Gambar halaman

woolen remnants. He stated that they had appeared in great numbers the previous summer on the large elm shade tree near the house, and that the tree, at the end of the summer, looked as if its leaves were nearly gone, but he did not examine the leaves; “and now," said he, “the pests have taken possession of the house." I pointed out to him that though to the popular eye they did look like squash beetles ( Diabrotica vittata Fabr.), they were a different affair; but that they would do no injury to the house other than by being an annoyance, as next spring they would doubtless, if allowed to, get out of their dwelling and into the the trees again.

I have followed up the career of this Galeruca as well as I could. Upon this particular farm, which had three elms on it, the history is briefly this: They appeared about the first of May, 1877, suddenly and in great numbers. They hibernated in the garret three winters, getting out of the house in May following each winter. In trying to get out of the house in May, 1880, they swarmed on the inside of the windows, and large numbers were destroyed by brushing them into a pan of scalding water. Their depredations on the three trees were through four summers. The leaves would be eaten off, and a new sickly crop follow early in the fall. My friend is afraid that the trees cannot recover. He did not observe the “ worms." The beetles have not been found in the house this last fall or present winter, and they were not so numerous on the trees last summer.

In May, 1879, one of our students at New Brunswick, N. J., brought me several specimens of G. xanthomelæna, which he caught on the curtains of the parlor windows. They were trying to get out of the house, having hibernated there. The house is in the city and has elm shade trees. The same youth directed my attention to the fact that these insects were in quantities in the gymnasium loft of Rutgers' College Grammar School, and there they had hibernated two winters. The shade trees are elms. They have been three years in New Brunswick. The first time they appeared suddenly and in quantity, and their depredations set the citizens to work scraping and cleaning the bark. The second year they came in less numbers, and still less the third year.

These observations simply cover the following points: 1. Their first appearance is sudden and in numbers. 2. Either the imago or larvæ or both are voracious leaf eaters of the elm. 3. The imago hibernates; and 4, it has a penchant for the protection of buildings. 5. Judging from the freshness of all the specimens I have seen, I should think the beetles were but just evolved from their

pupa when they seek their winter quarters. If this be so, their life cycle is a rapid one, the egg in May and the imago in early autumn. But this must be determined by actual experiment.

I have queried whether their great numbers at the first observed appearance may not be due to the almost entire absence of natural enemies, and their subsequent decrease to the presence of the same.—Samuel Lockwood, Freehold, N. 7.

[The development is far more rapid than our correspondent supposes. There are at least three generations at Washington, and doubtless more than one in New Jersey.—Ed.]

Food HABITS OF SAPERDA CRETATA.—In your recent valuable article on the food-plants of Cerambycida I notice that no mention is made of Saperda cretata.. This beautiful species, an account of which I published in the Western Stock Fournal and Farmer (Dec. No., 1880), has been been taken from the branches of apple trees and specimens of both the insect and its work sent me by Mr. C. G. Patten, of Charles City, Ia.

ΤΙ eggs are evidently laid in pairs, half an inch or more apart along the branch, the larvæ of each pair upon hatching, working in opposite directions around the branch, at first just beneath the bark, but afterward (probably after the first year), entering the hard wood.Herbert Osborn, Ames, Iowa.

HYBERNATION OF THE Cotton Worm Moth: EASE WITH WHICH MISTAKES ARE MADE.—Mr. I. A. Wimbish, of Cuero, DeWitt Co., Texas, writes as follows:

I enclose you one of several moths (Aletia argillacea) captured on the evening of the 4th of December (thermometer 62° F., wind S.E.), whilst flying around the lamp

in my bed-room. For some weeks previous the temperature had varied from 22° to 48°, the prevailing winds having been N. and N.E. Such a low degree of temperature is unusual in our local. ity, and rarely occầrs more than once during an entire winter.

