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had two hives of bees, stand included, knocked 1. 11. Why can a few of each sort live equ down to her for six shillings. Some of our old

in either? fashioned auctioneers demand a shilling per head

l. In the case of fresh-water fish. Submitted :for all live stock, as a sort of deposit, and no sooner

Cannot the component parts of salt water, or par. did the hammer fall, than the auctioneer, a merry

ticles of the different salts, so affect the gills that old fellow, and almost as fat as Daniel Lambert,

they get incrusted (if I may use the word) theredemanded from the old woman a shilling a piece for

with, and thus prevent the required amount of oxyevery bee in the hives. But he got his answer in.

gen coming in contact with the blood ? Or, is it stantly, “ Then yo' mun count 'em.”

not possible that the blood itself may become imThe pretty rye brome-grass (Bromus secalinus) and

pregnated with saline particles, which prove fatal the Darnel (Lolium temulentum) are both very com

to life? or, if impossible for such salts to enter thus mon in some parts of Cheshire. The former is

into the system, may not these particles on coming known by the name of “ Drook.” A labourer once

in contact with the gills, decompose and unite with told me that Drook was degenerated oats, and as a

the oxygen, and thus cause death ?-Next, as to convincing proof said that it was only found growing

salt-water fish dying in fresh water. May not the amongst that grain, and that Darnel was degene

very absence or want of these salts in the system rated wheat, and was never found amongst oats, destroy life? or, the action of these soluble particles but I do not know whether this belief is very on the Jaminæ may cause a muscular irritability general in Cheshire. I could not persuade him that indispensable for the exhaustion of oxygen, and if he was mistaken, but a very little observation would deprived of which the active principle ceases, and at least have shown him that drook is quite common death ensues ? amongst wheat, and darnel amongst oats. Our

2. Where fish live in either fresh or salt water, labourers, although they have nature's works con such as the salmon, stickleback, eel, mullet, &c., is stantly spread out before their eyes, only distinguish it not possible that with these and a few others, plants (unless it may be medicinal ones) by very they may have the power of disengaging or throwing superficial characters; but they may be pardoned off those salts from the gills when exposed to their for thinking that a drooping panicle of brome-grass action ? or, if admitted into the system, absorb them is somewhat akin to oats, and the stiff spike of without functional derangement ? Or else, will the grain-bearing darnel is related to wheat.

salt-water fish, when deprived of these salts, be able ROBERT HOLLAND. to exert more muscular power and increased re

spiration, and thus obtain the necessary supply of STICKLEBACK IN SALT WATER.

oxygen ?

I am aware that objections may be raised to TN answer to your correspondent F. S., I have

placing the above-named fish under the same cateI myself tried similar experiments last year on

gory, as the salmon and eel are essentially nugatory both the three and ten-spined Sticklebacks, and

and require both conditions for their well-being, found both species alike would live and thrive in

whereas the mullet is a salt and the stickleback a salt as well as fresh water. I was induced to try

fresh-water fish. But I have done so advisedly, to these experiments from having obtained several

bring under notice the difficulties (at least to me) of full-grown specimens of the three-spined out of the

fixing a theory where different conditions have to sea in shrimp-nets (vide Couch), which in two cases

be brought under the question—“How do these were full of well-matured roe, but never met with

fish live in either water without visible inconvea ten-spined one under those circumstances. There

nience ?” Might not the microscope reveal that are several small streams which contain these fish,

the gills of different species of fish vary; and, if so, running into the sea, and probably they were thus

even in an infinitesimal degree, taking into considercarried down.

ation the immense area exposed to the action of the But the last part of your correspondent's letter

water, * that variation might produce entire change deserves much attention and close investigation as

in the natural economy of the fish ? of much interest to ichthyologists. I shall not pre

