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The Wonders of Instinct Chapters in the Psychology of Insects   By: (1823-1915)

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THE WONDERS OF INSTINCT

CHAPTERS IN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF INSECTS

BY

J. H. FABRE

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER 1. THE HARMAS.

CHAPTER 2. THE GREEN GRASSHOPPER.

CHAPTER 3. THE EMPUSA.

CHAPTER 4. THE CAPRICORN.

CHAPTER 5. THE BURYING BEETLES: THE BURIAL.

CHAPTER 6. THE BURYING BEETLES: EXPERIMENTS.

CHAPTER 7. THE BLUEBOTTLE.

CHAPTER 8. THE PINE PROCESSIONARY.

CHAPTER 9. THE SPIDERS.

CHAPTER 10. THE BANDED EPEIRA.

CHAPTER 11. THE EUMENES.

CHAPTER 12. THE OSMIAE.

CHAPTER 13. THE GLOW WORM.

CHAPTER 14. THE CABBAGE CATERPILLAR.

INDEX.

Note: Chapters 5 and 6 have been translated by Mr. Bernard Miall; the remainder by Mr. Alexander Teixeira de Mattos.

ILLUSTRATIONS.

THE HARMAS. 1. The author and his two daughters in the lilac walk. 2. J.H. Fabre's house at Sérignan.

THE EMPUSA.

INSECTS AT REST. Bees and wasps asleep, extended in space by the strength of their mandibles.

THE LARVA OF THE GREAT CAPRICORN. 1. The grub. 2. The grub digging its galleries in the trunk of the oak.

THE GREAT CAPRICORN: THE MALE AND THE FEMALE.

EXPERIMENTS.

EXPERIMENT 1. The mole is fixed fore and aft, with a lashing of raphia, to a light horizontal cross bar resting on two forks. The Necrophori, after long tiring themselves in digging under the body, end by severing the bonds.

EXPERIMENT 2. A dead mouse is placed on the branches of a tuft of thyme. By dint of jerking, shaking and tugging at the body, the Burying beetles succeed in extricating it from the twigs and bringing it down.

EXPERIMENT 3. With a ligament of raphia, the Mole is fixed by the hind feet to a twig planted vertically in the soil. The head and shoulders touch the ground. By digging under these, the Necrophori at the same time uproot the gibbet, which eventually falls, dragged over by the weight of its burden.

EXPERIMENT 4. The stake is slanting; the Mole touches the ground, but at a point two inches from the base of the gibbet. The Burying beetles begin by digging to no purpose under the body. They make no attempt to overturn the stake. In this experiment they obtain the Mole at last by employing the usual method, that is by gnawing the bond.

THE BLUEBOTTLE LAYING HER EGGS IN THE SLIT OF A DEAD BIRD'S BEAK.

THE LYCOSA LIFTING HER WHITE BAG OF EGGS TOWARDS THE SUN, TO ASSIST THE HATCHING. The Lycosa lying head downwards on the edge of her pit, holding in her hind legs her white bag of eggs and lifting them towards the sun, to assist the hatching.

THE BANDED EPEIRA INSCRIBING HER FLOURISH, AFTER FINISHING HER WEB.

THE BANDED EPEIRA LETTING HERSELF DROP BY THE END OF HER THREAD.

THE BANDED EPEIRA SWATHING HER CAPTURE. The web has given way in many places during the struggle.

OSMIA NESTS IN A BRAMBLE TWIG.

OSMIA NESTS INSIDE A REED.

ARTIFICIAL HIVE INVENTED BY THE AUTHOR TO STUDY THE OSMIA'S LAYING. It consists of reed stumps arranged Pan pipe fashion.

OLD NESTS USED BY THE OSMIA IN LAYING HER EGGS.

1. Nest of the Mason bee of the Shrubs.

2. Osmia grubs in empty shells of the Garden Snail.

3. Nests of the Mason bee of the Sheds.

THE GLOW WORM: a, male; b, female.

THE CABBAGE CATERPILLAR: a, the caterpillars; b, the cocoons of their parasite, Microgaster glomeratus.

THE WONDERS OF INSTINCT.

CHAPTER 1. THE HARMAS.

This is what I wished for, hoc erat in votis: a bit of land, oh, not so very large, but fenced in, to avoid the drawbacks of a public way; an abandoned, barren, sun scorched bit of land, favoured by thistles and by Wasps and Bees. Here, without fear of being troubled by the passers by, I could consult the Ammophila and the Sphex (two species of Digger or Hunting wasps. Translator's Note.) and engage in that difficult conversation whose questions and answers have experiment for their language; here, without distant expeditions that take up my time, without tiring rambles that strain my nerves, I could contrive my plans of attack, lay my ambushes and watch their effects at every hour of the day... Continue reading book >>




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