H. sapiens, Linn.—As is elsewhere stated, there were no human beings on the Island when it was discovered ; yet in the present day the term “natives” has, it appears, its significant application there. The “natives” of St. Helena are rather tall, slight built, good featured specimens of the human race, with straight hair, good evenly-set white teeth not prone to decay easily, and pleasing countenances; their general colour is a very light brown or copper, sometimes deepening into nearly black, and in other cases becoming almost white. They speak very fair English as their only language, and are not a little proud of their local designation of “Yam stalks.” Their ancestors came from various parts of the world, though chiefly from Europe and Asia, and there is now some difficulty in tracing the prevailing element in their composition, or in saying which predominates, whether it is Portuguese, Dutch, English, Malay, East Indian, or Chinese. Their early history was that of slavery through a couple of centuries, indeed until the year 1832, when they were emancipated by the East India Company purchasing their freedom for a large sum ; but, as might be expected, they possessed none of those qualifications which are absolutely necessary to command success in settlers. The habits of dependence and indolence, as well as ignorance, which so long a period of slavery had engrafted, remain to this day evident, not only in individuals, but pervading the whole character of the place. The “Yam stalks” must not be confounded with the Africans or negroes, as the greatest insult they can hurl at one another is the epithet of “nigger ;” they respect and look up to the Europeans and white population, but consider themselves as occupying a much higher step on the ladder of social position than the Africans, who certainly had the disadvantage of arriving at the Island
just eight years after the “natives” became freemen. They area very quiet, tractable, inoffensive people, amongst whom crime is small, murder unknown, and burglary so little thought of that doors and windows of houses are not secured by bolts and bars, or even locks and keys ; their greatest vice is drunkenness, and their thieving does not go beyond mere pilfering of the poultry yard, the orchard, or the pantry. There is, however, one exception to this, in the partiality some few of them possess for stealing sheep, though it is invariably the case of the hungry man meeting the sheep without a shepherd, and if the sheep were better looked after by their owners this crime would soon disappear. They are very superstitious, and still retain some belief in witchcraft. My servant told me on one occasion that a man ' s protracted illness was caused by an enemy poisoning his tools while he was absent at his meals, and that his recovery was hopeless until his enemy permitted it ; he further informed me that some few persons could reveal the image of the enemy in a bowl of water without mentioning the name, but that such was an expensive art. As domestic servants, when carefully and kindly treated, they are excellent, becoming closely attached to their employers, and exceedingly jealous of whatever belongs to them, but still they are as indolent as most inhabitants of warm countries.
The negroes, or pure West Coast Africans, who constitute about one-sixth of the population, were introduced after the year 1840, when her Majesty 's Government established at St. Helena a court of adjudicature for vessels engaged in the slave trade and captured by British cruisers on the West Coast of Africa. The slaves were landed at Rupert 's Valley, where an establishment for taking care of them was formed, and some thousands of the poor miserable creatures were there restored to health and strength previous to being sent on to our West Indian Colonies. Many of them remained at the Island as domestic servants in the first instance, and, very soon adopting the English language, the tall black hat, and the green cotton umbrella, became settlers also. They are a strong race of men, capable of doing any amount of hard work upon a scanty supply of food, and are very tractable and well-behaved until their jealousy is excited or passion roused, when, in a sort of momentary phrensy, they will commit crime even to murder. With the “natives” they do not blend, but live apart in little colonies or set-
tlements ; not half a dozen instances of intermarriage have occurred during thirty years, and the “natives” still consider themselves superior.
The European or White population is chiefly formed of Government officials, a few clergymen, a small garrison of about 200 men, a certain number of mariners including shipwrecked seamen, and those, with their descendants, who settled there during the East India Company's government, either am merchants, shipping agents, or farmers of the land.
The total number of the population is 6860, of which 4844 were born on the Island, thus giving 152 persons to each square mile or, after deducting 20,000 acres of barren, almost useless land, a proportion of nearly one-and-a-half acres of arable and pasture to each person.
Rabbits, rats, and mice alone represent this order at St. Helena ; the former, or common rabbit (Lepus cuniculus) is plentiful. In colour it is grey or black, and inhabits chiefly the grassy commons round the central portion of the Island, where its warrens abound, but also steals into the gardens of the interior, where it is most destructive. It is considered am game, and protected by law during six weeks in April and May of each year. The cost of a licence to kill rabbits and partridges during that time is 40s. ; but rabbits may be destroyed on private land throughout the remainder of the year without a licence.
M. decumanus, Linn.—Rats abound everywhere, from the water's edge to the mountain-top, building their nests either in holes or in high trees, just am rooks and crows do in England, and are am cunning and destructive as rats in general. They have, most probably, been introduced in ships, and have long been in possession. In 1694 they were recorded as plentiful, and “after destroying everything else, fell to destroying each other.” It might seem a pity that they relaxed in this occupation, were it not for the amusement which Mr. O'Meara says they afforded Napoleon.* He
*An Exposition of some of the Transactions that have taken place at St. Helena since the appointment of Sir Hudson Lowe, in answer to an anonymous pamphlet, entitled, “Facts illustrative of the treatment of Napoleon Bonaparte,” &c. ; by Barry E. O ' Meara, late surgeon to Napoleon, 1819.
writes : “The rats are so numerous at Longwood, and so fearless, that they often assemble, even in the daytime, in flocks to feed when the offal of the kitchen is thrown out, and have not unaptly been compared to broods of young chickens collected about the parent hen. The floors of Longwood were so perforated with their holes as to resemble a sieve. Over these the servants had nailed pieces of tin, to keep them out. Napoleon's dining-room was particularly infested with them ; and it is a fact that one of these noxious animals sprung out of his hat when he was going to put it on one day after dinner. The devastations committed by them were almost incredible, and latterly rat-hunting became a favourite sport at Longwood. The chase was performed in the following manner :—A little before dark the holes were uncovered, and entrance afforded to the game. Soon after, five or six of the servants rushed in, with lights, sticks, and followed by dogs, covered the holes as fast as possible and attacked the rats, who, when driven to desperation, made a vigorous defence, assailed the dogs, and sometimes even the men, by running up their legs and biting them. Sixteen were killed in this manner in less than half an hour in one of the rooms!”
M. musculus, Linn.—The little brown field mouse has few enemies in St. Helena. Birds, excepting the domestic fowl, trouble it not, and dogs and cats very little, so that mice exist everywhere in considerable numbers, in the houses as well as in the rocks and fields. This, with the foregoing species, lies been kindly identified by Mr. Gerrard, of the British Muscum
F. domestica, Linn.—The domestic cat is as plentiful as in other parts of the world ; it also assumes wild habits, existing abundantly on the rocky outskirts of the Island in holes and caves, where, amongst the eggs and young of partridges and other birds, it commits such havoc that sportsmen never lose an opportunity of killing it. Cats abound at a place called Cat Hole, where they live chiefly upon pigeons. There is no record of their introduction.
C. familiaris, Linn.—The domestic dog, which numbers about
250. There may be a couple of fair pointers, a Scotch terrier or two, and perhaps a sheep-dog of decent breed to be found, but the rest are the most mongrel curs that exist anywhere. If over-much education be a reason for dogs going mad, the neglect of it may account for no single instance of hydrophobia ever occurring at St. Helena. For the support of the poor of the Island a tax of 10s. a year is levied upon all dogs over three months old.
E. caballus, Linn.—Horses, of which about 225 are found at the Island, appear to have been a modern introduction, for we read in Viscount Valentia's travels that at so recent a period as 1802, “The fair daughters of the Governor arrived this morning at the castle, drawn in a light carriage by oxen, the only animals adapted to ascend and descend Ladder Hill.”* It seems almost a pity that this mode of transport has not been continued, for the steep roads, with their sharp turns, are far better suited to the sledge carriages of Madeira than the modern carriage and pair of Hyde Park, which now conveys His Excellency the Governor's family up and down the precipitous hills. Horses are imported from the Cape of Good Hope and South America, but the former soon appear delicate, and do not stand either the dampness of the atmosphere or the steep hills, neither are they so suited to the require ments of the place as the slight, short-legged, firmly-built, Islandbred pony. A horse is a necessity, and not a luxury at St. Helena ; all the heavy traffic is carried on by them with carts or drays. A horse may be stabled and kept well for 55l. a year, including the groom's wages ; and a pretty fair stud turns out immediately the arrival of a mail steamer or passenger ship is announced. The charge for a ride to Napoleon's Tomb and Longwood is from 10s. to 12s. 6d. ; but Jack Tar generally manages to have his money's worth out of the poor beast by keeping him the whole day. There is a good race-course, full a mile in length, on Deadwood Plain, where races are held once a year at Christmas-time. Each horse is taxed by the Government at from 5s. to 10s. a year, according to the purpose for which it is kept.
E. asinus, Linn.—Donkeys are far more useful than horses,
* Voyages and Travels to India, &c., in 1802-6 by Viscount Valentia.
but like many other useful creatures, their value is greatly underrated. There are about 400 of them in the Island, and the labouring man could not get on without his donkey or donkeys, which are driven up and down the steep roads in packs of twenty or thirty at a time. Firewood, vegetables, hay, milk, poultry, and all country produce that is not carried by cart or dray, are conveyed into the town on their backs, and they fetch out supplies of food, manure, and other necessaries for the tiller of the soil. It has often struck me that if the donkeys of St. Helena could express a wish, it would he for a branch establishment of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Poor creatures! Up and down those steep roads they travel with that patience which only donkey-nature knows, often having to hear an overload independent of the owner striding across the top of it, while an unfeeling urchin of a boy, with a big stick, whacks the poor brute up the hill, sometimes bleeding, to its home ; there it is unloaded, and, with a kick from its owner, sent to browse upon furze hushes or anything else it can pick up on the nearest common until next day, when it has, perhaps, to go through a similar programme. No attempt is made to improve the breed, and the donkeys of St. Helena are small though hardy animals. Their number has been of late considerably reduced through their being employed to carry in lime from Lot's Wife Ponds and Sandy Bay, so that their price has risen from 10s. to 2l. or 3l. each. They were introduced soon after the discovery of the Island by the Portuguese. Mules are not much used in St. Helena, though a few have lately been imported.
B. taurus, Linn.—Oxen and cattle in number average about 1300, but a larger quantity could he well reared and supported in the Island, and prevent, to some extent, the large importation that annually takes place from the Cape of Good Hope. The St. Helena cow (of which there is no record when it was introduced) is a rather small well-built animal, adapted to the hilly country which it inhabits. It gives a scanty supply of milk, which might, without doubt, be in creased by better feeding than that to which it is generally accustomed.
O. aries, Linn.—Sheep run almost wild over the hilly outskirts of the Island. It has been estimated that there are about 5000,
and that many more could be supported. Nevertheless, they are not much cared for or looked after, and large numbers are annually imported for consumption from the Cape of Good Hope. “Island mutton” is exceedingly good, preferable to that imported from the Cape, and much resembles Welsh mutton both in appearance and flavour.
H. ægagrus, Linn.—Goats are quite wild. It has been estimated that 1000 or more of them exist. They have been one cause of the extinction of the indigenous plants, and, although war has been waged against them, and even their extermination threatened on several occasions, they still remain almost useless and destructive to vegetation.
S. scrofa, Linn.—Few cottages or huts exist without a pig, which, as in the Irish cabin, takes its place as a member of the family. It feeds chiefly on acorns and the roots and stems of Guinea yam, Calla æthiopica, when boiled. It was introduced by the Portuguese when the Island was discovered, with a view to affording food for future voyagers, and there are white as well as black, and long as well as short-nosed pigs.
At St. Helena, the neighbourhood of which affords a good whaling ground, there are five kinds of cetaceous animals commonly known. The exciting, and in many instances highly remunerative, occupation of whaling is, however, exclusively carried on in the South Atlantic by American vessels, at least sixty or seventy of which call at the Island every year. They are ships averaging from 80 to 200 tons burthen, and rendezvous at the Island for refitting, re-provisioning, and transhipping their oil to those vessels which may be homeward bound, about the month of October, previous to their cruising southward towards Tristan d'Acunha. The local whaling ground extends from 30 to 180 miles off the Island, but the vessels are constantly seen cruising close to the land during that portion of the year from April to July, and whales have even been taken within a few miles of the roadstead. Beyond the circulation of money which these vessels calling at the Island necessarily occasion, the St. Helenians derive no profit whatever from this source of wealth, whic h lies at their very doors. One or more whaling shins have been fitted
out from the Island, but the spirit of enterprise which originated the expeditions succumbed to the misfortunes which befel each attempt. The following are the species generally taken by whaling ships for the oil they afford :—
B. mysticetus, Linn.—The Common or Humpback Whale. Occasionally, though rarely, one of these huge creatures is cast ashore dead on the windward side of the Island with several harpoons in its body, showing plainly how it met its fate. An enormous skeleton of one long remained on the eastern coast, a single one of whose vertebrae may now be seen placed in flower gardens to serve for a seat.
P. macrocephalus, Linn.—The Spermaceti Whale.
D. sp. ?—One kind only of Dolphin has been observed, but the male differs somewhat from the female in having a broader head. Captain Snow, of the American whaler Cape Horn Pigeon, says that these creatures do exhibit prismatic colours immediately they are taken on board after capture. They sometimes venture into very shallow water. Some small boys, when bathing, encountered one within a few yards of the landing steps, and, laying hold of its tail, towed it ashore, in spite of its efforts to tow them out to sea. Being thus successful, they carried their prize round the town in triumph, and eventually sold him to me for half-a-crown. His ultimate destination was the British Museum.
P. sp. ?—Two kinds of Porpoise may be seen, tumbling head over heels and indulging in their absurd antics. They yield about one gallon of oil each, but are taken by whalers more for the sake of food. They are distinguished as the “Right Whale Porpoise” and the “Sperm Whale Porpoise.” The latter has a fin on the back ; the former has none.
M. sp. ?—The manatee, or sea cow, as it was called, which once frequented the Island, was probably M. senegalensis, Desm., which is
found near the mouths of the West African rivers, or it may have been M. americanus, Linn., which is found near the mouths of the Amazon, Orinoco, and other South American rivers. It would be difficult now to determine, inasmuch as it has ceased to visit the Island, and the cause for its departure is not known. About half a century ago one or two were seen on shore at an unfrequented spot on the S.W. coast called Manatee Bay; it does not appear that they were abundant, as their arrival was considered of sufficient importance to be recorded, and thus we read that the 28th April, 1691, and the 25th September, 1739, were days on which sea cows were discovered ; on the latter day it was at Old Woman's Valley ; as they yielded a good supply of oil they were when seen seldom allowed to escape. As recently as the year 1810, it is recorded that one came on shore at Stone Top Valley beach, and was shot by Mr. Burnham ; it measured seven feet in length, and ten gallons of oil were obtained from it. Another was also seen in the same year at Manatee Bay.
The feathered portion of the St. Helenian fauna can scarcely be said to be so interesting from a scientific point of view as the rest ; still it possesses one land and at least eight sea species which are indigenous ; the former, the “Wire-bird” of the Islanders, doubtless so named because of the similarity between its legs and bits of thin wire, has been the subject of much confusion, until clearly demonstrated by Mr. J. E. Harting, in the Ibis for July, 1873 ; and it is to that gentleman and to the Editor of the Ibis that I am so much indebted for their kind permission to use the plate of this bird which appeared in that journal. Mr. Harting says : “It frequently happens that a general description of form and colour, intended to indicate a particular species, applies so well to another for which it was not intended, that unless measurements are added, or some marked specific character pointed out, it is impossible to discriminate the two without reference to the type or types which furnished the description.
“A case in point is afforded by the Charadrius pecuarius of Temminck. When that eminent ornithologist described and figured (Pl. Col. 183) a little plover from the Cape of Good Hope, he doubtless imagined that his plate would convey to the eyes of his readers what
he might have failed to make clear by his text; but, unfortunately, there are two species to which, in the absence of all measurements, the description and plate will equally well apply. Not unnaturally therefore they have been applied by different naturalists to different birds, some supposing that Temminck intended to refer to the smaller of the two species, sometimes known as Ch. Kittlitzi, which is gene rally distributed throughout the continent of Africa, and does not visit St. Helena; others maintaining that the description and plate sufficiently indicate the larger bird, which, strange to say, is exclusively confined to that remote Island.
“To clear up the difficulty is the object of the present paper; and, to plunge in medias res, I will first state the conclusions at which I have arrived, and then adduce the reasons which have led me to such conclusions.
“The bird upon which Temminck bestowed the specific name pecuarius is the smaller of the two allied species, which inhabits Africa generally, but is not found in St. Helena. An older name for it is Charadrius varius, Vieillot.
“The St. Helena bird, popularly known in the Island as the 'Wire-bird,' is at present without a scientific appellation ; and I propose, therefore, to name it Ægialitis sanctæ-helenæ.
“Before I could form any opinion on this subject, it was of course material that I should examine the type or types of Temminck's description. Accordingly I visited the rich museum at Leiden, where, although a week was too short to admit of my inspecting all the ornithological treasures, I was enabled to satisfy myself conclusively upon this point, which was one of the chief objects of my visit.
“The types were found duly labelled in Temminck's handwriting, Charadrius pecuarius. They are from the Cape of Good Hope, and belong undoubtedly to the smaller continental species.
“Further than this I saw no specimens of the St. Helena bird in the Museum, and, from the observations made to me at the time by Professor Schlegel, I feel assured that Temminck was not acquainted with that species. On carefully taking the measurements of the specimens which he had labelled, I find that they correspond almost exactly with those of the figure of Ch. pecuarius in the `Planche coloriee,' 183, which may therefore be said to be of life-size, although not so characterized in the accompanying letterpress . . .
“On placing the two species in juxtaposition, their relative sizes appear as follows :—
|AE. varius s. pecuarius||•6||. . .||4•0||. . .||•5||. . .||1•2||. . .||•7|
|AE. sanctæ-helenæ||•8||. . .||4•5||. . .||•7||. . .||1•5||. . .||•95|
“Independently of its larger size, longer and more robust bill and tarsi, the 'Wire-bird' may be distinguished from its continental ally by the colour of the primaries, in which the shaft of the first quill only is white, the other shafts being dusky brown; in the other species all the shafts are mesially white.”
The seabirds are also interesting, inasmuch as they bear so great an analogy to those of the Polynesian Islands in the South Pacific ocean.
In the following list several cage-birds have been included, being those most abundantly kept in the Island, and it being just possible that, like the Java Sparrow, they may also breed there; many other West-African birds are taken to the Island and kept as cage-birds in addition to those mentioned. Not included in this list is another land-bird, a small Finch, of the size of Crithagra butyracea or Euplectes madagascariensis, which during the last year or two has made its appearance in the Island, and been called the “Orange bird;” there is nothing to show how or whence this bird came thither. It is most probably a mixture of the cardinal and canary, and has its name from its breast being of the colour of a ripe orange. It is very scarce.
It is said that two more species also not included in this list exist in the Island, namely, a larger Ground Dove, and a sea-bird called the “Blackbird.” I have not met with either of these, but as a large species of Noddy does exist at St. Helena I am not quite sure that the latter may not be found identical with it, though I am inclined to believe, from the description of it given by fishermen and others who have seen it, that it may turn out to be a black Tern different from the Noddy. Strange birds do occasionally visit the Island, but generally one at a time. In 1869 a small black swallow hovered about the rocky cliffs at Ladder Hill for several days, and a solitary rail, not unlike the Gallinula cristata of Java, was caught at Lemon Valley. There are other instances also of new species appearing for a short time. The opinion that such birds naturally
and unaided migrate from other lands should be received with much caution—the nearest mainland being 1200 miles distant, and, situated right in the heart of the south-east trade winds, is nearly always to leeward of St. Helena; the Cape of Good Hope is nearly 2000 miles, and the South American Continent just as far away ; and the Island being directly in the track of homeward-bound, and not very far from that of outward-bound ships, birds may escape from them and find a resting-place thereon. The following extract from the local records of a period when there was much less traffic by sea, would, however, tend to show that, notwithstanding its isolation, birds have migrated to the Island :—
“17th October, 1727. There being several birds of a different species from those that frequent the Island lately come hither, the bodies of which are as large as a pheasant, their leggs long and black, but their claws opened and not webed like sea-fowle, with long bills, resembling those of a Snipe, but thicker and longer in proportion to the bulk of their bodies, which probably may breed here if not destroyed or disturbed—
“Ordered, that all persons be publickly forbid by advertizement either to kill or disturb any of the said birds or destroy any of their eggs.”
There being no bird answering to this description now in the Island, it may be presumed that in spite of this precaution these visitors did not remain at St. Helena. It is difficult also to account fully for the almost total disappearance of some species, which once were abundant, such as the Frigate-bird, and possibly the entire disappearance of the Albatross, which does not now come so far north as St. Helena; though in Seale's “Geognosy of the Island of St. Helena” it is stated that innumerable skeletons of it, associated with those of the Tropic-bird, lie buried from ten to ninety feet deep in earthy beds near Hold-fast Tom and Sugar Loaf. I have not found any of these remains, though, in justice to Mr. Seale, I must add that I have not been able to spend much time in searching for them.
Many attempts have been made from time to time to introduce new birds. American mocking, as well as English song birds, have been imported,* but without success, until three years ago when I
*In 1852, thrushes, blackbirds, larks, and starlings were let loose ; and in 1865-67, through the kind assistance of Mr. E. L. Layard, I turned loose some Cape pheasants, Francolinus.
took out to the Island a carefully selected lot of English birds, com prising twenty-six London sparrows, five green linnets, seven blackbirds, and six thrushes. These were turned loose at Plantation House, but the sparrows immediately migrated to the houses and more inhabited parts near the town, where they soon increased in number. The other birds also were fairly established before I left the Island in 1871, and the song of the thrush was not uncommon in the country woods at early morn. Sparrows were introduced with the hope that they might assist in destroying the white ants, and that they may render some assistance in this matter seems very probable.
It is with thanks that I have to acknowledge the assistance of Mr. E. L. Layard, and Mr. R. B. Sharpe, in identifying the following species:—
E. astrild, Linn.—Averdevat. Hab. South Africa. One of the most abundant field-birds in the Island, which may be seen in flights of a hundred or more at a time, especially in the neighbourhood of hay-fields as the grass-seed is ripening; it is by no means a timid bird, but behaves much like the common English sparrow in frequenting the doors of country houses to pick up crumbs and the like. It builds in high trees, generally preferring the Scotch fir and Botany-Bay willow (Acacia longifolia), and consequently suffers much by high winds blowing the nests down ; the nest is spherical in form, about seven inches in diameter, with an almost closed tubular entrance on one side, and is generally built of grass and feathers, lined with cotton and wool.
Averdevats are caught in large numbers, and a small trade carried on with them between the natives and ships calling at the Island ; they are sold at two or three shillings a dozen, according to the demand.
P. oryzivora, Linn.—Java Sparrow. Hab. Java. A tolerably abundant bird, inhabiting the low rocky lands on the northern side
of the Island. These birds are frequently seen hopping about in pairs, and also in flights in the interior when the corn is ripening. It is not many years since they were introduced, and they appear to thrive well and to be increasing in numbers.
V. paradisea, Linn.—Widow Bird. Hab. West Africa. Imported as a cage-bird from the West Coast of Africa.
E. madagascariensis, Linn.—Cardinal. Hab. Madagascar, Mauritius. A common field-bird, where it may be seen associating with Crithagra butyracea, and in all probability breeds with it. It is not plentiful, but maybe seen occasionally in flights of a hundred or more when the corn is being reaped. It is caught by the natives and sold to passengers on board ship. It changes its plumage regularly from red to brown every year. This bird has a habit of frequenting those parts of the Island where the common flag (AnthoIyza æthiopica) grows ; it will sit perched on the long flower-stalk enjoying the honey, sucking it through an aperture which it bites at the bottom of each long tubular flower
C. canaria, Linn.—True Canary. Hab. Canary Islands. Bred in cages ; and recently a few of this species have been seen in a wild state near The Briars.
C. butyracea, Linn.—Canary. Hab. South Africa. Next to the averdevat, the most abundant field-bird in the Island, and it is to be regretted that its numbers are diminishing, very probably owing to the trade in birds carried on between the natives and shipping. The note of this bird is less shrill and much sweeter than that of the real canary ; perched on the branch of a tree, it will on a summer's morning sing unceasingly for hours. It associates with the cardinal and averdevat, and is particularly fond of fruit, especially ripe peaches.
G. religiosa, Linn.—Mynah. Hab. India. This bird was introduced in the year 1829, and has not multiplied to any extent :
It is still to be found inhabiting the Peepul trees (Ficus terebrata) in Jamestown, but is rare.
P. pullaria, Linn.—Love-bird. Hab. West Africa. As a cage-bird.
P. erithacus, Linn.—Grey Parrot. Hab. West Africa. Largely imported from the West Coast of Africa, and becomes domesticated, but does not breed in the Island.
P. docilis, Vieill.—Green Parrakeet. Hab. West Africa. Kept as a cage-bird.
M. undulatus, Shaw.—Shell Parrot. Hab. Australia. Kept as a cage-bird.
C. sulphurea, Gm.—Lesser Yellow-crested Cockatoo. Hab. Moluccas. A few kept as pet birds.
L. domicella, Shaw.—Crimson Lory. Hab. New Guinea ? Kept as a cage-bird.
C. livia, Linn.—Rock Dove. Hab. Europe. Abundant in the Island ; existing both in a wild and a domestic state. Wild Pigeons frequent chiefly a place called the Waterfall, a perpendicular cliff about 300 feet in height, situated inland about two miles and a half from the sea, and take their daily flight to the cornfields of Longwood or Broadbottom for food.
G. tranquilla, Gould.—Ground Dove. Hab. New South Wales. Abundant all over the Island. Generally to be seen in
pairs, inhabiting both the tall firs and other trees on the highest land, as well as the rocky plains lower down.
? Caccabis, Kaup.
? C. chukar, J. E. Gray.—Partridge. Hab. Northern India. The existence of this partridge in St. Helena is mentioned in Cavendish's “Travels” as early as the year 1588, where it is stated :—“ There are also upon this Island a great store of partridges, which are very tame, not making any great haste to fly away, though one come very near them, but only run away and get up into the cliffs. They differ very much from our partridges which are in England, both in bigness and also in colour.” Like the pheasant, this bird is protected by game-laws, and only allowed to be shot during three months of the year. It abounds on the rocky outskirts of the Island, and only comes inland to feed in the cornfields. Partridge-shooting in St. Helena is very fatiguing work, the ground to be gone over being very rough and precipitous ; and it is quite necessary to have two parties, one at the bottom of the valley and one at the top of the enclosing hills, in order to be sure of any sport at all. The birds being also very wild, and the coast very rugged, it is exceedingly difficult to get at them. They generally make their nests in the ledges of rock and in the samphirebushes (Salsola salsa) on the open barren plains. Cats are their great enemies, and destroy both eggs and young. Although there appears to be no record to show whence the partridge was introduced to St. Helena, it is most probably the chukar-partridge of Northern India ; and as it differs somewhat in plumage, possibly change of climate or food may have produced the variation. A closer examination of the bird, however, is desirable.
P. torquatus, Gm.—Ring-necked Pheasant. Hab. China. Cavendish mentions pheasants being found in St. Helena as early as 1588, in the following words :—“There are likewise no less plenty of pheasants in the Island, which are also very big and fat.” They still exist abundantly, inhabiting the interior of the Island, and
quite maintain the characteristics mentioned by Cavendish. They are protected by game-laws, which permit them to be killed, on payment of the licence, for six weeks in the summer or autumn of each year : and hundreds of them are generally killed during one shooting season. They find plenty of covert, and generally make their nests in the long tufty fields of cow-grass (Paspalum scrobiculatum). There is much fear of these beautiful birds being exterminated through poaching, which of late years has become common.
G. bankiva, Temm.—Common Fowl. Hab. India. Reared abundantly in the Island ; and on the high lands exists in a state almost as wild as pheasants. The Spanish, large black-and-white Malabar, and other breeds are kept.
P. cristatus, Linn.—Pea-Fowl. Hab. India. None now remain in the Island ; but I include it here because it once existed in a wild state. It is said that pea-fowl inhabited the high lands and ridges, under cover chiefly of the indigenous plants ; but the farmers found them so destructive to their gardens, that they took every opportunity of killing them ; consequently, about half a century ago they were exterminated.
M. gallopavo, Linn.—Turkey. Hab. Mexico. The existence of the Turkey in St. Helena dates back as far as 1588. Cavendish says, “We found, moreover, in this Island, plenty of Guinea-cocks, which we call Turkeys.”
