Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/233

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

CRUSTACEANS my niece, Miss Ethel Stebbing, from Weybridge ; but so far as the distribution of all four is concerned, interest now would rather lie in dis- covering any county or large district where they do not occur than in finding localities where they do. It may be worth mentioning that in Oniscus and Philoscia the flagellum of the second antennae is three-jointed, but it is only two-jointed in Porcellio and Metoponortbus. In all four the fewness of the joints takes away from the whip-like character of this part. The first antenna? in the woodlice are so small and obscurely placed that they do not offer very convenient characters for discrimination. Philoscia and Metoponorthus are distinguished from the other two genera by the abrupt contraction which marks off the pleon or terminal division of the animal from the trunk or middle-body. In contrast with these four species of Oniscidas, which compete one with another in making themselves cheap, the Porcellio dilatatus of Brandt and Ratzeburg has been by no means commonly observed in England. When Bate and Westwood wrote they could only report it from the neighbourhood of Dublin. It is however to be met with at several points in our southern counties. In Surrey my sister-in-law Mrs. Stebbing has forwarded it to me from grounds abutting on Headley Common and from Frith Park, Walton- on-the-Hill. It is distinguished from P. scaber by the greater compara- tive breadth of body and also by the much less acute tip to the telson or terminal segment of the body. In the family Armadillidiidas Surrey, in common doubtless with all the other counties, possesses the species Armadillidium vu/gare (Latreille). The ordinary dull-coloured form has been sent me from Weybridge by the collector already mentioned, and in company with it the variety that has its dorsal surface enlivened by light margins and longitudinal rows of yellow spots. Among the Entomostraca the most interesting addition to the fauna of Surrey may be considered the phyllopod Cbirocepbalus diapbanus, Prevost. While so many of its companions are stigmatized by unattrac- tive nicknames, which confuse their true zoological position, for this species our regard is readily enlisted by its familiar name of ' fairy shrimp.' The fact of its occurring in Surrey became known to me by the following incidents. Having been taken by friends to pay an after- noon visit at Chertley Court, Leatherhead, the residence of Mr. Abraham Dixon, I learned from one of his daughters, Miss Letitia Dixon, that she had, to judge by the description I gave, on more than one occasion seen this very species. The pond in which it had occurred lay in the parish of Headley, near Walton-on-the-Hill. The site of this pond, when with my wife and brother and other friends I paid it a visit in August, 1900, was quite dry and grass-grown. It was indeed only a shallow depression in a small piece of tableland. To make sure that such an apology for a water-basin was the place that had been indicated and that it ever boasted of holding water, I made some inquiries at a neighbouring cottage. Upon receiving the desired assurance we dug up some of the earth from various points. That a few spoonfuls of dry 191