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Dr. J. E. TAYLOR, F.L.S., F.G.S., F.R.G.S.I., 








1 89 1. 

[All rights reserved,^ 




ANOTHER swing of the Pendulum of Life ! Only three-score 
years and ten — not that, according to the statistics of the 
Registrar-General, if we take the average life of the humanity 
introduced upon our planet. One feels inclined to modify the well- 
known lines of the Latin Poet, popularly set forth by Longfellow, 
about Art being long, and Life being fleeting. Instead of Art, read 
Science. Art was evolved to please people — Science to instruct them. 
Art has played to the most foolish, most extravagant, most lascivious 
peoples of the world. Art is glorious : it is the Revelation of genius. 
But Science is Democratic — it is the possession of all. Men like 
Robert Dick of Thurso, and Thomas Edwards, are the apostles of 
this new democratic possession of a scientific intellectual power 
which is neither aristocratic nor oligarchic, but which belongs to the 
" Commonweal." 

This is the present Editor's "coming of age." For twenty-one 
years he has enjoyed the delightful responsibility of addressing and 
interesting thousands (perhaps scores of thousands) of readers of 
Science-Gossip every month. The responsibility is great — greater 
than few are aware of. The correspondence entailed is enormous ; 
so the Editor has to appeal to the Christian patience of his readers. 
He is always open to receive any suggestions from readers that 
will influence the commercial success of his journal — a success the 
Editor would derive no advantage from, but which he would be 
delighted to see the Publishers thereof should, if only as an expression 
of their generous and trusting confidence in himself. 


The Editor would point out that this annual volume is distinguished 
even above its predecessors by original papers. Those on the British 
Diptera and Rhizopods alone will hereafter make the Volume for 
1 89 1 sought after. In addition, he desires to draw attention to the 
articles on the new aspects of Darwinism, &c,, to show how much 
Science-Gossip endeavours to keep pace with the Philosophy as 
well as with the facts of Modern Natural Science. 

The Editor is fortunate in being surrounded by a zealous clientele 
of earnest contributors, to each of whom he owes much. The low 
price of the Old Monthly does not bring a fortune, but it helps 
Science-Gossip to brighten the home of many a working-man 
naturalist ; and there is no better tribute to the eagerness to receive 
its monthly issue, than the grumbling letters sent when the magazine 
appears a day or two later than usual. 

For twenty-seven years SCIENCE-GOSSIP has held the privilege 
of being the chief and most largely-circulated popular scientific 
magazine in Great Britain — which means in all the world ! There 
is no better testimony to the growing love of and interest in Nature, 
than that such a magazine should continue to be so much required. 

No effort in the Future will be spared to keep up the well-earned 
reputation of the Past. Notwithstanding the fact that so many 
paths have been well trodden, there still remain fresh fields and 
pastures new. Natural Science, like Astronomy, may be explored, 
but cannot be exhausted. 

With warmest Christmas greetings, and best Seasonal wishes, the 
Editor is thankful once more to greet old friends with an invisible 
hand-shake, and wish them, one and all, 

A Happy New Year. 


Alhints, 80 
Anth7-ax, 105 
Arcella vulgaris, 196 
ArcJueocidaris urii, 61 
Arrenurus elliptkus, 148 
Arrenurus integrator, 149 
AT^eituriiS perforatus, 148 
Arrenurus truncacellus, 149 
A situs, 104 

Barnacle Goose, 253 
Beania fuurahilis, 249 
Bernicle Tree, 252 
Biomyjca vagans, 200, 201, 202 
Blow-Pipe, Foot-Working, 5 
Bombylius, 105 

Carnac, Standing Stones of, 197 

Ceniropyxis aculeata, 176 

Chrysogaster, 157 

Ckrysoto.xMn, 158 

Clausilia rugosa, 257 

Clinocera, 157 

Clisiophyllum, 62 

Coccus cacti, 32 

Conops, 158 

Conularia quadrisulcata, 63 

Culex, 172 

Cyphoderia ampulla, 245 

Dasydytes bisetosum, i6i 
Development of Tadpole, 150 
Diagrammatic Sections through Windsor, 

Difflugia acuminata, 132 
Difflugia glohulosa, 132 
Difflugia pyriforvtis, 131, 132 
Dioctria, 104 

Diptera, 35, 53, 102, 126, 156, 171, 275 
Distyla depressa, 204 
Distyla musicola, 205 
Dixa, 172 

Dog's Mercury, Notes on, 180, 181 
Dolickopus, 157 

Egyptian Grape-Prbss, 225 
Elm-Mite, 147 
Empis, 157 

Encrinite, 61 
Entrochi, 61 
Eriodalis, 158 
Euglypha alveolata, 268 
Euglypha ciliata, 268 
Eiiomphalus pentangulatus, 76 

Fenestella mernbranacea, 62 
Foot-Working Blow-Pipes, 5 

Guiana Root-Press, 224 

Helix arbustorum, 124 
Helix aspersa, 124 
Helix hispida, 124 
Helix lapicidia, 124 
Helix virgata, 124 
Hilara, 157 
Hydrophorus, 157 

Jay The, 100 

Leptis, 105 
Limnobia, 172 
Lobosa, 84 
Lonchoptera, 157 

Map of Dumfries District, 76 

Map showing Carboniferous Limestone, 60 

Medal, Two Sides of the, 27, 28 

Medeter7is, 157 

Monostyla arcicata, 205 

Monostyla cornnta, 205 

Moss, New British, 52 

Nebela collaris, 1^2,^ 
Nebela Jiabellum, 228 
New British Moss, 52 
Nuthatch, loi 

CEstrus, 158 

Opuntia cochinillifera, 32 
Orchis tnaculata, 154 
Orchis resupinata, 62 

Pacrocera, 105 
Pamphagus, 245 
Pelamyxa villosa, 85 

Pipunculns, 157 
Platypexa, 157 
Platyorinuslavis, 61 
Plocamiutn coccineum, 249 
Pluinularia Catherina, 248 
Poteriocriniis crassus, 6i 
Productus giganteus, 63 
Productus p7inctatus, 62 
Pseudodifflugia gracilis, 245 
Ptychoptera, 172 

Radiosa, 85 
Rhamphomyia, 155 
Rhizodus Hibberti, 64 
Rhy>icho7iella pleurodon, 76 
Rhyphus, 172 

Rossendale Rhizopods, 58, 84, 131, 175, 
196, 227, 244, 267 

Scenopinus, 104 

Section of Glaciated Clays at Easthamp- 

stead, 136, 137 
Spirifera striata, 63 
Spirifera trigonatis, 62 
Square-Tailed Worm, 80 
Stone-Mite, 148 
Stratioinyia, 104 
Syrphus, 158 

Tabanus, 105 

Tachydroinia, 157 

Tanypus, 172 

Telegraphic Communications between 

Great Britain, Europe, and the East, 

12, 13 
Thereva, 104 
Trinema acinus, 269 
Two Sides of the Medal, 28, 29 

Ver?~ucosa, 85 
Vertical Camera, 2t 
Villosa, 84, 8s 
Volucella, 158 

Willow-Mite, 147 

Xylata, z$%\ 
Xylophagus, 105 



HE story of the bird- 
slaying spider is so 
nearly apocryphal 
that it has all the 
fascination of the 
untrue for the popu- 
lar taste ; so, it is 
almost a pity to 
spoil the gruesome 
legend of Madame 
Merian by the ad- 
mission that, al- 
though the gigantic 
Mygale does secure 
sleeping or wounded 
birds occasionally, 
they are usually 
humming birds not 
half its own size, 
and they are none 
of its own trapping, since it does not form a web. 
This may not be true of every variety, but the spin- 
nerets of all I examined were of quite rudimentary 
development. And I have seen it come down with 
so obviously an unintentional and most disconcerted 
flop on the floor of my quarters that even the almost 
universal suspensory line was evidently beyond its 
textile capabilities, or, at least, out of its line of 

I have sometimes thought that this horrible creature 
was the avenging Fate of other spiders : that when 
they became too horribly bloated, too sated with 
lustful slaughter, it crept upon them in the darksome 
but never silent night, a living incubus, a hairy, form- 
less horror, and with one stab of its poison fangs 
recalled the dying agony of an insect hecatomb. 

But the still stranger and yet most true story of the 

gregarious spider of Paraguay is almost unknown. I 

am far away now from books of reference which might 

confound me, but I am under the impression that I 

No. 313.— January 1891, 

told it myself for the first time in England in i860. 
The strangeness of it is this : Spiders are the most 
solitary of assassins, and, were it not for the anatomist, 
we might believe that they were created without 
hearts or bowels, for, even the tender passion softens 
but for a few fleeting moments the cold-blooded 
ferocity of their lives ; many an ardent but too 
tempting lover amongst them has been at one 
minute the bridegroom and at the next himself the 
marriage feast ! 

I have watched such a swain crouching motionless 
at the edge of a web for an hour, yet ever ready for 
a backward spring, stilling — we may imagine — the 
beating of his vesicular heart lest it should vibrate the 
threads too aggravatingly, and casting from six to 
eight sheep's eyes at the velvet-robed damsel within. 
She, meanwhile, as watchful, almost as motionless, 
only meditatively twiddling her palpi as she wonders 
if she love him enough to eat him. And, alas, the 
next morning I have found his shrivelled remains still 
in the old spot, but wrapped in the newest of silk and 
his inamorata the most buxom of Artemisias. 

Reaumur hoped to cultivate spider silk : he fed his 
spinners and spinsters right royally ; he sang to them 
chansons d'amour, but nothing could subdue their 
longing for arachnidian " long pig " ; the big spiders 
ate the little ones, and then, with unabated appetite, 
tried to eat each other. A pair of stockings, it is 
said, was woven from the silk, but I believe are as 
mythical as the web of Penelope. 

Imagine, then, the astonishment with which I saw 
with my own eyes thousands of large spiders living, 
working, peacefully feasting together in webs as big 
as a large table-cloth ! 

It was on the broad sandy road from the capital to 
La Trinidad that I met with the first example, and, 
although it had been much torn by the wind, it was 
large enough to puzzle me as to its nature. The road 
is about forty feet wide — road-making in that part 
of the world means simply clearing si certain space of 



the few trees likely to be in the way and leaving the 
ground as Nature made it — the palm trunk to which 
the web was attached at one end stood just within 
the rough boundarj' railings, an old mahogany tree 
stretched its gnarled branches over half the other side 
for the further moorings, so, about twenty-five feet 
was its length, its depth six, and it was so far over- 
head that I could just touch its lower edge with my 
whip as I rode beneath. Being near mid-day it was 
untenanted, but the threads were littered with moth- 
wings and other remains of insects, but I noticed that 
small birds flew through it without hesitation. 

From time to time I saw other examples, some 
larger than the first, but there was ever one point not 
a little mysterious about them ; I had noted in the 
evening, perhaps, a perfect web crowded with the 
busy workers ; the next day not a trace of it was to 
be seen ! There may have been wind, but in any 
case one would have expected that some part of its 
delicate tracery would have been found clinging to 
the trees ; but no — web, spiders, and all had dis- 
appeared into the unknown, and it was long before 
I could trace what had become of them. 

During the lilockade of Asuncion, however, by the 
Brazilians, I had a better opportunity than I could have 
hoped for to study the economy of these strange 
colonies. I was then living with the United States 
minister in a very large house, having, as is the 
fashion in that part of the world, an enclosed garden, 
the patio, in its centre ; and there I found to my 
delight six of these wonderful webs one morning. 
And with that sublime reasoning we call instinct they 
were all close to the ground, were moored to it, in 
fact, by a hundred hawsers. Over the roads they 
were never less than twelve feet from the ground and, 
so, must have missed numbers of moths which fly 
lower, but, then, they permitted horsemen and the 
high bullock-carts to pass freely beneath. 

But this rather forlorn garden was rarely entered 
except by myself and a stooping crone, the mother 
of one of the native servants, the usual path was 
under the shade of the n^assive piazzas which enclosed 
it ; so the spiders and I examined each other at our 
mutual leisure and convenience. But they seemed to 
take very little notice of me, and a double stream 
would be passing up and down the main cables within 
three inches of my hand-glass with untroubled in- 

The spiders seem to belong to the Epeira, but are 
twice as large as our largest specimens ; black, with 
the exception of a double row of scarlet spots on the 
sides of the oval abdomen, four eyes (says the im- 
perfect note amongst my rifled papers), but I think it 
should be, four at the top of the head (cephalo-thorax) ; 
two lateral, very strong mandibles, and eight stout, 
smooth legs nearly an inch in length. 

In the centre of the patio was a clump of orange 
and peach trees — which there reach quite forest size — 
and others at a distance of some forty feet : between 

these the welis were extended, the majority in the 
usual horizontal position, but one obliquely, a rhom- 
boid, with one angle touching the ground. The main 
rigging was of stout grey silk, as strong as that with 
which purses used netted, these were crossed at 
right angles by threads more slender, dividing the 
surface into squares of about nine inches each, which 
were filled by a geometrical weblet resembling that 
spun by our own garden spiders. These did not seem 
to be regarded as personal property, for the occupants ■ 
often changed their location, and a double stream was 
ever passing, as I have said, along the main lines, 
crawling over or under each other, and never pausing 
as ants do when they meet for gossip or petty larceny ;. 
but I noticed that the occupant of the centre of the 
lesser webs would give it a quick, impatient shake 
whenever a companion ventured to leave the public 
gangways : yet I have seen three or four feeding 
amicably together on the bqdy of a large moth. 

As soon as the sun became hot the webs were 
quite deserted, and the spiders collected in globular 
masses under the shade of the leaves of the orange 
trees until evening. But at sunset these crumbled to- 
pieces and the spiders in the most leisurely way dis- 
persed to their aerial fishing grounds. Great numbers, 
of mosquitoes and other minute insects were caught,, 
but these were brushed away ; moths, beetles, and 
migrating ants — which are temporarily provided with 
wings — being the chief and most valued prey. I 
satisfied myself, too, that they did not merely suck 
their juices as our spiders do, but ate the whole of the 
soft parts, which their strong maxilla; made easy 
enough. I many times let them strike their fangs 
into my finger, but felt no pain beyond the slight 
prick of the keen points. 

But the oddest trait was that they ate any ]3art of 
the web which had been torn loose ; the nearest 
spider rolled it up into a ball, moistened it with saliva, 
and immediately swallowed it. And that explains 
what becomes of part, if not all, of the old ones. 

I was long puzzled by the difficulty, how was the 
first thread thrown from tree to tree? The spiders 
were far too solid to float through the air, and as for 
fastening the line to a branch, descending the trunk, 
ascending another and dragging the line after them, as 
the natives assured me they did, that was clearly im- 
possible. But one evening I was fortunate enough to 
see it done. There was an iron arch over the mouth 
of the algibe — the Moorish tank — in the patio and at 
its summit I saw a spider busily weaving a light 
tangled ball of silk as large as itself, a current of air 
caught it and it floated away nearly to the top of a 
tree ten yards away and caught, the spider gave it 
two or three tugs to be sure of it, and then with the 
utmost nonchalance crawled away to a height which 
would be to us as that of St. Paul's, soon came back, 
was joined by some companions and in less than 
an hour the bridge was made, and a new web 



By A. II. SwiNTON. 

'""I ""WO or three years ago," says Mr. Grant 
J- Allen, in the August number of the 
"Cornhill," for the year iSSi, "lying in the 
sunshine on this self-same tangled undercliff, I 
dissected a daisy for the benefit of those readers who 
were good enough to favour me with their kind 
attention. But that was a purely aesthetic dissection, 
for the sake of discovering what elements of beauty 
the daisy had got, and why they pleasurably affected 
our own senses or appealed with power to our higher 
emotions. To-day, however, I propose to dissect 
one of these daisies a little more physically and 
unravel, if I can, the tangled skein of causes which 
has given it its present shape and size, and colour 
and arrangement." A very simple and logical 
explanation of the natural order of things our 
acquaintance now proffers in respect to this well- 
favoured flower on the enchanted precincts of the 
quiet undercliff, and if lineaments mean aught, then 
he has most infallibly unfolded its shadowy pedigree. 
"" For," he urges in conclusion, "if we follow down 
■the daisies' descent in the inverse order we shall see 
that, inasmuch as they have coloured rays, they are 
-superior to all rayless composites ; and inasmuch as 
composites generally have clustered heads, they are 
superior to all other flowers with separate tubular 
corollas ; while these, again, are superior to those 
•with separate petals ; and all petalled flowers are 
superior to all petalless kinds." 

"But," it will be slyly asked by our academic 
■acquaintance, whom we are accustomed to greet of a 
shiny morning on this self-same landslip, "you are 
never going to convince me that a fir-tree gave birth 
to a rose-bush, a rose-bush gave birth to a heather 
clump, a heather clump gave birth to a waste of 
eupatory, a waste of eupatory gave birth to a 
sunflower, and a sunflower gave birth to a daisy." 
Well, no, not precisely ; but to teach the infantile 
mind we present ideal jiictures, confessedly inexact, 
and it is often possible thus to substantiate that 
which we cannot demonstrate ; and to connive at 
this same let us leave-our sentimental nook for the 
dutiful arena of golf. We have had a cold unpro- 
ductive season devoid of 'novelty, say the insect- 
hunters, and strolling along the craggy shore, when 
the fires are on in July, as numb as any crab, say, 
what if we should come upon a pallid, decrepit 
daisy, with the florets of the disk few, and some of 
them white and arrested in the very process of 
turning into those of the ray, just as a sea-anemone 
would appear were it petrified when in the act of 
extending its feelers ; so that this blossom would 
thus actually exhibit to our gaze the last two stages 
of development thought out by the anatomist. Well, 
everything, it is said, varies on the confines of its 
possible existence in its present shape, and one is | 

here tempted to enquire what changing forces have 
acted on since the golden morning of the daisy- 
flower, and whose are the viewless fingers that have 
drawn and pinched out a smart frill around its crov/n 
of honeycomb? Nay and what cuts a flag into 
streamers and spins out a plant into branches and 
leaves, if it be not the force of the tossing winds and 
rocking tides ? The Jubilee florin falls impressed 
from the mint, but only think how any daisy crown 
must have been scourged by the north wind, fluttered 
by the east wind, breathed upon by the south wind, 
and kissed by the west wind ; and how its fibres 
variously struck must have vibrated to all the 
harmony of heaven and composed atomic music until 
the sun's image was fairly expressed ; but let this 
pass for a more certain fact, since a glance will 
show the unfinished flower as we plucked it upon 
the cliff in question, in the very act of unbinding its 
golden tresses. 

Allowing, next, the daisy head to be an eSample of 
fasciation, coming true from seed ; the latter circum- 
stance being alone curious, since fasciation is far too 
frequent and identical in the vegetable kingdom to 
be termed a monstrosity, for only think of the 
cauliflowers and cockscombs, and all the wilding 
growths of this description never destined to become 
species, already chronicled in SciEXCE-GossiP ; we 
hear it likewise asserted that all flowers with separate 
tubular corollas are superior to those with separate 
petals. Well, as I recall, on the 17th of September, 
1883, as I chanced to be walking along a dark Surrey 
lane in the neighbourhood of the Green Man tavern, 
at Worplesdon, I noticed in the bramble-overrun 
hedgerow the curiously fingered blossom of the 
Large White Convolvulus (C scpiuiii, Linn.) now 
represented by a specimen, which shows how such a 
bell-shaped flower may revert to a petalate one by 
dividing down between the veins. Whether the 
ancestral blooms wore this eccentric passion-flower 
likeness on this creeper I cannot think, albeit the 
convolvulus structure assigns to it these five petals ; 
or how these same petals became a white poke, as 
children call it, I will not say, though this be by 
some reckoned to have been a freak of nature for 
which the insects are responsible ; and without a 
doubt insects always enjoy to dive to the bottom of 
it. Thus much will, however, serve to indicate that 
not alone have we " still several fish in the very act 
of changing into amphibians left in a few muddy 
tropical streams ; and several oviparous creatures in 
the very act of changing into mammals left us in the 
isolated continent of Australia ; " but that we also 
possess in our own lanes and fields, flowers crystallized 
in the very act of their metamorphosis ; so that not 
tacitly has evolution "almost always left its foot- 
marks behind it, visibly imprinted upon the earth 
through all its ages ; " but the continuous operation 
of this law likewise leaves behind it its tags and ends 
as it weaves the woof and warp of fate. Now it is 

1} 2 


just the recognition of these tags and ends that is 
wanting to establish the really clever problematical 
reasoning of Mr. Grant Allen in regard to the daisy's 
pedigree, as I have little doubt ; and if the reader is 
of my mind, he will acknowledge that the Editor of 
Science-Gossip in advocating the recognition here 
of law in place of the byword of monstrosity, applied 
invariably to that which we do not understand, has 
thereby cast a flood of light on the past history of the 

There remains a little finishing touch of purple on 
the flowerets of the daisy resembling the mark of a 
copying ink pencil, that is apt to attract notice. 
Were a Grinling Gibbons set to carve a flower-head, it 
is probable that he would turn it on the wheel, and 
had he afterwards to colour it he would ask but for 
few pigments, for robbed of compound hues, pattern 
and half-.tones, the floral colours can be readily 
suggested, and in point of fact fully-coloured flowers 
such as dahlias and roses undeniably match well. 
Perhaps one of the most surprising things to meet 
with anywhere on this score is a field of roses, where 
velvety full-coloured blossoms, red, purple, and 
yellow, spring side by side from the wreck of the 
things that were ; and curiously enough there may 
be sublimed from the said black mould peacock hues 
that will surpass the roses themselves in lustre. I 
allude to the prismatic hues of aniline, first discovered 
in 1826 by Unverdorben in the products of the dry 
distillation of indigo, and in 1834, proved by Range 
to be a constituent of coal tar ; and which like 
aluminium, must be reputed one of the commonest 
things in the world. Though I have not hitherto 
obtained great results from staining flower bulbs 
with prepared aniline dyes, I might yet hint that 
some of the shale hills that diversify the black 
country, containing as they do so much of the 
innocuous raw material, might if ground to powder 
and mixed with sewage or otherwise, work marvels 
on the parterres ; for after walking some weary miles 
over them, I can only aver that grass grows on them 
luxuriantly and ragweed flowers prodigiously, nor 
will I ever say that it was not a trifle more golden in 
the sun. Indeed at the present the history of our 
surprise garden blooms is proverbially far too much 
of a mystery and too little of a science ; for all I 
could elicit from a professor regarding his educated 
favourites was, that they were obtained by crossing, 
but when and where escaped him. 

Few people in England have the slightest idea of 
the high value attached to scientific education in all 
the Australian colonies. We have just received a 
" Prospectus of the Stawell School of Mines, Art, 
Industry, and Science," This is a well-known 
Victorian mining town — whose population is not yet 
commensurate with its pubhc spirit. Whilst we are 
talking about adopting a Technical Education Act, 
they are adopting one of their own. 



AMONG the portion of our working mineralo- 
gists there are those who have often felt the 
want of some method to produce the necessary stream 
of air for the fusing of the diff"erent substances, so as 
to do away with the blowing through the mouth. 

I propose in this short paper to give instructions 
for making one, which, though rough and simple, 
is very efficient, which after all is the great deside- 
ratum. First of all then, an old square table is 
wanted, mine is an old machine-stand, which serves 
the purpose admirably, being very firm ; if you have 
not got a spare table, you can easily make one, 
providing you do not wish "a thing of beauty," 
instead of a working machine ; if so, get a carpenter 
to make the table for you, and so combine the two 
qualities ; though after all it will not be an orna- 
ment for the drawing-room. Supposing you have your 
stand ready, the next thing you will want is a good 
strong pair of workshop bellows. About four or five 
inches from the floor, fasten a shelf under the table. 
Six inches higher fasten a similar shelf. Now take 
your bellows, lay them lengthwise along the lowest 
shelf, so that the handles will project beyond the side 
of the table. 

Fasten them in their place ; first by a screw through 
the lower handle into the shelf, and next by a piece 
of sheet-iron over the nozzle, fasten each side by a 
screw. Next take a piece of wood, the same width 
as the handle of the bellows, let it project about three 
inches over the top bellows-handle ; fasten in place 
by a couple of screws. Underneath it drive a staple ; 
ditto on top. You will want now about a yard and 
a half of rubber tubing. 

If the tubing was now fastened to the nozzle of 
the bellows, and the other end to the blowpipe, you 
would not, by working the bellows, be able to obtain 
a continuous stream of air, which is what we want j 
so we must make an air-chamber, to contain a supply 
of air while the bellows are being refilled. 

For this purpose make a rectangular box about 
six inches by two and a half. Before nailing the 
sides up, a piece of thin cloth should be inserted 
between the joints, to make it air-tight. 

The bottom of the box (one of the smaller ends), 
will have to have a round hole cut in, and a little 
clack fastened over it, to prevent air from rushing 
back into bellows when pressure is released. 

A hole must also be cut in the top and another in 
one of the sides. Now get a piece of copper or brass 
tubing to fit tightly into rubber tubing ; fix one end 
of your rubber tubing tightly round nozzle of bellows, 
bend the piping round, so that it will come under 
second shelf, in which a corresponding hole with the 
one in bottom of box should be cut. Nail your box 
on over this hole, tightly to the shelf. Now to make 
the tube fit air-tight, you must get a cork, cut a 


hole through with a sharp knife, making it just a 
shade smaller than copper tube, fix the cork in the 
hole of the box underneath, and push in the copper 
tube, which should be attached to the rubber-tubing. 
Do the same by the hole in the top of box, inserting 
cork and copper tube as before, to which must be 
fastened another piece of rubber tubing, carrying it 
up under the table, and bringing it through a hole in 
the front of the table, a little way. 

Fix your blowpipe in this tube, inserting a cork if 
not fitting tightly enough. 

The blowpipe can now be made firm by fastening 
an upright of wood on the top of the table, and 
fastening the blowpipe to it by bending wire nails 
round. We have now a hole left in the side of the 

Now what we want is a bag to contain the supply 
of air necessary to keep the blow-pipe in full swing. 

When you can obtain a nice continuous stream of 
air, proceed as follows : 

Obtain a spiral spring and fit between handles of 
bellows. Or to the staple tie a piece of cord, bring 
it to the top of the table, pass it over a small pulley, 
and attach a heavy weight. Now for the pedal ; to 
the staple on under side of handle of bellows attach 
another piece of cord and fasten it to the end of a 
strip of wood, broad enough to place the foot on. 
You will now find that after you have pressed this 
with your right foot, on the pressure being relaxed, 
the bellows will be expanded by the weight attached 
to the cord. 

Of course they are thus filled with air. It will be 
rather awkward at first to continue the pedalling, 
but you will soon get used to it, and once you get 
the bladder filled, a steady continuous motion keeps 
a nice flame. You can, if you like, weight the 

Fig. 2. — A, Cork ; B, Cop- 
per tube ; c, India- 
rubber tube. 

Fig. I. — Foot- working Blow-pipe, a, bottom shelf; b, top shelf; c, bellows ; d, strip of wood nailed 
on handle of bellows ; ee, pulley wheels ; F, weight ; G, pedal for foot ; H, air chamber ; k', foot- 
ball bladder ; l, blow-pipe ; m, upright of wood ; n, hole in table ; oo, copper tubing ; p, cord. 

The bag to produce this must of course collapse by 
cts own elasticity or by weights judiciously placed. 

The best and most easily obtainable is a common 
football bladder. Fix the nozzle over a copper tube 
and cork it in as you did the other tubes, allowing 
■room for the bladder to expand without coming in 
contact with sides of box. 

You will now find, if you have followed instruc- 
tions, that if you blow the bellows with your hand, 
the bladder will fill ; once filled, a steady motion with 
the bellows, never jerky, will keep a constant stream 
of air issuing from the blowpipe ; when the blowing 
is stopped, a stream of air will continue to flow from 
pipe till the bladder is exhausted. 

If the bladder soon collapses after the blowing is 
stopped, the wind is escaping somewhere other than 
through the nozzle of blowpipe. Light a candle 
and go all round joints, &c., and you will soon find 
out where. Remedy : stop up with putty or pitch, 
and do not use the machine again till thoroughly set. 

bladder, by tying weights at each end of a cloth, and 
arranging it nicely over the bladder. This will give 
you a stronger blast of air, but the pedalling wiU be 
much harder, because the bladder empties much mere 
quickly, and also takes more pressure to keep it 

I think there is nothing more to say now. Its use 
being too well known by mineralogists, &c., except 
that with care, a flame eight or nine inches long is easily 
obtainable with a wax candle. All kinds of glass- 
ware for naturalists can be made with a very small 
amount of trouble, such as dipping-tubes, test-tubes, 
capillary-tubes, tubes for collecting small insects, 
&c., funnels, and a host of other similar articles, of 
which I hope to say further in another paper if the 
Editor can spare me space. 

As it is I am afraid I have taken up too much room 
already, but if any one not quite seeing principle, will 
write to me (address with Editor), enclosing stamped 
envelope for reply, I will give further information. 


A GOOD many years ago I contributed a short 
paper to Science-Gossip,* bearing the above 
title, the few instances therein cited being culled 
from my natural history diaries ; and now, since 
peculiarities in the form, size, and coloration of 
birds' eggs are being freely adduced and discussed, 
perhaps a few additional instances of those of site 
and structure of their nests may not be out of place. 

Great titmouse, or oxeye [Pa}-ies major). — On 
June loth, 1884, I discovered in St. John's 
Cemetery, Elswick, a nest of this handsome bird, 
containing callow young, which had been built 
within one of the numerous fire-clay pipes used for 
marking out sections of the burial ground. This 
pipe is pentagonal in form, is open at the bottom, 
and has a sloping top or roof upon which is impressed 
a capital letter ; it has a depth of 16 inches at the 
back, and 12 inches at the front, the roof sloping 
from back to front ; and in the centre line of each 
side, that joins the front at right angles, is a circular 
hole 175 inch in diameter whose centre is 5 inches 
distant from the open bottom, and in the front or 
face is a similar hole whose centre is 8 inches from 
the bottom : the front is 5 inches wide, and these 
two sides are each 3 inches wide, whilst the 
remaining two sides, which meet in an acute angle 
at the back of the pipe, are 3-5 inches wide ; the 
width, or diameter, from front to back being 6 
inches. The pipe had been sunk into the grass-and- 
herbage-covered ground until the lower edge of the 
front and higher hole was level with the surface, 
whilst the two lower lateral holes were of course 
buried beneath it. The bulky nest, which consisted 
of moss, cow and horse hair, sheep's wool and 
rabbit down, was beneath the level of the lateral 
holes, and was reached by the front hole which was 
the sole point of ingress and egress. On several 
occasions I sat near by and watched the parent birds 
bringing abundant food for their young. They 
frequently, though not invariably, first alighted in a 
young elm-tree which overhung the home of their 
progeny, flew thence to the top of the sunk pipe, and 
thence to the hole of entrance, though not in- 
frequently the female flew direct to the hole without 
alighting elsewhere ; the moment the parent bird 
had alighted on the roof of their home, the young 
ones gave utterance to their expectant cries. The 
food, wliich was assiduously catered for by both 
the male and the female, consisted chiefly, if not 
entirely, of caterpillars ; and on one occasion on 
which I timed their visits, within ten minutes each 
bird had brought food three times, notwithstanding 
that they were aware of and startled by my 
proximity, and thereby prevented from their normal 

Vol. ix., p. 203. 

Common, or "Kitty" wren {Troglodytes pai-vu- 
lus). — Who of us, as nest-hunting schoolboys even, 
have not become acquainted with the more or less 
unfinished, so-called "cock-nests" of this familiar 
and favourite little bird, more than one of which 
might sometimes be found built in the same hedge- 
bank not far distant from the true, or breeding nest, 
and at that time devoutly believed to have been 
built by the cock bird for the purpose of roosting in 
at night. The "cock-sit" (cock's-seat), too, which 
we generally managed to make out in the bankside, 
near by the nest of the "yowley," or yellow-hammer 
{Emhcriza citrinella), was also considered to be the 
roosting place of the male or cock bird, it being 
taken for granted, I assume, that the hen bird alone 
occupied the nest, and that the cock would not be 
or ought not to be very far distant from his mate. 
Possibly, however, it may be news to many readers of 
Science-Gossip to learn that these cock-nests, 
as well as the true nests, of the wren may occasion- 
ally be obtained at the expense of another familiar 
and favourite bird — the swallow ; three instances of 
which have fallen under my observation, all in one 
season, and at no great distance apart. The first 
instance was on June 9th, 18S5, when I had my 
attention drawn to the circumstance of a wren 
carrying up materials to a swallow's nest built in the 
roof of a high wooden hayshed or stack-cover ; and, 
on watching a while, I observed the wren carry up a 
billful of dry grass, enter the nest, deposit its cargo, 
and then depart, softly singing part of the time : 
hence, I concluded that it was the male bird who 
was thus spending a part of his superfluous energy on. 
the construction of a cock-nest, whilst his partner 
was engaged in the arduous task of incubation 
somewhere near ; for the wren had here been for 
some time past in full and vigorous song, occasion- 
ally, too, singing on the wing as he passed from one 
elevated perch to another. On a cursory examina- 
tion of the nest of the sv/allow, it was found to be 
quite new — of the present season — to be complete in 
the shell and apparently ready for its lining of soft 
materials ; and that the birds had not yet forsaken it, 
but flew into and around the shed, notwithstanding 
that the wren was engaged in building a top or dome 
of dry grass and moss to it. Not until July i8th, 
however, when the hay was being stacked under this 
shed, and the usurped nest could be reached from 
the top of the stack, was it disturbed ; though for 
some time past it had obviously been forsaken by the 
rightful owners, the swallows, and was as obviously 
not being used as a breeding-nest by the usurping 
wren. On being taken down from its site, it was 
found to be a large fine and evidently completed 
shell, ready for its lining of dry grass or hay and 
feathers, etc. ; and that the superimposed nest of 
the wren was of the usual domed character, and 
composed of fine dry grass outwardly, and moss with 
a little sheep's wool and a few feathers inwardly, 


whilst ihat portion of the nest below its side entrance 
descended into the mud nest of the swallow. 

The second nest of a swallow usurped by the 
wren I found built against one of the beams 
. supporting the ceiling of one of a group of deserted 
thatched cottages which were being allowed to fall 
into decay, the sashes having been removed from 
the windows and thus allowing a free ingress to the 
birds, which privilege the swallows had freely 
availed themselves of, as many of their nests were to 
be found within. This, too, was a nest of the season, 
complete in the shell, the top of which was within a 
couple of inches of the ceiling ; and it had evidently 
been having its lining of hay and feathers put in by 
its rightful owners when it had been unsurped by the 
wren, whose domed nest (consisting of moss chiefly) 
had been, as in the former case, built within the 
open nest of the swallow, the dome being carried up 
to the ceiling. As the date on which this compound 
nest was found was so late as July 7th, it is not im- 
probable that this, too, was a cock-nest of the wren, 
and had been completed for some time before its 
discovery. In the third instance, the wrens reared 
a brood in the nest of the swallow which they had 
usurped, or at least utilised, in the roof of an out- 
building not a quarter of a mile distant from the 
second nest recorded, and certainly not more than a 
half mile from the site of the first, the site of the 
second being intermediate : this third nest, however, 
of which I had intimation, I failed to get to see ; but 
I have no doubt whatever of the accuracy of the 
account given me of it, though it is not impossible 
that it may have been an old and deserted nest of 
the swallow which the wrens had simply utilised as 
a foundation upon which to erect their own edifice. 

With respect to the spare or cock nests of the 
wren, the question arises. For what purpose are 
they built ? Are they really built by the male bird 
alone, as a shelter for himself during the nesting 
season and possibly later on in the year? Or, are 
they built by him simply because he is so full of life 
and vigour that he must be busy, at a season when 
there is a superabundance of food and the numerous 
young have not yet been hatched to give both him- 
self and partner labour sufficient in catering for their 
appetites ? Or, is it possible that they are buik by 
him prospectively for the accommodation of a 
second brood after the first have been got oft", and 
subject to the approval of mater? This, perhaps, 
would account for their being discarded as unsuitable 
in site or structure, and another nest more in 
accordance with her tastes or requirements con- 
structed. That this extra nest is, sometimes at least, 
used by the wren as a place of shelter at night 
towards the close of the year, I have had proof of; 
since I have visited one such nest with a lantern 
almost every night in the latter half of October 
between the hours of nine and ten, and almost 
invariably found a wren snugly ensconced within, and 

obviously much taken aback at having a bright light 
shone full in upon it from the small rounded entrance 
in the front of its very comfortable chamber. 

Pied wagtail {Motacilla lugiibris). — I have seen a 
nest of this bird which had been built in an old nest 
of the swallow, up in the roof of a " hemmel " (as 
the open-fronted outbuildings for the retreat of the 
grazing sheep and cattle are termed in the pastoral 
districts of Northumberland) ; and it was composed 
of an abundance of sheep's wool and hair, with a 
little dry grass and a few fibrous roots, the whole 
forming a dense lining to the utilised swallow's nest. 

In this nest the wagtails had successfully reared a 
brood of young ; and in the last week in July, when 
I examined the nest, it still contained some portions 
of the egg-shells. Again, built in the straw laid up 
in the skeleton loft of this same hemmel — a loft 
formed by a few poles laid across the beams — I found, 
on August I2th, another nest of the pied wagtail, 
which contained well-grown young, and which were 
probably a second nest and brood of the same pair of 
birds as had already built and bred in the nest of the 
swallow situate in the roof near by. 

Though speaking of the above nest of the swallow 
as an old one, and probably simply utilised by the wag- 
tail, it may still be considered as possibly usurped ; 
for the swallow frequently uses its nest for more than 
one season, raising the mud walls when necessary and 
thus deepening it ; and the resident wagtail, which 
breeds early, had probably taken possession before 
the return of the swallows from their winter retreat in 
the far south, and thus might have prevented these 
birds from reoccupying their nest of a former season. 

The swallow {^Hirundo rusticd). — The nest of the 
swallow, as I have noted it in our rural districts, is 
usually built at a considerable elevation within farm 
outhouses, sheds, and hemmels ; being built against 
and adherent to the beams, couples and rafters, as 
also other portions of the woodwork and stonework 
of the roof ; though, of course, when a building is 
low, the altitude at which hangs the nest is lessened ; 
and in one instance which has come under my 
observation, the distance was not more than three 
feet from the ground. This lowly-hung nest was 
attached to the side of a beam in the roof of an 
occupied pigstye, and contained four eggs much in- 
cubated ; the upper storey of this tiny outbuilding 
was a hen-house ; hence the short beam or two in 
the roof of the gloomy stye. A second swallow's 
nest, built in the roof of an unused privy, was barely 
six feet distant from the ground. A third nest, 
taken on June i8th, 1881, was peculiar in the fact of 
its having a lauter of four unincubated eggs lying on 
their bed of hay and abundant soft fowl feathers ; 
whilst beneath this thick warm lining was a second 
consisting also of fine hay and a few feathers, upon 
which lay two other eggs obviously of the present 
season's laying, and which, on being blown, proved 
to be quite fresh, the yolk of one of them only being a 



little stiffened, as might reasonably enough be expected 
from the heat imparted to them from the bodies of 
the birds during the process of the second lining of 
the nest and the egg-laying, combined with the 
dryness of their situation. This double lauter of 
eggs was probably due to the death, by accident or 
natural causes, of the first female owner of the nest, 
and her partner's taking a second mate who had 
commenced housekeeping on her own account by 
having a second lining added to the nest upon which 
to deposit her own incipient offspring. 

Sand martin (Cotile rijiaria).— On }\mQ ^ih, 1885, 
I took from its deep burrow in the bank of the 
stream Blythe, a nest of the sand martin which 
contained four eggs unincubated, and which was 
composed of dry grass and grass-stems, and lined 
with soft fowl feathers and a little dry grass. This 
nest, like that of the swallow described above, was a 
double one ; for beneath this upper lining upon 
which rested the four eggs, was a second (a former) 
lining of fowl feathers, upon which lay two other 
eggs quite fresh though very dirty. Here, too, in all 
probability, some fatality had overtaken the original 
female owner of the nest after she had deposited two 
of her eggs ; and her partner had then found a second 
mate, whose nearly completed lauter the upper four 
eggs would be. The sand martin lays from five to 
six purely white eggs, which, however, are generally 
more or less soiled and abundantly speckled with the 
dark-green excreta of the large fleas (Pulex) with 
which their nests almost invariably swarm. 

Charles Robson. 

By A. J. Jenkins and L. O. Grocock. 

SINCE the publication of the article upon "The 
Distribution and Habits of the British Hydro- 
bias," Science-Gossip, 1890, page 103, it has been 
our endeavour to try our best to work up the distri- 
bution of the various other species of mollusca in- 
habiting the marshes of the Thames Estuary, with a 
view to studying the habits and localisation of the 
brackish-water species in particular, as well as the 
discovery of the distribution and true limits of the 
HydrobitC and allied forms to be found in close 
proximity to the river. 

All the British I lydrobioe have been taken from the 
Thames marshes, and the two species, Hydrobia 
similis, Drap., and H. Jenldnsi, Smith, have not up 
to the present been found elsewhere in Britain. 

The district which we decided to investigate is 
included between the commencement of the Plum- 
stead Marshes, near Woolwich Arsenal, and North 
Woolwich, upon the Essex bank of the Thames, down 
to a point three miles below the forts at Tilbury and 

Nearly twelve months have elapsed since we com- 

menced working this district in a systematic manner,, 
and during this period the course of the Thames has 
been followed from Woolwich to below Gravesend, 
and many excursions have been made to the other 
side at North Woolwich, Beckton, Coldharbour 
Point to Purfleet, and over the marshes at Grays, 
Thurrock, and Tilbury. During these excursions we 
have indulged our prying propensities to the best of 
our ability, using our dredges freely over many miles 
of ditches of fresh and brackish water, at the same 
time keeping a sharp look-out for terrestrial forms 
either possessed of shells or destitute of them ; care- 
fully recording each day's experience gained, and 
taking notes of fresh captures. 

We have also received much valuable assistance^ 
and have occasionally been accompanied in our expe- 
ditions by the Rev. J. W. Horsley, the indefatigable 
President and Founder of the now flourishing Wool- 
wich District Natural History Society, which under 
the guidance of Mr. Horsley has organised a series of 
Saturday half-holiday field-excursions for the study of 
the fauna and flora of the district. 

The marshes bordering the Thames are very ex- 
tensive, and a considerable portion is devoted to 
market-gardening and grazing purposes, a large area 
still remaining almost in its original pristine condition. 
The great national workshop, Woolwich Arsenal, is 
built upon the Plumstead Marshes, and a range, 
fifteen hundred yards in length, is devoted to gun- 
practice near the Arsenal. Many chemical and 
manure works are also built upon them. At Purfleet 
there is a rather extensive salt-marsh. 

Lying, as they do, considerably below high-water 
mark, the marshes were many years ago protected 
by a river-wall or earthwork. The origin of this 
gigantic earthwork, which confines the Thames to its 
present channel, is lost in obscurity, but probably 
various portions have been constructed at different 
periods. Intersecting the marshes in various direc- 
tions are numerous dykes or ditches, which abound 
in the various forms of life which delight the eye and 
mind of the biologist, conchologist, and microscopist. 

In places near the river the ditches are connected with 
the Thames by drains and sluices, and such ditches 
being liable to the overflow of the river occasionally, 
at high tides, causes the water contained therein to 
be more or less brackish. These ditches form the 
habitat of our Hydrobice and their alhes. A long 
walk across the marshes in fine weather is very 
exhilarating and enjoyable ; after fogs and heavy 
rain it is not so pleasant, the roads and paths are 
then almost impassable owing to mud ; the tall coarse 
grass when wet is very tiring to walk through, and 
the mist or vapour covering the marshes all around 
renders the journey very monotonous, which is 
occasionally varied by the necessity of jumping a 
tolerably wide and deep dyke, or clambering over 
very high fences to avoid making a detour of several 
miles. Sometimes, too, mishap befalls the unwary 


naturalist, the plank which serves him for a bridge 
refuses to support him when half across, or he fails to 
leap properly and gracefully an extra-wide ditch, 
which ends in his immersion in clear fluid or mud. 

The marshes between East Greenwich and Plum- 
stead were frequently investigated between the years 
1883-9, rendering it unnecessary to go over the same 
ground again. 

Probably many years have elapsed since the 
Thames Estuary was thoroughly worked by concho- 
logists, and this is confirmed by the recent publication 
of localities in which species have long ceased to exist, 
and by the discovery of the new species of Hydrobia. 

A few details respecting the limits of various 
species may be of interest to the readers of Science- 
Gossip. The marsh brackish-water sliells consist of 
six species, if we include Mr. Smith's new Hydro- 
bia, which is now generally considered by eminent 
conchologists, both at home and abroad, to be 
worthy of specific rank. They are as follows : 
Hydrobia uIvce, Penn, H. similis, Drap., II. ventrosa, 
Mont., H. yeiikinsi, Smith, Assimiiiia Gi-ayana, 
Leach, and Mchinpis tnyosotis, Mont. A pecuhar 
dwarfed variety of Littoniia rudis also occurs with 
H. vejitrosa in brackish water at Tilbury. 

Of these species, A. Grayana, M. myosotis and 
H. ulva: are most marine in habit ; H. vaitrosa 
inhabits ditches which are decidedly more brackish 
than those which ^. similis and/I. Jenkinsi frequent. 

H. ulvcc may be taken alive upon mud, and in 
partially dry ditches at Grays, Tilbury, and Gravesend, 
by the riverside, and sparingly in brackish-water 
ditches near Greenhithe village, in company with 
H. vcnti-osa and A. Grayana. It has not yet been 
taken higher up the river. 

Many years ago H. j/w/Z/j' inhabited ditches between 
Greenwich and Woolwich, which were occasionally 
flooded by the tide, and this locality has been given 
by Mr. J. W. Williams in a recent work published in 
1S89. This locality was no doubt correct in Jeffreys' 
time, but they have (in company with other species) 
long since been forced to migrate lower and lower 
down the river, owing to the pollution of the ditches 
by various factories, chemical and gas-works, and 
Thames sewage. As far back as 1883 not even a 
dead shell could be obtained from this locality. 

Industrious searching for this pretty little mollusc 
has led us to the conclusion that this species is 
doomed to speedy extinction in this district. It 
seems always to have been peculiar in Britain to the 
Thames marshes, and, like H. Jenkinsi, in all pro- 
bability was originally introduced from abroad. It 
appears to be limited to a single narrow ditch a few 
hundred yards in length, and with two exceptions we 
have not succeeded in finding them elsewhere. Once 
a dead shell was taken with H. jfenkinsi from a ditch 
at Beckton, and once a single live specimen with the 
same species between Erith and Darenth Creek. In 
the same ditch with H. similis may be found a 

number of H. ventrosa, a few Limncea tru7tcatula, 
and dead shells only, of A. Grayana. 

Occasionally a few shells of H. similis have been 
collected, which are of a clear, pellucid texture. Mr. 
Marshall has proposed to call this variety V. Candida, 
see "Journal of Conchology," vol vi. p. 141. It 
has been deemed necessary to strictly preserve the 
habitat of this rare species, so as not to be instru- 
mental in its extermination as a British species. 

H. ventrosa inhabits in great abundance brackish- 
water ditches between Erith and Gravesend, and 
may be collected on the north bank of the Thames 
at Purfleet, Grays, and Tilbury. The shells from 
the different localities vary somewhat, but hardly 
sufficient to be considered as distinct varieties. A 
short and rather tumid form occurs in a ditch near 
the river and training-ships at Grays. 

H. Jenkinsi is now, and for some years is likely to 
be, the most abundant Hydrobia of the Thames 
marshes. When collected in 1883 in ditches at East 
Greenwich, it was fairly plentiful there ; two years 
later, a few shells were taken at Plumstead, but they 
were by no means common at that time. They are 
now extinct between Greenwich and Woolwich, 
owing to the same cause which forced H. similis 
and A. Grayana to retreat lower down the river. At 
certain periods the new species fairly swarm in the 
ditches at Plumstead marshes, upon duck-weed, 
chara, and the bright green ribbon-like weed Entero- 
morpha intestinalis, Linn., which is so common in 
brackish water. As mentioned in the above article, 
they are a very active and hardy species, capable of 
existing for prolonged periods in quite fresh, and 
even in hard tap-water. 

They have been taken in winter from beneath the 
ice, and hibernating in the banks of their habitat. 
Like the other species, the shells from different 
localities are extremely variable, and several forms 
differ sufficiently from the type to be considered as 
distinct varieties. One form in particular which 
occurs with the type at Beckton is peculiar in having 
a much shorter spire, and very tumid body whorl. 
They are strongly carinated and tufted, and the 
suture is somewhat deeper than the type. Upon th 
dorsal side there is a considerable bulging out of the 
penultimate whorl upon the left side, giving the 
shell a distorted appearance. In this condition they 
somewhat resemble enlarged H. similis. It has 
been suggested that these examples are shells that 
have been stopped in growth by the drying up of the 
ditch, or some other cause. Provisionally it is 
proposed to call this variety or monstrosity H. 
Jenkinsi, V. tumida, Jenkins. This species now 
exists in considerable abundance in ditches at Beckton, 
and extends from the Arsenal wall at Plumstead to 
a point midway between Darenth Creek and 
Greenhithe. In all probability a few years will find 
them extending down the river as far as Gravesend. 
H. Jenkinsi was at one time mistaken for IT. similis, 



owing to the latter species not being generally known 
to conchologists, and it was largely distributed to 
collectors as that species. Linnic^aperegra, Planorhis 
spirorbis, and P. complaiiatiis exist in the same habitat 
as this Hydrobia. 

Assiminia Grayana and Llelainpiis viyosotis are 
more or less abundant between Coldharbour Point 
and Purfleet, and from Grays to three miles below 
Tilbury Fort, and we have traced them from 
Greenhithe to below Gravesend. A. Grayana exists 
in abundance in the canal at Gravesend, as well as in 
ditches between Northfleet and Greenhithe. 

Both species are wanderers, and they may frequently 
be picked up many yards from the water's edge. 

About twenty species of common fresh-water 
moUusca have been collected upon the marshes, the 
forms which generally prevail upon either side of the 
river are Bythinia tentaculata, B. Leackii, Planorbis 
spirorhiSf P. vortex, P. complanatics, LimncEa peregra, 
L. pahistris, Physa fontinalis. The most local are 
Planorbis nautileus, P. contortus, Liinnaa stagiialis, 
L. truncatula, and Physa hypnorum. 

For terrestrial shells we can only testify to species 
upon our side of the river, and no doubt with more 
leisure many more species will be discovered. Helix 
nemoralis and its varieties bimarginata, UbeUula, and 
rubella are the prevailing marsh forms, together with 
Arion ater, Snccinea putris, S. elegafts, Helix cantiana, 
H. ritfescens, H. virgata, H. kispida, H. caperata and 
H. concinna. Helix hortensis and Cyclostonia elegans 
are found in the neighbourhood of the chalk. 

So far our list comprises upwards of sixty species 
and varieties of land and freshwater shells inhabiting 
the marshes of the Thames Estuary. Another twelve 
months' work may add largely to this list of District 
Mollusca, as many forms, like the slugs and Zonites, 
have not been yet properly worked up. 


An Autobiography. 

By the Rev. H. Friend, F.L.S. 

I WAS born at Rosebower, on Solway Moss, in 
the summer of 1880. Having inherited a pre- 
cocious tendency to look about me, and made inquiry 
respecting things in general, and my own history in 
particular, it dawned upon me while I was yet very 
youthful that I might find profit in looking up my 
family pedigree. I had not the faintest idea when I 
set to work how arduous a task I had undertaken, 
nor could I have conceived that our history would 
show so many changes and vicissitudes, or lead me 
back to so hoary an age, as I eventually found to be 
the case ; and as I feel sure there are very few, even 
among the students of genealogies and family history 
who are fully acquainted with these details, I have 
ventured to write my autobiography. In so doing, 
I have the impression that I am the first who has 

attempted to give anything like a connected or 
exhaustive account of the subject from the stand- 
point of the genealogist or historian. I even flatter 
myself that those persons who have paid special 
attention to the place which my ancestors have filled 
in the economy of medicine are unable to present so 
clear an account of me as I am now about to lay 
before you. 

Our family name was Deker, or Degar, which by 
a curious coincidence means in the languages of the 
East very much what "dagger" means in English. 
It is, indeed, curious to observe how frequently this 
name, slightly modified in various ways, is used in a 
great number of languages to convey the idea of 
something sharp or piercing. At the risk of being 
regarded as boastful, I will at once inform my 
readers that I have traced our family name back to 
very ancient times, for I find in the oldest historical 
work now in existence that one of my remote an- 
cestors, Ben-deker by name, was appointed by 
Solomon, the King of Israel, to be one of the twelve 
officers whose duty it was to provide victuals for the 
king and his household. This mention of Ben-deker 
in Jewish history is sufficient to show that already in 
Solomon's day Deker had become an established 
name. Learned writers are agreed that this name is 
derived from a word which means to pierce, or stab ; 
this word we find in the Hebrew language under the 
form of Dakar. Hence Deker means the slabber, or 
he who pierces ; and as Ben is the word for son, 
Ben-deker means the son of the stabber, then the 
little stabber. I have reason to believe that the 
name was given to the earliest representative of our 
family on account of his skill in the use of the spear 
or sword in times of war ; for I find that when Jehu 
went forth to war he was accompanied by a member 
of our family who bore the name of Bidekar, and had 
been promoted to the post of captain on account of 
his chivalry. The reader may consult I Kings iv. 9, 
and 2 Kings ix. 25. 

Now every one is aware that, by the association 
of ideas, names are continually being transferred 
from one thing to another which bears some resem- 
blance, in one way or another, to the original. Thus 
the word needle is applied to a little pointed instru- 
ment used by industrious girls and housewives, as 
well as to an ancient monument of a similar shape 
which once stood on Egyptian soil, but now adorns 
the Thames Embankment. The musical pipe of the 
Hebrew and the tobacco pipe of the smoker bear the 
same name, though their uses are so widely different, 
because they are each hollow ; and hence we have 
many other things called pipes for the same reason. 
In exactly the same way the people who first used 
the word Dakar in the sense of stabbing, called not 
only a clever soldier Deker, a stabber, but applied 
the same term to such plants or other things as 
pricked or pierced the skin of the unwary, just as the 
Scotch thistle is reputed to have stabbed or pierced 



the foot of a Dane. In course of time, therefore, 
the name Bidekar, or Bedegar, as some people pro- 
nounced it, i.e., the little stabber, came to be the 
recognised term for a thistle, as being the most 
common of the prickle-bearing plants. We therefore 
have now to turn away from the historical personages 
who, a thousand years before the birth of Christ, had 
made themselves famous by the use of the spear, and 
look at the thistle, which had for a similar reason 
inherited the same name ; and in order to carry on 
my story it will be necessary to say that the Arab 
physicians must next be consulted, seeing that they 
for some centuries bestowed upon my relatives the 
most scrupulous attention. Perhaps I ought to 
remark that for a long period these learned men took 
an important part in the spread of medical informa- 
tion among the other races 'of mankind, and having 
discovered certain remedies for the ills of the flesh, 
they introduced these to the strangers beyond the 
seas, along with the names by which they were 
known in Arabia. It was in this way that the 
Greeks, Romans, and other peoples of early as well 
as more modern times came into the possession of 
various medicinal herbs which they often knew only 
by their Arabic names. When they wished to enter 
these names in their list of medicines, however, it 
was necessary that they should add an equivalent 
term from their own vocabulary which should make 
it possible for others to identify the article when 
necessary ; and it is thus that I have found myself (in 
the person of my ancestors) transferred from Arabia 
Felix to classical Greece, where the people were 
wont to speak of me under two names, viz., Bedegar 
and Akantha-leuke. I confess that, while I felt 
flattered at seeing my forefathers thus introduced to 
the famous Grecians, I could not at first understand 
what they meant by this new name by which they 
translated the old family name of Bedegar. Upon 
inquiry, however, I found that leuke was a Greek 
term meaning white, and akantha soon suggested to 
my mind a spinous or thorny plant usually known as 
the acanthus. Thus I found that the Greek regarded 
the white acanthus as being similar to if not the 
same as bedegar. This idea was soon abundantly 
confirmed, for I read that when a Roman dealer in 
herbs saw the physician display his bedegar, he 
exclaimed, " Wiiy, that is Spina alba!" I happened 
to know enough Latin to be able to translate these 
words, and I found that while the word alba, like 
the Greek leuke, meant white, spina corresponded 
with acanthus. All this is matter of history, and, if 
it were necessary, I could easily mention the names 
of ancient sages who have favoured my predecessors 
with their kindly notice. 

While I cannot help feeling a little proud of the 
distinguished position which the name of our family 
was securing during the early ages of the Christian 
era, there is one matter which has given me con- 
siderable anxiety. I am sorry to find that when the 

early physicians, who lived in lands remote from 
that which constituted my early home, found that 
they could not always obtain the genuine Bedegar 
for their patients, they applied the famous name to 
other articles found nearer home ; and thus the honour 
which had for so many years centred about the Arab 
name began to be dimmed. Of this I shall have to 
say a little more shortly, but it is needful at this 
point to refer to a few of the other names by which 
we came to be known, either occasionally or regularly, 
in various parts of Europe. I must also show how 
many ups and downs our family history experienced, 
owing to the translation of those names from one 
language into another, and what curious results fol- 
lowed this process. One thing is a source of comfort 
to me, however, and it is this. No matter where we 
might be carried by the merchant, or what vicissitudes 
we might experience in going from country to country, 
the people almost invariably associated our old family 
name with the new names which they gave us, and 
thus I can boast the possession of the original title 
to-day : though, as will be seen, that name has been 
shifted from the spine-bearing thistle to a totally 
different plant or growth. 

( To be continued.') 


By George Walter Niven. 

THERE are at present twenty-six Submarine 
Cable Companies, the combined capital of 
which is about forty million pounds sterling. Their 
revenue, including subsidies, amounts to 3,204,060/. ; 
their reserves and sinking funds to 3,610,000/. ; and 
their dividends are from one to 145 per cent. The 
receipts from the Atlantic cables alone amount to 
about 800,000/. annually. 

The number of cables laid down throughout the 
world is 1045, of which 798 belong to governments, 
and 247 lo private companies. The total length of 
those cables is 120,070 nautical miles, of which 
107,546 are owned by private telegraph companies, 
nearly all British; the remainder, or 12,524 miles 
are owned by governments. 

The largest telegraphic organisation in the world 
is that of the Eastern Telegraphic Company with 
seventy cables of a total length of 21,859 nautical 
miles. The second largest, is the Eastern Extension, 
Australasia and China Telegraph Company, with 
twenty-two cables of a total length of 12,958 nautical 
miles. The Eastern Company work all the cables on 
the way to Bombay, and the Eastern Extension 
Company from Madras eastwards. The cables 
landing in Japan, however, are owned by a Danish 
Company, the Great Northern. The English station 



of the Eastern Company is at Porthcurno, Cornwall, 
and througli it passes most of the messages for 
Spain, Portugal, Egypt, India, China, Japan, and 

three cables around our shores of a total length of 
1489 miles. If we include India and the Colonies, 
the British Empire owns altogether two hundred and 
sixteen cables of a total length of 381 1 miles. 

Fig. 3. — Map showing Cables from Great Britain to America and ihe Continent. 1-18, private companies; 19-31, Government 

Cables ; 32, proposed Cable. 

The third largest cable company is the Anglo- 
American Telegraph Company, with thirteen cables 
of a total length of 10,196 miles. 

The British Government has one hundred and 

The longest Government cable in British waters, is 
that from Sinclair Bay, Wick, to Sandwick Bay, 
Shetland, of the length of 122 miles, and laid in 
1885. The shortest being four cables across the 



Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, at the latter place, 
and each less than 300 feet in length. 

Of Government cables the greatest number is 
owned by Norway with two hundred and thirty- 
six, averaging however less than a mile each in 

eighty-nine cables; and Germany third with 1579 
miles, and forty-three cables. 

Britain being fourth with ninety miles less. 

The oldest cable still in use is the one that was 
first laid, that namely from Dover to Calais. It 
dates from 185 1. 


Fig. 4. — Map showing the Main Cables from Europe, and their connections with Canada and the United States. References to 
places— A, Heart's Content ; B, Placentia ; C, St. Pierre Miquelon ; D, North Sydney, Cape Breton Island ; E, Louisbourg : 
F, Canso, Nova Scotia; G, Halifax; H. Bird Rock; I, Madeline Isles; J, Anticosti ; K, Charlotte Town, Prince Edwards 
Isle ; LLL, Banks of Newfoundland. 

The greatest mileage is owned by the Government 
of France with 3269 miles of the total length of fifty- 
one cables. 

The next being British India with 1714 miles, and 

The two next oldest cables in use being those 
respectively from Ramsgate to Ostend ; and St. 
Petersburg to Cronstadt, and both laid down in 




Several unsuccessful attempts were made to connect 
England and Ireland by means of a cable between 
Holyhead and Howth ; but communication between 
the two countries was finally effected in 1853, when 
a cable was successfully laid between Portpatrick 
and Donaghadee (31). 

As showing one of the dangers to which cables 
laid in comparatively shallow waters are exposed, we 
may relate the curious accident that befell the 
Portpatrick cable in 1873. During a severe storm in 
that year the Port Glasgow ship "Marseilles" 
capsized in the vicinity of Portpatrick, the anchor 
fell out and caught on to the telegraph cable, which, 
however, gave way. The ship was afterwards 
captured and towed into Rothesay Bay, in an 
inverted position, by a Greenock tug, when part of 
the cable was found entangled about the anchor. 

The smallest private companies are the Indo- 
European Telegraph Company, with two cables in 
the Crimea of a total length of fourteen and a half 
miles ; and the River Plate Telegraph Company with 
one cable from Monte Video to Buenos Ayres, thirty- 
two miles long. 

The smallest Government telegraph organisation is 
that of New Caledonia with its one solitary cable one 
mile long. 

We will now proceed to give a few particulars 
regarding the companies having cables from Europe 
to America. 

The most important company is the Anglo- 
American Telegraph Company, whose history is 
inseparably connected with that of the trials and 
struggles of the pioneers of cable laying. 

Its history begins in 1S51 when Tebets, an 
American, and Gisborne, an English engineer, formed 
the Electric Telegraph Company of Newfoundland, 
and laid down twelve miles of cable between Cape 
Breton and Nova Scotia. This company was 
shortly afterwards dissolved, and its property trans- 
ferred to the Telegraphic Company of New York, 
Newfoundland and London, founded by Cyrus W. 
Field, and who in 1854 obtained an extension of the 
monopoly from the Government to lay cables. 

A cable, eighty-five miles long, was laid between 
Cape Breton and Newfoundland (22). 

Field then came to England and floated an English 
company which amalgamated with the American 
one under the title of the Atlantic Telegraph Com- 

The story of the laying of the Atlantic Cables of 
1857 and 1865, their successes and failures has often 
been told, so we need not go into any details. It 
may be noted, however, that communication was first 
established between Valentia and Newfoundland on 
',th August 1858, but the cable ceased to transmit 
signals on ist September following. During that 
period, ninety-seven messages had been sent from 
Valentia, and two hundred and sixty-nine from 
Newfoundland. At the present time, the ten 

Atlantic Cables now convey about ten thousand' 
messages daily between the two continents. The 
losses attending the laying of the 1865 Cable resulted 
in the financial ruin of the Atlantic Company, and 
its amalgamation with a new company. The Anglo- 
American. In 1866 the Great Eastern successfully 
laid the first cable for the new company, and with 
the assistance of other vessels succeeded in picking, 
up the broken end of the 1865 cable and completing 
its connection with Newfoundland. 

The three cables of this company presently in use 
and connecting Valentia in Ireland with Heart's 
Content in Newfoundland, were laid in 1873, 1874, 
and 1880; and (i) are respectively 1886, 1846, and 
1890 nautical miles in 'length. This company also 
owns the longest cable in the wor]d, that, namely 
from Brest in France to St. Pierre Miquelon, one of 
a small group of islands off the south coast of 
Newfoundland, and which, strange to say, still' 
belongs to France (6). 

The length of this cable is 2685 nautical miles, or 
3092 statute miles. It was laid in 1869. There are 
seven cables of a total length of 1773 miles,, 
connecting Heart's Content, Placentia Bay and St. 
Pierre, with North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and 
Duxbury near Boston, belonging to the American 
Company. Communication is maintained with 
Germany and the rest of the continent by means of a 
cable from Valentia to Emden 846 miles long (7), 
and a cable from Brest to Salcombe, Devon, connects 
the St. Pierre and Brest cable with the London oflice 
of the company (10).* 

The station of the Direct United States Cable 
Company is situated at Ballinskelligs Bay, Ireland 
(2). Its cable was laid in 1874-5, and is 2565 miles 
in length. The terminal point on the other side of 
the Atlantic is at Halifax, Nova Scotia, from whence 
the cable is continued to Rye Beach, New Hamp- 
shire a distance of 536 miles and thence by a land 
line of 500 miles to New York (17). 

The Commercial Cable Company's station in 
Ireland is at Waterville, a short distance from 
Ballinskelligs (3). It owns two cables laid in 1885 ; 
the northern cable being 2350, and the southern 2388 
miles long. They terminate in America at Canso, 
Nova Scotia. From Canso a cable is laid to 
Rockfort, about thirty miles south of Boston, Mass. ; 
a distance of 518 miles (16), and another is laid to 
New York 840 miles in length (15). This company 
has direct communication with the Continent by 
means of a cable from Waterville to Havre of 510 
miles (9), and with England by a cable to Weston- 
super-Mare, near Bristol, of 328 miles (8). 

* Cables not fully described in the text, Map E. Eight 
cables at the Anglo-American Company ; 7, Heart's Content to 
Placentia, two cablei ; 8, Placentia to St. Pierre ; 9, St. Pierre 
to North Sydney ; 10, Placentia to North Sydney, two cables ; 
II, St. Pierre to Duxbury; 18, Charlotte's Town to Nova 
Scotia ; ig. Government Cable, North Sydney to Bird Rock, 
Madeline Isles, and Anticosti ; 21, Halifax and Bermuda 
Cable Company's proposed cable to Bermuda. 



The Western Union Telegraph Company (the 
lessees of the lines of the American Telegraph and 
Cable Comijany) has two cables from Sennen Cove, 
Land's End, to Canso, Nova Scotia (4). The cable 
of 1S81 is 2531, and that of 1882 is 2576 miles in 
Jength. Two cables were laid in November 1S89 
between Canso and New York (14). 

The Compagnie Fi-ancaise du Telegraphe de Paris 
a New York, has a cable from Brest to St. Pierre 
^Miquelon, of 2242 miles in length (5), from thence a 
cable is laid to Louisbourg, Cape Breton (12), and 
another to Cape Cod (13). It has also a cable from 
Brest to Porcella Cove, Cornwall (11). 

Those ten cables owned by the six companies 
named, of the total mileage of 22,959, i^ot counting 
connections, represent the entire direct communica- 
tion between the continents of Europe and North 

A new company, not included in the preceding 
statistics, proposes to lay a cable from Westport, 
Ireland, to some point in the Straits of Belle Isle on 
the Labrador coast (Map A 32, Map B 20). 

The station of the Eastern Telegraph Company is 
at Porthcurno Cove, Penzance, from whence it has 
two cables to Lisbon, one laid in iSSo, 850 miles 
dong, the other laid in 1887, 892 miles long (12), and 
one cable to Vigo, Spain, laid in 1873, 622 miles 
long (13). From Lisbon the cable is continued to 
^Gibraltar and the East, whither we need not follow 
it, our intention being to confine ourselves entirely to 
a brief account of those cables communicating 
'directly with Europe and America. As already 
stated, this company has altogether seventy cables of 
a total length of nearly twenty-two thousand miles. 

The Direct Spanish Telegraph Company has a 
cable, laid in 1884. from Kennach Cove, Cornwall, 
to Bilbao, Spain, 486 miles in length (14). 

Coming now to shorter cables connecting Britain 
with the Continent, we have those of the Great 
Northern Telegraph Company, namely, Peterhead to 
Ekersund, Norway, 267 miles (15), Newbiggin, 
near Newcastle, to Arendal, Norway, 424 miles, and 
thence to Marstrand, Sweden, 98 miles. 

Two cables from the same place in England to 
Denmark (Hirstals and Sondervig) of 420 and 337 
miles respectively (17 and 18). 

The Great Northern Company has altogether 
twenty-two cables, of a total length of 6110 miles. 
The line from Newcastle is worked direct to Nylstud, 
in Russia — a distance of S90 miles — by means of a 
*' Relay" or "Repeater," at Gothenburg. The 
Relay is the apparatus at which the Newcastle 
•current terminates, but in ending there it itself starts 
a fresh current on to Russia. 

The other Continental connections belong to the 
Governmment, and are as follows : two cables to 
Germany, Lowestoft to Norderney, 232 miles, and to 
Emden, 226 miles (19 and 20). 

Two cables to Holland : Lowestoft to Zandvoort, 

laid in 1858 (21), and from Benacre, Kessingland, to 
Zandvoort (22). 

Two cables to Belgium : Ramsgate to Ostend (23), 
and Dover to Furness (24). 

Four cables to France : Dover to Calais, laid in 
1S51 (25), and to Boulogne (26), laid in 1859; 
Beachy Head to Dieppe (27), and to Havre (28). 

Thei^e is a cable from the Dorset coast to Alderney 
and Guernsey, and from the Devon coast to 
Guernsey, Jersey, and Coutances, France (29 and 


A word now as to the instruments used for the 
transmission of messages. Those for cables are of 
two kinds, the Mirror Galvanometer, and the Syphon 
Recorder, both the product of Sir Wm. Thompson's 
great inventive genius. 

When the Calais-Dover and other short cables 
were first worked, it was found that the ordinary 
needle instrument in use on land-lines was not 
sufticiently sensitive to be affected trustworthily by 
the ordinary current it was possible to send tlirough 
a cable. Either the current must be increased in 
strength, or the instrument used must be more 
sensitive. The latter alternative was chosen, and the 
Mirror-Galvanometer was the result. The principle 
on which this instrument works may be briefly 
described thus : the transmitted current of electricity 
causes the deflection of a small magnet, to which is 
attached a mirror about the three-eighths of an inch 
in diameter, a beam of light is reflected from a 
properly-arranged lamp, by the mirror, on to a paper 
scale. The dots and dashes of the Morse code are 
indicated by the motions of the spot of light to 
the right and left respectively , of the centre of the 

Tlie Mirror-Galvanometer is now almost entirely 
superseded by the Syphon-Recorder. This is a some- 
what complicated apparatus, with the details of which 
we need not trouble our readers. Suffice it for us to 
explain that a suspended coil is made to communicate 
its motions, by means of fine silk fibres, to a very fine 
glass syphon, one end of which dips into an insulated 
metallic vessel containing ink, while the other extremity 
rests, when no current is passing, just over the centre 
of a paper ribbon. When the instrument is in use 
the ink is driven out of the syphon in small drops l)y 
means of an electrical arrangement, and the ribbon 
underneath is at the same time caused to pass under- 
neath its point by means of clockwork. If a current 
be now sent through the line, the syplion will move 
above or below the central line thus giving a 
permanent record of the message, which the mirror- 
instrument does not. The waves written by the 
syphon above the central line corresponding to the 
dots of the Morse Code, and the waves underneath 
corresponding to the dashes. 

The cost of the transmission of a cablegram varies 
from one shilling per word, the rate to New York and 
east of the Mississippi, to ten shillings and sevenpence 



per word, the rate to New Zealand. In order to 
minimise that cost as much as possible, the use of 
codes, whereby one word is made to do duty for a 
lengthy phrase, is much resorted to. Of course, those 
code messages form a series of words having no 
apparent relation to each other, but occasionally 
queer sentences result from the chance grouping of 
code words. Thus a certain tea firm was once 
astonished to receive from its agent abroad the 
startling code message — "Unboiled babies de- 
tested" ! 

Suppose we now follow the adventures of a few 
cablegrams in their travels over the world. 

A message to India from London by the cable 
route requires to be transmitted eight times at the 
following places : — Porthcurno (Cornwall), Lisbon, 
Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria, Suez, Aden, Bombay. 

A message to Australia has thirteen stoppages ; 
the route taken beyond Bombay being via Madras, 
Penang, Singapore, Banjoewangie and Port Darwin 
(North Australia) ; or from Banjoewangie to Roebuck 
Bay (Western Australia). 

To India by the Indo-European land lines, 
messages go through Emden, Warsaw, Odessa, 
Kertch, Tiflis, Teheran, Bushire (Persian Gulf), Jask 
and Kurrachee, but only stop twice between London 
and Teheran — namely, at Emden and Odessa. 

Messages from London to New York are trans- 
mitted only twice — at the Irish or Cornwall stations, 
and at the stations in Canada. Owing to the great 
competition for the American traffic the service 
between London, Liverpool, and Glasgow and New 
York is said to be much superior to that between any 
two towns in Britain. The cables are extensively 
used by stockbrokers, and it is a common occurrence 
for one to send a message and receive a reply within 
five minutes. 

During breakages in cables messages have some- 
times to take very circuitous routes. For instance, 
during the two days, three years ago, that a 
tremendous storm committed such havoc amongst 
the telegraph wires around London, cutting ofif all 
communication with the lines connected with the 
Channel cables at Dover, Lowestoft, &c., it was 
of common occurrence for London merchants to 
communicate with Paris through New York. The 
cablegram leaving London going north to Holyhead 
and Ireland, across the Atlantic to New York 
and back via St. Pierre to Brest and thence on 
to Paris, a total distance of about seven thousand 

Two years ago, when the great blizzard cut off all 
communication between New York and Boston, 
messages were accepted in New York, sent to this 
country, and thence back to Boston.' 

Some time ago the cables between Madeira and 
St. Vincent were out of order, cutting off communi- 
cation by the direct route to Brazil, and a message to 
reach Rio Janeiro had to pass through Ireland, 

Canada, United States, to Galveston, thence to 
Vera Cruz, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, 
Peru, Chili, ; from Valparaiso across the Andes, 
through the Argentine Republic to Buenos Ayres, 
and thence by East Coast cables to Rio Janeiro, the 
message having traversed a distance of about twelve 
thousand miles and having passed through twenty- 
four cables and some very long land lines, instead of 
passing, had it been possible to have sent it by|the 
direct route, over one short land line and six cables, 
in all under six thousand miles. 

Perhaps some of our readers may remember having 
read in the newspapers of the result of last year's 
Derby having been sent from Epsom to New York 
in fifteen seconds, and may be interested to know 
how it was done. A wire was laid from near the 
winning-post on the racecourse to the cable 
company's office in London, and an operator was at 
the instrument ready to signal the two or three 
letters previously arranged upon for each horse 
immediately the winner had passed the post. When 
the race begun, the cable company suspended work 
on all the lines from London to New York and kept 
operators at the Irish and Nova Scotian Stations 
ready to transmit the letters representing the winning 
horse immediately, and without having the message 
written out in the usual way. When the race was 
finished, the operator at Epsom at once sent the 
letters representing the winner, and before he had 
finished the third letter, the operator in London had 
started the first one to Ireland. The clerk in 
Ireland immediately on hearing the first signal from 
London passed it on to Nova Scotia, from whence it 
was again passed on to New York. The result 
being that the name of the winner was actually 
known in New York before the horses had pulled up 
after passing the judge. It seems almost incredible 
that such information could be transmitted such a 
great distance in fifteen seconds, but when we get 
behind the scenes and see exactly how it is 
accomplished, and see how the labour and time of 
signalling can be economised, we can easily realise 
the fact. 

The humours of telegraphic mistakes have often 
been described ; we will conclude by giving only 
one example. A St. Louis merchant had gone to 
New York on business, and while there received a 
telegram from the family doctor, which ran — " Your 
wife has had a child, if we can keep her from having 
another to-night, all will be well." As the little 
stranger had not been expected, further enquiry was 
made and elicited the fact that his wife had simply 
had a "chill"! This important difference having 
been caused simply by the omission of a single dot. 

h i 
h i 

1 = chill 
d = child 



By Gregory O. Benoni. 

THE season for wild-fowling has come round 
again with the fall of the leaf, and the chilly 
nights and frosty mornings of early winter ; and, if 
the weather should continue favourable, thousands of 
birds will be killed or taken by the decoy-men and 
long-shore gunners ; to say nothing of those shot by 
sportsmen on the brooks and ponds of the midlands. 
So a word about " ducking," or the taking of water- 
fowl by strategy, may not be out of place ; especially 
as it is one of the oldest English sports. 

Why should we not say " ducking " when speaking 
or writing of the pastime we are about to describe, 
as the men engaged in the business do ? We use 
"shooting" and "hunting" with confidence, and 
ducking is as well-born an English word as either, 
and quite as old apparently. In the Manor-Rolls of 
Scotter, a village in Lincolnshire — formerly the 
centre of a district productive of many wild-fowl — 
we find the following entry : " No man of the 
inhabitantes of Scoter or Scawthorpe shall fishe nor 
goe a ducking within the Lordes severall watters — 
1578." Scotter was evidently innocent, very 
innocent, of a school board in the palmy days of the 
Manor Courts, whatever it may be now. But 
leaving the interesting relics of a bygone England 
to entrust the defence of their quaint spelling to 
antiquarian pens, we will take a stroll some miles to 
the north-east of the " severall watters " of Scaw- 
thorpe, and "goe a ducking" with any lover of 
country life who cares to accompany us. 

It was a mild bright January morning, with a 
gentle north-west wind and rising barometer, when a 
party of us set out to visit the decoy — where the best- 
flavoured teal in England are lured to their doom — ■ 
rejoicing on our way over the cessation of the black 
north-easter, which had alternately pelted us with 
rain and blinded us with snow for a fortnight past. 
All cold we numbered only four, "the squire," two 
naturalists, and a Londoner, who had deserted 
civilised existence in Babylon for a time, for the 
purpose of studying the untamed agriculturist in his 
native wilds. The state of the weather of late had 
been most detrimental to all our attempts at field or 
cover sport, but had signally favoured the decoy-man 
by driving flocks of hungry fowl to take refuge in his 
pond. A severe and prolonged frost would not have 
brought him so lucky a windfall ; the birds would 
have been more hungry and eager if possible, but 
there would have been fewer of them inland, and 
the work of capturing them would have been in- 
finitely more tedious. So long as the cold keeps 
away the decoy man can " sleep like a Christian " ; 
but let " Frosty Jack " only nip his sheltered low- 
lying waters, and night becomes turned into day at 
once, with more than the day's toil. For at any 
cost of money and labour large open spaces must be 

preserved in the pond, and "the pipes" kept free 
from ice. The birds need open water to rest and 
sport on, and if they cannot find it in the decoy 
would soon fly away to the still unfrozen brooks and 
rivers, or to the seashore. So, when the "decoy 
rises " on a frosty evening, and the last bird has 
departed to the feeding grounds, the master ducker 
and an assistant begin the work of clearing the ice 
away by moon or lamplight, as the case may be, 
and toil on till the grey of dawn warns them to be 
gone ere the return of the feathered multitude. 

Fortified with a substantial breakfast we set off on 
foot for the decoy-farm, whiling away the time as we 
went by combating the squire's assertion that the 
barometer was the true divinity of his family, and 
that the adoration of the rain-god was as common in 
England as in Africa, with the single difference that 
he is regarded as a beneficent being in the sunny 
south, and as a mischievous marplot in our more 
northern regions. Our way led us along a dirty 
footpath, by the side of a muddy road, where ash 
and chestnut-leaves still lay in sheltered spots, 
bright and fresh as if they had only been shorn by 
the frost of the night before. The moss-grown 
trunks of the hedgerow trees glistened with 
moisture, and looked uninviting enough, yet their 
dank branches formed the happy hunting-ground of 
numbers of blue-tits, and their long-tailed cousins, 
who called merrily to one another as they searched 
the branches for insects. Presently we reached a 
little hamlet standing on the brow of the slope which 
forms the eastern boundary of the Trent valley, and 
turning off to the right, we tramped across turnip and 
stubble fields abounding in birds, which had collected 
on the drier sand and loam during the stormy 
weather, in preference to the heavy clay of the 
higher lands. Skirting the side of a plantation ot 
Scotch fir and spruce, where the sunshine had brought 
out the squirrels to busy themselves with the fir- 
cones, we walked down a straight road, bounded on 
each side by a wide ditch, or " dyke," as the natives 
call it, till we reached our destination on the wide- 
spreading river flat. 

The decoy-house was formerly the dwelling of the 
family who owned the surrounding farms ; but the 
place came under the hammer when the race died 
out in the male line, and fell into the hands of a 
land-jobber, who cut down the miniature forest 
planted to protect the decoy from disturbance, 
leaving only a fringe of trees of old growth to shield 
the pond until a fresh cover of fast-growing young 
ones should spring up to surround it. Finally the 
home-farm passed into the hands of the head game- 
keeper and master ducker of the late proprietor, now 
I am sorry to say — for the sake of the duck-lore he 
possessed— gathered to his fathers at a very ripe old 
age indeed. On knocking at the door and inquiring 
whether the master was in, we learned that he was 
away from the house ; but, before disappointment 



could prey on our hearts, ihe old man's once buxom 
dame put her head out of an upper window to survey 
■lis, in that peculiar matter-of-fact, what-do-you-vvant- 
liere kind of way which defies description ; and, 
•catching a sight of our host, set our minds at rest 
with a " Morning to you, squire. He's in th' 'coy, 
I'll shout for th' lad, an' he'll ta' ye to him. Mind 
you're quiet now agoin' ! " 

A guide having appeared in answer to a full- 
lunged cry from the mistress of the place — no wonder 
the ducks needed a copse to dull the clamour of the 
ciuter world — we passed through the neglected 
pleasure-grounds where signs of former care lay on 
every side, till we were brought to a standstill in an 
open alley ; while the boy who conducted us went in 
search of his grandfather. 

Our halting-place was a pretty nook from which 
you could catch a glimpse of the house at one end 
of the path, and of two or three stately Scotch firs 
overhanging the decoy at the other. A stone vase, 
half grown over with ivy, stood in the centre of the 
Slade, and formed a trysting place for the rabbits all 
ihe afternoon and evening, for the bunnies knew by 
-.some process of inductive reasoning that they were 
in sanctuary here, as no gun can be fired near the 
decoy. The lower step of the vase, which rose 
about an inch above the surrounding turf, bore 
witness to the frequent visits of the thrushes, for it 
was covered with broken snail-shells. In the early 
morning the birds come from near and far with the 
land-snails they have found, and beat them ruthles% 
to death on the stone. It is not everywhere that 
they can find such a convenient anvil, in this stretch 
of low-lying country ; where the surface-soil is 
usually warp, peat, or sand free from pebbles ; so 
the quiet glade is the theatre of many a molluscan 

{To be continued.) 


■jTI SPINXING-WORK, by Dr. Henry C. 
JMcCook (Philadelphia : published by the Author), 
vol. ii. This perfectly delightful, beautifully illus- 
trated, well-written monograph on the natural 
liistory of the orb-weaving spiders of the United 
States, more especially with regard to their industry 
and habits, is now complete. It is a work of 
marvellous and patient single-handed industry, the 
result of many years' observation. We have already 
.spoken, of the first vol. ; it only remains to say the 
second is as good, if not better, were the latter 
possible. Indeed, the author declares it is just 
possible the second vol. will be more interesting both 
to the scientific and the general public than the first. 
It takes up the life-history of spiders, and follows 
them literally from birth to death. Moreover it 
deals with fossil spiders and ancestral araneads. Dr. 

McCook in this highly readable volume also treats 
upon the courting and mating of spiders; their 
maternal skill and devotion ; their means of com- 
munion with their environment ; their gossamer 
voyaging through the air and traps in the ground ; 
their friends and foes ; their mimicries and strange 
disguises. The volume runs to nearly 500 pages, and 
is illustrated by about four hundred cuts, in addition 
to five large and artistically coloured plates. 

Eighth Annual Report of the United States Geological 
Survey, 2 vols, by J. W. Powell, Director (Washing- 
ton : Government Printing 'Office). These ever- 
welcome vols, to English and other geologists are 
got up and distributed with an artistic taste and 
liberality our English Survey (thanks to the niggardly 
Philistinism of our British Government) knows 
nothing of. The volumes include not only the clear 
and lengthy, well-digested " Report of the Director," 
reviewing all the stratigraphical, mineralogical, and 
palceontological work done by the able and earnest 
l)and of geologists who are proud to serve under such 
a chief, but also the administrative reports of the heads 
of the divisions of survey. Then follow the individual 
reports of the geologists and mineralogists entrusted 
with special work. These are illustrated with almost 
artistic prodigality, but the latter is intensely utili- 
tarian, for the coloured maps, diagrams, and scenic 
woodcut illustrations bring vividly before the mind 
the points which the field workers wi^;h attention to 
be drawn to. 

Monographs of the U. S. Geological Survey, vols. 
XV. (2 parts) and xvi. (Washington : Government 
Printing Ofiice). These vols, contain records ol 
special work by special scientific workers. Thus, w'e 
have one on " The Potomac or Younger Mesozoic 
Flora," by W. M. Fontaine, with detailed descrip- 
tions of the fossil plants found therein (abundantly 
illustrated). Indeed, no fewer than 180 plates occupy 
a volume alone, in order to illustrate the first part of 
vol. XV. Volume the sixteenth is an exhaustive 
monograph, or special report, by J. G. Newberry, on 
"The Palaeozoic Fishes of North America," and is 
illustrated by fifty-three splendidly lithographed 

Natural History of the Animal Kingdom, by W. F. 
Kirby (London : S. P. C. K.), This is a gorgeously 
got-up volume Ijoth internally and externally, 
crowded with too highly coloured natural history 
objects, of which there are about 850 displayed. The 
work (a (|uarto vol.) is divided into three parts — 
mammalia, birds, and one (the third part) capaciously 
including, like Noali's ark, reptiles, amphibia, fishes, 
insects, worms, molluscs, zoophytes, &c. Mr. Kirby 
has very ably and accurately written up to these too- 
Germanly coloured plates, which have evidently been 
used from Professor Von Schubert's book. It is, 
however, a capital natural history picture book. 

Of the next set of prettily got-up, well-printed, and 
well-written little volumes, it is hardly possible to 



speak too hit^hly. Each is written by the man best 
capable of knowing what he is talking about on the 
subject ; and yet the price of these excellent manuals 
is remarkably low. The S. P. C. K. is to be con- 
gratulated on taking up departments of knowledge 
which are useful and therefore Christian. We allude 
to Soap- Bubbles, by Prof. C. V. Boys ; Spinning- 
Tops, by Prof. J. Perry ; and The Birth and Growth 
of Worlds, by Prof. A. H. Green. 

The Aictobiography of the Earth, by the Rev. H. 
W. Hutchinson (London: Edward Stanford), is a 
delightfully written and thoroughly accurate popular 
work on geology, well-calculated to engage the 
interest of readers in the fascinating study of the Stony 

Frcsh-Watcr Aqxiaria, by the Rev. Gregory C. 
Bateman (London: L. Upcott Gill). A well-written 
description of these domestic water-gardens and 
vivaria. Also well-illustrated, although most of the 
illustrations are very familiar to the editor. The 
author has made the fullest use of all who have 
written before on this interesting subject, and has 
therefore produced a very useful little manual. 

Poems, by Nina Layard (London : Longmans). 
The authoress of this daintily got-up volume is well 
known to the readers of the Science-Gossip by her 
able papers, and replies to the comments thereon, 
concerning such evolutionary subjects as "Vestiges," 
&c. Poems, as a rule, lie outside our line of book 
notices ; but it is a genuine pleasure to recommend 
this little book for its graceful and thoughtful verses. 
Many of them have already appeared in the chief 
magazines of the day. But we think Miss Layard 
has done right in collecting them together in this 
pretty form. They are too good to pass away with 
the monthly ephemeral literature. They are full of 
thoughtful and philosophical feeling expressed with 
that delicate nna?tce which only an educated woman 
possesses. Every reader of Science-Gossip should 
procure or read these poems. 

The Philosophy of Clothing, by W. Mattieu "Williams 
(London : Thos. Laurie). There are few writers on 
economic or general science better known than Mr. 
Mattieu Williams. His monthly contributions to our 
own columns convinced us of this. Consequently, 
whatever he has to write or speak upon is bound to 
be read and heard. In this well got-up little book 
iSIr. Williams discourses like the practical philosopher 
he has proved himself to be, and even illustrates his 
remarks by the peculiar type in which his remarks 
are set up. He treats upon " Our Natural Clothing "' 
(an admirable chapter to read), "The Natural Re- 
lations of Animal Heat," "The Protecting Power of 
Different Clothing Materials," "The Transmission 
of Heat through Clothing," "Adhesion of Air to 
Clothing Materials," "Clothing as a Sanitary Puri- 
fier," " Woollen Clothing " (Ulustrated by specimens 
of the same), "The Sebaceous Follicles— Feather 
Clothing," "Boots and Shoes," "Head Gear," 

"Women's Dress and Fashion," &c. From the 
mere titles of these chapters our readers may guess 
the large scope and amazing amount of practical 
information conveyed in this little book. 

Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited? By 
W. Piatt Ball (London : Macmillan & Co.). This 
well got-up little volume is one of the celebrated 
"Nature Series." It deals clearly and forcibly with 
Herbert Spencer's examples and arguments, as well 
as those of Charles Darwin. The ground travelled 
over by the author is far-reaching, and the subjects 
treated upon numerous and varied. 

An Illustrated Handbook of British Dragon-flies, 
by the editor of the " Naturalist's Gazette " (London : 
E. W. Allen ; Birmingham : The Naturalist Pub- 
lishing Co.). This capital little handbook is just the 
work which has long been wanted by students. The 
author has devoted special attention for years to this 
class of insects, and he now gives, in a cheap form, 
the benefits of his knowledge and experience. We 
cordially recommend the book. 

Inorganic Chemistry, by J. Oakley Buttler (Lon- 
don : Relfe Bros.). This is a handy and useful little 
book on the chemistry of the non-metals. It covers 
the ground required by the London Matriculation 
Examination, as well as the Cambridge Local Exa- 
mining Board, and the Science and Art Department. 

Practical Inorganic Chemistry (elementary stage), 
by E. J. Cox (London : Percival & Co.). Another 
competitor for the much patronised " student " going 
in for the Science and Art Department, &c., written 
by a man who knows his work. It is, however, 
a cheap, handy, and capital note-book, just small 
enough to be useful (51 pages), and the limp cloth 
cover makes it handy for the pocket. 


Royal Institution. — The following are the 
Lecture Arrangements before Easter : Professor 
Dewar, Six Christmas Lectures to Juveniles, on Frost 
and Fire ; Professor Victor Horsley, Nine Lectures 
on the Structure and Functions of the Nervous 
System (Part I. the Spinal Cord, and Ganglia) ; Mr. 
Hall Caine, Three Lectures on The Little Manx 
Nation ; Professor C. Hubert H. Parry, Three 
Lectures on the Position of LuUi, Purcell, and 
Scarlatti in the History of the Opera ; Professor C. 
Meymott Tidy, Three Lectures on Modern Chemistry 
in relation to Sanitation ; Mr. W. Martin Conway, 
Three Lectures on Pre-Greek Schools of Art ; the 
Right Hon. Lord Rayleigh, Six Lectures on the 
Forces of Cohesion. The Friday evening meetings 
will begin on January 23rd, when a discourse will be 
given by the Right Hon. Lord Rayleigh on Some 
Applications of Photography ; succeeding Discourses 
will probably be given by the Right Hon. Lord 
Justice Sir Edward Fry, Professor J. W. Judd, 



Professor A. Schuster, Dr. E. E, Klein, Mr. Percy 
Fitzgerald, Dr. J. A. Fleming, Dr. Felix Semon, 
Professor W. E. Ayrton, and other gentlemen. 

We have received a reprint (Part 3) of a paper by 
Dr. A. B. Griffiths, on his " Researches on Micro- 
organisms." It is a bit of excellent and original work. 

The first part of a most thoughtful and suggestive 
paper appeared in the " American Naturalist " for 
October on " The Evolution of Mind," by Professor 

The Third Part of M. Tempere's " Le Diatomiste " 
fully keeps up its high character. The photographic 
enlargements are a high work of art. 

We recommend our geological and entomological 
readers to study the paper in the December issue of 
the "Annals and Magazine of Natural History" on 
" The Fauna of Amber," by Herr Richard Klebs, of 

We are pleased to see that a new edition (the 
ihird) of Dr. E. Crookshank's " Manual of Bacteri- 
ology," revised throughout, has just been issued. 

At length the great Darwinian, Dr. A. R. Wallace, 
has received recognition at the hands of our Royal 
Society. He has obtained the first Darwinian gold 
medal. But why is he not an F.R.S. ? 

Dr. Henry Woodward figures and describes in 
the December number of " The Geological Magazine " 
a new Fossil British Isopod, discovered by Mr. 
Thomas Jesson in the great Oolite of Northampton- 

The number of known small planets has now 
reached three hundred. Of these, thirteen were 
discovered last year. The first was discovered at the 
beginning of the century. 

We have received from Mr. John Dennant, F.G.S., 
an enthusiastic Victorian Geologist, a reprint of his 
valuable paper entitled " Observations on the 
Tertiary and post-Tertiary Geology of South- Western 

Mr. Montagu Brown has published, in the 
"Transactions of the Leicester Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society," an important paper on a " Revision 
of a Genus of Fossil Fishes, Dapedius." 

We beg to acknowledge the reprint of an important 
paper by Dr. C. A. Oliver, Ophthalmic-surgeon to 
St. Agnes's Hospital, Philadelphia, on " An Analysis 
of the Motor Symptoms and Conditions of the Ocular 
Apparatus as observed in Imbecility, Epilepsy, and 
the second stage of General Paralysis of the Insane." 

Mr. C. J. Gilbert's pamphlet on "The Geology 
of Sutton-Coldfield" is an important addition to the 
geology of the Midland Counties. Mr. Gilbert has 
studied the locality, and done the work well. 

"Electricity in Daily Life," by F. B. Lea, is 
a very cheap (twopence) pamphlet published by 
E. W. Allen, to which we are pleased to draw 

The sixth and seventh parts of Mr. R. L. Wallace's 
work on "British Cage Birds" are well up to the 
high standard gained by the preceding numbers. 

Book-Buyers will find Mr. Edward Stanford's 
recently issued "Catalogue of Maps, Atlases, and 
Books " exceedingly useful. 

"The Naturalist's Annual and Directory 
for 1891 " is a happy thought. The present first 
beginning, however, is capable of considerable 

We have received a reprint of Mr. G. W. Bulman's 
important paper on "A Coal-Seam in the Bernician 
Series of Northumberland, and its Bearing on the 
Theory of the Formation of Coal." Mr. Bulman, 
as our readers know, is a thoughtful and original 

We gather that a series of pamphlets on "Every- 
day Science " is being issued from Curtis and 
Beamish, of Coventry. The first to hand is one on 
" The Philosophy of Cycling," by W. R. FuUeyrove. 

The Rev J. E, Kelsall's carefully-annotated list of 
the birds of Hampshire and Isle of Wight has been 
reprinted, price one shilling (Southampton : the 
" Independent " office). 

Dr. G. J. Hinde has kindly forwarded a reprint of 
his paper from the " Annals and Magazines of 
Natural History," on " Radiolaria from the Lower 
Palaeozoic Rocks of the South of Scotland." We 
have few more ardent palseontological workers than 
Dr. Hinde. 

One of our well-known correspondents, the Rev. 
H. W. Lett, sends us a reprint of his painstaking and 
lengthy report (about 60 pp.) on "The Mosses, 
Hepatics, and Lichens of the Mourne Mountain 
District." It originally appeared in the ' ' Proceedings 
of the Royal Irish Academy." 

Messrs. George Philip & Son, 32 Fleet Street, 
are exhibiting a very large and complete Tellurium, 
constructed for lecture-purposes, which illustrates the 
complex motions of the earth and moon. It shows 
the actual position of the earth in space for any given 
time of the year. 

The "Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute 
of Science of Philadelphia " contains a splendidly- 
illustrated monograph, by W. H. Dall (Palaeontologist 
to the U.S. Geological Survey) entitled " Contri- 
butions to the Tertiary Fauna of Florida, with 
Especial Reference to the Silex-Beds of Tampa, and 
tlie Pliocene-Beds of the Caloosahahatcie River." 




The Vertical Camera. — I have very recently 
received a vertical camera from one of the leading 
London firms, and am working myself towards a 
solution of the difficulties it presents to me. I find 
that when the image is projected on paper laid on 
the table in front of the microscope there is consider- 
able distortion. The circular valve of a diatom 
(under a one-sixth objective) is projected as an ellipse 
(Fig. 5a). To remedy this, I have made a small 
sloping drawing-desk of deal wood, the upper surface 
of which is 10 inches square, and is fixed at an angle 
of 45°. The image of the same diatom projected on 

Fig s- 

Fig. 6. 

the inclined surface of the slope is, as it should be, a 
circle. Fig. 63. It is quite possible that this is the usual 
way in which the distortion I refer to is rectified ; 
but as none of the illustrated descriptive catalogues 
and journals to which I have referred suggest the use 
of a slope, this little note may be useful to those who, 
like myself, have to think matters out for themselves. 
Will any of your readers who work with vertical 
cameras give a few "tips" in your columns on the 
best way of using this appliance ?— W. J. Simmons^ 


The Great Grey Shrike.— I find there are no 
authentic instances of this bird breeding in this 
countr)'. The last week in May, 1 889, a great grey 
shrike was given to me that was shot at Brackley. 
The bird had all the appearance of being a brooding- 
bird, and the fact of it being found so late in the 
season almost proves that it does occasionally breed 
in this countrj'. — H. Blaby. 

Shells in Banffshire.— I append a short list 
of shells found during two rambles last October, at 
Aberlour, Banffshire. This granite country yields 
few shells, many only being found near walls and 
rubbish heaps, where more mortar has been used or 

deposited. I was unable to make a thorough search 
for fresh-water specimens. Unio 7nargantifcr, Ano- 
donta cynaa, from the river Spey ; Limnaa peregra, 
frequent ; Vitrhia pellucida, very common ; Zonitcs 
paiinis, var. margaritacea, scarce ; Z. fulvus, mode- 
rately common ; Z. nitidiis, common ; Helix lamellata, 
one only ; H. horUnsis, scarce ; H. nemoralis, mode- 
rately common; Clausilia riigosa, scarce. These 
seem to approach the var. titmidula, being smaller 
and more ventricose. Vertigo edentata, more common 
than any of the above.— y. Chas. Smith, Penrith. 

Disease in Rook.— On Sunday Nov. i6th I 
found a rook in a ditch near the Vicarage. When- 
ever it tried to walk it rolled over and over. I 
brought it home and put it in a room till after morning- 
service was over ; then I took it some juicy beef cut 
in small pieces. Whenever it attempted to swallow 
it could only throw its head forward, and of course 
threw the meat out of its bill. I noticed that it could 
walk backward quite well, but whenever it tried to 
walk any other way it rolled over. I gave it over to 
a bird-stuffer next day, Nov. 17th, and he found that 
although dead less than twenty-four hours— for I 
wrung its neck — the liver was completely rotten. 
There were no marks of any wound or injury. The 
feathers were smooth and glossy, but the bird was 
very light in weight.— .ff. Ashington Bullen. 

"Proceedings," etc., of Colonial and Pro- 
vincial Societies : — 

The best token we could adduce of the scientific 
research and love thereof in our Australian colonies- 
will be best demonstrated by the following "Con- 
tents" of the last issued "Journal of the Royal 
Society of New South Wales ":—" List of the 
Marine and Fresh-water Invertebrate Fauna of Port 
Jackson and the Neighbourhood," by Thos. White- 
legge; "The Analysis of the Prickly Pear," by 
W. H. Hamlet; "Notes on New South Wales 
Minerals," by C. H. Mingaye ; " Notes on Goulbourn 
Lime," by E. C. Manfred; " The Australian Abo- 
rigines," by the Rev. John Mathew ; " Aids to 
Sanitation in Unsewered Districts," by J. A. Thomp- 
son ; " Well and River Waters of New South Wales," 
by W. A. Dixon; "The Aborigines of Australia," 
by Ed. Stephens ; "New South Wales as a Health 
Resort in Phthisis Pulmonalis," by Dr. B. J. New- 
march ; besides Reports of lectures, &c. 

The "Proceedings" of the Bristol Naturalists" 
Society are always full of good matter. The last 
part contains the following important papers among 
others : — " The Geology of Tytherington and Groves- 
end," by Prof. C. L. Morgan ; "Flora of the Bristol 
Coal-Field," by J. W. White; "The Fungi of the 
Bristol District," by C. Bucknell, Mus. Bac. ; " Talpa ; 
or. Remarks on the Habits of the Mole," by C. J, 
Trusted; "Mimicry among the Lepidoptera," by 
G. C. Griffiths ; " Putrefactive Organisms," by Dr. 



Dallinger ; "Remarks on Sewerage Systems," by 
A. P. J. Cotterell; "The Perceptions of Animals," 
by Prof, C. L. Morgan ; " Suggestions as to the 
Causes of the Difference in Colour between the 
Flowers and Foliage of • Tropical and Temperate 
Regions," by Charles Jeeks, &c. 


Chlorophyll in Plants. — I have just seen in 
Science-Gossip an article by J. Ballantyne on the 
formation of chlorophyll in plants. As I had a 
similar instance some time ago, I may mention it as 
appearing to contradict the accepted theory on the 
subject. I was cutting away some superfluous 
branches in my melon pit, and found I had cut off 
one on which was a partly grown fruit. I left it as 
it was in the frame. It grew (no root) to about twice 
its then size and ripened. No crack or hole in it to 
admit the light. Flesh of usual flavour. All the 
seeds in this fruit had germinated and showed full 
green cotyledons of such colour as they would have 
shown if growing in the ordinary way, and of about 
the size that usually show from the seed case. Is not 
the law laid down a little too absolutely by some of 
our (more or less) scientific men in some of these 
matters? Evidently here are instances in which 
light has not been instrumental in producing the green 
colour of vegetation, — Geo. C. Nerval!. 

The Flora of Kent. — Can any reader of 
Science-Gossip give me information respecting a 
Flora for Kent, as all my inquiries hitherto have 
failed in discovering the existence of any such work ? 
It seems very singular that a county so botanically 
rich as Kent should be so neglected. Does the London 
Flora take in this district ? Also what is the price 
and when was the last edition published? — JV. B., 

The Evolution of Poisons. — With reference 
to the note in Science-Gossip for December on the 
Evolution of Poisons, is it possible that they act in 
the economy of the plant by being reserves of food 
matter ? Since substances in the seed are absorbed 
into the young plant, and as numbers of the poisons, 
etc., are found in the seeds, then why should not 
similar substance in the plant be reserves for it to use 
during its growth? Again, the plant might absorb 
from the soil more than it can use in its economy, 
and these substances might be a means of getting rid 
of the surplus. Either of these views would also 
account for substances 'which are not poisons, and 
therefore in that way cannot act as a defence to the 
plant. The number of these compounds in the 
vegetable kingdom must be enormous, and this fact 
might be accounted for by different plants requiring 
different amounts of elementary constituents, and 
that each substance is suited to the economy of the 
plant where it is found, Tlie fact that some of these 

act as poisons to the higher animals would thus seem 
to be incidental. — M. Farrant. 

Euphorbia Cyparissias in Kent. — It was with 
great pleasure I saw recorded the finding of this 
plant by a visitor (?) to the neighbourhood. I fear, 
however, that from the description of the locality, 
one might search the " hillsides close to Dover" for 
a long time, and then not find it. However, the 
description is quite correct. The locality is known 
to most, if not all, of those interested in botanical 
matters hving in Dover. There are five or six good- 
sized patches of it, if I remember right. They are 
so conspicuous when in flower, that they may be seen 
from the hills on the opposite side of the valley. I 
had noticed that the botanical books give "woods" 
as the habitat of this plant. I had also noticed that 
in Switzerland I have found it anywhere but in 
woods! Gremli, in his "Flora of Switzerland," 
gives as habitats, "gravelly places, road-sides, river 
banks " — and in such places I have found it. I 
wonder whether K. E. Styan knew, when he was 
gathering the beautiful little Cyprus spurge, that he 
was within a few yards of a host of rarities and much- 
sought-after plants ? Sixteen or seventeen of our 
orchids may be found in their season close by — O. 
purpurea, O. ustulata, O. apifera, O. muscifera, H. 
bifoUa and chlorantha, wei-e all in bloom when K, E. 
Styan gathered the spurge ! It is gratifying to know 
that a visitor may go into a strange place and find 
something that the inhabitants know nothing of ; and 
this should encourage all to keep their eyes open. I 
know of three instances of strangers finding plants 
unknown to the botanists of the neighbourhood. In 
1883 a visitor found near Dover Habeiiaria viridis. 
In 1888 another visitor found near Folkestone Orni- 
thopus ebracteatus ; and in 1890 a friend staying for 
his holidays in the neighbourhood of Dover found 
two patches of Phyteuma m-biculare, and those X.\\o 
patches half a mile apart 1 One thing to be learnt 
from this I think is— the desirability of placing upon 
record all "finds" that strike the finder as good or 
exceptional, as K. E. Styan has done. One Saturday 
in June of 1S90 I was walking from Sugar-loaf Hill 
across the fields towards Park Farm, Folkestone, 
when I was suddenly " brought to " by seeing on the 
footpath two specimens of \\\^ Cyprus spurge l How 
came they there has ever been a mystery to me ; they 
were quite fresh. Does this note of K. E. 
explain it ?— ;K T. Hay don, Wouldham. 


The Geologists' Association.— The last issue 
of this ever welcome "Proceedings" contains the 
following papers : — " On the Pleistocene (non-marine) 
MoUusca of the London District," by B. B. Wood- 
ward ; " An Account of the Excursion to the South 
Italian Volcanoes," by Dr. Johnston Lavis; "Con- 



cretion in a Yorcdale Sand Quarry," by Dr. Hind ; 
" Manufacture of Serpentine in Nature's Laboratory," 
by Gen McMahon ; "A New Species of Capulus," 
by Professor Boulger ; " An Erosion near Stirling," 
by H, W. Monckton ; "The Auriferous Series of 
Nova Scotia," by Geoffry F. Monckton ; " The 
Pebley Beds on and near the Addington Hills, 
Surrey," by H. M. Klaasseu ; and " Pleistocene Sec- 
tions in and near London," by W. F. Leevis Abbott. 

A Huge Gold Nugget. — At a recent meeting of 
the Geological Society, a model of the largest gold 
nugget yet found in Western Australia, known as the 
"Little Hero," weighing 330 oz. S dwts., found at 
Shaw's Fall, 200 miles from Roebourne, and So from 
Nullagine, at a depth of 8 inches, was exhibited by 
Mr. Harry Page Woodward, F.G.S. 


The Colouring of Birds' Eggs.— Seeing Mr. 
Hewett's note on colouring of birds' eggs, though he 
especially wishes to hear from collectors about guille- 
mots' and razorbills' eggs, I hope my note will not be 
out of place. In the April issue I sent a letter on a 
few varieties I had in my collection, and seeing this 
interesting subject has started again I hope to see 
other collectors give notes of their varieties, which 
will be very interesting. In looking over my collec- 
tion I find three interesting varieties of the lapwing's 
egg ; one a cream colour closely marked at the thick 
end with jet-black streaks which are very small, 
another one of a grey or stone colour with faint 
blotches of light-brown all over. Both specimens are 
of usual size, but nearer white than the typical colour, 
and both taken from different nests with full clutch of 
four. The other specimen is in size and colour similar 
to the black tern, if any difference a little darker, but 
really if it had been found in a nest by itself near a 
locality where the black tern breeds it would, I fear, 
have been put amongst the rest under the above name. 
It also was found in a nest with other three, making 
the usual number found in the lapwing's nest. — 
W. D. Rae. 

Small-end Colouring of Sea-eirds' Eggs. — 
Referring to the notes and observations on this subject 
which have recently appeared in Science-Gossip, I 
have looked through my collection of over a hundred 
beautiful and interesting varieties of guillemot's eggs, 
and find that I have three specimens which are 
thickly marked at the points or small ends and very 
sparingly on the other portions. The first is of an 
almost white ground colour, with a blotch of black on 
the small end, which extends about an inch from the 
point all round the egg. There are also a few spots 
of black scattered over the other part of the egg. 
The ground colour of another is of a bluish tinge, with 
a dark zone of different shades of brown and black 
round the small end and speckled with the same 
colours on the other part. A third, the ground 
colour of which is not uniform ; part of it is of a 
decidedly blue hue and the remainder of a bluish 
green ; this egg has a zone of black round the small 
end. I may mention that I have obtained these 
varieties in a casual way, never having made a point 
of procuring " small end " marked specimens. If I 
have the opportunity next season I will note how 
many I see at the cliffs and in the climbers' 
possession of eggs so marked. — E. G. Potter, York. 

The following flowers have been found in bloom' 
here in December : corn buttercup, hawkweed picris, 
red campion, comnKjn daisy, common mallow, red 
clover, procumbent speedwell, dark blue speedwell, 
common feverfew, furze, common nipplewort, creep- • 
ing cinquefoil, common yarrow, lesser periwinkle, 
hedge woundwort, creeping crowfoot, upright meadow 
crowfoot, garlic, black horehound, common chick- 
weed, yellow bedstraw, red dead-nettle, and ground- 
sel. — H. G. Ward, Nortkmarston. 

Natural History in January.— January is by 
no means a dull month in the calendar of nature, for 
many birds commence singing this month. The 
song-thrush sings sweetly from the top of some tall 
tree, while the skylarks are singing joyously over- 
head. The hedge-sparrow, robin, and great-tit all 
charm us with their music, and sometimes, too, if the 
weather is mild, we may hear the long-drawn but 
pleasant notes of the chaffinch. In the gardens, 
snowdrops, primroses, garden daisies (red and white), 
hepaticas (red and blue), gillies, the yellow globe 
flower, and red and brown oxlips may be found in 
flower this month. In the corn-fields and meadows 
we may find red dead-nettle, procumbent speedwell, 
groundsel, pansy, shepherd's purse, dandelion, white 
dead-nettle, chickweed, and a few daisies. The bat 
comes stealing out in the dusk of evening as the days 
get longer. The fieldfares, redwings and starlings 
frequent the meadows in large flocks, and in mild 
weather, when the ground is moist, they find an 
abundance of food. — //. G. ]Vard. 


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 must adhere to our rule q1' 
not noticing queries which do not bear the writers' names. 

To Dealers and Others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and genera! 
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 onx 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. 

Special Note. — There is a tendency on the part of some 
exchangers to send more than one per month. We only allow 
this in the case of writers of papers. 

To OUR Recent Exchangers. — We are willing and helpful 
to our genuine naturalists, but we cannot further allow dis- 
guised Exchanges like those which now come to us from 
Devonshire to appear unle=s as advertisements. 

J. Capell. — The shells you sent are all rightly named 
except No. 2, which is Planorbis carinatus, not P. vivipara — 
the latter is very much larger. The fungus on leaf of sweet 
William is Puccinia lychiiidearu-in. 

T. S. A. — Get Dr. Cooke's recently published work on 
" British Freshwater Algse," price ^s. — one of the International 
Scientific Series. 

A. T. — Richard Jefferies's books can be obtained of Messrs. 
Chatto and Windiis. 

R. S. — There is a capital little hand-book to the geology oi 
Derbyshire, by the Rev. J. Mello, with geological map. Apply 
to some Derbj' bookseller. 

P. F.— Yes, the " Yoimg Collector" series is both cheap, 
well got-up, and trustworthy. You cannot do better. 


Wanted, an injecting syringe and a Valentin's knife. — 
H. P., 103 Camden Street, London, N.W. 

Offered, i golden-crested wren, 2 bullfinches, 2 chaffinches, 
2 moorhens, 2 magpies, 1 long-tailed tit, all side-blown, one 
hole, in exchange for i coot, i common heron, i wild duck, 
I partridge. Will exchange singly. — C. D. Heginbothom, 
Patwell House, Bruton, Somerset. 



Oldhamia antiqiia and O. radatia, Cambrian rocks, Bray 
Head. What offers in minerals or fossils for the above? — 
William Doyle, Seapoint Road, Bray, Ireland. 

Shells. — Pecten uta.xiiiius, P. iigrinus, P. opercularis, 
LaSiEU rubra, Lucina spinifera, Cyprina islandicn, Astarte 
iriaitgularis, Venus exoleta, V. lincta. Tapes virgineus, 
Tectura testudinalis, Trocltus inontacuti, T. tuinidus, T. 
inilligraiLus, T. Ziziphiiins, Rissoa metiibranacea, R.fulgida, 
R. cingillus, R. violacea, Hydrobia ulvie, H. -jentrosa, 
Natica niontacuti, N. alderi, Trickotropsis borealis, Cerith- 
opsis iubercularts, Murex erinacens, Defrancia linearis, and 
Pleurotoma turricula. Also land and freshwater shells in 
exchange for micro-slides, insects, shells not in collection, or 
books on any of the above subjects, or what offers ? — W. D. 
Rae, 9 Claremont Terrace, Alpha Road, Millwall, London, E. 

