Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

anophycea or Phycochromaceæ, and containing the sub-orders Chroococcacea and Nostochineæ. Order 11. Zoospore, with the sub-orders Chlorosporeæ, Bryopsideæ, Botrydieæ, Phæosporez. Order 11. Oosporee, with sub-orders Vaucherieæ and Fucacea. Order iv. Florideæ, including sub-orders Porphyreæ, Squamariez, Nemalicæ, Spermothamnieæ, Ceramieæ, Spyridieæ, Cryptonemieæ, Dumontieæ, Gigartineæ, Rhodymenieæ, Spongiocarpeæ, Gelidieæ, Hypneæ, Solierieæ, Sphærococcoideæ, Rhodomeleæ, Corallincæ.

THE LITERATURE OF BOTANY.—Mr. B. D. Jackson's “Guide to the Literature of Botany” (Longmans, Green & Co., and Dulau & Co., London), will prove indispensable to the working botanist. It is not simply a list of all the botanical publications, but a selected and classified list, so that when one consults it he is not obliged to hunt through a great mass of less important matter. The selections have been quite well made, and as the book contains 6000 titles not found in Pritzel's “ Thesaurus" (not 6000 more, as we thought from the prospectus and so noted in the June “Notes ”) it should at once find a place upon the shelves of every botanist's library. The general appearance of the book, which contains over six hundred small quarto pages, is good, and the typographical errors are, considering the nature of the work, remarkably rare.

A HINT TO MICROSCOPISTS.—The editor of this department, since the publication of his “Botany for High Schools and Colleges,” has been in receipt of numerous inquiries from teachers and others, who, for want of time or the necessary training, are unable to prepare illustrative specimens for study or demonstration. It is, of course, true that it is far better to study fresh material, and the teacher who can direct his pupils how to collect and prepare their own specimens is doing the best work. But the fact remains that for a very great number it is impossible for them, with their thousand and one other duties, to take upon themselves the additional labor required to supply, at the proper time, the proper illustrative specimens. To meet the wants of such cases, and they are numerous, why cannot some of our microscopists put up sets of mounted slides, designed to show the more important structures, in a well selected list of illustrative plants. A set of twenty-four specimens, somewhat as follows, would be useful. Protophyta-(1) Protococcus, (2) yeast plant; Zygosporea-(3) Hydrodictyon, (4) Diatoms, (5) Spirogyra, (6) Mucor ; Oosporea—(7) Volvox, (8) Vaucheria, (9) Peronospora, (10) Fucus ; Carposporece—(11) a fruiting Red Alga, as Nemalion, (12) Erysiphe, (13) a lichen, as Usnea, (14) Puccinia graminis in all its stages, (15) sections of mushroom, (16) Chara or Nitella: Bryophyta—(17) antheridia and archegonia of a moss, (18) spores and capsule (in section) of a moss; Pteridophyta—(19) prothallium of a fern, (20) spores and sporangia of a fern, (21) macro

spores and microspores of Selaginella ; Phanerogamia—(22) pollen. (23) young pistil (sections) and ovules, (24) seeds (sections) with embryo in situ. The specimens should, in some cases, be of considerable size, and in every case, where possible, the sexual reproductive organs should be clearly shown. The list might profitably be much enlarged, while a valuable half set costing much less might be made by selecting from the full set, say by taking Nos. 1, 2, 5, 8, 12, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24.

ERRATA.—Through some delinquency in the U. S. mails, the editor of this department failed to receive the proof of the August number in time to correct some typographical errors. On p. 653, third line, Myxomycetes appears spelled incorrectly; the second word in the fourth line should be “fine”; Professor Tuckerman's name appears without an r, for which we beg his pardon; further down Dr. Farlow is said to have described “a carpinus which grew in a jar of water”! which no doubt made many botanists stare with amazement. What we wrote was “coprinus,” a very different thing indeed! The additions to the N. A. Flora made by Dr. Engelmann, were “some additions," not "Iowa additions."

A correction should also be made in Dr. Schimper's paper, p. 558, fifth line, where “less watery" should be "more watery."