N. meleagris, Linn.—Guinea Fowl. Hab. West, Africa. Partly domesticated and partly wild, having recently been much encouraged in the Island, where it inhabits the high land.
*Æ. sanctæ-helenæ, Harting.—Charadrius pecuarius, Layard, Ibis, 1867, p. 251; Birds S. Africa, p. 297, 1867; Newton, Ibis, 1867, p. 251, note; Baker, Zoologist, 1868, p. 1475 ; Melliss, Ibis, 1570, p. 104; Harting, Ibis, 1873, p. 260. The “Wire Bird”
| J.G Keulemans, lith.
||M & N. Hanart, Imp.
|L. Reeve & Co. London.|
is a true native of the Island. It chiefly frequents the outskirts, and is generally to be seen running about on the hot stony plains more or less covered with wire-grass (Cynodon dactylon). It feeds upon beetles and a small snail (Succinea sp. ?) found adhering to and hiding under the rocks and stones with which the ground is partly covered. It is rarely, but occasionally, seen inland, sometimes in pairs, sometimes in flocks of five or six. It lays, in the summer months of December and January, two eggs, in colour grey with black markings. It is stated, upon the pretty good authority of several persons long resident in the Island, that this bird makes no nest, but lays its eggs in dry cow-dung on the exposed open ground ; it slightly covers them over, but does not sit upon them,* merely returning occasionally to see that they are safe, and to take care of the young birds as soon as they are hatched. The colour of the eggs so much resembles the material in which they are laid and the dry wire grass, that it is difficult to distinguish them without careful search. After heavy rain the Wire Bird may be seen frequenting and running along the edges of the pools of water ; but generally it finds few ponds now in the Island to indulge its wading propensities ; this deprivation does not appear, however, to interfere with its happiness, for it is very doubtful if it ever leaves the Island.
A. ferus, Linn.—Domestic Goose. Hab. Europe. Reared in the Island.
A. boschas, Linn.—Domestic Duck. Hab. Europe. Reared abundantly in the Island.
C. moschatas, Linn.—Muscovy Duck. Hab. South America. A few have been imported into the Island.
*P. glacialoides, A. Smith.—Right-whale-bird. Two were
*Mr. Harting considers that this must be a mistake, and that the bird only covers its eggs to hide them in its absence, as is the case with Gallinula chloropus, Podiceps minor, and other species.
caught with an ordinary fishing-hook and line, in October, 1868, off Speery Island ; but it is rare.
Thalassidroma ?, Sw.
*T. melanogaster ?—Mother Carey's Chicken. A small species of petrel frequenting the sea around the Island, but not very abundant ; lays in November.
Sula ?, Briss.
*S. sp. ?—Booby. This bird is seldom found on the Island, but frequents the neighbourhood. It is often seen from shipboard near the land, but I have not had an opportunity of examining a specimen.
*T. aquilus, Linn.—Man-of-war-bird. Although there is a part of the south-west coast designated “Man-of-war Roost,” deriving its name from this bird, and there is still living evidence of its having once frequented even the landing-steps at Jamestown, it is seldom now to be met with, nor is it easy to assign a reason for its disappearance from the Island.
*P. æthereus, Linn.—Tropic-bird. Very abundant on the southern and eastern, or windward coasts of the Island, which, being furthest away from the haunts of man and also more precipitous than other parts, are well adapted to the bird's peculiar habit of dropping itself down from a ledge in order to enable it to rise on the wing, a feat which it is unable to accomplish when sitting on the ground. It inhabits holes in the perpendicular face of the cliffs, from one to two thousand feet above the sea, and goes out regularly in the early morning to fish for food, returning homewards about three or four o'clock in the afternoon. At this time of the day Tropic-birds are easily shot ; and it is to be regretted that these beautiful and peaceful creatures suffer so much persecution as they do for the sake of the plumes they afford for ladies' hats. Tropic-bird-shooting at St. Helena is accomplished by taking up a position on the ledges above their holes and nests, while a boy is
sent down into the valley or ravine below to pick up the birds as they fall. Cats are great enemies to these birds, as well as to the game-birds in the Island, by preying on the young.
*S. fuliginosa, Gmel.—Egg-bird. Not very abundant, but inhabits George's and Speery Islands, with other rocky islets off the coast, in considerable numbers. Egg-birds do not remain all the year at St. Helena, and probably migrate to Ascension, nearly seven hundred miles distant, where they are to be found in tens of thousands, and are so tame and plentiful at a spot called “Wideawake-Fair” that they may be knocked down by hundreds with a walking-stick. They are there protected for the sake of the eggs, which form an article of food with the inhabitants. They arrive in St. Helena at the end of the year, and lay in January, February, and March. Much risk of life is run in obtaining the eggs, which are brought to the market, and by some persons are considered a delicacy equal to plovers'. These birds seldom, if ever, come near the inhabited parts of the Island.
*G. candida, Wagl.—White-bird. One of the most abundant sea-birds in the Island, in numbers perhaps next to the Noddy. It associates intimately with the Tropic-bird, but comes more inland, building its nest in rocky cliffs and columnar basaltic dikes, such as Lot, Lot's Wife, and others situated several miles from the sea-coast ; occasionally it is seen flying high over the central part of the Island. Its curiosity is very remarkable ; it is easily attracted by a white object, and will come within a foot or two, often in a disagreeable manner, peering into the face of a person wearing a white hat or some white article of clothing.
*A. stolidus, Linn.—Noddy-Tern. A less shy and retiring species than the other sea-birds, generally frequenting the roadstead, where, in the neighbourhood of ships at anchor, it may be seen sitting on the surface of the water or on boats. It inhabits principally the cliffs of the islets, such as Egg Island, where it breeds in
swarms. It does not appear to associate with either the Tropic or the White-bird, but is one of the most abundant species at St. Helena.
H. frenatus, Schleg.—A small brown harmless lizard, about four inches in length, which lives under stones and old timber in the warm lower parts of the Island. It seldom enters houses unless in pursuit of flies or scorpions, but is plentiful about the neighbourhood of Jamestown, where in the evening its loud chirp is frequently heard.
*C. viridis ?, Schn.—Turtle are taken at St. Helena, generally on the surface of the water, near the leeward coast ; about six or eight of a very large size are caught and brought to market during the year.
*C. imbricata, Schweig.—The Hawk's-bill Turtle, which is of so much value on account of the tortoiseshell of commerce being obtained from it, is occasionally caught on the leeward coast, but it is rare. It is a native both of American and Asiatic Seas.
T. indica,? Gm.—Two of these very large tortoises have, it is said, for no one knows when they were introduced, lived at Plantation for a century or more. They are remarkably strong, easily carrying a man and walking with him a considerable distance. Unwieldy and ugly as they are, they appear to enjoy their uninterest ing life in travelling about the garden and grounds, but always return to their hole in the earth, under cover of a tuft of thick long grass on the lawn. They have not bred in the Island.
Occasionally a small imported species of Tortoise is seen in the Island, but they do not appear to live long.
There being no snakes or alligators, the other orders of this class are unrepresented at St. Helena.
There are no less than seventy-five different kinds of fishes at St. Helena, but they are all marine. Although there are brooks and running streams which fish might inhabit, there is no record of the East India Company, or any one since their time, having endeavoured to introduce fresh-water fishes, and the only importation in this respect is characterized by the little gold fish Cyprinus auratus, which was doubtless taken to the Island from China, and is still met with occasionally in garden ponds, as well as in glass globes on sitting-room tables.
A collection of the St. Helena fishes had never been made until I presented mine to the British Museum ; and fortunately it fell into the hands of Dr. Albert Gunther, who, with his well-known ability and care, examined and described sixty-five,* including one new genus and sixteen species which had hitherto been unknown to science. These seventeen may therefore be considered as quite peculiar to the place, and to them it seems to me admissible to add, as natives, thirty-one more, which, though found elsewhere, are so closely identified with the Island, through inhabiting the rocky shores in shallow water, as to merit a distinction from some twenty others which are inhabitants of deeper water and are common to tropical and Atlantic seas.
Nine species of the St. Helena fishes are found also in the West Indies ; and others, amongst those in my collection, have also been taken as far off as Pondicherry, Japan, Australia, Panama, Zanzibar, Madeira, and the Mediterranean.
So far, the examination of the fish fauna of the Island has progressed, but there are doubtless many hidden treasures still in those waters surrounding it to repay the future naturalist who undertakes to search for them. Seven more, which were not in my collection, are known to exist—viz., two varieties of the albicore, the baracoota (which, with mackerel and the former, constitutes the chief food of the population), the bream, the Roman-fish, the bread-fish, and the
* Proceedings of Zoological Society of London, March 26, 1868, and April 8, 1869 ; also Catalogue of Fishes in the British Museum, by Dr. Albert Gunther, vol. viii.
cod. These last four are now rarely seen, simply, I believe, through the indolence of the fishermen.
But with all this bountiful supply of good fish, the visitor to St. Helena cannot fail to be astonished at the indifference with which it is regarded. The fisherman there has no storms or angry seas to battle with, but still there is no system of fishing, and there is no fishing trade. Beyond a very partial and scanty contribution to the supply of food for the six or seven thousand inhabitants, no use is made of the fish or profit derived from it.
In the Monthly Register of the year 1810, it is recorded, and the authority is reliable, that in the month of October, 3613 pounds of mackerel, 11,453 pounds of albicore, and 528 pounds of ground fish, that is the best table fish, were taken and brought into the market ; so that, during one month, the fishing at St. Helena yielded nearly seven tons of fish, not only good for food, but of the finest quality. It is not very probable that the fishes, weary of the neglect to catch them, through succeeding years, or missing the good cheer of the Honourable East India Company, have packed up their traps and gone elsewhere; but on the contrary, having had everything their own way for half a century, it is most probable that there are more fishes in the sea at St. Helena now than there were in the year 1810. The simple fact is that, in 1874, no fishery exists, and that if it did, and the fishes were properly sought for, a greater abundance than the yield of 1810 would be the result. This would not only materially assist the distressed population of the place, by affording a supply for home consumption, but also a very profitable article of export in the form of salted, dried, and otherwise cured fish.
With means, lying at their very door, which in other countries would be and are turned to profitable account, the natives of St. Helena are curiously regardless of it. The very fish of which upwards of 11,000 pounds were taken at St. Helena in one month, is the same as the Tunny fish, which, in the Mediterranean and along the southern coasts of France, is the source of so large a trade.
The small desultory amount of fishing which is now carried on at St. Helena is with the hook and line only, either from the shore or from small rowing boats which venture only some short distance out to sea. Most of the natives fish for themselves ; they run down to the sea shore, or the “fishing-rock” as they term it, spend a night there and bring back enough fish for a few days' food, and if
they cannot go they send the wife or child to perform a similar errand. Those men who prefer exclusively to follow the noble calling of fishermen number about eighty or ninety, but they are a class who through years past have lived away from civilization ; their wives and children occupying small miserable huts, or nearly inaccessible caves along the rocky shores, where they are altogether far removed, partly through their occupation and partly through their long-acquired habits of indolence and demoralization, from any beneficial influences. The men themselves, although there are some few exceptions, are for the most part satisfied to bring in just sufficient fish as will afford food and obtain a supply of Cape wine for a few days, when, after indulging in excess in the latter, and recovering from their half-stupefied state, they proceed out again for the same purpose.
With the present materials it would be almost impossible to accomplish anything to improve the fishery at St. Helena. It needs, however, but a small amount of capital, with suitable boats and tackle, and good steady fishermen with European energy, to make it successful; so great a prejudice exists, however, through the indolence of the present fishermen, that I doubt if any resident would undertake its management ; and until it is done by the Government, it is scarcely likely that a St. Helena fishery can become a source of profit by yielding an article of commerce.
There are cod-banks close to the Island,* and in the year 1810, it is recorded that codfish of 9½ lbs. weight were caught in 111 fathoms, off Lemon Valley. Such fish are never seen now, neither are the boats or men capable of going out to seek for them.
*C. brasiliensis, Barnev.—The Deep-water Brown Mullet,
*The banks that have already been discovered are four in number, as follows:—New Ledge, about six miles S.S.W. of the Island , with soundings of 25 to 45 fathoms and a bottom of rock and sand. Speery Ledge, about 4 miles nearer to the shore than the last, in 3 ½ or 4 fathoms water. Barn Ledge, about 2 miles off Prosperous Bay, in soundings of 4 to 16 fathoms; and Goodwin's Ledge, in soundings of 50 to 80 fathoms, about 3 miles distant from the shore on the leeward aide of the Island. The first three positions are to windward, and the weather often boisterous, so that the small fishing-boats now in use cannot remain long near them in safety and consequently they are unfrequented.
which has also been taken in the West Indies, may be caught throughout the year, and is good for eating.
*H. fronticinctus, Gthr.—Although this fish is of a bright yellow colour, it is somewhat remarkable that it goes by the local name of Deepwater Green-fish. It is fair eating, and peculiar to the Island. A figure of it is given in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society for March 26, 1868, p. 228.
*S, impetiginosus, Mull. & Trosch.—The St. Helena Jack is likewise a native of the West Indies, and may he caught at any time in very shallow water along the rocky shore, where it inhabits holes to protect it from sharks and other enemies. It is an extremely good table fish, but so delicate that in hot weather it will scarcely keep fresh for twenty-four hours. It is one of the most abundant fish in the Island market.
*R. saponaceus, Bl. Schn.—The Lathercoat of St. Helena, so called from the lather that it produces when rubbed in the bands like a piece of soap. It inhabits the rocky shore in shallow water, but is not taken for food. It is also found at the Cape of Good Hope, the West Indies, and Cape Verde Islands.
Priacanthus, C. & V.
*P. boops, Forst.—The Deep-water Bull's-eye, a large and excellent table fish, taken in 100 fathoms water generally all the year through. It is quite peculiar to the locality.
*P. sp. ?—The Bull's-eye inhabits the shallow water along the rocky coast, and in the summer months of December to March is very plentiful. It is an exceedingly good fish for food. Bull's-eye fishing by moonlight is a favourite sport—perhaps not lessened by the anticipation of fried bull's-eyes for breakfast. It is quite peculiar to the Island , and differs from the other species by being half the size.
*A. axillaris, Val.—The Red Mullet of St. Helena is also
| J. C. Melliss, delt.
||E. W. Robinson, Lith.
| 1 DELPHINUS....................sp....................
2 SERRANUS IMPETIGINOSUS............
| 4 CHÆTODON SANCTÆ HELENÆ......
5 SARGUS CARPENSIS...........................
6 SCORPÆNA MELLISSII.......................
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found at the neighbouring Island of Ascension. It is a deep-sea fish, generally taken through the year, and is good for food.
*P. telescopium, Risso.—The Black Mullet is also obtained in the Mediterranean and neighbouring parts of the Atlantic. It is rare at St. Helena, but is caught throughout the year in shallow water on the coast, and used for food.
*C. sanctæ helenæ, Gthr.—The Cunning-fish is quite peculiar to St. Helena, and is one of the most beautiful little creatures ever seen. All the year round it inhabits the shallow water on the coast, and is so tame that amongst the boats at the landing-steps it may be seen through the clear water, its pearly hue, mounted by bright yellow fins, making it a most conspicuous and pretty object.
*C. dichrous, Gthr.—The Bastard Cunning-fish is a very similar species, but marked across the body with dark bands. It is peculiar to St. Helena , but comparatively rare. A figure of it is given in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society for April, 1869, p. 238.
*S. capensis, Smith.—The Old Wife of St. Helena, found also at the Cape of Good Hope and Ascension Island, is abundant throughout the year, and is an excellent table fish. It inhabits the shallow water round the coasts in large numbers.
*C. fasciatus, C. & V.—The Granny Fish, also obtained at Pondicherry, is not at St. Helena taken for food, it being of insignificant size.
*S. mellissii, Gthr.—Quite peculiar to St. Helena, where it is called Sand or Deepwater Gurnard. It is not considered good for
food, but is eaten by some of the natives who are able to overcome the prejudice against its extreme ugliness.
*S. scrofina, C. & V.—The Mail or Rock Gurnard is also found in Brazil. At St. Helena, it inhabits the shallow water around the coast, and may be taken throughout the year, but is not much esteemed as food.
Sebastes, C. & V.
*S. nigropunctatus, Gthr.—This splendid fish, the Deep-water Jack, peculiar to St. Helena, is excellent as food. It is caught throughout the year in 80 to 100 fathoms of water, and generally found to be dead when brought to the surface, being killed by hauling it up through so great a depth.
*M. jacobus, C. & V.—Bastard Soldier, not very abundant at St. Helena, also found at the West Indies and Brazil.
*H. longipinne, C. & V.—The Soldier of St. Helena, also found in the West Indies, is taken along the shore in shallow water during the summer months. It is one of the best table fish.
P. nobilis, Lowe.—The Beard-fish is also found at Madeira ; it inhabits deep water, and is rarely taken at St. Helena.
X. gladius, ? Linn.—The Sword-fish, which occurs also in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Seas, is sometimes taken from deep water off St. Helena.
*A. chirurgus, Bl.—The Trooper of St. Helena. A fine fish, but rarely taken, though it inhabits shallow water near the shore. It is also found on the Atlantic coasts of tropical America and Africa.
| J. C. Melliss, delt.
||E. W. Robinson, Lith.
| 1 SEBASTES NIGROPUNCTATUS.......
2 HOLOCENTRUM LONGIPINNE.........
3 SERIOLA LALANDII............................
| 4 LICHIA GLAUCA.................................
5 SCOMBER COLIAS..............................
6 SALARIAS ATLANTICUS.................
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C. crumenophthalmus, Bl.—Peculiar also to tropical seas and called Horse Mackerel at St. Helena, where it is not very abundant but is taken for food.
C. dentex, Bl. Schn.—This fish, of wide range from the Mediterranean to the coast of Brazil, is at St. Helena known as the Cavalley, and is one of the best table fish, being indeed the salmon of St. Helena. It is taken in considerable numbers chiefly during the summer months around the coast in not very deep water; it varies in length from 9 inches up to 2 or 3 feet.
*C. hippos, Linn.—The Coal-fish of St. Helena, also a native of tropical seas, is more scarce than the Cavalley, and is esteemed a finer table fish. It is rare, perhaps not more than one or two being taken in the year, and is considered a delicacy in consequence, though really differing little in flavour from the last species. It inhabits the shallow water close to the shore.
*C. muroadsi, Schleg.—In its full grown state the Kingston, in its smaller state the Stonebrass, of St. Helena, also found at Japan. It is generally taken in the summer months after Christmas, in shallow water near the shore. It is not so abundant as the mackerel, but is associated with it in the market.
S. lalandii, C. & V.—The Yellow Tail of St. Helena is obtained also in the Atlantic, at Japan and Australia ; it inhabits shallow water near the shore, is less rare than the Coal-fish, but not so abundant as the Cavalley. It is taken of various sizes, from 10 inches to 3 feet in length, and forms one of the best table fish.
*L. glauca, Linn.—This pretty little fish, when first taken from the water, resembles a piece of polished silver, hence its name of Silverfish. It is very abundant in shallow water round the rocky coast, and is a very good table fish. It is also found at the neighbouring island of Ascension, in the Mediterranean, and in the Atlantic generally.
Auxis, C. & V.
A. rochei, Risso.—Mackerel Bonita. A deep-water fish ; very
abundant. It forms a considerable portion of the poor man's food, and is a fish common to tropical seas.
*S. colias, Gm.—This species of Mackerel is peculiar to the North Atlantic, where almost any quantity may be taken from shallow or deep water throughout the year, though sometimes it is more plentiful than at others. It is excellent eating, being quite as fine as the English mackerel, and forms one of the chief articles of food with the natives of St. Helena.
Thynnus, C. & V.
T. thynnus ?, Linn.—There are three varieties of albicore, called respectively the Long Fin, the Bastard, and the Coffrey, which constitute one of the chief articles of food with the residents. It is the same as the Tunny-fish of the Mediterranean. At St. Helena it inhabits deep water, and is taken by means of hook and line throughout the year, many of them being as large as 3 or 4 cwt. in weight. It is in the winter months that they are most plentiful. It is well known in that part of the world as “St. Helena beef,” and I have known people to praise the excellence of “the veal cutlets” after having partaken of fried albicore ! It is curiously sold in the market at so much per cut, three or four pence sufficing to secure a cut or slice weighing several pounds. There are various ways of cooking and making it very palatable, and for a curry there is no better substitute.
E. naucrates, Linn.—The Sucking-fish, peculiar to the tropics, is sometimes taken at St. Helena, adhering to sharks, sun-fish, and other deep-water creatures, but is not used for food.
Thyrsites, C. & V.
T. prometheus, C. & V.—Also a Madeira fish, and at St. Helena called the sight Serpent. Fishermen speak of two kinds of serpent-fish, that which they catch at night being black, and that during the day brown in colour. They are not eaten.
A. pinniceps, C. & V.—A small fish, striped with brown like a
tiger, common to tropical seas, but apparently without a local name at St. Helena.
*A. multiocellatus, var. Gthr.—A small species of a reddish line, very like the other ; rare at St. Helena ; also found in the Caribbean Sea.
*S. atlanticus, C. & V.—This curious little black creature may be seen in the pools on the rocky seacoast, darting about rapidly like a flash of lightning. It is in consequence most difficult to capture, and has earned for itself the name of Devil-fish.
*A. coloratura, Mull. & Trosch.—The Trumpet-fish ; long, thin creatures, quite useless for food, but, nevertheless, pretty, inasmuch as they occur in a variety of colours, such as brown, black, red, yellow, and variegated ; also found in the West Indies.
ORDER ACANTHOPTERYGII PHARYNGOGNATHI.
*P. leucostictus, Mull. & Trosch.—The Bastard Cavalley Pilot of St. Helena ; also found in the West Indies. A small fish not taken for food.
*G. saxatilis, Linn.—The most delicate little fish that is eaten at St. Helena, where it is named, from the bands across its body, Five Finger. It exists in considerable numbers in ponds along the rugged coast, and is generally considered to be in season during the months of June and July; also found in the West Indies.
*H. insolatus, C. & V.—The Bastard Five Finger of St. Helena is a small fish, not very common or frequently taken. It also occurs at the West Indies and on the coast of Peru.
*H. marginatus, Castel.—A small fish called the Cavalley Pilot, found also on the coasts of Brazil and California.
Cossyphus, C. & V.
*C. pectoralis, Gill.—The Parrot-fish of St. Helena inhabits the rocky sea coast in shallow water. It is not used for food. It also occurs on the Pacific coasts of Central America (?) and at the West Indies.
Novacula, C. & V.
*N. sanctæ helenæ, Gthr.—Although the colour of this fish is light purple, it is curiously and commonly called at St. Helena, where it is quite peculiar, the Sand or Deep-water Green-fish.
Julis, C. & V.
*J. sanctæ helenæ, C. & V.—The Green-fish of St. Helena is quite peculiar, and, in the shallowest water round the coast, exists in great numbers throughout the year, though most abundant in summer. It is a most beautifully coloured fish, and esteemed as good eating, but most annoying through its greedy propensity of seizing on a bait directly it is thrown into the water.
*S. strigatus, Gthr.—The Rock-fish of St. Helena is peculiar to the spot, and inhabits the shallow water around the rocky coast. Its colours are most brilliant, and as variable as they are beautiful, but it is not used for food.
*P. dalwigkii, Kaup.—The Skulpin of St. Helena is also found at Madeira. It is a deep-water fish, taken at a depth of 80 or 100 fathoms at any time throughout the year, but is not generally used for food.
*R. sp.?—The Flounder is a small, unimportant species, although peculiar to the Island. It is taken close to the shore in shallow water.
| J. C. Melliss, delt.
||E. W. Robinson, Lith.
| 1 NOVACULA SANCTÆ HELENÆ......
2 JULIUS SANCTÆ HELENÆ................
3 SCARUS STRIGATUS..........................
| 4 PHYSICULUS DALWIGKII................
5 SAURUS MYOPS.................................
6 BELONE LOVII......................................
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Saurus, C. & V.
*S. atlanticus, Johnson.—The Hock-spear of St. Helena ; found also at Madeira and Zanzibar.
S. myops, Forst.—The Sand-spear of the Island is common to tropical seas. Both of these species are good as food, but not very abundant, and are too bony to be popular, excepting with the labouring people
E. cyanopterus, C. & V.—This species of Flying-fish is a large one, generally measuring eighteen inches in length, and therefore probably a more acceptable morsel to its pursuer the porpoise, which chases it until it flies ashore and falls powerless on to the stony beach. It is also found at Brazil.
*B. lovii, Gthr.—Pike-fish ; inhabits the shallow water close to the rocky shore ; also found at Cape Verde Islands.
C. vulgaris, Cuv. var. Nigra.—The Common Conger Eel, which is found in the seas of Europe, South America, East Indian Archipelago, Japan, and Tasmania, also takes its place in considerable numbers at St. Helena ; where it attains a large size, and often when caught and brought into a boat is a formidable antagonist, requiring a considerable thumping and pounding about the head before it is conquered. It is generally taken in about 100 fathoms of water, and is rather popular as food.
*C. mellissii, Gthr.—The Silver Eel is not very abundant, but is esteemed as food. It is peculiar to the Island.
*O. regius, Rich.—Generally known as Sea Snakes. They are of no use as food. Specimens of these creatures were brought to Europe by Captain Cook, but as he had not recorded the locality whence he took them it remained unknown until my collection of fishes reached the British Museum.
*M. compressus, Gthr.—The Red Eel, of the Islanders is very commonly taken in about eight or nine fathoms water and used for food. It is peculiar to the Island.
M. flavopicta, Kaup.—The Large Speckled Conger is perhaps the most abundant of this class of fish, and is taken in considerable quantities in deep water. Salted and grilled, it forms one of the chief articles of food to the poor.
M. moringa, Cuv.—The Common Conger is abundant, and, like the last species, is taken for its value as food, at a depth of eight or nine fathoms.
*M. sanctæ helenæ, Gthr.—The Bird-eye Conger is another species, also taken for food. It derives its local name from the external marks on its skin, and is peculiar to the Island.
*M. unicolor, De la Roche.—The small Brown Eels, called Griggs, are caught close in shore in shallow water, where they lie in holes in the rocks for any bait that may chance to come in their way.
*O. quadricornis, Linn.—The Hog or Trunk-fish is, with the following five species, quite unfit for food. It is also found in the West Indies, and is not very common at St. Helena.
*C. reticulatus, Linn.—An enormous creature, about two feet in length, frequently taken close in shore, and called the Lantern-fish ;
so named from the use made of its horny skin after the contents are removed and it is well dried.
*T. cutaneus, Gthr.—The Bottle-fish is also found at the Cape of Good Hope.
*T. sanctæ helenæ, Gthr.—The Bastard Hog-fish has been found also at Japan.
Orthagoriscus, Bl. Schn.
O. sp. ?—Sun-fish are taken in deep water off the Island by whaling ships, chiefly for the sake of the oil which their livers afford, but they are seldom, if ever, now captured by the Islanders.
*B. buniva, Lacep.—The File-fish, so called from the resemblance to a file which it wears on its back. It is of no use as food.
*H. sp. ?—Called the Sea Horse from the striking resemblance between its head and that of a horse. This pretty little bright red creature is occasionally brought up from a considerable depth by fishermen's lines and boats' moorings.
C. sp. ?—The Common Shark attains a length of fifteen or sixteen feet. Sharks prowl about the coast and bays, even approaching close to the landing-steps in search of prey. Few accidents, however, have been caused by these creatures, and as bathers are not over-cautious, it may be through some distaste for the St. Helenians, one of them having, it is said, a long while ago, swallowed a soldier, with great-coat, musket, and bayonet, just as he fell from his post as sentry, and, suffering so much discomfort, was easily captured next day.
C. glaucus, Linn.—The Blue Shark, of small size, is occasionally taken. It generally inhabits tropical seas.
C. obscurus, Lesueur.—The Mackerel Shark is often brought to the market, and the poorest people consider it fair food.
L. glauca, Mull. & Henle.—The Dog-tooth Shark, which occurs at Java, Japan, and the Cape of Good Hope, is also occasionally taken at St. Helena.
