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F.R.S.E., F.L.S., ETC., ETC. 

VOL. XXXV. n . 


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Memoir or Ray . . . . . 17 

Natural History of Coleopterous Insects . 71 

Cicindela aurulenta. Plate I. Fig. 1. . . 117 

Anthia decemguttata. Plate I. Fig. 2. . 121 

Procerus Tauricus. Plate I. Fig. 3. . 122 

Carabus Hispanus. Plate I. Fig. 4. . .124 

Carabus auratus. Plate II. Fig. 1. . 125 

Carabus clathratus. Plate II. Fig. 2. . . 126 

Teffius Mcgcrlei. Plate II. Fig. 3. . . 127 

Calosoma sycophanta. Plate III. Fig. 1. . 129 

Elaphrus riparius. Plate III. Fig. 2. . 130 

Mormolyce phyllodes. Plate III. Fig. 3. . 132 

Dytiscus ..... 135 

Dytiscus dimidiatus. Plate IV. Fig. 1. . 137 

Gyrinus natator. Plate IV. Fig. 2. . 140 

Cyclous vittatus. Plate IV. Fig. 3. . . 142 

Hydrous piceus. Plate IV. Fig. 4. . 144 

Staidiylinus erythrurus. Plate V. Fig. 1. . 148 

Xantholinus fulgidus. Plate V. Fig. 2. . 149 

Bolitobius atricapillus. Plate V. Fig. 3. .150 

Zirophorus cxaratus. Plate V. Fig. 4. . 152 



Buprestis chrysis. Plate VI. Fig. 1. . . 155 

Buprestis sternicomis. Plate VI. Fig. 2. . 156 

Buprestis bicolor. Plate VI. Fig. 3. . . 157 

Buprestis arnoena. Plate VI. Fig. 4. . 158 

Elater noctilucus. Plate VII. Fig. 1. . . 161 

Elater porcatus. Plate VII. Fig. 2. . 167 

Elater lineatus. Plate VII. Fig. 3. . . 168 

Elater suturalis. Plate VII. Fig. 4. . 169 

Elater distinctus. Plate VII. Fig. 5. . . 170 

Elater melanocephalus. Plate VIII. Fig. 1. 171 

Lampyris Italica. Plate VIII. Fig. 2. . 172 

Lampyris Latreillii. Plate VIII. Fig. 3. . 175 

Lycus festivus. Plate VIII. Fig. 4. . . 176 

Malachius marginellus. Plate VIII. Fig. 5. 177 

Priocera variegata. Plate VIII. Fig. 6. . 178 


Necrophorus humator. Plate IX. Fig. 1. . 180 

Necrodes littoralis. Plate IX. Fig. 2. . . 181 

Silpha quadr {punctata. Plate IX. Fig. 3. 182 

Anthrenus scrophularim. Plate IX. Fig. 4. . 183 

Hister reniformis. Plate IX. Fig. 5. . 184 


Ateuchussacer. Sacred Egyytian Beetle. Plate 

X. Fig. 1 188 

Onthophagus Dillwynii. Plate X. Fig. 2. . 200 

Phaneeus lancifer. Plate X. Fig. 3. . . 202 

Phanasus carnifex. Plate X. Fig. 4. . 203 

Geotrupes stercorarius. Plate X. Fig. 5. . 204 

Scarabaws Hercules. Plate XI. . . 207 

Scarabwus Tityus. Plate XII. . .208 

Scarabams Atlas. Plate XIII. . . 209 

Scarabaius macropus. Plate XIV. Fig. 1. . 210 
Chrysophora chrysochlora. Plate XIV. Fig. 2. 211 

Rutela pulchella. Plate XV. Fig. 1. 212 

Macraspis fucata. Plate XV. Fig. 2. . . 213 



Melolontha Fullo. Plate XV. Figs. 3 and 4 . 214 

Goliathus magmis. Plate XVI. . . 216 

Cetonia fascicularis. Plate XVII. Fig. 1. . 218 

Cetonia Macleayi. Plate XVII. Fig. 2. . 219 

Cetonia discoidea. Plate XVII. Fig. 3. . 220 

Cetonia Australasia. Plate XVII. Fig. 4. ib. 

Gymnetis nervosa. Plate XVII. Fig. 5. . 221 

Gymnetis marmorea. Plate XVII. Fig. 6. 222 

Chiasognathus Chiloensis. Plate XVIII. Fig. 1. 223 
Lucanus cervue, or Stag Beetle. Plate XVIII. 

Fig. 2 224 


Horia maculata. Plate XIX. Fig. 1. . 227 

Meloe variegatus. Plate XIX. Fig. 2. . ib, 
Cantharis vesicatoria, or Blister Beetle. Plate 

XIX. Fig. 3. ... 229 

Cantharis Nuttalli. Plate XIX. Fig. 4. . 230 


Apoderus longicollis. Plate XX. Fig. 1. . 232 

Apoderus gemmatus. Plate XX. Fig. 2. . ib. 

Apoderus rujicollis. Plate XX. Fig. 3. . 233 

Rymhites popvli. Plate XX. Fig. 4. . . 234 

Rymhites pubescens. Plate XX. Fig. 5. . ib, 

Rymhites collaris. Plate XX. Fig. 6. . 235 

Brentus anchorago. Plate XXI. Fig. 1. . ib. 

Rhina Barbirostris. Plate XXI. Fig. 2. . 236 

Curculio Cuvierii. Plate XXI. Fig. 3. . 237 

Curcidio Geoffroyii. Plate XXI. Fig. 4. . 238 

Curcidio vittatus. Plate XXI. Fig. 5. . ib, 

Curculio sphacelatus. Plate XXI. Fig. 6. . 239 

Curcidio Latreillii. Plate XXII. Fig. 1. ib, 

Curculio sexdecimpunctatus. Plate XXII. Fig. 2. 240 

Curculio myrmosarius. Plate XXII. Fig. 3. . ib. 

Curcidio brunneus. Plate XXII. Fig. 4. . 241 

Calandra heros. Plate XXII. Fig. 5. . 242 

Prionus cervicornis, Plate XXIII. . 245 




Prionus corticinus. Plate XXIV. Fig. 1. 
Lophonocerus barbicomis. Plate XXIV. Fig 
Acrocinus longimanus, or Harlequin Beetle. 

Plate XXV. Fig. 1. . . 250 

Lamia subocellata. Plate XXV. Fig. 2. . 253 

Lamia ornata. Plate XXVI. Fig. 1. . . ib. 

Lamia formosa. Plate XXVI. Fig. 2. . 254 

Lamia tricincta. Plate XXVI. Fig. 4. . ib. 

Desmocerus cyaneus. Plate XXVI. Fig. 3. 255 

Sagra Buquetii. Plate XXVII. . . 256 

Cassida bicornis. Plate XXVIII. Fig. 1. 257 

Cassida scalaris. Plate XXVIII. Fig. 2. . 258 

Cassida micans. Plate XXVIII. Fig. 3. . ib. 

Cassida echinata. Plate XXVIII. Fig. 4. . 259 

Cassida perforata. Plate XXVIII. Fig. 5. ib. 

Cassida luctuosa. Plate XXVIII. Fig. 6. . 260 

Cassida sex-pustulata. Plate XXIX. Fig. 1. ib. 

Alurnus marginatus. Plate XXX. Fig. 1. . ib. 

Clythra hirta. Plate XXIX. Fig. 2. . 261 

Chlamys monstrosa. Plate XXIX. Fig. 3. . 262 

Eumolpus cupreus. Plate XXX. Fig. 2. . 263 

Chrysomela cerealis. Plate XXX. Fig. 3. . 264 

Chrysomela fastuosa. Plate XXX. Fig. 4. 265 

Doryphora tessellata. Plate XXIX. Fig. 4. . ib. 

(Edionychis cincta. Plate XXX. Fig. 5. . 266 

Erotylus histrio. Plate XXIX. Fig. 5. . 267 

Spheniscus erotyloides. Plate XXIX. Fig. 6. 268 

Coccinella vigintiduo-punctata. Plate XXX. 

Fig. 6 269 

Portrait of Ray .... 2 
Vignette Title-page. Buprestis fulminans and 

Curculio splendens ... 3 

In all Thirty-two Plates in this Volume. 


The individual of whose life it is proposed to give 
some account, occupied a distinguished place among 
the eminent men of the seventeenth century, and 
contributed materially by his genius and writings 
to give an impulse to the age in which he lived. 
He carried his investigations into many of the most 
important departments of natural science, and, by 
means of his accurate observation, faithful descrip- 
tion, and philosophical talents, placed them on a 
foundation from which they have been raised to 
their present state of advancement. These quali- 
ties, combined with learning of the first order, and 
an integrity of life seldom equalled, justly entitle him 
to the grateful remembrance of his countrymen ; 
and the appellations of " Father of Natural History," 
" Aristotle of England," and the " Linnaeus of his 
time," which some of them have bestowed on him, 
sufficiently evince the high sense that has been en- 
tertained of his merits. 


John Ray was born on the 29th November 1628, 
at a place named Black Notley, in Essex. Although 
the name of his family was Ray, he continued all 
the time he attended the university to write it 
Wray, a form in which it accordingly appears in the 
college registers, and in some of his earliest publi- 
cations. This alteration was soon however aban- 
doned, and he confesses himself to have adopted k 
inconsiderately, and contrary to the usage of his fore- 
fathers. His parents were of humble condition, but 
they were enabled to provide for the liberal educa- 
tion of their son. His early studies were pursued at 
the grammar school of Braintree, which was not far 
distant from the place of his birth. In his maturer 
years he used to lament that so much of his time 
had been spent there unprofitably, owing to the 
imperfect mode of education pursued — a complaint 
pretty generally applicable to such institutions at 
the period of which we speak. 

We possess no detailed or circumstantial account 
of Ray's boyhood, nor is it probable that there was 
much deserving of being recorded in the early part 
of a life, which was never marked, even at its most 
active period, by great variety of incident. What- 
ever may have been the deficiencies of his education 
at school, they were speedily repaired by his ex- 
treme assiduity and aptitude for learning. His at- 
tention seems for a time to have been chiefly de- 
voted to the acquisition of languages, and other 
branches of knowledge bearing immediate relation 



to the sacred profession of the church, for which he 
was destined. But a predilection for the study of 
nature must have been manifested when he was very 
young, as we find him mentioned, shortly after en- 
tering the university, in terms of high commenda- 
tion, not only for his knowledge of Latin and Greek, 
but also for his skill in Natural History. 

His removal to the university of Cambridge took 
place when he was sixteen years of age, for it ap- 
pears that he was entered at Catherine Hall on 28th 
June, 1644. He continued there a year and three 
quarters, under the tuition of Mr Duckfield, when 
he removed to Trinity College. Here he found the 
subjects of study greatly more congenial to his taste, 
as they consisted chiefly of the physical sciences and 
the more elegant departments of polite learning. 
He had also the benefit to enjoy the instructions of 
Dr Duport, an individual of considerable celebrity 
at that time for his extensive acquaintance with 
Greek literature. Availing himself to the utmost 
of these advantages, and extending his enquiries 
into some departments of learning then very little 
cultivated, Ray soon acquired a high reputation both 
for his scholarship and philosophical attainments. At 
a time when all scientific works, and frequently even 
the private correspondence of friends, were written 
in Latin, a facility in the use of that language was 
not a rare attainment ; but a nicer perception of pe- 
culiarities of idiom, and a higher tone of classical 
elegance, are observable in Ray's Latin composi- 


tions, than in the writings of most of his cotempo- 
raries. His talents and amiable disposition secured 
him the esteem and friendship of many of the most 
eminent men then attending the university, parti- 
cularly the celebrated Isaac Barrow, Dr Tenison, 
afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, and Dr Arrow- 
smith, master of Trinity College. When enume- 
rating the most eminent men to whom he had been 
tutor, Dr Duport was accustomed to say, that the 
chief of all his pupils were Mr Ray and Dr Barrow, 
to whom he esteemed none of the rest comparable. 

Ray prosecuted the regular order of study then 
prescribed to candidates for holy orders, and when 
of some standing, was chosen into several offices of 
the college, having been appointed in succession, 
Prcelector Primarius, Junior Dean, and College 
Steward. The latter office he held for two years, 
and was sworn into it on the last occasion in De- 
cember 1660. 

During his residence at the university, Mr Ray 
likewise distinguished himself as an eloquent preach- 
er ; for it was a common practice at that period to 
deliver public discourses in the college, previous to 
ordination. His sermons were much esteemed for 
sound reasoning, enlightened views of theology, and 
a judicious application of scriptural principles to the 
ordinary duties of life ; qualities seldom found in the 
sermons of the time, which were generally either cha- 
racterized by a spirit of fanaticism, or filled with the 
unprofitable disquisitions of scholastic theology. Of 


the nature and beneficial tendency of his early dis- 
courses, we are enabled to judge from some ex- 
amples that have been preserved, and especially 
from his valuable Treatise on the Wisdom of God 
in Creation, and Physico-theological Discourses 
concerning the Chaos, Deluge, and Dissolution of 
the World, which in their original form were theo- 
logical exercises, or common-places, as they were 
termed, delivered in the college. 

The turbulent and unsettled state of the country 
previous to the restoration, caused Mr Ray to defer 
his design of taking orders, but the tranquillity re- 
sulting from that event seemed to hold out the pro- 
mise of better times. He was ordained both deacon 
and priest, by Dr Sanderson, bishop of Lincoln, in 
the Barbican Chapel, London, on the 23d Decem- 
ber, 1660. He continued to be a fellow of Trinity 
College till the passing of the famous Bartholomew 
Act in 1662, for enforcing uniformity, by which so 
many conscientious divines were deprived of their 
livings. Had this enactment merely required an 
attestation against the Solemn League and Cove- 
nant, there is no reason to suppose that Ray would 
have refused to comply ; for he by no means ap- 
proved of that oath, and on every occasion showed 
the warmest attachment to the doctrines and dis- 
cipline of the Church of England. But a declara- 
tion was likewise required, that those who had taken 
the oath did not lie under obligation to keep it, a 
requisition which was so repugnant to Ray's prin- 


ciples that he did not hesitate to reject it. He was 
accordingly deprived of his fellowship for non-con- 
formity, along with thirteen others belonging to the 
university of Cambridge. 

Ray's ardent desire of knowledge, and the plea- 
sure he derived from pursuits so congenial to his 
taste and disposition, led him sooner or later to in- 
vestigate almost every department of Natural His- 
tory. But botany, a subject which has attracted 
so many youthful minds to the study of nature, was 
the object of his earliest predilection, and it like- 
wise continued throughout the greater part of his 
life to engross the largest share of his attention. 
Little had hitherto been done for this science, either 
in Britain or on the Continent. When Ray first 
turned his attention to it, it was nearly in the same 
condition in which Turner had found it about a 
century before. Almost the only works that treated 
of plants were styled " Herbals," of which the in- 
dividual just named might well say, that they were 
" al full of unlearned cacographees, and falsely 
naming of herbs." Their use in medicine was the 
only consideration that recommended plants to at- 
tention ; and while all the works relating to the sub- 
ject were, to quote from the title-page of one of them, 
" compyled, composed, and auctorysed by divers 
and many noble Doctours and expert Maysters in 
Medycynes," the object at which they aimed may 
be gathered from the title of the " Grete Herball," 
which professed to give " parfyt knowledge and un- 


derstanding of all manner of Herbes, and their gra- 
cyous vertues which God hath ordeyned for our 
prosperous welfare and helth, for they hele and 
cure all manner of dyseases and sicknesses that fall 
or misfortune to all manner of creatures of God 
created." Instead therefore of being valued, as they 
are by modern botanists, for their rarity and beauty, 
or as supplying a link in the chain of natural affinities, 
the highest recommendation which plants could pos- 
sess may be supposed to be similar to that men- 
tioned by the apothecary in the tale, when he found 
one that was unknown to him, " that it had a line 
poisonous smell, and must be good for something !" 
No trial had been made to form a system of arrange- 
ment, and the particular localities of species were 
very little regarded. 

His first work on this subject was named Catalo- 
gtts Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium, which 
was published in 1 660. It was nothing more than the 
title imports, a mere catalogue of plants, with the 
addition of the place of their growth. No generic 
characters or description of species are given, nor is 
there any attempt at systematic arrangement, the 
names being simply placed in alphabetical order. 

The favourable manner in which this publication 
was received, and the impulse it gave (notwithstand- 
ing its local reference and uninviting nature) to the 
study of botany, induced its author to form the de- 
sign of preparing a similar work applicable to the 
whole of England. He thus explains his intentions in 


a letter to his valued friend Mr Willughby : " You 
remember that we lately, out of Gerard, Parkinson, 
and Phytologia Britannica, made a collection of 
rare plants, whose places are therein mentioned, 
and ranked them under the several counties. My 
intention now is to carry on and perfect that design ; 
to which purpose I am now writing to all my friends 
and acquaintance who are skilful in herbary, to re- 
quest them this next summer, each to search dili- 
gently his countrey for plants, and to send me a ca- 
talogue of such as they find, together with the places 
where they grow. In divers counties I have such 
as are skilful and industrious. For Warwickshire 
and Nottinghamshire I must beg your assistance, 
which I hope and am confident you will be willing 
to contribute. After that, partly by my own search, 
partly by the mentioned assistance, I shall have got 
as much information and knowledge of the plants of 
each countrey as I can (which will require some 
years), I do design to put forth a compleat P. B. 
First I shall give the names of all plants which are or 
shall then be found growing in England, in an alpha- 
betical order ; together with their synonyma. I shall 
also put a full Index Anfflicolatinus, after the man- 
ner of that in the Cat. Cant. Then I shall put in 
the counties, with the several rare plants in them 
marshalled alphabetically," &c* For the accom- 
plishment of this object, but little aid could be de- 

* Philosophical Letters, p. 356. 


rived from books. The only enumeration of British 
plants that had been attempted was by William 
Howe, in his Phytologia Britannica, published in 
1650. But that work was too meagre and inaccu- 
rate to be of much service, and the Pinax rerum 
Bntannicarum of Merret, which professed to give 
the history of every kingdom of nature, was equally 
undeserving of commendation. Ray was therefore 
obliged to rely on the contributions of his numerous 
friends, and his own industry. He travelled through 
the greater part of England and Wales, zealously 
investigating the indigenous plants ; nor did he ne- 
glect the opportunity which these excursions afford- 
ed, of examining every thing that was new or interest- 
ing either in nature or art. Local and general history, 
traditions, antiquities, provincial language and man- 
ners, occasionally shared his attention with the more 
direct objects of his research. He kept a journal 
of his proceedings, in which he recorded his observa- 
tions, and inserted the localities of the rarer plants. 
This curious production was published after his 
death by Dr Derham, under the title of Itineraries. 
In 1661 he made a journey into Scotland, accompa- 
nied by his scientific friends Mr Willughby and Mr 
Skippon, to examine the natural productions of that 
country, which were even less known than those of 
England. His route lay through Berwick, Dunbar, 
and Edinburgh. On their way to the latter place, 
the party visited the Bass Island, — a spot probably 
of more interest to the ornithologist than almost any 


other of equal extent. His description of the solan 
goose, of which this rock is well known to be one 
of the principal haunts, is accurate. " The old 
ones are all over white, excepting the pinion or 
hard feathers of their wings, which are black. The 
upper part of the head and neck, in those that are 
old, is of a yellowish dun colour. They lay but 
one egg a-piece, which is white, and not very large : 
they are very bold, and sit in great multitudes till 
one comes close up to them, because they are not 
wont to be scared or disturbed. The young ones 
are esteemed a choice dish in Scotland, and sold 
very dear (Is. 8d. plucked). We eat of them at 
Dunbar. They are in bigness little inferior to an 
ordinary goose. The young one is upon the back 
black, and speckled with little white spots, under 
the breast and belly grey. The beak is sharp- 
pointed, the mouth very wide and large, the tongue 
very small, the eyes great, the foot hath four toes 
webbed together. It feeds upon mackerel and her- 
ring, and the flesh of the young one smells and 
tastes strong of these fish. The laird of this island 
makes a great profit yearly of the solan geese taken ; 
as I remember, they told us L.130 sterling. They 
make strangers that come to visit it Burgesses of the 
Basse, by giving them to drink of the water of the 
well, which springs near the top of the rock, and a 
flower out of the garden thereby."* 

His stay in the metropolis of Scotland was very 
* Itineraries, p. 191. 


short, but he visited the principal public buildings, 
and gives a brief account of them. From Edin- 
burgh he proceeded to Stirling and Glasgow ; from 
thence to Hamilton and Douglas, the latter of which 
he calls a pitiful, poor, small place, with scarce a 
house in it that will keep a man dry in a shower of 
rain ; and re-entered England by way of Dumfries 
and Carlisle. 

Ray does not appear to have derived much satis- 
faction from his northern tour. He was disappoint- 
ed in one of his principal objects, as he failed in dis- 
covering any new plants.* His remarks on Scotland 
are frequently made in a spirit of acrimony, which 
was foreign to the natural placability of his temper. 
It is probable that he was subjected to much incon- 
venience on the road, as the country was in a very 
disturbed state, and the accommodation for travellers 
of the most indifferent description. Neither were 
some of his observations on the social condition of 
the inhabitants of a kind calculated to awaken re- 

* We know not on what authority it is asserted (Brews- 
ter^s Edin. Encyc.) that Ray discovered many new plants 
in Scotland, since he expressly affirms in a letter to Mr 
Willisel that he found none. The southern division of the 
country bears so much resemblance to England in all the 
circumstances that seem to influence the distribution of 
plants, that scarcely any appreciable dissimilarity is to be 
expected. The primitive and alpine districts of the north 
present of course a very distinct vegetation, but these do 
not appear to have ever been visited by Ray* 


gard, or produce agreeable associations. He states 
that while he was in Scotland, divers women were 
burnt for witches, to the number, it was reported, 
of about 120! And during his walks about Edin- 
burgh, one of the spectacles that presented itself 
was the heads of Argyle and Guthry fixed on the 
gates of the tollbooth. The following extract con- 
tains his opinion of the Scotch, and is of consider- 
able interest in a historical point of view. 

" The Scots generally (that is the poorer sort), 
wear, the men blue bonnets on their heads, and 
some russet ; the women only white linnen, which 
hangs down their backs as if a napkin were pinned 
about them. When they go abroad none of them 
wear hats, but a party-coloured blanket, which they 
call a plad, over their heads and shoulders. The 
women generally to us seemed none of the hand- 
somest. They are not very cleanly in their houses, 
and but sluttish in dressing their meat. Their way 
of washing linnen is to tuck up their coats, and tread 
them with their feet in a tub. They have a custom 
to make up the fronts of their houses, even in their 
principal towns, with firr boards nailed one over ano- 
ther, in which are often made many round holes or 
windows to put out their heads. In the best Scot- 
tish houses, even the king's palaces, the windows 
were not glazed throughout, but the upper part on- 
ly, the lower have two wooden shuts or folds to open 
at pleasure, and admit the fresh air. The Scots 
cannot endure to hear their country or countrymen 


spoken against. They have neither good bread, 
cheese, or drink. They cannot make them, nor will 
they learn. Their butter is very indifferent, and one 
would wonder how they could contrive to make it so 
bad. They use much pottage made of coal-wort, 
which they call keal, sometimes broth of decorticated 
barley. The ordinary country-houses are pitiful cots, 
built of stone, and covered with turves, having in 
them but one room, many of them no chimneys, the 
windows very small holes, and not glazed. In the 
most stately and fashionable houses in great towns, 
instead of cieling, they cover the chambers with firr 
boards, nailed on the roof within side. They have 
rarely any bellows or warming-pans. It is the man- 
ner in some places there, to lay on but one sheet 
as large as two, turned up from the feet upwards. 
The ground in the valleys and plains bears good 
corn, but especially beer -barley or bigge, and oats, 
but rarely wheat and rye. We observed little or 
no fallow grounds in Scotland ; some layed ground 
we saw, which they manured with sea-wreck. The 
people seemed to be very lazy, at least the men, 
and may be frequently observed to plow in their 
cloaks. It is the fashion of them to wear cloaks 
when they go abroad, but especially on Sundays 
They lay out most they are worth in cloaths, and 
a fellow that has scarce ten groats besides to help 
himself with, you shall see come out of his smoaky 
cottage clad like a gentleman."* 

* Itineraries, p. 186. 


After exploring the natural productions of Britain 
with so much diligence and success, Mr Ray became 
desirous of gaining some acquaintance with those 
of other countries ; and for this purpose formed a 
plan, in concert with his steady coadjutor Mr Wil- 
lughby, for visiting the Continent. They sailed 
from Dover in April 1663, accompanied by Mr Na- 
thaniel Bacon, and Mr, afterwards Sir Philip, Skip- 
pon, two of Ray's pupils. They passed through the 
Low Countries, Germany, &c. ; traversed Italy, and 
even visited Sicily and Malta. On their return 
they spent a considerable time in Switzerland, 
where Ray is said by Haller to have discovered 
many new plants, although that was the scene where 
Gesner and the two Bauhines had laboured so assi- 
duously. The result of his foreign travels was given 
to the public in 1673, under the title of " Ob- 
servations topographical, moral, and physiological, 
made in a journey through part of the Low Coun- 
tries, Germany, Italy, and France." Mr Willughby 
separated from the party at Montpellier, and made 
a tour through Spain, an account of which is like- 
wise included in the volume. 

When he returned home, Ray continued to pro- 
secute the study of British plants with unremitting 
assiduity, and to make excursions to the more re- 
mote parts of the country to ascertain their locali- 
ties. On these occasions he was usually accompa- 
nied by Mr Willughby or some other scientific friend, 
and his researches were not confined to plants, but 


extended to various departments of the animal king- 
dom, particularly birds and fishes. In the summer 
of 1667 he traversed Cornwall, where he found 
many plants previously unknown to him, and made 
observations on the metals found in that county, and 
the mode of smelting them, which were afterwards 
published. When not occupied in this manner, he 
spent much of his time at Middleton-Park in War- 
wickshire, the seat of Mr Willughby. In a letter 
from that place to Dr Martin Lister, dated June 
1667, he thus describes his occupations: " For my 
own part, I cannot boast of many discoveries made 
the last year, save of mine own errors. After I 
took my leave of you at Cambridge, I divided the re- 
mainder of the summer between Essex and Sussex* 
visiting several friends. My spare hours I bestow- 
ed in reading over such books of natural philosophy 
as came out since my being abroad, viz. Hook's 
Micrographia, Mr Boyle's Usefulness of Natural 
Philosophy, Sydenham on Fevers, the Philosophical 
Transactions, &c. The most part of the winter I 
spent in reviewing, and helping to put in order, Mr 
Willughby's collection of birds, fishes, shells, stones, 
and other fossils; seeds, dried plants, coins, &c. ; 
in giving what assistance I could to Dr Wilkins, in 
framing his tables of plants, quadrupeds, birds, 
fishes, &c. for the use of the universal character ; 
in gathering up into a catalogue all such plants as 
I had found at any time growing wild in England, 
not in order to the present publishing of them, but 


for my own use, possibly one day that they may 
see the light ; at present the world is glutted with 
Dr Merret's bungling Pinax. I resolve never to 
put out any thing which is not as perfect as it is 
possible for me to make it. I wish you would take 
a little pains this summer about grasses, that so we 
might compare notes ; for I would fain clear and 
complete their history." 

The famous work of Dr Wilkins on a universal 
character, alluded to in the above letter, subse- 
quently entailed on Mr Ray a great degree of labour ; 
for he undertook, at the earnest solicitation of its 
author, to translate it into Latin. When this labo- 
rious task was accomplished, the manuscript was de- 
posited in the library of the Royal Society, where it 
has continued ever since, no one having undertaken 
its publication. 

By this time Ray's reputation as an accomplished 
naturalist and philosopher was fully established, and 
he had become either the personal friend or cor- 
respondent of all the individuals of any eminence 
who then directed their attention to the study of 
nature. Of these the best known to modern na- 
turalists are Dr Martin Lister, whose works on tes- 
taceous animals, and treatise De Araneis, are scarce- 
ly yet surpassed for precise description and lumi- 
nous arrangement ; Sir Hans Sloane — the Sir Joseph 
Banks of his day — whose extensive collections and 
valuable library (which formed, as is well known, 
the original nucleus of the present vast assemblage 


in the British Museum) contributed so essentially 
to the progress of natural history ; and, at a later 
period, Dr Derham, the learned and eloquent author 
of the Physico and Astro- Theology. He was like- 
wise solicited to become a member of the Royal 
Society, an institution recently established, but 
which had already done much in diffusing a taste 
for the physical sciences, and had given a powerful 
impulse to the study of natural history. He was 
admitted on the 7th November 1667, and several 
papers from his pen afterwards appeared in the So- 
ciety's Transactions. 

The description and classification of vegetables 
were not the only departments of botany that re- 
ceived illustration from Ray's labours ; he likewise 
ascertained some important facts in their physiolo- 
gy. The theory of vegetation was at this time very 
imperfectly understood, and every observation found- 
ed on careful experiment possessed of value. The 
accurate investigations of Grew and Malpighi were 
destined, soon after, to throw a powerful light on 
this difficult and interesting subject. In the spring 
of 1669, Ray availed himself of the privileged se- 
clusion of Middleton-Hall, and the observational 
powers and co-operation of its amiable proprietor, 
to institute a series of experiments on the motion 
of the sap in trees. The object was to ascertain 
the manner in which the sap ascends, and whether 
it likewise flows through the woody part of the tree. 
By boring holes of different depth into the trunk 


before the expansion of the leaves, it was clearly 
proved that the sap flows not only through the inner 
bark, but by all the pores of the wood ; for the quan- 
tity of sap that issued was found to be in proportion 
to the depth of the hole. " To put it out of all 
doubt," says Mr Ray, " we took away, on one side 
of a birch tree, bark and wood to a considerable 
depth, and bored an hole into the tree, where the 
piece was taken away ; out of which hole it bled 
copiously, notwithstanding we carefully prevented 
any other sap coming on the filter, but what pro- 
ceeded from the hole." The mucilaginous nature 
of the sap likewise attracted attention, and Ray in-> 
geniously remarks, that "the white coagulum or jelly 
which is precipitated, may be well conceived to be 
the part which every year, between bark and tree, 
turns to wood, and of which the leaves and fruit are 
made. And it seems to precipitate more when the 
tree is just ready to put out leaves, and begins to 
cease dropping, than at its first bleeding." Experi- 
ments of a similar kind seem to have been continu- 
ed for several years, as we find frequent allusion 
made to them in Ray's letters to Dr Lister and 
others of his correspondents. The results to which 
they led were communicated to the Royal Society, 
and subsequently published in the Philosophical 

In his numerous journeys throughout almost every 
part of England and Wales, Ray had acquired, with 
that spirit of active enquiry which permitted the 


neglect of no branch of useful knowledge, an ex- 
tensive acquaintance with the proverbial expressions 
used in different parts of the country, and likewise 
of the local words and idioms that prevailed in dif- 
ferent provinces. Under the impression that such 
a work might be of use to certain classes of the 
community, he arranged the proverbs in methodical 
order, and published them at Cambridge in 1672. 
Even in this unambitious kind of literary labour, he 
showed a good deal of philological learning and 
critical sagacity; and this production, which, he 
says, he esteems a toy and a trifle, not worth the 
owning, has made his name known to many of his 
countrymen, unacquainted with his claims to higher 
literary distinction. His Collection of Unusual or 
local English Words was published nearly at the 
same time, and was accompanied with a catalogue 
of birds and fishes, and an account of the mode of 
smelting and refining metals as practised in Eng- 
land. In a subsequent edition these accessory arti- 
cles were omitted, as they had been published sepa- 
rately in a more perfect form. 

We learn from a letter to Dr Lister, that about 
this time he was solicited to accompany three young 
noblemen to the Continent in the capacity of tutor. 
This offer he was at first inclined to accept, espe- 
cially as it offered him the opportunity of examin- 
ing the alpine plants of Switzerland with more care 
than he had been able to do on his former visit; but 
he was obliged to decline it on account of the de- 


licate state of his health. The conditions he con- 
sidered liberal, and the manner in which he expresses 
himself regarding them, affords an example of that dif- 
fidence and humility which were conspicuous in his 
character. "Egocerte meipsumtali negotio imparem 
et minus idoneum judico; nee si idoneus essem, puto 
me tantam mercedem aut stipendium mereri posse. 
Centum librae annuatim offeruntur, necessariis om- 
nibus expensis etiam persolutis."* 

In the year 1672, Ray sustained an irreparable 
loss by the premature death of Mr Willughby. 
They had been fellow-collegians at Trinity College, 
and the acquaintanceship there formed, was speedily 
matured by community of tastes and pursuits into the 
most intimate and endearing friendship. Possessed 
of ample fortune, family influence, and high mental 
endowments, Mr Willughby might have attained to 
some of the most envied objects to which ambition 
aspires ; but his disposition led him to prefer the 
tranquil enjoyments that flow from the investigation 
of nature, and the cultivation of the generous affec- 
tions and contemplative habits which that study is 
calculated to promote. The zeal with which he 
laboured, is sufficiently evinced by what he accom- 
plished during his short life ; and had Providence 
spared him to complete the extensive designs he 
had formed, his name would have occupied a most 
conspicuous place in the annals of science. The 

* Philosophical Letters, p. 72. 


distinction that now attaches to it, is chiefly to be at- 
tributed to the affectionate care of Ray, who under- 
took to complete and publish several works which 
he left imperfect ; a task which he executed with 
so much fidelity and regard to the fame of his de- 
ceased friend, that the reader is led to attribute to 
Mr Willughby much of the merit that belonged 
exclusively to Ray. These important works will be 
mentioned more particularly hereafter. They were 
originally undertaken in conformity with a plan for 
furnishing a complete history and description of 
plants and animals, of which the following account 
is given by Dr Derham, who derived his informa- 
tion directly from Ray. " These two gentlemen, 
rinding the history of nature very imperfect, had 
agreed between themselves, before their travels be- 
yond sea, to reduce the several tribes of things to 
a method ; and to give accurate descriptions of the 
several species, from a strict view of them. And 
forasmuch as Mr Willughb/s genius lay chiefly to 
Animals, therefore he undertook the Birds, Beasts, 
Fishes, and Insects, as Mr Ray did the Vegetables. 
How each of these two great men discharged his 
province, the world hath seen in their works. Mr 
Willughby's labours were so incessant in his studies, 
that he allowed himself little or no time for those 
recreations and diversions which men of his estate 
and degree are apt to spend too much of their time 
in ; but he prosecuted his design with as great ap- 
plication, as if he had been to get his bread thereby. 


All which I mention," adds this amiable writer, 
" not only out of the great respect I bear to Mr 
Willughby's memory, but for an example to persons 
of great estate and quality, that they may be ex- 
cited to answer the ends for which God gives them 
estates, leisure, parts, and gifts, and a good genius ; 
which was not to exercise themselves in vain or 
sinful follies, but to be employed for the glory, and 
in the service, of the Infinite Creator, and in doing 
good offices in the world."* 

This event exercised a considerable influence 
on Ray's future life. He was appointed one of Mr 
Willughby's executors, and at the same time charged 
with the care and education of his two infant sons ; 
while, as a still further token of esteem, an annuity 
for life was bequeathed to him. In execution of the 
trust thus confided to him, it became necessary that 
he should take up his residence at Middleton-Hall, 
where ample occupation awaited him, in addition to 
what arose from the superintendence of his youthful 
charge, in arranging and completing the MSS. of 
his lamented friend. He was likewise obliged to 
interrupt his simpling excursions (as Derham calls 
them), and to decline the generous invitation sent 
to him about this time by Dr Lister, to come and 
live with him at York, where he then practised as a 

While yet absorbed in grief for the loss of his 

* Derham's Life of Ray, p. 48. 


best friend, he was subjected to another, scarcely 
less afflicting, by the death of Bishop Wilkins, an 
event of which he says that it occasioned him un- 
speakable loss and grief. The most intimate friend- 
ship had long subsisted between Ray and this 
learned prelate, and the former had been of the most 
essential service, in drawing up tables of plants 
and animals for the elaborate work on a Real Cha- 
racter. Through his influence Ray might readily 
have obtained preferment in the church, but he 
persisted in a conscientious resolution not to sign 
the necessary articles.* 

Ray's natural sensibility and ardent temperament, 
made him feel these losses in the acutest manner ; 
but they fell upon a mind deeply imbued with 
Christian principle, and accustomed to recognise 
the beneficent appointments of a presiding power, 
in the most trivial as well as in the most important 
incidents to which our nature is liable. How much 
this was the habit of his mind, appears from various 

* In reply to a letter in which Dr Lister had expressed 
a hope that he would avail himself of the influence allud- 
ed to, Ray writes, " D. Wilkins, in episcopalem cathedrum 
evectum, et suiipsius, et mei, et praecipue ecclesiae causa 
vehementer gaudeo : me tamen per eum ecclesiae resti- 
turum iri, stante sententia, plane est impossibile, nee 
enim unquam adduci me posse puto ut declaration! sub- 
scribam quam lex non ita pridem lata presbyteris aliisque 
ecclesiae ministris injungit, nee tamen tanti est jactura 
mei qui nulli fere usui ecclesiae futurus essem, utut (quod 
dici solet) rectus in curia starem." — Phil. Let. p. 35. 


prayers and devotional exercises, written on occa- 
sion of the death of some of his friends, which are 
calculated to convey an exalted idea of his piety. 
His social circle being thus diminished, and finding 
himself with a settled occupation likely to be of con- 
siderable duration, he sought to increase his domes- 
tic comforts by marriage. His choice was a young 
woman then residing at Middleton-Hall, named Mar- 
garet Oakley, the daughter of a gentleman of that 
name, belonging to Launton in Oxfordshire. The 
marriage was celebrated in Middleton church, on 
the 5th June 1673, Ray being then in his forty-fifth 
year, and the lady not above twenty. 

