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Discussion Regarding a Plague of Beetles
(S130a: 1867)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Untitled account of a discussion held on 1 April 1867 at the Entomological Society, including a brief comment by Wallace. Later reported on page lxxxv of their Journal of Proceedings series for 1867. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S130A.htm

    Mr. Edward Sheppard read the following extract from the 'Daily News' of the 29th of March, 1867:--

    "According to the Melbourne papers just received, enormous swarms of beetles have been noticed lately in Victoria, Australia. In the early part of January a swarm was noticed near Ararat, in Victoria, flying in a column about twenty yards broad, and keeping in compact order. They cast a dark shadow on the ground, and they were an hour in passing the spot from which they were seen. At a certain point they turned off at right angles. The Eucalypti in the neighbourhood of these insects have been stripped of every particle of foliage. Great numbers of the beetles fall to the ground during the flight. The noise they make while flying is like that of a hurricane playing in the rigging of a ship. The colour of these beetles is a dark bronze."

    Mr. Bates said that Anoplognathus was found amongst Eucalypti, but he thought the insect referred to was more probably a grasshopper than a beetle: it was not probable that Coleoptera would thus migrate in swarms.

    Mr. Weir and Mr. Wallace referred to the clouds of Coccinellæ which were commonly observed in the hop-growing districts of Kent.

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