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CHAFF—CHAGRES

dung and others on vegetable tissues. The cockchafers and their near allies belong to the subfamily Melolonthinae, and the rose-chafers to the Cetoniinae; in both the beetles eat leaves, and their grubs spend a long life underground devouring roots. In Britain the Melolonthines that are usually noted as injurious are the two species of cockchafer (Melolontha vulgaris and M. hippocastani), large heavy beetles with black pubescent pro-thorax, brown elytra and an elongated pointed tail-process; the summer-chafer (Rhizotrogus solstitialis), a smaller pale brown chafer; and the still smaller garden-chafer or “cocker-bundy” (Phyllopertha horticola), which has a dark green pro-thorax and brown elytra. Of the Cetoniines, the beautiful metallic green rose-chafer, Cetonia aurata, sometimes causes damage, especially in gardens. The larvae of the chafers are heavy, soft-skinned grubs, with hard brown heads provided with powerful mandibles, three pairs of well-developed legs, and a swollen abdomen. As they grow, the larvae become strongly flexed towards the ventral surface, and lie curled up in their earthen cells, feeding on roots. The larval life lasts several years, and in hard frosts the grubs go deep down away from the surface. Pupation takes place in the autumn, and though the perfect insect emerges from the cuticle very soon afterwards, it remains in its underground cell for several months, not making its way to the upper air until the ensuing summer. After pairing, the female crawls down into the soil to lay her eggs. The grubs of chafers, when turned up by the plough, are greedily devoured by poultry, pigs and various wild birds. When the beetles become so numerous as to call for destruction, they are usually shaken off the trees where they rest on to sheets or tarred boards. On the continent of Europe chafers are far more numerous than in the United Kingdom, and the rural governments in France give rewards for their destruction. D. Sharp states that in the department of Seine-inférieure 867,173,000 cockchafers and 647,000,000 larvae were killed in the four years preceding 1870.

The anatomy of Melolontha is very fully described in a classical memoir by H. E. Strauss-Dürckheim (Paris, 1828).  (G. H. C.) 


CHAFF (from the A.S. ceaf, allied to the O. High Ger. cheva, a husk or pod), the husks left after threshing grain, and also hay and straw chopped fine as food for cattle; hence, figuratively, the refuse or worthless part of anything. The colloquial use of the word, to chaff, in the sense of to banter or to make fun of a person, may be derived from this figurative sense, or from “to chafe,” meaning to vex or irritate.


CHAFFARINAS, or Zaffarines, a group of islands belonging to Spain off the north coast of Morocco, near the Algerian frontier, 2½ m. to the north of Cape del Agna. The largest of these isles, Del Congreso, is rocky and hilly. It has a watch-house on the coast nearest to Morocco. Isabella II., the central island, contains several batteries, barracks and a penal convict settlement. The Spanish government has undertaken the construction of breakwaters to unite this island with the neighbouring islet of El Rey, with a view to enclose a deep and already sheltered anchorage. This roadstead affords a safe refuge for many large vessels. The Chaffarinas, which are the Tres Insulae of the Romans and the Zafrān of the Arabs, were occupied by Spain in 1848. The Spanish occupation anticipated by a few days a French expedition sent from Oran to annex the islands to Algeria. The population of the islands is under 1000.


CHAFFEE, ADNA ROMANZA (1842–  ), American general, was born at Orwell, Ohio, on the 14th of April 1842. At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the United States cavalry as a private, and he rose to commissioned rank in 1863, becoming brevet captain in 1865. He remained in the army after the war and took part with distinction in many Indian campaigns. His promotion was, however, slow, and he was at the age of fifty-six still a lieutenant-colonel of cavalry. But in 1898, at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he was made brigadier-general and soon afterwards major-general of volunteers. In the Cuban campaign he won particular distinction, and the victory of the Americans in the action of El Caney was in large measure due to his careful personal reconnaissances of the ground to be attacked and to the endurance of his own brigade. After reverting for a time to the rank of brigadier-general, he was made a major-general U.S.V. again in 1900 and was appointed to command the United States contingent in China. He took a brilliant and successful part in the advance on Peking and the relief of the Legations. In 1901 he became a major-general in the regular army, and in 1901–1902 commanded the Division of the Philippines. In 1902–1903 he commanded the Department of the East, and from 1904 to 1906 was chief of the general staff of the army. In 1904 he received the rank of lieutenant-general in the United States army, being the first enlisted man of the regular army to attain this, the highest rank in the service. He was retired at his own request on the 1st of February 1906, after more than forty years’ service.


CHAFFINCH (Fringilla coelebs), the common English name of a bird belonging to the family Fringillidae (see Finch), and distinguished, in the male sex, by the deep greyish blue of its crown feathers, the yellowish green of its rump, the white of the wing coverts, so disposed as to form two conspicuous bars, and the reddish brown passing into vinous red of the throat and breast. The female is drab, but shows the same white markings as the male, and the young males resemble the females until after the first autumn moult, when they gradually assume the plumage of their sex. The chaffinch breeds early in the season, and its song may often be heard in February. Its nest, which is a model of neatness and symmetry, it builds on trees and bushes, preferring such as are overgrown with moss and lichens. It is chiefly composed of moss and wool, lined internally with grass, wool, feathers, and whatever soft material the locality affords. The outside consists of moss and lichens, and according to Selby, “is always accordant with the particular colour of its situation.” When built in the neighbourhood of towns the nest is somewhat slovenly and untidy, being often composed of bits of dirty straw, pieces of paper and blackened moss; in one instance, near Glasgow, the author of the Birds of the West of Scotland found several postage-stamps thus employed. It lays four or five eggs of a pale purplish buff, streaked and spotted with purplish red. In spring the chaffinch is destructive to early flowers, and to young radishes and turnips just as they appear above the surface; in summer, however, it feeds principally on insects and their larvae, while in autumn and winter its food consists of grain and other seeds. On the continent of Europe the chaffinch is a favourite song-bird, especially in Germany, where great attention is paid to its training.


CHAFING-DISH (from the O. Fr. chaufer, to make warm), a kind of portable grate heated with charcoal, and used for cooking or keeping food warm. In a light form, and heated over a spirit lamp, it is also used for cooking various dainty dishes at table. The employment of the chafing-dish for the latter purpose has been largely restored in modern cookery.


CHAGOS, a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, belonging to Britain, disposed in circular form round the Chagos bank, in 4° 44′ to 7° 39′ S., and 70° 55′ to 72° 52′ E. The atolls on the south and east side of the bank, which has a circumference of about 270 m., have disappeared through subsidence; a few—Egmont, Danger, Eagle, and Three Brothers—still remain on the east side, but most of the population (about 700) is centred on Diego Garcia, which lies on the south-east side, and is nearly 13 m. long by 6 m. wide. The lagoon, which is enclosed by two coral barriers and accessible to the largest vessels on the north side, forms one of the finest natural harbours in the world. The group, which has a total land area of 76 sq. m., is dependent for administrative purposes on Mauritius, and is regularly visited by vessels from that colony. The only product is cocoa-nut oil, of which about 106,000 gallons are annually exported. The French occupied the islands in 1791 from Mauritius, and the oil industry (from which the group is sometimes called the Oil Islands) came into the hands of French Creoles.


CHAGRES, a village of the Republic of Panama, on the Atlantic coast of the Isthmus, at the mouth of the Chagres river, and about 8 m. W. of Colon. It has a harbour from 10 to 12 ft. deep, which is difficult to enter, however, on account of bars at its mouth. The port was discovered by Columbus in