Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/40

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

palpi, of very diminutive size, but having the same office to perform as those situated at the base of the ligula. The whole of the apparatus is capable of being doubled up by means of an articulation or joint in the middle. The half next the lip bends itself inwards, and lays itself along the other half which stretches towards the root, and both are folded together, within a very small compass, under the head and neck. The whole machinery rests on a pedicle, not seen in the figure, which admits of its being drawn back or propelled forwards to a considerable extent. The celebrated naturalist, Ray, whose knowledge of the minutiae of insect anatomy was but slender, "was," Kirby remarks, "at a loss to conceive what could be the use of the complex machinery of the proboscis. We who know the admirable art and contrivance manifested in the construction of this organ, need not wonder, but we shall be inexcusable if we do not adore."[1]

The Trunk of the Bee, or Thorax, (Wood-Cut, p. 31, fig. 2, a.) approaches in figure to a sphere, and is united to the head by a pedicle or thread-like ligament. It contains the muscles of the wings and legs. The former consist of two pair of unequal size, and are attached to each other by slender hooks, easily discernible through a microscope, and thereby their motion, and the flight of the insect, are rendered more steady. Behind the wings, on each side of the Trunk, are situated several small orifices, called stigmata or spiracles, through which respiration is effected. These orifices are connected with a system

  1. Monographia Apum Angliae, II. 342.