THE authoress of this book is well known as an enthusiast in the department of Economic Entomology, and may thoroughly be congratulated upon having produced a work that cannot fail in many ways to be useful to the class of readers for whose instruction and profit it is intended. In many respects it is based upon Curtis's familiar (but somewhat obsolete) “Farm Insects,” and many of the usually excellent illustrations are counterparts of those that appeared in that work; many others were originally from the faithful pencil of Prof. Westwood: in both cases the old volumes of the Gardeners' Chronicle have furnished contributions; a few are from other sources. As in Curtis's work the subject is dealt with according to the plants attacked, not according to the attacking insects, a plan to be much commended in such a work. In each case a short description of the insect and of its methods of attack precede the consideration of Prevention and Remedies. Naturally much is compiled from previous writers; much information given is the result of records obtained from the many willing assistants of the authoress; much is original from her own observations. It is not our duty to enter into an examination of the suggested “remedies”; we vastly prefer to look with more favour upon the means of prevention, and are glad to see that generally sound advice in the way of scientific cultivation is given throughout. Nor are the meteorological conditions overlooked: we can modify many things we cannot rule the elements; and in very bad seasons we fear our farmers and gardeners must be content to “pocket the loss” occasioned by insect ravages on crops the constitutions of which have been already ruined by atmospheric conditions. In a few cases subjects appear to have been introduced for the sake of effect. For instance, we doubt if any farmer in the kingdom is one penny the worse for the occasional presence in his potato-fields of the larva of the Death's Head Moth; on the other hand many bee-keepers could tell a different tale from the ravages of the moth itself in their hives. The Colorado beetle, of course, has “honourable mention”; but we are rather sorry to find the authoress enthusiastic at the passing of the “Injurious Insects” Act of Parliament, which we prefer to consider the outcome of a scare furthered by speculators. All we can say for the “Introduction to Entomology” is that it will possibly serve to give the class for whom it is intended sounder ideas on the subject than generally prevail with them; the Glossary at the end is too short to be of much service.
A Manual of Injurious Insects, with Methods of Prevention and Remedy for their Attacks to Food Crops, Forest Trees, and Fruits, and with Short Introduction to Entomology.
By Eleanor A. Ormerod Pp. 1–323. 8vo. (London: W. Sonnenschein and Allen; Edinburgh: J. Menzies and Co., 1881.)
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A Manual of Injurious Insects, with Methods of Prevention and Remedy for their Attacks to Food Crops, Forest Trees, and Fruits, and with Short Introduction to Entomology . Nature 24, 506–507 (1881). https://doi.org/10.1038/024506c0