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just put forth its shorter summer pelage. It does not appear to be in the least degree distressed by the temperature of Lower Bengal, but is, in general, merely kept away from direct sunshine during the heat of the day: and (as always with this genus) it is perfectly fearless and tame, but without distinguishing individuals. It makes a loud chattering cachinnation not unfrequently. At first, when turned loose, this Marmot used generally to collect as much grass as he could carry, and take it to the place where he was kept; but I have not observed him to do this of late, though he probably again will by and bye.
I will now consider the range of distribution of our Indian true Sciuri, and those inhabiting the eastern side of the Bay of Bengal, as far southward as the Straits of Malacca.
As with the Flying Squirrels, the group of true Sciuri is not much developed in India proper. Thus, in the peninsula and Ceylon, only five species are known, all pertaining to subgroups peculiar to this part of the world,viz. that of the gigantic Squirrels (the races or species of which are brought together by some Zoologists as varieties only of Sc. maximus, Schreber), and that of the diminutive so called Palm Squirrels.* Of the latter, Sc. palmarum would seem to be diffused generally over the plains, where it is the only species met with; as in the Gangetic delta, beyond which it does not pass eastward (that I have been able to learn), nor into Assam, while to the north it ranges to the foot of the hill country, and in a N. W. direction till checked by the great deserts.† Southward, it is said to inhabit Ceylon, and to abound on the table-land of the Deccan while in more undulating ground it is found together with the next species. Sc. tristriatus takes the place of Sc. palmarum in more hilly districts, to a moderate elevation; abounding along the ranges of ghâts on either coast of the peninsula, also in Ceylon, and extending northward to the borders of the Gangetic delta, and thence westward into central India: it probably also occurs on the Rajmahl and Monghyr hills in Bengal, if not also in the sub-Himalayan sal forest; but further observations are required to trace satisfactorily its geographic range, as it has been very generally confounded with Sc. palmarum. The little Sc. trilineatus is exclusively a hill species, confined to a more elevated range of country; having been hitherto observed only in the Nilgherries but a representative of it (if not the identical species) might be looked for in Ceylon, if not also in the Mahabuleishwar. Of the two great Squirrels, Sc. purpureus seems to be generally diffused, or nearly so, throughout the hill jungles of the peninsula; except perhaps in the extreme south and in Ceylon, where Sc. macrourus inhabits and probably replaces it. The Sc. dschinschicus, Gm. (v. ginginianus, Shaw), founded on l'Ecureil de Gingi of Sonnerat, and probably the same with Sc. albovittatus, Desmarest,- -a species apparently allied to Sc. plantani of Sumatra and Java,—is greatly in need of confirmation as an inhabitant of India.
Passing now to the Himalaya, I have no information respecting the species (if any) inhabiting the N. W., or Alpine Punjab, or even to the westward of Nepal; but to the S. E. (as in eastern Nepal, Sikim, Bootan), there is the large black Squirrel, Sc. bicolor apud nos, which spreads thence to the hill ranges of Assam, and those of Munneepore, Sylhet, Arracan, Tenasserim,
I cannot say that I have absolutely never seen Sc. palmarum upon a palm; but it assuredly does not resort much to the Palmacea. These diminutive striped Squirrels come very much on the ground, as their affinities with the Ground Squirrels (Tamias) would intimate; and are about equally terrestrial and arboreal: they are continually seen, with feathery tail upraised, running about and crossing one's path on the ground; but immediately retreat to a tree upon alarm.
+ Vide J. A. S. XV, 168.
&c., at least as far as the Straits of Malacca: also, in Nepal, the allied Sc. lokriah and Sc. lokroides, of the size of Sc. vulgaris; which a little further east (as in Sikim) would be represented, according to Mr. Gray, respectively by Sc. subflaviventris and Sc. assamensis of McClelland-though the latter certainly accord with the descriptions of Sc. lokriah and Sc. lokroides, and I cannot but very strongly suspect them to be the same. Both these Sikim species continue their range to the Assamese mountains, and with them a diminutive striped Squirrel- Sc. McClellandii, which probably inhabits a greater elevation.*
In Bootan, besides the last four, there should be, according to Mr. Gray, Sc. erythræus (var., with "top of the head bright rufous"), Sc. caniceps,† and Sc. atrodorsalis; but it is not improbable that the localities of the two latter are given erroneously, the last seeming to be my Tenasserim species (No. 12), referred to the same with a mark of doubt.
