PROCEEDINGS OF UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM. 331 Now, why is it that in three such forms as Podiceps, Colymbus, and Hes-perornis, all undoubtedly powerful div^ers, in the first we should have retained a patella fully as large as the extensive rotular process ; that in the second it has been reduced to a mere flake of bone and an im-mense rotular process retained; and finally, in their ancient ancestor we again find an enormously developed patella with a very considerable process on the tibia ? Such questions will probably only be arrived at, if they are ever an-swered at all, by the most searching investigations into the anatomy, and more particularly the physiology, in such instances as these, of liv-ing birds. Palaeontology in such matters simply offers us the nuts to crack, as of course every vestige of the muscular system has disappeared in our fossil birds. OBSERVATIONS UPON A COLLECTION OP INSECTS MADE IN THE VICINITY OP NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, DURING THE YEARS 1882 AND 1883. By DR. R. W. SHUFSI^DT, U. S. A. While stationed in New Orleans during the autumn of 1882 and spring and the greater i^art of the summer of the ensuing year, all the time that could possibly be spared from other duties I devoted to making a collec-tion of the vertebrates and invertebrates of the region. This collection when brought all together consisted of some 2,500 to 3,000 specimens j circumstances existed, however, that prevented me from bestowing the attention upon it that it deserved, or systematically disposing of the ma-terial so hurriedly brought together. The major part of the insects that were taken were sent unassorted in alcohol to the Agricultural Department of Washington. They num-bered some five or six hundred, and were collected during the times specified over a limited tract of country lying south of, and just beyond, the city limits. Through the kindness of Prof. 0. V. Eiley, I am enabled to present a tolerably complete list of these insects. All of the diagnoses were made under the direction of this gentleman, and I am further under great obli-gations to him for the interest he has taken in the matter, and other assistance so cheerfully given in connection with the collection. The first installment was forwarded on the 27th of November, 1882, the specimens in it having been captured between the middle of the preceding month and that time. On the 5th of December I received from Professor Eiley the follow-ing determinations of this part of the collection : I. COLEOPTERA. Laxandrus rectanguhis Lee. 1 specimen. Diploeliila laticollis Lee. 1 specimen.