the back of an aphide with its antennae to coax it
to give down its sweet fluid, much in the same way
as a dairy maid would induce a cow to give down its
milk by a gentle manipulation of its udders.
Some species, principally the masons and miners, remove
their aphides to plants in the immediate vicinity of
their nest, or even introduce them into the ant home.
In the interior of most nests is also found the small
blind beetle (Claviger
) glistening, and of
a uniform red, its mouth of so singular a conformation
that it is incapable of feeding itself. The ants
carefully feed these poor dependent creatures, and
in turn lick the sweet liquid which they secrete and
exude. These little Coleoptera
found in the nests of some species; when introduced
into the nests of others they excite great bewilderment,
and, after having been carefully turned over and examined,
are killed in a short time as a useless commodity.
Another active species of Coleoptera
, of the
, is also found in ant nests.
I have discovered one in the nest of Formica rufa
in the Jewish cemetery in Leadville. Furnished
with wings, it does not remain in the nest, but is
forced to return thither by the strange incapacity
to feed itself. Like the Claviger
repays its kind nurses by the sweet liquid it exudes,
and which is retained by a tuft of hair on either side
of the abdomen beneath the wings, which the creature
lifts in order that the ant may get at its honeyed
recompense. Such mutual services between creatures
in no way allied is a most curious fact in the animal
world.—Popular Science News.
* * * *
By L.P. GRATACAP.
In the county of Litchfield, Conn., in the midst of
some of the most attractive hill country of that region,
a very striking mineral fissure has been opened by
Mr. S.L. Wilson, which, in both its scientific
and commercial aspects, is equally important and interesting.
It is a broad crevice, widened at the point of excavation
into something like a pocket and filled, between its
inclosing walls of gneiss, with a granitic mass whose
elements have crystallized separately, so that an
almost complete mineralogical separation has been
effected of quartz, mica, and feldspar, while associated
aggregates, as beryl and garnet, have formed under
conditions that make them valuable gem fabrics.
The vein has a strike south of west and north of east
and a distinct dip northwest, by which it is brought
below the gneiss rock, which forms an overhanging
wall, on the northerly side of the granitic mass,
while on the southerly edge the same gneiss rock makes
an almost vertical foot wall, and exhibits a sharp
surface of demarkation and contact. The rock
has been worked as an open cut through short lateral
“plunges,” or tunnels have been used for