Upon the hill ranges of Assam, the same species occur as in Bootan-at least the four that range thence from Sikim: while Sc. rufiventer (? with black tail) abounds to the northward, and in the hills surrounding the valley of Munneepore; the very doubtfully distinct Sc. erythræus (with rufous tail) representing it southward, and about Cherra Poonjee (north of Sylhet).
In Sylhet, Tipperah, and Arracan, Sc. lokroides (? v. assamensis) continues very abundant; and probably also Sc. lokriah (? v. subflaviventris) at a greater elevation, as certainly in Arracan: and in the last named province the entirely red Sc. Keraudrenii abundantly replaces Sc. erythraus of Lower Assam and Cherra Poonjee, and has the same claim with Sc. rufiventer (?) to be considered a mere variety of Sc. erythraus. In Pegu, there is again the Sc. pygerythrus, Is. Geoff., additional to Keraudrenii (though probably not in the same localities), which also would seem to exhibit but another variation of the same specific (?) type. Sc. bicolor, Sc. Keraudrenii, Sc. lokriah (?), and Sc. lokroides (?), are the only true Squirrels which I know to inhabit Arracan.
Proceeding further south, in the Tenasserim provinces we only recognise the large Sc. bicolor, among the preceding species: and there is a diminutive striped Squirrel, Sc. Barbei, which is nearly allied to Sc. McClellandii of Sikim, Bootan, and N. Assam. The only others I know are Sc. chrysonotus, which seems to be very common, and may be said to represent Sc. lokroides (?) of Arracan, &c.,-and Sc. atrodorsalis (?), of which I have seen only a single specimen: but I doubt not that others inhabit the provinces; and we might specially look for a representative of the erythræus type-perhaps Sc. pygerythrus, Is. Geoffroy.
In the Malayan peninsula, there appears again to be a complete change in the Sciurida, excepting only the great Sc. bicolor, which continues identically the same; though exhibiting here a remarkable pale variety, in addition to the ordinary dark race. The erythraus group, however, finds its representative in Sc. hippurus and another group with conspicuous stripes on the flanks, very characteristic of the Malay countries, is exemplified by Sc. vittatus and Sc. nigrovittatus. The beautiful Sc. Rafflesii is common southward and there is also the very curious Tupaia-like Sc. laticaudatus (vide XV, 251). Dr. Cantor adds Sc. tenuis, Horsfield, which I have seen only from Java; and it is very probable that Sc. insignis of Sumatra and Java inhabits the mountains: Sc. plantani should be likewise sought for. The habitat "India,” attached by Mr. Gray to this last named species, as *Sc. lokriah, Sc. lokroides, and Sc. McClellandii, are erroneously assigned by Prof. Schinz to Bengal. Pale grey, grizzled back yellowish; beneath, paler grey: tail long, grey, blackvaried, ringed; hair with three broad black bands.' Ann. Mag. N. H. 1842, p. 263.
also to Sc. Rafflesii and Sc. rufoniger (Rafflesii, var.?), may be safely regarded as certainly erroneous.
The Society's present collection of Sciuride comprises 88 specimens, of 35 (provisionally assumed) species, for the most part-with very few exceptions-select and in excellent condition. Of these, 23 belong to the subgroup of Flying Squirrels, 3 (inclusive of the living Marmot) to that of Marmots, and the remainder to the very extensive genus Sciurus. In the Catalogue of the Mammalia in the Museum of the Asiatic Society," published in J. A. S. X, 660 et seq. (August, 1841), not a single specimen is enumerated; but there were 6 in the Museum when I took charge of it, in the following month, of which one only (Sciuropterus fimbriatus) now remains, the rest (Sciuropterus alboniger, Sciurus purpureus, Sc. vittatus, Sc. lokriah?, and Sc. McClellandii,) having since been replaced by better specimens.
