Part 3 out of 3
but, perhaps, the most interesting of all entomological books which
I have seen (and for introducing me to which I must express my
hearty thanks to Mr. Stainton), is "Practical Hints respecting
Moths and Butterflies, forming a Calendar of Entomological
Operations," (36) by Richard Shield, a simple London working-man.
I would gladly devote more space than I can here spare to a review
of this little book, so perfectly does it corroborate every word
which I have said already as to the moral and intellectual value of
such studies. Richard Shield, making himself a first-rate
"lepidopterist," while working with his hands for a pound a week,
is the antitype of Mr. Peach, the coast-guardsman, among his
Cornish tide-rocks. But more than this, there is about Shield's
book a tone as of Izaak Walton himself, which is very delightful;
tender, poetical, and religious, yet full of quiet quaintness and
humour; showing in every page how the love for Natural History is
in him only one expression of a love for all things beautiful, and
pure, and right. If any readers of these pages fancy that I over-
praise the book, let them buy it, and judge for themselves. They
will thus help the good man toward pursuing his studies with larger
and better appliances, and will be (as I expect) surprised to find
how much there is to be seen and done, even by a working-man,
within a day's walk of smoky Babylon itself; and how easily a man
might, if he would, wash his soul clean for a while from all the
turmoil and intrigue, the vanity and vexation of spirit of that
"too-populous wilderness," by going out to be alone a while with
God in heaven, and with that earth which He has given to the
children of men, not merely for the material wants of their bodies,
but as a witness and a sacrament that in Him they live and move,
and have their being, "not by bread alone, but by EVERY word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Thus I wrote some twenty years ago, when the study of Natural
History was confined mainly to several scientific men, or mere
collectors of shells, insects, and dried plants.
Since then, I am glad to say, it has become a popular and common
pursuit, owing, I doubt not, to the impulse given to it by the many
authors whose works I then recommended. I recommend them still;
though a swarm of other manuals and popular works have appeared
since, excellent in their way, and almost beyond counting. But all
honour to those, and above all to Mr. Gosse and Mr. Johns, who
first opened people's eyes to the wonders around them all day long.
Now, we have, in addition to amusing books on special subjects,
serials on Natural History more or less profound, and suited to
every kind of student and every grade of knowledge. I mention the
names of none. For first, they happily need no advertisement from
me; and next, I fear to be unjust to any one of them by
inadvertently omitting its name. Let me add, that in the
advertising columns of those serials, will be found notices of all
the new manuals, and of all apparatus, and other matters, needed by
amateur naturalists, and of many who are more than amateurs.
Microscopy, meanwhile, and the whole study of "The Wonders of the
Little," have made vast strides in the last twenty years; and I was
equally surprised and pleased, to find, three years ago, in each of
two towns of a few thousand inhabitants, perhaps a dozen good
microscopes, all but hidden away from the public, worked by men who
knew how to handle them, and who knew what they were looking at;
but who modestly refrained from telling anybody what they were
doing so well. And it was this very discovery of unsuspected
microscopists which made me more desirous than ever to see - as I
see now in many places - scientific societies, by means of which
the few, who otherwise would work apart, may communicate their
knowledge to each other, and to the many. These "Microscopic,"
"Naturalist," "Geological," or other societies, and the "Field
Clubs" for excursions into the country, which are usually connected
with them, form a most pleasant and hopeful new feature in English
Society; bringing together, as they do, almost all ranks, all
shades of opinion; and it has given me deep pleasure to see, in the
case at least of the Country Clubs with which I am acquainted, the
clergy of the Church of England taking an active, and often a
leading, interest in their practical work. The town clergy are,
for the most part, too utterly overworked to follow the example of
their country brethren. But I have reason to know that they regard
such societies, and Natural History in general, with no unfriendly
eyes; and that there is less fear than ever that the clergy of the
Church of England should have to relinquish their ancient boast -
that since the formation of the Royal Society in the seventeenth
century, they have done more for sound physical science than any
other priesthood or ministry in the world. Let me advise anyone
who may do me the honour of reading these pages, to discover
whether such a Club or Society exists in his neighbourhood, and to
join it forthwith, certain that - if his experience be at all like
mine - he will gain most pleasant information and most pleasant
acquaintances, and pass most pleasant days and evenings, among
people whom he will be glad to know, and whom he never would have
known save for the new - and now, I hope, rapidly spreading -
freemasonry of Natural History.
