Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Orders of insects
 Back Cover

Group Title: Sketches of British insects : a handbook for beginners in the study of entomology
Title: Sketches of British insects
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055482/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sketches of British insects a handbook for beginners in the study of entomology
Physical Description: vi, 2, 161, 7 p., 6 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Houghton, W ( William ), 1828-1895
Groombridge and Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: Groombridge and Sons
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1888
Subject: Entomology -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Insects -- Juvenile literature -- Great Britain   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1888   ( rbgenr )
Fantasy literature -- 1888   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1888
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by W. Houghton ; illustrated with coloured plates and wood engravings.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Includes index.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055482
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002231765
notis - ALH2150
oclc - 09665258

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title 1
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    List of Illustrations
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
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        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Orders of insects
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
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    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text


The Baldwin Library


F6it -e 1

-' '


. .







llustratrb faitlj foloureb jldatcs an Wo nb ntgrabings.



iBEb biat to .



















I. Cicada Anglica. 2. Eupteryx picta.
3. Foificula auricularia. 4. Acrida viridissima.
5. Acrydium Peregrinum. 6. Cercopis sanquinolenta.
7. Acheta domestic. 8. Blatta orientalis.
9. Hydrometra lacustris. 10. Notonecta glanca.
II. Nepa cinlrea.
I. Ephemnera vulgata. 2. Libellula minmIn.
3. Panorpa communis. 4. Phryganea grandis.
5. Chrysofa vulgaris. 6. Perla bicaudata.
7. Sialis lutarius. 8. Cordulegaster annulatus
I. Vanessa Atalanta. 2. Gonepteryx rhamni.
3. Polyonmmatus alexis. 4. Macroglossa stellatarum.
5. Arctia caja. 6. Gastropacha quercifolia.
7. Sesia afiformis. 8. Alucita polydactyla.
I. Cecidomyia tritici, 2. Psila rose.
3. Tephritis onopordinis. 4. EmLis livida.
5. Eristalis tenax. 6. TifLula olcracea.
7. Culex ipiclns. 8. Bibio Marci.
9. Volicella pellucens. Io. Tabanis autumnalis.
I I. Asilus crabronifoirmis. 12. Bombylus major.
13. 2Estrus Ovis. 14. Sargus cuprarius.
I. Vespa crabo. 2. V. vulgaris.
3. V. sylvestris. 4. Bomb terestris.
5. Bombus lapidarius. 6. Chrysis ignita.
7. Athalia spinarumn. 8. Ammophila sabulosa.
9. Sirex gigas.
I. Cicindela canmpcstris. 2. Cryptorhyncus lapathi.
3. Cetonia aurata. 4. Endomychus coccincies.
5. Crioceris asparagi. 6. Altica nemorum.
7. Aromia moschata. S. Lucanus cervus.
9. Later (atlhos) ruficandis. Io. Coccinclla septan punctata.


N this little volume my object has been to give
a short Sketch of our British Insects, with the
hope of inducing dwellers in the country to take an
interest in these winged denizens of the air.
I believe the contents of the work will be found
to be accurate. In the classification and divisions
into families or groups I have adopted those which
have the sanction of Entomologists eminent in their
respective departments. The works of Westwood,
Stainton, Rye, Shuckard, Staveley, Newman, Ormerod,
Curtis, Lowne, Noel Humphreys, Duncan, Walker,
Lubbock, F. Smith, Dallas, Douglas and Scott, etc.,
have been constantly before me and freely used.
After the Reader has acquired, as I trust he may
be able to do, a general knowledge-a sort of
bird's-eye view-of insect life as exhibited in the
fields and lanes of this country, he cannot do better


than put this unpretending little volume on one
side, and selecting some especial department in
Entomology, pursue it with ardour, under the
guidance of such excellent authorities as Westwood,
or Rye, Stainton, McLachlan, or Ormerod.

August, 1875.




LL Animals may be included in one or other of the
following great Divisions or Sub-Kingdoms, as they
VI. C ject of the present volume, belong to the Sub-Kingdom
ARTHROPODA, i.e., "having feet at the joints," from
ipopov "a joint," and roiC, roS6c, "a foot;" the term
implying that the animals are possessed of jointed ap-
pendages articulated to the body. Not only insects,
therefore, but the Myriapoda (centipedes), Arachnida
(spiders, mites, scorpions), and Crustacea (lobsters.
crabs, etc.,) belong to the Arthropoda, for in all these
four classes we find jointed appendages articulated to
the body. The Althropoda are again divisible into
two large natural groups according to their mode of
respiration. In the Crustacea the respiration is aquatic,
in the three other classes it is aerial; in the former it
is carried on by means of special organs called brancdia,
or where no such organs exist by means of the whole


surface of the body; in the latter the respiration is
effected by means of extremely beautiful and delicate
air-tubes, which convey the oxygenating element to all
parts of the body. The Sub-Kingdom Arthropoda may
be represented in a tabular form thus:-


Tracheata Class1. Insecta.
(breathing by trachem)
(aerial) Class 2. Myriapoda.

Divisions { [ Class 3. Arachnida.

Branchiata .
(breathing by bran- Class 4. Crustacea.
chize) (aquatic)

At present we are only concerned with Class I., the
Insecta, which it will be necessary to define, in order to
distinguish it from the two other air-breathing classes
of the same sub-kingdom. Insects are air-breathing
animals having three well-marked divisions of the body,
the head, thorax, and abdomen, always distinct one
from the other; the thorax, or middle portion, is
composed of three segments, the prothorax, to which is
attached the first pair of legs, the mesothorax with the
second pair of legs and first pair of wings, and the
metathorax with the third pair of legs and the second
pair of wings, where these last organs are present. The
head always carries two antenna. Insects are generally
furnished with wings, and undergo a series of trans-
formations (metamorphosis) before arriving at their adult


or reproductive form. Exceptional forms occur, but
every insect must possess the following marks: "It
must breathe air, and have its body cut into (in-sected,
hence the name) three distinct parts, possess, as a rule,
six legs and two antenna ;" if it be destitute of these
characteristics the animal is not an insect properly
so called.
But let us try to learn something more definitely of
the structure of an insect by examining the various
parts of its organization. At present we are concerned
only with the adult form, or imago as it is called. If
you take an insect, and after having killed it you
examine it, you will notice that its body is composed of
distinct rings and segments, of a consistency more or
less horny, that these rings are joined to each other by
a membranous skin, which serves to give flexibility to
the whole. This outward integument is rendered more
or less hard by a deposit of chiitne, which extends from
the exterior into the interior ; in some insects, as in
the horny wing-cases of beetles, this chitinous deposit
is very thick, in others it is of softer texture, but is
always sufficiently firm for the attachment of the
muscles. Generally, thirteen rings or segments com-
pose the body of an insect, there being one segment for
the head, three for the thorax, and nine for the
abdomen; but sometimes two or more are amalgamated
together or concealed by others, so that fewer appear.
We will now examine in detail the head, thorax, and
The head is formed of one single piece, and bears the
antennae, the eyes, and the various organs of the mouth;
the antenna vary much in form, sometimes they are


single filaments, sometimes furnished with bristles or
hairs, which give them a comb-like or feather-like
appearance; now they are thickened at the bottom,
now at the top; now the last joints are formed of
broad laminoe or plates; they are usually attached to
the front of the head between the eyes. It is not
definitely known what is the use of the antennae, beyond
the fact that they are organs of touch, but as such
only play a subordinate part. It has been supposed by
some that they are organs of hearing. From the
researches of M. Lesp&s, Erichson, and Dr. J. B. Hicks,
it would appear that the antennae of insects are organs
of hearing; it is said they consist of a cell, sac, or
cavity filled with fluid, closed in from the air by a
membrane analogous to that which closes the foramen
ovale in the higher animals ; that this membrane is for
the most part thin and delicate, but often projects
above the surface, in either a hemispherical, conical, or
canoe-shaped, or even hair-like form, or variously
marked; that the antennal nerve gives off branches
which come in contact with the inner wall of the sacs."*
On the other hand it is asserted that the antenna are
partly organs of smell; on this point Mr. Lowne says,
"I believe myself that this is the organ of smell,
although I by no means consider the antenna of all
insects are necessarily olfactory organs. I think in
many instances they are merely feelers. Perhaps the
beautiful feather-like antenna of male moths are sexual
ornaments, although they may have special olfactory
organs connected with them; and possibly the laminated

Trans. Lin. Soc. Vol. xxii., pt. 4.


antenna of many beetles, which consist of thin
chitinous lamells, may be hygrometric, indicating the
state of the atmosphere to the insect. I have little
doubt, however, in other insects, as in the fly, especially
when they are thick and club shaped, that they are
olfactory or rather partly olfactory organs."' Some
years ago I examined a great number of wasps, with a
view to satisfy myself on this point; I used the bleaching
process recommended by Dr. Hicks, but was unable to
come to any conclusion on this interesting but puzzling
Conspicuous on the head of every insect are its two
large compound eyes of various colours-emerald, blue,
chesnut, orange, or as beads of burnished gold ; besides
these are generally to be seen two or three simple eyes,
called ocelli, which are placed on the top of the head
between the two large compound eyes-these require
the aid of a lens to render them
visible. The compound eyes are
made up of an immense number
of hexagonal or six-sided facets,
which in some insects, as in the >. s
dragon-flies, can be distinguished
by the naked eye ; each facet is COMPouND EYE OF AN INSECY
in itself a perfect eye, having a cornea, a lens, a pig-
ment-coating, and a nervous filament; the eyes are
immovable, and as the head is limited as to motion, it
might be supposed that an insect was not particularly
sharp sighted, but everyone who has tried to get at the
blind side of a common house fly, knows how quickly

The Anatomy of the Blow-fly, p. 32.


the darted hand is seen by the insect. The number of
facettes varies, some insects having as many as 25,000,
as in Morcella, a small kind of beetle, others upwards
of 17,000, as in Papilio, a genus of butterflies, others
12,000, as in Libellula or dragon-fly; the house-fly has
about 4,000, and the ant only 50 facettes ; the simple
eyes, ocelli or stemmata, as they are sometimes called,
are generally three in number, and arranged on the
forehead in a triangular form thus (,',); but they do
not exist in all insects; they are nearly always black,
round, and more or less convex. How far these ocelli
differ functionally from or are supplemental to the
large compound eyes, it is not possible to say with
certainty ; it has been suggested that they are intended
for the perception of near objects, such as the various
organs and pollen-producing parts of plants; as their
refractive power is great, this is probable enough. These
ocelli resemble those of the Arachnida, which do not
possess compound eyes. All larve of insects which go
through a complete metamorphosis possess only single
eyes ; the composite facetted organs are developed late
on in the pupal stage.
The mouth is a very important and interesting point
in the organization of an Insect; its structure is sub-
ject to almost infinite variety, though a common type
underlies all the various forms, the same organs, how-
ever, being sometimes so modified in appearance, as to
be with difficulty recognizable. Two chief types or
plans are seen in insects, the masticatory and the
suctorial, or the Mandibulate and Haustellate mouth;
in the first the mouth is formed for prehension and
biting, as in the Coleoptera or beetles ; in the second


for suction, as in the Lepidoptera (butterflies and
moths), Bkyncota (bugs and their allies), and Diptera,
or two-winged
insects, as flies
and gnats. In ( I!
the Mandibulate ,l
or biting insects "
the mouth con- '
sists of no less
than six separate ,,
parts, viz., (1) a .''
pair of horny
curved jaws
(m a ndi b le s)
often furnished
with strong a, Upperlip. 5, IMandibles. c, Maxilla. d, Lower
sharp teeth ; lip. e, Antenne. f, Eyes.
(2) another pair of jaws (maxillw) lying beneath the
mandibles, generally made up of four parts, formed for
chewing and conveying the bitten off pieces of food to
the mouth; these organs generally bear one or two
pairs of jointed appendages called palpi, "feelers;"
(3) an upper lip or labrum attached to the lower part
of the front of the head, and (4) a lower lip or labium
with a single pair of palpi. All these parts are readily
made out, and I would advise the reader to examine the
mouth of almost any beetle, so as to see clearly for
himself the several organs; all that is required is a pair
of fine scissors, a lens, and a couple of strong needles
set in wooden handles.
The labium is generally composed of two or more
distinct parts, a basal portion called the chin or mentum,


and an anterior portion the ligula, commonly called,
from its elongated form, "a tongue;" it is no true
tongue, however, being merely an elongation of the
labium; a real tongue forming the floor of the mouth,
occurring but rarely in insect organization, as in the
Let us now examine the mouth of another insect;
we will select the common Honey-bee. Here we see
certain modifications of the organs; for while the
mouth of the beetle is formed exclusively for biting,
that of the bee is formed partly for biting and partly
for suction. In this insect the labium and mandibles
are nearly the same structurally and functionally as the
corresponding parts of the beetle, but the maxillm and
labial palpi deviate considerably from the mandibulate
type; the former are greatly elongated, and when closed
form a sort of sheath, which incloses the tongue or
ligula; the labial palpi too are greatly elongated and
fold together, forming an inner sheath for the ligula,
which is here a long tapering muscular organ with an
immense number of short ring-shaped divisions covered
with long hairs. This is the bee's honey-consuming
organ, which may be often seen projecting a great
distance when the insect is feeding, but which at other
times is packed up and hidden beneath the maxillm.
The bee's proboscis or tongue is solid, not tubular, as
is sometimes imagined. "The manner," says Mr.
Newport, "in which the honey is obtained when the
organ is plunged into it at the bottom of a flower, is by
'lapping,' or a constant succession of short and quick
extensions and contractions of the organ, which occasion
the fluid to accumulate upon it and to ascend along


its upper surface until it reaches the orifice of the tube
formed by the approximation of the maxillm above,
and of the labial palpi and this part of the ligula
We pass from the mouth of the bee and the Hymen-
optera generally to that of the Lepidoptera, the
Butterfly and Moth tribe, in which we find a complete
adaptation for suction ; the
long spiral trunk of the -.
butterfly is familiar to -
everyone. Here the labium -
and mandibles are quite -. i -
rudimentary, being three
small triangular shaped .
plates difficult to make out,
being concealed by the
thick hairs which clothe
butterflies heads; but the
maxilli are immensely
elongated and are united -
along their inner surfaces, a, Upper lip. Mandibles. c, Maxillm.
forming by the junction ", Lower lip. 'e Antenna. f, Eye.
of the two grooves, which are channelled out along
their inner surfaces, a long tube through which the
insect sucks the juices of flowers. This proboscis or
haustellium varies much in length; some lepidoptera
require no food in their adult stage, and here the organ
is small; but in the hawk moths, which gather the
juices from flowers without alighting, the haustellium
is sometimes two inches long. On the tips of butter-
flies' tongues are often to be found small conical shaped
papille, which are supposed to be organs of taste.


