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Title: An Elementary Manual of New Zealand Entomology - Being an Introduction to the Study of Our Native Insects
Author: Hudson, G. V.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Elementary Manual of New Zealand Entomology - Being an Introduction to the Study of Our Native Insects" ***

Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they
are listed at the end of the text.

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_). Page numbers
enclosed by curly braces (example: {25}) have been incorporated to
facilitate the use of the General Index.

       *       *       *       *       *



Fig. 1. Bolitophila luminosa. 1_a_. Larva, 1_b_. Pupa.






An Introduction to the Study












M.A., F.R.S., F.L.S., F.Z.S.,





The object of the present volume is to give a brief account of the Natural
History of the insects inhabiting New Zealand in a form intelligible to the
ordinary reader. For this reason every effort has been made to avoid all
unnecessary technicalities, and to adapt the book as far as possible to the
requirements of youthful entomologists and collectors.

Several very elaborate systematic lists and descriptions have been
published from time to time of the insects of New Zealand, amongst which
may be specially mentioned--Captain Broun's "Manual of New Zealand
Coleoptera," the illustrated "Catalogue of New Zealand Butterflies," edited
by Mr. Enys, and Mr. Meyrick's "Monographs" of various groups of the
Lepidoptera; but as yet no attempt has been made to present the subject in
a suitable form for beginners.

It is hoped that this book will, to some extent, fill up the blank, and
help to render what is now one of the most popular natural sciences in
Europe, equally appreciated in New Zealand.

The author is much indebted to Captain Broun, Mr. R. W. Fereday, Mr. E.
Meyrick, and others, for assistance in identifying the various species
mentioned in this work.

  _Wellington, New Zealand, 1891._


  CHAPTER I.                          PAGE

  GENERAL OBSERVATIONS                   1


  COLLECTING INSECTS                     9


  THE COLEOPTERA                        19


  THE HYMENOPTERA                       33


  THE DIPTERA                           40


  THE LEPIDOPTERA                       65


  THE NEUROPTERA                        99


  THE ORTHOPTERA                       103


  THE HEMIPTERA                        118

  GENERAL INDEX                        123

  EXPLANATION OF PLATES                129







General Observations.

In the present chapter I propose to give a brief sketch of the general
principles of Entomology, including a rudimentary glance at the anatomy and
classification of insects; after which I think the reader will be in a
better position to study the habits and life-histories of the individual
species which follow.

The first requisite is a definition of what constitutes an INSECT.

_An Insect is an articulate animal having the body divided into three
distinct divisions_, viz., _the_ HEAD (Fig. I. A), _the_ THORAX (B), _and
the_ ABDOMEN (C). _It is furnished with three pairs of legs, and generally
has two pairs of wings, and to acquire this structure the creature passes
through several changes, termed its metamorphoses._ {2}The head exhibits no
distinct divisions, but bears the following appendages: the eyes, antennæ,
and organs of the mouth, or trophi.

The eyes are of two kinds, compound and simple. The former (Fig. I. c c)
are situated on the sides of the head above the mouth, and consist of two
large hemispheres, composed of a great number of hexagonal divisions, each
of which is a complete eye in itself. The latter (s s) are usually three in
number, and are situated on the top of the head between the compound ones.
They are, however, frequently wanting.

The antennæ (a) are two jointed organs, one of which is placed on each side
of the head, between the eyes; their functions are at present extremely
doubtful, but they are invariably found in all insects.

The organs of the mouth consist of the following: the labrum (Fig. II. 3),
or upper lip, a horny plate, closing the mouth from above; the mandibles (1
1), or upper jaws, two strong bent hooks, articulated to the head on each
side of the mouth, and opposed to one another like scissor blades; the
maxillæ (2 2), or under jaws, resembling the mandibles, but more delicately
constructed, and furnished with a pair of jointed appendages termed
maxillary palpi (5 5); and the labium (4), or lower lip, consisting of a
horny plate somewhat resembling the labrum, but provided with two jointed
appendages termed the labial palpi (6 6). All these organs are subject to
great modification in suctorial insects, which I shall notice further on,
when dealing with the differences between the various orders.

The thorax consists of three primary divisions, viz., the prothorax (Fig.
I. b), mesothorax (d), and metathorax (k). The upper surfaces of these are
termed the pronotum, mesonotum, and metanotum respectively, and the under
the prosternum, mesosternum, and metasternum; other divisions exist in some
insects, but they are not of a sufficiently {3}general character to be
noticed here. The six legs are attached to the under surface of the thorax,
a single pair to each division; they are composed of the following joints:
coxa (Fig. I. n), trochanter (o), femur (p), tibia (r), and tarsus (s).


[Illustration: FIG. I.--Body of an insect (Hymenoptera), showing the
principal divisions: A, head; B, thorax; C, abdomen; _a_, antenna; _c_,
compound eyes; _m_, mandible; _s_, simple eyes; _b_, prothorax; _d_,
mesothorax; _k_, metathorax; 1W, fore-wing; 2W, hind-wing; _n_, coxa; _o_,
trochanter; _p_, femur; _r_, tibia; _t_, tarsus; 1 to 9 segments of the

[Illustration: FIG. II.--Oral and digestive system of _Deinacrida
megacephala_ (this insect is drawn on Plate XVIII., fig. 2): 1, mandibles;
2, maxillæ; 3, labrum; 4, labium; 5, maxillary palpi; 6, labial palpi; 8,
oesophagus; 9, crop; 10, gizzard; 11, pancreas; 12, stomach; 13, biliary
vessels; 14, ilium; 15, colon; 16, anus.]

{4}The wings are attached to the meso- and metanotum; they consist of two
membranes traversed by numerous horny ribs (Fig. I. 1W and 2W).

The abdomen is made up of nine segments (C 1 to 9), some of which are not
infrequently wanting. It contains the organs of nutrition, circulation, and

The digestive system, the structure of which is apparent from Fig. II.,
consists of the following divisions: the throat, or oesophagus (8); the
crop (9); the gizzard, or proventriculus (10); the pancreas (11 11); the
stomach, or ventriculus (12); the biliary vessels (13 13 13); the ilium, or
little gut (14 14); and the colon (15); ending in the anus (16). In the
suctorial tribes, the crop is modified into a very peculiar organ, termed
the sucking stomach, which presents itself as a small bag, attached to the
throat by a thin tube. This bag exhausts the air from the throat, when the
insect is sucking, thus producing a vacuum therein, and causing a rapid
ascent of fluid into the stomach.

The heart of insects consists of an elongated tube lying along the back,
and termed the dorsal vessel. It is composed of a variable number of
chambers, the blood being driven forward towards the head by its
contractions. These motions may be easily seen in transparent species.

The breathing organs are distributed throughout the body in the form of
numerous minute air-tubes, which are supplied with air from a variable
number of apertures, situated on the sides of the insect, and termed

The nervous system consists of a chain of ganglia, running down the ventral
surface of the insect, and analogous to the spinal cord of higher animals.
The number of ganglia varies greatly among the different tribes.

The metamorphosis of insects, which I have previously mentioned as one of
their most essential attributes, consists of four distinct stages, _viz._,
the Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Imago.

{5}The eggs of these animals exhibit a great diversity in shape among the
different species. They are deposited by the parent with unerring instinct
on substances suitable for the food of the larvæ, which, in the majority of
cases, is quite different from that on which she herself subsists.

The larva state immediately succeeds the egg, and is spent almost
exclusively in feeding, the insect growing at a great rate, and being
frequently compelled to change its skin.

The pupa is usually completely quiescent, the insect being at this time
quite incapable of any motion, except, perhaps, a slight twirling of its
abdomen. Exceptions to this rule occur, however, in two of the orders, in
which the pupa state does not differ materially from that preceding it.

In the imago, or perfect state, the insect appears under its final form,
with every organ completely developed.

We will now consider the seven great divisions, or Orders, into which
insects are divided, the complete knowledge of which is one of the most
important elements in the entomologist's preliminary education. I trust
that by a careful perusal of the following definitions, aided by references
to the Plates, which illustrate numerous members of each order in their
several states, the reader will be enabled to master the subject without
much difficulty.


Wings four; the anterior pair (termed elytra) horny and opaque, the
posterior membranous, and employed in flight; mouth masticatory. The larva
a grub with or without legs, but a distinct head always present. The pupa
inactive, taking no food, the limbs of the future insect enclosed in
distinct cases, and applied closely to the body. This is the largest of the
Orders, and consists of all those insects popularly known as Beetles.
(Plates I. and II.)


Wings four, membranous, the posterior pair being the smaller, and connected
with the anterior during flight by a row of minute hooklets; mouth
masticatory, the maxillæ and labium being elongated, in many of the
families, into a long sucking instrument or "tongue." Metamorphosis as in
the Coleoptera. A large Order, containing the numerous tribes of Sawflies,
Bees, Wasps, Ants, and Ichneumon-flies. (Plate III.)


Wings two; the posterior pair represented by two minute clubbed appendages
termed poisers; mouth a suctorial tube formed by an elongation of the
labium, enclosing within it a variable number of setæ answering to the
mandibles, &c., of biting insects. The larva without legs, a distinct head
being often absent. The pupa inactive, the limbs of the imago firmly
attached to the body, but plainly visible. Among the majority of species
included in this Order the larval skin is not cast away, but envelopes the
insect in a hard shell; the true pupa is consequently only visible on the
removal of this covering, when it is found to closely resemble those in
which no such arrangement occurs. The Order comprises the numerous Gnats
and two-winged Flies. (Plates IV., V., VI., VII.)


Wings four, generally covered with scales; the anterior pair slightly
superior in size; mouth suctorial, the maxillæ forming a spiral tongue,
which is coiled between the large labial palpi when not in use; other oral
organs rudimentary. In many instances the whole mouth and alimentary canal
are more or less obliterated, a considerable number of the species taking
no food in their {7}final state. The larvæ always possess a distinct head
and six thoracic legs, and in addition a variable number of prolegs are
often present on the abdominal segments. Pupa inactive, the limbs of the
future insect being usually indicated by lines in the integment. This Order
contains all the varied tribes of Butterflies and Moths. (Plates VIII.,
IX., X., XI., XII., XIII.)


Wings four, of equal size, membranous, and traversed with numerous
branching ribs; the mouth masticatory, and in many instances but slightly
developed. Larva with a distinct head and three strong thoracic legs;
chiefly carnivorous. Pupa inactive; the limbs very perceptible and loosely
applied to the body, but incapable of distinct motion. A small Order,
comprising the Stoneflies, Lace-wings, Ant-lions, &c. (Plate XIV.)


Wings four, of nearly equal size; the anterior pair often more or less
leathery, but with distinct veins. The larva and pupa closely resembling
the imago; the latter with rudimentary wings. In the instances where these
organs are wanting in the mature insect, the metamorphosis merely consists
of a series of moultings, and it is consequently a matter of some
difficulty to determine when the insect is full-grown. This Order is of
small extent; it includes the Earwigs, Cockroaches, Grasshoppers, Crickets,
Termites, Dragonflies, Mayflies and Perlidæ; the last four being
transferred from the Neuroptera of most authors. The minute species of
Mallophaga and Thysanura will also come under this heading. (Plates XV.,


Wings four, in some cases wholly membranous, but in a large proportion of
the families the basal portions of the anterior pair are horny, and form
protective cases for the other pair when not in use; mouth suctorial,
consisting of an elongate rostrum, enclosing four fine setæ. The larva and
pupa resemble the imago, the latter being active, with rudimentary wings.
In a few instances, a slight divergence from the parent form is shown in
the preparatory states (Cicadas, &c.). This is a small Order, containing
the Cicadas or "Singers," Bugs, Plant Lice, and all the suctorial animal
lice. (Plate XX.)

After the Orders, the divisions to be considered are the Groups, Families,
Genera and Species.

Groups are large divisions immediately subordinate to the orders, and
consist of a number of _kindred_ families. They are of great assistance to
the student in dealing with the very large Orders, such, for instance, as
the Coleoptera.

Families, again, consist of a number of allied genera, and Genera, in the
same way, of allied species.

With regard to the Families, I have in the main followed those of Professor
Westwood in his 'Modern Classification of Insects,' as most recent writers
appear very much divided in opinion as to the correct limits of these
divisions. Much diversity also prevails with respect to the proper
definitions of Genera and even Species, but I have deemed it best to follow
the authority of the latest catalogues in this matter, as any changes in
nomenclature are always liable to produce confusion.


Collecting Insects.

So many excellent essays have been written on collecting insects that it
would probably be a most difficult task to supply much fresh information on
the subject; but as many of my readers may be unable to consult works
specially devoted thereto, the present chapter will, perhaps, be of some
value in showing them a few of the most convenient methods of collecting
insects in New Zealand.

Coleoptera, or Beetles, may be found almost everywhere. Overturning logs
and stones, peeling off bark, and cutting into the solid wood of trees, all
produce a great variety of species. A small axe and an iron wrench, shaped
something like a chisel, but bent round at the upper end, are the best
instruments for working old trees. The bark should be all stripped off and
examined, as well as the surface of the log underneath. The same remarks
apply to stones, which should be searched as well as the places from which
they were removed. Sacks, if left about the fields for a few weeks, often
harbour good beetles, and when found they should always be pulled up and

An umbrella, held upside down under flowering shrubs in the forest, will
often be found swarming with beetles after the plants have been sharply
tapped with a stout {10}walking-stick. The same object may be attained by
spreading a newspaper, or sheet, under the trees and then shaking them; the
beetles will fall on to the sheet, and may then be captured. The only
advantage of the umbrella is that it can be more readily used in awkward
places, such as on steep hill sides.

The dead bodies of birds and animals also contain peculiar species; they
may be held over the umbrella and shaken into it, when the inhabitants will
fall out, and can easily be obtained. Dead fish on the sea beach are often
very productive. Moss and fungi are unfailing resorts of many of the
smaller species of Coleoptera, and can be examined in the winter when the
entomologist is otherwise idle.

Beetles should always be brought home alive. The small round tin boxes sold
with Bryant and May's wax matches will be found very serviceable for this
purpose. These boxes are far better for all kinds of collecting than either
pill- or chip-boxes, as they do not break when knocked about. A separate
box should always be given to a large or rare species, but most of the
smaller kinds will travel quite safely in company, especially if a wisp of
grass or a leaf is put into the box to give them foothold.

Beetles must be killed with boiling water, and left immersed some hours
before setting. They must be pinned through either the right or left
elytron, and each collector must always keep to one side, as nothing looks
worse than to see some of the specimens pinned on the right and others on
the left side. When pinned the beetles are set on a corked board, the legs,
&c., being placed in a natural position, and retained until dry by means of
pins and pieces of paper and card. The smaller species should be mounted
with transparent gum on a neat piece of card, which can be pinned in the
store-box or cabinet with the others. The greatest care should be taken to
set {11}symmetrically, so that the limbs on the right-hand side of an
insect are in the same position as those on the left.

Hymenoptera may be captured with the ordinary butterfly-net, and are found
abundantly during the summer. The larger species are pinned through the
centre of the thorax, and set in the same way as Coleoptera, the smaller
ones on card with gum. These insects should, if possible, be made to fly
into the vessel of boiling water, as by this means they generally die with
their wings expanded, which is a great assistance when setting them. This
can usually be managed by holding the box containing the specimen
immediately over the water, and giving it a sharp tap with the finger of
the other hand.

Diptera are also captured with the net, and pinned in the same way, but
should be killed with the laurel bottle.

Lepidoptera are the most difficult of all to collect, and are at the same
time the most attractive to beginners. They may be captured with a net made
of fine gauze (mosquito net dyed green is the best material); the frame to
support the net is constructed of a piece of cane bent into a hoop, each of
the ends being supported in a forked tube shaped like a Y, and the long
tube, forming the base of the Y, is firmly fitted on to the end of a
walking-stick. This form of net is light, strong, and easily made; the only
thing requiring special attention is the Y, but this can be readily made by
any tinsmith out of two pieces of gas-pipe of different sizes, the larger
one for the stick, and the smaller one for the ends of the cane to fit
into. The collector should also be furnished with a number of small tin
boxes.[1] All this apparatus can easily be packed into an ordinary satchel.

{12}When the entomologist reaches his hunting-ground, he will mount his net
and place a number of the boxes in his left-hand coat pocket. The foliage
of all trees and shrubs should be vigorously beaten and the insects
captured as they fly out. When a moth is taken, the collector will first
turn the net half way round so as to close the entrance, and then, directly
the insect ceases fluttering, he should carefully place one of the little
boxes over it and slip on the lid. The box is then transferred to the
right-hand pocket. He will soon learn to do this without in any way
damaging the insect. On arrival at home, the insects should be immediately
killed in the laurel bottle. This is an ordinary wide-necked bottle with a
small bag of well-bruised _young_ laurel shoots at the bottom, covered with
a circular piece of card fitting accurately to the sides of the bottle.
Laurel shoots can always be obtained about the middle of October, when
several killing bottles can be prepared. They must always be wiped out
before using, and kept carefully corked. After a few hours the insects
should be tilted out of the bottle on to a tablecloth, and pinned exactly
through the centre of the thorax. The rough surface of the tablecloth
prevents them from slipping during the operation. About one-third of an
inch of pin should project below the body of the insect. If a moth or
butterfly dies with its wings folded upwards over the back, it must be
carefully picked up between the thumb and index finger of the left hand,
and the pin inserted with the corresponding fingers of the right hand. When
all are pinned they should be transferred to a tin box, lined with cork,
which has been previously well damped with water. While pinning them into
this box great care must be taken not to allow the wings to come in contact
with the damp cork. In about twenty-four hours the specimens thus treated
will be ready for setting. This process is performed by means of corked
boards of various widths for different sized {13}species. Each board has a
groove down the centre for the bodies of the insects to rest in, while the
wings are spread out on either side. They should be carefully moved
forwards with a fine-pointed needle to the desired position, and retained
by strips of tracing cloth pinned firmly down at the ends. These strips
must not be removed until the insects are thoroughly dry and ready to place
in the store-box or cabinet. In setting Lepidoptera, as with other insects,
symmetry and a natural position are the main points to be aimed at, special
care being taken that the antennæ, fore- and hind-legs, and wings, are
shown in correct positions, the middle pair of legs being of course, in the
majority of cases, hidden by the wings. It is almost needless to say that
different sized pins should be used for various insects, but this point
must be left to the discretion of the collector. Entomological pins of all
sizes can be obtained from James Gardner, of 29 Oxford Street, London. Gilt
pins are useful for many species which are liable to form verdigris on the
pins, and are universally employed by many entomologists, but are probably
not so strong as the silvered ones.

Many species of moths are only to be found at night. When working at this
time the collector must suspend a bulls-eye lantern round his neck or
waist, and can then have both arms free for capturing insects on the wing
or at blossoms. Honey mixed with a little rum, and applied with a small
brush to the trunks of trees a few minutes after sunset, will, on some
evenings, attract large numbers of valuable species, but not infrequently
it is quite unproductive. This mode of collecting has been termed
"sugaring" by entomologists, and may be employed during the whole summer.
The best blossoms for attracting insects in New Zealand are those of the
white rata,[2] which blooms in the forest from February till April, and
from which the {14}collector may generally rely on getting a rich harvest.
The insects can usually be slipped directly from the flowers into the
killing bottle.

This is much better than netting them, although occasionally one will
escape during the process. When dead the specimens should be placed in a
small tin box which has been filled with cotton-wool, packed very lightly.
In this way a large number of moths may be carried a long distance with
perfect safety, and the extremely inconvenient process of pinning them in
the field obviated. If Jahncke's patent boxes are employed it is quite
unnecessary to kill the moths in the field. They can be boxed directly from
the blossoms and taken home alive without suffering any injury.

Lepidoptera, and in fact all insects, are attracted by light, and in some
situations the collector will find that he may frequently obtain good
species by merely opening his sitting-room window and waiting for the
insects to arrive. Much of course depends on the situation of the
collector's residence and the nature of the night, which should be dark and
warm. I have occasionally tried taking a lamp into the forest to attract
insects, but have not met with much success. In swampy and flat situations,
no doubt, attracting by light would be very effective, especially if a
powerful lamp was employed, in an exposed situation, with a sheet behind
it, supported between two poles. This method has been followed with great
success by many English entomologists in the fens, but has not yet been
tried in the New Zealand swamps, where it would probably be the means of
bringing many new and interesting species to "light."

With regard to collecting members of the three remaining Orders but little
need be said. Neuroptera can be treated in the same way as Lepidoptera, but
they should be set on flat boards. The treatment of the Orthoptera will
resemble that of the Coleoptera, but the larger species will require {15}to
be stuffed with cotton-wool before setting. A few of the largest species of
the Lepidoptera must also be stuffed. For this purpose the specimens should
be placed on their backs on a piece of clean glass so that none of the
scales may be rubbed off. After the contents have been removed, a little
chalk should be introduced into the abdomen with the cotton-wool. Hemiptera
can be collected and set like Coleoptera, but some of the more delicate
species, such as the _Cicadæ_, should be killed in the laurel bottle
instead of in boiling water.

Before concluding the present chapter I should like to say a few words on
the subject of rearing insects, which the entomologist will soon learn to
regard as by far the most interesting method of acquiring specimens for his

Members of the Coleoptera are probably the most difficult insects to rear
in captivity. Their larvæ may be kept in ordinary jam-pots covered with
perforated zinc, and filled with earth or rotten wood. The carnivorous
species must, of course, be supplied with the animals on which they feed.
Beetle larvæ are often some years in attaining maturity. Many of the
Hymenoptera and some of the Diptera are parasitic on the larvæ of the
Lepidoptera; they are consequently found in rearing these insects, and
their economy should always be carefully recorded.

Lepidoptera are, perhaps, the most satisfactory insects to rear. Most of
the larvæ feed on the leaves of different plants, and all that is needed is
to keep them well supplied with fresh food.

So great a variety of cages have been devised for the rearing of
caterpillars that it would be quite impossible to describe them here. I
will therefore only give a short account of those which I have used myself,
and have found so convenient that I do not hesitate in recommending them to
those entomologists who wish not only to rear insects but to study their

{16}The cages I have been in the habit of using are made of two or three
thicknesses of cardboard bent round into a cylinder and strongly pasted
together. They may be of various sizes, from three to four inches in
diameter up to eight or ten, and constructed so that one will go inside the
other. The height should exceed the diameter by about one and a half
inches. The cylinders should be made so as to stand exactly level on a flat
surface, and they should have two rows of small openings round the sides
for the admission of air. It is a good plan to have four of these openings
in each row and place them opposite one another. They should be covered on
the inside with gauze, stiffened with green or brown paint, as the dark
colour will enable the observer to see inside more readily. A circular
piece of glass is fitted into the upper end of the cylinder, and fixed by
means of paste and paper. The base of the cage consists of two round pieces
of wood, one about half an inch smaller than the other, the smaller one
nailed exactly in the centre of the larger piece. These are made so that
the cardboard cylinder fits _accurately_ on the outside of the smaller
piece of wood. The whole cage is then neatly covered with white paper
inside and brown outside. A complete view of the interior can of course be
obtained by looking in at the top, while the cages can be stowed away one
within the other when not in use. A stone ink-bottle should be put on the
floor of each cage and filled with water, into which a sprig of the
food-plant can be introduced. Care must be taken to plug up the mouth of
the bottle, so that the larvae may not crawl down the stem of the plant
into the water and thus meet with an untimely end. This may readily be done
by means of a cork with a hole bored in it for the stem to pass through, or
a plug of moss or blotting-paper. Members of almost all the orders can be
reared in these cages, as jam-pots full of earth may easily be introduced,
in the place of the stone {17}bottle, when required for species which bury.
A circular piece of blotting-paper should be placed over the bottom of each
cage, while larvæ are feeding in them, and renewed when at all soiled. The
excrement must also be removed when the larvæ are supplied with fresh food.
As a rule, this is only necessary about twice a week, as the water will
keep most plants fresh for quite a lengthened period. When it is necessary
to remove a larva it should always be done with a fine camel-hair brush,
never with the fingers. Generally, however, it is better to allow the larvæ
themselves to crawl from the old sprig on to the new one, which they
usually do in a few hours after the food is changed. The old plants should
of course then be taken out so as to afford more room for fresh air.