BOTANICAL NOTES.-In the April number of the Journal of the Linnean Society, Francis Darwin publishes an interesting paper on “ The theory of the growth of Cuttings.” The other articles of this number are on the Vegetation of Chumba State and British Lahoul; Australian Fungi; New plants from the Cape of Good Hope; An Erythræa new to England; Revision of the genus Vibrissea. The June number of the same journal contains an article on the power possessed by leaves of placing themselves at right angles to the light, by Francis Darwin. It is illustrated by seventeen woodcuts, five of which are explanatory of the klinostat, or apparatus which he used in making his observations. This portion of the article is of especial value to those who wish to repeat or extend Mr. Darwin's observations. Papers on the coffee leaf disease, proliferous Verbascum nigrum, stipules in Ilex Aquifolium, and Right and Left hand contortions, complete the number. In the last mentioned article the writer, Mr. Clarke, uses some pretty vigorous English in discussing the vexed question of the direction of the spiral; for example: "I suppose myself to have shown, (1) That Linnæus's original definition of right hand twist is exceedingly good, and contains no surplusage ; (2) That in observing contortions it makes no difference whether you imagine yourself within or without the spire, so long as you do not turn yourself round, or stand upon your head.” All will agree with him “ that it does not much matter which way it is settled, but that it is of the greatest importance to all botanic describers that it should be settled, definitely and finally, one way or the other.-C. B. Clarke's paper in the July Journal of Batany, “Notes on Commelinaceæ,” is very interesting as containing a summary of the order as it is to appear in the forthcoming voiume of De Candolle's " Monographies." In the same journal, J. G. Baker catalogues the ferns collected by Kalbreyer in New Granada, and describes twenty-one new species.-J. B. Ellis, in the July Torrey Bulletin, describes eleven new species of Fungi from Utah, collected by M. E. Jones. -A notice of the Muhlenberg Herbarium, now in possession of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and a continuation of the List of the State and local floras of the United States, occur in the same number of the Bulletin.-.Dr. Rothrock's paper on “ Home and foreign methods of teaching Botany," in the July Botanical Gazette, is one which should be read by every teacher of botany in the country. It contains a strong plea for the study of plants rather than books. In the same number Dr. Engelmann describes several new species of plants, among them a suffrutescent Portulaca. C. H. Peck also describes some new Fungi from Utah. -C. F. Wheeler and E. F. Smith, of Hubbardston, Mich., have just issued a “Catalogue of the Phænogamous and vascular Cryptogamous plants of Michigan.” It contains entries of 1634 species, of which 1559 are flowering plants. Valuable notes are appended to many of the species, and a good map of the State is added. The authors offer a limited number of copies of this valuable catalogue for sale at fifty cents each.—Dr. E. L. Sturtevant, well known for his many important contributions to economic botany, has just added another, “ The growing of Indian Corn,” a pamphlet of fifty pages, extracted from the Twenty-eight report of the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture.

ZOOLOGY A SHOWER OF CYCLOPS QUADRICORNIS.—I have just received (June 12) from C. L. Garretson, of Salem, Henry county, Iowa, a small vial containing about half a teaspoonful of water, accompanied by a pote in which he says, “On the night of June 8, 1881, there was a heavy rain-fall, and on the morning of the oth the ground was covered, in places, with something that looked like blood. I found that they were living creatures, and with a spoon took up a pint of the muddy water containing them.”

Upon examining the sample received, I found it to be swarming with Cyclops quadricornis, or what I take to be that species. The only thing peculiar about them, is, that the body is full of bright red corpuscles, which accounts for their imparting a red appearance to the water containing them. A specimen of the same creature taken from a jar of water that has been standing in my office for several weeks, contains a few of these corpuscles, but not a hundredth part as many as are in the bodies of the rainwater specimens. While it might not be considered remarkable that a few of these animals should be found in pools of rainwater, I am puzzled to understand how they came here in such immense numbers, unless we suppose that they were distributed through the whole body of rain that fell, and were afterwards concentrated by the draining away of the surplus water. There were not less than five hundred in the sample of water sent me, of which about one-third were alive when received, after having been tightly corked for several days.-F. E. L. Beal.

