Page images



[ocr errors]

having each a personate, spurred corolla, with both in the size of its blossoms and in general didynamous stamens, and are thus readily dis- growth ; the flowers are very handsome-pale yellow, tinguishable; we may add that, as far as our species with a deep orange palate; the narrow grey-green are concerned, the blossoms are all of some shade of leaves have been before alluded to. Withering says blue, yellow, or white.

that cows, horses, and swine refuse to eat them, and There are six British species of Toadflax suf- that sheep and goats are not fond of them; while ficiently frequent to merit description; besides one the smell of the flowers is obnoxious to flies. Besides (Linaria pelisseriana) which is confined to Jersey; the names above mentioned, this species is known another, a doubtful native (Linaria supina), which as Butter-and-Eggs, Pattens-and-Clogs, Gall-weed, occurs in one or two places in Cornwall, Devon, and Wild Snapdragon. It is by no means uncommon and Dorset; and a third (Linaria purpurea), for- , throughout England; and although preferring a merly much cultivated in gardens, which occasionally | gravelly soil, is not confined to it: in the north of strays from them. None of these merit more than Scotland it is of rare occurrence. Linaria vulgaris this passing notice in a paper which aims rather at grows chiefly in hedges or the borders of fields. Mr. instructing in common things than at encouraging Holland says that “it is almost a sure indicator of the search for rare ones.

an admixture of peat and sand in the soil.” The We shall find it convenient in this, as in previ- first specimens we ever saw were brought, curiously ously considered genera, to divide our six species enough, from the Toad Rock at Tunbridge Wells. into groups, for the purpose of more readily con- ' It blossoms from June until late autumn.Our sidering each; and two very natural ones at once pre- second species, the Creeping, or Pale Blue Toadflax sent themselves--the first containing three species, ! (Linaria repens), is the rarest of the six we are now with upright stems and narrow leaves; the second, attempting to describe. The term creeping applies the remaining three, with trailing stems and broadish' only to the young shoots, as the flowering stems are leaves.

| erect, sometimes attaining, or even exceeding, the I. The Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) is the height of two feet. The leaves resemble those of handsomest of our British species, and demands our Linaria vulgaris, but are shorter; the blossoms are first attention, as to it we are evidently indebted for white, tinged with blue or purple, the palate pale both the English and Latin names of the genus. | yellow, and the upper lip marked with purple It is clear that the name Toadflax was originally lines ; they are also slightly fragrant, and smaller bestowed upon this species alone, although it has than those of the common Toadflax. Ray, who since been extended to the entire genus. In our calls this species the “Blue Toadflax, with short and old herbals we find the name Toadflax applied narrow leaves," appears to have first directed especially to Linaria vulgaris, and exclusively to the attention to it as a British plant, "found by that species with long narrow leaves and upright stems. learned and eminent physician Dr. Eales, in HaitMr. Holland thinks that the reason for this may be fordshire.” One of the best-known stations for the found in the supposition (that the word toad is pre- plant, also first noticed in Ray's “Synopsis," is fixed as meaning spurious or false—the name of an Henley-on-Thames; here it was "found by Mr. Danunpopular reptile being given to what, at first sight, dridge, on the side of a hill called Marvell Hill, by appeared to be like flax (which Linaria vulgaris Henley townside, and by Mr. J. Sherard on the certainly does before flowering), but which proved church walls at Henley, and in a field on the left hand not to be the right thing ; just as dog is prefixed the road from London, on a steep bank a little to the names of many plants to denote that they are before you come to the town, plentifully.” Mr. not the genuine article-dog-rose, dog-violet, to Stubbs, of Henley, to whom we are indebted for the wit. That the name Toadflax really means false specimens from which the above description was or spurious flax, he considers is rendered more drawn up, writes that it still “grows profusely on apparent by the fact that in Cheshire it applied the chalk hills about Henley--noticeably on White to the Corn Spurrey (Spergula arvensis), a plant or Remenham Hill. I have also met with it on which bears very superficial resemblance, es- walls, and I believe the upper portion of the south pecially in flower, to the Mountain Flax (Linum face of the church tower is verdant with it, though catharticum), which is there in immense repute'as a the great height from the road will not enable me to stomachic herb. Gerarde speaks of Linaria vulgaris speak with certainty. Ray's nomenclature,” he conas “Wild-fax, Tode-flax, or Flax-weed,” which tinues, “is obsolete; at least, I have never heard of strengthens the above-expressed opinion; although Marvell Hill.” Linaria repens grows on a chalky soil, he points to another derivation of the name when and is most frequent in the south of England, becomhe says that the flowers have “a mouth like untoe ing gradually rarer towards the north, and is seldom, a frog's mouth"-a somewhat fanciful resemblance, if ever, found in Scotland : it commences to blossom from which the Danish torskmund, or haddock- in July; – The Least Toadflax (Linaria minor) differs mouth, evidently originates. Linaria vulgaris is more considerably from the two before described. Linaria like the Snapdragon than any of the other species, | vulgaris and Linaria repens are perennials; Linaria

