The Garden Scolia attacks Oryctes nasicornis; the Two-banded Scolia the Cetonia; the Interrupted Scolia the Anoxia. All three operate below ground, under the most unfavourable conditions; and all three have for their victim a larva of one of the Scarabaeidae, which, thanks to the exceptional arrangement of its nerve-centres, lends itself, alone of all larvae, to the Wasp's successful enterprises.

The slippery surface only half paralyses this strange method of locomotion. We will now place side by side with the Cetonia-grub the larva of the Morning Anoxia, the prey of the Interrupted Scolia. It is very like the larva of the Common Cockchafer.

Nevertheless, let us put the precursor of the Scoliae to the test. What did she do? Being capable of everything, she did a bit of everything. Among its descendants were innovators who developed a taste for tunnelling in sand and vegetable mould. There they encountered the larvae of the Cetonia, the Oryctes, the Anoxia, succulent morsels on which to rear their families.

The Interrupted Scolia experiences the same hunting and surgical difficulties when she attacks, in the crumbling, sandy soil, the larvae of the Shaggy Anoxia or of the Morning Anoxia, according to the district; and these difficulties, if they are to be overcome, demand in the victim a concentrated nervous system, like the Cetonia's.

This precursor, modified by varying circumstances, is supposed to have subdivided herself into ramifications, one of which, digging into vegetable mould and preferring the Cetonia to any other game inhabiting the same heap, became the Two-banded Scolia; another, also addicted to exploring the soil, but selecting the Oryctes, left as its descendant the Garden Scolia; and a third, establishing itself in sandy ground, where it found the Anoxia, was the ancestress of the Interrupted Scolia.

As for the Euchlora, she is not involved in the problem: the larva hunted by the Two-banded Scolia does not belong to her any more than it belongs to the Anoxia. Then with which Scarabaeid does the empty skin which is still unknown to me correspond? The Lamellicorn whom I am seeking must exist in the ground which I have been exploring, because the Two-banded Scolia has established herself there.

If I offer her a Mantis, a Bumble-bee, an Anoxia the equivalent of the common Cockchafer and other dishes probably unknown to her race, she accepts all and any, large and small, thin-skinned and horny-skinned, that which goes afoot and that which takes winged flight. She is omnivorous, she preys on everything, down to her own kind, should the occasion offer.

Before seeing the Scoliae operate, I said, guided solely by the anatomy of the victims, that the Cetonia-, Anoxia- and Oryctes-larvae must be paralysed by a single thrust of the lancet; I even named the point where the sting must strike, a central point, in the immediate vicinity of the fore-legs.

I passed out. I don't know what I said, if anything, and the suit recorder has no playback or eraser. What must have happened is that the suit ran out of oxygen, and I lost consciousness due to anoxia. I dreamed I switched on the radio, but I actually switched on the emergency tank, thank the Lord, and that brought me round.

Such is my logical conviction before making my examination; such also is the result of direct observation. When subjected to the scalpel, the larva of the Morning Anoxia shows me its centres of innervation for the thorax and the abdomen, gathered into a short cylinder, which, placed very far forward, almost immediately after the head, does not run back beyond the level of the second pair of legs.