Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 2, 1869

Of The
New Zealand Institute

of the
New Zealand Institute
I.—Natural History.

Art. I.—On the New Zealand Sword-Fish.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, June 19, 1869.]

AT a meeting of the Wellington Philosophical Society, held September 15, 1868, I communicated a brief notice of the cranium and other portions of a Sword-Fish (Xiphias, Linn.), presented by me to the Museum, which was read, with the supplementary note by Dr. Hector. (See “Trans. N. Z. Institute, Vol. i, page 44.) I now communicate the further details which were then promised.

The specimen had been stranded on the west coast of the North Island, near Waikanæ, in the month of June, 1867. Like most other strangers, this fish attracted immediate attention, and was so cut up that I was only able to procure the preparations now in the Museum, which are insufficient to enable me to determine, with anything like precision, the particular species. From Dr. Günther's catalogue of the Acanthopterygian fishes in the collection of the British Museum, it appears that there are eight different specimens, divided into two genera:—


Xiphias, ventral fins, none.


Histiophorus, ventral fins, present.

Now, the portion I procured being only the cranium and anterior part of the dorsal fin, it is impossible to determine even the genus, with anything like scientific precision. In the meantime, I may remark that in Xiphias gladius, according to Dr. Günther, there are “no teeth, neither in the jaws nor on the palate,” whilst in the Histiophorus, there are small teeth in the jaws and on the palatine bones; and it is important to remark that Cuvier (McMurtrie's

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Translation, 1834) does not mention the presence of teeth. This, if correctly stated, would place the specimen in the genus Histiophorus, as the entire interior of what may be considered the buccal cavity, is covered with almost microscopic teeth, so placed, that the food (supposed by me to consist chiefly of the cuttle fish), when seized or impaled, cannot escape. I would add, that Dr. Günther, in his description of the specific characters of the Histiophorus, as distinguishing it from Xiphias, says “small teeth in the jaws and on the palate bones; none on the vomer.” Now the teeth, in the specimen before the Society, are developed on the mucous membrane covering the hard palate and lower jaw, and are, in no sense, in the jaws; so that if the specimen described by Dr. Günther had been macerated, and the osseous surfaces denuded of the mucous membrane and periosteum, there would not have been the vestige either of teeth or socket. I find from a specimen of the eel and hapuka, now on the table, that the system of dentition strictly resembles that of the Sword-Fish (Histiophorus). The teeth are so placed as to be pointed from before backwards, allowing the food, or the finger, to pass towards the throat without obstruction, but rendering a retreat impossible, at least in the living animal, when feeding, and probably very hungry. This is probably intended to compensate for the want of cutting (incisor), holding (canine), grinding (molar) teeth. The muscles acting on the jaws (temporal and masseter) are of enormous size, red in colour, and resembling the muscles in the carnivorous mammalia.

When I left Scotland, in 1840, there was, in my brother's private museum, undoubtedly the finest and most extensive collection of the skeletons of fishes in Europe, amongst others, the skeleton of a Sword-Fish. The specimen was taken in the Firth of Forth, and after exhibition, was purchased by my brother. A hurried examination of the anatomy was made, and I think plaster casts of the viscera taken—which, I may remark, is an admirable mode of preserving. The preparation of the skeleton was handed over to me. It proved rather a heavy affair, owing to the complete saturation of every texture with a fine fluid oil. It was too large for any of the glazed cases in the museum, and was accordingly placed on the top of the cases. I may state that this skeleton always appeared to me to present rather an ideal, than a natural, form, as it seemed out of proportion, and deficient in framework.

The fragments I have now presented to the Colonial Museum, are part, therefore, of the second specimen that has come under my personal notice.

In Dr. Günther's Catalogue, Vol. ii., 1860, the Xiphiidœ form the eighteenth family of the Acanthopterygian, or soft-finned fishes, divided into two genera, containing eight species. The British Museum appears to possess only the following specimens:—

I. Xiphias.



Seven feet long. Stuffed. Margate.


Half-grown. Stuffed.


Upper jaw of a large specimen.


Six inches long. Not a good specimen. Caught in Long. 22° W., Lat. 2° N. Presented by J. B. Jukes, Esq.

II. Histiophorus.



Eleven feet long. Stuffed. Table Bay. Purchased of Mr. Smuts. Type of the species.


Head (thirty-seven inches long).


Anterior portion of a skull of a specimen of the same size.

Picture icon

To illustrate a Paper by F.J.Knox
on the Sword Fish

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Eight feet long. Stuffed. Indian Ocean. Type of species.


Seven feet long. Stuffed. Cape of Good Hope.


Dorsal fin. New South Wales (?). Presented by Dr. G. Bennett.


Snout. Dried.

In quoting the numerous authorities describing the species, Dr. Günther, amongst others, includes:—Penn., British Zool., iii., p. 216, pl. 30; Knox, Edin. Journal; Nat. and Geo. Society, ii., p. 427.

Thus the material for scientific observation in the British Museum is extremely limited, with regard to the Xiphiidœ. I may here remark, that in my brother's (the late Professor Robert Knox) description, the comparative anatomy would, to a certainty, be given; and if so, I would have thought Dr. Günther would have availed himself of it.

Integumentary Coverings and Dermal Productions.

The portion of the integuments, placed in the Museum, occupied the anterior part of the dorsal line, corresponding to the neck, reaching from the head, to and past the dorsal fin. I observed no appearance of scales; the whole resembling coarse leather, and so formed as to require a saw to cut it. The tissue thus forms a regular coat of mail made of spiculi of bone so interwoven with the integumentary tissues, as to be completely concealed. I should consequently, imagine this fish to be perfectly secure from any enemy, in or out of the water.

The dorsal fin is, undoubtedly, a striking feature in the Xiphiidœ, and the caudal fin, in the specimen to which I have alluded in my brother's collection, was also prominent. At a first view, it was as if formed of two dorsals, and if included in the length of the fish (which is generally done by naturalists), would have added a foot or more to the total length.

By the very limited observation I could make on the specimen now under review, owing to the non-scientific dissection it had been subjected to before I got it, I found the dorsal fin capable of being moved, to a very considerable extent, in all directions. The interspinal processes (b, Plate 1) are firmly united to each other, presenting a free articular surface to the rays of the fin; and when acted upon by the powerful muscles of the back, will act as a sail, and an oar, the brain being the steersman, the tail, no doubt, answering the cerebral instinct, voluntary or not. The longitudinal fissure seen in the specimen is not the result of dissection, but natural; and is lined by a delicate soft membrance, a continuation of the same covering immediately investing the rays of the fin. The spinous processes of the vertebræ, when examined, will be found bifurcated (c, Plate 1), forming a groove or slide for this unique action of the dorsal fin in the Xiphiidœ. In many fishes, however, the spinous rays can be depressed, and again erected, at the will of the fish.

The following measurements and weights of the specimen now deposited in the Colonial Museum, were observed before and after their preparation:—

lbs. oz.
Weight previous to dissection:—Head, including anterior half of the dorsal fin, but without any portion of the bronchial apparatus 29 8
Lower jaw 2 8
Total weight 32 0
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Ibs. oz.
Snout to gape 2 5
" to nostrils 2 0
" to centre of eye 2 3
" to opercula (free edge of) 3 3
" to dorsal fin 3 0
Tip of lower jaw to gape 1 4
Projection of upper jaw (the sword) 1 1
Circumference at dorsal fin 3 4
" over eyes 2 4
Depth from base of dorsal fin to free edge of opercula 1 4
Height of dorsal fin 1 4

(Specimen deposited in the Museum, January 10, 1867.)

Ibs. oz. grs.
Head, including lower jaw 8 0 0
Dorsal fin (anterior half of), including interspinal processes 0 12 0
Eyes (two) sclerotic tunic ossified 0 7 0
Lens (two) dry 0 0 80
Total weight of the osseous portions 9 3 80

Diameter of eye, 3 inches 6 lines.

Abstract of Weights.
Ibs. oz. grs.
Total weight of recent specimen 32 0 0
" of osseous portions 9 3 80
" of soft parts 22 12 40
Cervical Vertebræ.
in. lines.
1st vertebra 2 0
Length of body 2nd" 2 6
3rd" 2 6
Breadth of articular surface 1 6
1st rib 7 0
Length 2nd" 5 0
3rd" 2 6

Portion belonging to the neck, and consequently connected with the dorsal fin.

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Art. II.—On the Tuatara (Hatteria punctata, Gray); or Great Fringed Lizard of New Zealand.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, July 17, 1869.]

BY the kindness of Dr. Hector, I have been enabled to peruse a recent minute description of the Tuatara, or Fringed Lizard. I take the more interest in this truly scientific memoir of Dr. Albert Günther, as it brings to my recollection a circumstance which occurred, now twenty-six years ago. In 1842, a family of the name of Houghton resided on Somes' Island, and, amongst the usual accompaniments of the human family, had a few rabbits. The family shortly after left the island, and took up their residence in Wellington. On leaving, a daughter of Mr. Houghton missed a favourite rabbit, and commencing a thorough search, put her hand into one of the numerous sand holes, and grasped what she joyfully supposed to be her lost rabbit, but found it was a live specimen of the Tuatara. The specimen lived for some time, but receiving—owing to the very primitive condition of the colony—by no means the attention it deserved, it died; and I attributed its death to too sudden an exposure to the noonday sun. I however was enabled to anatomise it. The skeleton, more especially, was preserved with the greatest care, and so much of its anatomy as would preserve was sent to the British Museum.

Until lately, I have never seen another specimen, but many have, however, been procured since the establishment of this Museum. I am now able to bring under the notice of the Society, the result of a careful anatomical examination of two specimens. These observations have been drawn up from my notes on the original specimen sent to the British Museum, in 1842, and from the dissection of the two specimens placed at my disposal by Dr. Hector, the skeletons and soft parts of which I have placed in the Museum. Both specimens were females; the ova varying in size from almost microscopic, to two lines in diameter, and thus indicating a maturity in the individual specimens.

I shall now state a few of the points in which I differ from Dr. Günther.

Ist. In the description of the head, it appears to me that he has lost sight of the basis on which all researches in “comparative anatomy” is founded, i. e., that of man, as compared with other animals, and adopts a nomenclature of such complexity, as would confine the future investigations into the history of the animal creation, to the mere compiler, the closet naturalist. I take as a sample the os quadratum, p. 4. which he describes as a distinct elementary bone, without stating that it is merely a portion of the human temporal bone. The scientific anatomist, in his researches into the structure of the animal kingdom, knows that the temporal bone undergoes almost innumerable changes during its development from the embryo, and is composed, even at an advanced period of life, in man, of various separate centres of ossification, deposited in a cartilaginous basis; in fishes, uniting with other bones of the cranium; in birds, remaining separate; in reptiles, uniting with other bones, but still readily recognizable as being that centre of ossification in the temporal bone in man, articulating with the lower jaw.

The vomer (p. 5) is another example in which Dr. Günther evidently proposes to give a new nomenclature to every animal.

As a comparative anatomist, I should look for the vomer in all animals as forming the mesial division between the right and left nostrils; for instance, in the Cetacea (adult) I find an extensive union, and even a difficulty in naming the bones after the universally received type; but it matters not, provided the bone forms the division of the nostrils, and thus performs the

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function of the human vomer. I have before me, at this moment, the skeleton of the Gallaxias, in which the bones of the cranium defy any precise nomenclature.

The Tuatara, and other nearly allied species, show a structure in the osteogenesis, or growth of the vertebræ, which does not appear in any other class of the vertebrata. I allude to the supposed power of reproduction of the caudal vertebræ when mutilated. In one of the specimens before the Society, it will be observed that the 34th vertebra is distinctly divided in the middle into an anterior and posterior portion; and I have observed, in the preparation of the skeleton, that it is at this part that the tail gives way, and not, as might be supposed at a joint.

Scientific anatomists have, for fifty years and upwards, satisfied themselves that the cranium is simply a continuation of the vertebral column; and three to seven have been selected as the probable number of vertebræ thus specialized, more or less, in the various formations. If, however, the very earliest type of a vertebra is to be seen in the caudal vertebræ of the lizard, such difficulties as Dr. Günther has found in the osteology of the Tuatara, will be more easily understood.

In a subsequent paper on the Green Lizard, which I hope to have the honour of reading to the Society, I shall allude more fully to this very interesting enquiry. I shall be able to demonstrate, that should the tail suffer mutilation, the injured part will, no doubt, heal over, but will not reproduce distinct vertebræ. I draw this conclusion from the careful examination of the specimen of the Green Lizard, which I deposited in the Museum, in 1862.

The caudal vertebræ, in most animals, become rudimentary, reduced, in short, to the centrum or body of the bone; and it was at one time the universal practice to dock the tail and ears in dogs, and even in horses, these mutilations were permanent deformities, and never reproduced.

As I shall add to this short notice carefully drawn up tables of weights and measurements, etc., I shall not detain the Society with any further minute remarks, with the exception of teeth, in which I find so marked a difference, as to constitute a distinct species from those Dr. Günther has described. The Tuatara is an acrodont; the teeth being, as it were, chiselled out of the bone.

The intermaxillary bones, Dr. Günther describes, as each supporting a single tooth, “notched, or serrated, at the crown in individuals of middle age;” and he gives an engraving, not only of the young, but of the young, but of the middle-aged specimen, where there appears only a single notch, given with two points. In one of the two specimens I have prepared, this description corresponds, but in the other I find each tooth divided by two notches into three pointed cones. Thus, the superior maxillary supports, what appears to me, six teeth on each side, including the intermaxillary, of a similar description, each notched into three points. And as a great difference from Dr. Günther's description, I find three on the posterior part of the palatal plate of the maxillary bone similarly notched, separated by a deep groove from those on the alveolar edge. The teeth in the lower jaw admit of easier description: on each side of the symphysis, I observe, as in the intermaxillary, a tooth notched into three points; the outer point slightly diverges, and represents a canine tooth, scarcely visible at first, but increasing in size to a line in length. The system of dentition would therefore stand thus:—

Upper jaw, alveolar edge 6 + 6 = 12
" palatal plate 3 + 3 = 6
Complex teeth 18
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Lower jaw, complex teeth 1 + 1 = 2
" alveolar edge, simple teeth 14 + 14 = 28
No. 1 Skeleton.
Weight of animal 6
in. lines.
Snout to cloaca 7 6
Cloaca to tip of tail 7 0
Total length 1 2 6
Cevical 8
Sternal 3
Abdominal 11
Lumbar 3
Sacral 2
Coccygeal 23
Total number 50
No. 2 Skeleton.
oz. grs.
Weight of animal 6 120
in. lines.
Snout to cloaca 7 6 ½
Cloaca to tip of tail 8 11 ½
Total length 1 4 6
Cervical 8
Sternal 3
Abdominal 11
Lumbar 3
Sacral 2
Coccygeal 36
Total number 63
Weight of skeleton 306 grains.

Remarks.—The hœmapophyses (V-shaped bones) I observe, throughout the whole spinal column, connected with the inter-articular cartilages; in neck, rudimentary (but formed of three points of ossification), disappearing along the

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thoracic, abdominal, lumbar, and sacral vertebræ, but again appearing between the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth vertebræ, rapidly increasing in size, (forming a safe canal for the blood vessels), and gradually decreasing, together with the neural and articular processes, until the centrum appears like a minute cylinder, divided in the middle of its length, indicating the part which gives way when the tail is accidentally injured. This fissure can be observed in the thirty-eighth vertebra, and a separation may consequently take place in any of the remaining vertebræ. From the peculiar form of the medulla spinalis, I feel assured, that when injured, the complete vertebræ will not be reproduced, but will present the appearance as seen in the skeleton No. 1, in which the total number of vertebræ is fifty; and the termination of the tail is composed of a deposit of earthy matter of about one inch in length. The series of triangular processes, considered by Dr. Günther as true ribs,—similar to the false or floating ribs in the mammalia—appear to me, after a careful removal of the integuments, to be dermal productions, much resembling those rib-like processes as seen in the engraving of the Plesiosaurus.

Art. III.—On the Anatomy of the Naultinus Greyii, Gray, or Brown Tree Lizard of New Zealand.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, August 14, 1869.]

During the month of January, 1862, a specimen of this reptile was sent to me by a friend, and I examined it with great care. Many points of great interest presented themselves to me, more especially the separation of the tail. In an animal so highly organized, more especially in the skeleton, it appeared to me to be an impossibility, that the complex mechanism of so important a part of the animal economy should be suddenly removed, and not only the life of the animal in no way jeopardized, but that the tail, in its entirety, would be reproduced. Nay, more, that the animal had been seen, after the violent separation of the tail, to search for it, and stick it on again! I found, on careful dissection, that the statement, in so far as the detaching of the tail from the body, was correct, but that the separation not only occurred at a particular part of the spine, but presented an obstacle to its regeneration, which appeared to me, and still appears, impossible. I found the divided or separated surface finely dovetailed; the one (proximal extremity of the skin) presenting no dentations, but a perfectly smooth margin; the scales surrounding the part arranged in symmetrical order, whilst on the separated part or tail, eight wedge-shaped processes projected beyond the skin of the tail. (See preparation of the dried skin.) These eight processes were entire, and not caused by a tearing process, but were arranged in pairs:—

Dorsal margin 1 pair
Abdominal margin 1 "
Lateral margin 2 "
Total 8

AS I attentively observed the separation of the tail, I found that a delicate white cord was gradually leaving a canal in the tail portion. This I recognised to be the medulla spinalis (see preparation in phial), and necessarily rendered, in my belief, the power of reproduction still less possible. I may add that the tail in the living animal is in no respect brittle, as stated by some

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recent authors, but elastic and prehensile. The food of the Naultinus Greyii I found to consist of insects of the Orthoptera order.

I conclude this short notice by drawing the attention of the Society to the remarkable similarity in the skeletons of the Naultinus Greyii, and the Tuatara.

Lizard. — 1862. — External characters.
Total weight 260 grains.
in. lines.
Snout to cloaca 3 6
Cloaca to tip of tail 4 0
Total length 7 6
Total length
Snout to nostrils 0 1
" to centre of eye 0 5 ½
" to cleft of mouth 0 7 ½
" to ear 0 10
" Greatest circumference round the abdomen 2 0

Art. IV.—On the Balænidæ or Whales with Baleen.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Wellington Pilosophical Society, September 18, 1869.]

Observations on the Natural History of the Baloenidoe, or that division of mammiferous animals called Cetacea, having the remarkable substance known in commerce as Whalebone (Baleen), as a substitute for teeth.

The habitat of the Cetacea has necessarily rendered it a difficult task to obtain reliable descriptions of them. The naturalist and practical whaler know nothing about the anatomy of the animal, and they accordingly record measurements of the external surface. In those Cetacea of large size great inaccuracy occurs even in obtaining this very deficient character in determining genera or species. For example, in describing Cetaceans, the naturalist and practical whaler invariably include the tail in their measurements, thus adding from ten to fifteen feet to the actual length of the skeleton; and when the sex and age of the animal are also not given, the result must be the erroneous increase in the number of species. Hence, a carefully prepared skeleton, the sex of the specimen, and, if possible, the anatomy of the viscera, are imperatively required to enable the naturalist to determine with accuracy either genera or species.

The following observations are the result of the dissection of three specimens of the Balænidæ; and the author proposes to reduce the number of Balænidæ to four, distinguished by the following characters:—

Average length of adult animal
Balœna Mysticetus, or Right whale 55 to 65 feet
Rorqualus major (Knox), Hump-back 80 to 100 "
"minor (Knox) 20 to 25 "
"Sp., Trigger-fin, Sulphur-bottom 30 to 55 "
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Number of Vertebræ.
Cervical. Dorsal. Lumber and caudal. Total. Number of Ribs.
Balœna Mysticetus. 7 12 33 52 12
Rorqualus major 7 15 43 65 15
"minor 7 11 30 48 11
"Sp. Trigger-fin, anatomy not known.
Baleen—Measurement of longest blade.
Balœna Mysticetus from 9 to 17 feet
Rorqualus major from 4 to 5 "
"minor 5 inches
"Sp. Trigger-fin, anatomy not known.

Average length of Baleen offered for sale, from 6 to 12 feet.

1. Balæna Mysticetus, Right Whale.

The Mysticetus, in point of value, not only exceeds that of all others, not excepting even that of the Cachalot, but is infinitely more valuable, as a marketable production, than any other animal; and yet only the skin (i.e., the blubber of the practical whaler) and its appendages, in the shape of baleen, is brought to market, the entire carcase and skeleton have as yet no marketable value.*

All attempts to give a drawing of the animal have hitherto failed, although the skeleton may now be seen in most of the Museums on the Continent, more especially in Paris, where the Museum, towards the close of Cuvier's career, formed the largest “Scientific Dictionary, illustrated,” in the world. (A profile view of the skull is given in Plate 2b, fig. 5.) It has been stated that Cuvier found specific difference between the Arctic and Antarctic Mysticetæ; but I have not seen the grounds on which he based his opinion. Practical whalers are of opinion the Mysticetæ killed in the Southern Hemisphere, are identical with those of Davis' Straits and Greenland, only differing in size, arising from the nature of the food.

Since arriving in New Zealand, I have come to the conclusion that there are at least two species of the Mysticetæ, from an examination of the baleen; that of the Southern Hemisphere being proportionately finer in texture, narrower, and thinner in the blade. Baleen has been used for a great variety of purposes, and, at one time, its value was regulated by the length of the blade, everything under six feet brought a much less price than that of greater length. Now, the baleen in the Arctic whale (central blades of the series) has frequently reached seventeen and eighteen feet in length, whereas the baleen brought from the Antarctic or South Sea, seldom exceeds nine feet. I, at one time, from observing transverse ridges on the sides of the baleen plates, thought that these ridges indicated a periodical interruption in the growth, similar to those observed on the horn of the ox, but from the examination of the baleen belonging to the cranium presented to the Museum by Sir George Grey, I very much doubt the soundness of this theory. The baleen is strictly analogous to the hair, nails, hoofs, etc., and being liable to be worn down, continues throughout the whole life of the animal to grow. A fine and similar example of this wonderful provision of nature may be observed in the molar teeth of the elephant.

[Footnote] * Value of two Whales.—Oil, 20 tons, at £50 a ton, £1,000; Baleen, 1 ½ tons, at £700, £1,050. Total, £2,050.—Voyage of the “Diana,” whaler, from Hull, in the year 1866–7.

[Footnote] † The principal whaler has no idea of size in any animal constituting a generic or specific character.

Picture icon

To accompany paper by F.J.Knox

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2. Rorqualus Major, Hump-back.

In the autumn of 1831, a whale of unusual dimensions was observed moving about in the Firth of Forth, and was ultimately stranded near North Berwick, within about twenty-five miles of Edinburgh. I was requested by my brother, Professor Knox, to visit the locality, and endeavour to purchase the animal. This I accomplished, after much trouble, and no small cost; the comparative anatomy was ascertained; the most interesting parts, such as sections of the baleen matrix, the arch of the aorta, plaster casts of the brain, etc., together with the baleen in sitû, were exhibited in the Royal Institution for some time, and were ultimately handed over to the Town Council of Edinburgh. As the skeleton occupied a space of one hundred and twenty feet by forty-five, it was expensive even to afford it house room, and therefore it was put at the Zoological Gardens.

As an assistance to collectors in New Zealand, I am able to give a careful drawing of the skeleton of this whale. (Plate 2a, Fig. 1.)

The specimen exhibited the characteristic plicæ or folds of the integuments on the abdominal surface. Immediately above the generative organ (male) there was the hunch or hump, so diminutive in size, as to require to be looked for. It is worthy of remark that a similar hump is observed on the Cachalot, and that the Rorqual and Cachalot should equal each other in size, in habits, and even in the oil, that of the Hunch-back Rorqual being quite equal to sperm, and indeed containing the spermaceti about the head in considerable quantities. The action of both the Rorqual and Cachalot, upon being attacked, have also a strong resemblance; they retaliate, or as the practical whaler expresses it, “run upon the harpoon or lance,” and consequently endanger the boat and crew.

The following measurements were made of the fresh specimen:—

Snout to tip of tail 100 feet
Greatest circumference 36 "

The following measurements were made of the skeleton:—

Snout of occipital foramen 22 feet
Length of spinal column 67 "
Total length of skeleton 89
Length of lower jaw, external surface 24
Cervical (all jointed) 7
Dorsal 15
Lumbar and Caudal 43
Total number of Vertebræ 65
Sternal 3
A. Sternal 12
The sixth, the longest
Pairs 15
Baleen, the longest blade 5 feet
Total weight of the skeleton 28 tons

ascertained by the tollage charged on passing from North Berwick to Edinburgh.

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The cranium was of colossal bulk and weight, exceeding in this respect that of the Mysticetae, at least ten times. To enable me to remove the cranium from the beach at North Berwick, I had it raised on a frame, and made a transverse section in front of the nostrils; and secondly, a longitudinal section of the cranium, thus allowing me to remove the upper jaw with the baleen in sitû, and also obtain a cast of the brain.

3. Rorqualus Minor, Knox.

I am enabled to refer to an original drawing of this animal, with which, to me, an interesting history is connected. (See Plate 2a., Fig. 3.) In the month of February, 1834 (whilst engaged in the preparation of the Rorqualus major), a notice was placarded and extensively circulated throughout Edinburgh, that a monster had been caught in the Firth of Forth, near Queen's Ferry, and was exhibited. I formed one of the number of the visitors— although naturally a lover of the “beautiful,” and, consequently, disliking the sight of monsters. Notwithstanding that great efforts had been made to disfigure it, I recognized a specimen of the Balænidæ, I made the purchase, and within a few hours there were grouped around the interesting stranger, such men as the late Professor Edward Forbes, Professor John Goodsir, Sir W. Ferguson, and Sir Geo. Ballingall, and it was determined to have a drawing of the specimen. It was suggested that by suspending it horizontally, as in swimming, a much more accurate likeness would be obtained. This was accordingly forthwith accomplished, and Forbes undertook to be draughtsman. The effort resulted in realizing more than our most sanguine expectations. The specimen was evidently that of a young animal, but having obtained the magnificent likeness, it immediately occupied the attention of the practical anatomist, and nearly every part was preserved. The preparation of the skeleton was a work of much labour (notwithstanding its comparative small size) more especially in preserving the baleen in sitû. All, however, was ultimately accomplished, and the entire comparative anatomy was presented to the Museum of the University of Edinburgh.

The following notes were made of the recent specimen and skeleton:—

Weight 500Ibs.
Snout to tip of tail 13 feet
Greatest circumference 8ft. 6in
ft. in.
Snout to occipital foramen 2 6
Length of spinal column 7 6
Total length of skeleton 10 0
Cervical 7
Dorsal 11
Lumbar and Caudal 30
Total number 48
Sternal 3
A. Sternal 8
Paris 11
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Rorqualus (Sp.,) Trigger-fin, Razor-back, Sulphur-bottom (to be distinguished from the Finner, which is properly the B. Marginata.)

The fin which in this species of the Balænidæ is placed in the usual situation, immediately above the generative organs, is said to average from thirty to fifty-five feet in length. The baleen is short; and the blubber in comparatively small quantity. The whales of this species resemble the great Rorqual in their general habits, and, although numerous, do not form a tempting object of capture for the practical whaler. They are common in the neighbourhood of the New Zealand group of islands.

Two young specimens were caught and stranded in Porirua Harbour, in 1867, neither of which I was able to preserve; only taking the measurements as detailed in the annexed tables. The dorsal surface was of a jetty and glossy black, becoming of a light-grey on the abdomen. The characteristic plicæ or folds were well-developed; the longest baleen blade was two inches, of a pale yellow or cream colour. The osteology and comparative anatomy of this whale were not ascertained.

A young female specimen, weighed 300 lbs.

It measured as follows:—

ft. in. lines.
Snout to tip of tail 9 10 0
Greatest circumference 6 8 0
Snout to nostrils 1 6 6
" to centre of eye 1 6 0
" to dorsal fin 5 2 0
Baleen, pale rose colour, longest blade 0 2 0

General Observations on the Balænidæ.

The entire form of the animals so nearly resembles a fish, as to lead the naturalist, and practical whaler, to insist that the Cetaceæ are fishes; nothing but the researches of the anatomist could have rescued the whale from that class.

The exhibition of the great Rorqual, at the Royal Institution, in 1835, was considered by the great mass of the visitors, as a sheer imposition. They wished to see the skin stuffed. The baleen (in that case in sitû) was disbelieved to be a reality by most persons who visited the exhibition. One or two persons actually demanded a return of the admission fee. Yet to the anatomist, the contemplation of the spinal column (trunk) composed of sixty-five vertebræ (out of many of which the entire skeleton of the ox could have been fashioned), and these connected by sixty-five joints, many of them containing a gallon of joint-oil, presented a lever, or rather a whip-shaft, to the tail, which left no doubt of the effects of the application of its distal extremity to a whale-boat.

I remember a whaler of the name of Thoms, residing on the Island of Kapiti, who was merely touched by the tail of a Mysticete, and nearly every bone on one side of the body was broken. Fortunately, there was no “duly qualified doctor” to be had, and Thoms consequently got quite well, with the exception of a slight lameness. When brought to the station, he was lifted out of the boat with considerable difficulty, being literally glued to the boat by the blood lost.

The sternum, also, is remarkably short, having only two or three pairs of ribs connected to it. Now, this, instead of indicating a rudimentary condition, rather proved the Divine perfection in all nature's works. In consequence of the smallness of the sternum, the great respiratory muscle— the diaphragm—measured in the great Rorqual, 60 feet in length, by an

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average breadth of 10 or 12 feet; thus enormously increasing the capacity of the chest at the will of the animal, either thereby depressing the locomotive power, or increasing it when determined on a rapid journey.

It has been demonstrated by the comparative anatomist, that the Mysticetae, and, in all probability, the Rorquals, at an early period of uterine development, have numerous cone-shaped teeth, unfilled, for their future existence. These teeth, accordingly, never proceed beyond the first stage of development, and the young cub at birth, is a sucker. The palate, soon after birth, becomes covered with numerous transverse ridges, and a white horny substance begins to spring from them, lengthening with the growth of the animal, and corresponding to the development of the jaws, longest where the arch of the upper jaw is greatest, and diminishing towards the throat and snout, to mere hairs. Thus, the animal destroys myriads of minute mollusca, and even microscopic marine insects, which, from their enormous increase, might become the source of pestilence, had it not been for their wholesale consumer.

Notes By Dr. Hector.

The following is a list, with dimensions, of those specimens of Cetacians in the Colonial Museum, Wellington, which possess interest from their being rarely represented in collections.

1. Balæna Marginata (Gray).

Cranium presented by Sir George Grey: obtained at the Island of Kawau—See Plate 2b, Fig. 1, upper surface; Fig. 2, lower surface; Fig. 3, side view; Fig. 4, section showing Baleen in sitû.

Weight of cranium 58 lbs.
" of lower jaw 13 "
Total weight 71 lbs.
ft. in.
Snout to occipital foramen 4 9
" to fronto-nasal suture 2 10
" to centre of orbit 3 10
Breadth at nostrils 2 5
" mastoid processes 2 7
Lower jaw— length; convex surface 3 11
" greatest depth 0 8

Baleen, 29 inches long, 3 ½ inches wide.

From the character afforded by the baleen of this specimen, I conclude that it is the head of the Balœna Marginata (Gray), or West Australian whale.

Dr. Gray says*:—“This species is only known from three laminae of baleen. It is much smaller and broader, compared with its width at the base, than, and is differently coloured from, the baleen of any of the other species.

“The baleen very long, slender (nearly eight times as long as wide at the base), pure white, thin, with a rather broad black edge on the outer straight side.

“This is, undoubtedly a very distinct species. The baleen is of nearly the same structure as that of the Greenland whale; but we do not know

[Footnote] * See “Catalogue of Seals and Whales in the British Museum,” p. 90.

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Skull Of Balæna Marginata Gray. Zool. E & T.

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what may be the form of the first ribs, or of the bones of the other parts of the skeleton.”

The plates of baleen, in the Kawau specimen, presented by Sir George Grey, are slightly longer than the dimensions given above, but the proportion of width to length is the same; and the well-marked black margin ¼ to ⅜ of an inch in width, clearly identifies the species.

This interesting specimen, must therefore, be considered as unique, and has been carefully figured in Plate 2b.

2. Berardius Arnuxii (Duvernoy).

Skull and lower jaw, cervical vertebræ, scapulae, hyoid, pectoral extremities right and left, and pelvic bones of one individual; also, a single tooth of another individual, weight, 206 grains.

Length of head 23·5 inches
" nose 15 "
" dental groove 7 "
" lower jaw 19 "
Width, notch 5·5 "
" orbits 9·5 "
" intermaxillary at blow holes 4·5 "
" nose 2 "
Height at occiput 9·5 "

On small tooth imbedded close to tip of lower jaw on left side, one inch high; weight, 38·8 grains; irregular triangular shape. This is the skull of a young animal. A strong ligament connecting the muscle of the forehead with the snout is deeply imbedded in the intermaxillary groove. The snout is described as long and flexible. Atlas and axis anchylosed.

Length of cervical vertebræ, 3·7 inches. Scapula, longitudinal diameter, 10 inches; transverse diameter, 6 inches. Pectoral extremities, length, 14 inches; width, 3 ½ inches. Hyoid arch, 55 by 4 inches high. Pelvic bones, 2 ½ inches.

The specimen was cast on the beach of the West Coast, near Porirua Harbour, and was prepared by Dr. Knox.

Only two other specimens have, hitherto, been obtained; the first at Akaroa in 1846, now deposited in the Paris Museum; the second was captured at the mouth of the Avon, and prepared by Dr. Haast, for the Canterbury Museum (see Art. 45, p. 190).

A fourth, and very large specimen, has been lately stranded in Wellington Harbour, and, in part, secured for the Museum by Dr. Knox, who, from his examination, has some doubt of the identity of the above species, founded on the character of the teeth.

3. Lagenorhyncus Clanculus. Complete Skeleton.

ft. in.
Total length 5 1
Cervicals (7) anchylosed 1·3
Dorsals (14) 11·5

Lumbar and Caudal 48, thirty-four of which have processes, and may be considered as lumbars.

Length— total 14
" beak 7·5
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Width at notch 3·5
" at orbit 6
" of intermaxillary at blow-hole 2·7
" at middle of beak 2·5
Height of occiput 5·7
Length of flappers 12
Scapula, longitudinal 6·5
" transverse 4·5

This specimen was harpooned outside Wellington Harbour, and appears to be the common Dolphin of the Coast.

Lower jaws of two others.

Three skulls of Delphinus sp. (?).

4. Globiocephalus Macrorhynchus. (Gray.)

Black-fish of South Seas. Two skulls, one showing longitudinal section.

One lower jaw, six cervical vertebræ.

Four lumbar, thirteen caudal, two scapulae.

Two hyoids.

Both skulls are of the same dimensions.

Length 26
" of nose 15
" of tooth series 8
" of a lower jaw of a different individual 15
Width at notch 11
" at orbit 17
" of intermaxillary at blow-hole 7·5
" at middle of nose 9·5
Height at occiput 14
Scapula, transverse diameter 15
" longitudinal diameter 12

Hyoid arch, 11 inches wide, by 7 inches high: Sternum, 10 × 7 inches, with three sternal ribs, each 7 inches long.

First rib is 10 inches from head to tip, but is bent, with an arch of 5 inches.

Atlas, axis, and three other cervicals are anchylosed. The combined cervicals have a conjoined length of four inches.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Vertical diameter of Foramen magnum, 2 ½ inches; conjoined length of the four Lumbars, 8 inches; height, including spinous processes, 8·5 inches; caudal appendage, 16 inches, of thirteen segments, two of which are anchylosed; teeth, 9·9/8·8

This species is only known from two imperfect specimens in the British Museum and College of Surgeons' Museum.

Art. V.—On Seals of the genus Stenorhyncus, captured on the East Coast of Otago.*

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, August 14, 1869.]

In August, of last year, a very handsome seal was discovered on the Green Island beach, about a dozen miles to the southward of Otago Heads. It was

[Footnote] * The seals, referred to in this paper, have, since it was written, been determined by Dr. Hector as specimens of S. Leptonyx. The descriptions of S. Leptonyx, accessible to the writer, were all transcripts of that given by M. F. Cuvier, from the first specimen brought to Europe, and did not lead to the idea that the seals, in question, could belong to that species. There is reason to believe that the measurements of the head of Weddellii, given by Dr. Hamilton, from the stuffed specimen in the Edinburgh Museum, under-rate its width. In the seals caught here, the mass of fat, etc., between the skin of the head, and the skull, was very considerable.—J. S. W.
The skeleton of a specimen of this seal, captured in Wellington Harbour, in 1840, was sent to England, accompanied by full anatomical notes by Dr. F. Knox.—Catalogue of Whales and Seals in the British Museum. J. E. Gray, F. R. S., page 16.—ED.

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captured without much difficulty, and was purchased, and presented to the Museum, by Captain Fraser. This specimen proved to be a female. Shortly afterwards, a male of the same species was caught in our harbour, and was also secured for the Museum. These seals are of a species by no means common on any part of the coast of New Zealand. They belong to the genus Stenorhyncus of M. François Cuvier, a form restricted, so far as we know, to the Southern World. In the Museum they are labelled as S. Weddellii, the Phoca Leopardina, of Jameson, or Leopard Seal. The skins have, as I can vouch, been carefully stuffed by the Curator of the Museum, and I have secured for that Institution such portions of both skeletons as were not retained in the stuffed specimens. I am able to forward, for the use of the Society, good photographs of these seals, which Mr. Alfred Burton was kind enough to take for me, for this purpose.

The inappropriateness of the name Leopard Seal, cannot but strike any one on examining these specimens. This has led me to look up such information, as is procurable here, about the genus to which they belong, and I have been obliged to conclude that these seals are not the same as Weddellii, and that they remain up to the present time undescribed in works of Natural History. At the risk, therefore, of repeating what some one may have done before, I venture to send the following description of them to the Society, since, no doubt, the majority of naturalists in New Zealand have as little opportunity as myself of referring to any description that may have been published at home during the last few years.

The genus Stenorhyncus was first defined by M. Fr. Cuvier, and is most readily distinguished by the very peculiar character of the teeth. Of these “the molars are deeply divided into three long points, which are conical, and somewhat hooked,” the central process in each being considerably longer than the others. Compared with the typical Phoca, the narrowness, and comparative length of the snout, is very noticeable, and it is on account of this feature that the generic name Stenorhyncus (narrow-muzzle) has been given. Only two species have hitherto been described, both found in the southern hemisphere. S. Leptonyx (the Small-nailed Seal of Cuvier) has been taken in South Georgia, and the Falkland Isles. S. Weddellii (Leopard Seal of Weddell) appears to come from localities still further to the South, in the same region of the globe. Captain Weddell, in his “Voyage towards the South Pole,” speaks of its occurrence at the South Orkneys, and on the mainland of South Shetland. Of this species, a specimen in the Edinburgh Museum is the only one recorded as having reached Europe. It has been figured and described in the “Naturalist's Library,” in a monograph on the Amphibious Carnivora, which forms the twenty-fifth volume of that collection. It is from the comparison of this drawing, and Captain Weddell's description of his Leopard Seal, with the seals captured here, that I have concluded that the latter belong to a new species. The shape of the head is, I think, conclusive on this point; our New Zealand seals being by no means so typically narrow-muzzled as the Leopard Seal. The following table of measurements (attached) shows very clearly the divided differences between Weddellii, and the species which I presume to be new to science. Whilst the length of the Edinburgh specimen is nearly one-half greater than that of the largest of ours, and its greatest girth almost double,

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the distance between the inner angles of the eyes is one-half greater in the New Zealand seal, than in Weddellii, and the circumference at the upper part of the neck about the same. The distance from the angle of the mouth to the tip of the lower jaw, is also much greater in our specimens, than in the other. Whatever hesitation we may have in relying on the measurements taken from a stuffed specimen, those about the head and jaws are not likely to be inaccurate. In this case, they show that the New Zealand seal is much longer in the jaw, and generally broader in the muzzle than that from South Shetland. It will be noticed that the fore-paw is proportionately larger. This, and the posterior extremity, differ much in shape from those of Weddellii, the toes being connected throughout by membrane. They are, respectively, extremely like the fin and tail of a fish, whilst those of the Leopard Seal are very similar to the limbs of a true Phoca. The presence of nails on the posterior extremity, is also a distinguishing mark.

The general differences of appearance are also very noticeable, although, as all seals seem to vary much in colour and markings, at different ages, I should not have ventured to think them specific, in the absence of more important ones. Captain Weddell has given but a meagre description of the Leopard Seal, speaking of it as if it were already known. He gives the colours as “pale-greyish above, yellowish beneath, the back spotted with pale white,” an expression which probably means “dull white.” The plate in the “Naturalist's Library” (in which, by the way, the colouring has evidently been taken by the artist, not from Weddell's description, but from the highly discoloured Museum specimen), shows large oval spots, all nearly even in size, and pretty uniformly distributed. The seals, I am describing, are of a slatey grey, above, a medium shade, the female being a little lighter coloured than the male. The spots are both white and black, the latter being most numerous; none, strictly speaking, on the back, whilst those on the upper part of the sides are small, and distributed very differently from those on the Leopard Seal. The spots and markings will be best understood by a reference to the photographs. Though the grey on the back has come out very dark in these, the black spots remain distinguishable. It is proper to mention, also, that all the whites appear as much too bright in the photographs, as the greys are too dark. An accurate idea of the colouring cannot be had from them. The large patches of black on the under parts of the male, are probably only signs of youth, as in the Fur Seal. The black is pure in the male, nearly so in the female. There was no trace of a yellow tinge on the under portion of the body when the animals were alive, though there are now some slight signs of that discolouration to which all stuffed specimens of seals are subject, from the impossibility of entirely freeing the skin from oily matter. The general colour beneath, when the seals were newly killed, and wet, may be described as that of sea ice, a dull white, with faint bluish-grey tinge. I append more particular descriptions of each specimen, sufficient, I think, when taken in conjunction with the measurements, to enable any one to identify the species in case of future capture.

I am informed (at second hand) from several quarters, that, though very rare on the New Zealand coast, these seals are common at the Auckland Islands, where they have been seen from sixteen to twenty feet long.

Statements made by the Maoris to Mr. Beverly, when he accompanied Dr. Hector on an expedition to the West Coast of this Province, agree with these reports as to the large size attained by these seals. The Maoris speak of them as much larger than the Wigs, as they call the full-grown Brown Seal of our coasts. One of the latter was killed during the expedition referred to, which weighed 3 cwt., but I have not been able to ascertain its dimensions. I hope this notice may lead to further information on the subject being made

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known. There must be many persons in New Zealand who have had opportunities of seeing these seals alive.

With regard to the time at which the seals made their appearance here, I may remark, that Captain Weddell, when describing the habits of the Fur Seal, says, that herds of small young seals come on shore in August, for about five or six weeks, and then retire to the water. Of the habits of the Leopard Seal, he has not given any account. The seals caught here are young ones, if I may judge by their size, as compared with that of others described by visitors to the Auckland Islands. Mr. Arthur Beverly, who examined them immediately after their capture, is of opinion that the female had never been pregnant. The time of parturition amongst seals of the southern seas appears to vary considerably. With the Fur Seal, it is in November and December, and the animal is not adult until nearly two years old. Probably this may be about the age of the specimens under consideration.

I shall add, that there is a skin of a Stenorhyncus, which appears to be of the same species as that I am describing, in possession of the Dunedin Athenaeum. It was lying in the Government Offices here, for many years, before it was handed over to its present custodians. It is imperfect, and very roughly stuffed, and is now of an almost uniform dingy brown. Markings may, however, be traced on the belly, similar to those on the female specimen in the Museum. I have included in the appended table such measurements of this seal as could be fairly depended upon, as representing something like the original size. These, it will be seen, correspond, pretty well, with those of the seals in the Museum. The specimen is smaller, but the teeth are perfect, and I have no doubt that the skin is that of an adult.

In conclusion, I may express the hope that the partial revival of whaling enterprise in this part of the world, may enable us to add something to the scanty store of facts, hitherto published, in regard to the seals, and other living forms, of the Southern Seas. Except in the case of the Fur Seal, very little indeed, is known about any of the seals that frequent Antarctic shores. No doubt there are many new species to be discovered, and with regard to their habits, and economy, the field is all but untouched.

Should the opinion I have expressed, as to these seals being hitherto undescribed, prove correct, perhaps I may be allowed to claim the usual privilege, and suggest a specific name; Crassicollus will recall the feature which most readily distingushes this seal from others of the genus, and will not excruciate the ears of a scholar, more than the majority of scientific names must do.

Description of Seals Caught Near Dunedin, New Zealand, August, 1868.

(For measurements of both specimens see table annexed.)

Head proportionately larger than the Weddellii, and neck less tapering. Body largest immediately before the fore-arm, tapering very gradually to the base of the posterior extremities. Fore paw very fin-like, first finger (or thumb) much the largest; fingers united by membrane, which extends from half an inch to an inch beyond the nails; nails black, not sharp, or much curved, about half an inch long. Hind paws furnished with membrane to the extremities of the toes, making the paw, when expanded, look very like the symmetrical tails of the pilchard, and some other Clupeadœ; nails well developed on three middle toes, less so on the others, brownish-black, tipped with yellowish-white. The external aperture of the ear is easily distinguishable. The ear-tube was found fine as a medium sized pin (about the No. 19 trade-gauge of wire). Hair soft, and moderately thick-set, a medium shade of slatey-grey on the upper half of the body, dull-white below. The dividing line between these colours is rather

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distinctly marked, passing from the nostrils immediately under the eye, and dividing the surface of the body into nearly equal parts throughout. (In the photograph the head of the male shows wholly dark, from some accidental circumstance). The upper part of the head is slightly darker than the back. Numerous spots and patches of black, especially on the hinder part of the belly, where the black becomes predominent; small white spots are also intermingled with the black ones, especially over the hind ribs. Some of the smaller spots are grey.


Considerably larger than the male, but proportionately shorter in the neck, which is also thicker, giving a marked difference of figure to the fore-part of the animal. External aperture of the ear distinguishable, but not so readily as in the male. Colour rather lighter than in the male, with very few traces of the black patches, so prevalent on the lower part of the body of the latter.

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In both male and female the teeth are perfect: and the dentition normal, 2·1·5/2·1·5=32. The description given by Dr. Hamilton of the teeth of the Weddellii, answers exactly for those of these seals, and I, therefore, copy it: " The incisors are conical in their form, and somewhat curved inwards; those " in the upper jaw are by much the longest, and the two middle ones are " placed further within the mouth than the other two, and are also much " smaller” (this latter peculiarity is shared by those of the lower jaw); the " canines are conical, very much developed at the base, and slightly grooved; " the body of the molars is composed of three parts, the central conical part by " much the longest and largest, with a small tubercle on each side.”

Table of Measurements.
S. Weddellii. Specimens in the Otago Museum. Specimens in the Dunedin Athenaeum
Sex unknown. Male. Female. Sex unknown.
ft. in. ins. ft. in. ins. ft. in. ins. ft. in. ins.
1.Total length (over the back) from tip of snout of tip of tail 9 10 0 5 11 8 7 1 6 4 10 6
2.Length of tail 0 2 6 0 3 0 0 3 6 0 2 0
3. From snout to anterior edge of the base of the fore paw. 3 5 0 2 5 0 2 3 6 1 9 8
4. From base of posterior margin of fore paw to tip of tail 6 4 0 3 2 6 4 5 9 3 0 0
5. From base of one fore paw to base of another, across the back 3 1 0 1 8 5 1 8 0 1 8 2
5. Circumference, greatest round body 6 4 0 3 6 0 3 6 11 2 9 11
7. Ditto at upper part of neck 1 11 0 1 10 10 2 3 7 1 5 10
8. Ditto above the tail 2 3 0 1 10 8 2 0 0 1 5 6
9. Length of fore paw round anterior margin 1 1 0 1 1 9 1 3 8 Damaged
10. Length round posterior margin 0 8 0 0 9 8 1 0 3 Ditto
11. Greatest breadth of forepaw 0 4 10 0 4 6 0 5 6 Ditto
12 Ditto length of posterior extremity 1 5 6 1 1 0 1 3 0 0 10 6
13 Ditto breadth, toes being extended 1 4 0 1 2 5 1 2 10 not ascertainable.
14. Breadth at base of the foot 0 4 6 0 4 3 0 4 7 Ditto
15. Distance between inner angles of eyes 0 3 6 0 5 6 0 6 2 0 3 6 Doubtful
16. Ditto angle of mouth and tip of lower jaw 0 4 0 0 5 5 0 5 9 0 5 3

Note.—In Nos. 5 and 12, it is uncertain whether my measurements correspond with Dr. Hamilton's as to the points chosen to measure from. I take No. 12 from angle between tail and flipper.

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Art. VI.—On a (probably new) variety of the Small-nailed Seal,—Stenor Hyncus Leptonyx, of Cuvier, and De Blainville, and allied to the Phoca Leopardina, of Jameson.

(Read before the Philosophical Society of Canterbury, December 2, 1868.)

Early in the month of August, 1868, a Seal was caught in the harbour of Lyttelton, and afterwards was exhibited in Christchurch, which seemed to present some characteristics worthy of notice, and which, indeed, seems to differ from any of the varieties hitherto described.

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It measured over eleven feet eight inches in entire length, and six feet in girth at the stoutest part. From the decayed state of some of the teeth—the two under-canines being broken off near the gum, and one having a hole three-fourths of an inch deep—the animal must have been full-grown, and even aged. The upper canines projected fully an inch and a half from the level of the gum. Teeth, incisors, 4/4 canines, 1·1/1·1; molars, 5·5/5·5. The dentition, and the very marked tricuspid appearance of the molars, proved its identity with the genus Stenorhyncus.

There was no external ear. Bristles only on the upper lip. No soft, upstanding, furry hair, as in the Stenorhyncus Weddellii, or Sea Leopard, but only the thin, sparse, longish hairs, lying close to the skin, and distributed over the whole body. The swimming paws much resemble those of the Macrorhinus, or Sea Elephant, having more the shape of a fin, or wing, than of a paw. The nails are small upon the fore-paws, and very small, but still present, upon the hinder extremities. These last were scarcely, if at all, lobed, and more resembled fish-tails.

In colour, the animal was grey above, with black flakes, and a brownish tinge, all over the central part of the upper surface. On the sides, the black spots were replaced by white flakes; while the under part of the body was light grey. The fore-paws were white, with light grey flakes. The hinder extremities were black, with light grey spots.

There was no tail, nor even the rudiment of one. The vertebral column terminated, in a round compressed manner, under the skin, which extended about three inches beyond it, so as to form the curve which united the two hinder extremities.

The anal aperture was quite distinct from the urethro sexual canal, as if there were no common cloacal sphincter muscle; this appearance may, however, have been partly owing to the relaxed state of the animal's flesh, it having been dead for some time, and partly to the great pressure of the body upon the lower surface.

The weight of the animal was said, by the capturer and exhibitor, to be about 1,200lbs.; it was, probably, a little over half that figure.

I had an opportunity of afterwards examining a Sea Leopard (Stenorhyncus Weddellii), and comparing it with the above description. But this second individual exactly suited the ordinary account of the animal as I have named it. It possessed a covering of fur on the upper part of the body, and a tail about three inches long, and was decidedly smaller in size.

In attempting to define the place of the seal, described above, it may be sufficient to refer to the number and kind of the teeth. Of the eight genera, into which seals are now distributed, two possess the same number of teeth,—thirty two,—viz., Stenorhyncus and Pelagius, but the under molar teeth of the latter are not tricuspidated, and the upper molars are but slightly notched.

Confining our attention to the two species of the Stenorhyncus, the Leptonyx, or Small-nailed, and the Sea Leopard, we find the character of the former, which notes the presence of the small nails both in the hinder and

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former extremities, decides the place of this animal. But when we take into account the colours of the flakes which spot its whole body, the very slight indentation of the lobes of the hinder extremities, and the entire absence of a tail, it seems as if it had claims to be regarded as an entirely new species.

Art. VII.—On a species of Ophisurus, found on the Coast of New Zealand.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, August 14, 1869.]

The genus Ophisurus includes a section of the Eel family, which has not been previously recognized as represented by any fish on the New Zealand coast. The only eels mentioned in the lists of New Zealand fishes, are two fresh water species, Anguilla Australis (also found in Australia), and Anguilla Dieffenbachii, which Richardson considers as only a variety of the former, and a Conger Eel (Congus habenatus), which is found in Cook's Strait, and on other parts of the coast.

In Richardson's work “On the Antarctic Fishes,” he describes twenty-five species of Ophisurus, but they all appear to have been obtained from tropical seas, and none of them present the same characters as the fish which I have to describe.

The specimen was received, with the following memoranda, from Mr. Atkinson, R. M.—“Puni Horua, caught in a tidal creek, near Makaraka, Poverty Bay, June 24, 1869.”

The form and colour of the specimen has been considerably altered by the spirit in which it had been preserved, but it presents the distinctive characteristics of the Ophisurus, or Snake-Eels, having the slender, compressed head, and slightly expanded snout, and the tail prolonged to a naked point, beyond the dorsal and anal fins. Its colour is dark chesnut-brown, with a silvery lustre beneath. The nasal disk is bordered by six acute subulate teeth, and on the mesial line, two minute teeth, and one stout acute tooth. Behind this, the vomerine teeth form a single row in the mesial line, commencing with two stout teeth, and continued by twelve minute, recurved, subulate teeth. Palatine teeth are uniserial, consisting of thirty-four minute teeth, with recurved tips, extending from the nasal disk to the angle of the mouth. The mandibular teeth are uniserial, and correspond, in number and form, to those on the nasal disk, and palatines. The eyes are placed in the middle of the gape, about half the diameter of the orbit below the top of the head. The gill openings are large, and placed in front of the pectoral fin, which is small and acute. The dorsal commences over the pectorals, and lies in a groove extending to within half an inch of the tip of the tail; its greatest height being three lines. The anal extends to within three lines of the tip of the tail, and is four lines wide, immediately behind the anus. The total-length of the fish is thirty-four inches; tip of nose to anus, thirteen inches; to gill openings, two inches six lines; length of gape, one inch four lines. The nearest species described by Richardson is O. Eostellatus,* from Senegal, but it presents marked differences in the dentition, having a different number of teeth, which are biserial; and in the pectoral fins, which, in O. Rostellatus, are large and oval. The proportions are also slightly different. I therefore propose to distinguish this fish as a new species, and call it Ophisurus Novoe Zelandioe.

[Footnote] * Richardson's “Antarctic Fishes,” p. 105

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To accompany paper by F. J. Knox on Ophisurus

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Dr. Knox having undertaken the dissection, and minute anatomical description of the specimen, has furnished the following valuable notes; together with the preparations they refer to, which are deposited in the Colonial Museum.

Anatomical Observations on Ophisurus Novæ Zelandiæ, (Hector.) By Dr. Knox.

The Integuments.

The external characters of this fish having been given by Dr. Hector, I shall only make a few remarks on the skin. The specimen having been preserved in strong alcoholic mixture, necessarily altered, not only the colouring, but also the integumentary tissue itself; not a vestige of scales could be observed, and considerable difficulty was found in removing the skin, more especially at the connection of the dorsal and anal fins. Little or no oil appeared to be present, and when dried, the absence of oil became more striking. I found it, viewed as a transparent object, entirely dotted over with minute black spots; and immediately below the lateral line, a regular series of spots of larger size, and placed at about two lines from each other. These latter I consider glandular orifices; they are also very distinct on the lip or margin of the upper and lower jaws. On the inner surface of the abdominal aspect of the skin, there extends, from the gill aperture to the anus, a well-developed cutis-muscle, which, by its contraction, will assist in progression, in a similar manner, to the abdominal scutœ in some of the Reptiliae (Tuatara, etc.), no doubt required, in consequence of the extremely rudimentary nature of the ribs.

The Skull—Fig. 4.

The head of the Ophisurus is at once remarkable for its smallness, and for its high degree of development. The organs of sense, and the dentition, are fully represented. The Ophisurus stands, in this respect, in strong contrast to fishes, in which the head is almost universally, enormously (disproportionally) developed. Even in his closely-allied relation, the eel (Murœna, Linn.), the head continues to hold something like a proportion to the body. It will be seen from the annexed table of weights, that the total weight of the skull is thirty grains, but this is much beyond the true weight of the bones, as the integumentary covering on the right side, was left in sitû, in order to display the position of the nostrils, and the gill coverings, and thus the bones in the skeleton of the head would certainly not weigh more than fifteen or twenty grains.

The smallness, added to the non-development of the osseous centres of ossification, render any attempt to describe the separate bones of the skull, impossible. The view of the skull from above (Fig. 5) exhibits, very beautifully, the fact (although not very long ago, the theory) of the head being merely a continuation of specialized vertebræ; it does not signify whether the number be 3, 7, or 7 times 7.

The upper jaw (Fig. 6), after gradually narrowing, expands into a semi-oval surface, convex above, concave on its dentar or buccal aspect. The rami of the lower jaw (Fig. 7) are proportionally long, and quite straight, terminating with a symphysis peculiarly formed, so as to receive an azygos tooth in the upper jaw. The opercula are well developed.

The lower jaw (Fig. 7) is formed of two perfectly straight rami, uniting at the symphysis by cartilage, and articulating with the articular process of the temporal bones in the usual manner; the temporal fossæ are large, affording ample space for the attachment of strong temporal muscles, no doubt occasionally required when an unusually large crawfish is selected for a feed.

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The dentition of the Ophisurus differs so entirely from that of the eel, as to remove it from the same class or order of fishes, but it would be a great stretch of classification to place him with the serpent, on account of his peculiar dentition. The teeth are all conical, but vary in size, evidently suited for seizing, killing, and retaining the prey. I conclude that the food will consist of crustaceous insects of considerable size, which will be swallowed entire, to be acted upon by the juices from the inner surface of the capacious stomach. On the alveolar (dentary) margin of the upper jaw, and on the expanded extremity (Fig. 6) there are seven teeth, an azygos tooth, and three on each side, which gradually increase in size as they leave the mesial line; a vacant space corresponding to the contraction of the jaw, above alluded to, is followed by a series of minute teeth. On the mesial line of the jaw, a peculiar arrangement occurs, in a line with the azygos tooth, one a little larger follows, then two minute teeth, then a tooth still larger than the first, followed by an empty space, then a tooth still larger than its predecessors, and then an empty space, then a tooth less than its predecessor, which is followed at a little distance by a smaller one, and a series of minute teeth follow, becoming gradually microscopic. The entire mesial series, above described, are embedded in a groove, occupying the entire length of the base of the skull, and approaching closely to the first vertebra of the spine. The transcendental anatomist would call these teeth vomerine, but I shall continue to look for the vomer, in connection with, and performing its usual function, as dividing the nostrils.

The lower jaw (Fig. 7) supports three teeth on each side, corresponding to those on the upper jaw, and leaving a space at the symphysis for the azygos tooth.

The alveolar (dentary) edge then supports a series of minute teeth of beautiful regularity, resembling a fine saw, or comb.

The tongue is edentulous, but the pharyngeal bones are covered with minute teeth; a series of a slightly increased size, bordering the external margins of these bones. The arrangement, no doubt, when brought together by the action of the pharyngeal muscles, in performing the act of swallowing, subjecting the shrimp to a severe scrutiny, not only touching its quality, but its vitality.

The Vertebral Column.

In order to facilitate description, and avoid repetition of terms, I propose to describe the Ophisurus as presenting a dorsal and abdominal margin, and right and left lateral surface, as being equally applicable to the skeleton, as to the external surface of the body. The osseous tissue approaches that familiar to the anatomist as the semicartilaginous, although each individual vertebra is well defined by a perfectly formed articulation; and the canal for the spinal marrow is composed of a texture more resembling the shell, in hardness, than bone. In viewing a separate vertebra (Fig. 3a), the spinal canal will be observed nearly as large as the articular surface of the body of the vertebra, and the proportions still continued throughout the entire spine. A mere rudiment of the spinous process exists, and a fibrous membrane of considerable extent separates the interspinous processes and fins, from the vertebræ. On the abdominal line (Fig. 3b) on each side, a plate, or process, extends, and presenting a convex free margin to which is articulated an exceedingly delicate rib, the ribs, indeed, more resemble a fine hair than a bone, and do not admit of drying so as to be seen in the skeleton.

Fig. 3c is a lateral view of three of the vertebræ, and exhibits the rudimentary state of the spinous processes, and the fibrous membrane separating

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the inter-spinous processes, and corresponding dorsal fin, from any immediate connection with the spinous processes of the skeleton, explaining the almost complete disappearance of the fin, in the recently caught specimen. The abdominal plate or process will be observed to support the ribs, as previously remarked; and it is necessary, particularly, to refer to this fact, as, in describing the caudal division of the spine, it will be again alluded to.

About the eightieth vertebra, the canal for the blood-vessels begins to be formed, and here an additional system of processes is found. The abdominal processes close upon each other, still continuing to support delicate, hair-like, ribs, while a series of cartilaginous processes gradually appear on the lateral surfaces of the bodies of the vertebreae, and continue to the extremity of the spine. There are two of these processes on each side, evidently arising from the vertebræ in the fish being composed of two elementary parts, divided transversely in the middle, like an hour-glass; and the resemblance is rendered perfect by the communication being free, a fine wire passing readily through. The fact of a vertebra being, at an early period of the progressive development of the skeleton, composed of the elements of two vertebræ (and this can scarcely be doubted), would, if the development was arrested, give double the number of vertebræ, or 420 instead of 210.

Had Sir Charles Bell selected, for his Bridgewater Treatise, a vertebra, instead of the hand, as illustrating the “Unity in the Type of Organization,” he would undoubtedly have experienced much greater difficulty in producing a very popular volume, for which he received the very handsome sum of £1000. The treatise, it would appear, gave offence to no one, and, yet, it was a very bold proceeding to trace analogy between the boasted hand of man, the club shaped pectoral extremity of the elephant, the bat's flying arm, and the fin of a fish.

The Ribs,

I have remarked, are exceedingly delicate, and more resemble numerous, hair-like, semi-ossified, prolongations, giving attachment to the intercostal muscles. In many species of fishes, as, for example, in the herring, these same ossified processes are very numerous; and, I think, by many anatomists, are considered ossified tendons of the muscles, not found in any other animals but fishes. In birds, we observe a tendency in tendinous prolongations of the muscles to become osseous, but these ossified tendons in birds, cannot be considered in any way analogous to the hair-like processes I now allude to.

The Locomotive Organs

in the shape of the pectoral and ventral fins, are not particularly well represented. No vestige of ventrals can be observed, and the pectorals are exceedingly small. The Ophisurus finds his food amongst the mud and stones, in the estuaries of rivers; and with the assistance of the cutis-muscle, already alluded to, will be able to make considerable way over the mud. I may remark, that the Muroena, or common eel, does not possess this abdominal cutis-muscle, but a thin layer of muscular fibres can be observed on each side of the caudal extremity, acting in a lateral movement of the tail, and facilitating the eel in progressing through the water.

The Muscular System,

it will be observed, from the annexed table of weights, is greatly developed, and altogether connected with the spinal column—the pectoral fins being merely rudimentary, and the ventrals entirely wanting. A careful anatomical dissection would, no doubt, show that the anatomy of the human subject, was not essentially deviated from. It may suffice, however, to state, that it

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consisted of four bundles, two on each side, divided by a fibrous aponcurosis, and numerous fine, hair-like bones attached, especially in the situation of the lateral line, and also to the skeleton. In treating of the skin, I have alluded to the cutis-muscles extending from the pharynx to the anus, as, no doubt, supplying the want of the usual pectorals and ventrals. In describing the skeleton, I have mentioned the development of lateral processes in the caudal portion of the spine, those processes were closely attached to the spinal muscles, and the great vascularity of the muscular fibre, indicated the constant use, and great power in all the lateral movements of the caudal extremity.

Organs of Sense.—Smell.

The nostrils opened on each side of the upper jaw, about half way from the tip of the jaw to the centre of the eye. They present a kind of representation of the aloe in the human subject, and, no doubt, could be closed, or opened, according to circumstances; and, indeed, I observed on the inner surface of the integuments, in the situation of the nostril, a series of fine semi-cartilaginous fibres sweeping around the situation of the nostril, resembling the radii supporting the membrane surrounding the gills: a bristle introduced into the nostrils, passed directly into the cavity lodging the brain.


The eyes are protected (I cannot say concealed) by the integuments passing completely over the orbits, having no connection similar to a tunica conjunctiva, with the eye itself. The detached skin, however, when dried, exhibits a beautiful transparency, answering the purposes of a pane of glass, and protecting the eyeball, under all circumstances.


The single specimen I had, afforded no means of ascertaining the power of hearing, or state of the ossiculæ.

Circulation, and Organs of Respiration. (Fig. 8.)

The heart, remarkably small, but formed of an auricle, ventricle, arterial bull, and brachial artery, as in other fishes.

The tongue is edentulus.

Hyoid and Branchial apparatus so perfectly accord in the Ophisurus, with the type observed in fishes, as to leave no doubt as to what division of the vertebrata it belongs. The chief difference from that in other fishes, is in the Radii Branchiostegi, and in the extreme smallness of the Hyoid bones. The Radii of the Ophisurus (twelve on each side) are grouped in close juxtaposition, at their attachment to the hyoid, but, branching out, make a sweep round the operculum, nearly meeting on the dorsal line, and being intimately connected with the integuments, might escape the observation of the naturalist. The free margin of the branchiostegal membrane forms the anterior edge of the gill apertures, whilst the pectoral fins form, in a great measure, the posterior margin, evidently assisting the radii, branchiostegi, and membrane, in guarding and adjusting the all-important gill openings. The branchiæ appear to have been composed of little tufts. The state of the viscera prevented me from ascertaining the presence, or absence, of a swimming bladder.

Organs of Digestion (Assimilating).

The Œsophagus is wide, and composed of three tunics; the muscular layer of great strength; the inner or mucous membrane, resembling the lining

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membrane of the gizzard in birds, is raised into eight longitudinal folds. A finer arrangement of the longitudinal folds marks distinctly the commencement of the stomach, which terminates in a sharp point. The pyloric valve is placed about the centre of the stomach, and presents a complete obstruction to any thing passing to the intestine, independently of the vital phenomina. The duodenum, and the remainder of the intestinal tube is distended, but gradually contracts, and becomes nearly straight.

The duodenum, when divided longitudinally, exhibited a finely reticulated, honey-comb surface. No vestige of pancreatic cœca could be detected.

The liver, square-shaped, lay imbedded, as it were, between the oesophagus and intestine; it was of a pale brownish-yellow colour, soft and friable.

The kidneys, in position and structure, resembled those in the anatomy of the Murœna.


No organic remains could be detected in the stomach, or intestinal tube, and the utter absence of any fatty deposit was sufficiently curious; perhaps the specimen had just emerged from its winter quarters in the mud.

Generative Organs

resemble those of the eel, and being in their minimum state of development, or season, some difficulty occurred in even determining the sex.

Table of Measurements.
Recent Specimens.
feet. in. lines.
Snout to tip of tail 2 11 0
" nostrils 0 0 4 ½
" centre of eye 0 0 10
" angle of mouth 0 1 4
" free margin of operculum 0 2 6
" anus 1 1 6
Greatest circumference—centre of body 0 3 6
Tip of tongue to pyloric valve 0 5 0
Pyloric valve to extremity of stomach 0 4 6
Total 0 9 6
Plyroic valve to anus 0 10 0
lbs. oz. grs.
Weight of entire specimen before dissection 0 8 0
Weight of head 30 grains
" tongue and branchial apparatus 10 "
" spine, etc. 370 "
Total Weight 410 grains
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lbs. oz. grs.
Weight of recent entire specimen 0 8 0
Deduct weight of skeleton 0 0 410
0 7 70
Deduct weight of skin, 180 grains 0 1 20
" viscera 320 "
Weight of the muscles 0 6 50
Weight of single vertebra (the 80th being the largest) 1 grain.
Number of Vertebrœ.
Body 110
Caudal 100
Total number 210
Note. —Number of Vertebræ determined by Dr. Knox:
Ophisurus 210
Eel (common) 110

Art. VIII.—On the Birds of New Zealand.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, July 17, 1869.]


The settlers of New Zealand, so large a proportion of whom are engaged in rural occupations, which placing them in immediate contact with the works of nature, through observation and study ripening into confidential intercourse, will, doubtless, feel deeply indebted to Mr. Buller for his valuable essay on our Birds, which most interesting division of our Fauna exhibits a notable exception to the comparative dearth of animal life in these islands. When we consider, that from the absence of almost every variety of game, we are debarred the enjoyment of those sporting instincts and habits, which are characteristic of our countrymen wherever they may sojourn, the Natural History of our birds may be found an interesting and useful study, wherewith to beguile many a listless hour; wherever our pioneers of civilization are engaged in subduing the wilderness, near the grateful shade of the forest, in tending flocks on the hill pastures, or cultivating the level acres of the plains.

Nor is it for the merits of that interesting treatise only that we feel thus indebted to its author; its publication has called forth a critical review of it from the pen of Dr. Otto Finsch, of Bremen. The combined result has been of great advantage to the Student of Ornithology, by the removal of certain doubts and difficulties in the nomenclature, and the presentation of a nearly complete list of New Zealand birds, corrected to a recent date. Mr. Buller not only deserves well of his fellow-colonists for what he has done, and merits our thanks for benefits conferred, but we must feel prospectively grateful

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in as much as he is labouring at a complete work on New Zealand Birds. As some time must, however, elapse before his work can be placed in the hands of the public, I beg to offer my small budget of information concerning the mode of nidification and breeding habits of several species, which have come under my own observation, many of which are rapidly becoming scarce. I do so, not only in the hope of its proving of some utility, however slight, but also that others may be induced to communicate their observations, even in a like imperfect shape, and thus lend their assistance in studying our page in the great Book of Nature.

Some of the information here given has been already forwarded to Mr. Buller, at his request, having been gathered from notes and memoranda, made by my sons, and myself, during a long residence in various districts of the Province of Canterbury, where we enjoyed favourable opportunities for pursuing a favourite study.

“Some to the holly hedge
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Commit their feeble offspring: the cleft tree
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.
Others apart far in the grassy dale,
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave.
But most in woodlands solitudes delight,
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks,
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs soothe them all the live-long day,
When by kind duty fix'd.”—Thomson.

The Birds of New Zealand present to the observing naturalist, most interesting studies in their breeding habits, and various modes of nidification, varying from the compactly-felted nest of the Rhipiduræ, or Mohouæ, through easy gradations, every step of which is instructive, till we reach the bare spray-washed rock, on which the Whalebird rears its hardy offspring. They offer to our notice examples of burrowers, troglodytes or semi-burrowers, ground-builders, parasites, and the more or less elaborately-finished structures, which are to be found amongst the incessorial families, in which division the faculty or instinct of bird architecture appears to reach the highest development. Any one who has enjoyed the opportunity, must have been filled with admiration, whilst watching and considering the varying conditions under which the young of different species are reared.* We see that some are fed in the nest till they are well-grown as the kingfisher and penguin; others may be said to assist the work of their parents, by following them as soon as they are hatched, and thus materially diminishing the labour of bringing up, by being themselves able to reach the locality of their food supply. Examples of these latter may be found amongst the Rallidæ, Charadriæ, and Anatidæ; whilst, as observed before, the young of the genera Halcyon and Spheniscus (true burrowing species) remain in their tunnelled holes till well-fledged and well-grown. Yet in the case of Hymenolaimus melacorhynchus (which has some claim to be classed as a burrower), a young brood may be noticed with the old birds, on a lake or river, riding on the rippling waves, and floating with buoyancy and ease for hours. The Charadriæ at the best are but indifferent

[Footnote] * In a recent work Professor Owen makes this suggestion, “A binary division of the class (Aves) may be founded on the condition of the newly-hatched young, which in some orders are able to run about, and provide food for themselves, the moment they quit the shell (aves precoces); whilst in others the young are excluded feeble, naked, blind, and dependent on their parents for support (aves altrices).” See Anatomy of Vertebrata.—Owen.

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nest builders, whilst some members of that restless, wary family make no attempt to provide artificial protection for their offspring, the young, warmly clothed with down, appear quite equal to the occasion, and accompany their parents with liveliness and activity. Amongst the Sternidæ and Laridæ, instances may be cited, showing equal indifference in providing shelter for their young; yet, it should be remarked, in these cases the young appear quite incapable of shifting for themselves, and must depend on the industry of the old birds for bringing their food supply of the them for several weeks. Here the parental instinct is shown in the selection of the breeding place, the eggs being deposited on the shore of the fishing ground, from whence the food supply of the future family is to be procured; but they have fewer mouths to feed, as they seldom lay more than one or two eggs (L. Scopulinus, S. Longipennis). Now, if we turn, for the sake of comparison, to the incessorial genera, denizens of the bush, we shall find the callow nestling equally as helpless as the young in the case of the natatorial birds: but as they number many individuals to each nest, the tax on the energy of the old birds to supply the requisite amount of food, must cause, pro tanto, so much the greater labour, unless, indeed, the warmth of numbers closely packed in a well-built nest, should render a somewhat less abundant supply of food sufficient, than would be required to support and rear the exposed broods of the aquatic birds before mentioned.

Some of the Grallatoræ and Anatidæ are remarkable for the extraordinary efforts they make when endeavouring to allure the unwelcome intruder from the immediate neighbourhood of their eggs or young. They will assume lameness, flutter with drooping wing, or drop with a dismal cry into the simulated agony of a death struggle to mislead the wayfarer, but when their artifice has succeeded in enticing him to follow till a safe distance from their precious charge is reached, ‘they clap their well-fledged wings and bear away,’ leaving the astonished beholder to meditate on the folly of trusting to appearances.

Amongst the troglodytal birds (such as Nestor, Platycercus, etc.) white is the usual colour of the eggs, doubtless as a provision to render their position more readily seen in the dim twilight of the breeding place, consequently to be approached and incubated with less danger of accident. It is, however, amongst the ground-breeders that the colouring of the eggs elicits the admiration of the careful observer; in some instances (such as Anarynchus frontalis) so wonderfully does the colouring of the eggs harmonize with the prevailing tone of the ground on which they are deposited, that accident only would disclose their presence to the casual wanderer, besides the instance just given, H. Longirostris, L. Scopulinus, afford noteworthy examples of this peculiar property which offers such a reliable safeguard against the plundering propensities of bipeds, whether feathered or not.

