Gambar halaman

ambiguum. The genus Aplopappus is greatly extended, including the old genera Prionopsis, Eriocarpum, Pyrrocoma, Homopappus, Sideranthus, Isopappus, Stenotus, Ericameria and Macronema. The five species of Aphanostephus and the seventeen species of Townsendia are briefly characterized, and a systematic synopsis is given in each case. In discussing the genus Erigeron the author says: “It can be limited only by taking into account a combination of characters, and insisting here upon one, and there upon another.” Aster graminifolius, of Gray's Manual, is hereafter to be known as Erigeron hyssopifolius. Erigeron vernum is likewise changed to E. nudicaulis. The genus Aster is accepted in the wide extent assigned it by Bentham and Hooker in the Genera Plantarum. The revision of this genus is not yet completed, but enough has been done to indicate that there will be but little change made in it as we have known it in Dr. Gray's works heretofore. The remainder of the order is still to be revised.

THE SENSITIVENESS OF THE ROOT-TIP OF THE SEEDLING.— We believe that there is no structure in plants more wonderful, as far as its functions are concerned, than the tip of the radicle. If the tip be lightly pressed or burnt or cut, it transmits an influence to the upper adjoining part, causing it to bend away from the affected side; and what is still more surprising, the tip can distinguish between a slightly harder and a softer object by which it is simultaneously pressed on opposite sides. If, however, the radicle is pressed by a similar object a little above the tip, the pressed part does not transmit any influence to the more distant parts, but bends abruptly towards the object. If the tip perceives the air to be moister on one side than the other, it likewise transmits an influence to the upper adjoining part, which bends toward the source of moisture. When the tip is excited by light, the adjoining part bends from the light; but when excited by gravitation, the same part bends towards the center of gravity.-Darwin's The Power of Movement in Plants."

INFLUENCE OF LIGHT ON THE RESPIRATION OF SEEDS.—Planchon read a paper before the Paris Academy of Sciences, at its meeting on Nov. 22d, detailing experiments upon this subject. The experiments were made on the castor oil plant and the bean (Phaseolus). As in previous experiments, a good deal more oxygen was observed in light than in darkness. The castor-oil seeds exhale slightly more CO, in darkness than in light, but the opposite was the case with the seed of the bean. In darkness the ratio of CO, to 0 was for the bean at least one-third superior to that for the castor-oil plant, but prolongation of the experiment tends to bring the relation equal to unity, whatever the original value. For a given quantity of oxygen absorbed, the seed placed in darkness exhales more CO, than that kept in light. While in light there is always less CO, exhaled than oxygen absorbed, the contrary occurs in darkness. These facts explain the transformation of legumin into asparagin.- Nature.

BOTANICAL NOTES.-In recent numbers of Nuovo Giornale Botanico Italiano, Caldesi has been publishing a catalogue of the plants of Fænza and vicinity. It is fully annotated and contains many references and synonyms. There are many names in the list which are familiar to even local botanists in this country, as witness the following: Asclepias cornuti, Calystegia sepium, Scrophularia nodosa, Veronica anagallis, V. officinalis, Brunella vulgaris, Typha latifolia, T. angustifolia, Juncus effusus, 7. bufonius, Eleocharis palustris, Phragmites communis, Poa pratensis, P. compressa, Equisetum arvense, E. palustre, Adiantum capillus-veneris, Pteris aquilina, Polypodium vulgare, etc. Among the weeds are the following familiar names : Panicum crus-galli

