MY NOTE-BOOK FOR 1S84. 
By A. Kingston. 

IN transcribing the following extracts from " Leaves 
from my Note-book for 18S4," it is scarcely 
necessary, perhaps, for me to caution the reader 
against expecting anything very profound, or anything 
directed to a special branch of enquiry ; still less will 
he expect them to contain much in the way of novelty. 
They are the casual observations made, and jotted 
down as they were made, in leisure moments ; and 
their only merit perhaps will be that they may 
possibly suggest, here and there, a line of inquiry to 
others having more ability and leisure to follow it to 
a profitable issue. 




Fig. 89. — Royston Crow. 

The opening days of 1884 were well calculated to 
stimulate observation in many directions. The close 
of 1883 had left such a legacy of early promise as is 
rarely witnessed on New Year's Day. In the vegetable 
kingdom, flowers enjoyed almost a second summer. 
Many of the yellow-flowered species of the Composite 
among wild flowers, and many annuals in the garden 
had flourished far beyond their appointed time. 
Gardens were gay with wallflowers, marigolds, 
daisies, and pansies, and other favourites. The 
skylark and thrush had vigorously warbled in the 
new year, and the industrious little honey bee 
{Apis mellifica) was busy making adventures on its 
own account at an abnormally early date. Some 
evidence, too, was forthcoming on the subject of the 
hardihood of one or two of our hibernating lepidoptera. 



The hardiest of all proved to be the common small 
tortoise-shell butterfly ( Vanessa icrticce), several speci- 
mens of which came under the observation of the 
writer during the first ten days of January, stimulated 
by the atmosphere of a warm room, into a vigorous 
flight. I may add that next to the tortoise-shell in 
hardiness among the hibernators, comes, apparently, 
the fine old peacock butterfly (Vanessa lo). 

The Royston, or hooded crow (Corvns comix), as 
it is seen in its migrations southward, has so distinctly 
the opposite of the gregarious habit of the rook, that 
I was somewhat surprised to notice, during January, 
a little community of half-a-dozen of them together, 
and showing an unusually sociable disposition. This 
somewhat remarkable member of a familiar ornitho- 
logical family having enjoyed its local designation for 
centuries, has, I suppose, a fair claim to the name by 
which ornithologists and naturalists have for so long 
recognised it.* It could of course only have derived 
this-local name from the fact of its attachment to the 
heathy country about Royston, and of its not going 
much further south in its winter migration. This, 
however, is not absolutely conclusive evidence of its 
claim to the title,- for in the writer's birds'-nesting 
days, it was commonly known as the "Dunstable 
crow," in the neighbourhood of the chalk ridges of 
the Chiltern Hills, where its peculiar plumage was 
occasionally recognised. Whether this interesting 
corvus is likely to preserve its local claims and specific 
distinction, as it has done in the past, may perhaps 
be doubtful ; for Mr, Henry Seebohm, a great 
authority on ornithological questions, and well versed 
in the habits of migratory birds, makes out a strong 
case against the Royston crow for its disposition to 
interbreed with the carrion crow and other members 
of the family. The opinion of so accurate an observer 
is of course entitled to the highest respect, and yet it 
is not a little singular that the present representatives 
of the hooded crow, as they are caught in the neigh- 
bourhood of Royston Heath, are as distinctly specific 
as any of their predecessors, with the same distinct 
light grey markings as of old, and no perceptible 
traces of hybridisation. Indeed, I am informed by 
Mr. Norman, a naturalist, whose business of taxidermy, 
and that of his father before him, has for a period of 
sixty years enjoyed a more than local repute, that 
although many specimens of the local and general 
rarce aves have passed through their hands, yet during 
the whole of that period only one specimen of the 
hooded crow has ever come under their notice showing 
traces of hybridisation. With this there was the 
uncertain element of its being a young bird ; but on 
being submitted to Mr. Gold, of London, it was 
pronounced by him to be a hybrid, and the result of 
interbreeding between the Royston and carrion crows. 
This specimen is now in the collection of Lord Bray- 



* Since writing the above, I find that this local name is given 
to the bird in the Rev. Samuel Ward's " Natural History," 
1775 ; the earliest mention I know of. 



13° 



HA RD WICKE *S S CIENCE- G SSIP. 



brooke at Audley End. With but this solitary piece 
of evidence in so long a period, my informant naturally 
asks, "Where do the hybrids go, if there is such an 
interbreeding ? " The point is one that I must leave 
to those more competent to deal with it. It is not 
likely, however, that such an accurate and patient 
observer as Mr. Seebohm would countenance such a 
theory without the fullest justification ; but if the 
carrion crow is generally as rare as it is now becoming 
in the home counties, his local namesake, if he persist 
in his ways, will have to seek an alliance with the more 
numerous rook family. But common fairness compels 
me to admit that, at least, as he is seen in his winter 
quarters, Corvus comix may fairly claim that his 
family escutcheon is comparatively untarnished, and 
that he can boast the same bold markings and motley 
plumage as of old. 

Until the opening days of April, vegetation went 
forward with leaps and bounds. In the almost 
summer sunshine of the third week in March the 
brimstone butterfly (Goiiepteryx rhamni), the peacock, 
and tortoiseshell, sunned themselves for a little day, 
and a very little day it proved to be, for, having 
regard to what had gone before, and to what followed, 
the month of April was quite phenomenal. The 
most patient observer could find nothing fresh to 
chronicle between the first and last weeks of the 
month. Rarely has there been such a notable 
instance of the effect of clouds upon temperature and 
in protecting the young fruit crops from the mischief 
of a sudden radiation at this season of the year, or of 
the disastrous results which may follow upon the 
sudden disappearance of clouds. Until the 18th of 
April the nights for some time had been very cold, 
but fortunately so, for the gardener and fruit grower 
welcomed the solid blanket of cloud. But on that 
night the clouds "rolled -by" with a vengeance, 
leaving an exceptionally brilliant starlit sky, with 
twelve degrees of frost, and the loss, in a single night, 
of many thousands of 'pounds to the fruit growers in 
the one district of the south of Cambridgeshire alone. 
The effect of this, and the frosts which continued 
with almost equal severity until the 24th, was also 
felt in other directions. Upon the ^budding horse- 
chestnut tree it was especially noticeable, the leaflets 
being shrivelled up and blackened as if scorched by 
fire, and the flower spikes in many cases never 
attained their wonted splendour. Previous to this 
sudden check the season had been remarkably for- 
ward, as the following early entries for flowering 
plants, &c, will show : Corylus Avcllana (hazel), 
Jan. 12 ; Ranunculus ficaria (pilewort), Jan. 25 ; 
Tussilago Farfara (coltsfoot), Feb. 12 ; Uhiius 
montana (wych-elm), Feb. 20; Drain verna (whit- 
low grass), Feb. 28 ; Pruuus spinosn (blackthorn), 
March 13 ; Stellnria Holoslca (greater stitchwort), 
March 25. In most cases these and other entries 
were nearly a fortnight in advance of their mean 
dales for flowering in Hertfordshire. 



Whenever a season sets in with unusual mildness, 
as did that of 1884, every figure in the usual pageant 
and retinue of spring is, in England, expected to 
follow suit, regardless of consequences, and so the 
competitive spirit which seeks to get the earliest 
green peas into Covent Garden sets up a craze for 
nightingales and cuckoos ! When, therefore, the 
year 1884 opened in such a phenomenal manner, 
everybody thought the nightingale ought to come a 
month in advance as well, and come accordingly it 
did in the imagination of quite a number of persons. 
The first record, or report, of the singing of the 
nightingale came, I believe, from Surrey, about the 
third week in March ! 

Another instance was related to the writer, of one 
singing vigorously at Hitchin, Herts, about the 25th 
of March. Notwithstanding the fact that Hitchin 
claims to be a favourite spot for the nightingale, and 
can even boast of a "nightingale road," I could not 
help doubting the identity of this Lady-Day nightin- 
gale. Unfortunately, however, the circumstance was 
related by a friend of the writer, and therefore 
common courtesy obliged me to admit that that 
particular nightingale did sing on Lady-Day, but I 
am afraid that, as in the case of Waterton and the 
hooting white owl, I had a lingering prejudice against 
admitting that any other nightingale ever sang, in 
this part of England at least, as early as Lady-Day. 
Perhaps I may be wrong, though an observant 
octogenarian informs me that for the last forty years 
he has never known the arrival of the nightingale — 
the first singing of the nightingale — to happen in the 
neighbourhood of Royston (near Hitchin), but very 
little before or after the loth and 21st April respec- 
tively. White, in his " Natural History of Selborne," 
I believe, gives a wider margin — between the 1st of 
April and the 1st of May. The mean date for the 
nightingale for Hertfordshire, arrived at by observa- 
tions at several stations in different parts of the 
county, is April 14th. As a matter-of-fact the 
nightingale was not heard, as far as I could ascertain, 
in the district from which I am writing until about 
April 24th last year, the cuckoo being observed on 
the 26th, and the swallow on the 27th, all three being 
about ten days after the mean dates obtained by the 
Herts Natural History Society. Probably we are 
not giving sufficient credit to the instinct of our 
feathered summer visitors in] supposing that they 
must be influenced by the passing variations of our 
seasons as much as we are ourselves, and it may not 
be far wrong to assume that insect-feeding birds 
regulate their migratory movements on safer lines 
than the caprices of an English spring ; that their 
guiding instinct is the perception of increasing length 
rather than temporary "strength" of days. Even if 
such a rule should occasionally play them false, and 
occasion temporary suffering on arriving on our 
shores, yet it cannot be denied that they have on 
their side the inevitable laws of the universe, the 



HARD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G OS SIP. 



131 



perception of which, treasured up and increasing, 
generation " after generation, into the stream of 
hereditary tendency, which we call instinct, is the 
summitm bonum of the migratory bird's philosophy. 

(To be continued.) 



HOLIDAY RAMBLES 



THROUGH WIGTONSHIRE. 



By G. Claridge Druce, F.L.S. 

AT the request of the able recorder of the 
Botanical Record Club of the British Isles 
(Dr. F. Arnold Lees), I undertook to visit Wigton- 
shire in order to form a list of its plants, since only a 
few of the rarer plants had been recorded by the late 
Professor Balfour when on a tour round the Mull of 
Galloway. From its western position and the 
frequent " Mosses " marked on the map, and perhaps 
biassed by my experience in Western Ross, I looked 
forward to a wet relaxing atmosphere and boggy 
walking, over flat tracts of sphagnum, with not even 
hilly prospects to brighten the dull moors of the un- 
interesting country ; but the guess, if ingenious, was 
certainly wrong. I found, on alighting at the Newton 
Stewart Station, little to tell me what county I was 
in ; and setting out for a walk by the Cree side, the 
first hundred species noticed contained scarcely one 
but what are ubiquitous plants occurring in every 
county. Eventually CEnanthe crocata raised a 
suspicion of a western flora, which the occurrence on 
the dry rocky banks by the rail-side of Lepidium 
Smitkii also supported. On the west there were 
slight eminences of dry rocky ground on which 
Jasionc montana, Sedum Anglicum, and Aira 
caryophyllea were to be found ; on the east, fields 
sloping towards the river Cree, — a broad shallow 
stream, beyond which on the Kirkcudbright side rose 
the Cairnsmore'of Fleet, 2300 feet elevation. About 
a mile below Newton Stewart, on a clayey bank by 
the river, occurred Cerastium holosteoides, Fr. ; the 
specimens varied with the stem having the typical 
lines to a more diffused pubescence ; but the biennial 
growth and larger flowers well distinguish the plants 
from other forms of trivialc, although the tidal river 
may have been the primary cause in the develop- 
ment of the characteristic peculiarities. (Afterwards 
we found it in a similar locality on the Kirkcudbright 
side.) The roadside yielded great quantities of 
Burdock (A. minus and intermedium), and at intervals 
Hypericum dubium, which seemed to be the common 
St. John's Wort of Wigton. 

Carsegown Moss was the first piece of bog-land 
visited, and it soon showed a great difference from 
the Ross-shire bog. First, the great paucity of, sedges 
was remarkable, muricata, vulgaris, and glauca being 
the only ones seen ; and the absence of Juncus 
squarrosus was equally striking, but there was a 



profuse growth of Scirpus azspitosus and Luzula 
campestris, with Juncus conglomeratus ; and trailing 
about the sphagnum patches occurred Vaccinium 
oxycoccos, or the pretty Andromeda, with both 
Drosera Anglica and rotundifolia. Pinus sylvestris 
looks native on the Moss of Bree. 

The Bishop burn was next visited, but the stream 
had recently been cleared out, so very little was found. 
However, in a heap of vegetable matter collected 
about a bridge, Potamogeton j-ufescens, prcelougus, 
and Zizii were picked, with Callitriche hamulata and 
Myriophyllum spicatum. The meadows here were 
full of Carum verticillatum, a typical Wigton plant ; 
and in a little patch of marshy ground, between 
Penninghame and South Barbucham, Carex pulicaris, 
jtava, dioica, stelluiata, pauieea, Hornschuchiana, with 
Scirpus setaceus, Crepis paludosa, Orchis incarnata, 
Habenaria viridis and H. chlorantha, occurred. (H. 
bifolia was not seen in the ^county.) Sparganium 
affine was also found in the Bishop burn, and Carex 
vesicaria by its side, as were also the willows S. rubra, 
viminalis, ferruginea, caprea, etc. In the river Cree 
close to Newtown, Myriophyllum altemiflorum is 
plentiful, and Asplenium Trichomanes abounds on 
the bridge. 

Epilobium obscurum is the most plentiful willow- 
herb of Wigton. About Barbuchan Erica cincrea 
occurred : it seems rare, Tetralix and Calluna being 
the heaths of the county. Pinguicula vulgaris, not 
common, and Eriophorum vaginalum, also occurred 
here, as did Athyrium Filix-foemina, var. convexum, 
and in a little plash of water Chara fragilis, the 
only one of its genus seen in Wigton. Altogether the 
result of the first day's walk from Newton Stewart to 
the Moss of Cree, and back by Penninghame, was a 
list of over 300 species. 

The next day's work was by train to Wigton, walk 
thence to Kirkinner, and by Orchardton Bay to 
Garliestown, the latter place a small port, which the 
local guide states is remarkable " for its extensive 
sawmills, which give employment to sixteen men." 
By the Bladenoch side about Wigton, Glaux, 
Triglochin maritimum, Cochlearia, Armeria, Juncus 
Gerardi, Sclerochloa maritima, Carex vulpiua, 
Scirpus maritimus, Triticum acututn, &c. were seen. 
By the rail-side, along which I walked to Kirkinner, 
occurred Atriplex deltoidea and many forms of Tri- 
folium repens, especially one with foliaceous calyx. 
Near Baldoon Epilobium hirsutum for its first and last 
record occurred ; and in the pond at the Mains, 
Potamogeton crispus and pusillus, Phragmites, &c. 
Papaver dubium and Argemoue, with Filago German ica, 
Arenaria serpyllifolia, and Linaria minor, were on 
the rail-banks. Lamhun intermedium was frequent in 
garden ground at Kirkinner. In Orchardton Bay 
were Salicornia herbacca, Statice Limonium, Festuca 
oraria, Spergularia marginata, &c. ; and Convolvulus 
sepium, Lamium amplexicaule, Valerianella dentata, 
Agrimonia, Conittm, Urtica urens occurred on 



T32 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



cultivated land about South Balfern. In plantations 
about Stewarton occurred Erythrcea Centaurium, 
Oxalis,Hierac. vulgatum, Blechnuin and Adianf. nig., 
both very rare, Myrrhis abundant ; and on the shingle 
at Garliestown, Atriple.x Babingtonii, Scdum acre, Sec. 
A short walk from Newton in the evening to the 
Moss of Shin yielded a luxuriant form of Triodia 
decm/ibens, a dark glumecl form of Carex curta, near 
alpicola, Carex ampullacea, binervis, pilidifera, 
Gnaphalium dioiciim, Junciis sqitarrosus, Nardil s 
stricta, Salix pentandra, Menyanthes, Comarum, 
Carex pallescens, etc. Altogether this day added 80 
species to the previous list. 

(To be continued.) 



for this service, but its immensely prolific nature 
adds another qualification. 

It has been calculated that one female fly is capable 
of producing twenty thousand young, thus enabling 
it to efficiently perform its appointed sphere of use- 
fulness. It is ovoviviparous, and " Redi has ascer- 
tained, the larvae will in twenty-four hours devour 
so much food, and grow so quickly, as to increase 
their weight two hundredfold ! In five days 
they arrive at their full growth and size, and it is 
a remarkable instance of the care of Providence in 
fitting them for the part they are destined to act, for 
if a longer time was required for their growth, their 
food would not be fit aliment for them, or they would 




Fig. 90.— Teeth of Sarcophaga camaria (chequered blowfly). X 330 diameters. 



TEETH OF FLIES. 

THE CHEQUERED BLOWFLY, 
riJAGA CARNARIA). 



(SARCO- 



By W. H. Harris. 
No. V. 

FOR the removal of dead and offensive matter, 
few insects can compare with the creature from 
which the present illustration is taken. It is one of 
the very busy army of unpaid scavengers, rendering to 
mankind an indirect but nevertheless useful service. 
Not alone in the matter of diet is it specially adapted 



be too long in removing the nuisance it is given in 
charge to them to dissipate" (Kirby and Spence). 
It is a large and rather handsome fly. The thorax is 
marked with four longitudinal stripes of a silvery 
grey tint, while the abdomen has the appearance of 
alternately being black or grey in patches, according 
as the light falls on the creature. Swift in flight, its 
musical hum is the announcement of energy, and it 
thus eloquently proclaims it has no time to waste in 
idleness or ease, hence it is a rather difficult fly to 
capture. 

The teeth forms a very compact group. They 
are less numerous than in some other members 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



133 



of the flesh-eating tribe. They consist of primary, 
secondary, and third rows. There are nine teeth 
in the primary row, seven in the secondary, and 
four in the last set, the whole forming an arrange- 
ment which can be well expressed in the following 
formula, viz. I, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1. There is 
scarcely any difference in the width of the main 
teeth from base to apex, but they are decidedly 
more deeply cleft than in Mitsca vomitoria. They 
are tolerably strong, breaking with a clean fracture if 
unduly pressed, and in colour they are a deep amber. 



B. oriental e, Linn., is easily recognised if the sori 
are developed. 

Down the centre of each of the long straggling 
pinna? (the frond is simply pinnate) a row of sori on 
each side of the midrib seems sometimes to compress 
the fertile leaf; the indusium or covering runs 
parallel, and outside between the sori and margin of 
the leaf. The lower pinnse are smaller than the 
upper, reduced from six or eight inches, to an inch or 
half-an-inch in length. 

Blechnum is mentioned by Dioscorides, a Greek 



A 



V 





Fig. 91. — Linds&tz 
flabellulata, Dry. 



Fig. 92. — Linds&a heterophylla, 
Dry. 



Fig. 93. — Adiantam caudatum, and Adiantum flabellulatum, 
Hk., Linn. 



SOME FERNS OF HONG-KONG. 
By Mrs. E. L. O'Malley. 

[Continued from p. 106.] 

Gen. IV. Blechnum, Linn. 
{Hard-fern.) 

ONCE more we meet with a genus of world-wide 
distribution. 
The species so common in Hong-Kong and on the 
Peak is B. orientate, or hard fern' of the east. 
Travelling round the world we shall find almost the 
same in the western tropics. There the species is 
called B. occidental, or hard fern of the west, and, 
perhaps, revisiting our native land, one of the 
commonest objects in English heaths and in Scotch 
glens is B. boreale, a hard fern of the north. 



botanist. The name Blechnon seems to mean simply 
" a fern." The English name speaks truly of the 
nature of the plant. It is longer lived, and more 
able to resist an adverse soil and climate than is the 
case with ferns in general. 

Gen. V. Linds/ea, Dry. 

The formation of the indusium in Lindsaea is 
peculiar, and must not be confounded with Pteris. 
It is, in fact, exactly the reverse. It is attached to 
the leaf-edge, not at, but below the margin, and runs 
the length of the frond or pinnule. When the seed 
is mature the indusium is detached, not below, but at 
the margin, and the sori appear plainly. 

Three species are common. None are large plants. 

Lindscea ensifolia, S\v., is the largest and rarest. 



134 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



It is in habit and growth like Pteris, simply pinnate 
with pinnae from four to ten inches long, and the 
general aspect straggling. 

L. flabellulata, Dry., has little half-round pinnae 
ranged up both sides of the stalk, which is occasion- 
ally eight or ten inches in height. 

L. heterophylla, Dry., is bipinnate, that is the 
pinnre are pinnate again, and these secondary 
divisions are either half round or pointed. This 
species may be said to be a combination of the other 
two. 

Lindsasa may be distinguished from Adiantum as 
the fructification is continuous and not in patches. 
Ensifolia moans sword-shaped ; heterophylla, ir- 
regular-leaved ; flabellulata, like a fan. 



Gen. VI. Adiantum, Linn. 
(Maiden-hair.) 

Who does not know a maiden-hair fern, so called 
from the black delicate stalk peculiar to every 
member of the family? The well-known form, 
however, is not found among the commonest species 
in the island. The name " Adiantum " was given to 
the fern by Pliny, and means "not to be wetted," 
from the faculty the leaves have of throwing off the 
drops of water, under which they love to grow. 

Three species are named by Dr. Hance as found in 
the island. 

A. luniilaliiin, Burn, (moon-shaped maiden-hair), 
is more often met with on the mainland. It is a very 
delicate fragile fern, so that specimens required for 
the herbarium must be shut up in a book or paper as 
soon as gathered. 

A. caudatum, Hook., is common. Like the 
preceding, simply pinnate, but quite unlike in form 
and texture. The little pinnae on each side of the 
stalk are rough, hairy, close together and deeply 
jagged, each jag bearing the sorus. 

A.flabdlulatum, Linn., is the most universal of the 
three. The divisions of the frond are in the form of 
a fan, and in twos, each pair nearly starting from a 
common centre. The venation is also fan-shaped. 

The sori of Adiantum are too well known to need 
description. They are in patches along the margin. 

The young frond is often tinged red or purple. 
This is also the case with Blechnu/n oricntale (hard 
fern). 

(To be continued.) 



Hybernation of Cuckoo.— I cannot find any 
allusion to the hybernation of cuckoos, either in 
White's "Selborne," or in Buckland's Notes to the 
same, although White has so much to say about the 
hybernation of swallows. He mentions that when the 
thermometer is above 50 , bats fly abroad in any 
month of the year. — M. E. Pote. 



THE ASCENT OF RORAIMA. 

THE successful expedition of Mr. im Thurn to this 
remarkable mountain last December has excited 
a good deal of interest, from the difficulties attending 
the ascent, and the consequent ignorance which has 
prevailed concerning the nature of the summit. It 
was natural to expect, from the inaccessibility of the 
plateau, that when once it was reached, valuable 
information would be obtained as to the fauna 
and flora, if there were any, which had been for so 
long a time somewhat secluded from the surrounding 
country. In " Nature" for April 30th, extracts are 
given from a paper lately read at the Royal 
Geographical Society by Mr. J. H. Perkin, who 
accompanied Mr. im Thurn. From these it appears 
that on the 2nd of December the explorers reached a 
group of houses about four miles from Roraima, 
which is near the border of British Guiana, and three 
from Kukenam, these flat-topped mountains with 
dark precipitous cliffs, seeming like huge fortresses 
built on a mountain-top 7000 feet high, and with 
walls 1200 to 1800 feet in height. The features of 
these mountains, as seen from a little distance, seem 
to be extremely grand. Clouds of white mist 
accumulate in the gorge between, and, as the day 
advances, rise towards the summits, as was the case 
on Roraima soon after the top was reached, whereby 
a limit was put to the wanderings of the explorers ; 
while after wet weather the water pours over the 
edge in splendid falls, some having a clear leap of 
1500 feet down. The scantiness of the vegetation 
found on the exposed top of Roraima is attributed to 
the earth being thus washed away from the surface. 
On the sloping sides of the mountain, before reaching 
the cliffs, a large piece of swampy ground was met 
with, which produced exquisite orchids and ferns, 
and also the Utricularia Humboldtii and the Heliam- 
phora or pitcher-plant with cup-shaped leaves full of 
water. Another Utricularia was re-discovered higher 
up, a small plant, two or three inches in height, 
growing on the branches of trees, and having a large 
deep crimson blossom. Higher still was a quantity 
of a species of heath with dark pink blossoms of six 
petals, about the size of a halfpenny. As the 
travellers reached the top of the ledge by which they 
made their way up, a number of fantastic weird- 
looking rocks were seen, but no trees. Small bushes 
from three to six feet high, a few orchids, two species 
of thick-leaved ferns, and a Utricularia, formed all 
the vegetation seen upon the summit. The rock was 
found by Mr. Perkin to be too hard to permit of his 
cutting it. The height attained was reckoned, by 
boiling the thermometer, to be ,8600 feet. The 
ascent to the summit was made on December iSth. 
"Nature" publishes also illustrations of the scenery 
of Roraima taken by Mr. im Thurn, from whom a 
more detailed report is expected. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



135 



OBSERVATORY TROUGH. 

DR. GILES'S arrangement for making a trough 
for watching animal and vegetable organisms, 
seems to me to supply a want for a simple apparatus 
of this kind ; therefore I beg to intrude on your notice 
what I think will make the apparatus as useful, but 
so simple, that any one can make half a dozen in an 



it was a valve, not a frustule, but luckily the hoop 
or cingulum was still attached to it. In this position 
it was very easy to see the arrangement of the puncta 
on raised wedge-shaped radiating bands, and that 
the cingulum also was adorned with circles of puncta. 
As my son was with me, who is a tolerable draughts- 
man, though nodiatomist, I asked him to sit down and 
draw exactly what he saw under the microscope. He 





Fig. 94. — a, wire bent as shown at B, to slide on glass slip far 
enough for a to press on cover glass. 



hour or less without extraneous aid. I append a 
drawing ; the clips that keep the glass cover on 
are simply a piece of brass wire bent to fit the slide 
(on a piece of iron). The arms of this can be bent 
to have sufficient power to hold the cover glass 
well in position. 

R. Hawkins. 



A BEAUTIFUL DIATOM. 

AMONG the various genera of the Diatomacese, 
perhaps there is not one that is more beautiful, 
interesting and puzzling, than that of Stictodiscus. 
Puzzling, because of the curious way in which the 
numerous puncta, radiating more or less from centre 
to circumference, seem to be imbedded in the silex of 
the valves, so that it is most difficult to ascertain when 
their correct forms, or their relative position with 
regard to the surfaces of the valve is obtained. 

The other day, in looking over a general balsam 
mount of the St. Marcia deposit, I came across a 
specimen of Stictodiscus Californicus, which may be 
considered the typical species of the genus. There 
were of course many on the slide, but this particular 
one was tilted up at an angle of some thirty degrees ; 



Fig. 95. — Stictodiscus Californicus (tilted position). X too. 



did so, without any prompting from me, but I can 
vouch for the accuracy of the sketch, which I send 
for publication in Science-Gossip, as it may be 
interesting to many of its readers. 

Fred. H. Lang. 



MY GARDEN PETS. 

By E. H. Robertson. 

Part III. 

MANY there are who firmly believe that bees 
are attracted by the colours of flowers, a 
belief in which I need scarcely say, I do not share, a 
life-long observation having led me to an exactly 
opposite conclusion. Indeed, as a set off to the few 
unreliable experiments occasionally recorded, proofs 
to the contrary may be multiplied indefinitely ; and 
every observant bee-keeper well knows that bees 
gather some of their richest supplies from plants 
bearing inconspicuous blossoms, such as the goose- 
berry, raspberry, snowberry, mignonette, &c. Of 
all pollen-bearing plants, the almost invisible flowers 
of the box-tree are rifled with the greatest avidity, 
whilst many of the most brilliantly-coloured flowers 
either yield no honey, or secrete it in nectaries 
which the honey-bee {Apis mellifica) cannot reach. 

My old-fashioned garden is, during a great part of 
the year, a blaze of colour, but comparatively few 
flowers yield my pets any sweets. It abounds in fox- 
gloves, monk's-hoeds, delphiniums, antirrhinums, &c, 



136 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



and from early morn till darkness gathers humble 
bees of every size, from the lumbering giants of their 
race clown to the tiniest black pigmies, are busy 
extracting their honey, but beyond an occasional 
cursory visit by a roamer, the honey bee does not 
come near, nor ever attempts to rifle them of their 
sweets. 

Why is this ? Why does the humble bee fly direct 
to the flower, and, forcing his way in, clear out the 
nectary ? and why does not the honey bee ? His per- 
ception of odours is marvellous, and, unless he be 
colour blind, he must see the bright colours. The 
answer, as it appears to me, is simply that the humble 
bee knows that honey is to be found there, and that 
he can get it. My pet, too, knows that there is a rich 
store at hand, but does not waste his valuable time in 
trying to reach it, because he knows that he cannot. 
Whether this knowledge be, as some believe, a mere 
blind instinct, the possession of some faculty not 
cognizable by man, or an intelligent knowledge ac- 
quired by the exercise of its senses, it would be 
beyond the scope of the present paper fully to discuss. 
I may, however, say, in short, that I believe that 
there is absolutely no evidence to support the first ; 
that in regard to the second, we need not credit the 
bee with the possession of some marvellous faculty 
surpassing our ordinary senses ; and lastly, I consider 
that the healthy operation of the several senses pos- 
sessed by the lower animals, in common with man, 
serves to convey to each creature those scraps of 
knowledge the sum of which we call experience, bees 
being no exception to the rule- — 'nor can their experi- 
ence be measured by our own ; a single moment in 
their brief span of life, may mean infinitely more than 
an hour or day in ours. The fact is that the honey 
bee most affects those flowers which yield him the 
most abundant supply of honey and pollen, with the 
least trouble to obtain it, whether the colours be bright 
or otherwise. Sometimes indeed the flower is a 
brilliantly-coloured one, as in the case of the old- 
fashioned damask rose, in the pollen of which they 
often revel, although they will not even visit equally 
richly-coloured roses hard by, the pollen not being so 
come-at-able. What is sometimes termed the bees' 
preference for particular flowers over others has not 
often really anything to do with the creature's likes or 
dislikes : as a matter of fact being oftener than not his 
ability or inability to get at the coveted store. Even 
humble bees cannot reach the honey so abundantly 
secreted by the scarlet salvia without first cutting a 
hole in the lower part of the tube ; when this has been 
done the honey bee frequently avails himself of his 
labours, and clears out such small particles as may 
still remain. 

Should it be argued by the supporters of the " here- 
ditary impulse " and " mysterious faculty " theories 
that the fact of the imago of insects depositing its 
eggs where its future offspring will find its natural 
food, although it no longer itself feeds upon it, proves 



that it is animated by a mere unreasoning instinct, I 
reply that this is pure assumption,, and that it may, 
with far more show of reason, be assumed that, not- 
withstanding the creature's wonderful changes of 
form, its individuality has not been so entirely trans- 
formed that every atom of its larval nature has been 
annihilated, but rather that, it retains so much of it 
as enables it to select for the larva the kind of food 
upon which it once itself subsisted. Even in verte- 
brates, remarkable changes take place between in- 
fancy and the time of arriving at their perfect state, 
and their nature has not been changed when they 
have passed from the milk-imbibing to the flesh and 
fruit consuming stage. But I must draw rein. 

I should be doing my favourites very scant justice if 
I brought to a close my somewhat desultory gossip, 
without paying a tribute to their intelligence ; 
whether it be greater or less than that displayed 
by other members of the same great family, I am 
not now concerned to show. I may, however, say 
that, if contrivance, forethought, and calculation of 
cause and effect be any proof of intelligence, then my 
pets are worthy to be classed amongst the most 
intelligent of animals, that, indeed, " they act just as 
we act, and are as prompt and skilful in overcoming 
exceptional and artificial difficulties." 

As single instances, out of innumerable that I 
might adduce, let me mention the following. 

During the great heat which prevailed- one recent 
summer day, I observed that the bees in a super 
lately placed over a hive, were in a state of great 
commotion and consternation, a closer inspection 
revealing to me that a large sheet of "foundation," 
which depended from the roof, and upon which they 
had commenced a superstructure of comb, had in 
part, by their weight and the heat, been torn from 
its attachment, and was on the point of utter 
collapse. Here was an impending catastrophe, to 
prevent which I was about to remove the sheet, 
when I discovered that my wise little friends were 
quite equal to the occasion, and soon I had the satis- 
faction of seeing a curtain, or chain of bees, formed, 
after their manner, from the roof of the super to the 
edge of the detached portion, to which they most 
tenaciously clung, thus by sheer strength effectually 
upholding the collapsing fabric. This would have 
availed but little had their labour not been supple- 
mented by that of a body of wax workers, through 
whose energy I could almost trace the growth of a 
deposit of wax beneath their feet and jaws, and in the 
course of a few hours a thick column was formed from 
the edge of the circular hole in the super crown to 
the sheet upheld by the living curtain, and, not long 
after, an ever-lengthening sheet formed a continuous 
and unbroken comb from roof to floor. This most 
skilful labour fairly accomplished, the commotion 
gradually subsided, the curtain broke up, and all 
proceeded in the usual manner. Evidently conscious 
of its weakness at certain points, they here 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i37 



strengthened it by additional wax ribs, and it ulti- 
mately became the thickest comb of the set. 

About the same time a similar accident happened 
to a newly hived swarm, which had been furnished 
with combs of considerable size. These combs had, 
doubtless, not been securely attached, and the 
weight of the syrup, which I had supplied too 
liberally, brought down the largest comb of the lot 
upon the cross pieces of wood driven through the 
skep. Here, ready to topple over, however slightly 
the balance might be disturbed, it rested, and the 
sagacious little fellows, to avert the impending 
catastrophe, set to work with such goodwill that it 
was soon securely attached to the rods, although 
lying horizontally, thus preventing any further upset 
of their domestic arrangements. This preliminary 
operation finished, and not before, the bees ventured 
to remove the whole of the syrup, afterwards so 
skilfully adapting this and neighbouring combs to 
each other, that, in process of time, the aspect of the 
full hive differed but slightly from that of a hive 
v, herein no such accident had happened. * After 
witnessing the proceedings of the bees, I could not 
doubt that, conscious of the danger to the com- 
munity, should the insecure comb have fallen to the 
floor, and conscious, also, that the crowding of a 
body of workers upon one end of the nicely balanced 
comb would probably precipitate the catastrophe it 
was their object to avert, they had avoided the ends 
of the waxen see-saw until the centre was made 
immovable. 

In the case of another hive in the same row, a 
fallen comb actually reached the floor board ; this 
being a serious obstacle to the efficient working of 
the hive, it was bit by bit removed, instead of being 
adapted. These random instances of bee intelligence 
will, I think, be sufficient to shew that they can 
contrive, adapt, and most successfully meet excepiional 
difficulties. 

