During the early part of this year I obtained from Mr. W. M. Innes, of Port Chalmers, some very fine specimens of a Squilla, and, in endeavouring to identify them with the forms already described from New Zealand, I have been led to make the following notes, which are perhaps worthy of publication:—
In Miers's “Catalogue of the Stalk- and Sessile-eyed Crustacea of New Zealand,” published in 1876, two species of Squillidæ are given, both on the authority of Heller. These are Squilla nepa, Latr., and Gonodactylus trispinosus, White. It is doubtful, however, whether either of these really belongs to New Zealand. In a paper on the Stalk-eyed Crustacea of New Zealand, in the New Zealand journal of Science, vol. i, p. 263, Professor Hutton gives Squilla nepa in a list of species which he considers as “very doubtful,” but which he was not yet prepared to dismiss from the New Zealand Catalogue. Gonodactylus spinosus, he says, may possibly belong to the colony, but was not represented, so far as he knew, in any collection in the colony.
So far as I know, neither of these species is yet represented in any New Zealand collection, but there I fear the matter must be allowed to rest for the present, as it is desirable to hesitate long before removing any species from the list.
Squilla nepa is, according to Miers, * widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific region, and has also been recorded from Sydney and from Chili. Gonodactylus trispinosus is known from Western Australia, Fiji, &c.
Since the publication of Miers's New Zealand Catalogue, the additions to our knowledge of the New Zealand Squillidæ have been as follows: In 1878 Mr. T. W. Kirk described as a new species Squilla indefensa, from Chatham Islands and Kapiti, and also recorded the occurrence of Squilla armata, M.-Edw., in Wellington Harbour. In the same year Professor Hutton described as a new species Squilla lævis, from the Auckland Islands. In 1880 Mr. E. J. Miers identified Squilla indefensa, Kirk, with Coronis spinosa, Wood-Mason, under the name Lysiosquilla spinosa; but at the time of writing his paper “On the Squillidæ” had evidently not seen Professor Hutton's description of Squilla lævis. In 1881 Mr. G. M. Thomson described as a new species Squilla tridentata, from Stewart Island. Brooks's “Report on the ‘Challenger’ Stomatopoda,” published in 1886, added greatly to our general knowledge of the group, and especially of the larval forms, and in this respect largely completed the working-out of the larval history that had been commenced by Claus in his “Die Metamorphose der Squilliden,” which appeared in 1871. The number of adult forms in the “Challenger” collections was, however, small, and none of them were from New Zealand. It is to be noted, however, that Brooks places Gonodactylus trispinosus, White, in a new genus, Protosquilla, formed to include some new species and some previously put down toGonodactylus.
I am not acquainted with any other papers bearing on the New Zealand Squillidæ.
During this year I received two very fine specimens of a Squilla from Mr. W. M. Innes, of Port Chalmers, and, in working these out and comparing them with the descriptions of the different species described from New Zealand, I became convinced that Squilla indefensa, Kirk, S. lævis, Hutton, and S. tridentata, Thomson, represent but one species, and that my specimens also belong to this species; and it is chiefly with the object of establishing this fact that I am writing the present paper, as in any consideration bearing on the New Zealand fauna the apparent existence of three species of Squilla (instead of one, as is really the case) might easily lead to wrong conclusions.
Our list of New Zealand Squillidæ will therefore be as follows:—
[Footnote] * “On the Squillidæ,” Ann. and Mag. N.H., ser. 5, vol. v., p.1.