SLOSSON'S ELIDIPTERA Elidiptera slossoni Van Duzee This species (Fig. 40) presents some very interesting features and furnishes a hint as to the habits and life history of other mem bers of the genus which should make it possible to acid much of interest in their study.
Hitherto the genus has been represented quite sparingly in col lections and so far as known to the writer nothing has been pub lished as to their life history or habitats.
In 1917 a number of adults and were taken by Professor Drake and sent to me for identification. Additional specimens have been secured the past season and the data now available warrants a record of parts of the observed cycle and quite certain inferences as to other phases.
The adults (Fig. 40) appear in July or early August (one taken July 19, 1920, by Mr. Fivaz) and evidently while recently emerged are found in crevices of rotten wood or under bark of spruce stumps. At time of mating they probably take wing and the females no doubt seek out new and favorable dead trees for egg deposition. Drake reports that a number of the nymphs and adults were found in a spruce stub, 15 or 20 feet high and about 10 inches in diameter, and winch had been dead several years. The eggs must certainly be laid on or under the bark,. doubtless on trees or stumps in process of decay and where the nymphs develop.
The nymphs occur in the soft decaying tissue of dead trees between bark and wood or in crevices of rotten wood. Their food is presumably derived from the juices of the decaying wood tissue or fungi and this probably at a. favorable stage of decomposition during the second, third or fourth year after the cutting of a tree or under natural conditions during the same period after death or injury of a tree from accident or natural causes. Many large nymphs and adults have been taken in quite rotten pine and spruce, Barber Point, 1917.
The nymph shown in the figure (Fig. 40), the only stage yet
found, was taken in early August along with fresh adults and reared individuals show that nymphs mature and adults emerge about August 1.
The nymphs show the head characters of the adult with the vertex proportionately a little wider, slightly wider than long; the pronotal earinac are prominent, the median one disappearing anteriorly; the inner ones curved outward behind, and the lateral ones nearly paralleling the margin. On the mesonotum the five carinae diverge slightly from before backward and the median one is forked posteriorly. The metanotum has three carinae within the bases of the wing pads, corresponding with primary venation. The abdomen is nearly as wide at base as time thorax, broadly ovate behind the segments rather short, six segments being visible.
The body is decidedly flattened, similar to many other insects living under bark. The color is gray-brown with a darker median stripe and border. Length, 5 mm.; width. 2.4 nun.
It may be noted that all recorded American species of the genus are from localities where conifers are found and association with this food supply seems possible. It seems reasonable to expect, therefore, that many other species will be found to have a similar habit, perhaps associated with particular species of Coniferae such mis larch, fir, southern pine, cedar, etc., and special attention to collecting where such opportunity presents may result in sonic interesting material. and a great enrichment of collections. Aside from the biologic or ecologic interest attached to the sneeies. there is perhaps little of importance to the species as there is no evi dence that it can cause injury to growing trees and the effect of its feeding upon the decaying tissue of fallen timber is entirely negligible.