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out from a cupule after the manner of an acorn, the adult gall bearing a number of leaf-like bracts. It is without doubt originated by a Brachyscelis. The name excupula would suggest itself for the producer when observed.

The plates which accompany these descriptions have been prepared by Mr. Fred Wills, of this Department, from nature and my own drawings.

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PLATE I.
Brachyscelis pedunculata-
Fig. I. Female gall; and male galls (natural size).
II.

(stalk affected by inquilines) natural size.
III.

section, normal form (natural size).
IV. Adult female (enlarged).
Ila.

spinneret (greatly magnified)..
IVb.

portion of dorsum showing spinnerets, hairy and conical spines

(magnified). IVc.

last ihree gegoents of abdomen and appendages (magnified). V. Larva (magnified). Brachyscelis ShraderiFig. VI. Female gall (natural size). VIa.

apex.
VII.

section showing fusiform chamber.
VIII, Adult female coccus.
VIIIa.

antenna.
VIIIb.

anteriur leg.

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Fig.

PLATE II. Brachyscelis crispa

I. Group of female galls (natural size); a, section showing adult coccus in

situ.
II. Male galls on leaf (natural size).
IIa. Male gall (magnified).
III. Adult female (enlarged).
IIIa.

spinneret (greatly magnified).
Jilb.

portion of dorsum showing spinnerets, hairy and conical spines. IIIc.

last segments of abdomen and appendages.
IIId.

antenna.
anterior, intermediate and posterior legs.

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IIIe, f, g.

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PLATE III.
Brachyscelis nux ——
Fig. I. Female and male galls on leaf (natural size).

II. Adult female (magnified).
Ila.

spinncret (greatly magnified).
IIb.

portion of dorsum showing hairy and conical spines. IIc.

last segments of abdonien and appendages. III. Adult male (magnified). IT-VII. Galls of Brachyscelis sp. (Manning R., N.S.W.), natural size. Showing

different stages of growtlı.

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PLATE IV. Brachyscelis FletcheriFig. I. Tumours formed by Y coccids (two-thirds natural size); a a, apex of test

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(bark plates removed). II. Section of tumour formed by three insects (two-thirds natural size); 8 3

bark plates; b, living bark; c, wood; d, bard conical test; e e e, female

chambers. III. Gall of single coccus, front view (natural size); a, oval plate; b, second plate. IV.

side view (natural size).
V.

section (natural size).
VI. Adult female (enlarged).
Vla.

spinneret (greatly magnified).
VIb.

last segments of abdomen and appendages (magnified). VII. Male galls on leaf (natural size).

VIII. Male gall (magnified).
IX and X. Galls of young females.

XI. Second stage female, dorsal view (magnified).
XII.

ventral view (magnified). XIIa. Second stage 9 anogenital ring (magnified). XIIb.

anal point (magnified). XIII. Larva (magnified). XIV. Enlarged view of very young shoot; a a, larvæ in silu; b b, depressions

caused by larvæ; cc, rings forming round larvæ.

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3)

Note: A New Class-book of Entomology.

Tre literature of Economic Entomology has within comparatively recent years been considerably added to, and the study of the applied science by those directly interested in the beneficial or destructive tendencies of insects has called forth from the pens of leading and world-known entomologists escellent bouks treating the subject in an extensive and popular manner.

The recent publication of "A Manual for the Study of Insects,"'* by J.H. Comstock and Anna B. Comstock, forming as it does a valuable and most welcome addition, is worthy of a foremost place.

According to the authors, the book has been brought out to meet the demands of students and teachers, and they must be congratulated in having achieved a distinct success in a most difficult undertaking.

Written with charming simplicity, it is comprehensive, and possesses that essential feature of a class-book-handiness. It is printed upon good paper and in excellent style, profusely illustrated with drawings from the pencil of Mrs. Anna Comstock, which leave nothing to be desired.

Throughout, special prominence has been given to those insects whose habits make them of greatest concern to farmer, orchadist, or gardener.

The two great obstacles to the popularising of entomology, namely, technicalities and the use of Latin names, are simplified as much as possible.

Appropriate chapters are introduced, which deal with the higher study of classification, and supply all the requirements of the more advanced student. Their most distinctive features are a series of "analytical keys” to wingvenation, by means of which the family to which most of our insects belong can be determined.

Prominent parts of the book are the chapters dealing with Lepidoptera and the Coccidide, but this is as might be expected from such a high authority upon these groups as the senior author.

The one drawback from the Australian standpoint is that written for Americans, the insects figured and described are American; still, the subjects are so well chosen and typical that after all this is but a small consideration to anyone wishing to acquaint themselves with the study of insects.