Meanwhile, I hope - though I dare not say I trust - to see the day
when the boys of each of our large schools shall join - like those
of Marlborough and Clifton - the same freemasonry; and have their
own Naturalists' Clubs; nay more; when our public schools and
universities shall awake to the real needs of the age, and - even
to the curtailing of the time usually spent in not learning Latin
and Greek - teach boys the rudiments at least of botany, zoology,
geology, and so forth; and when the public opinion, at least of the
refined and educated, shall consider it as ludicrous - to use no
stronger word - to be ignorant of the commonest facts and laws of
this living planet, as to be ignorant of the rudiments of two dead
languages. All honour to the said two languages. Ignorance of
them is a serious weakness; for it implies ignorance of many things
else; and indeed, without some knowledge of them, the nomenclature
of the physical sciences cannot be mastered. But I have got to
discover that a boy's time is more usefully spent, and his
intellect more methodically trained, by getting up Ovid's Fasti
with an ulterior hope of being able to write a few Latin verses,
than in getting up Professor Rolleston's "Forms of Animal Life," or
any other of the excellent Scientific Manuals for beginners, which
are now, as I said, happily so numerous.
May that day soon come; and an old dream of mine, and of my
scientific friends, be fulfilled at last.
And so I end this little book, hoping, even praying, that it may
encourage a few more labourers to go forth into a vineyard, which
those who have toiled in it know to be full of ever-fresh health,
and wonder and simple joy, and the presence and the glory of Him
whose name is LOVE.
THE forms of animal life which are now united in an independent
class, under the name Polyzoa, so nearly resemble the Hydroid
Zoophytes in general form and appearance that a casual observer may
suppose them to be nearly identical. In all but the more recent
works, they are treated as distinct indeed, but still included
under the general term "ZOOPHYTES." The animals of both groups are
minute, polypiform creatures, mostly living in transparent cells,
springing from the sides of a stem which unites a number of
individuals in one common life, and grows in a shrub-like form upon
any submarine body, such as a shell, a rock, a weed, or even
another polypidom to which it is parasitically attached. Each
polype, in both classes, protrudes from and retreats within its
cell by an independent action, and when protruded puts forth a
circle of tentacles whose motion round the mouth is the means of
securing nourishment. There are, however, peculiarities in the
structure of the Polyzoa which seem to remove them from
Zoophytology to a place in the system of nature more nearly
connected with Molluscan types. Some of them come so near to the
compound ascidians that they have been termed, as an order,
The simplest form of polype is that of a fleshy bag open at one
end, surmounted by a circle of contractile threads or fingers
called tentacles. The plate shows, on a very minute scale, at
figs. 1, 3, and 6, several of these little polypiform bodies
protruding from their cells. But the Hydra or Fresh-water Polype
has no cell, and is quite unconnected with any root thread, or with
other individuals of the same species. It is perfectly free, and
so simple in its structure, that when the sac which forms its body
is turned inside out it will continue to perform the functions of
life as before. The greater part, however, of these Hydraform
Polypes, although equally simple as individuals, are connected in a
compound life by means of their variously formed POLYPIDOM, as the
branched system of cells is termed. The Hydroid Zoophytes are
represented in the first plate by the following examples.
SERTULARIA ROSEA. PL. I. FIG. 6.
A species which has the cells in pairs on opposite sides of the
central tube, with the openings turned outwards. In the more
enlarged figure is seen a septum across the inner part of each cell
which forms the base upon which the polype rests. Fig. 6 B
indicates the natural size of the piece of branch represented; but
it must be remembered that this is only a small portion of the
CAMPANULARIA SYRINGA. PL. I. FIG. 8.
This Zoophyte twines itself parasitically upon a species of
Sertularia. The cells in this species are thrown out at irregular
intervals upon flexible stems which are wrinkled in rings. They
consist of lengthened, cylindrical, transparent vases.
CAMPANULARIA VOLUBILIS. PL. I. FIG. 9.