The presence of this moth, at this time, I regard as very good evidence of the truth of the hibernating theory. If this pest can survive such

weather as we have already had, the probability Fig. 1.-Aletia argillacea.

is, that there will be no further danger during the

remainder of the winter. Before closing this note, I will take occasion to remark that I have been a resident of this county since 1851, and have planted twenty-eight crops of cotton. Of this

number, I have never raised a crop, until the present year, which was not more or less injured by the worm, the damage varying from thirty 10 seventy-five per cent.

This year, 1880, from the liberal use of London purple - thanks to your investigation and suggestion - the damage has been scarcely ap

preciable, the fields remaining FIG. 2.-Leucania unipuncta; a, male moth; b, perfectly green and fruiting female abdomen, natural size; c, eye; e, portion of until frost, Nov. 5th and 6th, female antenna; d, do. male (after Riley).

and are now still white with

unpicked cotton. The specimen sent by Mr. Wimbish was so badly rubbed and






[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

broken that it would have been past recognition by any one not thoroughly familiar with the cotton-worm moth, and the other species so apt to be mistaken for it. Yet correct determination is most essential in all such questions and by the ovipositor alone we recognized the speci

2 men as that of the common army-worm (Leucania unipuncta). For the benefit of the general reader, and especially of our Southern friends, who are most deeply interested in the question, we give herewith illustrations of both these moths. The ovipositor of the female Aletia is a simple, slightly ex

7 tensile, cylindrical tube, while Fig. 3.-Army-worm moth; a, end of that of the Leucania, as shown abdomen denuded and showing ovipositor

at rest; b, same with ovipositor fully exin Fig. 3, is a compressed, nar- tended; e, f, retractile subjoints; h, eggs row, blade-like, horny process, -all enlarged ; 8, eggs, natural size (after easily recognizable when all Riley). other characters of the species are obliterated. We may say, en passant, that on account of the general similarity of color and the frequency with which it occurs in the Southern States during winter time, this Leucania is the most liable to be mistaken for the Aletia.

PYRETHRUM SEED.—I have obtained direct from Europe some seed of Pyrethrum roseum for distribution among the agents of the U.S. Entomological Commission, with a view of introducing this valuable plant in various portions of the country where it may be acclimated. I have a small quantity to spare to such of the readers of the Naturalist as will agree to carefully sow the seed and cultivate the plants and report to me the results of the attempt. I should like to send it especially to those residing in the mountainous or more elevated regions of the South as well as in Colorado and about Lake Superior, and will send to such upon application.-C. V. Riley.



ANTHROPOLOGY IN MISSOURI.-The Academy of Science of St. Louis published two important additions to anthropology during the past year: “Contributions to the archæology of Missouri, by the Archæological Section of the St. Louis Academy of Science. Part 1, Pottery, by W. B. Potter and E. Evers. Naturalists' Bureau, Salem, Mass., 1880, 30 pp., 24 lith. pl., 5 maps, 4to;" and

Edited by Prof. Oris T. MASON, Columbian College, Washington, D. C.

two papers in Vol. iv, No. 1, of Transactions, entitled, “The Geological and Geographical Distribution of the Human Race," by the Hon. Nathaniel Holmes, and "Zoque, the language spoken at Santa Maria de Chemalapa, and at San Miguel and Terra Blanca, in the State of Chiapas, Mexico," by Antonio de Coruna y Colludo, translated by J. A. Dacus.

The memory of pleasant days passed with our friends during the meeting of the American Association in 1878, and of the valuable collections which they have made at great expense, is reawakened by the appearance of these two volumes. The paper of Judge Holmes is in the nature of a lecture upon the origin and early migrations of our race. Starting out with Mr. Wallace's six zoological provinces ; Palæarctic, Oriental, Australian, African, Nearctic, and Neotropical, it is assumed, " that man's distribution over the earth must have pursued an analogous course, under the threefold operation of evolution, migration over continuous areas, and extinction in some areas." The author considers it scientifically demonstrated that man existed in Europe in the Miocene period. After passing in review the Canstadt, Cromagnon and Furfooz races of western Europe, Judge Holmes turns aside to combat Professor Dawkins' theories concerning the post-tertiary origin of man and the identity of the Eskimo with the cavedwellers of Dordogne.