In the Bugs and their allies, which belong to the
order Byncota, we have another form of suctorial
mouth; here the labial palpi coalesce and form a jointed
beak or rostrum, which is a tube split down the front,
and enclosing two pairs of bristle-like organs, which are
really greatly altered forms of the mandibles and
maxille ; by means of these sharp and fine needles the
Rhyncota pierce the tissues of animals or plants, and
feed on their juices.
In the Fly kind the ligula is developed into a broad
fleshy organ or proboscis-whose form must be familiar
to the most careless observer-through which the insect
sucks up its food. In the Diptera generally, as in the
common gnat, the labium consists of a long cylindrical
organ with a round top at the extremity; along the
upper surface of the labium runs a groove which sheathes
the other organs of the mouth, viz., the mandibles,
maxillse, ligula, where it exists, and the labium ; all of
which are delicate cutting lancets, by means of which
the insect pierces its victim and sucks out the juices.
When you see this formidable array of miniature
lancets and javelins, you will not wonder at the rapidity
with which a gnat punctures your skin, and how im-
mediately you feel the wound.
We now come to the second division of an Insect's
body, which as we have seen consists of three parts,
though from frequent amalgamation these segments are
not always distinguishable; they constitute the thorax,
and bear the organs of motion, almost always in insects
six legs, and generally four wings; each leg is either firmly
attached to, or articulated with the thorax by a quasi
ball and socket joint, at the first joint, called the coxa


(hip), which is generally large and flat. The second
joint is called the trochanter, a small joint which some-
times (as in the saw-flies, Tenthredinide) consists of two
pieces; next comes the femur (thigh), the largest and
thickest joint usually of an insect's leg, then comes the
tibia (shank), about as long as the femur but not so
thick, and lastly the tarsus, which consists of a series
of small joints, varying in number from one to five
terminating in a claw, often prettily toothed and ac-
companied by a pair of soft velvety cushion-like bodies,
called pulvilli, very distinct in the house-fly. By
means of these foot-pads the fly is able to walk on
perfectly smooth surfaces in a reversed position. All
sorts of opinions as to how the insect is able to main-
tain such a position, contrary to the laws of gravity,
have been held ; as that it was owing to the exhaustion
of air from the foot-pads; or that the minute hairs,
which clothe them, aided by the claws, take hold of
small irregularities of the surface, and thus enable the
possessor to retain an inverted position. According to
Mr. Lowne, the last four tarsal joints are occupied by a
sac, which secretes a viscid fluid, which flows into the
pad and fills its cavity as well as the hollow hairs with
which its under surface is covered. The footprints left
upon glass by flies consist of small rows of dots corres-
ponding to these hairs.
Of course there are all sorts of modifications, both in
the legs and their component parts, according to the
habits of insects; in the leaping insects, as grasshoppers,
locusts, etc., the hinder pair of legs are much longer
than the other two pairs, and the thigh or femur is
very thick and powerful. Insects which swim in the

, 'J


water have hind legs more or less flattened and fringed
with long hairs, which they use as a boatman does his
oar; forms of these oar-like feet may be seen in Dyticus,
Notonecta, and Gyrinus. The mole cricket, like its
mammalian namesake, has its fore legs very short and
strong, the tibia being cut into finger-like projections
suited to its burrowing habits; in the water scorpion
(Nepa cinerea) the fore legs are converted into a pair
of nippers, by means of which the insect seizes and
retains hold of its prey.
The wings of an insect are beautiful and interesting
objects; they are attached to the second and third
segment of the thorax; each wing consists of two
membranes with a number of veins or nervures between
them, which ramify in various directions and help to
keep the wings extended. Some insects have only two
wings, others (the greater number) have four, which are
either of a similar texture throughout, and are all
available in flight, or else the anterior pair have a con-
sistency like horn, and form a sheath or covering
for the hinder wings when the insect is at rest; when
in flight these wing-cases are kept still, being at right
angles with the body. These are known by the name
of Elytra, from the Greek Erurpov a cover" or case,"
used for the shard of a beetle's wing as early as the
time of Aristotle. All beetles (Coleoptera)-not, the
so-called black beetles" of our kitchens, which are
not beetles at all-possess these horny pair of wing
covers, hence the term which has been given to the
order, from coXEd6c "a sheath," and rrEpov "a wing."
In some insects the basal part of the elytra is horny,
the top part being membranous. The Diptera or


two-winged insects have a pair of small knob-like
threads behind the anterior pair of wings; they have
been termed halteres or balancers, and are generally
regarded as the rudiments or representatives of the
hind wings. Mr. Lowne is inclined to think that the
function of these modifications of the posterior wings
is auditory; he imagines he has discovered within
them certain corpuscular bodies, which he considers
to be otoconia. The membranous wings of butterflies
and moths are covered with numerous flattened scales
of various forms and exquisite beauty ; hence the name
of the order Lepidoptera from Xeric a scale, and rrtp6v
wing; while those of many others are simply clothed
with numerous small hairs.
The abdomen, as has been said before, consists of
nine segments, but these are not always distinct; it is
regarded as consisting of two portions, the abdomen
S proper, and the post-abdomen, the latter of which is
supposed to be marked by indications of three segments
between the generative outlet and the terminally
situated anus. The abdomen proper never carries
articulated appendages, with-so far as is known at
present-the single exception of the Spiracht]ia Eury-
medusa, a beetle, which carries a pair on the third,
fourth, and fifth abdominal segments; the post-
abdominal segments, however, frequently carry ap-
pendages, as the thick bristles of the cockroaches, the
tubular appendages of the aphides, the forceps of the
The organs of motion are localized in the thorax, the
vegetative in the abdomen.
The accompanying woodcut will give the reader a


general idea of the digestive apparatus of an insect,
the various organs of which, of course, differ according
to the habits of the orders.
The intestinal canal
lies in the median line
of the body, and runs
from one extremity to
B the other; it is formed
c of three membranes,
D and commences be-
hind the mouth in
E an cesophagus, termi-
Snating posteriorily in
a widened cavity
.) cloacaa), which also
receives the internal
generative organs;
the esophagus leads
F into the first stomach
or crop, from thence,
\K in mandibulate in-
K sects, into a second
stomach, which from
its beingsupplied with
horny plates to bruise
B, (Esophagus. c, Crop. o, Gizard. i, Stomach. called the gizzar d;
F and G, Small and large intestine. In, Anus.
1, Biliary vessels. K, Secretery organs, this leads into the true
stomach, where the process of chylification takes place;
the whole surface of this stomach is often plentifully
supplied with glandular bodies called villi, which are
supposed to secrete a gastric juice; a number of very


fine long convoluted threads or tubes surround the
lower part of th. chyle-forming stomach, and pour a
biliary secretion into it; the small intestine follows this
stomach, then the ccecum and the rectum. Near the end
of the intestinal tract are often found other secreting
organs which serve to elaborate certain fluids (as the
poison of the bee and wasp), which various kinds of
insects eject when disturbed, and which are often of an
intensely disagreeable odour. The intestinal canal of
insects varies considerably in length ; as a rule, in car-
nivorous and suctorial kinds it is about twice the
length of the body, in vegetable feeders it is very long,
sometimes being equal to six or eight times the length
of the body.
Circulation in insects is carried on by means of a long
contractile tubular organ, which, from its position on
the back is usually called the "dorsal vessel." This
vessel represents the heart, which ordinarily consists of
eight segments or sacs, which open one into the other
from behind forwards, and which by contracting, drive
the blood collected from the body and received into the
heart by a series of valvular openings, forward to the
region of the head where it escapes apparently, for no
trace of arteries or veins have been discovered in
insects. As the blood is on its passage through the
viscera and other organs of the body, on its return to
the heart, it becomes oxygenated by contact with the
respiratory organs, which ramify in all directions through
the body. These consist of an immense number of deli-
cate tubes-the membranous coats of which are kept
distended by minute spiral-formed filaments-which open
out on each side of the insect's body. Through these


openings, a pair of which is usually to be seen on each
side of the segments, excepting the head and the last
segment of the abdomen, the air gains admission into
the tracheal tubes. These openings, called spiracles or
stigmata, are often beautiful microscopic objects, some-
times possessing valves which open and shut like the
folding of a little door. The aquatic larve of many of
the Orthoptera, Neuroptera, and Diptera, possess
tracheae which have no openings or spiracles; conse-
quently, they do not receive the oxygen directly from
the air, but from the water in which they live, in this
way reminding us of the aquatic respiration of fishes.
In a small Ephemeral insect (Chloeon dimidiatzum), the
larva in its first three stages has no tracheae developed,
though subsequently it developed the tracheal gills.
The nervous system of an insect, in its most charac-
teristic form, consists of a double cord which runs down
the central portion of the body, and unites a series of
nerve-knots or ganglia, as they are termed. Their
normal number may be supposed to be eleven; three
for the head and thorax, and eight for the abdomen ;
but in point of fact they often fall short of this
number, some ganglia fusing with others, or becoming
abortive. From each of these ganglia or nerve-centres
various nerve filaments arise and are distributed to the
various organs. A nervous mass placed above the
esophagus constitutes the insect's brain, from which the
nerves of the eyes and the antennae are given off.
There is another nerve-mass just below the esophagus,
which unites with the brain-mass by a pair of nervous
filaments, and forms the nerve-collar.
The sexes in insects are always distinct; there are no


hermaphrodites in the class, and sexual reproduction is
the rule. The generative organs are varied in their ar-

A, Brain. B, c, D, E, F, Ganglia or Nerve knots with Nerve filaments.


rangement; the reproductive glands are symmetrical
and double, the efferent ducts join a common duct
before opening. The female sexual organs consist
generally of the ovaries, oviduct, uterus, and vagina; but
there is often a large number of accessory appendages,
sometimes present, sometimes absent. Indeed it is seldom
that all parts are present together, one or several being
wanting. In neuter bees (barren or undeveloped females),
the ovaries are deficient, though the evacuating ducts are
constant. The females are usually larger than the
males; this is strikingly the case where the females are
wingless, the males winged; the antenna and the tarsi
often differ considerably in the sexes. Insects are
generally oviparous, though some are ovo-viviparous.
Various forms of agamogenesis, that is to say, pro-
duction without the union of the sexes, have been
observed amongst insects. Females with a reproductive
apparatus provided with a receptaculum seminis may
produce either embryos, as Lecanium hesperidum and
Clermes abietis amongst the Coccina, or ova as Psyche
helix, Solenobia lichenella, and S. iriguetrella amongst
the Lepidoptera; or they may produce wingless queen
bees and winged queens as amongst Hymenoptera.
In this class of cases sexual may alternate with asexual
production, and it is most curious to observe that all
male bees are produced from unfertilized eggs, while
only the fertilized bee-egg will develop into a female or
a perfect queen. Again, females with reproductive ap-
paratus more or less imperfect, may produce either eggs,
as happens with the "workers" or neuters amongst bees,
whose produce is probably always males, or they may
produce embryos as is the case with the Aphides, in.


which certain generations are viviparous without any
sexual process.* It has been said that insects as a rule
are oviparous though they may be viviparous. Some-
times the larva is so far developed within the maternal
oviduct, as to be almost ready to enter on its second or
pupal existence on its appearance into the world.
Insects, as a rule, in their development from the egg,
undergo, as is well known, a series of changes called
metamorphosis; this is sometimes very complete or in-
complete, and sometimes there is no change of form.
As instances of complete metamorphosis I may mention
butterflies, moths, and beetles, which go through
three distinct stages called the larva, pupa, and imago,
or perfect state. In the first stage the insect is like a
grub, either provided with legs or destitute of those
organs; in common language we call them caterpillars,
maggots, or grubs; during this period eating is the
order of the day, and this they do generally very vora-
ciously, and in many cases most injuriously to the
cultivated products of the soil. After repeatedly
changing the skin to allow of the creature's growth, for
the skin does not grow with the body, it assumes the
pupa, or as it is usually called amongst butterflies and
moths, the chrysalis stage. Here is perfect quiescence,
the creature neither moves nor eats; there is death-like
repose for a period, more or less long, according to the
species. But though externally no change is visible, a
wonderful drama is being acted behind the scenes,"
and in due time that which entered the pupa state a
grovelling grub emerges from it a beautiful winged

See Rolleston's "Forms of Animal Life." cxii.


insect, gorgeous in colouring, graceful in form, and
endued with high powers of rapid flight. The insect is
now in its imago or perfect state; with the exuviation
of the pupa-integument it has cast off all the vestiges
of the organs characteristic of the larva stage, and
assumed true legs, wings, compound eyes, antenna, a
more perfect nervous system, and most wondrous,
perhaps of all, the biting jaws of the injurious cater-
pillar have been metamorphosed into the delicate spiral
" tongue" of the nectar-sipping butterfly Not, how-
ever, immediately on emerging from the pupa-case is
the perfect insect ready to beat the air with its wings
and to fly where it listeth, for at first the wings are oft
and crumpled, hanging loosely at the sides of the body,
but after exposure for some little time to the air, and
when the tracheal system has by inspiration and expira-
tion become fitted for aerial flight, the insect sails away,
and its wings, now possessing the necessary stiffness for
organs of impulsion in the air, are henceforth the crea-
ture's chief instruments as means of locomotion. In
cases of such a complete metamorphosis as these, there
is a wonderful dissimilarity between the larva and the
imago, and insects undergoing the three distinct changes
of larva, pupa and imago, are called "Holometabolous."*
But though complete metamorphosis obtains in the
majority of the Insect class, there are many kinds in
which the changes are partial and incomplete. In these
cases of semi-metamorphosis the larva bears some re-
semblance, more or less exact to the perfect insect, the

i.e., undergoing complete change, from dXoc "whole," and
peraroXil change."


pupa is seldom wholly quiescent, and is generally active.
The pupa possesses well-marked foreshadowings of the
imago's true wings, in the form of small lobes or pro-
cesses on its back; and in some an organ which the larva
possessed-as for instance, the curious prehensile mask
of the different members of the Dragon-fly family
(Libellulidce)-is discarded by the perfect insect. Ento-
mologists, therefore, in accordance with this partial and
incomplete metamorphosis, have given to those insects
which exhibit it the name of Hemimetabolous."*
Again, there are insects in which the larvm differ very
little, indeed, from the perfect insects, where there is no
metamorphosis properly so called. The perfect imago
is often as wingless as the creeping larva, and the latter
differs from the former stage, either in point of size, in
the number of joints in the antenna, and in the im-
mature state of the reproductive organs. Sometimes
the adult is rendered not quite so like the larva by the
addition of a pair of wings, in which case the thorax
and the abdominal segments are more distinctly divided
than in insects whose imago is wingless. This kind of
metamorphosis obtains (1) in Lice (Anoplura), Bird-
lice (Mallophaga), and Spring-tails (Thysanura), where
the imago is wingless, and (2) in some of the Orthoptera
and Hemniptera where the adult is endowed with wings.
From the almost entire absence of metamorphosis in
such cases, the insects are called "Ametabolous."t-
The metamorphosis of insects is no doubt a very
striking and remarkable phenomenon in their history,

*From rptt (i;tav "half") and tprapoXi.
+ From d not, and tEragoXi1.


but it must not be forgotten that there are many
other animals which exhibit equally, if not still more
wonderful spectacles.
Insects are divided into different Orders, from
characters derived principally from the structure of
the wings and mouth.



