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Page 168,1. 23. * Some are found to ruminate. Such are the sour species of locusts mentioned in Leviticus, Ch. Xi, 21 and 22. *' Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet to leap witi.al upon the earth. Even those of them you may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald-locust after his kirfti,and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind."
I am not sure that there are any insects which ruminate. This is a circumstance which Swammerdam supposes of the grasshoppers, and which Mr Lesser thinks he can prove from Scripture: but in my opinion, the passage proves no such thing. The animals are there distinguished into four classes, viz. Quadrupeds, or as the Hebrew text expresses it , Beasts, (taking this word in a more extended fense than is generally given to it,) fishes, birds and reptiles or infects. The sovereign legislator indicates, with regard to the two first classes, the characters by which the animals permitted by the law to be eaten were to be known. Those of the first were to be ruminating animals, to have the hoof divided, and the foot cloven. Those of the second class were to have scales and fins. As to thp third, the clean beasts are not distinguished from the unclean by any character; but instead of this, the law expressly mentions those birds which were not to be eaten. And as to the fourth class, the law contents itself with forbidding to eat," every flying thing that goeth upon all-four, having, besides its feet, legs to leap withaland it excepts from this general rule only the four forts of locusts mentioned in the note above. This at least is the sense 1 would give to this last passage, which is also countenanced by the Hebrew text ; for the version of those interpreters is hardly admissible who translate it, some thus," Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet to leap withal and others according to the observation of M. de Lesser himself, ' which goeth upon four feet, and which have not legs to leap withall,' But whatever interpretation may be given to the place cited, I do not know how it can follow that the four species of locusts, there allowed to be eaten, were among the number of ruminating animals, or that the bare mention pf their four feet, is sufficient to make them be considered
3 F sa, as subje&ed to the law establiihed before in the same chapter, for animals of the first class, or to infer from the passage that because the law allowed the eating of these locusts that therefore they must ruminate, which seems to me to be the reasoning of our author.
Page 169,1. 8. Is formed of little vesicles. If we are to understand here by lungs, a lpongy substance filled with small vesicles, and penetrated in every part by the disterent vessels which in the inspiration of the larger animals, receive the air by means of the trachea, I doubt much if any such lungs have hitherto been discovered in any insect, and the two vesicles in bees which the author seems to consider as lungs on the authority of Swammerdam are by no means such. The bronchia?, of which a great number are found dispersed over the whole' body in most insects, seem to serve them instead of lungs, and to supply the want of that spongy substance, which has never yet been detected in them.
Page 169,1. 14.
In infeils it is nothing but skin. We find, it is true, in the bodies of insects a number of vessels which seem to be composed only of a single membrane j but these are not the pulmonary vessels; which as we have said elsewhere are tubes, constantly open, surrounded with a thread closely wound round them, like the slender wire round the bass string of a violin. That thread is easily disengaged from these tracheæ, by passing lightly over them a moistened pencil. Those vessels make a very curious object in the microscope; we are struck with admiration at seeing those branches, which for the most part are incomparably more slender than a hair, and of which there are thousands in. the body of a single insect, fabricated with so much art.
Page 169,1. 29.
Those of others have fvefurroivs. It is very general with those caterpillars which have a horn on the posterior partx to void those channelled fæces j, the furrows a)te likewise often crofled by intersections which divide these fæces as it were into disterent rings. The cause of their regular and uncommon form certainly deserves investigation; it seems rather to depend on the muscles of the anus, than on the internal figure of the rectum, which does not seem to be
a fe veflel of sufficient firmness to give such a form to excrement so hard as theirs.
Page 174,1. id.
An ant as big as a middle sized dog. We would have been very much obliged to M. de Bufbequius if he had been so kind as to fend some of those monltrous ants to Europe. He would have t;ben had the pleasure of delivering naturalists from the repugnance they must feel in believing so extravagant a fact.
Page 174,1. 15.
