This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book
(without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.
1852 Excerpt: ... are destined to prey. "Some," says Mr. Kirby,
"are so inconceivably small, that the egg of a butterfly, not
larger than a pin's head, is of sufficient magnitude to nourish two
of them to maturity; others so large, that the body of a full-grown
caterpillar is not more than enough for one." It is not the
Ichneumon itself, but its larvae or maggots which destroy such
quantities of insects. The Ichneumon is a fly with four wings,
whose food is honey; and the female seems to live only for the
purpose of depositing eggs in the way mentioned. "In search of
this," we are told by the aged entomologist just alluded to, "she
is in constant motion. Is the caterpillar of a butterfly or moth
the appropriate food for her young, yon see her alight upon the
plants where they are most usually to be met with, run quickly over
them, carefully examining every leaf, and, having found the
unfortunate object of her search, insert her sting into its flesh,
and there deposit an egg. In vain her victim, as if conscious of
its fate, writhes its body, spits out an acid fluid, menaces with
its tentacula, or brings into action the other organs of defence
with which it is provided; the active Ichneumon braves every
danger, and does not desist till her courage and address have
insured subsistence for one of her future progeny. Perhaps,
however, she discovers, by a sense, the existence of which we
perceive, though we have no conception of its nature, that she has
been forestalled by some precursor of her own tribe that has
already buried an egg in the caterpillar she is examining. In this
case she leaves it, aware that it would not suffice for the support
of two, and proceeds in search of some other yet unoccupied." Such
are the singular habits of th...
|Country of origin:
West-Riding Consolidated Society
• Books Group
||246 x 189 x 8mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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