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their appearance suddenly in the dry forest which will not bear any considerable weight: near Ega, in large flocks, probably assem- all animals, therefore, which feed upon food, blages of birds gathered together from the or on insects contained in flowers, must, of neighboring Ygapó forests, which are then course, have some means of reaching the duoded and cold. The birds have now be- ends of the stalks from a distance. Monkeys come exceedingly tame, ani thu troops travel obtain their food by stretching forth their with heavy laborious flight from boagh to looy arız, and, in some instances, their lails, bungh anong the lower trees. They thus ) bring the fruit near 10 their mouths. become an easy prey to hunters, and every Humminy-birds are endowed with higbly. one at Ega who can get a guu of any sort and perfected organs of flight, with correspond. a few charges of powder and shot, or a ing muscular development, by which they blow-pipe, goes daily to the woods to kill a are enabled to sustain themselves on the wing few brace for dinner ; for, 43 already ob- before blussoms while ritling them of their Berved, the people of Ega live almost exclu- contents. These strong-flying creatures, sively on stewed and roasted Toucans during however, will, whenever they can get near the months of June and July, the birds being enough, remain on their perches while probthen very fat, and the meat exceedingly jpg weighb ring flowers for insects. Trogods sweet and tender.
have feeble wings, and a dull, inactive temNo one ou seeing a Toucan can help ask. perument. Their mode of obtaining foud is ing what is the use of the enormous bill, to station themselves quietly on low branches which, in some species, atiains a length of in the gloomy shades of the forest, and eye seven inches, and a width of more than two the fruits on the surrounding trees, darting jnches. A few remarks on this subject may off as if with an eff»t every time they wish be here introduced. The early naturalists to seize a mouthful, and returning to the having sech only the bill of a Toucan, which same perch. Barbels (Capitopinæ) seem to was esteemed as a marvellous production by have no especial enduwment, either of babits the virtuosi of the sixteenth and seventeenth or structure, to enable them to seize fruits ; centuries, concluded that the bird must have, and in this respect they are similar to the belonged to the aquatic and web-footed Toucans, if we leave the bill out of question, Oiler, as this contains so many species of re- both tribes having heavy bodies, with feeble inarkable development of beak, adapted for organs of fight, so that they are disabled seizing fish. Some travelers also related from taking their food on the wing. The fabulous stories of Toucans resorting to the purpose of the enormous bill here becomes banks of rivers to feed un fish, and these ac- evident. It is to enable the Toucan to reach counts also encouraged the crroneous views and devour fruit while reinaining seated, and of the babits of the birds which for a long thus to counterbalance the disadvantage time prevailed. Toucans, bowever, are now which its beavy body and gluttonous appewell known to be eminently arboreal birds, tite would otherwise give it in the competiand to belong to a group (including trogons, tion with allied groups of birds. The relaparrots, and barbets ), all of whose menibers tion between the extraordinarily lengthened are fruit-eaters. On the Amazons, where bill of the Toucan add its mode of obtaining these birds are very common, no one pre- food, is therefore precisely similar to that betends ever to have seen a Toucan walking on tween the long neck and lips of the Giraffe the ground in its Datural state, much less and the mode of browsing of the animal. acting the part of a swimming or wading The bill of the Toucan can scarrely be conbird. Professor Owen found, on dissectiou, sidered a very perfectly-formed instrument that the gizzard in Toucans is not so well for the end to which it is applied, as here exadapted for the trituraliun of food as it is in plained; but nature appears not to invent other vegetable feeders, and conclurled, there- organs at once for the functions to which fore, as Bruderip had observed the babit of they are now adapted, but avails herself, chiewing the cud in a lame bird, that the here of one already-existing structure or in. great toothed bill was useful in holding and stinct, there of another, according as they re-masticating the food. The bill can are handy when need for their further modiscarcely be said to be a very good crntrip. ficatiou arises. ance for seizing and orushing small birds, or One day while walking along the principal taking them from their nests in crevices of pathway in the woods near Ega, I saw one trees, habits which have been imputed to of these Toucans seated gravely on a low Toucans by some writers. The hollow, cel. branch close to the road, and had no difficulty llar structure of the interior of the will, its ju seizing it with my hand. It turned out to curved and clumsy shape, and the deficiency be a runaway pet bird ; no one, however, of force and precision when it is used to seize came to own it, although I kept it in my objects, suggest a want of fitness, if this be house for several months. The bird was in the function of the member. But fruit is a half-starved and sickly condition, but after undoubtedly the chief food of Toucans, and a few days of good living it recovered health it is in reference to their mode of obtaining and spirits, and became one of the most it that the use of their uncouth bills is to be amusing pets imaginable. Many excellent songbt.
