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H. Torrexs, Esq.
Secretary, Asiatic Society*
Six,—I have to report upon the specimen of limestone from Darjeeling referred to the Museum by Lieutenant Broome, that it is a very pure stalagmitic limestone, containing ninety-eight per cent, of pure carbonate of lime, the remainder consisting of traces of iron, minute portions of tilex, and some animal and vegetable matter, to which its colour is owing.
£ On a large scale, the produce may be somewhat less if it is found that fragments of other rocks are imbedded in it; ours having one or two small fragments of common serpentine; but this *iil make but little difference in its value as a useful limestone.
3. Ai this is so very pure, and differs Bo much from the kunkurs in appearance, and by the absence of silex and iron, I have called It a stalagmitic limestone. If found in a care, it is possible the original rock may not be far off, and that organic remains will be found beneath the floor of the cavern: both should be carefully searched for.
I am, Sir,
Your obedt. servt.
Calcutta, 4/A May, 1M2. H. tl DDINGTON,
Superintendent, Museum Economic Gtology.
Report of the Superintendent of the Museum of Economic Geology for the month of April.
Mtumm Economic Geology.—We have nothing to report here for the present month, it being useless to undertake any arrangement when we should have to break it up again in the approaching removal of our cases to the rooms downstairs which are to be appropriated to them, and these must Ant undergo considerable repairs.
I have drawn up a Circular, explaining in a popular style the beneficial objects of the institution, with its wants, which our Secretary has sent to the Press, and 1 hope it will be ready to be submitted at our next meeting
Geological and Mineralogical Departments.—We continue our arrangements here, and I am glad to report amongst them, that after a persevering search, the recovery of sixty-eight specimens out of ttTenty-seven, comprising the splendid and unique chronological series of Lavas from Vesuvius, from the Cabinet of the King of Naples, which was presented to the Society by our late President the Honorable Sir Edward Ryan. The catalogue of this series, with a translation, is in the hands of &e Printers. In anticipation also of our now receiving Captain Herbert's catalogues from Mr. Batten, I have commenced arranging his Beries according to their numbers. I am also proceeding with the large Geological series mentioned in my last.
Museum Economic Geology.—The donations have been two bottles Sulphur water from the White Sulphur springs of Greenbriar County, Virginia, by the Agricultural Society.
A specimen of the best German Lithographic Stone, from Messrs. Ballin and Co.
Geohgieal and Mineralogical.—k specimen of silicifled wood from Van Diemen's Land; and
A stalagmitic ball from China Poonjee, from F. Heatley, Esq.
SOfs April, 1842. Superintendent, Museum Economic Geology.
tor these Presentations and Contributions the thanks of the Society were accorded.
A few Instructions for Insect Collectors* By V. Tregear, Esq.
Entomological collections are now-a-days rather numerous in India, and would be more so, if the mode of preserving insects were generally known. There are many better qualified than myself to give instructions on the subject, but as the few directions I am able to give may be useful, I do not hesitate to offer them for the Journal. Independent of its scientific value, a well-preserved collection of insects is an object of attraction and interest to the most apathetic; the elegance and brilliancy of colouring, in some equalling the rainbow hues of the most beautiful birds; and the " shapeless" shape of others, in which they exceed, perhaps, the most fantastic formed monsters of the deep, with the wonderful variety of both colour and form, create those agreeable sensations of surprise and admiration, which constitute a large portion of the feeling called pleasure. Such a collection is not to be formed without trouble and attention, and if the necessary share of the former be bestowed on the first preparation and setting up, but little will be subsequently required. The great annoyances are damp and insects; the former is avoided by making the :ases of dry wood, well varnished, or painting them in dry weather,
* There is a paper "On the preservation of objects of Natural History," in the 4th >ol. of the Journal of the Asiatic Society, by Dr. Pearson, an excellent authority on ill such subjects.
No. 126. New Series, No. 42. 3 n
and keeping them in a dry place; attacks of the latter are prevented by the application of arsenical soap, and having a quantity of camphor constantly in the cases; but this last is an expensive article as it readily evaporates, and some cheap and efficient substitute is a desideratum. The articles a collector must be supplied with are, pins, arsenical soap, a pair of fine pointed scissors, a lot of bristles from a large painting brush, a solution of lac in spirits of wine, a hand net, a collecting box, a drying box, and glazed preserving cases.
The pins are made expressly for the purpose in England, France, and Germany, and are, there, very cheap; their sizes are various, from one inch and a half to three inches long, and of corresponding thicknesses; they are absolutely necessary, for the common pins are too short even for middling sized insects, and too coarse for smaller ones; another great advantage in the proper pins is, their allowing the insects to be kept at a distance from the bottom of the box, by which they are removed somewhat from damp, and placed out of reach of any insects which may breed in the lining.
Arsenical soap is easily made according to the recipe given in Dr. Pearson's paper. [Vide p. 478,] I have made it with native soap, which if of good quality, loses its offensive smell when mixed with tie other ingredients.
The bristles are very useful for strengthening such insects as from slenderness would be liable to break, and for joining broken legs or antenna?; for the latter purpose a bristle dipped in the lac solution is inserted lengthwise into one of the pieces, leaving enough to go similarly into the other piece, the rest is cut off, and then the two joined together. For large insects a slip of bamboo peel is better, as being stronger, and in some cases cotton must be wrapped round it to give the size and shape of the body. I would generally advise the use of one or the other.
The lac solution is made by pouring on the pounded lac a quantity of strong spirits of wine, and placing it in the sun (close corked) till dissolved; it should be thick, and is useful in joining broken insect5, and fastening on limbs.
The net is of gauze, eighteen inches long, and sewn on a wire or rattan ring one foot diameter, the handle of any convenient length.
The collecting box which I use is thirteen inches by eleven, and three