The rapid diminution in the numbers of our birds (with the exception of a very few varieties, of which Zosterops lateralis is the most noticeable instance) must be apparent to every one who has given the slightest consideration to the subject, it is a matter of deep regret that, in all probability, many species will have become extinct are their habits can be sufficiently studied by the naturalist for their use, economy, and position in our Fauna to be correctly ascertained. To the future student of the natural history of our country, vague, unreliable traditions, a conflicting nomenclature, and the contorted productions of the taxidermist mounted in acrobatic and weird-like attitudes, will perhaps alone remain to fill up the hiatus. How far should we now have to travel to discover a bevy of Quail, in the seclusion of some very remote valley of the ‘back country,’ a straggler or two might be met with. Yet by referring to the ‘New Zealand Handbook,’ it may be noted that the large island in Port Cooper was named after this bird, from the number of Quail flushed there. The beautiful little Rails are now almost as scarce; in how few

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streams or lakes could one now expect a sight of the noble White Crane, watching ‘with motionless regard,’ its finny prey, yet but twelve years since, the writer of this paper gave Lake Heron, in the Ashburton country, its name, from the numbers of this majestic bird, which frequented its shores, or soared above its surface with lazy, heavy flight. These are but a few names of rare birds from a list that is annually increasing; and it is a matter of no great difficulty to point to the causes, which have led to what must certainly be deemed a misfortune to the Colony.

As the country became occupied, the more remote districts rendered accessible by means of roads, as wide-spreading swamps were drained and brought into cultivation, extensive tracts of country stocked with cattle and sheep, above all, as the whole face of the country became changed by the repeated bush fires, it can be readily understood how these various incidents of civilization should so soon have effected such considerable changes in the condition of our feathered tribes. To these other minor causes may be added, and, perhaps, contemplated with less satisfaction, the reckless gunner frequently killing for the mere love of slaughter, the self-complacent ‘new chum,’ with the inevitable firearms, even the learned savant will sometimes be tempted to destroy both old and young, especially of our rare birds, a favourable opportunity of procuring choice and desirable specimens being too great for resistance; scientific zeal thus overcomes good policy, and consideration for the future. Would not the re-establishment of some of our rarer species (many of which are excellent as articles of food) form a worthy, if not a noble, object of ambition for our Acclimatization Societies to achieve? * The difficulties attending such an undertaking would necessarily be great, there is no doubt, but difficulties energetically encountered are seldom insuperable. To ensure anything like a successful issue being arrived at, certain conditions must be fulfilled, early action must be taken, an intelligent acquaintance with the habits of birds, would be indispensable, patience to endure considerable trouble, as well as occasional disappointment, and lastly, a small expenditure of money. However, a moderate outlay should not be an impediment to an undertaking of such interest with those institutions, which have been handsomely supported by private subscriptions, supplemented by liberal grants of public money. The Parliament of New Zealand has taken steps to protect some of our birds, but however well legislative enactments may be framed, the people themselves can alone determine what shall be allowed to exist; looking at the rapid destruction threatening our noble forests, and in some cases our fisheries also, it must be admitted that the prospect of the preservation of our birds is the reverse of hopeful.

As a rule, we appear to live, work, and legislate for to-day, with not too much anxious thought for the to-morrow of those who are destined to succeed us. Whatever may have been the result in other countries which have been colonized by our race, whoever fairly writes the history of this country, will have to record how deeply the Anglo-Saxon settler has implanted his mark, by the alteration of the natural features it presented on his first arrival. Perhaps it would not be considered out of place to offer a few general, but very brief,

[Footnote] * ‘One of the exciting causes of the destruction of every living native animal that can be met with is the pretence of enriching our Museums, while at the same time the overstocked market in Europe render them, for the most part, unsaleable there; and it is a wellknown fact, that the skins of Australian birds, etc., have been re-exported from England to Australia for sale.’ —See Dr. Bennett's ‘Gatherings of Naturalist in Australia.”

[Footnote] † Should our Acclimatizing Institutions require a precedent, they may refer to the ‘Bulletin de la Société Impériale Zoologique d' Acclimatation, 1864.’ Among the extraordinary prizes offered by the Imperial Society, February, 1864, may be found, —Reproduction in France of the Pinnated Grouse (Tetrao Cupido) la Gelinotte, medal of 1,000 francs.

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remarks on the study of our ornithology, which presents a wide field for the instructive entertainment, even of those who do not enjoy the advantage of much out-of-door occupation, as diligent investigation will repay those who are disposed to devote time and attention to its careful consideration. The tegumentary system of birds is so remarkable and beautiful a feature, amongst the glories of Nature's handiwork, as at once to call for observation, the most heedless must be attracted by the exquisite arrangement of form and colour. Although man's chief interest in the feathered tribes centres, in the fact of their furnishing him with delicate and luxurious varieties of food, or amusement, and a mild excitement in the way of sport; yet several species are so lovely in their gorgeous trappings, that birds of many kinds are kept in a semi-domestic state, merely for the gratification their beauty imparts to the beholder. Vast numbers, more fortunate perhaps, are eagerly pursued and slain, not for economical purposes of supplying food or clothing, but that their rifled plumes may be worn as articles of personal adornment. Human vanity has long since established this custom so universally that neither age, sex or race appears exempt, and the chief of a Maori tribe doubtless feels as much pride in his feathered head-dress plucked from the beautiful train of the snow-white Kotuku, as the bedizened wearer of ostrich plumes, whether a prince or a peeress of one of the most civilized nations of Europe.

The Parroquet may be frequently observed in confinement, and the Tui, liveliest of our Meliphagidæ, quite as often perhaps barred within the limits of a dirty cage, has to exchange, for the dewy nectar of fresh bush flowers, a monotonous diet of soaked bread or biscuit, and for this unpalateable dole the unfortunate prisoner for life is expected to be lively and gay. The Maories of the South Island have long prepared the Mutton-bird, as a dainty article of food.

What can be more wonderful than the development from the inert contents of an egg, of so sprightly a creature as a bird; if we were not familiarized with this admirable and curious process of nature, it would be deemed miraculous; it really appears typical of the Creation, and this must have been felt, where the egg was looked upon as the symbol of the renovation of the living world, and the custom was introduced, of suspending an egg in Eastern Churches. A writer on the monasteries of the East says, ‘as the egg contains the elements of life, it was thought to be an emblem of the ark, in which were preserved the rudiments of the future world.”

Passing over the embryological age, the period of incubation which represents the term of gestation amongst mammals, and the growth of the young in all its stages of dependence, our attention is arrested by the anatomical structure of this class of vertebrates. The peculiar arrangement of the osseous and muscular systems, from whence the power of locomotion in all their admirable variety are derived, should be carefully considered, flying, walking, hopping, climbing, swimming, or diving, from the constant exercise of which, birds depend for safety, or obtain their food supply.

A transient glance at the structure of their skulls and beaks will satisfy the enquirer how happily their forms are adapted for the habits and varying conditions of the life of different species. The strong hooked beak of Nestor, by the help of which it rapidly ascends the stems or branches of trees, is sufficiently powerful to rend down long strips of tough bark, such as that of Fagus solandri; the soft bill of Hymenolaimus enables it to secure small aquatic insects, caddis worms, etc., in the mountain creek; the slender curved mandibles of Recurvirostra are fitted for thrusting into the oozy slime of the swampy marsh; with its strong beak, the cosmopolitan Hæmatopus readily breaks the shell-armour of the various bivalves that pave the tide-washed mud flats of our harbours; the reason for the lateral curvature of the beak of the

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Anarynchus, or Crook-billed Plover, as yet requires explanation, which can only by satisfactorily given from a closer observation of its habits. Compare the bones of Himantopus, the graceful wader, with those of Podiceps, or Sphœniscus, chief amongst divers, the wabbling, yet undulating gait of the latter, when hastening to the sea, gives it rather the appearance of a large water-rat than that of a bird, but how its awkwardness on shore is compensated for, anyone may judge who witnesses the ease and rapidity with which it dives beneath the swelling wave, by the aid of its fin-like wings. Notably, Fregata, Diomedia, Thalassidroma, with their enormous development of the bones and muscles of the wings, their consequent almost untiring flight, * offer the most remarkable contrast to many species, such as Apteryx, Ocydromus, and the wingless giant peculiar to our land, which perhaps has not been long extinct. It is interesting to note that it was from a bone of this genus that the instance of the perfection of skill to which the accomplished anatomist can attain, was exhibited, as all the world knows, by Professor Owen building up, from the study of a single bone, his theory of the gigantic bird, the correctness of which was afterwards corroborated by the discovery of ample remains of various species of Dinornis. Is it possible that the Moa was known to the ancient world? The following passage from Strabo would answer for a description of its pursuit by natives, quite as well as for the hunting of the Dodo of the Mauritius, or the æpyornis of Madagascar. Writing of the countries washed by the Red Sea (Book xvi.), Strabo observes, ‘Above this nation is situated a small tribe, the Struthophagi (or bird-eaters), in whose country are birds the size of deer, which are unable to fly, but run with the swiftness of the ostrich. Some hunt them with bows and arrows, other covered with the skins of birds, they hide the right hand in the neck of the skin, and move it as the birds move their necks. With the left hand they scatter grain from a bag suspended to the side; they thus entice the birds till they drive them into pits, where the hunters dispatch them with cudgels. The skins are used both as clothes and a covering for beds.’ Such an ancient notice of a wingless bird is interesting.

The flight, migration, sight, and voice, of many of our species of birds, are all subjects of interest to those who are glad to learn something more of the world we live in.

When the Lark is flushed from her nest on the wide expanse of the tussock-covered plains, with what rare instinct or wonderful gift of sight must she be endowed, which enables her to find her nest amidst the myriads of tussocks presenting the same aspect, without a track, a tree, or even a rock, as a guide to aid her organ of locality. How true is the Bronze-winged Cuckoo to his appointment, almost to a day, the first week in October he announces, by his presence, that high spring has been reached, and the active labours of our portion of animated nature has commenced in earnest.

We cannot boast of possessing, amidst our bushes, rivals to those ‘melodious songsters of the grove’ which wake up the woods and hedgerows of the Old Country, yet many of the notes and cries of our feathered race are peculiarly interesting, such as the song of the Petroica albifrons, the humanlike whistle of the Chrysococcyx lucidus, the well-known chime of the Bellbird, the extraordinary sounds to which the white banded Tui gives utterance, the flute-like tones of the Crow or Wattle bird, the wailing call of the Weka; and the startling shriek of that night bird, frequently heard in the back country, which has not been identified as the call of any bird that has yet been described.

[Footnote] * After the memorable storms of July and August, 1867, in Lyall's Bay, amongst numbers of Hapuka and other fish that had been stranded, we observed several bodies of Diomedea exulans, that had perhaps been dashed against the rocky cliffs, by the violence of the storm.

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For years attempts have been made to procure a specimen of this mysterious unknown, which will probably be found to belong to the families either of Strix or Podargus; it is to be hoped it may not turn out to be the man-liking bird thus mentioned by Fuller, ‘I have read of a bird which hath a face like, and yet will prey upon, a man, who coming to the water to drink, and finding there, by reflection, that he had killed one like himself, pineth away by degrees, and never afterward enjoyeth itself.”

Already some of our rural settlers attach significance to the peculiar flight and cries of birds, as prognosticating changes in the weather, thus following out in their new home the like fancies or observations which have been handed down by their fathers from time immemorial; on this subject Cuvier wrote, ‘For the rest of their intellectual qualities, their rapid passage through the different regions of the air, and the lively and continued action of this element upon them, enables them to anticipate the variations of the atmosphere, in a manner of which we have no idea, and from which, has been attributed to them from all antiquity, by superstition, the power of announcing future events.”

Embryological research as far as our birds are concerned is still a sealed book. This is a branch of science upon the importance of which Agassiz lays much stress; after speaking of the information he had acquired from the examination of bird embryos, he writes, ‘How very interesting it will be to continue this investigation among the tropical birds! —to see whether, for instance, the Toucan, with its gigantic bill, has, at a certain age, a bill like that of all other birds; whether the Spoon bill Ibis has, at the same age, nothing characteristic in the shape of its bill. No living naturalist could now tell you one word about all this.’ Investigations of this nature amongst the several genera peculiar to New Zealand, would be of value to science, and would offer an interesting field for new discoveries concerning ornithological facts, in our bright corner of the world, which the scientific naturalist has not yet found time or opportunity to lay bare.

Accuracy of description is so necessary to establish facts, that it is far preferable to give a few brief notes, the result of actual observation, rather than to supply pages of information gathered from hearsay; even in our humble researches, the untrustworthy character of report generally, has been experienced sufficiently often, to impart a certain amount of incredulity not easily shaken off; mythic treasures have so frequently eluded pursuit, when the scene has been reached that should have disclosed specimens of more than ordinary interest, that no difficulty is felt in understanding how often fable creeps in, and becomes, in a measure, blended with truth in matters relating to Natural History.

On the other hand it is far from safe to discard even the improbable, as imperfect description has before now converted the improbable into the apparently impossible, as a very early notice of the Hornbill will testify. *

[Footnote] * In 1330, Odoric tells of a bird as big as a goose, with two heads. In 1672, P. Vincenzo Maria describes a bird, also as big as a goose, but with two beaks, the two being perfectly distinct, one going up and the other down; with the upper one he crows or croaks, with the lower he feeds etc. —Viaggio, p. 401.
In 1796, Padre Paolino, who is usually more accurate, retrogrades; for he calls the bird ‘as big as an Ostrich.’ According to him, this bird, living on high mountains where water is scarce, has the second beak as a reservoir for a supply of that element. He says the Protuguese call it Passaro di duos bicos. —Viag., p. 153.
Lastly, Leiut. Charles White describes the same bird in the Asiatic Researches. ‘It has a large double beak, or a large beak surmounted by a horn-like shaped mandible.’ —Asiatic Res., iv. 401. The bird is a Horn bill, of which there are various species having casques or protuberances on the top of the bill, the office of which does not appear to be ascertained. How easy here to call Odoric a liar! but how unjust, when the matter has been explianed. —Cathay and the way thither, Vol. i., p. 100.

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Many writers of Natural History appear to have made a practice of copying from their predecessors: the inconvenience of this arrangement is manifest, in that errors were thus allowed a very protracted existence, such as the fables which were for centuries supposed to describe the natural habits of the Kingfisher, etc. The writer of this paper was long haunted by the vignette title of a popular work on British Birds, the engraving was supposed to give a correct representation of Cinclus aquaticus, and nest; the latter as there figured, presented the conventional basin-shaped arrangement with eggs, all complete, the popular notion of a bird's nest in fact; now, in reality, the nest is a thick mossy dome-shaped structure, in which the pure-white eggs are concealed from view. Years after quite as great a shock was felt, when on inspecting a public collection, he found that if he placed reliance on what he saw before him, Falcons must have laid Pigeon's eggs, Seagulls had produced those of the Turkey, whilst the Crested Grebe had achieved a Duck's egg. Careless mystifications such as these, should be avoided by those who are expected to impart information, as too improbable.

An attempt to show, more clearly, the extent which the ravages of a few years have inflicted on the numbers of our birds, may perhaps be excused for the object in view, we will therefore endeavour even at the risk of being tedious, to represent such a scene of the past as one might reasonably expect to meet with, almost daily, during a considerable portion of the year, at the place indicated. One of the most favourable localities for observing the habits, acquiring a knowledge of the notes and cries, and watching the flight of various birds, was not far from the gorge of one of our great southern rivers, where the monotonous flatness of ‘the plains’ gives way to a more broken and undulating surface, as an extensive range of hills is approached. This range is on one side flanked by low downs enclosing a few shallow lagoons, here and there sparsely-wooded gullies intersect the hills, from whence flow two or three brawling creeks, that join and deepen into a swift and silent stream crossing the grassy flat; the higher portion of this corner of ‘the plains’ is stoney, whilst near the foot of the downs lies a swamp of no great extent.

Here upwards of thirty varieties of birds might be observed almost daily, and here too, or within a very moderate circuit, most of them breed.

Then our handsome Quail abounded, flying straight and low when flushed; the finding its slight humble nest filled with eggs, was no rare occurrence; or to see from amidst the snow-grass tussock, the Weka confidently emerge, or to hear the little Grass-bird utter its unchanging note u-tick, u-tick, as rising on feeble wings that just sustained it to the sheltering grass, beneath the spreading leaves of a neighbouring flax bush, whence perhaps the Tit (Petroica) darted to the ground from the tall flower-stalk, to snatch the larvæ of the grasshopper. Then the blue Pukeko, prince of Rails, often stalked through the raupo of the swamp, or the brown-streaked Bittern, with long ruffled neck, rose with deliberate flight; perchance hard by in the narrow outlet bounded by tufted stumps of carex, the light-eyed Teal slunk silently from view; or further on, where the creek widened to a noiseless pool the little Grebe with rosy breast, dived and sported with restless asctivity; close by a group of sober Grey Ducks; whilst the watchful Paradise Drake basked on the sunny bank above, his beady eyes doubtless commanding a view of a certain snow-grass tussock, under the waving plumes of which, a cup-like nest of down might lie securely hid. Then perhaps amongst the tall feather-tufted tohe-tohe reeds, and sawedged grass, a pair of Harriers had built their rough, flat-topped home, or floating high above on noiseless wing, alarmed the pyebald Red bill, that circles round on rapid wing, screeching its clamorous note; or we might watch the pied Stilt with long pink legs, outstretched rudder-like behind, making for the rush-fringed lagoon, to join its mates in wading near the margin of the pool,

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whose placid surface, now broken into a thousand ripples, as it shivers beneath the touch of the passing breeze, laden with sweet perfume, collected from the thorny Discaria, the formal solitary Cordyline, or the creamy bells of the brown-leaved Epacris. Now perhaps behind a favouring flax bush, we watch the visitors that dot the surface of the water (amongst them, the Black Widgeon and variegated Shoveller were rarely to be seen) and observe some early flappers skimming along in hot pursuit of their insect prey. Crossing towards the higher stony ground over patches of gizzard-stones, and many a bleached bone, crumbling in decay, of the giant Moa, that tells a tale of days philosophers may dream of; perhaps the sprightly lark, with lively chirrup, mounts from its freckled eggs, or the banded Dotteril flies round with warning note, whilst its grey-clad young hide cunningly behind some stick or stone; or red-billed Terns gather round in screaming flocks, returning from a blackened patch of new-burnt ground, that stretches far out on the plains, whilst from many a beak dangles the writhing lizard; or maybe the slowly repeated twit, twit, of the red-breasted Plover chimes in, as it sidles slyly off with alternate run and halt, nor could you find its slight grassy nest till half a dozen times the ground had been stepped over. The rock-bound gully reached (the heights above, as New Year's day came round, ablaze with crimson Rata flowers), from the swift stream below, amidst its noisy brawling with the rocks, arose the plaintive whistle of the Blue Duck, as with soft-fringed bill it explored each little foaming eddy; or scrambling through the scrub, we might observe, on the rifted top of a huge lifeless tree, the great Black Shag, perched motionless; beneath, Bell-birds, with noisy blustering flutter, seek the konini, clinging to its brittle sprays, extract the honey of the pendant flowers; or high up, clear into the golden glow of sunshine, ascends the glistening Tui, discharging a whole volley of strange sounds; or perhaps from the rocky bush, the green-clad Parroquet descends, its harsh note repeated rapidly; where sand-flies gather thickest and irritate the rambler with their dusky swarms, the Fly-catchers, pied and black, flit around, then perching, spread their fan-like tails with twittering chatter, whilst from a bare branch above, the strong-billed Kingfisher keeps watch above the gurgling creek. Then we might note where the small striped, Wren crept round the lichen-covered trunk, or moss-clothed branches of some spreading shrub, or the grey warbler (Piripiri) with quivering notes fluttered near its cosy, dome-shaped nest; perhaps on a huge blackbirch the Kaka might be seen rending down the bark in long ribbon strips, to reach the insect dainties that lay housed beneath; or, with rapid flapping wing, the Pigeon seeking the straight-stemmed Kohi, whilst concealed by the rising tiers of leafy canopy, the bronze-winged Cuckoo whistled from the topmost bough. Emerging from the bush's dusky light, into the full glare of noon, we might perhaps have seen the Quail-hawk, rapidly ascending with spiral flight, till it appeared like a dark speck against the cloudless sky, its shrill jarring scream distinctly heard the while. Descending through groves of formal Ti palms, the steep, stone-paved terraces of the great river that rushes in milky streams below, the large Grey Gull might perhaps be found feasting on the carcase of a sheep, stretched on a patch of dark-green tutu; or hard by the margin of the sandy spit, the little Gull was perched neat and trim as any quakeress, whilst the Black Stilt, with its uneasy cry of pink, pink, settled a few yards onwards, to lead us from its crouching young, or the Crook-billed Plover scuttled slowly off with outstretched wing. Those less common birds, the great White Crane, Avocet, and Spoonbill Duck were seen at rarer intervals.

Now the scene is changed, and so thoroughly; it seems almost like a dream that such things were. The wooded gulleys denuded of timber, show amidst blackened stups, some isolated shrubs, still green, of olearea, panax, or

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much-enduring coprosma; the constantly recurring bush fires have cleared off the stately Ti palms (so fragrant in early spring); dwarfed flax bushes, altered the condition of various grasses, improving some for grazing, effected a speedier drainage, and dried up the shallow lagoons. Thousands of sheep now depasture on that well-remembered corner of ‘the plains,’ on those gently-swelling downs; instead of the varied cries of birds we have the bleating of flocks, the bark of the colley as it rounds up its charge, the loud crack of the stockwhip, the hearty curse of the bullock driver delivered ‘ore rotundo;’ these changes form part of the evidence that testifies to the progress of our civilization.

If from some of the causes thus pointed out, or the rapid rate at which the timber forests have been wasted or destroyed, * the introduction of bees (and the numbers of swarms met with in the bush may easily account for some diminution in the food of the Meliphagidæ), the spread of cats, and even rats, or from the feeble hold on life which appears to be shared by every living thing that is indigenous, whether animal or vegetable, when brought into contact with foreign influences, it should be deemed impossible to avert the impending fate which threatens the existence of many species of our native birds, we must endeavour to find some compensation for so great a misfortune, in the success which has attended the introduction of foreign birds in many parts of the country. The Pheasant, Partridge, and Californian Quail, are amongst the best of the game birds that may be considered as established amongst us. The Black Swan, introduced in Canterbury to check the growth of another foreigner (watercress), Shell Parroquet, Thrushes, Black birds, Larks, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Sparrows, Starlings, etc., from increasing numbers, promise very soon to give additional interest to our rural scenery.

List of Birds
Described in This Paper, With the Measurements of Their Eggs.
Measurement of Eggs.
Length. Breadth.
No. in. lines. in. lines.
1. Falco Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml. 2 0 1 6
2. Circus assimilis, Jard. 1 11 1 6
7. Halcyon vagans, Gray 1 0 ½ 0 10 ½
10. Prosthemadera Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml 1 2 0 10
11. Anthornis melanura, Sparrm. 0 11 0 8 ½
15. Pogonornis cincta, Dubus. 0 9 ½ 0 7
18. Acanthisitta chloris, Sparmm. 0 7 ¼ 0 6
19. Mohoua ocrocephala, Gml. 0 10 ½ 0 8
20. Sphenœacus punctatus, Quoy. 0 10 0 7 ¾
25. Gerygone assimilis, Buller 0 8 0 6
26. Certhiparus Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml.
27. " albicilla, Less. 0 10 ½ 0 7 ½
29. Petroica macrocephala, Gml. 0 9 0 7
31. " toi toi, Less. and Garn. 0 9 0 7
32. " longipes, Less. and Garn.
33. " albifrons, Gml. 1 0 0 9
34. Anthus Novæ Zelandiæ Gml. 0 10 ½ 0 8
35. Zosterops lateralis, Lath. 0 8 0 6 ½

[Footnote] * According to a return recently laid before the Provincial Council, over upwards of 170,000 acres of bush land, have depasturing licenses been granted by the Waste Lands Board of the Province of Canterbury. Is it the interest of the licensees to preserve timber.?

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37. Rhipidura flabellifera, Gml. 0 8 0 6
38. " fuliginosa, Sparrm. 0 8 0 6
47. Platycercus Novæ Zelandiæ Sparm. 1 1 ½ 0 10
50. " auriceps, Kuhl. 0 11 ½ 0 9 ½
51. Nestor meridionalis, Gml. 1 9 1 3 ½
58. Chrysococcyx lucidus, Gml. 0 9 0 6
60. Coturnix Novæ Zelandiæ, Quoy. 1 3 0 11
61. Apteryx australis, Shaw 5 1 3 4
62. " Qweni, Gould 4 6 2 7
63. " Mantelli Bartl. 5 4 3 3
65. Charadrius bicinctus 1 4 1 0
A. 65. " obscurus, Gml. 1 9 1 3
B. 65. Anarhynchus frontalis, Quoy. 1 4 ½ 1 0 ½
71. Hæmatopus longirostris, Vieil. 2 3 1 7 ½
75. Botaurus poicilopterus, Wagl. 2 1 ½ 1 6
78. Himantopus Novæ Zelandiæ, Gould 1 10 1 3
B. 78. " melas, Hom b. 1 10 1 3
87. Ocydromus australis, Sparmm. 2 2 ½ 1 5 ½
91. Porphyrio melanotus, Temm. 2 0 1 5 ½
92. Casarca variegata, Gml. 2 7 1 10
93. Anas superciliosa, Gml. 2 3 1 9
94. " chlorotis, Gray 2 5 1 10
96. Fuligula Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml. 2 8 1 9
98. Hymenolaimus melacorhynchus, Gml. 2 8 ½ 1 9
99. Podiceps rufipectus, Gray 1 9 1 0
100. " Hectori, Buller 2 4 1 7
104. Spheniscus minor, Forst. 2 3 1 9
126. Larus Dominicanus, Licht. 2 10 1 10
127. " scopulinus, Forst. 2 1 1 6
129. Sterna caspia, Pall. 2 7 1 9
130. " longipennis, Nordm. 1 10 1 4
131. " antarctica, Forst. 1 6 1 1 ½
A. 131. " sp. (Sternula nereis), Qy. 1 4 0 11
139. Graculus brevirostris, Gould 2 6 1 6 ½
142. Dysporus serrator, Banks 3 1 ½ 1 10

It may be interesting to persons acquainted with the Oology of Europe, to institute a brief comparison between the eggs of some of our birds, and those of kindred European species; in some few, considerable contrast in size and shape, may be observed; whilst amongst others so little difference is to be discerned, that it would be difficult to decide, from transient inspection, of which hemisphere they are native.

The eggs of Falco Novœ Zelandiœ closely resemble those of F. peregrinus, in size, form, and colour; so also do those of Circus assimilis bear as striking a likeness to those of C. rufus. The eggs of Halcyon vagans are larger than those of (Alcedo ispida,) the same may be said of those of Coturnix Novœ Zelandiœ, when compared with those of C. vulgaris. To select the eggs of Hœmatopus longirostris, from a number of those of H. Ostralegus, would be difficult; nor would it be much less so to decide whether the Bittern's eggs were European or New Zealand; the eggs of Himantopus melanopterus strongly resemble those of our Stilts, the same remark will apply to those of Podiceps minor and rufipectus, respectively. With regard to the eggs of P. cristatus, they are smaller than those of P. Hectori. The eggs of Sterna caspia bear a very close resemblance in both hemispheres. The similarity between the eggs of Sterna

Picture icon

Nests of Petroica Machorephela

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minuta, and the new species from the Rakaia, has already been pointed out. The egg of Dysporous serrator only differs by 1 ½ lines in length, from that of Sula alba of Europe; whilst similar chalky encrustations may be found on either specimen.

No. 1. —Falco Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml.
Ka rewa rewa-tara.

In New Zealand, the courageous family of the Raptores is very feebly represented, the honourable post, of head of the family must fairly be assigned to this bird, which is commonly known by the name of the Quail or Sparrowhawk; ‘the hardy Sperhauke eke the Quales foe,’ as Chaucer has it. This bold little Falcon, which, a few years since, was so frequently seen, is now of comparatively rare occurrence. How seldom do we now hear that wild chattering scream, which gave notice of its approach, and spread alarm amongst the denizens of the poultry yard. Many instances might be cited of its daring courage and perseverance in pursuit of its prey, such as dashing into houses, penetrating to an inner room, striking its quarry, and clinging to it till ruthlessly knocked over with a stick. Years ago, when Quail shooting, how we have been troubled by the assiduous attendance of this bird, and have shot this dauntless fowler almost in the act of swooping off our game. We have noticed the female, with a Tui trussed in her talons, which she carried a considerable distance without a rest, when the male soared boldly in company, and kept watch and ward over his well-laden helpmate.

At present it is in the ‘back country’ only, that we can hope to find its breeding-place, which is usually on a ledge of rock commanding a prospect over some extent of country. Such an out-look gives an advantage of no little value, of which the Falcon is not slow to avail itself, should such a bird as a Tui or Pigeon appear in sight.

Several of the breeding-places, which we have had opportunities of examining, have presented, in a remarkable degree, very similar conditions as regards situation. Amongst bold rocks on the mountain side, somewhat sheltered by a projecting or overhanging mass, appears to be the favourite site for rearing its young. The eggs very closely resemble those of Falco peregrinus of Europe, in colour, size, and shape, usually three in number, are deposited on any decayed vegetable matter, that wind or rain may have collected on the rocky ledge, for the efforts of this bird in the way of nest building are of the feeblest description. The eggs are of a rich reddish-brown, mottled over with darker shades of brown, sometimes the ground-colour is pale reddish-white, less suffused with the darker colour at the smaller end, broadly oval in shape, they measure 2 inches in length, with a diameter of 1 inch 6 lines. Some eggs taken from a range near the head-waters of the Rakaia, give measurements somewhat less than the above, with a yellowish, in place of reddish-brown colour. Young birds are covered with grey down at first, and assume a plumage of dark brown above, with breast of rufous-white spotted with brown, thighs slightly rufous. October, November, and December is the principal breeding season, and the localities we have noted for the eyries, are rocks near Cass's Peak, Governor's Bay, Malvern Hills, River Potts, Mount Harper, etc.

Notes. —Oct. 10—Young Quail-hawks, near the home paddocks on the Rangitata River.

Nov. 8—Above the upper gorge of the Ashburton or Haketere River, found a nesting-place on the bare soil, sheltered by a large isolated rock; two young birds, covered with grey down, old birds very bold in defence of their young.

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No. 2. —Circus Assimilis, Jard.

One of the commonest of the larger birds met with on ‘the plains.’ From its depredation on poultry of all kinds, game, etc., great numbers of this fine Harrier are annually destroyed by means of the gun, poison, or the trap. Over a lambing flock it may be frequently noticed soaring with wide circling flight. On a weakly lamb its attack commences by picking out the eyes. Birds it carefully plucks before it begins its meal. It is not an unusual occurrence to find it with a young flapper, almost as neatly plucked as though the work had been performed by the skilful hand of a poulterer. We found, on one occasion, a good sized Shag which had been thus operated upon; this was in winter time (July), and shows it has sufficient strength and courage to attack and destroy a bird of considerable size and power. Its favourite building-place appears to be a low-lying situation amongst swamps, the margins of lagoons, etc. The nest, built on the ground, is made of coarse grasses, such as tohe-tohe, raised sometimes about a foot in height, rather flat on the top. We have found it partly constructed with pieces of the thorny Discaria, and the dead flower-stems of the large Aciphylla, above which prickly materials grass has been carefully placed. The eggs, usually four in number, are white; when perforated, and held against the light, the interior shows a deep green; length, 1 inch 11 lines, with a breadth of 1 inch 6 lines.

A pair of these birds made use of the same nesting-place year after year, amongst some strong tohe-tohe, close to the Ashburton River. We took from this nest an egg, which had been entirely covered up with the material which had been brought to renovate the nest, at a period, subsequent to the breeding time, at which this egg had been laid.

From our memoranda, the months of November and December appear to be the height of the breeding season; it is found moulting in February; occasionally fine old specimens are met with, in which the whole plumage has assumed quite a light tone of colour; this is so conspicuous in some individuals, that some collectors endeavour to persuade themselves that a new species has been discovered. Perhaps the noiseless flight of this bird should be noted. When swooping on its quarry, the clean long tarsi enables the observer to see the action of the feet, the rapid contraction and expansion of the toes, when striking at its prey; should this prove too large, or too heavy, to be swooped off at once, the Harrier will drag it a considerable distance, apparently changing its hold frequently, accompanied with much noiseless fluttering of the wings, each time it strikes out its sharply armed foot to obtain a fresh grasp. To give some idea of the numbers of this hawk that are annually destroyed, it may be mentioned, that on the Cheviot Hills station, ten to twelve per day were frequently killed, and that it would be within compass to reckon that upwards of 1,000 hawks per annum had been thus accounted for during the last two or three years; amongst these were a few of the Falco N. Z. It will not create surprise to learn, that on this run rats are most abundant. On a farm on the Halswell, as many as fifteen were found poisoned in one morning. On another farm in this neighbourhood, numbers have been trapped by the use of a common rat-gin fixed on the top of a Ti palm.

No. 7. —Halcyon Vagans, Gray.

One of our burrowing species. The tunnel-like hole, which forms the approach to its nest, is found sometimes in a bank, and, perhaps, quite as often

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in a tree. On examining one of these holes, in a bank not far from the sea beach, the floor or bottom was observed to incline slightly upwards from the entrance, the eggs, deposited on the remains of crustaceæ, were not more than one foot back from the outside of the hole. When a tree has been selected for its home, we have been led sometimes to the discovery, by observing the quantity of chips lying beneath; its powerful bill soon excavates a nestingplace in the partially decayed wood. The situation varies from a few feet to above thirty feet from the ground (See Plate 4, Fig. 1). The eggs are pure glossy-white, delicate, and very beautiful, more fragile, perhaps, than those of most other species, oval in shape, with a length of 1 inch ½ line, by a breadth of 10 ½ lines. After hatching, the nest is carefully cleared of the broken shells. The young remain in the nest till well-fledged, and, apparently, almost fullgrown. On examining the castings of the Kingfisher, which are often to be met with in abundance near a nest containing young, we have observed that the external wing-cases of coleopteræ, have formed one of the principal ingredients of the pellets. We have noted that a nest from which the young emerged late in November, again contained eggs in January. Our Halcyon must lay a much smaller number of eggs than the English Kingfisher. Although this bird may be constantly seen occupying some prominent branch, or stake, when watching for its prey (which, by the way, is of a very miscellaneous character), yet, when approaching or leaving its nest, it always, where possible, seeks the screen of overhanging trees, as it swiftly darts through the gully, permitting but a glimpse of its bright showy feathers. Should any one approach too close to the neighbourhood of its breeding-hole, the parent bird utters a low cry, like cree, cree, cree, frequently repeated. Our bird is much more sociable than its European relative, which is so remarkable for its solitary habits, that it has been stated, that the male and female only associate together at the breeding season: we have counted as many as eight of our Kingfishers sitting in company; after a heavy rain we have observed, on our lawn, several of the croquet hoops occupied at one time by these strikinglooking birds. It is rarely to be seen on the ground; after darting down, either in the water, or on land, and securing its booty, it immediately flies with it to some perch, or post of vantage, and prepares it for deglutition, by administering some smart blows with its bill, the sound of which may often be distinctly heard. During the breeding season it indulges in a monotonous call of chimp, chimp, chimp, then a pause, the call and pause alternating for a considerable time. Fish, crustaceæ, young birds, mice, coleopteræ, bees, and other insects, furnish some portion of the food-supply of the Kingfisher; we have often noticed its rapid dart at a brood of young chickens. This bird is one of those fortunate species, whose numbers seem rather to increase than diminish at the approach of civilization.

The name of Halcyon given by ornithologists to this species, carries us far back into the very early days of Natural History. The history of its European congener was enveloped in poetic fables for centuries; probably no other bird, whose habits could be so easily observed, has been so universally the subject of groundless tales, or superstitious regard, —perhaps the recital of some of these notices may be excused. Aristotle, after a fair description of the bird, gravely states: ‘Its nest resembles the marine balls which are called hœlosachnœ, except in colour, for they are red; in form it resembles those sicyæ (cucurbits) which have long necks.’ Again, he says: ‘This bird hatches its young about the time of the winter solstice. Whereupon fine days occurring at this season are called (Halcyon) days.’ Omitting the fabulous accounts of many ancient authors, let us peruse the account of the philosopher of a more recent date, on the breeding habits of this wonderful bird; thus quaintly wrote Montaigne:—

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“Mais ce que l'experience apprend à ceux qui voyagent par mer et notamment en la mer de Sicile, de la condition des halcyons, surpasse toute humaine cogitation. De quelle espece d'animaux a jamais Nature tant honoré les couches, la naissance, et l'enfantement? car les Poëtes disent bien qu'une seule isle de Delos, estant auparavant vagante, fut affermie, pour le service de l'enfantement de Latone: mais Dieu a voulu que toute la mer fut arrestée, affermie, et applaine, sans vagues, sans vents, et sans pluye, cependant que l'halcyon fait ses petits, qui est justement environ le Solstice, le plus court jour de l'an: et par son privilege nous avons sept jours et sept nuicts, au fin coeur de l'hyver que nous pouvons naviguer sans danger. Leur femelles ne recognoissent autre masle que le leur propre: l'assistant toute leur vie sans jamais l'ábandonner: s'il vient à estre debile et cassé, elles le chargent sur leurs espaules, le portent partout, et le servent jusques à la mort.

“Mais aucune suffisance n'a encore peu atteindre à la cognoissance de cette merveillense fabrique, dequoy l'halcyon compose le nid pour ses petits, ny en deviner la matiere. Plutarque, qui en a veu et manié plusieurs, pense que ce soit des arestes de quelque poisson qu'elle conjoinct et lie ensemble, les entrelassent les unes de long les autres de travers, et adjoustant des courbes et des arrondissemens, tellement qu'enfin elle en forme un vaisseau rond prest à voguer: puis quand elle a parachevé de le construire, elle le prote au batement du flot marin, là où la mer le battant tout doucement, luy enseigne à redouber ce qui n'est pas bien lié, et à mieux fortifier aux endroits où elle void que sa structure se desment, et se lasche pour les coups de mer; et au contraire ce qui est bien joinct, le batement de la mer le vous estreinct, et vous le serre de sorte, qu'il ne se peut ny rompre ny dissoudre, ou endommager à coups de pierre, ny de fer, si ce n'est à toute peine. Et ce qui plus est à admirer, c'est la proportion et figure de la concavité du dedans: car elle est composée et proportionée de maniere qu'elle ne peut recevoir ny admettre autre chose, que l'oiseau qui l'a bastie: car à toute autre chose, elle est impenetrable, close et fermée, tellement qu'il ny peut rien entrer, nou pas l'eau de la mer seulement. Voyla une description bien claire de ce bastiment et empruntée de bon lieu: toutesfois il me semble qu'elle ne nous esclaircit pas encor suffisamment la difficulté de cette architecture. Or de quelle vanité nous peut il partir, de loger au dessous de nous, et d'interpreter desdaigneusement les effects que nous ne pouvons imiter ny comprendre?”

Sir Thomas Browne, the exposer of vulgar errors, in his ‘Pseudodoxia Epidemica,’ after stating the results of actual experiments, which enabled him to contradict the common notion, that a Kingfisher, suspended by the bill, would show from what quarter the wind blew, yet, apparently, received the ancient fable of the halcyon days without any distrust, for thus he wrote concerning the peculiar relations existing between this bird and the winds: “More especially remarkable in the time of their nidulation and bringing forth their young. For at that time, which happeneth about the brumal solstice, it hath been observed, even unto a proverb, that the sea is calm, and the winds do cease, till the young ones are excluded, and forsake their nest, which floateth upon the sea, and by the roughness of the winds, might otherwise be overwhelmed. But how far hereby to magnify their prediction we have no certain rule; for whether out of any particular pre-notion they choose to sit at this time, or whether it be thus contrived by concurrence of causes, an providence of nature, securing every species in their production, is not yet determined.’ It would occupy too much space to mention the names of naturalist and writers who adopted similar romantic tales, each of whom was, of course, supposed to be narrating a particular and veracious account of the extraordinary mode of nidification of the Halcyon. Mr. Gould dissipated,

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at last, whatever might have remained of these clouds of fable, by depositing the nest, entire, in the British Museum; a feat, the difficulties attending which were so well appreciated by all bird-nesters, that there was a report, or tradition, throughout many parts of England, that the authorities of the British Museum had offered a reward of £100 for a perfect nest of the Kingfisher. For a full account of Mr. Gould's exploit, see ‘Homes without Hands.”

Shakespeare, in ‘King Lear,’ and several other writers, allude to the superstitious idea, that, if suspended by a thread from the ceiling, with windows and doors closed, the Kingfisher would turn its bill towards the quarter from whence the wind blew.

Amongst numerous other virtues, it was supposed to be a protection against thunder, against the ravages of the moth in woollen cloth, to be able to increase hidden treasure, to bestow grace and beauty on he person who carried it, and enjoyed the power of renewing its plumage, after death, by moulting.”

No. 10. —Prosthemadera Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml.

We have but seldom found the nest of this very common bird, whose varied notes break upon the stillness of the bush. Wherever we have met with its nest, it has been rather on the outskirts than in the depth of the bush itself. The Parson-bird seems thoroughly joyous only in the full glow of sunlight, where it may be seen in numbers, darting upwards, far above the highest trees, and revelling in its free stretch of wing, now and then playfully pursuing some smaller bird, till it seeks the shelter of a friendly bush.

We have found the nest from twelve the thirty feet from the ground, and have noticed that whether against a White pine, or Black birch, there has been a sheltering cluster of Rubus, with its sharp, recurved prickles, beneath which the structure has been concealed. We have found it more than once near the top of a Myrsine Urvillei, over which the Rubus has thrown its straggling cords, forming a prickly canopy most difficult to penetrate. The nest, rather large, made of slender sprays intermixed with moss, and the wool or down of Treeferns (Cyathea dealbata,), lined with fine bents of Poa grass; the dimensions we noted of a nest are as follows: across the top, from outside of wall to outside of wall, 9 inches, diameter of cavity, 3 inches 6 lines, with a depth of 2 inches. The eggs, usually three or four in number, are white, or with the slightest tinge of pink, marbled with rust-red veins, most numerous towards the larger end, rather pyriform in shape, they measure 1 inch 2 lines in length, by 10 lines in breadth. The nest containing young is sometimes stained deep purple, from the juice of the Konini berries (Fuchsia excorticata). On one occasion, the young, unable to fly, on being alarmed fluttered out of the nest to the ground, a fall of about twelve feet, the next day they were found safely ensconced within the nest, looking quite happy; this could only have been effected through the assistance of the parent birds. The Tui is rather combative whilst the young require feeding, even when they can fly well, it may be observed driving away the Kingfisher and Bell-bird from the trees in which its young are lodged. However much the white-tufted Tui may add to the interest of our forest scenery by the beauty of its glossy plumage, the gaiety which distinguishes its flight, or the wild outburst of its joyful notes, in the eyes of the omnivorous settler, it possesses the higher merit of furnishing a savoury article of food, and no weak sentimental feeling saves it from the camp-oven. It is frequently kept in confinement, and at one time many were sent to the neighbouring colonies. (See Plate 6, Fig. 1).

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No. 11. —Anthornis Melanura, Sparrm.

Everyone who has rambled through the bush, or even strayed amongst the shrubby thickets that fringe our numerous gullies, must have become familiar with the clear metallic ring of the Bell-bird's note. It may be said to sing matins and vespers for the warblers of the bush, as it is at the grey break of dawn, and the still hour that closes in the day, that its chime strikes clearest on the ear. It is comparatively silent during the noontide heat, unless some few individuals meet on a tree or shrub, that offers a tempting show of honey-bearing blossoms, a note or two is briefly sounded, the numbers rapidly increase; after much noisy fluttering of wings, a gush of clanging melody bursts forth from a score of quivering throats, forming a concert of inharmonious, yet most pleasing sounds. Probably Cook indicated the Bell-bird, then in a comparatively unmolested state, when he wrote, “the ship lay at the distance of somewhat less than ta quarter of a mile from the shore, and in the morning we were awakened by the singing of the birds; the number was incredible, and they seemed to strain their throats in emulation of each other. This wild melody was infinitiely superior to any that we had ever heard of the same kind; it seemed to be like small bells, most exquisitely tuned, and perhaps the distance and the water between, might be of no small advantage to the sound.” Nor does this cheerful bird confine itself to the bush, it frequents our gardens and shrubberies, and especially affects the blossoms of the Fuchsia, Tritoma, Acacia, etc. The berries of various Coprosmas, and that of the Konini, it greedily devours; it may be frequently observed fluttering heavily in pursuit of a moth. It is very easily snared with a noose at the end of a tohe reed; in confinement it feeds on soaked bread, etc. Whilst the Phormium tenax is in blossom, many Bell-birds may be observed with their head feathers dyed orange-red, from contact with the pollen and honey, whilst extracting a delicious repast from the flax blooms. It has been stated that zealous ornithologists have deemed the bird thus decorated, a new species.

Placed at no great elevation from the ground, the nest may be found in a variety of positions, but we certainly have noticed it most frequently beneath a sheltering canopy of “Bush-lawyer” (Rubus australis.) It is rather flat, and loosely constructed of sprays, grass, moss, etc., well lined with feathers. On examining the foundation of a nest, we found green sprays of Manuka amongst the interlaced materials, a fact which disclosed the proof of the power of the bill of this honey-sucker in breaking off such tough twigs. From wall to wall, across the top, the nest measures about 5 inches, diameter of cavity, 2 inches 9 lines, depth inside, about 2 inches. We fancy that the lining feathers are selected in such a manner as to afford some evidence of harmony of colour in their arrangement; as, for instance, we have noted specimens, with the inner lining entirely composed of the red feathers of the Kaka, another adorned with the green feathers of the Parroquet; near the farm, where many kinds of poultry are kept, we have had instances of lining, white, black, speckled, buff, etc., but uniformity of colour has been displayed. The eggs, four in number, are white with reddish specks, sometimes the ground-colour exhibits a delicate pinkish tinge; they measure in length 11 lines, with a breadth of 8 ½ lines. We must have peered into scores of nests, in various parts of the country, but we have never yet been fortunate enough to encounter such a prize as one containing “seven eggs, spotted with blue, upon a brown ground,” ascribed to this bird by the Rev. R. Taylor, in his work “Te Tka a Maui.” The breeding season extends from the commencement of spring, throughout the summer

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months. We have discovered the nest in an old flower-branch of the Ti palm (Cordyline australis). (See Plate 5, Fig. 1.)

Note. —Feb. 2, 1868—Bell-bird building; that would, give the breeding season a duration of about six months.

No. 15. —Pogonornis Cincta, Dubus.

A nest, assigned to this bird, was found in the bush above the Kaiwarawara stream, not far from Wellington; it contained one egg, rather oval in form, somewhat pointed at each end, measuring 9 lines in length, with a breadth of 7 lines; the whole surface clouded over with pale rufous-brown.

The nest, with thin walls, and of shallow form, was built of sprays, above which were laid fibres and dry rootlets of Tree-fern; fine grass was used for the lining, over which cow-hair was laid, and measured, across the top, 4 inches 9 lines, cavity 2 inches 4 lines, depth 1 inch 4 lines. This description is from the specimen in the Colonial Museum, Wellington.

No. 18. —Acanthisitta Chloris, Sparrm.
Pi wau wau.

This, the smallest of our birds, is usually seen in pairs, flying low, with a feeble, jerky style of flight; more frequently it is met with creeping amongst the lichens and mosses that decorate the stems and branches of our forest trees. We have found the nest in a small hole in the trunk of a Fagus. Once a nest was discovered, very cleverly built in a roll of bark, that hung suspended in a thicket of climbing Convolvulus. (See Plate 4, Fig. 2).

The eggs are said to be very numerous sometimes, although four or five have been the most we have observed to a nest; like those of nearly all troglodytal birds, they are white and glossy; ovoiconically shaped, they measure 7 ¼ lines in length, by 6 lines broad. We have a note of the Wren breeding in August.

No. 19. —Mohoua Ochrocephala, Gml.

Although we have not observed this bird anywhere on “the plains,” or on the lower ground of the “bays,” yet as soon as one ascends the bushy gullies of the hills, the Canary is sure to pay a reconnoitering visit; with sharp strident call, it summons its companions, and the trees around will soon disclose the golden breasts and heads of these active arboreals, as they peer down on the intruder with noisy clamour. With restless movements, they creep round, above, and below the leafy branches, in their insect search. We have watched them on the ground, busily scratching and pecking between the huge moss-clothed roots of the lofty trees that tower above. The nest measuring across the top, 3 inches 3 lines, with a depth of 1 inch 4 lines, is a beautifully compact structure, cup-shaped, principally of moss, very closely felted, and neatly interwoven with webs of spiders. (See Plate 5, Fig. 2). In the hollow trunk of the Broad-leaf, it is sometimes found, and occasionally in a decaying Black Birch. Eggs white, with very small faint specks of red, nearly 11 lines in length, with a breadth of 8 ½ lines. We have a specimen of the nest and eggs from the River Wilberforce.

No. 20. —Sphenoeacus Punctatus, Quoy. and Gaim.
Grass-bird, Grass-pheasant, Utick.

Some years ago the monotonous note of this little bird might be heard in almost any place, where tall tohe-tohe reeds, or the waving leaves of the Carex

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virgata, indicated marshy ground; now it is rapidly disappearing, as the swamps are becoming drained. As its very feeble power of flight is unable to save it from the bush fires, we anticipate it must become extinct, on “the plains,” at no very distant date. From its call, it is in some places named the Utick. The nest, inclining somewhat to an oval shape, and measuring about three inches across, is made of grass leaves, so frail in its construction, that the walls may be seen through, consequently it is a difficult specimen to obtain in a perfect state (See Plate 5, Fig. 4); a few feathers, usually those of the Pukeko, are added to the grass leaves, and sometimes a small tuft or two of wool. The situation is, most frequently, in a tussock, a few inches above the level of the ground. The eggs, three or four in number, are white, speckled with a beautiful tint of reddish-purple, which at once readily distinguishes them from those of any other bird; ovoiconical in form, they measure, through the axis, 10 lines, with a diameter of 7 ¾ lines.

Notes. —Nov. 4—Nest containing three young birds, in a tussock, at the edge of a wide creek.

Nov. 7—Nest with four eggs, in a swamp by the Hororata stream, in the Malvern Hills.

No. 25. —Gerygone Assimilis, Buller.
Warbler, Teetotum.

This cheerful little warbler is a pensile nest-builder, and one of the earliest breeders; its neat, domed nest may be often found, in August, suspended in some bushy Manuka or Olearia. The nest may be called somewhat pear-shaped, with a small entrance near the middle, above which is often affixed a kind of porch (See Plate 6, Fig. 3), it is suspended by its top, and kept steady from swaying in the breeze, by slight fastenings to a spray or two, acting as guys. Moss enters largely into its construction, very frequently wool; we have examined one, the greater part of which was composed of wool; cobwebs are freely made use of, to felt and bind the materials into a compact mass. We have a nest before us, taken from the fork of a Willow tree, at least twenty-five feet from the ground; it is rather larger than usual, and almost wholly constructed of poultry feathers and cobwebs, and is felted into a compact, firm structure, the porch and its foundation, beneath the entrance, is strengthened and kept in shape by fine roots carefully interwoven with green cobwebs; here and there may be found pieces of thread, string, coloured worsted, picked up from the garden or yard; the interior is thickly lined with feathers (See Plate 6, Fig. 2), this nest is evidently composed of materials, which would not have been made use of so freely, but for its firm and sheltered position in the fork of the willow, the most exposed part only being strengthened with stiff material.

Sometimes, yet rarely, the nest is built in a less elaborate manner, without either dome or porch, the form of the structure being adapted to the peculiarities of the situation chosen; the principle of suspension is likewise occasionally abandoned. Five or six eggs are usually found to a nest, they are white, with red spots, ovoiconical in shape, 8 lines in length, with a breadth of 6 lines. No bird suffers so frequently from the imposition of the golden-winged Cuckoo, as the grey Warbler. We have several times observed a pair of these industrious little insect-eaters, feeding a young parasite larger than themselves. The Cuckoo only arrives in October, when the warmth of Spring is well established; and one reason for the selection of the Warbler's home, in addition to its pencile character, appears to us to be, because from its shape and structure it is the warmest nest, to be found, for rearing so tender a bird as the Chrysococcyx, our gay visitor, during the spring and summer months.

Picture icon

To accompany Paper by T. H. Potts

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Note. —We have found eggs of the Warbler quite white, doubtless the produce of young birds. As yet we have failed to observe any such distinctive features, either in the structure or habits of these Warblers, that they should be classed as separate species, under the names of flaviventris and assimilis. We adhere to assimilis, as is adopted in the collection in the Canterbury Museum.

No. 26. —Certhiparus Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml.
Brown Creeper; Brown Canary.

Although this Creeper may be seen in almost every bush, from the coast to the distant Alpine Ranges, we have only once found its nest. This was in the month of December, far above the Rangitata Gorge. The nest, containing three young birds, was compactly built of moss, with a few feathers, placed in a Black-birch, between the trunk and a spur, from whence sprouted out a thick tuft of dwarfish sprays, about seven feet from the ground.

No. 27. —Certhiparus Albicilla, Less.

This bird appears sufficiently common, about the bush above Wellington, for its habits to be well studied. There are several specimens of the nest and eggs in the Colonial Museum, Wellington. The nest is a very compact structure, having very thick walls, and in its style of architecture bears a strong resemblance to that of M. Ochrocephala, although, in some instances, different materials are used. In the one before us, different kinds of soft grass and moss from the staple, well-felted and interwoven with webs, lichens, and the down of tree-ferns; it measures 4 inches 1 line across the top, cavity 1 inch 10 lines in diameter, 1 inch 4 lines deep. Eggs white, or with very faint specks of pink, measure 10 ½ lines in length, with a breadth of 7 ½ lines.

No. 29. —Petroica Macrocephala, Gml.
Ngirungiru. Prio prio.

This familiar little bird is one of the more elaborate nest-builders amongst the denizens of the bush, or rather its outskirts.

Its adapts itself, in a manner, to civilization, frequenting gardens, and may be seen perched on a bough, ready to pounce of the grubs the gardener's spade may bring to light, reminding one very much of the habits of the Red-breast at home.

The nest varies much in shape according to position; frequently we have found it in holes of trees; a favourite site is immediately under the head of the ti tree (Cordyline australis). Two nests we presented to the Canterbury Museum, were of remarkable shape; one, a firm compact structure, placed in the forked head of a ti tree, resembled a very neat moss basket, with a handle across the top; the second, also from a ti tree, from, perhaps, the foundation slipping between the leaves, was built up till it reached the great length of sixteen inches. (See Plate 4, Fig. 4). We have found others placed on a rock, and one, now in the Colonial Museum, was built between the brace and shingles in the roof of an empty cottage.

The nest is neatly and firmly built of a variety of materials, carefully and neatly interwoven; moss, grass-bents, slender sprays, the down or wool of the tree-fern, cobwebs, and feathers, warmly line the interior. Four eggs is the usual number laid, though we have been told of more having been found; they are white, with grey speckles, most numerous towards the large end, 9 lines long and 7 lines broad. A nest built in a ti tree, close to a pathway,

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was almost daily visited by the child who had made the discovery, and the eggs inspected; when hatched the young were now and then handled, yet the confidence of the old birds carried them through this trying ordeal, and their young ones were successfully reared.

This is one of the few birds, of whose extinction we are happy to believe there is no danger; it is most useful as an insect eater, it is one of the latest to retire to rest, and may be often observed perched on the trunk of a tree, in a posture by which its body is almost at a right angle with the tree. The nests, described above, were found about Ohinitahi, where birds are as much encouraged, and as little disturbed as possible. Last summer another specimen was noticed, which had been built upon an old nest, making a solid mossy structure, measuring about one foot from top to bottom. The usual dimensions of the nest are as follows:—Across from outside of wall to outside, 5 inches; cavity 2 inches 6 lines, with a depth of 1 inch 6 lines.

No. 31. —Petroica Toitoi, Less and Garn.

Whatever distinguishing features, scientific research may have discovered, which allows specific differences between P. Dieffenbachi and P. toitoi, we fear they are not generally appreciated or understood. Perhaps this may be a fair opportunity of pointing out that the nomenclature of our birds still requires attention, and, above all, settlement; to the enquiring student of ornithology, scarcely anything can exceed the perplexity and embarrassment which is caused by a conflicting nomenclature. To give one instance: Anarynchus frontalis appears in Dieffenbach's list; since then we have noticed it as Charadrius, Hœmatopus, and now Anarynchus once more. Let us hope this may be the last change. We have often observed a Petroica, whose favourite haunt appeared to be amongst large areas of flax bushes (Phormium tenax), but confess we could not undertake to decide to which of the two species, named above, the Tit, to which we have referred, belonged; nor is there, unfortunately, any complete type collection, either in Wellington or Christchurch, which could decide any doubt that might be entertained on the subject. We have a set of eggs in our collection, which we are inclined to assign to the P. toitoi; they are slightly more inclined to pyriform, in shape, than those of (P. Macrocephala,), white, with marks of purplish-grey towards the larger end, and measure 9 lines in length, with a breadth of 7 lines.

No. 32. —Petroica Longipes, Less. and Garn.

In the Colonial Museum, Wellington, there is a specimen of the nest and eggs of this bird.

The nest, compactly built of moss, fine roots, web, and tree-fern down, is more neatly finished than that of P. albifrons. The eggs, ovoiconical in form, are marked, principally at the larger end, with specks of greyish-brown.

No. 33. —Petroica Albifrons, Gml.

Our rather dirty-looking Robin is one of the sweetest warblers of the bush, bold and confident, its habits may be easily observed, as one rambles near the rocky sides of a forest stream. Its nest is wider, and larger altogether, than that of Petroica macrocephala, but not so closely interwoven; moss, sprays, leaves, fine fibres, and grass, enter into its construction. Diameter of nest 5 to 6 inches, cavity 3 inches, with a depth of 1 inch 3 lines. A favourite

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situation appears to be behind such protuberances as are to be found on the huge gnarled trunk of Griselinia litoralis, very often not more than three feet from the ground. Eggs, three or four in number, are dullish-white, with reddish marks, principally at the larger end.

No. 34. —Anthus Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml.

This well-known bird appears to be common all over the country; it builds on the ground, making its nest of grass, usually screened by a tussock. The eggs, five in number, are greyish-white, speckled over with dark-grey; sometimes a set of eggs may be noticed very much mottled over with brown, ovoiconical in form, measuring 10 ½ lines in length, by a breadth of 8 lines. We have an egg, very much smaller and darker than any others we have yet observed. In February, 1868, a pair made their nest within six inches of a shrubbery walk, and reared their young successfully, although so frequently disturbed, —the old bird invariably quitted the nest on its being approached. When a Harrier wheels round, and appears about to settle, Larks may often be observed, in numbers, gathering together with a chirping note, moving restlessly, sometimes with a short flight, watching and following the movements of their enemy.

Probably it is attempting to rid itself from the persecution of some parasitic vermin, when this bird is frequently observed to indulge in a dust-bath. It has a habit of keeping its insect prey in its beak for a long time, before it is devoured, or carried off to its nest. At last shearing time, two Larks, almost albinos, made their appearance, daily, about the yards of a wool-shed, on the Wailerukini.

Note. —In August, a nest was brought to the Wellington Museum, which contained several tufts of moss, but not neatly interwoven, like the workmanship of a bird that builds its nest principally of moss.

No. 35. —Zosterops Lateralis, Lath.

We first noticed this bird on some Fagus trees in the Rockwood Valley, Malvern Hills, July 28th, 1856, Its numbers, since then, have increased with great rapidity. It very soon obtained the name of the Blight-bird, in recognition of its services to gardens and orchards, from its habit of feeding on the American blight, with which apple trees in this colony are so generally infested; but, although the gardener noticed with satisfaction its labours in this direction, during the winter months, yet as summer returned and fruits ripened, its incessant depredations on cherries and plums were witnessed with anything but pleasure. From examining scores of nests, we find that out of a considerable variety of materials made use of, moss and grass predominate; the fabric is strong, although frequently slight, in some cases the walls are extremely thin; it is usually suspended, at the sides, by fastenings bound securely over slender twigs; some are almost wholly constructed of grass, amongst which, now and then, may be found a few small tufts of the grey-beard moss, in others the cottony down of plants is neatly interwoven with moss and spiders' webs, lined with fibres, or fine stems of grass, sometimes with hair; some nests are quite shallow, others of deep cup-like from (See Plate 5, Fig. 3), and measure in diameter 3 inches, cavity 1 inch 6 lines to 2 inches, depth 10 lines to 2 inches. In gardens, it has been observed placed in a great variety of shrubs, occasionally in a rose-bush bordering a well-frequented walk;

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never far above the ground, usually from two to six feet. We have found it suspended to our common fern, Pteris aquilina. It lays three clear-blue eggs, ovoiconical in shape, measuring 8 lines in length, with a breadth of 6 ½ lines: incubation lasts about ten days. The nest and eggs form as pleasing an object as those of the Hedge-sparrow at home. The gift of song does not appear to be equally shared by these birds; in addition to the quick, sharp note or chirrup, which all seem to have in common, now and then an individual bird is heard pouring forth a low, well-sustained, melodious song; possibly the power may exist in all adult males, only to be indulged in at pairing time.

One of the pensile nest-builders, which seem to be almost equally rare in our temperate clime as they are in the old country. The suspension of its habitation is accomplished in a different manner from that of Gerygone, and more after the fashion adopted by Regulus cristatus, of Europe, the Kinglet or Golden-crested Wren, except that the nest is very often formed without any protection or shelter from an overhanging leaf. The rim of the ladle-shaped structure is firmly secured to a forked twig by silky threads of spiders’ nests, finished on the outside, round the bottom, with braces of green leaves of grass, crossed and recrossed, which add much to the strength and stiffness of the fabric.

Now, as pensile nests are peculiarly adapted for ensuring the safety of their contents against the predatory attacks of various egg-robbers, does not the suspension of the habitation of the Zosterops,—the instinctive precaution of a foreign land (See Chrysococcyx lucidus),—afford an indication that it is a recent colonist, not yet so thoroughly acclimatized as to be fully aware of the immunity it enjoys from ravages of snakes, etc.? will that form of nest which is now sometimes found built in, rather than suspended from, a bush or thicket, become a more common object, and thus show a change in the style of architecture, as this bird, season after season, experiences the comparative safety of the breeding-places in our cooler latitude? Amongst our indigenous genera are there any pensile nest-builders? For years we invariably found three eggs to be the complement to a nest; now this last season we have met with several instances where four eggs have been laid, where this has occurred, the home has been built in, rather than fairly suspended from, a bush. If the reason, before suggested, for a modification in the manner of fixing the habitation be considered as not altogether too fanciful, may we not likewise be allowed to advance our opinion that the change of climate is also gradually producing its effects in the increased fecundity of our little Blight-bird.

Note.—Dec. 4—Nest in a manuka (Leptospermum scoparium), appeared to be completely lined and finished. On the 8th it contained three eggs; the next day a fourth egg was laid; on the 19th one callow nestling was exhibiting its ugliness, perfectly naked, except two or three small tufts of white down on the bald cranium, the body deep yellowish-pink, with dark slatey-coloured marks along the line of the vertebræ, the exterior of wing, and legs. The day following, his ugliness had a companion, on the 23rd feathers had made their appearance, where the slatey markings had been noticed; two unhatched eggs remained in the nest, which was only visited quietly once a day.

Young birds, for some time after they can fly well, can scarcely be said to possess any just pretension to the title of Zosterops, as they are without the circlet of white feathers round the eyes.

From the large number of nests we have observed, December must be the height of the breeding season.

The Zosterops is so partial to the berries of the trailing Cotoneaster mycrophylla, that we have known it to be taken by the hand, when it has been busily engaged on them; in the early spring we have observed it eating clover.

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No. 37.—Rhipidura Flabellifera, Gml.

The pied Flycatcher seems to prefer proximity to water in selecting its nesting-place, we have noticed it most frequently near a creek, where overhanging boughs have afforded considerable shade.

The nest, beautifully made, is very compact, and, from our experience, varies very slightly in shape. The materials are well felted together, moss, grassbents, fibrous roots, with cobwebs, etc.; the structure is fixed on some bough or spray, the foundation, very frequently, commences with chips of decayed wood. The prettiest nest we ever found, was on a leaf of the large silver treefern (C. dealbata.) (See Plate 4, Fig, 6.) The eggs, four in number, generally are white with brown freckles towards the larger end, 8 lines long, by 6 lines broad. We never found the nest very early in the spring.

Towards autumn this bird frequents the verandah, enters the house, clearing the rooms of flies, the snapping of the mandibles is plainly heard, as it flits circling round the room.

R. albiscapa, the fan-tail warbler of Tasmania, builds a nest with a long tail underneath, giving the whole structure a funnel-like appearance. Occasionally, R. flabellifera also builds its home with a long tail, but broader and less artistically finished than that of the R. albiscapa. One nest in our collection has this peculiar appendage, constructed of skeleton leaves and bents of grass, etc. What is its use?

No. 38.—Rhipidura Fuliginosa, Sparrm.
Black Fan-tail.

The Black Fan-tail Flycatcher breeds under conditions so very similar to those of the preceding species, that one description will serve for both. To our view, the most remarkable feature in the breeding habits of our Flycatchers is the situation usually selected for rearing their young. Security does not appear to be the first consideration; security, by concealment, seems the leading feature which guides most arboreal birds in choosing the site for their home, and it is one in which the most admirable displays of instinct may be frequently observed. The Flycatchers rather appear to be led by the same consideration which actuate many sea-birds in selecting the position of their breeding-place, proximity to the food supply. Stroll carefully along the rocky bed of a creek which rambles through some bushy gully, and you may perchance see the beautiful nest perched on some slender bough, in so delicate a manner, that it appears scarcely so much to be fixed, as to rest balanced there. There is no concealment amongst tangled creepers, guarded with their sharp recurved prickles; it is not buried amidst a mass of waving leaves, nor is it hidden away in the dim twilight of some hollow tree, but there, a few feet above the water, it sways gently with the subdued breeze, that reaches the quiet ravine through the leafy canopy that is spread around.

In thus placing its nest so obviously in view, one is reminded of its family connections, of the Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa grisola) of the old country, which we used to term the Post bird, from the almost glaring manner in which its unscreened habitation was displayed. But as “there is reason in the roasting of eggs,” saith the proverb, so there is also instinct in selecting the place where they shall be laid; over the shady creek our Flycatcher is in the midst of sandflies, and the position chosen for its nest affords comparatively as good a vantage ground for supplying the wants of its young, as the nesting-place on the craggy mountain side bestows on the dashing Quail-hawk.

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The Black and Pied Flycatchers breed together frequently.

Note.—Dec. 8th—Nest and eggs of R. fuliginosa fixed on a rock abutting on the creek in Valehead Bush, Malvern Hills; within a few feet, on the same rock, were two old nests.

No. 47.—Platycercus Novæ Zelandiæ, Sparrm.

AS far as we are aware, the breeding habits of this variety of Platycercus differ in no material point from those of P. auriceps. We have been told that occasionally it breeds on rocks.

Eggs, oval in shape, measure 1 inch 1 ½ lines in length, by 10 lines in breadth.

This species is frequently to be seen caged; in confinement it imitates the human voice, with tolerable distinctness. This bird, as well as the smaller species, is frequently shot for food.

No. 50.—Platycercus Auriceps, Kuhl.

The smaller Parroquet is a beautiful object, as with merry note it darts across the forest glade, with its bright green plumage glinting in the sunshine, giving at once a foreign impress to the scene, in the mind of the English settler.

Troglodytal in its breeding habits, it seeks some hollow tree or branch in which to rear its young; sometimes its nest is placed between the wood and the dissevered bark of æ decaying tree; more frequently at the bottom of some deep hole. The eggs are white, and somewhat oval in shape.

In the gardens situated near bush, the Parroquet becomes a great purloiner of fruit. Near Arowhenua and Waimate, we have seen it rising in flocks from the oat-ricks. It is so bold as to be very easily snared with a tohe-tohe reed, noosed at the tapering point.

It commences breeding in August.

Since the great fall of snow, July, August, 1867, all bush-birds about the Malvern Hills appear to have become scarcer; for quite a year after that great storm, the silence in the bushes seemed quite remarkable, as though entirely deserted by their feathered songsters. This was notably the case in the Rockwood Bush.

No. 51.—Nestor Meridionalis, Gml.
Bush Parrot.

One of the commonest of our larger birds; yet in most of our bushes it is not nearly so numerous as it was a few years since. A troglodyte it may certainly be termed, for in the choice of a situation for its nesting-place, it seeks the shelter of a hollow tree. Sometimes the entrance-hole is a considerable distance from the nest, which is merely the decaying wood at the bottom of the hole. It lays four eggs, which, like those of most birds that breed in holes, are white; ovoiconical in form, they measure in length 1 inch 9 lines, by 1 inch 3 ½ lines. Sometimes, before the young are old enough to vacate the nest, it recommences laying. It is in considerable request as an article of food; they are fattest in the great Fagus forests, during the month of April. It is very easily snared, and readily tamed. The call of one bird in distress will soon cause it to be surrounded by numbers. A very common artifice is to hold a Kaka by the wing, its shrill call soon collects a crowd of its friends on the neighbouring

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trees, where they soon fall to the gun of the pot-hunter. During a few weeks, in July and August, 1856, Kakas were to be seen in extraordinary numbers, they were poor in condition, perhaps tamed by hunger; they appeared to have lost their wonted vivacity, and numbers were cut over with stock-whips, as they sat perched on the rail fences, about stations on the Malvern Hills. The earliest bird in the bush, its call may be heard long before daylight.

No. 58.—Chrysococcyx Lucidus, Gml.
Bronze-winged Cuckoo, Whistler.

This beautiful little bird, in some districts, is most commonly known by the name of the Whistler. It is so called from its peculiarly clear note, which exactly resembles the sound made by a man whistling his dog.

It is remarkable for the regularity of its annual visits: in the neighbourhood of Christchurch it is almost sure to be heard about the 8th of October. We have a note of its appearing as early as the 27th of September (1855). The male bird usually selects the topmost sprays of the tallest trees for his perch, during the time it is giving utterance to its remarkable call; he seldom remains long in one spot, and indulges in a restless jerky motion of his tail. The female may be noticed very silently entering, and peering about scrubby bushes of no great height.

A parasite, like the Cuckoo of our Old Country, it saves itself all the trouble of nest-building by making use of the nests of other birds, and, of course, relieves itself of the care of providing for its young. Our experience points to the little Grey Warbler (Gerygone assimilis) as the most frequent victim of this “gay deceiver.” The single exception we have ever observed, was the Petroica macrocephala, another insect-eating bird. We are not quite satisfied as to the manner in which the egg is deposited by a bird so disproportionate in size to the nest and its porch-like entrance, as that of the Gerygone. Either this Cuckoo does not destroy the eggs of the Warbler when it makes its deposit in the nest, or the bird lays to the egg of the intruder, as we have taken the nest with three of the Warbler's eggs, besides the egg of the Chrysococcyx; yet, whenever the young Cuckoo has been found in the nest, it has invariably been the sole tenant, we have not yet been able to observe in what manner the eggs, or young of the rightful owners have been extruded. In selecting the nest of so early a breeder as the Grey Warbler, as a home for its young, it secures certain advantages for the benefit of its offspring which should not be lost sight of. At the period of the Cuckoo's arrival the Warbler has most probably reared its first brood, so that even young birds have had time to gain experience in building their habitation and rearing their nestlings; then too, everywhere insect life abounds, so that a proper supply of food, sufficient for comparatively so large a bird, can be obtained by its little foster parents, with less labour and more certainty, than it could have been secured two months earlier, when several birds commence their breeding arrangements. It has been noticed, under Gerygone, why the domes nest is selected, namely, for its warmth. Then, in addition, the Golden-winged Cuckoo, be it remembered, has a most extensive range, even to the tropical islands of New Guinea, Java, and Sumatra—according to Schlegel—(see “Finsch's Notes,” p. 118), and it probably chooses a pensile nest, through the same instinct, a regard to the safety of its young, which causes the lately-settled Zosterops to continue, for the present, a pensile nest-builder, though, as we have said elsewhere, we think there are indications of a change in its style of architecture. The selection, made by this Cuckoo, goes to strengthen our idea of the non-indigenous origin of our pensile nest-builders. The egg, elliptical in form, pale greenish-dun in colour, measures 9 lines in

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length, with a breadth of nearly 6 lines. Locality, slopes with manuka scrub, in Ohinitahi, Governor's Bay. The Whistler is a great insect eater, and appears especially fond of the well-known ladybird; we are not without certain suspicions that it devours or destroys the eggs of other birds.

No. 60.—Coturnix Novæ Zelandiæ, Quoy.

This excellent game bird is almost extinct, but a few years since it existed in the utmost abundance; bush fires, extending often for many miles, must have been the active agent in destroying a bird possessing such limited powers of flight, as our handsome little Quail.

A very slight nest, composed of a few bents of grass twisted into a depression of the ground, was all the artificial shelter this bird relied on, for the purpose of incubation. The eggs were very numerous; we have been told that as many as ten or twelve have been found in a nest, oval in shape, colour buffy-white suffused with rich brown splashes, with a remarkably glossy varnish; length 1 inch 3 lines, by 11 lines in diameter. We have not heard its call-note, or seen a bevy of Quail, for years. The sheltered valleys round Lake Coleridge, and about the head-waters of the Rakaia, were the last places in which it lingered, to our knowledge. They bred more than once in the season, as we have a note of abundance of young Quail so late as the 9th and 10th of April (this was in 1857). We have seen it escape the talons of the Quail-hawk, by dropping perpendicularly, just when about to be struck, when all hope of escape from its relentless pursuer was quiete abandoned. The flight of the Quail is low, and it used to be said that it would not rise after being flushed the third time: numbers were killed by sheep and cattle-dogs in the early days, when it abounded. In style of flight, our bird must resemble the Quail of Taberah and Kibroth-hattaavah, that fed the Children of Isræl, in the wilderness:—“And there went forth a wind from the Lord and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.” Our bird is not migratory as we believe. The young, with the exception, perhaps, of that of Apteryx Owenii, undergoes less change in plumage than that of any other bird; the young, when it assumes its feathers, exactly resembles the adult female, with the white streak along the shaft of the feathers, which adds so much to its beauty.

