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'Exotic Butterflies,' part 89. 'Lepidoptera Exotica,1 part xix., and ' Cistula Eutomologica,' part viii.; by E. W. Janson. 'L'Abeille,' 1873, livr. x., and 1874, livr. i.; by the Editor. 'The Canadian Entomologist,' vol. v., nos. 10 and 11; by the Editor. 'The Entomologist's Magazine' for January; by the Editors. 'Newman's Entomologist' and ' The Zoologist' for January; by the Editor.
Election of Member. Captain George Cockle, of 9, Bolton Gardens, was balloted for and elected a Member of the Society.
Mr. Meldola exhibited some photographs of minute insects taken with the camera obscura and microscope.
Mr. M'Lachlan called attention to a paper in the last part of the 'Annales de la Societe Eutomologique de Frauce,' by M. Bar and Dr. Laboulbene, on a species of the Bombycidse closely related to the tigermoths described and figured by M. Bar as Palustra Laboulbenei, and of very extraordinary habits, the larva being aquatic, living in the canals of the sugar plantations in Cayenne, and feeding upon an aquatic plant. The hairy larva had all the form usual for the group, and breathed by means of stnall spiracles—a supply of air being apparently entangled in its hairs. The cocoons were joined together in little masses floating on the surface of the water.
Mr. Butler remarked on a paper by Mr. J. V. Riley, in the 'Journal of the S. Louis Academy of Sciences,' in which he alluded to Apatura Lycaon, Fab., and A. Hyrse, Fab., as distinct species: but which he (Mr. Butler) believed to be closely allied to, if not identical with, Apatura Alicia, Edwards.
Mr. M'Lachlan read a letter that he had received from M. Ernest Olivier, stating that the collection of insects formed by his grandfather had been purchased some years after his death by MM. Chevrolat and Jousselin. A great part of the collection had been suffered to fall into decay; but recently a portion, comprising the Curculionida, Heterornera, Lamellicornes, Sternoxi, Chrysomelidse, Clavicornes and Hydrocantharidse had come into his possession, and he would be happy to show them to any English entomologist who might desire to examino any of the numerous types. Unfortunately the Carabidse and Longicornes were almost entirely lost.
Mr. Smith communicated a paper on the Hymenopterous Genus Xylocopa; and Mr. D. Sharp a paper on the Pselaphidse and Scydmsenidse of Japan, from the collections of Mr. George Lewis.—F. G.
Urtitts 0f Iftto ^aah.
The Depths of the Sea; an Account of the Dredging Cruises oj H.M.SS. 'Porcupine'' and * Lightning'' in 1868, 1869 and 1870. By C. Wyville Thomson, LL.D., &c. London: Macmillan & Co. 1873.
Three years after the completion of these Cruises we are here presented with the results. It is difficult to stale with precision the value of these results: it is difficult to say to what exact extent the boundaries of human knowledge have been enlarged, and whether the extension, be it what it may, offers an adequate return for the labour and money expended in its production: opinions on these points will widely differ, and I do not propose to enter on these questions, or to discuss directly or indirectly the cui bono of these laborious cruises. It is sufficient for my purpose to say that both expeditions were undertaken by the Admiralty at the instance of the Council of the Royal Society, and that it was thought right that such an account should be laid before the general public as might stimulate others, who have the proclivities and the opportunity, to penetrate further into the new and strange region on whose borders the three naturalists whose names are associated in the work have been among the earliest to make systematic inroads.
It must, however, be understood that this volume, although not the official record, has the full weight and authority of such record, and that notwithstanding the name of Dr. Thomson stands alone as the author of the work, it must be considered as combining the observations of three of our most distinguished marine naturalists, Dr. Carpenter, Mr. Gwyn Jeffries and Dr. Wyville Thomson. It was originally intended that the work should have been the joint production of these three, but difficulties in the way of such a course seemed to present themselves, and it was finally decided that Dr. Thomson should be the sole reporter, a decision we must accept as satisfactory in every respect.
The readers of the 'Zoologist' are fully aware that it is by no means a first attempt to dredge the deep sea in search of knowledge—knowledge not only of its inhabitants as new and undescribed members of the world of animals, but also for the
SECOND SERIES—VOL. IX. M
purpose of ascertaining with precision the exact bathymetrical limits of life: the late Edward Forbes conducted a series of researches with the same object some years previously.
I have already stated in these pages that no ray of light can penetrate the deepest recesses of ocean, and it appears that vegetation can scarcely exist without light, therefore the limit of vegetation is probably ascertained with something approaching to precision, but the limits of animal life seem to elude this scrutiny and to recede before the penetrating glance of the dredger, notwithstanding the vain guessings of those who were the first to speculate on these hidden mysteries. It would seem very erroneous opinions have resulted from this system of guessing, and have been current as Nature's laws. This trio of naturalists have done much to dissipate such errors, and now that another expedition, that of the ' Challenger,' is afloat under the same auspices, we cannot doubt that reliable conclusions will be obtained and published.
The narrative of the cruises are kept quite distiuct, that of the 'Lightning,' first in order of time, takes the first place in Dr. Thomson's narrative. She steamed from Pembroke on the 4th of August, 1868, and reached Oban on the 6th. Here Drs. Carpenter and Thomson joined. Dr. Carpenter was accompanied by his son Herbert. On that evening they anchored at Tobermorey, and after a gusty passage through the Minch reached Stornaway in the Lews on the evening of the 9th. About fifteen miles north of the Butt of Lews the first haul was taken, just for the purpose of testing the tackle and of tracing the limits of shallow-water species. The dredge worked well, but brought up few animal forms, and all of them well-known inhabitants of the seas of the Hebrides.