A still more beautiful species, with lengthened foot-stalks ringed
at each end. The polype is remarkable for the protrusion and
contractile power of its lips. It has about twenty knobbed
Among Polyzoa the animal's body is coated with a membraneous
covering, like that of the Tunicated Mollusca, but which is a
continuation of the edge of the cell, which doubles back upon the
body in such a manner that when the animal protrudes from its cell
it pushes out the flexible membrane just as one would turn inside
out the finger of a glove. This oneness of cell and polype is a
distinctive character of the group. Another is the higher
organization of the internal parts. The mouth, surrounded by
tentacles, leads by gullet and gizzard through a channel into a
digesting stomach, from which the rejectable matter passes upwards
through an intestinal canal till it is discharged near the mouth.
The tentacles also differ much from those of true Polypes. Instead
of being fleshy and contractile, they are rather stiff, resembling
spun glass, set on the sides with vibrating cilia, which by their
motion up one side and down the other of each tentacle, produce a
current which impels their living food into the mouth. When these
tentacles are withdrawn, they are gathered up in a bundle, like the
stays of an umbrella. Our Plate I. contains the following examples
VALKERIA CUSCUTA. PL. I. FIG. 3.
From a group in one of Mr. Lloyd's vases. Fig. 3 A is the natural
size of the central group of cells, in a specimen coiled round a
thread-like weed. Underneath this is the same portion enlarged.
When magnified to this apparent size, the cells could be seen in
different states, some closed, and others with their bodies
protruded. When magnified to 3 D, we could pleasantly watch the
gradual eversion of the membrane, then the points of the tentacles
slowly appearing, and then, when fully protruded, suddenly
expanding into a bell-shaped circle. This was their usual
appearance, but sometimes they could be noticed bending inwards, as
in fig. 3 C, as if to imprison some living atom of importance.
Fig. B represents two tentacles, showing the direction in which the
CRISIA DENTICULATA. PL. I. FIG. 4.
I have only drawn the cells from a prepared specimen. The polypes
are like those described above.
GEMELLARIA LORICATA. PL. I. FIG. 5.
Here the cells are placed in pairs, back to back. 5 A is a very
small portion on the natural scale.
CELLULARIA CILIATA. Pl. I. FIG. 7
The cells are alternate on the stem, and are curiously armed with
long whip-like cilia or spines. On the back of some of the cells
is a very strange appendage, the use of which is not with certainty
ascertained. It is a minute body, slightly resembling a vulture's
head, with a movable lower beak. The whole head keeps up a nodding
motion, and the movable beak occasionally opens widely, and then
suddenly snaps to with a jerk. It has been seen to hold an
animalcule between its jaws till the latter has died, but it has no
power to communicate the prey to the polype in its cell or to
swallow and digest it on its own account. It is certainly not an
independent parasite, as has been supposed, and yet its purpose in
the animal economy is a mystery. Mr. Gosse conjectures that its
use may be, by holding animalcules till they die and decay, to
attract by their putrescence crowds of other animalcules, which may
thus be drawn within the influence of the polype's ciliated
tentacles. Fig. 7 B shows the form of one of these "birds' heads,"
and fig. 7 C, its position on the cell.
FLUSTRA LINEATA. PL. I. FIG. 1.
In Flustrae, the cells are placed side by side on an expanded
membrane. Fig. 1 represents the general appearance of a species
which at least resembles F. lineata as figured in Johnston's work.
It is spread upon a Fucus. Fig. A is an enlarged view of the
FLUSTRA FOLIACEA. PL. I. FIG. 2.
We figure a frond or two of the common species, which has cells on
both sides. It is rarely that the polypes can be seen in a state
SERIALARIA LENDIGERA. PL. I. fig. 10.
NOTAMIA BURSARIA. PL. I. fig. 11.
The "tobacco-pipe"" appendages, fig. 11 B, are of unknown use:
they are probably analogous to the birds' heads in the Cellularae.
CORALS AND SEA ANEMONES.
CARYOPHYLLAEA SMITHII. PL. V. FIG. 2. PL. VI. FIG. 3.
