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Practical Work on
individuals. I had, this summer, a brood of Deidamia Butterflies in all Stages III inscripta, a part of which fed for only sixteen days, while
one larva fed for twenty-six days. CAROLINE G. SOULE Brookline Mass.
If there is any doubt about the kind of food-plant for a
box of larvæ several kinds should be supplied. A larva Larvæ
which will eat wild cherry will generally eat willow, poplar, HERE is no definite period to be set to the egg
or white birch as well. A larva eating grape will usually be stage. The shortest I have known was six days, or
as well satisfied with common woodbine, or ampelopsis a few hours less, and the longest was eight months.
Veitchii, the Japanese woodbine. Dandelion, lettuce, This latter was for eggs laid in September and re- plantain, and cabbage are generally equally satisfactory to maining unhatched until May. Different sets of eggs of the
Different sets of eggs of the larvæ eating any one of them. Ash and lilac are intersame species will vary a day or two in the length of their changeable, and cultivated cherry is liked by many larvæ. development, and sometimes the first brood of a moth or Therefore, if the food of a larva is not known it is well to butterfly will have a short egg-period, while the second provide one or more kinds from each of these groups, addbrood will remain in the egg all winter.
ing maple, pine, elm, blueberry, hazel, or any species growHaving obtained eggs of some moth and seen the young ing near where the moth was caught or the larva found, and larvæ break, or eat, their way out of the shells, the next let the caterpillar choose for itself. thing is to supply food-plant, though most hatchlings do It frequently happens that there are two or more forms of not eat at once, and many devour their own shells before color or markings to be seen among members of the same eating anything else. Almost all, however, need water, so a brood, and very often the different moults bring different few drops should be sprinkled on the leaves provided. colors and marks, but these differences of color and marks
Any box of paper, wood, or tin will do for eggs until they in larvæ do not mean difference of sex. hatch, but the larvæ require special conditions. The most
A caterpillar which is “full-fed ” and about ready for important thing is safety from escape, mice, and birds, and pupation, stops eating, stays quiet for a time, discharges the next is freshness of food-plants.
from the anus the whole contents of the intestines — usually Caterpillars require very little air, so a tin box, with the a moist, sticky, shapeless mass — and then crawls about, cover tightly closed, and without air-holes, will be the best much shrunken in appearance, for a suitable place in which kind, as it is impervious to mice and birds, cannot be to pupate. Sometimes the restless crawling precedes the 'opened by the larvæ, and will keep their leaves fresh longer emptying of the intestine. The larva then becomes moist than anything but a glass jar tightly corked. The glass jar and more quiet. If it is one of those which, outdoors, is not as easy to keep clean or to manage when larvæ spin
would go into the ground to pupate, it should be separated in it, and the experience of more than fifteen years has from its companions and put into a small tin box alone, with convinced me that all moth larvæ, and all the butterfly the cover shut tight, as darkness and moisture are essential. larvæ I have tried, thrive better in dark boxes than in light It is better not to open this box for four or five days, jars,- probably because most larvæ feed more at night than when, usually, the perfect pupa will be found. Many entoin the day. I have been told by one or more entomologists mologists provide pots of earth or boxes of damp sawdust that certain butterfly larvæ require light and more air than for such larvæ to burrow into, but I have had far better a closed tin will give, and I might have found this so if I
results from small tin boxes, except sometimes with Cerahad tried to rear those few species, with which I have no
tomia amyntor, or Phiegethontuis celeus and P. quinquemaexperience.
culatus, which did better in earth. A tin box, six inches, by four, by one and a half, will hold For these large larvæ of the potato, tobacco, and tomato a large brood of hatchlings in comfort, but as they grow worms as they are incorrectly called it is well to larger they will need larger tins and fewer companions, as put a rubber band to fasten the cover onto the rearing and they often injure each other when crowded.
pupating tins, for the larvæ are so long and strong that they Over the top of each tin put a piece of thin cloth,– sometimes push up cloth and cover and crawl out about the scrim or cheesecloth is very good - cut a little larger than house if left unfastened. They are the only larvæ I have the area it is to cover, and over this shut the box cover had which required such restraint. tight. The cover should shut over the box all round, not If the larva is known to spin a cocoon it should, as soon be hinged to the box on one side. The cloth is to prevent as it has emptied its intestine, be put into a paper box with injury to the larvæ in shutting the box, and to cocoons if, a loose lining, and be supplied with leaves and twigs, and as often happens, a larva chooses an upper corner to spin covered with net if the spinning is to be watched. in, and fastens the cloth to the side of the tin. If there is Butterfly larvæ do well treated in this way or put into the no cloth the cover and tin may be spun together, and open- pupa-cage, where they will select a good position and fasten ing the box will tear the cocoon and often injure the themselves to the walls or top. pupating larva.
