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9. 0. Gmelini, nobis. Described from very fine specimens of the male, female, and young; and identified with a species long ago rudely figured by the younger Gmelin, and the horn by Pallas ; and Ginelin's description of the habits quoted, with further original information. Head figured in Taylor's plate, No. 8.
10. 0. Vignei, nobis. Described from a coloured figure taken from life
, and from two pairs of horns, the distinctness of which from those of all the other species is most obvious : vide Taylor's plate, fig. 9. A skin of this animal was described by Pennant as the “Bearded Sheep,” but was confounded by him with 0. tragelaphus (vide X, 877); and there is a brief notice and very passible figure of the species, taken from an animal killed in the vicinity of Persepolis, in Lieutenant Alexander's Travels from India to England,' &c. (1827.) It again appears as the “Wild Sheep of the Hindu Koosh,” described by Capt. Hay, J. A. S. IX, 440 ; and as Ovis cycloceros, Hutton, Calcutta Journal of Natural History,' II, 514, and pl. XII, being again noticed by the latter gentleman in J. A. S. XV, 152. It may be observed that Capt. Hay remarks this species to differ from 0. tragelaphus “in having a lachrymary sinus ;” and Capt. Hutton also describes “ moderate-sized lachrymal sinus, which appears to secrete, or at all events contains, a thick gummy substance, of good consistency, and of a dull greyish colour. The Afghan and Belooché hunters," he adds, “ more especially the latter, make use of this gum, by spreading it over the
of their matchlocks, to prevent the damp from injuring the priming.” We may, therefore, rest satisfied of its existence in this species, which is nevertheless most closely allied to the next.*
In a catalogue of Mr. Hodgson's collection presented to the British Museum, prepared by Mr. J. E. Gray, who has obligingly presented me with a copy of it, just received, I find 0. Vignei
, Blyth, set down as a synonyme of 0. ammmoides, Hodgson, and 0. Hodgsonii
, nobis, also cited, either of which names has the advantage of priority over that of ammonoides, supposing the latter to refer to a species distinct from O. ammon : but Mr. Gray might as well identify 0. musimon or 0. tragelaphus with O. ammonoides, and reduce all the wild species of Ovis to one, as bring together two such widely different species as he has here done. He might just as well unite Cervus capreolus with C. elaphus or C. tarandus ! So, in his synonymes of Presbytis entellus, he not only errone
oneously refers Pr. schista. ceus, Hodgson, to this Bengal animal, but the much more different Pr. hypoleucos, nobis, peculiar to Malabar and Travancore, aud which Mr. Martin introduced as a variety of
11. 0. musimon, L. Described by me from life, and a further notice given in J. A. S. X, 878. “The Argalis and Moufflons (not to mention the Tragelaphi),
;">* writes Mr. IIodgson, seem to form two striking groups among the wild Sheep : our Nahoor is a complete Mouflon ; hence it occurs to me to ask, if the Corsican animal is, like the Himalayan, devoid of suborbital sinuses?” To this I can reply, that the Prince of Canino states that it is so devoid :t but however this may be, if Mr. Hodgson wishes to subdivide the group of wild Sheep, he is altogether wrong in approximating the Nahoor and Burrhel to the
Pr. Johnii! This, too, is done without so much as a note of interrogation ; while to the considerably more nearly allied Pr. anchises, Eliot, he does affix a mark of doubt-it being, however, with Pr. priamus of the Coromandel coast and Ceylon, distinct also.
With equal positiveness, in his ‘ Catalogue of the Species of Mammalia in the British Museum,' Mr. Gray identified Bos guurus and B. frontalis (not to cite other instances of like precipitancy)! But he has now Mr. Hodgson's specimens of skulls of these two Boves, and, as a matter of course, enumerates them as separate species. So, with adequate data to form an opinion upon, will he by and bye admit Ovis Vignei and the different Monkeys alluded to; for to imagine otherwise will then even appear preposterous !
It will be necessary for me to go critically over this catalogue of Mr. Hodgson's species, upon which I have more than a few remarks and corrections of nomenclature and of synonymes to offer ; but I shall confine myself here to one further remark, relative to the particularly cool manner in which Anthus striolatus, Blyth, is placed as a synonyme of A. rufescens : the fact being, that my description of A. striolatus is not even yet pub. lished, and the name could only have transpired through Mr. Jerdon's bare mention of it, in the Madras Journal No. XXXI, p. 136; unless, indeed, Mr. Jerdon has himself forwarded specimens of this rare Indian Pipit to Europe, in which case I do seriously object to provisional and unpublished names of my coining being thus introduced to the world as empty synonymes.
Mr. Gray has, in fact, placed not a few synonymes to my credit (or discredit) in this catalogue, of which I shall hasten to disavow the paternity !
* What does Mr. H. mean by the Tragelaphi ? Tragelaphus, Ham. Smith, stands for a genus of Antelopes, of which the Guib and Boschbok and Ruppell's Decula are the types. If he wants a subgeneric name for the African Wild Sheep, he is perfectly aware that I have termed it Ammotragus. How would he approve of his Pseudvis being thus contemptuously passed over ?
+ Vide Jardine's Naturalists' Library,' Art. Mouffon. I have some impression, nevertheless, of having observed small ones; which is rather confirmed by Mr. Ogilby's remark, in his ‘Mammalogy of the Himalaya,' (vide Royle's Botany, &c.) that “ 0. nahoor is intermediate in character between 0, musimon and 0. tragelaphus, which latter species it resembles in the form of the horns" (?), “and in the absence of the crumens, or tear-pits, which distinguish the rest of the genus.” Now a specimen of 0. musimon was set up in the museum of the Zoological Sociсty, at the time that its then Secretary, Mr. Ogilby, indicted the remark here quoted.
Moufflon of Corsica. These two Himalayan species, instead of being "complete Moufflons,” are (so far at least as ileir horns are concerned) most particularly unlike 0. musinon, and form a little group per se, unless 0. cylindricornis should prove to range with them : and the Moufflon is quite excluded from his definition of “round-horned" Sheep, for which group I presume the appellation Pseudois is proposed. Their being “furnished with a well developed tail," (really there is 110 such marked difference in this respect,) will not exclude the Californian Argali, the tail. of which is described as “cighteen inches long!" Yet the horns of this animal are most typically those of an Argali (vide Taylor's plate)! Mr. Hodgson suggests “the generic appellation Pseudois, lest,” he adds, “as has too often happened to me, some closet systematizer, who never was at the pains to examine nature for himself, should step in to name and classify,' (the work of a moment, as ordinarily done,) my discoveries.”* But if any discovery is claimed in the present instance, it remains to show in what it consists : for Mr. Ogilby long ago remarked the absence of suborbital sinuses in 0. nahoor ; and the group formed by 0. nahoor and 0. burrhel was distinctly indicated in my monograph (vide J. A. S., X, 867), being estimated there, as I still think, at its true value. Mr.
By the way, how is it that these complaints, so many times repeated, and bordering somewhat on the querulous, should be altogether peculiar among present cultivators of Zoology to Mr. Hodgson ? Does Mr. H. complain of my having chanced to anticipate him in the publication of Rhipidura hypouuntha and Muscicapula hyperythra ? Or in first discriminating in print the Ovis nuhvor from 0.ammon ?---Or, supposing that I knew of an animal of which I was well aware that Mr. H. possessed the female only, and that he was waiting to procure a male in order to satisfy himself whether or not it differed from a certain other species; supposing in such a case that I were to intercept the male which otherwise would have been transmitted to him, and immediately rush into print with a description of both sexes and a “mihi" attached, and in that description were even to refer to Mr. Hodgson’s unpublished opinion respecting the species, which opinion he had been cautious not to commit to print !--Mr. Hodgson might perhaps be justified in saying that I had been guilty of much discourtesy towards him, and have forfeited my claim for courtesy in return? Even such, mutatis mutandis, is the history of Antilope ( Procapra) picticuudata, Hodgson! Dr. Campbell kindly forwarded the female of this anin uh some time ago to the Society's Museum, and hoped soon to be able to procure and send it male ; but Mr. Hodgson happened to be at Darjeeling when Dr. Campbell succeeded in procuring two males and a female, and has assuredly taken due (or undue) advantaye of the accident of his local position! Who here steps in to name and classify" &c. &c. ?
