The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles

The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles

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The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles by Jean-Henri Fabre

Published:

1919

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The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles

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Book Excerpt

thout provoking contractions which would make the Snail let go his support and, at the very least, precipitate him from the tall stalk whereon he is blissfully slumbering. Now any game falling to the ground would seem to be so much sheer loss, for the Glow-worm has no great zeal for hunting-expeditions: he profits by the discoveries which good luck sends him, without undertaking assiduous searches. It is essential, therefore, that the equilibrium of a prize perched on the top of a stalk and only just held in position by a touch of glue should be disturbed as little as possible during the onslaught; it is necessary that the assailant should go to work with infinite circumspection and without producing pain, lest any muscular reaction should provoke a fall and endanger the prize. As we see, sudden and profound anæsthesia is an excellent means of enabling the Lampyris to attain his object, which is to consume his prey in perfect quiet.

What is his manner of consuming it? Does he really eat, that is

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