accounts of the habits of tame Toucans have Flowers and fruit on the crowns of the been published, and therefore I need not de. large trees of South American forests grow scribe them in detail, but I do not recollect principally toward the end of slender twigs, to have seen any uvlice of their intelligence
and confiding disposition under domestica. singular, resembling the croaking of frogs. tion, in which qualities my pet seemed to be I had an amusing adventure one day with almost equal to parrots. I allowed Tocano these birds. I had shot one from a rather to go fret about the house, cuntrary to my bigh tree in a dark glen in the forest, and enusual practice with pet animals ; he never, tered the thicket where the bird had fallen to however, mounted my working-table after a secure my booty. It was only wounded, smart correction which he received the first and on my attempting to seize it, set up a time he did so. He used to sleep on the top loud screain. In an instant, as if by magic, of a box in a corner of the room, in the usual the shady nook seemed alive with these position of these birds, namely, with the long birds, although there was certainly none visitail laid right over on the back, and the beak ble when I entered the jungle. They detbrust underneath the wing. He ate of every scended toward me, hopping from bough to thing that we eat, beef, turtle, fish, farinlia, bongh, some of them swinging on the loops fruit, and was a constant attendant at our and cables of woody lianas, and all croaking tahle-a cloth spread on a mat. His appe- and fluttering their wings like so many lite was most ravenous, and his powers of furies. If I had had a long stick in my digestion quite wonderful. He got to kuuw hand, I could have knocked several of them the meal hours to a picety, and we found it over. After killing the wounded one, I be. very difficult, after the first week or two, to gan to prepare for obtaining more specimens keep him away from the dining-room, where and punisbing the viragoes for their boldness ; he bad become very impudent and trouble. but the screaming of their companion having some. We tried to shut him out by inclos- ceased, they remounted the trees, and before ing him in the back yard, wbich was sepa- I could reload every one of them had disap raterl by a high fence from the street on peared. which our front door opened, but be used to climb the fence and bop round by a long cir. Insects.-Upward of 7000 species of insecte (uit to the dining-room, making his appear were found in the neighborhood of Ega. I ance with the greatest punctuality as the must cuufine myself in this place to a few meal was placed on the table. He acquired remarks on the order Lepidoptera, and on the habit afterward of rambling about the theants, several kinds of which, found chiefly street near our house, and one day he was on the Upper Amazons, exhibit the most exstolen, so we gave him up for lust. But two traordinary instincts. days afterward be stepped through ide open I found about 550 distinct species of hutdoorway at dinner-hour, with his old gait terflies at Eya. Those who know a little of abd sly, magpie-like expression, having es. Entomology will be able to form some idea caped from the house where he had been of the riches of the place in this department guarded by the person who had stulen bim, when I mention that eighteen species of tru: and which was situated at the further end of papilio (the swallow.tail genus) were foun.l the village.