After this event, he continued to reside at Mid- 
dleton-Hall, and to superintend the education of his 
pupils ;* a task in which Mrs Ray is said to have 
lightened his labour by teaching some of the easier 
branches herself. For the use of his pupils, he 
composed a small work named Nomenclator Classi- 
cus, which was first published in 1672. The object 
of it was to give a correct explanation of Greek and 
Latin terms, especially such as apply to natural ob- 
jects ; a purpose for which it is said to have been 
of essential service. 

For several years subsequent to his marriage, 

* The eldest of these youths was created a baronet 
when about ten years of age, but died before attaining 
majority. The younger was raised to the peerage by 
Queen Anne, under the title of Lord Middleton. Their 
sister Cassandra* became Countess of Caernarvon. 


Ray's literary occupations consisted in the prepa- 
ration for the press of Willughby's book on birds, 
the completion of some of his own works on botany, 
and various contributions to the Royal Society. 
The latter related chiefly to the natural history of 
the higher animals, but they likewise communicated 
valuable information regarding insects, spiders, and 
the myriapodae. The physiology of vegetation also 
formed a subject of communication, and on one oc- 
casion, at the request of the indefatigable secretary 
Mr Oldenburgh, who was one of Ray's regular cor- 
respondents, the latter furnished one of the philoso- 
phical discourses annually read to the society, which 
was received with great approbation. The subject 
was, the nature of seeds, and the specific differ- 
ences of plants. Willughby's observations on birds 
were written in Latin, and the work was accordingly 
completed in that language, and published in the 
year 1675. Nothing was omitted by the editor to 
render it as complete as possible. The descriptions 
are frequently of considerable length, and will often 
be found more correct and satisfactory than many of 
those contained in the numerous and costly works 
which have since been devoted to this favourite tribe 
of animals. Ray afterwards prepared an English 
translation, to which he made large additions, and 
gave it to the public in 1678. In this edition, the 
plates were likewise improved and increased in num- 
ber ; but their execution was by no means satisfactory 
to Ray, as the engravers were but little experienced 


in representing such objects, and his distance from 
London prevented him from giving efficient direc- 

The death of Mr Willughby's mother, which 
happened about the year 1676, produced a consi- 
derable change in Ray's domestic relations. His 
pupils were taken from under his charge, and he no 
longer continued to reside at Middleton-Hall. He 
took up his abode for a time at Sutton Cofield, a few 
miles distant ; but soon removed to Falborne-Hall, 
in Essex, which was in the vicinity of his native place. 
During his residence there, his mother died at Black 
Notley, an event of which the following notice is found 
in his diary : " March 15, 1678, departed this life, 
my most dear and honoured mother Elizabeth Ray, 
of Black Notley, in her house on Dewlands, in the 
hall chamber, about three of the clock in the after- 
noon, aged, as I suppose, seventy-eight : whose death, 
for some considerations, was a great wound to me. 
Yet have I good hope that her soul is received to 
the mercy of God, and her sins pardoned through 
the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, in whom 
she trusted, and whose servant she hath been from 
her youth up, sticking constantly to her profession, 
and never leaving the church in these times of gid- 
diness and distraction." Shortly afterwards he re- 
moved to Black Notley with his family, in which 
place he intended, as he himself expressed it, to 
settle, if such was the will of God, for the short pit- 
tance of time he had yet to live in this world, 


Freed from the interruptions to which he had 
been for some time exposed, first by his duties as 
a tutor and guardian, and more recently by his fre- 
quent removal from one place to another, he had 
now the happiness of being able to give that direc- 
tion to his studies which his inclination prompted, 
and in which he felt himself fitted to confer most 
benefit on science. It is observed by Halle r, that 
few have enjoyed to the same extent as Ray, 
the rare felicity of devoting so many years uninter- 
ruptedly to the study of a favourite subject. It 
may be added, that still fewer have equally improved 
the opportunities that occurred to them. The works 
which he completed after his final settlement at Not- 
ley are so numerous, that he may be ranked among 
the most voluminous writers on botany ; and while 
these, together with his publications in various de- 
partments of zoology, have established his high re- 
putation as a philosophical naturalist, his admirable 
treatises on religious subjects, all tending to enforce 
the observance of practical piety, have gained him the 
incomparably more enviable distinction, of having 
benefited his fellow men in the most important in- 
terests that attach to their nature. Of the most re- 
markable of these productions we shall now proceed 
to give some account ; for their collective value is 
so considerable, that they mark an important epoch 
in the progressive history of natural knowledge. ■ 
The Methodus Plantarum Nova issued from the 
press in 1682. It contains Ray's first attempt to 


arrange plants in methodical order. They were 
distributed in the following manner : 

Woody Plants. 

Trees 1 

Shrubs 2 

Herbaceous Plants. 

Imperfect 3 

Without a flower 4 

Capillary 5 

Grassy 6 

With one naked seed 7 

Umbellate 8 

Verticillate 9 

Rough-leaved 10 

Stellate 11 

Pome-bearing 12 

Berry-bearing 13 

Many-podded 14 

With one regular petal 15 

With one irregular petal 16 

Tetrapetalous, siliquose 17 

Tetrapetalous, siliculose 18 

Papilionaceous 19 

Pentapetalous 20 

Frumenta. or the different kinds of corn that af- 
ford food to men 21 

Grasses «,. 22 

Grassy-leaved plants 23 

Bulbous 24 

Allied to the bulbous 25 


This arrangement is, to a considerable extent, con- 
formable to that of Caesalpinus, published in 1583, 
who was the first to avail himself of Gesner's judicious 
suggestion to arrange vegetables by means of their 
fructification. But while the peculiarities of the fruit 
were continually kept in view, and may be said to 
form the basis of his method, Ray perceived the 
propriety of seeking for distinctive characters in the 
other parts of a plant, in consequence of which he 
has made a nearer approach to a natural arrange- 
ment than any preceding systematist. He has cer- 
tainly surpassed his predecessor Morison, a native 
of Aberdeen, and professor of botany at Oxford, 
whose system was first published at Paris in 1669, 
and which is greatly more complex than that of 
Caesalpinus, without being more useful in the ex- 
trication of natural affinities. It will be perceived 
that Ray adopts the ancient primary division of 
plants into trees, shrubs, and herbs ; although, as 
Sir J. E. Smith observes, his own prefatory remarks 
tend to overset that principle, as a vulgar and casual 
one, unworthy of a philosopher. To this supposed 
fundamental distinction, however, he continued to 
adhere, but he soon rectified many of the other 
errors of his first arrangement, such as the sepa- 
ration of the cereale grasses from their obvious as- 
sociates, in an improved method subsequently pub- 
lished. This arrangement, which contains his most 
matured views on the subject, consists of thirty-four 
classes, distributed as follows : 











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This method, like the former, is in a considerable 
degree founded on the fruit, but the other parts 
are adopted without hesitation whenever they afford 
strongly marked characters of distinction. One of 
its principal merits consists in assigning a distinct 
class to the palms, which had scarcely been recog- 
nised in any previous system. The arrangement of 
the other trees, according to the nature of the fruc- 
tification, which was the most defective part of the 
first method, is also deserving of high commenda- 
tion. " But the chief glory of Ray's second method," 
says the Rev. Mr Wood, " arises from its taking the 
lead in distributing plants according to the number 
of their cotyledons. This, indeed, no one would 
suspect from the tabular view of it, as it stands in 
Philosophia Botanica ; nor does it appear in Ray's 
own table of contents, which Linnaeus has very 
carelessly transcribed and unwarrantably abridged. 
But the distinction is clearly pointed out and ex- 
plained in the work itself, into which one would 
think that Linnaeus had never looked. " Floriferas 
dividemus," is the perspicuous language of Ray, 
" in dicotyledones, quarum semina sata binis foliis 
anomalis seminal ibus dictis, quae cotyledonum usum 
praestant, e terra exeunt, vel in binas saltern lobos 
dividuntur, quamvis eos supra terram foliorum spe- 
cie non efferant ; et monocotyledones, quae nee folia 
seminalia bina efferunt, nee binos lobos condunt. 
Haec divisio ad arbores etiam extendi potest ; si- 
quidem palmae et congeneres hoc respectu eodem 


modo a reliquis arboribus differunt quo monocotyle- 
dones a reliquis herbis." It is with peculiar satis- 
faction that we thus do justice to our great British 
naturalist, and restore to him the honour of which 
he has been in a great measure deprived. We 
readily acknowledge that we are proud of being able 
to call him our countryman, for he was in all re- 
spects as good as he was great. How far we may 
be unduly biassed by natural patriotic feelings, it is 
not in our power to determine ; but while our pre- 
sent convictions continue, we cannot allow a decided 
pre-eminence to Tournefort. Both of them, indis- 
putably, possessed supereminent excellence, and we 
cannot but lament that they were not better friends. 
But irritabile genus is a character which might have 
been extended by the poet much beyond his own 

The first work in which he made a practical ap- 
plication of his system, and long before he had ren- 
dered it so complete as it appears in the above ta- 
ble, was his general Historia Plcmtarum, of which 
the first volume, forming a thick folio, was publish- 
ed in 1686. He undertook this work at the re- 
quest of several of his learned friends, particularly 
two gentlemen of rank named Hatton, to whom the 
first volume is dedicated. The second volume ap- 
peared about a year afterwards, and a supplementary 
one was added in 1704. In this arduous undertaking 

* Bees' Cyclopaedia. 


he received considerable assistance from many of 
his scientific friends, especially Mr Skippon, Sir Hans 
Sloane, Dr Tancred Robinson, and Mr Dale ; but it 
demanded on his part the most persevering and in- 
defatigable industry. It is truly characterized by 
Linnaeus as opus immensi laboris. It embodies all 
that is valuable in preceding writers, and forms a 
complete epitome of the botanical lore of the age. 
It likewise gives the substance of many works, such 
as the Hortus Malabaricus, which are inaccessible, 
from their rarity, to the generality of readers. To its 
value as a compilation are added all the practical 
knowledge, original observation, and critical discern- 
ment of its author. The descriptions are frequently of 
great length, and in general remarkably accurate. To 
these are added the place of growth, time of flowering, 
qualities, and uses. Under the latter head the author 
has collected much curious and interesting informa- 
tion. The usefulness of this elaborate work is, how- 
ever, greatly impaired by the difficulty in identifying 
the species, from the vagueness of the generic and 
specific characters. This inconvenience would have 
been in a great measure obviated by the proposal 
made to Ray by the Bishop of London, to have en- 
graved figures of the whole ; but the difficulty of 
accomplishing this was found to be so great, that the 
design was ultimately abandoned.* 

Two editions of the catalogue of English plants 

* Philosophical Letters, p. 319-320. 


being now exhausted, Ray began to prepare a third 
for the press, but the booksellers who had purchas- 
ed the copyright of the early editions, threw so 
many obstacles in the way, that he was induced en- 
tirely to remodel the work, and publish it in a differ- 
ent form. But as this could not be accomplished 
for some time, in order, in the mean while, to satisfy 
the importunity of his botanical friends, he publish- 
ed, in 1688, his Fasciculus Stirpium Britannica- 
rum post editum Catalogum Plantarum, &c. The 
other work appeared in 1690, under the title of 
Synopsis Methodica Stirpium JBritannicarum. This 
publication, in the opinion of one of the most com- 
petent judges, Sir J. E. Smith, is the great corner 
stone of his reputation in this department of science. 
"Of all the systematical and practical floras of any 
country, the second edition of Ray's synopsis is the 
most perfect that ever came under our observation. 
He examined every plant recorded in the work, and 
even gathered most of them himself. He investi- 
gated their synonyms with consummate accuracy ; 
and if the clearness and precision of other authors 
had equalled his, he would scarcely have committed 
an error. It is difficult to find him in a mistake or 
misconception respecting nature herself, though he 
sometimes misapprehends the bad figures or lame 
descriptions he was obliged to consult."* The se- 
cond edition, above referred to, was published in 

* Trans. Linn. Soc. iv. 277* 


1696, with the addition of more than a hundred 
species, and a history and arrangement of mosses, 
mushrooms, fuci, and other cryptogamous plants. 
The edition now most in use, is that published many 
years after the author's death by the celebrated 

Although our accomplished naturalist was so 
much occupied with his botanical labours, and writes 
to one of his correspondents that he resembled him 
who said, Ptctora nostra duas non admittentia curas, 
yet such was his industry, that he was enabled to 
prepare for the press the valuable but incomplete 
and ill-digested materials left by Mr Willughby for 
a general history of fishes. As the pecuniary aid 
which was liberally contributed by Willughby's re- 
lations to the former work was in this instance with- 
held, the book was printed, through the interest of 
Bishop Fell, at the theatre in Oxford, and the ex- 
pense of the plates defrayed by several members of 
the Royal Society. The Historia Pisium forms a 
folio volume, and is illustrated by 188 plates. It is 
a valuable contribution to the natural history of a 
class of animals which, after quadrupeds, are of the 
greatest utility to man, but which are less known, 
notwithstanding the recent exertions of Lacepede, 
Cuvier, and Valenciennes, than any other depart- 
ment of the animal kingdom. 

It had always been matter of deep regret to Ray 
that he was prevented from engaging in the active 
duties of his profession : his earnest desire to pro- 


mote the spiritual good of others led him, therefore, 
to attempt through the press what he could not ac- 
complish otherwise. The subject which he first 
selected for this purpose was admirably fitted to 
call forth the qualities in which he most excelled, 
and his instructive and enlightened manner of treat- 
ing it has been acknowledged by all. "The Wisdom 
of God, manifested in the Works of the Creation," 
the volume to which we allude, has been universally 
admired as an able exposition of the power, the 
goodness, and other attributes of the Deity, as they 
are reflected from the mirror of creation, and as far 
as they can be " understood by the things that are 
made." The tendency of his studies, and the cha- 
racteristic qualities of his mind, enabled him to il- 
lustrate the subject with a profusion of facts and 
observations of the most interesting kind ; and 
the work is pervaded by a spirit of sound philoso- 
phy and ardent piety, which confer on it a high 
value. Such was its popularity, that it soon passed 
through many editions, and was translated into se- 
veral languages. It has suggested the plan, and 
furnished many of the most valuable materials, of 
most of the works that have since been written on 
the same topic, and has made the name of Ray fa- 
miliar to the generality of readers even in the pre- 
sent day. 

The success of this work led him to prepare an- 
other of a somewhat similar nature, entitled " Phy- 
sico-Theological Discourses concerning the primitive 


Chaos, and Creation of the World : the general De- 
luge, and Dissolution of the World ;" which wa3 
published in 1692, and dedicated to Archbishop 
Tillotson. Although little known in the present 
day, this work excited considerable attention at the 
time it appeared, and soon went through several 
editions. It is a striking proof of the extent and 
variety of knowledge which its author possessed ; 
and, independent of its theoretical views, contains 
such an assemblage of facts relating to the structure 
of the earth, and the changes which it has under- 
gone, that it has not yet altogether lost its utility.* 
In compliance with the urgent solicitation of Dr 
Tancred Robinson, Ray undertook to prepare a 
series of synoptical arrangements of such of the 
other classes of animals as had not been included 
in his former publications ; thus furnishing a view- 
almost of the whole system of nature. The first of 
these works was the Syiiopsis Meihodica Animalium 
Quadrupedum, et Serpentini Generis, which appeared 
in 1693. Besides a systematic classification of these 
animals, it gives a pretty full account of their forms 
and internal structure, and is enriched with nume- 
rous important observations, and interesting details, 
illustrative of their habits and instincts. It was in 
general use among naturalists till the year 1735, 
when it was superseded by the system of Linnaeus. 

* Pulteney's Sketches of the Progress of Botany in 
England, vol. i. p. 239. 


This was followed by a Synopsis Methodica Avium 
et Pisciuniy in which many species are inserted 
which had become known to the author since the 
publication of Willughby's works on the same 
subjects. Owing to the negligence of the book- 
seller to whom the copy had been sold, this volume 
was not given to the world till after Ray's death, 
when it appeared under the superintendence of Dr 
Derham, who added several descriptions, together 
with a series of figures. 

Our distinguished author was now considerably 
upwards of sixty years of age, and his constitution, 
naturally feeble, had been severely tried by his stu- 
dious and sedentary mode of life. After complet- 
ing so many useful works, he was pleased, we are 
told by his biographer Dr Derham, by indulging the 
thoughts of reposing from his labours. But notwith- 
standing his bodily infirmities, his mind was still vi- 
gorous ; and he did not hesitate to engage in another 
literary undertaking, at the request of his friends. 
This was to revise and correct an English edition 
of Rauwolf's Travels in Asia, translated from the 
High Dutch by Mr Staphorst, a native of Germany. 
This work contained a good deal of information on 
many subjects in natural history, and to make it 
more perfect in this respect, Ray added a catalogue 
of the plants of Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Crete. 
It was published, with several rare tracts annexed, in 

Some time after his return from the Continent, 


he had published a Catalogue Stirpium in exteris 
regionibus, &c, which was now out of print ; and 
his attention being recalled, by Rauwolf ' s book, to 
exotic botany, he conceived that it would be of 
advantage to travellers to have a condensed view of 
the vegetables of Europe, exclusive of those indi- 
genous to Britain, which were sufficiently illustrated 
in his other works. He accordingly collected all 
that were mentioned by authors, and added them to 
such as he had himself discovered. This volume 
appeared in 1694, and was entitled Stirpium Euro- 
pcearum extra Britannias nascentium Sylloge. The 
plants are arranged in alphabetical order, and, be- 
sides the addition of various lists from Boccone's 
Plants of Sicily, and other works, there is subjoined 
a geographical view of the species which he observed 
on the Continent ; perhaps the earliest attempt to 
illustrate the distribution of vegetables that had been 
made. In the prefaca to this book he discusses the 
merits of a method of arranging plants, proposed by 
Rivinus, professor of botany at Leipsic, which led to 
a controversy with that author. The method of Ri- 
vinus is entirely artificial, and is founded on the regu- 
larity and irregularity of the corolla, and the number 
of petals of which it is composed. It has the appear- 
ance of great simplicity, but leads to many very un- 
natural combinations, and is, in reality, of difficult 
and vague application, as the flowers are more lia- 
ble to vary in the number of their petals than al- 
most any other part of structure. He was the first 


who pointed out the inaccuracy of the division of 
plants into trees, shrubs, under-shrubs, and herba- 
ceous, a distinction which had been almost universal- 
ly adopted, and which was warmly defended by Ray, 
who unaccountably made it the groundwork of his 
arrangement, although he had declared it to be un- 
philosophical. Although this controversy was car- 
ried on with less personal recrimination than usually 
characterizes such discussions, it was by no means 
agreeable to Ray, whose Christian principles, no less 
than the amenity of his disposition, rendered him 
desirous to live in peace with all men. The prin- 
cipal benefit that resulted from this altercation, was 
the improvement which it led him to make in his me- 
thod of arrangement. These improvements were 
embodied in the Methodus Plantarum nova emen- 
data et aucta, and are exhibited in the second ta- 
bular view which we have given on a former page. 
Owing to some difficulty in effecting an arrange- 
ment with the London booksellers for the publica- 
tion of this work, it was printed at Amsterdam, 
under the care of Dr Hotton, professor of botany 
at Leyden ; and its wide diffusion on the Continent 
made Ray's name as a botanist of European cele- 
brity. It was published in 1703, and is the last of 
his botanical labours. 

While engaged in its composition, the infirmities 
of age were rapidly accumulating. He writes to Dr 
Robertson that he was quite unable to go to Lon- 
don to examine the different collections of plant?, 


and that he could not so much as walk into the 
neighbouring fields. He had laboured for some 
years under a severe disorder in his legs, which had 
broken out into ulcers, and occasioned excessive 
pain. He was likewise seized with other complaints, 
by which his strength was so much reduced, that it 
became evident that his mortal career was approach- 
ing its close. But study had now become so habitual 
to him, that he did not cease, even under these cir- 
cumstances, from prosecuting the investigation of 
nature, and even entering upon subjects compara- 
tively new to him. It had formed part of Wil- 
lughby's plan to write a history of insects, and Ray 
had at an early period given occasional attention to 
the subject, with a view of assisting in that under- 
taking. He now resolved to complete the work 
himself. In reference to it, he writes to Dr Der- 
ham : " The work which I have now entered upon 
is indeed too great a task for me ; I am very crazy 
and infirm, and God knows whether I shall overlive 
this winter. Cold weather is very grievous to me ; be- 
sides, I have not bestowed sufficient time and pains 
in the quest of any tribe of insects, except Papilio's, 
and I have told how far short I am of perfection in 
that. I rely chiefly on Mr Willughby's discoveries, 
and the contributions of friends." On another oc- 
casion he writes to the same individual, " For my 
part I am now almost three score and fifteen years 
of age, so that it is time for me to give over these 
studies and enquiries (he alludes to the history of 


insects, which he had been recommending Dr Der- 
ham to pursue) ; and, besides, I am so lame, and al- 
most continually afflicted with pain, that I cannot 
attend any study, being diverted by pain. 'Tis true, 
of late years I have diverted myself by searching 
out the various species of insects to be found here- 
abouts ; but I have confined myself chiefly to two 
or three sorts, viz. Papilios diurnal and nocturnal, 
Beetles, Bees, and Spiders. Of the first of these 
I have found about 300 kinds, and there are still 
remaining many more undiscovered by me, and all 
within the compass of a few miles. I have now 
given over my inquisition, by reason of my dis- 
ability to prosecute, and my approaching end, 
which I pray God fit me for. You that have more 
time before you may profitably bestow some of your 
spare hours upon such enquiries, and may probably 
make useful discoveries, at least may reap a great 
deal of pleasure and satisfaction in finding out and 
bringing to light some of the works of God not 
before taken notice of." But before his increasing 
infirmities obliged him to abandon this study — the 
last that occupied the attention of his active mind — 
he had prepared pretty copious materials for a his- 
tory of insects, which was published after his death by 
Dr Derham, at the expense of the Royal Society. 
It comprises all Willughby's descriptions in addi- 
tion to his own, and forms a small quarto of 398 
pages, including an appendix on British Beetles by 
Dr Lister. The descriptions are frequently of con- 


siderable length, particularly those of the butterflies, 
but their value is greatly diminished by the difficulty 
in determining, owing to the want of plates and pre- 
cise characters, to what particular species they were 
designed to apply. Prefixed to the work there is 
a systematic arrangement of insects, which was at 
first published by itself under the title of Methodus 
Insectorum. He divides insects, including under that 
name intestinal vermes, earth-worms, and leeches, 
into two primary sections ; those which undergo 
transformation, and those which do not change their 
form. The orders are variously characterized by 
the want or presence of feet, place of abode, struc- 
ture of the wings, form of the caterpillar, &c. The 
following is a tabular view of this arrangement from 
Kirby and Spence's Introduction, which these ad- 
mirable authors have compressed into as small a 
space as possible, by using the Linnaean terms for 
metamorphoses, and reducing Ray's tribes of Orthop- 
tera, Hemiptera, and Neuroptera, to their modern 



1 5 

c a: 

S o 1 J C 


— 2_ 

s* III 



This classification possesses considerable merit. 
The praise, it is true, of assuming the metamor- 
phoses of these animals as the basis of a natural 
arrangement, is due to Swammerdam, but in many 
other respects Ray has improved on the method of 
his illustrious cotemporary. He has indicated and 
characterized several natural groups with great accu- 
racy ; and many of his suggestions have not been 
without influence in leading to the present improved 
state of entomological science. Of the imperfec- 
tions of his arrangement no one was more fully 
aware than himself. He laments especially the in- 
accuracy of that part of it relating to flies, and ex- 
presses a hope that he should soon be able to fur- 
nish another more complete.* This expectation, 
however, was destined never to be realized. 

His vital powers were gradually exhausted by 
repeated attacks of disease, and he breathed his 
last at his residence in Black Nctley, on the 17th 
January 1705. He was buried in the church-yard 
of his native parish, where a monument was some 
time afterwards erected to his memory, by the care 
of Bishop Compton, and others of his friends. It 
was inscribed with the following elegant Latin epi- 
taph from the pen of the Rev. William Coyte, M. A, 

* Hist. Insectorum, p. 109. 


Eruditissimi Viri Johannis Raii, a. m. 

Quicquid mortale fuit, 

Hoc in angusto tumulo reconclitum est. 

At Scripta 

Non una continet Regio : 

Et Fama undequaque celeberrima 

Vetat Mori. 

Collegii S. S. Trinitatis Cantab, fuit olim Socius, 

Necnon Societatis Regiae apud Londinenses Sodalis, 

Egregium utriusque Ornamentum. 

In omni Scientiarum genere 

Tarn Divinarum quam Humanarum 


Et sicut alter Solomon (cui forsan Unico Secundus) 

A Cedro ad Hyssopum, 

Ab Animalium maximis, ad minima usque Insecta, 

Exquisitam nactus est Notitiam. 

Nee de Plantis solum, qua patet Terrs facies 

Accuratissime disseruit ; 

Sed et intima ipsius viscera sagacissime rimatus, 

Quicquid notatu dignum in universa Natura de- 


Apud exteras Gentes agens, 

Quae aliorum Oculos fugerent, diligenter exploravit, 

Multaque scitu dignissima primus in Lucem protulit : 

Quod superest, ea Morum Simplicitate praeditus, 

Ut fuerit absque Invidia Doctus ; 

Sublimis Ingenii, 

Et, quod raro accidit, demissi simul animi et mo- 

desti ; 


Non Sanguine et Genere insignis, 

Sed quod majus, 

Propria Virtate Illustris. 

De Opibus Titulisque obtinencx 

Parum solicitus, 

Haec potius mereri voluit quam adipisci : 

Dum sub Private Lare, sua Sorte contentus 

(Fortuna lautiori dignus) consenuit. 

In rebus aliis sibi modum facile imposuit, 

In Studiis nullum. 


Hisce omnibus, 

Pietatem minime fucatam adjunxit, 

Ecclesia Anglicance 
(Id quod supremo halitu confirmavit) 

Totus et ex Animo addictus. 

Sic bene latuit, bene vixit Vir beatus, 

Quern Prcesens JEtas colit, Postera mirabitur. 

We are told by Sir James Edward Smith, that in 
1707, the monument bearing the above inscription 
having gone very much to decay, it was restored at 
the charge of Dr Legge, and removed for shelter 
into the church. Forty years afterwards, the tomb 
again underwent a repair by the care of the present 
Sir Thomas Grey Galium and others,* who subjoined 
a third inscription, as follows : — 

* It has been again repaired by Mr Walker, the Bee 
tor of Black Notley. 


Tumulum hunc 

a nonnullis humanitati, et scientias 

naturali, faventibus, 

olim conditum, 

et aliorum bona diligentia 

postea restauratum, 1737, 

nunc e vetustatis situ et sordibus 

pauci de novo revocarunt, 1792. 

Tlie era in which Ray flourished, is justly de- 
scribed by Linnaeus as the dawn of the golden age 
in natural history. In the period that preceded it, 
the thick darkness that settled, during the middle 
ages, on almost every subject worthy to occupy the 
human faculties, still continued to overshadow the 
history of nature. Scarcely any effort was made 
to elucidate even the most familiar phenomena ; 
and when such was attempted, the want of obser- 
vation and philosophical discernment was supplied 
by fictions of the imagination and the extrava- 
gancies of credulity. Since what had been seen 
and ascertained was therefore trifling in amount 
compared with what had been heard and conjec- 
tured, it is not surprising that the few works of the 
time devoted to natural history, should so abound 
in absurd notions and fictitious representations of 
animal forms, as to be useful for nothing but point- 
ing out the illusions to which mankind have been 
subject. The investigations of Ray and his co- 


temporaries, pursued in the rigorous spirit of the in-' 
ductive philosophy, soon dissipated these delusions, 
by bringing every thing to the test of strict obser- 
vation. One of the first fruits of this auspicious 
change, was the triumphant refutation of the doc- 
trine of equivocal or spontaneous generation, which 
had maintained its place among the unquestioned 
credenda of the schools from the time of Aristotle, 
and the full establishment of the Harveian doctrine, 
omnia ex ovo. Sound principles of classification 
were likewise adopted, and improvements equally im- 
portant introduced into every department of natural 
science, forming a broad and stable foundation for the 
stately superstructure which has since been reared. 
How much Ray's individual exertions contributed 
to this effect, will in some measure appear from the 
brief view that has been given of his life and writ- 
ings. He enjoyed the advantage of devoting the 
greater part of his life without interruption to the 
studies that he loved so well ; and this circumstance, 
joined to his indefatigable industry and activity, 
enabled him to accomplish more than most other 
authors. There is scarcely any department of na- 
tural history which did not receive illustration from 
his pen ; he greatly extended the boundaries of 
many of them, and the systematic study of some 
may almost be said to have originated with him. 
His mind was equally fitted for the minute and labo- 
rious investigation of objects, and that nice percep- 
tion of their remote and general relations which can 


only be attained by the exercise of the higher facul- 
ties. Hence he excelled both as a faithful describer 
of species and a framer of systems. In comparing 
the latter with the more celebrated method of Lin- 
naeus, it ought to be borne in mind that the two 
systematists had, in a great measure, different ob- 
jects in view ; and that if our countryman was least 
successful, he failed in a more difficult object than 
that to which the other so admirably attained. Lin- 
naeus adopted an artificial system, of which the only 
recommendation is the ease with which it enables 
students to ascertain the names of plants. Desir- 
ous that this knowledge should not be obtained in 
an empirical manner, Ray attempted to follow the 
divisions of nature ; and if he could not trace the 
Ariadnean thread, he failed in a purpose which has 
not yet been fully accomplished. Linnaeus was 
deeply indebted to Ray's various writings, particu- 
larly in his arrangement of animals ; and a careful 
perusal of the Synopsis Quadrupedum, and the 
early editions of the System of Nature, will lead to 
the wish that the obligation had been more warmly 
acknowledged. Had not Ray and his cotempora- 
ries performed the office of pioneers in opening a 
way for the illustrious Swede, the energies of his 
comprehensive mind might have been engrossed 
with the subordinate details of science, and his 
progress obstructed to that commanding elevation 
which he now occupies. 

Fully to appreciate Ray's merits, we must not 


only take into account the vast increment of know- 
ledge which resulted to natural history from his la- 
bours, but also the discredit from which he rescued 
the study. Even the history of the higher animals, 
though bearing so directly on the interests of life, 
was held in little repute, while the lower tribes 
were regarded as too insignificant to merit or justify 
attention. This was particularly the case in rela- 
tion to insects and other " creeping things," the 
examination of which was considered as egregious 
trifling, and deserving of nothing but ridicule and 
contempt. To such an extent did this prejudice 
prevail, that on one occasion an attempt was made 
to set aside the will of a Lady Glanville, on the 
ground of lunacy, because she had shown a strong 
partiality for insects, and Ray had to appear on the 
day of trial to bear testimony to her sanity ! By 
his means, however, even the most disreputable of 
these studies was placed in a proper light, and in- 
vested with the dignity of a philosophical pursuit ; 
and although it was not till a remotely subsequent 
period that many of them were cultivated with that 
zeal which their intrinsic interest is fitted to inspire, 
yet a feeling was produced in favour of all, when 
they were seen to form the favourite occupation of 
a mind which had asserted its superiority in the 
most approved walks of learning, and which did not 
disdain to exercise its matured faculties in contem- 
plating the lowest and most despised of nature's 
productions, even at a time when all earthly inte- 


rests were beginning to lose their influence in the 
near anticipation of the most glorious manifestations 
of the Creator. 

His varied and useful labours have justly caused 
him to be regarded as the father of natural history 
in this country ; and his character is in every re- 
spect such as we should wish to belong to the indi- 
vidual enjoying that high distinction. His claims 
to the regard of posterity are not more founded 
on his intellectual capacity than on his moral ex- 
cellence. He maintained a steady and uncompro- 
mising adherence to his principles, at a time when 
vacillation and change were so common as almost 
to escape unnoticed and uncensured. From some 
conscientious scruples, which he shared in common 
with many of the wisest and most pious men of his 
time, he did not hesitate to sacrifice his views of 
preferment in the church, although his talents and 
learning, joined to the powerful influence of his nu- 
merous friends, might have justified him in aspiring 
to a considerable station. The benevolence of his 
disposition continually appears in the generosity of 
his praise, the tenderness of his censure, and solici- 
tude to promote the welfare of others. His modesty 
and self-abasement were so great that they transpire 
insensibly on all occasions ; and his affectionate and 
grateful feelings led him, as has been remarked, to 
fulfil the sacred duties of friendship even to his own 
prejudice, and to adorn the bust of his friend with 
wreaths which he himself might justly have assumed. 


All these qualities were refined and exalted by the 
purest Christian feeling, and the union of the whole 
constitutes a character which procured the admira- 
tion of cotemporaries, and well deserves to be re- 
commended to the imitation of posterity. * 

* While the natural sciences are rapidly advancing in 
discovery, it is pleasing to find their most ardent cultiva- 
tors cherishing the recollection of this great man with 
such feelings as pupils entertain towards an aged and re- 
vered preceptor ; wondering at the ability with which he 
used the opportunities within his reach, and anxious that 
his memory should be honoured by the generations of after 
days. A few years since, some of the admirers of Ray in 
London proposed that his memory should be commemo- 
rated by some appropriate meeting. The proposal was 
enthusiastically received by the leading naturalists of the 
metropolis and its vicinity, and the 29th November 1828, 
the second centenary of his birth-day, was selected for the 
purpose of a public expression of the high estimation in 
which he was held by the lovers of every branch of na- 
tural history. One hundred and thirty of the most dis- 
tinguished cultivators and patrons of science gave a pub- 
lic dinner, at Free-masons' Hall, Davis Gilbert, Esq. pre- 
sident of the Royal Society, in the chair, and spent the 
evening admiring his genius, and anxious to use their 
best endeavours for the future commemoration of his piety 
and learning. 

For the particulars of this meeting, see Annals of Phi- 
losophy , vol. v. p. 140. 





*' Si vous parlez d'une pierre, (Tune fourmi, d'un mou. 
cberon, d'une abeille, votre discours est une espece de de- 
monstration de la puissance de celui qui les a formees ; 
car la sagesse de Pouvrier se manifeste pour Pordinaire 
dans ce qui est le plus petit. Celui qui a dtendu les 
cieux, et qui a creuse le lit de la mer, n'est point dirrerent 
de celui qui a perce Paiguillon d'une abeille, afin de donner 
passage a son venin." — St Basil, Lyonnet's Trans. 

The numerous beings comprehended under the 
name of Insect, offer to our regard so many inte- 
resting objects of contemplation and research, that 
their history has deservedly assumed a prominent 
place among the natural sciences. Although not 
to be compared with many other animals in direct 
utility to man, they are by no means destitute even 
of the interest produced by that consideration, 


while they possess advantages as a subject of study 
and investigation, equal to almost any other branch 
of zoology. Such is the extent of the subject, and 
the variety of aspects in which it may be viewed, 
that minds of very different tastes and capacities 
may find congenial occupation in some one or other 
of its numerous details. The investigation of ge- 
neric and specific distinctions, which are often so 
faint and evanescent as almost to elude observation, 
accustoms the eye to habits of nice discrimination, 
— the relations which groups and families bear both 
to each other and to the different kingdoms of na- 
ture, lead to general views sufficient to exercise 
the faculties of the most gifted minds, — while the 
variety of form and structure which the species pre- 
sent, is the source of inexhaustible gratification to 
those who delight to trace the footsteps of the Cre- 
ator in his works. When to the consideration of 
their forms and habits we add the internal anatomy 
of insects, what a wide and fruitful field of enquiry is 
laid open ! The celebrated Lyonnet spent a consi- 
derable portion of his life in examining the structure 
of a single insect, and yet left much to be supplied 
by his successors to complete our knowledge even of 
that individual species. In the body of an insect not 
exceeding an inch in length, M. Straus has enume- 
rated 306 hard pieces entering into the composition 
of the outer envelope ; 494 muscles for putting these 
in motion ; 24 pair of nerves to animate them, di- 
vided into innumerable filets ; and 48 pair of tra- 


cheae, equally ramified and divided, to convey air 
and life into this inextricable tissue. This is a 
spectacle, says Cuvier, altogether transporting by its 
deiicacy and regularity. Even to the fine assortment 
of its colours, every thing seems as if made on pur- 
pose to please the eye of man, which now perhaps 
looked upon it for the first time since the creation.* 
— Each tribe of this extensive class of animals pos- 
sesses peculiar attributes deserving of our regard. 
The extreme beauty of the Lepidoptera or butter- 
flies, — the striking contrast they present in the dif- 
ferent stages of their existence, so remarkable as to 
have caused them to be regarded by a mystical phi- 
losophy as the types of the human soul released from 
its material encumbrance, — their habits and times 
of appearance, the one suggesting the purity of an 
ethereal nature, the other associating them in the 
mind of the observer with the beauty of external 
nature, and the genial influences of the seasons, — 
have alike contributed to render them objects of 
general favour. The absence of imposing forms 
and splendour of ornament among the Hymenoptera, 
is amply compensated by their interesting habits, 
and beautiful adaptation of structure to the perfect 
fulfilment of those wonderful instincts which in 
every age have excited the admiration of mankind. 
Without possessing in equal perfection the beauty 
of the Lepidoptera, or the exquisite economy of the 

* Rapport sur THistoire Naturelle. 


hive-bee, the Coleoptera partake in no inconsider- 
able degree of the interest arising from both these 
sources, while they offer some claims on our atten- 
tion peculiar to themselves. 

