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Societies and Academies

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    LONDON Linnean Society, November 15.—Sir John Lubbock, Bart., F.R.S., president, m the chair.—Messrs, Philip Crowley and J. Murray were elected Fellows of the Society.—Mr. Charles B. Plowright exhibited a young pear tree showing Rœstelia cancellata, Jacq., produced from Podisoma sabinœ, therefore supporting the observations of A. S. Œrsted in Botaniska Notiser for 1865; also examples of Puccinia graminis on wheat produced;rom Œcidiuin on Mahonia aquifolia; the Œcidio-sports were sown June 2, 1883, the Uredospores were sown June 10, and the ripe P. graminis was gathered September 10, 1883. He likewise called attention to examples of Œcidium rumicis on Rumex obtusifolius, R. hydrolapathum, R. conglo-meratus, and Rheum officinale, the same being produced from Puccinia phragmitis.—Prof. P. Martin Duncan snowed a specimen of coral (Damophyllum crista-galli) which had grown upon an electric telegraph cable off the shores of Spain; it possessed radicles, apparently due to the presence of a worm close beneath the base of the coral.—Mr. E. P. Ramsay exhibited a series of rare New Guinea birds, and Mr. R. B. Sharpe made remarks thereon.—Mr. T. Christy exhibited a fine living and healthy specimen of Trevesia sundaica, Miq. (the so-called Gastonia palmata), or probably a new species. This peculiar and handsome plant has rarely been seen in this country, and of late years almost been lost sight of.—Dr. J. Murie showed and maderemarks on specimens of Ascarisbicolorhom the living walrus at the Westminster Aquarium.—Mr. F. I. Warner drew attention to a series of specimens of Orchis incarnata from Hampshire. —A paper was read by Mr. A. W, Bennett, on the reproduction of the Zygnemaceæ, as a solution of the question, Is it a sexual character? De Bary twenty-five years ago, and since then Witlrock, have instanced what they have deemed sexual differences between the conjugating cells, though most later writers rather ignore essential physiological distinctions. Mr. Bennett has directed his investigations chiefly to the genera Spirogyra and Zygnema, and from these he supports the inference of the above-mentioned authors. He finds there is an appreciable difference of length and diameter in the conjugating cells, that deemed the female being the larger. The protoplasmic contents he also finds pass only in one direction, and change first commences in the chlorophyll bands of the supposed male cells, with accompanying contraction of the protoplasmic material. The genera Mesccarpus, Staurospermum, and the doubtful form Craterospemum have likewise been examined, and, though showing differences, yet on the whole substantiate the view above enunciated of cell sexuality.—There followed the reading of notes on the antenna; of the honey bee, by Mr. T. J, Briant, in which he describes the minute structure of the segments, the joints and certain rod and cone like organs, previously referred to by Dr. Braxton Hicks, of highly sensitive function.—A paper was read on the Japanese Languriidse, their habits and external sexual characteristics, by Mr. G. Lewis. He remarks that a representative of the family has been found in Siberia, lat. 46° (L. menetriesi); there are none in Europe, and one is known from Egypt. Others inhabit the Malay Archipelago, Ceylon, and the American continent. The author infers from the geographical distribution of these beetles that they have emanated from a tropical area. Some in the imago state cling to the stems of brushwood; others sit on the leaves of the moist shade-loving plants in the forests, while still others frequent debris on hill sides. Their colours are all dull, their bodies elongate and not structurally adapted for boring. The sexes show peculiar differences in size, and monstrous enlargement and obliquity of the head, volume of tibia, &c.—A paper was read by Prof. P. Martin Duncan on the replacement of a true wall or theca by epitheca in some Serial Coralla, and on the importance of the structure in the growth of incrusting corals. After alluding to the discussions which have takein place regarding the value of epitheca in classification, the author states that one form of this structure is simply protective, and that another form is of high physiological value, for it replaces entirely the usual theca or wall. The anatomy of the hard structures of a Cceloria illustrates the second proposition, for the broad base is covered by an epitheca, within which is no wall or “plateau commun,” the septa, remarkable nodular walls (described in detail), and the columellse arise from the epitheca directly, and it limits the interseptal loculi inferiorly. In a Leptoria the the same replacement of a wall by tpitheca is seen. In incrusting Porites and such Astrseida; as Leptastrsea the majority of the corallites of the colony arise from this basal epithecate structure, and grow upwards, budding subsequently from their sides.

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