As an example of their sagacity, let me relate the 
following. During my absence from home, a large 
swarm of bees having been hived, the hive, with its 
floor board, was upon the ground, awaiting removal 
to its stand, when the attention of my wife was 
attracted by the remarkable proceedings of two bees, 
which were apparently directing their course towards 
the mouth of the hive, although at the distance of 
about a yard from it. Stooping to observe them 
more closely, she discovered to her surprise that the 
foremost was a queen, who was being urged forward 
by her companion, a worker, this latter displaying 
quite as much intelligence in driving the mother of 
the colony as would a drover driving an erratic cow. 
Now he would touch her gently with his antennae, 
as if coaxing her to proceed, now hasten her lagging 
feet by a push up behind ; now appear on the right, 
and anon on her left side, as she seemed inclined to 
deviate from a direct course. Soon he was joined by 
a second worker, who came out to meet them, and 



helped to escort his queen, and before the hive door 
was reached, she was surrounded by a crowd of 
delighted subjects, who led her in triumph to her 
new home. 

Whether the first bee designedly set out in search 
of the missing queen, or whether he accidentally 
discovered her, his intelligence was, I think most 
persons will allow, equally remarkable, not, however, 
more so than I have witnessed in hundreds of 
instances. Young, and probably idle, bees are com- 
monly driven out to their field work, for idlers are 
not tolerated in these industrious communities by 
the_ older bees, who follow them to the edge of the 
board, urging them forward by pushing their heads 
against their hinder parts. The driven one fairly off, 
the hive is re-entered and the process repeated. 

{To be continued.) 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 

Mr. A. G. Cameron, of H. M. Geol. Survey, writing 
to the " Geological Magazine," says that fuller's earth 
is used in the fen districts of Cambridgeshire and 
Lincoln to purify the water, rendering it colourless 
and pleasant to the taste. It greatly weakens chaly- 
beate water filtered through it, and will clarify muddy 
water, while springs rising from below the fuller's 
earth are said to be remarkably limpid and free from 
earthy impurities. 

In connection with the columnar structure of the 
basalt of the Giant's Causeway, a letter in " Science" 
describing hexagonal columnar structure in sub- 
aqueous clays is interesting. It was observed in the 
clays occurring in the nearly vertical side of a deep 
railway cutting near Menomonee, Wis., U.S. The 
columns, some of which fell out individually, varied 
in diameter from ten to fifteen or sixteen inches, were 
irregularly six-sided, and showed convex and concave 
surfaces where divided across their longer axes, 
parallel to the bedding planes. These cross-section 
surfaces exhibited also distinctly concentric, though 
somewhat interrupted, lines, — structure lines, not 
colour lines. 

At a recent meeting of the Royal Meteorological 
Society the report of a Committee appointed ten 
years ago on the decrease of water supply in springs, 
streams and rivers, and on the rise of flood level in 
cultivated regions was read. The drought period, of 
which till lately we had an example, is said to occur 
in cycles of ten years, and to be followed by a wet 
season. In accordance with this view, Mr. Baldwin 
Latham expected a wet season next autumn. The 
lowering of the water level in the chalk of the London 
basin was attributed, not to the condition of the 
general water supply, but to the constantly increasing 
pumping from new artesian wells. 



133 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



In a paper contributed to the " Midland Naturalist," 
and published in separate form, Mr. E. Wilson, 
F.G.S., curator of the Bristol Museum, discusses 
the Lias Marlstone of Leicestershire as a source of 
iron. This rock has been already worked to some 
extent, and the author anticipates a great extension of 
the industry from the large stores of iron which must 
be contained in it and its proximity to the Notts- 
Derbyshire coal-field. The upper beds only are 
sufficiently rich in iron to pay for working. The 
paper is illustrated by a map of the Marlstone Rock 
of the district. 

The " Youth Scientific and Literary Society " is 
now in its 2nd or 3rd Session. Its headquarters are 
at the Tolmers Square Institute, Drummond Street, 
N.W., where the meetings are held, and lectures, 
&c, delivered, one of the objects of the Society being 
to encourage the study of Natural History among 
young people. The President of the Society, which 
has representatives in a good many provincial towns, 
is Mr. J. W. Williams, B.A., B.Sc, and the Secretary, 
Mr. R. A. Neville-Lynn, from whom further informa- 
tion can be obtained. 

Dr. P. Q. Keegan writes in opposition to the 
certainly rather pungent paragraph of Mr. Mattieu 
Williams, in the May number of Science-Gossip, on 
the question of throwing the classics overboard in 
modern education. Dr. Keegan thinks that an 
exclusively scientific training will not enable a man 
to dispense the elevating influences of science to the 
masses sympathetically or with the spirit of humanity. 
There are doubtless many who, for the same or other 
reasons, will to some extent agree with Dr. Keegan's 
views. 

It seems that a great deal of lead is expended harm- 
lessly in war. The "Popular Science News" for April 
publishes an illustration of a soldier surrounded with 
a multitude of bullets, grouped pretty closely over 
a circular space around him. It is intended to 
convey to the sense of sight the fact, that it takes 
on the average thirteen hundred bullets, even under 
the conditions of modern marksmanship shown in 
the Franco-Prussian war, to kill each soldier who 
falls in battle. The assertion, attributed to Marshal 
Saxe, that it took a soldier's weight of lead to 
kill him in battle, is said to have been shown to 
be not far fiom the truth at the battle of Solferino, 
where for every man killed, four thousand two 
hundred bullets were expended, which would weigh 
about two hundred and seventy-seven pounds of 
lead. 

Mr. A. Melville Bell, who has been absent ful- 
some years from England, has been lecturing at 
Oxford on Visible Speech, or the Science of Universal 
Alphabefics, of which he is the inventor. Mr. Bell 
is the father of Mr. Graham Bell, the well-known 
inventor of the telephone. 



CHLORiNE.hydrochloric acid, carbonicoxide,silicon 
fluoride, and arseniuretted hydrogen are now all 
known in the solid state. 

Mr. F. O. Bower, Lecturer on Botany in the 
Science School, South Kensington, has been ap- 
pointed Professor of Botany at the Glasgow Univer- 
sity, succeeding Professor Bayley Balfour. 

In the April number of "Science" may be 
found notes of the work done by the U.S. fish-com- 
mission steamer "Albatross," which last winter 
made a cruise in the region of the Gulf of Mexico. 
Near Havana large supplies of sea-lilies were hauled 
up on the ' Pentacrinus ' ground. On the island of 
Cozumel, east of Yucatan, thirteen new species of 
birds, and two new sub-species were obtained. 

It is said that a German publisher has brought out 
a book printed in dark blue ink on pale green paper, 
on the theory that neutral tints are good for the eye- 
sight. 

The programme issued for the annual conversazione 
of the Sheffield Naturalists' Club (April 17th), inclu- 
ded the annual address by the President, Dr. Sorby, 
F.R.S., on Biological Researches, carried out on the 
yacht " Glimpse " in 1884, with lantern illustrations ; 
ants' nests after Sir John Lubbock's method, from 
Mr. Henry Burns, the nests being illuminated and 
magnified, and containing the living ants ; a collection 
of skeletons, zoological models, &c, from Messrs.. 
Moore Bros, of Liverpool ; entomological specimens 
from H. L. Earl, Esq., Oxon. ; k birds and other 
animal specimens, stuffed or living, from Mr. A. S. 
Hutchinson and others ; the exhibition of microscopic 
objects by the owners of the instruments ; a large 
number of mounted specimens of flowers from Mr. 
G. Hann, living wild flowers and wild ferns. Alto- 
gether to judge from the programme the conversazione 
must have been a success. 

It appears now that not only coins, but bank notes 
are found to harbour bacteria and other microscopic 
organisms. 

On the 20th March last the " Society of Amateur 
Geologists" met at 31, King William Street, E.G., 
when a paper was read by Professor Boulger, F.L.S., 
F.G.S., on " Organic Acids and their Geological 
Effects." Mr. Charles Lane also read a short paper 
on "Volcanic Rocks." On April nth, the members 
of the society went to Finchley, under the direction of 
Professor Boulger, to examine the glacial deposits 
there. Both the meeting and excursion were tho- 
roughly appreciated by the ladies and gentlemen who 
attended them. 

It is announced that Dr. Frankland is about to 
resign the Professorship of Chemistry at the Normal 
School of Science and Royal School of Mines. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i39 



At the Royal Institution, Professor Langley, of 
the Alleghany University, Penn., recently delivered 
a lecture on "Sunlight and its Absorption by the 
Earth's Atmosphere." From a notice of it in the 
" English Mechanic " it appears that he ascended one 
of the peaks of the Alleghany Mountains in California, 
and measured the heating effects of the different parts 
of the spectrum at the bottom and at the top of the 
mountain. At the top he found the ultra-red end 
greatly elongated. The heating effects were presum- 
ably observed by means of the bolometre, an instru- 
ment which Professor Langley invented, finding that 
the thermopile was not sufficiently sensitive. In the 
bolometer, an exceedingly fine wire of platinum or 
iron (he made one wire from a leaf of iron uoooth 
of an inch in thickness), has its temperature and 
hence its electrical conductivity changed in different 
parts of the spectrum, the result being shown on a 
very sensitive galvanometer. By means of a Row- 
land's grating, the effect of twenty or thirty prisms 
can be obtained without the squeezing together of the 
red rays which is the result of using glass prisms. 



MICROSCOPY. 

. Cole's " Microscopical Studies." — Four slides, 
illustrative of this series, are to hand, viz. Jaws of 
Epeira Diadcma ; Batrachospermum ; Lung, alveolar 
pneumonia, 3rd stage ; and a transverse section of the 
organ of Bojanus from an Anodon. 

Type Slide of Blood. — Mr. Ernest Hinton also 
sends a slide, showing in one mount the blood 
corpuscles of man, frog, bird, fish and snake, a very 
compact and instructive method of showing the 
differences of type in the several kinds of blood 
belonging to these different classes of vertebrate. 

Dry Mounting. — In mounting objects by the dry 
process, a vapour condenses on the under side of the 
thin glass cover, which, on evaporating, leaves a 
series of small dots ; thus entirely spoiling the appear- 
ance of the object under high powers. I may as well 
state that my method of mounting is taken from 
Martin's well-known manual, with the only difference 
of using a thin layer of gum before I apply the gold- 
bize. I shall be much obliged if any of your numerous 
readers could give me any information on the subject. 
— F. Cresrcuell Du Bois. 

Staining Nerve and Muscle. — I would refer 
E. B. L. for directions for staining the above, and the 
best modes of application, to read " Methods of 
Research as used in the Zoological Station of Naples," 
in vol. ii. of the "Postal Microscopical Journal," and 
also " How to Work the Microscope," by Dr. Beale, 
p. 299 (1868 ed.), &c, in which full details are 
given for demonstration of finest fibres, &c. — V. A. 
Latham. 



Liverpool Microscopical Society. — The 
ordinary monthly meeting was held on Friday at the 
Royal Institution, the President, Mr. Chas. Botterill, 
F.R.M.S., in the chair, when there was a large 
attendance. Mr. I. C. Thompson referred to the loss 
sustained to microscopical science through the death 
of Mr. Charles Vance Smith, who, though paralysed 
for many years, had attained a high position amongst 
microscopists through his delineation of the micro- 
scopical structure of plants. Mr. A. Norman Tate, 
F.I.C., read the paper of the evening, on "The 
Microscopical Examination of Potable Water.*' 
After alluding to the impossibility of always determin- 
ing by chemical means alone, whether a water is 
or is not fit for dietetic purposes, he proceeded to 
speak of the importance of microscopical investigation 
in relation to water supply, pointing out that it 
afforded better opportunity of determining the 
character of organic impurities, and that it might 
frequently assist in ascertaining the character of the 
mineral constituents. He described different modes 
of collecting and examining waters microscopically, 
and urged the importance of further investigation, so 
as to ascertain how far the organised matters present 
in water are capable of developing disease, and how 
such organisms may be destroyed. In conclusion he 
mentioned impurities found in natural ice, and also 
two methods of examination of rain and air. A 
discussion followed, and a conversazione was then 
held at which a number of interesting objects were 
exhibited. 

Boro-glyceride for mounting Micro-objects. 
— During the past two years I have been experimenting 
on this substance, and with, at present, such good 
results, that it seems very worthy of extended trial. 
Boro-glyceride is an antiseptic manufactured under 
Professor BarfFs Patent by the Kreochyle Company. 
It is non-poisonous and non-corrosive. Its two great 
uses are for preserving food and for antiseptic dressing 
for wounds. For mounting micro-objects, I use a 
saturated solution, made by dissolving the substance 
in warm water — using about one part to twelve of 
water — and allowing the surplus to crystallise out and 
settle. When it is known that this solution will 
preserve white of egg without coagulating the 
albumen, it will be seen to be very different in its 
chemical action from such powerful antiseptics as 
corrosive sublimate and carbolic acid. As far as my 
observation goes, boro-glyceride solution is excellent 
for vegetable tissues. It does not act on them in any 
way, grains of chlorophyll even remain unchanged. 
It does not destroy the aniline colours used for stain- 
ing sections, although the delicate colours of flower 
petals appear to bleach in the solution. It answers 
for mounting insects whole and without pressure. 
Gold size or brown cement does for fixing the upper 
glass of the cell. The boro-glyceride, which is nearly 
a new substance, having proved useful and easy of 



140 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



manipulation in my hands, it is desirable that com- 
petent mounters should try it and report results. To 
draw attention to it is my object in writing. — A. P. 
Wire. 

Crystals for the Polariscope. — If Mr. J. W. 
Neville uses castor oil to mount crystals in, he will 
not be troubled any longer by the unpleasant results 
described by him. — Charles F. IV. T. Williams, B.A. 

Parasites of Birds, &c. — Mr. C. Collins has for- 
warded specimens of a new series of his " special " 
micro-slides ; a series of parasites chiefly of birds. 
Those sent are the parasites of heron, gull, and 
penguin, each slide being furnished with a label 
giving the classification, from sub-kingdom down to 
species. 

Royal Microscopical Society. — The Journal 
for April contains, besides the summary of current 
researches, the president's address on septic organ- 
isms, "The Lantern Microscope," by Mr. Lewis 
Wright ; "On some unusual Forms of Lactic Fer- 
ment — Bacterium lactis," by Dr. R. L. Maddox ; and 
a paper on a " Cata-dioptric Immersion Illuminator," 
by Mr. J. Ware Stephenson. 



ZOOLOGY. 

In the recent issue of the Proceedings of the 
Zoological Society of London is an interesting paper 
by 1 Mr. II. Pryer, giving an account of a visit to the 
Birds'-nest Caves of British North Borneo, his object 
being to ascertain from what substance the edible 
nests, so much prized in China, are made. Large 
caves in Limestone rocks are inhabited both by 
b ats and by the swifts, which build the nests in 
question, the nests being attached to the roof or walls 
of the caves. Mr. Pryer says that the material of 
which they are made may be found encrusting the 
rock in damp places, and resembling half-melted gum- 
tragacanth. The account of the departure of the bats 
and the return to roost of the swifts is worth quoting. 
" Soon I heard a rushing sound, and, peering over 
the edge of the circular opening leading into Simud 
Itam [or the Black Cavern], I saw columns of bats 
wheeling round the sides in regular order. Shortly 
after five o'clock, although the sun had not yet set, the 
columns began to rise above the edge, still in a 
circular flight ; they then rose, wheeling round a high 
tree growing on the opposite side, and every few 
minutes a large flight would break off and, after 
rising high in the air, disappear in the distance ; each 
flight contained many thousands. I counted nineteen 
flocks go off in this way, and they continued to go off 
in a continual stream until it was too dark for me to 
see them any longer. ... At a quarter to six the 
swifts began to come in to Simud Putih [the White 
Cave] ; a few had been flying in and out all day long, 



but now they began to pour in, at first in tens and 
then in hundreds, until the sound of their wings was 
like a strong gale of wind whistling through the 
rigging of a ship. They continued flying in until 
after midnight, as I could still see them flashing by 
over my head when I went to sleep. . . . Arising 
before daylight, I witnessed a reversal of the proceed- 
ings of the previous night, the swifts now going out 
of Simud Putih, and the bats going into Simud Itam. 
The latter literally ' rained ' into their chasm for two 
hours after daylight. On looking up, the air seemed 
filled with small specks, which flashed down perpen- 
dicularly with great rapidity and disappeared in the 
darkness below." The swift has been determined to 
be Collocalia fiuiphaga, the alga a species, probably 
new, of Glceoeapsa, and the bat, Nyctinomus plicatus. 
There is an abundant supply of guano in these caves. 

Rana esculenta. — This frog, commonly con- 
sidered to occur only on the continent, has been 
found in Norfolk. It appears that forty years ago or 
more, Mr. G. Berney turned some out in that county, 
and it is considered by Mr. G. A. Boulenger, F.Z.S., 
that the specimens captured are their descendants. 

Succinea Pfeifferi, var. parvula. — I have 
recently found some Succineoe at Barnes, one of which 
I sent to Mrs. Fitzgerald, of Folkestone, and which 
she determined as belonging to the above form. I 
have recently taken on Barnes Common, with the 
Succinea, Limax Levis and Hyalina fulva, and a 
little way off, on a grassy bank, a specimen of 
Cochlicopa lubrica, which Messrs. Taylor and Roebuck 
have identified as var. minima, Siem. — T. D. A. 
Cockerell. 

V arieties of Arion ater. — Mr. Elliot has sent 
me some specimens of the variety bicolor, which he 
finds in damp places near Stroud. It certainly is a 
very fine form, being rather related to the var. 
albo-latcralis ^ol Roebuck. As a good deal of con- 
fusion seems to prevail concerning the varieties of 
A. ater, perhaps it may be well to give a brief de- 
scription of the various forms, as I understand them. 
I. Type form. Entirely black. 2. var. marginata. 
Black, with an orange or reddish foot-fringe. 3. var. 
nigrescens. Dark grey, with the sides usually rather 
lighter : var. plumbea, Roebuck ; lead colour, seems 
to be very nearly allied to this if the two can well 
be separated. 4. vzx.rufa. Reddish or brownish. 
5. var. succinea. Yellow or yellowish ; var. palles- 
cens of Roebuck is light yellow. Perhaps it 
would be better to call both these yellow varieties 
succinea. 6. var. albida. White. 7. var. bicolor. 
Back brown, sides primrose yellow, foot-fringe 
orange. The brown of the back is sharply defined 
from ths yellow of the sides. 8. var. albo-lateralis. 
Back black, sides white, the two colours sharply 
defined as in bicolor, foot-fringe orange. This 
variety has been found in Carnarvonshire and in 
West Sussex. Mr. Elliot's variety, with the inter- 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



141 



stices of the wrinkles light and the wrinkles darker, 
would seem to approach var. nigrescens, but it is 
probably distinct enough for a separate name. I 
fancy that the young of var. succinea are often alluded 
to in local lists as " Arion plainis." — T. D. A. 
Cockerel/. 



BOTANY. 

Protoplasmic Continuity. — This subject has 
been extended by Mr. Thomas Hick, B.A., B.Sc, 
into the Fucaceae, and in a paper contributed to the 
"Journal of Botany," and published in separate form, 
he gives an account of his researches. He thinks 
that they conclusively establish the fact of a continuity 
of protoplasm through the cell walls in Fucacese, 
though of a different type from that described in 
many of the Florideoe. His paper is accompanied by 
a plate, showing figures of Ascophyllum nodosum. 

Twin Primroses. — When gathering primroses a 
few days ago, on a hedge-bank in North Wales, I 
found a ' ' twin " primrose — two flowers growing on 
one calyx — one of the flowers having six petals, the 
other five. In another place, a double primrose 
was found, which had nine petals, six on the outside 
and three in the centre. These flowers were carefully 
kept as good specimens of uncommon primroses, 
more remarkable perhaps than those mentioned in 
Science-Gossip for January and March. Several 
very fine single primroses with six petals were 
found. — M. E. Thomson. 

Orchids of the Rhone Valley. — In the last 
fortnight of April we have found the mountain slopes 
of the Rhone valley an admirable locality for 
orchidaceous plants. Evidently the character of the 
rock is congenial to the orchid nature, and nearly 
ail the species here named were gathered from 
sloping pastures or woodlands on Lias Limestone. 
We must notice even the familiar Orchis mascida 
and Orchis morio, for beauty of the spike and 
strange variety in tint, and Orchis metadata for hand- 
some spotted leaves. Orchis lalifolia was abundant 
in the marshes, but not so fine as we have seen in the 
Isle of Wight. Orchis ustulata (dwarf brown wing) 
studded the meadows, interspersed with Ophrys 
arachnites (late spider), and Aceras anthropophora 
(green man). Ophrys mitscifera was appearing here 
and there in woods with Ncottia nidus-avis (bird's 
nest) and the Twayblade. Habenaria bifolia (butter- 
fly) was in bud only, in the woods ; Habenaria 
viridis (frog) being fully expanded. Orchis militaris 
we found fairly common in meadow lands. The 
previous year's [spike of Orchis hircina (lizard) we 
noted, a prize seen for the first time ; the prolonged 
though shrivelled life being quite sufficient to identify 
the plant ; Ophrys aranifera (spider), was still in bud 
in the woods, apparently later in flowering in this 



locality than O. arachnites. In the less accessible 
parts of a mountain gorge Cypripedium calceolus 
(lady's slipper) was putting forth strong shoots to 
flower later in spring. A plant, however, from the 
same locality was out before May in a garden at 
Montreux. Orchis sambricina (the elder scented 
orchis) was scattered in profusion over the fields of 
the Sal van road, with Orchis rubra (=papilionacea) 
a splendid crimson flower. — C. Parkinson, F.G.S. 



GEOLOGY, &c. 

Geologists' Association. — At Easteralarge party 
of the members of this Association visited Canterbury, 
Reculvers, and Richborough, under the direction of 
Mr. G. Dowker, F.C.S., and Mr. W. Whitaker, F.C.S., 
of the Geological Survey. Some of the members 
went down on Saturday and spent the day over the 
Tertiary country west of Canterbury. On Monday 
a visit was paid to Heme Bay and Reculvers, to 
examine the newer Tertiary beds of the cliff-section. 
The divisions between the Oldhaven, Woolwich and 
Thanet beds are less clearly marked here than near 
London, and hence differences of opinion exist as to 
the classification of the beds. These points were 
fully discussed on the spot. On Tuesday the party 
visited Pegwell Bay, where the lowest Thanet beds 
and their junction with the chalk were seen ; then 
walked along the shore to Sandwich, crossing the 
Stour to Richborough on the way. Great changes in 
the coast-line have taken place, both here and at 
Reculvers since Roman times. These were explained 
by the directors. A pleasant surprise awaited the 
members in finding in the waiter of the Fleur-de-lis 
Hotel (Mr. T. B. Rosseter, F.R.M.S.) an excellent 
naturalist and original worker with the microscope. 
His instruments and preparations were placed at the 
disposal of the party during the evenings. 

New Species of Mammals from Florida. — 
The Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences 
of Philadelphia contain an account of two teeth from 
Florida, one of a supposed new species of Rhinoceros 
(R.proterus), and the otherof a species of Hippotherium 
(Hipparion), the three-toed genus supposed to be the 
progenitor of our present horses, and first known in 
the European form of H. gracile. The latter tooth is 
an upper molar, and is said to indicate a small species 
little more than half the size of the domestic horse, or 
of H. gracile. To the new species thus indicated the 
name of Hippotherium ingenuum has been given. 

Changes of Level in the South of England. 
— In the " Geological Magazine " for April, Mr. J. S. 
Gardner summarises these changes of level, during 
recent times, pointing out that there are indications 
of a rise having taken place at the Swale at Sheppey, 
the Reculvers, the coast off Richborough and off 
Hythe, the Dungeness Shingles, the Pevensey flats, 



14: 



HARDWICKE 1 S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Kent's Hole, and to the east of the mouth of Beaulieu 
river ; and of depression at Tilbury Docks, Selsea, 
Ryde, Brading harbour, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, 
Bourne valley, river Dart, Pentium, Carnon, and 
Torbay ; besides changes of some kind at Pagham 
Harbour, the Solent, the Isle of Wight and Poole. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

TheWaterOusel in Northumberland.— This 
is perhaps one of the most common of the water- 
frequenting birds (wren and wagtail excepted). It is 
perhaps more common in Northumberland than in 
any other county in England, and is to be found in 
almost all the valleys of the small unfrequented 
streams of that county. There, in the summer, you 
may, if you sit by the banks of the river, catch sight 
of it diving into the water in search of insects. It 
has been said by a great authority, that the ousel has 
the power of walking on the bed of the river, but I 
am very much inclined to doubt that, though there is 
no doubt that its food consists of insects that cling to 
the bottom of the stones, as well as of small fish, and 
you would almost wonder at its power in getting to 
these insects. It is capable of staying a long space of 
time under the water, and it also swims well on the 
surface. It is most interesting to stand and watch 
this bird obtain its food. It will dive headlong into 
the water, rise up again after capturing its prey, and 
proceed to devour it, and if you go to the spot you 
will generally find it strewn with fragments of the 
shell, or cases of the water-insects. It builds its nests 
in the banks of the stream which it frequents, and 
prefers to be in the solitudes of the woods, rather than 
near the haunts of men, though I have known one 
case where one, or rather a pair, of these birds built 
their nest in close proximity to a large town. In 
winter especially, it seems to draw near to the towns 
and villages on the banks of the streams. It is then 
that its low sweet song may be heard to perfection. 
These birds are very early builders, a pair, to my know- 
ledge, having commenced to build their nest early in 
the month of February, 18S3. It was then beautiful 
mild weather, but early in the following month, 
before they had finished their building operations, a 
severe frost set in, followed by a heavy fall of snow. 
This did not at all hinder the process of building, but 
it seemed to be an incentive to make them work 
harder, for one morning, while the ground was covered 
with snow, I stood and watched them for about an 
hour, and I saw them fly into the tunnel (in the wall 
of which they were building their nest), every two or 
three minutes, with roots and leaves in their bills, 
and on March 15 it laid the first egg ; this day was 
probably the coldest day we had that winter. But, 
soon after, I think when it had got its fourth egg, it 
was robbed by some idle boys. Strange to say, it 
shifted its residence to a new spot, not .many yards 
from the old spot, and built a new nest, and succeeded 
in hatching its full complement of eggs, six in number. 
The eggs are of a beautiful white. The song of this 
bird is low and sweet, and, strange to say, when you 
hear it singing, you would think that you were listen- 
ing to a chorus of birds instead of one. Its song may 
be heard at its best in winter. — J. Bozoman, Neivcastk- 
on- Tyne, Northumberland. 

Ranunculus Ficaria. — Not only is R. ftcaria 
usually classed as the "pile-wort," but it is equally 



commonly described as Lesser celandine. The 
following authors so name it : Sir J. D. Hooker, 
in the " Student's Flora of the British Islands " ; Anne 
Pratt, Spencer Thompson, in " British Wild Flowers, 
where to find, and how to know them ; " J. T. 
Burgess, in his little book on "Old English Wild 
Flowers." It is not wise to place any reliance on 
the popular or trivial name of a plant when seeking 
its genus, for such trivial name will often vary with 
locality. It would take a student a long time to find 
the evening primrose among the Primulacese. — F. jf. 
George. 

Golden Eagle's Eggs. — The fact of the eagle 
mentioned [by A. F. being kept in captivity would 
not, I think, have any effect on the colour of the eggs. 
They are to be found from pure white to those of a 
rich dark brown, and I have a pair in my collection 
of the former colour taken in Scotland. It is, I think, 
more remarkable that it should lay at all, as, 
although it is said to be more easily domesticated 
than the white-tailed eagle, it is a species that does 
not readily lay in confinement. — jf. M. Campbell. 

Tree standing after a fall of many feet. — 
In the description in White's " Sel borne " of a land- 
slip at Hawkley, mention is made of several oaks, 
which slipped thirty or forty feet, but still remained 
standing and in a state of vegetation. Several years 
ago, a similar occurrence took place in Hubbard's 
Valley, near Louth, when a beech (Fagus sylvatica) 
growing near the top of a steep bank, from the side 
of which much chalk had been excavated, slipped 
down, together with the earth at its roots, for a 
distance more than equal to its own height. This 
tree, which is still standing, produces every year an 
ordinary supply of foliage, and seems to have been 
but little affected by its fall.—//. Wallis Kew, Louth. 

A correspondent sends from Kent a specimen 
of an abnormal bluebell {Scilla nutans) in which the 
bracts are greatly developed, attaining a length be- • 
tv/een two and three inches, or even more. The 
bracts are yellowish and green, instead of being blue, 
as in the normal flower, and their great length gives 
the raceme a tasselled appearance as in a sprouting 
ear of grass. 

Chara and Nitella. — Can any one kindly inform 
me where chara and nitella can be found near 
Tonbridge?— C. J. Bohnso. 

Purple W t ood Sorrel. — Can any reader kindly 
tell me if this is a distinct species ? I have found it 
several times in North Wales. In some places the 
flowers were a deep purple, in others a pinkish 
purple. In both plants, the under side of the leaves 
was very dark, those of the deep purple flowers being 
darkest. — M. E. Thomson. 

The Colour of the Red Sea. — I shall be glad 
to add a few remarks to Dr. Stonham's in your March 
number, on the minute weed seen by him in the Red 
Sea. I have had many opportunities of observing it, 
and have found it in both Atlantic Oceans, both 
Pacific Oceans, and the Bay of Bengal, so it seems to 
be pretty largely distributed. I am of the opinion 
that it is often noted as volcanic dust when seen in 
calm weather floating on the surface, and also that it 
frequently escapes notice altogether. Sometimes I 
have seen it, and even when I have called attention 
to it floating in the sea, yet till I got some water in a 
bucket, other people could not distinguish it. In 
addition to the little bundles Dr. Stonham figuies, 
little balls may frequently be seen very similar to the 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i43 



little seeds one collects when walking through bushes, 
1 nit which can all be pulled out with a needle into the 
separate fibres. The separate bundles are generally 
of a light brown colour, but when in great quantities 
it appears sometimes brown, and at other times 
almost black. In calm weather it collects principally 
on the surface, but when the sea is agitated, it then 
sinks to a small depth. — D. Wilson Barker, pen., 
F.R.Mrf. Soe.j Chief Officer, s.s. "International:' 

The Pied Fly-catcher. — On the 25th and 26th 
of April, I observed near here, a bird very rare in 
this part of the country, the pied flycatcher 
(Muscicapa luctuosa) ; a remarkable bird, owing to its 
strongly contrasted black and white plumage, and its 
great activity. I can find only two cases recorded 
of the appearance of this bird in Somerset or Glou- 
cestershire, and both of these were many years ago. 
Morris, in his " British Birds " states that he had never 
seen this bird alive. I should be glad to learn 
whether this species has been observed elsewhere this 
spring.— Alfred C. Pass. 

Holly Leaves. — The old holly-trees about here 
(Epping Forest) invariably show this tendency, the 
leaves of the upper part of the tree usually having only 
the terminal spine, with sometimes one or two 
additional spines. I have never seen a holly leaf 
in the forest without the terminal spine. It is a 
question whether the phenomenon is to be accounted for 
on the cattle theory, since those long upper branches 
of old trees which hang down within reach of the 
larger animals, frequently bear many leaves with only 
the one spine. Again, why should this one spine 
always remain ? Is it known that cattle will eat holly 
leaves, if the upper ones are given to them ? There 
seems to be an analogy between the upper leaves of 
an old holly and those of an old ivy, as in both the 
characteristic shape is lost. What is the explanation 
in the case of the ivy ? — F. W. Elliott. 

Flint Implements. — Are any flint implements 
found in the neighbourhood of Bagshot, and if so 
where is the best place to look for them ? — Charles 
Noble. 



NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 



To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than formerly, we cannot un- 
dertake to insert in the following number any communications 
which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the " exchanges " offered are fair 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken oi our gratuitous insertion of 
" exchanges " which cannot be tolerated. 

We request that all exchanges may be signed with name (or 
initials) and full address at the end. 



A. S. Mackie. — i. Limncra percgra, but rather doubtful. 
2. Spluerium lacustrc. 3 and 4. We do not undertake to name 
foreign species. 5. Cypraa Europtra, if British. 6. The so- 
called "seal's egg" is the shell or "test" of a sea-urchin, an 
Echinoderm. A somewhat larger one with spines adhering was 
recently pointed out as a humming-bird's nest ! 

Herbert B. Alexander. — Your objects "are the so-called 
pseudo-podia of the moss Aulacomnittm attdrogynitffi." The 
stalked heads "consist of little gemma which in this moss often 
replace the spores (capsules bearing spores are rarely found 
on it)." 

S. J. H.— An answer next month if possible. 



D. Bradley. — See "Engineering" for 1877 for articles on 
the Aneroid Barometer, which may answer your purpose. 
There should be numbers of \ the series also in some preceding 
year. Negretti and Zambra's " Treatise on Meteorological 
Instruments " is said not to be so thorough. 

V. A. Latham. — Thanks for your suggestion. But a reviewer 
may not always know the price of a book reviewed. E wart's 
book on the "Dissection of the Frog" is published at is. 6d. 
(London : Simpkin.) McAlpine's'work is at present withdrawn 
from publication. 

G. E. E. jun. — Write for specimens of " The Naturalist," (id. 
Editors, Park Row, Leeds; "The Midland Naturalist," 6d., 
(London, Bogue) ; " The Natural History Journal and School 
Reporter, i,d., (William Sessions, York) ; (2) Lyell's " Student's 
Manual of Geology" gives a good many. 

C. D. jun. — Your criticisms are too violent and "unparlia- 
mentary." Reconsider them and write again. 

S. Chadwick. — Where and in what formation was the fossil 
spine found ? 

Thirsk. — Several of your mosses either had no fructification 
or it became spoiled. 

Initials lost. — The lesser celandine is Ranunculus Jicaria, 
a flower of the buttercup order. The celandine, or greater 
celandine, is Chelidonium majus, also a yellow flower, but 
belonging to the poppy order. The two plants are very unlike 
one another, though the name is similar. 



EXCHANGES. 

Good botanical, histological, crystals, polariscopic, diatoms, 
fish scales and miscellaneous, microscopic slides for others as 
good of bacilli, entozoa, alga:, desmids, zoophytes, rocks, fossil 
woods. — B Wells, Dalmain Road, Forest Hill. 

Wanted, British and foreign Arionidae and Limacidae, also 
foreign Unioidae and Physae. Offered, shells, minerals, and 
specimens of Citiomorium coccineum. — Cajetan Platania Pla- 
tania, Via S. Giuseppe, No. 14, Acireale, Sicily. 

Lepidoptera. — Duplicates : Cardamine, Corydon, Io, Ata- 
lanta, .S". fopuli, Ligustri, Z. Trifolii, Betularia, Piniaria, 
Rhomboidaria, Defoliaria, Rubiginata, Dubitata, Pyraliata, 
Perla, Lutosa (fair), Suffusa, Lota, Spadicea, Ferruginea (fair), 
Oxyacanthas, Cerella. Desiderata numerous. Accepted offers 
answered within a week. — George Balding, Ruby Street, 
Wisbech. 

Lang's " Butterflies of Europe," value .£3 15J. Wanted, 
Lindsay's " Lichens," " Journal of Microscopy," vols, i., ii., 
and iii. Offers solicited. Martin J. Harding, Old Bank, 
Shrewsbury. 

Wanted, an aquarium, with slate bottom and plate-glass 
front, back, and sides, size about 2 ft. X 10 in. X 10 in. Will 
give in exchange complete set of Cassell's " Technical Edu- 
cator," unbound, or "Building News" for 1878 and 1880, 
bound in half-yearly volumes. — W. H. Pratt, 15 Gill Street, 
Nottingham. 

