Extraordinary Flight of Beetles
New members—A. Allan, W. Colenso, F.L.S., James Prendergast, and F. J. Knox, L.R.C.S.E.
1. Dr. Hector called the attention of the meeting to a live Katipo (a poisonous native spider), which had been sent from Wanganui by Mr. Walter
Buller; also to specimens of a Beetle sent from Wanganui by Mr. Duigan; and read a communication recording an extraordinary flight of an army of these beetles, from which the sample had been captured, in the Patea district. The paper stated that they travelled with marvellous speed, having gone over forty miles of country in one night, and that a similar irruption had taken place on the coast in 1863.
Mr. Travers said this Beetle was very like one that made its appearance in Canterbury, the larva of which was most destructive to the grass; and he believed it originally came from Tasmania, where it proved very destructive to grass and crops. The most effectual remedy for the plague in that colony was found to be flooding the earth, as, after the water passed off, the dead larvæ were to be seen in the ditches in incredible quantities. Among some interesting particulars respecting this unwelcome stranger, Mr. Travers said it was nocturnal in its habits, being very seldom seen in the day; and he thought it was much to be regretted that it had found its way across Cook Strait.