If there is any doubt about the method of pupation, twigs, Larvæ should have fresh leaves, on their twigs if possible, leaves, and a bit of soft or rotten wood large enough to hold once a day, and, as they grow larger, twice a day. They the larva, should be put with it in a tin box, for some larvæ like the twigs to stand on while feeding, and to retire to burrow into rótten wood for pupation. Some larvæ will spin when resting.
leaves to the bottom or side of the tin and change there, Young larvæ should have young and tender leaves to eat, making however no real cocoon. but after the second moult they usually choose tougher There will usually be some which fail to pupate, or are leaves. The box should be emptied and cleaned once imperfect, or which have been stung, and their pupa will daily at least, as excrement collects very quickly when the give one or more flies instead of the moth one has a right to larvæ are half-grown and older. A bristle paint brush with expect. Some pupæ also may be killed by a fungoid growth a long handle is convenient for cleaning the boxes.
which will fill the pupa-skin or leave it almost empty. Some The caterpillars should be handled as little as possible, moths will die in the pupa-skin without emerging, and and never moved from one twig to another. They will leave sometimes moths will crawl out of the pupa-skin but b: an old bit of food-plant and crawl to a fresher one if left to unable to sufficiently moisten, or break, the silk of the themselves.
cocoon, and so die in it.
Sometimes the pupæ seem to dry Most larvæ moult, or cast their skins, four times, staying up, and this is not due to captivity, for I have found many quiet for a day or two, or even longer before crawling out similar ones out-doors. of the old skin. In this state they are very delicate and The caterpillars also have diseases, and a sickly larva many die in the process. A moulting larva should not be , should be at once removed to a separate tin, where he will handled or disturbed.
sometimes recover but more often die. In moulting also, there are variations, as different sets of Larvæ found out-doors are often stung by flies which lay the same species may moult four, five, or even seven times. their egg, or eggs, in or on them. If the tiny white eggs on a caterpillar can be removed or broken before they have If leaves are found with the edges regularly cut out in very hatched the caterpillar is saved. When the parasitic eggs round scallops, the cuts have probably been made by leafhatch, the grubs eat into the body of the caterpillar, and cutter bees. Holes through the middle parts of leaves may though it may go on eating, and even pupate, it is of no use mean very young caterpillars, but usually are made by beetles as a moth.
or their larvæ. Sphingid larvæ are often found bristling with small white Look for leaves whose edges are irregularly eaten, follow cocoons attached by one end to the back and sides of the the outline of each leaf, and trace the eaten leaves down the larva.* These larvæ are of no use, having served as food for twig, when often the caterpillar may be found. the grubs which have later eaten their way through the body If the distinctive balls of excrement are seen search all the walls to spin their cocoons outside. Some larvæ will be twigs and boughs nearby, and often one or more larvæ will found with a close-set mass of brown cocoons, instead of be found. The fresher and larger the excrement the nearer separate white ones.
the larva will be found. Larvæ bred from eggs, in tins, are never stung unless the Several small tin boxes should be taken in order to sepaflies are put into the tins with leaves or get in when the tins rate kinds as much as possible, as some kinds have habits are opened. I think I have had one tin-reared larva, bred disagreeable to others. As when papilio troilus puts out his from the egg, which was stung.
mal-odorous scent-organs on being frightened or disturbed, Different kinds of caterpillars should be kept in different and fills the tin with sickening odor. tins, and only a few of a kind in one tin,—for instance in a When a larva is found a leaf or two should be put into the tin seven inches, by four and a half, by four and a half, I put tin with him, and sprays taken from the plant on which he not more than four or five full grown larvæ of the smaller was found, for future food. sphingids, or two of the larger sphingids.
Larvæ found crawling in the road or down tree trunks, or It is impossible to over-feed caterpillars, as they will stop along fences, are generally hunting for places for pupation, eating when satisfied, and if a tin is found empty of food it and, if showing no signs of being stung, may be put into is pretty certain that the supply was too small. If the supply pupation tins at once. is much too small the stronger larvæ will sometimes eat the Butterfly larvæ are rarely hairy, but may have spines. weaker, and I have once or twice had them eat pupating Moth larvæ may be naked, spiny, hairy, or “woolly” as larvæ, before I learned that they ought to be put in a the fox-colored “woolly bears." separate tin.