In Conchology the Island does not offer a very wide field for the naturalist's researches, but it affords one of extreme interest. The extinct land-shells, although described as having some affinity with those of the Polynesian Islands, Central America, Africa, Mozambique, and the Seychelles, are for the larger part unique, and unmistakably point to the individuality of the Island and its nonconnexion at any time with the existing continental lands of Africa or America. The amount of dredging that has yet been accomplished off the Island is very small, but the treasures it has yielded to the scientific world are quite sufficient to encourage the enthusiastic naturalist. My own collection of shells, now in the British Museum, has been made almost without the aid of dredging, the marine species having been picked up on the beach or taken from the rocks a short distance below high water. I have therefore been careful to distinguish those which I found in a living state, because, until the rest have been found in a similar condition, there exists a probability of their having been thrown overboard from ships. I am most fortunate in being able to record the examination of the collection by so eminent an authority as Mr. J. Gwyn Jeffreys, who, in the Annals of Natural History for April, 1872, gives a list of the species, and writes as follows “With the assistance of my friend, Mr. McAndrew, I have examined a collection of shells made by Mr. J. C. Melliss at St. Helena. Most of the marine shells were picked up on the beach, and are consequently in bad condition. The only specimen procured from deepish water (about fifty fathoms) is Ostrea cristagalli ; and this is covered with two kinds of stony coral, which Professor Duncan refers to Sclerohelia hirtella and a species of Balanophyllia. The land-shells of St. Helena have been already noticed by the late Mr. G. B. Sowerby in the Appendix to Mr. Darwin's work on Volcanic Islands, as well as by Mr. Blofeld and
the late Professor E. Forbes in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, for August, 1852. In the opinion of the lastnamed author 'a closer geographical relationship between the African and American continents than now maintains is dimly indicated' by the marine mollusks of St. Helena ; and 'the information we have obtained respecting the extinct and existing terrestrial mollusks of this isolated fragment of land would seem to point in the same direction, and assuredly to indicate a closer geographical alliance between St. Helena and the west [? east] coasts of South America than now holds.' And in the Report of the British Association for 1851 will be found an abstract of a paper by the same distinguished naturalist, entitled, 'On some Indications of the Molluscous Fauna of the Azores and St. Helena.' It is here stated that 'the marine mollusks [of St. Helena ] would seem to point to the submergence of a tract of land probably linking Africa and South America before the elevation of St. Helena. Along the sea-coast of such a tract of land the creatures common to the West Indies and Senegal might have been diffused.' I am not quite satisfied with this hypothesis, and I believe that more information is needed to support it. Some of the land-shells of St. Helena are European, and may have been introduced by the agency of man; others are peculiar to the Island. A few of the marine shells are Mediterranean, while the greater number are well-known inhabitants of the Indian Ocean and the West Indies ; all these may have originated anywhere. But it must be borne in mind that St. Helena is separated from Africa and South America in every direction by very deep water, which is nowhere less than 2000 fathoms or 12,000 feet. It therefore seems scarcely probable that such an abyssal and extensive tract of the sea-bed could have been dry land or 'sea-coast,' in a geologically recent period, so as thus to account for the diffusion of littoral species such as Mytilus edulis, M. crenatus, and Littorina striata. I should be rather inclined to attribute the present distribution of the marine fauna of St. Helena (not to a supposed continuity of land between Africa and South America in that or any other direction, but) to the action and influence of the great Agulhas Current, which issues from the Indian Ocean and flows round the Cape of Good Hope northwards towards St. Helena, and thence past Ascension to the West Indies. The partial correspondence between the Mollusca of the Indian Ocean and of the Mediterranean may have been owing to the Guinea
Current, as well as to a passage which formerly existed across Africa in the line of the Sahara—a very wide tract, which certainly was submerged during the quaternary period. I must admit, however, that our information as to the marine Mollusca of the SouthAtlantic region, including St. Helena, is very scanty and unsatisfactory. The only dredging that has ever, to my knowledge, been attempted off St. Helena was made by Dr. Wallich in 1857, on his return home from India ; and this was at a depth of from twenty to thirty fathoms. It produced a few small shells, which Dr. Wallich kindly gave me. Many of these appear to be undescribed species. The promised circumnavigation expedition, under the auspices of the Royal Society, will doubtless enable us to learn something of the SouthAtlantic fauna.
“Mr. Edgar Smith will describe such of the species, and those dredged by Dr. Wallich, as are new to science.”
Of the land-shells eleven species are now found in a living state, the rest are all in a more or less subfossil condition, embedded in the superficial soils of the upper parts of the Island, varying at heights of 1200 to 1700 feet above the sea, and entirely confined to the north-eastern quarter of the Island. Mr. Darwin, who visited the Island thirty-eight years ago, attributes their extinction possibly to the loss of food and shelter they experienced by the destruction of the native woods which occurred during the early part of last century, when the old trees died and were not replaced by young ones, these being destroyed by the goats and hogs, which had run wild in numbers from the year 1502.* The state of the shells and the positions in which they are now found on the barren parts of the Island seem to indicate that such was the case with the last surviving members of the family, but I am inclined to date the commencement of their decline to a more ancient period—viz., that time when those parts where the shells are now found were swamps clothed with vegetation and such elements as were essential to the existence of Bulimi, but which, as the Island became smaller through the encroachments of the sea, lost their moisture by drainage and consequently with it their vegetation and suitability to sustain snail life.
These beds of extinct land-shells, which occur chiefly on Flagstaff
* Journal of Researches. By Charles Darwin, M.A., F.R.S., p. 582.
Hill and The Barn, appear to have been noticed first by Mr. Seale,* who thought the shells were of marine origin ; and this opinion was shared by Lamarck and others for some time, but their true character was subsequently discovered. The late Professor Edward Forbes, F.R.S., in reference to ten species of them, writes as follows :†—
“Of five subfossil Bulimi, the affinities of two are decidedly and remarkably South American. The Bulimus auris-vulpina is unlike any old-world form, and its relations must be sought for in the Brazilian B. bilabiatus, and probably B. melanostoma and its allies. For allies of the equally peculiar Bulimus Darwinians we must also go to Brazil and compare with B. goniostoma and similar types. Of the other two, the affinities are with species now living in St. Helena . Bulimus sealeianus is nearly allied to Bulincus helena of Reeve (not of Quoy) and the Achatina exulata of Benson. Cochligena fossilis of Sowerby is allied to this, but very distinct. Bulincus blofeldi is nearly allied to an existing undescribed species found by Mr. Alexander feeding on the cabbage-trees only on the highest points of the Island. The affinities of the latter are decidedly West African ; those of the former point in two directions, African and South American, the latter character possibly prevailing.
“An Achatina, called Cochlicopa subplicata by Mr. Sowerby, is chiefly connected with West Indian forms, but has also relations on the West Coast of Africa, such as the A. clavata of Sierra Leone. Mr. Sowerby described an allied species under the name of Cochlicopa terebellum.
“The subfossil Succinea is of a very ordinary character, as is the case with the majority of species of this genus all the world over, though, curiously enough, one of the living St. Helena Succineæ, is remarkable for its peculiarities.
“One of the Helices is most nearly related to Madeiran types. Mr. Sowerby has described four species, H.. bilamellata, H. polyodon, H. spurca, and H. biplicata, in his note on Mr. Darwin's collection. I have examined the first and third of these.
“I have endeavoured elsewhere‡ to show that all the information we possess respecting the Marine Mollusks of the coast of St. Helena would lead us to infer the very ancient isolation of that
* Geognosy of the Island of St. Helena, by Mr. Seale.
† Proceedings of Geological Society, March 10th, 1852 , p. 196.
‡ Rep. Brit. Assoc. for 1851.
Island, whilst at the same time a pre-existing closer geographical relationship between the African and American continents than now maintains is dimly indicated. The information we have obtained respecting the extinct and existing terrestrial mollusks of this isolated fragment of land would seem to point in the same direction, and assuredly to indicate a closer geographical alliance between St. Helena and the west [? east] coasts of South America than now holds.”
Mr. J. H. Blofeld, F.G.S., also records, in reference to the conditions under which he found these subfossil shells of St. Helena, about half a mile behind Longwood, at an elevation of about 1700 feet above the sea, on a hill-side worn into numerous clefts or ravines by the heavy rains, as follows :*—“The shells are met with in various elevated parts of the Island. The surface of the hill to a depth of five to six feet consists of dark mould, and under this is a stratum of a greyish-brown friable earth about three to four feet thick ; in this latter bed the shells occur.† This earth also contains bird-bones,‡ perfect and fragmentary, in abundance; and it was suggested that possibly in some cases the shells may have been brought to the spot by birds that fed on their living occupants.
“The B. auris-vulpina is accompanied by B. subplicala and Helix bilamellata. In the 'shell-bed' are found numerous lumps of several sizes, composed of a white powdery substance, and associated with a harder yellow substance.§ Some specimens of a new species of Bulimus (B. blofeldi, E. Forbes) were found (together with some young Helix bilamellata) in a reddish clay or loam on the side of a
* Proceed. Geol. Soc., March 10, 1852 , p. 195.
† “This deposit is composed chiefly of vegetable matter and carbonate of lime. The latter is present, both in the form of prismatic crystals (shell tissue ?) and as the coating of vegetable fibres. The majority of the specimens of B. auris-vulpina presented to the Geological Society's Museum by the late Mr. Seale, F.G.S., were embedded in a whitish coherent sand, consisting of grains (chiefly inorganic) coated with calcareous matter.”
‡ “Professor Owen, having examined these bones, pronounces them to belong to marine birds. The Professor has also examined some specimens of similar bones from Turk's Cap Bay, St. Helena, presented to the Geological Society by Captain Wilkes, R.N. These also are all bones of marine birds, most of them being of the Petrel kind ; some of them belong to the subgenus Puffinus. The bones from Turk's Cap Bay are from a greyish-brown earthy deposit, containing much inorganic sand, the grains of which are partially coated with calcareous matter.”
§ “This white substance has been chemically examined by Dr. Percy. F.G S., who observes, that it consists of matter soluble in nitric acid with effervescence, with the exception of a small quantity of insoluble residue, probably siliceous. The soluble matter is carbonate of lime, sulphate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, and phosphoric acid in combination with sesquioxide of iron. The harder yellow portion was found to contain organic matter, possibly the cause of the yellow colour, and to be similar in constitution with the white powder.”
hill overlooking The Briars, in the cutting of the road from Jamestown to Longwood, about 1200 feet above the sea-level, and about two miles in a direct line from the spot where the larger Bulimi were found.”
I have examined the spot above The Briars referred to by Mr. Blofeld, and the soil, with its embedded shells, gives unmistakable evidence of having been washed down to its present resting-place from some higher altitude by the agency of heavy rains.
*O. sp.?—This repulsive-looking creature, commonly known as the Cat-fish, is plentiful in the nooks and rocky holes on the coast, about high water-mark, occasionally reaching a considerable size, and measuring from eighteen to twenty-four inches across the arms from tip to tip. The natives use it as food, in spite of its appearance, but more generally cut it up as bait for fishing.
A. argo, Linn.—The Paper Nautilus is rarely seen, but I found two small shells, which had been washed or blown ashore, on the beach at Sandy Bay.
L. gagates, Draparnaud.—This British Slug is probably an introduction through the medium of Wardian cases containing living plants.
| *L. n. sp.
*L. n. sp.
|Two species of Garden Slugs which are very abundant and very destructive. They are chiefly confined to the high centeral land.|
*S. pitta, Pfr.—This native of the Island is still to be found feeding upon the plants of boxwood (Mellissia begonifolia), which grow on Long-range and other south-eastern parts of the outskirts of the Island . The ground beneath those bushes is covered with its reddish-amber-coloured dead shells. This species appears to keep to the lower and hotter climate at an altitude of five or six hundred feet above the sea, as it is not found on the high land.
*S. asperula, Pfr.—A native shell, found abundantly in a dead and somewhat fossil state in the surface soil on Flagstaff Hill, The Barn, and Sugarloaf Hill. The ground under the bushes of Samphire (Salsola salsa) and other scrubwood is covered with its pure white, opaque, and bleached dead shells, some of which are found embedded in the limestone beds on the south side of Sugarloaf Hill
*S. rudorina, Gould.—Still found alive feeding upon the cabbage trees and native vegetation which grow on the high central ridge, 2600 feet above the sea. It may be distinguished by its light amber-coloured shell.
*S. bensoniana, Forb.—Found now only in a subfossil state, embedded in the surface-soil. This species is figured and described “Proceed. Geol. Soc.,” March 10, 1852 , p. 198, pl. v. f. 7.
*S. solidula, Pfr.—A small species still found living underneath and clinging to the rocks and stones on the low land, at New G round, &c., altitude above the sea 1200 feet, where it appears to take refuge from the Wire Bird (Ægialitis sanctæ helenæ), which inhabits those parts and feeds upon it. The little shells of this species become coated with earth, which, being of the same colour as the rocks and stones, serves to conceal them.
*S. helenæ, Forb.—A small species, the delicate little white shells of which are found only in a dead state in the neighbourhood of The Barn.
*H. sanctæ helenæ, Less.—This very beautiful bright ambercoloured creature, a true native of the Island , may easily be distin-
| J. C. Melliss, delt.
||E. W. Robinson, Lith.
|1 HELISIGA SANCTÆ HELENÆ p. 119 (full size)
2 BULIMUS AURIS VULPINA p. 121 (full size)
3 CRAB CAUHT AT BREAKNECK VALLEY p. 206
|L. Reeve & Co. London.|
guished by its size, being the largest of all the species. It is still found alive in considerable numbers, feeding upon the cabbage trees, tree ferns, and native vegetation generally in the damp, cool region on the high central ridge, at an altitude of 2600 feet above the sea.
Z. cellarius, Mull.—This native of the British Isles has probably been introduced through the agency of the earth contained in Ward's cases of plants. It is easily recognised, being a small, flat, spirally-formed snail, very abundant in gardens, where it assists the common garden snail with its voracious aptitude for the destruction of young vegetation.
Z. alliarius, Miller.—Another British species, found commonly associated with the other.
H. aspersa, Mull.—This world-wide distributed creature, the Common Garden Snail, is abundant all over the Island , and has, without doubt, been introduced in the earth contained in Ward's cases of plants. It exists in large numbers on the somewhat barren plains of Longwood and Prosperous Bay, where it finds a cool and moist atmosphere as well as food amongst the creeping plants of the Hottentot Fig (Mesembryanthemum edule). In the hot season, when those plants partially die away, the empty snail-shells may be gathered from beneath them by hundreds.
*H. polyodon, G. B. Sow.=H. Alexandri, Forb.—A small shell now found, together with the following five species, all of which are natives of the Island, in a subfossil state, embedded in the surface-soil on the north-eastern quarter of the Island, at an altitude above the sea of 1200 to 1500 feet. Described and figured “Proceed. Geol. Soc.,” March 10, 1852, p. 198, pl. v. f. 9; also in Mr. Darwin's work on Volcanic Islands.
*H. helenensis, Forb.—A small, round, whitish-brown, spirally-formed shell, of a Pacific type, from the roadside banks on Side-Path above The Briars.
*H. cutteri, Pfr.—A smaller species than the last, but found associated with it.
*H. spurca, G. B. Sow.—From near Flagstaff Hill; altitude above the sea 1600 feet. Described in the appendix to Mr. Darwin's
work on Volcanic Islands, and figured in “Proceed. Geol. Soc.,” March 10, 1852 , p. 199, pl. v. f 10. Easily distinguished from H. polyodon by its wide, toothless aperture.
*H. biplicata, G. B. Sow.—Described in the appendix to Mr. Darwin's work on Volcanic Islands, p. 155.
*H. bilamellata, G. B. Sow.—From Side-Path road, near The Briars. Described in Mr. Darwin's work, with the last species, and figured in “Proceed. Geol. Soc.,” March 10, 1852 , p. 199, pl. v. f. 8.
*B. auris-vulpina, Chemn.—This true native, “The great extinct Land Snail of St. Helena,” is now found only in a semi-fossil condition on the north-eastern quarter of the Island . The shells occur in surface-beds of whitish-coloured earth on the north-western side of Flagstaff Hill, at an altitude of 1611 feet above the sea, where they have probably died or been carried by surface rain-water many centuries ago. They are almost colourless, being of a dirty brownish-white appearance. Being exceedingly anxious to discover if this creature still lived, I explored the locality very carefully, about four years ago, and enlisted the sympathies of some of the peasantry in my cause. The wife of a labouring man, living in a small cottage in the valley at the back of Longwood, assured me that she often saw them alive, and that after heavy rains they came out of the earth and fed upon the Hottentot Fig plants. Thinking she meant the common garden snail (Helix aspersa), so abundant in the same neighbourhood, I examined her on this point ; but so positive was she that she had seen the real, living Bulimus auris-vulpina, and that her children had used them as playthings, which statement the children confirmed, that I felt scarcely able to doubt their existence still in a living state. Possibly some few may lurk bidden somewhere ; but, considering the changes which have taken place in the physical character of that part of the Island, and that the offer of a liberal reward to my sanguine acquaintance failed to produce a living specimen, I must confess that I am still sceptical upon this point. It has been recently stated that this remarkable shell is found in a living state in China, but so interesting a discovery requires confirmation. It has no living analogue in Africa, but is said to be “a member of a group characteristic of Tropical America (to which the names Plecochilus, Pachyotis, and Caprella have been
given), including B. signatus, B. bilabiatus, B. goniostomus, and B. sulcatus.” “The only other group of Bulimi resembling the St. Helena shells occurs in the Pacific Islands ; B. calidonicus, at Mulgrave Island; B. auris-zovinæ, at the Solomons ; and B. shongi, in New Zealand.”
*B. darvinianus, Forb.—With the following six species, all of which are natives of the Island, this shell is now found only in a semi-fossil state, embedded in the surface-soil in the ravines formed by rain, on the north-eastern quarter of the Island, at altitudes from 1200 to 1700 feet above the sea. They are all distinguished by being slenderer and smaller than the last species. Figured by the late Professor Forbes in “Proceed. Geol. Soc.,” March 10, 1852, pl. v. f. 1.
*B. blofeldi, Forb.—Found in the surface-soil on the SidePath road above The Briars. Figured Ibid. pl. v. f. 2.
*B. sealeianus, Forb.—Figured Ibid. pl. v. f. 3.
*B. subplicatus, G. B. Sow.—Figured Ibid. pl. v. f. 6. Also described in appendix to Mr. Darwin's work on Volcanic Islands, p. 155. See Cochlicopa subplicata.
*B. terebellum, G. B. Sow.—A species more cylindrical in form than the last. Figured Ibid. pl. v. f. 5. Also described in appendix to Mr. Darwin's work on Volcanic Islands, p. 155. See Cochlicopa terebellum.
*B. fossilis, G. B. Sow.—Figured and described with the last species, pl. v. f. 4. Found in the surface-soil on Side-Path road above The Briars. See Cochlogena fossilis.
*B. relegatus, Benson.
*B. helena, Quoy.—A stout, opaque shell, about three-quarters of an inch in length, found under the dying shrubs on The Barn, at an altitude of 2000 feet above the sea. It is a native, and although the shells are now dead, they appear of more recent date than the former species, and are of a South African, Mozambique, and Seychelle Island type.
P. umbilicata, Draparnaud.—A little British Snail, probably introduced in the earth with plants, easily distinguished by its minuteness. It is very abundant on the high lands, where, in every
garden or damp spot, it is found in large numbers clinging to rotten wood, stumps of trees, and old palings.
*A. exulata, Benson.—Both this and the following species are now found only in a semi-fossil state embedded in the surface-soil on the Side-Path road above The Briars, &c.
*A. subplicata, G. B. Sow.
*C. testudinarius, Martini.—Picked up, but not alive, on the windward sea coast.
*C. irregularis, G. B. Sow.—Found under similar circumstances as the former species.
*M. n. sp.—A very beautiful little pearly-white shell, about oneeighth of an inch in length, found amongst the sand in the pools on the West Rocks.
*C. lurida, L.—A rather large dark brown shell, about an inch and three-quarters in length, picked up somewhat abundantly, but not alive, on the windward coast.
*C. spurca, Lam.—A smaller species, of a light brown colour, spotted or mottled in appearance; found under similar circumstances as the last.
*C. turdus, Linn.—A still smaller species, about three-quarters of an inch long, brown in colour, with spotted sides, found with the other species.
C. moneta, Linn.—The common white money-cowrie is occasionally picked up on the beach, but only in a dead state ; and, as it is often carried about in ships, especially those trading on the coasts of Africa, it may possibly have fallen overboard in the roadstead
and been washed on shore ; if this is the case, it cannot properly take a place amongst the shells of the Island.
*C. testiculus, Linn.
*N. incrassata, Strom. var.—A very beautiful little white and brown shell, about a quarter of an inch in length, found amongst the sand in the pools on the West Rocks, but not alive. It is a British species.
*C. cribraria, Lam. (H. and A. Adams).—A beautifully-marked, smooth, brown and white shell, about one-third of an inch in length ; found under similar circumstances as the above.
*C. lugubris, C. B. Adams.—A small shell, not unlike the last in appearance, but having an irregular surface ; found under similar circumstances.
*T. variegatus, Lam.—A large conch, about ten or eleven inches in length ; rarely seen. I obtained two living specimens, which came ashore at Lemon Valley.
*T. olearium, Linn.—A large yellowish-brown shell, about three inches long; found on the Windward Coast, but rarely, and not living.
*R. cælata, Broderip.—A large yellowish-brown shell, about two inches long, picked up in a dead state on the Windward Coast . It occurs at Panama.
*M. n. sp.—An irregular rough-shaped shell, about three-fourths of an inch in length, found alive in considerable numbers adhering to the rocks around the coast at high-water mark.
*P. rudolphi, Lam.—A shell about an eighth or a quarter of an inch in length ; found abundantly in a living state adhering to the rocks around the sea-coast at water-mark.
*P. cærulea, Lam.—The Blue Limpet of St. Helena, found plentifully alive and sticking to the rocks on the sea-coast about highwater mark.
*P. plumbea, Lam.—Found also alive with the other species.
Tectura, Aud. & Mlne. Ed.
*T. virginea, Mull.—A minute limpet-shell, of a tortoise-shell appearance, picked up on the sea-shore.
*H. mitrula, Lam.—Found living, but not common, clinging to the rocks at water-mark on the Windward Coast ; a shell about one-fourth to one-half an inch in diameter.
*H. radiatus, Quoy and Gaimard.—A species similar to but smaller than the last.
*F. arcuata, G. B. Sow.—A small limpet-shaped shell, picked up on the sea-shore abundantly, but not alive.
*L. helenæ.—A small periwinkle, found abundantly alive and sticking to the rocks all around the sea-coast at and above highwater mark.
*L. striata, Ring.—Also found alive with the other species.
*S. modesta, C. B. Adams.—A very beautiful, fluted, spiral shell, about three-quarters of an inch in length, found alive on the Windward Coast adhering to the rocks. Very rare.
*O. circinata, H. Adams.
*I.fragilis, Bruguiere.—This beautiful purplish-blue and white shell is cast ashore in a living state in large quantities on the beach at Sandy Bay, on the windward side of the Island, during strong S.E. trade-winds, and with it are associated large numbers of the Portuguese Man-of-War and a species of Velella.
*E. n. sp.—A very beautiful small, long, thin, pearly-white shell, about one-third of an inch in length, found in a dead state in the pools of the West Rocks, but in good preservation and apparently recent.
*N. nitida, Donovan.—A British shell found on the sea-shore.
*O. cristagalli, Linne.—This scallop-lipped Oyster, which is common in the Asiatic seas, is occasionally taken in a living state off St. Helena at a depth of fifty or sixty fathoms.
*P. pernula, Chemnitz.—I obtained only one specimen of this large shell, which had been washed ashore on the beach at Lemon Valley. It did not contain an occupant.
*A. hirundo, Linn.—This shell, which is known on the English and the Mediterranean coasts, is also found on the sea-beach at St. Helena.
*M. edulis, Linn.—The Mussel, which is common on the English and Mediterranean coasts, is found alive adhering to the long pieces of seaweed which drift on shore at Sandy Bay beach.
*M. crenatus, Lam.—A yellowish-brown bivalve, found with the other species on the floating seaweed.
*L. lithophagus, Linn.—This perforator or stone-borer is to be found embedded in its holes in the specimens of Lithothamnion, which are washed up on the sea-beach at Lot's Wife Ponds and other places on the Windward Coast.
*A. domingensis, Lam.—A whitish shell, about half an inch in length, found in the pools on the sea-shore, and in such a condition as to warrant the belief that it exists there in a living state.
*L. n. sp.—A flat white shell, about half an inch in diameter, found under the same circumstances as the last, and in good preservation.
*C. gryphoides, Linn.
T. navalis? Linn.—The Common Sea-Worm inhabits also that portion of the South Atlantic around St. Helena, and is as destructive to timber under water as in other parts of the world, but fortunately it has little opportunity for exhibiting its destructiveness at the Island; the sea-bottom being too hard and rocky to admit of driving piles, there are no piers or sea-works of timber in existence.
The absence of coral at St. Helena is remarkable. With the exception of one species there is none on the coast, and but two or three kinds have been discovered in deep water. These have been identified through the kindness of Dr. Gray, and Mr. Saville Kent, of the British Museum.
*P. sanctæ helenæ, Mlne. Ed.—A dark-brown leather-like substance sticking to the rocks on the shore about high-water mark, sometimes expanded, at others closed like a hemispherical-shaped cushion. In the pools on the West Rocks, Lot's Wife Ponds, and elsewhere on the coast, several other species of sea anemones exist and exhibit their lovely purple and white tints, though only to disappear the moment they are touched. It is to be hoped that drawings of them, which would be both interesting and valuable, may be made by some future visitor at the Island.
*B. neritina.—A brown, fine silk-like coralline, of wide distribution. At St. Helena it is found entirely covering pieces of wreck or timber that have been floating about in the sea and then washed ashore.
*A, pinnatifida, Mlne. Ed.—The Sea-tree of St. Helena,
where it is often brought up from deep water by fishermen's lines and on boats' moorings. It is also found in the seas of the Indian Ocean.
*S. hirtella, Mlne., Ed.—The Branching Coral of St. Helena, where it is taken, by fishermen's lines, boat moorings, &c., from a depth of 60 or 80 fathoms. It is of a bright reddish pink colour when taken, but soon bleaches pure white by exposure.
*B. sp. ?—This beautiful, bright orange- coloured, cup-shaped Coral has been detected by Professor Duncan growing upon a specimen of an oyster (Ostrea Cristagalli) taken from about 50 fathoms water. It is rare, but occasionally taken in good-sized masses by fishermen ' s tackle, from deep water on the leeward side of the Island.
Mæandrina ? Lamk.
*M. sp.?—Brain Coral, found growing in small masses from two to six inches in diameter about high-water mark on the seacoast, more particularly on the windward side of the Island near Sandy Bay.
P. atlantica, Less.—The Portuguese Man-of-War is swept ashore at Sandy Bay beach whenever a strong south-east trade wind succeeds to a partial calm. It may then be picked up by thousands.
V. limbosa ?, Lam.—A white horny substance, which, brought in by the waves, accumulates amongst the shingle on Sandy Bay beach.
It may at first appear that the insect world of so small a place is easily mastered, but a fuller knowledge of the locality will prevent such an idea being long encouraged. Were the whole Island to constitute one low-lying flat or plain it might be so; but,
with its variations in climate, its different altitudes, its alternating valleys, sheltered glens, and exposed plains, in some parts richly clothed with verdure, in others barren sunny wastes, there is an immense diversity of habitations for insect life. It is remarkable how in many cases insects occupy little colonies of their own, and I have often found that a turn in the road, the intervention of a small hill, or the addition of a few yards in altitude, would take me completely out of the habitat of that particular insect for which I was seeking.
It has been remarked, and I am to some extent inclined to agree therewith, that introduced insects, after a period of existence, disappear from the Island. This is known to have been the case with the Honey Bee and also the Death's-Head Moth; and as peach trees are again plentiful and no insect now exists answering to the following description, it may be presumed that it also has taken its departure:—“The Peach used to be the most abundant fruit in the Island, but there are few of these now remaining. This valuable fruit tree, which was introduced here many years ago, throve and multiplied amazingly.”. . . . “But about thirty years ago an insect, imported either from the Mauritius or from the Cape of Good Hope, along with the Constantia Grape, has destroyed almost all the Peach trees, and no means have hitherto been found of checking its ravages. It settles on the trunk of the tree, which becomes covered with a white crust, and shortly after withers and dies. The inhabitants have tried all methods of destroying it, but hitherto without effect. They have smoked the trees, scraped off the white crust, and washed the stem with a decoction of tobacco, &c. But none of these methods have answered. This destructive insect is so minute that it is not visible to the naked eye. It attacks some other trees, particularly the native Gum-wood trees and the Mulberry; but the trunk of the Peach seems to be its favourite lodgment. It is a curious circumstance that this insect, which, according to the testimony and belief of the inhabitants, was imported with the Constantia Vine from the Cape of Good Hope, or with some shrubs from the Mauritius, should not now settle on any of the plants on which it is supposed to have been brought hither. Its ravages are almost exclusively confined to the Peach, the Mulberry, and one or two of the native island shrubs. An old inhabitant, describing and lamenting the ravages it had made, could not forbear crying out, the tears almost starting into his eyes—‘We would with pleasure have
given up to it half the trees of the place had it only spared our Peaches, which we valued so much.' But this inexorable little foe will listen to no such composition ; and, having hitherto resisted every offensive means employed against it, is likely to continue its progress till it has completely deprived the inhabitants of this wholesome and delicious fruit.” As the inhabitants at the present time enjoy perfect immunity from any insect of this kind, and rejoice in their peaches as fully as ever their ancestors did, they have every reason to take courage and look for the realization of their devout hope that the Termites or White Ants, which have destroyed their homes and property in Jamestown, may before very long be exterminated.
