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bas recently received from Mr. Ehrhorn specimens of the insects thus named, and finds that the first is not a Ctenochiton at all, but probably a dactylopid, while the second is not D. iceryoides, but D. aurilanatus of Maskell. The bright golden color of the latter insect and its food plant (Araucaria) ought to have been sufficient guides to correctness. The species, although first reported from New Zealand, is, according to Mr. Maskell, probably Australian, and he thinks that Queensland was probably its original habitat.
TWO APPLE INSECTS LIABLE TO IMPORTATION.
Among the insects which American fruit growers will have to guard against with reference to their possible importation into this country are Cacæcia responsana and C. ercessana, the former an Australian, and the latter a New Zealand species. Both of these insects exbibit a decided preference for the apple, and the former is supposed to be almost as great a pest as the codling motli, penetrating the rind of the fruit and distiguring it for dessert, although not seriously injuring it for culinary purposes. The latter is a leaf roller, but also damages young fruit in a rather serious way.
A NEW DIRECT BENEFIT FROM INSECTS.
When Kirby and Spence wrote their chapter on “Direct benefits derived from insects” and recorded the use of insects for food, the use of honey from bees for the same purpose, the use in medicine and the arts and manufactures of blister beetles, insect galls, Coccide furnishing lac, wax insects, and the silkworm, the time had hardly arrived for the extensive collection of ants for the manufacture of formic acid or of their pupäe as food for song birds, and we feel sure that they could hardly have anticipated an industry which has recently sprung up both in France and Pennsylvania, and which consists of the farming of spiders for the purpose of stocking wine cellars, and thus securing an almost immediate coating of cobwebs to new wine bottles, giving them the appearance of great age. This industry is carried on in a little French village in the Department of Loire, and by an imported Frenchman named Grantaire on the Lancaster Pike, 4 miles from Philadelphia, This Frenchman raises Epeira vulgaris and Nephila plumipes in large quantities and sells them to wine merchants at the rate of $10 per hundred.
ADDITIONAL POPULAR NAMES FOR CORYDALIS CORNUTA.
On page 122 of Volume II, Insect Life, we gave a short list of Rhode Island popular names for this insect, to which we now add the following list, taken from Forest and Stream for September 25, 1881.
Monroe Co., NY ... Hell deril.
Flip-tiap: stone devil.
Go Jack Wvalusing. Pa. Devil catcher. Hanover, Pa.. Snake doctor. Lafayette, Pa. Stone climber. Flat Rock, Pa Clipper bug. Tulpehocken, Pa. Kiltamite: klugmite. Fox River, Wis. Dam worm. Scholarie, N. Y Dragon. Hazleton, Pa.
Devil. Portland, Pa.
Schenectady, N. Y Towanda, la Honeydale, Pa. Milford, Pa Lambertsville, N.J.. Tumble, NJ Interior, NJ
NOTES FROM CORRESPONDENCE.
Eastern insects reported in British Columbia.- In the course of the very
“Notes from Correspondents” printed in the Fourth Report of the department of agriculture of the Province of British Columbia for 1894 frequent mention is made of the plum curculio and pear-tree psylla. Inasmuch as neither of these insects has been known to oceur ou the Pacific Slope, we wrote to Mr. R. M. Palmer, inspector of fruit pests of the Province, who has replied that the common pear-leaf slug is often called “pear-tree psylla” out there, and that he has never seen specimeus of the plum curculio in that part of the country.
A wasp attacking codling moth larvæ.-A wasp, Sphecius neradensis, closely related to the common species which in the East attacks cicadas is reported by Mr. N. W. Motheral, of Hanford, Cal., to be attacking codling moth larvæ in pears. He has not observed the wasps on apples, but the pear trees all over the country where this fruit is attacked by the codling moth have swarms of the wasps inspecting each tree. Mr. Motheral describes the wasp as pulling the larvæ out of the pears with its “fore foot.” This record is new and interesting.
Cells of a leaf-cutter bee in a curious place.-A correspondent in Texas sends to the Division tbe larval cells of a species of Megachile, found by his wife in a disused bed between tho sheet and the quilt. The species can not be determined from the material sent, but an attempt will be made to rear the adult.
Birds eating leaf-miners.—Mr. T. D. A. Cockerell writes us that he has seen a redwinged starling (Agela'ng phæniceus) busily engaged in eating the larv:e of the cottonwood leaf miner (a sawfly). He writes that the birds are quite expert at getting the larvæ out of the leaves.