MUSSEL AND INSECT CLIMBERS.-In Psyche, Vol. 11, No. 80, just issued, Victor Tousey Chambers states an interesting fact regarding the minute larva of the Tineid, Aspidisca saliciella Cham. He says the method by which it climbs a tree or weed, “is one of the most surprising in the insect world." The larva is footless, nor does it gain a foothold by the exudation of any glutinous, or other secretion; yet encumbered by its case, it climbs trees, fences, &c. “The larvæ travel solely by their silk. Successive taps are given with the end of the spinneret to the surface on which the larva lies, thus a minute byssus is formed, to which the spinneret adheres, the body is then contracted, so that the under surface of the case is attached. The head and segments are again extended, and another byssus is made, and the body contracting, the case is again brought up and attached. Its attachment is only by a few silken threads, each of which is less than 0.0002mm in diameter, and the fresh silk readily stretches or breaks. This is the sole mode of progress of the larva."

I have thought it would add to the interest of the above, to ask the reader to compare it with our account of the mode of perpendicular climbing as practiced by the biack mussel, Mytilus edulis, in AMERICAN NATURALIST, Vol. iv, 1871, p. 331. As there described, the climbing of this mollusk is almost identical with that of the larval Tineids described by Chambers. The operations of the mussel being on a larger scale were easily observed, hence cach step in the process is given. The figure of the mussel, is, by an unfortunate misunderstanding of the printer, placed wrong. The umbo, or pointed end of the shell, should be down, and the nib, or open end, should be up. Then against the three sets of byssus let the imagination put the perpendicular side of a rock, and we have the animal in climbing position. My object in not drawing the rock was simply to save expense in engraving. Samuel Lockwood, Freehold, N. 7., May, 1881.

A WOODCHUCK CLIMBS A TREE.—About two years ago a young man who was living with me, came in one day saying that he had just seen a small animal, possibly a raccoon, ascending a tree in the woods some sixty rods away. Taking my shot-gun, I went to the place, where I soon saw the creature in the top of a black oak tree, almost forty feet from the ground. The animal seemed

[blocks in formation]

very cunning, and managed for some time to keep on the opposite sides of some of the larger limbs, but I finally got a shot at him. He came to the ground with a bounce, when I found it was a woodchuck. It was but slightly wounded in one of the fore legs, and I cantured it and took it home. I put it in a hollow tree near my residence, and it remained there a couple of weeks, freely eating the corn which I regularly fed it. But one night it emigrated, and I saw it no more. These animals are not plentiful in this region, indeed in a residence here of twenty-four years, I have only seen one other specimen, though occasionally hearing them mentioned. Until this incident, I did not know that they ever ascended such tall trees.-Charles Aldrich, Il’ebster City, lozia, June 9, 1881.

CARPHOPHIOPS HELENE IN INDIANA.—This species of serpent was originally described from specimens obtained at Monticello, Miss., and in Southern Illinois. I have a specimen that was captured by Mr. Charles Jameson, of Indianapolis, in Brown county, Indiana.' The locality is about forty miles south of Indianapolis. -0. P. Har.

EUTÆNIA RADIX IN INDIANA.—In the Museum of Butler University there is a good and well characterized specimen of Entunia radix, that I have every reason to believe was found at Irvington, near Indianapolis. The species is found at Bloomington, Illinois, and is included, by Dr. W. H. Smith, in his “Catalogue of the Reptiles and Amphibians of Michigan," as occurring in that State.-0. P. Hay, Butler University, June 15.

HABITS OF THE YELLOW-BELLIED WOODPECKER. I found, at Buckfield, Maine, early in July, a yellow-bellied woodpecker's nest, and with it collected a large section of a white birch tree that shows their marks in vertical instead of horizontal rows, and is a proof that they eat the sap if not also the bark. The humming-birds were very thick around the tree, sucking the sap where it was running from the holes; there were also butterflies and moths around it. The nest was very peculiar, being placed on the north side of a tall poplar.-H. C. Bumpus.

PROBABLE CAUSE OF THE LONGEVITY OF TURTLES.–So far as we are aware, no attempt has been made to explain the unusual longevity of turtles, whose lives, as is well known, span over a century. There appears to be no longer-lived animals than these beings of slow gait and slow manner of life. The following facts may throw light on the cause of their great age. In the first place they are protected by their solid shell from the attacks of snakes, fishes and birds; young turtles, we are informed by Professor J. W. P. Jenks, are sometimes carried off by herons, but in adult life they are probably rarely eaten by other animals. Has any one ever found any empty turtle shells? As some turtles lay but two or three eggs a year, nature seems to have

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »