Blue Locust and Faggot Caterpillar with its nests on the Variegated Acacia or Baubel Tree
Artist: Forbes, James
Plate fifty-five from the second volume of James Forbes'"Oriental Memoirs". Forbes(1749-1819) was appointed Collector of Bharuch in the late 1770s. Soon after his arrival there, he had an occasion to witness a flight of locusts 'extending above a mile in length, and half as much in breadth...like a black cloud, cast an awful gloom like that of an eclipse over the garden, and caused a noise like the rushing of a torrent, they were near on an hour in passing over our little territory.'The locusts were known not only to cause famine in one place but also in the areas near the sea where they eventually drowned. Of the Faggot Caterpillar he wrote, 'The baubul tree (Acacia) afforded a curious specimen of insect sagacity in the Caterpillar's nests, suspended by thousands to the branches. This little animal, conscious of its approaching change...instinctively provides itself a strong mansion during that metamorphosis.