In consequence of the compactness and solidity 
of their structure, and symmetrical perfection of 
their forms, the greater number of writers on ento- 
mology have been led to follow Linne, in assigning 
to the Coleoptera the precedence over the other 
tribes in their systematic classifications. The dis- 
tinctness of their insections and articulations, to- 
gether with the clearly defined figure of the organs 
of manducation, render them the most characteris- 
tic representatives of the class to which they be- 
long ; while certain relations of analogy which some 
of the species are thought to bear to the vertebrated 
tribes, seem to point out their relationship to a 
superior race of beings. They may be said to 
symbolize those higher animals which are most 
remarkable for the perfection of their organs, and 
which are therefore regarded as the types of their 
respective classes, such as the feline race among 
quadrupeds, and eagles among birds. These con- 
siderations, taken in connexion with the great size, 
singular forms, and brilliant colouring, of many of 
the species, as well as the ease with which they 
can be preserved in much of their living beauty, 
have long rendered them favourite subjects of study 
with those who have devoted their attention to an- 
nulose zoology. At the same time, the important 


functions which they perform in the economy of 
nature, and the injurious consequences which not 
unfrequently result to mankind from their undue di- 
minution or increase, impart a greater degree of im- 
portance to their history than attaches to the gene- 
rality of the insect tribes. 

Coleopterous insects compose the first great sec- 
tion, or order as it is called, of the class of insects. 
They are readily distinguished from the other mem- 
bers of their class, by having the inferior wings co- 
vered and protected by a hard case or shell. This 
peculiarity of structure has suggested the name, 
which is composed of two Greek words, and signi- 
fies wings in a sheath (xoXsoj, a sheath, and Tri^a, 
wings). The term was first used by Aristotle, and 
as the character to which it refers forms a very ob- 
vious mark of distinction, it has been almost univer- 
sally adopted by subsequent writers. In several in- 
stances, however, it fails to be an accurate defini- 
tion of the order, for there are some beetles without 
either wings or sheath, and many others in which 
the latter only is present. To the other characters 
more recently added, such as the transverse folding 
of the wings, and the straight sutural line down the 
middle of the wing-cases, separating them into two 
equal portions, there are likewise exceptions ; but 
these are too few and unimportant to invalidate ma- 
terially the general correctness of the definition. 

The insects to which these characters apply, con- 
stitute one of the most numerous orders of their 


class. In this country alone, they amount, by the 
latest and most accurate census, to upwards of 3600, 
thus forming nearly a third part of our entire insect 
population. This is considerably more than double 
the number of phaenogamous or flowering plants in- 
digenous to Britain, and greatly exceeds the whole 
amount of our native vertebrate animals. When com- 
pared with the two other orders that are next to it in 
extent in this country, it will be found that the Cole- 
optera are nearly one half more numerous than the 
Lepidoptera, and that they stand much in the same 
relation to the Diptera or two-winged flies. Of the 
latter, indeed, all the species ascertained to inhabit 
Europe scarcely exceed the amount of British Cole- 
optera ; for the most accurate enumeration of the 
European Diptera which we possess makes them 
about 3760.* The native Coleoptera of Sweden, 
according to the enumeration of them given by 
Gyllenhal, in his admirable Insecta Suecica, are 
about 4700 in number. In advancing southwards, 
these insects increase in a ratio similar to what is 
observed in other departments of nature ; and in 
countries under the tropics, so redundant in every 
kind of animal life, they may be said absolutely to 
swarm. We are without sufficient data, however, 
from which to form an accurate estimate of their 
total amount. Some years since, the collection of 

* ©£0temattgc!je Bejsc&retfiung 5er fcefcannten (Euro* 
paisrfjen ^toeffiugehgeit gitwfcten, ton % 83X, ®£zi$txu 
aacien, 1818-1830. 


the Count de Jean at Paris, one of the most exten- 
sive that exists, contained no fewer than 20,000 
species. Many others are no doubt to be found in 
different collections ; and when we take into account 
the discoveries daily made by the numerous culti- 
vators of this branch of zoology, and the extent and 
fertility of the countries with the insect productions 
of which we are wholly unacquainted, there seems 
reason to believe that it cannot be much short of 
30,000— that is 10,000 above the estimate formed 
by Ray nearly a century and a half ago, as the pro- 
bable amount of the whole class of insects ! 

This order comprehends some of the largest as 
well as the most minute insects with which we are 
acquainted. Certain orthopterous species belonging 
to the genus Phasma surpass them in length, and 
several gigantic moths are of greater superficial ex- 
tent ; but in many beetles length of body is com- 
bined with a proportionate breadth and thickness, 
which renders them the most bulky and massive of 
their class. A fine specimen of Prionus giganteus 
measures nearly half a foot in length, the breadth 
is about two inches, and the expansion of the wings 
is nine inches. A handsome and scarce species of 
the same family (Prionus armillatus) is about five 
inches long and one inch and three quarters broad, 
and the antennae, which are very strong and rigid, are 
upwards of six inches in length. The Hercules beetle 
(Dynastes Hercules), and Scarabseus Actaeon, mea- 
sure respectively about four and a half inches in length 


including the horns. The largest coleopterous insects 
inhabiting Britain are the Hydrous piceus, and the 
Stag-beetle {Lucanus cervus). The latter is nearly 
two inches in length, including the mandibles ; and 
the former is not much short of the same dimen- 
sions, besides being of considerably greater breadth. 
These may be regarded as the giants of this order 
of insects, occupying one extremity of the scale. 
At the opposite extremity may be placed some 
species of the genera Trichopteryx, Atomaria, and 
Agathidium, which are so minute as not to exceed 
one-eighth part of a line in length ;* or, to adopt 
an illustration sometimes employed, they are abso- 
lutely not bigger than the full stop that closes this 

The structure of these minute beings is perhaps 
even more calculated to excite our admiration than 
that of the larger animals. In the latter, most of 
the parts are of sufficient size to come within the 
direct cognisance of our senses, and there is no ap- 
parent discrepancy between their dimensions and 
the functions which they perform ; but when we re- 
flect that a mere animated point, almost invisible to 
the naked eye, possesses all the attributes which be- 
long to the largest of its race — that it is furnished 
with an external covering made up of many parts 
adjusted to each other with the nicest accuracy— 
that it is supplied with all the requisite organs of 

* A line is the twelfth part of a French inch. 


sense and motion, and has a nervous and respiratory 
system of greater complexity than many of the lar- 
ger animals — that the various processes of digestion, 
assimilation, and secretion, are continually going 
forward — that not a limb can be put in motion 
without calling into play a multitude of muscles — 
and that this atomic being is moreover endowed 
with instincts which regulate with almost unerring 
certainty all its habits and economy — we can scarce- 
ly fail to regard it as affording a more striking in- 
stance of consummate skill than if it had occupied 
a much larger space. 

The shapely limb, and lubricated joint, 
Within the small dimensions of a point, 
Muscle and nerve miraculously spun, 
His mighty work, who speaks and it is done ; 
The invisible in things scarce seen revealed, 
To whom an atom is an ample field. 

" To the eye of the naturalist," says Latreiile, 
" the mass or volume of an object is a matter of 
little consequence. The wisdom of the Creator 
never appears more conspicuous than in the struc- 
ture of those minute beings which seem to conceal 
themselves from observation ; and Almighty Power 
is never more strikingly exhibited than in the con- 
centration of organs in such an atom. In giving 
life to this atom, and constructing in dimensions 
so minute so many organs susceptible of different 
sensations, my admiration of the Supreme Intelli- 
gence is much more heightened than by the con- 


templation of the structure of the most gigan tic 

If superiority in certain qualities must be conced- 
ed to some other tribes of insects, the Coleoptera 
certainly surpass them all, as well as the higher 
races of animals, in variety of form and singularity 
of structure. Among butterflies, the Hymenoptera, 
and two-winged flies, nearly as great a uniformity of 
outline prevails as in the case of birds and serpents. 
But there appears to be no general type of form ac- 
cording to which beetles have been modelled. They 
differ as widely among themselves in outward appear- 
ance, as separate classes of other animated beings 
do from each other. Even the great deep, which has 
ever been regarded as the fertile mother of all mons- 
trous and all prodigious things, seldom produces an 
u odd fish" equal in eccentricity to some species of 
beetles. If we are less struck with the strange pro- 
portion of their parts, than with any unusual figure 
among the larger animals, it is on account of their 
small size, which is generally too inconsiderable to 
arrest our attention, and leads us to consider them 
in a great measure abstractedly from the idea of 
physical power with which we are accustomed to re- 
gard animated beings of large dimensions. But for 
this circumstance, they would excite the astonishment 
of the most careless observer, and lead us to fear lest 
they should realize the anticipations of the poet, — 

Their shape would make them, had they bulk, and size, 
More hideous foes than fancy can devise ; 


With helmet-heads, and dragon-scales adorned, 
The mighty myriads, now securely scorned, 
Would mock the majesty of man's high birth, 
Despise his bulwarks, and unpeople earth. 

To those who have never had an opportunity of 
inspecting a well-stored cabinet of Coleoptera, or 
whose attention has never been drawn to the observ- 
ance of the living insects in their native haunts, it 
is not easy to convey an adequate conception of the 
variety of forms which they assume. An examina- 
tion of the accompanying plates will afford a more 
satisfactory notion of this than can easily be con- 
veyed by description. The most common figure 
of the outline of the body is oblong or oval ; fre- 
quently it is cylindrical or linear, that is, having the 
sides parallel with each other, sometimes orbicular, 
and occasionally almost square. These may be re- 
garded as the primary or dominating forms, but they 
are subject to an endless variety of modifications, 
and are variously blended with each other. The 
surface is commonly convex, and the under side 
rather flat, so that a transverse section forms a seg- 
ment of a circle ; sometimes, however, the upper 
side is depressed, and the under side somewhat 
convex. The length of the body usually exceeds 
the breadth, but in some instances the transverse 
diameter is longest. The surface is frequently ren- 
dered unequal by numerous elevations and depres- 
sions, which cause the creatures " to resemble so 
many pigmy Atlases bearing on their backs a mi- 



crocosm, and presenting to the eye of the beholder 
no unapt imitation of the unequal surface of the 
earth, now horrid with mis-shapen rocks, ridges, and 
precipices, now swelling into hills and mountains, 
and now sinking into valleys, glens, and caves/'* 
But the singular appearance of the greater number 
is produced by the horrid array of horns, spines, 
and other projections with which they are furnished. 
Some of these appendages are so remarkable as to 
be wholly unparalleled in any other department of 
the animal kingdom, and we are often wholly at a 
loss to conjecture what purposes they were intended 
to serve. In some instances {Scarabceus Syphax> 
and several allied species) three pointed horns, nearly 
half the length of the body, project forwards from 
the thorax, one on each side, and the other just over 
the head. Another species of large size {Scarabceus 
Actceon) has a long and powerful horn issuing from 
its head, curved backwards, and bifid at the point, 
and having a strong tooth on its upper side towards 
the base, while two other horns stand out from the tho- 
rax, one on each side. A middle-sized species, of a 
uniform reddish -brown colour {Scarabceus claviger), 
bears on the centre of its thorax a long stout horn, 
which is dilated in an angular manner at the tip, 
and curved forwards so as nearly to meet another 
of a slender subulate form arising from the crown 

* Introduction to Entomology, by the Rev. William 
Kirby and William Spence, Esq. vol. i. 


of the head. One group (Lucanidce) is distin- 
guished by the portentous length of their jaws, gar- 
nished with a formidable armature of angular pro- 
jections and pointed teeth, bearing some resent- 
blance to the branching antlers of some kinds of deer, 
on which account they have been named Stag-beetles. 
A second (Eusceles of Macleay) is so remarkable for 
the disproportionate length and thickness of the hin- 
der legs, that it has been regarded as the representa- 
tive of a quadruped of similar peculiarity of structure, 
and has therefore obtained the name of Kanguroo 
beetle. In an extensive section (Longicomes) y of 
which many of the species are noted for elegance of 
form and agreeable markings, the antennae are cf 
such extraordinary length as to equal in some in- 
stances four times that of the body ; and they are 
now and then singularly adorned with fascicles 
or tufts of long hair. Certain kinds, distributed 
throughout several different genera, and usually de- 
signated by the specific term longimanus, are fur- 
nished with anterior legs of unusual length, greatly 
exceeding, in relation to the size of the body, those 
of the Grallatores, or wading birds, and imparting a 
very grotesque aspect by their strange disproportion. 
Examples of similar anomalies everywhere present 
themselves in this Protean race of animals ; but these 
will suffice to show that 

Nature here 

Wantons as in her prime, and plays at will 
Her virgin fancies. 


The purposes which some of these peculiarities 
of structure were designed to serve are sufficiently 
apparent ; but in the greater number of cases we can 
scarcely form a conjecture as to their use. Much of 
the variety of form which these insects present, is no 
doubt the necessary result of their being destined to 
subserve so many different purposes in the economy 
of nature. The configuration of each individual spe- 
cies is that which adapts it best to fulfil the various 
ends of its being ; and this connection between figure 
and function is so strikingly displayed in the case 
of many insects with w r hich w r e are well acquainted, 
that we are authorized to presume its existence when 
their habits are unknown to us. A more intimate 
acquaintance with these habits, would doubtless ex- 
plain the utility of many a remarkable form and fan- 
tastical assemblage of horns and prominences, which 
our present imperfect knowledge might lead us to 
regard as unnecessary or even cumbrous, and w r ould 
enable us to appreciate more fully the wisdom — 
" wonderful in counsel and excellent in working"— 
that has presided over the organization of these lowly 
beings, and taught them to work its will. At the 
same time it may reasonably be supposed that use- 
fulness to the individual is not always the object in 
view : the production of a pleasing variety may have 
been as much the design of the creating mind in 
the present instance, as it appears to have been in 
giving a particular form and character to the leaves 
and foliage of different trees, although the functions 


of many of these might, for aught we know, have 
been equally well performed had there such 
marked dissimilarity. 

The colouring and variegation of coleopterous 
insects are not less remarkable than their forms. 
In the variety and beauty of their hues, they seem 
to combine the clearness and decision of tint pos- 
sessed by flowers, with the diversified markings of 
the feathered race, and the metallic splendour of 
the mineral kingdom. "In this tribe," says an 
author, determined that his language shall not fall 
short of his subject, " lavish nature sports gorge- 
ously in the mingled riches of indescribably reful- 
gent colours, proof against a continuance of the 
visual ray, which makes the eyelids dance, while 
the optic nerve aches at the splendour."* " Na- 
ture in her sportive mood," say Messrs Kirby and 
Spence, speaking, it is true, of insects in general, 
but all their observations apply to beetles, " when 
painting them, sometimes imitates the clouds of 
heaven ; at others, the meandering course of the 
rivers of the earth, or the undulations of their 
waters : many are veined like beautiful marbles ; 
others have the semblance of a robe of the finest 
net-work thrown over them : some she blazons with 
heraldic insignia, giving them to bear infields sable — 
azure — vert — gules — argent and or, fesses — bars — 
bends— crosses— crescents — stars, and even ani- 

* Barbut's Gen. of Insects, p. 46. 


mals.* On many, taking her rule and compasses"? 
she draws with precision mathematical figures; 
points, lines, angles, triangles,f squares, and circles.** 
Some extensive groups are characterized by the pre- 
valence of certain hues, bestowed on them probably 
as a means of concealment from enemies, by assi- 
milating them to the objects by which they are us- 
ually surrounded, or in subserviency to some par- 
ticular purpose in their economy. The prevailing 
colour among beetles of obscure haunts — such as 
burrow in the earth, or pass the greater part of their 
lives under stones (the Geodephagi of some modern 
systematic writers), as well as those destined to fa- 
cilitate the decomposition and dispersion of putres- 
cent and excrementitious substances — is black or 
brown. The water-beetles (Dytiscidce) are almost 
uniformly brownish black, inclining to olive, and 
frequently variegated with streaks and spots of dull 
yellow. The rostrated beetles, or weevils ( Curcu- 
liojiidce), present some of the most highly adorned 
examples of insect life ; and in them also a curious 
instance is observable of change in colour accom- 
panying dissimilarity of habit. Numerous kinds of 
these insects occur among loose earth and sand, or 
under stones, and these are almost invariably of 
sombre hues, and destitute of ornament : an exten- 
sive division of the same tribe inhabit trees and 
shrubs, and they are remarkable for displaying the 

* Ptinus imperialis, Linn. f Trichius delta, Fab. 


most vivid tints of green. As examples ot tms, the 
British genera Otiorhynchus and Phyllobius may be 
cited, and the foreign ones Brachycerus and Entimus, 
The elegant tribe ofCetonidce, which find their suste- 
nance on plants, and which are represented in this 
country by the Rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), an 
avant-courrier of those " flying gems" that delight 
the eyes of the Entomologist in his progress south- 
ward — are generally of a fine green, often accompa- 
nied with a delicate schiller or play of colour, resem- 
bling the floating light on the surface of some pre- 
cious stones ; and they are sometimes spotted, or varie- 
gated with lines and bands contrasting strongly with 
the rest of the body. The Chrysomelidce — a term 
which signifies an apple of gold — are most com- 
monly of a pretty uniform golden-green, highly po- 
lished and lustrou9, and streaked occasionally along 
the back with parallel lines of purple and blue ; 
while the Coccinellidce, or Lady-birds, are never dis- 
tinguished by metallic splendour, but are prettily 
marked with round spots of black on a red or yellow 
ground, or with red spots on a ground of black. 

The species in which some of these fine colours 
are combined with a high degree of lustre, and di- 
versified markings, must evidently be objects of no 
mean beauty. An eye accustomed to the brilliant 
shades of green and purple that adorn many of the 
Buprestidae — the blue and coppery hues of the Eu- 
molpi — the varied delineations of the Cetonidae— 
and the warm but delicate tinting of the Ceramby- 


cidae — will not frequently find other natural pro- 
ductions on which it can repose with greater plea- 
sure. Such indeed is the splendour of some kinds, 
that the wing-cases and other parts are often worn 
as ornaments instead of precious stones. " A pe- 
culiar and scarce night-fly," says a writer on Japan, 
speaking of a species of beetle, " is of such incom- 
parable beauty that it. is kept by the ladies among 
their curiosities, and has given rise to the following 
fable : They say that all the other night-flies, owing 
to the unparalleled beauty of this little creature, 
fall in love with it, and in order to get rid of their 
importunities, it maliciously bids them (for a trial 
of their constancy) to go and fetch fire. The blind 
lovers scruple not to obey commands, and flying to 
the next fire or candle, they never fail to burn them- 
selves."* Notwithstanding the beauty which many 
tropical species retain when brought to this country, 
and even after they have been preserved for many 
years in our cabinets, it cannot be supposed to equal 
that of their living state. In that condition only 
can there be a full development of their finer and 
more evanescent shades of colour — while their po- 
lished surfaces must be of dazzling brilliancy when 
seen under the light of a tropical sun, in angles con- 
tinually varying with the motion of the animals, 
which are thus rendered no unfit associates of the 
Lories, Creepers, and other " birds of gorgeous plu- 

* Kempfer's History of Japan. 


mery," which people the gay parterres of a tropical 
landscape, and embellish them 

With their rich restless wings, that gleam 

Variously in the crimson beam 

Of the warm west — as if inlaid 

With brilliants from the mine, or made 

Of rainbows. 

These insects occur in almost every country 
capable of supporting animal life. Even the un- 
genial sun of Greenland and Iceland awakes to a 
short and precarious existence a few small species, 
which endure, or rather escape from, the rigours of 
an arctic winter, by a kind of hybernation partly 
analogous to that of some vertebral animals. In the 
higher latitudes, however, of Melville Island and 
Winter Harbour, no coleopterous insect has been 
observed ; and even the pestilent mosquito, which 
spreads over almost the entire surface of the habita- 
ble globe, extracting its nutriment equally from the 
tropical Indian and the greasy hide of the Lapland- 
er, appears unable to encounter the icy atmosphere 
of these hyperborean lands. It may indeed excite 
surprise that creatures of so fragile a nature should 
be found at all in such countries as those just 
mentioned ; but it must be borne in mind, that they 
not only pass certain periods in the pupa or torpid 
state, but are usually, while in that condition, deeply 
buried in the earth. " What they chiefly require," 
Mr Macleay observes, " is the presence of heat 
during some period of their existence ; and the 


greater, within certain limits, is the heat, ttie more 
active will be their vital principle. On the Ameri- 
can continent, the extremes of heat and cold in the 
course of the year are, as is well known, incompa- 
rably greater than in places of the same latitude in 
Europe. We may therefore readily conceive how 
particular families of insects will inhabit a wider 
range of latitude in the former country than in the 
latter. We also see how insects may swarm in the 
very coldest climates, such as Lapland and Spitz- 
bergen, where the short summer can boast of ex- 
traordinary rises in the thermometer ; because the 
energy of the vital principle in such animals is, 
within certain limits, proportionate to the degree of 
warmth to which they may be subjected, and escapes 
in a manner the severe action of cold."* 

As heat is the principal agent in giving impulse 
and vigour to organic life, it will be found that 
these insects undergo as great a change under the in- 
creasing temperature of the earth and atmosphere, 
on approaching the equator, as is well known to take 
place in vegetables and the larger animals. Their 
numbers are prodigiously augumented, and they 
acquire considerable momentum from the great size 
of many of the species. The latter, too, are contin- 
ually varying even under the same parallel of lati- 
tude, so that countries similar to each other in soil, 
temperature, and all other circumstances which 

* Horse Entomologicee, part i. p. 45. 


might be supposed to have an influence on animals, 
present the most striking differences in their insect 
productions. Latreille has observed that the coun- 
tries most fruitful in insects, are those in which 
vegetation is richest and most speedily renewed. 
South America, which is so prolific in 

all rare and beauteous things that fly 

Through the pure element, 

furnishes a greater number of Coleoptera than any 
other country. It comprehends every variety of 
soil and climate, and offers all the other conditions 
that tend to the increase of organized beings. Its 
intertropical regions are watered by many sea-like 
rivers, and clothed with a luxuriance of vegetation 
scarcely equalled elsewhere ; its mountain ranges, 
rising far above the limit of perpetual snow, are the 
sources of endless variation in climate and temper- 
ature ; its elevated plateaus enjoy the temperate air 
of a northern latitude, while the climates of Spain, 
Italy, and France, and even of Norway and Sweden, 
are successively presented to us in our progress to- 
wards the Straits of Magalhaens. Extensive wastes 
of arid sand likewise occur, similar to those that 
cover so large a portion of the African continent ; 
and the Pampas or Llanos (levels) stretching in a 
dead flat, like the illimitable expanse of the ocean, 
over an extent of country equal to a fourth part of 
Europe, and so far removed, in their untrodden so- 
litudes, from the turmoil of ordinary scenes, that 
by the earliest European visitors they were styled, 


in the play of imagination, the regions of supreme 
repose — form a feature in the physiognomy of the 
country peculiar to this continent. " Forests, the 
growth of thousands of years/' says Humboldt in his 
" Tableau de la Nature," "of an impenetrable thick- 
ness, fill the humid country situate between the 
Oronoco and the Amazons. Immense masses of 
lead-coloured granite narrow the foamy beds of the 
rivers. The mountains and woods resound unceas- 
ingly with the roar of cataracts, the growl of the 
jaguar, or the dull howl of the red monkey, which 
foretells the approach of rain. In those place3 
where the lowness of the waters leaves a sandy 
beach uncovered, with open mouth, but motionless 
as a rock, lies a crocodile, whose scaly body is co- 
vered with birds. The tiger-marked boa, his tail 
fixed to the trunk of a tree, his body rolled upon 
itself, sure of his prey, lies in ambush on the bank ; 
suddenly he uncoils to seize the young bull which 
is just passing." 

Brazil has always been regarded as the most fer- 
tile region of South America, and that portion of it 
lying between the twelfth and twenty-fifth degrees 
of south latitude may be considered the richest in 
the world in Coleoptera. Mexico perhaps is next 
to it, for that country is much more prolific than 
Guiana, so often referred to by the older Ento- 
mologists, who became acquainted with its produc- 
tions through the early French and Dutch settlers, 
who have always been zealous collectors and culti- 


vators of natural history. In the old world, the 
countries that afford the greatest number of these 
insects, are certain regions on the western coast of 
Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, Java, and the other 
large islands of the Indian Archipelago. New Hol- 
land possesses many remarkable kinds, and the island 
of Madagascar offers a rich and almost unexplored 
field to the industry of some future collector. 

Some interesting sketches of the entomological 
aspect of Brazil, and other intertropical regions of 
America, are given by a recent French writer. 
According to his account, the insects of these coun- 
tries in a great measure disappear during the months 
of May, June, July, and August, probably because 
that is the dry season, when vegetation is compara- 
tively scorched and sapless, and therefore yields im- 
perfect nourishment. But towards the middle of Sep- 
tember, when the first showers begin to fall, all na- 
ture seems to issue from its repose. Vegetation ac- 
quires a tint of livelier green, the greater number of 
plants renew their leaves, and insects begin to appear. 
In October the rains become more frequent, and in- 
sects are seen in greater numbers ; but it is not till the 
middle of that month, when the rainy season definite- 
ly sets in, that all the families seem, as it were, to 
undergo a sudden development; and this general im- 
pulsion, which all nature receives, goes on increasing 
till the middle of January, when it reaches its great- 
est height. The forests then present a scene of life 
and motion, of which our European woods can give 


no idea. During one part of the day nothing is 
heard but a loud and uninterrupted rustling or 
humming noise, in which the harsh and deafening 
notes of the Cicada? predominate.* One cannot 
move a step nor touch a leaf without seeing insects 
take flight from all quarters. The herbaceous plants 
are literally covered with brilliant beetles ; and the 
slender twigs of the mimosa, on which they live in 
society, appear to bend under the weight of dia- 
mond-beetles (JSfitimus imperialis and nobilis). 
This teeming exuberance is most striking in the 
morning, before the sun has evaporated the dews of 
the night. Towards the approach of mid-day the 
heat becomes insupportable, and all animated nature 
sinks into repose. The din ceases, and insects, as 
well as other animals, seek the freshness of the 
shade, from which they do not again emerge till the 
approach of night has cooled the thirsty air. To 
the species of the morning then succeed a multitude 
of others, many of which, and these too of the 
largest and most remarkable kinds, are seldom ob- 
served but in the evening twilight. Then also 

the night-eyed insect tribes 

AVake to their portion of the circling hours. 

* " Captain Hancock informs me that the Brazilian 
Cicadae sing so loud as to be heard to the distance of a 
mile. This is as if a man of ordinary stature, supposing 
his powers of voice increased in the ratio of his size, could 
be heard all over the world. So that Stentor himself be- 
comes a mute when compared with these insects." — Kirby 
and Spencers Intro, to Entom. ii. 404. 


The LampyridcB, issuing in myriads from their re- 
treats, diffuse their mild effulgence over the plants 
and shrubs, which they often cover with their num- 
bers; and the luminous Elateridce dart about in all 
directions, filling the air with their radiant tracks. 
This natural illumination does not cease till the ap- 
proach of day. 

Although these insects, as has been stated, gene- 
rally increase in number as we proceed from the 
poles to the equator, yet there are some exceptions 
to this rule. Among these are the aquatic beetles 
(Dytiscidce), which are most numerous in the tem- 
perate zone, and also of larger size than within the 
tropics. At the same time there is scarcely any 
tribe of Coleoptera more widely distributed than 
this ; a circumstance no doubt attributable to the 
equable temperature of the medium in which they 
live, which exempts them in a great degree from 
the modifying influence of climate. Of this a fami- 
liar proof is afforded by our native Colymbetes, which 
continue pretty active throughout the winter, when 
other insects are in a state of torpidity. We have 
occasionally seen them swimming with alacrity in 
the waters of a pond when the surface was covered 
with a thick coating of ice. The same circumstance 
that accounts for their extensive diffusion, may there- 
fore be regarded as the cause of their not increas- 
ing in tropical regions. In the latter countries, be- 
sides, every pool or stagnant water, such as these 
creatures love to frequent, is dried up during one 


season of the year by a rapid evaporation, and the 
smaller streams at one time undergo the same fate, 
and at another assume the character of torrents. 

As providence in the creation of insects seems 
partly to have designed them for removing various 
nuisances and superfluous materials from the face 
of nature, their distribution is regulated accordingly, 
and their numbers proportioned to the work assigned 
to them. In temperate climates, for example, where 
the dead carcasses of animals decompose but slowly, 
our senses would be continually offended, and our 
health liable to injury, from the unwholesome mias- 
mata that exhales from them, unless some+provision 
were made to accelerate their removal. We ac- 
cordingly find a profusion of carcass-eating beetles 
— Necrophori, Silphidce, &c — which speedily as- 
semble from all quarters, round a dead body, led by 
the emanation of the tainted air, and in a short pe- 
riod it is either buried or consumed. In several 
extensive countries of South America, however, 
where the extreme dryness of the air and heat of the 
sun cause the animal juices to evaporate with such 
rapidity that a dead body can scarcely be said to 
putrefy, but is converted into a substance so com- 
pletely desiccated, that travellers across the woodless 
pampas sometimes make their fire of a dead horse, 
such insects would scarcely be required, and ac- 
cordingly few if any have been observed. In this 
country, and others under similar latitudes, nature 
has devolved the task of removing excrementitious 


nuisances chiefly on a numerous host of small bee- 
tles belonging to the genera Aphodius, Onthopha- 
gus, Akochara, &c. Some kinds (such as the Geo- 
trupidce) convey the dung to the bottom of holes dug 
to receive it, and make it a receptacle for their eggs ; 
others consume it, and by perforating the mass in all 
directions, make it pervious to the air and wind, by 
which it is soon dried and scattered, leaving the herb- 
age on which it rested to spring with renewed vigour. 
In warmer countries, where the task becomes more 
onerous, from the increased number of large mam- 
miferous animals, the species mentioned are super- 
seded or assisted by others more powerfully gifted, 
such as the gigantic Scarabaei, the Phanaei, and 
Ateuchi, whose singular habits we shall afterwards 
describe. New Holland, on the contrary, being 
destitute of large animals, furnishes scarcely any 
coprophagous insects, except a few scarce species, 
most of which are referable to a single genus. 

As the different continents produce various kinds 
of the higher animals not occurring in other regions, 
they are in like manner distinguished by possessing 
peculiar species of insects. Many of these will be 
afterwards particularized. The geographical distri- 
bution of the Coleoptera is still so imperfectly un- 
derstood, that the attempts which have been made 
to illustrate it consist not so much in an exposition 
of the general principles by which it is regulated, 
as in a detail of insulated facts and observations. 
These it will be more satisfactory to give hereafter 



as a part of the general history of particular groups 
and species ; and we shall conclude these introduc- 
tory observations by giving an account of the exter- 
nal organs of coleopterous insects, in order that the 
descriptions and generic characters in the subse- 
quent part of the volume may be more readily un- 

The most characteristic feature of the coleopte- 
rous order, and from which it obtains its name, has 
been already mentioned, viz. the horny consistence 
of the upper pair of wings. The whole body is 
likewise covered with an integument or crust of a 
similar nature, more or less rigid, which has been 
found, on analysis, to consist chiefly of a peculiar 
principle named chitine. This corneous envelope 
defends the internal organs, and executes a function 
analogous to that of the bones in vertebrate animals, 
by supporting the softer parts, and affording points 
of attachment to the muscles. 

It is one of the distinguishing attributes of the 
class of insects, that their bodies are inserted or di- 
vided into many jointed parts, a mode of structure 
which is more or less obvious in all their different 
states of existence. These segments are more re- 
gular and distinct in the larvae of the Coleoptera 
than after the insects have undergone their final 
transformation, by which some of the rings become 
very much enlarged, while others suffer a corre- 
sponding diminution. But in every perfect insect 


there are three obvious divisions, consisting of the 
head, thorax, and abdomen. 

The head appears as a single piece, without any 
obvious suture or division, and is generally of a 
harder substance than the rest of the body. Its 
form is most commonly triangular with the angles 
somewhat rounded, frequently it is orbicular, and 
in a numerous and important tribe (Curculionid<e) 
it is produced into an elongated rostrum or snout. 
The hinder part is occasionally constricted into a 
short neck, which inosculates in the anterior cavity 
of the thorax, and admits of a considerable degree 
of motion in almost every direction. The position 
of the head, or its inclination with respect to the 
body, is generally somewhat slanting, forming an 
angle more or less obtuse ; but in some instances it 
is bent inwards and forms an acute angle. The 
anterior part of the head is occupied by the mcuth 
and its various appendages, near to which are placed 
the antennae and eyes. 

The mouth is greatly more complicated in its 
structure than among the higher animals, and its 
various parts undergo numerous modifications in 
different tribes. They will be found however to be 
essentially as follows : the labrum or upper lip, the 
mandibles, the maxilla or under jaws, the labium 
or under lip, and the mentum. 

The upper lip (labrum) is a small moveable piece 
placed on the upper side of the mouth, and closing 
it from above. It is variable in form, but is most 


commonly quadrate, usually wider than long, and 
sometimes rounded or triangular. It is of a horny 
consistence, and its direction is often somewhat 
slanting or vertical. Its outer margin is frequently 
sinuated or notched. 

The mandibles, or upper jaws, are two strong 
horny pieces, which take their rise one from each 
side of the mouth, immediately beneath the upper 
lip, which usually covers their base. They are ge- 
nerally of a triangular form, more or less curved, 
esp cially towards the tip, and usually toothed or 
serrated on their inner edges. They may be said 
to r present the jaws in vertebrate animals, but they 
differ in this, that their motion, instead of being ver- 
tical, is horizontal or from side to side. Their in- 
ternal surfaces are frequently parallel, but the den- 
tati ns are seldom alike in both, the projections of 
the one being so arranged as to enter the concavi- 
ties of the other, in order to admit of their closer 
junction. This, however, is often prevented by 
the curvature of the tips ; and in several instances 
where the mouth is wide, and the mandibles rather 
remote from each other at the base, the blades cross 
each other a little beyond the centre. The name, 
which is derived from a Latin word signifying to 
chew, indicates their function, which is to bruise 
and comminute the food ; and they likewise act as 
instruments of prehension. They are liable to re- 
markable variation in size : in many genera they 
are so short and inconspicuous as to be almost en- 


lire/y concealed within the cavity of the mouth, 
while in others they are nearly equal to half the 
"ength of the body. Instances of the latter may be 
seen in several of the species figured, particularly 
Prionus cervicornis (Plate XXIII.), Chiasognatlms 
Chiloensis (Plate XVIII.), and the stag-beetle. 

The under jaws (maxilla:) are likewise two pro- 
jecting pieces, inserted on each side of the mouth, 
immediately below the mandibles. As in the last- 
named organs, their action is horizontal, but their 
texture is generally less rigid, their colour usually 
paler, and their internal edges ciliated or fringed 
with hairs. The tip is frequently acute, and in one 
beautiful tribe of beetles (Cicindelida) it terminates 
. in a moveable claw ; but in many instances the 
maxillae are lobed, and of a spongy consistence at 
the extremity. As accessory to the mandibles, they 
are employed in holding the food, lacerating it, and 
subjecting it to a still further comminution, after 
the harder parts have been broken dowm by the 
more powerful action of the upper jaws. 

Towards the middle of the outer edge of the 
maxillae, there emerge two slender filiform processes, 
composed of several joints, named palpi. These 
are usually termed maxillary palpi, to distinguish 
them from another pair which take their origin in 
the under lip. In many beetles each jaw is fur- 
nished with two of these appendages, in which case 
they are distinguished from each other as the ex- 
ternal and internal palpi ; but in numerous instances 


there is only one palpus attached to each blade of 
the maxillae, These organs generally consist of four 
joints, of which the terminal one is remarkable for 
the variety of forms which it assumes in different 
insects, affording valuable characters for distinguish- 
ing genera. When an internal palpus is present, 
it is usually formed of two slender articulations. 
The palpi are susceptible of rapid and extended 
motion, and are sometimes observed in a state of 
intense vibration, similar to the antennae of Ichneu- 
mons, and other Hymenoptera, when exploring a 
decayed trunk to discover a proper nidus for the 
reception of their eggs. They are supposed to con- 
stitute one of the principal organs of touch. That 
they perform this function is rendered extremely 
probable by their structure, which is well adapted, 
by its peculiar pliancy, to the examination of the 
objects with which they come in contact. The 
joints into which they are divided likewise favour 
this explanation of their use, since they seem to 
present some analogy to the articulated extremi- 
ties which form the principal seat of the sense of 
touch in the higher animals. It is at the same time 
probable that these organs are subservient to other 

As the mouth is covered above by the labrum or 
upper lip, so it is closed beneath by the under lip 
or labium. This part is situate between the max- 
illae, and is composed, as it were, of two portions 
joined together by their inner edges. The part 


immediately behind it, which may be considered 
as forming its base, is named the chin (mentum). 
This piece is usually transverse, or broader than 
long, and is in most instances sinuated or notched 
in the middle of its anterior edge, with an acute tooth 
in the centre of the notch, which is sometimes bi- 
fid. From each side of the labium, and frequently 
attached to its lateral margin, there projects an ar- 
ticulated feeler, similar to those borne by the max- 
illae. These are called the labial palpi. They ge- 
nerally consist of three moveable articulations, at- 
tached to a fourth which is adherent and forms a 
support to the others. They seldom equal the ex- 
ternal maxillary palpi in length, and the terminal 
joint does not exhibit such a variety of form, being 
most commonly somewhat clavate, or nearly of equal 
breadth throughout its whole length. 

