Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 3 (1899).djvu/455

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
425
NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.

and all animals sometimes indulge in is here represented by an interesting fact. A Heron was killed in a field close by a stream, and its crop was found to be filled with Field Mice. This volume is full of "natural history" facts and observations, and is one of the few enumerations of a fauna which, apart from its scientific value, can be read with absolute pleasure. It refers to 198 species of birds.


Cambridge Natural History. Vol. VI. Insects: Part II. By David Sharp, M.A., M.B., &c.Macmillan & Co. Limited.

This is the second instalment and completion of an important contribution to a knowledge of entomology, by Dr. Sharp. The present volume includes the continuation of the Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Strepsiptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Aphaniptera, Thysanoptera, Hemiptera, and Anoplura. The most distinctive contribution is that relating to the Coleoptera, an order to which the author has mostly devoted his time, and on which he is recognized as a considerable authority. The Coleoptera have long been classified in a somewhat archaic, if convenient, manner, and we are glad to see here a break from old tradition and a new arrangement proposed, commencing with the Lamellicornia, though these are separated from the Clavicornia by the Adephaga, a proposition which will probably be a more disturbing factor with many Coleopterists. These pages, however, are not the place for so purely a technical discussion, though the careful consideration of all proposed systems is generally pregnant to a further knowledge of the creatures on which such propositions are founded.

With the other orders much useful information abounds, though of course these lack the essential imprimatur which the special knowledge of the author gives to his treatment of the Coleoptera. The authorities quoted are naturally more selective than comprehensive, and although many references will be gladly appreciated by workers at these groups, the absence of other references is sometimes very accentuated.

We read that the number of described species of butterflies is probably about 13,000. Forty years ago the number known was not more than one-third or one-fourth of what it is at