Many female moths may be induced to lay their eggs in captivity, especially
if put in a box with some of the food-plant of the larva. It is extremely
instructive and interesting to rear an insect from the egg. When the young
larvæ first emerge they must be kept in a tumbler with a piece of glass put
over the top, as they might escape through the ventilators of the cages,
but they ought to be transferred immediately they are large enough. When
rearing a lot of caterpillars from a batch of eggs, care should be taken to
avoid overcrowding.

A collection of insects should always eventually be placed in a neatly
constructed cabinet. They should be arranged in rows, systematically, with
the correct names under each species, and the name of the order or group at
the commencement of each drawer. Numerous modifications in arrangement are
often needed to meet the requirements of different sized insects, but an
inspection of any good collection will at once explain the general
principles. Camphor should be pinned in the corner of each drawer or
store-box, and the whole collection fumigated with carbolic acid, or equal
parts of oil of thyme, oil of anise, {18}and spirits of wine, every six
months. These can be introduced in a watch glass containing a small
quantity of the chemicals on a pellet of cotton-wool, care being taken not
to stain the paper at the bottom of the drawer. For the same reason, while
using carbolic acid, the camphor should be taken out, as otherwise it will
"sweat." All boxes for the reception of insects must of course be lined
with cork and paper.

It is most important that an accurate record should be kept of every
specimen that is placed in the collection. This may be done by attaching to
the pin underneath each insect a small numbered label, which refers to a
book containing locality, date of capture and other particulars.

I have found it a good plan to give every species a number, and every
specimen a letter. Thus, supposing _Vanessa gonerilla_ is numbered "6," the
first specimen taken would be "6a," the second "6b," and so on, all the
specimens, perhaps, having different dates and localities. This system is
very convenient when specimens are sent away to be identified by another
entomologist, as, provided the collector always retains a single specimen
of the species which he desires named, it obviates the necessity of having
his specimens returned, the number showing at once to what species the name
refers. At least five lines should be allotted to each species in the
collection journal, and the writing should be small but distinct.

A collection formed in this manner will not only be a constant source of
pleasure to the collector and those who succeed him, but very probably of
great value in deciding many important questions in entomological science.


The Coleoptera.

The observations on the natural history of the New Zealand beetles, forming
the subject of the present chapter, are much less numerous than might have
been expected from the great number of species which have been described.
The difficulties attendant on rearing these insects are, however, very
great, and it thus happens that the life-histories here given bear a
smaller proportion to the number of the Coleoptera than will be found to be
the case with the majority of the other Orders. I hope, however, that the
few details I have collected, referring to the following species, may
induce some of my readers to investigate others for themselves.


Family _Cicindelidæ_.

_Cicindela tuberculata_ (Plate I., fig. 1, 1a larva).

This is a very abundant insect found throughout the country in all dry
situations. It delights in hot sunshine, and may be constantly observed
flying from our footsteps with great rapidity as we walk along the roads on
a hot summer's day.

Its larva (Fig. 1a) is an elongate fleshy grub, the head {20}and first
segment being horny and much flattened, and the body provided with two
large dorsal humps, each bearing at its apex a slender curved hook.

The burrows of these insects are very conspicuous, and must have been
noticed by every one, in garden paths, sandbanks, and other _dry_
situations; they are sometimes very numerous, and may be best described as
perfectly round shafts, about one line in diameter, and extending to the
depth of three or four inches, generally slightly curved at the bottom. The
sides are perfectly smooth, and the larva may be often discovered near the
mouth of its burrow, using its dorsal hooks to support it, and thus having
both legs and jaws free to dispose of the unfortunate insects that fall
into its snare. These usually consist of flies and small beetles, which
appear to be urged by curiosity to crawl down these pitfalls, and thus
bring about their own destruction. By reference to the figure it will be
seen how admirably the hollowed head and prothorax serve the purpose of a
shovel to the larva, when forming its shaft. These burrows are first
observed about the middle of November; the perfect insects coming abroad
three weeks or a month later, when they may be often seen in the
neighbourhood of their old domiciles. They are very voracious, devouring
large quantities of flies, caterpillars, and other insects, some of which
are much superior to themselves in size. On one occasion I saw a male
specimen of _Cicindela parryi_ (a species closely allied to but smaller
than _C. tuberculata_) attack a large Tortrix caterpillar, an inch and a
half in length. The beetle invariably sprang upon the back of the
caterpillar and bit it in the neck, being meanwhile flung over and over by
the larva's vigorous efforts to free itself from so unpleasant an
assailant. During the fight, which lasted fully twenty minutes, the beetle
was compelled to retire periodically to gain fresh strength to renew its
attacks, which were eventually {21}successful, the unfortunate tortrix
becoming finally completely exhausted. The beetle devoured but a very small
portion of the caterpillar, and abandoning the remainder went off in search
of fresh prey. Eight other closely allied species of _Cicindela_ are
described by Captain Broun in the "Manual of the New Zealand Coleoptera,"
but they offer no especial peculiarities, and _C. tuberculata_ may be taken
as a type of the genus.


_Pterostichus opulentus_ (Plate I., fig. 3, 3a larva).

This fine beetle is very common in most wooded situations in the Nelson
district; it may be at once distinguished from the numerous other closely
allied species by the beautiful metallic coppery tints that adorn its
thorax and elytra.

During the day it is usually discovered concealed under logs and stones,
and when disturbed, rushes into the first crevice to get out of the light.
At night time, it comes abroad to feed, killing an immense number of flies,
caterpillars, and other insects, to satisfy its voracious appetite.
Although of a most ferocious disposition, it is not wanting in maternal
affection. The female, when about to deposit her eggs, excavates a small
cavity nearly three inches square, in which they are placed. These she
broods over until hatched, and probably some little time afterwards, as I
have found a specimen close to a nest, which contained both eggs and larvæ,
and the zealous mother furiously bit at anything presented to her. The eggs
are oval in shape, quite smooth, and yellowish white in colour. The young
larva is drawn at Plate I., fig. 3a; it is remarkable for its superficial
resemblance to a small Iulus, and being found in similar situations to that
animal, its mimicry has probably some useful object. The older larva
differs chiefly in having the head and thoracic segments proportionately
{22}smaller. Twenty-one closely allied insects belonging to two genera are
described by Captain Broun in his Manual, the largest being _Pterostichus
australasiæ_, which is found in similar localities to the present species,
but is not so common.



_Colymbetes rufimanus_ (Plate I., fig. 4, 4a larva).

This insect is found plentifully in all still waters during the summer
months. Its larva is a soft elongate grub, provided with six slender
thoracic legs, and a pair of powerful mandibles. The posterior extremity of
the body is furnished with two curious appendages bearing a spiracle at the
apex of each, which the larva frequently protrudes above the surface of the
water. The air is taken in through the spiracles, and conveyed to all parts
of the body by two main air-tubes, one of which springs from each spiracle,
and branches throughout the insect in every direction. During the spring
months the larvæ may be found of various sizes in similar situations to the
imago; they are very voracious, devouring freshwater shrimps, _Ephemera_
larvæ, and occasionally, when pressed by hunger, they will even destroy
individuals of their own species for food. These they capture by means of
their powerful mandibles, retaining a firm hold of the victim until they
have consumed all the fleshy portions, the rest of the carcase being thrown
aside, and a fresh search made for more. One individual I kept for some
time, remained perpetually concealed in a small patch of green weed,
growing in the middle of its aquarium. In a short time it became surrounded
with the skeletons of small water shrimps which had been seized by the
larva as they passed by its hiding place, the unfortunate crustaceans only
discovering their enemy when it was too late. I have not yet observed the
pupa of this {23}insect, but it probably does not differ materially from
those of its European allies. Although so very different in general
appearance to the preceding insects, this beetle will be found on careful
examination to agree with them in all important respects, being only what a
ground beetle might naturally become if forced to lead an aquatic
existence. Breathing is effected in all the water beetles by the spiracles
of the abdomen, which alone are developed. The air is taken in between the
elytra and the body, and owing to the convexity of the former, a supply can
be retained sufficient to last the insect some twenty or thirty minutes.
The beetles may be often observed with the extremity of their elytra
protruded above the surface, renewing their supplies of air. On very hot
days _C. rufimanus_ may be occasionally seen flying with great rapidity far
away from its native ponds. When doing so it makes a loud humming noise,
and is a much more conspicuous object than when in the water.



_Epuræa zealandica._

This curious little beetle is found abundantly in the neighbourhood of
decaying fungi, throughout the year, being most plentiful in the autumn and
early winter. Its larva is a small cylindrical grub, with the head and legs
so minute that they are scarcely perceptible, causing it to closely
resemble the maggots of many dipterous insects, occurring in similar
localities. It is generally found in the large yellow fungi, so abundant in
wet situations during the late autumn and winter months. It forms numerous
galleries through the plant in all directions, and owing to the large
amount of moisture which is usually present, these galleries are often
filled with water, so that the insect may {24}be said to be sub-aquatic in
its habits. I have not yet detected the pupa of this species, although the
discovery of a large quantity of both larvæ and perfect insects is of
everyday occurrence with the entomologist in winter.

Family ENGIDÆ.

_Dryocora Howittii_ (Plate I., fig. 6, 6a larva).

This quaint-looking little insect occurs occasionally in damp matai logs,
when in an advanced state of decay. The larva (Fig. 6a) is very flat and
thin, possessing the usual thoracic legs, which, however, are rather short.
The last segment of the abdomen is furnished with an anal proleg and a pair
of small setiform appendages. Its mode of progression is very peculiar,
resembling that of the Geometer larvæ among the Lepidoptera.

The thoracic legs are first brought to the ground, and the rest of the body
is then drawn up in an arched position close behind them. The anal proleg
then supports the insect while the anterior segments are thrust out, and
the others follow as before. This method is only employed on smooth
surfaces, the larva crawling along elsewhere in the usual manner.

The perfect beetle is a very sluggish insect, and difficult to find owing
to its colour, which closely resembles that of the wood in which it lives.

Family ENGIDÆ.

_Chætosoma scaritides_ (Plate I., fig. 2).

This insect may be at once recognized by its peculiar shape, no other New
Zealand beetle resembling it in this respect. Although tolerably common and
generally distributed, it is very seldom seen abroad, spending almost the
whole of its life concealed in the burrows of various wood-boring weevils.
Its larva, which feeds on the grubs {25}of these insects, is of a pinkish
colour, very fat and sluggish; the head and three anterior segments are
strong and horny, the legs being rather short. It undergoes its
transformation into the pupa within the weevil burrows, when the limbs of
the perfect insect can be seen folded down the breast, the wings and elytra
being much smaller than in the beetle. Specimens in all stages of existence
may be readily procured by splitting up old perforated logs which have been
long tenanted by weevils.



_Staphylinus oculatus_ (Plate I., fig. 5).

This is the New Zealand representative of _S. olens_ or the "Devil's Coach
Horse," one of the most familiar of British beetles. It is found
occasionally in the neighbourhood of slaughter-houses, and may be at once
distinguished from any of the allied species by a large spot of brilliant
scarlet situated on each side of its head behind the eyes; this very
conspicuous feature has given it the specific name of _oculatus_. I am at
present unacquainted with the transformations of this fine insect, but they
will probably closely resemble those of the typical species (_S. olens_)
described in the majority of standard books on European Coleoptera. This
beetle may be frequently seen flying in the sunshine, when it has a most
striking appearance, owing to its large size and rapid motion. An
unpleasant odour is found to arise when it is handled, this being
noticeable in nearly all the members of the family. These beetles are
comparatively numerous in New Zealand, the genus _Philonthus_ comprising
several elongate active insects, of which _P. oeneus_ is one of the
commonest, and may be found abundantly amongst garden refuse. Others
frequent the seashore, feeding on decaying seaweed, and {26}may be noticed
flying in all directions along the coast immediately after sundown. Another
genus (_Xantholinus_) includes a number of interesting beetles found in old
weevil burrows, and probably feeding on their inmates.



_Dorcus punctulatus_ (Plate I., fig. 7).

An abundant species chiefly attached to the red pine tree or rimu, where it
may be found concealed beneath the scaly bark, in the angles of the trunk
near the roots. When disturbed, it folds up its legs and antennæ on its
breast, and, extending its powerful jaws, awaits the approach of the enemy,
ready to bite anything coming within its reach. These, however, are purely
defensive measures, the insect being quite harmless when left alone. The
larva is at present unknown to me. Another species, _D. reticulatus_, is a
much handsomer insect than the preceding; it may be at once recognized by
four deep impressions in the thorax, filled in with light-brown scales; the
margins of the elytra are similarly scaled, as well as four spots on each
elytron, the remainder of the beetle being dark-brown and shining. It is
generally found in totara bark, but is much scarcer than the last species.
One small specimen I possess, remarkable for its brilliant appearance, was
taken under the bark of a stunted black birch tree, over two thousand feet
above the sea-level.


_Stethaspis suturalis_ (Plate I., fig. 8, 8a larva).

This conspicuous insect occurs abundantly in all open situations. Its larva
(Fig. 8a) inhabits the earth, feeding on the roots of various plants, and
is especially abundant {27}in paddocks, where it occasionally does
considerable damage to the grass, and threatens ere long to become as great
a pest as its first cousin, the renowned Cockchaffer of England
(_Melolontha vulgaris_), whose fearful ravages need no description. It may
be taken as a typical larva of the family, the rest differing from one
another in little else than size. When full-grown it is quite as large as
the illustration, and is nearly always in the position there indicated,
owing to the size of its posterior segments and the absence of any anal
proleg, which compel it to lie always on its side. I have not yet succeeded
in obtaining the pupa of this insect, although larvæ may be frequently
found enclosed in oval cells, evidently about to undergo their
transformation. Several of these have been kept in captivity, but they have
hitherto always died without undergoing any change. I have, however, no
doubt as to its being the larva of _S. suturalis_, as there are no other
large Lamellicorns found near Wellington to which it could possibly be
referred. The perfect beetle appears in great numbers from November to
March; it is best taken at dusk, when it flies with a loud humming noise,
about four feet above the ground. If knocked down it always falls amongst
the herbage, and is not readily perceived until a few minutes later, when
the humming noise is resumed as the insect again gets under weigh, and the
would-be captor must not lose time if he wishes to secure it. Occasionally
individuals are seen disporting themselves on the wing during the day, but
this must be regarded as a purely exceptional circumstance. Unlike the
majority of nocturnal Coleoptera, this insect does not appear to be
attracted by light; in fact I have never obtained any specimens by this
method, although most other night-flying beetles may be taken in goodly
numbers at the attracting lamp.


_Pyronota festiva_.

This brilliant little insect is extremely abundant amongst manuka, during
the early summer. In general appearance it reminds one of a miniature
specimen of the last species, but is more elongate in form; the green
thorax and elytra are also much brighter. The latter are bordered with
flashing crimson, the legs and under surface being reddish-brown, sparsely
clothed with white hairs. A small Lamellicorn grub, found amongst refuse in
manuka thickets, is probably the larva of this insect; it is less thickened
posteriorly than that of _S. suturalis_, but otherwise closely resembles
it. The perfect insect is diurnal in its habits, flying round flowering
manuka in countless numbers on a hot day. The descent of thirty or forty of
these little beetles on to the beating sheet, out of a single bush, is of
frequent occurrence, and is particularly noticed by the New Zealand
entomologist accustomed to the meagre supply of specimens offered in the
majority of instances.



_Thoramus wakefieldi_ (Plate II., fig. 1, 1b larva, 1a pupa).

This fine beetle may be taken under rimu bark in tolerable abundance, and
is often observed flying about at dusk during the summer. Its larva
inhabits rotten wood, usually selecting the red pine, in which it excavates
numerous flat galleries near the surface of the logs. When disturbed it is
very sluggish, the head being immediately withdrawn into the large thoracic
segment and completely concealed. The legs are very minute, and are of but
little use in walking, the insect being chiefly dependent for locomotion on
its large anal proleg, which is furnished with numerous horny spines. When
full-grown this larva closes up one end of {29}its burrow, and thus forms a
closed cell, in which it is transformed into the pupa shown at Fig. 1a,
remaining in this condition until the warmer weather calls the insect from
its retreat. Two closely allied species are _T. perblandus_ and _Metablax
acutipennis_. The former is occasionally found under the large scales on
matai trees, and resembles the present insect in general appearance, but is
much smaller and more elongate in form, its elytra being also ornamented
with longitudinal rows of yellowish-brown hairs. The latter may be often
taken on the wing in the hottest sunshine, and is chiefly remarkable for
its elongate prothorax and pointed elytra; its colour is dark
reddish-brown, ornamented with a few scattered white hairs. All these
insects possess the singular habit of leaping into the air when placed on
their backs, the last-named species exercising this faculty in a most
marked degree. The movement is effected by the joint between the pro- and
meso-thorax, the sternum of the former being elongated into a long process,
fitting into a corresponding cavity in the latter, so that by means of the
two being suddenly brought together, the insect is thrown high into the air
with a loud clicking sound, hence the English name of the Skipjack or Click
Beetles, the scientific name, Elater, doubtless having reference to the
same habit. The object of this curious arrangement is in all probability
twofold; the sharp click and rapid movement of the insect deterring many
enemies from attacking it, whilst the short legs of the beetle, which are
quite unable to reach the ground when it is thrown on its back, render a
special contrivance necessary.



_Uloma tenebrionides_ (Plate II., fig. 2, 2a larva, 2b pupa).

One of our commonest beetles, found in great abundance {30}in all moist
wood when much decayed, the favourite trees being apparently rimu and
matai. Its cylindrical larva may be taken in similar situations, and much
resembles in general appearance the well-known "wire-worm" of England,
whose destructive habits, however, it does not share. At present, whilst
bush-clearing is going on, its influence is beneficial, as it devours large
quantities of useless wood, which is thus rapidly broken up and got rid of.
The pupa is enclosed in an oval cell, constructed by the larva before
changing, from which the perfect insect emerges in due course. When first
exuded its colour is pale red, but this rapidly changes into dark brown
after the insect has been hardened by exposure to the air. Specimens are
often met with of every intermediate shade, and are rather liable to
deceive the beginner, who mistakes them for distinct species. An account of
a small Dipterous insect infesting this beetle in its preparatory states
will be found on page 62.



_Prionus reticularis_ (Plate II., fig. 3, 3b larva, 3a pupa).

This is the largest species of beetle found in New Zealand, and is common
throughout the summer in the neighbourhood of forests. Its larva (Fig. 3b)
is a large, fat grub, with minute legs; it inhabits rimu and matai, logs,
often committing great ravages on sound timber although frequently eating
that which is decayed; posts, rails, and the rafters of houses alike suffer
from its attacks; the great holes formed by a full-grown larva of this
insect creating rapid destruction in the largest timbers. It may be
remarked, in connection with these wood-boring species, that a good thick
coat of paint put on the timber as soon as it is exposed, and renewed at
frequent intervals, to a great extent prevents their attacks. The pupa
(Fig. 3a) {31}is enclosed in one of the burrows formed by the larva, which,
before changing, blocks up any aperture, so as to rest secure from all
enemies. The perfect insect emerges in the following summer, when it may be
often observed flying about at night. It is greatly attracted by light, and
this propensity frequently leads it on summer evenings to invade ladies'
drawing-rooms, when its sudden and noisy arrival is apt to cause much
needless consternation amongst the inmates.

Closely allied to the above is _Ochrocydus huttoni_, which may be at once
known by its smaller size and plain elytra; it is very much scarcer than
_P. reticularis_, but may occasionally be cut out of dead manuka trees in
company with its larva.



_Oreda notata_ (Plate II., fig. 4, 4a larva).

This weevil is not often noticed in the open, but may be found in great
abundance in the dead stems of fuchsia, mahoe, and other soft-wooded
shrubs, whose trunks are frequently noticed pierced with numerous
cylindrical holes. The larva also inhabits these burrows, devouring large
quantities of the wood; it is provided with a large head and powerful pair
of mandibles, but, in common with all other weevil larvæ, does not possess
legs of any description, the insect being absolutely helpless when removed
from its home in the wood. The pupa might also be found in similar
situations, but I have not yet observed it. The perfect insect may be cut
out of the trees throughout the year, and is occasionally taken amongst
herbage during the summer.


_Psepholax coronatus_ (Plate II., fig. 5 [F], 5a [M]).

This curious species is found abundantly in the stems of {32}dead currant
trees (_Aristotelia racemosa_), in which it excavates numerous cylindrical
burrows like the last species, which it closely resembles when in the
larval state. The sexes are widely different, the elytra of the male being
furnished with the characteristic coronet of spines, which is entirely
wanting in the female. Numerous other members of this genus may be taken in
company with the present insect, and should be carefully examined, as a
correct determination of the males and females of the several species is
sadly wanted. Digging beetles out of the wood is good employment for the
entomologist in winter, when he will find that a day spent in this manner
will frequently produce as rich a harvest as one in the height of summer.

Before finally leaving the Coleoptera, I should like to direct the
attention of my readers to the immense number of interesting weevils found
in New Zealand. Chief among these is the remarkable _Lasiorhynchus
barbicornis_, a large insect furnished with a gigantic rostrum, which will
at once distinguish it from any of the rest. Other genera contain numerous
beetles, which may be found in various kinds of dead timber in company with
their larvæ, and are worthy of a more minute investigation than has at
present been given them.


The Hymenoptera.

The Hymenoptera are perhaps the most interesting order of insects, their
brilliant colours, great activity, and unparalleled instincts rendering
them alike attractive to the young collector and scientific entomologist.
They are, however, not very numerous in New Zealand, several of the most
important families being completely absent; in fact, with the exception of
the ants, there are no social Hymenoptera native to this country. The
information I here give in connection with these insects does not
adequately represent the large amount of interest which can be derived from
their investigation, and I must therefore refer the reader to those
admirable works by Sir J. Lubbock on Ants and by Huber on Bees, which
cannot fail to interest all who read them.


_Dasycolletes hirtipes_ (?) (Plate III., fig. 1).

This is the true native bee of New Zealand, and may be taken abundantly
during the whole of the summer. Its nest is constructed in crevices in the
bark of trees, &c., the insect very frequently selecting the spaces between
the boards of outhouses, where the loud buzzing noise {34}made by the
perfect bees when emerging from their retreat at once arrests our
attention. These nests consist of about ten oval cells, formed of clay, and
neatly smoothed within. They are all constructed by a single female, which
also provisions them with honey and pollen, depositing an egg in each. The
larva, after consuming the food, changes into a pupa, from which the
perfect insect emerges about January. If the reader will imagine a great
number of these nests closely packed together, the formation and storing of
the cells being performed by a number of sterile individuals (workers),
while the eggs are deposited by a single female (queen), he will have a
fair idea of the economy of the social bees and wasps, whose wonderful
instincts attain their maximum in the well-known hive-bee, successfully
introduced and cultivated in various parts of the country.

Closely allied to this species is _Dasycolletes purpureus_ (?) (Fig. 10),
which forms its nests in sand-banks, its cylindrical holes having a great
resemblance to the burrows of _Cincindela tuberculata_, which frequently
occur in the same situation.


_Pompilus fugax_ (Plate III., fig. 2).