It is almost impossible to explain how one may distinguish The many kinds of leaves needed to feed a large collection butterfly larvæ from moth larvæ, but a little experience of larvæ can be kept fresh for days by putting their stems in enables one to feel, rather than reason out, the difference. water for an hour or two, and then shutting the leaves up in It is safe to say that few studenis have failed to be taken a tin box large enough to hold the sprays.
in by the “ false caterpillars," larvæ of various saw-flies, and In collecting larvæ, bushes, saplings, low trees, and vines notably by the conspicuous Cimbex ulmi whose yellow or are the best places, though some kinds live high up on elms, green body with its black dorsal band, and head like a pines, ashes, and poplars. A wooded roadside with low Chinese ivory carving, may be seen on elm, willow, and growth, the edge of a pond, stream, marsh, or swamp, the various other plants. low bushes in a pasture, lilacs, wild cherry, poplar and birch It is always well to take several specimens of each kind saplings, potato, tomato, convolvulus plants, willow saplings, found, for probably some will fail, and if you do not want all and such places are the best hunting-ground.
you find some other person is sure to want what you can spare,- and a species common in one locality may be rare in many others, and therefore very good to exchange.
Never hesitate to write for information to any entomologist — after you have exhausted the books and specimens at your command. As a rule the people who know are glad to give their knowledge to those who wish to know, and very often they themselves are helped by having new and rare specimens sent to them for identification.
If you have time to keep exact notes and descriptions of all the larvæ found you may be able to fill gaps in the records, for many moths are well-known in the moth stage, only while their larvæ are imperfectly, or not at all, known.
It is very easy to turn the disgust or fear which most Leaves eaten by caterpillars.
children feel towards caterpillars into pleasure and admiration, and this is well worth doing for many reasons.
Entomology is a capital hobby for restless boys and girls, and has made pleasant many hours, which would otherwise have been dull, for lame or convalescent children, whose friends have brought them "finds” for which they could not go themselves. It is excellent summer vacation work too, and adds much to the enjoyment of country life.
Observation, accuracy, and patience are developed by this work.
Leaves cut by leaf-cutter bee
The woodchuck and the chipmunk have got on top of the world again. You hear the half querulous, half chuckling whistle of the one, the full-mouthed, persistent cluck of the other, voicing recognition of the season. Robinson: In New England Fields and Woods.
The Limacodes larvæ and many small ones may be found on leaves, but the larger ones are more likely to be on twigs or branches, or hidden among the leaves and grass at the foot of the tree or bush. A dull, damp day is better than a sunny, dry day, and a quiet day than a windy one, for finding caterpillars. Morning and late afternoon are better than the middle of the day.
* Since writi the above I have seen in Eye Spy, a statement that Mr. Gibson has had stung larvæ which not only pupated properly, but gave perfect moths in due time.
This is the only statement of the kind I have seen or heard.
President Garfield once said, “ I feel a profounder rever. ence for a boy than a man. I never met a ragged boy on the street without feeling that I owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned up under his shabby coat."
FROM A PAINTING
“AUTUMN LEAVES.” HE brilliancy of the autumnal foliage lasts but a short season at most; when the biting frost has completed its work, the trees shed their dead and lustreless leaves and wait for nature to clothe them anew.
So with our garments; unless protected they must be discarded at the end of the season, not worn out, but ruined by the biting alkalies of common soaps and soap powders.
You can protect your clothing and secure from it an extra season's wear by requiring your laundress to use only IVORY SOAP.
A Possible School
thawed out so nicely for you. I am - wrownie, and can
look underneath the ground and see them coming. Indeed, ELLEN E. KENYO) WARNER
I am the very brownie that is putting thoughts of spring (Continued from February)
into your heads and rousing you from your lazy nap.” (A Entertained by a Pupil
slight movement of the feet was the children's sympathetic From these miscellaneous decorations, the visitor's glance
response to this appeal to their imaginations.)
“ Now you are beginning to stretch upward, too. It is wondered to the well-kept window boxes and hanging bas
May, and your stems are rising, but it isn't time to lift your kets. As she was thinking, “ What an amount of labor it
heads. Now it is June, and your leaves are growing, must take to keep this room in order ! ” one of the older boys quietly laid away his work and stepped up to her with growing taller, taller, v-er-yʻslowly."
growing, and the flower buds will soon open.
