Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/543

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527
SOME REMARKABLE INSECTS.

philosophically, but they have added practically little, if anything, to our curative resources. It is hardly to be set down to their discredit that they have incidentally favored the reign of the platform hypnotizer or the vagaries of the subjects at La Charité; that is their misfortune rather than their fault, but it is a grave misfortune. But the intervention of authority might at the present, in respect to the latter, cut short these absurdities and put an end to some social mischiefs which have fastened on to them and hang to their skirts. Thus much as to the sociological question. To the student of "psychological phenomena" it has a great interest to note how successive functions may be separately abolished as the brain is partially set to sleep, and in what exaggerated forms the remaining activities may be brought upon the stage when restraining self-consciousness is stilled. The vulgar, too, may find an ignoble amusement in the antics of these drinkers of petroleum and vinegar, in the semi-idiotic postures and proceedings of the hypnotized manikin, as they do in fantocchini show or a puppet play. But against such philosophic satisfactions and vulgar amusements must be set the avowed and the unconfessed mischiefs, and who can doubt that these outbalance any good result which can be discerned?—Nineteenth Century.

[Concluded.]

 

SOME REMARKABLE INSECTS.
By WILLIAM J. FOX.

THE great majority of persons have no idea of the numerous and singular forms of insects. They are all called "bugs" by most people, yet not one tenth of their number are really bugs. These latter are classed by themselves and are called Hemiptera. Beetles are not bugs, being totally different things, and form what are known as the Coleoptera, which means sheath-wing, because of the two large plates on the back that cover the true wings, which consist of thin membrane. These covers are called elytra. The butterflies and moths form another one of these orders, being called Lepidoptera, or scale-wing, on account of the tiny scales with which the wings are covered. No doubt many of the readers of this article have noticed the powdery substance which comes off a butterfly or moth on handling it. These are the scales, and, should any reader possess a microscope and place the wing or part of one under it, I think he will be repaid for his trouble. The "dragon flies" and "devil's needles" form the order Neuroptera, which means vein-winged. So it is with the flies and the