•n

» ■*;

#y*f>l'/^^^

^f/ I V \ '' .' -

'.^■■i

m^^

' IH ^^ ' ^ 41' VH

^'' ^^^'^^^'^^V^l')?^

iVSQ^^^S^BH

^^^^HHL^^^^^^HfiS^^L-'^-^''''' '' ^W^^H^^^Ifibx

B^^ttP^

2

,:'mvK'-^'m

'-iW^F' ' '■ ' '^^^H^I uBfl

FOEEIGN INSECTS.

WORKS BY THE REV. J. G. WOOD.

HOMES WITHOUT HANDS ; a Description of the Habi- tations of Animals, classed according to the Principle of L'oi.struc- tion. With 140 Illustrations. 8vo. 10s. 6ii.

INSECTS AT HOME ; a Popular Account of British Insects, their Structure, Habits, and Transformations. With 700 Illustrations. 8vo. lof. 6d.

INSECTS ABROAD ; a Popular Account of Foreign Insects, their Structure, Habits, and Iransformations. With Coo 1 Lustrations. 8vo. 10s. 6d.

BIBLE ANIMALS ; a Description of every Living Creature mentioned in the Scriptures. With 112 Illustrations. 8vo. 10s. dd.

STRANGE DWELLINGS ; a Description of the Habitations of Animals, abridged from ' Homes without Hands.' With 60 Illustra- tions. Crown 8vo. 3^. 6(/.

OUT OF DOORS ; a Selection of Original Articles on Practical Natural History. With 11 Illustrations. CrownSvo. 34-. td.

PETLAND REVISITED. With 33 Illustrations. Crown

8vo. 3i. 6d.

London : LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO.

FX..A.TE III.

INSECTS ABEOAD

BEING A POPULAR ACCOUNT OF

FOREIGN INSECTS

STRUCTURE, HABITS, AND TRANSFORMATIONS

EEV. J. G. WOOD, M.A. F.L.S. &c.

AUTHOR OF ' INSECTS AT HOME,' ' HOMES WITHOUT HANDS,' * BIBLE ANIMALS,' ETO.

ILLUSTRATED WITH SIX HUNDRED FIGURES, BF E. A. SMITH AND J. B. ZWECKER, ENGRA TM) BY G. PEARSON

NEW EDITION

LONDON LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO

AND NEW YORK: 15 EAST 16'" STREET 1892

Ths right of translation is reserved

PREFACE.

The object of this work is two-fold ; first to show the great and important part played by Insects in the economy of the world, and the extreme value to mankind of those insects which we are accustomed to call Destructives ; and next to note the wonderful modifications of structure which enable the insects to fulfil their mission, and the surpassing beauty with which many of them are endowed.

Incidentally, many interesting points connected with insect life are described, as, for example, the manner in which many of them directly support human life by furnishing food, or being themselves eaten.

Thus Bees not only furnish honey, but in several countries are themselves eaten while in the state of grub-dom, together with the " bee-bread " which has been laid up in the cells. Several Wasp larvse share the same fate.

Then, there are the Locusts, which, although they destroy vegetable life, are in many parts of the world invaluable in preserving animal life, by furnishing food, not only to man, but to beasts, birds, and reptiles. Termites, again, form a favourite article of food in almost every country where they are found ; while in Australia, the fat-bodied Butterfly popularly called the "Bugong Moth," affords nourishment to thousands of the natives, and in a few weeks changes them from starvelings into plump and contented beings. Tlie Dragon Flies are employed in the same manner in the same country.

VI rHKl-ACF..

Even in civilized lands insects are utilized for food. Put- ting aside the cheese mites and "hoppers" vi^ith which we are all familiar, we find the Mexicans employing a certain honey- gathering ant for the purpose of making mead. In Europe the common Wood Ant is much used in the manufacture of vinegar, and in the South of France the same insect is pressed into the service of the pastry-cook, being used to flavour a certain sort of cream called "crime aux fourmis."

By way of retaliation, the voracious Mosquitos are themselves eaten in some parts of the world. It is related by Livingstone, that the insects swarm in such vast multitudes on the banks of the Nyassa Lake, that they are gathered in bags and pressed into circular cakes about an inch thick and seven or eight inches in diameter. These cakes, called " kungo," somewhat resemble caviare in flavour.

Larvte, especially those of the larger beetles, form an im- portant branch of food in many countries, and in some, as in certain parts of Australia, are absolute necessities. Among them may be mentioned the celebrated Gru-gru grub of the West Indies. It is the wood-boring larva of a gigantic Weevil, and when taken from the tree is held by the head and eaten alive. However repulsive the notion may appear, it has been found that when Europeans have once been induced to try the Gru-gru, they have always held it as one of their best dainties.

