Transactions of the Linnean Society of London/Volume 14/The natural history of Xylocopa Teredo and Horia maculata

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The natural history of Xylocopa Teredo and Horia maculata by Lansdown Guilding
Transactions of the Linnean Society of London Volume 14




XIII. The Natural History of Xylocopa Teredo and Horia maculata. By the Rev. Lansdown Guilding, B.A. F.L.S.

Read June 4, 1822.

Insects, though seemingly the most insignificant of animal beings, have an important task assigned them by our great and good Creator. Though the period of their activity and existence is soon closed, and their size appears contemptible, nothing can long resist their attacks. Their utility is equal to their power. In innumerable instances they conduce to the comforts and pleasures of the human race; but it is chiefly, perhaps, as scavengers that they are serviceable in the boundless field of nature. Without the labours of these puny agents the atmosphere would abound in effluvia fatal to life. Without their aid, the low and lovely plants that adorn our valleys, the stately tenants of our forests, with all their parasites, would want room for development. If man be sometimes a miserable sufferer from the united or unrestrained attacks of these active invaders of his rights, he cannot, on reflection, but confess, that they are wisely and kindly given for the general welfare of the universe. The decomposition of timber hastening to decay, is accelerated by no insect, perhaps, more than by the Bee, which is the subject of this communication. Independent of its singular habits, the striking difference of the sexes will, I doubt not, render the species worthy of the notice of the Linnean Society. The description of its destructive parasite has been added to make its history complete.

St. Vincent, Jan. 1, 1822. Page:Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Volume 14.djvu/348 Page:Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Volume 14.djvu/349 Page:Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Volume 14.djvu/350 Page:Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Volume 14.djvu/352 Page:Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Volume 14.djvu/353