wiibin ten ininutes' walk of my house. Nu The Curl-crested Toucan (Pleroglossus Beau- fact could speak more plainly for the sur. harnaisii).–Of the four sinuller Toucans, or passing exuberance of the vegetation, the Alassarís, found near Ega, the Pteroglossus varied nature of the land, the perennial flavirostris is perhaps the most beautiful in warmth and humidity of the climate. But colors, its breast being adorned with broad no description can convey an adequate notion belts of sich crimson and black ; but the of the beauty and diversity in form and color most curious species by far is the Curlof this class of insects in the neighborhood crested, or Beauharnais Toucan. The of Ega. I paid especial attention to thom, feathers on the head of this singular bird are having found that this tribe was better liausfurmed into this horny plates, of a adapted than almost any other group of ani. luasirous black color, curled up at the ends, mals or plants, to furnish facts in illustration and resembling shavings of steel or ebony of the modifications which all species underwood, the curly crest beivy arianged on the go in nature under changed local conditions. crown in the form of a wig. Mr Wallace This accidental superiority is owing partly and I first met with this species on asceuding to the simplicity and distinctness of the spu. the Amazons, at the mouth of the Sulimwens; cific characters of the insects, and partly 1.) from that point it continues us à rather the facility with which very copious series. common hird ou the teria firma, at least on of specimens can be collected and placed side: the south side of the river, as far as Fonte by side for comparisol The distinctae38 of Bva, but I did not hear of its being found the specific characters is due probably liv thy: further to the west It appears in large fact that all the superficial signs of chango ina » flocks in the forests near Ega in May and the organization are exaggerated and in die June, when it has completed its moult. I unusually plain by affecting the framework, did not find these bands congregated al fruit shape, and color of the winga, which, asa trees, but always wandering through the fur- many anatomists believe, are magnified ex: est, hupping from branch to branch among tensions of the skin around the breathing: the lower trees, and partly cuncealed among orifices of the thorax of the insects. These, the foliage. None of the Arassarís to my expansions are clothed with minutu feathers: knowledge make a yelping noise like that or scales, colored in regular patterns, which: uttered by the larger Toucans (Ramphastos); vary in accordance with the slightest chuages the notes of the curl-crested species are very in the conditivus to which the species are es
posed. It may be said, therefore, that on stick, and so made tubes similar to those of these expanded membranes nature writes, as caddice-worms; others (Saccophora) chose on a tablet, the story of the modifications of leaves for the same purpose, forminy with species, so truly do all changes of the organi- thein an elongated bag open at both ends, zation register themselves thereon. More and having the inside lined with a thick web. over, the same color-patterns of the wings The tubes of full-grown caterpillars of Sacgeuerally show, with great regularity, the copbora are two inches in length, and it is at degrees of blood relutionship of the species, this stage of growth that I have generally As the laws of nature must be ibe same fur seen them. They feed on the leaves of all beings, the conclusions furnished by this Melastomæ, and as in crawling the weight group of insects must be applicable to the of so large a dwelling would be greater tlian whole organic world ; therefore the study of the contained caterpillar could sustain, the butterflies--creatures selected as the types of insect attaches the case, by one or more airiness and frivolity-instead of being threads, to the leaves or twigs near which it despised, will some day be valued as one of is feeding. the most important branches of biological science.
Foraging Ants.-Many confused statements . Before proceeding to describe the ants, a bave been published in books of travel and few rem:urks may be made on the singular copied in natural history works regarding cases and cocoons woven by the caterpillars these ants, which appear to have been con. of certain moths found at Ega. The first founded with the Saüba, a sketch of whose that may be mentioned is one of the most habits has been given in the first chapter of beautiful examples of insect workrnanship I this work. The Saúba is a vegetable feeder, ever saw. . It is a cocoon, about the size of and does not attack other animals ; the ac. at sparrow's egg, woven hv a caterpillar in counts that have been published regarding broad meshes of either buff or rose-colored carnivorous ants wbich huut iu vast armies, silk, and is frequently seen in the narrow exciting terror wherever they go, apply vuly aileys of the forest, suspeuded froin the ex. to the Ecitons, or foraging ants, a totally dif. trem; tip of an outstanding leaf by a strong ferent group of this tribe of iusects. The silken thread five or six inches in length. It Ecitons are called Tauóca by the Indiaos, forms a very conspicuous object, banging who are always on the lookout for their thus in mid-air. The glossy threads with armies when they traverse the forest, so 48 which it is knitted are stout, and the structure to avoid being attacked. I met with ten disis therefore not liable to be