Perhaps the most curious article of insect-food is the egg of one of the Mexican Water- boatmen (Corixa).

These eggs are laid in countless numbers upon bundles of reeds which are sunk for the purpose. In a fortnight the reeds are covered with eggs, which are scraped ot!" and made into cakes under the name of " haoutle."

Some of the insects are useful to man in a secondary manner by producing articles which are almost necessary adjuncts to civilization, such as the wax of the Bee, the irritant juices of the Blister Beetle, the dye of the Cochineal, and the "lac" of its near relative the Lac Insect.

pni-.i'ACE. vii

r

].astly, as to the book itself. Eight hundred and sixty insects have been described, six hundred of which have been figured, the illustrations and descriptions having all been made from the actual specimens. In order to ensure accuracy in rendering the "texture," the engraver has taken the trouble to inspect the insects themselves before touching the block on which they were drawn. The reader may form some idea of the labour which has been expended in the work, when I mention that more than three thousand drawers of insects have been ex- amined, each drawer containing, on an average, some fifty specimens.

I now have the pleasing task of thanking most heartily the officers attached to the Insect Koom in the British Museum, for the kind assistance which they rendered through some three years, and the generous manner in which they afforded infor- mation that could have been obtained from no other source.

Belvederk, S.E. May 9th, 1874.

CONTENTS.

COLEOPTERA, OR BEETLES—

Ch. I. Intropxtctiox 1

II. Tiger Beetles, or Cicindelid^e 6

III. Ground Beetles, or Carabid^ 28

IV. Ground Beetles, or Carabid^ continued .... 46

V. Hydradephaga, or Predacious "Water Beetles . . 65

VI. Paussid^ and Brachelytha, or Rote Beetles ... 72

VII. Kecrophaga, or Carrion-eaters 81

A^'III. Pectinicornes, or Comb-horned Beetles .... 91 IX. Lamellicorn, or Lsaf-horned Beetles, sometimes called

PETALeCERA 109

X. Lamellicorns contiimccl . 129

XL Sternoxi, or Skipjack Beetles .... . 146

XII. Malacodermi, or Soft-skinned Beetles .... 166 XIII. Heteromera, or Party^^egged Beetles . . . .173

XIV. Rhynchophora, or Weevils 193

XV. Weevils continued. . . . . . . . .215

XVI. LONGICORNES, OR LONG-HORNED BEETLES .... 229

XVII. Phytophaga, or Plant-eaters 253

XA'III. Pseudotrimera 267

EARWIGS—

Ch. I.^Dermaptera, or Euplexoptera 277

ORTHOPTERA—

Ch. I. Blattid^, or Cockroaches 285

II. MANTiDiE, OR Leaf Insects 290

III. Ambulatoria, or Walking-stick Insects .... 300

IV. Saltatoria, or Crickets, Grasshoppers, and Locusts . 317

THYSANOPTERA—

Ch. I.— THRIPID.B 347

% CONTENTS.

PAOK

NEUROPTERA—

CH. I, LlBELLULIDiE 35$

II. MyKMELEONID^, SiALLD^, MaJS'TISPID^, and TEKMITIUiE , 365-

HYMENOPTEEA—

Ch. I.— Saw Flies 385-

II. Entomophaga, ok Ichneumons and Gall Flies . . . 394

III. ACULEATA. MuTILLAS AND SCOLIAS 417

IV. FoRMiciD^, OR Ants 427

V. POMPILIDjE, SPHEGID>E, and BEMBECIDiE ..... 451

VI. Solitary and Social Bees 50ft

LEPIDOPTERA; OR, BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS—

Ch. I. Papilionid^ 535

II. Butterflies concluded 698-

III.— Moths 632

HEMIPTERA; OR, HETEROPTERA 70&

HOMOPTERA 73a

DIPTERA 74&

DESCRIPTION OE PLATES.

PLATE I.

To face 'p. 11

1. Tetracha punctata.

2. Tetracha punctata, larva.

3. Calochroa princeps.

4. Mormolyce phyllodes.

5. Anthia sex-guttata.

6. Moiiliotia glorissa.

PLATE II.

To face, 'p. 125

1. Eucheirus Macleayi.

2. Dynastes Hercules.

3. Golofa hastatus.

PLATE IIL

Front.

1. Goliathus Druryii.

2. Dicranocephalus Bowringii.

3. Kliamphorhina Petersiana.

4. Entimus splendidus.

5. Cyphus Linnsei.

PLATE IV.

