Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 26, 1893
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Sir James Hector exhibited a snake found at the wharf here in some bananas from Fiji. There were only two kinds in that country, and both were harmless. It is exceptional to find venomous snakes in the Pacific Islands. He also exhibited a water snake found in the North of New Zealand. The introduction of snakes should be guarded against, as it would be awkward if they came from New Guinea or Queensland, where they are poisonous.

Mr. Kirk said that snakes no doubt did migrate to New Zealand, but they died out. They often reached even England in fruit. There is also a sea snake that visits us from Torres Straits.

General Schaw said it was interesting to know that snakes could make such long journeys through the sea.

Mr. C. Tanner would like to know if other dangerous visitors, such as centipedes, are likely to arrive in the same way.

Sir J. Hector explained that they could only come from Queensland or New Guinea, and he had not heard of any arriving. Live plants introduced her should be carefully searched for such things. In connection with this he might mention that a form of iris (Homaria) had been introduced to Victoria from the Islands that is very injurious to cattle and sheep.