torn by the beaks tinct species of them, nearly all of which of insectivorous birds, while its peudulous have a different system of marching ; eight position makes it doubly secure against their were new to science when I sent them to attacks, the apparatus giving way when they England. Some are found commonly in peck ut it. There is a small oritice at each every part of the country, and one is peculiar end of the egg-shaped bay, lo udmit of the to the open campos of Santarem ; but, as escape of the inoth when it changes from the nearly all the species are found together at little chrysalis which sleeps tranquilly in its Ega, where the forest swarmed with their airy care. The moth is of a dull eluty color, armies, I have left an account of the habits and belongs to the Lithosiide groupe of the of the whole geuus for this part of my narrasilk-worn family (Bombycidae). Wucn the tive. The Ecitons resemble in their habits caterpillar begius its work, it lets itself down the Driver ants of tropical Africa ; but they from the tip of the leaf which it has chosen. have no close relationship with them in by spinning a thread of silk, the thickness of structure, and indeed belong to quite arutlier which it slowly increascs as it descends. sub-group of the ant tribe. V Having given the proper length to the cord,
Like many other ants, the cominuuities nf it proceeds to weave its clegant bag, placing Ecitons are composed, besides males and feitself in the centre and spinning riggs of silk males, of lwo classes of workers, a largeat regular intervals, connecting them at the headed (worker-major) and a small-headed same time, by means of cross-threads ; so that (worker-inipor) class ; tbe laige.heads bave the whole, when finished, forms a loose web, in some sp cits greatly lengthened jäws, be with quardrangular meshes of uearly equal small-beails have jaws always of the ordinary size throughout. The task occupies about shape ; but the two classes are not sharply fuur days. When finished, the euclosed cater. defined in structure and function, except ini pillar becomes sluggish, its skin shirivels and two of the species. There is in all of item cracks, and there ihen remains a motionless a little difference annong the workers regard corysalis of narrow shape, learing against ing the size of the head ; but in some species the sides of its silken cage.
this is not sufficient to cause a separation Many other lands are found at Ega be. isto classes, with division of labor ; in olliers longing to ihe silme cocoon-weaving mily, the jaws are so mionstrously lengthened in some of which differ from the rest in their the worker-majors, that they are incapaci. caterpillar's possessing the art of fabricating tated for taking part in the labors which the cas :3 with fragments of wood or leaves, iv worker-minors perform; and agaiu, in which 1!y live secure from all enemies while others the difference is so great Ibat lhe disthey are feeding and growing. I saw many "inction of classes becomes complete, one species of these ; some of them knitted to cting the part of soldiers, and the other that gether, with fine silken threads, small bits of of workers. The peculiar feature in the
habits of the Eciton genus is their hunting engaged evidently on a razzia of a similar for prey in regular bodies or armies. It is kiod to that of the previous evening, but this which chiefly distinguishes them liom requiring other resources of their instinct, the genus of common red stinging ants, sev. owing to the nature of the ground. They eral species of which inhabitEugland, whose were eagerly occupied on the face of an inlabit is to search for food in the usual irregu- clined bank of light earth in excavaung lar manner. All the Ecitons liunt in large, mincs, whence, from a depth of eigist or ten organized bodies ; but almost every species inches, they were extracting the buities of a has its own special manner of hunting bulky species of ant of the gepus Furmica,
Eciton rapax.-One of the foragers, Eciton It was curious to see them crowding round rapax, the giant of its genus, whose wurker. the orifices of the mines, some assisting theic majors are half an inch in length, hunts in comrades to lift out the bodies of the Forsingle file through the forest. There is no micæ, and others tearing them in pieces, on division into classes among its workers, account of their wcigut being too great for a although the difference in size is very great, single Eciton, a number of Carriers seizing some being scarcely one half the length of each a fragmunt and carrying it off down the others. The head and jaws. however, are slypo. Da digging into the earth with a always of the same shape, and a gradation in small irowil near the entrance of the mines, size is presented from the largest in the I found the nests of the Formicæ, with grubs smallest, eo that all are able to take part in and cocoons, which tho Ecitans vere thus the common labors of the colony. The chief juvailing, at a depth of abrut eight inches employment of the species stems to be plun- from the surface The eager freebooters rering the nests of a large and defenceless rushed in as fast as I excavated, und seized ant of another genus (Formica), whose man- the ants in any fingers as I picked them out, gled bodies I have often seen in their posses- 8u that I had some difficulty in rescuing a sion as they were marching away. The few entire for specimens. In digging the arinies of Eciton rapax are never very bu. numerous mines to get at their prey, the litmuerolis.
