Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/48

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

dark spot; around this spot there frequently appears a bullous vesicle about the size of a ten-cent piece, and filled with a dark grumous fluid; a small ulcer forms underneath the vesicle, the necrotic area being generally limited to the central part, while the surrounding tissues are more or less swollen and somewhat painful. In a few days, with rest and proper care, the swelling subsides, and in a week all traces of the cellulitis are usually gone. In some of the cases no vesicle forms at the point of injury, the formation probably depending on the constitutional vitality of the individual or the amount of poison introduced." The explanation of the severity of the wound suggested by Dr. Davidson, and in which the writer fully concurs with him, is not that the insect introduces any specific poison of its own, but that the poison introduced is probably accidental and contains the ordinary putrefactive germs which may adhere to its proboscis. Dr. Davidson's treatment was corrosive sublimate—1 to 500 or 1 to 1,000—locally applied to the wound, keeping the necrotic part bathed in the solution. The results have in all cases been favorable. Uhler gives the distribution of R. biguttatus as Arizona, Texas, Panama, Pará, Cuba, Louisiana, West Virginia, and California. After a careful study of the material in the United States National Museum, Mr. Heidemann has decided that the specimens of Rasatus from the southeastern part of the country are in reality Say's R. biguttatus, while those from the Southwestern States belong to a distinct species answering more fully, with slight exceptions, to the description of Stal's Rasatus thoracicus. The writer has recently received a large series of R. thoracicus from Mr. H. Brown, of Tucson, Arizona, and had a disagreeable experience wath the same species in April, 1898, at San José de Guaymas, in the State of Sonora, Mexico. He had not seen the insect alive before, and was sitting at the supper table with his host—a ranchero of cosmopolitan language. One of the bugs, attracted by the light, flew in with a buzz and flopped down on the table. The writer's entomological instinct led him to reach out for it, and was warned by his host in the remarkable sentence comprising words derived from three distinct languages: "Guardez, guardez! Zat animalito sting like ze dev!" But it was too late; the writer had been stung on the forefinger, with painful results. Fortunately, however, the insect's beak must have been clean, and no great swelling or long inconvenience ensued.

Perhaps the best known of any of the species mentioned in our list is the blood-sucking cone-nose (Conorhinus sanguisugus). This ferocious insect belongs to a genus which has several representatives in the United States, all, however, confined to the South or West. C. rubro-fasciatus and C. variegatus, as well as C. san-