On certain relations between plants and insects: a lecture, Volume 8

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Page 24 - Lastly, there are the jungle cats, of which the tiger is a typical species, and which have stripes, rendering them very difficult to see among the brown grass which they frequent. It may, perhaps, be said that this comparison fails, because the stripes of tigers are perpendicular, while those of caterpillars are either longitudinal or oblique. This, however, so far from constituting a real difference, confirms the explanation, because in each case the direction of the lines follows those of the foliage.
Page 6 - I think, suggested the true function of these extra floral nectaries. The former of these excellent observers describes a South American species of acacia, which, if unprotected, is apt to be stripped of the leaves by a leaf-cutting ant, which uses the leaves, not directly for food, but, according to Mr.
Page 22 - At the moment when the egg is laid, the sitaris larva springs upon it. Even while the poor mother is carefully fastening up her cell, her mortal enemy is beginning to devour her offspring ; for the egg of the anthophora serves not only as a raft, but as a repast. The honey, which is enough for either, would be too little for both ; and the sitaris, therefore, at its first meal, relieves itself from its only rival. After eight days the egg is consumed, and on the empty shell the sitaris undergoes...
Page 11 - ... to view, which, moreover, are thrown into numerous wrinkles. Thus, by the morning's light, the flower has all the appearance of being faded. It has no smell, and the honey is covered over by the petals. So it remains all day. Towards evening, however, everything is changed. The petals unfold themselves, by eight o'clock the flower is as fragrant as before, the second set of stamens have rapidly grown, their anthers are open, and the pollen again exposed. By morning the plant is again asleep,...
Page 24 - ... caterpillars are either longitudinal or oblique. This, however, so far from constituting a real difference, confirms the explanation, because in each case the direction of the lines follows those of the foliage. The tiger, walking horizontally on the ground, has transverse bars; the caterpillar, clinging to the grass in a vertical position, has longitudinal lines, while those which live on large veined leaves have oblique lines like the oblique ribs of the leaves.
Page 8 - ... by ants, the visits of flying insects are much more advantageous. Moreover, if larger flowers were visited by ants, not only would they deprive the flowers of their honey without fulfilling any useful function in return, but they would probably prevent the really useful visits of bees. If you touch an ant with a needle or a bristle, she is almost sure to seize it in her jaws; and if bees when visiting any particular plant were liable to have the delicate tip of their proboscis seized on by the...
Page 22 - pseudo-chrysalis,' the larva has a solid corneous envelope and an oval shape ; and in its colour, consistency, and immobility reminds one of a Dipterous pupa. The time passed in this condition varies much. When it has elapsed, the animal moults again, again changes...
Page 22 - Anthophora floated by itself on the surface of the honey ; in others, on the egg, as on a raft, sat the still more minute larva of the Sitaris. The mystery was solved. At the moment when the egg is laid the Sitaris larva springs upon it. Even while the poor mother is carefully fastening up her cell, her mortal enemy is beginning to devour her offspring : for the egg of the Anthophora...
Page 18 - Death's-head hawk-moth caterpillar, which feeds on the potato, unite so beautifully the brown of the earth, the yellow and green of the leaves, and the blue of the flowers, that, in spite of its size, it can scarcely be perceived unless the eye be focussed exactly upon it.
Page 21 - Anthophoras, but also by direct observation of some young larvae kept in captivity. In April, however, his captives at last awoke from their long lethargy, and hurried anxiously about their prisons. Naturally inferring that they were in search of food, M. Fabre supposed that this would consist either of the larvae or pupae of the Anthophora, or of the honey with which it stores its cell.

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