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Full text of "Popular history of the aquarium of marine and fresh-water animals and plants"

l^lat,e I, 




Sawerby ddet jiQ 



1. Group of Serpula. cuntoruiphcata 2 . Case of TerebelhiTn conchilega, 
formed of sl"iells .pekibles axid saxid 5"WonTi. "wi-thdra-vn from ca.s& . 



o V. 



POPULAR HISTORY 

OP 

THE AQUARIUM 

OP 

MARINE AND FRESH-WATER ANIMALS 
AND PLANTS. 



BY 

GEOEGE BEETTINGHAM SOWERBY, E.L.S. 



LOiS'DON : 

LOVELL REEVE, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN. 

1857. 



S>- 




JOHN EDWARD TATLOE, PRIXTEB, 
LITTLE QrEEK STEEET, LINCOLN'S INX FIELDS. 




PREFACE, 



In the Introductory Chapter of this little Work will be 
found some general observations on the nature and uses of 
the Aquarium. These are accompanied by a few practical 
hints for the guidance of those who wish to possess such 
receptacles. The greater part of the volume, however, is 
occupied by descriptive accounts of such animals as have 
been, or may be, observed in Aquaria to greatest advantage. 
They are arranged in the order of their respective classes ; 
and while the greatest attention has been given to observa- 
tions of their functions and habits, their physical structure 
and the places they occupy in the system of Nature have 
not been forgotten. 

The Writer^s personal observations of Hi/droid Zoophytes^ 



VI PREFACE. 

treated of in the Second Chapter, as well as some animal 
organisms detailed in the Third and occasionally through- 
out the Work, being very limited, he has not hesitated to 
introduce passages from the pens of those who have studied 
in detail the classes to which they belong. 

Other parts of the Work contain more original obser- 
vations and opinions, many of which will be new to the 
Eeader. 

As every Work on this subject must however bear, to a 
greater or less extent, the character of a compilation, the 
Writer has been less anxious to produce an original book, 
than to bring together, in an available manner, a large num- 
ber of facts which will prove interesting to his readers : and 
whether in his own words, or from the pens of others, he 
has endeavoured to introduce these facts in an attractive 
form. Sea Anemones, the flowers of the marine garden, 
and Madrepores, which may be termed Anemones with coral 
skeletons, are sure to attract attention for their beauty and 
curious habits. Then come the Star-fish and Sea Cucum- 
bers, with their strange self-mutilating propensities. The 



PREFACE. VU 

Crustacean scavengers, Crabs, Lobsters, and Prawns, from 
the Hermit in his movable cell, to the Common Shrimp 
burrowing and skipping in the sand, present a strange 
variety of facts, in their premature changes, their periodical 
exuviations, and their manner of feeding and living. Mol- 
lusca and Fishes have not yet been studied as they will be : 
but a few notices of tliem are presented ; such as those of 
the habits of the Nest-building Stickleback, and the Peri- 
winkle with his rasping tongue. 

The fresh-water department will afford many pleasing 
although familiar details, in the metamorphoses, exuvia- 
tions, and general habits of Frogs, Newts, Water Beetles, 
and Water Tortoises ; with the wonderfully divisible Green 
Hydra, and the Water Spider with his beautiful air-bell. 

The Writer can only hope that enough of pleasant matter 
will be found to induce his readers to excuse the errors and 
omissions of which he is but too conscious. 



PemhroTce Square, Kensington, 
May, 1857. 




IX 



CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION. 

PAGE 

Nature of an Aquarium. — Experiments and adoption of Plan. — The 
Vessel. — Shape and Material. — Fittings and Furnishing. — Aspect 
and Admission of Light. — The Water. — Plants. — Animals. — 
Transport of Specimens. — Care of the Aquarium 1 

CHAPTER II. 

SPONGES AND HYDKOID ZOOPHYTES. 

Nature and Habits of Sponges. — Propagation. — Appearance when living. 
— Grantia botryoides. — Grantia ciliata. — Euplectella aspergillum. 
— Zoophytes defined. — Classification. — Hydroid Zoophytes. — Hy- 
dractinea echinata. — Coryne pusilla. — Coryne sessilis. — Euden- 
drium rameum. — Tubularia indivisa. — Sertularia polygonalis. — 
Sertularia argentea. — x\ntennularia antennina. — Plumularia pin- 
nata. — Laomedea dichotoma. — Laomedea geniculata. — Laomedea 
gelatinosa. — Campanularia volubilis. — Eucretia chelata. — Anguina 
spatulata. — Cellularia ciliata 23 

CHAPTER III. 

Sea-Feathers, Sea-Pens, and Sea-Froth. — Pennatula phosphorea. — 
Yirgularia mirabilis. — Pavonaria quadrangularis. — Gorgonia ver- 
rucosa. — Kingfisher's Nest or Mermaid's Gloves. — Alcyonium 
digitatum. — Alcyonidium hirsutum. — Infusoria and Foraminifera 60 



39673 



X CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

PAGE 

Sea-Anemones, or Actiniadse. — Tenacity of Life. — Reproduction of 
Parts. — Double-headed specimen. — Power of stinging. — Food. — 
Moralizatiou, or Purposeless Existence.— Changes of form. — 
Classification 78 

CHAPTER V. 

SEA-ANEMONES. — THEIR DIFFERENT KINDS. 

Sea- Anemones, continued. — Divisions into Genera. — Sagartia. — 
Bunodes. — Actinia. — Anthea. — Adamsia. — Abnormal forms of 
Actiniadse. — Corynactes. — Hyanthus. — Capnea. — Arachnitis. — 
Edvvardsia. — Peachia , 95 

CHAPTER VI. 

SEA-BELLS AND CORALS. 

Lucemaria. — Zoanthus. — Madrepores. — Compared with Anemones. — 
Their beauty. — Feeding. — Balseuophyllea. — Turbinaria. — Oculina. 
— Corals and Coral Islands. — Mushroom Coral 125 

CHAPTER VII. 

Medusae, or Jelly-fish. — Not good Aquarians. — Their history .^ — Multi- 
plication. — ^Metamorphoses. — Chrysoaria cyclonota. — Beroeovata. 
— Sea-Cucumbers. — Mode of progression. — Habits in an Aqua- 
rium. — Self-mutilations. — Psolinus brevis. — Cucumaria grandis. 
— Thyone papillosa 149 

CHAPTER VIII. 

SEA-URCHINS AND STAR-FISHES. 

Common Echinus. — Means of progression. — Proportions of Plates. — 
Digestive organs. — Echinus miliaris. — Spatangus. — Cidaris. — 
Star-fishes. — Their classification. — The Rosy Feather-Star. — 
Ophiocoma. — Luidia. — Uraster 163 



CONTENTS. XI 

CHAPTER IX. 

SEA-WOKMS. 

PAGE 

General description. — Classification. — Out-door studies. — Serpula con- 
tortuplicata. — Amphitrite .^geana. — Sabella tubularia. — Sabella 
alveolata. — Terebella concliilega. — Nereis bilineata. — Aphrodite 
aculeata 179 

CHAPTER X. 

NIGHT-LIGHTS AND ENTOMOSTRACA. 

Noctiluca miliaris. — Entomostraca. — Dr. Baird's account of their ha- 
y^ bits. — Chirocephalus diapbanus. — Artemia salina. — Cypridse. — 

Cyclops quadricornis. — Lerneonema Sprattae 193- 

CHAPTER XI. 

CRUSTACEA. 

Nature and Construction. — Exuviation. — Casting limbs. — Metamor- 
phoses. — The Prawn, Palsemon serratus. — The common Shrimp. 
— The common Lobster 211 

CHAPTER XII. 

CRABS. 

Carcinus msenas. — Its habits. — ^Metamorphoses. — Cancer Pagurus. — 
Soft Crab. — Observation's in a tank. — Galathea strigosa. — Porcel- 
lana platycheles. — The Hermit Crab. — Its pugnacity. — Choosing 
a house. — Caution. — INIetamorphoses 230 

CHAPTER XIII. 

WATER-INSECTS. 

Argyroneta aquatica. — Its Nests under Water. — Deposition of Eggs. — 
General habits. — Dyticus marginalis. — Air investiture. — Breath- 
ing. — Larva. — Feeding 247 



XU CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

MOLLUSCA. 

PAGE 

Aquarian observations on Mollusca. — Littorina littorea. — Limnseastag- 
nalis. — Ascidia vitrea (?). — Nudibranchiate Mollusca. —Doris bi- 
lamellata. — Purpura lapillus. — Saxicava rugosa. — Pecten opercu- 
laris. — Philline quadripartita. — Sepiola vulgaris 260 

CHAPTER XV. 

FISHES. 

Fishes in Vivaria. — Gasterosteus aculeatus. — Nest-building, — Platessa 
vulgaris. — Gobius niger. — Mugil cbelo. — Lepidogaster bimacu- 
latus, — Syngnathus lumbricifonnis. — Fresb-water Fishes. — Lumi- 
nosity of Fish. — Herrings. — ' Schools and Schoolmasters.' — Lepi- 
dosiren, or Mud-fish 276 

CHAPTER XVI. 

FRESH-WATER ANIMALS. 

The Green Hydra. — Triton cristatus. — A panic. — Habits. — Frogs. — 
Fresh-water Tortoises. — Emydidte. — Marine Tortoises. — Turtles. 
— Habits of Emy« concentrica. — Trionychidse. — Mud-Tortoises. 



XIU 



LIST OF PLATES, 



PLATE I. 

Fig. 1. Group of Serpula contortupUcata. 2. Case of Tere- 
hellum concMlega, formed of shells, pebbles, and sand. 3. "Worm 
withdrawn from case. 

PLATE II. 

Amplntrite JEgeana. 1. In its transparent case (reduced). 
2. Worm out of its case. 3. Head expanded. 4. Head closed. 

PLATE III. 

Corals. 1. Skeleton of i^?<?2^m, or Mushroom Coral. 2. Ca- 
ryophyllea Smithii, animal expanded. 3. The animal closed. 
4. Compound specimen. 5. Dissected skeleton. 6. Tentacles. 
7. Oculina prolifera. 

PLATE IV. 

1. Edwardsia vestita, clothed with its leathery coat. 2. Ed- 
wardsia withdrawn. 



XIV LIST OF PLATES. 



PLATE Y. 



Alcyonium digitatum. 1. A two-lobed specimen with polypes 
expanded. 2. Young of the same. 3. A polype magnified. 
4. Internal spiculse. 

PLATE YI. 

Snake-headed and Clubbed Anemones. 1. Sagartia an- 
guicoma. 2. The same extended. 3. The same closed and flat. 
4. Bunodes clavata. 

PLATE YII. 

1. Plumose Anemone {Sagartia dianthus) expanded. 2. Ya- 
riety of the same, closed. 3. Young of the same. 

PLATE YIII. 

Gemmaceous Anemone {Bunodes gemmacea) expanded and 
closed. 

PLATE IX. 

1. Anthea cereus, with two tentacles suspended by confervae 
and air-bubbles. 2. Bunodes miniata. 3, 4. Sagartia nivea. 



PLATE X. 

1. Sea Cucumber {Pentacla jpentactes), headless specimen. 
2, 3. Healthy specimens. 4. PhilUne {Bullcea) aperta. 5. A 

sbfill of flip snmp 



sheU of the same. 



LIST OF PLATES. XV 

PLATE XI. 

1. Hermit Crab (Pagurus Bernhardus) in a sliell of tlie Whelk, 
surmounted by an Anemone {Sagartia parasitica), and studded 
by Balani. 2. The same withdrawn. 3. The same in a shell of 
the Periwinkle. 

PLATE XII. 

The common Prawn {Palcemon serratus). 

PLATE XIII. 

Ascidians (Ascidia hyalina) in a '^e3iyfeedi{Phyllophora ruhens). 

PLATE XIV. 

Naked-gilled Mollusca. 1. Eolis coronata. 2. Gills of 
the same. 3. Doris Jlammea. 4. Gills of the same. 5. Ten- 
tacle of the same. 6. JEolis despecta. 7. Eumenis marmorata. 
8. Spawn ribbon. « 

PLATE XV. 

Young Flounders {Platessa vulgaris). 

PLATE XVI. 

1. Mudfish of the Gambia {Lepidosiren anTiectans). 2. Case 
in which it was enclosed for six months, within a ball of clay. 

PLATE XVII. 

Stae-fish. L Uraster ruhem, which, having lost two limbs. 



XVI LIST OF PLATES. 

is in the process of restoring them. 2. Star-fish {G-oniaster 
equestris). 3. Under side of the same. 4i. Balanophyllea regia. 

PLATE XYIII. 

The Water-Spider {Argyroneta aquatica), and air-bubbles, 
with young. 

PLATE XIX. 

Newts. 1. Triton cristatus, female. 2. Male. 3. Young. 
4. Water Beetle {Dyticus marginalis) devouring a Planorhis. 

PLATE XX. 

Eresh-water Tortoise {Emys concentrica) and a young Alli- 
gator. 



POPULAR 



HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM, 



INTEODUCTION. 

■ In hollow of the tide-worn reef, 
Left at low water glistening in the sun, 
Pellucid pools, and rocks in miniature, 
With their small fry of fishes, crusted shells 
Rich mosses, tree-like seaweed, sparkling pebbles 
Enchant the eyes, and tempt the eager hand 
To ^^olate the fairy paradise," — Montgomery . 




NATURE OF AN AQUARIUM. EXPERIMENTS AND ADOPTION OF PLAN. 

THE VESSEL. SHAPE AND MATERIAL. FITTINGS AND FURNISHING. 

ASPECT AND ADMISSION OF LIGHT. THE 'WATER. PLANTS. ANIMALS. 

TRANSPORT OF SPECIMENS. — CARE OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Ix tide-pools of the shore we see the most picturesque 
miniatures of ocean life. Surrounded by a reef of small 
rocksj fringed witli overhanging seaweeds and branching 
corallines, these little nooks afford grotto-like dwellings for 
animated beings. Crabs are here seen half hiding in tlie 

B 



2 POPULAR HISTOEY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

dark recesses ; shrin^ps are burrowing in the sand or dart- 
ing across tlie little bay ; sea-flowers are blooming ; sea- 
worms expanding their feathery fans ; and barnacles incrust- 
ing rocks. Pebbles throw out their long arms fringed with 
network in many a cast for food ; and small fishes glitter 
in the brine as they seek to elude the stranger's sight. 

Could we but transport this little picture to our dwell- 
ings — could we place it in our gardens — could we examine 
the contents at leisure — could we watch the habits of 
these living creatures in their native element, but far from 
their native retreats, what an endless source of amuse- 
ment would it be ! Can we do this ? Can we raise the 
grotto, and carry it home, water, rocks, plants, animals and 
all? No, but we can realize the idea, by collecting the 
materials and imitating the arrangement, and this will be 
a " Marine Aquarium. '' 

Imagine again, a section of a river, pond, or lake, with 
its weeds and rushes flourishing, water-snails creeping on 
the leaves, and fishes gliding among the stems ; suppose 
this section oiclosed within ghiss walls, and placed in 
your parlour or conservatory, and you have a ^^Fresh-water 
A'ivarium." 

But while the imitation of a tide-pool or pond may 



INTRODUCTION. 5 

represent the primary idea of a Water Yivarium^ yet tlie 
experiments are not all confined to those organizations 
which keep within shallow waters : even denizens of the deep 
may be provided with such accommodation as will almost 
make them feeL themselves at hom.e. 

Xor is it only for aynnsement that such parlour oceans 
and lakes are prepared and stocked ; they are invaluable 
as a means of instniciion. The natures of living beings 
can never be thoroughly known but by tlieir habits ; their 
habits cannot be well understood unless closely and con- 
tinuously observed ; and if we cannot go down among 
moUusca, Crustacea, and zoophytes to examine them in their 
native haunts, we can now bring them up to us, to be 
studied in nearly similar conditions. 

The principle upon which \Yater Yivaria are constructed 
and maintained consists mainly in balancing animal by 
vegetable life, thus : — If a few fish were confined in a 
vessel of water, and the water remained unchanged, they 
would soon droop and die. The water would not sustain 
life after the animals had deprived it of its oxygen by 
passing it through their gills in breathing. If, by means 
of a fountain-jet, the water can be raised up and returned 
through the air into the tank, or, in other words, be 



4: POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

aerated, a fresh supply of the vital element may thus be 
mtroduced and its power of sustaining animal existence 
proportionally prolonged. 

But it is now found that water-plants, properly acted 
upon by the light and under other suitable conditions, will, 
instead of taking from, add to, the proportion of oxygen 
present, and will thus restore the balance, without mecha- 
nical aeration. Thus, tanks of water with plants and 
animals, as collected by the first experimenters years ago, 
still exist with their tenants, living and breeding healthily ; 
and although the water has never been changed, it is as 
clear as when first put in, and as capable of sustaining life. 

Experiments and Adoption of Plan. 

Although many partial experiments may have been made 
with a view to keeping animals in water for the purposes 
of observation, and many interesting details in marine and 
fresh-water zoology have resulted, we may consider that 
the first serious and systematic attempt to keep a Water 
Vivarium, in its true sense, was made by Mr. Eobert War- 
rington, of Apothecaries' Hall. That gentleman's early 
experiments were communicated to the Chemical Society 
in 1850, in a paper " On the Adjustments of the Relations 



INTRODUCTION. 

between the Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms, by which 
the vital functions of both are permanently maintained." 
Mr. Warrington stated that he placed two small gold-fish 
in a glass jar, capable of holding twelve gallons of water. 
Half-filKng the vessel with spring-water, and placing some 
sand and mud at the bottom, with pebbles and fragments 
of limestone and sandstone, he planted a small Vallisneria 
in the mud and left the whole undisturbed. After a time 
the water became thick, and a coating of confervoid vege- 
tation obscured the glass. On introducing, however, a few 
water-snails, he found that they fed on the confervse as 
well as on the decaying matter of the older leaves, and soon 
restored the water to a clear and healthy condition. 

The pruning of the old leaves encouraged the growth 
of off-shoots ; the snails flourished on the vegetable matter 
which they consumed ; and the fishes lived healthily in 
the renovated water, while they grew fat upon the eggs 
which the scavengers deposited. I could not help regard- 
ing with some veneration the veritable tank in which these 
early experiments were made, with the same water un- 
changed, when admitted to a view, through the politeness 
of its possessor, only a few days since. 

In the year 1853, Mr. Warrington communicated in the 



b POPULAR HISTOllY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

' Annals of Natural History^ the results of his early essays 
in the way of Marine Aquaria, commenced a year sooner. 
The difficulties here were greater, but have been all over- 
come by perseverance; and side by side with the fresh- 
water tank is now to be seen the first marine tank, with 
marine plants and animals in full health. And this, as 
being the first, is more interesting than many others 
which its proprietor has since constructed. Obtaining 
salt-water from oyster-boats at BiUingsgate, which was 
taken from tlie middle of the English Channel, Mr. War- 
rington placed it in a tank, and then introduced red and 
brown seaweeds, which, not answering the purpose, were 
exchanged for green weeds, which answered better. Speci- 
mens of Enteromorplia and Viva attached to nodules of 
flint or chalk were procured from Broadstairs, and several 
anemones, with a few periwinkles, introduced with them 
into a small tank, and then into a shallow pan. A few 
more were added, and thus a number of living specimens 
were kept in a healthy condition to the close of the year. 
The first tanks were made, for fresh-water subjects, with 
straight sides ; and these tanks were, in the first instance, 
used for the marine experiments; but when these were 
sufficiently advanced, Mr. Warrington had a new one made 



IXTEODUCTIOX. 7 

for a permanent Marine Aquarium. In this new tank the 
back towards the light, and the sides were of slate, and 
only the front towards the observer was of glass ; for it 
had been found in the first experiments, that too much 
direct light developed the vegetation too fast, especially 
that small slimy confervoid growth which obscures the 
water. The only direct Hght, therefore, entered from the 
top. The tank was covered with a light glass shade, to 
keep out the dust and check evaporation. "With the 
sea-water obtained in January, 1852,^' says Mr. Warrington 
in 1853, "I have been working without cessation up to 
the present time, agitating and aerating when it became 
foul during the unsuccessful experiments on the seaweeds, 
but since then it has been rarely ever disturbed ; the loss 
which takes place from evaporation being made up, as before 
stated, with rain or distilled water." 

Mr. Gosse^s experiments in the same line were com- 
menced nearly at the same time, and continued with some 
success until that gentleman was engaged in conducting 
the preparations of Yivaria on a large scale for the present 
magnificent exhibition in the Gardens of the Zoological 
Society. The popularity of this exhibition, and the in- 
teresting researches, published by Mr. Gosse in his ' Devon- 



8 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

shire Eambles' and ^Aquarium/ have led numbers of private 
persons and some pubHc institutions to follow the examples 
thus set. It has now become one trade to supply tanks 
and vases for Aquaria; and another, to collect and supply 
plants and animals for stocking them. In the course of 
my preparations for this Work I have received valuable 
assistance from the zeal and experience of Mr. Alford 
Lloyd, of Portland Eoad, whose extensive collections have 
been in the most liberal manner placed at my disposal. 
Tliat gentleman is in correspondence with collectors placed 
at various parts of our coasts, and constantly receiving new 
specimens for the supply of private tanks. Those who 
apply to Mr. Lloyd^s establishment will receive informa- 
tion, which may be fully relied upon, respecting the mode 
of proceeding in the formation of Marine or Fresh- water 
Aquaria. The following, however, are a few observations 
which may serve in some degree to assist those who are 
desirous of commencing so pleasing an occupation. The 
first thing to be attended to is 

The Vessel. 

Shape and Material. — Bearing in mind the idea with 
which we started, of imitating a tide-pool, and desiring to 



INTEODUCTION. 9 

keep as near to nature as possible, I have no hesitation in 
recommending for marine-shore objects, the form of tank 
with a sloping back. The bottom of the vessel should be 
flat only for about a third of its width, and from that line 
it should gradually rise towards the back ; the front being 
perpendicular, and of clear glass. The back and sides 
should be opaque. If in a room near a window, let the 
back be towards the light, which will then enter only from 
above, just as it would in a basin of rocks on the shore. 
Slate is good for the back and sides, and plate- glass for 
the front. Mr. Warrington is now trying deep rectan- 
gular tanks, shaded with green coatings to modify the 
light, and suited for animals and plants accustomed to 
deep water. Eectangular tanks are also suitable for fishes, 
if of any size; and as fresh- water tanks will bear more hght 
than marine, they too may be straight- sided. 

Yases and shallow glass pans are also used both for 
Marine and Eresh Yivaria, and will, for many purposes, 
answer as well as the more complicated and expensive 
forms. An Aquarium should be covered either with muslin 
or a plate of glass. 

Fittings or Furnishing, — The bottom should be laid in 
with sand or gravel suited to the condition they are in- 



10 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUAEIUM. 

tended to represent. Some marine animals burrow, and 
should therefore have a bed of suitable material to gratify 
their propensity. It is best to use sea-sand for sea-water, 
and river-sand for fresh-water. Then a few clean bright 
pebbles give a pleasant appearance, and afford shelter for 
minute animals. In marine tanks only is rockwork ad- 
missible. This must be made according to the taste of 
the proprietor. Pieces of natural rock, or large stones 
cemented together, and shaped by any cement that hardens 
under water, may be used ; they should be set up with 
projecting ledges, and forming hollows and arches, so as 
to give shelter to those animals which seek it, and present 
a variation in the position of various growths. Too much 
formality should be avoided ; but, as a rule, the tank would 
best represent a shore-grotto, if the larger rockwork were 
placed at the sides and in a half-circle at the back. In a 
fresh-water tank, a few large stones laid down on the 
pebbles and sand is all that will be desirable. The orna- 
mentation in this case must consist principally in the 
plants. 

Aspect and Admission of Light. — In visiting the Zoolo- 
gical collection the eye is pained in some instances by the 
foul and stagnant appearance of some of the tanks. A 



INTRODUCTIOX. 11 

green opacity pervades them, which renders them not only 
unpleasant to the observer, but unwholesome to the living 
beings confined in them. This arises from the too rapid 
development of vegetation ; germs of confervoid growth ac- 
cumulate throughout the water, besides what settles down 
in green and slimy incrustation on the rock work and 
glass. When this happens, it is a sign that the light has 
been admitted too directly and too freely ; for this growth 
is developed by hght, and when that is shut off it soon 
disappears. Light, therefore, in marine tanks should be 
admitted sparingly and indirectly, and it has recently been 
found that it is best to pass it through a coloured medium. 
Thus, by far the best construction and position for a shore- 
vivarium will be that already indicated, — a sloping back 
towards the light, and a top of Uuisli-green glass. To 
represent the comparative darkness of deep water, Mr. 
AVarrington^s deep rectangular tank has the top and sides 
darkened with a deepish blue. This gives a rather ghastly 
appearance to the objects, but not more so than might be 
expected from a visit, if we could pay it, to the same crea- 
tures in their homes. Eresh-water iVquaria will admit mo re 
light with impunity. 



12 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 



The Water. 

The great object is to get the water pure : if marine, it 
should be taken at a distance from the mouths of rivers ; 
that dipped in mid-channel is preferred b}^ professed Aqua- 
rianSj although I cannot tell exactly why. I should have sup- 
posed that water taken from the shore, Avhence the greater 
part of the specimens are procured, would be most likely 
to contain those materials which were most suitable for their 
support. Artificial sea-water is now much used, and the 
formula for its preparation is given by several authors. 
But I do not advise the uninitiated to experiment in its 
composition. Aquarium dealers sell tlie necessary powders, 
mixed in proper proportions, and will give full directions 
for its use. 

It is evident, however, that the artificial water must be 
at first totally deficient in one very important element, 
namely, the animalcules with which water in its natural 
state abounds, and which are necessary for the sustenance 
of many marine animals. These must be introduced by 
the insertion of seaweeds, and time must be given for them 
to act beneficially on the water. Bright and clear river- 
water is best for fresh Aquaria. 



irlaxe n. 




Sowcrby ad «C Hth 



-imipLitrite Egearia..l,inits ixanspecraat C3_se (xed-uced] 2 "Warm cra+. afltt, ccc£e 
SlieaA ea^ecndecL. 'i-Heail dosed.. 



INTRODUCTIOX. 1 3 

Plants. 
Marine Plants for an Aquarium should be taken attached 
to the stones or pieces of rock on which they grow. When 
once the root is detached the plant is dead. The stone 
should be as clear as possible from sponges ; and many other 
living incrustations are likely to die, and their decay will 
prove injurious to the water. Rhytiplil(Ea imiastroides, Coral- 
Una officinalis, Lelesseria alata, Chondrus crispus, Poly si- 
phonia, Phi/llophora ruhens (Plate XIII.), Griffithsia, and 
Callithamnion are recommended for red seaweeds; species 
of Codium, Cycladopliora, Bryopsis, and Viva are suitable for 
greens. In ordinary tanks, the green w^eeds are decidedly 
the most healthy, but the deep sea tank on trial by Mr. 
Warrington is partly contrived to encourage tlie growth 
of reds, which are very pretty objects, to tlie discourage- 
ment of the greens, which flourish in the light. It is 
found that weeds of any kind may be used more sparingly 
than was at first supposed. After a time the stones in 
a tank will be found covered with a brownish confervoid 
growth, which throws off a considerable amount of oxygen, 
as may be observed by the little quicksilver-like bubbles 
about it. When a tank is in this condition, larger weeds 



14 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

may be dispensed with. For fresii-water Yivaria, Calli- 
triclie or Starwort, Stratioides or Water Soldier, Vallisaena 
sjyiralis, Anaclians or New "Waterweed (Plate XYIII.), some 
Water-lilies, and Enocaidon or Pipewort, the Water Eanun- 
culus, Hydrocliaris or Prog-bit, Alisma or Water Plantain, 
are among the most popular. 



Fishes. — Por private collections at least, the larger kinds 
of vertebrate animals will not be convenient, but most of 
the smaller species of fishy both marine and fresh-water, 
wdll live and breed freely in tanks well supplied wdth 
oxygen,- and there is no way in which the beauties of 
their form and markings can so well be seen as through 
perpendicular, even-moulded glass. Here we see them un- 
distorted by refraction, and can w^atch their graceful move- 
ments without disturbing them. Most of them appear to 
enjoy their dwellings, if w^e may judge from their lively, 
yet not restless bearing. We must remember, however, 
that they are generally animal feeders, and if put into a 
vessel wdth other animals weaker than themselves, they will 
not live with them quite in the same peaceable manner 
that cats do with mice in " the IIcq)py Famili/," Some 



INTRODUCTIOX. 15 

species are more voracious than others^ and more danger- 
ous. Thus, a friend of mine had a tank with a few small 
fresh-water fish, and among them was a young pike, only 
two inches long, which attacked, and in fact destroyed, other 
fishes half as large again as himself. 

Rejjtiles. — Water Tortoises, and Newts, live well in tanks, 
and are very interesting. They should be supplied with 
mud at the bottom of their pond ; and also, by means of 
floating boards or pieces of stone rising above tlie surface, 
should have the opportunity of leaving the water at their dis- 
cretion. Frogs do very nicely in Fresh- water Aquaria which 
are surmounted by a fernery, wdiere they paddle in and out, 
and dive in the water or hide among the ferns. 

MoUusca. — Beginning with the Tunicate order of Mol- 
lusca, which are very simple in their composition, we find very 
pleasing objects presented by several species of Ascidia, one of 
which I have represented (Plate XIII.), probably A. hyaUna. 
It is curious to see these apparently lifeless bottles with two 
necks every now and then shut the openings and jerk out 
the grosser particles of food, which they have admitted, in 
the current. Those of the more compound nature are more 
interesting to the microscopist than to the observer of out- 
ward forms. Conchiferous MoUusca, or those furnished with 



16 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

bivalve shells, such as the fresh-Avater Mussels, or marine 
Oysters and Scallops, lie very quietly in their burrows, or 
hang attached by their byssal cords, agitating the water that 
surrounds them, and filtering it as it passes through from 
the oral to the anal opening of the tubes ; thus exercising 
a cleansing influence on the surrounding fluid. Gastero- 
poda, or Crawling Molluscs, either with or without shells, 
give variety and animation to a tank ; while Periwinkles 
in salt-water, and ATater-snails in fresh, are useful as sca- 
vengers, eating away the vegetable crust which obscures the 
glass ; other Molluscs, such as 'Purpura, Buccinum, and 
Nudibranchs (Plate XIY.), feed on animals, and must not 
be put in the way of any choice living morsels which you 
may wish to preserve. Cephalopodous Mollusca, or the 
Cuttle-fish tribe, are too oceanic to live long in confinement. 

Folyzoa and Rotifera are of microscopic interest. 

Insecta,—Ti\^ Water Beetle (Plate XIX.) and Water 
Spider (Plate XVIII.) are very interesting in their habits, 
as described hereafter, and seem to live as well in the tank 
or jar as they would in their natural localities at freedom. 

Crustacea are among the most amusing objects in a 
marine collection. Many of them are useful in picking up 
scraps of decaying animal-matter from between the stones. 



INTRODUCTION. 1 7 

The Hermit Crab (Plate XI.), in his shell surmounted bj 
the parasitic Anemone ; the Lobster, moving out of his hole, 
with a forest of green weeds growing upon his shell; the 
Prawn (Plate XII.), with his splendid livery and delicately- 
contrived organs, are all fine objects; while their changes 
and habits, wonderful as they are, can all be observed freely 
by means of the Aquarium. Even the common Shore Crab, 
in its earlier stages of growth, is a good acquisition, if care 
be taken not to give it too much opportunity for displaying 
its pugnacious qualities. 

Cirrht][)edes as yet have only been represented in marine 
tanks by the common little Acorn Balanus (Plate XI.), which 
is common enough, living on the outsides of living and dead 
shells incrusting pebbles and rocks. It is very interesting 
to observe the way in which they open their opercular valves 
to throw out their network of cirrhi to envelope the animal- 
cules which come within reach. 

Annelida (Plates I., II., IV.) with shelly or pebble-formed 
tubes and branching ferns of gills, give great variety and 
beauty to the miniature ocean. 

BcUywdermata, Starfishes (Plate XVII.), Sea Urchins or 
Echini, and Sea Cucumbers (Plate X.), are very pretty ob- 
jects, but not generally long-lived in Aquaria. 

c 



18 POPULAll HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Acephala. — Jelly-fish will not live well in confinement 
Avhen full-grown; although some of them^ in their early 
hj/droid stages^ are interesting, and even when mature can 
be kept living for a few days. They are too oceanic for 
permanent tenants. 

Zoophyta, — The hjdroid forms^ consisting of branched 
polypidoms, with numerous polypes, are many of them pretty 
objects, but their chief interest is microscopic : not so the 
Actino'id forms, — the Anemones, or Sea-flowers (Plates VI., 
YIL, YIII., IX.), and the no less flower-like Madrepore 
(Plate III.) ; their beauties are palpable, and they pre- 
sent the chief ornaments of our water-garden. Most of 
them will live in water so turbid as to destroy other ani- 
mals ; and they reproduce in numbers, and transplant them- 
selves at will without interference from the gardener^s hand. 
They will live upon Infusoria without being fed, occasionally 
seizing a prawn or small fish that may happen to come in 
their way ; but it is well to feed them occasionally with 
pieces of dried meat, dropped down within reach of their 
tentacles : they will be likely to flourish all the better for 
being fed, and it is a very amusing process to feed them. 

Porifera. — Spouges, when dragged from their native po- 
sition, are pretty sure to die speedily ; and as their decay is 



INTRODUCTION. 19 

injurious to the water, it is best to clean off all spongy 
matter from marine stones on inserting them. Alcyonium 
digitatum (Plate Y.) is very pretty, but soon dies. 

Transjport of Specimens. 

Most small animals suited for the Aquarium may be, and 
constantly are, brought to London from any part of the 
seacoast, in jars of sea-water, with bladders tied over them ; 
or packed up in bundles of wet seaweeds gathered from the 
beach. Dealers obtain them in this way. I have been at 
Lloyd^s when many Anemones and other things have been 
brought in, unpacked, and immediately placed in their proper 
receptacles, where they have soon made themselves at home, 
apparently not having suffered from the journey. I think, 
as a rule, that persons living near London had better let the 
dealers get their specimens for them : it is a cheaper and 
safer plan. 

Care of the Aquarium. 

When the Water- Vivarium is first established, there will 
naturally occur during the few first days some deaths among 
animals so recently introduced. It is very important to 
watch for these occurrences, and to remove the bodies before 



20 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

putrescence takes place ; but if many of them have escaped 
detection by falling into hollows, or by their minuteness, 
they will putrefy the whole body of water, to the great 
danger of the remaining animals. This will be seen by a 
milky appearance pervading the whole. In such a dilemma, 
the only way of proceeding will be to draw off and filter all 
the water, removing the animals, for the time, in temporary 
vessels. The drawing-off can be effected by means of a 
siphon, so as not to disturb the sediment. Then, taking out 
the pebbles and sand, rinse them and wipe out the tank ; re- 
turn the water through a filter, which may be made with a 
piece of sponge placed at the top of the tube of a funnel. 
The sponge must not be pressed so closely in as to prevent 
the water running in a gentle stream. In passing through 
the air in a very thin column, every drop is brought into 
contact with it; and this will tend to destroy putrefaction, 
by chemical combination of the animal matter with the 
oxygen of the air. After this tlie probability is that the 
water will remain clear, and care must still be taken to re- 
move bodies of animals that occasionally die. An occasional 
partial filtration is a good habit, and a floating piece or two 
of charcoal may give still further security. 

If a green turbidity arises in the water, it is the result of 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

a too rapid growth of green vegetation, induced by the 
action of light. This may be corrected by depriving the 
vessel of light for a few days. 1 have seen a tank at Lloyd^s 
restored to perfect clearness by being covered over for a short 
time with dark cloths. 

For the purpose of occasional aeration a drip-glass is 
recommended. A bell-glass perforated, with a piece of 
sponge lightly put into the hole, is suspended over the tank, 
and water taken from it is put iu and allowed gradually to 
drip through. A fountain- Aquarium, with apparatus for 
drawing the water up into the reservoir, would be a very 
good contrivance. This would save all the trouble of baling 
the water out of the tank, at the risk of disturbing the 
living organizations within it. A small pump, drawing the 
water through fine holes from near the bottom, would effect 
the purpose. The unsightHness of the apparatus could be 
disguised by rockwork, and the fountain, assuming the 
form of a cascade, might be so placed as to present an ele- 
gant object. 

In conclusion, it is hardly necessary to recommend this 
new and popular method of studying Nature, as a prolific 
source of amusement and instruction. But although I have 
not in these pages followed the fashion of making Natural 



22 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

History an occasion for diving deeply into abtruse doctrinal 
subjects, I may point out the legitimate effect of such studies 
in the words of Coleridge's ' Ancient Mariner/ 

" Oh, happy living tHngs ! no tongue 
Their beauty could declare ; 
A spring of love gushed from my heart. 
And I bless'd them unaware. 

" Farewell, farewell ; but this I tell 
To thee, thou wedding guest. 
He prayeth well that loveth well 
Both man, and bii'd, and beast. 

" He prayeth well that loveth well 
All things, both great and small ; 
For the dear God that loveth us 
Made them, and loveth all." 



23 



CHAPTER II. 

SPONGES AND HYDROID ZOOPHYTES. 

" New buds and bulbs the living fabric sboots 
On lengthening branches, and protruding roots, 
Or on the father's side from bursting glands, 
Th' adhering young its nascent form expands ; 
In branching lines the parent-trunk adorns, 
And parts, ere long, like plumage, hairs, or horns." — Darwin. 

NATURE AND HABITS OF SPONGES. — PROPAGATION. — APPEARANCE WHEN 
LIVING. — GRANTIA BOTRTOIDES. — GRANTIA CILIATA. — EUPLECTELLA 
ASPERGILLUM. — ZOOPHYTES DEFINED. — CLASSIFICATION. — HYDROID 
ZOOPHYTES. — HYDRACTINEA ECHINATA. — CORYNE PUSILLA. — CORYNE 
SESSILIS. — EUDENDRIUM RAMEUM. — TUBULARIA INDIVISA. — SERTULARIA 
POLYGONALIS. — SERTULARIA ARGENTEA. — ANTENNULARIA ANTENN^NA. 
— PLUMULARIA PINNATA. — LAOMEDEA DICHOTOMA. — LAOMEDEA GENICU- 
LATA. — LAOMEDEA GELATINOSA. — CAMPANULARIA VOLUBILIS. — EU- 
CRETIA CHELATA. — ANGUINA SPATULATA. — CELLULARIA CILIATA. 

The term Zoophytes , or Animal Plants, usually applied to 
Corals, Sea Anemones, etc., might be applied with greater 
propriety to a Sponge than to any other being. With its 



24 POPULAR HISTOEY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

skeleton, as used for domestic purposes, we are all familiar ; 
and when informed that every fibre of this porous texture 
is covered with a filmy, gelatinous, and apparently little-or- 
ganized coating when the Sponge is living, we know nearly 
all that is to be known of its external character. 

Growing fixed to various substances, but most frequently 
to the roots of seaweeds, the plant-like body seems to vege- 
tate and to hold its place between the animal and vegetable 
kingdoms. It belongs more properly to the former, but 
very low down in the scale. There are many species and 
genera. Dr. Johnston enumerating between fifty or sixty 
species inhabiting the British coasts. The structure and 
mineral composition of the skeleton difi'ers as much as the 
forms, which are well known to be very sportive and variable. 
Globes, semiglobes, cones, cups, funnels, branches, and flat 
spreading masses, with different degrees of porousness and 
flexibility, characterize the various genera and species. The 
spongy body consists of a horny, or even stony, network, 
with innumerable interlacing fibres, so woven together as to 
leave many small openings and a few larger ones. These 
openings, running into each other, form passages for the 
free circulation of fluids throughout the body. The jelly- 
like film which covers all the fibres when the creature is 



SPONGES. 25 

living, is the seat of all the animal life which the Sponge can 
boast. It secretes and deposits the substance of the skeleton, 
and keeps up some kind of action exerted in every part of 
the body, which, although scarcely perceptible, serves to 
produce a continuous succession of currents in the surround- 
ing fluids. The living Sponge can be seen, if placed in a 
glass and examined by a microscope, to imbibe and expel 
currents of water, which appear to pass into the smaller 
meshes of network, carrying nourishment into all the re- 
cesses of the body, and then to be ejected by the larger 
holes appearing on the surface ; and this is all the creature 
shows of animated existence, for the filmy flesh does not 
contract when touched, or show any other sign of sensibility. 
The propagation of Sponges is curious ; for at the proper 
season many minute buds may be found adhering to the 
sides of the passages or openings. These buds are the em- 
bryos of the Sponge, gradually increasing in size they become 
clothed with movable cilia, and when fully developed fall 
off, and, becoming detached, enjoy a locomotive freedom un- 
known to their parent. Their motion is effected by means 
of the cilia, which continue vibrating and produce a current 
round the little body, which impels it forwards. It is not 
long a wanderer in the " world of waters )^ and whether it 



26 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

chooses, or drops accidentally into, a suitable position for 
its future growth, when once fixed it becomes a permanent 
tenant of the spot. 

!N"o doubt can be entertained that the Aquarium, assisted 
by the microscope, is destined to be the means of greatly 
increasing our hitherto limited knowledge of these half- 
animated beings. Mr. Bowerbank^s researches in the na- 
tural history of the family have already been rewarded by 
the discovery of many new forms, and by the elucidation of 
parts of their economy. The large, spreading, fleshy TacJiy- 
matimia JoJmstonii, with its thick skin studded with pores 
few and far between, has been examined, and the curious 
spicula (or stars and needles) of flint submitted to the micro- 
scope. Mr. Bowerbank has also pointed out that the cur- 
rents observed as entering the small pores and leaving the 
large ones are produced by the motion of long fine cilia on 
the inner surface of the cells, which are constantly vibrating 
in the required direction, so that the means used for locomo- 
tion during the extreme youth of the Sponge are the same 
as those used for maintaining the principal functions of 
vitality in the middle life and sedentary old-age of the same 
creature. It appears too that as the horny skeleton of the 
Sponge is the support of the very loose, gelatiuous animal 



SPONGES. 27 

substance which covers it, so, in its turn, it is supported 
by a branched and interlaced crystalline network of flinty 
stars and needles, which make the framing of the channels 
and passages composing its mass. 

The living masses present various colours to the eye. 
Some, such as Cliona, which lines the inside of some shells, 
are of a bright yellow colour ; others, such as Halichondria 
sanguinea, are of a brilliant crimson hue. 

Grantia botryoides. 

An extremely minute Sponge, consisting of branching 
tubes, has been carefully examined under a lens by Mr. 
Gosse, who thus describes what he saw : — '' I immediately 
transferred it to a glass cell, and applied it to the stage of a 
compound microscope, with a power of 220 diameters. To 
my astonishment, a mass of starry crystals met my view, 
entangled among each other almost as thick as they could 
lie, by scores, nay by hundreds. Tor a moment the eye 
was bewildered by the multitude of slender needle-hke points 
crossing and recrossing in every possible direction ; but 
soon the curious spectacle began to take some kind of order, 
the crystals were seen to be all of one form, though varying 
considerably in length and thickness ; they are three-rayed 



28 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

stars, diverging at an angle of 120 degrees ; the rays, straight 
slender needles, perfectly cylindrical, except that they taper 
to a fine point, smooth and transparent as if made of glass, 
and highly refractive. 

" These spicula appear to me to be held together only by 
their mutual entanglement and interlacing ; their points, in 
the process of formation, have shot through and among each 
other, so that it would be almost impossible to extract one 
from any point without either breaking off its rays or tear- 
ing away a considerable portion of its whole surface. The 
rays shoot in the same plane, and in that plane the stars He, 
not quite at random as to their direction, for tlie great ma- 
jority have one point directed lengthwise from the mouth of 
the tube towards the base. There are not wanting however 
many which point in the opposite direction, and several at 
intermediate angles. Of course it requires but little diver- 
gence from the first-named direction to produce the second ; 
still however the prevalent order appears to be this. 

" I cannot trace any fibrous or gelatinous matter in 
which the spicula are set; but beneath the layer formed 
by their interlacing points there is a surface composed of 
round granules of transparent or pellucid matter, set as 
close as possible, which are plainly seen between the cross- 



m 



Plate in 




^ 



if 






O 




, mS'^ > •' 



.M*^' ^ 1 




'.3 :5 






m, 



-<^. 






i»^ 



>-.. . 






"VincerrL SrooKs Ixrij. 

Corals 1. SkdetoTi of l!Hin^a or Mashxoam Coral . Z, Caryopliyllaea . 
STQithii atnixaal expaJided . 3 .Annual dosed . 4?. GompaancL speoraen . 



Sowentay dd.fXHth 

Corals l.S 
STQithii J a: 
5. Dissected. akdetxiTL 6.TerLtaxies, V.Oculinapralifera. 



SPONGES. 29 

ing needles. This appears to be the interior lining of the 
tube, — in fact, the tube itself, around which the spicula 
are arranged as a loose outer coating, giving firmness to 
the whole. I could not detect spicula of any other form 
than the three-rayed stars ; but several of these had one 
or more of their rays broken short ; for from their compo- 
sition they are very brittle, as I have often proved in other 
species. The form of this specimen was so irregular that 
but a poor idea can be conveyed of it by words; it may, 
however, be roughly described as an elliptical mass, sending 
forth from one side several tubes, which divide or branch 
into others.^^ 

Grantia ciliata 

Is a very minute Sponge, shaped like a bottle ; the neck 
consisting of a dense fringe of spicula set round the 
opening so as to form a crown. A stream of water, passing 
always in the same direction through the aperture, gives 
the form to these neck-spicula, and it has even been found 
that if these latter are displaced by accident, so as to bruise 
and distort the crown, the current will restore them to 
their natural direction after the specimen has remained for 
a few days in a vessel of sea-water. 



30 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Of all the varied forms of Sponge, or rather Sponge- 
skeletons, with which we are acquainted, no one ap- 
proaches in elegance of appearance, and delicate regularity 
of texture, the unique specimen dragged up, on a hook, 
among weeds by Mr. Cuming in the Philippine Islands. 
Professor Owen has given it the name of 

^'EUPLECTELLA ASPERGILLUM,^^ 

Deriving the first name from words signifying ^' well 
plaited,^' and the second, from a wonderful resemblance to 
a well-known shell, commonly called the "Water-pot.''' 
The shell, named AspergiUum, is a tube tapering at one 
end, and having at the other end a disc with holes, like 
the rose of a garden water-pot, and surrounded by a fringe 
of small tubes. It is formed by an acephalous mollusc, 
which, in its early stage, possesses the nuclei of a bivalve 
shell, the edges of which increase in every direction so as 
to form the tube spoken of, and in which these nuclei are 
only seen afterwards, as forming a portion, looking as if 
they were glued into its side. The Euplectella, which 
measures eight inches in length, bears so near a resem- 
blance in form to the shell, that Mr. Cuming imagined, on 
first taking it, that he had found a wonderful new species 



SPONGES. 31 

of Asjjergilkim. Of course^ as the nuclei of valves could 
not be found,, and as the whole texture of the tube was 
an open network of sponge, instead of a tubular lamina 
of shell, the illusion w^as soon dissipated. The tube is 
gently curved, like a horn, but not coming to a point, and 
at the base it is two inches wide. Here it is covered by 
a disc of very open network, outwardly convex, and sur- 
rounded by a thin projecting frill or plate of plaited fibres. 
In the wall of the tube there are supporting fibres placed 
lengthwise, and forming the upright framing upon which 
the cross fibres are woven. There are three sets of cross- 
fibres in different directions ; two spiral, opposing and 
crossing each other diagonally, and the tliird, horizontal. 
These cross each other in such a manner as to form cir- 
cular holes, between the upright supports, at regular in- 
tervals. Between the diagonal rows of holes, the paries 
is further strengthened and beautified by diagonal frills 
resembling that which bounds the terminal disc; at the 
smaller end the longitudinal supports separate into the 
minute fibres of which they are composed, and meeting 
round the orifice blend into a wool-like fluff. A figure of 
this beautiful object is published, witli Professor Owen^'s 
description, in the ' Transactions of the Zoological Society.' 