No. 61.—Apteryx Australis.

We have not enjoyed an opportunity of acquiring, from personal observation, any knowledge of the breeding-habits of the curious family of Apterygidæ: a description of the eggs of the different species may be thought not out of place in the present paper. We believe this species is peculiar to the Middle Island.

An egg received at the Canterbury Museum from Okarito, or its neighbourhood, is believed to be an undoubted specimen of this species,—it arrived, in a fresh state, in November. It was white, much blunted at each end, and presenting a very smooth surface; this enormous egg gives the following measurements: through the axis 5 inches 1 line, with a breadth of 3 inches 4 lines.

Rev. J. G. Wood, in his “Nat. Hist. Birds,” writes of the eggs laid by the Kiwi at the Zoological Gardens, London: “These eggs are indeed wonderful, for the bird weighs just a little more than four pounds, and each egg weighs between

Picture icon

To accompany Paper by T.H.Potts

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fourteen and fifteen ounces; its length being 4 ¾ inches, and its width rather more than 2 inches.”

The Canterbury Museum also contains some fine specimens of the bird, obtained from Westland.

No. 62.—Apteryx Owenii.

The smallest and most common of the whole family. Specimens of Owen's Apteryx are not very rare in collections, but the celebrity which attaches to this wingless genus is rapidly drawing down destruction upon it. No mercy is shown to it, and there is no exaggeration in stating that a regular trade is carried on in specimens of these birds, and the equally unfortunate Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus). Could not our paternal Government interfere in behalf of these interesting aborigines, for we believe there are those who would shoot the Cherubim for specimens, without the slightest remorse. This species is peculiar to the Middle Island.

An egg in the Canterbury Museum, from the West Coast, measures 4 inches 6 lines in length, with a breadth of 2 inches 7 lines (other specimens we have measured are of rather larger dimensions); colour, white, with a very smooth surface, blunt at each end.

The young of the Kiwi, without exhibiting any sign of an immature state of plumage, is disclosed, as it were, from the shell, arrayed in the hair-like integument of an adult bird. In this species the mottled-grey feathers of old and young appear to be of same shade of colour.

No. 63.—Apteryx Mantellii.

This is usually known as the Kiwi of the North Island, and it is believed that it has become comparatively rare during the last few years.

An egg, in our own collection, from Whangaroa, measures not less than 5 inches 4 lines in length, with a breadth of 3 inches 3 lines. This specimen is white, of smooth surface, rather more pointed at one end than is usually the case with eggs of this family.

No. 65.—Charadrius Bicinctus.
Banded Dotterel.

The family of the Charadriæ have always been distinguished for their wariness, and the artful devices employed to allure strangers from their nest. Heliodorus gives such a singular reason for its shyness, that we cannot resist quoting it: “The bird Charadrius cures those who are afflicted with the jaundice. If it perceives, at a distance, any one coming towards it, who labours under this distemper, it immediately runs away, and shuts its eyes; not out of an envious refusal of its assistance, as some suppose, but because it knows by instinct, that, on the view of the afflicted person, the disorder will pass from him to itself, and therefore it is solicitous to avoid encountering his eyes.” Our banded Dotterel is worthy of belonging to the family of the Charadriæ, for it is one of the most restless and wariest of birds, during the breeding season. On the approach of an intruder, it flies round and round, uttering its note of warning, then alighting on some rising ground, it steadily keeps watch. During the time it remains on the look out, it indulges in a peculiar habit of jerking its head backwards and forwards, uttering its monotonous twit, twit, at intervals.

It commences breeding early in the spring; its simple nesting-place may be found on “the plains,” or in river beds. It lays three oval-shaped eggs,

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greenish-brown, much sprinkled with dark-brown markings; they measure 1 inch 4 lines in length, with a breadth of 1 inch.

The young are exceedingly active, the little brown puffs of down may be observed running with great swiftness on being alarmed. In the autumn the Dotterel assembles in flocks of considerable numbers.

Notes.—August 2, 1856, saw a nest and two eggs, Rakaia river.

September 1, 1856, saw nest and three eggs, Rakaia river.

October 14, 1857, young birds quite strong.

No. A. 65.—Charadrius Obscurus, Gml.
Red-breasted Plover.

In Dr. Finsch's list, in Vol. i., “Transactions New Zealand Institute,” this Plover is named Hœmatopus obscurus.

This handsome bird is to be met with on hill and plain, yet nowhere in very considerable numbers. In the breeding season we have noticed it at such a considerable altitude as the summit of Dog Range, in the Ashburton district. The nest is difficult to find, it is so slight an affair that it easily escapes observation, merely a few stems of grass twisted into a slight hollow in the ground, so loosely put together that it is not easy to pick it up and yet preserve its form. The eggs, three in number, just fill the nest; they are of a delicate soft-brown, suffused with dark-brown, almost black, marks, somewhat oval in shape, in length 1 inch 9 lines, with a breadth of 1 inch 3 lines. The young run with speed almost as soon as hatched, and conceal themselves with much skill. Young birds have not the rufous tinge on the breast and upper part of the abdomen. We have observed eggs and young in the months of October and November.

Note.—Oct. 22, 1867—Nest with three eggs;—saw young Plovers.

The warning-note of this bird sounds like click, click, slowly repeated.

An excellent figure of it, rather warmly coloured, is to be found in Ross's “Voyage of the Erebus and Terror,” Vol. i., Plate 9, Birds.

No. B. 65.—Anarhynchus Frontalis, Quoy. and Gaim.
Crook-billed Plover,

Appears in Dr. Finsch's list, “Transactions New Zealand Institute,” Vol. i., as Hœmatopus frontalis.

The Crook-billed Plover, at the breeding season, is less wary than any of its congeners, and its nesting-place would be discovered with very little difficulty, were it not for the wonderful instinct it exhibits in selecting the ground for depositing its eggs. They are simply laid, without any preparation, amongst the pebbles of some river-bed usually, and never far from water, and so well does their grey tint harmonize with the general colour of the shingle around them, that their detection would be almost hopeless if this bird was less confident.

Its oval-shaped eggs are three in number, grey stone-colour, with the whole surface minutely dotted over with black specks; they measure 1 inch 4 ½ lines in length, with a width of 1 inch ½ line. On approaching the eggs or young, the old bird trots slowly away, assuming a broader and somewhat flatter appearance, by slightly extending the wings, making at the same time a low purring sound.

Breeding season extends from September to December.

The young birds are covered with grey down, and appear to have legs long, out of all proportion to the size of the body; at this early stage, the peculiar deflection of the bill, although slight, is perceptible; it is always

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turned to the right, or off side. Birds of the year, we believe, do not assume the frontlet which distinguishes the old birds, and which is broadest in the male. No satisfactory reason has been given for the peculiar form of the bill of this bird, which exceeds in length that of C. bicinctus.

Notes.—Sept. 14, 1856—Saw three eggs on a patch of small shingle.

Oct. 28, 1857—Young birds on the Rakaia river-bed.

Oct. 30, 1867—Two eggs on the bare shingle, Rakaia river.

Nov. 2, 1867—Three eggs chipped, on shingle, Ashburton river.

No. 71.—Hæmatopus Longirostris, Vieil.
Oyster-catcher, Red-bill.

The Oyster-catcher is one of the wariest and most restless of our birds, ever ready with its clamorous alarm-note, to wake up each echo, and disturb every bird within the sound of its shrill cry; but in the breeding-season it exhibits an intensity of slyness, that is almost supernatural. Usually it breeds in our river-beds, on the sandy spits, without other shelter than what may be afforded by some drift flax, grass, or stick, near which it makes, or discovers, a slight depression, in which to deposit its eggs, which are somewhat oval in shape, 2 inches 3 lines in length, with a diameter of 1 inch 7 ½ lines; pale or yellowish-brown; these are not to be distinguished from those of the European bird, much covered with irregular marks and spots of rich brown. Usually three eggs are laid, but we have found it incubating a single egg: the young are grey, with a dark longitudinal stripe on each side, above the wing. They are very active, and are early led by the old birds to the margin of the waterholes or pools. On being alarmed, the old bird sidles off the nest quietly, takes advantage of any broken ground that apparently conceals its movements from observation, and makes a long detour; a close scrutiny will very frequently enable the observer to detect the head of the bird carefully peering out behind some vantage-ground, watching all his proceedings.

A very common frequenter of the coast, as its familiar name imports; in the winter time it assembles in large flocks on the mud flats disclosed by the ebbing tide; though a shore-bird, it is found breeding in solitary couples, often far inland, certainly sixty or seventy miles from the sea, for instance, up the Wilberforce river, nearly as far back as the neighbourhood of Browning's Pass. A pair will boldly attack the Harrier, male and female striking at the Hawk in turn, and driving it to a safe distance from their young. Hæmatopus, that is, literally, the blood-red foot, one of the birds mentioned by Pliny, appears to be universally met with.

No. 75.—Botaurus Poicilopterus, Wagl.

Not so frequently met with as before such an extensive breadth of swampland had been drained and cultivated. It was once very common about Christchurch, “the City of the Plains,” it still haunts the banks of the Avon, and breeds in the neighbouring swamps. The breeding season of the Bittern must extend over a considerable period, as we have found the eggs, quite fresh, in the middle of January (15th). A nest near Clearwater, or Lake Tripp, in the Ashburton country, was built of raupo, (Typha angustifolia), surrounded by water about ankle deep; the top of the nest was very flat, and stood about six inches above the surface of the water. (See Plate 4, Fig. 7.) We have not seen more than four eggs to a nest, they are oval in form, varying slightly in colour, from buffy-brown to pale olive-green. Through the axis they measure 2 inches 1 ½ lines, with a diameter of 1 inch 6 lines.

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No. 78.—Himantopus Novæ Zelandiæ, Gould.
Pied Stilt.

Usually commences breeding in October, according to our experience. Unlike the black variety, we have always found this bird prefers swampy ground, such as fringes the shores of shallow lagoons, as a nesting-place, etc. Here it may be observed busily wading in the shallow water. In its habits of nidification, it is as inartificial as its congener. Eggs, four in number, yellowish-brown in colour, about the same size as those of the Black Stilt, are profusely marked with very dark brown; we have thought the eggs rather warmer in colour than those of the black variety. The monotonous call of pink, pink, has, in some places, fixed on it the trivial name of Pink.

No. B. 78.—Himantopus Melas, Homb. et Jacq., “Ann. des Sci. Nat., 1841.”
Black Stilt.

Breeds early in the season, seeking the sandy river-beds for that purpose. The labour of nidification is very trifling, sometimes a nest of grass, etc., is roughly constructed, now and then this apology for a nest may be discovered on a log of drift-wood; much more frequently, however, a slight depression in the sandy spit, answers all the requirements of this Stilt, as a nesting-place; it is never very far from water.

It lays from three to four eggs, rather oval in shape, yellowish-brown in colour, very much spotted and blotched over with very dark-brown, approaching to black, measuring 1 inch 10 lines in length, by 1 inch 3 lines in breadth. The young can run almost as soon as they are hatched; when disturbed, they conceal themselves behind stones, or some other shelter, in the most artful manner; they are covered with dark-brown down, bills and legs are then very dark, almost black. The parent birds exhibit the utmost assiduity in attempting to lead intruders from their eggs or young, and their numerous cunning devices are carried on with surprising cleverness and perseverance.

We have been told that there is not a Black Stilt, that the Black Stilt, so called, is, in reality, but the pied species in an immature state of plumage. To this we cannot for a moment subscribe, we have never once found the two species breeding together or using the same, or even similar situations, for their nesting-place.

Neither Mr. Buller nor Dr. Finsch, we remark, admit this bird in their lists, but, with the utmost deference to those authorities, we cannot consent to give up such an old acquaintance as the Black Stilt. Our opinion on this subject, is shared in by many others, living “up country,” who have had good opportunities, for several years, of observing the breeding habits, and the young birds of both species of Stilts.

Notes.—Sept. 13—Nest with three eggs, on a spit on Rakaia river-bed.

Dec. 14—Nest with two eggs, on a drift-log in the Rakaia river-bed.

No. 87.—Ocydromus Australis, Sparrm.

This bird is so mischievous to the fruit garden and poultry-yard of the up-country settler, that unrelenting war is usually waged against it. Small fruit, low-growing apples, eggs, and young chickens, form some of the items of its favourite plunder; nor is its thieving propensities confined to articles of food, spoons, pipes, pannikins, and a long list of miscellaneous articles, we have known this curious collector to carry off. On one occasion, in Alford Forest,

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a watch was stolen, and accidentally recovered, a few days after, at some little distance from the hut; for the Weka, unlike the Jackdaw at home, does not appear to care for a secret hiding-place in which to conceal its pilferings.

We have seen it kill a well-grown Spanish chicken, six weeks old, with one blow of its powerful bill. Some time since, a Weka appeared in our garden, much to our gratification, for, in the neighbourhood, the bird was of very rare occurrence; all went well till the first brood of choice Dorking chickens was discovered, and then, well, the Weka had to die.

At night, and before rain, the loud screaming of this bird is most frequently heard. The nest is found in a variety of situations, such as in a tuft of Celmisia, grass-tussock, or sometimes in a thicket of young plants, on the outskirts of the bush; we have observed it under the shelter of a rock, without any attempt at concealment, which the tussocks growing close by would have afforded. Grass is usually the staple material of its home, which is large, and basin-shaped within. The eggs, from five to seven in number, are white, with reddish marks generally distributed over the surface; but in many specimens the colouring is most abundant at the larger end. The young, covered with very dark down, may be observed, like chickens, following the old bird, who collects them around with the call of toom, toom, repeated quickly, and much lower in tone than the booming note to which the Weka sometimes gives utterance, and which is probably the call of the male. As the young grow up, the dark-brown of its early days gives place to a more mottled plumage when about one-third grown; although the legs become lighter in colour, the beak still retains its dark appearance. There is much difference in the size of Wekas, some of the hill-birds are very large, and we expect that before very long they will be classed as a separate species.

A very light-coloured specimen was observed near Mount Hutt, last year. Numbers of these birds are killed for their oil, which is much esteemed by bush-men for a variety of purposes; properly dressed, they are excellent as an article of food, due care being taken as to where they are obtained, as they are very foul feeders.

No. 91.—Porphyrio Melanotus, Temm.

This beautiful rail delights in swamps, where its nest is also to be found, built of grass; the top is sometimes more than a foot above the ground, and not unfrequently it may be observed surrounded by water. The number of eggs to a nest varies considerably, as we have found from two to seven, five may be considered the usual complement, in shape ovoiconical, greyish-brown, with dots and blotches of reddish-brown, measuring through the axis 2 inches 2 lines, with a diameter of 1 inch 6 lines. These dimensions appear very small for so large a bird, more especially when compared with those of the egg of Apteryx Mantelli. The young run about as soon as they are hatched, and on being disturbed conceal themselves with great art. They are thickly clothed with black velvety down, interspersed with fine hair-like points of silver-grey; legs dullish-red, beak has a yellowish ivory look, which contrasts pleasingly with the rest of the body. The Pukeko is esteemed excellent eating.

No. 92.—Casarca Variegata, Gml.
Paradise Duck.

This well-known bird often chooses the shelter of a huge tussock, beneath which to make its nest; sometimes a hole in a rock is chosen in preference.

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We know a large rock, on the bank of the Rakaia, where a pair of these birds breed every year.

The nest is warmly lined with down; nine eggs are sometimes found in a nest, but not often have we noticed so large a number; they are large, creamywhite, ovoiconical, very somewhat in size, even in the same nest; length 2 inches 9 lines, with a diameter of 1 inch 10 lines. The Paradise Duck leads its brood to water very soon after hatching. The parent birds may be noticed surrounded by their tiny young ones, spending nearly the whole day upon the water, even when the usually smooth surface of the lake has been lashed into foam-crested waves by a furious Nor'-wester. They enter the lake after the sun is well up, and remain till late in the afternoon; this is daily repeated, the young birds gradually venturing farther from the old ones, and may be observed darting about with the greatest activity.

This bird employs the wiliest stratagems to lead the wayfarer from its nest or young.

Notes.—October 24, 1855, noticed nest with eight eggs, Malvern Hills.

November 1, 1867, saw nest with five eggs, another with six egg, on the Potts river.

December 2, 1867, Duck sitting on five eggs, Rangitata river.

The congress of the sexes takes place in water, after the manner of the common Goose. When young, the flesh of the Paradise Duck is very good eating, but in old birds there is a degree of toughness, that only the sharpest appetite can overcome.

The young are easily tamed, and feed amicably with other poultry; but unless confined when spring sets in, they are almost certain to ramble away and be lost.

No. 93.—Anas Superciliosa, Gml.
Grey Duck.

One of the commonest game-birds left to us by the eager sportsman. We have found the nest of the Grey Duck in so many situations, differing so entirely in character, that it would be difficult to pronounce any one position as the favourite site for its breeding-place. Sometimes close by the edge of a bush creek, amongst damp shady ferns; out on the plain, sheltered by a tussock, quite away from water; often on a hill side. Yet, whether on the level plain or in a swamp, its cup-shaped nest is most profusely lined with down, and diffuses a strong musky odour. The eggs, usually nine in number, are creamy-white, occasionally varying a little in size and shape, some are ovoiconical, others broadly oval; 2 inches 6 lines through the axis, with a diameter of 1 inch 8 ½ lines, is the measurement of a large specimen; whilst we possess specimens that measure but 2 inches 3 lines in length, with a diameter of 1 inch 7 lines. On referring to many notes on the numbers of eggs laid by the Grey Duck, an entry appears of ten eggs in a nest, found December 10th near a lagoon by the Rangitata, the largest number of which we have a memorandum. We have seen the young quite tame, and associating with the common domestic Duck.

No. 94.—Anas Chlorotis, Gray.

Very much scarcer of late years than we can remember it. A few years ago we used to hear tales of almost incredible bags of this excellent gamebird; a few more years of inconsiderate slaughter, will make the Teal a rarity.

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The nest is made of grass, thickly lined with down, sometimes close to the edge of a swampy creek, or beneath the sheltering leaves of a large “Maori-head” (Carex virgata).

The eggs are large, for the size of the bird, cream colour, not unlike those of the Mountain Duck, in tint, but perhaps slightly darker; length 2 inches 5 lines, diameter 1 inch 10 lines, We have not found more than eight eggs to a nest. On a pond at Rockwood, in the Malvern Hills, three Teal fraternised with some tame Paradise Ducks, and came regularly, to be fed, every day, with pieces of bread.

No. 96.—Fuligula Novæ Zelandiæ, Gml.
Black Widgeon.

In the hill-country, a few years since, this was sufficiently common; a small tarn, near Lake Coleridge, yet retains the name of Widgeon Lake, from the numbers which formerly frequented it. Near one small pool in the Ashburton country, where it bred in considerable numbers, neither birds nor nests are now to be met with.

A gregarious bird, it delights to assemble in large flocks, and may be seen on some of the more secluded lakes, swimming about, and disporting with numbers of other water-fowl, very frequently diving. Sometimes it breeds in the shelter of a huge “Maori-head.” We have found it well concealed by a large snow-grass tussock, within a few feet of water, where there was a rent or crack in the ground. Nest of grass, thickly lined with down, contained five eggs of a deep cream-colour, ovoiconical in form, measuring 2 inches 8 lines, with a diameter of 1 inch nearly 9 lines.

No. 98.—Hymenolaimus Malacorhynchus, Gml.
Blue Duck, Mountain Duck.

The only way of seeing this singular bird to advantage, is by paying a visit to the mountainous districts. On a mountain torrent, where the foaming water dashes from rock to rock in countless eddies, the Mountain Duck lives at ease, making its way up or down stream. Sometimes it may be observed basking in the sunshine, near a shallow pool of the rapid streamlet. Sometimes it is a burrower, and its nest may be found in a hole in a bank; we have found it concealed from view by overhanging sprays of those various alpine Veronicas, which sometimes make the mountain creeks in the backcountry perfect gems of beauty. The nest, like that of other ducks, thickly lined with down, we have found to contain five eggs, of a deep-cream colour, elliptical in form, measuring 2 inches 8 ½ lines in length, with a diameter of 1 inch 9 lines.

One of our early breeders; we have known the young brood to be swimming about by the end of September. We have seen nests of eggs in October and November. A much frequented breeding-place is above the gorge of the Potts river,—a tributary of the Rangitata.

No. 99.—Podiceps Rufipectus, Gray.
Dab-chick, Little Grebe.

This bird is far from uncommmon, and is to be met with on lakes, lagoons, and deep creeks that run still and swift, unlike the noisy torrents in which the Mountain Duck delights.

The nest is rather a large and somewhat clumsy structure, formed of the roots and leaves of various aquatic plants. We have found it built against

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the stem of the Carex virgata, beneath the drooping leaves of which it was perfectly concealed from casual observation. Situated just within the swampy side of a small lake, it was raised a few inches, only, above the water-level. We have invariably found two eggs to a nest; they are greenish-white, frequently with wart-like protuberances, and more or less weed-stained.

Eggs from the same nest occasionally differ a little in size, as may be observed from the following measurements: length 1 inch 9 lines, by a diameter of 1 inch; whilst another egg, from the same nest, measured in length 1 inch 6 ½ lines, with the same diameter as in the longer specimen. The lobed foot of the Grebe is a remarkable peculiarity, assisting it to swim and dive with great rapidity; in its habits it appears much more restless and fidgetty than the large Crested Grebe. The young is greyish-brown on the back, warm-rufous on the neck and breast, lighter on the abdomen; the head is beautifully mottled with black, and rich reddish-brown alternately. When alarmed on the water the parent birds have a knack of tucking the young under the wing, so that its head is alone visible; they dive and swim, thus encumbered, with the greatest ease.

No. 100.—Podiceps Hectori, Buller.
Crested Grebe.

One of the most ornamental of the water-fowl, that add so much to the interest of the lake scenery of our Southern Alps. In April, 1856, we first made its acquaintance, on a small lake, now called Lake Selfe. It appears to move about in pairs, as a single couple is usually found (or rather was to be found) associating with nearly every group of Ducks that dotted the little secluded bays of the lakes.

The Grebe swims low in the water, with a certain air of demure gravity, which affords a marked contrast to the rapid movements of most of the other natatorial birds, with which it so frequently associates.

We have found the nest in November and December. The structure is large, and very solidly built of pieces of decayed Carex virgata, raised about a foot above the level of the water; its sloping sides give a ready means of reaching the basin-like depression on the top, in which the eggs are deposited. (See Plate 4, Fig. 5.) In several instances we have observed that the nest had been constructed on the top of an old stump of Carex virgata, situated in a shallow part of a lake, distant from twenty to one hundred yards from the shore. Last Spring, in the little boat-harbour on Lake Coleridge, belonging to Mr. Oakden, there happened to have been thrown a quantity of cut flax, which the bight of a chain prevented from drifting out to the lake; a pair of Crested Grebes built on this floating mass, and succeeded in rearing their young; it should be added, this harbour is not much used, and the proprietor is a careful protector of our native birds. We have known three instances, in which the nests have been submerged by the rising waters of the lake, an indication that such mishaps must frequently occur, which may perhaps in some measure account for the comparative rareness of this Grebe.

The eggs, three in number, are at first greenish-white, but very quickly become stained over, entirely, with yellowish-brown, from the water and weedy slime adhering to this bird's flat lobed foot. Eggs elliptical in form, measuring through the axis 2 inches 4 lines, with a breadth of 1 inch and nearly 7 lines. We believe that an interval of two, perhaps three, days occurs between the laying of each egg. The young bird is pale-brown with dark brown marks. During incubation the Grebe maintains an upright posture, with its long graceful neck held erect, so motionless its attitude, that at a distance it rather resembles a stick than anything endued with life. Watchful and shy, it noiselessly dives, immediately it discovers itself observed. The

Picture icon

To accompany paper by T. H. Potts

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power of diving, and the faculty of remaining under water for a considerable time, is too remarkable a characteristic of this bird to be passed over without notice.

No. 104.—Spheniscus Minor, Forst.
Small Penguin.

One of our commonest sea-fowl; and certainly a frequent burrower in its mode of nidification.

We have found the Penguin breeding every year, in the inner chamber of a deep cave, perfectly dark; a hollow, scraped out of the sandy bottom of the cavern, half filled with fish bones, formed the nesting-place, in which the eggs were deposited. We have always found two eggs, as the complement of the Little Penguin.

The eggs are white and very smooth, but soon become stained; they are broadly oval, and measure, through the axis, 2 inches 2 lines, with a diameter of 1 inch 9 lines. The old birds defend their nests with great spirit, using beak and claws most vigorously, making at the same time a noise not unlike the mewing of a cat.

We have observed these birds breeding during the months of November, December, and January. They breed in great numbers amongst crevices of rocks; in sand-banks, their tunnels are bored with great neatness, with a run frequently extending a considerable distance. the entrance generally exhibits a perfectly round hole, about three or four inches in diameter, and from whence is diffused a most powerful odour. The young, we have found in the nest when nearly full-grown; their slatey-bluish plumage is brighter than that of the parent birds. We have an egg, very much encrusted, showing a departure from their usual appearance, which is usually as white and smooth as that of the domestic fowl. In retreating to the sea, its action is peculiar, walking it can scarce be called, it appears to throw the whole body forward, and shuffles along with an undulating motion, which gives the Penguin more the appearance of a large grey rat than that of a bird.

No. 126.—Larus Dominicanus, Licht.
Grey Gull, Black-backed Gull, Large Gull.

Our larger Gull breeds on the sea-shore, upon the sandy spits in the riverbeds. The rough-looking nest is large, usually made of grass, sometimes of small tussocks pulled up by the roots. We have noticed these birds visiting the breeding-ground early in August, but have not seen the eggs till some weeks later, apparently these must have been visits of inspection, when they busied themselves about the nests in rather a clamorous manner for several days in succession. The eggs, two or three to a nest, are ovoiconical, measuring 2 inches 10 lines in length, by 1 inch 10 lines in width. The colour varies from shades of light-grey to brown, covered, more or less, with grey down at first, they assume, gradually, a mottled-brown plumage, the bill still dark, presenting a marked contrast to adult birds. The parent birds defend their nest with great spirit, a pair will drive away, and give chase to, a Harrier. Their olfactory organ must be most acute, as they find out the carcase of a dead sheep or bullock with great readiness.

We have often been amused by watching their grotesque action in following a retreating wave, where the sea has rolled in heavily on the inclined sandy beach. A number of these Gulls wait till the wave has just expended

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its force and follow the retreating waters rapidly, by a series of hopping jumps, feeding the while, and sometimes only just avoiding the next incoming wave, by taking wing for a few yards with apparent reluctance.

No. 127.—Larus Scopulinus, Forst.
Little Gull.

During the breeding season, our very pretty Little Gull frequents the river-beds, and shores of lakes, in very large numbers. It deposits its eggs with scarcely any of the preparation that distinguishes the larger species of Gull. The eggs are usually found on the bare ground; at most a few bents of grass, amongst the stones, sufficing for a nest. The eggs, often broadly oval, sometimes ovoiconical, are of different shades of greyish-brown, plentifully besprinkled with darker marks and blotches of grey and brown. Length, 2 inches 1 line, by a diameter of 1 inch 6 lines.

No. 129.—Sterna Caspia, Pall.

This fine Tern is content with merely a hollow scraped in the sand, just large enough to contain the eggs; the breeding season extending from November to January; our earliest note of having seen the egg, is dated November 14th.

The eggs, usually two or three in number, ovoiconical in form, measure 2 inches 7 lines in length, with a diameter of 1 inch 9 lines; we have a specimen from Lake Ellesmere, much smaller than is shown by this measurement; the eggs are of varying shades of pale greyish-brown, richly spotted with dark-grey and brown, distributed all over the surface; in some specimens these markings are most numerous at the larger end. When these birds are disturbed at breeding-time, they ascend to a great height, and hover around the intruder, uttering loud screams. We have found the young as large as the adult Larus scopulinus, before they were able to fly. Have found this bird incubating a single egg.

No. 130.—Sterna Longipennis, Nordm.

The black-billed, swallow-tailed Whale-bird seems constantly to frequent our coasts and harbours, the liveliness of its movements on the wing, especially the rapidity with which it drops from a great height to secure its finny prey, frequently renders it an object of remark to the dwellers on the sea-shore, it deposits its egg on the bare rock, without the slightest protection, at a distance varying from about five to six feet and upwards from the level of high tide; the egg must often lie within reach of heavy showers of spray. Ovoiconical in form, generally, but sometimes rather oval, the egg measures 1 inch 10 lines in length, with a diameter of 1 inch 4 lines. Colour varies from shades of pale-grey, sea-green, stone-colour, or light-brown, lightly freckled with brown, or profusely blotched with slatey-grey, and chesnut-brown, to almost black. The young covered with mottled-grey down, varying in shade to almost brown, are quite helpless for two or three weeks after hatching, and appear quite unable to attempt securing safety by swimming, like young Gulls, when alarmed; they retain the grey feathers on the head even when well-grown. Great quantities of small fish may usually be noticed surrounding the young birds. We believe this bird lays but one egg, but are aware that others entertain a different opinion. On a rocky point, in Port Cooper, which is

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washed with abundant showers of spray under a strong N. E. breeze, we observed about 200 birds breeding; except in three cases only, the eggs were solitary.

Note.—Dec. 14—Found two eggs lying together, differing in size and colour so much, that there is not much doubt they were the produce of different birds.

No. 131.—Sterna Antarctica, Forst.
Common Tern.

In this paper on our Birds, the nomenclature followed is that which is given in Dr. Otto Finsch's Notes, “Trans. New Zealand Institute,” Vol. i., pp. 122–5, but in the case of this bird we prefer adhering to the name assigned to it by Forster. In a note in the volume referred to, page 121, S. antarctica, Forst, is asserted to be the same species as S. minuta, Linn. Mr. Buller, in his “Notes on Herr Finsch's Review,” tacitly admits this by his silence; we think this must be an error. Yarrell, in his “History of British Birds,” Vol. iii., p. 525, writes of S. minuta, “their eggs are of a stone-colour, spotted and speckled with ash-grey and dark chesnut-brown, the length 1 inch 4 lines, by 11 lines in breadth.” This measurement is exactly the size of the eggs of the next species, which we have numbered A. 131, whereas the eggs of the yellow-billed S. antarctica measure in length 1 inch 6 lines, by a breadth of 1 inch 1 ½ lines, and present a very striking contrast in colour; they differ also in shape. On referring to our collections of British and New Zealand eggs, and comparing the eggs of these species of Terns, any hesitation we may have entertained about the correctness of adhering to Forster, instead of the more modern authorities, is removed. The Common Tern, very often termed the Whale-bird, seems even more gregarious than its congener S. longipennis, that is, taking into consideration its habits throughout the year. It may be observed hovering over the newly-ploughed fields in great numbers, in search of larvæ of various insects; the small lizard seems a favourite morsel, and may frequently be noticed dangling from the beak of this Tern.

We have remarked, several times, a curious habit of this bird, which presents a singular appearance to the gaze of the traveller: a large flock will rest motionless on the ground, with their delicate bluish-grey wings extended vertically, and will maintain this singular posture for some time. It deposits its eggs, two in number, on the bare ground, without any attempt at nidification; ovoiconical in form, they measure in length 1 inch 6 lines, with a breadth of 1 inch 1 ½ lines. In colour very considerable variety is exhibited, dull grey, greenish-white, pale-green, pale-brown, with small brown markings distributed over the surface generally. This Tern is remarkably clamorous at the breeding season; and should a traveller approach their ground, the intruder is instantly assailed by them with swift dartings, accompanied by noisy, harsh, grating screams. The young birds remain about the breeding-ground for some weeks, till they can fly well.

No. A. 131.—Sterna—(?)New Sp.

A very small Tern visits the Rakaia river-bed during the breeding season, not far below the gorge of that great river. There does not appear to exist any description of it, either in Mr. Buller's Essay, Dr. Finsch's Notes, or in Mr. Buller's Paper of August 25, 1868. It lays its eggs, two in number, on the bare ground, they are stone-colour, blotched over with grey markings, and measure through the axis 1 inch 4 lines, with a diameter of 11 lines. It is not at all a common bird in that locality, and was not observed there last year. In the Museum at Christchurch, are two specimens of a small Tern, obtained in the province; in all probability, the eggs noticed above, belong to indi

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viduals of this species. They are labelled Sternula nereis, and measure, total length 10 inches 7 ½ lines, length of wing 9 inches 1 ½ lines, bill from gape 1 inch 9 lines, tarsus 7 ½ lines; colour, above, silver or French-grey, forehead white, back of head and nape of neck black, black streak round the eye, bill and feet yellow: the eggs above noticed were discovered in November.

Since the above was written, through the zeal of a friend residing near the Rakaia, we have received two eggs of this interesting bird; they were found in November, hard set. On comparing them with the egg of S. minuta, of Europe, in our own collection, we find them of rather a broader oval in shape, of the same length, with a breadth exceeding that of the European species by 1 ½ lines; but so close is the general resemblance between them, that they might be easily supposed the produce of individuals of the same species. The egg of the Lesser Tern, S. minuta, is less eccentric in its colour and marks than those of many other species of the genus.

No. 139.—Graculus Brevirostris, Gould.
Black River-shag.

Breeds on the shores of the lakes in the interior, where these birds congregate in considerable numbers, probably depending on the fresh water Unio, for some portion of their food supply. Like the Rook, and the Heron, of Europe, it builds in company, within the space of a few square yards many nests may be counted; the favourite breeding-place appears to be scrub, on some of the steep and lofty banks of the lake shore. The nest is large, chiefly constructed with sticks procured from the dead scrub, amongst which may be found the dead flower-stalks of Aciphylla squarrosa, grass forming the lining material. The eggs, four in number, are greenish-white, with the chalky encrustations characteristic of the Pelicanidæ, elliptically shaped, they vary considerably in size, especially in the measurement through the axis, as from 2 inches 6 lines, to 2 inches 2 ½ lines, with a breadth of 1 inch 6 lines. When freshly procured from the nest they give out that peculiar odour which distinguishes those of the Procellaridæ, in common with the eggs of the Pelicanidæ, truly “a most ancient and fish-like smell.”

No. 142.—Dysporus Serrator, Banks.

An egg of this bird, in the Colonial Museum, Wellington, gives the following measurements, which correspond very nearly with the size of the English species: length through the axis 3 inches 1 ½ lines, with a breadth of 1 inch 10 lines. White in colour, with the rough chalky surface which distinguishes the eggs of the Pelicanidæ.

Art. IX.—Description of two Birds new to the Fauna of New Zealand.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, September 20, 1869.]

Nyroca Australis, Gould.
White-winged Duck.

I first noticed this bird, about two years ago, on the Whangape Lake, Lower Waikato, and since, on the Waikare Lake, near Rangiriri, and on Rotomahana Lake, where it was abundant in March, 1868. On the lakes of the Lower Waikato it is not uncommon, but is so wary that as yet I have only been able to obtain three specimens, the first of which was kindly

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procured for me by A. M. Sheppard, Esq., of Ahiruna. This bird is known to the natives, both of Tarawera and Waikato, by the name of Karakahia. Like all the Pochards, it frequents the lakes only, and is rarely, if ever, seen in the rivers and creeks. I have not yet ascertained where it breeds. The specimen I got from Mr. Sheppard, I sent to W. Buller, Esq., of Whanganui, who identified it with the Nyroca australis of Gould's “Birds of Australia.”

Male.—Head and neck, dark reddish-brown; back, brown with the feathers of the upper part tipped with yellowish-brown; breast, white; sides, light-brown; abdomen, brown; wing feathers, white, tipped with brown; under wing-coverts, white; speculum, white; tail, dark-brown; bill, black, with a slate-coloured band near the tip; irides, white; tarsi, grey, front part very light-grey; membranes, black, bordered with light-grey on the side of each toe.

Length, 1 foot 8 inches; bill, from gape to point, 2 inches 2 lines. Wing, from carpal joint to tip 8 inches 3 lines; tarsi, 1 inch 6 lines.

Female.—Head, neck, and breast, reddish-brown, speckled with white on the throat, and black on the breast; upper abdomen, dirty white; wings, same as male; but the white of the primaries is shaded with brown; rest of plumage same as male; bill, greenish-grey, tipped with slate-blue; lower mandible, greyish-blue; irides, light-brown.

Length, 1 foot 7 inches; wing. from carpal joint, 8 ½ inches; bill, 2 inches; tarsi, 1 ⅜ inches. The wind-pipe of the male is much swollen, but not that of the female.

æstrelata Gouldii, n. s.
Procellaria macroptera, Gould, nee A. Smith.

This bird I first noticed in May, 1866, off Tasmania, and thought, at the time, that it would be an undescribed species; but I was never able to examine a specimen until a few months ago, when one was left at the Museum of the Auckland Institute, the donor's name not being known. It is very common on the Tasmanian and New Zealand coasts, and is, undoubtedly, the bird that Mr. Gould refers to as “the dark Petrel with a grey face,” which he shot off the coast of Tasmania, and which he suggests might be the Procellaria macroptera, of Dr. A. Smith. According to that author, however, the bird he called P. macroptera, has no grey face, but a white circle round the eye, and reddish-brown legs and feet, in all of which respects it differs from the present bird, as well, probably, as in its dimensions, although more specimens will have to be measured before this can be determined.

Considering, therefore, this bird to be a new species, I have named it after Mr. John Gould, to whose labours we are so largely indebted for our knowledge of the Petrels of the Southern Seas.


Upper parts with wings and tail sooty-black, some of the wing coverts with brownish tips; under parts, dark-brown; forehead, cheeks, and chin silvery-grey, shading off gradually into the black before reaching the eye.

Tail rather long, cuneate; wings, when folded, reaching about half-an-inch beyond the tip.

Legs and bill black.

Length from tip of bill to end of tail 16·75 inches
Bill, from gape to point 1·6 "
Wing, from carpal joint to tip 13·5 "
Tail 5·0 "
Tarsus 1·6 "
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Note.—Dimensions of P. Macroptera, Smith.
Lenth from tip of bill end of tail 17·0 inches.
Bill, from gape to point 1·75 "
Wing, from carpal joint to tip 13·75 "
Tail 6·0 "
Tarsus 1·5 "

Art. X.—On the introduction of the Pheasant into the Province of Auckland.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, June 7, 1869.]

Exact information, as to the date of the introduction of plants and animals into a country, together with the numbers introduced, and the place where they were first turned out, will be of great value, in future years, to all naturalists studying the difficult subjects of the diffusion and replacement of species; and for this reason I have here placed on record all the information that I have been able to collect with reference to the first introduction of the Pheasant into this province; and I hope that any person who is in possession of more complete information, or who may know, with tolerable accuracy, the date of the first appearance of the bird in any part of the province, will kindly inform me.

In 1851, Mr. Thomas Henderson imported some Chinese Pheasants (Phasianus torquatus) direct from China, in the barque “Glencoe.” Two dozen were shipped, but only seven reached Auckland alive, five of which were cocks. These were turned out near Mr. Henderson's mill at Waitakerei. About the same time, or a little before, some English pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) were liberated at Mongonui by Mr. Walter Brodie.

In 1856, Mr. Thomas Henderson imported some more Chinese Pheasants in the schooner “Gazelle,” of which six only arrived alive. They were also turned out at Waitakerei.

These thirteen birds, most of them cocks, appear to have been the whole of the Chinese Pheasants imported into the province. For several years they were never seen, but gradually became more and more abundant in the neighbourhood of Auckland, and in the year 1865 they were so common as to be shot in considerable quantities. They seem to have made their first appearance in the Waikato in 1864 or 1865.

They are now extremely abundant from Auckland southwards, all through the Waikato and Thames districts, and have been seen near Lake Taupo. North of Auckland they have not spread so rapidly. They are tolerably abundant at Mahurangi, but are scarce further north. They have this year been seen at Whangarei.

The English Pheasants, although they appear to have multiplied freely at Mongonui, have not spread much, as they have not yet reached the Bay of Islands. Chinese Pheasants have been turned out at Tauranga, Tolago Bay, Napier, Raglan, Kawau, and Bay of Islands, within the last three years.

I may also add that, in 1862, Mr. William Hay turned out at Papakura two brace of Californian Quail (Ortyx Colifornica), these are now in thousands, and have spread for many miles. O. Californica has also been turned out at Hokianga, Kawau, Auckland, and Waikato.

Note by Mr. T. Kirk.—P. torquatus, first seen at Owaha in 1866. Not observed north of the Arapoua (Kaipara) in 1868, although a few birds were seen on the Oruawharo, possibly liberated from a cattle station on that river.

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Art. XI.—On the Katipo, a poisonous Spider of New Zealand.

[Read before the Medical Section of the Auckland Institute, October 20, 1869.]

I Have presumed to offer for the consideration of the Medical Section of the Auckland Institute the following memorial on the Katipo, a poisonous spider of New Zealand, with a case that occurred in my own practice, believing that the subject deserves a general notice, as it certainly requires colonial investigation at the hands of the medical profession.

In the month of December, 1868, a person of the name of John Huff, living near my residence, came into the surgery complaining that he had been bitten on the shoulder by a spider. He was in the employment of Messrs. Archard and Brown, of Stanley-street, Mechanics' Bay. He was occupied, at the time, in carrying firewood, to supply the furnaces of a brick-kiln; the wood was stacked near the kiln in sedge or coarse grass; this happened between the hours of eleven and twelve o'clock, a. m. At noon he came home to dinner, sat down to table, but upon attempting to eat, found he could not open his mouth, or was scarcely able to articulate, in consequence of stiffness about the jaws. He was alarmed and came into the surgery, when it was difficult to understand what he had to say; all I could learn from him was that he had been bitten by a spider, on the shoulder, in the Bay. Upon examining the spot, I found the surface raised, to an extent as large round as a tea-cup; this elevated surface was white, and was surrounded by a halo of red, not unlike an exaggerated wheal of the nettlerash. He complained of considerable pain in the part, and during the examination became faint, and soon almost pulse-less. His pulse was unusually slow, scarcely counting more than twelve or fourteen beats in the minute. His countenance and the general surface of the body assumed a hue of extreme pallor, which gradually turned to a blue tint. His extremities were cold and flaccid; his respiration almost ceased, and indeed I had fears that he was about to expire. Dr. Pinching being in my house at the time, I called for his assistance. He was astonished at the feebleness and prostration of the patient, from such an apparently trifling cause.

From his extreme faintness it was necessary to lay him on the floor, when I applied spirits of ammonia to the wound, which had the effect of lessening the swelling and abating the pain. I also administered ammonia and water, afterwards combined with brandy, in considerable doses; under this treatment his pulse gradually improved, his circulation and respiration became more natural, as was evidenced by his return to a more natural colour. Although a stout strong man, this state of depression remained for upwards of two hours before he was able to return home. In the evening I found him considerably improved, having taken a slight dose of medicine. For several days he could not return to his work, but complained of great lassitude, and nervous depression, which he was sensible of for many days after.

It must be evident from the symptoms of this case, that the man was powerfully affected by a narcotic and irritating poison, which being absorbed into the circulation, affected the heart, brain, and nervous system, to a very considerable extent, almost amounting to fatal syncope,—that the stimulants, by exciting the heart's action, gradually aroused the excretory functions, so as ultimately to remove the poison from the system; for although suffering under its influence for a considerable time, it does not appear to have left any permanent effects behind it, for the man has since been in perfect health.

In corroboration of the nature of this accident, I append the following very graphic description of the bite of the Katipo, furnished by the Rev. Mr. Chapman, whose long residence as a missionary to the Maori race, in the

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interior of New Zealand, renders his observations and opinions of peculiar importance.

“In the course of my sojourn in New Zealand, I have had three rather remarkable proofs of the violently poisonous nature of the bite of the Katipo.

“Some twenty years ago a party of natives had taken up a temporary residence at Waihi, near Maketu; their resting place being near the sea-beach. During the period of their morning's meal, a girl was bitten by a Katipo, in the region of the abdomen. She did not seem at first to suffer much pain, but towards noon, inflammation set in, and some native remedies were used. As these had no effect, her friends decided to convey her to my residence, and they reached my house about one p. m. I discovered, on first seeing her, indications of severe pain; and no examining the wound, found a swelling of the size and shape of the obtuse end of a hen's egg. I immediately rubbed the part with strong ammonia. This had no other effect than of lessening the severity of the pain, but failed in decreasing the swelling. I gave the girl also medicine, which was probably salts and tincture of henbane. After this, I saw her nearly every day, for a fortnight, using such means as appeared to me suitable. She seemed at this stage to be gradually recovering, but suddenly became faint and pallid, lost all desire for food, and though offered whatever my house afforded, would only take a little bread and tea, and sometimes a little wine. She lingered in this way for about six weeks and then died.

“The next case was the son of a trader resident at Maketu; three of his boys went up the river on a ramble and lingered at the Tumu, resting themselves by sitting on the tufts of sedge growing on the sand-hills just above the reach of the tide. These tufts are the principal haunts of the Katipo. While so resting, one of them was bitten by this insect, on the fleshy part of the thigh, it having crawled unperceived up his trowsers. The boys were at this time about two miles from home. They returned immediately, but not thinking the bite of any consequence, delayed applying to me until towards evening, at which time the sufferer became ill, and the place bitten inflamed. I attended him, using the same remedies as in the other case; but he suffered long, wasting, and losing all energy, soon having the appearance of one going into a decline. If I recollect correctly, he was three months before he rallied, and probably another three before he fully recovered.

“The next case occurred to that remarkable man Toke, the chief of Maketu. We were travelling together up the coast from Whakatane, and halting to dine, he seated himself upon a large tuft of sedge. He had not been resting many minutes before he sprang upon his feet, saying, ‘I am badly bitten by a Katipo.’ He was bitten on the upper part of the thigh. I directed him to lie down; I then dissolved some carbonate of soda in a very small quantity of water, and adding to this some brandy from my flask, I quickly made a crucial incision over the part bitten, and squeezed out forcibly, the blood, and then rubbed in this antacid solution, keeping up this action alternately for some ten minutes, when he said he no longer felt the pain. He remarked on rising, ‘Had you not been with me, I should have had a long illness.’ Only two or three minutes could have elapsed after the bite, before a spot about the size of the top of the little finger appeared, and of a peculiar white colour, in strong contrast with the dusky shade of Toke's skin. He was very careful to secure all the blood I had forced out of the wound I had made, by absorbing it in a piece of rag torn from his shirt; this relic, now so doubly sacred, he carried into the middle of a swamp close by, and I saw him stamping it down into the ground very violently, to preserve it from possible desecration.

“The natives generally avoid sleeping on the sea-beach, but have no fear of the Katipo half a stone's throw inland of the sea-beach line. I never knew

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them (of themselves) use any other remedy than rubbing and applying hot, half-scalded leaves to the part, and as soon as convenient taking the bitten one to the priest, to receive the benefit of his incantations, as they then believed in the efficacy of prayers, made to their gods of the hills and valleys.”

Here again are the evidences of a narcotic and irritating poison, whose absorption into the system produced more permanent effects upon the body; the elimination of the poison had not been so perfect and rapid as in Huff's case. The strength and tone of the constitution in these individuals was, in all probability, not so powerful, hence the elimination of the poison was not so ready, producing a more permanent influence, in all probability causing a degraded condition of the constitution, a blood-poisoning, that caused subsequent disease. Again, in all these cases the effect of the poison may, in some degree, have been modified by the condition of the insects’ poison-bags, the locality and character of the bite, under any circumstances, however, it is plain that the deleterious effects of the bite of the Katipo, and its poisonous character, has long been recognised and feared by the natives; and in Huff's case was plainly demonstrated. In Toke's case we can but admire the skill and decision of the missionary, who, all alone in a wild and savage land, could have treated the case so actively and with such good effect,—he, in all probability, preventing the absorption of the poison into the system, by the means he employed.

From all the information that I can collect, the Katipo is a small spider of about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch in diameter, measuring across the body and legs, according to the authority of Major Heaphy, who having been Surveyor-General of the Colony, has had abundant opportunity to know the insect, and is familiar with its resorts.

The Katipo are said to be of two kinds,—one having a dark-glossy body, with a marked red spot on the back; the other, of about the same size, having a similar round black and shining body, but without the spot.

Mr. Taylor, in his book, “A Leaf of the Natural History of New Zealand,” writes thus: “The Katipo—venomous Spider—one kind red, and one black with a red spot upon its back. Their bite appears to be very poisonous, occasioning a violent swelling of the part.” Major Heaphy is inclined to believe that Mr. Taylor is mistaken in describing a red Katipo; but agrees with him that the one with the black body and red-vermilion spot upon its back, is the most poisonous.

A difference in the habitat of the Katipo would seem to point to a variety, the one inhabiting the sandy beaches of the sea-shore, taking refuge among the drift wood and roots of sedge or rushes found there, while the other one, with the black body without the red spot, may be discovered in the garden, or among the rafters of any old building.

Major Heaphy says, “I saw one, with the red-vermilion spot upon its back, at Massacre Bay, near Nelson, in the Middle Island; a native there obtaining it for me, after a few minutes’ search, for a small reward. It was found among the roots of the Wiwi, or rush, around some dry drift wood, on the sandy beach. The natives were very careful not to allow it to touch them, they said it would kill them; but on close enquiry they admitted they never knew of a case of the bite ending fatally, although the bite from them was not uncommon. Great suffering, however, they said ensued, the part swelling considerably.”

On the original plan of the North Shore, near Auckland, the sea beach nearest the north side of the lake, was indicated, in a marginal note, as very celebrated for the number of Katipo existing there.

The other variety, with the black body without the red spot, is of about the same size as the other, of a dark glossy brown or black colour. This, as

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well as the preceding, is a very beautifully shaped insect, the abdomen is, as generally seen from above, perfectly spherical, like a “number one” shot, very glossy. The legs are compact, not straggling. It is found amongst dead wood in a garden, and, with a slight web, amongst the rafters of an out-building or loft. The natives have no distinguishing name for either variety, they are both called Katipo, to distinguish them from the Punga-were-were, or common Spider.

I have never heard of a case of bite from one of this kind, but the natives say that they are equally venomous with the spotted variety. I am convinced that the one with the red spot, indicates a different variety, and is not the result of age or sex, as among hundreds of the black kind I never saw a spotted one.

There is no doubt but that several of the Arachnidæ are of a poisonous character, that their mandibles are furnished with a curved claw, perforated at the extremity something like the poison-fang of a venomous snake, and used for a similar purpose. A gland furnishes a secretion which is forced through these organs, and is injected into any object that may be wounded by the sharp claw. The fluid which is secreted for the service of the fangs is nearly colourless, and is found to possess most of the properties that exist in the venom of the rattle-snake, or viper.

It is certain that the bite of a moderate-sized Spider will kill a house-fly in a few seconds. Without believing all the stories that have been told of the Tarantula, it is certain that its bite is poisonous,—that it is of a character similar to that of the Katipo. Dr. Graperon states, that he saw two cases in which the bite of the Tarantula proved fatal in the Crimea,—one in forty-eight hours, the other in six days. The wound, which was inflicted on the patient's neck, was very painful, and had left a brownish-violet mark; the head, neck, and shoulders were swollen; from the clavicle to the false ribs was of a bluish colour, and respiration became difficult forty-four hours after the injury. Scarifications, the actual cautery, oil externally and internally, and ammonia, were all employed in vain. A comparison of the symptoms in this case with those exhibited by Huff, will surely bear me out in the conclusion, that the poisons are similar, at least in their effect.

Art. XII.—On four Fishes commonly found in the River Avon; with a consideration of the question: “What is Whitebait?”

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, December 2, 1869.]

I Venture to hope that an attempt to settle the vexed question, “What is Whitebait?” will not be unprofitable. The fish, in question, is one of the most important of our fresh-water fishes, and forms a very agreeable variation in our somewhat-restricted colonial diet. A similar question has been raised, from time to time, regarding the English Whitebait, which has been looked upon as the young of the Sprat, the Shad, and the Herring. Naturalists are now, however, tolerably well agreed that it is an adult fish of a distinct species; and it appears amongst the Clupeidæ under the name of Clupea alba. The New Zealand Whitebait has no affinity with the English fish, whose name it bears, not belonging to the same family, even; and the question at issue is this, “Is the Whitebait an adult fish, or the young of some other species? if the latter, what is its adult form?” Attempts have been made to solve the doubt, by keeping Whitebait in confinement, so that they might develope under observation, but these experiments have always been performed without

Picture icon

To illustrate Paper by Ll. Powell on Whitebait

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sufficient care being taken to exclude sources of error. Mr. Johnson, the curator of the Acclimatization Society, has introduced Whitebait into the fishponds in the gardens, and is convinced that they grow and develope into what he designates Smelts. He, yesterday, showed me, in the ponds, a shoal of these fish; they were certainly much larger than average Whitebait, and had somewhat lost their vermiform shape, we could not, however, succeed in catching any of them,—I am glad to say, however, that he captured some this morning; I shall have something to say about them in the sequel. Mr. Bealey also tells me that he put a number of Whitebait into a reservoir supplied only with artesian water, and that they developed into Smelts, and such seems to be the general opinion. Unfortunately, two very distinct fish are confounded together under the name of Smelts, and the observers are not sufficiently positive as to which particular fish the Whitebait became. If, on comparison, the Whitebait should not correspond, in general characters, with any larger fish common in the Avon, we shall be quite justified in rejecting these observations as careless, and inaccurate; if, however, the Whitebait agree closely in generic and specific characters with some larger and common fish, the experiments rise in importance.

This has led me to institute a comparison between the Whitebait and such other fishes as are found commonly in the Avon, with a view to deciding this question, and I now proceed to lay the result of these observations before the Society. I do so, however, with considerable diffidence, partly because I have not hitherto devoted my attention to fishes, and partly because I am almost entirely destitute of works of reference in this particular line, and our libraries are in the same condition; I shall, therefore, endeavour to confine myself to plain and prominent characters, and crave indulgence to any possible errors.

The Whitebait averages two, to two and a half, inches in length; it is anguilliforous in form; and, in its transparency, and the size and prominence of its eyes, has the appearance of an immature fish. It is scaleless, has a transparent greenish tinge, possesses six fins, excluding the caudal fin, which is rather large and forked.

A row of distinct black spots runs along the lateral line. The swimbladder is large and distinct, its situation being bordered by a band of black spots. The teeth are microscopic. The fin rays are all soft, and the abdominal position of the ventral fins refers them to the Malacopterygii abdominales; whilst the single dorsal fin, the absence of scales, and of a spine in the dorsal fin, indicate that it is a Galaxia.

Its specific characters are as follow:—

One dorsal fin; first ribs of dorsal and anal fin in a line, one-third of the length of the body from the origin of the caudal fin; ventral fin abdominal, one-third the length of the body behind the pectorals; teeth, imperceptible; fin rays: (P.) 11 or 12, (V.) 7, (D.) 10, (A.) 16, (C.) 16.

There are only three fish in the River Avon, sufficiently common to justify the supposition that either of them may be the adult form of the Whitebait; these are the Bull-head, the Silver-fish, and the Smelt. The name of Smelt is applied indiscriminately to the two latter fish, we will, however, retain the trivial name of Silver-fish as a distinction. We may first dismiss the Bull-head, there is no possibility of confounding the Whitebait with this fish; it is thoroughly well-known, both in its adult and young form.

It is an Acanthopterygious fish, with two dorsal fins, the first having simple, though flexible rays, it belongs to the sub-class Acanthopterygii, family Gobioïdæ, genus Eleotrinæ, and is probably the Eleotris basalis, described by Dieffenbach; though Dieffenbach's description is too meagre to decide positively. Its characters are as follows:—Head, large, one third the length of the body, which is tapering in form; colour, dark-brown, mottled of a

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darker tint, with five blackish bands, transversely covered with a slimy secretion; scales, large and pectinated; gill openings, very wide; gape, small; teeth, microscopic, and densely set; branchiostegal rays, five. No swimbladder; dorsal fins, two in number, large, the first having simple flexible rays; ventrals, distinct, sub-pectoral; anal fin opposite to second dorsal; the fins all banded with black. Fin rays (1st D.) 7, (2nd D.) 10, (P.) 13, (V.) 5, imperfectly developed, (A.) 10, (C.) 15 or 16.

The Silver-fish again belongs to the Malacopterygii abdominales, or fishes having soft fin rays, with the ventral fins placed beneath the abdomen. In its bright silvery colour, it possesses a superficial likeness to the Whitebait, it has, however, no affinity with it.

Everyone will recognize the likeness to the true English Smelt, Osmerus Eperlanus, both in appearance, and in its remarkable smell, when freshly removed from the water, likened, by some to cucumbers, by others to violets; but although it belongs to the same family, the Salmonidæ, it is not a Smelt, as the position of the first dorsal fin indicates, which in the Smelt is situated over the ventrals. The second dorsal adipose, the well-marked cycloid scales, refer the Silver-fish to the Salmonidæ, but to what genus of this numerous and difficult family it belongs, I am quite unable to decide; it has the following characters:

Two dorsal fins, the second adipose and destitute of rays, colour, grey with a silvery band down the sides; belly, white; teeth, small and numerous; branchiostegal rays seven; anal fin slightly in advance of second dorsal.

Fin rays, (P.) 10, (V.) 6, (1st D.) 11, (A.) 17–18, (C.) 18.

We now come to the last fish on our list, called, by boys, the Smelt; but why a Smelt, I know not. And now, even on a superficial examination, we perceive an affinity to the Whitebait, in the absence of scales like the Whitebait; the Smelt is a Galaxia, soft fin rays abdominal, ventrals, a single dorsal, no scales, and the dorsal destitute of a spine. It has a yellowish-brown colour, dotted with black spots, which are especially numerous in the neighbourhood of the lateral line; 1st rib of the anal fin opposite to the third dorsal, and very near the caudal fin; ventrals, half way between gill covers and origin of caudal fin.

Fin rays, (P.) 9 or 10, (V.) 7, (D.) 9, (A.) 15 or 16, (C.) 16.

We will now institute a comparison between the Whitebait and the Smelt.

The fishes from which these notes were taken, were obtained on different occasions, and the characters noted down separately. I have arranged the specific characters in parallel columns, and will give them, seriatim:

whitebait. smelt.
Scaleless Scaleless
One dorsal fin. One dorsal fin.
Ventrals, one-third length of body behind pectorals. Ventrals, midway between gill covers and origin of caudal fin.
First ribs of dorsal and anal fins on a line, one-third length of body from origin of caudal fin. First anal rib about opposite to third dorsal and near caudal fin.
Fin rays. Fin rays.
P.11 p. 9 or 10
V. 7 V.7
D.10 D.9
A.16 A. 15 or 16
C.16 C.16

There is a slight discrepancy in the proportions, but in no respect more than would be expected between a young and an adult fish: the number of

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fin rays corresponds almost exactly, and the difficulty of counting the rays in the Whitebait is considerable, as they are more and more rudimentary at the commencement and terminations of the fin. I wish to direct your attention to this drawing of a Whitebait, which has been in the Acclimatization Society's ponds a short time. I think anyone would say it was a young Smelt, it has lost its Eel-like appearance, and is assuming the colour and markings of the adult Smelt.

In concluding this contribution to the natural history of the fresh-water fishes of the River Avon, I may say that I am quite satisfied that the Whitebait is the young of the Galaxia, commonly known as the Smelt, but if any of the members doubt it, let me urge on them the propriety of setting the question at rest in one of two ways; either by developing Smelts from their ova, and observing whether they pass through the Whitebait stage; or, secondly, by preserving the Whitebait themselves and watching their development, care being taken to exclude all sources of error, such as the access of the ova of other fish. Such an experiment is easily tried, and would be decisive.

Art. XIII.—On the New Zealand Frog (Leiopelma Hochstetteri), with an account of a remarkable feature in the history of some species of Australian Frogs.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, November 15, 1869.]

While engaged in making an examination of the Thames Gold-field, I was rather suprised to find that frogs existed in situations that no imported animals can possibly have reached. I have always been led to believe that no animals of the frog kind existed in New Zealand, and a long experience in the inhabited and uninhabited portions of the islands, had almost confirmed that belief. That the frogs, referred to by me, are indigenous to New Zealand, I have no doubt, as they are quite different from any species I have hitherto seen or read of. I have much pleasure in forwarding one herewith, which I took from one of the range-creeks in the neighbourhood of Puriri. The portion of the creek from which it was taken is about 500 feet above the level of the Thames river, and below that point the creek is a succession of water-falls, and very steep. In forwarding this specimen, I should like to bring under the notice of the Institute a feature in the natural history of the frog, at present (I believe) unknown to the scientific world, but which must be of the deepest interest, not only to the student of natural history, but also to the student of geology.

There are districts, often exceeding 5000 square miles in extent, in the interior of the Australian continent, in which there is no surface-water for many months, and, in some instances, for years; yet as soon as rain falls in sufficient quantities to fill the water-holes, they are swarming with young frogs. Before the rain fell, one might dig for ten or twelve feet without finding the slightest moisture, much less water; the whole of the ground is baked hard and perfectly dry, and no sign of animal life apparently exists in it, or on it.

Even vegetable life has almost ceased to exist, and the only remnant left is a withered and half-dead Salt-bush, here and there. Yet rain on such country had the effect of changing, as if by magic, the whole aspect of affairs, —comparatively speaking, a desert, was, in a day, transformed into an Eden. Plants sprung up everywhere, ducks and water-hens appeared in vast numbers, and swarms of tadpoles peopled the water-holes. I could easily account for the vegetable life, and for the wild-fowl; but the tadpoles puzzled me, till a native boy, not more than ten years old, opened my eyes, and satisfactorily solved a

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problem in geology, which had never been, to my mind, satisfactorily solved by the greatest geologists who have written on the subject. Mr. A. W. Howitt, and I, with a black boy of the age above-mentioned, had made a two days’ journey on horseback, from the last known water, without finding any more, and had we gone on further our horses would probably have been unable to return. We were much in want of water, and had camped for the night in the midst of a great many dried-up water-holes, with a few Salt-bushes growing on their margins, intending to turn next morning.

I noticed the boy examining the dry surface of the water-holes, and went to see what he was doing. He pointed out an indistinct and crooked mark, on what had once been the mud, and following it to where it apparently ceased, in the shade of a small Salt-bush, he began to dig with a sharp stick, and in a short time turned out a ball of clay about eight inches in diameter, and quite dry outside, which, when broken, disclosed a frog shut up in a beautifully puddled cell, with more than half-a-pint of fine, clear, cold water. We afterwards dug out many others, drinking the water, and eating the frogs. A sudden or gradual deposition of matter over such ground, would have shut up those frogs for ever, and if they live through months and even years, in such a situation, within range of the effects of a scorching sun, we can understand how they have lived for ages in the cool and moist recesses of the rocks in which they are sometimes found. The theory of living frogs getting accidentally buried in accumulating mud or sand, if examined, will not stand good, for the compression to which such rocks are sometimes afterwards subjected, would certainly kill them; while the cells, in which I have seen them, would stand compression to half their original bulk, without materially affecting the animal.


Art. XIV.—On some new species of New Zealand Plants.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, November 13, 1869.]

Ozothamnus lanceolatus, Buchanan. n. sp.

A small shrub, 2–4 feet high; branches slender, tomentose at the tips, grooved. Leaves, 1 ½ inches long, narrow, alternate, lanceolate, slightly waved on the margins, entire or obscurely crenate, white and cottony beneath, finely reticulated on the upper surface, spathulate or contracted into a winged petiole ¼ inch long. Heads in small, lateral, peduncled corymbs, involucral scales, scarious, woolly at the base, pappus hairs thickened at the tip. Achene glabrous.

Allied to Ozothamnus glomeratus, but easily distinguished by the lanceolate leaves and glabrous achene. Habitat, mountains of Hokianga 2000–3000 feet alt. Collected by Mr. J. Buchanan.

Geum uniflorum, Buchanan. n. sp.

A small herb, 6–8 inches high; rhizome, prostrate, stout, woody. Leaves 1 ½–2 inches long, pinnate; leaflets, one pair, very small, crenate; terminal leaflet, reniform, 1 inch broad, obtusely crenate, nearly glabrous on both surfaces, but with a marginal row of pencils of stiff orange hairs on the edges of the crenatures. Flower, large, 1–1 ¼ inches dia., white, terminal on a

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slender villous stem. Calyx lobes, oblong, obtuse, villous. Styles, subulate, tips hooked, villous at bottom, with long hairs.

Allied to Geum parviflorum, and distinguished by the large single flower, orange pencils of hairs on the crenatures, and minute single pair of leaflets. Habitat, mountains of Nelson, 3000–4000 feet alt. Collected by Mr. H. H. Travers.

Senecio laxifolia, Buchanan. n. sp.

A woody shrub. Branches, petioles, leaves below, and inflorescence, covered with buffish-white tomentum. Leaves with slender petioles, ½–1 ½ inches long, blade, 1–2 ½ inches long, narrow, oblong, tapering, acute at both ends, flat, crenate or obscurely crenate, finely reticulated above, and with flocculent tomentum on the midrib, slightly coriaceous. Corymbs, very open, on long slender peduncles, 3–7 inches long, with a few narrow, linear leaves, ¼–¾ inch long. Heads, broad cylindric, ½–¾ inch dia., rays, ⅓ inch long, revolute, pappus hair, white, scabrid; achene, grooved, glabrous.

Allied to Senecio Monroi, but easily distinguished from it by its habit, larger flat acute leaves, which are never wrinkled on the margins, long peduncled corymbs, larger flowers, and absence of glandular pubescence on the involucre and pedicles. Habitat, mountains of Nelson, 3000–5000 feet alt. Collected by Mr. H. H. Travers.

Art. XV.—On the Botany of the Thames Gold-fields.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, November 13, 1869.]

The country between the Waikawa and Kawæranga creeks consists, for the most part, of steep hills and narrow gullies, and presents but few variations in those features which influence the character of its vegetation. From the Kawæranga northward to Kurunui, a gradually-narrowing strip of alluvial land, much of which is now occupied by Shortland and Grahamstown, still exhibits dense thickets of Olearia Solandri, Hook. f., Plagianthus divaricatus, Forst., Muhlenbeckia adpressa, Lab., M. compressa, Mein., Coprosma sps., Dodonoea viscosa, Forst., with a close undergrowth of sedges and other uliginal plants, the most conspicuous of which is Cladium junceum, Br., often found covering large spaces, to the exclusion of other plants. The mud-flats and margins of the creeks are occupied by the Mangrove, Avicennia officinalis, L., which is here abundant and attains a large size, Chenopodium ambiguum, Br., Leptocarpus simplex, A. Rich, Selliera radicans, Cav., Samolus repens, Pers., Scirpus maritimus, L., and rarely S. triqueter. L.

At various points along the coast, small patches of sand admit of a sparse growth of arenarian plants, the most common being Convolvulus Soldanella, L., and Carex pumila, Thumb.; the Pingao (Desmochoenus spiralis, Hook.), a plant which, in the north, at least, is common on shifting sand, usually within the influence of the sea-spray, is here found only in small quantity and apparently confined to a single locality. Occasionally, as in the neighbourhood of the Tararu, the Waionau, and other creeks, alluvial flats of sufficient extent to have been used as cultivations by the Maoris, are now more or less clothed with a dense growth of Tauhinu (Pomaderris phylicifolia, Lodd.), Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium, Forst.), Koromiko (Veronica salicifolia, Forst.), and fern (Pteris esculenta, Forst.), with an abundance of naturalized plants, waifs of cultivation, grasses, and other stragglers, which are again mixed with a few coarse-growing native plants of herbaceous habit.

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In the neighbourhood of Shortland and Grahamstown, the hills are usually much broken and precipitous, and attain their greatest height, 2300 feet, near the head of the Kawæranga creek: the beds of the different creeks are frequently mere ravines, the sides of which are thickly clothed with mosses, various species of Gottschea and Plagiochila: P. Stephensoniana, Mitten, attaining unusual luxuriance; in less moist places a rare moss, Mielichoferia tenuiseta, Mitten, covers the surface and forms a suitable medium for the growth of various species of Corysanthes, especially C. rivularis, Hook. f., and rocks and trees alike are clothed with a rich covering of various ferns, more especially Hymenophyllum, dilatatum, Swartz., H. scabrum, A. Rich., H. oeruginosum, Carm., and Trichomanes reniforme, Menz. The slopes of the hills are usually covered with a dense forest of timber trees, and undergrowth, the forms being chiefly the Hinau (Elœocarpus dentatus, Hook.), Toro (Persoonia Toro, A. Cunn.), Tawa (Nesodaphne Tawa, Hook. f.), Beech, or Black Birch (Fagus fusca, Hook. f.), Kauri (Dammara australis, Lamb.), Miro (Podocarpus ferruginea, Don.), Totara (Podocarpus Totara, A. Cunn.), Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum, Soland.), etc., with Alseuosmia macrophylla, A. Cunn., Schefflera digitata, Forst., Coprosma grandifolia, Hook. f., Senecio glastifolius, Hook. f., and immense tussocks of an undescribed Astelia, and cutting grasses (Gahnia lacera, Stend., G. arenaria, Hook. f.): the Supplejack (Rhipogonum scandens, Forst.), and Mange-mange (Lygodium articulatum, Swartz.), are so mixed with the undergrowth as to render all progress tedious and laborious in the extreme.

A remarkable feature, in some parts of the district, is the social character of the arborescent ferms, more especially of the Mamaku (Cyathea medullaris, Swartz.), and the Weki (Dicksonia squarrosa, Swartz.), which occasionally form groves of small extent; the Ponga Flat, a comparatively level piece of land at an altitude of about 1650 feet, owes its name to the large grove of Black Tree-ferns with which it was formerly covered. A few specimens have been spared and are carefully protected by the miners.

North of the Tararu creek, the hills next the sea are of lower elevation, and more rounded in outline, their slopes being chiefly covered with a varying growth of Pteris esculenta, Forst., Leptospermum scopariun, Forst., Pomaderris phylicifolia, Lodd., Dracophyllum squarrosum, Hook., f., Coriaria ruscifolia, L., Epacris pauciflora, A. Rich., and a few straggling grasses, varied by occasional patches of forest. The tributary streams are choked with a close growth of Typha, Schoenus, Cladium, Carex, and other marsh-loving plants. But a few miles inland these ericetal and uliginal plants disappear, the streams become narrowed and impetuous, the hills steeper and higher, clothed everywhere with a dense bush, often nearly impassable from the abundance of Mange-mange, which binds trees and undergrowth together in an almost impenetrable mass. The highest peaks of Mount Wynyard, 2690 feet, are approached by connecting wall-like ridges, often not sufficiently wide to admit of two persons walking abreast, and covered with tussocks of Astelia, Gahnia, and various shrubs.*

About the height of 1800 feet a change is usually observable in the character of the vegetation; in broken rocky places there is a profusion of mosses and lichens, chiefly belonging to genera Racomitrium, Dicranum, and Cladonia, with a varying shrubby growth of Weinmannia, Leptospermum, Pittosporum, Coprosma, Phebalium, Quintinia, and many ferns. On more even ground Weinmannia silvicola, Banks and Sol., and Metrosideros lucida, attain

[Footnote] * One of these ridges is completely blocked by an immense Rata, Metrosideros robusta, A. Cunn., the trunk of which overhangs both edges of the mural precipice, and can only be passed by the aid of the friendly climbers, and the tussocks of Astelia which partially cover its base.

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a large size, associated with Ixerba brexioides, A. Cunn., and Phyllocladus glauca, both of which attain their maximum of growth at about 2000 feet, although found in abundance at a greater elevation; in fact they occur on the highest peaks, together with Dracophyllum Traversii, Hook. f., Archeria racemosa, Hook. f., Griselinia littoralis, Raoul., Dacrydium Colensoi, Hook. f., Panax Colensoi, Hook. f., and many others of greater vertical range. Although from the steep character and ridge-like form of these ranges, water cannot, in some places, be obtained at an altitude of more than 1200 feet, yet the abundance and luxuriance of the mosses and hepaticæ, which clothe the summits, attest an atmosphere continually charged with moisture.

The trees and shrubs that have been utilized either as timber for house or ship-building, or for fencing, are the Kauri, Rimu, Totara, Miro, Beech or Black-birch, Manuka, Rawiri, Puriri, Pohutukawa, Rata (Metrosideros robusta, A. Cunn.), Tawa, and more rarely, the Tanekaha, Tawari (Ixerba brexioides, A. Cunn.), and Toro. The utilization of the Beech, affords a marked extension of the economical range of the genus to which it belongs, as, although largely used in the South, its timber is usually neglected in this part of the colony, although its bark is occasionally sent to the tan yards. It is now being largely used in the construction of the Moanataiari tramway, which will afford a good opportunity of testing its durability.

While on this subject, I may remark, the waste of timber on some parts of the field has been excessive, and will be severely felt by the miners at no distant period. The Kauri has been preserved to a great extent, as the sum of twenty-five shillings is required for each tree cut down. the Pohutukawa, which from its value to the ship-builder, has contributed largely to the progress of this part of the colony, is without the benefit of protection, and has been in some cases recklessly cut down for firewood, a proceeding which is said to have been commented upon by the Maoris. Although confessedly difficult, it would seem not impracticable to prevent this wanton destruction of valuable timber, by legislative enactment; it is certainly desirable, in the interest of the miners themselves, no less than in that of the colony at large.

Naturalized plants are to be found in great abundance in all situations, except on the highest ranges. The most common forms are identical with those found to the north of the Waitemata, and occur in nearly the same proportion, as will be seen from the following list, which is arranged in the order of their relative abundance over the entire district:—

Erigeron canadensis, L.
Hypocharis radicata, L.
Anagallis arvensis, L.
Medicago denticulata, Willd.
Lolium perenne, L.
Euphorbia Peplus, L.
Rumex obtusifolius, L.
Plantago major, L.
Helminthia echioides, Gært.
Briza minor, L.