It is not difficult to account for the presence of imported insects. The Island having shared for about three centuries and a half in Europe's traffic and commerce with the Eastern World, they would be conveyed thither in ships, in bales of merchandize, and even in timber, just as the White Ant was taken all the way from South America to Africa and thence to St. Helena.
There is another mode of conveyance, which will doubtless account for the presence of those European and garden insects which are common, and that is the Wardian cases filled with earth and living plants, which have been so largely introduced through many years into the Island.
Eleven years ago, a few species of Beetles which Mr. Bewicke collected at St. Helena were investigated by Mr. T. Vernon Wollaston, M. A., F.L.S., who published an account, with figures of some of them, in the Journal of Entomology for December, 1861, and it is from the same eminent naturalist and high authority that science has received a careful examination and report of 95 species,† nearly all of which, mainly owing to his encouragement, I collected at the Island during my residence there. Mr. Wollaston ' s most valuable
* A Description of the Island of St. Helena, published by R. Phillips, 6, Bridge Street, Blackfriars. 1805.
† Since writing this account, Mr. Wollaston has increased the total number of species to 96, by the addition of Cydonia vicina, Muls., which Mr. G. R. Crotch informs him he possesses from St. Helena, and which Mr. Wollaston records in the Annals of Natural History for February, 1872, together with a diagnosis of Microxylobius westwoodii, which he had lately bad an opportunity of examining and recording as a distinct species from M. vestitus.
papers, which have appeared in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History for October, 1869, and December, 1871, demand a special reference for a study of the Coleoptera of St. Helena, since they contain much important matter in addition to what I have here quoted. The Beetles act a much larger part in the destruction of vegetation than at first sight appears, through their being nocturnal in their depredations ; but the leafless grape vines and perforated lace-like leaves of the loquat and oak trees at St. Helena plainly show how much mischief these little creatures are capable of working. In a scientific point of view, they form perhaps the most wonderful portion of this isolated insect fauna; and Mr. Wollaston writes on the subject as follows: “That a special interest should attach to the productions of any island which is unusually remote, I need scarcely state ; and when we recollect that St. Helena is about 1200 miles from the nearest point of the African continent, we shall at once acknowledge that, for the geographical naturalist. a more isolated field could hardly perhaps be found. The manifest deterioration of the Island, in a scientific point of view, during the last 300 years, is a subject on which I need not dilate ; for the primeval forests which are said to have more or less clothed it at its discovery have succumbed beneath the ruthless hand of ‘civilization,’—a few detached patches alone remaining, on the extreme summit and more inaccessible slopes, to harbour what is left of that noble fauna the fragments of which are so eccentric that one cannot but suspect the quondam occurrence of many intermediate links (now, in all probability, long exterminated) which must, as it were, have ‘articulated them on’ to the recognised types with which we are familiar. Of course in an island of this kind, which has become intensely cultivated since the period of its colonization, we naturally should not expect to meet with many traces of its primeval species ; for the gradual rooting-out of the native vegetation, and the introduction, year after year, of more ‘useful’ plants (chiefly from European latitudes, but in the present instance, perhaps, partly from the Cape of Good Hope), accompanied by their inevitable train of insect parasites, would so far alter the entire country as to destroy the apparent peculiarity of its productions, and give a mixed character to its fauna and flora to which aboriginally it had no kind of claim. Happily, however, in cases like this, when the species are brought fairly together, it is usually not difficult for a practised eye
to separate in a general way the species which are strictly endemic from those which have subsequently been introduced and become naturalized :” and thus it is that out of the 95 which are enumerated in the following catalogue there are only 17 concerning which Mr. Wollaston (in that particular respect) has much doubt. He says : “Indeed what we may term the ‘ultra-indigenous’ species speak at once, and unmistakably, for themselves ; and in like manner as regards those which are more or less cosmopolitan, or which have found their way, through human agencies, into nearly every country which has the slightest intercommunication with the civilized world, there can be no question. These manifest importations last mentioned, which, however, figure so largely in the St. Helena list, have no real bearing on the true fauna of any single region beyond those whence they were originally disseminated, and for the most part owe their presence in local catalogues merely to the amount of research which may happen to have been made in the houses, stores, gardens, and merchandize around the various ports and towns. Yet, on the other hand, they cannot be omitted or ignored; for some of them may have taken so firm a hold on the newly acquired area as to occupy a prominent place amongst its primeval organisms, and even perhaps to have aided indirectly in their very extermination. This latter contingency, however, seems to me to represent the exception rather than the rule ; for I have myself generally observed that the species which are manifestly imported linger almost exclusively about the ‘inhabited regions,’ and seldom attach themselves to those which are emphatically wild and uncultivated—and even if in a few instances they should do so, that their modus vivendi is totally different from that of the veritable autochthones of the soil.” Mr. Wollaston, bearing in mind the above considerations, concludes that out of the 95 species, only 42 (or less than one-half) appear to be unmistakably indigenous, whilst the evidently imported ones (species which through human agencies have become widely disseminated over more or less of the civilized world) amount to about 36, leaving a residuum of 17 which he would perhaps characterize as “doubtful,” but the majority of which, nevertheless, have in all probability been naturalized.
Those which Mr. Wollaston believes to be indigenous, and not derived from any other country, are the following :—
|Haplothorax burchellii.||Microxylobius lucifugus.|
|Mellissius eudoxus.||Homoeodera rotundipennis.|
whilst the thirty-six which he gives as having followed in the track of civilization and commerce are these :
|Læmophloeus pusillus.||Anobium confertum.|
|Mycetæa hirta.||Hornalota coriaria.|
|Typhæa fumata.||Rhizopertha bifoveolata.|
|Attagenus gloriosæ.||Sitophilus oryzæ.|
|Aphodius lividus.||Otiorhynchus sulcatus.|
|Cryptophagus affinis.||Aræocerus fasciculatus.|
|Corynetes rufipes.||Gnathocerus cornutus.|
|Gibbium scotias.||Tribolium ferrugineum.|
|Anobium velatum.||Tenebrio obscurus.|
|Carpophilus hemipterus.||Curtomerus pilicornis.|
|Trogosita mauritanica.||Coptops bidens.|
|Silvanus surinamensis.||Philonthus longicornis.|
leaving the following seventeen as “doubtful,” but which most likely been, through various causes, naturalized :—
|Pristonychus complanatus.||Bruchus advena.|
|Dactylosternum abdominale.||Aspidomorpha miliaris.|
|Sphæridium dytiscoides.||Epilachna chrysomelina.|
|Cryptamorpha musæ.||Zophobas concolor.|
|Tribalus 4-striatus.||Thea variegate.|
|Saprinus lautus.||Xantholinus morio.|
|Tomicus tumulus.||Oxytelus alutaceifrons.|
Mr. Wollaston further says : “If it be permissible, from material so limited as that which has hitherto been amassed, to build up a rough estimate of the true Coleopterous population of St. Helena, it is clear that the ‘cosmopolitan’ species, which have manifestly followed in the wake of mere commerce and civilization, must he altogether set aside ; and in that case, giving the more or less equivocal ones the advantage of the doubt, we should have fifty-nine to represent the aboriginal (and evidently much reduced) fauna of this remote deteriorated island. When commenting, in 1861, on even the fourteen species which had been collected by Mr. Bewicke, I called attention to the extraordinary fact that not only did the weevils number nearly two-thirds of the entire batch, but were like wise all of then endemic, both as regards species and genus ! Whilst certainly three, if not indeed more, out of the remaining six (belonging to other families) possess a wide geographical range. This led me to remark that the Curculionidæ would, in all proliability, be found to play a most important part in the Coleopterous fauna of St. Helena; and I then expressed my belief, from the mere diversify of configuration presented by the five species of Microxylobius which had been brought to light, that the members of that abnormal little group would almost certainly be ascertained to be locally abundant, and, ‘since the same might be urged with no less force for that extraordinary genus Nitioxenus,’ that there was ‘every
reason to suspect that the Rhynchophora of this mountain-island are, in proportion to its size, both numerous and eccentric.'
“I have thought it worth while to allude to these casual observations of my own, because they have been so strictly and literally verified. Not only have Microxylobius and Nitioxenus been augmented by newly discovered exponents, but everything tends to prove that they are immeasurably the most significant of the island forms ; indeed an undescribed and closely related genus has been detected alongside the latter, as though still further to enhance the local importance of that particular Anthribideous type. Scarcely less characteristic, however, than even these three, are, perhaps, the obscure Curculionideous groups Nesiotes and Trachyphloeosoma ; and, if indeed it be truly aboriginal (and there is no reason for suspecting the contrary), that curious little blind Cossonid, the Pentarthrum subcæcum, may be added to the number, in which case the Rhynchophoraalone would monopolize no less than six of the most anomalous endemic genera ! Indeed the only other manifestly indigenous forms which I should define as par excellence ‘abnormal’ are Haplothorax of the Carabidæ, and perhaps Mellissius of the Lamellicorns, neither of which, however, are so eccentric in their structure as the six Rhynchophorous ones to which I have just alluded.
“Apart, however, from their singularity of type, it may be useful, in order to illustrate the mere numerical preponderance of the weevils (as regards both species and genus) in the St. Helena catalogue, to distribute the fifty-nine members of the fauna (to which I have already called attention) under the twelve great sections into which the Coleoptera are usually supposed to arrange themselves. I am well aware that the paucity of the list itself; and perhaps likewise the totally unexplored state of the pools and streams, may be sufficient to account for many an apparent anomaly—such as, for instance, the complete absence of the waterbeetles and Brachelytra ; but still, after making every allowance for the manifest imperfection of the material, the broad fact does undoubtedly remain that the researches of Messrs. Melliss, Bewicke, and others (and that, too, whilst by no means neglecting the minuter groups) have brought to light more representatives of the Rhynchophora than of all the other departments combined. And that this is truly the case, a glance at the following table will suffice to show :—
|Rhyncophora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||31|
|Cordylocerata (i.e. Lamellicorns &c.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||6|
|Geodephaga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||5|
|Brachelytra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||4|
|Heteromera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||3|
|Phytophaga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||3|
|Pseudotrimera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||3|
|Philhydrida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||2|
|Necrophaga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||1|
|Priocerata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||1|
|Hydradephaga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||0|
|Eucerata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||0|
“If we exclude from consideration the thirty-six species (above alluded to) which have unquestionably been brought into the Island through the medium of commerce, and which enter into the fauna of nearly every civilized country, I need scarcely add that the St. Helena list, as hitherto made known, possesses nothing whatever in common with those of the three sub-African archipelagos which lie further to the north—though the great development of the Curculionideous sub-family Cossonides is a remarkable fact which is more or less conspicuous throughout the whole of them.”
*H. burchellii, Waterh.—This truly indigenous and noble black carabid may be distinguished by its being the largest Beetle that is found in St. Helena. It is confined to the north-eastern corner of the Island, at an altitude above the sea of 2,000 feet. It appears to have been detected by the African traveller, Dr. Burchell, a good many years ago ; it is now extremely scarce, being met with occasionally only, after considerable hunting, under stones on Deadwood or Flagstaff, and sometimes in the ploughed fields at Longwood.
*C. haligena, Woll.—A large dull brassy or nearly black Beetle, about an inch in length ; it is, with the other species, easily distinguished from the Haplothorax by the presence of metallic spots
| J. C. Melliss, delt.
||E. W. Robinson, Lith.
| 1 HAPLOTHORAX BURCHELLII..........
2 CALOSOMA HALIGENA....................
3 MELLISSIUS ADUMBRATUS............
| 4 SCIOBIUS SUBNODOSUS..................
5 CYDONIA LUNATA............................
6 PASITHEA PULCHRA.........................
|L. Reeve & Co. London.|
on the elytra or wing-covers. It inhabits both the high and low land, but chiefly the north-eastern quarter of the Island, where it may be detected, generally in pairs, under stones, or sometimes in broad daylight walking across a roadway, in the neighbourhood of Rupert's Valley or Longwood. Mr. Wollaston says : “It seems to belong to the same type as the African species senegalense and rugosum, from the former of which it is nevertheless abundantly distinct. From the latter it differs (inter alia) in being more depressed, and in having its coppery punctures smaller, in its prothorax being more deeply rugose before and behind, and in its legs being less robust.” This creature emits a most unpleasant odour when taken in the hand, and is frequently covered with very small parasitic insects.
*C. helenæ, Hope.—A Beetle very like the last species in appearance, but smaller and blacker, and perhaps more generally distributed in the Island.
P. complanatus, Dej.—A glossy black Beetle, rather more than half an inch in length, inhabiting the high land of the central parts of the Island ; found under stones, fallen trunks of trees, &c. Mr. Wollaston writes of it thus : “It is a species of Mediterranean latitudes-occurring in Portugal, Spain, the South of France, Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, Egypt, Barbary, &c. It is abundant also in the Azores, Madeiras, and Canaries, and has been reported even from Chili.”
*B. mellissii, Woll.—A very beautiful little light-brown Beetle, one-sixth of an inch in length, taken from the high land, of which Mr. Wollaston writes, that “it belongs to the same group as the European B. variumand flammulatum. It is well distinguished by its dull brassy-green head and prothorax, and lurid-testaceous elytrathe latter of which are ornamented with a number of darker facile and cloudy patches, forming (on each elytron) a large sub-apical blotch, a postmedial zigzag (or deeply dentate) fascia, and two squarish antemedial spots placed in an oblique direction (from the shoulder) on the fore disk. The elytral striæ are coarsely and closely punctured, or crenate, and there are two large punctiform impressions on the third interval from the suture.”
D. abdominale, Fab.—Of this shiny, broad, black Beetle, about a quarter of an inch in length, Mr. Wollaston writes : “Several specimens of this widely spread insect were taken in St. Helena by Mr. Melliss, and there can be no doubt that the species has become naturalized in the Island through human agencies. Although found more particularly in Mediterranean latitudes, it has acquired an extended geographical range-occurring in the Azorean, Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos, and being reported even from Madagascar, Bourbon, and the East Indies.”
S. dytiscoides, Fab.—Mr. Wollaston says : “I have no means of determining what this insect (the diagnosis of which I have copied verbatim from the 'Systema Entomologiæ') really is ; but, judging from the rough figure of it which is given by Olivier, it would appear to me to be either a true (though possibly small) Sphæridium or else an unusually large Cercyon, or (still more probably perhaps) a Cyclonotum-with the head and prothorax rufo-ferruginous and the elytra black. Nevertheless, as it was described by Fabricius from a specimen (or specimens) in the cabinet of Sir Joseph Banks, which had been obtained at St. Helena, I have no choice but to include it in the present enumeration ; and I can only hope that some future collector in the Island may again bring the species to light, and so enable us to decide positively what it is.”
C. dimidiatus, Fab.—A small black Beetle, of which Mr. Wollaston writes : “A widely diffused insect, which appears to have been naturalized, through the medium of commerce, in most parts of the civilized world, and which has established itself in the Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos.”
C. hemipterus, Linn.—A thicker, shorter species, and, as Mr. Wollaston says, “equally diffused with the last (through human
agencies ) over the civilized world. It is common, chiefly in the warehouses and stores, throughout the Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde groups.”
T. mauritanica, Linn.—A dark reddish-brown, flat Beetle, one-third of an inch in length, taken in the town, of which Mr. Wollaston says : “Of course totally unconnected with the true fauna of the Island, yet, having been taken by Mr. Melliss, it would seem at any rate to have established itself in the storehouses and granaries of St. Helena, in like manner as it has done in most regions of the civilized world. It is very common throughout the Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos.”
L. pusillus, Schon.—A minute brown Beetle, one-tenth of an inch in length, of which Mr. Wollaston writes : “An insect very liable to transmission, along with grain and other articles of commerce, throughout the civilized world ; but, having clearly no connexion with the real fauna of the Island, it is of little geographical importance. The species has, in like manner, established itself in the Madeiran and Canarian groups.”
C. musæ, Woll.—A light-brown Beetle, one-sixth of an inch in length, of which Mr. Wollaston writes : “In Madeira it occurs beneath the loose outer fibre of banana stems, in and around Funchal ;” and in St. Helena I found it abundantly amongst the old banana trees and rotting vegetation in a pond at The Hermitage, ?000 feet above the sea.
S. surinamensis, Linn.—A minute brown Beetle, of which Mr. Wollaston writes : “A single example of this almost cosmopolitan Silvanus is amongst the collection of insects taken recently by Mr. Melliss at St. Helena; and although, of course, totally unconnected
with the native fauna of the Island, yet, as the species is allowed to figure in the local list of nearly every civilized country, we can scarcely deny it a place in our present enumeration.” It is, like many of the imported species, found amongst dead leaves and vegetation in gardens.
C. badius, St.—A small light-brown Beetle, which, Mr. Wollaston says, “seems to be the common European cryptophagus Ladies; and I may add that Mr. Rye is likewise of opinion that it should be referred to that species. I have therefore little hesitation in recording the C.badius amongst the insects which have been naturalized in the Island through the medium of commerce, though the individual now before me presents perhaps a slight shade of difference from the ordinary type.”
C. affinis, St.—A somewhat smaller species than the last, of which Mr. Wollaston writes : “A common European cryptophagus which—like Læmophloeus pusillus, Mycetæa hirta, and others—must clearly have been imported into the Island from more northern latitudes ; and therefore, even if fairly established (as is the case with it in the Azorean, Madeiran, and Canarian groups), it can of course have no connexion whatever with the original fauna of St. Helena.”
C. gracilipes, Woll.—A still smaller species than the others, taken on the high land amongst garden rubbish, &c. Mr. Wollaston says : “Several examples of this most distinct and interesting little Cryptophagus are amongst the Coleoptera collected at St. Helena. It differs very essentially from every member of the genus with which I am acquainted ; and Mr. Rye, who has paid unusual attention to the Cryptophagi, assures me that he is not aware of any species upon record with which it can be made to agree. Apart from its rather small size, convex body, and dark rufo-ferruginous hue, its most distinctive features consist in its extremely coarsely and densely punctured surface, which is beset all over (though especially on the elytra) with very elongate and nearly erect, soft, whitish hairs. Its limbs, too, are marvellously slender-even more so, perhaps, than is the case in the particular section of the group (represented by the C. Viniin Europe, and C. hesperiusin the Canarian archipelago) to which it belongs. Its incrassated anterior prothoracic angle is
rather largely developed, with the hinder point of it more or less acute ; but there seems to be no central lateral denticle, the sides being merely minutely crenelated—so minutely, indeed, as sometimes to appear nearly simple.”
M. hirta, Gyll.—A very small, widely distributed, European Beetle, which Mr. Wollaston considers to have been naturalized in St. Helena, as it has been in the Azorean and Madeiran archipelagos.
T. fumata, Linn.—A reddish-brown Beetle, about one-eighth of an inch in length, of which Mr. Wollaston writes: “There is scarcely any insect which has acquired (doubtless through human agencies) a wider geographical range than the common European T. fumata ; and therefore it is not surprising that it should have been met with by Mr. Melliss at St. Helena. It occurs in the north of Africa, and abounds in the Azores, Madeiras, Canaries, and Cape Verdes ; and it has even been reported likewise from the United States.”
D. cadaverinus, Fab.—I have not detected this Beetle at Sty Helena, but Mr. Wollaston has included it because of its having originally been described by Fabricius (in 1775) from a St. Helena example in the collection of Sir Joseph Banks. “Being peculiarly liable to transmission, in various articles of merchandize and commerce, throughout the civilized world, it has been made to acquire a very extensive geographical range-being recorded not only in Europe, but even from South America, Mexico, Otaheite, the East Indies, Siberia, Arabia, &c. ; and it was obtained abundantly, by the late Mr. Bewicke, at Ascension.”
D. vulpinus, Fab.—A somewhat oval-shaped, black Beetle, half an inch in length, common about the town and low land in its neighbourhood. It is evidently an introduced insect, which, Mr. Wollaston says, “is eminently liable to accidental dissemination
along with various articles of commerce and merchandize. It has been established equally in the Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde groups.”
A. gloriosæ, Fab.—A small, thick, mottled-brown Beetle, about one-sixth of an inch in length, common about the town and low land in its locality ; I have caught it crawling over my office table. Its introduction is doubtless due to the medium of commerce, and, Mr. Wollaston says, “it has likewise established itself in the Island of Ascension, and it is reported also from India, Eastern Africa, and America.”
T. 4-striatus, Woll.—A Beetle, one-eighth of an inch in length, of which Mr. Wollaston writes : “The rather small size and entirely punctulated surface of this little Histerid, combined with its semicircular uncarinated forehead, and the fact of its elytra being totally free from a sutural stria (which is only traceable as a very short subscutellar arcuated impression), affiliate it with the small group of species which constitute the genus Tribalus; but it seems to differ (inter alia) from the whole of them in having four very distinct dorsal punctured striæ continued to about the middle of each elytron. Apart from other characters, its piteous-black hue, subrufescent limbs, and perpendicular pygidium will serve additionally to distinguish it.”
S. lautus, Woll.—A Beetle, about a quarter of an inch in length, of which Mr. Wollaston says : “The blue tinge (at any rate on the elytra) and by no means small size of this Saprinus are somewhat suggestive at first sight of the widely spread S. semipunctatus; but the fact of its epistome being divided from the forehead by a strong transverse line, in conjunction with its sutural stria being complete, and uniting in front with the fourth distal one, remove it into a totally different section of the genus-characterized by such North-American species as javeti, patruelis, and dimidiatipennis, which, however, appear to be of considerably smaller stature and less punctured on the surface.”
A. lividus, Oliv.—A light-brown, glossy Beetle, a quarter of an inch in length, taken amongst decaying oak leaves and herbage in gardens on the high land. Mr. Wollaston says of it : “This widely spread European Aphodius—which occurs throughout Northern and Western Africa, and in the Azorean, Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos—is an insect which easily becomes disseminated through indirect human agencies (particularly the transportation of cattle), and I feel satisfied has no connexion whatever with the original fauna of so remote an Island.”
*A. versutus, Harold.—Well known at St. Helena as the Vine Beetle, in consequence of the devastation it causes to the grape-vines. It is abundant, generally inhabiting the low, warm parts of the Island, especially at The Briars, Maldivia Gardens, Southens, &c., where it is a terrible pest, devouring the leaves and young shoots of the vines so voraciously as very soon to reduce a vine from full leaf to bare stems. As it hides away under stones and woodwork during daylight, only emerging as night comes on, the gardener finds it requires special exertion to keep it in check. The first time I saw this insect was at The Briars, when 1 was much puzzled to make out what the gardener was about groping under the vines with a lantern in one hand and a soda-water bottle containing hundreds of captured beetles in the other.
*H. arator, Fab.—A very shiny black Beetle, half an inch long, and stout in proportion, very common on the upper central land, where it seems to prefer the neighbourhood of grass-lands and
hayfields. Often it may be seen crawling lazily across the surface of a, roadway or roadside bank, and frequently lying dead in numbers along the highway-road. Mr. Wollaston writes of it : “The South African H. arator appears to be common at St. Helena, where it was taken by the late Mr. Bewicke in 1860, and subsequently in considerable abundance by Mr. Melliss. It is conspecific with the insect characterized by Blanchard in the Entomological portion of Dumont d'Urville's 'Voyage au Pole Sud sur les Corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Zelee' (p. 105, pl. 7, f. 6) under the title of H. sanctæ-helenæ.”
Mellissius (Bates), Woll.
With reference to this genus, Mr. Wollaston writes: “The structural features of the group bring it into close proximity to the Australian genera Cheiroplatys and Isodon ; but a reference to the diagnosis will show that it is abundantly distinct from them both. Unlike them, also, it appears, at any rate in one of the two species described below, to have organs for slight stridulation ; and its prothorax is apparently entire in both sexes (for as it is so in fifteen males which are now before me, we may conclude that this is equally the case in the opposite sex) ; and its anterior male tibiæ are not enlarged as in Cheiroplatys. The Mellissii are practically apterous, their wings being very small and rudimentary, and they seem to be eminently fussorial. In its simple (or unimpressed) prothorax the genus agrees with the European and African group Pentodon ; but, apart from other differences, the members of the latter have their organs for stridulation exceedingly conspicuous, occupying, however, the central part only of the propygidium.”
*M. eudoxus, Woll.—A shiny chocolate-coloured Beetle, common under the grass and surface-soil of pastures on the high lands.
*M. adumbratus, Woll.—A species somewhat similar in size and colour to the last, but, being larger, more of a red-chocolate colour, and less glossy, is easily distinguished from it. Both species are plentiful, and occur in similar localities. Their larvæ, the large, fat, whitish grubs called “hog-worms,” play so important a part in the destruction of the grass on some of the high lands, by feeding on its roots, that large patches, and sometimes whole fields, are laid bare. General Beatson writes thus:* “There is a white maggot
* Beatsons’ Tracts.
('hog-worm,' as it is here named, from hogs being extremely fond of it) which is found in great numbers in old grass-lands when newly broken up. It has not hitherto been injurious to potatoes or crops of corn, yet it is very destructive to pasture-lands. I knew not until lately the cause of the barren appearance I had observed in many parts of the pastures ; I had been told it proceeded from the shallowness of the soil, or from barren clays under the soil ; but, upon breaking up some old lays, it was discovered that under these apparently barren spots, this ‘large white grub, with a red head, six short legs, and nine breathing-holes in each side, and measuring from an inch to an inch and a half in length,’ had been at work, and had absolutely separated the sward for an inch or more from the subsoil. I have examined many spots where the verdure had disappeared, and invariably have found this destructive maggot. I have seen some taken out at twelve or fifteen inches under the surface, and, at other times, have caught them destructively employed within a few inches of the grass, feeding on its roots and occasioning the mischief.” It is said that the only way of destroying these creatures is to turn a herd of swine for a few days into the field where they are ;they destroy both grass and grubs, but of the two evils they are the least. I have also found this insect under stones on the low barren plains near Prosperous Bay.
A. atlanticus, Cand.—A long, thin Beetle, three-eighths of an inch in length. black on the upper and somewhat whitish on the under surface. It is found under stones, in the dry earth to the eastward of Arnos Vale ; and I have also captured it on the top of Flagstaff Hill, on the eastern side of the Island, at an altitude of 2000 feet above the sea.
C. rufipes, Thunb.—A Beetle which Mr. Wollaston recognises as a common European species, and which has doubtless made its way into St. Helena, as it has to Ascension, the Canarian, and Cape
Verde archipelagos, through the medium of commerce. It is about the sixth part of an inch in length, and easily recognised by its metallic green colour. It inhabits only the low land in the neighbourhood of the town and Ladder Hill.
G. scotias, Fab.—Like the last, a European species, imported into the Island as it has been at Madeira. Its bright, dark brown, glass-like body, about the size of a large pin's head, and long thin legs, serve easily to distinguish it from the other Beetles.
A. velatum, Woll.—This and the three following species, taken from the neighbourhood of the town, are small light-brown Beetles, which Mr. Wollaston recognises as importations into the Island, A. velatumalso occurring at Madeira.
A. paniceum, Linn., has also established itself in the Azorean, Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos.
A. striatum, Oliv.—A common European insect, which, like the last species, has established itself in the above-named islands.
A. confertum, Woll.—Of which Mr. Wollaston says : “Having no information concerning the precise places of capture of Mr. Melliss's various Coleoptera, I cannot but look with suspicion upon a single example of au Anobium now before me, as having, in all probability, become introduced into the Island, and been found by him in some house or cultivated spot ; yet, as it is well characterized by its very peculiar sculpture, and I cannot identify it with any member of the genus to which I have had access, I have thought it desirable to enunciate the species on the chance that it will be ascertained to have been undescribed.”
R. bifoveolata, Woll.—This and the following species, taken
from the neighbourhood of the town, are both recognised by Mr. Wollaston as imported through the medium of commerce, he having found them also at Madeira and the Cape Verdes in the warehouses and stores. They have doubtless reached St. Helena in bags of rice or casks of flour.
