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BEGINNING with the issue for January 1884, there has been given with each Number of SCIENCE-GOSSIP :

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The results of this new departure in Scientific Journalism have been so encouraging, that it has been determined to continue the series throughout the new year. The subjects of the first Six Plates (to appear January to June, 1885) are as follows : RED WATER - MITE; Eylais Extendens. | EGGS OF VAPOURER MOTH. Dorsal and Ventral View.

SPINE OF SEA URCHIN (Echinus): transTOE OF MOUSE, Injected.

verse section, MARINE ALGÆ: Polysiphonia Elongata. | SEEDS OF “LOVE-LIES-BLEEDING."

London : CHATTO & WINDUS, Piccadilly, W.

render the cretaceous matter on Haldon approxi- | that in this way it obtained both its rounded pebbles mately (but not quite) as thick as at Blackdown. The and its plateau features. It became in fact a plain of corals have been described by Professor Duncan. marine denudation. Since that time however it has (Q. J. G. S., Feb. 1879.)

been re-elevated several hundred feet, so that rain and The angular Aints, which are doubtless the result rivers have “writ their wrinkles” upon it, and have mainly of sub-aerial denudation, presuppose a con- produced a vast hiatus between the outliers and the siderable thickness of chalk, which at one time capped parent mass. the greensand, but which has now vanished altogether, In conclusion, let us sum up the record, 1. We hare with the exception of this coarser and insoluble resi: | at the base, Trias, which was deposited probably

[blocks in formation]

Fig. 16.
Fig. 17.

Fig. 21.

Fig. 22 Figs. 15-22.-Fossil Sponge Spicules, all drawn on the scale of th to mooth of an inch. (H. J. Carter on " Fossil Sponge

Spicules . . . from Blackdown and Haldon," "Annals and Magazine of Natural History," for Feb. 1871, p. 139.)

Fig. 23.---Gervillea anceps.

Fig. 24.-Ammonites varicosus.

duum. But sub-aerial denudation is not the only , in an inland sea. 2. Subsidence, and more truly marine physical change indicated by the fint gravel, for upon conditions, when the Lias was deposited. 3. Elevathe surface and for about a foot beneath it rounded tion, tilting, and denudation, prior to the depopebbles occur, not only of flint, but also of rocks sition of the greensand. 4. Subsidence, and the comforeign to the bed itself, such as quartz and grit mencement of the deposition of the greensand beds. derived from the Palæozoic rocks adjoining.

5. Elevation, or silting up, or both, until shallower Here then again come traces of aqueous action. water and littoral conditions favoured the growth of And the natural inference seems to be that the bed | encrusting corals and polyzoa. 6. Subsidence again had sunk again beneath the surface of the sea, and / till oceanic conditions prevailed, and chalk beds of considerable thickness were formed. 7. Re-elevation, | folia, L., and D. rotundifolia, L. Polygala serpyllacea, at least above sea level, to account for the sub-aerial Whe., 1826, takes the place of P. depressa, Wend., denudation of the chalk. 8. A slight re-subsidence, to 1831, and Silene Cucubalus, Wib., 1799, that of S. form the marine plateau and introduce the rounded inflata, Sm., 1800 (bladder campion). S. quinqueand foreign pebbles. 9. Re-elevation to the present | vulnera, L., is thought to be a sub-species of S. altitude, combined with extensive recent denudation lusitanica, L. Scotland might be added to the list and excavation of the present valleys. Denudation | of countries for Dianthus Armeria, L. (Deptford has swept away enormous masses of both Trias and

| Pink). Greensand, but happily it is a broom which seldom Sisymbrium Sophia, Sinapis arvensis, Capsella sweeps quite clean, and hence Haldon is left to tell Bursa-pastoris, Batrachium heterophyllum, and its tale.

Violas tricolor and arvensis are found in every country in Europe. Erucastrum Pollichii, Schp., is given as a native. At most, it is only a colonist. Arabis ciliata,

Br., and Brassica monensis, Huds., are among the very BRITISH PLANTS IN NYMAN'S “CON few plants which are confined in Europe to Britain. SPECTUS FLORÆ EUROPÆÆ.”