Again. Has the blood of those fish now under tend or presume to offer any opinion on the subject,

consideration been analysed; and if not, might it but will submit for consideration the following re

not tend to show if any or what salts are necessary marks :-Let it be taken for granted that all true

to the one, absent in another, or present or absent fish breathe through gills, that is, life is supported

in the migratory ones at the period of migration to by the blood being renovated by coming in contact

and from the sea ? with the oxygen contained in the water, by means


H. H. KNOCKER, R.N. of innumerable laminæ on the surface of the gills. Snch being granted,

* Mr. Couch says the surface of the whole gills of a large I. Why do most fresh-water fish die in salt water,

skate is equal to 2,250 square inches, or more than fifteen and vice versa ?

square feet.

and is from that peculiarity called here the "brand200LOGY.

tail ” and “jenny red-tail.”—John Ranson, Linton

on-Ouse, York. BLACK SPIDER OF JAMAICA. There is a spider in Jamaica the bite of which is venomous, being GLAUCOUS GULL (Larus glaucus).—A fine Glauspeedily followed by inflammation, with pain and cous Gull was shot near Dunbar on January 2nd, swelling of the wounded part; the natives are conse 1867, by a fisherman of that place. It was a young quently much afraid of it. It is of small size, the bird of the first year, and measured six feet across body not being larger than a small pea, with short

the extended wings. Its total length was twentylegs. It is entirely black, except a spot of bright seven inches. A Green-sbank (Totanus glottis) scarlet upon the head, rendering it so conspicuous, was also shot near Dunbar with some difficulty, and at the same time so repulsive, that a person owing to its being very shy, on December 4th, 1866. unacquainted with its venomous properties would -F. M. Balfour, Whittinghame, Prestonkirk. instinctively shrink from it; a peculiar and interest. THE SHIPWORM (Teredo navalis).- Destructive as ing provision of nature, observed in many obnoxious

it may be, the Shipworm will ever be an object of animals, whereby, as St. Pierre and others have

interest to Englishmen, inasmuch as its shell-lined remarked, mankind are put on their guard against burrow gave to Sir I. Brunel the idea which was their attacks, from some peculiarity of form, colour,

afterwards so efficiently carried out in the Thames sound, or other disgusting quality.-W. Sells, in Tunnel. And, though from the alteration of surJourn. Ent. Soc., I. p. xlviii.

rounding circumstances, that wonderful monument

of engineering skill las not been so practically Rose-CHAFERS. -A very pretty species of the

useful as was anticipated, it has proved of incalcuCetoniade, the Agestrata luconica, is of a fine

lable value as pioneer to the numerous railway brilliant metallic green, and found in the Philippine

tunnels of this and other countries.- Rev. J. G. Islands. These the ladies of Manilla keep as pets

Wood's Homes without small bamboo cages, and carry them about with them whithersoever they may go.--Baird's Cyc. VALUE OF THE STARLING TO THE FARMER.-A Nat. Sci.

pair of starlings having built their nest in our roof,

I frequently timed the parents, and found that they LITTLE BUSTARD (Otis tetrax). – A female

returned to the nest, on an average, once in five specimen of this rare bird was shot by Mr. Arabam,

minutes, and that their labours extended over sevenof South Clifton, Notts, December 21st, 1866. The

teen hours a day, i.e. from three in the morning bird was purchased by Mr. Adrian, naturalist, of

until eight in the evening. This would make the Monson Street, Lincoln, by whom it is being pre

number of visits to the nest 204 in a day: thus, a served.-H. T.

single pair of birds in the breeding season would The REDSTART (Phoenicura ruticilla).—The sill

destroy 204 slugs, worms, or noxious insects a day, of my study window being very much decayed, a

and 5,712 during the month of attendance on their

young. In addition, it is to be remembered that pair of redstarts chose it to rear their young ones in. During the time that the young ones required

they live the whole year through on the same food.