R. pusilla, F.
T. æmulus, Woll.—This insect, Mr. Wollaston considers, may be an indigenous one ; but as I only met with one specimen, and have no recorded locality to it, I am unable to say whether it was taken from the high or the low land.
H. ligniperda, Fab.—A dark brown, almost black, Beetle, a quarter of an inch in length, very common amongst the pine or fir trees on the high lands, about Plantation, and other localities of the same altitude. It is an European insect, which, Mr. Wollaston says, has been also naturalized in the Azorean, Madeiran, and Canarian groups.
S. hylastoides, Woll.—An almost black, cylindrical-shaped Beetle, one-sixth of an inch in length, taken from the wood of decaying branches of trees on the high land. Mr. Wollaston says of it : “The examples which I originally described of this curious insect, and for the reception of which I found it necessary to establish a new genus, were taken by the late Mr. Bewicke, in 1860, at the Cape of Good Hope ; and it is an interesting fact, therefore, geographically, that (judging from an extensive series which was captured by Mr. Melliss) the species would appear to be common also at St. Helena. After giving, in the Journal of Entomology, a lengthened diagnosis of the group, I added : 'So very closely does the present insect, at first sight, assimilate Hylastes, that I had regarded
it, previous to a critical examination, as an abnormal member of that group, in which the external edge of the tibiæ was edentate. But, on closer inquiry, it proves to be undoubtedly one of the Curcalionidæ, the entire structure of its slender, toothless, apically uncinateand its unreceived tarsi, assigning it to that family. From Rhyncolus, however, to which it is clearly related, it recedes completely in its excessively short, broad, thick, and subtriangular rostrum, in its very abbreviated and differently constructed antennæ (which have apparently no lateral scrobs for the reception of their scape), in its minute punctiform scutellum, its more globose, exposed head, and in its longer feet; and I should consider that the Madeiran Hexarthrum is perhaps its nearest described ally, though in that genus the funiculus is only 6-articulate, whereas in Stenoscelis it is 7.' ”
Of this genus Mr. Wollaston writes : “The excessive importance at St. Helena (where it is manifestly aboriginal, and to which it seems to be peculiar) of the little Curculiouideous genus Microxylobius induces me to enter more fully into its details, in this memoir, than I should otherwise have thought it necessary to do.” It comprises small black Beetles, varying front a twelfth to a quarter of an inch in length, and generally so extremely bright and glossy as to be easily distinguished from the other Beetles of the Island; moreover, they are chiefly confined to the native vegetation on the high land, at an altitude of 2700 feet above the sea, where they may be found abundantly in the stems and branches of the cabbage-trees; some few have extended down to an altitude of about 1700 feet, and taken up their abode in oak, loquat, and other exotic trees ; but it is fully manifest that, with the cabbage-trees, they form a portion of the aboriginal occupants of the Island.
*M. westwoodii, Chevr., of which Mr. Wollaston writes “This species being the one for which the genus was originally founded by M. Chevrolat, I have no choice but to regard it as the type of the group; and it is therefore extremely unfortunate that I
* In a subsequent paper on the Genera of the Cossonidæ, Trans. Ent. Soc. 1873, Pt. IV. Oct. p 520, 521, 11r. Wollaston separates this genus into three, placing M. cossonidesunder a new genus named Lamprochrus., Woll., and M. chevrolatii, M. conicullis, M. monilicornis, M. terebrans, M. obliteratus, M. debilis, and M. angustusunder the genus Acanthomerus, Boheman: the others remaining as Microxylobii.
should have been unable to obtain a glance at the individual from which Prof. Westwood's excellent figure which accompanied the diagnosis was drawn. Judging from the plate alone, I should have been contented to cite the following species (which I describe under the trivial name of vestitus) as the true M. westwoodii, had not Chevrolat distinctly stated his insect to be glabrous, and not only to have its elytra less parallel (or more expanded behind the middle) and with the base and suture raised, but its tibiæ likewise (as I believe) to be more curved and robust. Still it is not impossible that Chevrolat's example may have been an old and worn one, from which the rather sparing and delicate pubescence had been rubbed off, in which case there is at least an additional chance that it may prove eventually to be identical with my M. vestitus ; but, as the group is evidently rich in species, I am inclined to suspect that the 'raised suture' and other minute characters (as recorded) will tend to separate the M. westwoodiifrom its manifestly near ally.”
*M. vestitus, Woll.—Slightly under one-eighth of an inch in length ; a rare species, and confined to the native vegetation on the upper land.
*M. lacertosus, Woll.—A small dull black, very slight Beetle, an eighth of an inch in length, taken from the dry stems of Lachanodes leucadendron and other native trees on Diana's Peak.
*M. dimidiatus, Woll.—A small species, apparently not much, if at all, larger than the last, of which Mr. Wollaston writes :—“Although with abundant distinctive features of its own, in certain respects it is slightly intermediate between the lacertosus and lucifugus, combining somewhat the size and outline of the former with the less opaque and more punctured surface of the latter; yet neither ill outline nor in sculpture is it in anywise identical with either of them.” “It has a faint tendency, under a high microscopic power, to be studded posteriorly with minute cinereous pubescence. Instead of being opaque, alutaceous, and tuberculated, like the lacertosus, it is, as in the case of the lucifugus, faintly shining and punctured. Its punctures, however, are not so densely crowded together, or so coarse, as in the latter species ; and its elytra (which are scarcely so long as the anterior portion of the body) are more conspicuously striate, and with a single row of punctures down each interstice. Its legs are exceedingly short, like these of the lacertosus ; and its prothorax is very largely developed—indeed more so, perhaps, in proportion
to the size of the insect, than in any of the other members of the genus which have hitherto been brought to light.”
*M. lucifugus, Woll.—A stout Beetle, a quarter of an inch in length, less glossy than some of the others, and passing from black to a dull red in colour. It is certainly the most abundant species of this genus, and occurs plentifully in the stems of exotic plants as well as of the native gobblegheer (Psoralea pinnata) and rosemary (Phylica rosmarinifolia), at all altitude of 2000 feet above the sea.
*M. terebrans, Woll.—A species undoubtedly rare at the present time, since I failed to meet with it. It was captured at St. Helena by the late Mr. Bewicke in 1860, and Mr. Wollaston says of it : “In its brassy hue and shining surface it recedes from the preceding members of the group, and assimilates those which follow ; but the fact of its tibiæ being simple will at once separate it from the whole of the latter except the M. obliteratusand debilis. Apart, however, from its different outline, and perhaps rather less intensely brassy tinge, it may be known from both of these by its larger size and by being altogether more coarsely and closely punctured. Its elytral striæ, moreover, are deeper at their extreme base, and have the appearance at first sight of short divergent grooves.”
*M. obliteratus, Woll.—A short, thick, ovate, highly-polished black Beetle, in general appearance somewhat resembling M. conicollis, but it is not found so abundantly in the Island.
*M. debilis, Woll.—A very shiny black species, about the same length as the last, viz., one-eighth of an inch, but much thinner ; taken from the cabbage-trees and ferns on the high land near Diana's Peak.
*M. angustus, Woll.—Mr. Wollaston describes this as rather larger than the last species, “and also relatively longer, narrower, and more cylindrical, the elytra (instead of being considerably rounded outwards behind the middle) being very little expanded at the sides.” It also inhabits the indigenous plants on the high land.
*M. cossonoides, Woll.—This large, very shiny black Beetle, taken from the native cabbage-trees on the highest land near Diana's Peak, is about one-third of an inch in length, and not very abundant. Mr. Wollaston writes of it : “The comparatively gigantic size and elongated rostrum and limbs of this fine Microxylobius would of themselves suffice to distinguish it from every other
member of the group which has hitherto been brought to light : and although equally brassy with several of the other species, its general aspect is somewhat more in accordance with the sub-family Cossonides than is the case with its numerous (and more or less eccentric) allies.”
*M. chevrolatii, Woll. (Acanthomerus armatus, Boheman).—This fine large species, a little less than one-third of an inch in length, is found only in the native cabbage-trees, especially Lachanodes leucadendron, on the high central land, and is somewhat rare.
*M. conicollis, Woll.—A very glossy black Beetle, with a short, ovate, thick body, about one-tenth of an inch in length, very abundant amongst the indigenous cabbage-trees, and also in the rotten branches and stems of oak trees at the lower altitude of 2000 feet above the sea.
*M. monilicornis, Woll.—A slightly more oblong species, but very much resembling the last. It is equally bright, black, and glossy, and more abundant amongst the indigenous cabbage-trees on the high land and the exotic plants at a lower altitude.
*P. subcæcum, Woll.—This little blind Beetle, Mr. Wollaston writes, “possesses so unmistakable an affinity (in its five jointed funiculus and the general contour of its narrow, subcylindrical, sculptured body) with the genus Pentarthrum (as known hitherto through the P. huttoni from the west of England and the P. cylindricum which was found by Mr. Bewicke at Ascension) that I cannot persuade myself that it should be separated therefrom, even whilst equally aware that its obsolete eyes and scutellum would, of themselves, tend to affiliate it rather with the little group Mesoxenus, of the Madeiran and Canarian archipelagos. Yet I feel so satisfied that it has more in common with Pentarthrum than with Mesoxenus that I have preferred assigning it to the former, even should my doing so necessitate the diagnosis of that genus being so far widened as to embrace representatives in which (like the Mesoxeni) the eyes and scutellum are obsolete. Perhaps, in reality, however, it will be found desirable, in the end, to treat it as the type of a yet additional group, combining the external aspect of Pentarthrum with the escutellate sub-eyeless body of Mesoxenus ; but as these little Cossonideous assemblages are already perhaps somewhat too numerous
I will not at present add another to their number, but will be content to cite the very interesting weevil now before me as an aberrant Pentarthrumin which there are no traces of a visible scutellum, and none also (beyond the merest rudimentary punctiform specks-of the true existence of which I can scarcely satisfy myself, even beneath the microscope) of eyes.”*
S. oryzæ, Linn.—Mr. Wollaston writes of this small Weevil “This almost cosmopolitan spotted Curculionid has apparently established itself at St. Helena, just as it has in the Azorean, Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos.”
Mr. Wollaston says the singular little Curculionids, for the reception of which this genus was established, “are so remarkable that I was totally unable to come to any satisfactory conclusion as to their precise affinities; but the invaluable and more recent work of Lacordaire has given a position to the group which certainly I had little anticipated, but which tallies well with the various details of its structure. He regards it a, related to the European Trachodes, and still more so to Echinosoma of Madeira, in the latter of which the funiculus is likewise only 5-articulate ; and he consequently erects these three genera, together with Synaptonyx from Australia, into a little sub-family (under the title of Synaptonychides) of his sixteenth tribe, 'Tanyrhynchides.' This arrangement brings it into juxtaposition with one of the most anomalous and endemic of the Madeiran weevils, the Echinosoma porcellus ; and it supplies another instance of that curious analogy by which so many of the most extravagant forms of these widely scattered Atlantic islands are mysteriously bound together.”
* In a subsequent paper on the “Genera of the Cossonidæ,” Trans. Ent. Soc. 1873, Pt. IV. Oct. p. 525, Mr. Wollaston states that this insect is a new genus, which he describes under the name of Pseadomesoxenus, and not a Pentarthrum.
*N. horridus, Woll.—The largest of the three species ; a blackBeetle, a quarter of an inch in length, and a true native of the indigenous plants on the high land.
*N. squamosus, Woll.—A curious little dark brown Weevil, less shiny than the former, about an eighth of an inch in length, found amongst dry leaves and sticks on the elevated parts of the Island, and figured in the Journal of Entomology for Dec. 1861, pl. xiv. fig. 3.
*N. asperatus, Woll.—A dark brown, mud- coloured Beetle, about the same length but thinner than the last, very common amongst dead oak leaves and rotten branches that have fallen on to damp ground, at a n altitude of 2000 feet above the sea, at Oak Bank, Plantation, &c. Mr. Wollaston considers these species to be unmistakably indigenous at St. Helena, being without doubt amongst the most characteristic of the aboriginal forms.
Mr. Wollaston writes of this genus: “The insignificant little brown Curculionid which is manifestly one of the most indigenous of the St. Helena Coleoptera, has so much the prima facie appearance, in its short oval outline and the mud-like scales and sets with which it is clothed, of a minute Trachyphloeus that it required a close examination to convince me that it should not be referred to that group. When carefully inspected, however, it will be seen to have many essential points of difference ; for not only is its rostrum more abbreviated and conical, and truncate (instead of triangularly scooped out) at the tip, but its scrobs is likewise more bent downwards (and that very suddenly) beneath the still smaller and less prominent eye, from which, consequently, its lower edge is much more remote; its antennæ also are a trifle less incrassated, and inserted appreciably nearer to the apex of the rostrum ; and its feet have their thin l joint less broadly bilobed, and their claws a little more developed. On the whole, I should say that it had more in common with my Madeiran genus Scoliocerus than with Trachyphloeus proper; nevertheless, the position of its rostral grooves and its less curved scape will of themselves suffice to separate it therefrom.”
*T. setosum, Woll.—A dull muddy-brown Beetle, about one-
tenth of an inch in length, taken amongst dead leaves and sticks from an altitude of 2000 to 2700 feet above the sea.
*S. subnodosus, Woll.—A light brown Beetle, about a quarter of an inch in length, very abundant, and equally destructive to vegetation on the high land. In sheltered valleys and ravines, where there are gardens, it is most difficult to get plants to grow in consequence of this creature ; it lies stupid and dormant during daylight, easily concealing itself, because of the similarity of its colour, in dry sticks and leaves; sometimes under the string with which a plant may be tied to a stick, at other times inside of a flower, this cunning little insect finds a hiding-place until darkness comes on, when it turns out in numbers and attacks the tender branches of plants, generally eating the soft stem so that the young shoots break off and fall to the ground. Mr. Wollaston says : “I have no doubt it is referable to the Otiorhynchideous genus Sciobius, all the exponents of which, hitherto known, appear to be South African.” And he also considers it, in all probability, to be a truly indigenous insect at St. Helena.
O. sulcatus, Fab.—A Beetle very similar to the last, but nearly twice as large and of a dark colour, almost black, with brown spots on the back. It is not so abundant as the last but its habits are very similar, hiding through the day and devouring vegetation at night. It appears to be confined to the gardens on the high land, and has a habit, the object of which I imagine to be predatory, of indulging in nocturnal rambles in houses after lights are extinguished. Mr. Wollaston considers it to be the common European O. sulcatus, which has become naturalized, as it has at the Azores, from more northern latitudes.
A. fasciculatus, De Geer.—Stout, thick, dark brown Beetles, about one-sixth of an inch in length, which, Mr. Wollaston says,
“I feel almost confident are referable to the A. fasciculatus (which is usually known in collections as the coffeæ of Fabricius), though I have thought it desirable to give a careful diagnosis of them, in the event, perhaps, of their being identified hereafter with some cognate form. The insect, however, is evidently a variable one ; and there are individuals in the British Museum bearing the label ‘coffeæ,’ which seem in no way to differ from the pair now before me; whilst the fact that the species (the larva of which appears to subsist within various seeds and berries which are used as articles of food) has become naturalized, through the medium of commerce, in most of the warmer countries of the civilized world, would go far to render it probable that the St. Helena one is the true fasciculatus, and has been established in the island (as elsewhere) by indirect human agency.”
Mr. Wollaston writes of this interesting genus, that “in conjunction with Microxylobius, Nesiotes, and Trachyphlæosoma, of the Curculionidæ, it is amongst the most characteristic and truly indigenous of the Coleopterous forms which have hitherto been detected at St. Helena.”
*N. bewickii, Woll.—A black Beetle, the largest of the species yet known, about a quarter of an inch in length, taken from the indigenous plants on the high land. A figure of this insect is given in the Journal of Entomology for Dec. 1861, pl. xiv. fig. 1.
*N. rufopictus, Woll.—A Beetle with a shiny black surface, little more than half the size of the above, taken from similar localities by the late Mr. Bewicke, and figured in the Journal of Entomology for Dec. 1861, pl. xiv. fig. 2.
*N. dimidiatus, Null.—A species little less than one-sixth of an inch in length, and very glossy. Mr. Wollaston writes: “This species appears to be a little more ovate, and perhaps also (on the average) a trifle smaller, than the N. rufopictus ; and it is abundantly distinguished by its greenish-brassy, shining, and coarsely but sparingly pubescent surface, by its greatly elevated and evidently curved sub-basal prothoracic line, and by the striæ and largely developed punctures becoming evanescent on the posterior halt of its elytra.”
*N. alutaceus, Woll.—A smaller species, found in similar localities.
*N. ferrugineus, Woll.—Mr. Wollaston writes, compared with the others, this species “may immediately be known by its narrower and more oblong outline and pale ferruginous hue, the elytra only being obscurely decorated with a darker suture and a more or less interrupted and anteriorly evanescent discal line, both of which are sometimes barely traceable and at others conspicuous.” All the species inhabit the vegetation of the high land.
Small black Beetles, taken from the vegetation on the high land, and at first sight much resembling those last described as Notioxeni.
*H. rotundipennis, Woll.—About one-twelfth of an inch in length.
*H. alutaceicollis, Woll.—Very common in the oak-leaf soil about Oaklands and The Hermitage; altitude 2000 feet above the sea.
*H. pygmæa, Woll.—A somewhat smaller, but very similar species, and taken with the latter.
*H. coriacea, Woll.—A very minute species, taken with the others.
B. rufobrunneus, Woll.—A small, square-shaped, thick Beetle, about an eighth of an inch in length, and of a reddish-brown colour, very common in houses on both high and low land, and extremely fond of getting into rice, with which it may probably have been introduced into St. Helena. Mr. Wollaston remarks, that “it is peculiarly liable to accidental importation throughout the civilized world, along with various seeds and fruits.”
B. advena, Woll.—A very similar species to the other. Mr. Wollaston says : “I feel it extremely likely that both of them are natives of the same country (wheresoever that may be), and may perhaps have become naturalized, through the medium of commerce, in the stores and granaries of St. Helena.”
C. pilicornis, Fab.—A narrow, light reddish-brown Beetle, of nocturnal habits, about half' an inch or more in length. I captured it on the window-blind inside of the house at Maldivia, in the town, where it had evidently been attracted through the open window by the light of a candle. It is not very common, and most likely a recent importation, inasmuch as Mr. Wollaston writes : “It is the opinion likewise of Mr. Pascoe that it is not truly a native of St. Helena ; for he informs me that its proper country is the West Indies, and that it is so liable to accidental transportation (I presume, along with timber), that it has been taken alive on one or two occasions even in England.”
C. bidens, Fab.—A large mottled brown and grey Longicorn, from a half to two-thirds of an inch in length, and robust in proportion, not common, but occasionally seen about the houses and trees in Jamestown only. It is undoubtedly an importation into the Island.
*L. mellissii, Woll.—Both this and the following species are pretty, very black, and shiny little Beetles, which inhabit only the fresh green fern and cabbage-tree foliage, on the highest land, near Diana's Peak. That they are purely indigenous cannot be doubted; and they are easily distinguished from all the other Beetles by their power of hopping, which they exercise as readily as the grasshopper, rendering their capture not at all easy.
*L. helenæ, Woll.—A species very similar to the other, but about half its size.
A. miliaris, Fab.—I did not meet with this insect, and Mr.
Wollaston says that he knows nothing of it beyond the mere fact that Fabricius states it to have come from St. Helena.
*C. lunata, Fab.—The Ladybird of the Island is abundant everywhere, but most common in the central part where vegetation abounds and it can feed upon the aphides of the rose-bushes ; I have nevertheless seen the larvæ hanging suspended under large rocks and stones on the barren, hot. lower land. It is a pretty little creature, in colour generally bright red and black, but sometimes yellow and black. Mr. Wollaston says : “Although with a wide geographical range (it having been recorded from Senegal, the Cape of Good Hope, Caffraria, Madagascar, the islands of Bourbon and Mauritius, the East Indies, and Java), it was originally described by Fabricius (in 1775) from St. Helena specimens, now in the Banksian collection ; and therefore, whatever doubt may be entertained as to the claim for specific separation of some of the extreme states which have been ascribed to it, there can at least be no question about the St. Helena form, which must of necessity be looked upon as the typical one.”
C. vicina, Muls.—A species common over the African continent, as well as in the Cape Verde archipelago.
T. variegata, Fab.—A small pale yellow and black Ladybird, about half the size of the other, and less common ; almost the only examples I met with were bred from larvæ which were given to me from the grape-vines at Scotland, a position about 1000 feet above the sea. Mr. Wollaston says : “It is a species which occurs at the Cape of Good Hope, and which was recorded by Erichson from Angola ; and it is not improbable, therefore, that it may have been introduced into St. Helena from perhaps the former of those localities.”
E. chrysomelina, Fab.—Mr. Wollaston says: “Although I have never seen a St. Helena example of the Mediterranean E. chrysomelina,
I can scarcely refuse it a place in the present memoir, inasmuch as it was originally described by Fabricius, in 1775, from an example (or examples) in the collection of Sir Joseph Banks, which had been obtained in that Island.” I have not seen this insect on the Island, but the larvæ which I saw hanging to the rocks, and prickly-pear bushes in the locality of New Ground, supposing them to belong to Cydonia Iunata, may possibly have belonged to this species, as it seems to attach itself to that plant.
*H. hadroides, Woll.—A brown, mud-coloured Beetle, about one-third of an inch in length, generally covered with a thin coating of earth. Of all the Coleoptera in the Island, this is the most plentiful. It is found everywhere, but inhabits chiefly the high land, where, at Longwood and other farms, it abounds in the ploughed and cultivated fields. I have turned over the surface soil with my foot and exposed hundreds of these insects to view. They are especially fond of congregating around the stems of potato plants, and as they do not appear in any way destructive to the plant, I imagine their object is to seek its shelter from the heat of the sun. Mr. Wollaston says : “The H. hadroides is very nearly akin to a species which was taken by Mr. Bewicke at the Cape of Good Hope; but it is altogether rather larger, broader, and more parallel, its head is a little wider, with the genæ more rounded, its prothorax is less deeply scooped out in front, with the anterior angles consequently less porrect and more obtuse, the hinder angles also are somewhat less produced, and its shoulders are more rectangular.”
A. diaperinus, Kugel.—Mr. Wollaston writes of this insect:—“Judging from the specimens which were taken by Mr. Melliss, the widely-spread A. diaperinus has become established at St. Helena, as is the case with it in the Madeiras, Canaries, Cape Verdes, and Ascension, and indeed throughout the greater portion of the civilized world ; but I need scarcely add that it is no more con-
nected, in reality, with our present fauna than it is with that of any other country where it has in like manner been introduced through the medium of commerce.” It is a shiny black Beetle, about one-third of an inch in length, and nearly half as broad as it is long; common about Jamestown and that locality.
A. piceus, Oliv.—A species very like the last, but only about half the size; found in similar localities. Mr. Wollaston says, as at St. Helena, so it has been naturalized, through the medium of commerce, “in the Azores, Madeiras, Canaries, Cape Verdes and at Ascension, in which last- mentioned island it was found, in company with the A. diaperinus, by the late Mr. Bewicke, not in houses and amongst farinaceous substances, as we should have expected, but ‘in the dung of sea-birds, miles from habitable parts,’ which is undoubtedly a singular habit for these common and almost cosmopolitan insects to have acquired.”
G. cornutus, Fab.—This reddish-brown Insect has been introduced through the medium of commerce, in like manner as it has been at Madeiras, Canaries, Cape Verdes, and Ascension. It is common about houses and store-rooms, both in town and country, in fact wherever flour, biscuit, and other farinaceous substances are stored.
T. ferrugineum, Fab.—A somewhat smaller Insect, of a reddish-brown colour, introduced through the medium of commerce, as it has also been in the Azorean, Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos. It is very common at St. Helena in similar localities as the last species.
T. obscurus, Fab.—A rather large, long, thin, black Beetle, about an inch in length, which has become naturalized in the Island, as it has “almost universally throughout the Azorean, Madeiran, and Canarian archipelagos.” It is somewhat rare at St. Helena, but is found on both high and low land, generally in straw, about
stables and outhouses. It is quite nocturnal in its habits, and may be occasionally captured prowling about the inside of houses, especially near to a lighted stove or fire.
Z. concolor, Woll.—A long black Beetle, somewhat like the Tenebrio, but more massive, and about five-sixths of an inch in length. It is rare, and found only in the houses in the town.
*M. mellissiana, Woll.—This beautiful and gracefully-formed, reddish-brown, armadillo-shaped Beetle, about a quarter of an inch in length, is truly indigenous. It is found only on the high land, sometimes in decaying branches of trees, but generally at night in houses, where, attracted by the light of a lamp, it is often seen hopping about on the table-cloth at dinner-time.
H. coriaria, Kr.—A very small black Beetle, about one-tenth of an inch in length, with elytra much shorter than the body, common about gardens on the high land, at an altitude of 2000 feet above the sea. It is a common European species, and has established itself also in the Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos.
P. longicornis, Steph.—A long black-bodied insect, about one-third of an inch in length, with very short elytra or wing-covers, common in flower-gardens and damp places on the high land, at an altitude of 2000 feet above the sea. I took several specimens at The Hermitage. Mr. Wollaston notes it as a common European species, and says : “It is recorded from the Azores by Mr. Crotch ;
and it has been captured abundantly by myself and others in the Madeiran, Canarian, and Cape Verde archipelagos ; and it was met with by the late Mr. Bewicke even at Ascension.”
C. maxillosus, Linn.—Although this great creature, nearly an inch in length, and in appearance something between a large Bee and a Beetle, is rare, it is occasionally met with on the high land, particularly in the neighbourhood of churchyards and cesspools. Mr. Wollaston notes it as a common European species, which has also become naturalized in the Azores, Madeiras, and Canaries.
X. morio, Woll.—Mr. Wollaston writes:—“The single example, taken by Mr. Melliss, has been carefully examined by Mr. Rye, who remarks that it is unknown to him, but might nevertheless perhaps prove to be the European atratus of Heer. Judging from the description, however, of that species, it would appear to be not only smaller and blacker than the atratus, and with darker limbs, but (as I imagine) to have its head more sparingly punctured, and the dorsal punctures of its prothorax more numerous.”
O. alutaceifrons, Woll.—Of which Mr. Wollaston writes:—“An Orytelus which is in some respects allied to the European O. lutei-pennis (and less so to the O. piceus), but at the same time differing in many important respects from that species. It has been examined by Mr. Rye, who considers it totally distinct from anything with which he is acquainted.”
O. nitidifrons, Woll.—Of which Mr. Wollaston writes:—“A most extraordinary little Oxytelus, which, from its abbreviated head and prothorax, and the fact of its antennæ having the three apical joints (rather, perhaps, than the usual seven) conspicuously thickened, might seem at first sight almost to merit generic separation.”
The Earwigs, the Cockroaches, the Crickets, and the Grasshoppers together occupy rather a considerable place in the insect world of St. Helena. The latter two inhabit chiefly the grassy mountain tops of the high land and keep up their loud, shrill chirp through the fine summer evenings, and far into the night. The earwigs occupy much the same position as they do in England, frequenting both fruit and flowers, bnt are also found under the loose stones which lie about the outskirts of the Island, where, in the warmer climate, they attain a large size. Cockroaches are a terror to all housekeepers whose fate it is to live on the low lands, indeed anywhere below an altitude of six or eight hundred feet above the sea, where a warm climate exists, and more especially in Jamestown and at Ladder Hill. Occasionally they make their way into the kitchens of houses at a higher altitude, but not in large numbers. They are the most objectionable creatures existing in the Island, and their curiosity knows no bounds. They will crawl up a lighted candle to see what is at the top, until burnt by the flame they beat a hasty retreat ; they tumble into wine bottles, jam pots, get up the side of tumblers, and in their endeavours either to see or taste what they contain, fall headlong in without a chance of escape ; but their most unpleasant amusement is a habit of crawling over you when in bed and asleep at night, and peering down your throat if you happen to have your mouth open wide enough. It is always prudent to decant your wine in a cockroach country, as I once knew a gentleman who thoroughly enjoyed his bottle of crusty old port until on one occasion, with the last glass, out poured the porty carcase of an old grey cockroach.
Grasshoppers are very numerous on the high central ridge adjacent to Diana's Peak, nearly 3000 feet above the sea, amongst the cabbage-trees, ferns, and other native vegetation, where they seem merry and happy enough all through the day ; those whose habitat is amongst the grass and leaves, are in colour chiefly green, slightly marked with black or brown; but those inhabiting the lower portions of the Island, where little verdure exists, are entirely brown, partaking much of the colour of the earth and stones of the locality. The Crickets appear to be fully sensible of the safety afforded by
taking up their abode under large loose stones, for they exist in pairs under almost every one of them.