IIodgson will find it necessary to become familiarly acquainted with many more Species of wild Sheep, than those found upon the Himalaya, if he thinks of subdividing the series otherwise than most crudely and unsatisfactorily; and when he has properly studied the whole genus, even as now known, he will find its subdivision considerably more difficult than may seem to him at present, and he will then be able to declaim with a better grace on the short-comings of others, who may have opportunities and local advantages which he has not, as he likewise enjoys some which they would assuredly not fail to turn to due account.
Should it prove that 0. musimon is really devoid of the facial cavities, the value of this character would fall to a mere specifical distinction ; for however the wild Sheep may be arranged into minor groups, the 0. Vignei (which has the sinuses) could scarcely be placed in a different subdivision from 0. musimon. And to the same group must be referred 0. Gmelini and 0. ophion, though together perhaps forming a subsection of it! Both in 0. Gmelini and O. Vignei, we find indications of affinity with the African 0. tragelaphus.
12. 0. ophion, nobis. Founded on the coloured figure and description, by M. M. Brandt and Ratzeburgh, of a specimen in the Berlin Museum.
13. 0. aries, L. The domestic Sheep. Several wild types, as I still strongly suspect : but none of those above enumerated; unless, to a partial extent, 0. Vignei, though even this very doubtful.
14? 0. (?) Ixalus probaton, Ogilby. Described from a hornless specimen, which is at least closely allied to Ovis.
15. 0. tragelaphus, Pallas. A well known species. Described from specimens, observed both alive and in museums.
The reader may now judge of the data upon which I founded my various new species of wild Ovis ; and equally of Mr. IIodgson's disparaging assertion of my “founding many of them upon an inspection of the horns solely.” Such assertions, if not promptly repelled, as I trust this has been, are calculated to damage the reputation of a working zoologist, who should endeavour to do the utmost that is fairly practicable with the means at his disposal ; but who should know better than to transgress the bounds of moderation in these matters, as by publishing such a name as Asinus equioides to the world, upon
the data on which that name is sought to be established, and then ulicrously complain of “immunerable vague and shadowy species” being “the plague of zoological science.”
Finally, respecting Antilope picticaudata, Ilodgson : having only the skin of a female to judge from, I consider myself perfectly justified in having provisionally regarded it as Antilope gutturosa of Pallas, although I did not choose to go the length of publishing that opinion, as Mr. Ilodyson has done for me. In the first place, both animals are from Chinese Tartary ; secondly, both differ from every other known Antelope, excepting the Prong horn of North America, in having a white cauilal disk, as in the Argali Sheep, various true elaphine Stags, &c. ; thirdly, the rest of the colouring of the Society's specimen corresponds with the described summer dress of A.gutturosa ; fourthly, their short tails are similiar ; fifthly, the females of both are hornless ; sixthly, as regards the size of 1. picticaudata, how was I to know that the female in the Society's museum was full grown, it having no skull to guide me; seventhly, A. gutturosa is described to have slight tufts of hair on the knees, scarcely sufficiently long to deserve the name of brushes; and though I could scarcely make these out distinctly in the Society's specimen, I thought they might perhaps be more developed in another ; and eighthly, the suborbital sions in gutturosa is described to be small, and I could merely distinguish a small bare place in lieu of the sinus on both sides of the face of the Society's specimen ; moreover, we know that this sinus becomes more dereloped at the rutting season, and at other times it may be so slight as to become obliterated in a dry skin. As for the swoln larynx, it is as much peculiar to the male sex, as are the horns and præputial gland; and even the larynx would, I doubt not, as in 1. cervicapra, be much more developed at the rutting season than at other times, and probably the præputial gland also. I should therefore have considered myself altogether disqualified from assuming the tone which I now feel myself entitled to hold, if I had added to the “ innumerable vague and shadowy species" which Mr. Hodgson so consistently denounces, by deseribing A. picticaudata as a species distinct from A. gutturosa, of which, indeed, I am still very far from being satisfied, as I think it yet requires to be examined in the recent state, and the males iluring the height of the rutting period.