Excerpt: ...to the conditions of space." In this marvellous study, which constitutes, with the history of the Cerceris, the finest masterpiece of experimental entomology, Fabre brilliantly establishes all the details of that curious law which in the Hymenoptera rules both the distribution and the succession of the sexes. In his artificial hives, ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...to the conditions of space." In this marvellous study, which constitutes, with the history of the Cerceris, the finest masterpiece of experimental entomology, Fabre brilliantly establishes all the details of that curious law which in the Hymenoptera rules both the distribution and the succession of the sexes. In his artificial hives, in glass cylinders, he forces the Osmia to commence her spawning with the males, instead of beginning with the females as nature requires, since the insect is primarily preoccupied with the more important sex, that which ensures par excellence the perpetuation of the species. He even forces the whole swarm which buzzes about his work-tables, his books, his bottles, and apparatus, completely to change the order of its spawning. He shows finally that in the heart of the ovaries the egg of the Osmia has as yet no determined sex, and that it is only at the precise moment when the egg is on the point of emerging from the oviduct that it receives, at the will of the mother, the mysterious, final, and inevitable imprint. But whence does the Osmia derive this, "distinct idea of the invisible"? Here again is one of those riddles of nature which Fabre declares himself quite incapable of solving. (8/17.) Is this all? No; we are far from having made the tour of this miraculous and incommensurable kingdom through which this admirable master leads us, and I should never be done were I to attempt to exhaust all the spectacles which he offers us. Let us descend yet another step, among creatures yet smaller and humbler. We shall find tendencies, impulses, preferences, efforts, intentions, "Machiavellic ruses and unheard-of stratagems." Certain miserable black mites, living specks, the larvae of a beetle, one of the Meloidae, the Sitaris, are parasites of the solitary bee, the Anthophora. They wait patiently all the winter at the entrance of her tunnel, on the slope of a sunny bank, for the springtime emergence...Read Less
Very Good in Very Good jacket. 8vo. Blue cloth with silver lettered spine. Book very good, clean and tight throughout. Dust jacket price clipped, with a few light scuffs and two small stains. A very good clean copy.
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