Yet there are farmers who destroy them because their parents' attention, I frequently timed the parent bird, and found that she came to the nest

they build in the pigeon-cot; but we are glad to twice in five minutes. Before she flew into the

find them very much on the increase, and the old

prejudices giving way to sounder and more truthful nest, she always rested on an espalier, and flew from it direct to the nest, so that I could always have a

opinions; for nothing could be more absurd than fair view of what she brought, which was chiefly

the half-exploded idea, that because they built in caterpillars. As far as singing went, the male did

the pigeon-cot, they were injurious to the doves. his duty, for he sat for an hour together, in the

During the last five years, they have increased fiftycherry-tree, pouring out his song; but he did

fold in this village, and nearly every cottage has its little in way of feeding the young. From early

pair. This is in part owing to natural history dawn to dusk did the hen labour for her brood,

having some attention paid to it in the village and she could not bring less than 350 caterpillars

school. The starling is locally known as the “sheto the nest in a day; and thus she did good to

poter.”J. Ranson, Linton-on-Ouse, York. that extent; and living, as they do, exclusively on

“ CARDINALS.”—These spiders, although un. insects, I think they deserve to be classed among doubtedly first introduced at Hampton Court our benefactors, and protected accordingly. The Palace, probably in some piece of furniture from cock is a very beautiful bird, in my opinion the | abroad, have spread thence for several miles round. most handsome bird we have in England. The hen They are frequently taken in old houses and cotis a much plainer bird than the cock, and when she tages at Cobham, seven miles from Hampton Court flics, she shows the hazel-red feathers on her rump, | in a straight linc.-W. R. Tate.

SPAWNING OF THE FROG.-It may interest Mr. above ground, and they are so much the colour of Dansey and others to know that the earliest date the ground that gardeners would not be likely to on which I noticed frogs spawning last year in the notice them in digging unless they were looking vicinity of London was March 17th-in 1865, especially for them. They have no house on their April 4th. About the best place to which micro back as others have, but are provided with a small scopists can repair for finding frogs in spring is the shell near the posterior extremity, about one-fourth market-garden ground by the Thames, between of their length-a mere apology for a covering for Chelsea and Fulham. The gardens are intersected its body. When gliding along, the Testacella looks by numerous ditches cut from the river for the more like a slug; but on close inspection it will be purpose of affording a ready supply of water for the seen that it has an appendage as above described. ground, and in these ditches the frogs spawn. The Their interior structure appears to differ considerably walk through these gardens is a very pleasant one; from others; but I have not made a comparative as the orchards afford shelter for numerous yellow examination of their anatomical structure generally, hammers, greenfinches, and other interesting birds. |. but of their palate only, which really is very remark-W.R. Tate.

able, and very large. I have no objection to exchange

one for a palate of either of the varieties of TestaTESTACELLA Maugei is a snail not often found

cella.–J. J. Fox, Devizes. in England. It is said to be a native of the Canary Islands, and more than fifty years ago was trans Winter BUTTERFLIES.- The Brimstone Butterported into the nursery grounds of an eminent firm fly (Gonepteryx rhamni) made its first appearance in business at Clifton, near Bristol, and is naturalized here on Wednesday, the 28th of February ; when I in several localities in the West of England, pro | saw it fly past my drawing-room windows. I hear, bably sent out from the said nursery in the earth however, that it was seen at Uckfield, our post-town, with plants, in the same way in which it is supposed four miles off, some days previously. On Saturday, to have been imported. It differs very much in the 2nd of March, one of my female servants caught appearance, habits, and character, from our common | a fine specimen of the peacock butterfly (Vanessa Io) garden snail (Helix aspersa), or, indeed, from any of behind some newspapers in a storeroom, where it the other varieties of land or water snails. It is a had probably been hibernating. It was very lively ground snail of strictly carnivorous habits, pene | when first captured, and flew about in the sun; but, trating the soil to the depth of two or three feet or as the day declined, it became very sluggish, and more, and preying voraciously upon earthworms; | finally died in the afternoon. The mean thermothey are sometimes dug up in the act of devouring meter on the day in question only reached 33:9, a worm of large size, and admirably adapted is their while that on the grass descended to 24o.-W.N. grinding apparatus (the palate) for this purpose. WATER BOATMAN.—As a microscopist, of course When once the teeth are fixed in the worm, there is

I possess an aquarium, need I say aquaria, if a 2 oz. no chance for its escape; the teeth are long and bottle to a two-pailful glass tank are either of them sharply pointed, and so numcrous and strong, that

worthy of the name. At present I will treat only its victim is certain to meet with its death. The

of one in which I grow Vallisneria, Anacharis, &c., palate differs from those of all other species, which,

&c.; but independently of my vegetable life, I must by the bye, are all beautiful as microscopic objects, bring under notice one of the most interesting little but none are so peculiar, so extraordinary as this, chaps in the animal line that I know of. I allude except perhaps that of the Doris tuberculata. It to the water boatman, Notonecta glauca. The one in polarizes very nicely when wellmounted, which should my tank, however, does not appear to always swim not be done in balsam. Deane's gelatine is not an

on his back, but uses his paddles in the truly legitiunfit medium in which to mount it, and Remington's mate way; he seems to find plenty to live on, and (of Bradford) glycerine jelly answers well; some

the way in which he apparently rubs his nose and times it is mounted dry, but I prefer the jelly. then cleans his back, finally patting his own stomach, They are sometimes found in Devizes, but not in would really do good to any of our city functionlarge numbers, and only when the gardeners are aries. Altogether, let me recommend Notonecta to preparing their ground for crops, or digging up possessors of aquaria.- John Bockett. their crops, the demand here for them, for the sake

Stag BEETLE (Lucanus cervus). – A popular only of their palates is great, and the price high, comparatively. I have bought them at a penny each,

belief in Germany is that the Stag Beetle carries but since the demand has increased, so has the

burning coals into houses, by means of its jaws. and

that it has thus occasioned many fearful fires.- The price; I have paid lately sixpence each for them. Four or five years ago I turned a few into my walled.

Mirror, xix., p. 180. in garden, with an expectation and hope that there ORIGIN OF CRICKETS.—The Mormons say that they would colonize, but I have not since seen one; / crickets are the produce of a cross between the nor is this remarkable, as they are seldom seen Spider and the Buffalo.- Remy and Brenchley.

prented at London by Edmund Bollifant.” In 1850, BOTANY.

Dr. Alavoine, of Malines, and Prof. Charles Morren,

of Liège, published a concordance of the names POISON AND ANTIDOTE.- For the first time I gathered the poison-oak (Rhus toxicodendron), a

given by Dodonæus, with the Linnæan denominapretty plant, that climbs by rootlets like the ivy, and

tions.-B., Melle. trails gracefully over both rocks and trees. Some

THE BIRCH.-Christopher the Third, King of persons are most seriously affected by it, especially

Denmark, in 1450, received the unjust surname of such as are of fair complexion, if they only venture

Berka Kanung, which signifies King of Bark, near where it grows. It produces swelling about the

because in his reign there was such a scarcity that eyes, dizziness, and fever; the poisonous effects are

the peasants were obliged to mix the bark of this most virulent when the plant is bursting into leaf.

tree with their flour.-Sylva Florifera. I picked, examined, and walked amidst the trees over which it twined thickly, but experienced not

PATTHUR-KE-PHUL.--Under this name two lichens the slightest symptoms of inconvenience. Still I

| found in Britain, Parmelia perlata and Parmelia know others that suffer whenever they come near

perforata, are sold in the bazaars of India, and are it. Where the poison-oak thrives, there, too, grows

employed medicinally by the Hakeems, or native a tuber known to the settlers as Bouncing Bet, to

doctors. the botanist as Saponaria officinalis, the common soap-wort. The tuber is filled with a mucilaginous Pith.—The economic uses of pith bave not been juice, which, having the property of entangling air numerous, but amongst them must be mentioned when whisked up, makes a lather like soap. This the rice paper used in China, and prepared by lather is said to be an unfailing specific against the Kieung; the pith of the Æschynomene, and the effects of the poison-oak-the poison and its anti Aralia papyrifera, cut in a circular manner, so as dote growing side by side.-J. K. Lord's Natu

to obtain large thin and evenly.cut sheets. It is ralist in Vancouver Island.

