THE WHITE-MOUTHED DIGGER WASP Coelocrabro leucostomoides Richards Parasites (see Trans. Vol. VIII Pt. IV p. 184). The flies and ruby-tailed wasps were identified by our member Dr. C. D. Day as follows :â€”The ruby-tailed wasps : Chysididae. Omalus auratus (L.) The flies : Oebalia (=ptychoneura) cylindrica (Fall). HENRY
TWO RANNIES In October, 1954, Dr. Peter Crowcroft gave me two pygmy shrews. I was to note when the eider one died and preserve her body. T h e younger one, who was to be released later, if I so desired, was very active, and I called her Fusspot. She often disturbed the eider, who became aggressive, and became known as Aggie for short. Fusspot poked her little pointed nose into every corner ceaselessly while awake, and often ran short-sightedly into Aggie, who only wanted to remain in the miniature Nissen hut which she made out of dried grass. I was sorry that Fusspot was always chased away from the warm corner so I put another pile of grass in another corner for her, but found that soon all the grass was piled on to Aggie's house. She would get underneath and hump it to her corner by Walking backwards. When it was in position she pushed out her long snout and pulled in the untidy bits. I put in still more grass, and finally Aggie's house became so tall that Fusspot was able to set up a " flat " over Aggie's head. Aggie didn't seem to mind having her head sat on. As they were fighting I decided to separate them, but not before Fusspot developed a sore over the base of her tail on 16th October, apparently as the result of a bite from Aggie. I treated it with methylated spirits, and it healed by 19th October, but when the fĂźr grew again it was grey in colour, and this patch made it easy to identify her. The two shrews were fed upon mealworms, earthworms, spiders caterpillars, and butcher's meat. Spiders seemed to give the biggest thrill. They also like a taste of raw oats. The earth in their Containers was changed every two days, and I handled them in the empty bath so that they would not escape if they slipped through my fingers. Aggie usually tried to bite my thumb but Fusspot was gentle, even when dabbed on the sore place with spirits.
On 5th November, I noticed that Aggie's coat was in poor condition, and on the night of 9th November she died. She had left her nest and was nose down in the side of the tin. I do not think she died of hunger, as I found an earthworm in the earth in her tin which she could have easily have found and eaten. Fusspot, in another tin, was well and fat, and on 12th November I released her in a field, and hoped she would find spiders among the dry roots of a tree-topped bank. She was rather upset by the journey, I think, because she bit me for the first time. I wonder if she still has her grey rump ? PANSY
I was delighted to read of Miss Downing's success in caring for the two pygmy shrews, and thought her observations very valuable. Space does not permit a fĂźll discussion of the implications of these observations, but I too, should be very interested to know whether or not Fusspot still has her grey rump. Most shrews will have moulted by now. Did grey fĂźr grow again on the wound ? Douglas English, who was a keen Student of shrews noted these grey patches, and put them down to poor condition as they were developed in captivity. I have expressed the view elsewhere that they are due to regrowth after wounding, and Miss Downing's acute observations have now borne this out. PETER CROWCROFT, 26th April, 1955.
THE MULLUSCA OF BOBBITSHOLE INTER-GLACIAL BEDS, IPSWICH By A. G .
The fauna is listed in two columns representing two distinct types of deposit, peaty and loamy. The peaty beds include the dark deposits (detrital mud) underlying the yellow-grey loam. All the deposits were sampled and separate lists made of the shells found in them, but as the differences were so slight it was found more convenient to record the fauna under two headings only. The peaty beds yielded 39 species, 25 of which areaquaticandindicateastreamwithbackwaters running through a marsh. Theterrestialformspresentareallmarsh or swamp dwellers with a few shells washed into the deposit during floods. All survive and become established.