Victoria. Dept. of Agriculture.

A handbook of the destructive insects of Victoria, with notes on the methods to be adopted to check and extirpate them (Volume 1) online

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history of the insects with which they may have to deal. A
few remarks bearing on this subject are offered, with the
view of assisting such persons as may feel inclined to know
more of insects than they do at present, so as to enable
them to distinguish between their " garden " friends and
enemies ; for this knowledge can only be obtained by the
study (even if somewhat imperfectly) of the "manners
and customs " of insect life.

It will be a great help to any agriculturist who wishes
to follow up this subject successfully to make for himself
a collection of the insects of his district.

To commence the study of practical entomology, or to
form collections of insects, as a useful and pleasurable
pastime, it is not necessary to go to any great outlay in
the purchase of books or collecting material, as much of
the good work already done has been accomplished by
those in humble circumstances, and often under disadvan-
tageous conditions quite unknown to the rural population
of newer countries.

It will thus be seen that science and the study of natural
history is open to all rich and poor, humble as well
as great so that none need be afraid to undertake at
least something useful, more especially in a new country,
where the field for observation is so vast, and the interests
at stake of such great national importance to the rural
portion of our community. We must be up and



An enterprising American fruit-grower, as quoted by
Mathew Cooke, in his valuable book,* has said : " Our
watchword must ever be, ' Onward and upward, and falter
not, although difficulties apparently insurmountable arise :
he who will may overcome them.' The enterprising fruit-
growers of California are filled with a spirit that no power
on earth can curb. It falters not at misfortune's door or
any obstacle to success, but boldly advances and removes
them all; at least, it has been so, and must ever be.
The time was when our glorious climate, fruitful soil, and
exemption from all diseases and pests, made our Golden
State the wonder of all who were conversant with its
fruit and flowers. Now, alas, the spoiler's hand is felt;
a change has come over the spirit of our dream. It seems
as though all that is detrimental to the fruit interest is
here or coming, making eternal vigilance the price of suc-
cess in this, the industry of the State. The time has come
when every one who by this occupation would thrive will
find ceaseless use for head and hand ; even then the fittest
only can survive. Who will supinely sit and see misfor-
tune spoil the results of years of toil, while others gird on
their armour with energies stimulated by the presence of
the forces arrayed against them on every hand ?"

It has been remarked previously that the necessary
apparatus for forming collections of insects for ordinary
practical purposes need not be of an expensive kind. A
few yards of mosquito or other net will, with two or
three small hoops and a handle, make valuable nets for
capturing insects whilst on the wing. An umbrella, "for
shaking," a few bottles of methylated spirit (gin or whisky
will suffice if the methylated spirit is not obtainable), a
wide-mouthed bottle or jar say a salt jar, into which has
been placed some cyanide of potassium (a deadly poison,
which should be used with caution). To prepare the
materials for the cyanide bottle The cyanide should be
crushed and mixed with plaster of Paris, say three parts
of the latter to one part of the cyanide. Moisten, and

* "Injurious Insects."


place in a wide-mouthed and tightly -corked jar, and it is
then, when firmly set, ready for use. This should be
kept out of the way of children.

A few closely -fitting wooden boxes (cigar boxes will, if
cut down the Middle and hinged with linen and made into
a "double-box," answer very well); some pins; a few
setting-boards, which anyone can make for himself out of
a piece of deal and a few strips of cork; forceps (those
with bent joints are the best) ; some napthaline, carbolic
acid, or camphor will also be required for the purpose of
keeping out minute insects, as ants, mites, &c., which, if
undisturbed, often play great havoc with such col-

For the permanent preservation of Insects, both the
cork and the insects themselves should be dipped in a
solution of corrosive sublimate, and dried before placing
in the cabinet or in store boxes.

Small moths, as the cabbage moth, clothes moth, wheat
moth, potato moth, and others belonging to the great
group of the Tineina, should be pinned in the box im-
mediately after capture, as they soon become brittle and
are easily broken. The best method of capturing the
micro (small) lepidoptera is to hold a bottle containing
the cyanide (which is known to collectors as the killing
bottle) under the specimens while in the net, as the insect
will then drop into the bottle and be instantly suffocated,
without damage to the wings, limbs, &c.

For the capture of the larger kind of moths, butterflies,
&c., the net must also be used, as a specimen should never
be handled if it is possible to avoid doing so, as the scales
on the wings are very easily rubbed off, to the permanent
disfigurement of the specimen, but a little care and practice
will soon enable any one to overcome these difficulties.
In sending away the larger moths and butterflies, the
specimens, after having been killed in the usual manner,
should be folded neatly away in papers (old envelopes will
do) and packed in boxes; and these specimens can, by
damping on blotting-paper, be relaxed and softened, and
may then be set out in their natural positions.


