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The Natural History of the Agricultural Ant of Texas: a Monograph of the Habits, Architecture, and Structure of “Pogonomyrmex barbatus”

Nature volume 20, page 501 | Download Citation



THE agricultural ant of Texas was first introduced to the English public in 1862, by means of a communication from Dr. Gideon Lincecum to Mr. Darwin, published in the Journal of the Linnean Society of London, and much interest was excited by the account given of an insect which actually sowed seed, tended the crop, and reaped the harvest. No further information being forthcoming, doubts were expressed both here and in America as to the accuracy of the observations, and Mr. McCook went to Texas in the summer of 1877 for the express purpose of testing them. Unfortunately, however, he could only stay about three weeks, which he devoted entirely to observation of the ants. He however obtained information from residents, and carried away some living ants on which to make further observations at home, and the result is given in much detail in a handsome volume of over 200 pages, illustrated by a series of twenty-four plates, giving details of the nests, the attitudes, the habits, the external structure and internal anatomy of the species in question, and some of its allies.

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