To face p. 243

1. Acrociuus longiraanus.

2. Batocera Celebiana.

PLATE V.

To face p. 290

1. Mantis tinctipeunis.

2. Mantis tinctipeunis.

3. Deroplatys desiccata.

PLATE VI.

To face p. 325

1. Sanaa imperialis.

2. Acridoxena Hawaiiana.

PLATE VII.

To face p. 356

1. Palpopleura marginata.

2. Palpares Caffer.

3. Ascalaphus Kolyranensis.

4. Ascalaphus Kolyranensis, larva.

PLATE VIII.

To face p. 476

1. Trypoxylon rejector.

2. Parapison rufipes.

3. Eumenes esuriens.

4. Rhynchium uitidulum.

Xll

DESCRIPTION OF PLATES.

PLATE IX.

To face 2). 458

1. Pepsis heros.

2. Pelopseus laetus.

3. Vespa maiidarinia (female).

PLATE X.

To face p. 51 S

1. Chrysautheda frontalis

2. Xylocopa morio.

3. Centris denudans.

4. Euglossa romandi.

PLATE XI.

To face p. 543

1. Papilio Brookeanus.

2. Papilio Panthons.

PLATE XII.

To face p. 557

1. Papilio Joesa,

2. Papilio Euchenor.

PLATE XIII.

To face p. 585

1. Hestia Idea.

2. Charaxes Eudamippus.

PLATE XIV.

To face p. 595

1. Caligo Euriloclius (upper side).

2. Caligo Eurilochus (under side).

PLATE XV.

To face p. 6^4

1. Cfequosa Australasise.

2. Cyclosia sanguifera.

PLATE XVL

To face p. 663

1. Attacus Jorulla.

2. Phyllodes consobrina.

PLATE XVII.

To face p. 676

1. Tropaea Leto.

2. Ginaiiisa Jsis.

PLATE XVIII.

To face p. 732

1. Cicada adusta.

2. Hotinus maculatus.

3. Pcecilopteva circulata.

PLATE XIX.

To face p. 716

1. Diactor bilineatus.

2. Dalader acuticosta.

3. Pygoplatys lancifer.

4. Oncomeiis flavicornis.

PLATE XX.

To face p. 752

1. Pangonia longirostris.

2. Acanthomera niagnifica.

3. Mydas giganteus.

4. Phellus glaucus.

INSECTS ABROAD.

/?

CHAPTEK I.

INTRODUCTION.

TN this our favoured country the insect tribes play apparently - -^ so insignificant a part in the economy of the world, that few except professed entomologists have the least idea of their real importance, their vast, silent, and unseen armies, and the enormous power which they wield.

I say unseen, because none but a practical entomologist ever sees one insect in ten thousand, even when they have attained their perfect state ; and the most skilful naturalist can but con- jecture as to the countless hosts of grubs and caterpillars that are hidden among the foliage, buried in the ground, submero-ed beneath the waters, burrowing under the bark or into the solid wood of trees, or leading a parasitic existence within the bodies of living animals. Insects pervade the whole of Nature, and the functions which they perform are so important, that they deserve from man far more attention than he generally condescends to bestow. Individually an insect is small, feeble, and, in the eyes of most persons, contemptible. Collectively, the insect tribes are a mighty host, exercising over our world an influence that excites equal wonder and admiration in the minds of those who can appreciate it.

Still, important as are the insects in this country, those of tropical lands have infinitely more influence, and that for a very

B

2 INSECTS ABROAD.

evident reason. They have more work to do. By dint of daily increasing and improving agriculture, and by the rapid growth of population, we have so completely altered the surface of our land, that many species which were formerly abundant have utterly perished, and many others are becoming scarcer year by year. Insects do not now play nearly so conspicuous a part as they used to do, and in consequence they do not attract the notice of persons unaccustomed to observe. It is otherwise in many other parts of the world, especially those which lie be- tween the tropics; and the natural consequence is, that when inhabitants of more temperate climates travel in hot countries, the insects force themselves upon their attention.

Unfortunately for science, however, the average traveller never thinks of observing insects for their own sakes, and only takes notice of those which annoy him. Unless they bite him, sting him, spoil his clothes, attack his cattle, or eat his provisions, he passes them by with utter indifference, and seems not to be aware that such creatures as insects exist. As to searching for the work which they, like all created beings, have to do in the world, such an idea never enters his mind, and he seems to look upon insects merely as if they were made for the especial pur- pose of being either avoided or destroyed.

