Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, by John White

Appendices

Natural History

The Different Species of Banksia


Plate 18. Banksia Serrata in Bud

The finest new genus hitherto found in New Holland has been destined by Linnaeus, with great propriety, to transmit to posterity the name of Sir Joseph Banks, who first discovered it in his celebrated voyage round the world. It is indeed one of the most magnificent genera with which we are acquainted, being nearly allied to Protea and Embothrium in habit and botanical characters, but sufficiently distinguished from both by its fruit.

Four species of Banksia are described in the Supplementum Plantarum of Linnaeus, specimens of which we have seen in his Herbarium now in the possession of Dr. Smith of Marlborough Street; and we have deposited with the same gentleman specimens of all the plants we are about to describe in this work. Dr. Gaertner, in his admirable book on fruits and seeds, has figured the fruit of several Banksias, some of them described by Linnaeus. Having had his plates, with the names, engraved before he saw the Supplementum of Linnaeus, his nomenclature differs from that of the last-mentioned author; but he quotes his synonyms in the letter-press. We mention this that he may not be accused of wantonly changing Linnaean names, and that for the worse, as it would appear to any one uninformed of this circumstance.


Plate 19. Banksia serrata in Flower

The character of the genus is very badly made out in Linnaeus. Gaertner has greatly corrected it, but it is still a doubt whether the flowers are constantly monopetalous or tetrapetalous, nor have we materials sufficient to remove this difficulty. All we can say is, that Banksia is next in natural arrangement to Protea, from which it is essentially distinguished by having an hard woody bivalve capsule, containing two winged seeds, with a moveable membranous partition between them. It is strangely misplaced in Murray’s 14th edition of Systema Vegetabilium, being put between Ludwigia and Oldenlandia!

Mr. White has sent imperfect specimens and seeds of four species of Banksia, which we have endeavoured to settle as follows:


Plate 20. Banksia Serrata in Fruit

1. B. serrata. Linn. Supp. 126. B. conchifera. Gaertn. 221. t.48.

This is the most stately of the genus. Its trunk is thick and rugged. Leaves alternate, standing thick about the ends of the branches on short footstalks, narrow, obtuse, strongly serrated, smooth and of a bright green colour above, beneath opaque and whitish, with a strong rib running through their middle. A very large cylindrical spike of flowers terminates each branch. Most of the flowers are abortive, a few only in each spike producing ripe seed. The form of the capsules may be understood from the figure, which represents a whole spike in fruit, about half the natural size. The capsules are covered with thick down. Another plate of the plant in flower shews the curved position in which the style is held by the corolla; the increase of the former in length being greater and more rapid than that of the latter.

2. B. pyriformis. Gaertn. 220. t. 47. f. I.

This species was unknown to Linnaeus; and as Gaertner has given no specific character of it, we beg leave to offer the following:

B. floribus solitariis, capsulis ovatis pubescentibus, foliis lanceolatis integerrimis glabris.

Banksia with solitary flowers, ovate downy capsules, and lance-shaped entire smooth leaves.

The capsules are larger than in any other known species. In the figure they are represented somewhat smaller than the life, but the seed is given as large as life.


Plate 21. Banksia pyriformis

3. B. gibbosa. B. dactyloides. Gaertn. 221.t. 47. f. 2.?    B. floribus solitariis, capsulis ovatis gibbosis rugosis, foliis teretibus.

Banksia with solitary flowers; ovate, tumid, rugged capsules; and cylindrical leaves.

We suspect this to be the Banksia dactyloides of Gaertner; but, if so, his figure is by no means a good one; as he is generally very accurate, we are rather inclined to believe ours a different plant, and have therefore given it a new name. The leaves are very peculiar, being perfectly cylindrical, about two inches long and one line in diameter, pale, green and smooth. The flowers we have not seen.


Plate 22. Banksia, and Banksia gibbosa

Fig. 1 of the same Plate represents the capsule of another Banksia, belonging to those which bear the flowers in spikes, but we cannot with certainty determine the species. The capsules are smooth, at least when ripe, and a little shining. We think this is neither the B. serrata, integrifolia, nor dentata of Linnaeus, nor probably his ericifolia; so that it seems to be a species hitherto undescribed. The leaves and flowers we have not seen.

The Peppermint Tree

Eucalyptus Piperita

An Eucalyptus obliqua, L’Heritier Sert. Angl. p. 18?

(See Plate annexed.)


Plate 23. Peppermint Tree

This tree grows to the height of more than a hundred feet, and is above thirty feet in circumference. The bark is very smooth, like that of the poplar. The younger branches are long and slender, angulated near the top, but as they grow older the angles disappear. Their bark is smooth, and of a reddish-brown. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, pointed, very entire, smooth on both sides, and remarkably unequal, or oblique, at their base; the veins alternate and not very conspicuous. The whole surface of both sides of the leaves is marked with numerous minute resinous spots, in which the essential oil resides. The foot-stalks are about half an inch in length, round on the under side, angular above, quite smooth. The flowers we have not seen.

What Mr. White has sent as the ripe capsules of this tree (although not attached to the specimens of the leaves) grow in clusters, from six to eight in each sessile and conglomerated. These clusters are supported on angular alternate footstalks, which form a kind of panicle. Each capsule is about the size of a hawthorn berry, globular, but as it were cut off at the top, rugged on the outside, hard and woody, and of a dark brown colour. At the top is a large orifice, which shews the internal part of the capsule divided into four cells, and having a square column in the center, from which the partitions of the cell arise. These partitions extend to the rim of the capsule, and terminate in four small projections, which look like the teeth of a calyx. The seeds are numerous, small, and angular.

The name of Peppermint Tree has been given to this plant by Mr. White on account of the very great resemblance between the essential oil drawn from its leaves and that obtained from the Peppermint (Mentha piperita) which grows in England. This oil was found by Mr. White to be more efficacious in removing all cholicky complaints than that of the English Peppermint, which he attributes to its being less pungent and more aromatic. A quart of the oil has been sent by him to Mr. Wilson.

The tree above described appears to be undoubtedly of the same genus as that cultivated in some greenhouses in England, which Mr. L’Heritier has described in his Sertum Anglicum by the name of Eucalyptus obliqua, though it is commonly called in the gardens Metrosideros obliqua; but we dare not assert it to be the same species, nor can this point be determined till the flowers and every part of both be seen and compared; we have compared the best specimens we could procure of each, and find no specific difference.

The Eucalyptus obliqua has, when dried, an aromatic flavour somewhat similar to our plant. We have remarked indeed innumerable minute white spots, besides the resinous ones, on both surfaces of the leaves in some specimens of the garden plant, which are not to be seen in ours, and the branches of the former are rough, with small scaly tubercles. But how far these are constant we cannot tell. The obliquity in the leaves, one side being shorter at the base than the other, as well as somewhat narrower all the way up, as in the Begonia nitida of the Hortus Kewensis, is remarkable in both plants.

The figure represents a branch of the Peppermint Tree in leaf: on one side of it part of a leaf separate, bearing the gall of some insect; on the other the fruit above described.

