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A Noted Microscopist's Opinion Of The Wheat Worm

A Noted Microscopist's Opinion Of The Wheat Worm image
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Prof. Samuel Loekwood, oí' Freuhold, N. J., woll kiiowu lor his valaable microsoopic rosearchos, writes as Ibüoyra to tlie Moomouth IKwiiorrat, aftcr inspooting Bome wlicat item and lio:ils From a neighbor's farm : "The heads wero ohaiïy and alraost v'raiiilos, as if blaatod and dried op. An itntpeotion soon showdd thomystory. In eacta si. in was a Httli' hok whioh hul been made by a tiny grub as i" entrancv into the plant. On caref'ully splitting the si ruw, iu-t abore tliis hole, it mi found to be I aoked lull of imall granular putiolea of uu oohreish oolor. This was thu fresa or excrement of tho encmy who was hard at Work within. On splitting the straw tijward until the topoi' tho fraw was reached, 1 then liiund the depredator, a catorpillar, bu.sily tunnoling the steui by eating out oleao the rabstanoe which formcd the n nor tube of the itraw, aotion reduoed tlic wheat straw to littie olsc than a film oi' l'ecble wlioioni skin, und cut oll all supply of nap vu Dtttriment to the ear, whioh thtu driud tip. Prof. Coinstock idontifie.s this eatof pillar as the larva of the Oortynanitala. This is an oíd aoqaaintanoe who lias lamed up iu an unexpectcd place, lt is the abiqoitoua boring wurm, known lor its sinKular oiiinivorouri appetite- at one time lievouring tlio insidc ot' the .items ot' the dahlia, the aster, the potato, and tho tomato, again burrowing intu the raoeuleoi stalks of' indiau coru. Mest we lind it boring into tho tenxier shoots oi' fruit trees, espeeiully tho peach, theu turning with plebiao taste to some ol uur pernicious weeds. Now, and perhapa the most strious of' all, we ünd it attaoking the " true inwarduess" of our cercáis. 1 seo no hlp i'nr it other than prevention. The rasoaJ shuuld bo Htamped out. Tho shrivelcd and premature yellow eaw teil where he i.s. l'ull them up aud burn thom. Tliis Gortyna nileta seems to have small respect for regular habita anyway, for he will go iuto the chrysalis state, sometimos inside the plant which ho has tunnelled, and .lometiuies outside. Aa to the furuier habit he migln oite tho examplo of' hh Kritish cousin, (!. flavOffO, whioh pupatcs in the stem of the feediug plant, usually a bnrdock or thistle. But the habit is sotnowhat exceptional, as if a man should rnake bis eoffin iu tho dining-room. This borcr nititli, ('tirtinit, comea out later in the seaKon, and, doubtlcss, somo live through the winter, lt id fully one inch and a hall from tip to tip of the expanded front wingSi and has a wavy whitish line running almost acro8.s each ouo, at a distanee from the outcr end of the wing of about a third of the wing's length. The general color of' the aioth is a grayish browu, and of the caterpillar a livid brown with white linea. It i.s safe to say that Gortyna, wherever met, is an unmitigatod boro, and deserves to be snuffed out. 1 notice some mistakes aftoat ahout the ariuy worm, Lucomta mtpunota ; one especially, in which the wnter describes its destruction of the leaves of oak trees. Tliis i.s not true of' . unmvmcta. I think it would starve beforc taking food containing tannie acid, though many other caterpiilars tbrive on sucli food. This worm lias a, very restricted appeteney ; it is for the grasaes or gnoS-Hke plaats, whioh inelude, of course, tiie common pastare planta, the ceroals and indiau corn. Henee il was not until i had conürmation ot the Gust that I dared assert, in my late artielo 00 the army worm, its attack on a field of red elover.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News