Wanted, any or all London University Calendars, 1879-1884, 
inclusive. Offered, Darwin's "Cross and Self Fertilis. of 
Plants," Weale's " Integ. Diff. Calc," "Sybil "(by Disraeli), 
Swainson's " Insects," or other mathl. or scient. works. — 
W. G. Woollcombe, The Close, Exeter. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip, Jan. to May" (or complete year), 
for 1870, also 1871, 1872, and 1873. Miscellaneous books in 
exchange. — W. Greener, 38 Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith, W. 

Wanted, " Hogg on the Microscope ;" Clarke's " Objects 
for the Microscope," and other microscopical books; also 
Science-Gossip complete for 1881, and " Common British Sea- 
Weeds," by L. Lane. Will give in exchange well-mounted 
micro slides. — W. S. Anderson, 7 Granby Street, Ilkeston. 

Large number of British marine shells to exchange. Will 
collectors in all parts of the kingdom send lists of duplicates 
and receive mine? — J., 15 Warren Street, Tenby. 

Wanted, a good microscope. Can offer in exchange a 
double-barrelled air-pump and accessories ; electrical, chemical, 
and other apparatus ; books ; stamps ; dried plants, &c, to full 
value. — Mr. Edwards, 34 Ling Street, Liverpool. 

Wanted, "Journal of Naturalist during Voyage round the 
World," by the late Charles Darwin ; and the first two vols, of 
the " Journal of the Postal Microscopical Society," unbound. 
Stand condenser for microscope, and also turntable. — L. Francis, 
i Elm Villa, Elm Grove, Rye Lane, Peckham, S.E. 

Specimens of the new British plant, Potentilla Norvegica 
(see Hooker's " Student's Flora," last ed.), for new varieties of 
land and freshwater shells or antiquarian objects. Plant not in 
flower till June. — G. Roberts, Lofthouse, near Wakefield. 

Wanted, vols, xi., xii., and xiii. of Maund's " Botanic 
Garden," or odd numbers.— Miss Higgins, 93 Wellington Street, 
Luton, Beds. 

= Good specimens of Canadian insects, reptiles, birds, and 
minerals for English specimens of the same ; also a few Canadian 
land and freshwater shells for exchange. Correspondence 
solicited with parties desiring specimens of zoology, botany, 
and geology from Canada. — W. D. Shaw, Sect. Treas. Montreal 
Agassiz Association, 34 St. Peter Street, Montreal, Canada. 
•» i in., \ in., and ^ in. objectives by Ross; exchange good 
binocular stand.— S., 20 Montpelier Road, N.W. 



144 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Student's monocular microscope, by Johnson, optician to 
University College, with mechanical stage, coarse and fine ad- 
justments, sub-stage diaphragm, two eye-pieces a and v, i in. 
and i in. object t lasses, polariscope and selenite stage, con- 
densor, live cage, stage forceps and tweezers. — M. I., 4 Lower 
Terrace, Hampstend, N.W. 

Wanted, one of Shadbolt's turntables, or an equally good 
one ; will exchange a genuine Mulready envelope, stamped, 
post-marked, mil undeniably an original one. — F. Cresswell 
Du Bois, 15 West Cromwrll Road, Kensington. 

Fine micro photographs in exchange for good slides, Sic. 
Microscopic objects photographed. — F. Guardia, HeUton 
House, Rozel Road, Clapham, S.W. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip from beginning of 1865 to end of 
1884, either bound or in loose numbers; and also any other 
microscopical books or journals. State what is wanted in ex- 
change for them. — Charles Von Eiff, jun., 347Greenwich Street, 
New York City. 

Wanted, pennies, halfpennies, and farthings of Edward I., 
Edward II., and Edward III. Flint flakes in exchange. — 
B Piffard, Hill House, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. 

Wil L send tube of living budding Hydra viridis on receipt 
of a good mounted object. — Thomas W. Lockwood, Lobley 
Street, Heckmondwike, Yorkshire. 

Wanted, fresh specimens in fruit of the Musci, Hypnum 
Atrichimtm Grimtnia, Pottia orthntrichttm, also Marchantia 
polymorpha and Riccia glauca. Well-mounted micro slides of 
interest offered in exchange..— R. A. Hawkins, The Cottage, 
Quarry Road, Hastings. 

Micro slides : will send in exchange for four good mounts 
the following: — fertile pinnule of hare's-foot fern (Davillia), 
ditto royal fern (Osmunda), tr. sect., ivy, ditto jessamine, both 
double-stained. — J. B. Bessell, Fremantle Square, Bristol. 

Wanted, No. 11, vol. iii., of "Natural History Notes," 
published Nov. 1883, edited by F. J. Rowbotham. Offered in 
exchange, cretaceous fossils, land and freshwater shells, Lepi- 
doptera. — A. Beales, 37 Kingsley Road, Maidstone. 

Will exchange Science-Gossip for 1884, the March number 
missing, for natural history specimens, especially stuffed birds 
or mammals. — George H. Brocklehurst, B.Sc, Roundhay, 
Leeds. 

Cypr&a lyna and Cyprcea helvola from Zanzibar, and Nassa 
reticulata from Scotland ; exchange for other shells not in col- 
lection. — Mrs. S., 21 London Road, Brentford, Middlesex. 

Offered, Bourne's " Catechism of the Steam Engine " and 
"Handbook of the Steam Engine," Phillips' "Mineralogy," 
also " Knowledge," vol. i. unbound. Wanted, books on aquarium, 
especially Taylors "Aquarium," or works by Gosse, or back 
volumes of Science-Gossip, &c. — G. A. Simmons, 102 Ladbroke 
Grove Road, London, W. 

Wanted, skins and eggs of British birds in exchange for 
land and freshwater shells. Duplicates : P. vivipara, B. 
Leachii, P. hypuorum, L. lizvis, T. haliotidea, Z. nitidus, 
Z.glaber, P. pusillum, &c. Desiderata: i". ovale, U. inarga- 
ritifer, Z. purus, H. fusca, B. perversa, &c. — F. G. Fenn, 
20 Woodstock Road, Bedford Park, W. 

Wanted, local varieties of British shells ; also mounted mol- 
luscan palates, and back numbers of scientific journals, especially 
the " Journal of Conchology." Shells in exchange, including 
Paludina contecta, P. vivipara, Zonites glaber, and Helix 
la?iiellita.—S. C. Cockerell, 51 Woodstock Road, Bedford 
Park, Chiswick, W. 

Wanted, books by Hogg, Clarke, Martin, and others on 
the microscope ; also Clark's " Seaweeds," and vol. vi. of the 
"Boys' Own Paper ;" good exchange given in micro slides. — 
W. S. Anderson, 7 Granby Street, Ilkeston. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip for 1879 and 1883, also any 
volumes earlier than 1876. Will give good micro slides in 
exchange. — Samuel M. Malcolmson, M.D., 55 Great Victoria 
Street, Belfast. 

Offered, Gosse's "British Sea Anemones," Lyell's " Anti- 
quity of Man," Pratt's "Wild Flowers" (large 4to.), "Testi- 
mony of the Rocks," and other good books. Wanted, French 
works on marine alga;. — T. H. Buflham, Connaught Road, 
Walthamstow. 

What offers in exchange for some large fossil fern slabs from 
coal pit, Heath, near Bristol? Tropical recent land shells pre- 
ferred. — Miss F. M. Hele, Fairlight, Elmgrove Road, Cotham, 
Bristol. 

A 4-inch reflecting telescope in exchange for good micro- 
scopic objective or offers of scientific apparatus. — E. B. Fen- 
nessy, Pallas Green, Limerick. 

Living specimens of Hydra viridis, now budding in tube, in 
exchange for mounting material, insects preserved in spirit 
wanted, such as : — Saw flies, horse flies, wood ant, fairy fly, or 
parasites of animals, or fish, &c, or else large spines of foreign 
Sea Urchin, for making s ec tions. — W. H. Pratt, 15 Gill 
Street, Nottingham. 

Wanted, British and foreign land and fresh-water shells, 
particularly some Tcstacella mavgei in exchange for ?% yards 
of very fine aviary wire-netting, a yard wide and £ inch mesh, 
unused; also some of first numbers of "Knowledge" and 
" Amateur Work," Pirates of Penzance vocal score, and various 
other books, &c— Wilfred Mark Webb, 31 Aynhoe Road, 
West Kensington Park, W. 



Sponge spicules : will send a well-mounted slide of spicules 
of the Cliona sponge (parasite on oyster shell), in exchange for 
any good slide, botanical or biological.— G. Swainsun, no Park 
Road, Bolton. 

Wanted, a T '. T or -?- immersion objective. W J ill give in part 
exchange Cassell's "Popular" and "Technical Educator," 
quite new, well-bound in scarlet calf, or handsome musical box 
(ten tunes). — G. S., no Park Road, Bolton. 

Good shells, fossils, and works on osteology, &c, offered in 
exchange for odd parts of Lovell Reeve's " Conchologia 
Iconica" and of the Palseontological Society." — Miss Linter, 
Arragon Close, Twickenham. 

Botanical cabinet, 36 in. high, 18 in. wide, with a few 
specimens, for turntable and slides. — C. H. Goodman, 9 Dorl- 
cote Road, Wandsworth Common. 

Wanted, good book on mechanics. Offered, Science- 
Gossip, 1880, eighteen numbers of "Youth," forty numbers of 
"Boys' Newspaper," three numbers of "European Ferns." — 
Archibald W. Fry, Bridge House, Arundel. 

Micro slides for exchange. Wanted, books (science) or other 
slides. Lists free on application. — A. P. Wire, Seaton Villas, 
Birkbeck Road, Leytonstone. 

A few slides of Antheridia and Pistillid : a of mosses and 
hepatics, also ripe capsules of same, for other good mounts. 
Lists to — W. E. Green, 32 Belvoir Road, Bristol. 

Fresh gathered crowfoot clustercups {Qlcidium raiiuncu- 
laceariim*) and dock clustercups (CEcidium rubellum), in ex- 
change for nettle fungus ((Ecidium Urtictr). — T. S. Morten, 
3 Rosslyn Trrraace, Hatnpstead, London, N.W. 

Wanted Geikie's lectures at South Kensington on Geology, 
Dand's Geology, Mineralogy, or books on coins, for " Boy's 
Own Papers." —John Millar, Clarence House, Inverkeithing, 
Fifeshire. 

Offered for exchange one hundred eggs with data of chough, 
sparrow-hawk, dipper, stonechat, grey wagtail, goldfinch, 
hooded crow, swift, ringed plover, redshank, heron, mute swan, 
puffin, guillemot, razor-bill, cormorant, gannet, herring-gull, 
kittiwake, storm-petrel and many others. Send list of duplicates 
and of desiderata. — Richard J. Ursher, Cappagh, Lismore, 
Ireland. 

Wanted, fossil sharks' teeth from any formation, not more 
than three of any species, must be named and localised, in 
exchange for fossils from chalk, gault limestone, oolites, London 
clay, &c. — George E. East, jun., 10 Basinghall Street, London.J 

Offered, pair of tumbler pigeons in exchange for three or 
four well-mounted micro slides. — R. H. T., 28 Albert Road, 
Devonport. 



BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED. 
" The Microscope in Botany," Dr. J. W. Behrens (transl.) 
(Boston: S. E. Cassino & Co .) — "Celestial Motions, a handy 
book of astronomy," W. T. Lvnn, B.A. (Stanford). — " Birds I 
have kept," W. T. Greene, M.A. (L. Upcott Gill) — " Proto- 
plasmic Continuity in the Fucacese," Thomas Hick, B.A., B.Sc. 
"Contributions to the Fossil Flora of Halifax," Thomas Hick 
and William Cash. — "A Correlation Theory of Colour Percep- 
tion," Charles A. Oliver, M.D.— " Geology of the Comstock 
Lode," and Atlas (U. S. Geol. Survey). — " U. S. Geol. Survey, 
3rd Report," 1881-2. — "Annual Reports of the Public Gardens 
and Plantations," Jamaica. — " Proceedings of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia." — "The Lias Marlstone of 
Leicestershire as a source of Iron," by E. Wilson, F.G.S. — 
"Special Creation and Evolution," C. C. W. Naden. — "The 
Gold-fields of Victoria, Reports of the Mining Registrars." — 
" Report of the Kelvingrove Museum, &c," Glasgow, for 1884. 
"American Naturalist." — "Science." — "American Monthly 
Microscopical Journal." — "The Naturalist." — " Ben Brierlcy's 
Journal." — "The Journal of Conchology." — " Feuille des 
Jeunes Naturalistes." — "Popular Science News." — "Canadian 
Science Monthly."— " The Medico-Le?al Journal," New York. 
"Illustrated Science Monthly." — "Papers and Proceedings of 
the Royal Society of Tasmania," 1884. — "East of Scotland 
Union of Naturalists' Societies Reports," 1884. 



Communications received from :— W. G. — C. C— H. T. 
—P. S.— J. M.— H. C— A. B.— H. W.-J. C. S.— G. H. B.— 
M. S. — W. H. P. — G. A. S. — F. W. L. — F. G. F. — 
C. F. W. F. W.— A. V.— S. C C.— W. S. A.— S. M. M.— 
T. H. B.-S. C.-F. M. H.— J. P.-E. B. F. — T. W.— 

A. D. W.-J. E. L.— C. D.-S. J- H.-G. E. E.-F. R. C— 
C. H. G.— A. W. F.— W. E. C— J. B. W.— J. W.— A. P. W. 
— M. E. T.— W. E. G.— T. S. M.-W. O. — W. G. W.— 
M. J. H.— E.-C. N.-C. P. P.-J- G.-W. D. S.-J— G R. 
— D. W. B. jun.-F. W. E.-G. B.— W. H. P.-W. G— 
W. S. A.— T. W. L.-C. W.— D. B.— B. T. & C— .4. A.— 
T. F.-C S.— A. C— G. F. H— R. C.-K. A. N.— L.— E. D. 
— T. S.-A. B.-V. A. L.-T. W. D.-J. C. P.-F. R. C— 
M. E. T.-A. E. T.— C. J. B.-W. W.-C. v. F. jr.— F. J.- 

B. P.— C. C— A. S. M.— A. H. S.— T. ¥.— F. C. D. B.— 
H. W.— T. W. W.— H.— G. R.— C. F. W. F. W.— G. H. B.— 

C. R.-H. W. K.-S. C. C.-J. F.— C. F. F.-R. L. H — 
E. S. P.— R. J. U.— K. H. T.— A. K.— C. P.— W. M. W.— 
&c, &c. 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 




E.T.D.dela&nat. 



Vincent Brooks Day k Soa.Luh . 



T.S SECTION OF SHELL OF BARNACLE. 



X 30 



HARD W I CKE ' S S CIE NCE ■ G O SSI P. 



H5 




GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T. DRAPER. 



No. XIX. — Section of Shell of Barnacle {BaJanus sulcatus). 




HE cirripeds, or 
barnacles, in their 
adult condition have 
a curious dissimi- 
larity of form. The 
Lepadidse appear as 
p edunculated 
masses, and elegant 
groups of these 
"necked barna- 
cles" are found on 
floating timber or 
wreckage. The 
fixed stem, or 
peduncle, is often 
several inches in 
length, thick in pro- 
portion, freely flexi- 
ble, of peculiar 
tough texture, 
possessing voluntary movement, and surmounted or 
tipped with a conical articulated shell containing the 
animal, from the apex of which emerge the " cirri.'' 
Of the same family, although so unlike in appearance 
are the Balanidoe, popularly known as "acorn shells," 
sessile, the creature included in a compact although 
somewhat moveable calcareous domicile, firmly at- 
tached to the surface of constantly submerged rocks, 
and the bottoms of ships, enjoying, as the vessel 
drives through the seas, the luxury of a vagrant life, 
and with its singular and well-adapted casting net, 
collecting abundant food from the scums and shoals of 
microscopic organisms. The close relationship between 
the Lepadidae, with their long flexible stems, and 
the Balanidas in their shelly boxes, is detected in the 
perfect identity of the larval free swimming condition. 
At this point their similarity is manifest. When the 
perfection of this state is attained, the little creature 
seeks a point of attachment : the bottom of a vessel, 
floating substances, or the solid rock, and fixing itself 
by an outpouring of glutinous cement, in the one case 
No. 247.— July 1885. 



prolonged into a stem-like flexible stalk, in the other 
fixed in a shelly pyramid. 

Compared with the brilliant hues and elegant 
configuration of "shells" in all their interesting 
varieties, as appreciated by collectors, the appear- 
ance of a barnacle scraped from the bottom of a 
vessel has externally no great beauty, or attraction ; 
but, like many apparently obscure objects, when 
subjected to microscopical examination, it reveals 
structural peculiarities and adaptation of very 
significant interest. 

In the sessile group of the Cirripedia, of which 
Balanus sulcatus and B. tinlinnahulum are the most 
prolific and common forms, unlike the compact and 
entire solidity of a shell as generally understood, it 
is composed of four or more thick external articu- 
lated conical plates, supported on a flat adhesive 
base, the apices running upwards. Within and 
enclosed in these are thinner and more moveable 
processes interlapping, and when reaching the 
summit so delicately fine as to become a mere slit of 
exquisite adjustment for the extrusion of the cirri, or 
curly filamentous appendages ; these flash out, for 
the collection of food and purposes of aeration, and 
when as suddenly retracted the delicate edges of this 
sensitive operculum hermetically close the aperture, 
and the creature within. The growth of these lami- 
nated plates of shell is seen by perpendicular and trans- 
verse ridges, showing expansion in every direction. 
The base of fixture is a flat foundation of accumulated 
calcareous secretions, and in specimens taken from 
the hulls of ships, more or less incorporated with the 
paints and deadly oxides of metals used to discourage 
their accumulation. But balani generally succeed in 
eluding these ingenuities. 

If a shell be broken into, near the base, inside, 
above the floor of attachment (the point of greatest 
resistance), a part may be seen corrugated, and having 
a columnar appearance ; if a slightly oblique horizontal 
thin section be cut through this point, the apparently 
uninviting fragment reveals a structure of adaptability 



146 



HARD WICKE'S SCIENCE- G OS SIP. 



rarely found in other calcareous organised deposits ; 
a series of tubuli will be seen permeating through 
cancellated walls. This tubular development obviously 
affords strength against external pressures, and 
although mere conjecture is rarely reconcileable with 
scientific accuracy, it seems at least an instance of 
the application of the method of obtaining the 
greatest strength in the least compass, an idea 
supported by deeper investigation, as under a power 
of 70 diameters, the tubular streaks running through 
the "supports" to the edge of the inner surface, 
represented in the illustration by waved white lines are 
ound to be not solid or homogeneous, but so 
beautifully interlocked, that the whole may possibly 
possess a certain amount of "play" conducing to 
power of resistance and expansion ; in a thin section, 
each piece, with its aperture, may with care be 
accurately separated. 

Although space is somewhat limited, a word 
may be said of the " cirri " of the barnacle, the long 
slender incurved fringes of filaments, a living meshed 
net, a combination of barbed tentacles, a perfection 
of arrangement, and, according to the dictum of a 
great authority, composed of "about five hundred 
distinct articulations." The sensibility of these 
tendril-like organs must be most exalted, and thus, 
the barnacle traps and sifts its food, as the vessel 
sweeps through the waters. 

The parent cirriped is a fixture, but its progeny 
are free swimming atoms, not unlike Cypris, one of 
the minute entomostracans of the ponds, except that 
in this early larval locomotive stage they keep 
together in shoals. Under magnification they are 
most comely and quaint objects. In one of Mr. 
Gosse's sea-side books is a plate of a pair of these 
creatures drawn and tinted with extreme elegance. 
No one who has seen a young cirriped, swirling about, 
with its compact form and apparently completed 
organisation, would conceive that it emanated from a 
parent so dissimilar in form and habits, or that it 
would eventually subdue its incessant activity and 
become an "acorn shell" fixed once for all, and 
wedged in by the pressure of surrounding neighbours. 

Barnacles do not thrive in aquaria, they require 
the incessant rush and motion of water added to an 
abundance of microscopic forms of food. Small rock 
specimens will endure a few days' captivity, when the 
movements of the cirri may be watched, and attrac- 
tive microscopical preparations afterwards made of 
the various parts. 

Crouch End. 



CHARA v. NlTELLA.— Last year a chara (probably 
foetida) was found within live miles of Tunbridge 
in a pond by the roadside at Hadlow. If C. J. Bohnso 
sends his address to me, I would point out the 
locality.— F. W. E. Skrivell, Hope Cottage, ITadlow, 
Tunbridge. 



NOTES ON LEPIDOPTEROUS PUPyE. 
By Albert H. Waters, B.A. Cantab. 

THE situations in which the pupae of lepidoptera 
occur are many and varied. The common 
Pieridse and Vanessidae are very partial to the under- 
side of the coping stones of walls, and some moths — 
as the vapourer [Orgyia anliqua) — have the same 
preference also. 

The pupa of the swallow-tailed butterfly {Fapilio 
Machaoti) is attached to the sedge ; that of the 
speckled wood (Satyrus sEgeria) to the lower parts of 
grass stems, the pupa of Satyrus Semele is buried in 
the earth, and that of Satyrus Hyperanthus is also 
contained in a little cavity on the surface of the 
ground. Canonympha Pamphilus too pupates close 
to the ground on the lowermost part of the grass 
stems, and Thecla quercus chooses similar situations. 
The pupa of Thecla betuhv is attached to the under 
side of blackthorn leaves, and those of the blue butter- 
flies to the stems of the plants on which the larvae 
feed. The reed tussock-moth {Orgyia cceuoso), spins 
its cocoon on the stems of Arundo phragmites, the 
drinker (Odonestis potatorid) attaches itself to the 
grass stems ; the rare Aspilates citraria encloses its 
variegated chrysalis in a slight cocoon among the 
leaves of Daucus Carota and Lotus corniculatus. 
Emmelesia albulata pupates in the domicile it lived in 
throughout its caterpillar life, and which it formed by 
spinning together the leaves of Rkinanthus crisfa- 
galli. The prettily coloured eupithecia pupae are 
mostly buried in the earth, and the green chrysalis of 
Thera junipcrata is suspended to the twigs of the 
juniper bushes. 

By digging at the foot of willow-trees in October 
and the four following months, we are pretty sure to 
turn up the pupae of Taniocampa instabilis in large 
numbers among the loose sods, and just beneath them 
we may possibly find the slightly-spun cocoon of 
Ptilodontis palpi na, and deeper down in the ground 
the red brown glossy chrysalis of the eyed hawk-moth 
(Stncriuthus ocellatus). 

Among the fallen leaves at the foot of oak-trees 
we may come across the pupa of Sclenia illuslraria, 
and we may also find it at the foot of birch-trees ; the 
cocoon in which it is enclosed is a very slight one. 
If we pull the loose sods to pieces when we commence 
digging at the foot of the oak-trees, we are pretty 
sure to find abundance of chrysalides of Taniocampa 
stabilis, and may expect to meet with those of Tcenio- 
campa munda. It is also at the foot of oak-trees 
that entomologists living in its localities may dig for 
the rare Nyssia hispidaria on the chance of turning it 
up. Among other pupae to be dug for under oaks, 
mention may be made oiNotodonta trepida, N. ckaonia, 
and N. dodoncea. When the roots of the oak-trees 
are covered by an interlacing growth of brambles it 
is advisable to look out for the cocoon of Cymatophora 
ridens anions? 1, the dried leaves and fragments of wood. 



HA R D IV I CKE'S S CI EN CE - G OS SI P. 



J 47 



The pupre of Cymatophora fluctuosa is enclosed in 
a slight cocoon among the fallen leaves at the Toot 
of birch-trees. Notodonta dictaoidcs and Notodonta 
dromedurius are other species we may look out for in 
the same locality. They both attach their slightly 
made cocoons to the under side of leaves ; of the 
two last named, dictaeoides is somewhat the largest. 
Notodonta Caw din a and Amphydasis betularia are 
also pupas we may expect to turn up under birch- 
trees. Camelina also occurs at the foot of maple and 
oak, and betularia beneath lime and oak trees ; I 
have also dug it up under willow. 

Other pupae the trowel may be expected to turn up 
in October are the following : — 

Smcrinthns Populi. Rough ; muddy brown. Near 
poplar-trees, also sometimes in gardens under laurel 
bushes. 

Smerinthus Tiliu. Rough ; dull red. At foot of 
lime and elm. 

Sphinx Convolvuli. Smooth, with beak in front. 
Sphinx Lignstri. Smooth dark brown, with curved 
beak-like proboscis in front. Under lilac- trees and 
privet hedges. 

Deilephila Euphorbia:. — Pale brown, delicately 
reticulated with black lines and dots. In loose sand 
on the sea coast. 

D. Galii.— Brown. In sand on sea coast near 
Deal. 

Biston hirlaria. — Blackish ; somewhat dumpy. 
At roots of lime-trees ; also pear and plum. 

The following are among the non-subterranean 
species : 

Arctia mendica. — Brown, smooth. In a dark- 
coloured cocoon among rubbish where dock abounds. 
A. lubricipeda and A. mcnthastri. — Dark brown. 
In cocoons under rubbish. 

A. itrtica. — Dark coloured. In a slight cocoon 
among water mint and other plants by the side of 
wet ditches. 

Orgyia pudibunda. — In a cocoon among oak, 
lime, hazel, maple, and other trees. 

Dcmas coryli. — In a slight web under moss at the 
foot of beech-trees. 

Pa~cilocampa Populi. — Brown. In a black, oval 
very compact cocoon, under bark, or ash, or poplar. 
Sometimes among dead leaves at the foot. 

Eriogaster lacustris. — In a small oval compact 
cocoon under hawthorn. 

Bombyx Rubi. — Smooth, dark brown ; in a long 
loose cocoon with intermingled hairs. Among 
bramble and heath. 

Satitrnia carpini. — In a curious pear-shaped co- 
coon, open at one end, among heath, blackthorn, &c. 
Ellopia fasciaria. — Among the dead needles at 
roots of Scotch fir. End of October. 

Eurymene dolobraria. — Under moss on beech or 
oak. 

Odontopera bidentata. — Under moss on oak and 
other trees. End of October. 



Ephyra omicronaria. — Green. In a very slight 
cocoon in moss on maple-trees. 

Platypleryx falcula. — In a slight web inside a 
doubled up birch leaf. 

P. unguicula. — Brown, with greenish wing cases. 
Among beech leaves in a slight web. 

Dicranura bicuspis. — In a compact gummy cocoon 
on the bark of alder-trees, generally in the crevices 
half-way down the tree on the north side. 

D.furcula. — In a glutinous cocoon on the bark of 
sallow ; generally very low down. 

D. bifida. — In a very tough and strong cocoon oh 
aspen bark. It gnaws a cavity in the bark, and fills 
the depression up with the cocoon, so that it is very 
difficult to find it. 

Clostera curtula.- — Dark brown, rounded at end. 
Between united aspen leaves. 

Clostera reclusa. — In a slight cocoon uniting sallow 
leaves. 

Gonophora derasa. — Conical, terminating in a horn- 
like point. Within united bramble leaves. 

Thyatira bails. — Blackish ; with stout thorax and* 
sharp pointed extremity. In a slight cocoon among 
bramble leaves. 

Cymatophora fluctuosa. — In a slight cocoon among 
birch leaves. 

C, Or. — Red brown. Between united poplar 
leaves. 

Cambridge. 



ARTISTIC GEOLOGY. 

Ffestiniog and its Neighbourhood. 

By T. Mellard Reade, F.G.S., &c. 

\_Contimicd from p. 123.] 
LLYN MORWYNION AND LLYNIAU GAMALT. 

SEVERAL excursions and wanderings over the 
hills about these lakes will well repay the labour. 
The strata are very much broken up by faults in the 
immediate neighbourhood, which is well displayed on 
the survey map. At Llyniau Gamalt is to be seen a 
volcanic conglomerate, forming precipitous cliffs on 
the eastern side. These lakes from the boggy nature 
of the surrounding ground are not easily got at. 
The rock is full of large boulders of felstone ; some 
of them in shape like kidney potatoes. Thin bedded 
ashes are interbedded with the conglomerate, and 
a true plane surface I noticed of these showed such 
regular jointing as to look like masonry. Following 
the outlet stream we came upon a very pretty series 
of falls which quite enchanted my boys. The re- 
mainder of the distance was mostly bog-trotting 
before we reached the main road. 

Waterfalls. — These are very numerous and beautiful 
in the neighbourhood. The falls of the Cynfael within 
a half-mile walk are lovely in their variety. For a 

H 2 



148 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



mile the stream may be followed through a series of 
glens, gullies and gorges, overhung and festooned 
with trees. The geological interest as an example of 
denudation is also great. I sketched a view of Hugh 
Lloyd's pulpit, a pillar of rock left standing in the 
middle of the stream. Further up are some very 
large boulders wedged in the walls of the stream in 
quite a remarkable manner. These I have described 
in a paper to the Geological Society, so I will not 
repeat it here. 

About three miles from Ffestiniog, on the road to 
Bala, we get fine views of the Rhaidr Cwm, a series 
of splendid falls on the same stream but quite 
different in character to those just described. It is 
a mountain torrent springing from rock to rock and 
cutting deep gorges in the hillside. It is above the 
level at which trees flourish. 

A good walker may cross the moors at a point 
further on the road and get to Bettws-y-Coed by 
Penmachno. Nothing is more delightful than the air 
of these moors some thousand feet above sea level, 
and the gradual change in the long descent to the 
vale of Conway, from bare mountain sides to the 
luxuriant foliage of the vale is very agreeable. The 
falls of the Conway may be visited, and the ~eturn to 
Ffestiniog made by train to Blaenau. 

Otlicr Excursions. — I fear I have exhausted my 
reader's patience in these descriptions in which it 
is difficult to reproduce the feelings which take 
possession of the mind open to the influences and 
ever-changing moods of nature. It is impossible to 
w r alk anywhere about Ffestiniog without being grati- 
fied with the scenery. Many a walk did we take to 
Blaenau Ffestiniog, yet one may safely say that such 
is the variety of effect produced by the atmosphere 
and cloud, that the picture was never the same. The 
mountains at times seem to be pervaded with an 
impenetrable and mysterious gloom which excites the 
curiosity and we strive vainly to picture what is 
behind, while, at others, every detail lighted up is so 
distinct, and yet so tender, that one feels the depths of 
despair in trying to reproduce the effects on paper. 
I have said little about the vale. It is very beautiful 
but its beauty is not of that mysterious nature which 
constantly keeps the imagination on the stretch as the 
mountainsdo. At the same time some prefer the sooth- 
ing effect of a combination of trees rocks and water 
making up such a landscape ; so I leave it to them. 

Excursions that will repay the geologist may be 
made down the valley of Dolwyddelan, past the 
Castle, and across the mountains to Capel Curig, 
and thence back to Bettws-y-Coed. We pass the 
foot of the grand cone of Moel Siabod, a landmark 
among the mountains. Again, a trip to Harlech may 
be made, noting the remarkable anticlinal hills on 
the left (at the bottom of map LXXV., north-east), 
the surface contours of which are formed by the curved 
bedding planes which, wrapping over the hills, 



terminate successively to the southward in well- 
defined scarps. This is perhaps as curious and 
instructive an example of denudation as may be seen. 
At Harlech Castle we note how remarkably the 
Cambrian grits, of which the walls are built, have 
stood the weather, while the sandstone dressings of 
the openings have crumbled away. The architecture 
of the front to the interior quadrangle is massive and 
grand. Beyond Harlech we saw quarries in which 
the grit and interlaminations of slate may be studied ; 
and still further on, a great bank of drift, lying on the 
mountain side, and skirted by the Cambrian railway, 
may be investigated ; that is, if the explorer is not 
afraid of thorns and torn clothes. 

A trip down the narrow gauge railway to Port 
Madoc, and a visit to Borth, is both pleasant and 
instructive. At the latter place geology may be 
combined with sea bathing. It is a very pretty little 
bay, hewn by the sea out of the Lingula beds. Nor 
must we omit a visit to the grand volcanic mass of 
the Arenigs, or fail to notice the enormous blocks 
and boulders in the railway cutting near Arenig 
station here, 1200 feet above the sea level. It were 
impossible to do justice to all the details of interest, 
geologic and artistic, within reach of the sojourner 
at Ffestiniog ; in the space at my command I can do 
little more than outline them. Nor is the district 
devoid of interest to the antiquary. A good pair 
of legs and lungs, guided by scientific ardour, will do 
wonders. I have avoided all references to fossil 
collections. My object was, firstly, to gain health ; 
secondly, to find a pleasing occupation for the mind. 
Without the latter Ffestiniog would be voted slow ; 
with it, and the great inducement presented for 
rambles and long walks, I found it health-giving, 
exhdarating, and ennobling to the mind. What is 
beauty? has been a question debated by artists, 
philosophers, and poets. We know by feeling what 
it means, but the metaphysical analysis which 
attempts an explanation of the conditions of mind 
under which it is perceived is usually unsatisfactory 
in its answers. Of this, however, I am sure : given 
the constitutional temperament which rejoices in the 
harmonies of nature, the wider the knowledge the 
keener will be the perception of natural beauty. 

But I must not forget my geological readers. In 
describing my trip to the Bwlch Drws Ardudwy, I 
was so taken up with the outward show and sem- 
blance of things that I quite forgot to explain that 
we were passing over what may be considered the 
central dome of the Welsh system, forming originally 
the highest part of the mountain system of North 
Wales, but now stripped bare of its former covering 
of Silurian rocks both upper and lower, with its much 
altered Cambrian rocks deeply eaten into by denuding 
agencies, yet still presenting mountains rising 2400 
feet above the sea level. These great mountains, the 
Rhinogs, Diphwys, &c, are entirely carved out of 
the Cambrian strata from base to summit after the 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



149 



removal of many thousands of feet of Silurian rocks. 
What a vista of time does not this present to the 
imagination ! But to read about these denudations 
is insufficient ; it is necessary to walk about, map in 
hand, to thoroughly realise their meaning. It is then 
that geology becomes a living fact, a sublime thought 
before which historical ideas of time and action are 
mere fugitive shadows. Being brought face to face 
with such facts cannot fail to profoundly influence 
our ideas of the relation in which we stand to Nature. 
There are many aspects in which these relations may 
be viewed, they have been dwelt upon by the great 
minds of all ages ; but not the least awe-inspiring, if 
bewildering, is the panorama of creation which 
geology only within the last fifty years has unfolded, 
and vaguely in broad outlines pictured to the human 
eye. 



specially transformed. In some there is a thin inner 
membrane turned up to meet the proper indusium. 
This forms a connecting link with Lindscea. 

P. aquilina, Linn., or common brake, is the only 
species with the double indusium found in the 
island. Surely no description of the fern is necessary 
for English people, living as they do, and bearing 
with them to foreign lands the recollection of the 
homes of their childhood ? Brake is found all over 
the hills and in every part of the island. 

P. nemoralis, Willd. (or quadriaurita, Retz.), is still 
more abundant, especially in the town of Victoria. 
This species is twice or bi-pinnate, and easily 
distinguished, as the lowest pinnse on each side of the 
rachis are in twos, and hang down, a habit common 
to the order, and no doubt suggesting the name from 
the likeness to a bird's wing (pteron — a wing). 