minor is an annual ; besides which, the flowers of to remove them without breaking. Although an

introduced plant, the Ivy-leaved Toadflax has are solitary, growing in the axils of the leaves. It obtained not only “a local habitation,” but also is a small plant, with a weak but erect stem, much "a name”-in fact, two or three; it is popularly branched, and somewhat clammy, about six inches called Mother of Thousands, and, less frequently, in height, but often much shorter; the flowers are Pellitory-of-the-Wall, and Maiden-hair. The winter small and inconspicuous, of a light purple colour, frosts are usually too severe for it, and the leaves tinged with yellow or white ; the leaves are narrow then disappear, but it is by nature a perennial; the and dark green. The old writers evidently con- blossoms peep out about the end of April, and considered this a true Snapdragon ; they called it the tinue until the approach of winter.-Our other two Least Calf's-snout, or Small Creeping Snapdragon, species are known by the English name Fluellin, thus connecting it with Antirrhinum Orontium, which and have so much in common that they may be they call the Lesser Calf's-snout, or Snapdragon. appropriately considered together. The RoundIt is by no means uncommon in cornfields, or as a leaved Fluellin (Linaria spuria) is a trailing plant weed in gardens; and we have noticed it in two with many stems, and grey-green, dusty-looking places growing in great profusion between the lines leaves, mostly alternate, which are usually downy, on the railway, a habitat apparently congenial to it. and round or egg-shaped. The blossom, although In Macgillivray's arrangement of Withering's small, is extremely beautiful, the lower lip being British Plants, this species is spoken of as "rare”; pale yellow, and the upper deep purple, almost but this statement must be taken with reference to black. The Halbert-leaved, or Sharp-pointed Scotland only, as in England it is very generally Fluellin (Linaria Elatine), has leaves of the same distributed, although less frequent towards the dusty hue, but they are narrower, longer, halbert. north. It blossoms from the end of May until late shaped, and sharply pointed; the flowers are also in the season.

like those of Linaria spuria, but smaller, and the II. We now come to our second group, which purple of the upper lip is of a somewhat lighter contains the three species with procumbent stems shade. Both are annuals, growing in cornfields, and, and broader leaves; the blossoms of each are also more rarely, on waste ground, in England and Ireland, solitary. The first of these is the Ivy-leaved Toad- preferring, although not confined to, a gravelly soil: flax (Linaria Cymbalaria), a plant which, originally Linaria Elatine is the more common. Their blossoms introduced, has most completely established itself expand in July; but it is not until after harvest that in the land of its adoption. Johnson, in his edition they attract much notice, being previously overof Gerarde's Herbal (1633), says that it “growes shadowed by the waving wheat. We shall often, wilde upon walls in Italie, but in gardens with us;" however, find a stubble-field gay with these two while Ray, in the "Synopsis” (1724), gives only species, in conjunction with the Least Toadflax, the two or three localities for it, mentioning especially blue and scarlet Pimpernels, the Spreading Bur the walls of Chelsea Garden, and neighbouring Parsley, and the Basil Thyme, and many more places. It is now, however, common on walls in equally pretty, and hitherto equally overlooked. many parts of England, especially in the neighbour-Although not now used in medicine, the "vertues” hood of London; it prefers a damp situation, in of Linaria Elatine seem to be very noteworthy-as which the leaves attain great luxuriance. These, the following extract from Gerarde, which we cannot as the name of the plant implies, resemble those of resist quoting, will show. It is “not onely of a the ivy, although very much smaller; they are deep singular astringent facultie, but of such singular green above, frequently pink or purple beneath, and efficacy to heale spreading and eating cankers, and of a somewhat fleshy texture. The blossoms of this corrosive ulcers, that its vertue in a manner passeth Toadflax, as of the two next species, are axillary, on all credit in these fretting sores, upon sure proofe long footstalks; they are small, pale-blue spotted done unto sundry persons, and especially upon a with yellow and white, and very numerous. The man whom Pena reporteth to have his nose whole plant is very graceful in appearance, especi- eaten most grievously with a canker or eating sore, ally when, growing on the top of a wall, the long wo sent for the Physitions and Chirurgions that trailing shoots bang down in dense masses on either were famously knowne to be the best, and they with side. Miss Pratt, in the "Flowering Plants of Great one consent concluded to cut the said nose off, to Britain," says that “the capsules, before ripening, preserve