The most notable exception in the above list is the Milk-weed (Euphorbia Peplus, L.), which in many northern districts, would rank second or third on the list, instead of sixth; the position of one or two species in the list, might possibly be altered by an examination of the district in December, instead of April. The former extent of native cultivations is attested by the common occurrence of the Tara (Colocasia esculenta, Scholl.), and several of the cultivated fruits of Europe, the peach, cherry, fig, vine, raspberry, strawberry, all of which are propagating themselves without the assistance of man, and are

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probably deteriorating in quality even more rapidly than they are increasing in number. A close analysis of the indigenous species found in the district, shows that fully four-fifths of the entire number are common to both the North and South Islands; the remaining fifth being peculiar to the North.

New or Critical Species; Variations, Etc.

Drimys colorata, Raoul. A small shrub with membranous leaves, green on both surfaces, is doubtfully referred to this form, in the absence of flowers. The ordinary forms of D. axillaris vary widely in the texture of the leaf, the hairiness of the midrib, and the length of the peduncle.

Viola filicaulis, Hook. f. Identified in the absence of flowers. Extremely local, and probably attains here its northern limit.

Pittosporum Huttonianum, n. sp. A somewhat-irregularly branched shrub or small tree, 12–25 feet high, with black or dark-brown bark, young branches slender, and with the leaves and petioles clothed with white floccose tomentum; leaves alternate, oblong or ovate, obtuse or acute, rarely acuminate, 3–5 inches long, slightly coriaceous when old; petioles slender, ½–¾ inches long; flowers axillary, solitary, or rarely in twos on a common pedicel, peduncles downy, ½–¾ inch long; sepals lanceolate, acute, somewhat bullate at the base, downy; petals ligulate, sharply recurved at about half their length; the corolla never presenting the rotate appearance seen in P. tenuifolium; ovary pubescent, peduncles twice or thrice the length of the sepals; bracts at the base of the peduncle, deciduous, capsules erect, 2–3-valved, downy, larger than in P. tenuifolium. In the flowering season the tomentum at the back of the leaves presents a cobwebby appearance, and falls off in large quantities.

I have named this handsome shrub after my valued friend Captain Hutton, F. G. S., who was my associate at its original discovery, on the Great Barrier Island.

Pittosporum Kirkii, Hook. f., n. sp. A handsome laxly-branched shrub when growing freely, 3–15 feet high, branchlets stout, rigid, ascending; bark reddish-purple, leaves alternate, crowded or whorled, linear-obovate, acute or obtuse, 2–5 inches long, gradually narrowed into rather broad purple petioles, excessively coriaceous, glabrous, pale-green above, lighter below, midrib stout, prominent and curiously flattened beneath; flowers terminal in 3–7 flowered umbels, peduncles rather stout, decurved; sepals braodly lanceolate with membranous margins; petals ligulate, bright yellow, recurved; capsules erect, clustered, glabrous, elliptic, 1–1 ½ inches long, obtuse, 2-valved, remarkably compressed, but the valves contract in a curious manner when the capsule bursts.

Usually in rocky woods, often epiphytic, observed only between 1600 feet and 2700 feet. Originally discovered on the Great Barrier. One of the most strongly marked species of the genus.

Elœocarpus Hookerianus, Raoul. A few small specimens of this plant were seen on high peaks, with all the leaves orbicular or narrow-linear, and curiously toothed and lobed; the branches shortened and curiously aggregated, forming an impervious mass of close growth. This was not simply the result of exposure, as notwithstanding the altitude at which they grew, they were sheltered by larger trees. In the Waikato, trees with leaves similar to the above, are to be seen, amongst those of the ordinary mature form, on every large tree; in other localities in this province, the smaller leaves are not to be met with. There appears to be some reason for supposing that two forms are included under the name.

Pomaderris Edgerleyi, Hook. f. Apparently confined to the sea-cliffs in this district; in one locality occurring in immense abundance, and attaining a stature of 6–9 feet; the most southern locality known for this remarkably

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local plant. There are good grounds for supposing the existence of an undescribed species, attaining the height of 20 feet.

Metrosideros robusta, A. Cunn. A dwarf form, 3–5 feet high, usually laden with old capsules, occurs at an altitude of 1800 feet, and upwards, and in the absence of flowers and perfect fruit is referred to this species.

Metrosideros tomentosa, A. Cunn. There appear to be three principal forms of this tree, chiefly dependent upon habitat. (1). On rocky cliffs, and in open places by the sea, it attains a large size, and is marked by its spreading, gnarled, and distorted branches. (2). In woods near the sea it attains its greatest height, and is of comparatively close and erect growth; known to bushmen as “inland Pohutukawa.” the flowers of this form are smaller and less brilliant than the others. (3). A coppice form, rarely more than 12 feet high, sparingly branched, and of erect, compact growth, flowering freely, the petals being usually more acute than in either of the other forms. In large patches on sandy soil not far removed from high-water mark; makes capital firewood. A specimen of the first-named form occurs on the beach at Tapu, the trunk of which has a girth of upwards of 17 feet, and the two principal arms of 11 feet and 8 feet respectively. It is of remarkably symmetrical proportions. Chiefly through the public spirit of William Buckland, Esq., it has escaped the destruction which has befallen other noble specimens at Tapu, and has been enclosed by a protecting fence.

Panax, n. sp. A shrub or small tree 6–20 feet high, diœcious, bark and leaves, especially on the under surface, having a peculiar bronzed appearance, when fresh. Leaves on rather slender petioles 1–2 inches long, 3-foliolate, leaflets 2–3 inches long, obovate lanceolate, cuneate at the base, coarsely and sharply toothed, never sinuate-pinnatifid, glossy; rarely a few unifoliolate leaves are found intermixed with the ordinary form. Panicles invariably terminal, male of few rays 2–3 inches long, flowers in slender pedicels ¼–⅜ inch long; female much shorter, rays and pedicels stouter, fruit nearly as large as in P. Lessonii, styles 5-cuneate at the base, tips recurved, flowers greenish-yellow.

Somewhat resembling P. Simplex, but the leaves are trifoliolate in all stages, the panicles diœcious and terminal, and styles 5. Found also on the Great and Little Barrier Islands, from the sea-level to the highest peaks; and I have long known a solitary clump of small barren trees in the forest at Omaha, which I wrongly referred to P. Sinclairii, when first observed.

Panax arboreum, Forst. This plant assumes two marked forms, which present wide external differences, although difficult to distinguish on paper. (1). A shrub or small tree, in the former state with stout, rather long, branches, and large leaves, the branches ultimately becoming shorter, and the leaves shorter, as the tree grows old, when it presents an unattractive appearance. (2). A shrub with many short and stout branches, leaves more glossy and of a deeper green, much larger and bolder than in the last; petioles stouter with wider bases, umbels much larger, and rays more deeply channelled. The first is the common form at the Thames, and is often clothed with Tupeia antarctica; the last, which would form a handsome plant for the shrubbery, I have only seen at the Thames, and in the Waikato. Both forms may be seen growing together.

Panax Colensoi, D. C., appears to find here its northern limit, and is extremely local, occurring at an altitude of 1600 to 2800 feet. All the young plants observed had pinnatifid leaflets, closely resembling those represented in “Flora Novæ Zelandiæ,” Vol. 1., pl. 21, but of a purplish hue, certainly not P. Edgerleyi. P. Sinclairii was not observed.

Schefflera digitata, Forst. The young leaves of this plant, in some of the higher and deeper gullies more especially, are lobulate and pinnatifid to a

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much greater extent than is usually the case, often retaining the peculiarity when 3–4 feet high. In some localities, young plants with leaves of the ordinary form are the exception.

Loranthus, n. sp. (?) Widely differing in appearance from any other N. Z. species; branches slender, ascending; leaves erect, decussate, somewhat deltoid, fleshy, yellowish, turning red when dry; flowers not seen, but apparently axillary and solitary; parasitic an Quintinia serrata, at an altitude of 1800 to 2700 feet. Occasionally branches of the parasite are adherent to its support for a length of several feet.

Griselinia lucida, Forst., var. macrophylla. This is correctly supposed by Dr. Hooker to be merely a state of the species to which it is referred. It is usually found growing on Pohutukawa, and other littoral trees. The normal form is indifferently epiphytic or terrestrial.

Griselinia littoralis, Raoul. Not observed below 1700 feet.

Coprosma, sp. A small shrub 2 feet high, with crimson fruit, apparently allied to C. linariifolia, Hook. f., 1800 to 2500 feet.

Raoulia tenuicaulis, Hook. f. Local, but abundant; apparently attains here its northern limit, and that of the genus.

Gaultheria rupestris, Br. Local; from 1700 to 2700 feet; apparently reaches its northern limit here.

Archeria racemosa, Hook. f. Local, but abundant from 1900 to 2800 feet, previously known only on the Great Barrier Island, where it descends below 1000 feet; finds here an extension of its southern range. Leaves distinctly veined, old racemes fully one inch in length.

Dracophyllum Traversii, Hook. f. (?). A remarkable and handsome shrub, of doubtful identification in the absence of flowers; stem erect, stout, simple or sparingly branched; leaves densely aggregated, recurved, 1 ½ feet long, or more, 1 ½–2 inches wide at the base; panicle shorter and stouter than in D. longifolium, flowers small, crowded. A striking plant although long past flowering. On the highest peaks 2300 to 2700 feet, rare.

Veronica macrocarpa, Vahl. From the sea level to 1800 feet, at the latter altitude having a stature of some 15 feet, or more, with a stem 6 inches in diameter. Mere varieties of V. salicifolia, with larger leaves and capsules than usual, are sometimes referred to this handsome species. It is worthy of remark that V. macrocarpa flowers from April to July, V. salicifolia some months earlier.

Veronica irrigans, Kirk, n. sp. Herbaceous, but branches suffruticose at base, finely puberulous in all its parts, 6–12 inches high, slender; leaves opposite, narrow, linear-lanceolate, distantly sharply serrate, 1–2 inches long, sessile or very shortly petioled; racemes axillary, near the ends of the branches, elongating, 2–5 inches long, very slender, many flowered; peduncles capillary, ¼.½ inch long; sepals ovate, obtuse; flowers, large for the size of the plant, ⅜ inch diameter; petals, whitish with rose-coloured spots at the base; capsules, large, rounded, didymous.

Fagus fusca, Hook. f. The identification of the fine timber tree here referred to this species, rests solely upon a comparison of the foliage. It is certainly identical with the Beech found at the Kawau and at Omaha, and probably with that at Whangarei; but I am not aware that specimens of the inflorescence and fruit have been obtained for comparison with the southern form. At the Thames it is found in rather sheltered places, and has not been found at a greater altitude than 1500 feet. The dense under-growth usually found in the New Zealand forest is entirely wanting in the patches of Beech in the north, and the tree itself is rarely clothed with climbers.

? Dactylanthus, sp. A singular plant, provisionally referred to this genus until better specimens can be obtained. Plant, globose, in large specimens,

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the size of a man's fist, usually smaller, densely studded with scaly bud-like processes, swollen at the apex, and in a few cases developed to the length of 2 inches. On being laid open, one or two specimens exhibited numerous almost sessile anthers (?), which crumbled under the knife. Most of the specimens collected were in the last stage of decay. Parasitic on the roots of Schefflera digitata, 1000 to 1600 feet; rare.

Dacrydium laxifolium, Hook. f., var. An erect branching tree, 30 feet high, of which the inflorescence appears to be quite unknown. Notwithstanding the wide difference in habit, it is referred here chiefly on account of the wide basal attachment of the mature leaves. The leaves of the young state, at first, closely resemble those of Podocarpus dacrydioides, subsequently these are replaced by others resembling those of the young state of Dacrydium cupressinum, but stouter; these again become gradually smaller, and modified in shape, until the broadly-imbricating appressed state of the mature leaves is finally developed. Alt. 1500 to 2700 feet.

Phyllocladus glauca, Carr. This fine pine attains here an extension of its southern range, and is abundant from 1800 to 2700 feet.

Callixene parviflora, Hook. f. Attains here most probably its northern limit, at an altitude of 2400 to 2700 feet; rare, epiphytic, flowers not seen.

Schoenus Brownii, Hook. f. Local, 700 to 1200 feet, the most northern locality known.

Scirpus triquetur, L. Local, the most northern locality known to me.

Uncinia, sp? Apparently intermediate between U. australis, Pers., and U. coespitosa, Bool., of which last it is possibly a broad-leaved form, allied to the former by the foliaceous bracts.

Hymenophyllum dilatatum, Swartz, and H. scabrum, A. Rich. These ferns are most abundant, and attain an unusual luxuriance; fronds over 30 inches in length, were collected at an altitude of 2000 feet.

Trichomanes reniforme, Forst. Also of unusual luxuriance. Ascends from the sea-level to 2700 feet.

Trichomanes strictum, Menzies. From 800 to 2700 feet, but local, although it doubtless occurs in isolated habitats, along the entire peninsula. A careful examination of several hundred specimens of this species, from various localities, as well as of T. elongatum, has entirely failed to confirm Mr. Baker's view, of the latter being a variety of the former.

Loxsoma Cunninghamii, Br. Local, but exhibiting a slight extension of its range southward. The most southern locality previously known being at Mercury Bay.

Lomaria elongata, Blume. Descends to about 800 feet, and probably attains here its northern limit; very rare.

Polypodium sylvaticum, Col. This also appears to find its northern limit here; descends to 800 feet.

A few decaying scraps of a plant with narrow-linear leaves, apparently a Clovewort, were picked amongst moss on the peaks of Mount Wynyard, but being without the slightest trace of flower or fruit, identification was impossible. It can scarcely be referred to any described New Zealand species.

Catalogue Of The Flowering Plants And Ferns, Etc., Collected On The Thames Gold-Fields, March And April, 1869.

It is attempted in the following catalogue, to arrange the Phænogamic plants and higher Acrogens of the Cape Colville Peninsula, so as to afford as definite an idea of the distribution of each species, as the space at command will admit of. The method adopted requires a few words of explanation.

The plants are arranged in groups, according to the nature of their habitats, viewed chiefly with regard to dryness, moisture, shade, exposure, etc.

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In this district they may be roughly divided into, Ericetal, or plants of the open land, and Sylvestral, or woodland plants, which would almost equally divide the total number of plants between them. The first of these divisions readily admits of sub-division, and the following terms have been adopted for the different groups.

* 1. Littoral. Plants of the sea-shore, whether growing on sandy or muddy beaches, as Convolvulus Soldanella, Salicornia indica: on sea-cliffs, as Metrosideros tomentosa; or in salt-marshes, as Juncus maritimus.

2. Ericetal. Plants of open dry land, as Leptospermum scoparium, Pteris esculenta.

3. Pascual. Plants of open grassy land, as Ranunculus plebeius, Cardamine hirsuta.

4. Rupestral. Plants growing on or amongst rocks, as Cheilanthes Sieberi, Pelloea rotundifolia.

5. Viatical. Plants growing in waste places, or by road sides, etc., as Polygonum aviculare, Agrostis oemula.

6. Inundatal. Plants growing on the banks of streams, or in other places liable to frequent inundation, as Oxalis magellanica, Pratia angulata, Lomaria lanceolata.

7. Paludal. Plants growing in constantly wet soil, or in water, as Epilobium pallidiflorum, Typha latifolia.

8. Lacustral. Aquatic plants, whether floating or submerged, as Ranunculus rivularis, Zostera marina.

9. Sylvestral. Forest or woodland plants, as Dammara australis, Nesodaphne Tawa, Microloena avenacea.

There are a few plants whose habitats are so varied, or possibly so complex, that they cannot be fully expressed by a single term; thus Cardamine hirsuta might with almost equal propriety be classed as Pascual or Sylvestral. Nasturtium palustre as Inundatal or Viatical. Podocarpus dacrydioides as Sylvestral or Paludal. Muhlenbeckia complexa as Ericetal or Sylvestral.

In these and a few other other cases, some allowance must of necessity be made on the score of conciseness.

The term “Sylvestral” is perhaps the most open to objection, on account of its comprehensiveness, as no distinction is drawn between plants found only in deep forests, as the Kauri, and those found in light scrub, or on the outskirts of forest, as the various species of Clematis; but the degrees of difference are generally so near that it is extremely difficult to define them, and to adopt terms that can be applied with any approach to precision. The attempt has therefore been abandoned for the present.

To a certain extent, the above arrangement gives a definite idea of the distribution of each species; but by the aid of a short series of numbers, greater precision may be gained. The series adopted is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20. A plant with the highest number affixed, is one of the most generally distributed throughout the district, limited only by the nature of its habitat, and (possibly) by altitude. Thus Geniostoma is found in, or on, the margin of almost every patch of bush, however small, as is Leptospermum scoparium on every open hill-side. The lower numbers exhibit comparative rarity. But it must be borne in mind that this notation has reference to the extent of distribution only, and not to relative abundance. The same number is applied to each of the two plants last mentioned, yet if the relative number of individuals could be compared, it would be found less than single plant of the Geniostoma to ten thousand of the Leptospermum. At the advanced

[Footnote] * These terms are similar to those introduced by Mr. Watson, in his various works on Phytogeography, but are employed with different limitations.

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period of the season at which the survey was made, it was only possible to apply this test of frequency to a portion of the plants observed.

The estimate of altitude affixed to many species, is chiefly based upon single observations with a pocket aneroid, and can therefore be regarded as approximative only.

It may well be, that from the late period of the season at which this exploration was made, some plants will be found to be omitted from the list, and the distribution of others but imperfectly laid down from the same cause. The application of the terms and figures descriptive of habitat, frequency, and vertical range, must be regarded as for this district only.


Lepidium oleraceum. Pittosporum crassifolium, (1). P. umbellatum, (3). Plagianthus divaricatus, (3). Linum monogynum, (5). Oxalis corniculata, (20). * Pomaderris Edgerleyi, (2)—200. Metrosideros tomentosa, (15)—2000. Mesembryanthemum australe, (10). Apium australe. A. filiforme. Panax Lessoni, (5) —800.? Coprosma Baueriana, (1). Olearia furfuracea, (2). O. albida, (5)—200. Senecio lautus,—1000. Selliera radicans. Samolus repens. Convolvulus Soldanella. Avicennia officinalis, (4). Chenopodium ambiguum. Salicornia indica. Euphorbia glauca. Astelia Banksii,—800. Juncus maritimus. Leptocarpus simplex. Scripus maritimus. S. triquetur. Desmochoenus spiralis. Carex pumila. Spinifex hirsutus. Paspalum distichum. Dichelachne stipoides. Triticum multiflorum. T. scabrum. Asplenium obtusatum.


Geranium microphyllum. Pomaderris phylicifolia,—1000. Coriaria ruscifolia, (20)—2000. Drosera auriculata,—2000. Haloragis tetragyna. Leptospermum scoparium, (20)—2000. Lagenophora Forsteri, (20). Wahlenbergia gracilis. Gaultheria antipoda, (15)—2000. Epacris pauciflora, (4)—300. Leucopogon Frazeri, (5). Dracophyllum squarrosum, (4)—2300. Geniostoma ligustrifolium, (20). Muhlenbeckia complexa, (10). Pimelia prostrata. Acianthus Sinclairii,—2000. Microtis porrifolia. Thelymitra longifolia. Orthoceras Solandri. Cordyline Banksii, (10). C. Pumilio, (10). Dianella intermedia, (10). Schoenus tenax. S. tendo. Gahnia setifolia, G. arenaria. Carex breviculmis. Lindsæa linearis, (4). Pteris esculenta, (20)—2520. Doodia media, (10). Schizæa bifida, (5)—2000. Botrychium cicutarium, (3). Lycopodium densum, (15)—2000. L. volubile, (20)—2000.


Ranunculus plebeius, (20). Cardamine hirsuta. Linum marginata. Haloragis micrantha. Epilobium Billardierianum. Dichondra repens. Plantago Raoulii. Libertia ixioides. Arthropodium candidum. Luzula campestris. Microlæna stipoides. Dichelachne sciurea. D. crinita. Agrostis quadriseta. Danthonia semi-annularis,—2000. Poa anceps.

IV. Rupestral.

Epilobium nummularifolium, (20). E. pubens. Celmisia, sp. (1), 2200–2700. Ozothamnus glomeratus, (3)—1600. Erechtites scaberula, E. quadridentata. Gaultheria rupestris, (1) 1700–2700. Convolvulus

[Footnote] * The typical form is a truly Littoral plant: the varieties are Ericetal and Viatical.

[Footnote] † Also Sylvestral.Note.—Range in altitude given in feet: a dash only, prefixed, signifies “from sealevel to.” Figures in parentheses refer to the comparative distribution of species in the district: see p. 96.—ED.

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Tuguriorum. Parietaria debilis. Peperomia Urvilleana. Earina autumnalis. Arthropodium cirrhatum (5). Microlæna polynoda. Echinopogon ovatus. Cheilanthes Sieberi, (3). Pellæa rotundifolia (10). Lomaria vulcanica, (2) 1200–1800. Asplenium lucidum, (20). A. flabellifolium, (3). A. Hookerianum (3)—1600. Aspidium Richardi, (20). Schizæa fistulosa, (3)—2000. Lycopodium scariosum, (3)—2000.

V. Viatical.

Geranium dissectum, vars. carolinianum, pilosum, patulum, glabratum. G. molle. Pelargonium australe, var. clandestinum. Acæna Sanguisorbæ. Haloragis alata. Epilobium junceum, (20). Sicyos angulatus. Daucus brachiatus. Bidens pilosa. Cotula australis. Gnaphalium luteo-album. G. involucratum. G. collinum. Sonchus oleraceus, var. asper. Convolvulus sepium. C. marginata. Solanum aviculare. S. nigrum. Polygonum aviculare. Rumex flexuosus. Agrostis æmula. A. Billardieri.


Nasturtium palustre. Viola filicaulis, (1)—700. Stellaria parviflora. Oxalis magellanica. Gunnera monoica. Callitriche Muellerii. Eugenia Maire, (5). Epilobium alsinioides. Hydrocotyle elongata. H. moschata. Coprosma propinqua (?), (5). C. linariifolia, (5). Olearia Solandri. Lagenophora petiolata. Cotula perpusilla. C. minuta. Raoulia tenuicaulis. Gnaphalium Keriense. Lobelia anceps. Pratia angulata. Veronica irrigans, Kirk, n. sp.,—300. Corysanthes rivularis. C. macrantha. Triglochin triandrum. Cordyline australis. Astelia grandis. Phormium tenax,—2300. P. tenax, var. variegata. P. Colensoi. Juncus vaginatus. J. bufonius. Schoenus Brownii, 700–1200. Isolepis nodosa. I. riparia. Cladium Gunnii. C. Sinclairii. Carex lucida. C. Lambertiana. C. vacillans. Sporobolus elongatus. Gleichenia circinata, (5). G. circinata, v. hecistophylla. Dicksonia squarrosa,—2000. Loxsoma Cunninghamii. Lindsæa trichomanoides, (2). Lomaria membranacea, (10). L. lanceolata, (15). Lycopodium cernuum, (5).


Hypericum japonicum. Epilobium tetragonum. E. pallidiflorum. Hydrocotyle asiatica. Nertera Cunninghamii, (3). Cotula coronopifolia. Polygonum minus, var. decipiens. Typha latifolia. Juncus planifolius. Schoenus axillaris. Eleocharis acuta, var. platylepis. E. gracillima. Isolepis prolifer. Cladium glomeratum. C. teretifolium. C. junceum. Carex virgata. C. virgata, var. secta. C. Gaudichaudiana. C. ternaria. C. Forsteri. Isachne australis. Arundo conspicua. Lomaria procera, (20)—2600. L. fluviatilis, (5) 500–1600. L. elongata, (1)—800. Lycopodium laterale, (3).


Ranunculus rivularis. (Fluviatile.) Zostera marina (Marine.)


Clematis indivisa, (10). C. parviflora, (3). C. foetida, (3). C. Colensoi, (2). Drimys axillaris, (5)—2000. D. colorata, (2). Cardamine stylosa. Melicytus ramiflorus, (20)—2000. M. micranthus, (5). Pittosporum tenuifolium, (20). P. Huttonianum, Kirk., n. sp., (5), under 500. P. Eugenioides, (10). P. cornifolium, (15)—2000. P. Kirkii, Hook. f., n. sp., (3) 1600–2700. Hoheria populnea, (5). Entelea arborecens, (10). Aristotelia racemosa, (15). Elœocarpus dentatus, (20). E. Hookerianus, (1) 2000–2700. Phebalium nudum, (5)—2000. Melicope ternata, (10). M. simplex, (5). Dysoxylum spectabile, (15). Dodonæa viscosa, (15). Alectryon excelsum, (10). Cory

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nocarpus lævigata, (20). Carmichælia australis, (10). Sophora tetraptera, (15). Rubus australis, vars. glaber, schmidelioides, cissoides, (20). Quintinia serrata, (15)—2700. Ixerba brexioides, (10) 800–2700. Carpodetus serratus, (10)—1800. Weinmannia silvicola, (20)—2500. W. racemosa, (3). Leptospermum ericoides, (10). Metrosideros florida, (15)—2400. M. lucida, (10) 1700–2700. M. albiflora, (5) 900–2700. M. hypericifolia, (15). M. robusta, (15)—2500. M. robusta, var. M. scandens, (20). M. diffusa. Myrtus bullata, (10). Fuchsia excorticata, (20). Passiflora tetrandra, (10). Panax Edgerleyi, (10) 1000–1800. P. crassifolia, (20)—2500. P. Colensoi, (2) 1800–2700. P. arborea, (20)—2500. P. arborea, var. P. n. sp. (5) 1800–2700. Schefflera digitata, (15)—2500. Griselinia lucida, (20)—2000. G. lucida, v. macrophylla. G. littoralis, (4) 1700–2700. Corokia buddleoides, (4)—2300. Loranthus, n. sp., (3) 1700–2700. L. micranthus, (4). Tupeia antarctica, (5). Alseuosmia macrophylla, (20)—2700. A. macrophylla, var. variegata. A. quercifolia, (3). Coprosma lucida, (15)—2300. C. lucida, var., 1800–2700. C. grandifolia, (15) 2500. C. robusta, (15). C. spathulata, (5). C. rotundifolia. C. sp., (2) 2000–2500. Nertera dichondræfolia, —2000. Olearia Cunninghamii, (20). Senecio glastifolius, (15)—2700. Brachyglottis repanda, (20)—2500. Cyathodes acerosa, (10)—2300. Leucopogon fasciculatus, (20)—2500. Archeria racemosa, (2) 1800–2700. Dracophyllum Traversii, (2) 2300–2700. D. latifolium, (5)—2000. Myrsine salicina, (3). M. Urvillei (15)—2000. M. divaricata, (1). Olea Cunninghamii, (2). O. lanceolata, (5). Parsonsia albiflora, (20)—2500. Veronica salicifolia, (20). V. macrocarpa, (4)—1800. Rhabdothamnus Solandri, (15)—2000. Vitex littoralis, (10). Myoporum lætum, (5). Muhlenbeckia adpressa, (10). Tetranthera calicaris, (10). Nesodaphne Tarairi, (2)—800. Nesodaphne Tawa, (15)—2000. Atherosperma Novæ Zelandiæ, (5). Hedycarya dentata, (10). Knightia excelsa, (15)—2000. Persoonia Toro, (10),—2700. Pimelea longifolia, (2) 1200–1800. P. virgata, (4). Santalum Cunninghamii, (10)—2000. Fagus fusca, (5)—1500. Epicarpurus microphyllus, (3). Piper excelsum, (15).? Dactylanthus, sp. Dammara australis, (20)—2700. Podocarpus ferruginea, (10). P. Totara, (15)—2700. P. spicata, (5). P. dacrydioides, (5). Dacrydium cupressinum, (10)—2000. D. laxifolium, (3) (tree form) 1800–2700. Phyllocladus trichomanoides, (15) —2000. P. Glauca, (3) 1800–2700. Earina mucronata. Bolbophyllum pygmæum, —2500. Sarcochilus adversus. Adenochilus gracilis. Corysanthus triloba,—1600. C. rivularis. Pterostylis Banksii. P. trullifolia,—1200. Libertia micrantha, 1000–2700. Freycinetia Banksii, (20)—2500. Rhipogonum scandens, (15)—2500. Callixene parviflora, 2400–2700. Astelia Cunninghamii, (10)—2500. A. Solandri, (20)—2700. Astelia, n. sp., (15)—2700. Areca sapida, (15). Gahnia, n. sp. G. ebenocarpa. G. lacera,—2700. Uncinia australis. U. sp. U. Banksii. Microlæna avenacea. Panicum imbecille. Gleichenia Cunninghamii, (5). Cyathea dealbata, (15)—2000. C. medullaris, (20)—2000. C. Smithii, (10)—2700. Dicksonia lanata, (2) 1200–1800. Hymenophyllum Tunbridgense, (10)—2500. H. bivalve, (1), 1500–1900. H. multifidum, (10)—2700. H. rarum, (10)—2500. H. dilatatum, (20)—2500. H. Javanicum, (10)—1500. H. sanguinolentum, (20)—2700, H. demissum, (20)—2000. H. scabrum, (15)—2000. H. flabellatum. (20)—2500. H. æruginosum, (10)—2000. H. Lyallii, (10)—2700, Trichomanes reniforme, (20)—2700. T. strictum, (4) 800–2700. T. elongatum, (15)—1800. T. humile, (10)—1800. T. venosum, (10)—1800. Davallia Novæ Zelandiæ, (2) 800–1500. Lindsæa Lessonii, (5)—2000. Adiantum hispidulum, (5). A. affine, (5). A. Cunninghamii, (20). A. fulvum, (15). Hypolepis tenuifolia, (10). Pteris tremula. (20)—2700. P. scaberula, (5). P. incisa, (5). P. macilenta, (15). P.

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Endlicheriana, (5). Lomaria filiformis, (10)—2000. L. discolor, (10). L. nigra, (3) 1800–2500. L. Fraseri, (10). Asplenium falcatum, (20)—2000. A. bulbiferum, (20). A. flaccidum, (20)—2000. Aspidium coriaceum, (15). Nephrodium velutinum, (20). N. decompositum, (10). N. de., var. pubescens. N. hispidum, (15). Polypodium australe, (10)—2700. P. Grammitidis, (15)—2500. P. tenellum, (2). P. sylvaticum, (3) 800–1700. P. rugulosum, (5). P. pennigerum, (20). P. rupestre, (15)—2500. P. Cunninghamii, (20)—2500. P. pustulatum, (20)—2000. P. Billardieri, (20)—2500. Leptopteris hymenophylloides, (20). Lygodium articulatum, (15)—2500. Lycopodium Billardieri, (15)—2500. tmesipteris Forsteri, (15)—2700.

Naturalized Plants.

Nasturtium officinale. Erysimum officinale. Senebiera pinnatifida. Capsella Bursa-pastoris, Sinapis arvensis. Brassica rapa. B. napus. B. oleracea. Raphanus sativus. Vitis vinifera. Silene quinquevulnera. Stellaria media. Cerastium vulgatum. C. viscosum. Malva rotundifolia. M. Caroliniana. Erodium circutariam. Trifolium repens. T. pratense. T. medium. T. procumbens. T. minus. Melilotus arvensis. Medicago lupulina. M. maculata. M. denticulata. Acacia lophantha. Amygdalus persica. Prunus cerasus. Fragaria elatior. Rubus Idæus. Rosa micrantha. R. rubiginosa. R. multiflora. OEnothera stricta. Cucurbita, sp. Erigeron canadensis. Bellis perennis. Senecio vulgaris. Carduus lanceolatus. Hypochoeris radicata. Taraxacum Dens-Leonis. Helminthia Echioides. Anagallis arvensis. Solanum tuberosum. Physalis peruviana. Verbascum, sp. Veronica arvensis. V. serpyllifolia. Mentha viridis. Prunella vulgaris. Plantago major. P. lanceolata. Rumex viridis. R. obtusifolius. R. crispus. R. Acetosella. Chenopodium murale. Euxolus viridis. Euphorbia Peplus. Riccinus Palma-Christi. Ficus Carica. Colocasia antiquorum. Iris Germanica. Allium, sp. Alopecurus pratensis. Phalaris canariensis. Holcus mollis. H. lanatus. Anthoxanthum odoratum. Digitaria sanguinalis. Poa annua. P. pratensis. Briza minor. Dactylis glomeratus. Bambusa arundinacea. Lolium perenne.

Art. XVI.—An account of the Puka (Meryta Sinclairii, Seem.)

[Read before the Auckland Institute, June 7, 1869.]

This rare plant was originally discovered at the head of Whangururu Bay by Mr. Colenso, who sent specimens of the foliage to Kew; specimens from the same locality were forwarded also by the late Dr. Sinclair, to whom it was pointed out by Mr. Colenso, and these appear to have formed the only material for the original description of the plant by Dr. Hooker, in the “Flora Novæ Zelandiæ,” under the name of Botryodendrum Sinclairii. Only a single tree was found, which was protected by a fence, and tabued by the natives, by whom it was stated to have been brought from the Poor Knights' Islands, and who were greatly astonished at Mr. Colenso's frequent visits to the locality, during several successive years, in the vain hope of procuring flowers and fruit.

Mr. William Mair subsequently found the tree, and after several visits succeeded in procuring specimens of the leaves and fruit, which were given by him to Dr. Sinclair, who forwarded them to Dr. Hooker at Kew, and from these specimens the still-imperfect description in the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora,” was drawn.

At a later date, Dr. Sinclair again visited the locality, and found that the

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tree,—the only one known to Europeans prior to the recent discovery— had been cut down.

In a recent visit, made in company with Captain Hutton to the Taranga Islands, specially to search for the Puka, I had the good fortune to find a few trees in various stages of inflorescence and fruit, and have drawn up the following notes, illustrative of the specimens now exhibited from that locality.*

The Puka differs (so far as is known) from other members of the genus Meryta, in its strictly dioecious character, all the other species being described as polygamous. It is a small tree, attaining the height of from twelve to twenty-five feet; trunk, stout or slender, irregularly and sparingly branched; bark, dark-brown, with numerous warty excrescences; branches, very stout, showing the scars of fallen leaves; leaves, densely crowded, twenty to thirty together, at the tips of the branches, with a few large deciduous scales amongst the petioles of the youngest, 9″ to 30″ long (including the petioles), 4″ to 10″ wide, very coriaceous, obovate-oblong, rarely oblong, usually contracted below the middle, with stout lateral veins, margin slightly waved, with a few large crenatures, the whole edged with a remarkable marginal nerve; petioles, stout, 4″–14″ long, with a broad attachment, irregularly striated, not jointed with the blade. Panicles, stout, terminal, much branched, from 8″–16″ long, branches jointed. Male—Primary branches about eight, more slender than in the female; secondary branches 1″–3″ long, flowers sessile, crowded in tetramerous clusters, with an ovate bract at the base of each cluster, and two minute bractlets below each flower; sepals, 4-valvate, ligulate, ultimately somewhat flexuose, petals 0; stamens, 4 inserted beneath a corrugated glandular disk, anthers lobed, oblong. Female—Stouter and shorter than in the male, branches crowded, primary branches 10–15; flowers solitary or crowded, with a bullate, notched bract at the base of each; ovary ovate, with 3–6, usually 4–5, stigmas, united below, tips recurved, staminodia invariably present. Fruit roundish-oblong, black, shining, slightly angled when young, becoming even as it approaches maturity; seeds 5, curved, much compressed, about three-eights of an inch in length, black, or dark-brown, intensely hard.

The entire plant is more or less resinous, and the bark is easily wounded, producing large callosities as it heals, wood white and brittle. Not more than eight plants were observed, of which six were in various stages of flower and fruit. These grew in situations fully exposed to the violent south-westerly gales, but owing to the remarkable marginal nerve, not a leaf was found torn or injured in any way; in this respect presenting a strong contrast to Pisonia umbellifera, which grew with it, and of which scarcely a leaf could be found entire; in fact the external leaves were often torn into shreds from the violence of the wind.

It is not unlikely that a true Botryodendrum may be found on the Kermadec Islands, and it would be highly interesting to ascertain if our plant is found on the Three Kings' group, of the botany of which we are entirely ignorant. The Puka must, in any case, be considered one of the rare plants of the world. As far as we have seen, the solitary plant found on the main land was not indigenous; and it is only known to Europeans in the locality now placed on record. Its existence upon the Poor Knights' rests solely upon Maori authority, and it is known not to be found in an indigenous state on the Fanal Islands, or on the Kawau. The only unsearched localities in which there is even a slight probability of its occurrence, are the north-west side of the Little Barrier, and the Three Kings.

[Footnote] * I was unable to obtain good drawings from the recent specimens, owing to their having been spoiled by sea-water, from exposure in an open boat during a severe gale on our return.

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It is a matter for congratulation that the plant is already established under cultivation, as the specimens found at the Taranga Islands grow in situations where they are peculiarly open to destruction.

The Maoris at Ohora stated that they, some years back, planted a young tree on one of the Fanal Islands, which is still living although it has grown but little.

Art. XVII.—On Grasses and Other Plants adapted for pasturage in the Province of Auckland, especially with regard to indigenous kinds.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, August 16, 1869.]

So few kinds of grasses have yet been made subservient to pastoral purposes in this province, that a difficulty presents itself at the outset, not in finding kinds likely to prove of permanent value, but in making a judicious selection from those of proved value in other countries, and from those which are truly indgenous to the colony. Rye-grasses (Lolium perenne and L. italicum), meadow-grass (Poa pratensis), timothy (Phleum pratense), round cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), sweet-vernal (Anthoxanthum odoratum), with the common red and white clovers (Trifolium pratense and T. repens) in variety, comprise the kinds usually cultivated. The black medick, spotted medick, and toothed medick (Medicago lupulina, M. maculata, and M. denticulata), which afford such an abundance of grateful food on some of our volcanic hills and waste places; the dogs-tail (Cynosurus cristatus), the common bent grass (Agrostis vulgaris), the soft brome grass (Bromus mollis), and others naturalized in many places do not appear to have attracted the attention of the agriculturist, although amongst the commonest of cultivated grasses in Europe. Nor have the available native grasses been brought under cultivation, notwithstanding the avidity with which certain kinds are sought after by cattle, a fact which ought, long ere this, to have drawn attention to their cultural value, the more especially from their being less subject to the attacks of caterpillar than most of the introduced kinds. Still less has any attention been paid to the many valuable plants possessing condimental properties, stimulant and aromatic, such as the burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis), burnet saxifrage (Pimpinella Saxifraga), stone parsley (Petroselinum segetum), fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Groecum), yarrow (Achilloea millefolium), which form so large a portion of nearly all natural pastures, and which are so eagerly devoured by all kinds of cattle. But, in truth, the attention of the most advanced agriculturists has been directed too exclusively to grasses and clovers as pasturage plants, and it is mainly owing to the ravages of the terrible rinder-pest, which has caused greater attention to be turned, amongst other things, to the green food of cattle, that these condimental plants have been brought into prominent notice.

If we examine a piece of natural pasture, such as the sheep-downs of the south of England, we find a close compact growth of various fine-leaved sheeps' fescue grasses, small-growing meadow-grasses, bent-grasses, dogs-tail grass, with numerous small trefoils, and medicks, and especially, with dwarfed plants of burnet-saxifrage, stone-parsley, yarrow, and other stimulant or aromatic plants, which furnishing an agreeable variety to the sheep feeding upon them, are greedily sought after. In richer lands the small sheep-fescues, and meadow–grasses, are replaced by the various meadow-fescues, and the larger meadow grasses, with foxtail, catstail, red and white clovers, black and spotted medicks, cowparsley, mayweed, burnett, and others. The grasses are rarely found alone. Even in the natural pasture of the southern parts of New

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Zealand, the grasses are largely mixed with native species of Angelica, Mentha, Dichondra, Lepidium, Nertera, Epilobium, and Oxalis, with many dwarf-growing shrubs.

No attempt has been made, at least so far as I am aware, to utilize the swamps and swampy gullies so common in many parts of the province, or to add introduced kinds to those often found indigenous to such localities. In many places where drainage would be impracticable, or too costly for the means at command, a large crop of nutritious grasses, suitable either for green or dry fodder, might be obtained at little more than the cost of the seed, by the selection of suitable kinds, such as the orange-spiked foxtail (Alopecurus fulvus), the reed-canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), the meadow-sweet grass (Glyceria aquatica), the floating meadow grasses (Glyceria fluitans and G. plicata), the broad-leaved meadow grass (Poa sudetica), or the native swamp grasses (Hierochloe redolens and Isachne australis), the last being one of the most valuable grasses in the colony. It is obvious that a resource like this is of great value to the newly-located settler of small means, who too often sees his first paddocks fail when most needed, from badly-selected seeds, or the ravages of caterpillar. How many cases of actual failure might have proved ultimate success, had this simple resource been known!

I purpose briefly indicating the principal introduced and native plants adapted for pasturage in this province. It must not however be supposed that the catalogue is intended to be exhaustive. Of the native kinds, only those decidedly preferred by cattle in this province, are mentioned; other forms, especially some of the sub-alpine meadow-grasses, form favourite food in the south.

* * * * * * * *

[Mr. Kirk then describes the characters and qualities of foreign grasses suitable for New Zealand soils, which are classified in the lists appended to his paper.—ED.]

New Zealand Grasses,
All of Which are Found in this Province, and Are More or Less Eaten by Cattle.

Microloena stipoides, Br. A slender-growing social grass, apparently confined to the North Island; closely cropped by sheep, horses, and cattle. In many places it is found growing with Danthonia semi-annularis, and the introduced sweet vernal grass and yellow suckling, forming patches of nutritious pasture amongst the Tea-tree. In several localities near Auckland, these four plants, probably self-seeded, form a large portion of the vegetation of the paddocks.

Microloena avenacea, Br. A coarse-growing kind, common in woods where few other kinds will grow. Eaten by cattle and horses.

Hierochloe redolens, Br., “Karetu.” Common in wet places and swamps, of rather stout habit but sweet and succulent, eaten by horses and cattle. In Mr. Buchanan's “Sketch of the Botany of Otago,” it is considered a grass of the first quality; it appears however to be inferior to Microloena stipoides, which is not found in the South Island.

Isachne australis, Br. Abundant in moist places, swamps, and by river sides, from the North Cape to Waikato, and perhaps much further south. A slender-growing grass, producing a large yield, and eaten with avidity by sheep, horses, and cattle. Certainly one of the most valuable of our native grasses, and would most likely prove an addition to the cultivated grasses of the warmer parts of Europe: a native of Australia, India, and China.

Zoysia pungens, Willd. A small creeping rooted grass, forming a compact turf in places near the sea; it has been observed on sand, mud, and the dry

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debris of trachytic rocks; eaten by cattle and sheep, and would probably form pasturage of considerable value for the latter, as the herbage, though short, is sweet and succulent.

Dichelachne stipoides, Hook. f. Common on rocky and waste places and pastures, especially near the sea. Eaten by cattle and horses; in Otago it is ranked in value with Hierochloe redolens.

A grostis oemula, Br. A slender bent-grass, found throughout the islands, eaten alike by sheep and cattle, especially in the young state.

Danthonia semi-annularis, Br. A variable grass found in nearly all soils and situations throughout the colony. Eaten by sheep, horses, and cattle. In Otago considered a good cattle-grass. (See the notes under Microloena stipoides.)

Trisetum antarcticum, Trin. A valuable pasture grass, deservedly con-sidered by Buchanan as a grass of the first quality, for moist pastures; it will probably prove of greater value than the yellow oat-grass of Europe, to which it is closely allied.

Poa breviglumis, Hook. f. A “meadow-grass,” producing a large quantity of nutritious herbage; eaten by sheep, cattle, and horses; found in various localities throughout the islands, especially near the sea; but apparently less common in Auckland than in Canterbury and Otago, where it is considered a grass of the first quality.

Poa anceps, Forst. An excessively variable “meadow-grass,” common throughout the islands, and ascending the mountains to the height of fully 6000 feet. One of its forms growing in swampy woods might easily be mistaken for the common meadow-grass of Europe. Eaten by all kinds of cattle, and produces an abundant crop; frequently found in pastures, especially near the sea. It is probable that some forms of this variable grass are of greater value than others.

Poa australis, Br. var. loevis. A meadow-grass of more slender habit than the last, not common in the north, but avidly sought after by sheep, horses, and cattle. A pasturage of great value, and deservedly ranked of the first quality by Buchanan.

Triticum multiflorum, Banks. and Sol.

Triticum scabrum, Br. Not so common in the North Island as in the South, where it is abundant, ascending the mountains to the height of 6000 feet, and is ravenously eaten by all kinds of cattle.

Helosciadium leptophyllum, A. D. C. A small umbellate plant recently discovered in this island; is greedily eaten by sheep, cattle, and horses; apparently aromatic.

There are reasons for supposing that the time requisite for bringing the different species to maturity is somewhat less than would be required in the British Islands, although not in the same ratio for each species. This interesting point can only be fully determined by a series of observations, extending over several seasons. In selecting grasses for the yield of hay alone, it must be remembered that while the majority yield the best return of hay, both with regard to quality and quantity, at the commencement of, or just prior to, their coming into flower, others, as the rough meadow-grass (Poa trivialis, L.), are most profitable when the seed is ripe, and others, again, as the bent-grasses, yield the heaviest return some time before flowering.

The following selections are based chiefly on soil or situation.

Grasses Suitable for Ordinary Loamy Soils.
[Grasses indigenous to this Province (Auckland), are marked with an Asterisk.]

* Microloena stipoides. Alopecurus pratense, Foxtail. Phleum pratense, Timothy. * Agrostis oemulu. Anthoxanthum odoratum, Sweet vernal.

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* Trisetum antarcticum. Arrhenatherum avenaceum. Danthonia semi-annu-laris. Poa pratensis, Common meadow. P. sudelica, Broad-leaved meadow. P. serotina, Late-flowering meadow. Dactylis glomerata, Round cocksfoot. Cynosurus cristatus, Dogsfoot. Festuca pratensis, Meadow fescue. F. loliacea, Darnel-leaved fescue. F. duriuscula, Sheep's hard fescue. Bromus mollis, Soft brome. Lolium perenne, var., Pacey's perennial. Medicago lupulina, Black medick. Trifolium repens, White clover. T. pratense, Red clover. T. elegans, Slender clover. Poterium sanguisorba, Salad burnet. Bunium flexuosum, Earthnut. Achillea millefolium, Yarrow. Pimpinella magna, Large burnet saxifrage. Plantago lanceolata, Rib grass.

For Swamps, Water Meadows, Etc.

Alopecurus fulvus, Orange spiked foxtail. Phleum pratense. Phalaris arun-dinacea, Reed Canary. * Isachne australis. Agrostis alba, White bent-grass. * A. quadriseta. * Hierochloe redolens. * Poa anceps. P. sudetica. Glyceria aquatica, Water sweet. G. fluitans, and G. plicata, Floating meadow. Festuca elatior, Tall meadow fescue. F. loliacea. Lolium perenne, var. Pacey's perennial rye. Trifolium repens. T. pratense. Lotus major, Water birdsfoot trefoil. Plantago lanceolata.

For Clay Soils.

* Microloena stipoides. Alopecurus pratense. Phleum pratense. Agrostis stolonifera, Fiorin. Anthoxanthum odoratum, Sweet vernal. Arrhenatherum avenaceum. * Danthonia semi-annularis. Poa sudetica. P. pratensis. * P. anceps. * P. australis. Dactylis glomerata. Festuca loliacea. F. duriuscula. Bromus erectus, Upright Brome. Lolium perenne, var. Medicago lupulina. Trifolium repens. T. pratense. T. pratense, var. hybridum. T. elegans. Sanguisorba officinalis, Burnet. Petroselinum sativum, Parsley. Carum carui, Carraway. Achillea millefolium.

For Sandy and Gravelly Soils.

* Agrostis oemula. Anthoxanthum odoratum. Trisetum flavescens, Yellow oat. * T. antarcticum. Poa pratensis. P. nemoralis. * P. breviglumis. * P. australis, var. loevis. Dactylis glomerata. Cynosurus cristatus. Festuca pratensis. F. duriuscula. F. ovina, Sheep's fescue. F. rubra, Red sheep's fescue. Lolium perenne, var. Lotus corniculatus, Birdsfoot trefoil. Trifolium medium, Zigzag clover. T. repens. T. striatum, Soft clover. T. procumbens, Hop trefoil. Trigonella Foenum-Groecum, Fenugreek. Medicago lupulima. Pimpinella saxifraga, Common burnet saxifrage. Poterium muricatum, Pitted salad burnet. Petroselinum segetum, Stone parsley. Achillea millefolium.

For Forest Land, After Clearing.

* Microloena stipoides. Phleum pratense. Milium effusum, Wood millet. Anthoxanthum odoratum. Trisetum flavescens. Arrhenatherum avenaceum. * Danthonia semi-annularis. Poa pratensis. * P. breviglumis. * P. anceps. Dactylis glomeratus. Festuca loliacea. F. duruiscula. Lolium perenne, var. Trifolium repens. T. striatum. T. pratense. Medicago lupulina. Poterium muricatum, Pitted salad-burnet. Bunium flexuosum. Pimpinella magna. Achillea millifolium.

For Woods.

* Microloena stipoides. * M. avenacea. Milium effusum. Poa nemoralis. P. trivalis. Pimpinella magna. Trifolium elegans. * Apium leptophyllum.

For Dry and Rocky Places Accessible to Sheep.

Cynosurus cristatus, Dogsfoot. Poa compressa, Flat-stemmed meadow. * Agrostis oemula. * A. Billardieri. * Danthonia semi-annularis. Festuca rubra. F. ovina. Medicago lupulina. M. denticulata. Petroselinum sativum. Pimpinella saxifraga. Poterium muricatum. Achillea milifolium.

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For Sandy and Muddy Places: (Especially Near the Sea.)

* Zoysia pungens. * Poa breviglumis.

For Places Occasionally Overflowed by the Sea.

Sclerochloa distans, var. obtusa. S. maritima.

For Planting on Clay Soils, Amongst Manuka, Etc.

Stenotaphrum glabrum, Buffalo grass.

It may safely be asserted that the best pastures in the province would be improved by a mixture of some of the condimental plants mentioned, say at the rate 3 lbs. of seed to the acre, or 2 lbs., if a large proportion of yarrow is used, with a few pounds of such of the fescues and meadow-grasses as may be best adapted to remedy existing defects.

There is little doubt that superior varieties of the best of these grasses—forms more closely adapted to our precise requirements than anything we at present possess—will be obtained with comparatively little difficulty, when the attention of the agriculturist is systematically directed to this point. The rye-grasses, fescues, and meadow-grasses, in particular, exhibited, in nearly every species, wide variations in the yield and habit of growth; and it is by successive selections of the best of these variations, and carefully noticing any cultural peculiarities that may have influenced their production, with a view to future adaptation, that improved forms will be fixed and perpetuated.

Art. XVIII.—On the occurrence of Orobanche; a genus new to the Flora of New Zealand.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, September 20, 1869.]

Mr. Robert Mair, of Whangarei, has favoured me with a specimen of an Orobanche, discovered by him, and from the interest attending the first discovery of a Broom rape in this colony, I venture to make a few remarks upon the specimen so kindly sent, chiefly with the view of directing the attention of other botanists to the genus.

The specimen is unhappily in a bad state of preservation, having suffered considerably from the attacks of insects, so that it would not be safe to attempt a diagnosis until better material can be procured. From the solitary bract, and sepals narrowed into subulate points, it evidently belongs to the group of which the European Orobanche minor, which is commonly parasitic on the roots of clover, may be taken as the type, its nearest ally appears to be the O. Picridis (F. W. Schultz), from which it differs (so far as can be judged from the condition of the specimen), in more robust habit, more numerous and closely aggregated flowers, wider bracts, which become much elongated after flowering, in the broader sepals, which are shorter than the tube of the corolla which is more erect, and less ventricose at the base, with narrower tips.

Mr. Mair informs me, “that the plant grows on a sharp ridge, which has never been broken up, and is covered with Pteris esculenta, and a few scattered plants of hawk-weed.” It is probably parasitic on the roots of the hawk-weed.

In the southern hemisphere, this genus is found at the Cape of Good Hope. A solitary species, O. cernua (Loeff.), which is also a Mediterranean plant, is found in Australia, where it is chiefly parasitic on the roots of Senecio lautus.

It might be worth while to search for other members of this genus at the roots of our various Araliads, especially of Panax Colensoi, and P. Lessonii, in hilly districts.

Picture icon

To accompany Paper by T.Kirk

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Art. XIX.—On the discovery of Isoëtes, and other genera of Rhizocarpæ, new to the Flora of New Zealand.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Auckland Institute, October 18, 1869.]

During the past autumn I had the pleasure of making a short tour in the Waikato, in company with my friend Captain Hutton, specially with the object of searching for Rhizocarpæ, and other obscure aquatic plants. Although our explorations were abruptly stopped by heavy and continued rain, a portion of the results is of sufficient importance to warrant its being placed on record, even in a necessarily imperfect condition, in order to draw the attention of colonial botanists to genera not previously observed in New Zealand, but which will, in all probability, be ultimately found in every province.

Great attention has been paid to the Rhizocarpæ during the last twelve years, especially by Dr. Alexander Braun, of Berlin, and M. Gay, of Paris. At the commencement of that period only one species of Isoëtes was recognized, I. fluitans, L.; although it is not unlikely that the plant now known as I. echinos-pora, Dur., may have been the I. fluitans, var. gracilis, of authors, the differences at that time observed being confined to habit of growth, texture, etc. It is only within the last eight or nine years that the value of the macrospores, as affording specific characters, has been fully demonstrated. More than twenty species are known, of which five are Australasian.

Our Waikato Quillwort proves to be a new species, Isoëtes Kirkii, Braun, and is closely allied to the Tasmanian I. humilior, F. Muell. The leaves (fronds), are from 2–4 inches in length, rounded and very slender, in strong plants spreading; sporangium 4-celled; macrospores sexangular, with slightly-raised margins, finely punctate; microspores obscurely triangular, minutely punctate. The macrospores appear to vegetate, in many instances, before leaving the capsule, thus forming dense masses of slender pale-green leaves amongst the decaying leaves of older growth.

Other species may be expected to occur in our central and alpine lakes.

Pilularia, sp. Specimens with short solitary leaves, and small capsules, were discovered, but too far advanced to admit of identification.

? Marsilea, sp. A solitary specimen, in imperfect fruit, apparently resembling Marsilea pubescens, was collected, growing with another obscure plant, which may possibly prove to be referable to the Australian genus Microcarpæa, belonging to the Scrophulariads.

In addition to the above, an undescribed pondweed, allied to the European Potamogeton zosteroefolius, Schum., was collected, also Scirpus fluitans, L.

Isolepis fluitans, R. Br., (Eleogiton fluitans, Link), was discovered for the first time in the colony, and at least three species of Chara, not before recorded.

Of scarcely less interest was the occurrence of Zannichellia palustris, L., Ruppia maritima, L., Potamogeton pectinatus, L., and other plants, not pre-viously known to occur in the Province of Auckland, thus exhibiting a marked extension of their northern and western range.

Art. XX.—On Epacris Purpurascens, Br., in New Zealand; with remarks on Epacris Pauciflora, A Rich.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, October 18, 1869.]

This attractive plant is stated, in the supplementary portion of the “Flora Novæ Zelandiæ,” to have been seen by the late Dr. Sinclair and Colonel Bolton, at Papakura, where I believe it was originally discovered by Mr.

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Runciman, about sixteen years ago. It is singular that until last year the precise knowledge of the locality was lost to botanists; neither has the plant been discovered elsewhere in the colony.

Dr. Hooker entertained doubts as to its being indigenous, founded chiefly on its supposed extreme rarity here, compared with its abundance in some parts of Australia, where it is a common plant. Leucopogon Richei, Br., affords a similar instance, of a common Australian plant being confined to a small area in these islands. Our plant, however, must be considered as local, rather than rare, since it is found in abundance over several miles of low Tea-tree ground, near Papkura, usually occurring in large isolated patches; sometimes, when sheltered by a large Tea-tree, it attains a stature of nine feet, and is much branched, but more commonly it is from two to four feet high, with long straight shoots, abundantly clothed with attractive rose-coloured, or white flowers.

It is readily distinguished from the other species of Epacris, found in New Zealand, by its constantly recurved, pungent, coriaceous leaves, with long subulate points, the large size of its flowers, and the linear-lanceolate sepals. Small sparsely-branched specimens of Epacris pauciflora, with pungent leaves, have been erroneously referred to this species, by New Zealand botanists, and it has been said that E. purpurascens, E. pauciflora, and E. Sinclairii, are but forms of the same plant. The differences between E. purpurascens and E. pauciflora, are, however, far too wide to admit of their being united (if New Zealand forms alone are to be considered, at least); although it will be difficult to maintain E. Sinclairii as a species apart from E. pauciflora. E. pauciflora occurs on open Tea-tree land, and occasionally amongst other shrubs, up to 2000 feet of altitude, at various places between the North Cape and Nelson, but can hardly be considered a common plant. Flowering specimens may be seen a few inches in height, although from four to six feet is a common height, and the plant sometimes forms a large, much-branched, twiggy shrub, thirteen feet high. In the young state, the leaves are sometimes very broad, highly developed, pungent, and more or less recurved, but these characteristics disappear as the plant grows larger. A striking variety found near the North Cape, is sparingly, or not at all branched, with the leaves approaching those of E. purpurascens, but always green, never brown; it produces flowers freely, near the tips of the long straight branches; but the flowers are strictly those of the typical form, and the plant becomes gradually branched and twiggy with age, at the same time developing leaves of the ordinary type.

Art. XXI.—On the Structure and Colour of the Fibre of Phormium Tenax.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, September 1, 1869.]

As the preparation of the fibre of New Zealand Flax has now become one of the staple industries of this province, I thought that the following account of certain observations and experiments that I have made on the structure of the leaf, and colour of the fibre, of Phormium tenax, might not prove uninteresting to the members of the Institute.

As is well known to all botanists, the fibre of the Phormium tenax is the woody tissue or pleurenchyma of the leaf. This woody tissue consists of cells very much elongated, and tapering at each end, arranged side by side in bundles, the ends of the proximate cells overlapping.

When the carefully-cleaned fibre is teased out with a needle, and examined under a microscope by reflected light, with a power of 120 linear, it appears

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to be white and transparent, like filaments of spun glass, and where it lies in bundles it has a lustre like satin.

When mounted in “Deane's gelatine,” and examined by transmitted light with a power of 225 linear, the ultimate fibres appear to be cylindrical tubes of considerable length (probably one and a half to two inches, but I have not succeeded in tracing any one cell through its whole length), the margins extremely smooth and regular, the finest of the fibres quite as fine as the silk of the Bombyx Mori, or mulberry silkworm. The cells taper gradually to each end, and are slightly rounded at the point. A central canal of considerable size is plainly visible. I observed no transverse or longitudinal markings on the fibre. The central canal appeared to be filled with air only, when I examined the fibre in August, but this may not be the case at all seasons of the year.

Transverse sections of the upper part of the leaf, mounted in “Deane's gelatine,” and examined by transmitted light with a power of 225 linear, show that the fibres are not round, but roughly hexagonal, with slightly-rounded angles packed closely together in bundles, but so that small interspaces are left at the rounded angles. The central canal is marked by a well-defined spot on each ultimate fibre; and around this spot are slight indications of concentric lines, showing how the cell has been built up by successive deposits of cellulose.

The ultimate fibres vary considerably in diameter, those near the green or upper-surface of the leaf being much finer than those near the dull under-surface of the leaf.

When the ultimate fibres are broken, they break transversely, and the fracture has a ragged edge. I could not discover any tendency to tear longitudinally into finer filaments.

The bundles of fibre are in the form of flattened bands, arranged with tolerable regularity, parallel to each other, lengthwise in the leaf, one edge of the band being close to the green or upper-surface of the leaf, the other edge close to the dull or under-surface. Some of the bands appear to be incomplete, and extend only to a short distance from the surfaces of the leaf.

In the centre of each complete bundle of fibres is a brown bundle of spiral or vascular tissue, the central canals in this tissue are larger than the central canals in the fibre. This spiral tissue appears to break up very easily and to separate readily from the woody tissue or fibre.

The bundles of fibre are imbedded in the cellular tissue, known as the parenchyma, or more accurately as the merenchyma, of the leaf, and are immediately surrounded by a layer of cylindrical cells very similar to the cells just beneath the cuticle of the leaf.

The cells of the cellular tissue are, for the most part, filled with the greenish fluid juices of the plant: the grains of chlorophyll—the waxy, green colouring matter of the leaf—being very conspicuous in the cells near the upper surface.

In the lower or butt ends of the leaf, the ultimate fibres are much coarser, the bundles are cylindrical or oval, there is a great thickness of cellular tissue in which the bundles of fibre are imbedded, and the cells surrounding each bundle are filled with some reddish colouring matter, which, in some cases, seems to pervade the whole cellular tissue.

The fibre appears to be quite white and colourless in every part of the leaf, until the cells in its neighbourhood are ruptured.

From the above microscopic examination of the leaf and fibre, I have come to the conclusion that an erroneous opinion is prevalent on the following points, which are important:—

  • 1.

    There is no woody matter to be separated from the fibre; the spiral

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  • tissue cannot, I think, be considered as woody matter; and from direct examination of the so-called woody matter, on imperfectly cleaned fibre, I have found it to consist of cellular tissue, and portions of the cuticle or skin of the leaf, stiffened and glued to the fibre by the dried sticky juices of the plant.

  • 2.

    The fibre cannot be indefinitely divided, the cells of the pleurenchyma or woody tissue showing no tendency to tear longitudinally into filaments.

  • 3.

    The ultimate fibres are shorter than is commonly supposed—probably not more than two inches in length, but on this point I am unable at present to speak definitely.

I have observed that in most of the returns of the sale of New Zealand Flax in England, the discoloration of the fibre is alluded to as an objection, and cause of a diminution in price.

From the above microscopic examination of the fibre, and certain other experiments to which I shall allude, I think I have discovered the chief cause of the discoloration of the fibre, as now prepared, and also a means by which that discoloration may be, to a great extent, avoided.

I have formed this opinion from the following considerations.

The fibre, as it exists in the uninjured leaf, is white, and this is the case, even in the thick butt ends of the leaves. Any person may satisfy himself on this point by carefully dissecting out a bundle of fibre, with as little injury as possible to the surrounding cellular tissue.

The fibre consists of elongated tubular cells containing air, or perhaps a colourless liquid.

In each bundle of fibre, very minute canals are formed by the interspaces between the separate fibres.

The bundles of fibre are imbedded in, and surrounded by, the cellular tissue of the leaf.

The cells of the cellular tissue are for the most part filled with sticky juices of the plant, containing chlorophyll, albumen, fibrin, pectine, starch, gluten, sugar, all that is popularly called gum, and in the butt ends of the leaf, the cells immediately surrounding the fibres, contain a red fluid (probably altered chlorophyll).

In the process of manufacture, the leaf is beaten or bruised, the cellular tissue is completely broken up, the fluid contents of the cells are set free, and, by the same cause, openings would be forced in the tubular cells of the fibre, whether those cells contained fluid or air, and if they contained fluid some of that fluid would be pressed out.

The result is obvious, the fluid juices would be drawn into the tubular fibres and into the minute canals between the ultimate fibres, by capillary attraction, and the tubes being so minute, the capillary attraction would act very rapidly, and with great force.

The remedy that I would suggest is simple. It is to dilute the juices of the plant with water the very instant they are set free, so that the tubes may absorb a mixture of juice and water, the more dilute the better, instead of the pure juice.

The following facts tend to show that the above views are to a great extent correct.

The fibre as it leaves the beating or stripping machines is green in colour, and this green colour cannot be removed by mere washing.

When the moist fibre, washed so as no longer to tinge water green, is passed between powerful rollers, a large quantity of green fluid is expressed.

The colour is improved by passing the moist fibre between rollers, or through a beating machine, under a stream of water, and the sooner the water is applied after the fibre has passed through the stripping machine the greater

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is the improvement in the colour. For this last statement I am indebted to the manager of the Selwyn Flax Company, who has been making experiments on the washing of the fibre.

If the beating of the green leaf is effected under water, the resulting fibre is quite white.

If the green leaf is half dried, so that the juices may not flow freely in very minute tubes, and the fibre is then prepared by beating and subsequent washing, the fibre is much whiter than if prepared from the fresh-cut leaf in the ordinary manner, but the difficulty of separating the fibre from the cellular tissue is greatly increased.

Such are my views on the above subject, and the chief reasons which have led me to adopt them. It will be seen that the question goes far beyond the mere discoloration of the fibre. The green colour of the juices, if absorbed as I have suggested, might, no doubt, be removed by bleaching, so as to stain the fibre a light brown colour only; but the juices could not be washed out, and when dried up would leave a residuum by which the interior of each tubular cell would be coated, and thereby to some extent rendered harsh and brittle, the ultimate fibres of each bundle would be glued together so as greatly to increase the difficulty of adapting the fibre for textile purposes, and this residuum, when exposed to air and moisture, would probably be subject to chemical changes which might have a most injurious effect on the fibre.

I have alluded to the spiral vessels found in the centre of each bundle of fibre, in the leaf of the Phormium tenax. This spiral tissue is found in all phoenogamous plants and ferns, and from the careful manner in which it is generally protected, I suspect that it serves some very important purpose in the economy of the plant, but physiologists do not agree as to its precise function. It is found most abundantly on the inner bark, in the veins of the leaves, and immediately round the pith in the centre of the stem of exogenous trees. It is very abundant in the Musa textilis, a species of banana, from which the Manilla fibre is obtained, and it is from the uncoiled spiral threads of this vascular tissue that textile fabrics are manufactured, not from the true fibre known as Manilla, and used for rope. I mention this, because from ignorance of this fact it has been suggested that the process, by which fibre from the Musa textilis is prepared for fine textile fabrics, might be applicable to the fibre of the Phormium tenax.

My principal object in writing this paper was to give publicity to my views. Even if my theory is shown to be erroneous, I hope that it may lead to further experiments, and provoke discussions tending to the improvement of the manufacture of New Zealand Flax.

Art. XXII.—On the Structure of the Leaf ofPhormium Tenax.

(With Illustrations.)

(Read before the Auckland Institute, October 18, 1869.)

In the present paper an attempt has been made to describe the structure of the leaf of our native Flax, so as to form a basis for the examination and comparison of the manufactured fibre, as dressed by different machines, and prepared by different processes, on which subject I hope we shall receive communications from many of our members. I have also added some observations on the gum secreted by the leaf, and which is generally looked upon as the bête noire of the manufacturer, but which I believe not to be so black as it is painted. While it was in progress, I saw in the newspapers a short abstract

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of a paper on the same subject, read by Mr. Nottidge, to the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury. Not having as yet had the pleasure of reading this paper, I am not able to refer further to it; but judging from the very short abstract that appeared in the papers, we seem to be pretty well agreed upon all points, except as to the existence of small canals in the fibro-vascular bundles, formed by the inter-spaces between the ultimate fibres, which, I venture to suggest, must have been caused by the knife tearing apart the bundles of fibres, when making transverse sections.

Development of leaf.—The young leaf of the Flax plant (Phormium tenax), when about a quarter of an inch in length, is composed of loose parenchy-matous tissue, covered both on the inner and outer surfaces, near the centre, by an epidermis of elongated rectangular cells, the edges of the leaf being crenulated by the jutting-out of the young growing cells. Imbedded in this cellular tissue lie about twenty-three vascular bundles, eleven on each side of the midrib. These, in this young state, are composed entirely of spiral-vessels, which contain a single spiral fibre, easily unrolled with a needle. These bundles are 0.0013 inch broad, and about 0.004 inch apart from one another. (Fig. I.) They lie longitudinally in the leaf, towards the central part of it, the outer growing edge being composed only of cellular tissue. The upper end of each bundle runs into that lying next to it towards the centre, and they thus get shorter and shorter as they recede from the midrib. When the leaf gets about an inch long, the vascular bundles are still seen to branch and anastomose with one another (Fig. II.); but this soon ceases, and at all later stages they are very nearly parallel, converging slightly towards the point of the leaf. A layer of thin elongated tubes now makes its appearance, surrounding the bundles of spiral vessels. This is the first state of the fibres from which the plant has got its celebrity; but as yet they are exceedingly tender, and break with the slightest touch. When, however, the leaf has attained a length of four inches, the fibres in the upper part of it have acquired considerable strength, while those at the base are still quite weak. When the leaf is about nine inches long, it commences to exude gum, and appears then to be fully formed.

Description of full-grown leaf.—When fully grown the leaf attains a length of from three to ten feet, according to soil and variety. The colour varies from light yellow-green to deep blue-green, with yellow or red margins and midribs, while the lower part of the leaf is usually pink. In shape the leaf is linear-lanceolate, and keeled, with an acute point. At a point rather less than half way down from the tip, the two superior or inner surfaces of the two halves of the blade begin to coalesce at the midrib, and this coalescence gradually increases until one-half of the leaf is joined together. The coal-escence then gradually decreases, until it occupies only about a fourth of the breadth of the half blade, which breadth it keeps to the bottom of the leaf, the two half blades being closely appressed as far as the base, where the two marginal edges closely overlap one another, and form a sheath through which the younger leaves grow. It is only the inner surfaces of the lower portion of the leaf, below the place where the coalescence of the two half blades begins to decrease, that exude gum.

For the sake of convenience, I shall, in this paper, call the upper part of the leaf, the blade; that portion where the coalescence of the two half blades reaches its maximum, and which is about half-way between the two ends of the leaf, the butt; and the lower portion, the base of the leaf.

The full-grown leaf is composed of parenchymatous tissue, in which fibro-vascular bundles lie imbedded, and remain isolated from one another as fibrous cords, some of which run from one end of the leaf to the other. This cellular tissue is covered, on both surfaces of the leaf, by an epidermis composed of

Picture icon

To accompany Paper by F. W. Hutton on the structure of the Flax leaf.

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elongated, rectangular cells, of considerable consistence, but without chlorophyll, or other colouring matter.

No stomata or other openings are found on either surface, and the gum appears to be exuded by exosmosis.

The fibro-vascular bundles, which form what are commonly called the fibres of the plant, are composed of elongated tubular liber-cells, enclosing a centre of spiral vessels, and vary much in shape in different parts of the leaf. They are surrounded by a layer of elongated cells, that at once turn blue with iodine, and are probably cambium cells. The bundles are thickest at the base, and taper gradually to the point of the leaf.

The spiral vessels are about 0.001 inch in diameter, and contain a single, rarely a double, spiral fibre, which can be unrolled with a needle. They are filled with air, and have no strength, but are readily broken across.

The liber-cells, on the contrary, have great strength, and form the true fibre of the leaf. They are very long, probably an inch or more, while their thickness never exceeds 0.0006 inch, and is sometimes only 0.0003 inch.* They taper each way to a more or less blunt point (Fig. III.), each cell being distinct from the rest, and not joined together end-ways. Notwithstanding their strength they are of very delicate structure, colourless, translucent, and almost devoid of secondary deposits, the cell-wall being from 0.0001 inch, to 0.0002 inch, thick. They are hollow, and filled only with air, but are highly hygroscopic, imbibing water quickly, and during the operation twisting about in all directions. The fibres, although round when separated, are not so when collected into bundles (Fig. XI.), being then compressed into ovals, polygons, etc., so as to fill up the whole space, and leave no interstices. They have the same thickness in all parts of the leaf.

At the base of the leaf the vascular bundles are scattered through the cellular tissue, in about four irregular rows. They are arranged in ovals of two sizes; the largest, whose major axis is about 0.02 inch, and minor axis 0.014 inch, enclose, in their centres, a rhomboidal cluster of spiral vessels (Fig. X. s. v.); while the smaller, whose major axis is 0.015 inch, and minor axis 0.007 inch, contain none. Near the outer surface of the leaf four other irregular rows of fibre bundles, without spiral vessels, are found, whose section is lanceolate, thus making eight rows altogether in the base of the leaf. The fibres here are generally much weaker than in any other part, and can be easily torn across with a needle.

Near the outside of the leaf the cellular tissue, in which these bundles are imbedded, is lax and translucent, but towards the interior it is open and spongy, the cells being arranged in single rows, enclosing irregular inter-cellular spaces (Fig. X. h.), which are of a tubular form, the tubes running parallel with the vascular bundles. These inter-cellular passages begin to be developed when the leaf is about four inches long, and they are found only in those parts where gum is exuded. At present I have always found them empty, but it is possible that they may be gum-canals, or the glands or ducts by which gum is secreted.

In the thick part of the butt of the leaf, the internal rows of bundles are reduced to one, the others having died out. (Fig. IV.) They are here club-shaped, with a constriction in the middle (Fig. V. a.), and enclose a rhomboidal bundle of spiral-vessels (Fig. V. s. v.). Besides these there is also a marginal row of bundles, the largest of which (Fig. V. b.) alternate with the bundles of the interior row. They are of an elongated clavate form, constricted in the

[Footnote] * What are called the cotton-like, or hair-like, filaments of the flax, are far from being the ultimate fibres, but are single bundles containing perhaps 100 or more liber-cells; the ultimate fibres are all but invisible to the unassisted eye.

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middle, and with a rhomboidal bundle of spiral-vessels (Fig. V. s. v.) in the thick part of the club. Between these occur three smaller bundles, of an oval form, also constricted in the middle. The central one of these, which is situated just opposite to the interior bundle (Fig. V. c.), is rather more than half the length of the largest, and encloses near its inner end a rhomboidal bundle of spiral-vessels. The other two are of the same form as the central one, but not much more than half its length (Fig. V. d.), and the bundles of spiral-vessels, which are also near the inner end, are in section like the sector of a circle, or a boy's kite. The cellular tissue which encloses these bundles is rather lax, and of a light-green colour, becoming close, and densely filled with chlorophyll, towards the outer side. All traces of the inter-cellular passages have disappeared, but in their place two cylindrical bundles of large, loose, translucent cells (Fig. V. f.) appear near the end of each of the smallest marginal bundles, and these continue to the point of the leaf. The cells that surround the interior bundles, and the rounded interior ends of the largest marginal bundles, are filled with a red fluid, as are also those of the midrib and margins of the leaf.