Whilst warmly appreciating the work as a whole, one cannot help regretting the noticeable absence of the usual references to authorities.

C.F.

A Manual for the Study of Insects," by John Henry Comstock, Professor of Ento: mology in the Cornell University and the Leland Junior University, and Anna Botsford Corrstock. Ithica, N.Y., 1895.

Apricot Culture.

(Continued from page 146.)

BY ALBERT H. BENSON,

Fruit Expert.

Thinning the Fruit. No fruit requires more careful thinning than the apricot, or will pay better for careful thinning, as if allowed to overbear-a very common occurrence in this Colony—the trees will produce a large number of small fruits which are nearly all stone, and which are of very little value, whereas had the same trees been properly thinned they would have produced fruit of good size, that would have been valuable for canning, drying, or selling fresh. There are two ways by which the fruit can be thinned: the first of which is to so prune the tree that no more fruit wood is left than is sufficient to produce the quantity of fruit that the tree is able to grow to perfection, and the pruning that I have described in the previous part of this article shows how this can be done. The second way is to thin by hand as soon as the last drop is over-that is, when the drop when the stone is forming has taken place. Sometimes this drop is sufficient thinning in itself, in which case it is not necessary to thin further, but if too large a quantity of fruit has set then it must be thinned. No hard and fast rules can be laid down for thinning apricots, the quantity to be left depending on the soil, climate, and the vigour of the tree. In some cases at least three-quarters of the fruit must be remot

noved, and even then the tree will bave as many fruits left as it can mature properly, whereas in other cases only a very slight thinning, or none at all, is necessary. The more vigorous the tree and the better the soil the more fruit it is able to mature. The fruit-grower must use his own judgment in the matter, and if he is an observant man he will soon learn how much fruit a tree is capable of producing properly, and when and how much a tree requires to be thinned. In thinning gather the fruit, don't knock it off with poles ; pull off all the smallest fruit, and thin evenly all over the tree, not all on one side and none on the other. Thinning pays well

, as 200 16. of good fruit on a tree will sell for more money than 500 lb. of rubbish, which is hard to dispose of at any price. There is another great consideration in thinning the fruit, and that is that the strain on the trees? energies is very much lessened, and the plant food removed from the soil by the crop is

much less, as it takes much more out of the land to form the stone of the fruit than it does to form the fleshy portion of the fruit, as the kernel of stone fruits always makes a heavy call on the soil for phosphoric acid and nitrogen, the two principal plant foods that have to be kept up in the soil by manuring. Thin a few trees to see whether it pays or not, and I have little doubt that you will continue to thin, as the extra size of the fruit renders it much easier to dispose of, and the extra price obtained will more than pay for the extra expense of thinning.

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Gathering the Fruit. The purpose to which the fruit is to be devoted determines the stage of ripeness at which it should be gathered. When required for drying it should be allowed to become thoroughly ripe, but not dead ripe or mushy, as then it will not keep its shape when cut, and if gathered too green the fruit will dry light and be acid, as the sugar is not fully developed. For canning the fruit must be gathered whilst still firm, just before the softening takes place, or it will not keep its shape wbilst cooking, and for shipping long distances or for pulping it must be gathered even sooner. In gathering the fruit do so carefully and don't bruise it any more than you can help; use step-ladders, don't get into the tree if you can help it, as if you do you destroy numbers of fruit-spurs along the main branches or just where the tree can bear most fruit without injury. Some Californian fruit-growers advocate shaking the fruit off into large sheets in a similar manner to prunes, but I don't like it as it bruises the fruit too much, for though it works well with prunes, which have a tough skin, it spoils a number of apricots, and the extra expense of picking is made good by the extra value of the fruit. When gathered for drying the fruit should be carried in the picking-boxes direct to the cuttingtables so that there is as little handling as possible, and where the canning is close to the orchard the same method should be adopted. For sending long distances or even to the local markets the fruit should always be evenly graded and repacked.

Marketing the Fruit. Choice apricots, properly marketed, always meet a ready sale in our markets even when they are glutted, as a good apricot is the best dessert fruit of its season, and sells as such, and is as distinct from the ordinary rubbish that gluts the market as is possible for two fruits of the same variety to be. Apricots

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Box OF APRICOTS. The above illustration shows a box of apricots properly packed for shipment, each fruit being

wrapped in paper. should never be marketed in too large cases, and the “gin case” so commonly used is quite unsuitable, as in the first place if the fruit is at all ripe it is apt to be badly bruised, and in the second place no worse case was ever made in which to show the fruit. Compare the fruit packed in a gin case with that shown in the accompanying illustrations, which are illustrative of the methods

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