When collecting insects (and particularly those of
economic interest) the larvae, chrysalids (also eggs, if
possible), with portions of the plant on which the insect
feeds, should be taken, and any interesting matter, as
changes of state, habits, data, &c., should be carefully
noted for future reference, and for this purpose a
" Register " book should be kept. This trouble would
soon repay itself, and could not fail to be a source of
useful interest and pleasure, more especially to the young
people of both sexes. The principal advantages expected
to be derived from a study of Entomology by those
engaged in rural pursuits, is to help them to a better
acquaintance with insects in general, and economic insects
in particular; to assist them in discriminating between
the destructive and useful kinds, and to enable them to
better understand the value of and perhaps appreciate
the many books written on the subject; also, by finding
out the habits of those creatures, they may be able to
devise means for their prevention or eradication. If this
much can be accomplished, who shall say that the
advantages gained are not worth more than the trouble
taken? This branch of the Victorian Department of
Agriculture has been created for the purpose of assisting
those persons above indicated, and is at the service ol
those who desire to avail themselves of its privileges.

Insects are to be found nearly everywhere under the
bark of trees, on trees, under logs, stones, dung, on
flowers, leaves, on fences, in fruit, on roots, in the soil ; in
fact, there are few places in the world where insects of
some kind or other are not to be found.

Butterflies and moths, if reared from the caterpillars,
are, as a rule, more perfect than those taken whilst on the
wing, and the rearing of such will afford much useful and
pleasurable instruction to those who can devote a little of
their spare time for the purpose.

Beetles and many other kinds of insects may at once be
placed in spirits, but should never be placed together
while alive in boxes, as they often damage each other so
much as to be next to useless for specimens.


Wasps and other stinging insects should be captured
with a net, and from thence transferred to the killing

Minute beetles, &c., can be gummed on to small pieces
of card, the locality, date of capture, &c., added on a label
attached to the pin.

In forwarding specimens for identification and report,
great care should be taken in packing for post, and tin
boxes should always be used for the purpose. The
address should be written on a label, and not on the box ;
this lessens the chances of damage whilst passing through
the Post Office.




To all who are engaged in either farming or fruit-grow-
ing, the preservation of our useful friends, the insect-
destroying birds, is in my opinion of the very greatest

Nature maintains a balance between the numbers of
the birds, beasts, insects, plants, &c., in any district. If
by artificial means we destroy this balance, immediately
intolerable numbers of some kinds remain with us, and
we have to expend much money and labour to rid our-
selves of the swarm which nature was ready to dispose
of for us gratis.

Some writer has well said, as quoted by Mr. Tryon in
his valuable book on the fungus and insect pests of
Queensland "If the arrangements of nature were left
undisturbed, the result would be a wholesome equilibrium
of destruction. The birds would kill so many insects
that the insects could not kill too many plants. One
class is a match for the other. A certain insect was found
to lay 2,000 eggs, but a single c Tom -tit ' was found to
eat 200,000 eggs in a year. A swallow devours 543 insects
in a day, eggs and all."

There is the whole case in a nutshell. The birds will
do yeoman service, and ask for no wages.

The question will naturally be asked, How and by what
means is the wholesale destruction of our insectivorous
birds to be checked ? This would seem to be a somewhat
difficult question to answer, for have we not already game
laws, but are they carried out? I am afraid not, and
thus the good intentions of those by whom they were
introduced have been frustrated.


To secure active co-operation in the direction of the
preservation of insectivorous birds, we must be able by
the aid of the stuffed specimens themselves to show those
interested the difference between the noxious and the
beneficial ; to point out to those persons who are engaged
in our great rural industries that their interest lies in
uniting, as in the case of insect-pests, to maintain the
balance which nature has given us, and more especially to
endeavour to impress upon the young people the necessity
for preserving certain birds from destruction.

Those unaccustomed to dissecting birds can have but a
faint idea of the enormous quantity of insects many even
of the smaller birds devour, and a better acquaintance
with both birds and insects would. I am sure, tend to
prevent such wholesale slaughter. The chief enemies
of birds are the itinerant sportsmen, who on holidays
scour the country in all directions, until very little is left
of the bird-life of former days. In the case of such
birds as Parrots, Leatherheads, Sparrows, &c., which are
destructive to either fruit or grain, those interested will
of course know best how to deal with them.