As to our own country, it is held that the earliest existence of our race, was in the Pliocene of the Pacific coast, and that they progressed to the Atlantic border when the land communication was established across the continent. The subject of bands of color coördinated with other racial characteristics, of the pristine home and the migrations of men, the causes of racial differences, the peopling of America, and of plurality of origins are thoughtfully considered.

The Zoques were once a powerful nation, extending from Tehuantepec through Tabasco and Chiapas into Oaxaca, now numbering from 2500 to 3000. At present they are confined to a small district and two mean villages, Santa Maria de Chemalapa and San Miguel. Their language belongs to the Maya-Quiche, most nearly related to the Tzendal-Maya. Three pages of vocabulary accompany the paper on the Zoques.

The work of Professor Potter and Dr. Evers is destined to become a classic upon the archæology of Southwestern Missouri. We have in their monograph a neat quarto resembling very much in outward appearance the Smithsonian separate Contributions to Knowledge, and containing: 1. A paper on the archæological remains in south-western Missouri, by Professor W. B. Potter, which is a model of brevity and precision (pages 5-19); 2. A paper on the ancient pottery of south-eastern Missouri, by Dr. Edward Evers, which is exceedingly cautious as to its theories (pages 21-30); 3. At the close of the text are five maps to illustrate Professor Potter's paper, and twenty-four lithographic plates containing one hundred and forty-nine figures drawn to a scale by Dr. G. Hambach, to illustrate Dr. Evers' paper. Excepting a few faults of proof-reading, the press-work and illustrations are all that could be desired.

One must study this volume with a good map of Missouri before him. The geology of the south-castern corner of the State is well described, especially the ridges bounded by bayous upon which the remains are located. Two ridges are included within the present survey: the "Sandy Wood Settlement,” near the town of Diehlstadt, in Scott county; and the “New Madrid and Sikeston Ridge,” in New Madrid county. The latter ridge furnishes four settlements besides several scattering mound sites. The especial characteristics of these village sites are an earth wall and ditch enclosing a given area, an oblong principal mound, around which is an elliptical clear space, innumerable lodgehollows filling the remainder of the enclosure beyond the clear space, and, finally, here and there, burial mounds, from which hundreds of skeletons and many thousands of specimens have been exhumed.

It is very difficult to abridge Professor Potter's terse description, and we regret the want of space to give even his summary (pages 17-19).

In Dr. Evers' portion of the volume will be found descriptions of the materials, shapes, coloring and decorations of the pottery.

The material is a dark, grayish clay, mixed with sand and shells, and sun-dried. (On the last point, see Professor Putnam's excellent review of this work in the Sc. Am. Supplement, Jan 1, 1881, 41614163.) The color is generally black, and, in some specimens, moulded in the clay. The decorations are red, white and black, not burned in.

In shape the vessels are classed as long-necked; short-necked; wide-mouthed, shallow dishes, with or without handles; gourdshaped; animal-shaped; and those exhibiting the human form. A few forms are suggestive of Peruvian, Central American, Pueblo, cliff-dwelling, and even Asiatic pottery; but Dr. Evers as well as Professor Putnam have evidently learned caution through a large experience. The greatest variety in supporting the vessels is exhibited in Dr. Hambach's drawings.

The ornamentations are either moulded in the vessel, luted on the surface, incised, or painted on the outer surface (very rarely on the inside). The author makes an observation with reference to the design of these varied forms of embellishment which strikes us very favorably indeed. It might be called "the law of the least marvelous." He contends that ancient implements must not be referred to any function more important or significant than a corresponding one of the present day.

In conclusion, the NATURALIST extends its congratulations to

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »