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ichneumon tripula, which pierces the tender bodies and deposits its eggs in the larva of the Tipula tritici, an insect which, when it abounds greatly, is very prejudicial to the grains of wheat. This operation I have frequently seen it perform with wonder and delight.-MARKWICK.
The Bombylius medius is much about in March and the beginning of April, and soon seems to retire. It is a hairy insect, like a humble-bee, but with only two wings, and a long straight beak, with which it sucks the early flowers. The female seems to lay its eggs as it poises on its wings, by striking its tail on the ground, and against the grass that stands in its way, in a quick manner, for several times together.-WHITE.
I have often seen this insect fly with great velocity, stop on a sudden, hang in the air in a stationary position for some time, and then fly off again; but do not recollect having ever seen it strike its tail against the ground, or any other substance.-MARKWICK.
In the decline of the year, when the mornings and evenings become chilly, many species of flies (Musca) retire into houses, and swarm into the windows.
At first they are very brisk and alert; but as they grow more torpid, one cannot help observing that they move with difficulty, and are scarce able to lift their legs, which seem as if glued to the glass; and by degrees many do actually stick on till they die in the place.
It has been observed that divers flies, besides their sharp hooked nails, have also skinny palms, or flaps to their
feet, whereby they are enabled to stick on the glass and other smooth bodies, and to walk on ceilings with their backs downward, by means of the pressure of the atmosphere on those flaps; the weight of which they easily overcome in warm weather, when they are brisk and alert. But in the decline of the year this resistance becomes too mighty for their diminished strength; and we see flies labouring along, and lugging their feet in windows as if they stuck to the glass, and it is with the utmost difficulty they can draw one foot after another, and disengage their hollow caps from the slippery surface.
Upon the same principle that flies stick and support themselves do boys, by way of play, carry heavy weights by only a piece of wet leather at the end of a string clapped close on the surface of a stone.-WHITE.
TIPULÆ, OR EMPEDES.
May. Millions of empedes, or tipula, come forth at the close of day, and swarm to such a degree as to fill the air. At this juncture they sport and copulate; as it grows more dark they retire. All day they hide in the hedges. As they rise in a cloud they appear like smoke.
I do not remember to have seen such swarms, except in the fens of the Isle of Ely. They appear most over grass grounds.-WHITE.
On the 1st August, about half an hour after three in the afternoon, the people of Selborne were surprised by a shower of aphides which fell in these parts. They who were walking in the streets at that time found themselves covered with these insects, which settled also on the trees and gardens, and blackened all the vegetables where they
alighted. These armies, no doubt, were then in a state of emigration, and shifting their quarters; and might perhaps come from the great hop-plantations of Kent or Sussex, the wind being that day at north. They were observed at the same time at Farnham, and all along the vale to Alton.WHITE.
August 23rd. Every ant-hill about this time is a strange hurry and confusion; and all the winged ants, agitated by some violent impulse, are leaving their homes, and, bent on emigration, swarm by myriads in the air, to the great emolument of the hirundines, which fare luxuriously. Those that escape the swallows return no more to their nests, but looking out for fresh settlements, lay a foundation for future colonies. All the females at this time are pregnant; the males that escape being eaten, wander away and die.
October 2nd. Flying-ants, male and female, usually swarm and migrate on hot sunny days in August and September: but this day a vast emigration took place in my garden, and myriads came forth, in appearance from the drain which goes under the fruit-wall, filling the air and the adjoining trees and shrubs with their numbers. The females were full of eggs. This late swarming is probably owing to the backward wet season. The day following not one flying ant was to be seen.
Horse-ants travel home to their nests laden with flies which they have caught, and the aurelia of smaller ants, which they seize by violence.-WHITE,
In my Naturalist's Calendar for the year 1777, on September 6th, I find the following note to the article Flying Ants :
I saw a prodigious swarm of these ants flying about the top of some tall elm-trees (close by my house); some were continually dropping to the ground, as if from the trees, and others rising up from the ground; many of them were joined together in copulation; and I imagine their life is but short, for as soon as produced from the egg by the heat of the sun, they propagate their species, and soon after perish. They were black, somewhat like the small black ant, and had four wings. I saw also, at another place, a large sort, which were yellowish. On the 8th September 1785 I again observed the same circumstance of a vast number of these insects flying near the tops of the elms and dropping to the ground.
On the 2nd March 1777 I saw great numbers of ants come out of the ground.-MARKWICK.
By observing two glow-worms which were brought from the field to the bank in the garden, it appeared to us that these little creatures put out their lamps between eleven and twelve, and shine no more for the rest of the night.
Little glow-worms, attracted by the light of the candles, come into the parlour.-WHITE.
Earth-worms make their casts most in mild weather, about March and April; they do not lie torpid in winter, but come forth when there is no frost; they travel about in rainy nights, as appears from their sinuous tracks on the soft muddy soil, perhaps in search of food.
When earth-worms lie out a-nights on the turf, though they extend their bodies a great way, they do not leave
their holes, but keep the ends of their tails fixed therein, so that on the least alarm they can retire with precipitation under the earth. Whatever food falls within their reach when thus extended they seem to be content with—such as blades of grass, straws, fallen leaves, the ends of which they often draw into their holes; even in copulation their hinder parts never quit their holes; so that no two, except they lie within reach of each other's bodies, can have any commerce of that kind; but as every individual is an hermaphrodite, there is no difficulty in meeting with a mate, as would be the case were they of different sexes. -WHITE
SNAILS AND SLUGS.
The shell-less snails called slugs are in motion all the winter in mild weather, and commit great depredations on garden plants, and much injure the green wheat, the loss of which is imputed to earth-worms; while the shelled snail, the pepeoikos, does not come forth at all till about April 10th, and not only lays itself up pretty early in autumn, in places secure from frost, but also throws out round the mouth of its shell a thick operculum formed from its own saliva; so that it is perfectly secured and corked up, as it were, from all inclemencies. The cause why the slugs are able to endure the cold so much better than shell-snails is, that their bodies are covered with slime, as whales are with blubber.
Snails copulate about midsummer, and soon after deposit their eggs in the mould by running their heads and bodies under ground. Hence the way to be rid of them is to kill as many as possible before they begin to breed.
Large, grey, shell-less cellar-snails lay themselves up about the same time with those that live abroad; hence it