Without the assistance of a microscope. This is not all. There are some which the most excellent microscopes can hardly make visible, as we have already remarked. Page 175,1. 8,
Shine like burning coals.-^-BcHdcs the insects which shins lin the night, such as the glo* worm, &c. there is one found in Surinam which deserves to be known on account of its singularity. According to the description which Mad. Median gives of it, this animal, in its creeping state, seems to have a form approaching tbrat of our Imall grasshoppers, but is much larger; like them it has a long proboscis by which it fucks the juice from the flowers of the pomegranate, and this proboscis remains with it all its life. After having quitted one flein, it changes its form, and appears under that of a large green fly like our Cicada. Its flight is then Very rapid, and the noise if makes with its wings is like the found of a cymbal. Although according to the ordinary course of nature, an insect, after having acquired wings, .undergoes no farther change, yet this one, by the concurring testimony of the Indians which Mad. Merian fays she had in part verified by her own experience, undergoes still a last transformation which renders it luminous, and which then procures it the name of the lantern fly. (Fulgora Laternaria Lin.) In this last transformation, besides other inconsiderderable changes which happen to its body and wings, there issues, from the forepart of its head, a very long transparent bladder, coloured with reddish and greenish streaks, and which diffuses a light sufficient to enable a person to read pretty small print. This animal, by the description she gives of it, is then about four inches long, and the bladder occupies about a fourth of its whole length. Before
3 F 2 .Mad. Mad. Merian was acquainted with the luminous quality os' this insect, the Indians brought her many of them which she shut up in a large box. Being alarmed one night with a singular noise which she heard in the house, she got upr lighted a candle, and went to see what it was. The noise came from the box; Ihe opened it, and immediately there issued a flame, which encreased her emotion, and made her throw down the box, whence there was now dispersed a new beam of light, as each animal got out of it. We may believe her fear did not long continue, but soon gave place to admiration, and ihe immediately set herself to regain animals so extraordinary, which had taken advantage of the fear they had occasioned tp make their escape.
Page 176, 1. first*
By the dapping of" the wings against one another* A greats number of insects make a buzzing with their wings by agitating them without suffering them to touch each other, or even to strike their body. Such are all the flies with twff wings which make a noise in flying, and among others the gnats. In this cafe the sound they excite is formed! probably either in the fame way with the sound made by a stringed instrument, merely by their vibrations; or it is made by reiterated strokes made on the small scales which some flies have under their wings •, or perhaps by the extremely rapid agitation of those two small moveable poisers which the wings of that sort of flies have near their origin. These wings striking against the poisers when agitated may cause this noise, by an effect similar to the sound produced by a cord in vibration, when it meets with any body which touches it without resting on it. An easy experiment may perhaps elucidate the matter; we have only to cut away those small poisers and scales from the large buzzing flies which have them: if, after that operation, they continue sirll to buzz when they fly, it will be a proof, that the noise proceeds from the mere agitation of the wings. But if, on the contrary, the buzzing ceases, we may then with reason infer, that the poisers and scales concur in producing the noise. For there is little probability that it is formed by them alone; the vibrations of bodies, so short and so delicate, do not appear capable of producing tones so grave; although it is not, however, impoflible; considering, that the velocity of their agitations does not depend on any thing, perhaps, but the mere will of the animal.
Pace 176,1. 28.
Discharge a sensible smell. Many species of ichneumons and wood-bugs, have a very disagreeable smell. I have seen larvæ, not so large by half as a bean, and which are of the number of those that change into beetles, which fend forth so strong a smell of box-wood, that one could not remain in a room where there were only two or three of them. A kind'of large cantharis in this country, smells so strongly of honey, that in the open air, I have sometimes smelt it, at the distance of thirty paces.
Page 177,1. 16.
This is a fort of web. We must not think, that, when we fee stagnant waters, covered with a green and fibrous pellicle, that this pellicle is always a web, woven by insects. It is generally a species of alga, which grows in still waters, and which is much reliihed by some small larva; j perhaps, from their being so often found there, it has been thought, that they made it. At least, I have never found any such pellicle, which could1 be truly considered as the fabrication of any animal.
Page 177,1. last.
The appearance proceeds from certain species of butterflies.— It is very common with flies, and with all sorts ot moths and butterflies, after having disengaged themselves from their covering, while in the nymph or chrysalis state, and when their wings are unfolded and grown firm, at the moment when they are disposing themselves to take their first flight, to discharge from the extremity of their abdomen, a quantity of superabundant humours, the secretion of which had been made, while they were in the nymph or chrysalis state. These humours have no resemblance to the natural excrements of those insects; they are of different colours, and those which fall from butterflies are often red. Such, for instance, are thble of the small thorny caterpillars, which live in society on the nettle. These, and some others, when they are to undergo their changes, leave the plant on which they have fed, and suspend themselves upon walls, when there are any at hand, and from this it has happened,