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Big She Males Tubes

The Oak Eggar is, in fact, a classic; there is notan entomological treatise but speaks of hisexploits in the wedding-season. They tell us howa mother hatches in captivity, inside a room andeven hidden in a box. She is far away from thecountry, amid the tumult of a big town. Theevent is nevertheless divulged to those whom itconcerns in the woods and the meadows. Guided bysome inconceivable compass, the males arrive,hastening from thedistant fields; they go to the box, tap at it, flyround and round it.

big she males tubes


As I suspected, my solitary cocoon did belong tothe famous Moth. On the 20th of August thereemerges a female, corpulent and big-bellied,attired like the male, but in a lighter frock,more in the nankeen style. I establish her in awire-gauze bell-jar in the middle of my study, onthe big laboratory-table, littered with books,pots, trays, boxes, test-tubes and other enginesof science. I have described the setting before:it is the same as in the case of the GreatPeacock. The room is lighted by two windowslooking outon the garden. One is closed, the other is keptopen day and night. The Moth is placed betweenthe two, in the shadow, some four or five yardsaway.

Let us go upstairs. This time, in broad daylight,without losing a single detail, I once morewitness the bewildering spectacle into which thegreat night Moth initiated me. My study is filledwith a swarm of males, whom I estimate at a glanceto number about sixty, as far as it is possible tomake a count in this seething mass. Aftercircling a few times round the cage, several go tothe open window, but return again forthwith andresume their evolutions. The most eager perch onthe cage, hustle and trample on one another,fighting for the good places. Inside the barrier,the captive waits impassively, with hergreat paunch hanging against the wires. She givesnot a sign of emotion in the presence of theturbulent throng.

Bad luck must not, however, make us forget thelittle that we have learnt. At one sitting, somesixty males came. Considering the rarity of theMonk and remembering the years of fruitlesssearches conducted by my assistants and myself,we stand astounded at this number. With a femalefor a bait, the undiscoverable has suddenly becomea multitude.

The irresistible philtre takes a certain time toelaborate. I picture it as an exhalation which isgradually given off and saturates everything thattouches the fat, motionless creature. When theglass bell stands directly on the table or, betterstill, on a square of glass, the communicationbetween the interior and the outer air isinsufficient; and the males, perceiving nothing bythe sense of smell, keep away, however long theexperiment becontinued. At the actual moment, I cannotsubstantiate this non-transmission through ascreen, for, even if I establish amplecommunication, if I separate the bell from itssupport by means of three wedges, the Moths do notcome at first, however many there may be in theroom. But wait for half an hour, more or less:the alembic of feminine flavours begins itsdistilling and the rush of visitors takes place asusual.

The following tests tell me that any material, nomatter what, can take the place of the leafybranch, that chance inspiration of mine. Sometime in advance, I place the female on a couch ofcloth or flannel, of wadding or paper. I evensubject her to the hardship of a camp-bed of wood,glass, marble or metal. All these objects, aftera contact of sufficient length, have the samepowerful attraction for the males as the motherMonk herself. They retain this property to avarying extent, according to their nature. Thebest are wadding, flannel, dust, sand, in short,porous objects. Metals, marble and glass, on thecontrary, soon lose their efficacy. Lastly,anything on which the female hasrested communicates its virtue to other places bysimple contact, as witness the Moths crowding tothe seat of the cane-bottomed chair after theoak-branch had fallen from it.

Moreover, a second Monk, the Clover Bombyx, nearlyakin to the first and, like him, superbly plumed,sets us an exceedingly perplexing problem. He isfairly plentiful around my place; even in theenclosure I findhis cocoon, which might easily be confused withthat of the Oak Bombyx. I am deceived at first bythe resemblance. Out of six cocoons, from whichI expected to obtain Banded Monks, six females ofthe other species hatch at the end of August.Well, around those six females, born in my house,never a male appears, though there is no doubtthat the tufted ones are present in theneighbourhood.

"We have a friend on the Hong Kong side who brings over test tubes for the samples to go in when we take the blood for [the customer]," the employee said. "Then, as soon as the sample is taken, he takes them back to Hong Kong on the subway." 041b061a72


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