Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/118

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A HISTORY OF SURREY heard after dark on warm August and September evenings, especially before rain. Platycleis brachyptera, L. This is a local species. It is common at Esher and on Oxshott Heath, also at Wisley, Leith Hill, Woking and Pyrford. GRYLLODEA Crickets Gryllida. The House Cricket, Gryllus domesticus, L., is abundant under artificial conditions. It can only live in warm places, and so is confined mainly to kitchens, bakehouses and restaurants. NEUROPTERA Psocids, Stone-flies, May-flies, Dragon/lies, Lacewing-flies and Caddis-flies Perhaps no group of the Insecta is better represented in Surrey than the Neuroptera. Several of the sub-orders (or orders), collected under Linnaeus' comprehensive title, pass the early, or nymph, stage in the water. Such are the Perlidae (stone-flies), Ephemeridce (May-flies), Odonata (dragonflies), and Tricboptera (caddis-flies). All these are well represented and widely distributed, except perhaps the first, whose nymphs as a rule prefer swiftly flowing streams, which of course are not numerous in a district whose greatest elevation does not reach 1,000 feet. The Psocidee and Planipennia, which complete the group, are well provided for in the numerous woods of oak and Scotch fir to be found throughout the county, the latter tree growing luxuriantly on the generally unproductive stretches of Bagshot Sand. Until recently the first three groups, viz. the Psocidee, the Per- lidce and the Ephemeridae, have received but scanty attention at the hands of Surrey collectors since the days of Stephens, Curtis and New- man, by whom many species were recorded. Owing to the changes in nomenclature, the confusion then existing between allied species and the subsequent discovery of species new to our list, it is unsafe to rely on these old records without individual verification, and they therefore are not used in compiling the present list. The first of these groups, the Psocidee, is fairly well represented ; and if collectors would but record the species they capture, the list would soon show how rich the county is in the group. Of the portion of it that is wingless, or only possessing the most rudimentary wings, Atropos divina- toria, Miill., so long supposed to be the cause of the noise familiarly known as the * deathwatch,' is unfortunately common in houses among old papers, books, botanical and other collections, and is perhaps quite as common and destructive as Clothilla pulsatoria, Linn., which is so terrible an enemy to ill-kept collections. Clothilla picea, Mots., a species not so rare as formerly, and usually found indoors, has been recorded from Leatherhead, and would probably be found to be fairly common if search were made in cellars, old store-rooms and similar localities. The winged section of the group is chiefly taken by beating or 76