32 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

The engraving occupied three months of the artist's time. 
No other specimens have yet been founds but there must 
be others, and the time may yet arrive when we may see 
EicpledellcB living and flourishing in our zoological tanks ! 



Hi/droid Zoojphytes. 

The word " Zoophyte/' as most of our readers are aware, 
has been used in a very extended and general sense, to sig- 
nify those numerous and varied beings which were supposed 
to occupy a middle position between the animal and vege- 
table kingdoms. It was applied to many things which were 
pretty well known in their external characters, but whose 
real natures were little understood. It was the name of a 
great miscellaneous group of things which were thrown 
together, not because they were found to possess qualities 
in common, but because it was doubtful whether they were 
animals or vegetables. It is now used in a much more 
limited sense ; so limited indeed that it will scarcely apply 
to the objects for which it is alone retained by British Na- 
turalists, excepting in the appearance of some. Many of 
the original group, as well as of the present, bear so great 



HYDEOID ZOOPHYTES. 33 

a resemblance to shrubs^ mosses, and seaweeds, while show- 
ing some signs of animal life, that it is not surprising that 
a name should be used significant of both ideas ; but at pre- 
sent, those only are retained in the assemblage whose na- 
tures have been ascertained to be strictly animal, and not 
to partake in any degree of a vegetable character. All the 
true Zoophytes are polypiferous in their structure, and are 
thus defined by Johnston, who is the great authority on 
the subject. 

" Zoophytes are all aquatic, avertebrate, inarticulate, soft, 
irritable, and contractile, without a vascular or separate 
respiratory or nervous system. The alimentary canal is 
very variable, but the aperture to it is always superior, cir- 
cular, edentulous, and surrounded by tubular, or more com- 
monly by filiform tentacula. Many are asexual, and it is 
doubtful whether any species has distinct sexes. The indi- 
viduals, polypes, of a few families are separate and perfect 
in themselves; but the great majority of Zoophytes are com- 
pound animals, viz. each Zoophyte consists of an indefinite 
number of individuals, or polypes, organically connected, and 
placed in calcareous, horny, or membranous cases or cells, 
forming, by their aggregation, corals, or plant-like poly- 
pidoms/^ 

1) 



84 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

The most simple form of polype is that presented by the 
Byclra, Clava, and others^ in which the body of the animal 
is a simple sac, open at one end, and having the opening 
surrounded by contractile threads or filaments, called tenta- 
cles; while the other end has a sort of sucking disc, by 
w^hich it adheres to other substances. The cavity of the 
sac is the stomach ; the orifice of the sac represents a mouth ; 
the tentacles surrounding it act as arms ; and the sucker at the 
opposite end may be called a foot, since it secures adhesion 
when at rest, and acts as an organ of locomotion when the 
animal requires it. Many of the Zoophytes, including the 
Actinia, a few Corals, and the Hydra before mentioned, live 
singly, and throwing out their young through their mouths 
leave them each to find an independent mode of existence ; 
but some bud out at the sides and form branches, in such 
a manner that each Zoophyte is a branched shrub, with a 
common stem, composed of a large aggregate number of 
individual polypes. 

Mr. Gosse divides the Polypiferous Zoophytes into two 
Orders, thus : — 

Internal cavity simple, increasing^by germs growing out 
from the sides, — " Hydroida." 

Internal cavity enclosing the stomach, and divided into 



HYDEOID ZOOPHYTES. 35 

compartments by radiated partitions, which have reproduc- 
tive functions; germs ejected through the orifice of the 
cavity, — " Actinoidea." 

It is with the " Hydroicla'^ that we shall have to do prin- 
cipally in this Chapter ; and instead of going more deeply 
into their general description, I shall give the history of a 
few of the most interesting species, which have been the 
objects of special observation. 

It will be necessary however to premise that, in common 
with the Actinoid Order, the tentacles of the Hydroida are 
furnished with a kind of stinging weapon, in the form of 
very minute poisoned darts, which can be projected from 
capsules embedded in the tissues. By means of these the 
Hydroida can not only make their tentacles adhere to the 
victims, but also benumb and paralyze the latter so as to 
diminish their chances of escape. 

Hydractinea echinata. 
A little creature, about one-third of an inch in length, with 
a club-shaped head and a ring of tentacula, living on old 
shells in deep water. Each Hydractinea is independent ; 
but they live in numbers on the same shell. They are said 
to be partial to the same shells, such as Buccimm undatum, 



36 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

FiLSiis corneus, Natica glaucina, and Nassa reticulata, which 
are also inhabited by Hermit Crabs. It is also said that, 
unitedly growing on the rim of the aperture of the shell, 
they form an extended or overhanging ledge, which enlarges 
the cavity in which the hermit dwells, and if so, prolongs the 
period before he will be obliged to seek a fresh and more 
commodious home. 

CORYNE PUSILLA. 

This is a minute branching Zoophyte, with a bright red 
star-like polype at the top of each branch. It is found on 
stones and seaweeds between high and low water, but the 
branches are so thin and the star-heads so small that it 
would only be seen under favourable circumstances. It 
creeps along the surfaces of the stone or seaweed to wliich 
it adheres. Its motions are slow ; but it can at will bend 
any one of its horny, wrinkled, transparent branches, or coil 
any one of the tentacula which surround the polypes at 
their heads. 

CORYNE SESSILIS 

Resembles an upright club, with circles of ball-shaped 
heads, on slender stems, projecting from it at intervals : 
these are the polypes, each about the sixteenth of an inch in 



HYDIIOID ZOOPHYTES. 37 

length, fixed to the central stem, which is fixed by creeping 
fibres to the surface to which it is attached. Thej are 
transparent, narrow, and terminate in a ball, on which the 
tentacula are very numerous, as many as forty-five having 
been counted on a single head. The neck to each head is 
glassy and wrinkled; they stand out from the stem in six 
circles, at nearly equal intervals ; and the whole Zoophyte, 
as figured in the ' Marine Zoology,' would form an elegant 
design for a circular hat-rail. 

EUDENDEIUM RAMEUM. 

Of the genus to which this tree-like Zoophyte belongs, 
Mr. Johnston gives the following technical description : — 

"Polypidom rooted by creeping fibres, erect and vari- 
ously branched, the fibres cylindrical, tubular, filled with a 
soft pulp. Polypes hanging from the extremity of every 
branchlet, non-retractile, roundish, somewhat pedicled, 
naked and fleshy ; the body encircled with a zone of fili- 
form tentacula ; the mouth central and sub-tubular. 

" Eudendrium'^ is from two Greek words signifying the 
adjective icell and the noun tree. 

E, rameum is found on shells and stones in deep water, 
at Shetland, Scarborough, Northumberland, Whitehaven, 



38 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Dublin Bay^ Cornwall, Aberdeenshire, and near Liverpool. 
It is so exactly like a leafless tree in appearance, that, until 
closely examined and the polypes seen, it would be taken 
for a plant by any one not thoroughly acquainted with the 
nature of Zoophytes. It grows from three to six inches 
high, and is thus spoken of by the late Sir J. G. Dalyell : — 

" This is a splendid animal production, one of the most 
singular, beautiful, and interesting among the boundless 
works of Nature. Sometimes it resembles an aged tree, 
blighted amidst the war of elements, or withered by the 
deep corrosions of time. Sometimes it resembles a vigorous 
flowering shrub in miniature, rising with a dark brown 
stem, and diverging into numerous boughs, branches, and 
twigs, terminating in so many hydrse, wherein red and 
yellow intermixed afford a fine contrast to the whole. 

"The glowing colours of the one, and the venerable 
aspect of the other, their intricate parts often laden with 
proHfic fruit, and their numberless tenants, all highly pic- 
turesque, are equally calculated to attract our adniiration 
to the Creative Power displayed throughout the universe ; 
and to sanction the character of this product as one of 
uncommon interest and beauty. 

" A very fine specimen of the Tubiilaria ramea [Euden 



HYDROID ZOOPHYTES. 39 

drium rameiim) was recovered from among the rocks of a 
cavity in the bottom of the Frith of Porth^ at about one 
hundred and fifty feet from the surface. It had vegetated 
in such a direction that it was detached quite entire. Being 
transferred to a capacious vessel of sea-water, I found it 
rising seven and a half inches in height, by a stem about 
nine lines in diameter near the root, then subdividing into 
several massy boughs, besides many lesser branches. Num- 
berless twigs, terminated by thousands of minute hydrse of 
the palest carnation, clothed the extremities, wliicli were ten 
inches apart. The root diffused itself irregularly, by a mul- 
titude of mossy-like fibres, which might be circumscribed by 
a circle two inches in diameter. It is to be observed, that 
the stem and higher rigid portions consisted of irregular 
bundles of tubes; but about two inches of the highest 
were in verlicillate arrangement. Though composed of 
bundles of tubes below, the absolute extremities, bearing 
the hydrse, resolve into single tubes, each with its animal. 

" Many parasites invested this splendid specimen. Masses 
of the pure white and deep orange Alcyonium digitatum 
hung from the boughs ; SertidancB, Sjmn/jes, and Algcs were 
profusely interspersed, all proving, by their obvious suc- 
cessive generations, the great antiquity of the Eudendrhmi. 



40 POPULAR HISTOUY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

" Other specimens have occurred, of a similar aspect and 
conformation, chiefly from four to six inches high, but none 
above nine. One beautiful and luxuriant specimen, four 
inches high and diverging four inches, might have been 
circumscribed by au ellipse two inches and a quarter 
across. By gross computation, 1200 hydrse, deeper co- 
loured than peach-blossom, decorated this latter specimen. 
The head, or hydra, of this Zoophyte is deciduous."*' 

" Full many a gem, of purest ray serene. 
The dark unfathom'd depths of ocean bear ! 
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen. 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air I" 

TUBULARIA INDIVISA. 

In this Zoophyte, the polypes are fixed at the end of 
tubes which do not branch, but each one, or nearly each 
one, of which proceeds directly from the creeping fibre by 
which it is attached. 

The genus Tuhilaria is thus defined by Johnston : — 
" Polypidom horny, fixed by a creeping fibre, erect, fistular, 
and unbranched ; the tube filled with a semifluid medulla. 
Polypes placed at the extremities of the tubes, non -retractile, 
fleshy, furnished with two circles of filiform, smooth ten- 



HYDEOID ZOOPHYTES. 41 

tacula ; one row surrounds the middle of the heads^ and 
the other is placed round the mouth. Bulbules clustered, 
shortly pedicled, placed within and at the base of the lower 
tentacula ; embryo not always the same, being sometimes in 
the form of a Beroe, sometimes of a hydra/' 

This Tuhular'ia indivisa is the largest of its tribe in 
Great Britain. The tubes, on which the hydra-heads are 
placed, grow some five or six inches long on shells and 
stones in deep water. They look like scarlet flowers on the 
ends of long twisting worms. They congregate in clusters 
of thirty or forty specimens, and make a splendid nosegay 
of living and moving flowers. The tubes are horny and 
transparent, showing the reddish liquor through them, and 
the polypes at the end have two rows of tentacles." 

We must again hear the eloquence of Sir J. Dalyell : — 
"The yellow, fistulous stem, full of mucilaginous pith, 
is rooted on a solid substance below, and crowned by 
a living head, resembling a fine scarlet blossom, with a 
double row of tentacula, and often with pendent clusters 
of grapes, embellished by various hues, wherein red and 
yellow predominate. Fifty, or even a hundred and fifty, 
are at times crowded together; their heads, of diverse 
figures, shades, and dimensions, constitute a brilliant, ani- 



42 POPULAE HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUil. 

mated group, too rich in nature to be effectively portrayed 
by art/' 

The Tiibulanm may be kept for observation in sea-water, 
and a very wonderful and beautiful provision be watched. 
In a few days, dispirited by captivity, the flower-heads will 
generally drop off, and the observer naturally expects the 
straw -like pipes, on which they were placed, to wither and 
droop. It is not so, however ; but the wound, caused by 
disseverment, heals at first, and afterwards a new head, 
formed no doubt principally of the pith which fills the 
tube, rises to the top, assumes the globular form and 
bright colour, puts forth its first and second row of ten- 
tacles, opens its mouth, and is ready for anything that 
Providence may place within its reach. In this way several 
successive heads may fall, and a fresh one will supply its 
place. 

If, then, we see with admiration the flowers of the 
field and garden, which, beautiful as they are, still give 
no signs of sensation or voluntary movement, how much 
more shall we be delighted with these no less beautiful 
objects, endowed as they are with sentient vitality, and add- 
ing the grace of motion to those luxuriant charms which 
meet the eye ! And, if we add to this the exhibition 



HYDEOID ZOOPHYTES. 43 

which they afford of the restorative power of Nature, we 
must be destitute of feehng, if our praise of creative wisdom 
fall sliort of enthusiasm. 

SeRTULARIA POLYZONIAS; 

Or Great Toothed Coralline. The following is Dr. 
Johnston's definition of the genus Serttdaria : " Polypidom 
(or Coral-house) growing in the shape of a plant and fixed 
by its base, variously branched ; the divisions or branches 
formed of a single tube, denticulated or serrated with the 
cells, and jointed at regular intervals : cells alternate or 
paired, biserial, sessile, urceolate, short, with everted aper- 
tures ; ovarian vesicles scattered. Polypes hydraform.''^ 

The general appearance of this Zoophyte, is that of 
finely serrated, and variously branched, minute sticks or 
straws ; and it is only on minute examination that we find 
that one being pervades the whole; that the notches are 
cells ; and that each cell is filled by an arm or branch 
of the animal ending in a polype, furnished with a bunch 
of tentacula. In this species the cells are short, smooth, 
and truncated ; while here and there appears an ovarian 
vesicle of a rounded form, and spirally grooved, much 
larger than the ordinary cells. In Sertularia nigosa, on 



44 POPULAR HISTOEY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

the contrary, the cells and vesicles are similar in shape 
and only ditl'er in size. The cells of some Sertidarim are in 
pairs, some alternate, some at irregular intervals. 

Sertularia argentea 

Is a fine, feathered, bushy polype, sometimes called the 
Squirrel' s-tail Coralline, which is found growing on the 
rock-oysters at Sheppey and Sheerness. The ramifications 
are in tufts, arranged spirally round the stem ; an arrange- 
ment which gives a peculiarly graceful air to the whole 
polypidom, which sometimes reaches several feet in length. 
But when its upper branches reach this length, much of 
the vitaKty of the under branches is impaired through 
age, and these earlier parts die and become worn ; in this 
state they fall away and leave the lower part of the stem 
bare. 

The following experiment on the dead and dry polypi- 
dom of a Sertiilaria will be found interesting, showing a 
degree of elasticity in the horny substance of which it is 
composed : — 

"About two years ago I detached two specimens of 
Sertularia from an oyster-shell: they were about If inch 
high, the side branches being from 4 to f of an inch in length. 



HYDHOID ZOOPHTTES. 45 

Having broken off with the Sertulana a piece of the shell to 
form a base for it to stand upon, I placed it within the doors 
of a bookcase to keep it from the dast ; about two or three 
months afterwards I took it to a tub of rain-water for the 
purpose of washing off the saline incrustations, and, after 
rinsing it several times, I observed the branches begin to 
assume a more rigid appearance, and the stem, which had 
been previously lax and drooping, became perfectly upright 
and rigid. If any part was drawn aside, it immediately re- 
gained its position, and in this state it remahied nearly a 
day before it began to droop again. I repeated the experi- 
ment a few weeks back, with the same results." — -/. Bladon, 
'Zoologist,^ i. p. 34. 

ANTENNULAraA ANTENNIXA. 

This is a pretty Coralline, the branches of which are finely 
serrated and ciliated, and have a beautiful feathery appear- 
ance. 

The genus is thus described by Johnston : — " Polypidom 
plant-like, horny, simple, or branched irregularly; the 
shoots fistular-jointed, clothed with hair-like, verticillate 
branchlets; cells small, sessile, campanulate, unilateral; 
vesicles scattered, unilateral. Polypes hydraform."' A. an- 



46 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

tennina " grows in clusters in the sand, or on stones lying in 
the sand, rooted together by numerous fibres matted with a 
mixture of broken shells and sand, pretty generally distri- 
buted. We have not found it on the Ayrshire coast, if it 
is distinct from A. ramosa. It has however been got by the 
Eev. Mr. Urquhart, at Portpatrick ; and we have remarkably 
fine specimens from Dr. Beverley Morris, from the coast of 
Yorkshire; from Dr. Scouler, from Dublin Bay; and from 
Major Martin, from Lough S willy. These last were very 
handsome, but the stems smaller and more compact than 
usual, and the branchlets shorter." — Landshorough. 

It often grows to the height of a foot, and it appears 
jointed in rings like the long antennae of the Lobster. " Each 
articulation is surrounded by short capillary branches, which 
when magnified have the appearance of sickles, and bend 
towards the main stem. Along the inside of these are placed 
minute sockets, which support small open denticles (cells) 
of a cup-shape, which are of so tender a nature that they 
are scarcely visible but in recent specimens. Between the 
minute hair-like branches we have observed, on some speci- 
mens, small egg-shaped vesicles, fixed on footstalks, with 
their openings, or mouths, on the side of the top of each, 
looking towards the middle stem." — Mils, 



hydroid zoophytes. 47 

Plumulaeia pinnata. 

Belonging to another genus of feathery Corallines, which 
is thus described by Johnston : — " Polypidom plant-hke, 
rooted, simple or branched, the shoots and offsets plumous ; 
cells small, sessile, unilateral, usually seated in the axillae 
of a horny spine; vesicles scattered, unilateral. Polypes 
hydraform.^' 

Mr. Gosse has made this beautiful Zoophyte the subject 
of some interesthig observations, which will be best detailed 
in his own words, nearly entire. " A tuft of weed, that I 
had pulled off from the side of one of the rock -pools, and 
brought home screwed in a bit of paper, was almost covered 
with the elegant plumes of Plumulanajnnnata. I put it into 
sea-water as soon as I arrived at home, after it had been out 
of the water about eight hours, carried within my hat. When 
I came to examine it, many of the polypes appeared alive, 
though contracted. Many of the lower stalks were nearly 
denuded of branches, except at their tips; but were densely 
crowded for the most of their length with ovigerous vesi- 
cles. These are placed in a single series, on the upper side 
of the arching stems, as thickly as they can stand, about 
twenty-five on each. By a single series I mean that they are 
all seated on one side of the stem, and all point the same way. 



48 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUAEIU:\r. 

with an occasional exception, for they are two, three, or four 
abreast. Their substance is hyaline, but the contents are 
opaque and flesh-coloured. Their shape is sub-oval, larger 
at the tip ; but the sides are fluted, so as to form about six 
rounded angles, and as many furrows. Near the tip, several 
divergent tubercles or blunt spines are given ofl". The tuft 
alluded to I put in a glass vessel made of the chimney of an 
ordinary lamp, with the bottom closed by a plate of glass : 
this was about half-full of sea-water. In three or four days, 
examining cursorily with a lens, I was surprised to see the 
bottom crowded with young polypes growing erect from 
every part ; they were there by hundreds. I detached a few 
for more particular examination. Each consisted of an ir- 
regular, dilated, glossy plate, adhering to the bottom ; from 
some point of which sprang up, erect, a slender tube, with 
one or two joints, and terminating in a cell of the same form 
as those above described. The medullary core permeated 
the tube, and was developed into a perfectly-formed polype 
inhabiting the cell and freely expanding from it. The tube, 
the cell, and the polype, were of the same dimensions as in 
the adult. Some of the cells already showed, in the form of 
a tubercle budding from their bases, the commencement of 
a new joint of the lengthening polypidom. 



HYDllOID ZOOPHYTES. 49 

" Along with these, on the floor of the glass vessel, were 
many minute animalcules, of an opaque-white hue, somewhat 
Pl-anaria-like, which crawled slowly and irregularly, protrud- 
ing the anterior portion of the body in a blunt point, but 
often contracting the whole outline into a subglobose form. 
These worm-like animalcules I found to be the primal form 
of the young polype ; and though I have not been able to 
trace the metamorphosis through every stage in the same 
individual, the facts I have observed leave it indubitable. 

" I took two thin plates of glass, and suspended them by 
threads in the vessel, near the bottom, horizontally, with a 
view to obtain some of the embryos rooting themselves 
thereon, which I might afterwards take out, to watch their 
progressive development under the microscope. ]\Ieanwhile 
I secured the first step in the inquiry, by opening with 
needles some of the crowded vesicles of the adult poly- 
pidom, from which I obtained some of the minute white 
worms. In two or three days I drew out the plates of glass 
and put them in shallow cells of sea-water, fit for the stage 
of the microscope : I found upon them the young animals in 
various stages. Some of the worms were yet vagrant, and 
crawled freely about the surface ; others had selected their 
position and were adherent, but still retained their power of 



50 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

motion to such a degree as enabled them to change their 
form bj protruding certain portions of their outline ; others 
were contracted into a globule^, fixed and changeless,, with the 
matter produced in the form of a creeping rootlet/^ 

" The next stac^e that I observed was that in which the 
adherent mass had become shelly, as I presume ; for the mar- 
ginal portions were perfectly transparent and colourless, and 
the opaque granular matter had retired to the centre, where, 
irregular in form, it had given rise to a tube. This tube 
had already formed one joint : its extremity was closed 
and rounded, and had not yet begun to dilate into a cell. 
The medullary matter proceeding from the granular mass at 
the base, passed through the lower portion of the tube as 
a central cord, but completely filled the terminal moiety. 
Another specimen had proceeded so far as the formation of 
the cell, the bottom of which was filled with the granular 
matter, as yet amorphous, no trace of the polype being yet 
discoverable. This was the most matured phase of the 
development that appeared on the experimenting plates of 
glass ; but the transition from this state to that of the young 
polypes, already described, at the bottom of the vessel, is 
short and obvious ; and the progress from one of them to a 
perfect polypidom is a matter of increase and aggregation. 



HYDROID ZOOPHYTES. 51 

There is lio\Yever a hiatus in this chain. I should have 
particularly wislied to see one or more specimens between 
the condition of the adherent globule, and that of the formed 
and growing tube ; but of this intermediate stage my glass 
plates presented no specimen. And whether the water in 
the shallow stage-troughs, to which I removed the plates for 
microscopic examination, afforded insufficient nutriment, I 
know not ; but I could not find that any individual speci- 
men continued to grow after removal from the larger vessel ; 
and they shortly gave evident tokens of death and decay." 

LaOMEDEA DICHOTOilA. 

The genus Laomedea is thus described by Johnston : — 
"Polypidom rooted by a creeping fibre, plant-like, erect, 
jointed at regular intervals, the joints ringed, incrassated, 
giving origin, alternately from opposite sides, to the shortly- 
pedicled cells ; cells campanulate ; vesicles axillary ; polypes 
hydraform.''' 

L, dicJwtoma rises to the height of a foot, or even tw^o 
feet. The stem bends angularly, and gives ofP a short 
branch at each bend. The cells are shaped like bells, and 
their stems ringed, three times as long as the bells. The 
polypes are of a red colour. ^' This Coralline," observes 



52 POFULAll HISTOIIY OF THE AQUAEIUM. 

Ellis; " is found in great abundance on the south-west coast 
of England^ and seems most curiously contrived^ from its 
structure, to resist the violence of the waves^ all its joints 
being furnished with springs. Its vesicles are formed so as 
to yield easily to every violent impulse of the water, without 
injury, from their being placed on footstalks like screws/^ 

Laomedea gemculata. 

This Laomedea is a numerously branched polypidom, bear- 
mg on its fronds the most beautifully delicate, cup-Kke po- 
lypi, which, by means of their cilia, move about in a very 
rapid and playful manner. Each polypus is like a tiny 
shallow glass vase, with a foot by which it is attached to the 
frond, and fringed with threads all round the disc. Lao- 
medea gemculata is interestingly described in the ' Devon- 
shire Rambles \ — " The little creatures [i. e. the cup-shaped 
polypi] are very active and lively, making their way rapidly 
through the water by a sort of flapping motion of all the 
marginal threads together ; an action which, when viewed in 
profile, could not fail to remind the observer of the flight 
of a flagging- winged bird : but so exquisitely delicate is the 
tiny creature, so transparent, so shadowy, that a friend to 
whom I showed it aptly called it the soul of the Zoophyte. 



IIYDROID ZOOPHYTES. 53 

There is something in it also which reminds me of the 
pappus of a dandehon floating on the breeze/' 

Tlris Zoophyte has the power of throwing off the poWpi ; 
or rather, the little polypi are able to detach themselves and 
still to dance merrily in the water. "Immense numbers of 
these tiny sylph-like creatures were successively produced 
from the Laomedea in the glass jar, so that the water at 
length seemed quite alive with them; but I could not find 
tliat a single individual either became stationary, or changed 
its form, or grew. In the course of a day or two they all 
died.''' — Perhaps a salutary example to young people in too 
great a hurry to become independent of parental care. 

To describe one of the polypes more particularly, it seems 
most to resemble an inverted umbrella with a netted disc 
across its diameter ; on the convex side is a central fleshy 
protuberance forming the foot. The flatter disc is divided 
by four angles, between each of which are six thread-like ten- 
tacles, — twenty-four of them altogether, — which ]3lay about 
in all directions. Placed at equal distances, on the margin, 
between the tentacles, are four pairs of very eye-like globes, 
which however, from their structure, are believed to be 
rather organs of hearing. Altogether, these little polypi 
have the appearance of miniature Mechts^e or Jelly-fish. 



54- POPULAll HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Laomedea GELATIXOSA. 

This polypiferous animal is^ like the former, provided with 
cup-shaped cells placed on ringed, springy necks, protecting 
the polypi which fill them. As the cups are very trans- 
parent, a favourable opportunity is given for observing the 
economy of the structure. A slender and transparent tube 
springs up from creeping, thread-like roots, sending out 
branches at intervals on both sides. These branches are 
ringed, or constricted in such a manner as to appear tied in 
as it were by very fine threads, at places close to each other, 
so as to make the rings very narrow\ At the end of each 
branch is a miniature wine-glass, or hyaline cell, perfectly 
transparent and beautifully shaped, containing the polype, 
in which each branch of the fleshy centre terminates. The 
flesh is jelly-like, hollow in the centre, and runs like an 
inner pipe through the stem and branches of thepolypidom, 
until it reaches the cell at the end of each. In the hol- 
low part of the fleshy pipe is a fluid containing moving 
granules, the precise nature of which is not accurately as- 
certained. 

When the fleshy tube reaches the eiul of each branch, and 
arrives at the neck of the cell, it passes through a perfora- 
tion which exists in a partition which runs across, near the 



HYDROID ZOOPHYTES. DO 

bottom of tlie cell : it now thickens out into a polype, 
dilated at the bottom, and dividing, on arriving at the rim 
of its cup, into a star of many rays, hanging over its sides 
all round its aperture. In case of irritation, alarm, or dis- 
content with the fluid in which it is placed, the polype can 
collect its star-rays, or tentacula, into a bundle and with- 
draw them into the cup. 

Campanulahia volubilis. 

"This very minute Coralline," says Ellis, "arises from 
small irregular tubes, which adhere to and twine about other 
Corallines, particularly the Sickle Coralline. Exceedingly 
small tubular stalks go out from this tubular stem, which 
supports little bell-shaped cups with indented brims. At 
the bottom of each, where they join to the stalks, the mi- 
croscope discovers to us a very minute spherule or little 
ball, as in some drinking-glasses." 

EUCRATEA CHELATA. 

A minute, irregularly branched polypidom of very in- 
teresting structure, formed by the continual addition of 
cells, springing each one from the upper and outer rim 
of its predecessor. The formation of a new branch, how- 



56 POPULAR HISTOEY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

ever, commences in a spinous projection from the lower 
rim, and this afterwards expands into a cell to which 
otliers are added. The polype in each cell is protected bj 
an elastic membrane, which retracts into its very depths 
when the polype is projected, but, when that is withdrawn, 
forms a projecting rim, or lappet, beyond the edge of the 
cell. The polype is protruded in through an opening in 
this membrane, in three circular slides, hke the joints of 
a telescope. The top, or head-joint, is crowned by twelve 
ciliated arms ; the second, edged by a scalloped frill, and 
the third, or basal joint, has a projecting point. The whole 
is most exquisitely formed, and of a most delicate, filmy 
transparency. 

To observe the course of the digestive system in very 
minute animal frames is very difficult, requiring the adjust- 
jnent of a high power, to the medium in which, to produce 
the continued actions of life, the object must be placed. 
In order to assist in the observations, a colour has been 
introduced into the element, which, being readily imbibed 
by the polype, is seen in circulation through the body. 

There is a continued motion of cilia going on, whicli 
enables the polype to bring a current of nutritious sub- 
stance within its power, as well as to throw off any dis- 



HYDROID ZOOPHYTES. 57 

agreeable intruding bodies. When the ciliary action is in- 
sufficient to effect this, the little filmy creature will succeed 
in getting rid of the offensive object by suddenly withdraw- 
ing and jerking itself sidewise, or by bending in one of its 
ciliated arms, and sending it out with a fillip-like motion. 

Anguinaria spatulata. 

Snake-headed Coralline. — This little Zoophyte winds up 
a seaweed as the ivy does the oak. It consists of a stem 
with cells thrown out at intervals on bended stems. They 
are of a flattened, oval form, and not unlike the head of 
a snake, open at one side. Each " snake^s head " forms 
the habitation of a polype, which, when it throws out its 
own head, presents a circidar crown of tentacula. The 
neck of the cell-stem is marked with rings, while the 
swollen head is dotted. The mechanism of the cell is 
very curious, being furnished with a little door, which, 
closing when the polype is retracted within its cavity, and 
held firmly down by muscles, gently opens on its hinges 
and turns back as the living film passes out and spreads 
its crown of feelers. All the time it keeps out, the door 
is folded back, again gradually closing as the animal 
retires. If a piece of bladder were stretched over a half- 



58 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUAFtIU:\r. 

circle of bent cane or wire, it would give tlie idea of 
the door or valve we are describing, only on a very large 
scale ; the bladder answering to the almost impalpable 
membrane, and the circular frame answering to the horny 
rim of the door. Sometimes, however, patient observers 
have seen the polype retreated far within his cell, and 
still holding the door wide open, so as to permit the free 
circulation and inhibition of the watery element, but with 
the spring ready to be drawn back on the approach of 
danger. The Anguinaria spatidata is found not uncom- 
monly twining like a ^^ gentle evergreen,^^ about small sea- 
weeds at low water, near the Devonshire coasts. 

Cellularia ciliata. 

The Ciliated Cellularia is parasitic in its habits, like the 
Angui7iaria. There is a kind of tubercle on the outside 
of the cell, which is open at one end, with a movable 
valve, presenting an appearance in form resembling that 
of a flower of Calceola. It has also been compared to 
the head of a bird, the valve answering for the lower 
mandible of the beak. This valve opens and shuts with 
a sudden, snapping motion; and the edges of the upper 
and lower mandibles are both armed with tooth-Hke points. 



HYDROID ZOOPHYTES. 59 

It seems not yet to be ascertained what is the nature of 
these excrescences; what functions they perform, or what 
relation they sustain with the polypi, or their house. In 
truth, from the fact of not all the cells being provided 
with them, and of other polypidoms having generic cha- 
racters in common with this species, showing no signs of 
possessing or requiring these excrescences, a doubt is justly 
suggested, whether they may not, after all, be independent 
and distinct, although parasitic organisms, consisting of 
what would look like an animal, all head and mouth, 
swaying to and fro, snapping its jaws and seeking what 
it may devour. On the other hand, its occupation may be 
that of a useful member of the polypidom, auxiliary to the 
seizure and imprisonment of wandering animalcules for the 
purpose of feeding the polype in its cell. 

All these interesting forms, to be appreciated, require 
the most careful observation by means of the microscope, 
with the objects in a living state. The day for dried 
specimens has now gone by, and it may soon be a common 
every-day amusement to examine this class of Zoophytes in 
glass vessels, and trace their admirable structures in the 
same manner in which only the Ellises, the Johnstons, and 
the Gosses have hitherto been privileged to do. 



60 



CHAPTER HI, 

SEA-FEATHERS, SEA-PENS, AND SEA-FROTH, — PENNATULA PHOSPHOREA. — 
VIRGULARIA MIRABILIS. — PAVONARIA QUADRANGULARIS. — GORGONIA 
VERRUCOSA. — kingfisher's NEST OR MERMAID'S GLOVES. — ALCTONIUM 
DIGIT ATUM. — ALCYONIDIUM HIRSUTUM. — INFUSORIA AND FORAMINIFERA, 

The three families — TennatididcBy Gorgoniadce, Alcyoniadxe 
— are included by Gosse in the sub-order Alcyonaria. The 
family of Alci/oniadcej which contains Alcijonium digitatnm, 
of which we shall speak presently, appears to partake much 
of the nature of Sponge, only that the fleshy masses of 
which it is composed, send forth distinct and beautiful 
polypi. It differs from the other two families, Tennatididce 
and Gorgoniadce, in not having, like them, a central axis ; but 
instead of that axis, the flesh contains scattered calcareous 
spicula, similar to those Sponges. 

In the Hydroid Zoophytes, it was observed that the horny 
skeleton formed, as it were, a case, or external support to 



Pla.te V 



^>T 






<? :h^ ^1- 



^^^ 
^'& 



> 






■^ 



|^^»^- '^ ' ^^' 








._ >^,^^K.««-'---^- 



"Vmcent Broalis 



Sowerfcy del etliCh . 

Alcy:cmixixn. dLgitalitm l-Atwolobed speamen -wixh. ^jatypes cxpaxicLecL .Z loung. 
^Ttthe saxu.e . S.A-potypexaagni&eil. ^'-Iirtemai spculas 



PENXATULID^. 61 

the fleshy part of the animal and its polypes; while in the 
Asteroid groups, ineluded in the famihes of TennaUdidce 
and GorgoniadcE, the skeleton consists of a central hornv 
or calcareous axis^ around which are arranged the poljpe- 
bearing fleshy parts. 

Pennatula phosphorea. 

Dr. Johnston thus describes, in technical terms, the 
genus : — "Polype-mass free, plumous, the shaft subcylindric, 
naked beneath, pennated above ; pinnse two-ranked ; spread- 
ing, flattened, and polypiferous along the upper margin."" 

"Nature," observes Lamarck, "in forming this compound 
animal, seems to have desired to produce a copy of the ex- 
terior form of a bird^s feather.''^ 

And truly, if you imngine a bird^s feather four or five 
inches long, but of a fleshy substance, plumed broadly at 
the feather end and naked at tire quill end, very elegant in 
form and of a delicate pink colour, you have before you an 
image of our Pemiatula : yet this also is a living ammal. 
Along the upper edges of the pinnae are placed the polype- 
cells, in rows, containing the polypes. The pinna3 are 
obliquely curved backwards, and each one is capable of an 
independent action. All the external part of this Zoophyte 



62 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

is flesliY, including the central stem ; but througli the centre 
of the' latter runs a calcareous column, which serves to 
strengthen and support the whole. This forms the rudi- 
ment of a true Coral, and constitutes a bond of union be- 
tween the Sea- leather and the Asteroid whicli forms that 
beautiful Coralline known in commerce as the "Precious 
Coral/' of which red ornaments are made. 

Cock's-Comb, Sea -Pen, Sea-Feather, are the names by 
which the Pennahda is known ; the former, on account of 
the colour and general appearance of the upper pinnjc ; the 
latter, because of the resemblance which every one must see 
on glancing at the object. 

Pemiatida pliospliorea is unattached : it does not grow 
fixed to any object, like Gorgonias, etc., but is planted in 
mud, with its pinnae exposed. And now comes tlie ques- 
tion, whether it is capable of moving from place to place 
through its bed, or of raising its body and swimming through 
the water. Some naturalists have held that it is capable of 
both motions ; others say that it cannot move voluntarily at 
all. Its general habits certainly appear to be very stationary ; 
and we have no direct evidence, derived from actual observa- 
tion, that the animal is provided with locomotive power or 
instinct. Yet some authors assert that it swims about freely 



PENNATULID.E. 63 

in the sea, using its pinnte in exactly the same manner as 
fishes nse their fins ; others say that the motion is effected 
by alternate contractions and expansions of the thick part 
of the central mass, as well as by a combined action of the 
polypes. 

When placed in a basin of sea-water, as many specimens 
have been by acute observers, they have never been observed 
to exercise this supposed power of swimming, but have re- 
mained quietly lying, polypes upwards or downwards, just 
in the same position in which they were placed. In this 
condition however the whole body has become very consi- 
derably distended with water, increasing to several times its 
natural dimensions ; and that is the only approach to motion 
betrayed by the Pennatida when in captivity. Sir G. Dal- 
yell remarks that the distension that takes place does not 
reduce its specific gravity sufficiently to produce an equili- 
brium with the water; "thus the animal cannot swim." 

It seems to me that the appearance of the body is such as 
to favour the notion of a creeping movement, which could 
be easily effected by a slight action of the lower edges of the 
pinnae ; and this is just the motion which would most pro- 
bably be missed by observers watching for it. in the case 
of animals confined in a narrow basin. For it is doubtful 



64 POPULAE HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

whether they would be provided with exactly the same kind 
of bed which they had been accustomed to^ and which was 
most suitable to any movements they might desire to make*. 

On one subject there is no question. There is no doubt 
that, when irritated, Sea-Pens throw out a strongly phos- 
phorescent light. AVhen the animal is touched or pressed 
it gives a luminosity, commencing at the point of contact 
and proceeding up towards the pinnse. If the upper part 
of the specimen be irritated, all parts below the contact 
remain unaffected, while those above it emit phosphorescence. 

A beautiful result is obtained, although perhaps cruelly, 
by throwing a Pennatula into fresh water, when it emits and 
scatters brilliant sparks in every direction. 

YlRGULARIA MIllABILIS. 

Very nearly allied to Fennutula, but very much more 
slender and elongated in form ; sometimes growing to the 
length of five-and-twenty or thirty inches. It is of a straw - 
colour, and growing all along on each side of the long stem 
are polypiferous masses, each divided into six or seven lobes 
or fingers, and at the end of each finger a most beautiful 
eight-rayed star polype. The pinnse are not placed on each 
side of the stem exactly opposite to each other, but each 



PENNATULID.E. 65 

one against the space between the two on the other side. 
They are beautifully transparent^ and have the power of 
contracting, so as to lie up closely imbricated upon each 
other, pressing the stalk ; but they can also expand and 
lie out, so as to leave open spaces between. Mr. Harvey 
says, "The polypes are objects of great beauty, and their 
form may be very well seen after death ; for though 
capable of retractation within the cell, the tentacula have 
no contractile power, and may be made to expand in 
their full extension by merely pressing upon the cell. 
The polype thus displayed is an eight-rayed star, the rays 
curved backwards, channeled and elegantly pectinated along 
each margin. In the centre is the mouth, with prominent 
lips.^' 

The same question occurs as to the habits of this Asteroid 
as arose respecting those of Pennatula. But one curious 
motion has been observed in the former when captive, which 
does not take place in the latter : it is that of the animal 
twisting itself spirally round its central axis, and afterwards 
relaxing again into a straight line. The bone running 
through the central axis is very slender, — said to be not a 
thousandth part of its length in diameter. '' Each organ,'' 
remarks Dalyell, " of this remarkable object has a distinct 



66 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

action, free of all the other parts. Each lobe, each hydra, 
each of the pectinate tentacula, and each of their prongs, 
can move at will, while the whole of the rest of the Zoophyte 
is quiescent ; therefore, in a specimen with the bone extend- 
ing eighteen inches, above a million of separate fleshy parts 
are under the common control of the Zoophyte/^ It is of 
course very difficult to understand where can be the seat 
of this common control, or in what manner the central 
power of volition can be exercised. But when we reflect 
that the only motions of which this animal is known to 
be capable are a kind of excentric twist round its own 
axis, and a certain amount of puffy inflation of its parts, 
it does not present a very favourable view of separate 
o-overnment. It is rather calculated to remind us that 

o 

too much independent action among individual members 
of a body politic is unfavourable to the development of 
corporate power : we will not point to practical illustra- 
tions of this. 

Payonaria quadrangularis. 

This is another of the living rods of the ocean. It is 
invested with a fleshy skin, and has rows of polypes along 
its sides ; those at the lower part of the rod are in a single 



GORGONIADiE. 67 

row on each side, but higher up they come in twos and 
threes, until at the thicker and more bulbous part they 
form oblique rows of four, five, or six in a transverse row. 
The flesh is of rosy hue. Each polype is a flower of eight 
petals or tentacula. This, like Pennatida, gives out a phos- 
phorescent light when irritated. 

GORGONIA YEERUCOSA. 

The generic characters of Gorgonia are thus described by 
Johnston : " Polype-mass rooted, arborescent, consisting 
of central axis barked with a polypiferous crust ; the axis 
horny, continuous, and flexible, branched in coequality with 
the polype-mass; the crust, when recent, soft and fleshy, 
when dried, porous and friable ; the orifices of the polype- 
cells more or less protuberant.^^ 

We should much like to see this Zoophyte, whose central 
stem is composed of beautiful branching red coral, grow- 
ing in the Zoological tanks. Those fair beings, who in an- 
cient pastoral numbers were courted by lovesick swains with 
promises of 

" Coral clasps aod amber studs," 

might then see the living founders of a favourite orna- 
mental production gathered round and conceaUng the co- 



68 POPULAE. HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

veted centre, but displaying in themselves beauties greater 
than any they could hide. 

Or even if we could transport the branching and netted 
Gorgoma flahellum, or '^Venus's Ean/^ from its native 
haunts in the West Indies, and see its branches incrusted 
with animated fibre and lively polypes waving in the rippled 
waters, and crowning the rockwork of an Aquarium, we 
should be adding a desirable variation to the already varied 
picture. But notwithstanding the fact of broken pieces 
being dredged up near our coasts, it appears certain that 
Venus^s Tan has never been seen living in this country. 
Those species that we can point to as our own, although 
interesting, are not so beautiful as those which are met 
with abroad. The same principle however may be observed 
throughout, — a branched, tree-like form rooted to the rock 
by a spreading disc ; through the stem and every branch a 
horny or bony central axis ; axis covered with a fleshy 
incrustation; flesh containing, at intervals, polypes in cells. 

GORGONIA VERRUCOSA 

Is shrub-like. It grows to the height of a foot, and spreads 
out like a fan to an equal width. It is branched; but as 
the branches do not cross into each other, as in Gorgonia 



ALCYONE^. 69 

flaheUiim, it is not netted. The axis is liorn}^, black, smootli, 
and shining. The living flesh incrusting the axis is flesh- 
coloured and soft, but when dead dries into a brittle crust. 
The polype-cells are numerous ; they form, at least in dried 
specimens, those wart-like excrescences from which the 
species derives its name " vemicosa," from verruca, a wart. 
These warts, when their crust is dissolved, are found to 
contain the contracted remains of eight-rayed polypes. 

As GoTgoni(B are deep-sea Zoophytes, it will be long ere 
we can arrange the admission of light, and other circum- 
stances, in our tanks, so as to suit their habits : ultimately 
it will no doubt be done. We may yet hope to see both 
foreign and English Sea-Fans making miniature forests in 
limited allotments of their native element. 



AlcyonecB. 

The following definition of the family, from one of the 
Cyclopaedias, may serve to convey a general idea of the 
economy of these curious Zoophytes. " Alci/onece, a group 
of marine productions somewhat similar to the Sponges, but 
more distinctly belonging to animated nature. We are 
indebted to Pallas, Gartner, Sa\ngny, Spix, and Lamouroux, 



70 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

for what is known of their singular structure. Both in the 
fresh and dried state they are of much greater specific gra- 
vity than the Sponges, and frequently emit a disagreeable 
odour. They vary much in form, some being in a shape- 
less form or crust, and others lobed, fingered, branched, or 
with rounded mushroom projections. The interior sub- 
stance is spongy or corky, surrounded by tube-like rays 
enclosed in a leathery sort of membrane. The tentacles or 
arms of the animal inhabitants of these productions are eight 
or more. The cells in which the animals lodge are round, 
unequal in diameter, and about a sixth of an inch in depth. 
^^The AlcyonecE are found in all seas and at various 
depths, subsisting, it would appear, on marine plants ; they 
do not however seem to like places which are often left dry 
by the ebbing of the tide, and hence we have never met 
with them recent, except about the low-water mark of spring 
tides, and they seem to dehght in places sheltered by rocks 
from the sweep of currents or the agitation of the waves, 
and where the light is rather obscure. They are found 
therefore to be more numerous in deep w^ater." 

Alcyonium digitatum. 
The Alcyon, or Kingfisher, — fabled to have formed its nest 



ALCYONE^E. 71 

of the foam of the sea^ and to have been favoured by Nep- 
tune so far as to be permitted to hatch its eggs while the 
waves were kept unmoved for the purpose, — gives its name 
to this Zoophyte (Plate Y.). It is a curious-looking spongy 
substance, growing attached to the rocks, in lobes of a buff or 
fleshy colour. When taken fresh from its element its surface 
is nearly even, but an attentive examination shows it studded 
with star-shaped depressions. But if a specimen can be 
taken living and placed in salt-water with the piece of rock 
on which it has been growing, it will presently put forth 
polypes from these depressions, which project from the sur- 
face in the form of beautiful little flowers with star-like 
petals. Its appearance in this condition is very elegant, 
and a microscopic examination of the polypes and of the 
interior presents new beauties to the view. Each polype is 
a delicate white tube, nearly transparent, — at least sufficiently 
so to render visible the interior organs : each is enclosed in 
a cell, from which, when fully protruded, it is seen to ta])er 
gradually towards the opening, where it is expanded into a 
flower with eight petals ; very slender filaments, arched out- 
wards and with ringed circumferences^ fringe the edges of 
the petals. The truncated stomach, the bended and twisted 
threads edging the divided septa of the surrounding part 



72 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

and connecting the stomach with the interior of the poljpe, 
the vibrating cilia covering every part of the inner lining, 
the current of globules passing up and down along the pel- 
lucid skin, and the curiously arranged coral-shaped spicula, 
not unlike those of more decidedly spongoid bodies, are all 
admirably and minutely described in the ' Naturalist's Ram- 
bles on the Devonshire Coast/ As, in nature, the polypes 
on a mass are never all exserted at the same time, we have 
shown in one part of the figure (Plate V. fig. 1) the polj^es 
fully exserted ; in another part some of them partially with- 
drawn, others only showing the starlike petals ; and in other 
parts of the specimen its appearance when the polypes are 
withdrawn and the edges of the cells closed over them. 

Mr. Gosse, speaking of Alci/onimn, says, "Darkness is 
more essential to its comfort than constant immersion. It 
is more careless of exposure to air than of exposure to light. 
The size and development of the masses are in proportion 
to the obscurity of their residence. Even in these cavernous 
recesses we only see half-grown specimens, and those con- 
sisting of one or two lobes. When left by the tide these 
hang down to a great length, the base shrunk to a slender, 
skinny column, with a white fleshy lump at the tip, from 
which depends a large drop of clear water ; but no sooner 



ALCYONE^. 73 

does the sea return to their level than they retract them- 
selveSj their bodies become plump and pellucid by the ab- 
sorption of the sea-water into their system of aqueducts, and 
the numerous little pits that had appeared on the surface 
swell and protrude into transparent star-like polypes_, render- 
ing the aspect of the whole as beautiful as it was before 
repulsive." [Gosse, Tenb?/.) 