Offered, Science-Gossip for 1SS5, and January to April, 
1886; "Entomological Magazine," June, 1885, to April, 1886; 
"The Entomologist," 188s (bound). Wanted, birds' eggs.— 
O. Weiss, 87 Hasborne Road, Birmingham. 

i\ WATER immersion of R. and J. Beck, cost 8/., nearly new 
(180° N.A. i-os) ; a splendid lens. What offers?— E. Wagstaft, 
3 Waterworks Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

American lepidoptera, and cocoons and chrysalids of same. 
American birds' eggs and Indian relics offered for exotic 
lepidoptera other than European. S. American, African, and 
Australian especially desired. — Levi W. Mengel, Reading, 

Wanted, any books relating to microscopy, also good un- 
mounted material, in exchange for choice microscopic slides of 
every description. — R. Suter, 5 Highweek Road, Tottenham. 

Duplicate copy of Christy's "Birds of Essex" (just pub- 
lished, demy 8vo., price 15.?.), offered in exchange for any other 
similar county ornithology. — W. W. Porteous, Saffron Walden. 

Text-books for Intermediate Science (London), offered in 
exchange for magic-lantern, slides, or text-books on geology, 
mathematics, or mental and moral science. For list apply to — 
"Magister," 8 Venetia Road, Finsbury Park, N. 

Planorbis cornejcs, var. albida. Vertigo pyg7nixa, Balia per- 
versa, &c., and first-class microscopic slides. Wanted, Vertigo 
alpestris, and other British and foreign land and freshwater 
shells. — William Moss, 13 Milton Place, .Ashton-under-Lyne. 

I HAVE numerous duplicates in carboniferous fossils, in- 
cluding lepidodendron, sigillaria, neuropteris, sphenopteris, 
ulodenron, calamitcs, annularia, posidonia, aviculopecten, and 
orthoceras. I shall be pleased to make exchanges for chalk or 
eocene fossils.— W. A. Parker, 634 Market Street, Facit, 

Fifty foreign stamps (no German or English), " Playtime 
Naturalist" (5J. book, quite new), "Works of Mrs. Hemans" 
\5.r. book, quite new). What offers in exchange for any of the 
above? — Richd. B. Corbishley, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lanes. 

For exchange, good fossils from millstone grit of following 
genus, all named and localized: productus, bakevellia, ger- 
villia, orthis, natica, bellerophon, schizodus. Also from Yore- 
dale shales, Gonatites reticulatus. Wanted, fossils from 
Silurian, Ordovician, Cambrian. Send lists to — W. F. Holroyd, 
Greenfield, near Oldham. 

Will any collector of fossils, who has named duplicates to 
spare, kindly send them to a small local museum now being 
formed? Address — A. L. D., The Vicarage, Southboro, Tun- 
bridge Wells. 

Science-Gossip for 1889, "Naturalists' Gazette," 1889-90, 
" Field Club," 1890, unbound, good condition. What offers in 
natural history? — W. Tumbull, i Home Terrace, Edinburgh. 

Heads of mummy cats, in very good preservation. Desiderata, 
foreign sponges, echinidse, Crustacea, or insects. — C. Walker, 
Mossy Bank, Egremont, Cheshire. 

Seven hundred species of shells for exchange. Exotic land 
shells particularly desired. Lists exchanged. — W. Bendall, 
28 Gloucester Place, Portman Square, W. 

Australian plants. New Zealand ferns, mosses, lichens, 
shells, and packets of micro material, with references to pub- 
lished papers in which the deposits are described, offered in 
exchange for foreign land and freshwater shells not in collec- 
tion, or works on conchology. — W. A. Gain, Tuxford, Newark. 

Wanted, side-blown eggs of sparrow-hawk, kestrel, landrail, 
and many others, in exchange for rare eggs. — Jas. Ellison, 
Stecton, Keighley. 

W.\ntkd, fossils from various localities ; a large number of 
good duplicates offered in exchange. — Thomas W. Reader, 
171 Hemingfoad Road, London, N. 

Offered, "Science for All," 5 vols, (unbound), Fullom's 
"Marvels of Science," "Text-Book of Mineralogy," and 
Professor Geikie's "Text-Book of Geology," &c., in exchange 
for British land and freshwater mollusca not in collection. 
Send list to — E. H. J. Baldock, 67 Brewer Street, Woolwich. 

Shells from Red Crag. — Asiart^omaiii, C ardita planicosta, 
cardiums, Cyrena cunuforinis, Natica clausa, pectens, Tro- 
phon clathratuM, Pusus contrarius and antiquus, Nassa 
reticosa. Purpura reticosa. Wanted, fossils from chalk, gault. 
Weald clay, and Tunbridge Wells sands. — Curator, Oakfield, 
Southborough, Tunbridge Wells. 

Duplicates. — Sophina calias, Streptaxis Blanfordi, S. 
Jiwobaldi, S. BuT^itanica, S. bombax, S. exacutus; Clausilia 
Waageni, C. Theobaldi, C. insignis, C. Couldiana, C. cylin- 

drica ; Helicarion Flemingii, Cataulus albescens, Raphatdus 
chrysalis, Hybocystis gravida. Cyclop/torus Siamensis, C. 
spcciosus. List of many others. Desiderata, Indian and South 
American land shells. — Miss Linter, Arragon Close, Twicken- 

Wanted, a good copy of Davidson's " Silurian Brachio- 
poda," "Annals and Magazine of Natural History," series 5, 
vol. iii., and any papers on the graptolites. — J. Bickeston 
Morgan, Welshpool. 

Wanted, about a tablespoonful of sand rich in microscopic 
shells, forams, &c., also dried leaves of Onosjna taurica, and 
frond of Davallia canariensis showing fructification. — H. 
Ebbage, Framlingham, Suffolk. 

Offers wanted for 13 vols, of Science-Gossip, 1875-1887, 
bound in publisher's blue cloth, in good condition. Address — 
H. Muller, Mottinghani, Eltham, Kent. 

Side-blown eggs of whinchat, sedge, garden and willow 
vvarblers, tree and meadow pipits, skylark, reed bunting, great 
titmouse, bullfinch, rook, jackdaw, swallow, sandmartin, ring- 
dove and lapwing for exchange. Offers to — R. Larder, 33 
Mercer Row, Louth, Lines. 

Science-Gossip (1885-89) in exchange for perfect micro- 
slides or recent text-books — list first. — W. E. Watkins, 32 Hun- 
tingdon Street, Barnsbury, N. 

Wanted, a petrological microscope, with or without acces- 
sories, by Swift or Crouch. Particulars to— Micro, 8 Tothill 
Street, S.W. 

Wanted, M. pellucida, incurva, H. ventrosa, P. fon- 
tinale, PL dilatus, A. Iac7istris, &c. Offered, P. contecta, 
P. corneus, and many other British land, freshwater and marine 
shells. — W. T. Pearce, loi Mayfield Road, Seafield, Gosport. 

" Magazine of Natural History," conducted by Loudon and 
Charlesworth, 1 829-1840, 13 vols., half-calf, Hooker's "Stu- 
dent's British Flora," "Naturalist," vol. v., 1879-1880, ento- 
mological collecting box, japanned tin, iij inches by 8 inches, 
hardly used, in exchange for works on natural history, Her- 
bert's " Amaryllidacese," or offers. — Rev. W. W. flemyng, 
Clonegam Rectory, Portlaw, co. Waterford. 

Wanted, foreign worms, living or in spirits, in exchange for 
British earthworms correctly named (including Allurus tetra;- 
drus, Allolobophora chlorotica, Lumbricus rubellus, the 
Brandling and others) ; sent alive or preserved. — Rev. Hilderic 
Friend, F.L.S., Idle, Bradford. 


"The Autobiography of the Earth," by the Rev. H. N. 
Hutchinson (London : Edward Stanford). — " Fresh-Water 
Aquaria," by the Rev. Gregory C. Bateman. — " Poems," by 
Nina F. Layard. — "Applied Geography," by J. Scott Kettie 
(London: Geo. Philip & Son).— "Soap Bubbles," by C. V. 
Boys ; and " Spinning-Tops," by J. Perry (London : S.P.C.K.). 
—"Pasteur and Rabies," by T. M. Doulon (London: G. Bell 
& Sons). — " Sound, Light, and Heat," by J. Spencer (London : 
Percival & Co.).— "Electro-Motors," by S. R. Battone (Lon- 
don: Whittaker & Co.).— "Metal Turning," by a Foreman 
Pattern Maker (London: Whittaker & Co.).— "The Natural 
Food of Man," by Emmet Densmore (London : Pewtress & 
Co.). — "The Electric Light Popularly Explained," by A. 
Bromley Holmes (London : Bemrose & Sons). — " Fathers of 
Biology," by Chas. McRae (London: Percival & Co.).— "The 
Canary Book," Part 8.—" British Cage Birds," Part 8.— 
" Researches on Micro-Organisms," by Dr. A. M. Griffiths 
(London : Bailliere, Tindal & Cox). — " The Darwinian Theory 
of the Origin of Species," by F. P. Pascoe (London: Gumey & 
Jackson). — "The Geology of Barbadoes," by J. B. Harrison 
and A. J. Jukes-Brown. — " Ocular Symptons found in Paralysis 
of the Insane," by Dr. C. A. Otwer. — " The Essex Naturalist," 
July to September. — Wesley's "Nat. Hist, and Scientific 
Book Circular," No. 105. — "American Microscopical Journal." 
— "American Naturalist." — " Canadian Entomologist." — " The 
Naturalist." — "The Botanical Gazette." — "The Gentleman's 
Magazine." — "The Midland Naturalist."— "Feuille des 
Jeiines Naturalistes." — " The Microscope." — " Nature Notes." 
— "Proceedings of the Geologists' Association." — "The Philo- 
sophy of Cycling." — " Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists' 
Society." — "Transactions of the Penzance Nat. Hist, and 
Antiquarian Society." — "The Naturalist's Annual and Direc- 
tory for 1891." — "Journal and Proceedings of the Royal 
Society of New South Wales."—" British Cage Birds," Part 7. 
— " Electricity in Every-Day Life." — " Insect Life," Nos. 2 
and 3. — " Revision of a Genus of Fossil Fishes, Dapedius."— 
" The Geology of Sutton Coldfield," &c., &c. 

Communications received up to the 14TH ult. from : 
C. D. H.— F. A. L.— H. B.— J. E. L.— H. P.— E. W.— 

V. T.— Miss L.— E. H. J. 
;.— W. J. S.— J. E.— E. 6. 

—J. W. R.— J. B. M.— W. A. G.— W. J. S.— J. E.— E. G. P. 
— W. B.— E. B.— Dr. G. T. C. M.— C. W.— F. C. M — 
L. W. M.— r. C. S.— R. S.— H. D.— W. W. P.— W. M.— 
W. A. P.— W. B.— R. A. B.— J. B. C— A. B. G.— W. E. W. 
W. T. P.-G. H.— H. M.— H. G. W.— W. W. F.— W. T. H. 
— H. W.— Dr. A. O.— A. B. G.— A. E. S.— R. B. C— V. A. L. 
— C. W. P.-&C., &c. 





N employing a meta- 
phor drawn from 
common life to 
illustrate the curi- 
ous tendency of 
the human mind 
to look only at 
one side of a 
question, I take 
refuge behind the 
great name of Mr. 
Herbert Spencer, 
who drives heme 
some of his 
weightiest argu- 
ments by the help 
of familiar meta- 

We will suppose 
a medal struck in 
memory of some 
great event in the history of a nation. On the 
one side is represented a figure of the country ; on 
the other a fleet in full sail. What should we say 
if two opposing schools arose, one of whom vehe- 
mently maintained that the medal represented a 
female figure, whilst the other as stoutly contended 
that it^represented a fleet ? Should we not feel in- 
clined to exclaim, " A plague o' both your houses !" 
and request the disputants to look at both sides of 
the [medal ? Yet, notwithstanding the incredible 
progress attained by physical science through steady 
adherence to the principles of inductive reasoning, 
there seems some weakness of the human mind 
whichlleads it constantly into the old vicious methods 
of a priori argument. People do not now sit down 
and proceed to construct a scheme of the universe 
out^of their own inner consciousness, and make all 
facts fit into a bed of Procrustes, as was the cheerful 
custom with philosophers of old. But, whilst ap- 
pearing to follow the inductive method with sedulous 
No. 314, — February 1891. 

care, there is too often a fatal bias in the thinker't 
mind, which places everything which makes for his 
theory in a bright light, and obscures, or wholh 
blots out, all evidence that goes against it. In many 
cases, perhaps in most, the thinker is not aware of 
his bias, but, as Darwin says in one of his letters, 
"Nearly all men past a moderate age, whether in 
years or in mind, are, I am firmly convinced, in- 
capable of looking at facts from a new point of 
view.' And for this reason he " thinks 'it of im- 
portance " that intelligent men who are not natu- 
ralists should read his book, because he " thinks 
such men will drag after them those naturalists 
whose ideas are fixed." In reading Mr. Wallace's 
"Darwinism," I have been forcibly reminded again 
and again of the words just quoted. Mr. Wallace, 
one of the few still left to us of a generation of great 
men, has had the happy fortune to inspire, in those 
who only know him through his works, not only 
high esteem but affection. High esteem for the 
quiet magnanimity with which he accorded to Dar- 
win the victor's wreath he might have aspired to 
wear himself; affection, for the kindness of heart his 
works constantly betray — a kindness of heart which 
shrinks from seeing that "Nature, red in tooth and 
claw," of whose existence most of us are painfully 
aware. But, notwithstanding the sentiments of 
affection and esteem which are inspired by the name 
of Mr. Wallace, it is impossible to avoid the con- 
clusion that his mind is hardly, if at all, influenced 
by the discoveries of the last quarter of a century. 
It is true that he alludes to some of these, but in a 
very cursory way, as though hardly worthy of atten- 
tion or of argument. He believes in natural selection 
pure and simple, with its odd theory of constant 
variations occurring for no reason, and owing their 
origin to nothing in particular. Moreover, these 
erratic variations must occur of their own accord in 
successive generations, because he can find no satis- 
factory evidence of use or disuse of parts being 
inherited ! Nor, though he admits that changes in 




individuals take place through the action of the 
environment, he will not admit that these changes 
are inherited ! Yet he believes in changes in breeds 
of domestic animals through "selection." How can 
selection act, if there is no inherent force to initiate 
the change? If individual peculiarities are inherited, 
then it is quite natural that a pointer puppy should 
point ; but if they are not, why should he not 
accidentally vary in some other direction ? There 
must be some internal force rendering variation 
possible, or the breeder might select for ever without 
producing any effect. Practically, in every-day life 
every one acts upon the assumption that individual 
peculiarities are transmitted, with or without selec- 
tion. Defects of body and mind, and liability to 
succumb to certain diseases, are also only too well 
known to be transmissible from one generation to 
another. Deaf-mutes have children who are deaf- 
mutes, though atavism hinders all the children from 
inheriting this defect ; and the same remark applies 
to persons with supernumerary toes and fingers. 
Where one parent has been the victim of phthisis or 
of insanity, the children are in danger of succumbing 
to the same disease ; where both parents have fallen 
victims, the chances are increased to a frightful 
degree. It is almost impossible to imagine how the 
strongest prepossessions against heredity can hold 
out in the face, not only of countless arguments from 
science, but x)f the practical experience of mankind 
in all ages. 

Mr. Wallace devotes one chapter only to the 
geological evidence of evolution ; but even in the 
very brief sketch he gives, there appears such over- 
whelming evidence of the influence of heredity and its 
effects in perfecting or aborting every organ of 
animals, and the slight, fine modifications in certain 
directions by which the changes from fossil to 
existing species have been effected, that one thinks he 
cannot remain unconvinced, and that he must beheve 
these modifications to be hereditary. We almost 
doubt the evidence of our eyes when we read this 
passage, " There is now much reason to believe that 
the supposed inheritance of acquired modifications — 
that is of the effects of use and disuse, or of the 
direct action of the environment — is not a fact." 
That is, we are to believe that all the modifications 
leading steadily upwards or downwards, the limbs 
perfected for speed of the horse and deer, the utter 
absence of limbs in certain lizards, the specialisation 
of the dentition of animals varying cusp by cusp and 
tooth by tooth, the improvement in brain capacity 
from Eocene times to our own, the persistence of 
rudimentary organs not only useless but dangerous to 
their present possessors ; we are gravely asked to 
believe that all these modifications are the result 
of a series of accidents occurring generation after 
generation with results more and more marked, yet 
all uninherited and accidental ! Can any one who 
has been impressed with the grand simplicity and 

uniformity of the great Laws of Nature, believe that 
evolution is due to an infinite number of happy 
accidents? We know of a law which answers al! 
those requirements of simplicity and uniformity of a 
great Law of Nature, which is in harmony with all 
the apparently complicated phenomena of life, which 
solves problems otherwise insoluble, the Law of the 
Action of the Environment upon Irritable Proto- 
plasm. And we are asked to set it aside as non- 
existent, and believe in innumerable accidental 
variations, as an efficient substitute ! 

Mr. Wallace refers, with high approval, to Professor 
Weismann's now celebrated lectures. If the theory 
which Professor Weismann considers he has proved in 
his laboratory is contradicted by the evidence of 
zoologists and paleontologists, as well as by the 
universal practical experience of mankind, then it is 
clear that laboratory work will not explain every- 
thing, and that the methods employed have been 
erroneous. But what shall we say when we are 
asked to accept a theory of which there is not one 
iota of tangible proof, which is, if anything, entirely^ 
contradicted by facts, and to accept this hypothesis 
as the only side of the medal ? Professor Weismann's 
theory in brief is that the "substance which forms 
the foundation of all the phenomena of heredity, in my 
opinion, can only be the substance of the germ-cells, 
and this substance transfers its hereditary tendencies 
from generation to generation, and is always unin- 
fluenced in any corresponding manner by that which 
happens in the lifetime of the individual. If 
these views be correct, all our ideas upon the trans- 
formation of species require thorough modification, 
for the whole principle of evolution by means of 
exercise (use and disuse) as proposed by Lamarck, 
and accepted in some eases by Darwin, entirely 

When we read that views held not only by 
Lamarck, but by a host of illustrious men of science 
who have evidence at their command, which 
Lamarck and Darwin would have given worlds to 
possess, are to collapse before a certain theory, we 
expect this theory to have been founded on some- 
thing that has at least been seen and observed. But it 
turns out that everything has to be "assumed." The 
assumption is that only a part of the germ-cell is 
used in the formation of the future animal ; the 
remainder of the cell as " germ-plasm " is reserved to 
be handed on to future generations. I have 
endeavoured to reproduce this idea by a rough 

" The germ cells f are not derived at all, so far as 
their essential substance is concerned, from the body 
of the individual, but they are derived directly from 
the parent germ-cell. " The body (somatic) cells have. 
Prof. Weismann repeatedly declares, nothing what- 
ever to do with the production of the germ -plasm. 

* " Biological Memoirs," p. 69. 

t Ibid. p. 168. 



Yet he goes on to say that in all cases but that of 
Ihe Dipteia,* " generative cells arise from some of the 
later embryonic cells, and as these belong to a more 
advanced ontogenetic stage in the development of 
•the idioplasm,! we can only conclude that continuity 
is maintained by assuming, as I do, that a small part 
of the germ-plasm remains unchanged during the 
division of the first segmentation nucleus, and remains 
mixed with the idioplasm of a certain series of cells, 
and that the formation of true germ-cells is brought 
about at a certain point in the series by the appear- 
ance of cells in which the germ-plasm becomes 
predominant. But if we accept this hypothesis, it 
does not matter theoretically " [the italics are mine] 
*' whether the germ-plasm becomes predominant in 
the third, tenth, hundredth or millionth generation 
of cells." In the same way, when we are dealing 
Avith imaginary fortunes, it does not matter whether 
we endow our hero with a thousand pounds a year or 
a million. We seem landed in the happy old days 
when one philosopher derived everything from fire, 
and another derived everything from water, and one 
hypothesis did just as well as another theoretically. 
The germ-plasm, which governs heredity, may exist 
or it may not ; nobody has seen it, nor is likely to 
see it unless the laws of optics change. Something 
con^veys hereditary tendencies in a mannor as extra- 
ordinary as it is mysterious. The hermaphrodite 
worm, which, if ontogeny does not deceive us, was 
the ancestor of the vertebrata, has impressed his nature 
upon all of us in the form of innumerable embryonic 
and rudimentary structures. J 

Prof. Weismann may be perfectly correct so far as 
he maintains that heredity is the work of his germ- 
plasm, and the manner in which he works out this 
part of his theory is delightful. It is when he claims 
that variability is also the characteristic of his 
imaginary substance, to the exclusion of any influence 
exerted by the somatic cells, that one refuses to 
accept theory in place of facts. He will look only at 
his own side of the medal, though he appears sincerely 
to wish to look at the other as well. Eyes do not 
atrophy through disuse ; short sight is not inherited ; 
a pointer doesn't point because his ancestors have 
been trained to point, but through a predisposition 
on the part of the germ.§ A predisposition to 
point on the part of a germ ! He denies even the 
heredity of instinct, and says there is no transmission 
of acquired skill even in insects ! Where facts are so 
overwhelmingly strong that it is impossible to meet 
them, he always says "our knowledge on the subject 
is still very defective." Let us only know more, and 
the germ will be proved all-potent. In the meantime 
he complacently says : " The inheritance of acquired 

* " Biological Memoirs," p. 197. 

+ Called \isiially germ-plasm. 

I " Introduction to Lectures on Pathology," by J. Bland 

5 "Myopia may be attributed to the transmission of an 
accidental disposition on the part of the germ." Pp. 86, 89, 
•93. 95- 

characters has never been proved either by means of 
direct observation or by experiment " ! Such an 
assertion takes one's breath away, and makes one 
wonder how far a very eminent man can be blinded 
bj^ a theory. 

This fatal tendency to adapt all facts to a foregone 
conclusion or a pet theory, and to minimise or ignore 
those that militate against it, the inability or the 
unwillingness to look at both sides of the medal, is 
seen in every department of science. The greatest 
minds have been keenly alive to this danger, and nc 
more illustrious example can be found of devotion to 
truth at all costs than that of Newton.* His early 
theories on the law of gravitation were given up by 
him as untenable, because of difficulties in reconcihng 
this law with the motions of the moon in her orbit. 
Ilis study of the subject was only resumed after a 
lapse of eleven years. Yet Newton's original calcu- 
lations and his theory were perfectly correct, only the 
original calculations were founded on an erroneous 
estimate of the length of a degree of latitude on the 
earth's surface, which had to be corrected before 
theory and facts could agree. INIany of the theories 
of this illustrious Englishman "were left in an im- 
perfect state, for it is not in matters of science that it 
is given to the same individual to invent and to bring 
to perfection. Their complete development required 
that several subsidiary sciences should be farther 
advanced." Fortunately no zealous friend was found 
to treat the conclusions of Newton as final, and dub 
them ' Newtonism ' ! The words of Mr. Proctor, 
just quoted, may most fitly be employed in speaking 
of the theories of one not less illustrious than Newton ; 
of one not less scrupulously anxious that his theories 
should be confirmed at all points by facts ; yet of one 
who could not see his grand hypothesis of evolution 
attain to its full development, because this required 
that " several subsidiary sciences should be farther 
advanced." We do not hear of a ' School of Newton,' 
priding itself on firmly making a stand at the point to 
which the great philosopher, with the imperfect data 
at his command, had attained; why in the name of 
science, or rather of simple common sense, should we 
hear of anything so absurd as a " Darwinian school." 
How earnestly would the great master himself have 
deprecated such an absurdity. His own mind was 
constantly open to the reception of new ideas. 
What mattered it to him that some of these ideas 
threatened to conflict with the brilliant hypothesis, on 
which much of his fame rested, ie., the development 
of species through natural selection. All that he 
cared for — all that he had ever cared for in science, 
was to ascertain the truth ; and again and again in 
his works he deplores the imperfect data he had to 
work from. Especially does he deplore the extreme 
imperfection of the geological record, and it is on 

* "Encyclopaedia Britannica," articles 'Newton,' p. 441, 
and ' Astronomy,' p. 75G. 

C 2 



this very point that the most gigantic strides have 
been made in our knowledge of late years. 

I will quote a few jmssages showing the feelings of 
Darwin on this subject, and how far he was from 
making a fixed creed of his own conclusions. 

" In many cases it is most difficult even to 
conjecture by what transitions organs have arrived at 
their present state." * 

*' In searching for the gradations through which an 
organ in any species has been perfected, we ought to 
look exclusively to its lineal progenitors ; but this is 
scarcely ever possible." t 

It is hardly necessary to say what brilliant work 
has elucidated these difficulties of late years. 
Embryologists have traced the stages through which 
every part of the future animal passes on its way to 
its own form of diffeientiation ; as for instance the 
modifications of the bones in the leg and wing of the 
chick, in which, at an early period the indications of 
a former five-toed condition can be seen ; the germs 
of teeth destined never to cut the gum, and the 
consolidation of the bones in ruminants and equid^s ; 
and the three sets of kidneys in vertebrates. 

Palaeontologists have had successes as brilliant ; 
they can show the phylogeny of an immense number 
of our present mammals, whilst the embryologists have 
demonstrated their ontogeny: the "lineal pro- 
genitors" have been found. Darwin says % , " Two 
forms can seldom be connected by intermediate 
varieties, and thus proved to be the same species, 
until many specimens are collected from many places ; 
and with fossil species this can rarely be done. We 
shall perhaps best perceive the improbability of our 
being able to connect species by numerous fine 
intermediate fossillinks, by asking ourselves whether, 
for instance, geologists at some future period will be 
able to prove that our different breeds of cattle, sheep, 
horses, and dogs are descended from a single stock or 
from several aboriginal stocks. . . . This could be 
effected only by his discovering in a fossil state 
numerous intermediate gradations ; and such success 
is improbable in the highest degree." This success, 
which the great master thought " improbable in the 
highest degree " has been attained ; and the 
"numerous, fine, intermediate gradations in the 
fossil state," have been traced. 

Again, in arguing with writers who assert the im- 
mutability of species by asserting that geology yields 
no linking forms, he say5,§ " If we take a genus 
having a score of species, recent and extinct, and 
destroy four-fifths of them, no one doubts that the 
remainder will Stand much more distinct from each 
other. . . . What geological research has not re- 
vealed is the former existence of infinitely numerous 
gradations, as fine as existing varieties, connecting 
together nearly all existing and extinct species. But 
this ought not to be expected." So far is the great 

master from hoping, that before one generation hacf 
grown up since his death, these " infinitely numerous 
variations, as fine as existing varieties," "connecting 
existing with extinct species"; "these numerous, 
fine, intermediate fossil links " would be found in 
countless numbers, and that the ancestral forms no^. 

" Origin of Species," p. 156. 
Ibid. p. 279. 

t Ibid. p. 144. 
j Ibid. p. 280. 

pjg_ y.—a, reproductive cell ; b, nucleus, which after extrusion 
of the polar globules will form the future animal or plant ; 
c, " germ-plasm " left over to carry on the qualities of 
ancestors, and transferred from generation to generation. 
Whatever changes occur in an animal are due entirely to 
modifications of the " germ-plasm." 

only of our " different breeds of cattle, sheep, horses 
and dogs," but those of the bear, the cat, the weasel, 
the rhinoceros, the camel and of countless other 
animals would be accurately known. * 

And, with regard to his own special hypothesis of 
evolution through natural selection, he speaks again 
and again of our ignorance of the causes which have 
given rise to those variations upon which natural 
selection has to work. The battle which Darwin 
had to fight was to prove the evolution and conse- 
quent changeability of species, in opposition to 
opponents who believed in the special creation and 
unchangeability of species. Having had that great 
battle won for them, scientific men have had leisure 
to turn their attention to the cause of the variations 
controlling evolution. Later in his life, after having 
borne the burden and heat of the day, Darwin had 
more leisure to turn his own attention to this most 
important question. The following extracts will 
exemplify the earlier and later phases of his opinions 
on this subject : — " Variations appear to arise from 
the same unknown causes acting on the cerebraf 
organization, which induce slight variations or indi- 
vidual differences in other parts of the body ; and 
these variations, ozving to our ignorance, are often said 
to arise spontaneously." f (The italics are mine.) 
After speaking of the number of facts collected with 
respect to the transmission of the most trifling, as 
well as of the most important characters in man, and 
also in domestic animals, he says : " With regard to 
the causes of variability, we are in all cases very 
ignorant." And again, he speaks of the "complex 
and little-known laws governing the production of 
varieties," being " the same, so far as we can judge, 
as the laws which have governed the production of 
distinct species." J 

* " Origin of the Fittest " (Professor Cope) ; " Les Ancetres 
de nos Animaux" (Gaudry) ; "The Mammalia" (Oscar 

t "Descent of Man," pp. 38, no, in. 

X "Origin ol Species," p. 415. 



The last passages I shall quote are pathetic, in 
view of the persistent attempts to connect Darwin 

J'-igs. Siand g.— Dissection of the Leg of a Chick at the fifth 
and eighth day of incubation (after Johnson). Fe, femur; 
T, tibia ; F, fibula ; A, astragalus (tibiale) ; Ta, tarsalia. 

The numerals refer to the digits. (From "Introduction to 
Lectures on Pathology," by Bland Sutton.) 

with the narrow, unprogressive school which strives 
to identify itself with his name. He says:* "It 

* "Origin of Species," p. 421 (1872). 

appears that I formerly underrated the frequency and 
value of these later forms of variation " (viz. adaptive 
structures which have arisen by the direct action of 
external conditions). "But as my conclusions have 
lately been much misrepresented, and it has been 
stated that I attribute the modification of species 
exclusively to natural selection, I may be permitted 
to remark that .... I placed in a most conspicuous 
position the following words : • I am convinced that 
natural selection has been the main, but not the 
exclusive means of modification.' This has been of 
no avail. Great is the power of steady misrepresenta- 
tion, but the history of science shows that fortunately 
this power does not long endure." But his views 
were gradually changing as to the importance of the 
action of the environment in evolution ; and in one 
of his later letters he says : " In my opinion the 
greatest error which I have committed has been not 
allowing sufficient weight to the direct action of the 
environment, independently of natural selection." * 

We have an equally fine instance of the willingness 
to accept new ideas, however much they might 
apparently be in opposition to his own views, in the 
attitude of Mr. Herbert Spencer towards this very 
theory of natural selection. As early as 1864, in his 
"Principles of Biology," f with that prophetic 
instinct which characterises genius, he had laid down 
those principles of evolution now often spoken of as 
Neo-Lamarckian. For Lamarck, animated by the 
same prophetic genius, had foreseen the prepotent 
power of the action of environment, though his data 
were so imperfect, so apparently empirical, that his 
theory was laughed to scorn. Mr. Herbert Spencer 
had pointed out the influence of the environment on 
the very simplest unicellular organisms, had traced it 
up to more and more complex organisms, had 
shown its influence upon every part of the body and 
its struggle with atavism, or the principle of heredity 
so strongly possessed by all animal and vegetable 
cells. Of the many hundreds of brilliant discoveries 
in chemistry, pathology, biology, and palaeontology, 
which from every side now confirni his theories, he 
could not then avail himself; yet his conclusions are 
confirmed in almost every instance by what these 
sciences have revealed to us. Yet in his "Factors 
of Organic Evolution," published twenty-two years 
later, he is ready to resign his victor's wreath to 
Darwin, he acknowledges him as a teacher, and 
bears witness to the priceless services rendered to the 
cause of the evolutionary theory by the publication of 
the " Origin of Species." He sees both sides of the 
medal, but he does not at that date appear to have 
grasped the fact that each side belongs to the same 
medal, and that natural selection is only one mani- 
festation of that great Law of the Action of the 
Environment on all organic beings, of which he was 

* "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," vol. ii., p. 338. 
t "Principles of Biology," pp. 7, 12, T, 74i 7Sj 80, 83, 226, 
235> 294. 296, 311. 322. &c. 



the brillant exponent. In its simplest manifestation 
it influences the protoplasm of unicellular organisms ; 
in its more complicated manifestations it decrees the 
extermination of the South Sea Islanders, by the 
alien civilisation, the diseases, and the rum of the 
white man. It dwarfs the pines on the tundras of 
Siberia till they finally dwindle into trailing weeds 
four to five inches high ; it increases the size, or the 
speed, or the marketable value, whatever it may be, 
of iOur domestic animals ; it has changed tlie fierce 
wolf and the cowardly jackal into the only animal 
which has won, by its high mental and moral 
qualities, the title of the friend of man.* It has been 
proved that the action of the environment, and no 
mysterious " vital force " preserves the liquid con- 
dition of the blood in living veins, or causes its 
coagulation. No function is too high or too low for 
its all-pervading influence; just as the law of gravitation 
acts upon the minutest speck of matter, as inflexibly 
as it acts upon the solar system. 

I trust that in this necessarily imperfect sketch I 
have at least shown how unjustifiable is the attempt 
to associate the great name of Darwin with the un- 
progressive school which arrogates to itself the right 
of claiming to be his special disciples. To demon- 
strate fully how baseless in ascertained fact is 
Professor Weismann's theory of "germ-plasm " would 
require a special article ; but I have endeavoured to 
indicate a few of its weak points, and to show its 
constant need of assumptions as bases of reasoning. 


jTV by Dr. A. B. Griffiths (London : Bailliere, 
Tindal, & Cox). Dr. Griffiths is well known as one 
of the most painstaking and industrious of our 
younger school. of scientists, and he has here pro- 
duced a very useful manual of reference, which 
includes an account of all the recent experiments on 
the destruction of Microbes in various infectious 
diseases, and is illustrated by fifty-two woodcuts, 
Just at present Bacteriology is dominant, ten years 
ago hardly a few scores of people knew what the 
term meant. A general knowledge of the subject is 
now incumbent on all medical men, apothecaries, and 
journalists. Dr. Grifiiths, however, does not claim 
his book to be a manual of Bacteriology, after the 
manner of Dr. Crookshank. It is rather an expose 
of the researches which throw light on the pathology 
and therapeutics of certain infectious diseases. 
Nevertheless, it throws a very large cast-net over the 
whole field of the subject, including an outline of the 
natural history of Microbes in general ; their 
microscopical examination, classification, cultivation, 
distribution in earth, air, and water ; the various 

* For the ancestry of the dog, see "The Mammalia," by 
Oscar Schmidt. International Scientific Series. 

methods of micro-biological research, the nature of 
various ferments ; production of Ptomaines ; speciaS 
ferments ; the various substances secreted by 
Microbes ; the action of heat on microbes and their 
spores ; an account of the researches of Koch, Klein,. 
Pasteur, Bert, Parsons, Duclaux, Forster, and others, 
to which we are pleased to see the author has added 
his own, which are not the least interesting. There 
are also lengthy and varied chapters on Germicides 
and antiparasitic therapeutics ; the General Biology 
of the Microbes of Rabies, Yellow Fever, Pleuro- 
pneumonia, Foot-and-mouth Disease, Cattle Plague, 
Pyaimia, Septiccemia, Puerperal Fever, Syphilis- 
tuberculosis, Anthrax, Swine Fever, &c. The last 
chapter is an excellent summary of the recent 
experiments on the destruction of microbes in infec- 
tious diseases, in which, of course, those of Professor 
Koch occupy a prominent position. Dr. Griffiths has 
produced a useful as well as a thoroughly good 

Astronomical Lessons, by J. E. Gore (London : 
Sutton, Drowley, & Co.). We cordially recom- 
mend this well got up little book, the work of a well- 
known astronomer and astronomical writer, as one of 
the best introductions to the study of the "noble 
science " we have yet come across. It contains 
twenty-two short chapters dealing with a large and 
general range of astronomical knowledge, all of 
course brought up to the most recent date. The 
book is well illustrated. 

Applied Geography, by J. Scott Keltie (London : 
George Philip & Son). This is altogether a novel 
and acceptable departure from the too traditional 
method of teaching geography. Much of its con- 
tents have appeared as articles in leading magazines,, 
lectures given before the Society of Arts, the College 
of Preceptors, the Bankers' Institute, etc., and the- 
book is illustrated by excellent illustrative maps^ 
It contains five chapters headed as follows : — 
"Preliminary Considerations," "Geography applied 
to Commerce," "The Geography of Africa in its 
Bearings on the Development of the Continent." 
(two chapters on this all-important subject), "The 
British Empire," and " Some Common Com- 

London of the Past, by J. Ashton Ainscoughi 
(London : Elliot Stock). This is a small, delightfully 
written and accurate history of the most wonderful' 
and interesting city in the world. It is a straight- 
forward narrative, neither encumbered with comment 
nor laden with petty details. 

Elementary Treatise on Hydrodynamics and Sound, 
by A. B. Bassett, F.R.S. (Cambridge : Deighton, 
Bell cS: Co. ). The author's fame as a mathematician 
is well known, and his previous works on these 
special subjects have deservedly acquired for him the- 
rank of an authority. It is a most useful work oa 
mathematical physics, and includes much which will 
prove valuable to mathematical electricians par- 



ticularly. We do not known any other manual which 
so clearly and succinctly deals with the Theory 
of Sound, in its various departments. 

The Electric Light Popularly Explained, by A. 
JBromley Holmes (London : Bembrose & Sons). 
This cheap, little, well-written, and easily-understood 
brochure ought to be in every house in England, and 
read by every intelligent resident. (Fifth edition.) 

Our Fancy Pigeons, by George Ure (London : 
Elliot Stock). This is an interestingly-written record 
of fifty years' experiences in pigeon breeding, and the 
^author is a genial and observant naturalist besides. 
Mr. Ure's name as an authority upon the subject of 
this book is sufficient to command for it a large 

Metal Turning (London: Whittaker & Co.). 
One of a valuable series of cheap and practical 
manuals, well and abundantly illustrated, which will 
considerably help on the all-important subject of 
Technical education. It is written by " A Foreman 
Pattern-Maker," and tells and explains and illustrates 
to the reader all the particulars of the Lathe, and its 
various tools. 

Electro j\Iotors, by S. R. Bottone (London : 
Whittaker & Co.). Another of the same series. 
Mr. Bottone has been in the front of popular and 
practical teachers and writers on electro-dynamos for 
ten years past. The brightly got up little manual 
before us has been prepared by him specially for 
amateurs as well as practical men. 

l\Iagnetistn and Electricity, by J. Spencer (London : 
Percival & Co.). Another addition to the numerous 
"manuals " written for the over-manualised students 
of South Kensington, who exist and are tortured for 
the benefit of "The Department." Mr. Spencer's 
book is a good one, nevertheless ; although we always 
feel sorry for the over-written "students of South 
Kensington," wherever they may be. 

Sound, Light, and Heat, by J. Spencer (London : 
Percival & Co.). Another "iclass-book " for 
-students of South Kensington in the elementary 
stage. It is of course a good little book, and is 
written by a man who knows how to teach, and 
something of the people who have to be taught. 

The Dai-winian Theory of the Origin of Species, by 
Francis P. Pascoe (London : Gurney & Jackson). 
Mr. Pascoe is one of the best literary naturalists of 
ithe day, and anything he has to say on subjects like 
.those discussed in this pleasant little book is bound to 
ibe listened to. Mr. Pascoe dwells particularly on the 
fact (which we have been for years maintaining) that 
Darwinism and evolution are not identical. The 
former is a minor, the latter is a major term. Darwin 
discovered and propounded the Doctrine of Natural 
selection, and many of his too-ardent followers 
imagined that was sufficient to settle all biological 
•difficulties. But Darwin himself knew better, for he 
grafted the theory of Sexual Selection upon it. The 
fact is. Evolution includes not only natural selection. 

and sexual selection, but perhaps a hundred, a 
thousand, other active and operative agencies 
besides. We cordially recommend Mr. Pascoe's 
book as a valuable contribution to the literature _of 



THIS insect which we use as a dye was supposed, 
previous to about 1714, to be some kind of a 
seed, although it was said by Acosta, as early as 1530, 
to be an insect. However, its real nature is now 
placed beyond doubt. Mexico is the real home of 
the cochineal, but it is also cultivated in Teneriffe and 
several other places. The cochineal we get is about 
as large as a peppercorn, shrivelled, and of a dark, 
purplish colour, ovate, convex and transversely 
furrowed above, smooth beneath. Externally it 
appears covered with a fine white powder, but when 
the insect is examined under the microscope, this is 
resolved into fine hair. 

The males do not enjoy a very long spell of life, 
generally dying when about a month old. Their 
wings are perfectly white. The females are the only 
ones of any value, from a commercial point of view. 
When they have selected the leaf which is to serve 
them as a habitation, they fix themselves to a leaf by 
their proboscis and never leave it. There are two 
varieties of cochineal : the wild kind, called by the 
Spaniards Grana sylvestra, and the cultivated variety, 
or Grana fina, which] is greatly superior to the former 
in regard to the furnishing of colouring matter. 

The wild kind is much more downy, though uot so 
large as the cultivated insect, but by cultivation it 
becomes larger, and loses much of its woolly 

The cochineal feeds on several species of cactus, 
principally Cactus cochinellifer and Opuntia cochiw 
illifera (Nopal cactus). It does ^not, as formerly 
supposed, derive its colour from the juice of the plant 
on which it feeds, whose flowers are red, because the 
insect can be reared upon different species of Opuntia 
whose flowers are not red. 

One of them {Opuntia cochiitillifera) is cultivated 
for the purpose in Honduras and Mexico. When the 
time arrives for the insects to be collected, they are 
brushed off the trees with the tail of an animal, into 
bags, and killed by immersing in boiling water. 
They are then taken out and dried thoroughly in the 
sun, and put up in serons, or skin bags, for 

The qualities of a good insect, when dried, should 
be that they are plump and dry. If they are small 
and have a pink tinge they are least esteemed. The 
colouring matter of cochineal is carminium, and was 
first extracted by Pelletier and Caventon by digesting 



cochineal in ether, treating the residue with boiling 
alcohol, allowing it to cool, and treating the deposit 
with pure alcohol ; by then adding its own volume of 
sulphuric ether a deposit of carminium is formed. 
Carminium is iincrystallisable and of a beautiful red 
colour ; it fuses at 104°. It is soluble in water, but 

Fig. 10. — Opvntia cochmillifera. 

not in sulphuric ether or in essential or fixed oils. 
Nitric or hydrochloric acid, chlorine and iodine 
when in a concentrated solution destroy carminium, 
but when dilute only enhance the brightness of its 
colour. If alkaline solutions are added to carminium 
its colour changes to purple. It is precipitated by 
lime water. 

When heated it is decomposed, but yields no 
ammonia. Cochineal is principally used for dyeing, 

Fig. II. — Coccus cacti {m7>\c). Fig. 12.— C(7a?« £ra<:i'/ (female). 

and is employed chiefly in woollen goods ; the colour 
is fixed by a mordant of alumina and oxide of tin, and 
the colour is intensified by super-tartrate of potash. 
Mixed with white it forms rouge ; and the colours, 
carmine and lake are made from it. 

To make a single pound of cochineal it is 
estimated no fewer than seventy thousand 
insects are required. It was once considered an 
extremely precious article, fetching sometimes as 
much as 36.?. and 39^, per lb., but the price is now4J. 
Previous to 1845 there existed a duty on cochineal, 
but it is now abolished. It does not lose its properties 
as a dye by prolonged keeping, if in a dry place. 
Hellot made some experiments on dried Cochineal 
which had been kept more than one hundred years, 

and found their colour as rich as that from those jusi 

Adulteration is effected by mixing the dried up 
skins of old, used insects with the genuine article, 
also by artificially representing them in paste, but 
they can generally be easily detected. 

Another form of adulteration is sometimes 
practised, and consists in mixing what is known ki 
commerce as "East India Cochineal," and which is 
a very inferior article with the real. 


An Autobiography. 

By the Rev. H. Friend, F.L.S. 

\Continued from p. 11.] 

THAT you may see first of all how much atten- 
tion was formerly paid to my ancestors, I 
will tell you what one of the old writers on medi- 
cine has to say about me. It is true that his 
language is somewhat dry and uninteresting to many, 
but, as we all feel a special pride in hearing what 
people say about us, I may be forgiven if I am 
somewhat vain of the learned names by which my 
family has been ; distinguished. This writer, then, 
in a brief chapter on Spina alba, says it is also 
known as '■'' Akantha laike. Wood Cyanara (a name 
which has since been applied to a relative of 
the thistle family, and is specially associated with 
the artichoke), Donacitis, Venus' Sceptre (so I 
understand the name Eyysi sceptrum, which the 
names Frawcn Distel and Mary's Thistle confirm). 
White Thistle, Royal Thistle, Robber Thistle. In 
Hebrew it may be called Atad laban, that is. Spina 
alba. The German name is White Way-Thistle. 
This is what the Arabs call Bedeguar; it is also 
known as the Herb of the House or House-wort," — 
I suppose because of the remarkable qualities attri- 
buted to certain parts of the plant when employed as 
a medicine. It should be observed that in the fore- 
going account of my ancestors the maternal side is 
especially referred to, since spina and acanthus are 
both feminine. However, in later times, when people 
began to think more of the father than of the mother, 
one Galen adopted the masculine gender for this 
name, and, when using it as one word, converted it 
into Leucacanthon. Hence it is that we find this 
term in very frequent use (not without a good deal 
of confusion) among more recent authorities on 
plants. I wish to impress upon my readers at this 
point the important fact that, so far as we have 
pursued my family history, every name which my an- 
cestors received — whether Bedegar in Arabic, Acan- 
thus in Greek, Spina in Latin, or Atad in Hebrew, 
or Distel in German — had reference to the thorny or 
prickly nature of the original plant. To make this 
matter quite certain I have fortunately been able to 



come upon the portrait of one of my grandparents, 
which was published about three hundred and fifty 
years ago, or in the early half of the sixteenth 
century (a.d. 1543) in a valuable old work in Latin. 
This is a picture of a thistle, with a full and detailed 
description of its peculiarities. Among other things 
there stated, I find that my ancestors were fond of 
hilly and well-wooded regions, bore white leaves, 
which were narrower and paler than those of the 
chamreleon, with not a few hairs and prickles. The 
stem grew to a height of two cubits and more, and 
the flowers were purple. It is further added that 
the seeds of this plant (which, it must be remem- 
bered, grew amidst a head of cottony hairs or pappus 
like the seeds of other thistles), were chiefly employed 
in medicine. Here lies the secret of future mischief 
and difficulty. It was entirely due to this fact that, 
after the period we have now reached, a great deal 
of uncertainty began to be realised when the original 
Bedegar was asked for. Meanwhile, the name had 
been spreading, along with the article, far and wide, 
until alike, in France and England, as well as in 
Germany, Spain, and other lands, the famous 
medicine was to be found. I find in a list of herbs 
which was written six hundred )"ears ago (before books 
began to be printed) that our name occupies an 
honourable position. It may interest the reader if 
I reproduce this early reference. Let it be remem- 
bered that medicines were spoken of formerly, as 
they still are in the East, as hot and cold. Some 
herbs are mild, or between hot and cold ; and in 
this list of mild plant medicines, three only are 
named — Mirtiis, or Sweet Gale, Ai-noglosa, or the 
Plantain, and Bedegar. The way in which the name 
is spelt, however, has baffled some investigators, 
although it may be easily explained. The entry is 
as follows : — 

" Bedegrage.— ■S'//;;)! alba, Wit-thorn." 
Wit-thorn of course is the same as White Thorn, 
and simply translates Spina alba ; which in its turn 
is a correct equivalent of Bedegar. When this 
Arabic name became familiar to the Latin writers, 
they treated it as a Latin word, and declined it as 
the teacher says, so that sometimes it appeared as 
Bedegaris ; and so it came in time to be written 
Bedegrage by persons who wrote words according 
to their sound, without knowing their meaning or 
history. This curious mode of spelling opened the 
way for still greater confusion, which was increased 
by the custom of retaining the Arabic word "Al" 
(as in algebra, alchemy, alkanet) before names 
borrowed from that language. Thus I find our 
family name written in the fifteenth century Albe- 
deragi ! Who would have thought that Bedegar 
could be so changed? Yet if we drop the "Al" 
we shall find the remaining portion (Bederagi) is 
exactly the same as Bedegrage, with just one letter 
omitted. This slight change, however, has thrown 
many a student off his guard, and even in the work 

which contains the name Albederagi I find a little 
later on another description of the same thing under 
the accurately-written name of Bedegar. This con- 
fusion of names is, by the way, only a small portion 
of the confusion which has been introduced in 
connection with the article itself, as we shall pire- 
sently see. Let us, however, for a moment follow 
the names which we used in English and French to 
set forth the meaning of Spina alba or Bedegar to their 
final resting-place. In France the early translation 
of the name was Espine blanche, the latter word 
meaning simply "white"; but when Acantha leuca 
and Leucacanthon, Spina alba and Alba spina came 
to be confused, the French adopted the term 
Aubespine, as well as Espine blanche, and the English 
spoke of the Albespyne, or White thorn, meaning no 
longer the original White-thistle, but the Hawthorn 
or Maybush ! All this is exceedingly curious, and 
shows what difficulties the genealogist has to en- 
counter and overcome in tracing out the real history 
of a plant from modem, back to the earliest times. 

Having in the foregoing study of my family history 
shown to what changes the name Bedegar has been 
liable, and to what different ideas its translation into 
other tongues eventually gave rise, it is now 
necessary that I should tell you of the other change 
that was proceeding at the same time. It has been 
shown that the seeds with their woolly appendage 
or cottony pappus (the pappus is simply the calyx, 
adapted to form a balloon for conveying the seed to 
a distance), were the most valuable part of the plant 
for medicinal purposes, and it is easy to suppose that 
when these seeds could not be procured a substitute 
with a similar nature and appearance would be intro- 
duced, and called by the name which the genuine 
article bore. I would not say that the herbalists of 
the middle ages wilfully deceived people in this way, 
though, from what I have read and heard about the 
mandrake and other curious plants, I am sure they 
were often capable of doing very mean things ; but 
of this I am certain, that, somewhere about the 
fifteenth century, the genuine article began to give 
way to a spurious one, and Bedegar became the 
name of something totally different from the white 
thistle of early times. You may judge of the 
surprise with which, after seeing the portrait of my 
early ancestor already referred to, I one day came 
across another portrait of Bedegar which had no 
family resemblance to the former whatever. It 
happened in this way. Many ages ago, there lived 
(not at the same time however), two very famous 
men named Theophrastus and Dioscorides, who 
wrote some learned books on natural history. Some 
centuries after, when printing was first employed for 
the multiplication of books, the writings of these men 
were presented to the public in both the Greek and 
the Latin languages. Other students of nature, 
inspired by these valuable but antiquated works, 
undertook to follow up the investigations already 



commenced, and when they found out any new fact 
which either threw light upon the writings of the 
early naturalists, or added something to that meagre 
stock of information, they used their facts as com- 
ments on, or explanations of, the writings of Theo- 
phrastus and Dioscorides. In one edition of their 
works we duly find the portrait of Bedegar as a 
white thistle ; but in another this name stands also 
over a sprig of oak, bearing a woolly gall ! The 
commentator, it is true, tells us, when speaking of 
Spina alba that it is called Bedeguard (this is the way 
in which he spells it), but he is apparently quite 
unable to see how the name has been transferred 
from one medicinal article to another. Here, then, 
we have, in a book published in 1644, the name 
Bedegar applied to a gall on the oak, and at the same 
time to a plant called Spina alba. The gall is 
usurping the place of the seeds of thistle, and 
appropriating its name. An old writer speaks of 
the gall as a spongy growth or excrescence on the 
oak. Since this growth is somewhat rare, however, 
in many places on the oak, but very common on the 
rose, it soon became the custom to speak of the rose- 
gall as Bedegar ; and so thoroughly did the name 
attach itself to this article in a short time that all the 
books from the sixteenth century forward which 
treat of medicines and herbs apply the term Bedegar 
to the gall on the rose. I have only met with one 
exception to this rule. The famous old herbalist, 
Gerarde, earnestly protested, but in vain, against 
this unjustifiable innovation. In his curious old 
work, originally published towards the end of the 
sixteenth century (1595), and brought out a little 
later in a revised and emended form, he thus speaks 
on this subject: "The spongie balls which are 
found upon the branches (of the wild rose or 
Eglantine), are most aptly and properly called 
SpongioliC sylvestris Rosce^ or the little sponges of 
the wild rose. The shops mistake it by the name of 
Bedeguai- ; for Bedegiiar among the Arabians is a 
kind of thistle, which is called in Greeke Akantha 
lenke, that is to say Spina alba, or the white thistle, 
not the white-thorn, though the word does import 
so much." I certainly feel deeply indebted to this 
faithful champion of our cause for so clearly pre- 
senting our family claims and relationships ; but as 
T have said, his protest was in vain ; for, from that 
day to this, the " spongie balls " have still borne the 
name of l^edegar. As Gerarde gives a figure of the 
Eglantine bearing a gall (though he will not call it 
Bedegar), I have now been able to examine three 
portraits of my ancestors, and I cannot but feel 
amazed at the change which has taken place. From 
a thistle to a rose ; from Arabia to Great Britain ; 
from a cottony seed to a " spongie ball " ! Fact is 
indeed still stranger than fiction. 

It will perhaps be expected that I should explain 
what these spongy balls are, which, in modern 
medicine, bear my ancient name. I turn to the 

various works on medical botany which it has been 
necessary for me to procure in order to write this 
family history, and I find that all the most reliable 
authorities tell the same story — the galls are pro- 
duced by insects. True, one old writer says that 
Bedegar is the name given to certain excrescences 
which grow spontaneously on roses ; as though there 
were no external cause, or they were quite indepen- 
dently produced. Recent researches, however, shew 
that these growths do not come by chance, but are 
the regular outcome of certain well-known causes. 
Thus we read in one recent work that "On various 
species of the rose, perhaps most frequently on the 
sweet-briar {R. riibigiitosa, L.) or eglantine, is found a 
remarkable gall, called the sweet-briar sponge 
(Bedeguar, or Fungus rosariim). Pliny terms it in 
one place a little ball in another a sponge. It is 
produced by the puncture of several insect species ; 
viz., Cynips roscr, &c. The bedeguar is usually 
rounded, but of variable size, sometimes being an 
inch, or an inch and a half or more in diameter. 
Externally it looks shaggy, or like a ball of moss, 
being covered with moss-like, branching fibres, 
which are at first green, but afterwards become 
purple. The nucleus is composed principally of 
cellular tissue with woody fibre ; and where the 
fibres are attached bundles of spiral vessels are 
observed. Internally, there are numerous cells, in 
each of which is the larva of an insect (usually called 
a maggot) ; and if opened about August or Sep- 
tember maggots (or larva:) are generally found 
within. It is inodorous, or nearly so ; its taste is 
slightly astringent, and it colours the saliva 
brownish. Dried and powdered it was formerly 
given in doses of from ten to forty grains. More 
recently itj has been recommended as a remedy 
against toothache. Pliny says the ashes mixed with 
honey were jUsed as a liniment for baldness. In 
another place he speaks of the gall being mixed with 
bear's grease for the same purpose." I have purposely 
omitted from the foregoing, certain medical and 
scientific terms, in order that the extract might be 
more intelligible to my readers ; and must request 
them to be content with this paragraph, as a sample 
of the whole matter to be found in other medical 

I have thus briefly, but as clearly as I was able, 
traced my family history from the earliest to the 
most modern times ; and now in a few words, in 
order that the whole matter may be perfectly under- 
stood by the reader, I will give a summary of the 
result. The name Bedegar is of Semitic origin, and 
comes from a word Dakar meaning "to stab." 
From the verb we get the noun Deker "the 
stabber " (i Kings iv. 9), then by adding Ben we 
obtain Ben-deker, Bed-deker or Bidekar (2 Kings ix. 
25), meaning " the son of the stabber," or " the 
little stabber." This name was in the course of time 
applied to a spinous plant, and hence a thistle was 



known by the Arabs as Bedegar. This thistle, or 
certain portions of it, entered the ancient pharmaco- 
pseia or medicine list, then was carried to Greece, 
Italy, Germany and England where the name was 
still retained, along with its equivalent in the 
languages of those lands, as Akantha, Spina, Distel or 
Thistle. In course of time, however, the term was 
appropriated (about the fifteenth or sixteenth century) 
to another article, viz, an insect gall, and thus in the 
end the spongy balls on the wild rose came to be 
regularly known under the Arabic name of Bedegar, 
or the little stabber. 
Idle, Bradford. 


By E. Brunetti. 


T T will be my endeavour in the following papers to 
-*■ give an outline of the British Diptera. 

Twenty years ago, but little was known respecting 
this order, but the labours of Messrs. Verrall, Meade, 
Dale (and, in a lesser degree, other entomologists), 
have resulted in rich collections of these insects, 
and with the material at present available, we may 
venture to speak with some approach to accuracy of 
the species of Diptera indigenous to the British 

Mr. Verrall's recently-published list {1888) forms a 
splendid foundation for our researches, and the 
student, I trust, will find the following remarks of 
assistance to him during his preliminary investiga- 
tions and first collecting excursions. 

On the Continent the Diptera are tolerably well 
known and the fact of our knowledge of the British 
species being so unsatisfactory should be a greater 
incentive to the true entomologist, as the order offers 
far more opportunities of rendering real service to 
science than do either the Lepidoptera or Coleoptera. 
It is true that students have few incentives to take 
up the study of the Diptera, as the disadvantages are 
so numerous ; collections being few and far between, 
and usually the property of private individuals. The 
national collection of these insects is in a highly 
unsatisfactory state, for the very simple reason that 
no one has been employed to bring it anywhere near 
up to date ; to correct the numerous and most 
palpable blunders in nomenclature ; to fill up any of 
the large gaps made by the absence of whole genera, 
as well as numbers of the most common species ; or 
to replace by fresh specimens the old damaged and 
dirty ones that do duty as the National British 

Although collections available for reference, and 
books are so scarce, there are now fortunately 
several workers at this group who are fairly well 
acquainted with the order, and who, as a rule, are 

very ready, leisure permitting, to assist beginners by 
naming their captures ; I myself being most happy to 
help collectors in this manner, provided the speci- 
mens sent for identification be in good condition. 

Diptera, to put it shortly, may be captured in 
every part of the country in tolerable abundance, in 
almost every conceivable nature of habitat, dis- 
appearing only during the very coldest weeks, and 
even in mid-winter certain species (generally 
Nematocera) may be obtained by those who know 
where to look for them. 

The ordinary gauze butterfly net is most useful for 
capturing them, and the sweeping net for those 
inhabiting the borders of streams, dry ditches, long 
grass, banks and other similar habitats. 

As most flies rise, when alarmed, with great 
rapidity, a short quick stroke is necessary to capture 
them, a second opportunity rarely being afforded. 
It has been computed that certain species rise with a 
velocity of twelve feet a second. 

As many groups and certain genera have a special 
manner of their own of taking flight, and of behaving 
when on the wing, it is of invaluable assistance when 
the collector is able to recognise at sight the family 
to which the intended capture belongs. 

In sweeping, much discretion and experience is 
necessary, as the net rapidly fills with twigs, leaves, 
larvae, beetles and spiders, these latter being the 
bugbear of the collector whilst sweeping, as they 
spin up the contents of the net (which I transfer 
bodily into large chip boxes, to be sorted out at 
home) into a tangled, unrecognisable mass, besides 
devouring a large proportion of the Diptera captured. 
Larger species have to be captured singly and 
transferred to glass-top boxes, into each of which the 
collector with a little manipulation and experience 
should be able to place a dozen ; care being taken 
to keep the carnivorous species separate (as Empis, 
Leptis, &c.) or one finds on reaching home, perhaps, 
every specimen more or less eaten. 

Species in which the legs are exceptionally brittle 
and break off easily, should be given separate boxes, 
if possible i^AnthoJuyidic, lipuUdic, Dolichopidce, <S:c.), 
or at most only two or three specimens placed in 
each box. 

Whenever the opportunity occurs, take a long 
series of a species, as by this means varieties may be 
obtained and the limits of specific variation fixed. 

If a note-book of captures is kept, it will be found 
of invaluable assistance during subsequent seasons, 
and this plan should be adopted by all who desire 
doing anything of value towards completing our 
knowledge of the order. 


Diptera should invariably be brought home alive, 
and killed by the fumes of burning sulphur. I am 



opposed to any method that wets them, as it mats the 
pubescence and frequently prevents indentification. 

For mounting, I recommend the long Carlsbad 
pins, of which Nos. o to 4 are the most useful ; the 
very minute species being pinned with the " minutien 
Nadeln," German pins, which are then stuck at one 
end of a small oblong piece of white pith, a Carlsbad 
No. 4 pin being put through the other end, and the 
pith pushed half way up the long pin. (See 

The larger specimens should be placed above the 
middle of the pin, which should pierce the centre of 
the thorax. 

I adopt the long pins for the following reasons : 

I. The specimens are exchangeable with conti- 

Fig. 13.— Methods of mounting Diptera. 

nental correspondents, all of whom adopt this method 
of pinning. 

2. They are easier to handle and therefore less 
liable to accident. 

3. They allow a higher magnifying power to be 
brought to bear on them when in the cabinet by 
being nearer the glass. 

A second important point to be observed in 
mounting is not to set the flies. They are as useful 
for scientific purposes unset as set, they are easier to 
handle, less liable to accidents, exchangeable abroad, 
and by not setting them a vast amount of time is 

I am aware that, on this point my opinion is 
directly opposite to that of our leading dipterologist, 
but still see no reason to change it, as it is only in 
exceptional instances that unset specimens cannot be 
identified, provided the directions given below are 

So long as the wings are extended vertically (and 
not allowed to cling together) and the. legs kept from 
folding up close under the thorax, there is no difficulty 
in naming them, which is the chief objection raised 
by those who insist on the necessity of setting. 

Their second plea — lack of uniformity in unset 
specimens — appears unsupportable, as a collection of 
Diptera pinned in the continental style seems to me 
as' uniform and elegant as one in which the legs 
and wings are extended after the fashion of setting 
Lepidoptera. Moreover much cabinet space is saved 
by not setting them. 

Every specimen should be dated and localised 
with a ticket attached to the pin below the insect. 

Specimens may be relaxed by placing them in 

laurel, and for preservation against mites when in 
the cabinet, naphthaline is' most frequently used by 
continental authorities, it being almost unnecessary to 
add that the cabinet should be kept in a warm dry 


Hardly any author's classification can be con- 
sidered a standard one, the order having undergone 
such important revision during the last twenty years. 

Several of the older authors, owing to their in- 
complete knowledge of the order, added altogether 
to our lists some hundreds of species that have no 
right to a place there. 

Moses Harris was the first to write on the British 
diptera, and relied chiefly on the neuration as a basis 
of classification. 

Curtis' work (1823-40) gives 112 really excellent 
coloured plates, and notices many species that he 
does not illustrate ; his generic descriptions also 
being complete, and, in the main, trustworthy ; but 
no attempt is made at analytical tables of genera or 
species, and many of the introduced species are now 

In Walker's work (1851-56), about 2CXX) species 
are described, though scores (I might almost say 
hundreds) of these descriptions are worthless. His 
work, however, is a most useful one to have, as a 
good general knowledge of the order can undoubtedly 
be obtained from it. 

His analytical tables are not always g«od. He 
divides the order into three great groups, as fol- 
lows : — 

Antennae lying flat in cavities in the head : Suctoridea 

Antennae seated on the front of the head. 

Legs at juncture with thorax close together : Pra- 

Legs at juncture with thorax wide apart : Eproboscidea. 

His table of families is unsatisfactory, inasmuch as 
two families (Empidtt and Muscidce) are split up and 
fall in both his subdivisions q{ Brachycera. 

He divides the Proboscidea as follows : — 

Antennae with distinct joints, at least six, usually more 

than 10 : Neinocera. 
Antennae, three to ten jointed, after the third closely 

Posterior veins branched or interlacing : Brachycera. 
Posterior veins simple, detached, faint : Hyfocera 

He gives nine families of Nemocera, seventeen of 
Brachycera y and two oi Eproboscidea. 

Books on this order are few and costly, the follow- 
ing being the principal ones relating to British 
Diptera :— Moses Harris, "Exposition of British 
Insects," 1776-1782. Curtis, " British Entomology,"' 
1823-1840. F. Walker, " Insecta Britannica : Dip- 
tera," 1S51-1856. Rev. F. O. Morris, "Catalogue 
of British Diptera," 1865. G. H. Verrall, "List of 
British Diptera," 1SS8. 

No student should be without Mr. Verrall's list. 



The most reliable recent papers are as follows : — 
" Bnthh Sanophaga," Meade, " Ent. Month. Mag." 
1876. "Annotated List of British Anthomyidu,'''' 

Tabanid<£" (with tables and notes), Brunetti, 
Science-Gossip, 1887. " List of British ZJ/^^^ra," 
Verrall, Pratt & Co., 1888. "List of British 

Fig 14. 

Fig- IS- 

Fig. 16. 


Fig. 17. 

Fig. iS. 

Fig. 19. 

'Ig. iO. 

Fig. 21. 

Fig. 22. 


Fig. 23. 

Fig. 24. 

Fig. 25. 

Fig. 26. 

Diagram showing classificatory structure of Wings of Diptera : — Fig. 14, Cecidamyia; Fig. 15, Hortnomyia • Fig. 16, Sciaria ; 
Fig. 17, Mycetophila ; Fig. 18, Scatopse ; Fig. 19, Bibio ; Fig. 20, Diplosis ; Fig. 21, Simulium; Fig. 22, Glaphyroptera ; 
Fig. 23, Chinotiomus ; Fig. 24, Psychoda; Fig. 25, Pericoma ; Fig. 26, Rhyphus. Note.— All these wings are, of course, 
magnified, as shown by comparative measurements thus i-hH . 

Meade, "Ent. Month. Mag." 1881. "List of 
British TipuUda: " (with tables and notes), Verrall, 
"Ent. Month Mag." 1886. "List of British 

Stratiomyidtt" (with tables and notes), Brunetti, 
" Entomologist," 1889, 
The best works on European Diptera are the 



following: — Mergen's " Systematische Beschrei- 
^""g»" 5 vols. 1818-1838, Germany. Macquart, 
"Diptcres," 2 vols. 1S34-1835, France. Zetterstedt, 
"Diptera Scandinavia," 14 vols. 1842-1860, Scan- 
dinavia. Rondani, " Diptera Italicce," 7 vols. 1856- 
1871, Italy. Schiner, "Fauna Austriaca," 2 vols. 
1862-1864, Austria. Desvoidy, "Dipteres des 
Environs de Paris," 2 vols. 1863, France. 

The only catalogue of European Diptera is that by 
Schiner, published in 1864, giving about 670 genera, 
and 8600 species as European. 

Schiner and Loew are, perhaps, the best recent 
Continental writers, and as no linear arrangement of 
families (entirely consistent with the structural 
characteristics of the various families) is possible, I 
shall adopt the sequence of Mr. Verrall in his lately 
published list as being the best and most recent 
authority on British Diptera. 

Schiner (1862) gave a large quantity of introductory 
matter relating to the structure of the Diptera, but 
in his table of Brachycera families he, as Walker did, 
makes some families {Etnpidcc, Dolichopida:^ and 
Conopida:) fall in both his primary divisions — which 
appears to me very undesirable ; though I must add 
that I cannot myself suggest any table of families 
which shall be flawless in this respect. 

In 1864 Schiner proposed dividing the Diptera 
into two great divisions — OrtJiorkap/ia, in which the 
pupa is sometimes coarctate, but in all cases the 
larva skin is slit longitudinally in the dorsal portion 
to give exit to the pupa or perfect insect ; and 
Cyclorhapha, in which the pupa is always coarctate, 
the perfect insect escaping by throwing off a sort of 
lid at one end of the dried larva skin which forms the 

In the same year Lioy submitted another classifi- 

Schiner, in 1864, estimated the described species 
of Diptera at about 19,449, distributed as follows : — 
Europe, 8670 ; Asia, 2046 ; Africa, 1644 ; 
America, 5517; Australia, 1056; of unknown 
locality, 516. 

In 1868, the " Zoological Record" considered over 
20,800 species had been described. 

Brauer's classification, in 1869, was on larval cha- 
racters : — 


Nematocera, three groups (twelve families). 
Brachycera, three groups (fourteen families). 

Cyclorhapha: — 
T Proboscidea : 

Group I, SyrphidcE. 

Group 2, MiiscidtE (including ConopiiUc, Plp7inciiUdce, 
and Platypezidce as divisions of Miiscida). 

Eproboscidea : 

Hippoboscidce and Nycteribiidw. 

In 1878, Osten Sacken produced another new 
arrangement of groups and families : — 

I. Oithorhapha. — He does not subdivide these 
further than into families (most of these are the 

families of Brachycera and Nematocera, given in this 

2. Cyclorhapha. — Syrphidcc, Conopida:, PlatypczidtVy 
Piptmcidida:, Oestridic, JlliiscidiC (he raises all mj' six 
sub-families of Miiscida:, and all the groups of 
Acalypterata, to the rank of families), Phoridcc. 

3. Pupipara. — ITippoboscidic, Aycterilnidic. 

I have not adopted either Schiner's or Brauer's 
latest systems ; as, in a paper intended specially for 
beginners (as this is), it appears to me the tables 
should be based on characters of the perfect insect, 
not on those of the larva or pupa, with which the 
student probably would not be familiar. At the 
same time, I fully recognise that the structure of the 
pupa case is of the highest importance in classifying 
the Diptera. 


In the Diptera the mouth is suctorial, the proboscis 
usually being rather long ; there are two maxillary 
palpi ; the thorax is compact, the pro-thorax and 
meta-thorax being very short, and the meso-thorax 

Fig. 27. — AA, costal vein, i, first longitudinal vein (often 
double) ; 2, second ditto ; 3, third ditto ; 4, fourth ditto ; 
5, fifth ditto ; 6, sixth ditto, or anal vein ; 7, axillary vein ; 
w, internal transverse vein ; I,, external ditto ; aa, costal 
cells ; b, marginal cell ; c, submarginal cell : d, first posterior 
cell ; (', second ditto ; /, third ditto ; g, discoidal cell ; 
hhh, basal cells ; x, costal spine (often absent). 

much enlarged ; forming the greater part of the 
thorax ; the scutellum is rather large ; the abdomen 
is usually formed of from five to seven segments ; the 
wings are two in number, the posterior pair being 
replaced by alulje, and a pair of filimentary appen- 
dages, clubbed at the tip, known as halteres ; the 
legs vary greatly in size and length, the tarsi being 

The Pidicidit: (fleas) do not appear to me to be true 
Diptera ; so, although Mr. Verrall includes them in 
his list, I have eUminated them, as does Schiner irv 
his "Fauna Austriaca." I may observe, however, 
that three genera and thirteen species are British. 

The wing of one of the Anthomyidcc is given, with 
the terminology adopted by Dr. Meade and other 
British authorities (after Loew). It is exceedingly 
unfortunate that there exists such a diversity of 
opinion in the matter of terminology. 

It is manifestly quite impossible, in the limited 
space at my disposal, to give more than a bare outline 
of the characteristics of each family, and a brief de- 



scription of a few of the commonest species. Analy- 
tical tables of all the genera are out of the question : 
but I shall insert as many as possible, and these, 
with the plates of wings, will be found quite sufficient 
to enable the student, after a little study, to recognise 
all the families, and the greater number of the prin- 
cipal genera. In the small crosses, representing the 
natural size of wings given in the plates, allowance 
must be made for slight variation in the size in the 
■tlifferent species. 

The tables are intended to apply to the British 
genera only, and are compiled with a view to render 
the determination of sub-families and genera as easy 
as possible ; and they may not always be the best 
from a strictly scientific point of view. The descrip- 
tions are purposely abbreviated as much as possible 
to save space. 

(To ie continued. ) 

By Gregory O. Benoni. 

\_Contin-uedfrotii p. i8.] 

AX amusing sight it is to the naturalist to see the 
bright-eyed speckled breast at his work, his 
legs straddling wide apart with exertion, and his 
whole being bent on the business in hand. He runs 
his beak into the soft body of the snail, and begins to 
hammer, rap-a-tap-tap, till it escapes from his hold. 
Then he hops round a while in reflection, wags his 
tail, and takes his rest with his head cocked to one 
side, and his gaze fixed on the dainty morsel enclosed 
in the protecting shell. When he has quite recovered 
his breath be "goes for it " again, this time with his 
"nib" thrust through a crack in the shell, which 
soon flies to fragments under repeated blows, and 
discloses the coveted treasure. 

But this is not ducking, though we are almost 
within sight of the decoy, and the master-ducker is 
hastening down the path to meet us, with a " God 
bless you, squire, I'm right glad to see you and your 
friends ; " an assertion fully in harmony with the 
beaming expression of his weather-beaten counte- 
nance, and the eagerness of his movements. To our 
inquiries whether we might see the ducks taken, and 
what kind of day might be expected, he answered 
with a wink of extreme satisfaction, as he swung his 
left arm towards the pond ; " First rate, squire, first 
rate ducking-day, five thousan' i' th' 'coy if there's a 
score, I'll awarran'." 

After a few more words relative to the splendid 
weather we were having for what he maintained to 
be the finest of sports — certainly it does require 
great caution and intentness — our entertainer con- 
ducted us through a young plantation of birch and 
ash, bidding us speak in undertones lest the ducks 
should hear us, and finally commanded us to observe 
perfect silence. He then vanished into a shed, and 
returned with a basket of hemp-seed, and some 

morsels of bread for the decoy-dog who now appeared 
following its master. It was a dog of the ordinary 
north of England shepherd type, half coUey and half 
bob-tail, but worth a "fo'tin" to its owner notwith- 
standing its unassuming exterior. 

Accompanied by this new addition to our party, 
we soon found ourselves close to the decoy, a circular 
sheet of water, four acres in extent, which had been 
made by deeping the natural hollow between two 
"hoes" or sand-hills, heaping up the soil thus 
gained round the edge of the pool, and supplying it 
with water from a drain connected with the Trent, 
A pipe, or gradually narrowing canal a hundred 
yards long runs out from the pond towards each of 
the cardinal points, curving to the right as it recedes, 
so that the birds on the main-water, or at the 
entrance of the pipe itself, cannot see more than 
half-way along its channel. Over the entire length 
of each pipe is a semi-circular iron frame supporting 
a net with a mesh of two inches, high in proportion 
where the ditch is wide, and contracting by degrees 
till it ends in a tunnel-net kept open by iron rings, 
and removable at pleasure. On the left side of each 
pipe runs a high fence, formed of a series of reed 
screens, so placed that the head of one is somewhat 
behind the end of the next, and only connected with 
it by a low stile or dog-leap, over which the observer 
can look straight up the pipe. 

Wild fowl are so continually on the alert, and have 
such exquisite senses of sight and smell, that they 
can only be approached under cover from the lee- 
ward ; woe betide the sportsman in the open fens, 
who believes himself to be getting within range of his 
game after hours of wary stalking, if the wind veer 
but a few points and blow from him to his would-be 
quarry — in the twinkling of an eye the birds take 
wing, and he is left to console himself with the 
thoughts of what might have been, if his fortune had 
proved equal to his endeavours. 

The pipes of the decoymen are purposely so 
arranged that two can always be used at a time when 
the wind will blow steadily from one quarter. But 
the breeze must be constantly watched for fear that a 
sudden change should inform the ducks of their 
danger, and cause a sudden " rising," when mallard, 
teal, shoveller and pintail will disappear, leaving the 
common enemy to duckless and luckless lamentation. 

While we were still some two hundred yards away 
our ears had become aware of unusual sounds, but 
no\y we were within a few feet of the water, the cry, 
quack, whistle, and cough of strange and unknown 
birds became most exciting. Initiated by the sign 
language of the decoymen, we placed ourselves at 
squints, or peeping-holes, formed by thrusting short 
sticks through the reed fence, but not before our 
long-limbed cockney friend, whose curiosity got the 
better of his discretion necessary on such an occasion, 
made our worthy instructor forget himself and his 
betters, by an attempt to look over the screen into 



the pond. When we were fairly settled in our places 
we beheld a sight never to be forgotten. There on 
the water close before us were thousands of lovely 
birds in their most perfect winter plumage, splashing, 
diving, musing, sleeping, or unconcernedly pruning 
their feathers, as if they were on some island of the 
Arctic Sea untrodden by the foot of man. Teal, 
pochard, widgeon, shoveller, gadwell, mallard, and 
I know not what — for time failed to observe the 
minute details of the wonderful scene — were sporting 
before us, the very embodiment of grace, or sunning 
themselves on the water's edge. One pair of 
mallards were performing the ingenious and pretty 
feat of swimming round one another, and making a 
circuit of the pond at the same time, — as astronomers 
tell us that some twin stars move through space. 
The air reverberated with constant cries, which 
apparently had their source in the jealousy of an 
unusual number of drakes ; and the sound of many 
wings broke ceaselessly on the ear. 

We had gazed for some time in wonder and admira- 
tion, when the old " ducker " joined us, delighted to 
observe what pleasure his unusual show was giving. 
For although we had often watched the fowl before, 
it had never been our lot to see such numbers of 
common wild-duck, or so many rare birds on the 
pool together. 

" Now did ye ever see sich a sight o' ducks ony- 
wheare in your life ? Why, I tell ye, ye wouldn't 
see it in England, nor in the world, I'm thinkin'," he 
whispered, as he mopped the perspiration from his 
forehead with heavy dabs from a heavy silk pocket- 

" Well, it is a splendid sight, and such a one as we 
have never seen before," we replied, in the same 
scarcely audible speech he himself used. 

" A splendid sight," drawing back, and holding 
out his hand, as if our qualifying adjective had not 
been strong enough ; then, nearing again, so as to 
allow his ghost -like voice to reach us, " I've had 
gentlemen in days gone by who would have come 
three hunded miles to see such a vast o' em in at once. 
My governor" — his old employer — ** would ha' had 
all his fine friends here, if he'd been alive, he would." 

The work of capture now began. The boy donned 
a bright red flannel vest, and stationed himself 
behind the first "shooting" or screen, lying flat on 
the ground, and hidden from any ducks which might 
enter the pipe by the low connecting stile. His 
grandfather then threw a piece of bread over it on to 
the strip of land between the " shooting " and the 
water's edge, and the dog immediately bounded after 
it and returned by the second stile, though not before 
the ever-observant ducks, on the near side of the 
pond, had noticed his presence. 

The whole decoy was on the alert for danger at 
once. The birds on the shore took refuge in the 
water, those which were swimming stopped for a time, 
and all eyes watched for the unknown apparition 

to present itself again. The dog leaped several times 
over the first stile, returning by the second, then 
over the second and back by the third, and so on, 
retreating gradually, every fowl regarding the perform- 
ance with fear, wonder, and curiosity combined. Yet 
as he made no attempt to injure them, but moved slowly 
away up the pipe, they presently fell back on their 
ordinary sense of security, and began to sleep, dive, 
and coquet again. The fatal desire to increase their 
stock of available knowledge — the bane of other than 
feathered victims — evidently over-mastered the 
prudence of a score or two of birds. They began to 
follow the mysterious object in its retreat, hesitating 
some time at the mouth of the pipe, swimming this 
way and that, straining their necks, and turning their 
bright eyes hither and thither, in a vain effort to 
learn the meaning of the overhanging net, or tO' 
watch the dog passing out of view round the bend in 
the pipe. The bolder ones entered when the dog 
disappeared, followed by their more cautious com- 
panions, though some few retired discreetly at the 
last moment. Under the net they sailed, unconscious 
of the meaning of the treacherous meshes above them, 
till, at a given signal from the decoy-man, the red- 
vested lad leapt to his feet and showed himself over 
the stile in their rear. 

The effect was magical. The shy explorers took 
wing together without a cry or warning to those left 
behind, and not daring to face the foe, fly forwards, 
catching sight of each of us in turn as they pass the 
stile of the screen through which we are watching. 
Dashing through the water in mad fear, or beating 
their wings against the imprisoning net, only to be 
thrown back to their native element again, they 
reached the end of the pipe and entered the circular 
net prepared for them, which the decoy-man re- 
moved as soon as the last of the " take " had passed 
into its jaws. 

Now came the poor sport of the show — the killing- 
This was performed by the expert placing his fingers 
over the beak, the thumb over the first joint of the 
neck, and then giving the head a backward jerk to 
the right side of the neck, which caused the immediate 
dislocation. Painless enough as deaths go, but an in- 
glorious ending for the freedom-loving mallard and teal. 

The whole affair was a dumb-show of a few 
minutes' duration. Not a single word was uttered 
aloud till the decoy -man had killed and counted 
twenty-eight birds. Then, wiping his brow with the 
sleeve of his coat, he said, with a grin of satisfaction, 
' ' Fust-rate sport. Squire ; your friends never saw owt 
like this before, nor never will again." 

This mode of taking wild-fowl is called "working 
them " by professional duckers ; but it is more 
commonly known on paper as the "dog-decoy." It 
is often productive of a fair take, especially of birds 
fresh from the north, but it is far surpassed by the 
" duck-decoy " now to be described. 
{To be continued.) 




OUR lady friends and readers perhaps know more 
about the aesthetic merits of amber than we 
do. They (and those of their gentlemen friends who 
like their amber clouded in the mouthpieces of their 
expensive meerschaums) may not, however, be so 
familiar with its geological and mineralogical origin 
as other people. Seaside visitors to the eastern 
coasts frequently find it worth their while to come 
from great distances and pay very expensive prices 
for lodgings in the summer time in order to stroll 
upon the beach, if haply they may pick up three half- 
penny worth of amber between dinner and tea. 
Amber has very nearly the specific gravity of sea- 
water, and, if it does not float, is easily drifted along 
from the Baltic to our eastern coast, but many 
splendid specimens are picked up along the seaward 
margin of the Eastern counties. A magnificent 
collection of specimens of amber, which floated 
hitherwards from its parent bed, is now in the 
possession of Mr. W, D. Sims, of Ipswich. 

Many people may neither know nor care to know 
that amber is a fossil gum which exuded from pines 
and other trees two millions of years ago. They 
may not be acquainted with the fact that the great 
storehouse of genuine amber, not the artificial muck 
the youngest smoker admires and proudly displays, 
comes from the bed of the Baltic Sea, and frequently 
contains the remains of various kinds of insects, 
which lived here during the middle period, as well as 
leaves, petals of flowers, and other floral organs, just as 
another Tertiary formation shows. This is neverthe- 
less correct ; and a bit of genuine amber in the lump 
is a most interesting geological specimen — fVequently 
a perfect nest of fossilised flies which were attracted 
to the amber when it was a sweet and liquidly- 
flowing gum, and then and there got entangled in it 
as summer-flies in treacle, so as to suggest the poet's 
conundrum that — 

The thing itself is neither rich nor rare. 
The wonder's how the devil they got there. 

In the last number but one of the "Annals and 
Magazines of Natural History " there is a paper by 
Herr Richard Klebs, of Konigsberg, on "The Fauna 
of Amber." The metropolis of the genuine Baltic 
trade is at Konigsberg, so there is ample opportunity 
for the professor to study an abundance of specimens. 
He has been engaged twelve years on this special 
subject, during which, he tells us, several hundred 
thousand species of amber passed through his hands, 
and of these he has arranged and catalogued about 
25,000 selected specimens. In addition to the 
Konigsberg collection, Mr. Klebs selected, arranged, 
and catalogued another belonging to the Prussian 
Government, containing 12,000 specimens of amber. 
Only those familiar with the slow and tedious 
(although delightful) process of classificatory 

arrangement know what trouble and pains all this 

Mr. Klebs (to sum up a long and necessarily 
technically abtruse paper — all the more scientifically 
valuable on that account) is able largely to contribute 
to our entomological knowledge the evolution of 
many modern groups of insects. In amber, for 
instance, are found kinds which are intermediate 
between gnats and the brachypterous, or short-winged- 
flies. Perhaps we know more of the early history of 
those highly-celebrated insects, the ants, from their 
fossilised appearance in amber than from any other 
contributing geological source. Among the fossil' 
insects imprisoned in amber, we learn that the two- 
winged flies, of which our too-attentive house-fly is a 
familiar example (Diptera), is most numerous!)- 
represented. It always has been, even before the 
days of "fly-papers." Mr. Klebs has made the 
acquaintance of 20,000 of them in amber alone. 
What a geological immortality ! It is pleasant to- 
find that fossil-lice are not numerous in amber — 
they reser\-ed their numerical abundance to a later 
stage of the Tertiary period. Gnats and mosquitoes 
also " lay low " during the Miocene epoch. Those 
filmy-winged, flower-evolving insects (Hymenoptera)" 
are very frequently found in amber. What a life- 
history is theirs ! If only some accurate and true 
scientific entomologist arise — a prophet who had 
knowledge enough to gaze from the top of Pisgah, 
not only from the presentment of the Promised Land, 
but on the " backward track " (Phylogeny) of the forty 
years' wanderings in the wilderness ! Professor Klebs' 
paper is practically all this and more. Among his studies 
of fossilised amber are 4000 enclosed beetles, 5000 
members of the Neuroptera (or white ant and dragon- 
fly family), 2500 specimens of Orthoptera (cock- 
roaches, crickets, locusts, earwigs), and lastly 
Mantido (or leaf-insects). The reader would hardly 
imagine that the amber specimens include more than 
one thousand sorts of butterflies and moths. Then 
come fossil amber bugs, plant-lice, or aphides (wh:> 
would imagine the latter were living millions of years 
before men and women ?). Centipedes, "saw-flies," 
spiders (2500 specimens) are found in amber ; they 
came after the flies, just as the flies were after the 
sweet gum, and shared the same glorious fate ana 
immortality. A few land-snails are also found, 
thanks to their sluggish habits. There is sometime- 
the feather of a bird, the scales of a lizard, and other 
odds and ends. But what a recording angel a lump 
of amber may be, and what a host of important 
suggestions hang to and cluster by the above matter- 
of-fact discoveries ! 

J. E. Taylor. 

Mr. C. H. H. Walker, 12 Church Street, Liver- 
pool, has constructed a new slide cabinet, made 
more especially for biological and medical students, 
and issued, post free, at 4^. 6(/. 




Recently a baby seal was bom in the Blackpool 
Aquarium. It is said to be the first seal born in this 
■country in captivity. Unfortunately it was still- 
born ; had it lived, the value of the event would have 
been still greater to the company. But, as it is, the 
•occurrence is one well worthy of note on account of 
its " uniqueness." 

It is with much sadness we have to record the 
death of an eminent scientist and occasional con- 
tributor, Dr. James Croll, author of " Climate and 
Time," "Stellar Evolution," &c. Dr. Croll rose 
.from being janitor at Glasgow University to being an 
Jlon. LL.D. of the same. 

Anybody desiring to know the history and 
■botanical associations of that popular flower the 
carnation, should read Mr. F. N. William's paper in 
•'•The Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society" 
.(Part 3, vol. xii.), entitled "The Carnation from a 
Botanical Point of View." 

A USEFUL contribution to the wants of book- 
seekers and collectors is the last published catalogue 
of Messrs. Doulan & Co., relating to " Zoological 
• and Palaeontogical Works " offered for sale by this 
well-known firm. A new periodical has recently been 
issued, entitled "The Entomologist's Record and 
Journal of Variation." 

" The International Journal " is now the proud 
name given to the alliance of the ancient journals en- 
titled " Wesley Naturalists' Societies," and "Postal 
Microsopical Society." Both did good and honour- 
able work ; but the Philistines are usually opposed 
to Samson ! Now we cordially recommend to our 
.readers the first part of a New Series : " The Inter- 
national Journal of Microscopy and Natural Science ; 
The Postal Microscopical and Wesley Naturalists' 
Societies' Journals," price 6(/., edited by Alfred Allen, 
and the Rev. W. Spiers (London : Bailliere, Tindall 
& Co.). 

We are glad to draw the attention of our readers 
ito the recently published Catalogue of Messrs. Dulau 
.& Co., 37, Soho Square, London, devoted to general 
Zoology and Palaeontology. 

The Literary and Philosophical Club, 28 Berkeley 
Square, Bristol, was formally opened on January ist. 
Nearly five hundred members have already joined, 
and it is to be hoped that the club will become a 
literary and scientific centre for Bristol and its neigh- 
bourhood. Public lectures will be given at intervals 
under the auspices of the club. The first President 
is Mr. Lewis Fry, M.P., and Mr. Henry A. Francis 
holds the office of Honorary Secretary. 

Messrs. Swan Sonnenschein & Co. have just 
ipublished a cheap and excellent and highly useful 

pamphlet, written by Mr. T. D. A. Cockerell, en- 
titled, "The British Naturalist Catalogue of the 
Land and Freshwater Mollusca of the British Isles, 
with all the Named Varieties." 

Messrs. Wesley & Son's last Natural History 
Circular is devoted chiefly to works and papers on 
Mollusca and Molluscoidea. 

Mr. R. G. Mason has just brought out a cheap 
and useful, as well as highly ingenious combination 
of a lantern with a microscope. The combination 
enables the lecturer to exhibit microscopic objects to 
an audience. The combination can be easily dis- 
severed, and the microscope used as such in the 
ordinary fashion. 

At the beginning of February perhaps the most 
important sale of high-class natural history books 
which has occurred for many years, is announced to 
take place at Messrs. Hodgson's Literary Sale Rooms, 
which many of our readers would like to be informed 
about. Catalogues can be obtained of Mr. W. P. 
Collins, 157 Great Portland Street, London. The 
collection is stated to be rich in sets of scientific 
journals, such as Journals and Transactions of the 
Linnsean and Microscopical Societies, " Annals and 
Magazine of Natural History," "Archiv. fur Mikro- 
skopische Anatomic," "American Naturalist," and 
many other valuable English and foreign serials. 
The collection of separate monographs is particularly 
rich in microscopy, entomology, invertebrate zoology 
generally, and botany. There is also a large collec- 
tion of pamphlets covering every branch of natural 
science, classified and arranged according to subjects. 
The Polyzoa, Protozoa, Arachnida, &c., are said to 
be very complete. 


The Vertical Ca^mera. — I infer from Mr. 
Simmons' description of his instrument (SciENCE- 
GossiP, Jan. 1891), that it; is the Zeiss camera lucida 
which he refers to, and as I have used this apparatus 
successfully for some time, perhaps I can give him 
some little assistance. In the ordinary camera 
lucidas the object to be drawn is projected upon the 
paper which lies behind the microscope, the instru- 
ment being placed in a horizontal position. In the 
Zeiss camera, however, the image of the paper is 
thrown upon the_ stage of the microscope, and the 
object appears to be lying upon the paper, so that 
tlie drawing can be made with ease as the pencil 
appears to be upon the actual object instead of 
following a projected image of it. The neutral tint 
reflectors, Wollaston and other forms of cameras, re- 
quire the microscope in a horizontal position, and the 
eye looks straight downwards upon the drawing-paper; 
the worst position for head and eye, and the most 
uncomfortable that can be assumed. But with the 


Zeiss instrument the microscope may be at any chosen 
angle, and this is where its greatest advantage hes. 
In working, I use a small drawing-board, made so 
that it can be arranged at any angle. Setting the 
microscope with the tube at about 45°, I place the 
drawing-board on the right hand side, level with and 
on the same plane as the microscope stage, and the 
paper placed directly under the centre line of the 
mirror attached to the camera. The following points 
should be attended to : (i) The angle of the drawing- 
board should be exactly the same as that of the 
microscope stage, and the centre of the drawing 
should be under the centre line of the camera mirror, 
otherwise there will be distortions in the drawings, as 
Mr. Simmons found, and the picture will be out of 
proportion. (2) The drawing should be on a level 
with the microscope stage, that is, the distance 
between the camera mirror and- the drawing paper 
should be the same as between- the eye-piece of the 
stage, if the magnification is required to be the same 
in drawing as under the microscope. (3) The light on 
the object and that on the drawing-paper should, in 
neither case, be so bright or so dull that one obcures 
the other, or either the paper will be too dark and 
the pencil point lost, or in the other case, the paper 
will be so illuminated that the object will disappear 
altogether. A little practice will, however, soon 
enable the respective lights to be arrived at easily ; 
that upon the stage being modified in the usual way 
from the lamp, and that upon the paper by means of 
the neutral tint glasses supplied with the camera 
lucida. I have found that blackening the pencil 
point enables its being more easily seen against the 
white paper. — M. L. Syhes, Patricroft. 

Pocket-Lens. — Would some reader kindly tell 
me how I can ascertain the magnifying power of a 
single (pocket) lens ? When I place it upon an 
object, I want to know how many times that object 
is magnified ? — W. F. Kehey, Maldon. 

Mounting Cochineal Insects.— There is one 
thing I should like to draw attention to, and that is 
the mounting of sections (cochineal) so as to show 
the little purple granules, ' containing the colouring 
matter. I have tried nearly every kind of liquid, but 
find that in every case the colour is extracted and 
mingled with the fluid, thus ruining the specimens 
at once. The' only thing I find I can use is turpentine, 
which preserves them splendidly, but the puzzle is 
what cement can be used to contain the turpentine ? 
Perhaps some correspondents could give hints con- 
cerning this, which I think would prove useful to 
others as well as myself. — If. Durrani. 

Land and Freshwater Shells. — Will any 
Conchological readers of Science-Gossip kindly 
oblige with particulars of the distribution of the 
MoUusca in the home counties? Is there any pub- 
lished list obtainable?— C/5a;7t'j/'a««a//, Junr., East 
Street, Haslemerc. 


The "Proceedings" of the Liverpool Geological 
Society contain the following addresses and papers : — 
By the President, "On the Life of the English 
Trias"; "Notes on the Geological Excursion to 
Anglesey," by T. M. Reade ; "Glacial iVIoraines," 
by L. Gumming ; "Note on a Liverpool Boulder," 
by T. M. Reade ; " The Contorted Schists of Anglc- 
sea," by Dr. C. Ricketts ; "Microscopical Examina- 
tions of Two Glacial Boulders," by J. E. George ;. 
" On a Recent Discovery of a new Bone Cave at 
Deep Dale, near Buxton," by J. J. Fitzpatrick ; "An 
Examination of a Few Anglesea Rocks," by P. 
Holland and E. Dickson, &c. 

The ' ' Transactions of the Penzance Natural 
History Society " include the following papers, besides 
reports of excursions, &c. :— " The Presidential 
Address" of the Right Hon. L. H. Courtenay ;. 
' ' The Flora of Guernsey compared with that of West 
Cornwall," by E. D. Marquand ; "Foreign Plants- 
in West Cornwall," by W. A. Glasson ; "Plants- 
growing in Tresco Abbey Gardens," by A. H. 
Teague (this collection of living plants on a small 
island is one of the most w-onderful facts in horti- 
culture) ; Mr. Teague also contributes a paper on 
" Starch as a Vegetable Production." 

The first Part of the " South Eastern Naturalist "' 
is published as the Journal of the Associated Natural 
History Societies of the south-east of England. 
Among the chief papers in this first and well-edited 
number are the following : — " Life History of the 
Giant Hogweed," by J. Reid ; "Beds between 
Chalk and London Clay," by George Dowker ; 
"Notes on the Great Pipe Fish," by G. Dowker;. 
"Leaf Fungi of 1889 in the Neighbourhood of Dover," 
by W. T. Haydon ; "The Otolithes of Fishes," by 
Sydney Webb; "A Neolithic Find near Dover," 
by W. T. Haydon, &c, 

Black-Necked Grebe. — A fine specimen of the 
eared or black-necked grebe {P. Nigricollis) was shot 
on the Ouse, near York, October 23rd, and brought 
to me in the flesh. It has since been stuffed and set 
up by Helstrip, bird and animal preserver of this city. 
Messrs Clarke & Roebuck, in their 1881 edition of 
the "Yorkshire Naturalists' Handbook," record this 
species as having occurred in Yorkshire on eight, 
occasions. The bird is now in my possession. — 
William Hewett. 

A New British Worm.— The Rev. Hilderic 
Friend, F.L.S., has recently discovered a new and 
curious British worm, first described in 185 1 by Dr. 
Grube from a single Siberian specimen under the name 
of Lumbriais vudtispiniis. On account of its difference 



in structure it was removed by Vaillant from the 
genus Lumbricus, and made the representative of a 
new genus called Echinodrilus. The worm is only 
an inch in length when full grown, and has from 
three to six setae in each group, four of which groups 
or combs are placed on each segment save the first. 
It is abundant in the one locality where it is at 
present known to occur. The worm is being figured 
or described elsewhere. 

The Colours of Shells.— In reply to Mr. 
.Barnes, the only publications on this subject, besides 
ihose published by myself (Science-Gossip, August, 
J890, and "Naturalists' Gazette," July and August, 
1890, with a note in the " Zoologist " the year before 
last), Mr. Pace's note (Science- Gossip, September, 
1890), and Mr. Frj-er's article (Science-Gossip, 
.■November, 1890), known to me are as follows : — 
Mr. T. D. a. Cockerell, Science-Gossip, January, 
]888 (referred to by Mr. Fryer) ; Mr. J. W. Taylor, 
"Valedictory Address," "Journ. Conch.," April, 
1888 (referred to by Mr. Fryer as the supposition of 
Mr. Taylor on p. 242, ante, but really being the 
:5upposition of Mr. Ashford) ; E. Schumann, " Schr. 
Ges. Danz." (2), vi. p. 2 ; Bandelot, " Bull. Soc, 
Strasb." i. (1868), pp. 132-134; Dietz, "J. B. Ver. 
Augsb." XXV. (1879), p. 92; Hartmann, " CJastro- 
poden d. Schweiz," 1840-44, p. 17 ; Colbeau, " Bull. 
Soc. Mai. Belg." vii. p. 89; Gredler, " Nachr. 
Mai. Ges." 1878, pp. 33-37; Tryon, "Structural 
and Systematic Conchology " ; Williams, " Land and 
Freshwater Shells," p. 19; H. E. Poulton, "The 
Colours of Animals " ; Eimer, " Organic Evolution " ; 
Cockerell, " Zoologist " (3), x. p. 341 ; Simroth, 
" Nachr. Mai. Ges." xviii. pp. 65-80 ; Dodd, 
"Journ. Conch." iv. p. 304; Eimer, "Tag. 
Deut. Nat. Vers." Iviii. p. 408. In addition to 
.these there exists a note of which I have not the 
reference by me, but think it was published in the 
"Journal of Conchology." This is by Miss Hele, 
and records the darkening of H. aspersa by feeding 
on lettuce. Possibly there are other papers of which 
I have not summaries in my note-book. An inter- 
esting paper by the Rev. Mr. Pearce, on the varia- 
ftions in Helix caperata, has been lately published in 
ihe "Journal of Conchology." In addition, the 
following papers may also interest Mr. Barnes :— 
Krukenberg, "Verg. Physiol. Vortrage," iii. 1884; 
Macmunn, " Q. J. M. S." 1877 and 1885; " Proc. 
Birm. Philosoph. Soc." iii, 1881-83, and vol. v. ; 
•"Journal of Physiology," vols. vi. and viii. ; "Phil. 
Trans." 1885 and 1886; "Proc. Physiol. Soc." 
1887 ; " Brit. Ass. Reports," 1883 ; Lankester, 
"Q. J. M. S." vol. xxii. ; Poulton, "Proc. Roy. 
•Soc." 1885; Pockhngton, " Phar. Journ, Trans." 
vol. iii. ; Moseley, " Q. J. M." xvii. ; and the papers 
of Mr. Gulich, " Nature," July i8th, 1872; "Journ. 
Linn. Soc"; "Zoology," vols. xi. and xx.— y. IV. 


The Value of Attractive Characters to 
Fungi.— Mr. C. R. Straton writes to "Nature" as 
follows : — The importance of attractive colours and 
odours, and of modifications of form to flowering 
plants is now perfectly understood ; but the value of 
attractive characters to Fungi has received compara- 
tively little recognition. At first sight it would seem 
unnecessary that a plant, unsusceptible of fertilisation, 
should possess characters apparently designed to 
enlist living creatures in its service : there is no pollen 
for them to carry, and no ripe seed for them to 
distribute, and attractive characters, such as colour, 
taste, and odour, are extremely well marked. The 
colours which fungi exhibit include almost every hue 
from white to black. We have the brilliant red of 
peziza cups : the orange-scarlet of the Amanita 
mitscarius, with its cap gaily speckled with white ; 
the crimson of the Russula emetica ; the rich yellow 
of the Cantharellus cibarius ; the blue of the bruised 
Boletus luridus ; the amethyst of the Agariacs 
laccatus ; and the dark green of the bruised Ladariiis 
deliciosus, with every possible shade to the deepest 
jet. But not only have fungi colours that are 
attractive by day ; some, like the Agaricus okamts, are 
phosphorescent by night. Many tropical species 
light up the jungle in the hours of darkness ; and in 
this country the coal-mines are often found illuminated 
by one of the polypores which propagates itself on the 
timbers of the workings. The tastes and odours of 
fungi are equally varied and attractive. Many 
Agarics have an odour of fresh meal ; the Hydnuin 
repandum rejoices in the flavour of oysters ; the 
Armillaria mucidus in that of nuts ; the yellou' 
chanterelle in that of apricots ; others have the scent 
of various flowers, such as the violet and woodruff ; or 
of aromatics like anise ; while a large number have 
an indescribable damp-cellar or fungus smell, such as 
slugs delight in. Many, like the shameless stinkhorn 
{Phallus iinpudicus) emit an intolerable stench, which 
so strongly resembles " the carrion of some woodland 
thing " that blow-flies and ravens quickly find it out. 
There can be little doubt that these are attractive 
characters. What, then, can be the service which 
these characters induce animals to perform for 
fungi ? To answer this let us review briefly the 
life-history of any fungus possessing characters of 
an attractive kind. The common mushroom 
[Fsalliota campcstris) is particularly agreeable to sheep 
and oxen, and is abundant in autumn in rich pastures, 
although there is still much in our knowledge of its 
life-history that is incomplete, yet it is evidently 
composed of two main periods : first, a parasitic 
period passed in the body of an animal host ; and 
secondly, a sapropliytic period passed on some suitable 
organic soil. Let us sow the spores of a ripe mush- 
room as carefully as we may, none of them will 



grow : the first stage of the mushroom's existence 
must be passed in the body of an animal host ; and 
as horses, sheep and oxen are all readily attracted by 
its taste and mealy smell, it has never any difficulty 
in finding a host to take it in. When once the spores 
have passed from the body of the host, they produce 
a mycelium, from which the future mushroom is 
formed. The connection between fungi and animal 
droppings is a matter of verj- early obser\-ation, and 
our forefathers were wont to believe that certain evil 
species came from the body of the Wicked One, 
and familiarly called them tode's stools, or devil's 
droppings. In this division of the life-histoiy of 
fungi, I believe, we have the key to the value of 
attractive characters. Horses, oxen, sheep, foxes, 
squirrels, moles, birds, snails, and insects are all 
attracted by appropriate scents, tastes, and colours ; 
and the forms and habitats of fungi are those which 
have least succeeded in attracting their particular 
hosts. There is no living being either great or small 
enough to escape the attentions of these plants in 
their ceaseless endeavours to attract ; and among 
fungi, just as among flowering plants, every variation 
of form, scent and colour has been perpetuated and 
developed, because it has been successful in attracting 
and in thus securing the multiplication of the species. 
The subject is one, I think, that rcffuires the gathering 
together of much individual observation in all parts 
of the world ; and it would be -ivell if those who have 
the opportunity would note at the time the name of 
the fungus and its observed host, and if students of 
biology, who possess facilities for laboratory work 
would follow the matter still further by artificial 
cultures, and so determine the^ changes that take 
place in the body of the host, and the course of the 
alternating sexual and agamous generations. 

Chlorophyll in Plants.— Mr. J. Ballantyne's 
article in November's issue of SciENCE-GossiP is 
most interesting. A few years since I dug up in my 
garden a hyacinth bulb which had been buried so 
deep that it could never have come to the surface. 
Its leaves were green, and the- purple flower gave 
evidence that colour can be produced without light 
and air. I think I mentioned this at the time, and 
no notice was taken of it. — Rir.\ S, Arthur Breiian, 

Hydrocotyle Asiatica. — In a recent number 
of Science-Gossip I see amongst the Notes and 
Queries a reference to the plant Hydrocotyle Asiatica, 
I have never heard of its use as a cure for leprosy ; 
but that it possesses medicinal and tonic properties 
is evident from the fact that it is used by the Tamil 
and Singhalese natives in Ceylon as a fish-poison. 
During a residence of some years in Ceylon, I 
frequently witnessed the operation. The leaves and 
stems of the plants are pounded into a pulp and 
stirred into the pool containing the fish, the stream 
having been first diverted into a side channel. The 

fish soon show signs of uneasiness, and rise to the 
surface of the water, they are then easily captured by 
hand. Both //. Asiatica and H. Javanica are used 
for this purpose.—^. Ernest Green. 

Hydrocotyle Asiatica.— En reponse a la 
question posee par Me. Edith R. Allan dans le 
dernier No. de votre journal, p. 282, j'ai I'honneur de 
vous adresser la note suivante, qui, j'espere, repondra 
aux desirs de votre correspondante. Hydrocotyle 
Asiatica (L.) est une petite plante employee depuis- 
long-temps dans la therapeutique indienne contre la, 
fievre et surtout pour ses proprietes therapeutiques. 
En 1872 le Dr. Boileau, qui etait atteint de %re,. 
crut s'etre gueri par I'emploi de cette plante, et des 
details a ce sujet ont ete publics par Bouton: 
("Medical Plants of Mauritius"). Le Dr. Boileau 
est mort de la lepre. Des experiences ont ete faites a. 
I'Hopital des Lepreux par le Dr. Alex. Hunter qui 
ne parut pas lui avoir reconnu une grande efficacite. 
Le Dr. J. Shortt considere I'hydrocotyle comme 
pouvant donner de bons effets dans les affections 
lepreuses en raison de ses proprietes alterantes et 
toniques. La plante a ete analysee par un pharmacien 
de la Maison de Pondichery Lepine, qui y a trouve 
un principe particulier. La dose est poudre 3 grains 
par jour, teinture alcoolique \ grain.— Z?r. J. Leon 
Soubeiranz, Professetir cl r Ecole de Pharmacieny 

Crepis Taraxifolia as a Sussex Plant. — 
In your issue of November last your correspondent 
R. B. P. records the finding of the above at 
Willingdon. I may state that it also grows in 
profusion at the Buxted end of the railway cutting- 
between Uckfield and Buxted, where I gathered spe- 
cimens last June. It is quite possible that it may 
occur in other localities as it might easily be over- 
looked or mistaken for some allied species. — F., Uck- 

Euphorbia Cyparissias in Kent. — If Messrs.. 
Styan and Haydon will refer to the report of the 
Botanical Localities Record Club for 1876, they will 
there find the occurrence of this spurge in Kent duly 
notified. Specimens were distributed by me to the ■ 
members of the Botanical Exchange Club in that 
and the following year. In one of the numbers of? 
Science-Gossip for 1890, mention was made of 
the plant having been gathered near Eastbourne. It 
is frequent on the chalk slopes of Normandy, where 
I have seen it growing in open places among box 
and juniper ; also in Switzerland, in bushy places on 
calcareous soil, and by roadsides, but not in woods. 
I did not see any of it beyond Leuk. — E. de Cris- 
pigny. — P.S. — See also February number of this 
periodical for 1877. 

Autumn Colours and Tints. — The remarks on 
autumn colours by Professor Pellsbury, which 
appeared in a recent number of SciENCE-GossiP, are 



an the main correct, but do not seem to be entirely 
so. For instance, erythrophyll, the red colouring- 
matter of the cells of plants, is certainly not 
■** derived from chlorophyll by the chemical forces of 
the plant." On the other hand, xanthophyll (phyl- 
loxanthin) undoubtedly is so derived, and it is the 
only colouring pigment of leaves at all events that 
is so related to chlorophyll or directly connected 
therewith.. The statement, therefore, that "the 
chlorophyll of the green flower or fruit is changed 
into a special colouring-matter such as anthoxanthin, 
etc.," can hardly be borne out. So far as the caves 
are concerned, the state of affairs seems to be this. 
During the whole life of the leaf, or at least as soon 
as the normal amount of chlorophyll has been 
formed therein, a small quantity is perpetually being 
■changed (oxidised) to xanthophyll. This quantity is 
■so small, or rather I think its colouring power is so 
comparatively feeble, that it is, as stated in the 
extract, "more or less comparatively covered up by 
the presence of chlorophyll," i.e., by the blue-green 
■constituent thereof. When the life of the leaf is 
destroyed by frost or drought, the chlorophyll 
is rapidly changed to xanthophyll, and this latter 
•constitutes the first of the series of autumnal 
tints. It very quickly, however, gives way to the 
ochre, russet, and orange-brown, which are the 
distinctive features of the autumnal woods, until 
idtimately the dark, muddy, unpleasant shades of 
final dissolution close the scene. The chlorophyll 
and its derivative xanthophyll seem to be completely 
destroyed or bleached, and thereupon the russet or 
brown colours depending on totally different 
principles came up into a supremacy which is more 
or less vigorous and durable, according to the 
variations of the season. As Sachs has it, "the 
distinctive yellow autumn coloration of leaves 
-depends on the yellow coloration of the disorganised 
chlorophyll bodies : the autumnal brown coloration 
of the cell-walls, chiefly, however, of the cell- 
contents." I need hardly add that my personal 
researches amply corroborate these observations of 
the great German botanist. What then, it may be 
asked, is the cause of erythrophyll, the exquisite red 
colouring matter of the American maple leaf in the 
fall ? The chemical cause is the oxidation or 
hydration of the gallotannic or gallic acid, which is 
abundant in the autumn ; and the special vividness 
of the colour in this particular case is due to the 
comparative delicacy and flaccidity of the tissues 
whereby the oxidizing agencies of the air, etc., can 
operate freely and potently. Some American 
correspondent will doubtless correct me if I be 
wrong ; but judging from some dried maple leaves 
that I possess I consider that, as compared with our 
own sycamore, their texture and consistency are con- 
siderably more herbaceous, i.e., more thin and 
flaccid. The following facts seem also to support 
the main conclusion. A small thin bright red 

sycamore leaf growing on a young shoot in mid- 
summer was analysed, and found to contain much 
gallic acid and a little chlorophyll (about as much as 
an early red copper beech leaf contains), and sugar. 
The other leaves of the same shoot were completely 
green, but were much larger and stouter. I once 
found an autumn sycamore leaf whose vivid tints 
seemed to vie with those of the Transatlantic forest. 
I picked it up : it was thin, delicate, and breaking to 
shreds. On boiling the redder portions in dilute 
alcohol the pigment dissolved leaving them almost 
quite colourless ; and the solution gave the reactions 
of erythrophyll, acetic acid, and a little gum, and 
unchanged gallic acid. — P. Q. Keegaii. 


Nest of Bombus Lapidaris. — In September 
last, I found, in a small enclosure adjoining my 
garden, a nest of Boinbiis lapidaris, and as my 
little girl played on this ground, I removed it. The 
nest was situated at teast twelve feet from the wall 
in a corner formed by the two walls meeting. The 
turf was smooth all round for more than six feet. 
In one direction, in the corner, was a small heap of 
stones covered with moss and nettles. A careful 
inspection — no hole nor appearance of one, except at 
the nest, which was of proper size. The nest was 
found about seven inches deep, and one foot from 
entrance. After carefully clearing the earth and 
stones all round, I put my fingers under the nest so 
as not to disturb the contents. Judge my surprise, 
when the nest was safely placed on a board, to see 
the skull of a stoat sticking out on one side. I found 
the nest was built on a dead stoat, the body being 
curled around with head raised in a comfortable 
manner. The fur was worked into the covering of 
the nest. Do these bees take advantage of dead 
animals for the sake of the fur? Or is there any 
other such case on record? — C. IF. P 

Seaweeds. — In reply to F. II. B.'squery(p. 262), 
I am sorry to say that I have not yet sufficient 
experience to answer his questions ; but a lady- 
collector, who spends a great deal of time at Swanage, 
told me that she found four species of Delesseria 
there, and several other imcommon seaweeds, of 
which I have now forgotten the names. — A. H. B. 

