RECORD: Hope, F. W. 1838. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London: Sitting of the third April, 1837 [Exhibition of Chiasognathus Grantii and Carabi collected by Mr. Darwin, with comments on these specimens]. Entomological Magazine 5: 56-59.
REVISION HISTORY: OCRed by John van Wyhe 5.2010. Images from Google Books. RN1
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proceedings of the entomological society.
Art. IV.—Proceedings of the Entomological Society of
Rev. F. W. Hope, in the Chair.
The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed.
Several donations of books and insects were announced by the Secretary.
A splendid pair of Chiasognathus Grantii, from Chiloe, were exhibited, and presented to the Society by Mr. Darwin.
A series of Carabi, collected by Mr. Darwin, in Terra del Fuego, were exhibited. The Chairman stated, that with one exception, he believed them to be all new; or, at least, had not been seen in any European cabinet since the days of Fa-bricius; and that they appeared to form a very valuable connecting chain between the northern and southern insects. Mr. Darwin described their habits, and the localities where taken.
Mr. Westwood, in consequence of seeing the advertisement of a powder at a shop in the city, professing to protect turnips from the attack of the fly, by being mixed with the seed, took occasion to caution members and their friends against the imposition. The attempt had originated from the error of a writer in the "Entomological Magazine," calling himself "Rusticus," who stated that the egg of the turnip-fly was found upon the seed, which had since been proved to be totally incorrect; and therefore no such powder, applied in that way, could be of any possible avail.
Specimens of Termites, with part of a nidus, accompanied by a note from Lord Prudhoe, presenting them to the Society, were exhibited.
Specimens of a lepidopterous larva, found in immense quantities in a wheat-stack, near Bristol, with a sample of the wheat, were received from Mr. Raddon; and also some foreign specimens extracted from turpentine, and various drawings.
Extracts from parliamentary evidence of the state of some of the pictures in the National Gallery, attacked by Anobia, were read by Mr. Westwood. It appeared that the work of destruction was going rapidly forward in one or two large and valuable pictures. Mr. Sells suggested a solution of the bitter
principles of quassia and colocynth, with camphor in turpentine, as a remedy. Mr. Hope suggested a varnish of resin anime applied to the back of the picture. It was agreed, on all hands, that the metallic poisons would be dangerous to the picture. Mr. Waterhouse thought that in case all other means failed, a box might be made air-tight, with the back of the infected picture in the way of a lid, and that the fumes of prussic acid might then be applied with safety and effect. He had found this method succeed perfectly in destroying larvae, as well as the perfect insect, in which state it was generally much more difficult to reach the vital principle than in the imago. Several members thought that the evil existed principally, if not solely, in the guards or frame-work of the pictures, many of which were made of white soft wood, peculiarly liable to the attacks of insects ; and a very easy remedy might be found in the removal of these, and substitution of new ones made of materials not liable to be thus infested. Mr. Thomas Bell thought the whole subject of so much importance, that a committee might be appointed to make experiments of the various remedies proposed, and report.
A paper from Mr. Spence, communicating a number of valuable observations on the habits of the Scoliti, so destructive to the elm, and other large timber trees, was read.
Extracts from a letter received by Mr. Westwood from Mr. R. Lewis, one of the Society's members, dated Van Die-men's Land, was read, detailing his success in Entomological captures.
A communication from Mr. Smith to Mr. Ingpen, on the nature of the gall, so frequent on the under side of oak leaves, was read. It appears to have been a disputed point whether this gall was a fungus, or an insect habitation. From his previous want of success in discovering any tenant of any kind to these galls, Mr. Smith had been inclined to the latter opinion ; but early this season he was examining some oak leaves in Coombe Wood, in a situation where they were drifted together in a heap. Those on the surface were quite dry, and the galls withered. Underneath they were moister; and on proceeding to examine the galls on those which were comparatively fresh and pulpy, he found each of them, to his no small pleasure and surprise, to contain a little black Cynips, in the perfect state. He afterwards carefully examined the oak leaves
still remaining on the trees, but these were all dry, and without any signs of insect life. He supposed the peculiarity of the habit, and time of reaching the imago state, had hitherto eluded the vigilance of Entomologists. Several members stated that the same discovery had been made abroad. Specimens of the Cynips were exhibited.