, P. sanguinale, P. glabrum, Setaria glauca, S. viridis, Urtica dioica, Amarantus retroflexus, Chenopodium album, Verbascum thapsus, etc. Many plants which with us are cultivated for their flowers, or for other purposes, find a place in this catalogue as wild or naturalized species, 1. g., Euphorbia cyparissias, Iris germanica, Colchicum autumnale, Hyacinthus orientalis, Ornithogalum umbellatum. А new species of Orobanche (0. pelargonii), is described; it is parasitic upon Pelargonium inquinans. The glumaceous plants are very unequally divided between the sedges and grasses, there being but twenty-one of the former, while of the latter there are no less than ninety-eight.-A new Alga is described and figured in the November number of the same journal by Borzi. It is regarded as the type of a new genus, Hauckia, related to Cosmocladium. The cells, which are two and two, are in the ends or sides of hyaline erect or curved stalks. Each cell by fission produces two daughter cells, and the latter develop hyaline stalks, thus giving rise to a repeatedly bifurcating mass. Macro and microzoospores are also produced by the successive division of certain cells into two, four and eight parts, each provided with two vibrating cilia. No conjugation has been observed; on the contrary, both forms of zoospores were seen to germinate. The species is named Hauckia insularis.According to a correspondent of the Gardener's Monthly, Caladium esculentun has escaped from cultivation in some portions of Texas, and run wild.-E. W. Greene describes several new species of plants from New Mexico in the January Botanical Gazette. In the same journal J. Schenck records his observations upon seventeen chestnut trees in Wabash county, Ill., which were planted many years ago by the early settlers. Where the trees are in groups of two or more they have invariably been fruitful, but whenever they are isolated they as a rule produce nothing but empty burs, indicating that the flowers need to be cross-fertilized from tree to tree. In recently excavating a dock at Bombay, India, a forest bed was found composed of 382 trees, of which no less than 223

were in a standing posture. The largest tree was forty-six feet long and four feet and a half in circumference. The trees were generally found in a dark loamy soil composed of the disintegrated underlying rocks at a depth varying from low-water mark, to sixteen feet below low water. -It is encouraging to notice the improved facilities for botanical study and teaching in our colleges. At Michigan Agricultural College, a building 46 by 66 feet, and two-stories in height was erected in 1879, for the department of botany. The large lecture-room, 44 by 48 feet, is provided with tables for laboratory uses also. A large room on the second floor is designed for the herbarium and cabinet. At the Iowa Agricultural College new and more commodious rooms were provided for the botanical department by the erection of North Hall, in 1880. A large lecture-room is supplemented by a laboratory adjacent to it. The latter is constructed with north and east windows for microscopic work. A third room of ample size is set apart for the herbarium and cabinet -Ten new species of Carices are described in the recently published second volume of the " Botany of California," by Wm. Boott, who contributed the article on Carex.-M. E. Jones in an article on the wild fruits of Utah, in Case's Botanical Index, mentions fourteen species; among these is a curious wild peach which grows in the sand and on lava beds. A wild gooseberry, Ribes divaricatum, var. irriguum, and a raspberry, Rubus leucodermis, would probably be hardy in the Eastern States; their fruits are described as delicious.

ZOOLOGY. DREDGINGS IN THE BAY OF BISCAY.—The following are some of the more important results to which M. A. Milne Edwards directs attention. The Crustaceæ were, he says, extremely interesting; not one of the specimens dredged is also littoral in habitat, and it seems as though there were two faunæ placed one above the other, and not mixing. He forms a new genus, Scyrainathia to contain Amathia carpenteri and Scyra umbonata; a crab with phosphorescent eyes was found at various depths between 700 m. and 1300 m. (Geryon tridens); this has been already seen in the Norwegian seas. Munida tenuimana, with large and phosphorescent eyes was not rare. Gnathophausia sæa, which has only as yet been collected by the Challenger (off the Azores and near Brazil) was also met with.

Most of the Mollusca belong to the deep-sea fauna of the North Atlantic and of the Arctic seas. Among the Mediterranean forms, there were some which as yet have only been found in the fossil state. The similarity of the deep-sea fauna at different latitudes is very strikingly shown by this collection. Pteropoda were taken from all depths; indications of Heteropoda were not absent. A short list of the more important Mollusca obtained is given by M. Milne Edwards in a foot note,

Chætopod worms were abundant at all the stations; a species of the remarkable Chætoderma was also taken; two or three genera of Gephyrea were met with, and several of the forms had a resemblance to the Arctic species.

A new species of Edwardsia (or Hyanthus), a beautiful red Adamsia, a large Bunodes, and a new species of Flabellum represent the most striking Zoantharia; the Alcyonaria are reported to be very remarkable, and among them was a specimen of the rare Umbellularia.