But a very large number of our native birds feed solely
on insects, and every such bird is always on the watch to
protect the farmer's crops. Let this fact be once realized
by the rural population and there will be a chance of saving
the birds. If once the birds become extinct here, it will
be almost, perhaps quite, impossible to replace them.

The excellent charts in the schools ought to be the
means of enabling persons to distinguish many kinds
of birds which should be protected and preserved as
being of essential service to all cultivators, and these
excellent bird illustrations, could, with great advantage
be added to.

The importation of the insect-destroying birds of other
countries would also be advantageous, but in so doing
great care must be used to make sure of the particular
kinds we propose to introduce, so as to enable us to guard
against a repetition of former and often most disastrous



Appended is a list of those birds which have been
proved by competent authorities to be destroyers of
insects in our colony, and I have to thank Messrs. A. J.
Campbell, D. Le Souef, and A. Coles for their assistance
in the compilation of the list.

The common names are those generally adopted, and
which for convenience sake are placed before the scientific



Common Name.

Acanthiza (Chestnut-rumped)
Acanthiza (Little)
Acanthiza (Little Brown)
Acanthiza (Red-rumped)
Acanthiza (Striated)
Bee-eater (Australian) -
Bristle Bird - -

Bristle Bird (Rufous-headed)-
Bustard, or Wild Turkey
Calamanthus (Field)
Calamanthus ( Striated) -
Campephaga (Jardine's)
Campephaga (White-shouldered)
Cincloramphus (Black-breasted)
Cincloramphus (Brown)
Cincloramphus (Rufous-tinted)
Chthonicola (Little)
Coach-whip Bird -
Crow-shrike (Black-throated)
Crow-shrike (Collared) -
Crow-shrike (Grey)
Crow-shrike (Hill)
Crow-shrike (Pied)
Crow-shrike (Sooty)
Crow-shrike (White-backed) -
Cuckoo (Black-eared) -
Cuckoo (Bronze) -
Cuckoo (Brush) -
Cuckoo (Fan-tailed)
Cuckoo (Narrow-billed Bronze)
Cuckoo (Pallid or Unadorned)
Diamond Bird (Allied Pardalote)

Scientific Name.
Acanthiza uropygialis.




Merops ornatus.
Sphenura brachyptera.

Choriotis Australis.
Calamanthus campestris.

Edoliisoma teniurostre.

Cincloramphus cantillans.


Ptenasdus rufescens.
Chthonicola sagittata.
Psophodes crepitans.
Cracticus robustus.

Strepera cuneicaudota.



,, fuliginosa.
Gymnorhina leuconota.
Mesocalius palliolatus.
Chalcites plagosus.
Cuculus insperatus.

Chalcites basalis.
Cuculus pallidus.
Pardalotus affinis.



Common Name.

Diamond Bird (Spotted Pardalote)-
Diamond Bird (Striated Pardalote)
Diamond Bird (Yellow-rumped


Duck (Whistling-tree) -
Doller Bird (Australian Roller)
Ephthianura (Orange-fronted)
Ephthianura (Tri-coloured) -
Ephthianura (White-fronted)
Fantail (Black) -
Fantail (Rufous-fronted)
Fantail (White-shafted)-
Fly-catcher (Brown) -
Fly-catcher (Carniated)-
Fly-catcher (Leaden-coloured)
Fly-catcher (Restless) -
Fly-catcher (Shining) -
Geobasileus (Buff-rumped)
Geobasileus (Yellow-rumped)-
Gerygone (Brown) -
Grass-bird (Little)
Graculus (Black-faced) -
Graculus (Ground) -
Graculus ( Varied) -
Hylacola (Red-rumped)-
Ibis (Glossy)
Ibis (Straw-necked) -
Ibis (White) -
Jackass (Great Brown Kingfisher

or Laughing) -
Kestrel (Nankeen) -
Kingfisher (Azure)
Kingfisher (Red-backed)
Kingfisher (Sacred) -
Lark (Horsfield's Bush)-
Lyre-Bird (Queen Victoria' s)-
Magpie (Piping Crow-shrike)-
Magpie Lark (Pied Grallina) -
Martin (Fairy) -
Night- jar (Owlet)
Night-jar (White-throated) -
Night-jar (Spotted)
Oreoica (Crested) - -

Owl (Grass)
Petrel (Blue)
Pigeon (Top-knot)
Pipit ( Australian) -

Scientific Name.
Pardalotus punctatus.


Dendrocygna vagaies.
Eurostomus Pacificus.
Ephthianura aurifrons.