The vascular bundles in the free part of the leaf, at the butt, are rhomboidal in section (Fig. VI. b.), reaching the epidermis on the outer or inferior surface, but separated by several rows of cells from the inner or superior epidermis; they enclose bundles of spiral-vessels (Fig. VI. s. v.) that are also rhomboidal in section. Midway between these, and near the superior surface, there sometimes occurs another small cylindrical bundle (Fig. VI. e.) of liber cells, without any spiral-vessels, but more often this is absent. Between each of the vascular bundles there is also a cylindrical bundle of large loose cells (Fig. VI. f.), similar to those in the thick part of the butt. The midrib (Fig. VII.) is formed by an elongated bundle of fibres, enclosing a rhomboidal bundle of spiral-vessels near its inner end, and it is surrounded by three circular bundles (Fig. VII. e.) of fibres alone.

Higher up in the blade, as the free parts of the leaf get larger, the interior bundles of the butt die out, and the medial-sized marginal bundles elongate, until they, as well as the larger ones, reach almost across the leaf (Fig. VIII.) from the outer to the inner surface, the smaller ones (d.) retaining their relative size. All have, however, now altered in shape; the larger ones are still clavate, but are swollen, instead of constricted, in the middle; and the swollen parts contain their bundles of spiral-vessels, which neither in shape nor in relative position have changed with the liber-cells. The smaller, or inter-mediate bundles (Fig. VIII. d.) have become more clavate; but their spiral-vessels have still retained their shape of the sector of a circle. Occasionally on the inner side of the leaf small round bundles (Fig. VIII. e.), composed altogether of fibre, are found, alternating with the bundles that cross the leaf.

The average thickness of these bundles on the superior or inner surface of the leaf is 0.005 inch, and on the inferior or outer surface, 0.0027 inch, and their distance from one another is 0.018 inch, or fifty-five bundles to the inch. There are, therefore, about two hundred and fifty bundles of fibre in the whole breadth of the leaf, not including the intermediate bundles, which would give about as many more in the lower part of the blade near the butt; but towards the point of the leaf these intermediate bundles die out, leaving only the large ones, that go the whole way across. These also get finer and closer together the nearer they get to the point, so that there are almost as many of them close to the tip of the leaf, as there are near the butt. On the inferior or outer surface, the bundles of fibres reach to the epidermis, but on the superior or inner surface, several rows of cells intervene. Each bundle of fibres is separated from the next to it, in the interior of the leaf, by a mass of lax

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translucent cells (Fig. VIII. f.) similar to those found in the butt of the leaf. The rest of the cellular tissue is densely filled with chlorophyll.

The Maoris, in cleaning the fibre, cut through the outer or inferior surface of the leaf, as far as the lax tissue in the centre, then tearing out that part which contains one half of each of the bundles that cross the leaves, and the intermediate bundles, with the small quantity of cellular tissue between them, they throw away the inner or superior surface, together with the other half of the large bundles of fibres. The cellular tissue, already broken up by tearing it away from the rest of the leaf, is easily got rid of, and thus the fibre is both finer and cleaner than that prepared by the machines. Of course the system is very wasteful, and it would never do for us to follow it, but I would suggest that it might be very advantageous to split the leaf longitudinally, so as to divide the inner and outer surfaces before putting it through the machine, as by this means the bundles of fibres would be split into two, and a finer, as well as a cleaner, article obtained.

Gum.—The gum of the flax plant, when first exuded, is a thickish, sticky, colourless fluid, that runs down the leaf when it is cut. It gradually hardens into a semi-solid, jelly-like, viscid substance, and ultimately into a thin tough pellicle, which can be easily peeled off the leaf, and which generally retains the markings of the cell-walls of the superior epidermis. When pure it is colourless, or pale yellow. It shews no microscopical structure, but generally contains small pieces of vegetable tissue, etc., and sometimes several animals, which live in it. On exposure to the sun, it shrinks greatly, and after a few days hardens into a tough solid substance, not easily broken.

In its first, or fluid state, in which alone it exists in the interior of the plant, it readily mixes with water. Both in its usual semi-solid state, and after hardening in the sun, it softens and intumesces in cold water, but only partially dissolves. In boiling water, it dissolves readily, when in the semi-solid state, but with difficulty after having been dried. Alcohol fails to dissolve it, but turns it white. It is unaffected by the caustic alkalies, but dissolves easily in acids. Iodine colours a solution of it yellow, without any trace of blue.

Neither alcohol nor neutral acetate of lead produce any effect upon a solution in water; but it is precipitated, of a yellowish-white colour, by tribasic acetate of lead, by protochloride of tin, and by nitrate of mercury.

These reactions show that it differs from all the gums, by not being precipitated by alcohol, and further, from the gum-arabic group by its insolubility in cold water; from the cherry-tree gum group, by its being precipitated by nitrate of mercury; and from the gum-tragacanth group by its insolubility in caustic alkali, while it is allied to this latter by its intumescing and partly dissolving in water. On the other hand, on all these points, except the solubility in cold water, it agrees with carrageen and linseed mucilage; and the latter, after having been dried, intumesces in water, and only partially re-dissolves. From all the mucilages, however, our flax gum differs in its behaviour with neutral acetate of lead, which proves that it contains little or no pectin, and in this respect it is like the true gums. It appears, therefore, that flax gum is intermediate between the gum-tragacanth, or Barsorin group of true gums, and the mucilages, and ought, strictly speaking, to be called a gum mucilage.

We are thus led to the following conclusions:—

  • 1.

    That the object to be aimed at, in manufacturing the fibre, is the separation of the fibro-vascular bundles from the cellular tissue and epidermis of the leaf, and not, by any means, the breaking up of the bundles into their ultimate fibres, which would entirely destroy their strength.

  • 2.

    That the bundles of fibres in the leaf are of different sizes.

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  • 3.

    That no woody fibre exists in the leaf, but the liber-cells have thin walls of delicate construction, which probably accounts for the quick deteriora-tion of the fibre by over-bleaching, or by the use of chemicals.

  • 4.

    That the gum appears to offer no peculiar obstacle to the manufacturer, provided the leaves are above the butt, for in the state in which it alone exists in the interior of the plant it readily mixes with cold water.

Art. XXIII.—On the New Zealand Flax, (Phormium tenax).

[Read before the Auckland Institute, October 18, 1869.]

This plant grows in nearly every part of New Zealand, Chatham Islands, and Norfolk Island. It is said to exist on the Lachlan plains in New South Wales. In New Zealand it occupies, a zone from the beach to an elevation of 4000 feet.

It has been generally supposed that there were three varieties, viz., the P. tenax, P. Colensoi, and another kind, discovered by Dr. Hector on the south-west coast of the Middle Island.

The P. tenax is described as having a leaf from 3 to 6 feet in length, and a flower-stalk from 6 to 16 feet in length, with a yellow and red flower, and inhabiting the Bay of Islands and northern districts.

The P. Colensoi is described as having a leaf 2 to 3 feet in length, and a flower-stalk from 3 to 6 feet in length, with a pale flower, and being found as far south as lat. 46° 30′.

Sir William Hooker doubts if these are distinct varieties, as they do not appear to be more dissimilar than Fuchsias and other flowers will become by different modes of cultivation.

The largest flax grows on the immediate margins of rivers, such as the Waikato, Wairoa, and Thames, where the rich slime brought down in the freshets affords the nutriment fitting for the most luxuriant growth of the plant. The plant growing in swamps is of inferior size to this.

The quality of the fibre which the leaf contains, varies much with the character of the soil, the hilly and dry ground producing a kind very much superior to that of the river-edge and swamp,—a rule modified, however, by the quality of the soil.

According to the natives, the various kinds on the east coast of the North Island are:—

1st. The Witau, yielding a poor fibre.

2nd. The Motu-o-rui and Awanga, a variegated kind, the fibre un-serviceable for manufacture.

3rd. The Wara rika, and Manga eka, yielding a fibre of ordinary character.

4th. The Oue or Tapoto, yielding a beautiful glossy or silky fibre, but of so brittle a character as to require a mode of preparation in which a knife or scraping implement may not be used. The natives soak the leaf to soften the epidermis, which they strip off by shaking and drawing it through the hand, whence it obtains the name of “Tihore,” by which the plant is generally, but improperly, known.

The Oue should be grown on a rich, deep soil, not swampy. The best fibre is very much prized, and is used for the Kaitaka, or bordered mat.

Some of this flax was manufactured in France into fabrics, that resembled fine jean and silk in delicacy of gloss.

The Oue is frequently planted by the natives in borders to divide small cultivations near a village, and where it is convenient for occasional use in mat-making. In this case, it constitutes quite a property. It may be seen in the cultivations at Coromandel harbour, Kawhia, and the Waikato.

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The Oue is rarely more than 5 feet high. The leaves are very glossy, and rather red at the edges, causing the plant to assume, at a distance, rather an orange-green colour, as against the bluish-green of the other kinds.

5th. The Rongotainui. This flax grows most extensively on the East Coast, and at the Bay of Plenty; it is, of all, the most prized for the manufacture of fishing lines and cordage.

The Rongotainui is probably the best for commercial purposes generally; it is rather scarce in its wild state, but is carefully grown about the native settlements. The leaf of this kind of flax may be scraped or beaten without injury to the fibre which it contains. The natives cut across the epidermis on the under side of the leaf, previous to drawing it over the edge of a shell or knife.

On the West Coast, and at Taranaki, the flax called Hati rau kawa is used by the natives for the finest mats; it is probably the same as the Oue. The following are also known to the West Coast natives, viz:—

1st. The Pare kore tawa, Huhiroa, [probably “Oue roa”] Rataroa, and Tihore yielding the best fibre.

2nd. The Ngaro, Tara riki, Wara riki and Pato. The Ngutunui, Ngutu parura, and Tai one contain a stiff fibre.

The Raumoa and Manunui are good kinds for cordage.

Mr. Hursthouse states that, at Taranaki, the Takaiapu, Ate weka, and Korako are of a first-rate quality. There are also kinds called the Tepuna and Tutai wiki.

It is probable that many of the above-mentioned are the same, under different names; there appears to be no marked generic difference in any, save that from the South-west Coast; but difference of climate, locality, and soil will no doubt alter the relative quality and quantity of the fibre, and the appearance of the plant.

The Oue should be grown in rich, deep soil, properly drained. The hill flax as a rule yields the largest proportion of fibre, to weight of leaf, but the leaf is generally short.

The leaves may be cut twice a year. After steeping, the natives make the Oue leaves up into small bundles, and hang them on horizontal poles to dry, shaking and rubbing the leaf, from time to time, to get off the fleshy part of the leaf. A chemical process would probably be more suited to the preparation of this kind of flax. It is important to remember that the Oue or Tihore should not be exported for rope-making purposes, nor, if possible, the other kinds for textile fabrics.

The native names for the various parts of the flax plant, are:—Purake or Pakauka for the outside leaves, which are rejected, the Muka, or inner leaves, are collected for use, and the Rito, or unfolded leaf, is carefully left uncut.

The Korari is the name of the flower stalk, often, but wrongly, used as the name of the plant. The edible root is the Aruhe.

The word “Muka” is commonly applied to the dressed fibre; it is the correct name for the inner leaves.

Cleared bush-land is suitable for the cultivation of the flax plant, and even swamp-land is improved by drainage. In the various flax swamps near Nelson, through which roads have been made, it is invariably found that the finest plants grow upon the soil that has been thrown out of the ditch, at the road side.

When cultivated, each plant should have about two square yards of ground. An acre would thus give room for 2420 plants. About 10 lbs. of leaf will be obtained from each plant. A farm of one hundred acres would give 1085 tons of leaf. Allowing one-sixth of this to be convertible into fibre, 180 tons of marketable flax would be the result.

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Art. XXIV.—On the Vegetation of the neighbourhood of Christchurch, including Riccarton, Dry Bush, etc.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, December 2, 1868.]

Introductory Remarks on the Distribution of Plants in the Province of Canterbury. By Julius Haast, Ph. D., F. R. S.

Since the appearance of Dr. J. D. Hooker's excellent “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora,” it has always been my wish to see the compilation of the names of all the plants which grow in the neighbourhood of this city, undertaken; because I have often observed, that few persons, even those acquainted with the rudiments of botany, know what plants really grow wild near Christchurch, and when they should look for them. Unfortunately my own occupations have not allowed me time to prepare such lists, I there-fore induced our member, Mr. J. F. Armstrong, to devote his leisure time to do so, and there is no person here more competent to perform such an arduous task.

I may be here allowed to state, that for more than four years Mr. Armstrong, and his son Mr. J. B. Armstrong, have assisted me in collecting our indigenous vegetation, for the herbarium of our Museum, and for making exchanges; and both have also given me great help in arranging the botanical collections belonging to the province. In fact, whilst I was collecting and investigating the alpine and sub-alpine Flora of New Zealand, my two botanical assistants did the same work in the neighbourhood of Christchurch, and contributed several complete sets of plants to the Museum, which, however, like the great bulk of our botanical collections, have hitherto been inaccessible to the public, for want of space to exhibit them in.

The vegetation of the province of Canterbury, as formerly constituted, may be divided into five main groups or zones, which again can be formed into many sub-divisions.

The five main zones are:—

  • 1.

    The Littoral zone, in which grow, generally, only plants which are peculiar to the sea-shore, from high-water mark to 25 feet above it.

  • 2.

    Lowland zone. This comprises the lower portion of the Canterbury Plains, of Banks' Peninsula, and of Westland. I propose for this group the name of Pine zone. Altitude above sea-level, 25 to 800 feet. On Banks' Peninsula, to 1200 feet.

  • 3.

    Mountain zone, formed by the vegetation, mostly Beech or Fagus, which covers, where still existing, uniformly the sides of the mountains bordering the Canterbury Plains, and the foot of the central ranges, both on the east and west sides. It may appropriately be called the Beech zone. Altitude from 800 to 4000 feet. In the interior of the Alps, it rises only to 2500 feet.

  • 4.

    Sub-alpine zone, formed by a great variety of shrubs, and a few stunted trees. It ranges from 2500 to 4500 feet, and includes the lower portion of the interior of the province, and the highest summits of Banks' Peninsula.

  • I propose to call it the Dracophyllum zone, as this genus, belonging to the Ericeæ or Heaths, is always well represented, and most conspicuous in the regions referred to.

  • 5.

    Alpine zone, on the summits of the mountains bordering the Canter-bury Plains, and on the sides of the alpine ranges, growing to the line of perpetual snow, from 4000 to 7000 feet.

It consists of herbaceous plants, often growing in dense, carpet-like swards. I venture to call it the Raoulia zone, from that genus assuming such conspicuous forms in those regions.

There are, of course, many gradations from the one into the other, as all

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depends upon the aspect, orographical features, mean altitude, and many other secondary causes.

Banks' Peninsula has, in many respects, a peculiar botanical character, as some of the zones are here, as it were, blended with each other in a very striking manner. Moreover, several species of plants growing here, are not to be met with elsewhere.

The sand-hills near Christchurch are very good examples of the first, or Littoral zone, which consists mostly of creeping succulent plants, fond of saline matter, and of sedges, grasses, and a few small shrubs.

The second or Pine zone, is well represented in our neighbourhood by the Riccarton Bush, and still better by the forests on Banks' Peninsula.

It contains, from its low position, the most luxuriant portion of the New Zealand vegetation, high, straight trees, growing closely together, interwoven by numerous lianas, their stems covered with mosses and ferns, and with a dense undergrowth of shrubs and fern-trees.

This second, or Pine zone, is very rich in species, whilst the third, or Beech zone is remarkably uniform, except on the edges of the forest, or along the water-courses, where shrubs and some smaller trees are mixed with it. But once fairly entered into the Fagus (or Beech) forests, we find very little undergrowth, and the stems of the trees are remarkably clean.

The vegetation of Christchurch and its neighbourhood belongs to the first and second zones, with which Mr. Armstrong will make us further acquainted.

The Vegetation of the neighbourhood of Christchurch. By J. F. Armstrong.

Before entering into the subject of this paper, I may be allowed to make a few personal observations, and to request that you will kindly grant me your indulgence for this my first Essay.

I should never have ventured to bring these notes before the Institute had not our President urged upon me, that the preparation of the lists would be very desirable.

I have, therefore, occupied my leisure hours with drawing up these lists; in doing which, my son, who for several years has almost exclusively occupied himself with botany, has rendered me most effectual help, in naming the mosses, ferns, fungi, etc.

I am well aware that these lists are still incomplete in many respects; but I have no doubt, that, in the course of next year, much more material will be collected, so that in a short time they will contain the names of all the plants found within a radius of ten miles around Christchurch.

As Dr. Haast has kindly written some introductory remarks to my notes, I need not enter into botanical geography, but simply state that the vegetation of the country, of which I shall treat, belongs to the first, or littoral zone; and to the second, or pine zone.

It is my intention to furnish, at some future day, a complete list of the plants in this district, classified according to Hooker's “New Zealand Flora.” I shall at present only give lists of the most prominent localities, in which a great variety of vegetable life gladdens the eye of the friend of nature.

Amongst these localities none is more conspicuous than the Riccarton Bush, which, as the following list will show, is remarkably rich in species. In fact we have there a small remnant of the large forest, formerly, without doubt, covering the Canterbury Plains, giving us an insight into the luxuriant forest vegetation, which, in a bygone age, flourished here.

The principal portion of the forest consists of the noble coniferous trees, Podocarpus Totara, P. ferruginea (Black Pine), P. spicata, P. dacrydioides (White Pine), Eloeocarpus dentatus (Hinau), fifty feet high, with pendulous ra-cemes of white flowers. The bark of this tree yields a permanent dye, used by the

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Maoris for colouring mats and baskets. E. Hookerianus, similar to dentatus, but smaller. Plagianthus betulinus (Ribbon Wood), wood of which is worthless. Pittosporum eugenioides, a small, beautiful tree, with yellow, sweet-scented flowers, bark resinous, wood white, useful for cabinet work. Carpodetus serratus, flowers white, profusely produced; wood tough, useful for axe handles. Panax crassifolium, the Ivy tree.

Shrubs, Etc.

Drimys axillaris, a large evergreen shrub, aromatic and pungent, used by the Maoris for various diseases, the “Winter's bark” of New Zealand. Pepper tree of the settlers, wood used for veneers. Melicytus ramiflorus, a large shrub, with soft white wood, useful for cabinet work, leaves eaten by cattle. Pittosporum tenuifolium, a large evergreen, pyramidal shrub, with purple flowers, wood hard, yellowish, useful for cabinet work. P. Colensoi, similar to the last, but larger, wood useless. Hoheria populnea, a large shrub, with abundantly-produced white flowers, the bark affords a demulcent drink, and is also used for cordage. Aristotelia racemosa, a very handsome shrub, with large racemes of reddish, nodding flowers; wood very light, said to be good for veneers. Pennantia corymbosa, a large, very beautiful shrub, covered profusely with very fragrant white flowers. The wood was formerly used by the Maoris for kindling fires, by friction. Coriaria ruscifolia, a small shrub, foliage poisonous to cattle, etc.; the seeds are said to produce delirium and death. A beverage, like elderberry wine, is made from the juice. Urtica ferox, the Stinging Nettle, stings most violently; the pain lasts three or four days. Rhipogonum scandens, Supplejack. The long under-ground stems have been used as sarsaparilla by the settlers; the stems as cordage, by the Maoris. Phormium tenax, the fibres of which are very strong; its roots, also, have been used as a substitute for sarsaparilla.

Another interesting locality, in the neighbourhood of this city, and visible from our streets, is the so-called Dry Bush, which, from numerous fires having passed through it, has a scorched appearance. Although there are some large coniferous trees in this small forest, it has more the characteristics of that portion of our bush vegetation which invariably edges our larger forests, of which the Mount Pleasant Bush is a still more characteristic representative.

The only conifers are Podocarpus Totara, and P. ferruginea. The other principal forest trees are Alectryon excelsum (Titoki), a beautiful tree, with large panicles of reddish flowers; the oil of the seeds was formerly used by the Maoris for anointing the person; wood hard and durable. Sophora tetraptera, var. grandiflora, a beautiful tree, with large pendulous yellow flowers, wood red, valuable for fencing and cabinet work. Fuchsia excorticata, wood white, soft, probably worthless.

There are in this small bush about twenty-eight species of shrubs, enumerated in the appended list; some of them are very beautiful, and worthy of cultivation in our gardens; while others may prove useful for their medicinal properties. The most remarkable among these are Carmichoelia australis and C. juncea, with beautiful pea-like flowers. Discaria Toumatou, the spines of which were used in tattooing. Myrtus obcordata, Piper excelsum (Kava Kava), the New Zealand Pepper tree: a beverage, called kava, was formerly made from the roots and leaves by the Maoris; an infusion of the leaves is used to cure toothache. Clematis, n. sp., a curious leafless climber, with verticillate, yellow, sweet-scented flowers.*

The Sand-Hills.

It is evident from the shifting nature of the ground in the littoral zone,

[Footnote] * See List of Plants of Otago, by J. Buchanan, p. 38, “Trans. N. Z. Inst.,” Vol. i.

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that no large or continuous vegetation can occur; at the same time, from its diversified appearance, it is peculiarly interesting to the botanist. There we meet with a few shrubs, such as Cassinia, Carmichælia, Discaria, Pimelia Arenaria, with its peculiar baccate fruit; and a considerable variety of herbaceous plants, principally consisting of coarse grasses, Carex, Clematis, Ranunculus, Scleranthus, superior to the Kew grass for lawns, verges, etc., Tetragona, Pratia, six species of Orchideæ; and among Ferns, Pteris aquilina, Botrychium virginicum, the rare British fern Ophioglossum vulgatum, and Drosera.

As new plants are discovered every year, we are forced to the conclusion, that the flora of this neighbourhood is imperfectly known.

My best thanks are due to Mrs. Deans for having always given me permission to collect plants and specimens at Riccarton, whenever I required them.

The appended lists contain about 290 species of plants, including 230 flowering plants. As the total number in New Zealand is under 900 sp., we may conclude that the collection is tolerably complete. The number of ferns is 38 sp.; I believe there is no probability of future additions being made to this number. Of mosses, lichens. etc., only 26 sp. have been collected, but in this class there still remains an ample field for future discovery. Although I consider that the greater part of the flowering plants in the district have now been collected, much remains to be done in tracing the distribution of species; for, although the area is small, it contains several assemblages of species.

I find that there are five plants in the district which have not been found elsewhere: they are, Clematis, n. sp.; Carmichoelia, n. sp.; Anquilaria Novoe Zelandioe, n. sp.; Senecio saxifragoides, and Fuchsia Colensoi.

Riccarton Bush contains—forest trees 13 species, shrubs 27, climbers 10, herbaceous 34, ferns 14, mosses and lichens 20. Total 118.

Dry Bush.—Forest trees 15, shrubs 32, parasites 3, climbers 11, herbs 24, ferns 13, mosses 17. Total 115.

Mount Pleasant.—Forest trees 8, shrubs 20, climbers 11, herbaceous 18, parasites 2, ferns 27, mosses, etc., 14. Total 100.

Port Hills.—Shrubs 18, herbaceous 88, ferns 15, mosses 10. Total 131.

Sand Hills.—Shrubs 11, herbaceous 59, ferns 4, mosses 2. Total 76.

Swamps.—Shrubs 14, herbaceous 86, ferns, etc., 9, mosses, etc., 7. Total 116.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

[The following Lists have been compiled from those attached to Mr. Armstrong's paper, as giving the same information in a more connected form: the author gave a separate List for each district.—ED.]
Forest Trees. Native or Settlers' Name. Season of Flowering. Riccarton Bush. Dry Bush. Mount Pleasant Blush. Port hills, and Sumner: north side of range. Swamps. Sand-hills.
Pittosporum eugenioides Tarata Oct. 1 1
Plagianthus betulinus Ribbon wood Nov. 1 1
Aristotelia racemosa Nov 1
Elæocarpus dentatus Hinau Nov.-Dec. 1 1
" Hookerianus Small Hinau Dec. 1
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[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Forest Trees. Native or Settlers' Name. Season of Flowering. Riccarton Bush. Dry Bush. Mount Pleasant Blush. Port hills, and Sumner: north side of range. Swamps. Sand-hills.
Alectryon excelsum Titoki Nov.-Dec. 1
Sophora tetraptera, var. Kowai Oct.-Nov. 1
Carpodetus serratus Dec. 1 1
Leptospermum scoparium Manuka Nov.-Dec. 1
Fuchsia excorticata Konini Nov.-Jan. 1 1
Panax crassifolium Ivy tree Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
" longissimum Horoeka 1
" simplex 1
Schefflera digitata. White wood Nov. 1 1 1
Grisilinea littoralis Broad leaf Oct.-Nov. 1 1
Myrsine Urvillei Matipo Oct.-Dec. 1 1 1
Epicarpurus microphyllus Towai Dec. 1
Podocarpus Totara Totara Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
" ferruginea Black pine Dec. 1 1
" spicata Maii Nov.-Dec. 1
" dacrydioides White pine Nov. 1
Cordyline australis Dec.-Jan. 1
Shrubs and Small Trees.
Drymis axillaris Pepper tree Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
Melicytus ramiflorus Hina hiua Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1 1
Pittosporum tenuifolium Karo Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1
" Colensoi Oct.-Jan. 1 1
Hoheria populnea Ribbon wood Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
Aristotelia racemosa Wine berry Oct.-Nov. 1 1
Melicope simplex. Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1
Pennantia corymbosa Nov.-Jan. 1 1
Discaria Toumatou Toumatou Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1 1
Plagianthus divaricatus Dec. 1
Coriaria ruscifolia. Tutu Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1 1
Carmichælia australis Makaka Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1 1 1
" juncea Nov.-Dec. 1
" nana. Nov.-Dec. 1 1
" pilosa. Nov. 1
" grandiflora Oct.-Dec. 1
" sp. Nov.-Dec. 1
Sophora tetraptera, var. microphylla Oct.-Dec. 1 1
Haloragis alata Toa toa Oct.-Jan. 1 1 1 1 1
Leptospermum scoparium, var Manuka Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1 1 1
" ericoides Nov.-Dec. 1
Myrtus obcordata. Myrtle Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
" pedunculata Rohutu Dec. 1
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[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Shrubs and Small Tress. Native or Settlers' Name. Season of Flowering. Riccarton Bush. Dry Bush. Mount pleasant Bush. port hills, and Summer: north side of range. Swamps. Sand-hills.
Fuchsia excorticata Koninin Nov.-Dec. 1 1
" Colensoi. Nov.-jan. 1 1
Griselinia lucida Broad leaf Oct. 1
Corokia Cotoneaster Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
Coprosma lucida Kakaramu Nov. 1 1 1 1
" robusta Karamu Nov. 1 1
Cunninghamii Sept.-Oct. 1 1
" spathulata Sept.-Nov. 1 1 1
" rhamnoides Sept.-Oct. 1 1 1
" rotundifolia Oct.-Nov. 1 1 1
" cuneata. Oct. 1
" parviflora Sep. 1
" acerosa Oct.-Jan 1 1 1
Olearia virata 1
" nitida Oct.-Jan. 1
" Forsteri Akepirau Nov.-Jan. 1
Ozothamnus glomeratus Nov.-Dec. 1
Cyathodes acerosa Mingi Nov.-Dec. 1 1
Cassinia Vauvilliersii Dec.-Feb. 1 1 1
" leptophylla Nov.-Jan. 1
Muhlenbeckia compelxa Nov.Jan. 1
Leucopogon Frazeri Nov. 1 1
Sophora tetraptera, var. Oct.-Nov. 1
Veronica salicifolia Nov.-Feb. 1 1 1
" Lavaudiana Dec. 1
" Colnesoi. Dec.-Jan. 1 1
" Raoullii. Dec. 1
Myoporum lætum. Nagaio Dec.-Jan. 1 1 1
Teucridium parvifolium Nov.-Dec. 1
Urica ferox Ongonga Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
Piper excelsum Kava-kava Nov.-Feb. 1 1
Pimelia prostrata. Dec. 1 1
" arenaria Antetaranga Nov.-Jan. 1
Loranthus micranthus Nov.-Jan. 1
Tupeia antarctica. Nov.-Jan. 1 1
Viscum lindsayi. Nov.-Jan. 1
Clematis indivisa. Travellers's Joy Nov. 1 1 1
" Colensoi. Nov. 1
" parviflora Nov.-Jan. 1
" foetida Nov. 1 1
n. sp. Oct.-Nov. 1
Rubus australis Tataramoa Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
Metrosideros scandens Akakura Dec. 1 1 1
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Creepers. native or Settlers' Name. Season of Flowering. Riccarton Bush. Dry Bush. Mount Pleasant Bush. Port hills, and Summer: north side of range. Swamps. Sandhhills.
Passiflora tetrandra Kohea Dec. 1 1
Parsonsia albiflora Kaika Dec. 1 1 1
" rose Dec. 1 1 1
Convolvulus Tuguriorum Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
" Sepium Nov.-Mar. 1
Muhlenbeckia adpressa Nov.-Feb. 1 1 1
" complexa Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1
Rhipogonum scandens Supple-jack Nov. 1
Herbaceous Plants.
Ranunculus pinguis Kori kori Nov.-Jan.1 1 1 1 1 1
" macropus Oct.-Feb. 1 1 1
" lapaceus Butter cup Nov.-Jan 1
" plebeius Dec.-Feb. 1
" multiscapus Nov.-Feb. 1 1
Cardamine hirsuta Panapana Sept.-jan. 1 1 1 1 1
Viola Cunninghamii Violet Sept.Mar. 1 1
Stellaria media Chickweed Aug.-Ap. 1 1
Colobanthus, sp. Nov. 1 1
Hypericum gramineum St. John's wort Nov.-Jan. 1 1
" japonicum Dec.-Jan 1 1 1
Linum monogynum Flax Nov.-Mar. 1
Geranium dissectum Pinaki tere Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1 1 1
" microphyllum Nov.-Feb. 1 1
Pelargonium australe Kopata Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
Oxalis corniculata Nov.-Feb. 1 1 1 1
Acæna Sanguisorbæ Burr Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1
Geum urbanum Kopato Oct.-Jan 1 1 1 1
potentilla ansorina, var. Nov.-Dec. 1 1
Drosera spathulata Sun dew Jan. 1
" binata Jan. 1
myriophyllum variæfolium Feb. 1
Gunnera monoica Nov.-Feb. 1
Epilobium macropus Oct.-Dec. 1 1 1 1 1
" nummularifolium Hinatoti Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1 1
" rotundifolium Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1 1
" pallidiflorum Nov.-Jan. 1 1 1 1 1 1
" Billardierianum Nov.-Feb. 1
" purpuratum Oct.-Feb. 1
" crassum Nov.-Mar. 1
" glabellum Oct.-Dec. 1
Aciphylla squarrosa Spear grass Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1 1
Eryngium vesiculosum Sea holly Nov.-Feb. 1 1
Ligusticum, sp. Dec. 1
Angelica Gingidium Nov.-Dec. 1 1
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Herbaceous Plants. Native or Settlers Name. Seasons of Flowering. Riccarton Bush Dry Bush. Mount Pleasant Bush Port hills, and Summer north side of range Swampa Sand-hilla.
Angelica geniculata Dec. 1 1 1
Galium tenuicaule Nov. -Dec. 1 1
Celmisia longifolia Nov. -Jan. 1 1
Vittadinia australis Nov. -Dec. 1 1 1
Daueus brachiatus Wild carrot Dec. 1
Lagenophora Forsteri Oct. -Jan. 1
" petiolata Oct. -Jan. 1
Cotula coronopifolia Nov. Mar. 1
" australis Sept -Mar. 1
Barchycome Sinclairii Daisy Nov. -Jan. 1
Craspedia fimbriata Sept. -Feb. 1 1 1
" alpina. Oct. -Jan. 1
Raoulia australis. Nov. -Dec. 1
" Monoroi. Nov. 1
" sp. Nov. 1
Gnaphalium luteo-album Nov. -Dec. 1 1 1 1
" bellidioides. Nov. -Dec. 1
" filicaule Nov. -Dec. 1
" involueratum Dec. 1 1 1
Erechtites arguta. Dec. -Ap. 1
" quadridentata Pekapeka Oct. -Jan. 1
Senecio bellidioides Nov. -Jan. 1 1 1
" saxifragoides Nov. -Feb. 1
" lautus Nov. -Jan. 1 1
" lagopus Dec. -Jan. 1
Microseris Frosteri Oct. -Jan. 1 1 1 1
Crepis Novæ Zelandiæ Sept. -Feb. 1 1
Taraxacum dens-leonis Oct.–April. 1 1 1 1
Sonchus oleraceus Sow thistle Nov.-Mar. 1 1 1 1 1
Wahlenbergia gracilis Bluebell Oct.–Jan. 1 1 1 1
Pratia angulata Dec. 1
" sp. Nov.–Mar. 1
Lobelia, sp. Dec. -Feb. 1
Selliera radicans Oct. -Jan. 1 1 1
Leucopogno, sp. Nov. -Jan. 1
Samolus repens Dec. -Jan. 1 1
Gentiana montana Dec. -Feb. 1
Sebæa ovata Dec. -Feb. 1 1 1
Myosotis Forsteri. Forget me not Nov. -Jan. 1
" australis Dec. 1
" sp. Nov. -Jan. 1
Convolvulus sepium Bind-weed Nov. -Jan. 1
" tuguriorum Nov. -Feb. 1
" erubescens Oct. -Jan. 1 1
Dichondra repens Nov.–Dec. 1
Solanum nigrum. Nightshade Sept. -Jan. 1 1 1 1 1
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Herbaceous Plants. Native or Settlers Name. Seasons of Flowering. Riccarton Bush Dry Bush. Mount Pleasant Bush Port hills, and Summer north side of range Swampa Sand-hilla.
Solanum aviculare Koho koho Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1
Mentha Cunninghamii Mint Nov. -Jan. 1 1 1
Plantago major. Plantain Oct. -Feb. 1 1 1
" Raoulii. Nov. -Jan. 1
Chenopodium triandrum Spinach Nov. -Jan. 1
" urbicum Nov. -Jan. 1
" glaucum Nov. 1
Atriplex cinerea Nov. -Jan. 1 1
Seleranthus biflorus Kohu kohu Nov. -Dec. 1 1
Polygonum aviculare Pigweed Oct. -Mar. 1 1 1
Rumex flexuosus. Dock Nov. -Jan. 1 1 1
Euphorbia glauca. Spurgewort Nov. -Dec. 1 1
Urtica incisa Nettle Nov. -Mar. 1 1 1
Earina mucronata. Dec.–Feb. 1
Corvsanthes macrantha. Nov. 1 1
" triloba Nov. 1
" oblonga Nov. 1
Thelymitra longifolia Dec. 1 1 1
Phrasophyllum Colensoi Dec 1 1 1
Four other orchids 1
One" 1
Libertia ixioides. Turutu Nov. -Jan. 1 1 1 1
" grandiflora Nov. -Jan. 1
Hyproxis pusilla Nov. -Apl. 1
Anquilaria Novæ Zelandiæ Nov. 1
Typha angustifolia Nov. -Apl. 1
" latifolia Raupo Dec. -Mar. 1
Lemna minor 1
Potamogeton natans 1
Cordyline Pumilio Tirauriki 1
Astelia nervosa Sep.–Oct. 1 1 1 1 1
Arthropodium candidum Nov. -Dec. 1 1
Anthericum Hookeri Nov.–Dec. 1 1 1
Phormium tenax. N. Z. flax Nov.–Dec. 1 1 1
" Colensoi Dec. -Jan. 1
Juncus vaginatus. Nov. 1 1
" austrialis. Oct. 1 1
" maritimus Wiwi Oct. 1 1 1
" communis Common rush Oct.–Nov. 1 1 1
" Holoschoenus Nov. 1
" sp. Oct. 1
Luzula campestris Oct. -Nov. 1 1 1 1 1 1
" Oldfieldii. Oct. -Dec. 1 1 1
" erinita Oct. 1 1
" sp. Oct. 1
Leptocarpus simplex Oi oi Nov. 1 1
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Herbaceous Plants. Native or Settlers' Name. Season of Flowering. Riccarton Bush. Dry Bush. Mount Pleasant Bush. Port hills, and Sumner: north side of range. Swamps. Sand-hills.
Eleocharis gracilis Nov. 1 1 1
Desmochoenus spiralis Pingao Nov. 1
Gahnia xanthocarpa Cutting grass Nov.-Dec. 1
Lepidosperma tetragona Nov. 1 1 1
Carex ternaria Rautahi Oct. 1 1 1 1 1 1
" breviculmis Oct. 1 1
" virgata, var. secta Oct.-Nov. 1
" Raoulii Nov. 1 1
" sp. Nov. 1
Microlæna polynoda 1 1
Alopecurus geniculatus Oct.-Nov. 1
"(Phleum) pratense Oct. 1
Hierochloe redolens Koretu Oct.-Dec. 1 1
Deschampsia cæspitosa Nov. 1 1 1
Agrostis quadriseta Nov. 1
Apera arundinacea Hoomanga-moka Oct. 1 1
Arundo conspicua Toi toi Nov.-Dec. 1 1 1 1
Poa foliosa Oct.-Dec. 1
Festuca duriuscula Oct.-Jan. 1 1
Ferns. 1
Cyathea dealbata 1
Dicksonia lanata 1
" squarrosa 1 1
Hypolepis tenuifolia 1 1
" distans 1
Adiantum Cunninghamii 1 1
Cheilanthes Sieberi 1 1
Pellæa rotundifolia 1 1 1 1
Pteris aquilina, var. escu-lenta 1 1 1 1 1 1
Pteris scaberula 1
" incisa 1
Lomaria procera 1 1 1 1 1
" fluviatilis 1 1 1 1 1
" vulcanica 1
" lanceolata 1
" discolor 1 1
" alpina 1 1 1 1 1 1
Asplenium obtusatum 1
" lucidum 1
" bulbiferum 1 1 1 1
" flaccidum 1 1 1
" flabellifoium 1 1
" Hookerianum 1 1
Aspidium aculeatum 1 1 1 1
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Ferns. Natie of Settlers' Namd. Season of Flowering. Riccarton Bush. Dry Bush. Mount Pleasant Bush. Port hills, and Sumner: north side of range. Swamps. Sand-hills.
Aspidium oculatum 1
Nephrodium velutinum 1
" decompositum 1 1
Polypodium Grammitidis 1
" rupestre 1 1 1 1
" pennigerum 1
" Billardieri 1 1 1 1
Leptopteris hymenophyl-loides Heru heru 1 1
Gymnogramme leptophylla 1
Ophioglossum vulgatum 1 1 1
Botrychium virginicum 1 1 1
Marsileaceæ. 1
Azolla rubra 1
Mosses, Lichens, Fungi, Etc.
Leucobryum candidum 1 1 1
Dicranum dicarpon 1 1 1
Campylopus introflexus 1 1 1
Ceratodon purpureus 1 1 1 1
Macromitrium erosulum 1 1 1
Bryum truncorum 1 1 1 1
Hookeria pulchella 1 1 1
Funaria hygrometrica 1 1 1 1 1
Isothecium ramulosum 1 1 1
Hypnum relaxum 1 1 1
" sp. 1 1 1
Sticta aurata 1 1 1
" crocata 1
" latifrons 1 1 1
" filicina 1 1 1
Polytrichum sp. 1 1
Chara sp. 1
Agaricus campestris Common mushroom 1 1 1 1
" sp 1
Geaster fimbriatus 1
Ileodictyon cibarium 1 1 1
" gracile 1 1 1
Lycoperdon Novæ Zelandiæ 1 1 1 1
" pyriforme 1
" sp. 1
Polyporus sp. 1 1 1
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Art. XXV.—On Irrigation as applied to the growth of New Zealand Flax.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, August 14, 1869.]

There is no country in the world which rejoices in more numerous sparkling streams than New Zealand, and in this respect it contrasts remarkably with the neighbouring territory of Australia; but the rivers are seldom navigable to any distance from the coast, and their waters generally reach the sea without proving of more utility to mankind, than for the common supply of liquid for daily consumption.

There are two modes by which the streams may be made useful to mankind.

  • 1.

    By forming reservoirs of power.

  • 2.

    By fertilizing the soil by irrigation.

It is my intention at present to consider the latter point only.

In Europe two systems of irrigation are adopted. In the warm climates of the Mediterranean basin, water is conveyed to the fields under crop, for the simple purpose of providing the necessary moisture.

In the colder latitudes of England, France, and Germany, water-meadows are put under irrigation during the winter season, at a time when, primâ facie, one might suppose that the soil was sufficiently moist. These meadows are laid out on two plans: on level ground they are formed into ridges and furrows— the water running on to the ground along conduits on the top of the ridges; then flowing gently over both sides, is carried away by the drain in the furrow. To lay off land carefully in this manner is expensive, but the returns are very great. On uneven ground the catch meadow system is adopted. Advantage is taken of the inequalities of the ground to run the water as evenly as possible over the surface, and with proper skill and judgment this object is often attained at slight outlay.

It is a remarkable fact, that although the fertility of water meadows is vastly increased by an admixture of manure with the water, yet that water, containing apparently no foreign element of fertility, is capable, when applied to the soil, of enabling it to return, year after year, heavy crops of hay and grass. This is a point which science has not, as yet, thoroughly explained.

As examples of irrigation I will mention the water meadows near Edinburgh, which are irrigated by strong town sewage. These meadows produce frequent heavy crops of grass, and are said to make a return of from £20 to £60 per annum, according to distance from the fertilizing sources, and the nature of the soil. In Wiltshire, Berkshire, and many other counties in the south of England, the return from water meadows, irrigated without sewage, is very large, and I think that, at a moderate estimate, a return of from £5 to £7 per acre may be considered the average.

The meadows provide early grass for the ewes and lambs in spring, a heavy cut of hay in summer, and an aftermath in autumn.

From my own experience, in a cold district in Scotland, I may state, that after throwing the drainage water from the upper part of my property, so as to irrigate some fields on the lower part, I have obtained, ever since, an increased return, of some 75 per cent. from the irrigated portion, over the previous rental.

In New Zealand, and in no part of the country more than in the Province of Wellington, there are facilities for irrigation possessed by few other countries. It would be absurd to advise expensive modes of laying off land for irrigation, in the present sparse state of the population of the colony; but if it should appear that large tracts of country may be irrigated at moderate expense, for the purpose of developing a staple export, the subject is at least worth enquiry. The export of the fibre of the Phormium tenax has

– 130 –

almost now become a settled industry, and although we may expect this year to hear of many samples being sold below cost price, on account of bad preparation, yet there is reason to suppose that all well-got-up samples will fetch remunerative prices.

Should this industry prove successful, it will clearly be necessary that the cultivation of the plant shall be proceeded with on a large scale, and no one who has observed the growth of the plant, but will have perceived the enormous advantage which irrigation may produce in the returns to be derived from it. If a drain be cut through a flax swamp, and the stagnant water thereby set in motion, the stunted flax, of 18 inches or 2 feet high, immediately springs up to a height of 8 to 10 feet. It is said that in the old days of Maori flax cultivation, the plants were irrigated, although always planted on a hill side.

There is, I should think, no disputing the point that irrigation would add immensely to the returns to be derived from flax cultivation.

It remains, therefore, to be considered what districts in this province are most favourable for irrigation.

Excluding, at present, any small valleys in this immediate vicinity, and proceeding to more extensive districts, we find a low-lying country of sand-hills, swamps, and alluvial flats, extending from the coast at Paikakariki to the Rangitikei river. This country is intersected by streams and rivers, and a great quantity of, at present, comparatively valueless land, might, by irrigation, be made to yield a large annual return. Among the rivers on this coast, the Manawatu might be used for what is called warping—that is, it might be made to deposit its sediment over unfertile tracts of sand.

On the Wairarapa side, extensive stony plains, which, without irrigation, can never produce much beyond a scanty herbage, might, by the fertilizing power of water, be made some of the most valuable lands of the colony.

To produce the results proposed will require both capital and skill; but, if the fibre of the Phormium tenax is to become a great staple export of this country, both of these must be found. If they are not procurable in the colony they must be imported. At the same time, laying off the land for flax irrigation would, probably, not be expensive.

Irrigation, once introduced, would be found to assist materially in the growth of numerous productions, and would, by no means, be confined to the growth of flax alone. Probably few persons in this province are aware that irrigation is at present carried on with marked success in the interior of the Province of Otago. Water-races, which have been brought into auriferous localities for the extraction of gold, are partially used for the promotion of the production of herbs and corn, and the enormous turnips, and other vegetables, which I have seen produced by this means, are enough to astonish a beholder.

I have pointed out the districts in this part of the island to which I consider irrigation might be most advantageously applied. They are low-lying compared with the levels of the streams. In other parts of the country, with the exception of the immediate banks of the rivers, the land rises too rapidly towards the interior to admit of the requisite facilities for the watering of its surface, unless at an expense which is not, in this generation, likely to be incurred.

Let us, however, remember the Spanish proverb:

En Andalusia la carne es yerba,
La yerba es agua,
Los hombres son mujeres,
Y las mujeres nada.”
In Andalusia flesh is herb,
Herb is water,
Men are women,
And women are nothing.

– 131 –

Andalusia is a province in which irrigation is largely carried on.

Lest this proverb should produce any damaging effect upon our proposed scheme of irrigation, I may mention that I breakfasted one morning in Cadiz, and, that, so far as I could judge from such a cursory glance, the men were sturdy, and the women beautiful; besides which, I have had opportunities at Gibraltar, of observing the race with a satisfactory result.

Art. XXVI.—On the Naturalized Plants of the New Zealand, especially with regard to those occurring in the Province of Auckland. *

[Read before the Auckland Institute, November 15, 1869.]

Part I.

In the present imperfect knowledge of the laws which regulate the distribution of species, any authenticated records of the introduction of exotic species into new countries, and their subsequent diffusion, must of necessity possess high value, and be alike calculated to throw light on the obscure past, and to prevent the adoption of error in the future. the opportunities afforded by modern colonization, or watching the introduction of foreign species, and noting their diffusion in new countries, by agencies uncontrolled by man, have been, to a great extent, neglected. In truth, it is far easier to recognize results, than to watch the processes by which the results are brought about; a few years sometimes suffice to show us the displacement of the greater portion of the vegetation of certain localities, although the process itself has been so gradual as almost to have escaped notice; yet when, as in these islands where settlement is in its infancy, we find much of the original vegetation displaced by non-indigenous plants, established about the early mission stations, and seats of commerce, about mines, timber stations, and cattle runs, in short, wherever the immigrant has fixed his temporary or permanent home; we are insensibly led to entertain wider views of the changes which the floras of countries of ancient civilization must have undergone by successive immigrations of plants from other countries. In this light we may glance for a moment at the flora of the British Islands, the flowering section of which is supposed by botanists to consist of naturalized plants to the extent of from one-seventh to one-fourth, or even a higher proportion. If we look back to the time of Phoenician commerce and settlement in the western part of the island, we can readily conceive of plants, from the countries on the Euxine and the Mediterranean, having been accidentally introduced and amalgamated with the indigenous flora. In later times we have no difficulty in extending the idea to those countries which sent to Britain successive hordes of invaders; and in the present day we can point to plants and animals, alike of accidental introduction in the footsteps of commerce, which have become widely naturalized; take for examples, Impatiens fulva, Elodea alsinastrum, and the fluviatile mollusk Dreissena plymorpha.

Now although the robust growth of the modern civilization has buried many traces of the less vigorous ancient forms, it would seem not utterly impossible that a more careful and comparative examination than has yet been made of the floras of the countries, from which Britain received her ancient settlers and invaders, might lead to the removal of much of the uncertainty and doubt that exist as to the indigenous or exotic origin of so large a proportion of her flora; and might also show, to some extent, what those countries had received from Britain, and from each other. To apply this in

[Footnote] * On the subject of Introduced Plants in New Zealand, see Paper by Dr. Hooker, F. R. S., and W. Locke Travers, F. L. S., in “Natural History Review,” Vol. iv., pp. 123 and 617, 1864.—

– 132 –

the case of New Zealand: it is but a century since the islands were discovered by Cook; less than sixty years since the early visits of whalers, and the establishment of the first mission stations; and not half that period has elapsed since settlement was commenced in a systematic manner, yet already the number of naturalized plants,—that is to say, of non-indigenous plants propagating their species, and becoming diffused without the intentional agency of man, or even in opposition thereto, in the Province of Auckland alone,—is equivalent to fully thirty per cent. of the entire number of flowering plants found within the limits of the Colony; a proportion equalling, as we have already seen, that which exists in the British Islands, with a commerce dating from a period anterior to the Christian era. Some of these introductions have largely displaced the original vegetation in many localities, from the North Cape to the Bluff; from the sea level to the highest spots on the hills trodden by the miner or shepherd; while others are confined to a limited area, and apparently exercise no direct influence on the original flora.

A reliable account of the present state of even a few species is a contribution of no small value, tending to prevent the uncertainty and confusion with regard to the geographic origin of a large portion of the flora, which we have seen to prevail so largely in countries of old commerce and civilization, affording a starting point for measuring the rate of diffusion, and noting the power of displacement of, or amalgamation with, the original flora; and in this and other points preparing important material for unlocking the histories of past immigrations in other countries.

The object of this paper is simply to place upon record the present state of the diffusion of naturalized plants in this province, as fully as the available material will allow, with a due regard to conciseness. In those cases where the species under notice is known to occur in other parts of the colony, the facts will be mentioned, but unhappily, these are far too few to admit of this sketch being considered anything more than a sketch of the naturalized plants of the Province of Auckland.

For the facts recorded in this paper, the writer is personally responsible, except when otherwise stated; the only published accounts available, are a list of about sixty species given in “Flora Novæ Zelandiæ,” Vol. ii.; a list of about one hundred and seventy species in the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora,”—the additions comprised in which, were largely contributed by the present writer; and lists of the naturalized plants of the Great Barrier Island, and other localities, prepared by him, and published in the “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,” Vol. i.

Many important bearings of this subject will, it is hoped, afford material for future study. The increased diffusion of certain of the indigenous species by external agencies, only called into operation since the settlement of the colony; the possible introduction of a few additions to the original flora, by the Maori race; the displacement of a portion of the original species; the spontaneous amalgamation of introduced and native species for the benefit of man; the relative statistical importance of the naturalized species to each other, and to the indigenous flora; the influence of climatal and geognostic conditions in facilitating or retarding distribution, and in developing aberrations from the original type, are attractive subjects of vast importance to the phyto-geographical student, and at the present time could probably be worked out more clearly and with greater precision for this colony than for any other country whose flora is equally well determined, owing to the small admixture of error with the facts upon which the student must base his conclusions.

The following plan has been adopted for expressing the known facts for each species, in a concise manner, and admits of ready adaptation for other districts.

Picture icon

Sketch map of the Province of Auckland North

I.—Extent of Diffusion.

With the view of indicating, as precisely as practicable, the present diffusion of each species, that Province of Auckland, as far south as Ngarua-wahia, has been divided (somewhat arbitrarily) into districts, as under:—

  • 1.

    North Cape:—from Cape Maria Van Dieman and the North Cape, to Hokianga and the Bay of Islands.

  • 2.

    Whangarei:—from Hokianga and the Bay of Islands, to Cape Rodney and the north head of the Kaipara harbour.

  • 3.

    Waitemata:—from the south head of the Kaipara, and Cape Rodney, to the head of the Manukau harbour at Penrose, and the Tamaki at Panmure.

  • 4.

    The Islands:—including the Cavalhos and Taranga groups, the Great and Little Barriers, etc., the Kawau, and those in the Firth of Thames.

  • 5.

    Cape Colville:—the Cape Colville peninsula as far south as Kawæ-ranga and Wangamata Bay.

  • 6.

    Waikato:—from Penrose and Panmure to Whaingaroa and Nga-ruawahia.

The district in which each species is known to occur will be indicated by the use of the numbers prefixed above; thus practically affording a separate list of the naturalized plants of each district; but it must not be supposed that these lists are complete, even for any one district. The naturalized plants of the western side of the North Cape district are quite unknown to the writer, and to a great extent those of the western side of the Whangarei district. The districts for which the lists are most complete, are Auckland, the Islands, and Cape Colville. Very little is known of the naturalized plants of the western and extreme southern divisions of the Waikato district, or of the East Coast, south of Wangamata Bay.

II.—Introduction Of Plants.

This has evidently been effected by two chief causes; the direct agency of man, for the purposes of cultivation; and the indirect agency of man and the lower animals, etc.

The first head may be sub-divided into:—

  • 1.

    Horticultural (Hor.), * remains of, or escapes from garden cultivation, as Pelargonium quercifolium, Iris germanica.

  • 2.

    Agricultural (Agri.), remains of, or escapes from, field cultivation, as Lolium perenne, Trifolium repens.

  • 3.

    Accidental. (Acc.) Under this head are included those plants unintentionally introduced by man, whether mixed amongst seeds of ordinary cultivated plants, as in the case of buck-wheat, corn cockle, etc.; or from the seeds being able to attach themselves to clothing, or to the skins of animals, as the various docks, mallows, etc.; or from less prominent causes: in this way Erigeron canadensis has been carried all over the world.

  • 4.

    Uncertain. (Unc.) Plants introduced by causes not directly referable to either of the above.

III.—Degree of Establishment.

As has already been stated, there is a wide difference in the degree to which naturalized plants have adapted themselves to the new conditions under which they are placed. It is attempted to estimate the extent of this adaptiveness by the application of the following terms:—

  • 1.

    Denizen. (Den.) Plants thoroughly established, and spreading widely without assistance from man; often displacing indigenous forms to a great extent, or readily amalgamating with native species, as Trifolium minus, Erigeron canadensis, Poa annua.

[Footnote] * The abbreviations in parentheses are employed in the list.—ED.

– 134 –
  • 2.

    Colonist. (Col.) Plants which maintain their ground where introduced, increase with more or less rapidity, but do not displace native species to any great extent, as Œnothera stricta, Tragopogon porrifolius.

  • 3.

    Alien. (Ali.) Plants which maintain their ground where introduced, but are obviously incapable of wide diffusion, except by the direct agency of man, as the fig, potato, tomato, etc.


In order to afford a concise description of the usual habitat of each species, the following series of terms has been adopted, as they are for the most part identical with those employed for the same purpose in another paper, a brief explanation only is requisite. *

  • 1.

    Littoral. (Lit.) Plants of the sea-shore, whether growing on sand or mud.

  • 2.

    Ericetal. (Eri.) Plants of dry open land.

  • 3.

    Pascual. (Pas.) Plants of grassy land, paddocks, etc.

  • 4.

    Agrestal. (Agre.) Plants of cultivated land.

  • 5.

    Rupestral. (Rup.) Plants growing on or amongst rocks.

  • 6.

    Viatical. (Via.) Plants growing on waste places, or by road sides, etc.

  • 7.

    Inundatal. (Inu.) Plants growing by the sides of streams and other places liable to inundation.

  • 8.

    Paludal. (Pal.) Plants usually growing in wet soil, or in water.

  • 9.

    Lacustral. (Lac.) Aquatic plants, submerged or floating.

  • 10.

    Septal. (Sep.) Plants of thickets and hedge-rows.

  • 11.

    Sylvestral. (Syl.) Forest plants.

V. Duration.

A. Annual. B. Biennial. P. Perennial.

It will occasionally occur that a variety of information which cannot properly be placed under either of the preceding divisions is available, in which case it will be appended as a paragraph.

List of Naturalized Plants
Reported to Occur in New Zealand, With the Distribution of Those Found in the Province of Auckland Shown in Detail.


Ranunculus acris, L., Europe, p., 2-3-4-6, Acc. Den. Pas.

"repens, L., Europe, P., 3-4, Acc. Den. Pas. Inu.

"parviflorus, L., v. australis. Possibly introduced, according to Dr. Hooker. It has, however, the appearance of a truly indigenous plant, and as such it seems best to regard it.


Papaver Rhoeas, L., Europe, A., 1, Unc. Col. Via. Local. I have observed this plant in a solitary locality at the north-western extremity of the island; it may, however, be expected to occur commonly as an agrestal plant.

[Footnote] * See ante, p. 96, On the Botany of the Thames Goldfield.

[Footnote] † The figures refer to districts.—See p. 133.

– 135 –


Fumaria parviflora, Lam. Mentioned in Flora. N. Z. ii. I have not seen specimens.

Fumaria officinalis, L., Europe, A. 3, Acc. Col. Agre.


Nasturtium amphibium, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Inu. Pal. Has spread throughout the islands. I am informed that it impedes drainage in some parts of the Province of Canterbury. In this province it is often found in localities which are dry during the greater part of the year.

Barbarea præcox, Br., Europe, A., 1-3-4. Hor. Den. Pas. Via. This has probably been mistaken for B. vulgaris, L., in some northern localities. It is usually biennial in Europe.

Sisymbrium officinale, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via.

"pannonicum, Jacq., Europe, A., 4. Acc. Ali. Agre. Local. (Introduced with European flax?)

Senebiera coronopus, Poir., Europe, A., 1-3-4. Acc. Col. Via.

"pinnatifida, D. C., South America, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via. Lit.

Capsella Bursa–pastoris, L., Europe, A., 1-3-4-5-6. Acc. Col. Pas. Via.

Lepidium ruderale, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4. Acc. Col. Lit. Via., etc.

" Lepidium sativum, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4. Hor Col. Via.

Alyssum maritimum, Willd., Europe, P. Mentioned in Fl. N. Z. ii. I have not seen recent wild specimens.

Cochleria Armoracia, L., Europe, P., 3. Hor. Ali. Via., etc.

Sinapis nigra, L., Europe, A., 3-5. Acc. Col. Via. Local.

"arvensis, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Col. Agre. Via.

Brassica Rapa, L., Europe, B., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Col. Agre. Via.

"Napus, L., Europe, B., 2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Col. Agre. Via. Said to have been introduced by Cook.

Brassica oleracea, L., Europe, B., 3-4-5. Hor. Col. Lit. Via. This appears to be permanent in littoral situations only. Said to have been introduced by Cook.

Brassica compestris, L., Europe, B., 2-3-4-5. Agri. Col. Agre. Via.

Raphanus sativus, L., Europe, A. 1-2-3-4-5. Hor. Col. Lit. Probably introduced by Cook.


Polygala myrtifolia, L., Cape of Good Hope, P., 3. Hor. Ali. Sep., etc.


Vitis vinifera, L., Caspian, p., 2-3-4-5. Hor. Ali. Syl., etc.


Gypsophila tubulosa, Briss., Levant. I have not seen N. Z. specimens. Dr. Hooker considers it introduced, chiefly, I presume, on the ground of its restricted range in the northern hemisphere, and on the rapidity with which it is becoming diffused in Australia and New Zealand.

Silene quinquevulnera, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. (?) Acc. (?) Den. Pas. Agre., etc. I believe this is also found in the Province of Canterbury, but am unable to state my authority. Said to have been introduced with grass seed from Chile; it is, however, commonly cultivated in gardens.

Lychnis Githago, Lam., Europe, A., 3., Acc. Col. Agre. Local.

Stellaria media, With., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Agre. Syl.,

– 136 –

etc. One of the very few naturalized plants found on the Little Barrier Island.

Arenaria serpyllifolia, L., Europe, A., 3. Unc. Col. Lit. Local. Confined to a solitary locality on the sandy beach at Koheroa, near Omaha, possibly a waif brought by the sea.

Sagina apetala, L., Europe, A., 3. Unc. Ali. Via. Only observed in a single locality, into which it has been latterly destroyed by traffic.

Cerastium vulgatum, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. (?) Col. (?) Pas. Via. This and a few other species require a term somewhat intermediate between “Denizen” and “Colonist,” being sufficiently abundant and general to belong to the former, while their small size prevents their interference with the original vegetation, to any marked extent.

Cerastium viscosum, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. (?) Col. (?) Pas. Via. Rup. Observed at an altitude of 2000 feet.

Polycarpon tetraphyllum, L., Europe, A., 1-3-4-6. Acc. Den. (?) Col. (?) Lit. Via.

Spergula arvensis, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4. Acc. Col. Agre.


Portulaca oleracea, L., Europe, 1-2-3-4. Hor. (?) Acc. Den. Lit. Agre. Often forming a compact sward in the immediate vicinity of the sea. A troublesome weed in rich cultivated land.


Hypericum Androsæmum, L., Europe, P., 6. Hor. Col. Via. Local.

" perforatum, L., Europe, P., 4-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Local but abundant.

Hypericum humifusum, L., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Col. Pas. Local.


Malva sylvestris, L., Europe, A., 6. Acc. Col. Pas. Local. This and the next species appear to be annual in N. Z., although biennial or perennial in the northern hemisphere.

Malva rotundifolia, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Agre. Via.

" caroliniana, W., N. America, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via.

Lavatera arborea, L., Europe, P., 3-4-6. Hor. Col. Lit. Via.


Linum usitatissimum, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4. Agri. Acc. Col. Agre. Via.


Geranium molle, L. Included in the list of naturalized plants given in the “Handbook,” but should, I think, be considered indigenous, although its area may have been widened by introduction.

Pelargonium quercifolium, Ait., Cape of Good Hope. P., 2-3-6. Hor. Col. Via., etc.

Erodium cicutarium, L., Europe, A. (?), b. charophyllum, v. “littorale,” 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via. Found also in Marlborough, (Buchanan.) A. remarkably variable plant; the leaflets in the typical are sometimes scarcely toothed and very broad, and in var. b. narrow–linear, closely resembling the garden Chervil, var. v. in var. b. narrow–linear, closely resembling E. maritimum, Sen., than the present species. It is confined to the Bay of Islands.

Erodium moschatum, Sm. Europe, A., 2. Acc. Col. Via. Local. Perhaps a from of the preceding species.

– 137 –


Podalyria sericea, W., Cape of Good Hope, P., 3. Hor. Ali. Via. Local.

Eutaxia Strangeana, Turc., Australia. Not found in New Zealand, see “Handbook,” p. 53.

Ulex Europoeus, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Via., etc.

Lotus corniculatus, L., Europe, P., 3-6. Acc. Col. Pas.

" major, Scop., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Col. Pas. Uli.

Trifolium pratense, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Agre. Pas., etc.

"medium, L., Europe, P., 3-6. Agri. Col. Agre., etc.

"glomeratum, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Via., etc.

"repens, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas. Via.

"procumbens, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4-5-6. Acc. (?) Agri. (?) Col. Pas., etc.

Trifolium minus, Sm., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via., etc

Melilotus officinalis, Willd., Europe, B. or P., 3-4-5. Acc. Col. Pas., etc.

"arvensis, Willd. Europe, P., 2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via., etc.

Medicago lupulina, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas. Via., etc.

"maculata, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4-5. Acc. Den. Pas., etc.

"denticulata, Willd., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via., etc.

Psoralea pinnata, Willd., Cape of Good Hope, P., 3-6. Hor. Col. (?) Ali. (?) A plant frequently cultivated; as it seeds freely, small specimens are not uncommon in the neighbourhood of gardens, deserted homesteads, etc., where it can scarcely be expected to become fully naturalized.

Robinia Pseudacacia, Willd., North America, P., 3. Hor. Col. Via., etc. Would speedily become common, if not interfered with, as it increases by suckers, as well as by seeds. A striking instance may be seen on the Auckland and Drury railway, where it has established itself on an embankment, about four years since, and bids fair to form a grove.

Vicia sativa, L., Europe, A., 2-3-6. Acc. Col. Pas., etc.

"hirsuta, Koch., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre., etc.

"tetrasperma, Moench., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Den. Pas.

"gracilis, Lais, Europe, A. Fl. N. Z., ii. I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

Lathyrus odoratus, Willd., Europe, A., 3. Hor. Col. Syl., etc. Local.

Guilandina Bonduc, L., India, P., Fl. N. Z., ii. Erroneously stated by Forster, to have been collected in New Zealand.

Acacia lophantha, Willd., Australia, P., 2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Col. Syl., etc.

"decurrens, Willd., var. dealbata, Australia, P., 2-3-6. Den. Syl., etc.


Amygdalus persica, L., Persia, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Syl., etc.

Prunus Cerasus, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. (?) Col. (?) Syl., etc.

Spiroea salicifolia, Willd., Europe, P., 3-6. Hor. Ali. Via., etc.

Rubus discolor, W. and N., Europe, P., 3-6. Hor. Den. Via., etc.

"rudis, Weihe., Europe, P., 3. Hor. Col. Sep., etc. Local.

"Idoeus, L., Europe, P., 2-3-5-6. Hor. Den. Syl. Via., etc.

Fragaria vesca, L., Europe, B., 2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Syl. via. etc.

"elatior, Ehrd., Europe, P. 5. Hor. Col. Syl., etc. Local.

Alchemilla arvensis, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre., etc. Local. (Tarnadale, Nelson, 4000 ft., Travers.)

Rosa micrantha, Sm., Europe, P., 3-5. Hor. Den. Via., etc.

"rubiginosa, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Via., etc.

"canina, L. Europe, P., 3-6. Acc. (?) Col. Via., etc.

– 138 –

Rosa indica, L., China, P., 3-6. Hor. Ali. Sep. Via., etc. Local.

"multiflora, Thunb., China, P., 2-3-5-6. Hor. Den. Via. Sep., etc.


Lythrum hyssopifolium, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Inu. Via. In the northern hemisphere this plant is generally rare and sporadic; here it is notably a social plant, and most abundant. I have not observed that it has any tendency to become trimorphic, under altered conditions of existence.

Lythrum Grafferi, Cust., Europe, P., 2-3. Unc. Den. Syl. Pas. I have not seen this pretty plant in cultivation in the Colony.


OEnoshera stricta, L., S. America, P., 2-3-5-6. Hor. Den. (?) Col. (?) Via. Lit.


Opuntia vulgaris, Mill., S. America, P., Fl. N. Z., ii. I have not seen this plant in a wild state.


Cucurbita citrullus, L., A., 3-5. Hor. Ali. Via., etc. Can scarcely be said to hold its ground.

Cucurbita, sp., Pacific Islands, (?) A., 2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Ali. Via., etc. Intro-duced by the Maoris, as was probably the case with the preceding.


Apium graveolens, L., Europe, B. 3. Hor. Col. Via. Local.

Petroselinum sativum, L., Europe, B., 2-3-4-6. Hor. Den., or Col. Pas. Via.

Pimpinella Saxifraga, L., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Col. Pas. Local.

Foeniculum vulgare, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-6. Hor. Den. Via.

Daucus Carota, L., Europe, B., 2-3-6. Hor. Col. Pas., etc.

Pastinaca sativa, L., Europe, B., 2-3-4. Hor. Col. Pas., etc.

Torilis nodosa, Gært., Europe, A., (?) 3-4. Acc. Col. Pas. Via.

Scandix Pecten–Veneris, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre.

Cherophyllum cerefolium, Crantz., Europe, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 759. I have not seen wild specimens.


Sambucus nigra, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4. Hor. Col. Syl. Via.


Galium Aparine, L., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Col. Via., etc.

Sherardia arvensis, L., Europe, A., (?) 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via.


Fedia olitoria, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Pas.


Scabiosa atropurpurea, L., India, (?) P., 1. Hor. Den. Sep. Via., etc.


Erigeron canadensis, L., N. America, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via.

Rup., etc.

Bellis perennis, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas.

– 139 –

Conyza ambigua, D. C. Europe, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 760. I have not seen wild specimens.

Eclipta erecta, L., India, A., Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 760. I have not seen wild specimens.

Siegesbeckia orientalis, L., India, A., 4. Unc. Col. Via. I am indebted to Mr. Lawson for specimens from the Great Barrier.

Woolastonia biflora, D. C., (?) India, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z. p. 760. I have not seen wild specimens.

Bidens pilosa, L., N. America, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via. Agre.

Anthemis arvensis, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Via.

"nobilis, L., Europe, P., 3-6. Hor. Col. Via., etc.

Achillea millefolium, L., Europe, P., 3-6. Acc. Agri. Den. Pas.

Matricaria inodora, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4-6. Acc. Den. Via. Agre.

"Chamomilla, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4- Acc. Den. Via., etc.

Chrysanthemum Leucanthenum, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-6. Acc. Den. Pas.

"segetum, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre. Local.

Senecio vulgaris, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Col. Agre. Via.

scandens, L., Cape of Good Hope, P., 1-2-3-4-6. Hor. Den. Sep. Via.

Osteospermum monifliferum, Willd., Cape of Good Hope, P., 3. Hor. Col. Via., etc. Local.

Cryptostemma calendulacea, Br., Cape of Good Hope, A., 3-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via. First observed in 1863.

Centaurea nigra, L., Europe, P., 3-6. Acc. Col. Pas.

"solstitialis, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Ali. Agre.

"Calcitrapa, L., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Den. Via.

Carduus lanceolatus, Gært, Europe, A., (B. in Europe) 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Agre. Via. Commonly called “Scotch Thistle,” but erroneously: that species in the C. arvensis, Curt., which happily has not yet been introduced.

Silybum Marianum, Gært., Europe, A., 2-3-4. Hor. Col. Pas. Via.

Lapsana communis, L., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Col. Via. Agre.

Arnoseris pusilla, Gært., Europe, A., Fl. N. Z. ii. I have not seen N. Z. specimens: can Lapsana communis be the plant intended?

Cichorium Intybus, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4. Hor. (?) Acc. (?) Col. Pas.

Hypochoeris glabra, L., Europe, A., 3-4. Acc. Col. Rup. Pas.

"radicata, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via. Major Heaphy informs me that this plant was extremely rare in the neighbourhood of Auckland in 1856-7. It is now found over the entire province, a most troublesome and abundant weed, especially on clay soils. Sometimes shown on sheep runs.

Thrincia hirta, Roth., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Den. Pas.

Apargia autumnalis, Willd., Europe, P., 3-4. Acc. Col. Pas.

Tragopogon minor, Fries., Europe, B., 3. Acc. Col. Pas.

"porrifolius, L., Europe, B., 3. Unc. Col. Pas.

Helminthia echioides, Gært, Europe, A. P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via., etc. Not unfrequently the withered stems retain sufficient vitality to produce flowers and seed two seasons.

Sonchus oleraceus, L., Europe, A., 12-3-4-5-6. Acc. Pas., etc. S. asper, Hoff. the S. oleraceus of the Handbook, is certainly indigenous.

Sonchus arvensis, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4. Acc. Col. Agre.

Taraxacum Dens–Leonis, Desf., Europe, P., 2-3-4-6. Acc. Den. Pas., etc. The var. palustris is the only form indigenous to this province, and is extremely rare.

Barkhausia taraxacifolia, Thi., Europe, B., 6. Acc. Col. Agre.

– 140 –

Barkhausia foetida, Moench., Europe, B. (P. in N. Z.?) 6. Acc. Col. Agre.

Crepis virens, L., Europe, A. (P. in N. Z.?), 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via.

Xanthium spinosum, L., Europe, A., 2-3-6. Acc. Col. Via., etc. First observed in 1863, on Mount Eden.


Stylidium graminifolium, Swartz. Australia, P., 3. A solitary specimen was picked on clay hills near Auckland, by Col. Bolton in 1851, but the plant has not been collected since. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 168.

Stylidium spathulatum, Br., Australia, P., Fl. N. Z., ii. Stated erroneously to have been collected at Tasman's Bay.


Epacris purpurascens, Br. Fl. N. Z., ii. Considered by Dr. Hooker to have been introduced, but on imperfect information. The plant is certainly indigenous. *


Anagallis arvensis, L., Europe, A., b. coerulea, 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Agre. Pas., etc. Var. b. near Auckland only.


Vinca major, L., Europe, P., 2-3-6. Hor. Den. Sep. Via.


Erthroea centaurium, Pers., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Eri. Pas. Archdeacon Willians informs me this occurs in abundance at Poverty Bay.


Cynoglossum micranthum (?), India, B. Fl. N. Z., ii. I have not seen specimens of any plant in N. Z. belonging to this genus.

Echium vulgare, L., Europe, B., 6. Acc. Col. Via. I am indebted to Mr. Gillies for specimens collected on the west side of the Firth of Thames.

Lithospermum arvense, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre. Via.


Ipomoea chrysorrhiza, Forst., Tropics, P. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 760. I have not seen this plant in a wild state.

Ipomoea Batatus, Lam., Tropics, P., 2-3. Hor. Ali. Via., etc. Occasionally met with on abandoned native cultivations, but rarely proves permanent.


Asclepias nivea, L., North America, P., 3. Hor. Ali. Via.


Solanum nigrum, L., Europe, P. (A. in Europe), 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. (?) Acc. (?) Den. Agre. Via. Probably introduced by the Maoris who use the leaves and young tops as food.

Solanum tuberosum, L., South America, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Ali. Via., etc. Ripens seed but rarely in an uncultivated condition.

Solanum virginianum, L., N. America, P., 1-2-3-6. Hor. Ali. Via.

[Footnote] * See ante, page, 107, “On Epacris purpurascens, as a New Zealand plant.”

– 141 –

Solanum indicum, L., India, P., 3-6. Hor. Ali. Via.

Physalis Alkekengii, L., Europe, P., 3. Hor. Ali. Via. peruviana, L., South America, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Via. Agre. Syl.

Capsicum annuum, L., America, A., 3. Hor. Ali. Via., etc.

Lycopersicum esculentum, Mill., S. America, A., 2-3-4. Hor. Ali. Via., etc.

Datura stramonium, L., Europe, A., 2-3-6. Hor. Ali. Agre. Via.

Nicotiana tabacum, L., America, A., 2-3-6. Hor. Ali. Agre. Via.

Lycium Barbareum, L., Barbary, P., 1-2-3-6. Hor. Col. Via.


Verbascum Thapsus, L., Europe, B., 3-4-6. Hor. Col. Eri. Via. phoeniceum, L. Included, on the authority of the writer, in the list of naturalized plants published in the Handbook Fl. N. Z., but has not proved permanent.

Verbascum glabrum, L., Europe, B., 2-3-4-5. Hor. Den. Eri. Via.

Herpestes cuneifolia, Spr. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 203. Included in Raoul's list of New Zealand plants, probably in error.

Veronica arvensis, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Agre., etc.

"serpyllifolia, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas., etc.

