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"The American species of this family referred to in the Regné Animal, only amount to thirty-three, but Dr. Richardson in his report on North American Zoology mentions nearly as many more, imperfectly indicated by Rafinesque Smaltz, and other writers as belonging to the rivers and lakes of the new world ;* still however the preponderance of species in favour of India is so remarkable, that it is only by extending our consideration to other genera of the order Malacopterygii abdominales that we find the equilibrium restored in the distribution of fresh-water fishes. Thus the Salmonide which form a large proportion of that order in the rivers of both Europe and America, are in India quite unknown, not one species of that extensive family having
"I have not yet seen the volume of Fauna Boreali Americana by Dr. Richardson, which is devoted to Ichthyology, the volume on Birds being the only part of that important work which has reached India.
yet been found in this country, where the blank appears to be filled up by the excessive development of the Cyprinidæ.
"One species of Tench,* four Leuciscs,† and one Gudgeon,‡ are enumerated among the fossils of Eningen by M. Agassiz, who also describes two new genera || Rhodeus and Apius, nearly allied to, but distinct from the Perilamps and Systoms. They are distinct from the first, by the dorsal and ventral margins being equally arched, and the caudal and anal fins being less developed ; and from the second, by the absence of spines in either of the latter fins; both belong however to Sarcoborina, and will serve to render that group far more complete than it appeared to me to be before I saw M. Agassiz's splendid work. Two fossil species of Cobitina are also found in the same locality, one of these, C. cephalotus Agass. belongs to Schistura. The marlstone in which these remains are found is justly considered by M. Agassiz to be a lacustrine deposit, and supposed to be coeval with the molasse of Switzerland and the sand stone of Fontainbleau, and consequently to correspond with the miocene or early tertiory period." Op. cit. p. 257
As a specimen of the manner in which the subject is treated we shall here give from the synopsis of his paper one of the three sub-families into which Mr. M'Clelland has separated the Cyprins; on a future occasion we may quote the two remaining sub-families, from the same part of the work. p. 264-283.
"1. SUB-FAM.-PÆONOMINÆ.§ J. M.
"CHAR. Mouth slightly cleft, either horizontal or directed more or less downward. The stomach is a lengthened tube continuous with a long intestinal canal. Colours plain. Three rays in the branchial mem
"OBS. They occur only in fresh-water, and comprise a large proportion of the fishes of lakes and rivers, more especially those that are of economical importance. Their food consists chiefly of confervoid plants and other productions of the vegetable kingdom.
* Tinca leptosoma, Agass. Recherches sur les Poissons Fossiles, vol. v. t. 51. +Leuciscus papyraceus, Agass. V. t. 36. P. leptus, Agass. V. t. 57. L. pusillus, id. 1. c. L. œningensis, id. and L. heterurus, id. l. c.
Gobio analis, Agass. t. 57.
Rhodeus elongatus, Agass. t. 54. and R. latior, id. 1. c. Of the genus Apius, M. Agassiz describes A. gracilis, and A. brongiarti, V. t. 55.; but the latter as well as Leuciscus papyraceus are from the lignites of Mènat.
§ From Poionomos, that feeds on herbs.
"I. GEN. CIRRHINUS.
"CHAR. Lower jaw composed of two short limbs loosely attached together in front, where instead of a prominent apex, there is a depression; lips soft and fleshy with four cirri,* dorsal without spinous rays.
"OBS. This genus would seem to be represented in America by the Catastomi of Leseur, and in Europe by Cyprinus proprius, Cuv. In India it affords several of the most favourite, abundant, and wholesome species.
Spec. C. macronotus, J. M. t. 41. f. 1.
Length of the head to that of the body as one to four; forty-one scales along the lateral line, and thirteen in an oblique line from the base of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.23: P.16: V.9: A.7: C. 19.
HAB. Assam and North-eastern parts of Bengal, where it attains from two to three feet in length.
Spec. C. nandina, Buch. P. G. † t. 8. f. 84.
Length of the head to that of the body as one to three; forty-four scales along the lateral line, and twelve in an oblique line from the base of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.26: P.16: V.9: A.7: C.19.
HAB. Bengal and Assam.
Spec. C. calbasu, Buch. P. G. t. 2. f. 33.
Length of the head to that of the body as one to four and a half; forty-two scales along the lateral line, and fourteen in an oblique line from the base 10 of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.15: P.17: V.9, or 10: A.8: C. 5. Variet. Forty-two scales along the lateral line, and fifteen in an oblique line from the base of the ventrals to the dosum. D.16: P.15: V.9: A. 5: C.
HAB. Bengal and Assam,
Spec. C. rohita, Buch. P. G. t. 36 f. 85.
Length of the head to that of the body somewhat less than one to three; forty-two scales along the lateral line, and twelve in an oblique line from 10 the base of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.15: P.16: V.9: A.7: C.Z.
Variet. t. 41. f. 2. Forty-three scales along the lateral line, and thirteen in an oblique row from the base of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.15: P.16 V.9: A.8: C.20..