A migration of Colias cæsonia.-Instances of migratory swarms of butterflies of the subfamily Pierine have frequently been observed, but none have been recorded so far as we know, of Colias casonia. May 26 we received a number of specimens of this species from Dr. J. M. Shaffer, of Keokuk, Iowa, who writes under date of May 22 as follows:
“Yesterday great numbers of these butterflies passed from south to north over this place. They came up the streets and over the houses and tree tops. Very few alighted. I followed them to our park, a mile and a half, and everywhere they were moving north, hundreds of them. In a field of red clover and on the pansies and other flowers of the park I captured a dozen or so of them.
After 1 p. m. I went to the U'nited States Government canal lock, just below my house, and 100 feet down the bill, and found that the butterflies came across the Mississippi. I observed them also on the bridge, and they came from Illinois, from how far east I have no means of knowing. They are very numerous to-day.”
Boll worm damage to strawberry plants.—Mr. R. T. Smith, of Utica, Mo., writes us that leliothis armiger has been discovered in his locality this fall damaging strawberry plants by eating the crown and destroying the runners.
Injury to apples by the ash-gray pinion.- Mr. Harry S. Burnett, of Kendall, Orleans County, N. Y., writes under date of June 7, transmitting specimens of the larva of Lithophane antennata=Xylina cinerea, with the statement that it is doing immense damage to apples in neighboring sections. It is found in every orchard, whether the orchard has been sprayed or not. Spraying at the right time will probably prevent this damage. It should not be sprayed until after the leaves are wel grown.
Scolytid beetles boring into wine casks.—Two cases of this rather rare injury bave been reported to this office within a few days of each other. September 9 Mr. Holmes Erwin sent us from Pomona, Fla., specimens of Xyleborus pubescens, which he stated were doing much injury to wine casks in his cellar by boring through the staves and causing leakage. On September 12 Mr. George T. Hart sent from Nickajack, Ga., specimens of Monarthrum mali and M. fasciatum, which were damaging his wine casks in the same way. This injury is one of the results of the February freeze, which occasioned such widespread disaster last winter all over the South This freeze greatly increased the food supply of these and allied Scolytidæ, which as a consequence have multiplied enormously and are doing much damage, especially in Florida.
Invasion of a carabid beetle.—Mrs. E. D. Kane, M. D., writes us from Kane, Pa., that she has been much annoyed by the appearance in her house of numbers of the small but very strong-smelling carabid beetle, Nomius pygmaus. So foul was the odor from the insects that defects in the drainage system were suspected, and the pipes were inspected. The beetles were probably attracted to the house at night by the lights.
An unwelcome insect imported via the World's Fair.-Prof. W. T. Trelease sends from Missouri larvæ and beetles which he states are very troublesome in cycads on a suburban place in St. Louis. They came in plants bought by the owner of the place at the close of the Chicago Exposition, and Mr. Trelease thinks were imported direct either from Australia or South Africa. The insect proves to belong to the Australian genus Tranes, family Curculionidæ, and is a dangerous addition to our insect fauna. Energetic steps should be taken to exterminate it.
The drug-store beetle damaging boots again.-Supplementary to the note upon pages 403–404 of Volume IV, of Insect Life, we have to record the receipt of larvæ of what is probably Sitodrepa panicea from the quartermaster's depot at San Francisco, Cal., where they are said to be damaging boots by boring into the leather near the straps, where an excess of paste was used, and also wherever the paste was dropped upon the boot. The ordinary bisulphide of carbon treatment was recommended.
Injury by the three-striped blister beetle.-In Volume IV of Insect Life, page 77, attention was called to the three-striped blister beetle (Epicauta lemniscata Fab.) and its injuries in potato fields and to cabbage. June 5 of the present year (1896) Mr. W. F. Colcock sent specimens of this beetle from Yemassee, S. C., with the report tbat it was injurious to potato vines, beet tips, and squash plants, and during August Messrs. W. T. Taylor & Bro. wrote that the alfalfa crop in the vicinity of Wharton, Tex., was a failure through the depredations of the same insect. September 4 we received specimens for determination, with the further statement that it did much damage to other vegetation.
Oreodera in the West Indies.-Mr. J. E. Duerden, acting secretary of the Institute of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, British West Indies, sends us specimens in all stages of the longicorn beetle, Oreodera glauca, boring into sweet orange trees in Jamaica. The sending is of unusual interest, as it not only gives us a new orangetree enemy, but from the further fact that of the 37 species of the genus Oreodera none has ever before been found in the West Indies.
