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do little more than refer to that of various other insects being often found in ants' nests. We learn from Dr. T. A. Power (Smith's Catalogue of British Formicidæ,' p. 223), who has collected these ants’-nest-insects for several years, that in the nest of Formica rufa he has found no less than sixteen beetles and the larvæ of three other kinds; five are enumerated as occurring in the nest of F. fusca, fourteen in that of F. fuliginosa, two in the nest of F. flava, one in that of F. sanguinea, one in that of Myrmica rubra, and that one species occurs in the nests of all the ants. From the habit of these various beetles being found in ants' nests the name of Myrmecophilous beetles has been given to them. There is some difference of opinion as to the cause of the presence of these beetles in the abodes of ants. Is there in this case also, as in the aphides and gall-insects, a mutual interchange of benefit conferred, or is their presence merely accidental ? We do not know. Forel is of the latter opinion, considering that the beetles are as parasites in the nests; other observers, as Lespès and Müller, consider that some of the beetles, as Claviger and Lomechusa, are nourished by the ants, which aisgorge honied sweets for them; that in return for this act of kindness the ants lick the wing-cases of Claviger and the abdomen of Lomechusa (!) M. Forel seems evidently sceptical as to this explanation. We have often found various beetles in the nests of ants, but are quite unable to throw any light as to the cause of their presence there, which we are inclined to think is more accidental than designed. We, therefore, pass over this question, and approach another, which has long been one more or less disputed in the natural history of ants. Do ants lay up in the summer food for winter's consumption? At one time the answer was unhesitatingly given in the affirmative as true of all ants, or, at least, of the family in general; now it has been as strongly denied of any kind of ant; now, again, whilst the general negative is allowed to be the case, it has been affirmed to be partially correct. What the opinion of the Jews of Palestine was one cannot definitely say; the oft-quoted passage in the Bible, ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard : consider her

ways and be wise; which, having no guide, overseer, or ' ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her • food in the harvest' (Prov. vi. 6-8; see also xxx. 25), has been generally supposed to imply that the Jews held that the ant lays up store of food in summer or autumn for winter's consumption, but the words do not really prove anything of the kind. Kirby and Spence have well said of these words :

• If they are properly considered it will be found that the interpreta


tion which seems to favour the ancient error respecting ants, has been fathered upon them, rather than fairly deduced from them. He does not affirm that the ant, which he proposes to the sluggard as an example, laid up in her magazine stores of grain against winter, but that with considerable prudence and foresight she makes use of proper seasons to collect a supply of provisions for her purposes. There is not a word in them implying that she stores up grain or other provisions. She prepares her bread and gathers her food, namely, such food as is suited to her, in summer and harvest, that is when it is most plentiful; and thus shows her wisdom and prudence by using the advantages offered to her.' (Introd. to Entom., vol. ii. p. 47.)

The author of the passage in the · Proverbs' is speaking against idleness-against the sluggard,' who sleepeth in • harvest and causeth shame' (x. 5); that is, who neglects proper and seasonable times, and sleeps when he ought to be working • Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine • eyelids' (vi. 4). • The sluggard will not plow; ... therefore

shall he beg in harvest and have nothing'(xx. 4). He aptly refers for a lesson in diligence to one of the most active and busy of all creatures, the little ant, which always avails herself of favourable opportunities—which does not sleep in harvest, but gathers food at the right time. The text in the original Hebrew implies no storing properties for winter use; the word 1'9m (tâkîn), means simply she establisheth, or collecteth;' and 1777 (âgěrâh) she scrapeth together, or provideth.' The Hebrew verbs are synonymous; and the sentences she provideth her meat in the summer,' she gathereth her food in

the harvest,' are simply an instance of a common Hebrew parellelism. No doubt the writers in the Old and New Testaments shared the opinions current in their time, and sometimes, especially in physical matters and those relating to natural history, those opinions were erroneous; but this is no case in point.* But though there is nothing to show that the Jews believed that the ant stored up food for winter's use, it is certain that the belief was prevalent amongst ancient Greek and Roman writers, amongst Jewish rabbis and Arabian writers on natural history. Modern authors as Prior, Milton,

* The writer of the notes on the Book of Proverbs in the ó Speaker's Commentary' (vol. iv.), Professor Plumptre, on this passage rightly says:- The point of comparison is not so much the foresight of the

insect as its unwearied activity during the appointed season, rebuking 'man's inaction at the special crisis ;' but we do not agree with the commentator, that in xxx. 25 “the storing provident habit of the

ant is brought under our notice.' The Hebrew verb here translated “prepare' in our version is the same that occurs in the other passage,

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Addison, Dr. Watts, Dr. Johnson, all refer to the provident habits of the ant in storing up food for future use; and it is quite clear that such a habit was considered a usual one amongst ants in general, and not one as occasionally occurring in a few species. Latreille, Kirby and Spence, Huber, Frederick Smith, and others, emphatically deny such a habit to the species found in Europe. The late Colonel Sykes, indeed, speaks of a species of Indian ant (Atta providens), and Dr. Jerdon of three species that harvest seeds on a large scale, collecting grain and stealing seeds, which they put away in their granaries. There can be no doubt of the fact ; the question is what is the motive? The most recent English writer who has studied this debated subject, and has himself examined many ants' nests in the South of Europe, is the late Mr. J. Traherne Moggridge, F.L.S., whose very interesting work is before us as we write. Now Mr. Moggridge mentions four bona fide harvesting ants of the Riviera-namely, Atta barbara, two varieties; A. structor, an ant very similar to barbaru, and a minute yellow ant, the large workers of which have gigantic heads named Pheidole (or Atta) migacephala. In the nests of all these ants were found masses of seeds of various plants

carefully stored in chambers.' The plants of which the seeds have been found in ants' nests by Mr. Moggridge belonged to eighteen distinct families ; seeds of furmitory, medick, mallow, wild lentil, spiny broom, amaranth, pellitory, wild sarsaparilla, spirally twisted links of crane’s bill, capsules of chickweed, shepherds' purse, orange pips, haricot beans, wheat, oats, &c. &c., are enumerated with those of other plants. Are these substances intended for food or not? if not, for what are they intended ? Of course, a preliminary question suggests itself: What is the structure of an ant's mouth, and is it capable of gnawing hard substances such as grains of wheat ? An ant's mouth consists of a pair of pincer-like mandibles, jaws, maxillary palpi or feelers, a labial palpi, and a tongue, upper and lower lips. Let us hear what the highest authority on the natural history of the ant, M. Forel, says on this point.