THE connection between Brainstones, Mushroom Corals, and other
Madrepores abounding on Polynesian reefs, and the "Sea Anemones,"
which have lately become so familiar to us all, can be seen by
comparing our comparatively insignificant C. Smithii with our
commonest species of Actinia and Sagartia. The former is a
beautiful object when the fleshy part and tentacles are wholly or
partially expanded. Like Actinia, it has a membranous covering, a
simple sac-like stomach, a central mouth, a disk surrounded by
contractile and adhesive tentacles. Unlike Actinia, it is fixed to
submarine bodies, to which it is glued in very early life, and
cannot change its place. Unlike Actinia, its body is supported by
a stony skeleton of calcareous plates arranged edgewise so as to
radiate from the centre. But as we find some Molluscs furnished
with a shell, and others even of the same character and habits
without one, so we find that in spite of this seemingly important
difference, the animals are very similar in their nature. Since
the introduction of glass tanks we have opportunities of seeing
anemones crawling up the sides, so as to exhibit their entire basal
disk, and then we may observe lightly coloured lines of a less
transparent substance than the interstices, radiating from the
margin to the centre, some short, others reaching the entire
distance, and arranged in exactly the same manner as the plates of
Caryophyllaea. These are doubtless flexible walls of compartments
dividing the fleshy parts of the softer animals, and corresponding
with the septa of the coral. Fig. 2 A represents a section of the
latter, to be compared with the basal disk of Sagartia.
SAGARTIA ANGUICOMA. PL. V. FIG. 3, A, B.
This genus has been separated from Actinia on account of its habit
of throwing out threads when irritated. Although my specimens
often assumed the form represented in fig. 3, Mr. Lloyd informs me
that it must have arisen from unhealthiness of condition, its usual
habit being to contract into a more flattened form. When fully
expanded, its transparent and lengthened tentacles present a
beautiful appearance. Fig. 3 A, showing a basal disk, is given for
the purpose already described.
BALANOPHYLLAEA REGIA. PL. V. FIG. 1.
Another species of British madrepore, found by Mr. Gosse at
Ilfracombe, and by Mr. Kingsley at Lundy Island. It is smaller
than O. Smithii, of a very bright colour, and always covers the
upper part of its bony skeleton, in which the plates are
differently arranged from those of the smaller species. Fig. 1
shows the tentacles expanded in an unusual degree; 1 A, animal
contracted; 1 B, the coral; 1 C, a tentacle enlarged.
CORALS AND SEA ANEMONES.
ACTINIA MESEMBRYANTHEMUM. PL. VI. FIG. 1 A.
This common species is more frequently met with than many others,
because it prefers shallow water, and often lives high up among
rocks which are only covered by the sea at very high tide; so that
the creature can, if it will, spend but a short portion of its time
immersed. When uncovered by the tide, it gathers up its leathery
tunic, and presents the appearance of fig. 1 A. When under water
it may often be seen expanding its flower-like disk and moving its
feelers in search of food. These feelers have a certain power of
adhesion, and any not too vigorous animals which they touch are
easily drawn towards the centre and swallowed. Around the margin
of the tunic are seen peeping out between the tentacles certain
bright blue globules looking very like eyes, but whose purpose is
not exactly ascertained. Fig. 1 represents the disk only partially
BUNODES CRASSICORNIS. PL. VI. FIG. 2.
This genus of Actinioid zoophytes is distinguished from Actinia
proper by the tubercles or warts which stud the outer covering of
the animal. In B. gemmacea these warts are arranged symmetrically,
so as to give a peculiarly jewelled appearance to the body. Being
of a large size, the tentacles of B. crassicornis exhibit in great
perfection the adhesive powers produced by the nettling threads
which proceed from them.
CARYOPHYLLAEA SMITHII. PL. VI. FIG. 3.
This figure is to show a whiter variety, with the flesh and
tentacles fully expanded
NASSA RETICULATA. PL. VIII. fig. 2, A, B, C, D, E, F
A VERY active Mollusc, given here chiefly on account of the
opportunity afforded by the birth of young fry in Mr. Lloyd's
tanks. The NASSA feeds on small animalcules, for which, in
aquaria, it may be seen routing among the sand and stones,
sometimes burying itself among them so as only to show its caudal
tube moving along between them. A pair of Nassae in Mr. Lloyd's
collection, deposited, on the 5th of April, about fifty capsules or
bags of eggs upon the stems of weeds (fig. 2 B); each capsule
contained about a hundred eggs. The capsules opened on the 16th of
May, permitting the escape of rotiferous fry (fig. 2, C, D, E), not
in the slightest degree resembling the parent, but presenting
minute nautilus-shaped transparent shells. These shells rather
hang on than cover the bodies, which have a pair of lobes, around
which vibrate minute cilia in such a manner as to give them an
appearance of rotatory motion. Under a lens they may be seen
moving about very actively in various positions, but always with
the look of being moved by rapidly turning wheels. We should have
been glad to witness the next step towards assuming their ultimate
form, but were disappointed, as the embryos died. Fig. 2 F is the
tongue of a Nassa, from a photograph by Dr. Kingsley.
