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and sexual selection, but perhaps a hundred, a thousand, other active and operative agencies besides. We cordially recommend Mr. Pascoe's book as a valuable contribution to the literature of evolution.
ticularly. We do not known any other manual which so clearly and succinctly deals with the Theory of Sound, in its various departments.
The Electric Light Popularly Explained, by A. Bromley Holmes (London: Bembrose & Sons). This cheap, little, well-written, and easily understood brochure ought to be in every house in England, and read by every intelligent resident. (Fifth edition.)
Our Fancy Pigeons, by George Ure (London : Elliot Stock). This is an interestingly-written record of fifty years' experiences in pigeon breeding, and the author is a genial and observant naturalist besides. Mr. Ure's name as an authority upon the subject of this book is sufficient to command for it a large circulation,
Metal Turning (London: Whittaker & Co.). One of a valuable series of cheap and practical manuals, well and abundantly illustrated, which will considerably help on the all-important subject of Technical education. It is written by “ A Foreman Pattern-Maker," and tells and explains and illustrates to the reader all the particulars of the Lathe, and its various tools.
Electro Motors, by S. R. Bottone (London : Whittaker & Co.). Another of the same series. Mr. Bottone has been in the front of popular and practical teachers and writers on electro-dynamos for ten years past. The brightly got up little manual before us has been prepared by him specially for amateurs as well as practical men.
Magnetism and Electricity, by J. Spencer (London: Percival & Co.). Another addition to the numerous * manuals " written for the over-manualised students of South Kensington, who exist and are tortured for the benefit of “The Department.” Mr. Spencer's book is a good one, nevertheless ; although we always feel sorry for the over-written “students of South Kensington," wherever they may be.
Sound, Light, and Heat, by J. Spencer (London : Percival & Co.). Another "class-book" for students of South Kensington in the elementary stage. It is of course a good little book, and is written by a man who knows how to teach, and something of the people who have to be taught.
The Darwinian Theory of the Origin of Species, by Francis P. Pascoe (London: Gurney & Jackson). Mr. Pascoe is one of the best literary naturalists of the day, and anything he has to say on subjects like those discussed in this pleasant little book is bound to be listened to. Mr. Pascoe dwells particularly on the fact (which we have been for years maintaining) that Darwinism and evolution are not identical. The former is a minor, the latter is a major term. Darwin discovered and propounded the Doctrine of Natural selection, and many of his too-ardent followers imagined that was sufficient 'to settle all biological difficulties. But Darwin himself knew better, for he grafted the theory of Sexual Selection upon it. The fact is, Evolution includes not only natural selection,
A FEW NOTES CONCERNING COCHINEAL.
By H. DURRANT.
previous to about 1714, to be some kind of a seed, although it was said by Acosta, as early as 1530, to be an insect. However, its real nature is now placed beyond doubt. Mexico is the real home of the cochineal, but it is also cultivated in Teneriffe and several other places. The cochineal we get is about as large as a peppercorn, shrivelled, and of a dark, purplish colour, ovate, convex and transversely surrowed above, smooth beneath. Externally it appears covered with a fine white powder, but when the insect is examined under the microscope, this is resolved into fine hair.
The males do not enjoy a very long spell of life, generally dying when about a month old. Their wings are perfectly white. The females are the only ones of any value, from a commercial point of view. When they have selected the leaf which is to serve them as a habitation, they fix themselves to a leaf by their proboscis and never leave it. There are two varieties of cochineal : the wild kind, called by the Spaniards Grana sylvestra, and the cultivated variety, or Grana fina, whichj is greatly superior to the former in regard to the furnishing of colouring matter.
The wild kind is much more downy, though not so large as the cultivated insect, but by cultivation it becomes larger, and loses much of its woolly appearance.
The cochineal feeds on several species of cactus, principally Cactus cochinellifer and Opuntia cochinillifera (Nopal cactus). It does not, as formerly supposed, derive its colour from the juice of the plant on which it feeds, whose flowers are red, because the insect can be reared upon different species of Opuntia whose flowers are not red.