,HE following are the Orders usually adopted by
SEntomologists:-(1) RHYTCOTA, (2) ORTHOPTERA,
(6) HYMENOPTERA, (7) COLEOPTERA. The first-named
Order derives its name from characters belonging
to the mouth (Pyxoe, "a snout" or "beak"); the
remaining five from characters belonging to the
Although, as a general rule, all insects will fall
naturally into one or other of these great Orders, there
are some whose position is more or less problematical.
Those curious little creatures that you may often see
under stones and dead leaves, hopping actively to get
out of the way, the Spring-tails (Poduridoe) and their
allies, the Silver-scales (Lepismidwc), have been by some
regarded as forming an order by themselves-the
Thysanura; but Sir John Lubbock, who has for many
years studied these little creatures, does not regard
them in the strictest sense as true insects. The
minute parasites on different birds-familiar to all who
have carried partridges in their pockets-called Bird-
lice, are evidently allied to the true lice, parasites upon
mammiferous animals, in their general structure, but


while these latter have a suctorial mouth, that of the
Bird-lice is formed for biting, consequently the true louse
with its sharp retractile proboscis, will come under the
Order Rhyncota, from which the other is excluded on
account of the structure of its mouth ; so difficult a
matter it often is to form a classification that shall
include and exclude all that is required. But not-
withstanding the difference between the mouths of the
true lice and the bird-lice, the general similarity of the
whole structure of the animals will authorize us to place
them both in the division of the Rhyncota.
The Spring-tails (Poduridw) and Silver-scales (Lepis-
midce), first grouped together by Latreille under the
name of THYSANURA, from the fringed tails of some of
the species, have lately been formed into two distinct
orders by Sir John Lubbock, under the names of
Collembola and Tiysanura, in his valuable "Mono-
graph for the Ray Society." They frequent dark places,
but while the former, for the most part, prefer moist
situations, and can endure great cold-I have seen
numbers on ice under stones on the Swiss glaciers-the
latter like dry walls and warm rooms. In the Collem-
bola there is a remarkable organ underneath the ab-
domen, called the ventral tube or sucker, whose function
is to enable the creature to adhere to surfaces by the
emission of some viscous fluid. From this Sir John
Lubbock has proposed the name of the order.* In must
of the Collembola the tail, which is forked, is bent under
the body, forming a jumping organ, by its sudden ex-
tension; in some species there is no saltatory organ.

From KcoXXi glue," and PtioXoc a peg."


These little creatures are in several genera covered with
scales of various forms and sizes, generally colourless,
but sometimes beautifully
iridescent, as in the genus '
Lepidocyrtus. These scales
are favourite microscopic
objects. Besides scales, hairs
of various forms clothe the
bodies of these little insects.
The young are hatched ap-
parently within a period of
from six to ten days, the
larvae are white and very "-
active in their movements;
I have seen hundreds of
them under rotten bark in
damp places. TheCollembola
undergo no metamorphosis.
The young differ from the
adults merely in being
shorter and thicker, and
having the spring-tail less
developed; after moulting
twice the white larval body
becomes of the same colour
as that of the adult, purplish
and translucent.
The Thysanura are much
less numerously represented
both in species and indi-
viduals than the Collembola ; the body consists of the
head, three thoracic and ten well-marked -abdominal


segments. Two groups constitute this Order, viz. :-(1)
The Lepismidcc, which are covered with scales, and (2)
the two families of the lapygidw and Nicoletiate,
which are covered with hairs only. One of the most
familiar forms of the Thysanura is the pretty little
Lepisma saccharina of a silvery white colour; it is not
uncommon in kitchens and pantries in old houses. It runs
with great activity, and has an elongated body about
one-third of an inch long; it has no saltatory organ.
Another species of Thysanura, the Mackilis maritima,
about half-an-inch in length, is very common on the
rocky shores of this country; I have met with it
abundantly in different places on the coast; it is brown
mottled with bronze reflections. This species possesses
a jumping spring-tail.
The study of those insects has been much neglected,
and for long there has been no guide for the student; what
had been written on their history and structure being
scattered about in several publications, often procurable
with difficulty; but the publication of Sir John
Lubbock's "Monograph" will render their study both
pleasant and easy.
The Order RHYNCOTA includes all those insects with
an imperfect metamorphosis that possess a suctorial
mouth, which consists of a jointed rostrum or beak,
formed by the union of the labial palpi; it is tubular,
and contains four bristle-like bodies, which are modified
representations of the mandibles and maxills. By
means of these sharp needles the insect pierces the skin
of plants and animals and sucks up the juices. A great
number of members of this order have four wings,
variable in structure. Some are aquatic and live


entirely in the water, but the majority are aerial. The
Order is divided into three sub-orders, viz. :-the
Anoplura, the Heteroptera, and the Homoptera. The
Anoplura contain all those insects commonly known as
lice, which are parasitic on man and other animals.
The suctorial louse (pediculus), of which four species
are parasitic on man, belong to this sub-order; it also
includes all the biting bird-lice, which by some writers
have been made into a separate order under the name
of Mallophaga. But it is better to arrange the bird-
lice, notwithstanding the difference of structure in the
mouth, with the Anoplura. Nearly 500 different forms
of these parasitic insects, formed on the plan of the
common louse, have been described. Almost every bird
has its parasite accompaniments, and several of the
Mammalia have theirs. Some animals have only one
species of parasite peculiar to itself, others have
several species; on domestic cattle three species are
found, on the horse two, on the ass three; on the
golden eagle four, on the white-tailed eagle no less than
six species of parasitic louse occurs, and water birds are
as subject to them as land birds. These biting-lice do
not suck the blood like the common pediculus, but eat
the delicate parts of the feathers or hair. The Anoplura
undergo no metamorphosis; the eggs are hatched in a
few days, and the young are soon capable of repro-
duction, hence the enormously rapid increase where
strict measures are not adopted for their extermination.
I believe it was Leeuwenhoek who computed that in two
months two female lice could produce ten thousand!
The Heteroptera include those insects of the Order
Rhyncota, whose anterior wings are heterogeneous, i.e.,


not of the same consistency throughout; from the base
to the middle or beyond, the wings are more or less of
a horny consistence, while the remaining portion of the
wing is thin and membranous, the line of demarcation
being distinct. In the Heteroptera the beak or rostrum
springs from the front of the head. This sub-order
contains two sections, the HYDROCORISA and the
AuRoconISA; the former, as the name implies, contains
the Water-bugs, and the latter the Land-bugs. In the
HYDROCOnISA there are two families, the Notonecticd
and the Nepicle. As ill-, i.... of these two families
figures will be seen in Plate I. Fig. 10 is the Water
Boatman (Notonecta glauca), a common insect in pools
and canals. Its body is shaped like a boat, the keel
of which is the back on which it floats and rows itself
about by means of its long hind legs, which are deli-
cately fringed with hair, forming as it were the blade
of the oar. You may often see the boatman floating
with outstretched oars, back downwards, on the surface
of the water waiting for any little fly or gnat that may
approach too near, which he will be certain to seize with
his fore legs and pierce with his rostrum ; for boatman
is eminently carnivorous in his diet, and possesses a
sharp-pointed beak with cutting lancets, with which lie
will not hesitate to experimentalize on your finger if
you give him a chance. I have often kept specimens in
an aquarium, where they will become tame after a time,
and take bits of meat off the tip of a camel's-hair
pencil. But if you are rearing young fish of any sort
from the egg, you must beware of the boatman, for
though he is not black in colour lie is in disposition,
and you may apply to him the words of Horace:-
Ilic nizer est, line tu Romanc caveto."


Underneath the prettily-marked wing-cases of the
boatman you may see, by examination, a pair of large
hyaline wings which the possessor uses when so inclined.
Though when sunning itself on the surface of the
water, Notonecta generally lies on his back, he can
swim equally well with the keel up, and first turns on
one side then on another with great rapidity. The
larva and pupa resemble the imago, except that the
former has not a vestige of wings, and the latter has
rudimentary ones. The boatman's length is from 7 to
8 lines. There are other genera allied to Notonecta, as
Plea, Corixa, Cymatia, and Sigara, all of which are
good swimmers. Of Plea there is only one British
species, viz., P. minutissima, which is not much above
a line in length ; it is common in stagnant waters. Of
the other genera, Corixa Geoqfoyi, about 5 lines long,
is extremely common in stagnant waters; its form
must be more or less familiar to every one who has
stood on a bank and watched the fishing-net hauled in,
when hundreds of these little smoky-black insects are
jumping about in every direction, as not knowing what
has happened to them. To the right of the boatman
will be seen a curious scorpion-like creature (Fig. 11)
with its fore-legs extended pincer-like, in a threatening
attitude ; this is the Nepa Cinerea or Water-Scorpion,
which I have taken to illustrate the family of Nepidce.
This insect is a dull dingy-looking creature with a small
pointed head, scorpion-like fore-legs, and a tail with two
long bristle-like projections; it is nearly an inch long,
not including the tail. It is painfully sluggish in its
movements, and on watching it one is impatiently
prompted to say with the policeman, Move on-Move


on." It is very common in ditches and ponds, where
it crawls slowly in the mud. It is of a long oval-shape
and thin, looking like a decayed leaf more than an
animal. Nepa is as black as he is painted, being a
ravenous destroyer of various larvm of other insects,
which he seizes with his nippers, when he has stealthily
succeeded in getting sufficiently near his victim ; but
he seems so flat, one can hardly guess where he has
room to stow away much food But it must be
remembered that Nepa, like the Rhyncota generally,
only sucks the juices of his victims, and does not
consume their carcases. But though he looks so grimy
outside, if you will open his wing-covers you will see
the upper part of the abdomen is prettily marked with
a bright brick-red colour. The bristle-like filaments
are perfectly harmless instruments, in no way resembling
a sting in function; the insects extend them out of
the water, and the air is by them conducted to the
spiracles and trachem. The Water-Scorpions' eggs are
of singular form; they are oval and encircled at the
base with seven long filaments which bend backwards;
when in the oviduct they seem to form a kind of a cup
for the reception of the succeeding egg; these eggs have
appropriately been compared to little shuttle-cocks with
recurved feathers. I have often found them in the
ditches in the Weald Moors here where the Water-
Scorpion is exceedingly common. There is no meta-
morphosis in the Nepide ; the young larve being like
their parents, except that the tail filaments are repre-
presented in the larva by a single short point. Nepa,
like the rest of the family, can leave the water and take
to flight, but I have never seen it on the wing. There


are two other genera which belong to this family, viz. :
Naucoris and Ranatra, both of which genera are
represented by a single British species, the N. cimicoides,
which has very thick pincer-like fore-legs, and is an
excellent swimmer; and the R. linearis, a long stick-
like cylindrical creature, 18 lines long exclusive of its
spiracular tail filaments, which are alone 15 lines long;
it has long nipper-like feet with habits similar to the
The second section (AURocoRISA) contains several
families, but I shall only take a short notice of the
Hydrometride or Water-Measurers, Cimicidce, the Bed-
bug family, the Reduviidw, and the Lygwide. Every
one who has wandered by a stream or river, or loitered
on the bank of a pool, must be acquainted with the
forms of certain long and lanky creatures of a dark
colour with slender legs, with which they skim or skate
along the surface of the water. These are Water-
Measurers (Hydrometrce), a very appropriate term, for
they take four or five quick steps and then stop, then
on again and stop. There are four or five species, of
which the commonest, perhaps, is H. Gibbifera and
H. lacustris; they are generally about 4" to 51 lines in
length; they feed on small insects that may happen to
come in their way, which they catch with their pre-
hensile fore-legs. In many, if not most individuals the
wings are imperfectly developed, in fact, they are often
altogether absent-but these apterous individuals are as
capable of reproduction as the winged. The underside
of the bodies of the Hydrometra are often clothed with
a fine coating of plush, which serves to repel the action
of the water and to facilitate locomotion. A smaller


allied genus, Velia, is more prettily marked than the
preceding one, having orange, white, and black spots.
The only British species, V. currens, about 3 lines in
length, is very common on clear streams, associating in
companies ; the winged form is rare. I must not forget
to mention the long thread-like form of Limnobates
stagnorum; it is about 5 lines long, and common in
ponds covered with duckweed (Lemna), and sluggish in
its movements. Fig. 9 is Hydrometra lacustris.
Of the Cimicidce or Bed-bug family there is but one
genus, and that, considering the unpleasant feelings
associated with the insect's name, is one too many.
These insects are flat, more or less round, legs rather
slender and tolerably long ; there, is a mere indication
of wings in a pair of short scale-like appendages; that
they have a sharp proboscis can be attested by many a
sleepless victim. The introduction of the Bed-bug
(Cimex lectularius) into this country has been a subject
of discussion. The obnoxious creature appears to have
been known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, by the
names of o6ptr and cimex. Bacchus, in "Aristophanes's
Comedy of the Frogs," before his expedition into
Hades, to bring Euripides back to the upper world, asks
Hercules to recommend, amongst other things needful
on his journey, the inns where there were fewest
IlavBotcvrpiafs O8ov t6pEt AyyLTrot.
(Batr. 114).
Westwood quotes Southall as stating that the bug's
first introduction into London was after the Great Fire
in 1666 : "learned men united in thinking that they
were imported with new deal timber, as the bugs were


naturally fond of turpentine woods." Westwood says
it is certain that they swarm in the American timber
employed in the construction of new houses, and states
a belief that they feed on the sap of that wood. It
is, however, certain that these insects were known in
England before 1666, for Mouffet, in his "Theater of
Insects" (Book ii., p. 1096-8), printed at London in
1658, has a long chapter on them. He calls them
Wall-lice, and speaks of them having been known in
the year 1503. Still it is probable that these pests
were not very common so early as that year. It is
curious to observe that, although Shakspeare mentions
bugs five times, in each case "bug" does not denote
the insect, but is synonymous with "bug-bear" or
"hobgoblin." The application of the term to the bed
pest must, therefore, have been subsequent to Shak-
peare's time. The verse in Psalm
xci. 5, now rendered "terror by
night," probably referring to" .\
night attacks from enemies, is in
Matthew's Bible given, "Thou sf .
shalt not be afraid of any bugs ..
by night." The word Bug or .. -'
Bogie means an object of terror,
from the cry of "Bo!" or "Boo!" '
a person utters when with covered ,U O RDUIUS PERSOMTU
face he seeks to frighten children; COVERED WITII DUST.
it is applied to the insect in a secondary sense as an
object of horror. The eggs of these creatures are, ac-
cording to Westwood, for I do not know them myself,
white and of an oval form, terminated by a cap which
breaks off to let the young escape, which are white