(1) SERTULARIA OPERCULATA and GEMELLARIA LOCICULATA; or any of the
small SERTULARIAE, compared with CRISIAE and CELLULARIAE, are very
good examples. For a fuller description of these, see Appendix
explaining Plate I.
(2) If any inland reader wishes to see the action of this foot, in
the bivalve Molluscs, let him look at the Common Pond-Mussel
(Anodon Cygneus), which he will find in most stagnant waters, and
see how he burrows with it in the mud, and how, when the water is
drawn off, he walks solemnly into deeper water, leaving a furrow
(3) These shells are so common that I have not cared to figure
(4) Plate IX. Fig. 3, represents both parasites on the dead
(5) A few words on him, and on sea-anemones in general, may be
found in Appendix II. But full details, accompanied with beautiful
plates, may be found in Mr. Gosse's work on British sea-anemones
and madrepores, which ought to be in every seaside library.
(6) Handbook to the Marine Aquarium of the Crystal Palace.
(7) An admirable paper on this extraordinary family may be found in
the Zoological Society's Proceedings for July 1858, by Messrs. S.
P. Woodward and the late lamented Lucas Barrett. See also
Quatrefages, I. 82, or Synapta Duvernaei.
(8) Thalassema Neptuni (Forbes' British Star-Fishes, p. 259),
(9) The Londoner may see specimens of them at the Zoological
Gardens and at the Crystal Palace; as also of the rare and
beautiful Sabella, figured in the same plate; and of the
Balanophyllia, or a closely-allied species, from the Mediterranean,
mentioned in p. 109.
(10) A Naturalist's Rambles on the Devonshire Coast, p. 110.
(11) Balanophyllia regia, Plate V. fig. 1.
(12) Amphidotus cordatus.
(13) Echinus miliaris, Plate VII.
(14) See Professor Sedgwick's last edition of the "Discourses on
the Studies of Cambridge."
(15) Fissurella graeca, Plate X. fig. 5.
(16) Doris tuberculata and bilineata.
(17) Eolis papi losa. A Doris and an Eolis, though not of these
species, are figured in Plate X.
(18) Plate III.
(19) Certain Parisian zoologists have done me the honour to hint
that this description was a play of fancy. I can only answer, that
I saw it with my own eyes in my own aquarium. I am not, I hope, in
the habit of drawing on my fancy in the presence of infinitely more
marvellous Nature. Truth is quite strange enough to be interesting
(20) Saxicava rugosa, Plate XI. fig. 2.
(21) Plate VIII. represents the common Nassa, with the still more
common Littorina littorea, their teeth-studded palates, and the
free swimming young of the Nassa. (VIDE Appendix.)
(22) Cyproea Europoea.
Trochus, - 2 species.
Nassa, - 2 species.
Anomiae, -2 or 3 species
Phyllodoce, and other Nereid worms.
4 or 5 species.
Lepraliae,- many species.
Flustra membranacea, &c.
(25) Plate XI. fig. 1.
(26) Plate X. fig. 1.
(27) There are very fine specimens in the Crystal Palace.
(28) Coryne ramosa.
(29) Campanularia integra.
(30) Crisidia Eburnea.
(31) Aquarium, p. 163.
(32) P. 34. Figures of it are given in Plate VIII.
(33) P. 259.
(34) But if any young lady, her aquarium having failed, shall (as
dozens do) cast out the same Anacharis into the nearest ditch, she
shall be followed to her grave by the maledictions of all millers
and trout-fishers. Seriously, this is a wanton act of injury to
the neighbouring streams, which must be carefully guarded against.
As well turn loose queen-wasps to build in your neighbour's banks.
(35) Very highly also, in interest, ranks M. Quatrefages' "Rambles
of a Naturalist" (about the Mediterranean and the French Coast),
translated by M. Otte.
(36) Van Voorst & Co. price 3s.