Fig. 96. 



-Pteris scmi-pinnata, 
Linn. 



and 



Ftcris serrulata, Linn., sterile 
and fertile fronds. 



Fig. qj.—Asj>Ienium (Dipl.) Jafonkum, 
Thunb. 



SOME FERNS OF HONG KONG. 
By Mrs. E. L. O'Malley. 

[ Con tin uedfrom j>. 134.] 

Gen. VII. Pteris, Linn. 
{Brake.) 

ALL the species of this large genus by no means 
resemble Pteris aquilina, or eagle fern, so called 
in some counties from the supposed likeness, as every 
boy knows, to a spread eagle, in the vessels of the 
stalk cut traversely ; but in all, the covering of the 
sori is marginal and continuous. It runs along the 
entire length of the leaf, and consists of the margin 



P. longifolia, Linn., or long-leaved pteris, is a large 
fern, fond of heat and dry dusty places, simply 
pinnate, except the two lowest pinnre, but all the 
pinnce narrow straggling and long. An untidy- 
looking fern, and one which might at first sight be 
mistaken for Blechnum orientale, but the sori placed 
at the edge, instead of down the centre of the leaf- 
segment, at once mark a different genus. In pteris, 
the extreme point of the segment is always destitute 
of sori, a peculiarity we do not observe in ferns of 
other genera. Two more species are common, both 
smaller and more delicate in texture. 

P. semi-pinnata, Linn., or half-pinnate pteris, is 
one of the commonest plants in the island, and very 



i5° 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



easily known by the half-formed frond, of which the 
top of each segment or division appears to have been 
cut off. 

P. semclata, Linn., is common in gardens. The 
sterile and fertile leaves are different— those of the 
former being serrated. 

Gen. VIII. Cheilanthes, Sw. 
In Cheilanthes we find a very lovely little fern, 
almost as delicate as and not altogether unlike Lindsma 
heterophylla. Its name— C. tenuifolia, Sw., thin- 
leaved cheilanthes, well describes its nature. The 
stalk is slender, black and hair-like. The tiny, 
curled, much-cut segments of the leaf have son 
running all round and just inside the edge. The 
frond seldom exceeds 6 in. in height ; it is ovate, 
triangular in outline, bright green, and grows in 
banks along with Lindssea and maidenhair. In 
some countries it is known as lip-fern, from the 
indusium covering the seed, as the lip covers the 
teeth, but it must be remembered the covering is 
single, not double. The very tiny, almost round 
pinnules— the under side rough with downy hairs, 
and often nearly covered with the confluent sori, 
which has the appearance of being curled inwards, 
enable the botanist easily to identify the species. 

Gen. IX. Asplenium, Linn. 
(Spleenworts.) 

The disposition of the sori, running along the 
veins, constitutes in this genus the principal specific 
distinction. 

Of this very large genus we cannot say that more 
than two species are really common in Hong-Kong. 
Asplenium Schkuhrii (Mett.) (Ihbg.) reminds us at 
once of the pretty maiden-hair spleenwort of English 
heaths and hedges, only the black stalk is missing. 
It is usually found from S to 12 inches high, but 
sometimes attains to a greater size. The frond is 
simply pinnate, tapering to a point, and pinnules 
serrated. Like most of the spleenworts it is graceful 
and delicate-looking. Asplenium dilatatum, Hk., 
must strike many as an old friend. It grows on the 
Pok-fillum road and elsewhere, but in England is one 
of the commonest objects on the hillside. The frond 
is twice or thrice-pinnate, bright green'ahd feathery in 
appearance. We have heard it called " parsley-fern," 
from its likeness to the leaf of wild parsley (Anthriscus 
sylvcstris). A. lanceum, Th., is uncommon. The frond 
is undivided (entire), about 6 in. long and h, to 1 in. 
broad, with a slightly irregular edge and sori in 
streaks along the upper or both sides of the veins. 
(To be continued) 



Vol. XIX. of the new edition of the " Encyclo 
piedia Britannica" (pky-pro) has been published 
It contains illustrated articles on Polyzoa and Proto 
zoa by Prof. E. Ray Lankester. 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 
J3y W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S., F.C.S. 

IN the Bulletin of the American Geographical 
Society is an account of the mosquitoes in Alaska, 
which to those who have not had some experience of 
these pests in Arctic regions, appears incredible. 
Shooting is described as impossible, because the 
clouds formed by them were so dense as to prevent 
aiming. Native dogs are sometimes killed by them, 
and Lieut. Schwatka heard accounts from reliable 
persons which, coupled with his own experience, he 
fully believes, of the great grizzly bear falling a 
victim. The bear having invaded the swamps where 
the mosquitoes breed and congregate, stands up on 
his hind legs and fights them with his fore paws, but 
as they are neither huggable nor scratchable, he fails, 
is blinded, and finally starved in consequence. 

The popular notion that these abominable little 
wretches are chiefly resident in tropical and sub- 
tropical countries is quite a mistake. The home of 
their mightiest legions is within and about the Arctic 
circle. This is evident even in the course of an 
ordinary coasting trip round the North Cape. At every 
station where a halt is made, a living cloud invades 
the ship, and its passengers suffer accordingly, 
especially at the wrists, where the blood-suckers hide 
under the shirt cuff, and operate secretly. On proceed- 
ing out again to sea, they are blown away. On the 
occasion of my last trip, two of my fellow passengers 
landed on Magero to ascend the North Cape cliffs. 
We picked them up again on our return. They were 
in sorry plight. One of them, a sturdy Uhlan officer, 
who had ridden through France during the war 
without mishap, was unhorsed by the mosquitoes, 
and crippled by the fall. Both horse and rider were 
so irritated that both were lost to rational control. 
" I did svallo mosquitoes ; I did breeve mosquitoes ; 
I did spit zem out of my mouf," were the terms of his 
description. 

I find that as the limits of the swallow's summer 
visit is reached the plague commences, and when 
those limits are passed, its maximum is attained. I 
believe that our comparative immunity in England 
is due to the abundance of our swallows and martins, 
which even the most brutal of cockney sportsmen 
respects, or fails to hit, and whose nests are wisely 
protected by common consent of all our rustics. The 
swallow is as loveable as the sparrow is detestable. 

The healing power of living whale blubber is shown 
by a fact narrated to the Royal Society of Tasmania, 
viz., that in a whale captured in Behring's Straits in 
Tune 1883, a harpoon was found imbedded in blubber, 
having " Henty. L. 1838 " branded upon it. In 1838 
a whaling establishment belonging to an old Colonial 
family named Henty existed at Portland Bay, 
Victoria. As Behring's Straits are a long way from 
Victoria, an interesting question is suggested. Did 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



151 



the Hentys sail nearly half-way round the globe to 
harpoon the whale, or did the whale travel into the 
other hemisphere to avoid further communications 
with the Hentys ? 

What is the range of migration of whales ? Do 
they cross the equator ? I have seen several in 
latitudes of considerable variation ; those in lower 
latitudes going straight ahead as bona fide travellers, 
and at a speed that would soon cover a few thousand 
miles. 

If scientific mariners and ocean passengers would 
record the sighting of whales, with date, latitude, 
longitude, and direction of the monster's course and 
probable speed, I think we might obtain some 
interesting information. I have little doubt that on 
the largely frequented ocean tracks, certain whales 
might thus be identified, as seen in different parts of 
their journey from different ships. As there is always 
a lower ice-cold current in all the North and South 
ocean highways, the cetacean tourist may at any time 
take a refreshing dive when the surface is oppressively 
warm. 

Among the papers published in the " Bulletin of 
the Philosophical Society of Washington, for 1884," is 
one by Mr. Washington Matthews on " Natural Natu- 
ralists." The author finds that the aboriginal Indians 
are students of Natural History, quite outside of the 
animals and plants they require for use. He says : 
"I never failed to get from an Indian a good and 
satisfactory name for any species of mammal, bird, or 
reptile inhabiting his country ; and I have found their 
knowledge of plants equally comprehensive. The 
Indians are, in this respect, as a class, incomparably 
superior to the average white man." The editor of 
"The Journal of Science" quotes the above, and 
adds : " This evidence shows how much our powers of 
observation have been stunted by the exclusive, or, at 
least mainly, literary character of our educational 
systems. From childhood our attention is fixed 
upon words, written or spoken, and except, among 
specialists, inobservance has followed." 

It appears that my own remarks in the May 
number of Science-Gossip, on the still surviving 
exaltation of the Latin classics in modern education, 
have brought forth a remonstrance from Dr. P. Q. 
Keegan (see page 138 of June number). He 
misunderstands me. I by no means advocate the 
exclusion of literature, but the contrary ; and would 
give precedence far above all to English literature, 
which is practically excluded from the present 
curriculum of grammar schools, and miserably 
neglected in our universities. If there really is any 
basis for the popular scholastic notion that ancient 
literature is especially elevating, why not be con- 
sistent, and commence with Greek ? There is origin- 
ality, subtlety, ideality and philosophy in the Greek 
classics, those of the Romans are at best but clumsy 
imitations ; their poetry and philosophy standing as 
much below those of the Greeks as their sculpture and 



architecture, and similarly second-hand. The-fact is 
that our persistent cramming of Latin is a monkish 
inheritance ; the reasons alleged for its continuance 
are mere afterthought apologies that were never 
imagined by its founders, who were clerics, and igno- 
rant of everything but the language of the church. 

One of the most puzzling manifestations of 
" instinct " is that presented by the overland 
migration of fishes. That they should leave ponds 
which are gradually drying up is easily understood, as 
the water necessarily becomes more saline or harder 
as the evaporation proceeds, but that they should steer 
directly towards larger ponds, or towards rivers, as we 
are told they do, is very astonishing. My own sus- 
picion is that they do not ; that they simply wriggle 
blindly through the wet grass and either perish or 
survive as it happens ; that the wonderful sense of 
direction exists only in the imagination of those who 
describe the migration. In a country that slopes 
towards a river it is of course probable that the 
majority will proceed in the direction of least 
resistance i.e. downwards, and thus eventually reach 
the river. 

I have observed that pond fishes, such as eels, tench, 
and carp, have remarkable powers of remaining alive 
out of water ; eels for several days ; carp and tench 
remain alive in damp grass above twenty-four hours ; 
in cool weather double this time. " Nature," June 
4th, page in, says : "The eels of the ponds in the 
woods of Vincennes leave them every spring in large 
numbers, making their way to the Seine or the 
Marne, several kilometres distant. They take 
advantage of rainy weather, when the herbage is 
wet, and their instinct guides them directly to their 
destination." 

Careful observation of the proceedings of these 
eels would be very interesting. Do they ever travel 
up a slope, or transversely to it ? If they only 
descend from higher ground downward to the river, 
there is no more occasion to invoke any mystery of 
instinct to explain such a course than to attribute the 
seaward flows of the river itself to the directive 
instinct of the water. 

The origin of the iron pyrites which exists in all 
our coal, and in some seams so abundantly as to 
render them nearly worthless (the "brassy" coal 
of Flintshire for example) has long remained an 
unsolved enigma. M. Dieulefait, in a communication 
to the Academy of Sciences, has shown that the ash 
of plants constituting the nearest surviving represen- 
tatives of those of the carboniferous epoch, contain 
much more sulphur than ordinary recent plants. This 
is especially the case with the Equisetaceoe. I should 
add that besides the gold-like crystals of iron pyrites 
there are varying proportions of sulphate of calcium 
in coal. If this large proportion of sulphur was 
common to all the plants from which the coal was 
formed, M. Dieulefait's solution of the problem is 
satisfactory. 



'52 



HARD WI CKE ' S S CIE NCE - G O SSIP. 



Mr. Galloway has done good service in his perse- 
vering study of the agency of coal dust in producing 
colliery explosions. 

He has completely refuted the old-established 
notion that they are simply due to the combustion of 
the hydro-carbon gases to which the miner gives the 
name of " fire-damp." Mr. Galloway has demon- 
strated clearly that fine coal dust stirred into ordinary 
air forms a mixture having fearful explosive energy. 
The only question which he leaves debateable, is 
whether a destructive colliery explosion may be due 
to this alone, or whether an initial explosion of fire 
damp always occurs. 

That such initial explosion, by stirring up the coal 
dust otherwise lying dormant, and at the same time 
igniting it, may be in many cases operative is not to 
be doubted ; but the very practical and very serious 
question, of whether a pit free from outbursts of 
carburetted hydrogen may nevertheless be liable to 
explosions if dry and carelessly worked, still remained 
open. Mr. Galloway contends that the dust alone 
is dangerous ; others have denied this, notably so 
MM. Mallard and Le Chatelier in their report to 
the French Commission du Grisou. Since this a 
Prussian Fire Damp Commission has been appointed, 
and has investigated the subject very thoroughly, their 
results confirming those of Mr. Galloway. 

The subject is of great and growing importance. 
"We are rapidly exhausting our old coal seams, and 
continually going deeper and deeper to supply the 
voracious demands of our blast furnaces, gas works, 
wasteful fire-places, &c, and as we get deeper, we 
come upon dry workings, where, unless special 
precautions are taken, every shot stirs up a cloud 
that may contain particles fine enough to produce 
a local explosion, the which stirs up another cloud to 
explode in like manner, and so on to fearful results, 
even in a pit where naked candles may be carried 
with safety if the air is not violently agitated. The 
practical bearing of this upon the kind of pre- 
caution demanded is self-evident. The source of 
danger being so different from that of fire damp, 
the precautions must be modified accordingly. 

The commercial results of sewage farming are 
usually very discouraging. This however has not 
been the case at Forfar, where, according to the 
published accounts, a field of 38 acres, which cost 
,£3,600, or £94 per acre purchase money, has yielded 
a profit, the total cost of working being ^220 l$s. 
including horse labour, manual labour, seed and 
repairs, and auctioneer's commission. The receipts 
were ,£509 12s. 6d. leaving a balance of £288 17^. 6d. 
or 8 per cent, on the capital outlay. This however does 
not include any management expenses, but supposing 
a capitalist to have undertaken it, and managed his 
own business and thereby saved the £24 5^. 2d. charged 
for auctioneer's commission, he would have obtained a 
return of nearly 9 per cent, with very little trouble. 
We appear to be within measurable distance of 



returning to the soil nearly all we take from it, 
thereby restoring our rivers to their pristine purity 
and vastly increasing our food supplies. If the still 
continuous downfall of rentals urges the landlords to 
give to this subject the degree of practical attention 
which their own interests demand, we may have 
reason to exclaim with the banished duke, that "sweet 
are the uses of adversity-" 



TEETH OF FLIES. 

By W. H. Harris. 

No. VI. 

(STOMOXYS CALCITRANS.) 

THE genus from which the present illustration is 
taken, forms a small one of the order Diptera, 
embracing, according to Walker, three species only, 
viz., Stomoxys calcitrans, S. irritans, and S. stimulans. 
Towards the close of summer, and during the autumn, 




''"'<?-) V 7 ' 




Fig. 98. — Mouth of Stomoxys calcitrans X 14 diam. ph, ph, 
pharynx ; Ibr, labrum ; /, lingua ; la, labium ; mp, maxillary 
palpi ; le, levers or fulcra of labrum. 

S. calcitrans enters our houses, and, by its persistent 
and aggravating attacks on mankind, does much to 
destroy the equilibrium of the best of tempers. It is 
commonly known as the stable fly, but is not at all 
disinclined to pay attention to oxen, &c. So similar 
is it in general outward appearance to the ordinary 
house-fly, that, unless special attention is directed to 
the mouth organs, it may easily be mistaken for 
Musca domestica, but while the latter is compara- 
tively an inoffensive creature, the former is an 
unmitigated nuisance ; in fact, the only redeeming 
point about it is of a purely negative character. 
Possibly by stimulating the attacked party to take 
some exercise to rid the pest, it may do some good, 
but the benefit thus derived is more than counter- 
balanced, if a quiet after-dinner nap has been 
contemplated. The proboscis is cylindrical, with an 
enlargement near its point of attachment to the head. 
Unlike the Muscidse, it is incapable of being with- 
drawn, but always projects from the head downward 
and slightly forward. It is chitinous, black, hard, and 
beautifully polished. Under the microscope, about 
three-fourths of the circumference is seen to be 
thickly set with very delicate transverse striae, and 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



153 



a fourth part at first-sight apparently quite devoid of 
any marking. By careful manipulation with a couple 
of needles this may be withdrawn, and will be found 
to consist of two distinct parts, an outer one, or 
sheath, through which the enclosed needle-like organ 
freely moves. When the proboscis is in its natural 
condition, these parts are seen to enter, and are 
capable of being moved within the cylinder, which 
•extends for a short distance towards the end of the 
proboscis. A reference to figure 99 will 



ijive 



and necessary to some extent if we desire to compre- 
hend the action of the mouth. 

The free ends of these organs are very thin and 
delicate, and quite inadequate as a means of inflicting 
a puncture. Their use undoubtedly is to convey the 
liquid aliment to the oesophagus by constantly sliding 
the parts within each other, on the same principle as 
that employed in some instances for lubricating 
machinery by means of the needle lubricator, which 
may be familiar to many. 




Fig. 99 —Sucto- 
rial apparatus of 
S. calcitrans 
enlarged, a, 
sheath(Iabrum); 
b, needle (lin- 
gua) ; c, aper- 
tures, use un- 
known. 



Fig. 100. — Diagram of Teeth of Stonwxys calcitrans X 330 diatns. , 



some idea of the two parts referred to, the main 
portion of the proboscis being omitted. 

a is the sheath (Labrum) carrying the needle, b 
(Lingua) in its concavity, while the convex side 
being outward completes the cylindrical outline of 
the proboscis. The aperture at the extremity of the 
sheath agrees in size, and comes into close proximity 
to the mouth, or rather that part of it ia which the 
organs of dentition are situated, and to which these 
notes are chiefly intended to refer ; but the whole organ 
is so full of interest I have been led to make these 
.remarks as bearing in some measure upon the subject, 



The enlarged portion of the proboscis is liberally 
provided with muscles, and from these tendons 
extend down to the mouth ; they are very numerous, 
sufficiently so to supply individual movement to the 
teeth and other organs therein contained. 

In order to display these organs a different mode 
of procedure is necessary to that employed in 
Muscidre. The end of the proboscis must be cut off, 
and the point of a very fine knife inserted in the 
opening and laid open, similar to what is done to 
display the gizzard of a beetle. The operation is 
well calculated to test the patience of the operator, 



i54 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



and many failures will occur before a satisfactory 
■view will be obtained, unless singularly fortunate or 
proficient. 

The teeth are of two distinct types, and associated 
with them are other organs to which reference will 
be made. The primary set are stout and admirably 
formed for puncturing the skin of the victim selected. 
They are five in number (dealing as heretofore with 
one half of the mouth), each of these carries one 
rather small point or denticle, and, in addition, they 
are very finely serrated, three on one side only, the 
two central ones on both sides, but it requires a high 
power to see this distinctly. In this respect the 
figure is slightly exaggerated for clearness' sake. 
Immediately behind these teeth, and situated near to 
their apex, is a set of short curved appendages, a 
pair being allotted to each tooth. They 'are quite 
opaque and uniform in thickness throughout. Their 
use appears to be for maintaining hold while the 
other instruments do the cutting and wounding. 
Next follow a set of sabre or lancet-shaped teeth, 
very fine at the points, and by the lightness of colour, 
delicate in structure, but, nevertheless formidable in 
number for the size of the mouth. These are the 
organs for making an incision. When this has been 
accomplished, the small hooks are inserted, and the 
primary set soon completes the work. The margin of 
the mouth is very thickly set with strong hairs, each 
springing from a well-defined base, apparently capable 
of movement. The integument is quite opaque, but 
near the margin assumes a tesselated appearance, 
the original cellular structure being preserved, the 
cells are partly filled with pigment, thus leaving the 
margins well defined. 

It will be observed there are no pseudo-trachea 
present as in the Muscidas, and as these play an 
important part in the collection and conveyance 
of the food, their absence is fully provided for in the 
organ I have attempted to describe. 

If these creatures are plagues when alive, to the 
microscopist, they are in death doubly so, at least 
with regard to their mouth organs. Small, hard, and 
very brittle it is extremely difficult to obtain a 
fairly representative mount, but patience and per- 
severance will accomplish much. In this case it has 
done a little to explain the wonderful contrivance 
employed to replenish the larder of this little 
creature. 



Slugs Biting. — It is stated by Rimmer that 
Testacella will " bite savagely." I have never 
succeeded in making it do so, but the other day on 
handling a large black specimen of Arion ater the 
animal at once seized one of the folds between the 
fingers of the hand on which it was placed. The 
rasping action could be distinctly felt, and after he 
had been allowed to operate for about a minute the 
skin was seen to be abraded. — W. Gain, Tuxford. 



CHAPTERS ONf FOSSIL SHARKS AND 
RAYS. 

By Arthur Smith Woodward. 

V. 

SriNACID^E. 

THE Spiny Dog-fishes and their allies form a large 
family whose palaeontological history appears 
to begin with the deposition of the Lias. So far as is 
known, Palccospinax, from the Lower Lias of Lyme 
Regis, is the fore-runner of the race, and the earliest 
example of a living genus is Spinax primavus, from 
the Cretaceous rocks of Mount Lebanon. 

Exceedingly perfect specimens of Pahzospinax 
have been discovered in the well-known Liassic fish- 
beds of Lyme Regis, and by a study of these remains 
Sir Philip Egerton has been able to elucidate the 
structure of the genus ;* space, however, prevents us 
from entering far into the anatomical details, and it 
is only possible to glance at one or two of the most 
prominent features. The ordinary length of the 
shark being not much more than eighteen inches, the 
teeth are very minute, and the use of a lens is 
necessary to reveal their characteristics. They are 
remarkably Hybodont in shape, but a great difference 
exists between those of the upper and lower jaws, 
and there is also considerable variation even in the 
dentition of the same jaw ; fig. 101 represents a tooth 
from the anterior part of the upper jaw, and fig. 102 
a lower tooth of corresponding position. The dorsal 
fin-spines (fig. 105, A, b) are likewise of small size, and 
their external surface is smooth, exhibiting no 
ornament except a few scattered tubercles and 
indistinct lines of growth at the base of the exposed 
portion : it is interesting to notice that the anterior 
spine (a) is smaller, stouter, and more recurved than 
the posterior (b) — the reverse of what occurs in 
Hybodus and Acrodus. The slender body is covered 
with fine shagreen, and the fins appear to have 
possessed strong supporting rays of cartilage; and, 
although the second dorsal fin almost corresponds in 
position with that of Cestracion, there are indications 
of the anal being merged with the caudal (according 
to Egerton), and this is a special character of the 
family now under consideration. 

The history of Drepanephorus affords a typical 
example of the slow but steady progress of palaeon- 
tological knowledge. In 1S22, some spines and 
vertebrae from the Chalk of Lewes were referred by 
Dr. Mantell to the Teleostean "File-fish," Balistcs. 
In 1838, Frof. Agassiz showed that the fossils in. 
question really belonged to a shark, and considered 
them to indicate an extinct species of the living 
genus, Spinax, which he designated S. major. 
Twelve years later, Sir Philip Egerton described 

* Mem. Geol. Surv., Dec. XIII., 1872, PI. VII. ; see al-o 
"Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc.," vol. xxix., 1873, p. 420; and 
" Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist.," [5], vol. vii., 1881, pp. 429-432. 



HARDW1CKKS SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i55 



some scattered teeth from the Chalk, under the name 
of Ccstrario7i canaliculatus, because they seemed to 
differ but little from those of the recent Cestracion, 
except in their smaller size and the possession of a 
minute channel passing obliquely through the root of 
each. Three years after this, in 1S53, the same 
ichthyologist announced the discovery of a specimen 
proving the teeth and spines to belong to one fish ; 
and in 1S72 Sir Philip, also, published detailed 
descriptions of all the more important specimens 
then available, and proposed the generic name by 
which this Selachian is now known.* Fig. 106, A, B, 
are drawings (half nat. size) of the first and 
second dorsal fin-spines, which are only marked by 
lines of growth and do not appear to have been very 
deeply implanted in the soft parts ; and figs. 103, 104 
represent an anterior and posterior tooth, the former 
quite prehensile, and the latter adapted for crushing, 
as is the case in the front and back teeth of 
Cestracion. D. canaliculars is the only species 
of the genus at present recognised, and its remains 
occur chiefly in the Chalk, although other English 
Cretaceous deposits have yielded a few fragments. 

Rhinid^;. 

Our object in this series of articles being to 
dwell chiefly upon those Selachian fossils that 
most commonly come under the notice of English 
collectors, and to summarise the results of the latest 
researches relating to such, a passing notice will 
suffice for the small, but interesting family of 
" Angel-fishes " and " Monk-fishes." None of their 
remains are known to occur in British strata, and the 
Lithographic Stone (U. Oolite) of Bavaria and 
France appears to be the only Continental deposit 
yielding examples of importance. These have been 
referred to the living Rhina (= Sqnatina) and the 
doubtfully distinct genus Thawnas : though the gill- 
openings are lateral, the general form of the body is 
much like that of the Rays, and there are no dorsal 
spines. 

Pleuracanthid.e (Xenacanthid.e). 

This is an extinct family, of which much yet 
remains to be learned. It comprises the various 
forms that have been described at different times 
under the generic names of Pleuracanthus, Diplodus, 
Orthacauthus, Xenacanthus. and Triodus, and which 
it is now almost universally agreed to unite under the 
first (the earliest) of these terms. Triodus is un- 
doubtedly identical with the previously-described 
Xenacanthus, and there is no doubt, likewise, that 
this is the same as Pleuracanthus. The chief dis- 
puted point is, whether Pleuracanthus and Ortha- 
canthus really differ generically, or merely specifically, 

* Mem. Geol. Surv., Dec. XIII. 



and the most recent contribution* to the subject, by 
Mr. J. W. Davis, of Halifax, seems to show that the 
latter is most probably the case. 

The ordinary fossil remains of this family met 
with in Britain, are confined to Carboniferous strata, 
and present themselves in the form of detached spines 
(called Pleuracanthus and Orthaeanthus) and teeth 
(known as Diplodus), but the Continental specimens, 
to which we shall shortly refer, are much more 
complete and occur chiefly in the Lower Permian. 
The spines are long, usually straight, and tapering 
to a point, with a smooth or finely striated surface, 
upon some part of which are arranged two longitudinal 
rows of denticles ; they much resemble the spines of 
recent Rays in external shape, but differ from those 
of such as Trygon and Myliobatis in not being solid, 
but possessing a hollow cavity which opens at the base. 
Fig. 107 represents a typical example of the Pleuracan- 
thus spine, half the natural size, and the diagrammatic 
transverse sections, figs. 108, 109, show the difference 
between this and the form originally termed Ortha- 
eanthus ; the latter, it will be observed, is much 
more cylindrical than the former, and the rows of 
denticles are placed close together along the back, 
instead of far apart along the sides, but in the paper 
already mentioned, numerous intermediate forms are 
described, which demonstrate that these are only the 
two extremes of a nearly continuous series. 

The little bodies known as Diplodus (fig. no) consist 
of a thick bony base, upon which are fixed two 
comparatively large diverging denticles, with a 
smaller denticle and a little flat-topped or rounded 
boss rising between. They occur not unfrequently 
at many Coal Measure localities, and considerable 
numbers are sometimes met with in association. 
Agassiz originally described them as teeth, and this 
seems to be the view now generally accepted, but 
some palaeontologists have expressed the opinion 
that they are simply dermal tubercles analogous to the 
prickles of the " Thornback " and other recent Rays.f 

The Permian specimens of Pleuracanthus {Xena- 
canthus) found in Germany elucidate many important 
details in the anatomy of the interesting Selachians 
whose fragmentary remains have just been noticed. 
Some examples, in fact, exhibit nearly all the hard 
parts of the fish in their proper relative positions. 
The body is slightly flattened, and the general shape 
recalls that of Rhina ; there are numerous teeth, of 
the Diplodus type, % in the jaws, and the large 



* Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. London, vol. xxxvi. (1880), 
pp. 331-336. References to previous literature are here given. 
t "Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist." [4] vol. i., 1868, p. 371. _ 
{ We may here note that this type of tooth is not exclusively 
confined to Pleuracanthics, having been found in association 
with at least one other spine in the Lower Carboniferous, (T. 
Stock, "Nature," vol. xxvii. 1882, p. 22). Further, recent 
numbers of the American Scientific Journals contain notices 
of a new Shark, named Chlamydoselachus from the Japanese 
seas, of which the dentition is exceedingly similar ; in fact, 
Professor Cope has ventured to refer the latter to the Palaeozoic 
genus, but the figures show the fish to be very different in form 
and indicate the absence of a spine. 



i 5 6 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



straight spine is imbedded in the muscular tissues at 
the back of the head. The structure of the paired 
fins, so far as can be ascertained, is singular, and 
there is a long dorsal fin behind the spine, but the 
caudal is imperfectly known. The skin appears to 
have been almost destitute of shagreen, and hence 
traces of the internal skeleton are well shown ; 
there is evidence of the notochord being persistent, 
but neural and haemal arches, with interspinous 
elements for the support of the dorsal fin, are 
distinctly visible. 



known by Sir Richard Owen in his " Odontography," 
in 1840. The crown of the tooth is somewhat petal- 
shaped — a peculiarity suggesting its name — and is 
fixed upon a remarkably long root ; the cutting edge 
is slightly denticulated, and a number of transverse 
folds of enamel usually appear at the base. It is 
essentially a laniary tooth, and no part can have 
been used for grinding or crushing ; but the mode 
of arrangement of the dentition in the mouth, and 
the number of its components, can only be inferred 
from what is known of allied forms, no very perfect 



Fig. 101. — Upper anterior 
tooth of I'alcrospinax 
prisons. 



Fig. 102. — Lower anterior 
tooth of Palceospinax 

prisons. 



Fig. 103. — Anterior tooth of 
Drep mephorus canalicu- 
latus. 



Fig. 104. — Posterior tooth of 
Drepancpliorus canahcu- 
latus. 




LM 



A b 

Fig. 105. — Dorsal spines of Pal&ospinax priscus. 





Fig. 106. — Dorsal spines of Drepaucphorus canaliculars. 




Fig. 107. — Spine of Pleuracanthus lavissimus (i nat. size). 



' 




o 



Fig. 10S. — Trans 
sect, of spine of 
Orthacanthus. 



Fig. 109. — Tran?. 
sect, i f s-pine of 
Pleuracanthus 
lavissimus. 





Fig. no. —Tooth named 
Diplodus gibbosus. 



Fig. in. — Tooth of 
Pctalodus aciuiiiiiatus. 



PETALODONTIDjE. 

Like the group just considered, the Petalodonts 
constitute an extinct family, ranging only through a 
limited space of geological time ; numerous genera, 
or so-called genera, are known to occur in strata of 
Lower Carboniferous to Upper Permian age, but 
none appear to have been discovered in deposits of 
later date. These fishes were evidently destitute 
of spines, and so are represented as fossils merely by 
teeth, shagreen, and occasional fragments of cartilage ; 
but we are fortunate in possessing important informa- 
tion regarding the arrangement of the dentition in at 
least two of the forms, and these particulars afford 
valuable aid towards determining the natural affinities 
of the group. 

The type-genus is Pctalodus (fig. in), first made 



examples of jaws of Pctalodus itself having hitherto 
been met with. It occurs abundantly in the Lower 
Carboniferous, and specimens have even been re- 
corded from the Coal Measures, but, as will presently 
be shown, the identification of the latter must be 
regarded as doubtful. 

(7o be continued.) 



On June 9th a statue of Mr. Darwin, executed by 
Mr. Boehm, R.A., was unveiled in the British 
Museum of Natural History, South Kensington, in 
presence of the Prince of Wales and a large assembly. 
Professor Huxley, as Chairman of the Memorial 
Committee, made over the statue to the Prince of 
Wales, who represented the Trustees of the British 
Museum. 



HARDWICKE' S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i57 



PARASITICAL FLOWERING PLANTS. 
By A. D. Webster. 

THIS curious and interesting class of plants has 
but few British representatives, and these, 
with perhaps one exception, by no means ornamental, 
which will, to a great extent, account for the very 
meagre information we at present possess regarding 
the various species of which the family is composed. 




Fig. in. — Otobanche r.ipum. Broom-rape. 

Among British parasitical plants are the follow- 
ing genera : the dodder (Cuscuta) ; broom-rape 
(Orobanche) ; toothwort (Lathrsea) ; and mistletoe 
( Viscicm album) ; these again being subdivided into 
about a dozen species, the following being a short 
description of each, with original notes jotted clown 
as opportunities offered. These parasites may be 
divided into two kinds, viz. : those that attach them- 
selves to the roots of different plants, as the broom- 



rape and toothwort, hence called root-parasites, and 
those that live on the stem or branches as the mistle- 
toe and dodder. 

The genus Orobanche comprises some half-a-dozen 
species, most of which are difficult to recognise, and 
have given a more than ordinary amount of trouble 
in classification. They are fleshy herbs, with tuberous 
roots, and never truly green, but generally of a 
brown or russet colour. They are also destitute of 
leaves, but covered instead with small, brown ob 
reddish scales. 

These plants present the remarkable peculiarity 
that each species is generally confined to or lives on 
the same species of plants, thus the Orobanche major 
feeds upon furze and broom ; O. rubra upon thyme ; 
O. ramosa on hemp and lucerne ; O. minor on red 
clover, turf, &c. ; O. elatior on various species of 
composite, as centaury and milfoil ; and O. ccerulem 
on Achillea millefolium. 

The greater broom-rape (O. major) is, as its 
name denotes, our largest native species. Here I 
have found this plant in considerable quantity, but, 
strange to say, always parasitic on furze and never on 
broom as the popular name would lead one to 
suppose. In most botanical works it is also stated 
to be found in greatest quantity on broom, less so on 
furze. 

This cannot be attributed to the want or absence 
of broom here, for in several cases where I have 
found the broom-rape growing in abundance, there 
were also in close proximity numberless plants of the 
broom, so that had a preference been given, as is. 
generally believed, there is no doubt it would have 
been found on the latter plant, especially under such, 
favourable circumstances. I have also frequently 
noticed that this broom-rape seems to prefer living 
on such plants as grow in a warm, dry, usually 
sandy soil and sheltered situation, as on the more 
exposed parts of the ground, although furze may be 
growing in quantity, the broom-rape gradually 
disappears, whereas on the southern and consequently 
warmer side it is found in abundance. The root is 
tuberous and composed of a number of lanceolate, 
fleshy scales, somewhat similar in appearance to. 
those of the lily, and so closely packed together at 
the centre that when cut across with a sharp knife 
the root appears quite solid. The scales on the outer 
portion of the root are, however, less firmly packed, • 
and the points slightly protruding. When bursting 
through the ground the shoot in size, shape, and 
appearance very closely resembles that of our garden 
asparagus, even the peculiar purplish hue, so char- 
acteristic of that plant when in a young state, is not 
wanting in the orobanche. The reproduction of 
this plant, which is both marvellous and interesting, 
is affected either by seed or increase of the root. In 
the latter case the new root or tuber, as in our 
common Orchis, is produced alongside that of the 
one supporting the present plant, and inwards 



i58 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



towards the main stem of the gorse. The root is, 
however, capable of producing more than one new 
tuber at the same time or during the same season, as 
I have frequently found after careful examinations of 
old plants that there were two and in some cases 
three new tubers formed, and ready for advancing 
into active growth in spring. They are usually 
attached to the roots of the gorse at a depth of from 
four to six inches, and never, that I have seen, above 
ground level. 