The Rev. F. W. Hope produced his promised paper on insects internally inhabiting man. The paper was illustrated by several specimens, through the kindness of Mr. Owen, of the College of Surgeons, and thirteen tables, exhibiting in one view the genera, species, authority, date, country, sex of the subject attacked, symptoms, result, &c. &c. It enumerated forty-three distinct species of insects, mostly of the classes Coleoptera and Diptera, as having been found inhabiting the living human body, sometimes the causes of painful and protracted disease, and sometimes of death. After giving a general history and analysis of the instances he had been able to collect, the author proceeded to endeavour to account for their introduction. The process of roasting and boiling, to which our food was usually subjected, he admitted was effectual in destroying insect life in any of its stages. But the ova of Diptera he thought were frequently deposited in cold provisions, and thus introduced into the stomach and reared. Salads he thought were a fruitful source of introducing larvae; and muddy water, often incautiously drunk by children, of both ova and larvae. He combated the objection that insects could not subsist in the temperature of the human body, by the well-known examples of their occurrence in horses, cows, &c. The paper excited much interest, and considerable discussion. Mr. Westwood inquired of the author whether he considered there were any insects indigenous to the human species, or whether their occurrence was accidental. Mr. Hope replied that he thought their introduction was mostly accidental, but he was inclined to a belief in an CEstrus Hominis. Mr. Owen adduced some curious instances of a worm infesting that animal crawling alive out of a boiled codfish, to the no small discomfiture of those around the table; and the existence of a particular species of snail in the thermal springs of Italy. In illustration of the capability of some of the lower animals of bearing a high degree of temperature, Mr. Shuckard mentioned, on [the authority of Mr. Standish, the fact of a moth escaping alive out of a
boiled potato. The habit of the common cricket, and the cock-roach, infesting ovens and bakehouses, was also quoted.
Mr. Bracy Clark contended, at considerable length, against the existence of CEstrus Hominis. He entered into a general history of the (Estri attacking animals, their mode of operation, and their liability when deprived of their usual nidus, to make one of the human subject, if found exposed. Pallas, he said, was the first who introduced an CEstrus Hominis, and the continental writers had followed him without sufficient authority; for that every authenticated instance of an CEstrus found on man, had turned out to be the true CEstrus Bovis. He likewise urged the improbability of an CEstrus being created, whose proper habit it was to deposit its eggs in the human body, which was usually carefully clothed.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed. Several new members were balloted in. A list of donations presented since the last meeting, was read by the Secretary.
A gigantic species of the genus Prionus; a case of insects containing, among others, the specimens described by Mr. Grey, in the Second Part of the Transactions; and a selection of extraordinary and highly interesting forms, from the collection of Sir Patrick Walker,—were severally exhibited.
Specimens of the same species of Ant, forwarded by Dr. Bostock, from Liverpool, which had lately been discovered extending itself in various parts of London, supposed to be Myrmtca linearis, were exhibited. Mr. Shuckard stated that he had minutely examined these ants, and decidedly pronounced them not to be the above-named insect, but a species entirely new.
A paper, by Mr. Sells, on the Chigoe of the West Indies (Pulex penetrans), was read, accompanied by specimens, with further observations by Mr. Westwood, accompanied by drawings, investigating the specific characters of this insect. Mr. Sells described the manner of its attack, insinuating itself more particularly beneath the toe-nails; the mode resorted to by the negroes for ridding themselves of the little tormentors; and the consequences of neglect, or of unskilful operation.
Sitting of the 1st of May, 1837.
Mr. Stephens, President, in the Chair.
printed por the proprietors, by r, clay, bread-street-hill;
AND SOLD BY
william ball, paternoster-row. mdcccx xxviii.
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