Page:Handbook for Boys.djvu/126

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Many insects live in the water, and to follow. their life histories in small home-made aquaria is one of the most interesting occupations one could have, and there is a lot to be learned about these insects. Go to any stagnant pool and you will find it swarming with animal life: Larvæ or "wigglers" of mosquitoes, and a number of other aquatic insects will be found, feeding upon these wigglers. Water bugs of different kinds will 'be found and the life histories of most of these were until quite recently almost unknown.

Beetles and Wasps

The order Coleoptera, comprising what we know as beetles, has thousands of species, each one with its own distinctive mode of life; some of them feeding upon other insects, others boring into wood, others feeding upon flowers, others upon leaves, and so on in endless variety.

The wasps also will bear study. Here, too, there is a great variety, some of them building the paper nests known to every one, others burrowing into the surface of the ground and storing up in these burrows grasshoppers and other insects for food for their young which are grub-like in form; others still burrowing into the twigs of bushes, and others making mud nests attached to the trunks of trees or to the clapboards of houses or outbuildings.

This is just a hint at the endless variety of habits of insects. The United States National Museum publishes a bulletin, by Mr. Nathan Banks, entitled "Directions for Collecting and Preserving Insects," which gives a general outline of the classification, and should be possessed by every one who wishes to take up the study from the beginning.


By Dr. Hugh M. Smith, Deputy Commissioner United States Fisheries

There is no more fascinating and profitable study than the fish life of the lakes, ponds, rivers, brooks, bays, estuaries, and coasts of the United States; and no more important service can be rendered our American boys than to teach them to become familiar with our native food fishes, to realize their needs, and by example and precept.