The propagation by seed is a very slow process, 
these usually requiring three and in not a few cases 
four years to produce flowering plants. The plants 
never appear above ground until of a flowering size, 
which will readily account for the absence of young 
specimens — a fact which has frequently been noted 
and commented upon by accurate observers. As all 
the specimens examined were, as above stated, 
growing on the gorse roots at a depth of from four to 
six inches, I have often been puzzled to satisfactorily 
account for how the seeds penetrate to such a depth. 
The only probable explanation, and one that will also 
account for the greater abundance of the plant in 
gravelly porous ground, is that the seeds, being very 
minute, are readily washed downwards by the heavy 
rains through the loose sandy soil in which the plant 
delights to grow. 

That this plant is parasitical, and not epiphytal, as 
supposed by some, I have repeatedly proved beyond 
a doubt, for on carefully digging up the root it will 
be found impossible to sever it from that of the furze, 
and even when cut across at point of attachment 
both seem so perfectly united as to appear like one. 
I also think it is an error to figure this plant as it is 
in most floras with rootlets at the point of parasitical 
attachment, as these, although I have gone to a great 
amount of trouble in grubbing up plants to find if 
such really was the case, I never could detect. 
Certainly there are rootlets, as those of other plants 
seem to have a particular affinity for working their 
way between the loose outer scales of the tuber of 
this plant. The root of the furze also sends out tiny 
rootlets which may readily be mistaken for those of 
the orobanche. 

That part of the furze root where the attachment 
takes place is much enlarged, but outward from 
that point it dies off, no doubt from the circulation 
of the sap being averted by the parasitic growth. 
The plant flowers in May and 'June, the period 
being however, greatly extended in some specimens. 

From observations made for a number of years I 
have every reason to believe that in a dry, warm 
season this plant attains to greater perfection, and 
remains undestroyed for a much longer period than 
during dull, damp weather. The largest specimen 
I have found measured thirty-eight inches in length, 
had a stem one and a quarter inches in diameter, and 
bore ninety-nine flowers. 

This gigantic specimen I have carefully preserved 



as a memento of the plant. The average size in this 
district when growing under favourable circumstances 
is, however, from two to two-and-a-half feet in 
height. 

The lesser broom-rape (O. minor), though smaller 
in all its parts, very nearly approaches in general 
structure the former species, indeed it is questionable 
if these two species are specifically distinct, as the 
different plants on which the orobanche grows seem 
to alter the nature of the so-called species in a 
remarkable degree. As the name indicates, this 
plant is usually of smaller growth and more slender 
than O. major, and with more or less of a blue tinge 
in the flower, but this is by no means constant, as 
forms with pale yellow and deep blue flowers are not 
uncommon. This species seems to be by no means 
particular as to the plant on which it grows, having 
been found somewhat plentiful on our common ivy, 
clover, the Eryngium, &c, and varying much 
according to the plant, as well as situation, in which 
it is found — this having no doubt given rise to the 
several varieties into which the plant has been 
divided ; but the differences between these varieties, 
or rather forms, are so minute and inconstant as to 
be deemed unworthy of separate remarks. It occurs 
sparingly in this country, and is more generally 
found on the turf than any other plant. 

Two other species very nearly approaching the 
latter are the clover-scented and red broom-rapes 
(O. caryophyllacea and O. rubra), the former 
parasitic on galiums and the latter on thyme. It is 
generally believed, indeed has been recorded on the 
highest botanical authority, that 0. rubra is not 
parasitic, and that the plant is exclusively confined to 
basaltic rocks, such as those of the north of Ireland 
and east coast of Scotland. That neither of these 
statements can, however, be accepted as wholly 
correct, the following interesting and valuable inform- 
ation, kindly furnished by Mr. Lindsay, curator of 
the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, only too 
plainly shows. Mr. Lindsay says, " In reply to your 
note regarding Orobanche rubra being parasitic, I 
have to say that it is so, and think there can be but 
little doubt that the other species are parasitic also. 
In the rock garden here, O. rubra has become 
thoroughly established, self-sown plants have come 
up in different directions, but always on some species 
of thymus, oftenest on T. serpyllum, never on any 
other kind of plant." I have no doubt that this plant 
is more abundant in Britain than is generally 
supposed, but the inconspicuous appearance, and out- 
of-the-way places in which it is usually found, as well 
as general resemblance to O. major, have all much to 
do in accounting for the supposed rarity of O. rubra. 

The branched broom-rape (0. ramosa) is a rare 
British species, being almost confined to a few of the 
southern English counties. This and the blue broom- 
rape (0. cczrulea), the former in particular, are the 
only members of the family having branched or 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i59 



divided stems, though this peculiarity is not constant 
in all the plants. 

The branched broom-rape is a very distinct species, 
being usually of a pale yellow or straw colour, and 
seldom exceeding six or eight inches in height. The 
branches spring almost immediately from the root, 
and in an upright position, and are, at the point of 
juncture, slightly enlarged. When fresh, or in a grow- 
ing state, the stem is almost cylindrical, but becomes 
angular when old, is slightly pubescent, of a dirty 
yellow colour, and furnished with but very few scales. 
It is usually found on hemp, and for this reason is 
perhaps less plentiful than if hemp crops were 
more generally cultivated. This is an annual species, 
but is readily propagated by sowing the seeds along 
with those of the hemp, to the root of which it will 
soon become attached. 

The purple or blue broom-rape (O. caruled) is a 
small growing plant, rarely reaching a foot in height, 
and readily distinguished from any other member of 
the family by the colour of the flowers, which is of all 
shades, from pale violet to a deep purplish blue. It 
is occasionally found branched, though much less 
seldom than the former species. 

In the Channel Islands this plant is pretty abun- 
dant, more so than in England, where it has only been 
found in Hampshire and Norfolk, and there always 
parasitic on Achillea millefolium. 

{To be continued.) 



HOLIDAY RAMBLES 

THROUGH WIGTONSHIRE. 

By G. Claridge Druce, F.L.S. 

{Continued from p. 132.] 

THE third day was by rail to Castle Kennedy, the 
magnificent demesne of the Earl of Stair, whose 
judicious taste has made the park one of the most 
beautiful in Britain, and the collection of conifers 
so extensive and interesting as to be a great attraction 
to horticulturists from all parts of Britain, its 
avenue of the steel blue Finns nobilis being an 
especial feature ; while the enormous extent of the 
terraces, the fine view of the White Loch, the 
well-grown araucarias, all contribute to the general 
effect, and render a visit to Loch Insh a day of 
great enjoyment. In the extensive piece of water 
called the W T hite Loch, which stretches for nearly a 
mile to the west of Castle Kennedy, Lobelia Dort- 
mania, Littorella, Scirpus palustris, etc. occurred. 
In the round pond grew Alisma ranunculoides, 
var. subrepens, which possibly is the Alisma natans 
of the ' Botanist's Guide ' recorded from the Black 
Loch, but in which no trace of it could be found. 

Filularia occurred also, with Helcsciadium inun- 
datum, in the round pond. On the ruins of Castle 



Kennedy Linaria purpurea is completely naturalised, 
as is Polemo)iiuin in the grounds. In the Black Loch 
grew Potamogcton heterophyllus ; while the dry grassy 
slope, cut into terrace gardens, yielded Gentiana 
campcslris, Aira pnecox, Lysimachia nemorum, Carex 
prcecox, Origanum, and Orchis pyramidalis. By the 
side of the Black Loch Galium uliginosum occurred, 
and Nuphar and Nymphaa grew in its waters. As 
to the indigeneity of these latter it is difficult to state. 

Between Loch Insh and Innermessan Hypericum 
humifusum, Armaria rubra, Ornithopus, grew in 
plenty ; while the sandy and shingly tract of sea-board 
between Intermessan and Stranraer afforded Atriplex 
Babingtonii, Silene mariiima, a most profuse growth 
of Armeria, Plantago maritima, Sclerochloa lobacea, 
Honkeneya, Sagina mariiima, S. nodosa (not the typi- 
cal form, nor yet the form glandulosa), Plantago co- 
ronopus, Zostera marina, Polygonum Raii, Lcpigonum 
salinum. In a little brook that ran into the sea near 
Intermessan, Ranunculus truncatus grew, and a 
maritime form of Fumaria Borcei was frequent on 
the shingle. A solitary specimen of Mentha alopecu- 
roides grew near Stranraer. This day yielded nearly 
50 additional species. 

The fourth day was spent in first strolling up the 
Bree-side above Newton. In the shady woods were 
gathered Solidago virga-aurea (a rare plant in Wig- 
ton), Pyrola minor, Luzula sylvatica and pilosa, 
Sanicula, Geu?n rivale and intermedium, Thahctrum 
sp., probably Kochii, but the achenes had not formed ; 
Rubus saxatilis, Hieracium boreale, Asperula odorata, 
Melica uniflora, Chrysosplenium opposit, 'folium, Allium 
ursinum, Trollius Furopwus, Mercurialis (rare in 
Wigton), and a Melampyruin, a form of pratense so 
similar to sylvaticum as to be mistaken for it, the 
book description of the species contributing to the 
error. This had the deep yellow flowers with open 
mouth of sylvaticum, but their size and spreading 
growth were like pratense, to which plant the bracts 
and capsule brought it. It was quite different from 
the var. montanum. The non-occurrence of sylvaticum 
renders the hybrid theory untenable.* Galium boreale, 
the only mountain and almost the only northern 
plant, grew at the base of the cliff, but Wigtonshire 
can scarcely own it as a native, since its home was 
undoubtedly the high ground of the Cairnsmore of 
Fleet, from which the seeds had been carried by the 
Cree. Between Glen Cree and Glenrazie Silene 
inflata was picked in its only locality noticed, and also 
a pink-flowered form of Lychnis vespertina. Viola 
lutca, var. amosna, also grew here, and about 
Challoch a small patch of Equisetum sylvaticum. 
Further work for the day was prevented by my 
ankle, which had been dislocated in Forfarshire and 
had been troublesome all along, at length preventing 
further walking, but about thirty additional plants 
had been noticed during the morning's walk. 



Dr 



Since described as Melampyrum pratense, L. var. Mans, 



i6o 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



The fifth day was by train to Whauphill, and then 
drive to Portwilliam. Along the road Trifoliutii 

medium was noticed in one place, and Sambucus nigra 
occurred in the hedgerows. At Portwilliam, on the 
sea-shore and shingle grew in plenty Carduus tenui- 
florus, Rosa spinosissima, and the Crambe maritime, 
in great quantity, with ripe fruit, and then small 
patches of some vetch, which at first from the rigid 
habit looked like Orobus, but nearer inspection showed 
to be sylvatica* very different from the type : instead 
of the large rampant plant, "climbing and twisting in 
iendrilled strength " over the bushes, with thin leaves 
and white flowers delicately pencilled with blue, 
appeared a small compact prostrate plant, about two 
feet across, with coriaceous, glabrous, and frequently 
glaucous leaves, rigid habit, short peduncles and 
pedicels, and flowers not nearly so large as type, suf- 
fused with a brownish-purple colour ; which, despite 
the crowded state of our synonyms, seems worth 
varietal distinction, at any rate if such forms as Lotus 
crassifolius, Sarothamnus procumbens, or Genista 
humifusa are to be so distinguished. This probably is 
the plant recorded from the Galloway coast by Prof. 
Balfour. Glaucium luteum occurred at intervals with 
Geranium Robert., Convolvulus, Soldanella, &c. In 
the sandy tracts the maritime form of Galium verum 
(G. iittorale) occurred, and in the shingle a prostrate 
growth of Prunus spinosa, about six inches high, was 
plentiful ; then on a muddy tract where Sclerochloa 
had formed a turf grew Carex extensa in considerable 
plenty ; later on came Salsola, and then on the sands 
near Monreith Bay came Eryngus maritimus, Carexare- 
naria, Erythrcea littoralis, Carlina vulgaris, Erodiutu 
maritimum, Triticum junceum, etc. At Monreith on 
the hillside in damp ground occurred Juncus glaucus, 
Samolus, Anagaliis tenella, Triglochin palustre, Schce- 
nus nigricans (the latter singularly absent from a great 
part of the county), Helianthemum vulgare (another 
rarity), Etipatoriuin canndbinum, Briza minor (rare), 
Rubus ccesius, etc. On the hill-slopes overlooking the 
sea in early spring there must have been a profuse growth 
of Scilla vema, here and there the dried capsules still 
showing themselves, and the tubers could be turned up 
by scores with little trouble. Returning to Portwilliam 
and keeping on the hill-slopes, Equisetum maximum 
was found in a curious state ; the barren reslival 
branches bearing at the apex the fertile vernal spike, 
a form very rarely noticed in Britain. Then came 
some nice bushes of Rosa Sabini, then Senebiera 
coronopus, and shortly before reaching Portwilliam, a 
discoid of Senecio Jacobcca, of rare occurrence. Boswell 
records it from Wexford and Sutherland ; and Sherard 
in Ray, Syn., 3rd edition, records: " Jacobaea, Flore 
nudo copiosissime nascens in sabulosis prope littus, 
tribus vel quatuor millioribus a Drogheda occurrit ; " 
and inspection of the Sherardian specimen showed it 
to be identical with the Wigton plant. Between Port- 

* Since described as Vicia sylvaiica, L., var. condensata. 



william and Clone Point Malva moschata grew in 
great plenty ; Lycopsis arvensis occurred in cultivated 
fields, and in the grass by the sea-shore Ranunculus 
hirsutus, which I should think to be wild ; nearer the 
town in suspicious localities occurred Echium, Ana- 
cyclus radiatus, Phalaris Cauarieusis, and other intro- 
ductions. 

The result of the five days' work in the county was 
the recording of 509 species and 34 varieties, for a 
detailed list of which I must refer your readers who 
are interested in the subject to the Report of the 
Botanical Record Club of the British Isles for 1883. 

It may be well to state that Balfour's tour in N. 
Uist, Harris, and the Lewis yielded 338 records. My 
own West Ross list contained 373 ; and Balfour's list 
of plants seen in the Mull of Canty re, &c, 456. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 

Some details have lately been published about the 
Forth railway bridge. It has been in progress for 
two years and is expected to take five years more. 
Some of the girders have been placed upon the 
piers, though the piers on which they rest are not yet 
built to their full height, the mode of procedure 
being to raise the structure gradually by hydraulic 
power, the masonry being at the same time built up 
foot by foot beneath it. The metal-work is all of 
steel. The total length of the bridge will be over a 
mile and a half; the two main spans 1710 feet each, 
and the height of the rails above the water 150 feet. 
The estimated cost is £1,600,000. 

In a pamphlet on " The Origin and Reproduction 
of Animal and Vegetable Life on our Globe," Mr. 
Thomas Spencer,F.C.S., F.R.M.S., states, among the 
conclusions at which he has arrived, some which differ 
more or less from those generally received. He be- 
lieves that he has discovered " the hitherto inscrutable 
principle by which life is imparted to matter," not, 
however, to the exclusion of a Creator. The long 
sought origin of the life on our globe is to be found in 
the fact that the acid-forming suboxide or magnetic 
oxide of iron exists, accompanied by moisture, in 
every reproductive germ, animal or vegetable, on the 
surface of the globe ; though the author allows after- 
wards that this wide statement is partly arrived at 
by analogy. The preservation for ages of moisture in 
the seed is due in part to the occult action of ozone, 
which "contains a double atom of oxygen with 
water and electricity, in combination with some 
iron." It seems also that at least part of the warmth 
of the body is due, according to our author, to the 
heat liberated, along with electricity, at the same 
time as the moisture in the air inhaled by the lungs 
is decomposed. There is an air of dogmatism about 
these statements. They are indeed said to be in no 



HARDU'ICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



161 



sense speculative, speculation being reserved till the 
last few pages. Nevertheless, their variance from 
commonly received ideas makes one hesitate to 
accept them at once as truth. 

A new kind of warlike apparatus has been proposed 
and was recently the subject of a lecture by Mr. F. 
A. Gower. The term "air torpedoes" has been 
used in reference to it, but Mr. Gower prefers "air 
battery." Directed balloons, or "aerostats," filled 
with hydrogen from reservoirs of the compressed gas 
would be sent to attack forces miles away and by 
exploding shells of gun-cotton over armies, forts, and 
arsenals, would expose them to danger in a new 
way. How they are to be directed from so great a 
distance did not appear in the report. The lecturer 
proposed thus " to make the loss of an army a result 
of its meeting with an opposing wind " ! It is due 
to his humanity to add that he considers that, on the 
simplest principles of self-preservation, nations must 
keep peace, and great armies be disbanded, a propo- 
sition however, which admits of an opposite opinion. 
But there is little likelihood of the idea being carried 
into practice at present. 

In the annual Report of the Public Gardens and 
Plantations of Jamaica for 1883-4 may be found a 
good many items of interest. It may surprise those 
who have paid no attention to the subject to know 
that a descriptive list is given of over forty varieties 
of the sugar-cane, introduced into the island in 1882, 
and that this is by no means all it possesses. Jamaica 
is said to contain about 500 species of ferns, or one- 
sixth of the ferns of the whole world. A great loss 
has been sustained in the cocoa-nut trees by the 
ravages of rats. The rat which causes this damage is 
the black species, a good climber, smaller than the 
brown rat of the cane-fields, and building its nest in 
the trees A method of defending the cocoa-nut 
trees which has been found satisfactory, is to nail 
thin sheets of galvanised iron over the trunk, as the 
rats cannot pass over this. Various fibre plants are 
discussed. Bananas form the subject of the chief 
fruit industry, and the mention of these is followed 
by that of many other things, oranges, vanilla pods, 
generally said to be the only economic orchid pro- 
duct, and olives, of which a consignment of two 
hundred plants has been received from Italy and 
distributed with a view to establishing this plant in 
the island. 

Mr. Galton's method "of composite portraiture 
has been applied by Professor Pumpelly to obtain type 
portraits of American scientific men, and the results 
may be seen in a plate issued by " Science," showing 
the composite portraits of twelve mathematicians, of 
sixteen naturalists, of thirty-one academicians, and 
of twenty-six field-geologists, topographers, &c. The 
individuals photographed were all taken in the same 
position, and the camera was so adjusted that the ' 



eyes of each sitter were made to coincide with points 
marked on the ground glass of the camera. The 
negatives were then photographed successively with 
an exposure, in the case of the thirty-one, of two 
seconds each, and a picture thus produced in which 
the individualities should be almost imperceptible 
and only the features more common to all brought 
out. The results show a singular similarity in all the 
first three groups. "Science" says that one face 
will be recognised by most of those who review the 
faces of American men of science as dominating 
portraits numbers two and three, while Professor 
Pumpelly says in his accompanying article that the 
positives of the mathematicians and of the naturalists 
suggested, independently to himself and many others, 
the face of an academician who belongs to a family 
of mathematicians, and that of a deceased eminent 
naturalist respectively, neither of whose likenesses 
are included. It does not seem evident why the eyes 
should be taken as the points for adjustment. No 
doubt if they were not, a very confused effect might 
be produced in that part of the face, but on the other 
hand the distance between the eyes is variable in 
different faces, the difference being sometimes con- 
siderable ; and to make the distance always the same 
must surely be to improve the eyes at the expense of 
the other features in the composite portrait. 

The April meeting of the Liverpool and District 
Association of Science and Art Teachers was devoted 
to microscopy. A short paper on " The Microscope 
as an aid in Science Teaching," was read by the 
president, Mr. Norman Tate, F.I.C., followed by a 
short discussion, after which some time was devoted 
to the practical examination of microscopes, apparatus 
and specimens. 

Inoculation for cholera appears to have taken 
decided root in Spain, and details given by Dr. 
Ferran, through Mr. Charles Cameron, M.P., seem 
to show that it may be a means of warding off the 
fatal effects of the disease. A test experiment has 
been conducted by Dr. Ferran at Alcira, a town of 
about 16,000 inhabitants, near Valencia. During 
the first three weeks of May, 5432 persons had been 
inoculated. Of the 10,000 and odd persons not 
inoculated, cholera had attacked sixty-four and 
been fatal to thirty. Of the 5,432 inoculated, it had, 
according to Dr. Ferran, attacked seven and not been 
fatal in any case ; or, put otherwise, of the uninocu- 
lated, one in every 163 was attacked and one in 
every 352 died, while of the inoculated one in every 
776 was attacked and none died. The circumstances 
are open to comment, inasmuch as the facts were 
published by the 20th of May, but it may be pre- 
sumed that the data were fairly given. The Spanish 
Government has, however, prohibited Dr. Ferran 
from inoculating for cholera, pending the result of 
the inquiries of a commission on the subject. 



162 



HA RD WICKE 'S S CIE NCE - G OSS IF. 



It is proposed to present a testimonial to Dr. 
Henry Woodward, to celebrate the "majority" of 
the "Geological Magazine," of which he has been 
concerned in the editing during its whole existence 
of twenty-one years. 

From an abstract given in the Journal of the 
Chemical Society it appears, as a result of various 
analyses, that the fallen leaves of maple contain four 
per cent, of valuable matter (soda, potash, lime, 
magnesia, phosphorus and sulphur compounds), and 
poplar and willow five per cent, or more, while various 
other leaves examined contained 2-2 '3 per cent, and 
that consequently the three above-named constantly 
manure the surface soil beneath their branches. 

From another abstract in the same journal, it 
appears that some supposed pentanitrodimethylani- 
line has been shown to be trinitromethylnitraniline. 
The substance in question had been obtained from 
naphthyldimethamidophenylsulphone and diphenyl- 
dimethamidosulphone. 

An account has been lately furnished by Mr. G. 
E. Walker, F.R.C.S., to a medical contemporary 
which brings to mind Cheselden's well-known opera- 
tion. In Mr. Walker's case a girl nineteen years 
old was operated on in one eye, the other being 
hopelessly blind. She had been able to perceive 
light, but could not count fingers with either eye. 
Several operations were performed at intervals, and 
Mr. Walker says, " One would have expected that 
the great benefit which accrued most markedly after 
each operation would have made her eager to submit, 
but the contrary was the case. Her first sensation 
after the admission of light into her eye was one of 
profound horror. She says now that when she first 
became conscious of sight, and therefore to some 
degree of space, her feeling was like that of one who 
looks over a precipice and feels that he will be 
impelled to throw himself down, and she at the time 
bitterly repented her consent to be taken out of the 
darkness which all her life thus far had enshrouded 
her . . . The wearing of this [a glass for correction of 
myopia] speedily caused a change in her state of 
mind, and she soon ceased to regret her loss of 
blindness. Under the affectionate tuition of a fellow 
patient she learned her letters in a day, and to read 
in a week. Of course this was all the easier from 
her ability to read with her fingers by Moon's types." 

Another practical result of scientific investigation 
is thus reported by the "English Mechanic." (Mr. 
Walker (Walker, Parker, & Co., Bagillt), having 
read the lecture on "Dust," delivered by Professor 
Oliver J. Lodge, at the Montreal meeting of the 
British Association, was struck with the results of 
the experimental passage of electric sparks through 
dust- and smoke-laden atmospheres, and conceived 
the idea of applying the principle to the condensation 
of lead " fume " at the smelting works. Experimental 



trials gave results so satisfactory that two large 
Wimshurst machines, with discs five feet in diameter, 
are to be employed for dealing with the " fume" at 
the Bagillt works. 

A new kerosine lamp has recently been introduced 
by Messrs. Defries, which claims to be greatly in 
advance of those in ordinary use. The objectionable 
features of the diminution of the flame after a lamp 
has been alight for a short time, the danger of 
explosion, and the disagreeable smell emitted, are 
said to be overcome by the Defries Safety Lamp. 
The light given by the larger size is equal to 6i'3 
standard candles, and is remarkably white. It is 
produced by a single wick, and was found to show a 
diminution from this maximum illumination of only 
6*7 per cent, after burning for six hours. The oil 
consumed per hour is 2450 grains, or 41*6 grains per 
candle-light per hour. A smaller size is also made, 
which has a maximum illuminating power of 42*4 
standard candles. These figures are given upon the 
authority of Mr. Boverton Redwood, F.C.S., F.I.C., 
by whom the lamps have been tested, while Sir 
Frederick Abel considers that the Defries Lamp 
embodies all the features which exhaustive scientific 
enquiry have proved to be necessary for the perfectly 
safe use of mineral oils. 



MICROSCOPY. 

The "Journal of the Quekett Club" for 
June contains a good deal of interesting matter. 
The first paper is an account by Mr. F. A. Parsons, 
F.R.M.S., of a New Hydroid Polyp, found by him in 
a tank at the gardens of the Royal Botanic Society 
of London. He at one time thought it was the 
same as was found last autumn by Mr. A. G. 
Bourne, in the Victoria regia tank there, and sup- 
posed to be the polyp stage of the Medusa 
Limnocodium Sowerbii, but whether it is so or not 
does not seem to be at present clear. The paper 
is illustrated by a plate shewing different conditions 
and stages of development of the polyp. Papers 
follow by Mr. F. H. Buffham on Newly-Observed 
Phenomena in the conjugation of Rhabdoucma 
arcuatum, a diatom which grows in filaments 
attached to marine algre, and by Dr. M. C Cooke 
on Some Remarkable Moulds, one of which was 
found in the meatus auditorius of the human ear. 
Among the Proceedings may be found some remarks 
by the president, Dr. W. B. Carpenter, on the 
Binocular Microscope. He said there was a very 
curious thing about the Binocular Microscope, that 
it increased very greatly the focal depth. This was 
to be explained partly, Dut not wholly, by the binocu- 
lar prism halving the aperture of the objective. He 
had talked the matter over with Sir Charles Wheat- 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



163 



stone, but they could never come to any satisfactory 
conclusion. At the same meeting the president 
spoke of the discovery by Professor Moseley of eyes 
imbedded in the actual shell of a Chiton. Dr. 
Carpenter had himself detected forty years ago 
passages in the shells of Chitons, and it is now- 
found that the larger perforations contain very 
perfect simple eyes. This number of the journal 
contains also Notes of Demonstrations by Dr. M. C. 
Cooke, on Collecting, Examining, and Preserving 
Fresh-water Algre, and by Dr. T. Spencer Cobbold, 
F.R.S., on Lung Parasites. 

Cole's Microscopical Studies. — Three more 
slides belonging to this series have been received and 
not yet noticed, accompanied by the usual explanatory 
text, viz. vertical section of thallus and apothecium 
of Sodorina crocea ; transverse section of leech, 
Hirudo riiedicinalis ; and section of lung, broncho- 
pneumonia. 

Cholera Bacillus. — The short notice at p. 42 
of Science-Gossip for this year demands attention. 
Professor Ray Lankester maintains that the comma 
bacillus is a spirillum. Assuming it to be the cause, 
either directly or indirectly, of cholera, this view 
would support those held by persons who regard 
cholera as an acute fever. But is this spirillum view 
maintainable ? Koch cultivated the comma bacillus 
successfully. Its action in cultivation fluids is charac- 
teristic and marked. The bacillus obtained in fluids 
was always the comma bacillus. A fragment of a 
spirillum containing spores would develop into perfect 
spirilla ; but for disintegrated spirilla always to 
develop into disintegrated spirilla, and for all these 
disintegrated spirilla to resemble each other, and to 
be identical with Koch's comma bacillus, does, I 
think, throw doubt on the accuracy of Professor 
Lankester's view. — W. J. Simmons, Calcutta, \6t/i 
April, 1885. 



ZOOLOGY. 

Conchological Notes. — The following varieties 
may be added to the British list : — 1. Helix Cantiana, 
var. minor, Moq. Science-Gossip, 1885, p. 15, 
var. 1 7. This might be mistaken by the inexperienced 
for H. Cartusiana. 2. H. nemoralis, var. intcrrupta, 
Moq. Bands interrupted. Chislehurst. This form 
is better expressed by using a colon for an interrupted 
band in the band-formula, thus: 1:345. 3- H. 
nemoralis, var. studeria, Moq. Lilac, bandless. 
Science-Gossip, 18S4, p. 236. 4. Cyclostoma ele- 
gans, var. pallida, Moq. SCIENCE-GOSSIP, 1SS5, 
p. 15, var. 14. 5. C. ele^aus, var. albescens, Moq. 
"Whitish, without markings." The specimens I have 
seen have not been absolutely without any traces of 
bands or markings, but these have been so very indis- 



tinct, and the shell so white, that they cannot be 
separated from albescens. " Zoologist," 18S5, p. 12. 
Mr. Baker Hudson, in a recent number records 
two varieties of Limax flavus, var. virescens and var. 
colubrina as occurring near Middlesbro', but he 
gives no description of them. Since they are not 
described in the British works, it will be just as well 
to give their descriptions now. Var. virescens, Moq. 
is yellowish without any markings, while var. colubrina 
is (Mr. Roebuck informs me) also yellow, but has 
black markings on the mantle and on the body.* The 
typical form of L. flavus is intermediate between ■ 
these two, and Moquin-Tandon describes a var. 
jlavescens, with very indistinct markings, which 
bridges between the type and virescens. In the above 
varieties the ground colour is yellow ; but this is not 
always the case, for var. grisea has it grey, and in 
France the varieties rufescens, reddish, with very 
indistinct markings, and maculata, brown, with black 
markings, have been found. — T. D. A. Cockerell, 
Bedford Park, June 4. 

Arrival of Summer Birds. — The " Naturalist" 
for June, contains a list of observations of the first 
notices of twenty-eight summer visitant birds in the 
North of England, from which it appears that the 
swallow was noted at Nottingham on April 13th, 
the nightingale at Bourne, S. Lincolnshire, on April 
16th, and the cuckoo at Flamborough Head on 
April 17th. 

Notes on Fish-Life. — In the June number of the 
"Annals and Magazine of Natural History," Pro- 
fessor MTntosh contributes from the St. Andrews 
Marine Laboratory notes on the spawning of certain 
marine fishes. These include the herring, the ova of 
which he believes hardy enough to take but little 
harm from being hauled on board by the trawl and 
afterwards tossed into the sea ; viviparous blenny, of 
which in one case at birth the young of a very large 
adult (15 in.) measured nearly 5 inches (a very 
similar case is mentioned in Yarrell) ; the cat-fish 
and others. It is considered that pelagic or floating 
eggs do not probably float by virtue of their oil- 
globules, since some float without oil-globules, while 
the abundance of oil in some other cases does not 
cause the eggs to float. 

VORTICELL.E WITH TWO CONTRACTILE VESICLES. 

— In the "American Naturalist," Dr. A. C. Stokes 
says that besides Vorticella lockzuoodii, which he 
described last August, and which was the first 
recorded instance of the presence of more than a 
single pulsating vacuole in the Vorticella;, V. 
monilata, Tatem., a species originally discovered in 
English waters, and not uncommon in Europe and 
America, also possesses two contractile vesicles. 



* The original description is "Animal flavum. Clypeo dorso- 
que late ac irregulariter nigro-maculata : interstitiis flavis 
maculas nigras aequantibus " (.Lessona and Pollonera)." 



164 



HARD WI CKE ' S S CIE N CE- G OS SIP. 



BOTANY. 



Apospory in Ferns. — An important advance has 
lately been made in the knowledge of the life-history 
of ferns, and communications on the subject from 
Mr. Charles T. Druery and Mr. F. O. Bower, may 
be found in the "Journal of the Linnean Society." 
In the place of the soii on Athyrium Filix-fccmina, 
var. clarissima, a plant of which was originally 
obtained wild in Devon, Mr. Druery found little 
flask-shaped or pear-shaped bodies situated within an 
undoubted indusium, but at this stage no spores or 
spore-cases could be detected. On pinnre of the fern 
being imbedded in soil under suitable conditions, 
these bulbilloid [bodies began to develop, and in less 
than three months decided prothalloid forms were 
produced, on which archegonia and an antheridium 
were afterwards found. Small fronds at length 
projected from the bifurcation of the prothallus. 
Mr. Druery considers that they had evidently 
developed from the archegonia by the ordinary 
method, though the prothalli themselves had sprung 
from something very different from spores. Mr. 
Bower confirms Mr. Druery's results and also 
mentions the case of Polystichum augu/are, var. 
pulcherrimum, in which there are undoubted pro- 
thalloid bodies formed by purely vegetative growths 
from the tips of the pinnules, and without any con- 
nection with sori, sporangia, or spores, and which 
bear antheridia and archegonia. The discovery of 
this was due to Mr. G. B. Wollaston. The ordinary 
series of conditions is thus even further broken in 
upon in the case of the Polystichum than in that of 
the Athyrium, since in the cycle of the former there 
is nothing in the place of the bulbilloid growths of 
the Athyrium or of the normal sporangium. The 
antheridia and archegonia of the Polystichum were 
not found to be open while the prothalloid 
structures were on the leaves, the cause assigned as 
probable being the want of the necessary moisture. 

Diatoms and Bladderwort. — Mr. Henry 
Taylor has forwarded a slide containing a bladder of 
Utricularia upon or within which are to be seen 
numerous frustules of diatoms, upon the decomposing 
endochrome of which he thinks the plant may have 
fed. He says that Mr. Darwin, who does not in his 
work on Carnivorous Plants mention Diatomacese 
being found in the bladders of any of the species, 
"appears to think the taking in of food by the 
bladders is not owing to any voluntary act on 
their part, but that the different things found in 
them have merely forced their way in ; but as many 
of these diatoms are stipitate and attached forms, 
having no power of locomotion, like the free frustules, 
this looks very much like their being seized by the 
antennae round the valve of the bladder and conveyed 
or swallowed in. I may add that the specimen I 



examined is a dried one, which has been in my 
possession, in that state, for at least twenty years — 
therefore not in a very good condition for examination. 
I am very anxious to obtain some in a fresh state, and 
should be much obliged if any one will inform me of 
a locality (near London) where it can be found.' 1 
Mr. Taylor is not however certain whether the 
diatoms are inside or outside the bladder, and even 
if they be inside it still remains to be shewn that 
they are utilised as food by the plant. Mr. F. Kitton, 
F.R.M.S., has been kind enough to give his opinion 
as to the position of the diatoms. Speaking about 
the one slide forwarded, Mr. Kitton says: "The 
diatoms are, I have no doubt, upon the bladder of the 
Utricularia as the species are all parasitic (and no 
doubt occurred on other parts of the plant), they could 
not have been injected by the bladder as it possesses 
no prehensile organs which would be necessary to 
detach the diatoms from their stipes. . . . The follow- 
ing are the species attached : Gomphoncma con- 
strictum, Synedra capitata, Cocconema lanccolatum , 
Diatomevuigare." The point is one however of some 
interest, and it would be well if it were thoroughly 
cleared up by means of the examination of fresh 
specimens. 



GEOLOGY, &C. 

Carboniferous Flora. — In "The Annals and 
Magazine of Natural History " for June, is a paper 
by Mr. Robert Kidston, F.G.S., on some "Fossil 
Plants from the Lanarkshire Coalfield." Mr. Kidston 
is intending to work out the distribution of the 
carboniferous flora, and will be glad if others who 
possess specimens of carboniferous fossil plants will 
allow him to examine them, and he, on his part, 
will be glad to help students in this department. 