the rest of his face : among these Surgeons turn round towards the wall on which the plant and Physitions came a poore sorie Barbar, who had so often grows, and place themselves in a crevice or no more skill than he had learned by tradition, and hole, so as to shed the seeds, when ripened, in a yet undertook to cure the patient. This foresaid place where they may thrive, instead of scattering Barbar, standing in the companie and hearing their them on the ground, where they would be wasted.” determination, desired that he might make triall of The fine fibrous roots insinuate themselves so tightly an herbe which he had seene his master use for the into these crevices, that it is almost impossible same purpose, which herbe (Elatine), though he were

ignorant of the name whereby it was called, yet he illustrious Dutch naturalist the name of P. testudo.
knew where to fetch it. To be short, this herbe he Like Mr. Thornton, M. Van der Hoeven regarded it
stamped, and gave the juice of it unto the patient to as the larva of an aphis of which the adult form
drinke, and outwardly applied the same plaisterwise, was still unknown.
and in very short space perfectly cured the man, and “These brief historical indications form a summary
staied the rest of his body from further corruption, of all that was known about this insect when we on
which was ready to fall into a leprosie"! Perhaps a our part undertook some investigations upon it, the
little judicious "puffing ” would elevate our little results of which we now propose to communicate.
Fluellin into a post of honour equally dignified with We first ascertained that, far from constituting a
Parr's Life Pills and Holloway's Ointment; at any new genus, or even a distinct species, the Peripbyllus
rate, here is a testimonial to its “vertues,” equal, if is really nothing but the larva of one of the known
not superior, to any produced in favour of the above- species of Aphides which live on the maple-
named compounds.

namely, Aphis aceris, a brown species which is to be
Before quitting our Toadflaxes, we would just met with during a great part of the year upon the
direct attention to a very remarkable malformation leaves and at the extremities of the young shoots of
which they occasionally present. This form is that tree. But, at the same time that we ascertained
termed peloria ; and in it the mouth of the blossom this fact, we were set on the track of a most un-
is closed up, while instead of one spur, there are expected discovery, constituting a new and very
from two to five: the stamens also are sometimes remarkable peculiarity in the development of the
five in number, and the corolla becomes tubular. animals of this group, already presenting such
It appears to have been first noticed in Linaria curious phenomena in connexion with their re-
vulgaris, in which species it is rare; but modifica | production.
tions of it have been observed in Linaria repens,
Linaria minor, Linaria Elatine, and Linaria spuria.
Mr. Holland writes that the two last are “very
common on the colitic clays of the Cotteswold
Hills around Cirencester, and are both very prone
there to have peloria flowers." It is said that the
roots of this form, in Linaria vulgaris, if planted in
rich soil, will produce blossoms in which the peloria
appearance is retained; but in poor soil, they
return to the normal appearance.

Blossoms are occasionally found with two or three spurs, although otherwise of the usual form.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE MAPLE APHIS. HAVING had communications on this subject, furnish the substance of MM. Balbiani and Signoret's remarks in the “Comptes Rendus” of

Fig. 200. Maple Aphis (Aphis aceris), young, magnified. June 17th, as translated and published in the “ Annals of Natural History.”