By A. R. Waller.
THE following notes are intended to give the

NOTES ON SOME VARIETIES OF BRITISH readers of SCIENCE-Gossip some idea of the

SHELLS. differences in the nomenclature and classification of I HAVE in my collection several interesting British plants in Dr. Nyman's “Conspectus Flora 1 varieties of British shells which do not corresEuropææ.” Dr. Nyman's work is most invaluable to pond to any of the named varieties generally regarded all systematic and geographical botanists; as it gives as British, but are nevertheless fairly well marked. the full distribution of all known European species These I now describe. All those described below and sub-species, and in many cases that of varieties. were taken by myself. English botanists will have to adopt the earlier 1. Hyalina nididula, var. Shell large, whorls 4, names he uses, as the only safe rule for botanical slightly whitish beneath, last whorl expanded, and nomenclature is that of absolute priority.

having a dull waxy appearance, and possessing a The classification of the Thalictrums (meadow rues) rather broad band in the position of No. 5 in is rather different to what we have generally been ac H. nemoralis. Found at West Northdown, in customed to use. T. Jacquinianum, K. (=T. minus, Thanet. Jacq. non L.), is the plant we have so long called 2. Hy. glalıra, var. Shell greenish-white, glossy, T. majus, Smith, “Jacq.”: T. majus, Murr. “Jacq." and semi-transparent. Bromley, with the type. is not a British plant. England might be added to 3. Valvata piscinalis, var. Shell shewing tracings the list of countries for T. alpinum, L. (Alpine of spiral banding. I am not sure of the exact locality, meadow rue); it grows in Yorkshire, Westmoreland, but it is from some part of Kent. &c. It is mentioned as growing in Scotland and 4. Planorbis vortex, var. Shell large, concave Wales. The Jersey buttercup is not thought to be above, keel prominent, and placed almost in centre Ranunculus charophyllus, L., but R. flabellatus, Dsf, of periphery. From Fulham. var. Europæa. R. sardous, Cr., 1763, rightly replaces 5. Limnæa glutinosa, monst. Spire very short, R. Philonotis, Ehrh. 1788, as the name of the hairy sunken, slightly raised at apex, body whorl swollen buttercup, and Glaucium flavum, Cr., 1769, instead of above, top of shell nearly flat. St. Nicholas Marsh, G. luteum, Sep. 1772, for the yellow-horned poppy, with type. is another change in the right direction. Fumaria 6. L. peregra, var. Shell showing spiral banding. Boræi, Jord., is elevated to specific rank with F. From a ditch near Walmer Castle, Kent. (v. picta ?) Bastardi, Bor., 1847 (=F. confusa, Jord. 1848), as a

7. L. stagnalis, var. Shell having short spire, sub-species. Scotland might be added to the list of body whorl large and expanded, mouth wide. Pond countries for F. parviflora, Lam. We are not credited

at Bromley with Lemna minor. Type form not with Iberis amara, L. (candy-tust); it is certainly present. . native in the centre of England.

8. L. stagnalis, var. Shell smaller than type and Lepidium Smithii, Hook., is considered a variety of shaped like L. palustris. Suture shallow. Shell L. heterophyllum, Bth. Coronopus Ruellii, All. 1785,

often eroded. Pond at Chislehurst, with Anacharis gives way to C. procumbens, Gil., 1782. Helianthemum alsinastrum and Callitriche verna. vineale, P., appears as a full species with H. canum, 9. L. stagnalis, var. Shell much smaller than Dun., as a variety, thus reversing the places of the type, usually about #inch to 1 inch in length, suture two plants. Viola permixta, Jord., is thought to be a rather deep. Shell eroded. Pond on Chislehurst hybrid between V. hirta, L., and V. odorata, L., and Common, with Potamogeton crispus and Ranunculus Drosera obovata, Mk., a hybrid between D. longi- | aquatilis.

10. L. stagnalis, var. Shell shewing traces of, at that time rearing; as these foundresses of colonies, spiral banding. Pond at Chislehurst, with of both tribes, had been plentiful enough during the Ranunculus aquatilis.

latter part of May and commencement of June, and I 11. L. palustris, monst. Shell turrited, about } inch had already observed the wasps gathering wood in length, whorls 5, last whorl more than half length fibres for the manufacture of the paper of which they of shell. Pond at Bromley, with type.

build their nests and combs. * Moreover, during the 12. L. truncatula, var. Shell having 3 whitish spell of wintry weather that prevailed from June 6th bands on body whorl, corresponding to 3, 4, and 5, in to Ioth inclusive, I had discovered a nest of the H. nemoralis. Ditch at Bickley, with type.'

moss or carder bee (Bombus muscorum), containing a 13. Sphærium lacustre, monst. Shell distorted so large amorphous cell, or wax-enclosed mass of bee. as to resemble Pisidium amnicum in shape. Pond bread, enclosing six or seven larvæ of varying size at Bromley, with type.

from very small to what I took for nearly full-grown, 14. Cyclostoma clegans, var. Shell light yellowish, as well as a single elegantly urn-shaped thin wax traces of spiral banding on upper whorls. Warling. cell containing a very little clear honey, ham, Surrey, with type.