Dr. Callaway on Comparative Lithology. 
— In a paper entitled "A Plea for Comparative 
Lithology," contributed to the " Geological Maga- 
zine " for June, Dr. Callaway, F.G.S., returns to the 
question of mineral composition, and refers to a 
paper read by him before the Geological Society, of 
which a notice may be found on p. 117 of this 
volume. He thinks that lithological resemblances 
may be pointed out without necessarily correlating 
the rocks thus shewn to be similar, while, on the 
other hand, we need not always wait for ocular 
demonstration before venturing to correlate. Though 
the mineral composition of Post-Archsean strata may 
not be of much value, nor serve, even if fossils were 
absent, to establish a law of correlation, the same is 
not the case with the Archaean rocks, and Dr. 
Callaway believes there are grounds for the " conclu- 
sions that, in the British area at least, crystalline 
schists have not been manufactured on a large scale 
in Post-Archrean times, and that, amongst the 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



165 



Archaean rocks, the antiquity of a schist is in direct 
ratio to its degree of crystallization. I do not say 
'degree of alteration,' because this would involve a 
theory, and introduce complication." For the 
suggested law he does not claim more than an 
empirical and local value. He starts with the propo- 
sition, "that in Britain there occur (at least) two 
Archaean groups, of which the older is coarsely 
crystalline, and the younger either eruptive or 
hypocrystalline. These are the Hebridean and the 
Pebidian." After giving evidence from Shropshire, 
Anglesey, North and South Wales, and (in some 
detail) from Ireland, Dr. Callaway says that while 
some regard Archaean studies as barren and un- 
promising, he thinks they open out fruitful fields of 
labour, and that workers at them "are working at 
the great question of the origin of the crystalline 
schists, and striving to throw light upon some of the 
earlier chapters in the earth's crust." 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

A Pair of Comets.— The "West Briton" (Truro) 
of January 8, contains the following letter : — Astrono- 
mers have rarely witnessed the appearance of a pair 
of those mysterious travellers of the starry depths, 
hand in hand, or like the Siamese twins, Eng and 
Chang, hip by hip. But Bodmin last week offered 
a favourable situation from which to observe such a 
rare phenomenon, and for the sake of those who 
were inconveniently placed I send a few notes which 
I shall be glad to compare with any taken by brother 
amateurs. I first noticed the twins in the darkest 
part of the northern heavens. The path was one of 
more than usual eccentricity, and the pace a headlong 
one. Donati's comet in 1858 passed round his solar 
majesty superbly, and assumed the most graceful 
curves. But, on the contrary, each of the pair in 
question, on nearing the sun, was visibly agitated, 
and underwent a series of remarkable contortions. 
If, for convenience' sake, we term one B, and the 
other C, then on attaining the point of nearest 
approach to the sun, C threw out three separate and 
distinct tails, in one of which B got entangled and 
finally disappeared. When receding, each tail in 
turn faded and was lost to view, . . . The nucleus 
of each and of the affiliated mass was of the usual 
ethereal lightness, and stars of small magnitude were 
distinctly visible through their very centres. My 
observations go to confirm the beliefs that, first — no 
cometic substance is sufficiently dense to visibly 
disturb the sun or any of his satellites ; and second — 
no cometic substance can too nearly approach the sun 
or his satellites without sustaining loss or harm. — 
Arcturus, The Observatory, Bodmin .Beacon. 

Is the Water-Ousel an Enemy to Fish ? — I 
think it may be well to direct your readers' attention 
to a very emphatic declaration on this point, in the 
latest volume (orn-pht) of the new " Encyclopaedia 
Britannica," produced early this year. The descrip- 
tion of the dipper (article "Ousel") contains the 
following passage : "By the careless and ignorant it 
is accused of feeding on the spawn of fishes, and it 
•has been on that account subjected to much 
persecution. Innumerable examinations of the con- 



tents of its stomach not only have proved that the 
charge is baseless, but that the bird clears off many of 
the worst enemies of the precious product." This 
decided statement, in a work of such authority, ought 
to be warmly welcomed and widely circulated by all 
friends of the mysterious little bird whose character 
it tends to re-establish. Nearly all modern naturalists 
have repeated unhesitatingly that the dipper is a 
great destroyer of fish-spawn, and I am afraid nearly 
all river-fishers are strongly prejudiced against it, one 
of the most interesting and easiest to exterminate of 
all our native birds. Can any of your correspondents 
say whether the dipper ever touches seeds of any 
kind ? From its relationship to the thrushes, I should 
have suspected that it might occasionally prove a 
berry-eater ; and the scarlet fruit of the cuckoo-pint, 
to which "birds of the thrush-kind" are supposed 
partial, is sometimes extremely abundant along the 
banks of a dipper-haunted stream. Considering how 
few of our non-migratory birds are purely insecti- 
vorous, it seems difficult to imagine so aquatic a species 
as this ousel would abide our bitterest winters 
without some capacity to digest vegetable food. — 
C. B. Moffat. 

The Clouded Yellow {Colias edusa). — In 1877 
this butterfly appeared very abundantly in the neigh- 
bourhood of Louth, frequenting the banks by the 
roadsides, the railway cuttings, and other similar 
situations. But, I believe, not a single specimen has 
been captured or seen here since that year. Will 
some reader of Science-Gossip kindly inform 
me whether this insect has been plentiful in any of 
the more northern counties of England since 1877? 
And what were the "Edusa years" prior to that 
year ? — // Wallis Knv, Louth. 

Caterpillars feeding by Night. — Very many 
caterpillars, principally belonging to the Noctuina 
group, feed solely at night, or very early in the 
morning, before the sun is up. I have noticed that 
the larvae of the carpet moths (Melanippe) are 
nocturnal feeders, but some, at least, of the Geometrina 
feed by day, and most of the Bombycina do so 
likewise. I do not think it is an invariable rule that 
butterfly larvae show a preference for feeding in the 
daytime. I am rather inclined to think that all 
caterpillars feed at night, those of butterflies as well 
as those of moths.— A Ibert Waters. 

Water Voles. — Mr. J. A. Wheldon says : " I 
don't wish for one moment to say that a vole would 
not touch a piece of flesh if it could get nothing else, 
though that remains to be proved. I should think it 
need not long remain to be proved, for if some 
practical naturalist who can obtain a water vole for a 
day or two would do so, he would soon elicit proof, 
without any great amount of pain to the animal. I 
would have done it myself, but unfortunately I am 
not in a position to get hold of a vole. Our old 
Yorkshire proverb says, " an ounce of doing is worth 
a ton of talking." — H. Snowden Ward. 

Cats and Kittens. — I shall be glad if any of the 
readers of Science-Gossip can tell me if the following 
is usual or no. Our cat lately had four young ones, 
three of which we destroyed, and a kitten of hers, 
about a year old could not bear the sight of the new 
animal, would not feed with the old one, or come near 
it, or any of us. About three days afterwards she sud- 
denly took a turn, came and played with the kitten. The 
three slept together, and now the young one is acting 
the part of guardian, and is more motherly than the 
mother (this young kitten has had none of her own). 



i66 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



If I take the kitten away and hide it, it is the young 
one who comes after it. Last night I placed it under 
a soft hat in the passage. When it cried they both 
came to seek it, the old one at a loss what to do. The 
young one, after walking round the hat two or three 
times, lifted it up and carried it into their cupboard, 
the mother most complacently following and quite 
contented with the self-imposed nurse. — IV. A. 
Tippet, Didsbury. 

Fertilisation of Orchis mascula. — Mr. Malan, 
in his excellent article, is evidently at home on the 
subject generally. His new idea, however, that the 
pollen masses without the usual depression would 
strike on the stigma cannot be accepted as wholly 
correct, simply because it is averse to actual experi- 
ments. That the position of the pollinium when 
newly removed is more nearly at right, angles than in 
an upright position, as stated by Mr. Malan, also 
requires modification by the contraction and down- 
ward movement not due to hygrometric action. 
Would Mr. Malan kindly let us know if he has ever 
noticed any evil effects produced on insects by 
removing the pollen masses ? — A. D. IV. 

Late Foliage and Nesting.— The foliage has 
been so late in appearing in this part of the country, 
that many birds which usually build in hedges have 
actually made their nests on the ground. I have 
found two blackbirds (Turdus meruld), a song-thrush 
or throstle (T?irdus musicus), and a hedge-sparrow 
{Accentor modularis) in this position. — Geo. IF. 
Brocklehurst, B.Sc, Roundhay, near Leeds. 

Pied Flycatcher — Kite — Unrecognised 
Birds. — I have been informed by a friend that he 
saw a male pied flycatcher near Abergwessin, 
Breconshire, on May 1st. This bird is not recorded 
in Yarrell as having been observed in South Wales. 
My friend also observed in April, within a few- 
miles of the same place, a pair of red kites [Milvus 
Ictimcs) and nest. The unrecognised birds, p. 69, 
may have been rollers or bee-eaters. — R. Egerton. 

The Pied Fly-Catcher. — Last week, one pied 
fly-catcher was observed in the village of Pantperthog, 
Merionethshire, and last spring, one was seen at 
Llwyngwern, in the same neighbourhood. — M. E. 
Thomson. 

Curious Sports in a Wall-flower — There is 
now growing at St. Albans a wall-flower of average 
size and growth, and well bloomed, but every flower 
is malformed. The sepals remain unchanged, but 
the petals are mere narrow strips, resembling the 
sepals in colour, and only about one-fourth the size. 
All the stamens are transformed into capillary 
leaves, adhering at their edges and enclosing the 
ordinary pistil. Instead of an anther, each stamen 
is tipped with a well-developed stigma. The ovary 
thus contains six or eight cells consisting of the 
ordinary double celled ovary, and four or six others 
surrounding it. The ovules are well-formed in all 
the compartments, but are not yet sufficiently matured 
to show if they are fertilised. This is the second 
year the plant has bloomed, and it remains true to its 
variations. — G. Bird, Sydenham. 

The Colour of the Red Sea. — Immediately 
upon reading Dr. Stonham's paper on the "Colour 
of the Red Sea," I communicated with my cousin, the 
senior naval engineer at Souakin concerning it, 
forwarding at the same time Dr. Stonham's remarks. 
This is what he says : " I kept a look out for the red 
.streaks described by Dr. Stonham but without any 



results ; nothing was observed but the ordinary blue, 
and I asked our navigator, who had been out here 
before, if he had ever observed anything of the kind, 
but he had not. Perhaps it is more noticeable in the 
Gulf of Aden. Dr. Stonham's statement that it in 
very seldom rough in the Red Sea I take the liberty 
of doubting entirely. From the experience of all our 
fellows on board, the normal condition of affairs in 
that part of the Red Sea between Suakin and Suez 
is from half a gale to a gale, and as it generally blows 
from the N.N.W. it raises a very nasty sea." I have 
heard friends who have voyaged to New Zealand, &c, 
describe these "bands" in the Southern Seas. 
Perhaps they are common to Oceans, and like the 
confervoid alga; of our ponds and ditches appearing 
only in their proper seasons, plentiful one week, gone 
the next. — Harry Moore. 

The Cross-fertilisation of Grasses. — On a 
summer's eve as the swift-moths {Hepialidce) dart 
hither and thither among the tops of the grass at a 
time when it is in full flower, they must brush a large 
quantity of pollen off with their wings, and abundantly 
scatter and distribute it, and as they are very common 
it is easy to conceive the possibility of a whole 
meadow being fertilised, even though a dead calm 
might last for days, and not a breath of air come to 
disperse the pollen dust. We may thus see how- 
insects may have a part in the fertilisation of even 
anemophilous plants. Moths also dart about among 
the ears of wheat and other corn. — Albert Waters. 

Missel Thrush's Nest. — There is, in an apple- 
tree of a much frequented garden of this neighbour- 
hood the nest of a missel thrush {Tardus viscivorus), 
the peculiarity about it being that it is almost totally 
composed of odds and ends of thick string, which 
remained over from some which had been used for 
tying up flowers. Owing to many of the strings 
being nearly a yard long, a curious and untidy 
appearance was given to the nest. — J. C. S., Edenhall. 

Fungoid Disease in Fishes, &c. — Having given 
some attention to aquarian pursuits, my success has 
been somewhat marred by the appearance of this 
malady amongst my specimens — although kept in 
several distinct tanks. Sooner or later it always 
ends in death. Even the Siren pisciformis (Axolotl) 
does not escape its ravages. The water employed is 
from the Cotswold Hills and is rather hard, contain- 
ing considerable lime. Can this fact be the cause of 
the trouble? Will any of your experienced readers 
be kind enough to give me some hints as to the origin 
of the disease, and the best way of avoiding or curing 
it.— Hal. 

Paulownia imperialis. — I enclose some flowers 
of the Paulownia imperialis, a tree said by 
authorities never to flower in England, the buds 
of which are naked on the tree all the winter, 
developing early in the spring, and then being 
withered before the maturity of the flower, by 
the east winds. The tree in question is growing 
here in a garden, and is about twenty feet high. I 
have watched it carefully for some years in hope of 
flowers, but, till now, it has never fulfilled my 
wishes. I attribute the rare occurrence of flowers 
this year to the fact, that the buds have been kept 
back by the continuous cold weather we have had 
this spring, and that when the burst of heat came on 
the last of May, and which has lasted since, the 
buds suddenly arrived at perfection without any 
cause to wither them, and yesterday the flowers 
began to open, and to-day the tree is a mass of lilac 
bloom. — Ditnley Owen. 



EARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



167 



Rana esculenta. — Years ago, when the late 
Professor Henslow used to organise botanical excur- 
sions around Cambridge, I was delighted to join the 
party, though my explorations were not directed so 
much to plants as to the lower forms of animal life. 
During these excursions I remember we found this 
" edible frog " in one part of Cambridgeshire, though 
not in large numbers, seeing that the country folks 
were quite awake to the fact that this particular frog 
was " uncommon good to eat." I could not find out 
whether the village " gourmets " restricted themselves, 
as is usual on the continent, to the hinder extremities 
only, as a matter of diet, neither could I learn that 
this undoubted Rana esculenta had ever been collected 
for sale. Perhaps it was as well the people did not 
know its value. . . . For obvious reasons I do not 
name the habitat of this frog in Cambridgeshire, but 
assuredly there was no suspicion at that time, as in 
the case of Norfolk, that the Rana esculenta had been 
"turned up" in a remote part of the county as a 
matter of acclimatisation. — John Anthony, M.D. 
Cantab., F.R.M.S., Edgbaston, Birmingham, June 8th, 
1885. 

Canine Sagacity. — I saw a retriever do a clever 
thing last week. He wanted to get through the 
swing drive gate leading to the house of his master. 
He stood upright, bent his forelegs at a right angle, 
placed them over the horizontal bar halfway up the 
gate, and tried vigorously to pull it open — succeed- 
ing to some extent, he loosed his hold suddenly and 
tried to go through with a rush. Twice was the 
gate too quick for him in swinging to, but on at- 
tempting a third time and pulling " like a bargee," 
he managed to carry out his idea. I am since 
informed that he never attempts this method of 
entrance if he sees the gate is really latched. — Alf. 
Freer, Stourbridge. 

Holly and Ivy Leaves. — F. W. Elliott, in the 
June number of Science-Gossip, asks for an explana- 
tion of the cause of the upper leaves in old hollies 
and old ivy losing their characteristic shape. The 
real reason of their altered shape is simply the 
lack of strength arising from old age to form leaves 
of the normal type. As every one is aware the 
leaves of evergreen trees and shrubs are of a more 
substantial character than those of deciduous kinds, 
and this doubtless involves a greater proportionate 
s'rain upon 1 their recuperative energies than in the 
other case, hence the deteriorated condition of the 
upper leaves in old specimens. — J. F. Cransioick. 

Fertilisation of Orchis mascula.— If Mr. 
Malan will look up "The Garden" of May 23rd 
last, he will there, at page 464, see the following note 
which quite upsets his theory that the breaking of 
the stem of 0. mascula affects the flower of the new 
tuber : — " I send you a spike of Orehis mascula, being 
the third in succession that has been annually cut 
from the same plant and sent to ' The Garden ' 
office. This surely proves that cutting the flowers 
of some Orchids at least is not injurious, but really 
beneficial, for you must admit that the present spike 
is the first that has yet been sent." The descending 
of the tubers so as to prevent premature germination 
is a rather laughable idea. — A. D. IF. 

Snails and Slugs. — I have noticed that in my 
garden ,in a large town snails are very common, and 
that there are but few slugs. In my garden in the 
country I found that there were but few snails and 
very many slugs. Is there any natural reason for 
this distribution of these creatures between town and 
country ? Is my supposed fact true, and have others 
noticed it?— A. C. Smith. 



NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 



To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we ' now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than formerly, we cannot un- 
dertake to insert in the following number any communications 
which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the " exchanges " offered are fair 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken of omt gratuitous insertion of 
" exchanges " which cannot be tolerated. 

We request that all exchanges may be signed with name (or 
initials) and full address at the end. 



R. O. O. — Soak the nests in benzine for a few minutes, and 
afterwards keep a little camphor in or near them. 

C. C. — Yours received. 

W. R. Waugh. — Thanks for your suggestion. It is a good 
one, and has been noted for consideration. 

A. S. Mackie. — Both probably Helix nemoralis. 

Thos. Winder. — Bird cherry (Prunus Padus). 

F. W. Lean. — The small bone is very likely one of the 
" ear bones." 

S. J. H. — " Freshwater Algae " is now complete in z vols., 
wiih coloured iplates, published by Williams & Norgate. 
Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. This is on the authority of 
the author. 

W. R. N. — 1. Dried up. 2. Luzula campestris. 3. Un- 
known. 4. Dried up. 

J. Walter Gregory. — Please send your address. 

T. B. Birchall.— There are articles by Mr. Edward Lovett 
on the Fauna of Jersey in Nos. 202, 208, 210, 211, 236, 237, of 
Science-Gossip, and on the Geology in Nos. 204, 206, but he 
did not take up the Botany. There is a botanical note of a 
few lines in No. 173. See also " Flora of Channel Islands," by 
C. C. Babington (Longmans) 4s. 



EXCHANGES. 1 

Good botanical, histological, crystals, polariscopic, diatoms, 
fish scales and miscellaneous, microscopic slides for others as 
good of bacilli, entozoa, algae, desmids, zoophytes, rocks, fossil 
woods. — B Wells, Dalmain Road, Forest Hill. 

A number of superior slides of general interest to be ex- 
changed for other well-mounted slides or good books. Lists 
exchanged. For feather of starling, a splendid object, perfectly 
mounted, send one well-mounted slide. — J. W. Tutcher, 
22 North Road, Bristol. 

Wanted, Morris's "British Birds;" will give books. — 
F. Marshall, Benwick, March. 

Coins or books wanted in exchange for microscope slides. — 
Mr. Ebbage, 8 Lowfield Street, Dartford. 

For exchange, Science-Gossip for 1881-1S84, and up to 
date, plates complete, all clean, first three bound ; also Cooke's 
" Rust, Smut, Mildew, and Mould," coloured plates (nearly 
new), and "Micro Fungi: When and Where to Find Them," 
for chemical apparatus and books on analysis. — George Ward, 
26 Mere Road, Leicester. 

Wanted, Lepidoptera : Sinapis, Egeria, Megaera, Tithonus, 
Davus, Alsus, Acis, Arion, Adonis, ^Egon, Agestis, Artaxerxes, 
Actseon, Comma. Duplicates : Cardamines, Galathea, Semele, 
Hyperanthus, Antiopa (Continental), Euphrosyne, and Selene 
(this season's), also Filipendulae, Jacobeae, and Humuli. — 
F. A. A. Skuse, 27 Campbell Road, Bow, London, E. 

Foraminiferous sand. Send stamped and addressed enve- 
lope for some of the above, containing splendid objects for the 
microscope, to — F. A. A. Skuse, 27 Campbell Road, Bow, 
London, E. 

Rye's " British Beetles," Stephens' " British Beetles," New- 
man's "Moths," Burmeister's "Entomology" (33 Opiates), 
Prior's "Popular Names of British Plants." What offers in 
exchange? — W. Jordan, Cockfield, Sudbury, Suffolk. 

Wanted, the back numbers of Science-Gossip, from the 
beginning up till end of 1876 ; will give eight good and well- 
mounted micro-slides for each year's parts. — J. J. Andrew, 
L.D.S.M., 2 Belgravia, Belfast. 

A number of foreign Polyzoa, mounted, dry, and opaque, to 
exchange for other slides or good material ; good diatoms pre- 
ferred. — Send lists to — Rev. A. C. Smith, 3 Park Crescent, 
Brighton. 



1 68 



HARBWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Davies's "Welsh Botanology," 1S13, Sole's "Mentha? Bri- 
tannicae," 1798, Hooker and Taylor's " Muscologia Britannica," 
1827, and many others, for natural history text-books or oflers. 
— J. Harbord Lewis, F.L.S., 145 Windsor Street, Liverpool, _S. 

" How to Work with the Microscope," by Dr. Beale, third 
edition, and two vols. " English Mechanic ;" also a few good 
opaque slides, exchange for Miss Pratt's " Wild Flowers," or 
other well-illustrated botanical or microscopical books. — Jas. C. 
Blackshaw, 4 Ranelagh Road, Wolverhampton. 

Wanted, good micro slides (no physiological) or scientific 
works in exchange for four vols, of " Pictorial World " (xi.-xiv.). 
— R. Ridings, 1 Hampton Terrace, Lisburn Road, Belfast. 

Wanted, specimens of uncleaned Diatomaceous earths, con- 
taining any of the well-known forms of Diatoms, &c, either 
English or foreign. Can give either mounted or unmounted 
prepared material in exchange, consisting of botanical sections 
or anatomical objects, or various preparations. — R. M., 59 Hind 
Street, Poplar, London, E. 

Freshwater filamentous algae, comprising the Zygonema- 
ceae ; exchanges of mounts or gatherings wanted. — C. Peek, 
Princes Road. Heaton Moor, Stockport. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip from beginning of 1865 to end of 
1884, either bound or in loose numbers ; and also any other 
microscopical books or journals. State what is wanted in ex- 
change for them. — Charles Von Eiff, jun., 347 Greenwich Street, 
New York City. 

Eggs of osprey, cuckoo, woodpecker, colin, grouse, rail, 
heron, grebe, tern, gull, and petrel, offered for others not in 
collection. — J. T. T. Reed, Ryhope, Durham Co. 

Fine collection of foreign and British shells, 750 species ; also 
collection of rocks and fossils, most formations, 1500 specimens, 
some duplicates; want good binocular microscope. — C. T. 
Musson, 23 Mapperley Hill, Nottingham. 

Wanted, the number of "Nature" containing Index to 
Vol. XIII., to complete set. Some old numbers of " Punch" 
in exchange. — W. White, 55 Highbury Hill, N. 

To foreign stamp collectors. I have over 1400 stamps, mixed 
kinds, which I will send in exchange for five or six balsam 
mounted slides, not being a collector myself. — Mr. Ebbage, 
8 Lowfield Street, Dartford. 

Wantkd, in good preservation, Edward III. half noble; 
Richard II. quarter noble; Henry V. noble; Henry VI. noble 
and half noble ; Edward IV. noble and half noble, and half 
angel ; Henry VII. 'angel ; Henry VIII. angel and quarter 
angel, in exchange for micro slides (histological and morpho- 
logical). — B. Piffard, Hill House, Hemel Hempstead. 

A collection of six skulls (five human and one gorilla) in 
exchange for microscope, natural history books, &c. — J. W. 
Whitehead, 10 Seedley Park Road, Pendleton, Manchester. 

Rliyncospora alba, Vahl ; will send a specimen of this sedge, 
from Arisaig, Invernesshire, to any one who will write to me 
for it. — A. Somerville, 34 Granby Terrace, Hillhead, Glasgow. 

Wanted, Herbarium specimens of the rarer British zoophytes 
such as -S\ fusca, D. pinnata, N. bursaria, P. myriopkylliim, 
A. pennatula, B. Murrayaua, &c. — A. S. Pennington, Heaton, 
near Bolton. 

Fifty-three parts of "Monthly Microscopical Journal," 
clean, edited by Lawson ; pair of buffalo horns, 6 ft. 5 in. tip 
to tip. What offers in well-mounted slides ? — W. T., 258 New- 
town Row, Birmingham. 

"Physical Geography," Geikie ; "Physiography," Find- 
later; " Half-hours in the Tiny World ;" for " Lessons in Ele- 
mentary Physics," Balfour Stewart : " Elementary Lessons in 
Physical Geography," Geikie ; or "Popular Astronomy," Airy. 
— F. Hendry, 11 Poplar Street, Bolton. 

Eggs of pheasant, jackdaw, magpie, starling, redstart, chaf- 
finch, missel thrush, wood wren, longtail tit, &c, in exchange 
for other eggs or butterflies. — James L. Mott. 

What offers for eighty numbers of Science-Gossip? — X., 
Stratfieldsaye, Winchrield. 

Wanted, micro slides or geological specimens in exchange 
for "Zoologist," 1880, bound, new. — C. Rowland, 36 The 
Grove, Ealing, W. 

Wanted, "The Smaller British Birds," by & Adams, 

published by Bell & Sons ; also various kinds of scissors for 
scientific and other purposes, in exchange for shells, fossils, 
lepidoptera, plants of cacti, exotic ferns, &c— M. A. O., 
82 Abbey Street, Faversham, Kent. 

Wanted, microscopic slides in exchange for nine bound vols, 
(xi. to xix.) of " Chemical News," all in good condition. — B. H. 
Woodward, 80 Petherton Road, London, N. 

Wanted, a good secondhand " C" eyepiece, 1^ in. tube for 
monocular microscope. — W. Henshall, The Hollies, Bredbury, 
near Stockport. 

Wanted, good fresh specimens of Acta>a spicata, Matthiola 
sinuata, hnpatiens noli-me-tangcre, Hydrocharis morsus-rancp, 
Strat totes aloides, Vaccinittm oxycoccos, roots not wanted. — 
Miss Higgins, 93 Wellington Street, Luton, Eeds. 

Alpine knapsack, good condition, only used once ; desiderata 
good micro slides, and British birds' eggs. — John R. Marten, 
The Pharmacy, Red Hill. 

Well-mounted slides of seeds, love-lies-bleeding, Sileiie 
pcndula, Collinsia bicolor, alba, Eschscholtzia, Geuttt cocci- 
iiiiim, and Caynns minor, in exchange for other micro slides. 
— W. S. Anderson, 7 Granby Street, Ilkeston. 



Nos. 80, 81, 82, 83, Aug. to Nov. 1871, Science-Gossip ; 
vols. 15, 16, 19, 20, and 21 of "English Mechanic;" Nos. 133, 
139, 140, Jan. to March, 1375 ; vol. for 1874 ; viz. vol. 7, bound, 
of Newman's "Entomologist." Unaccepted offers not replied 
to. — Whitmarsh, 5 North Street, Wilton. 

Six good insect mounts: gizzard of cricket, eggs of vapourer 
moth, tongue of honey bee, whole flea, antenna of earwig, and 
wing of caddis fly, in exchange for other good micro slides. — 
W. S. Anderson, 7 Granby Street, Ilkeston. 

Old-fashioned microscope, stands 17 inches high, not quite 
perfect ; will exchange for microscopic material. — S. J. Tindall, 
5 Ballater Road, Acre Lane, Brixton. 

Can offer ten vols, of Science-Gossip, a small microscope, 
Clark's " Marine Mollusca," and a large series of shells. Wanted, 
works by Professor Ruskin, back numbers of "Journal of Con- 
chology," British shells, or offers. — S. C. Cockerell, 51 Wood- 
stock Road, Bedford Park, Chiswick, W. 

Offered, "The Gardener's Magazine" (1884); desiderata; 
any of the following vols., ii., iii., and v., of " Science for All." 
— A. Ayling, Arundel. 

Offered, "The Garden" (1884), 53 beautifully-coloured 



plates and engravings; desiderata; any two of the following, 
vols., ii., iii., and v. of "Science for All," and other natural 
history books to value. — A. Ayling, Arundel. 

I have just received from Mauritius some fresh material of 
the beautiful leaves of Borago Zeylanica, hairs on stellate cal- 
careous plates. Send lists to — Rev. A. C. Smith, 3 Park 
Crescent, Brighton. 

Lyei.l's "Student's Elements of Geology;" "Advanced 
Text-Book," by Page; Richardson's "Geology;" "Astro- 
nomical Geology ;" Waterton's " Natural History Essays ;" 
" Birth of Chemistry," Rodwell ; "Zoologist" for 1883; and 
good Lias fossils, to exchange for Reeve's or Rimmer's "Land 
and Freshwater Shells," entomological books, or offers. — H. 
Quilter, 4 Cedar Road, Leicester. 

Wanted, fossils of any formation in exchange for those from 
the Portland Oolite.— C. Fred Fox, .Strathearne Villas, Old 
Swindon, Wilts. 

Wanted, microscopical or natural history books in exchange 
for well-mounted micro slides or offers. — Alfred Draper, 275; 
Abbeydale Road, Sheffield. 

Will es change in clutches or single eggs of rook, ring dove, 
mallard, moorhen, coot, blackheaded gull, peewit partridge, 
meadow pipit, also nest of gold crest. — J. R. Murray, 10 St. 
Paul's Street, Aberdeen. 

Wanted, coins, medals, tokens, foreign stamps, arms,, 
armour, flint implements, canaries, pigeons, in exchange for 
fossils, seaweeds, coins, tokens, &c. — F. Stanley, 6 Clifton 
Gardens, Margate. 

I have clutches of about 100 species of American eggs to 
exchange, also many British. Wanted, a clutch of each of 
following : stonechat, blackcap, goldcrest, nuthatch, twite,, 
crested tit, jay, raven, hobby, tawny owl, heron, ruff, 
dunlin, woodcock, and many others. Please send lists to- 
W. Wells Bladen, Stone, Staffordshire. 

BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED. 
" Text-book of Entomology," by W. F. Kirby (Sonnen- 
schein). — "Physical Expression," Dr. F. Warner (Kegan 
Paul, Trench & Co.).—" The Moon and the Weather," Walter 
L. Browne (Bailliere, Tindal & Cox). — "The Canadian 
Entomologist." — "The Botanical Gazette." — "Ben Brierley's 
Journal." — "Illustrated Science Monthly." — Cole's "Studies- 
in Microscopical Science." 4 parts. — " Revista Scientifica," 
Porto. — " 32nd Annual Report of Nottingham Naturalists' 
Society." — " Journal of the New York Microscopical Society." 
— " Science." — " Proceedings of the Academy of Natural' 
Science of Philadelphia." — " Le Monde de la Science." — 
"On Child Culture," Dr. T. M. Madden. — "American. 
Monthly Microscopical Journal." — "Midland Naturalist." — 
" Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." — "The Homing Pigeon." — 
"The Naturalist." — "Journal of the Quekett Microscopical 
Club." — "The American Naturalist." — " Notes on Books Pub- 
lished by Longman & Co." — " Report of the East Kent Natural' 
History Society." — "The Denudation of the Two Americas," 
by T. Mellard Reade. 



Communications received up to iith ult. from :— 
G. F. H.— J. C. P.— W. F.— R. W. G.— J. E. R. G.— A. S.— 
A. N. T.— J. F.-J. H. L.-A. C. S.— R. M.— R. R.— G. C. 
— C. A. S.— H. G. G— J. C. B.— A. D.— M. H. R— C— J. P. 
— W. B. W.— A. S. P.— J. H. G.— A. W.-W. H. H.— 
W. R. N.— C. P.— R. L. H.— W. B.— T. C. A.— H. M.— 

C. T. M.— W. W.— J. T. T. R.— H. D.— E— B. P.— J. W. W. 
— H. W. L.— A. O.— J. A. W.— W. G.— G. B.— J. W. T.— 
J. M. H.-F. M.— E.— T. F. U.— G. W.— W. J. S.— F. M.— 
T. E. A.— F. A. A. S-— A. F.-W. J.— T. B. B— J. J. A.— 

D. O.-W. S. W.— M. E. T.-W. M. W.-W. W. & S.— 
W. T.— C D.— R. G. M.— A. S. M.— W. E. C— F. S.— 
J. L. M— X.— C. R-— M. A. O.— B. H. W.— W.— A. D. W. 
— W. H.-H.-J. R. M.— J. R. M— J. A.— S. J. T.— 
W. S. A.— W. W. B.— A. D.— S. C. C— A. A— A. J. H.— 
J. J. A.— W. J. S.-J. F. C— R. E.-H. F.— A. C S.— 
H. Q., &c, &c. 



GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 







Vincent Brooks Day & SonlMi 



SMALL BRITTLE STA R-FISH. 
x 35 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



169 




GRAPHIC MICROSCOPY. 



By E. T. DRAPER. 



No. XX. — Small Brittle Star-fish. 




s-fi' HE illustration repre- 
sents the ventral 
surface of the disk 
of Ophiocoma neg- 
lecta (the small, 
or grey brittle star- 
fish) of the family 
Ophiuridae, and also 
exhibits the attach- 
ments of the five 
long spinous radia- 
ting arms ; the ob- 
ject is sufficiently 
minute to require, 
for the exposition 
of its beauty and 
symmetrical struc- 
ture, a magnifica- 
tion of thirty or 
more diameters. 
Specimens in age, and development, necessarily vary 
in size, but in this particular species, the average 
diameter of the disk is about one-sixth of an inch, 
and the rays, or radiating arms, are of such dispro- 
portionate length, as to maintain and justify the term 
Ophiuridae (serpent tailed) ; these elongated arms, 
unlike those of the true star-fishes, have no ambulacral 
tentacles, or processes. 

In Ophiocoma the length and extraordinary 
flexibility and adhesive power of the arms are aided 
by smaller spinous processes, affording the capability 
of very active powers of locomotion and prehension ; 
this characteristic is peculiar to the species ; having 
no perfect sucker tubes, aiding deliberate progression, 
as seen in the Echini, and true star- fishes, they 
curiously exhibit far greater activity, the jointed arms 
possessing a quivering, jerky movement ; undeveloped 
membranous tentacles are indicated, but never reach- 
ing the steady crawling capability of similar organs, 
found in other Echinoderms. 

Generic character depends on configuration of the 
rays (always five), and on the form and specific 
No. 248. — August 1885. 



distinctions disclosed in the arrangement of the many 
plates and scales. 

Under magnification, disks of the Ophiocomre 
reveal great elegance ; from a point in the centre of 
the dorsal side, opposite to the position seen in the 
illustration, is a series of radiating imbricated scales 
of uniform size, overlapping each other, turning over 
the circumference of the disk, and eventually reach- 
ing the quinary plates, forming the mouth and bases 
of the rays ; the surfaces of all the parts appear 
smooth, but under high magnification disclose areola/ 
markings. The central disk is beautifully patterned, 
and the various pieces, with care, are capable of 
separation. The mouth is in the centre, leading by a 
short gullet to a digestive sac ; this one aperture serves 
for the reception of food, and the expulsion of 
unabsorbed portions, the aliment consisting of decayed 
animal substances. In a living condition, surrounding 
the borders of the mouth, are seen a series of very 
minute tentaculae, as it is known these apparently 
helpless creatures are notoriously ravenous. It might 
be assumed that, beyond the power of ingurgitation r 
they possessed some enablement of mastication, or at 
least prehension ; this may be detected ! If one of 
the five pieces, involving the aperture of the mouth, 
be laid open, and the under surface examined with a 
high power, it will be found beset with minute sharp 
pointed recurved spines, which, if not teeth, evidently 
have a file-like clutching action ; a perfect disk 
arranged with one of these quincunx parts folded 
back, is a striking microscopical exhibit, showing the 
points referred to, also the cavity of the stomach 
beneath. 

