National Geographic : 1929 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph courtesy U. S. Department of Agriculture PREPARING TO RAISE AN ARMY OF ALLIES TO FIGHT JAPANESE BEETLES These workers in the Moorestown, New Jersey, laboratory of the United States Bureau of Entomology are unpacking material just received from Japan. The shipment contains eggs of a little Tachina fly (see text, page 52) which preys on Japanese beetles in the land of the Mikado. It is hoped that the flies from these eggs will slaughter millions of beetles. The natural-color illustrations of 263 insects in this number of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE are the result of more than three years of research, selec tion, and experimentation by the illustra tions division of The Magazine. The specimens pictured represent most of the insect families to be found in North America. They were selected from the U. S. National Museum's collection of more than a million individuals through the generous cooperation of the experts of the Museum and of the Bureau of Ento mology of the U. S. Department of Agri culture. Each specimen reproduced on the 24 full-page color plates was chosen as the most picturesque and colorful representa tive of its species or family. The subjects selected were placed with care in relaxing jars (a sort of humidor) to render flexi ble their delicate legs, wings, and anten nae, so that they might be "posed" in life like attitudes. After the humidor treat ment, the individuals were grouped ac cording to their scientific relation one to another, and each group was then skill- fully arranged for symmetry and with ap preciation of color contrasts. The minuteness of some of the speci mens, their irreplaceable value in the Mu seum's collection, and the fragile nature of their many anatomical members added materially to the sense of responsibility of the members of the National Geo graphic Society's illustrations staff and to the time required in obtaining the desired results. The 21 color plates of specimens, on each of which is reproduced from 6 to 21 individual insects, were arranged and photographed by Mr. Edwin L. Wisherd, of The Society's photographic staff. Supplementing the photographic rec ords of the actual specimens are the three paintings showing the life history of three representative insect families-the Caddis fly (Plate I), the Bumble-bee (Plate IX), and the Japanese Beetle (Plate XVII). These have been executed in microscopic detail by The Society's naturalist-artist, Mr. Hashime Murayama. FRANKLIN L. FISHER.