The summer of 1883, however, was remark15. Helix aspersa, var. Shell having four well- | able for a superabundance of the social wasps, and defined bands. Chislehurst Common, amongst an abundance of the humble bees. To give an idea Pteris aquilina.

of the great plenty of the wasps I may state that I 16. Helix aspersa, var. Shell having upper portion have known of twenty-five nests, or “bikes” (as. of whorl chocolate colour, described in a former note they are here called), within an area of not more than (p. 91). I find that when the light is allowed to

forty acres of meadow and pasture land, this area pass through the chocolate coloured portion very | being represented by the figure of a square ; as well. faint mottlings become visible, indicating those as two more nests a very little outside that square. present in a normal shell.

Within this same area were found three nests of the 17. H. Cantiana, var. Shell smaller than type,

orange-tailed humble bee (Bombus lapidaria), and glossy, and semi-transparent, slightly tinged with

one of the common humble bee (B. terrestris) ; rufous, especially near the mouth. Lip pinkish. whilst outside of it, but at no great distance, another Farnborough, Kent, two specimens.

nest of each species was found. 18. H. virgata, var. Shell large, and having one Of the above-mentioned twenty-seven nests of the or more interrupted bands. Margate.

wasps, fifteen belonged to the Vespa vulgaris, six to 19. H. nemoralis, monst. Shell much distorted the V. sylvestris, five to the V. rufa, and one to the from repair of fracture, umbilicus wide and deep.

V. Germanica. In addition to these were two others, Chislehurst Common, on Pteris aquilina.

small secondary nests of the V. rufa, built on the 20. Clausilia biplicata, monst. Mouth of shell oval,

sites of the first nests which had been destroyed. and contorted, probably from repair of fracture,

Premising that I was in the district indicated from channeling of lower part not perceptible. Three

the beginning of the fourth week in July until near well-marked denticles present. Near Hammersmith,

the close of September ;-that the earthen dykes, with with type.

their hedgerows and numerous trees, bounding the 21. C. laminata, var. Shell rather tumid, inside

several fields, were mostly stone-faced to strengthen of mouth, including denticles, of a purplish-brown

them against the rutting and butting of the cattle, colour,

though with occasional interspaces free from stones; Other varieties are described in former notes.

that Aies (Diptera) were exceedingly numerous, T. D. A. COCKERELL.

especially in the lee of the dykes and hedgerows, and Bedford Park, Chiswick, 1884

fruit abundant ; and that the weather during the most of that period was warm, though variable and

moist ;-I shall give some of my observations, on the NATURAL HISTORY JOTTINGS.

wasps chiefly, mostly as they were jotted down and

commented on at the moment. ON WASPS, CHIEFLY.

July 25th, 1883.-Wasps are exceedingly numerous ; A S stated in “Natural History Jottings for 1881,' | have already seen nearly a dozen nests, or “bikes." 0 in the May issue of SCIENCE-Gossip, 1882, the July 30th.-Observe more wasps' nests in the summer of that year, in the neighbourhood of

dykes. I have also observed three nests in the level Harnham and Bradford, Northumberland, was | ground in a small meadow, two being those of the remarkable, from a natural-history point of view, in Vespa vulgaris and one that of the V. rufa. the almost entire absence of the social wasps and August 2nd.-In the evening, after a very heavy humble bees. This I accounted for by the very and continuous rainfall, the temperature being then severe weather prevalent during the second week in much lowered, three large nests of the Vespa sylvestris June killing off the large females, or queens, with the embryo brood which they would be undoubtedly

* SCIENCE-Gossip, May, 1882, pp. 102, 103.

