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ORDER 3. ASCOSPOREÆ: (a) Gymnocarpi, Saccharomyces, Ascomyces, Exoascus,
Gymnoascus. (b) Æcidiocarpi, Fam. Uredineæ, Calyciaceæ. (c) Discocarpi,
Erysiphaceæ, Eurotiaceæ, Tuberaceæ.
Clavariaceæ, Polyporaceæ, Agaricaceæ, Phallaceae, Hymenogastraceæ, Lyco-
(6) Zygomycetes, Fam. Entomophthoraceæ, Ustilaginaceæ, Pipto-
aceæ, Vaucheriaceæ. (6) Siphomycetes, Fam. Peronosporaceæ, Saprolegniaceæ,
aceæ, Volvocaceæ, Hydrodiciyaceæ. (6) Cænomycetes, Fam. Myxomycetes. ORDER 4. CONFERVOIDEÆ: (a) Syngameta, Fam. Ulvaceæ, Ulotrichacex, Clado.
phoraceæ. (6) Oosporee, Fam. Sphæropleaceæ, Oedogoniaceæ, Coleoche
ORDER 5. FUCOIDEÆ: (a) Phæosporeæ, Fam. Ectocarpeæ, Sphacelariaceæ, Chor
dariaceæ, Laminariaceæ, Sporochnoideæ. (6) Oosporee, Fam. Fucaceæ. BOTANICAL NOTES.—The Secretary of the Linnean Society, B. D. Jackson, has recently been directing attention, in the Journal of Botany, to some recent tendencies in botanical nomenclature, and among others he deprecates the tendency, in some quarters, to the abandonment of the rather liberal use of initial capital letters in writing specific names, which Linnæus introduced. He regards the usage of Linnæus as authoritative, and cites examples to show that the initial capital letter should be used when the specific name is (1) an old generic name, (2) a native name, (3) a substantive used instead of an adjective, (4) a substantive used in the genitive case, (5) a substantive used adjectively in commemoration. “All other names," he says, must begin with a small letter, even if derived from places or other genera.” This certainly commends itself as conducive to uniformity, but were it not that at most it is a matter of but little importance, it might be asked whether even so great a master as Linnæus should be permitted to fix usage for all time. In the same journal S. L. Moore dissents from Darwin's doctrine of the nature and meaning of cleistogamy, and believes “that cleistogamy is caused by the physiological condition of great fertility without crossing, coexisting with the morphological one of germination of the pollen while still within the anther-cell, or at least before expansion of the perianth. The result of the latter condition is arrest of the floral envelopes, which remain in position until separated or pushed up by the enlarging capsule." He bases this theory upon the well known fact that after fertilization the corolla soon withers.
-There is a widespread notion that it requires costly micro
scopes and a good deal of apparatus to enable one to successfully engage in histological study in botany. The fallacy of this notion is well shown in an article in the April Botanical Gazette, by Dr. Rothrock, who describes the apparatus and modes of work in De Bary's laboratory in Strasburg. Hartnack's small upright microscope, without sub-stage or joint, and costing from thirty to forty dollars, are used. The optical parts are, however, of good quality, and furnish a power ranging up to about six hundred diame. ters. In making sections, razors and pieces of pith are mainly relied upon, expensive section cutters not being used.—Dulau & Co., of London, are to publish immediately an important book, "A Guide to the Literature of Botany," by B. D. Jackson. It includes nearly six thousand more titles than Pritzel's “ Thesaurus." -"A Manual for the Preservation of the larger Fungi,” by James L. English, is announced as in preparation.-M. C. Cooke has begun the publication of Illustrations of British Fungi, consisting of colored plates of the Hymenomycetes. The parts, issued quarterly, include sixteen octavo plates each. Professor McBride, of the University of Iowa, has issued a Plant Record for the use of Students, which in some respects is an improvement upon any previously published ones.-J. F. James, in the Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, presents a paper in which he compares the flora of N. E. United States with that of Europe. It is an excellent summary of what is known as to the geographical distribution of plants. Dr. Gray and Dr. Hooker have finally brought out their long promised report upon the vegetation of the Rocky Mountain region. It is published in Vol. vi of the Bulletins of the U. S. Geol. and Geog. Survey of the Territories. It will be noticed more fully hereafter. —Francis Wolle contributes another of his valuable notes on Fresh-water Algæ, to the April Torrey Bulletin.-An interesting list of the plants of Western Dakota and Eastern Montana, by Assistant Surgeon Havard, has just been issued from the Government printing office, as an appendix to the Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1880.