Alcyonidium hirsutum. 

"All round the margins and smooth sides of the basin, 
under water, grow numerous specimens of the Stag's-horn 
Sponge-polype. These are so characteristic of the pool, and 
so remarkable, as at once to claim attention. They have 
much the aspect of a Sponge, being downy, growing in 
irregular rounded masses, and of a subpellucid yellowish- 
olive hue ; but to the feel the substance is more solid and 
fleshy, something between jelly and cartilage. It is fre- 
quently three or four inches in length, springing from a 
minute point of attachment, and much branched or lobed, 
resembling a deer^s horn.''^ [Gosse, Tenhi/.) 

Plate Y. represents Alcyonmm digitatum with two young 
lobes, a single polype magnified, and some of the spicula. 



74 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Infusoria and Foraminifera, 

Since the great work of Ehrenberg on the ' History of 
Infusoria, Living and Possil/ a great number of these infi- 
nitesimal creatures have been discovered to be the young of 
other animals, and others proved to belong to the vegetable 
kingdom, although gifted with a kind of spontaneous motion ; 
and as many of the others are yet undetermined, it seems 
possible that the Infusoria, as a class, may come to be dis- 
persed over various parts of the system. As affording food 
to many marine animals whose habits and organization 
render them entirely dependent on such provision, they are 
indispensable parts of the mighty scheme of Providence; 
and in the Aquarium their existence will be duly appreciated, 
although scarcely perceptible to the eye. 

Every current drawn towards the patient Anemone, or 
agitated by the ever-repeated cihary action of other marine 
animals, brings into the proper channels many tiny and 
almost invisible living creatures, which afford rich nou- 
rishment to the fortunate recipients, many of which have 
no means of securing more tangible objects, or of devour- 
ing them if secured; and many others live mainly upon 
the Infusoria, although quite capable of seizing and en- 



INFUSORIA AND PORAMINIFEJIA. 75 

jojing a Shrimp or a Mollusc, once in a way, for a hoyme 
bouche. 

Foraminifera, as a class, differ from Infusoria in this 
respect, that they are a defined group in themselves, 
not distinctly connected with any other, but possessing 
characters which are recognizable and distinguishing. For- 
merly indeed they were considered as belonging to the 
very highest class of MoUusca, namely Cephalopoda, for, 
although very minute, the shells in many instances take 
very exactly the forms of Nautilus, Ammonite, etc., and are 
divided like those shells into chambers. They are now be- 
lieved to be much lower down in the scale, and in recent 
systems take their humble place among the Tolypi. 

They are all microscopic, glutinous animals, divided into 
segments, arranged either in a line or rolled spirally ; they 
are clothed with a shell having numerous orifices, through 
which pass contractile filaments, which are very long, 
branched, and used for locomotion. The recent species, 
although few in our seas, are numerous in warm climates ; 
yet all those living now are insignificant in numbers com- 
pared to the enormous multitudes of them which crowded 
the ancient seas. Large mountains are formed almost en- 
tirely of their fossil remains. The great stratum on which 



76 POPULAll HISTOrvY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Paris is built is composed, to a great extent, of their shells. 
Hundreds of thousands of specimens may be counted in an 
ounce of sand ! 

The Foraminifera may be seen in a living state by taking 
up seaweeds and branching Zoophytes, in favourable parts 
of the southern coasts, at or near the edge of the tide. If 
tliese are sliaken over a vessel of water, the Foraminifera 
will first drop to the bottom, but will afterwards be found — 
by help of a lens — crawling about or sticking to the sides 
of the vessel. Many of them may also be picked up by 
careful research among the patches of drifted sand and 
shells which the tide will sometimes leave upon the shore. 
Some of them are like flasks or bottles, and others like 
twisted SerpulcE ; some are like Nautili j others like jointed 
branches of coral. The principal genera are, — Lagena, the 
flask-shaped form with a neck; Fntosolenia, also bottle- 
shaped, but the neck doubled back as it were within the 
body; Botatia, whose shell consists of a spiral arrange- 
ment of swelled lobes ; Poli/stomella, shaped like a Nau- 
tilus ; and some others. 

According to Dujardin, who has rather minutely examined 
the history of the Foraminifera, they have not any distinct 
organs of locomotion, although the film-threads thrown out 



Pl3.te. \ri 



^>- 

















V 



f%. 




Snalie-lisaded and ^.iuJAed -A-n-rnones 1 oagaxuaL acnguicoma . Z I'i^o eaiiic 
extmded . 3 Ihe sajne dosed and flat 4 . B-unodes cla^'ata,. 



INfUSOUIA AND FOUAMINIFERA. 77 

through the pores serve that purpose, and even the means 
of respiration are indistinct or non-existent. 

The life and death of these myriads of tiny, insignificant, 
and lowly-organized beings, in past ages as well as in the 
present, have no doubt fulfilled important functions in the 
general economy of Nature. Certainly the great results, 
visible and tangible, presented to us in the shape of moun- 
tain masses, — composed, not of grains of sand, but of what 
were once living creatures iufinitesimally small, — strikes us 
with wonder at the strange contrast; while the profusion 
of life continually supplied and expended in supporting life 
in higher forms, by giving food to many a larger animal, 

whose 

" Restless tongue 
Calls daily for its millions at a meal," 

may well give rise to reflections of a serious kind, painful 
perhaps, though not unprofitable. 

" 'T was wisdom, mercy, goodness, that ordained 
Life in such infinite profusion, — Death 
So sure, so prompt, so multiform." 



78 



CHAPTER IV. 

SEA-ANEMOJTES, OK ACTINIAD.E. — TENACITY OF LIFE. — REPRODUCTION OF 
PARTS. — DOrBLE-HEADED SPECIMEN. — POWER OF STINGING. — FOOD.— 
MORALIZATION, OR PURPOSELESS EXISTENCE. — CHANGES OF FORM. — 
CLASSIFICATION. 

" Pray, Mr. Staniiope, wbat's the Dews in town ? 
Madam, I know of none ; but I'm just come 
From seeing a curiosity at home ; 
'T was sent to Martin Folkes, as being rare. 
And he and Desaguliers brought it there : 
It's called a Polypus ! — What's that ? —A creature, 
The wonderfuUest of all the works of Natiu'e. 
Thither it came from Holland, where 't was caught 
(1 should not say it came, for it w^as brought.) 
Tomorrow we're to have it at Crane Com-t."* — Sir C. Williams. 

The first and only Marine Aquarium possessed by many is 
the basin of sea-water in which they have, perchance, while 
young, placed that wonderful polypus which they have taken 

* Where the Royal Society held its meetings and kept its Museum, from 
1710 to 1782. 



SEA- ANEMONES. 79 

on the rocks^ aud which they have heard called a " Sea- 
flower/^ Probably it is the commonest of common species, 
which has been named Mesevihri/antliemum, from its resem- 
blance to the many-petalled flower of that name. It is w^ell 
for the early Aquarian, if, when he fixst takes the living 
flower from the rock, he is unacquainted with its nature ; 
but seeing only a round leathery hemisphere fixed on a 
stone, and puckered in at the centre, he has just conjec- 
tured that it might be a L'ving animal. In that case his 
dehght and wonder will be great when his captive, little by 
little, expands before him, and exhibits one after another of 
its curious characteristics. Every alteration in shape, atti- 
tude, and dimensions, will excite astonishment, and create a 
desire to know more of this surprising creature. 

A first view of the common Actinia in its contracted state 
is not particularly inviting. It is generally of a dull liver- 
colour, or fading green, and presents nothing to the eye 
but a raised half-circular mass, with a puckered hole in the 
centre. This is the outer covering of the polypus. It is of 
a leathery substance, and capable of contraction and expan- 
sion at will. Presently this mass will be seen gradually to 
rise a little, and the puckered folds at the central hole to 
smooth out. The next things to be seen, when the hole is 



80 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

wide enough, are the tips of delicately- coloured petals, which, 
on examination, are found to be rounded, cylindrical, and 
transparent. These continue to be more and more fully 
seen, until they separate so as to disclose a small inner sur- 
face in the centre ; and we find that this inner surface is 
part of a rounded disc, and that the petals are arranged 
in several rows so as to fringe the outer edge of the disc. 
Here we have the flower fully expanded ; and on looking at 
the now visible edge of the outer coating, we find that it 
is studded, behind the petals, with a row of bright rounded 
tubercles, like blue beads. The central hole is of course a 
mouth, leading to a central stomach ; the cylindrical petals 
are tentacula, or arms, by which prey is seized ; and the 
exact use of the blue beads, which exist only in the smooth 
anemone y is not yet fully ascertained. 

Now if, with this flower before him, with its petals out, 
the observer will put a small water-insect, or piece of meat, 
within reach of one or two of the outer tentacles, he will see 
that they adhere to it as it were by a kind of electric touch ; 
and there is an agitation among a few tentacles in its imme- 
diate vicinity, which bend towards the object and try to 
reach it, in support of those which first had hold of it. Mean- 
while a firmer purchase is obtained by those tentacles which 



SEA- ANEMONES. 81 

touched the morsel first, till it is completely surrounded, and 
if living, overpowered. It is passed along from hand to 
hand (if the expression may be permitted) among the ten- 
tacles, until that side of the disc coils over towards the 
mouth, into which it is soon sucked and disappears. If on 
the contrary no food be given to the Actinia, and he become 
hungry and dissatisfied with his situation (as is very likely 
to be the case) he will probably turn his stomach inside out, 
just as a man may turn out his pockets to show that he has 
nothing in them. I remember being immensely astonished 
when from the mouth of my specimen appeared several bal- 
loon-like inflations, which gradually enlarged and presented 
a most beautiful appearance, a kind of transparent bladder, 
delicately ribboned. After this happens the poor creature 
will not live long. 

When we have specimens of Actinia in glass tanks, they 
sometimes fix their basal disc against the inner surface of the 
sides, so as to show its structure to the observer from without. 
This disc may be regarded as the animal's foot, for he uses 
it just in the same manner as Gasteropods use their crawling 
base, and effects his very slow movements by stretching out 
a portion of the rim and drawing the other after it, little by 
little. Its disc form and sucker-like character, enables it 

G 



82 POPULAR HISTOllY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

to cling firmly to rocks and other surfaces; while amid 
boisterous tempests agitating the waters^ his extended body 
bends to the waves, and his many arms are active in search 
of food. The edge of the outer covering will be distin- 
guished by a darker colour and more opaque texture, from 
the rest of the disc. From it, radiating towards a common 
centre, are opaque white lines ; some reaching the centre, 
and others, shorter, between them. If at any height in the 
body of the animal a cross section be made, these same lines 
will appear ; showing them to be edges of vertical plates, of 
a different substance from the rest of the body. The spaces 
between these plates and the central stomach are filled up 
with translucid jelly-like flesh, which is capable of being 
greatly swelled with water. If a section were made of a 
Single-starred Madrepore, such as Caryojphyllea Smithiiy or 
the Mushroom Coral of the Pacific, the same arrangement of 
radiating plates would be observed ; only in these instances 
they are hard and calcareous, — in short, coral ; while in 
Actinia they are only a kind of gristle, and, being of a 
firmer texture than the flesh, give support and firmness to 
it. This is the essential difference between Actinice and 
Single-star Corals. The latter however are fixed, while the 
former, as we have seen, are locomotive. 



SEA-ANEMONES. 83 

Let us inquire what is the difference between this group 
of polypes called " Helianthoid^^ and that which contains 
the Hydra and the other ^' HyclfoicV polj^es. It is this : 
that while the former are composed of all the distinct parts 
which we have been enumerating, — the outer covering, the 
basal and upper discs, the vertical plates, the fleshy sub- 
stance between them, the central stomach, and the lipped 
mouth; the latter is a simple bag, open at one end and 
fringed with tentacula, — mouth, stomach and all in one, — - 
so simple indeed that it may be turned inside out and yet 
perform the same functions. 

When describing the fresh- water Green Hydra, we shall 
have occasion to speak of experiments made on that won- 
derful creature, in the way of cutting up in pieces to ob- 
serve its power of reproducing parts. Similar experiments 
have been made, although not to so great an extent, with 
ActinicB, and with a similar result. An Actinia, for instance, 
has been cut across the centre, and instead of forming, as 
might be expected, a new basal disc, it put forth, at the 
severed part, a new set of tentacula, surrounding a new 
mouth, so that the creature seized and devoured food at 
both ends. New tentacles are soon supplied for any that 
are accidentally or designedly mutilated. 



84 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

At Mr. Warrington''s I saw what appeared to me a very 
curious pheiiomeuon, — an Actinia mesemhryanthemum with 
a double head, both heads on the same plane; the body 
seemed to be entirely one, with an oval basal disc, and no 
sign of separation up to the very edge of the leathery cover- 
ing ; but the upper disc formed two complete circles, sur- 
rounded each by its proper set of tentacles, and each with 
its central mouth. It is observed, that when a considerable 
morsel of food is presented to an ordinary Actinia, some 
slight agitation may be observed even among the most 
remote tentacles, as if they were in some degree conscious 
of what was going forward, and held themselves in readi- 
ness to give assistance if required. But in order to show 
the complete duality of the upper part of his two-lieaded 
specimen, Mr. Warrington fed first one, then the other, in 
my presence. When the morsel was brought near the ten- 
tacles on the outer part of one circle, and they were busy 
securing it, the other tentacles of that circle showed some 
degree of alertness; but not a feeler of the other circle 
stirred. When the twin head received its honne houche, we 
could then see both independently engaged in securing and 
devouring their meal. We have heard of twin babies turn- 
ing out to be a capital speculation in the family of some 



SEA-ANEMONES. 85 

working man, by exciting a kind of admiring sympathy, 
productive of charitable contributions; and I more than 
suspect that the twin Acthiice make a very good business of 
their peculiarity ; for of course every visitor must see both 
heads fed, and by this means, by the kindness of their pos- 
sessor, they get many and many a morsel which but for the 
happy partnership they would not have enjoyed. 

Much has been said respecting the power of stinging pos- 
sessed by these animals, and by Polypiferous Zoophytes in 
general, in consequence of which they are called "Sea- 
Nettles," and by the French " Orties de la Mer." The 
experience of those who have handled them differs greatly ; 
and of course the power will differ in different species under 
different circumstances. Thus the Arithea possesses it in a 
greater degree than most others of the family. It is exer- 
cised by means of fine darts pervading the body, and is con- 
nected with a great power of adhesion. In the ' Manual of 
Marine Zoology ' it is remarked that " most, if not all, of 
these polypes have the power of arresting, by a touch of 
their bodies, other animals much higher in rank than them- 
selves, and of instantly benumbing them, so that they may 
be sucked in and devoured without resistance. This power 
resides in the highly elastic threads or wires, which are 



86 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

doubtless counected with a subtile poison^ and are ordina- 
rily coiled up in oval capsules, but are, at the will of the 
animal, projected with surprising force : these capsules are 
lodged in vast numbers in the flesh of the body, but espe- 
cially in the tentacles/^ 

There is an old stanza referring to the common terrestrial 
stiiiging-nettles, which will not apply to these '' Orties de 
la Mer -:'— 

" Tender-handed stroke a nettle. 

And it stings you for your pains : 
Grasp it, like a man of mettle, 

And it soft as silk remains. 
'T is the same with common natures : 

Use them kindly, they rebel ; 
But be rough as nutmeg-graters. 

And the rogues obey you well." 

But the case of polype stinging-nettles is different; for being 
sheathed in their cases, ready to dart forth on irritation, 
pressure does not break the polype-stings, but only causes 
them to be shot out in greater force. 

In general, the "sting" is not felt by the human hand, 
although a sensation of "stickiness" is produced. Those 
wonderful little threads which dart out of their capsules and 
penetrate with surprising subtlety many objects of contact, 
perhaps find the skin of the human hand too tough to 



SEA- ANEMONES. 87 

wound. Mrs. Pratt, in her ' Seaside Chapters/ observes 
that the touch of the very same Actinia will affect different 
persons in a different manner. Having placed a specimen 
in a vessel which she often touched, slie found the tentacles 
crowding round the finger and producing a very slight sensa- 
tion. The same specimen being touched by another person 
communicated a tingling which was felt up the whole arm ! 
Some persons felt nothing ; others felt as if stung by a nettle. 

Altogether the Anemone must be a formidable tenant of 
the sea, and is a rather dangerous inhabitant of the tank. 
Eirmly adhering by its base, it puts out its arms in quest of 
prey. Nothing, once in contact with an arm, can escape 
its deadly touch. Small MoUusca, Radiata, and Crustacea 
are drawn to the central vortex, and swallowed in spite of 
the most vigorous resistance. Small fishes and crabs are 
seized and devoured. Creatures larger than the natural 
extent of the Anemone^s body are pressed down into the 
same accommodating and extensile carpet-bag. If you have 
any choice specimens belonging to other tribes, endowed 
with powers of locomotion likely to bring them into thought- 
less contact with the foe, do not place it in a tank witli 
Sea- Anemones. 

Foreigners boil many kinds of Actinice for the table, and 



88 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

find in them a very pleasant dish. The texture is some- 
thing like calf s-foot jelly ; taste and smell resembling that 
of crab or lobster. Eaten with sauce^ they are savoury. 
The author of ' Devonshire Rambles ' gives an amusing ac- 
count of the manner of his first becoming acquainted with 
Actinian dainties. '^ The next morning/' remarks that gen- 
tlemaUj " I began operations. As it was an experiment, 
I did not choose to commit my pet morsels to the servants, 
but took the saucepan in my own hand. As I had no in- 
formation as to how long they required boihng, I had to 
find it out for myself. Some I put into the water (sea- 
water) cold, and allowed to boil gradually. As soon as the 
water boiled, I tried one ; it was tough, and evidently un- 
done. The next I took out after three minutes' boiling ; 
this was better ; and one at five minutes was better still, 
but not so good as the one which had boiled ten. I then 
put the remaining ones into boiling water, and let them 
remain over the fire boiling for ten minutes, and these were 
the best of all, being more tender, as well as more inviting 
in appearance. I must confess that the first bit I essayed 
caused a sort of lumpy feeling in my throat, as if a sen- 
tinel guarded the way, and said, ' It shan't come here.' 
This sensation, however, I felt to be unworthy of a philo- 



SEA-ANEMONES. b\) 

sopher,, for there was nothing really repugnant in the 
taste. As soon as I had got one that seemed well cooked, 
I invited Mrs. G. to share the feast; she courageously at- 
tacked the morsel, but I am compelled to confess it could 
not pass the vestibule ; the sentinel was one too many for 
her. My little boy, however, voted that 'tinny was good,^ 
and that ' he liked tinny,' and loudly demanded more, like 
another Oliver Twist. As for me, I proved the truth of 
the adage, ' Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute f for after 
the first defeat my sentinel was cowed. I left little in the 
dish.'' Afterwards, frying them with egg and butter-crumbs, 
they were found far superior to the others, " all prejudice 
yielded to their inviting odour and appearance, and the 
whole table joined the repast with evident gusto." Thus, 
eating or being eaten, the sea-flowers fill up their appointed 
place in the world's economy. 

Active, fearless, and powerful as the Actiniadce are in 
the means adopted to secure their food when it comes 
within reach, they are but sluggish creatures and show but 
little instinct in their general habits. They will remain for 
hours, and even days, in the same position ; and when they 
do move, it is at an almost imperceptible pace ; perhaps 
an inch in an hour. When removed from their site and 



90 POPULAE, HISTORY OF THE AQUAEIUM. 

placed at the bottom of a vessel, they take a good while to 
consider whether they shall fix themselves on another ; and 
a still longer time in effecting their purpose. When on 
the look-out for prey, they never lengthen their tentacles to 
reach it unless it come in actual contact with them. Dr. 
Hamilton, a pastor of the Scotch Church, in a little work 
called ' Life in Earnest,' has happily seized upon this appa- 
rent laziness of the Zoophyte, in rebuking those who are 
satisfied with living in the world without a definite object. 

''Those of you, who are famihar with the shore, may 
have seen attached to the inundated reef a creature, whether 
plant or animal you could scarcely tell, rooted to the rock 
as a plant might be, and twirling its long tentacula as 
an animal would do. This plant-animaFs life is somew^hat 
monotonous, for it has nothing to do but grow and twirl 
its feelers, float in the tide, or fold itself up on its foot- 
stalk when that tide has receded, for months and years 
together. Now, would it not be very dismal to be trans- 
formed into a Zoophyte? Would it not be an awful pu- 
nisliment, with your human soul still in you, to be anchored 
to a rock, able to do nothing but spin about your arms 
or fold them up again, and knowing no variety, excepting 
wdien the receding ocean left you in the daylight, or the 



SEA- ANEMONES. 91 

returning waters plunged jou in the green depths again, or 
the sweeping tide brought you the prize of a young Peri- 
winkle or an invisible Star- fish ? But what better is the 
life you are spontaneously leading ? What greater variety 
marks your existence, than cliequers the life of the Sea- 
Anemone ? Does not one day float over you after another 
just as the tide floats over it, and find you much the 
same, and leave you vegetating still ? Are you more useful ? 
What real service to others did you render yesterday ? What 
tangible amount of occupation did you overtake in the one 
hundred and sixty-eight hours of which last week con- 
sisted ? and what higher end in Hving have you than that 
polypus ? You go through certain mechanical routines of 
rising, and dressing, and visiting, and dining, and going to 
sleep again : and are a little roused from your usual le- 
thargy by the arrival of a friend, or tlie effort needed to 
write some note of ceremony. But as it curtseys in the 
waves, and vibrates its exploring arms, and gorges some 
dainty Medusa^ the Sea- Anemone goes through nearly the 
same round of pursuits and enjoyments with your intelli- 
gent and immortal self ! Is this a life for a rational and re- 
sponsible creature to lead ? " 

We may say to the last question, " Perhaps not;" but it 



92 POPULAR HISTOUY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

is nevertheless a very good sort of life for an Anemone to 
lead, for it is that in which God has placed it, and it fulfils 
the end for which it w^as created. 

I have not yet alluded to the habit of elongation pos- 
sessed by most of the Actifii<^, and consequent great va- 
riation of shape. We have seen specimens of A. angui- 
comay for instance, vary from a flat closed disc, scarcely 
thicker than a penny in the centre, to a worm-form three 
or four inches in length, with an open flower at the top. 
A. bellis is very apt, after elongating its body till near 
the top, to spread the upper disc so as to give the ap- 
pearance of a trumpet. The habit of elongation is more 
frequently practised at night or in darkness ; but may often 
be observed in the daytime among specimens in Aquaria. 

One circumstance remains to be noticed ; it is the man- 
ner in which the young are produced. They are thrown 
out from the mouth of the parent, one at a time. They 
glide about its body for a little while, or float freely in the 
water, but soon come to an anchor, and may be seen grow- 
ing in groups not far from the secondary author of their 
being. Young Actinm are very beautiful objects, showing 
the characteristics of the species to which they severally be- 
long, wdth more transparent delicacy than is seen in older 



Plate, Vn 



-<^^<?C-V^-; 






m^ 



^ ' \^' .i}\m' I^Mi 




Sowia-loy del.oililh. 

l.l^-uxnose Aneman.6 'SagajrlicL itanllTus e^ajided. 
2. /VaiidDf of the saxae, cloeecL. -j-Youai' of the saxne 



Jjooks imp. 



SEA-ANEMONES. 93 

specimens. In the newborn young of A, gemmacea, the 
beautiful markings of the tentacula are distinctly conspi- 
cuous. Young Sea-flowers, jerked from the parent's mouth 
and colonizing near it, are among the most exquisite ob- 
jects of an Aquarium. 

Actiniadce, as a family, are not however exclusively con- 
fined to creatures of the form I have described in this and 
the preceding chapter. There are considerable variations 
among different members of the group. There are some 
which have no adherent bases, but which possess other cha- 
racters in common with true Actmice ; some with tentacles 
scarcely retractile, others with knobbed tentacles. Other 
variations distinguish the different genera of the family, of 
which the following is a summary. 

All Actiniadoi are divided into those which are adherent 
and those which are not adherent. 

Adherent Actiniadce are divided into those whose tenta- 
cles are retractile, and those which have non-retractile 
tentacles. 

Adherent Actiniadce with non-retractile or scarcely retrac- 
tile tentacles are divided into two genera : — 

1. With a simple circular base. — Authea. 

2. With a lobed and annular base. — Adarnsia. 



94 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Adherent Actiniadce with retractile tentacles have the ten- 
tacles knobbed^ truncated^ or conical, and are divided 
into the following genera : — 

1. Tentacles knobbed. — Corynactis. 

2. Tentacles truncated. — Capnea. 

3. Tentacles conical. — 

Emitting filaments. — Sagartia. 
Tsot emitting filaments : — 

Warted : Bunodes. Smooth : Actinia. 
Non-adherent Actiniadce are divided into the following 
genera : — 

1. Body tapering downwards; tentacles simple, 
equal, retractile. — Hyanthis. 

2. Body cylindrical, with a rounded base; tentacles 
non-retractile, those of the outer circle long and 
those of the inner circle short. -^Arachnitis. 

3. Body worm-shaped ; animal forming a protective 
sheath. — JEdwardsia. 

4. Body pear-shaped, with a posterior orifice. — 
Peachia. 

Each of these genera will be more fully described when 
studying their representative species in the following 
Chapter. 



95 



CHAPTER V. 

SEA-ANEMONES.— THEIR DIFFERENT KINDS, 

8EA-AXEM0XES, CONTINUED. — DIVISIONS INTO GENERa! — SAGARTIA.— - 

BUNODES. — ACTINIA. ANTHEA. ADAMSIA. ABNORMAL FORMS OF 

ACTINIAD^. — CORYNACTES. — HYANTHUS. — CAPNEA. — ARACHNITIS. — ED- 
WARDSIA. — PEACHIA. 

If Sea-Anemones were all of one kind^ one colom-, one 
form, one uniform habit, however exquisite that one colour 
and form mig'ht be, its constant repetition would tire the 
senses, and having seen one or two specimens w^e should 
soon cease to admire the rest. It is so with flowers : it 
is so with beauty of every kind. If our ladies were uni- 
formly fashioned after the strict model of beauty as set 
forth in the statues of Yen us, it is doubtful whether they 
would find so many admirers as they do now, with their 
.charming variety of feature, complexion, and expression. 
No tiresome sameness marks our sea-fiowers, but every one 



96 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

presents some variation from others of its class. Each in- 
dividual varies in itself; assuming now one shape, then 
another; now displaying one tint, then setting forth ano- 
ther in a different part of his body. Each specimen shows 
some slight pecuHarity by which he may be known from 
others of the same variety. Each species has a range of 
variation, reaching perhaps from pale green to dark purple. 
Each genus presents distinct forms and characteristics in its 
species; and' the genera differ from each other in striking 
peculiarities. Clustered in crowded colonies on sea-rocks 
and in pools on the beach; enriching the sands and peb- 
bles with starry flowers, bright and variable, as rich and 
varied in form and tinting as any terrestrial flowers that 
can be produced for prizes on a gala day; there are the 
Anemones. The more we know of them, the more we 
shall admire their structure, economy, and transcendent 
loveHness. 

"We will now pass in review a few of the most remark- 
able and interesting species of true Anemones. 

They are divided by modern writers into three distinct 
genera, namely, Sagartia, Bunodes, and Actinia. The 
latter name is retained for the genus containing our com- 
mon species; it being a rule in nomenclature, when it is 



SEA-ANEMONES. 97 

found necessary, on account of an increased number of spe- 
cies and increased knowledge, to divide a genus, that the 
original generic name should be attached to the first species 
to which it was applied. 

There is one peculiarity in those species which are now 
placed under the generic name Sagartia, which is not ob- 
served in the others, and which forms a fair line of sepa- 
ration : it is that they have long threads or filaments 
contained in the soft parts of their bodies, which, when irri- 
tated or frightened, they throw out through pores in their 
skin. I have seen these threads thrown out to the length 
of an inch or more, and coiled up together at the ends. 
They contain filiferous capsules of the same kind as those 
contained in the tentacles. 

The genera Bunodes and Actinia are separated upon less 
important grounds ; namely, that the outer covering of the 
former is rough and warty, while that of the latter is 
smooth. 

Sagartia anguicoma. — (Plate VI. fig. 1, 2, 3.) 

The " Snal'e-locJcecV Anemone is one of the most pleas- 
ing objects of a Aquarium collection, on account of the ex- 
treme gracefulness of its numerous, long, transparent, twirl- 

H 



98 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

ing tentacLila, wliicli have the appearance of a number of 
delicate worms^ clustering and twisting about each other. 
It is very remarkable^ even among the changing sea-flowers, 
for the extent of its changes in form. Now it is an almost 
flat button fixed to a piece of rock ; now it is an upright 
cylinder, with a many-threaded head ; and now it is a nar- 
row worm three or four inches in length. It has been ob- 
served that its greatest tendency to elongation is in the 
dark. Its body is of a light buff colour, marked with irre- 
gular lines of brown, or interrupted light bands running 
down lengthwise. The disc, when expanded, is wide, mot- 
tled, and speckled with brown and white, with one or two 
dashes of pure white reaching from the mouth to the edge. 
The tentacles are in about five rows, of which the outer- 
most are shortest and most numerous. They are ail very 
long, flexible, and tapering; each with a delicate line of 
brown on each side. The longitudinal plates are conspi- 
cuously seen, on account of the general transparency of the 
flesh, and the filaments are seen twisted up in the spaces 
between. It is very pleasing to see in some dark corner 
of the tank, against a dingy background of rock, a spe- 
cimen of this, with its Medusa's head displaj'cd. Perhaps 
it is a rather young specimen, of the lighter and almost 



SEA- ANEMONES. 99 

white variety ; the darkness of the background beautifully 
setting off its pellucid feelers. 

Sagartia troglodytes. 

It is so named from its habit of choosing holes suited to 
its size, in which it Hves, and into which it withdraws when 
disturbed ; or it will bury itself in sand, producing and 
displaying its head above the surface, or at the head of its 
hole. The people classically known as Troglodytes, re- 
ported to have lived in caves and burrows, near the Gulf 
of Arabia, have suggested the name of this interesting 
species. 

Sagartia bellis. 

The Ba'isy Anemone also delights in hollows and fissures, 
into which it can withdraw and defy the collector who ap- 
proaches it in its native haunts. The body of this Actinia, 
when fully expanded, is generally thinner in the middle 
than towards either extremity. In that condition, its suck- 
ing disc is expanded, and its oral disc spread out like the 
mouth of a trumpet. Sometimes the body is formed into 
a kind of cup at the upper end, and the disc hollowed into 
it. However deep the hole in which the Daisy Anemone 
lives, he must stretch out his body to reach the surface, so 



100 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM, 

as to expand his disc beyond it, and he does so, sometimes, 
to the extent of three or four times the diameter of the 
body. The disc, being very thin, is sometimes extended in 
different directions, so as to vary considerably from a cir- 
cular form, and has sometimes been described as loled. The 
tentacles are very numerous and small ; they are arranged 
in five or six rows ; the innermost rows are the largest and 
least numerous ; they are generally erect ; the successive 
rows declining more and more, till the outer row lies nearly 
flat on the edge. Beginning at twelve tentacles in the 
inner circle, the number in each circle doubles, so that the 
whole would amount to between seven and eight hundred. 
Those on the outer rim only form a short fringe of minute 
feelers, not the sixteenth of an inch in length. From be- 
tween each tentacle runs a radiating line to the centre, 
which gives a beautiful starry radiation to the whole. The 
colours of Actinia, or Sagartia bellis, are as follows. The 
lower part is white ; a little higher, it becomes pink, which 
gradually assumes a purple hue. The upper part of the 
body and the disc are palely spotted. The surface of the 
disc is brown, sometimes mottled with grey. The ten- 
tacles partake the same colour, but are variegated with bands 
of white or grey, and sometimes speckled. 



SEA-ANEMONES. 101 

Mr. Gosse has given the following account of his exami- 
nation of the tentacles of this species. " I cut oft, with a 
fine pair of scissors, the tips of one or two, and submitted 
them to the microscope upon the compressorium. As soon 
as the pressure began to flatten them, it became apparent 
that the tentacle was composed of rather thick gelatinous 
walls surrounding a tubular centre. The wall was filled 
with a vast multitude of very minute granules, of a rich 
sienna-brown hue, and almost globular in form; all being 
quite alike in shape, colour, and dimensions. These es- 
caped by thousands, on the increase of the pressure, from 
the tip of the tentacle, where was evidently a natural ori- 
fice forced open by the pressure, but ordinarily, as I sup- 
pose, kept firmly closed by muscular action. The gelati- 
nous walls of the tentacle contained, imbedded in their 
substance, a goodly number of those highly curious organs 
known as filiferous capsules. They are in this case very 
minute, being about one twelve-hundredth part of an inch 
in length, almost linear and slightly curved. The pressure 
being continued, each of these little organs suddenly shoots 
forth from one end, to a great length, a slender, highly 
elastic thread, which had hitherto been coiled up spirally 
within its cavity. The expulsion of this thread is effected 



102 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

by a proper organism, excited b}^ the pressure on the tis- 
sues of the tentacle, but not forced out by the compres- 
sion of the capsule itself. It is supposed that the adhesive 
touch of the tentacles resides in these little organs, and 
that poisonous fluid accompanies the emission of the thread, 
since the mere contact of a tentacle with any small animal 
appears at once to paralyze it, however lively it may have 
been but a moment before.^' 

Sagartia nivea.— (Plate IX. fig. 3, 4.) 

The Snoiv-ivhite Anemone is one of the most exquisite 
tenants of the sea or the tank. It grows in tidal pools 
under the weeds. The body is of a yellowish-brown colour, 
the disc pale, and the tentacles of the purest white. A va- 
riety occurs, however, in which the outer coating assumes 
a bright orange complexion, while the disc is chocolate-co- 
loured, and the tentacles pure wliite. A fine specimen of 
this variety, seen floating in one of Mr. Lloyd^s Aquaria, 
presented a splendid object. The specimen was transferred 
to the gardens of the Zoological Society. 

Sagartia rosea. 
The Rosy Anemone has the same habit as S. hellis and 



SEA-ANEMONES. 103 

S. troglodytes, of ensconcing its body in a hole, and spread- 
ing out its disc beyond its edges. The body contracts into 
a globe, wrinkled and studded with white glands ; its ge- 
neral colour is brown, sometimes inclining to red. The 
fringe of tentacles is of a bright rose-colour. The mouth 
IS four-lobed, and forms a cross ; the edges of which are 
crenated with white. The disc is pale fawn, or olive, slightly 
silvered. 

SaGARTIA CANDIDA 

Is white in every part, excepting a rosy line round the 
rim of the outer coating, and pinkish spots at the base of 
the tentacles. 

Sagaetia parasitica. — (Plate XI.) 

The habits of the Parasitic Anemone, in connection with 
the Hermit Crab, are so interesting that in spite of his com- 
paratively small share of beauty, he secures a fair share of 
attention. It is a large species, attaining the height of 
three or four inches without diminishing the bulk of its 
cylindrical column. Its outer covering is rough and warty ; 
it is of a dull greyish sandy colour, with stripes of brown 
or purple running down lengthwise, which are wider than 
the spaces between. The disc is expansive, and sometimes 



lOi^ POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

hollowed. It has numerous rather small tentacles^ which 
are marked with cross brown bands. 

Such is the Anemone which loves to ride on the back 
of a crustacean bearer. Although S. parasitica will some- 
times fix himself on a stationary stone, br an empty shell, 
he more generally chooses a Buccinum, inhabited by the 
Pagurus Bernhardus or Hermit Crab, which blunders along 
among stones, rocks, and seaweeds, with his double burden, 
the uppermost of which does not seem daunted by the 
dangers of his passage. The Anemone generally keeps his 
disc expanded when he receives a concussion which would 
make most of his brethren " hide their diminished heads." 
No species throws out with more readiness than the ^;(2m- 
sitica those long adhesive threads which are characteristic 
of Sagartim. In his case they appear to be particularly 
tenacious and offensive, and the author of tlie ' Aquarium * 
relates an instance in which a single thread, although de- 
tached from the Actinia, adhered to a little fish on which 
it had been darted, so firmly, and appeared to cause so much 
agony that it died. The thread was probably detached from 
the Actinia by the fisVs action ; for, as a rule, the threads 
are withdrawn through their pores, and remain coiled up 
ready for use on the next occasion. 



SEA-ANEMONES. 105 

Sagartia dianthus. — (Plate YII.) 
The arrival of a large number of magnificent specimens 
of this Plumose Anemone at Lloyd's establishment while I 
was there, tempted me to figure them as well as I could 
in one of our Plates. There were two varieties ; one all 
orange ; the other pinky-white with pale orange tentacula. 
It is a very large species, of a smooth, transparent, jelly- 
like texture, and remarkable for the beautiful manner in 
which its disc coils and puckers up into lobes, fringed with 
overhanging feelers. At a distance, it looks not unlike 
a cauliflower-head, and presents an object that may be ad- 
mired, but scarcely portrayed. The young are very pretty, 
and show all the characteristics of their progenitors. 

BUNODES CRASSICORNIS. 

We now come to those Actinice which do not jerk forth 
filiferous tlireads, but which differ from the true ActinicB 
in being rough and warty. The ThicJc-hornecl Anemone 
is remarkably so. It is a remarkably fine species, and one 
of the largest, if not the largest, of the British species. Sir 
J. G. Dalyell says : — " No species is equally diversified in 
colour and aspect. Eed is usually predominant. The sur- 



106 POPULAR HISTOEY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

face of many, however, is variegated, red and white, like a 
rose, or with orange and yellow intermixed. One occurred 
almost totally white, another wholly primrose-yellow. It 
may be truly affirmed that the diversities baffl.e enumera- 
tion and description.''^ The variety which has the thick 
tentacles white, with bands of pink, is a very splendid sea- 
flower. Bunodes crassicornis sometimes agglutinates to its 
outer coat an extra coating of sand and gravel as an addi- 
tional protection. 

Bunodes gemmacea. — (Plate YIII.) 

The Gemmaceous Anemone is remarkable for the rows of 
gem-like and pearly warts, wdiich are arranged down the 
body, and the strongly marked wdiite bands which cross 
the tentacles. The warts are round, well-defined, larger on 
the upper part, diminishing downwards towards the base. 
There are some rows of principal ones, and between them 
are rows of smaller ones. Generally about half-a-dozen 
rows at equal distances are white, so as to produce a con- 
spicuous radiation when the animal is closed : it is then 
globular. The ground-colour is sometimes delicately rosy 
pink, sometimes of an ashy grey ; altogether, unlike the 
generality of Actinia, it shows almost as much beauty 



SEA- ANEMONES. 107 

when closed as when open. We can hardly, however, ex- 
aggerate its beauty in the latter condition. Every tentacle 
is a series of gems ; their upper side has a dark ground- 
colour, across which are pearly white, bluish, and green- 
ish bands. And even the very youngest displays all the 
characters of its parent, exceptnig that the tentacles are 
fewer in number. 

BuNODES CLAVATA. — (Plate YI. fig. 4.) 

Nearly white, with sulphur markings ; tubercles outside, 
with a pink spot in each. 

Actinia mesembryanthemum. 

In the last Chapter but one, speaking generally of Ac\ 
tinicBj we had occasion to describe some of the characters of 
this species, which is the commonest on our British shores. 
It is smooth outside, and is remarkable for having a row 
of beads on the inner edge of the outer coating, or betweenj 
it and the tentacula. 



In Plate VI., Sagartia anguicoma is represented in three 
forms, including extreme extension and extreme depression. 
S. clavata is fig. 4 ; S. diaiitlms occupies Plate YIL, show- 



108 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

ing the two most beautiful varieties, and young. Varieties 
of Bunodes gemmacea fill Plate YIII. Sagartia jmrasi- 
tica is seen on the Buccimmi, with the Hermit Crab, in 
Plate XI. 

Anthea cereus. — (Plate IX. fig. 1.) 

The genus Anthea is thus described : — " Body adherent, 
cylindrical ; tentacles numerous, scarcely retractile within 
the body, their bases united in clusters." 

This Actinoid Zoophyte does not appear to differ very 
materially fi'om the ordinary form of his order ; but its 
long tentacular arms are united in clusters on the disc, and 
seem incapable of being wholly withdrawn into the body. 
Although Mr. Gosse relates an instance in which a speci- 
men in his possession did retract his tentacles, so far as 
only to show the tips on one occasion, the rule appears to 
be that they are not withdrawn. And as they had never, 
previously to this instance, been seen withdrawn, it was as- 
sumed by observers that they 'could not be so. In the in- 
stance of which I shall speak presently, in which an Anthea 
allowed his tentacles to be " held in suspense " by air- 
bubbles, I remarked to the keeper that it would be incon- 
venient if the animal wanted to '' shut up shop." The man 



Plate YJE. 




.jOwefW" dfii,tfX- _ 



expancled axidL closed . 



SEA- ANEMONES. 109 

seemed rather to pity my ignorance^ and told me that such 
a thing never occurred. In fact, at that time, I had seen 
very few Zoophytes, and had never read Johnston. 

The manner in which these long and slender purple- 
tipped arms coil and recoil, spread themselves out, and feel 
about for a passing honne hoiiclie, is very amusing. They 
are exactly like a great number of snakes confined by one 
extremity and free to move about at the other. Each 
tentacle is about an inch and a half long in specimens 
of medium size, although I have seen them considerably 
longer in fine specimens. They have great power of adhe- 
sion, easily holding anything they touch. They are said to 
possess a stinging power, but this does not appear to be 
well authenticated ; indeed those who have tried them with 
their fingers have not experienced any sensation, excepting 
that of adhesion. Antheas are very voracious, and very 
clever in securing prey. Many a beautiful Prawn in the 
tanks has fallen a victim to the handy use of their long 
arms. If but a small part of a limb be but touched by 
one of them, and the smallest purchase obtained, the other 
arms soon crowd round to help the first in securing the 
prey, which is soon entangled among them, and, in spite of 
all it can do, is drawn irresistibly into the fatal gulf. 



110 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

The Antheas in the tanks of the Zoological Society are 
numerous and fine, particularly that variety of Anthea ce- 
reas which has its tentacles very long and slender, of a 
greenish tint, or bufp with pink or purple tips. These 
tentacles do not seem to be arranged in symmetrical cir- 
cles, but hang in a kind of irregular bunch, turned and 
twisted in all directions. It is but rarely that they are 
seen apparently motionless, and even then a near and steady 
gaze will detect a slight action in the extreme tips of a few 
of the most distant. In general there is a slow, graceful 
twirling among all the anthers, excepting when some living 
animal swims, or is pushed sufficiently near to attract atten- 
tion. Then all the anthers twirl and coil in the most gro- 
tesque combinations, and look like a twisted knot of small 
snakes engaged in mortal combat. In the sea, attached to 
the rocks, these Antheas would appear as fixtures, and on 
being removed, the rock beneath them presents a hollow, 
as though they had corroded or eaten away a space 
corresponding to the size of their foot, like the limpets 
and some Cirripedes. This would appear to indicate a very 
sedentary, stationary life ; but the habits of the creature 
when in captivity do not well correspond with this indica- 
tion ; for, in the tank, he shifts his position rather fre- 



sea-a>:emones. Ill 

quently, and although, when observed,, the motion is not 
quite perceptible, yet in the evening you may leave him 
seemingly fixed at the bottom of one end of the tank, and, 
in the morning, find that he has crawled up to the top of 
the glass sides at the other end. When seen through the 
glass a curious view is afforded of the broad circular disc 
which constitutes the base of his stem, and which cor- 
responds with the foot of the Gasteropodous Mollusca, — in 
fact, it is his organ of locomotion. It is generally nearly 
white, or partaking slightly of the body tint, as seen through 
its transparent, jelly-like substance. Trom nearly the centre 
to the circumference, radiate opaque tliread-like lines which 
increase in number near the outer edge. Those who have 
seen sections of Star-corals would at once recognize the 
resemblance of these fibres to the bony plates constituting 
the skeleton of the latter. 

The Anthea has the power of swelling out parts of its 
body into lobes, which assist it in crawling. In doing this it 
spreads out a portion of tlie disc on the side towards which 
it is travelling, gets a firm hold by that portion, and then 
draws up the rest to it; repeating the process until the 
distance is accomplished. It will sometimes come to the 
edge of the water, and keeping its attachment by part of 



112 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUAIIIU:H. 

its foot to the sides of the glass, turn over the other por- 
tion to a plane with the surface of the water ; so that half 
the body and authers are suspended by a dry portion of 
the disc from the air, and the other haK by the more solid 
attachment to the glass ; but it cannot, like the "Water- 
snails, float on the surface wholly in this inverted position. 
The tentacles present a very beautiful and animated appear- 
ance when the body is partly suspended. They are moved 
about in the most graceful curves, and while each separate 
tentacle seems to have a will and spirit of his own, yet a 
harmony of motion, and unity of purpose, is seen to pervade 
the mass. 

In watching the tanks at the Eegent^s Park, I noticed 
a circumstance showing the very quiet and patient habits 
of the Anthea. A very large, healthy specimen, fixed to a 
piece of rock near the bottom of the water, with his ten- 
tacles beautifully tinted, lay twirling some of them with a 
gentle and graceful motion, quite active enough to show 
that the Zoophyte was alive and wide awake. Several dis- 
engaged threads of confervse had been drawn up from the 
bottom by means of numerous bubbles of air. On their 
way up, some of them being attached to the bubbles at 
both ends, had looped round some of the longest of the 



SEA- ANEMONES. 113 

AidJiecis tentacles, whose dead weight, apparently without 
any voluntary resistauce, was sufficient to arrest any fur- 
ther progress of the rising shreds. Thus, suspended in mid- 
water, were the globules of air holding up the loops of con- 
ferva, and these loops keeping the tentacles of the Anthea 
suspended in an unnatural position above the body, — a 
position very similar to that of the arm of a rider passed 
through one of the looped bands hanging by the side of 
a carriage window. The least efPort, or contraction of the 
limb, would either have broken the loop, or have drawn it 
down, and released the air-globules which suspended it ; but 
no, our Anthea preferred " taking it easy,^' and, although 
his tentacles were awkwardly bent, he seemed inclined to 
rest them as they were. Well, I \^'atched a little while 
longer then, but no movement. Leaving the tank for a 
while I returned after two or three hours. There were the 
same tentacles, of the same Anthea, hanging by the same 
threads, in the same position. Well, surely when the Zoo- 
phyte shuts up for the night, he will burst his bonds. 
Oh no, I forgot ! The Anthea must be supposed never to 
shut up, for Jolinston says, '' tentacula . . . incapable of 
being retracted within the body." On returning the next 
morning, there were still, in the same relations to each 

I 



llJi POPULAU HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

other, the bubbles, the green threads, the Aailiea and his 
arms. Shortly after, however, the animal managed by slow 
degrees to shift his entire position, and take his place in 
another part of the tank. 

Adamsia palliata. 