Tea Tree of New South Wales

Melaleuca? Trinervia

This is a small shrub, very much branched. The bark full of longitudinal fissures, and easily separated from the branches. Leaves on short footstalks, alternate, lanceolate, pointed, entire, about three-quarters of an inch in length, smooth on both sides, marked with three longitudinal ribs, and reticulated with transverse veins; they are also full of resinous spots, the seat of an aromatic essential oil. The flowers we have not seen, nor can we determine with certainty the genus of this plant. It most nearly approaches the Leptospermum virgatum of Forster, referred by the younger Linnaeus, perhaps improperly, to Melaleuca.

At least it may safely be determined to belong to the same genus with the Melaleuca virgata Linn. Supp. though a distinct species. The specific difference between them is, that the leaves of our plant have three ribs, whereas M. virgata has leaves perfectly destitute of ribs or veins. Hence we judge the figure and description of Rumphius, Herb. Amboin. V. 2. t. 18., to belong rather to our Tea Tree than to M. virgata; and if this conjecture be right, the plants are still further distinguished by the inflorescence, which in M. virgata is an umbel, whereas in the figure above mentioned the flowers are solitary.

a. Represents a leaf slightly magnified.

Sweet Tea Plant

Smilax? Glyciphylla

This is a tree or shrub whose leaves only we have seen, but from them we judge it to belong to the genus Smilax. For want of the stem we cannot settle its specific character. These leaves are about two inches long, ovatolanceolate, pointed, entire, marked with three longitudinal ribs, and many transverse elevated veins, smooth and shining above, glaucous beneath, with a thick cartilaginous edge of the substance of the ribs. The leaves have the taste of liquorice root accompanied with bitter. They are said to make a kind of tea, not unpleasant to the taste, and good for the scurvy. The plant promises much in the last respect, from its bitter as a tonic, as well as the quantity of saccharine matter it contains.

Leaves of this plant are represented on the same plate with the Tea Tree. A. is the front, B. the back of a leaf.


Plate 24. Tea Tree of New South Wales

The Red Gum Tree

Eucalyptus Resinifera

Floribus pedunculatis, calyptra conica acuta

(See Plate annexed.)

This is a very large and lofty tree, much exceeding the English oak in size. The wood is extremely brittle, and, from the large quantity of resinous gum which it contains, is of little use but for firewood. Of the leaves Mr. White has given no account, nor sent any specimens. The flowers grow in little clusters, or rather umbels, about ten in each, and every flower has a proper partial footstalk, about a quarter of an inch in length, besides the general one. The general footstalk is remarkably compressed (anceps), and the partial ones are so in some degree. We have perceived nothing like bracteae, or floral leaves.

The flowers appear to be yellowish, and are of a very singular structure. The calyx is hemispherical, perfectly entire in the margin, and afterwards becomes the capsule. On the top of the calyx, rather within the margin, stands a conical pointed calyptra, which of the same colour with the calyx, and about as long as that and the footstalk taken together. This calyptra, which is the essential mark of the genus, and differs from that of the Eucalyptus obliqua of L’Heritier only in being conical and acute, instead of hemispherical, is perfectly entire, and never splits or divides, though it is analogous to the corolla of other plants. When it is removed, we perceive a great number of red stamina, standing in a conical mass, which before the calyptra was taken off, were completely covered by it, and filled its inside.

The Antherae are small and red. In the center of these stamina is a single style or pointal, rising a little above them, and terminated by a blunt stigma. The stamina are very resinous and aromatic. They are inserted into the margin of the calyx, so that the genus is properly placed by Mr. L’Heritier in the class Icosandria. These stamina and style being removed, and the germen cut across about the middle of the calyx, it appears to be divided into three cells, and no more, as far as we have examined, each containing the rudiments of one or more seeds, for the number cannot with certainty be determined.

Whether the calyptra in this species falls off, as in that described by Mr. L’Heritier, or be permanent, we cannot tell. From one specimen sent by Mr. White, the latter should seem to be the case; and that the calyx swells and rises around it nearly to the top, making a pear-shaped fruit, with the point of the calyptra sticking out at its apex; but as this appears only in a single flower, and none of the others are at all advanced towards ripening seed, the flower in question may possibly be in a morbid state, owing to the attacks of some insect. (See fig. g.) Future observations will determine this point. We have been the more diffuse in our description on account of the singularity of the genus, and the value of the plant.


Plate 25. Bark of the Red Gum Tree

On making incisions in the trunk of this tree, large quantities of red resinous juice are obtained, sometimes even more than sixty gallons from a single tree. When this juice is dried, it becomes a very powerfully astringent gum-resin, of a red colour, much resembling that known in the shops by the name of Kino, and, for all medical purposes, fully as efficacious. Mr. White administered it to a great number of patients in the dysentery, which prevailed much soon after the landing of the convicts, and in no one instance found it to fail. This gum-resin dissolves almost entirely in spirit of wine, to which it gives a blood-red tincture. Water dissolves about one-sixth part only, and the watery solution is of a bright red. Both these solutions are powerfully astringent.

The plate represents a portion of the bark of the Eucalyptus resinifera, with the fructification annexed.

a. Is a bunch of the flowers the size of nature.
b. The flower, its calyptra, or hood, being removed.
c. Calyx.
d. Stamina.
e. Pistillum.
f. Calyptra separate.
g. The enlarged flower, which we suspect to be in a diseased state.

The Yellow Resin Tree

This is about the size of an English walnut tree. Its trunk grows pretty straight for about fourteen or sixteen feet, after which it branches out into long spiral leaves, which hang down on all sides, and resemble those of the larger kinds of grass or sedge. From the center of the head of leaves arises a single footstalk, eighteen or twenty feet in height, perfectly straight and erect, very much resembling the sugar cane, and terminating in a spike of a spiral form, not unlike an ear of wheat. This large stem or footstalk is used by the natives for making spears and fish gigs, being pointed with the teeth of fish or other animals, some of which are represented, in the plate of implements, from originals now in Mr. Wilson’s possession.

But the most valuable produce of this plant seems to be its resin, the properties of which vie with those of the most fragrant balsams. This resin exudes spontaneously from the trunk, the more readily if incisions are made in its bark. It is of a yellow colour, fluid at first, but being inspissated in the sun it acquires a solid form. Burnt on hot coals, it emits a smell very much resembling that of a mixture of balsam of tolu and benzoin, somewhat approaching to storax. It is perfectly soluble in spirit of wine, but not in water, nor even in essential oil of turpentine, unless it be digested in a strong heat. The varnish which it makes with either is very weak, and of little use. With respect to its medicinal qualities, Mr. White has found it, in many cases, a good pectoral medicine, and very balsamic. It is not obtainable in so great abundance as the red gum produced by the Eucalyptus resinifera.

The plant which produces the yellow gum seems to be perfectly unknown to botanists, but Mr. White has communicated no specimens by which its genus or even class could be determined.

The Crested Cockatoo

Psittacus Cristatus Lin.

I cannot regard this bird in any other view than as a variety of the Psittacus cristatus of Linnaeus, or large white cockatoo, which has been described by almost all ornithologists, and figured in several works of Natural History. The bird seems liable to great variation both as to size and colour; the white in some being of a much purer appearance than in others, and the yellow on the crest and tail more predominant. All the varieties yet known agree in having the beak and legs blackish. The individual specimen here figured seems of a somewhat slenderer form than usual. The colour not a pure white, but slightly tinged on the upper parts, and particularly on the neck and shoulders, with dusky. The feathers on the front white, but the long lanceolate feathers below them, which form the crest, of a pale jonquil-yellow. The tail white above, and pale yellow beneath, as are also the wings.