and transparent, so that the blood can be seen in the
little creature's body; they undergo no metamorphosis,
Though they differ from the adult,
in having a broader head and
q shorter and thicker antennae. They
S attain their full size in eleven
Weeks. Fumigation with brim-
-- stone, thoroughly done, is the
best cleansing of rooms troubled
with these pests. Of the Re-
) Y duviidcc, I shall mention only
THE sAME WITHOUT DUST the Ieduvius personatus, "the
COVERING. masked" Fly-bug, so called from
its habit, in its larval stage, of covering itself with dust,
thus disguising its real self. It is said to be a devourer
of its relative, the Bed-bug; if so, all honour to Reduvius!
The Lygcidcw are for the most part small insects,
being often marked with red, black, and white spots.
The family, like that of the Coreidce, are distinguished
by longitudinous veins in the membranous portion of
the wings. Lygwnus equestris is one of the most con-
spicuous species.
The HOMOPTERA, the other sub-order of the Rhyncota,
contains those suctorial insects whose fore-wings,
whether thickened or membranous, are of a similar con-
sistency throughout. In the common little Frog-hopper
(Aphrophora spumaria) we have an instance of
thickened fore-wings homogeneous throughout, the hind
wings being membranous throughout; in the Aphides
or Plant-lice the two pairs of wings are membranous
throughout. The sucking apparatus in the omnoptera
springs from the base of the head, very far back near


the breast. Mr. Westwood divides this sub-order into
three sections, according to the number of joints of the
tarsi; those insects whose tarsi are three-jointed con-
stitute the section Trimera, those with two-jointed
tarsi the Dimera, those with one-jointed tarsi the
Of the Trimera, the Cicada is an instance. There
are many species of this family occurring in different
parts of the world, but only one British representative,
viz., the Cicada Anglica (see Plate I., Fig. 1). The
Cicadide are the largest insects in the sub-order, some
foreign species measuring as much as six and seven
inches in expanse of wing. The English Cicada has
been occasionally seen in great numbers in the New
Forest; I do not know what other recorded habitats
there are. The ovipositor of the Cicada is a remarkable
instrument; it is made of two strong saw-like borers,
which work in the grooves of a supporting plate and
pierce the wood for the reception of the eggs, which are
generally deposited in dead branches, from five to seven
hundred in number. But these insects sometimes de-
posit their eggs in living branches from which the sap
exudes; thus injuring the trees. Dr. Asa Fitch, a high
American authority on all matters relating to insects,
includes the 0. septemdecim amongst the noxious
insects. The species has received its specific name from
its supposed periodic visitations every seventeen years.
The opinion has been confirmed by Dr. Asa Fitch, who
remarks that "the horde of each district probably
preserves the interval of seventeen years for coming out
in its winged state" (see Report i. and ii., p. 38). The
Cicada plebeia, common in the South of Europe, is


probably the species more especially alluded to in the
writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans, under the
name of TTrr- and Cicada. The Athenians were par-
ticularly attached to the Cicadas, and wore golden
images of them in their hair, considering them an
emblem of their claim to be axr6X0ovE, "of native
stock," sprung as it were from the ground, like the
Cicadie larve, which after being hatched, descend into
the ground in the form of six-footed little grubs, where
they grow and are transformed into active pupoe. The
male Cicada has long been celebrated for his music,
for the production of which he possesses a peculiar
apparatus, situated at the base of the abdomen beneath
and consisting of a pair of stretched membranes, acted
upon by powerful muscles. These organs or drums are
protected from injury by two broad plates, which are
really the dilated sides of the metasternum. The sound
issues out of two holes beneath these plates in a.
manner, says Westwood, somewhat analogous to the
action of a violin. The Cicada was known to the
ancient Egyptians, and was figured on their sculptures.
Horapollo says that when they wished to symbolize a.
mystic man, and one initiated in the sacred rites, they
used to depict a Cicada, for he does not utter sounds.
through his mouth, but sings a sweet melody by means
of his spine (sa rigs PdxEW ). The ancient opinion as.
to the quality of the music was divided. Hesiod.
admired their shrill monotonous chirping :-
"When the green artichokes' ascending flowers;
When in the sultry season's toilsome hours
Perch'd on a branch beneath his veiling wings,
With shrill sweet note Cicada frequent sings."
-(Works and Days, 1. 810)..


Homer speaks of "good orators" like the Cicadam, which
sitting on a tree in the woods send forth their delicate
voice. Virgil-not in this instance, at all events-a
copyist of Homer, writes :-
Et cantu querule rumpent arbusta Cicadme."

Hesiod alludes to the habit of this insect uttering his
musical notes at the hottest part of the day:-

"'Twas in that season, when on some green bough
High perch'd, the dusky wing'd Cicada first
Shrill chants to man a summer note, his drink,
His balmy food, the vegetative dew.
The livelong day from early dawn he pours
His voice : what time the sun's exhaustive heat
Fierce drys the frame."
Mr. Tennyson represents both the Grasshopper and
Cigala as silent in the heat of the day :-

For now the noon-day quiet holds the hill,
The grasshopper is silent in the grass :
The lizard with his shadow on the stone
Rests like a shadow, and the Cigala sleeps."
Xenarchus of Rhodes, a comic poet, finds one element
of happiness in the Cicada's life, in the fact that the
female is silent :-
Happy the Cicadas' lives
Since they all have voiceless wives."
But probably Xenarchus was not very fortunate in his
matrimonial alliance.
The FIlgoridce, or Lanthorn-flies of hot countries,
often of a large size and said to be luminous in some


cases, are represented in England by a number of small
individuals of a dingy and unattractive appearance.
They may be known by the position of the antenna
which are placed under the eyes. Fig. 6 is an enlarged
drawing of the prettiest of all the Homopterous insects,
the Scarlet and Black Hopper (Cercopis sanquinolenta);
it is local and cannot be said to be very common any-
where. I find specimens occasionally in this neighbour-
hood sitting generally on fern leaves; it is a good
hopper, but seldom flies. The Cuckoo-spit Hopper
(Aphrophora spumaria) the larva and pupe of which
envelope themselves in a frothy secretion, is one of the
same family, the Cercopidoe. Fig. 2 is a representation
of another Frog-fly very much enlarged-the natural
size being about 2 lines long-it is the Eupteryx picta,
Fabr., and may be found sometimes in great abundance
on potato leaves. It is allied to the common Frog-
hopper, but the larva does not secrete froth.
The section Dimnera contains three families ; I have
only space to notice the Aphidoe or Plant-lice, an exces-
sively injurious family of Homopterous insects, which
may be regarded in respect of the vegetable world as
analogous to the animal parasites, the Anoplura, already
noticed. Every agriculturist, every rose cultivator,
every hop grower has too great reason to be well ac-
quainted with these destructive pests. The species are
extremely numerous, almost every plant having its own
peculiar parasite ; they attack the leaves, stems, shoots,
and even the roots of plants, piercing with their sharp
proboscis the cuticles and sucking the juices. They
have many enemies, amongst which may be mentioned
the Lady-bird Beetles, which both in the larval and


adult form devour numbers, the larvm of the Lace-
wing Fly (Chrysopa vulgaris)-but it is not common
enough to be of much service-and the larva of the
pretty two-winged Syrplhas. But the combined effects
of all these are not equal to those of some of the
Hymenopterous Ichneumons, which often occurring in
enormous quantities do eminent service in the destruc-
tion of Plant-lice. The turnip crops in many of the
midland counties, including Shropshire, suffered fearfully
in the year 1865 from the attacks of various insects.
The effects of the destructive work of the Aphis in the
months of August and September of that year, were
most remarkable. Crops that had survived the turnip-
beetle ("Fly") and the fat caterpillars of two moths,
Agrotis segetum and A. exclamationis, were suddenly
attacked by countless myriads of Aphis, chiefly of the
species A. brassice. In a few days that which promised
so well was hopelessly blighted ; the leaves first curled
and puckered inwards, then withered and died; the
smell arising therefrom tainted the air far and wide
with a peculiar offensive odour. Scarcely a green
turnip field was to be seen for miles around ; nothing
but dead leaves, which in the distance, gave to the field
rather the appearance of a brown fallow than a crop of
Swedes. Towards the middle of October an avenging
army of other insects came in myriads; the turnip
fields swarmed with them, your clothes were covered
with them. They were but tiny creatures, no larger
than the Aphis, about 1- line in length and 2- in
expanse of wing. The insect in question was the
Aphidius (Trionyx) rape of Curtis, one of the Ichneu-
nmonidc, whose office it is to pierce the bodies of the


Aphides with its sharp ovipositor and to lay therein an
egg, which will soon turn into an Aphidius larva, feed
on the bloated Aphis, live in its skin, change into a
nympha and pupa, then into the winged insect, and eat
its way out of the now dried and puffed-out skin of the
Aphis. The reader may often observe on the under-
side of currant leaves, for instance, certain dry light brown
shining bodies amongst the live Aphides; let him look
closely, their skins unmistakably once belonged to the
Aphides, there are their legs, head, anal-tubes; but the
aphis is quite motionless; there is a small round hole in
the skin near the posterior extremity ; through this
back-door the parasite Aphidius has left his home.
The history of the Aphis is remarkable; fertile
males and females alone are produced in the Spring
from eggs laid the previous Autumn; these grow
rapidly, but do not assume wings ; they lay not eggs,
but young fertile females, which repeat the same
process, and so on again and again for nine generations.
At length, when Autumn arrives, males as well as
females make their appearance, and frequently, but not
always, develop wings; the usual pairing takes place,
the female lays her eggs, which in the Spring, as I have
said, will produce fertile females only.
To the section MONOMERAr belong scale insects, popu-
larly known as Mealy-bugs and Bark-lice; there is
only one family, the Coccidw, so called from the
"berry" like form of the female; the term "Mealy-
bugs" alludes to the white cotton-like substance which
envelops the young. To the horticulturist the Coccidm
are as great a pest as the Aphides to the farmer. In
greenhouses and hothouses they do great damage.


Every stroller in his garden must be familiar with
the "blight" covering whole branches of the apple
trees with white down; inspection with a lens will
reveal countless thousands of little Mealy-bugs in
different stages of growth. The female represents a
convex brown scale about the size of a small split pea
in some species ; she is a most curious and anomalous
creature, and exhibits, as Westwood truly says, an
instance of an annulose animal becoming more and more
imperfect as it approaches the imago state; for the
female Coccus has lost all trace of articulations in the
body as well as of articulated limbs ; there is no head,
legs, or body-rings ; many of the females in the typical
groups being in fact "inert and fixed masses of animal
matter, motionless, and apparently senseless," resembling
vegetable galls more than insect life. The account of
the habits of Coccus aceris, communicated to Mr. West-
wood by the late Mr. Curtis, will show the habits of
this family. The males make their appearance in the
winged state in May, when pairing takes place. By the
end of June the females have attained their full gravid
size; and on lifting up their bodies, their whole
interior, or the entire space between the under surface
of the body and the bark of the tree is occupied by
white flowery-like matter, in which the minute young
are to be observed of the size of the smallest dot; the
dead body of the parent forming a covering to the
young. In this state they are hexapod, antenniferous,
and furnished with two long anal sete. By the end of
July the young quit the body of the parent, and ascend
to the extremity of the young branches; there they
affix themselves by their rostrum, gradually increase in


size, and lose their anal sete, as well as their former
activity. In this state they remain throughout the
winter, without any diversity of appearance indicative
of the sexes ; and it is not until the following April
that this is first perceived by the further increased
growth of the females, and by the males assuming the
pupze state, which is quiescent, with the limbs arranged
upon the breast, the fore-legs being directed forwards,
a peculiarity not occurring in any other insects
(Westwood, Vol. ii., p. 446). The males have one pair
of wings, which are nearly destitute of nerves; two
long tail-filaments proceed from the posterior extremity
like those of the genus Baetis in the Ephemeridcw; the
mouth of the male Coccus is rudimentary, and in-
capable of mischief. The British species of Coccidce are
numerous, the C. Aceris of the sycamore is one of the
most common.
The exotic Cocci have long been celebrated for the
beautiful dyes they yield; the Coccus cacti, which may
sometimes be seen in English hothouses, produces
cochineal. This insect is originally a native of Mexico,
but it has become naturalized in other countries. Lae,
or shell-lac, used for making varnish, sealing-wax, and
paints, as the lake of the water-colour artist, is produced
by an Indian species of Coccus. The small na-row
seed-like scales common on the rind of oranges are the
remains of another kind of Coccus.



Leaving the RHYNCOTA, we come to the OnTIIOP-
TERA, the Insects constituting this Order having each
a mouth formed for biting. The word Orthoptera
(from orthos, "straight," and pteron, a wing"), is
applied to this order, because all the insects be-
longing to it are distinguished by their posterior
wings, which are generally large and strongly reticulated,
being longitudinally folded when at rest. The metam-
orphosis is incomplete, both larva and pupa being in
this order, as in the preceding one, active, and resem-
bling the perfect insect, except that the former has no
wings, and the latter only rudiments. The abdomen
often terminates in two bristle-like appendages forming
an ovipositor. The insects belonging to this order often
assume strange and grotesque forms, such as leaves and
sticks, hence called "walking-leaves," and "walking-
sticks," as the Phyllium Siccifolium, and the Bacteria
fragilis; they occur principally in warm climates, very
few being found in Europe. The Orthoptera are divided
into two large sections, viz., the Saltatorial and the
Cursorial; in the former the hind legs are always much
lengthened and formed for leaping, as in crickets, grass-
hoppers, and locusts. In the latter the legs are formed
for running, as in the cockroaches. The Saltatorial Or-
thoptera include three families, the Locustide, the Gryl-
lide, and the Achetide. The destructive species of
the first family is happily seldom seen in this country.
The fearful ravages of these insect-pests in localities they
visit are well-known.


