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tercorand on trans on boter crusta are include the
elytra; they are of a hard horny substance, and join or meet together on the upper part of the body, in a direct line or suture. The true wings, which, when the animal is in a state of rest, are under the elytra, are membranaceous, and more delicate than the finest gauze: when the animal prepares for flight, the elytra are raised, and the membranaceous wings are unfolded, and spread out to the air. This order includes almost all the different kinds of beetles, the stercoraceous beetles, the water beetles, those that are found on trees, and such as skip about on the smaller plants and on flowers ; indeed all the beetle. tribe, whose elytra, or outer crustaceous wings, cover the whole of the animal's body, are included in this order, and no others. There are above a thousand different species ur deelles il Gitat Britain. - Most of the larvæ or grubs of the beetle tribe (scarabeus) live entirely under the surface of the ground, feeding on the roots of plants, &c. Their pupa or chrysalis generally lies dormant in the earth till the perfect insect bursts out.
The eggs of the cock-chafer (scarabaeus melolontha) are deposited in the ground by the parent insect, whose fore-legs are very short, and well calculated for burrowing. From each of these eggs proceeds, after a short time, a whitish worm with six legs, a red head, and strong claws, which is destined to live in the earth under that form for four years, and there undergoes various changes of its skin, until it assumes its chrysalid form. These creatures, sometimes in immense numbers, work between the turf and the soil in the richest meadows, devouring the roots of the grass to such a degree, that the tarf rises, and will roll up with almost as much ease as if it had been cut with a turfing-knife: and underneath, the soil appears turned into a soft mould for above an inch in depth, like the bed of a garden, In this the grubs lie, in a curved position, on their backs, the head and tail uppermost, and the rest of
the body buried in the mould. Such are the devasa : tations committed by the grubs of the cock-chafer, 3 that a whole field of fine flourishing grass, in the summer time, became in a few weeks withered, dry, : and as brittle as hay, by these grubs devouring the roots, and gnawing away all those fibres that fastened it to the ground, and through which alone it! could receive nourishment. ,
The larvæ, having continued four years in the i ground, are now about to undergo their next change:, i to effect this, they dig deep into the earth, sometimes five or six feet, and there spin a smooth case, in which they change into a pupa or chrysalis. They remain under this form all the winter, until the month to of February, when they become perfect beetles, but with their bodico quito suft aud whito. In May then parts are hardened, and then they come forth out of the earth. This accounts for our often finding the ne perfect insects in the ground. The most efficacious mode of preventing their increase is to employ proper persons to take the flies in May and June, before they have laid their eggs; which, though it i appears an endless task, may be done with very con- h siderable effect, by shaking and beating the trees and hedges in the middle of the day. Children will be is able to do this, and, as has been proved by experiment, will, for a trifling reward (suppose a penny a st hundred), bring some thousands per day gathered in a single village. Domestic fowls of all kinds are o particularly fond of these beetles, so that the ex- li pense of collecting them would be fully compensated by the quantity of food they would afford in de this way. · When land is ploughed up in the spring, if the L weather be warm, hundreds of the chafer grubs are exposed, in which case, rooks, gulls, and jays, will be sure to detect and devour them. These birds, he therefore, should not be driven away, as the occasional damage they may commit is amply repaid by
their unceasing exertions to destroy various insects. The almost sole employment of rooks, for three months in the spring, is to search for this sort of food, and the havock that a numerous flock makes amongst them must be very great.
The rose-chafer (s. auratus) is one of the most beautiful of our English insects of the beetle tribe. The upper parts of the female are of a shining green colour, marked transversely on the wing cases with a few short white or yellowish lines. The male is of a burnished copper colour, with a greenish cast. These insects are somewhat more than an inch in length: they are found on flowers, particularly, on those of the rose and peony.
