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Volume 6, 1873
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Notice of the Occurrence of a Red Spider among the Fruit Trees in the South, and the Disappearance of the Blight

5. “Notice of the Occurrence of a Red Spider among the Fruit Trees in the South, and the Disappearance of the Blight,” by James Morton, communicated by Dr. Hector.

“I have made a discovery this season amongst fruit trees. The Aphis, or Apple Blight, I find, is suppressed or held in check by another minute race of insects, apparently a species of Red Spider (AcaridŒ.) These small insects completely cover the under parts of the branches, like a red rust, and wherever they make their appearance the apple blight does not exist, so much so that trees that I knew to be badly infected with the apple blight six years ago, and largely warted from its action, are now partially clean and this species of Red

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Spider is occupying its place, the blight existing on the extremities of the branches. Of course I have not actually seen this species of Red Spider devour the Aphis, but this I say, where the Red Spider exists there is not an Aphis amongst them. They would require to be watched in an insect-breeding case, which I have not got at present. Should you feel interested in this, and desire me to send you a piece of branch with the Red Spiders on it, I will be glad to do so. I also find the Red Spider on plums and other trees which the Aphis does not inhabit, the trees apparently not suffering from any effects of this Red Spider.”

Mr. W. Travers did not consider this spider to be a new discovery. It had been largely developed during the drought of last year, and the Aphis disappeared. He thought the spider was, if anything, the worse pest of the two.

A Bar of Iron, made from ore at Parapara, Collingwood, was exhibited by Dr. Hector, who described the locality and the nature of the ore.