"agrestis, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Den. Agre.

"Buxbaumii, Ten., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Den. Agre.

" officinalis, L., Europe, P., Fl. N. Z., ii. I have not seen N. Z. specimens. Can V. serpyllifolia have been mistaken for it.

Veronica Anagallis, L., Europe, P. Handbook of N. Z. Fl., p. 761. I have not seen N. Z. specimens either indigenous or naturalized; and in the absence of positive information am not aware of any reason for considering it introduced, except its being a common European plant.

Digitalis purpurea, L., Europe, P., 3. Hor. Den. Via. Syl. I have seen this plant in other districts, but am unable to refer to any notes respecting it.

Linaria elatine, Mill., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Col. Agre. Via.


Verbena officinalis, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-6. Acc. Den. Eri. Via.


Plectranthus australis, Br., Pacific Islands. Fl. N. Z. ii. Erroneously intro-duced into Raoul's Catalogue of N. Z. Plants.

Mentha aquatica, L., Europe, P., 2. Hor. Den. Pal. Local.

"piperita, Sm., Europe, P., 3-6. Hor. Den. Pal.

"viridis, L., Europe, P., 3-4-5-6. Hor. Den. Via. Pas.

"dentata, L., Europe, P., 3-6. Hor. (?) Den. Inu. Via.

Stachys arvensis, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-6. Acc. Den. Agre. Pas.

Nepetata Cataria, L., Europe, P., 4. Unc. Col. Sep. Local.

Calamintha Acinos, Clairv., Europe, P., 4. Unc. Col. Pas. Local.

Prunella vulgaris, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via.


Phytolacea decandra, L., America. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 761. Included in the list, by a clerical error, instead of the next species.

Phytolacea octandra, L., Mexico, P., 3-6. Unc. Den. Via. Sep. Frequently decandrous and decagynous.

– 142 –


Plantago major, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via. Pas.

"media, L., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Col. Pas. Via.

"lanceolata, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas. Via.


Polygonum aviculare, L., Europe, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 761, where it is included in the list of naturalized plants, chiefly, I presume, from its rapid diffusion in the south, coupled with the fact of its being a common European plant. In this province it is not spreading more than might be expected from the increase of cultivated land. I prefer to regard it as indigenous.

Polygonum minus, Herd., Europe, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 761. Except the var. decipiens be intended, I have not seen this plant in the colony. That form must surely be considered indigenous.

Fagopyrum esculentum, Moench., Europe, A., 3-6. Agri. (?) Acc. (?) Ali. Agre., etc. May possibly become a weed of cultivated land, but at present can scarcely be considered naturalized.

Rumex conglomeratus, Murr., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Col. Inu.

"viridis, Sibth., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Syl. Sep.

"obtusifolius, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via.

"crispus, L., Europe, P., 2-3-5-6. Acc. Den. Agre., etc.

"Acetosa, L., Europe, P., 2-3-6. Acc. Col. Pas.

"Acetosella, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Eri. Agre.


Chenopodium album, L., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Col. Agre.

"viride, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre.

"murale, L., Europe, A. 2-3-5-6. Acc. Den. Via. Agre.

"urbicum, L. Europe, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 762. I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

Chenopodium ambrosioides, L., Europe, A. (P.?). Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 762. It seems preferable to regard this as indigenous. As in Europe, so here, soils turned over from considerable depths frequently produce this plant in abundance, which could not be the case, at present, had it been intro-duced by Europeans.


Euxolus viridis, Moq., Brazil, A., 2-6. Unc. Col. (?) Ali. (?) Via. The occurrence of this plant in the Bay of Islands or Whangarei districts, rests upon Cunningham's authority (see “Handbook,” p. 233), no other botanist appears to have met with it. Observed by the writer in a solitary locality at the Thames, but on ground set apart for building purposes.

Amaranthus lividus, L., N. America, A., 3. Unc. Col. (?) Ali. (?) Via.

" oleraceus, L., East Indies, A., 2-3-4. Unc. Den. Via.

" Blitum, L., Europe, A., 2-3. Acc. Col. Via. Agre.

" retroflexus, L., N. America, A., 2-3-4. Acc. Col. Via.

" caudatus, L., East India, A., 1-3. Hor. Col. Via., etc.


Euphorbia Lathyris, L. Europe, P., 6. Hor. Col. Syl.

" Peplus, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Agre., etc.

" Helioscopia, L., Europe, A., 1-2. Acc. Den. Agre. Via.

Jatropha Curcas, L., S. America. P. Fl. N. Z., ii. I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

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Ricinus Palma–Christi, L., East Indies, P., 2-3-6. Hor. Col. Agre. Via.

Poranthera ericifolia, Ruge., Australia, P. Fl. N. Z., ii., Dr. Sinclair. I have not seen wild specimens.


Urtica urens, L., Europe, A., 2-3. Acc. Col. Via. Local.

dioica, L., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Col. Via. Local.

Ficus Carica, L., South Europe, P., 2-3-5-6. Hor. Ali. Syl., etc.


Dioscorea alata, L., India, P., Handbook Fl. N. Z., ii. I have not seen wild specimens.


Canna Indica, Rose, India, P., 3. Hor. Col. (?) Ali. (?) Via.


Sisyrinchium anceps, L., N. America, P., 6. Unc. Col. Via. I am indebted to Mr. Gillies for specimens collected near Mata–Mata.

Iris Germanica, L., Europe, P., 2-3-5-6. Hor. Den. Pas. Via.

Gladiolus byzantinus, L., Turkey, P., 6. Hor. Col. Pas. Via.

Antholyza oethiopica, Ker., Cape of Good Hope, P., 2-3-6. Hor. Col. Via.


Agave Americana, L., America, P., 2-3-6. Hor. Col. Via.


Colocasia antiquorum, Scholl., Asia, P., 2-3-4-5. Hor. Col. (?) Den. (?) Pal. Via.

Alocasia Indica, Scholl., India, P., Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 762. I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

Richardia Africana, Kunth., Egypt. etc., P., 2-3-6. Hor. Col. Pal. Via.


Aponogeton distachyon, L., Cape of Good Hope, P., 1–(2?). Hor. Den. Lac. I am indebted to Captain F. W. Hutton for my knowledge of the existence of this plant at Waimate, where it is said to have been planted by the missionaries, and is now abundant in streams, etc. Dr. Stratford showed me a plant in his garden which he believed had been sent to him from Whangarei, with the information that it was frequent in streams. I should be glad to receive more precise information respecting these localities.


Allium vineale. L. (?) Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5. Hor. Den. Pas. Probably intro-duced by Marion, at the Bay of Islands, in 1772. (Vide “Thompson's Story of New Zealand,” Vol. i., p. 236). In some localities it covers acres of ground, but quickly dies down. As I have not seen flowers the identification must be regarded as doubtful.

Asphodelus fistulosus, L., Europe, P., 1-3. Hor. Col. Pas. Agre, etc.

Asparagus officinalis, L., Europe, P., 2-3. Hor. Ali. Sep., etc. Occasionally solitary plants are seen, probably originating from seeds conveyed by birds: although growing vigorously they do not spread, and can only be expected to do so in strictly littoral localities, As a naturalized plant it occupies exactly the same position in which it is seen in the midland counties of England.

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Cyperus tenellus, L., South Africa, A., 3. Acc. (?) Den. Inu. Pas., etc. In vast abundance from Auckland to the Kaipara: one of the first spring plants collected by the writer after his arrival in the province in 1863, when it had, as now, all the appearance of a true native.


Alopecerus pratensis, L., Europe, P., 2-3-5. Agri. Col. Pas.

"agrestis, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre. Found also in Wellington. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 321.

Phleum pratense, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas.

Phalaris canariensis, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via. Agre.

Holcus lanatus, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via., etc.

" molis, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via.

Panicum colonum, L., Australia, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 324. I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

Panicum gibbosum, Br., Australia, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 324. Probably included in Raoul's list of N. Z. plants, by mistake.

Panicum glaucum, L., Tropics, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 324. I have not seen wild specimens.

Setaria viridis, P. de Beauv., Europe, A., 2-3. Acc. Col. Inu. Pas.

" italica, P. de Beauv., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Den. Via. Pas. Mr. W. T. Bassett informed me that he first observed this grass at Papatoitoi, about 1863: it is now to be found for several miles by the road–sides, etc.

Aristida calycina, Br., Australia, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 330. Doubtful if ever found in New Zealand.

Agrostis vulgaris, With., Europe, P., 2-3-4-6. Agri. Den. Pas. Via.

Gastridium lendigerum, Gaud., Europe, A., 2-4-6. Agri. Col. Pas. Via.

Cynodon Dactylon, L. Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-6. Agri. Den. Pas. Via.

Digitaria sanguinalis, Scop., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via. Agre.

" humifusa, Pers., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Col. Via. Pas.

Elusine indica, Gært., India, A. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 331. “Has been gathered near Auckland.” I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

Anthoxanthum odoratum, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas. Via.

Aira caryophyllea, L., Europe, A., 3-6. Acc. Den. Eri.

Avena sativa, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-6. Agri. Col. Agre., etc. In great abundance on sea cliffs in the Kaipara.

Poa annua, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Pas. Via., etc.

" pratensis, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas., etc. The var angustifolia is the more common form.

Poa trivialis, L., Europe, P., 3. Agri. Col. Pas. Inu. Too closely cropped by cattle to allow of its rapid diffusion.

Eragrostis Brownii, Kunth., Australia, P., 1-3. Acc. Den. Eri., etc. Abundant over a large district at Keri Keri, Bay of Islands, growing amongst the low Tea–tree, and giving an abundant supply of nutritious grass, much liked by cattle and horses. Mr. H. T. Kemp informed me he first observed it in 1865, and that it was spreading with great rapidity: less common in the Auckland district.

Eragrostis eximia, Stend., Australia. Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 344. Erroneously reported to have been found in N. Z.

Briza minor, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Agre., etc.

maxima, L., Europe, A., 3-6. Hor. Col. Pas. Via.

Dactylis glomerata, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas., etc.

Cynosurus cristatus, L., Europe, P., 2-3-4-6. Agri. Col. Pas.

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Festuca bromoides, L., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Eri. Via.

Bromus erectus, Heids., Europe, P., 3. Acc. Col. Pas.

" sterilis, L., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Acc. Den. Via., etc.

" tectorum, L., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Ali. Via.

" commutatus, Schroed., Europe, P., 3-6. Acc. Col. Pas., etc.

" molis, Parl., Europe, A., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Agre. Via., etc.

Found also in Marlborugh, Buchanan; Nelson, ascending to 4000 feet, Travers. Handbook N. Z. Fl., p. 342.

Bromus racemous, Parl., Europe, A., 3-4-6. Acc. Col. Agre. Pas. Also found in Otago. Handbook N. Z. Fl., p. 342.

Bromus arvensis, Godr., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Agre.

" patulus. Parl., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Ali. Agre.

Ceratochloa unioloides, Pal. de Beauv., P. in N. Z., N. America, 2-3-6. Agri. Den. Pas., etc.

Arundinaria macrosperma, Mich., N. America, P., 5. Hor. Ali. Agre., etc. Confined to abandoned Maori cultivations; probably introduced by the missionaries.

Lolium perenne, L., Europe, P., 1-2-3-4-5-6. Agri. Den. Pas., etc.

" italicum, Braun., Europe, B., 2-3-4-6. Agri. Col. Agre. Pas., etc.

" temulentum, L., Europe, A. var. b.

arvense, 1-2-3-6. Acc. Col. Agre. Lit. A widely variable plant. A depauperated state, with solitary spikelets, has been collected near Auckland.

Triticum sativum, L., A., 2, etc. Agri. Ali. Agre., etc. Frequently renewed from accidental causes, but can scarcely be said to maintain its ground.

Hordeum sativum, L., A., 3, etc. Agri. Ali. Via. This is even more fugitive than the preceding.

Hordeum murinum, L., Europe, A., 2-3-4. Acc. Col. Via. Rup.

Lepturus incurvatus, Trin., Europe, A., 3. Acc. Col. Lit. Inu.

Anthistiria australis, Br., Australia, P., Auckland, Dr. Sinclair, Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 325. I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

Apluda unitica, Br., India, P., Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 325. I have not seen N. Z. specimens.

Andrapogon refractus, Br., Australia, P., Handbook Fl. N. Z., p. 325. Doubtful if ever seen in New Zealand.

It has been difficult to decide whether some of the plants in the fore-going list should be assigned to the “Denizen” or “Colonist” class; and the same difficulty has been experienced, although in a smaller degree, with a few plants at present classed as “Aliens” Without doubt a few years will show the necessity of removing many “Colonists” to the “Denizen” class, and possibly a small number of “Aliens” to the “Colonist” class; and the entire grouping in this paper may possibly be revised with advantage, whenever the naturalized plants of the southern provinces are worked up. As has already been indicated, I hope to return to the subject at an early opportunity, and therefore forbear from further extending a paper which has already exceeded the limits originally proposed.

I would, however, take this opportunity of earnestly pressing upon the attention of botanists in other parts of the colony, the importance of paying immediate attention to this branch of botanical study:—Dr. Hooker well remarks, “that now is the time for certifying the dates of the introduction of many plants, which, though unknown to the islands a quarter of a century ago, are already actually driving the native plants out of the country, and will before long take their places, and be regarded as the commonest native weeds in New Zealand.” A few, very few years will accumulate difficulties to an extent which can only be appreciated by students of European floras, and make that

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which might now be done with facility, a work which will task the critical skill of the most experienced observers.

Perhaps I may be permitted to add a word of caution:—there is some danger of attaching too great importance to the rapid spread of plants in certain localities, as evidence of their exotic origin: for example, Gypsophila tubulosa, and Polygonum aviculare, are regarded as introduced chiefly on this ground. But truly native plants as Microlœna stipoides, and Danthonia semi-annularis, have increased in an equally remarkable degree in the northern part of this province during the last four or five years, and have evinced a surprising power of adaptation to altered and altering circumstances, beyond having become plentiful in undisturbed localities where they were formerly scarce. Facts of this kind, however starling in their nature, and obscure in their origin, are of high significance and importance in their relations, and show most forcibly the impolicy of adopting sweeping conclusions, and the necessity for patient and continuous observation.

Comparative statement of the position of the species enumerated in the foregoing catalogue:

Denizens 109
Colonists 111
Aliens 31
Extinct and Erroneous 12
Probably Indigenous 9
Position not known 20
Total 292


Art. XXVII.—On the production of certain Crystalline Phosphates and Arseniates.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, February 9, 1869.]

A Great many minerals occur in a natural state, which, in their chemical constitution, their crystalline form, or both combined, have not yet been artificially produced.

It seems very desirable to know, both upon chemical and geological grounds, the conditions necessary for their production, and especially in those forms which they assume in nature.

The metallic phosphates and arseniates—a group of salts which, almost without exception, are only known in the laboratory as gelatinous or pul-verulent precipitates,—stand conspicuous among those native minerals, which we have hitherto been unable to obtain by artificial means in their crystalline forms.

I have recently attempted the crystallization of some of these compounds, with a certain degree of success; and further, in the course of my experiments, I have succeeded in crystallizing some phosphates, which, hitherto, have not assumed such a crystalline form, either naturally or artificially.

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The process I employ is to add a soluble phosphate, or arseniate, to the solution of a salt of the metal, the phosphate or arseniate of which, is required, in the manner hitherto adopted, but only in such limited quantity, that the mixed solution remains acid in its reaction, instead of alkaline, as occurs in the usual method of procedure. If the precipitate is long in appearing, it may occasionally be crystalline; if it comes at once it will be gelatinous, as usual, but in the course of a few hours, sometimes, however, a few days, it will be found crystallized throughout.

The essential features of this process are:—

1st. The maintenance of the precipitated metallic salt in its integrity, which is effected by having the surrounding solution feebly acid.

2nd. Allowing motion to the particles of these gelatinous precipitates, whereby they are amenable to the action of crystallizing force; this is accomplished by keeping a little of the same phosphate in a soluble state in contact with them.

In this manner I have succeeded in crystallizing the following phosphates and arseniates, which occur in this form in the natural state:—

Phosphate of Zinc,—Hopeite, (Zn. O)3 + PO5 + HO 5

Phosphate of Cadmium.

Arseniate of Zinc,—Kottigite.

Arseniate of Lime,—Pharmacolite.

The following crystallized phosphates and arseniates, produced, do not occur as such in a natural state.

Phosphate of Lime (—(CaO)2 + HO) + PO5 + 3HO. This has the same composition as the amorphous precipitate, produced by adding a triphosphate to chloride of calcium, and then a little ammonia, (the precipitate being air-dried); and it is isomorphous with the natural arseniate of lime above, Pharmacolite. It crystallizes in the form of rhombs, and is acid to test paper.

Phosphate of Chromium contains 24 eqs. of water, and has probably the same constitution as Delvauxine, or hydrous phosphate of sesquioxide of iron, the iron being replaced by chromium, its colour is the same as that of chrome-alum, the substance used as the source of the chromium.

Phosphate of Silver. Only crystallized from its solution in acetic acid.

Phosphate of Baryta and Strontia are also easily crystallized. Those salts having formulæ attached, have been analyzed.

On reviewing these salts, it will be noticed that the copper, nickel, cobalt, and iron, phosphates and arseniates, are absent. Indeed, I have not been able to crystallize any of them in this manner; although I am aware that it has been affirmed, that phosphate of nickel has been artificially crystallized. But I find that all these metallic phosphates, etc., are capable of forming double phosphates, etc., with phosphates of magnesia and ammonia. The metal may, I think, be looked upon as substituting one equivalent of magnesia in the common ammoniacal phosphate of magnesia, thus (Met + Mg O + NHO) —PO5 12 HO in place of 2 (Mg O) + NH4 O + PO5 + 12HO.

I also find that phosphate of zinc forms a crystallizable compound with either phosphate of cobalt or nickel. It may be remarked here that the crystalline mineral, Kottigite, an impure arseniate of zinc, always contains a little of both these phosphates.

Lastly, it appears that crystalline precipitates are readily produced by contact of soluble phosphates with solutions of the metals cobalt and nickel, if a salt of ammonia is also present. These precipitates contain ammonia, in small quantity, but it appears to be as an essential element in their composition, and not a mere accidental impurity; its quantity has not yet been determined.

The inferences I would draw from these results are:—

1st. That several of the crystalline, simple, natural phosphates and

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arseniates, have not been produced as such, directly; but that in the first instance compound phosphates or arseniates have formed. Magnesia and ammonia, singly or collectively, being the other members of the term. The magnesia and ammonia being afterwards gradually substituted by the metallic oxide. A continued supply of such metallic oxide to the compound phosphate or arseniate, would almost certainly effect this, the metallic phosphates and arseniates being more insoluble than the alkaline ones.

2nd. This property of some of the metallic phosphates, etc., of combining with phosphate of magnesia and ammonia, to form insoluble compounds, makes it very probable that several of these natural phosphates and arseniates may contain very appreciable quantities of ammonia or magnesia. At any rate, I think, with this property manifested, it would be well to examine rigorously this class of compounds, for either of these substances.

These notes are, of course, merely preliminary, there being several points of interest left undiscussed, which can only be properly represented along with the results of future investigations.

Art. XXVIII.—On the effects of the Application of the Hot Blast to Blow-pipe purposes: and the proposed substitution of Heated Air for Oxygen in the production of certain thermal and illuminating effects. Preliminary notice.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, June 19, 1869.]

The useful and well-known effects of the hot blast, in the process of iron smelting, has induced me to try and extent it profitably to other purposes, beyond that which prompted its application in the present instance.

My experiments, as yet, have been confined to testing the effects of substituting a hot blast, for a cold one, as hitherto used, for the production of the well-known blowpipe flame; a flame so produced will be expected to have its thermal and illuminating effects augmented, but scarcely, perhaps, to that degree which experiment has demonstrated.

I had better state, at the outset, those particulars which it is necessary to know, before relating the results.

The temperature of the blast was, approximately, 500o F., the diameter of the jet, regulating its issue, was one-thirtieth of an inch, the combustible for receiving the blast was stearine.

This flame manifested a very marked superiority over the common blowpipe flame,—substances difficult to fuse in the latter, magnitite, potash-felspar, mica, readily yielded under these circumstances; while thick glass tubes half an inch in diameter, and hard German glass tubes, were tractable to an eminent degree.

Carrying my test experiments still further, I found several substances, for the fusion of which the oxy-hydrogen flame, or some equivalent of it in heating power, is said to be indispensable, also yielded before the blowpipe flame thus urged: for instance, platinum, pipe clay, fire clay, agate, opal, flint.

Several samples of each were tried and always with the same results, it could not well be, therefore, that the fusibility of any of these substances was due to the accidental presence of foreign matter, in more than usual quantity.

The platinum was the common platinum foil, also a sample prepared especially for the purpose; the only impurity found in it was iron, as traces, communicated to it in the act of forging: possibly minute quantities of some

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of the other metals, of the platinum series, might be present, but they would rather tend to increase its infusibility than otherwise.

Alumina only appeared to vitrify; while, after numerous trials with crystallized quartz, I could not succeed in fusing it to a globule; thin splinters however curled round upon themselves, like scolezite, and ultimately assumed a glazed appearance, clearly showing that the melting point was all but reached.

It appears from this that a very small amount of some foreign substances exercises a marked effect upon the fusibility of silica, agate, opal, etc., being only a little less pure than rock crystal, though so readily fusible in this flame.

Regarding the illuminating power of the flame so produced: when allowed to impinge upon a solid substance such as lime or magnesia, it was not only more intense (as would be expected), but the volume of incandescent matter was largely increased.

Before I proceed to urge the further use of hot air for combustions where high temperatures are necessary, I wish to call attention to the fact, that the temperature of the flame, which I have hitherto worked with, can be largely and economically increased, by increasing that of the blast; this can easily be done to a threefold extent.

By substituting heated hydrogen (or burnt coal gas), I have also realized all the effects just instanced, with greater rapidity and decision; but the great diffusiveness of this gas, especially when heated, has prevented me as yet carrying the experiments further.

While on the subject of heating both combustibles (at least both the substances which take part in these combustions), I cannot refrain from remarking how easily the temperature of the oxy-hydrogen flame even, could be increased in this manner—the gases would of course have to be heated prior to contact. Upon their more vigorous diffusiveness, when rarified, I should rely for that solidity of flame, so necessary where the communication of very high temperature is desired. The jets regulating the issue of the gases would have to be very fine.

Proceeding now to the next part of this subject: the result of these experiments, instanced, urge me to recommend, for trial, the substitution of heated air for oxygen, in most of those cases where this gas is now employed in conjunction with hydrogen, or other combustible matter, as a generator of heat or light: for instance,—

  • 1.

    In the metallurgy of platinum, that part of it where the metal has to be fused; also in soldering platinum stills for sulphuric acid works.

  • 2.

    The fusion of alumina in the manufacture of certain gems.

  • 3.

    In the production of the Drummond and Bude lights.

The fusion of platinum and alumina is now effected by the oxy-hydrogen flame.

Relative to the competency of heated air to perform the part of cold oxygen in the production of such intense lights as these (the Drummond and the Bude), I think this can be demonstrated, almost to a certainty, in the following way:

Thus—the flame employed in these investigations has certainly a minimum temperature of 4596o F., since this is the fusing point of platinum, the substance most easily fused of all those I have tried, that are infusible in the common flame; doubtless the temperature is considerably higher, but I will take these figures. On the other hand, the actual temperature of the lime, when the Drummond light is in operation, is (on the authority of Tyndal) only 2000o Cent.=3632o F.; hence this flame has an excess of temperature over that of the incandescent lime, equal to 964°F., a pretty good margin for

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loss, surely sufficient if properly economised; but as I have already shown, this excess of temperature can be largely increased.

In view of the greater controllability of the proposed substitute,—the absence of all danger in its use—its not requiring chemical preparation,—and its cheapness, compared with oxygen; upon these several points, respectively, the question should be properly tested.

Besides the substitution of oxygen urged above, the possible fusion of the purer clays, and certain silicas, etc., in a ready and economical manner, may induce the further utilization of these substances, while in experimental chemistry the facility with which such high temperatures can be attained and kept up, may lead among other things, to some cheaper way of extracting certain metals from their oxides, aluminium, for instance, from alumina or clay.

On reviewing these results, it does seem not a little singular that a difference of not more than 500o F., in the temperature of the blast, should make the difference between the fusibility and infusibility, of such substances as platina, agate, fire clay, etc., in the blowpipe flame. It will be recollected, however, that the blast has, in this case, not only taken up the heat required to raise a single volume of it to this temperature, but another portion of heat has been taken up in a latent form, as the air expanded,—consumed as it were in lifting against the atmospheric pressure; this may be represented sufficiently well for us, by assuming the temperature of the blast, kept to its normal volume, at 700°F.

This is as yet, however, but a very slight addition of produce results, which so nearly approximate to those obtainable by the oxy-hydrogen flame, seeing the latter has an estimated temperature of 14,000° to 15,000°F., while that of the present method does not much exceed 5,000°F. The gap, as far as effects is concerned, is narrowed so much, and in a manner so unexpected, by the results here given, that one is naturally prompted to enquire whether the assigned temperature of the oxy-hydrogen flame has been obtained by direct experiment, or by calculations, based upon the ascertained temperature of other flames. The temperature as calculated, indirectly, in this last way, certainly furnishes us with figures remarkably close to those just quoted.

In reference to this important point I beg to call attention to a notice, which appeared in the “Chemical News,” relative to the imperfect combustion of certain gases at high temperatures.

There we learn that at moderately high temperatures (much below 10,000°F.) oxygen and hydrogen only very partially combine,—from memory, I believe, not more than to the extent of half their weight,—the remainder of the gases of course combine, as the centre of heat is left behind. Thus, although the quantity of heat evolved by their combustion is the same, being divided over a larger volume, its intensity is proportionately diminished.

This being so, it would seem to follow, that the temperature of the oxy-hydrogen flame must be very considerably lower than that hitherto ascribed to it; and therefore the possibility of substituting it in this, or in some other manner equally economical, for the several purposes here specified, appears so much the greater.

Art. XXIX.—On the alkalinity of Carbonate of Lime.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, July 17, 1869.]

Carbonate of Lime is described, in chemical works, as neutral to test paper, but this scarcely agreeing with the results of observations I have had to make upon this point, in the course of other investigations, I beg to give these results, which are as follows:—

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1st. Carbonate of lime, prepared by igniting pure oxalate of lime in a close crucible, at a dull-red heat, gives an intense alkaline reaction with reddened litmus paper, after moistening with distilled water, or after reignition with pure carbonate of ammonia.

2nd. Carbonate of lime prepared directly from chloride of calcium and bi-carbonate of soda, by admixture of their aqueous solutions, and washing the ensuing precipitate till all the soda was removed, gave the same reaction with test paper.

3rd. Limestone, shells (calcareous), calc-spar crystals, and arragonite, are all strongly alkaline to test paper (at least, the samples I have tried were), the powder of any of these substances, washed with distilled water for many days, does not seem to lose any of this alkalinity.

Lastly (and I think, conclusively), precipitated carbonate of lime, prepared by either of the above processes, when agitated with weak hydrochloric acid, in successive quantities, until gradually reduced to a minute proportion of its original bulk, still manifests this reaction to an eminent degree; indeed, the solution could not be rendered permanently acid till the whole of the carbonate was dissolved.

It seems impossible, under these circumstances, to attribute this reaction to the accidental presence of free magnesia or lime, sub-carbonate of lime, or alkaline carbonates, in the precipitate; this reaction may therefore, I think, fairly be attributed to the carbonate of lime.

Art. XXX.—On the absorptive properties of Silica; and its direct hydration by contact with water.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, July 17, 1869.]

In No. 157 of the “London Chemical News,” I communicated the fact that silica is hydrated and dissolved by aqueous solution of ammonia. Evidence in favour of this being given in a recent number of the same Journal, together with particulars as to the amount of this solubility, I thought it desirable to ascertain whether ammonia is absolutely necessary to ensure this, the first of these reactions, the hydration of the silica, it occurred to me that water might effect it of itself;—the action of ammonia, in this instance, being confined to bringing the silica, thus hydrated, into solution.

The following experiments tend to show this assumption to be correct.

Rock-crystal, finely pulverized in an agate mortar, then agitated with water, did not completely subside, even after the lapse of some days; the water remained turbid like clay-water, and like it, is soon clarified by the addition of an acid of a neutral salt.

The effects of such additions would, I conceive, rather retard the precipitation of the silica, by increasing the gravity of the fluid, were it not that combination between the silica and the water had commenced—were it not also for an affinity of this substance for water under these conditions,—feeble, no doubt, as to intensity, but insatiable as to quantity.

There appears to be one weak point in the evidence here tendered, namely, that agate (the substance of the mortar used), is not pure silica; still, it is so nearly pure, that upon the whole it is, I think, quite safe to leave this matter out of further consideration.

In reference to other absorptive properties of silica, I find that massive quartz, rock-crystal, and silica, prepared for estimation in the usual way, take sesqui-oxide of iron from solution of its acetate, but not from the chloride.

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Prepared silica, especially, manifests this property, if ignited at a low temperature; and, besides, takes oxides of chromium and copper from their acetates, and removes certain organic matters from their aqueous solutions. These reactions are more apparent in this case, because the silica is in a finely divided state, chemically pulverized in fact.

These reactions show silica to be a feeble mordant, and I think they have an intimate relation to what is termed the physico-mechanical absorption of soils, etc., since we thus see that one of the main constituents of rocks and soils, supposed to be at once the most insert and the most insoluble in an ordinary way, are capable of chemically absorbing certain substances to an extent proportionate to that of the surfaces exposed; such surfaces, even those of rock-crystal itself, are certain to be in a hydrous, in fact in a pulpy state, whenever water has had prolonged contact with them. It follows, therefore, if a substance, which has hitherto been held to be so inert and so unassailable, in these respects, as quartz, in thus actually affected in this manner, we may be certain that the great bulk of our soils, and our more porous rocks, have been affected by water and saline substances in a similar manner;—we may be quite certain, that the surfaces of every siliceous stone, and of every grain of siliceous sand in our soils, is hydrated, and, by so far, advanced to the possession of what is termed the physico-mechanical absorptive power for plant-food.

It only remains for me to state that the reactions here described tend to resolve the so called “physico-mechanical absorption of soils for plant-food,” into a simply chemical one, or, at least, as much a chemical one as are any of those undisputably recognized as such.

Art. XXXI.—On the examination of the Bark of Coprosma Grandifolia, for Alkaloids.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, July 17, 1869.]

The sample I tested was named by Mr. Buchanan, at the time of collecting; it has a bright yellow colour on its inner surface, is very bitter, with a slightly hot pungent flavour. It is decidedly the bitterest of any of the barks of this family, which were pointed out to me, and for this reason I made choice of it for experiment.

The following is a brief summary of the results obtained:—it shows by an easy, simple, and I think a reliable process, that alkaloids, generally, and those of the Quina group in particular, are either entirely absent, or present only in so minute a quantity, that the bark is quite worthless as a drug, on this account at least.

A decoction of 200 grammes of the pulverized bark, in weak hydrochloric acid, was slowly evaporated to a bulk of half-an-ounce, then filtered; the filtrate did not give any precipitate with the following re-agents:

Sulphocyanide of mercury.

Sulphocyanide of zinc.

Tannic acid.

These substances are capital tests for the alkaloids generally, giving dense precipitate in a very weak decoction, even, of the common Gray bark.

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Art. XXXII.—On the Extraction of the poisonous principle of the Tutu Plant (Coriaria ruscifolia.)

[Read before the Willington Philosophical Society, August 14, 1869.]

A Great many experiments have, from time to time, been made upon the Tutu plant, with the object of extracting the formidable poison known by sad experience to exist therein; but, as is well known, these attempts have been always unsuccessful, and have, besides, completely failed to discover anything at all definite as to the chemical or physical character of the poison.

Among these experiments is a series I made while connected with the Geological Survey Department of Otago, a notice of which appeared in the “Juror's Report for the New Zealand Exhibition of 1865,” the only result, however, being to prepare the way for future enquiry, which was promised at the time.

The Tutu plant does not grow in the neighbourhood of Wellington in any quantity, hence I have been greatly delayed in fulfilling my promise, much against my will; but recently a large quantity of the seed of this plant has been kindly presented to the Survey, for this particular purpose by Mr. H. H. Travers, and upon this I at once commenced operations.

The plan I adopted, was to separate, as well as I could, all the more immediate proximate constituents of the seed (in which the poison is known to exist), and to test each likely one by itself, in its effects upon the animal economy.

First, I extracted a portion of the finely-ground seed with cold water, and another portion with weakly acidified water, and treated them separately by a new process, now much in vogue, for the separation of alkaloids (Rogers and Girwood), all the evaporations being conducted at a temperature not exceeding 90°Fah.

The residuum from these processes was very small, and gave no indications of the presence of alkaloids to the proper tests; it consisted almost wholly of gummy matters.

The result seemed to dispose of all that was soluble in water or weak acids, and, to a certain extent, impugned the correctness of the general idea that this poison is of the nature of an alkaloid.

The part of the seed insoluble in these re-agents was next examined.

Alcohol was passed through this, repeatedly, and the extract evaporated, when a large quantity of a greenish-red coloured substance discovered itself; this treated with Ether separated into two parts, one a green-coloured oil, soluble therein; the other a resinous substance quite insoluble in this menstruum.

The resinoid substance was reserved for after-examination, and the oil at once tested in regard to its effects on the animal economy.

For this purpose, I administered about five minims of it to a full-grown cat, after a twelve-hours' fast; the oil acted as an emetic in a short time, and the greater portion of it was vomited. In half-an-hour, however, the animal showed signs of uneasiness and convulsive twitches of the ears and eyes, together with a forward jerking of the head, took place; also much frothing of the mouth, culminating in a convulsive fit, in about one hour after the dose was administered. After a little while this fit passed off, only the twitches and forward jerkings continuing; but a second very severe fit, of short duration, occurred in about one hour afterwards, after which the cat gradually rallied. These symptoms agreed generally with those exhibited by cattle and sheep, when poisoned by this plant.

Although I have made but one experiment, I think it will be allowed

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that the result of this has fairly proved that the poison of the seed, and so, by a very proper inference, the poison of the plant generally, since I find an oily substance throughout it, exists in this oil, if it is not the oil itself. It therefore now only remains to be ascertained whether this oil is a single proximate substance, or a mixture or compound of such, and if the latter, which is, or which are, the active ones concerned in the production of these phenomena I have described. Unfortunately I had not sufficient of the oil to allow me to test this properly, but I am in hopes of having it by next autumn, as I have been promised a large quantity of these seeds from Taranaki.

The following are the characteristics of this oil, as ascertained up to the present time.

Somewhat viscid at common temperature, but flowing freely at a little above this; colour, pale-green; reaction, acid; taste, bland; burns away readily with much flame; scarcely volatile without decomposition; soluble in ether, alcohol, chloroform, and strong acetic acid; insoluble in hydrochloric or nitric acid; also insoluble in water; does not dry when long exposed to the air.

When boiled with solutions of the caustic alkalies there is much frothing, but only a portion of the oil dissolves, even when the boiling is continued for many hours; the portion dissolved was found to be saponified. The whole of the oil is, however, soluble in a cold alcoholic solution of potash, without yielding a precipitate when admixed with water; hence it is probable that all the acid portion of the oil is really saponifiable, that which was unsaponifiable, in the first instance, being a product of the metamorphosis of a portion of the normal oil by the process employed.

When the oil is heated to the decomposing point, a substance is given off having the pungent odour of acrolein, a substance characteristic of the the presence of glycerine, or oxide of lipyle the base of common fatty bodies.

Heated with caustic alkalies, either in the wet or the dry way, there are no alkaline vapours evolved, but in the latter case an odorous oil forms, probably, œnanthylic acid.

From the reaction of this oil, here described, it evidently belongs to the series of non-drying fixed oils; in its solubility in alcohol or acetic acid, it bears a remarkable resemblance to castor oil, the only other fixed oil, which I find to be wholly soluble in acetic acid. Now castor oil, it will be remembered, is a very peculiar oil: it does not contain any of the acids of the common oils or fats, but in place of them, two very singular acids, quite peculiar, I believe, to this variety of oil; hence I conceive that the acid part of this oil of Tutu to be also quite distinct from the ordinary fatty acids; to be in all probability, peculiar to it; and to one or more of these acids I should ascribe the poisonous effects of the oil.

If further experiments should confirm the correctness of the views here stated, this case will, I conceive, become invested with an interest beyond that immediately under our notice; since it will offer another instance in which a non-nitrogenous oily principle, is proved to affect the system like a neurotic poison; this class of poisons being almost always alkaloids, or at least nitrogenous substances.

Not it will be remembered there are several poisonous plants in Europe, which have, hitherto, refused to yield any pure poisonous principle to chemical processes, but then these processes have been, as a general rule, I believe, especially for the detection of alkaloids. With this case to point, therefore, it does seem in the highest degree probable, that in some of these cases, at least, the poisonous effects may be due to a non-nitrogenous oil, not yet isolated or examined. In view of this I have recommended the subject for examination

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to a friend of mine residing in England, so that I expect in a few months to hear something more of this, or else to have selections of seeds, etc., from the plants I have named in my letter, so that I can enquire into this subject myself. *

With regard to antidotes for administration of animals, etc., poisoned with the Tutu plant, I should be inclined to think that in addition to emetics and purgatives, very dilute acids would be beneficial, since by preventing saponification of the oil, they would tend to keep it insoluble, and therefore inert.

As being somewhat related to the subject, I may state that the seed of the Karaka tree (Corynocarpus loevigata), which is also of a poisonous nature, has refused, in a similar manner, to yield any alkaloid to my processes, but it gives up an oil to alcohol, which resembles the above in some of its reactions. It seems to exercise a specific effect upon the animal economy, when administered in small doses, inducing at first, great uneasiness, and afterwards, restless, unwilling sleep, with sudden starting; unfortunately I had not sufficient of it to get any decisive results.

This oil is also soluble in alcohol acetic acid, ether, and in hydrochloric acid.

It is very bitter, and feebly soluble in water.

In one important respect it differs from the oil of Tutu; it evolves ammonia when boiled with potash, thus, in regard to its composition, allying itself to the alkaloids, though in its reactions apparently distinct.

Art. XXXIII.—On the Fusibility of Platinum in the Blowpipe Flame.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, November 13, 1869.]

The metal platinum has hitherto been supposed to be infusible, except at a temperature that is so high, as to be incapable of being produced by the common blowpipe; at least I have carefully searched for any statements to the contrary without success.

When I was lately engaged in studying the effects of the hot-blast blow-pipe flame, the results of which investigation have already been communicated to the society (See p. 148), I found it necessary to test, with accuracy, the degree of fusibility of platina; and discovered that if the loss of heat from the flame, by conduction, was guarded against, platinum can be fused with an ordinary blowpipe blast through a candle flame. The method adopted was to substitute, for the metallic nozzle generally employed, a tube of clay or glass, either of which is a feeble conductor of heat, as compared with metals.

By this means fine platinum points were fused in an unmistakable manner, to beads. The blast was that ordinarily used in the laboratory by the use of the hydrostatic blowpipe, the flame being that of a stearine candle.

As it might be urged that, perhaps, the platina I treated, might contain an admixture of more fusible metal, and that its melting point might thus be reduced, I prepared some of the platina for special trial, which was absolutely free from such fusible metals.

As the fusing point of platinum has been ascertained to be 4593° Fah., we must, from the above experiment conclude, that if proper precautions

[Footnote] * Since this paper was read, I learn from the “London Chemical News” for August 6, 1869, that M. Van Ankum has discovered the poisonous principle of the Cicuta virosa to be an essential oil, of formula, C10. H8. but “could not find any alkaloid in this plant at all.” This was one of the plants especially selected for examination in the communication alluded to.

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are taken to prevent loss of heat by conduction, this high temperature can be produced by the ordinary blowpipe operating upon flames of this description.

Art. XXXIV.—On the Application of Iodine and Bromine, for the detection of Gold when in minute quantities.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, Novermber 13, 1869.]

The large number of non-auriferous, or but slightly auriferous, specimens of quartz and pyritous rocks, which have lately been submitted here for examination for gold, has rendered it very desirable that some quicker, less laborious, and, if possible, more exhaustive, method of analysis, than the current one (that by amalgamation), should be employed.

In recognition of this I have frequently been urged by the Director of this Department to attempt some other process, and after several preliminary experiments I turned my attention, especially, to the use of iodine or bromine for this object.

Both of these substances differ from chlorine especially in their relatively feebler affinities for hydrogen, so there would be the less to fear, that from the generation of hydra-acids, any great preponderance of other matters would be dissolved along with the gold we wish to separate from the sample under examination.

Iodine, indeed, has already been used with advantage in the analysis of certain meteorites, for the separation of the iron and nickel existing therein in a metallic state; these it combines with, leaving the associated silicates, iron-oxides and sulphides intact.

It was this comportment of iodine with other substances, that determined me to the trial of both it and bromine for the purpose named.

The results of my experiments certainly show that either of these agents may be safely and advantageously employed for the separation of gold from its matrices.

The following are the particulars of a few of these experiments, which besides their present use, will, I think, be useful in showing what is, approximately, the smallest quantity of gold that can be positively separated and identified, by a certain course of analysis operating upon a limited quantity. The first time, I believe, anything of this kind has been attempted.

1st. 2 grammes of roasted “buddle heading” from a quartz mine at the Thames, known from previous analysis to contain gold at the rate of one ounce, or so, to the ton, was well shaken for a little while with its volume of alcoholic solution of iodine (tincture of iodine, of chemists), then allowed to subside. A piece of Swedish filter-paper was then saturated with the clear supernatant liquid, and afterwards burned to an ash; the ash, in the place of being white, as it would be if pure, was coloured purple; the colouring matter was quickly removed by bromine—a clear indication of the presence of gold. The time occupied by the whole process was twenty minutes.

2nd. 1 gramme of the same “buddle headings,” mixed with such a quantity of soil as to reduce the proportion of gold present to 2 dwts. per ton, was allowed contact with its volume of the tincture for two hours, with occasional stirring; a piece of filter-paper was then saturated with the tincture, and dried, five times consecutively, and finally burnt off as before; in this case, also, the colour of the residual ash was purple, and it gave the reaction of gold.

3rd. 32 grammes of siliceous hematite, finely-pounded, was thoroughly mixed with precipitated gold to the amount of 2 dwts. per ton; then ignited, and

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treated with bromine water. After two hours the solution was filtered, and evaporated to a bulk of 20 minims; this gave a good reaction of gold to the “chloride of tin” test.

4th. 100 grammes of the hematite, with precipitated gold at the rate of ½ dwt. per ton, treated as before, but this time well washed, at the expiration of the two hours, and the washings evaporated along with the first filtrate, gave a fainter, but still decided, reaction of gold to the same test.

5th. Iodine, as tincture, substituted for bromine in experiments 3 and 4, gave similar results; the only variation made was, that as a precautionary measure allowing for its feebler, or rather slower, action, I gave contact for twelve hours.

To compare the results of the common amalgamating process with the foregoing, I have made some careful experiments; and I find that it is not certain, with the same expenditure of labour, to get reliable indications of gold, when present in less quantity than 2 dwts. per ton, operating upon about 100 grammes of material, which is about the quantity I usually take.

In summing up the results of these experiments, it appears then, that for qualitative examinations for gold, or for quantitative determinations in certain cases, iodine and bromine are each superior to mercury. It also appears that a proportion of gold equal to ½ dwt. per ton, upon a bulk of 100 grammes (about 4 ozs) of ferruginous matters, can be easily and rapidly detected.

Of course, by operating upon larger quantities, gold could be discovered by this process, were it present in far less quantities, but this is sufficiently near for the majority of cases.

These processes are especially adapted for the separation of gold from sulphides, as the preliminary roasting is extremely favourable to them, not so much chemically as mechanically, I think; the loss in the substitution of oxygen for sulphur, amounting to 25 per cent., by weight, while the volume remains constant (or nearly so); hence there is a corresponding porosity in the product, by which it is certain every atom of it is thrown open to contact with the solution of these agents.

This mechanical accessibility obviously cannot be taken advantage of by mercury.

With sulphides these processes are practically exhaustive, while, at the same time, the simultaneous extraction of other matters is avoided, or, at any rate, is so trifling, that the proper tests for gold can be safely applied directly to the concentrated solution.

Regarding the choice between iodine and bromine, I would prefer the former, when mere traces of gold and supposed to be present; or if the ore is in a finely divided state, as is generally the case when the matrix is iron pyrites.

In the roasting of such pyrites it is necessary to raise the temperature towards the end to a full-red heat, in order to decompose the ferruginous sulphates, since if these remained much iron would get into the solution.

In the case of much carbonate of lime being present, it is proper to gently reignite the roasted mineral, etc., with carbonate of ammonia, or much lime might get into the iodine or bromine solution.

On the other hand a very high temperature is to be avoided, for, from my own experience, I find a considerable quantity of fine gold can escape detection in this way, by the partial vitrification of the more fusible of the silicates.

The identification of gold by the combustion of its salts with filter-paper, as suggested in this paper, seems to promise a rapid method of estimating it, comparatively, by the aid of a series of prepared test-papers, representing gold in different degrees of dilution.


Art. XXXV.—Remarks on the Coast Line between Kai Iwi and Waitotara, on the West Coast of the Province of Wellington.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, June 19, 1869.]

Any One accustomed to the scenery of the East Coast, must be at once struck with the contrast presented to it by that of the West. The former is rugged in the extreme, and, except in a few places, the flats, adjoining the sea beach, appear to have been formed from the slips which take place so frequently from the neighbouring hills, having, as it were, reclaimed the land faster than the waves could wash it away. The scenery on the West Coast is comparatively soft and undulating, this latter character being more marked as we approach Mount Egmont, whose volcanic rocks give a new feature to the landscape. The general impression produced, is, that this country has been formed by the gradual and quiet upheaval of a vast mass of marine deposits, and that there is no such incessant struggle between land and sea going on, on the West Coast, as there is on the East. But such considerations, though sufficient for the purposes of art, either pictorial or descriptive, which deal rather with effects than causes, require to be supplemented by more exact observation to meet the requirements of science. In nature, the forces which are quietest in their operation, are often the most powerful, and in geology, the question is not so much how great is the force, as how long has it operated.

I think I shall be able to adduce some facts, which go to prove that the northern portion of the West Coast has been encroached upon by the ocean, to a very considerable extent, and at a rate which is remarkably rapid, geologically speaking.

Immediately to the north of Wanganui, the margin of the coast consists of ranges of sand-hills, which are remarkable from the fact, that instead of falling away gradually to the sea beach, they terminate in cliffs which present a bold face to the sea. Between the sand-hills and the tertiary rocks, of which these cliffs consist, are the well-defined remains of an ancient forest. These remains are particularly conspicuous along the line of cliffs between the Kai Iwi and Waitotara rivers. In places they appear on the exact line of junction between the sand and the older rocks, but in general they seem to be about four feet below this level. Probably a careful investigation would show that more than one forest has grown upon the same spot, and that each has been buried at a different epoch, apparently owing to changes of level in the land, as, in places, there appear to be beds of marine shells above the lignite, into which much of the wood has been converted. In addition to this is the curious fact, that the bed of the Waitotara river itself is thickly studded with the stumps of trees, at a level of about 150 feet lower than those above mentioned. We have then the following facts before us.

  • 1.

    Drift sand extending inland, to a distance of from one to four miles from the edge of the cliffs, and thus lying at an elevation of from 120 to 200 feet above the present sea beach.

  • 2.

    The remains of one or more forests buried beneath the sand-hills, and

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Ideal Sections between Kai-iwi and Waitotara Rivers

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  • in the strata in which these rest, and the remains of the same or other forests as a much lower level, namely, in the bed of the Waitotara river itself.

Clearly then, here is evidence either of a very remarkable rise in the land, or of the considerable and rapid action of the waves upon it.

On first looking at the sand-hills, in question, it seems as if the whole mass had been lifted bodily upwards from the bed of the ocean. So fresh is the appearance of the sand, that it is difficult to believe that it has not been lately covered by the tide. However, this supposition is a highly improbable one, when the generally horizontal and unbroken nature of the stratification of the underlying rocks is considered, dripping, as they do, at a very small angle towards the sea, and presenting no appearance of having been disturbed since the accumulation of sand upon them.

The probability is, then, that the present cliffs have been formed since the great Tertiary system, which underlies all the more recent formations in this province, and in that of Hawke's Bay (being apparently identical, as to fossil contents, on both sides of the island), attained its present elevation.

Evidently, then, at one time, the surface of the rocks, in question, sloped gradually to the beach, and became covered with sand-hills (similar, in all respects to those between Paikakariki and Rangitikei), and presented no abrupt termination towards the sea.

Rocks at some depth below the surface of the water are protected from the action of the waves, but no sooner do they approach the surface, than they are exposed to the incessant cutting and grinding action of moving water. Hence it is easy to imagine that the ordinary action of the tide, apart from that of ocean currents, (though I believe these have a considerable effect on our coasts), was sufficient to wash away so much of the newly-formed land, as to give rise to the rather singular phenomenon of sand-hills terminating in high cliffs. The present coast line is, in short, a section of that which formerly existed, and apparently at no remote period.

That this period was not very remote is, I think, proved by the fact, that, at any rate, some of the trees, of which the stumps, and in some places the trunks, are visible, have not lost the appearance of wood, and though others have become changed into lignite, I have seen none which could be classed as Brown coal. I may mention, incidentally, that the lignite in question is so plentiful that I was informed, when lately in the Waitotara district, that it had been used as fuel at Mr. O'Hanlon's hotel, near the Kai Iwi. It is evident that the trees, I refer to, must have been growing before the sand covered the soil, and the probability is that the sand was drifted by the wind over and amongst the more recent ones. Indeed the remains of an old pa were visible till lately upon a place called Popoia, near the Okehu stream. This, though half a mile from the sea, is now nothing but a vast sand-hill. Hence, it follows, that the sea must have made such inroads upon the part of the coast in question, as not only to have washed away a considerable belt of sand-hills, but to have cut into the fertile land where a forest formerly grew, and it is not improbable, that this formed part of that forest, which middle-aged Maoris say they have heard their fathers speak of, as having covered the present fern and grass lands within their own recollection. For the comfort of land owners, I may mention that the further drifting of the sand has been prevented by the growth of vegetation, and by the formation of a high fern-covered ridge, which forms, as it were, a rampart between the sand-hills and the arable land; though while the sea will still gradually eat into the land, it will do so at a continually decreasing rate, the lower rocks being much harder than the upper, and consisting of an indurated blue clay.

The part of the coast which I have attempted to describe is well worthy the attention of a skilled geologist, and a careful examination of it, noting the

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dip of the strata, and carefully examining the buried trees, would, I think, put us in possession of some very valuable data for determining the era and the rate of important geological changes. I lay on the table some rough diagrams, in explanation of such parts of my paper as may appear obscure to those who have not seen the part of the country it relates to. (See Pl. IX.)

Art. XXXVI.—On Alluvial Gold in the Province of Wellington.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, July 17, 1869.]

Having visited the operations at present going on in the upper part of the valley of the Kaiwarra stream, I find in that narrow valley, a greater quantity of gold washed out than could have been reasonably expected from the limited area from which it must have been derived.

Taking the actual fact of the presence of gold, in appreciable quantities, in this small valley, into consideration, I am inclined to revert to an opinion, which I long ago expressed, and which is as follows: that considering the very high angle of inclination of the main chain of the island, consisting, in this part, of the ranges of Tararua and Rimutaka, with all the subsidiary ranges, that the tendency of the denudation of the valleys, would be to wash out gold, or other minerals, which might be thereby released, beyond the boundaries of the hills, and deposit them in the valleys to the east and west of the chain.

If, on the east side, we consider the wearing away which has scooped out the valleys of the Tauherenikau, the Waiohine, the Waingawa, the Waipoua, and the Ruamahunga, we may reasonably expect, supposing the rocks are to any extent auriferous, and fall and force of water are sufficient, that gold must have been carried out and deposited somewhere in the Wairarapa valley.

On the West Coast, in a similar way, from the valleys of the Wainui, the Waikanæ, the Otaki, the Manawatu, the Rangitikei, gold may have been deposited in the trough between the main ranges and the line of Kapiti and Mana.

I put this statement theoretically: how to prove the theory to be fact, is the point to be decided. If we attempt to sink to any depth, on either side of the range, we shall probably soon require powerful pumping apparatus, and of necessity considerable capital would be required. It is possible that tentative explorations may be made, at the least difficult points, which, without going to much expense, may either lead to further trial, or to the abandonment of the idea.

Supposing the land to have formerly stood at a higher level (at a comparatively recent period), there is a possibility that the Lower Hutt Valley, and even the bottom of this harbour, may have undergone the conditions necessary for the concentration of alluvial gold.

My reasons for advancing the above theory are, the extremely steep incline of the chain on both sides, and the rapid fall of the rivers, the great general force of their currents, and the frequency of heavy floods, combined with the proved fact that gold is found, more or less, distributed within these ranges.

It is possible that the above remarks may be found applicable to the valleys of the Wakamarina and the Pelorus, in the Province of Marlborough

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To accompany Paper by F. W. Hutton on the Geology of the North Head of Manakau Harbour.

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Art. XXXVII.—On the Geology of the North Head of Manukau Harbour.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Auckland Institute, August 16, 1869.]

The cliffs, north of Manukau Harbour, are composed of a coarse volcanic agglomerate of various kinds of dolerite, trachyte, and rhyolite, the trachytic rocks, however, being much the most numerous. This agglomerate is generally horizontal, but at Paratutai—the rock that forms the north head of the harbour—it is seen to dip strongly to the north, and on its upturned edge rests a thin bed of vescicular doleritic lava, covered, conformably, with beds of agglomerate, to which succeeds another lava stream, also covered by agglomerate. The conformability of these doleritic rocks with the rest of the formation, together with their vesciular character, makes me class them as lava streams, instead of dykes. Proceeding northwards along the coast, several dykes of doleritic-trachyte, very similar to the lava streams already mentioned, but more compact, are seen, cutting through the agglomerate. The second of these, or the one first seen after passing the valley that divides the hill, on which the old pilot station was placed, from the rest of the cliffs, is about six feet thick at the base, and dips 80 [ unclear: ] S. E., but rapidly thins out upwards, and comes to an end less than two-thirds of the way up the cliff, showing that it has been injected from below, but had never reached the surface. Besides these true dykes there are also other reefs of rock which at first sight look like dykes, but, on a closer examination, are seen to be fissures filled up with fine-grained tufa, of the same composition as the matrix of the surrounding agglomerate. These fissures were perhaps caused by earthquakes at the time when the volcanic forces were in activity, and may help us to understand the original formation of some of the lodes at the Thames.

Proceeding further northwards, at a distance of about a mile and a half from Paratutai, we find that the lower part of the formation has been thrown up by a fault, and is seen to rest upon beds of fine-grained tufa, tufaceous sandstone, and sandstone, which, no doubt, belong to the upper part of the Waitemata series; for similar rocks occur at Puponga, as described by Dr. Hochstetter.

In the hill, under the old pilot station, a large angular mass of fine–grained tufaceous sandstone, interstratified with beds of shale, is seen, enclosed in the agglomerate. (Pl. IXa. Fig. I.) This mass is about twenty-five by fifty feet, and probably weighs-not less than 2000 tons; it belongs to the underlying Waitemata beds, and must have been thrown up by a volcano. That this volcano must have existed in the close neighbourhood, is proved by the large size of the block, as well as by the lava streams at Paratutai, although no trace of it can be now recognised; and the fact that the block, although composed of fragile materials, was not shattered in pieces, proves that it was ejected under water. On the eastern, or inner, side of Paratutai the cliff is being undermined and worn away at low-water mark (Fig. II.), while at high–water mark, or a little above it, another, and older, undermining of the sea can be observed, forming a terrace, the difference of height between the two being about ten feet, showing that the land has here risen that distance since the higher one was formed. This closely corresponds to the height of the raised beach at the Thames, on which Shortland and Grahamstown are built. On the outer, or west, side of Paratutai, a similar terracing exists, as can be seen in the Rev. J. Kinder's photograph; but I was not able to measure it, and so am unable to say whether the two are at equal heights.

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Art. XXXVIII.—Description of Lava Caves at the “Three Kings,” near Auckland.

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Auckland Institute, September 20, 1869.]

It is well known that the various lava beds, near Auckland, are cavernous; caves are found of various dimensions, both in the older, and more recent lava streams, although in the former, the surface soil, washed in by floods, has partly, or wholly, filled many of them up.

Many of these known caves are of considerable size, but by far the most extensive in the district, are those, the subject of this paper, situated in the great scoria bed lying to the north-west of the hills called the “Three Kings.”

Some months ago, when a number of the members of this Institute met at these caves, for their exploration, it was seen that they presented some points of interest, and in their relative situation, a little intricacy. As these could not be investigated by a cursory examination, and as it was possible that the result might prove of some value, otherwise than by satisfying mere curiosity; I was induced, in conjunction with Mr. Kirk, to undertake a survey as much in detail as circumstances would permit. The result has shown the relative positions of the caves in this group to be not a little curious, as they branch off from, and underlie each other, to some extent. The survey occupied parts of two days, in all about ten hours. Bearings were taken underground, and marked out on the surface, and regular courses of levels were then run above and below ground, the sectional dimensions of the caves being roughly noted at numerous places. The accompanying plans and sections delineate the positions and levels; I have endeavoured to make the plan as distinct as possible, without the use of colour. (See Pl. X.)

The number of distinct caves in this group, at present explored, is four. They form two sets, of two each. The two pairs have a remarkable resemblance to each other, in some distinctive features. The main pair is marked as the north-western, and the other as the south caves. In both cases, the branches return backwards, at low levels, and they just escape communication with each other. The main cave is generally straight, but of very irregular section, the roof has fallen in many places, and encumbered the floor with large blocks; at one place, near the mouth, it has broken through to the surface; it is clear that at this part the original thickness was not much over a foot. The main branch-cave is, for a great part of its length, in its original state, very little stone having fallen from the roof. At the extreme end, however, some has fallen, and much soil has been washed in.

In section this cave is extremely irregular, but in most places very interesting, from the original form having been preserved, and affording, to my mind, convincing evidence as to the cause of formation. This branch underlies the main cave in a singular manner, having a thickness of rock, between, of eight or nine feet. Both caves have several small branches or chambers. The length of the main cave of this pair is 351 feet, and of the branch, from its entrance, 209 feet. The widths vary from thirty feet to six feet, and the height from seventeen feet to less than four feet. The south cave is much fallen in, and was not minutely measured. It may have been about 200 feet long, originally, but only about ninety feet (in three divisions) are still complete. At its present most northerly entrance, the branch returns at a low level, and is 112 feet long. This branch is by far the most perfect of the caves, having, excepting near its entrance, a regular and natural floor, and terminating in a fine chamber with a domed roof.

The caves seem to be all well ventilated, the air, though extremely

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Sketch Plan of caves at Three Kings near Auckland

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humid, is quite fresh, perceptible currents of air are at all times existing in the more contracted passages, and during our last visit, when a strong breeze was blowing outside, the draughts in these places were so strong that candles could not be used without shelter. This was especially observable in the contracted parts of the north-western cave and branch, in which the current was flowing inwards, in both cases, but in directions diametrically–opposite; while in the branch of the southern pair, the current was outwards, but only near its outer extremity, being evidently fed by the other branch, which slightly overlaps it about forty feet from its entrance. No visible communication however was observed. The positions and directions of those strong air-currents are marked on the plan by arrows.

Regarding the origin of these caves, it seems quite evident that the molten lava has found some outlet after the surface has solidified. Some very interesting traces of this process are visible, especially in the two branches. The floors are covered with curved corrugations, expressive of solidifying while in a state of slow motion, and in some cases the walls seem to have settled down a little, and squeezed the semi-plastic floor into long ridges and furrows. It seems probable that the whole group was formed from one molten stream, and not at different times from different levels. The upper caves, most likely, were formed first, and, after the floor had become firm, the still-fluid lava below seems to have found some passage downwards, somewhere near the abrupt descent or precipice in the main cave, thus forming the branch. On the face of this precipice, evidence can be traced of the descent of a portion of lava while in an almost solid state. Indeed, at this particular place, everything points to the probability of the lava having found its way into the hollows of some older lava stream. The occurrence of regular chambers, and minor branches, may be explained in the same manner, as the hotter and more fluid lava, collecting in pools, would be tapped and drained away. The roof, where in its original state, is also very suggestive of the above theory. It has all the appearance of some plastic material pulled asunder, having solidified in irregular guttæ.

The percolation of water has, in some places, precipitated, on the surface of the roof, a mineral, generally white, but having, in several places, a red or green tinge. I am not aware of the nature of this mineral, but it is probable that lime, which enters in small quantities into the composition of our scoria, is the chief ingredient.

Such is a brief and imperfect description of an interesting part of the Auckland scoria beds. The survey was attended with many difficulties, owing to the general roughness, and contracted dimensions of some of the passages, and the use of the level and staff in these, was anything but easy. On these grounds it is hoped that all imperfections will be excused.

Art. XXXIX.—On the Wanganui Beds (Upper Tertiary).

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, September 18, 1869.]

The following notes give the results of a comparison of the fossil shells from the Upper Tertiary stata of New Zealand, which are in the Colonial Museum, with the fossils obtained by the author, in that portion of the formation locally known as the “Wanganui series”:

Wanganui Beds (Upper Tertiary).

The information, respecting the latter series, is founded on personal examination of the cliffs of the Wanganui river, near the township, and

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continued six miles on No. 2. road-line, in the direction of Wangaehu, and six miles on No. 3 road-line, up the river; also, as far north as Patea for forty miles along the sea coast, at various points between the Kai Iwi and Waitotara rivers, and between the Whenuakura and Patea rivers.

Over the area thus surveyed, the beds are uniformly the same, so that it is unnecessary to protract a section of each particular locality.

In some places they are slightly disturbed—as for instance opposite the town of Wanganui—but, on the whole, they strike in North and South line, with a dip of 10° to 15° to the East; the blue clay stratum which I shall describe, keeping, in general, parallel with the drainage level of the country.

The formation consists of an upper sandy, and lower clay stratum, and separated by a deposit of sand of varying thickness, being at least twelve feet in Shakespere cliff, at Wanganui, the whole covered by a heavy deposit of sands and gravels, containing a cemented gravel bed also of variable thickness, the material from which is in common use for the construction of roads throughout the district.

Along the sea coast the blue clay rises to a height of from one to forty feet above the sea level. A few shells appear to be confined to this deposit, such as Murex* No. 2, Pecten No. 2, and Mytilus No. 2. A few others decrease upwards in the series such as Ancillaria, Murex No. 1, Fusus No. 2, Pecten No. 1, and Ostrea No. 2. Again, a few shells, poorly represented in the blue clay, become very numerous in the upper bed, such as Lucina No. 2, Rotella, Waldheimia, and Imperator imperialis.

The upper bed of the series has generally an open sandy matrix, varying in thickness from four feet at Shakespere cliff, to over a hundred feet at the lower cliffs below Putiki pa; the blue clay, or lower bed, scarcely showing there above the river level.

In this upper bed the following species occur for the first time, in addition to those mentioned as common to both formations:

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Ostrea ingens, Cardium No. 2, Tapes,
Ostrea No. 3, Pecten No. 7, Tellina,
Pectunculus No. 1, Mactra No. 1, Pileopsis,
Pectunculus No. 3, Mactra No. 2, Triton,
Pecten No. 3, Donax, Myadora.

(Extinct forms are in italics.)

There is every probability that, in addition to the above two beds, an older stratum exists, more inland, characterized by the presence of Cucullæa, and if the blue clay of the Patea river should prove to belong to this lower bed, the proportion of extinct species in the Wanganui beds would be considerably diminished.

Napier Beds (Upper Tertiary).

The fossils collected at Napier are too few to determine the relative position of the Limestone formation there; but there is no doubt that several of them are identical with those of the Upper Wanganui beds, and probably belong to the same period.

Blue Clay-marl. Kanierei River, Westland.

Of the fifteen species collected at Hokitiki, every one of them are common at Wanganui, so that it may be inferred that they belong to the same period.

[Footnote] * Instead of attempting to give scientific names, the numbers by which each specimen is distinguished in the Museum, is employed.—Ed.

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Shakespere Cliff Wanganui

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Kawau Island Beds.

The Kawau Island deposits contain only extinct species, and have been erroneously grouped with the newer-tertiary formation, by Hochstetter, from the species having been mixed with more modern forms from a littoral deposit at Cape Rodney.

A list of the Cape Rodney shells is given separately; all of them being extinct species.

Awatere and Motanau Beds (Upper Tertiary).

The Awatere and Motanau clays are undoubtedly of the same age, and it is very probable, when further examined over the whole area, will be naturally grouped in three subdivisions. At Motanau three beds can be distinctly recognized: first, an upper sandy bed, containing the most common shells of the adjacent coasts; second, a middle blue clay bed, containing probably fifty species, nine-tenths of which are identical with those of the blue clay at Wanganui; these upper and middle beds lie conformable, and have, evidently, like those at Wanganui, been accumulated on their breeding grounds, on quiet sea bottoms. Not so the third, or lower, blue clay bed, found inland near its outcrop. It exhibits masses of concreted broken shells, the result of wave action on an ancient sea beach. The proportion of extinct species in this series is very small, and those chiefly miocene fossils, of the lower bed, such as Cucullæa.


By a comparision of the fossils collected in the different districts, with those of Wanganui taken as a standard—as being the most complete—the evidence is conclusive of the sameness of the whole, with the exception of the Kawau beds, as a reference to the columns will show.

The formation must be divided into three groups: an upper, a middle, and a lower; nearly every genus of the upper and middle beds still existing on the adjacent coasts.


Ostrea—2 sp., Mytilus, Pecten—3 sp., Crepidula, Calyptræa, Venus, Pectunculus. Total, 10 sp.: recent 7, extinct 3.

Cape Rodney.

Haliotis, Cardium, Scalaria, Fusus—2 sp., Turritella, Teredo, Pectunculus, Pecten—2 sp., Rhynchonella, Turbo, Ostrea. Total, 14 sp.: recent 13, extinct 1.


Ostrea, Turritella, Turbo, Crassitella, Natica, Pectunculus. Total, 6 sp., all extinct.


Fusus—2 sp., Dentalium, Voluta—2 sp., Natica, Limopsis, Trophon, Turritella, Leda, Pecten, Ancillaria, Cassis, Venus, Pectunculus. Total, 15 sp.: recent 13, extinct 2.


Fusus—2 sp., Natica, Turritella—2 sp., Scalaria—2 sp., Struthiolaria—2 sp., Crepidula—2 sp., Calyptræa, Voluta, Cucullæa—4 sp., Dentalium, Echinite—3 sp., Trochus, Shark's tooth, Crania, Pectunculus—2 sp., Waldheimia—4 sp., Ostrea, Venericardia, Myodora, Pecten—5 sp., Venus—2 sp., Mactra, Mytilus, Modiola, Lucina, Panopæa, Cytherea, Artemis, Lima. Total, 48 sp.: recent 27, extinct 21.

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Fusus—3 sp., Voluta—2 sp., Natica, Turritella—3 sp., Struthiolaria—6 sp., Crepidula—3 sp., Calyptræa, Trochita, Ancillaria, Balanus, Pectunculus, Ostrea—2 sp., Pinna, Mactra, Lutraria, Artemis, Tapes, Tellina, Cucullæa, Dentalium, Purpura. Total, 34 sp.: recent 26, extinct 8.


Fusus, Voluta—2 sp., Natica—2 sp., Struthiolaria—3 sp., Turritella, Crepidula, Venericardia, Pecten, Ostrea, Terebratula, Cardium, Pectunculus, Mactra, Dosinia, Artemis, Tapes, Venus—4 sp., Sanguinolaria, Lutraria, Cucullæa—2 sp., Dentalium—2 sp., Tellina, Mytilus, Trochus, Nerita, Balanus, Rotella, Imperator, Pholas, Saxicava, Pinna, Modiola, Struthiolaria. Total, 42 sp.: recent 34, extinct, 8.


Murex—3 sp., Fusus—6 sp., Trichotropis, Trophon, Mangelia, Triton, Buccinum—4 sp., Purpura, Lymnæa, Ancillaria, Cassis, Trochus—2 sp., Imperator, Rotella, Pleurotoma, Auricula, Cerithium, Turritella—3 sp., Scalaria, Mytilus—2 sp., Ostrea—3 sp., Pinna, Modiola—2 sp., Venus—8 sp., Dosinla, Terebratula, Terebratella, Waldheimia—3 sp., Rhynchonella, Cardita, Tapes, Artemis, Lucina—2 sp., Cardiu—3 sp., Venericardia, Natica—3 sp., Voluta—2 sp., Struthiolaria—3 sp., Pileopsis, Crepidula—3 sp., Calyptræa, Trochita, Emarginula, Hemitoma, Lima—2 sp., Balanus, Echinus, Echin-arachnius, Turbinolia, Vermetus, Teredo, Coral—2 sp., Bryozoa (?), Pecten—7 sp., Mactra—3 sp., Arca, Chamostrea, Nucula, Corbula, Tellina—2 sp., Lutraria, Panopæa, Mya, Pectunculus—4 sp., Mesodesma—3 sp., Donax, Psammobia, Sanguinolaria, Myodora. Total, 121 sp.: recent 109, extinct 12.

Grand Total, 290 sp.: recent 229, extinct 61.

Art. XL.—On the Tertiary Series of Oamaru and Moeraki.*

[Extract from a letter to Dr. Hector, May 25, 1869;—read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, September 18, 1869,]

I Beg to communicate some observations concerning a formation which, in this district, rather puzzles me. I call it the “Blue clay” formation for want of a better name, that being the usual term for the principal deposit of it that I have seen. Very near Hampden, a well, sunk by Mr. Gleeson, for, I believe, 300 feet, did not penetrate through it; but it is often yellow or yellowish-brown, and not unfrequently forms hard rock, as you are doubtless aware. I myself have not noticed it north of the lower Waitaki, south of the Moeraki boulders, or west of Mr. Feren's station on the Kakanui, but have seen specimens of it from other parts of Otago and Canterbury. You probably know whether the Awatere blue clay contains similar fossil remains or not.

Some time since I was endeavouring to work up the fossil shells of this formation, with the view of determining approximately the proportion that has become extinct.

Of course, in a collection of fossils, we must expect a number on which we cannot pronounce with certainty, by reason of their imperfect condition, as I need hardly say; but I have been at pains to procure and lay bare, at least one good specimen of each species, so as to reduce the doubtful cases to a com-paratively small number. Striking these off until further light is thrown on them, and reckoning, on the one hand, those between which and the recent I am unable to distinguish any difference; and on the other hand, those which

[Footnote] * See Mantell, “Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc.,” Vol. vi, p. 333.—ED.

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are clearly distinct; I feel now pretty confident that we must consider more than one-half of the species to have become extinct in our seas. This alone, if confirmed by further and more extended observations, would, I presume, prevent this formation being referred to any period later than the Miocene; though, as far as I can make out, by the works I have by me, it has always been considered as Pliocene or Pleistocene, (see Hochstetter's “New Zealand,” p. 61—“Younger Tertiary Strata,” etc.)

Doubtless some of the species may be extinct here, and alive elsewhere, but I fancy this is improbable. The presence of several of the genera, as Cassidaria, Conus, etc., seems to indicate, if anything, a somewhat warmer climate, but I see no approach to the shells of Port Jackson, in the latitude of the North Cape.

Of the Chilian shells (I did pick up shells there ages ago), I have little recollection.

It appears to me, however, that the proportion of extinct species is much less striking than the number of extinct genera. Woodward writes, p. 421, “The shells of the newer tertiaries, are always identical, at least generically, with those of the nearest coasts.” But here we have the following genera, none of which, as far as I know, have been found recent.

Typhis (the Rev. Mr. Taylor's Typhis, was, I think, a Murex), Pyrula, Cassidaria, Conus, Sigaretus, Turritella, Avicula, Perna, Cucullæa, Limopsis, Crassatella, Mya, with one of the sub-genera of Natica.

I shall append a list of all the genera I have determined, and when you come this way I can show you these and other specimens.

List Referred to.

(The extinct species are marked in italics.)

Muricidæ (14)—Murex, Murex sp. (?), Typhis, Triton 2 sp., Fusus 7 sp., Trophon, Pyrula.

Buccindiæ (6)—Buccinum, Buccinum 2 sp., Cassidaria, Nassa, Ancillaria.

Conidæ (3)—Conus, Pleurotoma, Mangelia.

Volutidæ (5)—Voluta 2 sp., Marginella, Marginella 2 sp. (?)

Cypræidæ (1)—Cyproea.

Naticidæ (4)—Natica 2 sp., Polinices, Globulus, Sigaretus.

Pyramidellidæ (1)—Chemnitzia.

Cerithiadæ (2)—Cerithium, Struthiolaria 2 sp.

Turritellidæ (2)—Turritella 2 sp.

Litorinidæ (1)—Solarium.

Turbinidæ (1)—Trochus.

Calyptræidæ (1)—Calyptræa, Crepidula.

Dentaliadæ (3)—Dentalium, Dentalium 2 sp.

Tornatellidæ (1)—Tornatella.

Bullidæ (2)—Cylichna 2 sp.

Rhynchonellidæ (1)—Rhynchonella.

Ostreidæ (5)—Placunomia, Lima, Limatula, Pecten 2 sp.

Aviculidæ (3) Pinna, Avicula, Perna.

Mytilidæ (1)—Modiola.

Arcadæ (5)—Arca, Cucullæa, Pectunculus, Solenella, Limopsis 2 sp.

Cardiadæ (1)—Cardium.

Lucinidæ (1)—Lucina.

Cyprinidæ (2)— Crassatella, Venericardia.

Veneridæ (3)—Venus 2 sp., Artemis.

Mactridæ (1)—Lutraria.

Tellinidæ (1)—Tellina.

Myacidæ (2)—Mya, Corbula.

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I presume this formation has been generally considered to overlie immediately the Oamaru building stone.

