Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/518

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as well as of Astoria, Mr. Irving gives an interesting account. We parted with the trappers on what I now know to be the Humboldt River of Utah, and in six weeks reached the Hudson Bay Company's fort, Walla Walla, through a country so poor in furs that it had been little frequented by their traders. So the Indians showed us their usual native kindness and hospitality. And here let me say, after a long acquaintance with them, that Indians, uncontaminated by the whites, are honest, truthful, and hospitable.

John Ball.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 5, 1876.


To the Editor of The Popular Science Monthly.

The notice in the June number of The Popular Science Monthly (p. 250) of the species of Ophideres, moths which possess a trunk so rigid as to be able to pierce the rinds of oranges and suck their juice, has brought to light the occurrence of a species of the genus in Florida. The specimen which I have examined was taken by Mr. Roland Thaxter, of Newtonville, Massachusetts, near Appalachicola, Florida, on

March 24th of this year. Mr. Thaxter, who is already known for his collections of our Northern Noctuœ, preparing them beautifully for the cabinet, has added greatly to our knowledge of this group; the species Eutolype Rolandi and Dicopis Thaxterianus have been named for him. The present discovery, which he has made during a winter's trip to Florida, is equally interesting. The Florida specimen seems to me undoubtedly to be Ophideres materna (Linn.), a species proper to the East Indies, but which Guenée records also from Brazil, conjecturing that it had been transported thither by commerce. I have examined the terebrant trunk under the microscope, and it agrees in the main with the representation of that of Ophideres fullonica given in The Popular Science Monthly (p. 251). It is not possible to compare it more nearly without mounting the end of the trunk as a microscopic object, which the rarity of the single specimen prevents. It is not unlikely, now that the species is found, that it will be discovered in larger numbers, while the interesting question as to its introduction into Florida will engage attention. The most probable conjecture will associate it with its food-plant.

A. R. Grote.



THE importance of science is every-where conceded. As affording a knowledge of the operations of Nature, which can be taken advantage of by multiplying the resources and increasing the productiveness of industry, and by guiding art into the most economical ways, everybody admits that science is doing a beneficent work for the world. And even in the region of ideas, as a basis for the formation of opinions and a corrective of old errors, the importance of science is freely acknowledged. That science is something of universal moment, and of the deepest interest it is almost superfluous to argue; its recognition is so far assured.

But science is also, and as a consequence of its importance, something to be promoted. It is something of which myriads of human beings scattered over the globe know nothing; which the world got along without for more ages than we can count; which slowly arose in these latter centuries and grew against steady resistance, and which has at last among certain nations come to be a separate interest cherished by a portion of the cultivated classes, and so distinctly recognized as needing care and encouragement that many organizations have arisen to promote these objects. Royal societies for the "promotion of natural knowledge," academies of science in all the chief cities, special socie-