The most conspicuous appendages of the head 
are two jointed organs, which stand out like horns 
from the forehead, and are named antenna. These 
never exceed two in number in genuine insects, and 
are situated anterior to and rather beneath the re- 
gion of the eyes : occasionally they are placed close 
to the margin of the eyes, and in some instances the 
latter have a sinuosity for their reception, and par- 
tially encompass their base. They are generally 
composed of eleven obconical or tubular joints, lia- 
ble to great variation in their relative proportions. 
Occasionally, however, the joints do not exceed 


nine or ten, and in some cases, instead of being 
conical, they are globose and somewhat remote from 
each other, being connected by a slender filament, 
so that they bear no unapt resemblance to a series 
of beads rather loosely strung. The ordinary length 
may be stated to be about half that of the body, but 
they very often fall short of these dimensions, and 
in many insects they are not longer than the head. 
On the other hand, they often equal or surpass the 
length of the insect, and in the Capricorn-beetles, 
a tribe distinguished by the length and delicate 
structure of these members, they are sometimes 
more than four times as long as the body. Al- 
though of considerable importance in the systematic 
arrangement of insects, the development of the an- 
tennae does not seem subjected to any very general 
or well-established rules, and is therefore of less 
value than certain other parts of structure. For 
example, we frequently find a considerable differ- 
ence to exist in the form of the antennae among 
species in other respects intimately allied ; and even 
between the sexes of the same species a great dis- 
parity of size and structure is observable. When a 
difference exists, those of the male are more fully 
developed than those of the female. 

The antennae are obviously of the first importance 
in the economy of insects, but their primary use 
has not been fully ascertained. It seems to be ge- 
nerally admitted that in many tribes they exercise 


a function analogous to that of touch, being em- 
ployed in exploring the depth of crevices, and in 
ascertaining by contact the nature of any opposing 
object. But as their extreme shortness in two- 
winged flies (Diptera), and some other insects, does 
not accord with that usage, they are likewise sup- 
posed to be the seat of a particular sense. Proceed- 
ing on the assumption that all the organs of sensa- 
tion found in the higher animals have their analogues 
in insects, some observers maintain that the antennae 
represent the ears, and that although they may not 
directly convey the vibrations of sound to the sen- 
sorium, their primary function is something related 
to hearing. Others again suppose that they are the 
media through which the sense of smell is effected, 
but this explanation of their use is disproved by 
Huber's observations on Bees, which show that the 
sense of smell, at least in these hymenopterous spe- 
cies, is placed within the cavity of the mouth. 

The appendages of the head and mouth which 
have just been described, are represented in their 
natural position by the following figures, which we 
have taken the liberty to copy from Griffith's edition 
of Cuvier's Animal Kingdom: a (fig. 1) is the la- 
brum or upper lip ; b the mandibles ; c the exter- 
nal maxillary palpi ; d the labial palpi ; e the an- 
tennae ; / (fig. 2) the labium or under lip ; g the 
mentum, with a triangular tooth in the centre of its 
notch ; h the internal maxillary palpi ; i the max- 
illae, produced into an acute arcuate lobe. 


e c 

Fig. 2. 

The next part of a coleopterous insect which re- 
quires some notice is the thorax, which it will suf- 
fice for our present purpose to describe as a single 
principal portion, intermediate between the head 
and abdomen. It is the seat of all the organs of 
motion, and is usually strong and muscular, as it 
forms the chief support of all the other parts of the 
body. It is generally wider than the head and nar- 
rower than the abdomen. The form of the upper 
and exposed portion is very variable : in an exten- 
sive tribe of beetles it is more or less heart-shaped, 


truncated before and behind, with a longitudinal 
groove down the middle. In other instances it is 
somewhat square, and occasionally it is nearly or- 
bicular. The inferior portion of the thorax is com- 
posed of a single piece named the sternum, or breast- 
bone. It is much developed in certain tribes, par- 
ticularly water-beetles (Dytiscidce), and in the beau- 
tiful species which constitute the genus Buprestis. 
Of the hinder portion of the thorax, the only part 
seen from above is a small piece, commonly of a 
triangular form, with its point projecting backwards 
and interposed between the suture, of the elytra at 
the base. This piece is termed the scutellum. It 
exists in a more or less obvious form in nearly all 
beetles, and although usually minute, it is sometimes 
so large (as in the genus Macraspis) as to occupy a 
considerable portion of the dorsal area. The ap- 
pendages of the thorax are the instruments of mo- 
tion, the wings and legs, on which it is necessary to 
bestow a brief consideration. 

The true organs of flight in the Coleoptera are 
two membranous and transparent wings, jointed 
upon the upper and hinder portion of the thorax. 
They are generally very ample, and are extended 
by means of a few strong nervures which run in a 
longitudinal direction, and throw off a few lateral 
branchlets. When in a state of repose they are 
transversely folded, and in most cases completely 
covered by the first or upper pair of wings. The 
latter, as has been already stated, are of a hard or 


horny substance, similar to the crustaceous envelope 
of the head and thorax, and in the language of en- 
tomology are named elytra or wing-cases. These 
organs are likewise articulated to the thorax, and 
when at rest lie along the back of the abdomen, in 
the middle of which their internal edges meet and 
form a straight longitudinal line or suture. At this 
point of junction the wing-cases are sometimes sol- 
dered together, and form a single undivided piece, 
which completely incases the abdomen. In such 
instances the inferior wings are wanting, or exist in 
a very rudimentary condition, and the species are 
of course incapable of flight. The elytra usually 
cover the whole upper surface of the abdomen,, 
which, being sufficiently protected by their means ; 
is rather of a soft consistence ; in numerous ex^ 
amples, however, they cover only a small portion at 
its base, in which case the exposed surface is equally 
rigid with the rest of the body. Without some 
protection similar to that afforded by the elytra, the 
inferior wings would be continually liable to injury, 
as they are but little adapted by their delicate tex- 
ture to resist the attrition to which they are so often 
exposed by the haunts ot the species, many of which 
live among loose earth and under stones. The wing- 
cases likewise serve to protect the stlgmatic open- 
ings, placed along the sides of the abdomen, by 
which air is introduced for the purposes of respira- 
tion ; and it is probable that they assist materially 
in the act of flight, by presenting a broad and con- 


cave surface to the air, and maintaining the body in 
a proper equilibrium. 

The aerial movements of these insects are not, 
however, in general performed with that power and 
ease of evolution which are so remarkable in birds, 
and even in certain other tribes of their own class. 
In the larger kinds especially, the weight of the 
body seems somewhat disproportionate to the size 
and motive apparatus of the wings, and their flight 
is therefore heavy and laborious, and seldom sus- 
tained for any considerable time. They rise into the 
air but slowly, and although their motion soon be- 
comes rather rapid and headlong, the frequency with 
which they strike against any object that happens 
to come within the line of their flight, shows them 
to be incapable of exerting that degree of muscular 
energy necessary to check suddenly the impulse 
they have received, or speedily change its direction. 
It is probably owing to this cause that they are so 
often seen to come in contact with other objects, 
rather than deficiency of sight, to which it is ascribed 
in the saying, " blind as a beetle." Olivier asserts 
that no coleopterous insect can fly against the wind, 
and it is probable that the affirmation is correct, at 
least in relation to the majority, and when the wind 
is so high as to offer much resistance. Many of the 
smaller beetles, however, and those whose habits 
render a sustained flight necessary (such as the tree- 
chafers, Melolonthce, &c), possess considerable power 
of wing. During a warm day in spring the air is 


filled with Staphyli7iidcB, Sphceridiidce, and other 
minute beetles, which flit about in the sunshine with 
an ease and velocity which sufficiently indicate the 
perfect aptitude of their structure for such an exer- 

In beetles, as well as in all other insects properly 
so called, there are six legs, each of which may be 
considered as composed of four principal pieces, 
viz. the coxa or haunch a, the thigh b, the tibia 
or shank c, and the tarsus or foot d, as represented 
in the following figure. 

The coxa may be regarded as 
the joint which connects the leg 
with the thorax. It is frequent- 
ly furnished with an appendage 
called the trochanter. The thigh 
is the largest and most conspi- 
cuous portion of the leg ; it is 
usually somewhat flattened, and 
frequently spined or serrated on 
the edges. In the jumping beetles (Halticce), and 
some other species (as in Sagra, Plate XXVII.), 
the hinder thighs are very much thickened. The tie 
biae are generally shorter and more slender than the 
thighs, growing thicker at the lower extremity, and 
having a tendency to a triangular form. They are 
frequently beset with stiff bristles, and armed more 
or less with spines or spurs. The tarsus is the ter- 
minal portion of the foot, and consists of small joints 
varying in number from five to three. The shape of 


the joints is most commonly triangular or elongate- 
quadrate. On the under side they are usually densely 
clothed with hairs or bristles forming a kind of cush- 
ion, which enables the insects to make their footing 
more secure. The tarsi terminate in two curved 
claws, which in some instances are double, and in 
others are bifid at the tip. They are frequently 
serrated on the under side. 

As the anterior pair of legs are in most cases con- 
vertible into organs of prehension, they sometimes 
exhibit striking peculiarities in their structure in 
order to adapt them to this usage. In several 
species they are remarkably elongated, and occa- 
sionally provided with a kind of hook at the extre- 
mity of the tibia, as in the harlequin beetle, repre- 
sented on Plate XXV. In other instances, as among 
some of the predacious Carabidce, the anterior ti- 
biae have a deep notch on the inner side towards 
the apex, above which there is placed a strong 
moveable spine, which admits of being pressed 
down across the opening, and thus secures any 
object that may happen to be within it. A scarce 
British beetle, found on the coast of Norfolk, and 
on the shores of the Frith of Forth near Portobello 
(Cillenum laterale), shows an arrangement of this 
kind ; and it is rendered still more efficient by the 
addition of two small spines on the side of the notch 
opposite to the moveable spine, which receive the 
latter between them when it closes, and prevent it 
from being twisted in a lateral direction (fig. 1 of the 


following cut). A similar structure is observable in 
the anterior legs of the common Blister-beetle ; but 
in this instance the notch is in the basal joint of the 
tarsus, and is closed by a strong conical spine aris- 
ing from the interior angle of the tibiae (fig. 2). 
This apparatus is confined to the male, and, ac- 
cording to the observations of M. Victor Audouin, 
it is employed to lay hold of the antennae of the fe- 
male, which it effectually secures. 

Fig. 1. Fig. 2. 

To answer a similar purpose, the tarsi of many 
male carabideous insects are considerably dilated, 
and clothed with hair in such a manner that they 
act as suckers. In the males of the large water- 
beetles especially, (genus Dytiscus), there is a singu- 
lar and elaborate apparatus of this kind, the exami- 
nation of which, to use the words of Messrs Kirby 
and Spence, will almost compel the most inattentive 
observer to glorify the wisdom and skill of the All- 
father, so conspicuously manifested in the forma- 
tion of these complex organs. The three first joints 


of the anterior tarsi are dilated so as to form a cir- 
cular plate, fringed round the edges with strong 
hairs ; the under side of this plate is more or less 
thickly covered with small circular cups, some of 
which are placed on footstalks, and others are nearly 
sessile ; two of the largest of these cups are situated 
near the base of the plate, the whole apparatus 
forming a powerful sucker. A very beautiful and 
curious appendage, designed probably to serve a si- 
milar end, has been noticed on the under side of the 
tarsi of a dark-brown beetle {Harpalus ri(ficor?iis), 
found everywhere throughout Britain, under stones 
and among rubbish. 

The third and last primary division of the body 
is the abdomen, an important portion of the animal 
economy. It is generally the largest part of the in- 
sect, and is closely attached to the hinder extremity 
of the thorax. It is unprovided with locomotive 
organs, and is composed of rings or segments, on 
both sides of which are placed rounded openings, 
named stigmata, or breathing holes, through which 
the fluids become aerated. Many Coleoptera have 
a tubular retractile piece at the extremity, termed 
an ovipositor, which forms a funnel for conveying 
the eggs in safety to their appointed nidus ; but no 
insect in this order is possessed of any appendage 
analogous to a sting. The abdomen is generally 
larger in the females than in the opposite sex, and 
differs in the form of the terminal segments, besides 
having one fewer than the males. — We now proceed 


to give a historical and descriptive account of the 
leading groups and most remarkable species belong- 
ing to this extensive and important tribe of insects. 

The first division of the Coleoptera includes all 
the kinds which have five joints in each tarsus, on 
which account it is named 


a term derived from two Greek words, irtvra, Jive, 
and fttgoc a part or Joint, 

The species which most systematic writers place 
at the head of the coleopterous order, constituted 
the Linnaean genus Cicindela, a term which was 
anciently applied to various destructive insects, as 
well as to those possessing luminous properties. This 
precedence is assigned to them owing to a certain 
perfection and development of structure, by which 
they are fitted for a mode of life pre-eminently car- 
nivorous. The legs are long and slender to enable 
them to pursue their prey with rapidity, the eyes glo- 
bose and remarkably prominent, and all the organs, 
employed for the purposes of prehension and masti- 
cation of the most efficient kind. Of these the man- 
dibles are most conspicuous, as they project from 
the head, and are garnished with long and powerful 
teeth. The same circumstance is observable in these 


creatures that has been sometimes noticed in the 
higher animals, that the most blood-thirsty propen- 
sities are often combined with elegance of form and 
the highest beauty of colouring. They are adorned 
with the most beautiful tints of green and blue, with 
coppery or golden reflections, and the majority are 
variegated with spots and streaks of yellow. Their 
rapacity and agile movements have procured for 
them the name of Tiger-beetles. They prey indis- 
criminately on other insects, and few of the smaller 
kinds are capable of eluding or resisting their attack. 
The larvae are equally voracious with the perfect 
insect, but their locomotive organs being too im- 
perfect to enable them to attempt an open war, they 
have recourse to stratagem. In that early condition 
the body is long, white, and cylindrical, furnished 
with six scaly feet of a brown colour, and having 
two strong fleshy tubercles, like horns, rising from 
the back. It is entirely of a soft consistence, except 
the head, which is covered with a large rounded 
plate, and armed with two large jaws. These grubs 
dig cylindrical holes in the sandy soil where they 
love to reside, and lie in ambush at the entrance, 
the opening of which is completely closed by the 
broad scaly head. As the excavation is nearly per- 
pendicular at its mouth, the grub would have diffi- 
culty in retaining its position, were it not for the 
dorsal spines formerly mentioned, by which it sus- 
pends itself to the side of its dwelling. "When lying 
in wait in this position, the jaws are expanded, and 


ready to seize any unwary insect that comes within 
reach ; sometimes it makes a sudden dart if the ob- 
ject is at some distance, and immediately retreats 
to the interior of its den. Their voracity is not 
satisfied with other insects, but extends to their own 
species ; and when two individuals form their holes 
in the immediate neighbourhood of each other, the 
stronger devours the weaker, that there may be no 
interference with his own pursuits. When about 
to change their skins or be converted into nymphs, 
they retire to the bottom of their holes, having pre- 
viously sealed up the entrance. 

The perfect insects are found in the spring and 
summer months, usually in sandy fields exposed to 
the sun. They seem rather partial to heaths, and 
certain kinds are found only in the vicinity of the 

In its present restricted form the genus contains 
upwards of 200 species, only six or seven of which 
occur in Britain. The most common throughout 
the northern parts of Europe is C. campestris, one 
of the most beautiful of our indigenous insects. It 
is of a fine green colour, glossed with coppery-red, 
and having five yellowish spots on the margin of 
each elytron, and another towards the middle. It 
is distributed over the whole island, but is rather 
local in Scotland. 

A beautiful species representing this genus is the 



3. Procerus Tauricus. 



PLATE I. Fio. 1. 

Fabricius, Syst. Elenth. p. 239, No. 38 — Dcjean, Spec. Ge- 
tter, vol. i. p. 46. 

The ordinary length of this insect is about seven 
lines and a half. The upper lip, which projects very 
little, is yellow, somewhat dusky at the base and 
sides. The mandibles are deep black, and marked 
with a yellowish spot at the base. The palpi and 
four lowest joints of the antennas are greenish 
bronze, occasionally changing into blue; the re- 
maining joints of the latter are dull black. The 
head is striated between the eyes, that is, marked 
with slightly impressed longitudinal lines, and of a 
fine green colour variegated with blue. The thorax 
is narrow, greenish blue, with two large patches of 
golden green. The elytra are duller than the other 
parts of the body, the colour bluish green, glossed 
with golden yellow at the base and margins, and 
each marked with four spots of yellowish white, of 
which that next the shoulder is very minute, and the 
third somewhat crescent-shaped. The under side of 
the body and legs are variegated with blue and green, 
and of a very brilliant lustre. This species inhabits 
Java, and other Asiatic islands. It likewise occurs 
in China ; and the individual figured was found so 
far to the west as the British possessions in India. 


The tribe which next ^esents itself to our notice 
is of very great extent, including a vast assemblage 
of species which differ considerably from each other 
in appearance and habit. They are named Carabici 
by modern authors, — a term which corresponds ts> 
the old and comprehensive genus Carabus of Linne. 
They are readily distinguished from the preceding 
tribe by the structure of the lower jaws, which ter- 
minate simply in a hook without any articulation, 
The form of the typical or characteristic kinds is 
handsome ; and although the prevailing hue is ob- 
scure, not a few of them are ornamented with 
colours of great brilliancy. The head is usually 
somewhat triangular, and borne horizontally or slight- 
ly inclined ; the thorax more or less heart-shaped 
and truncated, with a longitudinal impressed line in 
the middle ; and the abdomen is long and oval, hav- 
ing a considerable degree of convexity both above 
and below. The legs are generally long and power- 
ful, and most of the species run with great rapidity ; 
but few of them fly well, and no inconsiderable num- 
ber are entirely destitute of wings. The organs of 
the mouth are very fully developed, demonstrating 
a decidedly carnivorous disposition; but the mandi- 
bles are never furnished with such prominent teeth 
as those of the Tiger-beetles. 

Many of these insects are characterized by having 
the hinder extremity of the elytra truncated or cut 
across ; and they seldom completely cover the ab- 
domen, but leave a small portion of its apex exposed. 


Such as exhibit a formation of this kind constitute 
the section Truncatipennes. Some of the species 
have attracted much attention in consequence of a 
very singular means they employ to repel the at- 
tacks of their assailants. The majority of carabide- 
ous insects secrete an acrid and caustic fluid, which, 
when irritated, they discharge with considerable 
force. But in the kinds alluded to (belonging 
chiefly to the genus Brachinus), the fluid is so vo- 
latile, that when it is propelled by the insect it im- 
mediately evaporates with a detonating sound, so 
that the discharge seems to consist of blue smoke, 
which is of a peculiarly disagreeable and penetrat- 
ing odour. These bombardiers, as they are named 
by the French, can fire a considerable number of 
volleys before their ammunition is exhausted. The 
largest kinds inhabit tropical and other warm coun- 
tries ; but a few extend pretty far to the north, there 
being several indigenous to France and the south 
of England. 

To the section with truncated elytra belongs also 
the genus Ant hi a (a name originally applied by 
Aristotle to a kind of fish), which, however, does 
not well exemplify the distinctive feature of this 
subdivision, as the elytra are sinuated rather than 
truncated at the extremity. It is known by having 
the terminal joint of the external palpi somewhat 
cylindrkal and truncated, or in the shape of a re- 
versed cone ; by the want of a tooth in the notch 
of the mentum ; and by the elongate-ovate form of 


the elytra. The species are confined to certain dis- 
tricts of Asia, and the African continent. Even 
the southern shores of Europe, of which the vege- 
table and animal productions become strongly assi- 
milated to those of Africa, have not hitherto afford- 
ed any examples. They delight in an arid and 
sandy soil, in which they form shallow excavations, 
and lie in wait for their prey. In manners, and 
even in the figure of their bodies, they bear a greater 
resemblance to the beetle named Broscus cephalotes, 
found abundantly on the sandy shores of the sea in 
many places both in England and Scotland, than 
to any other British insect. They partake of the 
form which prevails among beetles accustomed to 
burrow in the soil, and which is best exemplified in 
the Scarites and Clivinae, or mole-beetles, as they 
are sometimes called, which live chiefly beneath the 
ground. The head is very thick and strong, fitted 
to make its way through a resisting medium, and 
the thorax is attached to the abdomen by a narrow 
neck-like portion, which admits of the anterior part 
of the body being easily turned in a lateral direc- 
tion, and therefore answers the same purposes as 
the flexibility of the vertebral column in moles and 
other burrowing quadrupeds. The hinder part of 
the body is considerably wider than the anterior, a 
circumstance never observed in burrowing beetles 
properly so called, as it would materially impede the 
insect's progress through its cylindrical excavations. 
The species figured is 



PLATE I. Fig. 2. 

FabriciuS) Syst. Eleuth. p. 221 — Carabus decemguttatus, 
Oliv. iii. 35, pi. 23, No. 16. 

The general colour of this species is dull black. 
The eyes are brown, and the antennae incline to the 
same colour, but the four lowest joints are more or 
less thickly covered with whitish down on the under 
side. On each side of the thorax anteriorly there 
is a small white spot. The elytra are marked with 
a few deep grooves, which are pretty densely clothed 
with whitish down; this, however, is frequently 
rubbed off, and in the bottom of each groove there 
appear two rows of small impressed points, and a 
longitudinal ridge between them. Each elytron has 
five spots of white down, but some of these are often 
obliterated (as in the example figured). The un- 
der side of the body and legs are of a more shining 
black than the other parts, and the thighs are some- 
times brown. 

This insect varies greatly in size, colour, and even 
in the relative proportion of its parts, and it has in 
consequence been described under several different 
names. It is found in the neighbourhood of the Cape 
of Good Hope, where it appears to be very common. 

The genus Carabus properly so called is distin- 
guished by having the upper lip simply notched or 


bilobed, by the tooth in the middle of the mentum 
being entire at its apex, and by the joints of the 
anterior tarsi being dilated in the males. The an- 
tennae are nearly filiform, or become gradually some- 
what more slender towards the outer extremity. 
The external palpi terminate in a joint considerably 
wider than the others, and forming a kind of trian- 
gle. The thorax is heart-shaped and truncated, 
the mandibles have a single tooth at their base, and 
the wings are not adapted for flight. In a few very 
large and remarkable European species the anterior 
tarsi have been found to present no appreciable dif- 
ference in the two sexes, and these have accordingly 
been formed into a distinct genus under the name 
of Procerus. The latter are among the largest 
carabideous insects with which we are acquainted. 
They are of a uniform black colour on the under 
parts of the body, but tinged with green or blue 
above. They seem chiefly to inhabit the moun- 
tainous districts of the eastern and southern parts 
of Europe, the Caucasus, and Asia Minor. The 
species represented is 


PLATE I. Fig. 3. 

Carabus Tauricus, Pallas — Carabus scabrosus, Fisher, 
Enlomographie de la Russie. 

This fine insect is little short of two inches in 


length. The colour of the upper surface is a fine 
blue, inclining sometimes to green. The thorax is 
nearly twice the width of the head, truncated be- 
fore and behind, and somewhat heart-shaped ; the 
surface rough and granular. The elytra are oval 
and convex, covered with large tubercular points, 
which are arranged nearly in straight lines. The 
under side of the thorax and the sides of the abdo- 
men are tinged with greenish blue ; the other parts, 
as well as the legs, are black. 

The insects to which the generic appellation of 
Carabus is now restricted is of very considerable 
extent, including about 170 well-ascertained species. 
They are generally of considerable size, and most 
frequently of a dark colour, glossed with blue or 
purple. Many of them, however, are of the bright- 
est metallic hues, and deserving of being ranked 
among the most ornamental of European beetles. 
Such are C. rutilans, an inhabitant of the Pyrenees, 
and our own C. nitens, found in heathy districts, 
where the soil is formed of peat, in many parts of 
Scotland and the north of England, which scarcely 
yields to any exotic insect in the brilliancy of its 
lustre. The principal seat of the Carabi is within 
the temperate zones; they become rare in very 
warm countries, and seem to disappear altogether 
within the tropics. They are most abundant in 
the old world, but a few have likewise been observ- 
ed in the northern and southern extremities of Ame- 
rica. Britain possesses about sixteen species, and 


half that number has been ascertained to inhabit 


PLATE I. Fig. 4. 

Fabricius, Syst. Eleuth. p. 171. — Olivier^ iii. 35, p. 22, No. 
14, pi. 1, fig. 9. 

This species varies in length from ten to fifteen 
lines. The surface of the head is of a fine blue in- 
clining to violet, with the anterior part black ; it is 
ather deeply punctured, and marked with irregular 
wrinkles. The antennae are black, and the eyes 
brown. The thorax is nearly heart-shaped, a good 
deal contracted behind, similar in colour to the 
head, and likewise rough with punctures and wrin- 
kles : there is also an impressed line down the centre. 
The scutellum is black. The elytra are of an elon- 
gate-oval form, covered with impressed points which 
have a tendency to run into lines, three of which 
are pretty distinctly formed : they are of a bright 
copper-colour, glossed on the exterior edges with 
violet, and having a very high degree of lustre. 
The under parts of the body and the legs are glossy 

This splendid insect occurs in mountainous dis- 
tricts in the south of France, usually frequenting 
the banks of small rivulets which flow down the sides 
of hills. 


I. Carabus azu-atui Z.'Carabiu cUtthrOtus 
3 Tefflus Mef/erlci. 



PLATE II. Fig. I. 

Fabricius, Syst. Eleuth. p. 175 — Olivier, iii. 35, p. 32, No. 
30, pi. 51, fig. 5, a, &, c — Dejean, Spec, Gener. p. 111. 

The colour of the upper side is green, glossed 
with golden yellow. The head is faintly punctured, 
and there are two longitudinal impressions between 
the antennae. The organs of the mouth, and the 
four lowest joints of the antennae, are reddish. The 
thorax is marked like the head, and has a longitu- 
dinal line down the middle, and a transverse im- 
pression on each side near the posterior angles. 
The elytra are oval and convex, each of them with 
three elevated ridges, the spaces between which 
are covered with small raised points, making them 
appear somewhat granulated. The under parts of 
the body are black, the anterior part slightly tinged 
with green. The legs are rust-red, and the tarsi 
brown. The ordinary length is about an inch. 

This is a very common insect throughout France, 
where it is known by the name of le Jardinier ; but 
it becomes rare as we advance northward, occurring 
very seldom in Germany and Sweden, A few in- 
stances are recorded of its having been taken in 
Britain, but it must be ranked among the rarest of 
our indigenous beetles. 



PLATE II. Fig. 2. 

Fubricius Olivier — Gyllenhal, Insec. Suecica, p. G7 — De- 
jean, Spec. Genir. p. 108. 

This species is about an inch in length. It is of 
an oblong-ovate form, and wider in proportion to 
its length than most other species of the genus. 
The colour is dark brassy, varying considerably in 
6hade in different individuals. The head and thorax 
are very faintly punctured, and the latter has the 
hinder angles very little produced. Each elytron 
has three elevated lines, and a triple series of rather 
deep excavations, which are of a golden-yellow or 
copper colour, united by an oblong tubercle rather 
indistinctly formed. The outer edge of the ely- 
tra is slightly sinuated at the apex in both sexes. 
The under side of the body and the legs are black. 
This was esteemed till lately one of the rarest kinds 
of the British Carabi. Although very scarce in 
England, it is now however ascertained to be pretty 
copiously distributed over the Western and Northern 
Highlands of Scotland. Throughout the southern 
division of the country, the most common species 
of the genus are C. catenulatus, C. hortenm, and 
C. violaceus ; but as we advance northwards the 
two latter gradually become scarce, and their place 
is supplied by C. glabratus and C. clathratus. Of 


these two, the former is the most abundant in the 
northern counties of Scotland, and the elevation at 
which it is found on the mountain? shows it not to 
be abhorrent even of a more northern climate. The 
latter occurs in considerable numbers in the north- 
west district of Sutherlandshire, and, next to C. gla- 
bratus, is the most common species, C. catenulatus 
becoming scarce, and the specimens small and 
dwarfish, which may be assumed as an indication 
of its having nearly reached the natural limit of its 
extension in a northern direction.* 

The genus Tefflus, which was first constituted 
by Dr Leach, differs from the two preceding genera 
in having the labrum or upper lip entire or with- 
out any notch. It includes only a single species, 
which has been named after a celebrated naturalist 
of Vienna. 


PLATE II. Fig. 3. 

Carabus Megerlei, Fabricins, Syst. Eleiith. p. 1G9 — De* 
jean, Spec. Geni-r. ii. p. 21. 

This insect is seldom much short of two inches 
in length. It is entirely of a uniform glossy black 

• In a recent expedition to explore the natural pro- 
ductions of Sutherlandshire, upwards of forty specimens 
of C. clathratus were procured, and C. glabratus might 
have been obtained almost in any number. 


colour, except the eyes, which are yellowish. The 
outline of the thorax approaches to a hexagonal 
form ; the surface is thickly covered with deep 
punctures, which run together and render it very 
rough ; the margins are slightly elevated, and there 
is a faint line down the centre. The elytra are 
elongate-oval and very convex, each of them having 
seven longitudinal ridges, which unite at the extre- 
mity : in the bottom of the furrows between these 
ridges there is a row of small tubercles. It inhabits 
Senegal and the coast of Guinea. 

The genus Calosoma is chiefly distinguished from 
the true Carabi, to which it is very closely allied, 
by possessing wings ; by the third joint of the an- 
tennae, which is considerably longer than the others, 
and somewhat sharp on its outer edge ; by the man- 
dibles being destitute of teeth ; and by the form of 
the thorax, which is somewhat transverse, that is, 
wider than long, and equally rounded on the sides. 
The form of the elytra likewise differs, as they ap- 
proach more to a square shape than is usual among 
the carabideous tribes. Both as larvae and in their 
perfect form, these insects prey upon other species 
of their own class. The grubs, which resemble a 
small black worm, take up their abode in the nests 
generally of the processionary moth (Lasiocampa 
Processioned), and devour the caterpillars in great 
numbers. When in a state of repletion and inac- 
tivity from excessive gluttony, they are sometimes 
attacked and devoured by the smaller individuals of 

PLATE .->. 

CaJosoma Sycop7/antay. 2._E/aphrus riparius. Ti.Marmolyce' pfcyUodai 


their own fraternity. Although this genus is not 
extensive, the species are very widely distributed. 
In Europe they range from Sweden to the shores 
of the Mediterranean ; several occur in Senegal and 
at the Cape of Good Hope ; and a considerable 
number inhabit America and the eastern regions of 
Asia. The only kinds known as British are C. inqui- 
sitor and that which we have figured : the latter is 


PLATE III. Fig. 1. 

Fabriciut, Syst. Eleuth. p. 212 — Carabus sycophanta, OIU 
vier, iii. 35, p. 42, No. 43, t. 3, fig. 31. 

It does not exceed ten or eleven lines in length, 
the figure on the plate being somewhat enlarged. 
The colour of all parts of the body except the ely- 
tra is violet-black, sometimes slightly glossed with 
green. The head and thorax are covered with 
minute punctures and irregular transverse wrinkles ; 
the former having two deep longitudinal impressions 
between the antennae, and the latter a faint line 
down the centre. The scutellum is black, and 
nearly smooth. The elytra are of a rich green, 
glossed with golden yellow ; in shape somewhat 
like a shield, and marked with closely placed striae, 
which have small punctures in the bottom, and a 
row of rather large and remote punctures on the 
fourth, eighth, and twelfth interstices. 


This insect is of frequent occurrence in all the 
middle and southern countries of Europe, but it be- 
comes scarce in the north. Few instances are re- 
corded of its having been observed in Britain, and 
an indigenous specimen is consequently regarded 
as a valuable acquisition by collectors. Mr Kirby 
mentions that one was taken at Aldborough in Suf- 
folk, by Dr Crabbe, the celebrated poet ; another 
by a young lady at Southwold, which is now in the 
cabinet of W. J. Hooker, Esq. ; and a third by a 
boy at Norwich, crawling up a wall, which was pur- 
chased of him by S. Wilkin, Esq. 


PLATE III. Fig. 2. 

Cicindela riparia, Linn — Donovan's British Intectt, vol. ix. 
p. 301. 

The above figure represents this beautiful insect 
as it appears under a very high magnifier. The 
colour of the body is brassy green, with coppery re- 
flections. The head and thorax are very thickly 
punctured, and the latter has a short deep groove 
in the middle. The elytra are very thickly covered 
with minute punctures, and each is ornamented with 
four rows of rounded spots, rather faintly marked, 
which are purple in the centre, and surrounded with 
a ring of a metallic lustre. The spaces between these 
ocellated spots are very little elevated, except one 


near the middle of the interior row, which is large, 
somewhat square, and very highly polished. The 
under side of the body and legs are bronzed green, 
except the base of the thighs and greater part of 
the tibiae, which are pale reddish yellow. 

This insect is of frequent occurrence in most 
parts of Britain. The genus derives its name from 
a Greek word, referring either to the nature of the 
place which the species frequent, or to the activity 
of their motions.* It is distinguished by the an- 
tennae gradually becoming a little thicker towards 
the extremity ; by the thorax being at least as long 
as broad, and nearly of the same width as the head ; 
by the large and very prominent eyes ; and by hav- 
ing the four first joints of the anterior tarsi slightly 
dilated in the males. It contains only a few species, 
some of which bear such a strong resemblance to 
each other, as to countenance the conjecture that 
they may be mere varieties. They frequent marshy 
places, and the margins of lakes and ponds, running 
about with remarkable celerity during the heat of 
the day. They are most prevalent in the northern 
parts of Europe, the more common kinds becoming 
scarce in the south, and two or three not extending 
further than the northern extremity of Germany. 
There is one species found in America. 

* K>.o;, a marshy or ikatp^s, light, active. 



PLATE III. Fig. 3. 

Hagenbach, Novum Coleop. Genus Dejean, Spec. Gen. t. v. 

part ii. p. 714. — Latreille, Regne Anim. t. iv. p. 400. 

This insect is so peculiar in its form and structure, 
that it is difficult to determine what place it ought 
to occupy in a systematic arrangement. It posses- 
ses little in common with the genera associated with 
it by the continental naturalists, except the elon- 
gation of the third joint of the antennae. In its flat 
and dilated elytra, it bears considerable resemblance 
to certain neuropterous species of the genus mantis, 
which are remarkable for their likeness to the with- 
ered leaves of trees. It is this circumstance that 
has suggested the above specific name, which is ex- 
pressive of resemblance to a leaf. The head and 
thorax are narrow and elongated, and the latter has 
a dilated portion on each side which is scolloped on 
the outer edge. The abdomen is likewise rather 
narrow, and the portion of the elytra which covers 
it is somewhat convex, reticulated, and marked 
with a double series of rather large impressions ; 
the portion of the elytra projecting beyond the ab- 
domen is very broad and flat, and is somewhat 
waved on the surface. The tibiae are crooked, and 
the anterior pair have a deep notch near the apex. 
The general colour of the insect is blackish brown, 


and it is somewhat shining. It is liable to great 
variation in size, some of the specimens which we 
have seen, among an extensive series in the posses- 
sion of James Wilson, Esq. measuring three and a 
fourth inches in length, and an inch and a half across 
the elytra, while others do not exceed two inches 
in length and one in breadth. It is a native of 
Java, and seems to occur in considerable plenty in 
some parts of the country. 


A numerous group of carnivorous beetles, belong- 
ing to the present section, inhabit the waters of 
lakes and ponds, both as larvae and in their perfect 
condition. Although frequenting an element so 
different in its nature from that in which other in- 
sects live, there is no very marked difference in 
their structure, a slight modification of certain parts 
sufficing to adapt them to their new abodes. Their 
motions are effected by means of the hinder pair of 
legs, which are rather long and flat, and have the 
tibiae and tarsi densely fringed with long stiff hairs, 
presenting a pretty broad surface to the water. 
Their respiratory apparatus in no respect differs 
from that of other insects ; but, in order to bring the 
stigmatic openings in contact with the air, they are 
obliged from time to time to repair to the surface. 
This is speedily effected merely by stopping the 
movements of the legs; for as the body is specifically 


lighter than water, it obeys the tendency to float 
upwards as soon as the counteracting force ceases 
to be applied. When resting on the surface the 
head is turned downwards, and the legs extended 
at right angles with the body, of which the only 
portion that appears above the water is the extre- 
mity of the abdomen, where the air is admitted by 
the tips of the elytra being slightly raised ; and 
when the insect descends, it carries along with it 
a bubble of air resembling a globule of quick- 
silver. If they wish to remain below the surface 
with their legs unemployed, they can do so only 
by adhering to the roots or stem of some aquatic 

They are strictly an amphibious family ; for, al- 
though water is their favourite element, they sur- 
vive for a long time on moist land, and usually fly 
about in the evening twilight, or even during the 
darkness of the night. Their flight is rapid and 
sustained, and may be assisted in certain species 
of Dytiscus by a kind of winglet, similar to that 
found in the majority of two- winged flies, which is 
placed under the base of the elytra. All the spe- 
cies are extremely voracious, as might be inferred 
from the structure of the masticatory and other or- 
gans, which are very fully developed. Their usual 
prey are the larva; of gnats, ephemerae, and dragon- 
flies ; and the more powerful kinds are said to at- 
tack with success animals considerably exceeding 
themselves in size. By far the most conspicuous 


genus in the family, is that first established by 
Linne* under the name of 


a term derived from fiurijg, which signifies a diver. 
In its present restricted form, it is distinguished by 
having the antennae setaceous, that is, tapering slight- 
ly from the base to the apex ; by the truncated ter- 
minal joint of the labial palpi ; and by having the 
anterior tarsi dilated in the males into a rounded 
plate. The three basal joints of the tarsi are di- 
lated in the middle pair of legs — a circumstance 
which chiefly discriminates the Dytisci proper from 
the genus Acilius of Dr Leach — and the elytra of 
the female are usually furrowed. 

The larvae are narrow and elongate, composed of 
twelve segments, including the head, which is large 
and strong, bearing short antennae, and armed with 
two powerful jaws. The last named organs, which are 
long and incurved, are perforated at the tip, so that 
they not only serve to seize and lacerate the prey, 
but also form a tube through which its juices are 
absorbed. The anal segment is slender and co- 
nical, and is furnished with two projecting appen- 
dages, by means of which the animal is enabled 
to push itself forwards in the water, and rise to 
the surface for a supply of fresh air. The three 
segments behind the head are each provided with 
a pair of legs, which are more or less fringed with 


hairs, and no doubt assist materially in swimming. 
The food of the larvae is similar to that of the per- 
fect insect, and they are perhaps even more vora- 
cious in their early condition than after they have 
undergone their final change. The following cut 
represents the larva of Dytiscus marginalis, the 
most common species throughout the southern parts 
of Britain. 