The Oedipoda Mligratoria, or migratory locust, is the
species which sometimes visits Europe. In the year
1748 these insects visited Europe in immense multitudes.
Charles XII. and his army, then in Bessarabia, were
stopped in their course. It is said that the swarms were
four hours passing over Breslau. Nor did England
escape, for a swarm fell near Bristol and ravaged the
country in the month of July of the same year. Here
in Shropshire and .:r I 1.. -.,-li1.- they did great damage
by eating the leaves of the apple trees and the oaks,
which latter looked as bare as at Christmas. The rooks
did good service in this case. Locusts have been seen
in Yorkshire in 1845, 1846, and 1847; in 1846 near
London, and in many parts of England, and even in
Scotland. The Acridium peregrinum (see figure 5) of
Arabia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Persia, which, together
with the migratory locust, is, I believe, the species
more especially alluded to in the Bible, occasionally
visits the South of Europe, and a writer remarks upon
the occurrence of this species in various parts of Eng-
land in October, 1869. In the South of France much
damage is frequently done by these pests, but in Asia
and Africa, whence they chiefly abound, their armies
are fearfully numerous. The Locustide have no visible
ovipositor, and no sound-producing organ as drum and
file, the chirping sounds being produced by rubbing the
legs and wing-cases; their antenna are short. The
family is represented in England by the well-known
grasshoppers, whose shrill chirping is so familiar to all
wanderers in the meadows in hot summer weather.
The Gryllidce have long antennTe, and a long oviposi-
tor in the female; the wing-covers of the males are


often furnished with a tail-like spot, surrounded by
ridge-like veins, the sound being produced by rubbing
the wing-covers sharply over each other. The green
Grasshopper (Acrida viridissima) is one of the largest
British specimens of this family, being about two inches
long and three and a half in expanse of wing. Though
of a beautiful green colour when alive, the colour soon
fades on the death of the insect. I must not forget to
notice the elegant green grasshopper of the oak (Aleco-
nema varia). It is a smaller species than the last, and
dwells on trees, and not on the ground. As the insect
is of the same colour as the leaves, and difficult to
detect, the only way to procure specimens is to
beat or shake the leaves and catch the falling
beauties. I have occasionally obtained specimens from
the bark of oak trees. It is a lovely creature, and I
must ask my readers to try and procure specimens in
the summer and autumn. Of the Cricket family, the
Acketide, there are two genera, the cricket (Acketa),
and the mole cricket (Gryllotalpa). In the former
genus there is the well-known "cricket on the hearth"
(A. domestica, and the field crickets (A. campestris and
A. sylvestris). The domestic cricket has extremely long
and slender antenna, the wings and wing-covers have a
horizontal position; the wings are of large size, and
when folded up they form a pair of long, slender pro-
cesses, which often extend some way beyond the extre-
mity of the body. The sound-producing apparatus is
similar to that in the Gryllidce. The common cricket,
as is well-known, establishes itself in the neighbourhood
of the fire-place, generally preferring the kitchen, where
its monotonous chirp, chirp, may often be heard. In


warm sunny weather, however, crickets prefer the open
air, and may be found within the crevices of garden
walls and similar places. Crickets are said to have the
good character of destroying their cursorial cousins, the
cockroaches. I do not know how far this is correct. In
places where they abound to such an extent as to be a
perfect nuisance, it may be useful to know that they
may be destroyed by placing phials half filled with beer
or other liquid in their haunts. Into these they crowd
till they are full. The cricket's chirp is by some looked
upon as a good omen, foretelling cheerfulness and plenty.
This notion is pretty general in England. Cowper, ad-
dressing the cricket "chirping on his kitchen hearth,"
alludes to this superstition:-
"Wheresoe'er be thine abode,
Always harbinger of good."

In Charles Dickens' little tale this same notion is em-
bodied: "It's sure to bring us good fortune, John It
always has been so. To have a cricket on the hearth is
the luckiest thing in the world." Nevertheless, the
cricket's chirp is sometimes supposed to forebode disaster
and death. When Blonzelind expired, Gay says-
"And shrilling crickets in the chimney cry'd."

Similarly, in the Oedipus" of Dryden and Lee-
Owls, ravens, crickets, seem the watch of death !"
Gilbert White, of Selborne, says-" Crickets are the
house-wife's barometer, foretelling her when it will rain,
and are prognostics sometimes, she thinks, of ill or good
luck ; of the death of a near relative, or the approach of


an absent lover. By being the constant companion of
her solitary hours, they naturally become the objects of
her superstition." A large kind of cricket is eagerly
sought after by children in Africa, who roast the insects
and eat them. The eggs, contained in a kind of bag,
are esteemed a great relish. The field-cricket is a sly
creature, living in burrows, in sandy banks, and amongst
stones. It is larger than the house species, but is not at
all common.

That curious insect, the Mole-Cricket, belongs to this
family. It is well-named, for both in structure and
habits it resembles the mole : it is constantly burrowing,


and the insect's anterior pair of legs are converted into
flat digging organs, having an outward direction similar
to the hand of the mole. Where the mole-cricket
(Gryllotalpa vulgaris) abounds, it causes much damage
to the crops, but it is very local in its distribution. I
have never seen or heard of one in Shropshire.
A short notice of the Cockroach and Earwig will con-
clude my sketch of the Orthoptera.
The Cockroach, one of the cursorial Orthoptera, is the
so-called black-beetle of our houses-the well-known
pest of our kitchens and pantries. Nocturnal in their
habits, omnivorous as to diet, black as to colour and
character, of a most unpleasant odour, which they com-
municate to objects which they have touched, cock-
roaches are universally regarded with aversion and dis-
gust. The specific Latin name of Blatta Orientalis was
given to this insect to indicate its original home, sup-
posed by some to be India. In Gilbert White's time
cockroaches do not appear to have been so common and
well known as they are now, for he regards this insect as
a new introduction into Selborne in 1790. He writes
-" A neighbour complained to me that her house was
overrun with a kind of black-beetle, or, as she expressed
herself, with a kind of black-bob, which swarmed in her
kitchen when they got up in the morning before day-
break. Soon after this account, I observed an unusual
insect in one of my dark chimney-closets, and find since
that in the night time they swarm also in my kitchen.
On examination I soon ascertained the species to be the
blatta orientalis of Linneus."
These insects have a remarkable mode of oviposition
for the eggs are not discharged separately, but are col-


elected together in a mass, and deposited in a large horny
case, nearly half the size of the abdomen of the female,
more or less oval in form, and somewhat compressed-
not unlike a small bean. Within these cases the eggs
are ranged in two rows, separated by a partition running
down the middle, while other partitions occurring trans-
versely, form separate chambers for the separate eggs.
The cockroach may occasionally be seen running about
with the egg-case protruded from her body. The males
have very small wings, in the females they are rudimen-
tary. This species, as well as another, the Blatta
Americana, is extremely common on board ships, and
is most numerous in seaport towns. A very large
species, the Blatta gigantea, occurs in the West Indies,
where, from its knocking noise, it is called the drummer.
This insect will attack persons when asleep, and will
even eat the extremities of the dead.
Our native species of Blattidac are out-of-door insects,
and much smaller than the black knight of the kitchen.
B. Lapponica has pale-brown wing-cases, semi-trans-
parent, and prettily veined. It is said to be freely found
in the New Forest.
Earwigs (F. '.. !7., auricularia) are by some natural-
ists placed in a different Order ; they constitute the Der-
maptera of Leach, and the Euplexoptera of Westwood.
This latter term("beautifully folded") refers to the struc-
ture of the wings-a striking characteristic of these insects
-whose nervuresradiate in a peculiar manner. The wings
are of delicate texture, and fold up into the shape of a
closed fan. The tail-forceps appears to be useful in
helping the insect to pack or tuck up the wings under
the wing-covers-a task which, considering the very


small size of the latter, it would not otherwise be able to
do securely. The forceps is also an instrument of offence
and defence. The earwig has been seen to seize a small
beetle with its forceps, and carry it off in spite of its
efforts to free itself. Earwigs seldom make use of their
wings except at night.
These insects show remarkable attachment to their
eggs and young ones. De Geer noticed a female earwig
brooding over a number of eggs with the greatest care,
and on another occasion he saw one accompanied by a
numerous brood of newly hatched young, which crowded
beneath her like chickens under a hen. This fact has
since been corroborated by Spence and other entomolo-
gists. The young or larvae, are like the perfect insect,.
except that they have no wings, and the forceps is not.
well-developed, not having the characteristic curve.
They are at first quite of a pale colour, and active, and
have the bad character of sometimes devouring the dead
body of their mother
Earwigs are popularly supposed to enter the ears of
persons sleeping in the open air, and reaching the brain,
causing death. Extremely foolish as the fancy is, it has
been so widely-spread as to give a name to this insect in
many European languages. Some writers have derived
the English name earwig from ear-wing, of which it is
thought to be a corruption, in allusion to the shape of
the insect's wing, but that this is incorrect is evident
from the name in other countries. It is the perce-
oreille of the French ; the ohren-z/ikler or ohr-wurm, of
the Germans; the ir-matk (matk being "a worm,") of
the Swedes. Our word means an ear worm, the latter
part of the word being from the Anglo-Saxon wigga,
"a worm," or "creeping thing."

Plate 2.

._ -Z A#? /.


... -7 ,.
I -". X-A

,- -~


Earwigs are especially hated by gardeners, whose car-
nations and dahlias they are fond of nibbling. Earwig
traps may be made by taking a number of hollow tubes,
five or six inches long, andabout half an inch in diameter,
such as old specimens of the bamboo-cane, elder branches,
or cow-parsley stems, and plugging up the top end, the
tube being hung with open end downwards. It is the
nature of earwigs to crawl for shelter into any little snug
recess, and these tubes are tempting decoys for them.
There are other kindsof British earwigs, one genus of which
(Apterygia) is wingless, though the elytra, or wing-cases,
are present. All these are of a small size. A very large but
rare species, the Giant Earwig (Labidura gigantea) has
sometimes been found here and there on our coasts, but
"to the great grief of naturalists, and to the great
honour of Providence," as some one remarked, it is very
rarely found.


WE now come to an Order of Insects, many ex-
tremely beautiful, and none in any way injurious
to the crops of the garden and farm. It is not
too much to say that there is not a single British
species in this order that is at all injurious to
vegetation. True, the larva of the large Dragon-flies
may destroy the young fry of the trout now and then,
but with this exception these insects do no harm. On
the contrary, some of these insects are productive of
much good by destroying and eating numerous other
smaller insects hurtful to the garden or farm.


This order derives its name from two Greek words,
one meaning "a nerve," the other "a wing," and is
applied to these insects whose wings are divided by a
great quantity of nervures into a greater number of
spaces (areolce) than is seen in any other of the orders.
The beautiful Dragon-flies, the May-flies or 3p.1.. and
grey drakes of the Fly-fisher, the delicate Lace-winged-
flies, the brown and white speckled Scorpion-fly, the
sluggish Stone-fly, often in the season to be seen resting
on stones, palings, or bridges near running streams, the
Alder-fly, with wings of modest brown and strongly
veined, covering the body with roof-like position ; these
are some of the common examples of this order of
insects, which may be seen in their seasons in the
Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
The metamorphosis in the Neuroptera is more com-
plete than in the Orthoptera, the larve and pupm
generally exhibiting less resemblance to the perfect
insect than in that order, but the metamorphosis is va-
riable in the groups composing the Neuroptera. In their
habits and economy also there is great dissimilarity, but
by far the greater part are carnivorous. In their larval
condition their abodes are various, some larve reside in
the water, others in damp mud and sand, some conceal
themselves under a cloak of excrement, others live ex-
posed on plants. Various proposals have been made
for the classification of the Neuroptera. We will pass
over these and consider the different families com-
posing this order that are represented in our own
country. Let us begin with the Libellilidce or Dragon-
fly tribe. Who has not many a time stopped in his
walk to watch the bold and rapid flight of some of the


large kinds of these insects ? Who has not often had
his attention arrested, when wandering by the rippling
stream with tapering rod and treacherous flies attached,
a large insect of glossy green flits by, the sunshine
glittering on his burnished body ? And who has not
admired ? This is the demoiselle Dragon-fly (Calopteryx
virgo), than which a more lovely object can scarcely be
met with in the whole world of insect life. The body
is nearly two inches long, very slender, now dark steel-
blue, now emerald-green-you cannot tell which for
more than a moment-for the glancing sunbeams now
give one colour, now another, to the burnished surface;
the wings are large and gauze-like, with a large dark spot
on each. This is the male. His partner is grass-green
in colour, the wings are of a rich gold, and there are no
dark spots.
The Libellulidce are generally divided into two large
groups, the A .,' "7. :- and the Libellulides; in the
former the head is set transversely to the body, giving
it a hammer-like appearance, the eyes are wide apart,
the wings when at rest meet back to back over the
insect's body. In the latter, the head is large and
globular, the eyes are immense and almost meet; the
wings when at rest are always extended. To the
Agrionides belong the genera Calopteryx and Agrion ;
to the Libellulides, the genera Libellula, EEs/ina, Anax,
In Plate II., Fig. 2, will be seen a figure of an insect
of the genus Agrion; it is the A. minium or vermilion-
red Dragon-fly. Thousands of these delicate little
insects, with abdomens not thicker than a darning
needle, some blue tinted, others red or some other


colour, may be seen in the summer and autumn months,
flying about near ponds, rivers, or canals, their little
forms glittering in the sunshine they revel in, or alight-
ing on the surface of water weeds to deposit their eggs
to their stalks.*
Fig. 8 will be recognized by my readers as one of the
largest of oar Dragon-flies; it is the Cordulegaster
annulatus of Entomologists; it is a fine and handsome
species, and has its body marked with golden-yellow
Dragon-flies with flat and short bodies (Libellula
depress) may often be seen hawking in pursuit of flies
and moths, upon which these insects feed; these are of
a dull-blue and golden-brown colour. Most Dragon-flies
have a dark mark on each wing near the tip ; in Calop-
teryx virgo it is absent. This spot is called the stigma.
There is a popular belief in this country that Dragon-
flies sting horses, hence these insects are called Horse-
stingers ; it is needless to observe that neither Dragon-
flies nor any other Neuropterous insects possess a sting;
nor can they bite through the tough skin of a horse. It
is possible that these large and strong flying insects
coming suddenly within a few feet of a nervous horse's
head would startle and alarm him, leaving the impression
on the part of the uninstructed in Entomological matters
that the horse had been literally stung. Last year I

I can corroborate Mr. Patterson's account to Prof. Westwood,
that these female Agrions ... i .... Il, descend to a considerable
depth below the surface; On one occasion I noticed one of these
little Agrions walk quietly down the stein of a water weed to the
depth of a foot; she then stopped; her motive was doubtless
to attach her eggs.


received a specimen of that hornet-like insect, the Sirex
gigas, from an acquaintance who sent it to me with the
statement that it had attacked and stung the horses he
was driving at the time. Probably the horse had been
alarmed by the sudden appearance of the insects, which
have, however, no power to harm.
In France, from their light and graceful motions,
DI ..i-!1;,., as we have seen, are called Demoiselles;
in Germany, from their water-birth, they have the name
of IWasser-jungfern, Water-virgins," or Flor-flieger,
" Gauze-flies," in allusion to their net-work wings.