One of them (Opuntia cochinillifera) is cultivated for the purpose in Honduras and Mexico. When the time arrives for the insects to be collected, they are brushed off the trees with the tail of an animal, into bags, and killed by immersing in boiling water. They are then taken out and dried thoroughly in the sun, and put up in serons, or skin bags, for exportation. :
The qualities of a good insect, when dried, should be that they are plump and dry. If they are small and have a pink tinge they are least esteemed. The colouring matter of cochineal is carminium, and was first extracted by Pelletier and Caventon by digesting cochineal in ether, treating the residue with boiling alcohol, allowing it to cool, and treating the deposit with pure alcohol ; by then adding its own volume of sulphuric ether a deposit of carminium is formed. Carminium is uncrystallisable and of a beautiful red colour; it suses at 104°. It is soluble in water, but
and found their colour as rich as that from those just obtained,
Adulteration is effected by mixing the dried up skins of old, used insects with the genuine article, also by artificially representing them in paste, but they can generally be easily detected.
Another form of adulteration is sometimes practised, and consists in mixing what is known in
“East India Cochineal," and which is a very inferior article with the real.
THE ROMAUNT OF BEDEGAR.
Fig. 10.-Opuntia cochinillifera.
not in sulphuric ether or in essential or fixed oils. Nitric or hydrochloric acid, chlorine and iodine when in a concentrated solution destroy carminium, but when dilute only enhance the brightness of its colour. If alkaline solutions are added to carminium its colour changes to purple. It is precipitated by lime water.
When heated it is decomposed, but yields no ammonia. Cochineal is principally used for dyeing,
By the Rev. H. FRIEND, F.L.S.
(Continued from p. 11.) "HAT you may see first of all how much atten
tion was formerly paid to my ancestors, I will tell you what one of the old writers on medicine has to say about me. It is true that his language is somewhat dry and uninteresting to many, but, as we all feel a special pride in hearing what people say about us, I may be forgiven if I am somewhat vain of the learned names by which my family has been distinguished. This writer, then, in a brief chapter on Spina alba, says it is also known as “Akantha leuke, Wood Cyanara (a name which has since been applied to a relative of the thistle family, and is specially associated with the artichoke), Donacitis, Venus' Sceptre (so I understand the name Erysi sceptrum, which the names Frawen Distel and Mary's Thistle confirm), White Thistle, Royal Thistle, Robber Thistle. In Hebrew it may be called Atad laban, that is, Spina alba. The German name is White Way-Thistle. This is what the Arabs call Bedeguar; it is also known as the Herb of the House or House-wort,” — I suppose because of the remarkable qualities attributed to certain parts of the plant when employed as a medicine. It should be observed that in the foregoing account of my ancestors the maternal side is especially referred to, since spina and acanthus are both feminine. However, in later times, when people began to think more of the father than of the mother, one Galen adopted the masculine gender for this name, and, when using it as one word, converted it into Leucacanthon. Hence it is that we find this term in very frequent use (not without a good deal of confusion) among more recent authorities on plants. I wish to impress upon my readers at this point the important fact that, so far as we have pursued my family history, every name which my ancestors received-whether Bedegar in Arabic, Acanthus in Greek, Spina in Latin, or Atād in Hebrew, or Distel in German-had reference to the thorny or prickly nature of the original plant. To make this matter quite certain I have fortunately been able to
Fig. 11.-Coccus cacti (male). Fig. 12.-Coccus cacti (female).
and is employed chiefly in woollen goods; the colour is fixed by a mordant of alumina and oxide of tin, and the colour is intensified by super-tartrate of potash. Mixed with white it forms rouge ; and the colours, carmine and lake are made from it.
To make a single pound of cochineal it is estimated that no fewer than seventy thousand insects are required. It was once considered an extremely precious article, fetching sometimes as much as 36s. and 39s. per lb., but the price is now 45.