The " Cloah Anemoiiej' although of the same nature as 
Actiida, is very different in form. Instead of being a sym- 
metrical body with upper and lower circular discs, it is an 
enveloping body with linear and one-sided aperture. Like 
the Parasitic Anemone, it attaches itself to empty shells 
of Bucciua, or " Whelks.^' Taking its place on the body 
of the shell opposite its mouth, its disc spreads out at each 
side; one lobe reaching towards the notched part of the 
mouth, and the other towards the spire. Passing the notch 
on one side, and the spire on the other, it begins to invest, 
at each end, the outer lip of the shelFs mouth. Con- 
tinuing to spread round, the two ends meet and become 
united by a cicatrix, or seam. Having spread broadly in 
investing tlie mouth, it has very considerably retracted the 
opening. On the side where it first settles, remains the 
mouth, which is long and narrow, and fringed with a row 
of short, scarcely retractile tentacula. As a broadly ex- 



SEA- ANEMONES. 115 

paneled disc could not rest at angles with the vertical edge 
of the aperture, the Adamsia forms an incurved ledge, or 
bent extension of the edge, of a horny substance secreted 
by itself, thus making its own bridge and passing over it 
at the same time, — a very surprising instance of instinctive 
adaptation of a creature to its circumstances, which will be 
made further interesting when we find that there is another 
creature, whose convenience is greatly cared for in the ar- 
rangement. The shell thus enlarged in volume, but de- 
creased in its opening by the Adamsia and its horny ledge, 
forms a most happily contrived case for the dwelling of a 
Hermit Crab, Fagurus Prideanxii. These two tenants of 
the old deserted mansion are generally found in company, 
and probably contribute to the supply of each other^s wants. 
The Hermit supplies the deficiency of locomotive power in 
the Anemone, by travelling about in search of food for 
liimself. Small fraguients of his food may also fall to the 
share of his humble house constructor; and it sometimes 
happens that, a large morsel being seized by the latter when 
the former is in want, the Hermit, acting upon the prin- 
ciple that " might is right,^^ may compel his weaker com- 
panion to divide the spoil. Adamsia is generally of a red- 
dish-brown colour, becoming pale and cream-coloured near 



116 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

the mouth. It is striped with bluish lines and marked with 
purple spots. 

AntUea cereiis is figured in the position described above, 
at the top of Plate X. 

Abnormal Forms of Actiniadce. 

CORYNACTES AlLMANII. 

This curious little animal differs from the more normal 
ActimcB in having the tentacles short and headed with bead- 
like globes. It is very beautiful and very variable in the 
position and shapes it assumes. Corynactes are found in 
tide-pools in great numbers, and displaying a great variety 
of colours, and hanging from overhanging ledges with their 
coronets of knobbed tentacula. 

Being of a very thin substance, they are capable of con- 
traction to a very small flattisli button. When extended 
and expanded, the edge of the disc is seen to be crenated 
and brightly coloured ; but when more fully expanded, the 
disc spreads beyond the diameter of the body so as to bring 
the tentacles over the rim. The tentacles, like those of 
the British Coral, Carijoplujllea SmitJiii, are short cylin- 
drical bodies, with round heads ; they are arrayed in two 



SEA- ANEMONES. 117 

circular rows near the edge, and two other circles, less com- 
plete, towards the centre ; in all the rows amounting to eighty 
or ninety to above a hundred. 

In AcUnioi generally, a morsel of food is laid hold of by 
the tentacula and brought towards the mouth ; but when 
the Cornyactes feeds, the lips of the mouth expand until 
their circle reaches the morsel held by the tentacula. The 
opening sometimes extends to the whole width of the body, 
so as to show the very bottom of the stomach ; and as soon 
as the lips reach their prey it is soon drawn into the basin, 
and sunk into the vortex. 

Corynactes Allmanii is commonly of a pale roseate hue, 
with the rim of bright scarlet, or bright green, and the ten- 
tacles are generally white. 

The thread- or sting-darting capsules are large in the Co- 
rynactes compared to those of some other ActiniadcE. They 
are oval, and the thread, infinitesimally thin, is coiled up in 
its cell, ready to be unfurled or jerked forwards when re- 
quired. Its extreme thinness may be imagined when we 
find a thread the eighth of an inch in length, coiled in more 
than a dozen spiral folds. 

They have also a smaller set of capsules, the threads of 
which are furnished with a brush of minute hairs. 



118 POPULAK HISTORY OF THE AQUAEIUM. 

Capnea SANGUINEA. 

The genus is described as having the body invested in a 
lobed skin, the base of which is very much dilated ; it is 
reflected so as to form a kind of frill near the upper edge. 
Tentacles truncated, in a single row, short, and, when 
expanded, shaped like the embattlements of a tower. 
C. sanguinea is of a bright vermilion colour. It changes 
its proportions as to width and depth, but generally preserves 
a tubular or cylindrical form. 

Iluanthus Scoticus. 

Iluantlms is thus described by Forbes: — "Body cylin- 
drical, tapering to a point at its extremity, free ? Tenta- 
cula simple, retractile, surrounding the mouth.'''' It is a 
free Actinia, about an inch and a half in length, fixing 
itself in the mud by its narrow end : from this habit it is 
called the "Mud-flower.'' 

Arachnitis albida. 

This is another very curious abnormal form. The genus 
is thus described: — "Body adherent, or free at will; C3din- 
drical with a rounded base; mouth surrounded by non- 
retractile tentacles (about sixteen) in two series, the outer 



SEA- ANEMONES. 119 

ones very long, the inner short : it either swims like ;i 
Medusa or adheres in deep water. ''^ The tentacles of the 
outer row are very worm-like and long, like those of An- 
thea and Cereus, and probably enable the animal to swim 
through the water. 

Edwardsia vestita. — (Plate lY.) 

In a communication made in 1841 by the late lamented 
Professor Porbes, and published in the ' Annals and Maga- 
zine of Natural History/ an account is given of two inter- 
esting marine animals found in the ^Egean Sea. 

One is the animal now before us, and the other, a curious 
Annelide. "The depth of the bay,^^ says the Professor, 
" is generally from seven to ten fathoms, the bottom sand 
and seaweed, chiefly Zostera. At the entrance of the bay 
there is deeper water, from seventeen to thirty fathoms, with 
a bottom of Corallines. The animals different according to 
the bottom and depth. . . . There are also a number of 
sandy bights, which, in places where streams run in, are 
crowded with Cerinthia; in others, are inhabited by great 
numbers of Testacea and Foraminifera. In these sandy 
nooks live two animals, the one an Annelide, the other a 
Polype, so remarkable on account of the peculiarities of form 



1£0 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

and habit, that I have thought it might prove interesting to 
transmit this short notice/' 

The Polype was afterwards described as Edwardsia. It 
is a free, worm-shaped Actinia, which constructs a leathery 
tube to live in. The cylindrical body terminates obtusely 
at one end, and in a flower-like disc at the other. In the 
centre of the disc is a circular mouth surrounded by nume- 
rous short tentacula springing from its inner margin. 
Eound the outside of the disc is another row of larger ten- 
tacula, very much like those of an ordinary Actinia. The 
tentacles are never withdrawn into the mouth, but are often 
reduced by contraction to very small dimensions. Mr. 
Porbes observes, that the body can be greatly lengthened 
so as to assume the form of a tapering worm, or Holothu- 
ria ; and that it is protected by a membranous tube, which 
is itself strengthened by an incrustation of gravel and shells 
in the manner of a Terehella. It can move freely up and 
down in this tube, and sometimes, leaving it altogether, 
construct another. When out of the tube, our Edioard- 
sia crawls along very much in the manner of a worm, but 
with the disc expanded, and perhaps using the tentacles at 
its margin as organs of locomotion. It soon secretes a 
quantity of glairy matter, to which shells and sand adhere. 



SEA- ANEMONES, 121 

and which soon becomes thickened and opaque. It is a 
very voracious feeder. Mr. Torbes further remarks, that 
^' In the habit of protecting itself by sand and gravel, it 
resembles Actmia vicliiata and some other species, none of 
which, however, construct a regular tube. In its being 
free and having no adhesive disc at its posterior termina- 
tion, reminds us of Ihianthus, a genus of Actiniada, which 
I discovered three years ago on the Scottish coast, and 
which I described and figured in the ' Annals of Natural 
History/ It is evident the animal I now describe fills up 
an important gap among the polypes, and leads to analo- 
gical consideration of the greatest interest to the philoso- 
phical zoologist." 

The Annehde, found at the same time, will be described 
in its place, under the name applied to it by Chenu, of Am- 
pldtnte JEgeana. But it is a very curious fact, that both 
these forms, differing from all other forms in their respec- 
tive classes, discovered at the same time and place, by the 
same illustrious naturalist, as presenting each a new link 
in the chain of beings, should both prove to be natives 
of our coasts, and find their way at the same period into 
our own collections. The Annelide did so by accident, hav- 
ing appeared spontaneously gro^Ying among the pebbles of 



122 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

a central tank in the Zoological Gardens, at about the same 
time that Mr. W. A. Lloyd procured the Zoophyte in some 
numbers from the coast of North "Wales. Specimens of 
the latter may now be seen at the Zoological Society's fish- 
house, and at the establishment of Mr. Lloyd, in the Port- 
land-road. My figure is taken from one of that gentle- 
man^s finest specimens, which had made its covering under 
his own observation. The worm had been removed, and, 
after a few days, was found secreting its slime, which gra- 
dually became opaque and thick. It is of a dull greyish- 
purple colour, and looks like very ragged leather hanging 
in shreds in many places. It is open at both ends, and 
it appears to be the habit of this Zoophyte to leave the 
hinder extremity uncovered : I noticed this in all the spe- 
cimens. Mr. Lorbes remarks that the creature is very vo- 
racious, crawling about, when divested of its covering, and 
attacking everything it came in contact with. I do not 
know whether it was an instance of this that we witnessed 
at Lloyd^s. There were a number of specimens in a shal- 
low pan, some in and some out of their hlanhets ; one fellow 
in the latter state had been crawling slowly about round 
the pan, when presently we noticed that he had come in 
contact with an Actinia : their tentacles were all engaged, 



SEA- ANEMONES. 123 

but which was the aggressor, it was difficuh to say. How- 
ever this might be, the Edwardsia was evidently getting 
the w^orst of it, and appeared evidently in danger of being 
swallowed by his more sedentary antagonist. They were 
parted, when the Edtvardsia lay on the bottom of the vessel 
apparently very much exhausted, with his tentacles shrivelled 
up. Unfortunately the final result was not known : whether 
it died or recovered, I am unable to say. 

Peachia hastata, Gosse. 

This is another abnormal form of Actinoid Zoophyte, 
approaching, in form and appearance, the character of the 
Sea Cucumber, and differing from all other Actinias in hav- 
ing a posterior opening. It is unattached, and lives buried 
with its body upright in the sand, the tentacular disc being 
aboveground. It was found by the Rev. Charles Kingsley 
in the neighbourhood of Torquay, and described by Mr. 
Gosse in the '' Transactions of the Linnsean Society.'' The 
body is pear-shaped, transparent, very pale red, with white 
longitudinal lines running from one end to the other, at 
equal distances. It is protected partly by a very thin epi- 
dermis, which is apt to burst and hang in shreds w4ien the 
animal distends itself. The upper disc is oval, surrounded 



124 POPULAH HISTORY OF THE AQUArJUil. 

with twelve tentacula, whicli are ornamented with arrow- 
headed brown markings on a white ground ; they are 
bent outwards and backwards. From the mouth protrudes 
a fleshy proboscis, the top of which spreads into a ckibbed 
head, divided into papillae. Mr. Kingsley gives the follow- 
ing observation on the habits of this Zoophyte : — '' They lie 
(or rather stand) in wet, ribbed, clean sand, at low-water 
mark, the disc just out of ground. On digging carefully 
(for the animal retracts on the least shaking of the sand) 
vou find that he is buried bolt -upright to the depth of nine 
inches, where his extremity stops ; the whole animal taper- 
ing gradually from stem to stern. On being taken out (no 
easy matter, since its power of retraction, if irritated, is far 
more springy and rapid than in any of the class, as far as 
I have tried them), and put into a vase of salt-water, he 
swells himself out with v\'ater like a Ilolothurian, disclosing 
longitudinal septa. All his motions are rapid and spasmo- 
dic ; betokening, as does his whole make, a higher muscular 
organization than that of the Acti?iiaJ' 



Pla-tt DC 




Sowertiy aei eLJidi 



ViTi>.ent Brooks J-np 



l.AntXiea. oereus , "with, two t^entacLes sviispeadedlry canferva and air-l)"ab]oles 
Z Simocles mdma-tcL 3 and 4-. Sagsjtia nii/nsa. . 



125 



CHAPTER YI. 

SEA-BELLS AND CORALS. 

LUCEENAEIA. — ZOANTHUS. — MADEEPORES. — COMPAEED WITH AXEMOXES. 
— THEIE BEAUTY. — FEEDING. — BAL^NOPHYLLEA. — TUEBINAEIA. — OCU- 
LINA. — COEALS A^^D COEAL ISLAJSTDS, — MUSHEOOM COEAL, 

The Litcernana is very closely allied to the Sea- Anemones, 
and may be termed a Sea-Bell. It differs greatly in form 
from the family of Actimadce., and presents a set of cha- 
racters which place it sufficiently apart from all other forms. 
The genus Lucernaria is thus described : — " Body bell- or 
goblet-shaped, adherent or free at pleasure : mouth quad- 
rangular, in the centre of a membranous expanded disc; 
tentacles knobbed, clustered in groups on the projecting an- 
gles of the disc." 

Lucernaria auricula. 
This little bell, hanging on the stems and branches of 



126 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

seaweeds, and expanding its web-like disc in the transpa- 
rent water, presents one of the most beautiful objects that 
can be conceived. It has been found on Fuel, on the 
coast of Devonshire, by Montagu and Tleming ; and at 
Weymouth, by Gosse. From its elegant form it suggests 
a variety of comparisons, such as the flower of convolvulus, 
the expanded mouth of a trumpet, a hanging bell, and a 
small Medusa, 

It has a short knotted stalk, which is capable of adhering 
to the stems on which it hangs, or of gliding along it and 
shifting its position. The narrow end of the bell is at- 
tached to this stalk, and is divided by eight beaded or 
knotted ribs. The bell expands rather suddenly towards 
the outer extremity, where it attains the form of an octa- 
gonal disc. The disc is thin and filmy, and at each angle 
of the octagon is a little claster of thread-like tentacles, 
which are, like those of Cari/oph?/Uea, globular at the ends. 
Mr. Gosse thus describes his examination of some young 
specimens : — " Collecting a basketfull of tufts at random, 
I brought them home ; one by one I waved them to and 
fro, in the tank of water, between my eye and the light, 
whereby the animals became distinctly discernible, and were 
easily detached. Sometimes four or five were scattered over 



SEA-BELLS. 127 

one tuft of the parasitic plants and it was rare to find a 
Rhodomela of any size without one at least/' 

"The specimens were evidently the young of the season : 
but many were no larger than I have named; but some 
were ■ as much as one-third of an inch in diameter. They 
were very beautiful, closely resembling a bell or trumpet- 
mouthed monopetalous flower, with a short flexible foot- 
stalk, and a small, expanded, sucking disc at the base. The 
substance was clear, transparent, gelatinous ; the flower- 
like expansion thin and filmy, with the margin projecting 
into eight equidistant points. Troui each of these points 
radiated about twenty slender tentacular threads, bearing at 
their extremities orange or yellow globules. The ovaries 
radiated in eight irregular bands from the centre of the 
flower to the marginal points, and from the centre itself 
projected a little, protrusile, four-cleft mouth, closely like 
the peduncle of a Thaumantias. Indeed I was strongly 
struck with the resemblance which the entire creature bore 
to a small Medusa, and T consider it as a link that connects 
the normal ActinuB wdth the Acaleplm!' 

LiicernaricB are found at low water on the under sides of 
floating leaves of Zoster a, mouth downwards, seeking for 
prey. Here, in their natural situation, they are believed to 



128 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUif. 

be very active, throwing out their threads in various direc- 
tions, moving from one spot to another, and easily holding 
and devouring any small shrimps or other marine animals 
that its long-reaching tentacula bring near enough to its 
mouth. In confinement they are very difficult to keep 
alive, and even while still surviving they seem to lose much 
of their strength and activity ; in short, not taking kindly 
to their confinement, they soon become weak in all their 
functions and die. 

ZOANTHUS COUCHII 

Eesembles a cluster of small Actinim united together by 
a creeping, root-like, fleshy band. Each Actinoid body is 
capable of contracting into a half-globe, like the true Acti- 
nioi, or of extending its trunk and expanding its tentacular 
disc like them ; while its connection with others of its 
race by means of a fleshy band which unites many indivi- 
duals, takes it out of simple, and places it with compound 
Zoophytes. Thus it presents one of those anomalous forms 
with which every part of Nature^s great series is studded, 
and which shows that the God of Nature will not be re- 
stricted in the fashion of his works by wise rules of uni- 
formity invented by man. Man would have had all Hydrse 



CORALS. 129 

or all Actinm. God varies his productions by giving us a 
Zoophyte partaking some of the characters of each. 

Corcds, 

(Plate III. and Plate XYll. fig. 4.) 

On seeing one of the beautiful specimens of white branch- 
ing Madrepore, or of hemispherical Brain-stone, which are 
brought from the South Seas, we are told that this ela- 
borate structure is the work of minute animals existing in 
those seas in countless myriads, and that whole islands 
are composed of similar structures in large masses. AYe 
are astonished at the intelligence, if we have not heard it 
before, but find it difficult to form a clear conception of 
the fact, or of the manner of its production. The Englisli 
coasts afford no examples of coral reefs or rocks, excepting 
in a fossil state ; and we can scarcely hope to see the afore- 
said animals engaged in the process of building a coral 
island in one of om: tanks, however large its dimensions. 
The few^ species of Coral-forming Zoophytes which can at 
present be brought within actual observation in a living 
state, are so simple in construction, and so small in size, 
that they appear almost unworthy of being considered by 
the side of the magnificent and varied specimens brought 

K 



130 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

from foreign seas, which yet dwindle to insignificance com- 
pared to the immense masses from which they have been 
torn. Yet if we examine our own British species, it will 
not be difficult to trace the line that leads from them to the 
more complicated forms of their wonder-working brethren 
in distant oceans. 

Caryophyllea Smithii. — (Plate III. fig. 2 to 7.) 

Some of the Actinicc are very fond of crawhng upon the 
glass sides of a tank, so as to present their basal disc to 
the observer. It is of an irregular circular form, and a 
transparent whitish substance ; but from the centre may be 
seen numerous opaque white threads radiating to the cir- 
cumference. These threads must be the edges of folds or 
plates running through the body of the animal lengthwise. 
In the Actinia the plates, although more opaque, and con- 
sequently more dense, are yet soft, and essentially composed 
of the same substance with the other ])arts of the body. If 
we cut the body across in any other part, so as to form 
another disc, the same radiating white hues would appear, 
indicating a continuation of the vertical plates. But if, in- 
stead of being soft or gristly, these plates were hard and 
bony, we sliould be presented with exactly what occurs in 



CORALS. 131 

the case of our little Coral : Caryophyllea Smithii mighty 
ill fact, be described as a Sea- Anemone with a bony skeleton ; 
and the description would be almost correct. 

In the Aquarium, with their scalloped scarlet fringes, 
their delicate salmon-tinted filaments and membranes, their 
purple -bodied and white-headed tentacles, and their sym- 
metrical skeletons, they present very pleasing and flower- 
like objects when viewed in themselves ; but they become 
far more interesting when we see in them the simple and 
humble representatives of those wonderful structures to 
which we have alluded. Mr. Gosse, in detailing the cir- 
cumstances under which his first living specimens were ob- 
tained, observes that they were all fixed either on upright 
or overhanging surfaces, and in no case with their faces 
upwards. This might have afforded a lesson to the keepers 
of Aquaria, who should have fixed their specimens in a 
similar manner. The specimens might have been brought 
attached to their pieces of stone, and the pieces fixed in 
the required position. Perhaps, if the habits indicated by 
Nature were followed more faithfully in Aquarian arrange- 
ments, we might see the characters of these and many other 
water- animals more fully developed. The following is Mr. 
Gosse^s account of his Coral-siatherins'. 



182 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

'' I searched some time without success for the Coral, and 
had begun to despair of finding it ; for the tide was almost 
at its lowest ; when suddenly I caught sight of one pro- 
jecting from under the surface of one of the slanting ridges 
of rock. The water would not allow me to reach it with 
any hope of detaching it uninjured, but presently I peeped 
into a small cavern formed by large masses of rock piled 
one against another, in which there were nearly a score of 
them. By a little manoeuvring, I managed to squeeze my 
body between the stones, so as to work with the chisel, dis- 
regardful of the water which covered my feet below, and 
the coating of mud, the slimy Zoophytes, and Sponges, that 
adhered to the overhanging rock above me. The Corals 
varied in size, from that of a pea to three-quarters of an inch 
in diameter. They were not at all clustered, but scattered at 
irregular distances. I observed them to be fixed to per- 
pendicular and overhanging surfaces, but in no case on a 
-diagonal or a horizontal one with an upward aspect; not 
even in the remotest part of the cavern. All that I saw 
were left exposed by the receding tide, though in any but 
spring tide they would all have been constantly covered. I 
afterwards found a few more on the sides of ])ools in the 
rockv rids^es several feet above low-water mark." 



COEALS. 133 

The fleshy part of the animal is seldom evenly spread over 
tlie circular surface of the disc ; for it will sometimes leave 
the plates apparently bare at one end while it hangs out 
in a mass from the other end. Sometimes it will retreat 
altogether^ so as to be scarcely seen between the plates, and 
the red centre contracted into the small star at the bottom 
of the hollow, only showing a thread-like slit indicating the 
mouth ; like the SeqmlcB and other Annelides, it retreats 
into- its shelly cave almost instantaneously when touched or 
startled. 

I have not been fortunate enough to see the fleshy part 
of the CaryGphjllea extended, as is sometimes described, 
very considerably above the edges of the plates; and, in 
fact, on looking at a specimen living in its usual quiet con- 
dition, you would hardly suppose it natural for it to assume 
so distended a state. As the Anemone, when placed in 
unnatural circumstances, will sometimes turn its stomach, 
as it were, inside-out, may it not be that the Coral, when 
so observed, is dissatisfied with its position, as when in 
captivity, or unexpectedly left by the spring tides without 
moisture ? 

The soft parts of this Madrepore, viewed externally, con- 
sist of, first, a thin film investing the plates on their edges 



134? POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

and sides some distance down; secondly^ of tentacula re- 
sembling those, of an Actinia, which seem to be irregularly 
placed on various parts of the film^ and to make the inter- 
stices their home when withdrawn between them; thirdly, 
the scalloped fringe surrounding the mouth ; fourthly, the 
mouth itself, represented by a central slit. The most beau- 
tiful specimen in the Aquarium of the Zoological Society is 
one in which the enveloping skin is of a delicate salmon- 
tint, the tentacula tinged with purple, the frill in the 
centre bright crimson, and the mouth, or rather lips, white. 
The tentacula have swellings or knobs on the tips ; but these 
are not, in the Zoological specimens, nearly so distinct nor 
so remarkable as represented in the ' Devonshire Rambles.'' 

" The feeding of the Madrepores,^' remarks the Author of 
the last-mentioned Work, "affords much amusement; they 
are very greedy, and the presence of food stimulates them 
to more active efforts, and the display of greater intelli- 
gence, than we should give them credit for. I put a 
minute spider, as large as a pin's head, into the water, 
pushing it down with a bit of grass to a Coral, which was 
lying with partially exposed tentacles. The instant the in- 
sect touched the tip of a tentacle, it adhered, and was drawn 
in with the surrounding tentacles between the plates, near 



CORALS. 135 

their inward margin. Thatching the animal now with a 
lens, I saw the small mouth slowly open, and move over to 
that side, the lips gaping unsymmetricallj ; wliile, at the 
same time, by a movement as imperceptible as that of the 
hour-hand of a watch, the tiny prey was carried along be- 
tween the plates towards the corner of the mouth ; the 
latter, however, moved most, and at length reached the 
edges of the plates, and gradually took in and closed upon 
the insect ; after which it slowly returned to its usual place 
in the centre of the disc." 

The Madrepores, however, are not undiscriminating in 
their greediness; for, after swallowing a morsel and tasting it, 
they will frequently reject it, if it does not meet their approval. 

They exhibit under certain circumstances a remarkable 
power of reproducing parts. Thus new plates will replace 
those accidentally broken, and a specimen, the base of which 
had been partly detached from the rock on which it grew, 
formed a new mouth at the exposed part of the base with 
tentacula and all complete ; so that the creature could re- 
ceive food at both ends, and double all the functions of 
life ; the new mouth stretching and gaping, and enclo- 
sing its prey, with as much regularity as the old one ! It 
has also been observed that, when a specimen was divided 



136 POPULAE HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

perpendicularly, each half of the mouth, etc., would act an 
independent part without much apparent inconvenience. 

Balaxophtllea regia. — (Plate XVII. fig. 4.) 

This pretty little species was discovered and described by 
Mr. Gosse, who ascertained that it differed in many im- 
portant particulars from the Car yoiiliy Ilea. It is difficult 
to say wliich is the most beautiful of the two ; each has 
beauties of its own. The regia has a much more bright 
and sparkling appearance than the Smithii. The body is 
of a briUiant scarlet, and the tentacles are of a yellow tint. 
They are not terminated by a little globe, but are conical, 
and more or less bluntly pointed. Numerous warts, by 
which they are studded, give them at once a granulated 
appearance and a golden hue. However contracted the 
animal may be, it is always sufficiently thick over the plates 
to hide them completely; and the mouth, instead of re- 
ceding into the central hollow, protrudes in the form of a 
high conical proboscis. Mr. Gosse observes, that, " if any 
additional evidence were wanting to show that this species 
approaches much nearer the Actmia than C. SmifJiii does, it 
would be found in the stony skeleton. This is very different 
in appearance from that of the kindred species, and is mani- 



CORALS. 137 

festly rudimentary. AYheu the soft parts have been care- 
fully removed by several days^ maceration in fresh-water, 
and the gelatinous matter all cleared away froDi the stony 
plate by a slender stream of water allowed to run upon it 
from a height, a vertical view shows the following arrange- 
ments. First, at the very margin there is a narrow circle 
of white calcareous plates, small and very irregularly anas- 
tomosing, so as to resemble in miniature the honeycombed 
limestone-rock that we find in Torquay and elsewhere. In 
the centre of the cavity, there is another loose spongy mass 
of similar irregular plates. Eighteen perpendicular radi- 
ating plates extend between the marginal circle and the 
central mass, arranged in six threes, so as to make a six- 
rayed star. The plates are all very rough, with irregular 
projections and erosions. They do not rise in an arched 
outline above the level of the margin, but the whole sur- 
face is concave.^' I had noticed in the British collection 
of the British Museum a few specimens, marked " Ilfra- 
combe,^' which struck me as extremely different from the 
skeleton of C. Smithii, before being aware of Mr. Gosse hav- 
ing thus completely described this species. It has since 
been taken in considerable numbers, and living 
can be easily obtained. 




JujSlIBRARy]^ 



138 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

TUEBINALIA MILLETIANA. 

This is a very small Madrepore, shaped hke a top, with 
ribs or plaits lengthways, but flattened at the sides. It 
seems to present no point of attachment, and must there- 
fore have a free set of plates within a moving animal, thereby 
taking another step towards the Actinia. 

OcuLiNA PROLiFERA. — (Plate III. fig. 7.) 

Here we have a branched Coral, presenting a series of 
radiating circles of plates united into one stem. Our figure 
is from a small specimen in the British Museum ; but spe- 
cimens of considerable size are procured occasionally, the 
largest specimen weighing six pounds. It was first found 
on the coasts of Norway. On British coasts it is rare, and 
has not yet been taken in a living state. 

These are the British Corals. T\"e find that they are 
bony skeletons of Actinia-like Zoophytes ; not made by 
pincers and mandibles like wax honeycombs, but secreted 
within the body of the animal in the same manner as our 
bones are secreted within our own. It is the habit of the 
Caryophyllece to live singly, not attached to each other, but 
to independent bodies. The young generally separate en- 



CORALS. 139 

tirely from the parent, and the result is in each case a sim- 
ple single-rayed Coral. But it does sometimes happen that 
the young Caryojphyllea lingers about the parent until it 
has formed its skeleton, and then becomes permanently at- 
tached, and grows as a branch on the parent stock ; or it 
may be that in some instances it is reproduced by budding 
at the sides. In this abnormal condition we have a transi- 
tion from the single-rayed Coral to the branched or many- 
rayed Coral, which is presented, although in a humble form, 
in our Ocnlina. Then again, these branches may be formed 
on differently shaped stars on differently shaped stems ag- 
gregated together by very different rules, and at different 
angles, so as to form very differently shaped masses : but the 
same principle may be traced throughout. Branch being 
added to branch, and mass to mass, it is not difficult to 
imagine the formation, steady and certain, but gradual, of 
rocks, which in time may become tracts of land. It is im- 
possible to treat of this wonderful subject without intro- 
ducing the oft-repeated Hues of Montgomery, although my 
readers must have seen them over and over again. 

" MillioDS of millions tlius, from age to age, 
With simplest skill and toil unweariable, 
No moment and no movement nnimproved, 



140 POPULAll HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Laid line on line, on terrace ten-ace spread. 

To swell the heightening, brightening, gradual mound 

By marvellous structm-e climbing towards the day. 

Each wrought alone, yet all together wrought ; 

Unconscious, not unworthy instruments. 

By which a hand Invisible was rearing 

A new creation in the secret deep. 

Omnipotence wrought in them, with them, by them ; 

Thus what Omnipotence alone could do, 

"Worms did. . . . 

" Atom by atom, thus the burden grew ; 
Even like an infant in the womb ; till Time 
Delivered ocean of that monstrous birth, 
A Coral Island, stretching east and west, 
In God's own language, to its parent saying, — 
* Thus far, no farther, shalt thou go ; and here 
Shall thy proud waves be stayed.' A point at first, 
It peer'd above those waves ; a point so small, 
I first perceived it, fix'd where all was floating ; 
And when a bubble cross'd it, the blue film 
Expanded like a sky above the speck ; 
That speck became a hand-breadth ; day and night 
It spread, accumulated, and ere long 
Presented to my view a dazzling plain, 
White as the moon amid the sapphire sea ; 
Bare at low -water, and as still as death ; 
But when the tide came gurgling o'er the surface, 
'T was like a resurrection from the dead ; 
From graves innumerable, punctures fine. 
In the close Coral, capillary swarms 



m^L^e X. 




J / . 






,^^: 




:r?^ 



Sciwairy-dd.etTitii. ISncent lirooks i^j.- 

l.Sea Cucumber .Peaxaj£LapeiiLaLc3£s,iieadle£s specimens 2 &:3 .Healtkry- 
speamens . 4.PliyIliXLe (BuTLas^acperta.. 5 . Skell cf th.e same. 



CORALS. 141 

Of reptiles, horrent as ]Medusa's snakes, 

Covered the bald-pate reef; then all was life, 

And indefatigable industry ; 

The artisans were twisting to and fro, 

In idle-seeming convolutions ; yet 

They never vanished with the ebbing surge, 

Till pellicle on pellicle, and layer 

On layer, was added to the growing mass. 

Ere long the reef o'ertopped the spring-flood's height, 

And mocked the billows when they Icap'd upon it. 

Unable to maintain their slippery hold. 

And falling down in foam -wreaths round its verge. 

Steep were the flanks, with precipices sharp. 

Descending to their base in ocean gloom. 

Chasms few and narrow and irregular, 

Form'd harbours, safe at once and perilous, — 

Safe for defence, but perilous to enter, 

A sea-lake shore amid the fossil isle, 

Reflecting in a ring its clifi^s and caverns, 

With Heaven itself seen like a lake below." 

Yet it is incorrect to suppose that the Coral Islands, as 

they are called, are composed entirely of Corals from their 

very foundations. It has been well advanced, and almost 

proved, that the islands were originally volcanic mountains 

rising to a great height above the sea. Eound the base of 

the mountain these Zoophytes commenced their operations, 

and fringed the edge at low -water mark. By degrees, the 

island began to sink, and the fringe of Corals would sink 



142 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

with it, but that it is the instinct of these aniaials to work 
upwards, so as to keep near the surface, for they do not 
live in deep water. They also increase more vigorously at 
the outward or seaward edge ; so that when the mountain 
has sunk a little, and the Corals nearest to it have not risen 
in proportion, tliere is formed a channel or lake between 
the island and the outer edge of Corals ; and this outer edge 
forms what is called a Coral-reef. As the island sinks lower 
and lower, the lake or lagoon becomes wider and wider, and 
in some cases, the island has sunk below the surface of the 
sea, while the surrounding reef, keeping up to the surface, 
and becoming in process of time covered with soil and vege- 
tation, forms that circular kind of island which is called an 
Atoll. 

Tun GiA.— (Plate Til. fig. 1.) 

While, on one hand, the simply formed Caryopliyllea 
leads us to the branched masses of many-starred Madre- 
pores, on the other hand, their rayed laminated surface pre- 
sents a striking resemblance to the flat, mushroom-shaped 
Coral, which seems to have so little attachment to sur- 
rounding objects. Our Plate contains the representation of 
a very small specimen of the Mushroom-Coral, which, al- 



CORALS. 143 

though being a single-rayed Madrepore^ plays no important 
part in the construction of Coral-reefs, yet forms a pleasing 
object in the shallow lagoons. Another very beautiful form 
allied to this is constructed on the same principle, but elon- 
gated ; the inner edges of the plates meeting in a longitu- 
dinal line. This species has the outside or back hollow, so 
that with the mouth downwards it resembles a boat. We 
have seen very fine specimens of this, with numbers of 
young individuals of the same or other species adhering to 
the outer surface. 

Mr. Samuel Stutchbury, who went out as collector of 
Natural History in a voyage undertaken by a Company 
formed in the year 1825 for the purpose of fishing for 
Pearls in the Pacific Ocean, gives some lucid details re- 
specting the growth and propagation of specimens of the 
genus Ftmgia. They generally he at the hollows of reefs, 
where they are in some degree protected from the more 
violent agitation of the sea by the surrounding portions 
of branching Coral, which enclose the hollows, and, at the 
same time, allow sea-water free access through their in- 
terstices. 

It appears then, although the older and larger indivi- 
duals are quite unattached and present no mark of former 



144 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

attachment^ yet that in the young state they are fixed some- 
times to rocks^ and frequently to the dead remains of one 
of their own species. In this state, they grow upon a foot- 
stalk, and generally remain attached till they acquire the 
size of nearly an inch in diameter, when they separate at the 
top of the peduncle. At this time, the Coral, when divested 
of the fleshy part, shows a circular opening underneath, 
through which the radiating plates of the upper surface are 
visible. In a short time, a deposit of Coral-matter takes 
place, which cicatrizes at the opening ; the marks of which, 
however, can be traced for a considerable time : at length, 
the increase of this deposit, which continues with the 
growth of the animal, entirely obliterates all appearance of 
it. It will not appear surprising that this circumstance 
should have remained hitherto unnoticed, when it is recol- 
lected that it has very rarely occurred to Naturalists to ^dsit 
the places of their growth ; and that to general collectors, 
the smaller specimens would appear hardly worth the trou- 
ble of preserving and bringing home. 

"The sheltered situations in which ih^Fungice are found 
are peculiarly well adapted to their nature, as they would 
be liable to injury if they were exposed to the full force of 
a stormy sea ; and the circumstance of their being attached 



CORALS. 145 

in the young state is a beautiful provision of Nature for 
their preservation at that period, as from their light weight 
when first developed, they would, if unattached, be exposed 
to great injury even by a slight agitation of the water. 

" I have also to remark upon this fact, that the Caryo- 
pliyllecE, more especially in their early state, when the radi- 
ating plates are first developed, — at this time their upper 
discs are scarcely larger than the stem, but they soon begin 
to spread, and show indications of their characteristic form. 
There are not unfrequently instances of smaller individuals 
remaining fixed to large ones in a living state; and such 
specimens are not unfrequent in a collection of Corals; 
but in all such cases that I have seen, the younger ones are 
attached to the under side of the old one, and I believe them 
to be cases of accidental attachment.''^ 

Eumphius says, " The more elevated folds, or plaits, have 
borders like the denticulated edges of needlework lace ; 
these are covered with innumerable oblong vesicles, formed 
of a gelatinous substance, which appear alive under water, 
and may be observed to move like an insect.''^ 

" I observed/' says Stutchbury, " these radiating folds 
of the animal which secrete the lamellae, and which sink 
between them when the animal contracts itself on being 



146 POPULAE HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

disturbed. They are constantly moving in tremulous un- 
dulations ; but the vesicles above described appear to me 
to be air-vessels placed along the edges of the folds ; and 
it is some confirmation of this opinion, that the vesicles dis- 
appeared when the animal was touched. 

" This arrangement of air-vessels would very materially 
assist in keeping uppermost the convex disc of the Coral, 
and be of vital importance to the young polype at the time 
of separation, and, subsequently, in keeping it upon the 
surface of its sandy bed; or if they were moved by a sud- 
den roll of the sea, which would lift even the most ponder- 
ous, and possibly convey them a considerable distance, they 
would be again deposited in their natural position. That 
they have no power of turning themselves, I proved during 
a sojourn of six weeks at Tahiti, by placing a healthy spe- 
cimen with its upper surface downwards, during which time 
it remained in the position placed, and the vitality of the 
points in contact with the rocks was destroyed. 

" In Fungia limacina, I have seen instances where the 
Coral, having been accidentally placed, and permanently 
fixed in such unusual positions, has adapted itself to its 
new situation by increasing upon its edges and forming 
a w^"^ convex surface. They seem, when young, to be 



COEALS. 147 

conical, and attached to some marine body (often their pa- 
rent) by the base, which is contracted into a kind of stem. 
When in this state, the animal only occupies the upper sur- 
face, but when it is full-grown and free, it completely en- 
closes the Coral. 

^'As long as the young Fuugia retains the form of a 
Car ?/opJi^ Ilea, it is entirely enveloped by the soft parts of 
the animal; but as the upper disc of the Coral spreads and 
it assumes its characteristic form, the pedicle is left naked, 
and the soft part extends only to the line where the sepa- 
ration takes place. I consider the cases where the young 
Fimgia are found fixed to the under side of others of the 
same species, to arise from the accidental attachment of the 
young polype when detached from the ovarium of the pa- 
rent, and by the motion of the water floated underneath a 
larger one of its own species, the edges of which were not 
so even as to touch the rock or Coral on which it rested, at 
every part of its circumference. In such cases, the soft 
parts of the older specimen would continue to cover the 
short stem of the younger individual, and hence its separa- 
tion from its pedicle would be pre vented. ^^ 

In Plate III. is figured the skeleton of a young Fiingia 
(fig. 1), and Oculina jyrolifera (fig. 7), between which, the 



148 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

British Caryophjllea occupies a middle station. It is re- 
presented in the intermediate figures 2 to 6 ; fig. 2, is 
the empty skeleton divided perpendicularly; 3, the living 
Zoophyte, with its tentacles out; 4, tentacles magnified; 
5, specimen with adherent young, forming branches ; 6, liv- 
ing specimen with tentacles withdrawn. 

Plate XVII. contains a Balcenophyllea in company with 
Star-fishes. 



149 



CHAPTER VII. 

MEDUSiE, OR JELLY-FISH. — NOT GOOD AQUAEIANS. — THEIR HISTORY. — 
MULTIPLICATION. — METAMORPHOSES. — CHRYSOAEIA CYCLONOTA. — BEROE 
OVATA. — SEA-CUCUMBERS.— MODE OF PROGRESSION. — HABITS IN AN 
AQUARIUM. — SELF - MUTILATIONS. — PSOLINUS BREVIS. — CUCUMARIA 
GRANDIS. — THYONE PAPILLOSA. 

Sea-blubhers, or Jelly-fish, are among the most familiar ob- 
jects of the shore. Those pellucid bladders of jelly are 
often seen floating on the breakers, or thrown up by their 
violence, on the beach, where they spangle and crowd the 
sand and shingle, mingling with dead Laminarice wrecked by 
the same mighty power. 

They are not creatures fitted for the Aquarium, even 
when taken living; their part is to roam freely through the 
wide ocean, and, themselves almost invisible, seek for living 
prey. Tor a few days they may be kept, or even weeks, 
but seldom and with difficulty. In most cases they die 



150 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

almost as soon as they are taken, and dissolve their sub- 
stance into the \Yatery element of which it is so largely 
composed. I remember being much astonished and disap- 
pointed, when a child, at the strange result. Taking up 
from the shore a large Jelly-fish, weighing a pound or two, 
most beautifully formed, and still showing some slight signs 
of life, I put him into a large pan of water, and, after taking 
a good look at my prisoner, left him. On returning, after 
a time, to examine him more minutely, what was my asto- 
nishment to find no Jelly-fish in the pan, but an increase 
of water, and an empty skin ! Pining at the cruelty of his 
situation, he had, Niobe-like, melted away his substance in 
tears. 

Yet there are very interesting facts in the history of these 
evanescent animals, some of which may be observed in an 
Aquarium. The prevailing form of a Jelly-fish is that of 
an umbrella, with an upper and under disc, the space be- 
tween the two being filled up with a liquid, which is in fact 
little more than water. From the under disc, hangs a mass 
called the peduncle, forming a handle to the umbrella. This 
generally ends in four lobes or lips, much fringed and scal- 
loped at their edges. The mouth is in the middle of these 
lips, and leads, of course, to the stomach. From the rim of 



MEDUSA, OR JELLY-FISH. 151 

the umbrella hang thread-like tentacles, which are active 
and sensitive, and provided with minute darting threads, 
giving them an adhesive, and somewhat stinging power. 

" NaJced-eyed " Medusce are those which have swelling 
coloured bulbs at the bases of the tentacula, supposed to 
be e3'es. While '' Cover ed-e?/ed" ^lxq those in which the 
organs, more complicated, are protected by membranous 
folds hanging over them. 

Eew objects can exceed the elegance of these creatures, 
when floating in the briny fluid. Their graceful forms, 
their crystalline transparence, their airy and evanescent tints, 
and wavy motions, combine to make them exquisite in love- 
liness ; while many of them are luminous, giving out flashes 
of light in the midst of darkness. 

" "Withia the shadow of the ship 

I watched their rich attire ; 
Blue, glossy-green, and velvet black, 
They coil'd and swam ; and every track 

"Was a flash of golden fire ! " 

The most attractive part of the history of Mediism is the 
wonderful manner in which they multiply their species. In 
the course of this operation metamorphoses take place from 
the state of fixed Zoophytes to that of free AcejjJiala. 



152 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

The Medusa first gives bii'tli to numbers of minute balls, 
or eggs of jelly covered by a thin skin studded with vibra- 
tile hairs. The action of the hairs enables this germ or 
spherule to swim through the water. They are nearly oval 
bodies but rather wider at one end than at the other, and 
they are propelled with the larger end foremost. After 
swimming about for some time, the larger end turns down- 
wards towards the ground, and attaches itself to some sub- 
marine object convenient for the purpose. Presently the 
body lengthens, and at the same time becomes wider at 
what was before the narrowest end, and then there is 
formed in the centre of that end a mouth, at first a mere 
opening of small dimensions, but soon enlarging- and be- 
coming surrounded by four prominent lobes or lips. These, 
increasing in length, are changed to long thin tentacula, or 
feelers, between which new tentacula make their appear- 
ance, till the whole thing assumes the appearance of a kind 
of cup-flower with long petals, and is, in fact, a Hydra-like 
polype, fixed on a stalk. This is the Medusa-hul, from 
whose sides new buds of the same character and appearance 
grow out, each one beginning like a small tubercle, stretch- 
ing out till it reaches something to which it can attach its 
apex, and then, detaching itself from the other bud, grows 



MEDUSA, OH JELLY-FISH. 153 

on the chosen spot, when it gets a mouth and tentacles like 
those of its parent. Erom this, new germs sprout out and 
establish themselves in the same manner, until a large co- 
lony is formed. The next process is more surprising; it is 
that by which the Medusce rise from the buds. The bud 
begins to lengthen and become cylindrical and narrow; it 
is wrinkled at intervals and divides into segments. The 
tentacles at the apex waste away, and in place, the edge 
of the top segment is scalloped into eight lobes. The top 
edge of each segment in succession becomes lobed in like 
manner, and exfoliates from the next; so that a column of 
cups is formed one within the other. By-and-by the top 
cup turns over and leaves the column; then another, and 
another ; each swimming about, a young Medusa. The 
column still grows from beneath, forming fresh cups when 
the top ones fall off. At last, the rising process ceases ; 
the last young Medusa is thrown off, and a stump only is 
left of the original bud. All is not over yet ; the remaining 
stem forms a new head of tentacula, and becomes a flower- 
polype again. 

I have seen the beautiful little Med^isa- cii\)s, propelling 
themselves in playful activity, upwards and downwards, for- 
wards and backwards, and slant, by means of contracting 



154 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

and expanding the frill of furbelows which borders their 
edge. They undergo several changes after this, before they 
assume the perfect form to which they are destined. But 
what a wonderful history is theirs ! 

'' The very Jelly-fish/^ says Harvey_, ^' as it swims the 
wave, expanding and contracting its umbrella, and thus 
propelling itself through the water, has its beauty ; but few 
are aware of the singularity of its history ; how its eggs are 
of the nature of seeds, which, sown on their rocky bed, 
sprout and grow, throwing out buds and suckers, each of 
which forms an animal stem, quite unlike the parent Jelly- 
fish ; till at a certain time young Jelly-fish begin to be 
formed, and to be thrown off by the several branches, just 
as flowers are formed and expand on the several branches 
that originate from a vegetable seed. And if the abject 
Jelly-fish, whose body consists of little more than organized 
water, have a history so wonderful, shall we not expect to 
find, in tracing the history of other tribes of animals, matter 
of equal interest ? " 

Chrysoaria cyclonota, 

A magnificent species discovered by Mr. Gosse, a pet 
specimen of which was kept living for three weeks in a 



MEDUS^^ OR JELLY-FISH. 155 

glass vase by that gentleman. The umbrella part is three 
inches wicle^ not quite lenticular, but slightly depressed in 
the middle circle, very transparent, and tinged with a rosy 
blush, with radiating Hues of pink. Long thread-tenta- 
cles hang and wave from the rim, and between them are 
the brown-coloured bulbs, called eyes. The peduncle is 
bulbous, and the mouth is surrounded by four membranous 
arms of great length, which are frilled and twisted in a 
very elegant manner. In captivity the Chrysoaria moved 
gracefully, twirling, furling, and unfurling his flounces in 
ever-varying undulations. His possessor, having casually 
touched the animal with a stick, found that the furbelows, 
as well as the tentacles, clung to it and wrapped themselves 
round it, and were drawing it towards the peduncle; and it 
was liberated with difficulty. This suggested an attempt to 
feed it. A whitebait being introduced was presently surround- 
ed, and drawn up under the umbrella, but being perhaps too 
heavy, was allowed to fall. Its head had actually been for 
some time in the oral cavity of the Medusa ; but when 
examined it was found that the process of digestion had 
not begun. After awhile the captive Jelly-fish changed its 
habits, turned over its umbrella-body, and died in the act of 
propagating fresh buds. 



156 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 



Beroe OVATA. 

r 

' This pretty little Medicsa is of a different order from the 
umbrella-shaped Sea-jelly.. Its body is shaped like a 
melon, from half an inch to three-quarters long, quite crys- 
talline, and divided into gores by eight ribs. On the ribs 
are little plates or scales, capable of moving up and down, 
and acting as paddles, by which the Beroe can move itself 
freely in every direction. It has two very long pendent 
tentacles, to which are attached, at regular intervals, still 
more slender threads, which coil like the tendrils of a vine. 
These have all the adhesive qualities of the tentacula and 
filaments of ActinicE, and constitute the fishing-tackle of 
the Beroe. The whole apparatus, when not in use, is drawn 
up into the body and lodged in sheaths. 

