Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/257

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comb it; when the pieces are sufficiently disentangled, they are placed under the body by the first pair of legs; the intermediate pair receives them and delivers them to the last, which pushes them as far as possible beyond the anus. When by this process the insect has formed behind it a small mass of moss well carded, then either the same or another who takes her turn in the business, pushes it nearer to the nest. Thus small heaps of moss are conveyed to its foot; and in a similar manner they are elevated to its summit, or where they may be most wanted. A file of four or five insects is occupied at the same time in this employment.[1]

Plate XVII. Fig. 1.

Apis Donovanella, Kirby's Monog. Ap. ii. 357, Pl. 18, fig. 6.

The length of this insect very little exceeds seven lines; the prevailing colour black, all the parts very hirsute; head and antennæ black; the mouth with reddish hairs; thorax black, with a dense patch of lemon-yellow hairs in front in the female, but obscure in the male; abdomen between triangular and globose, the base with a broad light-yellow band, then a black one, the three last segments red; legs black; wings tinged with dusky-brown.

This species is named in honour of the late Mr. Donovan, whose extensive works, containing accurate delineations both of British and foreign insects, as well as of other animals, have tended greatly to

  1. Reaumur's Mem. tom. vi.