This is a very abundant insect, and may be observed flying about on any
fine day during the summer, occasionally stopping to examine leaves and
crevices in the bark of trees, where it is looking for the unfortunate
spiders, which constitute the food of its progeny. The larva is a fat
apodal grub, and may be found in the cells constructed by the perfect
insect, which usually selects a large cylindrical hole in a log, previously
drilled out by a weevil. Into this burrow she pushes a large quantity of
spiders, which she has previously captured and paralyzed with her venomous
sting. When her nest is {35}properly provisioned she deposits an egg in it,
closes the hole with a neat plug of clay, and leaves the larva to quietly
consume its half-dead companions. Each female, no doubt, forms a large
number of these cells during the summer. While cutting up old logs for
Coleoptera, the entomologist will not infrequently come across these nests,
when the insects may be found in various stages of development.
Unfortunately, however, the sight which usually meets his eye is a large
number of legs and other fragments of spiders, the _fugax_ having long
since deserted the burrow, and being very probably engaged in forming
others in a neighbouring tree. These insects are very ferocious, and will
attack spiders which considerably exceed them in size. On one occasion I
noticed a very large one at rest in the centre of its web, which was
suddenly noticed by a passing _fugax_, which immediately sprang upon its
back, and, in spite of violent movements on the part of the spider, twisted
her abdomen dexterously round and stung her victim in the centre of the
thorax, between the insertions of the legs. This produced almost
instantaneous paralysis in the spider; but it was apparently too large for
the _fugax_ to carry away to her nest, as I saw the unfortunate creature
hanging helplessly in its web some hours after the occurrence.


_Formica zealandica_ (Plate III., fig. 3 [M], 3a [F], 3b [N], 3c, cocoon).

This is one of our commonest ants, and may be noticed under logs and stones
throughout the year. The nest consists of a number of irregular cavities
dug out by the workers either in the ground or in soft rotten wood. Its
size varies considerably, but the societies of this species are not usually
so extensive as those of _Atta antarctica_, {36}an insect I shall have
occasion to refer to presently. The larvæ are minute apodal grubs, which
are dependent entirely on the workers for food. When full grown they spin
an oval cocoon of white silk, in which they are converted into pupæ, and
these the patient neuter ants may be observed carrying away with great
anxiety when disturbed, risking their own lives to preserve their adopted
offspring from destruction. The females, or queens, of which there are
several in each nest, do not appear to participate in these labours, but
are only instrumental in perpetuating the species, and the same remark
applies to the males. A large number of these winged males and females may
be observed in the nests about February, the general emergence taking place
during that month. At this time they leave their native homes and mount to
a great height in the air, and after sporting for some hours they re-alight
on the earth, and in a short space of time cast their wings. The neuters at
this time are said to carry them away to form fresh colonies, but I have
not carried my investigations sufficiently far to verify this in connection
with the New Zealand species.


_Ponera castanea_ (Plate III., fig. 4 [M], 4a [N], 4b, larva).

This is a much larger species of ant than the last, but is apparently not
unlike it in habits. I have figured a male (Fig. 4) and worker (4a), the
female not differing from the latter in any great degree, except in being
provided with wings. It will be noticed, however, that the male is very
divergent. The larvæ of this insect are covered with numerous minute
spines, and may be often found in the nests; also the cocoons which they
form when full grown, these latter being of a dark brown colour, and rather
elongate. The winged insects are not frequently seen. They appear only for
a short time in February, the earlier {37}ones being invariably held
captive by the workers until the rest have emerged, when they are all
allowed to fly away and form fresh colonies as in the last species.


_Atta antarctica_ (Plate III., fig. 5 [M], 5a [F], 5b, larva).

This is another very abundant species, found occasionally amongst rotten
wood in very large communities. Its larva, which is represented at Fig. 5b,
does not form any cocoon, the pupa being quite naked and defenceless. It is
a beautiful little object when examined with a microscope of moderate
power. The annual migration of the winged males and females of this species
usually takes place on a hot day in the last week of March, at which time I
have observed the air throughout a day's journey absolutely swarming with
these little insects. Many specimens are captured in the spiders' webs,
while the logs, fences, and ground are covered with ants in the proportion
of about ten males to one female. At other seasons of the year the winged
individuals of _Atta antarctica_ are seldom observed.


_Pteromalus_ sp. (?) (Plate III., fig. 9).

This little insect was reared, in company with thirteen others of the same
species, from a pupa of _Eurigaster marginatus_ which had been procured
from a larva of _Oeceticus omnivorus_, and is consequently a true
hyperparasite.[3] Its curious habits will be better understood by the
reader after perusal of the life-histories of those two insects, which I
have given on pages 60 and 74. The method by which the females of the
Hymenoptera whose larvæ are parasitic on insects inhabiting other insects,
{38}introduce their eggs into their hosts,[4] is not at present known to
entomologists, but it seems at least probable that they are deposited in
the eggs of the parasitic Dipteron before these gain access to the
caterpillar of the moth.


_Ichneumon sollicitorius_ (Plate III., fig. 6).

This is the most abundant of our ichneumon-flies, and may be taken amongst
herbage from August till May. Its larva is parasitic in the caterpillars of
various Noctuæ, having occurred in the following species: _Mamestra
composita_, _M. mutans_, and _M. ustistriga_. The pupa may be frequently
discovered inside that of the moth, and is quite white in its early stages,
but as age advances all the colours of the future insect can be seen
through the thin pellicle which invests it. The perfect insect makes its
escape through a circular hole, which it drills in the upper end of the
unfortunate moth pupa it has destroyed. The sexes of all ichneumon-flies
may be at once recognized by the females possessing an ovipositor[5]
differing considerably in length among the various species, but nearly
always plainly visible.


_Ichneumon deceptus_ (Plate III., fig. 7).

This conspicuous insect is chiefly mentioned on account of a very curious
habit possessed by the females of congregating in large numbers on matai
trees, as many as fifty or sixty specimens being often found huddled
together under a single flake of the bark. The males are occasionally taken
flying in the open, but I have never seen any amongst these large
assemblages of females. Whether the {39}ichneumons are parasitic on some
insect which lives on the matai, or whether they assemble to feast on the
sweet juice occasionally exuded from its bark, it is impossible to say, but
in either case the complete absence of males is a very remarkable


_Scolobates varipes_ (Plate III., fig. 8).

The larva of this little insect is parasitic on the useful larva of
_Syrphus ortas_ whose life-history is recorded on page 57. It is very
common in some instances, and must consequently destroy a considerable
number. It entirely eats the soft portions of the insect, and may
afterwards be found lying snugly within the hard empty shell of the
deceased syrphus pupa, which acts as a cocoon for it while undergoing its
own pupa state. The perfect insect may be often observed amongst herbage,
searching for syrphus larvæ to deposit its eggs in.


The Diptera.

The next Order which comes under review is the Diptera, which includes all
the two-winged insects, and constitutes a most extensive Order in respect
to the number of distinct species. When, however, the numbers of
individuals of the same species are considered, it is probable that this
Order includes a greater proportion of the insect-world than all the others
put together. The preponderance of these insects over the rest holds good
with greater force in New Zealand than in many other countries, and this
fact may be almost inferred from the large number of spiders present here,
which are chiefly dependent on Diptera for their support. The important
function of clearing away refuse matter is almost entirely performed by the
members of this Order, as the Necrophagous Coleoptera and other scavengers
which exist in such large numbers in many countries are practically absent
here, and their work consequently devolves upon dipterous insects.



_Culex iracundus_ (Plate IV., fig. 1, 1a larva, 1b pupa).

The mosquito is only too familiar to every one from {41}its ceaseless
attacks; it occurs almost everywhere, but is most abundant in marshy
situations. The larva (Fig. 1a) inhabits all stagnant waters, where it may
be found very abundantly throughout the summer, and when disturbed it
plunges about with great agility. Its food consists of the numerous
animalculæ swarming in all still waters during the greater portion of the
year. These are captured by means of two curious anterior appendages, which
are fringed with long hair, and pulled through the water like a fisherman's
net; they are then withdrawn into the mouth and the contents devoured, the
hungry insect again extending them for a fresh supply. These larvæ are
generally seen suspended from the surface of the water by the curious
air-tube which takes its rise from the penultimate segment of the abdomen,
which is of considerable length. Its apex is armed with a row of stiff
bristles, which effectually prevent the water from entering the spiracle
there situated, so that the insect is enabled to respire when hanging from
the surface, independently of any muscular action. It is also worthy of
note that the intestine discharges itself into this tube, an arrangement
which does not exist among the British species. After several moultings the
transformation to the pupa state takes place. At this stage the insect
(Fig. 1b) becomes much thickened anteriorly, this being the region of the
head and thorax of the future gnat; all the limbs are easily detected on a
close examination, as with lepidopterous pupæ. The upper portion is
provided with two short appendages, fulfilling the same function as the
air-tube of the larva, and which constantly support the pupa at the surface
of the water. The terminal fins enable it to dash through the water with
great rapidity when pursued by enemies; at other times it remains perfectly
motionless, suspended from the surface of the water. It should be mentioned
that none of these aquatic pupæ take any nourishment, neither have they any
limbs properly {42}so called. Their locomotion, although in some cases
unquestionably rapid, is entirely effected by violent motions of the
abdomen. I have been careful to point out these peculiarities as these
animals have been regarded by many authors as _active_ pupæ on a level with
those of the Orthoptera and Hemiptera. This opinion, however, is manifestly
erroneous; the pupæ of the nemocerous Diptera are on precisely the same
footing as those of the Lepidoptera, and it would be almost as reasonable
to call one of these _active_, because it wriggles out of its cocoon in the
earth before the emergence of the moth. The perfect mosquito emerges from a
rent in the thoracic shield of the pupa, drawing each pair of legs out
separately, and placing them in front of it on the water; the wings and
abdomen are then extracted and in a few moments it flies away.

The bites of these insects appear to distress some people much more than
others, probably owing to constitutional differences. I should mention that
the females alone engage in these attacks, the males being quite harmless
and subsisting entirely on honey, which is doubtless the natural food of
both sexes. The male and female mosquito are readily distinguished, the
specimen figured belonging to the latter sex; her companion is chiefly
remarkable for his plumed antennæ and beautiful palpi, which are very long
and gracefully plumed. As many of the harmless insects which will be
investigated are often mistaken for this species, and destroyed
accordingly, I should like to advise my readers that they may at once
distinguish all the venomous species of gnats by their long, lancet-like
proboscis and loud humming noise during flight.

Closely allied to this insect is _Culex argyropus_, which might be called
the coast mosquito as it is always found near the seashore, its larva
living in brackish pools just above high-water mark. The perfect insect may
be also seen skating along the surface of the water like a {43}gerris[6];
it may be at once distinguished by its dark colour,.


_Corethra antarctica_, n.s.[7] (Plate IV., fig. 3, 3a larva, 3b pupa).

An elegant little gnat, frequenting the margins of ponds and ditches during
the spring months. The larva (Fig. 3a) is bright green, ornamented with
numerous yellow spots; it is very sluggish, living in the green slime weed
which floats on the water in such large masses during that season. Not
being very common it is difficult to find, as its colour so closely
resembles that of the weed which it always frequents. The pupa (Fig 3b), is
not very agile, and is nearly always observed suspended from the surface by
its thoracic air-tubes and caudal fins, the abdomen being directed upwards
and thus bringing the two pairs of organs close together. In its
metamorphosis and general appearance this insect forms a convenient link
between the present family and the Culicidæ.


_Chironomus zealandicus_, n.s. (Plate IV., fig. 2, 2a larva, 2b pupa).

This is the common midge of New Zealand, and is extremely abundant
throughout the country. Its larva (Fig. 2a) inhabits the soft mud at the
bottom of stagnant ponds and streams, and is very conspicuous, being of a
brilliant crimson colour and thus much resembling the well-known
"Bloodworm" of English anglers, which is the larva of a closely allied
European species (_C. plumosus_). It may be readily kept in an aquarium,
and if supplied with a little soil and green weed will rapidly cover the
{44}walls of its glass prison with numerous tubular galleries. These take
their rise from the mud at the bottom, and, extending upwards to a distance
of three or four inches, afford the larva a convenient retreat from all
enemies. These insects are occasionally seen swimming laboriously through
the water with a peculiar zigzag motion. When out of their burrows they
have considerable difficulty in keeping beneath the surface, and may be
often observed floating helplessly with their exposed portions quite dry;
in fact the whole integment of the insect appears to have a peculiar power
of resisting the water. The pupa (Fig. 2b), is a most beautiful object, its
anterior extremity being obtusely thickened and the limbs of the future
insect quite discernible. On each side of the thorax the gills form a set
of graceful plumes, a much smaller group being also situated at the
extremity of its abdomen. In this state the insect remains almost entirely
concealed in the burrows previously constructed by the larva, its gills
imbibing sufficient air from the surrounding medium, and thus rendering
ascension to the surface unnecessary. The water is periodically circulated
in the tunnels by violent movements on the part of the pupa. About a day
before emergence the insect assumes a peculiar silvery appearance, which is
occasioned by the presence of a large quantity of air between the imago and
its pupa skin. This air has been first imbibed by the gills and afterwards
expelled through the spiracles of the enclosed gnat, thus inflating the
skin of the pupa, and helping to buoy it up during its last and most
important transformation. Leaving its tunnel the insect rises to the
surface, the thorax is lifted above the water which retreats from it on all
sides, the skin cracks open at the back and the insect slowly extricates
itself in a similar manner to the mosquito. In about ten minutes' time the
wings are sufficiently hardened for use and the insect then flies ashore,
but we may occasionally notice, {45}beside their old pupa-skins, drowned
individuals which have failed to effect a successful emergence. The perfect
insect is extremely common in all swampy situations throughout the summer;
it has a great partiality for light, and may be occasionally noticed in
vast numbers round the street lamps on a hot summer's night, especially if
rain is impending. It is a most graceful insect, and will amply repay a
minute examination (Fig. 2).


_Ceratopogon antipodum_, n.s. (Plate IV., fig. 4, 4a larva, 4b pupa).

Very plentiful in the forest throughout the year, often enlivening the
winter sunshine by its merry gambols. The larva (Fig. 4a), is found under
the bark of newly fallen trees, feeding on the sap which exudes in large
quantities from the logs whilst drying. When first discovered it often has
a curiously spangled appearance, owing to the minute beads of moisture
retained by numerous bristles clothing the larva. When about to change,
these insects assemble in large companies of thirty or forty, firmly
affixing their basal segments to the wood, their heads all pointing inwards
and forming a small circle. In some cases, where an unusually large
gathering has occurred, a number arrange themselves into an outer row,
their heads being immediately behind the extremities of the inner group,
the whole thus bearing a rough likeness to the radiations of a star-fish.
The pupa is very short, and is furnished with two clubbed horns on the
thorax for respiration. Its abdominal portions are retained within the old
larval skin, thus keeping it firmly anchored to the log. The perfect insect
emerges from a rent in the thorax of the pupa, groups of exuviæ being of
common occurrence under the bark. The sexes differ considerably, the
individual figured {46}(Fig. 4) being a male; the female is slightly
larger, and much more stoutly built; her antennæ are filiform[8], and the
limbs generally shorter. Both are equally common, but the male is more
often noticed, owing to his greater activity.


_Psychoda conspicillata_ (Plate IV., fig. 6).

A common species, occurring plentifully on window panes during August, and
bearing a great superficial resemblance to a small moth of the Tineina
group, often deceiving the novice in consequence. It is a beautiful object
for the microscope, the figure being a careful drawing of the insect, seen
with a power of about ten diameters. I regret to say that its
transformations are at present unknown.


_Mycetophila antarctica_, n.s. (Plate IV., fig. 5, 5a larva, 5b pupa).

Tolerably common in the vicinity of forest during the major part of the
year. The larva (Fig. 5a), is a small elongate maggot of a pinkish colour;
it is a social insect, inhabiting rotten pine logs, which it perforates
with numerous cylindrical burrows. These larvæ, entirely confine their
attention to damp wood of a "pappy" consistency, leaving the harder logs
for the wood-boring Coleoptera, which are provided with much stronger jaws.
They consequently do not injure the rafters and boards of houses, or other
valuable timbers. The pupa (Fig. 5b) is very elongate, reposing in one of
the burrows, previously constructed by the larva. It probably breathes by
means of its spiracles, as no special organs of respiration are visible.
The perfect insect appears in a short time, flying sluggishly in the
sunshine, the female possessing an enormous abdomen, which {47}almost
incapacitates her for aerial locomotion; in other respects she resembles
the male, which is the sex figured (Fig. 5).


_Tipula holochlora_ (Plate V., fig. 1, 1a larva, 1b pupa).

This beautiful insect is very common in the forest throughout New Zealand.
Its larva (Fig. 1a) inhabits various kinds of decaying wood, frequently
occurring in vegetable refuse at the roots of trees. It is a large,
sluggish-looking grub, and the anterior segments are very retractile. Its
colour appears to vary according to its surroundings, those specimens found
in red pine being of the dull reddish hue characteristic of that wood,
while those taken from pukatea and henau are dark brown larvæ, resembling
the illustration. These insects are very voracious, but their growth is
gradual, each larva probably occupying at least six months to reach
maturity. They mostly feed during the winter, but may be often taken at
other times. The pupa (Fig. 1b) is enclosed in a small oval cell,
previously excavated by the larva, which also constructs a ready means of
escape for the future insect in the form of a small tunnel leading out of
one end of its prison to the open air. Through this the pupa wriggles,
assisted by the spines, which arm the edges of all the segments; the
coronet of hooks at its extremity retaining the insect firmly at the mouth
of its burrow while undergoing its final transformation. After numerous
twistings and contortions on the part of the pupa, a rent is formed in the
thoracic plates, and the imago draws itself out, standing on the log until
its wings are sufficiently hardened for flight. In many old houses numbers
of these exuviæ may be seen projecting from holes in the boards--a relic of
the destruction that has taken place within. These insects naturally
inhabit dead trees, but as they will devour unsound timber in any {48}form
they are very injurious to old wooden buildings. The perfect insect chiefly
frequents forest, where it is difficult to detect owing to its green colour
harmonizing so closely with the leaves. The specimen figured (Fig. 1) is a
male, the female being considerably smaller with a much stouter body and
shorter legs.


_Tipula fumipennis_, n.s. (Plate V., fig. 2, 2a larva, 2b pupa).

Another fine species, occurring in similar situations to the last, but not
quite so commonly. The larva (Fig. 2a) may be found throughout the year
under the bark of very rotten henau and pukatea, feeding on the moist
decaying wood. It constructs in this material numerous burrows, which are
lined with a viscous fluid constantly emitted from the mouth. Its movements
in these are very rapid, frequently eluding the most careful searches. When
divested of its slimy covering, it is anything but an offensive-looking
larva, the great air-tubes, which run the whole length of the insect, being
very conspicuous, and many of the other internal organs are easily detected
owing to its partial transparency. The pupa (Fig. 2b) is enclosed in a
small cocoon, having ready access to the air; it is chiefly remarkable for
its very large thoracic horns, which are curiously toothed. The air-tubes
connected with these are distinctly visible in the abdomen of the insect,
where they may be seen branching in all directions. When about to emerge
this pupa works its way to the surface of the log, the head and thorax are
thrust outside, and the perfect insect escapes in the ordinary way. The
illustration (Fig. 2) is taken from a female; the male differs in being
less robust, and in being provided with longer legs.

{49}Family TIPULIDÆ.

The Glow-worm. _Bolitophila luminosa_, Skuse.

(Frontispiece, fig. 1).

Every one who has walked in the forest at night has no doubt noticed, in
many damp and precipitous situations, numerous brilliant points of greenish
white light shining out from amongst the dense undergrowth. The animal
which causes this light may be seen at Fig. 1a on the Frontispiece, and is
probably one of the most interesting insects we have in New Zealand. It
inhabits irregular cavities, mostly situated in the banks of streams, where
it hangs suspended in a glutinous web which is stretched across the cavity
and supported by several smaller threads running right and left, and
attached to the sides and ends of the niche. On this the larva invariably
rests, but when disturbed immediately glides back along the main thread and
retreats into a hole which it has provided at the end of it. From the lower
side of this central thread numerous smaller threads hang down, and are
always covered with little globules of water, constituting a conspicuous,
though apparently unimportant, portion of the insect's web. It should be
mentioned that all these threads are constructed by the larva from a sticky
mucus exuded from the mouth.

The organ which emits the light can easily be seen by referring to Fig. 1a.
It is situated at the posterior extremity of the larva, and is a gelatinous
and semi-transparent structure capable of a great diversity of form. It can
be extended or withdrawn at the will of the larva, which, however, can shut
off the light independently of this latter action. Larvæ cease to shine on
very cold nights, in the daytime, and in a room which is artificially
lighted. They gleam most brilliantly on dark, damp nights, with a light
north-west wind. These larvæ appear to suffer great mortality in a state of
nature, as the {50}young ones will always be found greatly in excess of
those that are approaching maturity.

When full-grown this insect is transformed into the curious pupa shown at
Fig. 1b. It is furnished with a large process on the back of the thorax
which is attached to the web and holds the pupa suspended in the middle of
the niche previously inhabited by the larva. The light is emitted from the
posterior segment of the pupa, but is much fainter than in the larva, and a
distinct organ is not apparent. It is frequently suppressed for days

The perfect insect is drawn at Fig. 1. It emits a strong light from the
posterior segment of the abdomen, about half as bright as that emanating
from a full grown larva. It has been recently described by Mr. Skuse, of
Sydney, as _Bolitophila luminosa_.

During the whole course of my observations[9] on this insect, extending
over five years, I have only succeeded in bringing two specimens to
maturity, and both of these were females.

The uses of the light and the web to the larva are at present quite unknown
to me, as well as its food, which, however, possibly consists of fungi. It
should also be mentioned that the larvæ are found in the greatest abundance
in mining tunnels, many feet below the surface of the earth, as well as in


_Cloniophora subfasciata_ (Plate V., fig. 3, 3a larva).

Tolerably common in damp gullies during summer and autumn. The larva (Fig.
3a) inhabits decayed henau logs, {51}drilling deep into the wood, where its
burrows are seldom noticed, as they are filled up with refuse almost as
soon as they are made. The pupa resembles that of _Tipula holochlora_, but
is rather more attenuated in the body, and the thoracic horns are slightly
thicker. It is not enclosed in any cocoon, but lies amongst the powdery
wood, wriggling to the surface when about to emerge. The illustration
represents the male insect, the female having a much stouter body, with
short thick legs; she also differs in her antennæ, which are much less
branched than those of the male.


_Rhyphus neozealandicus_ (Plate V., fig. 4, 4a larva, 4b pupa).

A most abundant species occurring in most damp situations throughout the
year. Its larva (Fig. 4a) closely resembles a small worm, being of an
elongate form attenuated at each end. The skin is very hard and of a dull
yellow colour, with black markings. The food of this insect consists of
decaying vegetable matter, which it procures by means of two small
appendages, situated on each side of the mouth, and which it is continually
moving about in search of suitable materials. The pupa is a curious object
(Fig. 4b), the two little respiratory horns having a singular resemblance
to a pair of ears. It is enclosed in a small oval cell about one inch below
the surface of the earth, the insect working its way to the air before
emergence. The perfect _Rhyphus_ may be almost regarded as one of our
domestic insects, and is seldom found in the open country, but frequents
cowhouses and other farm buildings in great numbers, the larvæ feeding on
the manure in these situations. It is often mistaken by ignorant people for
the mosquito and at once destroyed, but quite unfairly, as the species is
in reality perfectly harmless, frequently {52}benefiting mankind by the
removal of considerable quantities of effete matter, which if allowed to
remain could not fail to be injurious.


_Bibio nigrostigma_ (Plate V., fig. 5, 5a larva, 5b pupa).

This insect is very abundant during the spring months, but rapidly
disappears, and few specimens are noticed after Christmas. Its larva (Fig.
5a) inhabits the woody powder often found under logs, which frequently
consists of the accumulated excrement of wood-boring insects. It is
gregarious in its habits, being found in large companies of fifty or a
hundred individuals. When first disturbed these appear as a wriggling mass,
but very shortly become so still that they can only be distinguished with
the greatest difficulty from morsels of bark. A considerable portion of the
powdered wood is also retained on the body of the insect by a row of short
spines situated in the middle of each segment, which helps to render the
larva still more inconspicuous. In this condition it remains for at least
eight months, during which time growth takes place very slowly. About
September the larvæ separate, each being afterwards transformed into a
small yellowish pupa (5b), whose abdominal extremity is usually retained
within the old skin, thus closely resembling that of the genus
_Ceratopogon_. I have figured this pupa entirely naked, in order to show
its characteristics, some of which are rather remarkable, more completely,
the agglutination of nearly all the anterior portions of the body being
especially noteworthy. The perfect insects may be found everywhere, the
males sucking honey from the flowers and performing many antics in the air,
often clinging hold of one another and whirling about together. The female
seldom flies, but is usually observed crawling about fences or the trunks
of trees. She may be at once recognized by her heavy body {53}which is very
large when distended with eggs. Her general colour is dull red, thus
differing widely from the male insect represented in the illustration (Fig.


_Simulia australiensis_ (Plate VI., fig. 1, 1a larva, 1b pupa).

Every one knows the sandfly, the little black insect that so persistently
perches on our hands and faces and inflicts its painful punctures, which in
many cases are followed by large swellings, often lasting for several days
and causing much irritation. Its larva (Fig. 1a) inhabits clear running
water, climbing about in strong currents by means of a pair of suckers
situated at each end of the body, two being placed on the prothoracic
segment just behind the head and two others close to the anal extremity.
These the insect employs rather curiously, the anterior pair being first
affixed and the others drawn up close behind them, its elongate body
consequently forming a loop. Clinging by the posterior suckers for a moment
the larva then reaches forward, re-affixes the anterior ones, and draws up
the posterior as before. Breathing is performed by two spiracles situated
on the last abdominal segments near the hind pair of suckers. Two large
air-tubes originate from these and run forwards, giving off branches to all
parts of the body; they terminate in a number of air-sacs in the thorax.
The food of this larva consists of animalculæ, which are no doubt obtained
by drawing the two ciliated appendages rapidly through the water several
times in succession, their contents being afterwards gathered up by the
smaller organs and passed into the mouth. When about to assume the pupa
state the insect covers itself with a glutinous envelope, which is firmly
joined to the under side of a leaf, the transformation taking place within
a few days. The pupa can hardly be distinguished from a small moth
chrysalis except for a pair of branching {54}filaments, which arise from
the top of the thorax and serve the purpose of gills (Fig. 1b). Before
emergence the anterior segments are projected nearly out of the cocoon from
which the perfect sandfly makes its escape, and floating to the surface of
the water ascends the stem of an aquatic plant to expand its wings. I
should here remark that as with the mosquitoes, the bloodthirsty
propensities of the present species have no doubt been acquired since the
arrival of man and other warm-blooded animals.



_Tabanus impar_ (Plate VI., fig. 6).

I have figured this fine species as a representative of a most important
family of Dipterous insects, but am at present quite unacquainted with its
life-history. It occurs plentifully on the margins of the forest throughout
the summer.


_Comptosia bicolor_ (Plate VI., fig. 2).

This conspicuous species is very abundant in glades throughout the summer,
flying with great rapidity, and delighting to suck honey from the numerous
shrubs which are in blossom at that time of year. It is a social species,
and is usually found in companies of fifteen or twenty individuals, which
engage in endless dances, two insects often seizing one another on the wing
and then revolving together like a wheel in rapid motion. Their manoeuvres
in avoiding the strong gusty wind, so often prevalent in early summer, are
also interesting; the insects play upon the wing whilst the air is quiet,
but if a breeze springs up they instantly settle on the nearest bush,
rising to renew their sports when it is again calm. These flies are rather
variable in colour, some specimens being dark brown, {55}whilst others are
more or less covered with greyish-white hairs; individuals are also often
met with quite black and shining, their hirsute covering having been
completely rubbed off. The female may be at once recognized by her solid,
fleshy abdomen, that of the male being inflated by two great air-bladders,
which cause that portion of the body to appear semi-transparent when the
insect is held up to the light. The figure (2) is taken from a specimen of
the latter sex.

Closely allied to the present insect is _Comptosia virida_, n.s. (Fig. 3),
which can be at once distinguished by its brilliant green eyes and pale
grey clothing. The larva of this species is a large white maggot, rather
robust, and possessing a small head. It inhabits the dense moss growing on
the trunks of trees in the forest, feeding on the roots of these plants,
and finally forming an oval cocoon, in which it changes into the pupa shown
at Fig. 3b. The perfect insect appears in a few weeks' time, when it may be
taken in similar situations to _C. bicolor_, but in much fewer numbers.


_Sarapogon viduus_ (Plate VI., fig. 4, 4a larva, 4b pupa).

A voracious insect, frequenting all dry sand-banks and pathways throughout
the summer, and destroying the numerous minute diptera found in those
situations. These unfortunate victims are drilled through the thorax by
their destroyer, which sucks them completely dry with its long beak-like
proboscis. The larva (Fig. 4a) inhabits rotten wood, chiefly feeding upon
the moist, powdery portions. It is usually somewhat sluggish, but when
disturbed hops about with electrical rapidity. The head is very minute, and
the elongate body consists of twenty segments, a number very unusual among
larvæ, the normal number being twelve exclusive of the head. It lives for a
{56}considerable time and is finally transformed into the blunt-looking
pupa, drawn at Fig. 4b, without having previously constructed any cocoon.
From this the perfect insect emerges in a month or six weeks' time,
commencing its work of destruction as soon as its wings are hardened, which
takes place within a few hours.


_Exaireta spiniger_ (Plate VI., fig. 5).

Abundant during November, when it may be taken in great numbers in the
vicinity of water. The larva is probably aquatic, but I have not yet
observed it, although its habits would, no doubt, be very interesting. The
perfect insects frequent flowers, and are generally very sluggish in their


_Acrocera longirostris_, n.s. (Plate VII., fig. 4).

An extraordinary and very rare species, occurring amongst white rata[10]
blossoms in February. At present I have only taken three specimens, _viz._,
two in Wellington and one in Nelson. The transformations of all the
Acroceridæ are as yet unknown.


_Syrphus ortas_ (Plate VII., fig. 3, 3a larva, 3b pupa).

Very common everywhere from September till May, or even later, when
specimens may be often seen basking in the winter sunshine. The larva (3a)
is a most useful insect to gardeners as it destroys an immense number of
aphides, those noxious little insects that commit such fearful ravages on
many valuable plants (see Hemiptera, page {57}120). In general appearance
this larva resembles a small green slug, with the skin much wrinkled, and
bearing at its extremity a short thick tube, which is probably the
respiratory apparatus, the four lunate holes situated at its apex being no
doubt the spiracles. These insects grow very slowly, occupying several
weeks to attain maturity. Their mode of capturing the aphides is very
curious, and is, briefly, as follows:--The larva lies in the midst of a
number of aphides, and it occasionally happens that some of them crawl over
it. On feeling an aphis touch its back the larva instantly darts out its
long, pointed head and strikes its prey with the apex, which is enveloped
in a quantity of very sticky mucus constantly ejected from the mouth. On
the aphis being thus captured the larva withdraws its head into the hinder
segments of its body and devours all the juicy portions of the aphis, whose
dry skin is afterwards thrown aside. When full-grown it slowly shrinks up
and changes into the pupa shown at Fig. 3b. In this state it is not
protected by any kind of cocoon, but lies amongst the refuse of the
aphides, near the stem of the plant. The fly emerges in a fortnight or
three weeks' time, and is very fond of hovering over and sucking honey from
the flowers, but the females may be often noticed running about plants,
probably in search of a suitable place to oviposit.[11] For an account of
_Scolobates varipes_, a species parasitic on the present insect, I refer to
page 39.


_Eristalis cingulatus_ (Plate VII., fig. 2).

This conspicuous insect occurs occasionally in glades in the forest about
January, but is by no means common. It is very fond of the white rata
flowers, where it may be {58}taken, if anywhere. Its life-history is at
present unknown, but no doubt resembles that of the following insect.


_Helophilus trilineatus_ (Plate VII., fig. 1, 1a larva, 1b pupa).

This fine species occurs abundantly in all damp situations throughout the
summer. Its larva may be found in stagnant pools and is often met with in
the mud at the bottom of ditches. Its posterior segments are enormously
elongated, forming a telescopic breathing apparatus, composed of two tubes,
the smaller of which is capable of being more or less extended at the will
of the larva, which is thus enabled to adjust the length of its breathing
tube, according to the depth of water or mud in which it happens to reside.
This peculiarity has given all these larvæ the name of rat-tailed maggots.
The other segments are very stout, each being furnished with a pair of
minute feet, and the head is also provided with two small appendages which
are supposed to be the outlets through which the exhausted air is
discharged by the larva. When mature this insect leaves the water, forming
a small oval cell in the neighbouring moist earth, in which it lies with
its long tail folded along the breast. The skin then gradually hardens, and
it is finally transformed into the pupa shown at Fig. 1b, the conical pair
of breathing-tubes on the thorax being slowly protruded from two hardly
perceptible warts, whilst the telescopic apparatus shrinks up, its
functions being at an end. A variable time, dependent upon the season,
elapses before the perfect insect makes its appearance, but prior to this
occurring, a large circular plate, forming the thorax of the pupa, is
thrust off, thus assisting the escape of the fly, which immediately ascends
a plant, or other convenient object, to dry and expand its wings (Fig. 1).
In the perfect {59}state it delights to hover in the air, darting away with
great rapidity on the approach of any enemies. It also frequently enters
houses, where its presence is at once betrayed by a peculiarly shrill noise
made while flying. The sexes of this insect differ chiefly in size, the
female (Fig. 1) being about twice as large as her companion.

Closely allied to this species are _Helophilus ineptus_, and _H.
hochstetteri_. The former is slightly smaller than _H. trilineatus_ and may
be at once distinguished by its tessellated orange-yellow and black
abdomen. It is rather local, but extremely abundant wherever found. The
latter has a superficial resemblance to some of the smaller blowflies
(_Musca_), but may be readily known by its large brownish-red
scutellum.[12] It is the commonest of the genus and may be found in great
numbers throughout the summer amongst veronica and other flowers.


_Miltogramma mestor_ (?) (Plate VII, fig. 5).

A conspicuous species, found occasionally on forest-clad hills round
Wellington. The life-history is at present unknown, but its larva is very
possibly parasitic in some large Lepidoptera.


_Nemorea nyctemerianus_ (Plate VII., fig. 6).

This little fly is seldom met with in the perfect state. Its larva is
parasitic on the caterpillar of _Nyctemera annulata_[13], the eggs being
deposited on the moth larva at an early age. The caterpillar grows and eats
in the ordinary way, until it has assumed the chrysalis state, when the
{60}maggot eats its way out and changes into a dark-brown pupa. In this
condition the parasite is protected by the web which was previously
constructed by the unfortunate caterpillar for its own use. The perfect fly
appears in about six weeks' time, its great agility and large white scales
rendering it very conspicuous.


_Eurigaster marginatus_ (Plate VII., fig. 7).

Another parasitic species, its larva inhabiting the caterpillars of various
noctuæ which it destroys just before they change into the chrysalis state.
The pupa of the parasite lies in a small oval cell constructed in the earth
by its larva. A variable number of these maggots are found associated in
one host, the smaller caterpillars only harbouring a single individual,
while a large larva will frequently contain three or four. This species has
been bred from the following Lepidoptera: _Mamestra composita_, _M.
ustistriga_ and _M. mutans_. It also occurs in the curious _Oeceticus
omnivorus_, being found in the cocoons of that moth in numbers varying from
two to eleven, or even more, and it is especially interesting, as it is in
turn destroyed by a small species of _Pteromalus_ already noticed among the
Hymenoptera (page 37). The perfect insect occurs occasionally on flowers
throughout the summer.


_Calliphora quadrimaculata_ (Plate VII., fig. 9).

This is the large blue-bottle fly of New Zealand and is found everywhere in
great abundance. Its larva feeds on decaying flesh and is of a dirty yellow
colour, measuring, when full-grown, about seven lines in length. The pupa
is buried at a considerable depth in the ground, the {61}larva having
descended before changing. The duration of this, and in fact of all the
stages of the insect, depends entirely upon the temperature, but the
females invariably deposit eggs, even during the hottest weather, and are
never ovo-viviparous like the next species, and several others of the


_Sarcophaga læmica_ (Plate VII., fig. 10).

Another extremely abundant species having a similar history to the last,
but its powers of development are very much accelerated owing to the larva
being positively born alive. The females hover over meat and other suitable
substances, depositing a number of minute wriggling maggots thereon, not
infrequently to the great disgust of some hungry individual, who perhaps is
making his dinner off a mutton chop which the fly has selected as a home
for her offspring. These larvæ are all produced from distinct ova, which
hatch before being laid, as I have often proved, by removing them from the
insect's abdomen, and watching the young larva emerge from a minute
elliptical white egg, covered with a thin leathery skin. Every one who has
travelled in New Zealand must have noticed that, in the wildest spots,
these insects assemble in large numbers as soon as any meat is uncovered,
thus not only showing their universal distribution throughout the country,
but also that they possess a very keen sense of smell.

Two British species at least, allied to this genus, have been introduced
into New Zealand, _viz._, _Musca domestica_ and _Musca cæsar_. The former
is probably a world-wide insect, every ship teeming with it, but the latter
is at present rather scarce and is usually found in the neighbourhood of
farm-yards, where the larva feeds on {62}cow-dung. The perfect insect may
be at once known by its brilliant green colour.


_Cylindria sigma_ (Plate VII., fig. 14).

A curious species, occurring occasionally in damp situations in the forest
where it may be noticed leisurely walking over the leaves of various
shrubs. It is very sluggish and may often be captured between the fingers
without the aid of a net. Its life-history is at present unknown, but the
larva probably feeds on fungi. The pretty little insect depicted at Fig. 11
may be found in similar situations but is not so common.


_Phora omnivora_, n.s. (Plate VII., fig. 15, 15a pupa).

This minute species may be found in large numbers nearly all the year
round. Its larva is parasitic on a great variety of insects and is also not
infrequently met with among decaying vegetable matter. Its habits are,
therefore, very varied. When parasitic in the Lepidoptera it usually
selects the noctuæ, destroying a great number of many of the commoner
species[14]. The infected caterpillars usually turn into chrysalides some
time before the little maggots emerge, but this is not invariably the case,
the parasite often destroying the larva at a comparatively early stage. The
pupæ are buried in the earth, near the remains of their host, and are light
brown in colour, with the segments much more distinct than is usual (Fig.
15a). From these the perfect flies proceed in about a month's time. The
occurrence of this insect as a parasite in Coleoptera is not common, but I
know of one instance {63}in which a number of these little flies were
produced from a pupa of _Uloma tenebrionides_ (Plate II., Figs. 2, 2a, 2b),
which I was rearing at the time (page 29). In this case it is difficult to
understand how the female contrives to deposit her eggs in a horny beetle
larva which lies safely hidden in its narrow tunnel in the middle of a
large log of wood. Among bees this is a most destructive insect, its larva
being parasitic in their grubs, and thus greatly reducing the population of
the hive, which is finally ruined by the wholesale destruction of its honey
when the flies emerge. Driving the bees into a fresh box would, no doubt,
be frequently beneficial in these cases, but it is to be feared that
bee-keepers will have much difficulty in contending with this insect. Its
sexes are readily distinguished by their size, the female being
considerably the larger.


_Coelopa littoralis_ (Plate VII., fig. 13).

Extremely abundant on the sea-beach. Its larva feeds on decaying seaweed,
burying itself in the sand before changing. The perfect insects often
congregate in such vast numbers on some of the rocks that it is necessary
to run past them in order to avoid being positively suffocated by the
countless multitudes which fly up into one's face. This insect must be
regarded as the New Zealand representative of the well-known dungfly of
England (_S. stercoraria_), which many of my readers will recollect has a
similar habit of assembling in great numbers.


_Oestrus perplexus_, n.s. (Plate VII., fig. 12).

This species is mentioned here as it is the only New Zealand exponent of a
very important and well-known {64}family of Dipterous insects. I am at
present quite ignorant as to its life-history which would, no doubt, be
very interesting. The only two specimens I possess were taken at Nelson,
some four years back, so that it appears to be very rare.

The two remaining groups of the Diptera are of very limited extent. The
_Pupipara_ include a few anomalous species, in which the young are not
deposited until they become pupæ, thus undergoing all their transformations
within the body of the parent, while the _Pulicina_ comprise the well-known
fleas, which are probably identical with the European species. They are
placed by many authors in a distinct order termed the _Aphaniptera_.


The Lepidoptera.

This Order includes the well-known Butterflies and Moths which are the
first insects to arrest attention on account of their beautiful colouring
and conspicuous appearance. Some of the families are fairly numerous in New
Zealand, but the diurnal section is decidedly poorly represented, our total
number of butterflies being limited to fifteen, of which one (_Diadema
nerina_) has unquestionably been introduced from Australia, although it
will doubtless shortly effect a permanent settlement in the Nelson
district, where several specimens have recently been observed. Among the
others only four species can be called at all common, the remaining twelve
only occurring in certain favoured localities. Of the moths there are a
large number, chiefly belonging to the Geometridæ and Micro-Lepidoptera,
many of which are very interesting. Of the life-histories of the latter,
however, I regret to say there is little known at present, the attention of
naturalists having been hitherto chiefly occupied with the larger and more
conspicuous species.



_Argyrophenga antipodum_ (Plate VIII., fig. 1 type, 1a var.).

Passing over the local but conspicuous _Danais plexippus_, {66}about which
so much doubt exists as to its origin in this country, we come to _A.
antipodum_, one of the most curious and interesting butterflies found in
New Zealand. It occurs in great abundance amongst the tussock grass on the
plains in the South Island, but becomes an alpine species further north. I
have taken a very peculiar form (Fig. 1a) on the "Mineral Belt" near
Nelson, but can find no record of its appearance in the North Island at
present. Its larva is as yet unknown, but in all probability it feeds on
tussock grass, a fractured pupa having been found attached to that plant by
Mr. G. F. Mathew in January, 1884. Two other closely allied species are
_Erebia pluto_ and _Erebia butleri_, both strictly alpine insects,
occurring in the South Island at elevations ranging from 4,000 to 6,000


_Vanessa gonerilla_[15] (Plate VIII., fig. 2, 2a underside, 2b 2c larvæ, 2d
2e pupæ).

One of our most beautiful butterflies, found abundantly throughout the
country from August till May. The larva feeds on the New Zealand nettle,
where it may be taken in great plenty by careful searching. The caterpillar
joins several of the leaves together and forms a sort of tent, in which it
lives secure from all enemies. While young, these insects are of a uniform
dull brown colour, with two faint lines on each side, but as age advances
they become very variable. The two extreme forms of variation are depicted
at Figs. 2b and 2c, the dark-coloured variety being by far the commoner.
When full-grown, this larva suspends itself by the tail to a small patch of
silk, which it has previously spun on the under side of a leaf. In this
position it remains for about twenty hours, when it begins to twist and
distend the lower portions of its body, thus {67}causing the skin to
eventually break on the back of the thoracic segments, when the soft green
pupa may be seen through the rent. The insect now works the skin upwards by
violent wriggling motions until it is gathered in a crumpled mass round its
tail, the old rent extending on one side almost up to the silken pad to
which it is suspended. Through this rent the tail of the pupa is brought
and firmly anchored in the silk by a few vigorous strokes, the insect
hanging meanwhile to the skin which has not been quite cast off on the
reverse side to the rent. When thus firmly attached to the silken pad, the
pupa shakes itself entirely free, whirling itself round and round until the
old skin is dislodged from the silk and falls to the ground. The two usual
varieties of pupæ are shown at Figs. 2d and 2e, many of them being more or
less ornamented with metallic gold or silver spots. The butterfly emerges
in a fortnight or three weeks, and is common from February till April in
most situations, but the greatest numbers are to be found in the spring
months. These hybernated specimens appear as early as August, and some of
them survive till the end of December or beginning of January, when the
earliest of the new ones are just emerging. In fact it is not infrequent at
this time to take both hybernated and recent specimens together. This
species is a great traveller, and may be often seen flying over the tops of
the trees at a great rate. It shows a singular indifference to shadow, and
is constantly flying out of the sunlight into shady places in the forest,
probably in search of the food-plant of the larvæ. The two other species of
_Vanessa_ are _V. cardui_, a periodical insect only distinguished from the
"Painted Lady Butterfly" of England by the blue centres in three of the
black spots on its hind-wings, and _V. Itea_, a lovely butterfly found in
the northern portions of this island, of which I have at present only taken
three specimens.

{68}Family LYCÆNIDÆ.

_Chrysophanus salustius_ (Plate VIII., fig. 3 [M], 3a [F], 3b larva).

This is the commonest of our Butterflies, and is found in great abundance
throughout both islands from November till April. It is double brooded, and
is consequently most abundant in the early summer and in the autumn, few of
these merry little insects being seen at midsummer. The most forward
individuals of the second brood usually emerge about the middle of March,
but the butterflies are very irregular in their appearance at this season.
The young larva (Fig. 3b) is much thickened anteriorly, the head being
concealed from above by the large thoracic segments. Its colour is pale
green, with a pair of long, erect bristles on each segment, a large number
of shorter ones being situated on the ventral surface, and behind the head.
After the second moult, a brilliant crimson dorsal line is noticeable, but
beyond this I have no record, as my larvæ unfortunately died just after
completing their third moult. Up to this time they had fed but sparingly on
the dock, eating minute holes in the leaves and clinging to them with great
firmness. It is much to be regretted that their subsequent history could
not be followed, especially as I only succeeded in obtaining the eggs on
this one occasion, although I frequently kept females in captivity with
this object. Three other species of _Chrysophanus_ occur in New Zealand,
viz., _C. feredayi_, common round Nelson, and chiefly distinguished by the
olive-green under-surface of its hind-wings; _C. enysii_, which is
occasionally met with amongst forest, and may be at once known by its broad
black markings and pale yellow colour; and _C. boldenarum_, a little insect
uniting the "Coppers" with the "Blue Butterflies," and found in great
abundance in certain river beds and shingly places. The western side of
Lake {69}Wairarapa is one of the best localities I know of for this curious
little species.


_Lycæna phoebe._

This is the common blue butterfly of New Zealand, which may be observed in
great numbers along the roadside on a hot summer's day. Its larva must be
very abundant, but has hitherto escaped attention, owing, probably, to its
small size. The perfect insect is on the wing from October till May.



This family is represented in New Zealand by the splendid _Sphinx
convolvuli_, an insect I am at present unacquainted with.


_Porina signata_ (Plate IX., fig. 2).

Common throughout the summer, when it may be taken in great numbers round
lighted windows during any mild evening. The larva is as yet unknown, but
is in all probability subterranean in its habits, and feeds on the roots of
plants. A large _Hepialus_ larva I once discovered under a stone, whilst
looking for Coleoptera, was very likely referable to this insect, but as it
unfortunately died shortly afterwards it is impossible to speak with any
degree of certainty at present. Two closely allied species are _P.
umbraculata_, and _P. cervinata_. The former is rather smaller than _P.
signata_ and of a more uniform brown, with a white stripe in the centre of
each fore-wing, surrounded with darker colouring. The latter is one of the
smallest of the family, its size at once distinguishing it {70}from any of
the rest. In colour it is pale brownish with numerous black and white
markings, varieties occasionally occurring much suffused with the darker
colour. It is rather local, but may be found abundantly in the Manawatu


_Hepialus virescens_ (Plate IX., fig. 1 [M], 1a [F], 1c larva, 1b pupa).

This gigantic insect is seen occasionally in the forest during the early
summer. The larva (1c) tunnels the stems of living trees, feeding entirely
on wood which it bites off with its strong mandibles. The plant most
usually selected by the caterpillar is _Aristotelia racemosa_, called by
the settlers "New Zealand currant," from its large clusters of rich-looking
black berries, which appear in autumn. Other food-plants are numerous, the
black maire (_Olea apetala_) and manuka (_Leptospermum_) being among those
more frequently chosen.

