The estimated number of visitors to the Museum during the year is 36,180, of whom a large proportion visited the institution on Sunday afternoons.
Natural History Collections.
The whole of the collections of stuffed skins have been examined and thoroughly cleaned by the Taxidermist. No extensive additions have been made to this section, chiefly because it has now become impossible to display, or even to store, such collections properly, owing to the crowded state of the Museum.
Pisces.—Under this head it may be mentioned (1) that specimens of Retropinna richardsoni and Agonostoma forsteri, caught with a rod four miles up the Hutt River, were presented by the Hon. P. A. Buckley, M.L.C.;
(2) a specimen of Agriopus leucocephalus, presented by Mr. H. Hawke, of Picton; (3) a jar of fish, received from Mr. T. S. Sandeyer, of Tiritiri, Auckland; (4) a young specimen of the torpedo (Torpedo fairchildi) and the skipper (Schombressox forsteri), presented by Mr. C. H. Robson, of Napier.
Aves.—A fine specimen of the egg of the huia (Heteralocha acutirostris), presented by Mr. G. M. Hewson, and a specimen of the South Island thrush (Turnagra crassirostris), presented by Mr. Geddall, of the Government steamer “Stella,” are the most noteworthy under this head. Collections of New Zealand birds have been forwarded to Mr. H. Wharton, England, and to the Australian Museum, Sydney, as exchanges.
Reptilia.—Several species, new to New Zealand, have been determined by the Museum Assistant, and a description of them will appear in Vol. XVI. of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. Collections of New Zealand lizards have been sent to Professor Pohlton, of Oxford, and Mr. H. Wharton, England.
Invertebrata.—Twenty-two species of Echinodermata and nine of Crustacea, presented by Professor von Haast, of Christchurch, have been added to the type collections. A cuttlefish (Tremoctopus robsoni), which adds a new genus and species to the New Zealand list, has been presented by Mr. C. H. Robson. The Hectocotylus was found in the pouch of the female, which adds to the value of the specimen. A collection of Mollusca, New Zealand and foreign, has been presented to Mrs. Whitaker, of Auckland, in exchange for some northern species. The New Zealand land shells belonging to the Museum have been rearranged and named by Professor Hutton, who, at the same time, has rendered the collection more complete by the addition of some of his new species.
The most important addition to this section is a Malocolo skull, presented by Mr. F. J. Barnett. The skull is remarkable, showing as it does that there is a tribe in Fiji which, like the Caw-we-litcks Indians, flatten the top of the head in childhood.
Extensive additions have been received under this head, among which may be mentioned forty-four samples of artistic earthenware, made and presented by Messrs. Austin and Kirk, of Christchurch; a black vase, glazed with New Zealand manganese, presented by Mr. Hart, of the Press, Christ-church; Japanese ware, presented by Captain Ito, of H.J.M.S. “Riujio;” iron, made from Onehunga ironsand, presented by Messrs. Chambers and Co.; olive oil, made from olives grown at Kawau, presented by Sir George Grey, K.C.B.; portrait of Sir David Monro, deposited by Mr. C. Monro; and Chinese ware, deposited by Mr. T. W. Kirk.
The collection illustrating industrial art in the colony has received further additions by a valuable donation of terra-cotta ware, made by Messrs. Boyd, of Auckland, the detailed list of which will appear in next year's report.
Amongst the articles sent from the Museum, either as presentations or exchanges, may be mentioned a collection of New Zealand auriferous quartz to the Perth Museum; a large collection of rocks, fossils, and casts to the Oamaru Museum; New Zealand tanning barks to Messrs. Lightband, Allen, and Co., Christchurch, and to Messrs. Krull and Co., Wellington.