Previous to 1845 there existed a duty on cochineal, but it is now abolished. It does not lose its properties as a dye by prolonged keeping, if in a dry place. Hellot made some experiments on dried Cochineal which had been kept more than one hundred years,
come upon the portrait of one of my grandparents, which was published about three hundred and fifty years ago, or in the early half of the sixteenth century (A.D. 1543) in a valuable old work in Latio. This is a picture of a thistle, with a full and detailed description of its peculiarities. Among other things there stated, I find that my ancestors were fond of hilly and well-wooded regions, bore white leaves, which were narrower and paler than those of the chamæleon, with not a few hairs and prickles. The stem grew to a height of two cubits and more, and the flowers were purple. It is further added that the seeds of this plant (which, it must be remembered, grew amidst a head of cottony hairs or pappus like the seeds of other thistles), were chiesly employed in medicine. Here lies the secret of future mischief and difficulty. It was entirely due to this fact that, after the period we have now reached, a great deal of uncertainty began to be realised when the original Bedegar was asked for. Meanwhile, the name had been spreading, along with the article, far and wide, until alike, in France and England, as well as in Germany, Spain, and other lands, the famous medicine was to be found. I find in a list of herbs which was written six hundred years ago (before books began to be printed) that our name occupies an honourable position. It may interest the reader if I reproduce this early reference. Let it be remem. bered that medicines were spoken of formerly, as they still are in the East, as hot and cold. Some herbs are mild, or between hot and cold ; and in this list of mild plant medicines, three only are named - Mirtus, or Sweet Gale, Arnoglosa, or the Plantain, and Bedegar. The way in which the name is spelt, however, has baffled some investigators, although it may be easily explained. The entry is as follows:
“BEDEGRAGE.-Spina alba, Wit-thorn."
Wit-thorn of course is the same as White Thorn, and simply translates Spina alba ; which in its turn is a correct equivalent of Bedegar. When this Arabic name became familiar to the Latin writers, they treated it as a Latin word, and declined it as the teacher says, so that sometimes it appeared as Bedegaris; and so it came in time to be written Bedegrage by persons who wrote words according to their sound, without knowing their meaning or history. This curious mode of spelling opened the way for still greater confusion, which was increased by the custom of retaining the Arabic word “Al" (as in algebra, alchemy, alkanet) before names borrowed from that language. Thus I find our family name written in the fifteenth century Albederagi! Who would have thought that Bedegar could be so changed? Yet if we drop the “Al” we shall find the remaining portion (Bederagi) is exactly the same as Bedegrage, with just one letter omitted. This slight change, however, has thrown many a student off his guard, and even in the work
which contains the name Albederagi I find a little later on another description of the same thing under the accurately-written name of Bedegar. This confusion of names is, by the way, only a small portion of the confusion which has been introduced in connection with the article itself, as we shall presently see. Let us, however, for a moment follow the names which we used in English and French to set forth the meaning of Spina alba or Bedegar to their final resting-place. In France the early translation of the name was Espine ólanche, the latter word meaning simply "white"; but when Acantha leuca and Leucacanthon, Spina alba and Alba spina came to be confused, the French adopted the term Aubespine, as well as Espine blanche, and the English spoke of the Albespyne, or White thorn, meaning no longer. the original White-thistle, but the Hawthorn or Maybush! All this is exceedingly curious, and shows what difficulties the genealogist. has to encounter and overcome in tracing out the real history of a plant from modern, back to the earliest times.
Having in the foregoing study of my family history shown to what changes the name Bedegar has been liable, and to what different ideas its translation into other tongues eventually gave rise, it is now necessary that I should tell you of the other change that was proceeding at the same time. It has been shown that the seeds with their woolly appendage or cottony pappus (the pappus is simply the calyx, adapted to form a balloon for conveying the seed to a distance), were the most valuable part of the plant for medicinal purposes, and it is easy to suppose that when these seeds could not be procured a substitute with a similar nature and appearance would be intro. duced, and called by the name which the genuine article bore. I would not say that the herbalists of the middle ages wilfully deceived people in this way, though, from what I have read and heard about the mandrake and other curious plants, I am sure they were often capable of doing very mean things ; but of this I am certain, that, somewhere about the fifteenth century, the genuine article began to give way to a spurious one, and Bedegar became the name of something totally different from the white thistle of early times. You may judge of the surprise with which, after seeing the portrait of my early ancestor already referred to, I one day came across another portrait of Bedegar which had no family resemblance to the former whatever. It happened in this way. Many ages ago, there lived (not at the same time however), two very famous men named Theophrastus and Dioscorides, who wrote some learned books on natural history. Some centuries after, when printing was first employed for the multiplication of books, the writings of these men were presented to the public in both the Greek and the Latin languages.