This larva, for the most part, inhabits the main stem of the tree, its
gallery always having an outlet to the air, which is covered with a curtain
of dull brown silk, spun exactly level with the surrounding bark, and
consequently very inconspicuous. These burrows usually run down towards the
ground, and are mostly two or three inches from the surface of the trunk.
In some instances the larvæ inhabit branches, in which case, if the branch
is of small dimensions, the tunnel is made near the centre. These remarks
only refer to galleries constructed by young larvæ, as the tunnel made by
the insect prior to becoming a pupa is of a very complicated character and
merits a somewhat detailed description. It consists of a spacious,
irregular, but shallow cavity, just under the bark, having a large opening
to the air, which is entirely covered with a thin silken covering, almost
exactly the same shape and size as {71}the numerous scars which occur at
intervals on the trunks of nearly all the trees. Three large tunnels open
into this shallow cavity: one in the centre, which runs right into the
middle of the stem, and one on each side, which run right and left just
under the bark. These are usually very short, but sometimes extend half-way
round the tree, and occasionally even join one another on the opposite
side. The central tunnel has a slightly upward direction for a short
distance inwards, which effectually prevents it from becoming flooded with
water; afterwards it pursues an almost horizontal course until it reaches
the centre of the tree when it appears to suddenly terminate. This,
however, is not the case, for, if the gallery floor is carefully examined a
short distance before its apparent termination, a round trap-door will be
found, compactly constructed of very hard, smooth silk, and corresponding
so closely with the surrounding portion of the tunnel that it almost
escapes detection. When this lid is lifted a long perpendicular shaft is
disclosed which runs down the middle of the tree to a depth of 14 or 16
inches, and is about six lines in diameter. At the bottom of this the
elongated pupa (Fig. 1b) sleeps quietly and securely in an upright
position, the old larval skin forming a soft support for the terminal
segment of the pupa to rest on. The upper end of this vertical shaft is
lined with silk, which forms a framework on which the trap-door rests when
closed. The lid itself is of a larger size than the orifice which it
covers, and this makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to force
it from the outside, whilst it fits down so closely to the aperture as not
to be readily lifted. The object of this most ingenious contrivance is, in
all probability, to prevent the ingress of insects, large numbers of
spiders, slugs, and various Orthoptera being frequently found in both
central and lateral tunnels, but they are quite unable to pass the
trap-door. The galleries of different individual larvæ are all wonderfully
{72}alike, the only differences observable being in the length of the
perpendicular shaft and the direction of the horizontal burrow, which is
sometimes curved. These variations are usually caused by the presence of
other tunnels in the tree, which the larva invariably avoids, although how
it can ascertain that it is approaching another tunnel before actually
reaching it, is hard to understand. As development progresses in the pupa,
it becomes darker in colour, especially on the wing-cases, which in some
individuals show the future black markings of the moth, as early as two
months before emergence. Others remain quite white and soft, the green
wings suddenly appearing through their cases a fortnight or three weeks
prior to the bursting forth of the imago. Previous to this change the pupa
works its way up the vertical tunnel, lifts the trap-door, which yields to
the slightest pressure from within, and wriggles along the horizontal
burrow until it reaches the air, the last three or four segments only
remaining in the tree. The thoracic shield then ruptures, and the moth
crawls out and expands its wings in the ordinary way, resting on the trunk
of the tree until they are of sufficient strength and hardness for flight.

The perfect insect, although it must be common, is very rarely seen. It is
best reared from the pupæ, which can be often successfully cut out of their
burrows and kept amongst damp moss until they emerge. It appears to be much
persecuted by birds, as we often observe its large green wings lying about
on the ground.[16]

The curious "vegetable caterpillar," which is usually referred to this
species, probably belongs to one of the larger subterranean larvæ of the

{73}Family BOMBYCIDÆ.

_Nyctemera annulata_ (Plate IX., fig. 3 [M], 3a larva, 3b pupa).

This abundant species is usually mistaken for a butterfly by the
uninitiated owing to its diurnal habits and conspicuous colouring. Its
larva feeds on various plants, the most usual being a light green kind of
ivy with yellow flowers, but its original food no doubt consisted of the
"New Zealand groundsel" (_Senecio bellidioides_), on which it may now be
occasionally taken in wild situations. Its general colour is black, with
interrupted dorsal and lateral lines, the ventral surface and connecting
membrane between the segments being slate-coloured. In younger larvæ there
are also several slate-coloured lines extending the whole length of the
insect, and thus dividing the black into squares. Round the middle of each
segment, at its greatest circumference, a variable number of brilliant blue
warts are situated, and out of these dense tufts of long black hair take
their rise. There are, however, no warts along the ventral surface. This
description applies very well as a rule, but the larva is subject to many
slight variations. It remains in this state for nearly three months, or
more, according to the season, and is very common, numbers being found on
the different plants which constitute its food. The pupa (Fig. 3b) is of a
shining black colour, with many longitudinal rows of small yellow blotches
on the abdominal segments; there is also a stripe of the same colour at the
tip of the wing-case. It is enclosed in a slight cocoon, formed of a
mixture of silk and hair, and is attached near the ground to any firm
object. The moth emerges in the course of a month or six weeks. It is very
common, being found profusely in the neighbourhood of its food-plants, and
appears in the greatest numbers during the early morning hours in the
middle of summer.

{74}For an account of a Dipterous insect, parasitic in the present species,
I refer to page 59.


_Oeceticus omnivorus_ (Plate X., fig. 1 [M], 1a [F], 1b larva, 1c [M]

This insect is very rarely seen abroad, but can be easily reared from the
larva, which feeds on manuka and other plants throughout the year. When
very young, and in fact immediately after leaving the egg, it constructs a
wide spindle-shaped case, principally composed of silk, with a few small
fragments of leaves, &c., attached to the outside. It has a large aperture
in front, through which the head and anterior portion of the larva are
projected, and a much smaller one at the posterior extremity, which allows
the pellets of excrement to fall out of the case as they are evacuated. The
body of the enclosed caterpillar is of a light straw colour, the head and
three first segments being dark brown, with numerous white markings. The
abdominal segments are considerably thickened near the middle of the
insect, rudimentary prolegs being present on the third, fourth, fifth, and
sixth segments of the abdomen. The anal prolegs are very strong, and are
furnished with numerous sharp hooklets, which retain the larva very firmly
in its case. As it grows it increases the length of its domicile from the
anterior, causing it gradually to assume a more tubular form, tapering
towards the posterior aperture, which is enlarged from time to time. The
outside is covered with numerous fragmentary leaves and twigs of various
sizes, placed longitudinally on the case, and frequently near the anterior
aperture, the materials, owing to their recent selection, are fresh and
green. The interior is lined with soft, smooth silk of a light brown
colour, the thickness of the whole fabric being about the same {75}as that
of an ordinary kid glove, and so strong that it is impossible to tear it,
or indeed to cut it, except with sharp instruments. The size of the case
when the caterpillar is mature varies considerably, ranging from 25 to 30
lines or more in length, and about three in diameter, the widest portion
being a little behind the anterior aperture (see Fig. 1b).

During the day the larva closes the entrance and spins a loop of very
strong silk over a twig, the ends being joined to the upper edges of the
case on each side; in this way it hangs suspended, the caterpillar lying
snugly within. I have often known a larva to remain thus for over three
weeks without moving, and afterwards resume feeding as before; this
probably occurs while the inmate is engaged in changing its skin. At night
the larvæ may be seen busily engaged: they project the head and first four
segments of the body beyond the case, and walk about with considerable
rapidity, often lowering themselves by means of silken threads; the only
locomotive organs are, of course, their strong thoracic legs, which appear
to easily fulfil their double function of moving both larva and case. If
disturbed, these insects at once retreat into their cases closing the
anterior aperture with a silken cord which is kept in readiness for the
purpose, and pulled from the inside by the retreating larva. This operation
is most rapidly performed, as the upper edges of the case are flexible, and
thus fold closely together, completely obstructing the entrance. When full
fed, this caterpillar fastens its case to a branch with a loop of strong
silk, which is drawn very tight, preventing the case from swinging when the
plant is moved by the wind, and also rendering the insect's habitation more
inconspicuous, by causing it to resemble a broken twig. The anterior
aperture is completely closed, the loose edges being drawn together and
fastened like a bag. The posterior end of the case is {76}twisted up for
some little distance above the extremity, thus completely closing the
opening there situated. It is lined inside with a layer of very soft silk,
spun loosely over the sides, and partly filling up each end. In the centre
of this the pupa lies with its head towards the lower portion of the case,
the old larval skin being thrust backwards amongst the loose silk above the
chrysalis. In this stage of existence the extraordinary sexual disparities,
which are so characteristic of the family, manifest themselves, the male
and female pupæ being very widely different in all respects. The former is
figured at 1c, the female pupa differing from it in the following
particulars. It is much larger and more cylindrical in shape, the abdomen
occupying nearly the whole of the body, and consisting of nine visible
segments, the terminal one being obtusely conical. The head and thorax are
very rudimentary, more resembling those of the larva than the male, all the
appendages being, however, reduced to hardly visible warts. In colour it is
pitchy black and shining, and its length is about ten lines. This insect
remains in the pupa state during the winter months, viz., from May till
September. When about to emerge, the male chrysalis works its way down to
the lower end of the case, forces open the old aperture there, and projects
the head, thorax, and upper portion of the abdomen, the pupa being secured
from falling by the spines on its posterior segments, which retain a firm
hold in the silk. Its anterior portion then ruptures, and the moth makes
its escape, clinging to the outside of its old habitation, and drying its
wings. It is probable that the female insect does not leave her case,
communication with the male being no doubt effected through one of the
orifices, and the eggs afterwards deposited inside. On one occasion I found
a case full of eggs, containing the shrivelled body of the female and her
old pupa shell, which would seem to confirm the above opinion. The perfect
insects are drawn at {77}Figs. 1 and 1a. The male (1) is extremely active,
dashing about the breeding cage with great rapidity when first emerged, and
rapidly beating his wings to tatters; but the female (1a) closely resembles
a large maggot, all the appendages being completely rudimentary, except the
two-jointed ovipositor at the end of her body; she is incapable of any
motion, except a slight twirling of the abdomen, which takes place while
the eggs are being laid.[17]


_Leucania nullifera_ (Plate XIII., fig. 3, 3a larva).

This large, though dull-looking insect, is occasionally taken at light
during the summer and autumn months.

The larva feeds on the spear-grass (_Aciphylla squarrosa_), an abundant
plant on the coast hills near Wellington. It devours the soft
central-growing point, and its presence in a tussock can be at once seen by
a quantity of pale-brown "frass," visible at the bases of the leaves. The
formidable spear-like points with which this plant is armed must afford the
caterpillar considerable protection from enemies. As a rule a single
specimen only is found in each clump of the grass, so that the female
probably deposits her eggs singly. This larva is full-grown about August,
and may be found feeding in the plants during the autumn and winter.

The pupa state is spent, in an earthen chamber, amongst the roots of the
spear-grass, and the moth emerges during the summer.

This species occurs at considerable elevations. I have seen it as high as
4,000 feet in the Nelson province, where its food-plant may also be found.

{78}Family NOCTUIDÆ.

_Leucania atristriga_ (Plate X., fig. 2).

Abundant among various blossoms during the latter end of summer, being one
of the last of the Noctuæ to disappear in the autumn.

The larva probably feeds on grasses, but I have not yet met with it.

The illustration (Fig. 2) is taken from the male insect, the female
differing only in having her abdomen rounded at the tip, a sexual
distinction which holds good throughout the family.


_Erana graminosa_ (Plate X., fig. 5, 5a larva).

This beautiful insect occurs commonly on the white rata blossoms
(_Metrosideros scandens_) round Wellington during March and April, at which
time it may be readily taken just after dark with a lantern and
killing-bottle. The larva (Fig. 5a) feeds on the mahoe (_Melicytus
ramiflorus_) in the spring and autumn. It remains concealed in crevices in
the bark during the day, not infrequently selecting the deserted burrows of
wood-boring beetles as a secure retreat from its enemies. When full grown
it is olive-green, the colour being lighter on the ventral surface and
between the segments. A row of ill-defined, feathery, black markings
extends down the back and sides and there are also two tolerably
conspicuous ochreish spots on every segment except the last. The head,
legs, and prolegs are reddish-yellow, and the whole insect is more or less
spotted with black. Younger larvæ differ in being of a light
yellowish-green, with very pale yellow dorsal and lateral lines. A row of
black warts, emitting a few bristles, extend round each of the segments,
while the head is pale ochreous with a few black dots.

When full-grown this larva descends to the ground, and {79}forms a slight
cocoon in the earth round the roots of the tree, where it is transformed
into a very stout, ruddy-brown-coloured pupa, somewhat paler on the
wing-cases. The moth emerges in two or three months' time. Its colouring
renders it so inconspicuous amongst moss that I have frequently lifted a
handful of the latter out of the breeding cage, and only discovered that
the insects had emerged by their falling from the moss on to the table. A
very noticeable peculiarity in this species is the presence of a fringe of
long hairs in a fold on the anterior margin of the fore-wing. This organ
emits a fragrant perfume, and is confined to the male sex (Fig. 5). Only
one or two other instances of this kind are at present known among the New
Zealand moths.


_Mamestra mutans_ (Plate X., fig. 7, 7a larva, 7b pupa).

This extremely abundant species occurs almost without intermission during
the whole of the year. The sluggish larva (7a) feeds on plantain, and is
best obtained by overturning logs and stones, when it may be discovered
among the grass and other plants growing round their edge. Its head is pale
green, with two broad black stripes, and is clothed with numerous short
bristles; the four succeeding segments are of a ruddy-brown colour,
considerably wrinkled, the remainder being light green, suffused with a
dull, pinkish hue towards the dorsal surface. The markings consist of a
triangular black spot on each side of the second to eighth abdominal
segments, and a cloudy lateral line of the same colour; the legs and
prolegs being pale green, and the whole insect more or less marbled with
black. This description and the figure on Plate X. exhibit the usual
peculiarities of the larva, but in some individuals the markings there
indicated are quite obsolete, and the {80}insect is of an almost uniform
pale-green colour. When mature, this caterpillar sometimes constructs a
slight cocoon amongst moss, on fallen trees, but more often buries itself
in the usual manner, the moth appearing in a few weeks' time. Nearly all
pupæ collected at random in New Zealand will be found to give rise to
either this species or the one which immediately follows (_Mamestra
composita_). The perfect insect is most abundant in the spring and early
summer, but may be found fluttering round lamps on any mild night
throughout the year. The sexes differ considerably: the female is greyish
white, with faint brown markings, while the male is dull reddish-brown,
with the markings considerably darker (Fig. 7). His antennæ are also
slightly pectinated, those of the female being quite simple.


_Mamestra composita_ (Plate X., fig. 3, 3a larva).

Very common during the spring and autumn in all open situations.

Its pretty larva (Fig. 3a) feeds on various grasses, and threatens in time
to do considerable damage to pastures. The head and dorsal surface of the
first segment are dark shining green, with one or two obscure white
markings; the rest of the body is ornamented with a number of parallel
brown, white, and orange lines, which render the larva very inconspicuous
when amongst the grass. Sometimes it occurs in great numbers, nearly every
blade of grass having its caterpillar; in fact this was almost the case in
the Wairarapa valley in the summer of 1886, when the larvæ must have
produced a marked effect on the paddocks. When full-grown this caterpillar
changes into a light chestnut-brown pupa, which lies on the surface of the
ground amongst the vegetable refuse. The perfect insect appears in about a
month's time, and if the evening be mild {81}may be seen flying with great
rapidity at dusk; it may also be readily captured at light. The figure (3)
represents the male insect, the female differing only in her simple


_Mamestra ustistriga_ (Plate X., fig. 6 [M]).

This handsome insect is rather uncertain in its appearance, but is
occasionally taken quite unexpectedly at rest on tree-trunks or palings in
the daytime. Specimens may also be captured while feeding on the white rata
blossoms early in March, where they occasionally occur among the hosts of
other Noctuæ. The larva, which feeds on the honeysuckle, is of a pale brown
colour, with two obscure darker lines on each side, the under-surface being
light slate-colour. The pupa state is spent in the ground, and many fine
specimens may be reared from chrysalids picked up while gardening, &c. The
sexes of this insect differ considerably in colour: the male is of a
pinkish grey with black markings, while the female is of a uniform pale
grey, and considerably smaller.


_Heliothis armigera_ (Plate X., fig. 4, 4a larva).

This conspicuous insect occurs in great abundance during certain seasons,
but is very irregular in its appearance, it frequently happening that only
two or three specimens are noticed in a whole year. It is generally seen
flying in the daytime, when it delights to suck honey from the flowers of
the Scotch thistle, a plant which much overruns the forest lands when first
cleared. The larva (Fig. 4a) is a very handsome caterpillar, of a dark
brownish black colour, ornamented with yellow subdorsal and lateral lines
and numerous streaks and dots of the same hue. The ventral surface is a
rich yellowish brown, and the subventral line {82}white, the spiracles
being white with black rings; a reddish blotch also adorns each of the
three thoracic segments. It feeds voraciously on geraniums, tomatoes, peas,
and many other garden plants, where it often commits the most serious
ravages. About the end of April it is full-grown, when it descends to the
ground and buries itself two or three inches below the surface. In this
situation it is shortly transformed into a pupa, remaining in that state
until the following summer, when the moth appears. The sexes of this insect
differ considerably, the male having the fore-wings of a ruddy-brown
colour, sometimes inclining to orange, while in the female they are pale
ochreish; both sexes are, however, subject to considerable variation, and
the figure (4) is taken from a rather dark male specimen.


_Plusia eriosoma_ (Plate X., fig. 8, 8a larva).

An abundant species round Nelson, where almost any number may be taken
hovering over flowers on a still summer's evening. In Wellington it occurs
occasionally. The larva (Fig. 8a) is a pseudo-geometer, having twelve legs,
and thus showing a strong affinity with the next family. In colour it is
pale green, darker on the dorsal surface than elsewhere. A white line runs
down each side, and the whole insect is covered with black dots and
bristles. The colouring of different individuals varies in intensity, and a
fainter white line, above the usual one, exists in some specimens. It feeds
on beans, geraniums, and many other imported plants, and is doing much good
in the Nelson gardens by the havoc which it is committing among the Scotch
thistles--weeds equally injurious to the agriculturalist and the gardener,
not only crowding out useful plants, but rapidly exhausting the soil in
which they grow. Formerly this insect must have fed exclusively on the New
Zealand {83}nightshade (_Solanum aviculare_), on which plant it may still
be occasionally found in the forest, where no imported species are
available, but, like many other caterpillars in this country, it is
forsaking the native vegetation for the European. When full-grown, this
larva spins a slight cocoon of white silk, which is generally placed
between two leaves. The pupa is of a shiny black colour, the membrane
between the segments being reddish-brown. The moth emerges in about three
weeks' time. The figure (8) is taken from a female insect, the male being
readily distinguishable by two large tufts of hair situated at the end of
his body and often very conspicuous. In some cases the wings of the female
are considerably lighter than in the illustration, but otherwise the
species does not seem to vary. It is the New Zealand representative of the
English "Silver Y Moth" (_P. gamma_), no doubt familiar to many of my


_Declana floccosa_ (Plate XI., fig. 1, 1a larva).

I have started the Geometridæ with _Declana_ because it exhibits a great
many more points in common with the Noctuidæ than does the genus
_Acidalia_, which latter is placed at the head of the Geometridæ by some
modern Lepidopterists, chiefly, I believe, on account of neuration, a
character which if taken alone cannot but produce the most unnatural
divisions. The present insect is one of the commonest of the genus, and may
often be observed throughout the whole summer resting on the sheltered
sides of trees and fences, occasional stragglers being met with as late as
the end of May. Its larva is a pseudo-geometer possessing twelve legs (Fig.
1a), and thus almost exactly resembling the caterpillars of the genus
_Catocala_, belonging to the Noctuidæ; the curious filaments on each side
of the insect making this likeness still more complete. It feeds {84}on the
"New Zealand currant" (_A. racemosa_), from which, individuals can be
occasionally beaten during the spring and early summer. They are almost
impossible to find by searching in the ordinary way, from a habit they
possess of clinging firmly to the twigs, which they exactly imitate in
colour. When full-grown this caterpillar constructs a small cocoon just
below the ground, where it is transformed into a robust-looking pupa, from
which the moth emerges in a month or six weeks' time. The sexes of this
species may be readily distinguished, the male (Fig. 1) having the antennæ
slightly pectinated, while those of the female are quite simple, and her
body much more robust. The moth drawn at Fig. 1b has been reared from larvæ
exactly resembling those of the present insect, of which it is consequently
now known to be only an extreme variety. It was formerly ranked as a
distinct species under the name of _Declana junctilinea_.


_Chalastra pelurgata_ (Plate XI., fig. 2 [M], 2a [F], 2b larva).

This delicate species may be taken flying about the forest at night, from
October till March, but is most abundant on the white rata blossoms during
the latter end of summer.

Its caterpillar feeds sparingly on a delicate fern (_Todea
hymenophyllioides_) which grows in dark glades in the forest, where the sun
seldom or never shines. In colour it is generally dull brown, with a row of
green or pale brown lunate spots on each side; on the ventral surface the
colour is darker, except on the thorax, where it is green, the legs being
also green. There are in addition numerous fine, wavy lines down the back
and sides of the larva, and the dorsal surface of the thoracic segments and
ventral prolegs are bright reddish brown (Fig. 2b). These larvæ are,
however, very variable; in many the "lunate" stripes are much longer,
having a diagonal direction, and {85}thus extending up the sides of the
insect towards its dorsal surface, while others have the ventral surface
dark green, and additional markings of more or less importance.

When full-grown it spins a loose cocoon of earth and dead leaves, from
which the perfect insect emerges in a month or six weeks' time. The sexes
are widely different, both being figured on the Plate (Fig. 2 [M], 2a [F]).
I have noticed that at least four females occur to every male, which is a
very unusual arrangement, the males being generally much the commoner among
the Lepidoptera.


_Ploseria hemipteraria_ (Plate XI., fig. 3, 3a larva).

A curious moth, occurring in some numbers at various blossoms during the
summer evenings, but rather uncertain in its appearance. The larva (Fig.
3a) feeds at night on veronica, where it may be often found with a lantern,
devouring the flowers and leaves. In colour it is light green with two
yellow lines on each side, the dorsal surface being considerably darker,
and almost blue. Specimens are not infrequently met with of a uniform dark
brown, and the two conspicuous lateral lines are then reduced to a single
obscure ochreous band. These caterpillars are very inconspicuous during the
daytime, as they remain quite motionless for hours together, sticking
straight out from the stems of their food-plant, which they closely
resemble. The pupa is unusually robust, and possesses a sharp spine at its
extremity. In colour it is pale olive brown, with a pinkish line on each
side of the abdomen, the wing-cases being more or less suffused with pink.
It is not enclosed in any cocoon, but may be found amongst the dead leaves
round the stems of the veronica. The perfect insect appears in about three
weeks' time. It is liable to be passed over for a faded leaf, the general
outline and colouring of the wings rendering the {86}insect very
inconspicuous, especially amongst foliage. The specimens I have reared all
closely resemble Fig. 3, so that this insect does not appear at all prone
to vary.


_Ploseria alectoraria_ (Plate XI., fig. 4; Plate XIII., fig. 7 larva).

One of our most variable moths, occurring occasionally amongst foliage
during the summer, but most abundant on the white rata blossoms in February
and March.

The larva feeds on _Pittosporum eugenioides_, where it may be sometimes
found in October and November. It has a most wonderful resemblance to the
buds of the plant, and can only be dislodged by vigorous beating. It is
easily reared in captivity--in fact the female moths may often be induced
to lay their eggs and the insect observed through all its stages.

The eggs are very flat, oval, and light green in colour, becoming brown at
one end about five days before hatching.

The young larva is pale green with a dull yellowish head. It has no
markings until after the first moult when a reddish dorsal line appears. As
age advances the larva becomes darker in colour and is ornamented with a
series of diagonal yellow stripes. The spiracles and antennæ are pink and
very conspicuous. The legs and prolegs are very small, and the latter are
bright red in colour; a fleshy process which projects from the last segment
of the larva is similarly coloured. The whole insect is also speckled with
yellow. When full-grown this caterpillar is very robust and measures about
ten lines in length. The pupa is enclosed in a light cocoon formed of three
or four leaves fastened together with silk. It is greenish brown in colour.