^' Though at first,"*^ says Landsborough, " we observed 
only one solitary Beroe, we had not gone far till we found 
them in abundance. In one Kttle creek there was a flotilla 
of fifty. What life ! What beauty ! What happiness in 
that little fleet ! Fifty thousand paddles, of exquisite work- 
manship, were in rapid, noiseless motion, twinkling with all 
the mdescent beauty of the morning dew. I had not before 
observed this lovely iridescence; and I ascribed it in part 



Hate E, 








IHorar^ 'vxab , Pagarus ijemKarias .in a shell cif tile v\rtie[k. , sra:Tacninijedl3\' aji-Anemanfi, 
Sa^artiaparasiticaL, and studdealayBalaxii. Z.Thc samewithdra-vm' 3 Hie same 
m. a shell of ■th.ePeriwTnldc ■ 



SEA-CUCOJBERS. 157 

to the more favourable inclination of the sunbeams at this 
early hour/^ 

Sea-Cucumbees. — (Plate X.) 

Sea-Cucumbers, or Holothuriadce, form an order of the 
class EcJdmdermata, approaching, in some characteristics^ 
the AcLiniadm, through such genera as Peachia and Ed- 
wardsia; and, on the other hand, the Star-fishes and Echini. 
To the latter they more properly belong. In short,, Pro- 
fessor Porbes considers a Sea-Cucumber in the light of a 
soft Echinus and long-bodied Star-fish combined. 

True Starfishes J Echini, and Holothuriadce, all possess 
and use, as one means of progression, rows of movable fila- 
ments, which are contractile, and have at their tips httle 
sucker-discs. In the latter, to which class our Pentacta, 
or Cucumaria, belongs, these suckers are arranged in five 
rows along the body, dividing it into five sides. The skin 
of these animals is soft and leathery. In some species 
the suckers are more developed on the under side, so 
as to form a creeping surface, in opposition to the upper 
or dorsal surface. But, as a rule, the animals crawl in- 
differently on any side. Suckers are not, however, the only 
means of locomotion possessed by the Kolothuriadce ; for 



158 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

tliey also crawl by drawing up their bodies in the same 
manner as the worms do. The bodies are always, in their 
normal form, cylindrical, but generally taper towards the 
extremities. They have a mouth at the anterior extremity, 
which is surrounded by ten feathered or branched tentacula, 
which can be withdrawn into the body, and are sometimes 
for days not exserted. They also have a circle of teeth in 
the mouth. * 

In Mr. Lloyd's collection, I had the pleasure of watch- 
ing a number of very fine specimens of Peutacfa pentactes 
(Plate X. fig. 2, 3), which are all white with the exception 
of their heads. These, when protruded, are sometimes found 
to be yellowish, and sometimes blackish ; they are beauti- 
fully branched, and, when partially expanded, look like 
miniature bunches of grapes. The body, as the name im- 
plies, is divided into five sides, with a double row of suckers 
on eacli angle. These curious creatures move freely about 
the tanks in which they are confined, assuming various 
shapes, and seeking various positions. Sometimes they 
crawl up the glass sides of the vessel, where they maintain 
their hold by means of the suckers, which always adapt their 
length to the space they have to reach over. Sometimes 
they travel on the ground among pebbles, or wind their 



SEA-CUCUMBERS. 159 

elongated trunks worra-fasliion round pieces of rock, or be- 
tween seaweeds. When not in use, the suckers appear only 
as little teat-like tubercles, and are only converted into legs 
w^ien required for use; the extremity of each, like that of 
the suckers of the Star-fish^ sticks to everything it touches, 
and by means of them the whole body is drawn forward. 

Like Star-fishes, Sea-Cucumbers seem to be addicted to 
suicide, or at least, self-mutilation. A specimen which Mr. 
Lloyd was bringing home in a jar some months since, being 
made uncomfortable by the jolting of the cabriolet, actually 
ejected his stomach, turning it inside out, and then threw 
it off, together with his head and circle of tentacles. He 
then fixed himself on the side of the jar, in a rather atte- 
nuated condition, near the water^s edge, where he remained, 
showing signs of life. At first, of course, he was expected 
to die very soon, but he lived on ; and then Mr. Lloyd be- 
gan to hope that Nature would exercise her remedial power, 
and that a new head, stomach, and tentacula might re- 
place the old ones. Nor is it certain that he will be dis- 
appointed in that expectation. The animal is living still, 
and there are some slight signs of the missing organs bud- 
ding forth. The specimen in question is figured in our 
Plate X. fig. 1, and is clouded with a pale greenish-brown. 



r 



160 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Among the most curious and interesting species of this 
family are the following : — 

PSOLINUS BREYIS, 

Which is small, in its natural shape like a gherkin, with 
long digitated feelers, and the suckers of the under side of 
the body long, few, and bent ; so that when the animal is 
crawling, as it does upon stems of Laininaria, they look like 
feet, and the motion is almost like that of walking. 

CUCUMARIA GRANDIS. 

The Great Sea-Cucuinber is sometimes called the Sea- 
pudding. He is an immense creature, quite a foot long 
when at rest, and capable of extending himself to the length 
of a yard. The body is of a very dark purple colour on one 
side, and whitish on the other. 

Thyone papillosa 

Has its suckers dispersed all over the body. It is two 
or three inches long, and, when at rest, of an oval or pear 
shape. Its very tough skin has a pajnllose appearance, in 
consequence of the numerous non-retractile suckers. The 
following is taken from Dr. Johnston^s account of this spe- 



THYONE PAPILLOSA. 161 

cies in captivity : — " The surfaces of the body were at first 
partially covered with fragments of Shells and Corallines, 
which were evidently retained by the suctorial powder of the 
papillae ; and the animal on being kept a day in sea- water 
threw them off. It had a slow progressive movement, 
slower than the shadow of the dial, which was effected by 
elongating the papillae of one part, fixing them to the plate, 
and then drawing itself forward by again contracting those 
elongated parts. But the papillae were oftener used for tlie 
purpose of anchors than of feet, the creatures being of an 
indolent and immovable character. When stationary it 
was ever slowly changing its outward form ; it was now 
shortened and swollen in the centre ; then it would relax 
itself and become cyhndrical; again, one part would be 
blown out, and another drawn in with a deep stricture, as 
if a thread had been tied round ; or, again, the contraction 
would begin near the head, which is then made very nar- 
row, and would spread backward, the anterior portion re- 
covering its original diameter as the wave of constriction 
passed away ; and sometimes the constriction will spread 
in the opposite direction. It often raised the posterior ex- 
tremity a httle from the surface of the plate and to one 
side, but I never saw any current flow from the aperture. 

M 



162 POPULAR HISTOPvY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

" The worm having been kept in sea-water unchanged 
for two or three clays^ sickened, and by tlie more frequent 
involutions and evolutions of the oral end evinced its unea- 
siness. Being left unobserved in this state for an hour or 
so, I found on my return that it had vomited U23 its ten- 
tacula, its oral apparatus, its intestinal tube entire, and a 
large number of ovaries which lay about the plate. The 
muscular convulsion must have been very great to have thus 
so completely embowelled the creature; and yet life was 
not extinct, for the tentacula contracted themselves on be- 
ing touched, and the empty skin appeared by its motions to 
have lost little of its irritability.^^ 

A great deal of water circulates through these animals, 
Dr. Johnston thinking that it is first forced through the 
tubes of the feet, or suckers. The accumulation of water 
in different parts of the body at different times causes those 
parts to swell so as to change the form in the manner de- 
scribed. 

Plate X. represents Mr. Lloyd^s self-mutilated Pentada 
pentactes in the horizontal position at the edge of the water, 
in which it has remained. The two lower specimens are 
from the same collection; they are in health, of a white 
colour, with tentacles orange and black. 



163 



CHAPTEE YIII. 

SEA-URCHINS AND STAR-FISHES. 

COMMON ECHINUS. — MEANS OF PROGRESSION. — PROPORTIONS OF PLATES. — 
DIGESTIVE ORGANS. — ECHINUS MILIARIS. — SPATANGUS. — CIDARIS, — 
STAR-FISHES. — THEIR CLASSIFICATION. — THE ROSY FEATHER-STAE. — 
OPHIOCOMA. — LUIDA. — URASTEE. 

Sea-Uechins are distinguished from other Echinoderms by 
their more or less rounded form^ and by their shelly box or 
cqse^ which is composed of a number of plates united edge- 
wise by integuments. On the shelly plates are tubercles of 
various sizes^ rounded at their tops, forming halls corre- 
sponding with sockets in the ends of various spines,, which 
are movably attached to them by that kind of joint. The 
spines differ in size, number, arrangement, and shape, ac- 
cording to the genus or species to which the specimen be- 
longs. Radiating down the sides, and dividing the box 
like the quarterings of an orange, are a kind of canals or 



164 lOPULAR HISTORY OV THE AQUArdUM. 

depressions, called ambiihcra, because they are pierced with 
rows of holes through which are ]3ut forth sucker-tubes, 
lilce those of Star-fishes and Sea-Cacunibers_, supposed to be 
more or less used in locomotion. These animals have a 
mouth and a vent : the former below, and the latter in va- 
riable positions. Whatever relative positions these two open- 
ings take, the intestinal canal leading from one to the other 
is winding, aiid is attached to the inside of the sliellj case by 
means of what is called an integument, as well as all the 
internal lining, with vibratile cilia, and which is connected 
with the function of respiration. They are believed to 
possess also a muscular apparatus, which has pulsations, and 
branching veins connected with it, like the heart in more 
advanced animals. They are also asserted to possess a 
nervous system like that of tlie Holothuriada. 

Means of Vrogression. 

The TlclnniclcR use both suckers and spines for locomo- 
tion. Of course only those on the under, or oral side, or 
near the base, can be used in this way. To those on the 
base and upper part of the sides some other functions must 
be assigned, and it is well known that one organ is often 
applied to several uses, as well as several different organs to 



SEA-URCHINS. 165 

the same use, especially in the lower classes of animals. 
Both spines and suckers may come into play when the 
animal is crawling among stones or living in holes, the sides 
and roofs of which would form fulcra. The suckers are 
used in attaching the body to rocks, by which means the 
animal fixes himself firmly in his chosen position. 

Professor Agassiz indeed asks, " How in fact could these 
small tentacula, situated as they generally are in that part 
of the body which is never brought into contact with the 
ground on which the animal moves, and overhung by cal- 
careous solid spines ; how, I ask, could these flexible tubes 
be used as organs of motion ?" The Professor further re- 
marks, ^''It is an undeniable fact, and I have observed it 
myself, that it is with their spines that the Echini move 
themselves, seize their prey, and bring it to their mouths, 
by turning the rays of their lower edge in different direc- 
tions. But the correction of an error respecting the func- 
tions of the ambulacral tubes does not solve the problem 
relating to their nature and use. This problem we are yet 
unable to solve, as we know nothing more respecting them 
than that they are connected with the aquiferous system." 

One Professor however may be as good as another in 
such a matter, if both have equal opportunities of observa- 



166 POPULAE HISTOPvY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

tion. Professor Eorbes saw them move by suckers. Both 
Agassiz and Torbes had living Sea-TJrchins before them. 
Both see the spines used ; one sees the suckers used as 
well ; the inference is that both are used by the animal 
for progression. Mr. Forbes says, he has seen " Echimis 
i?iiliaris, a Spatangiis pur2mreMS, and an Aiiephidotus, all 
walk along the bottom and up the sides of a dish of salt- 
water by means of their inferior tentacula ; and the first- 
mentioned anchored itself by extending and bending its 
superior suckers, so as to reach the bottom of the dish.''^ 

The manner in which the motion by tentacles is effected 
may be easily understood. If we observe the manner in 
which those of a Star-fish or Sea-Cucumber elongate them- 
selves to reach a point, and then lay hold of that point by 
the sucker end, we shall see that when a hold is obtained 
by a number of stretched tentacula, they have nothing to do 
but to contract in order to draw the whole body forwards. 
This is no doubt the way in which, a little at a time, the Sea- 
Egg can and does move along. 

The Shell. 

The shell of the Sea-Egg is often seen ornamenting the 
chimney-pieces of humble dwellings near the sea-side; but 



sEA-nicHiNs. 167 

few, on seeing them, would have any idea of their appear- 
ance in a living state, clothed with spines. The materials 
however of which they are composed, consisting of hun- 
dreds of plates nicely fitted together by their edges, and 
beautifully arranged in symmetrical order, with their spine- 
bearing tubercles, form in them.selves unitedly an object of 
admiration. And the manner in which the whole body 
increases in bulk is also interesting in the highest degree. 
The plates are united by a membrane covering the whole, 
and inserted between the edges. This membrane secretes the 
calcareous matter of which they are composed. The matter 
is deposited on the edges. Every large or small angle of 
every large or small plate, must receive its proper propor- 
tion of the deposition in the same time ; else, the form of 
the whole W'ould not be retained. As in a line of soldiers 
abreast turning an angle, the outer man must march the 
fourth of a large circle, and the centre man that of a 
smaller one, while the inner man only turns his own body, 
so the upper and lower plates of the Echinus will require 
very little addition to their edges to be kept in a radiating 
line with those of the centre, which require large additions 
in the same time, to make their share of the middle circum- 
ference, and all these proportions must always be kept, or 
the form of the wiiole is lost. 



]68 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

Digestive Organs. 

In some cabinets may be seen a conical body composed 
of a circle of complicated bones^ ending at the apex in a 
circle of teeth meeting in the centre. These bones and 
teeth are the biting and grinding apparatus of our Echinus. 
They are placed in the centre of the body, with their grind- 
ing surfaces towards each other, and united by very power- 
ful muscles : altogether a most formidable and compHcated 
engine of attrition. Scattered over the surface of the shell 
are great numbers of small bodies among the spines, called 
pedicellariiBj the use of which is not yet ascertained. They 
have been considered by some naturalists as parasitic animals 
living on the Echinus. But there seems to be Httle reason 
to doubt that they are some organs belonging to the Sea-Egg 
itself. Tliey are cylindrical bodies, fixed by a slender pedi- 
cle, and terminating in a set of pincers. They are flexible, 
and bend about in various directions. The pincers consist 
of three beautifully sculptured teeth, some sharp and long, 
others shorter. On the possible purpose for which the 
Echinus is provided with these organs, Mr. Sans suggests 
that Nature may have given the pedicellarm, in addition 
to the spines and suckers, "as a sort of antennse, partly to 



SEA-URCHINS. 169 

seize the small animals which serve for its sustenance, partly 
to lay hold of whatever might approach their sensitive skin, 
which covers the surface of the shell, and thus, in conjunc- 
tion with the prickles, protect it from injury/^ 

The specific characters of the Egg-Urchin are, a rounded 
body ; ambulacra continuous from mouth to opposite open- 
ing ; tubercles of spines imperforate, and spines all in one 
form, numerous. It is generally of a purplish or reddish 
colour, with spines nearly white, sometimes tipped with 
purple. 

Shore collectors cannot obtain living specimens ; for it is 
a deep-water animal, congregating in great numbers at sea- 
bottoms. But now that the dredge is in active use, and it 
has become a business to supply Aquarians with specimens 
of marine zoology, we can get living Sea-Eggs " to order " 
without stirring from our homes. 

'Echinus miliaris is a smaller species, with proportionally 
larger spines, which are gTooved, pointed, and tipped with 
purple. 

Spatangus purpureiis has the body depressed, heart- 
shaped, with the mouth forwards and the anal vent back- 
wards, so that the animal has both an anterior and a pos- 
terior end. 



170 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUAIIIUM. 

Cidaris papillata has only one long spine on each inter- 
ambulacral plate, and these are long and straight. A Cidaris, 
with all its spines perfect and radiating from the central 
depressed globe, is a very beautiful object. 



Star-fisJies, their Classification, 

1. The Crinoidce, qx pinnigrade Stars, have arms capable 
of independent motion, assisted by cirrhi which spring from 
membranes attached to the arms. — Feather -stars. 

2. The Op)limrid(B, or spinigrade Stars, have no mem- 
branes on the arms. They have cirrhi, but the motion is 
effected by means of spines on the movable arms. — Brittle- 
stars. 

3. The AsteriadiE, or cirrhigrade Stars, have no true or 
independent arms, but their bodies are lobed, or fingered, 
and the lobes are channeled underneath, with rows of cirrhi 
or suckers in the channels, which are the organs of motion. 
— CrosS'fisli. 

One specimen of each must suffice. They are not sub- 
jects suitable to heep in Aquaria, as they do not live happily 
in confinement, but soon kill themselves, or otherwise die. 



STAR-FISHES. 171 

COMATULA ROSACEA. 

The ^osy Feather-star is one of the most beautiful objects 
in nature, and is most interesting on account of a curious 
feature of its animal economy. Alewed from above, it is 
seen as a radiating circle of ten feathers, with a smaller 
central circle of filiform appendages. This smaller circle 
hides the union of every two feathers in one joint. In fact, 
there are five double plumose arms. The feathery appear- 
ance is produced by piinise on each side of the arms. The 
pinnse are jointed, and end in a kind of claw. Besides 
being of an elegant form, the Eosy Teather-star is splendid 
in colour, being of a bright pink, spotted with brown, while 
the arms are fringed with transparent cirrhi. 

Those who study geology are famihar with an object called 
the Stone-lily, or Lili/ Uncrinite,wh.ich. is a kind of lily-shaped 
Star-fish growing upon a stem composed of calcareous rings. 
The nearest recent analogous form in Europe was presented 
by the discovery of a little pedunculated animal of the Cri- 
noid race, by Mr. J. Y. Thompson, in the year 1823. The 
top, or head and arms of this little Stone-lily, was seen to 
bear some resemblance to the Teather-star, presenting just 
such an appearance as that species might do if placed on a 



172 POPULAR HISTOTIY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

stem. It was called Pentacrinus Europcuus. Here was a 
living Encrinite. The column was flexible, and bent at the 
will of the animal ; its base w^s attached to marine animals 
by a broad calcareous disc. In the year 1836, Mr. Thomp- 
son communicated the result of further researches in a me- 
moir published in the Edinburgh 'New Philosophical Jour- 
nal/ from which it appeared that his Pentacrinus Europcpus 
was nothing but a Feather-star in a young state ; and that 
the Comatidai in fact, began life as a fixed star and ended 
it as a wandering comet. In other words, the starry head 
floats off the stem, and the animal becomes free. 

" First, like a polype, bending on its stem, 
Its rays are spread, a stany diadem ; 
It feels new powers, it struggles to be free, 
Then roams at large, unfettered in the sea." 

In some tribes the reverse of this takes place, and the ani- 
mal, free in infancy, becomes grave and sedentary with age. 
The gradations marking the change in Comattda are traced 
and explained by Mr. Tliompson. He observed the advanced 
Pentacrinite beginning to form piunse ; then the dorsal cirrhi 
increased from fivs to nine ; then the detached Comatula, in 
which the pinn?e are nearly complete. These small ComatulcB 
retain the original yellow colour of the Pentacrinite near 



STAR-PISHES. 173 

the top of the arms, while the lower part and body are 
gradually assuming the red colour of the adult Peather-star. 

Professor Torbes says, " When a freshly-caught Feather- 
star is plunged into cold fresh-water it dies in a state of 
contraction ; but if not so killed, or else, if not killed in 
spirit, it breaks itself into pieces, like an Opidura. When 
dying, either in fresh- water or in spirits, it gives out a most 
beautiful purple colour, which tinges the liquid in which it 
was killed. This colour has been long retained in spirits. 
The fact was long ago noted by Bartholinus, who observed 
it at Naples, and whose observations on it will be found in 
a note to Tabius Columna." 

" In captivity," says Mr. Gosse, " the Teather-star sits 
upon the frond of a seaweed, or upon the projecting angle 
of rock, which it grasps very firmly with its clawed fila- 
ments ; so firmly, that it is diincult to tear it from its hold. 
When violence is used, it catches hold of its support, or any 
other object within reach, with the tips of its arms, which it 
hooks down for the purpose, and with its pinnae, so that it 
seems furnished with so many claws, the hard stony nature 
of which is revealed by the creaking, scratching noise they 
make as they are forced from any hold, as if they were made 
of glass. I was surprised to find that several of the arms 



174 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUAPvIUM. 

were unsym metrically short ; and examining these with a 
lens, saw distinctly that each had been broken off and was 
renewed, the new part agreeing in structure and colour with 
the rest, but the joints were much less in diameter ; and this 
difference was strongly marked at the point of the union, 
the first of the new joints being not more than one-third as 
wide as its predecessor. The appearance much reminded me 
of a lizard renewing its tail/' 

The full-grown Peather-star generally frequents deep 
water, but comes to shallow pools among the plants of 
LaminaricB in breeding times. It swims by alternating 
strokes of its arms, using them in the same manner as the 
Medusm, raising itself from the bottom and swimming back- 
wards. 

Ophiocoma bellis {OpJiiuridcB). 

The Daisy Brittle-star is among the most richly coloured 
of radiate animals. Its central disc is pentagonal, orna- 
mented above with variously arranged plates, intermingled 
with spines, arranged in such a manner as to give a daisy- 
like appearance to it. The rays are long, bordered by 
spines in rows. They are beautifully banded. The Brittle- 
stars are very difficult to obtain living and perfect, on ac- 



STArv-nsHES. 175 

count of their habit of throwing off their hmbs all in pieces. 
The common Brittle-star, for instance, is taken sometimes 
in great numbers together, in a dredge, when thej writhe 
in and out among each other with the most worm-like con- 
tortions, flinging their arms about in broken pieces, and 
even frightening, as Professor Forbes observes, the very 
seamen, who see in their threatening attitudes and suicidal 
actions somethiuGr unearthlv and unnatural. Mr. Gosse 
speaks of the Ojjhiocoma rosula, and the bushels of speci- 
mens which he dredged, of the most gorgeous hues, " orange, 
yellow, crimson, purple, blue, and white ; often arranged in 
alternate angular bands," and of the exquisite sculptures 
which they preserved ; but remarks that although he met 
with many specimens of broken arms, he could generally 
secure a specimen he wished for, without any very extraor- 
dinary care. 

LuiDA FRAGiLissiMA [Asteriadze) . 

The stellate body of this, as well as the lobes or arms, is 
flat, covered above with spiniferous tubercles; the canals 
on the under side are bordered by two sets of spines, and 
the suckers are in tw'o row^s. A brick-red colour above, 
straw-colour beneath. The species varies in the colour of 
its arms. Mr. Bean, of Scarborough, has taken an example 



176 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

of the seven-rayed form, measuring eighteen inches across. 
Of his experience in the capture of this species, Professor 
Forbes gives the following amusing account : — 

"The first time I ever caught one of these creatures, I 
succeeded in getting it into the boat entire. Xever having 
seen one before, and quite unconscious of its suicidal powers, 
I spread it out on a rowing-bench, the better to admire its 
form and colours. On attempting to remove it for preser- 
vation, to my horror and disappointment, I found only an 
assemblage of rejected members. My conservative endea- 
vours were all neutralized by its destructive exertions, and 
it is now badly represented in my cabinet by an armless 
disc and a discless arm. Xext time I went to dredge on 
the same spot, and determined not to be cheated out of a 
specimen in such a way a second time, I brought with me 
a bucket of cold fresh-water, to which article Star-fishes have 
a great antipathy. As I expected, a Luida came up in the 
dredge, a most gorgeous specimen, xis it docs not generally 
break up before it is raised above the surface of the sea, 
cautiously and anxiously I sank my bucket to a level with 
the dredgers mouth, and proceeded in the most gentle man- 
ner to introduce Luida to the purer element. ^Yhether the 
cold air was too much for him, or the sight of the bucket 
too terrific, I know not, but, in a moment, he proceeded to 



STAE-FISHES. 177 

dissolve his corporation, and at every mesh of the dredge 
his fragments were seen escaping. In despair I grasped at 
the Largest, and brought up the extremity of an arm with 
its terminating eye, the spinous eyelid of which opened and 
closed with something exceedingly like a wink of derision/' 

Uraster RUBENS. — (Plate XYII. upper figure.) 

The well-known common Cross-fish is most generally 
seen of a huffish colour, although it is sometimes bright 
orange, purple, or red. It has generally five rays, which 
are rounded and taper to a point. The back of the disc 
and arms are spinous. The principal row of spines on the 
centre of the rays forms a kind of keel. The canals under- 
neath are bordered by spines, and by adhesive, ambulatory 
suckers. At the extremity of each ray the eyes are found 
surrounded by a circle of movable spines. The mouth is 
protected by spines. 

Of this species, Mr. Gosse gives an account, in reference 
to its suicidal propensities, of a case that came under his 
observation. That gentleman had a specimen five inches 
long which had been dredged in Weymouth harbour. When 
first put into the tank, the specimen appeared quite at home 
and was quite lively. It had five rays, two of which were 

N 



178 POPULAR HISTOKY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

small. All at once it threw off a ray^ and seemed to.be 
marching on without being sensible of the loss; the leg 
that was left behind appearing to retain its vitality some 
time afterwards, moving its suckers, sometimes relaxing, 
then tightening their hold, but the limb was not advanc- 
ing. In seven hours^ time, all the rays but one were thrown 
off, or rather abandoned, as they remained, with their suckers 
active, sticking to the sides of the glass. The body in the 
meantime walked on with its single ray alone. When one 
ray had been thrown off, the remaining rays seemed so equi- 
distant and the skin so entire that the narrator could not, 
by the most careful scrutiny, find the point from which the 
rejected member had been separated; but when the other 
rays were gone, the points of separation were visible. The 
Cross-fish continued walking about on one leg, which how- 
ever fell off in the course of removal to another vessel : the 
disc ceased to move, and soon died. 

Thus a slight dash of melancholy may be introduced oc- 
casionally to vary the amusements of a Zoological tank. 

Plate XVII. fig. 1, represents a specimen of Uraster 
rubens from Mr. Lloyd^s collection, which, having lost two 
rays, is having them replaced by young growing ones. Tigs. 
2 and 3 are Goniaster equestris. 



179 



CHAPTEE IX. 

SEA-WORMS. 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION. — CLASSIFICATION. — OUT-DOOR STUDIES. — SERPULA 
CONTORTUPLICATA. — AJIPHITRITE /EGEANA. — SABELLA TUBULARIA. — SA- 
BELLA ALVEOLATA. — TEREBELLA CONCHILEGA. — NEREIS BILINEATA. — 
APHRODITE ACULEATA. 

Marine Annelids, or Sea-TFormSj belong to the same 
class as Earth- Worms and Leeches, many of whose cha- 
racteristics they possess in common. All are curious in 
their structure and habits, while some are extremely beau- 
tiful. They are all more or less elongate and cylindrical 
in form, and their bodies are capable of contraction and 
elongation. They derive their class appellation from the 
fact that the body is composed of annular joints, or rings, 
united by a flexible skin. The first joint being variously 
modified as a head, and the last as a tail ; the intermediate 
ones are generally very much alike. The heads of some 



180 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

marine Worms ai'e furnished with eyes^ some with tentacukj 
and the mouth-apparatus is in many species formidable, 
suited to the carnivorous propensities of the race. Most of us 
know the three-cornered bite of the Leech; and his brethren 
of the ocean are not behind in their powers of wounding. 

Coming to characters in which the Annehds differ from 
each other^ we may notice the general divisions into which 
they have been cast. 

The Apoda perform locomotion by means of sucking discs, 
and have no foot-like warts or bristles. 

The CJicBtopoda move by means of bristles placed in 
bunches on wart-like protuberances. 

Those of the former order are Leeches or leech-like ani- 
mals, a fine example of which is seen in the Poutohdella, 
which has a long warty body and a very obvious cup-like 
sucker at each end. It is marine. 

Those of the latter Order present many interesting pecu- 
liarities, some of them are among the prettiest objects of 
the tank. 

Some of the variations are expressed in a homely way by 
Hugh Miller, in his work entitled ' My Schools and School- 
masters.' The following passage will be read with plea- 
sure, for it has about it all the freshness of nature. 



SEA-WOEMS. 181 

" Nor was it merely with tlie edible that we busied our- 
selves on these journeys : the brilliant metallic plumage of 
the Sea-Mouse [Ajjhrodita) , steeped as if in the dyes of the 
rainbow, excited our admiration time after time. And still 
higher wonder used to be awakened by a much rarer An- 
nelid, brown and slender as a piece of rope-yarn, and from 
tliirty to forty feet in length, which no one save my uncle 
had ever found along the Cromarty shores, and which, when 
broken in two, as sometimes happened in the measuring, 
divided its vitality so equally between the pieces that each 
was fitted (we could not doubt the experiment of Spallanzani) 
to set up an independent existence and carry on for itself. 
The Annelids too that form for themselves tubular dwelhngs 
built up of large grains of sand always excited our interest. 
Two hand-shaped tufts of golden-hued setse, furnished how- 
ever with greatly more than the typical number of fingers, rise 
from the shoulders of these creatures, and must, I suspect, 
be used as hands in the process of building ; at least, the 
hands of the most practised builder could not set stones 
with nicer skill than is exhibited by these Worms in the 
setting of the grains which compose their cylindrical dwell- 
ings, — dwellings that, from their form and structure, seem 
suited to remind the antiquary of the round towers of Ire- 



182 POPULAR HISTOHY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

landj and, from the style of their masonry, of old Cyclopean 
walls. Even the mason wasps and bees are greatly inferior 
to these mason Amphitrites." 

Serpula contortuplicata. — (Plate I. fig. 1.) 

The fan-like and pectinated gills of Serpidcs, with their 
curious stoppers and twisted shelly tubes, give a very lively 
and animated appearance to an Aquarium. T^'ith the lower 
part of its shell attached to empty shells, stones, broken 
glass and pottery, it rears its upper or later circles to an 
elevation, from which the gorgeous paraphernalia of his 
head protrude in proud arra}-, or into which they shrink 
when danger seems to threaten. The tubes, if followed in 
their twistings, will measure some inches in length, and are 
about a quarter of an inch or more in diameter. The same 
lines of growth as are seen in the shells of MoUusca mark 
the successive additions to its length. The mouth of the 
tube is slightly expanded, and similar expansions lower 
down mark wliere successive mouths were formed. Those 
beautiful fans which you see projected from the tube are 
gills. They constitute a fringe or frill, open in front and 
sinuously bent inwards behind. On minute examination, 
you find each filament of the fringe is a delicately-formed 



SEA- WORMS. 183 

comb with long teeth. Besides the gills, you observe a 
conical body on a stem, with its apex downwards, and while 
wondering what it is, the animal, perhaps alarmed, furls his 
fan and pops into his hole. Now you see the use of this 
organ ; for when the worm has drawn his breathing appara- 
tus safely into the tube, he shuts himself in by drawing this 
conical body after him and enclosing the aperture. It is, in 
short, a stopper. He had a pair of tentacles ; one of them 
remained small and undeveloped, while the other was ex- 
panded and developed for the admirable use to which we 
have seen it put. 

But how does the Serpula manage to creep up and down 
his shelly tube so rapidly, withdrawing so instantaneously 
when alarmed or disturbed? Alonsj the sides of his bodv 
are seven pairs of tubercles, with a bunch of bristles in each, 
which may be pushed out or withdrawn. Each bristle, 
when microscopically examined, is seen to be " a transparent, 
horny, yellow shaft, the extremity of which dilates into a 
slightly enlarged knob. This is cleft into four points, three 
of which are minute, but the fourth is developed into a long, 
slightly divergent, highly elastic, tapering and finely pointed 
spear." By pushing these bristles against the sides of the 
tube, and prizing up the body by their means, the upward 



184 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

movement is effected. The retreating motion is performed 
by a minute^ ribbon-like muscle, on which are fixed many 
thousands of hooked teeth, which firmly hold to the inner 
lining of the tube, while the muscles contract with a jerk 
and draw the animal down. 

Amphitrite (?) jEgeana. — (Plate II.) 

On first visiting the Zoological Society^s collection, I no- 
ticed spring up between the stones in a centre tank a trans- 
parent, bell-shaped cup, formed by a circle of fan-like folds. 
At the outer angle of each fold was a stiff-looking rib, end- 
ing in a free, projecting point. The bell was about an inch 
high, was placed upon a neck or stem, and had a funnel- 
shaped hollow in the centre, towards which the inner angles 
of the folds converged. It was not like the Anemones, for 
there was no body to be seen ; and if the ribs, or projecting 
points of the ribs, were tentacula, they were exceedingly 
different from those organs in general. It was more like 
Sahella, the feathery expansions of whose gills are such pleas- 
ing objects, but there was a one-sidedness about these, that 
was unlike the circular funnel of my stranger. Presently, 
while wondering what it could be, it suddenly contracted, 
folding itself up exactly as we do an umbrella, and looking 



SEA- wo RMS. 185 

verj much like one on a small scale. After stopping for a 
moment as if in hesitation, with its folds contracted, it made 
another sudden movement and was lost among the stones. 
It was not long however before it reappeared and reopened. 
On inquiry I found that others as well as myself had been 
puzzled by this pretty creature. Not only did no one at 
that time know what it was, but no one knew how it came 
where it was. Perhaps, like Topsy, it would say if endowed 
with speech, " ^Specs I growed !" I frequently returned to 
watch its habits, which I found very interesting. 'Not only 
did it flap up its folds when retiring, but frequently also for 
the purpose of getting rid of any morsels that were disagree- 
able to it, which were shot up ten or twelve inches by the 
action. This was often repeated ; and sometimes the stroke 
was repeated with such regularity that a person noticing the 
successive columns of ejected water exclaimed, " Well, I 
never !" " Never what ?" asked his companion. " Never 
saw a water-thing miohe." 

It turned out to be a worm of the same species that was 
discovered by Professor Porbes in the ^gean Sea, described 
but not named by him in a communication to the ' Annals 
and Magazine of Natural History,^ and published by Chenu 
in his 'Illustrations Conchyliologiques ' under the name 
which we apply to it above. 



186 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

It is a curious circumstance that two such animals as this 
Annelid and the Actinoid described in the same communi- 
cation^ and since named " Edwardsia," should have been 
discovered in the ^Egean at the same time, and also subse- 
quently have made their appearance contemporaneously as 
British species ; the one obtained in numbers at Ilfracombe, 
by Mr. Lloyd, the other springing up spontaneously among 
gravel in the Eegent^s Park tanks. Both present anomalous 
characteristics, distinguishing them from the rest of their 
class ; both form new links in the chain of beings ; — the 
one a free Actinoid and the other a free Worm, both in- 
vesting themselves with a leathery sheath of their own 
secretion. 

The ^gean example of our AmpliUrite (?) is described 
as living in sand where the sea is three or four feet deep ; 
its position being indicated by funnel-shaped cavities, when 
the gills are not expanded. The flower formed by this circle 
of gills we have described above; if touched, it suddenly 
contracts and shrinks into the sand. Its body is a ringed 
worm which moves freely up and down in the case. The 
case is gelatinous and smooth, slightly constricted in cor- 
respondence with the rings of the body. It tapers to a 
point at the posterior end_, where it is made solid by filling 



SEA-WOEMS. 187 

up behind the animal. In this respect our AmpJdtrite iq- 
sembles some species of Mollusca, which fill up the cavities 
of their shells behind them, stilly as the shell grows, keep- 
ing their bodies near the open end of the cavity. The body 
consists of a hundred and forty rings of a reddish-brown 
colour, with paler belts between. Each ring has a con- 
tractile tuft of bristles on each side, serving as feet. The 
flower-funnel consists of two fasciculi of long filaments 
webbed together; each filament furnished with a finer set 
of filaments on their inner^ edges. Currents of water are 
seen continually flowing up and down this funnel very ra- 
pidly, caused by cilia on the secondary filaments. Our soli- 
tary specimen is very pale compared with the ^geans, which 
have more of a purple tint ; its circle of gills make a very 
pretty flower nevertheless. I follow the Trench author in 
applying the name as above, but only do so provisionally, 
agreeing with the late lamented Professor Forbes as to the 
probable necessity for giving it another generic appellation. 

Sabella tubularia: 

Our London collections contain living specimens of this 
magnificent Worm, which forms a stiff leathery tube, almost 
like the shell of a Serpida in appearance, but not so in 



188 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

structure. It presents a beautiful double fan of gills, at 
the end of its projected tube. It is rather a large AYorm, 
beset with the usual bundles of satiny bristles, golden 
tinted. The fans are broadly plumose and spirally curved, 
forming a kind of shallow funnel, white and brown banded. 
Mr. Gosse has noticed, in another species, S. vesictdosa, a 
power of reproducing mutilated parts, and even forming en- 
tirely WQ'N fans. 

Sabella alveolata. 

Congregations of this Worm make parallel tubes of sand, 
fitting into each other, and composing a mass resembhng 
a honeycomb. Entire floors of caves are sometimes covered 
with this structure. The species is commonly called the 
'^ Honeycomb Wormy 

Terebella conchilega. — (Plate I. fig. 2, 3.) 
In turning over loose stones and gravel on a sandy shore 
at low-water, you may find very brittle tubes composed of 
minute pebbles, grains of sand, and small shells, neatly 
fitted and cemented together. They are the work of a 
marine mason, who has built them for his own occupation. 
The Terebella is a worm, which, instead of the fan-Uke 



SEA-WORMS. 189 

comb of gills displayed by the Sahellce and Serpulce, only puts 
forth a truncated head adorned by a great number of long 
thread-like tentacles. These tentacles, wandering far and 
wide, adhere to little specks of sand and bits of shell, which 
they bring together and cement in a circular wall, so as to 
form their tube. This gravelly dwelling is not made, hke 
some tubes, by the mere fortuitous rolling together of par- 
ticles in the glairy secretion surrounding the body of the 
animal ; but regularly and systematically laid on, fragment 
by fragment, to the edge of the structure. At the larger 
end of the tube may be observed a number of very thin 
branching tubes, formed of more minute grains of sand. 
These are sheaths, ^Yith which the working tentacula have 
temporarily clothed themselves, and from which they have 
withdrawn. 

Specimens in captivity were observed by Mr. Gosse to 
abandon their tubes and crawl about the glass jar by means 
of their tentacles, which adhered to its sides. They also 
creep, body downwards, on the surface of the water in the 
same manner that Water Snails do. Individuals may be seen 
at the present time (or might have been a week or two since) 
working away in the construction of then- brittle habita- 
tions, both at Mr. Lloyd^s estabHshment and at the Park 
Gardens. 



190 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Nereis bilineata. 

The Two-lined Worm is of a light red colour^ with two 
white Hues running all down the body. It has been observed 
to inhabit the deserted shells of Buccimim, in connection with 
the Hermit, or Soldier Crah, Pagurus Bernhardus. While 
feeding the latter, Mr. Gosse observed the worm to pro- 
trude from between the body of the Crab and the Whelk, 
glide round the Crab's cheek, pass between the upper and 
lower foot-jaws, seize and carry off the morsel of food, re- 
treating with it into his hole to consume it at leisure. Some- 
times the Crab would put his claws into the hole and recover 
the prize ; sometimes he would startle the Worm and make 
him let it go ; at other times he would submit to his loss 
and disappointment like a philosopher : a curious associa- 
tion this, between the ''soldier" and the "thief." 

Aphrodita aculeata. 

The common ''Sea-Mouse" attracts attention by the 
shining metallic lustre of its coat of bristles. Although a 
worm in nature, its shape is oval, and its figure plump. 
It is frequently met with in dredging over muddy ground, 
and is sometimes thrown up on the beach. It is three 



SEA -WORMS. 191 

or four inches in length; the back is of a miiddj or mouse- 
colour ; the sides clothed with silky hairs which reflect the 
prismatic colours of the rainbow. It crawls by means of 
bunches of stiff bristles, which terminate in sharp, barbed 
claws. On its colours, as observed in the Aquarium, Mr. 
Gosse makes the following remarks: "Perhaps it is most 
beautiful by candle-light, where red and orange reflections 
predominate; by day, pearly greens and blues prevail. This 
difference is owing to the position of the light, and the angle 
at which it is reflected. Thus, if the eye glance along the 
bristles towards the light, which is reflected at an obtuse angle, 
the reflected rays will be lilac, passing into ultramarine ; if 
the angle of reflection be a right angle, the rays will be 
green ; if the light be between the observer and the animal, 
not directly but obliquely, so as to make the angle more or 
less acute, t-he reflections will take yellow, orange, scarlet, 
and crimson hues." 

The Aphrodita in crawling lifts up its tail and folds it 
into a groove above ; the groove so formed leads to an open- 
ing in the hinder part of the back. We hear of false bot- 
toms, but this creature has a false back. That felt-like skin 
on the back is merely an outer covering through w-hich is 
filtered the water as it passes to the breathing apparatus. 



192 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

It is thus strained before it is used, and leaves the muddy 
sediment which imparts the peculiar colour which we ob- 
serve. Underneath this false back in an ample cavity, at 
the bottom of which is the true dorsal skin. Upon this we 
find two rows of overlapping plates, which are the breathing 
apparatus ; these plates being alternately elevated and de- 
pressed. When elevated, water comes through the felt and 
fills the cavity ; when depressed, it is expelled at the poste- 
rior groove, from which intermittent currents may be seen 
to flow. 

Plate I. contains, — fig. 1. a group of Serjmla contorkipli- 
catay showing the varieties in colouring of the fans. Pig. 2 
is the curiously constructed tube of Terehella ; and fig. 3 
is the worm out of its tube, from a specimen in Mr. Lloyd's 
collection. 



193 



CHAPTER X. 

NIGHT-LIGHTS AND ENTOMOSTRACA. 

NOCTILUCA MILIAKIS. — ENTOMOSTRACA. — DR. BAIRd'S ACCOUNT OF THEIR 
HABITS. — CHIROCEPHALUS DIAPHANUS, — ARTEMIA SALINA. — CYPRID.E , 
— CYCLOPS QUADRICORNIS. — LERNEONEMA SPRATT.E, 

'•' Awaked before tlie nisliiug prow 
The mimic fires of ocean glow, 

Those lightnings of the wave : 
^Yild sparkles crest the broken tides, 
And, flashing round, the vessel's sides 

With elfish lustre lave ; 
While far behind, their livid light 
To the dark billows of the night 

A blooming splendour gave." — Scott. 

Speaking of the animalcula which, like the land glow- 
worm, shine with their own light, Pennant says, "While 
rowing at night, I have seen the whole element as if on fire 
around me ; every oar spangled with them, the water shin- 
ing with more than ordinary brightness. I have taken up 

o 



194< POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

some of the water in a bucket, seen them for a short time 
illuminate the whole and then disappear." On our own 
coasts^ this magnificent effect, produced from small causes, 
has often been witnessed by those who^ during the summer 
nights, are out at sea. Among the marine animals produ- 
cing this effect is the beautiful Noctiluca, an excessively 
minute globular animalcule with a tail setting out from a 
small indentation, which seems by its jerks to be the organ 
of locomotion. In the Mediterranean, as well as on our 
own seas, this creature is seen in myriads, lighting up the 
waves as they strike against each other or objects in contact 
with them. 

Spix, the traveller, tried some interesting experiments 
with sea-water when thus illuminated. He had some of 
the water placed in buckets, and found that the hand or 
any other object dipped in the water shone with a phospho- 
rescent light. "When the water was shaken, the lights 
seemed to be eliminated like electric sparks. The minute 
globules, when examined with a microscope, were found to 
be of various sizes, but all minute, and it does not appear 
that the whole body of any specimen is illuminated at once, 
but different parts at different times. It was observed that 
each one had at one end a small, navel-like opening, within 



NIGHT-LIGHTS. 1 95 

which were moving filaments inside the skin, which appear 
as if destined to protrude for the purpose of attachment. 
Dark spots were also noticed, within which Spix supposed 
might be either the spawn or the undigested remains of 
prey. These little creatures soon die when taken out of the 
sea, but while still living they seem to associate in groups 
caused by mutual attraction, when in their individual 
movements they come within the radius of the attracting 
power. As they are never seen in salt-water during the day, 
it appears probable that they may sink to the bottom and 
rest there until night, and, like 

"The merry elves of Fairyland," 

wait to enjoy their gambols 

" By the moonbeam's sportive light ;" 

themselves supplying a fictitious resemblance, when the 
real beams of that luminary are wanting, or mingling their 
lesser coruscations with hers in sportive rivalry. 

The position of this sparkling atom in the scale of nature 
is very uncertain, but the impression generally entertained 
is that it has a considerable affinity with the Foraminifera, 
although it has no shell. I should have rather supposed 
that it would come nearer to the Medusce, several of which 



196 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

are luminous. But since this TTork is not undertaken for 
the purpose of settling doubtful affinities, I must leave this 
question with a confession of incompetence. My object is 
rather to collect and to present to my readers the results of 
observations made on water-animals imprisoned for the pur- 
pose in vessels of their native element. 

How many of the Infusoria may yet turn out to be lumi- 
nous we do not know, but many of the Annelids, Medusae, 
and fishes are known to be so. Dr. Baird gives an account 
of luminous appearances occasioned by Entomostraca. He 
tells us of " the broad bright flash, \dvid enough to illumi- 
nate the sea for some distance round, while the most splen- 
did globes of fire were seen wheeling and careering in the 
midst of it, and by their brilliancy outshining the general 
light." Dr. Baird drew a bucketfull of water, and " allowed 
it to remain quiet for some time, when upon looking into it in 
a dark place, each animal could be seen distinctly emitting 
a bright speck of light. Sometimes this was like a sudden 
flash, at others appearing like an oblong or round lumi- 
nous point, which continued bright for a short time, like a 
lamp lit beneath the water, and moving through it, still pos- 
sessing its definite shape, and then suddenly disappearing. 
When the bucket was sharply struck on the outside, there 



ENTOMOSTRACA. 197 

would appear at once a great number of these luminous 
bodies, which retained their brilliant appearance for a few 
seconds, and then all was dark again. They evidently ap- 
peared to have it under their own will, giving out their light 
frequently at various depths in the water, without any agi- 
tation being given to the bucket. At times might be seen 
minute but pretty specks of light darting across a piece of 
water, and then vanishing; the motion of the hght being 
exactly that of a Cyclops through the water. Upon remov- 
ing a tumblerfuU from the bucket and taking it to the 
light, a number of Cyclopes were accordingly found swim- 
ming and darting about in it." These observations lead to 
the conclusion that the large globes of light were Medusae, 
and that the more generally spread flashes were occasioned 
by the lanterns of thousands of minute Entomostraca. 



Entomostraca, 

The minute Crustacea described under this name include 
many species of exceedingly different forms and habits. 
They are found in ponds and ditches in great numbers, as 
well as in nooks and corners of marine tide-pools, and the 



198 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUAPvIU^I. 

parasitic sorts are taken from the fish to which they adhere. 
They abound in water which we daily drink, and which 
i]uenches the thirst of our cattle. They are believed to be 
of great use in the economy of Nature, in ventilating the 
water, especially the standing pools, which might otherwise 
soon become putrid, while they give food to many marine 
and fresh-water animals. By some authors they are consi- 
dered, as a class, to be vegetable feeders, but actual obser- 
vation seems to contradict this, especially in reference to 
the Oypricles. " In a vessel," says Dr. Baird, " in which I 
have kept full-grown Chirocephali there were mixed with 
them many specimens of the Cypris tristriata. In a few 
days the Chirocephali might be seen to become languid in 
their movements, and assume an unhealthy appearance. The 
Cyprides had become their deadly enemy. They might be 
seen ever and anon to fasten themselves to the delicate feet 
of the poor Chirocephali, and wofnlly impede their course 
through the water ; and when, either from these annoyances 
or from any other cause, they ceased to be able to move 
with any degree of rapidity, hosts of these little carnivora 
might be observed to attack them before life was extinct, 
anticipathig as it were their victim^s death. Then, when 
life had fairly ceased^ they rioted, as it were, upon their 



ENTOMOSTRACA. 199 

flesh, and in a few hours little but the external covering 
was left." 