Our present desiderata, among the Flying Squirrels, are those of Ceylon, Sciuropterus fuscocapillus of S. India, Sc. Horsfieldii, Sc. genibarbis, and Pteromys punctatus, of the Malayan peninsula, with the species generally of the Archipelago, and series of the large Pteromydes of the Himalaya-particularly of its N. W. ranges-that might aid in determining the specific types. Of the true Sciuri, a series of Sc. macrourus of Travancore and Ceylon, illustrative of the variation to which this race is subject; and the small striped species generally of S. India and Ceylon, including even the common Sc. palmarum. Should such a species as Sc. dschinschicus or albovittatus occur, (dull-greyish or fulvescent, with a white or yellowishwhite stripe on each side, and the size a little exceeding that of an English Squirrel,) specimens would be particularly acceptable; and fine specimens are desirable of all the small or middle-sized species inhabiting Arracan and the Tenasserim provinces; and the species generally of the Archipelago, with the curious Sc. laticaudatus of the Malayan peninsula, Indeed, of those we already have, more specimens of Sc. nigrovittatus of the last named locality, and of Sc. trilineatus of the Nilgherries. Also Sc. lokriah and Sc. lokroides from Nepal proper: any Himalayan species found to the westward of Nepal; and the species before referred to, as stated by Mr. Gray to inhabit Bootan. Of the Himalayan and Tibetan Marmots, good specimens are extremely acceptable: and of all the Flying Squirrels, without exception, good specimens are generally acceptable for transmission to the Hon'ble Company's Museum in London, and to various other scientific Institutions. Addendum to first Report.
In p. 864 ante, I took occasion to point out that my Rimator malacoptilus, p. 155 ante (February), had been redescribed by Mr. G. R. Gray from the same specimen as Caulodromus Gracei, in the An. Mag. N. H. for May of the present year: it now again appears, as a new genus and species, by the name Merva Jerdonii, Hodgson, in the Calcutta Journal of Natural History' for April, but published in the middle of August: the paper, however, bearing date of December 1846. But the latter is of no recognised importance; and my description of this bird had indeed been awaiting an opportunity for publication since 1845, when Mr. Grace was in Calcutta. I certainly did my utmost to prevent any doubles emplois with Mr. Grace's specimens; having sat up till late at night in labelling his whole collection, as that gentleman will remember and as he well knew that I had pointed out the Rimator as new, and with his permission, named and took a description of it for publication, Mr. Gray's synonyme might at least have been spared. Whether my published description of this curious little bird is sufficiently perspicuous and intelligible, must be left for others to judge: but it is greatly to be regretted that these synonymes should thus unnecessarily accumulate.
A question of priority of publication fairly arises, when a Journal falls into arrear, so that its No. for a particular month is not actually published for several months afterwards. Thus, in No. 29 of the Cal. Journ. N. H., dated April, but published in August, there are papers bearing the author's date of May! Which, therefore, in doubles emplois cases is to be considered the date of publication of a particular name? Surely not April, for an article written in May! The obviously correct mode is to have the actual date of publication printed on each No. of a periodical, as is now done on the cover of the Society's Journal: though as the latter is generally thrown away when the volumes are bound up, a more permanent place of record is desir
In Archibuteo criptogenys, Hodgson, published in the same No. of the Cal. Journ. N. H., I think I recognise my A. hemiptilopus, J. A. S. XV, p. 1. Butaquila strophiata, II., is, I very strongly suspect, the Hieraëtus pennatus (v. Spizaëtus milvoides of Jerdon), which is not rare in Lower Bengal during the cold season. With reference to the remarks on the other Indian Buzzards, it may further be mentioned that besides Buteo rufinus (v. canescens, v. longipes), which is common in Lower Bengal above the tideway of the rivers, Mr. Jerdon has described a B. rufiventer in the supplement to his catalogue of the birds of peninsular India, Madr. Journ. XIII, 165; and that my B. pygmæus (nec nanus), J. A. S. XIV, 177, has hitherto been observed only on the eastern side of the Bay of Bengal.
Felis Ogilbii, Hodgson, (ibid. p. 44,) would appear to be the same small Cat which Mr. Gray has named F. Charltoni (from a Darjeeling specimen), as noticed in note to p. 865 ante, and which I consider to be a mere variety of F. bengalensis (v. nipalensis, &c. &c.)—F. macrocelis (v. macroceloides), perfectly identical with the Sikim animal, inhabits the mountains of Arracan, as shown by a skin in the Society's Museum: and as several Malayan animals extend their range to Arracan, and as there is considerable diversity in the ground colouring and general appearance of two Sikim specimens of this Cat in the Society's collection, I doubt exceedingly whether any sufficient diversity has been observed between the Sikim, Tibet, and Årracan specimens of it, on the one hand, and the Sumatran specimens on the other, to warrant their being assumed to be distinct, however remarkable and unusual this geographic range.