The perfect insect first appears in December. It may be observed during the
whole of the autumn and occasionally in the winter. As the larvæ grow very
slowly I am {87}inclined to think that the females hibernate and lay their
eggs early in the spring (Fig. 4).


_Sestra humeraria_ (Plate XI., fig. 5, 5a larva).

This abundant species occurs in large numbers round Wellington, amongst
brushwood, whence it may be often dislodged during the daytime, but is most
readily procurable in the evening. The larva (Fig. 5a), feeds on _Pteris
incisa_, a pale green fern, growing in many open spots in the forest to a
height of three or four feet. Its general colour is dull brownish yellow,
slightly darker on the back, and ornamented with a number of wavy yellow
lines on each side. The ventral surface and legs are green and the head is
dark brown; the whole insect being covered with numerous black dots and
bristles. When disturbed these larvæ immediately drop to the ground, and
coiling themselves up like small snakes, become very inconspicuous.

The pupa is buried in the earth about two inches below the surface, the
insect remaining in this state during the winter months. The moths
generally emerge about October. So far as my experience goes they are not
subject to any notable variations. The specimen drawn at Fig. 6 is regarded
as a variety of this species by Mr. Meyrick, but I myself believe it to be
quite distinct, as among over a dozen _humeraria_ larvæ reared in
captivity, none of the imagines had the slightest resemblance to Fig. 6,
although the caterpillars were all taken within a few yards of the place
where such moths occurred.


_Selidosema dejectaria_ (Plate XI., fig. 8 [M], 8a [F], 8b larva).

An abundant and conspicuous species, occurring throughout the summer, often
noticed at rest on fences and trees {88}during the day and always taken in
great numbers on various blossoms in the evening.

The caterpillar is extremely variable, the colouring of different
individuals being apparently much influenced by their surroundings; those
specimens, for instance, taken from the pale green foliage of the mahoe
(_M. ramiflorus_) resemble in colour the twigs of that plant, while others
captured feeding on the white rata (_Metrosideros scandens_) are dark
reddish brown. Fig. 8b is drawn from a larva found on the fuchsia, which,
when in its favourite position, viz., sticking straight out from the side
of a branch, is so much like one of the sprouting twigs that it absolutely
defies detection. When full-grown this insect buries itself about two
inches in the earth, where it shortly becomes a dark chestnut-brown pupa,
lighter between the segments. The time required for the development of the
perfect insect depends upon the season, larvæ which undergo their
transformations in the spring developing much more rapidly than those that
feed up in the autumn.[18]

This insect is extremely variable, having been formerly divided into
several distinct species; the two most usual forms are those shown at Figs.
8 and 8a, but every intermediate variety exists. The sexes are
distinguished by the usual differences in the antennæ. My experience leads
me to believe that the light varieties occur more frequently in the female
than in the male sex, and also that the dark larvæ give rise to dark moths,
and _vice versâ_, although a great many more specimens will have to be
reared before these can be regarded as established facts.

{89}Family GEOMETRIDÆ.

_Selidosema panagrata_ (Plate XI., fig. 7 [M], 7a [F], 7b larva).

One of our commonest moths, occurring in great numbers in the forest
throughout the whole summer.

The larvæ (Fig. 7b) are extremely variable, the most usual colouring being
that of the individual figured, but when very young they are all of a
uniform green with a conspicuous white dorsal line; as age advances the
caterpillars become dark olive brown of varying degrees of intensity in
different specimens, some retaining a considerable amount of their original
green colouring, especially those feeding on the kawakawa (_Piper
excelsum_), whose hue consequently harmonizes with that of the plant. These
larvæ often select a forked twig to rest in, where they lie curled round
with the head and tail close together. They are very voracious, and are the
primary cause of the riddled appearance which the leaves of the kawakawa
almost invariably present. Other food-plants are the "currant" (_A.
racemosa_), and the _Myrtus bullata_; those taken from the latter have a
strong pinkish tint, and are consequently very inconspicuous amongst the
young shoots where they generally feed. The burrows of _Hepialus virescens_
are frequently utilized by the larvæ which feed on the "currant," as
convenient retreats during the winter, a large number being often found in
a single hole. When full-grown they descend to the ground and construct, on
the under-side of fallen leaves, loose cocoons of silk and earth from which
the perfect insects emerge in about a month's time. The autumnal larvæ,
however, either hibernate or remain in the pupa state throughout the
winter. This moth is even more variable than the last species (_S.
dejectaria_), which it occasionally somewhat resembles. The sexes are very
different, the colouring of the male consisting of various {90}shades of
warm brown (Fig. 7), while in the female the prevailing hue is slaty brown
or even grey (Fig. 7a). Many specimens are much suffused with ochre and
reddish-brown, while the stigma near the centre of the fore-wing, although
sometimes almost obsolete, is often very conspicuous and black, white, or
even yellow in colour. It would be of great interest to learn, by rearing a
large number of these insects, whether the many varieties existing in the
larval and perfect states could be traced to differences in food-plant, or
some other external circumstance.


_Selidosema productata_ (Plate XII., fig. 1 [M], 1a [F], 1b larva).

Abundant in the forest, where it may be dislodged from ferns and
undergrowth during the day or captured flying about in the evening. Its
larva is rather attenuated, and possesses a large hump on the second
abdominal segment. In colour it is dark reddish brown, mottled with creamy
white and pale green, and is sparsely supplied with a few isolated hairs
(Fig. 1b). It feeds on the white rata (_Metrosideros scandens_), and when
in its usual position--_i.e._, sticking straight out from a
branch--absolutely defies detection. Specimens, however, may be readily
procured with a lantern at night, when they may be found walking about and
eating. The pupa state is spent in the earth, about two inches below the
surface, the moth appearing in three or four weeks' time, this period,
however, being extended in the case of autumnal larvæ, to as many months.
It is extremely variable, scarcely two individuals being found exactly
alike. The colouring, as in the caterpillar, is chiefly protective,
consisting of a delicate tracery of browns and greys, which render the
insect quite invisible when resting on the trunk of a tree, with its pale
yellowish hind-wings concealed, a position it invariably assumes {91}during
the daytime (Fig. 1 male, 1a female). The curious and interesting
"_Tatosomas_," with their enormously elongated bodies, are closely allied
to the present insect; one of them (_Tatosoma agrionata_) being found in
similar situations, although in much more limited numbers; as, however, I
know nothing of their transformations, I am forced reluctantly to pass them


_Hydriomena deltoidata_ (Plate XIII., fig. 1, 1a larva).

One of our commonest moths, appearing in great numbers during January and
February, in all open situations. It is especially abundant on the

The larva (Fig. 1a) feeds on the plantain. It is very sluggish, and lives
all through the winter, becoming full-grown in September, when it changes
into a pupa, among the roots of its food-plant. In colour it is a uniform
dark brown.

The moth is extremely variable, but the figure may be taken as representing
a fairly typical specimen. It is a pretty insect, and may be often seen
resting on fences with its fore-wings folded backwards and forming together
a triangle, whence its name of _deltoidata_. Any unusual-looking specimens
of this species should always be netted, in order to form a thoroughly
representative series, as many of the varieties are very interesting. A
rather uncommon and remarkable-looking form occasionally occurs, in which
the dark central band of the fore-wings is completely divided near the


_Asthena schistaria_ (Plate XII., fig. 2, 2a larva).

This delicate little insect may be often taken at rest on fences and
tree-trunks during the day, and is a {92}conspicuous moth when flying in
the evening, owing to its light colour. The larva (Fig. 2a), which feeds on
the manuka (_Leptospermum ericoides_), is very ornamental. Its general
colour is light green, with black dorsal and lateral stripes, and a series
of diagonal markings bordered with crimson; the legs and prolegs are also
crimson, and the segments are divided by brilliant yellow rings, a white
line extending down each side of the larva. It is difficult to find, as it
remains closely concealed amongst the dense manuka foliage, from which it
can only be dislodged by vigorous and continued beating. The caterpillars
allow themselves to fall a short distance, hanging suspended by a silken
thread, which they rapidly ascend when the danger is passed. The pupa is
rather attenuated, dark-brown, and much pointed at its posterior extremity.
It is found buried about an inch in the earth, and the moth appears in a
month's time. This insect varies much in intensity of markings. The males
are generally considerably darker than the females, but are more certainly
distinguished by their attenuated bodies.

The pearly white _Asthena pulchraria_ occurs in October and April; it is a
most beautiful insect, and may be found amongst the foliage of the kawakawa
(_P. excelsum_), on which its larva will probably be found to feed.


_Scoparia hemiplaca_ (Plate XII., fig. 4).

This pretty little moth was reared from a larva found feeding amongst moss
during the winter of 1885, but unfortunately I neglected to make a drawing
until it was too late. Doubtless many of the other Pyrales we meet with in
the New Zealand forest have similar habits, their larvæ probably feeding on
different kinds of mosses. These can always be examined during the winter
months, {93}when the entomologist is usually in want of work, and thus much
information may be obtained regarding this interesting but little-known


_Scoparia sabulosella_ (Plate XIII., fig. 4, 4a larva).

This is that extremely abundant, though dull-coloured little insect, that
rises in such multitudes from every field before one's footsteps during the
early summer.

Its larva (Fig. 4a) feeds on various mosses, forming numerous silken
galleries amongst the roots in which it resides. These caterpillars are
very active, and consequently rather difficult to obtain, as they move
either backwards or forwards in their galleries with equal rapidity.

They feed during the whole of the autumn and winter, changing into pupæ
about September, from which the moths emerge in a month or six weeks' time.

The habits of the numerous other species belonging to this genus and the
closely allied genus _Xeroscopa_ (Meyr) probably do not materially differ
from those of the species here described.


_Crambus flexuosellus_ (Plate XII., fig. 5).

An extremely abundant insect, occurring in swarms over meadows during the
summer, where it may be captured in the daytime or taken by hundreds at the
attracting lamp in the evening. Its larva is at present unknown, but
probably feeds on the roots of grasses.

Closely allied is _Crambus tahulalis_, found in similar situations, but
appearing rather later in the season, the earliest specimens being met with
about January, while _C. flexuosellus_ is on the wing throughout the

{94}Family PYRALIDÆ.

_Siculodes subfasciata_ (Plate XII., fig. 3, 3a larva, 3b pupa).

This curious insect may be occasionally taken flying round patches of
_Muhlenbeckia adpressa_, which grows freely amongst brushwood in many parts
of the country.

Its larva (Fig. 3a), is very stout and sluggish, resembling the caterpillar
of an ordinary Pyrale in general appearance. It feeds in the stems of the
creeper, causing large swellings therein, which readily betray its
presence, and should therefore be cut off and kept until the moth emerges,
as specimens obtained in this way are far superior to any captured in the
open. The pupa is dark brown, and shining; it lies in the centre of one of
the swellings, the larva having previously prepared a safe outlet for the
moth in the form of a small burrow leading to the air, its extreme end
remaining closed by a thin pellicle of the original bark, which effectually
prevents the inmate's resting-place being discovered from the exterior (see
Fig. 3b, the small circle marked * represents the outlet).

The perfect insect appears about December, flying rapidly in the hottest
sunshine. It varies greatly, both in size and colour, some of the small
males being very much suffused with dark brown, while the females usually
resemble the figure (3), and are often more than twice the size of their
mates. This insect is generally placed in a family called the _Siculidæ_,
but I think without sufficient reason, and have therefore located it among
the Pyralidæ, with which it has unquestionably a great affinity.


_Isonomeutis amauropa_ (Plate XIII., fig. 2, 2a larva).

This odd little moth may be occasionally seen basking in openings in the
forest, and usually flies away {95}with lightning speed when an attempt is
made to capture it.

The larva lives under the scaly bark of the matai-tree, feeding on the
soft, juicy inner bark and sap. In colour it is light yellowish white,
darker on the back, some specimens becoming quite pink on the dorsal
surface. When full-grown it encloses itself in a tough silken cocoon,
covered on the outside with fragments of wood, from which the moth emerges
in about a fortnight's time.

The sexes differ considerably in appearance, the male having much broader
wings, and darker in colour than those in the female from which the
illustration (Fig. 2) is taken.

This insect is probably single-brooded, as the larva may be found feeding
in the trees during the whole of the winter.


_Cacoecia excessana_ (Plate XIII., fig. 5, 5a larva).

This is the commonest species of _Tortricidæ_ in New Zealand, and may be
found almost without interruption during the whole of the year.

The larva (Fig. 5a) feeds on a great variety of plants, the common manuka
being probably the most usual food for the species when in a state of
nature. It now, however, eats numerous European plants, including
honeysuckle and occasionally the fruit of the apple, but further evidence
is required on the latter subject before we can really consider it as
actually injurious in that direction.

In colour this caterpillar is light green with a yellow line on each side,
but varies considerably; it feeds between several rolled-up leaves, in
which it is afterwards converted into a pupa whence the moth emerges in
about three weeks' time.

The perfect insect is also excessively variable and is often more or less
suffused with yellow. It is most abundant in {96}the middle of summer, and
may be taken at light, or in the daytime at rest on fences and trees.


_Ctenopseustis obliquana_ (Plate XII., fig. 6).

This little moth is occasionally noticed at rest on garden fences during
the autumn. Its larva inhabits the interior of the peach, feeding on the
kernel, which appears to exactly meet its requirements, the caterpillar
being full-grown as soon as it has completely devoured the nut. Before
assuming the pupa state this insect provides a ready means of escape for
the future moth by drilling a small hole through the hard shell and pulp of
the peach to the air; it also spins a slight cocoon inside the stone, the
pupa resting in the place formerly occupied by the kernel, in which
position it is often discovered. The only noticeable mischief produced by
this insect is delay in the ripening of the fruit. In fact all the infected
specimens which I have seen were quite hard and green, whilst other fruit
from the same tree had reached complete perfection.


_Endrosis fenestrella_ (Plate XII., fig. 7, 7a larva, 7b pupa).

This common species may be observed in almost any house in New Zealand, and
is often mistaken for the dreaded "clothes moth" (_Tinea tapezella_), which
it somewhat resembles in general appearance. Its larva (Fig. 7a) is very
destructive, feeding on dried peas, amongst which it creates great havoc,
drilling numerous holes through them and spinning a large number together,
in the centre of which the caterpillar undergoes its change into a pupa
(Fig. 7b), from which the moth emerges in about a fortnight's time. This
insect should be destroyed whenever seen, as there is no doubt that much
loss will be caused by its ravages in the future. It also infests

{97}Family TINEIDÆ.

_Oecophora scholæa_ (Plate XIII., fig. 6, 6a larva).

This dull-coloured insect is extremely abundant during the early summer.

The larva feeds on the roots of various plants, forming numerous white
silken galleries in the earth where it resides. In colour it is dark
chocolate-brown with a yellowish head and white markings. It is very large,
considering the size of the future moth, full-grown specimens often
measuring as much as 10½ lines in length. About the end of September these
caterpillars are transformed into pupæ, and the moths emerge in a month or
six weeks' time.

The perfect insect may be often disturbed amongst brushwood. It is very
sluggish on the wing and usually drops to the ground, where it is very
inconspicuous. It also has a habit of running into any crevice immediately
on the approach of an enemy. This peculiarity is shared by the other
members of the genus _Oecophora_, of which there are large numbers in New


_Semiocosma platyptera_ (Plate XII., fig. 8, 8a larva, 8b pupa).

This is one of the largest of the _Tineidæ_ found in New Zealand, measuring
fully fifteen lines across the expanded wings. Its larva (Fig. 8a) is
abundant under the bark of dead henau trees (_Eleocarpus dentatus_),
feeding on the soft inner surface, but leaving the hard wood untouched. In
colour it is pale yellow, the head and prothorax are dark brown and
corneous, and the remaining segments are provided with two horny warts,
from which numerous hairs arise; its legs are all very small, and the
caterpillar is considerably attenuated posteriorly; it is very active,
wriggling about with great violence when disturbed.

{98}The pupa (Fig. 8b) is enclosed in a compact cocoon, constructed of
minute fragments of wood, firmly woven together with silk, and attached to
the inner surface of the bark, where it may be soon found by careful
searching, and the finest specimens may thus be easily reared in captivity.

The perfect insect appears about November, and may be often observed at
rest on the trunks of trees; its pale hind-wings are completely concealed
by the dark upper pair, which render its discovery very difficult. The
sexes may be at once distinguished by their size, the males being much
smaller than the female (Fig. 8) and usually lighter in colour.


The Neuroptera.

The Order Neuroptera, as here considered, is a very limited one, consisting
only of the seven small families, which comprise the Lace-wings, Ant-lions,
Caddis-flies, and a few others. It forms a most convenient passage from the
insects undergoing a complete metamorphosis with a quiescent pupa, to those
which are active during the whole of their life, as the larvæ are widely
different from the adults, but the pupæ, although incapable of walking or
eating, approximate very closely in structure to the perfect insects. I
regret that my observations have been at present restricted to three
families only, _i.e._, the _Hemerobiidæ_, _Sialidæ_, and _Phryganidæ_,
which will consequently have to represent the entire series. I understand,
however, from Mr. A. S. Atkinson, that a species of _Myrmeleontidæ_
(Ant-lion) is not uncommon round Nelson, and doubtless future investigation
will reveal insects belonging to the other families.


_Oxyethira albiceps_ (?) (McLach.) (Plate XIV., fig. 3, 3a larva, 3b pupa).

This insect occurs in the neighbourhood of ponds and streams during the
summer. Its larva may be found {100}commonly in the green, slimy weed
floating in large masses on all stagnant waters. Being very small it is
rather difficult to detect, and is best procured by washing a small
quantity of the weed in a saucer of water, when the little insects will be
at once seen walking about at the bottom. On examination with the
microscope the case will first arrest attention, being of a most unique
structure. Its shape is best described as closely resembling that of a
minute pocket-flask, very much flattened at the lower end and almost
transparent. Its surface is slightly corrugated, and the neck of the flask
constructed of a much denser material than the body. It is open at both
ends, the posterior end being perforated by a long shallow slit, which
extends for nearly the whole width of the case, thus admitting a free
circulation of water round the larva, which is also able to turn round and
project its head and anterior segments through the lower aperture, thus
occupying the reverse position to that shown in the illustration (Fig. 3a).
It is, however, prevented from actually leaving the case by its abdomen,
which is too large to be withdrawn from either end. The head and thorax of
the larva are very horny in comparison with those portions permanently
retained in the case, the legs being constructed to fold up into the
smallest possible compass, a cavity existing in each joint for the
reception of the preceding one--a structure which is almost universal among
the caddis-worms. The two organs, situated on the posterior segments, are
doubtless respiratory in their function, a large air-tube taking its rise
from each and ramifying through the body in all directions. When alarmed
these insects retreat into their cases with lightning rapidity, remaining
concealed until the danger is passed. Their food probably consists of the
green weed, although they are perhaps carnivorous, feeding on the rotifers
and other animalculæ, which swarm in the water where they are found.

{101}With regard to the method employed by the young larva in constructing,
and subsequently enlarging, its case, I can give no positive information,
although it is undoubtedly made of a viscous fluid, secreted by the insect,
which hardens when exposed to the water; this secretion is no doubt
analogous to the silk of caterpillars, which always exists in the form of a
gummy fluid before being spun.

When about to change, the insect fixes its case down by four ligaments, two
at each end, the extremities of these being firmly fastened to a stone; it
then closes the small aperture, and constructs a curious arch-shaped
partition, of dense material, a short distance from the broad end (Fig.
3b). In about a week's time the larva is transformed into a pupa, having
the limbs, &c., free from the body but incapable of motion. The fixing down
of the case prior to the change may be easily performed from each of the
apertures, which are no doubt left open till the last for this purpose.
Before the final transformation the pupa breaks through the partition at
the broad end of the case and rises to the surface, the imago (Fig. 3)
ascending a blade of grass to dry and expand its wings. The little exuvia
of the pupa may be often noticed floating on the water, and the empty cases
are very conspicuous on the sides of a glass aquarium, where the insects
generally fix them down when in captivity.


_Stenosmylus incisus_ (Plate XIV., fig. 2).

This lovely insect is figured as an example of this family, being found
occasionally in the New Zealand forest, but is rather scarce as a rule. I
regret that nothing is at present known of its transformations.

{102}Family Sialidæ.

_Chauliodes diversus_ (Plate XIV., fig. 1, 1a larva, 1b pupa).

During still warm weather, from December till March, this large insect is
frequently observed flying lazily over water at dusk, when it may be
readily captured with the ordinary net. Its larva is aquatic, living under
stones in running streams, where it devours large quantities of Ephemeræ
and other insect larvæ, which are always abundant in those situations. It
is very ferocious and will bite violently when disturbed, being furnished
with a pair of powerful mandibles. The curious filaments on each side are
gills, and it will be noticed that they are situated exactly where the
spiracles of the perfect insect afterwards appear (see Fig. 1a).

This larva probably lives over a year, its growth proceeding very slowly,
but mature specimens are not infrequently met with quite as large as the
illustration. When full-grown it leaves the water and forms an oval cell in
the mud, usually under a large stone; its gills then gradually shrivel up,
and in ten days or a fortnight it is transformed into the curious pupa,
shown at Fig. 1b, from which the perfect insect proceeds in about six
weeks' time. The sexes of this species may be readily distinguished by
their size, the male being considerably smaller than the female (Fig. 1),
and possessing longer antennæ.


The Orthoptera.

This Order, although including a comparatively small number of species,
comprises some of the largest and most conspicuous insects inhabiting New
Zealand, many of them reminding one of the denizens of the tropics in their
gigantic size and striking appearance. They may be conveniently divided
into the three following groups:--The _Aquatic group_, or those whose larvæ
inhabit the water, including the Dragonflies, Mayflies, and Perlidæ; the
_Terrestrial group_, including all the typical Orthoptera, Termites, and
Mallophaga; and the _Euplexoptera_, including the Earwigs. We start our
observations with the Aquatic group, as these exhibit the greatest affinity
with the Neuroptera.



_Uropetala carovei_ (Plate XV., fig. 1 [M], 1a larva.)

This magnificent insect occurs in all swampy situations during January and
February, when it may be seen dashing about with amazing rapidity intent on
catching {104}the various flies which constitute its food. Its curious
larva is represented at Fig. 1a, the drawing having been taken from a
singularly perfect exuvia, which I had the good fortune to discover,
clinging to the stem of a fuchsia-tree in a swamp, the rent through which
the perfect insect escaped having almost closed up. In this state it no
doubt feeds on various aquatic animals, which it procures with a prehensile
instrument similar in structure to the "mask" of British dragonfly larvæ,
but much larger.

The female of this species may be at once recognized by the absence of the
two peculiar leaf-like appendages at the anal extremity, from which the
insect takes its name. Her abdomen is also much stouter. My experience
leads me to believe either that she is very retired in her habits or else
that there are at least six males to one female.

Closely allied, and much commoner than the above insect, is _Cordulia
Smithii_, found almost everywhere, its rapid and continuous flight
frequently taking it many miles away from any water. The specimen figured
is a male (Plate XV., fig. 2), the female possessing a pair of slender
sickle-shaped hooks, attached to the end of her body. She may occasionally
be seen depositing her eggs in stagnant streams, the abdomen being
violently beaten against the surface of the water during the operation. I
have not yet met with the larva, which probably lives concealed in the mud.
One specimen, taken near Lake Wairarapa, is remarkable in possessing a
cloudy brown patch near the tip of each wing, but it is no doubt only a
variety of the ordinary insect.


_Lestes colensonis_ (Plate XV., fig. 3, 3a larva).