Yet, taking even the many insects which are most trouble- some to travellers, we can see how important are the tasks which they have to perform, and how great is their influence upon the face of Nature.

Take the first insect of which travellers unite in complaining, the hated and dreaded Mosquito. In its perfect, or winged state, it is about as annoying a creature as can be, but then it must be remembered that the traveller is but a casual intruder in the natural domain of the mosquito, and must expect the conse- quences of his intrusion. Devouring travellers is not the normal occupation of the mosquito, for hundreds of successive generations may live and die, and not one of them ever see a human being. Their real object is a beneficent one. In their larval state they live in the water, and feed upon the tiny particles of decaying matter that are too small to be appreciated by the larger aquatic beings, and, by devouring them, purify the water and convert death into life. Even in our ponds at home, we are much indebted to the gnat larvae for saving us from

THE MOSQUITO AND THE ANT. 3

miasma ; while the vast armies of mosquito larvae that swarm along the edges of tropical lakes and feed upon the decaying substances that fall from the herbage of the banks, purify at the same time the water and the atmosphere, and enable human beings to breathe with safety the air in which without their aid no animal higher than a reptile could have existed.

The next insect plague of which a traveller complains is generally summed up in the word Ants. He seldom troubles himself to ascertain the species of the ant, to preserve specimens for the benefit of science, or to obtain the least insight into their habits. All he knows or cares is, that some ants, which were very small, stung him, each sting feeling like the prick of a red- hot needle. Some, which were very large, bit him even through his clothes, and held on with such more than bull-dog tenacity, that after the bodies were torn away, the heads not only retained their hold, but went on biting.

Then, multitudinous ants, large, small, and middle-sized, swarmed into his room or tent, and ate up his provisions almost before his very eyes. If he put the legs of the table into water, they made extemporised pontoon bridges of their bodies and extended legs, and so enabled the ant-armies to scale the citadel, despite of the moat. If he hung his shelves from strings, the ants crawled down the strings. And, if he did succeed in isolating a table by putting the legs in saucers full of oil, the ants crawled up the walls, then on the ceiling, and then dropped on the table. They ate his food, they swarmed into his drink, and they tore to pieces all his birds and other specimens that he had collected.

Of course this conduct was anything but agreeable, and it was very natural that the traveller, looking at everything as it affected himself individually, should feel aggrieved, and wonder why such mischievous creatures should have been made. But if we put aside the temporary and individual inconvenience caused to the traveller or colonist, and look to the real mission of these detested insects, we shall find that they play on the land a part like that of the mosquitos on the water, and rank among the most important of the scavengers of the earth. Their presence is undoubtedly disagreeable to individual men, but mankind %vould suffer severely if the Ant tribes were to be extinguished.

B 2

4 INSECTS ABROAD.

Take two more insects, which are beyond measure annoying to man, namely, the wood-boring beetles and the termites, other- wise, but very wrongly, called white ants. Nothing can be more disheartening to a planter than to have his trees and canes devoiired by the beetles, and every bit of timber in his house destroyed by the termites. We shall in the course of this work .see examples of the ravages of both insects, so that we need not go into details now. Yet, strange as it may seem, but for the effects of these wood-destroying insects there would be no forests at all. Suppose, for example, that all these insects were immediately exterminated, the results would be much as follows. A vast tree, one of the giants of the forests, dies, and is blown down in one of the fierce hurricanes of tropical climates. Where the tree fell, there it lies, and where it lies it cumbers the earth, and prevents other trees from springing up in its place. Years roll on and become centuries, tree after tree falls, and slowly but surely arrives the time when the jjlace of the towering forest, with all its wealth of life, is taken by a vast wilderness of dead and fallen tree-trunks.

How different is the beneficent operation of Nature under the present conditions. Scarcely has a tree fallen than the insect hosts are at work on it. First come the large and powerful wood-boring beetles and deposit their eggs upon it. Armed with their sharp and strong jaws, which act like bone-nippers, the larvae bore through and through the trunk, making tunnels like auger-holes, and so rendering the tree permeable to air and wet. Smaller beetles soon follow in the wake of the large, and bore out the softened wood, and a host of other insects set to work on tlie now decaying trunk, many using it as food, and others carrying it off as material for their nests. The rapidity of their work is astonishing, and in an exceedingly short time the entire tree is reduced to mere dust. " Put thy foot," writes Waterton, in his " Wanderings," " on that large trunk thou seest to thy left. It seems entire amid the surrounding fragments. Mere outward appearance, delusive phantom of what it once was ! Tread on it, and, like the fuzz-ball, it will break into dust." And this dust serves as a fertilizer to the soil, and enables it to produce fresh trees in the place of that which had fallen.