HAB. Bengal and Assam.
I am not sure as to cirri forming any very valuable character of a natural genus. The length of the dorsal fin certainly does not; in the first species it is as long as in the Carp.
† P. G. These initials refer to Buchanan's work on Gangetic Fishes.
This fish attains a large size in Assam, and is probably the true Ruee of the natives. That which is figured by Buchanan is as far as I have seen a small fish, though the larger kind which I have figured would seem to be the one he has described. This as well as the preceding species present so many varieties, probably the result of artificial means resorted to for their propagation, from their value as an article of food, that it is difficult to define their true characters.
Spec C. gonius, Buch. P. G. t. 4. f. 82.
Scales minute; snout muscular and perforated by numerous mucous pores. D.15: P.17: V.9: A.7: C.19.
HAB. Bengal and Assam.
Spec. C. nancar, Buch. P. G. p. 299.
Sub-operculum rudimentary, and concealed beneath the integuments D.20 P.18: V.9: A.8: C.19.
HAB. North-eastern parts of Bengal.
"The following three species have a black spot at the base of the caudal, and the dark colour of the back descends in fasciated points on the sides, thus indicating a relation with the Sarcoborina; but until the nature of this relation be determined, and their habits and structure known, I place them with the Cirrhins. I only know them by Buchanan's figures and descriptions.*
Spec. Cyp, morula, Buch. P. G. Pl. xviii, f. 91.
Length of the head equal to the altitude of the body, and to a fourth of the length; lips pendulous, the hinder fimbriated. D.13: P.16: V.9:
HAB. Ponds in Bengal.
Spec. Cyp. joalius, Buch. t. 42, f. 6. Bt
Head large and very blunt, mouth low and horizontal. D.12: P.-? V.9: A.8: C.-?
HAB. North-eastern parts of Bengal.
Spec. Cyp. dero, Buch. P. G. t. xxii. f. 78.
Only two cirri. Head oval and blunt, snout prominent and rough, lips smooth-edged. D.13: P.18:-? V.9: A.7: C.19.
CHAR. Structure and habits agree with those of the Cirrhins, but cirri are wanting, or very minute.
"OBS. The last species would seem to be a Catastomus, and the two first to be very nearly allied to each other, and to differ chiefly from C. gonius, Buch. in being without cirri. They correspond with the species named by Buchanan, Cyp. curchius, C. cursa, and C. cursis, but I cannot altogether reconcile them with his descriptions; they appear to me to be varieties resulting from domestication.
* To these may be added for the present Cyp. pausio, Buch. P. G. 317. t. 42 f. 4 B. It seems to differ from them merely in being without cirri.
+ This sign ẞ, denotes that the figure given is from Buchanan's collection.
Spec. Cyp. curchius, Buch. t. 40. f. 3.
Scales minute and disposed so as to indicate longitudinal stripes, lips fleshy and fimbriated, seventy-eight scales along the lateral line, and thirty from the base of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.17 P.16: V.9: A.7: C..
HAB. Bengal and Assam.
Spec. Cyp. cursis, Buch. t. 38. f. 3.
Snout thick and projecting, eighty-three scales on the lateral line, and about twenty-seven across the body from the base of the ventrals to the dor10 sum. D.16: P.17: V.9: A.7: C.
HAB. Assam and Bengal.
Variet. Cyp. cursa, Buch. t. 38. f. 2. B
Scales and fin rays the same as in C. curchius, but the back is more abruptly arched, and the abdominal margin is straight to the anal.
Spec. C. dyocheilus,† J. M. t. 37. f. 1.
Goreah of the Assamese.
Head long, opercular plates covered with thick integuments, snout muscular, forty-four scales along the lateral line, and thirteen in an oblique line from the base of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.12: P.18: V.9: A.8: C.19. HAB. Assam, where it usually attains two feet and upwards in length.
"CHAR. Lower jaw composed of two lengthened limbs, united in front so as to form a smooth narrow apex. Dorsal short preceded by a strong spine, lips hard, four cirri, intermaxillaries protractile.
"OBS. Species of this genus inhabit the Caspian Sea, the Nile, and several of the rivers of Europe, generally confined to clear water. The comparative shortness of the intestinal canal proves them to be less exclusively herbivorous than any other fishes of the same sub-family. The Indian species, indicated in the Regné Animal, all belong to other genera.
Spec. B. hexastichus, J. M. t. 39. f. 2.
Cyp. tor, Buch. P. G. 305.
Lobura of the Assamese.
Length of the head to that of the body as two to seven, twenty-five scales along the lateral line, and six in an oblique row from the base of the ventrals to the dorsum. D.11: P.17: V.9: A.8: C.19.
HAB. Great rivers in the plains of India. Ordinary length from one and a half to three feet.
This variety had been figured from a dried specimen and transferred to stone, before I found in Buchanan's collection a most excellent drawing of it.
So called from the pendulous structure of the snout descending so as to form the appearance of a second lip.
From the scales forming six rows along the sides.