(As the description the low-spoken question, “ Would you like me to tell you
proceeded, the children put out their hands to represent about any of our things?”
leaves and slowly rose from their seats, most of them in The visitor glanced at the teacher, who paid no attention, but went on with her supervision of the children's work, apparently following their leaders, though with appreciative
rapt sympathy with the teacher's thought and the others looking calm and happy, and as if she had never been
attention and care, as if dreading to spoil an artistic perhurried in her life. So the visitor said, “Tell me about that
formance that depended in part upon them. Heads still carrot hanging-basket."
drooped and most of the eyes remained closed.) “We had a lesson some time ago upon the carrot. Each
“Now it is summer, and the bright little buttercup faces of us had a carrot to study, and afterward we cut off the big end and made a hanging-basket of it, just to see what why, how fast they are coming out and how gladly they
are beginning to peep out of the buds. One, two, three would happen if we kept water in it. We all took ours
smile up at the sunny, blue sky! The breezes are blowing home, and most of them have grown like that one. That's
them this way and that, and their stalks wave and their Miss Kimball's, but Alphy Lee takes care of it for her."
leaves dance and their heads nod saucily, saying to the “Why don't you have a lesson on the mock orange and
wind, “You may try to blow us away, but here we come up then make a Jack-o-lantern to hang to your shelf?"
again, every time !'" (With a large fan, the teacher blew “ I guess Miss Kimball never thought of it. Perhaps we
at the children fitful breezes, to which they responded like will some day, but I don't think we could get enough mock veritable buttercups. The softness of their motion and the oranges to go round.”
truth of its direction, as obedient to the fancied breezes was Who takes care of this wonderful room?"
marvellous.) " We do. But Miss Kimball shows us how and tells us
“ Now the summer is over, and your stalks are stiffening what to do next and helps us whenever we might break
I am afraid a sudden blast might break some of something or if its too high to reach. Excuse me
them. Let us see.” (At a violent movement of the fan, moment."
several of the best actors in this little flower drama sudThe boy went to the number table, took a small book
denly bent in sharp angles at hips or neck, and preserved from one of its drawers and returned with it.
this simulated fracture of their stems while swaying stiffly to “We work till four 'most every afternoon, except the
the gentler winds. Readers who have observed in kindernoisy and careless ones. Them Miss Kimball sends home.
gartens can easily picture this bit of acting and understand And then we begin again at eight o'clock in the morning.
how well the children lived through the various stages of Most of our work is put down in books like this for the
the buttercup's short life.) different committees. You see my committe has to clean
“ Now it is late fall, and the winds are growing cold and out the third drawer and dust section D of the blackboard
making you shiver.” (The buttercups shivered.)
" Soon shelf this afternoon. We work slowly, so as not to spoil Jack Frost will be here to put you to sleep again. Indeed, , anything. The last thing we do in the afternoon is to
I feel him coming now. If you take this brownie's advice, sprinkle dampened paper scraps or sawdust on the floor, so
you will slip softly into your beds before he nips you." that the janitor will not make much dust when he sweeps.
(The children sank almost noiselessly into their seats and I'll have to go to my seat now. We're going to begin the
dropped their arms and heads upon the desks again.) next lesson. Here's something pretty for you to look at.
“Now a little bird tells me you are children again. It's moss that Miss Kimball floated off on these cards for us
Stand up and see if it is true. Stretch up your arms and see while she was at the seashore last summer. Oh, no!
how much taller you can be than the buttercups were. They're going to be buttercups. I guess I can stay here
Hands on hips. Rise on toes. Knees bend. Upward and watch them.”
spring once ! twice! three times ! Knees straight. The teacher was now standing in front of her class, look
Heels down. Seats.” ing about in smiling inspection while the last of the work was put away, the backs straightened, the hands dropped into the laps and the eyes fixed upon her in anticipation of the next intesest.
A Buttercup Exercise When all was ready, she gave a signal, consisting of a slight nod, a drooping of the eyelids and a downward motion of the hands. It was evidently not a preconcerted signal, but one made impromptu for the occasion, and depending upon a well established mutual understanding about things in general for its interpretation. It brought all the heads to rest upon arms folded on desks.
“You are little buttercup plants, children," said the teacher softly. “It is March, and the last cold winds of winter are blowing over you, but you do not feel them because you are fast asleep beneath the soil. Now it is April, and the pleasant spring rains are pattering down upon you. Feel the warm sunshine, now that the rain is over. There is a beautiful rainbow in the sky, but you cannot see
This is the way the wind sweeps by, it because you have not lifted up your heads yet. It has
Turning, whirling, blowing; all the colors of the world in it, and is a promise of the
Sailing clouds and ships so fair, bright, bright summer that is coming.
Making pure and sweet the air.
This is the way the wind sweeps by, to wake up and stretch a little. Your roots are stirring
Turning, whirling, blowing. just a little bit and reaching down into the soil that has
- May Van Toyne