From Stornaway the 'Lightning' steamed northwards towards the Facroe Bank, so celebrated for their cod-fishing. Although the principal object of the fleets of English and Foreign smacks which frequent this bank is to procure fish for curing, yet many of the English ones are welled for the supply of fresh cod for the London market. These welled vessels are familiar to most Londoners, but the following paragraph from the volume before us will be acceptable to many :—
"A large square tank occupies the middle of the vessel, and holes in the sides allow the water to pass freely through it. The water in the tank is thus kept perfectly fresh; the best of the cod are put iuto it, aud they stand the voyage perfectly. It is curious to see the great creatures moving gracefully about in in the tank, like gold fish in a glass globe. They are no doubt quite unaccustomed to man, and consequently they are tame; and with their large, smooth, mottled faces, their huge mouths, and lidless, unspeculative eyes, they are about as unfamiliar objects as one can well see. They seem rather to like to be scratched, as they are greatly infested by Caligi and all kinds of suctorial copepods. One of them will take a crab or a large Fusus or Buccinum quietly out of one's hand, and with a slight movement transfer it down its capacious throat into its stomach, where it is very soon attacked and disintegrated by the powerful gastric secretion. In one welled smack I visited on one occasion, one of the fish had met with some slight injury which spoiled its market, and it made several trips in the well between London and Faeroe, and became quite a pet. The sailors said it knew them. It was mixed up with a number of others in the tank when I was on board, and certainly it was always the first to come to the top for the chance of a crab or a bit of biscuit, and it rubbed its head and shoulders against my hand quite lovingly."—P. 59.
The tameness of fish is by no means unprecedented: I have been told of carp on the Continent, especially at Heidelberg, that come to the surface of the water to be patted by visitors; others collect at the tinkling of a bell, and others again obey the summons of a whistle. Fishes in the Brighton Aquarium come in crowds to touch Mr. Lawler's bauds, which he dabbles in the water purposely to attract them, and I have seen a school of the beautiful rock whiting obey the beckoning finger of a visitor, who was evidently accustomed thus to exhibit his attractive powers. The truth is that fishes are greedy creatures, and in confinement soon learn that the visits of human beings are accompanied by food; hence, I conclude their love of man's society is what is usually denominated "cupboard love."
But we must not linger too long on the Faeroe Banks: on the 9th Dr. Thomson steamed again to Stornaway, and thence, on the 15lh, in a north-easterly direction, two hundred and fifty miles, dredging with various success. At Thorshavn, the capital of the Faeroes, the naturalists were most hospitably entertained by Mr. Holten, the Danish Governor, to whose lady this splendid volume is dedicated, as a graceful acknowledgment, in these words:—" To Madame Holten, This Volume Is Dedicated, In Grateful Remembrance Of The Pleasant Times Spent By Himself And His Comrades At The Governor's House In Thorshavn, By The Author."
On the 2lst of September, off Barra Head, the south point of the Hebrides, a fresh easterly wind blowing and the barometer low, Captain May did not think it desirable to stand to sea again. After consultation with Dr. Carpenter, he determined to conclude the work, steamed down the Sound of Mull, and anchored at Oban, when Dr. Carpenter and his son left the ship and journeyed southward by land. On the 24th Captain May started for Pembroke, and on the 25th, off the Calf of Man,—the barometer having suddenly fallen, and the wind and sea rising fast,—without increase of wind, and in a roll not heavier than usual, the whole of the weather fore rigging went, by the straightening or breaking of the hooks which held it. Fortunately the mast did not fall, and after an hour spent in effecting a temporary repair, the unlucky vessel proceeded on its course, and anchored in the new harbour of Holyhead at 6 p. M. on the same day, and so terminated the cruise of the ' Lightning.' The results were as satisfactory as the naturalists had ventured to anticipate, but the vessel was ill-suited to the service, and the weather most unpropitious. During the whole of the six weeks they were at sea, ten days only were available for dredging: on only four of these was the vessel in water over five hundred fathoms; nevertheless—
"It has been shown beyond question that animal life is varied and abundant, represented by all the invertebrate group, at depths in the ocean down to 650 fathoms at least, notwithstanding the extraordinary conditions to which animals are there exposed. It had been determined that, instead of the water of the sea beyond a certain depth, varying according to latitude, having a uniform temperature of 39° Fahr., an indraught of arctic water may have, at any depth beyond the influence of the direct ruys of the sun, a temperature so low as 28° Fahr.: or, on the other hand, a warm current may have, at any moderate depth, a temperature of 41° Fahr.; and it has been shown that great masses of water at different temperatures are moving about each in its particular course, maintaining a remarkable system of oceanic circulation, and yet keeping so distinct from one another that an hour's sail may bo sufficient to pass from the extreme of heat to the extreme of cold. Finally, it had been shown that a large proportion of the forms living at great depths in the sea belong to species hitherto unknown, and that thus a new field of boundless extent and great interest is opened to the naturalist. It had further been shown that many of these deep-sea animals are specifically identical with tertiary fossils hitherto believed to be extinct, while others associate themselves with and illustrate extinct groups of the fauna of