Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 14, 1881
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Dr. Buller said he was glad his paper had evoked so much interesting discussion. In vindication of the name by which this bird was now distinguished (Notornis mantelli), he wished to explain that, more than a year before the discovery of the bird itself on Resolution Island, Professor Owen had drawn the generic characters of a large brevi-pennate rail, then supposed to be extinct, from the fossil remains collected by Mr. Mantell, and had named it Notornis, dedicating the species to the discoverer of the bones. It was somewhat curious that it should have fallen to the lot of the same scientific explorer to discover the living bird itself, and although Mr. Mantell now modestly disclaimed any merit, it seemed to have been peculiarly fitting and right that, in commemoration of his services, his name should be permanently associated with the species.


“Notes upon the Great Flood of February, 1868,” by W. T. L. Travers, F.L.S. (Transactions, p. 76.)

On the motion of Dr. Buller, seconded by Mr. Chapman, the debate upon this paper was adjourned until next meeting.


Dr. Buller called the attention of the meeting to the following specimens which he had presented to the Colonial Museum :—


Himantopus albicollis, Buller.—Immature state. Specimen obtained by Mr. C. H. Robson in the vicinity of Cape Campbell.


Anas superciliosa.—Partial albino from Marlborough. In this specimen the primaries and secondaries in both wings are almost entirely white in their apical portions; a broad band of white meets the upper margin of the speculum; the wing-coverts are irregularly marked with white, and some of the scapulars are entirely white.


Hybrids between wild and domestic duck, ♂ and ♀.—These specimens were received from Mr. Taylor of Petane, Hawke's Bay, who bred them on his premises, and vouches for their authenticity. The wild parent would appear, from the pronounced alar bar in the male, and the speckled markings in the female, to have been Anas gibberifrons, the white-winged duck.


Synoïcus australis, Gould.—Three specimens of the swamp quail, introduced from Australia, and obtained by the Hon. Dr. Pollen on the East Coast. Two of these are in the normal plumage of the ♂ and ♀; the other is a remarkable instance of melanism. The entire plumage is a brownish slate-colour, paler on the under parts; on the crown and nape there are obsolete shaft-lines, and the whole of the upper surface is obscurely varied and mottled with blackish-brown, washed with chestnut-brown on the wings. It is slightly smaller than the other specimens, and proved on dissection to be a male.


The President called attention to a specimen of Tin Ore found near Reefton, and stated that this was the first authentic discovery of this mineral in New Zealand.