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The majority of butterflies settle upon foliage and on flowers, holding their wings erect and folded together, though early in the morning, or when newly emerged from the chrysalis, they often expand them to the sun. Many, however, have special stations and attitudes. Some settle always on tree-trunks, usually with the wings erect, but the Ageronias expand them and always rest with the head downwards. Many Nymphalidae prefer resting on the top of a stick; others choose bushes with dead leaves; others settle on rocks or sand or in dry forest paths. Pieces of decaying animal or vegetable matter are very attractive to certain species, and if disturbed they will sometimes return to the same spot day after day. Some Hesperidae, as well as species of the genera Cyrestis and Symmachia, and some others, rest on the ground with their wings fully expanded and pressed closely to the surface, as if exhibiting themselves to the greatest advantage. The beautiful little Erycinidae of South America vary remarkably in their mode of resting. The majority always rest on the under surface of leaves with their wings expanded, so that when they settle they suddenly disappear from sight. Some, however, as the elegant gold-spotted Helicopis cupido, rest beneath leaves with closed wings. A few, as the genera Charis and Themone, for example, sit on the upper side of leaves with their wings expanded ; while the gorgeously-coloured Erycinas rest with wings erect and exposed as in the majority of butterflies. The Hesperidae vary in a somewhat similar manner. All rest on the upper side of leaves or on the ground, but some close their wings, others expand them, and a third group keep the upper pair of wings raised while the hind wings are expanded, a habit found in some of our European species. Many of the Lycaenidae, especially the Theclas, have the curious habit, while sitting with their wings erect, of moving the lower pair over each other in opposite directions, giving them the strange appearance of excentrically revolving discs. The great majority of butterflies disappear at night, resting concealed amid foliage, or on sticks or trunks, or in such places as harmonise with their colours and markings; but the gaily-coloured Heliconidae and Danaidae seek no such concealment, but rest at night hanging at the ends of slender twigs or upon fully exposed leaves. Being uneatable they have no enemies and need no concealment. Day-flying moths of brilliant or conspicuous colours are also comparatively abundant in the tropical forests. Most magnificent of all are the Uranias, whose long-tailed green-and-gold powdered wings resemble those of true swallow-tailed butterflies. Many Agaristidae of the East are hardly inferior in splendour, while hosts of beautiful clearwings and AEgeriidae add greatly to the insect beauty of the equatorial zone. The wonderful examples afforded by tropical butterflies of the phenomena of sexual and local variation, of protective modifications, and of mimicry, have been fully discussed elsewhere. For the study of the laws of variation in all its forms, these beautiful creatures are unsurpassed by any class of animals; both on account of their great abundance, and the assiduity with which they have been collected and studied. Perhaps no group exhibits the distinctions of species and genera with such precision and distinctness, due, as Mr. Bates has well observed, to the fact that all the superficial signs of change in the organization are exaggerated, by their affecting the size, shape, and colour, of the wings, and the distribution of the ribs or veins which form their framework. The minute scales or feathers with which the wings are clothed are coloured in regular patterns, which vary in accordance with the slightest change in the conditions to which the species are exposed. These scales are sometimes absent in spots or patches, and sometimes over the greater part of the wings, which then become transparent, relieved only by the dark veins and by delicate shades or small spots of vivid colour, producing a special form of delicate beauty characteristic of many South American butterflies. The following remark by Mr. Bates will fitly conclude our sketch of these lovely insects:—“It may be said, therefore, that on these expanded membranes Nature writes, as on a tablet, the story of the modifications of species, so truly do all the changes of the organization register themselves thereon. And as the laws of Nature must be the same for all beings, the conclusions furnished by this group of insects must be applicable to the whole organic world; therefore the study of butterflies—creatures selected as the types of airiness and frivolity—instead of being despised, will some day be valued as one of the most important branches of biological science.” Next after the butterflies in importance, as giving an air of life and interest to tropical nature, we must place the birds; but to avoid unnecessary passage, to and fro, among unrelated groups, it will be best to follow on with a sketch of such other groups of insects as from their numbers, variety, habits, or other important features, attract the attention of the traveller from colder climates. We begin then with a group, which owing to their small size and obscure colours would attract little attention, but which nevertheless, by the universality of their presence, their curious habits, and the annoyance they often cause to man, are sure to force themselves upon the attention of every one who visits the tropics. Ants, Wasps, and Bees.—The hymenopterous insects of the tropics are, next to the butterflies, those which come most prominently before the traveller, as they love the sunshine, frequent gardens, houses, and roadways as well as the forest shades, never seek concealment, and are many of them remarkable for their size or form, or are adorned with beautiful colours and conspicuous markings. Although ants are, perhaps, on the whole the smallest and the least attractive in appearance of all tropical insects, yet, owing to their being excessively abundant and almost omnipresent, as well as on account of their curious habits and the necessity of being ever on the watch against their destructive powers, they deserve our first notice. Ants are found everywhere. They abound in houses, some living underground, others in the thatched roof on the under surface of which they make their nests, while covered ways of earth are often constructed upon the posts and doors. In the forests they live on the ground, under leaves, on the branches of trees, or under rotten bark; while others actually dwell in living plants, which seem to be specially modified so as to accommodate them. Some sting severely, others only bite; some are quite harmless, others exceedingly destructive. The number of different kinds is very great. In India and the Malay Archipelago nearly 500 different species have been found, and other tropical countries are no doubt equally rich. I will first give some account of the various species observed in the Malay Islands, and afterwards describe some of the more interesting South American groups, which have been so carefully observed by Mr. Bates on the Amazon and by Mr. Belt in Nicaragua. Among the very commonest ants in all parts of the world are the species of the family Formicidae, which do not sting, and are most of them quite harmless. Some make delicate papery nests, others live under stones or among grass. Several of them accompany Aphides to feed upon the sweet secretions from their bodies. They vary in size from the large Formica gigas, more than an inch long, to minute species so small as to be hardly visible. Those of the genus Polyrachis, which are plentiful in all Eastern forests, are remarkable for the extraordinary hooks and spines with which their bodies are armed, and they are also in many cases beautifully sculptured or furrowed. They are not numerous individually, and are almost all arboreal, crawling about bark and foliage. One species has processes on its back just like fish-hooks, others are armed with long, straight spines. They generally form papery nests on leaves, and when disturbed they rush out and strike their bodies against the nest so as to produce a loud rattling noise; but the nest of every species differs from those of all others either in size, shape, or position. As they all live in rather small communities in exposed situations, are not very active, and are rather large and G

| Bates, The Naturalist on the Amazons, 2nd edit. p. 413.

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