Sauloprocta motacilloides.
Rhipidura rufifrons.
Micraeca fascinans.
Monarcha melanopsis.
Miagra rubecula.
Seisura inquieta.
Miagra nitida.
Geobasileus reguloides.


Gerygone fusca.
Sphenoeacus gramineus.
Grauculus melanops.
Pteropodocys phasianella.
Graculus meutalis.
Hylacola pyrrhopygia.
Ibis falcinellus.
Geronticus spiuicollis.
Threskiornis strictipennis.

Dacelo gigas.
Tinnunculus cenchroides.
Alcyone azurea.
Halcyon pyrrhopygius.
Halcyon sanctus.
Mirafra Horsfieldii.
Menura Victoria3.
Gymnorhina tibicen.
Grallina picata.
Lagenoplastes ariel.
^Egotheles Novae-Hollandise.
Eurostopodus albogularis.


Oreoica cristata.
Strix Candida.
Haloboena cerulea.
Lopholaimus antarcticus.
Anthus Australis.



Common Name.
Plover (Southern Stone)
Podargus (Cuvier's)
Podargus (Tawny-shouldered)
Pomatostomus (Chesnut-crowned) -
Pomatostomus (Temporal)
Pomatostomus (White-eyebrowed) -
Pycnoptilus (Downy) -
Eed Throat - ...

Robin (Flame-breasted) -
Robin (Hooded or Pied)
Robin (Pink-breasted Wood) -
Robin (Red-capped) -
Robin (Rose-breasted Wood) -
Robin (Scarlet-breasted)
Robin (Scrub) -
Robin (Yellow-breasted)
Sericornis (Allied) . . _
Sericornis (Sombre-coloured) -
Sericornis (Spotted)
Sericornis (White-fronted) -
Shrike (Spangled Dronga) -
Shrike-Thrush (Harmonious)
Shrike-Tit (Frontal) - - -
Sittella (Black-capped)
Sittella (Orange-winged)
Smicrornis (Short-billed)
Swallow (Masked Wood) -
Swallow (Tree) - - - * ;
Swallow (Welcome) ...
Swallow (White-breasted)
Swallow (White-eyebrowed Wood)
Swallow (White-rumped Wood)
Swallow (Wood) -
Swift (Australian) - -
Swift (Spine- tailed)
Thickhead (Gilbert's) - -
Thickhead (Olivaceous)
Thickhead (Rufous-breasted)
Thickhead (White-throated) -
Thrush (Chesnut-backed)
Thrush (Cinnamon-coloured)-
Thrush (Spotted-ground)
Thrush (Mountain)
Tree-creeper (Brown) -
Tree-creeper (Red-eyebrowed)
Tree-creeper (White-throated)
Warbler (Black-backed Superb)

Scientific Name.
JEdicnemus grallarius.
Podargus Cuvieri.

Pomatostomus ruficeps.



Pycnoptilus floccosus.
Pyrrholasmus brunneus.
Petrceca pho3nicea.
Melanodryas bicolor.
Erythrodryas rhodinogaster.
Petroeca Goodenovii.
Erythrodryas rosea.
Petroeca leggii.
Drymodes brunneopygia.
Eopsaltria Australis.
Sericornis osculaus.



Chibia bracteata.
Collyriocincla harmonica.
Falcunculus frontatus.
Sittella pileata.

Smicrornis brevirostris.
Artamus personatus.
Hydrochelidon nigricans.
Hirundo frontalis
Cheramseca leucosternon.
Artamus superciliosus.


Cypselus pacificus.
Chaetura candacuta.
Pachycephala Gilberti.



Cinclosoma castaneonotum



Geocichla lunulata.
Climacteris scandens.



Malurus melanotus.


Common Name. Scientific Name.

Warbler (Lambert's Superb) - - Malurus Lamberti.
Warbler (Long-tailed Superb) Gouldii.

Warbler (Reed) - - Calamoherpe Aus trails.

Warbler (Rufous-headed Grass) - Cisticola ruficeps.

Warbler (White-winged Superb) - Malurus leucopterus.

Warbler (Blue- wren or Superb) - cjaneus.

Wedgebill (Crested) - - Sphenostoma cristata.

Wren (Emu) - - Stipiturus malachurus.

Wren (Striated) - - Amytis striatus.
Wren (Textile) - textilis

Xerophila (White-faced) - - Xerophila leucopsis.