“This was the faculty, become transmissible to all “In 1852 an English naturalist, Mr. J. Thornton, the generations of a particular species, of engenderindicated, under the name of Phyllophorus testu- ing two kinds of individuals—one normal, the other dinatus, an Hemipterous insect which he had found abnormal—of which the former alone, after their on the leaves of the common maple (Acer campestre), birth, continue the course of their development, and and which he regarded as the larva of an unde- become capable of reproducing the species; whilst termined species of aphis. Subsequently, in 1858, the latter retain throughout their existence the form Mr. Lane Clark also observed it, and placed it, which they possessed on coming into the world, and under the name of Chelymorpha phyllophora, in a appear to be incapable of propagating. Moreover genus intermediate between the Aphididæ and the these two categories of individuals present such Coccidæ. Lastly, in 1862, M. Van der Hoeven, of marked characters that, without having watched Leyden, described it, also as a new genus, replacing their birth, and being thus convinced that they are the generic names Phyllophorus and Chelymorpha really produced by identical females, and sometimes by that of Periphyllus, the other names being pre- even by one and the same mother, one would viously employed to designate other genera of inevitably consider them to belong to two species, insects; and our Hemipteron received from the nay even to two completely different genera. Now

one of these is nothing but the Periphyllus men- state of their generative apparatus. This is reduced tioned at the commencement of this note as having to a few groups of small pale and scarcely visible been described by the authors who had observed it cells, none of which arrives at maturity to become as a separate genus in the family of the Aphides. transformed into an embryo; and it retains this

“Such is, in summary, the singular observation character as long as it is possible to observe the that we have made upon Aphis aceris. We may animal. The functions of nutrition, also, are per. now give some fuller details upon each of the two formed in them in a very unenergetic manner; for kinds of individuals of which this species is com- from the moment of their birth until that at which posed.

we cease to observe them, they increase but little “When we examine with the naked eye or with in size, attaining scarcely one millimetre. They a lens the embryos of the brown Aphis of the maple undergo no change of skin, never acquire wings like at the moment of their being produced by the the reproductive individuals, and their antennæ females, or after opening the bodies of the latter, always retain the five joints which they present in we see at once that all of them have not the same all young Aphides before the first moult. Nevercoloration. In some they are of a tolerably bright theless they possess a well-developed rostrum and green, whilst in others their colour is more or less an intestinal canal, the peristaltic contractions of brownish or greenish-brown. The brown embryos which we have distinctly observed. In short, present no peculiarities, and only differ from their although we have observed them for several months mothers by characters analogous to those which are (that is to say, from May to November), no change remarked in all species of Aphides between the in their condition was ascertained; and they disnewly born young individuals and the adult females. appeared with the leaves which bear them, without As in these latter, their bodies and appendages are its being possible to ascertain what becomes of furnished with rather long simple hairs, and, like them subsequently. all young Aphides at the moment of their birth, “The question naturally arose, What was the they already contain rudiments of embryos in the signification of these abnormal individuals of the interior of their generative apparatus. If, on the Aphis of the maple, and what part did they fulfil in other band, we examine the green embryos, we at the reproductive functions of the species to which once detect, besides their peculiar coloration, very they belong ? They are evidently not males, since marked differences between them and their brown | their generative apparatus retains the same rudi. congeners. The various parts of the body and limbs mentary form at whatever epoch we examine them. do not present the same conformation as in the Moreover in no known species of Aphis are the latter, but one is especially struck by the extraordi- males produced at the same time as the viviparous nary development and the unusual appearance of individuals, which are not the true females of the their tegumentary system. Thus their surface is no species. There is therefore no other alternative longer furnished only with simple hairs, but also but to regard them as a modification of the specific and principally with scaly transparent lamellæ, more type constantly reproduced with the same characters or less rounded or oblong, and traversed by diver- by the successive normal generations. Our abgent and ramified nervures. These lamellæ occupy normal Aphides are indeed deprived of the faculty especially the anterior margin of the head, the first of reproduction, either by sexual generation or in joint of the antennæ (which is very stout and pro- any other manner; but after the observations of tuberant), the outer edge of the tibiæ of the two M. H. Landois upon the law of sexual development anterior pairs of legs, and the lateral and posterior in insects, we know that in them the sexes depend margins of the abdomen. Moreover the whole simply upon the conditions of alimentation of the dorsal surface of the latter and of the last thoracic larva. Because, in the present state of things, these segment is covered with a design having the aspect conditions have not yet occurred for one of the two of a mosaic composed of hexagonal compartments, sorts of larvæ of Aphis aceris, there is no reason for and which is not without analogy to the pattern our concluding that they may not some day be formed by the scaly plates of the carapace of tortoises. realized; and by thus acquiring, with the attributes These peculiarities give our insect a great elegance of the sexes, the faculty of propagating directly in an of appearance, which causes it to be much in re- indefinite manner, these abnormal individuals will quest with the amateurs of the microscope in

become in their turn the origin of a new species proEngland, where it is commonly known under the duced by deviation from an anterior specific type.” name of the 'Leaf-insect. The entire animal is strongly flattened, and resembles a small scale ap- CONTRARY TO NATURE.—The truth is that folks' plied to the surface of the leaf upon which it reposes, fancy that such and such things cannot be, simply and on which it requires a certain amount of care because they have not seen them, is worth no more to detect it.

than a savage's fancy that there cannot be such a “Another remarkable character of these abnor. thing as a locomotive, because he never saw one mal individuals of Aphis aceris is the rudimentary running wild in the forest.-Water Babies.