tle Ecitons seemed to be divided into purties, Eciton legionis.-- Another species, E. le. one set excavating and another set carrying gionis, agrees wille E. rapax in lasing away the gruins of earth. When the shaf18 workers not rigidly divisible into two classes; became rather drep, the mining parties ha ! but it is cauch smaller in size, not differing to climb up the sides each time they wished greatly in this respect from our common to cast out a pellet of earth ; bit their work English red ant (Myrmica rubra), which it was lightened for thein by comrades, who also resembles in color. The Eciton legionis stationed themselves at the mouth of the lives in open places, and was seen only on shaft, and relieve thern of their burdens, the sandy canıpos of Santarem. The move- carrying the particles, with an appearance ments of its hosts were, therefore, much more of foresight which quite staggered ine, u tasy to observe than those of all other kinds, sufficient distance from the edge of the hole which inhabit solely the depsest thickets ; its to prevent thern from rolling in again. All sting and bite also were less formidahle than the work seemed this to be performed by those of other species. The armies of E, le- intelligent co-operation amung the host of gionis consist of muny thousands of indi. eager Tittle crcatures ; but still there was not viduals, and move in rather broad columns. a rigid division of Jabor, for some of them, They are just as quick to break line on being whose pruceedings I watched, ucted at one disturbed, and attack hurriedly and furiously time as carriors of pellets, and at another as any intruding object, as the viher Ecitous. miners, and all shortly afterward assume The species is put a common one, and I sel. the office of conveyers of the spoil. dom had good opportunities of watching its In about two hours all the nests of Forhabits. The first time I saw an army was one micæ were rified, though not completely, of evening Dear sunset. The columi consiste their coutents, and I turned toward the army ed of two trains of ants, moving in opposite of Ecitous, which were carrying away the directions ; one train empty-handed, the oiber mutilated remains. For some distance there Jaden with the mangled remains of insects, were many separate lines of them moving cbiefly larvæ and pupæ of other ants. I had along the slope of the bank ; but a short disno difficulty in tracing the line to the spot tance off these all converged, and then forned from which they were conveying their one close and broad column, which continued booty ; this was a low thicket ; ihe Ecitons for 8: no sixty or seventy yards, and termiwere moving rapidly about a heap of dead nated at one of those large termitariums or leaves ; but as the short tropical twilight was hillocks of wliite ants which are constructed deepening rapidly, and I had no wish to be of comentul material as hard as stone. The benighted on the lonely campos, I deferred broad aud compact column of ants moved up further examination until the next day. the steep sides of the hillock in a continued
On the following moroing no trace of ants stream ; many which had hitherto trotled could be found near the place where I had along empty. handed, now turned to assist seen them the preceding day, nor were there their comrades with their heavy loads, and signs of insects of any description in the the whole descended ialo & spacious gallery thicket ; but at the distance of eighty or one or mine opening on the top of the terinitarihundred yards, I came upon the sanie army. um. I did not try to reach the nest which I supposed to lie at the bottom of the broad trees, and therefore the nestlings of birds are mine, and therefore in the middle of the base not much incommoded by them. The modo of ihe study hillock.