used for drawing, and for writing. The cellular

pith-like stems of the Æschynomene aspera, called THE LARCH-TREE.-Amongst the timber which was brought to Rome for the purpose of building

"shola,” have been forwarded to this country, from

India, and have been made into various ornaments, the bridge called Naumachiaria, about the 20th year

models of buildings, hats, boxes, and life-buoys. A.D., was a Larch that measured two feet square in thickness throughout, from end to end, and was of

Its lightness and non-conducting property of heat, the extraordinary length of 120 feet; the tree must,

render it very fitted for the manufacture of hats.therefore, have been not less than from 130 to 150 feet

Dr. Edward Smith. in height. Tiberius Cæsar would not allow this won

BABEER.-In the February number there is a derful trunk to be used in the erecting of the bridge

notice of the true papyrus having been discovered in then building, but commanded it to be placed where

the marshes of the Hûleh, by the Rev. H. B. Tris. all persons might see it as a curiosity, and where it

tram. Dr. Thomson, in his “Land and the Book," remained for about thirty years, until Nero em.

speaking of the same locality, says,-" It is an imployed it in building his vast amphitheatre. Dr.

penetrable jungle of ordinary cane, mingled with that Pallas, in his survey of the Russian dominions in

peculiar kind called 'babeer,' from whose stems the Asia, observed several tumuli in Kamtschatka, reared

Arabs make coarse mats for the walls and roofs of at a period so remote that none of the present in

their huts. This cane is the prominent and distinc. habitants had any tradition respecting their origin. The platform was covered by larch-wood, over which

tive production of these marshes, both at the north the mound of earth was raised, and the wood was

and south end of the lake. I have seen it also on found to be incorrupted.-Sylva Florifera.

the banks of brooks on the plain of Sharon, north of

Jaffa. The stalk is not round, but triangular. It ANCIENT NAMES OF PLANTS.- Much informa- grows eight or ten feet high, and ends above in a tion about them will be found in the “Cruydt wide-spreading tuft of stems like broom-corn, shootboek, or Herbarium” of the Belgian botanist, R. ing out in every direction with surprising regularity Dodonæus, of which there are existing five Flemish, and beauty. It imparts a singular appearance to one French, two Latin, and five English editions; the whole marsh, as if ten thousand thoua nd the latter, 1st ed. 1578, under the name of “A new brooms were waving over it.” Is this "babeer Herball,” translated by Henry Lyte, printed by cane" another, or merely local, name for the true Van Der Loe at Antwerp, and “to be sold at papyrus ? If so, it would appear to be more London in Powels Churchyarde, by Gerard Dewes," widely distributed in Palestine. Du Chaillu, I the second English edition (1586), and the 3rd believe, mentions the papyrus in Western Equa(1595), only have plates ; lst, 4th (1600) and 5th torial Africa, as also Speke, in one of the lakes near (1619) have none. The edition of 1595 was “im the source of the Nile.-E. D. C.

that I do not think the plan of drying on slides MICROSCOPY.

and then immersing the whole in turpentine is al

together satisfactory; for however well, an object HINTS TO OBJECT MOUNTERS.— The following

may be washed, it always leaves a trace of imfew hints on mounting objects for the microscope

purity on the slide on which it is dried, and with. may possibly be of service to the large number of

out removing it of course this cannot be got rid of. amateurs who are engaged in the study of that

The balsam I prefer is that usually sold at the instrument. These remarks refer to Canada balsam,

shops, thinned when necessary with pure spirit of the medium used for all, excepting certain classes of |

turpentine; the chloroform and balsam I have no objects which require to be mounted dry or in some

liking for, and must say I have not found it as fluid. First, with reference to bottles used to con- |

satisfactory as the unsophisticated article.-G. E. tain the balsam and turpentine, I should recommend

Cox, F.R.M.S., 9, Mincing Lane. the wide-mouthed bottles with covers which fit out

WHELK EGGS. --Are the readers of SCIENCEside the neck; this effectually prevents the recur

GOSSIP generally aware of the extreme beauty of rence of a constant source of annoyance to those

the membrane enclosing the eggs of the common who close their bottles with corks in the ordinary way, for in withdrawing a drop of balsam with the

Whelk (Buccinum undatum), when placed under the glass rod or wire while mounting an object, it fre.

polarizing apparatus ? The softness of the colouring

and the delicate blending of the tints are equalled quently happens that the inside of the neck is smeared with it, the cork is presently inserted and

by few, and surpassed by none, of the polarizing when next it is used is stuck fast, and in removing

objects with which I am acquainted. The bunches it some small fragments are torn off and probably

of whelk's eggs are (as every seaside visitor knows) fall into the balsam, and perhaps sometime or other

a “common object of the seashore.” I have a few get into a good mounting and materially injure it;

by me, and shall be happy to supply them, as far as by adopting the above method this accident will be

they will go, to any one sending a stamped envelope impossible. It will also be advisable to use the

| to Rev. W. Spicer, Itchen Abbas, Alresford. same sort of bottle for the turpentine, as it prevents

The membrane must, of course, be mounted in dust and dirt accumulating round the neck, and

balsam. getting into the preparations. These bottles may GENERA AND SPECIES OF DIATOMS. — At the be obtained at any glass bottle warehouse; they meeting of the Quekett Microscopical Club, held are manufactured by the York Bottle Company, February 22nd, an interesting communication was either with screw covers (which are preferable), or read from Mr. F. Kitton, of Norwich, on the conmerely tightly fitting covers lined with cork, which struction of genera and species upon insufficient answer the purpose perfectly. Turpentine is a data. The illustrations and application of the remost important article in mounting in balsam, and marks were chiefly confined to the Diatomaceæ; and too much care cannot be used in obtaining it pure; the writer contended that it was very unwise to the compound sold in the oilshops is generally a accept a single specimen, or a portion of a frustule, vile mixture, containing but a very small portion of as a type, and constitute thereupon a new species pure turpentine, and quite unfitted for use in mount. | or new genus. Instances were quoted in which this ing; it may, however, be procured of good quality course had been adopted, to the great confusion of of any respectable chemist, at a cheap rate, and is the student; and he further affirmed that it would known as “spirits of turpentine.” The following be better to throw such unique or imperfect speci. is a method of proceeding which I adopt in mount. mens into the fire, and not attempt to name a new ing in Canada balsam objects of great delicacy, form as a distinct species until a good gathering, had which will not bear drying on slides without great been made. In further confirmation of his views, risk of damage in removing.. The object, on being he adverted to the variation in contour of welltaken out of the potash or other solution, is known forms, derived from different localities, and thoroughly washed in clean, warm water, and when the difference in the markings, or striæ, in the perfectly clean, immersed in spirits of wine (the secondary layer of the silicious shields, which had ordinary methylated spirit answers perfectly). It on some occasions been accepted as distinct species. should remain for some little time, say half an hour The tendency had been greatly to multiply both or so, and may then be removed, slightly dried on species and genera of Diatoms, without regard to blotting paper, transferred to the turpentine, re the mutability of form, resulting from the influence maining there as long as necessary, and then of external conditions, and consequently, to create mounted in balsam in the usual way. In this plan almost inextricable confusion by a formidable array of proceeding it will be seen that the object is of synonyms. The limits of species and genera never once dried, and is therefore not so liable to have of late attracted so much attention, that get damaged as in the ordinary way of drying on the subject of the above paper acquired thereby a slide and then removing. I might here mention | additional interest.

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