I / I


Dragon-flies have a keen sight, and fly with amazing
rapidity, now forwards, now backwards, now darting


sideways, now hovering hawk-like. Beautiful as are all
the forms of the perfect insect, the larvse of some of
them are anything but prepossessing in appearance,
while they are eminently blood-thirsty in their habits.
The larvae and nymphm possess a very remarkable
weapon in their lower lip. The lip is very long and fur-
nished at the extremity with a pair of pincer-like organs ;
it is attached to the chin by a hinge. When the larva
is quiet this apparatus rests against the under part of
the head, forming a kind of mask. Should some
small insect or other larva approach within distance,
the mask is suddenly lifted from the face, the hinge
opens in the middle so as to allow it to stretch to full
length, and the prey is seized by the fangs ; the arm
folds up again and conveys the prey to the creature's
Very curious, too, is the mode in which this Dragon-
fly larva respires. At the extremity of the abdomen
there is a sort of tail with five horny pieces, which the
larva can open and shut. These pieces cover a valve
formed by three membranous plates; on expanding
these pieces the valve is opened, when a quantity of
water is admitted into the body ; the water is brought
in contact with a peculiar apparatus which communicates
with the trachem, and serves for respiration ; it is then
forcibly discharged through the same orifice, and so
great is the violence of the ejected stream that the
creature is itself shot forward to a considerable distance.
When the nympha is ready to undergo its trans-
formation, it creeps up the stem of some water plant
and rests there for a time ; then the skin splits and the
creature leaving the world of water appears as a perfect


insect, no longer a dirty, sluggish, grovelling, creeping
thing, but an active and beautiful denizen of the air.
The Perlidce, or Stone-flies of the Fly-fisher, is a
family of small extent; there are only a few species of
moderate size, and are distinguished by the posterior wings
being much larger than the anterior. These insects are
all aquatic; the eggs are deposited in the water; the
larve are very like the perfect insect; they are to be found
in great quantities under stones in rivers and ponds;
they are sluggish in their movements, adhering closely
to the sides of stones. One of the largest of the
family is the Stone-fly of the angler, the Perla bicau-
data (Fig. 6) it appears in April; another species
known to fishermen in some parts as the "Yellow Sally,"
the (. .'.- ., ..., viridis, makes its appearance in May.
Respiration in the larvm is carried on by means of
gills attached sometimes to the thorax, sometimes to the
abdomen. None of the British Perlidm are distinguished
for much beauty of colour, but some exotic kinds are
richly tinted, such, for instance, as the Eusthenia Spec-
talis of Westwood, an Australian species, with pink
and violet-tinted wings, of which insect M. Pictet's
figure is before me as I write.
The Ephemeridce or May-flies, so well known to the
Fly-fisher, are distinguished by the small size of their
hinder wings and their antenna, by the absence of a
true mouth-for the organs are in a very rudimentary
condition-and by two or three long hair-like ap-
pendages at the end of the tail. The family consists of
several genera; the best known species being the
Ephemera vulgata, the yellow and grey drake of the
angler. Some of the small kinds belonging to the


genera Bawtis, ChloW, and COnis, are exquisitely
beautiful and delicate in form.
The genus Ephemera is characterized by the posses
sion of three nearly equal hair-like appendages at the
end of the tail; they are longer in the male insect,
which is further distinguished by two curved clasping
organs at the end of the abdomen. The May-fly
deposits her eggs by little packets at a time, first in one
place, now in another, in the water; they soon sink
and become attached to submerged weeds and stones
soon they change into larve, very curious creatures
indeed ; in their larval stage they are believed to live
for two or three years, during the whole period of which
they are active eaters. I have found the intestinal
canal of the la-va to contain the spores of numerous
algie, small crustacea, rotifera, etc. Both larve and
nymphie are often found in holes in river banks, and
frequently in the sand or mud at the bottom of the
water. The only difference between larva and nympha
is that the latter has sheaths for the wings, which are
rolled or crumpled up inside. The banks of rivers may
often be seen to be riddled by these larve, which tunnel
for themselves tubular galleries in the mud to the depth
of four and five inches. The larva of some other
members of the May-fly family, instead of living in
sand or in tubular galleries, swim from place to place,
resting on the leaves and stems of water plants. The
abdomen of the larva and nympha of EpIhemera vulgata
is bordered on either side by a row of gills, which, by
their constant motion, serve to draw fresh currents of
water to oxygenate the blood. Each gill consists of two
large trachial trunks, in which small air vessels ramify in


all directions. In the imago state the whole respiratory
organization is changed, the gills are cast aside, and the
insect now breathes by means of stigmata.
The term May-fly" is indefinite, standing for various
kinds of insects in different counties. In Shropshire we
restrict the word to the E. vulgata. It is quite an error
to suppose that May-flies (Ephemeridw) are produced
from the stick-baits or caddis worms, so common in
every stream and pond; these are the larvm of the
Phryganidce, another family of Neuropterous insects.
The terms caddis, cadow, caddice, are sometimes used to
denote the May-fly. The derivation of the word is
probably from the German Kider, bait," these
Ephemera nympha being abundantly consumed by trout
and other fish just before assuming their winged state.
Isaac Walton, however, appears to have held the erro-
neous notion that the May-flies were produced from the
stick-bait; he says, He loves the May-fly which is
bred of the cod-worm or caddis, and these make the
trout bold and lusty;" and Latham, in his "Large
Dictionary," perpetuates the error, for under Caddis,
he writes, "a kind of worm or grub (generally the
larva of the May-fly), found under water in a case of
Let the reader sit by the bank of a stream some
sunny afternoon the last week in May or the first in
June, and he will witness the birth of thousands of
May-flies. On coming to the surface of the water the
nympha wriggles and struggles vigorously; the skin of
the back splits and out comes a winged insect which
flutters and flounders about till, if spared by fish, it
gains the bank, the empty nympha skin floating down


stream. This is the first winged condition of Ephemera;
he is now in what is aptly termed his sub-imago state;
his wings are scarcely dry, and his muscles are unequal
to great exertion ; he is a heavy clumsy flier, now he
drops for a second or two on the water, then flops
along helplessly; but by-and-bye he may gain the
bank, where he will remain two or three hours perhaps,
and then another change will take place. Look at this
blade of grass ; what is the shadowy form that clings
lifelessly to it? It is a delicate membrane, thin and
light as possible, which the slightest breath will blow
away. Notice the split across the back. It is the
cast-off skin of the Ephemera in its sub-imago state,
now metamorphosed into a creature more active than
harlequin or columbine-the male into a dark-brown
insect with clear gauze-like wings, the female into a
beautiful creature with body marbled white and brown.
How different now is the mode of flight No longer a
clumsy helpless fluttering, but a swift strong flight, not
unlike that of the Dragon-fly, is that of the perfect
Ephemeral imago. Now high in the air, now sailing
along close to the surface of the water, she ever and
anon dips gently into it and leaves a few eggs therein.
This is the sole object of her life now she has become
a mother ; not a particle of food has she tasted since
she left her nymphal state and her deserted swaddling
clothes to the mercy of the stream ; nor will she take
food so long as her short life lasts. If you examine
the digestive apparatus of any of these insects, whether
male or female, in the sub-imago or imago condition,
you will never find the slightest traces of food in the
stomach; this organ, as well as the whole intestinal


canal, is almost always full of air-bubbles ; I catch one
of those dancing males, which I recognize by his very
long fore-legs, extended so that one might at first sight
mistake them for antenna ; I press him quickly in the
middle; crack he goes for the air-bubbles have burst
by the pressure. No wonder that Ephemera's stomach
is empty, for, as a fact, he has no real mouth; there is
no passage from the mouth to the stomach. But though
the stomach is full of air, we must not suppose that
Ephemera suffers at all from flatulence. The air in the
intestinal canal, there can be no doubt, serves the pur-
pose of a balloon and helps to buoy the insect up, and
saves the expenditure of muscular force ; for as no food
is taken to supply the waste, the muscles are not capable
of long-sustained action.
The peculiar up-and-down flight of the May-flies
must be familiar to everyone. In groups they love to
practice their up-and-down ili,,i.; with head erect and
bodies prettily curving upwards they exercise their
characteristic dance, especially when the sun shines
brightly and the air is still. But I must here notice
that it is the males that exercise this particular style of
dance, rising up sometimes ten or twelve feet, then
dropping down again suddenly the same distance; at
least I think this dance, as a rule, is strictly confined
to the gentlemen, for I have never detected a lady
May-fly in her marbled dress of white and brown
amongst the company.
I should mention that the "Green-drake" of the
Fly-fisher is the sub-imago stage of the May-fly, while
the Grey-drake" is the perfect imago female. It is in
their sub-imago state that so many thousands fall


victims to the voracity of the hungry trout or other
finny inhabitant of the rippling stream or lake (Fig. 1).
The term EpAemera, so applicable to this creature of
a day, is as old as the time of Aristotle, who speaks of
certain insects which live and fly about till evening and
die at sunset. The life of the May-fly is pre-eminently
a short one, and though specimens have been kept alive
for some days, the word correctly enough describes the
shortness of its existence in its insect stage. Though
these insects sometimes occur in England in enormous
multitudes, the numbers are vastly exceeded in Switzer-
land and other countries. I have somewhere read that
these insects are so plentiful that they have been col-
lected and used to feed pigs !
On Plate II., Fig. 5, the reader will see a drawing of
the Lace-wing-fly (f' .... vulgaris), a representation
of the family of Hfemerobiidce. It is not easy to imagine
anything more beautiful and delicate than the Lace-
wing-fly, with its eyes of burnished gold, its wide
gauze-like wings, reflecting varying hues of pink or
green, according to the incidence of the angle of light.
The larve of these insects are to be enumerated amongst
the farmers' friends, inasmuch as they are great do-
vourers of the Aphides or Plant-lice. Very curious are
the eggs of the Lace-wing-fly; they are laid in small
bunches upon leaves. Each egg is supported at the end
of a long thread or :...i t ,ll: about half an inch long.
The mode in which this insect deposits her eggs is as
follows : she bends down her tail and presses it against
a leaf, upon which she places a small drop of viscous
matter secreted by herself, quickly she raises her tail
and draws out a thread of this viscous matter, which


soons hardens on exposure to the air. By-and-by she
affixes a small egg, which she fastens by another drop
of the secreted fluid, to the extremity of the thread.
Beautiful in form, structure, and colour as the Lace-
wing is, it generally has a most offensive odour, which
it readily imparts to the hand that has hold of it, and
which is more easily acquired than got rid of. The
larva spins a small round cocoon, in which it developed
its pupal and imago states. The Hemerobiidw are
allied to the M11rmelionidc or Ant-lions, whose curious
little larve, possessed of a formidable pair of jaws, ex-
cavate hollow pits in sandy places inhabited by them, in
which they conceal themselves with the exception of
the head and jaws, and lie in wait for prey; should an
unlucky insect or larva slip into this sandy hole, the
Ant-lion is soon down upon him and sucks his juices;
should he attempt to beat a retreat by climbing the
sides of the pit, the Ant-lion throws up showers of
sand, and quickly brings him down.
The Panorbide, or Scorpion-flies, so called from a
curious pincer-like appendage at the end of the tail,
exactly like that of the scorpion, have also a peculiar
head, which is prolonged below into a beak, at the end
of which the mouth is situated. The most common British
species and type of the family is Panorba communis,
generally found in hedges (Plate II., Fig. 3). They are
predaceous in their habits, feeding upon other insects, and
probably are beneficial in this respect. The tail-forceps
which the insect is fond of displaying in threatening
attitudes, seems to say, Noli me tangere" to the
insect collector; it is, however, powerless to hurt. The
other British genus, Boreus, contains only one species,


B. hyemalis, so called from appearing in the winter when
"the cold north wind doth blow." This insect is of
small size, with long legs and body, like the larva of the
grasshopper; it is, I believe, not a common insect, but
from its small size, and its living under moss and stones,
and in snow, at such a season of the year when Ento-
mologists are arranging their cabinets rather than
collecting, it may be more frequently to be met with
than is supposed.
The Rcaphidiide or Snake-flies, have their prothorax
lengthened into a slender neck, terminated by a broad
and flattened head. The female has a long ovipositor;
and the whole appearance is certainly not inviting. A
modern Entomologist once received a specimen of a
Snake-fly (caphidia o2phiopsis, one of the largest British
species), with an urgent request that he would give his
opinion as to the probable extent of the injury which a
baby, on whose face it was found, might have received.
Though the insect is uninviting, it is harmless. The
Snake-flies are predaceous, feeding on other insects;
they are to be found near woods and streams.
The Sialidc a family consisting of a few species, is
represented in this county by the well-known orl or Alder-
fly of the angler. This is the Sialis lutarius of a brown
colour, and with wings very strongly veined, and shelving
into a kind of roof (Fig. 7). It is excessively common in
spring and early summer, and numbers may readily be
picked off the stems or leaves of plants on which they have
settled, so sluggish are they in their movements. The
female is larger and fatter than the male: she deposits her
eggs on the leaves and stems of water plants. These clus-
ters of eggs are very pretty objects; they are of a reddish


brown colour, cylindrical in shape, with a narrow point
at the top; they are attached to the stems with the
most precise regularity. I have, often watched Sialis
lutarius in the act of laying her eggs; firmly holding on
by her legs to the stem or leaf of a plant, such as a
care or sparganium, she bends down her abdomen and
glues egg after egg upon it in the regular manner
described. In about ten days' time the young larvm are
hatched, when they drop into the water, where they
pass their larval state. And certainly the larvm are
ugly, ferocious looking fellows, of a shining brown colour,
a strong pair of jaws, which they exhibit in a menacing
way when disturbed. The abdomen has a fringe of fila-
ments on either side-seven pairs in all. These are the
branchial organs, and serve both for respiration and loco-
motion. If a segment of the larva be cut off from the
body, and placed with its attached filament under the
microscope, one sees at first sight the function of these
organs. The filament contains a delicate tracheal tube,
with numerous arborescent branchlets, extending along
its whole length ; near the base it joins a large lateral
tracheal vessel. When the creature wishes to assume
its pupa state, it crawls into a hole in the bank and
forms a cell. In this stage it is inactive.
The P/ryganide, or Caddis-flies, are by many Ento-
mologists separated from the Order Neuroptera, and
placed in an order by themselves, on account of the
structure of the wings, the anterior pair of which is
covered with hairs, hence the term proposed for them,
the Trichoptera. The wings have no cross reticulations,
and the manner in which the hairs are fixed on the first
pair of wings reminds one of the scales in the butterfly's


wing. The insects, of which there are a great many
British species, are well-known, both in their larval and
perfect states to all anglers. Various forms are to be
seen near every river and pond, of different sizes, some
about an inch in length, others almost microscopic in
size. Most of them are tolerably ac:;ve runners, but
their flight is, for the most part, heavy. These insects
are all aquatic, the larve forming for themselves little
homes of dead sticks, stones, bits of grass, shells, grains
of sand, etc., in which they dwell. Some are active, and
carry their houses about with them ; others attach them
firmly to stones and other submerged bodies. The bodies
of the larvae belonging to the larger species are thick
and fat, and are favourite food for almost any kind of
fish. The segments of the abdomen have whitefilaments,
of various form, the external organs of respiration. The
materials of these caddis' houses are united by fine silken
threads, spun from a spinneret on the animal's labium.
At the end of the tail there are two hook-like append-
ages, by means of which the larva adheres firmly to the
inside of its dwelling. Most of the larve are herbivorous,
though they will also eat other larva, and have been
known to prey upon each other when in confinement.
When the larva wishes to pass into the pupa state, it
closes up the ends of the tube with a sort of open-wor1-
fence of silk, which admirably serves the double purpo.
of keeping out enemies-saying not at home" to callers.
when the creature does not wish to be disturbed-and
of allowing free access of water to the branchial append-
ages which, in the pupa, resemble those of the larva.
When ready to complete its final change, the pupa bites
away the silken grating, and sets itself free; some

Plate 4.