At one point near the south side of the Oamaru Cape Cliffs, just below where the hill slopes away southwardly, may be seen the “with clay” with its underlying rocks. At first sight it seems to be a horizontal bed, capped by a seam of yellow clay; but a closer inspection shows that there are hard seams, several inches thick, running through it, dipping to the south; and that these show the original planes of stratification, is evident, because the imbedded fragments of flat shells, and thin seams of shells, lie in parallel planes. Also, the same rocks form, at this place, outlying reefs, dipping in the same direction, having the soft parts eaten away by the action of the waves, so that the upper part of the clay and adjoining rocks (on which lies a single layer of hard water-worn limestone, say six inches to a foot in thickness), must have been worn to a level, and the upper portion of the clay altered in colour, after being tilted by the force of the volcanic outbursts which formed the Cape hills.

Interposed between the “Blue clay” and Oamaru stone, is a layer of sand like that in Hutchinson's lime kiln, containing numbers of Terebratulæ, Pecten, Hutchinsonia, etc., and irregular masses of dislocated rock, altered, I suppose, by heat.

On looking over the foregoing I think you may add to the previous list of fossils, one new species of Limopsis, and one new Struthiolaria. (List amended.) The Struthiolaria (of a genus you may remember peculiar to our shell province) is interesting, as showing a marked approach to the genus Aporrhais. Comparing it with S. strminea, the body is more slender, the mouth more expanded, and the outer lip, instead of having two slight rounded projections, has one claw-like expansion. A fine Turritella, of which you have at least one specimen from the Waitaki, attaining a circumference of about four and a half inches, is not uncommon, and I have one Scalaria (which seems common to this and the Oamaru stone) about four inches in circum-ference. It is singular that the only shell retaining any colour is a large Lima, of which genus I believe all the recent species are destitute of colour. Possibly, however, the colour has been induced by chemical action, during its long sojurn in the clay; and this shell was, perhaps, in its day and generation, of as pure a white as its descendants of our times. I have one valve of this Lima, measuring five inches in length. The list I sent you contained seventy-five genera, with the two now mentioned, seventy-seven, of which I believe fifty-one to be extinct, and twenty-six perhaps alive; but I have more confidence in the dissimilarity of the fifty-one, than in the similarity of the twenty-six; and I have a number of imperfect shells and fragments, evidently different from any we have found recent, but of which I have not yet been able to determine even the family; so I think it not unreasonable to suppose, that the proportion of extinct is understated above.

Without presuming, of course, to speak positively, I cannot help a strong impression that these results indicate a much higher antiquity to this formation than has been hitherto assigned to it. As far as I have seen it noticed, it is put down as Pliocene, or Pleistocene*—a time I suppose when nearly the present disposition of land and water obtained; while if it has to be referred back to the Miocene, or possibly the Eocene, we must imagine a period when these islands bore only a rude general resemblance to our New Zealand of to-day.(?) Even on this spot, I think it can be shown, that when these

[Footnote] * A series of fossils from this formation, now in the Dunedin Museum, was exhibited in the Geological Survey Collection, in the N. Z. Exhibition, 1865, as Eocene. See “Catalogue of N. Z. Exhibition,” p. 58; and “Juror's Reports,” p. 263.—ED.

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shells flourished, there was no “Oamaru Cape,” which now gives a friendly shelter to our coasting fleet; as it is also tolerably plain that a spacious harbour or inlet then existed, where the waters of the Waitangi now traverse an extensive agricultural district.

The following, I think, to a common mind—perhaps not to a trained geological one—seems to bear further testimony to the age of these shells:—

In various parts of this coast the face of an old sea-beach is seen, often elevated considerably above the present one, and supplying the shingle from which the present coast is formed. This is covered by many feet of silt. The inference surely is, that since this old beach was formed, we have had at least one considerable depression (to allow of the uniform deposition of such a depth of clay over many miles of surface) and one subsequent elevation.

If, in our day, there is little or no sensible movement going on in this part of New Zealand, we may surely conclude that the two movements, referred to, represent a very lengthened period. Yet the fossil shells in this old beach seem precisely similar to those now living; then, how immensely old, by comparison, must this group of shells be, in which only a few bear any close resemblance to those we now find. As bearing on this, and because we often hear it assumed that the coast is rising, the following may be worthy of note:—

At the mouth of the Awamoa, and, I believe, at various creeks on the coast, we find evidence of old Maori repasts, where moa bones (many of them broken, and the fractures still sharp, not waterworn) are associated with those of the seal, marine shells, such as Maoris still collect for food, chert flakes, etc., in a black soil, apparently a mixture of sand and charcoal. I believe those who have studied the matter consider that it is a long time since Maoris feasted on moa flesh, and that these particular deposits are amongst the earliest records of human life in these islands. Yet while exploring at this place with spade and pick, I was on two occasions “washed out of my diggings” by the sea at spring tide, showing that the deposit is now only slightly above high-water mark, while we may safely assume, that, if lower by only a foot or two, such a friable soil could not long withstand the violence of the sea on an exposed coast. While taking out some egg shells (moa) at this place, I found, at about twelve inches below the surface, a small bit of ivory resembling one half of a long squarish bead, split down the centre longitudinally. I am not aware of any hollow ivory tusk it could be made of, and it is difficult to conceive how the hole could be bored without the use of an iron tool. I shall enclose wax impressions, which may interest Mr. Mantell,—like showing him a nugget from his old diggings.*

Art. XLI.—Account of a visit to a Hot Spring calledTe Puia,” near Wangape lake, Central Waikato, Auckland; in August, 1868.

[Read before the Otago Institute, November 2, 1869.]

Most of you are aware that in the North Island of New Zealand a series of natural wonders exists, such as are unequalled in any other part of the known world, in the shape of thousands of hot springs, fumaroles, mud-volcanoes and solfataras. Some of them are of the grandest and most beautiful character, and will yet, when the Maori difficulty is effectually disposed of, draw to our shores crowds of scientific and delighted observers. The district in which these principally occur extends from the active volcano of Tongariro, in the

[Footnote] * See Mantell, loc. cit. sup. Also “Trans. N. Z. Inst.,” Vol. i., p. 18.—ED.

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Province of Wellington, in a north-easterly direction, along the Upper Waikato, through Lakes Taupo, Rotorua, Rotoiti and Rotomahana, to the White or Sulphur Island, a solitary, but active volcano situated in the Bay of Plenty, many miles at sea. But the spring which I ask you to visit with me to-night is not situated in this zone or belt of active volcanic agency, nor does it possess any of the grand or even beautiful characteristics which belong to the world–renowned “Orakeikorako,” “Rotomahana,” or “Rotorua” springs. Still it has an interest of its own, especially to Otagonians, to whom a hot spring of any sort is a natural wonder not discovered as yet within their borders, so far as I know.

“Te Puia,” as the Maoris call it, is situated about forty-five miles, as the crow flies, south of Auckland city, on the banks of the “Mira,” a stream flowing from the west into the Wangape lake, in the Central Waikato basin. A drive in the coach of about thirty-two miles along the main south road, brings us to Point Russell, an incipient township on the banks of the noble Waikato, just past Koheroa, the scene of the fight of 17th July, 1863. Taking steamer here, and proceeding about thirteen miles up the beautiful river, often with the branches of peach trees, which grow luxuriantly on its banks, brushing the paddle-boxes of the steamer as the follows the windings of the deeper channels, we pass “Meremere,” another spot memorable in the 1863 war, alike for the strength of its position, and the ludicrous incident which accompanied its evacuation by the Maoris, and disembark at the mouth of the Wangape creek, just below Rangiriri, the bloodiest of all the battle-fields in the Waikato campaign. With the assistance of a Pakeha-Maori friend who accompanied us (I say “us,” for my wife accompanied me, and was the first white woman who ever visited “Te Puia”), we here engaged a Maori canoe and crew to take us up the Wangape creek and lake, to within about five or six miles of the spring. This part of the journey was something enchanting, the smooth easy motion of the canoe, the beautiful scenery of the lake (whose name I was told denotes “a large sheet of water”), and the measured cadence of the paddles, as they dipped simultaneously to the musical “Tupari, Tupari” of the Maoris, interrupted occasionally, as we passed native settle-ments, by the peculiarly shrill Maori cry of welcome, “hære mai,” or of enquiry as to who we were: all gave an interest and pleasure not often met with in New Zealand travelling, just in the least degree marred, in our case, when we remembered that we were going into a part of the country which, though perfectly safe, had not been often visited by Europeans. At sunset we landed at the head of the lake, and were accommodated in a nice raupo whare, for the three days during which we made this our head-quarters—our Maori hostess dispensing her hospitality with a kind and liberal hand. From this place, a journey of two hours, on foot, the last half mile through a low-lying swampy Kahikatea, forest, brought us to “Te Puia.”

This name “Te Puia,” though given by the Maoris living in the vicinity specially to the spring now under consideration, appears to have a more general application as well, and to be the generic term for a certain description or class of hot springs, as will appear from the few following remarks of Dr. Hochstetter, which I take the liberty of reading, as I am aware there are not many copies of his work on New Zealand, in Otago. (Page 391.)

“The phenomena are similar to those upon Iceland, and as the Icelanders distinguish their hot springs as Hverjar, Namur and Laugar, so also the Maoris make a similar distinction, although not quite so marked, between Puia, Ngawha, and Waiariki. The Hverjar upon Iceland are either permanent fountains, whose boiling water is continually in a state of ebullition; or intermittent ones, whose water shows a vehement ebullition only at certain periods, when it reaches the boiling point, while during the intervals it is in a

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state of calm repose, its temperature often falling considerably. To the Hverjar belong, for example, the celebrated springs of Haukadal, the great Geyser and Strokkur, and with these the Puias of New Zealand correspond. The word Puia is especially used in the Taupo country, to designate the intermittent, geyser-like fountains of Tokanu, of Orakeikorako on the Waikato, and of Whakarewarewa on Lake Rotorua. Puia has, moreover, the more general meaning of crater or volcano, and is applied to active as well as extinct volcanoes. Namur, upon Iceland, are the non-intermittent springs, such as the solfataras of Krisuvik and Reykjahlid, having no periodical eruptions; and the same are in New Zealand the Ngawhas, a term specially used for non-intermittent springs, for the solfataras and sulphurous hot-springs on the Rotomahana, Rotorua, and Rotoiti. Finally, the springs suited to bathing purposes, the water of which never reaches the boiling point, and all naturally warm baths are called ‘Waiariki,’ corresponding to the Laugar of Iceland.”

From this it will be seen that “Te Puias” are intermittent springs, whose temperature varies considerably at different times; a phenomenon which seems to be characteristic of this individual spring, as will appear from certain considerations to be mentioned further on. This is an incident worthy of note, as corroborative of the correctness of Hochstetter's general observations and deductions, and illustrative of the general prevalence; amongst the Maoris, of certain terms for certain classes of phenomena. Hochstetter never visited this spring, was never any nearer to it than the Waikato, and yet, here we find the same term applied amongst one tribe, which he found prevailing amongst other and totally different tribes, at least one hundred miles from this.

For some distance before reaching the spring, the heavy air of the swampy forest is impregnated with a sulphurous odour, occasionally to the extent of being very offensive, and about ten chains from our journey's end, the bush track, which we followed, brought us to the stream which flows from the spring. Speaking from memory, this stream was from two to three feet wide, of a similar depth, and running with a considerable current. It was clear, with a bright but dark-green deposit, or, as I at first thought, with fungus plants growing in the bottom. Steam was rising all along its course, and it was so hot that you could not hold your hand in the water. The creek was about four feet below the general level of the flat, and the bank sloped easily down to the edge of the water. On this bank no berbage of any sort was growing, but whether the red unclothed soil was the result of anything peculiar in the water, or of recent floodings of the creek itself, I cannot pretend to say; I rather think of the latter, however, as evidences were not wanting of recent inundations. Following up the creek, and scrambling through some thick undergrowth in the otherwise open Kahikatea bush, all of a sudden we come upon “Te Puia.”

I confess I felt disappointed on seeing it. From what I had read of hot springs, I expected to have seen a nice circular basin, with its sides encircled by silica or lime; a clean and graceful punch bowl on a gigantic scale, with a funnel or tube descending from the centre, from whence proceeded all the “hubble-bubble, boil and bubble,” with which our ideas of subterranean igneous action are generally associated. I might then have let my imagination loose for a time, and pictured to you fairy nymphs with angelic forms laving their graceful limbs in the enchanted bath, whilst sylvan satyrs kept watch and ward in the dark recesses of the forest around. But alas, nothing could be more prosaic than this ugly dub of water, more like a duck or horse-pond than anything else. Along one side and one end, the bush came close to the pond's edge. On the other side and end, the bush was cleared for a space of about ten feet, on the average, as shown in the sketch. There was no hollow, or head of a gully, or anything of that sort, to indicate that water might

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be expected there; and any one approaching the spring from the side on which the bush grows thick, and close to the water, might, just as likely as not, plump headlong into the hottest of the water before being aware of its existence.

“Te Puia” is simply a sudden pool in the flat forest land, with the water about two feet below the general level around, and with a perpendicular clay bank forming its margin all round. The pool is somewhat the shape of a kidney potatoe, and measures along its greatest length, between perpendiculars from each end, sixty-eight feet, and in the same manner across, twenty-one feet. The depth of the pool I could not measure, as the Maoris have wisely filled it in, to within about three feet of the surface of the water with branches of trees, so as to afford any poor beggar, who might accidentally tumble in, a chance of getting out again before being parboiled. A log is placed across the pool, just above the surface of the water, to enable the natives visiting it to take advantage of the hottest part for cooking their potatoes, eggs, or “kai” generally. At the only part where it is at all possible to bear the heat of the water logs are also placed, coincident with the surface of the water, for the convenience of bathers. Nor let it be supposed that these rude appliances were at all unnecessary. I can assure you that it would take more nerve than I am possessed of, to have induced me to walk out on the log at the hottest part. I am not much afraid of water, but to run the risk of being boiled alive is quite another thing, and would make most men pause before risking it uselessly. In order to get the temperature of this part of the spring, I adopted another plan than that provided by the Maoris. I cut a long pole in the bush, and tied my thermometer by a string to the end of it, and thus dipped it into the hottest part. However, I found the logs at the other part of the spring of the greatest service, when I had prepared myself for a bath, and when, of course, the lady portion of the party had satisfied their curiosity and retired. At first I could only stand on the log, and dip the tips of my toes in the water, and gradually, inch by inch, descended deeper, till I was able to introduce my whole body up to the chin. Whilst thus immersed, my sensations were too hot to be pleasant. Every moment I felt as if the crown of my head was coming off, I was however determined to do the hot spring thoroughly, and knew that assistance was at hand to take me out at once had I fainted. To move much in the water, or bathe, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, was too painful to be endured.

Before disturbing the pool, the water was clear, and of a faint-blue tint; the branches, etc., forming the artificial bottom, being covered with the same bright malachite-green deposit, I have mentioned before as characterising the stream which flows from it. What this beautiful green deposit is I cannot say. On disturbing the water, however, it disappeared immediately, and the whole pool became of a white milky colour.

At the hottest part the water was not boiling, but effervescing like ginger beer, and vapour occasionally rose from it. Here I found the temperature, by an ordinary tin thermometer, to be 168° Fah., a foot below the surface. At the place where I bathed the temperature was 113° Fah. The temperature of the air at the same time being 68°. The Maoris said that the spring was not so hot at that time as it sometimes is, and that they often cook their potatoes and other kai, quite easily in it. At the above temperature (168°) they could not do this, and I was inclined then to view this and other stories which I heard of scalding pigs, boiling eggs, etc., to be myths rather than actual facts, till Dr. Hector suggested to me the likelihood of its being an inter-mittent spring; and since perusing the remarks of Hochstetter, which I have read to you, upon the name “Te Puia” being applied, in general, to all intermittent springs whose temperture varies; and also some remarks of Captain Hutton

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upon this same spring, recorded in the “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,” Vol. i. p. 71. I think it is very likely that my unbelief was more at fault than the Maoris' facts.

Before disturbing the water, I filled two square gin bottles, which I had brought with me for the purpose, from the hottest part of the spring, and sealed them up at once to prevent the escape of gases. One of these bottles of water was afterwards forwarded, through my brother, to Dr. Hector, and is the bottle of water the analysis of which is given on page 71 “Transactions N. Z. Institute,” Vol. i. The other bottle had a more inglorious, and some-what ludicrous, end. The excess of my care of both bottles caused me to place them on a shelf in the raupo hut where we were entertained during our stay, and one day some “old hands” (surveyors' men) were having dinner in the hut, I was outside, making a sketch of the beautiful Whangape lake, when one of the Maoris came rushing out in a very excited state, gesticulating for me to come at once. I saw something was wrong, and on going in, found one of my bottles, which I had strictly charged the Maoris to take great care of, in the hands of one of these civilized white men, with the top part of the bottle broken off, and only a very little water left in the bottom. “Oh Sir,” says the fellow, “please Sir, it busted.” I suspected at once that it was not any peculiarity of the water that had caused the “busting,” as in that case the whole of the water would have been gone, and the shelf, on which the bottles were lying on their sides, would have been wet. I said nothing, however, and after they were gone I found my conjectures correct, and that these men, in their insatiable love of drink, had jumped to the conclusion that the bottles contained gin, took one of them down and gave it a friendly tap on the head. The Maoris interfered too late to save it from their lawless greed, but the explanation that it was water from “Te Puia,” suggested at once the excuse that it “busted.” I drank some of this water and found it tasteless.

With reference to the medicinal properties of the spring, I may state, that a surveyor in the district informed me that on one occasion he was very ill with rheumatism, and that he camped close to “Te Puia,” and by repeated bathings in the water for a fortnight, taking care to cover himself well with blankets after each immersion, he was thoroughly cured, and has had no return of the malady since.

“Te Puia” also forms a very good barometer for those living within sight of the valley, as, before the advent of rain a column of vapour is invariably seen rising from the spring.

There are several other hot springs in the same valley in which “Te Puia” is situated, but I was told they were all smaller.

The valley of the Mira is a deep precipitous glen, but from its being densely wooded, I can say nothing about its geological character, except that a bold white cliff which I observed on the opposite face of the glen, from where I descended into it, was said to be limestone.

As to the origin of these hot springs I should have liked to have read another extract from Hochstetter's “New Zealand,” but I have detained you too long already, and must just conclude by referring you to page 432 of that able and deeply interesting work, which I regret to find is not so well known in Otago, as it deserves to be.

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Art. XLII.—On Improvements in the Processes for Extracting and Saving Gold.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, November 15, 1869.]

The quartz crushing machinery at the Thames is very excellent, and the appliances used for saving the gold ore are, I have no doubt, on the whole, as effective as is possible, consistently with the rapidity and economy required.

Nevertheless one occasionally hears instances of exceedingly conflicting and unexpected results—thus I find in a paper published a few days ago:

“Clarkson's machine.—One parcel of calcined stuff from the ‘John O'Groat,’ weighing only 11 tons, yielded 11 oz. 4 dwt. retorted gold. Another parcel of 11 tons uncalcined yielded 22 oz. 14 dwt., and 2 tons uncalcined stuff, crushed in the single stamper, yielded 8 oz. of gold. The battery is now crushing a 30 ton lot for the ‘Pukehinau.’

I am informed that care was taken that these several parcels should, as far as possible, be of uniform quality. And, in this Institution, on the 5th October, last year, a discussion arose in which it was stated that the use of the water from one source, as compared with another not apparently purer, caused a difference of one-third in the quantity of gold obtained.* Nor is it at all wonderful that occasional failures to save the gold by amalgamation should take place, when it is considered that for the amalgamation to be complete, every particle of gold must be brought into actual contact with mercury, the minutest film on the surface of either metal being sufficient to prevent their union, a circumstance which may arise either from the sickening of the mercury, as it is called, or from the gold having become coated with some repelling film derived from the liquids—as in the case named by Mr. Whitaker —or from the gases evolved in calcination, as in the case referred to from the “John o' Groat.”

What then, in my opinion, is wanting is, not any improvement in the machinery and appliances now in use, so much as a ready and certain means of ascertaining by assay—which shall be trustworthy and at the same time not too expensive—whether or not the process is going on rightly, and all, or the great majority, of the gold present in the material is being saved; since if it should be found that appreciable portions of the gold are passing away with the tailings, it will generally not be difficult to ascertain the cause of the evil, and to apply an appropriate remedy, such as cyanide of potassium, or Mr. Crook's sodium amalgam, if the failure appeared to arise from the sickening of the mercury; or to a different treatment of the quartz, or the use of other waters, if the fault appeared to lie in their conditions.

The subject to which I wish to draw attention, and on which I would invite discussion, is the practical methods of assaying quartzoze and earthy matters supposed to contain small portions of gold. Now since the commonest observation shows that gold is never equally distributed through the mass, and since it is probable that after every care in pulverization the gold may still remain in particles of appreciable size, it follows that a very small sample can never be depended upon as representing the mass, and therefore that the delicate analytical processes of the chemist, which can only be used on very small quantities, are not adapted to the practical uses of the gold-miner. Now 1 oz. of gold to the ton is equivalent to 1 part in 32,666, or 1 grain in 4 ⅔ lbs. avoirdupois, therefore it is convenient to take this quantity, or an aliquot part of it, for the assay, and in practice I think one-fourth of it, or 1 ⅙ lb. will be found the smallest from which satisfactory results may be obtained, since in that quantity one-eightieth of a grain of gold will represent 1 dwt. to the ton.

[Footnote] * See “Trans. New Zealand Institute,” Vol. i., p. 72.

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Assuming then that 1 ⅙ lb. is the smallest quantity upon which any assay can be satisfactorily made, it remains to be considered how such a quantity can be acted upon so as to separate any gold it may contain, with such precision as to attain certainty that the result shall be true to at least one-eightieth part of a grain.

Now the methods of assaying may be divided into three classes:—1st. Separating out the gold from the mass by a menstruum which will dissolve the precious metal, without acting on the earthy matter. 2nd. By resolving it into a form by which the earthy matter may be dissolved out, leaving the metallic matters free and in moderate compass. 3rd. Fusion of the whole with such a flux as would cause any gold or silver present to separate from the slag, either alone or in combination with lead.

This last practice, which is the dry assay proper, yields very certain and accurate results, but since the matters would require to be mixed with five or six times their weight of litharge, the quantities which I have stated as the minimum which could be used with advantage, would require the use of crucibles so large as to be exceedingly inconvenient and expensive; since a crucible could never be used twice.

The second method, as ordinarily practised by the chemist, of fluxing with carbonate of soda, would be still more inconvenient from the same causes, but a modification of the process, which I shall presently explain, appears to me the most likely one for easily obtaining reliable results.

In the use of the first method the menstrua which will dissolve the gold from the earthy matters are confined to two, viz., metallic mercury, and chlorine. Now the principal use for which assays of tailings are required, is to ascertain whether the mercury used on the ripple-tables and in the stamp-box has succeeded or not in dissolving the whole of the gold out of the material. If it has failed in doing so, the most probable cause of failure is that the particles of gold may have been coated with a film of some matter which prevented the contact of mercury with them. But if this is so, it is obvious that the same cause will be in operation to prevent combination when an assay is made by the same means, and that nothing could be more futile than to attempt to test the fact, whether the whole of the gold had been amalgamated by the mercury on the ripple beds, by repeating the very same operation on a sample, therefore I think it is demonstrable that any assay of tailings by amalgamation, is absolutely delusive and worthless.

The other method of solution, by chlorine, would be nearly perfect if the gold were in a state approaching to purity, or were it alloyed only with copper; but gold mixed with from one-third to one-half its weight of silver, as is the case generally with Thames gold, is precisely that modification which is insoluble in chlorine, the coating of chloride of silver formed, being sufficient entirely to protect the gold beneath it, from the solvent action of chlorine, unless the mechanical subdivision of the particles is absolutely infinitesimal.

We are thus left to the second method of dissolving off the earthy matter, and this must be done without the use of crucibles.

Now quartz is soluble in solution of caustic potash, at all temperatures, and at a temperature of about 300°, and upwards, the solution takes place readily and rapidly, if then the sample of earthy matters, mixed with about three times its weight of caustic potash dissolved in three or four parts of water, were placed in a clean iron vessel, in a steam chest, in which it could be subjected for two or three hours to the action of steam at a pressure of about 60 lbs. to the square inch—which corresponds to the temperature of 307° —the whole of the quartz, or at least with the exception of a few of the larger grains, would be resolved into a silicate of soda which would then readily dissolve out with hot water, leaving the gold and silver with oxide of iron and

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alumina, or any other basis present, which would remain on the filter. A little dilute hydrochloric acid would readily dissolve out all except the precious metals, and these could then be either operated on analytically, or wrapped in a little lead foil and collected into a button on the cupel. The same thing might be done by placing the material in an ordinary mercury bottle, and subjecting it to heat in an oil bath; unless, however, good means were adopted for regulating the heat so as not to exceed 350°, or a pressure of 120 lbs. on the square inch, a danger of explosion might be incurred.

The solution of quartzose matters in this manner has been frequently employed, and I do not apprehend the smallest difficulty in its use; if iron pyrites were present in larger quantities, the sulphuret of sodium produced might possibly dissolve a little gold, unless a little nitre were added.

Art. XLIII.—Notes on the Geology of the Outlying Islands of New Zealand; with Extracts from Official Reports.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, November 13, 1869.]

The Official Reports from which the following extracts have been made, were forwarded to the Museum, along with specimens of the rock formations, and I have thought the information they afford worth communicating to the Society, along with my own notes on the collections submitted.

1.—The Snares.

These small islands were visited by Mr. Henry Armstrong, in the course of the cruise of the brig “Amherst,” which was undertaken in 1868, on behalf of the Provincial Government of Southland, for the purpose of landing supplies for the relief of cast-aways. Mr. Armstrong made the following remarks on them in his report.*

“The Snares are in lat. 48 deg. 03 min. S., long. 166 deg. 45 min. E., and under this name comprise two islands, a large reef to the N. W. of the main, three and a-half miles distant, and several outlying rocks. The small island (half a mile long), is separated from the main on its east side by a very narrow passage. The larger island I take to be about four miles in circumference. Greatest elevation, 600 feet. Coast line, very bold. It is almost entirely covered with scrub and trees of stunted growth, the Tupari, Akeake, and Kokomuka. Of M'Quarrie cabbage there is abundance, and of fine growth, some of the leaves measuring two feet in diameter. Patches clear of scrub are clothed with the Lutaki tussock. The soil is peaty, and well mingled with guano, and very moist. We found no water at all palatable, some I drank being quite brackish; but then, the birds would render the best undrinkable. Those who trade in mutton-birds, would find a visit to these islands, in March or April, prove remunerative.”

“We pulled away for the N. E. side of the island, where is a small gulch or cove, the only boat harbour on it I believe. Thousands of mutton-birds, nellies, penguins, etc., heralded our approach, and to some extent prepared us for what we saw on landing. Once on shore our party was divided, and we commenced our search. I and two others made for the west side, where we climbed a high bluff, some 500 feet high, commanding a good view of the whole island. Our progress was painfully slow, the entire surface being literally honey-combed

[Footnote] * “New Zealand Government Gazette, Province of Southlnd,” April 11, 1868, p. 51.—“Cruise of the brig ‘Amherst.”’ By H. Armstrong, J. P., M. P. C., acting on behalf of the Government.

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with mutton-bird holes, into which the foot sank deeply at every step, the inmates thereof betokening their dissatisfaction at our presence by giving vent to a half-choked querulous cry. The penguins—ludicrous birds—in hundreds, drawn up in rank and file, stood to oppose us on our march, and it required not a little vigorous kicking to force our way through them.”

Thirty-five specimens of rocks were obtained on the Snares, and in general appearance the collections resemble the rocks of the Dunedin peninsula. They consist of

1. Varieties of Basalt, both compact and granular, containing Augite and Sanidine crystals. 2. Claystone Porphyry, and tufaceous clay. 3. Chert and Jasper.

We may conclude therefore that the islands have been formed by one of the volcanic outbursts that took place towards the close of the Miocene period, along the south-eastern border of New Zealand.

2.—Campbell Island.

This island was also visited by Mr. Armstrong, and respecting it his report gives the following information:—

“Campbell Island (Erebus Point, lat. 50 deg. 32 min. S., long. 169 deg. 12 min. E.), is about eight miles from north to south, and the same from east to west. It is traversed by ranges of hills of considerable height—Honey hill, to the south, being close upon 1600 feet. The geological formation does not differ materially from that of the Aucklands. In West Bay, however, the cliffs are composed of chalk and beds of flints, resting on limestone. I had heard a rumour that copper was to be found here, but I saw no indications whatever of its presence. Iron pyrites may probably be present, and have given rise to the report. In Perseverance Harbour the geologist will be interested by the appearance of the basaltic dykes, of columnar structure, the pillars vertical, horizontal, and in one place radiating from a common centre, as though the basalt, forced up through a small orifice, had spread out in the shape of a fan. The ground is very uneven, which made our travelling toil-some, the foot constantly going into holes two feet deep. The soil is very wet and peaty, the surface between the tussocks (Patiti) carpeted with beautiful mosses and lichens of most varied hues; even the branches of the scrub are so clothed—an unerring indication of the humidity of the climate. The M'Quarrie cabbage, cotton plant (I have an idea that good serviceable paper might be made from the latter), and wild carrot grow abundantly forming most excellent feed for the pigs which we put ashore. The inevitable Piri-piri appears everywhere. Of timber proper, there is none on the island. It would take a boat's crew a considerable time to collect a supply of firewood, the scrub being of the very smallest growth. There is no Rata, and the Enaki is of a smaller and finer species than that of the Aucklands, and bears a small white bell-shaped flower, with a strong perfume, as of hawthorn. There are, of course, copious supplies of water of an excellent kind. This island seems to be the favourite haunt of the larger sea birds, the molly-mawks frequenting the north-east side; the albatross affecting the ranges between the north and south harbours; mutton birds par-tout. I think Nature has contented herself with fitting up this island for the reception of such birds—and pigs. The (so called) highland albatross (the noblest of all sea birds) lays but one egg in a nest raised about ten inches from the ground. The young birds were just breaking the shell at the time of our visit. The grey duck is found here. Of land birds I only saw the common ground lark and a small bird like the wren. Rats are numerous, and of a large size. No traces were seen of the pigs, game cock, hens, and geese, landed by Capt. Norman, of the ‘Victoria.’ The barometer, during our stay, stood at 29–20; average temperature of the air, 51°.”

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The collection from this island contains twenty-five specimens, and, besides volcanic rocks belonging to the Doleritic series, is highly interesting from indicating the occurrence of sandstones of the same mineral character as we find in New Zealand among the Lower Mesozoic formation, and also true chalk with large flints but without fossils unfortunately that can be seen by the naked eye, though probably a microscopic examination of the chalk might reveal some characteristic forms.

There are also fragments of reef quartz with Phyllite or blue slate attached, so that there must be a considerable variety in the geology of the island, which is a true rocky island, and not a mere volcanic mass, built up by submarine eruptions.

3.—Antipodes Islands.

On referring to the description of this group in the “Flora Antarctica,” and to the sailing directions published as late as 1868,* I find it stated that landing is impracticable on these islands, so that Mr. Armstrong's party appear to have accomplished the feat probably for the first time on record.

His report states, that—

“On Friday, 29th Feb., 1868, after having made more than one attempt to leave our anchorage in Campbell Island, we succeeded in getting out of the harbour, and with a steady breeze from the S. W., we soon ran the distance to the Antipodes Islands, making the land before daybreak on the 2nd March, and verifying their position as fixed by Capt. Norman. But for his observations we might possibly have ascertained their true position for ourselves, in a manner far from pleasant, the chart placing them some fifty miles to the east-ward, and ten miles to the north. When close to the island, we fired our gun, and lowering a boat, I went ashore with an officer, effecting a landing very easily under the lee (east side), although a considerable sea was running outside. Firing the grass as we went, we made for a hill in the centre of the island, which we climbed, and from its summit carefully scanned the whole surface around. We saw nothing but the tussock waving in the wind, the albatross sitting quietly on their nests, and a few parroquets flitting about. We remained four hours here; the men spread out in different directions, and then returned to the boat with the conviction that no human beings (with the exception of ourselves) were present on the island. Before leaving, we placed a board on a high rock, securing it with stones, on which is carved, ‘Brig Amherst, in search of castaways, March, ’68; by order of the Government of Southland.’ With it, two bottles, one containing some matches, a flint and steel, fish-hooks, and a parcel of dressed flax; the other, a letter, in which I mentioned what had been done on the Auckland and Campbell Islands, etc.

“The Antipodes Islands (two, a small one lying about half-a-mile off the S. E. end of the main), are situated in lat. 49 deg. 42 min. S., long. 178 deg. 43 min. E., the coast line bold and rugged, the cliffs having a weather-beaten bleached appearance. The main island is about three miles from east to west, and two and a-half miles from north to south. Greatest elevation, 700 feet, the hills dotted with high tussock (pa-ti-ti), and patches of M'Quarrie cabbage and cotton plant. The soil is peaty, but drier and firmer than that of Campbell Island; of scrub, there is none worthy of the name, scarcely enough to make a good fire with. The albatross here is the ‘lowland,’ and lays two eggs. To walk across country required a little circumspection, progress being made by hopping from tussock to tussock, a false step causing the unwary one to subside up to his chin amongst the grass and piripiri. It reminded me forcibly of crossing swamps in our own province, on top of the Maori-heads. The

[Footnote] * Description of the Outlying Islands, South and East of New Zealand,” p. 16: printed for the Hydrographic Office, Admiralty, 1868.

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rocks on the island are purely volcanic. Close to where we landed are large beds of ashes, and ferruginous scoria. From this and other indications, the conical shape of all the hills, and their rounded tops, I am of opinion that the island has been the site of an active volcano.”

The rock specimens obtained, twelve in number, support Mr. Armstrong's view of the geology of these islands, which appear to have been formed by volcanic eruptions, at first submarine, as shown by the specimens of Dolerite with large crystals of Augite, and true Phonolite or Clinkstone, but latterly the eruptions must have been subærial, as the other specimens are scoriaceous lavas, and fragments of volcanic bombs, exactly resembling the volcanic rocks of the northern parts of New Zealand, especially near Auckland. No specimens of older rocks are represented in the collection.

4.—Bounty Island.

Respecting Bounty Island, Mr. Armstrong states, that—

“They are a group of naked detached rocks, extending from N. W. to S. E. about two miles. The sea rose in spray to the tops of the highest (some 100 feet), and breached clean over the lower ones. There are several outlying rocks awash, at some distance from the main body. Of course no attempt could be made to land, but we saw every rock distinctly with the naked eye, and had there been anything as large as a goat moving on them we must have perceived it. Neither man nor beast could exist on the Bountys, and had I known their nature, I would not have deemed it necessary to visit them.”

5.—Auckland Islands.

This group is better known than any of the others, and collections have been received from Mr. Armstrong, and also from Mr. J. H. Baker, Chief Surveyor of Southland, from whose careful report I make the following extracts:*

“The Auckland Islands were discovered by Captain Bristow, in the year 1806, and formally taken possession of by him in the name of the King, when he visited them a year later. They were next visited by Admiral D'Urville's, and Commodore Wilkes' expeditions, in 1839. The vessels of the Antarctic Expedition also called at them in 1840, and during their stay Drs. Lyall and Hooker made a large collection of the different plants and shrubs indigenous to the islands, of which they published a full account in the first volume of the ‘Antarctic Flora.’

“About this time the Auckland Isles seem to have been the favourite resort of the South Sea whalers, and in 1850 a large whaling establishment was started at Port Ross, in Rendezvous Harbour. The number of houses, now fallen into decay, and the large amount of work that has been done in clearing the scrub, would indicate that, at some time, at least two hundred people must have been located at this spot; and at that time the settlement must have been in a prosperous condition, as a surgeon of one of the whalers, in giving an account of a cruise in the South Seas, mentions the settlement, and remarks that in the course of time it would probably become a settlement of considerable importance; but in 1852 the whaling establishment was broken up, and the islands were totally deserted.

“The Auckland group consists of two large and several smaller islands— Enderby, Rose, and Ocean Islands—forming the north-western, and Green Island, the south-eastern, entrance to Rendezvous Harbour, situated at the extreme northern part of the island, in lat. 50 deg. 32 min. S., and long. 166 deg. 13 min. E. This harbour is of considerable size, and would afford shelter and secure

[Footnote] * —“N. Z. Government Gazette, Province of Southland,” 1865, p. 117, et seq.

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anchorage to vessels of the largest description. It is nine miles in length, from the entrance between Enderby and Green Islands, to the head of Laurie Cove, which is only separated from the west coast by a short valley, ending in a saddle of considerable height. The site of the old settlement is situated on a low peninsula, at the entrance to Laurie Cove. It is the most level spot in the whole island, and even this can hardly be called level, as it consists of irregular mounds of peat, from which the dense scrub, with which it was originally covered, has been cleared away. The last vestiges of the old settlement have nearly disappeared, and in a few years it will be difficult for a stranger to find the site of Port Ross. Shoe Island is a remarkable feature in this port, as it lies in the centre of the harbour, half-way between the Heads and Laurie Cove, and is formed of basaltic rock, which takes the form of a shoe. It rises perpendicularly out of the water, which is of a considerable depth all round it.

“Basaltic Hump, which I see is called ‘Deas Head’ by Sir James Ross, in the ‘Antarctic Expedition,’ is another curious feature in this harbour. It is formed of a large mass of basaltic rock in perfect columns, which rise to the height of one hundred feet.

“The main island is nearly twenty-five miles in length, and the whole group from Enderby Island to South Cape on Adams' Island, in lat. 50 deg. 56 min., and long. 166 deg. 7 min., is about thirty-two miles.

“The main island is extremely narrow at the northern end, and gradually increases in width towards the south end, where it is fifteen miles across.

“Adams' Island is at the south end of the main island. It forms the south side of the entrance to Carnley's Harbour and its western arm.

“The east coast of the main island greatly resembles the west coast of Otago, on a miniature scale; being a succession of rocky headlands, which form the entrance to the remarkable inlets, which penetrate in most cases to within a few miles of the west coast of the island. The character and description of these inlets so much resemble each other, that it is impossible to give a detailed account of them; from the eastward there is so much sameness in their appearance, that it is difficult to distinguish one from the other, some of them having more the appearance of ravines between the mountains, than the entrances to harbours. Between Rendezvous and Carnley's Harbour there are six large bays, some of them being nearly landlocked, and five sounds or inlets. Most of these have two arms which are rarely more than half a mile in width and often not so much; in some of them we had only just room to swing the steamer. A small river, or rather a mountain torrent, runs into the sea at the head of each of them, but so steep and precipitous are the mountains, that some of these form waterfalls and cascades half a mile from the sea. One of these sounds I named Cascade Inlet, and I have seldom seen a more grand or magnificent sight than we saw here. One of the largest mountains on the island forms a semi-circular cone round the head of Cascade Inlet, and down the side of this mountain fell innumerable waterfalls and cascades of all shapes and sizes, and of considerable volume. All of them apparently spring out of the ground, and the white spray rising in clouds, when it reaches the rocks below, glistens in the sun, and gives them at a distance the appearance of masses of pure white marble. There had been a heavy fall of snow the night before, and at this time of the year it melts very quickly, which would account for the large amount of water that was pouring down when we were there.

“Basin Bay was another striking and interesting feature on the east coast. So evenly do the mountains rise up all round it, that one might almost fancy it had been scooped out of a tremendous hill, and that the bay was a little water at the bottom. Here, as at Cascade Inlet, the drainage of the hills falls in numerous little waterfalls, which have not as yet, as far as we

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could see, made any impression on the side of the hill which might be called a water-course or gully.

“The entrance to Carnely Harbour, in lat. 50 deg. 50 min., is extremely narrow, being little more than a mile in width, the cliffs on each side being nearly perpendicular. The harbour is divided into three main arms, the northern. middle, and western. The northern arm is most exposed. It is here the ‘Grafton’ was wrecked. It runs in a north-westerly direction to within a few miles of the coast, being only separated by a low saddle which I over-looked from a high hill on the north side of the harbour. The middle arm is separated from the northern by a peninsula, the hill on it rising up in the shape of a beautiful cone. It is covered with scrub at the base, and grass at the top; the neck of this peninsula being only a few chains wide.

“The Middle arm has two round bays at its western extremity, and the large quantity of debris that has been brought down, by the mountain torrents, at the head of them, has formed two large flats extending across the bays nearly a mile from the shore, which are uncovered at low water. They are composed of angular fragments of rock and mud. Between the south head of this arm and Masked Island there is a deep bay, which, from the peculiar appearance of the mountain above it, we called ‘Amphitheatre Cove.’ The view of this bay from the harbour is strikingly beautiful. From about half way up the hill, which is nearly 2000 feet in altitude, basaltic columns rise in regular order (with a small intervening space) one over the other, to the top of the hill, which is one colossal mass of basaltic rock. These columns extend with few breaks entirely round the bay, in regular order, and the lowest columns are at least one hundred feet in height. They decrease in size towards the top of the mountain, or the elevation gives them the appearance of doing so.

“Camp Cove and Masked Island form the north head of the western arm. The former is perfectly landlocked, and forms a miniature harbour in Carnley's Harbour. It affords safe anchorage for vessels of any size, the depth of water ranging from twenty to four fathoms. It was here the ‘Southland’ was moored whilst we remained in Carnley's Harbour.

“Masked Island is just off the head of Camp Cove. It is very small, and seems to have been a favourite resort of seals, before they were disturbed by Captain Musgrave's party.

“The Western arm is extremely narrow, not exceeding two and a half miles in its broadest part. It is connected with the west coast of the island by a very narrow passage which has a small island in the centre, named by Captain Musgrave ‘Monumental Island.’ The tide rushes through this passage with great velocity, rendering it unsafe for any vessel to pass through; and with a strong westerly wind the breakers rushing through such a narrow gap, make the whole passage one sheet of foam, which in a strong gale must be a really magnificent sight.

“The south coast of Adams' Island presents an almost unbroken line of perpendicular cliffs, which extend in a south-westerly direction to the South Cape. On the west side of this cape a narrow inlet running in a northerly direction ends in an abrupt ravine. The entrance to this inlet is between two immense cliffs, which tower like walls to a height of several hundred feet.

From the South Cape, the coast line runs in a north-westerly direction to West Cape. A little to the east of this cape the entrance to the narrow passage running into the Western arm commences; on the east side of the entrance are two curious rocks, jet black in colour. They rise like two immense pillars, and mark the entrance of this dangerous passage.

“From the West Cape the coast trends to the north-east, almost in a straight line, to the north point of the main island, a distance of about twenty–six miles. This coast may well be called precipitous and iron-bound, as the

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cliffs form a continuous wall, almost without a break, some of them overhanging one another, and attaining an elevation of at least six or seven hundred feet.

“The whole of the Auckland group is mountainous in the extreme. Nowhere did I see a flat of any considerable size, and ‘the level plains covered with beautiful grass and refreshing verdure’ (as quoted by F. F. Shillinglaw, F. R. G. S., the editor of Captain Musgrave's journal) is all a myth. I ascended to the top of the range on the west side of Rendezvous Harbour, and obtained a good view of the whole of the backboue range of the main island as far as Giant's Tomb (so named by Captain Musgrave), the most elevated hill on the island, situated on the north side of Carnley's Harbour.

“The main range commences at Mount Eden (1325 feet). This is the most remarkable feature at the north end of the island. The top of the hill is composed of an immense rock, which can be seen all the way up the east coast. It was ascended by Mr. Richardson, who describes it as being sixty feet in height, and of a considerable circumference at the base. From here the main range runs down the west coast, forming on the one side the immense cliffs and precipices observed there, and on the other throwing out spurs which form the dividing ridges, and headlands between the numerous inlets on the east cost. I only observed two breaks in the whole range; one about half way down the east coast, at a place we named Saddle Hill Inlet, because a saddle at the head of the inlet led directly across to the west coast. The other is nearly at the end of the range, being the saddle at the head of the northern arm of Carnley's Harbour.

“The range on Adam's Island runs nearly at right angles to the main range, and probably at an early period formed part of it.

“The shores of the whole of the Auckland Isles, with the exception of the west and part of the south coast, are covered with scrub for a considerable distance up the sides of the hills. In some places it is rather thick and difficult to penetrate; but in others it is very open, and not at all bad travelling, for such hilly country. The largest scrub is found round Carnley's Harbour. It consists chiefly of iron wood, and a tree called the black oak. Neither of these grow to any height. The iron wood grows to a considerable thickness, but is very knotty and irregular. It might be used for the knees of ships, but I did not see any fit for sawing purposes, the open land on the tops of the hills is all peat of a very spongy and wet description; in fact the whole surface of the island, with the exception of the rocks, is pure peat, and I can safely say that during the time I was there, I never saw an acre of ground that was not perfectly saturated with water; it can only be in very dry seasons that the surface gets thoroughly dry.

“The open country is chiefly covered with large tussocks of snow grass, cotton plant, moss and other plants indigenous to the island. The average temperature whilst we were at the islands was about 50 deg. I see that Sir James Ross, in the Antarctic expedition, gives the average temperature for the same month at 45–27.

“The whole surface of the islands, even to the top of the highest hills (Mr. Richardson and myself having ascended five of the highest), is covered with a deposit to a considerable depth of genuine peat (not lignite), similar in appearance and physical character to the peat of the Irish bogs. This when cut (as we found in one place at the old settlement in Rendezvous Harbour), from some distance from the surface and dried, becomes quite hard and firm, like the Irish turf, and produces the same cheerful and pleasant fire, altogether free from the usual suffocating smell of lignite. This deposit, as it rests directly on all the different rocks alike, might also form some clue as to the age of the formation of these islands.”

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The geology of these islands is exceedingly meagre, but not uninteresting. The rocks of which they are formed, judging from the specimens submitted, thirty in number, being as follows:—

  • 1.

    Dolerites, claystones and basaltic porphyries.

  • 2.

    Chert and pitch opal.

  • 3.

    Tertiary sandstone and conglomerate with streaks of coal.

  • 4.

    Bituminous peat, like that which is found on the Chatham Islands.

  • 5.

    Fine-grained granite.

  • 6.

    Granite porphyry, syenite and hornblende rock.

It thus appears to be a granite island, with patches of tertiary strata resting in hollows on its surface, and the whole overlaid, more or less, by volcanic rocks of post-miocene age.

6.—Chatham Islands.

The geology of this group has been made known to us by Dr. Haast's notes on the collections of Mr. Henry H. Travers,* but since then two important series of specimens of rocks and fossils, from the Chatham Islands, have been deposited in the Museum, accompanied by copious notes. The first consists of 200 specimens, forwarded in February, 1868, by Mr. Charles Traill; and the second, comprising 102 specimens, was received from Mr. Percy Smith, in March, 1869.

Notwithstanding the completeness of these collections, there is little to be added, from their study, to the information we already possessed.

The tertiary series, as in New Zealand, appears, however, to belong to two distinct epochs, the upper of which is alone associated with igneous rocks, chiefly dolerites. There also appear to be two distinct carbonaceous formations, the older occurring in Pitt's Island, representing the brown coal series of New Zealand, and a newer formation which may be considered as a modified peat, which is quite superficial in the district south of the salt-water lagoon. In this formation are large masses converted into a highly bituminous mineral, probably by the action of the fires described by Mr. Travers, which might prove of considerable value, either as fuel, or for the manufacture of oil, and for the composition of which I may refer to the Laboratory Reports for 1868.

Among Mr. Traill's specimens are also fragments of flints, and of a calcareous rock resembling the chalk from Campbell Island.

The older tertiary limestones are much changed by contact with volcanic rocks, so that in part they are converted into true lithographic limestone, in the same manner as occurs in the vicinity of Oamaru in Otago.

The area of schistose rocks, exactly similar to the auriferous formation of Otago is, in the Chatham Islands, very considerable; and reef-quartz of several varieties is represented in both collections, but no discovery of gold has yet been reported.

7.—Stewart Island.

This island should not properly be classed with the small islands previously alluded to as outlying islands of New Zealand, but, as an extensive series of rock specimens from it was forwarded at the same time with the other collections, I will include the notice of them in this communication. The collection was made by Mr. Walter H. Pearson, Commissioner of Crown Lands, Southland, in the course of an official visit round the island for the purpose of ascertaining where settlements could be advantageously placed. With reference to this point, Mr. Pearson states in his report:—

[Footnote] * See “Trans. N. Z. Institute,” Vol. i., p. 180.

[Footnote] † See “Trans. N. Z. Institute,” Vol. i., p. 177.

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“On the whole, I cannot but conclude that Stewart Island will prove, and that shortly, a very valuable and important portion of the Province of Southland. There are many industries which, dormant at present, will, when quickened into life, prove remunerative. Irrespective of any mineral wealth which may exist, of which I can only form a conjectural opinion from the singular appearance of the different strata of rocks on the south and west coasts of the island, I am of opinion that it will be well adapted for the small class of settlers—say fifty-acre men. From the peculiar configuration of the land, a large extent of it is rendered available by its frontage to the water. Its being covered with timber and scrub cannot form a very serious impediment to its settlement, inasmuch as in many parts of the North Island, heavily timbered land meets with ready sale, though in the interior; while the densely-wooded shores of Blueskin, Port Chalmers, and the harbour up to Dunedin, in the Province of Otago, were bought and cleared long before the fictitious stimulus to the price of land consequent on the discovery of gold.

“One of the most serious difficulties a young settler has to contend with in a new and sparsely-populated country, is the carriage of his provisions from the town to his land, pending his being able to raise sufficient produce to support himself and family off the ground he has purchased. He must either buy a team of his own or pay the heavy rates for carriage consequent on bad roads. These expenses, to a man of small means, are very heavy, and not unfrequently so crushing as to seriously retard his advancement. The means which would have enabled him to cultivate and improve his land with rapidity, are dissipated in the expenses of carrying his food. On Stewart Island much of this will be obviated. His fishing line and gun will supply him with one of the necessaries of life; and if he has a whaleboat, he can obtain the rest at no expense, so far as carriage is concerned, from the main land, or, if he has none, at a trifling cost, both in money and time, in comparison with land carriage. He will thus be in a better position to devote his energies and means to the clearing and cultivation of his land than his compeer, settling fifteen miles inland from Invercargill. I believe the sale of the timber would more than pay for the clearing in most of the bays. The admirable water communication would enable the logs to be floated or shipped to where a saw-mill might be established, and if it will pay to saw timber anywhere, it will at Stewart Island. At Port Pegasus, the splendid spars, and the knees, ribs, etc., of the rata, will always command a good price for shipment to the Mauritius—a trade with which is already established in Dunedin; vessels from the former place would only too gladly load with such on their return. Thus the cost of clearing the land will be less than on the main, while produce once obtained, the facilities for exporting it are greater. The local consumption of agricultural produce in all young settlements is not great, and the demand easily satisfied, the majority of the population being occupied in producing the same staple. To pay the agriculturist he must export, and on the main he is met with the usual difficulty—defective internal communication. The settler at Stewart Island will be in a very advantageous position in this respect; he has Nature's highway—the sea. He can boat his produce across to the Bluff, and ship it on board a steamer for Australia or the West Coast; or sell it to a merchant, delivering it as above. He will thus be enabled to sell it at a moderate price, and will consequently find a ready market.

“Shipbuilding is an industry which could be conducted with great success on the island, some of the bays in which are peculiarly adapted for the purpose. The numerous sheltered coves in Paterson Inlet and Port Pegasus, furnish a hundred dock-yards from which vessels of size could easily be launched, while the raw material abounds, and is of the best quality. I saw a vessel of 180

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tons being built, every rib of which was formed out of the natural curve of the rata tree, the strongest and toughest wood for the purpose. I was also given to understand that there were one or two natural dry docks.

“The scenery is magnificent. At the south and west coasts of the Island, the weird appearance of the jagged mountains—the fantastic fissures in the bare rocky islands and coast, worn by the turbulent seas to which they are exposed—the lofty cones of bare granite—the singular colour of the rocks abutting on the ocean, unite in conferring a degree of grandeur to the tableau, such as I have not seen equalled in any part of New Zealand,—while the natural beauty of the landscape in Paterson Inlet and Port Pegasus is equal to that of the Sydney Harbour, setting on one side, of course, the artificial adjuncts of cultivated shores and ornamental villas.

“From all I could gather, and from my own observation, I would imagine that all along the east coast of the island, from Port Pegasus northward, the climate is fully equal, if not superior, to that of Invercargill. I had a good opportunity of testing it in every part of the coast during the five weeks I spent in exploring the island. Judging from the accounts I heard on my return to Invercargill, the weather on the main land must have been less fine than that I had experienced; nor do I imagine that a larger quantity of rain falls there than on the main. That drizzling rain is frequent is not surprising, seeing that the high range of hills running down the centre of the island naturally attracts and holds the cloudy vapours floating about, which are in some measure again discharged before being dissipated on the rising of the sun; but it is generally only an early shower, light and not lasting, which more assists than retards vegetation. I have no doubt that as the forests get cleared away in the progress of settlement, the climate will improve in this particular. From my experience, I would imagine the thermometer rises higher in the bays and bights on this island, than it does at Invercargill.

“The bays on the east coast are sheltered from the westerly gales by the high ranges already alluded to. The slopes of the hills have, as a rule, a north-easterly aspect, and the rays of the sun being concentrated by the contracted space into which they are poured, the heat obtained is greater. On more than one occasion I noticed how well sheltered the land in these bays is, when it was blowing half a gale outside.

“The distances of the various ports from each other, I have taken from the ‘New Zealand Pilot.’ I found the Admiralty survey wonderfully correct, so much so that the enlarged charts of the various bays would answer as selection maps under the present system of free selection, pending the ordinary survey of the island.”

The rock specimens, sixty-three in number, are carefully distinguished as from the different localities, visited by Mr. Pearson, round the coast; but they only prove that there is a remarkable similarity in the geological formation throughout the whole of the island, consisting of granite, gneiss, mica-slate, felstone-slate, and other crystalline metamorphic rocks, associated with granite-porphyry, diorite, and syenite. No metallic ores are represented in the collection, but traces of copper and silver have been obtained from specimens sent from the western side of the island by prospecting parties.

Gold is obtained also in that quarter, as fine alluvial gold, on the surface of elevated terraces excavated in the decomposed granite. The gold is associated with large garnets, oxide of titanium, iron sand, and, occasionally, scales of platina, but this valuable metal is not so common, I am informed, along with the Stewart Island gold, as with that obtained on the opposite shore of Foveaux Straits, and in the Waiau river.

In 1863 I visited Port William and Preservation Inlet, which are both situated on the north-east side of Stewart Island. At the former I found the

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rock to be a coarse-grained red or grey granite, which is traversed by veins of granite of more recent date and a lighter colour, and afterwards pierced and shattered by dykes and injected veins of hornblendic trap or greenstone. Most interesting sections abound, clearly displaying the facility with which the trap rock has penetrated the granite in all directions, most probably, however, only following and expanding previously-existing lines of fissure.

No minerals of interest or value were observed, although several might reasonably be expected to occur in this formation under the above conditions.

On the beach of one small cove that is surrounded by lofty cliffs, and situated in the north bay of the harbour, the sand is almost wholly of magnetic oxide of iron, in a very minute state of division, but neither gold nor tin was associated with it. The hollows between the ridges and bosses of granite are filled up with an unstratified deposit of stiff yellow clay, containing sub-angular boulders of large size.

In Paterson Inlet no other rock was observed but coarse-grained granite, which decomposes with great facility to a coarse sandy clay. This granite is irregular, from its containing nodules of compact fine-grained granite, so that it is probably only an extreme form of metamorphic rock.

In Ruapuke Island, at the eastern entrance of Foveaux Straits, it is worthy of note, that the granite and hornblende rock is traversed by quartz veins containing large masses of iron pyrites, that yield minute traces of gold.

Art. XLIV.—Notes on a Collection of Saurian Remainsfrom the Waipara River, Canterbury, in the possession of J. H. Cockburn Hood, Esq.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, June 2, 1869.]

Through the courtesy of Mr. J. Hood, I have been allowed to inspect, and study, the numerous Saurian remains obtained by him in the Waipara, and now on their way to Europe; and our member, my friend, Mr. T. D. Triphook, at my request, has kindly made a drawing, in natural size, of the principal pieces in that collection, which includes the greater part of a large Saurian head, a truly unique specimen. I also made drawings, and took measurements, of all the more important specimens, so that in case the collection should not reach its destination, the information at least, will not be altogether lost to the scientific world. These remains are generally inclosed in large concretions of arenaceous limestone, having the appearance of boulders. Some of these are nearly perfect spheres; they are very hard, and split generally only with great difficulty, and quite in a different direction from what one would expect.

The collection made by Mr. Hood in the Waipara and its tributaries contains bones of all parts of the skeleton, belonging not only to many different specimens, but also to many species, or even genera and orders.

The principal specimen in Mr. Hood's collection, referred to above, consisted of the portions of a large block which had been split in two. On the one side, the upper jaw and portions of the skull are preserved; on the other, portion of the lower jaw, of which a fragment is exposed on the larger slab. Judging from the size of these remarkable remains, the skull of the animal, to which they belonged, must have been 3 to 3 ¼ feet long, and, consequently, part of an animal which had a total length of 18 to 20 feet.

The teeth, of an oblong form, are from ¾ to 1 ½ inches long, the dentine being intensely black, and marked by numerous fine longitudinal grooves.

Professor Owen's description (p. 301) of the dentition of the Crocodilians, is as follows:—“The teeth of both the existing and extinct Crocodilian reptiles

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consist of a body of compact dentine, forming a crown covered by a coat of enamel, and a root invested by a moderately-thick layer of cement. One root slightly enlarges, or maintains the same breadth to its base, which is deeply excavated by a conical pulp cavity, extending into the crown, and is commonly either perforated or notched at its concave or inner side.”

You will observe that the same characteristic features occur also in the teeth of the skull under review:—

The crown covered with dentine, ceases about a quarter of an inch from the jaws, the lower part of the cement forming a well defined line running parallel with the jaw bone.

Mr. Triphook has given to the root of the teeth a darker tint, in his drawing, than exists in the original, where it has almost the same colour as the stone in which it is embedded. Only a slight rise on the surface of the stone indicates where the more perishable lower parts of the teeth were situated.

It is scarcely necessary for me to observe that I am labouring under great difficulties, in having no library of scientific books at my command to refer to, so as to be able to ascertain if similar Saurian remains have been discovered anywhere else, and I may add, that, generally, books of that nature are too costly for individuals to purchase. However, from the data at my command, I may state that the skull under review belongs to an animal of the sub-order Crocodilia, called Amphicoelia by Professor Owen, and which includes, among others, the genera Teleosaurus and Mystriosaurus.

This sub-order is called Amphicoelia (capped on both ends) from the peculiar character of the vertebræ, the vertebral body being concave on both sides; they, therefore, differ greatly from the existing Crocodilians, which have a much more perfect arrangement of the vertebral column, and of which I shall speak in the sequel. The Amphicœlia, in respect to the vertebral body, have therefore a more fish-like character than the existing crocodiles.

The same eminent comparative anatomist states, that the vertebral surfaces of these Crocodilians were slightly concave, in order to enable them to make greater progress through the water; and that the hind limbs were therefore relatively stronger than the fore limbs.

From the nature of the deposits in which the remains of the Amphicoelia are found, we must conclude that they were marine animals.

The numerous vertebræ in the collection of Mr. Hood are,—with the exception of one, of which I shall afterwards speak,—all slightly bi-concave, and therefore agree with the Teleosaurian character. Amongst them are fourteen larger ones, still connected, which, in the average, are 2 ¼ inches long, by 4 inches high; over them, and in a reversed position, lie five caudal vertebræ, very long and slender; also a great many other bi-concave vertebræ were found, which are very remarkable, as being nearly twice as broad as high, some of them are 3 inches broad, and 1 ¾ inches high.

As far as I know from all the Saurians which have been described, only Plesiosaurus, and Pliosaurus in a minor degree, have this characteristic feature.

Mr. Hood, some ten years ago, took, from the same locality, a collection of Saurian bones to England, which were described by Professor Owen as Plesiosaurus australis.* Unfortunately, I have never had an opportunity of

[Footnote] * The specimens referred to “consisted of two vertebral bodies or centrums, ribs, and portions of the two coracoids of the same individual, all in the usual petrified condition of Oolitic fossils. Their matrix was a bluish-grey clay-stone, effervescing with acid; the largest mass contained impressions of parts of the arch and of the transverse processes of nine dorsal vertebræ, and of ten ribs of the right side. Portions of five of the right diapophyses and of six of the ribs remained in this matrix. The bones had a ferruginous tint, contrasting with the matrix, as is commonly the case with specimens imbedded in the Oxfordian or Liassic clays.”

[Footnote] “The shape and mode of articulation of the cervical and dorsal ribs, the shape and proportions of the coracoids concur with the more decisive evidence of the vertebræ in attesting the Plesiosauroid character of these New Zealand fossils, and, pending the discovery of the teeth, the author provisionally referred them to a species for which he proposed the name of Plesiosaurus australis, The specimens had been presented by Mr. Hood to the British Museum.” Owen. “Report of British Association,” Manchester, 1861. Transactions, p. p. 122–3.—ED.

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seeing his description, so that I do not know how far it agrees with the bones in the present collection.

One of the characteristic features of the vertebral body of Plesiosaurus, is, according to the best Palæontological authorities, that it is either slightly concave, or almost flat, with the middle of such cavity slightly convex.

Amongst the numerous vertebræ collected this autumn by Mr. Hood, none could be identified by me which possessed these peculiar characteristics on their terminal articular surfaces.

We possess, however, in our own collection, and now lying before you, one dorsal vertebra which answers the above description.

As before observed, the Amphicoelia had well-developed limbs, and I was therefore anxious to find bones belonging to the species of which the skull had been discovered. There were several good-sized bones which answer perfectly the description given by various authors, and I was therefore enabled to identify all the principal bones, such as the femur, tibia, and fibula, of the hind limbs, as well as humerus, ulna, and radius, of the fore limbs; some toe phalanges were also amongst them, of which the largest is 1 ½ inches broad, by 2 ½ inches long, and which, consequently, must have belonged to a large animal. I have just observed that no vertebræ of Plesiosaurus have apparently been found by Mr. Hood; as you are aware, a true Enaliosaurian, or Sea-lizard, possesses four fins, or paddles, instead of four, more or less developed legs. The principal bones of the hind and fore limbs of these Enaliosaurians were, the humerus and femur, both of which had a convex head, sub-cylindrical at its proximal end, and gradually becoming flattened and expanded at its distal end.

Several fine specimens, some of them 10 inches long, 3 ½ inches in diameter at their proximal or upper end, and 6 ¼ inches at their lower or distal end, are in Mr. Hood's collection, also several other bones of the lower portions of the four extremities; the metacarpal phalange bones are well represented. However, I must here add, that some of these bones might have belonged to an Ichthyosaurus, or the huge Enaliosaurus, which resembled, more than any other, a whale or fish.

There are also several fine specimens of the sternal and pelvic apparatus, and ribs; amongst them, I show you here a portion of a humerus of, probably, Plesiosaurus, found some time ago by Mr. E. Sealey, and presented by him to the Museum. Also the lower or distal end of a femur, from the same locality. I also offer to your inspection, portion of a metacarpal, and some phalangeal bones, of which the paddle of Plesiosaurus was composed.

Consequently, it seems, that in the beds, under review, Saurians of different ages, and belonging to different genera and orders, existed in our seas, in times gone by, and in what may be considered of at least cretaceous age, although I say so with some diffidence, and wish to observe that a great deal more work has to be done before the question of the age of our middle and younger sedimentary rocks can be determined. Here are the different geological sections of the Waipara beds, on them, you will observe, that the beds in which those Saurians are found, underlie, uncomformably, the

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so-called Weka Pass beds. When, some years ago (in 1864), I paid a flying visit to the Waipara, I concluded, from a hurried examination, that the beds, under review, were lying between the Weka Pass beds and the Red crag beds, which form the Deans, but Dr Hector, who visited the locality some time afterwards, pointed out to me, that according to his views, the beds in question, were underlying unconformably. Since then, I have examined, carefully, this and some other localities, in which similar formations occur, and have found that Dr. Hector's views are correct, and that to him, therefore, belongs the credit of having first pointed out the true position of these beds, a fact which is of the highest importance in New Zealand geology.*

The large Ostrea beds are thus very important as showing us the exact position of the upper and lower beds.

To show only one instance of the importance of this fact, I may point out that the quartzose trachytes of the Malvern Hills, which, hitherto, we considered to be old tertiary, must now be classified as of secondary age, and the name quartzose porphyries will be more appropriate to them. The importance of the subject under review is, I trust, sufficient excuse for my transgression. In the small seams of brown coal and shale, which occur in the same region, has been found the only vertebra of a procoelian character.

The term procoelian (hollow in front) has been selected by Professor Owen for vertebræ, of which the front surface is concave, and the hind one convex.

The centre of the vertebra, in question, is 3 inches high, and 3 ½ inches broad, of course without reckoning the neural arch and the pleurapophyses, and consequently belongs to a nanimal of considerable age, having, doubtless, the same habits as the crocodiles of the present day. There was also, what I consider to be, the distal or lower portion of the femur, which, judging from the articulation, evidently had some affinities with terrestrial remains, such as the Iguanodon a herbivorous terrestrial reptile, of enormous size, and living in the Northern Hemisphere, in the wealden and greensand (cretaceous) period. The procoelian remains were first found in the Northern Hemisphere, both in America and Europe, in Eocene tertiary strata, and principally in fresh-water beds; and I may here add that the procoelian vertebræ of the Waipara have also been discovered in lignite beds, which are either of fresh-water or littoral origin.

I am well aware that these notes are very imperfect, owing to the short time allowed to me to study the interesting remains under review, and as I had not the necessary works for comparison and reference, I have, therefore, to crave your indulgence.

I may, finally, be allowed to express my sincere regret, that such a valuable collection has left the Province and New Zealand; however, the fact that they will come, doubtless, into the hands of Professor Owen, is some slight satisfaction to me, because we can, with certainty, expect that that illustrious comparative anatomist, will afford us a classical description of them, which will form the basis of reference and work for all future New Zealand Palæontologists.

[Footnote] * See “Geological Report,” 1868–9, p. xi.—ED.

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V. —Miscellaneous.

Art. XLV. —Preliminary notice of a Ziphid Whale, probably Berardius Arnuxii, stranded on the 16th of December, 1868, on the sea beach, near New Brighton, Canterbury. *

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, May 5, 1869.]

Towards the latter part of December, last year, it was stated that a whale had been stranded on the sea beach, near the mouth of the Avon. Unfortunately, the notice reached me too late to enable me to see the body in its fresh state, and when I went to the sea beach the blubber had been cut off nearly a week, and the animal was already in such an advanced state of putrefaction, that the external appearance was greatly destroyed. Before entering into a description of its affinities and peculiarities, I may be allowed to offer a few observations on its capture.

Mr. William Walker, a fisherman, living near the mouth of the Avon, one mile and a half below New Brighton, observed, on the 16th of December, early in the morning, that a huge animal was in the surf, making the most strenuous efforts to return to deeper water. The fisherman had only a large sheath knife with him, with which he stabbed it several times, making it bleed very freely. Each time when the surf reached it, it threw out a large quantity of water and sand from its blowers, like a fountain; at the same time it moved its tail with such vehemence, that it threw its captor several times when he came too near it. Seeing that he could not manage the large animal by himself, he returned home to fetch a rope, a larger knife, and assistance. After having, with some trouble, placed the rope round the tail, and fastened it securely to the stump of a tree on the beach, he inflicted with the large knife some deep wounds, from which the blood ran copiously; but the animal, notwithstanding this great loss of blood, still lived for fourteen hours. The fisherman also put a large stick several times into its mouth, which, to use his own words, made the whale ‘bellow like a bull.’

A very interesting fact may be deduced from the observations of Mrs. Walker, who accompanied her husband on the second trip. She told her husband that each time he put the stick into the whale's mouth, she could see several large teeth in front of its lower jaw, which, however, were not observed by anybody else, and the existence of which was only revealed when the skull was cleaned, when, in front of the lower jaw, two large triangular and move-able teeth on each side became exposed. It thus seems that the Ziphid Whales, when defending themselves from their enemies, or attacking their prey, have the power to protrude these four teeth at will. Such a hypothesis gains still more in probability, when we consider the nature of the principal food of the animal, which, judging from the contents of its stomach, seems to consist almost exclusively of the common sea-spider, or Octopus—a cephalopod which, as in the Northern hemisphere, does not seem to be very numerous along the coast. In the stomach of the whale in question there was about half a bushel of the horny beaks of this cephalopod, which were nearly all of the same size. It would be rather difficult for any whale to obtain possession

[Footnote] * This paper was received too late for insertion in its proper place, in Section I., Natural History. —ED.

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of such an agile animal as the Octopus, had not nature furnished the former with the means of taking good hold of it. It is interesting that the allied genera Ziphius and Hyperoodon, of the Northern hemisphere, feed also on similar species of cuttle-fish, as I learn from a paper of Dr. J. E. Gray, of the British Museum (‘Proceedings Zoological Society, 1868,’ p. 422). Also, the Sperm Whales are said to feed almost exclusively upon the same voracious animal, which, by its agility and organization, is so well adapted to make great havoc amongst the smaller inhabitants of the sea. And, as Dr. Gray justly observes, it proves, at the same time, that these cephalopods, although apparently of rare occurrence, must in many localities be very numerous, as it would otherwise be impossible to understand how they could furnish those huge whales with sufficient food.

When I proceeded to the beach, the animal was still lying in the surf, partly covered by sand, but still intact. I measured its length exactly, and found it to be 30 feet 6 inches, from the tip of the nose to the end of the lobes of the tail. The colour of the whole animal was of a deep velvety black, with the exception of the lower portion of the belly, which had a greyish colour. The tail was 6 feet 6 inches broad, and had the usual two falcate lobes. The dorsal fins were situated near the neck, a little above the middle of the body, and were 17 inches broad, and 19 inches long. They had a triangular form, and one of them was buried in the sand when I saw the animal first. The dorsal fin was unfortunately destroyed when I first inspected the whale, so that I cannot describe its form and position from my own observations; but Mr. Walker told me that it was small, had the usual falcate form, and was situated not far from the tail.

I may here observe, that from the form of the skull and some other characteristics, it appears evident that this whale is the Berardius Arnuxii of Duvernoy, of which a specimen was caught in 1846, in Akaroa harbour, the skull of which, of a length of four feet, is at present in the Imperial Museum, in Paris. The animal to which it belonged is described as having been thirty-two feet long, and possessing a large dorsal fin, with a large boss or hump in front of it. As putrefaction and the cutting off of the blubber had greatly changed the outlines of the animal, I could not observe whether it possessed the larger boss in front. Mr. Walker did not speak of it when he gave me a description of the animal as it appeared when captured. However, as the figure of the skull, as given by Duvernoy in the ‘Annales des Sciences Naturelles,’ and copied into Dr. Gray's ‘British Museum Catalogue of Seals and Whales,’ is identical with that of our own specimen, I do not hesitate to state that both belong to the same species. It also seems to me that this whale is very local, probably inhabiting only the coast of New Zealand, and perhaps the regions south of it, because, as far as I can find, it has never been observed elsewhere. It has without doubt not been met with on the coasts of Australia, or it would not have passed unnoticed, as, amongst others, the energetic director of the Australian Museum, Gerh. Krefft, F. L. S., has not observed it. I may here state that the form of the skull is very peculiar, reminding one strongly of that of a dolphin.

There seems to be nothing known of this peculiar whale, except its external appearance and its skull, and it is, therefore, a matter of congratulation to us, that we shall be able to supply all the details of its osteological characteristics, which are peculiar in many respects.

The specimen in our possession was evidently a young animal, because all the disc-like epiphyses of the vertebræ are still detached. The same is the case with the epiphyses of the limb-bones, which are not yet united with them; also, the sutures of the cranium are not yet obliterated. The beginning of coalescence is, however, to be observed in the seven cervical vertebræ, of which

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the three first are already anchylosed, the two first completely, and the second and third only partially, as the neural arches and transverse processes are not yet united in one bone. In the allied Hyperoodon all the cervical vertebræ are coalesced, and it is therefore possible that when Berardius is in an adult state, the same will take place. The Ziphius has six cervical vertebræ separate, and it will therefore be necessary to examine very carefully into the character of the uncoalesced vertebræ of our skeleton before giving a decided opinion upon the subject. It possesses ten dorsal vertebræ, in common with Ziphius Sowerbiensis; the hyperoodont whales have nine, and the dolphins thirteen to fifteen. I have not yet been able to count and examine the lumbar and caudal vertebræ, as the animal was in such a state of putrefaction, that after cleaning the bones as well as possible, and leaving often a great portion of the vertebral column together, we put them at once to macerate. We obtained only one of the small pelvic bones, the other having probably been washed away by the surf; it might, however, owing to its diminutive size and sticking loosely in the flesh, easily have been overlooked. As soon as the bones are clean, so that I can examine them, I shall offer a few more observations upon the osteology of this remarkable animal, for the complete skeleton of which, the Canterbury Museum is indebted to the members of the Philosophical Institute, without whose pecuniary assistance I should have been unable to secure it for the Provincial collections.

Art XLVI. —On University Education, as adapted to the circumstances and prospects of the Colony of New Zealand.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, June 2, 1869.]

Much useless discussion may be avoided, and our progress greatly facilitated, if from the very outset, we come to a distinct understanding upon the following three points:—1. What is a University? 2. What should be its distinctive objects in the colony? 3. How far may we expect to carry out any good system within the next few years?

  • (1.)

    In regard to the first question, —What is a University? the two oldest Universities in Europe furnish us with somewhat opposite definitions. The University of Bologna was a Corporation of Students; the University of Paris was a Corporation of Teachers. It would probably be nearer our mark to combine the two, and to contemplate the establishment of a Corporation of Teachers, Graduates, and Students, under the presidency of certain officers appointed by the Government. Of course the privileges and powers of the three classes named would be different; but it seems to me that all ought to have their share of influence in the conduct of business.

  • (2.)