Take the white ants again, even apart from their wood-eating propensities, and see what good service they do even by the

VALUE OF INSECTS. 5

siiuple act of building their wouderful nests. They are per- petually engaged in transferring to the surface of the earth the soil which they have taken from beneath it, and so continually renewing and fertilizing it with fresh soil. These insects indeed play very much the part that our much-despised mole and worm do at home. It would be easy to multiply examples indefinitely, but I have chosen these insects in order to show how even the very creatures which are most detested by man, and do him the most direct damage, are indeed, though indirectly, among his best benefactors. Apart from direct benefit or injury to man, the whole of the insect tribes are wurking towards one purpose, namely, the gradual development of the earth and its resources. The greater number are perpetually destroying that which is effete, in order to make way for something better ; while others, whose business seems chiefly to be the killing and eating of their fellow-insects, act as a check to their inordinate increasCj and so guard against the danger of their exceeding their proper mission.

CHAPTER II.

TIGER BEETLES, OR CICINDELID^.

At the head of the insect race are by common consen; placed the .mtdtitudinous species wliich are collected under the common title of Geodephaga. This very appropriate title is formed from two Greek words, signifying devourers of the earth, and is given to the large group of carnivorous Beetles which live on the ground, in contradistinction to another great group of carnivorous Beetles which live in the water, and are called Hydradephaga, oi* devourers of the water. In both these groups, the larva or grub, and the perfect insect, agree in their general habits, so that the larvee of the first group are always found on land, and those of the second group as invariably in the water.

Equally by common consent of entomologists, the Tiger Beetles have been placed at the head of the Geodephaga. For- merly they were all classed under one family, the CicindelidsB, but of late years, in accordance with the ever-growing mania for subdivision and over-refining, they have been split up into a number of families, the first of which are the Mantichoridse, a group of which we have no British representative. The name is a very curious one, and I will explain it before describing the insect which is our representative of the tribe to which it belongs.

Some 2,300 years ago, there lived a certain Greek historian named Ctesias, who was taken prisoner by Artaxerxes Mnemon at the battle of Cunaxa, so celebrated for the retreat of Xeno- phon's famous " Ten Thousand." Profiting by his honoured cap- tivity of seventeen years, during which time he M^as the physician of Artaxerxes, he wrote a history of Assyria and Persia, in which he introduced accounts of sundry remarkable animals. There

THE MANTICHORA. 7

were ants, for example, as large as foxes, and, above all, there was the Martichora, a Grecized form of the Persian word Mard- hhora, or Man-slayer. This Martichora, a portrait of which is now before me, had the body of a lion, the head of a man, and the tail of a scorpion, armed at the tip with a bunch of porcu- pine's quills, which the Martichora used as missile weapons, flinging them at its enemies by a jerk of its tail.

Although the beast's mouth was armed with three rows of triangular teeth (evidently borrowed from the shark), the armed tail formed its principal defence ; so that when hunters caught a young Martichora, they bruised its tail between two stones, so that it should never grow any more quills. Corrupted probably for the sake of euphony into Mantichora, this name was fancifully given to the present group of insects, in consequence of their size, strength, and ferocity.

Fig. 1.— TMantichora mygaloides.

The species which has been selected for our example of this family is the Mantichora (not Manticora, as it is generally, but wrongly, spelled) mygaloides. It is a most extraordinary looking Beetle, and may well puzzle entomologists as to the place which it holds in the insect world. There is something about it that shows its connection with the Tiger Beetles, whose terrible jaws are absolutely exaggerated in the Mantichora. There is some- thing about it that looks like a Carabus, or Ground Beetle, and the general shape of the body bears such a curious resemblance to that of the well-known Bird Spider of South America, that it

8 INSECTS ABROAD.

has received on that account the specific name of mygaloides, i.e. like the Mygale.

Its colour is black and shining, and the creature has a singu- larly menacing air, so that it well merits the fanciful name that has been bestowed on it. Generally, the Tiger Beetles are fur- nished with powerful wings, but the Mantichora is entirely wingless, the elytra or wing-cases being soldered together, so that the insect is unable to leave the ground.

The part of this Beetle which most strikes the eye is the head, with its armature of crooked and most powerful jaws. In the illustration the jaws are represented as they appear when open. When they are closed, they cross each other nearly as far as do the fingers of the clasped hands, so that a bite from one of these formidable insects is no joke, even to a human being.