Of this order Mr. Walker has examined twenty four species, and he has described one half of those as new.
F. flavipes, Fabr.—The common Earwig, which is very large in size, and abundant on the high land and under stones on the outskirts, such as Thompson's Wood, Dead Wood, and similar places, also inhabits Africa.
P. maderæ, Fabr. Ent. Syst. 11, 6. (Blatta).—A very large grey Cockroach, which is found abundantly in houses in Jamestown, Ladder Hill, and other warm low parts of the Island. It has been distributed over many parts of the world.
P. illepida, Walk. Cat. Blatt. 185.—A large brown, flat Cockroach, easily distinguished by its very offensive odour. It also is very plentiful in the houses of Jamestown and neighbouring parts, and occurs under stones in the gardens attached to them. Mr. Walker says : “It has been found in St. Domingo and in the Canaries, and it may have been transferred by shipping from one to the other of these places.”
*E. sanctæ helenæ, Walk.—An extremely pretty and unobjectionable, little black and bright orange-coloured Cockroach, generally found under stones in the gardens of Jamestown, Ladder Hill, and New Ground. It is also sometimes found in the houses, but is not very common. Mr. Walker gives the following description of it:—“Female black, oval, ferruginous beneath. Prothorax luteous along each side. Abdomen luteous beneath. Forewings with a round luteous spot in the disk beyond the middle ; length of the body four lines. It has much resemblance to E.pacifica, of Barbadoes ; it is
more pubescent, the antennæ are piteous instead of black, the luteous marginal stripes of the prothorax are longer and broader, and extend nearly to the foreborder ; the head is piteous, testaceous about the mouth, the pectus and legs are ferruginous, and the abdomen is luteous.”
*E. signatura, Walk.—A medium-sized, grey Cockroach, commonly found in the Jamestown houses and gardens. Mr. Walker gives the following description of it:—“Female testaceous, fusiform, shining. Head with a black band between the eyes, and with a broad irregular brown band on the front ; eyes piteous ; antenna= brown, shorter than the body ; prothorax short conical ; a black abbreviated and nearly interrupted stripe on each side; an incompletely scutcheon-shaped brown patch in the disk ; sides rounded. Abdomen beneath mostly brownish, with a pale testaceous stripe along each side. Legs short, stout ; tibiæ beset with stout brown spines. Forewings brownish, extending nearly to the tip of the abdomen, with a pale testaceous costal stripe, extending to half the length from the base. Length of the body twelve lines.”
B. germanica, Linn. Syst. Nat. ii. 688.—A rather small, long, thin-shaped, light-coloured Cockroach from the low land. It is rare in St. Helena, but has been dispersed from Europe to North America, Mexico, Ceylon, and Australia.
*B. bicincta, Walk.—A very minute Cockroach, easily distinguished by the stripes or bands across it. It is commonly found in the houses and gardens on the low land. Mr. Walker gives the following description of it:—“Female black, elongate, oval, smooth, shining, with a white band on the mesothorax and with an interrupted white band on the base of the abdomen. Antennæ submoniliform, rather stout, pale yellow at the base. Legs piteous; knees and tarsi pale yellow. Length of the body two lines.”
P. repanda, Walk. Cat. Blatt. 125.—The common red Cockroach is very abundant on the low land, and an occupant of most
houses, where it frequents the kitchens, pantries, cupboards, and even the bedrooms. It is also found in some of the kitchens of houses on the high land. Out of doors too it occurs, generally under loose stones, and I have even found it amongst the rocks in the neighbourhood of Lot, more than a mile away from any house. Mr. Walker states that it also inhabits the West Indies, South America, and some of the eastern isles.
P. emittens, Walk. Cat. Derm. vi. 37.
P. latipes, Walk. Cat. Blatt. 165.—A very shiny, dark brown, oval-shaped Cockroach, found abundantly, generally in pairs, under stones on the low land, in the Castle Gardens and similar situations. Mr. Walker states that it also inhabits Sierra Leone.
P. subornata, Walk. Cat. Derm. vi. 34.—A small Cockroach, found associating with the others in the warm situations of the Island.
*P. oniscoides, Walk.—A rather small Cockroach of a brown colour, found associating with the others, and of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Female piteous, dull, elongate, oval. Head much narrower than the prothorax, extending a little in front of it. Antenna'longer than the body. Abdomen beneath with a testaceous band on each segment. Cerci very short. Legs testaceous, short, stout ; tibiæ with a few short spines. Length of the body three and a half lines.”
G. domesticus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. 2, 694.—The Ground-Hopper, which is found in houses. It occurs also in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
G. capensis, Fabr. Ent. Svst. ii. 31 (Acheta).—The very common large Field Cricket of St. Helena, where it is found abundantly in the hay-fields and grass lands of the higher parts, as well as under rocks and stones on the lower and warmer portions of the Island. It is one of the most familiar insects of the place, due, perhaps, to its cheerful chirp, which is heard during almost every evening, and sometimes through the daytime, in the woods and fields. It is an inhabitant of most parts of the world.
G. marginalis, Walk. Cat. Derm. i. 25.—A rather small black Cricket, tolerably abundant in similar localities to the last mentioned species. It also inhabits Madeira.
*Z. bifasciata, Walk.—Known in the Island as the Ground Hopper ; this small light brown creature takes up its abode under stones and rocks in Jamestown and Rupert's Valley and similar localities where the climate is warmest. It is usually found in pairs and is not very abundant. Mr. Walker gives the following description of it:—“Female testaceous, smooth. Head shining, as broad as the prothorax, with a large brown patch between the eyes and between the antennæ where the vertex is rounded in front and includes a testaceous spot. Eyes not prominent. Palpi clavate. Antennæ much more than twice the length of the body. Prothorax on each side with a brown spot extending from the fore border and connected by a short brown line with a brown band on the hind border, this band extending along the hind part of each side; sides rounded ; fore part broadest. Mesothorax, metathorax, and abdomen with brown marks which form three irregular stripes. Metathorax with a brown band. Femora with brown spots. Oviduct somewhat longer than the abdomen. Wings rudimentary. Length of the body eight lines. The cerci and legs of the specimen described are mutilated.”
C. mandibularis, Charp. Hor. Ent. 106 (Locusta).—A very large green Grasshopper, found in hay-fields and gardens on the high land. Inhabits, also, S. Europe and N. Africa.
*OE. obumbrata, Walk.—A thick-built, medium-sized, brown Grasshopper, abundant in the Island, of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Male ferruginous. Head short; vertex triangular and with a rim on each side in front of the eyes; front with four slight keels, the inner pair parallel, the outer pair
diverging towards the face. Antennæ not longer than the head and the thorax together. Prothorax with three slight keels ; lateral keels interrupted and oblique ; hind border angular in the middle. Femora and four anterior tibiæ with some black marks. Hind tibiæ pale luteous, shorter than the hind femora. Wings much shorter than the abdomen. Forewings with some rows of indistinct brown dots. Length of the body eight lines.”
*S. viridipes, Walk.—A medium-sized Grasshopper, having a light brown body and green legs. It is abundant on the high central ridge and adjacent slopes, at altitudes of two to three thousand feet above the sea. Mr. Walker gives the following description of it:—“Male testaceous. Head slightly ascending; front mostly or wholly black. Antennæ black, as long as the body. Prothorax mostly overspread with black, this hue including some variable testaceous marks on each side ; lateral keels slightly inclined inward. Legs green ; tarsi tawny ; hind femora vivid green ; hind tibiæ pilose, with black spines. Forewings cinereous. Length of the body six to six and a half lines. This and the following species are distinguished from the Stenobothri previously described by their long antennæ.”
*S. annulicornis, Walk.—One of the dark black-and-brown Grasshoppers which are common in the Island, and of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Male black. Head and prothorax with a broad testaceous stripe on each side. Head with a transverse testaceous mark on the hind border above ; a fusiform furrow between the eyes ; front with a testaceous spot and with two anterior testaceous bands, the second rounded on the foreside and abbreviated. Antenna; black, somewhat shorter than the body ; each joint with a testaceous band. Prothorax with some testaceous patches on each side, and with a testaceous dentate band on the hind border; lateral keels partly testaceous, slightly curved inward. Abdomen testaceous beneath. Four anterior femora with black dots. Hind femora with black patches on the outer side. Wings somewhat shorter than the body. Forewings blackish, this hue including several small testaceous marks ; a broad cinereous streak along the outer part of the costa ; a row of black dots in the disk. Length of the body nine lines.”
*S. undulifer, Walk.—Another of the numerous Grasshoppers, a medium-sized, variegated brown one, of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Male testaceous. Head above and disk of the prothorax luteous. Head slightly ascending, with a nearly linear furrow between the eyes ; front with four slight keels. Antennæ black, somewhat shorter than the body, tawny at the base. Prothorax on each side, with a large black patch, which emits an undulating black line to the foreborder. Four anterior femora with some black marks; hind femora with a ramose black streak on each side. Wings much shorter than the abdomen. Forewings with three rows of black spots. Length of the body eight and a half lines.”
*S. vittifer, Walk.—Another medium-sized Grasshopper, of a brown colour, which is described by Mr. Walker as follows :—“Male brown. Head and thorax with a testaceous stripe. Antennæ much shorter than the body. Prothorax with a black stripe on each side of the testaceous stripe ; lateral keels curved inward, a large pale testaceous patch on each side. Abdomen and legs tawny ; hind femora green beneath, with a short black streak on the outer side. Spines of the hind tibiæ with black tips. Wings cinereous, much shorter than the abdomen. Forewings with a row of brown dots in the disk. Length of the body eight lines.”
There are doubtless other species of Grasshoppers inhabiting the high lands, which would well repay the attention of any future collector.
*T. calcarata, Still, Eug. Resa. 335, pl. 5, f. 8.
*T. sanctæ helenæ, Still, Eug. Resa. 338.
This order, though small in numbers, is represented by the White Ant, and is, perhaps, on that account, one of the most important in the list. It contains one native species only.
L. sp. P—.—The common large red-bodied Dragon-fly, which is abundant all over the Island.
C. congrua, Walk.—One of the green Lace-wing-flies. Inhabits also West and South Africa.
C. vulgaris, Schneid.—Another species.
*C. exul, McLach.—A very beautiful pale-green gauze or Lacewing-fly, a native found in hay-fields and flower-gardens on the high land, but not very abundant. Ent. Mon. Mag. vol. vi. p. 23. 1869.
T. tenuis, Hagen.—White Ants, as they are called, were introduced into the Island, in the year 1840, in some timber from a slave-ship captured by H. M. cruisers on the West Coast of Africa, and sent to St. Helena for adjudication. The identical spot where this timber was deposited in the town is pointed out to this day, the whole population of the place having good reason to remember the surreptitious entrance into their camp of an enemy such as Termites have proved. The species was supposed to be of African origin, until, three years ago, I brought some specimens to England, and, through the kindness of Mr. H. W. Bates, it was identified by Mr. McLachlan as one peculiar to tropical America : as many of the slavers were Brazilian vessels, it is easy to understand how both timber and Termites originally came from that quarter. After their appearance in the town, a quarter of a century passed by without much evidence of the terrible work of destruction in which they were engaged. It was known that they were eating books, furniture, papers, and clothes, with occasionally a beam or two in the houses, but no one entertained the idea that in an additional five or six years their houses would be in ruins and an expenditure of 60,000l. at least imperatively necessary to reconstruct them. Such, however, has happened. Public and private interests have alike suffered to a large extent, and the whole colony has been taxed beyond its powers merely to replace what a few years before it possessed.
It was a melancholy sight five years ago to see the town, which had hitherto not been without its claims for admiration, devastated as
by an earthquake, or, as a visitor remarked, a state of siege—the chief church in rnins, public buildings in a deplorable state of dilapidation, private houses tottering and falling, with great timber props, butting out into the streets and roadways, meeting the eye at every turn, and astounding the stranger by a tale of some awful risk incurred merely when walking along the pavements ; while the Governor in his council-chamber, the Chief Justice, and other officials, were accessible only through a labyrinth of fir-poles and old ship-planking set on end to prevent ceilings falling on their heads, or, worse still, whole buildings collapsing around them. Many valuable lives of illustrious visitors were, during that period, risked in climbing over temporary galleries or propped-up floors, merely to show the usual respect for the Governor by an, official call.
Termes tenuis is the most voracious species I have ever heard or read of, its whole object in life seeming to be destruction. It spares none of its time for domestic arrangements, or the construction of those curiously-formed homes, in the shape of hillocks or mounds, with which other species amuse or occupy themselves in the desert plains of tropical Africa and elsewhere. It is true it inhabits the ground, but it has other motives for being there than mere home arrangements, and does not indulge in a queen, that enormous fat creature, the care of whom devolves upon her subjects, and of whom we read, with reference to other species, that, if she escapes being eaten by black natives, she lays an innumerable quantity of eggs and then dies.
The St. Helena Termites are fragile little creatures, of a dirty-white colour, about one-third of an inch long, and succumb immediately on exposure to bright sunshine. In proportion to about ten of the workers there is one armed with a formidable pair of red forceps, an eighth of an inch in length, which is called a soldier. This creature superintends the work done by the others, and acts the part of a sentinel, giving immediate notice throughout the band or colony of the approach of danger. It is most curious to watch them at work building a tunnel or covered passage by which to travel from one spot to another, for they do everything under cover, and nothing by the broad light of day. The work proceeds by pellet after pellet of a sticky, brown, mud-like matter, which they employ, being added round the edge from the inside, and moistened to make it adhere to the rest. Occasionally, as a worker deposits
his pellet and retires, up bobs the great head and red forceps of a soldier, as it were from a watch-tower, for a general view around, to see that all is right, and, if it is not so, his excitement becomes very great. Illustrative of this, and the rapidity with which they communicate to each other, I placed some books partly eaten by them in the middle of a teak window-seat. In four days they constructed a tunnel along the angle formed by the window-seat and frame, for a length of about five feet, communicating with the pile of books by two branch tunnels, each four inches long. They worked away busily at each end prolonging the tunnel, about an inch of that last executed being moist similar to newly-mixed mortar. Workers were running out in the direction of the proposed extension of the tunnel, and returning without any apparent result, until a closer observation showed that they were conveying back with them minute fragments of debris fallen from the books, no doubt to be remasticated and converted into fresh mortar to help on the progress of the work ; and thus these little engineering builders worked on until I broke the branch tunnels, and almost instantaneously the workers at each end of the main tunnel, more than two feet distant, were withdrawn, and the red forceps of an excited. soldier protruded, showing plainly that injury of the branch tunnels and imminent danger to the whole colony was in a moment, as if by electricity, telegraphed throughout the whole line of work. On the same occasion I also tested their perseverance, for they continued to repair the damage I repeatedly caused to their work, through several days, before abandoning the locality.
Like other species they swarm in a winged state, when each insect is provided with four narrow, fawn-coloured, gauzy wings, about twice as long as the body. They generally fly at night, after rain, in the months of December and January, I believe as soon as they emerge from the eggs ; when they settle and pair together they wriggle off their wings and enter either the ground or anything that is near and suitable to their taste. The conditions almost indispensable to them are, heat with moisture, darkness, and perfect stillness, so that they rarely attack doors, window sashes, or things that are frequently in motion. What they love best is a water cask in a sunny place, or the massive tie-beam of a building, into which they enter by one or two small holes no larger than pins, heads, and trouble no one until the whole collapses in a cloud of dirt and dust, perhaps
bringing down the building with it.* Their manner of attack is generally, in the first instance, through the ground' ; they ascend the interior of walls, mortar, lime or even a soft building stone forming no barrier, and enter any woodwork that is in contact with them ; sometimes they travel up the outer surface of a wall or iron column under cover of their tunnels, which are about one-eighth of an inch in diameter; it is probable that they employ this plan when their object is to reach some article, which they could not attain from the inside of a wall ; by means of these tunnels they have been known to get into a valuable ship's cargo, which, stored upon iron floors and not nearer to any wall than eight or ten inches, was thought to be safe from them; they simply crossed over the spaces between the walls and the hales of goods by carrying their tunnels suspended horizontally from point to point like tubular bridges.
Nothing escapes their marvellously instinctive powers; furniture, clothing, paper, merchandize, all share alike, and, with a few hours' quiet, they will make themselves just as much at home inside of a sack of rice or sugar as anywhere else ; their partiality for the stationery in the Engineer office was remarkable, and, after various unsuccessful attempts to secure it from them, I felt certain an iron chest would preserve it ; but not so, they ate the putty from the seams of the chest, and gained an entrance. There are few things that they will not get through by some means or another, if there is anything to be got on the other side that suits them ; the ingenious manner by which they gain access to preserved meats, sardines, and vegetables, shows that they will even make their way through metallic substances. They deposit on the iron or tin case, somewhere out of sight, a mass of wet, muddy looking stuff, which soon corrodes it sufficiently for them to penetrate to the inside; probably there is something in the chemical composition of this stuff that hastens decomposition of the metal. Smeathman relates that a party of Termites once took a fancy to a pipe of fine old Madeira, not for the sake of the wine, almost the whole of which they let out, but of the staves, which, however, may not have proved less tasteful from having imbibed some of the costly liquor ;† but this is
* A specimen of one of the beams removed from a public office during the reconstruction of Jamestown may now be seen in the British Museum.
† The Tropical World, by Dr. G. Hartwig.
little compared to the bacchanalian achievements of the Termites at St. Helena, which first destroy the metallic capsules from bottles of champagne and Bass's ale, and then the corks.
They seem to possess a particular mode of torment for others as well as the householder and the merchant, for the contractor finds that before he can complete the upper portion of a building, they attack the lower, disfiguring his lately-plastered fabric with blisters formed by pushing the lime before them in their exit from the newly-built walls. The shopkeeper also, who, proud of his trim and well-arranged goods, reaches down from its shelf a box of Dutch toys, is horrified to find it contains nothing more or less than a mass of dirt and dust.
Not only do they destroy property, but also necessitate considerable loss of labour, in the constant removal of goods from place to place to avoid them. Upon one occasion I saw a man employed for days sorting iron and copper brads and tacks which had become indiscriminately mixed together; it appeared that they had been made up in small paper packets, and placed in a barrel, but the Termites had destroyed every atom of the paper.
They sometimes desert certain things and places for others more suited to their tastes, but seldom before they have wrought utter destruction, and they scarcely ever quit a house, while there is any juice or sap left in it, or until it is reduced to a mere shell, literally a shell, because they will eat away the whole of the wood from the interior, leaving only the unbroken coating of paint wherever it is thick enough to support itself. As the demolition of a building approaches completion, their work manifests itself somewhat suddenly. In the year 1860, when His Royal Highness the Mike of Edinburgh visited St. Helena, the reception room at the castle was in sufficiently good order for him to hold a levee; and for a Governor's ball on the same evening : six years afterwards it was a complete ruin !
Amongst other valuable property, they devoured a considerable portion of the books of the Public Library, showing a decided preference for theological literature, very probably because such works generally remain longest untouched on bookshelves. They enter a book by very minute holes, destroy every atom of the interior, without showing any sign of their presence, and then depart, leaving the binding and gilt or marbled edges of the leaves apparently as perfect as when new.
The suddenness with which their operations are sometimes
revealed is attended with a good deal of danger and surprise. on a calm fine day, a couple of policemen standing at the Court-house door, with as great an appearance of dignity as St. Helena policemen can possess, were quite unnerved by the antics of a staid old Margossa tree in full foliage, which, long a shelter from the sun's heat, suddenly fell to pieces and prostrated itself around them—on examination it was found that Termites had completely hollowed out the stem and branches nearly to the bark.
The destruction of the town became a matter of such grave importance, and the necessity for rebuilding with other materials than those similar to what the insects had destroyed so evident, that many valuable experiments were tried with various materials, at the instigation of the then Governor, Admiral Sir Charles Elliot, K.C.B., and the results, affording much useful information, are embodied in a published official report. Numerous timbers and various compositions were contributed from different parts of the world, but the Termites at St. Helena devoured most of them excepting teak timber, cedar, Brazilian yellow-wood, timber of the tree called Cunninghamia lanceolata, and creosoted deal. There were also some very hard, close-grained timbers from South America and Africa, which they would not touch, but the cost of working them, together with other reasons, rendered it impracticable to use them at St. Helena. Of the compositions tried, creosote alone defied them, but the difficulty of getting timber completely impregnated with it has been experienced at St. Helena as elsewhere. Teak has been most generally used in reconstructing the town ; at present the Termites only bore through it ; what they may do, if they remain at St. Helena, which I am inclined to doubt, after the teak has well dried and there is no timber which they like better, remains to be seen.
It is extremely fortunate that these insects have so far been confined to the town and its neighbourhood, and have not penetrated to the country or high land ; this may in a great measure be attributed to the fact of their having been introduced on the leeward side of the Island, and their inability in their migration by flight to make progress against the trade wind, rather than to their dislike for a colder climate. Their habit being to occupy the earth, they might descend to a considerable depth, so long as any vegetable matter exists in the soil, and thus continue to live in much colder climates if once sufficiently established.
The lchneumon Flies chiefly represent this order, and Mr. Walker considers that they are new, but advises the publication of descriptions to be deferred. Out of thirteen insects which he has examined in this order, eight are indigenous to the Island.
P. pusilla, Westw.—The common, small, red Ant is identical with the house Ant of Madeira, and is also found in London. Without exception it is the most abundant insect at St. Helena, where it exists in swarms on both high and low land. Most houses are plagued with it, more especially in wet weather, when it is driven indoors. It attacks everything and even finds its way into beds, hats, brushes, and clothing. Out of doors it exists in colonies under stones on barren land, where it is difficult to discover what it feeds upon. A colony generally consists of five distinct forms of inhabitants. First, there are large numbers of the ordinary-sized ants or workers ; second, a lesser number of larger ants, about one-third of an inch long; third, a lesser number again of still larger ants, about half an inch long, which appear to be females ; fourth, a moderate number of winged ants ; and fifth, a large number of transparent white eggs or larvæ. When one of these settlements is disturbed, the small ants or workers rush about most frantically, each laying hold of and carrying away one of the larvæ. There is another species which appears to be confined to the town ; it is slightly larger, quite black, and more active in its movements.
A. compressa, Fabr.—This most brilliant green, blue, and red Fly is rather abundant in the summer months, on the low land about Jamestown, where it feeds upon cockroaches. It is common in India and Ceylon, but at St. Helena is erroneously called Spanish Fly, for it is a green beetle and not a fly at all that supplies the cantharides for blisters. It inhabits, also, E. Africa, Mauritius, Hindostan, China, and Java.
A. mellifica, Linn.—About thirty years ago, the common Honey Bee was very abundant, and chiefly wild, in the Island. It swarmed and entered old rat holes, holes in the rocks, and even the roofs of houses, getting in between the ceiling boards and the covering. It almost suddenly disappeared about eighteen or twenty years since, but whether its destruction was occasioned by the persecution met with through boys smoking it to death in order to obtain the honey, or the Death's-Head Moths robbing it of its honey, or some other cause, has not been ascertained. It was re-introduced about six years ago, and is again becoming wild about the rocky outskirts of the Island.
E. lævigata, Latr.—A black, bob-tailed Fly, inhabiting the warm low lands of Jamestown, Ladder Hill, &c., where it is likely to meet with cockroaches, as it selects those creatures as a living depository for its eggs. As this curious little insect is very much less objectionable than the Cockroach, and is not very abundant, the St. Helenians, especially the residents of Jamestown, would do well to encourage it. It may often be seen crawling over the trunks of trees in Maldivia gardens, and even in the houses in the town and at Ladder Hill. It inhabits, also, many parts of Africa and of Asia.
*I.maculifemur, Walk.—A black-bodied Ichneumon Fly, the body being four to four and a half lines in length. This as well as the following species is somewhat commonly found on the high land, inhabiting damp places. My specimens were taken at The Hermitage, where, amongst the Moon plants, they fly about during the day time and evening in considerable numbers.
*I.diffinis, Walk.—Another black-bodied Fly, but smaller in size, measuring only four lines.
*I. latipes, Walk.—A still smaller species, having a shiny black body, measuring only two and three-quarter lines in length.
*C. triangulifer, Walk.—An insect very similar to the last, and about the same size, with a black body. The specimens were taken with the Ichneumon flies.
*P. sanctæ helenæ, Walk.—A large black-bodied Ichneumon Fly, perhaps more abundant than any of those before mentioned. Frequently it is seen in houses at night, and generally about gardens on the high land as evening approaches. The length of the body is from five and a half to seven and a half lines, and it is easily recognised by its being the largest of those flies which have a black body. It selects the large green caterpillars of Plusia aurifera in which to deposit its eggs ; and many chrysalides which I watched with much care, hoping to see the rightful occupant emerge, yielded only one of these troublesome creatures.
*P. piceus, Walk.—A large red-bodied Ichneumon Fly, more abundant still than any of the aforementioned. The length of the body is from seven to nine lines. On the high land, at night, these flies come into the houses in considerable numbers and behave in a very disagreeable manner ; they dash into your face with unpleasant force, and I have often seen them extinguish the flame of a candle by tumbling into it one on the top of another, until they literally choke it out.
A. cephalotes, Hal.—An extremely minute Ichneumon Fly, taken at The Hermitage on the high land, and not abundant. It also inhabits Madeira.
*P. ipsea, Walk.—A small green Fly, taken by Mr. Darwin from the high central land, and, with the following species, described by Mr. Walker in his “Monographia Chalciditum,” vol. ii. p. 97.
*C. nireus, Walk.—A species about the size of a pin's head.
The varied hues of the St. Helena landscape need little to add to their brilliancy, or the almost entire absence of Butterflies would be more striking. There are but four species in the Island, and they have all been imported. With the Moths it is quite different. They abound, as is evidenced not only by their own presence, but by the multitude of their large and small caterpillars or larvæ, which cause so much destruction to garden plants. There is one of them, known as the common black grub, which at certain times literally swarms in the earth, and proves as formidable an enemy to the farmer and the gardener as they are likely to meet with. Most of the Moths are nocturnal in habit, and sometimes, attracted by a light, come into a room in such numbers as almost to extinguish the flame of a candle. Mr. Walker has identified forty-three species, of which he has described twenty as new to science.
D. chrysippus, Linn.—The Asclepias Butterfly is the largest and most showy, and is very common in the warm parts of the Island, where it is evidently attracted by the Asclepias bushes, upon which its beautiful black and yellow caterpillars feed, and from which, like handsome eardrops, its bright green and gold pupæ or chrysalides are suspended.
D. bolina, Linn.—Black-and-white Butterfly, of which only a few exist on the low warm land about Jamestown, where it associates with the Asclepias Butterfly.
P. cardui, Linn.—The common, ubiquitous, Painted Lady, or orange and red Butterfly, is one of the most abundant, frequenting all parts of the Island, but chiefly the gardens on the high land.
Its black and yellow, very hairy caterpillar is not very destructive, as it confines itself to mallows, nettles, and other weeds.
L. boetica, Linn.—The small blue Butterfly is the most abundant everywhere, especially on a damp sunny day, which appears to suit it best. I have not met with the larva anywhere but in the pods of green- peas ; though they must feed elsewhere, as this vegetable is scarcely sufficiently cultivated to account for so large a number of the butterflies.
C. celerio, Linn.—This widely-distributed creature, known as the Brown Hawk Moth, with red wings, is not very common in the Island; but its large green or brown larva, or caterpillars, are very destructive to the grape-vines, devouring the young shoots and leaves immediately they are put forth in the spring months of October and November. They very quickly destroy every vestige of foliage on a large vine.
A. atropos, Linn.—The Death's-Head, or, as it is commonly called, the Fernando Po Moth, is said to have first appeared in the Island in the year 1835, and was afterwards very plentiful until 1854, when it disappeared almost simultaneously with the Honey Bee, to which it was a troublesome enemy. As many as five or six would inhabit one hive, getting access to it in spite of all precautions to keep them out, and would feed upon the honey as well as destroy the Bees. Whether they were instrumental in exterminating the Bees or not, it is difficult to ascertain, but both disappeared at the same time.*
L. extranea, Guen.—A large light-brown Moth, about three
* The Honey Bee was re-introduced a few years ago. and it is a remarkable fact, that this moth has just (1874) reappeared in the Island, after an absence of twenty years.
quarters of an inch in length, with dark, longitudinal markings, and a white spot on each wing; rather abundant on the high land, where it flies into houses at night, two or three at a time. The larva is the large fat brown caterpillar, which is so very destructive in gardens. The chrysalis is of a mahogany colour, generally buried without much protection under the surface of the soil, and chiefly under grass borders of flower beds. It inhabits also North and South America, Hindostan, Australia, and New Zealand.