The rays, or arms, in proportion to the disk, are 
comparatively long, excessively friable and brittle 
in the living condition, falling to pieces under the 
slightest shock, or even touch, rendering it somewhat 
difficult to capture perfect specimens. These fragile 
calcareous rays are necessarily permeated by organs 
of motion, secretion, and sensation ; externally 
appearing like curved-rounded conical boxes, fitting 
into each other, each plate or cup edged with 

I 



170 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



spines. In another variety, 0. rosttla, the minute 
spikes under well-adjusted conditions of magnification 
and illumination are objects of extreme elegance ; 
composed of a hard brittle substance of brilliant 
transparency. These glassy structures are observed 
in great perfection and variety of form throughout 
the entire class of Echinoderms, and known as 
Pedicellarias, arming the tips of the tubular feet of 
the true star-fishes and Echini, fulfilling in some 
instances the functions of grappling irons ; or as 
spicules as found in the genera Holothuria, Synapta, 
Chirodota, imbedded in the tissues in the form of 
perforated plates, circular disks, spikes, and' curved 
points, aiding in every instance some supporting or 
locomotive power ; but under whatever conditions 
these glassy structures are placed, they invariably 
retain a peculiar grace of configuration, and a typical 
principle of uniformity. 

In securing living Ophiuridce, the greatest precau- 
tion is necessary, as under the slightest interference, 
they immediately shatter themselves into fragments, 
leaving only the central disk. Sudden death by 
immersion in fresh water will secure them intact. 
Dead and desiccated specimens, with the rays attached 
may be found on some coasts in drift sand, but their 
beauty is always impaired by abrasion. 

Professor Edward Forbes, in his delightful "His- 
tory of British Star Fishes," refers to the precautions 
necessary to obviate the suicidal and dislocating 
propensity of the brittle star-fish, and how to capture 
it in its entirety. He gives, in his learned and 
amusing volume, a graphic and ludicrous description 
(often quoted) of one of his particular failures ; 
curiously enough, the rich humour of this passage 
was incorporated au serienx by a learned German 
naturalist, in his work on the same subject. 

Crouch End. 



GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS. 
By W. Mattieu Williams, F.R.A.S., F.C.S. 

AN interesting experiment has been made, and is 
now in progress as a practically successful 
process, in disposing of the sewage of Buxton (Derby- 
shire), 100,000 gallons of which have to find their 
way in some condition to the Wye, a little river 
which in dry weather becomes a half-and-half mixture 
when the sewage is added to it. The necessity for a 
remedy was of course urgent ; many schemes were 
tried and abandoned, until the idea of mixing the 
sewage with a natural chalybeate water flowing from 
a disused colliery was carried out. The water con- 
tains sulphate of iron, magnesia, alumina, lime, and 
soda, besides some carbonate of iron and silica. The 
chalybeate water added alone partially purified the 
sewage, but by adding lime to it before mixing with 
the sewage the purification was effectual to the extent 



of producing a clear effluent from which ij of the 
original organic ammonia was removed, and f of the 
free ammonia. The chemical details, which are very 
interesting, but too much for quotation here, will be 
found in a paper read at the Society of Arts, by 
Dr. Thresh, and published with report of discussion 
upon it in the Society's Journal of May 22. 

The total cost of thus dealing with the sewage is 
£275 per annum, covered by a rate of \\d. in the £. 
If the precipitated sludge is rendered marketable for 
manure, as it should be, this may be reduced con- 
siderably. The chalybeate water was previously a 
nuisance, owing to its ochreous deposit in the river. 
The two nuisances now neutralise each other ; and 
the condition of the river is actually improved by the 
sewage and lime. Twelve grains of slaked lime to 
the gallon of mixture is the mean quantity added. 

At the meeting of the Chemical Society, June 18, 
Mr. R.J. Friswell stated the results of eleven months' 
laboratory experience with toughened glass beakers, 
made according to De la Bastie's patents. They 
were by no means satisfactory. 

Of twenty beakers two burst spontaneously ; one, 
when hot water was poured into it ; six became 
useless from fissures and exfoliation ; three were 
broken by unknown means, and eight remained in 
good condition. They were supposed to bear heating 
over the flame of a rose burner while supported on 
wire gauze, as the best Bohemian beakers do, but one 
having burst when hot water was poured into it this 
severe test was not applied. 

The fissures and exfoliation were curious, the 
fissures "so close together and running so completely 
over the surface of the beaker that it had the ap- 
pearance of being covered with a tissue of spider's 
web." Mr. Friswell's conclusion is that " taking 
into consideration the loss of confidence caused by 
the high percentage of spontaneous bursting, it may 
be said that toughened glass is a complete failure in 
the laboratory." 

The cutting of bottles and glass tubes is a labor- 
atory operation of much economic utility and some 
difficulty. Small tubes are easily and quickly cut by 
simply notching with a triangular (" three square") 
file and applying a binding strain combined with a 
pull, but when the tube is large this method fails. 
There is another method described in some books, 
that of passing a piece of string round the tube, 
soaking the string in alcohol or turpentine, and then 
lighting it. According to the aforesaid books this is 
very easy, but those of my readers who have tried it 
know better. A modification is now proposed which 
appears to be really effectual. A fine iron or plati- 
num wire is wound round the tube, a current 
of electricity is passed through this, making it red 
hot or nearly so ; then it is cooled with water, and 
the heat being purely local, not outspread as by the 
flaming string, a clean cut is made, My own ex- 
perience suggests an improvement on this, viz. to 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



171 



make notches with a " three square " file on opposite 
sides of the glass where the cut is required. These 
direct the wire and give a start, besides preventing 
sideward cracking ; I have thus succeeded with the 
string. 

Professor Langley's lecture on sunlight and the 
earth's atmosphere, delivered at the Royal Institution, 
is very interesting, as it contains a summary of his 
researches on Mount Whitney, where he attained a 
sufficient elevation to leave nearly half of the atmo- 
sphere below him, and thus was able, with the aid of 
instruments of especial delicacy, to compare the solar 
radiations received up there with those which we 
ordinarily receive down here at the bottom of the 
atmospheric ocean. One of his broadest results is 
the conclusion, that "the total loss by absorption 
from atmosphere is nearly double what has been 
heretofore supposed." Therefore the sum total of 
the solar energy must be proportionally greater than 
the usual estimate. He sets it down as capable of 
melting a shell of ice sixty yards thick annually over 
the whole earth, or "of exerting over one horse 
power for each square yard of the normally exposed 
surface." 

There is one inference stated in the report of the 
lecture which puzzles me, viz., that " if the planet 
were allowed to radiate freely into space without any 
protecting veil, its sunlit surface would probably fall, 
even in the tropics, below the temperature of freezing 
mercury." 

In this there is a physical fallacy which I would 
fain believe it impossible for Professor Langley to 
perpetrate. In the case supposed there are two 
bodies, the sun and the planet, opposite each other, 
mutually radiating and receiving radiations. 

According to the well-established " law r of ex- 
changes," when bodies are thus exposed to each 
other and their temperatures are unequal, " the hotter 
bodies will emit more radiations than they receive 
from the colder bodies, and therefore, on the whole, 
heat will be lost by the hotter and gained by the 
colder till thermal equilibrium is attained." (J. 
Clerk Maxwell.) This assumes that between the 
bodies there is no absorbing medium, i.e. free space. 

It is clearly evident that under these circumstances 
the cooler body, i.e. the planet (or say the moon, 
which is an unprotected planet with one side thus 
exposed), must be radiating less heat than it is re- 
ceiving and therefore becoming warmer, and that the 
temperature of " its sunlit surface " must be greater 
without the protecting veil than with it. This con- 
clusion is easily confirmed by experiment. A black 
bulbed thermometer rises higher and higher when 
exposed to direct solar radiations at greater and 
greater elevations in a given latitude. Water may be 
boiled on the snow fields of the higher Alps, by 
simply placing it in a blackened copper vessel in a 
blackened box with glass cover, and freely exposing 
it to the solar radiations. 



My ' conclusion is that Professor Langley did not 
mean what the reported words express. His meaning 
must have been, not that its actually sunlit surface 
would thus fall, but that a surface which had bee?t 
sunlit, and is now dark, would fall ; not that the 
bright side of the moon would fall below the freezing- 
point of mercury, but that the dark side, or the side 
that had been bright, would radiate away its heat as 
rapidly as it received it. I have discussed this thus 
fully, finding that Langley has been credited with 
having proved, by his experiments, that the bright 
surface of the full moon, in spite of the direct solar 
glare, is colder than freezing water. 

His experiments show, that all our estimates of the 
temperature of the lunar surface, based on comparison 
with that of the earth, must be raised in proportion 
to his correction of the amount of our loss by atmos- 
pheric absorption. 

Our pre-eminence as " the land of tin " is 
becoming seriously disputed. Cassiterite containing 
94*895 per cent, of tin oxide is now found at Irish 
Creek, Rockbridge County, Virginia, in loose 
crystals, as fragments on the surface, and in veins. 
The veins occur in a coarse grained, much decom- 
posed, granite or gneiss. Besides the tin oxide, it 
contains 3*418 per cent, of sesquioxide of iron, 0*760 
of silica, 0*244 of lime, 0*27 of magnesia, and 0*237 
of tungsten. If the commercial quantities correspond 
with its chemical richness, this mineral will exert a 
considerable influence on the metallurgical industry 
of the United States. 

W. Hempel has made some experiments on the 
combination of the different forms of carbon with iron, 
with results that must be very disgusting to certain 
superlatively practical people. Different parts of the 
same piece of iron foil were equally exposed at a high 
temperature to carbon in the form of diamond dust, 
to graphite, and burnt sugar carbon. The diamond 
dust did the work of converting the iron into steel, 
while the graphite and amorphous carbon were 
ineffectual. The heat was continued for two hours. 
Ordinary cementation occupies about two weeks. 
Other experiments have shown that carbon, in the 
form of diamond, combines with iron at a lower 
temperature than either of the other forms of carbon. 

Within the reach of my own recollection, as a 
teacher of chemistry, the silvering of glass by pre- 
cipitation of actual silver was merely a laboratory or 
lecture-table experiment. Now it is extensively 
used for the practical manufacture of mirrors on a 
large scale, superseding the old amalgam of mercury 
and tin foil. It has done good service to the 
astronomer by supplying him with "silver-on-glass " 
mirrors for reflecting telescopes, which are now so 
extensively superseding the more costly and ponder- 
ous speculum metal. Bottger, in a recent paper, 
recommends the following proportions of materials to 
be used. Dissolve four parts of pulverised nitrate 
of silver in strong ammonia. Then add to this one 

1 2 



172 



HAKDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



.part of ammonium sulphate, and 350 parts of distilled 
water to form the silver solution. The reducing 
solution to be made of I "2 parts of starch or grape 
sugar, with three of caustic potash dissolved in 350 
parts of distilled water (these parts all by weight). 
When used, equal parts of the liquid are mixed 
together and applied to the substance to be coated 
with silver. 

Our vegetarian friends who encounter the objection 
to their system, that we shall be deprived of leather 
if they prevail, may be gratified to learn that in 
-the last volume of the Chemical " Central blatt," 
p. 798, is a paper on vegetable leather, by M. Bauer, 
L. Brouard, and J. Ancel, who join in stating that 
the following forms a very good substitute for 
leather: 6 lbs. 10 oz. of gutta percha, 2 lbs. sulphur, 
a\ lbs. raw cotton, 1 JTb. of zinc-white, 3^ oz. colcothar, 
and 9 ounces of antimonic oxide. These are to be 
vulcanised by steam. The essential constituents are 
the gutta percha and sulphur ; the others may be 
varied and replaced, according to the character of 
-the leather required. This "vegetable leather" is 
therefore a vulcanized gutta percha hardened by the 
zinc, and toughened by the cotton. 

Good work is being done at the summit of the 
British Isles. The Ben Nevis Observatory is in 
full operation, winter and summer. The observers 
have a remarkably quiet life during the winter, but 
are now threatened with tourist invasion in summer 
time, as the building of a hotel is contemplated. 
Whether a climbing railway, like that on the Righi, 
will be added, remains to be seen. Mr. Buchan has 
already worked very effectively on the following 
problems : 1st, the normal or average temperature 
and barometric pressure for each month, and the 
normal differences between these averages and those 
at sea level ; 2nd, the daily variation of temperature 
and pressure during each month ; 3rd, the daily 
variation in the average velocity of the wind ; 4th, 
variations of the wind as regards their general 
prevalence over Scotland ; 5th, hygrometric observa- 
tions, and observations of rainfall, and depth of 
snow, &c. 

There are higher observatories in other countries, 
but the isolated position of Ben Nevis, and its clear 
.uprise directly from the sea, afford special facilities 
for some of the most interesting observations. Its 
geographical position, in reference to the Gulf Stream 
.and polar atmospheric currents, also adds to the 
interest and value of the observations. Present space 
does not permit me to go into the results of these 
observations, but I hope to return to the subject 
hereafter. 



A very useful paper on the so-called "Wingless 
Birds," fossil and recent, with a few words on birds 
as a class, by Dr. H. Woodward, F.R.S., may be 
found in the " Geological Magazine " for last month. 



PARASITICAL FLOWERING PLANTS. 
By A. D. Webster. 

[Continued from p. 159-] 

THE dodders, of which there are three recognised 
species, Cuscuta Europaa, C. epilinum, and C. 
ipithynium, twine themselves around the stem and 
branches of other plants, and become attached to 
them by means of minute tubercles or suckers, and 
thus attract from the system of the plant and air the 
sustenance necessary for their own support. They 
1 ossess the double power of germinating either in the 
cap. ule or the earth ; in the latter case they adhere 
to the round by the original root, drawing nourish- 
ment therefrom until the young stem has fixed itself 
to another plant, after which the original root withers 
away. 

The dodders spread with terrible rapidity, and are 
often a source of annoyance to husbandmen, especially 
in the cultivation of leguminous crops. They destroy 
the plants, either by deprivin ; them of their nourish- 
ment or by strangling them in their folds. 

The greater dodder (C Europcta) is ; enerally to be 
met with along the sides of hedges, and in neglected 
ground, growing on brambles, nettles, and grass ; 
also on flax, hemp, and clover. It is an annual 
parasitical plant, with twining, thread-like stems of a 
purplish-red colour, usually attaining a height of two 
or three feet. The stem is much branched and 
destitute of leaves, except here and there a small 
membranous scale immediately under the branches. 
The flowers, which are bell-shaped or globose, grow 
in dense round clusters, of from ten to twenty in 
each, are sessile, and of a whitish appearance with a 
slight pinkish tinge. Rarely more than half-a-dozen 
of the flowers are open at the same time, the lower 
ones being not half developed when the upper are in 
full bloom. 

Although said to be rarely found in Wales, this is 
not the case, as I have frequently met with it and 
more than once in large quantities. The plant being 
of diminutive size and certainly not well known, may 
account for the few districts from which it has been 
recorded. On a farm near here, several fields of 
clover last season suffered very severely from the 
dodder, large patches here and there being quite 
killed down by its encroachments. In walking over 
the fields the dodder is readily recognised, from the 
pinky appearance it gives to the half-withered 
clover that is gradually becoming strangled in its 
deadly embrace. The leaves of the clover on which 
the plant is living first become covered with small 
black spots or patches, gradually turn unhealthy, and 
ultimately die back to the ground. The roots of the 
clover do not appear to be injured. 

After examining the neighbouring plantations, 
fences, and hedges, I came to the conclusion, that 
in this case the dodder seeds were imported with 
those of the clover, which, if correct, should make 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



173 



seedsmen very careful before disseminating the germs 
of such a troublesome and ruinous plant. Strange to 
say, all the fields just referred to were sown with 
clover seeds obtained at the same time and from the 
same source. 

The lesser dodder [C. epithytnum) grows on thyme, 
heath, and other small shrubby plants, and is of 
much finer growth than the latter species, though in 
other respects the two plants are much alike. The 
stems are usually of a deeper 
red than those of the greater 
dodder, and generally more 
twisted or entangled ; indeed it 
is no easy task to follow one of 
the stems from base to tip, so 
intricately twisted do they be- 
come. As well as the plants 
mentioned above, the lesser 
dodder has been found some- 
what plentiful on clover, gorse, 
&c. 




always or usually less than a foot in height, and 
covered with numerous white fleshy scales instead 
of leaves. The root-stock is of a dirty white colour, 
and composed of numerous short, fleshy, imbricating- 
scales. Flowering stem naked, or with sometimes 
one or two oval scales which gradually pass into the 
bracts. The flowers, which are numerous, and 
arranged in a somewhat one-sided spike, are of a 
pale purple, streaked, and marked with light blue 
and red, but as they soon fade these colours 
cannot be relied upon as constant ; so that the 
plant at various stages of growth, and according 
to the locality in which it is found, presents a 
diversity of features by no means easily de- 
scribed. Sometimes the flowers appear of a 
greenish colour to the casual observer, but on 
closer examination faint tracts of other colours 
are readily detected. 

It grows on the roots of various trees, as the 
hazel, laurel, and elm, and is generally found 
in the most hidden recesses of dry woods, which 
may partly account for its pallid, unhealthy- 
looking appearance. It is not an uncommon 




Fig. 113. — Dodder {Cuscuta 
epithymitni). 



Fig. 114. — Toothwort 
[(Lathraa sqrtamatia). 



115.— Mistletoe {Viscnm album). 
a, flower ; i, fruit. 



The flax dodder (C. epilinum) is almost exclusively 
confined to the plant from which the popular name is 
derived, and is generally supposed to have been 
introduced into this country with the cultivation of 
flax. 

In the island of Anglesea this plant was, a few 
years ago, pretty abundant amongst a crop of flax. 
I have, however, not heard of it since. The 
differences between this plant and the greater dodder 
lie chiefly in the flowers, which are fewer in number 
and somewhat larger. 

The toothwort {Lathraa squamaria), in singula- 
rity of habit and general construction, very nearly 
approaches the orobanche. It is, however, dis- 
tinguished by several well-marked technicalities, 
especially in the construction of flowers and formation 
of the root, both of which differ considerably from 
those of the orobanche. It is a diminutive plant, 



plant, having been found in many English counties,, 
as well as, though in limited quantity, in Ireland and 
Scotland. 

The mistletoe {Visatm album) is the largest and 
most aspiring of our native parasites, and is by many 
considered as the only true parasitical plant indi- 
genous to Britain, as at no time does it receive any 
nourishment from the soil like a few other members 
of this family ; but although the dodders do not 
actually, like the mistletoe, plunge their roots into 
the wood and incorporate themselves with the tissue, 
still the fact of their living on and deriving nourish- 
ment from other plants will be sufficient reason for 
including them in this class. 

This is an evergreen bush from two feet to some- 
times as much as five feet in diameter, with dichoto- 
mous shoots, and pairs of light green leaves. It is 
dioecious, having the sexes separate on different 



174 



HARDW1 CKE ' ^ S CIENCE - G O SSIP. 



plants. It flowers in spring, and is usually covered 
during the winter with small, white, glutinous berries, 
not unlike tiny pearls. In some situations the 
mistletoe is rather difficult to propagate, which is 
most readily performed by inserting the bruised 
berries into crevices, or even rubbing them on the 
smooth surface of the bark in spring — the glutinous 
matter of the fruit aiding in attaching it — and tying a 
piece of matting or other material over as a preserva- 
tive against birds and insects, both of which are 
dread enemies to the young plant. The mistletoe 
may also be grafted by inserting, early in May, a 
scion with a bud and leaf into an incision made in 
the bark of such tree as it is intended to grow upon. 
The seed is not long in germinating ; the radicle 
penetrating into one of the numerous chinks of the 
bark settles between the wood and bark of the 
sustaining tree, and finally insinuating its fibres into 
the woody substance soon becomes one with its 
foster parent, deriving the ready-made nourishment 
therefrom necessary for its own support. The seeds 
are triangular in shape, and at two of the angles put 
forth shoots very nearly resembling the horns of a 
snail. 

Occasionally both horns take root and form two 
distinct plants, supposed by some to be male and 
female, but of this latter I cannot speak with any 
amount of certainty. After collecting information 
from various sources,' the following is a list of the 
trees on which the mistletoe has been found, the 
addresses of recorders being now in my possession : 
apple, pear, whitethorn, oak, elm, willow, maple, 
poplar, lime, service, hazel, horse-chestnut, acacia, 
mountain ash, laburnum, white broom, laurel, locust- 
tree, crab-tree, birch, sycamore, medlar, lime, 
service, white beam, alder, hornbeam, larch, and, 
according to a correspondent of " The Garden," 
abundantly on the Scotch fir between Munich and 
Innspruck, in the Bavarian Tyrol. 

The late Mr. Bentham, in his last edition of the 
"British Flora," says that mistletoe is not known in 
Scotland or Ireland. This is, however, surely a 
mistake, as in an orchard rented by my father on Sir 
"William Verner's estate in the North of Ireland, I 
have frequently seen the mistletoe growing on the 
apple-trees ; and in Scotland, according to Mr. 
Henry Evershed, it grows on the north side of 
Kinnoul Hill, near Perth, and in the nurseries of Mr. 
Morrison at Elgin, and at Gordon Castle in Moray- 
shire. 

I believe, however, although I am at present 
anable to state positively, that neither in Scotland 
nor Ireland has the mistletoe been found growing on 
the oak. 

The mistletoe is perhaps more frequently associated 
with the oak than any other tree, but it is well known 
that the plant is rarely found on the oak ; how rarely 
the following list of mistletoe oaks in England and 
Wales will show : 



(i) At Clarendon Park, Salisbury, Wilts; (2) two 
miles from Cheltenham ; (3) at Llindridge, Worces- 
tershire ; (4) at Lord Lowndes' Park, Lees Court, 
Kent ; (5) at Knightrick Church, Worcestershire ; 

(6) at Hendre, Llangattoch, Lingoed, Monmouth ; 

(7) at Budwardine, Herefordshire ; (8) at Haven, in 
the ancient forest of Durford, Hereford ; (9) at 
Frampton Severn, Gloucestershire ; (10) not far from 
Plymouth (by the side of the South Devon Railway) ; 
(11) at Hackwood Park, Basingstoke, Hants ; (12) 
at Badham's Court, Sunbury Park, near Chepstow ; 
(13) at Ledstone, Delamere ; (14) at Eastnor, Here- 
ford ; (15) at Burningford Farm, Dunsford, Surrey; 
(16) in an old forest in Carmarthenshire. 

The above may be considered as a pretty accurate 
summary of the mistletoe oaks in England, but I 
shall be very pleased to hear from any one who can 
further extend the list. Miss Owen, of Knockmullen, 
writes me to say that her friend Mr. O. Donnavan 
found the mistletoe growing on several oaks, and at 
least one fir-tree, in the remains of an old forest that 
extends here and there along the courses of both the 
Towy and Cotti rivers in Carmarthenshire. 

I have now come to the conclusion, that there is no 
tree on which the mistletoe will not grow, and that 
its scarcity on any tree is not owing to any dislike on 
the part of the mistletoe, and I believe that further 
research will only tend to confirm my statement. 

Of the Druidical and superstitious uses of this 
plant some curious particulars are related by Pliny in 
his " Natural History," where we learn that it was 
ordained to be cut with a golden sickle, and only by 
the priest, clothed in white, and the plant received 
in a white cassock at all times before the moon was 
six days old (literally translated). It is a curious 
fact that in the favourite Mona of the Druids 
— Anglesea, that greatest seat of Druidical super- 
stition — there is not, according to the Rev. Hugh 
Davies, a single specimen of the mistletoe oak, 
although of cromlechs, carredds, and other Druidical 
remains, many still exist, not a few being in a good 
state of preservation. 



THE AGE OF THE MALVERN HILLS. 
By J. Walter Gregory. 

[Continued from p. 126.] 

HAVING thus discussed the evidence on which 
the new interpretation is mainly erected, let 
us briefly glance at that on which the old theory 
stands. 

The leading points are Firstly : it is in thorough 
accordance with the general structure of the hills, 
the chloritic and micaceous schists, which are 
particularly well exhibited at Wind's Point, becoming 
more gneissoid and less schistose as they approach 
the syenitic nucleus, and gradually passing into 
masses with the lines of bedding quite obliterated. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



175 



Secondly : the strike of the igneous rock is 
parallel to the flanking Cambrian deposits, differing 
most distinctly from the discordant relations of the 
gneiss and newer rocks in the North-West of 
Scotland, and entirely agreeing with the parallelism 
of the Cambrian and Silurian strata in North Wales. 
On this Murchison lays great stress.* 

Thirdly, the absence of the Lower Cambrian rocks 
which attain such an enormous development within a 
comparatively short distance to the north ; and their 
absence is all the more extraordinary, when we 
remember that Longmynd rocks occur only nine 
miles south of the Malvern Hills on a direct line 
with the great fault that has brought both to the 
surface. This inlier, which for many years has been 
a great thorn in the side of the Archeanists, is a small 
boss of hard silicious schistose rock with many 
quartzose veins. That it is really a member of the 
Longmynd series, is supported by an overwhelming 
weight both of evidence and opinion : in 1879, during 
the excursion of the Geologists' Association, this 
rock was visited under the guidance of Dr. Callaway 
and Dr. Hicks, who state in their report, t that those 
members acquainted with the Longmynd in other 
areas acknowledged its close resemblance to those 
rocks, both in mineral character and state of 
induration. Since this date Dr. Callaway has, to use 
a recent political phrase, "chucked up the sponge," 
and abandoning the attempt, made in the report 
quoted, to explain away this knoll of rock, has 
confessed % that it is Longmynd. This admission is 
of the greatest value, as we can easily see how the 
movements that intruded the syenite into and altered 
the Longmynd rocks at Malvern, should have 
brought up on the same great line of fault, crumbled 
and contorted, a fragment of the same rock, which on 
any other theory is inexplicable. 

But some readers may impatiently ask, What on 
earth does it matter whether these Malvern rocks are 
Fre-Cambrian or Cambrian ? And whether, as the 
difference is so slight, discussing so apparently 
trivial a point at such detail is not the mere 
affectation of specialists ? To such the answer is 
simple. If one were to debate whether a bed was 
Triassic or Liassic, it would be a mere matter of 
classification, of which most naturalists would know 
nothing, and for which they would care less. But 
this is no mere question of nomenclature : a great 
fundamental point is at issue, and on the conclusion 
at which we arrive, depends the interpretation of the 
whole record of the world's history in Pre-Cambrian 
times. Should we accept the Archean teaching, we 
must abandon those old views of the absolute 
uniformity of nature, which Lyell made the foundation 
stone of much of the geology of the last forty years. 

* It is of course possible to point out isolated instances in 
■which this is not the case, but as a general rule the strikes are 
parallel. 

t " Proc. Geol. Assoc." 1879, vol. vi. part 5. 

X "Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc." toI. xxxvi. p. 537. 



We shall return to the petrological creed that Werner 
taught a century ago, and believe that gneiss and 
schists were deposited by chemical precipitation in 
some boiling ocean "when the earth was young," 
and must hold that just before the Cambrian era 
some great change, for which we know no reason, 
and of which we have no satisfactory evidence, passed 
over the earth. These are but some of the cloud of 
intricate and complicated problems, that we raise or 
allay, as we decide one way or the other, and a 
complete revolution of our petrological ideas hangs in 
the balance. 

It is from no desire of rushing into a great contro- 
versy, regardless of the difficulties in the generally 
received interpretation, or of the great names arrayed 
in the ranks of the new school, that I venture to 
submit these few notes, but, that the views advanced 
by Mr. Watts should not, by being unchallenged, 
appear to be endorsed ; and that the conclusions 
arrived at by men, whose lives having been devoted 
to geological mapping had attained an experience 
and skill still unrivalled, should not be lightly cast 
aside ; and in the hope that fellow students of 
geology may be induced to pause before adopting a 
theory, however plausible and pretty it may appear, 
or however ably and persistently it may be advocated, 
without the most careful consideration of both sides 
of this complicated and interesting subject, and of 
the momentous issues involved in the discussion. 



NOTES ON NEW BOOKS. 

THIRDS I have kept in Years gone by, by W. T. 
JLJ Greene, M.A., M.D., F.Z.S., &c. (London: 
L. Upcott Gill). Dr. Greene has evidently a kindly 
feeling for his pets, and discourses in a pleasant 
style on their habits and the best ways of keeping 
them, including frequent directions for dieting and 
medicine. His list of birds is a long one, contain- 
ing both British and foreign, and his book is illus- 
trated with coloured plates, and provided with a 
table of contents. It may be a question in the case 
of some birds, whether their lot is happier or not in 
captivity than in freedom. On the one hand they 
suffer the loss of liberty, and are liable to disorders 
due to an unnatural diet, bad housing or other mis- 
management, but on the other hand they are protected 
from the contingencies of an outdoor life, and are 
generally sheltered from the attacks of their natural 
enemies. Anyhow, if birds are to be kept in captivity, 
they are not likely to fall into more experienced hands 
than those of Dr. Greene, and perhaps some of the 
pity might be better expended if bestowed on the 
captives before they come into such keeping as his. 

The Birds of Lancashire, by F. S. Mitchell 
(London : Van Voorst). This book is an example of 
that Saxon energy which enables a man, though 
engaged in business, to find time to devote attentioa 



176 



HARD WICKE'S SCIENCE- G OS SIP. 



'to natural objects, a feature of character which is by 
no means unknown in Lancashire. Mr. Mitchell's 
book is an account of the birds occurring in the 
county, about which he gives notes of the observa- 
tions of others and his own, and many local names, 
and other interesting information. By text and 
•illustration he shews, also, how the birds fall victims 
to the deceitful ways of men. 

Elementary Text-book of Entomology, by W. F. 
Kirby (London : Sonnenschein & Co.). This is a 
handsome book, illustrated by 87 plates which con- 
tain a large number of uncoloured figures. The 
table of contents, showing a tabulated list of the 
families, grouped under seven orders, is followed by 
an introduction of about a dozen pages, giving a 
brief account of insects in general, their zoological 
position, structure, physiology, occurrence, &c, and 
lastly their classification. Then follows the main 
body of the work, over 200 pp., in which the families 
are taken in succession and described. Last of all 
come the plates. It is a pity ihat so good a book 
as this appears to be, and which even as it is may 
be of great use, should have its usefulness diminished 
by the absence of alphabetical indexes of scientific 
and popular names. As it is, if a student wishes to 
see, for example, what is said about ladybirds, he is 
at a loss to do so if he does not know to what 
family they belong, and if he succeeds he cannot 
then tell from the text whether a figure is given or 
not in the plates. But, in spite of this drawback, 
the book can be made of great service. The butter- 
flies and moths treated of are mostly of foreign 
species. 

Physical Expression, its Modes and Principles, by 
Francis Warner, M.D. (London : Kegan Paul, Trench 
•<& Co.), 5j. This book is not everybody's reading. It 
gives detailed observations of various modes of ex- 
pression, as shewn by movements and postures, by 
the head, face and eyes, and by the attitudes of the 
hands. The physiology of expression is noticed, 
and reference made to Dr. Ferrier's vivisectional 
-experiments on the brains of monkeys and dogs ; while 
among the illustrations are some shewing apparatus 
for obtaining graphic records of limb-movements. 
Perhaps it is the condensed style in which the author 
has written which makes his book rather hard to 
follow, and allows the attention readily to wander 
for want of more expanded illustration. 

Walks in Epping Forest, edited by Percy Lindley 
<London : 123-5 F1 eet Street), 6d. This little book is 
published in a form convenient for the pocket in stiff 
paper boards. Its object is to afford a guide to 
Tamblers in the forest, and with this view, after a 
short and pleasantly-written introduction, comes a 
sketch of the History of the Forest, and then one of 
<the Geology (by Mr. H. B. Woodward, F.G.S.) ; 
followed by "The Forest as it is " ; Cycling routes 
.(by J. Wilson) ; an Account of Chingford, walking 
.routes in or near the Forest, and the Fauna and Flora 



of the Forest, &c, most of these articles being con- 
tributed by A. H. Wall or the Fditor. At the 
beginning a folding map, at the end contents and 
an index ; and as if all this were not enough for 
the price, numerous illustrations are given of views 
in the forest or neighbourhood, some of which form 
attractive pictures. A visit to Epping Forest is to 
the writer of this notice still an unknown experience, 
but he hardly expects to have a handier and more 
entertaining guide, for such a visit, than this of 
Mr. Lindley's. 

The Metaphysical Aspect of Natural History, by 
Stephen Monckton, M.D. (London : H. K. Lewis). 
This is a well-printed little book of over forty pages, 
and consists of an Address delivered to the Rochester 
Natural History Society, the object of the author 
being to show that a student may advance from a 
sure point, by sure steps, drawing only on the re- 
sources of scientific observation and admitted history, 
to the conclusion that there is in nature an intelli- 
gent will-force, which is also the Author and subject 
of the Bible. The familiar figure given of the Paper 
Nautilus is apt to perpetuate the old idea, that it 
hoists its " sails " to the wind. 

The Moon and the Weather. The Probability of 
Lunar Influence Reconsidered, by Walter L. Browne 
(London : Bailliere, Tindall, & Cox), y. The 
influence of the moon upon the weather is once 
more brought under discussion in Mr. Browne's book. 
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating," or, to 
use the phrase Mr. Browne adopts : " Prevision is the 
test of true theory," and he boldly prints at the end of 
his book a list of predictions of depression areas for 
last April, May, and June, on behalf of which he 
suggests comparison with published weather-maps. 
The book was received when about half that time 
had elapsed, and readers have in this list the oppor- 
tunity afforded them of judging of Mr. Browne's 
success in predicting storms. 

The Microscope in Botany; — a Guide for the Micro- 
scopical Investigation of Vegetable Substances. From 
the German of Dr. J. W. Behrens, translated and 
edited by Rev. A. B. Hervey ; Dr. R. H. Ward 
assisting (Boston : S. E. Cassino & Co.), price 5 dols. 
This will prove, to all appearance, a very useful book. 
It consists of about 450 pp., clearly printed on good 
paper, and furnished with contents and index, it 
deals with microscopes, microscopical accessories, 
preparation of microscopic objects, microscopical 
reagents, and microscopical investigation of vegetable 
substances. References to makers of particular pieces 
of apparatus are for the most part American, being 
the work of one of the editors, the matter introduced 
by them being placed in brackets. Microscopic 
drawing and measurements receive attention, as also 
the preparation of objects, section-cutting, mounting, 
turn-tables, labelling, Sec, detailed directions being 
given. The fifth and last chapter is devoted to the 
microscopical examination of vegetable substances, 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



i77 



S' 



including cellulose, starch, protoplasm, &c, and the 
spectroscopic behaviour of chlorophyll. A notable 
feature in this chapter is the list of references to the 
literature of the various subjects given under their 
respective heads. Scattered throughout the work are 
numerous good woodcuts, and at the beginning two 
plates of test objects. The book is decidedly one to 
be recommended. 