The bronze wood-beetle (s. morbillosus) forms fig. 1 in our Frontispiece. This most beautiful insect is but rarely met with in England. The great stag-beetle (lucanus cervus) is the largest of the beetle tribe found in Great Britain, being often nearly three inches in length. Its colour is of a dark brown, except the jaws, which are sometimes as red as coral, and give
to it a very beautiful appearance: by these, which s somewhat resemble in form the horns of the stag, it
is readily distinguished from all our other insects, The stag-beetle is very common in some parts of the south of England, in oak and willow trees, in the stumps or about the branches of which they remain hidden during the day; flying abroad and feed
ing on the leaves only in the evening. The mouth s of July is the time during which they are principally
seen. The males, in particular, have great strength in their mandibles or jaws; and with these they are able to pinch very severely.
The bacon dermestes (d. lardarius), one of the most destructive of its tribe, is produced from a maggot, which is bred and nourished in bacon, or in
other animal substances. To collections of dried g and preserved animals, they are sometimes particu
larly injurious. They change their skins several
times. These skins continue stretched out, as if blown up, and in appearance like the little animals which cast them. In order to undergo their transformation, the larvæ search out some convenient retreat; generally finding one amongst the wreck of the substances which they have gnawed. They do not continue in their chrysalid form more than about three weeks or a month. A remedy against the ravages of the larvæ of the dermestes (for it is not the perfect insect which commits so much havock among collections of Natural History) is mentioned by Mr. Wood (on the authority of M. Olivier), in his · Illustrations of the Linnean Genera of Insects',' lately published. Take quick lime, half an ounce; salt of Tartar, one dram and a half; camphor, five drams; white soap, four ounces; arsenic, four ounces. Dissolve the camphor in a sufficient quantity of spirit of wine, add the arsenic, the salt of tartar, and the quick lime, beat them together with the soap, and preserve the composition in a pot for use. Olivier was présent, with several other naturalists, at the trial of this receipt. Of several birds inclosed in a box, some were subjected to this preservation. At the end of a year the same persons examined the effect, and found that where the remedy had been used the birds were whole and perfect, while the others were reduced to powder.
The death-watch, ptinus, so well known as being the cause of superstitious fears in the ignorant, by its watch-like ticking, belongs to the order COLEOPTERA; it is often, however, confounded with a wingless insect (termes pulsatorium), which we shall describe under the order APTERA.
i We take pleasure in recommending these two interesting pocket volumes to the notice of our readers; the description of the different genera is concise but perspicuous, and the plates, of which there is one to every genus, are beautifully and correctly coloured after Nature; a very important feature in an introductory work on Entomology.
The silpho are insects whose strong and disagreeable smell indicates the places they inbabit, and the substances upon which they feed; they, as well as many other insects, constantly absorb the putrid flesh and excrementitious substances, which might otherwise infect the air. Their instinctive faculty leads them eagerly to seek the dead bodies of small animals; and it is singular to see them, attracted from a considerable distance by the smell of a putrid body, associate in their enterprize, and combine their efforts, that they may peaceably enjoy the fruits of their labours. Corruption has scarcely commenced in a mole or a mouse, and the smell become offensive, before numbers collect together, and, gliding under the animal, work with great activity, removing the earth, till by degrees the body disappears, and is buried without our seeing the workmen, or observing how it is effected. Four or five of these insects will thus entomb a mole in less than twentyfour hours. When it is once completely under the surface, they enter the body, and feed without fear. Three or four insects, working in concert, have been known to drag under the surface the body of so large an animal as a mole in the space of an hour, so that no trace of it has appeared above ground'.
The larvæ, which are born in corruption, are of a greyish white colour, with a brown head. The body has twelve divisions with a rusty scale between each. They have six small scaly feet attached to the three first rings of the body. The larva in due time buries itself in the ground, forms an oval cell, and turns to a yellowish chrysalis, from which in about three weeks proceeds the perfect insect. These, with the larvæ of flies, or maggots, may be justly called the Scavengers of Nature.
Dr. Shaw's Zoology, Insecta, part i, p. 51. See also Mr. Bingley's Animal Biography, vol. iii, pp. 126-130, for some curious parti. culars of this iusectal undertaker.