The largest species of Dytiscus with which we 
are acquainted is D. latissimus, which is found in 
Germany and the north of Europe. About eight 
or nine different kinds inhabit Britain, some of 
which are common in England ; but they become 
scarcer in the more northern parts of the island. 
The species represented, for which we are indebted 
to Mr Curtis' beautiful figure, is 


reus diwuiiatits. .7 Cy'dous vtftatits 



PLATE IV. Fig. I. 

Bergstraesser Nomenclature pi. 7, fig* 1« — Curtis' Brit. Ent. 
iii. pi. 99. 

The colour is brownish black tinged with olive 
green. The antennae and upper lip are yellow, and 
there is a triangular or crescent-shaped spot of rust 
red on the forehead between the eyes. The thorax 
is widely margined on each side with yellow, and a 
broad stripe of the same colour runs along the whole 
of the external margin of the elytra : the surface of 
the latter is very smooth in the males, and each is 
marked with three rows of punctures. The under 
side of the body, and the legs, are yellowish, with 
the sutures of the breast black. The lobes of the 
sternum, which afford very distinctive characters in 
this group, are obtuse in the present species. 

It has occurred at Cambridge, and in some other 
parts of England. 

There is another group of aquatic beetles, the 
species of which, although much inferior in size to 
those just described, are still more fitted to attract 
attention by their numbers, brilliant appearance, and 
interesting manners. These insects constitute the 



a word sometimes used by Aristotle and other Greek 
writers, and which is derived from a verb signifying 
to move in a circle. They afford a few well-marked 
characters, by which they are readily distinguished 
from all their aquatic associates. The antennae are 
short and thick, and are attached to the head in 
such a manner as to resemble ears. They consist 
of a clavate mass formed of seven closely joined 
rings, which is attached by a slender peduncle to 
the upper and internal edge of a large radical joint 
furnished with an auricle on its outer side, which, 
like the lid of a box, shuts in the antennae when 
unemployed, and protects them from the water.* 
The anterior legs are long, and formed for walking, 
or to act as instruments of prehension ; the four 
hinder ones are very short, compressed and ciliated 
externally, bearing a strong resemblance to the 
paddle of an oar. The head is sunk in the thorax 
as far as the eyes, and the latter are divided by a 
process from the anterior part of the head, in such 
a manner that there appear to be two eyes above 
and two below — a mode of structure admirably 
adapted to the wants of the insect, which requires, 
at the same time, to observe objects both in the air 
and water. 

* Kirby and Spence's Introd. to Entom. iii. 516. 


Throughout the greater part of the year there is 
scarcely a sheltered pool without a group of these 
agile little creatures, pursuing their avocations with 
the most sportive alacrity. Their chief occupation 
is swimming rapidly along the surface in concentric 
circles, or darting about in irregular gyrations, an 
exercise which they keep up during the whole day, 
without any apparent object but the love of motion. 
Their bodies are so highly polished, that they shine 
like a piece of burnished metal, and not a particle 
of water can adhere to them. When approached 
or otherwise interrupted, they speedily scatter or 
dive under the water, but soon re-appear and resume 
their sports. Their circular movements are no doubt 
produced by the natatory legs on the one side being 
more rapidly moved than on the other, as a boat is 
turned when the rowers on one side cease to ply. 
In collecting into parties, and leading up their mazy 
dance together in the sunshine, we may suppose 
these little creatures to be actuated by the same 
social feeling which Mr Wordsworth has ascribed 
to the gnat-like flies (Tipulidce), which assemble in 
choirs, and may be seen in sheltered situations 
even in the middle of winter, alternately rising and 
falling with a rapid undulatory motion. 

Nor wanting here to entertain the thought, 
Creatures that in communities exist, 
Less, as might seem, for general guardianship, 
Or through dependence upon mutual aid, 
Than by participation of delight, 


And a strict love of fellowship combined. 
What other spirit can it be that prompts 
The gilded summer flies to mix and weave 
Their sports together in the solar beam, 
Or in the gloom and twilight hum their joy ? 

These insects are not numerous in Britain, the 
registered species not exceeding eight, and it is 
probable that at least two of these are merely va- 
rieties. The most common in this country, as well 
as throughout the middle and northern parts of 
Europe, is 


PLATE IV. Fig. 2. 

Linn.—Fabricius — De Geer, Insect, iv. xiii. 4, 19. 

This species, of which we have given a greatly 
enlarged representation to show the form of the 
legs, is nearly three lines long, of an ovate form, 
blue black, with a metallic lustre, and highly re- 
splendent. The thorax is marked with three trans- 
verse lines on each side, of which the anterior one 
is punctured and runs parallel with the margin, the 
second is continued across the disk, and the poste- 
rior one abbreviated and bent forward. The scu- 
tellum is triangular, narrow, and elongate. The 
elytra are rather convex, the margin turned in at 
the sides and of a yellowish colour beneath, and the 


surface of each marked with eleven striae or longi- 
tudinal lines composed of minute punctures. The 
breast is pitch red, and the terminal segment of the 
abdomen, together with the legs, is of a ferruginous 

The following lively account of the manners of 
this species is given by a popular writer. " Water, 
quiet, still water, affords a place of action to a very 
amusing little fellow, which, about the middle of 
April, if the weather be tolerably mild, we see gam- 
boling upon the surface of the sheltered pool ; and 
every schoolboy, who has angled for minnows in the 
brook, is well acquainted with this merry swimmer 
in his shining black jacket. Retiring in the autumn, 
and reposing all the winter in the mud at the bot- 
tom of the pond, it awakens in the spring, rises to 
the surface, and commences its summer sports. 
They associate in small parties of ten or a dozen, 
near the bank, where some little projection forms a 
bay, or renders the water particularly tranquil ; and 
here they will circle round each other without con- 
tention, each in his sphere, and with no apparent 
object, from morning until night, with great spright- 
liness and animation ; and so lightly do they move on 
the fluid, as to form only some faint and transient 
circles on its surface. Very fond of society, we 
seldom see them alone, or, if parted by accident, 
they soon rejoin their busy companions. One pool 
commonly affords space for the amusement of seve- 
ral parties ; yet they do not unite or contend, but 


perform their cheerful cir clings in separate family 
associations. If we interfere with their merriment 
they seem greatly alarmed, disperse, or dive to the 
bottom, when their fears shortly subside, as we soon 
again see our little merry friends gamboling as be- 
fore. This plain, tiny, gliding water-flea seems a 
very unlikely creature to arrest our young atten- 
tions ; but the boy with his angle has not often 
much to engage his notice, and the social active 
parties of this nimble swimmer, presenting them- 
selves at these periods of vacancy, become insensibly 
familiar to his sight, and by many of us are not ob- 
served in after life without recalling former hours, 
scenes of, perhaps, less anxious days ; for trifles like 
these, by reason of some association, are often re- 
membered, when things of greater moment pass off 
and leave no trace uDon the mind."* 


PLATE IV. Fig. 5. 

This insect exemplifies an exotic group, very 
closely related to the Gyrini, but offering so many 
minute modifications of structure as to warrant their 
separation into a distinct genus. The most obvious 
difference is the want of an apparent scutellum in 
Cyclous, the great size of the body, and the length 

* Journal of a Naturalist. 


of the anterior legs. The species figured is about 
nine lines long and five broad. The colour is blu- 
ish black, slightly glossed with purple, and having 
faint coppery reflections ; the whole surface highly 
polished and resplendent. During life the purple 
and blue form pretty distinct bands on the elytra, 
especially towards the sides. The under side of the 
body is pitch brown, the natatory legs paler : the 
fore-legs are very long, and of a brownish-black co- 
lour. It was received from Java. 

Three principal or typical forms prevail among 
beetles of strictly aquatic habits, to one or other of 
which nearly all of them may be regarded as refer- 
rible. Two of these have just been described as 
characterising the families Dytiscidce and Gyrinidcs, 
and we shall now proceed to point out the distin- 
guishing marks of the third. Many of the species 
of which it is composed formed a part of the great 
LinnEean genus Dytiscus, but they differ so essenti- 
ally from the insects to which that term is now ap- 
plied, that Latreille, in his systematic arrangement, 
has removed them to a great distance from their 
former associates. Most other naturalists, however, 
have to a certain extent preserved the connection, 
owing to the affinity that arises from their inhabit- 
ing the same element, and presenting some points 
of resemblance in structure. The most striking 
character is the great length of the maxillary palpi, 
which are often considerably longer than the an- 
tennae — a circumstance which has led the group to 


be distinguished by the name of Palpicornes. The 
antennae usually consist of nine joints, which become 
larger towards the upper extremity, and are con- 
nected by a filament, which has the appearance of 
passing through them. The genus most deserving 
of notice, is that first established by Dr Leach under 
the name of Hydrous. It is known by having the 
labrum entire, the posterior claws bifid, the elytra 
narrowing gradually behind, and the great size of 
the teeth on the internal edge of the mandibles. 


PLATE IV. Fig. 4. 

Dytiscus piceus, Linn — Hydrophilus piceus, Fab — Hyd. 
piceus, Curtis' Brit. Ent. v. pi. 239 {from which the ac- 
companying figure is taken). 

The ground colour is black, inclining to olive, 
and the margins of the elytra are faintly tinged with 
green and purple. The antennae and organs of the 
mouth are reddish. Each wing-case is marked with 
eight dotted lines, and the alternate interstices with 
an irregular series of dots. The breast is clothed with 
yellowish hair, and there are several yellow spots on 
each side of the abdomen. The legs are of a pitchy 
colour, with the extremity of the tarsi, and the hairs 
with which they are fringed, reddish brown. 

This is the largest aquatic beetle inhabiting Bri- 
tain, and, indeed, with the exception of the Stag- 


beetle, it may be considered the most bulky of our 
indigenous Coleoptera. It is common in the south- 
ern parts of England, but becomes rare in the north, 
and has not been observed in any part of Scotland. 
In its perfect state it is by no means so rapacious as 
the Dytisci, sometimes even feeding on vegetable 
substances ; but the larva is of such destructive and 
blood-thirsty propensities that it is known in France 
by the name of ver-assassin. In that early condition 
it resembles a large soft worm, of a somewhat coni- 
cal form, provided with six feet, and having its large 
scaly head armed with two formidable jaws. The 
head moves with such freedom in all directions, 
that it can readily seize small shell-f^sh and other 
molluscae floating on the surface, without altering the 
horizontal position of the body maintained in swim- 
ming ; and it is even bent backwards, and devours 
its prey more conveniently by using the back as a 
kind of support. These larvae swim with facility, and 
have two fleshy appendages at the tail, by means of 
which they suspend themselves at the surface with 
their head downwards when they have occasion to 
respire.* The female beetle spins a silken bag for 
the reception of her eggs, similar to that which may 
at any time be seen attached to a dark-coloured spi- 
der {Lycosa saccata), of common occurrence under 
stones, and interesting for the maternal solicitude 
she shows in protecting her embryo progeny. Tr 

* Cuvier, Regne Animal, iv. 523. 


this receptacle they are left to swim about till they 
are hatched. 


The insects belonging to the second great family 
of the Coleoptera with five joints in each foot, form 
a well-defined group, readily distinguishable from 
their associates by their peculiar aspect. The body 
is narrow and elongated, and in its general form 
bears considerable resemblance to that of the Ear- 
wig. The elytra are so short that they seldom 
cover more than the base of the abdomen ; a cha- 
racter which has caused the family to be distinguished 
by the name Brachelytra.* This peculiarity in 
the form of the wing-cases is obviously designed to 
render the body more flexible, by removing every 
obstacle to the motions of the abdomen. That part ac- 
cordingly possesses a great degree of suppleness, and 
is capable of being inflected in almost every direc- 
tion. When the animal is alarmed, or repelling the 
attack of an assailant, it bends the abdomen forwards 
over its back, and protrudes two conical vesicles 
from the extremity, which in certain species emit a 
strong scent of sulphuric ether. While in this at- 
titude, the jaws are usually kept extended to their 
utmost stretch, by which the appearance of the 
larger kinds is rendered sufficiently formidable to 

* From /Sg«e^ur short> and sAj/rgov, a wing-case. 


avert the attack, not only of other insects, but of 
much more powerful foes. Notwithstanding the 
small size of the wing-cases, they suffice for the 
protection of the wings, which, when in a state of 
inaction, are folded up with great nicety, in order 
to bring them within a narrow compass ; this opera- 
tion is assisted by the extremity of the abdomen, 
which can be reverted sufficiently to push the wings 
under their cases. 

These insects live for the most part under stones, 
in excrementitious substances, decaying wood, and 
mushrooms ; many of the kinds inhabiting America 
are observed most frequently flying about trees, in 
search of caterpillars and minute insects. They are 
extremely voracious, and the larger kinds devour in- 
discriminately whatever other species they can sub- 
due. The larvae are very similar to the perfect in- 
sect, but of a softer substance and a more conical 
form. In the latter the last segment of the abdomen 
is lengthened in the shape of a tube, and furnished 
with two hairy appendages. 

The amount of known species does not fall much 
short of a thousand, and nearly eight hundred have 
been found in Britain. They were all included by 
Linnaeus in his comprehensive genus Staphylinus, 
but are now arranged in a multitude of subordinate 
genera. The term Staphylinus is now restricted to 
such as have all the palpi filiform, and the antennae 
inserted above the labrum and mandibles, between 
the eyes. The general appearance of the insects 


of this genus is exemplified in the conspicuous spe« 
cies represented. 

PLATE V. Fie. 1. 

It is about an inch and a half in length, of a black 
colour, rather smooth and glossy, with the two last 
segments of the abdomen rust red. The mandibles 
are very large, and armed with strong teeth on their 
internal edge. The head, which is large and square, 
having the surface thinly punctured, is united to 
the thorax by a short neck. The thorax is nearly 
half an oval, and considerably narrower than the 
head and elytra. The latter are rather thickly 
punctured, and have a narrow longitudinal ridge on 
each side of the sutural line. The abdomen is black, 
with the two apical segments deep red, and fringed 
on the sides with hair. The under side of the body, 
and the legs, are black. 

The individual from which the above figure is 
taken was obtained from North America. 


1 StapTu/Unus eryffirwus 3. Bolitobius atricaptilus 
... ajmtfioluius fidgidus. 4. Zirophorus ea&ratus. 



PLATE V. Fig. 2. 

Staph, fulgidus, Paykull — Othius fulgidus, Leach, Stephen*. 
— Olivier, iii. No. 42, pi. 4, fig. 34, a, &, c. 

This genus includes such brachelytrous insects as 
are of a linear shape, with the head and thorax in 
the form of an elongated square, the antennae placed 
near each other at the base, and in general suddenly 
bent, or geniculated, as it is called, and having the 
greater number of the joints somewhat granular or 
cup-shaped. The legs are rather short and strong, 
and the anterior tarsi very slightly or not at all di- 
lated. The species, of which we have given a mag- 
nified figure, is of frequent occurrence in most parts 
of Britain and the north of France. The head is 
oblong-ovate, of a glossy black colour, punctured on 
each side, and having a transverse series of three or 
four remote punctures between the eyes. The tho- 
rax is nearly of the same colour as the head, with a 
few small punctures on each side, among which three 
larger ones are observable. The elytra are of a deep 
red, shining, punctured, and clothed with short hairs. 
The abdomen is black, the terminal segment, as well 
as the under side of the body, pitch-red. The legs, 
antennae, and the organs of the mouth, are light-red. 



PLATE V. Fig. 3. 

Staphylinus atricapillus, Fabricius, Olivier, iii. No. 42, pi. 
4, fig. 39, a, 6 — Tachinus atricapillus, Gravenhorst, Mo. 
nog. Microp. 

This generic group was first separated by Dr 
Leach from the genus Tachinus of Gravenhorst. 
It includes about twenty small species, which appear 
to be found only in Europe and North America. 
They are known by having the body narrowed at 
both ends, the thorax nearly as long as wide, the 
anterior part of the head rather produced, and the 
four posterior tarsi considerably lengthened. They 
are ornamented with strongly contrasted marks of 
red, pale yellow, and blue black ; and the surface is 
remarkable for its high polish. All the species feed 
on mushrooms, boleti, &c, and seem most partial 
to them when in a putrescent state. B. atricapillus, 
of which we have given a magnified figure from 
Olivier's Entomologie, inhabits Britain, France, and 
most of the northern and middle countries of Europe. 
It varies from three to four lines in length, and is of 
a glossy black on the head, with the mouth and palpi 
reddish. The thorax is glossy red, without punc- 
tures, except on the sides : the elytra bright bluish 
black, with a pale crescent-shaped mark at the base 
of each, and three faint punctured lines along the 


disk ; the abdomen shining red, with the two last 
segments black. The legs and four lowest joints of 
the antennae are pale red, the six following joints of 
the latter black, and the terminal one pale red. 

The only other genus of this family now to be 
illustrated has been named Zirophorus. Its dis- 
tinctive characters are, the depressed body, the teeth 
on the outer edge of the anterior tibiae, the trans- 
verse head («. e. wider than long), square thorax, 
attached to the abdomen by a kind of narrow pe- 
duncle, and the size of the mandibles, which rather 
exceed the length of the head, and are deeply den- 
tate at the extremity. All the species, not exceed- 
ing seven in number, are natives of America and 
the great islands on the east of Asia. They inva- 
riably live under bark in a state of decomposition, a 
process which they greatly hasten by perforating it 
with numerous holes, and making it pervious to air 
and moisture. The most common species is Z. sco- 
riaceus ;* that which we have represented bears con- 
siderable resemblance to it, and is named 

* Figured in Griffith's Translation of Cuvier's Regne 
Animal, iv. pi. 32. 



PLATE V. Fig. 4. 
Ziroph. exaratus, Dejcan. 

The length is about nine lines. It is of a uniform 
black colour, very smooth and shining, the tarsi alone 
and the hairs on the antennae and legs, being brown. 
The mandibles are slightly curved upwards at the 
tip, and furnished with two or three large angular 
projections or teeth. The head, which is very short 
and wide, has a deeply impressed line down the 
middle, meeting at right angles a transverse one 
behind the head. The thorax and elytra are nearly 
of equal width, the surface flat, very smooth and 
shining, and the former having a line down the 
middle. The abdomen is very narrow, and fringed 
with brown hairs, the terminal segment conical. 
The under parts of the body and legs are black and 
shining ; the anterior tibiae armed with small teeth 
on the outer edge. The tarsi are brown or pitch- 
red. Inhabits Brazil, occurring not unfrequently. 


The next division of the pentamerous Coleoptera 
which presents itself to our notice, includes an ex- 
tensive variety of species, in which the antennae are 
more or less obviously serrated or pectinated, on 


which account they have received the above name. 
Many of these insects are distinguished by a pecu- 
liar conformation of the middle portion of the breast, 
which lies between the two anterior legs, and is pro- 
perly called the prosternum. It is defined on each 
side by a longitudinal groove, which sometimes re- 
ceives the antennae ; the anterior part is dilated and 
advanced close upon the mouth, while the opposite 
extremity is prolonged into a point which is *ad- 
mitted into a cavity placed in the hinder part 
of the breast, a little before the insertion of the 
middle pair of legs. Such as exhibit a structure of 
this kind constitute the section Sternoxes, a term 
which bears reference to the acute process of the 
breast just alluded to. In other instances the pro- 
sternum is not dilated below the head, and scarcely 
ever produced into a spine behind ; and the body, 
instead of being firm and rigid, as in the species of 
the former section, is usually of a soft and flexible 
consistence. The latter circumstance has suggest- 
ed the name of Malacodermes for this section, a 
term composed of two Greek words signifying a 
soft skin. Both of these sections comprehend in- 
sects of considerable interest, both for their beauty 
and singular economy, and which require therefore 
to have some space devoted to their history. 

The Sternoxes are divisible into two well-marked 
families, corresponding to the genera Buprestis and 
Elater of Linnaeus. The Buprestidae are most rea- 
dily distinguished by not having the posterior angles 


of the thorax prolonged into an acute spine, and by 
being incapable of leaping. The name Buprestis* 
was applied by the ancients to certain insects, of 
what particular kind cannot now be easily deter- 
mined, which were supposed to be possessed of qua- 
lities which rendered them noxious to cattle. Geof- 
froy transferred the term to another group, under 
the idea that such an application of it was more in 
accordance with its original usage, and distinguished 
the present one by the generic name of Cucujus. 
It now designates a numerous and well-defined fa- 
mily, including nearly 200 known species, many of 
which are the most beautiful and richly ornamented 
of the coleopterous tribes. They are adorned with 
the most brilliant green and golden colours, often 
glossed with purple and blue, and variegated with 
bands and markings of the highest metallic lustre. 
A few species inhabit this country, but several of 
the larger kinds included in the British Fauna have 
been introduced without sufficient authority. Their 
proper geographical position is within the tropics, 
where they may be seen flying about in great num- 
bers in the open parts of the forests and on the 
margin of rivers, or reposing on the trunks and 
leaves of trees, as if enjoying the heat of the meri- 
dian sun, which is reflected with great brilliancy 
from their polished surfaces. 

* From £flt/,-, an ox, and r^fu, I inflame. 


X.Buprestzs ckrysis. Z.Buprestis bLcolor. 

2. sternicornis 4 - _ aznoefia. 



PLATE VI. Fig. 1. 

Buprestis chrysis, Oliv. 32, pi. 2, fig. 8, a, <£, e. — Bup. ster- 
nicornis, De Geer — Bup. sternicornis, Var. Linn — Ster- 
nocera chrysis, Esch. Dejean. 

The body of this species is very stout and con- 
vex anteriorly, and the elytra taper towards the 
hinder extremity. The antennae are of a blackish 
colour, and rather shorter than the thorax. The 
head and thorax are of a brilliant golden green, 
and the latter is sculptured with numerous exca- 
vated dots, rather of large size, which have ash- 
coloured hairs in the bottom. Each elytron bears 
three small teeth at the hinder extremity ; the sur- 
face, although thickly covered with minute punc- 
tures, is smooth and glossy, and of a uniform deep 
chestnut colour, occasionally with a greenish gloss 
towards the base. The under side is of a brassy 
green, very highly polished, and the terminal seg- 
ment is usually margined with chestnut colour ; 
the legs are of the latter hue. The sternum has 
a strong conical projection directed downwards. 

This insect was once regarded as a variety of the 
following species, from which it differs in several 
important characters. It is a native of the East 
Indies, in some parts of which it appears to be rather 



PLATE VI. Fig. 2. 

Oliv. 32, pi. 6, fig. 52, a — Sternocera sternicornis, Esch, 

This fine species is rather of smaller size than 
the preceding, but very similar to it in form and 
sculpture. The colour of the whole body is bright 
green with copper-colour and golden reflections, 
the antennae and tarsi alone being blackish. The 
thorax is very convex, and has its hinder margin 
produced in the centre in the form of a triangle ; 
the surface is thickly covered with large and deeply 
impressed punctures. The elytra are pretty thickly 
marked with minute punctures, and numerous round- 
ed impressions, variable in size, which are filled with 
ash-coloured scales ; one of these placed at the base 
of each elytron is larger than the rest. At the apex 
of each elytron there are two small teeth, and another 
on the external edge at a small distance from them. 
The sternum is produced into a strong spine, and 
is bent downwards. Likewise an inhabitant of the 
East Indies. 



PLATE VI. Fig. 3. 

Buprestis bicolor, Fab — Catoxantha bicolor, Dejean. 

This is the largest and one of the most beautiful spe- 
cies of the splendid tribe to which it belongs. It seems 
to have been very little known to Entomologists of 
the old school, since it is not figured, and seldom 
alluded to, in any of their works. The specific name 
bicolor has no doubt been applied to it on account 
of the striking contrast between the colour of the 
upper and under side. The former is deep brassy 
green, very smooth and glossy ; the latter is light 
brownish yellow. The head has a deep groove 
down the middle, and. the greater part of it is oc- 
cupied by the eyes, which are of a deep chestnut 
colour. The thorax is small and depressed, thinly 
covered with minute punctures, and having a cal- 
losity at each of the hinder angles, marked with a 
pretty large triangular spot similar in colour to the 
under side of the body. The elytra are very long, 
and rather convex, punctured anteriorly, each of 
them having four slightly elevated lines running 
along their whole length, and a short oblique one 
near the suture at the base : the colour is brilliant 
brassy green, with faint coppery reflections towards 
the sides, and a large transverse spot of yellowish 
white on each, placed a little behind the middle. 


The wings are of a deep smoke brown, finely gloss- 
ed with blue. The under parts of the body are yel- 
lowish brown, and very glossy ; some of the inci- 
sures, and a large spot between the middle and 
hinder legs, are nearly black. The legs are shining 
green, and have a very fine pubescence, which is 
likewise observable on the sides of the breast. It 
is a native of Java, but by no means common. 


PLATE VI. Fig. 4. 
Kirby, Linn. Trans, xii. 381. 

This species is of the most brilliant blue, inclin- 
ing to green when seen in certain directions, and 
having a yellow band across the elytra towards the 
apex. The thorax has no groove in the centre. The 
elytra are somewhat furrowed ; the outer edge is ser- 
rated, two of the serratures forming acute teeth on 
each side of the suture at the hinder extremity. Both 
the upper and under side of the abdomen are bril- 
liant blue. It is a native of Brazil and other tropi- 
cal countries of America. 

The second division of the Sternoxes forms the 
family of the Elaterid^;. The latter bear a con- 
siderable resemblance to the insects of the former 
family, but are much less convex in their general 
form, narrower and more elongate, and have the 
hinder angles of the thorax prolonged into a strong 


triangular point like a spine. They are likewise 
distinguished by possessing the power of leaping to 
some height into the air when they happen to fall 
on their back — a provision not required by the Bu- 
prestidae, probably because the more rounded form 
of their bodies enables them without difficulty to 
regain their natural position. The legs of the Ela- 
teridae are so short and slender, that without some 
property of this kind they would be as unable to 
recover their standing as a reversed tortoise. The 
spring is produced by bending the head and tho- 
rax backwards, and suddenly forcing the projecting 
point into the hole designed to receive it, — while 
the action is assisted by the pressure of the elastic 
elytra and other parts of the body against the plain 
of position. This operation is attended with a sharp 
snapping noise, which has caused these insects to be 
termed click-beetles, in addition to the names of 
skipjacks and spring-beetles, by which they are like- 
wise known in England. 

We are but imperfectly acquainted with the me- 
tamorphoses of these insects, and the larvae of most 
of them appear to be unknown. The individual 
described by De Geer (E. undulatus) is long and 
cylindrical, provided with short antennae, palpi, and 
six feet. Its body consists of twelve scaly segments, 
of which the posterior forms a circular plate, fur- 
nished with two blunt points curving inwards : un- 
derneath there is a large fleshy protuberance, which 
seems to serve the office of a foot. The grub so 


well known in this country by the name of wire- 
worm is the larva of a kind of Elater (E. obscurus). 
It is of a very slender form (as will 
<q be seen by the accompanying figure), 

^■~ but so tough and horny that it can re- 
^r sist a considerable degree of pressure 
j without injury. It is said to continue 

) five years in the larva state, and during 

< that time it lives in the earth, devour- 

ing the roots of various kinds of corn 
and vegetables. The damage it occa- 
sions in this way is so considerable, that sometimes 
entire fields of corn are destroyed by it. The larva 
of the fire-fly, we are informed by Humboldt, feeds 
on the roots of the sugar-cane, and often proves very 
destructive to that plant in the West Indian islands. 
Several insects of this family are remarkably distin- 
guished by the power of emitting a bright phospho- 
ric light, which renders them exceedingly beautiful 
and conspicuous objects among the dark foliage of 
tropical woods, and when the shades of night have 
fallen upon the forests. This luminous property, 
which has procured for them the name of fire-flies, 
they possess in common with several other coleop- 
terous species, named glow-worms, which belong to 
a different section, and therefore fall to be consider- 
ed in a subsequent part of the volume. Besides 
these two groups, there is another, still more re- 
markable, known under the English generic appel- 
lation of Lantern-flies. In these insects the seat of 



2 porcatus 

3 line 

'• sutler ulis. 
5 distinctii r 


the luminous matter is an elongated projection from 
the head, in the form of a rostrum or snout, which 
Is dilated in one of the species (Fulgora lanterna- 
rid) into a figure not unlike a mitre, and in others 
is fantastically adorned with knobs and spines ; 
through this organ the light is suffused in a lambent 
effulgence of considerable brilliancy. These insects, 
however, belong to the order ITemiptera, and their 
history does not fall within the scope of the present 

The species of fire-fly that affords the finest exhi- 
bition of this interesting phenomenon, is named 


PLATE VII. Fig. 1. 
Pyroporus noctiluca, Dejean. 

It is upwards of an inch long, and one third of an 
inch broad. The colour is a uniform obscure blackish 
brown, and the body is everywhere covered with 
a short light-brown pubescence. The thorax is 
pretty convex, and there are two small depressions 
(at least in one of the sexes) on the surface before 
the middle ; the hinder angles are produced into a 
strong conical spine, and between the hinder angle 
and the middle there is placed on each side a smooth 
convex round spot of a yellow colour. The elytra 
are indistinctly marked with rows of small punctures, 
which are most obvious at the base. The under 


parts of the body, as well as the legs, are brownish 
black, and covered with pubescence of a somewhat 
lighter hue. 

This insect is pretty widely distributed over the 
intertropical countries of South America, and the 
West Indian islands. When it walks or is at rest, 
the principal light which it emits issues from the 
two yellow tubercles placed at the lateral margins 
of the thorax ; but when the wings and elytra are 
expanded in the act of flight, another luminous 
spot is disclosed in the hinder part of the thorax. 
This luminosity is so considerable, that it is often 
employed in the countries where it prevails as a 
substitute fbr artificial lights. A single insect is 
sufficient to enable a person to decipher the 
smallest written character, and when several are 
"brought together, their light is said to suffice for all 
the ordinary evening occupations of an Indian's 
dwelling. They are employed for many useful pur- 
poses ; the Indians are said to have formerly used 
them instead of flambeaux in their hunting and fish- 
ing expeditions, and when travelling in the night 
they were accustomed to fasten them to their feet 
and hands. Another important service is rendered 
by these insects in destroying the gnats and mus- 
quitoes, which abound in tropical countries to the 
incessant annoyance of the inhabitants. Like most 
other animals of nocturnal habits, the fire-flies are 
attracted by strong light, and the Indians avail 
themselves of this circumstance to obtain them for 


the purposes above mentioned, The mode in which 
they are taken, and several curious particulars re- 
specting their appearance and uses, are thus quaintly 
described by an old author: — "Whoso wanteth 
cucuij," says Pietro Martire, in his Decades of the 
New World, " goeth out of the house in the first 
twilight of the night, carrying a burning fire-brande 
in his hande, and ascendeth the next hillock, that 
the cucuij may see it, and hee swingeth the fire- 
brande about, calling cucuius aloud, and beateth the 
ayre with often calling and crying out cucirie, cu- 
cuie. Many simple people suppose that the cucuij, 
delighted with that noise, come flying and flocking 
together to the bellowing sound of him that calleth 
them, for they come with a speedy and headlong 
course ; but I rather thinke that the cucuij make 
haste to the brightness of the fire-brande, because 
swarmes of gnattes fly into every light, which the 
cucuij eat in the very ayre, as the martlets and 
swallow r es doe. Some cucuius sometimes followeth 
the fire-brande, and lighteth on the grounde ; then 
is he easily taken, as travellers may take a beetle if 
they have need thereof walking with his wings shut. 
In sport and merriment, or to the intent to terrify 
such as are afrayed of every shadow, they say that 
many wanton wild fellowes sometimes rubbed their 
faces by night with the fleshe of a cucuius, being 
killed, with purpose to meet their neighbours with 
a flaming countenance, as with us wanton young 
men, putting a gaping vizard over their face, en- 


deavour to terrify children, or women who are easily 

frighted/' &c. 

During the splendour of a tropical sunshine — 

the long, sunny lapse of a summer day's light 

Shining on, shining on — 

the sombre hues of the fire-flies attract but little at- 
tention amidst the infinite variety of living beings 
of more imposing form and attractive manners that 
people to overflowing these prolific lands, while 
every lesser light is lost in the effulgency of " re- 
dundant day." But no sooner do the lofty and 
umbrageous trees begin to throw their shadows 
across the landscape, than occasional specks of light 
are seen to flit amidst the growing obscurity. As 
the darkness increases, these become more nume- 
rous ; they mount into the air and shoot athwart the 
gloom like igneous meteors, and when the underwood 
is disturbed they rise in such numbers that they span- 
gle the air as with a thousand stars. The brilliancy 
of this spectacle, so far transcending any similar ap- 
pearance witnessed in temperate climates, seldom 
fails to excite the admiration of an European tra- 
veller. Its effect on some British visitors has been 
thus described : 

Sorrowing, we beheld 

The night come on ; but soon did night display 
More wonders than it veiled ; innumeroua tribes 
From the wood-cover swarmed, and darkness made 
Their beauties visible ; one while they streamed 
A bright blue radiance upon flowers that closed 


Their gorgeous colours from the eye of day ; 
Now motionless and dark, eluded search, 
Self-shrouded ; and anon, starring the sky, 
Rose like a shower of fire.* 

An appearance alike remarkable for its singularity 
and beauty, is well fitted to afford imagery to the 
poetry and figurative oratory of the natives of the 
countries where it prevails ; and if a learned Greek 
could suppose the hum of an obscure beetle to be 
the voice of the gods speaking to mankind, f it need 
less excite our wonder that some savage nations, 
unacquainted with the causes of natural phenome- 
na, and so prone to consider " holy light" as a di- 
vine effulgence, should have regarded even the more 
obscure manifestations of a supposed celestial princi- 
ple with superstitious veneration, and imagined these 
illuminated beings to be the appointed vehicles for 
conveying the souls of the departed to their final 
resting place. 

The following extract contains an account of the 
introduction of a few fire-flies into Britain : — " Mr 
Lees having been struck with the beauty of the 
fire-fly on his arrival in the West Indies, and be- 
coming desirous to keep them alive, made several 
attempts during his residence at the Bahamas ; but 

* Southey's Madoc. 

•(■ Dum volant, tanto stridore vel murmure et gemitu 
potius aerem replent, ut per eos Deorum cum hominibus 
fieri colloquia Laertius scriberet — Mouf. Thcat. 134. 


was unable to succeed in his object, until he learned 
from a lady, that the cage containing the insects 
should be daily immersed in cold water. This is 
rendered necessary from their natural habitation 
being in swampy meadows, where, during the day, 
they probably lie concealed in the wet herbage. 
Perhaps the introduction of damp moss into the cage 
(which ought to be made of wood, and not glued 
together) might be more natural and salutary to the 
insects. The Elaters feed upon the sugar-cane, and 
should the larvae do so likewise, which is more than 
probable, from their being xylophagous, they must 
do incredible mischief to the planters, as they are 
produced in abundance in the West Indian islands, 
and are very generally distributed over them. Mr 
Lees having taken some sugar-cane to sea with him 
to feed the beetles upon, he observed that they 
readily broke the wood away with their mandibles 
to obtain the saccharine matter on which they fed ; 
and after his stock was consumed, he gave them 
brown sugar, by which means they were kept alive 
the whole of their voyage, from June to the middle 
of September. 

" The insect, when roused and in perfect vigour, 
seems to be completely saturated with the luminous 
secretion, since the back, when the elytra and wings 
are expanded, has a phosphoric appearance; and 
there is a strong light at the base of the abdomen, 
where the posU ior coxae are attached, which being 
apparent only in some, I thought might be peculiar 


to one sex, but its absence was more probably caused 
by a languid state of the animal. The light is far 
more beautiful in colour, and greater in power, than 
the mild secretion of the glow-worm ; and the sub- 
stance, if removed from the beetle immediately after 
death, will remain luminous like phosphorus, on the 
objects on which it is placed. 

" It is to be hoped that others will be induced to 
bring these insects over alive earlier in the season ; 
for there can be little doubt that they would live 
through a warm summer in this climate. I do not 
despair therefore of seeing our fair countrywomen 
at home, as well as abroad, employing these living 
gems to add to the splendour of their attire. At 
the Havannah they are collected and sold for orna- 
menting the ladies' head-dresses at evening parties, 
when they are, I understand, generally confined 
under gauze which covers the head, and from among 
the ringlets of hair these terrestrial stars shine forth 
with all their beauty."* 


PLATE VII. Fig. 2. 

Fabricius — Olivier, ii. No. 31, pi. 7, fig. 74 — Chalcolepi- 
dius porcatus, Esch — Dejean. 

The body of this insect is of a shining black, but 
it derives its superficial colour from a coating of 
* Zoological Journal, vol. iii. p. 379. 


scales, which are either white or green. The head 
and central portion of the thorax are more or less 
green, but the scales are usually abraded, when they 
appear shining black; the sides of the latter are 
whitish. The elytra are marked with deep furrows, 
which approximate in pairs, and are more or less 
filled with white scales, making the surface appear 
as if lined with white. The under parts of the body, 
and the legs, are green, except where the black sur- 
face is exposed by the scales being rubbed off. 

Found in considerable abundance in Brazil, Cay- 
enne, and other parts of tropical America. It is 
almost always found on the trunks of trees, and falls 
to the ground when the hand is extended to seize 


PLATE VII. Fig. 3. 

Fabricius — Olivier, ii. No. 31, pi. 6, fig. 63 — Hemirhipua 
lineatus, Latreille, Dejean. 