of operation of these armies, which I ascer. Eciton drepanophora. -The commonest spe- tained only after lung-continued observation, cies of foraging ants are the Eciton hamata is as follows. The main column, from four and E. drepanophora, two kinds which re- to six deep, moves forward in a given direcsemble each other so closely that it requires tion, clearing the ground of all animal matattentive examination to distinguish them; ter, dead or alive, and throwing off here and yet their armies never intermingle, although there a thinner column to forage for a short inuving in the same woods and often crossing time on the flanks of the main army, and reeach atber's tracks. The two classes of enter it again after their task is accomplished. workers look, at first sight, quite distinct, on If some very rich place be encountered any. account of the wonderful amount of differ- where near the line of march-for example, a ence between the largest individuals of the mass of rotten wood abounding in insect one, and the smallest of the other. There larvæma delay takes place and a very strong are dwarfs not more than one fifth of an inch force of ants is concentrated upon it. The in length, with small heads and jaws, and excited creatures search every cranny and giants half an inch iu length, with mon- tear in pieces all the large grubs they drag to strously enlarged head and jaws, all belung- light. It is curious to see them attack ing to the same brood. There is not, how. wasps' nests, which are sometimes built on ever, a distinct separation of classes, indi. low shrubs. They gnaw away the papery viduals existing which connect together the covering to get at the larvæ, pupa, and two extremes. These Ecitons are seen in the newly ·hutched wasps, and cut everything to pathways of the forest at all places on the tatters, regardless of the infuriated owners banks of the Amazons, traveling in dense which are flying about them. In bearing off columns of countless thousands. One or their spoil in fragments, the pieces are ap. other of them is sure to be met with in a portioned to the carriers with some degree of woodland ramble, and it is to them, proba. regard to fairness of load, the dwarfs taking bly, that the stories we read in buoks on the smallest pieces, and the strongest fellows South America apply, of ants clearing houses with small heads the heaviest portions. of vermin, although I heard of no instance Sometimes two ants join together in carrying of their entering houses, their ravages being one piece, but the worker-majors, with their confined to the thickest parts of the forest. unwieldy and distorted jaws, are incapaci.
When the pedestrian falls in with a train tated from taking any part in the labor. 'The of these ants, the first sigual given him is a armies never march far on a beaten path, but twittering and restless movement of small seem to prefer the entangled thickets, where fucks of plain-colored birds (ant thrushes) in it is seldom possible to follow them. I have the jungle. If this be disregarded until he traced an army sometimes for half a mile or advances a few steps farther, he is sure to more, but was never able to find one that fall into trouble, and find himself suddenly had finished its day's course and returned to attacked by numbers of the ferocious little its hive. Indeed, I never met with a hive ; creatures. They swarm up his legs with ja- whenever the Ecitous were seen they were credible rapidity, each one driving its pincer- always on the march. like jaws into his skin, and with the purchase i thought one day, at Villa Nova, that I thus obtained, doubling in its tail and stinging had come upou a migratory borde of this inwith all its might. There is no course left defatigable ant. The place was a tract of but to run for it; if he is accompanied by open ground near the river side, just outside natives, they will be sure to give the alarm, the edge of the forest, and surrounded by crying, “ Tauócu !" and scampering at full rocks and shrubbery. A dense column of speed to the other end of the column of ants. Ecitons was seen extending from the rocks The tenacious insects who have secured on vue side of the little baven, traversing the themselves to his legs then have to be plucked open space, and ascending the opposite de off one by one, a task which is generally not clivity. The length of the procession was accomplished without pulling them in twain, from sixty to seventy yards, and yet peitber and leaving heads and jaws sticking in the van nor rear was visible. All were moving wounds.
in ope and the same directivu, except a few The errand of the vast ant-armies is plun- individuals on the outside of the columo, der, as in the case of Ecitun lcgionis ; but which were running rearward, trolling along from their moving always among dense for a short distance, and then turning again thickets their proceedings are not so easy to to follow the same course as the main body. observe as in that species. Wherever they. But these rearward movements were going move, the whole animal world is set in com- on continually from one end to the other of motion, and every creature tries to get out of the line, and there was every appearance of their way. But it is especially the various this being a meaus of keeping up a common tribes of winged insects that have cause for understanding among all the members of the fear, such as heavy-bodied spiders, ants of army, for the retrograding ants stopped very other species, maggots, caterpillars, larvæ of often for a moment to touch one or other of cockroaches, and so forth, all of which live their onward-moving comrades with their under fallen leaves, or in decaying wood. antenna, a proceeding which has been 20. The Ecitons do not mount very high on ticed in other ants, and supposed to be their