[ocr errors]

much lighter in colour than those from the other “HAIRS OF DERMESTES.”

insect, in which they are of a deep brown. This NOTWITHSTANDING the strictures to which peculiarity

, is only, noticeable in the living larvæ we were subjected for using the above title when the halbert-shaped hairs are very abundant.” on a former occasion, we have adopted it again, All that now remains for us to do is to give a because, though not absolutely correct, it is suffi

figure of the large beetle magnified (fig. 201), ciently so for such a purpose, and having used it

which certainly appears to be Tiresias serra, the before, it is advisable not to change it upon resum- larvæ and hairs of which do not differ from those ing the same subject. Mr. S. J. M'Intire, who has

figured from Mr. MʻIntire's drawings in SCIENCEalready contributed towards clearing the mystery Gossip for 1865, p. 230 (fig. 202). which enshrouded the source of the so-called “hairs of Dermestes," during last month sent us the following communication :

“I enclose two specimens of beetles bred from larvæ producing the hairs known as ‘Hairs of Dermestes.' The larger is the insect referred to in my article in S.G., vol. i., page 230, and the smaller one, which is a very pretty microscopic object (being covered with scales like the Curculio fanily) is from larve found by Frank Blatch, Esq, in a wood-shed on his premises at Theale, Berks. The individuals he sent me, as well as the larvæ from under the elm-tree bark, fed while I kept them, upon the dried-up remains of a butterfly, until they completed their transformations. Perhaps you will

Fig. 201.

Fig. 202. Fig. 203. kindly name both insects for the benefit of those

The smaller beetle corresponds with Anthrenus interested in the subject which has occupied some

varius, the hairs from the larvæ of which are now space in the pages of SCIENCE-GOSSIP.”

figured for comparison with those derived from In consequence of this letter we wrote requesting the larvæ of the larger beetle (fig. 203). We have to be informed more minutely on certain particulars

before affirmed our belief that hairs, scarcely disragarding these insects, which were embodied in a tinguishable from each other, might be obtained second letter communicated to us by the same

from several of the Dermestidæ, and perhaps also gentleman.

from the allied family of Mycetophagidæ, and we

do not suppose by any means that Tiresias serra, "1. The larvæ of the large beetle were found under

Anthrenus varius, and Anthrenus muscorum are the the bark of an elm-tree at Ealing. One or two

only beetles the larvæ of which yield the beautiful small specimens that I obtained at the same time

hairs long known under the name of “Hairs of have lived with me ever since and have grown con

Dermestes." Mr. S. J. M'Intire deserves thanks siderably; they have also cast their skins, and the

for his patient pursuit of this inquiry to a suchalbert-shaped hairs on the new skins are far more

cessful termination. numerous than on the old ones. I have fed them on entomological specimens. They seldom feed while under microscopical observation, but that

THE CHOLERA FUNGUS. they devour the food I have given them when shut up in the dark is obvious.


N the Standard of August 27th is an important “2. The first larva of the small beetle that my communication on this subject, from which we friend Mr. Batch sent me was found entangled in a are only able, at this late period, to give the followspider's web. Others he has since found on the ing extract:door, and various places besides in the same shed; “In the report of the medical officer of the Privy and the perfect insects he obtains on the slabs. I Council just issued, an account is given of some think they fed while I kept them on the body of a remarkable researches of Professor Hallier on this hawk-moth ; at all events they took refuge in its important subject. Hallier believes that he has body, and effected their final change while inside it. discovered the active agent which causes cholera.

“3. I send the exuviæ of both insects mounted tem- In examining the contents of the bowels in cholera, porarily to admit of close examination, and I think this observer has noticed a very large amount of a you will find that there are hairs attached still to vegetable fungus in the shape of cells (or seed) and both skins.

filaments (or roots, as they may be termed). The “I notice that the elm-tree larvæ hairs are very cells attach themselves to the remnants of any food,

« EelmineJätka »