The prevailing hue of this large and conspicuous 
insect is black, and the surface is covered with a 
fine pubescence, which gives it a silky gloss. The 
body is elongate, and rather obtuse at the two ex- 
tremities. The antennae are black. The head, 
outer margin of the thorax, and a line down the 
middle, are covered with silky pubescence of a red- 
dish colour. The elytra are striated,- black, with a 


longitudinal elevated line of red down the middle of 
each, which is turned backwards at the base. The 
under side of the body, and the legs, are black. 

An inhabitant of the same countries as the pre- 
ceding species, and often found in company with it. 


PLATE VII. Fig 4. 

Fabricius — Olivier, ii. No. 31, pi. 1, fig. 3, a, &, c, d — Ela- 
ter angulatus, Drury's Illustrations, iii. pi. 47, fig. 5. 

This species is liable to considerable variation 
both in size and markings. The head and antennae 
are black, and the former has an angular projection 
on each side anteriorly. The thorax is rather long 
and narrow, and is produced on each side before the 
middle into an acute angle : the colour is yellow, 
with a broad streak of black down the centre ; and 
occasionally there is a rounded spot of black placed 
between the dorsal line and the lateral projections. 
The scutellum is black. The elytra are reddish 
yellow, with a broad band of black on each side, and 
another along the suture, which meet at the apex, 
and gradually become narrower at the opposite ex- 
tremity, scarcely extending to the base. The legt 
and under side of the abdomen are reddish yellow, 
the latter with two longitudinal streaks of black. 

Likewise a native of South America, where it ap- 
pears to be pretty common. 



PLATE VII. Fig. 5. 

Pericalus distinctus, Herbst — Pericalus acuminatus, De- 
jean, Cat. 

This handsome species is of a reddish chestnut 
colour, very glossy, and almost free from pubescence. 
The head, which is excavated in the middle, and 
the two lower joints of the antennae, are reddish, the 
remaining joints of the latter dusky. The thorax 
is deeply punctured, especially towards the sides, 
and has a black streak down the middle. The ely- 
tra are rather convex, and taper to the hinder ex- 
tremity, where they are produced into a kind of 
spine ; the surface marked with straight punctured 
lines, a dark-brown band along the middle of each 
elytron, and another on each side of the sutural line. 
The under side and legs are chestnut red. 

Found in South America, and often observed, 
according to M. Lacordaire, along with several of 
the species already described, resting on the stems 
of trees. 


Kt, gland 


V. v 



1 Elate Zycus festivus 

/ era varie^ . 




Fdbricius — Olivier, ii. No. 31, pi. 4, fig. 36, #, I — Melan- 
oxanthus melanocephalus, Esch. Dejean. 

This insect, of which we have given a greatly en- 
larged figure from Olivier, bears some resemblance 
to the indigenous species E. balteatus. The anten- 
nae and head are black. The thorax is reddish, very 
smooth and shining, and there is an oblong spot of 
black extending from the head rather beyond the 
middle. The elytra are reddish, with the hinder 
extremity black, the surface marked with punctured 
lines. The under side and legs are red, the extre- 
mity of the abdomen being more or less suffused 
with dusky black. It is a native of the East Indies. 

The section of the Serricornes, formed by spe- 
cies with a somewhat flexible integument, compre- 
hends the interesting family of glow-worms, or Lam- 
pyridce. It corresponds to the undivided genus Lam- 
pyris as constituted by Linnaeus. The species may 
be known by having antennae approximating at the 
base, the head small and nearly concealed by the 
projecting edge of the thorax, and the body de- 
pressed or very slightly convex. In the male the 
eyes are so large as to occupy almost the whole 
head. The penultimate joint of the tarsi is always 
divided into two lobes, and the claws are simple ; 


that is, without teeth or other appendage. But 
these insects are best known by the remarkable 
property which many of them possess of diffusing 
a phosphoric light, a peculiarity which has suggest- 
ed a name for them in every country where they 
occur. Only one species, L. noctiluca, is to be 
found in Britain. It is abundant in some of the 
southern counties of England, but occurs very sel- 
dom in Scotland, although it has been noticed in 
several places in the southern division of that coun- 
try. One of the most interesting of those indige- 
nous to Europe, is named 


PLATE VIII. Fig. 2. 

Lampyris Italica, Linn — Olivier, Entom. ii. Xo. 28, p. 18, 
pi. 2, fig. 12, a, &, c, d — Lampyris australis, Fab — Co- 
liphotia Italica, Dejean. 

This is one of the smallest luminous insects with 
which we are acquainted, the ordinary length not 
exceeding three lines and a half. The prevailing 
hue is blackish brown. The thorax and scutellum 
are reddish yellow, pretty deeply punctured and pu- 
bescent, and the former has sometimes a dusky spot 
in the centre. The elytra are somewhat rough with 
numerous and rather deeply impressed punctures. 
The breast and legs (with the exception of the 
tarsi) are yellow, and the abdomen dusky black, 


with the two terminal segments white, slightly 
tinged with yellow. 

This species is very abundant throughout the 
southern parts of Europe, particularly in Italy, 
where it is named Lucciola. Contrary to what is 
observed in the British Glow-worm, both sexes are 
provided with wings. When the insect either 
perches or creeps little light is therefore perceptible, 
but it becomes obvious as soon as the wing-case? 
are opened for flight. It is not however constant, 
but has a kind of scintillating appearance, recur- 
ring at every other instant, as if disclosed by the 
opening of the wings at each successive expansion. 
When the insect is laid upon its back, a position 
from which it cannot easily recover itself, the Ugh* 
is steady and unvarying. It is of considerable in- 
tensity in a single insect, and when three or four 
are brought together, it is sufficient to render the 
smallest objects around quite visible. It is appa- 
rent in the twilight, but is not fully displayed till the 
darkness is confirmed. It then becomes a pheno- 
menon of some interest and beauty, as the insects 
are so numerous and active that their luminous 
tracks through the air can be traced in all direc- 

Upward and downward, thwarting and convolved ; 

and they spangle the shrubs and herbage with 
innumerable radiant points. Their appearance and 
effect in the neighbourhood of Genoa, is thus de- 
scribed by Sir J. E. Smith : — " On the eve of St John 


Baptist, the great festival of Genoa, the town was 
brilliantly illuminated ; while along the purple coast 
to the west, the last rays of the setting sun still 
trembled on the hills, and the moon arose in the 
east. To these three contrasted lights was added the 
singular effect of the innumerable flying glow-worms, 
darting their momentary splendour through all the 
streets, gardens, and rooms. We used frequently 
to catch these little insects, and entangle them in 
the ladies' hair and head-dresses, a decoration the 
women in some countries adopt themselves. A 
lady of Genoa told me a singular anecdote of some 
Moorish women of rank, taken prisoners by the 
Genoese, and detained for a ransom. They were 
lodged in a villa out of the town, and visited, dur- 
ing their stay, by several families. A party going 
to see them one summer's evening after a hot day, 
were surprised to find all their doors and windows 
close shut, and themselves in the utmost terror and 
distress. They had conceived an idea that these 
luminous flies were the disturbed souls of their re- 
latives. The common people of Genoa too suppose 
them to be of a spiritual nature, and to come out of 
the graves — of course they are beheld with abhor- 

• Sketch of a Tour on the Continent, vol. iii. p. 84. 



PLATE VIII. Fig. 5. 

ATi?%, Linn. Trans, vol. xii. 387, pi- 21, fig. 4 feelas 

Latreillii, Dejean. 

This insect may be regarded as representing a 
pretty numerous group of glow-worms confined to 
the tropical parts of America, and differing consi- 
derably in structure from the European species. 
Some of them are the largest of their tribe, and 
they contribute more than any other to embellish 
the nights of the torrid zone, as the light which 
they emit is of considerable splendour, and their 
flight higher in the air and longer sustained than 
in the other kinds. They pass the day in a state of 
inactivity, and are usually found on the trunks of 
trees, clinging to the bark or concealed in its fis- 

The species represented, which Mr Kirby has de- 
dicated to Latreille, Entomologorum facile princeps, 
is about twelve to thirteen lines in length. The 
body is ovate, and of a dull black colour. The an- 
tennae of the male consist of ten joints, all of which, 
except the radical and terminal ones, emit a long, 
compressed, flexible branchlet from each side : in 
the female the antennae are eleven jointed, and 
deeply serrated on both sides. The thorax is of a 
pale brownish yellow, marked with three blackish 


spots, of which the central one is longest and some- 
what triangular. The elytra are very thickly co- 
vered with minute punctures ; the colour blackish, 
except the outer margin, the suture, and a broad 
streak extending from each shoulder rather beyond 
the middle, which are of a light yellowish brown. 
The wings are black. It is found in Brazil and 
other intertropical countries of South America. 

The genus Lycus is distinguished by having the 
snout longer than the hinder part of the head, and 
the antennae serrated. The elytra are often remark- 
ably dilated at the sides, and usually reticulated on 
the surface. They are likewise enlarged at the hin- 
der extremity, and rounded, particularly in the fe- 


PLATE VIII. Fig. 4. 

Lampyris festiva, Donovan's Brit. Ins. xvi. pi. 544. 

The length of this insect is about three lines and 
a half The colour is a tawny orange, with the apex 
of the elytra, a spot on the middle of the thorax, and 
the under side of the body and legs, brownish black. 
Each elytron has four elevated lines, the spaces be- 
tween which are deeply punctured. It is said by 
Donovan to have been found in England, but is 
considered a doubtful native. 



PLATE VIII. Fig. 5. 

Fabricius — Olivier % ii. No. 27, pi. 3, fig. 18, a, b. 

This insect affords an example of the family Me- 
lyridce, which is characterised by short and filiform 
palpi, mandibles notched at the point, a narrow 
elongated body, undivided joints in the tarsi, and 
claws furnished with a single tooth. The genus 
Malachius* generally has the joints of the antennas 
a little produced on the inner side ; the thorax is 
wider than the head, and has a vesicle, capable of 
being dilated and contracted, beneath each of the 
anterior angles. The radical joints of the antennae 
are often irregular in the male. The species are 
numerous, amounting to more than a hundred, but 
only fifteen of these occur in Britain. They are 
chiefly European, but a few are found in every 
quarter of the world. The species above refer- 
red to (which is represented as it appears under 
a powerful magnifier) is a native of France and 
England. It is of a brassy-green colour, with the 
sides of the thorax and tips of the elytra of a blood 
red. The under parts of the body and legs are like- 
wise green, and the antennae black. 

Another tribe of malacodermatous insects consti- 

* From fixXatnx % referring to the softness of the body. 


tute the family Tillidce of Dr Leach. Its principal 
characters are found in the beautiful species which 
we have selected to represent it. It was first de- 
scribed by Mr Kirby, under the name of 


PLATE VIII. Fig. 6. 

Kirby, Linncean Trans, xii. p. 392, pi. 21, fig. 7. 

In this genus the upper lip is emarginate, the ter- 
minal joint of the maxillary palpi compressed and 
oblong, while the same joint in the labial palpi is 
hatchet shaped ; the body is convex, and the thorax 
much contracted behind. The colour of the only 
species known is brownish black on the body. The 
head and thorax are deeply punctured, and the an- 
tennae are somewhat reddish. The elytra are of a 
fine red, with four large quadrate yellow spots, one 
on each shoulder, and two behind the middle form- 
ing a band, with several small yellow spots in the 
space between : behind the yellow band there is 
another of a brown colour, and the apex is unspotted. 
The legs are dusky black. It is a native of Brazil 


The name of this family, like most of those that 
have preceded it, refers to the structure of the an- 
tennae, which become thicker at the extremity, and 


often form a nearly solid club or knob. The spe- 
cies are provided with only two pair of palpi, one of 
them affixed to the maxillae, the other to the under 
lip. The joints of the tarsi are for the most part 
undivided. The most conspicuous and interesting 
genus which it contains is named Necrophorus, 
a term nearly corresponding in meaning to the 
English one Burying -beetle, and both of them re- 
ferring to a remarkable peculiarity in the manners 
of the insects. The females deposit their eggs in 
the decaying carcasses of moles, mice, and other 
small animals, which they previously bury for this 
purpose. To effect this operation, seemingly so 
disproportionate to their size and strength, two or 
three beetles generally unite their labours, and re- 
move the earth from beneath the dead body, which 
gradually sinks into the excavation. During this 
process they may be seen dragging at the object 
from below, and even mounting upon it as if to tread 
it into the grave. They labour at their task of inhu- 
mation with the most unwearied industry. According 
to Mr Gleditsh, who was the first to give an accurate 
account of the proceedings of these grave-diggers, 
four beetles were observed to inter in a very small 
space of earth, to which they were confined, no 
fewer than twelve carcasses, few of which were in- 
ferior in size to a mole. The object of all this so- 
licitude is the security and comfort of their young, 
as the carcass, which forms a nidus for the eggs, if 
left exposed, would run the risk of being devoured 


by beasts of prey, or the juices would be speedily 
evaporated by the heat of the sun, and the maggots 
thus deprived of their appropriate nourishment. 
The Necrophori are distinguished by the form of 
the antennae, which are very little longer than the 
head, with the four last joints forming a perfoliate 
club, as represented in the following figure. The 
mandibles are without teeth, and 
the elytra are of an oblong-quad- 
rate form, leaving three or four of 
the segments of the abdomen un- 
covered. The species, amounting 
to near thirty, are confined, as far 
as is yet known, to Europe and the 
northern parts of America. They are almost in- 
variably of a brownish-black colour, frequently va- 
riegated with spots and bands of orange yellow. 
Seven different kinds occur in Britain, one of which 
is represented on the accompanying plate. 


PLATE IX. Fig. 1. 

Silpha Humator, Olivier — Marsha??!^ Entom. Brit Do- 
novan's British Insects, ii. pi. 537, fig. 1. 

This species is entirely of a brownish-black co- 
lour, except the three last joints of the antennas, which 
are orange yellow. The head and thorax are very 
faintly punctured, and the surface of the latter is 





1. Necroptwrus ffiwrntor 3. SOpha 4-nuiculuta 
d.JVecrodes moralis a dwmrenus s-cropkularuu 

5 Mister renz/brmis. 


ratlier unequal. The elytra are more deeply punc- 
tured ; each of them with three slightly elevated 
lines, and a tubercle towards the hinder extremity 
near the outer angle. The breast is clothed with 
yellow hairs, and those on the legs are of the same 
colour. It is frequently met with in England and Scot- 
land, and most of the northern countries of Europe. 


PLATE IX. Fig. 2. 

Silpha littoralis, Linn — Marsham — Curtis' Brit. Ent. vii. 

In this genus the antennae are considerably longer 
than the head, but shorter than the thorax, thick- 
ening gradually from the fifth joint to the apex. 
The thorax is nearly orbicular, and the mandibles 
have a tooth near the middle. The only species 
found in Britain is that referred to above. It is 
entirely of a black colour, with the three terminal 
joints of the antennae orange yellow. There are 
three elevated lines on each elytron, the spaces be- 
tween which are very thickly punctured : the se- 
cond line is angulated a little behind the middle, 
and connected with the third by a tubercle. The 
hinder thighs are very thick, and dentate on the 
under side. It is found on the shores of the sea 
and the banks of rivers, under sea-weed, carrion, 
&c. occurring not unfrequently. 



PLATE IX. Fig. 3. 

Linn. — Donovan — Mar sham — Silpha 4-niaculata, Samon. 
die's Useful Compend. pi. 2, fig. 7* 

This genus, as originally constituted by Linnaeus, 
was of great extent, and included both the preced- 
ing genera, besides several others. In its modern 
application it comprehends such insects as have the 
antennae slightly compressed, and thickening gradu- 
ally from the seventh joint to the apex. The body 
is nearly in the form of a shield, depressed or very 
slightly convex, and the thorax is semicircular, with 
the anterior part truncated or very obtuse. The 
species feed chiefly on decaying animal matter, and 
are of great service in freeing the surface of the 
earth from putrid substances which might otherwise 
infect the air. Owing to the reason formerly as- 
signed, few or none of these creatures are found in 
tropical countries.* They are chiefly confined to the 
temperate regions of America, and to Europe. Up- 
wards of thirty kinds are named in our entomologi- 
cal catalogues, and about a dozen of these inhabit 
Britain. S. quadripunctata, one of the most orna- 
mental of the tribe, is not unfrequent in France and 
England and has been found in Scotland as far 

* Page 96. 


north as Sutherlandshire. It is black and shining, 
with the sides of the thorax and elytra pale yellow, 
the latter with two rounded spots of black on each. 
The length is from five to six lines. 


PLATE IX. Fig. 4. 

Fdbricius — Byrrhus scrophularise, Linn — Anth. Scroph., 
Olivier, ii. No. 14, pi. 1, fig. 5, a, b. 

This insect scarcely exceeds two lines in length, 
the accompanying figure is therefore magnified to 
show its structure and markings with greater dis- 
tinctness. The head is black, and sometimes has 
a small white spot on the forehead. The antennae 
are reddish near the base, but black towards the 
tip. The thorax is black, with the sides whitish, 
and the hinder edge frequently of a deep-red colour. 
The elytra are black, with three bands of white, 
which are interrupted towards the suture : the latter 
is deep red. The under side is clothed with white 
scales, and the legs are brownish black. It occurs 
in Britain and almost every country of Europe. The 
larvae feed on dried animal substances, and are some- 
times very destructive in museums, by attacking the 
skins of preserved specimens. The perfect insects 
frequent flowers, a circumstance to which the gene- 
ric name bears reference 


PLATE IX. Fig. 5. 

This genus is readily recognised by the peculiar 
form of the body. It is almost square, and the ely- 
tra are short and truncated at the extremity. The 
legs are contractile, that is, they are short and com- 
pressed, and capable of being drawn close to the 
body. The lower joint of the antennae is very long, 
and forms an angle with the upper portion which 
terminates in a rounded knob. All these insects 
are of small size, and find their nourishment in ca- 
daverous and excrementitious matters. The outer 
covering is very rigid, and when the legs are con- 
tracted, they can bear a great degree of pressure 
without injury. When alarmed, they lie perfectly 
still, and often deceive their enemies by simulating 
death with great accuracy and perseverance. About 
120 species are known to entomologists, and of these 
upwards of 30 inhabit this country. The species 
figured as an example, is of a glossy black colour, 
with two spots of red on the elytra. The latter have 
two or three longitudinal ridges, and are rather 
thickly punctured at the sides. The under side of 
the body and legs are likewise black, the latter den- 
tate on their outer edge. It is found in various 
parts of Europe. 



This important section of the pentamerous bee- 
tles is so designated, because the antennae terminate 
in a club or large knob, composed of several laminae 
or thin plates, disposed somewhat like the leaves of 
a book, and which the insects can open and shut at 
pleasure. They are inserted in a deep excavation, 
under the lateral edges of the head, and usually con- 
sist of nine or ten joints. The anterior pair of legs 
are somewhat adapted for digging, as the tibiae are 
rather broad, and armed with strong spines on the 
terminal angles and outer sides. As many of these 
insects feed on substances in a state of decomposi- 
tion, which scarcely require any further trituration 
to fit them for food, the mandibles are sometimes 
of a membranous substance, — a peculiarity not ob- 
servable in any other Coleoptera. 

This division is of great extent, the most recent 
enumeration of its species making them amount to 
upwards of 2000. Scarcely more than 120 occur in 
Britain, but several of these are the most conspicu- 
ous and best known of our native Coleoptera, such, 
for example, as the Stag-beetle and the Cockchafer. 
The tropical kinds are distinguished by their mag- 
nitude, and are by far the most remarkable-looking 
of their tribe, owing to the variety of form assumed 
by the head and thorax, and the extraordinary horn- 
like processes with which these parts are sometimes 
furnished. Such of the species as feed on flowers 


and living vegetation are frequently adorned with 
very beautiful and brilliant colours, but those that 
derive their nourishment from decomposed vegeta- 
bles are usually of a sombre hue. 

The larvae of these insects are long, soft, semicy- 
lindrical worms, divided into thirteen segments in- 
cluding the head, which is of a scaly texture, and pro- 
vided with powerful mandibles. The feet are six 
in number, and placed on the three segments im- 
mediately behind the head. Nine of the rings or 
segments have a conspicuous stigmatic opening, or 
air hole, on each side. The hinder portion of the 
body is much thicker than the other parts, and is 
usually curved inwards beneath the belly, even when 
the insect is in motion. Its movements are conse- 
quently slow and awkward, and the short scaly feet 
proving inadequate to support the equilibrium of 
the arched back, it frequently rolls over, or falls on 
one side. The general 
appearance of these grubs 
will be better understood 
from the annexed figure of 
that of the common Cock- 
chafer. Many of them live 
among excrementitious 
substances, or decomposed 
vegetables ; others consume the roots of plants, and 
often occasion very great injury to agricultural pro- 
duce. Before undergoing the metamorphosis by 
which they are converted into perfect beetles, the 


iarva forms for its protection an oval cocoon, con- 
structed of earth and the gnawed fragments of other 
materials, agglutinated by a viscous secretion which 
exudes from its body. 

The lamellicorn insects may be regarded as con- 
stituting two great groups or tribes, corresponding 
to the two comprehensive genera of Linnaeus, Sca- 
rabaeus and Lucanus. In the former the antennae 
terminate in a foliated mass, generally capable of 
being alternately closed or expanded ; but it is 
sometimes composed of joints that fit into each other, 
either in a globular form, or in the shape of a re- 
versed cone : the mandibles are nearly alike in both* 
sexes, and the males are frequently distinguished 
by horns or prominences on the head and thorax. 

The first generic group among the Scarab^idjE, 
which requires to be noticed, has been named 


The term is probably derived from the Greek 
privative a, and rtvypg, a weapon or implement of 
war, in allusion to the head being without horns, 
contrary to what is observed in most of the allied 
genera. The antennae consist of nine joints, the 
three next the apex forming a foliaceous knob. The 
body is somewhat rounded, and usually rather de- 
pressed, and there is scarcely any appreciable mark 
of distinction in the external appearance of the two 
sexes. The maxillae terminate in a membranous 


lobe, which is dilated considerably at the tip, and 
bent inwards. The terminal joint of the labial pal- 
pi is longer than the others, and nearly cylindric, 
but slightly thickened in the middle. The external 
margin of the elytra is straight without any sinuosity, 
a character which distinguishes the true Ateuchi from 
the species that constitute the genus Gymnopleurus. 
There is no perceptible scutellum, nor any opening 
at the base of the sutural line indicating its place. 
The four hinder legs are slender, elongate, and 
fringed with long hairs ; the tibia? are scarcely thick- 
ened at the tip, where they are truncated obliquely, 
and armed with a strong acute spine. The dilated 
anterior part of the head is divided into six teeth, 
and an elevated process of the cheek (strictly the 
canthus) runs nearly across the eye, dividing the 
upper portion from the lower. 

The genus, as above defined, contains about 
twenty-six species. They are confined to the old 
world, in which however they have an extensive 
range of distribution. 



PLATE X. Fig. 1. 

Scarabseus sacer, Linn — Fabricius — Olivier, Entom. pi. 8, 
fig. 59, a, b. 

The colour is entirely black, and the surface ra- 



Li*uu\i sc. 


ther shining, except the elytra, which are somewhat 
obscure. The anterior part of the head is rough with 
shallow punctures, and there are two small approxi- 
mating tubercles placed in the middle of the fore- 
head between the eyes. The thorax is somewhat 
convex, marked with numerous minute points ante- 
riorly, and entirely surrounded by a narrow margin, 
which is crenulated behind. The elytra are usually 
more obscure than the other parts of the body, and 
without any other impressions on their surface than 
a few scattered punctures. The anterior tibiae are 
armed with four long teeth on their outer edge, and 
the posterior pair are slightly bent inwards. All of 
them are pretty thickly clothed with fine hairs. 

This species is very common in all the southern 
countries of Europe, especially in those that lie 
along the shores of the Mediterranean. It likewise 
occurs in the east, and seems to be diffused over all 
Africa, from Egypt to the Cape of Good Hope. 

This renowned insect has been singularly exempt- 
ed from the obscurity and neglect which have fallen 
to the lot of most of its tribe. It was one of those 
" creeping things" to which the Egyptians paid di- 
vine honours, and appears to have constituted one 
of the favourite deities of that remarkable people. 
If it enjoyed an inferior degree of veneration to the 
snake-devouring Ibis, it certainly far surpassed in 
virtue the sacred leeks and onions, from which Ju- 
venal takes occasion to congratulate the nation on 
account of the number and dignity of its gods ; 



Porrum et csepe nefas violare, et frangere morsu. 
O sanctas gentes, quibus hsec nascuntur in hortis 
Numina ! 

It was consecrated to the sun, and representations 
of it are of frequent occurrence in their hieroglyphi- 
cal writings ; it was likewise sculptured on their rings, 
bracelets, necklaces, and other ornaments, and even 
enclosed in their coffins along with the embalmed 
bodies of the dead. As typical of the luminary 
which is the fountain of light and heat, and the 
source of all abundance, it came likewise to be re- 
garded as the emblem of fertility ; and we are in- 
formed by Dr Clarke that it is eaten by the Egyp- 
tian women, even at the present day, under the idea 
that it is of efficacy for this purpose. As natural 
objects were regarded with religious veneration in 
Egypt, either in consequence of their being of uti- 
lity to the inhabitants,* or because they were con- 
ceived peculiarly adapted to symbolize some higher 
nature, and bring it by means of its representative 
more immediately under the influence of the senses, 
we are likely to find in one of these causes the rea- 
son of this species being raised to such distinguished 

Many of the Scarabceidce or larger kinds of dung- 

* Ipsi qui irridentur Egyptii nullam belluam, nisi ob 
aliquam utilitatem, quam ex ea caperent, consecraverunt; 
velut Ibes maximam vim serpentium conficiunt, &c. Ci- 
cero de Nat. Deorum. 


chafers, exhibit some very remarkable instincts in 
forming a proper nidus or receptacle for their eggs, 
and providing for the welfare of their progeny. This 
is witnessed to a certain extent in the common dor 
or clock ( Geotrupes stercorarius) — an insect whose 
" drowsy hum" falls so often on our ear during a 
walk in the country in the stillness of an autumnal 
twilight — which digs a cylindrical hole in the earth, 
often of considerable depth, and conveys a small 
quantity of dung to the bottom, in which she de- 
posits her eggs. But the habits of the group now 
under consideration, which is extensively diffused 
over Africa and the south of Europe, but has no 
representative in Britain, are greatly more fitted 
to attract attention. These insects, like our own 
Geotrupidce, or earth-borers, as the term signi- 
fies, likewise deposit their eggs in dung ; but each 
egg is placed in the centre of a small ball or pellet 
carefully prepared for this purpose. When the pel- 
let is dry, it has generally to be transported to a 
considerable distance, that it may be buried in a 
deep hole previously dug for its reception. To a 
creature so imperfectly provided with members that 
can be employed as instruments of prehension, the 
conveyance of an object of some size must obvi- 
ously be a task of considerable difficulty. Unable 
to raise the load from the ground, its only resource 
is to roll it along the surface ; but instead of using 
its head for this purpose, as some birds are said to 
do when obliged to remove their eggs from one 


place to another,* the beetle has recourse to its op- 
posite extremity, and pushes the pellet backwards 
with the tip of its abdomen and hind legs. When 
the surface of the ground is unequal the labour is 
greatly increased; both the beetle and its charge 
sometimes tumble over a declivity, or it may be 
seen struggling, like the Sisyphus of heathen my- 
thology, to push its ball to the summit of an emi- 
nence that obstructs the line of road. But when 
an obstacle of this kind occurs to an individual, his 
associates never fail to hasten to his aid, and their 
united efforts are generally successful. 

The incessant and arduous labour which these 
insects undergo, led the Egyptian priests to regard 
them as symbolical of the labours of Osiris or of the 
Sun. A singular account of them is given by some 
ancient authors, particularly H. Apollodorus and 
P. Valerianus. All these Scarabaei, according to 
the former of these authors, have thirty fingers, 
corresponding to the number of days which the sun 
takes to traverse each sign of the zodiac. There 
are three distinct kinds of them ; the first, or scara- 
baeus properly so called, presents the appearance of 
rays, and has on that account been consecrated to 

* We have been assured by an intelligent gamekeeper 
in the south of Scotland, that he has seen pheasants re- 
move their eggs to a place of safety by rolling them along 
the ground by means of their head and bill. The same 
thing has been observed of an Emu or Cassowary kept in 
the Zoological Gardens in London. 


the sun. All the individuals of this scarabaeus are 
of the male sex : when the insect wishes to pro- 
duce others, it seeks for the dung of cattle, and 
forms it into a ball — the figure of the world ; this 
it rolls with its hind feet, going backwards, and 
in the direction from east to west, as the world is 
so conveyed by its movements. The scarabaeus 
buries this ball in the earth, where it remains con- 
cealed for twenty-eight days, a period equal to a 
lunar revolution, during which the young scarabaeus 
becomes animated. On the 29th day, which the 
insect knows to be that of the conjunction of the 
moon with the sun, and of the birth of the world, 
it opens the ball and throws it into the water. The 
animals which then issue from it are the scarabaei. 
It is for these reasons that the Egyptians, when 
they wish to designate a being produced by itself, 
or to express the idea of a birth, a father, the world, 
&c. represent a scarabaeus. 

The thirty fingers mentioned in the above ac- 
count are no doubt the joints of the feet or tarsi, 
which being five to each of the six feet, amount ex- 
actly to that number. The rays alluded to are re- 
presented by the six teeth or angular projections of 
the head, a character which is often expressed with 
great accuracy on the Egyptian monuments and en- 
graved stones. As the male of this species, con- 
trary to what is observed in the generality of co- 
prophagous beetles, scarcely differs in external ap- 
pearance from the female, and appears to share with 


her the labours requisite for the preservation of their 
race, it is not surprising that the Egyptians, at a 
period when such erroneous notions prevailed re- 
garding the generation of the lower animals, should 
have imagined that there was only one sex, and that 
they should have preferred to consider it as the 
one which has most privileges attached to it, or, 
as grammarians call it, the more worthy gender. 
Admitting the doctrine of spontaneous generation, 
it was necessary, according to their principles, that 
the insects should disinter their balls and bring them 
into contact with water, as that element was conceiv- 
ed to produce, with the concurrence of heat, all 
those animals that were without living progenitors.* 
In more recent times the industrious habits of 
these little insects appear sometimes to have ex- 
cited nearly as much admiration as they did in 
Egypt. In the earliest entomological work pub- 
lished in Britain,-]- remarkable for the extent of 
its cumbrous erudition, the species of which we 
speak, or another closely allied to it, forms one of 
an extensive series of figures, a few of which bear 
some resemblance to the objects they are designed 
to represent, and several folio pages are devoted to 

* See an interesting memoir by Latreille, in the Ann: 
du Mus. for 1819, entitled Des Insectes prints ou sculptes sur 
les monuments antiques de VEgypte. 

•f- Moufeti Insectorum sive minimorum animalium 
Theatrum, London, 1634. 


die exposition of its virtues and uses both to our 
minds and bodies. This invaluable beetle, accord- 
ing to the author of that work, stimulates us to the 
acquisition of every good quality ; for although no- 
thing but a crust, it yet surpasses us in numerous 
virtues, and invites us to modesty, temperance, la- 
bour, magnanimity, justice, and prudence: "etiamsi 
nihil sit nisi crustum, variis tamen virtutibus nos 
vincit, et ad modestiam, temperantiam, laborem, 
magnanimitatem, justitiam, prudentiamque incitat 
atque impellit." It teaches us humility by living 
contented in its stercorareous abodes, and delight- 
ing in them more than in the perfume of roses ! 
So fortunate is it in renewing its youth every year, 
that there can be little doubt that man himself 
would willingly share in its privileges ! It is guilty 
of no crime in using the dung of animals for its own 
purposes, since agriculturists and others do the 
same, and probably were led to the practice by ob- 
serving the scarabaeus! We greatly err if we despise 
the animal for employing this material ; for so 
highly was it esteemed in ancient times, that, ac- 
cording to the testimony of Macrobius, the term 
Sterculeus was given to Saturn as an honorary cog- 
nomen ! &c. — The medical virtues of this admir- 
able insect are eulogized in a similar strain, and 
several recipes are given, which are said to have 
been of wonderful efficacy. 

These insects are frequently alluded to by ancient 
authors under the various names of Coprion, Can- 


tharas, and Heliocantharus. " It should seem from 
the name," say Messrs Kirby and Spence, " derived 
from a word signifying an ass, that the Grecian 
beetle made its pills of asses' dung ; and this is con- 
firmed by a passage in one of the plays of Aristo- 
phanes, the Irene, where a beetle of this kind is in- 
troduced, on which one of the characters rides to 
heaven to petition Jupiter for peace. The play be- 
gins with one domestic desiring another to feed the 
cantharus with some bread, who afterwards orders 
his companion to give him another kind of bread, 
made of asses' dung."* 

Various insects of similar habits are found in dif- 
ferent quarters of the world, and they form a fa- 
vourite subject of observation with travellers. One 
of these abounds in America, where it is known by 
the name of the Tumble-Dung Beetle. An inte- 
resting account of its proceedings is given by a wri- 
ter on Carolina. " I have attentively admired their in- 
dustry," he says, "and mutual assisting of each other 
in rolling their globular balls from the place where 
they made them to that of their interment, which 
is usually the distance of some yards, more or less. 
This they perform breech foremost, by raising their 
hind parts, and forcing along the ball with their hind 
feet. Two or three of them are sometimes engaged 
in trundling one ball, which, from meeting with 
impediments on account of the unevenness of the 

* Intro, to Ent. vol. i- 255> note. 


ground, is sometimes deserted by them. It is, 
however, attempted by others with success, unless 
it happens to roll into some deep hollow or chink, 
where they are constrained to leave it ; but they 
continue their work by rolling off the next ball in 
their way. None of them seem to know their own 
balls, but an equal care for the whole appears to 
affect all the community. They form these pellets 
while the dung remains moist, and leave them to 
harden in the sun before they attempt to roll them. 
In their moving of them from place to place, both 
they and the balls may frequently be seen tumbling 
about over the little eminences that are in their 
way. They are not, however, easily discouraged ; 
and, by repeating their attempts, usually surmount 
the difficulties. 

" They find out their subsistence by the excel- 
lency of their noses, which direct them in their 
flight to newly fallen dung, on which they imme- 
diately go to work, tempering it with a proper mix- 
ture of earth. So intent are they always on their 
employment, that, though handled or otherwise in- 
terrupted, they are not to be deterred, but imme- 
diately on being freed, persist in their work with- 
out any apprehension of danger. They are said to be 
so exceedingly strong and active as to move about, 
with the greatest ease, things that are many times 
th^ir own weight. Dr Birchell was supping one 
evening in a planter's house of North Carolina, 
when two of them were conveyed, without his 


knowledge, under the candlestick. A few blows 
were struck on the table, and, to his great surprise, 
the candlesticks began to move about, apparently 
without any agency ; and his surprise was not 
much lessened when, on taking one of them up, he 
discovered that it was only a chafer that moved."* 

"An insect of the size of a May-bug,** says 
another writer, evidently in relation to one of these 
beetles, " is of the greatest utility in so hot a cli- 
mate ; it is the scavenger and dustman of the whole 
country. It labours with indefatigable industry to 
collect all the filth that might infest the air, and 
makes small balls of it, which it hides very deep in 
holes which it has dug in the earth. It breeds in 
sufficient numbers to keep the town and the villages 

The next genus which has been selected to illus- 
trate the lamellicorn tribe of beetles is named 


a term that has reference to their habits, being 
composed of the two Greek words wQog, dung, and 
<petyoe, an eater or consumer. It consists of a con- 
siderable number of species, which are inferior in 
size to the generality of their dung-devouring 
confederates, excepting the Aphodii, which form 

* Catesbv's Carolina. 

f Proyart's History of Loango. 


such a prominent group in temperate and northern 
countries, and compensate their want of bulk by 
the extent of their numbers. The males of seve- 
ral of the Onthophagi are strikingly distinguished 
by two slender horns rising from the hinder part 
of the head. One of the most remarkable in 
this respect has been named O. Taurus, from the 
resemblance these appendages 
bear, in form and curvature, to 
the horns of a bull. This will 
be seen from the annexed figure, 
which represents a front view of 
the head. 

These insects are common both to the new and 
old world, and extend from the tropics to the north- 
ern temperate zone. Several kinds likewise inhabit 
New Holland, where, however, they are by no means 
of frequent occurrence, although they form the prin- 
cipal coprophagous group found in that country. 
The rarity of these insects in New Holland, as Mr 
Macleay observes, may be regarded as the natural 
consequence of that great peculiarity of the Austra- 
lian continent, namely, the want of all large herbi- 
vorous mammalia, except of the marsupial kind. 
Ten different species occur in Britain, but the 
southern part of the country seems to be nearly the 
limit of their extension northwards, as they become 
rare in the northern counties of England, and we 
have heard of no instance of their occurrence in Scot- 
land. Like many of their associates, they are ver- 


nal insects, and their appearance is agreeable, as in- 
dicating the grateful return of spring. 

The Onthophagi are known by having the ter- 
minal joint of the maxillary palpus attenuated at 
each end, and truncate — the same joint in the labial 
pair being somewhat kidney-shaped and truncate ; 
by the short thick body, with the thorax wider than 
long, and nearly orbicular, with a wide and deep notch 
in its anterior margin ; and by having the contour of 
the head entire or slightly emarginate. There is 
no perceptible scutellum. As in the following ge- 
nus, the four posterior tibiae are always dilated at 
their extremities, and nearly in the form of an elon- 
gate triangle. The sexes are distinguished by some 
horn-like process or tubercles, which rise from the 
head or thorax of the male. 


PLATE X. Fig. 2. 

Onthoph. Dillwynii, Kirby — Steph. Illus. of British En- 
tomology, vol. iii. 174, pi. 18, fig. G. 