Plate 26. Crested Cockatoo

The White Fulica

Fulica Alba

Fulica alba, rostro fronteque rubris, humeris spinosis, pedibus flavis? Corpus magnitudine sere gallinae domesticae. Humeri spina parva incurvata. In specimine exsiccato pedes flavi; sed fortasse in viva ave rostro concolores.

White Fulica, with the bill and front red, shoulders spined, legs and feet yellow. The body is about the size of a domestic fowl. The shoulders are furnished with a small crooked spine. In the dried specimen the legs and feet are yellow, but, perhaps, in the living bird might have been of the same colour with the beak.

This bird is the only species of its genus yet known of a white colour. The birds of this genus rank in the order called by Linnaeus Grallae, and most of the species frequent watery places. To this genus belongs the wellknown bird called the Moor-hen, or Fulica chloropus; as also a very beautiful exotic species called the Purple Water-hen, which is the Fulica porphyrio of Linnaeus, and which in shape much resembles the White Fulica now described.


Plate 27. White Fulica

The Southern Motacilla

Motacilla Australis

M. cinera, subtus flava. N.B. Gula fere albida.

Ash-coloured Motacilla, yellow beneath. N.B. The throat inclines a little to whitish.

It is not perhaps absolutely clear whether this bird should be referred to the genus Motacilla, or Muscicapa: the probability, however, is in favour of Motacilla.

The bird is about the size of the Motacilla flava of Linnaeus, or yellow wagtail, but seems of a stouter make. The beak is of a pale colour, and the legs brown. The two middle tail-feathers have the very extremities slightly marked with white.

The genus Motacilla is extremely numerous, and it is not easy to fix upon a proper or expressive trivial name. Such names should, if possible, convey some idea either of the colour or some other circumstance relative to the manners or habits of the animal; but in new species, whose history is unknown, this is impracticable. The trivial name, therefore, of Australis may be allowable, though it cannot be regarded as sufficiently distinctive.


Plate 28. Southern Motacilla

Wattled Bee-Eater or Merops, Female

The female Bee-eater is stouter in the body and in the legs, more brilliant in the plumage, the bill more curved: and the tail cuneated and tipped with white, but shorter than in the male. The feathers on the head are small, each tipped with white, and somewhat erected: it has no wattles, but on the chin the feathers are dark, long, and hang diffusely.

The general colour of the bird is a blackish chocolate, lighter on the breast, and towards the vent; darker on the abdomen and towards the tip of the tail. The feathers on the neck and breast have each a streak of white through the middle. On the wing the outer long feathers are slightly edged with whitish, those of the middle region round-ended and tipped only; and on the upper part of the wing each feather bears a streak down the middle, suddenly dilating at the tip.

The legs yellower than those of the male; claws blackish.

The Crested Goat-Sucker

Caprimulgus Cristatus

C. cinereo-fuscus, subtus pallidus, remigibus caudaque fasciis pallidis numerosis, vibrissis utrinque erecto-cristatis. Corpus supra punctis minutissimis subalbidis irroratum.

Cinereous-brown Goat-sucker, pale beneath; with the long feathers of the wings and tail sprinkled with numerous pale fasciae, and the vibrissae (or bristles on the upper mandible) standing up on each side, in the manner of a crest. The body on the upper part is sprinkled with very small whitish specks.

The birds of this genus are remarkable for the excessive wideness of the mouth, though the beak is very small; in their manner of life, as well as general structure, they are very nearly allied to the genus Hirundo, or swallow, and indeed may be regarded as a kind of nocturnal swallow. They feed on insects, particularly on beetles. The name Caprimulgus, or Goatsucker, was given to this genus from an idea that prevailed amongst the more ancient naturalists of their sometimes sucking the teats of goats and sheep; a circumstance in itself so wildly improbable that it would scarce deserve to be seriously mentioned were it not that so accurate a naturalist as the late celebrated Scopoli seems in some degree to have given credit to it.


Plate 29. Crested Goatsucker

The Scincoid, or Skinc-Formed Lizard

Lacerta Scincoides

This lizard comes nearer to the Scincus than any I am acquainted with, but is still a distinct species.

In the two specimens sent over by Mr. White, one had a process on the upper part of the tail, near the top, almost like a supernumerary or forked tail, but which I rather conceive to be natural; and as this one was a male I am inclined to think that this is peculiar to that sex, which would in some degree have been more clearly made out if the other, which had not this process, had proved a female; but as its being gutted and stuffed before I saw it prevented my examination, this remains still to be proved: but what makes the conjecture very probable is that it is mentioned by Mr. White that some are without and some with this process. Now if it was a monster, arising either from accident, or originally so formed, it would hardly be so common as to be taken notice of. The tail is longer than that of the Scincuses, and not so taper; the animal is of a dark iron-grey colour, which is of different shades in different parts, forming a kind of stripes across the back and tail. The scales of the cuticle are strong, but not so much so as those of the Scincus. Its legs are short and strong, covered with the same kind of scales as the body, but the scales of the feet are not. On the cuticle are small knobs, as if it were studded.


Plate 30. ‘1. Skinc-formed Lizard, 2. Eggs, 3. The Egg as broken, 4. The Young.’]

The toes on each foot are pretty regular; the difference in length not great, and the same on both the fore and hind foot; which is not the case with the Scincus, it having a long middle toe.

There are small short nails on each toe; on their upper surface they are covered with a series of scales, which go half round, like a coat of mail.

Just within the verge of the external opening of the ear on the anterior edge is a membrane, covering about one-third of it, which is scolloped on its loose or unattached edge; this can hardly be called an external ear, nor can it be called the reserve, viz. a valve; but if it is an assistant to hearing, which it most probably is, it should be considered as the external ear.

The teeth are in a row on each side of each jaw, becoming gradually larger backwards. They are short above the gum, and rounded off, fitted for breaking or bruising of substances more than cutting or tearing.

The Muricated Lizard

Lacerta Muricata

L. cauda tereti longa, corpore griseo, squamis carinatis mucronatis. Corpus supra fasciis tranversis fuscis; subtus pallidum. Valde affinis Agamae et Calotae.

L. with long rounded tail, body greyish, scales carinated and sharp pointed. The animal on its upper part is fasciated with transverse dusky bars, and is pale beneath. This species is very nearly allied to the L. Agama and Calotes.

This species measures somewhat more than a foot in length. The general colour is a brownish-grey, and the whole upper part of the animal is marked with transverse dusky bars, which are most conspicuous on the legs and tail. The tail is very long; the scales on every part of the animal are of a sharp form, and furnished with a prominent line on the upper surface; toward the back part of the head the scales almost run into a sort of weak spines; the feet are furnished with moderately strong, sharp claws.


Plate 31. ‘1. Snake, 2. Muricated Lizard.’

The Ribboned Lizard

Lacerta Taeniolata

L. laevis, cauda tereti longa, corpore supra taeniolis albis nigrisque, subtus albo. Affinis L. lemniscatae. Crura supra albo nigroque striata: digiti unguiculati: aures conspicuae: squamae totius corporis laevissimae, nitidissimae, cauda vix distincte striata, subferruginea.

This is a very elegant species. The length of the animal is about six inches and a half; and is distinguished by a number of parallel stripes, or bands of black and white, disposed longitudinally throughout the whole upper part of the body, except that on the tail the bands are not carried much above the base, the remainder being of a pale ferruginous colour. In some specimens a tinge of this colour is also visible on the back; the lower part of the body is of a yellowish-white; the tail is perfectly round, of a great length, and gradually tapers to the extremity.


Plate 32. ‘1. Ribbon Lizard. 2. Broad-Tailed Lizard.’

The Broad-Tailed Lizard

Lacerta Platura

L. cauda depresso-plana lanceolata, margine subaculeato, corpore griseo-fusco scabro. Ungues quasi duplicati. Lingua brevis, lata, integra, seu non forficata; apice autem leniter emarginato.

L. with a depressed lanceolate tail, almost spiny on the margin; the body of a dusky grey colour, and rough. The claws appear as if double; the tongue is short and broad, not forked, but slightly emarginated at the tip.

This Lizard is strikingly distinguished by the uncommon form of its tail, which is of a depressed or flattened shape, with very thin edges, and gradually tapers to a sharp extremity. This depressed form of the tail is extremely rare in Lizards, there being scarcely more than two other species yet known in which a similar structure takes place. One of these is the L. caudiverbera of Linnaeus, in which the tail appears to be not only depressed, but pinnated on the sides. Another species with a depressed tail has been figured by the Count De Cepede, in his History of Oviparous Quadrupeds.

The present species is about four inches and a half in length. The head is large in proportion; and the whole upper surface of the animal is beset with small tubercles, which in some parts, especially towards the back of the head and about the tail, are lengthened into a sharpened point. The lower surface is of a pale colour, or nearly white.

The Blue Frog

Rana Cærulea

R. caerulea, subtus griseo-punctata, pedibus tetradactylis, posterioribus palmatis. Magnitudo Ranae temporariae.

Blue Frog, speckled beneath with greyish; the feet divided into four toes; the hind-feet webbed. Size of the common frog.


Plate 33. Blue Frogs

[Concerning Plate A] Plate A [34]. annexed represents a production of which Mr. White has sent no description, nor can we give any satisfactory account of it. This is said to come from the root of the Yellow Gum Tree, and is a congeries of scales, cemented, as it were, together by the gum. Whether they are the bases of the leaves of that tree, or part of a parasitical plant growing upon it, future observations must determine. The latter supposition seems to be countenanced by the appearance of fibrous roots at the base of this singular production.


Plate 34. Root of the Yellow Gum tree

The White Hawk

Falco Albus

Falco-albus, rostro nigro, cera pedibusque flavis.

White hawk, with black beak, cere and legs yellow.

This species, in shape and general appearance, seems very nearly allied to the bird called in England the Hen-Harrier, which is the Falco cyaneus of Linnaeus. It is very nearly of the same size, and the legs and thighs are of a slender form, as in that species.

The whole plumage is white, without any variegation.


Plate 35. White Hawke

The White-Vented Crow

Corvus Graculinus

Corvus niger, remigum rectricumque basi apiceque caudae albis.

Black Crow, with the bases of the wing and tail feathers, and the tip of the tail, white.

This bird is about the size of a Magpye, and in shape is not much unlike one, except that the tail is not cuneated, but has all the feathers of equal length. The bird is entirely black, except the vent, the base of the tail feathers, the base of the wing feathers, and the extremity of the tail, which are white. The small part of the white base of the wing feathers gives the appearance of a white spot when the wings are closed. The beak is very strong; the upper mandible slightly emarginated near the tip, and the lower mandible is of a pale colour towards the tip. The capistrum reversum, or set of bristles, which are situated forward on the base of the upper mandible in most of the birds of this genus, is not very conspicuous in this species; but the whole habit and general appearance of the bird sufficiently justify its being regarded as a species of Corvus.


Plate 36. White Vented Crow

Fuliginous Peteril

Procellaria Fuliginosa

Procellaria fuliginosa, rostro albido.

Fuliginous Peteril, with whitish beak.

This is probably nothing more than a variety of the Procellaria Æquinoctialis of Linnaeus. Its size is nearly that of a raven. The whole bird is of a deep sooty brown, or blackish, except that on the chin is a small patch of white running down a little on each side from the lower mandible. The beak is of a yellowish-white.


Plate 37. Fuliginous Peteril

Variegated Lizard

Lacerta Varia

Lacerta cauda longa carinata, corpore maculis transversis variis.

Lizard with long carinated tail, the body transversely variegated.

This Lizard approaches so extremely near to the Lacerta monitor of Linnaeus, or Monitory Lizard, as to make it doubtful whether it be not in reality a variety of that species. The body is about 15 inches in length, and the tail is considerably longer. The animal is of a black colour, variegated with yellow marks and streaks of different shapes, and running in a transverse direction. On the legs are rows of transverse round spots, and on the tail broad alternate bars of black and yellow. In some specimens the yellow was much paler than in others, and nearly whitish.


Plate 38. Variegated Lizard

The Long-Spined Chaetodon

Chætodon Armatus

Chaetodon albescens, corpore, fasciis septem nigris, spinis pinnae dorsalis sex, tertia longissima.

Whitish Chaetodon, with seven black stripes on the body. Six spines on the dorsal fin, the third very long.

This appears to be a new and very elegant species of the genus Chaetodon. The total length of the specimen was not more than four inches. The colour a silvery white, darker, and of a bluish tinge on the back; the transverse fasciae, or bands, of a deep black; the fins and tail of a pale brown. The third ray or spine of the first dorsal fin is much longer than the rest.


Plate 39. ‘1. The Pungent Chaetedon. 2. Granulated Balistes.’

Muricated Lizard

Lacerta Muricata. Var.

This variety chiefly differs from that represented in a preceding plate, p. 244, in having the head less distinctly acculeated and the scales on the body not so strongly carinated.

Figure I. in the above-mentioned Plate is a small Snake, about a foot in length, of a white colour, tinged with ferruginous; the body marked by distant black bands, and each scale on the back marked with a small black speck.


Plate 40. Muricated Lizard, Variety

Superb Warblers

Motacilla Superba

Motacilla nigra, remigibus fuscis, abdomine albo, fronte genisque caeruleis.

Black Warbler, with the long feathers of the wings brown; the belly white; the forehead and cheeks blue.

This beautiful species is generally found in the state described in the specific character; but it appears to be subject to great variety, two of which are exhibited; the lower and largest specimen having not only more blue on the head than usual, but also a patch of brilliant blue on each side of the back and a mark of reddish-brown or orange near the shoulders.

The upper specimen is considerably less than that beneath, and has still more blue upon the head; the beak and legs smaller in proportion, darker in colour, and the latter almost black. The head is crowned with a small crest of bright azure; the cheeks and upper part of the back and wings are of the same colour; the lower parts of each brown. The outer feathers of the wing whitish, near the shoulder marked with brown. The head, neck, and breast deep black; abdomen white, faintly tinged with dusky. Tail black, highly cuneated. In this bird the blue is most lucid, composed of short, stiff feathers, resembling fish-scales, with shining surfaces; but it has not the beautiful scapulary of prismatic violet-colour found in the other. Legs, feet, and claws black, and extremely slender.