    The distinctive objects of a Colonial University cannot be better described than in the words of the charter, granted by Her Majesty to the University of London:—“the advancement of religion and morality, and the promotion of useful knowledge, by holding forth to all classes of Her Majesty's subjects, without any distinction whatsoever, an encouragement for pursuing a regular and liberal course of education, by offering to persons who desire to prosecute or complete their studies such facilities, and conferring on them such distinctions and rewards as may incline them to persevere in their laudable pursuits; and for the purpose of ascertaining by means of examination, the persons who have acquired proficiency in literature, science, and art, by the pursuit of such course of education, and of rewarding them by academical degrees, as evidence of their respective attainments and marks of honor pro-portioned thereunto.” In other words, University Education in the colony

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  • ought to contemplate not the instruction of the members of a particular class of society in the higher branches; but the providing of the means of the best and highest possible education for as many as possible of all classes of society. This was the original object of the older Universities of Europe, and we cannot do better than return to it.

  • (3.)

    The third question concerns the immediately practical nature of any proposed scheme. Now, it will not be expected that the colony should send forth, at once, a completely equipped professoriate, prepared, Minerva-like, for all requisite undertakings. But it is possible to inaugurate a good system, to establish a certain portion of it, and to make provision for the whole. Our circumstances are peculiarly favourable to such a gradual method of procedure. The youth of the colony is not prepared to avail itself of a full course, but it may be greatly benefitted by provision being made for establishing certain branches of instruction without delay. And this is further peculiarly the time when reserves can be made from the public lands of the various Provinces as permanent endowments. These two points seem of themselves a sufficient vindication of any attempt, such as the present, to draw public attention to the subject.

We will first of all address ourselves to a brief sketch of the University system.

Many of the difficulties which have often beset public questions in New Zealand, might be avoided in this case, by distributing the various colleges constituting the University, instead of congregating them all in one place. Let us imagine for a moment the effect which would be produced, if the several colleges of Oxford were distributed among so many counties of England, say in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Devonshire, Hampshire; and if their principal men were assembled at some central point such as Oxford, or occasionally moved from place to place, for conducting examinations, granting degrees, and for other University purposes. Such is the scheme which seems best fitted for this colony. Let each province be left to establish and endow its own college, appoint its own professors, and fix its own course of instruction, subject to certain general instructions and regulations as prescribed by the General (Colonial) Government. Let there be a general council of the University, elected for the most part by the graduates of the colleges, but with one or two members elected by the undergraduates, or students, of each college, and with a permanent president and vice-president. To this council would belong the power of initiating such changes as from time to time might require to be effected in the laws and government of the University, and also of deciding upon such questions of dispute as might arise from time to time in any of the colleges, between the professors, or between professors, graduates, and students.

Let there further be a senate, composed of a chancellor, vice-chancellor, a certain proportion of the professors from each college, and a certain number appointed by the votes of the council. To this body let there be entrusted the necessary powers for making examinations, granting degrees, and similar purposes.

A quinquennial visitation of the colleges and the senate, conducted by a board specially appointed for that purpose, and named by the council, would tend greatly to preserve and promote healthy and vigorous life throughout the whole establishment.

Into the question of the appointment of professors it is unnecessary to enter; especially, as there is no reason why the same exact method should be observed in every college. But as a general rule it might be well ultimately to place a considerable, if not the chief, part of the power in the hands of the graduates.

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It remains for us to consider the subjects and the method of instruction.

I. In discussing the subjects to be taught, the first and most important topic that meets us is the place to be accorded to languages, and especially to the languages of ancient Greece and Rome. No one who has a desire to promote the highest culture in himself or others, will seek to exclude these languages from a full system of education. Besides the arguments which are usually adduced in their favour, there are two which appear to be of pre-eminent authority. One of these is, that the civilization of these two countries is the only one which we can definitely trace from its early dawn, throughout a splendid thought varied career, right onward to its final disappearance amid the clouds of luxury, depravity, and barbarian invasion. The history of no other nations presents us with an account so full in all its details, so complete as a whole, of the growth and decay of the principles of art, philosophy, law, and political action, diffused throughout whole generations of a social system, and expiring with it: and the world, it is to be hoped, will never see the like again. The other main argument in favour of the classic tongues is found in the important use which is made of them, as forming together a sort of common language for scientific men, and affording the basis of one common scientific nomenclature. From the countless names of the ever-increasing lists of botany, upwards, to the words which describe the newest and most important discoveries, such as the electric telegraph, palæontology, seismology and the wonders of the solar spectrum, we are indebted to Greek and Latin for terms which are universally intelligible among scientific men of different countries, and which interfere with the genius and tendencies of no living language.

The admission of the classic languages, then, into every system of education, which aims at either completeness or high culture, may be regarded as placed beyond all question. But the grounds on which they are admitted, and the kind of study of which they will form the objects, may be said to have undergone a complete revolution. Languages may be acquired and mastered, either on account of their usefulness as instruments of thought, and of the literary and philosophic treasures which are found in them, or as objects of interest in themselves, means of disciplining the mind, and permanent, crystallized records (I know not how otherwise I can express the idea) of a certain cast of national life and thought. For the sake of this second class of objects, it may be most desirable and necessary that the minutiæ of a language be completely mastered, and the power of composing both prose and verse in it be fully acquired. But Greek and Latin have no longer the exclusive claims to be so studied, which they once possessed.

The science of language in general, and of universal grammar, as illustrated in the works of Bopp and Max Müller, at once supplants them, and includes them as a part of a more comprehensive scheme; while the Sanscrit of India, and the Anglo-Saxon from which our own language is derived, have as certain, though not as great, a claim upon our attention.

What knowledge may be required of the minutiæ of idiomatic Greek and Latin, ought therefore to be relegated to the preparatory schools; while the University ought in its several colleges to assume this knowledge as acquired, and instead of professorships for instruction in Latin phrases, Greek dialects, and metrical niceties, should establish professorships of the combined study of the history and languages of ancient Greece and Rome. The works of Grole, Stuart Mill, and Rawlinson, indicate sufficiently what the course of study might be in this department.

This short explanation may perhaps have paved the way for the account of such a course of study as ought to be pursued.

But here two principles require to be steadily kept in view, and used to

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guide us in regard to the order in which the different branches of study ought to be taken up:

  • 1.

    Those studies which are most difficult, either from their nature or by reason of the complexity of their objects, ought to be reserved to the last.

  • 2.

    The natural progress of development observed by the mental faculties themselves, ought to be followed as far as possible.

As a general rule, then, languages would come first in order, then sciences of observation (or natural history in its various branches); next the material sciences of induction and deduction, or those sciences which examine the changes which take place in material bodies, and the forces by which those are produced, such as the departments of natural philosophy and chemistry. At the same time, mathematics, or the science of abstract number and quantity, ought to be pursued.

Thereafter would come mental and moral science, and lastly social science in its two great departments of history and political economy.

According to these views the staff of professors in each college, which attempted to give a complete scheme of education, would take up the following subjects in their order:

  • I.

    The history and languages of Greece and Rome.

  • II.

    Languages and universal grammar.

Under these two heads it is almost needless to say that a very great variety would be afforded both as to subjects and mode of treatment. Along with a general and rapid view of the whole field, special authors would be selected in the first case, and special languages or families of languages in the second.

  • III.

    Natural history, in its various branches of mineralogy, geology, hydrology, meteorology, botany, and zoology.

  • IV.


  • V.

    Natural philosophy and chemistry, including under the first term somatology, or the doctrine of the general properties of bodies; mechanical philosophy, or the dynamics and statics of solid, liquid, and gaseous bodies; electricity and magnetism, optics, astronomy.

  • VI.

    Mental and moral philosophy, or psychology and ethics.

  • VII.

    English language and literature.

  • VIII.

    Logic and rhetoric.

  • IX.

    Sociology, in the historic and dogmatic form, that is, as modern history and political economy, and jurisprudence. (Hallam, Mill, Austin).

It will be observed that according to this arrangement we have the various branches of study set in distinct groups, and according to a definite, and, it would seem, a natural plan.

We take first of all languages, the great instruments of thought. Then we turn to physical science and mathematics, in their several divisions, when the mind is exercised and assisted by the sensible forms or representations of things.

Thereafter the mind is directed to a much higher, but much more difficult study, the study of its own faculties and laws.

Following these come what may be termed the practical application and realization of the principles hitherto acquired, in a consideration of the English language and literature, the methods of reasoning and persuasion, and the historical and formal discussion of the great problems of life.

The question which naturally suggests itself on review of these departments of study is, ‘How far, and to what extent, may we contemplate the establishment of such a number of professorships, as might, even in a few years, afford to the youth of this province the advantages of, at least, a portion of this course?’ It is very evident that, in time, the number of these

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professorships would require to be greatly increased, but meanwhile very considerable benefit would result from the establishment of even a few of them.

At present the study of languages is so far provided for, that we might rather look to the physical sciences, as claiming first attention; and it so happens that this accords well with the necessities and the demands of colonial life.

Natural history is the first department which ought to be provided for, and then mathematics, natural philosophy, and chemistry. English language and literature might be taught in alternate years with logic and rhetoric, by the same professor. Modern history and political economy would form a fourth department. And to these would be added, from time to time, the remaining branches, as necessity for them arose, and the means were provided.

The suggestion which was thrown out during the last session of the General Assembly, that lectureships might, in the meanwhile, be established, at a moderate-cost and with very great advantage, seems still to be worthy of consideration, and within our immediate reach. By these means our own Museum would form the nucleus of an important institution, which might gradually develope into a complete college, and constitute no mean branch of a Colonial University.

I have purposely avoided any reference, at present, to the question of professional education, in law, medicine, and civil engineering: but it is apparent that the course now sketched out would be of very material, direct benefit to the students of these departments.

The method of instruction is a wide and quite distinct subject, requiring to be considered with regard to the peculiarities of each branch of knowledge. This may form the subject of a second paper, if leisure and the other engagements of the Institute permit.

Art. XLVII. —On the General Principles Of An Education Scheme for New Zealand.

[Author's Abstract of Paper read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, November 13, 1869.]

This paper first reviews the position of the question by examining existing circumstances, and enumerates the difficulties surrounding the subject as follows: ‘The mixed nature of society, —people of different countries and creeds; of different ideas of the object and character of education, and of different degrees of education and refinement; —the population being scattered; —the difficulty of obtaining trained teachers; —the high price of labour tempting parents to withdraw their children from school at an early age, and the teachers to abandon their professions for more lucrative pursuits; —the absence of a standard for teachers to work up to; —the little interest taken in the teacher's labours, by a heterogeneous and restless population; —the absence of inducements to study on the part of the pupils, and difficulty of procuring funds in the absence of foundations and endowments.’

“These complications deter statesmen from considering the subject till necessity compels; when the educational system of some larger or differently circumstanced community is hastily adopted, without the necessary material on the ground for the construction of fabric. Disappointment follows, and the result often is, the entire neglect of education for a time.’ The provinces of Auckland, Wellington, and Southland are cited as examples of this neglect; while on the other hand Nelson is referred to as an example of attempting to impart a higher education than is possible or profitable for a young colony.

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The proposed Otago University scheme is referred to the same error. The kind of education, as well as the amount suitable to the colony, is thus remarked on:

“The circumstances of a colony of men of many different creeds forbid the introduction of religious teaching in national schools, however advantageous such an element in education might be, while the requirements of a new country demand that its education should be of a thoroughly practical character. When superior schools become necessary, science and modern language will, no doubt, form a far more profitable field of exercise than ancient literature. The few literary and professional men required will, for a considerable time to come, be more advantageously imported from older countries; in point of fact there is always an over-supply of these ready to hand, while intelligent farmers and miners, and enterprising tradesmen and mechanics, trained to the make-shift necessities of a new country, are more wanted, and must be trained on the spot amidst these conditions. To place these classes in the most favourable position to become thus valuable to the country, should be the aim of the kind of education afforded by Government.”

On the working of any proposed system, the point of primary importance is stated to be the personel of the teacher. To obtain trained teachers of character and ability, should be the end aimed at in every provision. The system of licensing teachers, as practised in France, Holland, and other countries, is recommended, in order to prevent inexperienced and incompetent men from entering the profession. On the other hand, in order to obtain a sufficient supply, permanency of appointment, and sufficient inducement, are necessary provisions. To this end grants of land, or school reserves of sufficient size, are recommended, along with a moderate fixed salary from Government. Under the head of affording a standard for schools to work up to, and inducements for young men to study, the following occurs, regarding civil service examinations:

“In Victoria these examinations do excellent service in stimulating education; the certificates of the board are received by business houses, as evidence of a certain amount of education, as also of habits of industry and application at school; and young men take a pride in showing that they are not behind others in these qualities. It is thus not the actual appointments into the civil service which give these certificates a value, but the recognition of them by other interests. A little management on the part of our Government, and a little public spirit on the part of our leading interests, could make our Civil Service Act sub-serve the same useful purpose. * * This would be a simple means of supplying a standard of comparison for schools, and of exciting their emulation. The Government would also by this means have it in its power, by determining the subjects of examination, to prescribe to schools the subjects of study, and to a great extent the amount.”

It is further suggested that the General Government should initiate a scheme, simple at first, by the appointment of a Secretary of Education, whose duty it would be to make provision for education in those provinces, which neglect this duty, and that, at the expense of such provinces; while the provinces which are doing well in this respect, should be left alone, should they wish it. The General Government would thus make sure that no part of the colony was left uncared for in the matter of education; and having thus planted a system, it would be growing and perfecting itself, by natural adaptation, to the necessities of the case.

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Art. XLVIII. —On the River Systems of the south portion of the Province of Wellington.

(With Map.)

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, August 14, 1869.]

The accompanying map is of a part of the Province of Wellington, and shows the main rivers, with some of the principal lines of watershed, and the ranges of hills. This paper is explanatory of it, and refers particularly to some of the river systems.

The portion shown on the map is from the area drained by the Manawatu on the north, and extending southward to the extremity of the province.

Of the other portion of the province lying to the north of this, I have not sufficient data to represent its rivers on the map, and consequently do not attempt to describe them; although they present many important and interesting features, coming as they do, at least two of them, the Whanganui and the Wangæhu, from the centre of the island, near Tongariro and Ruapehu.

The approximate areas of the portion of the island represented on the map may be stated thus:

Area of part of the province shown, 5100 square miles, or 3,264,000 acres, —nearly half the area of the province. Area of part of Hawke's Bay province included, as drained by the Manawatu, 320 square miles, or 204,800 acres. Thus making the whole area treated of, 5420 square miles, or 3,468,800 acres, or nearly three and a half millions of acres.

Subdividing this we have:

Square Miles. Acres.
In the Manawatu drainage area. 1830 1,171,200
In the Ruamahanga, or Wairarapa drainage area. 1300 832,000
On the West Coast, from the Manawatu to Paikakariki, drained by the Horo-whenua, the Ohau, the Waikawa, the Otaki, the Waikanæ, and numerous small streams running directly into the sea. 550 352,000
Between Paikakariki and Palliser Bay, including Porirua, and Wellington, by the Hutt, the Wainuiomata, the Orongorongo, and many smaller streams. 500 320,000
By rivers on the East Coast, from Palliser Bay to the Whareama. 570 364,800
By the River Whareama and its tribu-taries. 250 160,000
By rivers on the East Coast, from the Whareama to the boundary of the Province, at Waimata, by the Waka-taki, the Mataikuna, the Aohanga, the Akitio, and numerous small streams running to the sea directly. 420 268,800
Totals. 5420 3,468,800

Of this total area, about 2500 square miles, or 1,600,000 acres are covered with bush or forest, so that little apprehension need be felt at the prospect of

Picture icon

Shewring the River Systems of the Southern Parts of the Province of Wellington N.Z.

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drought being induced in most of our main rivers by the destruction of the bush.

There is more liability to such a contingency occurring in the smaller streams, and perhaps in the East Coast rivers, and in some of the Wairarapa rivers, where the country is more scantily furnished with forest.

I recollect in the dry summer of 1863–4, observing both the Whareama and the Taueru rivers to have nearly ceased running, consisting of a chain of pools connected by a very small run of water between them.

Also the Aohanga river, at a place well inland where it falls perpendicularly over a ledge of overhanging rock for a height of about sixty feet, seemed at that time a mere thread of water, which the gusts of wind at times dissipated into spray before it reached the river bed below.

On such rivers the preservation of the bush about their upper courses, and on their feeders, becomes an object of importance.

It will thus be seen, from the table of areas, that the Manawatu and the Ruamahanga are the most extensive and important river systems in the part of the province under consideration, yet the areas drained by them differ much in character, and the rainfall over them is affected by different meteorological influences.

The Ruamahanga, or Wairarapa area, has much more open country in it than the other, and its supply is derived from the rain falling to the eastward, only, of the main dividing range of the Tararua.

It gets most of its water directly from the eastern side of this range, by the head of the Ruamahanga itself, by the Waipoua, the Waingawa, the Waiohine, and the Tauherenikau, which latter falls into the lake.

It also gets the drainage from the eastern side of the Rimutaka range, by many streams chiefly discharging into the lake.

By the Tauheru and its tributaries it drains a large extent of elevated hilly land, more or less open, lying to the N. E. of the Wairarapa valley.

By the Huangarua, the Dry river, the Rahohuru, the Turanganui, and many small streams, it drains the more open country lying on the west side of the watershed between the lower part of the Wairarapa valley and the East Coast. The melting of the snow in summer affects it by the rivers running from the Tararua mountains, and this probably to a greater extent than occurs in the Manawatu area.

One noticeable feature in the Ruamahanga is, that it discharges itself, in the first place, into the Wairarapa lake, and flows out of it again not far from where it enters, with the addition of the waters collected in the lake by streams falling into it directly. The river, after a course of a few miles, flows into the lower or smaller lake, which is divided from Palliser Bay by a narrow belt of beach, through which the river flows into the sea by a channel which sometimes is closed entirely by the action of the heavy surf in Palliser Bay, and then the water being dammed back fills the lakes, and floods a large area of low marshy land about their margins, until the accumulated water again forces a passage into the sea, when the lakes subside and relieve the adjoining low levels of the surplus water.

The nature of the passage into the sea of this river has withheld from the Wairarapa the advantages of a navigable river, notwithstanding the large area drained, and the numerous and large tributaries of the Ruamahanga.

The state of this area has been much modified by its long occupation by European settlers; and the substitution of grasses for the growth of bush, fern, and scrub, to a large extent, must affect the rapidity with which the rainfall finds its way to the streams and rivers.

The area drained by the Manawatu system of rivers, on the other hand, is still nearly in a state of nature, except what change the native occupants

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have affected, which would not seem to be much, in regard to any effect produced on the subject now under consideration.

This river and its tributaries present several interesting features.

The main river itself penetrates, by a narrow rocky gorge of picturesque scenery, the main dividing range of this part of the island, and separates it into the Ruahine and the Tararua mountains.

In this gorge there occur several reaches of still, deep water, and as the view is shut in at both ends by the winding course, the traveller seems to float in his canoe in a rock-bound mountain lake, with grey lichened cliffs, overhung with ferns and shrubs, and steep wooded slopes, rising above them. These quiet reaches are separated by dangerous rapids, full of boulders and rocks.

Both above and below the gorge the country is lower, and the character of the river is a rapid course over wide shingle beds, and this makes the change into the gorge more striking.

This river takes the rainfall of both sides of the southern end of the Ruahine range; for twenty-five miles on the east side, by the portion of the Manawatu proper, which runs in the Province of Hawke's Bay; and for thirty miles on the west side by the River Puhangina, which has a course almost parallel with the range, and joins the Manawatu only some one and a half miles to the west side of the gorge; and also by the sources of the Oroua to the north of the head of the Puhangina.

The Manwatu also takes the rainfall of both sides of the northern end of the Tararua range; for thirty miles on the east side by the Mongahao river, which runs almost parallel to the range, and joins the Manawatu only a mile or two to the east of the gorge, and also by streams falling into the Forty-mile bush rivers from the hills south of the head of the Mongahao; and for twenty miles of the west side of the range, by the Tokomaru river, and the Kahuterawa, and other large streams falling into the Manawatu on its southern bank. It also gets the drainage of the table-land of the Forty-mile bush, by the Makakahi, Mangatainoko, and other streams falling into the Teraumea, —which joins the Manawatu to the east of the gorge; —and by the Teraumea river, which rises on the east side of the Puketoi range, it gets the rain falling on both sides of the southern end of the Puketoi range; and by the Waitawhiti, the Ihuraua, and other streams it drains a part of the high lands adjoining the heads of the Whareama and the Taueru rivers, which both flow to the eastward part of the province.

By the numerous rivers and streams flowing into the Oroua from both sides, into the Puhangina from the west, and into the north side of the Manawatu itself to the west of the gorge, the rainfall over an extensive flat and table country between the Ruahine range and the sea coast also finds its way to the sea by the Manawatu.

Drawing its supply from such an extensive area, exposed to so much variety of climatic influences, it would seem that we need not expect all its tributaries to be flooded at one time; as the north-west rains will affect the Oroua, Puhangina, and streams to the west of the dividing range, while the south-east rains will flood the rivers on the eastern side.

The south-east or south-west rains, however, produce the heaviest floods, as the rain-drift flies along the line of the main range, and supplies both slopes at once, as well as probably falling more copiously on the area to the east of the range, and on the southern end of the Puketoi mountains, while the north-west rains striking more transversely to the line of the main range, probably fall more heavily on the western slopes than on the eastern.

The northern end of the Tararua, falling in height as it approaches the gorge, does not contribute much water from summer melting of snow, but

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some supply of this nature is probably derived from the Ruahine at the sources of the Oroua river.

The whole area drained by the Manawatu being 1,171,200 acres, we find the very large proportion of over 1,000,000 acres to be bush-covered, also there is much flat country, so floods neither rise nor run off so quickly as in an open country. The dense vegetation of the bush retains a large quantity of the rainfall, and the ranges themselves are chiefly bush, and not very precipitous in general character.

For instance, on the Tirohanga hill-track, from the Manawatu to the Forty-mile bush, passing over the Tararua range, after attaining on elevation of about 1200 feet, we find nearly three miles flat before the ascent to the summit is made; several streams flow through this flat, and the ground has a thick, spongy stratum on the surface of roots, moss, and soil.

Similar comparatively level tracts, no doubt, exist at many places on the hills at considerable elevations; and thus the water falling on them by no means necessarily finds its way rapidly to the lower levels and the main river bed. From these causes more water must be taken away by absorption and evaporation, than at first might be supposed.

One feature in the course of the Manawatu, as of other similar rivers, is the numerous old water-courses abandoned by the river, and now forming semi-circular shaped lagoons of uniform width in the flat bush country.

These are found at intervals in a belt of half a mile to a mile and a half in width, on both sides of the river.

They have formed old river beds, cut through at the neck by the current, and the ends silted up by the deposits brought down in floods. This process still goes on, general extensive bends having been cut off within my own knowledge, as at Raukawa, and near the mouth of the Tokomaru.

A kind of balance is thus probably kept up between the speed and wearing power of the current, and the nature of the soil acted on by it, so that the total length of the river course along its numerous windings, maintains a mean from time to time; the formation of a long bend by the stream eating into the banks at one place, being counterbalanced by the cutting through the neck of a peninsula at another.

Some of these lagoons are over a mile long, and form fine sheets of water. They are mostly filled in heavy freshets, by the water backing up the stream flowing from their lower ends, and they, together with a large extent of low land subject to floods, for some miles above the junction of the Oroua, act as storing reservoirs for some of the surplus waters, as also do two large open swampy tracts whose surface is about the level of high floods, —one on the south side, called Makurerua, of some 15,000 acres, and the other lower down on the north side, called Ohotuiti, of some 7000 acres, and both with many shallow lagoons in their area. These are of rich soil, and when drained, of which they are capable of being, will form important flax-growing and meadow lands.

The large extent of sand and gravel deposits also, no doubt, absorbs and discharges gradually a large part of the rainfall, and of the waters brought down by river floods.

Differing from the Ruamahanga, the Manawatu is navigable for many miles from its entrance, to vessels of six or eight feet draft of water, which the bar at the mouth allows to enter, and the flood tide, when there is no fresh in the river, gives an upward current for fifteen or sixteen miles from the mouth.

The course of the Oroua gives a good section of the land lying to the west of the Ruahine range. For ten or fifteen miles of its lower course, it divides the open sandy country of the coast from the alluvial bush land, and here its

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current is not so rapid, and its channel is narrow, muddy, and canal-like. Above this it becomes wider and more rapid, with shingle beds, and the banks show gravel deposits, which increase in height as it is ascended, and in the upper course cliffs of 100 feet to 200 feet high, washed by the river, show horizontal well-marked layers of sand, gravel, and clay, with marine shells. These beds preserve their horizontal position until the spurs of the range are approached, when they show a decided dip to the west, in parts.

About seventy to eighty miles, by the winding course, from its junction with the Manawatu, the Oroua cuts through a spur by a gorge faced by cliffs of rock, about 150 feet high, and nearly perpendicular, and close to here the first hard rock was observed, coming up the course.

The channel here is full of boulders and rocks, and the run is rapid. Looking through this gorge, however, in the direction of the range, the same horizontal strata of sand, gravel, and clay, are again seen in the high river bank; and it is probable the river extends a long way further into the main range, as its volume here seems quite as great as in its lower course, showing, at least, that its main supply comes from the hills surrounding its source in the Ruahine.

I have not attempted to estimate the quantity of water discharged by these rivers, although an approximation might be made from the estimated rainfall over the areas drained, and allowing for absorption and ovaporation; yet in the absence of observations on the actual volume of the rivers, at different periods of level of water, such an estimate would not be satisfactory, and there are not yet any observations of the local rainfall on these ranges and extensive table lands.

The following notes on the route from the Manawatu river to Masterton, through the forty-mile bush, from a journey undertaken by the author in 1868, indicate the nature of this very important track, which might be opened up with a small outlay.

November 17th, 1868—Left Foxton and rode some twenty miles to Kai-ranga, on the Manawatu river. Left horses here and crossed river to south bank; walked four miles over a gradually rising country, and camped at foot of first rise of main range, on the Kahuterawa stream: this is a considerable height above the sea, probably 100 to 200 feet.

18th—Commenced ascent of Tararua range: top of first rise at Tiro-hanga is about 1200 feet above where we left this morning; goes on level for some way, then a rise of 200 feet more at six and three-quarter miles from the Manawatu, again a rise of 490 feet to summit at Tipakirikiri, which is thus 1800 to 1900 feet above foot of range, at camp this morning. Fine view from here over Tongariro, Manawatu, and Rangitikei country, Ruapehu and some of the Forty-mile bush. Descended to foot of range, 1440 feet. Thence to Mongahao river, descending 280 feet further, or in all 1700 feet. from summit to Forty-mile bush country. From the Manawatu by this track to the Mongahao river is twelve miles, passable for horses; cut by Mr. Carkeek, Assistant Surveyor, in 1868. The track stops at Mongahao. Diverged down river a little, and took track to Tutækara clearing and native pa—about four miles.

19th—Followed on the old native track (from Ahuriri to Wairarapa) about four miles to Te Hawero clearing—level country. The track from Manawatu might join here, and there is an old track from here to Alfredtown. Four and a half miles further crossed Mangatainoko river: country level for some distance. At, say, eight and a half miles from Te Hawero track rises on a ridge, about 550 feet, and then falls with a good descent 220 feet. Then across a table-land which I estimate some 1100 feet above the sea. Camped about fourteen and a half miles from Te Hawero.

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“20th—A mile on crossed Kahepurapura, and also another strong stream, passing over good slopes, rising and falling, say, 100 feet: reached Makakahi river at 8 p.m., nineteen miles from Te Hawero. This is the boundary of Crown land. Two miles on crossed Mangahinau stream, and followed its course for some way. One and a half miles further crossed Mangahuarere stream. At 11.20 a.m. crossed last stream on this side of watershed, say, twenty-four miles from Te Hawero. The bush along this track is very open and free from supple-jacks and scrub: a good horse road very easily made. The track now ascends the water-shed range—rises some 500 feet to a flat top, ascent pretty good. Flat at top, say one and a half miles, and then a descent of 700 or 800 feet to crossing of Ruamahanga river, at the head of Opaki plain, some fourteen or fifteen miles from Masterton. This descent is steep, but by exploring we found a leading spur from the flat top, going about one and a half miles lower down the Ruamahanga, which gives a good descent: we marked and partially cleared this. Crossed the Ruamahanga at 1. 30 p.m., and walked over the Opaki plain to Masterton, which we reached about 7. 30 p.m.”

Art. XLIX. —On the Raising of the S. S. “Taranaki.”

(With Illustrations.)

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, November 13, 1869.]

Although this subject has been already brought a good deal before the public, and the main facts stated, I have thought it advisable to lay a more detailed account of it before the society, at the risk of appearing to go over a good deal of the same ground that the public prints have already done.

Taking a good deal of interest in this matter from its start, I have collected the following details, principally from information supplied to me by Messrs. Seagar and Thirkell; and I have made the accompanying sketches from that information, and from inspection of the gear used by them.

The screw-steamer “Taranaki,” belonging to the New Zealand Steam Navigation Company, was wrecked and sunk in Bowden's Bay, Tory Channel, Queen Charlotte's Sound, on the 19th August, 1868.

Her tonnage is 299 register, h. p. 100, length of keel 182 feet, beam 25 feet, and depth of hold 16 feet.

She was a new boat, built on the river Clyde, in Scotland, a locality now taking the lead in British iron shipbuilding.

Shortly after the wreck the company called for tenders for raising her.

The Directors, however, declined undertaking the task of raising the wreck, and it was sold to a few residents in Wellington, in the beginning of March, 1869, who then took steps for raising her.

Several schemes were proposed to them, but that submitted by Messrs. Seagar and Thirkell, of Wellington, was chosen, and the carrying out of the operations was entrusted to them; and the result shows the choice was judicious.

I shall endeavour to give a short account of the scheme as proposed for raising her, and then give some notes of the successful carrying out of the operations.

The wreck was supposed to be lying in about one hundred feet of water, and the weight to be raised was estimated at about 450 tons.

1st. There was the floating-power required as a base to work from, and to carry this weight in addition to the men and the plant or apparatus.

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2nd. There was the apparatus required to lift the vessel from this floating base.

For the first purpose four pontoons were planned with the following dimensions: two of them were 95 feet long on top, 91 feet long at bottom, 14 feet wide at top, 12 ½ feet wide at bottom, and 8 feet deep. The other two were 85 feet long on top, and 81 feet long at bottom, and of the same breadth and depth as the first two; strongly framed, decked, planked, and caulked, and with three watertight bulkheads in each.

The pontoons were built by contract, at Picton, of N. Z. white pine.

These four pontoons, if sunk to a depth of 6 feet, would represent a displacement of 775 tons nearly, and if totally submerged, of some 1050 tons; thus allowing an ample margin for the weight of the sunken vessel, and also for that of the necessary men, tools, and gear, besides their own weight.

In working, it was found that when the weight came on, they had a displacement of 5 feet in depth, and it was calculated that out of this about 400 tons was due to the weight of the wreck under water, and the remainder to that of the pontoons themselves, with the workmen and gear.

The iron work for the lifting apparatus was designed and made by Mr. Seagar, at his works in Wellington.

The lifting apparatus may be described, generally, as consisting of forty-four long iron rods, with hooks at bottom to catch in the circular openings, or ports, in the sides of the vessel—twenty-two upon each side. (See plate XII.) The upper ends of these rods led up to the pontoons, and were attached to screws on the top of each rod for raising the weight.

More particularly, —each of these rods was of 1 ¼ inch diameter round iron. This was equal to take a strain of sixteen tons each, or in all 700 tons. The rods were divided into links twelve feet long, with oval eyes, connected by short double links, 9 inches long, of 3 ½ in. by ⅝ in. iron, with 1 ¼ in. pins. In working it was observed that it would have been an improvement to have had the rods in shorter links, say of four feet each.

The hook at bottom was made of 3 ¾ in. by 1 in. iron, and thickened where it took hold of the port-hole to 2 ½ inches, and an ingenious slide or stop took hold of the lower side of the port-hole, and supported the hook after it was fixed, thus preventing it slipping out when the upward strain was relaxed, and this was found effectually to keep the hook in position. This stop was of 2 ½ in. by ½ in. iron, with a slot in it, to enable it to move along two pinching screws through the side of the hook. (See sketch.) This stop was fastened by the diver as soon as he got the hook in its place. When working, a short length of chain, 3 feet to 4 feet long, was attached between the hook and the lower end of the suspending rod.

The upper end of each suspending rod had two shorter links of 4 feet each, and above these, and forming the upper length of suspension bars, was the fleeting link, which was double and of flat iron, each piece being 3 feet 5 in. long by 4 in. by ⅝ in., and pierced with 1 ½ in. holes, four and a half inches apart, so as to admit of adjustment of the length of the bars, when fleeting the screws to take a fresh lift. These fleeting links were attached at the top to the bottom of the lifting screw.

The lifting screws were of 2 ⅜ inches diameter iron, and screwed for 2 feet 3 ½ inches in length, and had four threads to an inch. Each screw was turned by a spanner, or lever, 5 feet long, of 1 ½ inch round iron, moved by two, or sometimes three, men, and with an eye fitting over the nut. The nut worked upon double washers or plates, bearing on a wooden block which rested on the cross logs of the pontoons, as will presently be described. These washers were adapted to the special nature of the work to be done.

The lifting of a movable body at such a depth, acted on by currents, and

Picture icon

To accompany Paper by J. T. Stewart on raising S.S.Taranaki

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the pontoons themselves affected by currents and winds, must involve a certain amount of swinging motion, horizontally or laterally; besides the tops of the rods were not all vertically over the hooks in the port-holes.

To allow for this the upper washer of wrought-iron was rounded in the bottom, and rested and titted in a hollow recess in the cast-iron washer or plate, which hollow was turned so as to fit accurately to the bottom of the upper washer. This then allowed to the upper washer, the screw, the nut, and top of rod, a certain amount of oscillation, to suit which the aperture in the cast-iron washer, or plate, was beveled out somewhat towards the lower edge. (See sketch).

A set of counter-balance weights had also to be provided to carry the weight of the rods, when adjusting or fleeting the screws. These weights were carried by ropes attached to the upper part of the rods, and passing over sheaves placed in the cross logs which rested on the pontoons. The weight was made sufficient to balance the weight of rod, and this arrangement allowed the pontoons to rise and fall with the tide.

The four pontoons were placed two on each side of the sunken vessel, so that a space was left between them over the wreck, about one foot more than the breadth of the “Taranaki.”

Twenty-two sets of cross beams, each carrying two lifting rods, rested on the pontoons, and passed across over the wreck. These beams were double, consisting each of two pieces, each piece 18 in. by 9 in., placed five inches apart, and bolted together in three places by three-quarter inch bolts.

The length of the beams was from 48 feet to 53 feet, according to position. They were of Kahikatea, or N. Z. white pine. They proved strong enough for the strain, but with nothing to spare, deflecting a foot in the middle when the strain came on them. Two of them sprung in the early part of the work, but they were of lighter scantling, and were strengthened and used afterwards.

On each of these beams, and over the inner side of the pontoons so as to plumb the sunken vessel's sides, were placed two blocks of hard wood (Rata), each 15 in. by 5 in., and 2 feet long, with a hole 5 inches square for the lifting rod to pass through, and on this block was placed the plate, or washer, already described, carrying the upper washer and nut of the lifting screw. (See sketch.)

On an average, fifty-four men were employed.

The mode of screwing up a lift was, first to screw up all the screws on one side for one foot, or half the length of lift, then proceed to the other side and screw up two feet, or the full length of the lift, and then go back to the first side, and screw up the remaining half of the lift for this side.

The mode of fleeting the screws was, to begin to fleet simultaneously the foremost screw on each of the two pontoons upon one side, and the after-most screw on each of the two pontoons on the other side; and then, when these had been adjusted and were being tightened up, the screws next but one to the four already fleeted were slacked off, and so on, till all the screws were gone through and got ready for a fresh lift. Thus no one log had the strain taken off both of its ends at one time. In this operation eight sets of lifting rods were relieved of the weight at one time, and the weight of the wreck was then borne safely by the remaining thirty-six rods.

They could fleet and screw up twice in one day, taking about an hour to fleet, and three hours to heave up a lift.

Two divers were employed, who had the arduous task of fixing the hooks under such a depth of water, opening the ports, cutting away the woodwork, and other jobs, such as sending up the anchors and chains, etc.

Their labour was much facilitated by the use of a box, or cage, 6 feet by

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3 feet, formed of iron bars placed openly, and having a wooden floor. This was slung from the pontoons, and let down where the divers were to work, and in it they stood when at work. After hooking on the lifting hook to the port, the diver fixed the stop, or slide, to prevent the hook falling out, and also made fast the rod to the ship's rail above, to steady it.

It was at first intended to make use of the lifting power of the tide, and assist it by filling the pontoons with water, and pumping them out as the tide rose. For this purpose valves were put in the bottom of the pontoons, and pumps provided.

This plan was put in operation for some time, until, as the vessel was hauled ahead, it was found that the bank was so steep that she was liable to slip back when allowed to rest on the bottom. At one place the stern was observed to have thirty feet more water over it than the bows had, so sudden was the incline, and for a short distance near the top of the bank, the inclination was nearly 1 to 1.

It was found necessary after this to keep her always suspended or carried from the pontoons, and to trust to the lifting power afforded by working the screws.

This steep bank added much to the difficulties to be overcome, and the vessel was brought gradually side on to it, so as to bring her more to a level. This was done by lifting at each lift the stern more than the bows, and hauling it round at same time up the slope of the bank.

As the vessel was lifted she was hauled ahead by being made fast by a chain cable from her bow to the “Ladybird,” which steamer was hauled ahead from time to time, as required, to moorings placed in shore.

The position of the wreck may be briefly described.

She lay on a comparatively level bottom of soft clay and shells, with a rise of six feet in the length of the vessel towards the bows, and the stern was sunk about seven feet in the mud; a great weight of mud was piled upon the poop deck, probably thrown over the stern when she went down. At the stern the depth of water was 17 ½ fathoms, or 105 feet, at high-water.

This nearly level bottom extended ahead for about sixty feet, when the foot of a bank was reached. This bank rose at a rate of thirty feet in two hundred feet, or in about the length of the vessel, for a distance ahead of some five hundred feet, when the inclination increased to a rise of twenty-seven feet in thirty feet, for a short distance up to the top of the bank, over which there was a depth of twenty-one feet at high-water.

On getting over this bank the depth increased to twenty-four feet for some distance, and then gradually shoaled in shore for a length of six hundred feet, or thereabouts, farther.

The rise of tide at springs was 4 feet 6 inches, and at neaps 1 foot 6 inches, and there was a current on the ebb which greatly interfered with the operations of the divers for two-thirds of the ebb. The position, however, was landlocked and sheltered from any waves or swell of consequence.

A notice of some of the damages sustained by the vessel may be interesting.

First, the damage sustained when she struck on the rock before sinking, as found after she was raised:—

The extent of the damage lay within three frames, or a length of 4 feet, in the engine room compartment, on the port side, close behind the donkey engine. There was a crack or rent in one of the plates; the top of the crack was about 4 feet under the load water-line; the crack was alongside one of the angle iron ship's frames. It was 3 feet long, and of an average width open of 1 inch. The frame was bulged in about 8 inches.

There was also a hole about 2 feet aft of the crack and on the same level;

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this hole was about 3 inches diameter, and had a sharp pointed bit of hard rock sticking in it.

The “Taranaki” was divided into three compartments, by watertight bulkheads. The damage took place in the centre one, but the aft compartment seems gradually to have filled. The fore compartment evidently remained unfilled, as will be noticed afterwards.

The vessel kept afloat for seven hours after she struck, and then went down stern first, burying the stern in the mud, scooping up twenty or thirty tons of soil on to the poop, knocking away the poop rail and stanchions round the stern, leaving the steering gear uninjured, but twisting round and breaking the rudder. The screw propeller had been knocked off on the rock shortly after she struck.

The boiler was injured when she sunk, and was found to be very seriously damaged, having collapsed from the outside pressure of the water as the vessel suddenly sunk to the depth of 17 ½ fathoms, assisted probably by a partial vacuum formed by condensation of the steam. (See sketch of boiler.)

The top of the shell, although arched and strengthened by angle iron ribs round the top, with 1 ¾ inch stays from the angle irons to the bottom of the boiler, was forced in 18 inches, crushing and bending these stays, and also the gusset stays 1 foot wide by 1 inch, at the angle formed by the top and back of boiler. The 1 ¾ inch stays, from top of boiler to top of combustion chamber, also were broken and bent. In collapsing, the top of the boiler had dragged back the uptake for 18 inches on top, taking the steam chest with it, and also dragged the back of the boiler in towards the combustion chamber, leaving the stays sticking through the back.

The combustion chamber, the tubes, tube plates, and the bottom and front of the boiler were found uninjured and not moved.

In the fore deck, over the forward compartment, which seems to have remained free of water till after she sank, ten deck beams were bent down 8 inches by the pressure of the water from outside, bending the 3 inch iron stanchions supporting them from the lower deck, and the hatches were found forced inwards.

The forward watertight bulkhead was bulged in forward about 1 foot.

Second, the effects accruing from her long retention under water:—

She sunk on the 19th of August, 1868, and was pumped out, on raising her, on the 26th of September, 1869, —a period of over thirteen months.

Her hull was completely coated with shelly encrustation, except the bottom, which the marine paint had kept tolerably clean. Her small spars and upper decks were completely worm eaten and gone; any Teak wood was found sound; the cabin fittings, where painted, were in general sound.

The engines were found in working order, all the journals and bearings bright and clean. The wrought-iron starting gear tarnished but not damaged, and the cast-iron work uninjured.

One of the cylinders was free of water, the other was full.

Having thus attempted to give a description of the plan of operations, the position of the wreck, and mentioned the principal damages she sustained, I shall give some notes of the operation of raising the “Taranaki,” interspersed with a few extracts from a journal kept by Mr. Thirkell; and thus give some idea of the nature of the work.

On the morning of June 23, 1869, a start was made by the adventurers from Wellington, in the steamer “Ladybird,” hired as a tender during the operations, and they got to Picton the same afternoon, and next day launched two of the pontoons and took in the cross logs and moorings.

On the 26th June, left Picton, and towed the two pontoons to Bowden's bay, where the “Taranaki” lay sunk. From this time to the 10th July they

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were getting the anchors and chains out of the “Taranaki” by aid of the divers, and mooring the two pontoons and the “Ladybird,” —a work of considerable difficulty; also getting the cross bearing logs bolted together in pairs, and other preliminary arrangements made.

On the 12th July, got the stage for the divers into position; one of the divers went down and opened one of the port-holes, found depth to port-holes, at low-water, to be 88 feet.

From this date up to the 21st, engaged getting lifting rods from these two pontoons hooked on to the ports by the divers, which required much patience, perseverance, and repeated attempts before completion.

The divers seem to have remained down from twenty minutes to forty minutes, often over an hour, and on some occasions for one hundred and five minutes.

On the 21st July, the “Ladybird” went to Picton, and returned on the 23rd with the third and fourth pontoons, and they now moored the “Ladybird” in position for hauling the “Taranaki' ahead, having 60 fathoms of chain ahead, and with the “Taranaki” made fast to her stern with 30 fathoms of chain; also moored the third and fourth pontoons in position, and this with getting the rest of the cross logs ready, and other work, occupied until the 26th, on which day the diver examined, and reported on, the extent of the injury the vessel had received when she struck, and which has already been described. From this time up to the 6th August, getting the lifting rods from the third and the fourth pontoons down and fixed, and getting the other gear ready. For the scupper holes, one or two of which were used, a special hook had to be extemporised, as the hooks made for the port-holes would not do for them.

Extracts from Log:—“Wednesday, 14th July, 7.15 a.m., commenced work, light S. W. wind; men rigging up gear for supporting bars, and attending to diver.

“One of the divers went down at 7.45 a.m. to hook on, down thirty minutes, went down again at 8.35 a.m., down sixty-three minutes, wanted stage shifted; went down at 10.16 a.m., down twenty-nine minutes, came up, reported slide too short for the port; went down at 11 a.m. to unhook and send up the slide to alter, down sixteen minutes, came up; the other diver went down at 12.55 p.m., took slide with him.

Put hook in and secured it with slide, down twenty-five minutes, came up to shift stage; went down to second hook at 1.40 p.m., after trying to cut covering board, came up to shift stage a little aft, down twenty minutes; went down again at 2.5 p.m., down fifteen minutes, came up, could not work, tide too strong; put down bars ready for divers next day, and got blocks and balance weights ready.

“Tuesday, July 20—Strong N. W. wind and dry weather; 8 a.m., commenced. Men putting four full lengths of bars, with hooks, etc., down, ready for the diver to hook on when the tide slacked a little; shifting stage, which was foul, and took a long time to clear, on account of the tide drifting it against the vessel's side; fitting up the remainder of the sheaves on the port side, and two on the starboard side, and altered the rope from the blocks to the sheaves, and found the balance weights worked much better.

“One of the divers went down and commenced to cut out and unscrew port-hole No. 13, at 11.45 a.m., hooked on and came up after being down forty minutes; got refreshed a little, and went down at 12.40 p.m. to clear away for hook No. 12; hooked on, and screwed up and lashed up Nos. 12 and 13 to the rail, and then came up: down sixty minutes.

“Part of the men went to dinner, and part remained to shift stage and ladder

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ready for the other diver, who got dressed and went down at 2.40 p.m. to hook on Nos. 14 and 15; succeeded in opening three port-holes, and cut away and screwed up Nos. 14 and 15, put lashing on the rail, and came up after being down eighty-five minutes. The “Storm Bird” arrived from Wellington with some bars, etc., as the after lengths had been found 4 feet to 8 feet too short.

“Saturday, July 31—Strong N. wind and rain all day, one diver went down at 9.25 a.m., as soon as the hooks were altered for the scupper hole, down thirty-eight minutes; came up and reported the hook too large for the hole; made it smaller at the point, and then diver went down at 11.12 to put it in, down forty-three minutes, came up and reported the hook half way in, and could not get it any further.

“The other diver got ready and went down at 12.45 p.m., he drove it up and wedged it with three iron wedges, down sixty-five minutes and came up to refresh: went down at 2.10 to find the middle scupper hole, found it and put hook in half way and could not get it further in, nor out again; down fifty minutes, came up and could not go down any more to-day.”

By the 7th August, all was ready to try a lift, and on that day we find the journal saying:—“Weather fine all day, commenced at 12.30 p.m., sunk pontoons by letting in water; connected on at 1.30 p.m., and screwed all the bars tight, and began to pump out at 2.45 p.m., assisted by the whalers from the Sound. Vessel began to lift at 3.30 p.m.; all the water pumped out at 4 p.m. The pontoons rose considerably, two of the after logs of the fore pontoons sprung, being undersized; hove in by the ‘Ladybird's’ windlass as the tide flowed, got ahead 50 feet, and ceased at 8 p.m.”

This was the first lift, and rather an exciting time. The lift got was about 5 feet, of this 3 feet was due to the rise of the tide, and 2 feet to the effect of pumping out the pontoons.

When she first started out of her bed in the mud, the pontoons started or jumped up nearly six inches; before this start the deck of the pontoons was 14 inches out of water on the inner side, and 2 feet on the outer. (Usually, however, it was afterwards found there was none of this jerking up, but a steady lift.) The following days the same mode of procedure went on.

“12th August—4 a.m., commenced to connect bars to screws, and screwed down about 10 inches; at 6.45 began to pump the water out of pontoons, and with the tide lifted the bow up about 5 feet, but found the bank with a greater rise than was expected, which makes the after end difficult to ground, hove ahead with some of the men, and the remainder finished pumping; at 12.30 p.m. found the anchor, in heaving ahead, ‘come home; ’ could not heave any more until it is lifted, and placed farther in shore, with one of the pontoon's mooring anchors to back it.”

They had now got the wreck hauled ahead close to the rise of the steep bank, and went on lifting and hauling until the bows got well up, while the stern got to the foot of the slope, not very much higher than it was originally.

On the 17th August, they sounded and found the vessel to be 26 ½ feet higher at the bows than at the stern, being about the angle of the bank at this place. On Saturday the 21st August, they found as the steamer settled down aft, that she slid down the bank for 16 feet; so they concluded that she would have to be lifted over the bank by the screws only.

They now began to put more men on the screws in the after pontoons, so as to lift the stern a little more than the bows, at each lift, so as gradually to get a more even keel on the wreck, and as they did so, hauled the stern sideways on to the bank, as well as hauling her ahead; the log going on thus on the 25th and 26th:—Divers commenced to take off some of the long lengths of the bars.

“30th August—6 a.m., commenced work; fine clear weather.

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“Began to screw up; went to breakfast 8 a.m., began work 8.45, finished up the length of the screws, and fleeted down again, and recommenced to screw up; went to dinner at noon; commenced at 1 p.m., screwed up the full length, and began to fleet part of the screws; ceased work at 5 p.m., having lifted the fore end 3 feet, and the after end 4 feet.

“31st August—Day fine throughout, with light N. W. wind.

“At 6 a.m. commenced to take off the second length of long bars of the two after pontoons, and fleet down the screws on the fore pontoons.

“At 10 a.m. commenced to heave up the length of the screws; hove in by the north-west chains, and hove the ‘Ladybird’ ahead; 2 p.m., fleeted down the screws and commenced to heave up the second lift, got about two-thirds of the screwing up, and ceased work 6 p.m., having lifted about 3 ½ feet during the day, and gone well up the north-west bank, as well as ahead.

“September 2nd—Fore lower-mast head about 2 feet out of water.

“September 3rd—Found two of the hooks had torn away the plate of the port-holes, not having hold of the angle iron. Let water into pontoons to ease the bars, the vessel resting on bottom, and sent down both divers to put in the two hooks properly. Shifted the whole of the logs forward upon the after pontoon, and took the foremost log into the middle to the two ports left vacant.

“Having pumped water out of pontoons, after dinner commenced to heave up, and got a lift of 2 feet. Ceased at 5.30 p.m.

“September 4th—Fore-top out of water.

“September 6th—Fore-top 2 feet, and main-mast head 1 foot out of water.

“September 11th—Lifted to-day 3 feet 9 inches at fore-mast, and 4 feet 3 inches at mainmast; forecastle deck 10 feet under water, quarter-deck 25 feet under water.

“September 13th—Screwed up 3 feet at fore-mast, and 4 feet aft; found the seams of the pontoons opening a good deal from exposure to the sun.

“September 14th—Lifted 3 feet 4 inches forward, and 4 feet aft.

“September 15th—The divers began to take off last lengths of long bars: lifted at fore-mast 2 feet 5 inches; the fore end of the forecastle deck out of water, found the pine deck very much worm-eaten.

“September 16th—Lifted forward 1 foot 5 inches, and aft 2 feet.

“September 17th—Let water into pontoons to slack the bars; shifted all the logs to a more direct lift, and took one log and screws from the after pontoons, and put them on the fore pontoons, fleeted the screws down, after placing the logs in position; pumped water out of pontoons, and lifted with the screws; lifted to-day at fore-mast 2 feet, and aft 2 feet 2 inches, and hove the vessel ahead about 20 feet.

“September 18th—Lifted at fore-mast 2 feet 6 inches, and aft 4 feet.

“September 20th—Raised the logs which were over the forecastle and the deck-house; came ahead to-day about 70 feet; lifted at fore-mast 1 foot 3 inches, and aft 3 feet.

“September 21st—Hove ahead at high-water; let water into pontoons; cut two logs for blocks for packing up; screwed about 6 inches, and pumped out water from pontoons; lifted about 2 feet 6 inches; floated over the bank and ran ahead with the strong wind towards the beach for about 300 feet.

“September 22nd—Hove ahead at high-water, and let water into pontoons to block up logs, which are now upon the rail of the “Taranaki.” The two divers down to examine the cracks in plates, and stop up holes, pumped out the pontoons.

“September 23rd—Commenced to pump out the fore hold of the wreck.

“September 24th—Continued pumping.

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“September 25th—Pumping out wreck and stopping leaks and port-holes.

(This was done by putting a sheep-skin and a board over the hole, and screwing it tight up to a cross bar placed inside.)

“September 26th—Pumping out and repairing cracked plate. (This was temporarily done by the diver with wooden wedges, and afterwards, when the water was got under inside, by the engineers putting a plate and a sheep-skin over it.)

“September 27th—Removed the lifting rods, screws, etc., and put them on board the ‘Ladybird,’ repaired cracked plate, and fitting up donkey engine.

“September 28th—Got the donkey engine to work, cleaning out vessel, etc.

“September 29th—Moved the ‘Taranaki’ alongside of the ‘Ladybird.’

“September 30th—Taking coals out of the ‘Taranaki’ into the ‘Ladybird,’ and mooring pontoons. Covering the worm-eaten decks with planks to walk upon.

“October 1st—The steamer ‘Wanganui ’ arrived from Wellington with tow-ropes. Left Tory Channel in tow of the ‘Ladybird ’ and the ‘Wanganui,’ at 10 a.m., and reached Wellington safely in the afternoon at 4.30, after a fine passage across Cook's Straits. The vessel very tight, and not making any water.”

The total lift was 92 feet; the weight of wreck about 400 tons.

Art. L. —On Thorough Drainage.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, September 18, 1869.]

AS the subject of thorough drainage is evidently but little understood in this part of the world, and as I have had some experience in the matter in Scotland, I propose to make a few remarks, and to lay down a few elementary rules on the subject, which I hope may prove of use.

It is often supposed that in drainage it is sufficient to remove water from the actual surface, whereas the beneficial results to be obtained are gained by lowering the water table, or that level at which the underground water rests, to a sufficient depth to allow the roots of plants to get well down, and also to allow rain water to percolate freely through the soil, instead of lying stagnant on it, carrying with it ammonia and portions of atmospheric air, which assist in the decomposition of matter previously inert.

It has been found practically, that a depth for drains of about four feet is that which is economically the best. It becomes very expensive to sink below this depth. If the subsoil is rocky, and presents great obstacles to sinking, a depth of three feet six inches may be considered sufficient.

The main drains ought always to have an additional six inches in depth below that of the small drains.

If a field has an irregular surface half mains are frequently used, so as with more convenience to run the water into the main drain, than if all the small drains were led into it direct.

The distance between each drain generally varies from twelve to thirty-six feet, according to the stiffness of the soil. In heavy clay the short interval of twelve feet is required, in gravelly soil thirty-six feet would be sufficient. The drains should follow the steepest slope.

The main drain is generally taken parallel to the fence along the lowest

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side of the field, at a distance of the breadth of a furrow from the fence, and empties by one outlet at the lowest part.

It is of great importance to have as few outlets as possible.

If stones are actually on the ground, it may be found cheaper to use then for filling the drains, but upon the whole, tiles are found the most economical. They are lighter than stones, and therefore require less carriage. The water also runs more freely in them. One to two-inch pipes are generally used, and it is always best to lay them with collars. It is unnecessary and wasteful to have the same sized tile at the upper part as at the lower part, of a drain. Mains vary in diameter, according to the amount of water. From four to six-inch pipes are generally sufficient.

The average expense, in Great Britain, of draining an acre, may be stated at about £5 10s. In this country it would cost considerably more. Until the expense is reduced, the system is therefore not likely to come into very general use, but for small pieces of ground, and particularly gardens, it ought even now to be applied. In garden ground, no doubt, the pipes are apt to get choked with roots, but the damage soon shows itself, and the pipe must simply be lifted and cleaned, and then relaid.

Although there is much excellent natural drainage in this country, yet many districts would be immediately improved by thorough drainage.

Without going far, I might mention Karori, Porirus, and parts of the Hutt.



Drains should follow the steepest slope.


They should, if possible, have a minimum depth of four feet perpendicular.


The main should have a depth of six inches more than the small drains.


The chief main should be cut along the lowest side of the field, parallel to the fence, and should empty by one outlet only.


The interval between the drains should vary from twelve to thirty-six feet, according to the stiffness, or openness of the soil and subsoil.


It is a waste of material to put the same size of pipe at the upper as at the lower part of a drain.


Pipe tiles are far more permanent, and in the long run cheaper, for drainage, than any other material. They ought to have collars. The run of water is more free in them than in any other kind of drain.

A little consideration will show what a difference it will make in the fertility of land, if the water, which now lies, during the winter months, either on the surface, or close below it, and in a stagnant state, is kept flowing at a depth of four feet below. In the one case the roots of plants are perished by the water, in the other they are nourished, and the rain water also, percolating freely, assists decomposition, and removes noxious matters.

Wet land in its natural state is unfit to receive manure, which is wasted if put upon it. When drained it is ready to take advantage of any application of fertilizing material.

In its natural state the ground is hard to work. It is sodden with water in winter, and forms hard clods in dry weather. When drained, it is easily worked at all seasons, and breaks up into fine mould.

The returns from drained land are proportionately great. I can speak from experience when I say that nothing pays better in Great Britain than judicious drainage of land. On the other hand, a large landed proprietor in the Midland Counties informed me that he had thrown away £24,000 upon drainage which would have to be entirely done over again. He had been persuaded that a two-foot drain would be ample, and found that the depth

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was quite insufficient. It was at first supposed that the water ought to find its way directly from the surface to the drain, hence the idea of a two-foot drain, but this view was found to be erroneous, and the true principle decided to be as follows:—land is saturated with water rising to a certain height; when the water reaches that height, it will run off if opportunity offers. If no outlet appears, it will rise above the surface, and form a lake or a swamp. If the water table be lowered by the construction of drains, an outlet is offered at a lower level for the subsoil water, or water of capillary attraction, which forms the chief supply of water in the drains. This water being kept flowing, makes room for rain water to get down to the subsoil, instead of lying stagnant on the surface or on the upper soil. No doubt, at times, rain water may pass direct into a drain, but it is not in the usual course. It is found, therefore, that by keeping the subsoil water running at a depth of, say, four feet, that the heaviest rain cannot leave water resting for any time on the surface, but that it must find its way down to the subsoil, thus percolating through, and improving the soil, instead of running violently over the surface, and washing away the finer parts of the ground.

Art. LI. —On the Surface Fall of Water, as a guide for Under Drainage.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, July 5, 1869.]

The practical part of drainage is an agricultural subject, but the principles from which rules for practice are deduced, belong to general science. In this colony it is of importance that drainage of land be conducted on proper principles. To examine the properties of one of these is the object of this paper.

Water on the surface, descending from a higher to a lower level, follows the general law of bodies in motion, moving in the line of least resistance. At any point in the descent, this line will be found to be at right angles to the level or contour-line of the surface at that point. Water drains off an even surface in straight lines perpendicular to the contours, or in curves having chords in the same direction. So if the courses of water over any land be carefully marked, and lines be drawn at right angles to these courses, the line so drawn will form parts of the contours of the surface. *

A drain laid in the line of these courses will possess the following properties:—

Water will enter it on both sides with an equal pressure, the depths from the surface being equal. It will drain equally an equal distance from each side, for if any two equidistant points be supposed at the depth of the drain, on what may be termed the drainage surface, on opposite sides, and opposite to the line of drain, these points and the drain will be on the same level.

The drain will not leak, water will not enter on one side and escape through the joints on the other side, for having sunk through the soil to the level of the drain, it must descend through the pipe, that being in the line of least resistance.

The forces which chiefly act on water descending from the surface of land to the drainage level are:—impulse from water in motion, and gravitation. The capillary and molecular attractions, and the absorbent powers of the soil, vary so much, that they need not be calculated for general rules. These two principal forces will operate in the line of descent, at right angles to the contour.

The deduction from this principle is, that the nearer a line of drainage approaches the perpendicular to the contour, the more efficient that drainage will be.

[Footnote] * A diagram to illustrate this has been omitted. —ED.

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Art. LII.—On Sewage Irrigation, and its results, with a Sketch of the Main Drainage Systems of London and Paris.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, August 4, 1869.]

There are few subjects more interesting to the inhabitants of towns generally, than questions relating to sanitary arrangements, and properly organized systems of main drainage.

Although it might be thought that in every large town, such a system had been in partial operation since the times of the Cloaca Maxima, yet it is a curious fact that, until very recently, no large city, either in England or on the Continent, had paid any real attention to this important subject.

The author therefore proposes to state, briefly, what steps have been taken in London and Paris to secure effectual drainage, and to compare the working of two distinct systems varying in some important particulars.

Up to the year 1815 it was illegal to discharge any sewerage into the drains of the city of London. After that date it became impossible to prevent the influx of sewage matter, and in 1847 the law was reversed, and drainage into sewers rendered compulsory.

Commissioners were appointed to carry out the various works necessitated by such a change, and held office until the year 1856, when the present Board of Works was constituted.

The Board, after full investigation, resolved to adopt the scheme elaborated by their own engineer, Mr. Bazalgette, under whose most able administration the works were commenced in the year 1859, and will probably be completed in the course of a year or so, contemporaneously with the Thames embankment.

In Paris the cholera attack of 1832 first opened the eyes of the inhabitants to the sanitary condition of the city, and such vigorous measures were adopted, that in four years their sewerage system was doubted, and within the next twenty-two years quadrupled. Paris is built in blocks, each block having its own cesspool, which is emptied at stated times, the contents deodorized and part sold. All waste water from the houses, and rainfall, passes into the sewers, which are of sufficient diameter to allow of men working freely in their interior, and of their serving as subways for the conveyance of gas and waterpipes, and lines of telegraph. They are cleaned by means of trucks running on iron rails, and in the case of the main sewers, by a species of boat propelled by the pressure of the water. The annual cost of cleansing amounts to about £30,000, whilst it is understood that little or nothing is realized by the sale of deodorized soil.

Many difficulties arose in dealing with the sewage of London, as is generally the case in every town which has been built before any definite idea has been formed as to the ultimate disposal of its sewage; one of the main difficulties being, that the discharge was affected by the tide, a considerable area being below the level of high-water.

The six questions which presented themselves were:—


At what point, and at what state of the tide, could sewage be discharged into the river, so that it should not return within the more densely inhabited portions of the metropolis?


The minimum fall of the intercepting sewers?


The quantity of sewage to be intercepted, whether it passed off uniformly day and night, or in what manner?


Was rainfall to be included, and what was its probable amount?


Having regard to all these points, how were the sizes of the sewers to be determined?

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What description of pumps were best suited for lifting sewage?

After due consideration and many interesting experiments, the conclusion was arrived at, that a district of average density of population contained 30,000 people per square mile, and the sewage was proved to be nearly equal in amount to the water supply. The calculation was, that the average daily amount to be provided for would be five cubic feet per head per day. The total areas drained on the north side of the Thames amounted to about forty square miles, on the south side to about the same, with a quantity of sewage amounting to 40,000,000 cubic feet per day on the north, and 23,000,000 cubic feet per day on the south side, respectively.

In 1865 a Private Bill was brought before a select committee of ten members of the House of Commons, having as its object the utilization of the sewage on the north side of the Thames. The Board of Works had previously advertised for tenders and proposals for effecting that purpose, with a view of making the sewage repay the cost of maintaining the drains,—the cost of construction, which will amount to about £4,100,000, being provided for by a rate upon an estimated rateable value of £14,500,000. The scheme which the author is now describing was the one approved by them, and to the advocates of which they made a grant of the total sewage on the northern side, for a period of fifty years, upon certain terms. After a protracted struggle the Bill was passed, in spite of the determined opposition of the Council of the City of London, who insisted that the terms were not sufficiently favourable to the ratepayers, the maximum estimated price per ton, twopence, being, in the opinion of their advisers, far beneath the true value of the sewage.

The main works, which were estimated to cost about £3,000,000, were then commenced, and for the purpose of testing the value to the farmer, of London sewage, taken just as it came down the outfall sewer, the directors determined upon renting a small farm of about two hundred acres, in the vicinity of Barking, to which the sewage was forced by steam-power, at the rate of 175 cubic feet, or five tons, per minute. A tank, holding thirty tons, was erected, into which the sewage was delivered from the main, so that at any period in the day the quantity delivered could be accurately gauged by the manager. His record, compared with the indicator attached to the engine, gave correct and reliable data upon which the reports submitted to the public were founded.

Up to this time so little was known of the capabilities of sewage as a manure, and the quantities in, and intervals at which is should be supplied, that the directors considered they could not do better than conduct their experiments on a thoroughly practical system, and one which would bear the inspection of both farmers and business men in general; more particularly as there exists in England a strong feeling on the subject of the fouling of streams and rivers, as is shown by the recent action of the Legislature, which is doing its utmost to prevent public bodies and private individuals from turning natural watercourses into noisome and unhealthy cesspools. Oxford and Reading are at the present time liable to penalties of £50 per day, under recent Acts for the purification of the Thames, and the Royal Commission on Rivers, now sitting, will doubtless place many towns under the necessity of instantly carrying out their drainage works, with a view to the utilization and deodorization of their sewage. It thus becomes a serious question whether it will be possible so to utilize these products as to render the residuum harmless, and at the same time to make the necessary works pay a fair interest on the cost of construction.

Sewage irrigation has been carried on at Edinburgh, Croydon, Carlisle, Rugby, Watford, Worthing, the Crystal Palace, and in other places.

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The experiments made at Rugby were conducted by Mr. Lawes, a manufacturer of artificial manures, and a well-known agriculturalist, who was also at the time, a member of a royal commission appointed to make experiments and report their results. They were therefore carefully conducted, and the following were the values assigned:—

£15 per acre being the value of the milk derived from one acre of ordinary meadow grass, £25, £33, and £36, were the values derived from the same grass when watered with 3000, 6000, and 9000 tons of sewage per acre. From the use therefore of 1000 tons of sewage, we get a result varying from £3 6s. 8d. to £2 6s. 8d. over and above the amount that would have been produced by the natural grass, assuming milk to be worth 1d. per pint. This gives the sewage an average value of from 8d. to 55d. per ton. The sewage which had been used was found by analysis to contain from 15 to 25 per cent. of its manurial properties, owing to the nature of the soil and the slope of the ground, and it might have been advantageously used a second time.

In Edinburgh the results have been more satisfactory with regard to the money value per acre. There the meadows are annually let or sold, the purchasers generally cutting the grass for themselves, at prices varying from £25 to £40 per acre; and at Leith, where the sewage is used a second time, at £30 per acre.

These results are, however, obtained by the use of very large quantities of sewage, as much as 20,000 tons per acre being applied, although its actual manurial value is not equivalent to more than half that of ordinary sewage, as the Foul Burn, by which it is brought down, drains a large area of open country.

At Croydon, after paying rent at the rate of £4 per acre, the gross value of the sewage is returned at from ¾d. to 1d., for Italian rye-grass, per ton, used.

The results obtained by Lord Essex at Watford, by Sir J. Paxton at the Crystal Palace, and by Mr. Mechi, and others, do not admit of accurate comparison, an exaggerated value having been put upon sewage as a manure, and consequently the outlay upon pipes, pumps, and apparatus, has usually been upon far too large a scale.

In the case of the farm now about to be described, it should be borne in mind that the object for which the farm was worked, was not so much to pay a dividend, as to prove definitely the actual value per ton of sewage delivered on a farm, and for what sum per acre a certain quantity of sewage could be economically made available.

So far, the three principal methods of irrigation have been the catch-water, the ridge and furrow, and the hose and jet. These names almost explain themselves; but that there may be no mistake, I may explain, that the catch-water is a system of contour ditches communicating with main feeders, each ditch acting as a drain to the plot of land lying above, and a feeder to that below.

The ridge and furrow is commonly used when the natural fall of the land is too slight for the catch-water system, and can frequently be made use of in conjunction with, and prior to it. It consists of a series of artificial undulations about 60 yards wide, having a fall of 1 in 140, or thereabouts.

The hose and jet is a system of underground pipes, under pressure, having valves at intervals, and junctions to which the hose is affixed, the hose itself travelling on a light carriage to prevent injury to the crop. There is also another system occasionally made use of, viz., wooden or iron troughs, but it is usually auxiliary to the other methods of distribution. In the present example the ridge and furrow, and the catch-water, were the systems employed. The area brought under their operation amounted to about seventy acres, and

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the crops experimented upon were wheat, oats, mangold wurtzel, sugar beet, cabbage, onions, lucerne, kohl-rabi, potatoes, flax, leeks, celery, asparagus, strawberries, etc., but principally Italian rye-grass, a patch of Bromus Schroederi, or prairie grass, and ordinary old pasture. Upon its arrival at the farm the sewage was allowed to flow from the measuring tank into another considerably larger, whose top was truly level, thus allowing the liquid of the sewage to flow over its lips, and retaining a greater part of the sediment. This was done to facilitate the labour of cleaning the carriers, but the porous nature of the ground, and the large quantity of sewage absorbed by the carries, rendered it advisable to allow the sewage to flow, at first, direct into the carriers, which were gradually puddled by the deposit. The farm was pipe-drained, which was also an unnecessary expense with land of so light a character, and with a deep gravel subsoil. So far as experiments have gone, subsoil drainage has been found of little value in sewage irrigation, as in the extreme case of Croydon, where the soil is a stiff clay, the subsoil drains were taken up by the proprietor, who said the grass was better where they had not been laid down. This fact is opposed to the general opinion of the agricultural world, but there is little doubt that a gravel subsoil will carry away a very great additional increase to the rainfall of a tolerably dry country.

The fifty-five and a half acres of Italian rye-grass supported from 200 to 300 milch cows, which were fed upon 2500 tons of grass, 1 cwt. to 1 ½ cwt. each per day, the produce of 250,000 tons of sewage.

This is taking the whole, and striking an average, but taking that acreage, which at the same time was producing its full and proper yield of grass, it was found that 61 tons per acre was the actual crop carried. Therefore, supposing that all the fifty-five and a half acres had been of equal standing, and sown at the same time, the total yield would have been 3250 tons of grass, or about 1 ton of grass for every 100 tons of sewage, and supposing 750 tons are deducted as the natural yield of the same land under ordinary circumstances. Cow feeders, and others, give 15s. to 20s. for this grass cut and bound, so that the produce of each acre would be from £40 to £60. The laying out and drainage costs from £5 to £15 per acre, thus, inclusive of very heavy charges for labour and machinery, there remains a large margin for profit.

The mangold was sown in May, and taken up in October, having been sewaged at the rate of 1100 tons per acre. The crop averaged fifty tons per acre, doubling the yield on another part of the farm where the land was equally good, and had received twenty tons cow-house dung and five hundred weight of mixed guano, superphosphate, and common salt, per acre. All the other crops mentioned turned out very well, many carrying off prizes at the Royal Agricul. Inst. Christmas Show at Islington. The sugar beet had a higher saccharine value than any produced in England; the strawberries took the second prize at the Royal Hort. Society Show in June, 1867: the three or four acres thus planted were a wonderful sight, the berries being of enormous size and in the utmost profusion. In wheat, a dressing of 500 tons per acre produced a crop of forty-three bushels per acre, with four and a half loads of straw, whilst contiguous land under ordinary conditions bore twenty-nine bushels with three loads of straw. The cabbages also did well, being planted in August and sold in October, at £10 per acre, on the ground.

The author is indebted to Mr. J. C. Morton, the eminent agriculturalist, who had the general supervision of the farm, for some of the above figures.

Sewage irrigation carried on under the circumstances above mentioned was therefore a decided success, but it would be a mistake to suppose that all these results were due exclusively to the manurial properties contained in the sewage. It has been proved in many parts of the world, that pure water used

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at the proper times, and under proper conditions of soil and climate, has a wonderfully beneficial effect upon vegetation, so that the above results must be modified, if a true value of sewage as a manure is to be deduced.

Before closing the subject, there are still some observations to be made upon the theoretical value of sewage, and upon the effects of its use as a manure, upon the health of those living in contiguity to sewaged land.

By an average of the analyses of several of the most distinguished chemists it has been found that 200 oz. of ammonia are voided annually by an individual, ⅞ths of which exists in the fluid matter of sewage, whilst the average amount found in one gallon of sewage varies from 9·7 to 3·91 grains, according to the water supply. This represents a composition in which 1000 tons of sewage is equivalent in ammonia to from 16ths to 6ths cwts. of guano. Taking guano at 13s. a cwt., the value of sewage varies from 2·44d. to 1d. per ton. At Barking, from one hundred tons of sewage were derived one ton of grass, of a value of from 15s. to 20s., which would give the practical value of 1·8d. to 2·4d. per ton, thus approximating, in a striking manner, to the theoretical values.

As regards the sanitary points in such a system, it might be reasonably expected that the continued pouring out of such vast quantities of rapidly fermenting manurial matter, the earth would by degrees become saturated, and refuse longer to carry out the powers of deodorization with which nature has endowed her; such, however, is the case in very rare instances, as it is usually hard to detect any effluvium whatever, and that which exists has nothing particularly disagreeable in its character, being merely like a concentrated essence of soap-suds. This may be partly owing to the extreme dilution, and the absence of any solid matters in the sewage, by the time it arrives at the outfalls, and the rapidity with which it finds itself on the soil before fermentation has set in, and whilst it is in the most fitting state for absorption by the growing crops. In fact, in the sewers and reservoirs themselves, after the first day or two, little inconvenience is experienced whilst the superintendent of the lower part of the sewers frequently has to take a walk of some miles up and down the sewers, or a stroll through the reservoirs, before breakfast, without being a bit the worse for it. Upon the tops of both the Barking and Crossness reservoirs are several labourers' cottages, where no illness has resulted; and at the time of the last cholera attack in London, some hundreds of men were drafted down into the author's works from the Isle of Dogs' sewer, where several had died, and a panic had arisen. There was not, however, a single fresh case after their removal, though there were many of them daily in probable contact with millions of so-called choleraic germs. It may, therefore, be fairly assumed that no evil effects can result from the use of sewage as a manure, always supposing that it is sufficiently diluted, sufficiently fresh, and sufficiently disintegrated by its passage through the sewers. Also that Italian rye grass is the crop to which it can be most economically applied in large quantities; the more particularly, as the land upon which it is grown must be re-broken up every three years, so as to ensure a full crop.

This periodical stirring would also have the effect of preventing the soil becoming too sodden, or giving rise to the generation of noxious gases.

This paper has been written with a view to lay before the meeting a slight sketch of the value of a system of Main Drainage, which shall ensure a small return to ratepayers upon any sums expended by them in behalf of the health of the general public, as well as to show the value of sewage irrigation generally, where the produce can command a ready market.