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History of Animals   


grubs, from which grubs come new canthari. Certain winged insects also
come from the grubs that are found in pulse, in the same fashion as in
the cases described.
Flies grow from grubs in the dung that farmers have gathered
up into heaps: for those who are engaged in this work assiduously
gather up the compost, and this they technically term 'working-up' the
manure. The grub is exceedingly minute to begin with; first even at
this stage-it assumes a reddish colour, and then from a quiescent
state it takes on the power of motion, as though born to it; it then
becomes a small motionless grub; it then moves again, and again
relapses into immobility; it then comes out a perfect fly, and moves
away under the influence of the sun's heat or of a puff of air. The
myops or horse-fly is engendered in timber. The orsodacna or budbane
is a transformed grub; and this grub is engendered in
cabbage-stalks. The cantharis comes from the caterpillars that are
found on fig-trees or pear-trees or fir-trees--for on all these
grubs are engendered-and also from caterpillars found on the dog-rose;
and the cantharis takes eagerly to ill-scented substances, from the
fact of its having been engendered in ill-scented woods. The conops
comes from a grub that is engendered in the slime of vinegar.
And, by the way, living animals are found in substances that are
usually supposed to be incapable of putrefaction; for instance,
worms are found in long-lying snow; and snow of this description
gets reddish in colour, and the grub that is engendered in it is
red, as might have been expected, and it is also hairy. The grubs
found in the snows of Media are large and white; and all such grubs
are little disposed to motion. In Cyprus, in places where copper-ore
is smelted, with heaps of the ore piled on day after day, an animal is
engendered in the fire, somewhat larger than a blue bottle fly,
furnished with wings, which can hop or crawl through the fire. And the
grubs and these latter animals perish when you keep the one away
from the fire and the other from the snow. Now the salamander is a
clear case in point, to show us that animals do actually exist that
fire cannot destroy; for this creature, so the story goes, not only
walks through the fire but puts it out in doing so.
On the river Hypanis in the Cimmerian Bosphorus, about the
time of the summer solstice, there are brought down towards the sea by
the stream what look like little sacks rather bigger than grapes,
out of which at their bursting issues a winged quadruped. The insect
lives and flies about until the evening, but as the sun goes down it
pines away, and dies at sunset having lived just one day, from which
circumstance it is called the ephemeron.
As a rule, insects that come from caterpillars and grubs are
held at first by filaments resembling the threads of a spider's web.
Such is the mode of generation of the insects above
enumerated. but if the latter impregnation takes placeduring the
change of the yellow
20

The wasps that are nicknamed 'the ichneumons' (or hunters), less
in size, by the way, than the ordinary wasp, kill spiders and carry
off the dead bodies to a wall or some such place with a hole in it;
this hole they smear over with mud and lay their grubs inside it,
and from the grubs come the hunter-wasps. Some of the coleoptera and
of the small and nameless insects make small holes or cells of mud
on a wall or on a grave-stone, and there deposit their grubs.
With insects, as a general rule, the time of generation from its
commencement to its completion comprises three or four weeks. With
grubs and grub-like creatures the time is usually three weeks, and
in the oviparous insects as a rule four. But, in the case of oviparous
insects, the egg-formation comes at the close of seven days from
copulation, and during the remaining three weeks the parent broods
over and hatches its young; i.e. where this is the result of
copulation, as in the case of the spider and its congeners. As a rule,

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