網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

worm, and ants. Under this last species ought to be comprehended the white and red ants found in the East Indies, the formica-leo, and the ant of the Philippine Islands, called Sinum. In continuing the enumeration of insects, with six seet, we shall sind worms which devour ^reen and dry wood, bugs, among which I rank the Hocitexca of the East Indies, and the Ytzuaque of Mechoacan, the lice of bees, of the Dor-beetle, of dogs, of sheep and other animals: Ticks, mites, fleas, and dermestes. The fame variety is observable in the insects with eight seet; The greater part of spiders must be ranked in this order; such are many sorts of foreign spiders, aquatic and terrestrial} such also are the Tarantula, the great spider- of Brazil, called the Nhamdu guasu; the spider or flea, which they call Tunga, and that to which they give the name of wolf; all of which are posies? 1 sed of a very dangerous, and often mortal poison. Many species of lice, have also eight legs, as weli as the land and water scorpions, and some species of small caterpillars, which adhere to leaves.

I rank in this class of insects with ten feet, certain species of foreign spiders, and the caterpillars, called Geometræ, the aquatic onisci have twelve seet, the aquatic fleas, and common caterpillars, the water louse too, and others have fourteen. The Oniscus Ceti, has sixteen. We observe eighteen seet in those white caterpillars, spotted with black, which seed on the leaves of the Alder. Those worms of the colour of ochre, which are found in rotten wood, and which afterwards change into that kind of beetle, with a proboscis, (Curculio) have twenty-four seet. Lastly, there are some, which have still a greater number of seet, as many species of small center pieds and Scolopendræ, both aquatic and terrestrial. | know in particular two species, one of them having . ' . .' one one hundred and eight seet, and the other no less than one hundred and eighty four.

I observed above, that among winged insects, some had naked wings, and others had their wings covered with a case. The wings of the former, are either quite smooth and transparent, or covered with a sort of meal.

Among those wiih smooth wings, some have two wings, and some four; to the former of these belong the gnats, whether of Europe or America; the most remarkable of which are, the Maringoin, the Mosquito, the Yetis, and winged ant. To these mud be added, many species of flies, such as the Asilus aquaticus, the flies that are found on dung, in the earth, on leaves, and not only those that fuck the juice of flowers, but of fruits; those that are voracious, and eat other insects, and the flesh of serpents, and other animals. We reser likewise to the fame class, the flies which attack dogs, and horses, the gad-flies, the Ricinus volans; those that are found on ihe leaves of the hazel tree, the Ichneumons, which have certain hairs issuing from the posterior part of the abdomen like a tail, some having one, two, or three of these, and others spur; to these we add the Taons and Tipulæ.

The number of insects which have four uncovered wings, smooth and membranous, is not less great than those which have only two. In this class are the aquatic flies with a downy abdomen, wasps, bees, drones, and different species found in the Brazils, grasshoppers, the shining flies, the Ephemeras,the criket, and the (.Gryllotaipa) mole cricket, lo th-se may be added dragon flies, large and small, a species of gnat called by the Germans, Kerder-mucke, the fly with the scorpion's tail, and others of the fame

kind

kind; some winged aphides, the winged scotpion; some aquatic gnnts, the ichneumon, and various other forts of flies.

The insects with mealy wings, as if very fine powder had been strewed over them, have four wings* I include in this class, the day butterflies 6f every species and colour; the Phalenæ or moths, which during the day lurk in obscurity ; the Tineæ, whose wings are as long, though not so broad, as those of moths, and whose body is often not larger than that of a fly.

Speaking of insects whose wings are covered wirft a case, we distinguished them into two kinds. The cafes of the one leave a part of the abdomen bare, and those of the others cover it entirely. Among the first, are various sorts of bugs; the aquatic, some of which swim on their back, those that are found in dung, and those that live on trees. T» these we' may add, the earwig, the May beetle, the Staphylinus, the Silpha Vespillo, and others of the fame kind. Those whose wings and abdomen are entirely covered, have not all cafes of the fame degree of hardness. Iff some it is very tender and delicate as in grasshoppers, both foreign and indigenous, in the Mantis of Italyy the Arbe, the Selaam, the Hargol, the Hagab of Palestine, the hooded locust of America, the walking" leaf of the East Indies, &c. In others, the covering is much harder, and this class is very numerous. In? the first place we enumerate the Buprestis, and differ'-' ent sorts of cantharides, the Dytisci, the Cerambyces, the final! hemispherical Lady flies of which thV red are the most common, the Curculios, and many ethers, to which we may join the different species of Scarabcei with horns-, both straight and crooked^ the flying stag &c.

n If we contemplate for a moment that pfodigidifs umber of different species of insects, some of which we have mentioned; if we attend to the diversity which reigns among them, with respect to the sigure and sitness of their limbs; if we consider that each species is furnished with every thing necessary for its existence, but with nothing more; how must we be struck with admiration, and what ideas will we not entertain of the insinite wisdom of the Creator! Should an artist ingenious enough to imitate exactly the sigures of these different animals, exhibit them to the view of spectators, how would he sind his skill celebrated! The delicacy of the work would be admired, and the author extolled: but what disproportion would there not be between the labour of such an artist, and the productions of the divine workman! Allowing that the former should persectly succeed in imitating the external appearance of the animal, could we thence conclude that the artist had equalled the skill and wisdom of the Creator? No, there could be no comparison. The. rnaster-piece of such an artist would be altogether destitute of that which forms the chief beauty in the? Works of God, as the Highest examination would convince us. Where would we see that internal structure which the most inconsiderate are astonished at? Where could we sind those wise and subtile springs which move of themselves? What artist could imitate those organs which are so minute as to elude our senses? Let us then be consistent; if we admire the address of a workman even when we consess if insinitely below that of the divine being,- let us not xefuse to the Creator the glory that is due to him. As much as his wisdom, apparent in the structure of an Insect, transcends that of the most ingenious artist, so far ought our praises of the creator to exceed those we bestow on his humble imitator. On the * sight of any insect let us accustom ourselves to magnify

the

[ocr errors]

the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of that God who hath created them; let us never contemplate them without celebrating him, who hath given them lise and breath and being. These are the natural sentiments which ought to a»ise in the hearts of every rational being; and they incited David to cry out, lec every creature praise the name of the Lord. As these are not all capable of those sentiments, they cannot praise their Creator but by exciting his intelligent creatures to acquit themselves of that important duty.

* Let them praise the name of the Lord; sor he

* commanded, and they were created. He hath also*

* established them for ever and ever: he hath made

* a decree which shall not pa s away. Praise the

* Lord from the earth, beasts, and all cattle, creeping

* things and flying fowl: kings of the earth, and all

* people, princes, and all judges of the earth; both

* young men, and maidens, old men and children;

* let them praise the name of the Lord; for hia 'name' alone is excellent, his glory is above the earth

* and heaven.' Psalm, Cxlvui, 5,6,7,i0-13.

CHAP. IV. Of The Numbers or Insects, And Of Thb

PROPORTION IN WHICH THEY MULTIPLY.

THF- enumeration I made in the last chapter of some of the most common insects, shews that their num

G her

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »