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History of Animals   


shell is hard, and the chrysalis moves if you touch it. It attaches
itself by cobweb-like filaments, and is unfurnished with mouth or
any other apparent organ. After a little while the outer covering
bursts asunder, and out flies the winged creature that we call the
psyche or butterfly. At first, when it is a caterpillar, it feeds
and ejects excrement; but when it turns into the chrysalis it
neither feeds nor ejects excrement.
The same remarks are applicable to all such insects as are
developed out of the grub, both such grubs as are derived from the
copulation of living animals and such as are generated without
copulation on the part of parents. For the grub of the bee, the
anthrena, and the wasp, whilst it is young, takes food and voids
excrement; but when it has passed from the grub shape to its defined
form and become what is termed a 'nympha', it ceases to take food
and to void excrement, and remains tightly wrapped up and motionless
until it has reached its full size, when it breaks the formation
with which the cell is closed, and issues forth. The insects named the
hypera and the penia are derived from similar caterpillars, which move
in an undulatory way, progressing with one part and then pulling up
the hinder parts by a bend of the body. The developed insect in each
case takes its peculiar colour from the parent caterpillar.
From one particular large grub, which has as it were horns, and in
other respects differs from grubs in general, there comes, by a
metamorphosis of the grub, first a caterpillar, then the cocoon,
then the necydalus; and the creature passes through all these
transformations within six months. A class of women unwind and reel
off the cocoons of these creatures, and afterwards weave a fabric with
the threads thus unwound; a Coan woman of the name of Pamphila,
daughter of Plateus, being credited with the first invention of the
fabric. After the same fashion the carabus or stag-beetle comes from
grubs that live in dry wood: at first the grub is motionless, but
after a while the shell bursts and the stag-beetle issues forth.
From the cabbage is engendered the cabbageworm, and from the
leek the prasocuris or leekbane; this creature is also winged. From
the flat animalcule that skims over the surface of rivers comes the
oestrus or gadfly; and this accounts for the fact that gadflies most
abound in the neighbourhood of waters on whose surface these
animalcules are observed. From a certain small, black and hairy
caterpillar comes first a wingless glow-worm; and this creature
again suffers a metamorphosis, and transforms into a winged insect
named the bostrychus (or hair-curl).
Gnats grow from ascarids; and ascarids are engendered in the
slime of wells, or in places where there is a deposit left by the
draining off of water. This slime decays, and first turns white,
then black, and finally blood-red; and at this stage there originate
in it, as it were, little tiny bits of red weed, which at first
wriggle about all clinging together, and finally break loose and
swim in the water, and are hereupon known as ascarids. After a few
days they stand straight up on the water motionless and hard, and by
and by the husk breaks off and the gnats are seen sitting upon it,
until the sun's heat or a puff of wind sets them in motion, when
they fly away.
With all grubs and all animals that break out from the grub
state, generation is due primarily to the heat of the sun or to wind.
Ascarids are more likely to be found, and grow with unusual
rapidity, in places where there is a deposit of a mixed and
heterogeneous kind, as in kitchens and in ploughed fields, for the
contents of such places are disposed to rapid putrefaction. In autumn,
also, owing to the drying up of moisture, they grow in unusual
numbers.
The tick is generated from couch-grass. The cockchafer comes
from a grub that is generated in the dung of the cow or the ass. The
cantharus or scarabeus rolls a piece of dung into a ball, lies
hidden within it during the winter, and gives birth therein to small

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