Lastly, respecting the alleged five species of four-horned Antelope, also noticed in the same No. of the C. J. N. H., it appears to me that they may be safely again reduced to two, viz. Tetraceros quadricornis, v. chickera, and T. subquadricornis, Elliot. T. iodes, H., as described, applies exactly to the Bengal animal, in every particular; and among the fine series of specimens in the Society's Museum, there is one of a young male (that I had alive) with the fore and hind horns of the same relative size as in Hardwicke's figure (Lin. Tr. XIV, tab. 15), but the position of the horns in that figure is erroneous, as shown by reference to the attached description, and I was informed that the skeleton in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, was that of the identical individual figured by Gen. Hardwicke, the horns in this being placed as usual in the Bengal animal. When at Midnapore, last cold season, I saw together, in the possession of O. W. Malet, Esq., a pair of the common T. quadricornis, and a pair of what I considered to be Mr. Elliot's T. subquadricornis; both (as I understood) from the jungles at no great distance from that station, where I myself obtained a fawn of the former species: and this adds to the probability of both species being likewise found in the sub-Himalayan sal forest : indeed, they both also occur in Southern India, for Mr. Elliot some time ago sent me for recognition a skin of T. quadricornis procured in the Wynaad.
As for the affinities of these little Antelopes, they are nearly allied to the Tragelaphi, Ham. Smith, of Africa (or the Boschbok, Guib or Harnessed Antelope, and their congeners); and the former bear exactly the same relation to the Nilghai of India, which the latter do to the Koodoos (Strepsiceros) of Africa. The ringed markings of the feet occur throughout the whole series, more or less distinctly and the posterior horns of Tetraceros resemble those of Portax, or the Nilghai; and, as in the latter, frequently recline backward in captive-reared individuals, instead of taking the normal curve upward. The females of all are hornless: and I even doubt if there be any good generic character to distinguish the females of Tetraceros from those of Tragelaphus; though the latter are somewhat heavier and more Hog Deer like in form, especially the Boschbok of the Cape. Both groups are monagamous; and they closely resemble in habits, manners, and gait.
Aug. 10, 1847.
NOTE. In p. 779 ante, I referred the Fringilla petronia, Lin., to Mr. Hodgson's genus Gymnoris: but I find that the latter is synonymous with Petronia, (Ray) Bonap.; and the species is designated P. rupestris by the Prince of Canino. Gmelin, however, had previously designated it Fringilla stulta, as shown by Mr. H. E. Strickland; and the latter name will accordingly stand as the specific appellation. The group differs from the closely allied genus Passer in having a non-bulging, perfectly conical, bill, more or less thick; also in coloration, which in both sexes approaches that of the females of Passer, with constantly a yellow spot in front of the neck, weaker in the females and, I much suspect, in their exclusively arboreal habits; whereas all the true Sparrows resort (more or less) to buildings.-The species known to me are 1, P. stulta, (Gm.)-2, P. superciliaris, A. Hay, nobis, XIV, 553—and 3, P. flavicollis, (Franklin.) The second is nearly allied to the first, but with the more slender bill of the third.
With respect to Passer hispaniolensis and Sturnus unicolor, two species common to Afghanistan and N. Africa (p. 779 ante), it is remarkable that both likewise inhabit Sardinia. This island has long been known as a locality for the latter species; and Bonelli states that the former is the only Sparrow found in Sardinia. According to Capt. Widdrington, neither P. hispaniolensis nor P. cisalpinus inhabits Spain. The former was, I believe, named from a caged specimen obtained at Gibraltar.
To the synonymes of Pteromys albiventer, p. 865 ante, add Pt. inornatus, Is. Geoff., figured in Jacquemont's Atlas.-E. B.
Report of the Curator Museum of Economic Geology for the months of June and July, 1847.
Economic Geology.-We have to report for these months several useful additions to our Museum which are
12 large specimens of Marble from Mr. Weaver, and 10 smaller ones from Messrs. Currie and Co.
Also a specimen of marble from the new Christian Church at Alexandria. Dr. Dodd of the H. C. Mint has favoured us with 20 specimens, some of which are rare, others will fill up blanks in our Mineralogical Series, and some, though duplicates, are much finer specimens than we possess. We shall I trust be able on our side to add to Dr. Dodd's collections in exchange for some of these.
Our active contributor Captain Sherwill, of the Dinapore Survey, sent down to me some specimens for identification, which I examined and replied to him.