L. punctosa, Treit.—A pale grey Moth, about an inch in length, with a small white spot in the centre of each wing, and a double row of small black spots along the extremities of the wings. The caterpillar is smooth, in colour light brown, with dark brown (approaching to black at each joint) and nearly white longitudinal markings. When about to change to the chrysalis it conceals itself under stones. Inhabits also South Europe.
*A. insularis, Walk.—Of this native Moth, Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Male brown, cinereous beneath. Front with two black bands. Palpi porrect, hardly extending beyond the head ; third joint conical, less than one-fourth of the length of the second. Antennæ minutely pubescent. Abdomen and hindwings cinereous, the former crested near the base. Forewings with three irregular undulating double transverse lines ; first line very near the base ; second antemedial ; third postmedial ; orbicular and reniform marks white, of the usual form. Hindwings brown about the exterior border. Length of the body six lines ; expansion of the forewings fifteen lines. Female ochraceous, stout. Palpi porrect, not extending beyond the head; third joint minute, short-conical, not more than one-sixth of the length of the second. Abdomen brown ; apical tuft ochraceous. Forewings, with the orbicular mark, represented by a whitish, blackish-bordered point, which is contiguous to a black zigzag transverse line ; reniform, represented by a narrow black lunule whose disk is of the ground colour; an exterior white blackish-bordered zigzag line, which forms the inner border of a brownish band, whose outer border is incompletely blackish ; underside with a blackish disk excepting a space which includes
the orbicular and reniform marks, which are black and very large. Hindwings with a dark-brown lunule in the disk, and with a very broad dark-brown marginal band ; fringe cinereous. Length of the body seven lines; expansion of the forewings eighteen lines.” It is easily recognised by its brick-red colour, with brown and white markings, and dark-brown silky underwings. The caterpillar is of an opaque green, or light brown, or flesh colour, marked with very fine longitudinal lines, and very slightly hairy ; it measures about an inch and a quarter in length, and usually feeds upon geraniums and other garden plants on the high land. The chrysalis is of a light mahogany colour.
A. obliviosa, Walk.—This Moth inhabits also South Africa, but it almost seems to be a native of the Island. It is of a brown colour, measuring about three-quarters of an inch in length; the outer wings are marked transversely, with one or two dark-brown waved lines and several large spots ; the under wings much resemble white silk ; the legs are dark-brown spotted with white. Its larva is the common blue or black garden grub, which is such a pest to farmers and gardeners. It lives in the soil, and destroys whole fields of vegetation. When changing to the chrysalis (which is of a light amber colour) it envelopes itself in a coating of earth, the exterior of which somewhat resembles a small walnut, the cavity inside being spacious and perfectly smooth. General Beatson made a series of careful experiments with these grubs, which he found to be entirely vegetable feeders, so that the best mode of ridding the land of them is to starve them by a clean fallow during the warm dry weather. These exceedingly troublesome creatures are not, however, without their natural enemies, as I discovered after haying kept several of them in a box for a week. They shrivelled away, and a small brown ovule forced its way through the skin from the inside of each, which, in about three weeks, developed into a species of fly somewhat like the common house fly.
*A. pallidula, Walk.—Of this native, Mr. Walker gives the following description :—“Female pale fawn colour. Body whitish beneath. Antennæ slender. Palpi obliquely ascending, not rising to the height of the vertex, densely clothed with short hairs ; third
joint elongate-conical, about one-fourth of the length of the second. Antenna, slender. Femora broadly fringed ; hind tarsi spinulose beneath. Forewings with the orbicular and reniform marks black, of the usual form ; a blackish undulating line extending from the reniform to the inner border ; two black points between the orbicular and the base, one towards the costa, the other towards the inner border; a broad pale-brown dentate band, with a darker outline, between the reniform and the exterior border. Hindwings with a brown lunule in the disk and with a broad, dark-brown marginal band. Length of the body eight lines, of the winos twenty-one lines.” It is easily recognised by its pale brick colour, with one black spot on each wing.
*A. subvelata, Walk.—This native is described by Mr. Walker as follows:—“Male ferruginous brown, stout, cinereous beneath ; palpi porrect, hardly extending beyond the head ; third joint short conical, about one-sixth of the length of the second ; antennæ minutely setulose. Abdomen with a large ochraceous apical tuft. Forewings with the orbicular and reniform marks of the usual form; orbicular cinereous patch very large, black-bordered; reniform patch large, black-bordered ; an exterior zigzag transverse black line which approaches very near another zigzag black line between the reniform and the inner border, a less distinct submarginal zigzag black line and a row of marginal black points. Hindwings with a continuation of the exterior line and with a black mark in the disk; fringe white; underside and that of the forewings with similar markings. Length of the body seven lines; expansion of the forewings sixteen lines.” It is easily distinguished by its very dark-brown colour.
P. testaceoides, Guen.—A variegated brown and white Moth, about three-quarters of an inch in length. The upper wings are brown, irregularly veined with white ;the underwings are silky, almost white, with a very slight pink tint. The caterpillar is a large fat brown one, about an inch and a half in length, marked more or less with jet black and bright yellow spots in two longitudinal rows down the back. It is very abundant on the high land, destructive to
vegetation, and, when about to change into its mahogany-coloured chrysalis, crawls into the earth, concealing itself under grass flower-borders, &c. It also inhabits Mauritius, Hindostan, and Ceylon.
*C. indicata, Walk.—This Moth is very rare, and appears confined to the highest land. I obtained but two or three specimens at The Hermitage only. It is a stout-built creature, about three-quarters of an inch in length, of a pale grey colour, with a small black spot on each wing.
C. indica, Guen.—A medium-sized Moth, in colour orange and brown, which, attracted by the light of a lamp or candle, comes into houses at night. It inhabits also Africa, S. Asia, and Australia.
C. xanthindyma, Boisd.—A beautifully-coloured Moth, dark brown and deep orange, and a handsomer species than the last. I obtained one specimen only, from Scotland, on the high land. It inhabits also W. Africa, N. Hindostan, Ceylon, and Australia.
P. aurifera, Hubn.—A good-sized Moth, in colour light reddish-brown, with golden wings, very commonly seen hovering about flowers in the dusk of evening, and occasionally in houses after lamps or candles are lighted, both in Jamestown and on the high land. The caterpillar is the emerald green one, about an inch and a half in length, which is so very destructive in gardens. When changing, it selects a green leaf, turns back the edge and encloses itself in a finely spun web. The chrysalis is at first green but changes to black, and frequently produces, instead of the moth, an Ichneumon fly (Pimpla Sanctæ helenæ), which appears to select the caterpillar as a place of deposit for its egg. It inhabits also Teneriffe, Senegal, S. Africa, Madagascar, Hindostan, Ceylon, and Java.
P. limbirena, Guen.—A medium-sized, dark brown, bull-headed Moth, with a peculiar silver mark on each wing. It is very abundant,
and commonly flies into houses at night after lamps are lighted. The chrysalis is usually found enveloped in a web and concealed under stones, or attached to the underside of green leaves of plants. It inhabits also Abyssinia, S. Africa, and Madagascar.
A. melicerta, Drury.—A very large, dark brown-and-white Moth, sometimes called the Peach Moth from its habit of perforating ripe peaches. It is one of the largest found in the Island, but not very abundant, and is generally seen on the low land in Jamestown, sometimes flying about during the daytime. Its larva is found on trees and plants in the Botanical Gardens. It is a looper caterpillar, about two inches in length, with six legs at the head, eight a little further back than mid-body, and two at the end. It is of a flesh-colour, finely marked and speckled with black, the underside being lighter than the back. The body is smooth ; the head black and white in colour, and very hard and hairy. It has two hard spikes, forming a reddish bifid sort of tail. In the middle of the foremost loop, on the back, is an oblong black spot with three white spots along its margin. The front legs are hard and shiny, the others are soft and divided into two at the foot. When changing, it encloses itself in leaves united together with web, and produces a rather stout mahogany-coloured chrysalis, about an inch and a quarter in length, which at first is coated with a flesh-coloured bloom.
O. hottentotta, Guen.—A large Moth about the size of the last-mentioned, but yellowish in colour. It is very rare, and I only met with some fragments of the wings amongst the grass near Oaklands, until I was leaving the Island, when a friend gave me two larvæ or large brown caterpillars ; these I kept in a box through their several changes, and obtained specimens of the moths. The caterpillar and chrysalis both resemble those last described.
*A. separata, Walk.—This exceedingly pretty, little grey Moth,
with beautifully marked wings, frequently flies into houses at night, and alights on the walls or ceiling of a room. It appears to inhabit the high land, and I have often seen it at The Hermitage. Mr. Walker gives the following description of it:—“Female hoary, minutely speckled with black. Head with a narrow black band between the eyes. Palpi black, obliquely ascending, not rising to the height of the vertex ; third joint extremely minute. Abdomen above tinged with brown, except along the hind border of each segment. Wings mostly tinged with brown; each with a black dot in the disk and with an exterior undulating oblique white line which is partly and broadly bordered with blackish-brown on the inner side ; marginal lunules black. Underside cinereous ; a very broad space along the exterior border shaded with brown and including a hoary undulating line. Length of the body four and a half lines ; expansion of the forewings eleven lines.”
*A. atlantica, Walk.—An equally beautiful but somewhat smaller species than the last, with similar habits. The following is the description by Mr. Walker:—“Male and female hoary, minutely speckled with black. Head black, except the vertex, which is white. Antenna of the male testaceous, thickly setose. Wings with a black dot in each disk; four zigzag oblique and undulating brown lines; first line near the base ; second close to the outer side of the dot, more faint than the others ; third and fourth parallel and near to each other, at half the distance between the dot and the exterior border ; marginal lunules black. Underside with similar but less distinct markings.Var. B. white ; the space between the third and fourth lines brown, and thus forming a band which is bordered with black on the inner side. Length of the body three and a half to four lines ; expansion of the forewings ten to eleven lines.”
S. sacraria, Linn.—This very pretty, pale-yellow or almost white Moth, with brown bands across the wings, is not very abundant; but on a damp sunny day I have seen it in considerable numbers flying about amongst the short grass near Cleugh's Plain. It inhabits also South Europe, North Africa, West Africa, South Africa, and Hindostan.
*H. rectalis, Walk.—I obtained but two specimens of this beautiful, soft, light-brown Moth,, which were lying concealed, alongside of stones of the same colour, in the garden at The Hermitage. The following is the description which Mr. Walker gives of it:—“Female pale, cinereous fawn-colour, pale cinereous beneath ; palpi smooth, slender, compressed, curved, reflexed over the head ; third joint lanceolate, shorter than the second; forewings, with two indistinct undulating slightly darker lines, one antemedial, the other postmedial ; a more exterior straight white, slightly oblique line, which appears faintly on the pale cinereous hindwings; length of the body six lines ; expansion of the forewings fifteen lines.”
P. farinalis, Linn.—A very pretty Moth, in colour light-brown, in length about three-quarters of an inch, with geometrical markings on the wings. It is somewhat rare, and on the high land occasionally flies into lighted rooms at night. It inhabits also Europe, North America, Madeira, South Africa, and Australia.
H. recurvalis, Fabr.—A small dark-brown Moth, with white bands across the wings. The most abundant species of all. I have seen these moths literally swarm into lighted rooms at night, and extinguish the flame of a candle by choking the wick with their bodies. They are found at Ascension Island, and also inhabit the West Indies, South America, West Africa, Turkey, Hindostan, China, Australia, and New Zealand.
Phakellura, L. Guild.
P. indica, Saund.—A small Moth, having white wings with
deep brown borders ; occasionally seen hovering around lighted candles in houses at night, both in Jamestown and on the high land. It inhabits also Africa, Asia, and Australia.
B. abstrusalis, Walk.—A dark-brown, medium-sized Moth; inhabits also Ceylon and China.
B. creonalis, Walk.—A small whitish Moth, with waved brown markings on the wings. Not very abundant, but sometimes seen in lighted rooms at night on the high land. It inhabits St. Domingo.
B. oedipodalis, Guen.—A very beautiful, large, pure white Moth, very rare, but occasionally seen during the daytime, or early evening, in the neighbourhood of Southens. Inhabits also the West Indies and South America.
S. ferrugalis, Hubn.—A small-sized, dark-brown Moth, the larva of which is a small transparent pale-green caterpillar, about three-quarters of an inch in length, the head slightly marked with brown, and having sixteen legs—viz., eight in the middle, six near the head, and two behind. It is uncommon, and the specimens I obtained were taken from a common yellow marigold bush growing at an altitude of 1500 feet above the sea. When about to undergo change, the caterpillar assumes a primrose tint, envelopes itself in leaves bound together by web, and turns into a small mahogany-coloured chrysalis, about one-third of an inch in length. It inhabits also Europe and Madeira.
*S. delineatalis, Walk.—A small brownish Moth ; a native, of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Female pale cinereous ; forewings, with two broad irregular brown bands, one antemedial, the other postmedial, and forked in front, each intersected by a zigzag white line, the second of these forked in front; a brown line along the exterior margin, bordered on the outer side by a white line, which is accompanied by black points ; orbicular and reniform marks, blackish. Length of the body three and a half lines ; expansion of the forewings nine lines.”
M. rusticalis, Hubn.—This brilliant orange-coloured Moth is somewhat rare, but, on a sunny day after mist or rain, may be seen flying about amongst the tufts of cow-grass on the high land in the neighbourhood of Scotland and The Hermitage. It inhabits Europe.
*S. nigritalis, Walk.—A small, long, dark-coloured Moth, which Mr. Walker describes as follows:—“Male and female blackish ; abdomen, hindwings, and underside cinereous, shining; forewings near the base with a cinereous band, which is irregularly bordered on both sides with deep black ; orbicular and reniform marks, an exterior undulating transverse line and marginal dots deep black ; length of the body three lines; expansion of the forewings eight lines.”
*S. lucidalis, Walk.—A Moth which flies into the houses abundantly at night. The following is Mr. Walker's description of it:—“Female silvery whitish ; forewings with two deep black irregular bands, and with three deep black exterior patches; first band very near the base; second antemedial ; first patch costal and postmedial ; second near the interior angle, third costal and subapical ; exterior border with deep black dots; length of the body four lines ; expansion of the forewings ten lines.”
*N. privata, Walk.—A long, thin, dark-coloured Moth, which Mr. Walker describes as follows:—“Female cinereous, with a very slight testaceous tinge, pale cinereous beneath. Forewings with a slightly darker spot, which extends from the costa to the disk, at a httle beyond one-third of the length from the base. Hindwings white, semihyaline. Length of the body three and a half lines; expansion of the forewings eight and a half lines.”
*T. ursella, Walk.—Mr.Walker describes this species as follows:—“Male and female brown, cinereous beneath ; head with a thick,
short, erect tuft ; palpi stout, curved, ascending, a little longer than the breadth of the head ; second joint with a short thick tuft beneath ; third nearly as long as the second; antenna; slender, a little shorter than the body ; abdomen and hindwings cinereous ; tarsi blackish, with whitish rings ; forewings on the costa and in the disk with several black dots, which are variable in number and in size. Length of the body five to six lines ; expansion of the forewings twelve to thirteen lines.” These long, thin, brown Moths are very abundant, and many other species doubtless exist in the Island.
*T. binotatella, Walk.—The following is Mr. Walker's description of this species:—“Brown, shining, cinereous beneath ; front broad, rounded ; palpi as long as the breadth of the head ; second joint clavate ; third shorter than the second ; hind tibiæ with a long, thick tuft of hairs ; forewings with a black spot in the disk at somewhat beyond two-thirds of the length. Length of the body three lines; expansion of the forewings nine lines.”
The larva of this moth is well known in the Island as the Potato Worm. It is a small, translucent, maggot-like creature, of a dirty-whitish hue, marked with four longitudinal rows of small brown spots, and having a few long fine hairs on its body. In length it varies from a half to three-quarters of an inch. The head is hard, and of a chocolate-brown colour, and the little creature moves backwards quite as easily as it does forwards. It abounds in the Island, and is a thorough pest to the potato crops. Either the eggs are laid in the potatoes, or the larva enters them in an early stage of its growth, and, through its depredations, renders them quite unfit for food. When changing to the pupa state, it wraps itself up in a strong web, in the form of a close, tough envelope, and the chrysalis is of a light mahogany colour, with the positions of the wings and legs, even in its early stage, strongly marked longitudinally down the outside of the case or skin.
*T. subæneella, Walk.—Another native species, of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Cinereous. Head, thorax, legs, and forewings above æneous brown ; palpi rather stout ; second joint with a short fringe ; third shorter than the second. Length of the body three lines ; expansion of the forewings seven lines.”
P. cruciferarum, Tell.—One of those very minute Moths which are so abundant in the Island.
*C. anticella, Walk.—A long, thin Moth, a native of the Island, of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Æneous brown, shining, silvery-whitish beneath ; head palpi above, and a broad stripe on the thorax, all very white; palpi lanceolate, fringed beneath, longer than the breadth of the head; forewings with an elongated transverse black spot in the disk before the middle, and with a round black spot in the disk beyond the middle. Length of the body three lines ; expansion of the forewings eight lines.”
*G. Sanctæ helenæ, Walk.—A long, narrow, whitish Moth, which Mr. Walker describes as follows:—“Male and femate cinereous, smooth, shining; head, thorax, and forewings pale fawn colour; front broad ; palpi longer than the breadth of the head ; third joint much shorter than the second ; forewings without any markings. Length of the body four to five lines ; expansion of the forewings eleven to fourteen lines.”
*G. ligniferella, Walk.—A somewhat smaller species than the last, also described by Mr. Walker:—“Pale, cinereous ; head thickly tufted above; palpi ascending; second joint subclavate; third elongateconical, less than half the length of the second ; thorax with three brown stripes ; forewings with some brown lines and with one black line, which extends from the base ; exterior part with several brown streaks. Length of the body four lines ; expansion of the forewings ten lines.”
*L. aurifascia, Walk.—An extremely minute and very beautiful Moth, of which Mr. Walker gives the following description:—“Steel-
colour, silvery beneath forewings, with a broad gilded silver-bordered band beyond the middle. Length of the body one line; expansion of the forewings three lines. The state of the specimen recorded will not allow a more minute description.”
*C. auronivea, Walk.—Another of those very small native Moths, which Mr. Walker thus describes:—“Pure white ; front broad, rounded ; eyes black ; palpi decumbent ; forewings gilded from one-third of the length to the tips. Length of the body one line and a half; expansion of the forewings four lines.”
P. rutilalis, Walk.—This yellow Plume Moth is not common, but is occasionally found hovering over flowers in the gardens on the high land. I captured one or two specimens of it in the lily flowers, and also amongst the honeysuckle blossoms at The Hermitage. It also inhabits Natal.
*P. subnotatus, Walk.—A grey Plume Moth, easily recognised by its similarity at first sight to a large Mosquito. It is very rare, and I obtained one specimen only, which was taken at The Hermitage on the high land. Mr. Walker describes it as follows:—“Hoary antennæ and legs white; forewings with three black costal dots near the tip and opposite to three more which are near the interior border. Length of the body three lines ; expansion of the forewings six lines.”
One of the most largely represented Orders, and that which the visitor in the summer months, especially if fresh from Europe, will not fail to become acquainted with in less than twenty-four hours after arriving at the Island. The Mosquitos are certainly not either abundant, large, or voracious, but in every respect troublesome enough to cause a sleepless night, and a firm resolve not to pass another in the place without the aid of mosquito curtains. The day mosquito, which is, however, the most voracious, and which produces large blisters on every part of the body to which it can gain access,
is entirely confined to the lower lands in Jamestown and at Ladder Hill.. The night mosquito, which is very abundant all over the Island, is in appearance like an English gnat. It comes into houses in clouds during the hot months, and it is questionable which is the most distressing, its sting or the noise it makes; but I certainly prefer the latter.
On a hot summer's day in Jamestown, one is frequently reminded of the plagues of Egypt, at least of one of them, visions of which forcibly appear. I do not suppose that the Island is equal to most hot climates in this respect, but the inhabitants of Jamestown certainly receive their fair share of punishment from the swarms of flies which take possession of their houses during certain portions of the year, from January to March.
Out of the following twenty-seven species, which were submitted to Mr. Walker, it seems probable that ten, which are yet undescribed, may be new and peculiar to the Island.
P. irritans, Linn.—The habits and customs of this insect are much the same at St. Helena as in other parts of the world, and, as they are so generally known, little need here be said concerning them. When it takes possession of a vacated house or cottage, as it often does, a sure mode of destruction to it is to strew the floors with branches of wild mint. P. canis is also abundant.
*L. Sanctæ helenæ, Walk.—A Gnat-like Fly inhabiting the high land. Mr. Walker remarks that “the description of this and of the other species is deferred in order that their affinities with other species may be more examined.”
| *C. sp. ?
*C. sp. ?
|Two species, the specimens of which Mr. Walker says were too much injured for description. They are Gnat-like insects, which fly about in damp situations on the high land during the evening time.|
C. pipiens, Linn.—The common night Mosquito, which swarms in the Island during the summer months, more especially in the neighbourhood of streams or stagnant pools.
C. formosus, Wied.—The day or spotted black and white Mosquito, which is entirely confined to the low land. It enters houses, and flies about silently during the day-time, when it makes its unsuspected attack, and, often settling on the bald head of some hardworked official, raises a large blister before its presence is detected. It is not so abundant as the other species. Mr. Walker says:—“It inhabits Sierra Leone. C. inexorabilis, Walk., may be identical with this species.”
*P. sp. ?—A very minute Fly.
*L. sp. ?—Which Mr. Walker says is nearly allied to L. atlantica. It is a large grey Daddy-long-legs. Both this and the following species are very abundant, and at night-time come into the houses on the high land in considerable numbers.
| *L. sp. ?
*L. sp. ?
|Two other species of Daddy-long-legs; one almost black, and the other a small grey one; both are abundant on the high land, where the come into houses at night, and hover round light d lamps and candles.|
*E. sp. ?—A short-bodied, thick-built Fly, somewhat like a common house-fly.
E. ingens, Wied.
Syritta, St. Farg.
S. pipiens, Linn.—A long, thin, black Fly, with yellow rings round the body, somewhat like a miniature wasp ; occurs very plentifully in the Island, and, during the day-time, may be seen hovering around garden plants, especially fennel bushes, both on the high and the low lands.
S. spiniferella, Thorns.
G. equi, Linn.—The common Bott-fly, best known in the Island as the Horse or the Donkey-fly. It is not very abundant, but most annoying to both horses and donkeys, which become almost frantic when one of them is near. The latter animal, in its endeavours to escape from one of these insects, has been known to fall over a precipice and break its neck. Horses become almost unmanageable when attacked, or even long before, as they seem instinctively to know when a bott-fly is near. Upon one occasion the horse I was riding jumped about the road in a ridiculous manner for some minutes before I could detect the immediate presence of one of these flies. I endeavoured to get away from it by a smart gallop, but in vain ; there it was alongside of us immediately we stopped. After dismounting, it was near half an hour before I was able to capture it, which at last I accomplished by a blow of my riding-whip. That identical specimen, though somewhat mutilated, is the one which has been examined by Mr. Walker. I never saw a horse more frightened than on this occasion; it trembled from head to foot, and seemed fully to understand what bad happened when the creature was killed.
*T. sp. ?—A medium-sized Fly, somewhat resembling the common house-fly. Mr. Walker has deferred giving a description of this insect.
S. hæmorrhoidalis, Fall.—Not unlike the common House-fly, but having a body striped throughout with black and white.
C. vomitoria, Linn.—The Blue-bottle Fly is very abundant, and as great a nuisance in houses as it is in other parts of the world.
M. emoda, Walk. var. ?—Somewhat like the common House-fly, but having a bright green, glossy body. It is abundant about stables and dung-beds. M. emoda inhabits Egypt.
M. corvina, Fabr.—Very much resembling the common Housefly, but smaller.
M. domestica, Linn.—The common House-fly is plentiful throughout the Island, and almost as numerous and troublesome in Jamestown, during the summer months, as it is probably in any part of the world.
S. calcitrans, Linn.—Somewhat like the House-fly, but having whitish bands across the body.
A. lardaria, Fabr.—A House-fly, larger in size than the common one.
S. stercoraria, Linn.—A yellow Fly, a little larger than the common house-fly, abundant on the high land. It lurks about the leaves of garden plants, occasionally coming into houses in search of its prey, Musca domestica. It darts upon its victim, clasping it firmly in its legs, and a tremendous struggle ensues ; both fall to the ground, spinning round and round and buzzing loudly ; in most
cases the prey is secured, but sometimes it escapes, leaving the disappointed enemy exhausted with his warlike exertions. In a similar way it attacks S. merdaria.
S. merdaria, Fabr.—Both this and the last species are the common Dung-flies of Europe ; they are very abundant along the roads and in the fields at St. Helena.
*D. repleta, Walk.—An extremely small Fly, very abundant near streams of water, and in wet marshy places. It is sometimes so plentiful in such localities as to produce a sensation of choking, when you inhale them in the act of breathing. It is general throughout the Island.
H. equina, Linn.—Known as the Horse-fly. This insect is rare in the Island. Mr. Walker says:—“Perhaps H. variegata is a variety of this species.”
The Bugs are not largely represented ; one very characteristic species is, however, as well known in St. Helena as in most parts of the world. Aphides are very abnndant, many of them occurring upon the native vegetation, and therefore well worthy of the attention of future collectors.
Eight species of this Order have been examined by Mr. Walker ; two are described as natives, and it is probable that two others may also prove to be so.
Rhaphigaster, De Lap.
R. prasinus.—A large green, garden Bug, whose disagreeable odour soon denotes its proximity. It is found in most gardens both on the high and low lands.
A. lectularia, Linn.—The common Bed Bug, found everywhere, excepting where cleanliness prevails.
*S. sp. ?—A black, plant Bug, taken from native vegetation on the high land.
*C. Sanctæ helenæ, Stal.—A brown Bug or Beetle-like creature, capable of considerable hopping power, found in gardens on the high land.
I. coleoptratus, Fabr.
*A. sp. ?—Taken from the branches and leaves of the native Redwood trees growing on the high land, and described as follows by Mr. Walker:—“Wingless, brown, very convex, a little longer than broad ; antennæ, nectaries, and legs pale ; antennæ much shorter than the body; nectaries very short; legs rather short. Winged, green ; head, antennæ, disk of thorax, nectaries, tarsi, and tips of femora and of tibiæ black. Size of A. rumicis, and very like it in structure.”
Many other species of aphides exist in the Island which have not yet been collected.
C. cacti, Linn.—Notwithstanding several introductions of the Cochineal insect, and there being an abundance of the prickly-pear
plants upon which it feeds, it does not appear to succeed in the Island. It was reintroduced a few years back, but a few only of the insects remain, and these, about two years ago, were at Maldivia Gardens.
*C. sp. ?—A white insect, which covers the stems and branches of the apple tree and ultimately kills the plant. In appearance it much resembles the Cochineal, but is smaller, and produces no dye colour.
For assistance in identifying the few insects which live as parasites on birds taken at St. Helena, I am indebted to the late Mr. Henry Denny.
D. phætoni, Denny.—A small insect taken from the feathers of the Tropic Bird.
L. procellariæ, Denny.—An insect from the feathers of the Whale Bird (Procellaria glacialoides).
H. sp. ?
One solitary representative of this Order has been detected by Mr. Walker.
L. sp. ?—This creature is best known by the appellation of “The Mackerel Moth.” It is abundant all over the Island, and most destructive to books, clothes, papers, &c. It is generally found in houses, but I have also seen it amongst the barren rocks on the sea coast, at Egg Island and in its neighbourhood.
The small Wire Worm and the Centipede are perhaps the best known of this class : the former is very troublesome and destructive to all root-crops ; the latter, though its bite is said to be severe, is seldom seen, but it inhabits old timber yards, old stone walls, and similar places in Jamestown, Rupert's Valley, Lemon Valley, Ladder Hill, and the low land along the northern side of the Island. It is never seen inland, but may generally be found under loose stones on the warm barren portions of the Island in the localities above mentioned. In size it averages about 3 to 4 inches, but in some instances attains as great a length as 7 or 8 inches. Mr. Walker identifies ten species under this class, as follows :
C. coleoptrata, Linn.—Inhabits also the South of France, and along the Mediterranean coast.
C. rubrolineata, Newp.—Inhabits also N. Africa.
These extremely elegant little creatures, known as “Thousand Legs,” are very abundant, both on the high land and in Jamestown, where, during the evenings, they may often be seen venturing out of their hiding-places, and crawling over the walls or ceiling of a room in search of moths and flies.