A new locality for Bruchus obsoletus.—January 10 of the present year wo received from Mr. G. H. Hicks, of the Division of Botany of this Department, specimens of Bruchus obsoletus Say and Apion segnipes Say, bred from the seeds of Tephrosia spicata collected at Titusville, Brevard County, Fla. B. obsoletus, it will be remembered, was long believed to be the name of the destructive bean weevil until 1892, when we succeeded in establishing the identity of the bean species with B. obtectus Say and obsoletus as the species that lives on Tephrosia virginiana. The latter was described from Indiana, and has been recorded also from the District of Colunibia. The species and its food plant are figured in the Annual Report of this Department for 1892 (Pl. VII, figs. 2 and 3).
Hippelates flies and sore eyes.—The late Dr. James C. Neal wrote us from Stillwater, Okla., just before his lamented death, that in his experience in Florida Hippelates is a carrier of the virus of gonorrheal sore eyes from person to person, causing the epidemic formı; but that if crushed in the angle of the eye a very violent inflammation of the lid, without pus, occurs. The body of the fly seems to contain an acid, probably formic, which causes great suffering to the unfortunate child that has, with some trouble, succeeded in crushing it in the angle of the eye. A week solu of sodiu bicarbonate gives relief speedily in this case; in the former there is great danger of losing the sight by ulceration of the cornea.
Larvæ in the ear.–Dr. William C. Braislin sends us from Brooklyn, N. Y., specimens of maggots taken from the ear of a patient suffering from acute suppuration of the middle ear. They appear to belong to either Calliphora or Sarcophaga, and are quite unlike the larvæ of Lucilia macellaria and L. casar. The eggs are supposed to have been laid three days before the larvæ appeared; a supposition which, if it has any foundation at all, indicates that the patient was aware of the oviposition of the parent fly.
Early and new appearance of the horn fly.—Mr. M. Tandy, of Hancock County, Ill., writes us that the horn fly made its appearance in his vicinity about May 2, 1895. He believes this to be the first visitation in that particular locality. Mr. John W. Mansfield, writing from Essex County, Mass., states that the fly was first noticed in that neighborhood on the 7th of May.
Mr. I. W. Nicholson, of Camden, writes that this insect appeared in New Jersey earlier than ever before known. They were first observed April 30, and great annoyance to stock was expected during the season.
We have received specimens of this fly from Mr. A. L. Wilson, of Quincy, Fla., who says that it first appeared there in 1893.
Mr. W. W. Merriam sends us, under date of November 7, 1895, specimens of the horn fly from Twin Oaks, San Diego County, Cal. He gives a gooil account of their occurrence upon cattle, and inclines to the belief that they came on Texas stock.
A man-infesting bot.-In May, 1896, we received from Mr. J. R. Swinerton, manager of the Hotel Warwick, Newport News, Va., an estrid larva taken from the arm of a sailor at Newport News May 11. The sailor stated that he was stung by an insect about six weeks previously in Brazil. Tho larva was nearly full grown and was living when taken from the arm. It was light in color, but turned brown and died before it was received in Washington. No further facts could be ascertained, since, in the interval between the sending of the insect to Washingtou and the receipt of a reply from this office, the man had disappeared. The larva was in fairly good condition and was sent to Dr. R. Blanchard, in Paris, who wrote us under date of June 5 that it was Dermatobia cyanirentris, known as the “ torcel" or "berne.” Dr. Blanchard's papers upon the Estridae attacking human beings, in the Annales de la Société Entomologique de France for 1893–94, have shed a flood of light on this interesting and important topic.
An efficient flycatcher.-Mr. A. W. Butler, of Brookville, Ind., has sent us a specimen of Bittacus pilicornis Westw., which he says was one of a number of speci. mens which had attracted much attention at Brookville on account of their efficiency as catchers of flies. August 26 about 20 of them were observed in the office of the principal hotel in Brookville catching and killing flies. ·
Habits of Comastes robustus.-Specimens of this interesting bombyliid fly, which is a native of the Southwest, have been sent in by Messrs. M. B. Davis and W. E. Armstrong from Waco, Tex. They captured it hovering above the entrance to the nests of a species of Melissodles which has not yet been determined. It is likely that the bee fly is parasitic in the nests of the Melissodes.
A corn-feeding syrphid fly.—Mr. A. V. Sims sends us from Wenonda, Va., specimeus of the syrphid, Mesograpta polita, the corn-feeding habits of wbich are noted in Insect Life, Vol. I, pp. 5–8. He reports it quite injurious to the corn crop.
Damage to chufas by Cyrtoneurus mutabilis.- We have recently received from