Plate 41. Superb Warblers

Motacilla, or Warbler

Motacilla Pusilla

M. fusca, subtus pallida, cauda prope apicem fascia fusca.

Brown Warbler, pale beneath, with a band of brown towards the tip of the tail.

This little bird is about the same size with the Superb Warbler, and has evidently some affinity with that species, but (exclusive of the difference in colour) the tail is not in the least cuneated, but even at the end.


Plate 42. Motacilla

Serpents

The species of Serpents are much less easily ascertained than those of most other animals; not only on account of the great number of species, but from the innumerable variations to which many of them are subject in point of colour. Amongst those lately received from New Holland, the following are the most remarkable.

SNAKE No. 1, about three feet and a half in length, of a bluish ashcolour, coated with scales rather large than small, and having nearly the same general proportion with the common English snake, or Coluber natrix of Linnaeus.


Plate 43. Snake, No. 1

SNAKE No. 2, nearly three feet in length, slender, and of a tawny yellowish colour, with numerous indistinct bars of dark brown, and somewhat irregular, or flexuous, in their disposition.


Plate 44. Snake, No. 2


Plate 45. Snake, No. 5

SNAKE No. 5, upwards of eight feet in length, of a darkish colour, varied with spots and marks of a dull yellow: the belly also is of a yellowish colour. The scales are small in proportion to the size of the animal; the tail gradually tapers to a point.

SNAKES. See Plate containing Two Figures.

No. 1. Small, about fourteen inches in length, coated with very small scales, and varied with irregular markings of yellow on a dark brown or blackish ground. It is probably a young snake. No. 2. Small, about fifteen inches in length, and fasciated with alternate bars of black and white.

None of the above Serpents appear to be of a poisonous nature: they belong to the Linnaean genus Coluber; yet No. 5 has some characters of the genus Anguis.


Plate 46. Snakes, No. 1 and 2

Insects

The insects received from New Holland are:

No. 1. The large Scolopendra, or Centipede (Scolopendra morsitans Lin.). The specimens seemed of a somewhat darker colour than usual. See plate of large Scolopendra, etc. annexed.

No. 2. A smaller Spider, of a dark colour; with a small thorax and large round abdomen, and with the joints of the legs marked with whitish.

No. 3. A small species of Crab, or Cancer, of a pale colour, and which should be ranked amongst the Cancri brachyuri in the Linnaean division of the genus.

No. 4. A Caterpillar, beset with branchy prickles, and consequently belonging to some species of Papilio or butterfly.

Lizard Eggs

With the specimens of Lacertae, several eggs were received. They were of an oval shape, and of a livid brown colour, whitish within and not much larger than pease. On opening them the young lizards were extracted, perfectly formed, and in all respects resembling the Scincoid Lizard, except that the tail was longer in proportion. See plate of the Skinc-formed Lizard, Fig. 2, 3, and 4, which are given of the natural size. Fig. 1 represents the eggs in the proportion they bear to the adult specimen.


Plate 47. Insects of New South Wales, viz. ‘1. Large Scolopendra, 2. Spider, 3. Crab, 4. Caterpillar.’

Small Paroquet

Psittacus Pusillus

Psittacus submacrourus viridis, capistro rectricumque basi rubris. Cauda subtus flavescens, basi rubra. Remiges latere interiore fuscae. Magnitudo Psittaci Porphyrionis. Rostrum subflavescens, seu fuscoflavescens Pedes subfusci.

Green Paroquet, with somewhat lengthened tail; the feathers round the beak, and the base of the tail feathers, red. About the size of the violet-coloured Otaheite Paroquet. The beak is yellowish, or brownish-yellow. The feet dusky. The tail feathers yellowish beneath, and red at the base. The wing feathers dusky on the interior margin.


Plate 48. Small Paroquet

Red-Shouldered Paroquet

Psittacus Discolor

Psittacus macrourus viridis, rectricibus basi ferrugineis, humeris subtus sanguineis.

Long-tailed Green Parrot, with the tail feathers ferruginous towards the base, the shoulders blood-red beneath.

This species, which appears to be new, is of that sort generally termed Paroquets. It is about ten inches in length: the general colour of the bird a fine green: the outer edge of the wing, near the shoulders, blue: the edge of the shoulders deep red; the under part the same. On the sides of the body a patch of red: round the beak a few red feathers: long feathers of the wings of a deep blackish-blue, edged slightly with yellow: tail deep ferruginous toward the base, each feather becoming blue at the tip: bill and feet pale brown.


Plate 49. Red Shouldered Paroquet

Cyprinaceous Labrus

Labrus Cyprinaceus

Labrus corpore albescente.

Labrus with whitish body.

The length of this fish was about six inches; the colour whitish; scales large.

From the bad condition of the specimen it was not possible to make so accurate an examination of its characters as might have been wished.


Plate 50. ‘1. Cyprinaceous Labrus. 2. The Hippocampus or Sea-Horse’

Doubtful Lophius

Lophius Dubius

Lophius nigricans, subtus pallidus.

Blackish Lophius, pale beneath.

This fish was about six inches in length; its general colour a very deep brown, almost black; the mouth extremely wide, and furnished with several rows of slender sharp teeth. On opening it many ova were found, which were very large in proportion to the fish.

Southern Cottus

Cottus Australis

Cottus albidus, capite aculeato, corpore fasciis transversis lividis.

Whitish Cottus, with aculeated head, body marked with transverse livid bands.

This fish did not exceed four inches in length, and is sufficiently described in its specific character.


Plate 51. Doubtful Lophius


Plate 52. ‘1. The Southern Cottus. 2. The Flying Fish’]

Doubtful, or Compressed Sparus

Sparus? Compressus

Sparus? Argenteus, compressus.

Sparus? Of a silvery colour, the body much compressed.

The specimen figured was nearly six inches in length; the colour a silvery white; scales of a moderate size, and the body much compressed. It seemed to possess the characters of a Sparus, though they could scarce be determined with sufficient certainty, from the bad condition of the specimen.

Fasciated Mullet

Mullus Fasciatus

Mullus subflavescens, fasciis longitudinalis fuscis.

Pale yellowish Mullet, with longitudinal brown bands. Length about five inches: scales large.


Plate 53. ‘1. Fasciated Mullet. 2. Doubtful Sparus.’

[ON COLLECTING AND CLASSIFYING]

The Non-descript Animals of New South Wales occupied a great deal of Mr. White’s attention, and he preserved several specimens of them in spirits, which arrived in England in a very perfect state. There was no person to whom these could be given with so much propriety as Mr. Hunter, he, perhaps, being most capable of examining accurately their structure, and making out their place in the scale of animals; and it is to him that we are indebted for the following observations upon them, in which the anatomical structure is purposely avoided, as being little calculated for the generality of readers of a work of this kind.

