that his deed was inflicted on him rather than committed

time:2023-12-02 04:22:06 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:bird

All nests, whether of birds or insects, are particularly interesting, as they explain the domestic habits of the occupants; but, however wonderful the arrangement and the beauty of the work as exhibited among birds, bees, wasps, etc., still it is the simple effect of instinct on the principle that they never vary.

that his deed was inflicted on him rather than committed

The white ant - that grand destroyer of all timber - always works under cover; he builds as he progresses in his work of destruction, and runs a long gallery of fine clay in the direction of his operations; beneath this his devastation proceeds until he has penetrated to the interior of the beam, the centre of which he entirely demolishes, leaving a thin shell in the form of the original log encrusted over the exterior with numerous galleries.

that his deed was inflicted on him rather than committed

There is less interest in the habits of these destructive wretches than in all other of the ant tribe; they build stupendous nests, it is true, but their interior economy is less active and thrifty than that of many other species of ants, among which there is a greater appearance of the display of reasoning powers than in most animals of a superior class.

that his deed was inflicted on him rather than committed

On a fine sunny morning it is not uncommon, to see ants busily engaged in bringing out all the eggs from the nest and laying them in the sun until they become thoroughly warmed, after which they carry them all back again and lay them in their respective places. This looks very like a power of reasoning, as it is decidedly beyond instinct. If they were to carry out the eggs every morning, wet or dry, it would be an effort of instinct to the detriment of the eggs; but as the weather is uncertain, it is an effort of reason on the part of the ants to bring out the eggs to the sun, especially as it is not an every-day occurrence, even in fine weather.

In Mauritius, the negroes have a custom of turning the reasoning powers of the large black ant to advantage.

White ants are frequently seen passing in and out of a small hole from underneath a building, in which case their ravages could only be prevented by taking up the flooring and destroying the nest.

The negroes avoid this by their knowledge of the habits of the black ant, who is a sworn enemy to the white.

They accordingly pour a little treacle on the ground within a yard of the hole occupied by the white ants. The smell of the treacle shortly attracts some of the black species, who, on their arrival are not long in observing their old enemies passing in and out of the hole. Some of them leave the treacle; these are evidently messengers, as in the course of the day a whole army of black ants will be seen advancing, in a narrow line of many yards in length, to storm the stronghold of the white ants. They enter the hole, and they destroy every white ant in the building. Resistance there can be none, as the plethoric, slow-going white ant is as a mouse to a cat in the encounter with his active enemy, added to which the black ant is furnished with a most venomous sting, in addition to a powerful pair of mandibles. I have seen the black ants returning from their work of destruction, each carrying a slaughtered white ant in his mouth, which he devours at leisure. This is again a decided effort of reason, as the black ant arrives at the treacle without a thought of the white ant in his mind, but, upon seeing his antagonist, he despatches messengers for reinforcements, who eventually bring up the army to the "rendezvous."


recommended content