Most, if not all, of the Tiger Beetles have their jaws thus crossing each other at the tips, a provision, as I imagine, for retaining in their grasp the insect prey on which they feed. In this insect the jaws are not regularly curved, as is generally the case with insects, but take a sharp and almost angular bend at about one-third of their length from its base. The side of each jaw, or mandible, as it is scientifically called, is strongly toothed at the base, and altogether the insect possesses a prehensile appa- ratus that has few parallels among its many kinsfolk.

The habits of the Mantichora are just those which might be inferred from its appearance and structure. It is swift of foot, quick and active in general movements, and, living in the dry sandy plains of Southern Africa, has a way of hiding beneath stones from the fierce glare of the sunbeams, and of darting quickly from its place of concealment when any creature passes by on which it can pounce. The insect is represented of the natural size.

This tribe, the Mantichorides, is separated from the Cicin- delides on account of the structure of the fore-legs, which have the tarsi similarly shaped in both sexes, and with cylindrical joints. The present species was called by Thunberg Cicindda gigantea.

Another tribe of the Tiger Beetles is that which is called Megacephalides, or Big-headed Tiger Beetles. In these, as the name implies, the head is very large, so as to give the insects

OUOUK OF TIGER BKETLES. 9

rather a clumsy look. 'Their legs are exceedingly long, ami, indeed, it is not easy to say whether the large head, or the long and slender legs, first catch the eye. They are winged, ])ut their wings are not nearly so long or so strong as those of our Eritish Tiger Beetles, so that they are more to be found on the earth than in the air.

There is one species, indeed, Megacepliala sejmlchralis, a native of Brazil, which appears never to take to the wing, but runs very swiftly through the grass that grows on sandy soil in the forests. Most of the Tiger Beetles have a similar habit, and these insects are therefore often called by the popular name of Sand-runners, or Sand Beetles. This species gives out a per- fume which much resembles attar of roses, but which changes after death to a very fo3tid and disagreeable odour. The reader may perhaps remember that our common British Tiger Beetle exhales a strong and pleasing scent like that of crushed verbena plants, but happily, unlike the Brazilian insect, the odour does not become unpleasant after death.

The accompanying illustration represents the largest of these insects, a very giant among its kin, drawn of its natural size. Its name is Mega- cephala Senegalensis, and, as the latter word implies, is a native of Senegal.

As is often the case

with Tiger Beetles, Fjg. 2.— Megacephala SenegalensIs.

there is considerable

variation in colour. The thorax, however, is always green and shining, and the elytra are always roughly punctated, i.e. covered Avith tiny holes as if the point of a blunt needle had been slightly pressed into the surface. There are very few Beetles which are entirely without these punctures, whose use, I believe, has never yet been ascertained or even conjectured ; but in some species they assume a very decided importance, the interior of each puncture being brightly coloured, while the general surface is simply dull brown or black. We shall soon

10 INSECTS ABROAD.

see examples of these coloured punctures, none of which, as far as I know, are to be found in our insects at home.

The colours of the elytra in this species are strangely variable, some specimens being brown, some green, and some blue, the two latter colours being often interchangeable in insects, whether British or foreign. The head is always coloured like the thorax, and the legs are pale yellow-brown.

The habits of some species of Megacephala are not only terrestrial, but subterranean. There are in the tropical regions sundry Beetles belonging to the same group as our common Dor Beetle, which make burrows in the ground under animal refuse. There is a Brazilian species of Megacephala, which has an odd habit of taking possession of such burrows, and, like the knights-errant of old, defending them against all comers. Gene- rally it remains near the mouth of the hole, menacing all foes, real or fancied, with its powerful jaws ; but, should it find itself overmatched, it takes refuge at the bottom of the burrow. Even then it does not abandon its combatant character ; for if a blade of grass be pushed down the hole, the Beetle is sure to seize it with its jaws, and hold on with such tenacity that it can be drawn out of the hole, still clinging to the end of the grass-blade.

I have often wondered whether insects are capable of retain- ing their memory throughout their changes, so that a dragon-fly on the wing can recollect its sub-aquatic existence, and the butterfly, while sipping the sweet juice of flowers, remember its caterpillar banquet on the cabbage-leaf. If such be the case, we may readily understand how the Tiger Beetle comes to resort to the earth-burrow. It is, in fact, a return to the habits of its larva-hood.