ZOOLOGY MORE ABOUT THAT CAT.-In the February NATURALIST, I narrated some instances of unusual sagacity in our pet cat, “Old Shorty.” He died on the 19th of that month, deeply lamented by his friends. He was not only a model of all the virtues consistent with the feline life, but possessed many high and noble traits not supposed to appertain to this species of carnivores. I mentioned his fastidiously neat and tidy habits, which he maintained down to the last day of his lite. We once had a pet squirrel which was kept in a cage with the usual revolving wheel.
Shorty" never molested the mischievous rodent unless he happened to escape from the cage, when he was always ready to help capture the scamp. I have often pursued "Chip ” fifteen or twenty rods with “Shorty” close at hand and lending me every assistance in his power! On one occasion when the family were all away from the house, “ Chip’ got out of the cage and escaped through an open window. Returning late in the afternoon, I found him in a plum tree. “Shorty" sat on the ground near by, he had evidently run the squirrel up the tree, and was patiently standing guard-like a master of grand strategy—“ waiting for reinforcements." Together we captured the squirrel and returned him to his cage. When “Shorty” was about three years old, we gave him away to a lady friend, who carried him to her house in the county, three miles off, by a very crooked road and after dark. She kept him shut up for three or four days, when he was released. He started at once for home, though he was fully three days in reaching us. We imagined that the sounds of the church and schoolhouse bells in the village enabled him to find his way back. He had to cross a small stream, which would be quite a serious obstacle in the way of a cat, and this, doubtless, made his journey more protracted. But we never gave him away again! He had no fear of any dog he ever met, and in his younger days had the honor of soundly threshing several of them! I could set him upon any stray dog that happened to come upon the premises. He never failed to drive the intruder off, and woe to the dog if he failed to “git out" in a twinkling! Contrary to the prevailing disposition of common cats, he never stole anything! Neither choice beef nor Jersey milk on the pantry shelves ever tempted him to violate the eighth commandment. He was sick at the last about three weeks, as we supposed from some derangement of the liver, though he was fifteen years old. He dearly liked to be talked to all this time, and in return would always purr, though but faintly and with much effort. He sang his last little song to me about ten hours before he died, as I sat holding his poor weary head in my left hand and stroking his rich glossy back. I was telling him how good he had been all his life long, and how sorry I was to see him so sick. But his little song was so faint and low that I had to put my ear close to his mouth to hear it. He was gentle, affectionate and intelligent beyond any domestic animal I ever saw, and his whole life was full of beautiful, pleasant ways. When he finally breathed his last, the old house seemed really deserted and lonesome—though he was "only a cat." We always thought he would deserve a monument, and we feel that in admitting his humble story to its pages, the AMERICAN NATURALIST has given him a proud and enduring one.-Chas. Aldrich, Webster City, Iowa, March. 1881.
Birds OUT OF PLACE.—The red-wing blackbird (Agelains præniceus) usually leaves this region by the middle of November, though if the weather continues mild, some of them will tarry awhile longer. But late in December I saw perhaps a dozen of them wading in the shallow water just below a mill-dam near my residence. They remained about this place for several days. At the time the ground was covered with snow, and the ice was more than fifteen inches thick on the mill-pond above.
