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with much less relish. On the eighth of June he remarked, that the young Earwigs had changed their skins, and he found also the sloughs that they had quitted. This moulting produced only a slight change in their figure, yet it evidently brought them nearer to the perfect insect.
At another time, about the beginning of April, he found a female Earwig under some stones, placed over a heap of eggs, of which she took all the care imaginable, without ever forsaking them. He took both the female and her eggs, placed her in a box half filled with fresh earth, and dispersed the eggs up and down in it. She, however, soon removed them, one after another, carrying them between her jaws; and, at the end of a few days, he saw that she had collected them all into one place upon the surface of the earth, and remained constantly on the heap, without quitting it for a moment; so that she seemed truly to sit for the purpose of hatching her eggs. The young-ones were produced about the thirteenth of May. In figure they were similar to those before mentioned; but at their birth they were all white, except towards the tail, where a yellow matter was observable through the skin, and the eyes and teeth, which were reddish. He kept them in a box with their mother, feeding them from time to time with bits of apple, and saw them grow every day, and change their skins more than once. The mother died, and her progeny devoured nearly the whole of her body. The little ones that died also underwent the same fate. M. de Geer, however, conjectures that this took place only from want of other food, as he had neglected to supply them regularly with nutriment. On the twentythird of July one only remained alive: it was full grown, and then in the pupa state.
The larvæ of Earwigs differ little in their external appearance from the complete insects, except that they have neither wings nor elytra, and that the breast and thorax are not distinguishable. In this state they are very lively little animals, running about with great
agility, even from the instant they leave the egg. their metamorphosis to a perfect insect, part of their body bursts behind, and gives full play to the wings.
The Earwig, though in its nature extremely harmless, except to fruits and vegetables in our gardens, has become a victim to human cruelty and caprice, originating in a notion that it introduces itself into the ears, and thence penetrates to the brain, and occasions death. It is to be wished that females, who but too commonly lay aside all ideas of tenderness at the very sight of it, would be convinced that the wax and membranes of the ears, are a sufficient defence against all the pretended attacks of the Earwig upon this organ.
Our gardeners have, it is true, some room for complaint. It lives among flowers, and frequently destroys them; and, when fruit has been wounded by flies, the Earwigs also generally come in for a share. In the night they may occasionally be seen in amazing numbers upon lettuces and other esculent vegetables, committing those depredations that are often ascribed to snails or slugs. The best mode, therefore, of destroying them, seems to be, to attend the garden now and then in the night, and to seize them while they are feeding.
The bowl of a tobacco-pipe, and the claws of lobsters stuck upon sticks that support flowers, are the usual methods by which they are caught, as, in the daytime, they creep into holes and dark places. Placing hollow reeds behind the twigs of wall-trees, is also a good mode, if they be examined and cleared every morning. But at a midnight visit more may be done in an hour, than by any of the other means in a week.
Hemipterous Insects *.
of the blaTTA OR COCK-ROẠCH TRIBE†.
Some of the species of Blatta, are destitute both of wings and wing-cases. Their larvæ differ but little in their general appearance from the perfect insects. In a pupa state they have, between the thorax and the abdomen, two broad and flat rings, which cover much of the breast, and from which place the wings afterwards appear.
A few of these insects live in houses, and others conceal themselves in hoies in the ground.
THE COMMON AND THE AMERICAN COCK-ROACH §.
Both these insects live in houses, where they are sometimes very troublesome, from their gnawing and devouring eatables, leather, clothes, woollen, and other things to which they have access. The common spe
*The insects of the Linnean order Hemiptera, have their upper wings half crustaceous, and half membranaceous; not divided by a longitudinal suture, but incumbent on, or crossed over each other.
The body is flat, and the thorax broad and margined, having the head concealed beneath. The elytra are very large. The legs are long. The abdomen terminates in four spines or bristles.
DESCRIPTION. This insect is about an inch in length, and of an uniform reddish brown colour. The females are destitute of wings.
SYNONYMS. Blatta orientalis.
Linn.-La Blatte des
DESCRIPTION. The body and wing-cases are ferruginous; and the thorax is whitish behind.
Linn.-La Blatte Kak
cies is well known in this country, but more particularly in bakehouses and kitchens in London and its neighbourhood. They are extremely agile, and run very swiftly. During the day-time they conceal themselves in holes of walls and clefts of the floors, and issue forth only in the dark, for the purposes of plunder and devastation. The moment they perceive a light, they endeavour to escape into the places of their retreat. The smell of these insects is so powerful and unpleasant, that if they only run over provisions, they frequently render them very nauseous. They are furnished with wings, but their agility in other respects is so great, that they seldom use them.
The eggs of the Common Cock-roach are large, and rounded at the extremities; and the sides are raised into somewhat of a keel-shape. The larvæ are able to
run nimbly from the moment they have life.
The Kakkerlac, or American Cock-roach, is very common on the New Continent, and has sometimes also been found in Europe. In some parts of South America, particularly in Surinam, it causes great devastation in the houses, by gnawing the stuffs, cloths, and wool, and devouring and injuring the provisions.
It is asserted by Reaumur, that the American Cockroaches have for an enemy a large species of sphex. He says, that when one of these spheges encounters a Cock-roach, it seizes it by the head, pierces it with its sting, and then carries it to its hole, the nidus, where, no doubt, it has deposited its egg, and where the Cockroach serves as nourishment for the future young one.
OF THE MANTIS TRIBE*.
Many of the insects of the present tribe have, at a
* In the insects of this tribe, the head appears but slightly attached to the thorax. The mouth is armed with jaws, and
little distance, so much the appearance of leaves of trees, that, in countries where they are common, travellers have been struck with the singular phenomenon of what seemed to them animated vegetable substances. Their most prevailing colour is a fine green, but many of them become brown after they are dead: some, however, are decorated with a variety of lively hues. The thorax in most of them is very long and narrow, and has the appearance of a footstalk to the large and rounded abdomen. Their manners also, in addition to their structure, are very likely to impose on the senses of the uninformed: they often remain on the trees for hours without motion; then, suddenly rising, they spring into the air, and when they settle, they again appear lifeless. These seem to be stratagems, in order to deceive the cautious insects on which they feed. Some travellers, however, have declared that they saw the leaves of trees become living creatures. Many of the Indians of South America, believe that these insects grow on the trees like the leaves, and that, when they have arrived at maturity, they loosen themselves, and crawl or fly away.
The Africans consider the whole tribe, according to some writers, as sacred; but, according to others, only as animals of good omen. One of the species (Mantis fausta) has obtained the name of the Hottentot's God, and is supposed to be an object of worship among that people. Professor Thunberg could not, however, observe any reason for this supposition: he says, it is held by them in such esteem, that they would not willingly injure it; and that they account any person or creature fortunate on whom it alights; but all
has its feelers filiform. The wings are four, membranaceous and convolute, the under ones plaited. The fore-legs are compressed, serrated, or toothed beneath; and armed with a single claw, and a lateral jointed process. The hind legs are smooth, and formed for walking, and not for leaping, as in the next tribe.