Extremely abundant in all damp situations from September till May, being
one of the last insects to disappear in the autumn. The larva is found
under stones, &c., in {105}every stream, feeding on various aquatic insects
and crustaceans. When very young the wing-cases are scarcely discernible,
but gradually become more distinct at each moult, until the larva assumes
the form shown in the illustration (Fig. 3a), which is taken from a
specimen about a week before the emergence of the perfect insect. In all
these insects it would be much more convenient to regard the metamorphosis
as consisting of only two stages, viz., larva and imago, as there is really
no condition analogous to the quiescent pupa of other orders. The female is
rather stouter than the male, which is the sex figured, and her abdomen is
of a dull bronze colour, instead of metallic blue. The only other dragonfly
found in my neighbourhood (Wellington) is the pretty little _Telebasis
zealandica_ (Fig. 4), which occurs in similar situations to the last, but
is not quite so common. The male is of a brilliant red colour, the female
being bronzy green, but she may be readily distinguished from the same sex
in _Lestes colensonis_ by her smaller size. The larva of this species is
rather more attenuated than that of the previous insect, and is of course
considerably smaller.


_Ephemera_, n.s., near _Coloburus_[20] (Plate XVI., fig. 4, 4a larva).

The well-known mayflies are very extensively represented in New Zealand,
hovering in swarms over running water during the summer evenings.

The larva of the present species (Fig. 4a) occurs abundantly under stones
in rapid streams. It may be immediately distinguished from its numerous
congeners by its large head and conspicuous black eyes. It is carnivorous,
{106}feeding on various small insects, chiefly those belonging to the
present family, but in lack of these it will even devour individuals of its
own species. It is consequently a most difficult insect to rear, and it was
a long time before I succeeded in obtaining a single imago in captivity.
When mature the insect leaves the water, and an apparently perfect imago
escapes through a rent in the thorax in the usual way. In a few hours,
however, a second moult occurs, the wings gaining additional size and
beauty, and the anal setæ becoming very much more elongated than before
(Fig. 4). This second change, which has so perplexed some entomologists, is
merely an _apparent_ departure from the general rule, a careful examination
of the exuviæ of the dragonflies, and pupa shells of many other insects,
revealing a delicate membrane within, which invests the imago, and is cast
off at the same time as the harder external envelope. In the case of the
mayflies, the retention of this internal membrane some two or three hours
longer than usual, will fully explain its apparently unique metamorphosis.


_Stenoperla prasina_ (Plate XVI., fig. 3, 3a larva).

This is the green gauzy-winged insect which we see flying feebly over
running water, during the twilight, throughout the summer.

Its larva (Fig. 3a) is aquatic, hiding itself under stones, and devouring
the unfortunate _Ephemeræ_ found in similar situations. Towards the end of
its career the rudimentary wings become very conspicuous, at which time it
is a most interesting object. The curious appendages on each side of the
abdomen are gills, which the larva is constantly vibrating, in order to
obtain a fresh supply of aërated water. When mature, it ascends the stem of
some aquatic plant, the skin becomes dry and brittle, and finally bursting,
allows the perfect insect to escape, {107}and in a few hours its wings are
sufficiently hardened for flight. Several other species occur in New
Zealand, one of the commonest being _Perla cyrene_, a black insect much
resembling _S. prasina_, but considerably smaller; its larva may be
occasionally found, and is at once known by its dark colour.



_Psocus zealandicus_, n.s. (Plate XVI., fig. 2, 2a larva).

During the hottest days in summer every one must have noticed numbers of
minute active insects assembled on garden fences in groups, ranging from
ten to fifty, immediately dispersing when disturbed. These are individuals
of _Psocus zealandicus_ (Fig. 2), a curious little species, closely allied
to the renowned "Book Tick" (_Atropos pulsatorium_), whose ravages in
museums and libraries need no description. Its larva (2a) may be found in
the same situations as the imago, and often assembles in similar groups.
Its food probably consists of rotten wood and other decaying vegetable
matter, and in its later stages it is provided with wing-cases, thus
differing from the Book Tick (_A. pulsatorium_), which remains apterous
during the whole of its life.


_Stolotermes ruficeps_ (Plate XVI., fig. 1 [M], 1a [F], 1b "soldier," 1c

The termites, or white ants, which occur in such great numbers in the
tropics, are represented in New Zealand by several small species, the
commonest in this neighbourhood being _Stolotermes ruficeps_.

This species inhabits rotten logs, excavating extensive burrows, resembling
in a very humble manner the {108}wonderfully elaborate nests constructed by
the African and other species, about which so much has been written, and so
much remains to be discovered. The present insect appears in the perfect
state during January and February. It is seldom noticed flying about, but
may be readily obtained by opening the nests, where a large number are
frequently seen huddled together in the main galleries. At this time the
community consists of three classes of individuals, viz., males, females,
and workers, which last are in all probability nothing more than the larvæ.
After pairing they shed their wings and return to the nest, the female
becoming very much distended with eggs. About March she commences to lay.
This is continued for several months, and during this time the female is
queen of the nest. She resides in a capacious chamber, from which numerous
galleries diverge in all directions, some extending as far as eighteen or
twenty inches, but the most populous portion of the nest is contained
within a radius of six inches from the queen's apartment. The "soldiers"
(Fig. 1b) now appear in considerable numbers. They are chiefly stationed in
the royal chamber, and furiously attack any intruders; but the workers
which stream in and out, carrying the eggs from the queen, they treat with
the greatest gentleness. I have never seen soldiers in a nest containing
winged insects, nor indeed later in the spring than October, when they seem
to have all disappeared. With regard to the nature of these individuals I
am unable to supply any positive information, but it appears probable that
they are abortive males, in the same way that the neuters of the bees and
ants are abortive females. As none of these insects have yet been reared,
many points of great interest remain to be discovered in connection with
their economy, and a rigid investigation of a number of nests kept in
captivity, is the only mode by which we can hope to become fully acquainted
with the habits of this interesting family.

{109}Family BLATTIDÆ.

_Periplaneta fortipes_ (Plate XVII., fig. 5).

Few people who cut up old wood remain unacquainted with this species for
very long, its insufferable odour immediately betraying its presence
independently of anything else. It is very common under the bark of rimu,
henau, and other large trees, where specimens may be found in all stages of
growth; the mature individuals only differing from the young in the matter
of size and the possession of rudimentary wing-cases. I have never found
the females of this species carrying their eggs, but have, on several
occasions, discovered the closely allied, but smaller, _Periplaneta
undulivitta_ thus engaged under stones on the hills round Nelson. This is a
much more agreeable insect to study than _P. fortipes_, not possessing the
disgusting odour so characteristic of the latter species.

The only winged _Blattidæ_ found round Wellington are _Blatta conjuncta_,
and _Periplaneta orientalis_. The former (Fig. 6), may be occasionally
noticed under the scaly bark of rimu and matai trees, but a sharp eye and
hand are needed to effect a capture, the insect running with marvellous
rapidity. The latter species I have not yet noticed, but as it is the
ordinary "cockroach" of Europe its habits have already been amply


_Tenodera intermedia_ (Plate XVII., fig. 2).

A local species confined, I believe, to the South Island, and occurring in
some numbers round Nelson, where my specimens were obtained. It seldom
flies, but crawls stealthily about the trunks of trees, in the hottest
sunshine, capturing and destroying great quantities of insects, its green
colouring and leaf-like form rendering it very inconspicuous {110}to its
victims. The purple spots on the tibiæ of this insect are very noticeable,
and resemble small drums in structure, hence they are regarded by Mr. A. H.
Swinton ("Insect Variety," page 239), as the organs of hearing. These
curious drums may be also found in insects belonging to nearly all the
remaining families of the Orthoptera, but, as we find no auditory organs
occupying a similar situation in any other groups of insects, I think that
Mr. Swinton's explanation of their function must be regarded at present as
a somewhat doubtful one.[21]


_Acanthoderus horridus_ (Plate XIX.).

The curious Stick Insects are familiar to most people from their remarkable
similarity to the twigs of trees.

The present species is one of the largest, the mature insect frequently
attaining a length of five inches. It is best taken at night, when it may
be readily discovered, feeding on the leaves of shrubs, and suddenly
becoming perfectly motionless when the lantern is turned upon it. The
favourite plant for this (and indeed most of the species) is the white
rata, upon which they are often seen in large numbers when the entomologist
is collecting Lepidoptera in autumn. One of the commonest species found in
this way is _Bacillus_ (_hookeri?_) chiefly remarkable for its great sexual
disparities, the male resembling a very slender stick about twenty-eight
lines long, while the female is nearly half as long again (thirty-eight
lines), and much more stoutly built. A more systematic investigation of
this family is needed before we can pretend to correctly determine the
various species, as there is little doubt that in other cases the sexes
will be found quite as divergent. In addition to this {111}the insects are
most variable in colour, and their completely apterous character rendering
the distinction between larva and imago a matter of considerable
difficulty, it is very probable that some of the smaller species may be
only immature specimens of the larger ones.

Stick insects are easily kept in captivity, and will not be found devoid of
interest. They are great eaters, and grow with considerable rapidity,
frequently casting their skin, a task of no easy accomplishment, which I
once had the pleasure of watching in the case of a specimen of
_Acanthoderus prasinus_ which I had under observation for several months.

The insect first suspends itself by its hind pair of legs, keeping the
others in the same position as when walking, the head is bent in, and the
antennæ are placed along the breast, the long abdomen hanging over
backwards. The skin then splits along the back of the thorax, and the head
and thorax are gradually pushed out. The front and middle legs are
immediately afterwards extracted, the long femora and tibiæ easily passing
the sharp angles in the exuvia, owing to their complete flexibility. When
these are finally clear, the insect reaches forwards with its fore-legs and
draws the abdomen and hind-legs out of the old skin, which remains attached
to the branch until dislodged by some accident.

During the spring months great quantities of little stick insects may be
noticed on the parasitic ferns covering the tree stems in the forest; they
are curious little animals, their antics when simulating inanimate twigs
being often most amusing, and if the reader wishes to investigate a
comparatively untouched branch of entomology he cannot do better than keep
a number of these until mature, when he will doubtless contribute much to
our scanty knowledge of this curious family.

{112}Family ACHETIDÆ.

_Acheta fuliginosa_ (Plate XVIII., fig. 1).

This destructive insect is not indigenous to New Zealand, having been
introduced from Australia into the Nelson district many years ago. Strange
to say it has never been seen in Wellington, where specimens must be
constantly landed amongst produce, &c., but appear to be unable to effect a
settlement, owing, probably, to some peculiarity of the climate which
renders the place unsuitable for them. The larvæ may be first observed
about December, when they are often seen hopping about the vegetation. They
are extremely obnoxious, devouring everything, and frequently entering
houses, where they consume provisions, clothes, and even boots. During the
summer of 1875 the farmers round Nelson were fairly eaten out by this
insect, the cattle absolutely starving for the want of food, but since that
time the pest seems to have gradually diminished, although it is still very
injurious to many garden plants.

The illustration (Fig. 1) is taken from a female, the male wanting the long
ovipositor. These insects appear in the imago state about March, and
continue in great abundance until the end of summer, the cold weather which
generally sets in about the beginning of May rapidly destroying them.


_Deinacrida megacephala_ (Plate XVIII., fig. 2 [M], XVII., fig. 8 [F]).

This conspicuous species is especially interesting, as it may be regarded
as the type of a very peculiar assemblage of apterous crickets,
pre-eminently characteristic of New Zealand. It is very abundant round
Wellington, and may be occasionally taken under logs, &c., but is best
procured {113}from the hollow stems of various trees, where it is found
inhabiting the deserted galleries of wood-boring species--frequently
enlarging them to suit its own requirements.

The plant most usually selected by these insects is the mahoe (_Melicytus
ramiflorus_), whose stems may be often seen pierced with large holes. Out
of these the insects emerge at night to feed on the leaves. To extract a
number of specimens, without injury, requires considerable care, and is
best performed with a small axe, which should be first used to cut in about
three-quarters through the trunk, just below one of the holes. Another
notch is then cut about a foot lower down, and the intermediate wood split
off in long pieces, until the tunnel is laid bare. On approaching an insect
the first thing seen are two red threads, which are the antennæ, laid back
as shown at Fig. 8. A deep notch is then cut into the trunk, some nine or
ten inches below this point, and the piece bodily wrenched off. If the
individual thus treated is a male he will cling firmly to the log,
elevating his hind-legs in the air and biting viciously at anything within
reach, but the females, in the majority of cases, endeavour to escape and
hide themselves under the leaves, &c., on the ground. Both sexes when
irritated emit a peculiar grating sound, which may be often heard at night
in the forest, and is produced by the friction of the femur against a small
file situated on each side of the second abdominal segment. They can also
leap a short distance, but not so far as many of the smaller species
(_Libanasa macropathus_, &c.). They are evidently strictly arboreal in
their habits, as they exhibit great skill in walking along branches, and
will climb up a thin stick with wonderful rapidity.

When in their burrows the posterior legs are extended behind the insect and
push, while the anterior and intermediate ones are thrust forwards, the
claws being firmly inserted, so as to enable the insect to pull itself
along. {114}Travelling along the burrow in this manner, they frequently
evade all efforts to extract them, until they are stopped by arriving at
the end of the gallery.

The sexes of this species are readily distinguishable, the male (Plate
XVIII., fig. 2) possessing an immense head furnished with a pair of
enormously powerful mandibles. The female (Plate XVII., fig. 8) is a more
attractive insect, her gracefully curved ovipositor and smaller head having
a much more pleasing appearance than the terribly menacing jaws of her
mate. Both sexes are able to give severe bites, but it is extremely
doubtful whether they would prove anything worse than slight mechanical
injuries, as the insect is not likely to be poisonous. I am, however,
unable to speak from experience.


_Xiphidium maoricum_ (Plate XVII., fig. 1).

This pretty insect may be found in great abundance round Nelson during the
autumn, but is rarer in the Wellington Province. Its presence may be at
once detected by the curious chirping heard in various directions shortly
before sunset and lasting till eight or nine o'clock in the evening. This
sound is produced with the wing-cases, which the male insects may be seen
vigorously rubbing together. The females are quite mute, and they may be
also distinguished by possessing a short curved ovipositor at the end of
the body. The peculiarly leaf-like shape of the insect and its bright green
colour render its discovery amongst the herbage a most difficult matter,
even when its whereabouts is indicated by its cry--in fact, were it not for
their music, there is little doubt that very few of these insects would
ever be captured, as they are practically invisible, and are an instance of
protective resemblance carried to great perfection.

When disturbed these crickets fly about twenty yards {115}and again settle
in a bush or amongst herbage, carefully avoiding alighting on the ground
where they would be readily visible. Their flight is somewhat feeble for
such large insects. Great care must be taken, when capturing specimens for
preservation, not to hold them by their powerful hind-legs, as they will
not infrequently cast one off while endeavouring to escape.

I have not yet noticed the larva of this species, but should imagine it
would closely resemble a wingless imago.


_Caloptenus marginalis_ (Plate XVII., fig. 4).

This is the little grasshopper which rises before our footsteps in swarms
on a hot summer's day; it is one of the last insects to leave us in the
autumn, being frequently found in warm situations on fine days in the
middle of winter. Owing to its great abundance this species must inflict
considerable damage on the grass, as it has taken up its quarters like the
English grasshopper in the cultivated fields, where an unlimited supply of
food is always at hand. Formerly, no doubt, it was much less common round
Wellington than at present, owing to the few open spots then existing, none
of these grasshoppers being found in the forest.

The perfect insect may be recognized by the rudimentary wings which are
present on the thorax, thus causing it to closely resemble the larval form
of many of the winged species, and for which it might readily be mistaken
were its true character unknown.


_Oedipoda cinerascens_ (Plate XVII., fig. 3).

This large and conspicuous insect occurs abundantly in all open situations
near Nelson, but is very rare in the {116}Wellington district, becoming,
however, again common further north.

When disturbed it leaps into the air, spreads its wings, and flies away
with great rapidity for thirty or forty yards, when it alights, and allows
its pursuer to get within a few yards of his prize before again making off.
This habit renders the capture of a good series of this insect a most
arduous matter. The sexes may be readily distinguished by their size, the
female being nearly twice as large as her mate.

This species is very variable in colour, some individuals being dark green
whilst others are of a uniform drab.

The food of this insect consists of various domestic grasses, but I do not
think it is at present sufficiently abundant to exercise any harmful
influence on agriculture. By some entomologists, however, it is regarded as
only a variety of the renowned migratory locust (_Locusta migratoria_), and
as such its advent in large numbers might be viewed with serious

It is also strange that although I have often seen large numbers of this
species in the perfect state I have never observed the larva. I can only
conjecture that the insect breeds in very secluded localities and then
migrates in search of fresh food supplies.



_Forficesila littorea_ (Plate XVII., fig. 7).

Abundant on the sea beach throughout the year, where it may be readily
captured under stones and seaweed. It is a very bold insect, and when
disturbed will grasp a blade of grass, or other object, very firmly with
its powerful abdominal forceps, and allow itself to be lifted off the
ground and carried away rather than relinquish its hold.

{117}The food of this species probably consists of seaweed, although it is
possibly carnivorous, and feeds on the small insects and crustaceans, which
are numerous on the beach. Being permanently apterous, mature individuals
can only be recognized by their large size, and the perfect development of
their anal forceps. It is evidently erroneous to regard these as organs
exclusively employed in opening and shutting the wings, as we see that in
the present insect, which does not require them for that purpose, they are
larger than in many of the flying earwigs. They are probably chiefly used
to _intimidate_ intruders.

This species is strictly marine in its habits and is seldom found more than
a few yards above high-water-mark. The females may be often observed
hatching their eggs. For this purpose they excavate an oval chamber
underneath a log or large stone, and after carefully smoothing it within,
deposit the eggs at the bottom. These eggs are most faithfully guarded by
the mother, which boldly attacks all intruders, and will suffer herself to
be killed rather than leave the spot. She also remains with the young ones
for a considerable time after they are hatched, as we sometimes observe the
females accompanied by a number of larvæ of quite a large size.


The Hemiptera.

The present Order of insects, although of very limited extent, contains
several important species, of which the noisy Cicadas, destructive Aphides,
and numerous Bugs, and Lice, can be cited as familiar examples. The
Hemiptera may be conveniently divided into the two following groups:--

  The _Homoptera_, comprising all the species in which the anterior wings
  are entirely membranous, and--

  The _Heteroptera_, including those having the basal portion of the
  anterior wings thickened, and quite opaque.

These peculiarities have induced some entomologists, who regard the
structure of the wings of the greatest importance in classifying, to
arrange the insects included in the Homoptera and Heteroptera, into two
distinct Orders; but their uniform character in all other respects renders
this, I think, hardly desirable.



_Cicada cingulata_[22] (Plate XX., fig. 1, 1a pupa).

This beautiful insect may be found in great numbers {119}amongst brushwood
during the hot sunny days so common from January till March. Its larva
inhabits the earth earlier in the summer, and its curious pupa can often be
observed crawling up the stems of trees in order to allow the perfect
insect to emerge. After this has taken place the exuviæ still remain firmly
attached to the tree, and are very conspicuous objects; but if it is
desired to remove them great care must be taken not to break off the legs,
which are always very brittle.

The perfect insects are at once betrayed by their loud singing, which, in
certain localities, becomes quite deafening. This noise is entirely
confined to the males, and proceeds from two large drum-like organs,
situated on the under surface of the abdomen near its base, which, in
conjunction with the curious ovipositor existing in the females constitute
good sexual distinctions throughout the family. The structure of these two
organs having been admirably described by several European authors renders
it quite unnecessary for me to do so here.

Closely allied to the present insect is _Cicada muta_, the female of which
is depicted on Plate XX., fig. 2. The male is often of a reddish-brown
colour, but the insect is an extremely variable one. It is found in similar
situations to _C. cingulata_, but appears rather earlier in the year.


_Cicada iolanthe_, n.s. (Plate XX., fig. 3, 3a larva, 3b pupa).

This is the first species of Cicada to appear in the spring, and is found
during November and December. Its larva (Fig. 3a) is a curious little
animal, the two hind-legs being very long. I am at present unable to state
with certainty what constitutes its food, but am extremely doubtful whether
it consists of the juices imbibed from the roots of plants, as is generally
supposed. The anterior legs, although probably chiefly constructed for
digging, {120}appear to be also suited for raptorial purposes, which leads
me to believe that the insect may be carnivorous in its habits. The pupa
(Fig. 3b) does not materially differ from that of the last, except in size,
and its empty exuvia is also frequently found attached to the stems of

The perfect insect may be at once discovered by the peculiarly shrill note
emitted by the male.

Family APHIDÆ.

This family is extensively represented in New Zealand, but as I have not
yet been able to obtain any information respecting their specific identity
I am compelled to pass them by for the present, hoping that future
investigation will reveal much that is interesting in their habits, and
also help both gardener and agriculturist to protect himself from their


_Coelostoma zealandicum_ (Plate XX., fig. 4 [M]).

This species is figured as a representative of this very curious family
chiefly on account of its great similarity to a Dipterous insect, the
rudimentary condition of its posterior wings being most perplexing to the
beginner. Its habits have been amply described by Mr. Maskell, in his work
on the Coccididæ of New Zealand, to which I consequently refer.



_Corixa zealandica_, n.s. (Plate XX., fig. 5).

Abundant throughout the summer in all slow-running streams. The larva
closely resembles the imago except that it has no wings. Its food probably
consists of the juices of other insects. The present insect invariably
swims with {121}its back exposed, thus differing considerably from the
English Water-boatman (_Notonecta glauca_), whose keel-like back is kept
beneath the water, while the two long hind-legs are rapidly moved backwards
and forwards like oars.


_Cermatulus nasalis_ (Plate XX., fig. 6, 6a larva).

This insect may be beaten out of various trees during the summer, and is
usually taken in some abundance in February amongst white rata blossoms, on
which it may be often observed sucking the honey from the blossoms with its
long rostrum. Its larva, which is represented at Fig. 6a, is found in
similar situations.

This concludes the series of insects I have selected as representative of
the several orders in New Zealand. The brief sketch of entomology thus
given is of necessity extremely fragmentary, and many important groups and
families are entirely unrepresented. Should, however, this little book
induce some of its readers to investigate insects for themselves, I shall
feel that my efforts have been amply rewarded.