Vegetable Teratology.— In Science-Gossip 
for November, Dr. J. E. Taylor gives an account of 
strange monstrosities in plants. The. case of the 
" Arum" Lily of the Nile has come under my own 
notice also, and the case in which the sepals of 
fuchsia have reverted to the leaf condition. I once 
found on cutting open an orange what appeared to 
be a fungus growing in the centre, which I dried and 
kept. — Rev. S. A. Brcnari, 

Curiosities in Eggs. — In accordance with a 
wish expressed by Mr. J. P. Nunn, in the April 
number of Science-Gossip, that collectors would 
chronicle any curiosities in eggs with which they 
may meet, I have here written an account of such as 
have come under my notice. One of the most 
curious freaks in eggs which I have ever observed is a 
ca^e which came under my notice in the spring of the 
year 1 890. On May the I2th, I was shown two eggs, 
with somewhat the appearance of robin's, though 



much larger, and with only one or two large red 
spots on them. The person who showed them to me 
said that he had taken them from a nest in a wall, 
and that he had substituted two robin's eggs from 
another nest. On the night following, I went with 
the above-mentioned person to the nest. It was 
nearly dark when we reached, the place, and upon 
putting his hand into the hole he drew forth the 
mother bird, which proved to be a robin. This was 
not very surprising, but, upon our examining the 
nest, we found it to contain, besides the two substi- 
tuted robin's eggs, three purely white ones. From the 
facts of this case, I should conjecture that the hen bird 
had exhausted the stock of colouring matter in the 
first two eggs, and that consequently the subsequent 
three were white. In the eggs of the common 
thrush also I have found eccentricities. On April 5, 
1890, 1 saw a throstle's nest containing four eggs, all 
of which were very large, and were marked with large 
red-brown blotches, with the exception of one, which 
was marked like ordinary specimens. On May 27, I 
observed a throstle's nest containing two specimens of 
the rounded spotless eggs of the thrush, mentioned by 
Mr. Nunn and others. I have seen several eggs of this 
class taken from this district, and also those of the 
blackbird of the same type, i.e. devoid of markings. 
On May 3, 1889, I took a blackbird's egg entirely 
covered with deep red markings, and much resembling 
a ring-ouzel's, from a nest containing four others of 
the ordinary greenish colour. A friend of mine in 
this town has in his collection several notable 
curiosities, all taken by himself, e.g., a white sparrow- 
hawk's egg taken from a nest containing three others 
of the ordinary type. Two house -sparrow's eggs 
with the markings gathered in a cap at the large end, 
and a dwarf magpie's egg about the size of a marble. 
In two instances have I met with greatly elongated 
eggs, a missel thrush's taken on April 8, 1890, and a 
blackbird's. On May loth, 1890, a throstle came 
under my notice which was sitting on four of her 
own eggs and a blackbird's, all of which were nearly 
hatched. — Rcnulatui H. Hill, Halifax 

Var. of p. Napi, etc. — In looking over my 
collection of Lepidoptera, I note the following which 
may be of some interest. A female specimen of the 
green-veined white {P. Xapi), in which all the ner- 
vures on the upper side are very deeply marked, 
showing a perfect outline of the veins, and, .with a 
broad band of dusky shading at the lower margin of 
the front wings. Possibly this is one of the varieties 
formerly ranked as distinct species ; it was taken at 
Richmond Walk, May 26th, 1887, from a cluster of 
jiettles. Also a specimen of the pearl bordered 
Fritillary {A. E7tphrosy7ie), which was netted at 
liickleigh Vale, May 21st, 1888. It was at the time 
a perfectly fresh insect, but with its leit front wing 
crumpled, with the markings in miniature. Thus 
showing that some mishap had befallen it whilst 
emerging from its aurelial covering. — Frederick G, 


Nov. 3rd. — Rooks busy building in their rookery — 
one old bird sitting in the nest and its mate was 
breaking ofif twigs- and carrying it to the one in nest 
— the other birds were busy in the same waj'. 


To Correspondents and Ex-changers. — 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 must adhere to our rule cf 
not noticing queries which do not bear the writers' names. 

To Dealers and Others. — We are always glad to trea' 
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 oux graiiiitoui 
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. . '' 

Special Note. — There. is a tendency on the part of some 
exchangers to send more than one per month. We only allow 
this in the case of writers of papers. 

To OUR Recent Exchangers. — We are willing and helpful 
to our genuine naturalists, but we cannot further allow dis- 
guised Exchanges like those which frequently come to. us 
to appear unless as advertisements. 

Dec. I. — Skylark singing. 

A heron is called a goose ghost in this locality, 
and is stated to be able to pass an eel through its 
body and then eat it. At the fell moon it is considered 
in good plump condition. — Rrj. S. A . Brenaii, , 

F. — A special number of Science-Gossip devoted to the 
Hepaticse was published in 1865 or 1866, abundantly illustrated. 
We fear it is now out of print, but apply to Messrs. W. H. 
Allen & Co., Waterloo Place, London. We are always pleased 
to welcome new contributors. 

J. Fordvcb. — Apply to Mr. W. F. Collins, 157 Portland 
Street, W., for information concerning Leighton's " Fasciculi 
of British Lichens." He njay have a Fascirulus. 

H. Browne. — Your guess is probably right, but take the 
egg to the Norwich Museum and compare it. 

R. D. — Get Burbidge's book on " Cool Orchids and How to 
Grow Them" (published by W. H. Allen & Co., Waterloo 
Place, we believe). 

R. Addington. — Get Dr. M. C. Cooke's admirable little 
book (published by the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge) on "Pond-Hunting" (price is. 6d.); or, stijl 
better, the same indefatigable Dr. M. C. Cooke's boofc on 
" Freshwater Algae," just publiihed at 5 J. by Messrs. Kegai: 
Paul & Co. 

H. A. M. — The editor cannot undertake to send copies of 
his magazine to writers of books sent for notice who inform 
him they do not take in Science-Gossip. That is both their 
fault and their loss. 

R. Draper. — Get Professor Asa Gray's book on " How 
Plants Grow, Climb," &c. (fairly cheap, if you get it second- 
hand of Messrs. Wesley & Son, Essex Street, Strand ; or Mr. 
W. P. Collins, 157 Great Portland Street). In that capital 
manual you will find all that you want, and more to stimulate 
you for years to come, than any three. line? of commonrplace 
explanation could give you. The sun has not got so much to 
do with the climbing as the plants have. 


Wanted, a good Murex adustus. Offered, "Naturalists' 
Gazette," 1890, complete.— W. Jones, jun., 27 Mayton Street, 
HoUoway, London. 

Offered, i-inch objective, 16°, by Tentmayer. What offers 
in exchange in micro-slides or books ? Apply — T. W. Derring- 
ton, 46 Worcester Street, Wolverhampton. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip for 1874. Address— W. F. Kelsey, 

Maldon. . , , . 

Wanted, a few' fern fronds showing capsules, dried leaves, 
Onosma iaurica, &c., and sand containing micro-shells. State 
exchange requirements. — H. Ebbage, Framlingham, Suffolk. 

Over one hundred species of beautifully mounted ferns, in 
handsome half-bound book, fitting into strong case. What 
ofiers? — Joseph .Anderson, jun.. Aire Villa, Chichester. 

Fine and well-set species of British lepidoptera, in exchange 
for postage stamps (unused copies of obsolete English, and 
used or unused foreign desired).— Joseph Anderson, jun., Aire 
Villa, Chichester. 

V. inoulinsiana offered for L. involuta, S. oblonga,ar acme ; 
also fossils, &c., in exchange for rock specimens, especially 
slides.— Rev. John Hawell, Ingleby Greenhow Vicarage, 
Northallerton. . . 

FoRAM. sand from Barmouth, Montereau, Mauritius ; chalk, 
coal measures, sponge, W. India, Channel Isles and Etag^ 



Langhien. Sections of corals and spongy forms, minute recent 
corals, coral vars., &c., also about half-a-dozen crystals, &c. 
Wanted, material (no diatoms or forams), ground-edge slips, 
cells, thin glass covers, living pupae, or anything pertaining to 
natural history. — H. Durrant, 4 Boulton Road, West Bromwich. 

Small collection of British and foreign shells, unnamed, 
iSo specimens, sixty or more varieties. Also small geological 
/:ollection. What offers? or will exchange for good book on 
British beetles. — H. Browne, 53 St. Philip's Road, Heigham, 

Wanted, the following British land and freshwater shells : — 
7". haliotidea, scututuju ; A. marginata, gagates ; L. Icevis, 
Hnereo-niger , arboriim ; S. oblonga, H. obvoluta ; V. aiitiver- 
iigo, lilljeborgi, moulinsiana, substriata, tutitida, angnstior ; 
A. lineata, P. acuta, H. jfcnkinsit, and vars. of all water 
shells, also Continental and other foreign land and freshwater 
shells. Will give American land and freshwater shells, birds' 
skins, nests and eggs, living land tortoises (box), and beetles, 
butterflies, and fungi mosses. Foreign correspondence solicited. 
— W. J. Farrer, box 16, Orange, Va., U.S.A. 

For exchange, a small collection of land, freshwater, and 
marine shells, fossils, &c., about 80 species, 200 specimens. 
Wanted, good microscope objective, i or i. — S. O. Grocock, 
M.C.S., 13 Lower Maryon Road, Charlton, Kent. 

"Atlas of Fossil Conchology" (Brown's), 114 large 
.plates, 3500 figures, published 1889 at three guineas, offered 
lor collection of fossils or mineralogical specimens. Wanted, 
"The Micrographic Dictionary." — Mr. Stewart, 17 Upper 
Gilmore Place, Edinburgh. 

What offers for Darwin's " Phytologia," first edition, quarto, 
-boards ; Darwin's " Zoonomia," second edition, 2 vols, quarto, 
calf; Karl Russ's " Speaking Parrots;" Greene's "Amateur's 
Aviary of Foreign Birds;" Marshall's "The Frog;" also 
SciENCK-Gossii' for 1884 and 1889. — H. Roberts, 60 Princess 
Road, Kilburn, London. 

Small collection of minerals, in case, offered in exchange 
for fossils or shells. — T. W. Reader, 171 Hemingford Road, 
London, N. 

New Zealand shells, principally marine, offered for shells 
(not in collection, foreign land and freshwater species preferred. 
— W. A. Gain, Tuxford, Newark. 

Wanted, Harvey's "Phycologia Britannica." Offered, 
Crouch microscope with i-inch and i-inch objectives, or Zeiss 
i-inch immersion objective. — T. H. Buffham, Comely Bank 
iioad, Walthamstow. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip, Nos. 253-308, in exchange for 
first-class micro-slides. — W. Tutcher, 57 Berkeley Road, 

Duplicates. — Sophina calias, Streptaxis Blanfordi, S. 
Tlieobaldi, S. Burmaitica, S. botnbax, S. cxaC7iius, Clausiiia 
iVaageni, C. Theobaldi, C. iusignis, C. Gouldiana, C. cylin- 
drica, Helkarioti Flemingit, Cataulus albescens, RapJiarlus 
chrysalis, Hybocystis gravida, Cyclophorus Siame?isis, C. 
speciosus ; list of many others. Desiderata, Indian and South 
American land shells. — Miss Linter, Arragon Close, Twicken- 

Wanted, any books relating to microscopy, also choice 
anraounted material, in exchange for choice microscopic slides 
>jf every description. — R. Suter, 5 Highweek Road, Totten- 
ham, London. 

Wanted, an injecting syringe and a Valentin's knife. — 
H. P., 103, Camden Street, London, N.W. 

Oldlmmia antiqua andC. radatia, Cambrian rocks. Bray 
Head. What offers in minerals or fossils for the above 7— 
William Doyle, Seapoint Road, Bray, Ireland. 

Collection of dried plants, fifty species, made in Italy and 
France, 1844, most mounted. List on application. 'What 
offers? To be disposed of complete ; mosses desired. — Miss E. 
Armitage, Dadnor, Ross. 

C.^ssell's " Science for All," 5 vols, (clean, unbound), 
" Knowledge," 2 vols., 1887, 1S88 (clean, unbound), and several 
cithers, offered in exchange for British land and freshwater 
mollusca not in collection. Send list to — C. H. J. Baldock, 
f 7 Brewer Street, Woolwich. 

Duplicates. — Varieties of guillemot eggs, including some 
choice forms. Desiderata, British birds' eggs not in collection, 
or varieties of same. — W. Hewett, 6 Howard Street, Fulford 
Road, York. 

Valuable Grecian clausilias, and other shells, offered for 
shells not in collection. — Address — Miss F. M. Hele, 11 Elm- 
grove Road, Cotham, Bristol. 

A fine collection of Scotch graphites offered in exchange for 
rare tropical shells. — Address — Miss F. M. Hele, 11 Elmgrove 
Road, Cotham, Bristol. 

Advertiser wishes to correspond with some person who 
will undertake to send names of South African spiders and 
f;corpions in exchange for specimens. — F. West, Poplar Villa, 
Lansdowne Place, Port EliEabeth. 

"Royal Microscopical Journal," 1 869-1 S87, inclusive, in 
parts, all clean and perfect. What offers? — B., 3 Brownhill 
Road, Catford, Kent. 

Wanted British and foreign shells not in collection. Offered, 
many other shells. — E. R. Sykes, 9 Belvidere, Weymouth. 

Offered, more than 550 species of plants from the North of 
iFrance, in exchange, at once, for as many species, provided 

they be not French ones. Write to M. Abel Briquet, 49 Rue 
Jean de Bologne, Douai (Nord), France. 

Wanted, January, 1890, number of Science-Gossip, ts . 
offered. Address — Rev. W. Langley, Narborough Rectory, 

Offered, about 400 species of fossils of the tertiary Parisian 
grounds, well named, in good state of preservation, and in good 
number ; also living shells. Wanted in exchange, fossils of 
other tertiary grounds, living shells, prehistoric matters, and 
postage stamps. — M. Louis Giraux, 22 Rue Saint Blaise, Paris. 

Offered, good case of ichthyosaurus, from lias of Lyme 
Regis, 22 X 12. Wanted, any good fossils from any formation. 
— M., 56 Clarendon Villas, West Brighton. 

K. Bonnet, 9 Rue Mazagrau, Paris, offers good fossils 
from the Paris tertiaries in exchange for fossils from all forma- 
tions, and recent shells. 

Wanted, brilliant foreign coleoptera ; need not be set, but 
must be correctly named. Good exchange given in first-class 
botanical sections, either mounted or unmounted, or objects of 
general interest. State quantity of specimens with sample. — 
R. G. Mason, 69 Clapham Park Road, Clapham, S.W. 

Bryum Marrattii, B. calophyllum, B. IVarneum, Hypnum 
cristi-castrensis, Catoscopiuin nigritum, Buxbaumia aphylla, 
and a few others, in exchange for microscopic slides. — Geo. 
Forbes, 7 Graham Place, Dundee. 

Freshwater fishes. Wanted, to correspond with anglers 
or others who could supply good fresh specimens of trout, 
roach, perch, pike, &c., suitable for purposes of taxidermy. 
Would give in exchange preserved specimens in any branch of 
marine zoology, micro-slides of highest class, scientific books. 
—J. Sinel, 6 Peel Villas, St. Helier, Jersey. 

Wanted, odonata (dragonfiies) from all parts of the world. 
Slate desiderata in return. North American odonata for ex- 
change. — Philip P. Calvert, Academy of Natural Sciences, 
Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A. 

Wanted, entomological store boxes and apparatus in good 
condition. Exchange secondary or tertiary fossils, or eggs and 
nests of our common birds. — W. D. Carr, Lincoln. 

Collection of British shells, entomological setting cabinet, 
collecting box, and store box. Will exchange for books or 
anything useful. — J. Morton, New Brompton, Kent. 

Offered, Science-Gossip for 1890, and January, 1891. 
Wanted, carboniferous fossils. Send lists to — B. T. Bonser, 
Colebrooke House, 29 Highbury New Park, London. 

VVanted, to correspond with collectors in Britain and abroad 
with the view of exchanging birds' eggs in the coming season. 
Send list of wants and duplicates. Can offer many species o 
American eggs on British list. — Robert William.s, Croase 
House, Kingsland, R.S.O. 


"Acids in Practical Geology," by G. A. J. Cole (London: 
C. H. Griffin & Co.). — " F.-ithers of Biology," by Ch. McRae 
(London: Percival & Co.). — "The Honey Bee," by T. W. 
Coward (London: Houlston & Sons). — Wesley's "Nat. Hist, 
and Scientific Book Circular," No. 105. — " Knowledge." — 
" American Microscopical Journal." — "American Naturalist." 
— "Canadian Entomologist." — " The Naturalist." —" The 
Botanical Gazette." — "The Gentleman's Magazine."— " The 
Midland Naturalist."—" Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." — 
" The Microscope." — "Nature Notes." — "Proceedings of the 
Geologists' Association." — " Victorian Naturalist." — Dr. C. V. 
Riley's Report to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (always 
welcome). — Same author on " Insecticides and means of 
Applying them to Shade and Forest Trees " (published by 
ditto). — Dulau's "Catalogue of Zool. and Palseontolog. Lit." — 
" Brtish Naturalist Catalogue of Land and Freshwater Shells 
Great Britain," by T. D. A. Cockerell.— " Jourral of Quekett 
Microscopical Club." — "British Cage Birds," Part 9. — " British 
Canary Book," Part 9, &c., &c. 

Communications received up to the i2Th ult. from: 

E. B.— A. E.— Dr. A. C— Dr. A. E. G.-E. C— C. W. P.— 
A. H. B.— E. G. E.— A. E.— L. G.— A. J. J. B— W. L.— 
S. A. B.— W. H.— Dr. G. C. M.— R. H. H.— A. C— Prof. 
J. L. S.— E. E.— G. W. N.— R. M.— F. B. C— G. R. S.— 

F. M. H.— V. A. L.— E. E. G.— F. W.— E. N. L.— F. G. S.— 
W. B.— W. F.— C. P.— R. S.— W. C— W. J. F.— F. N. W. 
— L. O. C— W. D. S.— H. R.— T. W. R.— W. A. G.— 
T. H. B.— J. H.— H. D.— J. F.— H. E.— J. T.— Miss E.— 
C. H. J. B.— E. B.— E. H. F.-J. A., jun.— Dr. E. De C— 
H. E.— W. F. K.— M. B. M.— W. D.— M. L. S.— W. J. J.— 
T. W. C— C. W.— J. B. H.— J. E. L.— G. F.— 1. T.— 
F. C. M.— H. A. F.— V. C— H. F.— R. G. M.— J. S. W.— 
A. B— W. T.— Miss L.— E. H. J. E.— J. W. R.— J. B.— 
W. A. G.— W. J. S.— J. E.— E. G. P.— W. B.— E. B.— 
Dr. G. T. C M.— C. W.— F. C. M.— L. W. M.— J. C. S.— 
R. S.— H. D.— W. W. P.— W. M.— W. A. P.— W. B.— 
R. A. B.— J. B. C— A. B. G.— W. E. W.-W. T. P.— G. H. 
— H. M.— H. G. W.— W. W. F.— W. T. H.— H. W.— 
C. H. H. W.— P. P. C— P. Q. K.— W. W.— R. W.— B. T. B. 
— W. D. C— I. M.— R. A.— &c., &c. 





The Apricot. 

i^^^^^ HE origin of this tree 
has been much and 
long disputed, and 
travellers are still 
of divers opinions 
on the subject. By 
some it is referred 
to Armenia as its 
native country, and 
this would seem to 
arise from its having 
anciently borne the 
name of Mailon 
Armeniacon, by 
which the learned 
Dioscorides calls it, 
whilst, as he tells us, 
the Latins called it 
Raikokion; our 
modern botanical 
name still seems to refer it to the same origin — we 
designate it Armeiiiaca vulgaris. Neither Greeks nor 
Romans seem to have known or cultivated it prior to 
about loo years B.C. There is abundant evidence, on 
the other hand, that the Chinese, who were so well 
versed in both gardening and horticulture in the very 
remote ages of antiquity, cultivated the apricot at 
least 2200 years B.C. A writer who flourished in 
China from 2205-2198 B.C. describes the tree and 
the fruit under its name, "Sing," as very abundant 
on the hills. The wild fruit would appear to have 
been small, the skin yellow and red, with a reddish- 
yellow flesh, of an acid flavour, but quite eatable ; 
both frait and leaves were equally similar to our 
cultivated species, but considerably smaller. Pliny 
writes of it as " Praecocium," from the precocity of 
the species, and probably our English name is but a 
corruption of this word, since our earlier cultivators 
of it were wont to speak of it as a precox ; the un- 
learned united the two words, and wrote aprecocks, 
abrecocks, &c. 

No. 315. — March 1891. 

Various authors have described it as growing-, 
apparently wild, in great abundance in the Caucasus 
and around the Caspian and Black Seas, whilst on 
the other hand, Koch (and some others),, who travelled 
through the region of the Caucasus and Armenia, 
with a view to making observations upon the 
natural productions of the countries visited, reports 
that during a prolonged stay in Armenia he nowhere 
found a wild apricot, and but rarely a cultivated one, 
French travellers do not agree as to its being found 
wild in Persia, but that it grows in great abundance 
there, far from the haunts of men, we read in Dr. 
Wills' interesting work, " The Land of the Lion and 
the Sun," in which he speaks of vast numbers of 
trees, the fruit of which was falling to the ground in 
enormous quantities, so that he wished some enter- 
prising person could be found who would set up a 
" canning " business there and then, and by utilis- 
ing the tempting fruit, redeem them from waste and 
destruction, and make his own fortune in the venture. 

A kind of wild apricot has been found growing 
amongst the ruins of Baalbec, but from the descrip- 
tion given, both leaves and fruit differ considerably 
from our ordinary apricot. A French writer, ]Mons. 
Regmer, represents that the apricot is probably a 
native of the oases of the desert of Egypt — an 
opinion which he founds upon these circumstances : 
first, that the modern Greek name Perikokka closely 
resembles the Arabic Berkhach ; secondly, that vast 
quantities of the fruit are actually dried in the oases 
and brought to Egypt, where they are called Mish- 
mish ; and thirdly, that the early period of the year, 
when its blossoms unfold, indicates that the tree 
belongs rather to a southern than to a northern 
climate. This last reason can scarcely be held good, 
since v/e know that many plants, such as some kinds 
of blackthorn, which are without doubt natives of the 
coldest regions of Europe and Asia, bloom and un- 
fold their leaves equally early. 

That the tree was not known in Egypt at an early 
period we may conclude, from the fact that the- 




Hebrews did not know it, and have no name for it 
in their language ; they would have known it, and 
the Romans have had it much earlier than they 
had if the fruit had come from Egypt. Though 
found abundantly now in Algeria, it is evidently of 
recent introduction, having naturalised itself in 
districts where the stones have been thrown away 
from|[cultivated specimens. 

The apricot [is frequently found wild in the hills 
between the Jumna and the Ganges, and from a 
writer on the botany of the Himalayas and Cashmere 
we learn that the apricot is so generally planted 
around the villages that there are few without them, 
the fruit being eaten fresh, and also dried, whilst a 
very fine oil is expressed from the stones. The use 
to which this oil is still put is mentioned in a recent 
book of travel. Mrs. Bridges, in "A Lady's Tramp 
Round the World," gives an account of a Thibetan 
ball at which she was present in the Himalayas, the 
room in which the festivity was held being lighted 
with oil made from apricot stones. In some parts of 
Cashmere apricots and other fruit trees form a 
perfect jungle. The dried fruit has been brought 
from Cashmere to India in considerable quantities ; it 
is called Klioot-banee. 

The apricots on the Himalayas, at 12,000 ft. 
elevation, are so hard, that a native when carrying 
his load of them to market, thinks nothing of sitting 
upon his burden — a strong contrast this to the custom 
of a well-known character in an eastern county at 
the early part of the century. This gentleman, 
being the owner of a large estate some seventy miles 
from London, and having gardens so prolific that 
the produce was the source of considerable revenue 
to him, after the supply of his own table had been 
provided, was accustomed to send the surplus pro- 
duce to Covent Garden ; and the wall fruit when ripe 
being very perishable, and easily injured, he directed 
that it should be placed in shallow baskets to be 
carried on women's heads, the tread of a man being 
considered by him too heavy for the conveyance of 
the luscious load. 

The apricot tree was late in coming to England, 
being introduced here from Italy, as far as we can 
ascertain, in the year 1524, by Woolf, gardener to 
Henry VIII., who, it appears, introduced several 
valuable fruits at about the same period. It is 
strange that a fruit so well known in the east should 
not sooner have reached our western regions, but we 
know that in Britain there were, up to the sixteenth 
century, but few establishments save the monasteries 
which had orchards or gardens attached to them. 
Happily, during the reigns of Henry VIII. and 
Elizabeth the spirit of discovery pervaded the land, 
and one of the results of an acquaintance with new 
lands, and that no mean result either, was the 
introduction of many fruits and flowers which had 
hitherto been unknown to us. By the middle of the 
seventeenth century most common fruit trees were 

cultivated in sufficient abundance to render their 
importation unnecessary. 

The progress of this improvement, however, was 
but slow, owing to the want of nurseries for such 
trees ; and persons who lived in remote places, and 
wished to introduce into their gardens new varieties 
of fruit, were obliged, Hartlib writes, "often to send 
100 miles for them ; " no trifling obstacle, let us 
remember, these " 100 miles," when roads were bad 
and there were no facilities for their conveyance such 
as we now possess. 

It is no part of my intention in these "jottings," 
to teach my readers the best method of cultivating 
fruit trees. I will not pretend to recommend one 
sort above another, one system of pruning before 
another, though, if any of my readers should be so 
generous as to set before me ever so large a variety, I 
will undertake to give my opinion as to kinds, when 
I have been made free to place them under the 
crucial test of a somewhat sensitive palate. Still, I 
may be allowed to give them the advice of a wiser 
gardener than myself, as to the time for planting 
trees and for gathering their fruits. 

Old Thomas Tusser, under " January's Husban- 
dry," writes as follows : — . 

" Set chestnut and walnut. 
Set filbert and smallnut. 

" Peach, plum-tree and cherry. 
Young bay and his berry, 
Or set their stone, 
Unset leave none. n 

" Sow kernel to bear 
Of apple and pear ; 
All trees that bear gum 
Now set as they come. 

" Now set or remove 
Such stocks as ye love." 

For gathering, under September's Husbandry: — 

" The moon in the wane, gather fruit for to last. 
But winter fruit gather when Michel is past ; 
Though michers* that love not to buy or to crave, 
Make some gather sooner, the few for to have. 
Fruit gathered too timely will taste of the wood, 
Will shrink and be bitter, and seldom prove good ; 
So fruit that is shaken and beat off a tree. 
With bruising and falling soon faulty will be." 

By Gregory Benoni. 

[Continued from /. 40.] 

AFTER a short rest to allow the old master to 
recover from the exertion and excitement inci- 
dental to the capture, we proceeded to the eastern pipe 
by a hidden pipe running through the sheltering copse 
at the foot of the sand-hills. Here, instead of employ- 
ing the dog, which must not appear too often, for fear 
it should cease to excite curiosity, the decoy-ducks were 
called to our aid. There are a number of cross-bred 
birds originating from the wild and domesticated 
varieties. They live in the decoy, and are fed in the 

* Michers = pilferers. 



pipes throughout the year, so that they are always 
ready to obey the call-note of their master, however 
distant they may be from his station. On this 
occasion the "decoys" were lying by the wind- 
bound western pipe, where they had supped the night 
before. But as soon as we had taken our new places 
the decoy-man blew a shrill blast on his whistle, 
which startled the whole pond, and made the drakes 
give tongue in clamorous chorus, whilst the decoys 
awoke to the sense that breakfast is an admirable 

Again the whistle sounded, and yet again, till the 
birds comprehended whither they ought to steer ; and 
meanwhile the lad scattered hemp seed upon the 
water along the whole length of the pipe. 

Soon we saw the trained birds making their way 
across the centre of the pond, accompanied by 
some three hundred wild fowl. On they came, a 
sight most enchanting, as they flashed in the January 
sun, and reflected its lustre from their iridescent 
plumage, till at last the leaders and their mingled 
following reached the head of the pipe. 

The tame birds began to devour the seed with great 
eagerness, for they cannot escape from the pond and 
its immediate surroundings except by flight, which 
they rarely attempt, and little food is to be found in 
such an over-tenanted place. The wild birds, too, 
began to feed, and gradually advanced up the canal 
under the net, without any apparent fear of danger, 
while we slowly retired before them for fear of dis- 
covering our retreat. 

The scene was strangely picturesque, as the ciew 
of mallard and teal, with here and there a stray 
shoveller or pintail, pressed onwards with grace in 
every turn and movement, a grace which seemed to 
give the lie to their connection with the heavy farm- 
yard louts who claim cousinship with them. But 
while we were yet admiring their beauty, and trying 
to fix some of their natural positions in our mind for 
future drawings, the scene changed. Jack showed 
himself abruptly in their rear, and the greater 
number fluttered wildly up the pipe ; though a few 
saved themselves by flying or diving back into the 
pond. We followed the doomed flock at a gentle 
pace, gesticulating violently but silently to drive on 
the laggards when they showed any disposition to 
return. At the end we found the tunnel net taxed to 
its utmost strength, so jammed had the poor birds 
become in their fearful rush. 

" Six shillings a couple for ducks, and four for teal, 
as they're up now," murmured our old entertainer, in 
an ecstacy of delight at his extraordinary good luck. 
" Niver, niver, saw I owt like it i' all my born days, 
an' shouldn't if I liv'd to be twice as old again as I 
am, rheumatiz an' all." 

As he spoke he knelt down, and proceeded to take 
out and dispatch the birds with great caution, his 
grandson helping in the work, but with less skill ; 
when, " whir, whir, whir," sounded above us from 

the rhythmical cadence of many wings, and glancing 
up, we descried some sixty ducks on the look out for 
any possible danger, flying round and round the tops 
of the trees, as their custom is before alighting. The 
Londoner, entirely forgetful of the strict injunttions 
to taciturnity, exclaimed in excitement, " What the 
devil's up with us! Where's a gun?" But a 
threatening shake of the fist from the old man, 
accompanied by a look which ought to have 
annihilated him, brought him back to a sense of 
decoy convefiances. 

"Doon for yer lives; lig oot at length; lig on 
your bellies an' hide your heads." Then to the 
stupified townsman, "Get into yon rummuck" — a 
tangled mass of brambles and dead nettles — ^"ony- 
where, onywhere oot o' the birds' sight." 

Such were the commands issued by the irate 
ducker in an agonised whisper, and down he 
dropped on his net, from which not a quarter of the 
ducks had been extricated, with his head and 
shoulders thrust into a bed of withered herbage, 
despite the " rheumatiz and all." 

We skulked and crouched as best we might, trying 
to look as unlike human beings as nature would 
allow ; while round and round, up and down, here 
and there, went the birds, ^often dipping till they 
almost touched the water, yet always sheering off 
when our desire that they should settle seemed on 
the point of gratification. 

" They're going, they're going," ejaculated the old 
man below his breath, with many strange inarticulate 
gutturals expressive of impatience and expectancy. 
"Noo, noo, they're in, I do believe. Ay, they're in 
at last. Jack, just get up an' hev a peep, lad." 

Up got Jack forthwith to spy through the reeds on 
"the shooting," but only to fall flat again as if 
shot. For up and down and round about went the 
watchful flight for some minutes longer, till at last, 
when our patience was almost exhausted, they 
dropped into the pond breast foremost, cleaving the 
rtpples in the most delicate and pretty manner in the 

The moment the last bird touched the water we 
rose from our constrained attitudes, to indulge in a 
quiet joke over the thorny retreat in which our 
southern friend had ensconced himself, and to 
congratulate ourselves on the sport we had seen. 

" These here will be fresh from the sea," observed 
the ducker, beginning to draw the quarry from the 
net again, and holding up a teal for our inspection. 
" Them as th' dog got was^carcely touched wi' red, 
but these have breasts as ru^-coloured as can be — 
they know nowt of fresh water. I bet they cum'd in 
this morning." 

Birds newly arrived from the ocean are far less 
wary than the land-feeding fowl, which are generally 
home-bred, or old stagers, acquainted with every 
device of the fowler. Some birds visit the decoy for 
years in succession, and are never taken ; as was the 

D 2 



case with a mallard duck, which had a ring of white 
feathers round the neck, and was much sought after 
for the proprietor's collection of stufted birds. 

Before we quitted the decoy the master showed us 
an anomaly among the trained birds, no less than a 
duck more than thirty years of age. It had been in 
the pond all its life, and had grown curly tail 
feathers like a drake for some seasons, having ceased 
to lay, or take any interest in nesting matters, 
though surrounded by descendants to the twenty- 
eighth generation. 

But enough for the present. We had seen a noble 
day's sport, land made a notable bag, for seventy- 
nine teal, sixty-three mallards, seven widgeon, four 
shovellers, a pintail, and a " tame-flier," or barn-yard 
duck, which had joined its wild relations, were 
counted into the game-room. A better take had not 
been known for some years. 

After mutual congratulations, we shook hands with 
the jubilant decoy-man, promising to come again for 
another look at his birds, and turned our steps 
homeward, talking of gunnery and fowling as we 

(To be continued.) 


Cinclidotus riparius (Walker Arnott). 

*' OEARCH has been repeatedly made without 
vj success," says Wilson, for the moss whose 
discovery in Great Britain it is now a pleasure to be 
able to announce in these columns. 

The little river Teme, which winds its picturesque 
way along part of the southern boundary of Shrop- 
shire, and for some distance divides that county from 
Herefordshire, here forming deep and silent pools, 
there rippling lightly over the stony shallows, and 
bedecked with water-weeds all so much alike to the 
casual observer, but of such variety and interest to 
the lover of nature, has at last delivered up to us the 
little weed for which " search has been repeatedly 
made without success." The fortunate finder is Mr. 
Arther W. Weyman, of Ludlow, who collected it in 
April last, and sent it to me recently, with other 
specimens, for consultation. It was evident at once 
that it differed from any British moss which one 
could regard as allied to it ; and having a slight ac- 
quaintance with Cinclidotus riparius, I concluded that 
it must be that species. Dr. Braithwaite, Mr. J. E. 
Bagnall, and Mr. H. Boswell have kindly looked at 
it, and settled the question in the affirmative. Dr. 
Braithwaite states that it was found two years ago 
in Ireland, so that the present is not absolutely the 
first record of the species for the United Kingdom. 
A description of it with figures will duly appear in 
the "Br. Moss Flora." 

The name Cinclidotus riparius is already some- 
what familiar to us, as it occurs in Wilson, Berkeley, 
Hobkirk's Synopsis, ed. 1873, &c., but only in con- 

nection with its assumed variety terrestris, now known 
as Tortula mucronata, Barbula mucroitato, or B. 
Brebissojii (Brid.). The true C. riparius is different 
in habit, usually darker in colour, and larger. The 
leaves are straight when dry, smooth (not papillose), 
margins slightly thickened and plane (Fig. 28 a) ; 
whereas in B. mucronata the leaves when dry, though 
incumbent and only slightly twisted or bent inwards 
on the lower parts of the stem, are much twisted at 
the tips of the branches. They are strongly papillose, 
the margins more thickened, and recurved. Some- 
times the effect under the glass is that of a plane 

Fig. 28. 

Fig. 29. 

Fig. 30. 

margin with the whole of the thickening occurring 
on the under side of the leaf, so as to give the appear- 
ance of a recurved margin (Figs. 29 and 30 B). The 
nerve is generally excurrent (Fig. 31 c), and the 
areolce smaller. 

In some states the two mosses much resemble 
each other. Wilson says: "Bruch and Schimper 
positively affirm that they have witnessed the 
existence of every intermediate form," and the writer 
possesses specimens of each which are so much alike 
that, failing the very minute investigation demanded 
in the present day, they may easily be taken for the 
same. But let the necessarily careful examination 
be made, and the distinctions pointed out above are 



there unmistakably, leading to the conclusion that 
the two are as closely allied as are \^QgC7tera in which 
they are respectively placed by modern authors, but 
not more so. 

The present moss may have been overlooked in 
mistake for C. fontinaloidcs, but if a number of 
specimens of the latter from different localities be 
compared together, the leaves, while varying a good 
deal in width, termination of the nerve, and also 
slightly in the size of the cells, will be found to be 
always more or less acute in general outline (Figs. 32 
and 33 d), only the actual point sometimes obtuse, and 
strongly twisted when dry. In C. riparuis the leaves 
are obtuse, and either rounded, the nerve disappear- 
ing at or below the apex (Fig. 34 e) ; or there is a 
small slightly recurved apiculus (Fig. 35 f). The basal 
cells are more elongated and slightly narrower. 

Pending the appearance of an authoritative de- 
scription of the species, the foregoing remarks may be 
of some slight assistance to the increasing circle of 
students in this fascinating branch of botany who may 
now make search, and not without hopes of success. 

W. P. Hamilton. 



By E. Brunetti. 

[Continued /roin p. 39.] 

HE Diptera are divided into four primary 
groups : — 


Legs at juncture with thorax contiguous : Proboscidea. 
Antennae of many joints (at least six) : Nematocera. 
Antennae of only three distinct joints. 

Posterior veins of wing, branched : Brachycera. 
Posterior veins of wing, simple : Hypocera. 
Legs at juncture with thorax wide apart: Eproboscidea. 


The characters of the Nematocera may be sum- 
marised as follows. Body, delicately elongated, legs 
usually long and slender, antenna of many joints, 
flexible ; veins in wing numerous, alulae small, ocelli 
usually present, anal cell in wing usually open. 

The venation in many genera varies in the 
relative lengths of some of the veins and their 
respective positions. 

llesonotum with a distinct vertical furrow : TipuUdce. 
Mesonotum without such furrow. 
Ocelli present (two or three). 

Discoidal cell complete : Rhyphida. 
Discoidal cell absent. 

Antennae half length of thorax. Pronotum brought 

forward, conspicuous : Bibionidce. 
Antennae at least as long as thorax. Pronotum 
normal, conspicuous : Mycetophilida. 
Ocelli absent. 

Costal vein barely reaching top of wing. 

Antennae shorter than thorax. Wings, broad ; 
tibiae and metatarsus broad, compressed. Siviu- 
Antennae as long as or longer than thorax. Wings 
narrow, librae and metatarsus slender, cylindrical : 

Costal vein attenuated round posterior margin of wing : 
At most six posterior wing cells : Cecidotnyidce. 
At least more than six cells. 

Wings ovate ; tip pointed : Psydiodida. 

Wings oblong ; tip rounded : Ctilicida. 

1. Cecidomyidcs. 

Winnertz has elaborately monographed some of 
the European genera of thi:; group, having devoted 
twenty-five years to the study of this family. The 
larvoe are oval, fleshy grubs, feeding on various parts 
of plants ; many form galls, and some live in rotten 
wood. The pupse resemble the imago, but are of 
course wingless. 

Degeer and others have observed the trans- 
formations of some of the species. The imagos are 
elegant and delicate small flies, about seventy or 
eighty species at least being British, though Walker 
introduces double this number. 

Schiner recognises two sub-families. 

Fourth longitudinal vein absent : Cecidomyinae. 
Fourth longitudinal vein present : Lestreminae. 

Cecidoviyia destructor. Say., is the " Hessian fly," 
which in its larval stage does such extensive damage 
to the wheat. It is not rare on the continent, 
devastating at times whole districts, but has seldom 
been met with in England. It is of a brownish grey 
colour, with clear wings, elongated abdomen, and 
long, thin, black legs. 

Diplosis tritici, Kirby, is known as the " wheat 

The neuration of Diplosis resembles that of 
Cecidomyia, except that the vein nmning towards the 
top of the wing is usually straight. 

Some other enemies of the agriculturist are, 
C. brassiciS, Winn., feeding on rape pods. C.pyri, 
Bouche, feeding on pear trees. D. centralis, Winn., 
feeding on beech. 

Westwood figures the larva of D. pint, Deg., in his 
"Class. Ins.," vol. ii. Fig. 125-6, and the pupa in 
Fig. 125-7. D. veriia. Curt., Curt. 178. D. tritici, 
Kirby, Curt. "Farm. Ins.," PI. i. 8. 

2. Mycetophilida:. 

The Mycetophilidie are small, delicate flies, re- 
sembling the CecidomyidiE. Many of the genera are 
easily recognised by the difference in venation and 
the presence of spines on the legs, both of which are 
good generic characteristics. The larvce live as a 
rule in fungi or rotten wood. 

Antenna; as long or longer than body : lilacrocera, Pz. 
Antennae much shorter than body. 

Terminal joint of palpi elongated : Plafyura, Mg. 
Terminal joint of palpi short. 

Discoidal cell present : Sciophila, Mg. 
No discoidal cell : Mycetophila, Mg. 

The four principal genera may be separated as 
follows : — 

Sciara Thonm, L., is black, with long thin legs and 
dark brown wings ; long \\ mm.* The larvae of this 

* Twenty-five millimetres make one inch. 



genus do not spin cocoons as do those of Mycetophila, 
and other genera. 

Sciophila, Mg., frequents the leaves of trees, 
herbage and woods. 

Mycetophila, Mg., is generally distributed. West- 
ward notices the transformations of one or two 
species of Platyura, Mg. 

Bolitophila^ 3Mg., occurs occasionally in mid-winter 
if the weather is mild. 

About 150 species of Mycetophilidc; are British, 
some being tolerably common, but tlie majority are 
less frequently met with. 

Sciara Thomce, L., Wlk. vol iii. PI. xxx, 3. 
Platyjira flavipes, Mg., Curt. 134. Macroccra 
stigma. Curt., Curt. 637. Mycetophila cingulum, 
Mg., Wlk. vol. iii. PI. xxi. 2. 

3. Bibionidir. 

Most of the Bibionida: are vernal, often appearing 
in great numbers, the males hovering in the air, 
their legs vertical. The larvoe are worm-like, living 
in the earth, on grass roots ; the pupa is naked. 

Antennae four-jointed : Bibio, Geoff. 
Antennae eleven-jointed. 

Palpi long : Dilopluis, Mg. 

Palpi short : Scatopse, Geoff. 

Bibio Marci, L. , a rather large black fly, appearing 
in IMarch ; abdomen elongated, legs rough and 
hairy; Avings clear in <?, brown in $ : transforma- 
tions known ; long 8 mm. 

Dilophus febrilis, L., is a smaller species, not un- 
like the above, and is sometimes taken in winter. 
In its larval state it infests the potato ; a correspond- 
ent of mine bred it from Calceolaria. 

Scatopse notata, L., is a small black fly, often 
common in houses in the summer and autumn ; the 
wings are large and quite clear, the legs rather short, 
long 2-3 mm. 

Bibio venos2ts, Mg., Curt. 138. B. Marci, L., 
Wlk. iii. PI. xxx. 5. Scatopse bifilata, Hal., Wlk. 
iii. PI. xxiv. 6. 

4. Siinitlidci:. 

These are often known as "sand flies" [Simuliutn, 
Lat.), and sometimes are as numerous and as great a 
source of annoyance as mosquitoes. The larvas of 
some species are aquatic, the wings of the imagos 
emerging from the pupa case beneath the water. 

Only two species are British ; both uncommon. 
Walker gives five species (three being repudiated by 
Verrall), whilst Curtis mentions no less than thirteen 
as indigenous. 

5. Chironomidce. 

A large number of species are British, but they 
have not yet been satisfactorily worked out. The 
species in most instances are fairly distinct, but 
owing to the lack of published matter, exceedingly 
difficult to identify. 

Walker describes the larvas of two common 

They are known as " mosquitoes," and are small 
delicate flies, with clear wings and indistinct vena- 
tion, the males having large feathery (plumose) 
antenna. No ocelli. They are common of an 
evening, usually hovering in small swarms under trees 
and over bushes. 

Chironotnus pliimosus, L., is the common "mos- 
quito," the larva being aquatic, blood-red, living in 
stagnant water. 

Winnertz has elaborately monographed the genus 
Ccraiopogon, Mg. (known as midges). 

The two principal genera may be separated 
thus : — 

Metathorax produced over base of abdomen : Chironoinus, 

Metathorax short, descending to the posterior coxae : 

Ceratopogon, Mg. 

The bodies of some species of Taiiypus are almost 
transparent, and most of the species have spotted 
wings. They are distinguished from Chirojwmus by 
the apex of the discoidal cell giving forth four veins 
instead of three. 

Clunio marinus, Hal., a rare species, has coria- 
ceous wings, and is found on the sea-coast . 

Chironoiims pliunosus, L., Wlk. iii. PL xxx. 4. 
Tanypiis nebiilosiis, Mg., Curt. 501. 

6. Orphncphilida:. 
Orphnephila icstacca, Ruth., has occurred in 
Britain. It is a rare species. 

7. PsycJiodidce. 

These are small, blackish-grey, pubescent, moth- 
like flies, with very large scaly wings fringed at the 
edge, and pointed at the tip. The larva; are aquatic. 
(Two common species live in cowdung. ) One species, 
P. phalcenoidesy L., being very common, occurring 
in London all through the summer months ; easily 
recognised by its zigzag movements on the windows. 
P. sexpiuictata, Curt., is not uncommon, being easily 
recognised by the six small but distinct black spots 
along the front border of each wing. One or two 
species appear in mid-winter. 

P, sexpunctata. Curt. 745. 

8. CuUcidic. 

The too well-known "gnat," Culex pipiens, L., is 
the type of this family. 

The larva: (figured by Westwood) are aquatic, and 
active, the eggs being glued together in the form of a 
boat. Degeer and others have well worked out the 
life-histories of several species. The pupa is active, 
but takes no nourishment. 

The Culicida: may easily be recognised and 
separated from the Chironotiiidcc, to which they bear 
some resemblance, by their wings being fringed, and 
the venation being more distinct and more compli- 



The proboscis is long and powerful, composed of 
seven pieces. No ocelli. 

Stephens, some years ago, monographed the 
British species, which are nearly twenty in number. 

Aedes cijicrciis, Mg. Tlic only known species. 
Found in marshy spots. I.arva aquatic. 

Ciildx, L. The 2 lays about 300 eggs, the imago 
requiring a month to acquire full development. 

A/ioJihiks, Mg. Rare ; the 9 does not suck 

Corethra, Mg. The larvre of C. plumicoriiis, F., 
and C. adicifortnis, Deg., are well described by 

Mochlojiyx, Liv., has been recorded as British. 

9. Dixida:. 

These flies are closely allied to the TipuUdic, with 
which a recent authority (Van der Wulp) classes 
them. They occur in woods, and on the banks of 
streams, usually appearing in the evening. 

The larvre live in fungi and decaying wood. 
Only two or three species are British, and Dixa with 
Orphncphila testacea, Ruthe, forms the group Hetero- 
clitac of Walker — both being placed by Schiner with 
one or two other allied genera as a group of "uncertain 
position." Curt, illustrates D. nebulosa, Mg. (409.) 

10. TipiiUdcB. 

Over 150 species of this family are British, most 
of them being known generally as "daddy long- 

They are very delicate in structure, though many 
attain considerable size— the legs of the largest 
species when outstretched spanning a greater surface 
than those of any other species of Diptera. They 
should be pinned immediately after death, especially 
if it is desired to set them. 

The legs and bodies are much attenuated. The 
larvae of some species are aquatic, whilst others feed 
on plants or rotten wood. The larva of Tipula 
oleracea, L., does immense damage to grass lands. 

Most of the genera may be easily distinguished by 
the venation. There are three sub-families. 

Anal vein absent : Ptychopterince. 
Anal vein present. 

Mediastinal vein ending in the costal, connected witk sub- 
costal by a cross vein ; last joint of palpi shorter or 
barely longer than two preceding joints together : 
Mediastinal vein ending in subcostal, no cross vein ; last 
joint of palpi longer than three preceding joints together : 

1. PlycJiopterina. ^Flychopteryx, Mg., frequents 
aquatic plants. They are pretty flies, with the wings 
generally marked with brown ; the species are rather 
more stoutly built than the Tipulina and Limnobince. 
P. coiitamiiuita, L., and F. albimana, F., are not 

2. Limnobina:. Limiiobia Jlavipes, F., is brown, 
with pale grey posterior borders to abdominal 
segments. The wings are grey, with lighter patches, 
brown veins and a row of brown spots on anterior 

border ; legs grey, with black rings on femora and 
tibiae. Long 6 mm. 

Limnobia occurs chiefly in woods and fields, 

Dicranomyia chorea, Mg., is very common, occur- 
ring in London all through the summer. It is yellowish 
brown, legs pale brown, wings clear, with a brownish 
spot on the stigma. Long 6-7 mm. 

T?-ickocera regelationis, L., is common everywhere, 
occurring in London houses all through the warm 
weather. It is a slender, blackish -grey fly, with pale 
grey wings, and long, thin, blackish-grey legs. Long 
about 4 to 6 mm. 

3. Tipulmcc. Tipula oleracea, L., is very common, 
the species of this genus being very widely distri- 
buted. T. oleracea. Tawny grey, tinged with grey — 
sometimes wholly grey, with long tawny legs and 
grey wings, and is common everywhere ; known 
familiarly as the "daddy long-legs." Long, about 
14-15 mm. Variable in size. 

Ctenophora, Mg., is a limited genus of large, 
handsomely coloured flies, all more or less rare, and 
more stoutly built than the rest of the Tipulida:. 

They seem to me to be partly allied to Ptychoptera, 
Mg. The antennre are deeply pectinated in a 
different manner in each species. 

Ptychoptera coiifainiiiafa, L., Wlk. iii. PI. xxviii. 7. 
Dicranoviyia stigmatica, Mg., Wlk. iii. PI xxvii. 2. 
Tipula longicornis, Schum. Curt. 493. Ctenophora 
ornata, Mg., Curt. 5. 

II. Rhyphidic. 

The RhyphidcE pair in the air. They live on over- 
ripe fruit, the larva inhabiting cowdung, or, according 
to Latreille, in the case of R. feiiestralis. Scop., moist 
linen. This species is not uncommon in London (on 
windows), and is recognised by its wings being 
prettily marked with brown. 

They are allied to the Tipulidcc, with which they 
have by some authors been incorporated, and as a 
rule are only found singly or in pairs. 

R. fenestralis. Scop., greyish-brown, with ashy grey 
thorax marked with 3 longitudinal dark lines ; face 
grey ; eyes and antennae black ; legs tawny brown ; 
knees and tarsi more or less black ; wings grey ; 
stigma and one or two clouded spots oh fore border, 
brown — long 7 mm. 


IN May, 1889, I bought a young marmoset {Hapale 
penicillatus) in Bahia (Brazil), which since that 
time has been my constant companion, and, conse- 
quently, under my observation the entire time. 

In spite of its comparatively low intelligence, it 
has become a most interesting pet ; and to watch its 
ways and habits is a constant source of pleasure and 
instruction. In Brazil these animals are much valued 
as pets by the African women settled there ; and 


many a one may be seen adorned with a little 
necklace, and pair of tiny earrings of gold and coral. 
The marmoset is naturally afifectionate, and it soon 
becomes attached to its owner. 

In the marmoset the emotions of rage, pleasure, 
and fear are strongly developed. It exhibits three 
distinct states of rage, the changes from one to the 
other being abrupt. They are as follows : (i) when 
slightly agitated (when shown to a stranger, or if any 
attempt be made to forcibly handle her), expressed 
by a slight chattering ; (2) a more pronounced stage 
(when taken up suddenly by the hand), when she 
chatters vigorously, and attempts to bite ; (3) an 
extreme stage, when the chattering becomes most 
vigorous, alternated frequently with shrill barks, and 
determined attempts at biting, the whole body 
trembles and is convulsed with fury. I can tell 
immediately — if I am not in the same room — the 
state she is in from her cries ; but lately she has 
entirely given up the third stage, for which I am 
thankful, as it could end fatally through the intense 

Pleasure is expressed by whistling, and a peculiar 
little gentle chatter ; when placed in the sun she will 
assume all sorts of positions, and extend the limbs, 
in order to literally bathe in the sunlight, and will 
every now and then give vent to a loud and pro- 
longed whistle from a widely distended mouth. I 
have been able to produce this state latterly, by 
imitating her whistle, when she will answer back. 
She will whistle when she is gently caressed and 
played with, and she will then be very playful, jump- 
ing over your hand in the most eccentric manner, 
and pretending to bite, every now and then dashing 
off with tail erect, to return again immediately. At 
such times she will play hide and seek round a book 
or some other object with the greatest zest, and when 
caught face to face will stop short and draw the skin 
back from the face in a curious manner, as if to make 
herself smaller, and so invisible. 

Fear is expressed by a sharp high whistle, which 
resembles the screeching made by a pencil on a 
slate. The sight of a dog will at once cause it to be 
uttered. She appears much more timid of a dog 
than of a cat ; but when brought face to face with 
either will at once assume an attitude of defence, by 
raising the body on the hind quarters, and preparing 
to use her fore limbs and teeth. The sight of 
" Sallie " (the chimpanzee in the Zoo) produced in 
her the most abject fear, while she seemed anxious to 
attack all the other monkeys. 

A looking-glass always amuses her. When looking 
at her own reflection she will turn her head round 
in a most curious manner, as if to examine the 
reflection from all directions ; this movement of the 
head will also take place when examining any very 
strange object. She is very fond of having the scalp 
raised by the fingers, and of having the long black 
ear coverts twisted up, and will sit fur hours on my 

shoulder, whatever I may be doing. If left alone lor 
long, she wears a most dejected air, and will, if 
possible, go to bed. At night time she sleeps in a 
little flannel bag lined with cotton wool, and it is 
amusing, as evening approaches, to see how restless 
she becomes. When released from her perch she 
will make for the sofa on which is placed the bag, 
and coil herself into it, only coming out at dinner 
time for some sweets, and then sleeping until it is 
daylight again. Should a bell be rung, a faint 
whistle may be heard from the bed, although she is 

In her habits she is extremely clean and regular. 
Her staple food is bread and milk, but she is very 
fond of insects and fruit, and the sight of apricot jam 
causes great excitement, as she likes it better than 
anything else. Her weight is nine ounces. 

I have never attempted to teach her many tricks, 
but my aim has been to try to understand her ways ; 
a better way I think of studying animal nature than 
by devoting time to teaching tricks — which, after all, 
are only learnt in a mechanical and vague manner. 
If we try to understand them, we undoubtedly gain 
their trust and affection. This timid little marmoset 
will follow me about like a dog, though I never 
encourage it. 

David Wilson-Barker. 

By Edward A. Martin. 

IN spite of the care and attention which, in the 
interest of the shareholders, is devoted towards 
providing dramatic and musical entertainment for 
the mental digestion of frequenters of the Brighton 
Aquarium, the establishment still retains a high 
position as a scientific collection of one of the most 
useful divisions of the great vertebrate sub-kingdom. 
One can scarcely lay blame on the shoulders of the 
directors that the force of circumstances has compelled 
them to neglect to a partial extent the true objects for 
which the collection was founded. All shareholders 
cannot afford to imitate the example of one of their 
body, who returned dividends to the amount of a good 
many pounds in order that the sum might be devoted 
to the needs of pisciculture. The result of the present 
policy has been that perhaps not one-eighth of those 
who visit the Aquarium are in the slightest degree 
interested in the scientific aspect of the institution, 
whilst those who are so interested, are content to 
remain thankful that through the tolls paid by the 
remaining seven-eighths, they are allowed to retain 
the place at all as a scientific collection of fish. 

It is remarkable that amongst the creatures exhibited 
there are found representatives lof each of the five 
classes of vertebrates, although the collection* is 
nominally one of the "pisces" only. Yet an 
Aquarium should be available for the reception of all 



those creatures which exist in water ; and indeed, 
taken in this its widest sense, it is scarcely to be seen 
why the authorities have made no efilbrt to introduce 
other classes among the invertebrates, one of which is 
notably absent, namely, the molluscs. There would 
scarcely be anything more interesting than a series of 
fanks in which were to be seen crawling about on the 
rocky bed, or over the sandy floor, the inhabited shells 
of those creatures which we are accustomed to see 
lying in cabinets and on mantel-shelves, artificially 
polished, and in many cases in sharp contrast to their 
dull natural appearance. 

Peihaps one of the most interesting tanks is that 
devoted to the beautiful Guillemots, or swimming birds, 
although few visitors have the opportunity of seeing 
ihem at their best. This is at their feeding time, 
when they exhibit their wonderful powers of diving. 
When the surface of the water, as seen from below, 
is perturbed by the almost phosphorescent wavelets, 
caused by the birds splashing about and cleaving the 
water at full speed in pursuit of their prey, the 
sudden transformation of a bird into a fish — for such 
it almost appears in the water — is a most striking 
sight, and as it cuts through the surface with its beak, 
and folds its powerful wings by its side when gliding 
through the water with the impetus it has gained, it 
sliines with a silver-like glow, as it reflects the rays 
which illumine it from above. It seems principally 
to use its legs in its under-water propulsion, its tail 
doubtless acting the same part as that it plays in true 
fishes. The bird has been said to remain beneath the 
surface for several minutes. 

The strange lazy mud-fish in its table aquarium 
scarcely perhaps attracts the attention it deserves, 
and yet its life-history is a most important one to the 
evolutionist, since it is one of those animals which 
supply a found — and not a missing — link between 
the Reptilia and the Pisces. In reptiles, the process 
fjf breathing is carried on by means of well-developed 
iungs, whilst in the fishes proper, the process of 
oxygenisation of the blood is brought about by gills, 
situated on both sides of the head behind the mouth. 
It is scarcely necessary to repeat the fact that fishes 
require air just at much as human beings, and that 
if placed in water which has been boiled (and of 
course cooled), they cannot live, or that if placed in 
insufficiently aerated water they can often be seen 
breathing the air at the surface of the aquarium. In 
our friend the mud-fish, Lepidosiren or Protopterus, 
however, there is not only the usual complement of 
gills as in fishes, but also lungs, as in reptiles, the 
ordinary swimming-bladder of fishes being in this 
instance organised as a lung. The happy possession, 
therefore, of both ,of these forms of breathing 
apparatus, enables it to inhale air both directly 
from the atmosphere, and by abstracting it from the 
w-ater. In its native haunts it is found inhabiting 
the rivers en the west coast of Africa. These at 
certain seasons run quite dry. At such times, when 

it feels the stream gradually subsiding in which it has 
dwelt, and the danger threatens of being stranded 
I and exposed to the attacks of its enemies, it has the 
habit of burrowing into the soft clay forming the bed 
of the stream, and of there hiding itself in the nest it 
has formed. As soon as the water has ceased to flow 
over its place of refuge it commences to breathe by 
means of its lungs, and remains ensconced in its 
clayey home, until, with the return of the wet season, 
the stream again fills up its deserted bed. By taking 
advantage of this nidifying propensity, the fish was 
brought to England in the clay in which it had 
buried itself, and the nest is now to be seen by the 
side of the aquarium in which the creature lives. It 
would seem, too, as if it has resumed its fish-like 
habits permanently, as no provision appears to have 
been made for it in its confined home, by which it 
can at all make use of that important organ, its 
lungs. This is rather to be regretted, as to the 
general public the novel sight of a comparatively 
unknown fish living out of water, on a dry soil, 
would have proved no doubt interesting and enter- 

Fishes, fossil and recent, are sometimes roughly 
classified into two divisions according to the shape 
of their tails. Agassiz, the great naturalist, whose 
authority on the subject is everywhere recognised, 
found that some tails were equal-lobed, as in the 
case of the herring, whilst others, as those of the 
shark, the skate, and the sturgeon, were unequal- 
lobed, and consisted of an elongated upper lobe, into 
which the backbone was continued, the lower lobe 
being considerably shortened. It is an interesting 
fact that, although now but very few living fishes 
have tails of the unequal-lobed form, almost all of 
the forms of primitive fish-life bore them. During a 
period preceding that when the chalk was formed, 
fish with equal-lobed tails commenced to live, whilst 
the ancient form began to die out. The proportion 
of one form to the other now, therefore, is reversed, 
whereas homocercal (equal) tails were formerly the 
exception, and heterocercal (unequal) tails the rule, 
now, with the exception of the sturgeon, shark, 
skate, bony-pike, and perhaps a few others, the far 
larger proportion are equal-lobed. 

The little gar-pike, or bony-pike of the American 
rivers, which are now in the Aquarium, are the first of 
their species which have been introduced alive into 
England, To the energy of Mr. Crane, F.G.S., and 
his American friends, the authorities are greatly 
indebted in this matter. The gar-pike exhibit well 
the ancient form of unequal lobed tail. They attain 
a length of several feet, and their vertebral column is 
more completely ossified than any living fish. Their 
jaws form a long narrow snout, which is armed by a 
double series of teeth. 

Every schoolboy who has lived in a district where 
the chalk-hills form an important feature in the land- 
scape, has found at some period or other numerous 



" sharks'-teeth " imbedded in the chalk-i^its. They 
form such a well-known fossil that we can judge, to a 
certain extent, of the numbers in which sharks lived 
in those parts when the chalk was being formed 
beneath the sea. These relics of the monsters of the 
deep, which then roamed through the sea in our 
latitudes, remind us forcibly of the great change which 
has come over the inhabitants of these shores. \Ye 
have no voracious shark now skirting our British 
coasts, lying in wait for a meal of man or beast, as he 
would have done in ages gone by. Our waters are 
not warm enough for him, and the man-eating 
sharks, whose ancestors left their bones and teeth on 
the chalky floor of the northern ocean, have now bid 
good-bye to these regions, and betaken themselves to 
a climate more suited to their taste. The only allied 
fish which now remain with us are the various 
species of dog-fish. These represent well in structure 
the most important points in the dreaded white shark, 
although of course very much in miniature. 

The order which embraces the sharks and dog- 
fishes, also includes the rays and the skates. As I 
was watching the tank which contained the latter, a 
large individual came floundering from the recesses of 
the cavern, and settled itself down on the base of the 
tank immediately in front of the glass. As it settled 
it seemed to press its two side fins downwards, and 
arch its body from side to side, as though to prevent 
the under surface of its body coming into contact with 
the ground, I noticed that this occurred each time it 
settled, so to speak ; and I therefore determined to 
watch its under-surface, as it rose, for an explanation 
of the position it assumed. An opportunity soon 
presented itself, and as the creature rose, it showed on 
the under-surface of its body two series of five 
branchial openings radiating away from each other 
and from its mouth. These openings communicated 
with a corresponding number of branchial pouches, 
and really constituted its means of breathing. This 
was the more apparent, since the openings were 
regularly opened and closed by a covering membrane 
at intervals of about a couple of seconds' duration. 
This at once explained the reason of its peculiar 
attitude when on the floor of the tank. 

As we pass along the corridors, the interesting 
little stickleback claims our attention, and recalls to 
mind the ingenious manner in which the male builds 
its nest for the reception of his chosen brides. The 
gorgeous plumage of the dahlia (Crassicornis) and 
carnation (Dianthus) anemones appeal to our aesthetic 
and artistic tastes, and we notice how the latter 
species have taken to themselves the most prominent 
projections of the rocks, to the exclusion of all others 
of its fellows. Wc notice the tank of silvery little 
whitebait, shining in the artificial light overhead, and 
take note of the fact that they have been kept in 
captivity until they have grown into true herrings. 
The ugly octopi, with their internal skeleton, familiar 
to us as the cuttle-bone; the turtles, the affectionate- 

looking seals, are amongst the many creatures which- 
arrest our attention. We hope fervently that the 
aquarium will be able to steer clear of pecuniary 
slioals, as it has done in the past, and that there 
will be sufficient local spirit to prevent such a 
national institution from falling a prey to insolvency.. 
If unable to pay its way, perhaps Government might 
be induced to engraft it on to the Natural History 
Department of the British Museum, which should 
carry it on as a seaside branch of itself. Perhaps the 
Council of the Imperial Institute might be prevailed 
upon to become interested in it, and save it from 
any possibility of having to close its doors. Were 
practical experiments in pisciculture to become the 
recognised reason of its existence, even Englishmen 
would not begrudge an occasional Government grant 
towards its support. 

No. I. 

THE wonders of structure and organisation revealedi 
by the Microscope in every department of the 
vegetable and animal world, form a chapter of 
intensest interest to the thoughtful mind. On the- 
one hand we see the whole organised creation built 
up of practically identical elements ; on the other,, 
the most varied and wonderful adaptations, in every 
minute particular, to fit them for their surroundings- 
and mode of life. Wonderful and interesting as- 
these revelations have undoubtedly been, yet the 
discovery of the Rhizopoda, the Infusoria, and Roti- 
fera — bringing within our ken, as it were, the 
denizens of a new world — far surpasses, to some 
orders of mind, all other discoveries. During the 
past few years, I have devoted special attention to- 
these classes of animals, (particularly the Rotifera), 
have systematically "fished" a limited number of 
ponds, taking notes in the field, of my captures, and 
of the conditions under which they were made, ancJj 
I propose in this and subsequent papers to embody- 
some, at least, of these notes, in the hope that they 
may prove of service to those entering upon the 
study of what is colloquially termed, " Pond Life." 
As I have now pretty well worked up the Rotifera, 
of Rossendale, so that I rarely come across any form 
I have not previously drawn and studied, I resolved 
to do something in the way of compiling a local list,, 
and studying the habits and peculiarities of the 
humble Rhizopods of our district. From its known 
richness in microscopic life generally, I fully expected, 
being able to reap a rich harvest of species, and was 
not altogether without hope of adding some new 
form, not (previously known to science. Another, 
consideration which will naturally recommend this 
class to microscopists of curtailed leisure, is the fact, 
that it consists only of about seventy species ; a. 
number not requiring a great amount of labour iii. 



order to get a fair idea of the class. Although I only 
commenced the special study of the Rhizopoda about 
three months ago, I have already collected over one- 
third of the known fresh-water species, so far at least 
as these are recorded in Professor Leidy's great work ; 
and in addition three or four species apparently 
unknown to that authority ; all in four or five 
l^laces, within a mile of my own house. In future 
papers I propose to describe these forms, and to give 
drawings of the principal varieties, in order to 
revive an interest in a somewhat neglected class of 

The Rhizopoda are microscopic beings, the 
majority of which are invisible to the naked eye ; 
they are essentially aquatic, being found in ponds, 
<litches, lakes, marshes, bogs, and in the sea. They 
appear to have been the first representatives of 
animal life on earth ; and if the theory of evolution 
be correct, they represent our own remotest ancestors. 
They constitute a class of micro-organisms of the 
most simple character ; there is no distinction of 
tissues or organs, but their animal substance is homo- 
geneous, contractile and translucent, resembling a 
tenaceous mucus or soft tremulous jelly. This jelly 
•substance, in the living state, is constantly changing 
its form by expanding at one or several points into 
processes of ever-varying dimensions, arrangement, 
and number. These are used as organs of locomotion 
and prehension, and frequently branch. From the 
appearance of these temporary organs resembling 
roots, this class of animal has received its name of 
J\.hizopoda, literally, root-footed. Generally speak- 
ing, especially in the naked forms, this colourless 
jelly includes coloured food-particles, principally 
microscopic algae in various stages of digestion, and 
tnumercus globules, granules, and various foreign 
particles, such as sand-grains, all of which tend to 
diminish the transparency of the animal, and often 
impart considerable colour. The internal portion of 
the animal appears somewhat more fluid than the 
•exterior, although in no case is there a true mem- 
branous covering. The terms endosarc and ectosarc 
are used to express this difference, which is more 
marked in the Order Lobosa than in any other. 
JNIany of the animals are capable of enclosing them- 
selves in a shell or test of various figure, consistence, 
and complexity, and such variations serve to separate 
the Rhizopods into families and genera. The 
testaceous forms include the charming Foraminifera 
and Polycystina, the exquisitely beautiful shells of 
which are formed in the one case of carbonate of 
lime, and in the other of silica of most glassy 
transparency ; but as these are (with one exception) 
exclusively marine in their habitats, we omit all 
further reference to them in these papers. The 
fresh- water Rhizopods form their tests or shells of a 
variety of materials ; some of a horn-like substance 
■ called Chitine, similar to that which gives strength 
to the integument of insects ; others form neat, box- 

like cases, made up of minute sand-grains or of 
diatoms, separately or mixed ; while another section, 
having made a further advance in architecture, 
build up their tests of rounded, oval, or rectangular 
plates, of chitinous or silicious material, which, over- 
lapping in various ways, form definite patterns. Our 
district is fairly rich in these charming forms ; 
although the greater number of them are inhabitants 
of sphagnous swamps. In most of the genera there 
is a more or less granular spot called the nucleus, 
which is considered as the centre of vital activity. 
Many authorities attach great importance to the 
presence or absence of this organ, but it is, I believe, 
a fact, that in the lowly organisms we are now 
considering, it cannot always be demonstrated, and 
in some cases is undoubtedly absent. There is, 
however, another organ which is rarely absent — 
sometimes indeed there are considerably more than one 
(in Arcella, for instance) viz., a contracting vesicle ; 
this presents itself as a "clear, colourless, or pale 
roseate sphere, which is observed very slowly to 
enlarge, then rapidly to collapse, and for a moment 
to disappear, again to reappear, commonly in the 
same position." This occurs with a certain degree 
of regularity. The phenomenon is remarkable, and 
probably serves a respiratory, and possibly an 
excretory function. 

A few words on classification, which is simple, and 
easily mastered, will suitably conclude this introduc- 
tory paper. The class is divided into five orders : 
Protoplasta ; Heliozoa ; Radiolaria ; Foraminifera ; 
and Monera. The first order is divided into two sub- 
orders, Lobosa and Filosa j the former with thick, 
finger-like, or lobose processes or pseudopods ; the 
latter with filamentous or thread-like pseudopods. 
The fresh-water Rhizopods are, with one or two 
exceptions, contained in the first two orders. Proto- 
plasta lobosa has eleven genera and about forty-three 
species, and contains such well-known forms as 
Amoiba, Difflugia and Arcella ; P. filosa has six 
genera, and about seventeen species, many of them 
most charming animals, having most beautifully built- 
up tests ; Heliozoa contains eleven genera and about 
fifteen species. While the order Foraminifera has but 
two fresh-water species, Gromia turricola and Biomyxa 
vagans. Monera, constituted by Haeckel to contain 
those Rhizopods destitute of nuclei, may be discarded, 
as many of the forms for which it was created 
(Foraminifera, &c.) have been proved to be nucle- 
ated. This gives us thirty genera, and about seventy- 
seven species. I have little doubt, however, from 
my own limited experience, that this number might 
be materially increased if Microscopists would only 
pay some attention to this interesting but neglected 
class of animals. In ray next contribution, I propose 
to describe the Rossendale forms of the naked, lobose 

J. E. Lord. 

Rowtenstall . 




By Chas. Wardingley. 

THIS group of rocks has been variously termed 
" Encrinital," " Productus " and "Mountain " 
imestone, and in every case the synonyms have been 
characteristically applied. The broader term " Car- 
boniferous" is, however, to be preferred, as it will more 
appropriately include all the varieties of limestone 
tleposited between the close of the Old Red Sandstone 
period and the commencement of the Permian. The 
group is decidedly one of the most interesting of the 
iossiliferous deposits of Scotland, and besides, affords 
an excellent field of study to the practical geologist. 
Outcrops occur in the large area extending from the 
north-east of Fife to the south-west of Dumfries. In 
these counties, and in Roxburgh, Haddington, 

desire to investigate the rocks for themselves, we 
may divide the field occupied by the Carboniferous 
Limestone into two sections, the Forth district, and 
the Dumfriesshire district. The former affords the 
greater number of accessible exposures, and besides 
its geological features presents many other attractions 
equally interesting to the tourist of scientific tastes 
who desires to indulge in a variety of out-door 

The above rough sketch introduces us to the 
limestone exposures adjacent to or within the Fortli 
district, where the beds lie either immediately above 
the Lower Coal Measures, or alternatively above the 
Calciferous Sandstone Series. The total thickness of. 
the beds does not exceed 90 feet, even including the 
freshwater deposit familiarly known as the Burdie- 
house Limestone. This is a great contrast to the- 
enormous thickness of the limestone of Englandj, 





HILLS ^r^"^ 






Fig. 36. — Map showing Carboniferous Lirr.estone exposures in the Firth of Forth district. 

Edinburgh, and Linlithgow, it appears chiefly — as in 
England, capping the various hills and ridges, having 
to a considerable extent escaped by its hardness the 
denuding and wasting influences which have worn 
down the more friable sandstones. Compact and 
durable, it has ofi'ered the sternest opposition to the 
destructive powers of air, frost, and rain, with this 
result, that while representatives of other formations 
have been levelled to its base — the Carboniferous 
Limestone still stands boldly and sharply out, its 
peaks and ridges appearing to bid defiance to the 
con<|uering power which has worked such havoc 
among less resisting strata. 

To the student of geology the group is probably the 
most unmistakable of the stratified rocks, and yielding 
as it does a large variety of economic products, its 
industrial importance can scarcely be over-rated. 
For the convenience of tliose who may at any time 

where in several places, notably Ashbourne, in 
Derbyshire, the total depth is over 1,500 feet. The 
main mass of the Scotch limestone usually occurs in 
thick beds, with but little shale [.between, and with 
few exceptions is of the grey colour so familiar to 
geologists who have worked the limestone deposits on 
the south-western slopes of the Pennine range at 
Chatburn, Clitheroe, and Whalley. Possibly the 
best and most typical exposures will be found in Fife, 
at Invertiel, i^ mile west of Kirkcaldy, and again at 
Charleston, 5 miles west of the northern terminus of 
the Forth bridge. At Invertiel it is seen lying upon 
the Calciferous Sandstone, cropping out some 70 or 
75 feet above the level of the sea, with the strike 
running from N.W. to S.E. and with an E.N.E. dip 
angle of 15°. The thickness of the exposed limestone 
is about 30 feet, and for the greater part consists of 
massive compact layers interspersed with thin seams 



of darker-coloured calcareous shales. Mineralogically 
considered the rock is sub-crystalline, with an irregular 
or amorphous cleavage, and not unfrequently exhibits 
a splintery fracture, while its general hardness may 
be taken at 2"8 and its specific gravity at 2' 5. It 
tlVervesces rapidly in acid, is almost infusible before 
the blowpipe at an ordinary heat, though it parts with 
its carbonic acid very readily, shines with a vivid 
brightness, and ultimately becomes quicklime. The 
following may be accepted as a rough analysis of the 
limestone proper. 

Carbonic acid 42*0 

Lime 48 'o 

Magnesia 2'o 

Alumina 2"o 

SiHca 3*5 

Various (sulphur, oxide of iron, &c.) 2'5 


The rock generally has the appearance of being 
built up or composed of Entrochi (wheelstones) or 

Fig. 37.— Stem of 

Fig. 38.— Stem of Platyori- 
nns la-vis (nat. size). 

Fig. 3<3.— Plate of Archieoci- 
dan's nrii (nat. size). 

Fig. 40. — Joint of Encrinite 
("St. Cuthbert's Bead") 
(nat. size). 

remains of Encrinites, a variety of Crinoid wonder- 
fully numerous in this formation. These marine 
animals closely resembled plants, hence the name 
" stone lilies," and, like plants, were fixed to one spot. 
They consisted of innumerable articulating joints 
placed one above another upon a base or root attached 
to the sea-bottom. This stem, often several feet in 
length, was surmounted by a cup-shaped arrangement 
(pelvis) containing the body of the animal, from which 
issued long jointed tentacula or fingers, capable of 
being extended horizontally for the purpose of allow- 
ing it to catch its prey. Not unfrequently the stems 
consisted, as in the species Moniliformis, of several 
thousand Entrochi or joints, and through the whole 
series ran an alimentary canal connecting the base 
with the stomach. The holes in the.joints caused by 
the existence of this canal suggested to the former 

inhabitants of some limestone districts the idea of 
their having at one time been beads, and indeed they 
have often been used as such. It is to these that Sir 
Walter Scott alludes in " Marmion." 

"On a rock by Lindisfarn, 
St. Cuthbert sits and toils to frame 
The sea-born beads that bear his name." 

Myriads of these Encrinite stems and joints, the 
latter varying in diameter from a Hne to an inch, are 
crowded into the limestone of Invertiel and other 
places, though the most perfect examples are those 
found in the looser calcareous shale. The Encrinite is 
never found entire at this and adjoining quarries, but 
bases and parts of the pelvis and tentacula are by 
no means rare. Other characteristic fossils found 
here include, Cyathocriims planus, C. tiibercnlatus^ 

Fig. 41. — Stem of Potcriocrinus crassns. (From Taylor's 
("Common British Fossils.") 

C. riigosus, Platycrimis Iczvis, Foieriocrtjms iennisy 
Cyathophyllum turbinatuiii. Plates of Af'chiBocidaris 
tirii, Faiestella mcmbranacea, Prodiutits longispinus^ 
P. semiretictdaUis, Spirifera lincata, S. glabra, S, 
trigonalis, Orthis Mitchiliiii. 

The plates of the Archteocidaris are usually found 
singly in the looser shale, and are highly interesting 
as being the remains of one of the very earliest forms 
of the family Cidaris {Echinodermata). These will 
probably be far better understood by breaking in 
pieces and comparing the separate sections or plates 



•of one of our estuarine echinoderms, say the Echina 

It may be mentioned that on the shore within a 
mile from this quarry is an excellent illustration of 
the change which a sedimentary rock undergoes by 
contact with an igneous one. In a narrow stretch of 
coast-line not more than a furlong in length we have 
a sandstone gradually developing into a quartz rock, 
yet so imperceptibly does the change take place as to 
■completely defeat any attempt to locate the spot at 
■which the sandstone ends and the quartz rock begins. 

Directly north of Invertiel, about 15 miles distant, 
is the East Lomond Hill, rising 1,471 feet above the 
level of the sea. The lower and middle portion of 
this hill, which was in 1881 one of the chief stations 
■of the Ordnance Survey, is composed of Calcareous 
.Sandstone, representing probably some of the lower 
beds of the English carboniferous rocks, but at the 
Jieight of 1, 200 feet the limestone crops out and forms 

Tig. 42. — Fencstella 

Fig. 43. — Or this rcsupinata. 

5^ig. 44. — Spirifera tr {go- 
nates, showing internal 

Fig. 45. — Product Its punctatus. 
(From Taylor's " Common British Fossils.") 

a belt over 12 feet thick, the rock inclining gently to 
the south-east. 

It is worthy of note that this is one of the highest 

situated exposures in Scotland from which fossils have 

:as yet been obtained. In many places the limestone 

is quite bare, with no soil or covering above it, and 

yet from a thin bed of stone or " blae," quite a large 

Tiumber of shells may be seen, of forms varied and 

perfect, and but little injured or weathered by their 

long exposure to the atmosphere. They, however, 

usually break whenever an attempt is made to 

■extract them from the matrix, and it is only by 

exercising the greatest perseverance and patience that 

fairly good specimens of any of the numerous forms 

■of Productus, Spirifera, RhynconcUa, etc., can be 

carried away. Over a century ago this hill was 

worked for lead, which in the form of galena also 

yielded silver. The ore, now unprofitable for work- 

angj was massive and in hexahedral crystals. 

In the west of Fife are the limestone quarries of 
Limekilns and Charleston, about a mile apart. At 
the former place the rock was worked so long ago as 
the 17th century, and must have been an important 
article of industry and commerce even fifty years 
ago. Its value to this once thriving village may be 
better understood by mentioning that from 1840 to 
1S50 the average annual output of limestone exceeded 

Fig. 46.— Clisiophyllum. (From Taylor': 

' Common British 

Pig. 47.— Transverse section of Clisiophyllum. 

15,000 tons, while the value of the raw material 
previous to burning and shipment amounted to 
nearly ;iC4000. The rock has been wrought from the 
face of the outcrop, north-east to south-west, and veiy 
close to the shore. Step by step the workings have 
been carried westwards towards Charleston, the site 
of the present very restricted operations. The result 
is that the appearance of the coast-line for upwards of 


a mile has been altogether changed. Instead of a 
gradually rising shore or "talus," we have a thin 
stretch of undulating ground, backed by a steep 
precipitous ridge or clift' in several places upwards of 
1 20 feet high. This is one of many such examples 
which help to show us how very greatly the aspect 
of a locality may be permanently changed by mining 
or quarrying operations conducted from the surface. 
The exposure consists generally of several beds of 
limestone dipping to the north-west at an angle of 
12°, the visible depth being about 60 feet. These 
beds in their turn are covered by 35 feet of shale 
more argillaceous than carboniferous in its composi- 
tion. The limestone in appearance is very similar to 
that already described, the colour perhaps being a 

On the south side of the Forth we have the rock 
again exposed in the quarries north-east of the 
important mining district of Bathgate. The ridge or 
series of hills locally known as the Torphichens form- 
part of the south rim of the Forth basin, and rise to 
a height of 600 feet above the sea-level. The lime^ 
stone in this neighbourhood consists of a series of 
beds 60 feet thick, is ot the usual grey colour, but 
somewhat softer in texture, yielding more readily to 
weathering influences, and becomes of a black -yellow 
tint on decomposition. Possibly to the student just 
commencing his researches among the Carboniferous 
limestone no better locality than that of Bathgate 
could be desired, as the exposures are both numerous 
and easy of access, while the profusion of organic 

Fig. 48. — Comtlaria qjiadris7dcaia. 

Fig. 49. — Spirifera striata, b and c showing internal coils. 

Fig. 50. — Prodiictus gigantens. 
(From Taylor's "Common British Fossils.") 

shade darker owing to the presence in the rock of a 
small percentage of naphtha. Organic remains are 
^omewhat rare in the lower beds, but of those 
occasionally found most are in a fairly satisfactory 
state of preservation. The upper massive beds yield 
good and large Produdjis loiigispiiiiis, P. simiatiis, 
P. martini, and P. Jimbriatiis ; the thin beds of 
calcareous shale contain species of Tubipora, 
Cyathophylhim, Clisiophylhitii, Turbinolia, Fungitcs, 
(sheep's-horn), and various parts of dispersed en- 
crinites ; while from the nodules of red-coloured 
argillaceous ironstone found in the upper " blaes " 
the writer has obtained very perfect and well-defined 
specimens of Conularia qiiadrisiilcata, Ort/iis resiipi- 
nata, Spirifera Uneata, and Strophomena sp. 

remains is such as to lend every encouragement to 
those who desire to wield hammer and chisel to 
advantage. At present, operations in the once 
extensively worked ([uarries are all but stopped in 
consequence of the small demand for lime and the 
keen competition of more favourably situated lime- 
works. But it is impossible to wander among the 
various workings without noticing on every hand 
signs of the great amount of material which has been 
extracted. Lead was at one time obtained here in. 
small though not very continuous veins, and this in 
turn yielded a small percentage of silver. The 
argentiferous ore was long worked in one of the 
quarries still bearing the name of " Silver Mine," 
situated a few hundred yards north-west of the 



reservoir immediately above the town, and near to the 
Bathgate and Linlithgow road. After yielding a 
comparatively large quantity of silver it ultimately 
ceased to give a supply great enough to be remunera- 
tive, and operations at length were suspended. In 
1 87 1 further explorations were made, and several 
deeper pits with numerous ramifications opened, but 
beyond obtaining a small and unsatisfactory amount 
of lead, silver, and platinum ore, the venture was 
unsuccessful, and i the place was finally abandoned. 
Evidence was, however, adduced during the search, 
which proved conclusively that the same vicinity had 
been worked for silver so far back as the 15 th and 
i6th centuries. The specimens now to be obtained 
comprise barytes (heavy-spar) calc-spar, pearl-spar, 
and dolomite, while a closer examination among the 
seams of friable limestone will be rewarded by the 
discovery here and there of small pieces of lead ore, 
zinc ore, and pyrites. The fossils, as we have already 
mentioned, are very numerous, and almost every stone 
wall in the immediate neighbourhood bears witness 
to this statement. But while the specimens are so 

Fig. 51. — Tooth of Rhizodus Hibberti. 

very general it cannot be said that the species are 
proportionably varied. Productus giganteiis, Cyatho- 
crinus planus, and Platycrimis lavis are unusually 
common, the first mentioned being present in such 
quantities as to cause the rock to be well qualified for 
the name " Productus " limestone. In fact, it seems 
more abundant here than in any other series of 
quarries under our notice, but it is unfortunately 
very difficult to extract. Other fossils obtainable 
include Spirifera striata, (comparatively rare in 
Scotland), Productus sctnireticulatus, and the Polyzoa 
Fenestella vtemhraiiacca. 

Before taking leave of the carboniferous limestone 
of the Forth district, it is necessary for us to consider 
briefly a sub-deposit exposed at Burdiehouse, New- 
bigging, and other places, to which the terms 

" Encrinital," " Productus," and " Mountain " would 
be altogether inappropriate, but which must certainly 
be included under the term " Carboniferous." This 
deposit, commonly known as the Burdiehouse Lime- 
stone, was first brought prominently before geologists 
by the late Dr. Hibbert in 1835. It has a dull, 
earthy, light blue appearance, is exceedingly hard and 
brittle, breaks with a conchoidal fracture, and the beds 
vary in thickness from 20 to 30 feet. Where found, 
it usually occurs alternating with oil-producing shales, 
directly above the calciferous sandstones, and to a 
limited extent contains fossils common to both rocks, 
notably Sphenopteris affuiis and S. bifida. From the 
nature of the embedded remains it has been con- 
sidered to be of fresh-water or estuarine origin. 
Remains of microscopic Crustacea closely resembling 
in general structure those at present existing in fresh- 
water lakes abounding in decaying vegetable matter, 
occur in myriads.- Teeth of ganoid fish, Rhizodus 
Hibberti, and of Callopristodon pcctiiiatis, and 
Nematoptychius sp. are occasionally found, the first- 
named being usually very perfect. 

Though this formation is particularly enticing to 
the palEeontologist, it may not be altogether out of 
place to warn the student against building up a too 
exaggerated idea of what he may be able to obtain 
from the rock during a chance visit of two or three 
hours' duration. It is quite possible that he may 
succeed in becoming the possessor of a good-sized 
specimen of tooth of Rhizodus or other fish, but it is 
equally probable that he may have to remain satisfied 
with less enticing relics, made up, perhaps, of some of 
the more common fern remains. If, however, the place 
visited be Burdiehouse itself, he will be able to find 
something to reflect upon during his journey back to 
Edinburgh (five miles) by knowing that the quarry and 
its contents have been studied by the eminent geolo- 
gists, Sir Roderick Murchison, Hugh Miller, Agassiz, 
and Drs. Fleming and Buckland. 

{To be continued.) 


WE may gather from the accounts and papers 
and " Imperial Gazetteer " that the following 
were years of famine in India :— 1396 to 1407, 1460, 
1520, 1629-31, 1650, 1686, 1746, 175s, 1759, and 60, 
1770, 1773. 1783, 1790-92, 1803, 1807 and 13, 
1824,1833, 1838, 1845, 1847,1854, i86oand6i, 1866, 
1869, 1873 and 74, 1876-1878. In the Delhi market 
the price of wheat, according to Mr. Stanley Jevons, 
was highest in 1763, 1773, 1783, 1792, 1803, 1809 and 
12, 1820 and 26, 1834 ; between which dates and 
the sun-spot series there is a more or less exact coinci- 
dence, some local displacement being marked by the 
years 1792 and 1872. Famines in India, then, may 
be expected at the epochs of most and fewest sun- 
spots, and corn in particular, where grown, may be 

Written in the Sun-Spots. 

"Decidimus quo pius .^^.neas quo dives Tullus et Ancus, PiiKis et umbra sunnis,"— HoR. 






























324 Alexander the Great dies, 323. 
335 Alexander the Great, 336. 

365 I Perdiccas the Third. 
387 Ptolemy, 388. 
412 Archelaus, 413. 

423 , Darius the Second. 


445 . Tribunicia Potestus, 446. 

453 Date of Daniel. 

464 Artaxerxes. 

486 Leges agrarian ; Darius dies. 

508 Tarquinius Superbus deposed, 509. 

522 Madness and death of Cambyses. 

530 Cambyses, 529. 

574 Tyre taken. 

577 ' Tarquinius Priscus dies, 579. 

588 I Destruction of Jerusalem. 

596 Aurora Borealis ; Ezekiel ; Eclipse, 597 

599 Jehoiakim dies. 

607 I Nineveh destroyed, 606. 

618 Ancus Martius dies. 

632 Cyrene founded by Delphian Oracle. 

640 j Tullus Hostilius dies ; 641, Josiah. 

643 1 Manasseh dies, 644 ; Amon, 642. 

662 I Gyges dies, 663. 

Insurrection in Assyria. 

Hezekiah dies ; Assaranadina, 699. 

Tarentum founded, 707. 



Deioces ; Merodach-baladin deposed, 

Romulus dies. 

720 Fall of Samaria, 721. 


Ahaz dies. 
Pekah murdered. 



































Ahaz ; Tiglath-pileser. 

Romulus, 754. 

Uzziah and Menahem die, 759. 

Zechariah assassinated, 773. 

Jeroboam the Second dies. 

Famine of Amos, 787. 

Plague in Assyria. 

Circa, depositions, plague in Assyria. 

Shalmaneser V. dies, 8x8. 

Joash slain. 

Jehoahaz died, 840. 

Jehoram murdered, 8S3. 

885 Jehoram dies, 884. 



Famine in Samaria. 

The prophets urge Ahab to battle. 

Shalmaneser, 905. 
007 j Elijah's famine ; visits Horeb. 
915 I Jehosaphat, 914. 

















Elah murdered ; Baasha died, 930. 

Binlikhish IL dies, 936. 

Rehoboam dies, 958. 

Solomon, 1015. 

"The angel at the threshing-place." 

" A sound in the mulberry tops." 

Saul dies, 1056. 

Codrus ; Inarchus, 1856. 

Saul, 1095. 

" The angel at the threshing-place." 

Sinai, Burning Bush, and Plagues, 

Joseph's famine, 1707. 

is founded on the conception of the periodical recurrence of Famines, and may be extended, 
mployed is the Mean Sun-Spot one of Astronomy, which here represents the Jubilee Years, 

This Table 
The notation emj 

Prophetical Numbers, and other dark Figures in general. The passage from most to fewest sun-spots is 
calculated as transpiring every eleven years, the epoch of Fewest (m) being indicated eight years after each 
maximum (M). 



expected to rise in price. Locusts multiplied in 1812 
and 13, 1822, 1834, 1843 and 44, 1865, 1868 and 69, 
1S77-79, that is at the period of fewest sun-spots, 
a rule that appears to hold good for the entire 
Northern Hemisphere. I once endeavoured to ascer- 
tain the destructive species, but could meet with no 
corresponding enthusiasm in the matter. According 
to Toaldo, the price of wheat in Lombardy was 
highest in 1685, 1690, 1693, 1696 and 1700, 1709 and 
1715, 1722, 1729, 1735, 1739, 1743 and 47, 1756, 
1 759 and 63, 1766, 1773, 1778; dates which will serve 
to show how a general law locally varies. 

Horace hears the winter breakers pounding the sea 
cliffs, and scolds Leuconoe for trying the Babylonian 
numbers, and chaunteclere has been known to twit 
Madame Pertelote as being at the root of the matter. 
But when the air grows soft on the springing corn we 
need no longer sigh over the hidden fate of Romulus, 
Tullus, or Ancus, for these dire numbers stand in the 
margin of everybody's Bible, could anyone suggest 
how to consult them to any profit. Certainly if we 
commence B.C. 588 and add eight and three alter- 
nately we may calculate out a very perfect table of 
destiny for the kings of Judah and Israel, so that like 
some warning prophet we might have loomed on each 
in turn and propounded the alternative of a seven 
years' war, a famine, a distemper or an abdication ; 
or we may if desirable begin B.C. 1014 and compute 
by adding the sevens, but in this case the dates will 
be less nearly approximated. Proceeding by either 
method, we infallibly arrive at one or the other of the 
cardinal dates' of the Prophet Daniel employed in 
astrological predictions, and continuing down to our 
own times, it will become self evident that the'Jubilee 
dates of the Bible, taken as they stand, represent the 
mean series of most and fewest sun-spots. Possessing 
such a table, we shall awake to the same dark shadows 
playing everywhere over the open page of history, 
notably embodied in the rush of the barbarians over 
the rustling corn-lands of the west at the decline of the 
Roman Empire, a battle-cry of famine, nowhere so 
photophoned as in the burden of the valley of 
Jehosaphat, when the earthquake roars and the sun 
dons its noontide sackcloth ; ' Hamonim, harmonim, 
bemek hacharutz,' whose refrain as the moon arises 
red we catch in ' canes ululare per umbram.' 

' We are seven,' said Wordsworth's smart school- 
girl : they are seven, was then the dark song of fate ; 
the child sneezed its seven times. But there must have 
been room for a range of opinion, for on one of the 
Assyrian signets the king stands before his burning 
tree crowned with the seven-rayed sun, which has the 
adjunct of eight pomegranate-like side cressets, and 
so very confident is he in his arrangement, that he 
holds what looks like a bell-rope communicating 
with the Deity, in apparent disregard of a priest 
opposite, who tugs just such another ; the reverse is 
seen in the resourceless monarch who weeps over the 
face of the prophet exclaiming, ' O thou chariot of 

Israel and horseman thereof.' Two arrows fly tO' 
glitter in the sun, five or six blows are struck on the 
land of milk and honey, though the medieval al- 
chemist would have transmuted all to gold from 
spirits four and bodies seven, and Josephus thinks 
that the arrows were necessarily three. Is this thy 
place, sad city, this thy throne, where the wild desert 
rears its craggy stone, while suns unblest their angry 
lustre fling? we feel ever ready to exclaim, inured to 
the smooth, uneven, star and planetarj' stops of a 
brilliant millennium, that warms in the sun, refreshes 
in the breeze, glows in the stars, and blossoms in the 
trees ; though even in our green native lanes, far 
remote from throne or senate, we do all unawares 
encounter the white-winged angel as our destiny, in 
the shape of a barking cough, bronchitis, rack of 
nerve or muscle, prelusive of the end. On the 29th.' 
of April, 1882, it was truly painful to behold the seared, 
and blooming cheeks of nature, the greenwood 
scorched and withered on its southern aspect, as 
though scathed with flames, or languishing in the 
breath of autumn that benumbs the bumbles on the 
thistle tufts. The aristocratic elms stood like ragged- 
foresters rayed half green, half umber ; the horse 
chestnuts and hawthorns showed piteously their white- 
china flowers from among sienna leaves ; the oaks ia 
flower and leaf looked as though hung on the sunnier 
side with charred paper, leprous with an orange 
fungus ; the limes and sycamores had their leaves 
shrivelled. In the neighbourhood of the tropics these 
stormy winds whirl the dust-storms over hot sands, in 
their furnace breath the top of Carmel withers, there: 
is a galloping in the trees, the locusts teem, and the- 
five-and-twenty prophets come forth to gaze at the 
sun arising on Olivet, and exclaim, 'This is the 
cauldron and we are the flesh.' The Indian statistics- 
show that behind a drought does not necessarily stalk 
a famine, but Mallet's tables render it perfectly clear 
that eruptions and earthquakes occur in spells at the 
epochs of most and fewest sun spots. In vain was- 
Catherine mangled and borne through mid-air to saint 
a Sinai that does not glow, for the gentler sex remain 
of opinion that a blazing mountain admonishes the 
earth ; Proserpina has left us a nosegay, and Agatha 
her veil, such were ever the resort of the prophet and 
the seer in evil times. According to an author 
quoted, Julianus states that in the reign of king 
Theodoric, when his wife's grandfather was returning 
by sea from Sicily to Italy, the ship stopped at one ot 
the Lipari islands, where a hermit told him that 
Theodoric was dead. The hermit knew the fact from 
having seen the king, on the previous day, dragged 
between John the Pope and Symmachus the patrician^ 
ungirt, unshod, and in chains, and thrown into the 
crater of the volcano. The kinsman of Julianus made 
a note of the day, and found, on his arrival in Italy, 
that Theodoric had died at the time of the appearance 
described by the hermit. It may be remarked that 
John and Symmachus had been put to death by 



Theodoric ; albeit the date 526 a.d. is fatal, and the 
coincidence certainly striking. It is a little singular 
"that Professor Sayce, in translating the allegory of 
.Bel and the Dragon, should not have recognised in it 
a. base version of the Jewish lawgiving, the Assyrian 
tables being of moral import and not of moral weight, 
the shadow and fruit of that golden tree whose gay 
Ausions of the earth's childhood are still the bane and 
perdition of our modern culture. The meteorology 
and geology patched together infallibly outlines in 
barbarous hauruspid style the ruddy clouds, the 
lightnings, the belching, the red lava, and the terrific 
reflexion of the volcano. ' None among the gods 
surpasses thy power ; as an adornment he has founded 
the shrine of the Gods, which is become thy home, 
O thou that avengest us. May thy destiny, O Lord, 
go before the gods, and may they confirm the destruc- 
tion and the creation of all that is said. Set thy 
aiiouth, may it destroy the plan ; turn, speak to him, 
4ind let him produce again his plan. Go, they said, 
;and cut off the life of Tiamet ; let the winds carry her 
blood to secret places. They showed his path and 
they bade him listen and take the road. He made 
the club to swing, the bow and the quiver he hung at 
Jiis side ; he set the lightning before him, with a 
glance of swiftness he filled his body. She recites an 
incantation, she casts a spell. Bel made an evil wind 
to enter, so that she could not close her lips. The 
violence of the winds tortured her stomach, and her 
heart was prostrated and her mouth twisted. He 
swung his club, he shattered her stomach, he cut out 
her entrails ; he mastered her heart. The elevenfold 
offspring are troubled through fear. And he took 
from him the tables of destiny. He lit up the sky, 
the sanctuary rejoiced. Bel measured the offspring 
of the deep, he established the upper firmament as 
his image.' In Syria during a famine when a change 
•of dynasty was contemplated, a prophet, we are told, 
resorted to a cave in Mount Horeb. A strong wind 
lent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks 
before Jehovah ; after the wind came an earthquake 
and after the earthquake a fire ; when Moses ascended 
Sinai at the delivery of the law, ' the smoke thereof 
ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole 
mountain quaked greatly.' It is the precedent to 
cast dates from an Astronomical canon : that of the 
Alexandrine astronomers gives the follor/ing dates for 
the kings of Assyria, commencing at Cyrus, B.C. 53S, 
555. 559. 561. 604, 625, 647, 667, 680, 688, 692, 
■693. 699, 722, 724, and 729 ; the one enclosed will 
cast with but small deviation and error those of 
Israel and Judah. If winds and earthquakes are 
•regarded, then, as an expression of the Divine will, 
.and these are found to be in turn caused by the sun ; 
it is difficult to see how the sun and stars can be ex- 
cluded, save there exist some incomprehensible dis- 
tinction between judicial cosmology and judicial 



We would draw the special attention of our readers 
to an article in the last number of the " Annals and 
Magazine of Natural History," by Professor Ruken- 
thal, " On the Adaptation of Mammalia to Aquatic 
Life." He believes the toothed whales and the whale- 
bone whales have each had a separate origin and 

The last number of the Fcnille des Jcunes Natura- 
listes has a capital and comprehensive article by M. 
Billet on " Notions Elementaires de Bacteriologie." 

We are pleased to announce that the valuable notes 
and memoranda of the veteran Norfolk geologist, the 
late Mr. John.Gunn, will shortly be published, under 
the title of "Memorials of John Gunn." It cannot 
fail to be a deeply interesting book. 

Part 10 of "The Canary Book," by R. L. 
Wallace, and part 10 of " British Cage Birds," by the 
same author, are to hand (London : L. Upcott Gill). 
Both parts are well up to their high mark. 

We have received number 106 of Wesley's 
" Natural History and Scientific Book Circular," 
containing 48 pp., all of which are devoted to works 
on Botany. 

A WORK of much labour as well as of love is the 
Rev. E. N. Blomfield's .'brochure on " The Lepidop- 
tera of Suffolk," published by W. Wesley & Son. 
It runs to 60 pp., and is a model of careful exactness, 
due to vast painstaking. 

At a meeting of the Institut de France (Academic 
des Sciences), Paris, held on December 29th, Dr. A. 
B. Griffiths, F.R.S.E., F.C.S. (an old contributor 
to Science-Gossip), was awarded an _," honourable 
mention" in connection with the Prix Montyon 
which is given annually for researches in experimental 
physiology and physiological chemistry. 

An interesting addition has just been made to our 
British Pleistocene fauna by Doctor Leeson's dis- 
covery of a portion of the skull of the Saiga antelope 
{Saiga tartarka) in the Thames graves at Twicken- 
ham. Its remains had previously been found in the 
caverns of France and Belgium. 

A new fossil wading bird has been found in the 
cretaceous rocks of Sweden, and named Scanioriiis 

The next International Congress of Geologists 
will assemble at Washington, U.S.A., on the 26th 
of August, after the meeting of the American Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Science, which will 
be held the week before. It is expected that the 
committee will be able to obtain from the ocean 
steamship lines very favourable terms for foreign 



members. The secretaries are Messrs. II. S. Wil- 
liams and S. F. Emmons, Washington. 

Mr. E. H. Hankin, of St. John's College, 
Cambridge, is said to have discovered a cure for 
anthrax, to the study of which disease he has devoted 
himself many years. He based his investigations 
upon the principle of lymph inoculation, which Dr. 
Koch has so successfully applied in the case of 
tuberculosis. The glycerine extract in Mr. Hankin's 
process is precipitated with alcohol and re-dissolved 
in water. The experiment has been repeated on a 
number of subjects with gratifying success. This 
discovery derives additional interest from the fact 
that anthrax is not the only disease from which rats 
(the spleen of which animal produces the protective 
proteid) enjoy immunity. 

A French chemist, according to the "Daily 
News" of February nth, claims to have discovered 
the true process of photographing in correct colours. 

We are glad to see that the " Oological Expedi- 
tion " to the Shetland Isles, projected in Birmingham, 
will not be allowed to take place. The question 
came up in Parliament on February 17th. Vandalism 
of this kind ought to have no mercy shown it. 

We are sorry to record the death of an old contri- 
butor to our columns in Dr. 11. B. Brady, F.R.S., 
&c., of Newcastle. Dr. Brady was distinguished for 
his large and specialistic knowledge of the Forami- 
nifera, and Fossil and recent, on which he wrote 
several monographs, including the two superb quarto 
vols, on the Foraminifera of the "Challenger" 
expedition. He died at the comparatively early age 


The Vertical Camera. —Referring to a note I 
sent you about the use of the Vertical camera, I 
have received a letter from Messrs. Beck giving me 
full instructions. It only came to hand by last mail, 
and I see from it that the use of a slope is what they 
recommend. This I did not know when I wrote to 
you, and a notice in an old number of the " American 
Monthly Microscopical Journal " (on the distortion, 
apparently irremediable, incidental to one of the 
American forms of camera) rather served to mislead 
me. There is nothing new in the slope, and if you 
have not already consigned my note to the waste 
paper basket, pray do so. — JV. y. Simmons, Calcutta. 

The Quekett Microscopical Club. — The 
January number of the Journal of this well-known 
club contains the following papers : — " On the Vibra- 
tile Tags of Asplanchna," by C. Rousselet ; " On the 
Stridulating Organs of Cystoaelia Floridic,'^ by R. T. 
Lewis ; " On the Reproductive Organs of some of 

the Floridse," by T. H. Buffham ; "On Lacinularia^ 
and a New Rotifer from Guildford," by G. Weitern ; 
" On a New Diatom from the Estuary of the Thames," 
by W. H. Shrubsole ; "Note on Dhiops longipes" 
by C. Rousselet ; " On the Human Spermatozoa," 
by E. M. Nelson, &c. The plates are numerous and 


The Mimicry of Mantis. — An insect which is- 
not uncommon in India is a medium-sized mantis,, 
between three and four inches in total length. It :s 
one of those mantises which have a long slender 
thorax, and which, owing to the second and third, 
pairs of legs being very long, carry their thorax and 
head very high. In this insect the thorax is about 
half its entire length, and is of a bright grass- 
green colour without any markings, and it obviously 
mimics a grass stem. The abdomen is also some- 
what slender, "the wing-covers are of a grass-green 
colour, without markings, and it obviously mimics 
a grass blade. But in both these cases the mimicry 
is obvious, as also the reason for it, and it is not 
what I wish to call attention to. The first joint of 
the fore-legs is widened and flattened ; it is also 
green, and the posterior surface is marked with a 
large ocellus. When the insect is undisturbed it 
remains generally in one place, but is not perfectly 
motionless ; it sways perpetually and uniformly from 
side to side. In this position it looks very harmless, 
but if it is startled or alarmed its aspect instantly 
changes ; it partly opens the wings, turns its head 
and thorax so as to face the terrifying object, makes 
a noise like a sudden, sharp puff of wind, very like 
the noise made by a startled snake, and raises its 
fore-legs so that the first joint lies along the thorax, 
and the inside margin of the expansion being nearly 
straight, it looks as if the fore-legs and thorax were 
connected. In this position the ocelli are very con- 
spicuous, and with the small, triangular head, and 
the slender thorax, the effect is to produce a ludicrous 
resemblance to a diminutive cobra. Now, what 
puzzles me is this exact resemblance. The insect 
could not possibly be taken for a cobra on account of 
its small size and green colour ; while if the object is 
only to appear formidable it could have been obtained 
without imitating a cobra so exactly. It may be 
suggested that there is no direct imitation, but that 
the same causes which have led to the development 
of the eye-spots in the cobra have also led to the 
development of ocelli in this insect, viz., that the 
apparent possession of a large head gives the animal 
more formidable appearance ; but this explanation is 
apparently negatived by the pecular noise made by 
the insect, which certainly seems to indicate that a 
snake is imitated. I'ossibly the object of the noise is 
to suggest that it is some kind of snake, and then the 



■ocelli may suggest that it is one of the cobra kind. 
jVIay be, some of your readers may be able to suggest 
a better explanation. Anyhow, the thing is curious, 
and I think worthy of note.— y. R. Holt. 

Hertfordshire Natural History Society. — 
We have received the May, July, September, and 
December parts of the Transactions of this well-known 
society, containing the Anniversary Address by the 
President Lord Clarendon, on " Field Sports and 
their bearing on National Character," and the follow- 
ing original papers — " Seeds and Fruits, their Structure 
and Migrations," by A. E. Gibbs, "Meteorological 
Observations," by John Hopkinson ; " Record of 
Water Level in a Deep Chalk Well at the Grange, St. 
Albans," by H, G. Ford ham ; "Local Scientific 
Investigation in Connection with Committee of the 
British Association," by John Hopkinson ; 
" Geological Photography in Hertfordshire," by John 
Hopkinson ; " Some Hertfordshire Well Sections," by 
Wm. Whitaker ; " Report on the Rainfall in Hert- 
fordshire in lSS9,"byJohn Hopkinson; " Climato- 
logical Observations in Hertfordshire in 1S89 ; " 
*' Half-a-century Rainfall in Hertfordshire ; " " Notes 
on Birds observed in Hertfordshire in 1889," by 
George Rooper, «S:c. 

Influence of the Late Severe Winter on 
Small Birds. — The feathered tribes, especially the 
insectivorous species, suffered terribly during the in- 
clement weather of December and January. Hedge 
accentors, tits, thrushes and blackbirds tried to keep 
life in their poor little famished bodies by coming 
round houses and disputing for stray crumbs with the 
sparrows. The want of food and water seemed to 
•affect birds more even than the cold. In my out- 
door aviary where the birds had abundance of food 
and water to drink, but little special protection against 
the cold, greenfinches seemed quite indifferent to the 
weather, but I had a few casualties among the other 
birds, especially the linnets. On the whole, however, 
they bore the severe cold very well indeed ; a tame 
moor-hen I have in an out-door aviary seemed 
absolutely indifferent to it. — Albert H. Waters, B.A., 

Lovers of Natural History are invited to join the 
Practical Naturalist's Society. Beginners may join as 
Associates, Prospectus for stamp from the Secretary, 
IVilloughby House, Mill Road, Cambridge. 


Ornithopus ebracteatus.— Mr. Haydon, in his 
note about the Cyprus Spurge, which was published 
in your January number, mentioned that the Ornith- 
■cpus ebracteatus was found at Folkestone by a visitor 
in 1888. As I was fortunate enough to discover it 
ihere in the same year, perhaps he would kindly let 

me know to whom he refers ; amongst my own books 
I could find no reference to it, except as growing in 
the Scilly islands, I therefore sent it to the Secretary 
of the Natural History Society at Folkestone, but for 
this and other specimens I have sent him I have had 
no acknowledgment. I presumed it was not considererl 
of sufficient value to be mentioned. In future I will 
record all my findslin your columns as Mr. Haydon 
suggests. — G. Abbott, Tunbridge Wells. 

Plants Found in the Neighbourhood ok 
OxsHOTT, Surrey, September 27TH, 1890, — 
The following is a short general description of the 
district of Oxshott Heath, Surrey, and a list of plants 
observed there on the afternoon of September 27th, 
1890, when the writer formed one of the members of 
a natural history excursion-party. The plants have 
all been recorded for the county, and so, scientifically, 
their present mention is of little value ; but to those 
among whom this magazine circulates, who are little 
accustomed to moorland scenery, they may give some 
idea of flowers likely to occur in such districts. 
Oxshott Heath is about seventeen miles from the 
centre of London — I say centre because the 
metropolis is only too rapidly pushing out one of its 
arms in that direction, and the speculative builder is 
busy at work not many miles off. For so near 
London some of the plants are by no means of 
frequent occurrence, and the writer would urge upon 
collectors to gather their specimens with a sparintj 
band. Nearly all this district is in the Bagshot sand 
formation ; and close to Oxshott railway station there 
is a curious sandy knoll or hill of considerable height ; 
these sand-hills, many of them clad with Scotch fir, 
are quite a characteristic of this district. The St. 
George's Hills, near Weybridge, not many miles 
from Oxshott, are another good example. Although 
much of the Heath is elevated, covered with ling, 
furze, and clumps of fir-trees, there are peat-bogs 
abounding in sphagnum-moss, and in these most of the 
rarer plants are to be found. The plants noted were 
as follows : — Ulex nanus, Forst., very abundant on 
the sandy open parts ; Scabiosa succisa, L., abundant ; 
Sonchus arvetisis, L., abundant; Calluna vulgaris, 
Salisb., in large masses, and still in fiill bloom ; Erica 
Tetralix, L., fairly abundant in the moister parts ; 
the flowers of some plants were very pale, almost 
white, in fact. E. cinerea, L., very frequent ; 
Drosera rotundifolia, L., in fair quantity, growing 
amongst sphagnum-moss, D. intermedia is known 
also to occur, but none was noted on this occasion, 
and it is fortunate for its own sake that it is not easy 
to find in this locality. Teucrium Scorodonia, L., 
very common ; Mentha Fulegium, this plant, which 
is rare elsewhere, was found in considerable quantity 
in the bog. Scutellaria minor, L., found very 
sparingly ; Verbena officinalis, L., one patch found by 
roadside. Nartheciuni ossifragum, Huds. (Lancashire 
bog-asphodell), in large quantity in the bog, but only 



in seed. These plants were growing in a sheltered 
position ; but on Sept. 3, 1890, I found plants ot N. 
ossifragum on Ashdown Forest, Sussex, in an equally 
advanced condition, but these were growing in a bog 
in an open wind-swept gulley. Can any reader 
inform me whetlier an exposed situation causes such 
plants to flower and mature earlier than those 
growing more or less under the shade of trees ? 
Lastrca Jilatata ; Loinaria spicant (immature), on 
banks ; Litcobriiiin glaiicum, in clumps, abundantly 
under the fir-trees. Sphagnum sqtiarosum, S. cyniibi- 
folium, and S. nciitiim, in bogs. Marckanlia poly- 
Diorpha, abundant on the banks of ditches. In the 
case of identification of some of the plants my best 
thanks are due for help kimlly given by some 
members of the excursion-party. — Archibald Clarke. 


Coal Sections. — What is the best and simplest 
method to make sections of coal, fossils, rocks, other 
than by the grinding process ? Such as those made 
by Professor Williamson or Boyd Dawkins, of 
^Manchester, and in the Museum (? The transparent). 
I do not know the acid or bleaching agent. — V. A- 
Latham, F.R.M.S., F.G.S. 

Boulders in the Midlands. — One of the best 
and cleanest finished bits of original work we have 
seen for some time is Mr. F. W. Martin's paper on 
"The Boulders of the Midland District " (a second 
report), reprinted from the " Proceedings of the 
Birmingham Philosophical .Society." It is illustrated 
by a vigorously drawn map, showing the distribution 
of Midland boulders and the parent rocks from 
which they have travelled. Mr. Martin's paper is 
the most valuable contribution to local geology we 
have seen for some time. 

