« AnteriorContinuar »
for extracting their food. The principal genera are:
-1. Blatta, cock roach.-2. Gryllus, locust, grasshopper.-3. Fulgorain lantern-fly.-4. Cimex, bug, &c.
The blatta, or cock-roach, is an animal which avoids the light, and is particularly fond of meal, bread, putrid bodies, and the roots of plants. It frequents bakers shops and cellars, and flies the approach of danger with great swiftness. The head of the mantis, or camel-cricket, appears, from its continual nodding motion, to be slightly attached to the thorax. This insect is regarded by the Africans as a sacred animal; because it frequently assumes a praying or supplicating posture, by resting on its hind feet, and elevating and folding the first pair.The gryllus comprehends a number of species, some of which are called grasshoppers, others locusts, and others crickets. The caterpillars of the grylli have a great resemblance to the perfect insects, and, in general, live under ground. Many of these insects feed upon the leaves of plants. Others, which live in houses, prefer bread, and every kind of farinaceous substance. The foreheads of several of the genus, called fulgora, or lantern-fly', especially of
i The Fire-Fly.
Like Pleasure spreads his splendours bright,
And night enshrouds the world in gloom;
Fades like dim Evening's transient rays;
those that inhabit China, and other hot climates, emit a very lively shining light during the night, which often alarms those who are unacquainted with the cause of the appearance. To this insect Thomson alludes in his view of the torrid zone :--
From Menam's orient stream, that nightly shines
With insect lamps.
Some shoot like living stars, athwart the night,
As thro’ the woods with cautious steps he moves.
by means of a tube at the termination of their bodies, insert their eggs under the surface of the leaves, and the worms, when hatched, give rise to those tu beroles, or galls, with which the leaves of the ash, the fir; and other trees, are sometimes almost entirely covered.
Who.can follow Nature's peneil here?
This order includes the scaly-winged insects; they have four wings. The genera are:-1. Papilio, butterfly.-2. Sphinx, hawk-moth; Phalana.
The species comprehended under the aboye genera are exceedingly numerous. All butterflies and moths belong to this order. Their wings are covered with a farinaceous powder, or rather with a kind of scales, disposed in regular rows, nearly in the same manner as tiles are laid upon the roofs of houses. The elegance, the beauty; the variety of colours exibited in their wings are produced by the disposition and different tinctures of these minute scales. The insects of this order," on account of their beauty and easy preservation, have always been the favourites of collectors, and particularly of those of the female sex. When the scales are rubbed off, the wings appear to be nothing more than a naked and often a transparent membrane. The feelers of the papilio, or butterfly, are thickest at their extremity, and often terminate in a kind of knob, or head. Their wings, when sitting, or at . rest, are erect, and their extremities join each other above the body.
Nature, in these insects, seems to have been fond to sport in the artificial mixture and display of her most radiant treasures. In some, what elaborate harmony of colouring, what brilliancy of tints, what soft and gradual transitions from one to another! In the wings of others we may observe the lustre and variety of all the colours of gold, and silver, and azure, and mother of pearl; the eyes that sparkle on the peacock's tail; the edges bordered with shining silks and furbelows, blended with the magnificence of the richest fringe. In China, the finest and most extraordinary of these insects are sent to court, and applied to the decorations of the emperor's palace, .
Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold!
THOMSON'. The feelers of the sphinx, or hawk-moth, are thicker in the middle than at the extremities, and their form in some measure resembles that of a prism. The wings are, in general, deflected, their outer margins declining toward the sides. They fly about early in the morning, and after sunset; and, by means of their proboscis, like the butterflies, they suck the juices of plants.—The feelers of the phalena are setaceous, and taper from the base to the point. When at rest, their wings are commonly deflected, and they fly during the night. Previously to their transformation, the caterpillars of many of this genus spin webs
For further poetical illustrations, see Time's Telescope for 1814, pp. 219, 220; for 1816, p. 148, note; pp. 237, 238 ; for 1817, pp. 117, 148, and pp. xxi, xxii, Introd.; for 1818, p. 109; and the present vo. lume, p. 146.
for covering and protecting the animals while in the chrysalis state. From a species of this tribe mankind have derived one of the greatest articles of luxo ury and of commerce which now exists in the world. That seemingly contemptible and disgusting reptile the silkworm, in its passage from the caterpillar to the chrysalis state, produces those splendid materials which adorn the thrones of princes, and add dignity and lustre to female beauty'.
Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways,
The neuroptera, or nerve-winged insects, have four wings, which are membranaceous, naked, and so interspersed with delicate veins, that they have the appearance of beautiful net-work. Their tail has no sting; but that of the male is frequently furnished with a kind of forceps cr pincers. The genera are:-1. Libellula, dragon-fly.-2. Ephemera, may-fly, or trout-fly, &c.
The libellula, or dragon-fly, is an insect of very splendid and variegated colours. , It is a large and well known fly, and frequents rivers, lakes, pools, and stagnating waters, in which the females deposit their eggs. The egg, when deposited by the
'For a poetical illustration of the moth, see T. T. for 1819, p. 238, hote ; and on the locality of the dew-moth, the present vol. p. 188.