Other students of nature, inspired by these valuable but antiquated works, undertook to follow up the investigations already
commenced, and when they found out any new fact various works on medical botany which it has been
obtain Ben-deker, Bed-deker or Bidekar (2 Kings ix. It will perhaps be expected that I should explain | 25), meaning "the son of the stabber," or "the what these spongy balls are, which, in modern little stabber." This name was in the course of time medicine, bear my ancient name. I turn to the applied to a spinous plant, and hence a thistle was
known by the Arabs as Bedegar. This thistle, or very ready, leisure permitting, to assist beginners by certain portions of it, entered the ancient pharmaco. naming their captures ; I myself being most happy to pæia or medicine list, then was carried to Greece, help collectors in this manner, provided the speciItaly, Germany and England where the name was mens sent for identification be in good condition. still retained, along with its equivalent in the languages of those lands, as Akantha, Spina, Distel or
2. COLLECTING. Thistle. In course of time, however, the term was Diptera, to put it shortly, may be captured in appropriated (about the fifteenth or sixteenth century) every part of the country in tolerable abundance, in to another article, viz, an insect gall, and thus in the almost every conceivable nature of habitat, ais. end the spongy balls on the wild rose came to be appearing only during the very coldest weeks, and regularly known under the Arabic name of Bedegar,
in mid-winter certain species (generally or the little stabber.
Nematocera) may be obtained by those who know Idle, Bradford.
where to look for them.
The ordinary gauze butterfly net is most useful for
capturing them, and the sweeping net for those AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF inhabiting the borders of streams, dry ditches, long BRITISH DIPTERA.
grass, banks and other similar habitats.
As most flies rise, when alarmed, with great By E. BRUNETTI.
rapidity, a short quick stroke is necessary to capture 1. INTRODUCTION.
them, a second opportunity rarely being afforded. T will be my endeavour in the following papers to
It has been computed that certain species rise with a give an outline of the British Diptera:
velocity of twelve feet a second. Twenty years ago, but little was known respecting As many groups and certain genera have a special this order, but the labours of Messrs. Verrall, Meade,
manner of their own of taking flight, and of behaving Dale (and, in a lesser degree, other entomologists), when on the wing, it is of invaluable assistance when have resulted in rich collections of these insects,
the collector is able to recognise at sight the family and with the material at present available, we may
to which the intended capture belongs. venture to speak with some approach to accuracy of
In sweeping, much discretion and experience is the species of Diptera indigenous to the British necessary, as the net rapidly fills with twigs, leaves, Islands.
larvæ, beetles and spiders, these latter being the Mr. Verrall's recently-published list (1888) forms a bugbear of the collector whilst sweeping, as they splendid foundation for our researches, and the spin up the contents of the net (which I transfer student, I trust, will find the following remarks of bodily into large chip boxes, to be sorted out at assistance to him during his preliminary investiga. home) into a tangled, unrecognisable mass, besides tions and first collecting excursions.
devouring a large proportion of the Diptera captured. On the Continent the Diptera are tolerably well Larger species have to be captured singly and known and the fact of our knowledge of the British transferred to glass-top boxes, into each of which the species being so unsatisfactory should be a greater
collector with a little manipulation and experience incentive to the true entomologist, as the order offers
should be able to place a dozen ; care being taken far more opportunities of rendering real service to to keep the carnivorous species separate (as Empis, science than do either the Lepidoptera or Coleoptera.
Leptis, &c.) or one finds on reaching home, perhaps, It is true that students have few incentives to take every speciinen more or less eaten. up the study of the Diptera, as the disadvantages are
Species in which the legs are exceptionally brittle so numerous ; collections being few and far between, and break off easily, should be given separate boxes, and usually the property of private individuals. The if possible (Anthomyide, 7 ipulida, Dolichopida, &c.), national collection of these insects is in a highly or at most only two or three specimens placed in unsatisfactory state, for the very simple reason that each box. no one has been employed to bring it anywhere near Whenever the opportunity occurs, take a long up to date ; to correct the numerous and most series of a species, as by this means varieties may be palpable blunders in nomenclature; to fill up any of
obtained and the limits of specific variation fixed. the large gaps made by the absence of whole genera, If a note-book of captures is kept, it will be found as well as numbers of the most common species ; or
of invaluable assistance during subsequent seasons, to replace by fresh specimens the old damaged and and this plan should be adopted by all who desire dirty ones that do duty as the National British doing anything of value towards completing our Collection.
knowledge of the order. Although collections available for reference, and books are
3. PRESERVING. so scarce, there are now fortunately several workers at this group who are fairly well Diptera should invariably be brought home alive, acquainted with the order, and who, as a rule, are and killed by the fumes of burning sulphur. I am