The Geology of Barbadoes.— Very few nooks 
and corners of the globe are more geologically in- 
teresting than the West Indian Islands. Mr. J. B. 
Harrison, and Mr. A. J. Jukes-Browne have just 
issued a pamphlet on the subject published by the 
Barbadoes Legislature. The chapters relating to 
the Physical Geology of the Island are extremely 
interesting. The sections are instructive. Barbadoes 
is a typical " Oceanic Island," and is therefore worth 
double study. Messrs. Harrison and Jukes-Browne 
have here turned out good and well concentrated 

The Coral Rocks of Barbadoes. — Messrs. 
Jukes-Brown and Professor Harrison recently read an 
interesting paper on this subject before the Geological 
Society. They first discussed the coral reef growing 
round Barbadoes, and described a submarine reef, 
the origin of which was considered. It was pointed 
out that there is no sign of any .sul)sidence having 

taken place, but every sign of very recent elevation.. 
They then described the raised reefs of the island^ 
extending to a height of nearly n 00 feet above sea 
level in a series of terraces. The thickness of the- 
coral rock in these is seldom above 200 feet, and the 
rock does not always consist of coal debris. At 
the base of the reefs there is generally a certaim 
thickness of detrital rock in which perfect reef-corals 
never occur. The collections of fossils made by the 
authors have been examined by Messrs. E. A. Smith' 
and J. W. Gregory. Of the corals, five out of ten 
species identified still live in the Caribbean Sea, and 
one is closely allied to a known species, whilst the- 
other four are only known from Professor Duncan's 
descriptions of foSsil Antiguan corals. The authors 
are of opinion that the whole of the terraces of 
Barbadoes, the so-called "marl" of Antigua, and' 
the fossiliferous rocks of Barbuda are of Pleistocene- 
age. The authors proceeded to notice the formations 
in other West Indian islands which appear to be 
raised reefs comparable with those of Barbadoes, and 
showed that these reefs occur through the whole 
length of the Antillean Chain, and indicate a recent 
elevation of at least 1300 feet, and in all probability 
of nearly 2000 feet. It appears improbable that 
each island was a region of separate uplift, and as av 
plateau of recent marine limestone also occurs in< 
Yucatan, this carries the region of elevation into 
Central America, and it is reported that there are 
raised reefs in Colombia. The authors concluded 
that there has been contemporaneous elevation of the 
whole Andean Chain from Cape Horn to Tehuante- 
pec and of the Antillean Chain from Cuba to Bar- 
badoes. Before this there must have been free 
communication between the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans, which is confirmed by the large number of 
Pacific forms in the Caribbean Sea. Under such 
geographical conditions the great equatorial current 
would pass into the Pacific, and there would be no 
Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic, 

The Glacial Period.— We havereceived a copy 
of Mr. Dugald Bell's paper, republished from the 
Transactions of the Glasgow Geological Society, on 
the " Phenomena of the Glacial Period," dealin"- 
especially with "the great submergence." It is one 
of the most exhaustive papers on the subject we have 
come across, and is well illustrated by maps, etc. 
This is Part ii. and we should be pleased if the 
author would send us Part i. 


Rabiut Dying of Old Age. — In December a 
male rabbit, which has been in my possession from 
the age of three months, died, to all appearance of 
old age ; he would have been ten years old in March 
next, the claws were considerably over an inch in 
length. A female of the same litter was so vicious, 
though always kindly treated, that it was necessary 



to take a thick stick when feeding her. — /F. A. 

Two Sides of the Medal. — Surely Mrs. Alice 
Jiodington is labouring under some misapprehension 
as to what Mr. Wallace and other naturalists mean 
when they say that the effects of use and disuse are 
not inherited. I judge this to be so because as 
examples of the contrary she gives the cases of the 
inheritance of deafness, supernumerary toes, insanity 
and other characters which are born with people, not 
^acquired by them either through use or disuse, and 
because her breath is taken away on reading Weis- 
mann's statement that "the inheritance of acquired 
■characters has never been proved." Let us take the 
case of two men, A. and B. A. is born with large 
muscular limbs, while B. is not, but by dint of careful 
training and exercise he contrives to make his limbs 
as big as A.'s. Mr. Wallace, and those who think 
->vith him, say that A.'s children would be more 
likely to have muscular limbs than B.'s, since the big 
muscles of the latter are the result of use, while A's 
are natural. Again, suppose C. to be born without 
thumbs, and D. to lose his by accident. Does Mrs. 
.Bodington suppose that D.'s children would be as 
■likely to be born thumbless as C.'s ?• Wallace and 
Weismann think that D.'s children would be as likely 
ito have thumbs as those of any one else. My friend 
Mr. W. P. Ball, in a little book recently published 
by Messrs. Macmillan, in " Nature Series," has 
analysed very destructively the cases which have 
been adduced in favour of the hypothesis of what he 
■calls "use-inheritance," and I think that those who 
■wish to look at both sides of the medal should read 
this work carefully. — Charles Bird, Rochester. 

Two Sides of the Medal. — I think many of 
your readers would be glad if Mrs. Bodington would 
explain what third set of renals exist in vertebrates, 
besides the true kidneys and the Wolffian organs. — 

Beche-de-Mer. — Will some reader of Science 

Gossip kindly inform me where ;i"Trepang," or 

" Beche-de-mer " can be procured in London — 

either by purchase or e-xchange ? — E. H. R., Pains- 

.wick, Gloucestershire. 


On the iith of August, 1887, a snow-white 
■specimen of the yellow wagtail was observed on 
Quaiaton Hills (not far from this village) by a friend 
-oYmine. On the morning of the next day he saw it 
again, and got within a few yards of it, and saw it 
well before it flew away. Its flight and chirrup were 
quite normal. An albino wagtail I consider to be a 
rare and somewhat unusual occurrence amongst birds. 
Several white starlings have been observed in this 
neigbourhood at various times by different persons, 
and one was seen on the i6th of July, 1890, and 
again on the i8th with other starlings by my cousin, 
Mr. P. H. Ward, who also saw it settle on the back 
of a sheep, after it had flown from the place where he 
first saw it. Several white house-sparrows (more or 
less deficient in colour) have also been seen and shot 
in this district. 

In the winter of 1885 a sparrow was caught in a 
trap with the crown of its head pure white, and one 
was seen on the 6th of last November, 1889, and 
again on the iSth, in company with a flock of its 
companions, with its back and tail quite white. So 
recently as September 24th, 1890, one with a white 
%ving was observed amongst a large flock of sparrows, 

which frequented a stubble-field for the littered grains 
and loose ears of wheat when the rest had been 
carted away to the barn or stack. Another albino 
bird, of the finch family, was seen by my cousin on 
June 6th 1890, who thought it was either a chaffinch 
or a linnet, but he could not be certain of its species. 
I have been told by a person of good authority that 
he saw a white blackbird in his father's orchard a few 
years ago. Another parishioner said that when he 
was at harvest-work near Wendover, a few years ago, 
he killed a white pheasant. — H. G. IVard, North 
Alarston, Bucks. 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip earlier than formerly, we cannot un- 
dertake to insert in the follo'A'ing number any communications 
which reach us later than the 8th of the previous month. 

To Anonymous Querists. — We must adhere to our rule of 
not noticing queries which do not bear the writers' names. 

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 o\ix 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. 

Special Note. — There is a tendency on the part of some 
exchangers to send more than one per month. We only allow 
this in the case of writers of papers. 

To our Recent Exchangers. — We are willing and helpful 
to our genuine naturalists, but we cannot further allow dis- 
guised Exchanges like those which frequently come to .us 
to appear unless as advertisements. 

E. Pratt. — You may procure any of the following works 
relating to the botany, &c., of Surrey, of W. Wesley & Son, 
Essex Street, Strand: Brewer's "Flora of Surrey," with maps, 
price TS. td. ; " Flora of Reigate," by G. Luxford ; Brewer's 
"List of Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Fishes, Birds, &c.," price 
2^^. dd. 

A. Mavfield. — The average length of the slow worm 
{Anguis fragilis) is from 9 to 10 inches. Your specimen, 
17! inches long, is very unusual. 

E. Parker. — Re " Lobster and whelk." It is not a lobster 
at all, but the hermit crab {Pagiirus Bernhardus), which 
always lives in empty whelk shells, its own body being per- 
manently soft. It is a type of a distinct order of Crustacea. 

B. C. Robinson. — You will doubtless obtain a good second- 
hand copy of Kirby and Spence's " Introduction to Ento- 
mology" of Messrs. W. Wesley & Son, Essex Street, Strand, 
or Mr. W. P. Collins, 157 Great Portland Street, London, W. 

C. Oldham. — To preserve frogs, &c., try a mixture of half- 
and-half spirits and glycerine. 

M. J. Teesdalh. — You can prepare your new magic lantern 
slides by getting the usual sizes of ground glass, similar to 
those used for cl ildre'^'s transparent drawing slates, and by 
placing them over an', oook illustration or otherwise, sketching 
on them with a pencil. The sketches can then be filled in 
with transparent oil colours. 

R. de G. B. — You are probably correct in surmising that the 
cases are the cocoons of a coccus. It will be best to wait till 
they come out. The best Handbook on British Birds is written 
by Mr. Howard Saunders, and published by Messrs. Gurney 
and Jackson in twenty shilling parts, illustrated. 

Miss Chichester. — The Editor is much obliged for the 
drawings and photographs of the holly bough, which is ex- 
ceedingly interesting. iThe flattening is due to "fasciation," 
but it is uncommon in the holly. 


Wanted, choice unmounted material, polycistina, &c., in 
exchange for choice microscopic shdes of every description. — 
R. Suter, 5 Highweek Road, Tottenham, London. 

Wanted, fossils from various localities. Good duplicates 
offered in exchange.— Thos. W. Reader, 171 Hemingford Road, 
London, N. 

Science-Gossip from vol. i. (1865) to vol. xvi. (i83o), un- 
bound, but wrapped and tied up in vols., with the exception of 



nineteen numbers, viz., June to December, 1876, and the 
whole of 1877. What oflcrs for the lot?— T. Black, 190 Bell- 
hagg Road, Sheffield. 

W.\NTED, dried leaves of eleagnus, deutzia, onosmo, &c., 
also lepidoptera, Ulysses, niorpho, rypheiis, &c. Good 
exchange in micro-slides. — George Read, 87 Lordship Road, 
London, N. 

Twenty-two copper coins, and Science-Gossip from May 
to December, 1890, to exchange. What offers in fossils? — 
Walter C. Shield, 36 Garlurk Street, Crossbill, Glasgow. 

Student's microscope by Maw, Son, & Thompson ; rack 
and fine adjustments, double nose-piece, two eye-pieces, + and 
A objectives. Want high-power objective, or lirst-class bino- 
cular. — Taylor, 26 Marchmont Street, London, W.C. 

Wanted, eighth and following parts of Braithwaite's " Moss 
Flora," or " Sphagnacese." Dried plants and mosses, or other 
books in exchange, including Greene's "Coelenterata " and 
"Protozoa;" Eyton's "Rarer British Birds" (woodcuts); 
Carpenter's " Microscope," and others. List sent. — J. A. 
Wheldon, 32 Langham Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. 

Offered, "Our Earth and Its Story," 3 vols., and "Dic- 
tionary of English History," both in parts, but in excellent 
condition. Wanted a detective camera. — R. H. Lawton, 
6 Mosley Street, Manchester. 

Wanted, the " Library," vols. i. and ii. (unbound pre- 
ferred), also "Great Thoughts," vols, i., ii. and iii., first edition. 
Both must be clean, complete, and in good condition. — Chas. 
Leigh, Library, Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), Cromwell Road, 
London, S.W. 

Numerous duplicates in carboniferous fossils, especially 
ferns and corals, in exchange for trilobites. — P. Wright, Brunt- 
wood, Galston, Ayrshire, N.B. 
Duplicates. — Machaon, cardamines, agon, Adippe lo, 
, polychloros, P. chrysilis, Z. Jilijiendulte, E. lancstris, L . 
Rotatoria, CttcuUia vtrbasci, in exchange for others. — E. 
Wilson, 115 St. Martins at Oak, Norwich. 

British reptiles and batrachians wanted, perfect adult 
living or spirit specimens, in exchange for correctly named 
foreign species or other objects. — G. E. ]\L, s Warwick Place 
West, Belgravia, London. 

Good specimens of dentaria bulbifera, and Gentiana pneu- 
jHOnantke, in exchange for fossils from the Wealden London 
clay, and Bournemouth beds.— Curator, The Vicarage, South- 

Offered, good cast of ichthyosaurus from lias of Lyme 
Regis, 22 X 12. Wanted, any good fossils from any formation. 
— M., 56 Clarendon Villas, West Brighton. 

Wanted, brilliant foreign coleoptera ; need not be set, but 
must be correctly named. Good exchange given in first-class 
botanical sections, either mounted or unmounted, or objects of 
general interest. State quantity ot specimens with sample. — 
R. G. Mason, 69 Clapham Park Road, Clapham, S.W. 

M.\NY species of marine and land shells from S. Australia, 
Madeira, Porto Santo, and Gibraltar, for exchange. Any offer 
of shells — in good condition, and not already in collection — 
accepted. Send list of duplicates to — F. W., Lordship House, 

Wanted, ether freezing microtome, Williams's preferred. 
Will give powerful Quackenbush air-gun, with slugs and darts, 
almost new, cost 48^-. — H. Ebbage, Framlingham, Suffolk. 

Wanted, good objective for microscope, I or J7 inch, with 
Societies' screw; also " Micrographic Dictionary." Otfered, 
three volumes of "Knowledge," and micro-slides. — P. Briggs, 
Clayton, near Bradford, Yorks. 

Duplicates. — Harpa ventricosa, Ovulntn ovum, Cypraa 
arabica. Bulla a-ntptilla, Olivancillaria gibbosa. Wanted, 
other foreign shells. — J. E. Cooler, 93 Southwood Lane, 
Highgate, N. _ 

Wanted, a copy of the "London Catalogue of British 
Mosses and Hepatics," published in 1881. — Ernest S. Salmon, 
Clevelands, Reigate. 

I SHALL be very glad if persons interested in conchology, 
residing in Exeter and neighbourhood, and willing to co- 
operate in establishing a local society, will communicate with 
me. Address— L. J. S., Monmouth House, Monmouth Street, 
Topsham, S. Devon. 

Wanted, any good poultry in exchange .'"or minerals and 
geological specimens. — William Hetherington, Nenthead, 
Alston Moore, Cumberland. 

Collins' \, new, in fine condition, cost 3/. -^s. What oflfers 
in exchange?— E. Wagstaft, 3 Waterworks Road, Edgbaston, 

Wanted, vols. 4-9 of the "Young Naturalist," bound or 
unbound ; must be in good condition. State desiderata to — 
F. W. Paple, 62 Waterloo Street, Bolton. 

Saville Kent's " Infusoria," no further use for it, bound in 
half-green morocco cloth, excellent condition. What offers ? 
— E. Wagstaff, Waterworks Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

For slide of starch grains from bulb of spider orchis, for the 
polariscope, send other slide. — John Boggust, Alton, Hants. 

Wanted, fossils from all formations, in exchange for coal- 
measure fossils, Spirorbis, Anthracoda robusta, A. acuta, A. 
elongata, scales and teeth of megalichthys, rhizodus, &c. 
Address— John Laycock, 20 Botany Lane, Ashton-under- 
Lyne, Lancashire. . 

Good foreign shells wanted ; need not be named. Offered, 
nat. hist, and other literature, or suitable exchange. Foreign, 
correspondence solicited. — W. Jones, jun., 27 Mayton Street, 
Holloway, London, N. 

Wanted, vars. of llclix aspersa, H. nemoralis, H. arbtis- 
toruni. If. hortensis, H. cantiana, H. pisana, H, virgata,. 
//. caperata, //. ericetornm, H . rotundata, Buliinus acutus^ 
&c., H. revelata, type ; Clausilia Rolphii and bifilicata,. 
Achatina acicula. Will give darts of helices in return. — 
A. Hartley, 8 Cavendish Road, Idle, near Bradford, Yorkshire. 

Offered, hardy fern roots, primrose roots, &c. Wanted \n 
exchange, store boxes to hold insects, eggs, shells, fossils, 
coins, &c. — W. Z. Balmbra, The Cottages, Warkworth Station, 
via Lesbiiry, Northumberland. 

AcHARlus's " Lichenographia Universalis," a fine, well- 
bound copy, offered in exchange for double nose-piece, bent,. 
Society screv, or for good copy of Leighton's " Angiocarpous 
Lichens." — Wm. Smith, 28 Addison Place, Arbroath, N.B. 

Wanted, Sach's " Text-Book of Botany," and parts of 
Braithwaite's " Moss Flora," also slides from mosses, tern^, 
and hepaticae. Will give other mounts in exchange. — T. B., 
124 Castle Street, Hinckley. 

Wanted, to exchange " Knowledge," vols. i. to v.. Car- 
penter's "Mental Physiology" "Nature," various volumes, 
and other books (list sent), for micro-slides, microscope appa- 
ratus, &c., or books on botany and microscopy. — G. Freeman, 
B.Sc, sr Danby Street, Denmark Park, S.E. 

Scotch lichens offered in exchange for southern species, 
especially from the English limestone districts. — Wm. Smith,. 
28 Addison Place, Arbroath, N.B. 

Offered, Helix pisana, rufescens, ericetorum ; Planorbis 
coinplanatus and corneus, Bulimus ncutits, LitnticEa stagnalis, 
Clausilia rugosa. "WanlcA, Pisidiuiit/o/ttiiiale, Vertigo anii- 
vertigo, Zonites cellarius and iiitiduhts, Testacella haliotidea. 
Pupa secale, Dreisse/ia polymorpha. — H. W. D., South- 
borough Vicarage, Tunbridge Wells. 

Will give Flower's "Osteology of the Mammalia," for 
living pupa of lepidoptera, sphingidse preferred. — Ernest Piatt, 
West Street, Chipping Norton, Oxon. 

Offered, H. alborabris, H. throides, H. fallax and Z. 
excavatus (North America), Pecten tigriiius. Lacuna divari- 
cata, L. i>allidula, T. testudinalis, Myra truncata, Unio- 
margarittfer, CI. laminata, PL nitidits, and many others. 
Wanted, land, freshwater and marine shells not in collection.. 
—P. R. Shaw, 48 Bidston Road, Birkenhead. _ 

Wanted, a good microscope, with accessoiies, in exchange 
for a safety bicycle fitted with trangent spokes, balls to al! 
parts, patent tyres, and all latest improvements. — I. Russon,. 
15 Str. Collegio, St. Julian's, Malta. 

Offered, foraminiferous material, mounted diatoms, or 
mounted pathological objects, in exchange for geological lite- 
rature. — I. H. Cooke, Highland House, St. Julian's, Malta. 

"An Explanation of the Phonopore," by C. Langdon-Davie=; 
(London: Kegan Paul). — "The Lepidoptera of Suffolk," by 
E. N. Bloomfield (London: W. Wesley).— " British Cage 
Birds," Part 10, and " The Canary Book," Part 10. by Robt. 
L. Wallace (London: L. Upcott Gill).— "Transactions Hert- 
fordshire Nat. Hist. Society," Part 9, vol. v., and Parts i, 2 
and 3 of vol. vi. — "Phenomena of the Glacial Period," by 
Dugald Bell.— "The Honey Bee: Its Natural History, Ana- 
tomy, and Physiology," by T. W. Cowan (London : Houlston 
& Sons). — "Electricity; a Sketch for General Readers," by 
E. M. Caillard (London: John Murray).— " Are the Effects nf 
Use and Disuse Inherited?" by W. Piatt Ball (London: 
Macmillan).— "The Book of Aquaria," by Messrs. Bateman 
and Bennett (London: L. Upcott Gill).— " Geology of the 
Country around Liverpool," by Geo. H. Mortom (London : 
G. Phillip & Son). — "The Naturalist of Cumbrae," by the 
Rev. Thos. R. R. Stebbing (London: Kegan Paul).— "A 
Class-Book on Light," by R. E. Steel (London : Methuen & 
Co.).— Wesley's " Natural History and Book Circular.'^'— 
"American Microscopical Journal."- "The Microscope."— 
"American Naturalist."— " Canadian Entomologist."— " The 
Naturalist."— "The Botanical Gazette."— "The Gentleman's 
Magazine."— "The Midland Naturalist."— " The Garner."— 
"Quekett Journal," January.— " Feuille des Jeunes Natu- 
ralistes."— " Quarterly Journal," Royal Microscopical Society,. 
&c., &c. 

Communications received up to the 12TH ult. from:- 
M. J. T.— J. A. W.-E. H.— W. C. S.— C. O.— G. R.— 

D. W. B.— R. S.-T. W. R.-T. B.-A. H.-J. W. B.— T.— 

E. H. R.— S. B.— E. A. M.— F. H. W.-L. C. H.— W. M. W. 
—A. H. W.— W. P.— J. E. L.— R. H. L.— J. A.— E. H. W. 
_W. J.— F. W. P.— W. L. B.— E. P.— J. B.— J. L.— E. W.— 
W. H.— F. R.— B. C. R.— L. J. S— J. E. C— R. G. M.— 
E. S. S.— H. E.-P. B.-F. W.-F. C. M.— F. W. F.— C. B. 
—Miss C— E. P.— W. J. S.— E. B.— T. B.— W. S.-E. W.— 
P. R. S.-G. F.-H. W. D.— G. A.— H. D.— W. G. K.— S. J.. 
— T. G. B.— I. H. C— J. S. N.— R. de G. B.— &c., &c. 





IXCE forwarding for 
publication my 
reply to Mr. Pace's 
strictures on my 
article which was 
printed in the 
August number, 
?vlr. Fryer has, on 
pp. 241 and 242 
ante, published a 
very interesting 
and courteous cri- 
ticism to which I 
may be allowed to 
reply. His open- 
ing remarks to a 
large extent I ap- 
preciate, but as 
shown by my con- 
cluding remarks of 
the article in ques- 
tion I gave the theory as a tentative one only, 
and certainly it will be conceded that no matter 
what our present knowledge may be, yet the pro- 
mulgation of a theory on such grounds, and as a 
working one merely, is perfectly legitimate. There 
would be no harm done even if with further re- 
search it led to no good and stable result ; for it 
certainly would not allow us to vegetate, AVith the 
qualification to Von Baer's law (italicised by Mr. 
Fryer), I do not agree, simply because it is a well- 
known fact and law that no matter whether retro- 
gression has occurred or not in our present day forms, 
evolution has progressed primarily along a line 
leading from the simple to the complex. My critic 
says that if this is what I intend to ' ' convey, it 
certainly does not accord with the views of evolution 
as laid down by Darwin, Wallace, and Spencer ; " 
but this statement is plainly negatived by the fact 
that Mr. Wallace [in lift. September 7, 1 890), agrees 
No. 316. — April 1891. 

with my conclusions. Throughout Mr. Fryer does 
not seem to attack the main points in my theory, and 
our greatest difference seems to me to be this : — that 
he does not recognise the fundamental law of Hxckel, 
while I do. 

This appears to me a pity, because while recog- 
nising to some degree Yon Baer's law, he appears 
to totally set at naught the very law, on the principle 
of which the grandest contributions of embryologj' 
and palaeontology have been furnished to the hypo- 
thesis of evolution, viz., that " Ontogeny is a brief 
epitome of phylogeny." And even more does it 
appear a pity since the majority of our biological 
teachers in this countiy give it as forming the ground- 
work, with that of Von Baer, on which the whole 
superstructure of the evolution hypothesis has been 
raised. In my reply to his several headings, I shall 
then count on the validity of these two laws, and I 
imagine legitimately in the present day teaching of 

(i.) This sentence seems to me somewhat 
ambiguous, for to me Mr. Fryer appears to directly 
contradict himself in one breath. He uses the words 
" chitinous plug," and afterwards speaks of it as 
composed of " conchiolin, not chitin." I have 
replied to this criticism in my former note on Mr. 
Pace's strictures, and made reference to Balfour. I 
cannot see how it invalidates my theory if I believe 
in Hceckel's law. 

(2 and 5.) The nuclei of my specimens of H. 
virgata are brownish horn-coloured, and not black. 
Possibly, there is a fallacy here ; if a little of the 
digestive gland be left behind in cleaning, the nuclei 
may appear black. But even were it so, it would 
not negative the general conclusion to which I arrived, 
simply because it may but prove an after-extension or 
development of colour. That there is a law of 
extension of colour appears to me proved by the 
following sentence quoted from Eimer : — " WUrtem- 
berger finds that in Ammonites all structural changes 



show themselves first on the last (the outer) whorl 
of the shell — as in living animals, e.g. in my lizards 
at the tail — and that then such a change in the 
following generations is pushed farther and farther 
towards the beginning of the spiral — as e.g. in my 
lizards towards the head — until it prevails in the 
greater number of the whorls" ("Organic Evolu- 
tion," p. 31). This may explain the coloured nuclei 
of If. maritima and H. syriaca, but I cannot say 
anything of these as I have not any specimens of 
these species by me. And if there be sucli a law of 
after-colour extension, as suggested by Eimer, the 
reader will see that it has other bearings on my theory 
than the one here indicated. 

(3.) Mr. Fryer, while recognising the fact that the 
Limnaeas are horn-coloured, mentions the banded 
and spotted Chilinire, and the members of the families 
Paludinidas, Neritidce, Cerithiadre, &c. With these 
exceptions other conditions I imagine come into play, 
but it is a patent fact that in all of them the young 
secondary shell is horn-coloured and unhanded. 
What these other conditions are is not known, but 
it is a pity that those exceptions which Mr. Fryer 
adduces are in the main foreign and cannot be 
observed by us in their natural and living state under 
their own peculiar environment or surrounding. 
Considering the fact italicised by me and remem- 
bering Hffickel's law, I cannot see how this criticism 
can invalidate my theory. 

(4.) The fact that white " may be due to the 
molecular structure of the surface " rather, it appears 
to me, upholds and substantiates my theory. Mr. 
Fryer would not then allow a unicoloured white 
specimen any pigment secreting cells at all, that is on 
the grounds of theoretical reasoning ; more of this 
deduction shortly. But if the primitive shell was 
horn-coloured, as he appears to admit, but that an 
advance to white was not next made, how does he 
explain the fact that the primary shells in the shell- 
gland are sometimes white, though more generally 
horn-coloured, and that the persistent primary shell 
in Arion, Amalia and Limax is always white ? 
Remember in this connection the law of Hceckel, 
and do not forget it in re-reading the query which 
Mr. Fryer gives directly afterwards. But what does 
Mr. Fryer mean by atrophy of the pigment glands in 
this relation ? Does he really mean that nature 
finds it easier to differentiate cells than to let them 
remain hi statu quo ? It appears to me, that con- 
sidering the ontogeny of the shell was from horn- 
colour to white, pigment-secreting cells were only 
differentiated when pigment was needed, that during 
the horn and the white periods pigment cells were 
not in existence, and had never been developed. 

(6.) I cannot see how the criticism affects my 
theory. If its " light appearance seems to be due to 
the absence of band-colour," etc., as most assuredly 
it does, or it would not be var. cxalbiday then why 
may it not be a " reversion " ? 

(7.) Answered in my reply to Mr. Pace. 

In his concluding remarks, ISlx. Fryer leans 
towards the suggestion of Mr. Cockerell that the 
colour of our Hyalinse is probably due to the 
suffusion of darker band colours. But if so, banded 
reversions would occur not only in one but in all the 
species, and this is known not to be the case. The 
question of tf. cantiana, H. caiiicsiana, &c., as 
equally and more legitimately (I think) supports the 
opposite conclusion to that at which Mr. Fryer 
seems to arrive. I look upon banded specimens as 
more advanced in colour development than those 
which are unhanded. Banding means a specialisation 
of pigment-secreting cells in the mantle edge. And 
were Mr. Fryer's remark true, the bands in this case 
of Hyalina should be lighter than the ground-colour ; 
but in the varieties he adduces, they are darker ! 

(i.) Answered by ontological facts, von Baer's 
law, and the law of Hseckel. 

(ii.) This is more an extension of my theory than 
a contradiction. It shows that, in some cases, un- 
colourous specimens may be produced by an inter- 
mingling of bands, though ontology negatives this 
for horn-coloured and white specimens. Evidently 
castanea is an advance on the clearly banded forms of 
II. ucmoralis. 

(iii.) I cannot see how these observations, inter- 
esting in their way, affect my general theory. Again 
I stand behind the fortress of Von Baer and Ha;ckel, 
and to those who understand the full bent of the laws 
which were formulated by them it will appear that I 
shall not use much powder and shot. 

(iv.) This also becomes intelligible in the light of 
the development of the shell. And I think more 
legitimately. What, again, I ask about the horn- 
coloured and whitish primary shells of the embryo, 
and the persistent ones in Arion, Amalia, and 
Limax ? 

(v.) Replied to in my answer to Mr. Pace. But 
Helix aadeata and H. pygmca are horn-coloured 
also ! But besides what I have before said, what 
Mr. Fryer adduces as regards shrews and ants rests 
on probability and not actual observation. See the 
references which he gives. 


A FEW notes on birds observed by me, in the 
west of Co. Mayo, during the months of August 
and September, may be of interest to some of your 
readers. I saw no particularly uncommon ones : in 
fact, my observations merely comprise the results of 
a few desultory walks from time to time, most of 
my attention being occupied with fishing. 

At the beginning of August, on the sandy sea 
coast, golden plovers were in some numbers and 
very tame : grey plovers did not seem to have 
arrived yet ; dunlins also were. exceedingly plentiful ; 
they breed in the neighbourhood. Curlews and 



whimbrels were to be seen both by the sea, and 
especially inland, flying over the l^ogs, and arresting 
one's attention by their mournful cries : associated 
with them on the coast, were oyster-catchers, whose 
black and white plumage rendered them very 
conspicuous. All three birds are exceedingly wary 
and difficult to approach : in the open it is almost 
impossible to get within shot of them ; the only 
chance of success is to hide behind banks and stalk 
them, often on hands and knees. 

Whimbrels are called here " May-birds," as in 
many other parts of the kingdom, from the fact of 
them arriving in May : most of the natives consider 
them young curlews. 

Knots and sanderlings were in large flocks : there 
were a good many redshanks, but I saw no godwits. 
At high water, large flocks of ringed plovers were 
to be found on the sand, just above high-water mark : 
most of them appeared to be asleep in the sun ; at 
any rate, they allowed me to approach within half-a- 
dozen yards before taking to flight ; a few, however, 
in each flock were more restless, running about 
among their comrades in an aimless fashion. 

On the marshes near the isea, one could always 
find herons {hibernice cranes), on the look-out for 
crabs, I suppose ; for crabs were the only animals I 
could find there. Later on, in the same place, I saw 
a good many snipe, and some small ducks. I could 
not get near enough to the latter to determine their 
species, but I think they were golden-eyes. I am told 
that the west coast of Mayo is a great resort of ducks 
and geese in winter : the people say that the geese 
are principally barnacles, but I think this is a mistake, 
as the name is very generally misapplied in Ireland 
to brent geese. 

Hooded crows and rooks were very common : 
magpies, although very numerous and tame in most 
parts of Ireland, were conspicuous by their absence 
here : probably the want of trees in the district 
accounts for this. 

I was surprised to see so few hawks : one or two 
kestrels, a single peregrine, and another that I 
took to be a sparrow-hawk — it was some distance off" 
— were all I noticed. Report says, however, that 
there are a pair or two of golden eagles on the cliffs 
of Achill Island : I regret that I could not find time 
to go to look for them. 

Inland, I saw a few common buntings ; yellow 
hammers, linnets and meadow-pipits swarmed, but of 
goldfinches, tolerably plentiful in other seemingly 
similar parts of Ireland, I saw none. 

On my pointing out a kingfisher to my gillie, he 
told me that he had never seen the bird before. 

Water ousels were common on the mountain 
streams, and as I fished, flitted from rock to rock, 
and on settling bowed gravely to me in their comical 

Wheatears were fairly numerous in September, 
there were very few swifts and swallows ; terns were 

plentiful about some of the inland lakes, amongst 
them being a great many immature birds. 

I saw a skylark with almost pure white body. 

A good many rare birds have been recorded from 
time to time in Co. Mayo, but, of course, to get any, 
one must be constantly on the look-out, and collect 

A barred warbler is recorded in a recent number of 
"The Zoologist" to have been procured near 
Belmullet in 1884, and to be now in the possession 
of Dr. Birkett of that town. 

The natives have some curious beliefs : on asking 
one of the men who work the salmon nets whether 
he was not very liable to rheumatism from constant 
wading in the water, he informed me that at the 
beginning of the season, he ate salmon every day for 
a fortnight, and that in consequence, the water ran 
off his skin as from a duck's back. Another legend 
was, that all the rats which entered the precincts of a 
ruined abbey, used as a burial-ground, immediately 
dropped down dead. I took the trouble to visit the 
place, but saw no rats, dead or alive. On one of 
the graves were dozens of long "church-warden" 
pipes, it being the custom at a funeral for each of 
the mourners to deposit one on the tomb : do any of 
your readers know of a similar custom in any other 
part of the country, or the origin of the practice ? 

H. J. W. 


By Chas. Wardingley. 

\Contimied from p. 64.] 

TURNING now for a short time to the considera- 
tion of the carboniferous limestone as it occurs 
in the Dumfries district, it may be remarked at the 
outset that good exposures such as may be obtained 
in quarries and railway cuttings are rather limited in 
number. Of these, the best and most accessible are 
shown in the accompanying sketch-map. 

The village of Closeburn is situated about twelve 
milesnorthof Dumfries, and the quarries are a mile to 
the south-east of the railway station. These have been 
worked almost continuously since 1770 and the vast 
amount of rock laid bare affords an excellent 
opportunity for its study. Here the limestone has 
blue-grey Silurian strata for its base or foundation, 
and the total depth or thickness, excluding the top 
rubble, is a little over 60 feet and is divided as under. 

Permian shales and sandstone 
Red magnesian limestone . 
Red sandstone and shales . 
Massive red limestones . 








Over the red magnesian limestone are thin 

£ 2 



deposits or layers of shale of decidedly Permian age 
and yielding a few characteristic remains generally 
very much distorted. The upper seam of limestone 
is a magnesian rock, yielding on analysis about 40 per 
cent, of carbonate of magnesia and 55 per cent, of 
lime. The lower limestone on the contrary is of 
carboniferous origin and consists of thick blocks con- 
taining at least 90 per cent, of carbonate of lime, 
separated by thin layers of red shale. The general 
dip of the strata -is to the N.E. at an angle of 10°. 
The interest attached to this exposure arises in a great 
measure from the mineralogkal nature of the rocks 
which vary so much in colour and general appearance 
from those previously described. Indeed, but for the 
organic remains entombed we might almost imagine 
that by some means or other we had wandered into 
and were examining a Permian exposure in Durham, 
though the subordinate mammillary or botryoidal 
concretions so commonly and typically exhibited 

Fig. S2. — Map of Dumfries District, showing Limestone 

there are entirely absent in the rocks under our 
notice. The fossils, however, soon show the true 
nature of the deposit and all doubt is quickly dissi- 
pated by the presence of Productus giganteus and P. 
semiretictilatus. These characteristic fossils are very 
common and fairly perfect, but other species, 
Zaphrentis, Euomphalus. Bellerophon, and Spirijcra 
are rare, badly preserved, and their identification is 
often a matter of considerable difficulty. 

Better exposures are found further north at New 
Cumnock, near IMuirkirk, in which locality the car- 
boniferous limestone is very extensively quarried. 
The total depth of rock obtained here is 70 feet, while 
the colour is again of the red tint imparted to it by 
its proximity to magnesian strata. The fossil list is 
a fairly long one and the diligent student should have 
no difficulty in obtaining from the various quarries of 
the immediate neighbourhood satisfactory specimens 
of Orthis resupinata, Productus scmireticulatus, 
Rhynchonella pugnus, Spirifera bisulcata, S. glabra, 
BeUe7-opJiofi urii, Poteriocriniis crassus (parts), 
Lithostrotio7i irregulare, Cyatliophylluin turhinatum, 
Athyris roysii, A. ambigua. 

An excellent exposure occurs at Kellhead, a little to 
the north-east of Annan where there is an outcrop 
about 50 feet thick on the top of a hill or ridge over- 
looking the Solway Firth. This place is certainly 
worthy of a visit, not for the sake of its geological 
interest alone, but also for the commanding view of 
the surrounding district which can be obtained from 
it. Nor is it possible to find a better or more typical 
example of the true " Mountain Limestone " in respect 
of its physical aspect, and a day spent in and about 
this quarry and hill will do more to impress upon 
the mind the distinctive features of the formation than 
weeks of reading or class-room work. The red colour 
still prevails, but the rock in many "parts is very friable, 
owing to the fact that it is chiefly made up of Encri- 
nites, held together by a binding of clayey-looking 
lime. Want of space prevents us from describing at 
length the various remains found at Kellhead, and 
for the present we must only name those which occur 
most abundantly and perfect in this very interesting 

Fig. 54. — Rhynchonella 

F'g- 53- — Euomfhahts 

quarry. Productus giganteus are again numerous, and 
owing to the soft nature of the rock are not difficult 
to extract. Euomphalus pentangulatiis appear very 
perfect and in diameters varying from i| inches to 3 
inches, while Bellerophon urii, and Nautilus dorsalis 
are also frequently found indeed ; the writer remem- 
bers seeing, nine years ago, a garden walk adjoining 
one of the workmen's houses almost paved with 
them. The siphuncled and chambered Cephalopod, 
orthoceras is present in two or three species ranging 
from ih inches to almost 5 feet in length. 

Compared with the Carboniferous Umestone of 
England, we cannot help being struck with the many 
points of contrast rather than of agreement which 
present themselves to our notice. In the Carbonifer- 
ous limestone of Scotland the beds and quarries are 
by comparison poor in respect of depth or thickness, 
and this is the chief reason why so many of them haye 
been and are being abandoned. Wherever the beds 
dip at an inconvenient angle, it is unremunerative to 
follow them into the earth. And with regard to 
organisms too, there is a remarkable paucity of species, 
while even such as are to be found are generally far 
behind their southern contemporaries in regard to 
symmetry of form and state of preservation. 




IT is curious to notice the tendency of late years 
towards the planting of yellow or orange flowers 
in English gardens. A railway journey round any 
London suburb will illustrate this : the little back 
gardens in the dingier streets are often ablaze with 
sunflowers, and cottage gardens in purer air follow 
suit. The marigold, under one or other of its varie- 
ties, seems to be an especial favourite, and that not 
in our own country alone. Cross to France and you 
will find the common orange one figuring as a pot- 
herb, and its petals introduced under the name of 
"soucis" into your soup. In the Channel Isles the 
same use is made of it, and it is so nearly wild as to 
be seen growing in waste places or by roadsides, 
while children make wreaths of the flowers to adorn 
the " cheap tripper " as he rides in the "cars " round 
the island. It's a pity that such a flower should be 
so vulgarised. 

But truth to tell, it has a certain tendency towards 
gaudiness, a sort of rollicking behaviour, arising from 
its rapid growth and sprawling habit (I speak of the 
common, juicy kinds), which causes one to banish it 
from one's choicest flower-beds, and to relegate it to 
the shrubbery or to the kitchen-garden. It has 
some tendency to become a weed, and is treated as 
such. But for getting rapidly a blaze of colour with 
plenty of luscious green to back it up, for covering 
square yards of unsightly soil or rubbish-heap, com- 
mend me to our friend marigold. It is sensitive to 
light, like m.any of its comrades in the great compo- 
site family, and ere the dew falls shuts its yellow 
eyes, as if it were a magnified, glorified daisy. 

One variety which is now before me, seems to 
illustrate Mr. Grant Allen's theory of the develop- 
ment of colour, for its ray-florets — the outer circle — 
besides doubling or semi-sterilising themselves, have 
attained a broad stripe of yellowish white up each 
strap-shaped corolla, the original orange being rele- 
gated to a tiny margin up each side, producing in the 
whole flower-head the prettiest effect. An even 
more refined member of the genus is the little 
French marigold with its stiff, slender branching 
stem and delicate, strongly-scented, pinnate leaves. 
This kind seems to be aiming at a further stage in 
colouring, for it is striped with dark brown, which, I 
take it, is only red overlaid with orange. Some- 
times the disc-florets of the common kinds take on 
this brown velvety tint, as if they were aping their 
big kinsfolk, the sunflowers. 

Side by side with these tiny flowers gardeners 
have produced those huge, unwieldy, double mari- 
golds, which send up a juicy stem — admirable pasture 
for slugs and snails — crowned with a solid mass of 
glaring orange or sickly yellow flowers ; no shape, 
no beauty, that I can see, though I have known the 
flower-heads used effectively in harvest decorations. 
Still, they always remind me of the rosettes seen 

sometimes on horses' heads, or of the favours worn 
at elections. 

The scent of the marigold is not at all unpleasant ; 
it resides chiefly in the leaves and stalksi; but the 
stickiness (doubtless a protection against undesirable 
insect visitors) of the common kinds makes the 
gathering of a posy a disagreeable operation. The 
juice has its virtues, for have we not in our pharma- 
copoeia "Calendula," of healing virtue to wounds of 
the skin ? Lastly, the name is a sweet reminder of 
the Blessed Woman to whom so many of our English 
flowers are dedicated, and in whose honour this 
sojourner bears its English name. 

M. E. Pope. 


_^l Grenville A. J. Cole (London : Charles 
Griffin & Co.). This is a most valuable and very 
welcome book to geological students. The subject is 
treated on lines wholly different from those in any 
other manual, and the book is, therefore, very 
original. Indeed, it should really be considered 
rather in the light of a companion vol. to the higher 
class of geological text-books. A large space is 
devoted to the best and readiest methods of 
examining minerals, both with the wet and dry 
processes ; how to examine rocks and rock-structures 
physically and chemically ; whilst the concluding 
part is devoted to the examination and determi- 
nation of fossils. There are twenty-eight chapters 
altogether, and one hundred and thirty-six illustra- 
tions, mostly of fossils. We cordially commend 
Professor Cole's book to all zealous students of 

The Geology of the Country around Liverpool, 
including the North of Flintshire, by G. H. Morton 
(London : Geo. Philip & Son). Twenty-eight years 
ago Mr. Morton wrote a small book on this subject, 
which was much welcomed by field-geologists, 
inasmuch as it was the result of personal observation 
and exploration. Moreover, the author was well 
known as an accurate, able, and painstaking 
geologist. Since that period other equally able 
geologists have explored the same area, and Mr. 
Morton has himself, of course, added considerably to 
the subject. The result is the publication of the 
present well-printed and neatly got up volume ; it is 
modestly entitled a Second Edition, but it is in 
reality a larger and altogether differently got up 
book, illustrated by twenty plates and fifteen wood- 
cuts of sections, &c. We congratulate Mr. Morton 
on the excellent work he has turned out. 

The magnificently got up vols, of the United 
States Geological Survey are always welcome to 
English geologists, to whom they are presented with 
a generosity which is in striking contrast to the 



niggardliness with which the equally valuable 
memoirs of our own Geological Survey are sent out 
(or rather not sent out) for press notices. These 
American volumes are aided by the best of illustra- 
tions and maps. The paper is good and hotpressed ; 
the type large, clear, and bold ; so that it is a 
pleasure to turn over the pages. 

T/ie Mtitk Annual Report of the U.S. Geol. Survey 
for 1887-88 is a large volume of over 700 pp., and 
contains lengthy papers, abundantly illustrated, on 
" The,Earthquake at Charleston," by Carl McKinley ; 
" The Geology of Cape Ann, Massachusetts," by 
N. S. Shaler ; and on the " Formation of Travertine 
and Siliceous Sinter by the Vegetation of Hot 
Springs," by Walter H. Weed. We have also 
received a splendidly got up monograph of over 400 
pp., crowded with maps and woodcuts, on " Lake 
Bonneville," by Jerome K. Gilbert. The annual 
vol., dealing with the " Mineral Products of the 
United States," is, for the year 188S, by David T. 
Day. It deals with the working of numerous natural 
productions, including, besides all the metals, coal, 
petroleum, natural gas, asphalte, ozokerite, ferti- 
lisers, salt, mineral paint, and almost every kind of 
material put to use, which the rocks of the earth's 
crust naturally contain. These vols, are highly use- 
ful. In addition to the vols, we have received 
"Bulletins," Nos. 58-66, each devoted to a special 
geological or paleontological subject. 

An Explanation of the Phonopore, by G. Langdon- 
Davis (London : Kegan, Paul& Co.). This work is 
printed in double columns, French and English, and 
deals in a very clear manner with the details and 
structure of the phonopore. There are numerous 

Electricity ; the Science of the Nineteenth ■ Century, 
by E. M. Caillard (London : John Murray). We 
have previously noticed favourably a book by Miss 
Caillard on "The Invisible Power of Nature." In 
the present work she gives a clear, readable, and 
easily-understood outline of modern electricity, 
chiefly for the benefit of general readers. With such 
a book as this at their service, no intelligent person 
need be ignorant of the most important and pregnant 
of the physical sciences. It comprises four parts, 
each having a series of chapters, devoted respectively 
to " Static Electricity " (or Electricity at Rest), 
*' Magnetism," " Current Electricity," and the 
"Practical [Appliances of Electricity." There are 
numerous illustrations. 

A Class Book on Light, by R. E. Steel (London : 
Methuen & Co.), with 123 illustrations. This is not 
only one of the best little treatises we have lately 
seen on "Light," but on the elementary principles 
of optics and optical instruments as well. The 
contents contain eleven chapters as follows : — " The 
Nature, Source, Intensity, and Velocity of Light," 
" Reflexion from Plane Surfaces," " Ditto from 
Curved Surfaces," " Single Refraction at Plane 

Surfaces," " Refraction at Curved Surface-Lenses," 
"Dispersion," "Optical Instruments," "The Eye," 
" Interference-Diffraction," "Double Refraction and 
Polarisation," and on " Interference of Polarized 

The Foundations of Geometjy, by Edward T. Dixon 
(Cambridge : Deighton, Bell & Co.) This is practi- 
cally a new system of geometry based more or less 
on psychological data. It| is a work calculated to 
stimulate criticism, and the author boldly invites it. 

The Naturalist of Cumhrae. Being the Life of 
David Robertson, by his friend, the Rev. Thomas R. 
R. Stebbing (London: Kegan Paul «S: Co.) It is 
not every man who has such a " Life " of himself as 
this written whilst he is still living. Dr. Smiles set 
the example of raising literary statues to living 
heroes. Nevertheless, this book is altogether a de- 
lightsome one, relating the early and brave struggles 
of a worthy man, who stuck to business with such 
perseverance that for years past he has been able to 
devote himself wholly to natural history pursuits. 
David Robertson is one of the most amiable and 
modest of men ; a quiet, unassuming, but indefatig- 
able worker, who will, we sincerely hope, live for 
many years to come. Our readers should not fail to 
procure this entertaining and instructive book. 

The Book of Aquaria, by the Rev. Gregory C. 
Bateman, and Reginald A. R. Bennett (London: L. 
Upcott Gill). We have already noticed Mr. Bate- 
man's book on Fresh-water Aquaria. It is here 
reproduced^ with Mr. Bennett's treatise on Marine 
Aquaria added, so that the two make up a handy 
book of reference for all aquarium keepers. 

Pasteur and Rabies, hy T. M. Dolan (London: 
G. Bell & Sons). Dr. Dolan herein goes a " crusher " 
against Pasteur's experiments connected with hy- 
drophobia, which he not only disbelieves but 
absolutely condemns. He heartily declaims against 
what he calls " Vaccinomania." Readers of Pasteur 
and other similar experimenters will here find all 
that can be strongly stated on the other side. 

The Honey Bee : Its Natural History, Anatomy, 
and Physiology, by T. W. Cowan (London : Houl- 
ston & Son). The lauthor is a well-known writer 
and authority on the subject which this prettily got 
up book deals with. The part devoted to the 
anatomy of the bee will interest all naturalists. 
There is an abundance of original illustrations ; and 
although Mr. Cowan has found himself obliged to 
deal with the subject in a very concise manner, it is 
not the less clear and highly readable on that account. 
We are pleased to draw the special attention of all 
bee-keepers to this excellent little manual. 

The Natural Food of Man, by Dr. Emmet Dens- 
more (London : Pewtress & Co.), is a brief but clever 
statement of opinion against the use of bread, cereals, 
pulses, and all kinds of starch foods. We cordially 
recommend the book to all our vegetarian readers, 
many of whom will find new arguments therein. 




DOUBTLESS, many ^vill say wlien they see the 
heading of this paper, surely enough has been 
said about this bird. What more can be wanted ? 
Nevertheless, the fact is, that not half its true 
history has been written. It is not my intention to 
write anything like a history, but I wish to state the 
peculiarities in the bird I have met with during the 
past breeding season. Last season, and the four 
previous seasons, I was inquisitive enough to look into 
the domestic arrangements of these birds, and found 
that each season gave a different result. 

The clutches of eggs of last season, 1890, were 
larger or longer than those of 1889. In that season 
I did not obtain a clutch of six eggs, but in the 
season just passed I obtained four clutches containing 
six eggs each, and five eggs very commonly formed 
the clutch. Taking the season all through, the 
clutches gave an average of four and a half eggs 
each, and the average of the broods was not quite 
three and a half young birds ; this is the highest 
average I have met with. The discrepancy between 
the eggs and brood was not caused by the infertility 
of the eggs, for the eggs, as a whole, showed a very 
high percentage of fertility, but in many cases by 
incubation ceasing after the embryo was well formed, 
and also by some of the young birds dying in the 
nest. The former I found when examining a 
number of clutches in a very advanced state of 
incubation. The dead or dying young birds are as a 
rule carried out and dropped at a short distance from 
the nest. I saw an unusual number of these little 
outcasts last season, owing, I believe, to the great 
fertility of the eggs. 

A curious feature exhibited itself in the eggs. In 
many of the clutches there was a small egg, not 
pygmean, but perfect ; in previous seasons I have met 
with one or two like instances, but last season it was 
of frequent occurrence. In the sixty clutches I have 
jDreserved it is quite conspicuous. I also met with 
what I consider to be a very great curiosity, that 
being a genuine pygmean egg ; it is about the size of a 
blue tit's egg, it weighed sixteen grains and contained 
a small quantity of albumen. It is the only specimen 
I have ever seen or heard of. It was in a nest with 
three others of the ordinary size, two being of a light 
colour, the third of a slaty-grey like the pygmy. In 
the July number of this Journal I see recorded, by 
Mr. Tracy, of Ipswich, that another sparrow's egg 
had been found marked at the smaller end. I have 
not been fortunate enough to obtain a specimen, 
neither did I see any trace of smaller end colouring 
amongst the four hundred sparrow's eggs I examined 
during the season. Nevertheless, the peculiarity 
showed itself in the eggs of several other birds. The 
eggs of 1890 and 1889 showed a greater percentage 
of fertility than those of the previous seasons, and 
comparing the clutches of the two seasons they are 

very much alike in colouring, but if the eggs of the 
past season had been of a lighter colour I should have 
considered my theory of fertility and colour running 
together to have fallen through ; however, I have the 
eggs to corroborate my statement. 

I fail to understand why these birds are so erratic 
in their nidification ; they appear to have no fixed 
type of nest, like nearly all other birds, but the nest 
is made to suit the site selected for it. The nearest 
approach to a fixed type is when the nest is built in 
a tree or bush, then it is of a domed bulky structure 
with an entrance at the top. Then, again, they have 
no fixed type of egg : the eggs vary very much in 
size, shape and colour. I know of no bird belonging 
to its family which lays such a large egg in propor- 
tion to its size, some of them measuring nearly one 
inch in length. Many will measure '98, but I have 
never found a perfect egg fully an inch long. They 
prefer the society of man more than any other bird, 
and although greatly persecuted and maligned they 
can hold their own against all comers. 

I read with much regret the sentence passed upon 
them in this Journal by Mr. C. Parkinson. However, 
it is to be hoped that it will not be carried out. 

The following figures give the average of the 
broods for the past five seasons. 

1886 Young birds . 
18S7 „ „ . 

1 888 




Every one must know that it is almost impossible 
to get at exact figures, but the foregoing give the 
full average ; however, I have not the slightest doubt 
if more exact figures could be obtained that the 
average of the broods for the past five years would 
not exceed three young birds. 

Popular opinion — which is always wrong — is that 
the sparrows have large broods, but as my investiga- 
tion has been going on several of my sceptical friends 
find that they have been labouring under a very false 
impression as to the number of young birds in each 

Having seen my little friends breaking up various 
kinds of beetles, I thought I would see what they had 
to say to some fine fat cockroaches, so I turned some 
on the lawn ; they were very soon amongst them. 
Some of the birds appeared at first afraid to attack 
the largest of these black-looking insects, but only 
one escaped by reaching cover, and he would have 
shared the fate of his companions had not the birds 
been frightened away. 

Joseph P. Nunn. 

We are sorry to notice the death of Mr. Wm. 
Davies, F.G.S., lately of the British Museum, to 
whom many old students of geology were indebted 
for assistance. 



Bv THE Rev. Hilderic Friend, F.L.S. 

President of the Wesley Scientific Society, Author 
of ' Flowers and Flower Lore.' 

TO anyone except an enthusiastic lover of nature 
the idea of grubbing among the grass, stones, 
mud and rubbish in search of such unattractive 
creatures as worms must be perfectly monstrous, and 
we quite sympathize with those matter-of-fact folk 
who take the worm-hunter to be a candidate for the 
lunatic asylum. We do not exactly see, however, 
why it is worse to dig for worms for scientific than 
for piscatorial uses, and in all fairness the angler and 
the naturalist should be made to sail in the same boat 
in this respect ; if indeed the knight of the rod, who 
merely sacrifices the poor worms for his own delecta- 
tion is worthy a place beside the knight of the scalpel 
whose aim is to further the interests of scientific 
research and extend our knowledge of God and His 

Among our native worms there is one with a square 
tail {Allurus tdraedrns, Eisen) whose story has never 
yet been fully told by any English author so far as I 
am aware. It has been somewhat fully studied on 
the Continent, and at least one English writer has 
given us details of its anatomy, but so far all has been 
of a technical, unpopular character. When I speak 
of Allurus as the square-tailed worm I wish it to be 
understood that the term must be used in a modified 
sense, as we have one or two other worms which 
sometimes present this peculiarity, but not in so 
marked a degree. It was on account of the peculiar 

tailed worm. Duges the same year gave an account 
of it in the Annales des sciences naturelles under the 
title of Enterion Aniphisbana. His reason for 

Fig. 56.— Anterior portion seen from above (dorsal) : pr, pros 


• Fig. 55. — Allurus. 

shape of the hinder half or posterior end that the 
worm, when separated from the old genus Lumbricus, 
because of the male pore being on the thirteenth 
segment, and made the type of a new genus, was 
named AUurus from the Greek words alios, another 
or different, and oura, tail. I shall endeavour to 
present what I have to say to the reader under three 
heads, in which the History, Description, and Distri- 
bution of the worm will be set forth. 


Allurus was apparently unknown to Linnaeus, the 
father of modern science, who was very poorly in- 
formed in worm-lore. Savigny, who discarded the 
Linnean term Lumbricus, and adopted the Grrecised 
word Enterion (from the Enteron of Aristotle), is the 
first author to give us any information respecting it. 
In Cuvier's Histoire des progres des sciences nalurelles, 
he calls the worm Enterion Ictraedritin, or the square- 

Fig. S7- — Allurus: segments 1-18. a, parasitic vorticella ; 
d, dorsal pores ; cr, crop ; c^, calciferous gland ; />•, pros- 
tomium ; £^z, gizzard ; inj>, male pore. 

adopting the latter name is to be found in the fact 
that the worm can go as readily backwards as for- 
wards, after the fashion of the serpent of which 



Lucanus sang. Nine years later Duges wrote again 
on worms in the same periodical, but put his worm 
by the side of Savigny's, and spoke of them as distinct 
species. He now calls them Lumbricus, and says of 
Ihe first (Z. tctracdrus) that the clitellum is composed 
of seven segments ending with the 28th, and the 
worm is small and fragile, frequenting the neighbour- 
hood of stagnant waters, and crawling out at night in 
their vicinity. Of his own species (Z. ainphishicna) 
Zic says that there are six segments to the clitellum, 
which again ends on the 28th, and the habitat is the 
same. It differs, however, from the other not only 
in the number of segments which go to form the 
girdle or clitellum, but also in its smaller size, the 
prismatic and crenelated form of the tail, and the 
semi-lunar shape of the lip or prostomium, which in 
one case (Z. tetraedrus) is only slightly angled on the 
side of the following segment, whereas the lip of the 
■other species cuts the segment completely. The 
colour of the one (Z. tctracdrus) is a dull brown, 
whereas it is violet in the other, and has a tendency 
to iridescence. These distinctions appear to have 
iieen overlooked to a large extent by later writers. 

Fig. 58.— Seta (with five muscular attachment?, a) and 

In 1843 lloffmeister gave the worm a new name 
(Z. agilis), calling it the agile worm, which is very 
accurate, but not so characteristic as the names already 
given by Savigny and Duges, as there are others 
quite as active. Though it still continued to attract 
attention, no alteration was made in the terminology 
till 1870, when Eisen first recognised it as a distinct 
genus, and called it Allurus, not merely on account 
of its shape, but because the male pore, or vulva as it 
was formerly called, is found on the thirteenth instead 
of on the fifteenth segment as in Lumbricus. Eisen 
has also recognised the existence of certain well- 
marked differences among the various specimens 
which he has examined, and he has named two or 
three varieties. I believe that in some instances 
specific rank will be ultimately accorded to some of 
1 he varieties, a point to be discussed in our next section. 
Since Eisen's day Allurus has been still further 
studied by Rosa, Beddard, and others, and I have 
been able from my own researches to confirm and 
amplify their accounts of this curious worm. The 
following table will present the historical data in a 

compact form, and enable the student readily to turn 
to the earlier monographs and works where the 
subject is discussed. 

1S28. Entcrion tctraedruvi, Savigny (Cuvier, 
" Histoire des Progres des Sciences natur- 
elles." Ser. ii., vol. iv., p. 17, or vol. ii. 
No. 20, p. III). 

182S. Entcrioji Amphisbaeiia, Duges ("Annales 
des Sciences naturelles." Ser. i., vol. xv., 
p. 293, Plate 9, fig. 19, 20, 24). 

1S37. L^imbriciis tetraedrus, and Liunbricus anip/iis- 
baena, Duges ("Ann. des Sc. nat.," Ser. 
ii., vol. viii., pp. 17, 23). 

1S43. Lumbricus agilis, lloffmeister (Wiegmann, 
"Archiv fiir Naturgeschichte," p. 191, 
tab. ix. fig. 6; " Familie der Regen- 
wiirmer," 1845, p. 36). 

1870. Allurus tctracdrus, Eisen ("Ofv. af Kongl. 
Vetensk. Akad. Forh.," p. 966 ; ibid. 
1873, No. 8, p. 54). 

Other references will be given under the next 


It will be well, before I enter upon a detailed 
description of the square-tailed worm, to explain one 
or two of the technical terms in common use in this 
branch of science. The extreme anterior or fore-part 
of the worm's body is called the prostomium, because 
it is before and above the mouth (stoma). It is 
sometimes spoken of, less technically, as the lip. On 
either side of the body, usually about midway between 
the lip and the swollen portion, one finds either a 
protuberance or a depression. Here the male pore is 
situated, sometimes on papillae, at other times sunk 
below the surface of the epidermis, and detected with 
difficulty. Its position and appearance, like the shape 
of the prostomium, is of great help in the identification 
of species. The swollen portion in an adult worm is 
called the clitellum, it is also popularly known as the 
girdle, while cingulum is the term in favour with 
some authors. Along the back there exist a number 
of minute apertures connected with the co;lom which 
are known as the dorsal pores, while there exist 
under or near the clitellum in certain species other 
pores called ' tubercula pubertatis.' Internally we 
find numerous glands and organs whose functions can 
only be understood by those who have read some 
account of the anatomy and physiology of the worm. 
If we take the external characters first, we shall 
find that Allurus ranges from one to two inches in 
length, but is capable of stretching to nearly three 
inches when hastening away from its pursuer. It 
varies greatly in colour, as we have already seen, 
from a beautiful rich yellow to dull brown, and from 
a light brown to violet with iridescence. It has a 
square-tail, containing usually about forty segments, 
making the total number of sediments for the whole 



body from seventy to eighty. I took an example the 
other day with sixty segments behind the chteUum. 
The ditelhim often varies in colour from the rest of 
the body, which it sometimes appears to encircle 
entirely. It commences on the 22 nd segment usually, 
and extends to the 27th, but the glandular :cells of 
the clitellum extend to other segments as well. The 
male pore is on the 13th segment, and may be easily 
recognised, as it runs parallel with the segment- 
divisions, and is placed on either side of the body, 
somewhat on the under-surface, or ventrally. Beddard 
thinks the spermathecns are on segment 8, which bears 
also rod-shaped setre.* The dorsal pores commence 
between the 3rd and 4th or the 4th and 5th segments. 
The ordinary setae are similar to those of our other 
native worms, but I have found minute processes on 
the extremity which projects outwards, similar to those 
described on some foreign species. The internal 
extremity is attached to its sac by fine muscular 
threads. They have a itendency to split up into 8 
rows rather than appear in 4 pairs, and are about 2 
centimetres long, or nearly half the width of the 
body. The tiibercida ptihertatis are said to occur on 
the 22nd, 23rd and 24th segments, I have so far 
failed to see them. For external characters, the 
following works may be consulted in addition to 
those already given. Grube, " Familien der Annel- 
iden," 1851, p. 145; Oerley, "A Magyarors zagi 
Oligochastak Fatmaja," 18S0, p. 598-601 ; Rosa, " I 
Lumbricidi del Piemonte," Torino, 1884, p. 51 ; Ude, 
"Zeitschrift fiir Wissen. Zool.," 1885, p. 139; 
Johnston, " Catalogue of British Worms," p. 61. 

Owing to the small size attained by Allurus, it is 
somewhat difficult to dissect the worm in the ordinary 
way, so as to obtain perfectly reliable results, and it 
therefore becomes necessary to prepare sections by 
the microtome. My results differ slightly in some 
respects from those of Beddard.* He gives the gizzard 
one segment only (viz. the 17th), whereas in the worms 
I have examined the crop occupied 15 and 16, the 
gizzard 17 and 18, Thenephridia seem to commence 
in segment 7. I have found 5 pairs of '^seminal 
reservoirs in segments 8-12 inclusive, being one pair 
more than Beddard reports. I find 2 pairs of sperm- 
athecse, one in segment 8, and one in segment 9, and 
the calciferous glands, of which I find one pair, are in 
segment 10, just in front of the middle pair of seminal 
reservoirs. Here again I diffen from Beddard ; and 
the most reasonable explanation of this fact, I think, 
lies in the suggestion that we have been working on 
distinct species which have not yet been differentiated. 
In addition to what have been usually regarded as 
typical specimens, I have met with a totally distinct 
variety, which I formerly called flavus, but which I 
find has been named luteus by Eisen. It is of a 
beautiful, rich yellow colour, with orange clitellum, 

* My further researches, since this paper was written, clearly 
point to the existence of at least two, if not more, distinct 

and a good deal smaller than the type. I found it 
plentifully by the Fclen, near Carlisle, in 1890, and 
have taken one solitary specimen this year at Calverley,. 
near Leeds. The following is a list of the species 
and varieties hitherto named by authors, which will 
probably shortly be amended and enlarged : I.. 
AHurus tetracdnis (Eisen) ; 2. Alhirus amphishana 
(Duges) ; 3. Alliims, var. obscuriis (Eisen) ; 4. 
Allunis, var. hitciis (Eisen). 

For the anatomy one may consult Beddard ia 
" Quart. Journ, Micr. Soc." 1888, Vol. vi., pt. ii., pp. 
365-71, pi. XXV.; Rosa, "I Lumbricidi del Pie- 
monte," p, 51 scq.; Ude, " Zeitschrift fiir Wiss. 
Zool." 18S5, p. 139, &c. 


Eisen has described it from specimens found in 
Sweden and Beddard from a single worm sent from 
Teneriffe. Rosa has recorded it from North Italy ; 
Oerley from Hungarj-, where also the varieties already 
named exist. Hoffmeister found it in North 
Germany, Duges in France (probably about Mont- 
pellier), in which country more recent observers have 
also collected it, but Kulagin does not mention it in 
his recent enumeration of Russian species of earth- 
worms. Oerley classes it as " Palaearktic." 

It was first mentioned as British by Johnston in 
1865, a single specimen being at that time in the 
British Museum. It was found in Devon, and I have 
found it in Yorkshire and Cumberland, together with 
the yellow variety. See Johnston's "Catalogue of 
British Worms," p. 61 ; Beddard, op cit. p. 365 ; and 
Oerley, "A Magyar. Oligochaetak Faunaja," 1880, 
p. 599 et scq. 


NOW that the thrushes have begun their morning 
and evening song, and the girls are offering 
the bunches of wild snowdrops for sale in the streets,, 
our hearts begin to long for the spring flowers (never 
more prized than after this long and trying winter),, 
and we begin to anticipate our coming pleasures by 
turning to the favourite passages that tell of our 
darlings. And who will bring the flowers of spring 
and summer before us as well as Lord Tennyson? 
Who else has distinguished, with suitable epithet, 
one wayside flower from another, and given to his 
exquisite landscapes the true finishing flower-touch?' 
Other poets have sung in honour of flowers: Alfred 
Austin has celebrated the primrose in charming 
verse ; Wordsworth has immortalised the lesser 
celandine ; Burns has glorified the "bonnie gem " — 
the daisy — and thus re-echoed the praises of old 
Chaucer ; but none has been at once so catholic in 
taste, so accurate in localisation, so exquisite in 
selection of epithet as the Laureate. This love of 



flowers is from the beginning ; it is as evident in the 
•earhest poems as in the latest ; it is charming every- 
where. In the early poems — published sixty years 
iigo— we have the flowers in the uld-fashioned 
Lincolnshire garden drooping under the action of the 
autumn frosts. 

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower. 
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly ; 

Heavily hangs the hollyhock. 
Heavily hangs the tiger lily. 

Perhaps the very garden in which, after his 

Unwatched the garden bough shall sway, 
The tender blossom flutter down, 
Unloved that beech will gather brown, 

This maple burn itself away : 

Unloved the sunflower, shining fair, 
Ray round with flame her disk of seed. 
And many a rose-carnation feed 

With summer spice the humming air. 

And around, or below, where the great Fenland 
■swept away to the great sea : 

Far through the marish, green and still. 
The tangled watercourses slept, 
Shot over with purple, and green, and yellow, 

and with 

The silvery marish flowers that throng 
The desolate pools and creeks among. 

And with these we must quote, as characteristic 
of the scenery among which his earlier years were 
jjassed, "two of the most beautiful and melancholy 
lines in our language, " as Henry Kingsley truly calls 
them : 

When from the dry, dark wold the summer airs blow cool. 
On the oat-grass, and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in 
the pool. 

The meadow- and marsh-flowers are chiefly 
spoken of in the "May Queen " : 

And by the meadow trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo- 

And the wild marsh marigold shines like fire in swamps and 
hollows grey. 

What a gleam of first May time those two lines 
'bring with them ! One can see the water-meadows of 
our Dorsetshire Stour, or of the Salisbury Avon, 
winding to and fro from Ringwood to Christchurch, 
where the wide moist meadows are on fire with marsh 

In that lovely " Dirge," how he delights to bring 
together over the quiet grave, "the bramble-roses, 
faint and pale," "the gold-eyed king-cups fine," 
"the frail blue bells," "the rare broidry of the 
purple clover," till, as Shelley said, "making one in 
love with death to think one should be buried in so 
■sweet a place." 

Almost always the wild flowers are spoken of. In 
-the spring " by ashen roots the violets blow," a line 
which once guided us to a lovely clump of white 
•T^-iolets after a fruitless search elsewhere. Following 
Shakspere, he thinks how, when Arthur Hallam 
lies at rest in quiet Clevedon, " Of his ashes may be 

made the violet of his native land." So Shakspere, 

of Ophelia, " From her fair and unpolluted flesh may 

violets spring." But both our poets had l)een 

anticipated — 

Non e manibus illis, 
Non e tumulo, fortuiiataque favUla 
Nascuntur violae 1 

The orchis, " the foxglove spire with its dappled 
bells," "the little speedwell's darling blue," "deep 
tulips dashed with fiery dew," " laburnums, 
dropping wells of fire," each in turn recalling some 
pleasant spot, it may be in damp spring copse, or 
meadow, or by sunny bank, or in sloping garden. 
The glorious reaches of blue when the hyacinths 
carpet the ground are specially noted, for we read 
how Lancelot and Guinevere 

Rode under groves that looked a paradise 

Of blossom, over sheets of hyacinth 

That seemed the heavens upbreaking thro' the earth. 

That is a bit of forest. We saw the verj' place last 
spring, quite close to Queen's Bower, near Brocken- 
hurst, where, beneath stately beeches, the ground 
was covered with blue-bells, as we call them. 

The mention of the delicate wind-flowers softens 
the rugged speech of the wild "Northern Farmer" 
as he tells how the keeper was shot dead, and lay on 
his face " down i' the woild enemies," a wonderfully 
pathetic touch, as it shows you the dead man with 
the delicate petals of the flowers whispering round 
the motionless head. 

Do you want a broad summer landscape, with the 
scent of summer and the promise of autumn ? Here 
it is : — 

When summer's hourly mellowing change 
May breathe with many roses sweet 
Upon the thousand waves of wheat 

That ripple round the lonely grange. 

Can you not see the " waves of shadow pass over 
the wheat," and smell the fragrance of the wind that 
has travelled over the many roses? Surely some one 
has painted that "grey old grange" amid its far 
waving corn ! 

The simple happy cottage-flowers, "traveller's 
joy," "'honeysuckle," rosy sea of gillyflowers, 
"close-set robe of jasmine," "lily-avenue," and so 
on, are noted, one by one, in a pretty passage in 
"Aylmer's Field," describing the houses of Sir 
Aylmer's tenantry. 

But the most splendid use of the common flowers 
is in the finest of all his pieces on public events, the 
" Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington." 

Not once, or twice, in our rough island story. 

The path of duty was the way to glory ; 

He that walks it, only thirsting 

For the right, and learns to deaden 

Love of self, before his journey closes. 

He sJiall find the stuhborii thistle bursting 

Into glossy purples, -which outredde>i 

All voluptuous garden roses. 

The thistle referred to is the lovely purple-headed 
one that grows on the down-sides, with a more 


jy.4 R D W] CKE • S S CIENCE- G OSS IP. 

silvery leaf and a for more '" glossy purple" than the 
common roadside sort. The use of this as an 
emblem of the unexpected reward of dutj- honestly 
performed, is one of the most telling selections in 
English poetTT. 

The way in which the commonest flower depends 
for its existence on laws the mcst profound and far- 
reaching is brought before us by the last quotation we 
most make. 

Flower in the crannied wall, 

I pluck you Oct of the crannies : 

Hold TOLi her«, root and all, in my hand. 

Little flower ; but if I could understand 

What yo-- are, root and all, and all in all, 

I should know what God and man is. 

^\*. K. Gill. 
£versley. Pooh. 


No. 2. 

\S premised in mv last communication, which 
was introductory to the series, I now have to 
describe several forms of the naked lobose Protoplasts 
which have come under my own observation. Fiist 
and foremost of these is the well-known and often- 
described Anuzba protius. This animal is familiar 
enough to the merest microscopical tyro, as it is 
found in the sediment of almost every pond and ditch. 
It presents itself under the ' magic tube,' as a shape- 
less mass of jelly ; round the outer edge is a clear 
portion, the ectosarc, free from granules ; while the 
interior endosarc is apparently more fluid, and con- 
tains a variable quantity of granules and food particles 
in different stages of digestion. If carefully watched, 
it will be seen to push out, at one or more points, 
rounded lobes of the clear ectosarc, as if, to use a 
simile of Professor Leidy, it had exnded or sweated 
numerous drops of liquid. These " lobes quickly 
elongate and assume theforms of digitate pseudopods," 
and as they lengthen the more fluid endosarc flows 
in. While these new processes are being pushed out, 
others are being retracted, and these Protean-like 
changes of form go on in such a way as to result in 
a slow, onward movement of the animal. The 
smaller forms have generally little colour, and these 
are of most frequent occurrence in this district. 
Others, however, found in waters having much or- 
ganic matter in a state of decay, or where Algous 
food is plentiful, have considerable colour. This is 
found to be due to a varietj" of materials, which if 
carefully examined, resolve themselves into the 
foUowing elements. Fine and coarse granules ; 
rounded bodies of the nature of starch granules ; 
yellow and brown oil-like drops ; coloured water- 
drops ; sand-grains ; minute crystals ; yellow, brown 
or green food-b^lls, often surrounded by a clear space 
fiUed with liquid ; and more recently ingested food, 
such as Desmids, Diatoms, Zoospores, fragments ot 
Oscillatoria and ether Algae. In addition there are 

generally a discoid somewhat granular Nucleus, and 
near it, the contracting vesicle, or pulsating organ, 
often of a delicate pink hue. Amoeba can take food 
at any part of its surface, and the discharge of effete 
matter is likewise ejected from any part, but accord- 
ing to several authorities, more frequently from that 
which at the moment happens to be posterior. On 
coming in contact with suitable food material, 
Amceba puts forth a portion of the clear ectosarc, and 
surrotmds the object, which subsequently appears to 
sink into the endosarc, becoming enclosed in a 
vacuole, in which by a process of digestion it becomes 
indistinguishable from other food-balls, previously 
ingested. They vary greatly in size, from Jj or larger 
to gjij of an inch. There are many points in the 
economy of Amceba which I must pass over, owing to 
limitations of space ; sufficient has been written, 
however, to enable us to judge of the correctness of 
some remarks of Professor Carpenter, in his " Intro- 
duction to the Study of the Foraminifero." He says, 
" A little particle, of apparently homogeneous jelly. 

Fig. 53- — P. lalcsa. 

Fig. CO. — P. '.:lcsa. 

Fig. 6i. — P. lobosa. 

Fig. 62. — A. z-illcsa. 

changing itself into a greater variety of form than the 
fabled Proteus, laying hold of its food without 
members, swallowing it without a mouth, digesting 
it without a stomach, appropriating its nutritious 
material without muscles, feehng (if it has any power 
to do so) without nerves, propagating itself without 
genital apparatus, and not only this, but in many 
instances forming shelly coverings of a symmetry and 
complexity not surpassed by those of any testaceous 
animals."' Fig. 59 shows a very common form 
here, from clear ponds ;' it is small, with the pseudo- 
podia somewhat radiately arranged, and shows the 
Cont vesicle. Fig. 60 a larger form, also com- 
mon, with Diatoms, .kc, recently ingested, no 



Nucleus, or Cont. vesicle visible. Fig. 6i, a form 
with rather conical pseudopods, sarcode stretched 
over a long Diatom. The Rhizopods of this germs. 
possessing no definate or constant figure, species 
mongers have taken foil advantage of their oppor- 
txmities, and have given specific names to a number 
of slightly different forms. There are, however, a 
few, which exhibit permanent differences, which in 
the present state of our knowledge, it may be as well 
to distinguish in this way. 

Amxla villosa, which is locally tm common, differs 

63, larger form with three anterior lobes, Nncleos, 
and two or three Cont. vesicles. 

Amaha radwsa is another small and inactiTe 
spedes, very rare here. Indeed, so rare is it, that I 
have never found it in any of the numerous places 
where I habimally collect. My first and only 
specimens were taken from a plate which had been 
under a Fem-case. There were literally thousands 
of them, among the floccose sediment, along with 
other obscure Rhizopods (Vampyrella, dec.) and 
Rotifera vulgaris and PhUodjna erytlwthaJma. They 

Fig. c:. — .-:. radijsa. 

Fig. 6-. — A. z-err:i::rs. 

Tig- ^5 — A. radidia. 

Fig. 6S. — A. Z'rrntcesa. 

Tig. 6^ — PeJjmryjca •riUoia 
begrnning to pet forth its 


Fig. 66. — A. tHZosa. 



Fig. -^.—FcS- 

.: ;z Tulasa in motian. 

ffom the preceding in several particulars ; it has a 
distinct anterior and posterior region ; the villous 
part, which is knob-like, is always posterior, and is 
covered with persistent, prickle-like pseudopodia ; 
the anterior pan is broadish ; ectosarc, a well-defined 
zone, and its general form is irregularly cl::vate, 
occasionally with two or three broau, anterior lobes. 
There is a single, generally large Cont- vesicle 
posteriorly situated, and a little in front of this the 
Xncleas. Size from ^ to -jlj, of an inch. Found 
among mosses, Algs, and frequently in Sphagnum. 
Fig. 62, small form with Cont. vesicle. Fig. 

have from two or three to a dozen tapering pseudo- 
pods, and these may be short or two or three times 
the diameter of the body. This form has little 
colour, and I never found any with food-balls or 
ccdouTed drops of any kind. There is generally a 
distinct Nucleus, and one or several Cont. vesicles. 
It is when freely floating that they exhibit their 
characteristic radiate form ; when crawling this is 
somewhat lost, as the pseudopcKiia are either retracted, 
or a few only are put forth in the direction of motion. 
WTien calmly floating the pseudopodia may be seai 
shortening or lengthening, or slowly bending back- 



■wards and forwards. Size about ojjj of an inch. 
Fig. 64, an ordinary form showing Nucleus 
and Cont. vesicle. Fig. 63, small form, which with- 
drew all the jJseudopodia except one ; this although 
constantly moving, lengthening or shortening, re- 
anained persistent for over an hour during which it 
was under observation (Fig. 66). Another specimen 
with longer pseudopodia. 

The next form, Ainivba verrucosa, is the last of the 
L-.iaked lobose Rhizopods I have found in this district. 
The illustrations (Figs. 67, 68) give a fair idea 
of young specimens ; older ones are a little larger and 
generally contain more Algous food, though not in 
■such quantity as to destroy their translucency. It is 
■said to be very common, but I have very rarely found 
it, and unfortunately I have omitted to note the exact 
locality. It is, I think, a good species. Ordinarily 
it presents a quadrately rounded form, with broad 
•expansions of the ectosarc, which in this species is 
unusually distinct. Old specimens are very sluggish, 
but younger ones are active, and when moving across 
the held of the microscope, the broad end is always 
in front, so that there is a distinct anterior and pos- 
terior part. The Cont. vesicle is large and posterior ; 
Nucleus generally obvious, a little in front of the 
Cont. vesicle. The creatun^ does not put forth distinct 
pseudopods, but the ectosarc rolls forwards as a short, 
broad lobe and the endosarc gradually follows so as 
to maintain the same relative position. The creasing 
of the ectosarc, appearing as fine, more or less 
permanent lines, reaching from the back forward as 
far as the endosarc, is very characteristic, and will 
greatly assist the student in identifying the species. 
IFig. 67. Specimen with large Cont. vesicle 
and single Nucleus. Fig. 68, another with 
Cont. vesicle partially contracted, food-particles 
present ; these generally consist of Oscillatorian frag- 
ments. In the naked lobose Rhizopods there are four 
Genera and about eight Species. Amoeba, as de- 
scribed. Pelomyxa, slug-like, with wave-like expan- 
sions of the ectosarc ; Dinamceba, whose pseudopods 
are long, conical, sometimes furcate ; with surface of 
body and pseudopods covered with spicules of motion- 
less cilia ; and Ouramreba, with fixed filamentous 
appendages. These all belong to the sub-Order 
Lobosa, and are of great interest, but as I have not 
yet found them, winter having effectually put a stop to 
collecting, I omit all further reference to them here. 
In my next paper I shall commence the description of 
the testaceous forms, illustrating the chief varieties of 
the various species found in Rossendale. 

P.S. — Pelomyxa villosa is another of the naked 
Rhizopods, which, while absent from many ponds, is 
yet numerous in others. It is closely allied to Aniccba 
villosa, if indeed it is not a state or condition of that 
Rhizopod. It differs from it chiefly in having 
iiumerous Nuclei and Cent, vesicles scattered 
through the body mass. It is one of the very largest 
forms, and its endosarc is crowded with dark granules, 

a considerable quantity of quartz sand ; and, being a 
voracious feeder, Desmids, Diatoms, and other Algre. 
When at rest it is of sub-globular form, but frequently 
buds forth small lobes of its clearer ectosarc, as a pre- 
liminary to activity (see Fig. 69). The somewhat 
globular villous patch, which is always posterior, has 
a prehensile function. Nuclei small and numerous. 
The same description is said to apply to the contract- 
ing vesicles, but in the specimen from which the 
drawing was made there was most certainly one very 
conspicuous Cont. vesicle. Colour, very variable, 
but by transmitted light, usually a dark grey or brown, 
in some cases approaching to black. 

J. E. Lord. 


A LANE, an English country lane ! To the 
dweller in a city's murky streets what more 
suggestive of peace and beauty ? In the very word 
there is a ring of rusticity ; it tells us that it is not a 
high- but a bye-way, one off the beaten track — one 
more secluded, peaceful, fragrant. The thought of it 
calls up visions of mossy banks and o'erarching trees, 
sweet-smelling hawthorn hedges with eglantine and 
bryony festooned, and gay with roses white, with 
crimson tipped. Nor does the pleasant vision exist 
only in the imagination of the poetic dreamer. Nay, 
thank heaven ! in this our lovely native land [there 
still are left to us a thousand country lanes, as rich in 
beauty as they were in ages long since passed. 

'Tis not, however, of lanes in general that I would 
now discourse, but of one particular lane — that 
special, secluded, restful spot of earth on which it is 
our hap to dwell, and which we love to designate 
par excellence " Onx Lane." 

In this our sin and sorrow stricken world 'twere 
hard to find a spot so sacred to peace that no dis- 
turbing element will e'er be found within its precincts, 
and, mayhap, the occasional inroad of merry school- 
children, full of boisterous mirth, or lumbering wain, 
somewhat harshly jingles upon the ear of the recluse, 
but such infrequent breaks but serve to enhance the 
restful atmosphere which here prevails ; nor do I 
begrudge the young ones their season of innocent 
enjoyment ; to many of them it may be only far too 

Our lane is situated in a lovely, richly-wooded, 
old-world western county, whose benighted inhabit- 
ants slowly yield to changes of so-called moderir 
progress, and as slowly help to swell the calendar of 
crime. Beautiful for situation is it — in every season 
charming. But 'tis in early summer — say in leafy 
June— when from the thicket the mellow-throated 
blackbird mingles his fluty notes with the bright 
outpourings of the sweet-voiced thrush — when 'tis 
brimful of birdsong, rustle of leafy shade, and hum 




of happy insect life, that its beauty most commends 
itself; for then, methinks, 'tis at its very best. 

Its sinuous course extends through rich pastures 
and mossy orchards, from the brook at the bottom of 
our lovely valley, right away up and up, until it 
widens out upon the breezy height some 900 feet or 
more above the sea level. No unsheltered half-mile 
course is this, for its steep banks are high, sur- 
mounted with luxuriant liedges, and with lofty trees 
o'er-arched, and even when "November chill blaws 
loud wi' angry blast," the wanderer here may bid 
defiance to the tempest. His upward glances may 
discover the bowing and swaying of the tree-tops 
before the forceful blast, which onward sweeps the 
ruddy shower, and carpets the ground beneath with 
glossy beech leaves ; but, through it all, as un- 
disturbed his steps as separate his lot from the tumult 
and harass of the outside world. Now and again, 
sweet glimpses of the lofty hills and overhanging 
woods afford him a foretaste of the treat in store 
when he reaches I he topmost height, for his footsteps 
lead him ever upward, until he emerges from the 
shade into the breezy open, when what a glorious 
prospect meets his eye ! Hills beyond hills, all 
richly clothed with beech, and larch, and pine. 
Here from this lofty ridge his eye embraces two 
lovely valleys — thiSf " the Switzerland of England," 
the most sequestered and richly-wooded of the two ; 
the most steep and narrow ; and from wood to wood 
and hill to hill the eye may rove, until hill, and wood, 
and cloud, all harmoniously blend in a mellow hazy 
.distance. That^ more open and wide-spreading, its 
bounding hills more sweeping in their contour, but 
yielding as fair a scene, and behind that swelling 
down descends the westering sun ; and whilst the 
steep valley slopes are sleeping in deep shado%\-, the 
fleecy cloudlets glow in his rays, and give fair pro- 
mise of a bright to-morrow. Across the valley there 
is Painswick Hill — nearly the highest point in the 
county — and from it we see on the one hand the 
Vale of Glo'ster, the Severn, and far beyond — on the 
other, the hills and woods — the towns of Gloucester 
and Cheltenham ; and out there, in the purple dis- 
tance, the lofty Malvern Hills. Such scenes as these 
mark epochs in one's life. 

Here then, far removed from earth's hurly-burly, 
rest awhile, inhale the breeze, fragrant with floral 
odours innumerable, and rich with refreshment alike 
to the jaded spirit and the weary body. No situation 
more conducive to restful feelings than jthe summit of 
some lofty eminence, some mountain peak, some 
mighty swelling hill like this. Here on some turfy 
couch reclining, at this high altitude one feels so 
far removed from life's sore turmoil, the city's roar, 
the strife of contending factions ; and soaring heaven- 
ward, one strives to rise superior to the grovelling 
things of earth. And yet, withal, how oft the 
humbling thought obtrudes — How very, very small 
am I ; yea, but an atom in an Universe. 

Cast the eye whithersoever one will it lights upon 
woods. There lies the largest of them all, said to be 
one of the most extensive in the kingdom ; and there, 
where those advancing wooded slopes, which, from 
opposite sides of the ravine upward climb towards 
the sky, consecrated to peace and beauty, is my 
favourite resort. 

Adown the steep hillside the pathway leads, until 
we reach "the bottom." Here, sheltered in the 
bosom of this lovely valley the outer world and I are 
quit, and " every sense is joy." No storms — no chill- 
ing blasts invade these bosky depths profound ;. 
nor sight nor sound of higher animal life disturb the 
stillness, save when the agile squirrel leaps from 
branch to branch, or timid rabbit scampers across the 
path, or jay's or magpie's discordant notes are heard. 

Yet let it not be thought that these solitudes are 
untenanted, for a myriad host of insect atoms hum, 
and flit, and flutter out their happy day in the genial 
sun-rays of this insect paradise. Butterflies innumer- 
able disport themselves, and a long chain of wood 
ants' nests skirt the sunny edge of the gloomy larch 
wood. This exuberance of insect life betokens an 
equally redundant flora ; indeed, in all my wanderings 
never before was it my hap to light upon such a 
wealth of floral beauty, nor from the appearance of 
the first flower until the last withering leaf has beer- 
swept from the bare woods fails there a display of 
Nature's most beautiful productions. I have some- 
times thought that not a flower that blooms but here 
finds its representative — methinks a harmless fancy, 
and one that I delight in. 

Deep fringed with moisture-loving plants there, 
too, meanders through this deep ravine a brooklet,, 
and oft do I cast myself upon its mossy bank to con- 
template the marvellous perfection of Nature's handi- 
work. Call me not a visionary if I evoke bright 
fantasies out of the sweet music of whispering winds — 
the odours of thousand flowerets, and flutterings of 
scaly wings in golden sunbeams. Not idly do I spend 
my hour, for sadness I beguile, and homeward turn 
my steps, mentally and physically refreshed. 

The picture has another side. Not always is the 
silence thus unbroken — nor ever is the solitude replete 
with gentle sounds, for when summer's bright-hued 
floral pageant has vanished, the song of wild bird is 
hushed, and the year, no longer young, has yielded 
to the decrepitude of age, then the howling tempest 
rages and threatens, and the lofty tree-tops, respond- 
ing to the sweep of the wind, pour out such wild 
music as thrills the listener beneath, and transports 
him in imagination to the lonely sea-shore where 
roaring billows toss and heave. Delightful transi- 
tion ! 'tis Nature in her varying mood, and her wild 
harmonies how sweet. 

Presage of blissful repose, comes the blessed even- 
ing's fragrant breath, fitting termination this quiet 
spot to a delightsome stroll. Here, then, wanderer, 
rest, and whilst you gather " the harvest of a quiet 




eye," let me discourse awhile anent the denizens of 
" Our Lane." 

And first to merit mention assuredly are those 
ministers to our happiness, our little feathered friends. 
They abound in our lane, and notably within the pre- 
cincts of our garden and orchard, for here in my 
berried shrubs, and ivy and other climber clothed 
walls, they find food, shelter and protective care ; 
here, unmolested, they build their curious nests, and 
raise their young broods — 'tis to them a veritable 
bird paradise. 

My list mayhap embraces no great rarity, but in- 
cludes — not excepting the nightingale — nearly all 
most noted for their sweet song. Foremost let me 
mention my sweet-voiced friend the common thrush 
\Turdtis vuisiais) who much affects my garden. 
Could I ever tire of his melodious outpourings ? I 
trow not ; nor do I tremble for my fruit when I see 
his lovely speckled breast beneath my shrubs, for 
well I know that soon his tap-tap-tap upon his 
favourite stone is the death-knell of the marauding 
snail. Fearlessly, last summer, a pair built their 
nest beneath the thatch of my summer-house, and 
but five and a half feet from the ground, and although 
I made a daily visit to the spot, and at but a foot 
distant would stand and watch the sitting mother — 
not once she fled her home, but, fixing her trustful 
eyes on mine, calmly sat on. 

Their near relation, too, the missel thrush {T. visci- 
■vorus) is a frequent visitor, and until the last berry of 
the mountain ash has been gathered frequents our 
lane. Somewhat less welcome to me is the jetty 
plumaged blackbird (T. vierida), for much as I delight 
in the flute-like notes of this mellow-throated songster, 
he lays my fruit under such heavy contribution that, 
sometimes, methinks, I dearly pay for his sweet 
music. Abundant though he is in all the bends and 
twists of our lane, he most aff'ects our garden — as 
does that shyest of birds, and sweetest singer of the 
feathered choir, the blackcap (^Curnica atricapilla). 
From the time of his arrival, about the first week in 
April, until he takes his departure, about the end of 
September, he much affects my shrubs, and pours 
out his most tuneful notes from morn till eve. Sweet, 
affectionate bird ; a thousand times welcome to the 
fruit you claim as the guerdon of your delightsome 

{To be continued.) 


The Second Loan Exliibition of the Woolwich 
District Natural History Society (President, the Rev. 
J. W. Horsley), held at the Freemasons' Hall, 
Mount Pleasant, was very successful. The exhibits 
were of a high order, and represented most branches 
of natural history. The collections of fossils, shells, 
star-fish, Crustacea, coleoptera, lepidoptera, and 

botanical specimens were very good, and contained 
many rare species. There was also a large assort- 
ment of African weapons, implements, spoils of the 
chase, and many other curiosities too numerous to 
mention. Throughout the evening various electrical 
appliances and a number of microscopes were ex- 

The Easter Excursion of the Geologists' Associa- 
tion will be to the Isle of Wight, under the direction 
of Professor J. F. Blake and Mr. Thomas Leighton. 

A NEW quarterly magazine has been started at 
Leeds, under the title of " The Conchologist." It is 
edited by Mr. W. E. Collinge. 

The Annual Exhibition of the South London 
Entomological and Natural History Society will be 
held at the Bridge House Hotel, London Bridge, 
S.E., on Wednesday and Thursday, the 15th and 
1 6th of April next. On Wednesday it will be open 
from 7 until 10.30 r.M. ; Thursday from i to6 and 7 
till 10 P.M. Particulars and tickets can be obtained 
of the Hon. Sec, Mr. H. W. Barker, %i Brayard's 
Road, Peckham, S.E. 

We are glad to inform our readers that the pro- 
posed oological expedition to the Shetland Islands 
has very properly been abandoned. 

We have received a copy of the interesting 
"Monthly Circular and Journal of Proceedings" of 
the Huddersfield Naturalists' Society. 

We have also received a copy of the useful *' List 
of Microscopical Preparations " from ]\Ir. J. Sinel, 

At the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society, 
the Wollaston Medal was presented to Professor 
Judd ; the Murchison Medal to Professor Brogger, of 
Christiania ; the Lyell Medal to Professor 
McKenny Hughes ; and the Bigsby Medal to Dr. 
G. M. Dawson, of Ottawa. The balance of the 
Wollaston Fund was presented to Mr. R. Lydekker; 
that of the Murchison Fund to the Rev. R. Baron, 
Antananarivo ; half of the balance of the Lyell Fund 
to Dr. C. J. Forsyth-Major, of Florence ; and the 
other half to Mr. G. W. Lamplugh. 

Professor Victor Horsley, F.R.S., gave a 
discourse on Hydrophobia at the Royal Institution, 
on Friday, March 20th, in place of Professor W. E. 
Ayston, F.R.S., who was unable to give his promised 
lecture on Electric Meters, Motors, and Money 

The last part of the " Diatomiste," edited by 
J. Tempere (London : W. P. Collins, 157 Great 
Portland Street), contains four plates. This promises 
to be the most important work on the Diatomacea ever 
issued. It is being issued every three months. 



M. Fremy has been able to manufacture rubies 
■artificially, and has produced numerous rhombo- 
hedric crystals identical with those found in nature. 
The rubies are produced by calcining a mixture of 
aluminium, red lead and potassium bichromate for 
several hours in an earthenware crucible. 

The celebration of the Jubilee of the Chemical 
Society was held on Tuesday, February 24th. 
There was a conversazione in the evening held at the 
Goldsmiths' Hall, at which eight hundred were 

A PUBLIC meeting was held at the Shire Hall, 
Chelmsford, on Wednesday evening, the i8th March, 
to further the scheme of the Essex Field Club and 
Chelmsford Museum for the establishment of a local 
museum, laboratory, and library in the county town. 
The occasion was one of great interest. Professor 
Plower and other well-known scientists took part in 
the proceedings. 

Colonel Swinhoe, F.L.S.,gavea capitallantern 
lecture before the members of the Croydon Micro- 
scopical and Natural History Club, on March iSth, 
on the interesting subject of " Mimicry in Nature." 

Dr. J. E. Taylor, Editor of Science-Gossip, 
concluded, on March 19th, a course of twelve lectures 
(each of which was extensively reported) in connec- 
tion with the Ipswich Museum, on " The Ingenuity, 
Sagacity, and Morality of Plants." 


The Royal Microscopical Society. —The 
February number of the journal of the above society 
contains, in addition to the well digested and use- 
fully arranged "Summary of Current Researches," 
abstracts of the proceedings of the meetings, and the 
following papers : — " Some Observations on the 
Various Forms of Human Spermatozoa," by Dr. 
R. L. Maddox ; and the address of the president 
(Dr. C. T. Hudson), "On Some Doubtful Points in 
the Natural History of the Rotifera." 

"Journal of Microscopy and Nat. Science." 
— The March number contains the following papers, 
in addition to notes and excerpts : — "British Earth- 
worms," by the Rev. H. Friend ; " Prehistoric Man 
in Europe," by Mrs. Bodington ; "The Evolution 
of Sex," by Dr. J. A. Smith, &c. 

The Microscopical Society of Calcutta.— 
The Third Annual Report of this flourishing society 
for 1890 has been published. During the year the 
following papers were read :— By J. Wood-Mason 
(President), "On a Secondary Sexual Organ in 
the Males of certain Prawns of the genus Peneus," 
and "On the Changes of Skin, and on the so-called 
Pupa-Stage, of the Praying-Mantis {Tenodera aridi- 

folia, var.) ;" by Dr. W.J. Simpson, "A Note on 
the Bacillus of Leprosy, with specimens ;" by Dr. J. 
Stevenson, "The Microscope Stand, with some 
remarks on the Choice of a Microscope ;" by Mr. A. 
Thomson, " On the Optical Principles of the Micro- 
scope ;" by Mr. W. J. Lynch, "On a few Hints on 
the Home Construction of Appliances for the Micro- 
scope, with Exhibits ;" by Mr. W. J. Simmons, 
three Resumes ; by Baboo Bhupendrasri Ghosha, 
one Resume ; and by Mr. W. M. Osmond, " Bromide 
Enlargements of Photo-micrographs," and a Silver 
Print from an Enlarged Negative. 

Mounting Corallines. — I have been trying to 
mount corallines for the microscope with the animals 
expanded out of their cells, I read in "Carpenter" 
that osmic acid would cause the animals to expand 
their tentacles so that they could be mounted. I 
have tried that acid, but with no result. Can any of 
the readers give me any help how to get the animals 
to expand their tentacles and to kill them at the 
same time, so as to be fit for mounting? — W. A. 

Mounting Cochineal Insects. — To ring, try 
Hollis' glue. I have found this good in almost every 
case, and always use it to ring, for I do not like white 
zinc, &c., except as a finish ; though I never even care 
for that, for the plain Hollis is all ready, and can be 
used for immersion objectives. — V, A. Latham. 

Micro-Marine Zoology at Home. — Those 
who desire a delightful evening at home with the 
microscope should procure one of the jars of living 
marine objects sent out every fortnight by Mr. J. 
Sinel, of Jersey. The latest to hand contained the 
following specimens : — Lucernaria aia-iciila (in repro- 
duction) ; o\z.oi IiiocJms striatus\\\'0[\.exa!oryo%; Alcyo- 
iiidmtn papillosum, Mcmbraiiipora pilosa ; on the red 
weed, one or two kinds of Campanularia and some 
small Polyzoa ; Ci'isia dcnticidata, Spirorbis naiitiloidcs, 
Syllis artnirallis ; one or two other micro-annelids ; 
some young Rissoas ; Cystophium Dari^'inii, and one 
or two other micro-amphipods ; Cytkere reniformis and 
one or two other kinds of Entomostraca ; some small 
Planarire ; various parasitic Infusorians, Diatoms, &c., 
&c., on the weed. 


Physa Acuta in Scotland. — About July, 1887, 
I found this shell in abundance in Banner Mill 
Ponds, Aberdeen, but never thought of recording 
the same in my journal. But, since I came to 
London, Mr. Jenkins, M.C.S., Deptford, on one 
occasion when visiting me saw them, and asked me 
if I had ever mentioned them, as this was a new 
locality. I said I never had. He took a few notes 
and sent to "Conch. Journ." (see vol. vi., No. 8, 



p. 270). A few additional notes might be of interest. 
I sent to my brother, who is employed at the above 
factory, a note asking him to get a few alive for me, 
and made arrangements with him to get them here, 
which he did on November 21st, 1890, when he sent 
sixty-two live P. acuta, which I kept alive in tap- 
water for a period ranging from six to twenty-one 
days. Strange to say, all the largest specimens died 
first. The ponds they are found in are filled with 
hot water summer and winter, so I think the sudden 
change from hot to cold was the cause of death. 
Linimza pcregra is very plentiful in the same ponds, 
but succumbed the same as P. acuta. There is a 
distinct variety in the P. acuta that is white, and 
much larger, and the outer lip seems to approach the 
variety of L. pcregra, var. labiosa, but pure white — a 
very pretty form, but not so common as type. The 
above specimens when put in the tap-water were 
quite lively, and night after night I sat and watched 
their movements, which were very interesting. Mr. 
Smith gave me the following information. He is 
foreman at the Banner Mill, and since he came there, 
that is, thirteen to fourteen years ago, they have 
always had a place in the ponds, for the first time 
he cleaned out one of the ponds he found them there, 
but how they got there he could not tell me, but for 
fourteen years they have lived and died in these 
ponds, and never been heard of till now. This is 
the first time P. acuta has been found in Scotland ; 
that is to say, five hundred miles farther north than 
any other locality, the other locality being London, 
and, though not a British species, it is interesting to 
hear of a Continental species getting so far north. 
Large or small specimens of P. acuta are very 
difficult to get during the months of September, 
October, November, and December. Plenty of 
small ones can be got, but I think the larger speci- 
mens burrow in the mud at the bottom of ponds. — 
W. D. Rac. 

Dwarf var. of Helix Sylvatica. — At a place 
about one thousand feet above Montreux, and some 
little distance above a bridge known as the Pont de 
Pierre, I have found a rather remarkable dwarf var. of 
Helix Sylvatica, Drap. The species is pretty widely 
distributed in the Alps, but is usually of a larger size 
than in the above-named locality. It belongs to the 
same section, Tacliea, Leach, of genus Helix as //. 
iietnoralis, Linn., and hortensis, Miill. — C. P. Gloync. 

The Flight of Birds.— In reference to the soar- 
ing flight of birds, under notice in some papers lately, 
I beg to offer my explanation of flotation in the air by 
the ability of the bird to reduce or increase its specific 
gravity by voluntary action. It may be surmised, it 
is possible that the double larynx may be the means 
whereby this is effected, where the trachea and two 
larynges may correspond to the cylinder and two 
valves of an air pump in pneumatic experiments, and 
the glass globe or dome .would correspond to the 

lungs and air cavities in the body of the bird. The 
modus operandi may take effect by contraction of the- 
length of the intervening trachea down towards the 
lower larynx, then closure of the upper larynx, 
followed by elongation of tube upwards towards the 
head. The intervening column of air inside it would; 
then be lengthened and attenuated, and the lower 
larynx would then be closed, so as to preserve the 
attenuation in the lungs and cavities from the external 
air. The upper larynx would then be opened and the 
air let in, and the contraction of the trachea would 
again take place, and the action of attenuation of air 
as before repeated up and down. If these efforts- 
were renewed so many times in a second, with 
intervals for ordinary respiration, then an ascent to 
one thousand feet would take place as rapidly as in 
any balloon. In order to establish this procedure on 
a scientific basis it would be requisite to take the 
weight of a certain bird at the level of the earth, and 
at a height of one thousand feet ; or instead to ex- 
haust the air out of the lungs to the extent of one 
inch of the barometer, and weigh it again, and also 
to ascertain the weight of the air in the body of the 
bird and its volume, at the level of the earth, and at 
a height of one thousand feet, or a reduction of one 
inch of mercury. The rapid descent of the bird would 
be effected by reversing the above process of air pump 
exhaustion, and converting the trachea and its double 
larynges into a force pump, so as to fill the lungs and 
cavities with air of a greater density. The buoyancy 
of the bird might then be made out for flotation in its 
medium, in a like manner as is done for torpedoes, 
diving-bells, balloons, &c., and the modus operandi 
of towering rendered more clear of comprehension. — 
" O/'server." 


The Flora of Kent. — Seeing your questions on 
the Flora of Kent in this month's Science-Gossip, 
I thought I would write and tell you that, having, 
read and come across any amount of books in science, 
natural history, &c., I do not remember ever having 
seen a Flora of Kent. The nearest I know of is the 
"Flora of Middlesex, with Map of Botanical Dis- 
trict," by II. Trimen, 12s. 6d., published by \V. H. 
Allen, 13, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, London, S.W. 
If you have a copy of G. P. Bevan's "Kent," 2s. 
(Stanford's "Tourist Guide Series," published by 
Stanford & Co., 55, Charing Cross, London, S.W.), 
you will most , probably find, either at the very 
beginning or very end of the book, the topography, 
history, biography, archeology, geology, mineralogy, 
fauna and flora, botany, mining, manufactures, and 
agriculture of the county. At the end of the intro- 
duction the author gives a list of the best books on 
the county, including botany, geologj', &c. You 
may hear of a Kentish Flora in this way. N.B. — 



This is what R. N. Worth docs in his "Guide to 
.'S. Devon," same series as "Kent," published by 
Stanford & Co. ; they are very good practical guides. 
I do not know whether the London Flora would 
include Kent ; I should think it would embrace the 
borderland. You may find the following useful : — 
Eentham's "Flora," revised by J. D. Hooker, last 
edition, 18S7, \Os. 6d. ; Crespigny (C. de E.), "A 
New London Flora," 1S77, 5^-. I do not know of a 
later edition of this, nor do I knoM' publishers' 
names. Any bookseller would order them, or you 
could get them cheaper by writing to Mr. W. 
Collins, Scientific Bookseller, 157, Great Portland 
Street, London, W., or to Mr. W. Wesley, Scientific 
Bookseller, 28, Essex Street, Strand, London, W.C., 
both of whom I can recommend; Hooker (J. D.), 
■" Student's Flora of British Isles," Macmillan & Co., 
London, 105. 6d, A revised edition of the above 
was, I believe, published about 1887. — F. Leigh. 

The Variations of Colours in Plants. — It 
inay be interesting to readers of Science-Gossip to 
give a few instances of variation in colour of the 
same species of plants which have come under my 
notice. Some flowers are more various in colour 
than others. For instance, the common wild gera- 
nium may be found of a dark red, and light red of 
^'arious shades, and is sometimes so pale as to appear 
almost white. The purple orchis of our meadows 
are of a very dark purple, others of a lighter hue, 
and some of a very pale red colour, while others may 
be found of a pure white colour. The flowers 
amongst which we find most examples are those of a 
blue, red, and purple colour. Among blue flowers 
I have noticed the following variations in colour. 
The selfheal is generally of a dark blue colour, but 
many flowers are lilac, though some may very often 
be found of a pure white ; and the sweet violet and 
milkwort may often be seen of a blue, red, and 
white colour, and now and again a white specimen 
of the pretty little harebell may be gathered, but the 
•colour is not a common one among them. We have 
more instances of variation in red and purple flowers 
than in any other colour, and I think I shall not be 
.far wrong in stating that there are more examples in 
the two mentioned colours than in all others put 
together. The red campion, which is dark red, 
may be found of a very pale red colour, or almost 
•white. The common knapweed changes in colour, 
and may sometimes be found white, while red clover 
may be seen of similar colours. Rest harrow is as 
•various in the red colour as those just named, and is 
frequently white. The scarlet poppy and scarlet 
pimpernel, two flowers of our cornfields, though of 
so dark a colour, are often light red or even pink. 
The little field madder and field knautia may be 
found of various red colours, while white specimens 
■of the purple foxglove and heather are of common 
occurrence. The lesser convolvulus is white and 

rose colour, the wood anemone is sometimes rose- 
coloured, and the common yarrow is occasionally 
red, while the common daisy of our meadows is often 
fringed with red. The pretty yellow flowers of the 
bird's-foot trefoil have often a mixture of red, and 
some are entirely red, while the wild pansy of our 
cornfields may be found of various colours. — H. G. 

CuLORorHYLL AXD LiGHT.— At least a brace of 
topics have been recently discussed in Science-Gossip 
that challenge a more than passing comment. One 
is the formation of chlorophyll in plants. It seems to 
be allowed by all the big botanical authorities that 
there are exceptions to the law that light is an indis- 
pensable condition for its formation. The germina- 
ting seeds of many coniferas, and the fronds of ferns, 
for example, become green even in absolute darkness 
when the temperature is sufficiently high, and a bright 
green moss has been fished up out of the Lake of 
Geneva from a depth of two hundred feet. But let 
us take care that there be no mistake here. Are we 
quite sure that in every instance where a suit of green 
is worn by a plant fabric that the colour is due to 
chlorophyll ? If we have got any decent sort of eye 
for colour at all, and endeavour to match the tint of 
a green gooseberry, for instance, with that of a beech 
leaf, shall we be satisfied ? I fancy not ; and where- 
fore ? Simply because the colouring matter in the 
one case is not the same as that in the other. By 
personal experiment, I have become convinced that 
green elderberries and even the seed cases of the 
sycamore contain no chlorophyll ; and I suspect that 
the green cotyledons found inside the melons and 
likewise that of the lemon, recorded in this journal, 
contain none either. But how can you tell that ? 
what do you know about it ? Well, I must appeal to 
the evidence of that most scientific of all instruments, 
viz., the spectroscope. An alcoholic solution of the 
substance in question, a small spectro, the use of an 
eye and a little brains, and the trick is done, the 
matter is decided. By reference to a back number of 
SciENCE-GossiP we learn that a very thin layer of 
chlorophyll is sufficient to absorb all the orange, blue, 
and violet rays contained in the incident light ; hence 
the spectrum ought to show very decided dark absorp- 
tion bands in the portions thereof occupied by these 
rays respectively when white light is transmitted 
through a prism. When, therefore, an alcoholic 
tincture of, say, grass leaves is presented to the slit 
of the spectroscope, a very dark, broad, clearly out- 
lined band is seen in the orange next the red, and the 
whole of the blue-violet portion is blotted out ; 
sometimes two or three other fainter bands are also 
seen in the yellow and the green, but these are not 
characteristic as the former are. So far as I am 
aware, there is no distinctive chemical test for 
chlorophyll ; as it is highly probable that it is not 
invariably of the same chemical composition, nor is 



it in every case evolved from precisely the same 
organic constituents in the plant. The physical test 
now indicated is the only reliable means of detecting 
its presence ; and therefore any solution not yielding 
the absorption spectrum aforesaid cannot be said to 
contain chlorophyll. This comment raises a further 
suggestion as follows. On reading the illustrations 
of vegetable teratology, so tastefully exhibited by the 
editor in last year's volume, many examples may be 
noted where sepals, petals, and other floral parts have 
been converted into green leaves or green foliar 
organs, or vice versa. The quandary here is to de- 
finitely settle the highly interesting and important 
problem whether these verdant appearances are really 
due to chlorophyll or not. It is obvious that a 
decisive solution either one way or the other would 
tend to eminently fortify or to seriously undermine 
the famous " Gothic " conception that floral organs 
(sepals, petals, stamens, &c.) are developed, or are 
modifications of foliar organs. Any vegetable out- 
growth whatever, though it be as green as the emerald, 
and present a foliar aspect and structure, cannot, if 
destitute of chlorophyll, be regarded as a leaf in any 
functional sense of the term. — P. Q. Keegcin. 

Note on Scolopendrium vulgare, var. 
LoBATUM, AND ITS ALLIES. — During a recent walk 
{5th March) from Aust, Gloucester to Bristol, I 
found the roadsides, owing to the absence of other 
vegetation, very favourable to the observation of ferns. 
In sheltered places, notwithstanding the severity of 
the past winter, I noticed some fine specimens, chiefly 
of the common hart's-tongue, as green as at mid- 
summer. The majority showed, by their semi-withered 
state, the advanced time of year ; but, as a whole, I 
should be inclined to think that the excessive and 
long- continued cold has not unfavourably affected 
them. I was fortunate in finding two or three good, 
and, I hope, constant varieties, which I have yet to 
name or get named, and a very large number of 
specimens of the variety above mentioned. In look- 
ing at Swayne's old work on the Botany of the neigh- 
bourhood, I find but a single variety recorded, and 
that from the neighbourhood of Ashton ; but, of course, 
vei7 much more must be known since the date of the 
publication of that book ; but I regret that I am 
unable to refer your readers to these sources of infor- 
mation. The Botanical Secretary of the Bristol 
Naturalists' Society is editing in its Proceedings a very 
valuable record of the local flora ; but I expect that 
the cryptograms have not as yet been dealt with. 
The variety Lobatum may be looked upon as occupy- 
ing a middle place between the simply bifurcated 
fronds and those which are much dissected and 
tasselled ; all of them are undoubtedly related, and 
very inconstant, especially when transplanted, revert- 
ing almost invariably to the specific form. This fact 
has always been known to collectors and growers of 
British ferns. Ferns gathered with dormant fronds 

in spring burst during the same season. In the 
natural state the amount of variation on the same 
plant is very great, extending from a simple tendency 
to bifurcate at the growing point of the midrib, and 
hardly visible on the margin, to a distinct separation 
of the fronds on a common stipe, a simple form of 
pinnation. This is the most notable case that has 
come under my own observation ; but I have not as 
yet observed a sufficient number of plants to be able 
to say much as to the amount of variation in fronds 
growing from a single crown. Varieties, when they 
occur in nature, I find often occur together, and some- 
times it requires a careful examination, by digging up 
the roots, before the fronds can be relegated to the 
crowns that support them. Although this variety, 
Lobatum, and its bifurcated and tasselled allies is 
generally distributed over the neighbourhood of 
Bristol, it can hardly be said to be common, except in 
a few favoured localities. Indeed, I have travelled 
long distances along our Somersetshire and Gloucester- 
shire lanes without observing a single specimen. 
.Speaking generally, I fancy they are rather more 
frequent in sheltered situations near the coast ; but 
in returning from Aust to Bristol on the date 
mentioned, I observed so many that I thought the 
fact deserving of mention. In a lane running east 
and west on Keuper soil, near Aust, 90 yards long^ 
with high banks, well shaded by hedges and elms, I 
counted no fewer than 117 separate plants, varying 
from simple bifurcation to strong cresting at the 
opposite extreme, the majority belonging to the inter- 
mediate variety Lobatum. These were nearly all 
strong, growing, handsome plant clusters, which, if 
divided, would double or treble the above mentioned 
number. Of the total number of Scolopendrium 
plants, normal and abnormal, I should think, at a rough 
estimate, that the bifurcate and crested kinds must 
number probably a third. Both sides of the lane are 
sheltered and shaded by trees, but naturally the south 
side more than the other. Of the 117, 40 grew on 
the side facing the sun, and 77 on the other, a 
difference of nearly a half, and this difference would be 
true for the normal forms also. In the close vicinity, 
but on the sides of the main road, I observed several 
plants of the same variety. Proportionally, however, 
they were much scarcer. Both localities have a 
southern exposure. — T. Stock. 


Anniversary Address of the President of 
THE Geological Society.— Dr. A Geikie delivered 
the above address on February 20th. He dealt with 
the history of volcanic action in Britain during the 
earlier ages of geological time. He proposed to confine 
the term "Archaean" to the most ancient gneisses 
and their accompaniments, and showed that these 
rocks, so far as we know them in this country, are 


essentially of eruptive origin, though no trace has 
yet been found of the original discharge of any 
portion of them at the surface. Passing to the 
younger crystalline schists, which he classes under 
the term " Dalradian," he pointed to the evidence of 
included volcanic products in them throughout the 
Central Highlands of Scotland and the North of 
Ireland. The Uriconian series of Dr. Callaway he 
regarded as a volcanic group, probably much older 
than the recognised fossiliferous Cambrian rocks of 
this country. The Cambrian system he showed to 
be eminently marked by contemporaneous volcanic 
materials ; and he discussed, at some length, the so- 
called pre-Cambrian rocks of North Wales. He 
reviewed the successive phases of eruptivity during 
the Arenig and Bala periods, and described the 
extraordinary group of volcanoes in northern 
Anglesey during the latter time. The volcanoes of 
the Lake District were next treated of, and reference 
was made to the recent discovery by the Geological 
Survey that an important volcanic group underlies 
most of the visible Lower Silurian rocks in the South 
of Scotland. The last portion of the address was 
devoted to an account of the volcanoes of Silurian 
time in Ireland, and it was shown that during the 
Bala period a chain of submarine volcanic vents 
existed along the east of Ireland from county Down 
to beyond the shores of Waterford ; while in Upper- 
Silurian time there were at least tv.-o active centres of 
eruption in the extreme west of Kerry and in Mayo. 

Fossil Fish in Lower Silurian Rocks. — A 
remarkable discovery is announced from America. 
The enormous number of fishes which so suddenly 
make their appearance in the Old Red Sandstone or 
Devonian, have always staggered evolutionists. The 
only reply was " the imperfection of the geological 
record" — the failure to come upon the rocks con- 
taining those experiments of nature which would 
supply the missing links. These, however, have now 
teen discovered in western America. In the Lower 
Silurian sandstones near Canon City, Colorado, there 
bave been found hosts of tishes of a lower type than 
those in the Upper Silurian or Devonian. They are 
also the oldest backboned animals as yet known, and 
indicate that when the still more ancient Cambrian is 
fully investigated transition between the vertebrate 
and the invertebrate groups may be unearthed. 


Fungus Growth on Eggs. — Can any reader of 
Science-Gossip suggest a remedy for a fungus that 
has got into my collection of eggs. It can be rubbed 
easily off coloured eggs, but leaves a dark mark on 
white eggs. The collection is kept in a thoroughly 
dry room, in drawers, covered with glass. All the 
specimens of my own collecting were well washed out. 
What can have caused the fungus ? I intend putting 
■ carbolic acid in each drawer to keep off moths. 

Will that have any effect in checking the fungus ? 
I am told that carbolic acid is preferable to camphor, 
as the latter tends to produce dampness. Will 
the common brown acid do, or must it be the refined 
kind that is used ? — T. Brown. 

Local Conchological Society. — Being anxious 
to discover if there are any Conchologists in Exeter 
and neighbourhood who would join myself and friends 
here in establishing a local society, I should feel 
grateful if you would kindly allow me a few lines in 
your much read and widely circulated magazine for 
that purpose. Collectors in this part of England 
labour under disadvantages unknown to those living 
in the more favoured north. Every little piece of 
knowledge has to be painfully acquired. There are 
no well-known specialists to apply to ; no museums 
with good local collections to which we can refer 
when difficulties arise. A walk through the Exeter 
Museum quickly shows how little general interest is 
taken in Conchology and Entomology in this county. 
There is certainly an attempt at a local collection of 
land and fresh-water shells, but to my knowledge 
it has not been added to, or re-arranged for years, 
and several of even the commoner local forms are 
misrepresented. A few persons interested in the 
science, who would co-operate and meet together 
from time to time for mutual encouragement and 
instruction, would undoubtedly very soon succeed in 
rendering this a less "dark" district, and if 
thoroughly worked I am very sure it would soon 
prove itself a very rich one, as with but i&v! oppor- 
tunities for collecting I have already found several 
species not in the county list. — L. y, S., Topshavi, 
S. Devon. 

The Great Yarmouth Natural History 
Society held their annual meeting at the Free Library 
on Tuesday evening, January 27th. The Secretary 
read the annual report which showed the Society 
was financially better than last year. Notes were 
read on the black-headed gull, and long-eared bat, 
a living specimen of which was exhibited. Letters 
from the President, Sir James Paget, Rev. M. C. H. 
Bird, and Rev. E. N. Bloomfield, with which the 
latter gentleman enclosed a copy of his " Lepidop- 
tera of Suftblk," and " Moss Flora, and Hepaticae," of 
the same county. The papers read at the ordinary 
meetings were as follows : " Bird Mortality," " The 
Little Gull," "The Sole," "The Great Sirex," 
"Skulls of Birds," "Microscopic Fungi," "The 
Black Rat," "Bees and Bee-keeping," "Five- 
bearded Rockling," " Fifteen-spined Stickleback," 
" The great Water Beetle," &c. 

Cuckoo's Egg in a Greenfinch's Nest. — It 
is not, I think, a very frequent occurrence to find a 
cuckoo's egg in the nest of a hard-billed bird, being 
mostly found in the nest of the hedge-sparrow, and in 
the nest of other warblers. It may be interesting to 
some to know that a cuckoo's egg was discovered 
here in the spring of 1887 in a greenfinch's nest, which 
contained four. eggs of the greenfinch. — //. G. Ward, 
North Mars ton. 

The following interesting occurrence, which was 
told to my cousin, who -related it to me, may perhaps 
be interesting to readers of Science-Gossip. In a 
hedgerow around this village a blackbird built its 
nest last winter and laid five eggs, which were 
eventually hatched, and the young ones fiew away. 
The young man who knew the nest, used, it seems, to 
visit it occasionally to see how the young ones were 
getting on. In one of his" visits he found that the 
young ones had flown, and was greatly surprised to 



find three more eggs laid in the old nest. I should 
be pleased if readers woukl record any similar 
instance which might have come under their notice. 
— H. G. Ward, North Mars/oit. 

The Two Sides of the Medal. — Mrs. 
Bodington, in a not altogether novel parable, urges 
us to look on both sides of the medal, but gives little 
evidence of viewing more than one side of it herself. 
She is apparently more a follower of Spencer than of 
Darwin, but while she twits Wallace for not being 
abreast of the march of science, she herself clings to 
some of the most doubtful of Darwin's assumptions. 
Of Wallace, she writes : " He believes in natural 
selection pure and simple, with its odd theory of 
constant variations occurring without any reason, and 
owing their origin to nothing in particular." Well, 
to what do these variations owe their origin in Mrs. 
Bodington's opinion? They are due to the " law of 
the action of the environment upon irritable proto- 
plasms " — an explana'tion highly abstract and more 
metaphysical than biological. True, probably, as far 
as it goes, but not going very closely to the point. 
Now, Wallace, without thinking it worth while to 
give this account of the origin of variations, has 
placed the theory of natural selection on a much 
stronger basis than that on which Darwin built it. 
Wallace has shown that variations are, as a matter of 
fact, numerous in all directions. While every 
organism has a normal or average form and size for 
all its parts, both internal and external, yet no 
individual exactly hits this average, but all vary, in 
all their parts more or less, from the average form 
and size. For instance, suppose a bird has a wing 
of a certain length, and it would be to its advantage 
to have a somewhat longer wing. , Now about half 
the individuals of the species must always have a 
little more than the average length of wing, while 
the other half have a little less than the average. 
The former will tend to prosper and propagate their 
kind, while the latter will decrease. The process 
begins at once. There is no waiting for fortuitous 
variation, as Darwin thought. Now, as for the 
transmission of acquired characters, when we find 
two men so widely apart in their general views as 
Wallace and Weissman unite in repudiating that 
doctrine, we must at least believe that a great deal 
can be said against it,. and that the question cannot 
be settled so simply as Mrs. Bodington imagines. 
From the off-hand way in which she settles the 
matter, it is evident indeed that she does not clearly 
understand the question at all. She confounds the 
doctrine of inheritance of acquired characters with 
heredity in general. She strangely quotes the trans- 
mission of the peculiarity of supernumerary fingers as 
the transmission of an acquired character. She also 
refers to the transmission to offspring of phthisis and 
insanity ; but the whole question hinges upon 
whether these disorders were acquired or congenital. 
As a great authority stated recently, the actual 
evidence in favour of the transmission of characters 
really acquired in the individual's lifetime amounts 
only to a few scattered anecdotes. I will only say in 
conclusion that Professor Weissman's theory of the 
continuity of the germ plasma is far from being as 
baseless in fact as Mrs. Bodington supposes. In 
numerous cases it is demonstrable that the repro- 
ductive cells or tlie rudiments of sexual organs are 
set apart at an early stage, in the development of the 
embryo. " They thus include some of the original 
capital of the fertilised parent ovum intact, they 
continue the protoplasmic tradition unaltered, 
and when liberated in * turn they naturally enough 
develop as the parent ovum did." Preconceived 

theories may sometimes blind men to facts ; but a 
scientist of the calibre of Professor Weissman does 
not adopt his theories without some foundation in 
fact. The transmission of acquired characters is Ijy 
no means essential to Darwinism. The essence of 
Darwinism is the principle of natural selection, and 
this must stand as a vera causa, and as one prime 
factor in the process of evolution, whatever the other 
factors may ultimately be proved to be. — J. IF. 
Baylis, 56, Vine Street, Liverpool. 

CoLoaRS OF Eggs. — It is a curious fact that, while 
we have more or less plausible reasons by which we 
account for the varied colours of birds, beasts, 
insects, and flowers, we seem to have no clue what- 
ever to the reason for the equally beautiful and 
wonderfully-varied tints of birds' eggs. It is true, 
certain generalisations have been attempted. The 
basis of many of these is that the colours bear some 
relation to the environment, a protective function 
being assigned to them. M. Gloger, a German 
naturalist, many years ago followed this fancy to a 
considerable extent, and it is frequently still pro^ 
pounded in popular articles in various journals. 
According to these theorists, eggs are divisible intO' 
two classes : self-coloured, and spotted. Simple 
whites, blues, greens, and yellows, are considered to 
be most conspicuous, and therefore most dangerous, 
and these are said to be therefore hidden in hollows 
or covered nests ; the colours of speckled eggs are 
supposed to blend with the shades of surrounding 
objects, or with the lining material of the nest. Of 
course these theories have no foundation in fact, and 
in every case the exceptions are as numerous as the 
examples adduced. Any schoolboy who has gone 
bird-nesting could produce abundant evidence 
to refute these notions of cabinet theorists. Dr.. 
Darwin ascribed the colours of eggs to the objects 
amongst which the mother-bird lives, acting upon 
the shell through the medium of the eye. Others 
have surmised that there may be some relation 
between the colour of the plumage and that of the 
eggs. Perhaps the plumage of our domestic fowls 
varies more than that of any other birds, yet they lay 
simple white or yellowish eggs, singularly unliable to 
vary. Chemists have recently brought their science 
to bear on the subject, and their investigations have 
led, I believe, to the discovery of two new com- 
pounds in the pigment of the egg of the emu, these 
were detected by means of the spectroscope. 
Abnormal varieties of eggs are worth recording ; and 
I notice, with pleasure, that several of your readers 
are acting in accord with Mr. Nunn's suggestion, 
and forwarding to you reports of such variations as 
they have met with. As in botany, so in this depart- 
ment, what were once called monstrosities may act 
as guides to the past history of the species, and some 
clue may be found which will enable us to unravel 
what is at present an inscrutable mystery in zoology. 
In my own experience I have met with some 
interesting varieties. White forms of normally 
deeper-tinted or spotted eggs are by no means rare. 
The robin often lays a pure white egg in a clutch of 
normal ones, and in two instances I have met with 
the entire clutch pure white ; the guillemot very 
frequently lays eggs almost devoid of spots, but 
absolutely spotless specimens, although they do 
occur, are rare. Other white varieties I have met 
are those of the sparrow-hawk, greenfinch, canary, 
jackdaw, linnet, house-sparrow, and wren. But the 
most interesting case in this direction was a clutch of 
eggs of the red grouse, these were all pure white 
except one, which was slightly clouded with the 
faintest approach to coloration. Normally-spotted 



■eggs frequently occur without markings, as in the 
song-thrush and many others (including in one case 
the rook). On the other hand, self-coloured eggs 
but rarely become accidentally maculated. I have 
seen eggs of the domestic fowl slightly spotted, and 
one particular hen during the whole of her laying 
career, produced somewhat heavily-dappled eggs, 
approaching in colour to those of the turkey. Eggs 
of the stonechat and whinchat seem to have dotted 
and undotted eggs with almost equal frequency, so 
that neither can be called decidedly the normal state. 
A pair of dark chestnut-mottled eggs of the green 
woodpecker were taken near Kipling, in Yorkshire, 
in i8Si. These were exceedingly richly-coloured. 
Variations in the ground colours of eggs are less 
frequent than those of the markings. White jack- 
daw eggs with black markings are frequent in 
Cleveland, and are very handsome when heavily- 
spotted. The partridge-egg, with the small end 
green, described by Mr. Hewitt, and which I have 
seen, is a very remarkable freak. The markings 
themselves of eggs perhaps afford the most examples 
of aberration from the normal, but of these I cannot 
now treat, but will try to describe a few I- have met 
with in a future note. — J. A. IVkeldon, 32, Langham 
Street, Askton -under- Lyite, 

Batrachomyomachia. — So far as I know, 
before the days of Homer, no battle between frogs 
and mice and rats has been recorded. The blind 
bard gives us the origin of the famous contest he 
describes ; but those which I am about to relate 
appear to have been brought about in a difterent 
manner. Some little time ago a friend living at 
Comptom, Sussex, witnessed a singular spectacle ; 
in this case toads instead of frogs had fallen victims 
in an engagement. A legion of rats had assailed a 
small army of toads and rent them limb from limb, 
as their mutilated carcases testified. They did not 
appear to have devoured many of the toads. 
Perhaps, having tasted them, they did not like them. 
Last week a strange combat took place at Chichester, 
of which I extract the following account from the 
"West Sussex Gazette": A rat and a frog were 
found near the stables of Dr. Buckell, East Pallant, 
having met their death in mortal duel. The rat had 
seized the frog's head, and its teeth protruded 
through the eye ; the frog had also taken a firm grip 
of its opponent. Both declining to release their hold, 
or perhaps being unable to do so : they had probably 
died of starvation. This strange couple are to be 
[ireserved for the Chichester Museum. What could 
have caused this quarrel ? The rat was of Hanoverian 
or German extraction, and the frog possibly of 
French origin, which would at once account for it ; 
but, as there is no evidence as to the latter, perhaps a 
different reason may be assigned. Does any 
correspondent know of similar battles recently ? — 
J^. H. Arnold. 

Mounting Shells. — I have collected shells for 
some years, and have used gelatine (that sold at the 
confectioners in pellets) to fasten them on card 
tablets, melting it like glue in a vapour bath, but on 
floating isome of the shells off I find a mark where 
the gelatine has been, and am afraid it injures the 
shells. Can any reader advise me on the matter ? — 
Mary Priest. 

Heredity. — In the great discussion now going on 
as to whether any modifications acquired during the 
life of the parent are transmitted to the offspring, can 
any one give any information as to the size of feet 
of Chinese babies, after fashion for centuries has 
crushed in the feet of the mothers ? Darwin, I think. 

mentions the peculiar canter of Shetland ponies as 
being due to the boggy nature of the ground across 
which they run wild so long. At a loan exhibition 
held here, I was amazed at the small size of a pair of 
Chinese women's shoes exhibited. They were more 
like shoes for a six-months'-old baby in this country, 
or for a doll, than for any adult. — J. Shaw. 

Rat Stories. — The following stories of rats were 
communicated to me by a person living at Cushen- 
dall, CO. Antrim. A farmer living near the village 
had a cask full of pickle for curing meat. This cask 
was placed near a shelf on which was a dish where 
three large crabs had been placed ; one of them was 
boiled, the other two were alive. A rat prowling 
for food smelt the cooked fish, and had just com- 
menced his meal when one of the crabs seized him 
by one of the forelegs and held such a grip that both 
tumbled over into the pickle. The farmer coming 
next day to get the crabs, wondered extremely what 
had become of one of them, and thought it was 
stolen, and after searching about discovered it and 
the rat at the bottom of the cask, the crab still 
holding on firmly. Both were drowned. Another 
rat was observed by a farmer in the month of April, 
when rats leave the rick-yards for the fields, to 
be assisted on his journey by two rats, one on each 
side, supporting him by a stick which the maimed 
rat held in his mouth. This rat had evidently been 
caught in a trap, as both his forelegs were broken. 
This, I think, shows reasoning. — S. A. Brenan. 

Classificatory Position of the Mollusca. — 
Can anybody state, as succinctly as possible, the 
precise reasons why the iNIollusca have been placed 
in a higher position in the scheme of animal classi- 
fication than the Annulosa ? — P. Q. K, 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish ScjENCE-Gossip earlier than formerl}', 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 must adhere to our rule of 
not noticing queries which do not bear the writers' names. 

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 aie 
simply Disguised Advertisements, for the purpose of evading 
the cost of advertising, an advantage is taken ai o\ir 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. 

Special Note. — There is a tendency on the part of some 
exchangers to send more than one per month. We only allow 
this in the case of writers of papers. 

To OUR Recent Exchangers. — We are willing and helpful 
to our genuine naturalists, but we cannot further allow dis- 
guised Exchanges like those which frequently come to us 
to appear unless as advertisements. 

Uva Ursi. — Write to the secretaries of the Chemical Society, 
and also to the secretary of the Institute of Chemistry, for 
rules of admission. 

W. F. — You will find "The Journal of Microscopy and 
Natural Science," published at (>d. monthly (London : Baillicre, 
Tyndall & Co.), very useful. "The Microscope" (an American 
Journal), may be had of Mr. W. P. Collins, 157 Great Portland 
Street, London, W. 

S. J. Bedac— Write to Mr. W. J. Cain, Hon. Sec. Isle of 
Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society, Woodburn 
Square, Douglas, for information respecting the lepidoptera of 
the island. 

W. D. R. — We hope to print your list of Aberdeen shells 



T. R. J.— The green variety of /^/»<or-j/rtr is seldom if ever 
found in Derbyshire. It is met with in fine, large cubic 
crybtnls (truncated) in and about Alston INIoor, Cumberland. 
The miners there generally have a collection of it. 

K. D. — Climbing plants do not nece:,sarily all turn the same 
way — so as " to face the sun." Lapageria is not an exceptional 
instance of plants " turning the same way as the sun," although 
most climbing plants are right-handed, such as fcarlet runners 
and convolvuluses ; others, like the hop, are left-handed. 

O. C. — It is not uncommon to find wild snowdrops in the 
state of those you sent. 

E. W. S., AND OTHERS. — You can procure Veri ill's "List of 
British Diptera," by addressing the author at Newmarket. 

We have received No. 107 of Messrs. Wesley & Son's 
"Natural History and Scientific Book Circular," Part 2, 
devoted to botany. We shall esteem it a favour if our corre- 
spondents will write with ink instead of lead -pencil. 

J. K. NowERS.— Send the paper you mention, and we will 
do our best with it. 

I\I. B. Davies. — If you will forward the specimen of amber 
to the publishers of Science-Gossii', we will endeavour to find 
the kind of insect imbedded in it. 

J. H. Ellis. — Get the "Saturday Afternoon Holiday Guide 
near London," price 6d. It will give jou localities for 
fossils, &c. 

Wanted, correctly-named hymenoptera and diptera. Good 
return in land and freshwater shells. — J. W. Williams, 57 
Corinne Road, Tufnell Park, N. 

I'alvata cristata and Ancylus lacnstris wanted. Also ex- 
changes v/ith those who ha\e good collections of the band 
variations of H. 7iemoralis and H. hortensis. — Rev. J. W. 
Horsley, Woolwich. 

Offered, Xylophaga dorsalis, and pholas with siphons. 
Wanted, Pecten tigrunts, Striatits testa: and septetnradiatus, 
Lima cUiptica, stthauriculata and loscoinbii, Mcuiiolnrta 
7iigra and jiiay-moraia, Crenella decussata, Lepton jiitidmn, 
Liicina spirt/era, Isocardia cor., Axiniis /crriiginosa, Astarie 
triangularis, Psamohia telliiieUa and costulata, Lyonsia 
Norvegica, Panopea plicata, Bttccinum Hiimphreysiamuii, 
&c. — J. Smith, Monkredding, Kilwinning. 

Wanted, L. C, 8th ed. : 11, 114, 848, 855-858, 861, 862, 
867, 870, 9S3, 1253 and var., 1350, 1596/', 1598^, 1604, i8o3, &c., 
in good specimens (British only). Will give in exchange 76c, 
116, I47£-, i92/>, 4211^, 423, 915 fol., 539^1, 541/', 541C. 54^ 549. 
572, 924, 1310, i666, 1675, &c. — A. E. Lomax, 56 Vauxhall 
Road, Liverpool. 

Nos. 49-63 (January, 1869, to March, 1&70), and Nos. 180- 
253 (December, iSSo, to January, 1886) of Science-Gossip in 
exchange for micro apparatus. Side reflector wanted. — A. 
Johnston, 184 Slatefield Street, Glasgow. 

Australian eocene fossils. A fine collection offered for 
other fossils. — J. T. Mulder, Moorabool Hotel, Geelong, 
Victoria, Australia. 

Will any geologist having a knowledge of any accessible 
fossiliferous geological sections near London, kindly communi- 
cate with J. H. Ellis, I Pomona Place, Fulham, S.W. ? 

Named and unnamed fossils (good assortment) given in 
exchange for foreign stamps. Old issues required. — A. Tarver, 
34 Croydon Grove, Croydon. 

Wanted, Smith's " Diatoms," and Lindsay's " British 
Lichens." State requirements to — J. Larder, fiercer Row, 
Louth, Lines. 

Wanted, British land and freshwater shells, or any fossils 
from any formation not in collection, with names and wheie 
found, in exchange for Pholas Candida, or pressed British 
flowers. Address — R. D. Laurie, 19 Willow Bank Road, 

Fifty foreign postage stamps, all different, in exchange for 
eight different foreign coins. — Stampus, 24 Sidney Grove, New- 

Wanted, someone who would be kind enough to name a 
collection of shells (gratis) if sent few at a time. Would be 
welcome to duplicates. — Edward Buckell, Romsey. 

Science-Gossip for 1887-89, unbound. Wanted, old collec- 
tion of postage stamps for whole or portion. — D. Thomson, 
81 Kyverdale Road, Stoke Newington, London. 

New Zealand shells wanted to exchange for shells of other 
countries, Correspondence invited. Address — G. W. Wright, 
Karanaghope Road, Auckland, New Zealand. 

Wanted, foreign shells and good unmounted micro material. 
Exchange British shells and choice micro slides of every 
description. Foreign correspondence invited. — R. Suter, 
5 Highweek Road, Tottenham, London. 

British reptiles and batrachians. Wanted, perfect adult 
living or spirit specimens, in exchange for correctly-named 
foreign species, or other objects. — G. E. M., 5 Warwick Place 
West, London, S.W. 

"Royal Microscopical Journal" for 1887 and 1888, 2 vols., 
bound, and four parts, February to August, 1889 ; also " The 
Microscope." by H. Baker (069). What oflers?— F. C, 
53 Brooke Road, Stoke Newington, N. 

Davis's " Biology," Gibson's ditto, Marshall and Hurst's 

" Zoology," Lloyd Morgan's ditto. Bower's " Botany," Parts r 
and 2, Huxley's "Biology," &c., in exchange for good 
standard works on geology, or a good labelled collection of 
nn'nerals, rocks, &c., to illustrate lectures on physiography. 

I ift'ers to— A. E. Salter, Royal Masonic Schools, Wood 
Green, N. 

Science-Gossip (unbound), 1S89 and 1890, complete, 8 num- 
bers for 1880, and lo odd numbers, for exchange. Wanted, 
tran'-parent moUuscan micro-slides, or ofl'ers. — J. B. Beckett, 

II Lancaster Road, Great Yarmouth. 

Offered, PJiolas Candida (perfect living shells). Wanted,, 
the rarer species of British land and freshwater shells, also 
good marine species. — P. R. Shaw, 48 Bidston Road, Oxton,. 

" Ibis," bound half-calf, for 1881, "Supernatural in Nature" 
(Reynolds), perfectly clean and good as new, in exchange for 
eggs, or natural history works especially relating to Derby- 
shire. — Miskin, Steam Brewery, Bedford. 

Spirilla Peronii, Waldheimia jJai'escens, Trigonia La- 
ina7-ckii, lanthina ejcigiia, and other good shells. Wanted, 
good foreign or British land and freshwater shells. — Robert 
Cairns, 159 Queen Street, Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne. 

"Vegetable Substances," 3 vols. "Lib. Ent. Knowledge," 
in exchange for text-book on Practical Botany. Also wanted 
modern work on marine algae. J. F. Neeve, 68 High Street,. 

Offered, Cypma helvola, C. anmdns, C. lynx, Oliva 
isfridiila, O. freniulina, O. reticularis. Wanted, Nassa 
iniDiersa, N. gemniidata, N. papulosa. — W. Jones, jun., 
27 Mayton Street, Holloway, London, N. 

" Popular Science Review," 1887 and i883,in i vol., "Geo- 
logical Survey, Canada, Report for 1853-1856," i vol. Offers 
wanted. — J. A. Floyd, 5 Hospital Road, Bury St. Edmunds. 

Foreign stamps wanted. Will give British shells in return. 
— T. E. Sclater, Bank Street, Teit;nniouth. 

Offered, birds' and animals' skins, birds' eggs, shells, 
photographic camera and apparatus, &c., in exchange for 
foreign stamps. — H. Knights, Beaconsfield Road, Great Yar- 

Lima hians, L. Loscombii, L. Sarsii, L. clliptica, Modio- 
laria costulata, Crenella 7-hombca, Area obliqna, Axinus 
crouliticnsis, Ainpidesiiia casta7ieuj7i, Tellina balaustina, 
Panopea plicata. Teredo Norvegica, T. pedicillata, Trochus 
amabilis, T. Dumingii, T. occidentalis, Rissoa Jeff>-eysii, 
Jeffreysia diaphana, Cerithiofisis tncta.xa, Kidinia steno- 
stoma, Odostomia decnssata, O. conspicua, and Styli/erttirtom 
wanted. Other rare British shells given in exchange. — 
A. J. R. Sclater, 23 Bank Street, Teignmouth, South Devon. 

Photographic sets. One i-plate set, one slide, lens and 
tripod complete ; a i-plate set by Lancaster, two double slides, 
&c. , all complete, in real good order. I will exchange for 
appliances or books on microscopy, biology, brewing, &c. — 
Apply — Horton, Brayford, Lincoln. 


"An Introduction to the Study of Botany," by Dr. E. 
Avellng (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co.). — "Mineral' 
Resources of the United States," vol. for 1888. — "Monograph 
of the U. S. Geol. Survey — Lake Bonneville," by G. K. 
Gilbert. — " Ninth Annual Report of the U. S. Survey for 1887- 
88."—" Bulleiins of the U. S. Geol. Survey," Nos. 5S-60 (all 
published at Government Printing Office, Washington). — "A 
Class Book on Light," by R. E. Steel (London : Methuen & 
Co.). — "The Foundations of Chemistry," by E. T. Dixon 
(London: Geo. Bell & Sons). — "Insect Life," vol. iii. No. 5, 
by C. V. Riley and L. O. Howard (Washington: Government 
Printing Office). — "Report of Wellington College Nat. Science 
Societv, 1890." — "Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society," 
February. — "Nature Notes." — "British Cage Birds," Part 11. 
— "Le Diatomiste," No. 4. — "Journal and Proceedings Royal 
Society of New South Wales."— "The Medical Annual, 1891." 
— "American Microscopical Journal."— " The Microscope." — 
"American Naturalist." — " Canadian Entomologist." — " The 
Naturalist." — "The Botanical Gazette." — "The Gentleman's 
Magazine."— "The Midland Naturalist."— " The Garner."— 
"Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes," &c., &c. 

Communications received up to the 13TH ult. from: 
J. w. S.— W. J. S.— H. A. M.— T. A. L.— M. P.— H. E. G. 
-S. A. B.-W. E. C.-J. E. W.-C. O.— W. J. B.— A. J. J.— 
H. H. M.— C. B. M.— F. L.— E. B.-J. S.— C. P. G.— 
J. W. W.— H. W. B.— W. D. R.— O. H.— M. W.— W. H.— 
A. J.— E. B.— J. S.— F. W. F.— W. F.— J. B. B.— P. R. S.— 
R. C— J. T. N.— W. J.— J. A. F.— H. K.— S. T. B.— T. S.— 
G. E. S.— J. W. B.— A. G. T.— V. A. L.-G. A. H.— 
A. J. R. S.— J. A.— W. A. G.— F. C— G. E. M.— R. S.— 

D. T.— J. W. W.— G. W. W.— A. E. S.— O. C— G. W. N.— 

E. A. M.— R. D. L.— R. H. J.— R. T.— A. E. L.— J. S — 
J. T. M.— W. A. G.-J. L.— J. W. S.— A. T.— A. J.-J. A. E. 
— W. A. T.-Dr. P. Q. K.— J. E. L.— W. E. C— T. S.— 
J. W. H.— J. E. N.— M. B. D.— A. A.— H. P. G.— &c., &c. 





OW that the happy 
time for all bo- 
tanists is coming 
on, I think it may- 
interest those who 
have like myself a 
special love for 
bog-plants, to hear 
of a successful ex- 
periment made by 
me for two suc- 
cessive seasons. 

I set up a minia- 
ture marsh thus : 
I took off with a 
trowel, so as not 
to disturb the 
roots, some 
patches of the bog 
surface, containing 
plants of the pin- 
guicula, others with clusters of different sorts of 
drosera, patches with masses of the tiny bog cam- 
panula, also some young plants of the bog asphodel. 
I packed my patches of bog tightly in a shallow seed- 
pan and added to them Parnassia palicst7-is sent to me 
from Scotland and filling up all the interstices with 
growing bits of moss. I then placed my pan in one 
sufficiently large to allow of two Inches between the 
inner and outer pans on all sides. The holes of the 
outer pan were carefully -plugged and filled with water 
which oozed naturally up through the holes in the 
bottom of the inside pan, and placed the whole upon 
a sunny window-sill. The water drawn up by the 
sun kept the contents not only soft and wet, but kept 
a warm soft atmosphere about the plants, such as 
they had in their native habitat. If any of your 
readers ever put their face down close to a bog to 
look closely at its exquisite vegetation on a warm 
sunny day, they will understand the soft warm breath 
the plants rejoice in. 

The little marsh garden succeeded beyond my most 

sanguine expectation, the plants never felt they had 

been taken from their native land, but grew apace 

and blossomed well, the pinguiculas threw up 

No. 317.— May 1891. 

their lovely purple-headed stems, the sundews sent 
up numberless bunches of their little white flowers, 
the campanulas were plentiful, and the Scotch par- 
nassus flourished and blossomed as well as if it was 
on its own mountains. 

To my great delight I had several unexpected 
ornaments to my marsh garden. A crop of pink 
pimpernel made its appearance, and grew with such 
speed and luxuriance that they had to be removed to 
a flower-pot saucer, where they hung over the edge 
after a very short time in beautiful pink wreaths. 
Next, a small marsh hypericum came to light and 
embellished my marsh with its small trails of yellow 
flowers and red buds. Then a small green flower 
surprised me one morning by making its appearance 
in the centre of a patch of spear-shaped leaves that I 
had supposed to be some sort of grass, a small deep 
cup-shaped blossom, its corolla five-cleft with a 
stamen in the curved centre of each division, and a 
shinmg moist spot in the heart of the cup instead of 
a pistil. The number of small mosses was most 
interesting, some of them of exquisite beauty ; they 
came and went in a constant succession during the 
early spring^March and April — but there was always 
some curious plant or other quite unknown to me 
during the whole summer. 

After a few months the water between the pans 
became the home of numerous small water insects,, 
and two sorts of water snails made their appearance. 
For their benefit and shelter I put a plant of water- 
cress in one corner of the water, which speedily threw 
out roots and flourished, making a shelter for the 

I kept the outer pan filled to about an inch under 
the rim of the inner one, in hot weather it evaporated 
very quickly, and I was careful to keep the water 
even with the mark. 

If any of your readers think of setting up a marsh 
for themselves I am sure they will find it a source of 
endless interest and pleasure. 

Note. — The campanula mentioned above I was 
unable to identify ; it was like C, hederacca, but 
smaller, and the blossoms upright instead of 

I. G. 





recently delivered at the Royal College of 
Surgeons three lectures on thel Structure and 
Development of the Skeleton of the Head, the 
Nervous System, and Sensory Organs of Insects in 
relation to Recent Views on the Origin of Vertebrates, 
giving the results of work in which he has been 
engaged for at least fifteen or twenty years. 'His 
views are that the vertebrate and the arthropod 
stand in a genetic connection with each other. He 
said : "If we seek for links uniting these two great 
sub-kingdoms, we must look for them amongst the 
most generalised groups in each : in the vertebrata 
amongst the amphibia, and especially the perenni- 
branchiate forms ; in the arthropods, and in the king- 
crab "Limulus," which hold a zoological position 
between the arachnids and the Crustacea." The 
lecturer compared the embryos of the axolotl, as 
figured by Professor Parker with arthropod embryos, 
and showed many points of similarity. He then 
/adverted to the fact that both Drs. Gaskell and 
Patten had independently arrived at the conclu- 
sion that the king crab stands in a genetic relation 
to the vertebrata. 

The existence of a notocliord in the chordata has 
been looked upon as of jDrimary import in the 
question of the descent of vertebrates from an in- 
vertebrate type. Adopting, however, Gaskell's 
views, and holding that the central canal of the 
.spinal cord represents the arthropod alimentary canal, 
the lecturer showed at some length that the procto- 
deum of the insect embryo corresponds with the 
mesenteron of the vertebrata ; and he held that a 
notochord should rather be regarded as a secondary 
character, resulting from an invagination of the 
epiblast, than as a structure of a high morphological 
significance ; and he showed that a rod of cartilage, 
similar to a notochord, is actually developed on the 
dorsal surface of the invaginated head capsule of the 
b.lowfly larva, whilst those structures in invertebrates 
which have been supposed to represent a notochord 
■ have a similar origin. He pointed out that the 
structure which supported the nerve centres in 
Limulus, is composed of cartilage very like the 
cartilage of the vertebrata, and it could only, with 
great difficulty, be distinguished from it. Professor 
Ray iLankester was the first who made out this 
peculiar form of cartilage, which he said was developed 
from the mesoblast ; while the lecturer, judging from 
the relation the structure bears to the same parts in 
insects, believed it to be an epiblastic structure. 
This led him to accept the view put forward by Dr. 
Patten in America and by Dr. Gaskell in this country, 
that the ventral surface of the anterior somites of the 
arthropods represents the basis cranii of the verte- 

brata. The relationship between the nervous 
system in the vertebrates and the arthropods led him 
to adopt Dr. Gaskell's hypothesis, inasmuch as it 
harmonised many things which had formerly 
puzzled biologists. For many years it had never 
occurred to him to compare any parts of the arthro- 
pods with the functional corresponding parts in the 
vertebrata. As soon as Dr. Gaskell showed that 
there 'were strong reasons for believing that the 
central canal of the spinal cord corresponds with the 
primary intestinal canal, the difficulty considerably 
diminished, and many parts of the insect were found 
to correspond so closely to parts of the vertebrate, 
that it was no longer possible to ignore the corres- 
pondences between the structures, both in develop- 
ment and in relation to their anatomical parts. 
Having given a description of the insect brain, 
Professor Lowne referred to the idea that the 
antennae of insects were homologues of the ventral 
appendages. The evidence against that idea was 
becoming stronger and stronger every day. They 
were not lateral appendages, in the usual sense — a 
fact long since recognised by Professor Balfour, — but 
olfactory organs, corresponding point by point, more 
especially in relation to the nerve ganglia, to the 
olfactory organs of the vertebrata. Neither did the 
eyes of the insect represent ventral appendages ; they 
bore no relation whatever to them. 

The lecturer entered at great length into the 
details of the structure and development of the 
arthropod brain, and showed that it possesses many 
points of similarity with the cephalic nerve centres of 
vertebrates ; that it is developed from three vesicles ; 
and that median pineal eyes are developed in the 
wall of the middle vesicle. That there is actually a 
third ventricle from which the nerve of the median 
eyes, ocelli, arises. 

The lecturer finally dealt with the development of 
the eye. The sensory organs of arthropods were 
usually developed by the process of invagination of 
the epiblast, just in the same way as the sense 
capsules of vertebrates were developed. The eyes 
first appeared as a single layer of cells in a kind of 
cup-shaped cavity, divided into at least two layers ; 
from the surface layer a series of lenses was developed 
about 4000 to 6000 in number, instead of one great 
lens. In some insects there were as many as 24,000 
to 30,000 separate lenses. These form the compound 
cornea. The lenses were very remarkable in their 
structure, and appeared to consist of a stroma very 
much like the stroma of the red blood-corpuscle of a 
vertebrate, and a substance which has a very highly 
refractive power, and which is fluid and soluble in 
ether. This substance gradually passes out through 
the stroma after the insect dies, and impregnates the 
other tissues, but in a living insect the cornea has the 
same kind of brilliancy as in the Vertebrate ; but as 
soon as the insect dies the brilliancy rapidly fades, 
and in a quarter of an hour it has become quite dull. 




The stroma consists of proteid substances, but as 
development progresses the albuminous material 
gives place to this highly refractive, probably oily 
material, and then the lenticular portion of the 
cornea becomes reticular after having been treated 
with such'reagents as will dissolve out this interfibrillar 
substance. About twelve years ago, when examining 
the lateral portions of the compound eye of the 
lobster, he continually found thickenings beneath the 
rod-like bodies which united the corneal portion of 
the eye with the nerve centres beneath, and he became 
convinced that no nerve structure passed through this 
membrane, and then it struck him that, in trying to 
make out that this structure was retinal, he was doing 
very much the same thing as examining the minute 
structure of the crystalline lens of the vertebrata, and 
coming to the conclusion that the rod-like fibres of 
that lens were in themselves not merely a portion 
of the refractive structure, but were actually the 
terminals of the optic nerve. He regards the whole 
of the structure developed from the superficial epi- 
blast as a refracting organ, and with that view he had 
termed it the dioptron, or the refractive portion of the 
compound eye. In some insects which do not 
undergo metamorphosis the great compound eye is at 
first small, and consists only of a few facets, but a 
new portion of the eye is developed at each shedding 
of the integument. The nerve also gradually passes 
to the surface, encircles the old nerve, and forms a 
new retina. This goes on until at the last the optic 
nerve is found very much spread out. During the 
last shedding of the skin the whole of the retina 
undergoes degeneration, and a new one] [takes its 
place ; so that new sets of facets are developed at 
each skin shedding, and a new retina is developed 
from the nerve centres beneath the dioptron. 

In expounding the various theories of insect vision, 
the lecturer explained that Midler's theory of 
" mosaic vision " was not in itself tenable, because, 
in the first place, the images produced would be 
blurred, and surfaces of eight or ten inches square, 
would only be visible as points at very moderate 
distances — say, ten or twenty feet. The theory 
which the lecturer propounded was that an inverted 
sub-corneal image was formed beneath each corneal 
facet, and the great rods of the dioptron produced a 
magnified erect image of that portion of the sub- 
corneal image which lies in the axis of each. The 
integration of these images produces the retinal image 
upon what he had described as the "neuron." This 
image had actually been demonstrated by Sigismund 
Exner of Vienna, who first showed it at the Cologne 
Congress of Naturalists. The "mosaic view," or 
MiiUer's theory announced about 1826, assumed that 
the tubes of the dioptron only permitted axial light to 
pass through them ; so that each tube of the dioptron 
produces one distinct stimulation of the nerve, and 
there could only be as many separate sensations of 
light as there are tubes to the dioptron, a supposition 

which is quite incapable of explaining vision in an 
insect which has perhaps only fifteen or twenty 
lenticles of the eye, some only having five or six, 
although others have as many as 24,000 to 30,000. 
Even in those which have the largest number, the 
acuity of vision is not sufficiently explained by 
Midler's theory. 


[Continued /rotn J>. 88.] 

THE upper reaches of our lane are much fre- 
quented by that lovely and docile bird the 
goldfinch {Cardiielis elcgans), for here the thistle- 
heads afford him many a dainty meal ; his head- 
quarters are, however, in my garden hedge, where, 
secure from harm, he builds, and delights us with 
his soft and cheerful strain. As sweet, though 
less varied, is the song of the beautiful plumaged 
chaffinch [Fringilla ccekbs), he, too, is a frequenter 
of our lane, and throughout the early spring and 
summer months pours out the gladness of his little 
heart from daybreak till night casts her dark mantle 
on all around. Nor must I forget my sober-coated 
protege — most innocent of all the feathered tribe — 
the hedge-warbler [Accentor 7nodularis). Use him 
very gently, dear reader, he is a most lovable 
bird ; soft and low, his plaintive song correctly in- 
dicates his innocent nature. Drop for him the tiny 
crumb. I love his presence, and glad am I to think 
he is influenced by no migratory impulse. Need 
it be said that that harmless bird whose trustful 
nature leads him to seek man's companionship — his 
little, bright- eyed friend, sweet robin red-breast 
{Erythaca rubecida) attends us in our garden-strolls, 
and claims his daily share of crumbs ; carolling his 
bright song by way of thanks. To him, as it is to 
others, our garden is a sanctuary, and well he seems 
to love it. The yellow-ammer [Emberiza citrinelld)^ 
too, he loves the hedges and pastures of our lane ; 
but he, too, in our garden hedges and ivy builds, nor 
do his oft-repeated notes pall on my ear. His 
favourite perch is the vane of a weather-cock upon 
the top of my summer-house, from whence, hour 
after hour, he trills his little varied song ; this, too, 
when the songs of other birds have long been hushed. 
I always welcome the advent of that tiny bird the 
chiff-chaff {Sylvia hippolais), together with that of the 
whitethroat {Ctirnica cifterea). Not much have they 
to boast of in the way of song, but their sweet 
accompaniment to the richer melodies of other 
feathered choristers make up the sum of a glorious 
concert ; whilst high above the much-besoiled earth, 
the skylark {Alauda arvensis) and the woodlark (A. 
arborea) pour out at "Heaven's gate" their joyous 
hymns of praise. 

Adjoining my garden is an arable field, and beyond, 
and yet beyond are others, and here the former loves 

F 2 



to nest, and through the live-long day eings in the 
cloudless, or sparselj'- clouded sky. Well hath a writer 
designated song the joy of birds — a happy definition, 
for surely 'tis the expression of their happiness. 

But linger I must not o'er a subject so fraught with 
pleasant associations, and scarcely dare I venture to 
enumerate birds so common in our lane, and skirting 
fields and orchards as the linnet {Linota caitnabina), 
wren ( Troglodytes Eiiropmcs), willow-wren {Sylvia tro- 
chilus), pied wag-tail {Motacilla YarrelUi), greenfinch 
{Coccotkraustes chloris), bullfinch [Fyrrhulavulgaris)^ 
spotted fly-catcher {Muscicapa grisola), redstart 
(Phanicura ruticilld), grasshopper warbler (Salicaria 
locustella), and such well-known birds as the siskin, 
wood-pigeon, ringdove, starling, meadow pipit, 

very numerous — a pair of the former nest in the ivy- 
clothed branches of a sycamore in my orchard-hedge, 
hard by the house. 

A host of rarer visitants must needs be unmentioned. 
Enough has been told to inform the naturalist that 
the avifauna of our lane is not a limited one. Nor 
is animal life restricted to two-footed things. The 
nimble rabbit, scared by my footstep may oft be seen 
scampering up the lane — the agile squirrel ventures to 
leave his woods in search of hazel-nuts— and the 
freshly-raised hillocks of loam in the pastures, plainly 
indicate the presence of a silent worker — the sleek- 
coated mole {Talpce Europcsus'). Those much 
persecuted creatures, the hedgehogs, abound in the 
meadows ; and into our orchard, the past summer, I 

Fig. 71. — The Jay [Gamilus glandarius). 

cuckoo, the ubiquitous sparrow, swallow, martin, and 
swift. Those restless and beautiful-plumaged birds 
the greater and the blue titmice swarm in my garden, 
and put my friendship to a severe test when my peas 
and pears are in season ; whilst the cole titmouse 
{Parus ater) ever finds a welcome. Not seldom the 
screech-owl pours out his doleful plaint from trees 
hard by,* and the jay (Garrulus glaiidarius) visits 
my windows to gather the berries of the cotoneaster. 
The nuthatch {Sitta Eiiropica), too, is one of our most 
familiar birds, and his frequent tap, tap, tap, assures 
us of his presence even when his cry of " chu-whit" 
cannot be heard. Magpies, rooks and hawks are 

* Her nest is in a yew tree some few yards from the bottom 
of my garden. 

have good reason to believe, ventured a badger, or 
badgers, courageous enough to face an armed host of 
wasps ; excavating large cavities, and tearing to 
fragments the nests — presumably to devour the grubs. 
No smaller animal could have excavated so large a 
quantity of earth in a single night. I have not, 
however, seen one, but learn that a sporting friend 
has several skins of these animals, all of which he has 
shot in this neighbourhood. The long-tailed field- 
mouse {Mus Sylvaticns), the short-tailed field-mouse 
[Arvicola ai-vensis), and shrews are wonderfully 
numerous — and that tiniest of four-footed creatures 
the elegant harvest mouse {Aficromys tniniitus), is 
common in the fields adjoining my garden. A mere 
atom of four-footed animality is it, and a stranger to 
fear, for on the several occasions that I have come 



across them they have made no effort to escape from 
my open hand — even when placed upon the earth 
have made no haste to seek cover. The pretty 
dormouse {Muscardinus avellanarhis) finds many a 
snug retreat in the woods hereabout, and of course 

Fig. 72. — Nuthatch [Sitta Europi^a), 

the domestic mouse (j1/«j- muscules) abounds. Our 
lane, too, can boast of more than its complement of 
toads, frogs, and slow-worms, and not long since we 
found a large adder that had been recently killed on 
the sunny open at the top of the lane * — whilst the 
grass-snake is common. 

(To be continued.) 


IITR. J. G. HODGSON, President of the Man- 
-^"-L Chester Elocutionists' Society, recently gave 
an address on the above interesting subject. In the 
mammalia the general structure of the larynx was 
like that of man ; the power and character of the 
sound depending on the different degrees of develop- 
ment of the vocal cords, and the peculiarity of 
structure of the vocal organs. All animals had 
their characteristic voices and calls, in more or less 
distinct intervals and varied degrees of compass. 
The timbre or quality of voice was remarkably 
distinct in the different classes of animals, so that a 
mistake could not well be made. It also varied in 

• These snakes are particularly abundant in certain un- 
frequented spots. 

those of the same class ; the lamb could disting-uish 
the call of its dam by the timbre of her bleat from 
that of the rest of the flock. Here the president 
showed the larynx of a sheep which he had dissected 
the day before. He explained the cartilage?, epi- 
glottis, and vocal cords, and noted 
that in this instance these cords did 
not meet the whole of their length, 
for there was an elliptical orifice in 
the centre. Lions and tigers with 
their magnitude of chest made a 
roar that filled the human ear with 
a sense of horror, as no doubt it did 
the ear of their prey. The depth of 
voice gave to the mind the idea of 
an enormous being which made 
children try to frighten each other 
with imitating the sound. The 
horse neighed in a descent on the 
chromatic scale without even omit- 
ting a semitone. It was one of the 
most musically-voiced of mammals ; 

and the imitation was very difficult. 

The ass brayed in a perfect octave, 
beginning with a modest whistle, 
and, as the poet said, "sings in 
sonorous octaves loud and clear." 
Haydn had copied one of its ejacu- 
lations in his seventy-sixth quartette 
i._~*^==- with great success. The bark of a 

dog was an instance of an acquired 
voice by domestication, much in the 
same way as the trotting of the horse 
was an acquired movement. In a state of nature the 
dog whined, howled, or growled. Columbus found 
that the dogs he had previously carried to America 
had lost their bark. As with many animals, the dog 
was capable of showing difference of feeling — the 
shepherd's dog gave the sound of command to the 
flock, while a horse knew from the bark whether the 
dog would bite his heels or not. Humboldt said the 
howling or preacher monkey of South America coidd 
be heard two miles, which was due to certain pouches 
connected with the larynx and to a drum-like develop- 
ment of thehyoid bone. An ape, one of the Gibbons, 
produced an exact octave of musical sounds, ascend- 
ing and descending the scale by half-tones, so that 
perhaps it alone of brute animals might be said to 
sing. In the elephant house at Belle Vue Gardens 
there were several small monkeys with pleasing sing- 
ing voices. It seemed a pity that the meek-looking 
and beautifully marked giraffe, that reached in one 
case that he had seen a height of 17J feet, should 
be voiceless, yet it and the armadillo had no vocal 
cords. The chirp of the long-eared bat was said 
to be the most acute sound produced by any animal. 
Only fiive out of six people could hear it. In reptiles 
the larynx was in a rudimentary condition, and the 
vocal organs showed considerable divergence. The 



crocodiles and caymen made a feeble roaring sound. 
One kind of frog had a sound bag at each side of its 
mouth that acted as a resonance chamber. This 
must have been the case with an African frog he had 
heard at the distance of about loo yards. It 
made a noise like a loud barking. The tortoise 
gave a mere snuffling sound. Snakes had no vocal 
cords ; they only produced a hissing sound by driving 
air through the narrow opening of the glottis. Most 
fishes were mute, yet it was said the mackerel was 
an exception, for when taken out of the water it 
made a moaning sound, caused by the friction of the 
bones of the larynx. Insects, such as crickets, grass- 
hoppers, and bees, were considered by the French 
naturalist, Goureau, to be more musicians than 
singers. Most of their sounds were caused by the 
friction of their wings together, or their legs against 
their bodies, or by the rapid vibrations of their wings 
in flying ; and in bees and wasps the sound might be 
increased by the air passing rapidly through the 
thoracic air holes. Dr. Carpenter said that "in 
Brazil there was a grasshopper that could be heard at 
the distance of half a mile, which was as if a man 
with a big voice could be heard all over the world." 


./^ OF BOTANY, by E. Aveling (London : 
Swan Sonneschein & Co.). Although students of 
plants need not fear for lack of good manuals, there 
was some room for such a work as Dr. Aveling has 
produced. It is laid on new and original lines of 
treatment, and is a capital introduction to the 
study both of plants and plant-life. Dr. Aveling 
here proves himself a thorough teacher — a role which 
requires something more than mere technical 
knowledge, however full and thorough. His style 
and manner of treatment of his subject are as simple 
as it is possible to be. The illustrations are 
numerous, and mostly original. We cordially 
recommend Dr. Aveling's manual to all those who 
are anxious to familiarise themselves with the 
fascinating science of Botany. 

Botany, A concise Manual for Students of Medicine 
and Science, by Alex. Johnstone (Edinburgh and 
London : Young I. Pentland). This is another new 
work on the same subject, treated, however, in a 
somewhat different manner — that is, in the shape of 
concise notes and summaries of the chief subjects of 
botanical science. Mr. Johnstone's book is a kind 
of "illustrated digest," and is therefore very useful 
for reference or memoriter suggestions. It contains 
one hundred and sixty-four illustrations, besides a 
numerous series of floral designs. Students will find 
Mr. Johnstone's little work of great use to them. 

The Medical Annual, 1891 (Bristol : John Wright). 
The present is the ninth issue of this increasingly 
useful book. It includes among its contributors the 

best medical writers of the day. The articles deal 
with the latest discoveries and subjects relating to 
every department of surgery and medical science. 
This year's Annual contains thirty-six original papers, 
on as many subjects, by various authors. There is 
also a medical, hospital, and asylum directory, and a 
large miscellany of information useful to medical men. 
The Fishes of North America (New York : Wester- 
mann & Co.). We have received the first part of 
this work, dealing only with fishes " caught on hook 
and line." The two full-sized coloured plates are 
fine examples of oleographic art. The wood 
engravings, letterpress, and paper are superior, and 
altogether this work (which is to consist of forty 
parts) will be about the finest yet published on the 
subject. The two coloured plates represent the red- 
spotted Mascalonge {Lucius masquinongy), and the 
Rocky Mountain Trout (Salmo my kiss). We will 
duly apprise our readers of the further issues of the 
parts of this magnificent work. 


By E. Brunetti. 

[Continued Jrom p. 55.] 

THE Brachycera are more stoutly built than the 
Nemocera ; the legs are shorter and thicker ; 
the antennse apparently of only three joints, never 
flexible (except in Xylophagidce) ; the veins in the 
wing are less numerous and more reducible than 
those in the Nematocera to a type form ; the alula are 
large ; the palpi one or two jointed ; the anal cell in 
wing closed. 

The larvae are aquatic or terrestrial, some feeding 
on animal matter, some on vegetable, principally 
when either is in a decaying state ; a few species are 
parasitic. The flies inhabit almost every nature of 
habitat, and live on the juices of animals or plants. 

Mr. Pasco (1880) recognises the Tabanidce as the 
most highly developed family, in having nearly all the 
parts of a mandibulate mouth, placing the (Estrida:, 
in which that organ is more or less obsolete, as the 

Macquart's Brachycera (agreeing with mine) is 
divided into three divisions (on the number of 
pieces composing the haustellum), named respectively 
HexachixtcE ( Tabanidce only — the haustellum composed 
of six pieces) ; TetrachcEtce (the majority of the 
remaining families — haustellum of four pieces) ; and 
Dichceta: {Louchopteridic to Fhoridce, and the 
.Sj'r//^/^/^^— haustellum of two pieces). 

In the short analytical tables of genera under each 
family, it is of course understood that only the 
principal ones are given. 

I. Third antennal joint ringed, style or bristle, when 
present, always terminal ; third longitudinal vein 
always forked. 

















2. Costal vein diminishing and not attaining tip of wing ; 

scutellum generally spined : Stratioinyidie. 

2.2. Costal vein extended round tip of wing in nearly 

uniform width ; scutellum rarely spined. 

3. Alula; large and distinct : Tabanidie. 

3.3. Alulae very small : XylophagidiE. 

I.I. Third antennal joint unringed ; style or bristle, when 
present, dorsal or terminal ; third longitudinal vein 
forked or simple. 

4. Antennal style or bristle absent, or, when present, 

always terminal. 

5. Alulae very large: Cyrtidis. 

5.5. Alidae moderately large or small. 

6. Front and crown deeply indented ; eyes very prominent : 


6.6. Front and crown smooth, often elevated; eyes not 


7. Third longitudinal vein forked. 

8. From the discoidal cell, or from this and the posterior 

basal cell together, at most three veins emerge and 
reach the border ; therefore, never more than four 
posterior cells present. 

9. Third antennal joint without style or bristle: Scenopi- 

Third antennal joint with a style or bristle. 
Anal cell always attaining the border, and there, either 

open or closed : BoinbyliJiF. 
Anal cell never attaining the border, generally short 

and closed : Kmpidix (part). 
From the discoidal cell, or from this and the posterior 

basal cell together, at least four veins emerge and 

reach the border ; therefore, at least five posterior 

cells present. 
Three onychia to tarsus : third antennal joint with 

terminal bristle : Leptidte. 
Two onychia only ; third antennal joint with terminal 

style : Tkerevidce. 
Third longitudinal vein simple. 
Wings lanceolate : Lonchoptcridie. 
Wings always rounded at the tip. 
Anal lobe of wing distinct. 
Antennae with terminal bristle : Plaiypezida. 
Antennae with terminal style {Conopina) : Conopida 

Anal lobe of wing rudimentary or absent. 
Anterior basal cell short ; posterior united with discoidal 

cell : Dolichopidie (part). 

15.15. Anicrior basal cell long, reaching middle of wing; 

posterior separated from discoidal by a transverse 
vein : EmpidiX (part). 

4.4. Antennal style or bristle always present and always 


16. Anal cell long. 

17. Proboscis horny, long, simple, or geniculated [My opines) : 

Conopidiz (part). 

17.17. Proboscis soft. 

18. A spurious vein generally present, running along the 

third longitudinal vein ; eyes moderately large : 

18.18. Spurious vein absent ; eyes very large : Pipuncrtlida, 

16.16. Anal cell short. 

19. Posterior basal cell united to the discoidal : Dolichopidiz 

(part). , 

19.19. Posterior basal cell separated from discoidal by a trans- 

verse vein. 

20. Proboscis and palpi always distinctly present : MuscidcE. 

20.20. Proboscis rudimentary; palpi rudimentary or absent: 


12. StratiomyidiE. 

In the "Ent. Month. Mag." for April, 1889, I 
gave a list of the British species of this family, with 
analytical tables of genera and species. 

The venation of all the twelve genera is very 
similar, and easily recognised. 

The flies chiefly inhabit damp grass, marshes, 
aquatic plants, and more or less humid localities, the 
larvse feeding on rotten fungi and decaying vegetable 

The life-histories of some of the commoner species 
have been fully vrorked out. 

There are five sub-famihes, divided as follows : — 

Abdomen of five or six segments ; scutellum two-spined or bare. 
Discoidal cell emitting three veins : P achy gastrins. 

Discoidal cell (or together with posterior basal cell) emit- 
ting four veins. 

Species never metallic in colour ; always black or 

green, with yellow spots or bands. 
Scutellum spined (except Netnotelus], 

Antennal style thin, long : Clitellarince. 
Antennal style short, blunted: Stratioinyincc. 
Species always metallic ; Scutellum unspined : i>argi>uF. 
Abdomen of seven segments or more ; scutellum two, four, or 
six-spined : Berina\ 

The Clitellarince are represented by Ephippiiiin, 
Latr., and Oxyccra, Mg. ; the Stratromyina by 
Slratio?nyia, Geoff., Odotttomyia, Mg., and Nemoteliis, 

PachygastrincB. — Pachygaster, Mg., three species; 
none very common, P. ater, Pz., is easily identified 
by the blackish basal half of the wing, whilst in P. 
Leackii, Curt., it is nearly all whitish ; long 3 mm. 

ClitellarincT. — Ephippitim thoraciciim, Latr., is a 
large black fly, with long brownish-black wings, 
thick red pubescence on the dorsum, and a strong 
large spine on each side of the thorax ; very rare ; 
Coombe Wood. It is supposed to take two years to 
reach maturity ; long 12 mm. 

Oxycera, Mg., is a genus of rather small black flies, 
with bright yellow spots and bands at the sides and 
tip of the abdomen, the first segment of which is 
much contracted. 

They occur in the height of summer in long grass, 
and are most frequently met with in Dorsetshire ; 
long 3-5 mm, 

Slratiomyina:. — Large flat-bodied flies, bred in 
stagnant water, and usually found in its proximity. 
Abdomen black, marked with large yellow side spots 
{Stratiomyia, Geoff.), or yellowish, with an angular 
dorsal stripe {Odontomyia, Mg.) ; S. furcata, F. (long 
11-13 mm.), and O. viridula, F. (long 6-8 mm.), 
being the most common species. 

Sarginic. — Brilliant metallic-coloured flies, tolerably 
common. S. cupraritis, L., is blackish, thorax and 
abdomen metallic blue or green, or exhibiting both 
colours ; wings with a brown suffusion below the 
stigma ; legs thin, black ; long 7-9 mm. 

Microchrysa polita, L., is a small bright metallic- 
green fly, with clear wings and black legs ; common ; 
often occurring in London ; long 4 mm. 

Berime. — Per is, Mg. They are smaller than 
Odoniotnyia ; in two species the abdomen is reddish 
yellow, in the other three, blue-black ; occurs chiefly 
in woods. 

13. XylophagidcB. 

Two genera are British (five species), all very rare. 
Their flight is sluggish ; the larva are wood feeders, 
and if more frequently searched for, the species 
might possibly be bred. Zetterstedt bred more than 
one species, I believe, in Scandinavia. 

The antennas are attenuated, and somewhat 
approach those of the Nemocera in appearance, 
Walker thinking the group a link between the two 
great divisions Nemocera and Brachycera. 

Antennae ten-jointed : Xylophagus, INIg. 
Antennae twelve-jointed : Xylemyia, Rond. 



Xylophagus afer, F., is illustrated in Walker's 
"Diptera,"i. PI. i., Fig. lo. 

14. TabanidiV. 

These flies are the largest British diptera, about 
twenty species being indigenous ; popularly known as 
gad-flies. The old Roman and Greek writers allude 
to flies which were evidently species of this group. 

The 9 attack cattle, and alighting on the back 
of the animal, draw blood by means of the long, 
powerful proboscis. The male is comparatively 
harmless, and feeds on the juices of flowers. They 
pair in the air, and frequent woods and pastures, 
their abundance often making certain roads im- 
passable, as some species readily attack man. The 
Rev. J. G. Wood recommends smearing the face, 

Fig- Ti-—Siratiomyia, Geoff. 

Fig. T^.—Dioctria, Mg. 

Fig. •js.—Thereva, Latr. 

neck, and hands with parafiin as a preventive against 
their attacks. 

Their flight is very rapid, with a loud hum, and 
they occur most abundantly in the New Forest. 

Two sub-families are recognised, the venation 
being the same in both. 

No ocelli ; posterior tibiae unarmed ( Taianinar). 
Antennae seven-jointed. 

Eyes bare : Tabanuj, L. 
Eyes pubescent. 

Ocellar tubercle on vertex : TheriopUctes, Zell. 
No ocellar tubercle : Atylotus, Os. Sac. 
Antennae six-jointed : Hccmatopota, Mg. 
Ocelli present, three [Pangonince) . 
Posterior tibiae with small spine at the tip : Chrysops, Mg. 

Tabatiince. — Hamatopota pluvialis, L., is a greyish- 
black fly marked with lighter bands ; the wings are 
mottled grey, with light curved lines and circles ; 
long 8 mm. ; often very troublesome to pedestrians. 

Tabanns suddicus, Zell. This species, the largest 
British fly, is usually mistaken for T. bovinus, L. (a 
much less common species in Britain). It is of a 
tawny brown colour, the abdomen being marked 

with darker bands ; the wings are pale grey with 
tawny veins ; legs tawny with black tarsi tips ; long 
20 mm. 

T. bromius, L., a smaller species of a grey colour, 
with pale grey wings and blackish-grey legs, is also 
common ; long 13 mm. 

PangonincE. — Chrysops, Mg., is a black and yellow 
fly, with light wings, marked deeply with brown in 
the cf, those of the q being almost entirely brown; 
the sexes also diff'ering in the form of the abdominal 
markings ; long 9 mm. ; chiefly from the south coast. 
Brauer in 1880 published a splendid monograph of 
the European species of Tabanus, his chief specific 
characteristics being the number, size, and direction 
of the bands on the eyes (coloured during life), the 
shape of the antennse, and general form of the frontal 

1 5- Lep tides. 

Six genera and about twenty species are British, 
though several others have been wrongly introduced 
as such. Long-bodied, large-winged, long-legged 

Fig. •;(>.— Asiltts, L. 

Fig. 77. — Scenopinus, Latr. 

flies of delicate structure, found in woods and shady 
localities, the larva living in decaying wood or in the 

Some species inhabit marshes and ditches. The 
metamorphoses of several species are known, 
Degeer saying they take three years to reach 
maturity. De Romand states that the larva has 
been known to fast for six months. 

The venation of all the genera is similar, but the 
structure of the antennae varies. 

The three principal genera are thus separated : — 

Anal cell open : Leptis, F. 
Anal cell closed. 

Wings uniformly clear: Chryiopila, Meq. 

Wings spotted with brown: Atherix, Mg. 

L'ptis tringaria, L., is a large, tawny, long-bodied 
fly, with long, tawny legs, and wings tinged with 
tawny brown ; abdomen tawny, with a dorsal row of 
black spots ; long 9-10 mm. 

L. scolopacea, L., an allied species, differs in having 
wings marked extensively with brown ; both common. 



Chrysopila aitratus, F., and aureus, Mg., are black 
flies, smaller than Leptis, with clear wings and dark 
brown stigma ; common ; long 7 mm. 

Atherix Ibis, F., is a rare species, occasionally 
found- in swarms, the 9 2 clinging to one another 
at the end of a branch, depositing their eggs, and 
dying immediately afterwards ; the mass gradually 
enlarging as fresh flies settle on it, and assuming a 
pear shape. 

L. scolopacea, L., Wlk, i. PI. ii. 6. Z. notata, 
Mg., Curt. 705, {Heyschami). C. aureus, Mg., 
Curt. 713. A. Ibis, F., Curt. 26. 

16. Asilidcs. 

These flies are large, powerful, carnivorous insects, 
especially the gi forming an extensive, natural 

Fig. ■jZ.—Tabanus, L. 

Fig. •]().— BombyHttj, L. 

Fig. So.— Pacrocera, Mik. 

group, being very abundant in warm countries, the 
species there attaining very large size. 

R. Desvoidy saw a species of Dasypogon with an 
Apis in its mouth. 

- Flight powerful, accompanied by a loud hum. 
They frequent woods, pastures, and dry, sandy 
situations, the larvae living on plant roots. 

The metamorphoses of most species are unknown. 
The venation is distinct. 

Westwood figures larva and pupa of Asilus 
crabroniformis, L., in his Class. " Ins.," Vol. ii.. 
Fig. 129. 

Four sub-families, and 14 genera, representing 
about 20 species, are British. 

Marginal cell open. 

No onychia to tarsi: Leptogastrina. 

Onychia present : Dasypo^oninie. 
Marginal cell closed. 

Third antennal joint non stylate : Laphrince. 

Third antennal joint stylate : Asilincz. 

LeptogastrituB. — Leptogaster cylindrica, Deg. Easily 
recognised by its extremely attenuated abdomen, 
the short wings, and absence of onychia ; long 9-10 

Dasypogonina:. — Dioctria rujipes, Deg., is a more 
stoutly-built black fly, and with pale grey wings, the 
two anterior pairs of legs being reddish ; long 1 1 mm. 
The six British species of Dioctria are easily recog- 
nised, and appear to be most common in Sussex. 

Laphrina:, — Two species British ; both uncommon, 
(I have taken L. marginata on nut in Kent.) 

Asilittcz. — Asilus crabroniformis,^ L., is a large, 
pubescent, tawny-brown fly, with the apical half of 

Fig. %i.— Leptis, F. 

Fig. S2.— Anthrax, Scop. 

Fig. 83. — Xylophasus, Mg. 

the abdomen yellow ; tawny-brown legs, spiny and 
hairy ; yellow wings with brown border. Its flight 
is peculiar, settling on the ground every few yards. 
Linne says it attacks cattle ; long 18-20 mm. 
Dysmachus trigonus, Mg., a smaller, greyish species, 
pubescent and spiny, and Machimus atricapillus, Fin., 
an allied species, with the legs prettily marked v/ith 
tawny rings, are both tolerably common. 

A. crabrotiiformis, L., Wlk. i. PI. ii. 2. L. 
cylindrica, Deg., Mg., Sys. Bes. iii. PI. xii. 16 
(tipuloides). Laphria margitiata, L., Curt. 94. 
Isopogon brevirostris, Mg., Curt. 153. Pamponerus 
germanicus, L., Curt. 46. 

( To be continued. ) 


ABOUT a year ago I began the first of a series of 
papers on this subject, but was obliged to leave 
off owing to the pressure of other work. I had been 
struck by the fact that there had been only one or 
two casual references in the pages of Science- 
Gossip to a subject which was more than any other 



agitating the minds of the present generation of 
biologists, and it seemed to me that a sketch of the 
theory in question, and its bearings upon the problem 
of the factors of organic evohition might be of con- 
siderable interest to those of your readers who have 
not the time or inclination for a thorough study of 
the question. I hope now to be able to carry out 
my original scheme and contribute the papers alluded 

My immediate object, however, in the present 
instance, is to enter a strong protest against the very 
unfair and misleading way in which the question has 
been now attacked in your pages (Science-Gossip 
for February, pp. 25-30). 

Mrs. Alice Bodington sets out by deploring that 
Mr. Wallace has been " hardly, if at all, influenced by 
the discoveries of the last quarter of a century," and 
concludes by stigmatising the Neo-Darwinians as an 
" unprogressive school which arrogates to itself the 
right of claiming to be his (Darwin's) special 
disciples." Between these two startling statements 
we have a great deal of talk about "inherent" and 
"internal" forces, "initiating variation" or "ren- 
dering it possible," and about many other equally 
curious notions of the phenomena of heredity and 
variation. There is hardly a line of argument in the 
article, only a series of vague denunciations of the 
supDosed one-sided views of the Neo-Darwinians, 
founded on a series of the most astounding miscon- 
ceptions of what those views are, and of the real 
questions at issue. 

It hardly appears worth while to go through the 
paper pointing out these misconceptions in detail, 
but it may be as well to notice a few. Mrs. Boding- 
ton says "we are gravely asked to believe that all 
these modifications are the result of a series of 
accidents occurring generation after generation with 
results more and more marked, yet all uninherited 
and accidental ! " What does this mean ? Nobody 
in his senses ever asked anyone to believe such an 
astounding travesty of the theory of natural selection. 
Surely, it is at this period of time unnecessary to 
point out that the word "accidental" applied to 
congenital variations, merely means that the original 
occurrence of any particular variation has no reference 
to the purpose which it serves, and which enables it 
to be fixed by natural selection. Again the in- 
heritance of such variations is an experimentally 
established fact — a fact, moreover, on which the 
whole theory of natural selection rests. What 
we do deny is the inheritance of a character ac- 
quired during the lifetime of the individual. Mrs. 
Bodington has entirely lost sight of the distinction 
between these two kinds of characters, which is the 
whole point of our position, with the absurd result 
that she talks about being asked to believe that 
"accidental" (congenital) variations are "unin- 
herited," and about " prepossessions against he- 
redity ! " 

Again, no one in his senses stated the " Law of 
the action of the environment upon irritable 
Protoplasm" to be "non-existent." All that is 
contended is that the effects of such action are not, 
among the metazoa, transmitted, as such, to the 

Professor Weismann does not consider that he has 
proved his theory of heredity and variation at all, in 
his laboratory or elsewhere, nor did the wildest 
enthusiast ever contend that laboratory work will 
"explain everything." That his theory is "con- 
tradicted by the evidence of paleontologists " is 
impossible, since it is impossible that palseontological 
evidence can touch such a theory. 

Mrs. Bodington apparently refuses to believe in 
"a predisposition to point on the part of a germ," 
yet it is sufficiently obvious that such a predisposition 
must exist in the germ, however it has got there, or 
else how is this character transmitted from parent to 
offspring ? 

Mrs. Bodington says of Professor Weismann's 
statement that " the inheritance of acquired characters 
has never been proved either by means of direct 
observation, or by experiment," that "such an 
assertion takes one's breath away ; " but she carefully 
refrains from stating a single instance in which such 
inheritance has been proved. It is no answer to 
inform us that Darwin believed in such inheritance, 
that his belief increased somewhat in later years, 
that Mr. Herbert Spencer believes this form of 
inheritance to have been still more important. We 
know these things, but we are still waiting for proof 
of such inheritance — proof such as we have in 
abundance as to the inheritance of congenital 

As to the right of those who deny that we caii 

accept the inheritance of acquired characters as a 

factor in evolution to claim that they are advocating 

pure Darwinism, we can only say that they are laying 

still more stress on the factor which Darwin first 

pointed out, which he always believed to be far the 

most important one, and which is for ever connected 

with his name. 

A. G. Tansley. 

Trinity College, Catnbridge. 

By Mervyn Wolseley. 

THE neighbourhood of Fort Augustus is well 
adapted for birds of every kind, from the great 
golden eagle to the tiny jenny wren. 

The silent, rocky glens and steep mountain sides 
form perfect fortresses for the golden eagle and 
lordly peregrine. The woods and plantations afford 
a safe resting-place for the smaller birds ; while the 
heather-covered moors abound in grouse and black- 
cock. Flocks of pigeons dwell among the wooded 
glens, and the swamps and marshes are filled with 



every variety of wader. The lakes and rivers, 
teeming as they are with fish, invite to their rippling 
surface crowds of hungry water-birds. It would be 
safe to assert that we have quite a hundred and thirty 
different kinds of birds, which stay with or visit us 
during the course of the year. 

The golden eagle can sometimes be seen, either 
hovering over some doomed hare, or circling round 
and round on the look out for a victim, to satisfy its 
appetite. A pair of these birds build every year on a 
tree near Invermoriston ; but they are strictly 
preserved, or their eggs would soon fall into the 
hands of some naturalist. But these birds can only be 
seen among the hills, as they seldom venture near the 
more cultivated ground in the valleys. The bold 
peregrine is the largest of our falcons. I once saw a 
very interesting battle between a couple of these 
warriors and a golden eagle. It lasted for upwards 
of an hour, but, unfortunately, I was not able to see 
the end of the battle, as the combatants went over 
the neighbouring mountains. There are three nesting 
places of this bird known — one of them not more 
than a mile from the village of Fort Augustus. A 
pair of merlins used to live here, but they have 
recently been shot by some keeper. Sparrow-hawks 
and kestrels are also seen — the latter in great 
abundance, for there are no less than ten nests in the 
neighbourhood of the village. The pretty osprey, or 
fishing hawk, is among our many visitors in the spring. 
It formerly laid its eggs along the side of Loch 
Ness, on a tree jutting over a precipice, but even in 
this secure position its eggs were taken, so it was 
obliged to shift its quarters, and it is not known for 
certain where it builds at present. 

Finches, buntings and other species of little birds 
are fairly numerous, chaffinches and yellow-hammers 
being about the commonest. The pretty little siskin 
has been shot here more than once, but it is 
considered a very rare bird. A great grey shrike was 
shot by one of the boys of our college in the act of 
eating a redpole. The nest and eggs of a red -backed 
shrike were found some years ago. We have very 
few birds belonging to the swallow family. The 
sand martin, certainly, cannot be called rare, but 
both the swallow and the house martin are very 
scarce. Swifts are also decidedly rare. House 
martins and swallows used frequently to be met with, 
building in great numbers under the eaves of the 
college tower, but of late they have quite deserted us. 
I have only seen one nightjar, and have not heard 
of the nest or eggs having been discovered. Cross- 
bills come over in large flocks, during the month of 
July, and a few pairs are often seen about April or 
May, but they are usually shot down and not given a 
chance to breed. Thrushes, ring-ousels, dippers, wheat- 
ears, and others of this family are in great numbers 
during the spring and summer. The plantations are 
inhabited by flocks of tits and golden-crested wrens. 

The Corvidae family are exceedingly numerous, 

especially the little jackdaw, which builds in the 
rabbit holes on a precipitous cliff", surmounted by an 
ancient vitrified fort. Hooded crows are by no 
means rare : they live along the birch-covered hills, 
and a keeper once told me that he destroyed about 
forty nests belonging to this bird, during one season, 
in his own district. Rooks and crows are not so 
numerous as in other places. The bold raven, how- 
ever, is a resident in the district. There are three 
nesting places, but they are all among the hills, as 
this bird is very shy and likes to make its home as 
far as possible from the haunts of men. 

There are three different kinds of grouse here, 
namely the red and black grouse and the ptarmigan. 
The two first live on the extensive moors on the 
mountain sides, while the last can only be found on 
the tops of the highest hills. Corriearrick, on the 
road to Kingussie, about ten miles off, is the best 
place to see them, and their eggs have been dis- 
covered there. They can only be visited in the 
summer, as the place is inaccessible in winter, on 
account of the snow, so the birds are not seen in the 
best of their plumage. 

The only kind of pigeon we possess is the wood 
pigeon, or ring-dove. These are found in countless 
numbers among the wooded glens, and thence they 
come in flocks to the cornfields, from which each 
carries away its cropful of corn. 

The waders are most numerous in the seasons of 
spring and summer. During the month of March, 
our sw^amps are filled with plovers, snipe, and curlews, 
splashing about in the shallow waters and pushing 
their long beaks into the soft mud in search of food. 
Thence they make their way to their respective 
nesting places. The plovers select the marshy spots 
among the hills ; the snipe fly to the rushes, which 
fringe the edges of the neighbouring lakes ; while 
the curlews live on the open moors, whence their 
shrill whistle may constantly be heard. A very fair 
heronry exists on one of the islands in Loch Knockie, 
about eight miles from Fort Augustus. The large 
nests can be seen nearly half a mile off. While you 
are on the island, the herons fly distractedly over- 
head, supported on their mighty wings and looking 
rather awkward with their long necks and legs. 
The golden plover, and the red and greenshanks can 
be seen only on the high lakes, among the mountains, 
where they breed. Sandpipers are most plentiful 
along the banks of the lakes and rivers. The hand- 
some sea-pie, or oyster-catcher, arrives here, with its 
other companions, in the spring. There is only one 
place where it is known to breed, and that is about a 
mile and a half up the canal, near CuUochy Locks. 
The pretty moor-hen, with its red and yellow beak 
and long green legs, stays with us the whole year 
round, sometimes having the swamps all to itself. 

The water-birds are fairly numerous, owing to the 
quantity of rivers and lakes in the district. The 
black-throated diver is one of the largest of these. 



It is known to lay on the islands in Loch Lundi and 
Loch Nan Criche. The pair at Loch Lundi, however, 
have been conjectured to be great northern divers, 
but as they are very shy birds, it is almost impossible 
to obtain a good look at them. The eggs found 
there were certainly much larger than those of a 
black-throated diver. Red-throated divers are much 
more plentiful ; their nearest nesting-places are Loch 
Tarff and Loch Knockie. One was shot not long 
ago by one of our boys, a short distance from the 
entrance of the Caledonian Canal. Cormorants are 
in fair quantities ; nearly every day one or two can be 
seen flying overhead to their feeding-grounds. A pair 
is supposed to build on the shores of Loch Ness, but 
no one has yet found the nest. Six kinds of ducks 
either breed or visit us during the summer, namely, 
the mallard, widgeon, golden-eye, tufted duck, shield- 
rake, and teal. Mallards are very plentiful ; I have 
seen upwards of three hundred rise together in some 
of the bays down the lake. The tufted duck, widgeon, 
and shieldrake are rare, and only seen occasionally. 
A few pairs of golden-eyes inhabit the lakes, and the 
teal is nearly as common as the mallard. The grey- 
lag goose is occasionally encountered, and is supposed 
to build at Loch Nan Ean, near Invermoriston. 
Gulls of all kinds build on any of the lakes possessing 
islands. The common gull is the most plentiful, and 
lays on Lochs Tarff, Lundi and Nan Criche. Black- 
headed gulls, on the other hand, are restricted to 
Loch Lundi, where they keep a little corner to them- 
selves. A pair of lesser black-backed gulls breed on 
Loch Nan Criche. Kitiwakes, greater black-backed 
gulls, and herring gulls are often seen, [but they, 
however, prefer the west coast to lay their eggs. 

The above enumeration, which is by no means 
exhaustive, will give some idea of the number and 
variety of birds which frequent our neighbourhood. 
The cause of this is, doubtless, to be found in the 
diversified nature of the country, which is thus 
admirably adapted to afford sustenance to our 
feathered friends, and enable them to supply their 
widely different needs. 

The Abbey School, Fort Augustus, N.B. 


Abstract (by the author) of a Lecture delivered before 
the Windsor and Eton Scientific Society, on 
February 19th, 1891, by the Rev. A. Irving, 
D.Sc, Senior Science Master in Wellington 
College, Berks. 

Introductory Remarks. 

THE geological history of ' Father Thames ' has 
a special and local interest for the millions of 
dwellers upon his banks. But to the geological student 
this interest is greatly magnified by the fact that of 
the larger modern river-valleys of Britain that of the 

Thames (in its wider sense) is certainly one of the 
most ancient. Its history from the geologic stand- 
point is almost co-extensive with Tertiary time and 
all that has followed since. We shall see, as we 
proceed, that the Upper or Oxford Basin is a com- 
paratively recent addition to the line of the Thames 
drainage ; the true geological history of the Thames 
is identified with the line of drainage marked 
approximately by the valley of the Kennet, and that 
of the Lower Thames (below Reading).* This must 
be regarded as the lower course (Unterlauf) of 
a great river whose middle course (Mittellauf) and 
head-waters (Sammelgebiet) were found in the great 
mountain-system which made the mountains of 
Scandinavia continuous with the once higher 
mountains of Brittany, the worn-down stumps of 
those appearing in the palaeozoic and archrean rocks, 
of the more mountainous portions of the north and 
west of Britain. [Reasons were given for considering 
this a more likely gathering-ground of the head- 
waters of the great Eocene river, than a hypothetical 
vast stretch of continental land to the west.] 

The duplicate basin of the modern Thames consists 
of the Oxford Basin, draining chiefly Jurassic rocks ; 
and the Lower or London Basin, in which we have 
only to do with the rocks of Cretaceous and Tertiary 
age, and with Quaternary and recent deposits. This, 
latter basin, briefly sketched, lies in a synclinal valley 
of the Chalk, the chalk hills rising to 975 feet at 
Inkpen, the culminating point of the Kingsclere axis,, 
and to 850 feet in the Downs of the White Horse range,, 
no important transverse incision being made by rivers. 
The Kennet rises near the Chalk escarpment to the 
west at not more than 500 feet ; the valley of this- 
river being probably the truncated valley of the chief 
arterial line of drainage of Southern Eocene England. 
As the Chalk escarpment is cut through on the north- 
west, at the Pangbourne and Goring gorge, so the 
Chalk escarpment of the North Downs is cut through, 
by tributary streams, which rise on or near the axis 
of the Weald. We pass by the question of the 
relative claims of the * Seven Wells' or the ' Head of 
Isis ' to represent the true source of the Thames,t not 
only because the Windrush or the Cherwell may, for 
length and volume of water, establish a better claim 
than any of the streams which rise near the escarp- 
ment of the Cotswolds above Cricklade, but much 
more because, from the point of view of geological 
histor}', no part of the present drainage of the Oxford 
Basin has any claim whatever. The Kennet-Thames 
line of drainage served as the channel of a much 
greater volume of- water than in recent times, while 
the present area of the Oxford Basin was drained in 
other directions, mainly perhaps in the direction of 
the Ouse, towards the old North Sea. 

The succession of the British rocks, the classifica- 

* See "Journal of the Geol. See," vol. xliv., pp. 178, 179. 
i" See Professor Phillips, " Geology of Oxford and the Valley 
of the Thames," chap. iii. 



tion of the Tertiaries established by Lyell, and the 
grounds of that classification were then briefly touched 
upon ; and some reference was made to Prestwich's 
Geological Map of Europe, and to Professor Zittel's 
sketch-maps of the distribution of land and water in 
middle and western Europe in Cretaceous and Eocene 

It was thus briefly pointed out how the great 
Cretaceous sea was broken up into a number of 
detached areas of deposition, one such area being 
the Eocene Anglo-Gallic Basin, which included the 
south-east of England, the north of France, and 
Belgium ; and the data, on which our knowledge of 
this is based, were briefly touched upon. In this 
basin were deposited the Lower London Tertiaries ; 
the Thanet Beds (marine) to the east ; and the 
Woolwich and Reading Beds, with marine shells in 

First Delimitation of the Tamisian Area. 

The initiation of the movements which have taken 
place along the line of the Kingsclere-Hindhead axis 
was the first step towards the delimitation of the 
Eocene Tamisian area of drainage. This may have 
occurred in early Eocene time, since there seems to 
be no clear evidence to show that the London Clay 
and the Bagshot Beds of the London area were ever 
continuous with those of the Hampshire Basin, while 
the diminished thickness of the London Clay, where 
it lies against the flank of the great anticlinal, and 
underlies the Bagshot Beds * (as at Highclere), 
points to the end of the London Clay period as the 
forward limit (in time) for the movement referred to. 
On the other hand the maintenance of a pretty 
constant thickness by the Woolwich and Reading 

Aylesbury. The Chilterns 
N i 



Hog's Back. 


Fig, 84,— Digrammatic Sections through Windsor; showing probable position of Strata at end of Eocene. 

Fig. 85.— Showing probable position of Strata during Pliocene. — p g, Platean-gravcls ; b s, Bagshot Sands ; Lc, London clay ; 
W R, Woolwich and Reading Beds ; CH, chalk ; x, formations older than the chalk. 

east Kent, with estuarine shells in West Kent and East 
Surrey, becoming unfossiliferous, except for an 
occasional flora (as at Reading), in Berks. The 
evidence which these facts furnish of the drainage in 
early Eocene time, having come from the west, was 
dwelt upon. The numerous outliers of the Woolwich 
and Reading Beds, and the wide distribution of the 
sarsens and conglomerates, which we can identify 
with them, upon the present dip-slopes of the two 
Chalk ranges, which bifurcate towards Norfolk and 
Dover respectively, and even beyond the present 
principal escarpment of the Chalk (as at Avebury), 
tell of the enormous extent of this ancient Eocene 
estuary, which Sir Andrew Ramsay has compared, in 
extent and importance, with the modern estuaries of 
the Ganges and of the Amazons, t 

" Aus der Urzeit " (Oldenbourg, Munich), Tafn. iii. and iv. 
t " Phys. Geol, of Great Britain '" (5th ed.), p. 247. 

Beds and their lithological similarity in Berks and 
Hants, seem to tell us that no important movement 
along the axial line occurred during the period of 
their deposition. The small areal range of outliers of 
London Clay on the Chalk Hills of Oxfordshire, 
Bucks and Herts to the north, and of Hants, Berks, 
Surrey and Kent to the south, affords another 
indication of the diminution of the area of deposition 
of the London Clay as compared with that of the 
formations which preceded it. 

As is often seen to be the case, these initial move- 
ments on the southern line of elevation, and probably 
movements on a Mercian line of elevation also, had 
their counterpart in a corresponding depression of 
the intermediate synclinal, which was gradually 
filled with the sedimentary deposits, whose accumu- 
lations have given us the London Clay. 

• "Journal of the Geol. Soc," loc. supra cU. 



The causes of such differential movements of parts 
of the earth's lithosphere were briefly discussed, and 
referred to contraction of the crust as the prime 
factor. The Kingsclere-Hindhead axis of elevation, 
like the Wealden axis of elevation which was 
connected with it later on, was thus regarded as a 
slight wrinkle in the crust, or one of a series of slight 
wrinkles, determined by the slight circumferential 
approximation of the two great stable archsean and 
palceozoic masses of Central Europe and France on 
the one side, and of the north and west of Britain on 
the other ; the weaker and newer strata of the inter- 
mediate area getting pinched up and slightly folded. 
This was shown to be strictly comparable with the 
effect of the later Tertiary movements of the Alpine 
chain upon the intervening Secondary and Tertiary 
strata, as indicated in the section across the Upper 
Po-Basin, which the author has recently received 
from Professor Sacco, of Turin.* 

The estuarine character of the London Clay, and 
its gradual passage upwards from deposits having the 
character of those of a marine estuary to those of a 
more constricted river-mouth, were pointed out ; and 
the evidence adduced from Foraminifera by Professor 
Rupert Jones, and from the fauna and flora in general 
by Professor Prestwich, as to the depths of the 
waters, in which the deposits were laid down, were 
briefly discussed. The significance of the distribution 
of septaria and a molluscan fauna chiefly in the lower 
200 to 300 feet of the formation, as discussed by the 
lecturer several years ago,t was also pointed out, as 
well as the indications which the organic remains 
give of the prevalence of a tropical or sub-tropical 
climate in Eocene times. Ascertained thicknesses of 
the London Clay, beneath the overlying Bagshots (i) 
at Hampstead 300 feet, at Wokingham 270 feet, at 
Bearwood 250 feet, (ii) at Wellington College 330 
feet, at Brookwood 370 feet (or more), at Chobham 
Place 400 feet, at Claremont 450 feet, and at 
Wimbledon 430 feet, were cited as indications that 
the line of greatest depression during the London 
Clay period was some miles further south than the 
present line of the Lower Thames. The areal 
extension of the London Clay, and its gradation of 
thicknesses from east to west, tell us that the area of 
depression was a synclinal with its axis inclined to 
the east ; in other words, it took the form of a 
segment of a cone rather than of a cylinder, forming 
what Sacco has called a " cone of depression " (" cona 
di dejezione."). The elevation of the Kingsclere- 
Hindhead axis subjected the Chalk strata first to the 
action of sea-waves, which manufactured from its 
flints the numerous pebbles found in the Reading 
beds, as well as the few which are scattered through 
the London Clay ; and we should probably not be far 

* "La Geo-tectonique de la Haute Italie Occidentale," 
" Bull, de la Soc. Beige de Geologie, S-c," tome iv., 1890. 

t See "Geol. Mag.," 1886, No. 9, on " The Unconformity 
between the Bagshot Beds and the London Clay." 

wrong if we considered the denudation of the Weald 
as having in places cut through the Upper Chalk by 
the close of the London Clay period ; but we have no 
evidence to show that the Wealden elevation at this 
early stage was anything more than a part of a 
plateau-like region similar to that on the Mercian 
side of the Tamisian area. For all we know it may 
have been such, and have continued to rise, without 
much change in its contour-details through the whole 
of the Eocene, Oligocene, and Miocene periods, until 
the Wealden anticline proper began to take its 
shape in the Pliocene period. We shall return to 
this later on. 

Condition of things in later Eocene time. 

The established attenuation of the sands which are 
known as Lower Bagshot, which in many of the 
more central parts of the area seem to form an 
upward extension of the London Clay formation, and 
which Professor Prestwich* has recently correlated 
on such grounds with the London Clay under the 
name of the " London Sands," tells us of the further 
accentuation in later Eocene time of the structural 
features already initiated, as we have seen, for the 
south of England ; while the fact, that either these 
sands, or the overlapping Bagshot beds of higher 
horizons, rest upon the lower portions of the London 
Clay with molluscan remains and septaria along the 
northern flank of the area, afibrds indication of the 
progressive accentuation of the synclinalf during the 
portion of geologic time indicated by those deposits. 
Silting up proceeded ; things seem to have become 
stationary for a period ; deltaic clays and lagoon- 
deposits were laid down, certainly from as far west 
as Newbury, to a long distance towards the east, as 
far, at least, as Essex, as indicated by the section 
through Brentwood Common, recently published by 
Professor Prestwich. J 

Wokingham, Bracknell, Warfield,§ and possibly 
Windsor Park itself, were mentioned, as localities 
where this transgressive relation of the Bagshot 
strata to the London Clay seems to be indicated ; 
while further east, at Hampstead jl and Brentwood^ 
a similar relation of things can be traced. On the 
south side of the Eocene formations of the Tamisian 
area the high dip of the strata has led to more 
extensive denudation, and so we cannot adduce such 
good evidence ; nevertheless there are reasons for 
regarding certain outlying masses of Tertiary sands 

* "Journal of the Geol. Soc," February, 1888. 

f Such a progressive accentuation of a synclinal flexure has 
been well worked out in the case of the basin of the Po by Dr. 
Sacco of Turin. See his valuable paper, " Classification des 
Terrains Tertiaires," "Bull, de la Soc. Beige de Geologie," 
&c., tome i., 18S7. In that region the accentuation seems to 
have gone on intermittently all down through Tertiary time, 
while in the Thames area it appears to have been intercepted 
by elevation at the end of the Eocene. 

% "Journal of the Geol. Soc," vol. xlvi., PI. vii., Fig. 5. 

§ See the author's papers, ibid., vols, xliii., xliv. 

y "Mem. Geol. Survey," vol. iv., p. 309. 

^ Prestwich, "Journal Geol. Soc," loc. cit. 



on the North Downs at altitudes of 500 feet to 600 
feet as belonging to the Bagshot or later Eocene ; 
and these lie either on the Chalk or on the Reading 
Beds. This has been discussed by the author 
elsewhere.* If, as the hypothesis requires, some 
accentuation of the synclinal during the latter part of 
the London Clay period and during the Bagshot 
period, took place (against which no h priori reason 
can be alleged), the facts just enumerated would 
receive a rational explanation. The Upper Bagshot 
Sands, however, retain remains of a fauna, which 
indicates the conditions obtaining in a marine 
estuary ; and as these have now been identified as 
far west as Highclere it would seem that towards the 
close of the Eocene period a narrow arm of the sea 
extended from the open sea towards the east, 
westwards as far as the place just mentioned, and 
' perhaps somewhat further. This will be better 
understood by reference to the section (Fig. i), 
which is, of course, like the next, only a diagram- 
matic representation, drawn through the longtitude 
of Windsor, of what was probably the relation of 
things in the Tamisian area towards the close of the 
Eocene period. 

The Pliocene Period. (See Fig. 85.) 

In the shallowing of the waters of the Hants and 
Seine Basin during the Oligocene period, we seem to 
have the initiation of a more general upward 
movement, which perhaps continued through the 
Miocene ; the failure to identify any deposits of the 
latter period in the London and Paris Basins going to 
show that the south-east of England (as w-ell as the 
north of France) were for all that length of time dry 
land, the superficial strata therefore undergoing 
destruction by atmospheric agencies. The chalk 
especially must have suffered enormous waste 
through the removal of its carbonate of lime by 
carbonated atmospheric waters, leaving its flints (in 
some places largely mixed with the clay residue of 
the chalk) to accumulate upon the uplands, both on 
the north and south sides of the Tamisian valley, 
just as we see them at the present time accumulated 
upon the chalk downs above Ventnor.f 

With the Pliocene movements the Weald probably 
attained its maximum elevation ; though there are 
reasons for supposing that this elevation was not 
commensurate throughout the whole distance, but 
somewhat in excess towards the western part, which 
was lifted above the sea, while further east marine 
waters still encroached upon it to a much greater 
extent, depositing strata of which the well-known 
Lenham deposits are the remnants.^ This is further 
borne out by the fact that on the north side of the 

* " Geol. Mag." for September, 1890, pp. 403 et seq. 

t See the author in " Proc. Geol. Assoc," vol. viii., "On 
the Bagshot Beds of the London Basin, and their Associated 
Gravels;" also the "Journal of the Geol. Soc," vol. xlvi., 
P- 558. 

: See " Geol. Mag.," loc. cit. 

Tamisian area there must have been towards the east 
some depression, with the consequent encroachment 
of the waters of the Anglo-Germanic Sea, laying 
down the Crag of the Eastern Counties, and filling 
up the valleys and hollows which had been cut into 
the London Clay during the preceding Miocene 
elevation of the area. The great Pliocene elevation 
of the Weald, which, working independently, both 
Professor Prestwich and the author have come to 
regard as the most important factor in determining 
the present surface-geology of the south-east of 
England, which also probably had its counterpart 
in a more regional elevation on the Mercian side, 
would seem to have two most important results : (i) 
it gave a general tilt to the north of the Eocene 
strata of the Tafnisian area, and so threw the main 
line of drainage further north, initiating the present 
actual Thames Valley, while erosion was facilitated 
along that line by the weakness of the strata 
themselves ; (2) a higher gathering-ground for tri- 
butary waters from the Wealden hill-range, and a 
general declivity to the north of the Eocene area, 
furnished the requisite conditions for the transport of 
the flints of the Chalk region, the flint pebbles 
washed out of the Eocene beds as their destruction 
on the north flank of the Weald advanced, and the 
Neocomian chert fragments, which, together with the 
flints and a few quartz pebbles, constitute the 
materials of the Plateau -gravels.* The erosion of 
the uplands of the Weald had evidently by this time, 
made such deep incisions into the strata, as to lay 
bare to the action of denuding agencies considerable 
portions of the Neocomian or Lower Greensand ; 
though this proceeded slowly enough for the trans- 
verse drainage to cut down its valleys through the 
Chalk escarpment, which even then must have begun 
to take shape. 

The one incision of this kind across the strike of 
the chalk on the Mercian side of the Tamisian area, 
that of the Pangbourne and Goring gorge, was in all 
probability initiated too in Pliocene time, but the 
area of drainage concentrated upon this line was 
much smaller than at present. It would appear that 
the head-waters of the present Ouse are cut off from 
those of the Cherwell and the Thame by a watershed 
largely composed of glacial drift ; at least the 
author's own observations of that district have led 
him to regard this as probable. If this were so, we 
should have to date the outlining of the present 
Upper or Oxford Basin of the Thames rather late in 
Quaternary time, the Pangbourne gorge having 
been no doubt deepened considerably during the 
Glacial period. 

The tilting to the north of the Eocene strata, as a 
result of the great Pliocene elevation of the western 
portion of the Weald, perhaps affected the more 

* "Journal of the Geol. Soc," loc. cit.; also Prestwich, 
ibid., vol. xlvi., on the Southern Drift. 



easterly portion of the area but slightly. If the 
great east-and-west fault, which has been traced 
ilong the Thames Valley below London,* can be 
dated back to Pliocene time, it probably had much 
to do with the definition of the main line of drainage 
towards the east. With this great Pliocene move- 
ment was also connected probably the minor 
differential movement, which hfted up the Chalk 
and Eocene strata along the Windsor-Marlow axis, 
turning the course of the ancient valley still further 
to the north between Reading and Windsor, and 
accounting for the elevation of the chalk which 
forms the site of Windsor Castle. The present 
angle which the river makes, as it turns northwards 
to Henley, has perhaps been the result of special 
and local erosion of the Eocene strata at a somewhat 
later period, owing to the great increase of the 
erosive power of the river, after the deepening of the 
Pangbourne gorge, and the inflow of the waters 
collected from the present Oxford Basin. 

The case here supposed of the determination of a 
main line of drainage by a general tilting of the 
strata is not a solitary instance of the kind. It can 
be paralleled, on a much grander scale, by the 
general tilting (also to the north), of the great 
Tertiary series of strata deposited in the narrow 
Helvetico-Germanic sea, which skirted the Alpine 
chain before the period of its last and greatest 
elevatory movement. Across the gentle declivity 
thus formed of Tertiary strata the drainage of a great 
part of the Alpine chain, including the whole of the 
Eastern Alps, now finds its way to join the Upper 
Danube, which, as von Dechen's Map of Germany 
shows, skirts the old Mesozoic coimtry of Bavaria 
and Wiirtemberg, and the still older Archaean region j 
of Lpper Austria, all the way from its emergence i 
from the Black Forest country down to Krems. ' 
This we must certainly connect with the last Alpine 

( To be continued.) 


Dr. W. Somerville has been appointed by the 
Techinal Education Committee of the Northumber- 
land County Council to the Professorship of Agri- 
culture and Forestry recently founded in the Durham 
College of Science, Newcastle. 

We are sorry to announce the death of an old and 
frequent correspondent of Science-Gossip, Mr. 
Andrew Brotherston, of Kelso, at the age of fifty- 

Between December 9th lastyear and February 5th, 
seven great bustards (,Otis tarda) were shot (of 

• Whitaker, " Mem. GeoL Survey," vol. iv., p. 353. 

course !) in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Sussex, Hants, 
Wilts, and Carmarthenshire. 

Mr. S. W. Burnham, with the great Lick 
refractor (California), has observed the nearest 
companion of Aldebaran, while passing through its 
periastion at a distance of only o' 13" from the large 
star. And from old measures of position, angle, and 
distance, he has obtained a satisfactory orbit. 

Mr. Edward Bartlett (son of Mr. Bartlett of 
the "Zoo") has been appointed Curator of the 
Government Museum at Sarawak. 

The following are the Lecture Arrangements of the 
Royal Institute after Easter : — Mr. J. Scott Keltic, 
Three Lectures on the Geography of Africa, with 
special ; reference to the Exploration, Commercial 
Development, and Political Partition of the 
Continent ; Dr. E. E. Klein, Three Lectures on 
Bacteria : their Nature and Functions (the Tyndal 
Lectures) ; Mr. W^illiam Archer, Four Lectures on 
Four Stages of Stage History (the Betterton, the 
Gibber, the Garrick, and the Kemble Periods) ; 
Professor Dewar, Six Lectures on Recent Spectro- 
scopic Investigations ; Dr. A. C. Mackenzie, Four 
Lectures on the Orchestra considered in connection 
with the Development of the Overture ; Professor 
Slyvanus P. Thompson, Four Lectures on the 
Dynamo ; Mr. H. Graham Harris, Three- Lectures 
on the Artificial Production of Cold ; Professor A. 
H. Church, Three Lectures on the Scientific Study 
of Decorative Colour. The Friday Evening 
Meetings were resumed on April loth, when a 
Discourse was given by Sir William Thomson, on 
Electric and Magnetic Screening. 

Good news fox potato growers ! Sulphate of 
copper has been found not only an antidote to 
potato disease, but also highly conducive to an im- 
proved and heavier crop, in some instances to the 
extra value of 5/. an acre. 

Mr. C. Vernon Boys has been making measure- 
ments of the heat of the moon by means of his very 
delicate radiomicrometer. His method was to focus 
the rays of the moon on the face of the radiomi- 
crometer by a reflecting telescope of 16 inches 
aperture. In the case of a new moon, he found that 
the heat coming from its disc diminished as you 
passed from the convex to the concave edge, and 
that from the dark surface was so slight as not to 
affect the apparatus. The maximum radiation of 
heat came from points of the disc itself, not from its 
limbs. At full moon the maximum point was at the 
centre of the disc. The side of the moon which had 
been exposed to the sun for fourteen days was not 
warmer than that which had been exposed for seven 
days. No sensible heat was observed to come from 
the stars. 



The Eleventh Annual Exhibition of the S. London 
Entomological Society, was held at the Bridge House 
Hotel, London Bridge, S.E., on Wednesday, the 
15th ult., and was continued on the Thursday 
following from I P.M. 


Preservation of Melicerta Ringens. — Last 
May you inserted a paragraph bearing the above 
heading, in which I narrated how I had preserved 
in captivity this organism for twelve months without 
any interregnum. I have to-day to recount a further 
success in this matter. During the last year I have 
never been without numbers of this rotifer ; at the 
present time I have very many. Only once have I 
feared that I might lose this attractive creature 
altogether, and this was on my return home last 
October, after my autumn holiday. I found during 
my absence that certain juvenile members of my 
family, out of the overflowing kindness of their 
hearts, had fed the sticklebat with pieces of biscuit 
as large as hazel nuts, and the plants, too, had been 
permitted to grow unpruned ; consequently, on my 
return, I found the whole aquarium exceedingly 
offensive, necessitating a thorough cleansing. This 
was given, together with a reduction in the amount 
of plant-life, and the first change of water for over 
two years. The pruning of the weeds proved to be 
a somewhat dangerous experiment, plant growth at 
this season of the year naturally almost ceasing ; this, 
together with the exceedingly severe winter, for a 
short time imperilled the maintenance of the whole. 
Fortunately all, however, has gone well, and meli- 
certa has continued abundant ; so numerous, indeed, 
as to become so crowded upon the somewhat scanty 
plants as to cause them to attach their tubes to one 
another in the manner we are informed more common 
in the American waters than our own. I have to 
add that I still consider the plants named in my 
previous communication to be very good plants for a 
small aquarium. The sticklebat still survives. Can 
any reader inform me as to the natural duration of 
life of this fish 1—J. W. Measures, M.R.C.S. 


Mounting Shells. — From a paragraph in the 
April number of SciENCE-Gossir, I see that a 
correspondent has got into difftculties on the above 
subject. To my mind mounting good shells on tablets 
is downright sinful, as, no matter what mounting 
media are used, the specimens are certain to be more 
or less injured. Though I do not " mount " my own 
collection, I can speak with considerable experience 
as to its pernicious effect, as only too many of the 
specimens I receive in exchange are spoilt by one or 

more unsightly patches showing where they have 
formerly been fixed to tablets. Judging from the 
instances I have seen, the various gelatine cements, 
especially those which are applied in a heated con- 
dition, are the worst offenders. At the Natural 
History Museum I believe they are very thick gum 
arable, which is open to less objection, but perhaps 
the best cement, though possibly not a very secure 
one, would be wax (preferably such as is used for 
modelhng) as it can be readily softened by moulding 
in the fingers. But why mount shells at all ? a 
collection is far more useful when it is possible to 
take up each specimen separately and examine it on 
all sides without the necessity of first detaching it 
from a mount. Undoubtedly the best, though un- 
fortunately rather expensive, method of storing shells 
is to keep them in glass-top boxes, rectangular being 
superior to circular ones. The most convenient 
dimensions aie : depth three inches ; width two and 
four inches ; .length, varying in half inch steps, from 
one inch upwards. The British Mollusca and part of 
the general collection at the Natur^i History Museum 
are arranged in this way. Card-board trays come 
next in order of merit, and as they can be easily and 
quickly made by an amateur after very little practice, 
are very cheap. The superficial dimensions given 
above for boxes will be found convenient for these 
also, but a depth of half an inch is sutticient. In 
order to save work, the corners need not be bound. 
In my own collection through want of funds, boxes 
and trays are used together in the same drawer, the 
boxes being reser\'ed for delicate specimens which 
might be broken if loose in a tray. As the boxes and 
trays are made on the same system they fit in exactly. 
While on this subject, I might refer to another method 
of spoiling shells, namely writing on the specimens 
themselves. Names and other information should 
always be written on a slip of paper placed in the box 
or tray, but I hope soon to speak about labels more 
at length.— .5". Pace, 252 Fulham Road, S.W. 

A NEW VARIETY OF Helix Cantiana.— The 
specimen to which the following description applies 
was taken from near Sittingbourne, in Kent, by Miss 
Muriel Norton, and forwarded to me for the purpose 
of naming by "six. W. E. Swanton, who has it now in 
his collection. As far as I am aware, the variety is 
new — indeed, very few varieties of H. cantiana have 
been described — but, as its deviations from the type 
are distinctly marked, I have considered it worthy of 
a variety-name, and have called it var. caiialiciilata. 
The specimen resembles in some features what I have 
previously described as var. elevaia in the first 
number of the " Conchologist " (readers of this note of 
mine on this variety will kindly oblige the writer by 
erasing the semicolon between the words "spire" 
and " compressed," and in reading "canaliculate" 
instead or " canaliculata,") but, in this instance, the 
spire is depressed and does not rise about half a 



millimetre above the body-whorl. Var. canaliculata, 
Willms. Shell white, rather solid ; suture between 
body-whorl and preceding whorl deeply and triangu- 
larly canaliculate ; spire depressed and very slightly 
elevated above the upper level of the body-whorl ; 
umbilicus somewhat wider than in type and exposing 
more of the whorls within. Width fifteen mill. ; 
height nine mill. The most distinctive characteristics 
are the sub-depression of the spire, and the deep 
triangular canaliculation of the suture between the 
body-whorl and the spire. — J. W. Williams. 

Twice-Used Nests.— In the April number of 
Science-Gossip, p. 93, Mr. H. G. Ward records 
an instance of a blackbird using the same nest for a 
second brood immediately after the first had flown. 
I had two similar instances lately in my garden. 
Both the blackbird and the thrush used the same 
nest in the same season for successive broods. The 
thrush was successful in rearing both brqods, but the 
blackbird was unfortunately interfered with by a cat. 
I mentioned the circumstance at the time to Mr. 
Seebohm, who said it was very unusual. — J. Joiner 
Weir, Beckc7iham. 

Rossendale Rhizopods. — In the last paper on 
this subject, Fig. 59, 60, 61, should be Anncba 
proteus. The names of Figs. 63 and 66 should be 

Deep Sea Exploration in the Eastern 
Mediterranean.— The investigations which the 
expedition sent out by the Vienna Academy of 
Sciences has been carrying out in the eastern portion 
of the Mediterranean have been very successful. 
The investigations concerning the depth and general 
characteristics of the sea, and the presence of life in 
it, were carried out at seventy-two distinct points. 
The greatest depth (3700 metres, or over 2J miles), 
was found near the great depression which runs 
between Molla and Cerigo — a deep valley running 
in a direction from north to south, and with a 
depth varying from 3500 to 4000 metres, the descent 
being much more abrupt on the Greek side than on 
the Italian and Sicilian side. Experiments as to 
light showed that the waters are more transparent 
near the African coast than in the northern portions. 
There white metal plates were discernible at a depth 
of nearly 144 feet. Sensitive plates were still found 
capable of being acted upon by a light at a depth of 
nearly 550 yards {2\ furlongs), at a point 200 
marine miles north of Ben-Ghazi ; on being drawn 
up they were found to have been blackened. The 
acid constituents of the sea-water seem to be the 
same at the greatest depth as near the surface, nor is 
any difference in the quantity of ammoniacal con- 
stituents perceptible between the upper and tlie 
lowest levels, with the exception that everywhere 
close to the bottom the quantity of ammoniacal 
ingredients is notable. The deep-sea region of the 

Eastern Mediterranean is very poor in animal life. 
A dredge at a depth of 3000 metres brought up no 
animal specimens at all, but at a depth of 2000 
metres leaf-formed algse were discovered similar to 
those found at the same depth in the Atlantic by the 
Panton expedition. 

Ornitholological Notes from Chichester. — 
The excessive severity of the past winter, prolonged 
almost without intermission, save for a brief respite 
of beautiful weather in February, from the close of 
November to the beginning of April, caused a 
terrible destruction of bird life. Perhaps none have 
suffered worse than those sweet songsters the 
thrushes {Turdus nmsieus), numbers of which, with 
their relatives the redwings {Tardus iliacus), and 
fieldfares {Tnrdiis pilaris), died either from cold or 
starvation. Swarms of wildfowl visited our shores, 
and received, alas ! poor things, in many cases 
anything but a hospitable reception ; for, rightly or 
wrongly, according to our particular standpoint, I 
suppose — though as a member of the Selborne 
Society I must enter my protest — the sportsman 
embraced what to him was, as all cold winters are, 
a golden opportunity for sport. Amongst other 
common birds the following were seen, and some 
of them shot in the neighbourhood of Chichester 
in the months of December and January : Wild 
Swans : Hooper [Cygnus musicus'). Of these a 
flock of thirty-one was seen off Selsey. Geese : 
The common Brent-goose {Bernicla Brenta) has 
abounded. Specimens of the bean goose (Ansir 
segetum), and of the white-fronted goose [Anser 
albifrons), have also occurred. Ducks : Twenty- 
eight Sheldrakes {Tadonna cornuta) were observed 
together in Chichester Harbour, as well as a number 
of tufted ducks {Fuligula cristata), and scaup 
ducks [Fuligula marila). Smews : Two smews 
{Mergiis albellus) were taken at Fishbourne, and two 
or three goosanders [Afergus merganser). Bitterns : 
Two bitterns. — One at Fishbourne, and one at 
Earnley. The above communication from a capital 
sportsman-naturalist will prove interesting to many of 
your readers. — Joseph Atiderson,jun., Hon. Curator, 
Chichester Museum. 


Variations of Colours in Plants. — In the 
Black Mountains on the borders of Monmouth, 
Brecon, and Herefordshire, the harebell, and many 
other species of bell flowers, grow very profusely. 
Some years ago I found a few white harebells in the 
Grwyne Fechan Valley. As botanical friends rather 
doubted this, during the season of 1890, I paid some 
attention to the variations in colour of these flowers. 
All through the Black Mountain country the harebell 
varies from a reddish purple to a very pale shade of 
blue, and white specimens are not infrequently met 



with. Generally, the white harebells look like 
washed-out blue ones, with a very faint tinge of blue 
and a somewhat sickly appearance. I have, however, 
very rarely found a strong growing plant with opaque, 
creamy white flower, notably last August one plant 
on the N.E. slope of Mynydd Pen y fal, near Aber- 
gavenny. These really white harebells almost seem 
like a distinct variety. Is not the white harebell 
commoner in France than in England ? Anne Pratt 
mentions it, giving the popular name, I think, as 
"la religieuse des champs;" but I unfortunately 
have not her " British Flowering Plants" by me 
now. In addition to the plants named by your 
correspondent, Mr. H. G. Ward, we found last year 
in a lane between Abergavenny and Crickhowell the 
common scabious {Knaiitia arvensis) with perfectly 
white flowers. In the parish of Henllis, near New- 
port, columbines occur in purple, blue, rose pink and 
white. The bugle is occasionally found white, and 
the common wood sorrel is occasionally red. Around 
Newport the common purple orchis (0. Mono), 
where it grows in abundance, is always found in four 
colours, viz. : purple, coral pink, light coffee colour, or 
ecru and white, the lighter colours being the least 
frequent and the green lines in the hood being a 
striking feature in them. In the,Quantock country, in 
Somersetshire, the bee orchis is found with three 
white petals. — Thomas Jones, Newport, Mon. 

