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Some insects, for the preservation of their wings, are covered with a erust1 the beetle, for instance, the wing of which is peculiarly fine and frail. To these insects a sting has been denied by Nature; but in one large kind2 we find horns of a remarkable length, two-pronged at the extremities, and forming pincers, which the animal closes when it is its intention to bite. These beetles are suspended from the neck of infants by way of remedy against certain maladies: Nigidius calls them "lucani." There is another kind3 of beetle, again, which, as it goes backwards with its feet, rolls the dung into large pellets, and then deposits in them the maggots which form its young, as in a sort of nest, to protect them against the rigours of winter. Some, again, fly with a loud buzzing or a drony noise, while others4 burrow numerous holes in the hearths and out in the fields, and their shrill chirrup is to be heard at night.

The glow-worm, by the aid of the colour of its sides5 and haunches, sends forth at night a light which resembles that of fire; being resplendent, at one moment, as it expands its wings,6 and then thrown into the shade the instant it has shut them. These insects are never to be seen before the grass of the pastures has come to maturity, nor yet after the hay has been cut. On the other hand, it is the nature of the black beetle7 to seek dark corners, and to avoid the light: it is mostly found in baths, being produced from the humid vapours which arise therefrom. There are some beetles also, belonging to the same species, of a golden colour and very large size, which burrow8 in dry ground, and construct small combs of a porous nature, and very like sponge; these they fill with a poisonous kind of honey. In Thrace, near Olynthus, there is a small locality, the only one in which this animal cannot exist; from which circumstance it has received the name of " Cantharolethus."9

The wings of all insects are formed without10 any division in them, and they none of them have a tail,11 with the exception of the scorpion; this, too, is the only one among them that has arms,12 together with a sting in the tail. As to the rest of the insects, some of them have the sting in the mouth, the gad-fly for instance, or the "tabanus," as some persons choose to call it: the same is the case, too, with the gnat and some kinds of flies. All these insects have their stings situate in the mouth instead13 of a tongue; but in some the sting is not pointed, being formed not for pricking, but for the purpose of suction: this is the case more especially with flies, in which it is clear that the tongue14 is nothing more than a tube. These insects, too, have no teeth. Others, again, have little horns protruding in front of the eyes, but without any power in them; the butterfly, for instance. Some insects are destitute of wings, such as the scolopendra, for instance.15

1 Or sheath; the Coleoptera of the naturalists.

2 The flying stag-beetle, the Lucanus cervus of Linnæus.

3 The dung-beetle, the Scarabæus pilularius of Linnæus.

4 Various kinds of crickets.

5 Cuvier says that it is on the two sides of the abdomen that the male carries its light, while the whole posterior part of the female is shining.

6 In the glow-worm of France, the Lampyris noctiluca of Linntæus, the female is without wings, while the male gives but little light. In that of Italy, the Lampyris Italica, both sexes are winged.

7 "Blattæ." See B. xxix. c. 39, where three kinds are specified.

8 This beetle appears to be unknown. Cuvier suggests that the Scara- Bæus nasicornis of Linnæus, which haunts dead bark, or the Scarabæus auratus may be the insect referred to.

9 "Fatal to the beetle."

10 Cuvier remarks that this assertion, borrowed from Aristotle, is incorrect. The wings of many of the Coleoptera are articulated in the middle, and so double, one part on the other, to enter the sheath.

11 Cuvier remarks, that the panorpis has a tail very like that of the scorpion; and that the ephemera, the ichneumons and others, have tails also. Aristotle, in the corresponding place, only says that the insects do not use the tail to direct their flight.

12 These are merely the feelers of the jaws.

13 Not instead of, but in addition to, the tongue, by the aid of which they suck.

14 Evidently meaning the trunk.

15 See B. xxix. c. 39.

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