Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/545

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529
SOME REMARKABLE INSECTS.

with strong spines or teeth, used for securely holding any insect that may fall into its clutches. I have seen this insect leisurely devouring flies held between these legs. From it there was no PSM V43 D545 Nemoptera coa.jpgFig. 3.—Nemoptera coa. chance of escape. A specimen observed in captivity washed itself in the same manner as a cat, rubbing its head and face with its fore legs. In South America a species of mantis is said to seize and devour small birds.

Another strange orthopter is known as the "walking stick," which so closely resembles the stems of plants upon which it lives that it is very difficult to find them. One species (Diapheromera femorata) is abundant in the Middle States. This species is green when the foliage upon which it lives is of that color, but when this changes in the autumn the color of the walking stick changes also. It is said to do great injury to oak and other trees.

In the East Indies is found an insect that greatly resembles a leaf, both in form and color, as will be seen by the figure on page 528. PSM V43 D545 Diactor bilineatus.jpgFig. 4.—Diactor Bilineatus. It is very appropriately called the "walking leaf" and is known to scientists as Phyllium siccifolium. There are about a dozen species of these insects known, all of which are from the Oriental regions.

In southern Europe there is found a peculiar insect that belongs to the Neuroptera, the same order as do the "dragon flies," "devil's needles," "snake doctors," etc. The scientific name of this insect is Nemoptera coa. It will be seen that the first pairs of wings are very broad, but this is not the peculiar part of it; it is the hind pair that are remarkable, being extremely long and narrow and a little broader toward the end, which gives them the appearance