In speaking of " Alight-Lights/' I have already quoted 
Dr. Baird's observations on some of the Entomostraca, and 
here must mention, that having had but little opportunity 
of investigating these little creatures myself, this part of our 
book must take the character of a compilation more com- 
pletely than some of the others. Dr. Baird's work on the 
subject is so full of interest to all who appreciate the study 
of Nature, that we trust the few extracts which will be here 
presented from it will rather have the effect of inducing per- 
sons to read it, than of satisfying them with what little they 
find here. A ghiss of water from the spring will not lessen 
a desire to visit the fountain-head. What I intend to do 
is just to give a few extracts showing the nature and habits 
of the Ento7iiodraca, as derived from observations, most of 
them on living specimens in water. 

They are all aquatic ; they are covered with a shell or 
carapace, which is either horny or coriaceous, sometimes 
found of one piece, in other cases of two pieces, resembling 
the valves of a bivalve shell. Their gills are attached either 
to the feet or organs of mastication. Their feet are jointed 
and hairy. They moult, or change their shell, as they 
grow. 



200 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Chirocephalus DIAPHANUS. 

This is one of the most beautiful kinds, frequenting pools 
of water. Erom its general form and exquisite transparency 
it has been called the " Fairy Shrimp.''^ " They swim upon 
their back ; and in fine warm weather, when the sun is not 
too strong, they may be seen balancing themselves, as it were, 
near the surface by means of their branchial feet, which are 
ill constant motion. On the least disturbance however 
they strike the water rapidly with their tail from right to 
left, and dart away like a fish, and hasten to conceal them- 
selves by diving into the soft mud, or amongst the weeds at 
the bottom of the pool. Tliey are nearly transparent, and 
are of a reddish colour, with a slight tinge of blue in some 
parts." "When placed in a glass of clear water," says 
Prevost, " the elegance of its form, the ease and softness of 
its movements, its silvery transparency or its brilliant co- 
lours, its large black eyes, the small spot which it carries 
on its head, the crown of the male, are a beautiful sight, 
which the most indifferent observers cannot see without 
pleasure." When young the eyes of this little crustacean 
are represented by a single spot between the antennae in 
front of the head ; a pair of well developed pedunculated 



ENTOMOSTRAC A . 201 

eyes afterwards appear, to which the muscular and nervous 
organization is gradually transferred, leaving the original 
single eye a mere disconnected spot ! 

Artemia salina. 

It resembles Chirocephalus, but is confined to salt-water, 
and, as it seems, the salter the better ; for it abounds " in 
the Salterns at Lymington, in the open tanks or reservoirs 
where brine is deposited previous to boiling,^^ attaining by 
evaporation a strength of saltness that destroys other ani- 
mals. By the rapid motion of their feet they assist so ma- 
terially in clearing the brine that the workmen take care to 
stock with them those tanks where they do not so much 
abound. " They are manifestly omnivorous, swallowing 
everything that comes in their way. Like the Chiroce- 
phalus, the undulatory motion of their branchial feet causes 
a current of water to flow in the kind of canal formed 
between them, which carries everything within reach to 
their mouth. In this way we see them devouring their 
own young.^' " If we observe,'' says M. Jol}^, " in a small 
quantity of liquid, the mother at the time of parturition, we 
see the young group themselves round her body, and there 
is nothing more pretty, graceful, and agile, than this little 



202 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIDM. 

troop. But soon the scene changes ; one, two, or three 
3^oung ones are involved in the current which the motion of 
its fins causeS; they pass into the gutter situated between 
these organs, and from thence come to the mouth of the 
mother. She at first disperses them, as being inconvenient 
bodies — perhaps she may even vrish to spare them ; but soon 
afterwards they present themselves again, and are pressed 
upon by the stiff hairs which form the branchi^, then by 
the papillae, lastly by the jaws, they arrive at the mandibles 
reduced nearly to a pulp, and they are swallowed as any 
other substance would be." Their chief enemy is a salt- 
water beetle. 

Cyprid^. 

The Cypridce present the curious anomaly of insects or 
crustaceans the bodies of which are covered by a carapace 
sembling a bivalve shell. Their eyes are single and fixed ; 
their jaws are branch iferous ; their feet in pairs, adapted for 
locomotion ; they exuviate^ or renew their shell, as soon as it 
becomes too small for the body. It is then thrown off com- 
pletely, and the hairy coverings and cases of even internal 
parts of the body are got rid of to be renewed. " These 
little creatures seem to be very lively in their native ele- 



ENTOMOSTRACA. 203 

ment, being almost constantly in motion, either swimming 
about rapidly by the action of their antennae, or walking 
upon the plants and other solid bodies floating in the water. 
Instead of being fixed in one place, and condemned to live 
amidst eternal darkness, like the molluscous. animals to which 
they bear such striking resemblance in external covering," 
" they," to use the words of Miiller, " by opening their 
valves enjoy hght and move at their will, sometimes bury- 
ing themselves in the mud, sometimes darting through the 
water, the humid air of their atmosphere. If they meet any 
unforeseen object, they conceal themselves all at once in 
their shells and shut the valves, so that force and address 
seek to open them in vain." Cz/jyris having two pairs of feet 
has been called a " quadruped crustacean ;" but the Cytliere 
has three pairs of feet. The former belong to fresh water, 
the latter are mostly marine ; the former swim, but the latter 
do not ; they walk among the branches or leaves of Confervce 
or Fuel, where they delight to dwell. When shaken out 
from their hiding-places into a bottle or tumbler of water, 
they may be seen to fall in gyrations to the bottom, without 
ever attempting to dart through the w^atery element, as is 
the case with the Cij prides. Upon reaching the bottom they 
open their shells and creep along the surface of the glass ; 



204 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

but when touched or shaken thej immediately again with- 
draw themselves within their sliell, and remain motionless. 
" This inabiHty to swim is no doubt owing to the want of 
those pencils of long hairs or filaments which adorn the su- 
perior and inferior antennae of the Cyprides, and which we 
have seen are the organs by which they swim.""^ 

From an observation made by Dr. Baird following the 
above quotation, it is evident that when it was written the 
means had not been discovered of keeping salt-water in a 
state fit to sustain life in marine animals. That gentleman 
states that the rapidity with which salt-water, when kept in 
a small vessel in a room, became putrid, was so great that 
he could not extend his information so much as he could 
have wished ; at the same time expressiug an opinion that 
'^ the labours of any inquirer after them would assuredly be 
rewarded with much success." Now that such facilities are 
afi'orded for inquirers, by means of Aquaria, surely some ^vill 
be found to take up this family and complete its natural 
history. 

Cyclops quadricornis 

Has a horny covering, and is something like a tadpole in 
shape, with one eye and a long plated tail. The female 




Plate JTf. 









^''^>^J^^> 











a£L.etlith 



N:^^ ^Tlei MoQu&ca . IJEolis caranaia. . Z . Galls of the saaiie . S.Dans ffeinxnea. . 4 Gils 
cf the same. 5 Tenta-de of the same GHoKs d.?/specta.7E-uTrLem.s inaxiiiora.ta- 



ENTOMOSTRACA. 205 

carries an egg-bag externally, one on each side of the body. 
'' M. Jurine instituted some experiments upon the C, quad- 
ricornis, to see how far this power (of reproducing mutilated 
members) existed in this family. In his first attempts he failed, 
the animals having died before they moulted, and without 
showing any cliange in the mutilated members. At length 
however he succeeded. He cut ofP about two-thirds of an 
antenna of a female, which lived and moulted, reappearing 
after moulting with beautiful, perfect, new antennse, the old 
one of the cast shell not having shown the least indication 
of a change." '' Some authors have asserted that these 
insects possess a wonderful power of resisting drought, and 
that when, by reason of the summer heats, the marshes be- 
come dried up, the little creatures do not die, but as soon 
as the mud is again moistened by the rain they recover en- 
tirely. Jurine doubted this, and commenced a course of 
observations to prove that they have not this faculty. He 
selected twelve of the Ci^ clops quadricornis, removed them 
out of the water, and allowed them to remain fifteen minutes 
dry ; seven of them he found to be irrecoverably dead, the 
remaining five revived. Again he selected twelve others, and 
allowed them to remain twenty minutes dry; eleven out of 
the twelve died. A third time he selected twelve, and after 



206 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUil. 

exposing them to the air in a dry state for twenty-five 
minuteSj he found that all had perished/^ 

Whatever may be thought as to the conclusiveness of these 
experiments^ it seems certain that the power of the insects 
to resist cold is greater than that which enables them to 
resist drought. Miiller '^exposed some individuals in a 
glass vessel to a freezing air, and, when fully frozen, he con- 
tinued the exposure for twenty-four hours. At the end of 
that time he placed the vessel containing their bodies in a 
warm bath, watching the effect of this upon them frequently 
during the succeeding twenty-four hours, but without seeing 
any motion. Next morning however upon looking into the 
vessel he observed, not without wonder, the insects alive, 
and swimming about as before congelation, the females with 
their bags of eggs adhering to them as usual.''^ 

The Lerneada are a parasitical family, which by various 
meaus attach themselves to fish upon which they prey. In 
some cases this is done by means of the foot-jaws, which 
are strong and hooked. " In others it is by means of two 
long appendages springing from the upper part of the 
thorax, one on each side, and uniting at the tip, forming 
at their junction a sort of round button. In a third set 
again the organs of attachment are a series of horns or ap- 
pendages proceeding from the sides of the head.''' 



ENTOMOSTRACA. 207 

As, when seen in the adult state, the LerneadcB are always 
immovably fixed upon the fish upon which they feed, their 
motions are principally of a secondary nature. With the un- 
happy fish, it is true, they are moved about briskly enough 
from place to place, but on the fish their motions must be 
very confined ; for in their case 

" The labours of a mortal life " 

consist simply in drawing in their food and propagating 
their kind. 

An interesting question here arises, as to the means by 
which they originally obtained their position? For they 
have no feet or swimming organs to propel them, and no 
eyes to show them the way. The answer to this question 
consists in the fact, that in their young state they are differ- 
ently constituted, and possess an eye, and in some degree 
the power of locomotion. " When they first come out of 
the Q^^^ they are of an oval shape, and very much resemble 
the young of the Cyclo^ndcB, They possess a large eye, 
situated in the centre of the anterior and upper part of the 
body, and are provided with two pairs of swimming feet and 
a pair of jointed antennae. As in the Cyclojndce, the young 
Lerneadce cast their skin repeatedly before they arrive at 



208 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

maturity. After first moulting, the body is seen plainly 
divided into two parts, the anterior of which is furnished 
with three pairs of swimming-feet, and the posterior with 
two pairs of swimming-feet. No doubt there are a good 
many stages of development to go through before they as- 
sume the mature form, but it has not yet been possible to 
follow them out. It is not the least curious part of the 
history of these singular-looking animals, that the young 
should thus stand on a higher stage of development than 
the mother ; and that their progress from youth to ma- 
turity should be in the directly opposite ratio to that of 
all the other Crustacea. At what period of their existence 
they fasten themselves upon their prey is at present un- 
known ; but no sooner apparently does this happen than the 
eye disappears, and the feet either disappear also, or are 
transformed into other organs."" 

LeRNEONEMA SPRATTiE 

Is a long cyHndrical body, with two posterior appendages 
and a narrow neck. It has the head shaped like the head 
of a harpoon, on each side of which is a hook turned back- 
wards. When the creature attaches itself to the head, near 
the eye, of the Sprat, it buries its head in the substance of 



ENTOMOSTEACA. 209 

the poor fish, from which it cannot be extricated without 
tearing the neck off, the two side hooks taking so firm a 
hold in the flesh. In Sowerbv^s ' Miscellany ' is a figure of 
an unfortunate sprat so ornamented, looking as if some 
submarine bull-fighter had baited him with harpoons and 
gay streamers. A curious mistake was committed by De 
Blainville in reference to this plate. Seeing the body and 
posterior appendages drawn as attached to the fish, with the 
head invisible, and then a separate figure of the head and 
neck as taken out of its burrow, that author copied the 
figures and described them as two distinct species. 

The only opportunity I have had of observing a living 
specimen of the Eutomostracous division of Crustacea, was 
that afforded me by the attendant at the Zoological Society's 
rish -house, who had just taken from a pike a specimen of 
Argtdus foliaceiis, which is in the habit of infesting many 
kinds of fresh- water fisli, such as carp, trout, stickleback, and 
pike. It is about the tenth of an inch in diameter, — a very 
interesting object for the microscope. It is of a rounded 
oval shape, and looks like a broad shield, within which the 
body, eyes, legs, and mouth appear, leaving outside the 
margin, only the tail and hind pair of legs. One pair of 
(so-called) legs is converted into a pair of flexible cylinders, 

p 



210 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

terminating in sucker-cups, by means of which this parasite 
fixes itself upon its prey. It is not however immovably at- 
tached to the fish upon which it lives, for it can detach itself 
for a time and swim freely in the water, indulging in merry 
gambols, one of its movements consisting in turning over 
and over. One observer says that " he has seen an indi- 
vidual turn over a hundred times in a minute, and that it 
swam afterwards with such velocity, sometimes skimming 
the surface, at others plunging deeper in the water, that he 
could scarcely follow his motions with its eye." 

We have now however dwelt long enough on a class 
which, however interesting, must not be permitted to en- 
croach upon space which can hardly be spared from the 
more peculiar objects of Aquarian study. 



211 



CHAPTEE XI. 

CRUSTACEA. 

NATURE AND CONSTRUCTION. — EXUVIATION. — CASTING LIMBS.— METAMOR- 
PHOSES. — THE PRAWN, PAL^^MON SERRATUS. — THE COMMON SHRIMP. — 
THE COMMON LOBSTER. 

Crabs, Lobsters, and Shrimps, are the most familiar forms 
of this curious class of marine animals. They are all jointed 
animals, the body being composed of distinct segments; they 
have jointed limbs, also composed of distinct, movable seg- 
ments ; they breathe by means of gills, which are in some 
cases covered and in others exposed. With very few excep- 
tions they have two compound eyes ; generally four antennse, 
three pairs of masticating jaws, and two or three pairs of 
foot-jaws, in descriptions called '' joedijoalps /' the second 
and third pairs of foot-jaws sometimes assuming such shape 
and functions that they may be interchangeably called foot- 
jaws, or a sixth and seventh pair of legs. Accordingly, they 



212 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

may have five or seven pairs of legs. All the legs, joints of 
the tail, bod}^, and head, are covered by a horny or shelly 
crustj from which their name is derived, and Avhich causes 
them to be placed, in commercial and domestic classification, 
with scallops, cockles, oysters, and periwinkles, under the 
general appellation of " Shell-fish" 

The "Stalk-eyed Crustacea," or those which have the 
eyes placed on a movable pedestal, include those familiarly 
known as table articles, and worthily represented by the 
common eatable Lohstei-, the great eatable Crah, and the 
brown market Shrimp^ or more luxuriant Praivn. Re- 
serving the Eutornostraca for another Chapter, let us apply 
our observations to the above representatives and their 
constituents. ' 

Professor Bell has well explained the construction of these 
animals in the Introduction to his ' History of Stalk-eyed 
Crustacea.' The body of a crustacean is jointed, or com- 
posed of segments or rings, with appendages or limbs at- 
tached to each. " The true normal number of segments," 
remarks the Professor, " taking the whole class, appears to 
be twenty-one, of which, according to oar present know- 
ledge, seven must be considered as belonging to the head, 
and an equal number respectively to the thorax and the 



CRUSTACEA. 213 

abdomen. Now although it is true there is not a single 
known species in which all these segments are found in a 
distinct and tangible condition^ there being in all the forms 
more or fewer of them so inseparably united together as to 
offer no otlier means by which to predicate their existence, 
than those already alluded to, — yet, on the other hand, there 
is not one which may not be found distinctly formed in some 
or other of the species. The appendages too, which have 
been already slightly mentioned, are no less subject to the 
most extraordinary variation both of form and of&ce ; many 
of them serving in one case the purposes of locomotion ; in 
another, the reception and preparation of food ; in another, 
the attachment of the branchia3 ; in another, the support and 
protection of the eggs. When therefore we consider the 
almost endless diversity of form under which the species 
composing this class of animals appear, the astonishing dis- 
crepancy which exists in the forms and relative proportions 
of the diiferent regions of the body, and the other parts of 
their organization, for the performance of offices equally 
various, and see that all these diversities are produced only 
by modifications of the typical number of parts, we cannot 
but be struck by so remarkable and interesting an illustra- 
tion of the great economical law, as it may be termed, that 



214 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

the tyxncal structure of any group leing given, the different 
habits of its component species or minor groups are provided 
for, not hy the creation of neio organs or the destruction of 
others, hut ly the modification in form, structure, or place, 
of organs typically lelo7iging to the group.'' 

We learn, then, that there is a normal or theoretic num- 
ber of parts which would compose a perfect or beaic ideal 
crustacean, but which are not all distinguishable in any 
single species. Some are fully developed in one and alto- 
gether wanting in another form ; some are soldered toge- 
ther in one order so as to be indistinguishable as separate 
parts, while in another order they are distinct. 

" In order to give a general idea" of the manner in which 
the various segments and appendages are modified in diffe- 
rent species, Mr. Bell remarks, " that the ocular peduncles 
are the only appendages which are never devoted to any 
but their normal objects. The antennse are, as has been 
before observed, sometimes modified into locomotive organs. 
The cephalic appendages about the mouth, the mandibles, 
and mamillse, are sometimes rudimentary, at other times they 
are modified into mere organs of apprehension. The tho- 
racic members are sometimes locomotive organs, at others 
they subserve the nutritive function : the remaining thoracic 



CRUSTACEA. 215 

members are in some cases prehensile, in others ambulatory, 
in others natatory, in others partially branchiferous, and 
so on. The abdominal sometimes serve the purpose of swim- 
ming, at others of bearing and protecting the eggs, at others 
they are partially converted into branchiae. Besides the 
modifications, some or other of them are, in many forms, 
either wholly wanting or rudimentary/^ 

Exuviation. 

It is a peculiarity in this class of animals, that after they 
have, like insects, passed through various metamorphoses, 
or changes and conditions, — after they have arrived at their 
adult and ultimate state, shape, and functions, — thei/ con- 
tinue to increase in size; yet the hard, stony, shelly, or 
horny covering with which they are invested does not in- 
crease in size. There is no provision for its enlargement 
by marginal additions to the plates of which it is formed, 
such as obtain in the shells of molluscous animals. We 
have heard of the beautiful lap-dog sold to a lady, which 
was soon after found to be ill, and on the doctor being sent 
for was relieved by ripping up ^ false shin in which he had 
been invested. The poor wretch had, like the Crabs, groivn, 
while his outer coat had oiot, and the doctor^s scissors were 



216 POPULAll HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

the only means of saving him. But how fares it with Crabs 
and Lobsters, who have no doctors nor scissors ? The strange 
fact is, that they have the power of bursting then- shell, 
withdrawing from it, leaving every part perfect as before, 
but empty. The eyes, feelers, mandibles, all the delicate 
members which have been covered by shell, even if in- 
ternal, are all withdrawn from their sheaths, and the whole 
collection of sheaths remains as one whole and entire in- 
vestment, cast off. 

You may place a Shrimp in a vase by himself, you may 
leave him unobserved for a time; on returning, behold 
there are two ! No : one, though perfect in shape, is " in 
substance unsubstantial " it is a ghost, a transparent empty 
integument, which forms the "alter ego'' of the Shrimp. 
Even while still invested by the covering now thrown off, 
the Shrimp had been prepared for a change by tjie gradual 
formation of a new one underneath the old ; and this new 
one, although soft when first exposed by the sloughing of 
the other, soon becomes as hard as its predecessor, and far 
more bright. 

In some of the higher forms, the exuviation takes place 
annually with regularity, the size increasing in each moult. 
In other forms it is a much more frequent phenomenon. 



CRUSTACEA. 217 

Mr. Warrington has observed it to take place every twelve 
days in summer, in the common Prawn. Although the 
moulting and increase of growth continues after the adult 
state of the crustacean, yet it does not continue throughout 
life ; and it is mentioned as a proof of this that Barnacles, 
w^hose size proved them to be of several years' growth, have 
been found on the thick and stony carapace of Lobsters and 
Crabs, still living. 

"When the animal, becoming too large for its shell, is 
about to moult, it leaves off feeding and retires to a safe 
hole or corner, for security during the process. The crust 
becomes loosened, the animal begins restlessly to rub its 
limbs against each other, and twisting about the segments 
of its body. Presently it will throw itself on its back, and 
swell out its body so as to burst the membrane which unites 
the carapace to the abdominal plates. Eaising the cara- 
pace, it soon loosens it from its attachment. By slow and 
apparently painful exertions, the legs, antennse, eyes, and 
other members are disengaged, and the whole case is empty. 
There are specimens of the common Lobster's cast shells 
at the Zoological Society's Gardens, which are as perfect as 
if the animal were still inhabiting them. 



218 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIU:^, 

Casting Lirnhs. 
Crustacea are known occasionally to cast or throw off a 
limb voluntarily; and if they have thus lost a limb^ or it 
has been accidentally torn off, it can be reproduced. The 
following account of this curious process is from Mr. Good- 
sir, in the 'Annals of Natural History/ vol. xiii. p. 67 : — 
" It has long been known that the animals belonging to 
this class have the power of reproducing parts of their body 
which have been accidentally lost. If one of the more dis- 
tant phalanges of a limb be torn off, the animal has the 
power of throwing the remaining part of the limb off alto- 
gether. This separation is found to take place always on 
one spot only, near the basal extremity of the first phalanx. 
The author has found that a small glandular-like body exists 
at this spot in each of the limbs, wliich supplies the germs 
for future legs. This body completely fills up this cavity 
of the shell for the extent of about half an inch in length. 
The microscopic structure of this glandular-like body is 
very peculiar, consisting of a great number of large nucle- 
ated cells, which are interspersed throughout a fibro-gela- 
tinous mass. A single branch of each of the great vessels, 
accompanied by a branch of nerve, runs through a small 



CRUSTACEA. 219 

foramen near the centre of this body; but tliere is no vestige 
of either muscle or tendon^ the attachments to which are at 
each extremity. In fact^ this body is perfectly defined, and 
can be turned out of the shell without being much injured. 
When the limb is thrown off, the blood-vessels and nerve 
retract, thus leaving a small cavity in the new-made surface. 
It is from this cavity that the germ of the future leg springs, 
and is at first seen as a nucleated cell. A cicatrix forms 
over the raw surface, caused by the separation, which after- 
wards forms a sheath for the young leg.^' 

Metamorphoses. 

The changes of form, which take place in Crustacea pre- 
vious to their adult condition, are not the least interesting 
part of their history, which, although hinted at long ago, 
has only been clearly brought to light, and investigated, 
within a comparatively recent period. There were certain 
forms of Crustacea which were not well understood, but con- 
stitute the genus Zoea of authors. These have been ascer- 
tained to be nothing but larva conditions of so many forms 
of higher members of the class. 

In the year 1778, a Dutch Naturalist, named Slabber , pub- 
lished a work, in which is described and fiijured a crustacean 



220 POPULAR HISTOHY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

which was afterwards called " Zoea taiirus." He had taken 
several specimens^ and placed one of them in sea-water for 
the purpose of observation (an early Aquarium, by the bye) . 
On the third day he found its movements becoming slower 
and its colour paler. Subjecting it to the microscope, lie 
found that the front part of the animal had changed its form, 
and on the fourth day it had changed in every part. A large 
spine on the carapace of the first form had disappeared in 
the second ; and, together with other changes, the tail had 
changed from a two-pronged fork to a broad flap, or spade. 
The second form of this Zoea, as figured by Slabber, turns 
out to correspond with that of several subsequently observed 
species, the larvse of Valcemon. 

PALiEMON SERRATUS. (Plate XII.) 

Pew tenants of an Aquarium are equal in beauty to T.alcB- 
mon seri'atus, or large Prawn. Even the boiled specimens, 
as seen in the shops, are not without attraction ; but living, 
they are indeed exquisite. The transparent body, with 
zebra-like markings ; the delicate tinting and spotting ; the 
elegant curved and serrated horn ; the brilliant, sparkling 
eyes ; the gracefully curving and waving antennae ; the 
slender legs, with their bright blue and yellow bands ; the 



Plate 17. 







Sowerrr/ del etlitli . 



jarooks Im-D. 



Tcmug JloTiTLdexs. 



CRUSTACEA. 221 

neatly -turned hands^ and the fan-like tail ; every line, every 
joint, every limb, presents some separate beauty of form and 
motion : the whole combining in a picture, of which the 
dead specimens, as seen and eaten, can give but a poor idea. 

Wishing to give my readers a view of this elegant crea- 
ture, I was desiring an Aquarian to procure me a specimen, 
that I might have him before my eyes for a few days, to 
watch liis movements, and, if possible, to get a life-like por- 
trait. Unfortunately, just then it was difficult to get spe- 
cimens. " Could you not take the figure from BelFs ^Crus- 
tacea,' and colour from Gosse's description?" suggested my 
friend. " 'No ; BelFs figure is a woodcut, and very unfa- 
vourable for a ghost-like transparency. Mr. Gosse''s de- 
scription, beautiful as it is, or any other mane's description, 
must fail to do justice to the Prawn." So, failing to get a 
live specimen ^^for my very own," as the children say, I 
have been fain to draw the details from a dead specimen, 
which, by the way, is far less ghost-like than a living one, 
and then to watch the flitting shadows in the zoological 
tanks, to get something of their pleasing hues. 

The most striking peculiarity of a Prawn, in distinction 
from a common Shrimp, is the elegantly -curved proboscis in 
front of the carapace, which iS' notched like the saw, but 



222 POPULAE HISTOKY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

more pointedly and sharply. The eyes are placed on rather 
large peduncles, have a startled kind of stare, and, if seen 
by candle-light, reflect a golden glare, like those of a cat. 
There are two spines on the front of the carapace, which is 
cylindrical and smooth. Seemingly coming out from un- 
derneath each eye is a jointed stalk, supporting the internal 
or superior antennse, each with three filaments, the shortest 
not so long as the rostrum, but the others long and flowing. 
On the peduncle of the outer antennae is, on each side, an 
oval or oblong plate or scale, fringed with hair, from be- 
neath which the long flowing outer antennae make their 
appearance. All these antenna! filaments are neatly ringed 
throughout ; and when the animal is on the watch for food, 
they are all waving about in every direction. It is quite 
astonishing how quickly the Prawn detects the presence of 
any falling scraps in his vicinity. I saw several, when being 
fed, apprehend minute morsels which they could not have 
seen, nor even touched with their antennae ; so as to lead to 
the conclusion that these must be organs of smell. And 
even when the fragments dropped between pebbles at the 
bottom, it was wonderful to see how the little two-fingered 
hands or pincers would dive down and pick them out. In 
the figure, immediately below the antennae plate, are the 



CRUSTACEA. 1:^23 

curved,, brushy, outer foot-jaws, admirably adapted for re- 
taining food brought to the mouth by the pincers. Be- 
neath these will be seen, partly doubled back, a very slender 
pair of feet or arms, each wqth a little pincer-brushed hand. 
These are in advance of the true pincer-arms, and not, like 
them, adapted for seizing prey. What is their use ? They 
are in constant request as cleansing instruments. The Prawn 
loves to be clean, and he takes surprising pains to keep 
himseK so ; and these tooth and nail-brushes are placed so as 
to be capable of reaching every part of the body. Drawing 
up his tail and abdomen, he subjects their under surface to 
the most careful revision, scrubbing and poking between the 
lappets of the shell and the body, diving into every crevice, 
and with the pincer-hand picking out every speck too large 
to brush away. !N^ext to these useful instruments are the 
larger pincers, whose use is obvious ; then come three pairs 
of slender walking legs, with pointed claws ; and then, under 
the plates of the abdomen, are the five pairs of what are 
called '^ abdominal false feet.''^ . They are used partly in 
swimming, and partly in holding the eggs of the female. 
The plates covering the joints of the abdomen have broad, 
fringed lappets at the sides; and the tail, with its four oval 
plates, acts as a terminal fin. 



224 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

The first Prawn I had the pleasure of seeing in an Aqua- 
rium was one which had in his arms a lurop of red meat^ as 
large as his carapace. He was swimming about with it, ap- 
parently in great excitement ; and we could see his mandi- 
bles and foot-jaws all busily at work tearing and nibbling- 
the piece. The keeper told us that it would be all consumed 
in a very short time. TTe were much amused by a scene 
which occurred between a Prawn, evidently bent on mischief 
or fun, and a "White Anemone. The former sailed up 
majestically almost close to the latter, and cautiously put 
forward one of its fore-legs till it touched a feeler of the 
Zoophyte. The touch of the feeler was adhesive, and other 
feelers in the immediate neighbourhood bent towards the 
one touched, as if to help to hold the intruding leg ; but 
all of a sudden the Prawn jerked away, looking saucily, as 
much as to say, "Would you, though?" He repeated this 
movement, first with one leg, then with another ; then sailed 
away a bit, and returning from another quarter; till at last, 
seeming to grow tired of the joke, he moved quietly away. 
It was but a dangerous game to play, too : for if inadver- 
tently the Prawn had exposed too much surface to the Ane- 
mone, and had allowed too many of its tentacles to reach it, 
they would have gained a purchase, the rest of the feelers 



CRUSTACEA. 225 

would have surrounded and entangled his legs, and then, 
dragging him into the central vortex, would have engulfed 
him in the body of the animal. The latter catastrophe, in 
fact, did occasionally occur — many a Prawn making a meal 
for a Sea-flower through carrying the joke a little too far. In 
some cases however it was no fun, but a real combat be- 
tween Crustacean and Zoophyte; the former trying to rob 
the latter of some honne louche ; sometimes succeeding in 
pulling it out from the Sea-flower's mouth, at other times 
being himself engulfed. The process of exuviation is easily 
observed, and very interesting in the Shrimp and Prawn 
tribe. In the summer, Mr. Warrington has observed it to 
take place in his specimens as often as every twelve days. 
The small cleansing nippers and brush are at tliis time par- 
ticularly busy, being employed not only in cleaning, but in 
assisting the separation of the outer plates of the covering 
previous to removal. The whole integument, after removal, 
is entire. Prawns are very tame in an Aquarium, soon learn- 
ing to come and be fed ; and indeed a pretty sight it is 
to see them at a meal. It is necessary however to avoid 
placing Prawns in the same tank with smaller animals of the 
Shrimp kind. The latter would infallibly be devoured. 



226 popular history of the aquarium. 

Crangon vulgaris. 

It is a curious habit of the Common Shrimp, and other 
species, to burrow in the sand (which most of them resemble 
in colour) , leaving only their eyes exposed, watching for prey. 
For this reason they are called by the fishermen " Sand 
Raisers." 

HOMARUS vulgaris. 

The Common Lohster is a splendid animal, as seen in the 
tank. After moulting, all the purples and blues are rich 
and deep, the specks bright, and the fringes clear. After a 
time, however, the sporules of thread-like Confervm begin 
to vegetate on the crust, till by degrees they become quite 
a forest growing on his back, his claws, and even on his 
antennae. This arises from his sluggishness, although he 
does not let " the grass grow under liis feet." Finding a 
dark hollow in some archway, the Lobster wiles away his 
time, very seldom moving from his hiding-place ; and when 
he does move out, it is like Birnam-wood coming to Dun- 
sinane. When the Lobster is about to moult he is still 
more retired in his habits than before, and ceases even to 
feed. The process of exuviation has been already described. 
Several specimens of cast shells are exhibited at the Zoolo- 



CRUSTACEA. 227 

gical Gardens, which have been thrown off in a very perfect 
condition by animals in the Societ/s collection. 

Many other points of interest will occur in reference to 
the peculiarities of this class and their habits. We are 
only yet beginning to study these things as we ought. A 
spirit of investigation is just rising up among us, to which 
the Aquarium has given a great impulse. 

Nor is the shore inferior in the opportunities it affords to 
real lovers of nature, who, having eyes, see, and see to some 
purpose. My readers will admire, with me, the spirit of 
observation evinced in the following extract from Hugh 
Miller^s work, entitled ' My Schools and Schoolmasters.'' 

"There are Professors of Natural History that know less 
of living nature than was known by Uncle Sandy ; and 1 
deemed it no small matter to have all the various produc- 
tions of the sea with which he was acquainted, pointed out 
to me in these walks, and to be put in possession of his 
many curious anecdotes regarding them. 

" He was a skilful Crab and Lobster fisher, and knew every 
hole and cranny along several miles of rocky shore, in which 
the creatures were accustomed to shelter, with not a few of 
their own peculiarities of character. Contrary to the view 
taken by some of our Naturalists, such as Agassiz, who hold 



228 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUAEIUM. 

that the Crab — a genus comparatively recent in its appear- 
ance in creation — is less embryotic in its character and higher 
in its standing than the more ancient Lobster, my uncle re- 
garded the Lobster as a more intelligent animal than the 
Crab. The hole in which the Lobster lodges has almost al- 
ways two openings, he has said, through one of which he 
sometimes contrives to escape when the other is stormed 
by the fisher ; whereas the Crab is usually content, ' like the 
rat, devoid of soul,' with a hole of only one opening ; and 
besides, gets so angry in most cases with his assailant, as 
to become more bent on assault than escape, so loses him- 
self through sheer loss of temper. And yet the Crab has, 
he used to add, some points of inteUigence in him too. 
When, as sometimes happened, he got hold, in his dark 
narrow recess in the rock, of some luckless digit, my uncle 
showed me how that after the first tremendous squeeze he 
began always to experiment upon what he had got, by al- 
ternately slackening and straitening his grasp, as if to 
ascertain whether it had life in it or was merely a piece of 
dead matter ; and that the only way to escape him on these 
trying occasions was to let the finger lie passively between 
his fingers as if it was a bit of stick or tangle, when, appa- 
rently deeming it such, he would be sure to let it go ; 



CRUSTACEA. 229 

whereas, on the least attempt to withdraw it he would at 
once straiten his gripe and not again relax it for mayhap 
half an hour. 

" In dealing with the Lobster, on the other hand, the fisher 
had to beware that he did not depend too much on the hold 
he had got of the creature, if it was merely a hold of one 
of the great claws. Por a moment it would remain passive 
in his grasp, he would then be sensible of a shght tremour in 
the captured limb, and mayhap hear a slight crackle, and 
presto ! the captive would straightway be off through the 
great dark water-hole and only the limb remain in the 
fisher^s hand. My uncle has however told me that Lobsters 
do not always lose their limbs with the necessary judgment; 
they throw them off when suddenly frightened, without first 
waiting to consider whether the sacrifice of a pair of legs is 
the best mode of obviating the danger. On firing a musket 
immediately over a Lobster just captured, he has seen it 
throw off both its great claws in the sudden extremity of 
its terror, just as a panic-struck soldier sometimes throws 
away his weapons. Such in kind were the anecdotes of 
Uncle Sandy /^ 



230 



CHAPTER XII. 

CRABS. 

CARCINUS M^NAS. — ITS HABITS. — META5I0EPH0SES. — CANCEE PAGUEUS. — 
SOFT CEAB. OBSERVATIONS IN A TANK. — GALATHEA STEIGOSA. — FOE- 
CELL ANA PLATYCHELES. — THE HEEMIT CEAB. — ITS PUGNACITY. — 
CHOOSING A HOUSE. — CAUTION. — METAMOEPHOSES. 

The Carcinus manas, or Common SJwre Crah, is a rather 
dangerous fellow to keep in an Aquarium, unless care be 
taken that other small and delicate animals are not exposed 
to his attacks. He is very pugnacious, and it is necessary 
to remove him, if of any size, from smaller individuals of 
his own species ; else he will amuse himself by breaking off 
their claws, and nipping pieces out of their sides. He is 
however rather afraid of good strong Anemones, generally 
avoiding them. He is a good scavenger, routing among 
the sand and pebbles, and picking out with his claws little 
decaying scraps which would otherwise injure the water by 
their decomposition. 



CRABS. 231 

Being naturally fitted for shallow water and shelving 
shores^ the Carcimis is one of the most familiar objects of 
all our coasts. Not a tide-pool but contains some specimen, 
old or young, lurking between the crannies of rocks, or 
half hiding under the pendent weeds. High up on the 
shore too, on sand or shingle, even in the caves at the foot 
of cliffs left dry by the receding tide, there may the Shore 
Crab be found. At every part of the coast it is a most 
favourite amusement among children to stand on quays and 
jetties, letting down bunches of offal into the water, and 
drawing them up with these Crabs holding tightly to them 
with their tenacious pincers. 

Their flesh being of a delicate and sweet flavour, these 
Crabs are much eaten by inhabitants of the coast, and many 
are sent up to metropolitan markets. It is more however 
as a delicacy than, for food that they are sought for, their 
substance being far from soHd, and each shell containing 
very little flesh. 

The carapace or great shell of this species is very pretty, 
especially in the earlier stages, when the colours and mark- 
ings are more brilliant, and set off by transparency. The 
general colour is darkish- or greyish-green above, with a 
little reddish tinting beneath and about the legs. They 



232 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

are much mottled^ with whitish spots and darker markings 
symmetrically arranged. 

The carapace is broader than long^ and widest in front. 
The front edge between the eyes is five-lobed, and its con- 
tinuation on each side of the eyes is notched into four or 
five teeth. The front pincers are large, and all the claws 
pointed. In the last pair of legs however may be observed 
a disposition in the last joint and claw to spread and flatten. 
For though the Common Crab does not swim, he some- 
times gives a kind of swimming jump through the water, 
using the hind legs as flappers. In the Swimming Crabs 
we shall find this character developed more fully, and then 
the liind legs are used as swimming paddles. 

Placing a Crab and a Lobster side by side, we should be 
ready at first to pronouce them very different animals. Their 
general figures are almost the opposites of each other; but 
when we come to compare the parts we shall find the differ- 
ence less than we suspected. The great dissimilarity of form 
arises principally from this, — that in Crabs the abdominal 
portion, or tail, is not largely developed, and instead of 
being a free cylindrical body, moving in joints, it is flattened 
and doubled up in front of the thorax, so that only one or 
two narrow joints of it are seen from above ; whereas in a 



CEABS. 233 

Lobster it constitutes a large proportion of the body, and is 
free, the tail being broadly expanded and used as a flapper. 
Between these therefore there are intermediate forms, such 
as Galathea, which has its abdomen free in swimmhig, but 
habitually tucked close under the body, like a crab when at 
rest. The Hermit Crab likewise has the abdomen long and 
cylindrical, but ill-formed, and kept wound round the colu- 
mella of a shell. 

The metamorphoses or changes of condition undergone 
by Crustacea have already been spoken of. They take place 
at successive stages before maturity, each stage bringing 
them nearer to their ultimate form. As in the immature, 
or Zoe state, the tails of Crabs as well as Shrimps and 
Lobsters are free, there is much less difference between 
them than when mature. In fact, they are all shrimp-like 
in form. But they have sessile eyes, i'.e. eyes not elevated 
upon stalks. 

The following observations on the " sloughing '' of this 
species are taken from Sir J. Dalyell. That gentleman had 
kept for some time a specimen of Carcimis mcEuas, of medium 
size, of a brown colour, with one white limb. " One summer 
evening it was put outside the window in a capacious glass 
vessel of sea- water. In the morning, a form exactly resem- 



234? POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

bling its own, only somewhat larger, lay in the water. This 
was the same animal, which had performed exuviation, and 
extricated itself from its old shell during the night. The 
resemblance between both forms was complete ; everything 
was the same ; even the white limb was seen in both. 

"Another specimen kept was of smaller size; its colour 
was green, with three white patches on the back. In the 
course of little more than a year five exuviations took place 
at irregular intervals ; the new shell and the animal be- 
coming Larger each time.'' 

On the premature changes or metamorphoses Mr. Couch 
gives the following particulars. He procured some speci- 
mens with ova ready for shedding, transferred them to cap- 
tivity in separate basins, and in sixteen hours found large 
numbers of the young Zoes swimming about with all the 
activity of life. " There could be but little doubt that these 
young creatures were the young of the captive Crabs. In 
order however to secure accuracy of result, one of the Crabs 
was removed to another vessel, and supplied with filtered 
water, that all insects might be removed ; but in about an 
hour the same creatures were observed swimming about as 
before. To render the matter if possible still more certain, 
some of the ova were opened, and the embryos extracted ; 



CRABS. 235 

but I shortly afterwards had the pleasure of witnessing, be- 
neath the microscope, the natural bursting and escape of one 
precisely similar in form to those found so abundantly in the 
water. Thus then there is no doubt that these grotesque- 
looking creatures are the young of the Carcimis mcenas ; but 
how different they are from the adult need hardly be pointed 
out." They are about the sixteenth of an inch long, a kind 
of tadpole, with the body oval, surmounted by a large, long 
spine. The pupil of the eye is large, surrounded by rays. 
There is a kind of snout in front, and a pair of leaf-like 
swimming appendages. The hind legs of the body are 
natatory. The tail is long, cylindrical, divided into five 
joints, forked at the end, and armed with stout bristles. 

These odd little creatures swim about with restless ac- 
tivity ; but when the shell begins to harden they become 
less active, till presently they retire to the sand at the 
bottom of the vessel, to cast their shells and acquire a new 
form. The second change relieves them of the tadpole ap- 
pearance, and sets their eyes upon foot-stalks. The front 
claws become nippers, the other claws more like those of 
full-grown Crabs, and the tail smaller. In this stage it has 
more of the general form of a Lobster than of its parent 
Crab. One or two changes more, and then is produced one 



236 POPULAR HISTOllY OF THE AQUAJtlUM. 

of those little, transparent, tender Crabs, which children are 
so fond of racing upon the sands. 

Cancer pagurus. 

The Greoi Eatable Crah, if not as familiar on the shore 
as the preceding, is quite as well known in markets and fish- 
mongers' shops. Its large size and pleasant flavour recom- 
mend it to notice, and have caused its habits to be observed 
by those who are commercially interested in its capture. It 
is known on every part of our coasts, particularly the rocky 
parts ; but the larger it grows the more it is disposed to 
retire to deep water. The condition of a soft Crab, or one 
which has just thrown off its shell, before the new one has 
had time to harden, has often been described. At that time 
they get into as retired a hole as they can find ; and the fact 
often mentioned seems to be pretty welt established, that 
when the female is in that condition the male is frequently 
found in her company. 

When full-grown it is of a reddish-brown colour, and the 
claws, very large, are tipped with black ; but the young are 
sometimes quite white. Sir J. Dalyell gives an account of 
a specimen observed in captivity which will be found in- 
teresting. 



CEABS. 237 

'^ A young white specimen of the Common Crab was sub- 
jected to observation on the 29th of September. The body 
might have been circumscribed in a circle three-quarters of 
an inch in diameter, and the extended limbs by one and a 
half inch in diameter. Its first exuviation ensued on the 
8th of November, the second on the 30th of April following, 
and the shell then produced subsisted till the 12th of Sep- 
tember, when another exuviation took place, introducing a 
new shell of such transparent white that the interior almost 
shone through it. All the shells were white, and increased 
somewhat in size successively. This last shell, of the 12th 
of September, subsisted until the 29th of March, being a 
hundred and ninety-seven days, when it was thrown off 
during another exuviation. But what was remarkable, the 
animal now had only the two large claws ; the other eight 
limbs were deficient. Besting on its breast as it was, I did 
not at first discover the fact that the creature presented a 
strange and very unusual aspect. However, it fed readily and 
proved very tame though helpless ; often falling on its back, 
and not being able to recover itself, from the deficiency of 
its limbs. I preserved this mutilated object with uncommon 
care, watching it almost incessantly day and night ; expecting 
another exuviation, which might be attended with interesting 



238 POPULAR HISTORY OP THE AQUARIUM. 

consequences. I felt much anxiety for its survivance. My 
solicitude was not in vain. After the defective shell had 
subsisted eighty-six days^ its tenant in the meantime feeding 
readily, the desired event took place in a new exuviation on 
the 23rd of June. On this occasion a new animal came 
forth, and in the highest perfection, quite entire and sym- 
metrical, with all the ten limbs peculiar to its race, and of 
the purest and most beautiful white. I could not contem- 
plate such a specimen of Nature^s energies restoring per- 
fection, and through a process so extraordinary, without 
admiration. Something yet remained to be established : 
was this perfection permanent, or was it only temporary ? 
Like its precursor, this specimen was quite tame, healthy, 
and vigorous. In a hundred and two days it underwent exu- 
viation, when it appeared again perfect as before, with a shell 
of snowy white, and a little red speckling upon the limbs. 
Finally, its shell, having subsisted a hundred and eighty 
days, was succeeded by another of equal beauty and per- 
fection, the speckling upon the legs somewhat increased. 
All the shells had gradually augmented, so this was larger 
than the others. The extended limbs would have occupied 
a circle of four inches in diameter. About a month after 
this exuviation the animal perished accidentally, having been 



CRABS. 239 

two years and eight months under examination. It was an 
interesting specimen^ extremely tame and tranquil, always 
coming to the side of the vessel as I approached, and hold- 
ing up its little claws as if supplicating food.''' 

PORCELLANA PLATYCHELES. 

The Broad-claw is a curious little fellow, with the whole 
body very much flattened, fitting him to hide in narrow 
horizontal crevices. His pincers are very broad, flat, and 
hairy, and capable of inflicting a very severe bite. Yaluable 
however as are his pincers, he parts with them easily to 
effect his escape when seized, knowing that, as 

■ " He wlio fights and runs away 
May live to fight another day," 

so 

He who throws his limbs away 
May have them new another day. 

When placed in an Aquarium, the Broad-claw is seen at 
first to move briskly, by using its tail or abdomen as a flap, 
although habitually it is kept doubled up under the body, 
as in other Crabs. It soon finds a hole or cranny to hide 
in, and generally keeps out of sight. A little specimen I 
saw at Lloyd's, lived pretty constantly under a common 



[ 



V 



240 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Limpet wliich was placed iu his jar. Living in this se- 
eluded style, and seldom moving about in search of prey, 
the poor little animal would find it difi&cult to procure the 
necessary food, if it were not for an instrument with which 
he is provided. The outer foot-jaw is largely developed, 
and furnished with a network of hairs, which, when thrown 
out, form, in returning, a spoon-shaped sieve, which, letting 
the water escape, brings into the mouth all the animalcules 
within its grasp. I should have said the onter pair of foot- 
jaws, for there is a pair of them. They are shaped like 
scythes, and used alternately. Those who have seen the 
movement describe it as beautiful, and resembling those of 
the cirrhi of the Balanns ; but, in the latter case, the action 
is simultaneous in both members. 

Galathea strigosa. 

A very pretty and merry Aquarian, with a form between 
that of Crabs and that of Lobsters. It uses the tail freely, 
jerking its body up and down the sides of the tank, and 
looking as if it had the power of crawling on perpendicu- 
lars. It is very prettily marked with stripes of blue between 
the red. 



CRABS. 241 

The Hermit or Soldier Crab. — (Plate XI.) 

The common species, Pagurus Bernhardus, is the one 
usually seen in tanks, where it presents a most interesting 
object. Crawling clumsily about with a shell not its own 
upon its back, it seems as if it were not in its natural con- 
dition, and yet that is the condition in which it is always, or 
almost always, found: and if by any accident the hermit is de- 
prived of his portable cell, he is about as uncomfortable as 
a fish out of water till he finds another, and if unsuccessful 
dies. There seems to be something so strange in this habit 
of choosing the covering of another animal for a dwelling, and 
the parts of the body which are protected by it appear so 
contorted, ill-formed, and irregular, that I am tempted al- 
most to refer it to some accident of very frequent occurrence. 
Might it not be, that the Zoe or Tadpole form of some 
common species, produced where empty shells of difi'erent 
sorts and sizes lie strewn plentifully among pebbles and 
sand, falling into some of the hollows, and becoming con- 
fined, or liking the condition, remained in it through sub- 
sequent changes, and tliat thus what is first an accident 
becomes a habit ? Even if this were the case, it would re- 
quire a course of observation and many experiments to esta- 

R 



242 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

blish it, and in the meantime we must be content to take 
the obvious facts as we find them. 