  Abdomen,                               4
  Acanthoderus,                        110
    "  horridus,                       110
    "  prasinus,                       111
  Acroceridæ,                           56
  Acrocera,                             56
    "  longirostris,                    56
  Achetidæ,                            112
  Acheta,                              112
    "  fuliginosa,                     112
  Andrenidæ,                            33
  Antennæ,                               2
  Ants,                                 35
  Ant-lions,                            99
  Anus,                                  4
  Aphides destroyed by Syrphus,         57
  Aphidæ,                              120
  Aphaniptera,                          64
  Aquatic insects,        22, 40, 100, 103
  Argyrophenga,                         65
    "  antipodum,                       65
  Asilidæ,                              55
  Asthena,                              91
    "  schistaria,                      91
    "  pulchraria,                      92
  Atta antarctica,                      37
  Attracting by light,                  14
  Atropos,                             107
    "  pulsatorium,                    107

  Bacillus,                            110
    "  hookeri,                        110
  Beating,                               9
  Bee parasites,                        63
  Bees,                                 33
  Beetles,                              19
  Beetles under sacks,                   9
    "  killing,                         10
    "  pinning,                         10
  Bibio,                                52
    "  nigrostigma,                     52
  Blattidæ,                            109
  Blatta,                              109
    "  conjuncta,                      109
  "Bloodworm",                          43
  Blossoms,                             13
  Blue butterfly,                       69
  "Blue-bottles",                       60
  Bolitophila,                          49
    "  luminosa,                        49
  Bombycidæ,                            73
  Bombylidæ,                            54
  Book tick,                           107
  Boxes,                                10
  Brachelytra,                          25
  Brachocera,                           54
  Breathing organs,                      4
  Butterflies,                          65
    "  setting,                         12
    "  rearing,                         15

  Cacoecia,                             95
    "  excessana,                       95
  Calliphora,                           60
    "  quadrimaculata,                  60
  Camphor,                              17
  Catocala,                             83
  Caloptenus,                          115
    "  marginalis,                     115
  Caterpillar cages,                    15
  Carabidæ,                             21
  Carbolic acid,                        17
  Case-bearing larvæ,                   74
  Casting skin,                        111
  Ceratopogon,                          45
    "  antipodum,                       45
  Cermatulus,                          121
    "  nasalis,                        121
  Chætosoma,                            24
    "  scaritides,                      24
  Chalastra,                            84
    "  pelurgata,                       84
  Chalcididæ,                           37
  Chauliodes,                          102
    "  diversus,                       102
  Chironomus,                           43
    "  zealandicus,                     43
    "  plumosus,                        43
  Chrysophanus,                         68
    "  salustius,                       68
    "  boldenarum,                      68
    "  feredayi,                        68
    "  enysii,                          68
  Cicadidæ,                            118
  Cicada,                              118
    "  cingulata,                      118
    "  muta,                           119
    "  iolanthe,                       119
  Cicindela,                            19
    "  tuberculata,                     19
    "  parryi,                          20
  Cicindelidæ,                          19
  Clavicornia,                          23
  Cloniophora,                          50
    "  subfasciata,                     50
  Clothes moth,                         96
  Click beetles,                        29
  Cockchaffer,                          27
  Cockroaches,                         109
  Coccididæ,                           120
  Coelopa,                              63
    "  littoralis,                      63
  Coelostoma,                          120
    "  zealandicum,                    120
  Coleoptera,                        5, 19
    "  rearing,                         15
    "  collecting,                       9
  Collecting insects,                    9
    "  at night,                        13
  Collection,                           17
  Collectional journal,                 18
  Coloburus,                           105
  Colon,                                 4
  Colymbetes,                           22
    "  rufimanus,                       22
  Comptosia,                            54
    "  bicolor,                         54
    "  virida,                          55
  Copper butterflies,                   68
  Cordulia,                            104
    "  smithii,                        104
  Corethra,                             43
    "  antarctica,                      43
  Corixa,                              120
    "  zealandica,                     120
  Compound eyes,                         2
  Coxa,                                  3
  Crambus,                              93
    "  flexuosellus,                    93
    "  tahulalis,                       93
  Crickets,                            112
  Crop,                                  4
  Ctenopseustis,                        96
    "  obliquana,                       96
  Culex,                                40
    "  argyropus,                       42
    "  iracundus,                       40
  Culicidæ,                             40
  Curculionidæ,                         31
  Cylindria,                            62
    "  sigma,                           62

  Danais,                               65
    "  plexippus,                       65
  Dasycolletes,                         33
    "  hirtipes,                        33
    "  purpureus,                       34
  Declana,                              83
    "  floccosa,                        83
    "  floccosa _v._ junctilinea        84
  Deinacrida,                          112
    "  megacephala,                    112
  Diadema,                              65
    "  nerina,                          65
  Digestive system,                      4
  Diptera,                           6, 40
  Dorcus,                               26
    "  punctulatus,                     26
    "  reticulatus,                     26
  Dorsal vessel,                         4
  Dragon-flies,                        103
  Dryocora,                             24
    "  howittii,                        24
  Dyticidæ,                             22

  Earwigs,                             116
  Eggs of insects,                       5
  Elateridæ,                            28
  Elytra,                                5
  Endrosis,                             96
    "  fenestrella,                     96
  Engidæ,                               24
  Entomologist in winter,               10
  Entomological pins,                   13
  Ephemeridæ,                          105
  Ephemera,                            105
  Epuræa,                               23
    "  zealandica,                      23
  Eristalis,                            57
    "  cingulatus,                      57
  Erana,                                78
    "  graminosa,                       78
  Erebia pluto and butleri,             66
  Euplexoptera,                        116
  Eurigaster,                           60
    "  marginatus,                      60
  Exaireta,                             56
    "  spiniger,                        56
  External organs,                       2
  Eyes,                                  2

  Family,                                8
  Femur,                                 3
  Flea,                                 64
  Forficulidæ,                         116
  Forficesila,                         116
    "  littorea,                       116
  Formicidæ,                            35
  Formica,                              35
    "  zealandica,                      35

  Ganglia,                               4
  Genus,                                 8
  Geodephaga,                           19
  Geometridæ,                           83
  Geometer,                             83
  Gerris,                               43
  Glow-worm,                            49
  Gilt pins,                            13
  Gizzard,                               4
  Grasshopper,                         115
  Gryllidæ,                            112

  Head,                                  2
  Heart,                                 4
  Heliothis,                            81
    "  armigera,                        81
  Helophilus,                           58
    "  trilineatus,                     58
    "  ineptus,                         59
    "  hochstetteri,                    59
  Hemerobiidæ,                         101
  Hemiptera,                        8, 118
  Hepialus,                             70
    "  virescens,                       70
  Hepialidæ,                            69
  Heterocera,                           69
  Heteromera,                           29
  Heteroptera,                         118
  Homoptera,                           118
  Host,                                 38
  Hydradephaga,                         22
  Hydriomena,                           91
    "  deltoidata,                      91
  Hymenoptera,                       6, 33

  Ichneumon,                            38
    "  deceptus,                        38
    "  sollicitorius,                   38
  Ichneumonidæ,                         38
  Ilium,                                 4
  Imago,                                 4
  Internal organs,                       4
  Insect, definition of,                 1
  Isonomeutis,                          94
    "  amauropa,                        94

  Jaws,                                  2
  Journal,                              18

  Killing insects,                  10, 12
    "  bottle,                          12

  Labelling insects,                    18
  Labial palpi,                          2
  Labium,                                2
  Labrum,                                2
  Lace-wings,                          101
  Lamellicornes,                        26
  Larva,                                 4
  Lasiorhynchus,                        32
    "  barbicornis,                     32
  Laurel bottle,                        12
  Lepidoptera,                       6, 65
  Lestes colensonis,                   104
  Leucania,                             78
    "  atristriga,                      78
    "  nullifera,                       77
  Libanasa macropathus,                113
  Libellulidæ,                         103
  Light, insects at,                    14
  Locusta,                             116
    "  migratoria (?),                 116
  Locustidæ,                           115
  Longicornia,                          30
  Lower lip,                             2
  Lucanidæ,                             26
  Luminous larva,                       49
  Lycænidæ,                             68
  Lycæna,                               69
    "  phoebe,                          69

  Mamestra,                             79
    "  composita,                       80
    "  mutans,                          79
    "  ustistriga,                      81
  Mandibles,                             2
  Mantidæ,                             109
  Maxillae,                              2
  Mayflies,                            105
  Melampsalta,                         118
  Melolonthidæ,                         26
  Melolontha,                           27
    "  vulgaris,                        27
  Mesothorax,                            2
  Mesonotum,                             2
  Mesosternum,                           2
  Metamorphosis,                         4
  Metablax,                             29
    "  acutipennis,                     29
  Metathorax,                            2
  Migrations of ants,                   37
  Miltogramma,                          59
    "  mestor?,                         59
  Mosquito,                             40
  Moths,                                69
    "  setting,                         12
  Musca,                                61
    "  cæsar,                           61
    "  domestica,                       61
  Muscidæ,                              59
  Mycetophila,                          46
    "  antarctica,                      46
  Myrmeleontidæ,                        99

  Nemocera,                             40
  Nemorea,                              59
    "  nyctemerianus,                   59
  Nervous system,                        4
  Net,                                  11
  Neuroptera,                        7, 99
  Nitidulidæ,                           23
  Noctuidæ,                             77
  Notonectidæ,                         120
  Notonecta,                           121
    "  glauca,                         121
  Nyctemera,                            73
    "  annulata,                        73
  Nymphalidæ,                           65

  Oeceticus,                            74
    "  omnivorus,                       74
  Oecophora,                            97
    "  scholæa,                         97
  Oedipoda,                            115
    "  cinerascens,                    115
  Oestridæ,                             63
  Oestrus,                              63
    "  perplexus,                       63
  Ochrocydus,                           31
    "  huttoni,                         31
  Orders,                                5
  Oreda,                                31
    "  notata,                          31
  Orthoptera,                       7, 103
  Ovipositor,                           38
  Oxyethira,                            99
    "  albiceps,                        99

  Painted Lady Butterfly,               67
  Palpi,                                 2
  Parasites,                            59
  Periplaneta,                         109
    "  fortipes,                       109
    "  orientalis,                     109
    "  undulivitta,                    109
  Perla,                               107
    "  cyrene,                         107
  Perlidæ,                             106
  Phasmidæ,                            110
  Philonthus,                           25
    "  oeneus,                          25
  Phora,                                62
    "  omnivora,                        62
  Phryganidæ,                           99
  Pinning insects,                      12
  Pins,                                 13
  Plant-lice,                          118
  Ploseria,                             85
    "  alectoraria,                     86
    "  hemipteraria,                    85
  Plusia,                               82
    "  eriosoma,                        82
    "  gamma,                           83
  Pompilus,                             34
    "  fugax,                           34
    "    "   and spider,                35
  Porina,                               69
    "  signata,                         69
    "  cervinata,                       69
    "  umbraculata,                     69
  Ponera,                               36
    "  castanea,                        36
  Prionidæ,                             30
  Prionus,                              30
    "  reticularis,                     30
  Pronotum,                              2
  Prothorax,                             2
  Prosternum,                            2
  Proventriculus,                        4
  Psepholax,                            31
    "  coronatus,                       31
  Psocidæ,                             107
  Psocus,                              107
    "  zealandicus,                    107
  Psychidæ,                             74
  Psychoda,                             46
    "  conspicillata,                   46
  Pteromalus,                           37
  Pterostichus,                         21
    "  opulentus,                       21
  Pulicina,                             64
  Pupa,                                  4
  Pupipara,                             64
  Pyralidæ,                             92
  Pyrameis,                             66
  Pyronota,                             28
    "  festiva,                         28

  Queens,                               34

  Rearing Insects,                      15
  Rhopalocera,                          65
  Rhyncophora,                          31
  Rhyphus,                              51
    "  neozealandicus,                  51

  Sandfly,                              53
  Sarcophaga,                           61
    "  læmica,                          61
  Sarapogon,                            55
    "  viduus,                          55
  Scutelleridæ,                        121
  Scolobates,                           39
    "  varipes,                         39
  Scoparia,                             92
    "  hemiplaca,                       92
    "  sabulosella,                     93
  Selidosema,                           87
    "  dejectaria,                      87
    "  panagrata,                       89
    "  productata,                      90
  Sestra,                               87
    "  humeraria,                       87
  Setting boards,                       12
    "  insects,                         12
  Semiocosma,                           97
    "  platyptera,                      97
  Sialidæ,                             102
  Siculidæ,                             94
  Siculodes,                            94
    "  subfasciata,                     94
  Simple eyes,                           2
  Simulia,                              53
    "  australiensis,                   53
  Skipjack beetles,                     29
  Social bees,                          34
  Soldiers,                            108
  Sphegidæ,                             34
  Sphinx,                               69
    "  convolvuli,                      69
  Sphingidæ,                            69
  Staphylinus,                          25
    "  oculatus,                        25
  Stenoperla,                          106
    "  prasina,                        106
  Stenosmylus,                         101
    "  incisus,                        101
  Stick insects,                       110
  Sternoxi,                             28
  Stethaspis,                           26
    "  suturalis,                       26
  Stolotermes,                         107
    "  ruficeps,                       107
  Stomach,                               4
    "  sucking,                          4
  Stuffing insects,                     15
  Stratiomidæ,                          56
  Sugaring,                             13
  Syrphidæ,                             56
  Syrphus,                              56
    "  ortas,                           56

  Tabanus,                              54
    "  impar,                           54
  Tatosoma,                             91
    "  agrionata,                       91
  Tarsus,                                3
  Telebasis,                           105
    "  zealandica,                     105
  Tenebrionidæ,                         29
  Tenodera,                            109
    "  intermedia,                     109
  Termitidæ,                           107
  Thoramus,                             28
    "  wakefieldi,                      28
    "  perblandus,                      29
  Thorax,                                2
  Throat,                                4
  Tinea,                                96
    "  tapezella,                       96
  Tineidæ,                              96
  Tipula,                               47
    "  holochlora,                      47
    "  fumipennis,                      48
  Tipulidæ,                             43
  Tortricidæ,                           94
  Trap-door,                            71
  Trochanter,                            3

  Uloma tenebrionides,                  29
  Umbrella,                              9
  Uropetala carovei,                   103

  Vanessa cardui,                       67
    "  gonerilla,                       66
    "  itea,                            67
  Vegetable caterpillar,                73
  Ventriculus,                           4

  Weevils,                              32
  White rata,                           13
  Wings,                                 4
  Wireworm,                             30
  Wood destroyers,                      30
  Workers,                             108

  Xantholinus,                          26
  Xiphidium maoricum,                  114


_NOTE.--In all the Plates and references thereto the sign_ [M] _indicates
that the specimen figured belongs to the male sex,_ [F] _to the female sex,
and_ [N] _to the neuter sex._

_In the case of enlarged figures the insect's natural size is indicated by
a line._



  Fig. 1.--Cicindela tuberculata.
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   2.--Chætosoma scaritides.
   "   3.--Pterostichus opulentus.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   4.--Colymbetes rufimanus.
   "   4a.--Larva.
   "   5.--Staphylinus oculatus.
   "   6.--Dryocora howittii.
   "   6a.--Larva.
   "   7.--Dorcus punctulatus.
   "   8.--Stethaspis suturalis.
   "   8a.--Larva.



  COLEOPTERA (_concluded_).

  Fig. 1.--Thoramus wakefieldi.
   "   1a.--Pupa.
   "   1b.--Larva.
   "   2.--Uloma tenebrionides.
   "   2a.--Larva.
   "   2b.--Pupa.
   "   3.--Prionus reticularis.
   "   3a.--Pupa.
   "   3b.--Larva.
   "   4.--Oreda notata.
   "   4a.--Larva.
   "   5.--Psepholax coronatus [F].
   "   5a.--   "          "    [M].




  Fig. 1.--Dasycolletes hirtipes. (?)
   "   2.--Pompilus fugax.
   "   3.--Formica zealandica [M].
   "   3a.--  "        "      [F].
   "   3b.--  "        "      [N].
   "   3c.--Cocoon.
   "   4.--Ponera castanea [M].
   "   4a.--  "      "     [N].
   "   4b.--Larva.
   "   5.--Atta antarctica [M].
   "   5a.-- "      "      [F].
   "   5b.--Larva.
   "   6.--Ichneumon sollicitorius.
   "   7.--    "     deceptus.
   "   8.--Scolobates varipes.
   "   9.--Pteromalus (?), n.s.
   "   10.--Dasycolletes purpureus.




  Fig. 1.--Culex iracundus [F].
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   1b.--Pupa.
   "   2.--Chironomus zealandicus, n.s.
   "   2a.--Larva.
   "   2b.--Pupa.
   "   3.--Corethra antarctica, n.s.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   3b.--Pupa.
   "   4.--Ceratopogon antipodum, n.s.
   "   4a.--Larva.
   "   4b.--Pupa.
   "   5.--Mycetophila antarctica, n.s.
   "   5a.--Larva.
   "   5b.--Pupa.
   "   6.--Psychoda conspicillata.



  DIPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Tipula holochlora.
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   1b.--Pupa.
   "   2.--Tipula fumipennis, n.s.
   "   2a.--Larva.
   "   2b.--Pupa.
   "   3.--Cloniophora subfasciata.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   4.--Rhyphus neozealandicus.
   "   4a.--Larva.
   "   4b.--Pupa.
   "   5.--Bibio nigrostigma [M].
   "   5a.--Larva.
   "   5b.--Pupa.



  DIPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Simulia australiensis.
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   1b.--Pupa.
   "   2.--Comptosia bicolor.
   "   3.--Comptosia virida, n.s.
   "   3b.--Pupa.
   "   4.--Sarapogon viduus.
   "   4a.--Larva.
   "   4b.--Pupa.
   "   5.--Exaireta spiniger.
   "   6.--Tabanus impar.



  DIPTERA (_concluded_).

  Fig. 1.--Helophilus trilineatus.
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   1b.--Pupa.
   "   2.--Eristalis cingulatus.
   "   3.--Syrphus ortas.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   3b.--Pupa.
   "   4.--Acrocera longirostris, n.s.
   "   5.--Miltogramma mestor?
   "   6.--Nemorea nyctemerianus, n.s.
   "   7.--Eurigaster marginatus.
   "   9.--Calliphora quadrimaculata.
   "  10.--Sarcophaga læmica.
   "  12.--Oestrus perplexus, n.s.
   "  13.--Coelopa littoralis.
   "  14.--Cylindria sigma.
   "  15.--Phora omnivora, n.s.
   "  15a.--Pupa.




  Fig. 1.--Argyrophenga antipodum.
   "   1a.--Northern form of same insect.
   "   2.--Vanessa gonerilla.
   "   2a.--Underside.
   "   2b, 2c.--Larvæ.
   "   2d, 2e.--Pupæ.
   "   3.--Chrysophanus salustius [M].
   "   3a.--     "          "     [F].
   "   3b.--Young larva (magnified).



  LEPIDOPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Hepialus virescens [M].
   "   1a.--  "         "     [F].
   "   1b.--Pupa.
   "   1c.--Larva.
   "   2.--Porina signata.
   "   3.--Nyctemera annulata [M].
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   3b.--Pupa.



  LEPIDOPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Oeceticus omnivorus [M].
   "   1a.--  "        "       [F].
   "   1b.--Larva.
   "   1c.--Male pupa.
   "   2.--Leucania atristriga [M].
   "   3.--Mamestra composita [M].
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   4.--Heliothis armigera [M].
   "   4a.--Larva.
   "   5.--Erana graminosa [M].
   "   5a.--Larva.
   "   6.--Mamestra ustistriga, [M].
   "   7.--   "     mutans [M].
   "   7a.--Larva.
   "   7b.--Pupa.
   "   8.--Plusia eriosoma [F].
   "   8a.--Larva.



  LEPIDOPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Declana floccosa [M].
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   1b.--Declana floccosa, _var._ junctilinea [M].
   "   2.--Chalastra pelurgata [M].
   "   2a.--   "        "      [F].
   "   2b.--Larva.
   "   3.--Ploseria hemipteraria.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   4.--Ploseria alectoraria.
           (Larva at Plate XIII. fig. 7.)
   "   5.--Sestra humeraria.
   "   5a.--Larva.
   "   6.--Sestra humeraria, _var._ (?)
   "   7.--Selidosema panagrata [M].
   "   7a.--    "       "       [F].
   "   7b.--Larva.
   "   8.--Selidosema dejectaria [M].
   "   8a.--    "         "      [F].
   "   8b.--Larva.



  LEPIDOPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Selidosema productata [M].
   "   1a.--    "         "      [F].
   "   1b.--Larva.
   "   2.--Asthena schistaria.
   "   2a.--Larva.
   "   3.--Siculodes subfasciata.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   3b.--Section of stem showing enclosed pupa and
            aperture (*) through which moth escapes.
   "   4.--Scoparia hemiplaca.
   "   5.--Crambus flexuosellus.
   "   6.--Ctenopseustis obliquana.
   "   7.--Endrosis fenestrella.
   "   7a.--Larva.
   "   7b.--Pupa.
   "   8.--Semiocosma platyptera.
   "   8a.--Larva.
   "   8b.--Pupa.



  LEPIDOPTERA (_concluded_).

  Fig. 1.--Hydriomena deltoidata.
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   2.--Isonomeutis amauropa.
   "   2a.--Larva.
   "   3.--Leucania nullifera.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   4.--Scoparia sabulosella.
   "   4a.--Larva.
   "   5.--Cacoecia excessana.
   "   5a.--Larva.
   "   6.--Oecophora scholæa.
   "   6a.--Larva.
   "   7.--Larva of Ploseria alectoraria.
        (For imago see Plate XI. Fig. 4.)




  Fig. 1.--Chauliodes diversus.
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   1b.--Pupa.
   "   2.--Stenosmylus incisus.
   "   3.--Oxyethira albiceps. (?)
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   3b.--Pupa.




  Fig. 1.--Uropetala carovei [M].
   "   1a.--Larva.
   "   2.--Cordulia Smithii [M].
   "   3.--Lestes Colensonis [M].
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   4.--Telebasis zealandica



  ORTHOPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Stolotermes ruficeps [M].
   "   1a.--Female.
   "   1b.--Soldier.
   "   1c.--Worker.
   "   2.--Psocus zealandicus, n.s.
   "   2a.--Larva.
   "   3.--Stenoperla prasina.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   4.--Ephemera, n.s. (near Coloburus).
   "   4a.--Larva.



  ORTHOPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Xiphidium maoricum [M].
   "   2.--Tenodera intermedia.
   "   3.--Oedipoda cinerascens.
   "   4.--Caloptenus marginalis.
   "   5.--Periplaneta fortipes.
   "   6.--Blatta conjuncta.
   "   7.--Forficesila littorea.
   "   8.--Deinacrida megacephala [F].



  ORTHOPTERA (_continued_).

  Fig. 1.--Acheta fuliginosa [F].
   "   2.--Deinacrida megacephala [M].



  ORTHOPTERA (_concluded_).

  Fig. 1.--Acanthoderus horridus.




  Fig. 1.--Cicada cingulata [F].
   "   1a.--Pupa.
   "   2.--Cicada muta [F].
   "   3.--  "    iolanthe, n.s.
   "   3a.--Larva.
   "   3b.--Pupa.
   "   4.--Coelostoma zealandicum [M].
   "   5.--Corixa zealandica.
   "   6.--Cermatulus nasalis.
   "   6a.--Larva.



 [1] For Lepidoptera I can strongly recommend "Jahncke's Patent Round
     Boxes" with glass lids. They may be obtained from any chemist, or from
     Messrs. Sharland & Co., Wholesale Druggists, Wellington.

 [2] Metrosideros scandens.

 [3] Hyperparasite is an animal parasitic in a parasite.

 [4] "Host" is a term applied to any animal harbouring a parasite.

 [5] Ovipositor, a boring instrument employed in depositing the eggs.

 [6] A genus of Hemipterous insects commonly seen skipping over ponds in

 [7] "n.s." is the accepted abbreviation for new species.

 [8] Thread-like.

 [9] For an extended account of these observations see "Transactions of the
     New Zealand Institute," vol. xxiii. (1890).

[10] Metrosideros scandens.

[11] Or lay eggs.

[12] Scutellum: A horny plate situated on the mesonotum, usually somewhat
     triangular in form.

[13] For life-history of this insect see page 73.

[14] Mamestra composita, M. mutans, M. ustistriga, Erana graminosa, &c.

[15] This genus, as represented in New Zealand, is often called Pyrameis.

[16] For a more detailed account of the metamorphosis of this insect see
     _The Entomologist_, vol. xviii. p. 30.

[17] For accounts of parasites and hyperparasites of this insect see pages
     60 and 37, also _The Entomologist_, vol. xviii. p. 153.

[18] On one occasion I enclosed a full-grown caterpillar of this insect in
     a pot of earth with a recently formed Noctua pupa, whose internal
     portions it immediately devoured, employing the empty shell of the
     unfortunate chrysalis as a cocoon. It is impossible to say whether
     this horrible proceeding often occurs in a state of nature.

[19] The _Libellulidæ_, _Ephemeridæ_, _Perlidæ_, _Psocidæ_, and _Termitidæ_
     are usually included in the _Neuroptera_.

[20] One mutilated [F] specimen of this insect was sent to Mr. McLachlan,
     but was too imperfect to describe from.

[21] For account of the earlier stages of this, or a closely allied insect,
     see "Transactions of New Zealand Institute," vol. xvi. p. 114.

[22] This genus is frequently called Melampsalta.

       *       *       *       *       *

Corrections made to printed text

P. 110: 'similar situation' corrected from 'similiar ...'.

P. 114: 'to speak from experience' corrected from 'to tpeak ...'.

Index: 'Chætosoma scaritides' corrected from '... scaratides'.

Footnote [19]: 'Neuroptera' corrected from 'Neuropteria'.

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