This insect is closely allied to the better known 
species named O. nuchicornis. It has been found 
near Gravesend, and in the neighbourhood of Swan- 
sea, by L. W. Dillwyn, Esq. after whom it was 
named by Dr Leach. It is of a brassy-black colour, 
and more or less covered with fine short hairs. The 
thorax is thickly covered with minute granulations, 


and there are two tubercles towards the middle, and 
two others, one on each side, near the margin. The 
elytra are of a dull greyish yellow thickly clouded 
with black, and marked with longitudinal lines or 
striae. The under parts of the body and legs are 
black, slightly tinged with a metallic lustre. The 
male has an elongate, slightly nutant, horn on the 
hinder part of the head ; the female has two ele- 
vated cross ridges, which are somewhat arched. The 
length of the insect is about three or three and a 
half lines. 

The next important genus that presents itself to 
our notice, was established by Mr Macleay in his 
valuable work on the lamellicorn Coleoptera, and is 


It is distinguished from all the allied genera, ex- 
cept Onitis, by the structure of the antennae. These 
organs consist of nine joints, the three last forming 
a mass of which the basal joint (or the seventh of 
the whole) is excavated and receives the following 
one within it, which is partly concealed and nearly 
of the figure of a horse shoe ; the terminal one is 
small and in the form of a reversed cup. The ra- 
dical joint of the labial palpi is larger than the others, 
and dilated on its inner side. There is no apparent 
scutellum, but a small opening is perceptible at the 
base of the sutural line, indicating its place. The 


thorax is very large, and, like the head, usually pre- 
sents some sexual differences in the form of its ap- 

The genus comprehends about fifty large and 
finely coloured species, which belong exclusively to 
the tropical regions of the new world. They dig 
holes in the earth in a diagonal direction, sometimes 
to the depth of two or three feet. They frequent 
the dung of quadrupeds, and are often observed to fly 
about in the evening, producing a rather loud noise. 
The fine species figured is found in Cayenne, and 
is named 


PLATE X. Fig. 3. 

Scarabaeus lancifer, Fab — Linn — Olivier, Entom. vol. i 
No. 3, pi. 4, fig. 32. 

This conspicuous insect is about an inch and a 
half long, and upwards of an inch broad. The 
body is very thick and massive, and the half of it at 
least is occupied by the thorax. The head is black, 
and armed with a long, recurved, angular horn ; 
the clypeus or anterior portion is furnished with 
two distinct projecting teeth. The colour of all the 
upper side, except the head, is a fine violet, with 
greenish reflections in certain lights, especially on 
the elytra. The thorax is deeply excavated or con- 
cave, and dilated at the sides anteriorly ; the hinder 


part rises into a broad quadrate prominence, which 
has its sides reflexed, and a pretty deep notch cut 
out of the middle of its anterior edge, as if to re- 
ceive the occipital horn when bent backwards. The 
elytra are rather deeply furrowed, and rough with 
transverse elevations and tubercles. The under 
parts are shining black, slightly tinted with violet, 
and fringed with short hairs. The anterior tibiae 
have four strong teeth on their outer edge. 


PLATE X. Fig. 4. 

Scarabaeus carnifex, Fab — Drury's Illus. of Insects, i. pi. 
35, fig. 3, 4, 5 — Olivier, i. p. 135, pi. 6, fig. 46, a, b. 

In this finely coloured species the head is of a 
golden green, and armed with a long slender black 
horn which is curved backwards. The thorax 
is large, flattened above, and terminates on each 
side behind in an acute angle; the sides golden green, 
the disk bright copper-colour, and rather rough. 
There is a small impressed mark on each side, rather 
before the middle. The elytra are of a beautiful 
green, sometimes glossed with blue; the surface 
rather rough, and marked with several raised lines. 
The under side and thighs are brilliant bronzed 
green ; the other parts of the leg black. Found 
in various countries of North America, in consider- 
able plenty. 


The genus Geotrupes* has antennae with the 
three last joints dilated and transverse, forming a 
lamellate club, as in the following figure. The 
mandibles stand out from the head, 
and are notched at the apex. The 
eyes are divided by the margin of 
the head, and touch the thorax. The 
latter is as broad as the elytra, and 
very convex. The elytra are short 
and oval. Ten different kinds are 
met with in Britain. That repre- 
sented is the most common in the northern parts of 
this country ; it is named 


PLATE X. Fig. 5. 

Scarabaeus stercorarius, Linn, 

It is entirely black above, tinted on the margins 
with violet or brassy : the thorax is without punc- 
tures on the disk, but has a few impressed points 
towards the sides, and a short line in the middle 
behind. The elytra are marked with deep striae, 
the spaces between which are smooth and somewhat 
convex. The under side and legs are steel blue, 
glossed with purple or green in a very beautiful 

* Derived from yn y the earth, and rgturaitv, to bore. 


The extensive and very remarkable genus Sca- 
Rabjeus is distinguished by having ten joints in the 
antennae, the three last forming a foliaceous mass, 
of which the middle joint is never entirely concealed 
by the two others — by possessing a distinct scutel- 
lum — by the legs being inserted at equal distances 
— by the upper lip being almost entirely concealed 
— and by having the mandibles of a hard or horny 
consistence, and sinuated or dentated on their outer 
side. The body is usually thick and convex, and 
often of large size. None of these insects are na- 
tives of Britain, and only two appear to inhabit Eu- 
rope. By far the largest proportion occur in Ame- 
rica, particularly in the southern division of that 
continent, and in the adjacent islands ; indeed so nu- 
merous are they in these countries, and so remark- 
able for their size and appearance, that they may be 
regarded as constituting one of the most distinctive 
and characteristic features in the entomology of the 
new continent. The largest kinds are found chiefly 
in Guiana and the Antilles ; a considerable number 
occur in the vicinity of Rio Janeiro ; and they ex- 
tend in some plenty as far as the 28° of south lati- 
tude. Those found in the neighbourhood of Mon- 
te-Video, Buenos- Ayres, and Tucuman, are gene- 
rally of inferior size. 

According to M. Lacordaire, who has had many op- 
portunities of observing these insects in their native 
haunts, the habits of all the species are very much 
alike. During the day they conceal themselves in 


holes (lug in the earth or in the decomposed trunks 
of trees, or they are observed running along the 
pathways in the woods. On the approach of night 
they issue from their retreats, and fly around the 
trees at a considerable height above the ground, 
producing at the same time a loud noise. It is then 
that they seem to procure their food ; and they are 
sometimes found in the morning under the leaves 
or clinging to the branches of trees. Although their 
flight is dull, it is rather rapid, and can be prolonged 
for a considerable time. They all produce a shrill 
noise by rubbing the elytra against the abdomen. 
The females are in general more common than the 
males, and are almost always without horns. Among 
the few exceptions to this rule may be mentioned 
S. Pan, the most common species in Brazil, the fe- 
male of which has a horn of some size on the head, 
and an excavation on the thorax. The latter sex is 
common, while the male is rare. 

The first species selected to illustrate this genus 
is the largest, and in some respects one of the most 
remarkable that it contains. It is named the Her- 
cules Beetle : — 


• , • 




Olivier, i. pi. 1, fig. 1, a, 6, male ; pi. 23, fig. 1, c, female— 
Drury's Illus. 

The head and thorax of the male are deep black, 
highly polished, and shining ; the former with a long 
thick horn armed with two or three strong teeth, 
the latter produced into a very long horn, which is 
bent downwards near the outer extremity : it bears 
a strong triangular tooth on each side rather behind 
the middle, and is densely clothed with reddish- 
brown pile. The elytra are somewhat glaucous, or 
of a sea-green colour, but inclining to ash-grey, and 
marked with scattered spots of black : they are stri- 
ated and wrinkled across. The under parts of the 
body and the legs are black; the anterior tibiae 
armed with three strong spines externally. 

Found in greatest plenty in the Antilles and 
Guiana ; it extends as far as Rio Janeiro, but be- 
comes very rare in that neighbourhood. It likewise 
occurs in the American islands. 




Linn. Syst. Nat. p. 542 — Olivier, i. No. 3, p. 9, pi. 4, fig. 
31, and pi. 10, fig. 31, J, c — Say's American Entom. i. 

This insect is about two inches in length: the 
prevailing colour glaucous, inclining to grey. The 
head is black, and armed with a strong horn which 
is curved backwards. The thorax is variegated 
with black and grey, and has three horns projecting 
from its anterior part, one in the centre slightly 
curved downwards and hairy on the under side, and 
two lateral ones which are short and acute. Elytra 
glaucous-grey, with numerous large spots of black. 
The under side of the body, and legs, are wholly 

The female is without horns, and differs from the 
other sex in the colour of the elytra. 

Inhabits Carolina, Virginia, and other North 
American states. " It is so extremely rare in 
Pennsylvania," says Mr Say, from whose handsome 
work on American Entomology the accompanying 
figures have been taken, " that the late Rev. F. V. 
Melsheimer, the parent of Entomology in this coun- 
try, and a very industrious collector, found but two 
individuals in eighteen years. An instance has 
however occurred, in which the appearance of a 
considerable number of them occasioned no little 

PLATE 12. 


Scarabaeus T//v//,\ 

1. //////,' 2 /V///,?/,< 

PLATE 13. 


surprise in the neighbourhood where they were dis- 
covered. A mile or two south of Philadelphia, and 
near the river Delaware, an old cherry-tree was 
blown down by a violent current of wind, and my 
informant saw the remains of numerous individuals, 
in and about the cavity of the tree laid open by the 
shock of its fall. That there might be no mistake, 
he exhibited the thorax of a male he had chosen 
from the mutilated fragments. I think it highly 
probable that the Tityus is more especially a native 
of the southern states, as my friend Mr J. Williams 
presented me with several specimens in high pre- 
servation, collected by himself in Maryland, and 
from them the drawings for the annexed plate were 



Linn. Syst. Nat. p. 542 — Fabricii Syst. Entom. p. 8 — Sea- 
rabseus Hector ? Dejean. 

This very singular and conspicuous insect is en- 
tirely of a black colour, tinted with greenish bronze, 
especially on the elytra, the whole surface being 
smooth and glossy. The head is armed with a very 
long acute horn, which is slightly recurved, and has 
a double row of serratures on its inner side. Two 
similar horns project, one from each side of the tho- 
rax, which are without teeth, acute at the tip, and 


slightly curved towards each other. From the an- 
terior part of the thorax, immediately over the head, 
there issues a short triangular horn, which is direct- 
ed forwards. The scutellum is very large and tri- 
angular ; the elytra are smooth and shining ; and the 
under side of the body, and legs, black. The anterior 
tibiae have three acute teeth on their outer edge to- 
wards the apex. 

It is a native of Java, where it is considered rare, 
although we have seen six or eight specimens in a 
single collection of insects from that country. It 
likewise occurs, but much less frequently, on the 
continent of Asia, the individual figured having 
been taken at Rangoon in India. 

PLATE XIV. Fig. 1. 

Kanguroo beetle, Shaw's Nat ralisfs Miscellany, ccclxxx. 4. 

This very remarkable-looking insect was first made 
known to the public by Mr Francillon, who is sup- 
posed to have received it from South America. 
The individual which he described appears to be 
the only one that has occurred, and it is now said 
to be preserved in the rich cabinet of Mr Macleay. 
Until the discovery of the insect next to be de- 
scribed, there was no lamellicorn beetle that bore 
much resemblance to it ; but that species partakes 
in some measure of its peculiar characters. Of 


. ! 't w 'aiactis mm ropii ?.2. Chr) 'sophora < 7u;\ 'sot -/</oi ; 


these, the most singular are the length of the hinder 
legs, and the extraordinary thickness of the thighs, 
which exceeds any thing that is observed in such as 
exhibit a structure of this kind. The whole of the 
upper surface is smooth, and of a bright green 
colour, and the under side is golden yellow and 
copper coloured. The antennae and tarsi are brown- 
ish black. 


PLATE XIV. Fig. 2. 

Melolontha chrysocklora, Latr — Voxj. de MM. Humb. ct 
BonpL ii. 15, lfenu 2 male. 

Latreille assigns as the distinguishing marks of 
this genus, which was first proposed by Count De- 
jean, the great size of the hinder legs, the thicken- 
ed hinder thighs, and the curved tibiae, which ter- 
minate in a strong projecting point at the internal 
angle. It contains only two or three species, of which 
that above referred to is the most remarkable. It 
was discovered by MM. Humboldt and Bonpland 
in Peru. It is of a brilliant green on the upper 
side, but on the under parts of the body coppery red 
is the prevailing hue. The thighs and posterior 
tibiae are of the latter colour ; and the tarsi, which 
have the joint that bears the claws very large and 
club-shaped, are brownish. The elytra are thickly 
covered with large excavated points, but the head 


and thorax are comparatively smooth. The female 
is much smaller, and the hinder thighs are not so 
thick as in the male. Like the common Cockcha- 
fer, this species lives in society, and was sometimes 
observed in great numbers by the distinguished tra- 
vellers who first brought it to Europe. 


PLATE XV. Fig. 1. 

Kirby, Linn. Trans, xii. p. 405, pi. 21, fig. 10. 

This genus includes such insects as have the hin- 
der thighs scarcely differing in the two sexes ; the 
scutellum rather small, and the pointed process of 
the sternum short, and not reaching to the insertion 
of the forelegs. The terminal joint of the maxillary 
palpus is large and ovate. The body is of an oval 
form. The species given as an illustration of this 
generic group is a native of Brazil. It is about 
eight lines and a half in length, of a fine yellow co- 
lour inclining to green. The thorax is green in the 
middle, and yellow on the sides and anterior edge. 
The elytra are thickly covered with small punctures, 
which have a tendency to form lines : the colour is 
yellow, with the region of the scutellum, and a curv- 
ed band behind the middle, green. 

PLATE 15. 

1 Ru& ' tha. FuUo. mule 

ZMacraspisfitcat female. 



PLATE XV. Fig. 2. 

Cetonia fucata, Fabr — Cetonia quadrivittata, Olivier. 

The most obvious character in this genus is that 
which has suggested the name,* viz. the great size 
of the scutellum, which equals at least a third of 
that of the elytra. The projecting point of the 
sternum reaches to the insertion of the anterior 
legs, and in many instances extends beyond that 
point. The form of the body is in general shorter 
and more rounded than in Rutela. The species 
amount to near thirty, and they are confined to the 
tropical regions of the New World. The most com- 
mon in the interior of Brazil is M. clavata, which 
is often observed in the morning, suspended in 
great numbers to the leaves of trees, around which 
they fly during the day, and consume the flowers. 
The species figured has the same habits, but it is 
much rarer, and appears later in the year. It is 
about ten lines in length, of a deep black colour, 
very highly polished on the surface, and thickly co- 
vered with very minute punctures. The thorax is 
margined with deep yellow, and there are two broad 
stripes of the same colour on each wing-case, which 
unite behind. 

* From juxx^of, long, and a^r<j, a shield. 



PLATE XV. Fig. 3 and 4. 

Scarabaeus Fullo, Linn — Donovan's Brit. Insects, iv. pi. 1 12, 

The genus Melolontha,* of which the common 
Cockchafer affords a familiar example, has anten- 
nae consisting of ten joints, with five or seven of the 
uppermost produced into thin leaflets in the male, 
while in the females only four (sometimes six) are 
a little produced. All the claws are of equal size, 
and terminate in a simple point, with a small tooth 
on the under side near the base. As- constituted 
by the older Entomologists, it formed a very exten- 
sive genus ; but in its present restricted acceptation, 
it scarcely includes more than a dozen species. Of 
these, by far the most common is M. vulgaris (com- 
mon Cockchafer), which occurs abundantly in many 
parts of England, Ireland, and the Continent, but is 
comparatively rare in Scotland.-]- The perfect insect 

* The term is derived from ftvXix, an apple-tree, and 
mvfans, a flowering or inflorescence, because the insects it an- 
ciently denoted, either were supposed to be produced from 
the flowers of fruit-trees, or were accustomed to resort to 
them for food. 

•f The common cockchafer sometimes abounds in Dum- 
friesshire : many hundreds of the grubs were turned up 
while digging the foundation of the Mansion-house of 
Jardine Hall. — Ed. 


subsists on the leaves of trees, but in the state of 
grub it consumes the roots of grass and other her- 
baceous plants. Its ravages, both in the early and 
final stage of its life, have often been described, and 
are unhappily better known than any efficient re- 
medy of easy application. The beautiful species 
represented (fig. 3, male ; fig. 4, female) is either 
not of such destructive propensities, or, what is 
more probable, too limited in numbers to accomplish 
much mischief. In this country especially, it is of 
very rare occurrence, and as the few examples that 
have occurred were generally found on the sea- 
shore, it has been questioned whether its appear- 
ance ought not to be ascribed to accidental causes, 
rather than to its being strictly a native of this 
country. It is nearly an inch and a half in length, 
of a dark-brown colour, having the whole upper 
surface irregularly marked with patches and spots 
of white. There is a pretty regular line of white 
down the middle of the thorax, and another, less 
regular, on each side of it. The antennae and 
legs are reddish brown. It is found occasionally 
in France, and in the more southern countries of 




Cetonia goliata, Fair — Cetonia Goliathus, Olivier, i. No, 
6, pi. 5, fig. 33 Druri/s Illustrations, i. pi. 31. 

This genus, which was established by Lamarck, con- 
tains a few very large and striking species belonging 
to the family Cetonidae. The most obvious mark 
by which it may be recognised is the anterior part 
of the head, which is dilated and divided into two 
broad divergent lobes in front, in the form of obtuse 
or truncated horns ; and there are two smaller late- 
ral ones near the middle of the head. The thorax 
approaches to orbicular, but is somewhat narrowed 
in front. Of the species represented, the only spe- 
cimen with which we are acquainted is that pre- 
served in the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. It 
was found on the west coast of Africa, and is pro- 
bably the same from which Olivier and Drury made 
their drawings. The latter states that the insect 
which he figured was found floating dead in the 
river Gaboon, opposite Prince's Island, near the 
equinoctial line. The antennae and head are nearly 
black, but the surface of the latter is thickly cover- 
ed with whitish scales. The thorax is dark brown, 
with the sides dirty white, and five broad waved 
lines of the same colour along the disk, the two la- 
teral ones uniting with the white margin. The ely- 

PLATE 16. 


tra are reddish brown, with a streak of white across 
the base : the scutellum is likewise margined with 
white, and has a narrow patch of the same down 
the middle. The under side and thighs are black, 
with a mixture of green ; the other parts of the leg 
are black. 

Many of the most ornamental of the lamellicorn 
beetles are arranged in the extensive genus Ceto- 
nia, and others closely allied, which have recently 
been separated from it. The true Cetoniae present 
the following characters : — body nearly ovate, ra- 
ther obtuse behind, the back somewhat depressed : 
thorax gradually widening towards the hinder mar- 
gin, which forms the base of a triangle with the 
apex truncated : scutellum distinct : mentum never 
transverse, and more or less emarginate in the mid- 
dle of its upper edge : terminal lobe of the maxillae 
ending in a tuft of fine hair. In the perfect state, 
these insects feed on vegetable juices and the honey 
of flowers. Rosel informs us that he kept the species 
known in this country by the name of Rosechafer 
alive for upwards of three years, by feeding it with 
fruit and moistened white bread. The species are nu- 
merous, amounting to upwards of 130, and in many 
of them, as Mr Macleay has remarked, nothing can 
exceed the beauty and lustre of the polish, or the 
admirable variety of ornament, with which their ely- 
tra are adorned. They occur in almost every coun- 
try, except in the colder parts of the temperate 
zone, and the regions verging towards the poles. 


Only two are known to inhabit Britain, and these 
may almost be said to be confined to the southern 
division of the island ; for although the most com- 
mon ( C. aurata) has been noticed in Scotland, its 
occurrence is extremely rare. A few fine species 
inhabit the south of France and the eastern coun- 
tries of Europe, and a considerable number are 
found in America, particularly in Mexico. They 
are rather scarce, however, in Brazil, and such as 
are found there do not seem to multiply to the same 
extent as they do in most other places. Java and 
the East Indies are likewise rich in these insects, 
and the former contains a generic group (Macro- 
nota, Weid.) very nearly related to the true Ceto- 
niae, which is peculiar to the country. But their 
metropolis, or characteristic locality, appears to be 
the southern parts of Africa, in the neighbourhood 
of the Cape of Good Hope. New Holland also 
produces several beautifully marked species. 


PLATE XVII. Fig. 1. 

Scarabaeus fascicularis, Linn — Drury's Illus. pi. 33, fig. 2. — 
Olivier, ii. No. 6, pi. 11, fig. 108. 

The head, scutellum, and thorax of this beautiful 
insect are deep black and shining : the latter witli 
four deeply impressed longitudinal lines, which are 
filled with very minute white scales. The elytra 

PLATE 17. 


1. CetenuL fascicidaris. 2 C-eWnL Utdtscoidea. 

4 - — - Australasia* \ > Gymnetis n&rvost .§. Gymnetzs- marnwreo 


are of a fine deep green, not shining, the surface 
somewhat rough and corrugated. The under side 
of the body is thickly clothed with tawny hairs, dis- 
posed in tufts round the sides of the abdomen. 
The legs are black. It is a native of the Cape of 
Good Hope. 


PLATE XVII. Fig. 2. 
Kirhy, Linn. Trans, xii. p. 408, pi. 21, fig. 11. 

This insect is depressed, very smooth and shin- 
ing, of a golden green, approaching to emerald green. 
The head and antennae are black, and the thorax 
has a large discoidal spot of the same colour, which 
is narrowed in front. The elytra have a large 
quadrate spot of black on each side of the scutel- 
lum, and there are two others towards the apex 
which nearly meet and form a broad band. The 
tibiae and tarsi are of a chestnut colour, and the 
segments of the abdomen are margined with black. 

" This beautiful insect," says Mr Kirby, in the 
paper above referred to, which has supplied us with 
the annexed figure, " was brought from Manilla by 
Mr Simon Davidson, Surgeon in the Royal Navy, 
who purchased several of them in a shop, where 
its elytra, and those of some splendid JBuprestes, 
were sold as ornaments for ladies head-dresses." 



PLATE XVII. Fig. 3. 

Cetonia velutina, Olivier, ii. pi. 12, fig. 114. 

The length of this species is between seven and 
eight lines. The head, thorax, and scutellum are 
velvet black, and unspotted. The elytra are like- 
wise velvet black, with the whole of the base red, 
except the region of the scutellum ; the outer mar- 
gin is of the latter colour from the shoulder to a 
little beyond the middle, where there is a broad 
band of red interrupted at the suture. The under 
parts and legs are shining black. It is found at the 
Cape of Good Hope. 


PLATE XVII. Fig. 4. 
Schyzorhina Australasia, Kirby. — Dejean's Catal. 

This curiously marked species is a native of New 
Holland. The surface is depressed, and remark- 
ably smooth and glossy. The anterior part of the 
head is yellow, with two small spots of black. The 
head from before the eyes, and the thorax, are 
black ; the latter having a stripe of yellow running 
along the sides and front, a line of the same down 
the middle, and an arched stripe across the base, 


which is not united with the others : there is a 
small spot of black in the yellow margin before the 
middle. The scutellum is black, with an oblong 
patch of yellow. The elytra are deep chestnut-red, 
approaching to black at the apex, with two curved 
lines of yellow down the middle of each, which are 
attenuated behind, and generally united to a cross 
stripe of the same colour, from the suture : there is 
also a stripe of yellow round the hinder margin of 
each w T ing-case, w r hich terminates before the middle, 
where it is dilated into a triangular spot with the 
apex directed inwards. The under side is black, 
curiously variegated with yellow. The legs are 
chestnut-red, die hinder thighs striped with yellow. 

PLATE XVII. Fig. 5. 

This genus is easily distinguished from Cetonia, 
by having the thorax produced in the middle behind 
into an angle which occupies the place of the scu- 
tellum. About fifty different kinds are known, by 
far the greater part of which belong to tropical 
America. The species named nervosa is entirely of 
a reddish-brown colour, having the upper surface 
variegated with linear and angular patches of black. 
The under side and legs are black. 



PLATE XVII. Fig. 6. 

Cetonia marmorea, Olivier, ii. pi. 2, fig. 110. 

The prevailing colour is fine yellow, the surface 
polished and shining. The whole body is variegated 
with black markings, arranged in a manner some- 
what similar to those in the preceding species, but 
having a greater tendency to run together and form 
patches. The under parts of the body, and the legs, 
are deep black and very glossy. It is a native of 

Having now illustrated at considerable length the 
first tribe or principal division of the lamellicornes, 
we shall proceed to give some examples of the se- 
cond, which corresponds, as was already mentioned, 
to the genus Lucanus of Linnaeus. The Lucanid^ 
have ten-jointed antennae, the club or thickened 
portion of which consists of long teeth or leaflets 
arranged on an axis in the manner of a comb (Plate 
XVIII. left-hand Jiff.). The mandibles are usually 
of very large size in the male, and furnished with 
strong teeth, which renders their appearance rather 
more formidable than that of most other beetles. 
The tarsi terminate in two simple claws, having 
two strong bristles placed between them. 

1. < hr</s<>///t<t/h/i.Y Ghlteerisn 
2 Lucanus Ccrvits 




Tetrophthalma chiloensis, Lesson's Illus. de Zoologie, pi. 24. 
— Chiasognathus Grantii ? Cambridge Phil. Trans, iv. 
pi. 9 and 10. 

This singular genus is characterised by the length 
of the mandibles, which equals or exceeds that of 
the whole body, and by the extraordinary elonga- 
tion of the lowest joint of the antennae, which is 
ornamented with a tuft of hairs at its tip. ft was 
established by Mr Stephens on an insect received 
from the island of Chiloe, and its characters pub- 
lished in the Cambridge Philosophical Transactions 
for 1831.* More recently M. Lesson has figured 
an insect which obviously belongs to the same ge- 
nus, although he has thought proper to distinguish 
it by a new name. Indeed it is extremely probable 
that it is the same species as that described by Mr 
Stephens ; but as it differs in a few minute particu- 
lars, it will be better in the mean time to retain its 
distinctive name. Lesson's insect is represented 
by the accompanying figure. The mandibles are 
bronzed green ; the head violet blue ; the thorax 

* The generic name refers to the form of the mandibles, 
which are incurved at the tip, and cross over each other, 
being derived from #<a2>, to lie crosswise, and yiaSis, the 


green, with coppery and violet-blue reflections en 
the sides ; the elytra bright chestnut red ; the legs 
green, with the under side of the thighs reddish. 
As with other lucanideous insects, its food consists 
of the flowing sap of trees, and it is said to frequent 
the araucarias and other green trees in the island 
of Chiloe. 



Donovan's Brit. Insects, i. pi. 13 — Lucanus inermis, Don. 
xii. pi. 400. — Marsh-ant's Entom. Brit. 

In this genus the four terminal joints of the an- 
tennae are produced on one side ; the eyes are not 
divided by the margin of the head ; the latter is as 
wide as the thorax, and in some instances wider ; and 
the maxillae terminate in a slender lobe without cor- 
neous teeth. The species figured is the well-known 
Stag-beetle of this country. It occurs in consider- 
able plenty in several of the southern counties, but 
has not been observed in the north of England, nor 
in Scotland. It is likewise found on the Continent, 
and the larva is considered by some to be the Cos- 
sus of the ancient Romans, which is described as a 
white worm living in the interior of oak trees, and 
which was much coveted as a delicious food by 
these refined epicures. The male is about two 
inches in length, including the mandibles. It is 


entirely of a brownish-black colour, the surface 
shining and thickly covered with small punctures. 
The female is considerably less, the mandibles are 
quite short, and the head is proportionally much 

" I believe it has been supposed by several wri- 
ters," says Mr Waterhouse, " that the mandibles 
of the stag-beetle are designed for perforating the 
bark of trees, and thus causing the sap to flow, on 
which the insect is said to feed ; but I do not re- 
collect ever seeing this confirmed on positive au- 
thority. During the past summer I kept a stag- 
beetle alive for several weeks: I allowed him to 
bite my finger with his mandibles, which he did 
with great strength and perseverance for some se- 
conds ; and immediately, on relaxing his hold, ap- 
plied alternately one of his antennae, and the galea 
of his maxillae, to the indentation, as if to ascertain 
whether any moisture was flowing from the wound. 
The stag-beetle has a small patch of golden coloured 
hair near the base of the fore leg, the use of which, 
I believe, has never been pointed out ; — it is evi- 
dently for the purpose of cleaning the antennae, 
which, after touching saccharine fluids, become 
sticky. The insect does this in the most adroit 
manner, bending back the antenna and placing it 
beneath the leg, and then drawing it out slowly. 
The specimen which I had became after a time 
tame and playful, sometimes amusing himself by 
tossing about a ball of cotton with his horns. He 


was very fond of sugar moistened, and the juice of 

The second primary section of the order Cole- 
optera, as established on the number of joints in 
the tarsi, includes all the kinds which have five ar- 
ticulations in the first four tarsi, and four in the 
hindmost pair ; it is named 


As an example of this section, we shall first 
mention the genus Horia, of which the characters 
are so distinct that it forms a tribe by itself. It 
is easily known by the structure of the claws, which 
are deeply serrated on the under side, and each of 
them accompanied by a long narrow ap- 
pendage, as represented by the adjoining 
figure. The mandibles are strong, and 
stand out from the head. The palpi are 
filiform, and the thorax is square. 

* Entomological Magazine, No. C, p. 59. 
"t From Wtgos, different., and /xi^of, a joint. 

PLATE 19. 

in maculate,. ^ 
'■ variegatus. 

3. CamTiaris vest* 

4. VittzaUi 


PLATE XIX. Fig. 1. 

It is about sixteen lines in length, of a uniform 
reddish-yellow colour, with seven spots of black on 
each wing-case, six of which are arranged in pairs, 
and the seventh occupies the apex. The mandibles 
and antennae are shining black, and the legs are of 
the same colour, except the base of the thighs, 
which is the same as the body. According to the 
observations of Lansdown Guilding, this insect de- 
posits its eggs in the nest of the carpenter-bees 
(chiefly in that of Xylocopa Teredo), and when the 
larvae are excluded, they consume the food which 
the bee provides for its proper offspring. It is not 
rare in the vicinity of Rio Janeiro and other parts 
of tropical America, and is usually found under the 
bark of trees. It moves but slowly both when 
walking and flying, and when handled emits a yel- 
lowish liquid from its mouth of a peculiar odour. 

PLATE XIX. Fig. 2, Female. 

Donovan, ii. pi. 67. — Linn. Trans, xi. 37, pi. 6, fig. 1, 2 — 
Meloe scabrosus, Marsham — M. mayalis, Olivier. 

This and the following genera are two of the most 


conspicuous in the tribe of Cantharid^e, or blis- 
tering beetles, many of which are so much cele- 
brated for their vesicatory properties. The group 
is well distinguished by the hooks of the tarsi, which 
are so deeply divided that they appear double. The 
present genus is destitute of wings, and the elytra 
are of an oval or triangular form, the one overlap- 
ping the other at the base, and they diverge widely 
from each other at the tip. They leave a consider- 
able portion of the abdomen uncovered, especially 
in the female, which has that part of the body 
unusually large. The most singular circumstance 
in the natural history of these insects, is the sup- 
posed parasitical nature of the larvae, which are said 
to adhere to the bodies of flies and bees, and to live 
upon their juices, which they extract by suction. But 
the observations on which this opinion is founded 
are far too inconclusive to establish its truth. They 
are characteristic of European countries, the greater 
number occurring in Spain and Britain. Among the 
latter is the species figured, which is of a brassy 
lustre, variegated with tints of purple and violet. 
The thorax and elytra are dark copper colour, 
glossed on the sides with violet ; the former covered 
with punctures, and the latter with small tubercles 
which often run together and make the surface 
rough. The abdomen is likewise rough ; the co- 
lour dark green, with the hinder margin of the seg- 
ments coppery and violescent. The under side is 
golden colour and purple ; the legs black, inclining 


to violet. It is the most beautiful of the genus, 
and is found in the South of England, but not fre- 
quently. The most common species is M. prosca- 


PLATE XIX. Fig. 3. 

Meloe vesicatorius, Linn. — Lytta vesicatoria, Fab. 

This is the well-known Blister-beetle, or Spanish 
fly. It is entirely of a golden green, with the an- 
tennae black. The head has a deeply impressed 
line in the middle behind, and the surface of the 
thorax is rather unequal. The elytra are corru- 
gated like the surface of a piece of leather, and two 
or three raised longitudinal lines are observable on 
each. The length is from six to ten lines. Ac- 
cording to Latreille, they appear in France about 
the period of the summer solstice, and are found in 
greatest abundance on the ash and lilac, on the 
leaves of which they feed. In Spain, where they 
are rather more plentiful than in other parts of Eu- 
rope, they are usually collected for commercial pur- 
poses in the month of June, when they assemble in 
order to pair. They are shaken from the branches 
of the shrubs which they frequent, and received in 
sheets spread on the ground. They are killed by 
being held in hair sieves over the fumes of vinegar, 

230 ^atueal nisxonT or 

and afterwards dried, either by exposure to the sun, 
or by being placed on hurdles covered with cloth or 
paper in a well-ventilated apartment. The blister- 
ing property has been ascertained to reside in a pe- 
culiar principle, on which chemists have bestowed 
the name of Cantharadine. 

PLATE XIX. Fig. 4. 

Lytta Nuttalli, Say's American Entomology. 

Head and thorax deep green tinted with golden 
yellow, the latter with unequal scattered punctures, 
a longitudinal line in the middle, and another across 
the base. The elytra are deep red or purple with 
a golden gloss, the surface rough ; having two slight- 
ly elevated lines along the disk of each, and another 
near the margin. The under parts of the body are 
bright green, the legs, antennae, and palpi nearly 

" This noble species," says the American Ento- 
mologist, to whom we have been indebted for the 
accompanying figure, " which far surpasses the far- 
famed Vesicatoria, has, I understand, been labelled 
in a British cabinet with the name I have here 
adopted, in honour of Mr Thomas Nuttall, who dis- 
covered it. It seems to be limited to the western 
region. In company with Major Long, I observed 


it, for the first time, near the base of the Rocky 
Mountains. A very numerous flock had there taken 
possession of the few diminutive bushes that oc- 
curred within the space of a hundred yards, every 
spray of which was burdened with their numbers. 
After passing this limited district, not an individual 
was seen during the remainder of the journey. On 
the recent expedition of the same officer to the 
river St Peter, I obtained but a single specimen, 
which was found one evening at an encampment in 
the North- West Territory." 

The next primary division of this order contains 
all beetles which have four joints in each foot, and 
is accordingly named 


An extensive family of this division have the 
head elongated into a kind of snout or beak ; these 
constituted the Linnaean genus Curculio, and in this 
country are named weevils. They are very nume- 
rous, amounting to nearly three thousand. They 
invariably feed on vegetable substances, and many 
of them commit much injury to the produce of our 
fields and gardens. The genus Apoderus is distin- 
guished by the length of the neck, which is united 
to the thorax by a kind of rotula. The rostrum is 


short and thick, and somewhat widened at the ex- 
tremity. The species are generally of small size, 
but many of them are ornamented with agreeable 


PLATE XX. Fig. 1. 

Olivier, v. No. 81, pi. 1, fig. 25 — Attelabus longicollis, 
Fair. Syst. Eleuth. 

The ordinary length is between four and five 
lines. The colour of the upper parts of the body 
is reddish yellow, the under side of a paler hue. 
The neck is remarkably long, and brownish black. 
The elytra are very convex behind, marked with 
punctured lines, and numerous impressed points of a 
considerable size. It is found in the East Indies. 


PLATE XX. Fig. 2. 

Oliviy-, v. No. 81, pi. 1, fig. 16 — Attelabus gemmatus, 

The figure in the accompanying plate represents 
this insect considerably enlarged, its natural length 
seldom exceeding three lines. The colour is rust- 
red inclining to yellow, the antennae black. The 
thorax and elytra are pretty thickly covered with 




. Apch A v lis lujt gwollis 



A.F/n 'n r/, iles i ' Ft >/> n Ii . 
5 pubescens 

6. Collaris. 


black tubercles, of which several of those on the 
elytra are rounded, and arranged in rows. The 
under side and legs are pale yellow. It occurs in 
the vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope. 


PLATE XX. Fig. 3. 

Olivier, v. No. 81, pi. 1, fig. 15 — Attelabus ruficollis, 
Fabr. Spec. Insect. 

The head of this species, which is said to be a 
native of Siberia, is reddish in front and black be- 
hind ; the antennae are of the latter colour, with the 
base red. The thorax is red and unspotted. The 
elytra are smooth and shining, of a fine blue, faintly 
marked with punctures which form indistinct lines. 
The under side of the abdomen is black, with the 
margin reddish. The legs are of the latter colour. 
It is between two and three lines long. 

In the genus Rhynchites the head is inserted 
into the thorax as far as the eyes, and the rostrum 
is a little enlarged at the extremity. The abdomen 
is nearly square. About seventeen different kinds 
inhabit Britain, and many of these are insects of 
great beauty, especially R. Bacchus, which is found 
chiefly in the county of Kent. 



PLATE XX. Fig. 4. 

Curculio populi, Linn. Degeer. — Attelabus populi, Fair. 

In this well-known species the body is smooth 
and shining, of a golden-green or bluish tint on the 
upper side, and dark violet colour beneath ; the an- 
tennae and tarsi black. The elytra are rather irre- 
gularly punctured. In one of the sexes there is an 
acute spine on each side of the thorax, projecting 
forwards. The ordinary length of the insect is nearly 
three lines. It is found on poplar and birch trees, 
in England and on the Continent of Europe. 


PLATE XX. Fig. 5. 

Attelabus pubescens, Fdbr. 

The body is rather more elongate in proportion 
to its breadth than in the preceding species. The 
whole body is of a deep violet colour, and clothed 
with rather long hairs. The snout is shorter than 
the thorax, and, together with the antennae, black. 
The elytra are marked with regular punctured lines. 
The legs are the same colour as the body, but the 
tarsi are black. Length three lines. It inhabits 
France. Germany, and England. 