The front, or exposed part, then, of the common Soldier 
resembles that of other Crabs in some degree. The two 
first claws are pincers, always unequal in size ; the next two 
pairs are long, arched, and pointed, very well adapted for 
ambulatory purposes. The front part of the thorax, or 
body, only, is covered by the shield or carapace, which in 
other Crabs covers the whole body. Then comes the hinder 
part of the thorax, which is soft, and two pairs of legs, which 
are small, irregular, and very feebly developed. The abdo- 
men is a membranous sac of irregular form, with very ru- 
dimentary plates, and terminating in a crustaceous tail of 
three joints, the second with appendages or flappers. Trom 
the unprotected condition of the hinder part of this animal, 
it will be easily understood that it requires constant shelter. 

AYhen two ^' Soldiers" meet in an Aquarium, there is 
generally a passage-of-arms between them, being very pug- 
nacious animals, each one trying to seize the other with his 
strong claws, the object being to wrench the enemy out of 
his tenement and feed upon the unprotected part of his 
body : and this atrocious design is sometimes carried out. 
But in other cases the fight is not for the possession of the 



CRABS. 243 

person, but for the shell of the victim. A JPagiirus has been 
seen to approach another whose shell he envied^ and seizing 
him as it were by the shoulders, dragged him suddenly from 
his hole, into which he almost as quickly thrust his own 
body. The dispossessed hermit, exhausted by the encoun- 
ter, and unable to find another dwelling, dies. jN^ow and 
then a Pagunis wishes to change his house, because he has 
grown so large as to find it inconvenient. Several observers 
have spoken of the extreme caution with which he effects 
the change. Carrying his present habitation on his back, 
he goes on his travels to seek for a larger one. Presently, 
guided by his autennse, as well as by sight, he finds a shell 
which he thinks may be larger than his own. His first care 
is to find whether it is inhabited; for although the aperture 
is empty near the rim, it is quite possible that the mollusc 
may have w^ithdraw^n some distance within the shell ; so the 
Pagurus puts in his long claws, feels and probes the depth 
of the cavity as far as he can reach, all round, and then, 
w^hen satisfied that the shell is empty, raises his abdomen 
and tail, flaps it into the hollow, turning a summerset, coils 
his body round the columella and finds himself at home. 
Nor does his caution cease here ; for sometimes, if not quite 
certain of the suitabihty of his new dwelling, he keeps firm 



244 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

hold^ with his long claws_, of tlie old one^ carrying it about 
with him, and sometimes even re-entering it and then try- 
ing the new one again, till quite decided in his own mind 
as to which is the best to occupy for a permanency. The 
Paguri, in choosing their shells, do not appear generally to 
object much to their outsides being occupied by the para- 
sitic Anemone, which is so frequent a companion of the 
Hermit. A Nereis, or Sea- Worm, often shares the hollow 
of the shell with the Crab, while Acorns, or Balani, often 
occupy its outer surface. Whether these associations are 
fortuitous, or whether chosen by the animals on account of 
expected mutual advantages, is a question which will per- 
haps find its solution when Aquarians have had more oppor- 
tunities of watching their habits. The more I see of these 
interesting creatures, the more firmly am I convinced that 
there is a great deal to be learned about them yet; and a 
very pleasant occupation will it be to " work out,^" as Natu- 
ralists term it, the various points of their natural history, — 
their birth, their metamorphoses, their exuviations, and their 
associations. 

ZoE OF Pagurus. 

"The Zoe of the Pagurus,'^ says Mr. H. Goodsir, " when 



CRABS. 245 

it escapes from the egg, or a short time after, is perfectly 
transparent, the thoracic portion of the body is sHghtly 
opaque, and the eyes are black. The abdomen however is 
perfectly translucent, and the observer requires to look very 
attentively before it can be defined. On being excluded 
from the egg, the young animal is doubled upon itself; the 
abdominal portion of the body is bent closely under the 
thoracic portion ; and it is kept in this position by means 
of a thin sac or membrane. It very soon frees itself from 
this by a few violent efforts ; and then the antennae, the feet, 
and the abdomen all become free and extended. The proxi- 
mate half of the abdomen only is confined within the sac ; 
the distant half is quite free. The Zoe of this species is 
destitute of spines ; the spine on the dorsum of the carapace 
and the frontal spine being absent. As soon as the young 
animal frees itself of the sac before mentioned, the thorax 
apparently becomes much smaller. This arises from the 
contents of the sac escaping, and the thorax proper only 
being left.'' — ' Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal,' 
1842. 

There is nothing to prevent any amateur observer from 
pursuing his inquiries through every stage of existence in 
the Hermit Crab. 



246 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Plate XI. shows a Pagurus occupying the shell of 
a Bucciniim undatum, which is surmounted by a pa- 
rasitic Anemone ; a smaller specimen below occupies a 
Periwinkle. A dead Pagiinis out of the shell lies at the 
bottom. 



247 



CHAPTER XIII. 

WATER-INSECTS. 

AKGYKONETA AQUATICA. — ITS NESTS UNDER WATEE. — DEPOSITION OF 
EGGS. — GENERAL HABITS. — DTTICUS MARGINALIS. — AIR INVESTITURE. — 
BREATHING. — LARVA. — FEEDING. 

The Argyroneta, Plate XVIII._, is a curious, darkly-coloured 
Spider, common in many parts of Prance, England, Ger- 
many, and Switzerland ; very remarkable for its habit of 
plunging into and living under the water. It differs in this 
respect from ordinary Spiders, as well as in the fact of the 
male being larger than the female. As the abdomen is co- 
vered by a kind of fur, which repels the water and prevents 
the skin from getting wet when the animal is under 
water, therefore its body or abdomen is covered with a 
bubble of air, which has the appearance of a silver pellicle, 
and suffices for respiration in the absence of branchial 
opercula. Thus supplied with breathing apparatus, they 



248 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

live principally under water, but come out to change their 
skin, and at times, also, to chase terrestrial insects, which 
thej drag beneath the surface as soon as caught. 

The most curious circumstance connected with these 
Water-Spiders is the manner in which they construct nests 
under the water, for residence, and for the deposition of eggs, 
and fill them with air brought from the surface. 

In constructing its nest the Argijroneta rises to the sur- 
face, and, with its head downwards, places the point of its 
abdomen in contact with the external air. Expanding the 
filaments at that point, it encloses, in ag lin sinking, a small 
bubble of air, which it retains in a rounded form, indepen- 
dent of the bubble which covers the rest of its abdomen. It 
then swims towards the edge of the plant to which the nest 
is to be attached, and touches the little bubble in such a 
manner as to make it leave its own body, and adhere to the 
edge of the plant. The Spider again mounts, brings down 
another bubble, and so on in succession, until he has a 
mass of small bubbles collected, around which he then 
begins to spin a web, by means of which he brings the se- 
parate bubbles together, so as to form a single one large 
enough to contain his body. Living afterwards in this 
little balloon, the Spider spreads filaments round the aper- 



WATER-INSECTS. 

ture, by which means are caught and detained many small 
water-insects which compose its food. Sometimes insects 
are caught in the water, brought to the surface, and de- 
voured dry, or else taken and consumed in mid-water ; 
sometimes those caught in mid-water are carried to the nest ; 
sometimes, as with Land-Spiders, they are hung upas stores 
for future consumption. 

The nest made by the male Spider is smaller than that of 
the female, and sometimes constructed in its vicinity. This 
is when he is about to make love. And then he makes a 
tube or channel of communication between the two, through 
which his visits are made. Other males sometimes attack 
and try to enter the same nest ; combats take place, during 
wdiich the nest is broken and the air escapes. For depo- 
siting her eggs, the female makes a large cocoon, which is 
netted in by a much tougher and stouter material than that 
which is used for the ordinary purposes of residence ; and 
this is much thickened at the roof, so as to present the ap- 
pearance of a small sheet of glazed cotton wadding. The 
materials are evidently distinct, one being of a silky nature, 
the other hyaline, and perfectly transparent. 

The air-bell or iiest, in which the Spider resides, differs 
very much in different cases and different situations. They 



250 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUif. 

are generally rounded at the top, and flattened at tlie base, 
with an aperture which the Spider sometimes seems to find 
with considerable difficulty, by feeling with its feet before 
inserting the body. AVhen placed in a jar with water, the 
Argyroneta fixes his bell sometimes to the edge of the jar, 
and at other times to the stones placed in it, or the aquatic 
plants growing in it; but when the objects are wanting, he 
will hang his nest upon cross filaments carried from one side 
of the jar to the other. 

Professor Bell has recently communicated the following 
very interesting observations to the Linnsean Society respect- 
ing our insect and his subaqueous habits, in a series of ex- 
periments. They were made in consequence of Mr. Gosse 
having denied the fact of the Argi/roneta ever filling his cell 
with air brought from the surface: — 

" ^0. 1. Placed in an upright cylindrical vessel of water, 
in which was a rootless plant of Stratiotes, on the after- 
noon of November 14. By the morning it had constructed 
a very perfect oval cell, filled witli air, about the size of 
an acorn. In this it had remained stationary up to the pre- 
sent time. 

"No. 2. November 15. In another similar vessel, also 
furnished with a plant of Stratiotes, I placed six Argi/roneta. 



WATER-INSECTS. 251 

The one now referred to began to weave its beautiful web 
about five o'clock in the afternoon. After much preliminary 
preparation^ it ascended to the surface, and obtained a bubble 
of air, with which it immediately and quickly descended ; and 
the bubble was disengaged from the body, and left in con- 
nection with the web. As the nest was on one side, in con- 
tact with the glass, enclosed in an angle formed by t\Yo leaves 
of the Stratiotes, I could easily observe all its movements. 
Presently it ascended again, and brought down another bub- 
ble, which was similarly deposited. In this way no less 
than fourteen journeys w'ere performed ; sometimes two or 
three very quickly, at other times wath a considerable in- 
terval between them ; during wdiich the little animal was 
employed in extending and giving shape to the beautiful 
transparent bell, getting into it, pushing it out at one place, 
and rounding it at another, and strengthening its attach- 
ment to the supports. At length it seemed to be satisfied 
with its dimensions, when it crept into it, and settled itself 
to rest. 

"No. 3. The only difference between the movements of 
this and the former w^as, that it was rather quicker in form- 
ing its cell. In neither vessel was there a single bubble of 
oxygen evolved by the plant. The manner in which the 



252 roruLAR histouy of the aquauium. 

animal possesses itself of the bubble of air is very curious, 
and, as far as 1 know, has never been accurately described. 
It ascends to the surface slowly, assisted by a thread attached 
to the leaf, or other support below, and to the surface of the 
water. As soon as it comes near the surface, it turns with 
the extremity of the abdomen upwards and exposes a portion 
of the body to the air for an instant; then with a jerk it 
snatches, as it were, a bubble of air, which is not only at- 
tached to the hairs which cover the abdomen, but is held on 
by the two hinder legs, which are crossed at an acute angle 
near the extremity; this crossing of legs takes place at the 
instant the bubble is seized. The little creature then de- 
scends more rapidly, and regains the cell always by the 
same route, turns the abdomen within it and disengages the 
bubble. 

"No. 4. Several of them when I received them had the 
hair on the abdomen wetted, and I placed them on the 
blotting paper till they were dry. On returning them 
to the water, two remained underneath a floating piece 
of cork, and the hair, being now dry, retained the pel- 
licle of air which is ordinarily observed. One of the two 
came out of the water, attached the cork to the glass, and 
wove a web against the latter, against which it rested about 




i ^ 



'i "^ 



WATER-INSECTS. 253 

a quarter of an inch above the surface of the water. 
After remaining there about two days, it resumed its aquatic 
habits, and, Hke all the others, formed its winter habitation. 
I have now no fewer than ten which have formed their 
cells, in which they are perfectly at rest, and evidently hiber- 
nating." 

De Lignen, having placed too many Argyronetm together 
in one jar, some of them ate the others; the soHtary male 
first falling a sacrifice to the jealousy of the females. De 
Walkenaer however observed a contrary circumstance ; he- 
])laced in a goldfish-glass a large number of specimens, 
with a branch of coral. Having waited to see the female 
make her bell and attach it to the branch or coral, he next 
noticed a large strong male constructing his nest near hers. 
Being then obliged to leave them for a time, he was surprised 
to find on his return, only that male and female with their 
young left ; the rest of the females having disappeared. 
They had made good meals for the family circle. Mr. Bell 
also found that his specimens diminished in number from 
the same cause. 

Their nests are constructed in spring and autumn, and 
the winter is passed in them. 

An accident lately occurred at Mr. Lloyd^s establishment 



254 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM, 

which might be suggestive of a new train of inquiry^ and an 
experiment or two. Mr. Lloyd observed one of these Spiders 
which had fallen from the outside of his own jar into a 
tank of salt-water ; but he had immediately protected him- 
self from the action of so unaccustomed an element by con- 
structing a belb in which, when found, he was comfortably 
ensconced, apparently suffering no inconvenience from the 
novelty of his situation. Mr. Lloyd, however, thinking the 
poor Spider could but be ill at ease, rescued him from his 
position and restored him to his own jar. I confess I 
should like to have seen how long he could defy the briny 
fluid; and am not quite sure whether, if an opportunity 
occurred, I might not be cruel enough, '' by the merest ac- 
cident,^'' to drop some poor straggler into sea-water, just to 
try whether he could not become naturalized in it. 

Our Plate XYIII. represents Argyronetce and their cells 
in water. The upper oblong nest is formed of thicker ma- 
terial, especially at the roof, than the other. It is the 
cocoon, in which are deposited the eggs; the lower ones 
are the air-bells in which the Argyronetce reside. The small 
bells, hanging in thready weed on the right hand, are those 
formed for the young. 



water-insects. 255 

Dyticus marginalis, or Water-Beetle. 
(Plate XIX. fig. 4.) 

Lively and interesting, but dangerous inmates, are these 
Beetles of the fresh-water tanks, in which they are quite 
at home. Tor in their natural haunts they prefer stagnant 
or still, to running water. They swim with very great 
agility, their hind legs acting in concert, and looking like 
oars. I have noticed tliat when the Beetles are descend- 
ing from the surface, they carry, wrapped round the end of 
their abdomens, a bubble of air, which apparently assists 
them in keeping the head downwards in diving. When 
at the bottom, a portion, or even the whole, of this bubble 
becomes disengaged or absorbed, and they mount, head up- 
wards. The bubble is very bright and silvery in appear- 
ance, and is no doubt retained by means of a few fine hairs 
on the abdomen. These Beetles are very voracious in their 
habits, seizing and devouring small aquatic insects and 
moUusca, and sometimes destroying young fish. The keeper 
of the Chelsea Botanic Gardens complains of these insects 
destroying his gold and silver fish by nibbling at their 
dorsal and pectoral fins. 

Mr. Westwood relates that a specimen of D. marginalis, 



256 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

which was kept in water three years and a half, fed with 
raw beef, destroyed a specimen of llijdrous plceus, wliich 
was twice its own size, piercing it with the jaws on the 
only vulnerable point, namely on the under side, at the 
insertion of the head and thorax, and so sucking its 
juices. Esper observed that a D. marc/inalis so completely 
sucked the blood out of the pieces of meat it was fed with, 
that they looked like small masses of white, floating on the 
surface. 

They ascend frequently to the surface for the purpose of 
breathing, and would sometimes almost appear as if they 
were performing that operation through their tails ; for they 
lie immersed all but the hinder extremity, which protrudes 
from the surface. Here they appear at rest, balancing on 
their oar-legs, which are stretched at right angles. Al- 
though pretty constant denizens of the pool, they cannot 
remain without occasional access to the air; and sometimes, 
creeping up the rushes to take flight, they mount up in the 
air perpendicularly, like the lark, till out of sight. The de- 
scent is equally direct, resembling rather a fall than a flight. 
It is stated that they are guided in their descent by the 
reflection of light upon the water's surface ; for they have 
sometimes been deceived and have fallen with violence upon 



WATER-INSECTS. 257 

glazed garden frames which had apparently been mistaken 
for water. 

Daring the winter, their habits are by no means uni- 
form. Some bury themselves,, and remain for the season in 
a state of torpidity ; others retain their natural briskness, 
and will remain in the water after it has been frozen over, 
swimming under the surface and coming to accidental open- 
ings to take air. 

Many of these particulars are gathered from Mr. West- 
wood's account in his popular and accurate work. I have 
had no opportunity of watching the Di/ticns in its native 
haunts, but have been oblig-ed to content myself with ob- 
serving its movements in a fresh-water tank. These move- 
ments are curious enough. The manner in which the in- 
sect bustles about, first diving down in a great hurry, as if 
business of importance was on hand and there was not time 
to do it in, then suddenly appearing to change its mind, 
reverse its balance, and return in the same direction, is very 
amusing. Now it will waddle along the leaves ; then skim 
the surface ; then rest for a few moments, giving his extre- 
mities an airing ; then down he goes again straight to the 
bottom, and remains for awhile with his body half buried 
among the pebbles. What he is doing among these same 

s 



258 POPULAR HISTOUY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

pebbles we do not exactly know, but his actions look very 
much as if he were rummaging for minute insects and Crus- 
tacea, wliich have taken refuge between them. He appears 
resolved hterally to leave no stone unturned to get a liv- 
ing. I have only once witnessed liim in the act of seizing 
larger prey, and then it was an unfortunate Planorhis or 
Flat-coiled Water-Snail. Lt first the D^ficus seemed to 
be roaming about in quest of something, first under, then 
over, the leaves of a Water-lily. At last, in a rather dark 
corner, he seemed to perceive suddenly a Planorbis which 
was browsing upon the stem of a plant just under the 
shade of a broad leaf. He darted at this, seized it, and 
then putting his tail out of water, apparently for the pur- 
pose of taking in a fresh supply of air, moved slowly down, 
bearing the Snail with him. He held it, as represented in 
Plate XIX., by his fore feet, turning round the coil until 
the aperture of the shell was opposite his mandibles, when 
he began nibbling away at the animal. In vain did the 
poor Mollusc try to withdraw within his shelly fortress, for 
the Beetle picked off the edges of his shell bit-by-bit, so 
as to expose the body as fast as it was withdrawn. iVll 
the way down to the bottom of the tank was this pro- 
cess continued, air-bubbles rising to the top, and bits of 



WATER-INSECTS. 259 

broken shell falling, till the Beetle reached a stone near the 
bottom with his burden, where I left him still busy at his 
work. 

A Water-Beetle, in the act of devouring a Planorhis, is 
represented in Plate XIX., in company with Newts. 



260 



CHAPTER XIV. 

MOLLUSCA. 

AQUAEIAN OBSERVATIONS ON MOLLUSCA. — LITTORINA LITTOREA. — LIM- 
N^A STAGNALIS. — ASCLDIA VITREA (?). — NUDIBRANCHIATE MOLLUSCA. 
— DORIS BILAMELLATA. — PURPURA LAPILLUS. — SAXICAVA RUGOSA. — 
PECTEN OPEECULARIS. — PHILLINE QUADRIPARTITA. — SEPIOLA VUL- 
GARIS. 

MoLLUscA have not yet been introduced very extensively 
into Aquaria, although they are very interesting objects 
when admitted. They may never become so popular as Sea- 
flowers or Crustacea, but earnest students of Nature will 
find much pleasure and instruction in watching their habits, 
and examining their structure. Of the few Aquarian ob- 
servations that have been as yet made, many are recorded by 
Mr. Clarke, and published in Forbes and Hanle/s 'British 
Mollusca.' Some f(;w of these are repeated in my ' Popular 
British Conchology,' and some are added. Having been so 



MOLLUSCA. 261 

recently engaged in that compilation, I feel that it would 
be out of place to enter into a very elaborate history of 
this class in the present book ; but a few interesting ex- 
amples may be given. « 

LiTTORIXA LITTOREA. 

On entering the Society's Fish-house, among the first 
objects that attract notice are a number of snow-white, 
rounded, or oval discs, studding here and there the sides 
of marine tanks. Going a little nearer you perceive behind 
each of them the head and shell of a common Periwinkle. 
Crawling up tlie glass sides till they arrive near the water's 
edge, they will often remain without motion for a consi- 
derable length of time, holding on by their white sucker- 
discs. And sometimes they rise above the water, prefer- 
ring to remain dry for a time, in imitation of their natural 
habits. When observed in the latter position, they are 
often ruthlessly pushed down by the keeper. On my ask- 
ing whether the poor Molluscs, accustomed as they were 
to be left dry on the rocks by the receding tide, could 
really live always immersed as they seemed condemned to 
do here, the keeper replied by pointing out to me hun- 
dreds of tiny Periwinkle fry, with transparent shells, to 



262 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

show that the species was not only thriving, but freely 
breeding in their present position. I must confess, how- 
ever, that I felt far from satisfied with the demonstration ; 
for while the young seemed to be brought forth plentifully 
and to grow freely, the old ones seemed to die off rather 
fast ; and I cannot imagine why the poor creatures should 
not be allowed to take an airing when so disposed. 

The movements of Periwinkles are so slow, and they 
remain so long in a given spot, that seaweeds often take 
root and grow on the outside of their cumbrous shells. 

They are very useful in a tank, their occupation being 
that of scavengers. The seeds of marine plants held in 
suspension in sea-water, are apt to fall and adhere to sur- 
faces and begin to grow, and their accumulation tends not 
only to obscure the glass so as to check our observa- 
tions, but also their too great abundance tends to render 
the water unhealthy. To check this overgrowth and pre- 
vent the glass sides of the tank from becoming opaque, a 
few Periwinkles are put in, and very soon put in motion 
an apparatus well adapted for mowing down the minute turf 
of Co)iferv(B. 

This apparatus consists of a rasp-tongue, set with curved 
teeth. If we notice one of these animals feeding with his 



MOLLUSCA. 263 

moutli towards us on the glass, we see his black-striped 
snout beyond the circle of his foot. In the centre of this 
we see a pair of lips open, and then a glassy organ rolling 
out between. This is the tongue, which, giving a kind of 
sweep, rolls back into the mouth, and the lips close over 
it again. So the scavenger goes on, taking one sweep after 
another, and even leaving a series of curved marks behind 
him, like those left by the scythe of a mower. On taking 
a dead specimen and dissecting the head, the tongue may 
be found. At the mouth-end it is formed like a narrow 
spoon turning back upon the throat, to which it is fixed; 
the other end is a thread-like coil lodged in the stomach. 
Along the spoon and the whole length of the coiled thread 
are three rou^s of curved teeth. What we have seen, in 
witnessing the Mollusc feeding, is the convex surface of the 
spoon, rasping up the food and coiling backwards as k 
rasps. The food is passed along the triple row of teeth, and 
becomes fully masticated in the coils of spiral thread in the 
stomach. 

Most persons are acquainted with the horny operculum 
with whicli the Periwinkle shuts himself up in his liole. It 
is fixed on the back of his foot ; so that, in retiring, his 
head enters first, then his neck and the forepart of his 



264 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

foot; lastly, the end of it pulls the horny lid into its 
place. Troclii with conical shells have somewhat similar 
habits, and their tongues are similarly formed and similarly 
used. 

LlMX.'EA STAGXALIS, AND OTHER WaTER-SnAILS. 

T\liat L'lttorina does for Marine, LlmncBa does for Fresh- 
water Aquaria. The latter may be seen in the tanks, mow- 
ing away at the microscopic vegetation which would other- 
wise obstruct our view. The shell of Limncea stagnalis is 
elegantly formed, transparent, and obliquely conical, while 
those of PlanorblSj another genus of Water-Snails, is a flat 
spiral coil; but the animals are very much alike in nature 
and habits. Paludlna, which has an oval shell of rounded 
whorls, is speckled all over the body with minute dots of 
gold. 

Although the "Water-Snails are in some sense useful as 
scavengers, they are also mischievous as devourers of use- 
ful and sightly vegetation, biting through the leaves of 
VaUisrie7'ia, and other plants, as remorselessly as Garden- 
Snails make holes in cabbages. The smaller species, such 
as Limnrea auncidata and L. gbif'niosa, Phj/sa foufinal'is 
and Blfh'mia ientaculataj are the most useful and least harm- 



MOLLUSCA. 265 

less. The following interesting observations were commuLi- 
cated by Mr. Warrington, in the tenth volume of the ' Annals 
of Natural History.'' " These Water-Snails have the extra- 
ordinary power of moving along the surface of the water 
with great rapidity, with their shells downwards, the foot 
being attached as it were to the atmospheric air. The I*la- 
norhis also can lix itself, without any apparent means of 
attachment, by his side to the flat surface of the glass, and 
will remain thus for several days. 

" In watching the movements of the Limncece, I was for 
some time under the impression that they had a power of 
swimming or sustaining themselves in the water ; as they 
would rise from the bottom of the pond, a portion of the 
rockwork, or a leaf of the plants, and float for a consider- 
able period, nearly out of their shells, without any apparent 
attachment, and, by the contortion and gyration of their 
body and shell, move some Kttle distance in a horizontal 
direction from the point which they had left. On more 
carefully watching this phenomenon however, I found they 
were attached by a thread or web, which was so transparent 
as to be invisible, and wliicji they could elongate in a similar 
way to the Spider; they also possessed the power of re- 
turning upon this tliread by gathering it up as it were, 



266 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

and thus drawing themselves back to the point which they 
had quitted. 

" A LimncPM stagnalis had glided its way along a voiing 
and short leaf of the Vallisneriaj whicli terminated below 
the surface of the water^ and^ having reached the extremity, 
launched itself off from it ; after moving about with a sort 
of swimming and rolling motion in a horizontal direction 
for some time, it lowered itself gradually, and in effecting 
this the long flexible leaf of the Vallisneria was bent with an 
undulating motion, corresponding exactly with every move- 
ment of the Snail, showing clearly that it had a firm attach- 
ment to the extremity of the leaf. On another occasion a 
L. glutinosa gradually rose from the surface of a piece of 
submerged rock, and, when at the distance of about three or 
four inches from it, stayed its progress, floating about in a cir- 
cumscribed horizontal direction for some time ; at last it 
rose suddenly and rapidly to the surface, evidently from the 
rupture of its thread of attachment. The most convincing 
proof however of this fact that I can perhaps adduce, and 
one tliat I have often repeated with all the before-mentioned 
Limnccce, is that when the Snail has been some inches distant 
from the supposed point of attachment, a rod or stick has 
been carefully introduced and slowly drawn on one side, be- 



MOLLUSCA. 267 

tween tlienij in a horizontal direction ; and by this means the 
Snail can be made to undulate to and fro, obeying exactly 
the movements of the rod. This requires to be done very 
gentlj^, as if too much force is used the web is broken and 
the Snail rises rapidly to the surface of the water." 

AsciDiA viTREA (?). — (Plate XIII.) 

This is a shell-less Mollusc of the Tunicate Order, appa- 
rently as simple in form as a Poli/pe. The beautiful group 
which I have attempted to portray in my Plate was brought 
from Ilfracombe. Eight or i^n specimens have nestled in 
a bunch of P/iT/llophora rubra. They consist of a bottle- 
shaped sac with two necks and mouths. They are jelly-like 
and transparent, and their open mouths are scalloped, with 
a little marking of red and opaque-white at each notch. 
Scarcely any motion is to be observed, excepting every now 
and then either the large opening or mouth, or the smaller 
one, suddenly shut sup, soon to be opened again. Some- 
times an intruding substance is thrown out with force, and 
the apertures kept closed for some time after. 

NuDiBRAXCHiATE MoLLUSCA. — (Plate XIV.) 
The ^ahed-fjilled Mollusca have no shells, and their gills 



268 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

or breathing-apparatus consists of variously shaped organs, 
arranged on different parts of their sides and bodies, but 
all external. Some of them from their complicated branch- 
ing gills are almost like moving trees, or more like Slugs 
with a forest on their backs ; others are of plainer make, 
and have the gills exscrted, in the form of a branched star, 
through the mantle. A few of the forms are represented 
in the Plate. The following are Mr. Gosse\^ observations 
on one of the species, as to its habits and reproduction. 

'' Doris bila]\iellata, 

" Of which there were three in the vessel, was very social 
in confinement, continually finding out one another and 
crowding close up together. They crawl round the pan, 
generally resting close to the surface, often with the mantle 
a little raised, so that the air may reach the body. 

'"'Feb. £2ud. The Doris hilamellata laid a ribbon of spawn, 
attached to the side of the pan, almost at the surface of the 
water; it adhered by one edge, and formed an imperfect 
spine or cup, the ribbon being bent upon itself, the upper 
edge or brim leaning a little outward and being puckered. 
The general substance is white and opaque, owing to a vast 
number of minute eggs enveloped in a clear jelly. The 



Tlaie IVB] 




■^ 



:^i 




TLe Water- Gpader, Argyraneta aucjaaiaca , axi-d air-i)"abbles^t}i young. 



MOLLUSCA. 269 

colour therefore appears uniform, except that a clear Hue 
runs round just within the edge, caused by a narrow space 
free from eggs. The ova, although numerous and close- 
set, occupy only the central portion of the band, there 
being a considerable space of transparent jelly without them 
on each surface. On the 19th of March I cut off a small 
piece of the ribbon of spawn and examined it beneath a 
microscope; I found that the young were fully formed, 
each enclosed in a globular egg, perfectly transparent and 
colourless. The young Doris, unlike the adult, vThich is 
a naked Slug, inhabits a transparent shell, formed like that 
of the Nautilus, from the mouth of which project two large 
fleshy circular discs, set round with long cilia. These 
latter organs were in constant and vigorous vibration, by 
the motion of which each little animal revolved freely in 
its egg-shell, incessantly turning upon its centre in every 
direction. Sometimes one would suddenly suspend the 
motion of its cilia as if tired; then, after having rested a 
few moments, put forth one cilium in a cautious manner, 
then another, and in a moment the whole were again in 
vibration, and the little embryo was gyrating in its giddy 
dance." 



270 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Carnivorous Ferocity of the NiidihrancJiiata. 

Mr. Gosse relates that having placed a large specimen 
of Anthea cereiis in the Aquarium, with three individuals 
oi Eolis papulosa, he found, on visiting the tank one day, 
that one of the latter was busy eating the tentacles of the 
former, to which it clung tenaciously in opposition to en- 
deavours made to pull it away. On his next visit the two 
other EoUda had joined in the carnage. All three exhi- 
bited signs of great fierceness, adhering to parts between 
the anthers by the point of the foot, and stretching forwards 
to the point of attack, erecting and reversing their branchiae. 
When removed to a considerable distance they returned to 
the charge, from any part of the vessel, as long as they re- 
mained in it. 

Purpura lapillus. 

This has a thick oval shell, and belongs to the Order 
Gasteropoda: foot and body being one. When the shell 
is banded with rich brown or yellow, it looks very pretty 
in an Aquarium. But the animal is very voracious. Its 
proboscis is a formidable weapon, capable of penetra- 
ting through shells of small Periwinkles, Limpets, and 



MOLLUSCA. 271 

even those of thick shelled, full-grown Mussels. When 
dead, a vessel of cream-coloured matter may be found in 
the body, under the veil of the tentacles. On opening the 
mem.brane the matter exudes, and if spread upon linen 
colours it yellow ; the yellow changes to pea-green, thence 
after a time to grass-green; becoming bluish by degrees 
till it is quite blue. A tinge of red next begins to ap- 
pear, increasing until the general tint is purple. This 
is one of the purple dyes, and has been used in com- 
merce for the purpose of colouring linen. The name how- 
ever was originally applied to a Mnrex. I have just seen 
a specimen of this Mollusc living in one of Mr. Lloyd^s 
tanks, covered entirely with small Balani, each throw- 
ing out its network of cirrhi from between the opening 
opercula. 

Saxicava rugosa 

Has the power of boring into rocks and enclosing 
its body and bivalve shell, in the hole it has scooped out 
for a dwelling. It lives near the surface, so as to pro- 
trude its siphon, which appears like a crimson wart on 
the face of the rock, Avithdrawing it instantly on being dis- 
turbed. 



272 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Pecten OPERCULARIS. 

The Common Fainted Scallop is an object of great beautv. 
Not ouly its shell is finely painted (either variegated with 
red, brown, and white markings), but the fringed and bril- 
liantly coloured mantle lining the shell, and showing itself 
as the animal lies with his valves a little gaping. Near 
the edge of this mantle are a great number of thread-like 
tentacles, capable of contraction and expansion ; and be- 
tween these are seen a number of minute circular points, 
generally believed to be eyes, looking very much like theni, 
aiid well placed for use in that capacity. The Pecten ad- 
heres to surfaces by means of a byssus of small threads 
which it throws out between its valves on the upper side ; 
and when placed in a jar will attach itself to the glass 
at the sides; here it will hang with its two half-circles 
of eyes apparently on the watch. At times however it 
will move about by means of leaps effected by blowing 
out jets of water suddenly from between the edges of the 
mantle. 

Philline quadripartita. — (Plate X. fig. 45.) 
When this Mollusc is crawling, it presents the appear- 



MOLLUSC A. 273 

aiice of a broad, flat, opaque, white slug, with the dorsal 
disc divided into four lobes. The two side lobes of the 
disc are the edges of the mantle turned up ; the front lobe 
covers the head, and the back lobe hides from view a very 
beautiful broad, white, transparent shell, known more gene- 
rally by the name of Bidlaa aperta. 

Sepiola vulgaris. 

The Cuttle-fish tribe, being more oceanic than littoral, 
do not thrive well in confinement. They will not live 
many days in a tank, but while they do live their habits 
are not uninteresting. Of course the larger species are too 
cumbersome for the purpose, but the smaller ones have 
often been preserved in confinement long enough for obser- 
vations on their habits. In some respects they approach 
the Eadiate groups of animals ; having the mouth central, 
on the top of the head, and the organs of prehension and 
locomotion, arms or legs, placed in a circle around it. In 
other respects they incline towards the vertebrate groups ; 
some of them being provided with an internal bone or pen, 
which may be considered a rudimentary vertebral column. 
Others are furnished with a shell. The soft bone sold in 
shops for birds to nibble at belongs to Sejoia officinalis ; 

T 



274 POPULAU HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

and the shell called Taper Nautilus, or xlrgonaut, belongs 
to an Ocytho'e, another member of the class Cephalopoda. 

When Se^jia vulgaris is first placed in a vessel, it darts 
about in a restless manner, by forcing jets of water from 
a funnel which is situated beneath the body. Having in 
this manner explored every part of its prison, it will hold 
itself in suspense in mid-water, all the time flapping with a 
pair of fin-like wings. When at the bottom of the tank 
it has a very curious way of crawling by means of its 
arms, which are then bent angularly for the purpose. The 
manner in which the little creature changes colour is very 
surprising. '^ AYe can scarcely," says Mr. Gosse, ^' assign 
any proper hue to it. Now it is nearly white, or pellucid, 
with a faint band of brown specks along the back, through 
which the internal viscera glisten like silver. In an in- 
stant, the specks become spots that come and go, and 
change their dimensions and their forms, and appear and 
disappear momentarily. The whole body, arms, fins, and 
all the parts which before appeared free, display the spots, 
which, when looked at attentively, are seen to play about 
ill a most singular manner, having the appearance of a 
coloured fluid injected with constantly varying force in the 
substance of the skin. Now the spots become rings, like 



IIOLLUSCA. 275 

the markings of a panther's skin ; and as the little creature 
moves slightly, either side beneath the fin is seen to glow 
with metalhc lustre, like that of gold leaf seen through horn. 
Again, the rings unite and coalesce, and form a beautiful 
netted pattern of brown, which colour increasing, leaves the 
interspaces a series of white spots on the rich dark ground/^ 

The Sepiola has a habit of burrowing in the sand. The 
funnel again comes into play, and by blowing the sand 
away in puffs, gradually makes a hole large enough to con- 
tain the animal's body. But if stones, and scraps too large 
to be blown away, are mixed with the sand, the arms pick 
them out by means of the sucking discs with which they are 
furnished. The Cephalo2')oda are supplied with an inky fluid, 
which they sometimes discharge in a cloud when irritated, 
for the supposed purpose of hiding from their enemies. 

But MuUusca, as a class, have yet to be studied by 
means which the Aquarium and the Microscope will place 
at our disposal. Several varieties of Nudibranchiaie Mol- 
lusca are figured in Plate XIV. Plate XIII. represents a 
group of Ascidians, belonging to the Tunicate order, nestled 
in a bush of Fhi/llophora rubens. 

PhiU'me quad ri partita and its shell are seen at Plate X., 
in company with Pentactes, 



^76 



CHAPTER XV. 

FISHES. 



IN VIVARIA. — GASTEEOSTEUS ACULEATUS. — NEST-BUILDING. — PLA- 
TESSA VULGARIS. — GOBIUS NIGER, — MUGIL CHELO. — LEPIDOGASTER 
BIMACULATUS. — SYNGNATHUS LUMBRICIFORMIS. — FRESH-WATER FISHES. 
— LUMINOSITY OF FISH. — HERRINGS. — ' SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS,' 
— LEPIDOSIREN, OR MUD-FISH, 

Although fishes are beautifal objects to be kept in an 
Aquarium^ some of them are difficult and dangerous. Diffi- 
cult, because from their delicate organization they are pecu- 
liarly susceptible of injury from any impurities in tlie water ; 
dangerous, because of their pugnacity and voracious habits. 
Others, with proper care, live well and safely. The manners 
of fishes in confinement, with the exception of nest-building 
species, are not particularly attractive, although some of the 
gentler kinds become very tame, and will learn to come and 
feed from the fingers. The beauties of their conformation and 
colouring are however set off to great advantage in a vessel 



FISHES. 277 

with straiglit sides. Ordinary globes in which gold-fish are 
kept distort the figure^ but through flat glass we get a side 
view of their rich tints and very solemn countenances. 

Great advances in the science of ichthyology may be ex- 
pected to take place as aquaria become common, but as yet 
fishes have not formed a very prominent feature in them. 
Very few salt-water fish have as yet been introduced, and 
those belonging to fresh-water have to be assorted with 
great care, to prevent mutual destruction. 

In this department therefore we must be content to 
notice a few of the observations which have been made 
upon some kinds confined in tanks. AYe begin with a fresh- 
water species, which, from its habit of building a nest for 
its young, is very interesting. 

Gasterosteus acui.eatus. 

The common Stickleback of our pools and brooks, so 
well known to boys in every rural neighbourhood, may be 
easily preserved, and if placed near the breeding season 
with a few familiar water-plants growing in the tank, will 
generally reward the possessor by an exhibition of its con- 
structive powers. The following account is taken almost 
entire from Mr. Hancock's communication, published in the 



278 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

* Zoologist' for 1854. Being drawn up from actual observa- 
tion, it is better than a florid description would be. 

" We have, for some time past, kept a glass trough filled 
with aquatic plants and animals ; the bottom of this vessel 
is covered with mud, and the rockwork filled up in the 
centre is overgrown with a delicate, hair-like conferva ; a few 
floating plants spread over the surface of the water, and in- 
numerable Eiifomostraca, and other sm.all crustaceans, as well 
as various animalcules, swarm in all parts; the minute but 
deadly poison-armed Hijdra also prevails where food is so 
plentiful; and a solitary individual of the great water-beetle 
rambles over its watery domain, lord and master of all. 
Several of the fresh- water MoUusea also people the trough, 
which on the whole has very much the appearance of a 
miniature pond. Into this home were put four or five Stickle- 
backs last May, and they at once made themselves perfectly 
at ease. One, without the least hesitation, took possession 
of a certain spot, which it^guarded with the greatest tena- 
city, attacking vigorously any of its companions that might 
happen to approach the chosen locality. The Beetle too, 
which sometimes came paddling slowly by, was pounced 
upon and unceremoniously tumbled over, but, secure within 
his scaly armour, as the knights of old^ he little heeded the 



FISHES. £79 

onslaught of his naked assailant ; so, overpowering all op- 
position, he scrambled onward in his imdeviating path. 

" This fish was rather small, had the throat of a bright red 
colour and the eyes of a brilliant bluish-green. At first, 
all the others were pale; but in the course of a few days 
one of them gradually assumed the rich hues of that already 
described, and soon afterwards it also became attached to a 
spot, taking up its abode in one of the corners of the 
trough. On examining attentively the two selected locali- 
ties, a nest was found in each, composed of a collection of 
delicate vegetable fibres, resting on the bottom of the 
trough, and matted into an irregular circular mass, some- 
what depressed, and upwards of an inch in diameter; the 
top being covered over with the same materials, and in the 
centre having a large, hole. The fishes scarcely ever strayed 
from their nests, but were constantly on guard, defending or 
repairing them ; they were perpetually prying into the hole 
at the top, and thrusting their heads right into it. On one 
occasion, one of them entered by this hole and slowly forced 
itself right through the side of the nest ; as it gradually 
moved onwards, its body had a peculiar lateral vibratile 
motion. They would frequently seize hold of the nest and 
give it a violent tug, shaking and tearing loose the vegetable 



280 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

matter of which it was composed ; at other times they would 
carry to it, in their moaths, fine conferva-stems, and press 
them with considerable force into the walls of the nest, or 
thrust thetn into the hole, which by this means was partially 
concealed. 

" Occasionally, each was observed hovering over its nest, 
with the head close to the orifice, the body being inclined 
upwards at an angle of about forty-five degrees, fanning it 
with the pectoral fins, aided by a lateral motion of the tail. 
This curious manoeuvre was apparently, so to speak, for the 
purpose of ventilating the spawn, which would be distinctly 
seen through the orifice at the top; at least by this means 
a current of water was made to set in towards the nest, as 
was rendered perfectly apparent by the agitation among 
the particles of matter attached to it. This fanning or ven- 
tilating process was repeated at short intervals during the 
day, and every day until the spawn was hatched, to accom- 
plish which, took between two or three weeks. 

Only one nest contained spawn ; the other was torn in 
pieces, and the materials scattered about, in the hope that 
we might have the pleasure of seeing it reconstructed. In 
this we were not disappointed ; the fish immediately began 
to form a new nest in exactly the same spot, and by the 



PISHES. 281 

following day it was more than half corapleted. It took 
a mouthfall at a time, and was at some pains in adjusting 
each load, and spreading the materials out, and pressing 
them down with its mouth ; it then drew its body slowly 
over the whole, vibrating all the time, in the same peculiar 
manner as when it forced its way through the nest as before 
stated/' 

When the young fry began to appear and flit about the 
sides of the nest, the parent's assiduity increased. When 
the little innocents endeavoured, too young and inexperi- 
enced, to wander from the precincts of the castle, they were 
actually caught, swallowed, brought back, and redeposited 
in safety. But it required the mother's unremitting exer- 
tions for several days after the fry was hatched, to keep 
them within bounds, so as to preserve them from danger. 
The old fish frequently took the young ones into its mouth 
to preserve them, and once did so almost from the hand of 
the observer, who had taken it up, and, after swimming 
about with it, blew it out in a thicket of confervse. 

Platessa vulgaris. — (Plate XV.) 

Mr. Gosse remarks of flat-fish generally, that, " though 
easily caught, they are of little value, for they do not live 



2S2 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

long in a tank, and are uninteresting from their sluggish 
habits, as they lie perfectly still on the bottom for hours 
together, trusting for concealment to the similarity of their 
russet colour to that of the sand." This may be true ; yet, 
on our first visit to the Zoological Fish-house, we were 
much interested with a number of specimens of the com- 
mon Flounder. The water was rather dingy, and the whole 
tank darkened by large pieces of over-hanging rock; at 
first, no life was seen ; we took it for an empty vessel, and 
were passing by, when a sudden slight commotion and a 
flash of white arrested us, and from the dark bottom we 
saw rising with a wavy motion one or two of the common 
Flounders. In swimming they showed their white under- 
sides ; and the undulating motion of their fringing fins, as 
one wave followed another from the ])ectoral region to the 
tail, the flashing golden hue of the odd, cunning-looking 
eyes, and the gentle curves of the whole body, united in 
an exhibition of unexpected grace and elegance. We were 
particularly struck with the attitude which I have tried to 
represent in tlie Plate. When one has risen, another, 
roused by the commotion, begins to raise his head and look 
about him in a very curious manner. Still keeping the 
bulk of his body flat on the surface, but raising more and 



FISHES. 283 

more of his shoulders, supporting the elevation by stiffen- 
ing out the first rajs of his fins, and rolling his eyes about 
with a cunning and cautious aspect, he prepares to follow 
the example. Presently the vessel is alive with sportive 
flat-fish, now rising perpendicularly, now scudding along 
horizontally, now sidewise, now edgewise; first showing 
the dark, then the white disc. This lasts but a few mi- 
nutes. One by one they slacken their motions and drop 
down ; not settling finally without taking another survey 
with lifted shoulders. One by one they flatten on the sandy 
bottom, till the last lies " flat as a flounder '' at rest, and all 
is over. The tank is dark and empty as before. 

GOBIUS NIGER. 

The Gob// is a small fish, distinguished by his shape, 
which is broad at the shoulders, tapering off towards the 
tail, so as to give him a tadpole appearance. This fish soon 
■familiarizes itself with its situation, and tamely but greedily 
feeds from the hand. In saying " tamely,^^ we must be 
understood as towards the fish's proprietor, and Jiot as to- 
wards his companions in tlie tank. Towards these, even 
of his own species, he is most ferocious, and will swallow 
another Goby not much smaller than himself. The Goby 



284 POPULAU HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

generally lives as much out of sight as possible, under 
shelter in dark corners, but darting out occasionally, rarely 
rising to the surface, except for the purpose of seeking 
prey. It is very remarkable for the changes that constantly 
take place in its colours, like those of a Chameleon, but 
more decided. Sometimes, it is of a general blackish hue, 
clouded with darker patches. Sometimes, it is pale brown 
with dark and white spots. Possibly this is connected with 
the animal's ''feelings^' for he is observed to become dark- 
est when most excited ; and, when devouring a victim, 
lours over him ^^ black as night." 

The ventral fins of this fish are united so as to form an 
oval sucking disc. It enables the fish to seize and retain 
a hold on surfaces which he is not inclined to relinquish for 
the moment. He adheres, by means of this sucker, to 
pieces of rock and sides of the tank. I think he uses it 
partly in crawling, as he sometimes is observed to do, over 
perpendicular and diagonal surfaces. 

MUGIL CHELO. 

The habits of the Grey Mullet are the reverse of the 
preceding, for, while the latter generally remain quietly 
near the bottom of the tank, the former afiects the surface, 







3 5 



FISHES. 285 

and rarely descends. The Mullets are very hardy, living 
sometimes uninjured when other animals die from impurity 
in the water. Keeping near the surface, which becomes 
better aerated than lower down, and frequently taking 
mouthfulls of air by putting their noses out of water, they 
keep themselves supplied with what proportions of the dif- 
ferent gases are most conducive to their health. Their 
restless activity in swimming to and fro, showing off their 
bright silvery stripes, renders them pretty and lively tenants 
of their watery cage. 

Lepidogaster bimaculatus. 

Another little tadpole-shaped fish, commonly known as 
the " Tivo Spotted Sit,cl-er,'' w^iich, like the Goby, has its 
ventral fins united in a sucking disc. It is prettily co- 
loured with pale red, with a deep red spot on each side. 
It does not poise its body steadily in the water, nor swim 
with the gliding motion of other fishes, but first adhering 
to one surface, and staying there for a short time, suddenly 
darts a little way off and adheres to another, or else crawls 
with a clumsy, wriggling motion. But the greater part of 
its time is spent in stillness, fixed to a particular spot, and 
probably feeding on animalcules. 



