History of Animals
in the spider when young; that is to say, it is thick and white.
The meadow spider lays its eggs into a web, one half of which is
attached to itself and the other half is free; and on this the
parent broods until the eggs are hatched. The phalangia lay their eggs
in a sort of strong basket which they have woven, and brood over it
until the eggs are hatched. The smooth spider is much less prolific
than the phalangium or hairy spider. These phalangia, when they grow
to full size, very often envelop the mother phalangium and eject and
kill her; and not seldom they kill the father-phalangium as well, if
they catch him: for, by the way, he has the habit of co-operating with
the mother in the hatching. The brood of a single phalangium is
sometimes three hundred in number. The spider attains its full
growth in about four weeks.
Grasshoppers (or locusts) copulate in the same way as other
insects; that is to say, with the lesser covering the larger, for
the male is smaller than the female. The females first insert the
hollow tube, which they have at their tails, in the ground, and then
lay their eggs: and the male, by the way, is not furnished with this
tube. The females lay their eggs all in a lump together, and in one
spot, so that the entire lump of eggs resembles a honeycomb. After
they have laid their eggs, the eggs assume the shape of oval grubs
that are enveloped by a sort of thin clay, like a membrane; in this
membrane-like formation they grow on to maturity. The larva is so soft
that it collapses at a touch. The larva is not placed on the surface
of the ground, but a little beneath the surface; and, when it
reaches maturity, it comes out of its clayey investiture in the
shape of a little black grasshopper; by and by, the skin integument
strips off, and it grows larger and larger.
The grasshopper lays its eggs at the close of summer, and dies
after laying them. The fact is that, at the time of laying the eggs,
grubs are engendered in the region of the mother grasshopper's neck;
and the male grasshoppers die about the same time. In spring-time they
come out of the ground; and, by the way, no grasshoppers are found
in mountainous land or in poor land, but only in flat and loamy
land, for the fact is they lay their eggs in cracks of the soil.
During the winter their eggs remain in the ground; and with the coming
of summer the last year's larva develops into the perfect grasshopper.
The attelabi or locusts lay their eggs and die in like manner
after laying them. Their eggs are subject to destruction by the autumn
rains, when the rains are unusually heavy; but in seasons of drought
the locusts are exceedingly numerous, from the absence of any
destructive cause, since their destruction seems then to be a matter
of accident and to depend on luck.
Of the cicada there are two kinds; one, small in size, the first
to come and the last to disappear; the other, large, the singing one
that comes last and first disappears. Both in the small and the
large species some are divided at the waist, to wit, the singing ones,
and some are undivided; and these latter have no song. The large and
singing cicada is by some designated the 'chirper', and the small
cicada the 'tettigonium' or cicadelle. And, by the way, such of the
tettigonia as are divided at the waist can sing just a little.
The cicada is not found where there are no trees; and this
accounts for the fact that in the district surrounding the city of
Cyrene it is not found at all in the plain country, but is found in
great numbers in the neighbourhood of the city, and especially where
olive-trees are growing: for an olive grove is not thickly shaded. And
the cicada is not found in cold places, and consequently is not
found in any grove that keeps out the sunlight.