Notes on Croesus Latitarsus, Norton, and Description of the Larva

Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, Mar 2019

John George Jack

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Notes on Croesus Latitarsus, Norton, and Description of the Larva

International Journal of CROESUS ZAT]TARSUS 0 NORTON 0 DESCRIP- TION OF THE LARVA. 0 BY JOHN GEORGE JACK 0 JAMAICA PLAIN 0 MASS. 0 0 In the latter part of August , I886, I collected a number of sawfly larvae, found feeding upon the foliage of27etula alha and 27. flaflyrifera, in this vicinity. These larvae were nearly fully grovn and during the first week in September they all entered some loose soil and debris and made brownish, oblong cocoons about I2 ram. long, and 6 mm. in diameter. NOTES ON and some of the perfect insects emerged May, 88 7. On 14 June I found larvae? in almost all stages of growth, feeding upon birch trees in the Arnold Arboretum and other places in the vicinity of Boston. There were larvae nearly fully grown, while others were just hatched, and portions of the egg-shells remained, arranged along the principal veins of the leaf. About 18 June many of the large larvae entered the soil to pupate, and they emerged as perfect insects tS-zo. Aug. Fresh specimens continued to appear fi?om pupae for about two weeks after the last date. Larvae were found in all stages of Most oftlese growth on 5 September. had gone to the ground to pupate by October. Very few were found after that date. The following is a rough description of the mature larva. Head black, shining. Body dull yellowish green, the last two segments being rather lighter than the others and varying to yellowish, especially beneath, and at the extremity of the ventral segment. A broad stripe, free fl?om spots, extends along the dorsal surface, from the head to the anal segment. On each segment, just above the line of spiracles, there is a l:rge, irregular, black spot on each side of the body. On the anal segment, however, they are generally very indistinct. The spots are usually connected together by a cloudy band which is sometimes so dark as to seem almost like an unbroken black gtripe. Above the tip of the anal segment there is a large triangular or shield-shaped spot. Below the line of spiracles, and above the legs, there are several black spots, somewhat irregular and conflsed on the thoracic segments, but becoming more regular and distinct on each succeeding abdominal segment, until, on the last segment with prolegs, they appear as two distinct oblong spots on each side. On the eleventh segment the spots are less distinct and often seem reduced to one, and in the last two segments they are entirely wanting. The ventral surface, between the legs, is usually more or lessblack. The tibiae, tarsi, claws, and basal portion of the femora of the legs are dark brown on the ex{ernal side. The prolegsare pale yellowish green and without spots. There are a few very short hairs on the head, along the sides, on the ventral segment around the anus, on the legs, and several on each of the prolegs. Length o-25 mm. The young are pale green and the spots are quite pale, but become darker and more distinct as the larvae increase The larvae feed together until ? S T?CIIE they are about fully grown when they become more scattered. The abdomen is kept slightly raised, but is lifted much more, and the ventral surface exposed, when disturbed. They occurred in sufficient numbers last year to defoliate many young birches and destroy large portions of the foliage of some larger trees. They seemed to devour any species with equal avidity, and these included ]3etula ala, ]3. lenla, ]3. lutea, ]3. niffra, and ]3. papyrifera. In some respects this larva resembles that of Croesus septentrionalis of Europe, but in ?the latter, the spots are all much more distinct and separate, the upper row are not connected by the brown band, the legs are not so brown, and the prolegs are tipped with brown. Mrs. A. K. Dimmock in "The insects of Betula in N. A. "(Psyche, t885, v. 4, P. 86) in giving references to this insect says, "Norton (Proc. entom, soc. Phil., 186z, v. 1, p. 199 ) describes the male of this species and later (Trans. SOUND SLEEP OF LYCAENA AMERI CANA. A few years ago, being detained in Boston until the middle of August, and having few butterflies to study, I was led to notice those few very carefully, especially L. americana, which was very abundant in the vacant lots, and the grass-plots in Marlborough street. I noticed that, as one side of the street grew shady, towards sunset, L. americana might be seen clinging to grass-blades, and with wings somewhat drooped, suggesting that the muscles were relaxed by sleep. Approaching one, I gently touched the grass, but the butterfly remained as before. I shook the grass, then shook it less gently, but the butterfly did not stir. Then I picked the blade, and carried it in my hand, not taking any care to keep it upright, for five blocks, and even then it was only as the sun [April SSS. Am. entom, soc., 867, v. 1, p. 84) describes the female." This is evidently a mistake as both of Norton?s descriptions refer to the female. _All the specimens raised by me were females, and there are ten specimens, all females, in the Museutn of comparative zoology at Cambridge, Mass., which were collected by J. Shute at Woburn, Mass., in 187o. The only male I have seen is an imperfect one in the Harris collection. In his catalog Harris wrote ?Larva on birches, gregarious, Sept., winged May I, 1827, do. Aug. 5, 83 ??? The only references I have seen regarding the larva is at the end of Norton?s description of the female (Trans. Am. entom, soc., 1867, v. I, p.84) where he says,"Q.uite rare, wild cherry, Aug. 6. Bred by Mr. Walsh fi?om larvae feeding on birch." Was the "wild cherry" referred to, the cherry birch, ]3etula lenla? struck the grass, when I crossed the street, that the butterflv awoke, and lazily flew to a shady place, re?sting as before. I followed, and this time a touch was enough to startle it. did not arouse it a third time, but afterwards, in the country, I.tried the experiment several tlmes, always with the same result. have always found the butterfly in the same position, more than half-way up the grass-blade, in the shade, and with the head up, the wings drooped to an acute, instead of a right, angle with the body. It certainly sleeps very soundly, and when aroused, does not become as active as in the middle of the day. I have waked and disturbed one /. americana six times, each time immediately after it had settled down after a former awakening, and even the last time it flew but ten steps or so, and settled down as before. 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John George Jack. Notes on Croesus Latitarsus, Norton, and Description of the Larva, Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, DOI: 10.1155/1888/36393