286 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

Syngnathus LUMBRICIFORMIS. 
The Worm Vipe-fish has a slender, eel-like body, about 
five inches in length. The head is large, terminating in a 
turned-up nozzle. It is marbled on the sides with spots 
of white, edged with black lines ; the neck is marked in 
the same manner ; the general colour of the body being 
of a brownish-yellow, becoming silvery under the tail. But 
the full beauty of the animal can only be explained by a 
series of details which would be too tedious to read. Mr. 
Gosse remarks, that " in captivity the manners of this pretty 
little fish are amusing and engaging. Its beautiful eyes 
move independently of each other, which gives a curious 
effect as you watch its little face through a lens ; one eye 
being directed towards your face, with a quick glance of 
apparent intelligence, while the other is either at rest, or 
thrown hither and thither at various other objects. I was 
strongly reminded of that strange reptile, the Chameleon." 
The tail of the Pipe-fish is prehensile ; with the tip of it 
coiled round a stem, it will sway its body to and fro in 
graceful curves. 

Fresh- Water Fishes. 
Carp, golden, Prussian, or silvery, are handsome fish, 



PISHES. 287 

live well in tanks, and become very tame and even docile. 
They can be fed with small red worms and young water- 
snails. They will also, after a time, learn to take bread, 
and like it too ; but care must be taken not to give them 
too much. 

The Golden Carp love warm water; many of them are 
reared in waters which receive the waste steam from facto- 
ries. In the Botanical Gardens, Regent's Park, in the water 
green-house containing Ficloria regia, are immense num- 
bers of Golden Carp, luxuriating and breeding freely in very 
warm water. At Hampstead too, at certain parts of the 
day, the waste water is liberated from the engine water- 
works into the adjacent pond. At these times some com- 
mon Carp are seen congregating under the pipe, evidently 
enjoying the warmth, and dispersing after the temperature 
of that part is assimilated with the rest of the pond. 

Loach, Minnows, Tench, and Gudgeons, have their va- 
rious beauties, live pretty well in Aquaria, and are worth 
observing ; but beware of the voracious Pike, for at a very 
early age he is fatal to fishes of larger bulk than himself. 

Luminosity of Fish. 
This is a subject upon which naturalists have not yet 



288 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

written much, although it is known that many of these 
animals possess the power of illuminating the ocean, and 
some of them may be induced to exhibit their peculiarity in 
confinement. The Tyrosomay for instance, has been de- 
scribed as presenting a very luminous appearance seen in 
a tank by night. AYhen in motion it changes, passing 
through the colours of a bar of red-hot iron to that of a 
white heat, represented by a phosphorescent colour. We 
have seen the heads of common Mackerel shining brightly 
in a dark cellar ; and, as Mr. Swainson has observed, 
''When we consider how many hundreds of species, more 
especially those which live in deep water, are covered with 
scales of a rich and shining silver hue, infinitely more bril- 
liant when those fishes are alive and in their native element 
than as they are commonly seen after having been caught, 
it becomes highly probable that the brilHant radiance with 
which they are clothed, is to effect some other purpose than 
mere ornament." Although Herrings have not yet been 
kept in Aquaria, it will not be uninteresting to conclude 
this Chapter with the following account of their brilliant 
luminosity, by Hugh Miller, in ' My Schools and School- 
masters.^ 

"As the night gradually darkened, the sky assumed a 



FISHES. 289 

dead and leaden hue ; the sea^ roughened by the rising 
breeze, reflected its deeper hues with an intensity approach- 
ing to black, and seemed a dark uneven pavement, that 
absorbed every ray of the remaining light. A calm silvery 
patch, some fifteen or twenty yards in extent, came moving 
slowly through the black. It seemed merely a patch of 
water coated with oil. But, obedient to some other moving 
power than that of either tide or wind, it sailed aslant our 
line of buoys, a stone-cast from our bows ; lengthened itself 
along the line to thrice its former extent; paused as if 
for a moment ; and then three of the buoys, after erecting 
themselves on their narrower base with a sudden jerk, 
slowly sank."*^ One — two — three buoys ! exclaimed one of 
the fishermen, reckoning them as they disappeared ; there 
are ten barrels for us secure. We commenced hauling; 
the nets approached the gunwale. The first three appeared, 
from the phosphoric light of the water, as if bursting into 
flames of a pale green colour. Here and there a Herring 
glittered bright in the meshes, or went darting away through 
the pitchy darkness, visible only by its own light. The fourth 
net was brighter than any of the others, and glittered 
through the waves while it was yet several fathoms away ; 
the pale green seemed mingled with broken sheets of snow, 



290 POPULAR HISTOIIY OF TIIK AQUAUIUJI. 

that, nickering amid the mass of light, appeared, with every 
tug given by the fishermen, to shift, dissipate, and form 
again j and there streamed from it into the surrounding 
gloom myriads of green rays, an instant seen and then lost, 
— the retreating fish that had avoided the meshes, but had 
lingered, till disturbed, beside their entangled companions. 
It contained a considerable body of Herrings. As we 
jaised them over the gunwale, they felt warm to the hand ; 
for, in the middle of a large shoal, even the temperature of 
the water is raised, a fact well known to every Herring 
fisherman ; and, in shaking them out of the meshes, the ear 
became sensible of a shrill, chirping sound like that of a 
mouse, but much fainter, a ceaseless cheep, cheep, cheep, 
occasioned apparently (for no true fish is furnished with 
organs of sound) by a sudden escape from the air-bladder/' 

Lepidosiren annectans. — (Plate XVI.) 

The ' Illustrated London News ' lately containing an ac- 
count of this remarkable animal as now living in a tank 
at the Crystal Palace, it became necessary for the writer of 
an ^Aquarium ' to visit that establishment, as well as to con- 
sult the description in the ' Linnsean Transactions,' by Pro- 
fessor Owen. The visit was made on a gloomy day, and it 



FISHES. 291 

was with some difficulty that I found that part of the es- 
tablishment in whicli the '^ Mud-fish" was to be seen. At 
lengtli, after manfully resisting the temptation of music in 
passing through the great transept, 1 gained an interview 
with his Mudship, and must confess myself agreeably sur- 
prised at his much more pleasant appearance than the * Lon- 
don News' figure had led me to expect. 

The Lepidosiren is on the whole rather a graceful fish 
than otherwise, and the mud colour, or greenish chocolate, 
is well set off by numerous symmetrically arranged lines, 
and some well defined leopard-like spots. Its chief pecu- 
liarity consists in the two pairs of limbs, which are neither 
legs nor fins, properly so called, but are flexible jointed 
filaments, bordered by fin-hke fringes, and occupying the 
positions of the pectoral and ventral fins of ordinary fishes, 
such as the salmon. They are used in swimming; the 
scythe-like sweep of the anterior pair giving them great 
power in propelling the body forwards ; which is effected 
at a rate which may be considered rapid for its propor- 
tionate weight and size. On the back, and on both sides 
of the tail, is a continuous fin-like keel, like that of the tad- 
poles of frogs and newts, which further assists in progres- 
sion. The body is eel-like, but not so much so as in 



292 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQl'ARIUM. 

another species. The breathing apparatus is compHcated, 
and^ besides internal^ there are two external gills exserted 
from behind, and above the exsertioii of the front pair of 
limbs. The head is not so snub, nor the aspect so fero- 
cious, as the recently published figure makes them appear. 
On looking at the figure too, one would be at a loss to 
assign any particular function to these limbs ; but on seeing 
them in action, their use is apparent, and I overheard a 
Prenchwoman pronounce them to be ^' nageoires." Very 
good " nageoires '' they certainly are, besides being well 
adapted for cutting through the mud in which this fish loves 
to reside. 

The Mud-fish moves freely and gracefully in the water, 
sometimes coming to the surface to obtain a supply of air, 
and feeding upon small animals. The nostrils open within 
the mouth. There were three specimens brought to Eng- 
land from the Eiver Gambia, enclosed in balls of hard clay, 
in which they had been buried for eight months, without 
any communication with the air. When the balls of clay 
were put into water, they cracked and broke. In the middle 
of these balls were discovered dark-coloured oval bags, 
which, afterwards bursting, liberated their inmates. These 
immediately swam about and were quite ready to break their 



PISHES. 293 

long fast by feeding greedily upon the worms, small frogs, 
and pieces of meat that were given to them. 

The largest specimen is about sixteen inches long and 
two inches broad. The three specimens were presented by 
Captain Chamberlayne to the Crystal Palace Company. The 
rudimental filamentary fins are considered as analogous 
to the four ordinary extremities in vertebrate animals. Their 
internal supports are in each a jointed cartilaginous ray. 
On the whole, the opinion of Professor Owen that the 
Lejndosireu is a fish, lias been well sustained. Por, while 
on one hand, the reptile-like development of the air-bladder, 
and its conversion into an organ of aerial respiration ; the 
tadpole-like appearance of the dorsal and tail fringe; the 
external gills, so like those of young newts; and the 
absence of regularly rayed true fins, seem to point to an 
affinity with aquatic reptiles : on the other hand, its true 
fish-scales, and many other points in its general anatomy, 
show it to be a fish. Into these points I do not now enter, 
but must refer my readers to vol. xviii. of the 'Transac- 
tions of the Linnsean Society,' contenting myself with quo- 
ting one argument of Professor Owen's. " In the organ 
of smell, we have at last a character which is absolute in 
reference to the distinction of fishes from reptiles. In every 



294 POPULAR HISTORY 01' THE AQUARIUM. 

fish it is a sac communicating only with the external sur- 
face ; in every reptile it is a canal with both an external and 
an internal opening. According to this test the Lepidosiren 
is a fish.^^ The only opening of the nostril is within the 
mouth. 

Onr Illustrations of Fishes are, Plate XV., Platessa vul- 
garis, young, in attitudes described in the text ; and Plate 
XVI., Lepidosiren swimming, wdth the bibernaculum shown 
at the bottom. 



295 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

FRESH- WATER ANIMALS. 

THE GREEN HYDRA, — TRITON CRISTATUS. — A PANIC. — HABITS. — PROGS. — 
FRESH-WATER TORTOISES. — EMYDID^. — MARINE TORTOISES. — TURTLES. 
— HABITS OF EMYS CONCENTRICA. — TRIONYCHID^. — MUD-TORTOISES. — 
HABITS OF MARINE TURTLES. — ALLIGATORS. 

Htdra vmiDis. 

The chapter on "Hjdroid Zoophytes" did not describe 
this wonderful fresh-water animal, which every one may, but 
very few ever do, procure, and examine, and experiment 
upon. It is more than a hundred years since Trembley, at 
the Hague, and Baker, in London, created a sensation by 
their revelations on the nature, habits, and reproduction of 
these little polypes, of which there are several species found 
in our ponds and ditches, adhering to the commonest water- 
plants. They are w^onderfully simple in form and structure, 
consisting of a tube or sac with a prehensile disc at one 



296 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

end and a mouth at the other, surrounded by a circle of 
retractile tentacles or feelers. Like Actinias, they are 
capable of collapsing the entire body into a little knob or 
button, and then, again expanding, they spread out their 
feelers to search for prey, which consists of minute insects and 
small worms. The touch of their feelers partly paralyzes 
their victims, which are swallowed entire and digested in 
the stomach. This is not their only movement, for they 
can crawl something in the manner of some caterpillars, by 
bringing the two extremities of the body together, making 
a bow in the middle, then moving the head a pace and 
bringing up the hinder disc to it. Like some plants, they 
are propagated either by buds or cuttings; the former, of 
course, the most natural. A little bud is seen at the side 
of the full-grown polype, it increases, it puts forth its 
circle of tentacula, and after a few days separates from the 
parent and becomes independent. The other method of 
propagation is the result of those curious and perhaps not 
really cruel experiments which originally caused so much 
excitement among naturahsts. The Hydra may be divided 
and subdivided into a great number of parts ; and each part 
will, under favourable circumstances, become a new polype. 
If the head be cut off, a few days will give a new body to 



FRESH-WATER ANIMALS. 297 

the head, and a new head, with a complete circle of ten- 
tacles, to the body ; and the vital functions appear so little 
disturbed by the operation, tliat young polypes will be form- 
ing on the separate parts of the parents during the process 
of restoration. The result is similar if the body be cut in 
strips lengthwise ; each strip will close round into a tube, 
and its proper circle of tentacles made up. It is also 
possible to turn the body inside-out as you would turn a 
stocking, and yet all the functions of life would proceed 
as before; digesting food within the sac, and reproducing 
without. 

Triton cristatus. — (Plate XIX.) 

Some years since, the village of Walton-on-Tliames " was 
thrown into a state of considerable excitement,^^ as the 
newspapers say, by the writer, then a little boy, passing 
through it with a prize in his pocket-handkerchief. The 
prize was a living creature, which unfortunately contrived 
to escape for an instant through the folds, and while being 
recaptured, was seen by a woman standing at the cottage 
door with a child in her arms. Greatly alarmed, she called 
out to know if the silly boy wanted to get poisoned, and so 
carrv death into his home. She communicated her alarm 



298 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUxA-RIUiL 

to lier nearest neighbour, who in equal terror went to fetch 
her husband from his work. But before his arrival^ some 
valiant workmen w^ere passing by, and being appealed to, 
made a vigorous onslaaght on the two-inch monster, and cut 
him into small pieces with tlieir trowels ! It was a poor 
water-newt, and the villagers then, as in Shakespeare's time, 
reckoned the species among noxious and dangerous animals 
more or less connected wdth supernatural agency. How 
would the Waltonites be astonished to see these animals 
iloating innocently among water-lilies in the tank, without 
any covering or other means of protecting the public from 
their power ! Setting aside the supernatural, however, we 
may remark that an idea of the poisonous powers of toads 
and newts has been very general, and it has probably arisen 
from the moisture secreted by the animal to keep in active, 
operation the breathing apparatus of the skin. This moisture 
is acrid and irritating, and would very likely tend to increase 
the inflammation of any wound on which it might happen to 
be pressed. 

The Amphibia are intermediate in their structure between 
fishes and true reptiles ; and in the two orders which we are 
about to notice, namely that containing the frogs and toads, 
and that containing the newts, a transition of organization 



I 



FRESH- WATEK ANIMALS. 299 

takes place, transforming the animal from a fisli to a reptile 
in habits and shape. At one time the animal is endowed 
with organs titted exclusively for breathing water, like the 
gills of fishes, with limbs suited for swimming; at another 
time it is provided with air-breathing lungs and fitted for 
land movements either by leaping or running. 

Ilahits of the Common IFater Nevji. 

The female of Triton cristatus is observed, at breeding 
time, to wander about in search of a suitable leaf of some 
aquatic plant. AVhen she has found one which is likely to 
answer her purpose, she takes her position on one side, 
holding on to the edge with her fore feet, while with the 
hind feet she draws the other edge over by means of her 
hind feet, so as to fold it, and then depositiiig a single egg 
within the fold, glues it by the mucus surrounding the 
embryo, so as effectually to secure it from injury. 

During the months of May or June many of the leaves 
of aquatic plants will be found thus neatly folded and glued 
together in the ponds and ditches ; but in order to observe 
the process, the female should be taken and placed in a 
tank at the proper season, with suitable plants for the pur- 
pose, so that the egg may be deposited under the eye. 



300 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

AVhen first deposited^ the egg is a little buffish-white ball 
surrounded by a jelly-like envelope within which it moves 
freely; in a few days it unrolls and gradually assumes a 
tadpole form, still within its envelope. In this state may 
be seen the simple rudiments of gills striking out at the 
sides of the head. The front pair of these gills constitutes 
holders by which the animal afterwards clings to objects, 
and immediately behind the gills are little knobs which are 
afterwards developed into anterior legs. Two bands of 
brown spots are seen running down the back. It then 
leaves the egg and swims about as merrily as most tad- 
poles do, and while the anterior gills become more distinct 
and useful as holders, the hinder ones become beautifully 
branched. By degrees the fore legs are developed, and the 
hinder ones appear at first in a very rudimentary form. A 
fin-like keel extends along both edges of the tail and over 
the back, and the transparency of the whole body is such 
that the circulation can be seen in almost every part. After 
the complete formation of gills, they begin to be gradually 
absorbed, while the formation of true lungs is going on, 
until at length, towards the end of autumn, it is an air- 
breathing reptile, and no longer a fish. 

It is stated that the young Xewt, retiring from the water 



g 




FRESH- WATER ANIMALS. 301 

after his first season and the loss by absorption of his tail 
and dorsal fins, seeks some distant spot for his first hiberna- 
tion, in a damp cellar, or under half-buried stones, and for the 
first three years does not return to the neighbourhood of the 
ponds, not being yet sufficiently strong to resist the attacks 
to which he would be exposed, and as yet unprepared for 
breeding. At the end of the period mentioned however 
he goes back to the water and is provided with new fins for 
his tail and a new crest for his back, becomes fish-like in his 
habits, and seeks a mate. At the end of the season again, 
the fishy ornaments are once more absorbed, and the Newt 
returns again to land ; this time, however, not seeking dis- 
tant solitudes, but hibernating in crevices and clay-banks 
coiled up in company with others of his race, of whom he 
is no longer afraid. Here they remain until the next 
breeding season ; the males acquiring crest and fins at the 
beginning of every aquatic season, and losing them prepara- 
tory to assuming terrestrial habits at the end. 

The full-grown Triton feeds on live aquatic animals, which 
it is capable of swallowing entire. Its manner of seizing 
prey is rapid and efficient, often enabling it to secure large 
bodies. Water Mollusca not unfrequently fall a prey to 
its voracious appetite, their shells having been found in 



302 . POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

the stomach when opened, sometimes crushed, but always 
empty. They feed too on the young of their own species 
as well as of the smooth species, which is considerably 
smaller. The following experiments and observations are, 
among others, recorded by Mr. Higginbotham in the twelfth 
volume of the ' Annals of Natural History .'' 

" I kept a little male Newt, Lissotriton pimctatus, in a 
basin of clear water, quite alone. 

"The markings of the skin of this Newt at this time 
were bright and distinct, and the dorsal crest was deep. 
At eight o^clock on the morning of the 30th, I noticed 
that it was particularly dull, and would scarcely move on 
being touched, and I feared it was going to die from its 
confinement and want of food ; it was very thin, but its 
epidermic covering had undergone no change, and its sum- 
mer dress was as bright as ever. Upon again looking at 
the little animal at eleven o'clock, I found that it had 
assumed the colours and form of the Newt in winter, ap- 
proximating those of the female, and in the water its entire 
exuvium was floating about, so thin and transparent as to 
look a mere film, but still quite perfect, excepting the fissure 
by which the body had emerged. 

"The Newt was now of a brown colour, and the black 



PRESII-WATER ANIMALS. 30o 

Spots on its surface less distinct ; the dorsal crest, which 
before was deep, was merely represented by a ridge, and 
the tail had diminished by one-third of its vertical depth, 
this difference being principally on its dorsal surface. The 
integument was very thin, the cutaneous bloodvessels being 
quite apparent through it. It was very active, and swam 
about the basin with renewed life and vigour. The slough 
was a perfect cast of the whole body, limbs, and tail ; it was 
quite entire and not torn or broken in any part, excepting 
tiiat it had been split straight down the middle line on the 
ventral surface, from the symphysis of the lower jaw to the 
point of the tail, and had thus simply peeled off the body, 
beginning from the belly and passing oft* the sides and then 
from the back, taking away the dorsal crest. It is re- 
markable that there was no fissure or crack in the cuticle 
from the legs and feet, but it had slipped off the limbs 
exactly as a glove would if pulled off by the extremities of 
the fingers, and was not inverted ; in this respect resembling 
the slough from the tail of the snake or slow-worm, the 
tail of them being said to slip out of its covering like a 
sword out of its scabbard. 

"The little sheaths of legs, feet, and toes, were very 
beautiful; they were almost transparent, excepting the points 



304 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

corresponding to the black markings of the skin; here 
they were blackish, and their integrity was so complete 
that when removed from the basin the water did not run 
through them, but distended them like tiny gloves/"' 

In the tanks of the Zoological Society we have an op- 
portunity of observing the Water Newts in fine condition, 
floating among the water-lilies or occasionally coming in 
contact with that curious insect the " Water Beetle." On 
visiting them lately, however, I have noticed that these 
specimens, being in a great measure prepared for terrestrial 
existence, seem rather anxious to get their heads out of the 
water and cling to anything that floats on the surface. In 
order to meet this desire, the keepers have placed a little bit 
of wood in the tank, just large enough to form a raft for 
one, or at most two. Newts. If any more cling to it, down 
goes one side of the raft. While I was there, some five or 
six were trying to get on at once, and happy was the one 
fortunate enough to have a place on the floating edge as the 
other side plunged. It was a happiness of short duration ; 
he would soon be edged off his perch, or his side would be 
over-balanced. A continual struggle was going on, and I 
observed one poor fellow, who having made several in- 
effectual attempts to get a place on the raft, at length gave 



FRESH-WATER ANIMALS. 305 

it up ill despair, and plunging up and down, now and then, 
by a strong effort, leaping half out of the water. 

Frogs. 

During the breeding season every boy may sport his own 
Aquarium in the shape of a pan or tub, in which he 
may place spawn or young tadpoles for the purpose of 
scientific observation. Here he may watch the develop- 
ment of the animals in their various stages, until they 
become reptiles, leave the water, perch on the edge of the 
vessel, and leap away. 

It would be no bad plan to let this experiment take place 
in a garden, where the permanent residence of Erogs might 
be encouraged by continued supplies of moisture, so that 
the pursuit of knowledge might be accompanied by useful 
results. It is not perhaps generally known how^ useful 
frogs and toads might be to the gardener, their food con- 
sisting chiefly of those very pests which cost him so much 
pains to get rid of. They will swallow slugs and insects 
entire, and are sometimes seen to take several at a meal. 
Instead, therefore, of persecuting and killing these useful 
and innocent creatures, it would be advantageous to en- 
courage them to a great extent, as their voracity in a garden 

X 



306 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

would go far towards exterminating the ruthless enemies to 
utilitarian gardening. 

In watching the development of the young Tadpole into 
the more perfect animal, it is observed that as soon as the 
gills have attained their greatest development, they begin to 
diminish in size, and are gradually reduced so as to be 
contained within a cavity and enclosed by a kind of valve 
in the skin. The eyes being perfectly formed and the lips 
becoming movable, the Tadpole begins to be active in 
securing food, which in this state is of a vegetable nature. 
The fin-like web on the tail becomes much enlarged, to fit 
it for rapid motion in search of food. By degrees little 
tubercles at the sides of the body successively announce a 
commencement in the production first of the hinder and 
then of the fore limbs. In proportion as the hinder legs 
become developed, the tail-fin wears away, and then the tail 
itself becomes gradually absorbed, till, " small by degrees 
and beautifully less,^^ it is finally lost altogether, and the 
animal uses his hind legs with webbed feet for progression 
through the water, until, emerging from that element, he 
uses them for leaping on land. Now, no longer a vegetable- 
eating Tadpole, he is an air-breathing Frog, feeding on in- 
sects and worms. For the latter change the young Tadpoles 



FRESH- WATER ANIMALS. 307 

had been gradually prepared by feeding partially on animal 
food before their final development, and the author of the 
' History of British Eeptiles ' relates that, suspecting a 
fratricidal disposition among the little creatures, he placed 
several more or less advanced specimens in a large globe of 
water, and '^observed that almost as soon as one had ac- 
quired its limbs it was found dead at the bottom of the 
water and the remaining Tadpoles feeding upon it. This 
took place with all of them successively excepting the last, 
which lived on to complete its change, and for a consider- 
able time afterwards." 

These amphibious creatures live in great enjoyment in 
fresh-water Yivaria combined with fern -cases, as introduced 
by Mr. Lloyd, in which Frogs and jNTewts can leave the 
water for a while and disport themselves merrily among the 
branches of Ferns in the upper part of the case, and then 
hop or glide down again into the water below. They are 
fond also of finding anything that will float on the surface 
and sustain the weight of their bodies. In a garden tank 
belonging to a friend at Croydon, round the sides of which 
a kind of grotto is built, there is, among minerals, plants, 
madrepores, and shells, a large specimen of Haliotis, or ear- 
shell. It is a large open shell, and, the holes being stopped 



308 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE xiQUARIUM. 

up, capable of floating. My friend has frequently observed 
this shell in use by the Frogs as a boat ; several remaining 
upon it at the same time, and moving it by their overhanging 
legs and arms ! 

Emydid^. 
Fresh-water Tortoises, -which spend their time in and 
about the margins of lakes and rivers, have (as compared 
\yith land tortoises) forms well adapted for the requirements 
of their existence. The shell is flatter, and the openings 
for the limbs are wider, to allow of the freer action required 
for swimming. The feet are more slender and rather flat- 
tened. The toes are expanded and connected by a mem- 
brane. The claws are long and sharp, to enable them to 
seize and tear their prey, which consists of aquatic animals. 
In short, on seeing an Emi/s of the true typical form, you 
at once recognize a creature formed to paddle about and 
take his prey in the waters; while he can, with equal facility, 
crawl about on the banks or sun himself upon any rocky 
elevation within his reach. One family of Fresh-water Tor- 
toises, the TrionycliidcE, are remarkable for having their 
whole body covered with a strong coriaceous skin, instead 
of the horny plates which usually cover the bony box in 



FRESH-WATER ANIMALS. 309 

whicli the body is enclosed. They are remarkably flat and 
expanded at the sides, so that they can lie in wait unob- 
served in the mud at the bottom of rivers and lakes, watch- 
ing for the passing by of any little living dainties to whicli 
they may take a fancy; when, suddenly, the long neck is 
darted forth, and the captive, be it iish, mollusc, frog, lizard, 
or insect, is seized, drawn down, and devoured, without its 
captor taking the trouble to move from his hiding-place. 

Marine Tortoises, or Turtles, constituting the family of 
Cheloniadce, are still more perfectly formed for swimming. 
The body is fiat ; the shell too small to admit the retraction 
of the head and feet ; and the feet are formed into paddles 
as perfect as those of tlie Seal. Their food, like that of the 
Land Tortoise, is almost entirely vegetable. 

There are many good specimens, Eni^s concentrica, etc. 
(Plate XX.), in the fish-house of the Gardens, in company 
with some juvenile Crocodiles and some other species of 
Em2/s. The Crocodiles seem to keep apart from and to 
take no notice of their companions ; but the Tortoises 
crawl very freely over each other^s backs. In general their 
movements are slow enough, but at times, when pursuing 
their food, they are capable of some degree of animation. 
Sometimes the Emycles will creep gradually and cautiously 



310 POPULAR HlSTOllY OF THE AQUAUITM. 

up to their victim, stretching their necks till the head is 
near enough, and then suddenly snapping it with the jaws. 
Sometimes they will pursue a frog or a fish with great 
rapidity, and immediately tear it to pieces and devour bit 
by bit in a very short time. They can be kept easily in 
ponds or tanks, or any vessels turned for the purpose into 
Aquaria, by being fed with bits of meat when living ani- 
mals cannot be easily procured. 

The peculiar concentric furrows and markings on the 
plates of the shell of Emys concentrica would, if constant 
in all ages and conditions, distinguish this from all other 
species, but in some varieties this character is scarcely 
visible, nor does it make its appearance in the very young 
specimens. On first leaving the egg the plates of the 
young shell exhibit neither furrows nor markings; when 
half-grown, the concentric furrows appear, and soon become 
deep and strong; then, as the animal advances in age, the 
furrows become less and less strons^lv marked, while the 
concentric bands of colour become more and more distinct. 

The flesh of some American Fresh- water Tortoises is 
known to constitute an article of food so delicious that it 
does seem a pity not to make some decisive effort to 
naturaHze them in our own country and introduce them 



FRESH-WATER ANIMALS. 311 

into our markets. I have met with persons from America 
who, having tasted it, pronounce it excellent; while, as a 
nourisliing and easily digested food for invalids, it is beyond 
all praise. 

From partial experiments which have already been made 
for purposes of science by individuals, it does appear pro- 
bable that the Emydidm might be brought to bear this 
climate. Specimens sent from Carolina have remained in 
health during summer and autumn, have hibernated at the 
bottom of a small pond in the winter, and have been resus- 
citated by the returning warmth of spring. Nor do I 
know why a little artificial heat, such as might be ob- 
tained in a winter-house, should not be applied with ad- 
vantage. We see how some kinds of fish multiply and 
swarm in botanical hot-houses, and why should not these 
" fresh-water turtles ^^ be induced by similar comforts to 
consider themselves equally at home and to become equally 
prolific ? 

One interesting circumstance connected with these ani- 
mals is, that they occasionally shed the horny plates which 
cover their bony shell one at a time, the new plate being 
formed underneath before the old one is thrown ofP, when 
the new plate is found to resemble the old one exactly, ex- 



312 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

cepting that it looks a little brighter and fresher at first ; but 
in a few days even this difference is no longer observable. 

In eating fish, which constitutes a considerable propor- 
tion of the food of the carnivorous Testudinata, they will 
almost always reject the air-bag, which, floating on the 
surface of the water, tells its tale of the murder which has 
been committed. This circumstance is so well known, that 
those who seek the Tortoises are guided in their estimate of 
the comparative number of those inhabiting any particular 
lake or pond they may visit by the number of these tell- 
tale air-bags floating on its waters. 

Mud Tortoises. 

The Trioni/chida have no horny plates covering the shell, 
but are invested with a strong coriaceous skin ; there is a 
free flapping edge of a leathery substance at the sides. They 
burrow in the mud at the bottom of rivers and lakes ; and 
by means of their very long necks can instantaneously 
seize their prey without the necessity of moving from their 
position. 

" They aid the separation of their food, which they seize 
with their jaws, by tearing it with their long sharp claws. 
Thus they pursue, seize, and tear in pieces living frogs and 



PRESH-WATER ANIMALS. 313 

other aquatic reptiles, fisb, and even young water-birds ; 
and so forcible and violent is their bite, that I have known 
a stick of half an inch in diameter at once snapped asunder 
by the jaws of a snapping Turtle, CJielydra serjoentina ; and 
a specimen of Trionyx, lately in possession of Mr. Cross, of 
the Surrey Zoological Gardens, snapped ofP the finger of a 
sailor when on his voyage to this country."' 

Fresh-water Tortoises generally seize and hold their food 
with such tenacity that they may often be caught in the 
same manner as we sometimes see little boys catching crabs, 
namely by tying a piece of meat or entrail to a string, per- 
mitting the Tortoise to seize it, and then suddenly drawing 
it out of the w^ater. 

Turtles. 

Although Marine Testudinata have not yet been made 
the subjects of study in an Aquarium, yet, closely connected 
as they are with the family we have just dismissed, it may 
be interesting to mention one or two facts connected with 
them. "The food of the green Turtle consists of marine 
plants, especially the sea-wrack, Zostera marina. They 
graze at the bottom of the water, coming at intervals to 
the surface to breathe. As this mode of takinsj their food 



314 POPULAU HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

renders tliein liable to s^yallow with their aliment a con- 
siderable quantity of sea-water, there is a beautiful struc- 
ture lining the interior of the oesophagus, by which this is 
effectually avoided. This consists of a great number of 
horny pyramidal bodies with which the whole interior of 
the oesophagus is furnished, all of them directed backwards 
towards the stomach ; by which means, althoiigli the food 
and water together can be readily swallowed, yet when the 
stomach is retracted, the water can be expelled, and the food 
itself retained. On Ascension Island, on the shores of the 
Gulf of Florida, and in many other places, innumerable 
multitudes of Turtles arrive at a period of year differing in 
different species, but in all during the early part of summer. 
It is from the Turtle, and not from the Tortoise properly 
so called, that the beautifully transparent plates are taken 
and formed into combs and other articles ; these plates are 
sometimes eight or ten inches wide. 

Alligators. — (Plate XX.) 

The existence of several young Alligators in the fresh- 
water basin included within the limits of the Zoological 
fish-house, living in harmony with Emydida. and Trionij- 
cJiidce, may seem to give a right to the family of Crocodilida 



PRESH-WATER ANIMALS. 315 

to be considered in this work ; especially as we are never 
likely, unless travelling to other climes, to become very 
familiar with the habits of Crocodiles or Alligators in full 
growth and enjoying their natural freedom. The best ex- 
ternal character by which we may distinguish Alligators 
from Crocodiles is that the muzzle of the Crocodile, as seen 
from above, narrows behind the nostrils, whereas that of 
Alligator becomes broader, widening out towards the back 
of the head. The writer of this book is not competent to 
form a very oracular opinion on a class of animals which he 
has not systematically studied ; but he inclines much to the 
opinion expressed by an author of natural history articles 
in the 'Penny Cyclopaedia,^ that the distinctions between 
the two sets of animals are rather specific than generic. 
The usual food of Alligators is fish, which they take chiefly 
by night. Assembling in great numbers, they make for the 
mouth of some creek or arm of the river, driving the fish 
before them into it ; then diving down under the shoal, 
each one secures his victim, and coming to the surface with 
it, throws it up into the air and catches it again. This is 
done to get rid of the water taken into the mouth with the 
fish, before they finally swallow it. All food too large to 
be swallowed at once, is laid by in some place of security 



316 POPULAR HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM. 

and concealment until it has become sufficiently softened 
by putrefaction to admit of being torn up by the teeth and 
claws, when it is brought to shore and devoured. The 
young specimen in the Zoological fish-house happened to 
be feeding when we were there, and a piece of fresh beef 
which was presented to it seemed too large to be swallowed 
crosswise. The AlHgator made some attempts to get it 
placed lengthwise, but was unsuccessful, so he remained on 
the surface of the water with the meat across his jaws and 
a piece hanging down at each side. Some saucy little 
Water Tortoises in the same tank, seeing this, came round 
the mouth of their distressed companion, and began snap- 
ping and tugging away at the pendent morsels, regard- 
less of his superior size and powerful jaws. Bit by bit 
the piece was reduced to what the Alligator thought a 
convenient size, and just as he was about to jerk it round 
into his throat, one of the audacious Emydid(B seized it 
with a sudden snap and carried it off without the slightest 
resistance or apparent resentment on the part of the injured 
Croeodihan. 

One remarkable circumstance in reference to AlHgators 
is the immense disparity in size between the newly hatched 
young and the full-grown individual. According to reliable 



PRESH- WATER ANIMALS. 317 

information, the young are about six inches in length, and 
full-grown individuals sometimes measure fourteen or fifteen 
feet. Now, if we can suppose any proportionate ratio of 
growth between the animals in captivity and those in their 
native condition, it will appear that an enormous time 
must be consumed before the adult size can be attained. 
Specimens received at the Gardens nine inches long, eight 
or nine years since, have only yet reached a length of about 
thirty inches ! at which rate it would take forty-five to fifty 
years to attain maturity ! 



1 



319 



INDEX 



PAGE 

Abnormal forms of Acti- 

niadse 116 

Acepliala in the tank ... 18 
/^ Actinia mesembryanthe- 

mum .\ .. 79,107 

Actiniae for ciilinaiy pur- 
poses ^ 

Actinoidea defined 35 

Adamsia palliata 114 

Aeration of the water ... 21 

Alcyonaria 60 

Alcyonese defined 69 

Alcyonidium hirsutum . . 73 

Alcyonium digitatum ... 70 
Alisma, or Water Plantain, 

for Presh Aquaria ... 14 



PAGE 

Alligators 314 

Amphibia 298 

Amphitrite iEgeana .... 184 
^Anemones, or Sea-flowers, 

in the tank 18 

descriptions of . . . 107 

Anguinaria spatulata ... 57 

Annelida, in the tank ... 17 

Annelids, descriptions of 179 

Antennularia antennina. . 45 

V Anthea cereus 108 

Aphrodita, or Sea-Mouse, 

181,190 

Apoda 180 

Arachnitis albida .... 96, 118 

Argonauta 274 



320 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

ArgjToneta aquatica. ... 247 

Artemia salina 201 

Ascidiadee in the tank . . 15 

Ascidia vitrea 267 

Asteriadse defined 170 

Balsenopliyllea regia .... 126 
Balance of animal and ve- 
getable life 3 

Barnacles on rocks 2 

Beroe ovata 156 

Brittle-star, Luidia fragi- 

lissima 176 

Broad-claw Crab 239 

Brj^opsis, suitable for Ma- 
rine Aquaria 13 

Buccinum undatum in- 
habited by Hydractinea 36 

by Paguiiis 241 

Bunodes gemmacea .... 106 

crassicornis 105 

clavata 107 

Callithamnion, suitable for 

Marine Aquaria 13 

CaUitriche, or Starwort, 



PAGE 

suitable for "Fresh-water 

Aquaria 14 

Campanularia volubilis. . 55 
Cancer Pagurus, or Great 

Eatable Crab 236 

its exmdation .... 337 

Capnea sanguinea. ... 96, 118 
Carcinus msenas, Common 

Shore Crab 230 

Care of the Aquarium . . 19 

Carp 286 

Casting limbs by Crus- 
tacea 218 

Caryophyllea Smithii ... 130 

Cellularia ciliata 58 

Chsetopoda 180 

Cheloniadae 309 

Chelydra serpentina .... 313 

Chirocephalus diag^anus 200 
Chondrus, suitable for 

Marine Aquaria 13 

Chrysoaria CYclonota ... 154 

Cidaris papillata 170 

Cirrhipedes, the Acorn 

Balanus in the tank . . 17 

Clava 34 



INDEX. 



321 



PAGE 

Cleaning the tank 20 

Cliona 27 

Cloak Anemone 114 

Codium, suitable for Ma- 
rine Aquaria 13 

Comatnla rosacea 171 

Confervoid growth in 

Aquaria 13 

Coral islands, reefs, etc. . 141 
CoraUina, suitable for 

Marine Aquaria 13 

Corals 129 

Coryne pusiQa 36 

Corynactes AUmanii. . 96, 116 

Coiyne sessiUs 36 

Crab, the Common Shore 230 
Crangon vulgaris or Com- 
mon Shrimp 220 

Crinoidse, defined 170 

Crocodilidse 814 

Crustacea in the tank . . 16 

Chapter XI 211 

Cucimiaria grandis 160 

Cuttle-fish 273 

Cycladophora, suitable for 
Marine Aquaria 13 



PAGE 

Cyclops quadricomis ... 204 

Cypridae 202 

Cypris 203 

Cythere 203 

Daisy Anemone 99 

Delesseria, suitable for 

Marine Aquaria 13 

Doris bilameUata 268 

Drip -glass for aeration . . 21 

Dyticus marginalis 255 

Echinodermata in the 

tank 17 

Echinus 163 

locomotion of ... . 164 

shell of 166 

digestive organs of 168 

miliaris 169 

Edwardsia vestita. ... 96, 119 

Emydidae 308 

Emys concentrica 309 

EnteromoqDha 6 

Entomostraca 197 

Eolis papillosa, its vora- 
city 270 



322 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Eriocaulon or Pipewort, 

for Fresh Aquaria. ... 14 

Eucratea clielata 55 

Eudendrium rameum ... 37 

Eiiplectella aspergillum . 30 
Exuviation of Common 

Shore Crab 233 

of Crustacea 215 

Faii'y Shrimp, Chirocepha- 

his 200 

Eeather-star, Comatula. . 171 

Fishes 14,276 

Fittings and furnishing of 

tank 9 

Flounder,Platessa vulgaris 282 

Foraminifera 75 

Fountain-Aquarium for 

aeration 21 

Fresh - water Animals, 

Chapter on 295 

Frogs 305 

Fungia 142 

Fusus corneus inhabited 

by Hydractinea 36 

Galathea strigosa 240 



PAGB 

Gasteropoda in the tank 1 6 
Gasterosteus aculeatus . . 277 
Gemmaceous Anemone. . 106 

Gobius niger 283 

Goby 283 

Gorgoniadse 60 

Gorgonia flabeUum, Ye- 

nus's Fan •. . 68 

Gorgonia verrucosa ... 67 
Gosse, Mr. H., his early 

experiments 7 

Grantia botiyoides .... 27 

ciliata 29 

Green colour in the water 20 

Green Hydra 295 

Grey MuUet 284 

Griffithsia, suitable for 

Marine Aquaria 13 

Gudgeons 287 



Halichondria sanguinea . 27 

Hermit Crab 241 

Holothuriadae, or Sea-Cu- 
cumbers 157 

Homarus vulgaris. Com- 
mon Lobster 226 



INDEX. 



323 



Honeycomb Worm, Sa- 

belia alveolata 188 

Hydra \dridi3 34, 295 

Hydractinea echinata ... 35 
Hydrocliaris, or Frog-bit, 
for Presh Aquaria. ... 14 

Hydroida defined 34 

Hydi-oid Zoophytes . . 23, 32 

Iliianthus Scoticus 119 

Infusoria 74 

Insects in the tank .... IG 
aquatic 247 

JeUy-fish 149 

Laomedea dichotoma ... 51 

gelatinosa 54 

geniculata 52 

Lerneadse, parasitic En- 

tomostraca .- 206 

Lerneonema sprattse. ... 208 
Lepidogaster bimaculatus 285 
Lepidosiren annectans, or 

Mud-fish 290 

Light, its proper aspect 

and colour for Aquaria 10 



PAGE 

Lily Encrinite 171 

Limnsea stagnalis 264 

Lloyd, !Mr. A., his esta- 
blishment 8 

Lissotriton punctatus . . 302 

Littorina littorea 261 

Loach 287 

Lobster, the Common . . 226 

Lucernaria auricula .... 125 

Luida fragilissima 175 

Luminosity of Eish ..... 2 8 7 

Madrepores 129 

Medusa? 149 

reproduction of . . . 152 

Metamoi-phoses of the 

Common Crab 234 

Metamoi-phoses of Crus- 
tacea 219 

Minnows 287 

Mollusca 15, 2G0 

Mud-fish, Lepidosiren . . 290 
Mugil clielo,or Grey!Mullet 2 84 
Mussels in the tank .... 16 
Mutilation of Sea-Cucum- 
bers 159 



824 



INDEX. 



Nassa reticulata inha- 
bited by Hydractinea. . 36 
Natica glaucina inhabited 

by Hydractinea 36 

Nereis bilineata 190 

Newt, habits of 399 

Night -Lights, Noctiluca .193 
Noctiluca miliaris, or 

Night-Lights 191. 

Nudibranchiate MoUusca 267 

Nudibranchs in the tank . ] 6 

Oculina prolifera 138 

Ophiocoma bell is 174 

Ophiuridie defined 170 

Oysters in the tank .... 16 

PachjTTiatisina Johnstonii 26 

Pagurus Bernhardus. ... 241 

Prideauxii 115 

Palsemon serratus 220 

Parasitic Anemone 103 

Pavonaria quadraugidaris 66 

Peachia hastata 123 

Pennatula phosphorea, or 

Sea-Pen 61 



PAGB 

Pennatulidae 60 

Pentacrinus Em'opaeus . . 172 

Pentacta pentactes 158 

Periwinkles in the tank . 16 

Periwinkle, its habits ... 261 

Philline quadripartita . . 272 
Phyllophora, suitable for 

^Marine Aquaria 13 

Pipe-fish 286 

Pipewort, or Eriocaulon, 

for Presh Aquaria. ... 14 
Planorbis devoured by 

the Water-Beetle 25 8 

Plants for Marine Aqua- 
ria 13 

Plants for Presh-water 

Aquaria 14 

Plantain, the Water, for 

Presh Aquaria 14 

Platessa vulgaris 281 

Polypiferous Zoophytes. . 34 
Polysiphonia, suitable for 

INIarine Aquaria 13 

Porcellana platycheles . . 239 

Plumose Anemone 105 

Plumularia pinnata .... 47 



INDEX. 



325 



Prawn, the common large 

species 320 

Psolinns brevis 160 

Purple colour secreted by 

Purpura 271 

Purpura in tbe tank. ... 16 
lapiUus 270 

Eanunculus, the Water, 
for Presh Aquaria. ... 14 

Eeproduction of Acti- 
niadae 94 

Keptiles in the tank .... 15 

Ehytiphloea, suitable for 
Marine Aquaria ] 3 

Eosy Anemone 102 

Sabella alveolata 188 

tubularia 187 

Sagartia anguicoma .... 97 

Candida 103 

ijellis 99 

dianthus 105 

nivea 102 

parasitica 103 

rosea 102 



PAGE 

Sagartia troglodytes. ... 99 

Saxicava rugosa 272 

Scallops in the tank. ... 16 
Sea-blubbers, or Jelly-fish 149 

Sea-Cucumbers 157 

Sea-Mouse, or Aphro- 

dita 181,190 

Sea-Pen, Pennatula phos- 

phorea 62 

Sea-Urchins 163 

Seaweeds, the kinds suit- 
able 13 

Sea- Worms 179 

Sepia officinalis 273 

Sepiola vulgaris ....... 273 

Serpula contortuplicata. . 182 

Sertularia argentea 44 

experiment on dry 

specimen 44 

polyzonias 43 

rugosa 43 

Shrimp, the Common ... 226 
Sloughing of the Smooth 

Newt 302 

Smooth Anemone 107 

Smooth Newt, Lissotriton 302 



3SJ6 



INDEX. 



PAGE I 

Snake-locked Anemone. . 97 1 

Snowy Anemone 102 

Soldier Crab 241 

Spatangus purpureas . . 169 

Spider, the Water 247 

Sponges 18, 23 

Sprat infested by Lerneo- 

nema 210 

Star-fishes 163 

classification of . . 170 

Starwort for Presh Aqua- 
ria 14 

Stickleback 277 

Stinging power of the Ac- 

tiniadse 87 

Stratictes, or Water Sol- 
dier, for Presh Aquaria 14 
Sucker, Lepidogaster . . 285 
Suicide of Sea-Cucumbers 159 
Syngnathus lumbricifor- 

mis 286 

Systematic divisions of 
Actiniadae 95 

Tadpole of the Prog 306 

Tank, shape and materials 8 



Tank, INIr. Wamngton's 

original 5 

Tank, fittings and furnish- 

i»S' 9 

Tench 287 

Terebella conchilega .... 188 

Thick-horned Anemone . 105 

Thy one papillosa 160 

Tide-pools 1 

Toothed Coralline, the 
Great, Sertularia poly- 

zonias 43 

Tortoises, Fresh-water,. . 308 
Tortoises, Marine, or 

Turtles, 309, 313 

Transport of specimens 

for Aquaria 19 

Triton cristatus 297 

Trionychidse, or Mud- 
Tortoises 308, 312 

Tronya 313 

Tubularia indivisa 40 

Turbinalia milletiana ... 138 
Two-lined Worm, Nereis .190 

Ulva, suitable for Aquaria 13 



INDEX. 



327 



PAGE 

Uraster nibens 177 

YalKsiieria spiralis for 

Fresh-water Aquaria. . 14 

Yenus's Pan ....*. 68 

Virgiilaria mirabilis .... 64 

Warrington, Mr. E., his 

experiments 4 

Water-Beetle 255 

Water-lilies for Fresh 

Aquaria 14 

Water for Aquaria 12 

Water Plantain, for Fresh 
Aquaria 14 



PAGE 

Water Eanunculus, for 

Fresh Aquaria 14 

Water-Spider 247 

Water- Snails in the tank 16 

Water-Snail, Limnsea. . . 264 
Water Soldier, or Stratio- 

tes, for Fresh Aquaria. 14 

White Anemone 103 

Worm-shell 182 

Zoanthus Couchii ...... 128 

Zoe of the Common Crab 234 

Zoe of Pagurus 244 

Zoophyta, in the tank . . 18 



THE END. 



JOHX EDWAED TAYI.OE, PSINTEK, 
LITTLB QUEBN STBEBT, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS. 



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