1 Brerdusam^£T^affo. 2 PJimn barbwostris. 3. Cutculio Cuvieru 
A.mrrulio Geoffroyu. b.Cutcidiovittatus. 6. Curculio sv?tacelaJi 

Curculzo sphjicelatus. 


PLATE XX. Fie. 6. 

Antribus collaris, Fair. Sytt. Eleuth. 

The body of this small insect is covered with 
short pubescence : the snout is rather long, de- 
pressed at the apex, and of a black colour, as well 
as the antennae. The thorax is very smooth, and 
reddish : the elytra deep blue, pretty regularly stri- 
ated: the under side and legs black. Found in 

The very remarkable genus Brentus has filiform 
antennae, occasionally with the last joint thickened 
—the rostrum very long and advanced — the whole 
body unusually narrow, and the penultimate joint 
of the tarsi bilobed. 


PLATE XXI. Fig. 1. 

Curculio Anchorago, Linn. — Degeer, Mem. Insect, v. 273. 

Body very narrow and elongate, shining black ; 
the markings differing a little in the two sexes. In 
the male the head has a groove in front, which is 
wanting in the female. In the latter the thorax is 
somewhat contracted in the middle, and in both 
sexes it has a groove extending from the middle to 


the base. The elytra are scarcely wider than the 
base of the thorax, deeply grooved near the suture, 
and marked with punctured lines on the sides, each 
of them with two narrow lines of reddish yellow. 
The anterior thighs are furnished with a small tooth 
on the under side. Like all the other species of the 
genus, this insect lives under bark, and is often found 
on the stems of old trees congregated in hundreds. 


PLATE XXI. Fig. 2. 

Latreille, Hist. Nat. des Crust, et des Ins. 1 1, p. 102 — Cur- 
culio barbirostris, Fabr. 

The species given as an example of this genus — 
which may be briefly characterised by the elongate 
shape of the terminal joint of the antennae, and the 
length of the fore legs — is found at the Cape of 
Good Hope. It is entirely of a black colour, ex- 
cept the hairs on the rostrum, which are reddish 
yellow. The rostrum or snout is longer than the 
thorax, trifid at the point, and tuberculated above. 
The thorax is rough with deeply impressed punc- 
tures, and bears yellowish hairs on the sides and 
beneath. The elytra are marked with closely placed 
lines of deep square punctures, the spaces between 
which have a few short hairs. The anterior legs 
are much longer than the others, and all the tibiae 
are armed with a few remote spines. 


Although now much restricted in its application, 
the genus Curculio still contains a great variety of 
species. In all of them the penultimate joint of the 
tarsi is deeply bilobed, and the antennae are com- 
posed of eleven joints, of which the three last form 
a club. The grooves on the sides of the rostrum, 
for receiving the antennae, are oblique, and converge 
towards each other on the under side. Many of 
the species are of large size, and such as frequent 
the foliage of trees are often adorned in the most 
sumptuous manner. This is particularly the case 
with several South American kinds, which are co- 
vered with a coating of scales of the most sparkling 
brilliancy, equal to the " illumination of all gems." 
These are accordingly highly prized by collectors, 
a single specimen of C. regalis having been once 
sold at Paris for L.23 sterling. The British weevils 
that present most analogy to these favoured crea- 
tures belong to the genera Phyllobius and Polydru- 
sus ; but though of great beauty, their comparatively 
small size renders them less striking. 


PLATE XXI. Fig. 3. 

Geonemus Cuvierii, Guerin, Voyage de la Coquille. 

Of a fine green colour, with a stripe of black 
down the middle of the rostrum and thorax. The 
elytra are suddenly narrowed at the apex, and have 


a band of black in the centre of each, which does 
not reach the extremity. The under side and legs 
are green. 


PLATE XXI. Fig. 4. 

Geonemus Geoffroyii, Voyage de la Coquille. 

Brilliant green, glossed with violet. The rostrum 
has a narrow impressed line down the middle, and 
there is a similar one in the centre of the thorax. 
The elytra are striated, and marked with four cross 
bands of deep black, of which the second from the 
base and that next the apex are abbreviated, and 
the third dilated on each side of the suture. This 
and the preceding species were obtained in a recent 
French voyage of discovery round the world. 


PLATE XXL Fig. 5. 

Fdbricius, Ent. Syst.—L\nn. Syst. Nat. 

Rostrum and thorax black, the surface smooth 
and shining : elytra with punctured lines, a broad 
white stripe at the side of the suture, a broader one 
of a red colour in the middle of each, and a third 
narrower than the others, towards the outer mar- 
gin : the apex greyish : the legs and belly black ; 




\Ciwcuho Latreilln 
2. Curadco sexdzcempunctatus 
■ > inradw ?m rnwsariits. $.Cun nho brunneus. :>. CdJandra heros 


the sides of the latter white or greenish. The lon- 
gitudinal stripes vary considerably in tint ; the cen- 
tral one is generally rose-colour, and the outer one 
is frequently greenish. The insect occurs in Ja- 
maica, and others of the West Indian islands. 


PLATE XXI. Fig. 6. 

Herlst. Coleopt., vi. pi. 67, fig. 12 — Olivier, v. No. 83, 
pi. 20, fig. 253. 

The antennae, rostrum, and thorax, are black ; the 
latter, with the sides and four spots on the back, 
white. The elytra are likewise black, irregularly 
punctured, and marked with two or three spots, 
composed of yellowish scales, which are very irre- 
gular both in form and colour, often running toge- 
ther and forming large patches. The body beneath, 
and the legs, are black, more or less covered with 
white scales. Found in St Domingo, and else- 


PLATE XXII. Fig. 1. 
Cyphus Latreillii, Schctnherr. 

This beautiful insect is entirely of a light green 
glossed with golden yellow, and of great brilliancy, 


The thorax has a groove down the middle. The 
elytra are prominent at the shoulders, marked with 
punctured lines, and having several rounded tuber- 
cles which are brownish or golden-yellow. It is a 
native of Brazil, and, like most of its brilliant allies, 
is invariably found on trees, principally those of the 
genus Mimosa. It is named in honour of the cele- 
brated French entomologist. 


PLATE XXII. Fig. 2. 

Linn. Syst. Nat. p. 618, No. 92 — Fair. Ent. Syst. 

The whole body is of a fine blue, a colour very sel- 
dom observed in this tribe. The thorax is generally 
marked with four, sometimes with five black spots, 
and there are six others on each wing-case, of which 
two at the suture, a little behind the middle, are 
somewhat crescent-shaped and united. The under 
side is blue spotted with black ; the antennae are 
of the latter colour. A native of South America. 


PLATE XXII. Fig. 3. 
Rhigus myrmosarius, Schcenherr. 

Black, densely clothed with long black hair. 
Head and thorax unspotted ; elytra M'ith a streak 


across the base, and several large spots of reddish 
yellow on each, two of which approximate at the 
suture, a little behind the middle, and form a heart- 
shaped spot. Legs brownish. It is found in South 

PLATE XXII. Fig. 4. 

The body of this insect, which belongs to the 
modern genus Rhigus, is entirely reddish brown, 
and marked with numerous small black spots. The 
elytra are acute at the apex, and the legs are black. 
Not having met with any description which could 
be regarded as applying to this species, we have 
distinguished it by the above specific name. It was 
received from Brazil. 

The genus Calandra is known by its nine-joint- 
ed antennae, inserted at the base of the rostrum, with 
the two last joints forming a mass. It contains 
many conspicuous insects, several of which have 
attracted the attention of agriculturists by the injury 
they occasion to corn and other vegetables. The 
best known in Europe is C. granaria, one of the 
smallest of the genus, the larva of which takes up 
its abode in the interior of a grain of corn, and 
speedily consumes it. Many large and remarkable 
kinds are found in tropical countries, where they 
dwell by preference in the interior of monocotyle- 


donous plants. The most common is C. Palma* 
rum, of which the larva, known by the name of ver- 
palmiste, is esteemed a delicious food. It is so 
abundant in Guiana, that shortly after a palm-tree 
is cut down, especially the Maripa palm, which fur- 
nishes the chou-palmiste, of which a great quantity 
is consumed in the colony, crowds of these insects 
may be seen collected upon its stem, and occupied 
in penetrating into its interior.* The species re- 
presented is rather larger than the Palm-weevil, 
and is named 


PLATE XXII. Fig. 5. 

Fair Olivier, v. No. 83, pi. 28, fig. 410. 

The rostrum is black and cylindrical, with a 
small recurved piece on each side at the apex. The 
thorax is brownish black, clothed with a velvety 
pubescence. The elytra are likewise velvety, but 
of a browner hue than the thorax, much shorter 
than the abdomen, and slightly striated on the sur- 
face. The under parts of the body, and the legs, 
are black, the anterior tibiae somewhat curved on 
the interior edge. It inhabits the East Indies. 

* Lacordairee. 



One of the most extensive and important families 
of the tetramerous section has received the above 
name, on account of the great length of the anten- 
nae. Many of the species are of large size, and 
otherwise remarkable for their forms and habits. 
The larger and typical kinds are found only in the 
interminable forests of the tropics, where they fre- 
quent the oldest and largest trees. The larvae live 
in the interior of the stems, which they perforate 
in all directions, and hasten the process of decay. 
In that state they resemble a large white worm, 
which is destitute of feet, but is furnished with 
means of locomotion much better adapted to the ha- 
bits of animals which pass their lives in cylindrical 
excavations not much exceeding their own bodies 
in width. The upper and under sides of most of 
the segments are covered with small prominences 
or asperities. When the insect wishes to advance, 
it contracts its body by bringing the two extremities 
towards each other, and, fixing its hinder end to the 
walls of its hole by means of these asperities, it ex- 
tends the anterior part of its body forwards. This 
operation is repeated at each successive advance- 
ment. When the larva has attained its full size, it 
forms a large cocoon, composed chiefly of saw-dust 
and gnawed portions of wood, in which it changes 
into a chrysalis. Before assuming that state, it 


never fails to approach the mouth of its hole, that 
there may be no obstacle to the development and 
escape of the perfect beetle, which is of much larger 
size than the larva, and not furnished with instru- 
ments of equal efficiency for penetrating wood.* 

These insects lay a considerable number of eggs, 
which they deposit in the crevices and fissures of 
trees. They are of an oblong form, and usually of 
a dirty -yellow colour. Those of some of the larger 
species are nearly equal in size to the eggs of many 
of the smaller birds. The following figure on the 
left represents those of 
P.giganteus; but as the 
specimens from which 
they are taken have 
been long preserved, 
they have no doubt shrunk considerably from their 
original dimensions. 

Like the generality of insects that deposit their 
eggs in holes and narrow fissures, into which the 
extremity of the body could not readily be intro- 
duced, the female Prioni are provided with an in- 
strument which issues from the terminal segment 
of the abdomen, and forms a canal along which the 
egg slides in security to the place destined for its 
reception. This instrument is of a horny consist- 
ence, and generally bears a few small teeth or angu- 
lar projections at the point on the outer side, which 

*01ivier's Entom. iv. p. 4. 



Pnortus Cen icornis 



probably serve to render it more steady by adher- 
ing to the substance into which it is inserted. The 
right-hand figure represents this ovipositor as it 
appears in P. armillatus. 

The largest and most striking of these insects 
compose the genus Prionus. Their antennse are 
longer than the head and thorax, and sometimes 
serrated or pectinated ; whence the generic name, 
from itpuov, a saw% The terminal lobe of the max- 
illae is as long as the first two joints of the palpi, 
and the body is depressed, with the thorax square 
and spined or dentate on its edges. 



Olivier, 66, pi. 2, fig. 8, a, b. — Cerambyx cervicornis, Linn. 
—Merian. Surin., pi. 48. — Macrodontia cervicornis, Lepel. 
et Serv. 

Although this insect is surpassed in size by one 
or two other species of Prioni, it is the most re- 
markable of the larger kinds, owing to its conspicu- 
ous projecting mandibles, and the curious markings 
of the elytra. The prevailing colour of the head 
and thorax is rust-brown; the former bears two 
elevated longitudinal lines, and the latter has three 
strong acute spines on each side, the two anterior 
ones being rather remote from each other, and the 
margin between them dentate. The mandibles of- 


ten exceed the length both of the head and thorax ; 
they are strong, and bent towards each other, especi- 
ally at the tip; their internal edge is deeply serrated, 
and one of the teeth near the middle is considerably 
longer than the rest : they have likewise a strong tooth 
or salient angle on the outer edge towards the ante- 
rior extremity. The elytra are dark brown, varie- 
gated Math numerous longitudinal stripes of reddish 
yellow, which are often interrupted, and united with 
each other. The under parts of the body, and the 
legs, are of a ferruginous colour ; and the latter are 
without spines. This species varies much in size, 
some of the specimens which we have seen measur- 
ing upwards of five inches, while others do not ex- 
ceed two and three quarters. It is an inhabitant 
of Brazil and Cayenne, where it is universally known 
by the name of Mouche scieur de long. This ap- 
pellation refers to a very peculiar habit which the 
insect is recorded to practise. It is said to seize a 
branch of a tree or shrub between its long and 
powerful mandibles, and to fly round the enclosed 
twig till it has succeeded in sawing it off. " Al- 
though I have not myself been a witness of this oc- 
currence," says M. Lacordaire, " I am inclined to 
believe it, both because I have been assured of its 
truth by individuals worthy of credit, and because 
I have seen on several occasions branches cut in 
the manner alluded to, and bearing the evident 
marks of mandibles which must have belonged to 
an insect of the size of this species." A like prac- 


! Priamis cortzcinus. Z.Loptonocerus barbicorrus, 



tice has been noticed in a large species of Oncyde- 
res found in Brazil ; and it is conjectured that simi- 
lar observations will soon be made in relation to 
others of the long-horned beetles. The larva of 
F. cervicornis is said to live in the wood of the 
Gossampinus, and is frequently used as an article 
of food. 


The body of this species is rather depressed. The 
head and antennae are brown, the former having a 
deep furrow between the eyes, and a dense tuft of 
hair in front covering the base of the mandibles. 
The thorax is brown, having a few tubercles in the 
middle, and several spines on the sides, of which 
that next the hinder angle is longest. The elytra 
are elongate, and nearly of equal width throughout 
their whole length ; they are of a brown colour, and 
have a small spine at the apex of each. The un- 
der side of the body, and the legs, are brown. It 
is a native of Cayenne. 

The tribe of Cerambycidce bears a considerable 
resemblance to the preceding in the general ap- 
pearance of the body; but they differ in having 
mandibles of ordinary size, and nearly alike in the 
two sexes. The eyes are notched on the inner side, 
and partly surround the base of the antennae ; — and 


the latter are at least as long as the body. The 
upper lip is very large, and occupies the anterior 
portion of the head. This tribe is of great extent, 
but a very small proportion of the species occur in 
Britain, their characteristic localities being in warm 
countries. They are much esteemed by collectors 
for their handsome proportions, and the beautiful 
combination of colours with which many are adorn- 
ed. Some are remarkable for emitting a strong 
odour of roses, especially that named moschatus, 
which occurs in considerable abundance on willow- 
trees in the vicinity of London. In C. phyllopus, 
a native of Brazil, this scent is so strong that it is 
felt in walking through the woods to a great dis- 
tance. They are usually found in woods and on 
the trunks of trees, being very rarely seen on flow- 
ers, and they appear to derive their chief nourish- 
ment from the sap that exudes from the stems. 
The species figured as an example of this tribe is 


PLATE XXIV. Fig. 2. 

Cerambyx barbicornis, Olivier, iv. No. 67, pi. 7> fig- 48—. 
Linn. Fab. 

This genus is chiefly distinguished by the circum- 
stance from which it derives its name,* viz. the 
* From Xops, a tuft, and xi£u$ t a horn. 


fascicles or tufts of hair with which several of the 
intermediate joints of the antennae are garnished. 
The species represented has the five lowest joints 
thickly clothed with these hairs, which are of a black 
colour; the apex of the joints and the six naked ones 
at the extremity are yellow. The head and thorax 
are also yellow, the latter having a few spots of 
black on the sides, which are armed with a strong 
spine and several tubercles. The elytra are varie- 
gated with black and reddish yellow. The middle 
of the abdomen is yellow, and the legs are entirely 
of that colour. It is a native of Cayenne, and not 
of Asia, as erroneously stated by Linnaeus and Fab- 

The next important tribe of the long-horned 
beetles that presents itself to our notice, is that 
named Lamiarle, in which the head is nearly ver- 
tical, the palpi almost filiform, and terminating in 
an oval joint, which tapers to a point. The outer 
lobe of the under jaws is narrowed at the extremity, 
and curved upon the inner one. The most re- 
markable insect belonging to the tribe is that 



PLATE XXV. Fig. 1. 

Cerambyx longimanus, Linn — Prionus longimanus, Fab. 
—Olivier, iv. No. 66, pi. 3, fig. 12, pi. 4, fig. 12. 

It is distinguished generically by having a move- 
able tubercle on each side of the thorax terminating 
in a spine. This is certainly one of the most singular of 
coleopterous insects, whether we regard the propor- 
tions of its parts, or the curious colouring and variega- 
tion of the body. The figures on the elytra, formed 
of strongly contrasted colours, are so regularly drawn 
that they may be conceived to be the result of some 
artificial process. As the wings of several moths 
and butterflies are inscribed with characters repre- 
senting with great accuracy letters of various lan- 
guages, and figures corresponding with several dates 
of the Christian era, these grotesque delineations in 
like manner seem to resemble, as has been remarked 
of them, certain hieroglyphic symbols pourtrayed by 
the mysterious hand of nature. Its party-coloured 
dress has caused the insect to be very generally 
known by the name of Harlequin Beetle. 

The ground colour is black, and the whole sur- 
face is clothed with a dense silky pubescence. The 
antennae are about twice the length of the body, and 
of a black colour, except the base of the joints, which 

PLATE 2.1 

\.Acrocuiu r h?7ioimaruu& 


is greyish. The head is ornamented with two tri- 
angular patches of red, and two lines of the same 
hue are placed in the centre of the thorax, which 
converge in front: from each side of the thorax 
behind there projects a strong spine, which can be 
moved in different directions at the will of the in- 
sect ; and two others, of small size, and incapable of 
motion, issue from the back, one towards each side. 
The elytra are variegated with undulated lines and 
angular figures of red and grey : towards the base 
the surface is pretty thickly covered with impressed 
points, interspersed with small black shining tuber- 
cles ; and each elytron bears an acute spine on the 
shoulder, and two others at the hinder extremity. 
The under parts are likewise covered with silky 
pubescence, but it is of a grey colour. The thighs 
are smooth and black, each of them surrounded by 
a red ring near the apex. The anterior thighs and 
tibiae are of great length, the latter much incurved 
at the tip, where they are armed with a spine, and 
covered with small points and granulations on the 
under side ; these parts in the other legs are smooth, 
and more or less ash-coloured. This insect is of fre- 
quent occurrence in Brazil, Guiana, and other tropi- 
cal countries of America. It is known to the natives 
by the name of Mouche bagasse, a term taken from 
a tree which has lately been described under the 
botanical appellation of JBagassa Guyanensis. The 
wood of this tree is of a bright yellow, and when it 
is felled, there issues from it a white viscid juice of 


a peculiar and penetrating odour, of which the in- 
sects are so fond that they seldom fail to be attract- 
ed by it. The negroes, who often employ them- 
selves in searching for the rarer and more beautiful 
kinds of insects, that they may dispose of them to 
collectors, avail themselves of this propensity, and 
sometimes cut down these trees, as the most ready 
means of obtaining a supply of beetles. It is gene- 
rally found on the trunk or at the bottom of trees, 
rarely under the bark, and never on the leaves. 
Its motions are so sluggish, that it may be said to 
drag itself along rather than walk. It occasionally 
takes wing on the approach of evening, but its 
flight is slow and unsteady, scarcely appearing un- 
der the guidance of the animal, as it strikes against 
any object that happens to be in the way, and falls 
to the ground. A rustling sound accompanies its 
flight, and it often betrays its retreat by a rather 
loud noise, which is produced by the friction of the 
thorax. It varies greatly in size and colour. Spe- 
cimens from the interior of the country are usually 
of a much paler tint than such as are obtained in 
the neighbourhood of Rio Janeiro, and other places 
towards the coast.* 

The genus Lamia, from which the present tribe 
derives its name, is constituted by a variety of finely- 
coloured species, some of which are of considerable 
size. They are extensively diffused over the earth, 

* Anal, des Sciences Naturelles, torn. xxi. 180. 

PLATE 26. 

wruaornate 2 Lamia formosa 3,Desrnocerus cytmeus ZLa/nia 


and a considerable number occur in Europe. Only 
two kinds appear to inhabit Britain. 


PLATE XXV. Fig. 2. 

Cerambyx subocellatus, Olivier, iv. No. 67, p. 69, pi. 2, 
fig. 12, o, b. 

The colour of the body is brownish black, and it 
is covered with dense silky pubescence. A broad 
stripe of yellowish white runs along the middle of 
the head, and is continued down the centre of the 
thorax ; the latter is armed with an acute spine on 
each side. The elytra are marked with numerous 
rounded spots of yellowish white, which are vari- 
able in size. We received the specimen figured 
from Brazil. 


PLATE XXVI. Fig. 1. 

Cerambyx ornatus, Olivier, iv. No. 67, pi. 4, fig. 24, a, b. 

The head of this pretty insect is golden yellow, 
glossed with green about the eyes, and having two 
black lines anteriorly. The thorax is of the same 
colour as the head, and has two narrow cross bands 
of black : the hinder margin green. The elytra 
are yellow, marked with regular patches of black 


which are surrounded with green ; the suture and 
hinder extremity of the elytra are of the latter co- 
lour. The middle of the abdomen and the legs are 
glossed with green. It is said to be a native of 


PLATE XXVI. Fig. 2. 

Olivier, iv. No. 67, pL 20, fig. 153. 

In this insect the head is black, with the front 
rust-red, the thorax black, having a large red spot 
on each side ; the elytra are likewise black, with 
two broad bands of red interrupted at the suture, 
and a few white punctures towards the hinder ex- 
tremity, which is itself red. The legs are black, 
spotted with white at the base. 

PLATE XXVI. Fig. 4. 

This very fine species is about an inch and a half 
in length. The antennae are steel-blue, with dense 
tufts of hair on the third, fourth, and fifth joints. 
The head and thorax are covered with short de- 
pressed hairs of a brassy green or bluish tint ; the 
latter has two small tubercles on each side. The 
elytra are similar in colour to the thorax, the back 


usually somewhat shining, and the whole surface is 
thickly punctured : there are three remote bands of 
black composed of soft hairs, and having the ap- 
pearance of velvet, the hairs of the anterior band 
longer than in the others, and frequently forming 
a considerable tuft towards the suture. The un- 
der side of the body and the lower half of the thighs 
are closely covered with depressed hairs of a deep 
and beautiful red ; the other parts of the leg are 
steel-blue, glossed with green above. An exten- 
sive series of specimens have lately been procured 
from Java. 

Of the last tribe of the long-horned beetles, 
termed Lepturidje, the example figured is named 


PLATE XXVI. Fig. 3. 

Stenocorus cyaneus, Fair. — Olivier, iv. No. 69, pi. 3, fig. 26. 

It is of a dark-blue colour, somewhat shining, 
roughly punctured and pubescent. The head has 
a longitudinal groove, and there is a similar im- 
pression down the centre of the thorax ; the latter 
is in the shape of a truncated cone, with the hin- 
der angles very acute, and almost forming a spine. 
The anterior half of the elytra is yellow, the other 
dark blue, with violet reflections. The under parts 
of the body, and the legs, are dark blue. It is said 
to inhabit India and other eastern countries of Asia. 

256 :natt7ral history of 

The fifth family of tetramerous beetles, accord- 
ing to the system of Latreille, comprehends the ge- 
nus Sagra, which has the palpi terminated by an 
oval joint, the thorax cylindrical, and the antennae 
filiform, with the four lowest joints shorter than 
the others. The hinder thighs are very thick, es- 
pecially in one of the sexes. The species are con- 
fined to Africa, the island of Ceylon, and China. 


Lessors Illustrations de Zoologie, pi. 30. 

The male is about thirteen lines long and six 
broad. The surface of the body is perfectly smooth 
and polished, of a brilliant green, with purple and 
coppery reflections of the highest resplendency, 
especially on the elytra. The hinder thighs are 
remarkably long and thick, and armed beneath with 
a few acute teeth ; the hinder tibiae are garnished 
with long rust-red hairs. The female does not ex- 
ceed eleven lines in length. The body is not so 
much narrowed behind as that of the male ; the thighs 
of the hinder legs are oval, and the tibiae naked. It 
inhabits Cochin China, and is probably synonymous 
with S. Boisduvalii (Dejean), of which we have seen 
a multitude of specimens from Java. 

The Cassidje, or Tortoise-beetles as they are 
sometimes called, are chiefly remarkable for a habit 

PLATE 27. 

Ssu/rn BuqiL&tit. 
1. male 2. female: 

PLATE 28. 

Surinam . 

V ) 



i. Cassida bicoTTiis. 

2. scalaris 

5. micans, 

4. echinatn . 

5. perforata 

6. _ hictuosa. 


which they practise in common with several allied 
kinds, that of covering their bodies, when larva?, 
with their own excrements. In order to enable 
them to do this with facility, they are provided with 
a forked process issuing from the anal extremity, 
which can be turned upwards, and laid along the 
back. Upon this they deposit their excrement, 
and support the load in such a manner as to cover 
the body. This singular covering is probably de- 
signed to shelter the tender body of the larva from 
the air and sun, and at the same time to conceal it 
from birds. The outer shell of the perfect beetle 
considerably overlaps the body, and the legs can 
be drawn completely within it. The species are 
very numerous, and many of them highly ornamen- 
tal, as will be seen from the adjoining figures. 



Fair. Ent. Syst — Olivier, vi. No. 97, pi. 4, fig. 59. 

The colour of this insect is bluish green, except 
the antennae, which are black with the radical joints 
bronzed. The thorax has two or three small im- 
pressions ; and the elytra, which are punctured, have 
a long obtuse spine projecting sidewise from each 
shoulder. It occurs in Cayenne, Surinam, and 
other parts of America* 



Fair. Syst. Eleuth Olivier, vi. No. 97, pi. 4, fig. 94. 

Thorax rounded anteriorly, yellow, with a portion 
of the middle red, in which are two yellow points. 
The scutellum is red. The elytra are pale yellow, 
with three broad longitudinal black stripes, of which 
that on the suture is broken into square spots, and 
the lateral ones have each a square piece separated 
from the apex. The under parts are yellow. Said 
to be found in Sumatra. 



Fair. Syst. Eleuth Olivier, vi. No. 97, pi. 5, fig. 83. 

In this insect the antennae are yellow, with the 
two last joints black ; the thorax yellow, and nearly 
transparent ; the elytra yellowish brown on the disk, 
a stripe of that colour extending to each of the an- 
terior angles, and two others from the hinder ex- 
tremity across the dilated margin, which, as well as 
the under parts of the body, is pale yellow. Found 
in Java. 




Fabr. Syst. Eleuth.— Olivier y vi. No. 97, pi. 5, fig. 86. 

This curious species has the thorax very much 
dilated on each side into a thin foliaceous membrane, 
which is dentate round the margin. A similar ex- 
panded portion, likewise dentate on the edge, sur- 
rounds the elytra ; the latter have the anterior half 
green, and the hinder part reddish brown. The 
under side of the body is dull yellowish red. Like 
the preceding species, it is a native of Java. 


Fabr. Syst. Entom.— Olivier y vi. No. 97, ph 4, fig. 58. 

The colour is yellowish red, dull above, but shin- 
ing beneath. The thorax is short and transverse, 
the sides drawn out into a kind of spine. The ely- 
tra are nearly triangular, the basal angles advanced 
on each side of the thorax in the form of an acute 
point ; and there is an oval perforation observable 
near the base of each. It is found in the tropical 
parts of America. 




Olivier, vi. No. 97, pi. 4, fig. 54. 

Head and thorax black, the latter short, and ter- 
minating in an acute point at each of the hinder 
angles. The elytra are likewise black, with all the 
outer edge, a small portion of the suture, and a 
short line near the middle of each, reddish ; the un- 
der side and legs are also of that colour. It is found 
at Surinam. 



Fabr. Syst. Entom — Olivier, 97, pi. 3, fig. 36. 

This well-known species is bluish green above, 
and shining black beneath. The elytra are gibbous 
on the back, the surface thickly punctured, and each 
of the wing-cases marked with three spots of red. 
It is found in Brazil, where it is rather common. 

PLATE XXX. Fig. 1. 

The Alurni have antennae of equal thickness 


throughout their whole length, with the second 
v oint shorter than the following, and they are di- 
rected forwards ; the body is oblong ; the head not 
concealed within the thorax, and the mandibles are 
furnished with only two or three teeth. A. margi- 
natus is very common in Brazil, and always frequents 
the leaves of plants. It is of a dull brownish-black 
colour above, with the sides of the thorax, outer 
edge of the elytra, and the suture, margined with 
blood-red. The head, and all the under parts of 
the body, are likewise of that colour, the apex of 
the thighs, the tibiae, and tarsi, being black. 


PLATE XXIX. Fig. 2. 

Fair. Syst. Eleuth Olivier, No. 96, pi. 2, fig. 18. 

The head, thorax, and scutellum, as well as ail 
the under parts of the body, are blue, and covered 
with rather long ash-coloured hairs. The elytra are 
brownish red, with three black spots on each, one 
on the shoulder and two others behind the middle. 
It occurs in Barbary. 



PLATE XXIX. Fig. 3. 

Fabr. Ent. Syst — Olivier, vi. No. 96, pi. 1, fig. 1, a, b. 

In this singular genus, the thorax rises in the 
middle into a tuberculated protuberance, and is 
produced behind in the form of a triangle ; the su- 
ture of the elytra, except at the base, is armed with 
little teeth, alternating with each other like the cogs 
of a mill-wheel ;* and in certain species the palpi 
are forked. A considerable number of these insects 
are known, and all of them are proper to the new 
world. They are found on leaves, over which they 
walk very slowly, and simulate death when attempt- 
ed to be seized. They appear never to make use 
of their wings, but are usually observed adhering 
to a leaf, and continuing quite stationary. When in 
this posture, they bear a much greater resemblance 
to a piece of withered fungus, or some gelatinous 
substance shrivelled by the sun, than to any living 
creature. The species figured is about five or six 
lines long, of a uniform violet blue, the thorax with 
a somewhat silky gloss, and the elytra much wrin- 
kled, tuberculated, and punctured. The segments 
of the abdomen are drawn within each other like 
the tubes of a telescope, and the penultimate one 
has a deep rounded impression in the middle. 
• Introd. to Ent. iii. 597- 


PLATE XXX. Fig. 2. 

The Eumolpi differ from the allied genera in hav- 
ing mandibles of ordinary size, and the second joint 
of the antennae much shorter than the following. 
The species are pretty numerous, and many of them 
are insects of great beauty. They are usually found 
on the leaves of plants, sometimes associated in con- 
siderable numbers. This is the case particularly 
with E. fulgidus, one of the largest kinds and the 
most common in Brazil. The species represented 
is a native of America. The head, thorax, and 
scutellum, are greenish blue, of a very beautiful 
tint, especially when moistened. The elytra are 
closely but distinctly punctured, of a rich coppery 
red glossed with green. The under side and legs 
are bluish green, the latter somewhat pubescent to- 
wards the foot. 

The extensive genus Chrysomela is character- 
ised by the body being ovate and very convex, — 
by the antennae thickening slightly towards the 
apex, — and by the dilated and somewhat hatchet- 
shaped terminal joint of the maxillary palpi. The 
name, which signifies an apple of gold, has been 
suggested by the rounded form and rich colouring 
of the species. In the last particular, they are not 
inferior to any of our native insects, many of them 


being embellished with agreeable combinations of 
scarlet, azure, and golden green, with a high de- 
gree of lustre. They are strictly herbivorous ; and 
as many of them are gregarious in their habits, 
they sometimes occasion much injury to herbaceous 
plants, by stripping them of their leaves. About 
thirty different kinds inhabit this country ; of these 
perhaps the most beautiful is named 

PLATE XXX. Fig. 3. 

Linn. Syst. Nat — Fair. Syst. Entom. — Donovan's Brit. In~ 
sects, iv. pi. 115. 

It is of a brilliant coppery red above, with parallel 
stripes of blue along the thorax and elytra. The 
under side of the body and the antennae are usually 
brownish, at other times inclining to purple. The 
wings are of a fine scarlet colour. It is found on 
the common broom, and is not uncommon in some 
parts of the Continent. In this country it is very 
scarce, and was long regarded as a doubtful native ; 
but the recent occurrence of several examples in 
Wales has removed all uncertainty on this point. 




; ',-r- 

Vs. ^ 



PLATE XXX. Fig. 4. 
Linn. Fabr. — Donovan's Brit. Insects, vi. pi. 194. 

Brilliant golden green, with the suture and a 
stripe along each elytron violet blue. The length 
is about three lines. It is found on the White 
Dead Nettle (Lamium album), and occurs not un- 
frequently both in England and Scotland. 


PLATE XXIX. Fig. 4. 

Olivier, v. No. 91, pi. 1, fig. 6. 

This genus is well discriminated from the other 
chrysomelinae by the character which has suggested 
the name,* viz. the long conical horn projecting 
from the breast. The species are peculiar to South 
America, in some countries of which they are much 
more numerous than the chrysomelae properly so 
called. They are usually observed walking slowly 
on the leaves of plants, and they permit themselves 
to fall to the ground when one approaches. When 
handled they discharge from the mouth a yellow 
liquor of a foetid smell. The species above refer- 

* From 3ogv0tf£af , a pike^bearer. 


red to, is very convex, smooth, and glossy. The 
head and thorax are glossy black, with a brassy lus- 
tre, and without punctures. The elytra are punc- 
tured, of a yellow colour, with five cross rows of 
large quadrate black or brown spots, that next the 
apex consisting of only two. The under side and 
legs, as well as the outer margins and suture of the 
elytra, are black. The length is nearly nine lines. 

PLATE XXX. Fig. 5. 

CEdionychis is one of the sub-genera into which 
the extensive genus Haltica of Linnaeus has re- 
cently been divided. The species are distinguish- 
ed from most other tetramerous beetles, by the 
thickened hinder thighs, by which they are enabled 
to leap to a considerable height into the air. Most 
of them are of small size, but they are finely co- 
loured, and very destructive in their habits. The 
species named cincta is of a yellow colour on the 
head, thorax, and scutellum. The elytra are violet 
blue, shining, with a band of white across the mid- 
dle, which widens at the suture. The under side 
and antennae are pale yellowish red, the legs being 
of a similar colour, except the hinder thighs, which 
are bluish. It occurs in St Domingo. 

The only remaining family of the tetramerous 
beetles that requires to be noticed, is named Cla- 


vi palp i, on account of the large size of the termi- 
nal joint of the maxillary palpi. It includes only a 
few genera, some of which consist of small insects 
with a hemispherical body, which they have the 
power of contracting into a ball. The larger kinds, 
which do not possess this property, are chiefly re- 
ferrible to the genus Erotylus of Fabricius. The 
latter well exemplify the distinctive character of the 
family, as the last joint of the maxillary palpi is un- 
usually large, transverse, and attached by the middle 
to the stalk of the palpus, bearing considerable re- 
semblance to a hammer. The species are nume- 
rous, amounting to nearly one hundred and thirty ; 
and they occur chiefly in the tropical countries of 
America, if indeed they are not confined to these 
regions. They are said to frequent leaves, and are 
observed flying about in the woods during the day. 
They are solitary in their habits, with the exception 
of E. spliacelatus (Fab.), which is usually found con- 
gregated in considerable numbers on the trunks of 
fallen trees. The species figured is not rare. It is 


PLATE XXIX. F I0 . 5. 

Fabr. Ent. Syst — Olivier, v. No. 89, pi. 2, fig. 12, a, ft. 

It is about an inch long ; the head, antennae, and 
thorax black ; the elytra, which are very much ele- 


vated in the middle, are likewise black, with irre- 
gular bands formed of yellow confluent spots ; two 
of these spots, one on the shoulder of each elytron, 
and another at the apex, are reddish ; the surface is 
marked w r ith dark impressed points, which form ir- 
regular lines anteriorly. The under side and legs 
are black. The markings vary much, in some in- 
stances the black bands on the elytra being almost 


PLATE XXIX. Fig. 6. 
Kirby, Linn. Trans, xii. pi. 22, fig. 4. 

This genus was established by Mr Kirby on an 
insect from Brazil, very closely related to Helops. 
The head and thorax are black and shining, the latter 
sparingly punctured. The elytra are very gibbous 
in the centre, marked w r ith punctured lines, of a 
pale-yellow colour spotted with black, and having a 
broad band over the middle, and the apex black. 
The under side and legs are likewise black. The 
figure of this insect has been accidentally placed 
among the tetramerous insects, but it belongs to the 
heteromerous section, as will be seen from the num- 
ber of joints in the tarsi. 

PL ATI- 30. 

1 J////m/A maramatm 

i Eu/ntfyns CUpreUs 

o Cnrysomela cerealu 


} ' tvys-omela fast 
■■■ tcuor^, ,% i dncia 

u/r//,/ '2-punctuta 


The fourth general division of the Coleoptera, 
named Trimera, includes the kinds with three 
joints in all the tarsi. As an example of this division, 
which is comparatively of limited extent, we have 
figured a beautiful species of the well-known genus 

PLATE XXX. Fig. 6. 
Donovan, Brit. Insects. 

It is entirely of a light-yellow colour, having five 
black spots on the thorax, and eleven on each ely- 
tron. It is of frequent occurrence in England. 

the END. 


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