The Variation of Animals and Plants HTML version

everywhere for the sake of ornament." In another and more ancient work, it is said that
"there is not a household where the gold-fish is not cultivated, in rivalry as to its colour,
and as a source of profit," etc. Although many breeds exist, it is a singular fact that the
variations are often not inherited. Sir R. Heron kept many of these fishes, and placed all
the deformed ones, namely, those destitute of dorsal fins and those furnished with a
double anal fin, or triple tail, in a pond by themselves; but they did "not produce a greater
proportion of deformed offspring than the perfect fishes."
Passing over an almost infinite diversity of colour, we meet with the most extraordinary
modifications of structure. Thus, out of about two dozen specimens bought in London,
Mr. Yarrell observed some with the dorsal fin extending along more than half the length
of the back: others with this fin reduced to only five or six rays: and one with no dorsal
fin. The anal fins are sometimes double, and the tail is often triple. This latter deviation of
structure seems generally to occur "at the expense of the whole or part of some other fin;
but Bory de Saint-Vincent saw at Madrid gold-fish furnished with a dorsal fin and a
triple tail. One variety is characterised by a hump on its back near the head; and the Rev.
L. Jenyns has described a most singular variety, imported from China, almost globular in
form like a Diodon, with "the fleshy part of the tail as if entirely cut away? the caudal fin
being set on a little behind the dorsal and immediately above the anal." In this fish the
anal and caudal fins were double; the anal fin being attached to the body in a vertical line:
the eyes also were enormously large and protuberant.
Bees have been domesticated from an ancient period; if indeed their state can be
considered one of domestication, for they search for their own food, with the exception of
a little generally given to them during the winter. Their habitation is a hive instead of a
hole in a tree. Bees, however, have been transported into almost every quarter of the
world, so that climate ought to have produced whatever direct effect it is capable of
producing. It is frequently asserted that the bees in different parts of Great Britain differ
in size, colour, and temper; and Godron says that they are generally larger in the south
than in other parts of France; it has also been asserted that the little brown bees of High
Burgundy, when transported to La Bresse become large and yellow in the second
generation. But these statements require confirmation. As far as size is concerned, it is
known that bees produced in very old combs are smaller, owing to the cells having
become smaller from the successive old cocoons. The best authorities concur that, with
the exception of the Ligurian race or species, presently to be mentioned, distinct breeds
do not exist in Britain or on the Continent. There is, however, even in the same stock,
some variability in colour. Thus, Mr. Woodbury states, that he has several times seen
queen bees of the common kind annulated with yellow-like Ligurian queens, and the
latter dark-coloured like common bees. He has also observed variations in the colour of
the drones, without any corresponding difference in the queens or workers of the same
hive. The great apiarian, Dzierzon, in answer to my queries on this subject, says, that in
Germany bees of some stocks are decidedly dark, whilst others are remarkable for their
yellow colour. Bees also seem to differ in habits in different districts, for Dzierzon adds,
"If many stocks with their offspring are more inclined to swarm, whilst others are richer