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generally found about midsummer, and are readily distinguished by the thorax, which is somewhat like a reversed boat, being furnished with a longitudinal ridge or keel from one end to the other. These little locusts are analogous to the insects belonging to the genus Membracis in the order HEMIPTERA, which also are distinguished by a very large thorax covering the whole of the upper side of the body, small wing-covers, and have the faculty of making great leaps. Indeed these two kinds of insects very naturally connect the orders Orthoptera and Hemiptera together.
After so much space has been devoted to an account of the ravages of grasshoppers and locusts, and to the descriptions of the insects themselves, perhaps it may be expected that the means of checking and destroying them should be fully explained. The naturalist, however, seldom has it in his power to put in practice the various remedies which his knowledge or experience may suggest. His proper province consists in examining the living objects about him with regard to their structure, their scientific arrangement, and their economy or history. In doing this, he opens to others the way to a successful course of experiments, the trial of which he is generally obliged to leave to those who are more favorably situated for their performance.
In the South of France the people make a business, at certain seasons of the year, of collecting locusts and their eggs, the latter being turned out of the ground in little masses cemented and covered with a sort of gum in which they are enveloped by the insects. Rewards are offered and paid for their collection, half a franc being given for a kilogramme (about 2 lb. 31 oz. avoirdupois) of the insects, and a quarter of a franc for the same weight of their eggs. At this rate twenty thousand francs were paid in Marseilles, and twentyfive thousand in Arles, in the year 1613; in 1824, five thousand five hundred and forty-two, and in 1825, six thousand two hundred francs were paid in Marseilles. It is stated that an active boy can collect from six to seven kilogrammes (or from 13 lb. 3 oz. 13.22 dr. to 15 lb. 7 oz. 2.09 dr.) of eggs in one day. The locusts are taken by means of a piece of stout cloth, carried by four persons, two of whom draw it rapidly along, so that the edge may sweep over the surface of the soil, and the two others hold up the cloth behind at an angle of forty-five degrees.* This contrivance seems to operate somewhat like a horserake, in gathering the insects into winrows or heaps, from which they are speedily transferred to large sacks. A somewhat similar plan has been successfully tried in this country, as appears by an account extracted from the “Portsmouth Journal," and published in the “ New England Farmer.” † It is there stated that, in July 1826, Mr. Arnold Thompson, of Epsom, New Hampshire, caught, in one evening, between the hours of eight and twelve, in his own and his neighbor's grain fields, five bushels and three pecks of grasshoppers, or more properly locusts. “His mode of catching them was by attaching two sheets together, and fastening them to a pole, which was used as the front part of the drag. The pole extended beyond the width of the sheets, so as to admit persons at both sides to draw it forward. At the sides of the drag, braces extended from the pole to raise the back part considerably from the ground, so that the grasshoppers could not escape. After running the drag about a dozen rods with rapidity, the braces were taken out, and the sheets doubled over; the grasshoppers were then swept from each end towards the centre of the sheet, where was left an opening to the mouth of a bag which held about half a bushel; when deposited and tied up, the drag was again opened and ready to proceed. When this bag was filled so as to become burdensome their weight is about the same as that of the same measure of corn), the bag was opened into a larger one, and the grasshoppers received into a new deposit. The drag can be used only in the evening, when the grasshoppers are perched on the top of the grain. His manner of destroying them was by dipping the large bags into a kettle of boiling water. When boiled, they had a reddish appearance, and made a fine feast for the farmer's hogs.” When these insects
are very prevalent on our salt marshes, it will be advisable to mow the grass early, so as to secure a crop before it has suffered much loss. The time for doing this will be determined by data furnished in the foregoing pages, where it will be seen that the most destructive species come to maturity during the latter part of July. If then, the marshes are mowed about the first of July, the locusts, being at that time small and not provided with wings, will be unable to migrate, and will consequently perish on the ground for the want of food, while a tolerable crop of hay will be secured, and the marshes will suffer less from the insects during the following summer. This, like all other preventive measures, must be generally adopted, in order to prove effectual; for it will avail a farmer but little to take preventive measures on his own land, if his neighbors, who are equally exposed and interested, neglect to do the same. Among the natural means which seem to be appointed to keep these insects in check, violent winds and storms may be mentioned, which sometimes sweep them off in great swarms, and cast them into the sea. Vast numbers are drowned by the high tides that frequently inundate our marshes. They are subject to be attacked by certain thread-like brown or blackish worms (Filaria), resembling in appearance those called horse-hair eels (Gordius). I have taken three or four of these animals out of the body of a single locust. They are also much infested by little red mites, belonging apparently to the genus Ocypete; these so much weaken the insects by sucking the juices from their bodies, as to hasten their death. Ten or a dozen of these mites will frequently be found pertinaciously adhering to the body of a locust, beneath its wing-covers and wings. A kind of sand-wasp preys upon grasshoppers, and provisions her nest with them. Many birds devour them, particularly our domestic fowls, which eat great numbers of grasshoppers, locusts, and even crickets. Young turkeys, if allowed to go at large during the summer, derive nearly the whole of their subsistence from these insects.