S. angusta, Lucas.—It is quite probable that on a further investigation, two species of Centipede may be found in the Island. Mr. Walker states, in reference to the specimen submitted to him, as follows:—“It does not seem to differ from S. lcachii, Newport, a West African species. S. leachii is the S.morsitans of Leach, not the S.morsitans of Linn., which is a South American species. The Egyptian S. canidens, of Newport, is nearly allied to S.augusta.”
L. forficatus, Linn.—A dark-red creature, about two inches in length, resembling in form a small Centipede, very abnndant on the high land in gardens, earth banks, under stones, in old stems
of trees, and such like places. It is apparently the same as the European species.
C. hortensis, Leach.—A very thin Millepede, about two inches or more in length, and red in colour; very abundant in gardens on the high land, where it is found in the earth, under stones, under the bark of decaying tree-stumps, and similar damp localities.
C. sp. ?—A thick-built Millepede, about an inch or somewhat less in length, and very abundant. It is easily recognised by its pecuhar and disagreeable odour, and its habit of coiling itself into a small circular roll. It is of a dark reddish-brown colour, and almost white underneath. The legs are very small and numerous. It is pretty general in the Island, and one of the most abundant insects on the high land, where in moist localities it swarms, especially under old boxes and decaying woodwork. In some of the houses situated in damp places, like The Hermitage, this creature comes into the rooms at night, and crawls about the floors in considerable numbers, causing a very unpleasant sensation when crushed under foot. Mr. Walker says of this species, that it “differs from C. rawlinsii, and from C. polydesmoides, of the Mauritius.”
G. longicornis.—A very long, thin Millepede, about two inches or more in length, and of a pale colour, almost white. It is somewhat abundant, and is found on the high land in similar places as cryptops hortensis.
J. pulchellus, Leach.—The Wire Worm, well known as one of the most destructive insects in the Island to all root-crops. It is very abundant.
| J. sp. ?
J. sp. ?
|Two species, larger and thicker than the common Wire Worm, and found in all gardens on the high land. Mr. Walker says in reference to them :—“Perhaps not European, though very like some of that Continent.”|
Mr. Spence Bate, F.R.S., has very kindly examined and named my collection of Marine Crustacea ; and Mr. Walker has done the same with the land species, in conjunction with the insects. The former includes two species, which are used as a substitute for lobsters, and afford an excellent article of food, whether eaten plain, curried, or in salad. The various Crabs, some four or five in number, which occur along the rocky sea-coast, have yet to be investigated.
Varuna, Mlne. Ed.
*V. atlantica, Spence Bate.—A pretty little bright-blue Crab, of which I saw only one specimen, which was taken from the hull of a ship anchored in the roadstead.
*D. vulgaris, Mlne. Ed.—The Sponge Crab, so greatly resembling a piece of sponge that no difficulty exists in recognising it. It is only occasionally found; inhabits also the Mediterranean.
*P. bernhardus, Reaumur.—The Hermit Crab is occasionally found washed up on the sea-shore, inhabiting some shell to which it has no legal claim.
*S. latus, Latr.—A large shell-fish, called “The Stump.” It is caught in shallow water at 15 to 20 fathoms, in considerably large quantities during the months of November to January, and sold in the market at 3d. or4d. apiece. The mode of catching it is with a trap made of four hoops and split bamboo, somewhat after the plan of a gigantic mouse-trap, several feet in length, and 18 inches
in diameter, and baited with albicore heads. The Stump is able to crawl in at either end, but not to make its exit again.
*P. forceps, Mlne. Ed.—The Prawn is not common, but I have seen several very fine specimens brought up from the sea on the leeward side of the Island by fishermen's tackle and boats' moorings.
*P. sp. ?—The largest shell-fish that occurs at the Island, and known as “The Long Legs.” It is not so plentiful as the Stump, and is taken in deeper water with hook and line instead of bamboo traps. It is an exceedingly good substitute for the lobster, and therefore is in great demand.
*S. stylifera, Lamarck.—A long reddish-coloured Crustacean, about three inches in length, and half an inch in diameter, taken occasionally in deep water. It is sometimes found adhering to. fishermen's tackle.
O. platensis, Kroy.—These little black, hopping creatures inhabit the land as far away from the sea as they possibly can. They keep to the central mountain parts, where, in the gardens, millions of them are to be found. One has only to turn over a sweet-william or carnation plant to get a sight of dozens of them, hopping and tumbling about like mad creatures. They take but a short time to stow themselves away and hide after being once disturbed. They appear to be very harmless in every way.
*Æ. sp. ?—Known best in the Island as “The Sea Cockroach.” This creature is not unlike a large white woodlouse ; it is not
common, but is occasionally taken from deep sea by means of fishermen's tackle and boats' moorings.
L. aquatica, Oliv.—A large Woodlouse, inhabiting damp places, and also the outskirts of the Island, where it lives under stones, &c.
P. scaber, Latr.—The small garden Woodlouse, which is abundant on the high parts of the Island. In gardens it is one of the most common insects, and frequently finds its way into houses which are in damp situations.
O. asellus, Linn.—A medium-sized, Woodlouse, found abundantly in association with the last-named species.
*C. balænaris, Gmelin.—A parasitic creature found firmly attached to the backs of turtle.
*C. caretta, Spengler.—A small parasitic creature which is commonly attached to the shells of crabs.
*L. (Pentelasmis), anatifera, Linn.—Barnacles are frequently cast ashore with logs of wood, &c., which, by floating in the sea, have become covered with them. Old wine-bottles are sometimes washed up so thickly covered by them as to hide almost every portion of the glass. At all times they may be picked up adhering to something or other, on Sandy Bay Beach, on the windward coast.
*B. tintinnabulum, Linn.—Masses of hard, barnacle-like shells, one built upon the top of the other, known as Sea Acorns, frequently washed on shore on the windward side of the Island.
In addition to the marine crustacea above mentioned, there are several kinds of crabs. That known locally as the “Purple Rock” or “Peeling Crab,” is found on the rocks at water-mark, and is much sought for by fishermen, who consider it the best bait for catching fish. The common “Black Crab” is much more abundant, and exists in thousands along the sea coast, where, on the hard lava rocks, in colour very similar to its own, it may be seen scrambling about as crabs only can scramble, in and out of the creeks and holes into which the surf dashes. A somewhat small bright orangered coloured crab is very rare, but one specimen was brought to me from Breakneck Valley, on the leeward side of the Island. The “Purple Sand Crab” is also uncommon ; it has very large claws, and is taken occasionally in deep water.
Although doubtless there are still more to be found with careful search, there are not many Spiders in the Island ; those, however, which have been brought to light form a very interesting portion of its fauna, since nineteen species out of forty which have been collected have been pronounced by the Rev. O. P. Cambridge, who has examined and described* my several collections, and to whom I am much indebted for other kindness and ready assistance, to be new to science, and, as such, I do not think it would be too presuming to conclude, also indigenous to the place. Of the remaining twenty-one species, nine are indigenous to Great Britain, two European, five Egyptian, two Algerian, two from Ceylon and India, and one from East Central Africa. These have all most probably been introduced through the medium of commerce and the introduction of plants in Wardian cases. Mr. Cambridge says, in reference to the characteristics of this portion of the Island fauna, after his final examination of the several collections, that “The European stamp observed upon in regard to the spiders of the former collection is thus equally marked in those now recorded and described.”
It is worthy of note that the native spiders are, almost as a rule, least abundant now in the Island ; in each case where I met with only one specimen it turned out to be a new species. It is therefore
* Proceedings of Zoological Society, London , Nov. 25, 1869 , and March 4, 1873.
not at all improbable that, like the native plants and the snails, which we know are fast disappearing, some having gone entirely, the spiders, for some cause or other, are also yielding up their native land to foreign invaders.
There are but two species of Scorpion, and they are not abundant ; they are both introductions, and to Mr. Cambridge I am indebted for their identification as well as that of a small pseudoscorpion of which I found only one specimen, and that in the neighbourhood of some very old dry-looking law books in the Supreme Court House. Whence he came remains yet to be ascertained ;* what he was doing there will probably never be known.
Lychas, C. Koch.
L. americanus, C. Koch.—A small brown Scorpion, with rather a long tail, inhabiting the hot, barren, rocky outskirts of the Island ; found in damp situations under stones and old timber, and very rarely in the town houses. It is not sufficiently abundant to cause inconvenience, and never reaches the high land ; most probably it has been introduced through the medium of commerce.
L. maculates, C. Koch.—A species which associates with the other, and is scarcely distinguishable from it, though smaller in size.
C. sp. ?—A minute brown creature resembling a scorpion without a tail, found inhabiting some dry rubbish behind the Court House, in the Castle gardens on the low land. It is very rare.
*F. condita, Cambr.—This Spider, which is peculiar to St. Helena, has been described and figured by Mr. Cambridge in “Proceed. Zool.
* Mr. Cambridge has kindly promised to ask Dr. L. Koch to examine this species.
Soc.,” March, 1873, p. 211, pl. xxiv. fig. 1. “It is of a dull whitish drab-yellow colour, clothed sparingly with coarsish brown hairs, and marked on the hinder half of the upper side with a series of four or five strong and well-defined transverse angulated bars or chevrons of a dull rusty reddish colour, the apex of each one (except the foremost) running into the one before it.” As Mr. Cambridge only discovered one specimen in my collections, and that a female not yet adult, it certainly is a rare species.
D. crocota, C. Koch (D. rubicunda, BI.).—This fleshy, red-coloured spider is easily distinguished. It is rather abundant on the high land, where it appears to spin no web, but a couple are almost certain to be found under every large-sized stone in the country gardens and neighbourhood of old buildings. It is indigenous to Great Britain.
S. senoculata, Walck.—Indigenous to Great Britain.
S. perfida, Walck.—This large black Wall-spider, which Mr. Cambridge says he has met with in Corfu, and that it has been taken once or twice in England and is common in Spain, is very abundant both in the town and on the high land. It spins its tubular nest between the joints of stones in walls, opening out to the surface of the wall in a funnel-shaped aperture. It is fond of stables, outhouses, cellars, and such like places, but is frequently caught prowling about the inside of houses after dark, never seeming to come out of its hole during the day-time. It fights desperately with its own species, and thus affords considerable amusement to the street-boys, who are very fond of indulging in a “spider fight,” to witness which schoolboys will even risk the penalties of escaping from church during the time of service.
*G. lugubris, Cambr.—This rare native Spider, of which I was only able to capture one specimen, is described and figured by
Mr. Cambridge, “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” March, 1873, p. 212, pl. xxiv. f 2, who describes the abdomen to be of a narrow, oblong-oval form, of a black colour with a somewhat silky bottle-greenish reflection in some positions, well clothed with hairs, and having four indistinct pale dots, forming nearly a square, near the middle of the upper side.
*C. dubia, Cambr.—A small liver-coloured Spider, inhabiting the high land, often found inside of lily and other flowers, and generally amongst plants in gardens, where it seems to prey upon some kind of fly or moth which is partial to such localities. It generally comes out of its abode at night, and may then commonly be seen running across the outside of window panes in pursuit of moths. It is described and figured by Mr. Cambridge, “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869, p. 532, and also March, 1873, p. 213, pl. xxiv. f. 3. I captured a specimen also in the stem of an old palm-tree in Jamestown.
Cheiracanthium, C. Koch.
*C. mellissii, Cambr.—After much spider hunting in the Island, I only met with one specimen of this native. Having occasion to get up one morning rather earlier than usual, I met him just in the earliest dawn, proudly walking across my sitting-room floor at The Hermitage, situated on the high land. He had not long to lament that moment—evil for him, but otherwise for science—for he was soon secured in my specimen-bottle. The circumstances under which I met with this spider, doubtless prove its being of nocturnal habits, and therefore not likely to be commonly met with, still I am inclined to believe that it does not now exist to any extent in the Island. It is a large yellow spider, very unlike any other found in St. Helena, and may be easily recognised by the very accurate fignre given of it by Mr. Cambridge in “Proceed. Zool Soc.,” March, 1873, pl. xxiv. f. 4, where it is also described, and said to be allied to C. italicum, Canestr. e Pav.
*C. planum, Cambr.—Another rare, native Spider, of which I found only one specimen, which is described and figured, “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” March, 1873, p. 215, pl. xxiv. f. 5 :—“The abdomen is of moderate size and oval form ; its colour is a dull luteous yellow,
sparingly clothed with silky, yellow hairs, and thinly covered on the sides and npper side with whitish yellow, cretaceous spots or small patches, many of them being nearly conterminous, and leaving a clear short sword-shaped or slightly cruciform marking on the fore part of the upper side.”
Amaurobius, C. Koch.
*A. crucifer, Cambr.—A native Spider, of small size, which, either from its scarcity or its peculiar habits, almost eluded my search, inasmuch as I succeeded in capturing only two. It is figured “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” March, 1873, pl. xxiv. f. 6, and it is also described as having an abdomen “oval, rounded, and rather bluff behind ; the ground-colour is a pale luteous yellow, and it is more or less irregularly marked all over with black streaks and markings; among those on the upper side, near the middle, is a fairly-defined cruciform marking, followed towards the spinners, in a longitudinal series, by several rather short, blunt-angular, transverse, black stripes. In front of the ordinary spinners is a broad, transverse, supernumerary one.”
T. civilis, Bl.—One of the most abundant Spiders in the Island, found also in Great Britain as well as in many other parts of the world. It is the common, mottled-brown, garden-wall spider of the high land, and is found plentifully in corners of old outbuildings, earth banks, beneath stones, &c., where it conceals itself behind a small insignificant web or nest, constructed in the joints of rubble stone walls, stems of old decaying trees, &c., ready to dart upon its prey when it comes near, in the form of moths, flies, and other insects of that class.
*T. proxima, Cambr. (T atrica, “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” 1869, p. 533).—A native Spider, nearly resembling the last, but much less common. It is the light pinkish-brown spider found inhabiting the edges of window sashes, and the eaves of outbuildings on the high land. It spins little web, and generally appears to be lying in wait for its prey.
S. thoracica, Walck.—A rare Spider, of which I only obtained one in the Island. It has occurred (three times only) in Great Britain.
P. distinctus, Cambr.—One of the “Daddy-long-leg” Spiders. “Linn. Soc. Journ.,” vol. x. p. 330, pl. xi. figs. 28, 30. It is found also in Ceylon and India, whence probably it has been introduced to St. Helena.
P. phalangioides, Walck.—The common “Daddy-long-leg” Spider is smaller than the other species. It is very abundant both on the high and low lands in houses, where it soon establishes itself in the corners of cellars, cupboards, and even drawing-room ceilings, often telling a tale as to the activity of the housemaid's broom. It spins little web, and feeds chiefly upon flies, moths, and the Money Spiders (Salticus). It has the habit of spinning round and round so fast for about half a minute, when it is touched or disturbed, as to become scarcely visible. It is indigenous to Great Britain.
A. convexa, 131.—A large brown “Daddy-long-leg” Spider, found abundantly on the low land, in cellars and outbuildings in Jamestown, clinging to the ceiling beams, where it spins but little web. It is also found in Ceylon and India.
Ariamnes, Thor.—Ariadne, Dol.
*A. mellissii, Cambr.—This very beautiful, little golden Spider almost tells its own tale as a genuine native, for it exists only on the very mountain tops at Diana's Peak, nearly 3000 feet above the sea, as far removed from the habitats of imported creatures as it is possible to be. It is very rare indeed, but in that damp region, under the shade of indigenous cabbage-trees and ferns, it may still be found suspended from their branches with apparently a slight
web. It is described, and a beautiful figure of it given, by Mr. Cambridge in “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869.
T. punicum, Lucas.
T. fulvolunulatum, Lucas.—Both this and the last species are found also in Algeria.
T. tepidariorum, C. Koch.—A small slender, brown Spider, found in gardens on the high land, on the aloe leaves, &c., apparently without mnch web. The egg cases are spherical, about a quarter of an inch in diameter, light-brown in colour, and much resembling leather. It is a widely dispersed species, indigenous to Great Britain, and is found in Brazil as well as Ceylon.
L. erebus, Savig.—I found but one of this Spider in the Island. It is also found in Egypt.—“Sav. Arachn. de l'Egypte,” pl. 3, f. 9.
L. leprosa, Ohl. (L. confusa, Cambr., “Trans. Linn. Soc.,” xxvii. p. 429, pl. 55, No. 21, a, b, c, d, f, g).—A common Spider at St. Helena, and a native of Great Britain.
*L. albimaculata, Cambr.—A native Spider, but so rare that I obtained only one specimen, and that latterly. It is described “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Mar. 1873, p. 219, from which the following is taken:—“The abdomen is of ordinary form, very convex above, and projecting over the base of the cephalothorax ; the ground-colour is of a dark leadenish hue, marked with black patches and markings, the sides and upper surface being pretty thickly and rather symmetrically covered with bright white cretaceous spots ; some of these form slightly oblique lines on the hinder points of the sides, and others a sort of horizontal cincture on either side of the forehalf ; others, again, form a broken horizontal band along the lower part of each side. The general character and disposition of the abdominal markings bear a near resemblance to that of L. leprosa (Ohl. ) ; but the markings and colours of the cephalothorax distinguish it from that species at a glance.”
*L. trifididens, Cambr—Another native Spider, of which a full
description is given by Mr. Cambridge, “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” March, 1873.
A. epeiræ, Sim.—A small chocolate-coloured Spider, with silver markings on the body, found parasitic in webs of Argiope aurelia. Mr. Cambridge says :—“I have found it common in webs of Epeira opuntia in Palestine, and Mr. Simon has found it very common also in similar webs in Spain.” It is very common about the lower land at St. Helena, where, in the large webs that cover the prickly-pear bushes, it is almost always to be found.
T. pelusia, Savig.—A long thin-legged, long thin-bodied Spider, of a light brown and golden colour, found crawling along the sides of streams, &c., in gardens on the high land. I found it tolerably abundant at The Hermitage amongst the grass and watercresses. It does not appear to make mnch web. It preys upon other spiders, and has a habit of extending its legs fore and aft, so as to resemble a small dry twig, and thus escape notice. It has been found in Egypt.
Meta, C. Koch.
*M. digna, Cambr. (Tetragnatha digna and T. indigna, Spiders of St. Helena, “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” 1869, pp. 535-537, pl. xlii. fs. 3, 4 ). This appears to be the native spider which has best held its own against the invasion of foreign spiders, for it is still one of the most abundant garden and outdoor species in the Island. It is found equally on the low, the medium, and the very highest lands; but those inhabiting the mountain top, near Diana's Peak, where there is a cooler atmosphere, are more slender and smaller than those found lower down. It is easily recognised, being the handsome brown and golden garden spider which spins a large and beautiful geometric web, stretching from shrub to shrub, or from tree to tree, sometimes without support for 30 or 40 feet, and some 10 or 20 feet above the ground. It has always been a puzzle to me how this spider manages to construct suspension bridges, so to speak, of such magnitude, and across such wide spaces. After having built such an enormous web, it seems generally to prefer living
at the very furthermost end of one of its main supports, under cover of a leaf or branch, or the corner of a building to which it may be fastened, ready to dart down into its web, spread out hke a net to catch its prey. It has the habit, especially when distnrbed, of arranging its legs fore and aft, so as to assume a linear appearance.
E. solers ? Walck.—A prettily marked, yellowish-brown, outdoor Spider, which is commonly found spinning a geometric web, of considerable size, from leaf to leaf of the prickly-pear bushes, especially in the neighbourhood of Maldivia and the low warm land. I have also found it in houses in Jamestown. If it be E. solers (Walck), which is rather doubtful, it is indigenous to Great Britain ; it occurs also in Bombay, Ceylon, and South-east Africa, from any of which places it may have been introduced to St. Helena through the agency of ships.
A. aurelia, Savig.—This is by far the largest Spider found in the Island. It is a large, striped, yellow, black and silver creature, which inhabits the warm sheltered spots of medium altitude (from 300 to 1500 feet above the sea). It is quite an outdoor insect, and spreads its large, strong, geometric web across the tops of the coarse grass, called guinea-grass, and from leaf to leaf of the common prickly-pear bushes. One web generally contains a colony of some nine or ten inmates, in addition to several huge egg bags, inclnding two or three smaller Argiopes, and six or seven Argyrodes epeiræ. A good supply of captured moths hung up at one corner of the web completes the establishment, and all seem to live peaceably together. It is one of the most abundant spiders in the Island, particularly in the upper part of James' valley. It is not easily alarmed, and it requires a considerable amount of interference to cause the big fellow at the head of the colony to vacate the centre of the web. It is also found in Egypt.
U. williamsii, Bl. (Orithyia williamsii, Bl.)—A small, light-
coloured, mottled Spider, with legs banded across with black and white, found hanging to the ceiling or roofing beams of outoffices, warehouses, and cellars in Jamestown, where it spins a very neat, fine, and pretty, geometric web, about 12 inches in diameter. The eggbag is flat, septilateral, and of a light purple hue.
Xysticus, C. Koch.
X. grammicus, C. Koch.—A light-brown Spider, found on shrubs in flower-gardens at an altitude of 2000 feet above the sea, and also on the cabbage-trees on the ridge behind West Lodge. It is not unlike a crab in its appearance and movements. Its four front legs are long and of the same colour as the body, and the four hind legs are very short and of a different colour, being almost white. It is not common in the Island, and does not spin a geometric web, but constructs a house, or nest, by binding together with a very fine silky web two or three green leaves ; the edges of the leaves are firmly bound together, leaving an opening at each end, to serve as a back as well as a front entrance. Small moths appear to constitute the chief food of this insect. The male is much smaller and darker coloured than the female. It is also found in Europe.
*P. signatus, Cambr.—This is a native Spider, and, like most of the others, is rare. I obtained temales only of it, and caught a specimen running across the dining-room table at The Hermitage, on the high land. It is a small speckled white and brown spider, and is described and figured “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869.
*H. (Olios) tridentigera, Cambr.—A medium-sized, chocolate-coloured, hairy-legged house-spider, frequently seen crawling about floors and walls of rooms during the evenings in warm situations. It is a native, and is described and figured “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869.
P. pulchra, Bl.—This extremely handsome, large, green garden Spider, with yellow and red markings, inhabits the low warm parts of the Island, where it spins its web across the topmost branches of geraniums and other leafy garden shrubs, the green leaves of which, corresponding with its own colour, serve to conceal it from view. It is not very abundant, and I took it principally at Maldivia Gardens and at Ladder Bill, but could only succeed in obtaining females, although I made special search for more than a year to find specimens of the other sex. In capturing this spider, I could not fail to be greatly struck with the extreme care it has for its eggbag, or nest. It rushes to it immediately on being alarmed, and holds it with such tenacity as not again to relinquish it; and even after a specimen has been killed it will sometimes be found with the nest still in its grasp. An extremely beautiful figure of this spider is given by Mr. Cambridge in “Proceed. Zool. Sec.,” Nov. 1869, pl. xlii. f. 7. This spider was first described from examples received from the east of Central Africa.
*L. (Trochosa) dolosa, Cambr.—Walking amongst the ferns and native vegetation on the high monntain ridge, in the neighbourhood of Diana's Peak, one cannot help observing the ground and the hard clay banks, abundantly pierced by circular holes about a quarter or three-quarters of an inch in diameter. On digging into these holes they are found to be most carefully bored into the earth to a depth of six or eight inches, and to terminate in a chamber excavated to about the size of a walnut ; and in this chamber is found the large brown spider, with its young family, for the reception of which it appears to have constructed such a peculiar habitation. A slight silky web secures the earth from falling into the bole in some cases, but does not penetrate to the chamber with the young spiders, which is simply excavated in the damp earth, or clay. One of these habitations was found to contain the adult spider with about forty young ones, each nearly one-third full grown, and much in the position of a hen with chickens. The
chamber contained nothing else, not even traces of food, or the remains of insects, which might have been devoured for food. It is one of the most abundant native spiders now remaining, and is described in “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” March, 1873.
*L. ligata, Cambr.—A somewhat large, brown, native Spider, with yellow body, of which I captured several specimens. An excellent figure, and a description of it, are given in “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869, p. 540, pl. xlii. f. 8.
*L. inexorabilis, Cambr.—A brown, native Spider, very similar, but stouter than the last, and rarely found. Figured and described in “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869, p. 541, pl. xlii.. f. 9.
Salticus, Latr. Bl.
*S. nigrolimbatus, Cambr.—The large black and white “Flycatcher,” or “Money-spider,” as it is commonly called. This funny little creature receives this latter name because of a popular superstition which the natives entertain. They say that one of these insects approaching a person signifies that a gift of money will follow. It conceals itself generally behind a small web, inserted between the window-sashes and the frame-beadings, ready to dart out upon its prey. It manages in a most clever manner to run along a pane of glass, and then with a spring darts with the rapidity of lightning through the air, a distance of several inches, upon some unsuspecting fly. It is described and figured in “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869, p. 542, pl. xlii. f. 10.*
S. adansonii, Savig.—The Black “Money-spider,” or “Flycatcher,” which occurs also in Egypt.
*S. inexcultus, Cambr.—A small native species, with habits resembling those of the others. Described “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” March, 1873.
*S. subinstructus, Cambr. (S. illigeri, “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” Nov. 1869.)—A small black, native “Fly-catcher,” or “Moneyspider,” found abundantly underneath the large stones on High Knoll, and in similar places on other barren and hot parts of the Island. Described “Proceed. Zool. Soc.,” March, 1873.
* Mr. Cambridge informs me that this species has since been most unexpectedly found at Freshwater, in the Isle of Wight.
There is work yet to be done under this order. The following have, however, been added to Mr. Walker's list :
A. domesticus.—The Cheese-mite.
Ixodes ? Latr.
Leptus ? Latr.
L. autumnalis ?—This “Hay-bug,” as it is called, is larger in size and deeper in colour than the English Harvest-bug, and may therefore be quite different. It is abundant during hay time, and has yet to be identified.
The late Dr. W. Baird described the following species of Earthworms in the “Linnean Society's Journal: Zoology,” vol. xi. 1871.
*L. rubro-fasciatus, Baird.—About 2 to 3 inches in length, of a dirty yellowish colour, banded across the back with a broad fascia of a red hue.
*M. (Perichæta) Sanctæ helena, Baird.—From 1 to 3 inches in length, of a dull red colour, with 86 rings about the body ; both species inhabit the earth in moist situations on the high land. At certain times in the year they may be seen lying in a dead and half dying state on the hard surface of the roadways.
There is yet work to be accomplished, more than I have been able to do, in this branch; but, so far, the following will embrace pretty nearly the most abundant species of the Echinodermata.
ORDER ECHINIDEA (or Sea-urchins).
*C. metularia, Lamck.—The thick-spined Sea-Egg of the Island is taken from deep water round the coast. It is found also at the Mauritius, the Seychelles, and St. Domingo. There are two varieties of this species found at St. Helena.
*E acufera, Blainville.—The common thin-spined, black Seægg, which abounds on the rocky coast all along the sea-shore just below high-water mark. This creature bores a hole in the solid basaltic rock sufficiently deep to protect itself. It occurs also at Ascension Island, Vera Cruz, Martinique.
There is a third, a very fine-spined Sea-urchin, the fragments of which I have picked up occasionally on the windward sea-coast, but I never obtained a complete specimen.
ORDER ASTERIDEA (or Star-fishes).
*A. minuta ?—A small greenish Star-fish, found abundantly sticking close to the rocks around the sea-coast, about high water mark.
ORDER OPHIURIDEA (or Sand-stars).
*E. sp. ?—A bright orange-coloured Sea-star. This brilliant creature may often be seen lying at the sea bottom near the shore, at the depth of a fathom or two.
There are several species of sand-stars, some of them very large and taken from deep water. I sent a collection of them to the British Museum with the fishes, but as yet they have not been examined.
ORDER CRINOIDEA (or Feather-stars).
*C. sp. ?—This very pretty, purple, feathery creature, not unlike the head of a miniature palm-tree, is occasionally taken from the pools of sea-water on the West rocks, and other parts of the coast. I found one specimen at Lemon Valley, but it is extremely rare.
Under this head, search has yet to be made at St. Helena.
There is a small brown Sponge, seen growing in the pools of seawater on the coast, which does not attain to any size. Pieces of it as large as a cricket-ball are frequently picked up on the sea beaches. Through the kindness of Professor Dickie, it has been examined by Dr. Bowerbank, who says “it belongs to the genus Halispongia of De Blainville. The characters are the same as those of the coarse sponges of commerce from the West Indies.”