All the Tiger Beetles live, when larvae, in burrows under a loose soil, remaining with their sickle-like mandibles expanded at the entrance, just like the jaws of a steel-trap, ready to seize any passing insect and carry it down to the bottom of the burrow, where it can be eaten in peace. And the mode of action when attacked is exactly the same in both cases, for, as all practical entomologists know, the recognised mode of obtaining the larvse of Tiger Beetles without hurting them, is by poking a straw or grass-blade into their burrows, and pull- ing them out gently while they cling to the supposed enemy

FL-ft-TE I

LARViE OF TIGER BEETLES. 11

by their strong jaws. Field Crickets are taken in just the same manner.

On Plate I. Fig. 1, is seen a very pretty Beetle which belongs to the same tribe as the preceding insect. It has no popular name, however well it may deserve one, but is known to ento- mologists as Tetracha punctata.

It is a singularly beautiful insect, and, lovely as it is, to describe it is no easy matter.

Many of these Tiger Beetles are coloured in such a manner that it is utterly impossible to define their leading hue. It all depends on the direction of the light, and in many cases, as in the present instance, the real ground hue of the insect is a matter of considerable doubt. The chameleon is nothing to the Tiger Beetle. I have made plenty of experiments on both creatures, and come to the conclusion that all the ground colour of a chameleon may be defined; that of many a Tiger Beetle defies all definition. And the more pains that are taken, the more the microscope is set to work, the less defined is the ground colour.

In the present species there are only two points of colour which may be considered as fixed. One is a yellovv^ patch at the end of the elytra, and the other is the yellowness of the legs and antennae. As to the upper surface of the body, it may be said to be almost any colour. I have tried these Beetles in various lights, and have ascertained that the leading colour is blue, fiery crimson, green, or bronze, exactly as the light happens to fall upon the insect, not to mention the intermediate colours of purple and violet which ripple over the surface as the light is shifted. As the name implies, the elytra are deeply and boldly punctured. The insect is found along the banks of the great Amazon river.

At Fig. 2 of the same illustration is given the larva of this Beetle, for the purpose of showing the peculiar apparatus by which it is able to travel up and down the perpendicular tunnel in which it lives, and to maintain its place at the mouth of its burrow without fatigue.

On the back may be seen a bold hump-like process, and on the hump are two small but strong horny hooks, set upon the eighth ring of the body, counting from the head. These hooks are boldly curved backwards, and it is chiefly by their help

IL' INSECTS ABROAD.

that the larva is able to scuttle up and down its tuuuel with such rapidity. I never had the opportunity of seeing the larvae of these exotic Tiger Beetles alive ; but if their habits resemble those of our British species as much as their forms, there can be no difficulty in understanding the mode of their existence.

Perhaps some of luy readers may be, or may have been, mighty bird-nesters, and been forced to climb trees which ran to some thirty or forty feet without a' branch, and were far too large to be clasped by the arms and legs. Boys cannot carry ladders about with them, and the tree is absolutely inaccessible by ordinary means. But there is a hawk's nest on the topmost branches of the tree, and it is clearly impossible to allow the eggs to be hatched without j)aying a fair toll to the discoverer of the nest. So, out come the " climbing spurs," iron stirruj)S strapped to the foot, and having on the inside of each foot a sharp hook, with point downwards. A long withy is now cut or in default of the withy a stout piece of iron wire will do and is passed round the tree-trunk. The nest-hunter takes the ends of the withy in his hands, raising the loop as high as he can, and then jumps at the tree, supporting his body by tiie withy, and driving his climbing-irons well into the bark. By a judicious shifting of feet, the young climber very soon finds himself among the branches, where his spurs are worse than useless, and he hangs them on a branch while he goes after the eggs.

Now, except that the Tiger Beetle grub has to climb the inside of a cylinder instead of the outside, the mode of climbing is exactly the same. The larva stretches its body so as to raise itself as high as possible, and slightly bends its back, so that the points of the hooks hitch into the side of the tunnel. It then contracts its body, so as to haul itself up, and so, by re- peating the process, rapidly reaches the mouth of the burrow. When there, the hooks which raised it serve to keep it in posi- tion; and when it wishes to descend, it has only to unhitch the hooks and straighten the body, when it slides down by its own weight. The larva seen in the illustration is drawn from a specimen in the British Museum.

Mr. W. Bates, in his " Naturalist on the Amazons," describes sundry species of Tetracha, and gives much curious and valu-

COLOUR OF INSECTS. 13

able infonnation as to their habits, mode of life, and variety of colouring:

" On the sandy beach I found two species of Tetracha, a genus of Tiger Beetles, which liave remarkably large heads, and are found only in hot climates. They come forth at night, in the daytime remaining hid in their burrows several inches deep in the light soil. Their powers of running exceed everything I witnessed in this style of insect locomotion. They run in a serpentine course over the smooth sand, and when closely pur- sued by the fingers in the endeavour to seize them, are apt to turn suddenly back, and thus baffle .the most practised hand and eye.