• Ants are for the most part omnivorous; that is certain, but they are unable to chew. Their mandibles never serve them for eating purposes ; this fact, demonstrated by Huber, is perfectly certain; the most assiduous observation has confirmed it. The disproportion, moreover, between them (the mandibles) and the jaws would at once render this evident; they always keep fixed and immovable whilst the ant is eating. Ordinarily the mouth is closed by the upper lip, which falls upon it below and behind, completely covering the forepart of the jaws and of the lower lip. When an ant wishes to eat it makes a very complex movement of the pharynx, which thrusts forward the tongue and all the surrounding parts, whilst raising the upper lip like a lid. But the jaws are much too short, too weak, too membranous to grind any solid substance whatever; they can only take into their mouth, by a backward and forward movement, a liquid, or at the most a pappy substance. Observation shows that it is the tongue especially which subserves the ants when they eat; they employ it precisely like dogs when they lap or lick the bottom of a plate; I made this comparison before I knew that it had already been made by Lespès, and I could not express myself more clearly. When the ants have to deal with a solid body which contains liquid, as an insect, for example, they first of all tear it with their mandibles and afterwards lap its contents. These facts have already been known to and well described by Huber, and subsequently confirmed by Lespès ; but Léon Dafour thinks that ants are capable of chewing, and d'Esterne accuses them of devouring. I cannot insist too much upon this point, for it is incredible to see how many people persist in remaining in error on this subject.' (P. 108–109.)

Mr. Moggridge made some experiments in feeding ants. He cut out from the centre of a grain of millet, which had begun to sprout, a minute ball of flour; the ants (Atta structor) immediately seized it and set to work upon it; a similar balí from a grain which had sprouted, was also partially eaten, but the hard dry flour taken from a grain in its natural state not moistened, was at once rejected and thrown on the rubbish "heap. He tells us that the fat oily seeds of the hemp were cagerly taken, though not softened by water, their peculiar structure allowing the ants to scrape off particles, as in the case of the ball of flour of the sprouted millet. Now all this confirms the assertions of Huber, Lespès, and Forel; ants cannot chew, but they can lap and cause to disappear food already reduced to a kind of pulp; so that it would seem that ants do occasionally convey into their nests seeds, which, when they begin to sprout, assume in parts a pulpy consistency, and are available for food; but this does not prove that the introduction of seeds into the nests has always for a motive, on the part of the ant, a desire to feed upon them, for Forel assures us with regard to this very species, Atta (aphenogaster) structor, that not only are grains of corn found in its nest, but also little round stones, and small shells of molluscs, which no one will ever suppose the ant could use as food. And here, again, a remarkable fact presents itself. Mr. Moggridge tells us that it is extremely rare to find other than round and intact seeds in the granaries, and he concludes that the ants exercise some mysterious power over them which checks the tendency to germinate. This retardation of the germinating process, if really a fact, is most extraordinary. The ants cannot use the

grains as food before germination ; their motive, therefore, must rest in the fact that they are not yet ready for them, having sufficient meat already in the larder ready for consumption; or, as Mr. Moggridge says, if simultaneous germination took place in all the seeds in the granaries after the lapse of a fixed interval, “the provisions would have to be consumed at stated ‘ periods and to be frequently renewed ; but this is not the case.' * These granaries are placed from an inch and a half to six inches below the surface, and are all horizontal; they are of various sizes and shapes, the average granary being about as large as a gentleman's gold watch.' (Harvesting Ants, p. 23.) These storing ants, Mr. Moggridge tells us, never look at the aphides and cocci so eagerly sought after by other kinds of ants; so we suppose their food consists only of germinating seeds of various kinds. The name of the ‘provident one,' Mr. Moggridge allows, is only fully deserved by a limited number of ants; but why some ants should require food for winter's use, whilst others should lie dormant and require no food at all, at present must remain a problem yet to be solved. The evidence which Mr. Moggridge brings forward satisfactorily establishes the fact that ants do occasionally store up vegetable food; but it shows also that such habits are by no means prevalent amongst the whole family, but that, on the contrary, they are rare and exceptional.

On the interesting question as to mutual social affection, and the extraordinary powers of communication with which ants have long been credited by careful observers, we must now go to Sir John Lubbock, who has with much labour and assiduous application carried out some very original observations, not only amongst the ants, but also amongst wasps and bees. Of the power to communicate and receive information possessed by ants, Huber tells us that he has " frequently seen

the antennæ used on the field of battle to intimate approach‘ing danger, and to ascertain their own party when mingled ' with the enemy; they are also employed in the exterior of the ant-hill to warn their companions of the presence of the sun, so favourable to the development of the larva ; in their ex

cursions and emigrations to indicate their route; in their ' recruitings to determine the time of their departure. (P. 206.) Other entomologists, besides Huber, state that the social Hymenoptera can communicate their ideas, and that this communication takes place by means of their antennæ. Sir John Lubbock, commenting upon the above quotation from Huber, whilst allowing the statements to be most interesting,

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