Lately a workman on my farm stated that in January he had seen a robin (Turdus migratorius) where a little spring of water flows out of the bank below the mill-dam. This was deemed a. mistake, for the robin always leaves us in autumn and never returns until mild weather in late February or early March. But chancing to pass the sam.e spot yesterday, my attention was attracted by a bird which was hopping over the gravel bed and stopping to pick up something. Going as near as I could without alarming it, I saw at once that it was our own robin redbreast! It seems more singular that it should remain with us when its mates are all away in the sunny South! To-day we are having a regular Iowa “ blizzard.” The snow would be twenty inches deep if it were not piled in great drifts, and the ice in our little river is at least three and a half feet thick! I visited the spot to-day, but did not find my robin. Several chickadees (Parus atricapillus) were hopping about the spring, doubtless in search of food or drink.
One of my neighbors provides his fowls with no sort of protection in the way of a building, and so they roost in the low branches of a thicket near his house. Recently, during a severe storm, he found several crows roosting among the chickens. Upon being discovered, the crows flew off, cawing angrily over their disgust at being disturbed. Our crows are never shot or molested in any way, and have, therefore, become quite tame; but I never before heard of their entering into sleeping arrangements with barnyard fowls! But during such cold nights as we have had this winter-often from ten to twenty-nine degrees below zero-I do not wonder that birds flock together for mutual warmth
regardless of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”— Chas. Aldrich, Webster City, Iowa, Feb. 12, 1881,
A Hawk NEW TO THE UNITED STATES.— It affords me great pleasure to be able to announce, through your columns, the addition to the United States fauna, of a species of hawk hitherto not recorded from any point north of Mirador, Mexico, The question of what name the species should bear is one involving considerable investigation, pending which I will call it, provisionally, Buteo fuliginosus Sclater. It is a small species about the size of B. pennsylvanicus, but with longer wings and of a uniform black color, like B. abbreviatus. It has been considered by various ornithologists to be a darker or melanistic phase of B.brachyurus, but in this view I cannot concur, no specimens among the many I have examined, indicating that any light color phase exists; both young and old, though otherwise quite different, being uniform black below as well as above. While premising that this bird may be the Buteo fuliginosus of Sclater, it should be remarked that in “History of North American Birds” (Vol. II, p. 266), I referred to B. swainsoni on the presumption that it was probably based on a small example of the latter species in the dark phase of plumage; but I may have been wrong in this determination.
The specimen in question was shot at Oyster bay, Florida, Jan. 28, 1881, by W. S. Cransford, and was secured for the National Museum from W. H. Collins, of Detroit, Mich.—Robert Ridgway in Forest and Stream.
CURIOUS INSTANCE IN THE BREEDING HABITS OF THE BLUEBIRD.-In April, 1879, while on a collecting tour near Prince Frederictown, Maryland, I found a nest of the blue-bird (Sialia sialis) in a hollow post. The eggs, five in number, were remarkably small, and in the body of the nest were three other specimens, abnormal in shape and very large. As this is the only instance of the kind I have ever heard of, it may not be amiss to record it. Either the original owners had been driven away by a new pair, who having rebuilt the nest, laid their own eggs; or the first three were deserted. The latter explanation is sustained by the small size of the five found in the upper part. Curiously enough both sets were perfectly fresh.-A. M. Reynolds, Germantown, Pa.
ZOOLOGICAL NOTES.—The parasites of the white ant (Termes flavipes) have been described and illustrated in an elaborate way by Professor Leidy, in a memoir recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. They are profusely abundant in the intestine of the insect, and mostly consist of ciliated infusoria, which swarm in such myriads as to actually predominate over the real food in quantity. Besides a young nematoid worm and a gregarine, there are three or four infusoria, a vibrio, and a minute filamentous alga, which was previously known to inhabit the digestive canal of certain myriapods and a beetle (Passalus cornutus). - In the thirteenth number of Vol. viii of the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Mr. Walter Faxon describes and figures certain deformities in the lobster, most of which appear to originate from injuries received after molting, before the new skin becomes hardened by the deposition of salts of lime. Mr. Faxon, after reviewing all the deformities which have been described among Arthropods, divides them into five categories: (a) of deficiency in nutrition, (b) of excess, (c) of transformation, (d) of arrested development, and (e) of hermaphroditism.--In an article on the mode of formation of the blastoderm in the Araneida, by A. Sabatier, translated in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History for March, it appears that the early development in the egg of the