The Post Office and" Botanists. — Would any 
brother botanists, who have exchanges with foreign 
countries, join me in trying to obtain the same 
privileges from the Post Office, as our foreign con- 
freres have ? They are able to send their plants here 
as " business papers " by the printed matter post, 
costing them about 40'. per lb., whereas we have to 
pay Parcel Post rate even for a few ounces, or else 
letter post rate at 2\d. per \ oz. The lowest rate for 
foreign Parcel Post is about \s. 2d., and to the 
United States, Letter Post is the' only one we can send 
plants by, there being no Parcel Post. From the 
States parcels of plants can be sent here at 41/. per lb., 
and the packets may weigh up to 41b. To make a 
return exchange, for these we have to pay through the 
Parcel Express Companies at about \s. and upwards 
per lb. Could not a petition to the Postmaster- 
General be got up about this ? I believe that among 
the United States postal regulations, there is a special 
one regarding the postage of dried plants. — A. E. 
Lomax, 56 Vauxhall Road, Liverpool. 

Flora of Kent. — With reference to paragraph 
on this subject lin April number, p. 90, there is no 
complete Flora of the county ; but Cowell's " Floral 
Guide to E Kent," "Wild Flowers of Dover and 
Neighbourhood," and Jenner's "Flora of Tun- 
bridge Wells," may be consulted with advantage. 
Also G. Smith's collection of rare plants from S. 
Kent, D. Cooper's "Flora Metropolitana," Irvine's 
"London Flora," and E. de Crespigny's "New 

London Flora for W. Kent," besides the Report of 
the Greenwich Natural History Society of the 
District between the Rivers Cray, Ravensbourne, 
and Thames. Milne and Gordon, N.E., and S. 
Kent, 1792 ; and T. Johnston's " Iter," N. Kent. N. 
and S. Kent, 1629 and 1632, would be too antiquated 
to .be at all useful ; as also would be Petiver's 
" Journey from London to Dover," and Blackstone's 
" Species ; " but there are many records of later date 
to be found in the pages of the " Phytologist," from 
1855 to 1862 ; in those of Science-Gossip ; 
Exchange and Locality Record Clubs' Reports and 
other periodicals; not to mention Watson's "New 
Botanist's Guide." Dr. de Crespigny's Handbook 
may be procured at Messrs. Allen & Co.'s, Limited, 
Waterloo Place. A new edition is ready for the 
press, revised, rearranged, and with much additional 
matter, itinerary and chart 35 to 40 miles round. — 

Cuticles of Leaves. — What is the best way of 
getting the cuticles of geranium and leaves such as 
abutilon, and Cheirattthus incatia so as to mount 
them as transparent objects ? Jabez Hogg, in his 
work on the Microscope, recommends, p. 440, "im- 
mersing the leaf in sulphuric ether," but as his book 
was written in 1856 I thought some fresh way might 
have been found out since that time. — G. A. Hankey. 

A variety of the male fern {Lastrea pseudo-mas) 
has been found by Mr. Wilson, of Alford, N.B., 
which is new to botanists. Fronds have been also 
examined by Mr. Wollaston, of Chislehurst, who 
calls it Lastrea pseudo-mas, var. multiformis, Wilson 
(Wol.). The nearest previously-known form to this 
was found by the late Mr. Barnes, of Levens, in 


On Phosphatic Chalk at Taplow.— The 
following highly important paper was read at the 
last meeting of the Geological Society, by Mr. 
Strahan. Two beds of brown chalk in an old pit 
near Taplow Court owe their colour to a multitude of 
brown grains. These grains are almost entirely of 
organic origin, foraminifera and shell-prisms forming 
the bulk of them. Mr. Player has analysed 
specimens of the brown chalk, and finds that it con- 
tains from 16 to 35 per cent, of phosphate of lime. 
The tests as well as the contents of the foraminifera 
seem to have been phosphatized, the phosphate 
appearing as a translucent film in the former case, 
and as an opaque mass in the latter. In the case of 
the prisms of molluscan shells, the whole of the 
phosphate appears to be in the opaque form. 
Minute coprolites also occur, together with many 
small chips of fish-bone, in which Dr. Hinde has 
recognized lacunae, while some have been identified 



by Mr. E. T. Newton as portions of fish-teeth. Mr. 
Player observes that the phosphate occurs in such a 
condition that it would not improbably serve as a 
valuable fertilizer, without conversion into super- 
phosphate. This condition is probably due to the 
partial replacement of carbonate of lime by phosphate 
in the organisms. The removal of the remaining 
carbonate leaves the phosphate in a honeycombed 
state, peculiarly favourable for attack by the acids in 
the soil. Mr. Strahan commented upon the resem- 
blance of the deposit to the phosphatic chalk with 
Bekmnitella qiiadrata which is largely worked in 
Northern France, and upon a less striking resem- 
blance with that of Ciply, which is at a higher 
horizon. In the discussion which followed, Dr. G. 
J. Hinde said that he had examined microscopically 
the phosphatic chalks of Taplow, and compared it 
with the similar material from Douillens and Ciply, 
and he fully agreed with Mr. Strahan's description 
thereof. The fine, white, powdery portion of the 
Taplow rock consisted nearly entirely of Coccoliths, 
Discoliths, and Rhabdoliths, unaltered and of car- 
bonate of lime similar to those in the normal white 
chalk. The minute, translucent, angular fragments 
in the granular portion were shown to be pieces of 
fish-bone by the occurrence in them of true bone 
lacunce and canaliculi, and many were likewise 
thickly penetrated by borings of algre or fungi. 
Similar fragments were present in the Douillens and 
Ciply material, but their osseous nature had not 
previously been recognised. The minute phosphatic 
pellets were probably coprolites of small fishes. The 
evidence pointed to the exuviae of fishes as the source 
of the phosphatic materials in these deposits. Mr. 
Whitaker said that, from the regularly bedded 
character of the phosphatic chalk, one would have 
expected it to occur for some distance from the pit ; 
but no trace could be seen either of the phosphatic 
beds or of the flintless chalk in which they occur. 
It seems as if the topmost chalk here occurs only 
over a small area, having been eroded elsewhere. 
That this was the case to the west and north-west had 
been surmised by Mr. Jukes-Browne ("Geology of 
London," vol. i. pp. 76-78, 1889), from an examina- 
tion of fossils collected from the various pits ; but the 
thinning-out of the top chalk seems to be more 
sudden than was expected, and not only in the above 
directions but all round from Taplow. Mr. Strahan's 
discovery showed how much there might remain to be 
done, even with regard to so well-known a formation 
as the chalk. Professor Judd remarked upon the 
interesting nature of the microscopic borings des- 
cribed by Dr. Hinde. His attention had been of lata 
directed to the subject in connexion with the curious 
organisms found in Oolitic grains, both recent and 
fossil. Both Mr. G. Murray and Dr. Scott were of 
opinion that these borings were produced by the 
plants that had been so well described by the dis- 
tinguished French algologist, Bornet. A very acute 

observer, Mr. F. Chapman, had noticed that shell- 
fragments in the gault frequently exhibit these bor- 
ings, and Dr. Scott had been able to identify several 
of Bornet's genera, founded on recent specimens, as 
being represented in these Cretaceous shells. Bornet 
believed that these boring algai perform a very im- 
portant part in the economy of nature, by bringing 
about the destruction and solution of shell-fragments. 
The president, alluding to the geological and econo- 
mic interest of the discovery described in the paper, 
remarked that though the area occupied by the 
phosphatic layers seemed to be small, there was good 
reason to hope that somewhere else in the Upper- 
Chalk districts the same or similar bands might yet 
be found. The search for such deposits would now 
be stimulated by the information so fully supplied by 
the Author, who himself would no doubt follow up 
his observations at Taplow by a thorough examina- 
tion of the higher members of the chalk in the east 
of England. 

Note on the Occurrence of Cockroach 
Wings in the Coal Measures of the Forest 
of Dean. — I am indebted to Mr. Lawe, of Pillston 
Penna, for the information that two entire wings and 
a fraction of a third were received by him amongst a 
collection of fossil plants from the above locality and 
horizon, sent by myself. I noticed the specimens 
when packing them, but thought them (perhaps new) 
fern pinnules. I am in ignorance as to whether these 
insects have been recognised before in that locality or 
not ; but they are certainly scarce. Of the two 
specimens one was possibly the counterpart of the 
other. — T. Stock. 


Snails as a Cure for Consumption.— In an 
old MS. book full of receipts, which were put 
together by Robert Sexton, an old excise officer, 
about the year 1794, I find the following recipes as 
cures for consumption, which show that the snail- 
cure was recommended to a later date than we 
generally acknowledge by the medical faculty to 
the phthisical patients. The first, on the authority of 
one. Dr. Simmons, runs' as follows :—" Oysters will 
sometimes be beneficial, and so will snails either 
swallowed whole or boiled in milk — cow's milk, if 
warm from the cow, diluted with one-third of water ; 
in general, buttermilk or whey, either from cows or 
goats, is far preferable to new milk, but to be bene- 
ficial it should be the principal food." The second 
recipe, given on no authority, is in the following 
words:— "Boil half-a-dozen of red garden snails 
every evening in a quart of sweet milk or whey, 
then strain the liquor through a coarse cloth and 
drink it with sugar every morning gradually upon an 
empty stomach, and repeat these draughts for a 
month or two if required." This extract goes on to 
say that Helix pomatia has been used also for ' ' open 
hemorrhoids," by applying "fresh snails" to the 
affected part every two or three hours.— y, IV. 



Habits of the Crossbill. — I saw a flock of ten 
crossbills feeding in a larch tree at Ballyhyland, co. 
Wexford, on the 15th of January. They are rare 
visitors here, and these birds allowed me to walk 
freely all round and under the tree they were in, for 
half-an-hour or so, but the light was so bad that I 
failed to get a satisfactory view of their plumage, a 
point of such interest in the crossbill. As one of 
these crossbills was feeding near the extremity of a 
bough, I saw another come hopping to him along 
the branch from the end next the trunk. The feeding 
bird, seeing the other approach, stopped eating, and 
gravely opening his beak took that of his visitor into 
his mouth. The two bills were then slowly drawn 
apart again, the one crossbill unconcernedly resumed 
his eating, and the other hopped away. Some 
minutes afterwards I saw the very same process gone 
through again. The bird visited was, I am pretty 
sure, the same on each occasion ; about the identity 
of the visitor I am less clear. The grave demeanour 
of the birds was very entertaining to witness. I am 
quite at a loss to know the nature of the transaction. 
Was it (i) an old bird feeding her young ; (2) a cock 
bird feeding his mate (either would be a remarkable 
fact, seeing it was the 15th of January, and very 
harsh weather); or (3) may we suppose that the 
crossbills occasionally suffer inconvenience in feeding 
from getting bits of scales impaled on their curiously- 
formed mandibles, and that in these emergencies 
they come to each other to be relieved. The act, as 
I saw it, seemed to me more consistent with this last 
explanation. There was not the smallest symptom 
of an emotional greeting, a flutter of wings, or a note 
of welcome or expectancy, such as usually happens 
when a hen bird or a fledgeling of one of our 
common species is fed by its mate or parent. It was 
clearly a visit of business, regarded by both in the 
light of a passing interruption to the routine work of 
devouring the larch-cones. — C. B. Aloffat, 

Galvanised Wire and Orchids. — I find that 
galvanised wire kills orchids. I tied galvanised wire 
round some orchids to keep the moss on the roots, 
and most of them died, one plant especially I wish to 
draw attention. It was a plant of Cattleya crispa in 
full growth. To hang the plant up I had a band of 
galvanised wire placed round the pot and wire from 
this band formed a loop. I must relate that the 
plant in question had vigorous roots clinging to the 
sides of the pot. All these roots died, and then the 
plant. Since then I have taken the galvanised wire 
from the pots, etc., and replaced with copper. Since 
then the orchids are in better health. — R. Draper. 

Bats flying in Sunlight.— On the i6th 
February, about ten o'clock on a brilliantly fine and 
warm morning, I watched two flitter mice-bats ( Ves- 
perugo pipistrellus, Schreb.), for some time. They were 
hawking to and fro for the numerous flies that were 
abroad. I have never seen bats following their avo- 
cations in the bright sunlight before. — J. E. Taylor. 

Trees in Trees. — A friend who has had experience 
in tree growing tells me that a young tree, as for 
instance an elm, grows much more rapidly when 
planted inside a hollow tree, say an elm, than under 
any other conditions. Looking to the quantity of 
decaying vegetable matter from which the roots of the 
young tree derive part of its nutriment, this does not 
seem at all improbable. — T. S. 

Dead Thrushes in Rabbit-Holes.— Seven dead 
thrushes were taken from a rabbit-hole at Aust, 
Glos., into which they had retired to die during the 
iate severe weather. Several birds that were picked 

up dead from starvation, were difticult to skin, just 
skin and bone, light as a feather.— 7". S. 

Cuticle of Leaves.— Could any of your 
readers inform me the best method of taking off the 
cuticle of leaves of Scolopendrium, petals of the 
Geranium, &c., so as to make them as transparent 
objects for the microscope? I am told that 
"nitric acid, diluted with half water, is the old- 
fashioned way. Could any one inform me of the new- 
fashioned, or any better way ? "—George A. Hankey, 
Town Court Farm, Tutibridge Wells. 

Strange Conduct of a Squirrel.— One day in 
October last, as I was walking through the Phoenix 
Park, Dublin, I came suddenly on a remarkable sight. 
A reddish animal was careering in rapid circles 
around a wood pigeon which was stationed on the 
ground, and which, in a dazed fashion, kept turning 
slowly round and round to watch the whirligig 
performance : in fact, the procedure was almost 
exactly that which I have seen when a stoat, before 
killing a rabbit, proceeds to mesmerise it by cutting 
circles round it, except that the stoat accompanies his 
circles by wonderful somersaults, which were lacking 
on the present occasion. The wood-pigeon's beha- 
viour was almost an exact repetition of the rabbit's. 
Arriving so suddenly on the scene, I unluckily 
startled the principal performer, who stopped ; and, 
to my surprise, I then saw that it was a squirrel ! The 
bird was at first so utterly bewildered that it was 
several seconds before she sufficiently recovered to fly 
away. When at last the wood -pigeon had flown off, 
and not till then, the squirrel also left the scene, and 
betook himself up a tree. It would be interesting to 
know whether such conduct on a squirrel's part has 
been noticed before, and what would have been the 
upshot to the affair had it not been interrupted? Is 
it to be supposed that the squirrel intended to kill 
the ring-dove ? — Hugh H. Moffat. 

"Two Sides of the Medal"— With reference 
to the note (p. 71) by Mr. Bird, it is only fair to what 
seems the only scientific school of evolutionists to 
state (without hazarding any personal opinion), that 
it is only those acquired characters which affect the 
whole organism, and more especially the reproductive 
elements, that are deemed transmissile to the off- 
spring. The case cited, therefore, of the two men 
A. and B., one born with big muscular limbs and the 
other not, is hardly to the point, at least without 
some further exposition. The other case C. and D. 
is completely outside the mark as it were. The 
destruction of thumbs is not necessarily attended 
with any disturbance of the genital organs ; and, 
therefore, the most fervent Lamarkian would freely 
admit that D.'s children would be just as likely to 
have thumbs as those of^any one else. It may be 
useful to append that the well-known researches of 
Brown-Sequard on the effects of lesions of guinea- 
pigs, etc., have not been, as far as I am aware, been 
very destructively analysed or explosively bombarded 
by any subsequent critic or experimentalist. — 
P. Q. R. 

Natural History Vandalism. — Whilst regret- 
ting the deplorable sacrifice of bird-life, and the 
approaching extirpation of the most interesting 
species, it is painful to find this mischief ascribed by 
certain journals to naturalists. The destroyers of 
birds are bird-nesters, bird-dealers and their emis- 
saries, suburban louts who go out on Sundays and 
holidays, and blaze away at everything clad in 
feathers. Nor must we forget ignorant farmers, who 
have latterly taken to destroying that purely insectiv- 



orous bird the cuckoo, and infatuated game-keepers 
who shoot down the owls, our best mouse-catchers. 
—y. W. Slater. 

Spiders' Webs. — Some time ago I heard a state- 
ment to the effect that " spiders are unable to make 
more than four webs during their life-time ; and that 
should the fourth be destroyed the spider is hence- 
forth dependent on outward circumstances entirely 
for a home and its food." I have not been able to 
find any corroboration of the above statement, and 
should esteem it a favour if some reader will be able 
to prove or disprove the above. — B. Truscott. 

The Marking of Wild Birds' Eggs at the 
Smaller End. — Why are so very few of the eggs 
of our wild birds which have variegated markings 
found to be prominently coloured at the smaller end ? 
The answer to this question is by no means a simple 
one, and comprises almost endless complications and, 
indeed, can at best be but indefinite, for this reason, 
none of our zoologists seemed to have worked out 
the glands containing the colouring matter of the 
eggs. So, of course, it is only possible to theorise. 
In the first place, it would be a sheer physical im- 
possibility, as some people have supposed, for the 
egg to be turned completely round in the oviduct, it 
is far too tightly wedged for any gyration of the bird 
to accomplish such a thing. And, again, this latter 
theory would imply that the egg usually came down 
the oviduct with the larger end pointing first, so that 
it received the bulk of the colouring matter ; but 
this is quite a misleading idea, for it is, with rare 
exceptions, the smaller end of the egg which points 
to the exterior, and not the larger. " Why, then, 
does not the smaller end of the egg, in the majority 
of cases, receive the bulk of the colour, instead of 
the larger? " The answer is not very difficult to find. 
The larger end of the egg, although coming down after 
the smaller, naturally irritates and distends the colour- 
secreting glands more than the latter, and therefore 
receives the bulk of the markings. But why the eggs 
of the falconidse and of the corvidae should be more 
prone to have small end markings than the majority 
of other birds is a much more difficult question to 
answer. It seems to me, and probably many others 
have also noticed it, that those eggs which most 
usually exhibit distinct and prominent small end- 
markings, are those which either have the colour 
distributed in large blotches over the surface, or are 
those which vary a great deal in both ground colour 
and markings, as the eggs of the corvidos most 
certainly do. In many cases of eggs marked with 
large blotches of colour, it is almost impossible to 
say they are not marked on the smaller end, they are 
so diffusely and profusely marked all over. Of 
course there are exceptions to every rule, and it 
would be impossible to lay down a law confining the 
small end-colouring of eggs to any particular group 
of eggs. I have, for instance, in my own collection, 
specimens of the rook, crow, sparrow-hawk, red- 
backed shrike, yellow bunting and chaffinch, all very 
distinctly marked on the smaller end, and all perfectly 
normal in shape, except that of the chaffinch. I feel 
that much more might and ought to be written on 
this subject, and I hope that someone will offer more 
satisfactory explanation of this freak of nature, than 
I am able to do. — K. H. Jones. 

Power of the Limnid.-k to resist Cold. — 
On the breaking up of the late frost I was examining 
the thick ice on a large stone trough used by me as 
an outdoor aquarium, when I observed a large 
number of shells embedded in it. I removed some 
large blocks and allowed them to melt slowly, after- 

wards straining the water and placing the shells in 
a glass. There were a few examples of Pisidiiim 
pitsillum, all dead ; Limna: pcrcgra and Z. stagnalis 
were in large numbers, all young examples, ready to 
crawl as soon as they dropped from the block of ice ; 
Plajiorbis corneiis and PI. complajiatiis were also 
found in quantity, mostly young examples and all 
living. As the water had been frozen over for six 
weeks, it is probable that the greater number of these 
animals has been at least a month in a solid block of 
ice. — W. A. Gain, Tux/ord, Newark. 

Birds and the Cold Weather. — Owing to 
the cold weather, no doubt our native English birds 
have suffered greatly. But perhaps readers would be 
interested in hearing that I have seen not only a 
great variety of birds in the garden, but all of which are 
enumerated here since the frost. They are : — wood- 
pecker, nuthatch, great, little, and blackcap tit, bull- 
finch, goldfinch, greenfinch, chafiinch, wagtail, siskin, 
yellow and reed bunting, owl, tree, house, and 
hedge sparrows, tree creeper, gold-crested, common, 
and willow wrens, the mischievous jay, wood-pigeon, 
and the common blackbird and starling ; but not a 
single thrush, which seems about the only kind of bird 
affected by the cold. — Frederick W. Freeman, IVkiiweU, 

Extraordinary Entomological Discovery. 
— Mr. A. S. Canham, of Crowland, has discovered a 
peacock butterfly beneath a layer of gravel at 
Crowland, some 20 feet in thickness, in a peat bed. 
Mr, Canham was desirous of seeing the vegetable 
formation in this bed, and for this purpose cut out a 
brick of the peat. He then broke it open, and 
immediately a butterfly flew out ! He captured the 
butterfly, and it lived for about a fortnight after- 
wards. Mr Canham supposed that the butterfly was 
in the peat at the time the gravel was brought down 
and thus sealed the bed. When the gravel was 
removed the air penetrated the peat, and the process 
of incubation was set up ; the breaking of the cake 
of peat admitting more air, promoted the final 
development of the butterfly, and it flew out. An 
indentation in the peat coincides with the existence 
of a chrysalis there, but the shell is lost. The peat 
and butterfly were exhibited by Mr. Canham before 
the Peterborough Natural History Society. — Grimsby 

Curious Beliefs. — With reference to a " curious 
belief" among the natives of county Mayo (Science- 
Gossip for April, p. 75), I noted a few weeks since a 
fact which seems to me to bear on the case of the 
man who ate salmon for a fortnight, and became 
apparently waterproof. A favourite cat of mine 
became suddenly very ill, almost unconscious for 
some days. A veterinary surgeon who saw it, advised 
us to feed it partly on cod-liver oil ; it took about a 
teaspoonful a day for about two days. By that time 
its fur, which it never licked or cleaned in any way, 
became remarkably glossy, and smelt strongly of the 
oil. May not the oil in the salmon-flesh have a 
similar result in the case of the fisherman ? 

Rise of Sap. — I asked a farmer of considerable 
experience yesterday if he agreed with Mr. Reeves's 
theories on the ascent or descent of sap. He did 
not ; and adduced the following case, which not long 
since occurred on his farm. Elms, he said, are gross 
feeders. If they are in a hedgerow near hops they 
send up suckers into the hop-gardens, choosing 
especially the "hills "or hop-plants, which are the 
most manured. A large mixen had been placed 
beside a farm-road, about ten feet from a row of 



elms. It was left untouched for six months, and when 
cleared away was found to be pierced through and 
through with elm-roots. Does this make for or against 
Mr. Reeves's theory ? 

Query as to Egg. — Will any of the oological 
readers of Science-Gossip kindly tell me the name 
of the following egg, taken in this district two years 
ago? In size and appearance it exactly resembles 
that of the moorhen, but the nest was built on the 
ground, like that of the plover, and contained only 
two eggs. The bird, which I saw several times, was 
like an ordinary blue pigeon. A friend of mine took 
several eggs of the same kind, and he informs me 
that they are quite new to him. — G. Dixon. 

Fungus on Eggs. — If T. Brown, who complains 
of fungus in his eggs, will rinse each egg out with a 
solution of one teaspoonful of corrosive sublimate in 
a quart of alcohol or methylated spirits, inserted by 
means of a glass bulb suction-pipe, or a small glass 
syringe, and expelled with an ordinary blow-pipe, 
his eggs will never in future be troubled by fungus 
or anything else of a similar nature. The eggs will 
be right for ever in any climate or conditions, except 
in the matter of breakage and such like casualties. 
The solution mentioned must be used with care, it 
being a very strong poison. 

Second Growth of Raspberries. — The fol- 
lowing extract from my diary of last year may 
possibly interest some of your readers : — "November 
19th, observed in the garden of Mr. Young, at Monge- 
ham, near Deal, a second growth of raspberries, ripe 
and luscious as summer-grown ones." I may add 
that the garden lies high and exposed and was a few 
days after covered with snow, the first token of the 
hard winter which followed. — J. Wallis, Deal. 

Young Birds and their Nests. — Some friends 
of mine have had an argument about young birds 
leaving their nest. The point is this : Do young 
birds, alter taking their first flight, finally leave the 
nest, or do they return to it as a temporary shelter 
until they are strong enough to forage for them- 
selves? — y. E. Gore. 

Local Plant and Bird-Names from North- 
MARSTON, Bucks. — Cuckoo, early purple orchis ; 
smellsmock, icuckoo flower or ladysmock ; crazies, 
marsh marigold, lesser celandine ; blind-eyes, scarlet 
poppy. [The scarlet poppy received the name of 
blind-eyes no doubt, from the superstition, that if 
you got it near to your eyes, or touched your eyes 
with your hands after gathering it, it would blind 
you, a belief still prevalent in this village, and else- 
where. Children are cautioned by their parents 
"not to gather it, for it will blind your eyes," they 
say. This common saying makes them rather afraid 
to gather this flower, and thus the pretty scarlet 
petals of the poppy are left alone to fall, or to be 
scattered by the wind.] Cows and calfs, cuckoo 
pint or arum ; moons, moon daisy, white ox-eye ; 
halfsmart, yellow bedstraw ; kingfingers, bird's-foot 
trefoil ; bird's-eye, germander speedwell. [The name 
bird's-eye was no doubt given to the germander 
speedweed by our ancestors, who thought that the 
flower resembled the eye of a bird.] Celery (or 
salery), common sorrel. [The leaves of the common 
sorrel, and the fruits of the mallow are eaten by the 
children here. The local name of the former flower 
is perhaps a corruption of the word salad, and the 
latter name of " cheeses " is from the form of the 
fruit or seed, which is round and resembles the form 
of a complete cheese.] Cheeses, mallow (fruit of 

the) ; gill-run-the-ground, ground ivy. [The local 
name of the ground ivy was given to it, from its 
spreading or running habits over the ground.] Bull- 
rush, great reedmace ; bindweed, large convolvulus ; 
combine, small convolvulus ; woodbine, honeysuckle. 
[The local names of the convolvulus (major and 
minor) and the honeysuckle, needs no explanation, as 
the derivation of their names is quite clear.] Horse- 
mint, common mint ; burweed, common goosegrass 
or cleavers ; mayweed, corn feverfew ; pussy cat, 
catkin of willow ; willow-weed, periscaria ; pigeon 
felt, fieldfare ; redwing felt, redwing ; gor-crow, 
carrion crow ; thresher or thrusher, song-thrush ; 
then (or fen) thresher, missel-thrush ; water wash- 
disher, water wagtail ; yellow wash-disher, yellow 
wagtail ; chink and chinkchawdy, chaffinch ; dicky, 
common wren ; heakle or heekle, green woodpecker ; 
redtail, redstart ; peewit, lapwing ; haybirds, white- 
throat (major and minor ) ; mollyherne and moUern, 
heron ; woodpigeon, ring-dove ; screech owl, tawny 
owl ; bumbarrel, longtailed-tit ; green linnet, green- 
finch ; cuckoo's mate, wryneck. — H. G. Ward. 

Parrots and their Eggs. — A pair of East- 
Indian tinged parrokeets laid six eggs on alternate 
days on the bare bottom of a large cage (having 
refused to use various offered conveniences to nest 
in) ; sat twenty-eight days ; hatched three, perfectly 
free from any sort of down. When twenty-one days 
old, down began to appear, and eyes became partially 
opened. Owing to their habit of crawling about the 
cage, two have been killed, but the third (now four 
weeks old) is well and strong. The parent birds are 
evidently preparing to lay again. — B. L. Hooper, 


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 must adhere to our rule of 
not noticing queries which do not bear the writers' names. 

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 purposeof 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. 

Special Note. — There is a tendency on the part of some 
exchangers to send more than one per month. We only allow 
this in the case of writers of papers. 

To OUR Recent Exchangers. — We are willing and helpful 
to our genuine naturalists, but we cannot further allow dis- 
guised Exchanges like those which frequently come to us 
to appear unless as advertisements. 

J. Hunt. — The bound vol. of Science-Gossip for 1872 is out 
of print, but the publishers can supply you with all the parts 
for that year, except January. 

H. W. D.— Apply to Mr. Geo. Dowker, F.G.S., Stour- 
mouth House, near Wingham, Kent, for information respecting 
the " South-Eastern Naturalist." 

A. Mayfield. — The fossil tooth imbedded in flint is that of 
a species of Lamna. 


Exchange for minerals, &c., good transparent crystals of 
selenitc (various forms), some remarkable in having taken up 
sand during crystallisation. — W. Gamble, 2 West Street, New 
Brompton, Kent. 

SciENCE-Gossip, 1885 to 1890, complete, with 23 coloured 



plates: 1880, March and April missing; 18S1, September 
missing; 1884, January, February, March, and April missing. 
Also "The Naturalist," 1889 and 1890, all unbound, but clean. 
Wanted, large flat glass-topped boxes for shells in cabinets. — 
Lionel E. Adams, Penistone, Yorks. 

Eighty species of British shells, entomological setting- 
cabinet, collecting-box and store case, to exchange for any- 
thing useful. — "Lindens," New Brompton, Kent. 

A QUANTITY of duplicate mounts of very choice and rare 
foraminifera, correctly named, in exchange for cabinet speci- 
mens of Alston Moor minerals, or works on freshwater and 
marine algae, or offers. — W. H. Harris, 42 St. Brannock's 
Road, Ilfracombe. 

British birds' eggs. A long series, all with data, such as 
osprey, hooded merganser, eagle, sooty tern, long-billed 
curlew, bufT-backed heron, capercailie, &c., will exchange for 
insect cabinet. Several dozen N. American bird skins (dated), 
fine condition, for exchange. Offers to — H. T. Booth, Upcerne 
Road, Chelsea. 

Wanted, vol. of Science-Gossip for 1872, bo\md in blue 
cloth, if possible. Please name price, &c. — John Hunt, Lilly- 
burn Print Works, Milton of Campsie, near Glasgow. 

Wanted, unmounted parasites, polycistines, and other good 
material, in exchange for choice micro-slides of every descrip- 
tion. Foreign correspondence solicited. — K. Suter, 5 High- 
week Road, Tottenham, Middlesex, England. 

What offers for cork setting-boards, zinc collecting-boxes 
for larva, and light insect collecting-boxes, also Nos. 240-280 
of SciENCE-Gossii'? Micro-slides or material preferred, or 
books. — W. E. Watkins, 30 Dalmeny Road, Tufnell Park, N. 
». Exchange chemical apparatus — retort stands, tripods, glass 
tubing, corks, crucibles, &c., for fossils, minerals, or rocks. — 
J. A. Ellis, I Pomona Place, Fulham, S.W. 

Over one hundred species of beautifully-mounted ferns, 
comprising most of the rare British sorts (some very rare), in 
handsome half-bound book, fitting into strong case. What 
offers? — Joseph Anderson, jun., Aire Villa, Chichester. 

Offered, fifty Scottish mosses, a few very rare ones, all 
named ; will send list. Will take a copy of Hobkirk's " British 
Mosses," second edition. — Thomas Wilson, 39 North Church 
Street, Dundee. 

Offered, British marine shells in exchange for micro-slides, 
insects, other shells not in collection, or any books on natural 
history. Send lists of wants and duplicates to — W. D. Rae, 
9 Claremont Terrace, Alpha Road, Milwall, London, E. 

Wanted, Goebel's "Outlines of Classification and Special 
Morphology of Plants." Exchange Benson's " New Testa- 
ment," or classical and scientific works, &c. — J. Wallis, Deal. 

For exchange, twenty back numbers of Sciench-Gossip, 
also "Naturalist's Gazette," complete, for 1889 and 1890. 
Wanted, minerals or fossils, or books on minerals or fossils, or 
what offers? — William Hetherington, Nenthead, Alston Moore, 

Offered, a platinum crucible with capsule cover, Beale's 
" How to Work with the Microscope," and Cruickshank's 
"Practical Bacteriology." Wanted, i-inch objective, or 2-inch 
B, C, or D eye-piece, double nose-piece, or offers in petno- 
logical slides. — R. M. H. St. Stephen, 25 Fordwych Road, 
West Hampstead, London, N.W. 

Several hundred British coleoptera for exchange, all carded, 
correctly named and in fine. condition, including many rare and 
local species. Wanted, offers of any natural history specimens, 
apparatus, and books on entomology, conchology, or geologj'. — 
A. Ford, Claremont House, Upper Tower Road, St. Leonard's- 
on-Sea, Sussex. 

Wanted, British diptera, named or unnamed, foreign cole- 
optera, or cabinet cork, in exchange for S. African insects of 
any order. — R. M. Lightfoot, 134 Bree Street, Cape Town, 
S. Africa. 

Would any botanist join me in a three v;eeks' botanical 
expedition to the Sierra Nevada, Granada, in July next? 
Address — A. Edward Lomax, 56 Vauxhall Road, Liverpool. 

Offered, H. erictorum, vz.x. /aservata, H. va7-iegata, H. 
caperatay H. ni/escens, H. rotundaia, Z. alleoura, C. nigosa, 
L.peregra, var. acuminata, and others. Wanted, H. poiitatia, 
Paludina vivipara, P. liiteri, Acme fusca, or others not in 
collection. — James Ingleby, Eavestone, Ripon. 

British cryptogams — mosses, seaweeds, lichens, and fungi, 
correctly named, in exchange for foreign land shells.— T. Rogers, 
27 Oldham Road, Manchester. 

Pupa ringens, P. >narginata, and var. edentula, V. pygmcra, 
V.pusilla, K. antivertigo, B. perversa, C. tridens, Z./nhms, 
Z. cryslallinus, H. pulchella, //. lapicida, S. rivicola, /'. 
glaber, P. dilatatus, and many others, offered for foreign land 
shells, or Testacella haliotidea, S. virescens, S. oblonga, H. 
revelata, P. seca'u, C. biplicata, A. acic-ula, or good vars. of 
H. nsmoralis and hortensis. — E. Collier, i Heather Bank, 
Moss Lane East, Manchester. 

Will exchange fifty flint implements for minerals or fossils. 
— W. Nunney, 29 St. Philip's Road, Dalston, N.E. 

Wanted, latest edition of the "Student's Flora" (Hooker). 
Apply to — John Connor, Elderslie, near Johnstone, N.B. 

Wanted, a small collection of British mosses and lichens ; 
fossils given in exchange. — A. Tarver, 34 Croydon Grove, 
West Croydon. 

Will exchange micro-slides for works on microscope, 01 
exchange slides lor others. — Piatt, Eastrop, Basingstoke. 

Wanied, good specimens of Littorina obtusata, var. ornata. 
Will give Bulimtis acutus, var. bizona.— V^eM. H. Milnes, 
Winster, Derby. 

Offered, Scalaria clathraUtla, Venerupis iris, Mytilus 
edulis, var. pallida, Cyclostrema cutlerianum, C. serpuloidcs, 
Spirialis retroversus, Eulima bilineata, E. distorta, E.polita, 
Odostotnia interstincta, O. spiralis, O. nivosa, Adeorbis sub- 
carinaius, Rissoa Zetlandica, R. calathus, R fulgida, Skenea 
planorbis, Pleurobranchus membranacea, and other rare shells. 
Wanted in exchange, any of the following: — Trophon barvu- 
censis, Natica helicoides, Leda caudata, Pholadida- papyracea, 
Clio pyramidata, Aplysia depilans, Fusus /enestratus, Triton 
cutaceus, Pleurotoma striolata, P. nivalis, Jeffreysia globu- 
laris. Area pectenculoides, Odostomia /enestratus, O. dia- 
phana, O. minima, Aclis Walleri, A. gvlsonig, Velutina 
plicatilis,^ Janthina exigtta, Buccinum Humphrey sianum, 
Nassa nitida, Cylichna nitidula. Vertigo Moulinsiana, V. 
pusilla, and Pecten niveus. Lists exchanged ; correspondence 
invited.— A. J. R. Sclater, M.C.S., 23 Bank Street, Teign- 
mouth, S. Devon. 

Wanted, second-hand machine for preparing slides of rocks 
for microscope. Exchange in fossils, rocks, shells, books, &c. — 
Rev. John Hawell, Ingleby Grcenhow Vicarage, Northallerton. 

Wanted, rock and diatom slides, trilobites, coal ferns from 
coal-measures, also British and foreign stamps, in exchange for 
rare marine, land and freshwater shells, and microscopic 
objects, &c. — T. E. Sclater, Bank Street, Teignmouth. 

Wanted, unbound, the "Zoologist" for 1880, and for 
January and February, 1881. State condition and price.— 
Chas. Oldham, Ashton-on-Mersey. 

I have Meyer's " Modern Theories of Chemistry," Foster 
and Balfour's "Embryology," Howe's "Biological Atlas," and 
MacAIpine's "Zoological Atlas." Will any one give me geo- 
logical literature, fossils, minerals, rock-slides, or botanical 
slides in exchange? — Wilmore, Trawden, Lancashire. 

Offered, Zonites e.xcavatus, Ancylus lacustris, Helix 
pygmiFa, and many others. Wanted, Helix 7temoralis, vars. 
castanea, olivacea, roseolabiata, albolabiata, hyaloyonata, 
also vars. (named) of many other land shells. — A. Hartley, 
8 Cavendish Road,' Idle, near Bradford, Yorkshire. 

Larv.*:, pupa, and imagos of Tussur silk moth (Mylitta), 
and American moth (Promethea), for exchange. Wanted, 
exotic pupse of imagos of moths, butterflies, or beetles. — Mark 
L. Sykes, Eldon Place, Patricroft, near Manchester. 

Wanted, a cheap second-hand microscope, with one eye- 
piece ; no objectives needed; rack motion and fine screw 
adjustment, with case. Send particulars to — Rev. A. C. Smith, 
Crowboro C^ross, Sussex, or state requirements. 

Collection of British .coleoptera, in four cases, on cards, 
first-class setting, about 200 species, four in a series. Exchange 
photographic apparatus, or offers. — F. Emsley, 98 West Street, 

To osteologists. Offered, jaws or beak of parrot fish (can 
supply part of spiny skin), also beak of albatross. Will ex- 
change for a few exotic shells. — W. Jones, jun., 27 Mayton 
Street, Holloway, London, N. 


" Botany, a Concise Manual for Students," by Alex. John- 
stone (London and Edinburgh: Young J. Pentland). — "The 
Medical Annual, 1891." — "The Fishes of North America," 
Part I.— "British Cage Birds," |Part 12.— "The Spectrum," 
No. 2, Vol. I. — "Annual Report of Museum of American 
Archaeology." — " Memoir and Letters of Sydnev Gilchrist 
Thomas," by R. W. Burnie (London : John Murr.iy). — 
" Plochionus and Scymnus," by I. iC. Duffy. — "The Essex 
Naturalist," July to September. — Wesley's "Nat. Hist, and 
Scientific Book Circular." — " American Microscopical Journal." 
—" American Naturalist." — " Canadian Entomologist." — "The 
Naturalist." — "The Botanical Gazette." — "The Gentleman's 
Magazine." — "The Midland Naturalist." — " Feuille des 
Jeunes Naturalistes.' — "The Microscope." — " Nature Notes." 
— "The Naturalist's Annual and Directory for 1891."— 
"Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South 
Wales," &c., &c. 

Communications received up to the ioth ult. from : 
H. W. D.— E. B.— W. G.— L. E. A.— J. S.— W. H. H.— 
F. W. F.— W. S.— L. E. A.-W. G.— H. G. D.— I. G.— 
J. E. L.— G. W. R.— H. T. B.— W. I. S.-Dr. A. C— Dr. A. I. 
—J. J. W.— B. W.— F. C. B.— G. A. H.— W. E. W.— R. S.— 
J. H.— H. W. D.— M. E. P.— J. A. E.— R. C— E. E.— 
W. W. R.— T. W.— J. E. L.— J. A., jun.— H. M— W. H — 
A. T.— W. E.— T. E. S.— A. J. R. S.— T. R.— W. H. N— 
J. C— W. J.— I. W. M.— I. W.-G. D.— R. de H. S. S.— 
M. E. T.— W. J. A— J. I.— R. M. L.— T. J.— A. F.— H. P. 
—A. E. L.— E. C— J. W.— W. A.— J. H.— H. G. W.— A. H. 
— H. E. G.— S. P.— J. E. G.— M. L. S.— A. W.— A. C. S.— 

E. de C— F. E.— C. 0.— G. A. H.-B. L. H.— J. W. W.— 

F. J. B.— H. W. B.— A, M.-&C., &c 





HE theory brought 
forward by Mr. 
J. W. Williams* 
with regard to the 
primitive colouring 
of non-marine shells 
has already been 
discussed at length 
by Mr. S. Facet 
and Mr. C. Clare 
Fryer, % but the 
latter writer has 
brought forward 
some very interest- 
ing points, and Mr. 
Williams's § reply 
to the former critic 
calls for further re- 

Mr. Pace gives 
an example of the want of clearness which he finds 
in Mr. Williams's writing ; it can, however, be 
said, in favour of the latter, that authors even less 
lucid were quoted from, by the present writer in 
"The Universal Review." || The meaning of the 
passage in question is, that "evolution of all kinds" 
has been from the simple to the complex. It is 
only necessary to bring forward the case of parasites 
in order to show the fallacy of such a statement, for, 
in many instances, although they had arrived at a 
stage of considerable differentiation before contracting 
their peculiar habits, they have since evolved in a 
downward direction. Mr. Williams gives it to be 
understood, in the concluding paragraph of his article, 
that he has studied Darwin's works, but in "The 

• "The Colouring and Banding in Land and Freshwater 
Shells," Science-Gossip, August, 1890, p. 178. 

t "The Colouring and Banding of Freshwater Shells," 
Science-Gossip, October, 1890, p. 233. 

X "The Colouring and Banding in Land and Freshwater 
Shells," Science-Gossip, November, 1890, p. 241. 

C Ibid. Science-Gossip, December, 1890, p. 274. 

11 "The Zoology of the Magazines," "Universal Review," 
October, 1890, p. 2^0. 

No. 318.— June 1891. 

Origin of Species "* considerable space is given to dis- 
cussing evolution "from the complex to the simple," 
and the following words occur : — " for natural selec- 
tion, or the survival of the fittest, does not necessarily 
include progressive development." 

To turn now to the various paragraphs in which 
the facts supposed by Mr. Williams, to support his 
theory, are set forth : 

(i.) With regard to the constitution of the primary 
shell : — either Mr. Pace has some authority, with 
which the writer is unacquainted, for saying that it 
consists of conchyclin, or he has taken for granted 
that the tissue which forms this substance in the 
second instance, did so in the first. Has anybody 
analysed the primary shell ? By-the-bye, the passage 
quoted from Balfour's ' Embryology ' in Mr. Williams's 
reply occurs on page 189 (not on page 229 as stated). 
But in quibbling over chitin and conchyclin Mr. 
Williams misses the crucial point of the criticism, to 
wit, that as the substance of the primary shell is 
" naturally horn-coloured" it can have no bearing, 
in the matter of colouring, on the calcareous pigmen- 
ted secondary shell, to the animal part of which it 
alone can possibly be compared. 

(2). Even, allowing for a moment, that no pigment 
occurs in the very young secondary shell, one would 
not expect to find significant bands developed before 
the animal is free-living or while it is so small that 
shell-markings would apparently make no difference 
to it, 

(3.) In his first article on the subject under con- 
sideration, Mr. Wilhams evidently meant to say that 
the majority of fresh-water Pulmonates were " horn- 
coloured and bandless." With regard to his reply, it 
must be said that it is not the part of a sane man to 
require from a questioner the "proofs of his state- 
ment." It would appear, that all Mr. Pace meant by 
asking how "environmental conditions" could be 
"less in water than on land" was to point out that 
the application of the adjective "less" to such a 

* "The Ori^n of Species," by Charles Darwin, F.R.S., 
6th edition, p. 98. 



noun as " conditions " is not good English, and that 
the phrase as it stands means nothing. Mr. Williams 
no doubt intended to convey the principle contained 
in the following passage from Darwin : — 

"All fresh-water basins taken together make a 
small area, compared with that of the sea or land. 
Consequently the competition between fresh-water 
productions will have been less severe than else- 
where, new forms will have been then more slowly 
produced and old forms more slowly exterminated."* 
(4.) Mr. Fryer's argument that white cannot be an 
advance in colour, is very good, and there are 
instances in which colour must have preceded 
albinism. Mr. Poulton thus speaks of the case of the 
albino peacock : — 

"The regions in which 'structural' colours 
usually appear are readily recognisable, the white 
being of a different quality, the ' eyes ' on the train 
coming out like a white damask table-cloth. 

' ' Doctor Gadow informs me that the same fact is 
true of white ducks and drakes, the wing coverts, 
which are blue in normally pigmented individuals, ex- 
hibiting a peculiar sheen or gloss differing from the 
rest of the plumage. Doctor Gadow states that the 
structural colours are absent because the existence of 
a pigment beneath is necessary in order to show them 
off; and he points out that the ancestors of birds 
with such structural colours cannot well have been 
white because the effect depends in part upon pig- 

(5.) There are in the writer's collection specimens 
of Helix rufescens in which the nucleus is of a darker 
brown than the rest of the shell. 

Most specimens which he possesses of Helix arbus- 
torum, H. nemoralis, //. hortcnsis, H. aspcrsa and 
H. Pomatia have a nucleus agreeing in colour with 
the " ground-tint " of the shell, thus in yellow, buff 
or brown examples of Helix nemoralis the apical 
whorl is correspondingly yellow, buffer brown. 

Specimens of Helix Fisana from Tenby, Jersey, 
Guernsey and South Portugal have nuclei of a very 
dark brown colour, approaching black. 

Of Helix virgata, H. ericetorinn, H. caperata and 
H. acuta the nucleus is brown, corresponding in 
colour with the bands. "White specimens of H. 
Pisana, H virgata and H ericetorum are also in the 
writer's possession which have no bands developed? 
but which nevertheless, retain the dark brown 

(6.) This paragraph depends on No. 4. The case 
of albino individuals of banded Helices is analogous 
to that of the white peacock which shows the " eyes " 
on its train, for in normal specimens of these snails 
the colours of the bands are accompanied by 
structural peculiarities in the shell, and in albino 

* "The Origin of Species," by Charles Darwin, F.R.S., 
6th edition, p. 83. 

t "The Colours of Animals," by E. B. Poulton, F.R.S., 
note on p. 329. 

forms the areas normally pigmented are marked by 
transparent zones. Therefore the whiteness is not 
a primary but a secondary feature. 

(7.) Although Mr. Williams seems to have the 
best of the argument with regard to the immediate 
derivation of Cyclostoma elegatis, it must be pointed 
out that the occurrence of this shell in Pleistocene 
fresh-water deposits is no argument in favour of his 
view, for truly, terrestrial forms abound in such 
deposits,"" that its colours no more support the theory 
than do those of the Helices. The SuccinecB can 
hardly be called fresh-water species ! 

(8.) What Mr. Fryer says with regard to the 
colours of the Hyalinia: and Helices can in eveiy way 
be endorsed by the present writer, who has given 
his attention to the subject for some years, and hopes 
to soon publish his conclusions with the evidence on 
which they are founded. 

(9.) It is very probable that bands represent 
coalesced spots, the stripes of mammals in several 
cases undoubtedly originate in this way, but some of 
the species which Mr. Williams mentions, such as 
H. aspersa and H. virgata (other snails. Helix Pisana, 
H. acuta and H vcrinicidata may be added) which 
have bandssome times represented by dots,t have only 
gained this style of marking secondarily, after the 
bands had already been evolved, for the apparent 
breaking up of the bands on these shells is due to the 
presence of striag which really only obscure the band 
underlying them. The writer has tested this by 
cutting sections of the shell of Helix aspersa, also by 
scraping off the prominences from the same species 
and from H. vermiadata, and has since found that, 
Mr. Charles Ashford calls attention to this point. J 
Mr. Ashford is perhaps one of " the few who have 
published their thoughts on this matter," but whose 
names are not given by Mr. Williams. 

(10.) On taking into consideration the passage 
from Darwin quoted in No, 3, Mr. Williams's 
meaning will become clearer. 

(11.) Mr. Fryer's references go to show that 
field-naturalists are not all of Mr. Williams's opinion 
with regard to the enemies of the genus Hyalinia. 
Paul Fischer, it may be noted, puts this genus with 
the Limacidse not with the Helicidffi as does Mr. 


The criticisms as yet offered on Mr. Williams's 
paper have necessarily dealt not so much with his 
theory as with the facts supposed to support it. That 
these facts have little or no bearing on the matter, is 
the conclusion that has been arrived at, and it is not 
difficult to point out the weakness of the theory 
itself. The manner in which the shell of the marine 
ancestors of the land and fresh-water molluscs was 

* " The Pleistocene (Non-Marine) IMoUusca of the London 
District," by B. B. Woodward, F.G.S., F.R.M.S., &c., 
" Proc. Geol. Assoc." vol. xi., No. 8 (iSgo). 

+ "Darwinism," by A. R. Wallace, LL.D., F.S.S., p. 289. 

% " The Journal of Conchology," vol. iii., pp. 84-98. 



developed must be taken into consideration. The 
three assertions are (a) that the shell was originally 
"horn-coloured;" (/3) that, secondly, it was white; 
(7) that bands arose as spots. The last head has 
been sufficiently discussed. 

(o) If it be assumed that the shell was at first 
represented only by animal substance such as is 
produced in the shell-i;land, it would certainly be 
horn-coloured — but this is arguing in a circle. 

[&) If this primitive shell became calcareous it is 
likely that its appearance, owing to its containing 
little carbonate of lime, would be whitish or semi- 
transparent — but it would not be homologous with 
the secondary shell, or assuming that the secondary 
shell arose in this way, the white flecks which occur 
in the shells of Limna-a are at any rate more likely 
to be a reversion to the more completely calcified 
shell of their marine ancestors, than a survival of a 
primitive whiteness, the tenuity of the shells :of the 
Basommatophora having been acquired apparently 
in their present environment. 


BEING anxious to call the attention of those 
interested in the local flora of England, I have 
collected a few notes this last summer on the flowering 
plants around Kemsing, and its neighbourhood, which 
may prove useful to some botanist. Kemsing, a tiny 
rural village, nestles on the slope of a long range of 
chalk hills, which stretch for many miles above the 
villages of Otford, Kemsing, Wrotham, and others, 
through that part of Kent known as " the Garden of 
Kent." It is the district along these hills of which I 
particularly wish to speak. Without exception, it is 
the most prolific spot for wild plants with which I 
have ever met. 

ITie common plants — lovers of chalky soil — such 
as %vild marjoram, field scabious {Kiiautia arvettsis), 
£upkrasia officinalis, Scabiosa cohimbaria, Erythrtza 
centaiirium, CJilora perfoliata, Thymus serpylhtm. 
Reseda lutea, Helianthemtim vulgare (rock rose), 
which emblazons the mossy banks, with its associate, 
Poly gala viilgaris, etc., grow most profuselynip the 
grassy slopes, while in the woods higher up the hill- 
side the sight of the great masses of Dipsacus sylves- 
tris, in full bloom, and, mixed with that in the tangled 
underwood, thick beds of Senccio Jacobaa, is one really 
worth while going far to see. 

Hypericum perforation, Clematis vitalba, Ramincnhis 
repens, Reseda luteola, Mclilotus officinalis. Geranium 
Robertiannm, Galeopsis tetrahit, and vast numbers of 
other common species in the Ranunculacea, Caryo- 
phyllaccK, Umbelliferoe, Compositoe, Labiatse, and 
Leguminosae orders are found everywhere about 
there, in the lanes and on the hillsides. 

Of the orchids I found but few, owing to the late- 
ness of the season, but from various sources I learned 

that it is a rich locality for them. All I came across 
were Ophtys apifera. Orchis pyramidalis, Gymnadetiia 
conopsea, and in the woods just above Kemsing, some 
splendid spikes of Epipactis latifolia, in full bloom. 
Ophrys mitscifera abounds in June, besides most of 
the commoner species ; Orchis hii-cina (lizard orchis), 
is to be met with, but is very rare. 

Thanks to the kind directions of a local botanist, 
of Ightham, I was lucky to find some fine plants of 
Ativpa belladonna in an old chalk-pit near Wrotham. 
The plant grows nearer Kemsing, but I failed to find 
the spot. The lane (Pilgrim's Road), below Beechy 
Lees, near Kemsing, affords fine specimens of Tri- 
foliu?ii fragifenim, Lcpidiiim cainfestre, and Linaria 
vulgaris, and farther down a lane, which crosses the 
railway line between Kemsing and Seal, I discovered 
a corner where dwelt some Thlaspi arvense (honesty), 
and Lathy rus macrorrhizits. 

At Beechy Lees, in the lane there, are two good- 
sized plants of Lithospermutn officinale; this plant 
grows but sparingly. A slight declivity in the hill- 
side near Kemsing is ablaze with masses of Papaver 
somiiiferum — I never saw a more luxuriant growth of 
them. Amongst the other lovers of the downs are 
Gentiana amarella, Fragai'ia vesca, and in the corn- 
fields on the range, Anagallis arvensis, Valcrianella 
dentata, Li?taria spiiria, Anthirrinum orontium, and 
a small quantity of Atiagallis arveftsis, var. caridea. 
Farther along we find Nepeta catana (cat-mint), 
Mentha arvensis, Spergula arvensis, Echium vulgare, 
Filago germaftica, and others. I saw a specimen of 
Lathyrus aphaca, just gathered on the hills, but 
found none myself. Space forbids of my mentioning 
other plants more particularly, but I would strongly 
urge any one, who cares for botanising, to run down 
and pay a visit to the Kentish hills and lanes around 
Kemsing on the earliest opportunity. 

K. E. Styan. 


{Ccmtinued frcmt p. 101.] 

LIMITED space precludes me from dwelling at 
length upon the curious forms of insect and mol- 
luscan life that are to be found in our lane. I cannot, 
however, refrain from describing a creature probably 
unfamiliar to many naturalists. One gloriously bright 
day, during the past summer, I was reclining upon 
the close-cropped turf on the summit of the Down, 
when, hard by, my eye happed upon a tiny hole — 
about large enough to admit a small pea. Presently, 
some half inch adown it, I see an object slowly 
rising — it stops — and for some few minutes I keep 
my eye riveted upon it. Slowly, very slowly, again 
it upward moves — reaches the margin of the hole, 
then once again stops. So nicely adjusted in size 
to the orifice is the object, and so exactly does it 
assimilate to the earth in color, that, it is hard to 



believe that any hole exists. Still patiently I watch 
until a tiny, red velvety-jacketed spider, unsus- 
pecting of danger, runs in a line directly across the 
treacherous path. In less than the twink of an eye a 
sharp click — spider and trap-door together disappear 
— and lo ! in place thereof a hole is once more open 
to my inquisitive eye. 'Tis the burrowr of the larva 
of that most beautiful of all English insects the tiger 
beetle (Cicindcia campestris), and that nicely fitting 
trap-door was its flattened head, armed with a terrible 
pair of jaws, on which, if once impaled, no victim 
will ever find escape. 

The larva of the tiger beetle is a remarkable 
instance of the adaptation of an animal to the 
conditions of its existence. 'Tis a curiously un- 
attractive specimen of insectivity when exhumed, 
and it will at once be seen that it has been furnished 
with special organs fitted for the performance of 
special work. These consist of a pair of tubercles, 
situated on the upper side of the isoft abdomen, to 
these are attached two hooks, each surrounded by a 
series of stiff bristles. These curious appendages 
enable the creature to climb up, and retain its position 

Fig. %T.— Helix 

Fig. 86. — Helix aspersa. 

inj any part of its smooth burrow, which, without 
some such arrangement, it would be impossible for it 
to do. Its flattened head, which is furnished with 
six eyes, not simply serves the purpose of an efficient 
shield, but is, also, a powerful implement, which 
enables its possessor to cast out with facility the 
excavated earth. Small pellets of sand, or loam, 
and particles of rock introduced into the burrow are 
ejected with wonderful precision and considerable 
force, as are, also, the exuviae of its victims. A 
sharp unmistakable click is heard, and the particle 
is shot forth as a bomb from a mortar. When 
visible, gently touch the shield-like head with a 
slender blade of grass, the click which accompanies 
the lightning-like backward movement of the head 
indicates that the object has unerringly been struck, 
and the slight start of the operator almost invariably 
jerks the uncanny looking creature from its burrow. 
When the larva is about to change into the pupal 
condition, it securely barricades its burrow with a 
diaphragm of earth, and in due time emerges a beetle, 
resplendent in a panoply of emerald and ruby, 
garnished with burnished gold, but endowed with 
instincts little in accord with its beauteous aspect. 

The burrows are numerous in the sun-scorched 
banks and indurated footpaths at the top of our lane. 

Space will not allow of my describing many other 
curious forms of insect life, but winged creatures both 
dipterous and hymenopterous, and of " forms and 
hues divine," abound. Well represented are the 
butterflies and moths : amongst the former the least 
common are the beautiful brimstone (Gonepteryx 
Rhanuii) and the dark-green fritillary {Argynnis 
Aglaia), but some of the most richly coloured kinds 
are abundant, the painted lady {Cynthia Cardni) 
and the peacock ( Vanessa Id) particularly so ; the 
red admiral ( Vanessa Atalanta), I seldom light upon, 
whilst the commonest form in my orchard and 
neighbourhood is the small tortoiseshell {V. Urticcc). 
Of course the pretty orange-tip {Anthocaris Card- 
amines) is, at times, plentiful ; nor must I forget that 
charming though by no means rare blue — the chalk - 
hill blue {Folyommatus Corydon). The speckled 
wood (Lasiom7nata^geria), the wall (Z. Megara), and 
the green hair-streak {Thecla Rubi), besides a host of 
commoner species, sport in the summer sunshine, and 
proclaim the richness of the locality in these " things 
of beauty." 

Of all the many species of moths to be met with I 
have found the burnet to be wonderfully plentiful at 

Fig. 88. — Helix arbusiorum, 

the lane-top, and the exquisite little twenty-plume 
[Alucita hexadactyla) equally abundant in my garden. 
All through the year — except during the coldest 
months — three or four to a dozen, and upwards, may 
always be found under the shelter of my stone, 
honeysuckle covered porch, very many specimens 
hybernating in our bedroom and dark closets. 

As might be expected, the Ichneumonidae are in 
full force ; their name is Legion, and many and 
curious^ are their nests to be found in the neighbour- 
hood of our lane. The mud-wasps, too, build their 
mud-cells in nearly every sunny crevice in the 
woodwork of our summer-house, in which are stored 
the living caterpillars which serve as food for the 
young grubs when hatched. Then, too, the solitary 
wasp ( Vespa Norvegica) last summer hung its pretty 
pensile nest in a sheltered spot, o'erhung with ivj-, 
and within but six inches of a spotted flycatcher's 
nest. Although in such close proximity, both 
creatures must have been peaceably engaged in their 
building operations at the same time. Several 
species of spiders that I have never before met with 
are to be found in the hedges, some I believe to be 



Briefly let me refer to the land shells so abundant 
in our lane, and woods, and fields hard by. Not far 
has one to seek to find a plenitude of helices. 
Helix aspersa. If. iiemoralis, H. hortensis, H. arbus- 
torum, H. virgata, H. ericctormn, H. hispida, H. 
riipestris, and H. lapicida go far towards forming the 
nucleus of a good collection. In moist weather the 
smooth-barked beeches bristle with Clausilia lami- 
nata, and, if less abundant, C. riigosa (C. nigricans) 
is yet plentiful on the mossy banks and stones. 
Bulitniis obsairus, too, occurs in company with C. 
laminata, and pupae abound under fallen logs and 
stones. Pupa secale, P. timbilicata, P. pygma:a and 
P. siibstriata may be collected at all times, whilst a 
search of damp moss and stones will soon reveal 
Zonites nitididus, Z. radiatiilns, Z. excavahis, Z. 
nitidus, Z. crystallimis, and Z. cellarius. Nor will 
the searcher go unrewarded if he seeks for Balea 
fragilis, Ziia hibrica, and Azeca tridetis. Slug collec- 
tors would doubtless discover many varieties. I 
have once turned up in our garden Testacella 

It would be a profitless labour to enumerate a 
tithe of the plants which flourish in and about our 
lane. So diversified with hill and dale are these rich 

Fig. 8g. — Helix virgata. 

woodlands, that, 'twere remarkable indeed if a 
wonderful variety could not be found. Not botanist 
enough am I to say if many great rarities may be 
discovered, but may yet venture to predict that the 
diligent collector cannot fail to add many an un- 
familiar one to his store. The meadow saff"ron 
flourishes in our orchard, the lesser periwinkle 
( Vinca minor) carpets the ground over large areas 
beneath the trees in the beech wood at the top of 
our lane, where, also, I have found in abundance the 
bee orchis {Orphrys apifera), the butterfly orchis 
{Habenaria bifolia), and a host of others. The 
moneywort {Lysimachia nnmmidaria), is fairly plen- 
tiful in some places, and if, bearing away from our 
lane, we descend to the lowest parts of the beech and 
larch woods, we shall quickly find the spurge laurel 
{Daphne laureola). A wealth of smaller plants 
clothe our banks with beauty. 

The mistletoe {Viscum a/bum) is very abundant, 
and is to be found growing upon apple-trees in many 
an old orchard hereabout. Nor is our floral display 
confined to the plants beneath our feet, for from 
the time the hazel hangs out its tasselled catkins, and 
the yew expands its flowers, until the late lime {Tilia 
Europiza) perfumes the air with its delicious odour, 
we have a succession of bloom. Haw- and black- 

thorns, sycamore, mountain ash, horse chestnut, ash, 
elm, holly, box, birch, beech and crab. Do not the 
orchards, too, spread out their treasures to catch the 
genial sun-rays ? I know no greater delight than, 
when the pink-tipped apple-blossoms are fully ex- 
panded, to wander 'neath their flowery shade, and, 
meanwhile, drink in with ecstasy the sweet concert 
of woodland music poured from a hundred tiny 
throats ; at such moments one feels that every sense is 
steeped in innocent delight, and sadly out of 
harmony with nature must be his soul who cannot 
find refreshment in communion with her in these her 
happiest moods. 

The transition from the overshadowing beech to 
the humble moss, that garnishes its gnarled roots with 
beauty, may seem a somewhat sudden one ; far less, 
however, than might at first appear, for are they not 
friends, from earliest life associate and interdepen- 
dent? 'Twere needless to tell how lavishly these 
humble members of the vegetable kingdom have been 
spread o'er earth, and twig, and stone, and the mus- 
cologist will in our lane and woods find an Eldorado. 

Nor will the fungologist fare less pleasantly, for a 
profusion of curious forms spring up on every side. 
Very brilliantly coloured specimens, too, are some. 

Fig. 90. — Helix laficidia. 

One has a bright scarlet pileus, studded with small 
golden knobs ; this I take to be the Amanita f?tuscaria 
of the fungologist. Many another bright-coloured 
"toadstool" of graceful form have I come across in 
my autumnal rambles through the woods ; though 
evanescent their beauty, they yet afford the naturalist 
much more than a moment's joy, nor run in vain is 
their short-lived course. 

Not yet exhausted are the attractions of our lane — 
nevertheless, no longer are things animate my 
pleasant theme. Things inert — the veriest shadows 
of things that were, but are no longer — these must be 
the subject of my closing remarks — the remains of 
creatures that once enjoyed their short day of life — 
then perished to make room for others, and leave 
behind a record of times remote, when man — earth's 
youngest born — was a creature in the far, far distant 

Could some marvellously facile pen unfold the story 
of their life, 'twould be a wondrous one indeed, but 
we must be content to read it in the vestiges which 
crowd the rocks beneath our feet. Our lane and all 
the surrounding district is situated upon the formation 
known as the Upper Oolite, one rich in fossil remains, 
which may generally be readily extracted from the 
matrix. Sea urchins and pentacrinites, and univalve 



and bivalve shells innumerable, may be collected by 
the geologist, both in the quarries and road mender's 
stone heaps, trigonias and grypheas being exceedingly 
common ; rhynchonellas and terebratulas occur 
abundantly in our garden ; and when, after a heavy 
summer downpour, the converging water-courses 
pour their united streams adown our lane, it is con- 
verted into a very mountain-torrent, which sweeps all 
before it, leaving the rock clean swept. From this 
we may pick many small specimens. The collector 
will, however, doubtless prefer to gather his finds in 
the numerous quarries existing in the neighbourhood, 
nor need he diverge many steps from our lane to ob- 
tain the objects of his quest. 

Very imperfectly hath my pleasant task been per- 
formed. I would that some more facile pen than mine 
had writ the story. But briefly though it hath been 
told, 'tis yet enough to show that within the circum- 
scribed limits of our lane is stored materials of abid- 
ing interest, and that to record the life-history of its 
denizens would fully engage each busy moment of a 
life, e'en though its span should far exceed the 
allotted threescore years and ten. 

Alas ! the besom of so-called improvement hath 
ruthlessly swept away many a sweet refuge from the 
toils and tumult of the restless world ; the joy of 
many a humble worshipper at Nature's shrine hath 
long since been translated into a pleasant memory. 

Though threatened, many yet survive — long may 
they be preserved — and last to disappear, and leave 
the world less beautiful, I trust may be " Our Lane." 


By E. Brunetti. 

\Continuedfrotn p. 105.] 
X^.. BombylidcE. 

THE typical Bombylida: are large bee-like flies, 
with large, globular, very pubescent abdomens, 
long proboscis, and long, very slender legs ; their 
flight being very swift, feeding on nectar, and in- 
habiting dry warm spots in the height of summer. 

The larvae live on plant roots, or are parasitic on 
Lepidoptera. All the half-score or thereabouts of 
British species are more or less uncommon. The 
transformation of several species have been chronicled 
by Reaumur and Schaffer. 

Proboscis long ; antenna; contiguous at base. 

First antennal joint long : Boiiihylius, L. 

First antennal joint short : Phthiria, Mg. 
Proboscis short; antenna; at base remote; Anthrax, Scop. 

Anthrax paniscus, Rossi, has a somewhat 
oblongated black abdomen, covered with dense 
yellow pubescence, as is also the thorax ; the wings 
being pale grey, the legs black, the proboscis rather 
short (for this family). The species basks in the 
sunshine; long 12 mm. A. fenestrata, Fin., comes 

from the New Forest. A. morio, L., a common 
continental species, has been reared from larvae in 
the nest of a bee {Aiiihophora). I have one or two 
specimens of Anthrax in which spurious veins are 
present, this apparently being no uncommon thing in 
this genus. 

Bombylius major, L., has a globular black 
abdomen, densely covered (and the thorax also) with 
pale yellow pubescence ; proboscis very long ; legs 
long, slender, black ; wings clear, with the fore 
border marked with brown ; long 9 mm. 

An allied and less common species (B, discolor, 
Mik.), often mistaken for B. meditis, L., which is a 
non-British species, is rather larger, and has the 
wings marked with numerous small circular brown 
spots, and appears in spring, especially on primrose. 

European and exotic species of this family are 
very numerous, and assume large proportions and 
brilliant colouring. 

No less than twenty-seven species, additional to the 
eight he admits as British, have been introduced as 
indigenous, according to Mr. Verrall. 

B. major, L., Wlk. i. PI. ii. 14. A, paniscus, 
Rossi, Mg., Sys. Bes. iii. PI. xvii. 19 (cingulata). 

18. Therevidcc, 

Carnivorous Diptera, frequenting sandy spots ; the 
sexes differing in the colour of the pubescence. 
Flight swift ; larva living in the earth. Abdomen 
elongated; venation well marked; legs rather delicate 
and easily broken off. Allied to the Asilidce and 
Bombylida:, with which latter family Walker 
erroneously included them. 

The six authenticated British species are more or 
less rare, T. fulva, Mg., being perhaps the most 
common. It is a black fly, with yellow bands across 
the abdomen, which is clothed with thin yellow 
pubescence, the dorsum of the thorax being bluish - 
grey, with two central longitudinal yellow stripes ; 
wings greyish, tinged with yellow ; legs smooth and 
tawny ; long 9 mm. 

7*. nobilitata, F., is also not rare. 

T. annulata, ¥., is easily known by its white 
pubescence — present in both sexes. Meigen records 
the larva of this species as living in rotten wood. 

The genus Thereva is now usually split up into 
three, distinguished as follows : — 

Under-side of face naked : Psilocephala, Zett. 
Under-side of face hairy. 

Fourth posterior cell open : Dialineura, Rond. 

Fourth posterior cell closed : Thereva, Latr. 

19. Scetiopittida, 

Three species of this small, natural group (only 
one genus being European), are British : the venation 
is peculiar, somewhat resembling that of the 
acalypterate Muscida: ; sluggish flies. 

Scenopinus fenestralis, L., is not rare, occurring in 
houses, hotbeds, greenhouses, and on willows, the 



larva living in rotten fungi. S. Niger, Deg. Curt. 
609 {nigosiis). 

20. Cyrtidcc. 

This unique group, till quite recently known as the 
AcroccridiZ, is also a limited and natural one, being 
allied to some genera of Botnhylida:. Small, soft, 
globular flies, the abdomen being apparently filled 
with air, splitting open Avith the least touch ; head 
nearly all eye ; thorax very convex ; venation very 
indistinct, and confined principally to the upper 
portion of the wing ; legs very short ; sluggish in 
nature ; found on tree trunks and flowers, or floating 
about in the breeze on calm, sunny days ; long 
4-5 mm, 

Oncodes gibbos^is, L., is selected by a species of 
Crabro, which burrows in wood, as the food for its 

Only two genera are British, each represented by 
a single species. 

Third longitudinal vein forked : Paracrocera, Mik. 
Third longitudinal vein simple : Oncodes, Latr. 

Paracrocera globulus, Pz., Wlk. PL i, 16. 

21, Empidie. 

About 160 species of this extensive family are 
British. Their habits are very various, they 
frequenting woods, ditches, fields, and the banks of 
streams, some having the power of running over the 
surface of the water. Head small ; body attenuated ; 
legs long and slender ; posterior femora in <f in some 
genera much enlarged. 

Some inhabit the coast, a few frequent flowers, 
running with great swiftness over the leaves and 
herbage. Many species are common, some abundant, 
often for a few days only, and while swarming, fly 
backwards and forwards in streams, moving as by a 
common impulse. 

The venation varies in the several genera ; mostly 
carnivorous (especially the ? , the ^ often feeding on 
the juices of plants), small Diptera, and Ephemerida 
appearing to be their chief prey. 

Westwood illustrates the larva of one or two 
species. Five sub-families are recognised, all being 
represented in Britain, 

Anal cell present. 

Anterior coxae shorter than femora. 

Proboscis long: third longitudinal vein forked: Em- 

Proboscis short ; third longitudinal vein simple. 

Anal cell longer than lower basal cell : HybotincE. 
Anal cell shorter than lower basal cell : Ocy- 
Anterior coxae very prominent ; as long as, or longer than, 
femora : H emerodroniiiue . 
Anal cell absent : Tackydromina:. 

Hybotincs. — Hybos grossipes, L., is a small shining 
black fly with black legs, the posterior femora being 
enlarged in the d". Flight slow; it usually hovers 
in swarms on summer evenings. Long 4J mm, 
Cyrtoma, Mg,, inhabits trees and woods in summer. 

Empincc. — Empis, L. The larva and pupa live in 

the earth, the latter in some species being spined. 
About thirty species are British, appearing chiefly iu 
the spring ; the 9 are very voracious. 

E. livida, L., is a long brown fly, with three 
longitudinal 'black stripes on the thorax ; long pale 
tawny legs, with black tips to tarsi and tibice, and 
very pale brown or quite clear wings ; common ; 
long 8-9 mm, 

E. iessellata, F,, is allied to the above ; rather 
stouter and larger, legs darker brown ; thorax with 
three black stripes ; abdomen marked with a light 
spot in the centre of, and joined to a light posterior 
border to, each segment ; wings brown ; long 9 mm. 
Macquart observed one species {O. opaca, F.) emerge 
from the pupa, 

Rhamphomyia, Mg., allied to Empis ; apical trans- 
verse nervure wanting ; twenty species British, their 
habits being similar to those of Empis. 

Pachymeria femorata, F,, is a small black fly with 
pale brown wings and black stigma ; black legs with 
the two posterior pairs with dense black fringe on 
femora and tibice ; long 4-5 mm. 

Hilara, Mg. Many species of this extensive genus 
are met with on summer evenings, swarming over 

H. maiira, F., is a small shining black fly with 
black legs and pale grey wings ; black along the fore 
border and with black stigma, I could have taken 
ten or twelve thousand specimens of this species one 
day at Staines, where it swarmed over a shallow 
stream. It is very common ; long 4 mm. The 
species (twenty are British) are closely allied. The 
anterior tarsi in many species are dilated in the ^ . 

Ocydromince. — About six or eight species are 

Heiiierodromijicc. — Heinerodromia, Mg., inhabits 
grass, shrubs, and moist situations ; their flight is 
slow; their fore-legs enlarged ; long 3-5 mm. 

Clinocera, Mg., a genus of slenderly-built flies, of 
which we have nine species ; inhabits moist localities, 

Tachydro7nini2. — Tachydromia, Mg., an extensive 
genus, is represented in Britain by about thirty 
species, occurring in marshy situations ; their move- 
ments are very agile, running swiftly over the leaves. 
This species are widely distributed, 

H. grossipes, L., Curt. 661 (pilipes). E. livida^ 
L., Curt. Farm insects, PI, J, 5, E. borealis, L., 
Curt, 18, Ragas unica, Wlk,, Wlk. iii. 3. Clinocera 
stag7talis, Hal., Wlk, iii. 6, 

22, Dolichopidce. 

About one hundred and sixty species of this family 
are indigenous. Two very excellent monographs on 
the genus Dolichopiis, Latr., have been published by 
Stannius (1831), and Staeger (1S42). 

The Dolichopidcs are rather small flies, usually of 
a metallic green or bronze colour, with long, spiny 
legs, very brittle in character. The wings are 
o-enerally clear, the abdomen usually conical, shining^ 



and shortly pubescent. Many species are common ; 
they occur chiefly on hedges and in grass, on the 
stems oi reeds, and plants of low growth. The 
abdomen at the tip curls inwards in the majority of 
the species. 

Psilopiis, a genus of delicate, long-legged flies ; 
congregates in small groups in shady spots. 

Dolichopus, Latr., found in marshy ground and 
long grass, in rank herbage and about overgrown 
pools ; a few species occur on the sea-coast. Degeer 
has observed the transformations of D. tingulatus. 

Dolichopus trivialis, Hal. , metallic green ; face 
above antenna; green, below whitish ; antenna; black ; 
wings pale grey ; legs livid or pale yellow ; tarsi 
black ; tibise spiny ; common ; variable ; long 4-5 mm. 
Poecilobothrus ttobilitatus, L., brilliant metallic 
green ; under-side of thorax with silvery-grey reflec- 
tions ; face silvery below, green above ; antennae, 
which are black ; legs pale yellow ; tips of posterior 
tibiis, and all tarsi black ; wings clear ; a large 
brown streak near the tip extending from fore to 
hind border ; not uncommon ; long 5 mm. 

Diaphoris, Mg., and Chry solus, Mg., very small 
and uncommon flies, metallic in colour, occurring 
on trees in the hot sunshine. 

Argyra, Mcq., conspicuous by the whitish pu- 
bescence on the abdomen in some of the species ; 
generally distributed. 

Argyra diaphaiia, F., thorax blackish ; dorsum me- 
tallic green ; abdomen greenish-black ; sides of first 
two or three segments pale yellow, and from the 
second segment to the tip, with whitish tomentum ; 
face and antennae black ; wings pale grey ; legs 
blackish-brown, tibia; lighter ; not uncommon ; 
variable. The ground colour and markings of the 
abdomen resemble those of Homalomyia caniculala ; 
long 6 mm. 

Porphyrops, Mg., about twelve species — some not 

Hydrophonisy Whig. This, with Medeterus of 
Fisch, are carnivorous genera (Doubleday and 
Macquart both record having watched them devour 
small insects.) The former inhabits the surface of 
pools ; the latter frequents dry, warm localities, and 
is conspicuous by its bulky proboscis. 

Thinophilus, Whlbg., three species ; rare ; sea- 

Sccllus notatus, F., metallic bronze ; sides of thorax 
with whitish reflections ; face brown or black ; 
whitish below antenna; ; antennje black ; wings with 
brown streaks along the veins, and a distinct brown 
spot on fourth longitudinal vein near the tip ; legs 
blackish ; a few scattered spines ; not rare ; long 
5J-6 mm. 

Campsicnemus, Wlk., found in damp grass, occur- 
ing during the greater part of the year. C. scambiis 
is not rare. 

The following plates aregood -.--Argyra leucocephala, 
Wlk. i. PI. vii. 4. Mcdelerus diadema, Wlk. i. PI. vii. 

8. Psilopus Weidemanii, Wlk., i. PI. vi. I. Cam- 
psiciicnms scambus, Wlk., i. PL vi. 6. Porphyrops 
clcganUdus, Curt., 541. Scelhis notatus {Hydrophorus), 
Curt., 162. 

23. Lonchopleridce, 

A limited group of small active flies, inhabiting 
grassy marshes and such like habitats, being found 
during the greater part of the warm weather. About 
half a dozen species are British, two being tolerably 
common, L. hitea, Pz., the commonest, being 
yellowish-brown with black antennae and eyes, a 
black spot on the vertex of the head and the centre 
of the front of the pronotum ; a brownish-black 
vertical stripe on the abdomen (variable) ; a thin 
central brown line on the thorax, and dark tarsi. 

Lonchoptera hitea, Pz., Wlk., vol. i. PI. viii. I. 

24. Platypczidce. 

All the four European genera of this family are 
British, representing about a dozen species, all more 
or less uncommon, inhabiting woods, the larvae 
living in fungi. 

Van Roser has published his observations on 
P. boletina. Fall., the larva of which lives in rotten 
mushrooms, and resembles a seed. Westwood 
figures it in his " Class. Ins.," vol. ii. Fig. 130-17. 
Walker illustrates /'.//Wfl', Mg., " Br. Dip." i. PI. viii. 
I, and Callomyia elegans, Mg., PI. viii. 3. 

Curtis gives a good plate of Opetia lonchopteroides. 
Curt., in his "Br. Ent." 489 ; mostly shining black 
flies, about 4-5 mm. long. 

The genera may be recognised as follows : — 

Discal cell present. 

Fourth longitudinal vein simple : Callomyia, Mg. 

Fourth longitudinal vein forked : Platypeza, Mg. 
No discal cell. 

Fourth longitudinal vein simple : Platyctiema, Lett. 

Fourth longitudinal vein forked : Opetia, Mg. 

Platypeza picta, Wlk. i. PI. viii. I. Opetia 
lonchopteroides, Curt. 4S9. 

25. PipunculidiJ:. 

Allied to both the Plalypczida: and SyrphidiC (to 
the latter, through the sub-family Bacchincc), Three 
genera are European, two being British. They 
inhabit fields and woods, and are in the habit of 
hovering in the air ; they are not difficult of deter- 
mination, but none can be said to be common. They 
are larger than the Platypezidu:, and more stoutly 

Discoidal cell present : Pipunculus, Latr. 
Discoidal cell absent : Clialarus, Wlk. 

Pipunculus pratoriim. Fall., Curt. 757. Chalarus 
spuriits. Fall., " Br. Dip." i. PI. viii. 7. 

26. Syrphida:. 

This extensive and well-known group is divided 
into several sub-families, and represented in Britain by 
over 200 species (about iioo species are European). 

As a rule the species of this family are flat-bodied. 



brightly coloured insects (usually more or less yellow 
-and black), many resembling wasps ; and they are 
popularly known as drone flies or sun-flies, from their 
Tiabit of hovering in the sun over flowers, emitting 
meanwhile a shrill hum ; their movements on the 
wing are very rapid, and, so to speak, spasmodic. 

The larvDs feed on a variety of substances, some on 
decaying vegetable matter, these being thus of con- 
siderable assistance to agriculturists, the flies being 
so abundant. 

Schiner divides the SyrphidiS into eight sub- 
families : Syrphimv, VolucelHtm, Sericomyimv, Eris- 
talinir, Milcsiua, Chiysotoxifur, Microdonitur, Ceriucr ; 
but Verrall neither recognises sub-families in his list, 
nor adheres to the German author's sequence of 

The Pifiza group of genera seem to me appro- 
priately placed next the Pipimculidic, and the Ceriiia: 
undoubtedly approach the Conopidcv, which latter 
family form a useful intemiediate group to connect 
the divisions of Macquart's Tctrachivta: and Dickcvtc^. 

The principal genera may be tabulated thus : — 

Marginal cell closed. 

Antennae plumose : Volucella, Geoft". 
Antenna; with a bristle : Erisialis, Latr. 
^Marginal cell open. 

Posterior femora thickened. 

Third longitudinal vein straight. 

Fourth longitudinal, before its junction with third, bent 
into two loops. 

Fourth longitudinal at second loop bent back to 

the third : Eiimerus, Mg. 
Fourth longitudinal at second loop carried for- 
wards to the third : Syritta, St. Farg. 
Fourth longitudinal vein, from the portion bent up to 
its junction with third, nearly straight, and more or 
less in a straight line with the bent- up portion of the 
• Eyes bare. 

Abdomen conical or rounded. 

Arista bare : Criorhina, Mcq. 
Arista plumose : Sericoiiiyia, Mg. 
Abdomen elongated: Xylota, Mg. 
Eyes hairy : Pipiza, Fall. 
Third longitudinal vein strongly looped downwards 
into first posterior cell: Helophilus, Mg. 
Posterior femora normal. 

Antennae elongated — longer than head — horizontal : 

Chrysotoxum, Mg. 
Antennae normal— shorter than head— deflexed. 

Abdomen much retracted at basal segments : 

BaccJia, F. 
Abdomen barely or not retracted at base. 
Eyes pubescent ; wings spotted. 

Abdomen golden yellow : Chrysochlamys, 

Abdomen blackish blue : Leucozoua, Sch. 
Eyes bare ; wings never marked. 
Species yellow and black. 

.A.bdomen elongated — longer than wings : 

SpJuErophoria, St. Farg. 
Abdomen oblong or oval — shorter than 
Anterior tibiae in cT dilated ; abdomen 

oblong : Platyckirus, St. Farg. 
Anterior tibiae never dilated ; abdomen 
oval : Syrplius,, F. 
Species black or greenish-black. 

Front rough or furrowed : Chrysogaster, 

Front smooth : Chilosia, Mg. 

SyrpJms, F. This, the commonest genus, is repre- 
■sented by about thirty-five rather closely allied 
species, all more or less resembling wasps. Abdo- 
men bright yellow, with transverse black stripes ; 
thorax yellowish, greyish, or livid ; legs thin, yellow 
with black rings ; wings usually clear ; long about 

7-9 mm. The commonest species are S. rihesii, L., 
corolla, F., pyrastri, L. ; larva figured by Westwood, 
Class, Ins. ii. Fig. 130-21. Baltcatus, Deg., 
Bouche has observed the metamorphoses of this 
species, and liiniger, Mg. The larvae of this genus 
feed on Apkidcc. 

Flatychirus, St. Farg., an allied genus of about 
twelve British species, has a narrower abdomen, 
several species being common ; about the length of, 
and closely resembling Syrphiis. The venation in 
SyrpJucs, Platyckirus, Chilosia, and Melanostoma is 
very similar. Mr. Verrall, in the " Ent. Mon. Mag.," 
gives some excellent notes on the British species 
of Platychinis, 

Chilosia, Mg., a rather large genus of black flies, 
more or less pubescent, rather stoutly built; wings 
never marked, and generally grey or brown. Chiefly 
found in woods and meadows, and most of the species 
are more or less local ; long about 8-10 mm. A 
continental authority (Professor F. Kowarz) has 
recently revised the majority of the European species. 
Rhingia rostrata, L., a characteristic species ; tawny 
brown, with a black head and thorax ; tawny face 
produced in the form of a strong, long, pointed 
snout ; wings pale grey ; legs tawny ; proboscis long 
and horny ; common ; long 7-8 mm. Reaumur found 
the larva in cow-dung. 

Eristalis, Latr.— These are the typical "drone 
flies," several species being very common, the larvre 
living in stagnant water. 

E. ictiax, L., is a brown fly, with grey or pale 
tawny marks on the abdomen ; face clothed with 
short, pale yellow pubescence, with a strong, broad, 
central black line ; legs brown, paler at the knees and 
tips ; wings clear, or slightly brown at the base, fore- 
border, and towards the tip ; thorax clothed with 
short thick tawny brown pubescence ; abdomen very 
variable in colour, sometimes entirely black ; very 
common everywhere ; long 10-12 mm. 

I once placed a live cf in a glass-top box with a 
dead 9 and it remained in cop. for about half an 

E. intricarius, L., abdomen thickly clothed with 
black hair, tip with whitish hair ; base of the tibise 
pale yellow ; wings clear ; scutellum surrounded by 
thick yellow hair ; thorax clothed with black hair ; 
rather smaller, less common, and more local than 
tenax. The colour of the pubescence varies greatly, 
being sometimes nearly all yellow, or with a reddish 
tinge ; long 8-9 mm. 

E. arbusiorum, L., a very common species, smaller 
than intricarius ; abdomen bare, tawny with, roughly 
speaking, two black triangular spots on it, their 
apices nearly touching ; legs black and yellow ; 
wings clear ; thorax with greyish yellow pubesence ; 
face with yellowish white hair ; frontal stripe in 2 
black ; long 8 mm. ; very common everywhere ; 
-.Volucella bombyla7is, L., a large bee-like fly covered 



with thick pubescence, which is yellow on the thorax, 
black at base of the abdomen, and whitish or reddish 
at the tip, and two yellow tufts of pubescence at the 
sides of the base of the abdomen ; under side of 
thorax with thick black hair ; face with yellow hair, 
and in 9 with a central stripe of thick yellow hair ; 
legs black ; wings pale grey, brownish tinged along 
the fore borden; very variable. There are two 
distinct varieties, both of which Miss E. Ormerod 
has bred from one- batch of eggs; and Mr. Verrall 
possesses a series, showing every form of intermediate 
colouring ; common ; long 9-1 1 mm. 

V. pclhicens, L., a large black fly ; bare ; basal half 
of abdomen livid ; legs black ; wings nearly clear, 
with a large irregular blackish spot in the centre of 
the fore border, extending downwards half way across 
the wing ; face yellow ; slightly smaller than bomhy- 
lans ; common. 

Helophilus pendulus, L., a yellow fly; bare; top 
of thorax black, with four yellow stripes ; abdomen 
with transverse black markings ; face yellow, with 
a central black line ; legs black and yellow ; posterior 
femora enlarged ; wings clear ; rather common ; 
long 9-10. 

Several other species of Hclophiliis are more or 
less common in Britain ; mostly yellowish in colour, 
and allied \.o penduliis ; known as "sun-flies," their 
habits being similar to those of Eristalis. 

Xylota segnis, L. — Black, basal half of abdomen 
dull red ; face with short whitish pubescence ; legs 
black, with base of tibite yellow ; wings grey or pale 
brown ; posterior femora enlarged ; long 8-9 mm. 
About six species of Xylota are British. The larva 
of Xylota lives in decayed wood, 

Syritta pipiais, L., is a small and very common 
insect found everywhere, London included. Black, 
with the under side grey ; face with thick greyish 
white pubescence , a small yellowish spot at each 
edge of posterior borders of the abdominal segments ; 
legs black, marked with tawny or yellow ; posterior 
femora much enlarged ; wings quite clear ; variable 
in size and markings. Larva lives in horse-dung ; 
long 5-7 mm. 

Criorhma oxyacantha:, Mg., resembles a bee; 
covered with yellow pubescence, deepest in colour on 
the thorax ; face much produced ; black, covered on 
upper side with thick yellow hair ; legs all black or 
dark brown ; wings pale grey, yellowish at the base, 
and with a black stripe extending half way across the 
wing from the centre of the fore border. The larva 
lives in river bank mud ; long 12-13 mm. 

Eumenis, Mg., a genus allied to Syritta, is repre- 
sented by three species. 

Chtysogastcr, Mg., is a genus of metallic, dark, 
greenish-black flies, with rather dark wings ; black 
legs, short pubescence ; several species, all closely 
allied, are British ; one of their characteristics is the 
grooved face ; they appear chiefly in spring and 
summer on Ranunculi ; long 6-7 mm. 

Chrysotoxtnn, Mg. — Seven species are British. A. 
genus of large, handsome, wasp-like flies, except that 
the base of the abdomen is not contracted ; thorax. 
black, with yellow side markings ; face black, 
generally with a wide central black line ; abdomen 
oval, convex, yellow with transverse black markings ;. 
legs thin, principally yellow ; wings unmarked, grey- 
ish ; base tawny yellow; long 10-12 mm. Larva 
feeds on plant roots. 

The Syrphidcc occasionally swarm in countless, 
numbers, when several species are sometimes found 
forming part of the host. At Margate, in August, 
1869, the following appeared in vast profusion during 
one day : — E, icnax, S. balteatus, and Sphicroplioria- 

Swammerdam and Reaumur have studied and' 
illustrated their writings on the life-histories of 
several common species. 

Over a thousand species are European. Sphegina- 
clunipes. Fin., Wlk. i. PI. x. 16. Syrphiis pyrastri^, 
L., Wlk. i. PI. x. 12. Leucozoiia lucornim, L., Curt. 
753. Rhingia campestris, L., Curt. 182. Vohtcellct 
ivflata, F., Curt. 452. Scricomyia borealis, Fin.,. 
Walk. PI. ix. 14. Syritta pipic?ts, L,, Wlk. PI. ix. 9. 
Criorhina oxyacatithcc, Mg., Wlk. PI. ix. 12.. 
Chrysotoxiun bimaciilattitn. Curt. 853. 

27. Cotiopida:. 

This group is a small one, allied to both the 
Syrphidie and higher forms of MuscidiE. The species 
in the first division closely resemble wasps (Odynerzis,. 
&c.) ; the larvDe are parasitic on bees, .Latreille 
having reared P. rufipes from living Bombidic, whilst 
Westwood noted the abundance of 0. atra on sand- 
banks in which several species of bees burrowed. 

One or two authors have greatly multiplied both, 
genera and species, nearly ail their names being now- 
sunk as synonyms. The eyes are wide apart in both, 
sexes, the 9 being distinguished by a ventral horny- 
process towards the end of the abdomen. 

None of the species can be said to be common. 

Antennae stylate ; ocelli absent (C['«(7/z«a'). 

First abdominal joint of normal width : Conops, L. 
First and second abdominal joint much retracted : Phy- 
socepJiala, Sch. 
Antennse with a bristle ; ocelli present [Myopina:). 

Proboscis bent only at the base : Zodion, Latr. 
Proboscis bent at the base .Tnd at the middle. 

Face much produced downwards below the eyes ; 

proboscis short : Myopa, F. 
Face not much produced downwards below the. 
eyes ; proboscis long : Oncomyia. 

Conopina.— Conops flavipes, L., is black and 
yellow ; face yellow, with a central black stripe ;. ° 
antennce black ; thorax black, with yellow spots on. 
shoulders ; abdomen black, with two ( $ ) or three 
((j) yellow bands; legs yellow and black; wings- 
greyish ; fore border brownish ; long 10 mm. This, 
is the most common species of the genus. 

Phyrocephala riifipes, Y .—Phyrocephala is dis- 
tinnjished from Conops by the first and second 
abdominal segment being much contracted ; the legs 



are thinner, and have frequently a twisted appearance. 
The colour of F. rufipcs is brownish red ; face 
yellowish, with a black central stripe ; antennae 
black ; legs tawny brown, marked with black ; wings 
pale grey, anterior portion pale brown almost to the 
tip ; tip of abdomen covered with thin silvery-grey 
tomentum, and it varies in colour ; long 10 mm. 

Myopinic. — Sicusfentigitiais, Scop.; rather common 
and widely distributed. Uniformly tawny ; face 
broad — reddish-yellow ; wings pale grey, tinged 
with tawny ; long 6-8 mm. 

Nyopa iestacca, L. , is tawny ; dorsum of thorax 
black, with greyish reflections ; wings pale tawny 
grey ; internal transverse vein clouded ; under side 
of face white ; pubescent ; rather common, and 
generally distributed ; long 5-7 mm. 

M. biiccata, L., an allied and rather common 
species, has pale brownish marks on the wings, giving 
them a mottled appearance, and the transverse veins 
are not distinctly clouded. Stomoxysy a genus of 
Muscidir, has erroneously been included in this 

Conops fiavipes, L., Panz. Ixx. 21. Physocephala 
rufipes, F., Wlk. i. PI. x. 18. 

28. CEstridco. 

The (Estridit form a small but very interesting 
group, represented by eight British species. In the 
imago the mouth is obsolete, the venation more or 
less obscurely defined, and the alulae large ; eyes 
widely separated in both sexes. In the larval state 
they are parasitic, each species living on or in a 
different animal, the larva dropping to the earth 
when fully developed, and pupating in the ground. 

In Gastrophilus equi, F., the 9 lays her eggs in 
the mine of the horse, and on the animal licking it, 
the eggs pass into the stomach, where the lai-vae 
emerge and develop, afterwards passing out with the 
dung, and pupating in the earth. The imago is a 
brown fly, with yellow and brown pubescence ; the 
face is covered with yellow pubescence ; the legs are 
thin, yellow, somewhat short ; the wings grey, with 
a dull brown stripe in the centre ; the abdomen has 
yellowish pubescence. Long 11-12 mm. 

Oestris ovis, L. The g lays her eggs on the nose of 
the sheep, the larvae crawling thence into the head, 
where they attain their full size, afterwards descend- 
ing the nostril, and assuming the pupa state in the 

It is a brownish-grey fly, with clear wings, large 
white alulce, and yellowish-brown legs; long 9-10 
mm. "When attacked, the sheep cluster in a circle, 
liolding their noses together close to the ground. 

Hypoderma bovis, Deg., is parasitic on cattle, 
laying its eggs in the back, a tumour arising, from 
which when full grown the larvae emerge. Black, 
pubescent ; tip of abdomen with red pubescence ; 
face and under side with grey pubescence ; legs 
black ; wings brown ; long 12-14 mm. 

One or two other species are British, but are very 
rare. Clark's essay on "Bots" is a splendid mono- 
graph, splendidly illustrated. It is impossible to breed 
the flies, as the larvos die on removal from its host. 
They are very swift on the wing ; the larva; are 
popularly known as "warbles," and the perfect 
insects as "bot-flies." 

No. 3. 

I NOW come to a genus of testaceous Rhizopods, 
viz., Difflugia, so common, and so widely 
distributed, that every microscopist is more or less 
familiar with their arenaceous, box-like shells. 
Every pond, ditch, and bog is sure to furnish one or 
more species of this ubiquitous genus, if the sediment 
be carefully examined ; and it is somewhat comical 
to see the box-like shells, especially the taller species, 
bobbing about among the Algse and broken-down 
organic detritus. The genus contains about twelve 
species— differences in form of shell or test, and in 
the character of the mouth, separating them. These 
species, however, are often connected by inter- 
mediate forms, and it is sometimes very difficult, and 
more rarely impossible, at the time, to say definitely 
to which species a given specimen may belong, as it 
may possess the characters of at least two species, in 
fairly-balanced proportions. They present themselves 

Fig. gi. — Difflugia pyriformis. Fig. 92. — D. pyriformis. 

as round, oval, pyriform, or in|other ways elongated, 
box-like shells, made up of large and small sand- 
grains and diatom frustules (chiefly of the linear 
kind), separately or mixed in various proportions ; in 
more than one species it is of chitinoid membrane, 
and especially is this the case Jin the forms from 
Sphagnum. Indeed, I believe that in all the species 
there is a chitinoid basis, even in those species in 
which nothing but sand-grains can be seen. They 
vary greatly in form and size, not only among them- 
selves, but in the same species. I have seen a D. 
acuminata as large as the j'j of an inch in height ; 
other and rounder species are as small as the ^^^ of an 
inch in diameter ; but from ^ to 5^ of an inch may 
be considered as ordinary dimensions. The sarcode 
is occasionally coloured, more commonly green, and 



often deeply so, but is more generally, in my ex- 
perience, colourless, except as may be modified by 
the presence of food, and it usually entirely fills the 
shell. The pseudopodia are not, as a rule, numerous, 
rarely more than five or six, and are long, and 
finger-like. It is not every specimen, however, in 
which the pseudopodia can be seen projected, but 
when this is the case they will be found to lengthen 

pear-shaped, hence the name ; other varieties are 
ovoid and flask-shaped ; occasionally this is com- 
pressed, and in one well-marked variety the top or 
fundus of the shell has one or two pointed, conical 
processes. In some the sand-grains are large, 
rough and angular, in others most minute ; while 
other forms have the large and small mixed in 
varying proportions. One common form here has 

Fig. ^-i.—Dlfftu^ia 



Fig. loo. — D. acu- 

Fig. 94. — Difflngia fiyi-iforinis. 

Fig. (js-—Diflngia 

Fig. gj.—D. glob7t/osa. 

Fig. 99. — D. globulosa. 

Fig. 102. — D. acuDiinata. 
Baloon-shaped individual, 
with rounded prolongation. 

Fig. 96.— -D. glohu'osa^ 

Fig. 98. — D. globulosa. 

Fig. 103. — D. acuminata. Sand- 
grains with considerable space 
between, which is filled uj> 
with dark brown chitine. 

Fig. loi.— Z>. acuminata. 

Fig. 104. — D. Jirceoiata. 

Fig. lo^.—Difiugia. pyriformis. 
Specimen with straw-coloured 
chitinoid basis, sand-grains, 
rough. In form, it seems to 
connect this species with Z>. 
globulosa. This variety has, 
been discovered since the fore- 
going was written. 

or shorten, or slowly to move from side to side, 
almost continuously, while under observation. The 
mouth of the test is in most cases infeiior and 
terminal. During the past three months I have 
found numerous individuals of the genus, belonging 
to three species. 

Difflugia pyriformis is perhaps the commonest 
species of the genus, and varies greatly in size and 
shape. The typical form is narrowly or broadly 

its test of colourless chitinoid membrsne, with a few 
widely-scattered sand-grains and diatoms. Tha 
pseudopodia are, in this species, finely granular, and 
and in all my specimens free from colour. 

Fig. 91, the prevailing form here, of chitinoid 
membrane, with widely-scattered sand-grains and 
diatoms. Empty. Fig. 92, another similar one, 
with sarcode encysted in a brownish ball. Fig.l93 
large form, [test'- composed entirely of sand-grains. 



Pseudopodia extended. Fig. 94, very fine speci- 
men from Sphagnum ; test of extra large and rough 
sand-grains. Size 35 of an inch. Diffliigia glohidosa 
is another common form, one of the smallest of the 
genus. It was one of the first to be described and 
figured, and is probably the D. protdformis of the 
illustrious Ehrenberg. Its general form is that of a 
round or oval box, more or less truncated at the 
mouth. One common variety has exactly the form 
of the * box ' of the sea urchin (Echinus). In the 
character of the materials used in the formation of 
the test, and in other particulars, it differs little from 
the preceding. I occasionally come across a form in 
several of our shaded wells and clear pools, which 
has a large, eccentric mouth, like D. constricta, or 
the spineless form of Contropyxa aacleata. As it 
is too low for the former, and is wanting in the 
appendages to the incurved mouth of the latter, it 
more properly, I think, may be placed here. Size 
from jJjj to :iJj^ of an inch. 

Fig. 95. Empty test, made up of minute sand- 
grains ; ventral view. 

Fig. 96 of chitinoid membrane, with scattered large 
sand-grains. Side view, pseudopodia extended. 

Fig. 97. This form might, with almost equal 
propriety, be classed with D. constricta, or even 
with Centropyxis ecornix, as the mouth is eccentric, 
and the highest part of the shell behind the mouth ; 
but it appears to me, for reasons given above, to 
have a greater affinity to the present species. 

Fig. 98. Side view of specimen with closely- 
packed sand-grains. 

Fig. 99. The same, rolled over to show the 
mouth of the shell. 

Difflicgia aciiviitiata is also an equally common 
form here, and I procure it in considerable numbers 
from among Sphagnum in boggy places, and in most 
of our shady wells and clear pools. The prevailing 
form is shown in Fig. 100. The species mayjbe 
described as pyriformis, drawn out to a point at the 
top (fundus). 

The test is oblong oval, in the typical form, 
narrowing towards the mouth, and more or less 
suddenly tapering towards the summit, in varying 
degrees of acuteness. Although this species is as 
variable as any in the genus, I have only as yet 
found two well-marked varieties, during the three 
months I have been specially studying the Rhizopods. 
Like the preceding species, the test is made up of 
sand-grains, occasionally intermixed with the frustules 
of diatoms, or it is obviously of chitinous membrane, 
either colourless or yellow, more or less incrusted 
with the above elements, sometimes very irregularly 
so. Size from >^-^ to ^Ij of an inch. Barcode rarely 

Fig. 100. The prevailing form in this district, of 
colourless chitinoid membrane, with scattered sand- 
grains and diatoms. Pseudopodia extended. 

Fig. loi. Large specimen, from shaded well, test 

of yellow, wrinkled chitine, with large sand-grains 
and a few linear diatoms. The sand and diatoms do 
not project much, but are apparently sunk in the 
membrane, and so partake of its yellow colour. In 
my next I shall treat of the box-like Gentropyxis, and 
the genus Arcella. The latter is one of the 
commonest forms of the Rhizopods, and is the one 
most frequently noticed by microscopists who do- 
not make a special study of the class. 

Diffliigia iirceolata is a large variable form closely 
related to D. acuminata. The shell is somewhat 
ovate, amphora-like ; fundus either evenly rounded 
or more or less acute, frequently furnished with 
blunt spines. Neck short ; mouth large and round, 
occasionally with a reflected rim. 

This handsome species is of rare occurrence iri' 
this district, and when I do find a specimen it has 
generally been an isolated one. My specimen has an 
acute fundus, and the neck is only slightly reflected. 
Size about ,lg inch. The test is of sand grains — a few 
large ones, regularly distributed, the intervals filled, 
up with smaller ones of nearly equal size (Fig. 104). 

J. E. Lord. 



IVl THOMAS, by R. W. Burnie (London : 
John Murray). This is altogether a noble, bright,, 
and cheerful book — the pleasant record of a brilliant 
young life. The " Thoman-Gilchrist " process, by 
which formerly half- worthless iron ore is converted into 
good stuff, by having its phosphorus extracted, whilst 
the latter in its turn is utilised as artificial manure— - 
is already well-known to most of our readers. Only 
thirteen years ago there was not in existence any 
public record of the successful dephosphorisation of 
pig-iron — last year there were 2,603,083 tons pro-- 
duced. In addition, last year there were placed on 
the market, to be used as artificial manure — stones- 
that science has converted into bread — no fewer than 
623,000 tons of basic slag. This wonderful success 
in metallurgy was due almost solely to the patience 
and unwearying industry of Sidney Gilchrist Thomas,. 
and yet he died (of overwork, it is to be feared) at 
the early age of thirty-four. By that time he had 
come to be acknowledged as the most brilliant 
metallurgist of the century. Honours from all. 
countries were showered thickly upon him. And yet 
this scientist left school at seventeen to be a school- 
teacher. At eighteen he was clerk in a London> 
Police Court, an ofifice he held for twelve years. He 
studied chemistry, mineralogy, geology, &c., on^ 
what leisure evenings he had, and conducted his 
experiments and investigations then and during his. 
holidays. He made his valuable discovery whilst 
still a clerk at the Thames Police Court. Within 
the brief period of a twelvemonth we find him a 



clerk, and then the acknowledged leading metallur- 
gist of his day. It is a wonderful story of what a 
young man can do, and Mr. Burnie has told it well 
in this handsome volume. 

Coal, and what tue get from it, by Professor R. 
Meldola (London : S.P.C.K.). This is perhaps the 
most interesting of the volumes yet issued under 
the title of " The Romance of Science." It is 
a much-expanded issue of a Lecture delivered by 
Professor Meldola at the London Institution, and 
both to the student and the general reader it is a 
highly-valuable, clear, and concise account of the 
now-important coal-tar industry. All the valuable 
materials here explained not many years ago were 
worse than wasted. Science has reduced them, and 
turned them to use. About three hundred coal-tar 
colouring-matters are now made, and thirty of these 
•are in economic use, all of them fast dyes. There 
are thirty more fast enough for all practical require- 
ments. The value of the coal-tar colouring-matters 
.annually produced in Great Britain and on the 
•Continent is five millions sterling. From the same 
original source are also derived such explosives as 
picric acid, medicines such as antypyrin, sweets 
such as saccharin, and perfumes resembling vanilla, 
bitter almonds, &c., to say nothing of the hydro- 
quinin and eikeneogen used by photographers and 
others. Professor Meldola's book is a genuine 
"Romance," far transcending in interest and plot 
three-fourths of the so-called "novels" of the day. 
It is a book that will be largely read and highly- 

Colour Measurement and Afixture, by Captain 
Abney (London : S.P.C.K.). This is another of the 
same half-crown series — all of which are written 
by the chief recognised authorities on each subject. 
Whatever Captain Abney has to say on the matters 
.here discussed is sure to be listened to. There are 
few appeals from his conclusions, especially when they 
concern the physics and chemistry of photography. 
Students will here find worked-out the heating, 
luminous, and chemical effects of the spectrum. 
The work contains sixteen chapters, devoted largely 
to colours, their origin, effects, combinations, &c., 
and is abundantly illustrated where necessary to a 
fuller understanding of the text. 

The Missouri Botanic Garden. This institution 
was founded by the late Mr. Henry Shaw, of whom 
a lengthy biographical sketch is given. Professor 
Trelease's " Inaugural Address," and a " Flower 
Sermon," together with the First Annual Report, are 
included in this nicely got-up volume. It is well 
illustrated. Mr. Shaw must have been a very 
sociable fellow, for he left money for an annual 
banquet. Accordingly we have the report of that 
•also, at which banquet one hundred guests were 

Fifth Report of the United States Entomological 
■Commission on Insects injurious to Forest a7id Shade 

Trees, by A. S. Packard (Washington : Government 
Office). This is a neatly got-up volume of a thousand 
pages, illustrated by forty plates, and upwards of 
three hundred woodcuts. The papers are strictly 
scientific and thoroughly practical. Hence their 
high economic value. They deal with the various 
insects injurious to the oak, elm, hickory, butter-nut, 
locust-tree, maple, cotton-wood, poplar, lime, birch, 
beech, wild cherry, wild plum, thorn, crab-apple, 
mountain ash, willow, hackberry, sycamore, pine, 
spruce, fir, hemlock, larch, juniper, cedar, cypress, 
&c., with full descriptions of the habits of their 
insect enemies, and advice how to cope with them. 

Annual Report of the Fruit- Growing Association 
and Entomological Society of Ontario, 1S90 (Toronto). 
This volume is the twenty-second annual report of 
a most useful society. It is full of capital practical 
papers on many matters concerning peaches, pears, 
prunes, cherries, apples, grapes, &c., their growth, 
decay, enemies (animal and vegetable). Horticul- 
turists all over the world will be interested in this 
useful volume, which it is a great pity to have 
spoiled by the wretched photograph of the President 
as frontispiece. 

Zoological Articles contributed to the '■'■ Encyclo- 
pLcdia Britannica," by Professor E. Ray Lankester, 
&c. (London : A. & C. Black). All earnest students 
of advanced zoology are already aware that the last 
edition of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" contains 
some of the most exhaustive articles on special 
subjects connected with their science which have yet 
been published. They are not likely to be excelled 
for some time to come, and that ponderous but useful 
work would therefore have had to be consulted, the 
papers picked out of its many volumes, and much 
time have been lost, if Professor Lankester and the 
publishers had not hit upon the happy thought of 
issuing the present volume at such a price that it 
comes within pocketable reach of most students, 
and lies in such a handy and compact form, 
both for careful study and reference, that iew 
naturalists or general libraries can do without it. 
The illustrations are numerous, and one or two 
important additions have been made to them over 
and above those in the original work. The text, 
also, has been corrected and slightly added to where 
necessary and convenient. On the various papers 
themselves it is not necessary to make any remarks. 
Their high-class character practically places them 
beyond the reach of criticism. All Professor 
Lankester's articles are here reprinted — on " Proto- 
zoa, Hydrozoa, MoUusca, Polyzoa, and Vertebrata." 
In addition we have the following papers, by 
permission of the authors—" Sponges," by Professor 
Sollas ; "Planarians," by Professor von Graff: 
" Nemertines," by Professor Hubrecht ; " Rotifera," 
by Professor Bourne ; and on " Tunicata," by 
Professor Herdmann. 

Telescopic IVork for Starlight Evenings^ by 



W. F. Denning (London : Taylor and Francis). 
Astronomical students and amateurs of the science 
are numerous, and they are not unprovided with 
manuals and other guides. But we doubt if we 
possess any which so fully meets their wants as the 
book before us. Its author is an enthusiastic 
amateur astronomer, who has contributed for many 
years past much valuable original work to the science 
to which he is devoted. A completer working manual 
of astronomy than this, his last-issued work, it is 
difficult to conceive. It is full, clear, accurate, and 
yet popular. Many of the chapters have appeared 
as special papers contributed to scientific magazines, 
where some of our readers must have met with 
them. The chapters are as follows :— " The Tele- 
scope, its Invention, and the Development of its 
Powers," " Relative Merits of Small and Large 
Telescopes," "Notes on Telescopes and their 
Accessories," "Notes on Telescopic Work," "The 
Sun," "The Moon," "Mercury," "Venus," "Mars," 
"The Planetoids," "Jupiter," "Saturn," "Uranus 
and Neptune," "Comets and Comet-Seeking," 
" Meteors and Meteoric Observations," " The Stars," 
" Nebulre and Clusters of Stars," &c. The illustra- 
tions are sixty-four in number, and all are of a 
high-class character. Paper, type, and binding alto- 
gether make up a handsome and pleasant-looking 

Geologists' Atsociation — A Record of Excursions 
made betweefi i860 and 1890, edited by T. V. Holmes 
and C. D. Sherborn (London : Ed. Stanford). We 
have frequently thought, when we have received the 
pithily explained and well-illustrated pamphlets sent 
out to members describing the places to be visited 
at each excursion, what a pity it was they were not 
collected in a more permanent form. Each account 
is written by a local specialist, and each diagram and 
illustration is the most interesting in the district. 
All: England and Wales have thus been visited by 
members of the Geologists' Association during the 
last thirty years. Therefore we are unexpectedly 
pleased to welcome the present volume, which is just 
the very thing we have so long thought ought to be 
done. By its very nature, it must be the very best 
field-manual of British geology yet issued. Between 
two and three thousand places are referred to in the 
index, and there are 214 maps and sections. Every 
student of field-geology should forthwith procure this 
useful work, which has been excellently edited by 
Messrs. T. V. Holmes and C. D. Sherborn. 


ALAS, those happy days which we have seen 
When thou, whose fickleness I now deplore 
Wert like to concentrated saccharine ; 

Those happy days can come to us no more. 
When ardent love is strong as H, SO4. 

Thou, like blue litmus in the acid test, 

Whene'er we met, wouldst turn to rosy red, 

And when my love undying I confessed. 
Thy words were sweet as acetate of lead ; 
Now truly are they changed to vitriol instead. 

For, turning to analysis improper, 

A quantitative test was made for gold, 
And when but little else there seemed than copper 
And scanty silver in the cash I hold, 
Thy love grew straightway like a freezing-mixture 

Entirely siliceous was thy heart ; 

Thy love was gone. The sequel need I tell ? 
Betrothed unto another now thou art, 
Like to the atom H we know so well, 
Which leaves its own Oj to join the base CI ! 

A. C. Deane. 


By Dr. A. Irving, F.G.S., &c., Wellington Coll. 

{Continued Jrom p. 112.] 

The Glacial Period and Since. 

THE probability that England was united with the 
continent of Europe during Miocene, Pliocene, 
and Quaternary times, has long been recognised by 
some of our leading geologists. The sea not having 
cut its way as yet through the Quaternary isthmus tO' 
form the present Strait of Dover, the great glaciers 
of Scandinavia on the one hand, and of Northern 
Britain on the other, seem to have formed by their 
confluence a mighty dam, which ponded back the 
waters of a vast drainage-area of Central Europe and 
Southern Britain. This, at least, from a considera- 
tion of all the evidence on the one side and on the 
other, would appear to have been a most important 
factor in the glaciation of Central and Southern 
England. The facts inductively arrived at have 
been well represented by the late Professor Carvill 
Lewis of Philadelphia, on a map, which was printed 
for Section C of the British Association, when it met 
at Manchester in 1887. The moraines have been 
taken as indications of the boundary of the great 
northern ice-sheet ; and the extra-morainic lake, 
which then covered most of the Midland and 
Eastern Counties, overflowed by the Upper Avon, 
line of drainage into the Severn Valley, and by the 
Oxford Basin and the Pangbourne Gap into the 
Thames Valley. Much work was done, no doubt,, 
by the ice which floated down this narrow channel to- 
widen and deepen it. Professor Prestwich* assigns 
a deepening of the gorge to the extent of some 220 
feet to glacial action. This is probably an excessive 

"Journal Geol. Soc," \ol. xlvi., p. 149. 



-estimate, for two reasons, (i) The plateau-gravels, 
which cap the adjacent hills, and which he assigns 
(as equivalents in time of his Mundesley and Westleton 
Beds) to the beginning of the Quaternary period, 
may be merely terrestrial deposits of the Pliocene 
Mercian river-system, and more nearly equivalent in 
time to the plateau-gravels of Berks and West 
Surrey, being certainly older than the present Chalk 
escarpment ; (2) the extent to which the gorge has 
since been cut down to its present level, appears, 

/rem still more recently-published observations to be 
greater than he has estimated.* We may, perhaps, 

•deduct 100 feet at least from his estimated 220 

is maintained in a most remarkable manner through 
the contortions of the strata. Examples may be seen 
in the railway-cuttings at Wokingham and Sunning- 
hill, on the South-Western Railway ; but the finest 
by far have been lately brought to light in the 
excavations in the brick-yard of Messrs. T. Lawrence 
& Sons, close to the Nine-mile Ride in Old Windsor 
Forest.* Some of the best of these are gone for 
ever, as the pits have been extended ; but, fortu- 
nately for science, photographs were secured by 
members of the photographic section which has been 
recently started by the Natural History Society of 
Wellington College. One of them, it is hoped, 

Fig. 106. — Section of Glaciated Clays and Gravel at Easthampstead, Berks, in Old Windsor Forest (March, 1891). 

■feet, as the vertical measurement of the work of 

• erosion during the Glacial Period. 

Professor Carvill Lewis estimated that the waters 
of the above-named extra-morainic lake stood some 

1250 feet above the present sea-level in the old Thames 
Straits of the Glacial Period. Now it is a remark- 
able fact that at very near this elevation — that is to 

■ say, at levels varying from 220 to 240 feet — the author 
has, within the last year or two, made a considerable 
number of observations of glacial action in East Berks. 
The laminated clays are highly contorted, and great 
masses of sand and gravel, weighing in some cases 

jnany tons apiece, have been driven bodily, in a solid 
(frozen) state, f into the clays, the lamination of which 

* See reference below to Mr. Shrubsole's paper. 

+ See "Journal of the Geol. Soc," vol. xlvi., p. 561. 

will be reproduced for publication by the Geo- 
logists' Association of London. Subjoined is a 
later photograph of a section, now also obliterated, 
and only exposed to open daylight for a few days 
in March, 1891. (See Fig. 106.) It was taken 
by one of the author's pupils, Mr. McClintock, of 
Wellington College. Copies of the earlier photo- 
graphs were exhibited at the lecture, and some of 
them have found their way to the Woodwardian 
Museum at Cambridge, and to the British Association. 
A little reflection will show that these marks of 
ancient glaciation, probably the work of pack-ice, as 
it was drifted and stranded by high winds on the 
margin of the old Thames Straits, may be taken as a 

* A suggestion of Dr. J. W. Spencer, the State Geologist 
of Georgia, when on a visit to the author last year. 



*neasure, until we obtain evidence of undoubted 
•glacial action at higher altitudes, of the extent to 
which the higher and secondary valley-system of the 
Thames Basin proper had been carved out in pre- 
glacial times, the work done representing, in fact, 
in Berks and Surrey nearly 200 feet of vertical erosion, 
■due to ordinary rain and river action. This will 
be better understood from the generalised section 
'{Fig. 107). All this time the erosion of the minor up- 
land valleys was encroaching upon the more ancient 
plateau-gravels, as well as cutting away the soft 
'Bagshot strata, disinterring the flint pebbles of the 
Bagshot pebble-beds with the recession of their out- 
■crop, and mingling these with the sub-angular flints 

during chronicle, and often enable us to detect the 
progress of physical changes. Thus it is not difficult 
to prove that the present aspect of the lower valley 
of the Thames is very different from what it must 
have been 1000 years ago. Instead of being confined 
within regular banks, the river must have spread its 
waters over a broad lagoon, which was dotted with 
marshy islands. This is indicated by the fact that 
the A.S. word ea or ey (an island) enters into the 
composition of the names of many places by the 
river-side, which are now joined to the mainland 
by rich pastures. Such are Bermondso', Putn^j', 
Battersi'^, Cherts^', Moulscj', Iffl^'. Osn^', Whit- 
n^', and Ea\.on or Eton. The Abbey Church of 

Woking- Tangley 
ham. Cutting. 

Pinewood Csesar's Broad- Chobham 

Brick-yard. Camp.' moor. Ridges. 


0. Asylum. 





5^ig. 107. — Relative Levels (O. L.) of the Plateau-gravels and the Glaciated Clays by Ninemile Ride, &c. P.O. plateau-gravels ; 
T.G. terrace or secondary gravels; * i mile north-east of the line of section; v, glaciation strongly marked at these two places. 

derived from the plateau-gravels themselves. Thus 
tier after tier of secondary or terrace-gravels has 
fbeen formed, down to the present valley-floor, the 
same agencies having co-operated with those of 
glacial times, and continued their operations since 
ithe retreat of the ice. The lower (post-glacial) 
gravels of the modern valley contain, however, an 
admixture of Mercian pebbles with the wreckage of 
the more ancient plateau-gravels and the Eocene 

The recently published researches of Mr. Allen 
Brown, F.G.S.,* near Ealing, and of Mr. Shrubsole 
F.G.S.jt near Reading, were briefly discussed; and 
'the special interest of the position of the human 
remains discovered by those two gentlemen was 
pointed out. The observations which they have 
T)ublished tell us (i) of the advent of man into the 
Thames Valley in company with the Mammoth, the 
Rhinoceros, and extinct species of Bcs, Equtis, and 
Cervus, closely upon the retreat of the ice ; (ii) of 
the great antiquity of his appearance here, as 
indicated by the fact that the present Valley of the 
Thames has been deepened since that time to the 
extent of more than 100 feet at Reading, and to 
the extent of 50 feet at Ealing. 

Even within the limits of the Historical Period 
important further changes can be traced in the 
Thames Valley, if we may trust the evidence fur- 
nished by those valuable linguistic " fossils " which 
occur in local names. 

Dr. Isaac Taylor ("Words and Places," pp. 
"^iSi 236) writes :—" Local names form an en- 

* "Journal Geol. Soc," vol. xlli., pp. 192 et seg. 
f Ibid. vol. xlv:., pp. 582 et seg. 

Westminster was built for security on Thorn<?j' 
Island, and the eastern portion of the water in St. 
James's Park is a ipart of that arm of the Thames, 
which encircled the Sanctuary of the monks, and the 
palace of the A.S. kings. The name Chels^^j: (a 
contraction of chesel-ea) or shingle-island [tells that 
the place was encircled by the river]. The Isle of 
Thanet was as much an island as Sheppry is at the 
present time." 

[Erratum. — At the latest moment of printing the 
May number, a mistake occurred by which the 
woodcuts 84 and 85 were transposed. All our 
geological readers will have detected the error, and 
doubtless have already altered the Figs.] 


Dr. E. E. Klein, F.R.S. (Lecturer on physiology 
at St. Bartholomew's Hospital), on April 28, began 
a course of three lectures on Bacteria, their Nature 
and Functions (the Tyndall Lectures) ; and Mr. PI. 
Graham Harris, M. Inst. C.E,, on May 9, a course 
of three lectures on the Artificial Production of 

A VBRY able and suggestive paper by Mr. A. S. 
Seward appears in the last number of " The 
Naturalist," entitled " Fossil Climates." 

In the last number of the " Geological Magazine," 
Mr. Smith Woodward describes a new species of 
Microsaurian from the Lancashire coal-measures 
under the name of Hylonomus Wildi. 



Mr. J, F. Jenner-Weir, the well known entomo- 
logist, has a capital paper in the last number of the 
" Entomologist," entitled " The significance of 
occasional and apparently unimportant markings in 
Lepidoptera." He . thinks that some of them are 
vestiges of spots and other markings which were 
much more vivid in their ancestors, and therefore 
that such markings may contribute towards the 
phylogeny of genera. 

We call the attention of our readers to Professor 
Marshall's address delivered before the Birmingham 
Natural History and Microscopical Society on 
"Animal Pedigrees," which appears in the May 
number of the " Midland Naturalist." 

Among the many valuable papers on natural 
history we get from the United States are the 
periodical issues of Dr. Riley's, '* Insect Life," devoted 
to the economy and life-habits of insects, especially 
in their relations to Agriculture. 

Parts Twelve and Thirteen of Wallace'si" British 
Cage-birds " (London : L. Upcott Gill) maintain the 
high artistic character of the preceding parts. 

" The Conchologist " is the title of a new 
quarterly journal, price ninepence, devoted ex- 
clusively to conchology and molluscology. As our 
readers are aware, this subject has grown considerably 
beyond the bounds formerly assigned to it, and is now 
an important contributor to the facts of practical 
evolution. This new journal is edited by Mr. W. E. 
Collinge. The first number looks well and promises 

The Liverpool scientists are plucky people. They 
did not like their hightly readable and excellently 
edited "Research" being given up, so they have 
started another journal on pretty much the same 
lines, entitled "Discovery." It is published at 
threepence monthly. No. 5 is to hand, containing 
papers relating chiefly to economic science. 

We heartily comment, to all those whom it may 
concern, the last Report of the Manchester Museum 
(Owen College), issued by order of the Council. 

A MOST useful and highly important pamphlet has 
been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
' ' The Pediculi and Maleophaga affecting Man and 
the Lower Animals," by Professor H. Osborn. It 
is illustrated by forty-two of the parasites whose life- 
histories are described. 

The Whit-week excursion of the members of the 
Geologists' Association this year was to the 
neighbourhood of Northampton, under the able 
leadership of Mr. Beeby Thompson, F.G.S., and 
Mr. W. D. Crick. Among the places visited were 
Wooton (Great Oolite, Inferior Oolite, and Upper 
Lias), Hopping Hill (basement-beds of Great Oolite 

limestone and Upper Estuarine beds). New Duston 
(Inferior Oolite), Kislingbury, Bugbrook (Middle 
Lias, &c.), Stowe-Nine-Churches (Great and Inferior 
Oolites), Heyford, Upton, Old Duston, Vigo,. 
Shittlewell, Kingthorpe (Lower Estuarine sands and 
plant-bed) Pitsford, Spratten, Baughten, Moulten,. 


A Microscopical Puzzle. — I was examining a 
glass slide under my microscope, containing some 
sections of the green berry of Tatnus communis, which 
I preserved in 1889, by placing the specimens in 
gum-arabic between two glass slips. I now perceive- 
many small ovoid transparent bodies, several were 
larger than the rest and could move slowly from place 
to place. What is the name and the cause of their 
appearance ? Could they have come with gum- 
arabic ? They do not seem to damage the specimen 
in the least, although they must certainly eat some- 
thing. They are about one-sixth of an inch long^ 
when magnified forty diameters. This specimen is- 
quite dry. — Henry E. Griset. 

Mounting Corallines for the Microscope. — 
In answer to this query in No. 316 of SciENCE-GossiP.. 
I beg to inform your correspondent jvnd others 
interested in the study of fresh and salt-water 
Microfauna of a very reliable method of mounting 
Hydrozoa with all parts fully and naturally expanded. 
I have applied it particularly to Rotifers, Infusoria,, 
and Hydrae, and can recommend it "where all other 
means have failed." It is best to place a few twigs of 
the fresh corallines containing living specimens into a 
very deep watchglass placed upon black paper, with, 
very little of the water they have developed in. 
Allow all the animals to expand, and examine with a 
pocket-lens, if necessary, to ascertain when this has 
taken place. Then with a pipette add to the water 
in the watchglass a few drops of chloroform water. 
As soon as this is felt by the hydrozoa they draw in 
their tentacles, etc. However, if not too much of 
the anaesthetic has been given, and a little time 
allowed for it to evaporate, they will re-expand all 
their parts, at first only partly, but ultimately to 
their original extent. If rotifers are treated thus, the 
reviving of the individuals can be noticed by the 
drowsy motion of a few isolated cilia which begin 
their play again, at first very slowly, but gradually 
more and more vigorously. This stage is not the 
least interesting part of the experiment ; it wili 
enable the attentive observer to watch with greater 
ease every motion of the minute animals, take 
sketches of, and even photograph them. The treat- 
ment with chloroform water must necessarily be 
repeated by every one who makes the experiment for 
the first time, to let him know how often the hydrozoa 
will stand the effects of chloroform, and to give hina 



"for future experiments an approximate idea of the 
.proper moment when the death-blow is to be given. 
The latter consists in pouring over the weakened, 
but still expanded animals, a hot or cold saturated 
solution of corrosive sublimate. To make its action 
still more effective it is advisable to withdraw 
beforehand as much of the water in the watchglass as 
possible, leaving just enough to keep the hydrozoa 
fully expanded. This method of fixing all sorts of 
^mall fish or saltwater inhabitants needs a little 
practice, but it teaches a great deal in an experi- 
mental way, and secures more truly satisfactory 
Jesuits than many of the other methods recom- 
mended, some of which I shall mention at some 
future time. After the material has been fixed by 
'the described chloroform-sublimate method, it should 
'be mounted in a cell {not a metal cell) with corrosive 
sublimate. Glycerine is not suitable at all, and 
balsam only if stains, such as Dr. Beale's carmine 
and iodine green (used successively to produce a 
•double stain) have been used. For balsam-mounts 
the animals must be gradually dessicated in alcohol, 
placed or dropped with a pipette upon oil of cloves, 
<never use turpentine for such objects) and when they 
have completely sunk mount them in balsam. I 
shall not return to the study and cultivation of 
rotifers, hydrozoa, etc., as it would lead too far, and 
I shall refer to this subject at a future opportunity. — 
C. O. Sonntagt Glasgow. 

New Slides.— Mr. Fred. Knock's slides are 
always welcome. They are not only well mounted, 
and the objects interesting, but they deal with some 
new phase of entomological discovery or research, 
so that both specialists and amateur naturalists can 
hardly do without them in their cabinets. The latest 
things Mr. Enock has sent out are connected with a 
subject to which he has devoted much special 
research — the natural history of insect-egg parasites. 
One preparation contains three eggs of Fsocus, each 
containing a tiny parasitic fly {Alaptus mini7iius) 
ready to emerge. The parent parasite had laid the 
egg in each of the affected eggs, and the young larva 
had there found sufficient nutriment to allow its 
^oing through all its transformations there. Another 
preparation contains a specimen of Alaptus minimus 
which Mr. Enock bred from the egg. The exquisite 
beauty of these specimens must be seen to be 
appreciated. From Mr. E. Hinton we have also 
received two highly interesting and beautifully 
mounted .marine objects for microscopical examina- 
tion and study. One is a fine specimen of the sea-pen 
or "cock's comb" {Pmnatula phosphorcus), with all 
the tentacles fully extended and surrounded and 
strengthened by bundles of acicular spiculae. When 
seen on a dark ground this is a most exquisite 
specimen. Mr. Hinton's other preparation is a 
beautifully mounted palate of a South Australian 
mollusc {Fkasianella Ausira/is). 


NOTHOLCA AcuMlN.'i.TA.— On March 27th, I 
found a specimen of this rare Rotiferon in water 
taken from a clear ditch on Hayton Common, near 
Retford. The concave shape, as it turned on its 
side, was very marked. I was only able to find one 
specimen, although I took numerous dips. The 
only habitat given in Dr. Hudson's book is "Orna- 
mental Waters near London." — J?. Clark. 

SoLWAY Fishery. — Mr. J. J. Armistead in his 
circular (season 1S90-91), mentions the following 
interesting "items" : — "A black-headed gull {Larits 
ridibundus, settled on one of the ponds, when a large 
trout 'went for him,' probably taking him for a fly, 
and broke his leg. The bird was afterwards found 
dead." " The trout in the ponds have often been 
seen to rise at swallows as the birds skimmed over 
the surface, but the fish is a bad flying shot and has 
never been seen to hit ane." " A large dog jumped 
into one of the ponds and had a hot time of it 
amongst the fish." Mr. Armistead has forwarded a 
consignment of ova to Natal, during the past season, 
which is reported as arriving there in splendid con- 
dition. He is now cultivating aquatic plants, shell- 
fish (mollusca), and crustaceans ; especially fresh- 
water shrimp, for stocking fish-ponds." His circular 
says : "It is now a well-ascertained fact that the 
famous Gillaroo, and some other very fine breeds or 
varieties of trout, owe their reputation to the food on 
which they live ; and that food has been ascertained 
to be shell-fish. I have met with instances in which 
trout supplied from this fishery have grown with 
great rapidity, and in three years, or less, have 
attained a weight of about four pounds, and these, 
on dissection, have been found to be gorged with 
shell fish." I have myself taken trout of which the 
crop has been found to be full of the common black 
water snail, many of the shells being crushed into 
fragments ; but I do not know if this crushing has 
been done with the mouth of the fish or after the 
arrival of the shells in the crop.— Z^w. Winder, 

A Partly Scalarid Specimen of Helix 
AsPERSA FROM WEST KENT. — In a batch of shells 
sent to me for naming by Mr. J. R. Longhurst, from 
Dodington in Kent, I find an interesting Subscala- 
riform monstrosity of Helix aspersa. The word sub- 
scalariform fully explains the character of the shell 
and any further description seems hardly necessar)\ 
Of course it is not so completely scalarid as the well- 
known specimen in the: Natural-History Museum, but 
it is interesting as showing a " half-way house," 
between the contour of that shell and the contour of 
the type. The shell is bodily small ; its height is 
25 mill. ; and its breadth 15 mill.— y. IV. Williams. 



Classificatory Position of the Mollusca. — 
In answer to Dr. P. Q. Kegan's query on p. 95, ante, 
as to why the Molluscan phylum is placed higher up 
on the zoological scale than that of the Annulosa, I 
think the chief reason is that of the nervous system, 
which shows greater concentration and, in the 
majority of the higher forms at least, is chiefly localised 
in the head as an oesophageal ring. In the lipocephala 
the head region has atrophied in adaptation to a 
"sessile inactive life" (Article "Mollusca" in 
Professor Lankester's " Zoological Articles," p. 102,) 
and taken all together, the Mollusca, in structure and 
embryological history, show a decided advance on 
the Arthropoda and Echinodermata, considering that 
the ancestor of both these three phyla is common to 
all, and to be sought in one of the simple worms. If 
Dr. Kegan will read the articles on the Annulosa 
and Mollusca in the last edition ;of the " Encyclo- 
predia Britannica," I think he will very quickly come 
the conclusion that the present systematic position 
of the Mollusca is the only true one. — J. W. 

Erratum. — In my note on "A new variety of 
Helix Cantiana " (p. i ijanle), about half a millimetre 
"should read" adove half a millimetre.— y. IF. 

Mounting Shells.— I cannot "advise" Miss 
Priest on this subject, not knowing what other 
substances are used in mounting, but a very good 
material is formed by equal weights of gum arable 
and gum tragacanth dissolved in water to the 
consistency of very thick paste. Hundreds of shells 
were mounted in this way in the British Museum. 
Shells even of considerable size can be easily set in 
any position in a bed of the gum. Dissolve the gum 
arable in water, making it very thin. Pour this on 
the gum tragacanth, which swells considerably, and 
as it swells stir and add water, if necessary. Add a 
few drops of essential oil to prevent mould. The 
paste is most useful for general purposes. Caution 
is desirable in giving it away, every friend to whom 
I have ever given a pot has required that the supply 
should be kept up for the term of his natural life. — 
G. T. Staveley. 

Local Conchological Society. —May I suggest 
to LJ.S. that it would add largely to the value of the 
work of his Conchological Society if a rule were made to 
preserve (if possible, mounted as microscopic objects) 
the tongues of all the mollusca whose shells are 
taken. The study of shells alone has now very much 
given place to that of the animals themselves with 
their shells, and the tongues are valuable in distin- 
guishing genera. They will keep for years simply 
dried. Any members of the Society unable to 
mount them, might present them, with the shell laid 
out dry. by its side, for the use of students of the 
mollusca. — G. T. Slavdey. 


Notes on Vegetable Teratology. — Since 
much has been written of late concerning floral 
monstrosities, the following notes from my log-book 
on some which came under my notice a few years ago- 
may be found interesting to such who have turned 
their attention to the science of teratology. In the 
summer of 18S6 I found an isolated plant of Campanula 
rotu7idifolia growing in a shaded nook near Hampstead 
Heath, with a flower having the corolla divided into 
five distinct petaloid segments ; the flower was- 
found to be homogamous. The gamopetalous flowers 
of Campanula are decidely dichogamous, and further 
the vascular system of the corolla does not exhibit 
that of separate segments cohering by their respective 
edges, for the veins are found to ramify and anastomose 
all over the space between each contiguous dorsal 
rib in such a manner as to render any line of cohesion-- 
extinct. This dialysis must be regarded as retro- 
gressive, a reversion to some primordial and less 
specialized condition, owing perhaps to the scarcity 
or entire absence of bees, correlated with the 
combined influences of temperature and the im- 
poverished condition of the soil in which the plant 
grew. On November 7th, 1S86, I saw a plant of 
Angreecum sesquipedale bearing two flowers with 
exceedingly large nectariferous spurs. The spurs of the- 
flowers measured respectively 16 and lyj inches in 
length. The other parts of the flowers were found to 
be in a normal condition and of the usual size. The 
cause of the monstrous condition'of these spurs was pro- 
bably due to the unusually high temperature to which, 
the plant had been subjected, and it is not an unfeasible 
presumption to suppose that as the nectariferous spurs 
are regarded as having originated through irritation 
set up by insect visitors, that an unusually high 
temperature would induce an additional flow of 
nutrition to those parts that are already hypertrophied- 
through heredity. During the year of 18S8 several: 
teratological specimens came under my notice. I 
found two flowers of Sempervivum arachnoideum in 
which the margins of the anther cells bore from four 
to six ovuliferous processes. I also found three 
flowers of three different species of Begonia with- 
stigmatiferous and ovuliferous stamens, and one flower 
in which the stigma was antheriferous. I also took 
note of several cases in which anthers occupied the 
place of the stigma, (i) A flower of Campanula 
medium in which four anthers occupied the position of 
the stigma. (2) A flower of GalaniJms 7iivalis having 
two anthers in place of the stigma. (3) A term inal' 
flower of Digitalis purpjtrea having six fertile stamens 
and no pistil ; the two short stamens reaching 
maturity first, the two intermediate following, and 
finally the two largest. I saw on a plant of Aquilegia 
(var. ?) growing in my garden a flower with two spurs, 
bearing rudimentary ovules, and three of the stamens. 



■yfcre stigmatiferous and ovuliferous. The probable 
■cause of the above-mentioned abnormalities I believe 
to have been largely due to environments, and the 
•following notes on Fritillaria melcagris and a variety 
oi Mintuhis tend somewhat to support this conclusion. 
In Apiil of the same year I obtained a bulb of 
fritillaria from its native haunt, the bulb was re- 
planted and rested, and it bloomed again in the 
following year at the end of March, The perianth of 
the flower was campanulated, but considerably smaller 
•than that of the previous year, the stamens were meta- 
morphosed into petals, and one crumpled petal very 
broad at the base occupied the position of the pistil. 
The plant before flowering had been kept in a dry 
atmosphere, and a somewhat dry and poor soil. I 
•purchased last year a pot of Mimulus (var. ?) from a 
•street stall, and on bringing it home it was allowed to 
remain in the dry warm atmosphere of a room ; when 
the new flowers opened they were found to be much 
smaller, and had lost the delicate salmon tint for 
which I had been induced to purchase it. A few 
days after the plant was removed to the greenhouse, 
and after a lapse of five weeks new flowers developed 
and were characterized by the colour, size and shape 
of those expanded when I purchased the plant. — 
J. H. A. Hicks, F.R.H.S. 

HuTCHiNSiA PETR^A. Hooker (3rd. Ed. 1884) 
states that this pretty little Cruciferous plant is to be 
found in Eltham Churchyard, where it has been 
naturalised, having been planted, it is supposed, by 
Dillenius. Has any reader of Science-Gossip found 
it there within recent years ? I have made a careful 
search for it this spring but have failed to find it, 
and therefore imagine it to be extinct. — W. B., 

Variation of Colour in Plants. — Having 
read Mr. Jones' interesting notes on the " Variation 
of Colours in Plants," I think the following observa- 
tions made last autumn when staying at Carr Bridge, 
Tnverness-shire, may perhaps be of some interest. 
The season was an extraordinarily good one from a 
Botanical point of view, the heather far above the 
average, every tree and shrub being covered with 
blossom or fruit, the currant and gooseberry trees 
had their lower branches dragged down to the ground 
by the unusual weight of fruit, and the raspberries 
lasted from about the 15th of August to the same 
date in September. Wild flowers too, were very 
fine and numerous, especially "the blue bells of 
Scotland" (^Campanula rotundijlord) occurring for 
the most part on grassy slopes and the outskirts of 
corn-fields, where they exhibited great variety both 
in size and colouring, varying from a deep purple to 
a very pale blue ; the contrast, however, was greatest 
in size, some plants preferring quality to quantity, 
bearing three or four bells per stalk nearly an inch in 
depth, while others bore double the number but only 
a quarter of the size. With regard to the white 

variety I found but two examples, one on the edge of 
an oat-field, the other at a burn side. Both were fine 
plants, bearing eight and five bells respectively of a 
beautiful creamy-white colour. I have met with 
this variety in several counties, and though of rare 
occurrence it appears to be generally distributed over 
Scotland. The common scabious {Knautia arvensis) 
was very plentiful and of every shade between purple 
and snow white, the same plants frequently bearing 
flowers of different tints, one specimen had two 
flowers on the same stalk, one normal, the other 
dwarf and about three quarters of the way up the 
main stem, to which it was attached at right angles 
by a small pedicle. This species rarely occurs above 
an altitude of 1,000 feet, thriving best in moist grassy 
situations. The most abundant plant and the most 
striking in its colour eiTects was the common heather 
or ling {Erica vulgaris), which, clothing as it does, 
miles of hill-side and moorland with its lovely purple 
bloom, constitutes one of the greatest charms of 
Highland scenery. This species is by no means 
constant in its colouring, there being at least three 
distinct varieties : (i) purple inclined to mauve ; 
(2) purple inclined to carmine ; (3) pure white, 
which last is very rare and when young hard to 
distinguish from variety (l), the buds of the latter 
being almost colourless, save a faint pinkish tinge at 
their base. I have found it on every moor visited, 
only, however, in small sprigs amongst miles of the 
ordinary type. After flowering, the heather siill 
serves a number of purposes, being used for brooms, 
thatching, making beds for the poor, and heating 
ovens. It is considered lucky to find the white 
variety. The cross-leaved heath {E, tetralix) is, I 
think, the prettier flower of the two, though its beauties 
are not so obvious until we raise its modestly hanging 
head, which at once reveals the wealth of colour 
displayed in the shading of its delicate bells. These 
being carmine-coloured at the base, make the flower 
apparently darker than it is, the bells being in reality 
quite wliite at their mouths and increasing in colour 
towards the base. This species grows plentifully in 
peat-bogs and other moist situations on the moors, 
being generally found in clumps, getting rather 
straggling above an altitude of 3,000 feet. It is not 
apparently subject to much variation, though last 
August I had the good fortune to light on a clump, 
bearing white flowers ; not a pale transparent, but 
an opaque creamy-white ; there were over thirty 
blooms, the roots soaking in water. Never having 
heard of this variety before, I should very much like 
to know whether any reader of " Science Gossip" 
has met with it ? The common purple heath 
{E. cinerca) is the least abundant of the three men- 
tioned, being only found on bare rocky ground and 
the faces of cliffs, where comparatively little moisture 
accumulates, and is not subject to variation in colour. 
It occurs at an altitude of 4,000 feet very stunted, 
about 2,5co suits it best, where I have taken speci- 



mens nearly a foot long, having at least six inches 
surrounded with bloom. I have not heard of a 
white variety. The mosses were well represented ; 
on the moors, by the common club moss {Lycopodiitm 
clavatnm), called there, "stag's horn moss," and the 
Alpine club moss (Z. alpiniim) ; and on rocks, 
boulders, &c. by Dicrannm scoparinm and D. 
Botijeanni. The peat-bogs and water-holes were 
full of innumerable water-plants and mosses, most of 
them unknown to me, forming a carpet of wonderful 
beauty in pattern and colouring, such a one as only 
Nature's pencil could design or her brush enliven 
with its lovely shades of yellow, green, pink, and 
purple ; truly an enticing seat, but to say the least of 
it, " just a wee saft." I recognised here the following 
species of Sphagnum, S. cy7?ibifolinm, S. rigidiim, 
S. Austmi, and several other specimens I was unable 
to identify. Parnassus grass {Parnassia palustris), 
the two cotton grasses {Eriophorum vaginatum and 
E. polystachu7)i) and the fragrant sweet gale {Myrica 
gale) wert abundant, greatly adding to the beauty and 
attractiveness of the spot. In dryer situations, cran- 
berries [Oxycoccics palustris) and crowberries or crake- 
berries i^Empetriim nigrum) grew abundantly amidst 
the heather, the latter in black shining clusters of five 
or six, or singly along the small-leaved stems, and were 
quite as conspicuous as their larger-leaved neighbours, 
indeed, growing as most of these do right down 
under, the leaves, it is no wonder they so rarely ripen, 
the average colour being scarlet above and white 
below, even when ripe they are dry and tasteless, a 
contrast to the very juicy and not unpleasantly 
flavoured crowberries ; both, however, are very 
inferior to the purple bilberry or blayberry ( Vacci- 
?iiitm myrtillus) also called blowberry, so plentiful in 
woods. From a distance perhaps, a Scotch moor 
does not appear a very promising field for the 
botanist, but on coming to close quarters, the great 
wealth and variety of vegetable life is truly astonish- 
ing, and I feel sure anyone spending even a few 
hours in studying these moorland wonders, will be 
amply repaid for so doing. — D. II. S. Stewart. 


The North-West of England Boulder Com- 
mittee. — A society under this title has been formed 
for the study of the glacial phenomena of the North- 
West of England, North Wales, and the Isle of Man. 
It has been in existence only two months, but already 
numbers fifty-two members, amongst whom may be 
reckoned some of the best-known glacial geologists 
of the North of England. The society is about to 
publish shortly a handbook for the guidance of its 
members in the methods of observing glacial pheno- 
mena. Meetings are held once a month, and the 
society is peripatetic, like the British Association. 


A White Toad. — We are accustomed to keep' 
one or two toads in the greenhouse, for the purpose 
of keeping off injurious insects. One of these animals 
was put in about four months ago, and has turned a 
light yellowish white. The temperature of the house 
ranges from about 50° to 70° Fahr. Is it the heat 
that has brought about this curious change ? — IV. H. 

Bats flying in Sunlight. — On April 15th,, 
1 89 1, I was very much surprised to see a small bat 
flying about in full daylight. I watched it for some 
time, and on April iSth I and a friend of mine went 
to the same field and saw two bats. The sun was 
shining brightly on both mornings, and both times it 
was after li a.m. The two were busy when we left, 
at nearly i p.m. — D. M. Higgins, '93 Wellington- 
Street, Luton. 

Bats in Daylight. — In answer to Mr. J. E. 
Taylor's note about bats flying in broadidaylight, I find 
the following note in my journal, " I witnessed a 
curious sight on Sunday, February 15th (1891), the day- 
being bright but cold, on coming out of church just 
before one, a pair of bats (? species) flying about as if 
it had been twilight, although as a matter of fact the- 
sun was shining brightly." This was at Harlington, 
Middlesex.—//. J. Toipey. 

Society for the S.E. District. — Would any. 
gentlemen residing in the S.E. district, who are 
willing to join a small society,' for mutual and practical' 
study, and field-work send their names and addresses 
to Mr. L. O. Grocock, 13 Lower Maryon Road,. 
Charlton, S.E. The subscription would be small, 
and workers in all branches of Natural History would 
be welcomed. 

Variations of Colour in Plants. — Among the 
plants liable to variations of colour I have seen no- 
mention of Bartzia odontites, white specimens of 
which are frequent by the roadside at South Weald 
and Navestock in Essex. The soil is a stiff clay. — 
Norris F. Davey, Abergavenny. 

Swallows destroying their Young. — The 
philosopher Kant one day was passing a certain 
building in his daily walk, and on looking up, he 
discovered as he fancied that the old birds were 
actually throwing their young ones out of the nests.. 
It was a season remarkable for the scarcity of insects, 
and the birds were apparently sacrificing some of 
their progeny to save the rest. — III. A. 

Bats in Daylight. — On the 27th April I saw a 
large bat flying over the river Medvvay between 12. 
o'clock and i p.m., a warm, but not very bright day, 
A few days before a little bat was seen by several 
people flying near the edge of a wood down in the 
Weald, at midday. Can it be scarcity of insects that 
brings the bats out at unusual hours ? — -31. E, Pope. 

Early appearance of the Cuckoo. — The 
cuckoo was heard on the Barmouth Hills on the 
2Sth of March. Some people say they heard him in 
the same direction a week before that date. — 3f. E. T.,. 
Barmouth, N. Wales. 

The Two Sides of the Medal.— It seems to me 
that a great deal of what Mrs. Bodington remarked 
on this subject is difficult to controvert. Everybody 
knows that certain diseases acquired during the life- 



lime of the parent are hereditary in the offspring, and 
lience the jealous care exercised by families and the 
state to prevent the diseases in question, being com- 
municated to the healthy. J. W. Baylis, says the 
whole question hinges on whether these diseases be 
acquired or congenital. There are many diseases 
peculiar to man that must, at all events, have been 
acquired during the lifetime of the race. Not to talk 
of diseases the result of immorality, there must have 
been a time when neither drunkenness nor suicide were 
manifest. I believe the earlist tendency to a 
hereditary love of alcoholic spirits arose from our first 
ancestors who began to indulge too freely, and not 
from the temperate and moderate. In saying this I 
know the avidity with which savages take to our 
intoxicants. Most of these savages have, however, 
some stimulant or narcotic of their own, less potent 
than ours, which is therefore preferred. Indeed the 
"building up of that degree of temperance and wisdom, 
with regard to the use of stimulants, must have been 
a process that has risen since distillation and fermen- 
tation were invented. No doubt it would be acquired 
somewhat in the lifetime of a parent, and heredity 
would strengthen it. There are families whose 
genealogies show us a procession of sober individuals, 
just as there are others who present us with a 
long succession of topers. In the same way we 
might ask concerning every contagious or infectious 
disease peculiar to man, or to circumstances inter- 
woven with civilisation, Who took it first ? Was it 
not acquired first of all in the lifetime of some in- 
■dividual ? If so, then, being hereditary, it seems a 
fair case for those who believe in use-inheritance. — 
y. Shaw, Tynrofi, Dumfriesshire. 

Trout. — The following extract is from this season's 
price list of the Howietoun'Fishery, Sterling : — "The 
Rainbow trout in the second generation, have proved 
much more satisfactory than was anticipated (from 
noting the imported ova). Where a depth of water 
of eight feet or over can be obtained, and where the 
fish can be confined, we now recommend them as 
the quickest growers and the most beautiful salmonoid 
we have yet met with. But they must have deep 
water." I recently had the pleasure of turning 
about 2200 Loch Leven (6". Levenensis) yearling 
trout into reservoirs near here, which had been 
hatched and reared by the managers of this fishery : 
and I noted that although some of them were in 
unchanged water for over seventeen hours, there were 
only two dead fish in the tanks ; the rest were so 
strong that they " cut to cover," almost before we 
could get a sight of them in their new abode. — Thos. 
Winder, A.M.I.C.E., Sheffield. 

Cure for Bite of Mad Dog. — In searching a 
number of ancient documents, I recently found the 
following curious receipt, which may perhaps be of 
sufficient interest to deserve a place in the pages of 
Science-Gossip. I preserve the original spelling 
and punctuation. "An infalliable cure for the Bite 
of a mad dog brought from Tonquin by Sir George 
Cobb Bart. Take 24 grains of native Cinnabor 
24 grains of factitious Cinnabor and 16 grains of 
INIusk ; grind all these together into an exceeding 
fine powder ; and put into a small tea-cup of Arrack 
rum or brandy ; let it be well mixed and give it y* 
person as soon as possible after y'^ bite ; a second 
dose of y° same must be repeated thirty days after ; 
and a third may be taken in thirty days more, but 
if the symptoms of madness appear on y*^ persons 
they must take one of y' above doses immediately 
and a second in an hour after, and if wanted a 
third must be given a few hours afterwards. The 

above receipt is calculated for a full grown person, 
but must be given to children in smaller quan- 
tities in proportion to their ages. This medicine 
has been given to hundreds with success and Sir 
George Cobb himself has cured two persons who 
had y° symptoms of madness upon them. If in the 
madness they cannot take in liquid, make it up into 
a bolus with honey : after the two first doses, let it be 
repeated every three or four hours till y° patient be 
recovered. This repetition to be omitted unless 
necessary. Take all imaginary care that the musk be 
genuine." This mem. bears date 1760. — Thos. 
Winder, A.M.I.C.E., Sheffield. 



publish SciKNCE-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 must adhere to our rule of 
not noticing queries which do not bear the writers' names. 

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. 

Special Note. — There is a tendency on the part of some 
exchangers to send more than one per month. We only allow 
this in the case of writers of papers. 

To OUR Recent Exchangers. — We are willing and helpful 
to our genuine naturalists, but we cannot further allow dis- 
guised Exchanges like those which frequently come to us 
to appear unless as advertisements. 

W. M. Osmond. — The micro-photo of the articular process 
foimd on the body of an Indian caterpillar is very remarkable. 
We should advise you to send a photo to Mr. Beddard, Pro- 
sector, Zoological Society. 

Miss R. — You will find a good description of how to bleach 
and prepare skeleton leaves, seed-vessels, &c., in the volume of 
SciENCE-Gossip for 1873. 

C. S. — Get " Notes on Collecting and Preparing Natural 
History Objects," edited by J. E. Taylor, published by W. H. 
Allen & Co., y. dd. Also all the vols. (2^'. 6d. each, 8 in 
number) of "The Fauna and Flora of the British Islands," 
published by the S.P.C.K., except those you name. "The 
Playtime Naturalist" (London; Chatto, 55.) will help you 
considerably. " Elementary Microscopic Manipulation," by 
T. C. White.—" Half-hours with the Microscope," by Dr. 
Lankester (W. H. Allen, ^s. 6d.). 

S. A. Chambers. — The specimen you sent us was 'a some- 
what dwarfed var. of the purple dead nettle [Lamiuat pur- 
pur euni). 

P. T.— Apply to Messrs. W. Wesley & Son, Essex Street. 
Strand, who keep all sorts of secondhand scientific .books on 
all sorts of subjects. 

R. W. — Get Mr. F. Enock's list of entomological prepara- 
tions, with the descriptions accompanying them, published 
two or three years ago by him. 

We are informed that a Rambler's Field Club for the South- 
west of London is now in course of formation. Apply for 
information to Mr. W. Andrews, Landseer Street, Batter- 
sea, S.W. 

R. M. S. — The " Diatomiste " may be obtained of J. Tempere, 
168 Rue St. Antoine, Paris ; price of each number, 4^. 

T. Brown (Bolton). — The matrix of the fragment of mill- 
stone grit is chiefly a partly decomposed felspar. There is also 
a secondary deposit of silica. 


Wanted, living British spiders. Micro preparations given 
in exchange. — John Rhodes, Blackburn Road, Accrington. 

Wanted, to exchange foreign postage stamps with moderate 
collectors of from looo to 2000. Also, what offers in stamps 
for collection of British butterflies and moths, about 650 speci- 
mens, in good condition? — Stanley Morris, School Hill, Lewes, 

Wanted, foreign shells and unmounted diatoms, polycistines, 



forams, &c., in exchange for choice micro-sUdes of every 
description, and British marine shells. Foreign correspondence 
solicited.— R. Suter, 5 Highweek Road, Tottenham, London. 

Offered, books. "Elementary Chemistry," "Elementary 
Physics," "Practical Chemistry," "Inorganic Chemistry," 
" Elements of Acoustics," " Our World, its Rocks and Fossils," 
" Livre des Versions," "German Grammar," " School Hist, of 
England," and a number of similar books of instruction. Offers 
wanted in other books, shells, stamps, or garden requisites. — 
Mrs. Heitland, The Priory, Shrewsbury. 

"Gardening Illustrated," in seven volumes, 1884-90, un- 
bound. What offers in scientific or other books?— A. B., 
Advertiser Office, Chepstow, Mon. 

Trinidad Icpidoptera offered for a good classified list of 
lepidoptera — Kirby preferred. — \V. E. Broadway, Royal 
Botanic Gardens, Trinidad, B.W.I. 

Offered, good botanical microscopic slides, for books on 
botany or microscopy.— J. Collins, i^j Muntz Street, Bir- 

Eggs of British ducks and other birds, wanted in exchange 
for nests and eggs.— W. Gyngell, 28 Wesiborough, Scar- 

Wanted, cleaned diatoms, foraminifera and polycistina, 
volvox and other freshwater algs in vials, insects' eggs, podura, 
lepisma, fleas, sawflies, cockchafers, large water-beetles, and 
other insects. State requirements in exchange. — Henry 
Ebbage, Framlingham, Suffolk. 

Duplicates. — Trochiis striatus, Pupa riiigens, hlelatiia 
sp., liUirex acictdatus. Purpura hcentastotna, Nclicina beryl- 
Una (?), Littorina scutulata, Acinaa spectruvi, and others. 
Desiderata, exotic mollusca, especially land shells. — Brockton 
Tomlin, The Green, Llandaft". 

Clausilia Rolfikti [ver'Aed. by Mr. Th. Cockerell) from a new 
Kentish locality, in exchange for other not common British 
land and freshwater shells.— Rev. J. W. Horsley, Woolwich. 

Science-Gossip, numbers 157 to 205, unbound. Exchange 
for geological lantern-slides, or offers. — J. T. Cook, Edina, 
Stoneygate, Leicester. 

Helix effulgens, H. calcadeiisis, H. inpeina, H. achatina, 
H. plectostojjia, H. attaranensis, H. textrina, H. scalpturita, 
Bulimus doinina, B. Nevilliana, B. Beddomiana, offered in 
exchange for other land or for marine shells. Pecteii bifrons, 
P. plica, P. le»iniscatus, in exchange for other species of pecten. 
— Miss Luter, Arragon Close, Twickenham. 

Offered, eggs of lapwing, moorhen, razorbill, curlew, 
missel-thrush, ring dove, rook, black-headed and lesser black- 
backed gull, coot, sedge warbler, lesser redpoll, &c., also 
Science-Gossip, unbound, for 1890. Wanted, eggs of raven, 
switt, ruff, nightjar, hawfinch, kite, goshawk, &c. — G. Nichol- 
son, 3 Crown Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

Offered, Beale's " Micro, in Medicine ;" Berkeley's 
" Introd. to Cryptogamic Botany," in first-class binding; 
Baker's "Employment for the Microscope," with all the 
original plates; "Alternation of Generations" (Stenstrup), 
Ray Soc. ; pure gathering of batrachiosperma for mounting. 
Wanted, "Journal of Microscopy and Nat. Science" for last 
three years (vols. 6, 7, and 8), bound, works on freshwater 
algae, rhizopods, &c. — J. E. Lord, Rawtenstall. 

Lantern slides (photos, statuary, &c.), wanted in exchange 
for first-class micro objects. — F. E. Hillman, i Harcourt Road, 
Wallington, Surrey. 

Wanted, British land or freshwater shells, or any books 
relating to same. Will give micro material or slides, or foreign 
stamps in exchange. — A. AUetsee, i South Villas, Kensington 
Road, Redland, Bristol. 

Finely preserved sea-urchins (E. sphxra) with spines — M. 
incurva, pellucida, T. /abula, J\I. snbtruncata, S. ensis, T. 
papyracea, H. pcllucidum, T. testudinalis, H. vlvic, A . cygnea 
(Scotch), ^. corneum, var. pisidiodes, P./ontiuah; P. pusillum, 
S. clegaiis, H. netnoralis, var. rubella, &c., offered for British 
or foreign shells, or lepidoptera. — T. Paterson, 59 Hazelbank 
Terrace, Edinburgh. 

Wanted, Leda caudata, Natica helicoides, Pleuroioma 
striolata. Vertigo moulinsia>ta, var. pusilla. Will anyone 
oblize me with any in return for any of the following rare 
shells : Cyclostrema serpuloides, Scalaria clathrat:ila, Eulima 
bilincata, Odostoinia nivosa, and others. — T. E. Sclater, Bank 
Street, Teignmouth. 

Wanted, land and freshwater shells of fossils from any 
formation not im collection, in exchange for Aiicylus lacustris, 
Planorbis vortex, P. carinatus, Limnica glaber, L. stagnalis, 
L. peregra, Spkarum corneutn, Physa Jontinalis, Helix 
Jiortensis, H. pomatia, H. hispida, Clausilia rugosa, Pholas 
Candida, and others. — R. D. Laurie, 19 Willow Bank Road, 

Offered, Phillips' "Metallurgy," Phillips' "Geology," 
Catlow's " Conchology," Lardner's "Natural Philosophy," 
&c. (list sent), in exchange for secondary fossils. Address — 
M., 56 Clarendon Villas, Brighton. 

Wanted, foreign shells not in collection, more especially 
helices and bulimi. Offered, other shells. Foreign corre- 
spondence invited. — G. R. Sykes, 13 Doughty Street, London, 


Hairs and spines of sea-mouse, in exchange for micro-fungi, 
unmounted material. — A. Montague, Penton, Crediton. 

Ularginella glabella (from Mazagan), Haliotts iuberculata 
(Mazagan), Helix potnatia (Switzerland). Exchange foreign 
shells not in collection. — L. Montague, Penton, Crediton. 

Proctor's "Star Atlas," and " Half-Hours with the Stars," 
offered in exchange for books on microscopy. Also Hydra 
vulgaris and Melicerta ringens for Hydra viridis, — W. F. 
Kelsey, Maldon. 

Dredgings and good drift wanted, containing shells, &c., 
from the fo'lowing places: coast of Scilly, Guernsey, Scotch 
Isles, North Sea, Irish coast, near Cork, and from the entrance 
to the Bristol Channel. Good exchange given. — A. J. R. 
Sclater, M.C.S-, 23 Bank Street, Teignmouth, South Devon. 

Offered, Scienck-Gossip, unbound, clean, complete, 14 
vols., 1S76 to 1889. Wanted, algological or botanical books,, 
or other exchange. — T. H. Buffham, A.L.S., Comely Bank 
Road, Walthamstow. 

Several hundred British lepidoptera, in exchange for out- 
door plants, roses, and ferns. — W. H. T., in Queen's Road, 

Huxley's " Physiogr.aphy," Nos. 245 to 291 of Science- 
Gossip, and entomological collecting and preserving apparatus, 
in exchange for science books or micro-slides. — W. E. Watkins, 
30 Dalmeny Road, Tufnell Park, London, N. 

Offered, Cassell's "Natural History," Parts i to 8, new 
edition now appearmg. — Chas. Leigh, 47 Sydney Street, 
London, S.W. 

Wanted, nests of goldfinch, long-tai'ed tit, golden-crested 
wren, and redpole, during the season. Eggs, shells, or 
lepidoptera offered in exchange. — William Hewen, 12 Howard 
Street, Fulford Road, York. 

" Nature," in weekly numbers, unbound, for the year 18S2, 
three numbers missing ; 1883, five numbers missing ; 1S84, com- 
plete, in exchange for British land and freshwater shells. — 
T. Place, 50 Townend Street, York. 

Science-Gossip, in parts, from January, 1887, to December, 
1890. Offers requested in foraminiferous material, papers on 
the foraminifera, or good micro-slides. — A. Earland, 3 Eton 
Grove, Dacre Park, Lee, S.E. 

Wanted, British land and freshwater shells. Can offer in 
exchange Pupa secale, Carychiutn minimum, &c. Address — 
H. T. Smith, 11 Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol. 

Wanted, a few British mosses ; will give slides, &c., in 
exchange. Address — T. B., Conservative Club, Hinckley. 

Wanted, a good li-inch objective, or a section cutter, in 
exchange for bound vols, of "Journal of Royal Microscopical 
Society," for 18S7 and 18S8.— F. Coles, 53 Brook's Road, Stoke 
Newington, London. 

Offered, Xylophaga dorsalis, Pholas crispata, and ]\Iya 
arenaria, last two with siphons extended. Wanted, shells not 
in collection. — J. Smith, Monkredding, Kilwinning. 

Wanted, Bowman's "Cotton Fibre " and Porter's "Treatise 
on Silk." State desiderata to R. S. Dawson, Belmont, Shipley. 

Science-Gossip, from commencement to present date of 
issue, what offers? — Linder, New Brompton, Kent. 


" Coal, and What we Get from It," by R. Meldola (London : 
S.P.C.K.).— "The Missouri Botanic Garden."— Fifth Report 
U.S. Entomological Commission — Forest Insects," by A. S. 
Packard (Washington). — "Annual Report Fruit-Grower's 
Association of Ontario, 1S90." — "Colour Measurement and 
Mixture," by Capt. Abney (London: S.P.C.K.).— " Tele- 
scopic Work for Starlight Evenings," by W. F. Denning 
(London: Taylor and Francis). — "Zoological Articles," by 
Prof Lankester and Others (Edinburgh: A. and C. Black). — 
"Geologists' Association — A Record of Excursions made 
between i860 and 1810," edited by T. V. Holmes and C. D. 
Sherborn (London: Edward Stanford). — "Discovery," No. 5. 
—"The Conchologist," No. i.— "The Pedicula and Mallo- 
phaga," by Prof. H. Osborn (Washington: Govt. Office). — 
"Bulletin of Microscopical Society of Calcutta." — "Nature 
Notes." — "American Microscopical Journal." — *'The Micro- 
scope."—" American Naturalist." — " Canadian Entomologist." 
—"The Naturalist."— The Botanical Gazette."— " The Gen- 
tleman's Magazine."— "The Midland Naturalist."— " The 
Garner." — " Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes," &c., &c. 

Communications received up to the 13TH ult. from : 
J. E. N.— T. S.— S. A. C— J. H. C— I. T. C— F. T. S.— 
H. E. G.— W. W.— T. W.— A. C. D.— J. W. H.— L. E. A.— 
M. B. M.— I. E. v.— Mrs. H.— H. E.— B. T.— E. F. S.— 
M. W.— W. G.— W. H. S.— J. C— W. E. B,— J. R.— C. O. S. 
— D. H. S. S.— S. M.— R. S— D. M. W.— P. F. K.-M. E. P. 
—J. H. M.-H. F.— J. E. U.— P. T.— C. S.— E. B.— H. D.— 
W. F. R.— J. W. W.— W. B.— F. C. M.— C. L. B. C— F. E. H. 
— H. J. T.— A. H.— M. E. P.— A. A.— A. J. R. S.— T. E. S. 
— R. O. L.-Miss L.— J. E. L.— N. F. D.— E. R. S.— L. M.— 
A. M.— J. W. P.— G. N.— Dr. I.— J. C. H.— W. H. T.— 
T. H. B.— J. H. W. H.— J. C— E. B.— T. S. B.— A. J. S.— 
A. E.-J. P.— W. H.— C. L.-W. E. W.-E. H.— W. J. S.- 
J. H.-J. S.— E. M.— R. S. D.— J. S.— H. E. E.— W. M. O. 
— &c, &c. 





N the following few 
notes on several of 
the better-known 
gums and resins, 
I have adopted 
no systematic ar- 
Neither have I 
said all I should 
have liked to have 
said concerning 
them. But as it 
was not consistent 
with the room at 
my disposal to 
mention all their 
various uses, I 
have suppressed 
the minor proper- 
ties and given in 
as few words as 
possible the more interesting features. 

I have endeavoured to give the name of the plant 
producing each variety, together with its uses, native 
country and other interesting items. 

The distinctions between gums, resins and balsams 
may be briefly tabulated as follows : 

Resins are the inspissated or thickened juices of 
plants. They are generally mixed with an essential 
oil, are insoluble in water, but are soluble enough in 
either alcohol or the essential oils. Their general 
characters are inflammability and fusibility. Their 
ultimate components are carbon, oxygen, and 
hydrogen. v 

Gtims are soluble in water, but are insoluble in 

Balsams or Gum resins contain a quantity of gum, 
are partly soluble in water, partly so in alcohol, or in 
other words, they take bo:h alcohol and water to 
perfectly dissolve them. 

Gum arabic is produced by several species of 
No. 319.— July 1891. 

acacia. It is quite soluble in water, but in alcohol, 
ether and oils it is insoluble. It forms an acid 
solution, as permalate of lime is present. Several of 
the metallic oxides combine with it. It is very 
nutritious, so much so that the Arabs who gather it 
nearly live upon it during harvest-time. We import 
it from the Levant, Barbary, Senegal, Cape of Good 
Hope, India, Cairo, &c. 

Gum Senegal the product of Acacia Senegal. This 
is the best kind of Arabian gum. It is much more 
clear than gum arabic, sometimes entirely white, in 
drops as large as a pigeon's egg. Its principal use is 
in the manufacture of silks, muslins, crapes, &c., to 
give them the requisite amount of stiffness and glaze. 
It is also mixed with the colours in caUco printing to 
give them solidity. 

Gu7n tragacanth or gum dragon. This is obtained 
from Astralagus ti-agacantha. In appearance it 
resembles twisted ribbons, of a brownish whitt 
colour, opaque and rather ductile. When pulverized 
in a mortar it is of a white colour. The operation of 
pulverizing is a difficult one, and should be performed 
in a hot mortar, the gum having been previously heated 
to 212° Fahr. This gum has a remarkable power of 
consistence, a small piece swelling up to many times 
its own size. It has not, however, such a strong 
power of adhesiveness as gum arabic, but if equal 
parts of the two be mixed together it forms a nice 
white gum, very suitable for fastening plants to paper, 
and other natural history work. The tree is itself a 
native of Crete. 

Gum sandarach. The product of Callitris quadri- 
valvis is a native of Barbary. This gum is chiefly 
used in the manufacture of varnishes, for which it 
is peculiarly adapted. The Turks employ the wood 
in the construction of their mosques, it being very 
tough and possessing great lasting qualities. Im- 
portation about fifteen tons per annum. 

Barbary gum, a very dark-looking kind produced 
by the Acacia gufnmifera. In the manufacture of 
lozenges and confectionery it has valuable qualities. 




It calls for no special comment. We import it from 
the Morocco coast. 

Gum gedda, an inferior quality of the foregoing. 
Reddish colour. 

Canada balsam. This is supplied by the Abies 
balsamifera. It is contained in blisters in the bark. 
The blisters are punctured, and the balsam is 
collected as it exudes. This is a most useful sub- 
stance, being in great demand in a number of manu- 
factures, &c. It is used in cementing lenses together. 
In microscopy comment is needless, but besides 
being an excellent preservative, it gives great trans- 
parency to the object. We import nearly all of it 
from America. 

Gitaiaaim. This resin exudes from the Giiaiacum 
officifiale, a native of Jamaica and the surrounding 
islands. A piece of paper treated with tincture of 
guaiacum takes on a green tint under the violet rays, 
when exposed to the prismatic spectrum, through 
oxidization. Red rays destroy the colour. Solu- 
bility, 90 per cent, in absolute alcohol. Lignum vitse, 
the hardest and heaviest wood known, and which 
sinks on being placed in water, is the timber of this 

Copal. This is the product of several leguminous 
plants in Africa, East Indies, South America, and 
Australia. It is generally seen in large angular 
lumps, often as large as a hen's egg, of a bright 
yellow colour, and very transparent. The African 
variety is of a darker colour, and not so transparent ; 
its surface appears dusty. The Australian is the 
largest. That from the East Indies is the product 
of Hymencza coiirbaril. In lumps sometimes nearly 
sqiiare and generally covered all over with slight 
indentations. It is known as gum anime. Chiefly 
used for fine varnishes. 

Guj7t mastic^ the product of Pistacia lentiscus. In 
small ovoid and round tears about the size of a pea 
and rather flattened. The tree is a native of Chio 
and Northern Africa. To obtain the resin the bark 
is cut transversely, after which the mastic exudes in 
small drops and either hardens on the bark or falls 
to the ground. That which falls to the ground is 
the inferior quality. It has a fragrant smell, and is 
much used by the Turkish ladies in their toilet. A fine 
varnish is made from it. Dentists also use it for 
stopping hollow teeth. About ten or twelve tons are 
imported annually, mostly from the Levant. 

Gtim dammar: this is a light-coloured substance 
which is obtained from the Piniis dainmara, native 
in India, from whence it is exported. It is very useful 
in making varnishes, especially photographic. It is 
soluble in benzole, only partly so in alcohol, and is 
used sometimes as a substitute for Canada balsam. 

Gutn gamboge: a product of Hedyadendro7i gam- 
bogioides, native on the Malabar coast and in Ceylon. 
It is a gum resin, and is obtained by puncturing the 
bark of the tree when the flowers begin to appear. 
We know it best by its appearance in amorphous 

masses, but it also takes the form of hollow rolls and 
solid cylinders. The best hollow rolls come from 
Siam. From this gum the beautiful yellow colour of 
gamboge is manufactured. 

Gtdta-percha : the inspissated juice of Isonandra 
gutta. When freshly gathered it is rough, dry, 
slightly soluble and very inflammable. To render it 
fit for use it is immersed in boiling water ; this 
softens it and makes it capable of being moulded into 
any shape, which it retains when cold. 

The juice is found between the bark and the 
wood. Its uses are too numerous to specify, many 
being too well known. 

Caoutchouc, india-rubber, is the product of many 
euphorbiaceous plants. We get most of it from the 
Brazils and Central America. In Brazil it is 
obtained from the Siphonia elastica, which grows to a 
height of between fifty to sixty feet ; and in Central 
America it is obtained from Castilloa elastica. Most 
of that we now use comes from Central America, 
where the juice is simply collected into cups, from 
incisions made in the bark. To coagulate the milky 
juice and convert it into rubber fit for exportation, 
the juice of a vine called "achuca" is mixed with it 
and so powerful is its action that five or six minutes 
is sufficient to produce coagulation. The Brazilian 
method slightly differs. The juice is first collected 
in clay bowls, it is then smeared over various shaped 
moulds, made also in clay and taking the form of 
bottles, balls, spindles, &c. Successive coats are 
laid on, each one having previously been allowed to 
thoroughly dry; either in the sun or in the smoke of 
a fire, which blackens it. When a sufficient thickness 
is obtained, the clay is washed out leaving the india- 
rubber ready for exportation. The trees yield 
twenty or thirty gallons of juice, and when we con- 
sider that each gallon will produce two pounds of 
market india-rubber, the harvest is not so bad. 
Other trees producing caoutchouc are Siphonia 
brasiliensis, S. hitea, and S. brevifolia. 

Dextrine, British gum, torrified starch. To pro- 
duce this gum, starch is heated until vapour rises ; by 
this procedure the starch becomes soluble both in 
cold^and hot water, and all its gelatinous character 
disappears. It can also be made by moistening 1000 
parts of dry starch with very dilute nitric acid. It is 
formed in small blocks and dried in the open air, 
afterwards being placed in an oven heated to 152°. 
After this they are pulverized and again dried by 
heat. In colour dextrine is pale yellow ; insoluble 
in alcohol, more flexible and not so brittle when dry 
as gum. Dextrine and starch have the same 
chemical composition CgHjoOs. The gum on the 
back of postage stamps is dextrine. 

Turpentine. This valuable fluid is the product of 
several trees, principally Pinus pahistris and P. tceda. 
Most of it comes from the United States, generally 
in large barrels, of the consistence of treacle or honey. 
The oil is obtained by distillation and the remainder 



is the common resin sometimes called rosin, which is 
applied to a variety of uses. There are several 
kinds of turpentine, viz., Venice turpentine, procured 
from the Abies larix ; Strasburg, from Abies pecti- 
7iata ; Bordeaux turpentine, from the Pimis pinaster ; 
and Chio turps, from the Pistacia terebinthis. 

Gum thus or frankincense, an odoriferous product 
of the Boswellia scrrata. It is of slight use except 
for its odour, which the Roman Catholics turn to 
account in their churches. Employed also by the 
ancient priests of Egypt, its odour destroying the 
foul emanations from the sacrifices. It is imported 
from India and sometimes the Levant. 

Asafcetida {Narthex asafcetida). This flows from 
incisions made in the root of the tree. In colour it 
is milky white, but after it has been dried it takes on 
a pinkish tint and is curiously mottled. It has a 
most unpleasant odour. Afghanistan and Persia is 
the home of the tree. It is used medicinally as an 
anti-spasmodic in cases of asthma. 


I SHOULD like to record the capture in Alton, 
Hants, of two fine specimens of the saw fly, 
(Sirex jiivencHs), male and female. The female was 
taken September 18SS in Mr. Monk's chemist's shop, 
and the male on the ground in the High Street last 
summer. Both specimens were kindly given to me 
by the captors, and were alive at the time. This 
species of saw fly does not appear to be very abun- 
dant, and certainly is not so numerous as Sirex 
gigas. This is the first, and only two specimens of 
S. juvencHS I have had the pleasure of seeing, 
although I have been on the look-out for them some 

At the same time, my opinion is that S. juveiiciis is 
British, and probably in some localities is more 
plentiful than in others. Sirex gigas, the largest of 
these saw flies, is frequently taken in this neighbour- 
hood, and many specimens (all females) I have had 
brought and sent to me by friends, for the hornet. I 
found one pinned on my front door ; and on another 
occasion one was sent me securely fastened up with 
string in a paper box labled " Mind the sting." 
" Well," thought I, " what now ?— hornet ? " 

I carefully opened the box, peeped in, and — oh, 
my ! — not a hornet, but a fine female .5". gigas, with her 
long needle-like ovipositor, which had been taken for 
the sting of a hornet. The male of this species I have 
never seen alive. At the same time 6". juvencus was 
taken in the chemist's shop, Rhyssa persuasoria, one 
of the Ichneumonidae, was captured in the grocer's 
shop of Mr. Butler, in this town ; and this came into 
my possession. 

It is very fine specimen measuring from head to 
extreme point of ovipositor 2| inches. The ovi- 
positor alone is i| inches long, a fine instrument to 

probe timber for wood-boring larv:e, in which to lay 
its eggs. Can any of our correspondents say to what 
extent these saw flies are injurious to fir timber ? 
Will they attack healthy standing trees, or only the 
sickly ones, fallen timber, and fir-fencing ? Some 
years ago I had an old fir post brought me com- 
pletely honey-combed by larvce of S. gigas ; and 
towards the outside of post were specimens of the 
saw fly ready to emerge. To all appearance the saw 
fly had laid its eggs in the post. I am quite aware 
that it is the opinion of some, that the fly does not 
attack the healthy trees, but only the dead ones. If 
those of our correspondents who live close to fir 
plantations would make a few observations, and 
make them known through the medium of Science- 
Gossip, we should get a good bit of valuable 



By the Rev. Hilderic Friend, F.L.S., Author of 
" Flowers and Flower Lore." 

THE joints and sweets had been removed, and a 
fine piece of cheese— whether Gruyere, Gon- 
gales, or other, I am not connoisseur enough ito 
determine — but at any rate, a handsome, speckled 
green and white piece of cheese was brought on, 
whereupon our garrulous friend at the head of the 
table broke forth. " I saw such a thing the other 
day as I never saw before in my life. What funny 
stuff cheese is under the microscope ! " 

Now I pride myself upon being rather clever at the 

Fig. 108. — Willow-mite 
{Tetranychus salicis). The 
dot within the ring represents^Fig. 109.— Elm-mite [TctranycJius 
the natural size. ulmi), 

microscope, and I felt convinced that my friend the 
cheese-parer had not been looking at cheese under 
the microscope. Its pasty form presents no attrac- 
tions like those of the bonnie wee mites which the 
cheese-fancier likes to hear crack, crack between his 
teeth, as he takes a morsel of the most hvely portion 
and devours it after dinner as an antidote to indiges- 
tion. I therefore ventured to suggest to my friend 
that perhaps he had been inspecting- som.e cheese- 
mites. Exactly so ! 

H 2 



I am naturally a modest man, but I saw that this was 
a golden opportunity for descanting on the wonders of 
visible and invisible things ; and as my host and his 
circle of acquaintances assured me after the conversa- 
tion was over that it had been immensely interesting, 

the way in which certain things get left behind in the 
race of life, is that which these innocent mites afford 

" Indeed, I never care to see a piece of live cheese 
now," said my friend. " This is a case in which ' a 

[Fig. no. — Stone-mite [Tetranychus lapidus). From 
Taylor's " Playtime Naturalist." 

Fig. III.— Under side oi Arremtnts ^erforafus. Male [highly mag.). 

Fig. 112. — Arrenurus ellipticus. Male (mag.) 

I have ventured to make that piece of table-talk take 
its place by the side of Landor's, Coleridge's, and 
Luther's, in the hope that I, like them, may hereby 
gain immortality. 

" A. wonderful instance," Tbegan to explain, " of 

little knowledge is a dangerous thing,' and I grant 
the truth of the adage ' where ignorance is bliss 'tis 
folly to be wise.' I wish I had never seen a piece of 
mitey cheese under a magnifying-glass." 
I thereupon undertook to prove to him that even a 



cheese-mite would make a capital text for a parson (I 
speak sympathetically), by preaching him a most 
convincing sermon. By way of variation and illus- 
tration I begged that he would obtain without delay 
a most entertaining volume entitled " The Playtime 
Naturalist," and turn to the chapter which deals with 
mites, then come to my laboratory to see the identical 

motion. We may call the six-legged stage the larval 
condition, but if you wish to be deemed scientific, 
pray use the word Hypopus stage. That magic word 
will admit you at once into the front ranks of 
scientific literates. This larval condition, be it 
understood, was once regarded in a very different 
light. Many a battle has been fought over a six- 

Fig. 113.— Female of Arrenurus (mag.). 

Fig. zi^.— Arrenurus truncatelltts (mag.). 

Fig. 116. — Single eggs of Newt, wrapped in leaves, showing 
development. From " Playtime Naturalist." 

Fig. 115. — Arrenurus integrator (mag.). 

creatures under the microscope. Here I promised to 
show him the different stages from the egg to the 
perfect creature, and then he would better under- 
stand my meaning. 

" There is one thing," I continued, " which I wish 
to emphasize, and it is this ; that when the mite is 
half-way between egg and imago it has only six legs, 
whereas the perfect creature has eight organs of loco- 

legged Hypopus — the history of which has been duly 
chronicled by Michael in the ' Journal of the 
Linnean Society,' by Murray in ' Economic Ento- 
mology,' not to mention other authorities." 

My profound learning quite took the breath from 
my friend and his other guests, so that they never 
attempted to interrupt me. As I seldom get a 
chance to speak, I took the opportunity to point out 



that when the mite has only six legs it corresponds 
with insects, whereas in its perfect state it belongs to 
the spider family. Thus the mites "in this respect 
connect the two great classes of Insecta and 
Arachnida : " " Playtime Naturalist," pp 70, 170. 

"Wonderful! Wonderful!" exclaimed the com- 
pany, though I believe they were all the time think- 
ing more about the quality of the cheese than the 
quality of my sermon, which must have been uncon- 
scionably diy. However, I flattered myself that they 
were interested, and proceeded. 

"This is not the only parcel that has been left 

Fig. 117. — Development of Tadpole seventeen days after 
laying the egg. 

Fig. 118.— Eggs of Stone-mite. 


Fig. iig.— Segmentation of Tadpole's esg. A, fourteenth day. 
B, ditto, enlarged. 

behind," I continued ; and at a bound I passed from 
the mite to the frog. Whether my hearers knew the 
difference between a frog and a toad, I very much 
question, but it is well to flatter your hearers some- 
times by assuming that they know as much as your- 
self, for no one likes to be considered a noodle, 
though he may be the essence of stupidity. 

" Now," said I, "you know that when a frog's a 
tadpole it's a fish 1 " 

"Never! Wonderful!" 

"It is wonderful, indeed," I continued; and 
shameful as it must appear to the cool and philoso- 

phical outsider, I forthwith proceeded to preach a 
second sermon on things left behind. How far I 
succeeded I know not, but I endeavoured to show 
that when a frog lays its spawn there comes forth 
from each lump of jelly a tiny fish — scarce, if at all 
different from the young begotten by a salmon or a 
cod so far as the structure or anatomy is concerned — 
with gills instead of lungs and a tail for swimming 
instead of legs. I then showed how in due course 
the fish was left behind, and the creature, while still 
retaining its tail, improvised first one pair of legs and 
then a second until it stood on a par with the newts. 
Finally, I referred to the perfect animal, and showed 
how it gradually absorbed its tail, until it stood before 
us a beautiful and rational frog. 

My friends naturally wanted to know where all 
this was leading, and I explained that such facts had 
led the naturalist to theorize as follows : — Many 
animals — and plants as well in a less degree — under- 
go a series of changes in their progress from the germ 
to the adult. At various stages they correspond to 
animals whose development is complete — the larval 
six-legged mite with the insect, and the larval tad- 
pole with the fish — but eventually they pass beyond 
these forms and assume others which are different and 
higher. May not these stages indicate the lines along 
which the creatures have moved in their race- 
development ? Or to put the question in the 
language of science, Does not the ontogeny of the 
creature recapitulate its phylogeny ? {" Evolution," 
by Le Conte, p. 9 seq.). 

I need scarcely say that mine host began to feel 
that he was out of his depth, and I had to tow him to 
land. This I did by explaining that so far as our 
present knowledge goes the doctrine of evolution is 
better adapted than any other which is at this 
moment before the public to meet all the difficulties 
associated with the questions of manifest life, while 
its inabihty to deal with the origin of life, makes it 
necessary for us still to revert to the Biblical doctrine 
of a wise and beneficent Creator. 


JL by Sir W. Thomson, F.R.S., &c., vols, i and 
iii. (London : Macmillan). The all-embracing 
science of modern physics owes more to Sir William 
Thomson, perhaps, than any living man. Sir 
William is not only an ingenious inventor 
and a patient and accurate discoverer, but a born 
teacher as well. As a lecturer he is too much in 
earnest to stoop to popularity, and he is careless 
about addressing any other than earnest students and 
workers. He expects them to take a little trouble to 
understand him, and they all know he is worth it. 
Readers of these addresses must be prepared to 
master a score or so of terms and phrases before they 



are admitted to the "Third Degree." Then Sir 
William's style, although terse and brief, is clear and 
understandable. That he can command a large 
circle of readers is evidenced by the fact that the fifst 
edition of the work under notice was soon out of 
print, and a second had immediately to be issued. 
Vol. ii of the set has not yet been published. Some 
of these Essays and Addresses have became classic, 
notably those in vol. i. on "The Size of Atoms," and 
" The Sun's Heat." Another lecture in three parts 
is devoted to " The Secular Cooling of the Sun," 
"The Sun's Present Temperature," and "The 
Origin and Total Amount of the Sun's Heat." 
Among other addresses are " The Six Gateways of 
Knowledge," "The Wave Theory of Light," 
" Electrical Measurements," •' Capillary Attraction," 
&c, JMany of these are supplemented by original 
notes and appendixes. The whole of these 
valuable discourses are included in one volume, 
entitled "The Constitution of Matter." Volume iii. 
is called " Navigation," and is devoted to navi- 
gational affairs. Among them we find the following 
comprehensive range of subjects discoursed upon in 
various chief places: "The Tides," "Terrestrial 
Magnetism and the Mariner's Compass," " On Deep 
Sea Sounding by Pianoforte- Wire," "Lighthouse 
Characteristics," " The Forces concerned in the 
Laying- and Lifting of Deep-Sea Cables," 
"Navigation," &c. Many of these important 
summaries of valuable knowledge are also added to 
by original notes. Enough has been said, however, 
to show that the publication of Sir William 
Thomson's "Popular Lectures and Addresses" is a 
welcome addition to modern scientific literature. 

The Birds of Essex — A Cont7-ibiitioti to the Natural 
History of the County, by Miller Christy, F.L.S. 
(Chelmsford : Edmund Durrant). This is the 
second special memoir published by the Essex Field- 
Club — the most enterprising, active, zealous, and 
intelligent of our out-door societies. The author is 
a well-known, all-round naturalist, with a speciality 
for ornithology. He has long been a welcome 
contributor to the scientific press, some readers will 
well remember his name, although we miss the 
initial letter R in this his latest work. Ornithology 
is a branch of natural history which demands unusual 
patience and care ; and, as a rule, none but 
enthusiastic ornithologists study ornithology. We 
are gradually acquiring a series of splendid and trust- 
worthy monographs of British birds. In the eastern 
countries, particularly, we have Stevenson, 
Southwell, Babington, and now Miller Christy. 
The present work is got up with much taste. Most 
of the illustrations (162 in number) are first-rate 
specimens of natural history wood-cutting. Mr. 
Christy is known as a graceful and accom- 
plished writer, and he also brings to his work all 
the requisites of a good ornithologist. His book 
is prefaced with a highly reliable and most 

interesting chapter devoted to short biographies of 
the principal Essex ornithologists. Next we have 
an account of the Chief Essex Bird Collections, 
Migration Tables (by Mr. H. Doubleday and the 
Rev. R. Sheppard), a chapter of Hawks and 
Hawking in the Olden Time (by Mr. J. E. Harting), 
and another on Wild Fowl Decoys and Wild 
Fowling in Essex. Lastly comes the chief part of 
the work: "A Catalogue on the Birds of Essex," 
which occupies over two hundred pages, and is 
abundantly illustrated. Every species of bird has 
some interesting note or item. This part is as 
attractive and instructing as many pages of Gilbert 
White. The Essex Field Club, through ^^Ir. 
Christy's help, have conferred genuine assistance in 
the important work of constructing a national 
ornithology which will endure for many years to 

Lessons in Elementary Biology, by T. Jeffery 
Parker, F.R.S. (London : Macmillan). We have 
by no means too many good manuals of biology. 
Zoology is indeed rather poor therein, and 
elementary botany is too abundantly represented. A 
general biology, based on the science of physical life, 
is open to good literary work. Professor Parker's 
handsome new text-book is of this character. It is 
meant for real students, not idlers or dilettanti 
skimmers of every fresh pot of scientific milk, 
although such people imagine they run away with the 
cream. For students in B.Sc. exams, this book is a 
genuine friend. The illustrations are numerous, well 
selected, and special. There is neither a needless 
nor a useless one in the volume. The table of 
contents includes thirty so-called " Lessons " ; and it 
would be difiacult to formulate a wider area of 
biological research and discussion. Professor 
Parker's method of instruction is clear, solid, and so 
strong that the student who has thoroughly mastered 
his " Lesson " will not be likely soon to forget it. 

The Making of Flowers^ by the Rev. Professor 
George Henslovv (London: S.P.C.K.). Here we 
have another welcome addition to the "Romance of 
Science " series. Professor Henslow is the worthy 
son of a worthy sire. He is a devoted botanist, and 
was one of the earliest botanists to recognise the law 
of evolution in his beloved study. But he never 
seems to have taken kindly to the definite conclusions 
of Darwin, Hooker, Lubbock, and others, that insects 
are absolutely essential for crossing flowers. He 
rather holds a brief for the opposition, and thinks the 
plant travelled to the insect, rather than the insect 
to the plant — through its migrations. Mr. Henslow 
makes much of stimulation as an agent for effecting 
floral change, especially the stimulation of insects. 
We will not even endeavour, by sketching an outline 
of this charming little book, to rob our readers of the 
pleasure of perusing it. 

The British Noctua and their Varieties, vol. i., by 
J. W. Tutt (London : Swan Sonnenschein & Co.). 



The author has herein done good and laborious 
work in a field of research little known, but which 
offers much of importance and interest. The student 
has here collected ready for use the records of 
varieties hitherto scattered through numberless 
magazines. Nevertheless, much of the work recorded 
is new. Mr. Tutt is well known as a diligent 
lepidopterist, and this handy little manual will be 
liighly acceptable to all working entomologists. 

The Species of Epilobium ocairring North of 
Mexico, by W. Trelease. Professor Trelease is in 
charge of the Missouri Botanic Garden, and this 
well got-up work forms the Second Annual Report 
of that Institution. It will be of much service to 
American botanists. It is illustrated by forty-seven 
artistically got-up plates of the different species of 

Afonographie du Genre Pleurosigma et des Genres 
allies, by H. Perogallo (Paris : M. J. Tempere). This 
handsome monograph of the most important of all the 
genera of diatoms, owes its publication to the 
existence of " Le Diatomiste," the French botanical 
quarterly journal, edited by M. Tempere, devoted to 
the study of diatoms, to which we have already drawn 
the attention of our readers. It is illustrated by 
ten plates, quarto size, crowded with accurately 
drawn figures. M. Perogallo's work has involved 
much labour and research. 


View the First. 

THE long ridge of Kentish rag which bounds the 
Weald Valley on the north slopes steeply down to 
the bed of the Beult— a little tributary of the Med way, 
which meanders slowly through the rich corn-land, 
scattered copses and marshy meadows, which make 
the Weald dear to farmers and to sportsmen. The 
alluvial soil of its banks rests upon a bed of flinty 
gravel, laid bare in the river-bed and the ditches 
bordering the fields, and contributing more stones 
to the surface soil than is usual in a land where 
"stone-pickers" are unknown. These scattered 
flints will furnish us with the materials for reconstruct- 
ing in our imagination the Weald as it once was — 
the home of beast and wild fowl, of hunters without 
gun or cartridge, trained setter or beagle, but whose 
weapons, of their own manufacture, doubtless did 
good execution in their day. 

Step with me over the plank bridge that spans the 
Beult. There in the river-bank, not long ago, was 
found sticking out of the soil, a beautiful polished celt, 
an axe-head, whose owner little dreamed that the 
tool he fashioned and polished with such infinite toil 
and care should now alone represent to us the worker's 
life and ways. 

When we have crossed the meadows, where the 

overflowing river deepens its 'deposit of silt every 
winter, we arrive at the edge of some ploughed fields, 
bare as yet of seedlings ; the soil in this curious 
"spring" weather is dry and crumbling after the 
ploughing and harrowing. At every step or so we 
may pick up a fragment of flint — satiny black, trans- 
lucent grey or brown, glowing red, almost as jasper, 
weathered to a blue like that of the Kentish hills in 
the distance, cracked and calcined like a bit of old 
pottery — and of real pottery, too, we may pick up 
specimens, of which more anon. 

The variety of colour in the flints is by no means 
their sole attraction or interest. Scarcely one of them 
but has been split or splintered, and that in no 
accidental manner. A practised eye soon recognises 
"flakes " and "cores," perhaps a fashioned arrow- 
head, borer, or other tool. Here was undoubtedly 
one of the earliest manufactories of which we have 
record— and these flints are the raw material, the 
refuse, or the finished articles. 

Long ago the ever-working rain and frost and 
rivers and sea wore away the escarpment of those 
chalky downs which bound the Weald to north and 
south ; long ago the flints were drifted over the land, 
sole traces of the earlier deposits. The great Weald 
forest grew up, man appeared on the scene, and here, 
where fish and bird and beast must have found food in 
plenty, their newly arrived master found weapons also 
to his hand. Generations of the old stone-workers 
must have lived and died — hundreds of flints must have 
been chipped and shaped, and presently polished, and 
then " the old order " changed, newer races came on 
the scene, for as we trudge over the ground we can 
pick up from time to time pieces of well-burnt clay 
that are not bits of drain-pipes, nor specimens of 
modern art, but genuine Roman tiles, and Roman 
pots. And on the far side of the Beult, along the 
hill, stretches a long line of Roman earthworks, and in 
a copse half-way down is a still untouched tumulus, 
into which as yet only the rabbits have been 
privileged to burrow. 

And so, as we homeward wend our weary but 
happy way, we may see in thought the savage 
hunters stalking their game, setting their snares or 
their nets, sitting over their fires after nightfall — ashes 
have been dug up in these very fields — shaping and 
polishing their tools, scraping their skins, fitting their 
bows, doubtless enjoying life as much as did those 
modern sportsmen whose many empty cartridge-cases 
now betoken a "warm corner." Doubtless the 
rabbits scurried and burrowed, as now in the soft 
loam, and the plover screamed over-head, and the 
larks rose into the cloudy sky wherever the wood was 
cleared — perhaps also the wolf and the bear and the 
wild boar ranged over the land. Much is changed, 
yet enough is the same — enough to make us sure that 
these our rude forefathers of the stone ages, had in 
many ways such a view of the Weald, as we may 
have to-day, if we will but look for it. 



View the Second. 

The Weald of to-day is rapidly getting prosaic : 
the iron horse and the jerry builder are penetrating 
into its depths, the primroses and ferns are fast 
vanishing from its hedgerows, the traction engine is 
replacing the labouring team, hedgerows themselves 
are giving way to iron fences, barbed as often as not, 
copses are being "grubbed," wayside trees cut down, 
strips of turf quietly absorbed into the nearest field, 
thrashing and ploughing, and miUing done by steam, 
instead of by homely and slower methods, the smock- 
frock and the village curtsey are things of the past 
along the main roads — or at least wherever the rail has 
crossed them. It is worth while, therefore, to leave 
the land of transition, and see what remains of the 
old ways and the old places. 

Anyone who visits the county town on a market- 
day will see drawn up in lines in the broad High 
Street carriers' vans and omnibuses of all sizes and 
degrees of gentility. In the course of the afternoon 
these will be labouring out of the town, laden with 
marketing folk and their baggage, and with many a 
parcel to be dropped at wayside inn or cottage. 

Suppose we take an outside seat on one of these 
bound some fifteen miles or more into the heart of 
the Weald, where Tenterden, Biddenden, Hawkhurst, 
and all the other dens and hursts remind one of its 
former forests and bosky dells. 

Slowly, slowly the pair of horses — hardly a pair — 
toil up the long ascent to the top of the limestone 
ridge. We travel south by east, and the keen north- 
east wind cuts across the fields, now faintly green 
with springing wheat, and raises clouds of dust, till 
the hedges are whitened as in July, though they are 
barely green enough for March. 

The broad, flat-topped hill is crossed, the road 
winds down the steeper side, and we are soon on the 
ievel. We have passed one village well placed on 
the slope and grouped round its pretty church, whose 
stone spire is a land-mark for many miles. Our 
conveyance has stopped to refresh " man and beast " 
at a low-browed, timber-fronted inn ; many a greeting 
has been exchanged with passers-by, and now we set 
off with quicker pace to cross the flat valley, through 
which the railway runs straight as an arrow from 
Tonbridge to Ashford, Sycamores and horse- 
chestnuts are just budding, meadows are getting "a 
bite " on them for the numerous lambkins, and here 
and there starry anemones or celandines grace shaw or 
bank. In cottage-gardens the " lent lilies"— all out 
of date — are nodding in the breeze ; the characteristic 
cottages, steep in front and sloping low behind, like 
the hills, show budding pear and plum-trees ; over a 
wayside-pond are the first swallows skimming ; and 
our onward movement is impeded here and there by 
those of sheep and cattle from a country-market. 
One frightened little calf slips between our horses. 

*' Three abreast," jocularly remarks the driver ; but 
he pulls up in time to save it a blow or scratch. All 
this is commonplace enough ; but the level fields, the 
winding road, the luxuriant hedgerows, the leisurely 
movements of everybody give a sense of peace and 
rest not always easy to find nowadays. 

We have crossed the railway, exchanged inside 
passengers and parcels, and off we go again, due 
south now, leaving the valley behind, and mounting 
one after another the sandstone slopes which lead 
gently up to the South Downs. 

Corn-fields, hop-gardens, and •' oast-houses," grow 
fewer, meadows and woods and heather-covered 
banks more numerous, till at last a tall windmill, a 
solid, square church-tower, and many brown- tiled 
roofs betoken our destination — a little old-fashioned 
town, innocent of railway, and living its life of 
gentle measured bustle with a grace that is quite 

Next morning, as we sally forth from our comfort- 
able quarters at a real old-fashioned inn there is a 
choice of many roads. We take one which leads 
southward, and find with delight that though 
Primrose Day has come and gone, the primroses in 
hot, damp, wayside copses and hedgerows are still 
waiting to be picked, that wood-sorrel and 
moschatel peep from the shady nooks, and milk- 
maids, violets, and celandines deck the sunny 

We stop towards noon at a trim farmhouse, all red 
brick and tile, with ample store of hay still in its 
rick-yard. The ponderous knocker brings out the 
farmer himself, in working clothes. He is pleased to 
tell the way ; but a request for milk brings the good- 
humoured explanation that it is all in the creaming- 
pans. " If you'd 'a come in the morning or evening 
milking-time now — " But the laws of the dairy 
are those of the Medes and Persians, and we turn 
thirsty away. We have noted, however, the bees 
humming in and out of chinks in the weather-tiles. 
"Yes," he says; " we took out more 'n a hundred- 
weight o' comb last year." We wonder to ourselves 
what it must be like to live in such close quarters 
with the busy little folk. 

Up hill, down dale, over field and stile and five- 
barred gate we make our way. A labourer taking 
his nooning under a haystack shows us a cross-cut, 
and we feel that we have lighted upon a land where 
nature still has a good deal of her own way. 

For our evening stroll there are the wide woods, 
where thrush and cuckoo and pheasant greet us with 
their songs and calls, and where the moor-hen 
splashes in a lonely pond. 

When the last red sunset-gleams have glorified the 
fir-trees a clear moon shines over the gabled houses, 
fewer and fewer footsteps echo on the rough pave- 
ments, soon they cease ; and at old-fashioned hours 
the old-fashioned folk seek their (doubtless) well- 
earned slumbers. 



Call it dull if you will : to those whose eyes and 
ears are open, such a life in such surroundings has 
much of the keenest interest — it is that of our England 
unadulterated. Let us enjoy it while we may. 

M. E. Pope. 


THE axile roots, such as the conical tap-roots, 
which occur in Aconiium iiapcllus^ Pcucedamim 
sativujn, and Daucus carota, are a direct prolongation 
of the stem ; as also the fusiform i-x'^-xooi oi Raphamts 
raphanistruin, and the napiform tajD-root ol Brassica 
rapa. The contorted root of Polygonum listorta, 
and the premorse root of Scahiosa sicccisa, seem to 
be only modifications of the rhizome, but are some- 
times mistaken for true roots. 

The tuberculated roots, as the palmate tubercules 
of Orchis maculata, are only formed by the enlarging 

Fig. 120.— Abnormal Tubercules of Orchis macidata. 

of several adventitious fibrous roots which have 
cohered at their bases, and left their extremities free, 
which forms the divisions of this kind of tubercule ; 
those adventitious roots which ascend from the junc- 
tion of the tubercules with the stem have slightly 
enlarged, but otherwise preserved their primary form ; 
this may be ascertained by a specimen I found in 
Sussex in 1890, which had no perfect tubercules, but 
had in their place several adventitious fibrous roots 
which should have cohered and formed the two 
tubercules ; all these fibres were a little swollen at 
their upper ends. 

The ovoid tubercules of Herminium, Ophrys, and 
Aceras, etc., are formed by complete cohesion of 
several fibres, or by the enlarging of a single one. 
In the fasciculated roots of Jianuncidiis ficaria, this 
same enlarging of some of the adventitious roots is 
obvious ; on a single plant may be found all the 
modifications from a fibrous adventitious root to a 
fasciculated, or even ovoid tubercule. The dahlia 
exhibits another form of adventitious fasciculated 

roots, where several of the fibrous roots have cohered 
and formed an elongate ovoid tubercule, the ends only 
are left free at the extremities of the tubercules. In 
CEyianthe pimpindloidcs and Spircca filipendula we 
have the nodose adventitious roots ; in the former 
species we have the swelling about the middle of the 
fibre, while in the latter it is near its extremity ; in 
(Enanthelachenalii, the fibres are but slightly swollen. 

Fig. 321. — Palmate Tubercules of Orchis maculaia. 

Fig. 122. — Palmate Tubercules of Orchis viaculata. 

which must have been the primary of those of CE. 


It seems that the stem was the primary form of 

roots, since all roots have more or less the structure 

of stems ; those roots so different from the stem 

modifications, may only have lost their structure with 


Henry E. Griset. 




THE district I am about to describe is situated 
near Roundstone, a small town on the south- 
west coast of Connemara, about fifty miles by road 
from Galway. Immediately to the west of the town 
is Urrisbeg, a hill of nine hundred and eighty-seven 
feet in height, the slopes of which, and the lakes and 
bogs about its base, are all very rich in rare 

The hill is composed of granite, and is rather 
remarkable for the number of metallic ores it contains, 
viz. — gold, silver, copper, lead, and molybdenite. But 
I think some of them are in too small quantities and 
too much diffused to pay for extensive mining 

I visited this locality last June in company with 
my friend, Mr. J. G. Wells. We arrived there on 
the 29th, from the Aran Islands. 

The next morning we started botanising, and were 
much struck with the profusion of Osnmnda rcgalis 
growing on the banks of all the streams and ditches. 
It was of all sizes from a few inches to three or four 
feet in height ; very fine indeed it looks, with the light 
green fronds topped with a large brown spike of 
of sporangia. This seems to be one of the commonest 
ferns in Connemara; I noticed it in most of the 
ditches along the roadsides. 

Soon after we started to ascend the hill, we found 
the lovely Dahceocia poUfolia in flower. This plant is 
confined to the west of Ireland, and is orie of the 
most gorgeous of our Ericaces, its crimson flowers 
are in some cases nearly three-quarters of an inch 
long. There is also a white variety to be found 
about here, but we were not fortunate enough to 
see it. 

Pinguicula Itcsilanica was found growing on boggy 
ground a short distance up. It is a most delicate little 
plant, the leaves are very pale with darker veins ; the 
flower is lilac, also with darker veins. The whole 
plant is very fragile, and much smaller than P. 
vulgaris, which we found growing with it. The 
plants of this genus are very interesting from the fact 
that they are insectivorous. 

Other plants worth mention are Schxjms nigricans, 
which is very conspicuous, with angular-looking 
heads of black glumes ; Eriophortim angtistifoliiim 
(the cotton-grass) ; Scirpus pauciflorus, and Carcx 

We also found a thistle which, I think, is a hybrid 
between Cardmcs palustris and pratcnsis ; but 
we did not see either of these species anywhere in 
the locality. 

All the above were growing on the boggy slopes of 
the hill. 

On reaching the top of Urrisbeg a very striking 
view meets the eye. Looking north we could see 
nearly three hundred lakes, both large and small, all 

clustered together in the space of a few square miles ; 
houses and cultivation are conspicuous by their 
absence. To the westward stretches Slyne Head 
with the two lighthouses on the island at its 
extremity. To the southward we could see Deer 
Island and numerous others, further out to sea 
the three islands of Aran ; along the coast of these 
latter could be seen the smoke arising from the 
numerous fires of the kelp-burners. 

The next day (July ist) we took a route around the 
base of Urrisbeg. 

In some small pools on a peat bog we found 
Utricidaria minor and U. intermedia growing in 
abundance. The former was in flower ; they are 
supported on a very fine stalk, and stand a few 
inches out of the water ; the bladders and leaves are 
on the same stem. In the latter species the bladders 
are very large and on separate stems from the leaves ; 
it is very distinct from all the other species of the 

Both these plants are insectivorous, and in the 
bladders of intermedia I found numerous minute 
fresh-water crustaceans, etc. 

Growing with the above was Chara fragilis in full 

On the peat of these bogs were found all three 
species of Drosera, viz., rotitndifoliay a^igUca, and 
intermedia. This is also a most interesting genus, 
from the fact that all the species are insectivorous, 
and I found some plants with two or three of the 
leaves each making a meal off an insect. Some of 
the plants of anglica were very fine, the leaves of this 
species are more erect than those of rotu?idifolia, and 
are therefore very conspicuous among the bog-moss. 
After leaving this boggy ground we went over a spur 
of the hill and down into a little valley, on the slopes 
of which was growing Erica mediterranea. This 
spot and one in County Mayo are its only British 
habitats ; we were unfortunately too late for the 
the flower. I only found one small sprig with two or 
three flowers on it ; but when in full bloom it must be 
a beautiful sight, judging from the large quantity of 
withered flowers we saw. Growing about this place 
was Saxifraga tcmbrosa (London pride) ; this is only 
found truly wild in Ireland. 

From here we went on to Lake Bollard, one of 
the larger ones seen from the top of Urrisbeg. There 
is a spot near here where the true British maiden-hair 
fern {Adiantiim Capillus- Veneris) grows, and I should 
think out in this wild part, nearly fifty miles from a 
railway station, it will be out of the reach of the 
Vandal tourist for many years to come. It does not 
grow very large here ; the specimens we saw were 
only a few inches high. 

At the place we first struck the lake is a little cove 
with a sandy strand ; here we started dragging for 
aquatic plants, and were very well rewarded for our 
trouble, almost the first haul brought to land a speci- 
men of the rare Ej'iocaulon septangulare, a most curious 



little plantwith awl-shaped leaves, of apeculiar cellular 
structure ; these arise from a crown on a creeping root- 
stock ; the roots also exhibit an annular structure 
very distinctly. We were not fortunate enough to 
find it in flower. Growing with the above was 
Lobelia dortmanna ; this is a rather curious plant, all 
the leaves are under water ; the flower-stalks stand up 
several inches above the surface, bearing a few lilac 
flowers. At a distance they have the appearance of 
dead straws standing in the water. 

Another plant the drag brought up was Scirpiis 
fliiitans. This varies very much with the depth of the 
water ; in some specimens I found the branches were 
as thin as horsehair, and others, in shallower water, 
considerably thicker. 

Ardostaphylos iira-ursi, was found trailing along 
the ground close to the edge of the lake. On our way 
back to Roundstone across the bogs, we came to a 
small stream of deep water, which was covered with 
NymphcEa alba ; between twenty and thirty of its 
beautiful white flowers were floating in the space 
of a few square yards. It abounds on most of the 
lakes, &c., in this part of Connemara. 

Samolus valerandi, Habenaria chloroleuca, and 
Carex stricta, were also observed. 

July 2nd. We went along the heaths and bogs by 
the side of the road that runs from Roundstone to 
Clifden. On a slightly elevated heath about five miles 
along, we found the rare Erica Mackayi, growing in 
fair quantity. It is easily distinguished from E. 
Tetralix, by the reddish tips of the branches and the 
more ovate leaves. I found some forms of Tetralix 
that come very near to this species. While speaking 
of heaths I may say that we found white varieties of 
Tetralix and cinerea. 

Cladium germanicum was found growing by the 
side of a small lake near this spot, 

July 3rd. This day we drove from Roundstone to 
the picturesque group of mountains known as the 
Twelve Pins, a distance of about eight miles. On 
arriving there we at once started to ascend the 
nearest, which is rather steep all the way up. The 
only plants worth notice we found on the lower part 
were Thalictrum minus and Carex pitlicaris. The flora 
of these mountains is most scanty ; we went to the 
top of three of them, and the only plant we thought 
worth taking was Saxifraga timbrosa ; this was very 
various in form and size, some plants only about \\ 
inches in height, and others as much as i foot. Our 
labours were rewarded in another way this time, for on 
reaching the top (over 2,000 ft.) there was a most 
splendid view of the whole coast-line from Achil 
Head on the north to Loop Head on the south. 

As the day was perfectly clear and bright we could 
make out, with the aid of our map the islands of 
Clare, Inishturk, Inishhofm, Inishark and Aran 
besides numerous smaller ones. 

On the descent we followed the course of a small 
stream flowing in a deep bed with very steep banks. 

Along this we found Dabxocia polifolia very large, and 
in some spots 'vci great quantity ; also some of the 
hybrid thistles. So after a hard day, we had done 
very little botanical work, and were glad to get back 
to our car, which had been " put up" by the road- 
side, and drive back to Roundstone, 

Next day we drove to Galway by the mail car, in 
time to catch the night train for Dublin, en route for 

Jno, E, Nowers, 

Burton- on- Trent. 


By E. Brunetti, 
\C0ntin1tedjr07n p. 131.] 

IN my introductory remarks on existing collections 
in the first portion of this paper, I mentioned 
the unsatisfactory state of the British Museum Col- 
lection, but I can now, with much pleasure, retract 
that statement, as a new and able assistant (Mr, 
Austen) has been added to the staff, and under his 
indefatigable efforts the Collection is being rapidly 
overhauled and properly arranged, 

29. MuscidcB, 

Over 800 species of this immense family are known 
to be British, and ere long the list will probably 
exceed a thousand, as over 4000 European species 
(nearly half the total number inhabiting Europe) 
belong to it, and there are probably 30,000 species 
distributed over the world. The venation is very 
similar throughout the whole group, the genera in 
which it varies most belonging to the group Acalyp- 

Six sub-families are universally recognised. 

AlulcC large [Calypteratd]. 

Fourth longitudinal vein (from just beyond external trans- 
verse vein) bent up towards tip of third. 

Arista bare (in some genera pubescent) : TachinincB. 
Arista pubescent. 

Arista bare from the middle to the tip : Sar~ 

Arista pubescent to the tip. 

Abdomen conical, covered with long spines — 

legs rather long : DexiiiiF. 
Abdomen rounded, no spines, legs rather 
short : JShtscina;. 
Fourth longitudinal vein not bent up towards the third, 
and diverging from it towards the tip : Anthomyina. 
Alulae small or absent [Acalypterata). 

The arista is the antennal style — usually long, and 
seated on the upper side at the base of the third 

The antennae in the calypterate MiiscidiC are 
usually pendent, lying close together in the centre 
of the face — the arista being generally horizontal. 

A very slight acquaintance with the Ahiscidce is 
sufficient for the student to recognise at a glance the 
sub-family to which any specimen belongs. 



(l.) Tachinincs. 

This is an exceedingly difficult group to study, the 
species being so closely allied, variation being com- 
mon and the published matter so scanty and ex- 
ceedingly unreliable. 

R. Desvoidy, Walker, and some other authors have 

Fig. rz'i.—Rhavtpkofttyia, Mg. 

Fig. i2^.—Etnpis, L. 

Fig. 125. — Hilara, Mg. 


Fig. 126. — Tachydromia, Mg. 

Fig. i^T.^DolicJiopus, Latr. 

Fig. 128. — Hydrophorus, Uhlbg. 

created hosts of new species on minute differences, 
and their names are being sunk wholesale as 
synonyms as the group becomes better known. 

Walker's Tachinidm in his British Diptera are 
hopelessly indeterminable, his descriptions of this 
group being of no scientific value whatever. 

Most of the Tachinida: are parasitic on larvae 
(especially Lepidoptera, the genus Cucullia being 
a particular favourite). Sevville reared eighty 
specimens from one Acherontia airopos larva. 
Dufour, Winthemi, Curtis, St. Fargeau, Bouche 
and others record observations of their parasitic 

Fig. i2<j.—Medeierus, Fisch. 

Fig. tyi.—Clinocera, Mg. 

Fig. ■tyi.—Lonchopteray Mg.] 


Fig. -i^i.—Plaiypeza, Mg. 

Fig. zyi-— Pipunctihis, Latr. 

Fig. 134. — CJtyrsosaster, Mg. 

The flies are usually found in dry, warm habitats 
and on Umbellijcra:, and are easily recognised by the 
long, conspicuous spines and bristles that cover the 
body and legs in nearly all the species. The legs 
are very brittle and easily broken. 

Five subdivisions are generally recognised. 



Abdomen quite bare. 

Abdomen tive or six-segmented, flat, wings broad and 

large — triangular : Phasimr. 
Abdomen four-segmented, globular, wings of normal shape, 
rather small : Gynittosomina;. 
Abdomen pubescent, large spines nearly always present. 

Abdomen five-segmented, long— genitalia very prominent. 
Fourth longitudinal vein meeting third some distance 
from edge of wing, fifth meeting fourth much beyond 
middle of first post, cell : Ocyfrteriniv. 
Fourth longitudinal vein meeting third nearly at edge 
of wing, fifth meeting fourth before centre of first 
post, cell : Phanina-. 
Abdomen four-seeraented, conical, genitalia not pro- 
minent: Tachininte. 

The principal genera are Echinomyia, Dumer, 
Ncmorcea, Desv., Exorista, Mg., Tachiiia, Mg., and 

Fig. z-i%.—Syyph7is, F. 

Fig. 136. — Volucella, Geoff. 

Fig. 137. — Eristalis, Latr. 

Fig. 138. — Criorrhina, Mcq. 

Phorocera, Desv., but the state of our knowledge of 
the group is at present highly unsatisfactory. 

Echinomyia grossa, L,, is one of the largest 
British flies, and is a large black bee-like fly covered 
with soft black hair ; face, front and back of the 
head yellow, with short bright golden pubescence ; 
antennas tawny, tips black ; legs black ; wings pale 
grey, tawny at base and on the fore-border ; long 
12-15 mm. 

Olivicria lateralis, V., abdomen tawny, with a 
central dorsal black stripe enlarged towards the tip, 
and covering the whole of the last segment ; thorax 
black with indistinct grey stripes ; face and front 
silvery grey ; antennce and legs black ; wings pale 
grey, brownish on fore-border ; long 7-8. Common 
in long grass. 

Exorista vulgaris. Fin., is a tessellated black and 
grey fly, subject to much variation ; wings clear ; 
face silvery-grey, with a central broad brown band ; 
antenna large, long, black ; legs black ; alulae large, 
white ; long 7-8 mm. Most of the genera are 
represented by two or three species only. 

Nemorcza occurs chiefly in woods. 

Gy77inosoma, Mg., and Clytia, Desv., frequent the 
carrot plant. 

In Myobia, Desv., and Metopia, Mg., the $ lays 
her eggs on the dead insects brought into Hymeno- 
pterous nests as food. 

Fig. 139. — Xylota, Mg. 

Fig. 140. — Ckrysotoxum, Mg. 

Fig. 141. — Conops, L. 

Fig. 142. — CEstrus, L. 

Tachina, Masicera, Exorista, NemorcEa, Echi- 
nomyia, and others are known to be parasitic on 
Lepidoptera, Serville thinking that Nemoraa is also 
parasitic on Lepidopterous pupce. 

Gonia, Mg., is represented by five species, none 
common ; the face is very broad. 

Trixa, Mg., somewhat resembles Sarcophaga ; 
three species, larva unknown. 

Alopliora hemiptera, F, Pauz. Ixxiv. Echinomyia 
ferox, Pz., Pauz. civ, Trixa variegata, Mg., Wlk. ii. 
PI. xii. 3. Gymnosoma rotiuidatiim, L,, Wlk. ii. PI. 
xi. 6, Ocyptera brassicaria, F., Curt. 629. 

(2.) Dcxince. 

This small group is closely allied to the Tachinince, 
and calls for no special mention ; about twenty 



species are British, nearly all representing a different 
genus each ; of Dexia we have five species. The 
larva of the Dcximc are chiefly parasitic on Lepido- 
ptera ; the flies frequent flowers and dry, warm spots, 
and are often found in woods. 

In Desvoidy's splendid work on the " Myodaires," 
he gives a lengthy list of the species of Tachiniuu: 
and Dexincc that are known to be parasitic, with the 
species of insect infested. 

As a rule the abdomen is longer and more pointed 
in this group than in the Tachini/uc, and as in that 
group the legs are brittle and easily become detached 
from the body, 

Frosena siberita^ F., Curt. 665. Tlielaira letuozona, 
Pz., Pauz. civ. 

(3.) Sarcpphagincc, 

Dr. Meade, a few years ago monographed the 
British species of this group, which number about 
twenty, all (with one or two exceptions) being 
closely allied and exceedingly difficult to identify. 

They breed in decaying animal matter, occasionally 
in dung. The imagos usually have tesselated black 
and grey abdomens — with strong spines towards the 
tip. The thorax is usually longer than it is broad. 

Cynomyia viortiwriim, L., is a large, bright blue 
fly which breeds in the putrid corpses of animals, 
generally dogs ; appearing in April and May. The 
face is bright golden yellow ; the legs black ; wings 
nearly clear. It is not common here, but is frequently 
met with on the Continent ; long 8-12 mm. 

Sarcophaga, Mg., is a genus of flies, in which the 
thorax and abdomen are divided into tessellated 
squares, the wings are pale grey, the legs black ; and 
the thorax, abdomen, and legs covered more or less 
with spines, the number, length and position of these 
spines being important specific characteristics. 

.5". caniaria, L., the commonest species, is known 
as the "flesh-fly." 

In some species the extreme tip of the abdomen is 
bright red. The 9 in this genus is viviparous, 
20,000 larvag having been found in a single specimen. 

(4.) Muscina:. 

The flies of this group are the greatest scavengers 
of the order, the larvje living in decomposing animal 
matter and devouring nearly all the fleshy part of the 
carcase. Sometimes they breed in dung. 

About thirty species are British, many very 

The principal genera may be separated thus : — 

Proboscis horny, projecting horizontally, prominent : Stomoxys, 

Proboscis soft, vertical, not prominent. 

Fourth longitudinal vein at its bend upwards not forming 
a sharp angle. 

Middle tibia spined along its length : Mesembrina, 

Middle tibia spined only at tip: Cyrioneura, Mcq. 
Fourth longitudinal vein at its bend upwards forming a 
sharp angle. 

Species non-metallic. 

Middle tibia spined along its length : CalUphora, 

Middle tibia spined only at tip : Musca, L. 
Species metallic green : Lucilia, Des. 

Lticilia, Desv., is a genus of bright metallic green 
flies, the face being usually black or green, the wings 
nearly clear. 

At least six species are British, all more or less 
pubescent, and all very closely allied ; long <y-\o 

L, Ccesar, L., and L. cornicifta, F., are the two 
most common species, appearing everywhere ; the 
latter being easily known by its bright green face. 
These flies are sometimes known as "green-bottles." 

CalUphora eiythrocephala, Mg., is the common 
meat-fly or "blue-bottle;" a closely allied species, 
C. vomitoria, L., has a red beard. The progeny of 
this fly is said to amount to 500,000,000 in twelve 
months ; and Mr. B. Lowne, who has made this 
species a study for many years, asserts that in the 
imago " not one structure exists as it exists in the 

Musca do??testtca, L., is the common house-fly. 
Black and grey, with rather tawny sides to the 
abdomen ; antennae, legs, and eyes black ; wings 
clear ; thorax black, with grey stripes ; face silvery ; 
long 5-7 mm. 

Mesembrina meridiana, L., is a rather large black 
haiiy fly,; with black snout and golden yellow cheeks ; 
black mouth and eyes, black legs, grey wings, tawny 
at the base and along the fore-border; not un- 
common ; local ; long lo-i I mm. 

Stomoxys calcitrans, L., is easily recognised by its 
strong, prominent proboscis. About the size of 
M. domestica, the abdomen being greyish with black 
markings ; usually found on sunny days on leaves 
and wooden posts ; it follows horses in numbers, and 
causes much irritation by its bite ; long 6 mm. 

Cyrtoiieura stabidans. Fin., greyish, with pale 
brown reflections, larger tham M. dojnestica, common 
everywhere, especially in houses. 

It has been bred from shallot, but the species in 
all probability breeds in a variety of substances. 

(5.) Anthomyincs. 

Of this extensive group of closely allied species, 
we have over 200 species. In many species it is 
impossible to identify the 5 , the specific characters 
being confined to the ^. 

The larvse of many species are leaf-miners, others 
live in the stalks of plants, in fungi, decomposing 
vegetable matter, &c., and damage the crops to no 
inconsiderable extent. 

Dr. Meade published in the " Ent. Month. Mag.," 
vol. xviii. (188 1 ), a series of articles on this group, 
and in the number for Oct. 1SS3, gives an analytical 
table of the higher genera of Antkotnyinis. This 
group is eminently a very difficult one to classify 



satisfactorily as many of the generic characteristics 
are sexual, and such weak characters as the colour of 
the legs has been fallen back upon as distinguishing 

One or two well-marked groups may be dis- 
tinguished, (as Hydrotcca, Homaloniyia, &c.,) and 
the principal genera may be recognised as follows : — 

Alulae of moderate size, scales of unequal size. 

Front femora in cf toothed, third and fourth longitudinal 

veins convergent : Hydrotcea, Des. 
Front femora normal, third and fourth longitudinal veins 
parallel or diverging. 
Eyes pubescent : Hyetodesia, Rond. 
Eyes bare. 

Abdomen spotted. 

Arista feathered : Spilogaster, Mcq. 
Arista pubescent or bare : Limnophora, Des. 
Abdomen unspotted. 

Anal vein nearly reaching border of wing. 
Arista leathered : Hydrophoria, Des. 
Arista pubescent or bare: Anthomyia, 
Anal vein very short, curved towards the 
axillary vein ; Homalomyia, Bouch^. 
Alula small ; scales of equal size. 

Arista feathered : Hylemyia, Des. 

Arista pubescent or bare : Chortophila, Mcq. 

Limnophora, Des., comes chiefly from Scotland. 

Hydrotaa dentipes, F., is a dark grey fly, with 
greyish reflections ; pale brown wings ; black legs 
and silvery cheeks, and is common in most parts ; 
variable ; long 9 mm. 

D)yincia hamata. Fall., may be easily recognised 
by its strong hooked proboscis. 

Hylemyia strigosa, Y., is a bristly grey fly, the 
dorsum of the thorax being pale brown, distinctly 
marked off from the lower part of the thorax ; 
abdomen grey, with a dorsal and three transverse 
black stripes ; face silvery seen from above, black 
viewed from below ; mouth and antennae black ; 
eyes reddish-brown ; wings pale grey ; legs blackish, 
tibix more or less dark tawny ; common, especially 
in woods ; variable ; long 6 mm. One species {^H. 
coarctata. Fall.) damages the wheat crop whilst in 
the larval state, attacking the stalk. 

Anthomyia radicutn, L., jf, is a small black fly, 
breeding in cabbage and other like plants ; abdomen 
dark grey, with a dorsal and four transverse black 
stripes ; face and legs black ; wings pale grey ; eyes 
often with a silvery border ; very common on low 
herbage and in London gardens ; long 4 mm. 

A, szdciventris, Zett., is also common everywhere, 
the (f is a nearly black fly, with unmarked abdomen. 
The 5 is greyish-black, with unmarked abdomen. 

Caricea tigrina, F., common in long grass ; bristly, 
grey with rows of black spots on the thorax, each 
giving forth a bristle, and with four brown spots on 
the abdomen ; legs black with tawny tibire ; face 
grey with a broad central stripe ; eyes and antennte 
black ; wings pale grey ; variable ; long 5-6 mm. 

Chortophila, Mcq., an extensive genus of small 
flies allied to Anthomyia, many being tolerably 
common ; some of the species being parasitic on 
wild bees. Dr. Meade having taken them in the nests 
of the latter. 

Homalomyia caniciilaris, L., is very common in 
houses ; ^ blackish-grey ; abdomen tawny, divided 
by a dorsal and two transverse lines into six squares, 
tip blackish ; face silvery white, with a central black 
stripe ; wings pale grey ; legs blackish ; variable ; 
long 4-5 mm. The males of this genus hover 
together in the air in a group, sometimes for hours 
together, and are often seen in rooms in early morning 
hovering below the centre of the ceiling or near the 

This species and another of this genus have been 
bred from the human body. 

Hylemyia coarctata. Fin., in the larval state does 
considerable damage to the wheat crop. 

The larva of Ca:nosia, Mg. (allied to Caricea), 
lives in cow-dung. 

Over a dozen genera are represented by only one 
or two species each. In several of the less developed 
genera the eyes are widely separated in both sexes, 
thus approaching the acalypterate Muscidce, from 
which they are scarcely structurally distinct. 

Plates are not of much value in this group, except 
to illustrate genera or very characteristic species. 

Hydrotcza ciliata, F., Curt. 768. Lispe tetitaculata, 
Deg., Walk. ii. PI. xii. i. Anthomyia pliivialis, L., 
Walk. ii. PI. xii. 2. Policies lardaria, F., Walk. ii. 
PI. xii. 9. Dryvieia hamata. Fin., Walk. ii. PI. xii. 

(To he continued.) 


THIS Order of the mighty worm-alliance seems 
to have attracted very little, if any, careful 
observation in this country of late years, although 
both on the Continent and in the United States a 
great amount of attention has been devoted thereto. 
Quite recently, in 1887-8, Mr. A. C. Stokes added 
greatly to our knowledge of the American forms, 
describing in his papers in the "Journal de Micro- 
graphie," numerous new species of Chietonotus and 
other genera ; while in 1889, Dr. Carl Zelinka pub- 
lished an exhaustive monograph of the group ( " Die 
Gastrotrichen," in " Zeitschr. f. wiss. Zool.," xlix., 
Part 2), in which all Stokes' recent species are 
included, and to which admirable work I can con- 
fidently refer British microscopists desirous of ex- 
tending their acquaintance with these creatures. 

In our own country, Mr. T. Spencer described, in 
" Journ. Quekett Micro. Club," January 1890, under 
the name of Polyarthra fusiformis, an animal 
which, however, is not a rotiferon, but (as pointed 
out by me in the same Journal, January 1891) clearly 
referable to the genus Dasydytes of the Gastrotricha. 
This must evidently be known in future as Dasydytes 
fusiformis, Spencer ; it is a pretty and curious little 
creature, very distinct from any previously described. 



In all probability, many or most of the species 
recorded from the above countries, are also common 
to Britain, if observers would but search systemati- 
cally for them, and place on record [such forms as 
they may chance to meet with. It is for this purpose 
of awakening interest, and so helping to increase our 
knowledge of our indigenous Gastrotricha, that this 
communication is written. 

In November, 1S90, whilst searching for Rotifera, 
I came across, in water from a pond near Leyton- 
stone, Essex, some specimens of a Dasydytes which 


Fig. 142.— Dasjfdyies hisetosunt. 

does not appear to be identical with any member of 
this genus included in Dr. Zelinka's recent mono- 
graph, above referred to. Some half-dozen indivi- 
duals were seen in all, and afforded me opportunity of 
making the following observations, and of securing a 
fairly accurate sketch of the animal. I propose to 
call this Dasydytes hisetosum. 

The body is plump and of oval outline when seen 
dorsally, rounded posteriorly, and of course without 
any caudal fork ; anteriorly, the trunk narrows to 
the neck, which latter is very distinctly marked off 
from the head. A couple of transverse wrinkles in 

the skin are more or less visible, crossing the neck. 
The head is large and wide, three-lobed in dorsal 
aspect, the lateral lobes prominent like puffed cheeks ; 
the width of the head is nearly twice that of the neck, 
and about three-fourths that of the body at its widest 
part. Both head and neck are usually considerably 
flattened, excepting the lateral head-lobes, which are 
somewhat globose and thicker than the central region 
of the head. The trunk is not at all flattened, 
appearing circular in optical cross-section. 

The head is covered on all its surfaces, dorsal, 
lateral, and ventral, with numerous long vibratile 
cilia, directed backwards. 

The body is furnished, on its lateral surfaces, with 
a few rather short, very thin and delicate, somewhat 
appressed bristles, apparently arranged in about three 
longitudinal rows on each side, though this is a point 
difficult to determine. I do not think any bristles 
occur on the dorsal surface proper. These setae occur 
also on the sides of the neck, and, in side view of 

the animal, are seen to be directed dorsally and 
posteriorly ; none are nearly so long as the terminal 
caudal bristles to be described. The animal's 
ventral surface is longitudinally furred with active 
cilia, like all the members of the Order. The body 
is rounded behind, and has a terminal projection, 
convexly truncate, from which are given off two long, 
thin and delicate setse, quite one-third the total 
length of the animal's body and head, set wide apart 
at their base, and carried parallel or with their tips in 
contact. It is on account of these two conspicuous 
tail-bristles, which serve by their great length to 
distinguish this new form from its allies, that I have 
selected the specific title " bisetosum " for the 

The mouth is a permanently projecting tube, 
surrounded by a ring, at the extreme front of the 
head. It is continued into a long oesophagus, about 
one-third the total length of the animal, having a 
narrow but distinct, straight lumen, and very thick 
walls, on which I could detect no cross-striation. 



The gullet terminates, at the point where the neck 
passes into the trunk, in a long straight stomach, 
running along the ventral side of the body-cavity, 
and crowded with colourless food in pellets ; this is 
continued, without any visible constriction, into the 
intestine, and ends in the anus just in front of the 
rounded posterior extremity of the trunk. I could 
not determine the presence of the water-vascular 
canals and contractile vesicle ; almost; certainly these 
exist, but are exceedingly difficult to observe. 

Dorsally to the stomach is situated a fairly large, 
colourless body, exhibiting a central nuclear vesicle ; 
this body was formerly thought to be the ovary, but 
Dr. Zelinka has shown that the true ovaries in the 
Gastrotricha are paired organs placed near the venter, 
one on each side of the intestine, (thus corresponding 
in position with the paired ovaries of the family 
Philodinadje of the Rotifera). The large dorsal body 
is a developing ovum ; whether this is contained 
within an oviduct having extremely delicate mem- 
branous walls, or simply lies freely in the perivisceral 
cavity, is doubtful ; as also is its mode of exit from 
the body. 

The creature swims actively with an even gliding 
motion through the water ; in no case did I observe 
any jerking or springing, the weak body-spines being 
probably useless for such a mode of progression. 

The head is often freely moved up and down upon 
the neck, but has not the constant drooping appear- 
ance (in side aspect) noticeable in D. fusiformis. 
The lateral lobes seem capable, to some extent at 
least, of being protruded or retracted at the creature's 
will ; at certain times, the outline of the head ap- 
peared quite conical, or very faintly five-lobed (cf. the 
figures), while at others, the savic animal presented 
the distinctly three-lobed outline of the head already 

The present species, approaches in its general 
outline D. longisetosum (Metschn.), but is at once 
separated from the latter by the relative lengths of 
the body and caudal bristles. The latter are, in 
longisetosum, shown much less than half the 
length of the lateral body-setre (which are described 
as "very long and stout,") and altogether lack the 
conspicuousness they attain in bisetosum. The pre- 
sent form is also neaily twice the size of Metschni- 
koffs species, and other differences exist which I 
think fully justify me in regarding bisetosum as 
specifically distinct. 

The entire animal is quite colourless ; length, 
excluding caudal seta?, about 1^5 inch. 

In conclusion, the same pond has furnished me, on 
other occasions, with specimens of Dasydytcs fusi- 
formis, Spencer, and Lcpidcde^-ma rhomboides, Stokes, 
(the latter only recorded, hitherto, from Trenton, 
New Jersey), while at Chingford I have met with 
Dasydytes goniathrix, Gosse, and D. ftsiformis, 
Spencer. Within the last few weeks, at Oakley, in 
Bedfordshire, I have taken Chcctonotiis Schultzei, 

Metschn. These records, insignificant by themselves, 
serve to indicate the probability of much more exten- 
sive results, if microscopic workers direct more sys- 
tematic attention to the study of this small and obscure 
group of animals. 

Percy G. Thompson. 
Bow, E. 5 


We are pleased to observe that an old and valued 
correspondent of Science-Gossip, and an ardent 
naturalist and botanist, Mr. T. D. A. Cockerell, 
has been appointed Curator to the Museum, Institute 
of Jamaica, Kingston (which will henceforth be his 
address). The institute is to be congratulated on 
having selected such an efficient curator. 

The great engineer, Sir John Hawkshaw, died in 
his eighty-first year on June 2nd. 

Professor Roberts-Austen has discovered the 
most brilliant-coloured alloy yet known. It is of a 
rich purple colour, and has bright ruby tints when 
light is reflected from one surface to another. It 
consists of 78 per cent, of gold, and the rest alu- 

The science of geology has received royal recog- 
nition. The Director of the Geological Survey of 
the United Kingdom has been made a Birthday 
Knight, and is now Sir A. Geikie. 

Professor Leidy, the well-known American 
naturahst, author of the " Rhizopods of North 
America," is dead. 

At a recent meeting of the Linnaean Society, Mr, 
Robert Deane exhibited specimens of the rayless 
daisy, said to grow abundantly near Cardiff. Will 
some reader there send us a specimen ? 

We have received the " Report of the Felsted 
School Nat. Hist. Society for 1890." It displays a 
healthy, active, and intelligent love of natural science, 
and indicates a state of things the author endeavoured 
to realise in "The Playtime Naturalist." 

The latest Bulletins issued by the U.S. Dept. of 
Agriculture are Nos. 7 and 8 of " Insect Life," and 
No. 24 "The Ball-Worm of Cotton," by F. W. 


Bishop Mitchinson's papers in " Nature Notes," 
on "The Distiibution of Rare Plants in Britain," 
are very suggestive. 

We are pleased to call attention to a highly 
important brochure by the Rev. H. A. Soames, 
F.L.S. (London: L. Upcott Gill), on "The Scien- 
tific Measurement of Children." The author rightly 



holds that the measurement of children, as they 
grow, has not yet received the attention it deserves, 
and he points to the opportunities afforded by schools 
for settling this physiological matter. Mr. Soames 
shows how the measurement should be made. 

The Geologists' Association went for an excursion 
on June 13th to Selborne, under the directorship of 
Dr. Sclater and Mr. Wm. Whitaker, and on June 
20th to Greys Thurrocks, with Mr. F. C. J. Spurrell 
as guide. 

" Pantobiblion, or a Review of the World's 
Scientific Literature," published monthly, is among 
the latest of periodical announcements. 

We would strongly call the attention of our ento- 
mological readers to the papers now appearing in 
the "Entomologist," by Mr. F. H. Perry Coste, 
entitled "Contributions to the Chemistry of Insect 
Colours." They approach tliis very important sub- 
ject from a new direction. 

The Rev. Hilderic Friend has an important paper 
in the last number of the " International Journal of 
Microscopy and Natural Science," on the "Earth- 
worms of Scotland." 

A PIECE of genuine good work has been the result 
of the "Microscopical Society of Calcutta" — Mr. 
H. H. Andrew's "Notes on Indian Rotifers." It is 
accompanied by three exquisitely-drawn plates and 
twenty figures. 

All who have the opportunity should pay a visit 
to IMr. Wm. Bull's Orchid Show in King's Road, 

Dr. a. Milnes Marshall's lecture on "Animal 
Pedigrees" is being continued in "The Midland 

The next Annual General Meeting of the British 
Association will be held at Cardiff, commencing 
August loth, under the Presidency of Dr. Wm. 
Huggins, F.R.S., <S:c. 

The Anniversary Meeting of the Linna;an Society 
this year was noteworthy for the address of the 
president. Professor Stewart, on "The Secondary 
Sexual Characters of Animals and Plants." The 
society's gold medal was awarded to Dr. Bornet, of 
Paris, for researches in botany. 

The Council of the Geologists' Association have 
decided to publish the long and valuable paper by 
Messrs. Harris and Burrowes on the Eocene and 
Oligocene Beds of the Paris Basin as a separate 
publication, illustrated by maps, sections, etc., at is. 
to members, and 3^. to non-members. 

H.R.H. the Prince of Wales fixed Wednesday, the 
17th of June, for the dehvery by Lord Rayleigh of 

the first of the two lectures at the Royal Institution, 
in connection with the centenary of the birth of 
Michael Faraday, and Friday evening, the 26th of 
June, for the second lecture, which was given by 
Professor Dewar. 

It is with unfeigned regret we have to record the 
death of an old friend and contributor to Science- 
Gossip, Professor M. Duncan, F.R.S., &c., in his 
sixty-seventh year. 


"Our Lane." — We are sorry that through in- 
advertence the name of E. H. Robertson, the writer 
of the charming articles in our columns bearing the 
above title, was omitted. 

The Chitinous Plug in Mollusca. — In the 
December number of Science-Gossip I made re- 
ference to the first volume of Balfour's " Comparative 
Embryology," and gave the reference as on p. 229. 
I find that Mr. Webb says in the June issue that this 
page is not the right one. I can only add that it is 
the page in my copy (2nd ed. 1885), and also in 
seven other copies which I have taken the trouble 
(perhaps very needlessly) to examine. This is the 
only remark I think I have need to make on Mr. 
Webb's criticisms. ^ — J. IV. Williams. 

Hydrobia Jenkinsi in Essex. — I have received 
a letter from Mr. W. H. Smith, of Canning Town, 
enclosing copy of a communication addressed by him 
to the editor of the " Essex Naturalist," dated 27th 
March, 1 891, which he informs me he has sent to 
you for publication. Should you insert his letter, I 
beg you will also publish my reply, dealing with the 
facts connected with the discovery of Hydrobia, 
Jenkinsi in Essex. When Mr. Allen, of Canning 
Town, sent me, on the 29th of January, 1889, a few 
hydrobia shells from Beckton for identification, I 
noticed at once a few with carinated whorls, a form 
which had never been described as British, and 
concluded they were either a new species or had 
been introduced. I took the three specimens up to 
Mr. Edgar A. Smith (Nat. Hist. Museum) on the 
2nd of February, and we then decided to send them 
to Dr. Boettger, of Frankfort, who replied that they 
were not known on the Continent, and that the 
nearest ally was H. Legrandiana, of Tasmania. I 
then wrote to Mr. Allen (i6th April, 1889), suggest- 
ing that they had been introduced in some raw 
material, such as flax, hemp, &c., which might have 
been used in some of the manufactories in the dis- 
trict, and proposed to visit the locality. In his reply 
(17th April) he offered to accompany me, and wrote : 
"The discovery is yours, and I am glad of it ; I 
leave the determination in your hands." On the 
19th of April Mr. Allen and I went down to the 



Beckton Marshes, close by the Barking Jute Factory, 
and gathered some specimens from the brackish 
water-ditches. I subsequently made many inquiries 
with regard to the manufactures in the district, but 
was unsuccessful in obtaining any helpful information. 
Later in the year I again visited the locality, and 
collected a goodly number of specimens, some ot 
which I forwarded to Mr. E. A. Smith. There the 
matter rested, so far as I was concerned, till I read 
Mr. E. A. Smith's description of the form as a new 
species in the "Journal of Conchology " for October, 
1S89 (published 17th January, 1890). In the same 
journal further notes appeared, showing that the 
form had already been taken at Greenwich about 
two years before (1887), and of which Mr. Allen was 
aware, having informed me in April 1S89, that he 
had received the information from a correspondent of 
his in Glasgow. Later on, Mr. Jenkins' Notes on 
Hydrobia appeared in Science-Gossip for May, 
1890, and on the 8th of May Mr. Allen wrote me : 
* ' I am sorry to see you are not mentioned as the one 
who first noticed the shell as non-British." I ex- 
hibited a series of the shells, with drawings of the 
animal, at a meeting of the Essex Field Club (17th 
May, 1890), which was duly recorded in our "Essex 
Naturahst," 1890, p. 128, and then associated Mr. 
Allen's name with the first discovery in Essex. I 
had certainly hoped to have had the first record in 
the journal of our club, of which Mr. Allen is a 
member, but the publication being already a fait 
accompli, I asked Mr. E. A. Smith to write a short 
notice as a record for the "Essex Naturalist," to 
which I added some remarks, and gave a drawing of 
the shell and animal (vide "Essex Naturalist," 1890, 
p. 212), I certainly did not again mention Mr. 
Allen's name therein, which was scarcely necessary, 
but would now express my regret for the omission. 
I am still of opinion, as expressed in the note referred 
to, that the species may have been introduced. In 
conclusion, I may say that the species is not, as Mr. 
W. H. Smith says, a freshwater mollusc ; and as to 
the vague statement that he examined the mollusc 
months before my visit to Beckton, that may be true, 
but is certainly misleading, whether intentional or 
otherwise, inasmuch as that was not till after I had 
seen it, and called Mr. Allen's attention to the 
differences. — Walter Crouch, Wanstead, Essex. 

Hydrobia Jenkinsi. — Mr. W. H. Smith writes 
as follows to the "Essex Naturalist": — "Referring 
to the 'Note on Hydrobia Jenkinsi'' (in the Oct.- 
Dec. 1890, issue of the Journal), by Mr. Edgar A. 
Smith, F.Z.S. It has given me pleasure to note 
that Mr. Smith has acknowledged receiving his first 
acquaintance with this new species of hydrobia at the 
hands of Mr. Walter Crouch, and that the latter 
gentleman obtained some specimens at Beckton in 
the early part of 1889. It affords me pleasure to say 
that the species referred to was discovered at an 

earlier period than 1889 by a member of your club, 
who invited Mr. Walter Crouch to visit Beckton. 
The journey to Beckton resulted in obtaining 
specimens. It is due to the energy of Mr. W. Allen, 
of Barking Road, Canning Town, that this species 
became known to Mr. Crouch and other eminent 
conchologists. I send you this communication in the 
•hope that you will make its contents generally known 
to your members, and I ask this favour because I had 
the pleasure of examining this remarkable fresh-water 
mollusc months before Mr. Crouch's visit to Beckton, 
and I can personally vouch for Mr. Allen's anxiety to 
make his discovery known. I think Hydrobia Alleni 
would be a more commendable name than Hydrobia 
yetikinsi. — IV. H. Smith. 

NoTHOLCA ACUMINATA. — Referring to Mr. Clarke's 
note on this rotifer in your issue for June, though 
given in "Hudson and Gosse" as very rare, it is 
common in several ponds in the vicinity of Chester, 
In water from one of these ponds it is not unusual to 
see six or seven of these rotifers at once in the field 
of the 2-inch objective. — A, H. Hignett. 

Preserving Fish. — Every naturalist knows the 
difficulty of preserving fish so as to show their natural 
form and colours. We are only too well acquainted 
with the stiff, colourless caricatures of the most 
graceful and often beautifully tinted of living crea- 
tures, seen in museums and elsewhere. Consequently 
we are pleased to call attention, after having carefully 
examined various specimens, to the really beautiful 
examples of prepared fish now being set up by Mr. 
J. Sinel, of Jersey. In one specimen of the blue- 
striped wrasse {Labriis mixtiis), all the striking 
colours are replaced true to nature ; in another 
(Platessa), part of the colours have been replaced ; 
in the bass {Labrax lupus), which usually turns white 
in drying, all the colours have been retained. Gene- 
rally speaking, however, Mr. Sinel's system enables 
all the natural colours to be kept unchangeably. The 
specimens are also secured against shrinkage, and 
cannot possibly be injured by damp. Naturalists and 
anglers can now obtain beautiful specimens of fish 
for wall and other ornamentation ; whilst to museums, 
Mr. Sinel's examples commend themselves for their 
beauty, naturalness, and neatness. 


RuBUS laCINIATUS. — Years ago I found a curious 
cut-leaved bramble growing at Chislehurst ; one 
bush at Prickend, and one on Chislehurst Common, 
apparently quite wild. I sent specimens to one or 
two botanists, and was informed that it was merely a 
form of R. discolor {rusticanus) by a good authority. 
In Science-Gossip, 1889, p. 188, I referred to the 
plant as R. rnsticantts, form incisits. A few days ago 
I sent a specimen to Kew, and it is now identifi 



with R. laciniatus, Willd., a cultivated species. I 
have seen R. laciniatus growing in ISIr. Jenner \Yeir's 
garden at Beckenham, where young seedlings were 
very freely produced ; and I presume that the cut- 
leaved brambles of Chislehurst were simply garden 
escapes. — T. D. A. Cocker ell. 

Lateral Tubercules. — I find that tubercules 
may be produced in the axils of leaves by artificial 
means. This may be done by cutting off" a plant of 
Ranunculus ficaria, L., near the root, and placing it 
in a well-corked bottle ; after remaining there for a 
week or two you will see tubercules of various sizes. 
They are produced by the reversion of a bud into a 
root, as is often seen in the potato. This proves 
that fasciculated roots are but modifications of the 
stem. — Henry E. Griset. 

White Heather. — In the June No. of Science 
Gossip (p. 141), Mr. D. H. S. Stewart, enquirer of 
the white-flowering variety of Erica tetralix has 
been met with elsewhere than in the Scottish High- 
lands. I am happy to be able to inform him that I 
have occasionally met with it in the heathy tracts of 
this part of the country, possibly half-a-dozen times 
in fifteen years. Last summer my little boy with 
me found a whole patch of it, and carried home a 
handful of the white-flowered stalks. I may say that 
I have never met with the white-flowering heather, 
though the ordinary purple-flowered variety covers 
miles of country about us. By the way, would not 
Mr. Stewart be more correct, if, following Sir J. D. 
Hooker (* Student's Flora '), he assigned the Ung to 
the genus Calluna rather than to Erica, — A. Irving, 


The Geology of the Neighbourhood of 
Winchester. — We have received a new edition of 
the neat, small, and handy description of the strata 
and fossils of this district, written for the geological 
section of the school, by a good geologist, who is 
evidently too modest to put his name to it. It is a 
model of compendious, useful, and accurate local 
information, giving all the thicknesses of the cre- 
taceous zones in the neighbourhood of Winchester, 
the anticlinals of the Hampshire chalk, a list of pits 
and sections, with the names of the fossils found in 
each, and also a tabular list of fossils (Winchester : 
J. Wells). 


Are Fossils ever found Alive 1 — At the close 
of a gossipy geological address some little time ago, 
I was somewhat startled by an old gentleman who 
rose to ask, " Are fossils ever found alive, sir ? " 
*' Well, no," I replied, " they are not," And I then 
explained for the second time the nature of a fossil. 

The old gentleman, however, was irrepressible. 
" As a boy," he said, "he was present when a live 
toad was found in a rock 150 feet below the surface," 
and his story was so circumstantial that I asked him 
to put it in writing, which he afterwards did, as 
follows: — "I am a living witness to what I here 
state, J. Gittus, In hearing a lecture on the subject 
of fossils, there were several kinds of animals on the 
screen, and led me to ask the question whether any 
of them were ever found alive. Because, when I was 
a boy, I lived with a man who worked in a stone 
quarry, and I was very often v/ith him, and in getting 
the stone we had to blow it up with gunpowder, and 
one time after blowing it up, one of the men picked 
up a stone that was noticeable, like two stones joined 
together, and broke it in two, and in it was a live 
toad which they afterwards destroyed. The question 
how did that animal get there, and how did he live 
pent up in that stone ? — for the place where we found 
him was very deep, about 150 feet or more from the 
top of the rock, and he must have been there a length 
of time shut up in that stone, now this is a mystery, 
and cannot be fully comprehended by mortal man. 
But as I lay in my bed one Sunday night, I was 
thinking about it ; the thought struck me that as there 
is a great deal of water running through all rocks, that 
one of the eggs of these animals must have been 
washed there from some spring or pool, and lodged 
in some hole of the rock, and come to life, and by 
the water that flowed through the rock kept alive, 
but in what way I cannot tell ; but he who placed it 
there could keep it alive as well as he kept Jonah 
alive in the fish's belly." 'J. Gittus, Bridport 
Street, No. 5." So runs the old gentleman's story. 
A well authenticated account of a similar discovery 
has recently been sent to me by Miss Lydia M, 
Hawker, of Bredon, near Worcester, Miss Hawker 
writes: " On the evening of September 27th, 1886, 
I was sitting alone in the sitting-room at my home in 
Bredon, Worcestershire, the other members of my 
family having retired. On the fire was one large 
piece of coal the size of a man's head ; this had been 
put on four hours previously. I attempted to break 
it to pieces, but, owing to its hardness, I could only 
chip off fragments. I then drew aside the ash-pan 
to make room on the hearth for the rest of the lump, 
set it down, still intact, and kneehng on the hearth- 
rug, watched for a couple of minutes to assure myself 
that all was safe. Suddenly my ear caught a sound 
of crackling and sputtering in the lump. I turned 
sharply round to reach my little sponge-lamp, and 
behold ! a small, long-legged, dusky creature, resem- 
bling a frog, had leapt into the ash-pan, and was 
hopping about between its bars. I grasped the 
situation — and the bars — on the instant, but the bars 
burnt my fingers, so I jumped up for a kettle-holder. 
When I returned to the rescue, poor froggy had taken 
shelter (?) under a projecting shoulder of his former 
home. I gently touched him ; he was dead ; stiff", 
and sadly shrivelled up. He is still in my possession, 
he keeps well, and is in good spirits — of wine." — 
F. T. Spackman, 7, Richmond Road, Worcester. 

Pin in Hen's Egg. — As a reader of Science- 
Gossip, I wish to bring the following case before 
your notice, as I consider it most remarkable, and 
if you think it worihy of your attention, to describe 
the facts in your interesting paper for the purpose of 
consideration and enquiry, A friend of mine keeps a 
quantity of fowls. They are the common kind, 
usually called, I think 'Barn-door fowls.' On Thurs- 
day, April 9th, a number of eggs were collected. A 
few were given to the gardener. His wife boiled one 
for his breakfast on April loth, and when he cracked 



it a pin was found in the yolk. The yolk and 
white were in places of a blue-black colour. I should 
feel obliged if any reader would inform me whether 
they have ever heard of anything being found before 
inside an egg, and how it got there. — F. J. B, 

Snails as a Cure for Consumption.— Your 
correspondent, Mr. J. W. Williams, may. be interested 
in learning that the snail cure for consumption has been 
continued in this locality (Truro) in one instance, 
at least, almost up to the present day. I well 
remember, some twelve years since, an individual 
living in an adjoining parish being pointed out to 
me as a " snail or slug eater," I forget which. He 
was a delicate-looking man, and said to be suffering 
from consumption. Last summer I saw this man, 
and asked him whether the statement that he was a 
"snail-eater" was true: he answered, "Yes, that 
he was ordered small white slugs — not snails — when 
he was young, for ' decline,' and that up till recently 
he had daily consumed a dozen or more every 
morning, and he believed they had done him good. 
There is also another use to which the country 
people here put snails, and that is as an eye applica- 
tion. I met with an instance a few weeks since, and 
much good seemed to have followed the use. — 
Edmuttd Rundle, F.H.C.S.I.^ Royal Cornwall 
Infirmary, Trtiro. 

How I saved my Hive of Bees. — Bee-keepers 
will long remember the disastrous year of i8S8. I 
have kept bees for thirty years, but have never met 
with its parallel. Colonies were numerous, and 
strong enough, but so little honey was gathered, that 
by May 28th in the following year nearly all were 
dead, whole apiaries having succumbed, and even 
where feeding had been aitempted few survived. 
Out of my stock of bees, numbering about twenty- 
five, three only remained alive, and one was con- 
sidered to be very weak ; under such circumstances 
one naturally thought more of again increasing one's 
stock, than of obtaining honey. My neighbours were 
equally or even more unfortunate than myself, in 
more than one instance not saving a single hive. I 
hoped that all three of my hives would swarm 
naturally, but as is usually the case, the bees would 
not do as you desired them ; two out of the three did 
not swarm, and I was not disposed to make them do 
so artificially. The one that did swarm had survived 
some unusual troubles, having been blown over by 
the heavy gales on two occasions ; the first time on 
February 4th, when all the hives in the kitchen 
garden shared the same fate ; the second time on 
March 21st, when it was found topsy-turvey. It was 
a frame-hive, and swarmed naturally on June 2 1st. 
After the swarm had been shaken into the hive, the 
queen left the bees, and attempted to return home, 
but on her way I observed her, and caught her, and 
put her into the hive wherein the swarm had been 
taken, and all became quiet. This swarm, though 
rather late, did remarkably well, became very 
numerous in bees, and gave me a nice lot of super 
honey, still leaving it very heavy, the bees having 
had the advantage of ready-made combs. Now I 
looked on this hive as my best, and great things 
were expected from it the following season. On 
April I2th, 1890, I noticed that no loaded bee 
entered this swarm, although pollen was carried in 
pretty freely by the bees of the other hives. The hive 
was heavy and contained plenty of sealed honey : 
this excited my suspicions about the state of the 
queen, and made me fear that what I looked on as 
my best hive would come to grief. On the 2rst, 

having satisfied myself that the hive was queenless, 
and that it contained a fair quantity of bees and 
abundance of sealed honey, I gave it a comb 
containing eggs and brood from another hive, taking 
away from it a comb of honey, which I gave to the 
hive from which I had taken the brood. On the 
25th I observed the bees carry into the hive a little 
pollen. On the 2Sth, I examined the hive, and 
found two queen-cells, nearly perfect, but not yet 
sealed over. On the 3rd of May I again examined 
the hive, and found both queen-cells sealed over. 
On May loth, about 3 p.m., as I was standing 
near the hive, I saw a queen come out of it, and 
take flight ; I waited until she returned, and saw 
her re-enter the hive ; she did not appear to have 
met with a drone during her outing ; I was, however, 
satisfied that the hive had succeeded in obtaining a 
queen, and so might recover. On the 12th of May, 
I again saw a queen return to this hive ; and on the 
i6th I saw the same thing happen, making it appear 
that there was some difficulty in finding a mate. On 
the 2 1 St I examined the hive, but could find neither 
queen nor eggs ; still a few bees continued to carry in 
pollen. On the 26th I left home for three days ; and 
on June 4th I made an examination, and although 
I did not see the queen, I found brood, some of 
which was sealed over ; so that the presence of a 
queen was assured. On the 19th of June, I again 
examined, and saw her majesty. The hive went on 
very well, and though it gave me no super, it gathered 
sufficient honey to carry it through the winter 
without feeding. I think this little bit of experience 
is sufficient to show how greatly superior frame hives 
are to the old straw ones : and what a great deal of 
pleasure and instruction may be had by keeping a 
hive or two of bees. The hive has weathered safely 
the past unusually severe and prolonged winter, and 
is now hard at work. June ist, 1891. — C. F. George, 
Kirt07i in Lindsey. 

White Varieties. — I don't know whether you 
you care for further notice of the white varieties of 
harebell and heather. Near Settle in Yorkshire I 
have several times found the harebell perfectly white, 
but never more than two or three stalks in one place. 
The flowers were very much smaller than the common 
blue one. In a wood, three miles from the same 
place, I found a patch of white heather about two 
yards square, some three or four years ago ; but to 
my great disgust two years ago, I found some game- 
keeper had rooted all up, save about as much as 
would cover a soup-plate, I suppose because it was 
interfering with several young trees. I have, how- 
ever, marked down about twelve other roots in a 
thirty-acre moorland field. — W. S. Sykes. 

A Suescalarid Monstrosity of Helix 
rufescens. — On looking through my note-book I 
find mention of a subscalariform monstrosity of Hdix 
rufescens, which Mr. A. Mayfield sent me from Eaton, 
Norwich. As I do not believe that I have yet 
published a description of this shell, I now do so here. 
Transcribed from my notes, it runs thus : — Large, 
brownish with white band at periphery ; spire elevated 
with the whorls subcarinated and flattened ; body- 
whorl smaller than in type, depressed, subcarinated ; 
sutures, deep, canaliculate ; umbilicus wide, revealing 
the whorls of the spire ; inner lip distinct, and 
reflected on to the body-whorl so as to form a well- 
marked "parietal wall" ; the whole shell subscalariform. 
Diam. 11 -5 mill. ; alt. 8 mill. I£ this monstrosity 
has not been named before, it might be called monst 
subscalare. — J. IV. IVillia/ns. 



The conversazione of the Royal Society took 
place on the 17th ult. Astronomy presented its 
usual fascinating aspect. Professor Norman Lockyer 
exhibited first a group of sun-spots, photographed in 
India as they were passing over the solar surface, 
and showing a succession of remarkable changes, 
suggestive of terrestrial cyclones, as they traversed 
the visible face of the sun. The greatest curiosity was 
awakened by the professor's photographs of the 
temples at Karnak and Edfou, in Upper Egypt. 
There is now a theory that these famous structures 
were oriented in such fashion that the rays of the sun 
at 6 A.M. and p.m. on June 21 traversed the whole 
central aisle of these edifices — in other words, that at 
least six thousand years ago there was in Egypt a 
people sufticiently advanced to know astronomically 
the true length of the year and to determine with 
precision such data as they needed for their daily 
sacrifices. The same kind of astronomical motive is 
supposed to have prevailed with the builders of the 
huge monoliths of Stonehenge. At the instance of 
Mr. Norman Lockyer, the Egyptian Government 
sent out on June 21 observers to Karnak and Edfou 
to make observations of the shadows which the lines 
of the temple will make with its principal axis, and 
as the motion of the sun in the heavens is known, it 
may be possible to argue backwards from these data 
to the probable age of the temples. Similar obser- 
vations were made on Salisbury Plain, with the 
• curious result, perhaps, of learning from the sun's 
motion in the ecliptic how long ago it is since the 
stones of that huge place of sacrifice were placed in 
position by a relatively advanced race of people 
inhabiting these islands thousands of years ago. 
Mr. Francis Galton explained in the Council Room 
his method of personal identification by means of 
finger prints. It is a curious fact that the small 
papillary ridges on the bulbs of the fingers, and on 
the inner surfaces of the hands and feet, persist from 
youth to age, and are the most unchanging, and 
apparently the surest means of pronouncing on any 
human being's identity. With exact anthropometric 
measurements and descriptions, science is circum- 
venting the criminal classes, and the time will 
probably come when to the evil-doer Mr. Galton's 
pictures of the finger tips will be a means of deciding 
who's who that law-breakers will positively detest 
and dread. Among the instruments Mr. Wimshurst's 
improved influence machines deservedly attracted a 
large amount of attention ; but, perhaps, the most 
interesting of recent electrical achievements is Mr. 
Crookes's volatilisation of metals. The distinguished 
chemist and physicist has discovered that he can 
evaporate gold, silver, and other metals by the 
electric current. This is accomplished without accu- 
mulation of heat, and what looks like the vapour of 
gold settles as a thin transparent film on a surface of 
glass. In transmitted light the hue is first ruddy, 
then, as it becomes denser, greenish and faint yellow, 
and only finally golden when the film is thick enough 
to prevent light passing through. A curious and 
instructive magnetic phenomenon was exhibited by 
Mr. Shelford Bidwell, in a nickel pendulum which 
was shown to be magnetic when cold and non-magnetic 
when heated to about 300° C. Mr. Francis Darwin 
displayed an instrument called a cup-micrometer for 
measuring the rate of growth of a plant, while 
Mr. Walter Gardiner has devised instrumental means 
to determine the forces concerned in the absorption 
and flow of water in plants. Mr. Arthur Clay- 
den, M.A., showed by means of the electric lantern 
some fine meteorological pictures of clouds, taken by 
the camera in such style as enormously to simplify 
the study of cloud formation, a department in which 

a good deal remains to be done. Some fine negatives 
of hoar-frost were thrown on the screen, the pictures 
bringing into strong relief the manner in which the 
ice crystals form on the margins of leaves, the loose 
fibres of a string, and the thorns of a briar, and the 
tendency of these crystals to arrange themselves in 
line with the direction in which the wind is blowing. 

Atmospheric Nitrogen and Root-Tubercles. 
— Two American chemists, Messrs. W. O. Atwater 
and C. D. W^oods, have published in the American 
Chemical Jotirnal the results of a large number of 
experiments they have been making on the important 
subject of the acquisition of atmospheric nitrogen by 
plants. They experimented with peas, oats, and 
corn, and they conclude that nitrogen is readily 
absorbed from the atmosphere by these plants, where 
treated with "soil-infusion," and that the gain of 
nitrogen is dependent on the number of root-tubercles 
which the application of " soil-infusion " induces. It 
should be remembered, however, that these root- 
tubercles have been found to be literally nests of 
bacteria, so that the latter may probably produce the 
nitrogen by assisting in the nitrification of the soil. 

Atmospheric Nitrogen and Leguminos/e. — 
Experiments have been conducted by two French 
chemists, Messrs. Schloesling and Laurent. It has 
long been suspected that the natural order of plants 
Leguminosse had the power somehow of absorbing 
atmospheric nitrogen. The leguminose plants ex- 
perimented upon were grown in closed vessels, which 
were so arranged that the gases introduced and with- 
drawn could be accurately measured and analysed. 
They found that when the leguminose plants were 
watered with an infusion of nodosities from other 
plants of the same order, there was an absorption of 
nitrogen much greater than could be put down to 
errors of experiment. On the other hand, when the 
leguminose plants had not been inoculated in this 
way, and were therefore free from nodosities, no such 
absorption of nitrogen was observable. It is believed, 
therefore, these experiments demonstrate that under 
the influence of microbes leguminose plants can fix 
and utilise the gaseous nitrogen of the atmosphere. 

Eriophorum latifolium. — It is stated in 
Syme's " English Botany " (vol. x., p. 76), that the 
downy-stalked cotton-grass {Eriophorum latifolium) 
is "rare in the south of England." Being in the 
neighbourhood of Fair Mile, near Esher, Surrey, on 
the iSth inst., I noticed what I believe to be a very 
large bed of it, the mass of cotton-like heads at- 
tracting attention and admiration even at a distance. 
The plants were growing in a morass surrounding a 
pond, locally called Black Pond. Though familiar 
with the locality many years ago, I had not visited it 
for some years and was struck with the appearance. 
It may be mentioned that the nearest railway station 
is Oxshott (the name really means Oakwood, but the 
L. & S. W. R. has now fixed upon it one of the 
local spellings, suggesting the idea of bovine slaughter 
at the place), on the new line from Surbiton to 
Guildford. Although the spot gives the idea of 
complete sequestration, it is in fact only a few 
minutes' walk from the high road between Esher and 
Cobham, near what is called Fair Mile. If I am 
wrong with regard to the species, I should be glad 
to be corrected. — W. T. Lynn. 

Coccus cataphractus. — Will any of your 
readers be kind enough to inform me where this 
scale insect is to be found? — H.A. 

1 68 



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 must adhere to our rule of 
not noticing queries which do not bear the writers' names. 

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,forthcpurpose 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. 

Special Note. — There is a tendency on the part of some 
exchangers to send more than one per month. We only allow 
this in the case of writers of papers. 

To OUR Recent Exchangers. — We are willing and helpful 
to our genuine naturalists, but we cannot further allow dis. 
guised Exchanges like those which frequently come to us 
to appear unless as advertisements. 

T. H. C— The eighth edition of "The London Catalogue of 
British Plants " is published by George Bell & Sons, price iid. ; 
the " York Catalogue of British Mosses," price dd., by Ben 
Johnson & Co., Micklegate, York. 

R. C.— Your specimen is the blue flea-bane [Erigeron 

M. B. Davies. — The insect imbedded in amber is a well- 
preserved dipterous fly, probably a species of Tachina. 

S. Lowe. — You will find a long chapter on fossil sponges 
(illustrated) in Taylor's "Common British Fossils" (London: 

R. A. Cooper. — Write to Messrs. W. Wesley & Son, Essex 
Street, Strand, for their " Scientific Book Circular." 

G. A. Hankey. — I. The cuticle of leaves is the delicate 
transparent skin which covers the epidermis. It rarely shows 
any signs of structure, only markings produced by contact. 
It can be detached by slow maceration, and then comes off the 
surface both of the epidermis and hairs. 2. The mould on 
palm leaves to which you refer is probably Graphiola pheenicis 
(see Science-Gossip vol. for 1877, page 124). 

M. E. Pope. — Your specimen is a variety of the meadow 
orchis [O. morio). 

R. C. C— The specimen enclosed is evidently a very remark- 
able variety of Cardaniine pratensis. Send a specimen to the 
Secretary of the Botanical Record Club. 

H. Roberts. — Many thanks for your kind offer. Will you 
send us a short specimen of the sort of thing you mean ? 


Offered, six different specimens of Scotch granite, one 
German, and one Sweden, polished on one side and rough on 
other ; also marine shells. Wanted, Newman's " British 
B^itterflies and Moths," or what offers?— W. D. Rae, 9 Clare- 
mont Terrace, Alpha Road, Miilwall, London, E. 

Wanted, Maltwood's finder. Offered, magic-lantern, small 
telescope, micro-slides or objects, dried plants, &c. — G. H. 
Bryan, Thornlea, Trumpington Road, Cambridge. 

Wanted, Morgan's" Animal Biology," Marshal and Hurst's 
"Practical Zoology," Prantl's "Botany," Bower's "Practical 
Botany," Foster's " Embryology," Howe's "Atlas of Biology." 
Must be cheap, in good condition, and recent editions. What 
offers to — Shoosmith, Stopsley, Luton, Beds. 

Wanted, Helix arbustorum, var. viarinorata. Will give 
H. arbustorum, var. pallescens, in exchange. — H. Milnes, 
Winster, near Derby. 

Wanted, Berkeley's "Outlines of Fungology." Will give 
in exchange Beale's " Microscope." Also wanted, mosses, 
lichens, and other cryptogams. — C. F. Rea, S.S.M., Black- 
heath, S.E. 

Science-Gossip, six vols., unbound, including 1884 and 1885, 
with plates; Milner's "Gallery of Geography," twenty-fbur 
i^. parts; last two vols, of "American Monthly Microscopical 
Journal; also "Manual of British Coleoptera," by Stephens, 
good as new. Wanted, tricycle, or botanical books, Cooke's 
" Freshwater Algse," good micro mounts, &c. — J. C. Black- 
shaw, 179 Penn Road, Wolverhampton. 

Offered, Science-Gossip for 1890, Karl Russ's " Speaking 
Parrots," Greene's "Amateur's Aviary." Wanted, back vols. 
of Science-Gossip, " Selbome Magazine," scientific works, 
gjc.— H. Roberts, 60 Princess Road, Kilburn, London. 

Wanted, "Insects at Home" (Wood), or other work on 

British insects. Offered, "Insects Abroad" (1883).— Rev. X., 
12 The Park, Ealing, W. 

Will give is. dd. for a clean copy of "The Zoologist" for 
January, 1881. — Chas. Oldham, Ashton-on-Mersey. 

Any entomological specimens (of whatever order) would be 
gratefully received from anyone having duplicates, and having 
no use for same. Box sent (prepaid) and return postage. — 
T. R. Hamilton, 11 Crozier Road, Mutley, Plymouth. 

Offered, "The Entomologist," vols. 16 to 21 bound, and 
vols. 22 and 23 unbound ; " Builder," vols. 56 and 57 bound, 
vols. 55, 59, and greater part of 58 unbound. Exchange for 
foreign land shells, conchological or other scientific books. — 
G. S. Parry, 18 Hyde Gardens, Eastbourne. 

Offered, 325 stamps, all different, many of them rare. 
Wanted, British land and freshwater shells, foreign marine 
shells, or offers to— P. R. Shaw, 48 Bidston Road, Oxton, 

Wanted, any land or sea shells from the West Indies. 
Have a number of natural history and other books to offer in 
exchange. List sent. — W. Jones, jun., 27 Mayton Street, 
Holloway, London. 

Wanted, a few good fossils from Devonian or old red sand- 
stone. A good equivalent given in exchange in minerals, such 
as fluor spar, galena, malachite, travertine, radiated calcite, 
chalcedony, blende, crystals of quartz, selenite, pyrites, calcite 
and others, or good carboniferous fossils. — P. J. Roberts, 
II Back Ash Street, Bacup. 

Wanted, fossils from various localities. A large number of 
good duplicates offered in exchange. — Thomas W. Reader, 
171 Hemingford Road, London, N. 

Wanted, specimens of British and foreign echini (sea 
urchins), or crabs, in exchange for British land, freshwater, or 
marine shells or fossils. — F. Stanley, M.C.S., Clifton Gardens, 

West African bird-skins in exchange for books (must be 
latest editions) on natural history.— J. H., 19 Connaught 
Street, W. 

Eleven vols, of Science-Gossip, 1880-90, including the ^ 
coloured plates, for rare British shells or eggs, foreign shells, 
or offers. — Thos. H. Hedworth, Dunston, Gateshead. 

Helix lainellata. Papa ringens, and numerous other species 
offered for varieties of British land and freshwater shells. 
Also wanted, Continental and foreign land and freshwater 
shells. — Rev. John Hawell, Ingleby Greenhow Vicarage, 

For a slide of diatoms, or botanical mount showing placenta, 
tion, &c., I will send a tube of Chara showing cyclosis. — J. C. 
Blackshaw, 179 Penn Road, Wolverhampton. 

West Indian, South .4.merican, and Australian land shells 
wanted in exchange for European, South African, or North 
American land, freshwater, and marine. Any foreign corre- 
spondence esteemed. — S., 40 Braybrooke Road, Hastings. pictorum, from a Cheshire locality, offered in exchange 
for good land and freshwater shells, British or foreign. — R. 
Cairns, Queen Street, Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne. 

Wanted, land and freshwater shells, in exchange for living 
Pupa secale, and others. Several vols, of Science-Gossip and 
other books offered for shells. — H. T. Smith, 11 Oakfield 
Place, Clifton, Bristol. 

" Popul.-ir Lectures and Addresses," by Sir William Thomson, 
LL.D., F.R.S., &c., vols. i. and iii. (London: Macmillan & 
Co.). — "Lessons in Elementary Biology," by Professor T. 
Jeffery Parker (London: Macmillan & Co.). — "The Making 
of Flowers," by Professor G. Henslow (London: S.P.C.K.).— 
"The Species of Epilobium occurring North of Mexico," by 
Professor Trelease. — "Notes on Indian Rotifers," by H. H. 
Anderson. — " The British Noctuse and their Varieties," by 
J. W. Tutt (London : Swan Sonnenschein & Co.). — " British 
Cage Birds," Parts 13 and 14. — "Glimpses of Nature," by Dr. 
Andrew Wilson (London : Chatto & Windus). — "The Mediter- 
ranean Naturalist," No. i. — "American Microscopical Jour- 
nal." — "The Microscope." — "The American Monthly Micro. 
Journal." — " American Naturalist." — " Canadian Entomolo- 
gist."— " The Naturalist."— The Botanical Gazette."— " The 
Gentleman's Magazine."— "The Midland Naturalist."— "The 
Essex Naturalist." — "The Garner." — " Feuille des Jeunes 
Naturalistes."—" Journal of Microscopy," &c., &c. 

Communications received up to the ioth ult. from : 
J. E. L.— A. J. H. C— J. H.— F. B.— C. G.— A. B.— G. H. B. 
— W. H. S.— A. E. B.— E. B.— W. D. R.— J. H. C— W. W.— 
Dr. A. I.— M. D. D.— C. F. G.— J. W. W.— W. J. S.— 
H. H. A.— J. W. B — D. E. C— T. D. A. C— E. R— H. E. G 
—J. H. S.— E. D. H.— F. J. B.— W. C— H. M.— C. F. R.— 
J. C B.— H. R.— H. T. M.— C. O.— T. R. H.— E. H. R.— 
W. E. S.— G. S. P.— P. R. S.— Dr. R. L. R.— J. W. R. S.— 

F. S.-S. P.— T. W. R.— J. H.— W. J., jun.— P. J. R.— 

G. A. H.— J. C. B.— E. L. S.— J. C. S.— R. C— H. T. S.— 
J. H.— T. H. H.-J. S.— F. B.-A. H. H.— F. B.— H. M.— 
&c., &c. 




By J. H. GORDON, B.A. OxoN. 

people will dis- 
believe me and 
think me foolish 
for tr}ing to fool 
them, but it is not 
so. I am as sane 
and as honest as 
most men are ; 
and so, when I 
say I can under- 
stand and appre- 
ciate the songs 
and languages of 
birds, you can 
take it or leave it 
just as you will. 

Now there must 
be no mistake, and 
so I had better 
say at once that I 
cannot understand all birds ; any more than Professor 
Max Miiller can understand all the languages of 
men, in this best of possible worlds ; no, that would 
be rather a big job, to say the least of it, though the 
language of birds when you once understand the 
method of it, is not nearly so hard as one would 

If I had my choice, in fact, I would much rather 
take up the grammar of a rook, or even a common 
and vulgar sparrow — and the sparrow is vulgar, too, 
sometimes when he likes — than wade through the 
horrible inflexions, conjugations, declensions, and 
other monstrosities, that hide their sweetness under 
the names of Latin and Greek, and what not. 

Ves, there is much to be said in favour of the 
speech of the playful warbler. He is in general 
simple and honest in his likes and dislikes, and in ex- 
pressing these likes and dislikes. Here and there I 
do not deny, I have come across a very Gladstone 
amongst the rooks, who would gather in a crowd and 
No. 320. — August 1891. 

talk to them literally for hours ; but he was an ex- 
ception, and it usually ended in his starting a new — 
being compelled to start — a new realm of wisdom 
by his own account. 

With the sparrow, too, I have some fault to find ; 
his language is not always so decorous as it should 
be ; indeed, to hear what the sparrow — the London 
one, especially — says, when he is disturbed at a feast, 
or the grain spilt from a passing horse's nose-bag, is 
simply horrible, and would often make me, had I 
been some what thinner and lighter in bulk, pick up 
a stone and teach them a lesson. 

After all, the sparrow must be forgiven much, for 
he is a very talented bird ; he has a greater proportion 
of brains to his body than pretty well any other bird, 
and a great deal more ideas. A very gifted bird is 
the sparrow, though he does swear terribly and gamble 
all the sunny days on the house-tops, and jeer 
wickedly at the homely cat. But great men have 
great vices as well as great virtues ; and so is it in 

Let us look at another warbler who is very much 
more greatly admired, and yet whose brains are the 
minimum possible to the realm of air. The nightin- 
gale is the one I refer to ; and every one knows how 
even delicate girls will go out at night-time to hear 
this songster ; and yet with all this glory, he has the 
smallest vocabulary than any bird I know of. I 
fancy if the charming maidens who listen shivering 
and wondering to him as he sings in the neighbouring 
bush, knew what he meant, they would have him 
away in disgust. 

For this sweet songster, the nightingale, is an awful 
gourmand ; and thinks of nothing but filling himself 
with worms, grain, anything in fact that comes to hand. 
When he sets them so simply, and we all believe him 
to be singing to his mate, he's doing no such thing ; 
it's the early worm he's singing to, it's the early worm 
he is glorifying with that divine music ; and it is 
because the early worm is later than usual, that he 
sings at all. 




Just give him an early worm and see what he 

Sing his thanks, you think ? No, indeed, if he does 
iiing, it is simply to ask for more, but usually he 
remains silent. 

" O early worm, O early worm ! 
Sweet and toothsome art thou 
With the dew upon thee, 
In the glory of the morn ! 
There is nothing sweeter than 

The early worm 
With the dew upon him in the 

Glorj' of the morn 1 " 

That is his song ; and he will go on singing that for 
hours, until the early worm turns up. He knows no 
more, poor bird, and what is worse, wants to know 
nothing more. 

He is ignorant : very, very ignorant ; and he is 
liappy : very, ver}' happy in his ignorance. 

His total vocabulary does not exceed some sixty 
words ; whilst the sparrow, often runs over into 
thousands, especially when he is in a rage, and at a 
loss, then he invents a dozen new adjectives on the 
.--pur of the moment. Besides the first bird sticks 
superstitiously to his fifty words, whilst the sparrow 
is simply avaricious of new ideas and new words. 

Let a sparrow invent some taking phrase, and it is 
immediately taken into the bosom of the language, 
and in a few weeks in common use by all alike. 

I remember a sparrow nicknamed a pea-shooter, 
but what would be translated "quick-joy," because of 
' the delight of eating the peas, after the rapid flight. 
Now every sparrow — even the rather stupid hedge- 
sparrow — speaks of many other things under that 
name — as "rain-drops." 

One of the pleasantest afternoons I ever spent was 
passed in listening to a trial by rooks. 

One of the rooks was accused of playing the decoy- 
duck with some of his fellows, and of being in league 
M'ith certain farmers ; and of thus causing many of 
Jiis comrades to adorn the inside of a horrible 
^chamber, called a pigeon-pie. 

The defence was, that he could not understand the 
farmers, nor the farmers him ; secondly that he gained 
nothing by doing this great wickedness, as was evident, 
if he did do it. But to this was replied that he was 
allowed a free entrance into a granary stocked with 
fresh grain ; and that was evidence conclusive. 

The poor fellow, whom I pitied greatly, tried to 
show that he had found a hole in and offered to show 
it the[ company generally ; and this gained him many 
friends ; indeed I thought he was safe. No, his 
■enemies were too fiercely determined ; they reminded 
tlie folk present of a new-sown field, and demanded 
an instant verdict. 

That decided it, and he was instantly found guilty 
and pecked to death. 

But there are other much more kindly views of 
bird-life to be gained than the one I have described. 

I remember one very affecting incident : a small 

bird of the wren tribe had been severely hurt and was 
still very ill when the day for the annual migration 
came ; indeed, amongst all the denizens of the thicket, 
a general belief was expressed that the poor little 
wren must be left behind to winter in the land of 
snow and frost. 

His mate nearly lost her head in the agony of the 
separation, for there were young ones, and one at 
least had to go to look after them. There he stood 
divided between love and duty ; should he leave his 
dear companion of the summer, or should he leave 
his young ones to go forth and die perhaps in a 
foreign land ? 

And so he flew from tree to tree in wild terror and 

At length there came slowly two great cranes 
across the wide expanse, and with a mad hope in his 
heart he advanced and humbly besought their help. 

They were kind-hearted creatures ; and on his 
promising to keep a good look-out for frogs, they 
took the wee wren under their wing, and carried her 
along with her family into the-far away country. 

Happy wren and happier cranes ! 



THIS insect, like its congener the cochineal insect, 
belongs to the order Hemiptera. Its habits and 
economy are nearly identical with it. When a colonj' 
of several males and females select a branch of a tree 
for their home, they puncture it, and a milky exuda- 
tion follows, in which they are soon entombed, and 
which furnishes them with both food and shelter. It 
forms irregular dark-coloured, resinous masses on the 
twigs of the trees which it surrounds, and which is 
gradually added to until they are sometimes nearly 
an inch in diameter. The trees most usually affected 
are the Fkiis Indica and F. religiosa which both 
abound in a milky juice. When the season arrives, 
the natives collect the encrusted twigs, which in this 
state are known commercially as "stick-lac." It 
contains about seven per cent, of resin and one- 
twentieth part of colouring matter. To separate the 
sticks, colouring and other foreign matter, the stick- 
lac is placed in large vats of hot water which melts 
the resin and thus liberates all impurities. It is then 
taken out and put into oblong bags of cotton, and a 
man standing at each end of the bag holds it over a 
charcoal fire. By this plan the resin is liquefied and 
drops through and falls on to the smooth stems of the 
Banyan tree, placed purposely to catch it. This 
flattens it out into thin plates, and it is then known to 
us as shell-lac. If the colouring matter has not been 
well washed out the resin is left of a very dark colour, 
thus we find in the lac-market, orange, garnet, and 
liver varieties. That which most nearly approaches 
to a light brown colour being the best. 



When separated from impurities, pulverized, and 
the major portion of colouring matter removed, it is 
known as " seed-lac." 

Sometimes it is melted up and made into small 
cakes ; in this state it is known as " lump-lac." The 
water which remains behind after the lac has been 
softened is rich in a colouring matter akin to that of 
cochineal, so that when strained and evaporated, a 
beautiful purple residue is left. Cut into cakes this 
forms another important article of commerce, viz : — 
" lac-dye." 

Shell-lac is soluble, in anhydrous alcohol, ether, fat, 
and volatile oils. In the alcoholic solution it forms a 
fine varnish. 

Hydrochloric and acetic acids also dissolve it. It 
is necessary sometimes to bleach it, for the manufac- 
ture of colourless varnishes, sealing-wax, &c. This is 
effected by dissolving in caustic potash, and passing 
chlorine gas through the solution. It can then be 
pulled and twisted into sticks. Seed-lac is much 
more soluble in alcohol than shell-lac. Lac-dye is 
soluble in sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. The 
mordant for use in dyeing is generally bi-tartrate of 
potass and protochloride of tin. 

The chief use of lac is for the manufacture of 
varnishes and sealing-wax. The differently tinted 
sealing-waxes are produced by adding vermilion for 
red, ivory black for black, and verditer for blue (some- 
times smalt is used). For a white wax, the lac is 
simply bleached as before mentioned. 

To obtain the fine golden colour sometimes seen, 
powdered yellow mica is incorporated with it. Shell- 
lac is imported from Assam, Siam, and an inferior 
quality from Bengal. 

Pegu stick-lac is exceedingly dark, and therefore 
not fitted for the finer uses of lac ; but the finest lac 
of a very light sherry colour comes from Circar. 

We receive something like 1,000,000 lbs. annually, 
but a large portion of this is again exported to 
Germany, Italy, and other foreign countries. To 
each male insect it has been computed there are not 
less than 5000 females, the males being twice as 
large as the females. 

After the first melting of the lac it is usually more 
tenacious than after subsequent meltings, which tend 
to make it hard and brittle. The ancient Chinese 
were well aware of this property, as is evinced in some 
of their works of art which remain perfect to this day. 
They are usually small boxes either in wood or metal, 
which have had a thin coating of lac, and while soft 
and plastic, had been moulded into various beautiful 
forms. Some of these works of art fetch considerable 

At the meeting of the Geologists' Association on 
July 3rd, Professor Blake read a paper on "The 
Geology of the country between Bridlington and 
Whitby, the district to be visited during the Long 



By E. Brunetti. 

{Continued frojii p. 160.] 
(6.) Acalypterata. 

OVER five hundred species of Acalypterata are 

An analytical table even of the groups is impossible 
here, as Verrall admits twenty-two divisions, which 
by his terminations would appear to be ranked by 
him as distinct families. 

Some Continental Dipterologists make a still 
larger number of groups. Walker divided them into 

Most of the Acalypterata are small flies, generally 
obscure in colour, though some are brilliantly- 
coloured and easily recognised, the majority, how- 
ever, being closely allied and difficult to identify. 

A great many species have been introduced as 
British that do not appear to be so. 

Mr. Verrall's arrangement of the genera differs from 
that of Schiner (still probably the best Continental 
authority), and I shall follow the former in these 

Coj-ciylnra, Fin., inhabits damp fields and the 
cooler spots in woods ; long-bodied and rather short - 
winged flies ; long 4-6 mm. 

Scatophaga, Mg., is a carnivorous genus, the 
larv^e living in dung, two or three species being very 
common everywhere, especially S. Stercoraria, L., 
which in the <5 is clothed in bright yellow hair, the 
legs also similarly clothed, the antennce and eyes are 
black, the wings yellowish grey ; long 8-10 mm. 
In the S (smaller) the colour is entirely grey. The 
face is reddish in both sexes. 

Orygma, Mg., delopa, Mg., and Actora, Mg., 
are found on seaweeds. Flies of rather an abnormal 
appearance ; flattened ; with small heads and short 
thick legs, often pubescent. 

In Helotnyza, Fin., the larva feeds on fungi, woods, 
fields and pastures ; several species are British ; 

Dryo7Jiyza, Fin., occurs in woods ; larva lives in 
mushrooms. Large flies ; D, analis, Fall., has 
marked wings. 

Sciomyza, Fin., frequents short herbage and shady 
woods. Several species are British, more or less 
closely allied, rather small in size. 

Tetanocera, Fin., is found on aquatic plants, larva 
aquatic ; the flies not being rare ; of good size ;. 
stoutly-built ; usually more or less tawny in colour, 
and from 5 to 9 mm. long. 

Limnia marginata, F., is a brownish-black fly, 
with yellowish white face ; reddish front with two 
black spots on inner side of eyes ; brown wings 
covered pretty uniformly with small round grey 
spots, the fore-border and tip being brown ;"^Iegs 
brown ; common 

long S mm. 

I 2 



Elgiva, Mg., resembles Tclanocera ; two or three 
of the five British species are fairly common. 

In Sepedon, Latr., the imago has the faculty of 
running over the surface of water ; allied to El^^iva 
and Tetanocera ; two species British. 

Fsila rosa, F., feeds on the carrot in the larval 
state. Ten species of Psila are British, resembling 

Loxocera, Mg. (2 spp.), inhabits damp woods, 
running over the foliage. 

Micropeza corrigiolata, L., a fly with much attenu- 
ated thorax and abdomen, and long and thin legs ; 
found chiefly on broom ; long 6 mm. ; common. 

Dorycera grainiinun, F., occurs in grass and 

Fig. 145.— O/iV.r, L. (mag.; 

Fig. 146. — Dl.ia, Mg. (mag.) 

Fig. 147. — Limnobia, Mg. (mag.) 

lowers, sometimes swarming ; larva aquatic ; pupa 

Ceroxys, Mcq., on tree trunks. 

Plafystoina seminationis, F., on flowers and hedges 
— in spring ; somewhat resembling Lwinia marginata 
in general appearance, but smaller and more stoutly- 

The Trypctidic are a well-marked group, in which 
the wings are beautifully ornamented with brown 
and black markings, thus affording an easy means of 
determining the species. The principal genera are 
Trypeta, Mg., and Tephritis, Latr., all the genera 
occurring on plants, the larvae being leaf-miners. 

Lonchcea, Fin., and Falloptera, Fin., inhabit fields 
and grassy banks. 

In Saprouiyza, Fin., the larvffi live on decaying 

animal matter. Macquart, a French writer, has 
found them in fungi ; about twenty species are 
British ; many common ; mostly closely allied, and 
nearly all yellowish, with yellowish wings. 

S. rorida, Fin., is tawny; face broad, wfth a 
small black spot on the vertex ; eyes black ; wings 
yellow ; legs pale yellow with black tips ; common ; 
long 4 mm. S. liipuliria, F., is distinguished from 
the latter by a thorax. 

Oponiyza germinationis, Fin., very common every- 

Fig. 148. — Ptychoptera, Mg. (mag.) 

Fig. 149. — Rhyphus, Latr. (mag.) 

Fig. 150. — Tanypus, Mg. (mag.) 

Fig. 151. — Method of pinning down Diptera, &c. 

where. Yellowish, with a dorsal row of blackish- 
brown spots on the abdomen ; face, antennce, 
and legs yellow ; wings pale grey, the two transverse 
veins and border towards the tip blackish ; long 
4 mm. 

Sepsis is common on umbelliferous flowers. 

S. cynipsea, L., smooth ; shining black ; wings 
clear, with a small black round spot at tip ; long 
4 mm. ; larva lives in decaying animal matter ; very 
common everywhere. 



Piophila casei, L., is the common " cheese- 
hopper," living in old cheese. The imago is shining 
black, with the lower part of the face yellow ; clear 
wings ; hyaline black legs with the base of the 
femora and tarsi yellowish ; long 3-35 mm. 

The other British species, P. lutcata, Hal., is 
closely allied, the larvre living in old bacon. Kirby 
and Spence have described its life history. 

The Ephydrince are a group of closely-allied, 
sombre-coloured small flies, of which the British 
species have been worked out by Haliday. They 
are tolerably abundant in Ireland, but also occur all 
over England in grass, fungi, and ditches ; some on 
aquatic plants, and a fen on the sea coast, and in 

Hydrellia griseola, Fin., probably the commonest 
species, is blackish grey, with clear wings, reddish 
eyes and black face, which, when seen from below, 
shows a wide whitish stripe in the centre ; long 
3 mm. 

Drosophila, Fin., is found on Crucifcnc, the larvre 
feeding an oak-apples. Their movements are slow ; 
at least one species (D.funebris, F.) occurs in houses, 
collecting round beer and wine casks. Reaumur 
described the larva of one species. 

Meromyza, Mg., is a genus of limited extent, of 
small black and yellow flies, inhabiting herbage. 
Two species are common ; the peculiar venation 
affords an easy means of recognition. 

Chlorops, Mg., is an extensive genus, of which 
Verrall gives eight species as indigenous, though 
probably several more will be found in Britain, 
most of them common, living in the larval state on 
wheat and barley, one species thus destroying the 
sexual organs of the barley. 

Sometimes they occur in swarms. The species 
are closely allied ; generally yellow in colour, marked 
with black ; but some of them are tolerably easy to 
recognise. They inhabit sunny fields and banks, 
chiefly occurring during July and August. 

Oscinis, Latr., infests wheat, their habits being 
similar to those of Chlorops. 

Agrornyza, Fin., supplies us with eleven species, 
found in fields and woods ; small darkly-coloured 
flies ; closely allied. 

Fhytomyza, Fin., has a venation of its own, and is 
allied to Agrornyza. The European species of this 
genus, as in Agrornyza, are very numerous. They 
occur on plants from April till the end of summer. 
\Valker speaks of a species infesting the corn- 

Borborus, Mg., is a genus of well-built, sombre- 
coloured flies, several species being common, 
especially B. equinus. Fin., which is a small brown 
fly, the abdominal segments being sharply marked 
off; the face yellowish ; the legs brown, with lighter 
tibiae ; the wings nearly clear ; very variable, 
especially in colouration of legs ; long 3-4 mm. 
Haliday has monographed the British species of 

Borborus. The larva; live in decaying animal and 
vegetable matter. 

In Limosiiia, Mcq., the venation is again peculiar 
to itself, about twenty species being British. Haliday 
has monographed them. 

Asteia, Mg., is found on haystacks. 

Cordyhira piibera, L., Wlk. ii. PI. xiii. 2. 
Scatophaga scybalaria, L., Curt. 405. Orygma 
hutiwsuin, IMg., Wlk. ii. PI. xiii, 5. Dryomyza 
Jlaveola, F., Wlk. ii. PI. xiv. i. Sciomyza albocostata. 
Fin., Wlk. ii, PI. xiii 7. Tetanocera ferruginea. 
Fin., Wlk. ii., PI. xiv. 2. Psila fimctaria, L., Pauz. 
XX. 22. Ortalis guttata, Mg. Curt. 649. Ulidia 
deniandata, F. Wlk. ii, PI. xv. 4. Tephritis corni- 
culata, Wlk. ii, PI. xv. 6. Sepsis anmilipes, Mg. 
Curt. 245. Chlorops taiiiopus, Mg., Curt, Farm. Ins. 
PI. H. Fig, 2. Agrornyza denticoniis, Pauz., Wlk. 
ii. PI. xviii. 3. IJmosina sylvatica, Mg. Wlk. iL 
PI. xiv. 9, 

30. Phorida, 

Over twenty species of this family are British, the 
larvae feeding on animal and vegetable substances. 
Bouche thinks some species are parasitic on larvae. 

Phora nifipes, Mg., lives on nearly everything, a 
correspondent of mine once bred it from a beetle 
(Rhizostrogiis solstitiaHs, Latr.), one of the scarabKid?e. 
It is a blackish-brown fly, with pale yellowish- 
brown legs and clear wings ; long 2 mm. 

The venation of this family is easily recognised, 
being unlike that of any other group. 

Phora rufipes, Mg., Wlk. ii. PI. xix, 6. P. 
abdominalis. Curt. 437. 

III. Eproboscidea. 

In this group the larvae and pupre are developed in 
the abdomen of the female. In the imago the head 
is retracted, and the antenna placed in a cavity 
in the head. Wings rudimentary or abnormal ; 

31. Hippoboscidii. 

All the species of this family are more or less 
uncommon ; the antenna; are stylate, the prothorax 

Hippobosca eqiiina, L., known as the forest-fly, is 
parasitic on horses and cattle, and occurs in the New 
Forest and other parts of Britain, It is brown, the 
dorsum of thorax darker, with a pale yellow triangular 
spot in the centre ; scutellum yellow ; wings, abdomen, 
and legs pale brown ; long 7 mm. 

Melophagus ovimis, L., is the sheep-tick. The 
head is distinct from the thorax, the antennae are in 
the form of tubercles ; no ocelli. 

Stenopteryx hirimdinis, L., lives on the swallow, 
arid is not unfrequently found in their nests ; head 
placed in a cavity of the thorax ; antennae ciliated ; 
ocelli present. 



Ornithomya avictilaria is parasitic on birds, 
usually the plover, partridge, and lark. 

Curtis gives good plates of three species : — 
//. V(]iciiia, L., Curt. 421. S. hiriiiuUnis, L., Cuitf 
122. J\L oviniis, L., Curt. 142. 

32. BrauUdic. 

The one British] species of this family, Braula 
cicca, Nitzsch, is a small, horny, shining red-brown 
apterous fly with black spines and hair ; proboscis 
prominent, horny, yellow ; antenna three-jointed ; 
scutellum and hreteres absent ; legs short, ail of 
equal length ; tarsi five-jointed ; last joint with 
large broad claws. Parasitic on bees ; very rare. 

33. NydcribidiL. 

In this family the body is crustaceous, the head 
small, the legs thick, long and bristly, the abdomen 
being composed of five or six segments in the cT, and 
only two in the 9 . The coxae are remarkably large. 

Two species of iV^'^r/mi^/a are British, N. Hermanni, 
Leach, and N. Latreillii, Leach, the latter being 
rather smaller than the former ; both species are 
rare, and infest the common bat. 

Ayctcrihia Latreillii, Curt. 277. 

In conclusion I should like to reiterate that this 
paper is only intended as a groundwork on wliich 
beginners can build up a more extensive knowledge 
of this order, and is written more for the purpose of 
gaining this neglected group additional students 
than to represent even an approach to a handbook of 
' British Diptera. 

The descriptions, though short, are, I trust, 
concise, and may enable beginners to obtain a fair 
acquaintance with the general appearance and 
structural characteristics of the majority of families 
and sub-families ; and I am in hopes that the 
diagrams of wings, though only roughly delineated, 
may supply the student with the means of identifying 
many a genus. 

I may add that, whenever my limited hours of 
leisure permit, it always affords me the greatest 
pleasure to render any assistance I can — in the way 
either of naming specimens or supplying furtlier 
information on any particular group. 

E. Brunetti. 
129, Grosvenor Park, Cafnberwell, S.E. 


r^LIMPSES OF NATURE, by Dr. Andrew 
\JT Wilson (London : Chatto and Windus). Dr. 
\Vilson has long earned his spurs as a trusted and 
talented populariser of science. A few priggish 
specialists, wlro imagine that a knowledge of a few of 
the muscles of a flea's foot, entitles them to speak 
authoritatively about the Creator and the creation, 
sometimes sneer at "popular science." They might 
as well sneer at popular politics, popular art, or 

popular theology. The greatest populariser of the 
latter was Christ himselt. Knowledge, to be useful, 
must be democratic. Hence we have no sympathy 
with the few prigs who would keep what little they 
know to their own select circle ; and, whenever they 
have anything to say, say it in the least understand- 
able and most technical phraseology their limited 
knowledge of language permits. All knowledge 
belongs to humanity, and the man who undertakes 
the responsible position of interpreter of science to 
the people, occupies a most important place. It is 
given to but few men to be real teachers and genuine 
popular writers. There have been thousands of 
schoolmasters, but only one Dr. Arnold ; hosts ol 
naturalists, but only one Gilbert White and one 
Richard Jeffreys. The genuine populariser of science 
possesses a distinct and rare gift. You can train 
thousands of specialists to any department of work, 
if they only possess industry enough ; but all the 
training in the world would not make popular 
instructors of them, like Charles Kingsley, Richard 
Proctor, and Andrew Wilson. Therefore we welcome 
this charmingly got-up book, with whose contents 
many of our readers have doubtless already made 
themselves partly acquainted in the pages of the 
"Illustrated London News," where there may have 
been suggested to them the desire to see these clever 
papers collected in an available and consultable 
form. The numerous illustrations, which accom- 
pany the text now for the first time, render the 
descriptions all the more intelligible. 

Our CouHtrfs Flowers, by W. J. Gordon (London : 
Day & Son). A beginner in English botany could 
not do better than procure this book. It is illus- 
trated by upwards of 500 chromo-lithographs, which, 
if a trifle over-coloured, can easily be allowed for, 
and will doubtless tone down. Besides these, the 
chapter headed " Index to the Genera " has a clear 
and easily understood woodcut of the generic 
characters of each kind. The chapter "Index to 
Species " gives a clear account of each species of 
wild-flower. There are also chapters on "Local 
Names," "Classification," "Tabular Scheme," 
" Natural Orders," " Examples of Identification" (a 
very useful chapter to a beginner), "Derivation of 
Generic Names," &c., as well as a copious glossary. 
As it is bound in limp cloth, it can easily be 
carried in the pocket. For the purpose of merely 
identifying common British plants, it is one of the 
best and cheapest works we have. 

Handbook of the London Geological Field Class 
(London : George Philip & Son). A neat, handy, 
and much required manual for the happily increasing 
tribe of amateur London geologists. Five years ago 
Professor Seeley, F.R.S., started a London field 
class for geology, and took the members to all the 
best sections and fossil collecting-grounds round the 
metropolis. Professor Seeley is a born teacher, and 
delights in his work. You have only to interrogate 



any of the students of his field-class to find with 
what affectionate enthusiasm they regard him. The 
present volume is in reality the notes made by the 
students themselves, and is a sample of their note- 
books and records of observations. It is a capital 
digest of Professor Seeley's lectures on these occasions. 
The book is illustrated by capital sections drawn by 
Mr. Nicol Brown. It is a record of honest work 
earnestly done, and is therefore both a vade-iitecum 
and a stimulant to all those who desire to explore 
the interesting geology of the London district for 

Outlines of Field Geology, by Professor A. Geikie 
(London : Macmillan). This is the fourth edition 
of Professor (now Sir Alexander) Geikie's well- 
known and popular little book. "We have no 
hesitation in saying it is the best of its kind ever 
issued. No other authority is so capable of teaching 
field-work, considering his position as the Chief of 
the Geological Survey, and none other is more ready 
to teach. The present fourth edition has been 
thoroughly revised and considerably enlarged, and 
there is much in it which is new, especially that part 
giving an account of the schistose rocks. New 
illustrations have also been added where necessary. 

Among the Butterflies, by B. G. Johns (London : 
Isbister & Co.). We are pleased to see Mr. Johns 
so capably following his father's footsteps as a good 
naturalist. The present little volume is handsomely 
got up, and the twelve plates, which contain sixty- 
seven figures of our English butterflies, are excellent 
specimens of natural history wood-cutting. Mr. 
Johns is possessed of much literary ability, and tells 
his story pleasantly and gracefully. This ought to 
be a very popular little book. 

The Human Epic. Cantos I.-V., by J. F. Row- 
botham (London : Kegan Paul & Co.). The author 
of this suggestive poem is an old contributor to 
Science-Gossip. He has already won his spurs as 
an acknowledged poet ; and this, his latest book, 
affords fresh evidence of the natural insight which 
all genuine poetry possesses. Tyndall somewhere 
says that the rhythmical movements of the molecules 
of a drop of water, and their relations to the 
mysterious and unknown forces governing them, if 
even baldly told, transcend in dramatic interest a 
book in " Paradise Lost." Mr. Rowbotham is one 
of the first of the younger school of poets to see the 
vast advantages which science holds out of subjects 
for poetic treatment. Tennyson made the discovery 
half a century ago. Mr. Rowbotham heads the five 
cantos of his "Human Epic" as follows: "The 
Earth's Beginning," "The Origin of Life," "The 
Silurian Sea," "The Old Red Sandstone," "The 
Age of Trees." Geology is full of natural poetry, 
and the author is a good geologist, as well as 
" Scholar of Balliol College, Oxford." We cordially 
commend Mr. Rowbolham's charming cantos to all 


No. 4. 

THE genus Centropyxis is also a very common 
form here, and from the writings of others, 
appears to be widely distributed. I find it in almost 
all my collecting-places, the various wells, ponds, and 
ditches furnishing well-marked varieties. It is closely 
related to Diffiugia ; and indeed it is frequently 
impossible to determine to which of the two a 
particular specimen may belong. The shell is of 
various shades of brown, and is composed of 
chitinoid membrane, incorporated or covered with 
a variable proportion of quartz-sand or diatoms ; the 
latter, however, I do not find so frequent a con- 
stituent of these shells as in the genus Difflugia. The 
greater number of those having a diatomaceous cover- 
ing, I procure from several shaded wells where those 
algse are plentiful. From Sphagnum, most of the 
forms of this genus have had' the chitinoid membrane, 
either straw-coloured or a pale, smoky brown, some- 
times with a few scattered sand-grains, more 
frequently entirely without. In my experience the 
shells of this variety are very shallow. The brown 
membranous base connects this genus with Arcilla. 
In the ordinary form, the test appears on the dorsal, 
on ventral aspects, sub-circular or ovoid ; but on a 
side view, which is not quite so frequently jjresented, 
it will be seen to be deepest behind the mouth ; in 
other words, the mouth and top of the shell are 
eccentric in opposite directions. In this particular it 
resembles Diffhtgia constructa, so much so indeed, as 
to be with difficulty distinguished from it. The 
chief points of differences between the two are that 
Centropyxis is more decidedly brown, is not so high 
from the mouth to the fundus, and the margin of the 
inverted mouth is prolonged into two or more append- 
ages. The drawings will help to make clear the 
form and general appearance. It will be seen that 
on a side aspect it is somewhat cap-shaped, being 
highest behind the oval opening. The most common 
form has a variable number of spines, more or less 
divergent, from two to nine^ placed laterally and 
dorsally. These are of the brown basal membrane 
only. The mouth is large, sub-circular, deeply 
inverted, and according to Professor Leidy, the 
margin is produced in one or more appendages. 
This is generally, from the opaqueness of the shell, 
impossible to make out, and I have myself never 
been able to demonstrate the peculiarity, though I 
have had hundreds under observation at various 
times. In no case can it be seen, except in the 
lateral aspect of the shell, and only then in specimens 
of clear chitine, free from sand-grain. Size from 

m to --m of 'in inch. 

Fig. 152. A very common form here, of linear 
and navicular diatoms ; with spines. 



^'S- 153- Side view of large specimen, whose test 
is composed of large and small sand-grains. 

Fig. 154. Same test, ventral aspect. 

Figs. 15s and 156. Front and side aspects of a 
dark brown variety, test, sand and dirt. 

F'g- 157' Test of smoky yellow chitine, incrusted, 
posteriorly with flocculent dirt, but no sand-grains or 
diatoms. From Sphagnum. 

The genus Arcella disputes with the previous form 
the honour of being the commonest of the testaceous 
Rhizopods. They are generally found in association, 
and there are few microscopists who are not familiar 

Fig. 152. — Centropy.xis acnlcata. 

Fig- i5i-—Ct)tlrofiyxis aculeata. 
(Side \ie\v.) 

Fig. \n.—Ccntropyxis aculcata. 
(Ventral aspect.) 

with their brown tests. Arcella is sometimes very 
numerous, not only in the light sediments of our 
ponds, but also among the Algae clothing the sides. 
It was discovered by the illustrious Danish natural- 
ist Ehrenberg about sixty years ago. There are 
many varieties, some very striking ones, but the 
forms gradually merge into each other, so that many 
authorities consider them as one species. Leidy 
gives five specific names to the more widely separated 
forms, two of which, A. communis and A. discoides, 
are found in all the waters of this district. The 
shell is composed of chitine, light or dark brown in 

colour, though occasionally I have found colourless 
specimens. This membranous test has a minutely 
hexagonal, cancellated structure, something like the 
marine diatom Coccinodiscus, though this is not 
always demonstrable. Many of the varieties have 
really elegant shells, the dome of some having 
angular facets, or pits, which being thinner and 
lighter in colour than the connecting parts, have a 
charming effect. In A. dentata there are a variable 
number of recurved spines, arranged round the 
circumference of the shell, and I figure a form in the 
ventral aspect, somewhat approaching this, though 
not sufficiently so to justify its being placed in that 

In A. viilgaris or communis, as it is indiscrimately 

Fig. iss.— Ce';/>v/y.t2s aciilt'ntiX 

Fig. z5C:)- — CeHiroJiy.xis acuieata. 

Fig. 157. — From Sphagnum, above Billaden. 
Test of smoky yellow Chitine incrusted with 
dirt, but no sand-grains or diatoms. 

called, the test as generally seen is a brown circular 
disc, with a central round opening for the emission 
of the pseudopods. On a side view, the outline is a 
low campanulate, with the basal border rounded, and 
the mouth inverted. The height is about half the 

The sarcode is colourless and the mass rests on the 
base and around the inverted funnel of the mouth, 
and is connected with the fundus, or top of the shell, 
by threads of the ectosarc. There are two nuclei, 
one on each side, and several cont. vesicles. These 
details can only be made out in transparent speci- 


1 1 

mens. Size variable ; average about ^^ or jjj-i of an 
inch in diameter. A. discoides, whicli is, I think, the 
prevailing form here, is in my opinion a mere 
variety, and not worthy of a specific designation. 
The only difference between it and the preceding 
is that the fundus is lower, the height of the 
■shell being only about one quarter of its breadth. 
Irregular, or deformed forms are not of uncommon 

J. E. Lord. 


W' E started early this morning from the old and 
well-known village of Bosham on our 
weekly outing among the birds, and anticipation ran 
liigh, for our two old boatmen, Kit and Bill, told us 
that never since the " Rooshen War" had so many 
wildfowl been seen inside and out the harbour. A 
fresh wind blows from the north-west, and as the tide 
is just at low ebb, we can scud down the channel 
between the mudlands, and so in a great measure 
escape the ice, which is now here in all but Icelandic 
severity. A hasty look round to see if all is ready 
for action and nothing forgotten, and then up sail 
and off. Day has just commenced, and the birds are 
astir and by this time fully aware that all men here 
have guns, and all boats under weigh have men. 
Close to hand sits solemn and still the heron, 
apparently fast asleep ; for once he is allowed to 
stay, but had he been old, and in good plumage, his 
time would have been short. As the light varies 
other forms come into view. Carrion crows, gulls of 
all kinds and sizes, and all eager for the smallest of 
things in the way of an early breakfast. Curlews by 
dozens, starting up with their weird whistling ; 
whaups, or trant?, as they are called, very like the 
curlew, only smaller ; turnstones, dotterel, dunlin, 
in thousands— so many in fact that one gunner shot 
twenty-seven dozen and five at one shot — and last, but 
mot least, the homely ever-present rook, driven from 
<he fields and pastures to the muds and flats to pick 
up a strange living by the tide. On scuds the boat, 
her crew all alert for sport, and as strange birds do 
not visit here every winter, each is anxious to find at 
least one prize as a memento of this severe time. 
^'Burds ahead," quickly says Kit, and with that from 
^he bows he produces a long and well-worn old 
fowling-piece, which he said had done great work in 
his father's time. Not a movement on board, and as 
the boat comes up to them away they go, all over 
the place, giving us just the slightest chance to score, 
and out falls a mallard with a dull thud— dead. This 
is the commencement of a glorious day, and now 
that the guns have started the game, strings of birds 
are seen passing right and left, some going up and 

some down, all in a hurr}', and all out of shot. Our 
mallard retrieved, on we go, for our destination is 
some five miles lower down, to the mouth of 
Chichester Harbour, and as long before daylight we 
have heard guns there, we know good sport is going 
on, and want to be in the thick of it. Not very far 
down we fall in with three divers, which prove to be 
golden-eye ducks, and as we run down on them 
they rise against the wind all together, and the long 
gun brings them down in a pretty little heap, 
fortunately too lifeless to try to get away. Still on 
we go, and the farther we go the more the excite- 
ment grows, for there are birds everywhere in sight, 
and if this is so inside the harbour, what must it be 
outside? Soon we get near the old coastguard ship, 
and a short council of war is held to decide where to 
go. Eirst we all land, and cross the shingle bank 
that divides the harbour waters from the outside sea, 
and what a sight meets our view ! As far as the eye 
can reach are wildfowl, large and small, on the 
water ; surely the whole Arctic supply is before us, 
so vast is the number. There are acres of brent 
geese — thousands and thousands of them. Here and 
there grey-hags, bean and white-fronted geese show 
up, and amongst them two fine specimens of the. 
snow-goose. Ducks and widgeons in hundreds, a 
few teal, scamp and pochard, tufted duck, here 
and there a Black Sea duck (Scoter). Diving birds 
there are of many kinds popping up here and there, 
grebes of one or two sorts in sight at once, with 
razor-bills and guillemots, and coming along from 
Selsey Bill is a long string of wild swans. We wait 
to see no more, but rush to the boat and quickly get 
one gun on Hayling Beach, another on the Point of 
Wittering Beach, and the boat itself right in the 
fairway of the harbour's mouth, to intercept this 
party, should they come inside. But 'tis no good, 
they just sail majestically along over Hayling Island, 
then turn up the left wing, and round into the 
Emsworth Channel, and are safe for a time. Our 
time is fully occupied in shooting with more or less 
success at the different parties coming or going, and 
fine sport it proves. Now a duck, now a widgeon, 
and now a goose comes tumbling down, first from 
one gun and then another, and still the hungry ones 
come on, for the food in the harbour flats. While 
we have been at our sport, other people have been 
busy, at one time no less than thirteen punt-gunners 
are in sight at once, and every now and again the 
roar of a great gun adds to the general commotion. 

The day now wears on apace, and as the shooting 
is for a time slack a stroll round to see what the 
other gunners have got is the order of the day. 
Erom one we get a pair of shieldrakes, another has 
some broad-billed scaup-ducks, another a red-breasted 
merganser, another a splendid goosander, a fine old 
male bird, and can tell of a puntsman who has shot 
the hen, which we were afterwards fortunate enough 
to procure, together with a very beautiful male 



smew. Collecting all our purchases, we reach the 
boat, and carefully packing up our specimens, we 
decide, as the afternoon is far advanced, and the 
journey a long beat home, to up and away, especially 
as the swans are still in the harbour somewhere, and 
we may perhaps fall in with them. 

We start then and skirt the Pilsea Sands, in the 
hope of picking up a crippled bird or two, and are 
not disappointed, for we bag two more single geese 
ere we reach Thorney Island, and at last get a sight 
of some seven or eight swans feeding right in under a 
bank. Oh for five minutes just the other side of that 
bank ; but as this cannot be we sail steadily on, as 
far away from them as we can, to pass them and 
then cross over and sail down on them, as fast as we 
can go. We manage all this, but they jump at 
200 yards and sail away, and partly round us, and 
to our joy go up and on our way to home. Another 
mile or two, and we sight them again, and thinking 
of nothing better, we do as we did at first, and this 
time, amid a lot of quiet excitement, get within 100 
yards before they again take wing. Once more they 
go up stream ; but this time not so far, and soon 
we are drawing on them. Will they wait ? No. 
Something puts them up, some one way, some 
another, and now the unexpected happens ; they try 
to join, and to do this five of them come within 
sixty yards of the boat. Bang ! bang ! from the 
S-bore, and down falls the largest of the lot, a fine 
old male hooper ; another sails away lower and lower 
in the direction of Dell Quay, and finally disappears, 
hard hit and never to rise again. This was verified 
by the bird being caught next morning in a meadow. 
One swan proved to be just under 20 lbs., and 
crowned the happiness of all, for the right birds 
came at last, and made a good finish to as pleasant a 
day as any gunner ever had. 

On reaching home we found a beautiful bittern had 
been shot close by, and a fine pair of oyster-catchers. 
These last we got from the owner, and they now form 
part of that happy Saturday's spoils. 

" Sea Fowler." 


A FTER a long residence in one of the beautiful 
■L\. glens which converge at Thornhill on the 
Nith, Dumfriesshire, I have taken the following notes 
of the birds of the district. 

During the last thirty years there has been a 
serious diminution of the birds of prey. The pere- 
grine falcon and merlin are rare, the kite is almost 
extinct, while the sparrow-hawk and buzzard are 
becoming very scarce. The kestrel, however, is 
common, and may frequently be observed gliding 
over the cliffs near the sources of our upland streams, 
or pouncing on barn-door sparrows. Owls are very 
plentiful. The woods around the ducal residence of 

Drumlanrig, and the large quantity of natural wood 
which adorns the hillsides along the banks of the 
tributary streams offers them protection. The 
tawny owl is the most common. It delights to utter 
its screech perched on a coniferous tree, and it is 
the boldest of its kind. The barn-owl is common. 
The long-eared owl is both rarer and shyer. On one 
occasion the nest of a barn-owl was found in a rabbit- 

The missel-thrush and blackbird are very common, 
although, one summer about nine years ago, we 
missed their delightful songs entirely. They seemed 
to have succumbed to the previous severe winter. 
The song-thrush is rare. The fieldfare comes to us- 
in immense flocks in October, and in a few days, 
strips every mountain-ash of its glittering red berries 
which make these trees so conspicuous after their 
leaves are shed. The dipper is found in all our 
streams. The ring-ousel is not uncommon. Every- 
where in early spring the simple song of the hedge- 
sparrow greets us. The redbreast and chaffinch are 
plentiful. The redstart and night-jar are rare. The 
whin-chat is heard as it hops along our fences built 
of uncemented whin-stones. The grasshopper- 
warbler, and the sedge-warbler are rarely heard, 
but the wheat-ear is common. Its nest is far from 
being easy to find, on account of these same stone- 

The wood-warbler and the willow-warbler have 
increased of late years. The golden-crested wren is- 
plentiful in our fir-woods. Its nest, Ifhed with 
feathers, is sometimes blown down from the pendent 
bough. The wren and the willow-wren aie common.. 
The lesser white-throat and chitf-chaff are rare. The 
tree-creeper is more common than appears, for its- 
nest is most difficult to find. 

The great-tit is rare, the blue-tit and the cole-tit 
common. The long-tailed tit, to which Mr. Wallace- 
has given a new significance by pointing out that it is- 
a form specialised in the British Isles since their 
division from the Continent, is rather scarce. It 
makes its wonderfully artistic nest in almost inaccess- 
ible black-thorn scrub. The pied wagtail is much 
more common than the grey wagtail. The golden 
plover and spotted fly-catcher are rare, but the nest 
of the former is difficult to find. The garden-warbler 
is not uncommon. The tree and meadow pipit are 
abundant, so are the skylark and yellow-hammer. 
We are far from being rich in finches, putting aside 
the chaffinch. The common linnet is seldom seeu 
except in flocks in winter. The same may be 
remarked of the lesser redpoll. 

The house-sparrow, rook, and starling, are ubiqui- 
tous. The cuckoo is plentiful and arrives about the 
last days of April. Although it delights to lay in a 
smaller bird's nest, such as the meadow-pipit, I have 
got its egg in the nest of a kestrel. The carrion 
crow and jackdaw are not uncommon. The king- 
fisher is exceedingly rare. As it commands a price, it 



was entirely exterminated by a band of bird-catchers, 
more than a dozen years ago, all along that finest 
■tributary of the Upper Nith, the romantic and wood- 
fringed Skarr. 

The swallow, house-martin, and sand-martin are 
■common — but the swift does not come. The ring- 
■dove is abundant, 'but I have never observed the 

The following birds are very common : pheasant, 
which has a stupid fashion of nesting on the road- 
sides, exposed to school- children ; black-grouse, 
partridge, lapwing, curlew, which arrive in March; 
snipe, land-rail, which comes in the first days of May ; 
moor-hen. The following are not uncommon ; red 
grouse, heron, woodcock, wild duck. The black- 
headed gull is very plentiful, but the common gull 
less so. The teal land the little grebe or dabchick, I 
have not observed. 

On the upper courses of our mountain streams the 
sandpiper may be seen wading. Snow-buntings are 
among our winter visitors. About farmyards an 
•occasional pair of bramblings may be noticed. In 
fields where Pninella vulgaris grows, 'may be seen in 
■certain seasons, flocks of twites. Our famous 
naturalist. Dr. Grierson, lately deceased, put into his 
museum about twenty years ago a golden oriole shot 
mear Thornhill. 

Enough has been written to show, that although 
Thornhill and the three adjacent glens which 
■converge near it are about twenty miles inland, there 
is an interesting and well-stocked ornithological 
•district to deal with — the chief paucity being in the 
Slumbers of wading and swimming birds and those 
more numerous where cereals are more abundant. 

J. Shaw. 


LOOKING at the small green flowers of Mercu- 
rialis and its general want of attractiveness, it 
s natural at once to class it with wind-fertilized 
plants, but on closer examination it would seem rather 
to be on the debatable land between anemophilous 
and entomophilous plants, nor is it clear that we are 
right in assigning it strictly to either. This has been 
such a late spring, especially in the north, that 
vegetation is unusually behind-hand, and it was only 
■on the last day of March that the first specimens of 
the pistillate flowers of Mercurialis put in an appear- 
ance. The long spikes of staminate flowers were 
fairly plentiful previous to that date, but the buds had 
not opened. The leaves of this modest little plant 
are not unlike those of the elder, some unbotanical 
folks indeed call it "ground elder." We welcome 
its coming less for its own sake, perhaps, than as 
being the forerunner of the primrose and oxalis and 
all the earlier spring flowers. It comes up, too, in a 

business-like manner that is somewhat amusing, for 
though one of the earliest flowers of the year, the 
dog's mercury pushes its way out of the ground all 
ready equipped for the battle of life, as if there were 
no time to lose, and eager either to scatter its pollen 
upon the spring breezes, or to display its humble 
attractions before the insects should be drawn away 
hither and thither by the bright colours and sweet 
scents of more favoured competitors for their services. 
Underneath the loose soil of the dry banks where it 
flourishes, the little dog's mercury developes both 
flowers and leaves in a wonderful state of forwardness, 
so much so that it cannot bring them up in the 
ordinary way, or the delicate blossoms would be 
injured, so the plant as it emerges from the ground is 
bent almost double, leaves and flowers looking down- 
wards, while the strong arch of the stem lifts its 
nurslings out of their dark prison-house and then 
gradually straightens, until at last it stands erect, 
bearing upon its upper portion both leaves and 
flower-spikes that only need a little sunshine and a 
little warm rain to bring them to perfection. By the 
way, is light always necessary for the production of 
chlorophyll ? Mercurialis is very green when it first 
pushes out of the soil, and there are certainly embryos, 
like the sycamore, in which the cotyledons are green 
before they have burst the husk. But to proceed 
more methodically with our plant. The first question 
to arise is that of family or tribe, and without the aid 
of books one might not at once give the dog's 
mercury its true place with the Euphorbiaceje, nor 
guess from outward appearances that it was so nearly 
allied to the brilliant Poinsettia on the one hand, or 
the evergreen box-tree on the other, though its 
affinities with the stinging-nettle may be more 
apparent. Mercurialis then belongs to the Spurge 
family, though it contains none of their acrid milky 
juices, and is even sometimes eaten as a vegetable. 
The rootstock is slender and creeping, and therefore 
it enables the plant to spread widely ; indeed these 
creeping roots give our mercury an opportunity for 
climbing where one would scarcely expect to find it- 
The lower part of a \Yestmorland hedge is often pro- 
tected by an outside fence made of large square slabs 
of the slaty rock of the country placed close together 
with their bases buried in the soil. The chinks are 
sometimes filled up with the loose earth of the bank, 
and the dog's mercury loves to take possession of 
them by means of its creeping rootstock, mounting 
continually higher and higher, and bordering the 
slates with greenness. The stem is solitary and erect, 
about six to eighteen inches high, frequently bent at 
the bottom, and the leaves are crowded towards the 
summit ; the whole plant is more or less hairy. The 
leaves are opposite, very shortly stalked, ovate-lan- 
ceolate with crenate edges. In the bud each half of 
the leaf is rolled up towards the midrib and it is long 
before the lower part fully uncurls ; the stipules are 
very small. The stem is sometimes described as 



four-angled, but this is scarcely correct ; there arc, 
however, two distinct ridges on opposite sides of the 
stem that change places between each pair of leaves, 
just like the rows of hairs in Veronica chamadrys. 
These ridges do not appear to be the vascular bundles 
for the leaves above, because it may be seen on 
reference to the drawing that they do not enter the 
leafstalks but stop just between the stipules on the 
opposite side of the stem, the next pair starting out of 

at their edges, and form a sort of three-cornered box 
that holds some ten or a dozen stamens springing 
from a central disk. The filaments are long, slender, 
and erect, the anthers are pendulous from a sub- 
globose connective, and the dehiscence is extrorse. 
In a unisexual flower such as this the pollen should 
be examined in order to decide whether it be of the 
light smooth kind adapted specially for wind-carriage, 
or whether it have any of those roughnesses that 

Fig. 159. — Early Leaf ot 


Fig. 15S.— Very young Male Plant 
of Mercury. 

Fig. 163. — Stamen and 
Pollen (greatly mag.). 

Fig. 161.— Staminate plant 
(Nat. size). 

Fig. 164. — Sta;ntn. 

Fig. ifio. — Stem of 

Fig. 162.— Flower greatly enlarged. 

Fig. 165.— Early State 
of Stigmas. 


Fig. 167.— Ovary. 

Fig. 16S.— Section of Ovary. 

Fig. 166.— Pistillate Flower 
(Nat. size). 

the axils of the leaves above to stop between the next 
stipules, and so on. The flowers of Mercurialis are 
di(Xcious and small. The tall axillary spikes of the 
staminate flowers arc certainly conspicuous, but the 
pistillate are far less numerous and hide themselves 
amongst the leaves so that they are not very easily 
seen. The staminate flower is a very simple little 
thing, being content with one floral envelope com- 
posed of three sepals, that in the bud just fit together 

characterize the pollen of entomophilous flowers and 
that facilitate its removal by insects from one flower 
to another. The pollen of Mercurialis is perfectly 
smooth and most easily scattered, but then the pollen 
of the Liliacese is also smooth and oval. The lily- 
tribe is now greatly visited by insects, but Hermann 
Miiller considers that the colour of the perianth must 
have been originally greenish and unattractive, as the 
dog's mercury is now. The long filaments are of 



course characteristic of wind-fertilized flowers and so 
far everything seems to favour the anemophilous 
theory ; but how is it with the pistillate flower ? The 
fertile plants are easily distinguished from the male 
by the absence of the long green spikes, and might 
easily be passed over as flowerless, especially in the 
earlier stages, when the flowers are almost concealed 
amongst the upper leaves, except perhaps one or two 
that contrive to push out their heads, as if waiting for 
any chance pollen that the wind might bring to them. 
If one of the tiny inflorescences be picked it will be 
found to be growing in the axil of a leaf whose lower 
portion is very closely rolled inwards, the tip only 
being fully expanded. Might not these be favourable 

Fig. 169. — 3. Drop of Honey, i. Pistillate Flower (Mag.) 

to the access of wind-borne pollen to the flowers ? 
There are as a rule two flowers to each raceme, and it 
s curious that the 'only bract belongs to the lower 
flower, it being invariably absent from the upper one 
in plants that have come under the writer's observa- 
tion. The upper flower is the first to open ; it has 
three sepals, one of which is removed in the drawing 
that the essential organs may be more clearly seen ; 
but when the perianth first opens, the flower is in 
the condition shown in the above figure (2), very 
quickly the large stigmas expand and spread out their 
sticky crinkled surfaces to receive the pollen, and it 
will be seen that the fertile flower of Mercurialis con- 
sists principally of th; pistil with its enormously 

developed stigmas. The ovary is two-celled and 
even in a very young state it is not difficult to remove 
the outer portion and find that one solitary ovale 
fills each cell, that it is suspended from the placenta, 
and if cut through lengthwise the pear-shaped embr/o 
may also be discerned lying with its broad cotyledons 
in the albumen, the radicle pointing obliquely up- 
wards. To return again to our flower. The two 
stamens have not yet been examined ; they may be 
seen on each side of the ovary seated on two elon- 
gated glands that alternate with the carpels and form, 
the disk. The filaments have no anthers, for the 
little knob at the top of the nearest must not be mis- 
taken for one. It is intended to represent the drop ot 
honey that is frequently if not always to be seen 
exuding from the tip. That it is really honey one 
may easily prove by tasting it, though at first sight it 
might be taken for a simple drop of moisture. That 
honey should be secreted by these two otherwise 
useless stamens is interesting both as an example of 
the way in which organs may be made to subserve 
other purposes than those for which they were 
originally intended, and also because honey is always 
secreted for the special purpose of attracting insects. 
See how this improvised nectary lifts its tempting 
sweets above the recurved pistil, as though well 
aware that such an insignificant little green flower 
would never be suspected of containing any thing so 
delicious and must needs hold out its cup of nectar to 
passers-by and demand their attention ! The stami- 
nate flowers of course secrete no honey, but their 
abundant pollen is sufficient to ensure insect visitors. 
What must we say then of Mercurialis ? The long 
pendulous stamens, the light abundant pollen, and 
the large stigmas, all point to the conclusion that 
the plant is adapted exclusively for wind fertilization, 
while the drops of honey on the two abortive 
stamens seem to bid us not be too sure that this is 
correct. The fertile flowers of Mercurialis open in 
succession, and as the staminate flowers do likewise 
there is always some pollen to be carried to them by 
one agency or the other ; indeed it is remarkable how 
few staminate flowers are open at one time, as if the 
plants must needs husband their resources and not 
expend them all at once with too lavish prodigality. 
Mercurialis is said to have been named by the 
Romans in honour of their god Mercury, following 
the example of the Greeks, who called it the "plant 
of Hermes," but whether because he was the dis- 
coverer of the plant or of its supposed poisonous 
properties is not clear. Our popular name of dog's 
mercury is supposed to announce its inferior worth, 
as in the case of the dog violet and dog rose. The 
plant assumes in drying a curious blue tinge, which is 
said to indicate the presence of indigo, and a German 
botanist has detected two colouring substances in thfi 
root, one blue, the other carmine. 

M. D. D. 

Hawks head, Ambleside. 




FROM the earliest ages this insect has been 
employed to impart a scarlet colour to cloth. 
It was known to the Phoenicians under the name of 
Tola, and to the Arabians and Persians as Kermes or 
Alkermes (Al signifying the, as in the Arabian words 
Alchemy, Alkali). 

Dioscorides calls it kohkos, and Pliny coccum and 
gratium. In the Middle Ages it received the epithet 
Vermiculatum, or "little worm," from its having 
been supposed that the insect was produced from a 
worm. From these denominations have come the 
Latin cocci7icns, the French cramcisi and vermeil, 
and our own words crimson and vermilion. The 
Coccus ilicis, or kermes, is found in great numbers in 
India and Persia, attaching itself to the leaves of a 
small oak, the kermes oak (Querais cocci/era), alow 
bushy shrub with evergreen spinous leaves, resem- 
bling holly. The kermes is also found in the southern 
countries of Europe, and in the south of France, 
In parts of Spain, the kermes oak grows in great 
profusion, as on the sides of the Sierra Morena. 
Many of the inhabitants of Murcia gain a livelihood 
by collecting kermes. This work is for the most 
part done by women, who [scrape the insects from 
the tree with their nails, which they allow to grow 
long on purpose. 

The insect attaches itself to the young shoots of 
the shrub ; the female affixing itself and remaining 
immovable, till after having reached its full size, 
about that of a pea, which it much resembles, it 
deposits its eggs and, dies. It is gathered before 
the eggs are hatched, thrown into vinegar, and then 
dried in the sun or in an oven. It has been, from 
time immemorial, used to dye cloth, and is supposed 
to have been the substance employed in dyeing the 
curtains of the Jewish tabernacle. As the colour 
which it yielded was more beatiful than the celebrated 
Phoenician dye, it may have contributed to have put 
an end to the monopoly of the Phoenician dyers. 

The kermes yields a brownish red colour, which 
alum turns a blood-red tint. Dr. Bancroft showed 
that when a solution of tin is used with kermes dye, 
as with cochineal, the kermes is capable of giving a 
scarlet colour, quite as brilliant as that which cochineal 
produces, and to all appearance more permanent. But 
on the other hand one pound of cochineal will produce 
as much colouring-matter as ten or twelve pounds of 
kermes. Cochineal has supplanted kermes, and the 
latter is now only cultivated by the poorer inhabi- 
tants of the countries in which it abounds, especially 
in India and Persia, and the peasantry of Southern 

Another species of Kermes {Coccus poloniciis) is 
very plentiful in Poland and Russia, and is some- 
times called the Scarlet Grain of Poland. Before 
the advent of cochineal, this insect formed a con- 
siderable branch of commerce. In the neighbourhood 

of Paris, and in many parts of England, the C. 
poloniciis is found upon the roots of the perennial 
knawel {Scelo-aiithus pcreniiis), a plant not un- 
common in Norfolk and Suffolk. The colour which 
it furnishes is nearly as fine as that of cochineal, and 
capable of giving the same variety of tints. The 
insect was formerly collected in the Ukraine, 
Lithuania, &c., and though still employed by the 
Turks and Armenians for dyeing wool, silk, and hair, 
but especially for staining the nails of Turkish 
women, it is rarely msed in Europe except by the 
Polish peasantry. 

The same may be said of other species which the 
cochineal has eclipsed, such as the Coccus, found 
upon the roots of Fotciium sanguiso7-bis, an insect 
formerly used by tlje Moors for dyeing silk and wool 
a rose colour ; and the C. uva-nrsi, which, together 
with alum, dyes crimson. 

All these species owe their colouring property to a 
principle called Carmine. 

G. E. Cope. 


The first volume of Messrs. Whittaker's new 
" Library of Popular Science " will be an elementary 
introduction to astronomy by Mr. G. F. Chambers, 
whose larger works on the subject are well known. 
It is meant especially for readers who have no 
previous acquaintance with practical astronomy, and 
in this, as in other volumes of the series, considerable 
attention will be paid to efficient illustration and 
explanatory diagrams. The volume will be ready in 
the course of a few weeks, and will shortly be 
followed by others. 

At the general monthly meeting of the Royal 
Institution on Monday, July 6, the special thanks 
of the members were returned to Miss Jane Barnard, 
Dr. J. H. Gladstone, the Rev. A. R. Abbott, Mr. T. 
F. Deacon, Mr. A. Blaikley, and others, for the loan 
ol the valuable and interesting collection of Faraday 
memorials shown in the library on the occasion of 
the two lectures on June 17th and 26th given in 
commemoration of the Faraday Centenary ; also to 
Sir Frederick Abel, K.C.B. for his valuable present 
of an Qirtling Balance ; and to Mr. Ludwig Mond, 
for his donation of £100 towards expenses connected 
with the Faraday Centenary commemoration. 

Dr. Robert Wiesendanger, of Hamburg, has 
just patented a method of employing carbonic acid 
to produce intense cold, for the purpose of causing 
insensibility, which will prove particularly useful in 
dental operations. It is used in the form of a pencil, 
and any part of the body on being rubbed with this 
pencil loses sensibility, without the freezing of the 
skin ; and slight surgical operations can then be 



perfomied without causing any pain. Dr. Kriimmel 
experimented in the Hamburg Hospital on a boy of 
thirteen, who, without the slightest sign of flinching 
allowed him to make a long and very deep cut in his 
leg, the doctor having rubbed the place with one of 
these pencils. The process has the advantage of 
great cheapness, for hlty or sixty operations can be 
perfomied with it at a cost of from four to eight 

Mr. a. Stanley Williams, of Sussex, has 
discovered three delicate but distinct markings in the 
equatorial region of Saturn. The first and third of 
these are round, bright spots, somewhat brighter 
than the white equatorial which they occur. 
The second is a smaller dark marking on the equa- 
torial edge of the shaded belt which forms the 
southern boundary of the white zone. Mr. Williams 
has obtained abundant proofs of the reality of these 
markings, but points out that it requires patience and 
practice to see them readily. It is very desirable to 
obtain repeated observations of their times of transit 
across the planet's central meridian. To facilitate 
these observations, jNIr. Williams prepared a table 
for June and July, showing the approximate mean 
time at which the spots might be expected on Saturn's 
central meridian. 

Mr. W. Matthews sends us an illustrated paper 
of his on " The Determination of Personal Identity," 
by his methods of geometric identification and com- 
posite photograpic portraiture, which we recommend 
to all of our photographic readers. 

We commend a new monthly publication to all 
book-lovers, " Bulletin Bibliographique de la Libraire 


Mr. Francis P. Pascoe has just privately pub- 
lished a neat little brochure entitled " A summary of 
the Darwinian Theory of the Origin of Species." 

We have received Parts 13, 14, and 15 of Mr. R. 
L. Wallace's " British Cage Birds," the best book on 
the subject out (London : Upcott Gill). 

On June 28th, about eighty members of the Essex 
Field Club had a delightful botanical walking ex- 
cursion from Chelmsford to Maldon. At Danbury, 
in the midst of the old camp. Dr. J. E. Taylor, 
F.L.S., &.C., gave an open air lecture on "Where 
our British Wild Flowers came from." 

Dr. Hardwicke, surgeon to the Sheffield Public 
Hospital for Skin Diseases, who has studied cancer 
for a quarter of a century, believes that he has dis- 
covered a cure for this fell disease without the use of 
the knife. Professor Moritz recently described a 
treatment of cancer before the Society of Physicians 
Vienna, and from communications which have 

passed between him and Dr. Hardwicke, there seems 
to be much in common between the two systems. 

Fishing with cormorants was recently carried out 
in the neighbourhood of Wethersfield, in Essex, 
within forty miles of London. The cormorants 
belong to Captain Salvin, a gentleman who has kept 
and trained these birds for many years. The two 
birds he brought down, by name "Sub-Inspector" 
and "The Artful Dodger," have been in his posses- 
sion for the last nine or ten years. The fishing in 
English streams differs from the Chinese method,' 
inasmuch as no boats are used, and the birds are 
turned into pools, while the shallows at either end 
are guarded by " whippers-in," clad in waders, who 
keep the birds under control, and catch them for the 
"master" when wanted. In the three days' fishing 
the cormorants caught over sixty fish. 

Mr. Carus-Wilson writes to the "Chemical 
News" to say that he has now succeeded in 
producing musical notes from sand that was never 
before musical, and is also able to produce similar 
results from those mute, or "killed" musical sands 
which have been temporarily deprived of their 
musical properties. Full details will shortly be 
made public. The experiments have been con- 
ducted on the principles involved in the theory he 
propounded in 18SS to account for the emission of 
musical sounds from such sands, and that the results 
obtained appear to demonstrate indisputably the 
applicability of this theory. Professor Crookes adds 
a note, stating he had witnessed Mr. Carus- Wilson's 
experiments with musical sands — sands originally 
musical, musical sands which had been killed and 
then revived, and sands originally mute which had 
had the gift of music conferred on them. 

We are pleased to draw the attention of students 
to Messrs. Dulau's scientific catalogues of second- 
hand books. The last is devoted to " Works on 
Geology," and runs to 138 pages. It is perhaps the 
most exhaustive geological catalogue of pamphlets, 
papers, etc., ever issued. Address 37 Soho Sq., W. 

M. Elisee Reclus, the well-known French 
writer on scientific subjects, has been awarded a 
prize of ;^8od by a committee of the French 
Academy for his services in popularising science. 

The medical officers at the Newcastle Infirmary 
have issued the result arrived at after seven months' 
treatment of the Koch "remedy" for tuberculosis. 
The cases of lupus, it is stated, have been improved ; 
but in no instance has the condition been eradicated. 
In the cases of incipient tubercular phthisis, the 
disease was influenced beneficially for a time, but 
subsequently progressed. The joint and glandular 
cases were not favourably influenced. 

1 84 



To Advertisers. — The following is a quotation 
from a long letter just receivetl from a new corre- 
spondent of SciENCE-Gossir in India : — " It is 
useless my saying anything in praise of your paper 
beyond that it was the cause of my purchasing two 
microscopes, &c., for myself." Verb. sap. 

The Journal of the Royal Microscopical 
Society for June contains, besides the usual sum- 
mary of current researches relating to zoology and 
botany (principally invertebrate and cryptogamic), 
the following papers: — "New and Foreign Roti- 
fera," by Surgeon V. Gunsen (illustrated) ; " A New 
Method of Infiltrating Osseous and Dental Tissues," 
by T. Charters White ; and " On Bulls' Eyes for the 
Microscope," by C. M. Nelson (illustrated). 

Mason's Improved Oxyhydrogen Lantern 
AND Table Microscope.— We have much pleasure, 
after carefully examining this elaborately got-up, 
well finished, and yet marvellously compact instru- 
ment, in stating that it is the best and cheapest yet 
issued. It affords new scope for lecturing purposes, 
— botanical, zoological, or geological — the polari- 
scope bringing out the colours of the lithological 
slides very clearly and effectively. This in.strument 
has been designed to meet a long-felt want, i.e., a 
microscope that can be used to demonstrate to a 
large audience, or, when not in use that way, easily 
converted into an ordinary form of table stand. 
This is done by merely slipping it off its lantern 
fitting and putting it on to another stand furnished 
with joint for placing instrument at any angle, having 
flat and concave mirrors, substage fitting tube of the 
universal size. One special feature is an improved 
form of object-holder ; the springs are easily moved, 
and will hold M'ith equal ease a thick zoophyte 
trough or the thinnest 3 by i slip ; the objects can 
be moved about without the fear of scratching the 
labels, &c., an objection so common in the ordinary 
spring stages. The object and objective are clearly 
in View while focussing ; this is of the utmost im- 
portance in photo-micrography, especially with the 
higher powers, also when using the camera lucida, 
the object is held gently but firmly in position, and 
can be readily manipulated. The optical parts have 
been specially worked out and give results equalling 
instruments costing several times its price. The 
various insect parts are beautifully pictured, sharp 
and clear to the edges. Living organisms such as 
hydra, daphnia, or other forms of pond life, are 
beautifully depicted, and can be shown either to a 
class or general audience. The instrument can be 
fitted to any ordinary lantern with 4-inch condensers. 
There are no screws or loose parts, so that the fear 
ef losing screws is entirely avoided. All working 
parts are compensated for wear. 


The Colouring and Banding in Land and 
Fresh-water Shells. — We have received another 
paper on this subject from Mr. S. Pace, who was 
away from England when Mr. J. J. Williams answered 
his criticism. ]Mr. Pace protests against "the free 
way " in which his article was altered ; but the editor 
can in no instance allow any other than strictly 
scientific remarks. Especially will all personal ones 
be excised. 

New Species of Kangaroo. — The latest dis- 
covered marsupial is the curious little burrowing 
kangaroo {Notoryctes typJilops), found in the heart of 
Australia, on the telegraph line between Adelaide 
and Port Darwin. The eyes are mere spots beneath 
the skin, so that it probably lives almost entirely in 
darkness, and it certainly digs a hole in the sand 
with amazing rapidity. It is the most mole-like of 
its order. 

Hydrobia Jenkinsi, E. A. Smith.— Mr. W. 
Crouch has so completely answered Mr. W. H. 
Smith's note in the July number of Science-Gossip, 
that there is very little left to comment upon. It is, 
however, I think, necessary to point out to Mr. 
Smith, that supposi