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conspicuous, they must be very much exposed to the attacks of insectivorous birds and other creatures; and, having no sting or powerful jaws with which to defend themselves, they would be liable to extermination without some special protection. This protection they no doubt obtain by their hard smooth bodies, and by the curious hooks, spines, points and bristles with which they are armed, which must render them unpalatable morsels, very liable to stick in the jaws or throats of their captors. A curious and very common species in the Malay Islands is the green ant (OEcophylla smaragdina), a rather large, long-legged, active, and intelligent-looking creature, which lives in large nests formed by glueing together the edges of leaves, especially of Zingiberaceous plants. When the nest is touched a number of the ants rush out, apparently in a great rage, stand erect, and make a loud rattling noise by tapping against the leaves. This no doubt frightens away many enemies, and is their only protection; for though they attempt to bite, their jaws are blunt and feeble, and they do not cause any pain. Coming now to the stinging groups, we have first a number of solitary ants of the great genus Odontomachus, which are seen wandering about the forest, and are conspicuous by their enormously long and slender hooked jaws. These are not powerful, but serve admirably to hold on by while they sting, which they do pretty severely. The Poneridae are another group of largesized ants which sting acutely. They are very varied in species but are not abundant individually. The Ponera clavata of Guiana, is one of the worst stinging ants known. It is a large species frequenting the forests on the ground, and is much dreaded by the natives, as its sting produces intense pain and illness. I was myself stung by this or an allied species when walking barefoot in the forest on the Upper Rio Negro. It caused such pain and swelling of the leg that I had some difficulty in reaching home, and was confined to my room for two days. Sir Robert Schomburgh suffered more; for he fainted with the pain, and had an attack of fever in consequence. We now come to the Myrmecidae, which may be called the destroying ants from their immense abundance and destructive propensities. Many of them sting most acutely, causing a pain like that of a sudden burn, whence they are often called “fire-ants.” They often swarm in houses and devour everything eatable. Isolation by water is the only security, and even this does not always succeed, as a little dust on the surface will enable the smaller species to get across. Oil is, however, an effectual protection, and after many losses of valuable insect specimens, for which ants have a special affection, I always used it. One species of this group, a small black Crematogaster, took possession of my house in New Guinea, building nests in the roof and making covered ways down the posts and across the floor. They also occupied the setting boards I used for pinning out my butterflies, filling up the grooves with cells and storing them with small spiders. They were in constant motion, running over my table, in my bed, and all over my body. Luckily, they were diurnal, so that on sweeping out my bed at night I could get on pretty well;

but during the day I could always feel some of them

running over my body, and every now and then one would give me a sting so sharp as to make me jump and search instantly for the offender, who was usually found holding on tight with his jaws, and thrusting in his sting with all his might. Another genus, Pheidole, consists of forest ants, living under rotten bark or in the ground, and very voracious. They are brown or blackish, and are remarkable for their great variety of size and form in the same species, the largest having enormous heads many times larger than their bodies, and being at least a hundred times as bulky as the smallest individuals. These great-headed ants are very sluggish and incapable of keeping up with the more active small workers, which often surround and drag them along as if they were wounded soldiers. It is difficult to see what use they can be in the colony, unless, as Mr. Bates suggests, they are mere baits to be attacked by insect-eating birds, and thus save their more useful companions. These ants devour grubs, white ants, and other soft and helpless insects, and seem to take the place of the foraging ants of America and driver-ants of Africa, though they are far less numerous and less destructive. An allied genus, Solenopsis, consists of red ants, which, in the Moluccas, frequent houses, and are a most terrible pest. They form colonies underground, and work their way up through the floors, devouring everything eatable. Their sting is excessively painful, and some of the species are hence called fire-ants. When a house is infested by them, all the tables and boxes must be supported on blocks of wood or stone placed in dishes of water, as even clothes not newly washed are attractive to them; and woe to the poor fellow who puts on garments in the folds of which a dozen of these ants are lodged. It is very difficult to preserve bird skins or other specimens of natural history where these ants abound, as they gnaw away the skin round the eyes and the base of the bill; and if a specimen is laid down for even half an hour in an unprotected place it will be ruined. I remember once entering a native house to rest and eat my lunch; and having a large tin collecting box full of rare butterflies and other insects, I laid it down on the bench by my side. On leaving the house I noticed some ants on it, and on opening the box found only a mass of detached wings and bodies, the latter in process of being devoured by hundreds of fire-ants. The celebrated Saúba ant of America (OEcodoma cephalotes) is allied to the preceding, but is even more destructive, though it seems to confine itself to vegetable products. It forms extensive underground galleries, and the earth brought up is deposited on the surface, forming huge mounds sometimes thirty or forty yards in circumference, and from one to three feet high. On first seeing these vast deposits of red or yellow earth in the woods near Para, it was hardly possible to believe they were not the work of man, or at least of some burrowing animal. In these underground caves the ants store up large quantities of leaves, which they obtain from living trees. They gnaw out circular pieces and carry them away along regular paths a few inches wide, forming a stream of apparently animated leaves. The great extent of the subterranean workings of these ants is no doubt due in part to their permanence in one spot, so that when portions of the galleries fall in or are otherwise rendered useless, they are extended in another direction. When in the island of Marajo, near Para, I noticed a path along which a stream of Saúbas were carrying leaves from a neighbouring thicket; and a relation of the proprietor assured me that he had known that identical path to be in constant use by the ants for twenty years. Thus we can account for the fact mentioned by Mr. Bates, that the underground galleries were traced by smoke for a distance of seventy yards in the Botanic Gardens at Para; and for the still more extraordinary fact related by the Rev. Hamlet Clark, that an allied species in Rio de Janeiro has excavated a tunnel under the bed of the river Parahyba, where it is about a quarter of a mile wide These ants seem to prefer introduced to native trees; and young plantations of orange, coffee, or mango trees are sometimes destroyed by them, so that where they abound cultivation of any kind becomes almost impossible. Mr. Belt ingeniously accounts for this preference, by supposing that for ages there has been a kind of struggle going on between the trees and the ants; those varieties of trees which were in any way distasteful or unsuitable escaping destruction, while the ants were becoming slowly adapted to attack new trees. Thus in time the great majority of native trees have acquired some protection against the ants, while foreign trees, not having been so modified, are more likely to be suitable for their purposes. Mr. Belt carried on war against them for four years to protect his garden in Nicaragua, and found that carbolic acid and corrosive sublimate were most effectual in destroying or driving them away. The use to which the ants put the immense quantities of leaves they carry away has been a great puzzle, and

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