S ..



species crawl up the stems of water-plants, and under-
go their change in the air; others swim to the sur-
face of the water, and use their old pupal covering as a
raft from which to rise into the air, after the manner of
some gnats. Like the Ehemneridce, the Phryganidce
have only rudimentary mouths, and as they never eat
they are doubtless very short-lived. The females of some
of the species have been seen to descend a foot deep or
more into the water to deposit their eggs, just as we have
seen is sometimes the case with some of the dragon-flies.
The colours of all the British Phryganidoe are obscure,
being brown, grey, or black.


THE Phryganidce, a family of insects noticed in the
last chapter, may be considered to form a sort of
connecting link between the Orders Neuroptera and
Lepidoptera, so similar are some of the species to moths.
We come now, therefore, to the Lepidoptera, containing
the Butterflies and Moths-insects which, from the
delicacy of form of many species, and the brilliancy of
the colours often displayed on the wings, have always
been, perhaps, the most attractive of all insects.
The structure of the mouth of a Lepidopterous
insect will distinguish it from one belonging to any other
of the Orders. The long tongue, spirally rolled when at
rest, is an organ admirably suited for inserting in the
deep petals of flowers and extracting therefrom the sweet


nectar. It is not a single, but a double tube, the two
tubes adhering along the inner surfaces ; on either side
near the base are to be observed two large hairy labial
palpi; the
other por-
tions of the
S mouthexist
only in a
S tary condi-
S tion. The
w wings are
So four in
S generally
c I clothed
wi-th small
S- scales set
__ close to-
gether and
C laid one
-^ over the
other, like
tiles or
S- slates on
< the roof of
a house.
From the presence of these scale-like hairs on the
wings, the insects belonging to this order have re-
ceived the name of Lepidoptera, from the Greek
word lepis, a scale," and pteron, "a wing." If these
scales are brushed off, the membranous nature of the


wing is distinctly visible. The Lepidoptera have, as a
rule, six legs, the normal number of all insects, but in
some of the butterflies the fore legs are either wanting
or rudimentary. The larve of the Lepidoptera are
popularly termed caterpillars, of various forms and sizes.
The body contains thirteen segments, the first of which
forms a strong horny head, provided with biting jaws.
On the labium there is a slender hollow body, which is
in communication with two internal glands, whose
function it is to secrete the substance out of which the
silky threads are spun. This organ is called the spin-
neret, the value of which will be acknowledged when we
consider its use in the production of the silk of com-
merce. Many of the Lepidoptera, beautiful as they are
in their perfect state, are eminently destructive to the
gardener and the farmer. Every one is familiar with
the nasty green grub that riddles his cabbages and cauli-
flowers through and through. The enemies that do
this are the larvm of the "Garden White" butterflies,
which, like the larve of most of the Lepidoptera, are
voracious feeders. They grow rapidly, changing their
skins frequently. In many species there are two broods
every year; others, again, require two years or more
before they assume the perfect state. In the pupa condi-
tion the creature is inactive : some enclose themselves in
a silky cocoon, others select the lower surfaces of leaves,
and roll themselves in, fastening their bodies by silken
lines; others simply bury themselves in the earth, and
may often be dug up in the form of dark brown cylin-
drical bodies of various sizes. When the insect first
emerges its wings are soft and crumpled, as may be seen
by all who have kept silk-worm moths. Fortunately


this order of insects, probably the most destructive of
all, has numerous parasitic insect enemies, which lay
their eggs in the bodies of the larvme in which they are
hatched, and on the juices of which they feed.
Butterflies and M/oths constitute the Order Lepidop-
tera. But what is the difference between a butterfly
and a moth ? How shall we distinguish them ? We
shall see. A butterfly has always a pair of club-
shaped antenna ; they are thickest at the tip. A moth
has its antenna of various forms, bristle-shaped, or plu-
mose, very seldom indeed clubbed. This distinction has
separated the Order into these two sections, the Rhopa-
locera (from rhopalon, a club," and keras, a horn,")
and the Heterocera (from heteros, different," and keras).
The former contains the butterflies, the latter the moths.
But there are other well-marked distinctions. In
Butterflies the wings, when at rest, are carried upright,
back to back. In Moths, as a rule, they are not so car-
ried, they are generally laid down flat over the body.
There is no rule, perhaps, without exceptions. Thus
the currant moth, and a few of its allies, rests with its
wings raised like those of a butterfly, but the antenna
here declare them to be moths. Again, there are but-
terflies, such as some of the family of Hesperide, which
carry their fore-wings upright, and their hind-wings in
a horizontal position when at rest. In the hind legs of
butterflies there are two pairs of spurs on the tibiem-
excepting in the family of the Hesperidw-which would
almost seem to be a connecting link between butterflies
and moths ; the moths possess one pair of spurs only.
All butterflies fly by day only, moths by night and day.
The British species of the Butterfly section number


sixty-six; they are divided into five families. Of the
Moths there are about two thousand species, and more
than one hundred families, which consist of nine large
The following are the five families into which the
British butterflies are divided :-

1. Papilionidoe.
2. Nymphalide.
3. Erycinidm.
4. Lycemnide.
5. Hesperide.

The first family contains two sub-families, the Papili-
onidce and the Pieridcw. In the first the inner margin
of the hind wing is concave; in the other it is not so.
Of the first sub-family only one species is known in this
country, and that is the large, rare, and beautiful
Swallow-tailed butterfly (Papilio machaon), so called
from the prolonged margin of the hind wings. Its
colour is yellow and black, with lines and spots, a deep
bluish black band near the hind margin, a bright red
round spot on the inner margin of each hind wing. I
do not know this species except in cabinets. It is chiefly
to be found in the fenny districts of Huntingdon and
Cambridgeshire, though it has occasionally been cap-
tured in Sussex and Kent. The larva, which is of a
bright pale green colour, with black bands and orange
spots, feeds on the cow-parsley, marsh-parsley, and
other umbelliferous plants. The perfect insect is said
to be a high and rapid flyer, capable of soaring aloft.
It emerges from its pupa the middle of May.


Perhaps one of the most charming of the second sub-
family is the Sulphur or Brimstone butterfly (Gonopteryx
Rhamni), which receives its generic name from the
tips of the wings being sharply and prettily angled.
The male insect is more brightly sulphur than the female.
A small orange spot is to be seen near the centre of each
wing. The specific name of the Rhamni is given to it
because the larva feeds on the buckthorn.
The Brimstone is very common in Shropshire. It ap-
pears very early in the year, mild sunny days of March and
even February tempting it to fly abroad. These early
visitors are autumn-bred individuals which had hiber-
nated. A drawing of the Brimstone butterfly will be
seen on Plate III., Fig. 2.
The common Whites, so abundant everywhere, are the
Pieris brassica (large white), the P. rape (small white),
and the P. Napi (the green-veined white). The larvae
are more or less green or yellow with black spots, and
feed on cabbage and other crucifere.
The large White is the most destructive to cabbages,
and should always be destroyed, if possible. Children
should be encouraged to catch them and crush them,
and not blamed for killing the "poor little pretty but-
terflies." Handsome is what handsome does," and the
converse to this is, in the same sense, equally true,
" Ugly is that ugly does." Fortunately, we have in nature
a powerful destructive agent in the little Ichneumon fly,
the Microgaster glomeratus, which lays its eggs within the
body of the cabbage-eater, where they turn into small
larvae, which feed on the fat of their host, who, bad luck
to him, goes on eating faster than ever. Retribution,
however, must come in time, and when the cabbage-


eater should turn into a chrysalis, the parasitic guests
are thinking of changing too, so they burst through the
skin of their host, and leave him to perish.
In the Nymphalidce the imago has only four legs fitted
for walking, the first pair being rudimentary. This dis-
tinguishes the family from all others, with the single
exception of the only species of the family of Erycynide,
the Nemeobius lucina, the male of which has only four
legs fitted for walking, though the female has the nor-
mal number of six. The Peacock, Red Admiral, Tor-
toiseshells, White Admiral, Purple Emperor, Painted
Lady, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood,
&c., belong to this family. Many are brilliantly coloured,
as the Admirals and Peacocks. The magnificent Red
Admiral (Vanessa Atalanta), a drawing of which will
be seen on Plate III., Fig. 1, is common everywhere. The
perfect insect generally appears in August. The larva
is of a yellowish grey colour, with a pale yellow lateral
line, and the segment beset with hairs. It feeds on the
common nettle, changing into a chrysalis in the sum-
mer, and into the perfect insect the end of August or be-
ginning of September. The chrysalis has brilliant golden
yellow patches on the sides, and is a very pretty object.
The specimens which appear early in the summer are
those which have hibernated in the winter. The autumn
or late summer specimens are the best for the collector's
box. Rivalling the Red Admiral in point of beauty and
brilliancy of colours, the glorious Peacock (Vanessa lo)
claims a notice, with wings of deep red, margined with
brown, chiefly conspicuous for the large eye-like spots,
variously and beautifully coloured, which adorn the
wings. The perfect insect appears in July, but speci-


mens that have hibernated appear earlier ; the larva is
black, sprinkled with minute dots with spines on its seg-
ments. Like the larva of the Red Admiral, it feeds on
the nettle. Though common in England, it is scarce in
The Tortoise-shells large and small ( Vanessa polychlo-
ros, and V. urticc), the latter of which is extremely
common everywhere, the former not being so abundant,
belong to this family. All the species of the genus Va-
nessa have more or less a ragged or scalloped outline.
This is very conspicuous in the Comma Butterfly (Grapta
0-album), so called from a central C-like mark on the
hind wings. This species is scarce.
But perhaps the greatest prizes in this family of the
Nymphalidie are the Camberwell Beauty (Vanessa An-
tiopa) and Purple Emperor (Apatura Iris). The former
is capricious in its appearance, and few Entomologists
indeed have ever seen it on the wing. The wings are
purplish chocolate, margined with yellowish white, ad-
joining which is a broad black band, with six or seven
blue spots to each wing. It is the largest of the Va-
nessas ; "Longo post tempore venit is expressive of the
appearance of this butterfly. When it has appeared it
sometimes occurs in great numbers. About eighty years
ago, after a long absence, it appeared somewhere in great
number, and received the name of "The Grand Sur-
prise," and its appearance at Camberwell some years
ago caused it to be called the Camberwell Beauty, a
name it still retains.
The Purple Emperor is perhaps the most splendid
of our native butterflies, the iridescent gloss of the
wings in the male in certain lights equalling in bril-


liancy that of some of the South American insects. It
is a strong flyer, and makes his throne on the lofty
branches of oak trees. Entomologists of former days
used a ring-net, fastened on the end of a rod thirty or
forty feet long, an instrument which must require some
practice to handle with effect. But now, collectors
wait till his majesty descends from his throne, and comes
to the ground for eating or drinking, in which matters
he is not so particular as befits imperial purple, for he
prefers muddy places to drink from-water containing
much'" body "-to borrow a phrase from the wine mer-
chant. Dead dogs and cats, in a high and semi-
fluid state of decomposition, are favourite food, and
if such baits are placed in places where these butter-
flies occur, specimens may be secured without difficulty,
his majesty being too much occupied with his meal
to be scared away. Woods in the south of England
are this butterfly's localities. I have never heard
of any specimen being seen in Shropshire or Stafford-
shire. The larva is pale green, with oblique yellow
lines, and a yellow stripe on each side. On the head
are two snail-like tentacles or horns ; it feeds on poplars
and sallows, in May. I should mention that the under
sides of the Emperor's wings are prettily marbled with
red, white, and brown. The Fritillaries are pretty mem-
bers of this same family ; they all have metallic spots and
marks on the under surface of the lower wings, giving to
them a burnished silver appearance. There are several
British species belmging to the genera .,'.,.....' and
Melitwa ; the larve' are spiny, and feed generally on
wild violets.
The Erycinide family has only one British species:


this is the Nemeobius lucina, the male of which has
only four developed feet, as was said above. It occurs
in open glades in the South of England in woods in June
and August. The larva, which is of a wood-louse form,
feeds on the primrose.
The family of Lycwnide contains the little Blue but-
terflies so common in meadows, lanes, gardens, healthy
downs, &c.; the Hair-streaks, brown and orange, or
purple, and the Coppers, belonging to these three genera
respectively, Polyommatus, Thecla, and C/ryssophanus.
Most of the species arc rather small in size, and fly low
near the ground in a short jerky manner. The blues vary
in colour, some females are brown, or purplish-brown;
some are brown with orange spots; some are brown in
both sexes. From the presence of a number of small
eye-like spots on the under surface of the wings, this
genus has received the name of Polyommatus, many-
eyed." In the genus Theclac the hind-wings have short
tails-a distinguishing mark, with one exception, viz.,
the Green Hair Streak (Thecla rubi), so called from the
colour of the under surface of the wings. The tails here
are absent, or barely distinguishable. In Chrysolphanus,
the fore-wings are coppery-red, with dark hind margin,
and often a black spot or two near the middle; only one
species, I believe, now represents this genus, viz., the small
Copper (C. phlweas), which may be known by its bright
copper-red fore-wings, with black spots, its hind-wings
very dark, with copper-red margin. It is common
everywhere. Two other species, the Large Copper (C.
dispar), and the C. Chryseis, formerly occasionally seen
in some parts of England, appear to have disappeared
altogether. The former, dispar (so-called from the dis-


similarity in the colouring of the male and female) used
to frequent the fens of Cambridge and Huntingdon : the
latter has been taken, many years ago, in Epping and
Ashdown forests.
The Hesperidwa includes the "skippers"-so called
from their short, jerky flight-of which there are seven
British species ; all are of small size, and generally brown
or yellowish in colour. The species belonging to this
family approach the Heterocera, or moths, in some
respects, both in form and habit; the body is thicker in
proportion than is usual in butterflies, the tibia have
only one pair of spines, like moths. In some species the
fore-wings are erect while at rest, the hind-wings folding
the body horizontally. The antenna are widely sepa-
rated at their insertion on each side of the head; the
larva spins a cocoon, as do many moths. Many of the
species of Hesperidae are local. Thymele alveolus, the
grizzled skipper, with wings nearly black, tinged with
green, and sprinkled with white spots, is not uncommon
in woods.
The HETEROCERA, or Moth section of the Lepidoptera,
may be divided into the nine following groups or
families :-
1. Sphingina.
2. Bombycina.
3. Noctuina.
4. Geometrina.
5. Pyralidina.
6. Tortricina.
7. Tineina.
8 Pterophorina.
9. Alucitina.