" I afterwards became much interested in these insects on several accounts, one of which was that they afforded an illus- tration of a curious problem in natural history. One of the Caripi species {Tetracha nocturna of Dejean) was of a pallid hue, like the sand over which it ran ; the other was a brilliant copper-coloured kind {Tetracha palUpes of King). Many insects M'hose abode is the sandy beaches are white in colour ; I found a large earwig and a mole cricket of this hue very common in these localities.

" !N"ow, it has been often said, when insects, lizards, snakes, and other animals are coloured so as to resemble the objects on which they live, that such is a provision of Nature, the assimila- tion of colours being given in order to conceal the creatures from the keen eyes of insectivorous birds and other animals. This is no doubt the right view, but some authors have a diffi- culty in the explanation on account of the assimilation of colours being exhibited by some kinds and not by others living in com- pany with them ; the dress of some sj)ecies being in striking- contrast to the colours of their dwelling-place.

" One of our Tetrachas is coloured to reseml)le the sand, whilst its sister species is a conspicuous object on the sand ; the white species, it may be mentioned, being mucli more swift of foot than the copper-coloured one. The margins of these sandy beaches are frequented throughout the fine season by fiocks of sandpipers, who search for insects on moonlit nights as well as by day. If one species of insect obtains immunity from their onslaughts by its deceptive resemblance to the sandy surface on which it runs, why is not its sister species endowed in the same way?

14 INSECTS ABROAD.

"The answer is, that the dark-coloured kind has means of protection of quite a different nature, and therefore does not need the peculiar mode of disguise enjoyed by its companion. When handled it emits a strong, offensive, putrid, and musky odour, a property which the pale kind does not exhibit. Thus we see that the fact of some species not exhibiting the same adaptation of colours to dwelling-places as their companion species, does not throw doubt on the explanation given of the adaptation, but is rather confirmatory of it,"

The problem which Mr. Bates endeavours thus partially to solve is a very curious and interesting one, and certainly is not settled by Mr. Bates's explanation. Were it true that all these insects were protected in one way or another, none of them would ever be eaten by other creatures. It is perfectly true that many insects are coloiired so as to resemble the spots wherein they hide, and therefore escape the observation of birds and other insect-eaters. fSome, again, resemble in shape as well as in colour the vegetation on which they live, such as the well- known caterpillars of the Geometrse, or Loopers, which so exactly resemble twigs that none but an entomologist could detect them. So far so good, but, I think, no further, I am inclined to demur to Mr. Bates's theory of the protection afforded by the evil odour of which he writes, and for this reason. Odours are grateful or the reverse according to the constitution of the smeller. For example, even in our own sense the apprecia- tion of odours varies extremely. The close, filthy, foetid atmo- sphere of an Irish cabin, which almost chokes an average Englishman, is like the breath of Paradise to the peasant owner. Put him in a large, clean, bright room, and he will complain of the cold, and make for himself a cabin in one corner, where he can be dirty and warm. Then, our nostrils are generally offended at the smell of rancid grease and un- washed humanity, which to a Kaffir are delightful as the perfume of the rose. To us, the stench of a putrefying animal is inexpressibly odious, and even hurtful, while to the vultures, and to whole tribes of insects, it is the delight of their lives. Therefore, though the odoar of these highly-coloured, sand- loving Tiger Beetles be very detestable to human nostrils, it does not follow that it should be equally unpleasant to insect- eatino birds.

THE GOLD CROSS. 15

Most of the dusky Beetles which Mr. Bates mentions have been formed into a separate genus called Phaaoxantha. This term is formed from two Greek words, the former signifying dusky, and the latter yellow. The largest of them is called Phccoxantha Khigii, and is a curious-looking creature, quite unlike our English Tiger Beetles, except in the long, slender legs, and the sharp, sickle-like jaws with which the large head is armed. The general colour is dull, pale, yellowish Lrown, barred with a blacker hue. If this insect were running on ordinary sand, it would be difficult to track its progress, in consequence of the sandy colouring of its body, while, if it remained still, it would be almost impossible to distinguish the body amid the yellow sand and brown stones with which it M'ould be surrounded.

There is a very small species of this genus, Phceoxantha laminata, which is found in Brazil. It is almost uniformly pale brown, and the hooks which arm the back of the larva are exceedingly long, stout, and boldly curved.

We now come to the typical tribe of this beautiful and interesting group of

Beetles called Cicin- delides, which are disting