It is much to be wished that those gentlemen who are desirous of obliging their friends, and promoting the study of Natural History, by sending home specimens, would endeavour to procure all the information they can relating to such specimens as they may collect, more especially animals. The subjects themselves may be valuable, and may partly explain their connection with those related to them, so as, in some measure, to establish their place in nature, but they cannot do it entirely; they only give us the form and construction, but leave us in other respects to conjecture, many of them requiring further observations relative to their oeconomy.

A neglect in procuring this information has left us, almost to this day, very ignorant of that part of the Natural History of animals which is the most interesting. The Opossum is a remarkable instance of this. There is something in the mode of propagation in this animal that deviates from all others; and although known in some degree to be extraordinary, yet it has never been attempted, where opportunity offered, to complete the investigation. I have often endeavoured to breed them in England; I have bought a great many, and my friends have assisted me by bringing them or sending them alive, yet never could get them to breed; and although possessed of a great many facts respecting them, I do not believe my information is sufficient to complete the system of propagation in this class.

In collecting animals, even the name given by the natives, if possible, should be known; for a name, to a Naturalist, should mean nothing but that to which it is annexed, having no allusion to any thing else; for when it has, it divides the idea.

This observation applies particularly to the animals which have come from New Holland; they are, upon the whole, like no other that we yet know of; but as they have parts in some respect similar to others, names will naturally be given to them expressive of those similarities; which has already taken place: for instance, one is called the Kangaroo Rat, but which should not be called either Kangaroo or Rat; I have therefore adopted such names as can only be appropriated to each particular animal, conveying no other idea.

Animals admit of being divided into great classes, but will not so distinctly admit of subdivision without interfering with each other. Thus the class called Quadruped is so well marked that even the whole is justly placed in the same class. Birds the same; Amphibia (as they are called) the same; and so of fish, etc.; but when we are subdividing these great classes into their different tribes, genera, and species, then we find a mixture of properties, some species of one tribe partaking of similar properties with a species of another tribe.

Of the Kangaroo

This animal (probably from its size) was the principal one taken notice of in this island; the only parts at first brought home were some skins and sculls; and I was favoured with one of the sculls from Sir Joseph Banks. As the teeth of such animals as are already known in some degree point out their digestive organs, I was in hopes that I might have been able to form an opinion of the particular tribe of the animals already known to which the Kangaroo should belong; but the teeth did not accord with those of any one class of animals I was acquainted with, therefore I was obliged to wait with patience till I could get the whole: and in many of its other organs the deviation from other animals is not less than in its teeth.

In its mode of propagation it very probably comes nearer to the Opossum than any other animal; although it is not at all similar to it in other respects. Its hair is of a greyish-brown colour, similar to that of the wild rabbit of Great Britain, is thick and long when the animal is old; but it is late in growing, and when only begun to grow it is like a strong down; however, in some parts it begins earlier than others, as about the mouth, etc. In all of the young Kangaroos yet brought home (although some as large as a full-grown cat), they have all the marks of a foetus; no hair; ears lapped close over the head; no marks on the feet of having been used in progressive motion. The large nail on the great toe sharp at the point; and the sides of the mouth united something like the eye-lids of a puppy just whelped, having only a passage at the anterior part. This union of the two lips on the sides is of a particular structure, it wears off as it grows up, and by the time it is of the size of a small rabbit, disappears.


Plate 54. Kangaroo

Of the Teeth of the Kangaroo.

The teeth of this animal are so singular that it is impossible from them to say what tribe it is of. There is a faint mixture in them, corresponding to those of different tribes of animals.

Take the mouth at large, respecting the situation of the teeth, it would class in some degree with the Scalpris dentata; [* This tribe includes the Rat, etc.] in a fainter degree with the horse, and ruminants; and with regard to the line of direction of all the teeth, they are very like those of the Scalpris dentata. The foreteeth in the upper jaw agree with the hog, and those in the lower, in number, with the Scalpris dentata; but with regard to position, and probably use, with the hog. The grinders would seem to be a mixture of hog and ruminants; the enamel on their external and grinding surfaces rather formed into several cutting edges than points. There are six incisors in the upper jaw and only two in the lower; but these two are so placed as to oppose those of the upper; five grinders in each side of each jaw, the most anterior of which is small.

The proportions of some of the parts of this animal bear no analogy to what is common in most others. The disproportions in the length between the fore legs and the hind are very considerable; also in their strength, yet perhaps not more than in the Jerboa. This disproportion between the fore legs and the hind is principally in the more adult; for in the very young, about the size of a half-grown rat, they are pretty well proportioned; which shews that at the early period of life they do not use progressive motion.

The proportions of the different parts of which the hind legs are composed are very different. The thigh of the Kangaroo is extremely short, and the leg is very long. The hind foot is uncommonly long; on which, to appearance, are placed three toes, the middle toe by much the largest and the strongest, and looks something like the long toe of an ostrich. The outer toe is next in size; and what appears to be the inner toe is two, inclosed in one skin or covering.

The great toe nail much resembles that of an ostrich, as also the nail of the outer toe; and the inner, which appears to be but one toe, has two small nails, which are bent and sharp.

From the heel, along the under side of the foot and toe, the skin is adapted for walking upon.

The fore legs, in the full-grown Kangaroo, are small in proportion to the hind, or the size of the animal; the feet, or hands, are also small; the skin on the palm is different from that on the back of the hand and fingers. There are five toes or fingers on this foot, the middle rather the largest; the others become very gradually shorter, and are all nearly of the same shape. The nails are sharp, fit for holding. The tail is long in the old; but not so long, in proportion to the size of the animal, in the young. It would seem to keep pace with the growth of the hind legs, which are the instruments of progressive motion in this animal; and which would also shew that the tail is a kind of second instrument in this action. The under lip is divided in the middle, each side rounded off at the division.

It has two clavicles; but they are short, so that the shoulders are not thrown out.

White-Jointed Spider

The species of Spiders, unless seen recent, and in the utmost state of perfection, are not easily distinguished. The present species is most remarkable for the lucid surface of its thorax and legs, which latter are furnished with several long moveable spines, that may be either elevated or depressed at the will of the animal: this, however, is not peculiar to the present species, but is seen in some others. The eyes are eight in number, and are arranged in the same manner as those of the great American Spider, or Aranea Avicularia of Linnaeus.

The colour of this Spider is a clear chestnut brown, except the body, which is a pale brown, with a very deep or blackish fascia on its upper part, reaching about half-way down. The orifice at the tip of each fang is very visible by so slight a magnifying power as that of a glass of two inches focus: this Spider is therefore of the number of those which poison their prey before they destroy it.

The Plate exhibits the back and front view, of the natural size. A. the order in which the spines are placed. The lesser a. two spines enlarged, shewing the bracket on which they turn, and the groove or niche they shut into when closed. C. the fangs magnified.


Plate 55. White Jointed Spider

Wha Tapoau Roo

This animal is about the size of a racoon, is of a dark grey colour on the back, becoming rather lighter on the sides, which terminates in a rich brown on the belly. The hair is of two kinds, a long hair, and a kind of fur, and even the long hair, at the roots, is of the fur kind.

The head is short; the eyes rather prominent; the ears broad, not peaked.

The teeth resemble those of all the animals from that country I have hitherto seen.

The incisors are not continued into the grinders by intermediate teeth, although there are two teeth in the intermediate space in the upper jaw, and one in the lower. The incisors are similar to those of the kangaroo, and six in number in the upper jaw, opposed by two in the lower, which have an oblique surface extending some distance from their edge, so as to increase the surface of contact.