When we consider that the principal of the insect
pests in Victoria have been imported from other coun-
tries, does it not behove us to take some steps to prevent
a repetition of this very dangerous state of affairs ?
And I unhesitatingly affirm that, if some prohibitive
measures against the wholesale introduction of both
insect and fungus diseases are not forthcoming, it will be
a bad look-out for our farmers and orchardists. And to
draw attention to this important subject, I have included
in this part of the handbook a copy of the following
rules as carried out by the State Board of Viticultural
Commissioners of California :

"Quarantine rules and regulations for the protection
of fruit and fruit trees from insect pests, namely, insects
injurious to fruit and fruit trees, authorized and approved
by the State Board of Viticultural Commissioners of
California. In pursuance of an Act entitled ' An Act
to define and enlarge the duties and powers of the Board
of State Viticultural Commissioners, and to authorize
the appointment of certain officers, and to protect the
interests of horticulture and viticulture,' approved
March 4, 1881, the chief executive horticultural and
health officer may appoint local resident inspectors in any
and all of the fruit-growing regions of the State, whose
duties shall be as provided in section 4 of an Act
entitled ' An Act to define and enlarge the duties and
powers of the Board of State Viticultural Commis-
sioners, and to authorize the appointment of certain
officers, and to protect the interests of horticulture and
viticulture/ provided that there shall be no compensation
for such services of inspection excepting a fee, not to
exceed one dollar for each certificate of disinfection, in
case of compliance with quarantine regulations, and to
exceed five dollars for each certificate of disinfection after


seizure for non-compliance ; provided, however, such inspec-
tor maybe employed at the option of the owners of property
requiring disinfection to disinfect the same. And also said
local resident inspectors will be entitled to such other fees
as are provided for in cases of conviction and seizures.

1. All tree or plant cuttings, grafts or scions, plants or
trees of any kind, infested by any insect or insects, or the
germs thereof, namely, their eggs, larva?, or pupa?, that are
known to be injurious to fruit or fruit trees, and liable to
spread contagion; or any tree or plant cuttings, grafts,
scions, plants, or trees of any kind, grown or planted in
any county or district within the State of California, in
which trees or plants, in orchards, nurseries, or places, are
known to be infested by any insect or insects, or the germs
thereof, namely, their eggs, larva?, or pupae, that are known
to be injurious to fruit or fruit trees, and liable to spread
contagion, are hereby required to be disinfected before
removal for distribution or transportation from any
orchard, nursery, or place where said tree or plant, cut-
tings, grafts, or scions, plants, or trees of any kind are
grown, or offered for sale or gift, as hereinafter provided.

2. All trees or plant cuttings, grafts, or scions, plants,
or trees of any kind, imported or brought into this State
from any foreign country, or from any of the United
States or Territories, are hereby required to be disinfected
immediately after their arrival in this State, and before
being offered for sale or removed for distribution or
transportation, as hereinafter described ; provided, that if
on examination of any such importations by a local resi-
dent inspector, or the chief executive horticultural officer,
a bill of health is certified to by such examining officer,
then disinfection will be unnecessary.

3. Fruit of any kind infested by any species of scale
insect or scale insects, or the germs thereof namely, their
eggs, larva?, or pupa?, known to be injurious to fruit and
fruit trees, and liable to spread contagion, is hereby
required to be disinfected, as hereinafter provided, before
removal off premises where grown for the purpose of
sale, gift, distribution, or transportation.


4. Fruit of any kind infested by any insect or insects,
or the germs thereof, namely, their eggs, larvae, or pupae,
known to be injurious to fruit or fruit trees, and liable to
spread contagion, imported or brought into this State
from any foreign country, or from any of the United
States or Territories, is hereby prohibited from being
offered for sale, gift, distribution, or transportation.

5. Fruit of any kind infested by the insect known as
codlin moth, or its larvae or pupae, is hereby prohibited
from being kept in bulk, or in packages or boxes of any
kind, in any orchard, storeroom, salesroom, or place, or
being dried for food or any other purposes, or being
removed for sale, gift, distribution, or transportation.

6. Fruit boxes, packages, or baskets used for shipping
fruit to any destination are hereby required to be dis-
infected, as hereinafter provided, previous to their being
returned to any orchard, storeroom, salesroom, or place
to be used for storage, shipping, or any other purpose.

7. Transportable material of any kind infested by any
insect or insects, or the germs thereof, namely, their eggs,
larvae, or pupae, known to be injurious to fruit or fruit trees,
and liable to spread contagion, is hereby prohibited from

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Online LibraryVictoria. Dept. of AgricultureA handbook of the destructive insects of Victoria, with notes on the methods to be adopted to check and extirpate them (Volume 1) → online text (page 2 of 12)