Flea seeds Cynps saltatorius WAS-Archives.org ARCHIVED

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February (4, 874.' T " Flea Seeds" Cy~ips Saltatorius We present this week the engravirg of an insect and shell from which it emerged, for the purpose of showing our readers an object which has attracted considerable attention for the past year or two in this State They were first , FLEA SEED." brought to notice by the curious jumping qualities possessed by wh!lt was supposed by some persons to be mustard seed, and many theories Wbre ad vanced as to how the thing was "-jone some of which were quite amusin" I The" seed," ~ich the insect was obtained, was gathered with a number of others, under an oak tree on the rallch of Mrs H Wilder about eight milAs from Marysville, by Mr, F W H Aaron of that city and by him sent to Mr Hauks, President of the San Francisco Microscopic Society The matter was referred to Mr Kinne for examination who has followed their development through to the perfect insect, and from his report on the subject we collect'the following: The seeds are very minute, presenting the appearance of a mustard seed, and are of a brown color On placing them in the open hand the "seeds" jnmp about from one place to another in a lively ma.nnor Even wherr1il a vial or small bottle the same characteristic is manifeat and as they were somewhat peculiar the "flea seeds" have attracted considerable attention among our local scientists The gall or cocoon is found lightly attached to the leaf of the oak and in time falls to the ground, where the noise occasioned by the thousands that are leaping about, without any apparent cause or organs of motion, sounds much like the falling of fine rain on the leaves An examination shows that the extraordinary activity displayed is caused by the spasmodic contraction and concussion of the abdominal parts of the occupant -against the side of the sheJI, which movement does not cease even after the covering is nearly spiit in halves, if the tender structure of the crysalis be not injured That it is the chrysalis and not the larvre has been shown by the microscope, and its change to the perfect insect has been noted at weekly stages The average length oithe insect is five hundrcdths of an inch, and in each has been found from sixty to eighty pear-shaped ova The engraving gives its general appeamnce, with wings raised somewhat unnat.uraJIy; for the purpose of showing their size and shape It was drawn on the wood, from the microscope, by Mr Kirfne, and is enlarged twenty diameters Its ovipositor is a tiny though perfect piece of nature's mechanism and lies encased in a sheath at the lower part of the abdomen At a recent meeting of the Microscopical Society, lYI-r Henry Edwardd furnished a report giving the following technical descrip~ion of the curiosity _ _ Genus Cynips-L.Cynips Saltatorius, (nov sp) '- I \ \
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