Plate 56. Wha Tapoua Roo

There are two cuspidati on each side in the upper jaw, and only one in the lower; five grinders on each side of each jaw, the first rather pointed, the others appear nearly of the same size, and quadrangular in their shape, with a hollow running across their base from the outside to the inner, which is of some depth; and another which crosses it, but not so deep, dividing the grinding surface into four points.

On the fore foot there are five toes, the inner the shortest, resembling, in a slight degree, a thumb. The hind foot resembles a hand, or that of the monkey and opossum, the great toe having no nail, and opposing the whole sole of the foot, which is bare. The nails on the other toes, both of the fore and hind foot, resemble, in a small degree, those of the cat, being broad and covered; and the last bone of the toe has a projection on the under side, at the articulation. Each nail has, in some degree, a small sheath, covering its base when drawn up.

The tail is long, covered with long hair, except the under surface of that half towards the termination, of the breadth of half an inch, becoming broader near the tip or termination; this surface is covered with a strong cuticle, and is adapted for laying hold.

A Dingo, or Dog, of New South Wales

This animal is a variety of the dog, and, like the shepherd’s dog in most countries, approaches near to the original of the species, which is the wolf, but is not so large, and does not stand so high on its legs.

The ears are short, and erect, the tail rather bushy; the hair, which is of a reddish-dun colour, is long and thick, but strait. It is capable of barking, although not so readily as the European dogs; is very ill-natured and vicious, and snarls, howls, and moans, like dogs in common.

Whether this is the only dog in New South Wales, and whether they have it in a wild state, is not mentioned; but I should be inclined to believe they had no other; in which case it will constitute the wolf of that country; and that which is domesticated is only the wild dog tamed, without having yet produced a variety, as in some parts of America.


Plate 57. Dog of New South Wales

The Tapoa Tafa, or Tapha

This animal is the size of a rat, and has very much the appearance of the martin cat, but hardly so long in the body in proportion to its size.


Plate 58. Tapoa Tafa

The head is flat forwards, and broad from side to side, especially between the eyes and ears; the nose is peaked, and projecting beyond the teeth, which makes the upper jaw appear to be considerably longer than the lower; the eyes are pretty large; the ears broad, especially at their base, not becoming regularly narrower to a point, nor with a very smooth edge, and having a small process on the concave, or inner surface, near to the base.

It has long whiskers from the sides of the cheeks, which begin forwards, near the nose, by small and short hairs, and become longer and stronger as they approach the eyes. It has very much the hair of a rat, to which it is similar in colour; but near to the setting on of the tail, it is of a lighter brown, forming a broad ring round it.

The fore feet are shorter than the hind, but much in the same proportion as those of the rat; the hind feet are more flexible. There are five toes on the fore feet, the middle the largest, falling off on each side nearly equally; but the fore, or inner toe, is rather shortest: they are thin from side to side, the nails are pretty broad, laterally, and thin at their base; not very long but sharp; the animal walks on its whole palm, on which there is no hair. The hind feet are pretty long, and have five toes; that which answers to our great toe is very short, and has no nail; the next is the longest in the whole, falling gradually off to the outer toe; the shape of the hind toes is the same as in the fore feet, as are likewise the nails; it walks nearly on the whole foot. The tail is long and covered with long hair, but not all of the same colour.

The teeth of this creature are different from any other animal yet known. The mouth is full of teeth. The lower jaw narrow in comparison to the upper, more especially backwards, which allows of much broader grinders in this jaw than in the lower, and which occasions the grinders in the upper jaw to project considerably over those in the lower. In the middle the cuspidati oppose one another, the upper piercers, or holders, go behind those of the lower; the second class of incisors in the lower jaw overtop those of the upper while the two first in the lower go within, or behind those of the upper.

In the upper jaw, before the holders, there are four teeth on each side, three of which are pointed, the point standing on the inner surface; and the two in front are longer, stand more obliquely forwards, and appear to be appropriated for a particular use. The holders are a little way behind the last fore teeth, to allow those of the lower jaw to come between. They are pretty long, the cuspidati on each side become longer and larger towards the grinders; they are points or cones placed on a broad base.

There are four grinders on each side, the middle two the largest, the last the least; their base is a triangle of the scalenus kind, or having one angle obtuse and two acute. Their base is composed of two surfaces, an inner and an outer, divided by processes or points: it is the inner that the grinders of the lower jaw oppose, when the mouth is regularly shut. The lower jaw has three fore teeth, or incisors, on each side; the first considerably the largest, projecting obliquely forwards; the other two of the same kind, but smaller, the last the smallest.

The holder in this jaw is not so large as in the upper jaw, and close to the incisors. There are three cuspidati, the middle one the largest, the last the least; these are cones standing on their base, but not on the middle, rather on the anterior side. There are four grinders, the two middle the largest, and rather quadrangular, each of which has a high point or cone on the outer edge, with a smaller, and three more diminutive on the inner edge.

It is impossible to say, critically, what the various forms of these teeth are adapted for from the general principles of teeth. In the front we have what may divide and tear off; behind those, there are holders or destroyers; behind the latter, such as will assist in mashing, as the grinders of the lion, and other carnivorous animals; and, last of all, grinders, to divide parts into smaller portions, as in the graminivorous tribe: the articulation of the jaw in some degree admits of all those motions.

The Tapoa Tafa

Another animal of the same species; only differing from the Tapoa Tafa in its external colour, and in being spotted.


Plate 59. Spotted Tapoa Tafa

The Poto Roo, or Kangaroo Rat

The head is flat sideways, but not so much so as the true Scalpris dentata. The ears are neither long nor short, but much like those of a mouse in proportion to the size of the animal.

The fore legs are short in comparison to the hind. There are four toes on the fore feet, the two middle are long, and nearly of equal lengths, with long narrow nails, slightly bent; the two side toes are short, and nearly equal in size, but the outer rather the largest. From the nails on the two middle toes, one would suppose that the animal burrowed. Their hind legs are long, and it is in their power to stand either on the whole foot, or on the toes only.


Plate 60. Poto Roo

On the hind legs are three toes, the middle one large, and the two side ones short. The tail is long. The hair on the body is rather thin; it is of two kinds, a fur, and a long hair, which last becomes exterior from its length. The fur is the finest, and is composed of serpentine hairs; the long hair is stronger, and is also serpentine, for more than two- thirds of its length near to the skin, and terminates in a pretty strong pointed end, like the quill of a hedge-hog. It is of a brownish-grey colour, something like the brown, or grey, rabbit, with a tinge of a greenish-yellow.

It has a pouch on the lower part of the belly, the mouth opens forwards, and the cavity extends backwards to the pubis, where it terminates; on the abdominal surface of this pouch are four nipples or two pair, each pair placed very near the other.

The Hepoona Roo

This animal is of the size of a small rabbit: it has a broad flat body, the head a good deal resembles that of the squirrel: the eyes are full, prominent, and large: the ears broad and thin: its legs short, and its tail very long. Between the fore and hind legs, on each side, is placed a doubling of the skin of the side, which when the legs are extended laterally is as it were pulled out, forming a broad lateral wing or fin, and when the legs are made use of in walking, this skin, by its elasticity, is drawn close to the side of the animal and forms a kind of ridge, on which the hair has a peculiar appearance. In this respect it is very similar to the flying squirrel of America.


Plate 61. Hepoona Roo

It has five toes on each fore foot, with sharp nails. The hind foot has also five toes, but differs considerably from the fore foot; one of the toes may be called a thumb, having a broad nail, something like that of the Monkey or Opossum: what answers to the fore and middle toes are united in one common covering, and appear like one toe with two nails; this is somewhat similar to the Kangaroo; the two other toes are in the common form, these four nails are sharp like those on the fore foot. This formation of the foot is well calculated for holding any thing while it is moving its body, or its fore foot, to other parts, a property belonging (probably) to all animals who move from the hind parts; such as the Monkey, Mocock, Mongoose, Opossum, Parrot, Leech, etc.

Its hair is very thick and long, making a very fine fur, especially on the back. It is of a dark brown-grey on the upper part, a light white-grey on the lower side of what may be termed the wing, and white on the under surface, from the neck to the parts adjacent to the anus.

Feather of the Cassowary

The feathers of the New Holland Cassowary [Emu] are of a remarkable construction; and may, perhaps, be more easily delineated than described. The specimen is figured of the exact size, and consists of two long slender shafts, extremely flaccid, issuing from one small quill. The feather at the base of each shaft is closely set, soft, and flossy, widening and growing harder gradually to the tip, resembling the texture of a dried plant.

The colour brownish-ash, whitening towards the quill.

It seems incapable of resisting water, or of holding air. This circumstance in the feather, added to the great pliability of the shaft, is a most admirable provision for a bird whose safety is entrusted solely to its feet.


Plate 62. ‘A. Fish Hooks of New South Wales’ and ‘B. A Feather of the Cassowary’

Fish Hooks of New South Wales

Fig. A. represents a hook of the same size, formed of a hard black woodlike substance, neatly executed, and finished with a small knob to assist in fastening it to the line; it is well mounted: the line consists of two strands very evenly laid, and twisted hard; made with a grassy substance dark in colour, and nearly as fine as raw silk: the length of it is shewn by the top of the rod being broken off.

Fig. B is a hook of mother of pearl, formed by an internal volute of some spiral shell, assisted by grinding it a little on one side only: the point of this hook, as well as of the former, seems, to an European, to turn so much as to render them almost useless.

Implements of New South Wales

AA. is a War Spear, formed of a light reed-like substance produced by the yellow gum tree, vide p. 235, which if the ends marked with the letters were joined together would shew its full length: the long pointed head is of hard wood, of a reddish colour, and is fastened into the shaft in the firmest manner by a cement of the yellow gum only.

B. is a Stick, at one end of which is a small peg fastened with the same cement, and forming a hook: the other end is ornamented with the shell of the limpet or patella, stuck on with the gum; and, thus constructed, it is used to throw the spear — in this manner: The shell end of the stick being held in the right hand, and the spear poised in the left, the end of the hook at B. is inserted into a hollow at the foot of the spear at D. and thus thrown with a force similar to that of a stone from a sling: this is shewn more particularly in a reduced figure at the upper part of the Plate, a. b.


Plate 63. Implements of New South Wales; viz. a War Spear, Fish Gig, Hatchet, a Sword, and Basket of New South Wales

CC. is a Spear or Gig, of a substance similar to the former, for striking fish in the water: the true length of which will be known by supposing the parts joined together at the lettered ends: the shaft consists of two pieces, a large and a small one, joined by the gum: and the head is composed of four sticks inserted into the shaft with gum, and tied together above with slips of bark, which are afterwards tightened by little wedges, driven within the bandage: each of these sticks is terminated by the tooth of a fish, very sharp, and stuck on by a lump of the gum cement: the shaft of this instrument is punctured in many places with very small holes, to the pith in the centre, but for what purpose is not known.

H. is a Hatchet, of which the head is a very hard black pebble stone, rubbed down at one end to an edge; the handle is a stick of elastic wood, split, which being bent round the middle of the stone, and the extremities brought together, is strongly bound with slips of bark, and holds the head very firmly, as smiths’ chissels are held by hazel sticks in Europe.

S. is a kind of blunt Sword, of hard wood, like the head of the spear A.

F. seems to be an instrument of offence; it is a stick of the natural growth, with the bark on; the root of which is cut round into a large knob; the end F. is made rough with notches, that it may be held more firmly in the hand.

R. is a Basket, formed by a single piece of a brown fibrous bark. This separated whole from the tree is gathered up at each end in folds, and bound in that form by withes, which also make the handle. The Basket is patched in several places with yellow gum, from which it appears to have been sometimes used for carrying water.

These implements are drawn from exact measurements, and fitted to a scale of three feet, inserted at the foot of the Plate.

Flying-Fish

Exocaetus Volitans.

This fish is so well known to naturalists, and is so frequently seen in every voyage, that it is unnecessary to give a particular description of it. See Plate page 266.

Sea-Horse, or Hippocampus

This animal, like the Flying-fish, being commonly known, a description is not necessary. It is the Syngnathus hippocampus of Linnaeus. See Plate page 264.

Granulated Balistes

Balistes Granulata.

Balistes pinna dorsali anteriore biradiata, corpore granoso. Valde affinis B. Papilloso Linnaei. Corpus albido-cinerascens, papillis parvulis aspersum. Thorax velut in sacculum productus.

Balistes with the anterior dorsal fin two-spined, and the body covered with granules.

This fish is extremely nearly allied to the Balistes papillosus of Linnaeus. The body is of a whitish ash-colour, and covered with small papillae. The thorax as it were produced into a Sacculus beneath. See Plate page 254.

Southern Atherine

Atherina Australis

Au vere distincta ab A. hepseto Lin.? A. pinna ani radiis sedecim. Corpus subferrugineum. Cauda forsicata. Fascia lateralis nitidissima.

Doubtful whether really distinct from the A. hepsetus of Linnaeus. Atherine with the anal fin furnished with sixteen rays. The body is of a subferruginous cast. The tail forked. The lateral line extremely bright.

The Tobacco-Pipe Fish

This fish is so well known, that a particular description need not be given. It is the Fistularia tabacaria of Linnaeus.

Remora, or Sucking-Fish

The Echeneis Remora of Linnaeus

This fish, like the preceding, does not require a particular description; is met with in most seas, and possesses powerfully the faculty of adhesion, by the top of the head: frequently to ships’ bottoms, whence it is named Remora.


Plate 64. ‘1. The Atherine, 2. The Tobacco Pipe Fish, 3. The Remora’

New Holland Creeper, Female

The general colours of the female are the same as in the male, but less vivid; nor has it the white markings on the front of the head and over the eye, but on the cheeks only. The back and breast are black without white interspersions. The abdomen black, streaked with dusky white; the yellow on the wings and tail inclining to an olivaceous green, the feathers in the latter obtusely pointed. A scapulary of brown adorns the shoulders, terminating in a lanceolate shape half way down the back.

In this bird the bill is longer, and the legs and general form stouter than the male.


Plate 65. New Holland Creeper, female

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/white/john/journal/appendix1.html

Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 12:30