Bugs. - Squash-Bug. CHIxch-Bug. PLANT-Bugs. - HARVEST-FLIES, — TREE
HOPPERS. LEAF-HOPPERS. VINE-HOPPER. BEAN-HOPPER. — THRIPS. – Plant-Lice. AMERICAN BLIGHT. - ENEMIES OF PLANT-LICE. — BARK-LICE.
The word bug seems originally to have been used for any frightful object, whether real or imaginary, whose appearance was to be feared at night. It was applied in the same sense as bugbear, and also as a term of contempt for something disagreeable or hateful. In later times it became, with the common people, a general name for insects, which, being little known, were viewed with dislike or terror. At present, however, we can say, with L'Estrange, though “we have a horror for uncouth monsters, upon experience all these bugs grow familiar and easy to us." We would except, from this remark, those domestic nocturnal species to which the name is now applied by way of preëminence; the real, by an easy transition in the use of language, having assumed the name of the imaginary objects of terror and disgust by night.
Entomologists now use the word bug for various kinds of insects, all, like the bed-bug, having the mouth provided with a slender beak, which, when not in use, is bent under the body, and lies upon the breast between the legs. This instrument consists of a horny sheath, containing, in a groove along its upper surface, three stiff bristles as sharp as needles. Bugs have no jaws, but live by sucking the juices of animals and plants, which they obtain by piercing them with their beaks. Although the domestic kinds above-mentioned are without wing-covers and wings, yet most bugs have both, and, with the former, belong to an order called HEMIPTERA, literally halfwings, on account of the peculiar construction of their wingcovers, the hinder half of which is thin and filmy like the wings, while the fore part is thick and opake. There are, however, other insects provided with the same kind of beak, but having the wing-covers sometimes entirely transparent, and sometimes more or less opake, and these, by most entomologists, are also classed among Hemipterous insects, because they come much nearer to them than to any other insects, in structure and habits. Bugs, like other insects, undergo three changes, but they retain nearly the same form in all their stages; for the only transformation to which they are subject, from the young to the adult state, is occasioned by the gradual development of their wing-covers and wings, and the growth of their bodies, which make it necessary for them repeatedly to throw off their skins, to allow of their increase in size. Young, half-grown, and mature, all live in the same way, and all are equally active. The young come forth from the egg without wing-covers and wings, which begin to appear in the form of little scales on the top of their backs as they grow older, and increase in size with each successive moulting of the skin, till they are fully developed in the full-grown insect.
The Hemiptera are divided into two groups, distinguished by the following characters.
1. Bugs, or True HEMIPTERA (Hemiptera heteroptera), in which the wing-covers are thick and opake at the base, but thin and more or less transparent and wing-like at the tips, are laid horizontally on the top of the back, and cross each other obliquely at the end, so that the thin part of one wing. cover overlaps the same part of the other; the wings are also horizontal, and are not plaited; the head is more or less horizontal, and the beak issues from the fore part of it, and is abruptly bent backwards beneath the under side of the head, and the breast. Some of the insects belonging to this division live on animal, and others on vegetable juices.
2. HARVEST-FLIES, PLANT-LICE, and BARK-LICE (Hemiptera homoptera), in which the wing-covers are, as the scientific name implies, of one texture throughout, and are either entirely thin and transparent, like wings, or somewhat thicker and opake; they are not horizontal, and do not cross each other at their extremities, but, together with the wings, are more or less inclined at the sides of the body, like the wing-covers of locusts; the face is either vertical, or slopes obliquely under the body,