were taken out of an earthen dyke in great part | contain larvæ of various sizes; whilst, further in, faced with stones. Through the lowering of the towards the centre, are pupa or nymphs, and vacated temperature, few, if any, of the wasps were on the cells which again contain ova, mostly two and three in wing. The three nests were all within a distance of number, but in some instances even four : some of eighty paces, two of them being within only twenty | the cells nearer the circumference, which have not paces of each other. All were built well up in the before been used, also contain two ova. The larva face of the dyke, and were near the surface; indeed, of this species of wasp are not white, but are yellowish, one of the nests had a goodly segment of it exposed or buff-coloured. This nest was not far back into the to view ; another was not more than an inch within dyke; and the mould was easily dug into, so easily the small hole of entrance ; whilst the third was indeed that the nest was got out with a walking-stick. farther back, but was well revealed on removing two Nearly all the wasps found at it were taken ; fifteen of the stones at its entrance, behind which it was in all, seven of which were males, and eight workers. situated. These nests were rounded in form, and of In the evening, however, a few more wasps were the size and nearly of the shape of a large turnip ; | taken from the cavity out of which the nest had been and were composed of grey and grey-green paper, dug. These wasps were not at all vicious; the larger the layers of the shell being large, thin and numerous. ones (V. sylvestris) disturbed last night were very The cells of the comb are made of similar paper to vicious. On the following day I took a few more that constituting the shell, or case ; and they appear i wasps from the nest-cavity, and left yet a few lingering to be built up as the larvæ grow-as needs required. about the place. No queen, however, was observed, On the larva becoming full-fed it apparently fully only males and workers ; had there been one, she lines its cell with white silk, as well as continuing | would have, in all probability, been in the nest when the edges upwards and completely covering the top it was taken. In all there have been not more than of the cell with a rounded cap of the same substance, thirty wasps belonging to this small nest. Is it not which is tough and strong and greatly increases the somewhat singular that there should be males at so strength of the cells, these 'used cells being again early a stage of the nest ? utilised after the emergence of the imagoes. There In the evening a very large and strong nest of the are both large and small cells filled with pupæ, or Vespa Germanica was taken out of a stone-faced nymphs. New and imperfect cells containing larvæ earthen dyke. On removing two of the stones the are on the margin of the circular platform of paper nest was fully revealed lying in a cavity behind, its cells constituting the comb; and there are ova in entire depth being distinguishable. The case of this many of the formerly used cells, fastened by one end nest is of a shelled character, the several layers of to the side of the cell towards its bottom. The ovum grey and grey-green paper constituting it being laid is oblong, curving, white in colour, and of fair size. on in large shell-like pieces varying in dimensions ; There are larvæ of all sizes, and pupa or nymphs in and, though consisting of fine vegetable fibres, it is all stages of development to close on hatching : thicker in texture than is the paper of the V. sylvestris indeed, there were many newly-hatched wasps in the and V. rufa. There are six tiers, or platforms, of nests when taken. All the three sexes were repre- | comb ; and the nest is the largest I have yet seen. sented, there being the workers, the large females or The ova in the comb are at the bottom of the shallow queens, and the males or drones with their longer | rudimentary cells at and near the margin of the tier, antennæ and slimmer bodies, all three kinds being of and down towards the bottom, or only midway in the large size and bright colours.

deeper cells towards and at the centre; and are August 3rd.—This afternoon I took a small nest of oblong, a little curving, and milk-white in colour. the Vespa rufa out of the same dyke as that out of They are fastened by one end to the side of the cell which were last night taken the three nests of the in an angle and project outwards into an acute angle. V. sylvestris, but on its opposite side, where are also There is here mostly only one ovum in each cell, two nests of the V. vulgaris. In form it resembles a though, in some instances, two and even three ova small turnip on a depressed sphere; and it has the have been deposited in the deeper cells. There

oundish hole of entrance and exit in the centre are, as well as ova, larvæ of all sizes, and pupa beneath, and a single circular platform of comb, about or nymphs in all stages of development up to two inches in diameter, which is suspended by a perfection, young wasps emerging from the cells. broad paper pillar from the top of the shell of the The very young larvæ are attached to the side of the nest. A second pillar, to support a second and lower cell in the same manner and position as are the ova, platform has been formed, being attached to the side appearing indeed almost to be simply an outgrowth of one of the central, used, silk-lined and con- from the ovum in the anterior or cephalic region,sequentiy strong cells; and it has a very rudimentary | just as though a head had formed there. As the cells cell at its extremity, which already contains one of are vertical and mouth downwards, some secure attachthe oblong, milk-white and somewhat curving ova. ment will be absolutely necessary for the suspension The outer cells of the platform of comb are very rudi- and safety of the head-down larvæ. No males were mentary, but each contains an ovum ; the inner ones found at this nest, nor the queen (which, probably,

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