Year- Book of the Scientific and Learned Societies of 
Great Britain and Ireland (London : Charles Griffin 
& Co.). This is the second annual issue, and, to 
quote from the preface, it aims at affording : (1) An 
Account of Scientific Work 
done in the various depart- 
ments throughout the year ; 
{2) A Record of Progress ; 
and (3) A convenient Hand- 
book of Reference. With 
this view, it gives first a list 
of Societies devoted to Sci- 
ence generally, including 
Literature, from the Royal 
Society, downwards. In 
most cases the names of 
officers are given, and in 
many cases lists of papers 
read. This part extends 
over more than fifty pages, 
or about a quarter of the 
whole book, and is followed 
by the special societies ar- 
ranged under their subjects, 
and treated in the same way. 
There is a good index, and 
the Annual will doubtless 
•be found a useful book of 
reference. 

Celestial Motions : a Handv 
Book of Astronomy, by 
W. T. Lynn, B. A., F.R.A.S. 
(London : Stanford). This 
handy little book is now in 
its third edition. It consists 
of about eighty pages pretty 
well packed with informa- Fig. iid—Nephrolcpis tubercsa (Presl). 
tion about the earth, moon, 

.sun, planets large and small — a numbered list of the 
latter being given, now amounting to nearly 250, with 
names of discoverers, and date and place of discovery, 
— comets, meteoroids, and fixed stars. The last chapter 
consists of a short historical sketch of astronomical 
discovery, and is followed by a brief glossary of terms 
used. It appears to be a very useful book to keep 
■on hand, for reference as to the elementary facts of 
astronomy. 



SOME FERNS OF HONG KONG. 
By Mrs. E. L. O'M alley. 

{Continued from p. 150.] 

Gen. X. Aspidium, Sw. 

{Shield-wort or Buckler-fern.) 

O called from the indusium fastened either in 
the centre, or on one side (like a shield or 
buckler), and covering the sorus, or seed-heap. 

Nephrolepis, Presl, or kidney-shaped buckler-fern, 
is a section of the genus in which the indusium is 
very deeply indented on one side. 





Fig. 117. — Meniscium simplex lHo»k.). 



The " Geological Magazine " for May contains a 
somewhat long review, with figures, of Professor 
-Marsh's monograph of the Dinocerata. 



.V. tuberosa, Presl, is exceedingly abundant, and 
is soon recognised by the short, stiff, erect pinnae, 
growing closely together up each side of the stalk, 
and round the inside edge of which are the kidney- 
shaped sori, and outside a row of white chalky-looking 
dots. This species has tubers at the root. It is also 
found in another form, and without tubers, and the 
pinna: much longer and more straggling. 

In N. acuta, Presl, the frond reminds us of Brainea, 
for the pinnae are long, smooth, and not at all 
crowded. The leaf is a bright glossy green, slightly 
wavy at the edges, and grows to a considerable size. 
In Glenealy it is abundant, and adds much to the 



i 7 8 



HA RD WICKE'S S CIENCE- G OSSIP. 



beauty of that romantic spot. Two of the commonest 
Hong-Kong ferns belong to the real shield-ferns, 
A. molle, Sw., and A. ttnitum, Sw. Both are alike, 
and apparently resemble the English male fern, A. 
/llix-mas, but if the student examine them closely he 
will find a connection in the veins at the sinus, or 
bend of each little division, or lobe. Of the veinlets 
that branch regularly up each segment, a pair meet 
and terminate at every bend or cut. This meeting of 
veinlets constitutes the main difference between two 
of the largest subdivisions of this enormous genus, 
viz. Lastrea and Nephrodium. A. molle, Sw., and 
A. unitum, Sw., are both about two feet high, and 
grow everywhere in the hills and in the town. A. molle 
is a light green, soft and downy ; A. unitum is darker 
and more shiny, the former has very few very small 
sori, often found only close to the rachis. In A. 
unitum the fructification is dark-coloured, densely- 
crowded, and closer to the margin of the lobes. 

Gen. XI. Meniscium, Schreb. 

M. simplex, Hk., is not uncommon at the Peak, 
and is easily distinguished by the very marked raised 
veins, laid as it were like net-work all over the under 
side of the frond, which is about 4 or 5 inches long, 
entire, and very finely pointed, having two half-lobes at 
the base more or less detached from the main-stem. 
The long delicate apex is often half the length of the 
entire leaf. The fertile portion differs materially in 
being much longer, much narrower, and more up- 
right than the sterile, and closely packed with the fruc- 
tification, which is brown and destitute of covering. 

Gen. XII. Polypodium, Linn. 

Every polypody does not resemble our old friend in 
England, whose yellow buttons of sori and favourite 
haunts on old trees and ruined walls render it familiar 
to us all. The technical distinction is the absence of 
indusium (often overlooked in aspidium, when the 
indusium is sometimes obsolete or lost). 

There is no polypody common to this neighbourhood. 
The searcher in the hills might perhaps be rewarded 
by finding P. adnascens, Sw. — a little fern covered 
with furry down on the under side, and round sori, 
or P. lingua, Sw., rather larger, with less down or 
tomentum and sori at further intervals. In both 
ferns the frond is entire. 

(To be continued.') 



An Excavation carried on by the German Govern- 
ment is said, in the Times, to have been in process 
near Schladebach, with the object of obtaining 
further information as to the increase of underground 
temperature. At 1392 metres, the depth reached at 
the beginning of this year, and believed to be the 
lowest yet attained by boring, the temperature was 
49° C. 



THE VARIATION AND ABNORMAL 
DEVELOPMENT OF THE MOLLUSCA. 

Part II. 

T IMNMA GLUTINOSA. This remarkable 
/ s species belongs, not to Limnrea proper, but 
the genus Amphipeplea of Nilsson, and is easily 
known from Limnaea by the fact, that when alive 
the mantle covers the shell, and in this way and 
in the texture of the shell it is related to Physa 
fontinalis. This species is rare and local, and does 
not vary so much as some of the allied species. 
In the district we are now dealing with, it has been 
recorded as living on Barnes Common ; my brother 
has specimens from Deal, Minster, and Sitting- 
bourne, and I have found it abundant but local in 
the St. Nicholas Marshes, where it is easily seen on 
the leaves of Nuphar luteum and other plants. 
These St. Nicholas Marsh specimens are rather light 
in colour, and it was there I found a most curious 
and interesting monstrosity or variety, which has 
much the relation to the type of glutinosa that Z. 
involuta has to Z. peregra. 

This specimen has the spire very short, and sunken, 
but slightly raised at the apex ; the body whorl is 
swollen above, and the top of the shell appears nearly 
flat. Should this form turn up in any other localities 
it might be called monst. intortum, but as long as we 
have only a single specimen I think it is better 
unnamed. 

Limncea peregra. This is the commonest and most 
variable of our freshwater mollusca. 

I have taken a very globose form, probably var^ 
ovata, in the Regent's Canal, where the water is 
stagnant and there is very little weed. (I record the 
kind of situation when possible, as one often finds 
that facts, seemingly of no account, are afterwards 
valuable in drawing conclusions as to the origin and 
use of variations.) 

A specimen from Chislehurst is slightly decollated, 
specimens from Bromley and Eltham are somewhat 
thinner than usual, but my thinnest specimen was 
taken by my brother at St. Nicholas Marsh. I have 
an exceeding thick and apparently semi-fossil shell 
from Barnes, and from what has been said above 
concerning the Barnes shell it seems improbable that 
it could have recently lived on the spot. This species 
occurs fossil at Crayford, but the specimens do not 
differ from those now living. I have a succinea- 
shaped specimen taken in a well at Farnborough, 
it is possibly the variety succinaformis of Jeffreys. 
A monstrosity from Kew Gardens has a wide and 
deep umbilicus. A shell I found in a ditch close to 
\V aimer Castle has a rather long spire with a fairly 
deep suture, and has a number of confluent whitish 
bands all of which are below the periphery. (It is 
remarkable that whenever bands are abnormally 
developed in the genera Limnaea and Physa, they are 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



179 



usually, as far as my experience goes, below the 
periphery. ) 

There is a pond at Bromley where Z. peregra 
occurs. The specimens are very variable in shape, 
and are covered with some kind of growth which 
makes them appear almost black outside, and greyish 
within. They are infested with a parasite, which my 
brother tells me is a very beautiful microscopical 
object, but I have not yet examined any microscopi- 
cally myself. Some of these shells have a very 
expanded lip, and belong to the var. labiosa, Jeff., 
and in some cases the lip of the shell is even reflected 
upon itself, so that the mouth presents a rounded 
edge formed by the inner surface of the lip which by 
the reflection becomes outermost. 

Z. auricularia. The var. acuta is recorded for 
Kent. Specimens from Regent's Park have a rather 
long spire and are pale in colour. 

Z. stagnalis. Var. fragilis has been taken in 
Middlesex and Surrey. Monst. scalar if or me, Chisle- 
hurst (S.C.C. and T.D.A.C). Monst. decollatum, 
Barnes. 

A variety (which might conveniently be called 
expansa)* lives in a small pond at Bromley, where the 
type form does not occur. It has a short spire, 
the body whorl is large and expanded, and the mouth 
of the shell wide ; the length of the spire is about | of 
the total length of the shell, which is somewhat less 
than an inch and a half. The only weed I noticed in 
the pond was Lemna minor. A specimen of Z. 
stagnalis taken at Deal is slender in shape, light in 
colour, and has a shallow suture. Shells from a 
small pond on Chislehurst Common, on the contrary, 
are dark in colour, and have a deep suture (two 
specimens being actually scalariform, as stated above), 
and these shells are a good deal smaller than the type 
form ; some specimens, apparently full grown, being 
about two-thirds of an inch in length, although others 
are much larger. Should these be found elsewhere, 
var. elegantula would perhaps be a suitable name for 
them.f Another pond, also on Chislehurst Common, 
produces quite a different variety. This form has a 
very shallow suture, and is not unlike some varieties 
of Z. palustris. It is never so large as the typical 
stagnalis, the usual length being little more than an 
inch. Why these two ponds, only a few hundred 
yards distant from one another, should produce two 
forms so totally distinct, I cannot imagine ; the soil 
appears to be the same, and the only difference I can 
detect is that the one having the first variety is in the 
open, is very small, the Limnseaj being very crowded, 
especially in the summer, when the pond is almost 
dried up, and the food plants are Potamogeton and 
Ranunculus. The second pond is partly under the 
shade of a chestnut tree ; it is much larger and not so 

* Unless it should prove identical with the variety lacustris 
of Moquin-Tandon, or the variety fucincns is of Paulucci, both 
of which it resembles, in some respects at any rate. 

f Mr. Taylor, of Leeds, is of opinion that this form does not 
differ from the var. botanica of Clessin. 



crowded, and the principal food-plants are Anacharis 
and Callitriche. 

From a third pond on Chislehurst Common I took 
a specimen having whitish bands below the periphery, 
like the Walmer Z. peregra. Specimens from Grove 
Park have a pointed and slender spire, and the lip 
tinged with pink. 

I will now venture to say a few words about the 
naming of varieties. There are some who would 
name every variation that can be defined, and others 
go to the other extreme, and will have nothing to do 
with varietal names. To me it seems that as every, 
or nearly every species has one or more marked 
variations from what is called the " type," and 
likewise a number of less definite varieties connecting 
one form with another, it is extremely difficult to 
find an intermediate course between giving names, or 
ignoring them altogether. Suppose, for instance, in 
the present paper, I had refused to accept any 
varietal names, but had written out a full description 
of each variety, what a deal of space would have been 
uselessly expended ; and the difference between the 
space taken up by the names of described forms and 
descriptions of undescribed ones, is well shown above. 
"But," some reader will exclaim, "you will be 
naming almost every shell that passes through your 
hands, and my memory will be burdened with 
thousands of names which are really of no impor- 
tance ; and although a species is a tolerably fixed 
point, varieties are infinite, and naming them can 
only end in confusion. " These are sentiments I have 
heard expressed. 

I would reply to this, that the varietal names are 
principally of use to specialists, for it is manifest that 
a general student of conchology is scarce able to 
study all the variations of all the species ; but to one 
studying any particular genus or species, the varietal 
names are most useful and almost indispensable. 
In proof of this I will ask, How many specialists 
have been obliged to make varieties, and how many 
have done without them ? I fancy the former are in 
the majority. And some think that a species is a 
fixed point. To these I would recommend the study 
of Pisidium. Others say that varieties are of no 
importance ; I contend that they are of the greatest 
importance, but I cannot enter here into the reasons 
why they are obvious enough to most people. 

As for burdening the memory, this is an 
equally good argument against bringing forward any 
information whatever, and against names in general. 
Lastly, I would remind those who do not already 
know it, that all names, generic, specific, or varietal, 
are merely a matter of convenience, and although it is 
open to anyone to propose names, no one is obliged 
to accept them unless he finds it convenient to do so. 
Some people, however, seem to think that a sort of 
mysterious change comes over a specimen when it has 
a name tacked on to it, and its value goes up 95 per 
cent. I think it would not be a bad idea if at periodical 



i8o 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



times the opinion of the conchological world were 
invited as to the advisability of accepting names 
proposed in the interval, and these names rejected or 
accepted as it might be found convenient. But the 
worst of it is that people will follow their own 
opinion in such matters, whatever others say. It 
may be asked here, what are the convenient names, 
and which the inconvenient ones ? In my opinion 
the convenient ones are those which apply to varieties 
which are widely distributed, and consequently have 
often to be referred to, or for any other reason often 
spoken of, and which express as well as a single word 
can express, the leading feature of the form in 
question. Constantly recurring monstrosities I would 
place in the same category. Names which I would 
reject are those which refer to a single specimen, no 
similar one having been found ; but of course, should 
the form be found afterwards in several places, the 



tincta, St. Nicholas Marsh (S. C. Cockerell). In these 
specimens the suture is exceedingly shallow. Var. 
albida, Minster (S. C. C). I have taken it at Sand- 
wich. Monst. decollaium, Barnes. Monst. carinatuni. 
Mr. J. W. Taylor described this from a specimen found 
by my brother in a pond at Bromley. I have searched 
this pond, but have not found another carinate 
specimen, although the type is common enough ; but 
while looking for carinatum I found another mon- 
strosity, equally curious. It was a turretid specimen, 
which may be described as follows : — Shell about 
half an inch in length, whorls 5, spire turretid, suture 
deep, last whorl more than half the total length of 
the shell, and flattened at the sides, instead of being, 
rounded, as in a typical specimen. The upper whorls 
are somewhat eroded. 

This specimen reminds one of a monstrosity {im- 
perial, I think it is called), of Buccinum undatutn, 




Fig. 118. — Limiura glutinosa, mnn«.t. 
" intortum." S. Nicholas Marsh, 
E. Kent. 



Fig. 119. — Limnaa fevcgra, small 
variety. Sub-alpine stream, Bail- 
don, Yorkshire. 




Fig. 120. — Limntra peregra, var. 
labiosa. Bromley. 




Fig. 121. — Limncpastagnalis, 
var. " expansa." Bromley, 
Kent. 




Fig. 122. — Limnaa stagnalis, 
variety approaching /.. 
Jialustris in shape. Chisle- 
hurst. 





Fig. 123. — Limitaasfagnahs, 
var. " elegantula." Chisle- 
hurst. 



Fig. 124. — Limna'a />atus- 
tris, monst. " turritum." 



name might again be taken up. Also those which 
do not clearly express what is meant in the description 
given for them, as var. major, "shell larger than 
type," without saying how large, or var. clongata, 
"shell elongated," when no length is stated, and also 
all those named after the discoverer, or anyone else, 
such as Clausilia rugosa, var. Everetti, "shell smaller 
than type." So in the names I have suggested above, 
I do not for a moment propose that they shall be 
used on the strength of one or two specimens, but 
merely propose them as useful names, should it be 
found at any future period convenient to use them. 

Limmca palustris. Var. conica has been taken in 
the Thames. Some which I took in a ditch near the 
river at Putney, Mr. Kenneth McKean considers to 
belong to this variety, but although they are lighter 
than usual, they are hardly greyish-white, and the 
suture is, if anything shallower than usual. Var. 



and gives the idea of a specimen which had become 
telescopic, and had got partially shut up. If it is to 
be named, it might be called monst. turritum.* 
Monst. globosum, Taylor, Enfield, one specimen 
(S. C. Cockerell). Although this was described as a- 
variety, I have no doubt whatever that it is really a 
monstrosity, and my brother is of the same opinion. 
My brother has taken two specimens of a very inte- 
resting variety, which has the whorls compressed, 
the suture perfectly flat, and the periphery bluntly 
angulated ; in fact, this form bears exactly the same 
relation to L. palustris type, as Bucci7ium acumin- 
atum bears to the typical undatum. (The corre- 
spondence between the abnormalities of L. palustris 
and B. undatum is very curious, especially as the two 
species are so distantly related.) 

* Kreglinger mentions a \ar. itirrita, which may possibly 
be identical with the form here described. 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



181 



Limnaa truncatula. Var. albida is said to have 
been taken in Surrey. At Bickley I have found a 
specimen with two broad whitish bands below the 
periphery. One of my largest specimens is from a 
small rivulet in Camden Park, Chislehurst, which is 
dried up for the greater part of the year. L. trim* 
catula is fossil at Crayford. 

Ancyhts Jluviatilis. In our district, at any rate, 
this shell varies little except in size, and the same 
may be said of A. lacustris. The latter species, 
however, is occasionally compressed at the sides. 

T. D. A. COCKERELL. 
(To be continued.) 



reaching description, his vigilance is indefatigable, 
and let but pressing danger be apprehended, and lo I 
he dives beneath the water with marvellous prompti- 
tude and dexterity. Where is the sea-fowler that can 
overmatch the astuteness and agility of this beautiful 
bird ? The gun is presented, and well and truly 
pointed ; the trigger is pulled, but ere the com- 
paratively sluggish shot can reach its mark, the 
creature has vanished — disappeared, as if by magic, 
to nestle in the chambers of the deep, completely 
out of sight and in security. 

During the dry and parching summer season, the 
red-breasted merganser (for that is the name of this 




Fi° 



125.— Red-breasted Merganser [Mergus Merganser), Yarrell. (The larger bird after Morris.) 



THE RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. 
By P. Q. Keegan, LL.D. 

ABOUT the period of the autumnal equinox, at 
the time when the winds, let loose from their 
summer-caves, sweep with wild and fitful fury over 
land and sea, then away among the quiet, retired 
recesses of some sheltered bay, there may frequently 
be discerned a most beauteous sea-bird. Arrayed in 
an apparel of the most gaudy and varied hues, with 
neck and head and movement correspondingly 
beautiful and graceful, the appearance and deport- 
ment of this bird may challenge universal admiration. 
His accomplishments, too, are by no means to be 
despised. His sight is of the sharpest, most far- 



beauteous sea-bird) sojourns for the most part amid 
the desolate solitudes of the Arctic regions. The 
cares and anxieties attendant upon the breeding 
duties harass him then ; but let no one suppose that, 
at this time, his lot is unhappy and difficult to bear. 
Let no one think that there he encounters no warmth 
or geniality of climate, no green vegetation, no sunlit 
skies or gleaming sea. We know that there is a 
broad space around the pole — a "thrilling region of 
thick ribbed ice " where, during certain months in 
summer, the sun perpetually shines, his light never 
fades, never gives way to night, though sometimes it 
is seriously intercepted by fog, which, however, 
chiefly occurs seaward ; he careers all day and night 
in the heavens, and thereby concentrates such an 



182 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



intensity of heat upon certain sheltered portions of 
the land, that the temperature thereof frequently 
surpasses that of the tropics. Captain Scoresby during 
the course of his survey of the eastern coast of 
Greenland, having landed one day on that desolate 
shore, found the temperature of a certain spot 
amongst the rocks to be 70 , and he describes the 
effect thereof as being particularly relaxing. A 
lavish and widespread vegetation too, decorates these 
northern shores from June till about September, and 
furnishes ample opportunity for the prosecution of 
breeding undertakings on the part of sea-birds. In 
■order, however, to illustrate the fact, that birds can 
nidify at a comparatively low temperature, we may 
mention, that, on the 21st of June, 1853, an ivory 
gull (Larus eburneus) was found sitting upon its 
eggs in a small island to the north of Melville 
Sound (l?.t. 76 ), when the thermometer indicated 
only 35 of heat. 

As soon as the breeding duties of our bird have 
terminated, and the new-fledged brood can provide 
for themselves, and when the terrible rigours of the 
Arctic winter — the sleet-charged blasts, the blight- 
ing fogs, the destruction of vegetation, the soul- 
depressing silence and frigidity of all things — com- 
mence to be experienced, then he abandons his 
summer seat, and travelling southwards, settles in 
more genial latitudes. With strong, rapid unflagging 
(light, he poises in the air over the dreary shores of 
Greenland, Newfoundland, or Hudson's Bay, and 
bidding them farewell, advances briskly for days 
and days till he lands securely in Shetland, in Orkney, 
in Sutherland, or the Hebrides, &c, and there, in 
conjunction with his " co-mates and brothers in exile," 
forthwith commences his winter campaign of diving, 
fishing, glutting, &c. 

Unlike the great black -backed gull, the beauteous 
northern diver, the Fulmar petrel, &c, the bird 
now under review is of a decidedly social disposition, 
and, on that account, is more frequently to be seen in 
flocks than in a solitary state. Its voracity is excessive 
and generally known ; and we need not wonder, 
therefore, that its principal occupation consists in the 
pursuit, capture and consumption of various species 
of fish, especially sand-eels, for which it manifests an 
especial relish. The following is the method of 
procedure. 

The bird swims about gracefully upon the surface 
of the sea for some little time, occasionally poking its 
head and neck beneath the water, as if searching 
about for some delicate morsel, then, suddenly 
•elevating its body, and plunging straight ahead, it 
instantly disappears from view. Its comrades, 
suspecting that some sport is to be had below, follow 
suit ; so that the entire flock seems to vanish, as if by 
magic. After traversing the watery regions with 
•considerable swiftness and dexterity (using the wings 
as well as the webbed feet), the merganser appears 
once more above the surface, bearing a fish in its 



mouth, and looking as lively as ever. The booty is 
soon disposed of down " red lane," whereupon the 
bird drinks a little water by way of condiment or 
digestive, or perhaps to wash the meal down more 
thoroughly ; and then gleefully flapping its wings, 
it appears eminently satisfied with the entire pro- 
ceeding. To inspect a pair or more of these birds 
fishing in some shallow lake left amid some far off 
waste of sand by the receded tide, is an extremely 
interesting occupation. Such graceful movements, 
such displays of agility, such attractive forms and 
colouring cannot be discerned every day within the 
circle of human intercourse. He who, towards the 
autumn or mid-winter, occasionally devotes an hour 
or so to the study and contemplation of sea-bird 
habits and deportment, will assuredly not repent of 
the proceeding. The ever-varied and beautiful lints 
and shades of ocean, the bleakness and desolation of 
open wastes of beach-sand, will touch his heart, and 
impress grateful ideas on his mind that will haunt 
him for years. 

The lavish prodigality of life-energy expended by 
the red-breasted merganser, the pungent stimulating 
character of the regions which it inhabits during the 
most important period of its existence, conspire with 
extensively endowed digestive powers to render it 
excessively voracious. The mouth is provided with a 
number of fine, conical, saw-like lamellae or teeth, 
viz. about sixty in the upper jaw and about thirty-five 
in the lower. The oesophagus also is specially large 
and dilatable, so that ample provision is thuswise 
made for the capture, steadfast seizure, and the 
storing up of a liberal amount of edible matter. Sand 
eels are especially delectable to the gustatory organs 
of the bird. Away upon a desolate waste of sandy 
shore, damp, pool-bespread, and wreck-strewn, the 
bird establishes itself, and commences the opera- 
tions necessary to the procurement of victuals. It 
perseveringly digs its sharp beak into the retreats of 
the sand-eel, until a desiderated morsel is grasped. 
This species of eel is of a beautiful silvery colour — a 
very delicate fish about five or six inches long ; so 
that the merganser in whose body it is recorded no 
fewer than twenty-four of these were found, had 
managed, we should say, to obtain a pretty good 
dinner of it ! 

Hovering on the confines of the comparatively 
clumsy Anatidse, the mergansers seem to have 
borrowed some portion of their marvellous beauty 
and gracefulness from the allied family of the 
Colymbidas. The diving powers of our bird are 
remarkable. It is shy and wary, with sharp ears, 
and exceedingly acute and far-ranging vision, and 
so completely, so adequately and promptly can its 
bodily movements be adjusted to the dictates or 
promptings furnished by the senses— so intimately 
associated and dependent are its motor and sensor 
nerves — that when a sea-fowler fires off his gun, the 
bird dives with incredible dexterity, disappearing from 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



183 



view ere the shot can reach the now deserted seat. 
The predilection of the bird for red colour, however, 
is the snare which frequently proves fatal. It is re- 
corded, that this merganser exhibits a weakness for 
the fascinations of this colour, and that the Swedish 
hunters, aware of this fact, frequently take advantage 
of it, and by wearing red clothes become enabled to 
approach much nearer, so as to direct their fire with 
more sure and deadly effect. 

The wings of the red-breasted merganser are only 
of moderate length (not extending to the tail), — and 
of moderate breadth. The body, like that of the 
divers (Colymbidse), [is comparatively heavy, weigh- 
ing in an ordinary specimen about two pounds. Yet, 
notwithstanding the unfavourable circumstance, the 
flight of the bird is undoubtedly strong, swift, and 
remarkably well sustained. 

Now if we compare these facts with those furnished 
by an inspection of the flying apparatus, of, say 
the great black-backed gull {Lams marinus), we 
shall perhaps be able to glean some grains of 
ornithological truth. Have you ever observed the 
mighty sweep of this gull's wings? They measure 
five feet across, and the weight of the bird itself is, on 
the average, only about three or four pounds. Now, 
if we compare these various weights and measures 
with those of the body and wings of the red-breasted 
merganser, the important truth may flash upon us, 
that the greater the weight of a bird, the less pro- 
portionally is the spread of the wing necessary to 
sustain its body in the air. In the consideration of 
the flying capabilities of a bird, let us never forget 
the fact, that, in heavy birds, the motion of the wings 
in the act of flying is comparatively slow, while in 
light birds, it is comparatively swift. The former 
circumstance is illustrated in the dilatory, lazy-paced, 
ungainly flying of the crane, the heron, &c, the 
latter in the marvellous agility of wing displayed by 
the sylph-like petrels, skuas, terns, &c. It seems, 
too, to be an indisputable fact, that the larger and 
weightier birds, when once fairly launched into the 
air, can sustain and propel themselves with a much 
less expenditure of animal energy than that required 
from the smaller and less ponderous among the 
feathered tribes. Those naturalists who have mar- 
velled at the apparently excessive muscular exertion 
involved in the flight of birds, have, when the facts 
have been more thoroughly examined and elucidated, 
become sensible that the strength of these aerial 
creatures is not so grievously taxed as they formerly 
supposed. 

The red-breasted merganser, ever beautiful and 
accomplished, and not exhibiting any very marked 
or reprehensible meddling, domineering, piratical or 
other objectionable proclivities, may be fairly ranged 
as regards "social position" on the same level with 
the "aristocratic " divers. Inspect and feel the soft, 
close, blended, velvety plumage of this latter group 
of sea birds, and compare it with the hair of the 



thorough-bred horse, or even (if such be allowed/ 
with the locks of the well-bred gentleman, and then 
declare if, as respects this important constituent of 
their external aspect, they are not entitled "to 
flourish in any society." To speculate upon the 
social position or upon the respectable appearauce of 
birds, may appear ridiculous ; but my observations- 
and studies in Natural History have been wholly 
valueless, if roughness or smoothness, coarseness or 
refinement in the external integuments, in the hair, 
nails and other appendages of animals, does not stand 
as a sign and index, a mark and register of something 
more recondite and fundamental, of something in- 
timately connected with the most elementary organic 
structures, and with the ultimate fountains of animal 
energy. 

Every movement of these mergansers is pre- 
eminently graceful. The stream of their animal 
energy flows easily and readily, and through as it 
were a smooth and well-worn channel. The bone- 
joints seem perpetually well-oiled and competent, 
and the muscular apparatus is thoroughly sound and 
destitute of deteriorating fatty admixture. The 
instruments of bodily movement being thuswise con- 
structed of sound and unexceptionable materials, and 
being admirably adapted to the end for which they 
were proposed, the utmost ease and harmony of 
movement may be expected. To endeavour to 
furnish an explanation of the admirable quality of 
gracefulness exhibited by animals, would be a 
supremely interesting undertaking ; but it is one from 
which the restricted limits of our space warn us to 
desist. We have no doubt, however, that this 
quality depends entirely upon (1) hereditary endow- 
ment, and (2) the manner in which, during youth and 
early life, the various bodily movements have been 
conducted, and the consequent change and modelling 
as it were of the organism in accordance therewith. 

The hand of Nature has been employed so assidu- 
ously in the lavish decoration of the sea-birds under 
review, now touching with red and green, now patch- 
ing and interlaying with yellow, white and black, 
now dropping spots of black and grey, and shreds 
of scarlet, and polishing all into soft and uniform 
lustre, that fain would we be excused from recount- 
ing the specific delineation thereof. We must rest 
content, therefore, with a notice of the more con- 
spicuous and important peculiarities of colouring, &c, 
as exhibited by the male bird during the breeding 
season. We know not how it comes to pass that 
among many tribes of the lower animals, the male is 
much handsomer, more attractive in appearance, 
more gaudily attired, than the female. Perhaps the 
lady in this case is more coy, or more fastidious in 
the selection of a mate ; or mayhap the superior 
attraction of the males of her own species may 
counteract any inclination on her part to extend 
favours to individuals not holding precisely the same 
position as to organisation, &c, in the animal world. 



184 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



The following account of the specific character- 
istics of the male red -breasted merganser (Mergus 
scrrator) cannct be regarded as complete : — The 
head is decorated with a long loose crest of a glossy 
dark-green colour ; the upper mandible is reddish- 
brown, the lower one is of an orange tint ; a few 
rather large feathers, of a pure white colour margined 
with black, crop out from each side of the breast, and 
fold over the wings when these are at rest ; the 
■upper breast is reddish-brown, the lower is pure 
"white, but when the bird is just recently killed, there 
is thereabouts a beautiful salmon-colour tint ; the 
outside of the tarsus and toes, and the webs are of a 
purplish shade, while the claws are of a light greyish- 
brown. The total length of the bird is about twenty- 
one inches. As is the case with almost all the Anati- 
dx, a most important c pecific indication is afforded by 
the appearance of the trachea. In the red-breasted 
merganser, the structure and arrangement of this 
organ are so singular as to merit a detailed descrip- 
tion. Two inches from the mouth, it swells out to 
four times it's diameter, an enlargement which it 
maintains for the space of two inches and a half; it 
then continues as at first for another couple of inches, 
when it becomes flattened for the same distance 
further ; it finally appears under the form of a bony 
labyrinth which measures two inches long, by one 
and a half in breadth, and which is covered with a 
yellowish skin-like parchment. 

This species nidifies from about March till May or 
June. Greenland, Newfoundland, and the shores of 
Hudson's Bay are the localities which have been 
•notified as its special haunts during the breeding 
season. But away along the margins and among the 
islands of the more lonely and secluded Highland 
•lochs, the nest of this bird has been frequently dis- 
covered. It is said to be commonly situated amongst 
brushwood, and at a few yards from the water, and 
to be warmly constructed with the down taken from 
the bird's own body. 

The persecution to which this beautiful bird has 
been subjected by the human race for ages past, may 
be inferred and estimated from the contemplation of 
•its incomparable diving powers, and by its shyness 
and general deportment when pursued. The love of 
power inherent in man, which, in the destitution of 
other means of gratification, seeks to slaughter the 
beasts of the field and the birds of the air, has been 
especially directed against this beautiful merganser. 
We cannot here enter into a discussion regarding the 
relation which may subsist between the shyness and 
vigilance of the bird, and the amount or kind of 
persecution to which it has been subjected, since the 
unlucky period when it first became known to human 
beings. Nor can we venture to suggest a cause or 
reason for the gorgeous apparel with which it has 
been clothed. Neither can we confidently pronounce 
whether this ostentatious drapery subserves any 
.particular purpose, whether it exists only to please 



the eye of man, or whether the bird is beautiful for 
the mere sake of beauty. All these questions are 
replete with interest, and furnish ample material for 
the reflective and thoughtful mind ; but, at the same 
time, they are fraught with danger. They contain 
many mazes and labyrinths, which are difficult if not 
impossible to thread, and which are ever liable to 
land the rash and unwary speculator in quagmires 
and obscure haunts, where the glorious light of 
religion is for ever quenched. Perhaps the most 
unequivocal mark of design, connected with the 
subject of our paper, is the peculiar structure of the 
beak. Unlike that of the generality of the duck 
family, it is adapted, not so much for straining the 
water and the sandy particles from the edible morsel 
within the mouth, as to effectually seize and firmly 
retain the solid body of a fish. 



PELORIC FORM OF ORCHIS MASCULA. 

PELORIA, or the regular form of flowers normally 
irregular, seems to be most common among 
flowers with spurred petals. In Linaria, with one 
spur, the flowers are sometimes altered so that all 
the petals are spurred. In Columbine, on the other 
hand, with all the petals spurred in their normal 
condition, forms are sometimes found with the spurs 
suppressed. For peloric forms to be found among 
the orchids is, however, much less common. We 
have, growing wild, in this neighbourhood, about 
three plants which every year produce these curious 
forms. I first found them last year, and sent 
specimens to two or three friends, who, like my- 
self, were much puzzled, and could make nothing of 
them. One gave it up in despair, another thought 
the plant might be Epipactis purpurea, but could not 
make form of ovary to agree. This year I submitted 
specimens to Dr. Hooker, who was much interested 
with them, said he had seen nothing like them, and 
pronounced them to be peloric forms of O. morio or 
mascula. After subsequent examination and informa- 
tion he decided upon mascula. I regret I have not a 
specimen to send for engraving, and my description, 
from memory, must necessarily be vague. I hope, 
however, to remedy these defects next year. The 
most striking difference is in the form of the lowest 
petal, which, instead of being much larger than the 
upper pair, and spurred, is equal in size and form to 
the other two, and without the spur. The petals of 
the upper pair are larger than in ordinary forms of 
the flower ; all are purple and without spots. The 
calyx is coloured like the corolla, the three sepals are 
about the usual size ; so that the floral leaves, six in 
number, are alike in colour and size, and the perianth 
is therefore regular. As there is no spur, and there- 
fore no apparent receptacle for honey, it seems 
difficult to understand how this form can be repro- 
duced. A friend of mine informs me on the authority 



HARDWICKE'S SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



185 



of Professor Babington, of Cambridge, that, so far as 
he is aware, these spurless orchids have never before 
been found in England. I hope my remarks may 
have the effect for which they were intended, of 
sending out some next year, to look more carefully 
among the orchids, to see if these forms are really so 
uncommon as they at present appear to be. 

John Rasor