The first family, the Splkingina, or Sphinx moths, derives
its name from a fanciful resemblance of some of the
larvae to the famed sphinx of Egypt; the term Hawk-
moths, by which they are also called, refers to the
hawk-like swiftness of their flight. The Sphingina are
at once to be known by the form of the antenna, which
are thickest in the middle; in the other groups these
organs are the thickest at the base, gradually tapering
towards the tip. Most of these moths fly by night, or
in the dusk of the evenings ; the beautiful and bold
Humming-bird Moth (Macroglossa stellatarum), how-
ever, flies by day and delights in the hot sunshine.
These moths are of a large size, and are conspicuous for
the beauty of their colouring ; the larve also of some
of the species are prettily marked, being of a bright
apple-green colour, with handsome lilac stripes. The
curious Death's-head Moth (Ackerontia atropos) belongs
to this group. Other species are the Spurge Hawk-
moth (Deilephila Euphorbice), very rare in this country,
but occasionally abundant on the Continent, near the
coast; the Eyed Hawk-moth (Smerinthus ocellatius),
the Poplar Hawk-moth (S. pop2ldi), the Lime Iawk (S.
tiliw), all of which are heavy fliers, unlike the Swift
hawks of all the other species ; then there is the com-
mon Privet Hawk (Spkhinx ligistri), the Elephant Hawk
(Clhcrocampa Elpenor), so called from the resemblance
more or less fanciful of the head of the larva to the
trunk of the elephant. It is an ugly creature, and has
two eye-like spots on the fifth and sixth segments, which
at first sight might be supposed to be really eyes. Some
of the Hawks have very long tongues, even longer than
their bodies, by means of which they can reach the


honeyed measures from long flower-tubes. The Death's-
head, however, has a short, thick tongue, and when this
moth wishes for honey, it enters bees' hives and robs the
insects of it, or else, perhaps, feeds on the juices of very
ripe fruit. This magnificent moth is undeservedly in ill
repute on account of the very curious and conspicuous
markings on its thorax, representing a human skull
with thigh-bones crossed beneath, which superstitious
people regard with horror, as they suppose the insect

I -


presages death. Another curious fact about this Hawk-
moth is its faculty of uttering a cry or squeak like that
of a mouse, or the creaking of cork ; this adds to the
horror with which it is regarded. I have on two or
three occasions heard this peculiar squeak, but could
not make out how the sound was produced. I believe
the question is still a problem. According to a writer
in Notes and Queries, there is a quaint superstition that
the Death's-head Moth has been very common in White-


hall ever since the execution of Charles I. The larvae
are very large, and lemon-yellow in colour, with seven
oblique violet stripes. They feed on the potato, jas-
mine, and Lycium abarbarum, known in some counties
as the tea-tree." 'The perfect insect appears towards

A t,.,


t. II'

DEATII's-HEAD HAWK- MOTnh (Aclerontia atropos).
the end of August, and remains even till October. The
three species of Smerintahs and Chcerocampa porcellos
(Small Elephant Hawk), appear at the end of May if the
weather be warm. The Humming-bird Moths may not
unfrequently be seen hovering before flowers in gardens.


In some seasons they appear in very great numbers in
some localities. The larve feed on bed-straw (Galium
Mollugo). A drawing of the Humming-bird Moth will
be seen on Plate III., Fig. 4. The flight of this moth is
amazingly swift. To this same group also belongs the
curious wasp-like or bee-like moths called Clearwings
(Plate III., Fig. 7), from the absence of scales on the
wings except at the margins ; these are Sesia fuciformis
or broad-bordered Bee-hawk, S. Bombkyliformis, the
narrow bordered Bee-hawk, Sphecia apiformis, whose
figure appears in the illustration, S. Bembeciformis, and
various species of Trochilium. In all these species the
wings are more or less transparent, with a black edge;
the upper wings are generally barred with brown, orange,
and black. The bodies of the genus Trochilium are
slender. At the end of the abdomen there is a brush-
like tuft, more or less conspicuous.
Of all our British moths, Mr. Newman says, the
Sesiidw are the most elegant, graceful, and fairy-like.
Unlike almost all other moths, they fly in sunshine, and
nothing can exceed the grace and beauty of their mo-
tions as they hover over a flower, or walk over its petals
and leaves, gently waving their transparent ahd sylph-
like wings. The most remarkable character that belongs
to these moths is this:-they seem to have no similarity
at all to other moths, but rather resemble gnats, and
bees and wasps, and a variety of other insects. The
hornet-like appearance of the Sesia apiformis is obvious
at a glance. The larva feeds on the wood of poplars
and aspens, into which it burrows. Here it changes
after two years of larva-life into a pupa, the perfect
insect appearing about midsummer.


The prettily-marked Burnet moths (Anthrocera) belong
also to this group, the commonest species being the
six-spot Burnet A. filipendzulc). It has the upper wings
of a deep metallic green colour, with six crimson spots;
the hind wings are deep crimson, edged with a narrow
black border. The caterpillar is dull yellow, somewhat
hairy, with two rows of black spots on each segment.
It feeds on clover and other leguminous plants. When
about to assume the pupa state, the caterpillar creeps
up the stem of some grass, rush, or other plant, and on
it spins a yellow silken cocoon, pointed at both ends.
In this case it changes to a black chrysalis-the beautiful
moth appearing early in June. The second group, the
Bombycina, as well as all the other groups of the Hete-
roceral Lepidoptera, has the antenna thickest at the
base, gradually tapering towards the tip. The Bomby-
cina includes the Swifts, the Ghost moths, the wood
Leopard and Goat moths, the Puss, Lobster, Buff-tips,
the curious Tussocks, Vapourers, Gold-tails, Ermines,
Tiger moths, Eggers, Lackeys, Drinkers, Lappets, the
Kentish Glory, the Emperor, &c. The common Silk-
worm moths of commerce belong to this group.
The Swifts, so-called from the rapid flight of most
of the species, are remarkable for their very short an-
tennaz. The Ghost Swift (Hepialus humuli) is common
everywhere. The wings of the male are of a silvery
white, the fore-wings of the female yellow, with orange
spots, hind-wings dull at the base, tawny towards the
margin. The Goat moth (Cossus ligniperda) derives
its name from the offensive goat-like smell of the cater-
pillar, a formidable fellow, with black head and strong
jaws, a fat body as thick as a man's finger. It feeds


on various trees-willows, oak, elms, &c., and as the
larva does not change into a pupa for four years, it is
capable of doing great damage. The moth is a large
insect, three inches across the wings, with broad pale
brown wings, elegantly marked with wavy lines. The
Puss moth (Cerura vinula), derives its name from the soft
texture of the scales, reminding one of some smooth tabby
cat, is tolerably common, and very beautifully marked
with delicate pencillings. The larva is a strange look-
ing creature, with ,
a forked tail; it
is dark green, and .' .
has a hump on the'; '
fourth segment. It 'I,,
feeds onwillows and '
poplars, and forms
an oval cocoon, in .
which it changes to
a chrysalis, and ap-
pears in the spring. .
A still more remark- LAVA OF THE LOBSTER-MOTH (Stauropusfagi).
able form of larva is that of the Lobster-moth (Stauropus),
which carries its two-forked tail elevated somewhat
in the same way as a lobster elevates a claw. It
feeds on beech, oak, and birch. There is only one
species, the S. fagi, and this is scarce. The Buff-tips
(Pygwora bucephala) are very common and handsome
little moths. They derive their name from the presence
of a large buff patch at the tip of each wing. As this
moth lies among the fallen leaves on the ground, it
is scarcely distinguishable from a broken stick. The
Tussocks are very beautifully coloured moths. They


are so called from the larvm bearing numerous thick
tufts of silky hairs on some segments of the body. The
Pale Tussock larva (Dasychira pudibunda) is found on
hops; in the hop-gardens it is known as the "hop-dog;"
it is of a pale yellowish or straw colour, and the incisions
between some of the segments are deep black, like velvet.
On the fifth to the eighth segment there is a dense yellow
tuft on the back. On the twelfth segment a longer dull


red tuft appears. It is a beautiful creature, and imme-
diately attracts attention. The Common Vapourer de-
mands a short notice, inasmuch as the females of this
genus (Orgyia) are dull wingless grub-like creatures,
so unlike nearly all other Lepidopterous insects. The
Vapourer (0. antiqua) is entirely destitute of wings, and
is covered with grey down. The wings of the male are
bright chestnut, the fore-wings having darker markings.
The caterpillar has tussocks on some of the segments. It


will eat almost any kind of plant. After the female comes
out from the web, she lays her eggs all over it, and there
she remains. I must pass over, for want of space, the
pretty Ermines, Eggers, Lackeys, and Drinkers, except to
say that the commonest and perhaps most beautiful of
the Ermines is theWhite Ermine (Spilosoma menthrastri)
so called on account of the resemblance of its covering
to the fur of the ermine, that the Egger moths take
their name from the oval shaped cocoons of the chry-
salis, that the Drinker (Odonestis potatoria) is so called
from the habit the caterpillar has of putting its mouth to
a dewdrop and sucking up the whole of it. I pass on to
notice a very curious moth, the Lappet (Gastropacha
quercifolia.), (PlateIII. Fig. 6), of a beautiful brownish red
or mahogany colour, marked with darker zig-zag trans-
verse lines. The hind margins of all the wings are
prettily and regularly scalloped, the antenna are beau-
tifully pectinated. The caterpillar is large and variable
in colour, grey or pale brown. There is a slight hump
on the twelfth segment, and the incisions between the
second and fourth segments are dark purple. It feeds
on the willow and blackthorn, and spins a black, firm
cocoon among the lower twigs. The perfect insect
appears in June and July.
Above the Lappet, and to the right (Fig. 5) will be seen
a drawing of the richly marked Tiger-moth (Arctia caja),
common everywhere towards the end of summer. The
larva is of large size, with a great number of long white
hairs on the back, and dark brown hairs along the sides.
It feeds on various plants, and spins a loose hairy web
in July, in which it turns to a smooth, black chrysalis.
The Kentish Glory (Enidromis versicolor), a beautiful


moth, with orange brown wings, variegated with many
curved black and white streaks, once not uncommon in
Kent, is now very rare there. It has, however, been
taken in large numbers in the Rannoch woods, near
Perth. I must not omit to mention the Emperor
moth (Saturnia Pavonia minor), with its four eye-like
spots in a yellow ring surrounded by a black one, and
wings prettily variegated with brown, red, grey, and
orange. It appears in April.


The Psychidc family belongs also to the Bombycina
group. In it the females are even more helpless crea-
tures than those of the Vapourers; for not only are
they destitute of wings, they have neither legs nor an-
tenna. The female is a mere bag of eggs, never quitting
the covering in which it was bred. The larva constructs
a moveable case in which it lives and undergoes its
metamorphosis. This house-building peculiarity will
remind us of the Caddis Worm insects I have already
spoken of. These larve must be looked for in spring
and summer.
The third group, that of the NoctuZin, contains about
300 British species, As their name implies, these moths
fly, as a rule. by night, but there are day-flying species.


as well. They are fond of sweets, and it is for the various
members of this group that the entomologist plasters
over with sugar and beer the trees of his garden for the
capture of specimens. Their bodies are generally stout
and smaller than the other two groups; their fore-
wings are narrow, and fold over the broader hind-
wings. The antenna generally are slender. A certain
pattern occurs very constantly in the markings of the

~. ,:.... '". :-
>^-^ '-;. ^ -,_,-.... ,- _..
,oi .-

1. Cosmia Pyralina, Lunar Spotted Pinion-Moth.
2. Lackey-Moth !
3. The Sprawler .

fore-wings; thus, near the costa (i.e., front edge of
the wings) of the fore-wings, about the middle, are two
spots called the stigmata; that nearest the base is round
or oval, and is therefore called the orbicular stigma; the
other is kidney shaped, and is called the reniform stigma;
beneath the orbicular stigma is frequently a third, of a
wedge shape, called the claviform stigma. There are
moreover certain lines that run transversely along the


wings. As a rule, the colouring in the members of this
group is not conspicuous, though some species are
striking enough, the Red Underwing, for instance, a
large greyish moth, with red hind-wings, barred with
broad black bands; the splendid Clifden Nonpareil
(Catocala fraxini), with fore-wings marbled grey, and
hind-wings rich lilac, bordered with deep black, though
it is doubtful whether this magnificent moth-about
four inches in the expanse of the wings-is properly
a native. The Plusias are very beautiful, glittering
with gold and silver.
The Geometrina derives its name from the peculiar
mode of locomotion in the larve, or "looper" cater-
pillars, as they are called. The creature attaches its
hind-legs to the substance on which it is walking,
stretches out its body to its full length, depresses its
fore part, and grasps with its fore-legs, bringing up the
hind-legs to them, in this way forming for a time a
loop. It then stretches out the fore part again, repeat-
ing the process as before. The larvm, having only ten
legs, are obliged to adopt this mode of migration. Mr.
Stainton says we have upwards of 260 British species;
all have slender bodies when contrasted with the Noc-
tuina and Bombycina, most rest with wings extended,
and a few with them erect like the butterflies. I have
space only for mentioning two or three species of this
group; one of the commonest and prettiest-here, at
least, in Shropshire-is the Swallow-tail moth (Ourap-
teryx sambucaria), so called from the hind-wings being
prolonged into a kind of tail. The wings are of a light
yellow, with several pale olive transverse streaks. It is
very like a small brimstone butterfly, but its tapering

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