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Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703 / Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses : with observations and inquiries thereupon
(MDCLXVII [1667])

Observ. XXXVIII. Of the structure and motion of the wings of flies,   pp. 172-174


Page 174


174                    MICROGRAHPIA.
       a quillyor finny fubftance,confifting of feveral longflender and varioulfly
       bended quills or wires, fomething refembling the veins of leaves;
thefe
       are, as 'twere,the finns or quills which ffiffen the whole Area, and
keep
       the other part diftended, which is a very thin transparent (kin or
mem.
       brane varioufly folded, and platted, but not very regularly, and is
be-
       fides exceeding thickly beftuck with innumerable fmall brifles, which
       are onely perceptible by the bigger magnifying Microfcope, and not
       with that neither, but with a very convenient augmentation of fky-
       light projected on the Obje& with a burning Glafs, as I have elfewhere
       fhew'd, or by looking through it againft the light.
         In fteed of thefe fmall hairs, in feveral other Flies, there are
infinite of
       fmall Feathers, which cover both the under and upper fides of this
thin
       film as in almoft all the forts of Butterflies and Moths: and thofe
fmall parts
       are not onely ffap'd very much like the feathers of Birds, but like
thofe
       variegated with all the variety of curious bright and vivid colours
ima-
       ginable 5 and thofe feathers are likewite fo admirably and delicately
       rang'das to compofe very fine flourifhings and ornamental paintings,like
       urkie and Perfian Carpets,but of far more furpaffing beauty, as is
evident
       enough to the naked eye, in the painted wings of Butterflies, but
much
       more through an ordinary Aficrofcope.
         Intermingled likewife with thefe hairs, may be perceived multitudes
       of little pits, or black fpots,in the exended membrane, which feem
to be
       the root of the hairs that grow on the other fide; there two bodies
feem
       difpers'd over the whole furface of the wing.
          The hairs are beft perceiv'd, by looking through it againft the
light,
       or, by laying the wing upon a very white piece of Paper, in a conve-
       nient light, for thereby every little hair moft manifeftly appears
5 a
       Specimenr of which you may obferve drawn in the fourth Figure of
       the 23. 3scheme, A eB, C D, E F whereof reprefent fome Farts of the
       bones or quills of the wing, each of which you may perceive to be
       cover'd& over with a multitude of fcales, or brifles, the former
A B,
       is the biggeft ftem of all the wing, and may be properly enough call'd
       the cut-air, it being that which terminates and ftiffens the formoft
edge
       of the wing ; the fore-edge of this is arm'd with a multitude of little
       brifles, or Tenter-hooks, in fome ftanding regular and in order, in
       others not; all the points of which are direed from the body to-
       wards the tip of the wing,, nor is this edge onely thus fiing'd, but
       even all the whole edge of the wing is cover'd with a fmall fringe,
       confifding of ihort and more flender brifles.
         This Subjea, had I time, would afford excellent matter for the con-
       templation of the nature of wings and of flying; but, becaufe I may,
       perhaps, get a more convenient time to profecute that fpeculation,
and
       recollect teveral Obfervations that I have made of that particular.
I thall
       at prefent proceed to
Obfcrv.


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