The Echinodermata appear to form the most valuable part of the collection; there is a new species of Phormosoma, which is to be distinguished from P. placenta by the ornamentation of the plates, and by its large spines on the oral surface, Pourtalesia jeffr ysii. Two new and remarkable Spatangoids make up the chief Echinid gains. The Asterida were all interesting and rare, but above all we have to note the capture of Brisinga coronata, which was taken at several stations. Among the Ophiurids, which were abundant, there was found one which, not described, is said to be probably the representative of an absolutely new type. There are some new and fine species of Holothurioida. Among the Crinoids we find only two examples of an Antedon, allied to A. sarsii of the Northern seas. Hyalonema, Holtenia, Farrea, &c., were among the siliceous sponges.

Large specimens of Orbitolites tenuissima and a magnificent series of arenaceous forms are to be noted among the Foraminifera.

In some cases the dredge descended to 3000 metres, and in addition to the zoological collections, there have been made observations of very considerable importance on the hydrographical relations of the sea-bottom of this region.

FAUNA OF THE LURAY AND NEWMARKET CAVES, VIRGINIA. — Last June I visited these caves in order to compare their fauna with that of Weyer's Cave, situated farther south in the Shenandoah valley, which I had examined in 1874, with excellent results, having found between fifteen and twenty species of Arthropods, where no life had before been known to exist.

Newmarket cave, situated about three miles south of Newmarket, was first visited, and a hasty examination revealed the following forms:

Spir.strephon copci Pack. Several specimens prove to be exactly like those from Weyer's cave; individuals from the two caves (as well as from Luray cave) only differing from those of Mammoth cave, Ky., in having shorter hairs.

Linyphia. Webs of a small spider, probably L. weyeri Emerton, were common on the stalactites, but the spiders themselves were not detected. A small, long, narrow mite also occurred, and what is probably a new species and genus of false scorpions; it was blind, and quite different from Mammoth cave specimens of Chthonius packardi Hagen.

Among insects a single cricket ( Ceuthophilus maculatus Harris) occurred not far from the entrance, and a beetle with eyes (Cryptophagus sp. indet.) which had probably been carried in by the men at work on the stairways and walks; also two small flies, while the true cavern fly which we have found in caves in Kentucky, Indiana and Utah was common; we refer to Blepharoptera defessa Ostensacken. Of Thysanura, two species occurred; a pale whitish-red Smythurus, with pale reddish eyes, and faded whitish specimens of Tomocerus plumbeus (Linn.) of the same color and appearance as those collected by us in the Carter caves, Kentucky. The body was nearly white, the antenne darker, the eyes black.

The Luray caves, in Luray valley, were less populous in the parts fitted up for visitors, owing undoubtedly to the recent walks and stairways built by the proprietors. Spiders were numerous, however, all belonging to one species, Linyphia weyeri Emerton; they differed only from the type specimens in having rather smaller eyes. Spirostre phon copei was less common than in the Newmarket cave. The fauna of these caves was essentially like that of Weyer's cave. The writer would add that he is collecting materials and intends soon to publish a monographic account of the cave fauna of the United States, in the reports of the Kentucky Geological Survey, under whose auspices most of the material has been collected; and would be grateful for the loan of specimens.-A. S. Packard, Fr.

A RARE FISH IN ILLINOIS.-A specimen of Chologaster in the collection of the Illinois State Laboratory of Natural History, was obtained by Mr. F. S. Earle, of Cobden, Illinois, in August, 1878, from a spring at the foot of a bluff, in Western Union county, in the southern part of Illinois.

The description of Chologaster cornutus Agassiz, was based on three specimens from South Carolina, and that of C. agassizii Putnam, on one from Tennessee ;-these four specimens being apparently all that were known at the time of the publication of Mr. F. W. Putnam's synopsis of Heteropygii, in 1871.

The Illinois specimen differs materially from the others, but as it is intermediate in several particulars between the two described species, and as specific descriptions drawn from so small a number of individuals must have a very uncertain value, I will give an account of this specimen prepared by comparison with the descriptions of Putnam's synopsis, without attempting to decide whether it belongs to a new species or whether it unites the two previously proposed. Head in body, without tail, 32 times; the eye is above and well behind maxillaries and is contained about six times in head; the pectoral fin reaches half way to the dorsal; the color is precisely as in cornutus, except that the middle stripe, dark on the head, is decidedly paler than the ground color on the body, the change being abrupt at the opercular margin. The

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »