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Title: Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon
Author: Tennent, James Emerson, Sir, 1804-1869
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon" ***

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Bibliotheque nationale de France (BnF Gallica) at



Illustrative of the Habits and Instincts of the








       *       *       *       *       *

A considerable portion of the contents of the present volume formed the
zoological section of a much more comprehensive work recently published,
on the history and present condition of Ceylon.[1] But its inclusion
there was a matter of difficulty; for to have altogether omitted the
chapters on Natural History would have impaired the completeness of the
plan on which I had attempted to describe the island; whilst to insert
them as they here appear, without curtailment, would have encroached
unduly on the space required for other essential topics. In this
dilemma, I was obliged to adopt the alternative of so condensing the
matter as to bring the whole within the prescribed proportions.

But this operation necessarily diminished the general interest of the
subjects treated, as well by the omission of incidents which would
otherwise have been retained, as by the exclusion of anecdotes
calculated to illustrate the habits and instincts of the animals

[Footnote 1: _Ceylon: An Account of the Island, Physical, Historical,
and Typographical; with Notices of its Natural History, Antiquities, and
Productions._ By Sir JAMES EMERSON TENNENT, K.C.S., LL.D., &c.
Illustrated by Maps. Plans, and Drawings. 2 vols. 8vo. Longman and Co.,

A suggestion to re-publish these sections in an independent form has
afforded an opportunity for repairing some of these defects by revising
the entire, restoring omitted passages, and introducing fresh materials
collected in Ceylon; the additional matter occupying a very large
portion of the present volume.

I have been enabled, at the same time, to avail myself of the
corrections and communications of scientific friends; and thus to
compensate, in some degree for what is still incomplete, by increased
accuracy in minute particulars.

In the Introduction to the First Edition of the original work I alluded,
in the following terms, to that portion of it which is now reproduced in
an extended form:--

"Regarding the _fauna_ of Ceylon, little has been published in any
collective form, with the exception of a volume by Dr. KELAART entitled
_Prodromus Faunæ Zeilanicæ_; several valuable papers by Mr. EDGAR L.
LAYARD in the _Annals and Magazine of Natural History_ for 1852 and
1853; and some very imperfect lists appended to PRIDHAM'S compiled
account of the island.[1] KNOX, in the charming narrative of his
captivity, published in the feign of Charles II., has devoted a chapter
to the animals of Ceylon, and Dr. DAVY has described some of the
reptiles: but with these exceptions the subject is almost untouched in
works relating to the colony. Yet a more than ordinary interest attaches
to the inquiry, since Ceylon, instead of presenting, as is generally
assumed, an identity between its _fauna_ and that of Southern India,
exhibits a remarkable diversity, taken in connection with the limited
area over which the animals included in it are distributed. The island,
in fact, may be regarded as the centre of a geographical circle,
possessing within itself forms, whose allied species radiate far into
the temperate regions of the north, as well as in to Africa, Australia,
and the isles of the Eastern Archipelago.

[Footnote 1: _An Historical, Political, and Statistical Account of
Ceylon and its Dependencies_, by C. PRIDHAM, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo., London,

"In the chapters that I have devoted to its elucidation, I have
endeavoured to interest others in the subject, by describing my own
observations and impressions, with fidelity, and with as much accuracy
as may be expected from a person possessing, as I do, no greater
knowledge of zoology and the other physical sciences than is ordinarily
possessed by any educated gentleman. It was my good fortune, however, in
my journeys to have the companionship of friends familiar with many
branches of natural science: the late Dr. GARDNER, Mr. EDGAR L. LAYARD,
an accomplished zoologist, Dr. TEMPLETON, and others; and I was thus
enabled to collect on the spot many interesting facts relative to the
structure and habits of the numerous tribes. These, chastened by the
corrections of my fellow-travellers, and established by the examination
of collections made in the colony, and by subsequent comparison with
specimens contained in museums at home, I have ventured to submit as
faithful outlines of the _fauna_ of Ceylon.

"The sections descriptive of the several classes are accompanied by
lists, prepared with the assistance of scientific friends, showing the
extent to which each particular branch had been investigated by
naturalists, up to the period of my departure from Ceylon at the close
of 1849. These, besides their inherent interest, will, I trust,
stimulate others to engage in the same pursuit, by exhibiting chasms,
which it remains for future industry and research to fill up;--and the
study of the zoology of Ceylon may thus serve as a preparative for that
of Continental India, embracing, as the former does, much that is common
to both, as well as possessing a _fauna_ peculiar to the island, that in
itself will amply repay more extended scrutiny.

"From these lists have been excluded all species regarding the
authenticity of which reasonable doubts could be entertained[1], and of
some of them, a very few have been printed in _italics_, in order to
denote the desirability of more minute comparison with well-determined
specimens in the great national depositories before finally
incorporating them with the Singhalese catalogues.

[Footnote 1: An exception occurs in the list of shells, prepared by Mr.
SYLVANUS HANLEY, in which some whose localities are doubtful have been
admitted for reasons adduced. (See p. 387.)]

"In the labour of collecting and verifying the facts embodied in these
sections, I cannot too warmly express my thanks for the aid I have
received from gentlemen interested in similar studies in Ceylon: from
Dr. KELAART[1] and Mr. EDGAR L. LAYARD, as well as from officers of the
Ceylon Civil Service; the Hon. GERALD C. TALBOT, Mr. C.R. BULLER, Mr.

[Footnote 1: It is with deep regret that I have to record the death of
this accomplished gentleman, which occurred in 1860.]

"Before venturing to commit these chapters of my work to the press, I
have had the advantage of having portions of them read by Professor
HUXLEY, Mr. MOORE, of the East India House Museum; Mr. R. PATTERSON,
F.R.S., author of the _Introduction to Zoology_; and by Mr. ADAM WHITE,
of the British Museum; to each of whom I am exceedingly indebted for the
care they have bestowed. In an especial degree I have to acknowledge the
kindness of Dr. J.E. GRAY, F.R.S., for valuable additions and
corrections in the list of the Ceylon Reptilia; and to Professor FARADAY
for some notes on the nature and qualities of the "Serpent Stone,"[2]
submitted to him.

[Footnote 2: See p. 312.]

"The extent to which my observations on _the Elephant_ have been
carried, requires some explanation. The existing notices of this noble
creature are chiefly devoted to its habits and capabilities _in
captivity_; and very few works, with which I am acquainted, contain
illustrations of its instincts and functions when wild in its native
woods. Opportunities for observing the latter, and for collecting facts
in connection with them, are abundant in Ceylon; and from the moment of
my arrival, I profited by every occasion afforded to me for observing
the elephant in a state of nature, and obtaining from hunters and
natives correct information as to its oeconomy and disposition.
Anecdotes in connection with this subject, I received from some of the
most experienced residents in the island; amongst others, from Major
Mr. MORRIS. Nor can I omit to express my acknowledgments to Professor
OWEN, of the British Museum, to whom this portion of my manuscript was
submitted previous to its committal to the press."

To the foregoing observations I have little to add beyond my
acknowledgment to Dr. ALBERT GÜNTHER, of the British Museum, for the
communication of important facts in illustration of the ichthyology of
Ceylon, as well as of the reptiles of the island.

Mr. BLYTH, of the Calcutta Museum, has carefully revised the Catalogue
of Birds, and supplied me with much useful information in regard to
their geographical distribution. To his experienced scrutiny is due the
perfected state in which the list is now presented. It will be seen,
however, from the italicised names still retained, that inquiry is far
from being exhausted.

Mr. THWAITES, the able Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at
Peradenia, near Kandy, has forwarded to me many valuable observations,
not only in connection with the botany, but the zoology of the mountain
region. The latter I have here embodied in their appropriate places, and
those relating to plants and vegetation will appear in a future edition
of my large work.

To M. NIETNER, of Colombo, I am likewise indebted for many particulars
regarding Singhalese Entomology, a department to which his attention has
been given, with equal earnestness and success.

Through the Hon. RICHARD MORGAN, acting Senior Puisne Judge of the
Supreme Court at Colombo, I have received from his Interpreter, M.D. DE
SILVA GOONERATNE MODLIAR, a Singhalese gentleman of learning and
observation, many important notes, of which I have largely availed
myself, in relation to the wild animals, and the folk-lore and
superstitions of the natives in connection with them.

Of the latter I have inserted numerous examples; in the conviction that,
notwithstanding their obvious errors in many instances, these popular
legends and traditions occasionally embody traces of actual observation,
and may contain hints and materials deserving of minuter inquiry.

I wish distinctly to disclaim offering the present volume as a
compendium of the Natural History of Ceylon. I present it merely as a
"mémoire pour servir," materials to assist some future inquirer in the
formation of a more detailed and systematic account of the _fauna_ of
the island. My design has been to point out to others the extreme
richness and variety of the field, the facility of exploring it, and the
charms and attractions of the undertaking. I am eager to show how much
remains to do by exhibiting the little that has as yet been done.

The departments of _Mammalia_ and _Birds_ are the only two which can be
said to have as yet undergone tolerably close investigation; although
even in these it is probable that large additions still remain to be
made to the ascertained species. But, independently of forms and
specific characteristics, the more interesting inquiry into habits and
instincts is still open for observation and remark; and for the
investigation of these no country can possibly afford more inviting
opportunities than Ceylon.

Concerning the _Reptilia_ a considerable amount of information has been
amassed. The Batrachians and smaller Lizards have, I apprehend, been
imperfectly investigated; but the Tortoises are well known, and the
Serpents, from the fearful interest attaching to the race, and
stimulating their destruction, have been so vigilantly pursued, that
there is reason to believe that few, if any, varieties exist which have
not been carefully examined. In a very large collection, made by Mr.
CHARLES REGINALD BULLER during many years' residence in Kandy, and
recently submitted by him to Dr. Günther, only one single specimen
proved to be new or previously unknown to belong to the island.

Of the _Ichthyology_ of Ceylon I am obliged to speak ill very different
terms; for although the materials are abundant almost to profusion,
little has yet been done to bring them under thoroughly scientific
scrutiny. In the following pages I have alluded to the large collection
of examples of Fishes sent home by officers of the Medical Staff, and
which still remain unopened, in the Fort Pitt Museum at Chatham; but I
am not without hope that these may shortly undergo comparison with the
drawings which exist of each, and that this branch of the island _fauna_
may at last attract the attention to which its richness so eminently
entitles it.

In the department of Entomology much has already been achieved; but an
extended area still invites future explorers; and one which the Notes of
Mr. Walker prefixed to the List of Insects in this volume, show to be of
extraordinary interest, from the unexpected convergence in Ceylon of
characteristics heretofore supposed to have been kept distinct by the
broad lines of geographical distribution.

Relative to the inferior classes of _Invertebrata_ very little has as
yet been ascertained. The Mollusca, especially the lacustrine and
fluviatile, have been most imperfectly investigated; and of the
land-shells, a large proportion have yet to be submitted to scientific

The same may be said of the _Arachnida_ and _Crustacea_. The jungle is
frequented by spiders, _phalangia_[1], and acarids, of which nothing is
known with certainty; and the sea-shore and sands have been equally
overlooked, so far as concerns the infinite variety of lobsters,
crayfish, crabs, and all their minor congeners. The _polypi, echini,
asterias_, and other _radiata_ of the coast, as well as the _acalephæ_
of the deeper waters, have shared the same neglect: and literally
nothing has been done to collect and classify the infusoriæ and minuter
zoophytes, the labours of Dr. Kelaart amongst the Diatomaceæ being the
solitary exception.

[Footnote 1: Commonly called "harvest-men."]

Nothing is so likely to act as a stimulant to future research as an
accurate conception of what has already been achieved. With equal
terseness and truth Dr. Johnson has observed that the traveller who
would bring back knowledge from any country must carry knowledge with
him at setting out: and I am not without hope that the demonstration I
now venture to offer, of the little that has already been done for
zoology in Ceylon, may serve to inspire others with a desire to resume
and complete the inquiry.


London: November 1st, 1861.


       *       *       *       *       *



Neglect of zoology in Ceylon

Labours of Dr. Davy

Followed by Dr. Templeton and others

Dr. Kelaart and Mr. E.L. Layard

  The Rilawa, _Macacus pileatus_
  Knox's account of them
  Error regarding the _Silenus Veter (note)_
  Presbytes Cephalopterus
  Fond of eating flowers
  A white monkey
  Method of the flight of monkeys
  P. Ursinus in the Hills
  P. Thersites in the Wanny
  P. Priamus, Jaffna and Trincomalie
  No dead monkey ever found


  Flying Fox, _Pteropus Edwardsii_
  Their numbers at Peradenia
  Singularity of their attitudes
  Food and mode of eating
  Horse-shoe bat, _Rhinolophus_
  Faculty of smell in bat
  A tiny bat, _Scotophilus foromandelicus_
  Extraordinary parasite of the bat, the _Nycteribia_

  Their ferocity

Singhalese belief in the efficacy of charms (_note_)

  Erroneously confounded with the Indian _cheetah_
  Curious belief
  Anecdotes of leopards
  Their attraction by the smallpox
  Native superstition
  Encounter with a leopard
  Monkeys killed by leopards
  Alleged peculiarity of the claws



  Cruel mode of destroying dogs
  Their republican instincts

  Cunning, anecdotes of
  The horn of the jackal

  Its fights with serpents
  Theory of its antidote

  Flying squirrel

  Story of a rat and a snake




  Its habits and gentleness
  Its skeleton

_Ruminantia_.--The Gaur
  Humped cattle
  Encounter of a cow and a leopard
  Draft oxen
  Their treatment
  A _Tavalam_
  Attempt to introduce the camel (note)
  Sporting buffaloes
  Peculiar structure of the foot





  Recent discovery of a new species
  Geological speculations as to the island of Ceylon
  Ancient tradition
  Opinion of Professor Ansted
  Peculiarities in Ceylon mammalia
  The same in Ceylon birds and insects
  Temminck's discovery of a new species of elephant in Sumatra
  Points of distinction between it and the elephant of India
  Professor Schlegel's description

  The Dugong
  Origin of the fable of the mermaid
  Credulity of the Portuguese
  Belief of the Dutch

Testimony of Valentyn

List of Ceylon mammalia



       *       *       *       *       *

_Its Structure_.

Vast numbers in Ceylon

Derivation of the word "elephant" (note)

Antiquity of the trade in elephants

Numbers now diminishing

Mischief done by them to crops

Ivory scarce in Ceylon

Conjectures as to the absence of tusks

Elephant a harmless animal

Alleged antipathies to other animals

Fights with each other

The foot its chief weapon

Use of the tusks in a wild state doubtful

Anecdote of sagacity in an elephant at Kandy

Difference between African and Indian species

Native ideas of perfection in an elephant

Blotches on the skin

White elephants not unknown in Ceylon



       *       *       *       *       *

_Its Habits_.

Water, but not heat, essential to elephants

Sight limited

Smell acute


Hearing, good

Cries of the elephant


Booming noise

Height, exaggerated

Facility of stealthy motion

Ancient delusion as to the joints of the leg

Its exposure by Sir Thos. Browne

Its perpetuation by poets and others

Position of the elephant in sleep

An elephant killed on its feet

Mode of lying down

Its gait a shuffle

Power of climbing mountains

Facilitated by the joint of the knee

Mode of descending declivities

A "herd" is a family

Attachment to their young

Suckled indifferently by the females

A "rogue" elephant

Their cunning and vice

Injuries done by them

The leader of a herd a tusker

Bathing and nocturnal gambols, description of a scene by Major Skinner

Method of swimming

Internal anatomy imperfectly known

Faculty of storing water

Peculiarity of the stomach

The food of the elephant

Sagacity in search of it

Unexplained dread of fences

Its spirit of inquisitiveness

Anecdotes illustrative of its curiosity

Estimate of sagacity

Singular conduct of a herd during thunder

An elephant feigning death

_Appendix_.--Narratives of natives, as to encounters with rogue



       *       *       *       *       *

_Elephant Shooting_.

Vast numbers shot in Ceylon

Revolting details of elephant killing in Africa

Fatal spots at which to aim

Structure of the bones of the head

Wounds which are certain to kill

Attitudes when surprised

Peculiar movements when reposing

Habits when attacked

Sagacity of native trackers

Courage and agility of the elephants in escape

Worthlessness of the carcass

Singular recovery from a wound



       *       *       *       *       *

_An Elephant Corral_.

Early method of catching elephants

Capture in pit-falls

By means of decoys

Panickeas--their courage and address

Their sagacity in following the elephant

Mode of capture by the noose

Mode of taming

Method of leading the elephants to the coast

Process of embarking them at Manaar

Method of capturing a whole herd

The "keddah" in Bengal described

Process of enclosing a herd

Process of capture in Ceylon

An elephant corral and its construction

An elephant hunt in Ceylon, 1847

The town and district of Kornegalle

The rock of Ætagalla

Forced labour of the corral in former times

Now given voluntarily

Form of the enclosure

Method of securing a wild herd

Scene when driving them into the corral

A failure

An elephant drove by night

Singular scene in the corral

Excitement of the tame elephants



       *       *       *       *       *

_The Captives_.

A night scene

Morning in the corral

Preparations for securing the captives

The "cooroowe," or noosers

The tame decoys

First captive tied up

Singular conduct of the wild elephants

Furious attempts of the herd to escape

Courageous conduct of the natives

Variety of disposition exhibited by the herd

Extraordinary contortions of the captives

Water withdrawn from the stomach

Instinct of the decoys

Conduct of the noosers

The young ones and their actions

Noosing a "rogue." and his death

Instinct of flies in search of carrion (_note_)

Strange scene

A second herd captured

Their treatment of a solitary elephant

A magnificent female elephant

Her extraordinary attitudes

Wonderful contortions

Taking the captives out of the corral

Their subsequent treatment and training

Grandeur of the scene

Story of young pet elephant



       *       *       *       *       *

_Conduct in Captivity_.

Alleged superiority of the Indian to the African elephant--not true

Ditto of Ceylon elephant to Indian

Process of training in Ceylon

Allowed to bathe

Difference of disposition

Sudden death of "broken heart"

First employment treading clay

Drawing a waggon

Dragging timber

Sagacity in labour

Mode of raising stones

Strength in throwing down trees exaggerated

Piling timber

Not uniform in habits of work

Lazy if not watched

Obedience to keeper from affection, not fear

Change of keeper--story of child

Ear for sounds and music

_Hurra! (note)_

Endurance of pain


Working elephants, delicate

Deaths in government stud


Subject to tooth-ache

Question of the value of labour of an elephant

Food in captivity, and cost

Breed in captivity


Theory of M. Fleurens

No dead elephants found

Sindbad's story

Passage from Ælian



Their numbers


Hornbills, the "bird with two heads"

Pea fowl

Sea birds, their number

I. _Accipitres_.--Eagles
  Falcons and hawks
  Owls--the devil bird

II. _Passeres_.--Swallows
  The cotton-thief
  Bul-bul--tailor bird--and weaver
  The mountain jay
  Crows, anecdotes of

III. _Scansores_.--Parroquets

IV. _Columbidæ_.--Pigeons

V. _Gallinæ_.--Jungle-fowl

VI. _Grallæ_.--Ibis, stork, &c.

VII. _Anseres_.--Flamingoes
  Strange scene
  Game--Partridges, &c.

List of Ceylon birds

List of birds peculiar to Ceylon



  Kabara-goya, barbarous custom in preparing the kabara-tel poison
  The green calotes
  The lyre-headed lizard
  Geckoes,--their power of reproducing limbs

  Their sensitiveness to tickling
  Anecdotes of crocodiles
  Their power of burying themselves in the mud

_Tortoises_.--Curious parasite
  Edible turtle
  Cruel mode of cutting it up alive
  Huge Indian tortoises (_note_)
  Hawk's-bill turtle, barbarous mode of stripping it of the tortoise-shell

_Serpents_.--Venomous species rare
  Tic polonga and carawala
  Cobra de capello
  Tame snakes (_note_)
  Anecdotes of the cobra de capello
  Legends concerning it
  Instance of land snakes found at sea
  Singular tradition regarding the robra de capello
  Uropeltidæ.--New species discovered in Ceylon
  Buddhist veneration for the cobra de capello
  The Python
  Tree snakes
  Water snakes
  Sea snakes
  Snake stones
  Analysis of one
  Tree frogs

List of Ceylon reptiles



Ichthyology of Ceylon, little known

Fish for table, seir fish

Sardines, poisonous?



Fish of brilliant colours

The ray

The sword-fish

Curious fish described by Ælian

_Salarias alticus_

Beautifully coloured fishes

Fresh-water fish, little known,--not much eaten

Fresh-water fish in Colombo Lake



Immense profusion of fish in the rivers and lakes

Their re-appearance after rain

Mode of fishing in the ponds

Showers of fish

Conjecture that the ova are preserved, not tenable

Fish moving on dry land
  Ancient authorities, Greek and Roman
  Aristotle and Theophrastus
  Athenæus and Polybius
  Livy, Pompomus, Mela, and Juvenal
  Seneca and Pliny
  Georgius Agricola, Gesner, &c.
  Instances in Guiana (_note_)
  _Perca Scandens_, ascends trees
  Doubts as to the story of Daldorf

Fishes burying themselves daring the dry season
  The _protopterus_ of the Gambia
  Instances in the fish of the Nile
  Instances in the fish of South America
  Living fish dug out of the ground in the dry tanks in Ceylon
  Molluscs that bury themselves
  The animals that so bury themselves in India
  Analogous case of
  Theory of æstivation and hybernation

Fish in hot water in Ceylon

List of Ceylon fishes

Instances of fishes falling from the clouds

_Note_ on Ceylon fishes by Professor Huxley

Comparative note by Dr. Gray, Brit. Mus.

_Note_ on the Bora-chung



I. _Conchology_.--General character of Ceylon shells
  Confusion regarding them in scientific works and collections
  Ancient export of shells from Ceylon
  Special forms confined to particular localities
  The pearl fishery of Aripo
  Frequent suspensions of
  Experiment to create beds of the pearl oyster
  Process of diving for pearls
  Danger from sharks
  The transparent pearl oyster (_Placuna placenta_)
  The "musical fish" at Ballicaloa
  A similar phenomenon at other places
  Faculty of uttering sounds in fishes
  Instance in the _Tritonia arborescens_
  Difficulty in forming a list of Ceylon shells
  List of Ceylon shells

II. _Radiata_.--Star fish
  Sea slugs
  Parasitic worms

III. _Acalephæ_, abundant
  The Portuguese man-of-war
  Red infusoria
  _Note_ on the _Tritonia arborescens_



Profusion of insects in Ceylon
  Imperfect knowledge of

I. _Coleoptera_.--Beetles
  Scavenger beetles
  Coco-nut beetles
  Tortoise beetles

II. _Orthoptera_.--Mantis and leaf-insects

III. _Neuroptera_.--Dragon flies
  White ants
  Anecdotes of their instinct and ravages

IV. _Hymenoptera_.--Mason wasps
  Carpenter Bee
  Burrowing ants

V. _Lepidoptera_.--Butterflies
  The spectre
  Silk worms
  Stinging caterpillars
  Wood-carrying moths

VI. _Homoptera_

VII. _Hemiptera_

VIII. _Aphaniptera_

IX. _Diptera_.--Mosquitoes
  Mosquitoes the "plague of flies"
  The coffee bug

General character of Ceylon insects

List of insects in Ceylon



  Strange nets of the wood spiders
  The mygale
  Birds killed by it
  _Olios Taprobanius_
  The galeodes
  Gregarious spiders
  Mites.--_Trombidium tinctorum_

  Scolopendra crassa
  S. pollippes
  The fish insect


  Calling crabs
  Sand crabs
  Painted crabs
  Paddling crabs

_Annelidæ_, Leeches.--The land leech
  Medicinal leech
  Cattle leech

List of Articulata, &c.

_Note_.--On the revivification of the Rotifera and Paste-eels



View of an Elephant Corral                              Frontispiece

Group of Ceylon Monkeys                                    to face 5

The Loris (_Loris gracilis_)                                      12

Group of Flying Foxes (_Pteropus Edwardsii_)              to face 14

Head of the Horse-shoe Bat (_Rhynulophus_)                        19

Nycteribia                                                        21

Indian Bear (_Prochylus labiatus_)                                23

Ceylon Leopard and Indian Cheetah                                 26

Jackal's Skull and "Horn"                                         36

Mongoos of Neura-ellia (_Herpestes vitticollis_)                  38

Flying Squirrel (_Pteromys oral_)                                 41

Coffee Rat (_Golunda Elliotti_)                                   44

Bandicoot Rat (_Mus bandicota_)                                   45

Pengolin (_Manis pentadactylus_)                                  47

Skeleton of the Pengolin                                          48

Moose-deer (_Moschus meminna_)                                    55

The Dugong (_Halicore dugung_)                                    69

The Mermaid, from Valentyn                                        72

Brain of the Elephant                                             95

Bones of the Fore-leg                                            108

Elephant descending a Hill                                       111

Elephant's Well                                                  122

Elephant's Stomach, showing the Water-cells                      125

Elephant's Trachea                                               126

Water-cells in the Stomach of the Camel                          128

Section of the Elephant's Skull                                  145

Fence and Ground-plan of a Corral                                172

Mode of tying an Elephant                                        184

His Struggles for Freedom                                        185

Impotent Fury                                                    188

Obstinate Resistance                                             189

Attitude for Defence                                             203

Singular Contortions of an Elephant                              204

Figures of the African and Indian Elephants on Greek and
  Roman Coins                                                    208

Medal of Numidia                                                 212

Modern "Hendoo"                                                  ib.

The Horn-bill (_Buceros pica_)                                   243

The "Devil-bird" (_Syrnium Indranec_)                            247

The "Cotton-thief" (_Tchitrea paradisi_)                         250

Layard Mountain Jay (_Cissa puella_)                             252

The "Double-spur" (_Gallo-perdix bicalcaratus_)                  260

The Flamingo (_Phoenicopterus roseus_)                           261

The Kabara-goya Lizard (_Hydrosaurus salvator_)                  273

The Green Calotes (_Calotes ophiomachus_)                        276

Tongue of the Chameleon                                          278

_Ceratophora_                                          _to face_ 280

Skulls of the Crocodile and Alligator                            283

Terrapin (_Emys trijuga_)                                        290

Shield-tailed Serpent (_Uropeltis grandis_)                      302

Tree Snake (_Passerita fusca_)                         _to face_ 307

Sea Snake (_Hydrophis subloevisis_)                    _to face_ 311

Saw of the Saw-fish (_Pristis antiquorum_)             _to face_ 326

Ray (_Aëtobates narinari_)                                       327

Sword-fish (_Histiophorus immaculatus_)                          330

Cheironectes                                                     331

_Pterois volitans_                                               334

_Scarus harid_                                                   335

Perch (_Therapon quadrilineatus_)                                337

Eel (_Mastacembelus armatus_)                                    338

Mode of Fishing, after Rain                                      340

Plan of a Fish Decoy                                             342

The Anabas of the dry Tanks                                      354

The Violet Ianthina and its Shell                                370

_Bullia vittata_                                                 ib.

Pearl Oysters, in various Stages of Growth             _to face_ 380

Pearl Oyster, full grown                               _to face_ 381

_Cerithium palustre_                                             ib.

The Portuguese Man-of-war (_Physalus urticulus_)                 399

Longicorn Beetle (_Batocera rubus_)                              406

Leaf Insects, &c                                                 409

Eggs of the Leaf Insect (_Phyllium siccifolium_)                 410

The Carpenter Bee (_Xylocapa tenniscapa_)                        419

Wood-carrying Moths                                              431

The "Knife, grinder" (_Cicada_)                                  432

Flata (_Elidiptera Emersoniana and Poeciloptera Tennentii_)      433

The "Coffee-bug" (_Lecanium caffeæ_)                   _to face_ 436

Spider (_Mygate fasciata_)                             _to face_ 465

Cermatia                                                         473

The Calling Crab (_Gelusimus_)                                   477

Eyes and Teeth of the Leech                                      480

Land Leeches preparing to attack                                 481

Medicinal Leech of Ceylon                                        483



With the exception of the Mammalia and Birds, the fauna of Ceylon has,
up to the present, failed to receive that systematic attention to
which its richness and variety most amply entitle it. The Singhalese
themselves, habitually indolent, and singularly unobservant of nature
and her operations, are at the same time restrained from the study of
natural history by the tenet of their religion which forbids the
taking of life under any circumstances. From the nature of their
avocations, the majority of the European residents, engaged in
planting and commerce, are discouraged by want of leisure from
cultivating the taste; and it is to be regretted that, with few
exceptions, the civil servants of the government, whose position and
duties would have afforded them influence and extended opportunities
for successful investigation, have never seen the importance of
encouraging such studies.

The first effective impulse to the cultivation of natural science in
Ceylon, was communicated by Dr. Davy when connected with the medical
staff[1] of the army from 1816 to 1820, and his example stimulated
some of the assistant-surgeons of Her Majesty's forces to make collections
in illustration of the productions of the colony. Of these the late
Dr. Kinnis was one of the most energetic and successful. He was
seconded by Dr. Templeton of the Royal Artillery, who engaged
assiduously in the investigation of various orders, and commenced an
interchange of specimens with Mr. Blyth[2], the distinguished
naturalist and curator of the Calcutta Museum. The birds and rarer
vertebrata of the island were thus compared with their peninsular
congeners, and a tolerable knowledge of those belonging to the island,
so far as regards the higher classes of animals, has been the result.
The example so set was perseveringly followed by Mr. E.L. Layard and
the late Dr. Kelaart, and infinite credit is due to Mr. Blyth for the
zealous and untiring energy with which he has devoted his attention
and leisure to the identification of the specimens forwarded from
Ceylon, and to their description in the Calcutta Journal. To him, and
to the gentlemen I have named, we are mainly indebted for whatever
accurate knowledge we now possess of the zoology of the colony.

[Footnote 1: Dr. DAVY, brother to the illustrious Sir Humphry Davy,
published, in 1821, his _Account of the Interior of Ceylon and its
Inhabitants_, which contains the earliest notice of the Natural
History of the island, and especially of its ophidian reptiles.]

[Footnote 2: _Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal_, vol. xv. p. 280, 314.]

The mammalia, birds, and reptiles received their first scientific
description in an able work published in 1852 by Dr. Kelaart of the army
medical staff[1], which is by far the most valuable that has yet
appeared on the Singhalese fauna. Co-operating with him, Mr. Layard has
supplied a fund of information especially in ornithology and conchology.
The zoophytes and Crustacea have I believe been partially investigated
by Professor Harvey, who visited Ceylon in 1852, and more recently by
Professor Schmarda, of the University of Prague. From the united labours
of these gentlemen and others interested in the same pursuits, we may
hope at an early day to obtain such a knowledge of the zoology of Ceylon
as will to some extent compensate for the long indifference of the
government officers.

[Footnote 1: _Prodromus Faunæ Zeylanicæ; being Contributions to the
Zoology of Ceylon_, by F. KELAART, Esq., M.D., F.L.S., &c. &c. 2
vols. Colombo and London, 1852.]

[Illustration: CEYLON MONKEYS.

  1. _Presbytes cephalopterus._
  2. _P. thersites_
  3. _P. Priamus_
  4. _Macacus pileatus_]

I. QUADRUMANA. 1. _Monkeys_.--To a stranger in the tropics, among
the most attractive creatures in the forests are the troops of
_monkeys_ that career in ceaseless chase among the loftiest
trees. In Ceylon there are five species, four of which belong to one
group, the Wanderoos, and the other is the little graceful grimacing
_rilawa_[1], which is the universal pet and favourite of both
natives and Europeans. The Tamil conjurors teach it to dance, and in
their wanderings carry it from village to village, clad in a grotesque
dress, to exhibit its lively performances. It does not object to smoke
tobacco. The Wanderoo is too grave and melancholy to be trained to
these drolleries.

[Footnote 1: _Macacus pileatus_, Shaw and Desmarest. The
"bonneted Macaque" is common in the south and west; it is replaced on
the neighbouring coast of the Peninsula of India by the Toque, _M.
radiatus_, which closely resembles it in size, habit, and form, and
in the peculiar appearance occasioned by the hairs radiating from the
crown of the head. A spectacled monkey is _said_ to inhabit the
low country near to Bintenne; but I have never seen one brought
thence. A paper by Dr. TEMPLETON, in the _Mag. Nat. Hist._ n. s.
xiv. p. 361, contains some interesting facts relative to the Rilawa of

KNOX, in his captivating account of the island, gives an accurate
description of both; the Rilawas, with "no beards, white faces, and long
hair on the top of their heads, which parteth and hangeth down like a
man's, and which do a deal of mischief to the corn, and are so impudent
that they will come into their gardens and eat such fruit as grows
there. And the Wanderoos, some as large as our English spaniel dogs, of
a darkish grey colour, and black faces with great white beards round
from ear to ear, which makes them show just like old men. This sort does
but little mischief, keeping in the woods, eating only leaves and buds
of trees, but when they are catched they will eat anything."[1]

[Footnote 1: KNOX, _Historical Relation of Ceylon, an Island in the
East Indies_.--P. i. ch. vi. p. 25. Fol. Lond. 1681. See an account
of his captivity in SIR J. EMERSON TENNENT'S _Ceylon_, etc., Vol.
II. p. 66 n.]

KNOX, whose experience during his long captivity was confined almost
exclusively to the hill country around Kandy, spoke in all probability
of one large and comparatively powerful species, _Presbytes ursinus_,
which inhabits the lofty forests, and which, as well as another of the
same group, _P. Thersites_, was, till recently, unknown to European
naturalists. The Singhalese word _Ouandura_ has a generic sense, and
being in every respect the equivalent fur our own term of "monkey" it
necessarily comprehends the low country species, as well as those which
inhabit other parts of the island. In point of fact, there are no less
than four animals in the island, each of which is entitled to the name
of "wanderoo."[1] Each separate species has appropriated to itself a
different district of the wooded country, and seldom encroaches on the
domain of its neighbours.

[Footnote 1: Down to a very late period, a large and somewhat
repulsive-looking monkey, common to the Malabar coast, the Silenus
veter, _Linn._, was, from the circumstance of his possessing a
"great white beard," incorrectly assumed to be the "wanderoo" of
Ceylon, described by KNOX; and under that usurped name it has figured
in every author from Buffon to the present time. Specimens of the true
Singhalese species were, however, received in Europe; but in the
absence of information in this country as to their actual habitat,
they were described, first by Zimmerman, on the continent, under the
name of, _Leucoprymnus cephalopterus_, and subsequently by Mr. E.
Bennett, under that of _Semnopithecus Nestor_ (_Proc. Zool.
Soc._ pt. i. p. 67: 1833); the generic and specific characters
being on this occasion most carefully pointed out by that eminent
naturalist. Eleven years later Dr. Templeton forwarded to the
Zoological Society a description, accompanied by drawings, of the
wanderoo of the western maritime districts of Ceylon, and noticed the
fact that the wanderoo of authors (_S. veter_) was not to be
found in the island except as an introduced species in the custody of
the Arab horse-dealers, who visit the port of Colombo at stated
periods. Mr. Waterhouse, at the meeting (_Proc. Zool. Soc._ p. 1:
1844) at which this communication was read, recognised the identity of
the subject of Dr. Templeton's description with that already laid
before them by Mr. Bennett; and from this period the species in
question was believed to truly represent the wanderoo of Knox. The
later discovery, however, of the _P. ursinus_ by Dr. Kelaart, in
the mountains amongst which we are assured that Knox spent so many
years of captivity, reopens the question, but at the same time appears
to me clearly to demonstrate that in this latter we have in reality
the animal to which his narrative refers.]

1. Of the four species found in Ceylon, the most numerous in the
island, and the one best known in Europe, is the Wanderoo of the low
country, the _P. cephalopterus_ of Zimmerman.[1] Although common
in the southern and western provinces, it is never found at a higher
elevation than 1300 feet. It is an active and intelligent creature,
little larger than the common bonneted Macaque, and far from being so
mischievous as others of the monkeys in the island. In captivity it is
remarkable for the gravity of its demeanour and for an air of
melancholy in its expression and movements which are completely in
character with its snowy beard and venerable aspect. In disposition it
is gentle and confiding, sensible in the highest degree of kindness,
and eager for endearing attention, uttering a low plaintive cry when
its sympathies are excited. It is particularly cleanly in its habits
when domesticated, and spends much of its time in trimming its fur,
and carefully divesting its hair of particles of dust.

[Footnote 1: Leucoprymnus Nestor, _Bennett_.]

Those which I kept at my house near Colombo were chiefly fed upon
plantains and bananas, but for nothing did they evince a greater
partiality than the rose-coloured flowers of the red hibiscus (H.

These they devoured with unequivocal gusto; they likewise relished the
leaves of many other trees, and even the bark of a few of the more
succulent ones. A hint might possibly be taken from this circumstance
for improving the regimen of monkeys in menageries, by the occasional
admixture of a few fresh leaves and flowers with their solid and
substantial dietary.

A white monkey, taken between Ambepusse and Kornegalle, where they are
said to be numerous, was brought to me to Colombo. Except in colour,
it had all the characteristics of _Presbytes cephalopterus_. So
striking was its whiteness that it might have been conjectured to be
an albino, but for the circumstance that its eyes and face were black.
I have heard that white monkeys have been seen near the Ridi-galle
Wihara in Seven Korles and also at Tangalle; but I never saw another
specimen. The natives say they are not uncommon, and KNOX that they
are "milk-white both in body and face; but of this sort there is not
such plenty."[1] The Rev. R. SPENCE HARDY mentions, in his learned
work on _Eastern Monachism_, that on the occasion of his visit to
the great temple of Dambool, he encountered a troop of white monkeys
on the rock in which it is situated--which were, doubtless, a variety
of the Wanderoo.[2] PLINY was aware of the fact that white monkeys are
occasionally found in India.[3]

[Footnote 1: KNOX, pt. i.e. vi. p. 25.]

[Footnote 2: _Eastern Monachism_. c: xix; p. 204.]

[Footnote 3: PLINY, Nat. Hist. I. viii. c. xxxii.]

When observed in their native wilds, a party of twenty or thirty of
these creatures is generally busily engaged in the search for berries
and buds. They are seldom to be seen on the ground, except when
they may have descended to recover seeds or fruit which have fallen at
the foot of their favourite trees. When disturbed, their leaps are
prodigious: but, generally speaking, their progress is made not so
much by _leaping_ as by swinging from branch to branch, using
their powerful arms alternately; and when baffled by distance,
flinging themselves obliquely so as to catch the lower boughs of an
opposite tree, the momentum acquired by their descent being sufficient
to cause a rebound of the branch, that carries them upwards again,
till they can grasp a higher and more distant one, and thus continue
their headlong flight. In these perilous achievements, wonder is
excited less by the surpassing agility of these little creatures,
frequently encumbered as they are by their young, which cling to them
in their career, than by the quickness of their eye and the unerring
accuracy with which they seem almost to calculate the angle at which a
descent will enable them to cover a given distance, and the recoil to
attain a higher altitude.

2. The low country Wanderoo is replaced in the hills by the larger
species, _P. ursinus_, which inhabits the mountain zone. The natives,
who designate the latter the _Maha_ or Great Wanderoo, to distinguish it
from the _Kaloo_, or black one, with which they are familiar, describe
it as much wilder, and more powerful than its congener of the lowland
forests. It is rarely seen by Europeans, this portion of the country
having till very recently been but partially opened; and even now it is
difficult to observe its habits, as it seldom approaches the few roads
which wind through these deep solitudes. At early morning, ere the day
begins to dawn, its loud and peculiar howl, which consists of a quick
repetition of the sounds _how how!_ maybe frequently heard in the
mountain jungles, and forms one of the characteristic noises of these
lofty situations. It was first captured by Dr. Kelaart in the woods near
Nuera-ellia, and from its peculiar appearance it has been named _P.
ursinus_ by Mr. Blyth.[1]

[Footnote 1: Mr. Blyth quotes as authority for this trivial name a
passage from MAJOR FORBES' _Eleven Years in Ceylon;_ and I can
vouch for the graphic accuracy of the remark.--"A species of very
large monkey, that passed some distance before me, when resting on all
fours, looked so like a Ceylon bear, that I nearly took him for one."]

3. The _P. Thersites_, which is chiefly distinguished from the
others by wanting the head tuft, is so rare that it was for some time
doubtful whether the single specimen procured by Dr. Templeton from
the Nuera-kalawa, west of Trincomalie, and on which Mr. Blyth
conferred this new name, was in reality native; but the occurrence of
a second, since identified by Dr. Kelaart, has established its
existence as a separate species. Like the common wanderoo, the one
obtained by Dr. Templeton was partial to fresh vegetables, plantains,
and fruit; but he ate freely boiled rice, beans, and gram. He was fond
of being noticed and petted, stretching out his limbs in succession to
be scratched, drawing himself up so that his ribs might be reached by
the finger, closing his eyes during the operation, and evincing his
satisfaction by grimaces irresistibly ludicrous.

4. The _P. Priamus_ inhabits the northern and eastern provinces, and the
wooded hills which occur in these portions of the island. In appearance
it differs both in size and in colour from the common wanderoo, being
larger and more inclined to grey; and in habits it is much less
reserved. At Jaffna, and in other parts of the island where the
population is comparatively numerous, these monkeys become so
familiarised with the presence of man as to exhibit the utmost daring
and indifference. A flock of them will take possession of a Palmyra
palm; and so effectually can they crouch and conceal themselves among
the leaves that, on the slightest alarm, the whole party becomes
invisible in an instant. The presence of a dog, however, excites such an
irrepressible curiosity that, in order to watch his movements, they
never fail to betray themselves. They may be frequently seen congregated
on the roof of a native hut: and, some years ago, the child of a
European clergyman stationed near Jaffna having been left on the ground
by the nurse, was so teased and bitten by them as to cause its death.

The Singhalese have the impression that the remains of a monkey are
never to be found in the forest; a belief which they have embodied in
the proverb that "he who has seen a white crow, the nest of a paddi
bird, a straight coco-nut tree, or a dead monkey, is certain to live
for ever." This piece of folk-lore has evidently reached Ceylon from
India, where it is believed that persons dwelling on the spot where a
hanumân monkey, _Semnopithecus entellus_, has been killed, will
die, that even its bones are unlucky, and that no house erected where
they are hid under ground can prosper. Hence when a dwelling is to be
built, it is one of the employments of the Jyotish philosophers to
ascertain by their science that none such are concealed; and Buchanan
observes that "it is, perhaps, owing to this fear of ill-luck that no
native will acknowledge his having seen a dead hanumân."[1]

[Footnote 1: BUCHANAN'S _Survey of Bhagulpoor_, p. 142. At
Gibraltar it is believed that the body of a _dead monkey_ has
never been found on the rock.]

The only other quadrumanous animal found in Ceylon is the little
loris[1], which, from its sluggish movements, nocturnal habits, and
consequent inaction during the day, has acquired the name of the
"Ceylon Sloth."

[Footnote 1: Loris græilis, _Geof_.]

[Illustration: THE LORIS.]

There are two varieties in the island; one of the ordinary fulvous
brown, and another larger, whose fur is entirely black. A specimen of
the former was sent to me from Chilaw, on the western coast, and lived
for some time at Colombo, feeding on rice, fruit, and vegetables. It was
partial to ants and, other insects, and was always eager for milk or the
bone of a fowl. The naturally slow motion of its limbs enables the loris
to approach its prey so stealthily that it seizes birds before they can
be alarmed by its presence. The natives assert that it has been known to
strangle the pea-fowl at night, to feast on the brain. During the day
the one which I kept was usually asleep in the strange position
represented on the last page; its perch firmly grasped with both hands,
its back curved into a ball of soft fur, and its head hidden deep
between its legs. The singularly-large and intense eyes of the loris
have attracted the attention, of the Singhalese, who capture the
creature for the purpose of extracting them as charms and love-potions,
and this they are said to effect by holding the little animal to the
fire till its eyeballs burst. Its Tamil name is _thaxangu_, or
"thin-bodied;" and hence a deformed child or an emaciated person has
acquired in the Tamil districts the same epithet. The light-coloured
variety of the loris in Ceylon has a spot on its forehead, somewhat
resembling the _namam_, or mark worn by the worshippers of Vishnu; and,
from this peculiarity, it is distinguished as the _Nama-thavangu_.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is an interesting notice of the Loris of Ceylon by
Dr. TEMPLETON, in the _Mag. Nat. Hist._ 1844, ch. xiv. p. 362.]

II. CHEIROPTERA. _Bats_.--The multitude of _bats_ is one of the features
of the evening landscape; they abound in every cave and subterranean
passage, in the tunnels on the highways, in the galleries of the
fortifications, in the roofs of the bungalows, and the ruins of every
temple and building. At sunset they are seen issuing from their diurnal
retreats to roam through the twilight in search of crepuscular insects,
and as night approaches and the lights in the rooms attract the
night-flying lepidoptera, the bats sweep round the dinner-table and
carry off their tiny prey within the glitter of the lamps. Including the
frugivorous section about sixteen species have been identified in
Ceylon; and remarkable varieties of two of these are peculiar to the
island. The colours of some of them are as brilliant as the plumage of a
bird, bright yellow, deep orange, and a rich ferruginous brown inclining
to red.[1]

[Footnote 1:
  Rhinolophus affinis? _var_. rubidus, _Kelaart_.
  Hipposideros murinus, _var_. fulvus, _Kelaart_.
  Hipposideros speoris, _var_. aureus, _Kelaart_.
  Kerivoula picta, _Pallas_.
  Scotophilus Heathii, _Horsf_.]

But of all the bats, the most conspicuous from its size and numbers,
and the most interesting from its habits, is the rousette of
Ceylon[1];--the "flying fox," as it is called by Europeans, from the
similarity to that animal in its head and ears, its bright eyes, and
intelligent little face. In its aspect it has nothing of the
disagreeable and repulsive look so common amongst the ordinary
vespertilionidæ; it likewise differs from them in the want of the
nose-leaf, as well as of the tail. In the absence of the latter, its
flight is directed by means of a membrane attached to the inner side
of each of the hind legs, and kept distended at the lower extremity by
a projecting bone, just as a fore-and-aft sail is distended by a

[Footnote 1: Pteropus Edwardsii, _Geoff_.]

[Illustration: FLYING FOXES.]

In size the body measures from ten to twelve inches in length, but the
arms are prolonged, and especially the metacarpal bones and phalanges of
the four fingers over which the leathery wings are distended, till the
alar expanse measures between four and five feet. Whilst the function of
these metamorphosed limbs in sustaining flight entitles them to the
designation of "wings," they are endowed with another faculty, the
existence of which essentially distinguishes them from the feathery
wings of a bird, and vindicates the appropriateness of the term
_Cheiro-ptera_[1], or "winged hands," by which the bats are designated.
Over the entire surface of the thin membrane of which they are formed,
sentient nerves of the utmost delicacy are distributed, by means of
which the animal is enabled during the darkness to direct its motions
with security, avoiding objects against contact with which at such times
its eyes and other senses would be insufficient to protect it.[2]
Spallanzani ascertained the perfection of this faculty by a series of
cruel experiments, by which he demonstrated that bats, even after their
eyes had been destroyed, and their external organs, of smell and hearing
obliterated, were still enabled to direct their flight with unhesitating
confidence, avoiding even threads suspended to intercept them. But after
ascertaining the fact, Spallanzani was slow to arrive at its origin; and
ascribed the surprising power to the existence of some sixth
supplementary sense, the enjoyment of which was withheld from other
animals. Cuvier, however, dissipated the obscurity by showing the seat
of this extraordinary endowment to be in the wings, the superficies of
which retains the exquisite sensitiveness to touch that is inherent in
the palms of the human hand and the extremities of the fingers, as well
as in the feet of some of the mammalia.[3] The face and head of the
_Pteropus_ are covered with brownish-grey hairs, the neck and chest are
dark ferruginous grey, and the rest of the body brown, inclining to

[Footnote 1: [Greek: cheir] the "hand," and [Greek: pteron] a "wing."]

[Footnote 2: See BELL _On the Hand_, ch. iii. p. 70;]

[Footnote 3: See article on _Cheiroptera_, in TODD'S
_Cyclopiadia of Anatomy and Physiology_, vol. i. p. 599.]

These active and energetic creatures, though chiefly frugivorous, are
to some extent insectivorous also, as attested by their teeth[1], as
well as by their habits. They feed, amongst other things, on the
guava, the plantain, the rose-apple, and the fruit of the various
fig-trees. Flying foxes are abundant in all the maritime districts,
especially at the season when the _pulum-imbul_[2], one of the
silk-cotton trees, is putting forth its flower-buds, of which they are
singularly fond. By day they suspend themselves from the highest
branches, hanging by the claws of the hind legs, with the head turned
upwards, and pressing the chin against the breast. At sunset taking
wing, they hover, with a murmuring sound occasioned by the beating of
their broad membranous wings, around the fruit trees, on which they
feed till morning, when they resume their pensile attitude as before.

[Footnote 1: Those which I have examined have four minute incisors in
each jaw, with two canines and a very minute pointed tooth behind each
canine. They have six molars in the upper jaw and ten in the lower,
longitudinally grooved, and with a cutting edge directed backwards.]

[Footnote 2: Eriodendron Orientale, _Stead_.]

A favourite resort of these bats is to the lofty india-rubber trees,
which on one side overhang the Botanic Gardens of Paradenia in the
vicinity of Kandy. Thither for some years past, they have congregated,
chiefly in the autumn, taking their departure when the figs of the
_ficus elastica_ are consumed. Here they hang in such prodigious
numbers, that frequently, large branches give way beneath their
accumulated weight. Every forenoon, generally between the hours of 9 and
11 A.M., they take to wing, apparently for exercise, and possibly to sun
their wings and fur, and dry them after the dews of the early morning.
On these occasions, their numbers are quite surprising, flying in clouds
as thick as bees or midges. After these recreations, they hurry back to
their favourite trees, chattering and screaming like monkeys, and always
wrangling and contending angrily for the most shady and comfortable
places in which to hang for the rest of the day protected from the sun.
The branches they resort to soon become almost divested of leaves, these
being stripped off by the action of the bats, attaching and detaching
themselves by means of their hooked feet. At sunset, they fly off to
their feeding-grounds, probably at a considerable distance, as it
requires a large area to furnish sufficient food for such multitudes.

In all its movements and attitudes, the action of the _Pteropus_
is highly interesting. If placed upon the ground, it is almost
helpless, none of its limbs being calculated for progressive motion;
it drags itself along by means of the hook attached to each of its
extended thumbs, pushing at the same time with those of its hind feet.
Its natural position is exclusively pensile; it moves laterally from
branch to branch with great ease, by using each foot alternately, and
climbs, when necessary, by means of its claws.

When at rest, or asleep, the disposition of the limbs is most curious.
At such times it suspends itself by one foot only, bringing the other
close to its side, and thus it is enabled to wrap itself in the ample
folds of its wings, which envelop it like a mantle, leaving only its
upturned head uncovered. Its fur is thus protected from damp and rain,
and to some extent its body is sheltered from the sun.

As it collects its food by means of its mouth, either when on the
wing, or when suspended within reach of it, the flying-fox is always
more or less liable to have the spoil wrested from it by its intrusive
companions, before it can make good its way to some secure retreat in
which to devour it unmolested. In such conflicts they bite viciously,
tear each other with their hooks, and scream incessantly, till, taking
to flight, the persecuted one reaches some place of safety, where he
hangs by one foot, and grasping the fruit he has secured in the claws
and opposable thumb of the other, he hastily reduces it to lumps, with
which he stuffs his cheek pouches till they become distended like those
of a monkey; then suspended in safety, he commences to chew and suck the
pieces, rejecting the refuse with his tongue.

To drink, which it does by lapping, the _Pteropus_ suspends
itself head downwards from a branch above the water.

Insects, caterpillars, birds' eggs, and young birds are devoured by
them; and the Singhalese say that the flying-fox will even attack a
tree snake. It is killed by the natives for the sake of its flesh,
which, I have been told by a gentleman who has eaten of it, resembles
that of the hare.[1] It is strongly attracted to the coconut trees
during the period when toddy is drawn for distillation, and exhibits,
it is said, at such times, symptoms resembling intoxication.

[Footnote 1: In Western India the native Portuguese eat the
flying-fox, and pronounce it delicate, and far from disagreeable in

Neither the flying-fox, nor any other bat that I know of in Ceylon,
ever hybernates.

There are several varieties (one of them peculiar to the island) of
the horse-shoe-headed _Rhinolophus_, with the strange leaf-like
appendage erected on the extremity of the nose.

It has been suggested that the insectivorous bats, though nocturnal,
are deficient in that keen vision characteristic of animals which take
their prey by night.

[Illustration: RINOLOPHUS.]

I doubt whether this conjecture be well founded; it certainly does not
apply to the _Pteropus_ and the other frugivorous species, in
which the faculty of sight is singularly clear. As regards the others,
it is possible that in their peculiar oeconomy some additional power
may be required to act in concert with that of vision, as in insects,
touch is superadded, in its most sensitive development, to that of
sight. It is probable that the noseleaf, which forms an extended
screen stretched behind the nostrils in some of the bats, may be
intended by nature to facilitate the collection and conduction of
odours, just as the vast expansion of the shell of the ear in the same
family is designed to assist in the collection of sounds--and thus to
supplement their vision when in pursuit of prey in the dusk by the
superior sensitiveness of the organs of hearing and smell.

One tiny little bat, not much larger than the humble
bee[1], and of a glossy black colour, is sometimes to be seen about
Colombo. It is so familiar and gentle that it will alight on the cloth
during dinner, and manifests so little alarm that it seldom makes any
effort to escape before a wine glass can be inverted to secure it.

[Footnote 1: It is a _very_ small Singhalese variety of
Scotophilus Coromandelicus, _F. Cuv._]

Although not strictly in order, this seems not an inappropriate place
to notice one of the most curious peculiarities connected with the
bats--their singular parasite, the Nycteribia.[1] On cursory
observation this creature appears to have neither head, antennæ, eyes,
nor mouth; and the earlier observers of its structure satisfied
themselves that the place of the latter was supplied by a cylindrical
sucker, which, being placed between the shoulders, the insect had no
option but to turn on its back to feed. Another anomaly was thought to
compensate for this apparent inconvenience;--its three pairs of legs,
armed with claws, are so arranged that they seem to be equally
distributed over its upper and under sides, the creature being thus
enabled to use them like hands, and to grasp the strong hairs above it
while extracting its nourishment.

[Footnote 1: This extraordinary creature had formerly been discovered
only on a few European bats. Joínville figured one which he found on
the large roussette (the flying-fox), and says he had seen another on
a bat of the same family. Dr. Templeton observed them in Ceylon in
great abundance on the fur of the _Scotophilus Coromandelicus_,
and they will, no doubt, be found on many others.]

It moves, in fact, by rolling itself rapidly along, rotating like a
wheel on the extremities of its spokes, or like the clown in a
pantomime, hurling himself forward on hands and feet alternately. Its
celerity is so great that Colonel Montague, who was one of the first
to describe it minutely[1], says its speed exceeds that of any
known insect, and as its joints are so flexible as to yield in every
direction (like what mechanics call a "ball and socket"), its motions
are exceedingly grotesque as it tumbles through the fur of the bat.

[Footnote 1: Celeripes vespertilionis, _Mont. Lin. Trans._ xi. p.11.]

[Illustration: NYCTERBIA.]

To enable it to attain its marvellous velocity, each foot is armed
with two sharp hooks, with elastic opposable pads, so that the hair
can not only be rapidly seized and firmly held, but as quickly
disengaged, as the creature whirls away in its headlong career.

The insects to which it bears the nearest affinity, are the
_Hippoboscidæ_, or "spider flies," that infest birds and horses;
but, unlike them, the Nycteribia is unable to fly.

Its strangest peculiarity, and that which gave rise to the belief that
it was headless, is its faculty when at rest of throwing back its head
and pressing it close between its shoulders till the under side
becomes uppermost, not a vestige of head being discernible where we
would naturally look for it, and the whole seeming but a casual
inequality on its back.

On closer examination this, apparent tubercle is found to have a
leathery attachment like a flexible neck, and by a sudden jerk the
little creature is enabled to project it forward into its normal
position, when it is discovered to be furnished with a mouth, antennæ,
and four eyes, two on each side.

The organisation of such an insect is a marvellous adaptation of
physical form to special circumstances. As the nycteribia has to make
its way through fur and hairs, its feet are furnished with prehensile
hooks that almost convert them into hands; and being obliged to conform
to the sudden flights of its patron, and accommodate itself to inverted
positions, all attitudes are rendered alike to it by the arrangement of its
limbs, which enables it, after every possible gyration, to find itself
always on its feet.

III. CARNIVORA.--_Bears_.--Of the _carnivora_, the one most
dreaded by the natives of Ceylon, and the only one of the larger
animals that makes the depths of the forest its habitual retreat, is
the bear[1], attracted chiefly by the honey which is found in the
hollow trees and clefts of the rocks. Occasionally spots of fresh
earth are observed which have been turned up by the bears in search of
some favourite root. They feed also on the termites and ants. A friend
of mine traversing the forest, near Jaffna, at early dawn, had his
attention attracted by the growling of a bear, that was seated upon a
lofty branch, thrusting portions of a red-ants' nest into his mouth
with one paw, whilst with the other he endeavoured to clear his
eyebrows and lips of the angry inmates, which bit and tortured him in
their rage. The Ceylon bear is found in the low and dry districts of
the northern and south-eastern coast, and is seldom met with on the
mountains or the moist and damp plains of the west. It is furnished
with a bushy tuft of hair on the back, between the shoulders, by which
the young are accustomed to cling till sufficiently strong to provide
for their own safety. During a severe drought that prevailed in the
northern province in 1850, the district of Caretchy was so infested by
bears that the Oriental custom of the women resorting to the wells was
altogether suspended, as it was a common occurrence to find one of these
animals in the water, unable to climb up the yielding and slippery soil,
down which its thirst had impelled it to slide during the night.

[Footnote 1: Prochilus labiatus, _Blainville_.]

[Illustration: INDIAN BEAR.]

Although the structure of the bear shows him to be naturally omnivorous,
he rarely preys upon flesh in Ceylon, and his solitary habits whilst in
search of honey and fruits render him timid and retiring. Hence he
evinces alarm on the approach of man or other animals, and, unable to
make a rapid retreat, his panic, rather than any vicious disposition,
leads him to become an assailant in self-defence. But so furious are his
assaults under such circumstances that the Singhalese have a terror of
his attack greater than that created by any other beast of the forest.
If not armed with a gun, a native, in the places where bears abound,
usually carries a light axe, called "kodelly," with which to strike them
on the head. The bear, on the other hand, always aims at the face, and,
if successful in prostrating his victim, usually commences by assailing
the eyes. I have met numerous individuals on our journeys who exhibited
frightful scars from such encounters, the white seams of their wounds
contrasting hideously with the dark colour of the rest of their bodies.

The Veddahs in Bintenne, whose principal stores consist of honey, live
in dread of the bears, because, attracted by the perfume, they will
not hesitate to attack their rude dwellings, when allured by this
irresistible temptation. The Post-office runners, who always travel by
night, are frequently exposed to danger from these animals, especially
along the coast from Putlam to Aripo, where they are found in
considerable numbers; and, to guard against surprise, they are
accustomed to carry flambeaux, to give warning to the bears, and
enable them to shuffle out of the path.[1]

[Footnote 1: Amongst the Singhalese there is a belief that certain
charms are efficacious in protecting them from the violence of bears,
and those whose avocations expose them to encounters of this kind are
accustomed to carry a talisman either attached to their neck or
enveloped in the folds of their luxuriant hair. A friend of mine,
writing of an adventure which occurred at Anarajapoora, thus describes
an occasion on which a Moor, who attended him, was somewhat, rudely
disabused of his belief in the efficacy of charms upon bears:--"Desiring
to change the position of a herd of deer, the Moorman (with his charm)
was sent across some swampy land to disturb them. As he was proceeding,
we saw him suddenly turn from an old tree and run back with all speed,
his hair becoming unfastened and like his clothes streaming in the wind.
It soon became evident that he was flying from some terrific object, for
he had thrown down his gun, and, in his panic, he was taking the
shortest line towards us, which lay across a swamp covered with sedge
and rushes that greatly impeded his progress, and prevented us
approaching him, or seeing what was the cause of his flight. Missing his
steps from one hard spot to another he repeatedly fell into the water,
but he rose and resumed his flight. I advanced as far as the sods would
bear my weight, but to go further was impracticable. Just within
ball-range there was an open space, and, as the man gained it. I saw
that he was pursued by a bear and two cubs. As the person of the
fugitive covered the bear, it was impossible to fire without risk. At
last he fall exhausted, and the bear being close upon him, I discharged
both barrels. The first broke the bear's shoulder, but this only made
her more savage, and rising on her hind legs she advanced with ferocious
prowls, when the second barrel, though I do not think it took effect,
served to frighten her, for turning round she retreated, followed by the
cubs. Some natives then waded through the mud to the Moorman, who was
just exhausted, and would have been drowned but that he fell with his
head upon a tuft of grass: the poor man was unable to speak, and for
several weeks his intellect seemed confused. The adventure sufficed to
satisfy him that he could not again depend upon a charm to protect him,
from bears, though he always insisted that but for its having fallen
from his hair where he had fastened it under his turban, the bear would
not have ventured to attack him."]

Leopards[1] are the only formidable members of the tiger race in
Ceylon[2], and they are neither very numerous nor very dangerous, as
they seldom attack man. By the Europeans, the Ceylon leopard is
erroneously called a _cheetah_, but the true "cheetah" (_felis
jubata_),' the hunting leopard of India, does not exist in the

[Footnote 1: Felis pardus, _Linn._ What is called a leopard, or a
cheetah, in Ceylon, is in reality the true panther.]

[Footnote 2: A belief is prevalent at Trincomalie that a Bengal tiger
inhabits the jungle in its vicinity; and the story runs that it
escaped from the wreck of a vessel on which it had been embarked for
England. Officers of the Government state positively that they have
more than once come on it whilst hunting; and one gentleman of the
Royal Engineers, who had seen it, assured me that he could not be
mistaken as to its being a tiger of India, and one of the largest

[Footnote 3: Mr. BAKER, in his _Eight Years in Ceylon_, has
stated that there are two species of leopard in the island, one of
which he implies is the Indian cheetah. But although he specifies
discrepancies in size, weight, and marking between the varieties which
he has examined, his data are not sufficient to identify any of them
with the true _felis jubata_.]

There is a rare variety of the leopard which has been found in various
parts of the island, in which the skin, instead of being spotted, is of
a uniform black.[1] Leopards frequent the vicinity of pasture hinds in
quest of the deer and other peaceful animals which resort to them; and
the villagers often complain of the destruction of their cattle by these
formidable marauders. In relation to them, the natives have a curious
but firm conviction that when a bullock is killed by a leopard, and, in
expiring, falls so that _its right side is undermost_, the leopard will
not return to devour it. I have been told by English sportsmen (some of
whom share in the popular belief), that sometimes, when they have
proposed to watch by the carcase of a bullock recently killed by a
leopard, in the hope of shooting the spoiler on his return in search of
his prey, the native owner of the slaughtered animal, though earnestly
desiring to be avenged, has assured them that it would be in vain, as
the beast having fallen on its right side, the leopard not return.

[Footnote 1: F. melas, _Peron_ and _Leseur_.]

[Illustration: LEOPARD AND CHEETAH.]

The Singhalese hunt them for the sake of their extremely beautiful
skins, but prefer taking them in traps and pitfalls, and occasionally
in spring cages formed of poles driven firmly into the ground, within
which a kid is generally fastened as a bait; the door being held open
by a sapling bent down by the united force of several men, and so
arranged as to act as a spring, to which a noose is ingeniously
attached, formed of plaited deer's hide. The cries of the kid attract
the leopard, which being tempted to enter, is enclosed by the
liberation of the spring, and grasped firmly round the body by the

Like the other carnivora, leopards are timid and cowardly in the
presence of man, never intruding on him voluntarily, and making a
hasty retreat when approached. Instances have, however, occurred of
individuals having been slain by them; and it is believed, that,
having once tasted human blood, they, like the tiger, acquire an
habitual relish for it. A peon, on duty by night at the court-house of
Anarajapoora, was some years ago carried off by a leopard from a table
in the verandah on which he had laid down his head to sleep. At
Batticaloa a "cheetah" in two instances in succession was known to
carry off men placed on a stage erected in a tree to drive away
elephants from rice-land: but such cases are rare, and, as compared
with their dread of the bear, the natives of Ceylon entertain but
slight apprehensions of the "cheetah." It is, however, the dread of
sportsmen, whose dogs when beating in the jungle are especially
exposed to its attacks: and I am aware of an instance in which a party
having tied their dogs to the tent-pole for security, and fallen
asleep round them, a leopard sprang into the tent and carried
off a dog from the midst of its slumbering masters. On one occasion
being in the mountains near Kandy, a messenger despatched to me
through the jungle excused his delay by stating that a "cheetah" had
seated itself in the only practicable path, and remained quietly
licking its fore paws and rubbing them over its face, till he was
forced to drive it, with stones, into the forest.

Leopards are strongly attracted by the peculiar odour which
accompanies small-pox. The reluctance of the natives to submit
themselves or their children to vaccination exposes the island to
frightful visitations of this disease; and in the villages in the
interior it is usual on such occasions to erect huts in the jungle to
serve as temporary hospitals. Towards these the leopards are certain
to be allured; and the medical officers are obliged to resort to
increased precautions in consequence. This fact is connected with a
curious native superstition. Amongst the avenging scourges sent direct
from the gods, the Singhalese regard both the ravages of the leopard,
and the visitation of the small-pox. The latter they call _par
excellence "maha ledda_," the great "sickness;" they look upon it
as a special manifestation of _devidosay_, "the displeasure of
the gods;" and the attraction of the cheetahs to the bed of the
sufferer they attribute to the same indignant agency. A few years ago,
the capua, or demon-priest of a "dewale," at Oggalbodda, a village
near Caltura, when suffering under small-pox, was devoured by a
cheetah, and his fate was regarded by those of an opposite faith as a
special judgment from heaven.

Such is the awe inspired by this belief in connection with the
small-pox, that a person afflicted with it is always approached as one
in immediate communication with the deity; his attendants, address him
as "my lord," and "your lordship," and exhaust on him the whole series
of honorific epithets in which their language abounds for approaching
personages of the most exalted rank. At evening and morning, a lamp is
lighted before him, and invoked with prayers to protect his family from
the dire calamity which has befallen himself. And after his recovery,
his former associates refrain from communication with him until a
ceremony shall have been performed by the capua, called
_awasara-pandema_, or "the offering of lights for permission," the
object of which is to entreat permission of the deity to regard him as
freed from the divine displeasure, with liberty to his friends to renew
their intercourse as before.

Major SKINNER, who for upwards of forty years has had occasionally to
live for long periods in the interior, occupied in the prosecution of
surveys and the construction of roads, is strongly of opinion that the
disposition of the leopard towards man is essentially pacific, and
that, when discovered, its natural impulse is to effect its escape. In
illustration of this I insert an extract from one of his letters,
which describes an adventure highly characteristic of this instinctive

"On the occasion of one of my visits to Adam's Peak, in the prosecution
of my military reconnoissances of the mountain zone, I fixed on a pretty
little patena (_i.e._, meadow) in the midst of an extensive and dense
forest in the southern segment of the Peak Range, as a favourable spot
for operations. It would have been difficult, after descending from the
cone of the peak, to have found one's way to this point, in the midst of
so vast a wilderness of trees, had not long experience assured me that
good game tracks would be found leading to it, and by one of them I
reached it. It was in the afternoon, just after one of those tropical
sunshowers that decorate every branch and blade with pendant brilliants,
and the little patena was covered with game, either driven to the open
space by the drippings from the leaves or tempted by the freshness of
the pasture: there were several pairs of elk, the bearded antlered male
contrasting finely with his mate; and other varieties of game in a
profusion not to be found in any place frequented by man. It was some
time before I would allow them to be disturbed by the rude fall of the
axe, in our necessity to establish our bivouac for the night, and they
were so unaccustomed to danger that it was long before they took alarm
at our noises.

"The following morning, anxious to gain a height for my observations
in time to avail myself of the clear atmosphere of sunrise, I started
off by myself through the jungle, leaving orders for my men, with my
surveying instruments, to follow my track by the notches which I cut
in the bark of the trees. On leaving the plain, I availed myself of a
fine wide game track which lay in my direction, and had gone, perhaps,
half a mile from the camp, when I was startled by a slight rustling in
the nilloo[1] to my right, and in another instant, by the spring of a
magnificent leopard, which, in a bound of full eight feet in height
over the lower brushwood, lighted at my feet within eighteen inches of
the spot whereon I stood, and lay in a crouching position, his fiery
gleaming eyes fixed on me.

[Footnote 1: A species of one of the suffruticose _Acanthaccæ_
(Strobilanthes), which grows, abundantly in the mountain ranges of

"The predicament was not a pleasant one. I had no weapon of defence, and
with one spring or blow of his paw the beast could have annihilated me.
To move I knew would only encourage his attack. It occurred to me at the
moment that I had heard of the power of man's eye over wild animals, and
accordingly I fixed my gaze as intently as the agitation of such a
moment enabled me on his eyes: we stared at each other for some seconds,
when, to my inexpressible joy, the beast turned and bounded down the
straight open path before me. This scene occurred just at that period of
the morning when the grazing animals retired from the open patena to the
cool shade of the forest: doubtless, the leopard had taken my approach
for that of a deer, or some such animal. And if his spring had been at a
quadruped instead of a biped, his distance was so well measured, that it
must have landed him on the neck of a deer, an elk, or a buffalo; as it
was, one pace more would have done for me. A bear would not have let his
victim off so easily."

Notwithstanding the unequalled agility of the monkey, it falls a prey,
and not unfrequently, to the leopard. The latter, on approaching a tree
on which a troop of monkeys have taken shelter, causes an instant and
fearful excitement, which they manifest by loud and continued screams,
and incessant restless leaps from branch to branch. The leopard
meanwhile walks round and round the tree, with his eyes firmly fixed
upon his victims, till at last exhausted by terror, and prostrated by
vain exertions to escape, one or more falls a prey to his voracity. So
rivetted is the attention of both during the struggle, that a sportsman,
on one occasion, attracted by the noise, was enabled to approach within
an uncomfortable distance of the leopard, before he discovered the cause
of the unusual dismay amongst the monkeys overhead.

It is said, but I have never been able personally to verify the fact,
that the leopard of Ceylon exhibits a peculiarity in being unable
entirely to retract its claws within their sheaths.

There is another piece of curious folk lore, in connexion with the
leopard. The natives assert that it devours the _kaolin_ clay
called by them _kiri-mattie_[1] in a very peculiar way. They say
that the cheetah places it in lumps beside him, and then gazes
intently on the sun, till on turning his eyes on the clay, every piece
appears of a red colour like flesh, when he instantly devours it.

[Footnote 1: See Sir J.E. TENNENT'S _Ceylon_, vol. i. p. 31.]

They likewise allege that the female cheetah never produces more than
one litter of whelps.

Of the _lesser feline species_, the number and variety in Ceylon
is inferior to those of India. The Palm-cat[1] lurks by day among the
fronds of the coco-nut palms, and by night makes destructive forays on
the fowls of the villagers; and, in order to suck the blood of its
victim, inflicts a wound so small as to be almost imperceptible. The
glossy genette[2], the "_Civet_" of Europeans, is common in the
northern province, where the Tamils confine it in cages for the sake
of its musk, which they collect from the wooden bars on which it rubs
itself. Edrisi, the Moorish geographer, writing in the twelfth
century, enumerates musk as one of the productions then exported from

[Footnote 1: Paradoxurus typus, _F. Cuv._]

[Footnote 2: Viverra Indica, _Geoffr., Hodgs._]

[Footnote 3: EDRISI, _Géogr._ sec. vii. Jauberts's translation,
t. ii. p. 72. In connexion with cats, a Singhalese gentleman has
described to me a plant in Ceylon, called _Cuppa-mayniya_ by the
natives; by which he says cats are so enchanted, that they play with
it as they would with, a captured mouse; throwing if into the air,
watching it till it falls, and crouching to see if it will move. It
would be worth inquiring into the truth of this; and the explanation
of the attraction.]

_Dogs_.--There is no native wild dog in Ceylon, but every village
and town is haunted by mongrels of European descent, that are known by
the generic description of _Pariahs_. They are a miserable race,
lean, wretched, and mangy, acknowledged by no owners, living on the
garbage of the streets and sewers, and if spoken to unexpectedly they
shrink with an almost involuntary cry. Yet in these persecuted
outcasts there survives that germ of instinctive affection which binds
the dog to the human race, and a gentle word, even a look of
compassionate kindness, is sufficient foundation for a lasting

The Singhalese, from their religious aversion to taking away life in any
form, permit the increase of these desolate creatures till in the hot
season they become so numerous as to be a nuisance; and the only
expedient hitherto devised by the civil government to reduce their
numbers, is once in each year to offer a reward for their destruction,
when the Tamils and Malays pursue them in the streets with clubs (guns
being forbidden by the police for fear of accidents), and the
unresisting dogs are beaten to death on the side-paths and door-steps
where they had been taught to resort for food. Lord Torrington, during
his government of Ceylon, attempted the more civilised experiment of
putting some check on their numbers, by imposing a dog-tax, the effect
of which would have been to lead to the drowning of puppies; whereas
there is reason to believe that dogs are at present _bred_ by the
horse-keepers to be killed for sake of the reward.

The Pariahs of Colombo exhibit something of the same instinct, by
which the dogs in other eastern cities partition the towns into
districts, each apportioned to a separate pack, by whom it is
jealously guarded from the encroachments of all intruders. Travellers
at Cairo and Constantinople are often startled at night by the racket
occasioned by the demonstrations made by the rightful possessors of a
locality in repelling its invasion by some straggling wanderer. At
Alexandria, in 1844, the dogs had multiplied to such an inconvenient
extent, that Mehemet Ali, to abate the nuisance, caused them to be
shipped in boats and conveyed to one of the islands at the mouth of
the Nile. But the streets, thus deprived of their habitual patroles,
were speedily infested by dogs from the suburbs, in such numbers that
the evil became greater than before, and in the following year, the
legitimate denizens were recalled from their exile in the Delta, and
speedily drove back the intruders within their original boundary. May
not this disposition of the dog be referable to the impulse by which,
in a state of nature, each pack appropriates its own hunting-fields
within a particular area? and may not the impulse which, even in a
state of domestication, they still manifest to attack a passing dog
upon the road, be a remnant of this localised instinct, and a
concomitant dislike of intrusion?

_Jackal_.--The Jackal[1] in the low country of Ceylon hunts thus in
packs, headed by a leader, and these audacious prowlers have been seen
to assault and pull down a deer. The small number of hares in the
districts they infest is ascribed to their depredations. In the legends
of the natives, and in the literature of the Buddhists, the jackal in
Ceylon is as essentially the type of cunning as the fox is the emblem of
craft and adroitness in the traditions of Europe. In fact, it is more
than doubtful whether the jackal of the East be not the creature alluded
to, in the various passages of the Sacred Writings which make allusion
to the artfulness and subtlety of the "fox."

[Footnote 1: Canis Aureus, _Linn._]

These faculties they display in a high degree in their hunting
expeditions, especially in the northern portions of the island, where
they are found in the greatest numbers. In these districts, where the
wide sandy plains are thinly covered with brushwood, the face of the
country is diversified by patches of thick jungle and detached groups
of trees, that form insulated groves and topes. At dusk, or after
nightfall, a pack of jackals, having watched a hare or a small deer
take refuge in one of these retreats, immediately surround it on all
sides; and having stationed a few to watch the path by which the game
entered, the leader commences the attack by raising the unearthly cry
peculiar to their race, and which resembles the sound _okkay!_
loudly and rapidly repeated. The whole party then rush into the
jungle, and drive out the victim, which generally falls into the
ambush previously laid to entrap it.

A native gentleman[1], who had favourable opportunities of observing the
movements of these animals, informed me, that when a jackal has brought
down his game and killed it, his first impulse is to hide it in the
nearest jungle, whence he issues with an air of easy indifference to
observe whether anything more powerful than himself may be at hand, from
which he might encounter the risk of being despoiled of his capture. If
the coast be clear, he returns to the concealed carcase, and carries it
away, followed by his companions. But if a man be in sight, or any other
animal to be avoided, my informant has seen the jackal seize a coco-nut
husk in his mouth, or any similar substance, and fly at full speed, as
if eager to carry off his pretended prize, returning for the real booty
at some more convenient season.

[Footnote 1: Mr. D. de Silva Gooneratné.]

They are subject to hydrophobia, and instances are frequent in Ceylon
of cattle being bitten by them and dying in consequence.


An excrescence is sometimes found on the head of the jackal, consisting
of a small horny cone about half an inch in length, and concealed by a
tuft of hair. This the natives call _narrie-comboo_; and they aver that
this "Jackal's Horn" only grows on the head of the leader of the
pack.[1] Both the Singhalese and the Tamils regard it as a talisman, and
believe that its fortunate possessor can command by its instrumentality
the realisation of every wish, and that if stolen or lost by him, it
will invariably return of its own accord. Those who have jewels to
conceal rest in perfect security if along with them they can deposit a
narri-comboo, fully convinced that its presence is an effectual
safeguard against robbers.

[Footnote 1: In the Museum of the College of Surgeons, London (No.
4362 A), there is a cranium of a jackal which exhibits this strange
osseous process on the super-occipital; and I have placed along with
it a specimen of the horny sheath, which was presented to me by Mr.
Lavalliere, the late district judge of Kandy.]

One fabulous virtue ascribed to the _narrie-comboo_ by the Singhalese is
absurdly characteristic of their passion for litigation, as well as of
their perceptions of the "glorious uncertainty of the law." It is the
popular belief that the fortunate discoverer of a jackal's horn becomes
thereby invincible in every lawsuit, and must irresistibly triumph over
every opponent. A gentleman connected "with the Supreme Court of Colombo
has repeated to me a circumstance, within his own knowledge, of a
plaintiff who, after numerous defeats, eventually succeeded against his
opponent by the timely acquisition of this invaluable charm. Before the
final hearing of the cause, the mysterious horn was duly exhibited to
his friends; and the consequence was, that the adverse witnesses,
appalled by the belief that no one could possibly give judgment against
a person so endowed, suddenly modified their previous evidence, and
secured an unforeseen victory for the happy owner of the

_The Mongoos_.--Of the Mongoos or Ichneumon four species have been
described; and one, that frequents the hills near Neuera-ellia[1], is so
remarkable from its bushy fur, that the invalid soldiers in the
sanatarium there, to whom it is familiar, have given it the name of the
"Ceylon Badger."

[Footnote 1: _Herpestes vitticollis_. Mr. W. ELLIOTT, in his _Catalogue
of Mammalia found in the Southern Maharata Country_, Madras, 1840, says,
that "One specimen of this Herpestes was procured by accident in the
Ghât forests in 1829, and is now deposited in the British Museum; it is
very rare, inhabiting only the thickest woods, and its habits are very
little known," p. 9. In Ceylon it is comparatively common.]


I have found universally that the natives of Ceylon attach no credit to
the European story of the Mongoos (_H. griseus_) resorting to some
plant, which no one has yet succeeded in identifying, as an antidote
against the bite of the venomous serpents on which it preys: There is no
doubt that, in its conflicts with the cobra de capello and other
poisonous snakes, which it attacks with as little hesitation as the
harmless ones, it may be seen occasionally to retreat, and even to
retire into the jungle, and, it is added, to eat some vegetable; but a
gentleman, who has been a frequent observer of its exploits, assures me
that most usually the herb it resorted to was grass; and if this were
not at hand, almost any other plant that grew near seemed equally
acceptable. Hence has probably arisen the long list of plants, such as
the _Ophioxylon serpentinum_ and _Ophiorhiza mungos_, the _Aristolochia
Indica_, the _Mimosa octandria_, and others, each of which has been
asserted to be the ichneumon's specific; whilst their multiplicity is
demonstrative of the non-existence of any one in particular on which the
animal relies as an antidote. Were there any truth in the tale as
regards the mongoos, it would be difficult to understand why creatures,
such as the secretary bird and the falcon, and others, which equally
destroy serpents, should be left defenceless, and the ichneumon alone
provided with a prophylactic. Besides, were the ichneumon inspired by
that courage which would result from the consciousness of security, it
would be so indifferent to the bite of the serpent that we might
conclude that, both in its approaches and its assault, it would be
utterly careless as to the precise mode of its attack. Such, however, is
far from being the case: and next to its audacity, nothing can be more
surprising than the adroitness with which it escapes the spring of the
snake under a due sense of danger, and the cunning with which it makes
its arrangements to leap upon the back and fasten its teeth in the head
of the cobra. It is this display of instinctive ingenuity that Lucan[1]
celebrates where he paints the ichneumon diverting the attention of the
asp, by the motion of his bushy tail, and then seizing it in the midst
of its confusion:--

  "Aspidas ut Pharias caudâ solertior hostis
  Ludit, et iratas incertâ provocat umbrâ:

       *       *       *       *       *

[Footnote 1: The passage in Lucan is a versification of the same
narrative related by Pliny, lib. viii. ch. 53; and Ælian, lib. iii. ch.

  Obliquusque caput vanas serpentis in auras
  Effuse toto comprendit guttura morsu
  Letiferam citra saniem; tunc irrita pestis
  Exprimitur, faucesque fluunt pereunte veneno."
                      _Pharsalia_, lib. iv. v. 729.

The mystery of the mongoos and its antidote has been referred to the
supposition that there may be some peculiarity in its organisation which
renders it _proof against_ the poison of the serpent. It remains for
future investigation to determine how far this conjecture is founded in
truth; and whether in the blood of the mongoos there exists any element
or quality which acts as a prophylactic. Such exceptional provisions are
not without precedent in the animal oeconomy: the hornbill feeds with
impunity on the deadly fruit of the strychnos; the milky juice of some
species of euphorbia, which is harmless to oxen, is invariably fatal to
the zebra; and the tsetse fly, the pest of South Africa, whose bite is
mortal to the ox, the dog, and the horse, is harmless to man and the
untamed creatures of the forest.[1]

[Footnote 1: Dr. LIVINGSTONE, _Tour in S. Africa_, p. 80. Is it a fact
that, in America, pigs extirpate the rattlesnakes with impunity?]

The Singhalese distinguish one species of mongoos, which they designate
"_Hotambeya_" and which they assert never preys upon serpents. A writer
in the _Ceylon Miscellany_ mentions, that they are often to be seen
"crossing rivers and frequently mud-brooks near Chilaw; the adjacent
thickets affording them shelter, and their food consisting of aquatic
reptiles, crabs, and mollusca."[1]

[Footnote 1: This is possibly the "musbilai" or mouse-cat of Behar,
which preys upon birds and fish. Can it be the Urva of the Nepalese
(_Urva cancrivora_, Hodgson), which Mr. Hodgson describes as dwelling in
burrows, and being carnivorous and ranivorous?--Vide _Journ. As. Soc.
Beng._ vol. vi. p. 56.]

[Illustration: FLYING SQUIRREL.]

IV. RODENTIA. _Squirrels_.--Smaller animals in great numbers enliven the
forests and lowland plains with their graceful movements. Squirrels[1],
of which there are a great variety, make their shrill metallic call
heard at early morning in the woods; and when sounding their note of
warning on the approach of a civet or a tree-snake, the ears tingle with
the loud trill of defiance, which rings as clear and rapid as the
running down of an alarum, and is instantly caught up and re-echoed from
every side by their terrified playmates.

[Footnote 1: Of two kinds which frequent the mountains, one which is
peculiar to Ceylon was discovered by Mr. Edgar L. Layard, who has done
me the honour to call it the _Sciurus Tennentii_. Its dimensions are
large, measuring upwards of two feet from head to tail. It is
distinguished from the _S. macrurus_ by the predominant black colour of
the upper surface of the body, with the exception of a rusty spot at the
base of the ears.]

One of the largest, belonging to a closely allied subgenus, is known as
the "Flying Squirrel,"[1] from its being assisted, in its prodigious
leaps from tree to tree, by a parachute formed by the skin of the
flanks, which, on the extension of the limbs front and rear, is
laterally expanded from foot to foot. Thus buoyed up in its descent, the
spring which it is enabled to make from one lofty tree to another
resembles the flight of a bird rather than the bound of a quadruped.

[Footnote 1: Pteromys oral., _Tickel_. P. petaurista, _Pallas_.]

Of these pretty creatures there are two species, one common to Ceylon
and India, the other (_Sciuropterus Layardii_, Kelaart) is peculiar to
the island, and by far the most beautiful of the family.

_Rats_.--Among the multifarious inhabitants to which the forest affords
at once a home and provender is the tree rat[1], which forms its nest on
the branches, and by turns makes its visits to the dwellings of the
natives, frequenting the ceilings in preference to the lower parts of
houses. Here it is incessantly followed by the rat-snake[2], whose
domestication is encouraged by the servants, in consideration of its
services in destroying vermin. I had one day an opportunity of
surprising a snake that had just seized on a rat of this description,
and of covering it suddenly with a glass shade, before it had time to
swallow its prey. The serpent, appeared stunned by its own capture, and
allowed the rat to escape from its jaws, which cowered at one side of
the glass in the most pitiable state of trembling terror. The two were
left alone for some moments, and on my return to them the snake was as
before in the same attitude of sullen stupor. On setting them at
liberty, the rat bounded towards the nearest fence; but quick as
lightning it was followed by its pursuer, which seized it before it
could gain the hedge, through which I saw the snake glide with its
victim in its jaws. In parts of the central province, at Oovah and
Bintenne, the house-rat is eaten as a common article of food. The
Singhalese believe it and the mouse to be liable to hydrophobia.

[Footnote 1: There are two species of the tree rat in Ceylon: M.
rufescens, _Gray_; (M. flavescens, _Elliot_;) and Mus nemoralis,

[Footnote 2: Coryphodon Blumenbachii, _Merr_.]

Another indigenous variety of the rat is that which made its appearance
for the first time in the coffee plantations on the Kandyan hills in the
year 1847; and in such swarms does it continue to infest them, at
intervals, that as many as a thousand have been killed in a single day
on one estate. In order to reach the buds and blossoms of the coffee, it
cuts such of the slender branches as would not sustain its weight, and
feeds on them when fallen to the ground; and so delicate and sharp are
its incisors, that the twigs thus destroyed are detached by as clean a
cut as if severed with a knife.

The coffee-rat[1] is an insular variety of the _Mus hirsutus_ of W.
Elliot, found in Southern India. They inhabit the forests, making their
nests among the roots of the trees, and feeding, in the season, on the
ripe seeds of the nilloo. Like the lemmings of Norway and Lapland, they
migrate in vast numbers on the occurrence of a scarcity of their
ordinary food. The Malabar coolies are so fond of their flesh, that they
evince a preference for those districts in which the coffee plantations
are subject to their incursions, where they fry the rats in coco-nut
oil, or convert them into curry.

[Footnote 1: Golunda Ellioti, _Gray_.]

[Illustration: COFFEE RAT.]

_Bandicoot_.--Another favourite article of food with the coolies is the
pig-rat or Bandicoot[1], which attains on those hills the weight of two
or three pounds, and grows to nearly the length of two feet. As it feeds
on grain and roots, its flesh is said to be delicate, and much
resembling young pork.

[Footnote 1: Mus bandicota, _Beckst._ The English term bandicoot is a
corruption of the Telinga name _pandikoku_, literally _pig-rat_.]

Its nests, when rifled, are frequently found to contain considerable
quantities of rice, stored up against the dry season.

[Illustration: BANDICOOT.]

_Porcupine_.--The Porcupine[1] is another of the _rodentia_ which has
drawn down upon itself the hostility of the planters, from its
destruction of the young coconut palms, to which it is a pernicious and
persevering, but withal so crafty, a visitor, that it is with difficulty
any trap can be so disguised, or any bait made so alluring, as to lead
to its capture. The usual expedient in Ceylon is to place some of its
favourite food at the extremity of a trench, so narrow as to prevent the
porcupine turning, whilst the direction of his quills effectually bars
his retreat backwards. On a newly planted coconut tope, at Hang-welle,
within a few miles of Colombo, I have heard of as many as twenty-seven
being thus captured in a single night; but such success is rare. The
more ordinary expedient is to smoke them out by burning straw at the
apertures of their burrows. At Ootacamund, on the continent of the
Dekkan, spring-guns have been used with great success by the
Superintendent of the Horticultural Gardens; placing them so as to sweep
the runs of the porcupines. The flesh is esteemed a delicacy in Ceylon,
and in consistency, colour, and flavour it very much resembles young

[Footnote 1: Hystrix leucurus, _Sykes_.]

V. EDENTATA. _Pengolin_.--Of the Edentata the only example in Ceylon is
the scaly ant-eater, called by the Singhalese, Caballaya, but usually
known by its Malay name of _Pengolin_[1], a word indicative of its
faculty, when alarmed, of "rolling itself up" into a compact ball, by
bending its head towards its stomach, arching its back into a circle,
and securing all by a powerful fold of its mail-covered tail. The feet
of the pengolin are armed with powerful claws, which in walking they
double in, like the ant-eater of Brazil. These they use in extracting
their favourite food from ant-hills and decaying wood. When at liberty,
they burrow in the dry ground to a depth of seven or eight feet, where
they reside in pairs, and produce annually one or two young.[2]

[Footnote 1: Manis pentadactyla, _Linn._]

[Footnote 2: I am assured that there is a hedge-hog in Ceylon; but as I
have never seen it, I cannot tell whether it belongs to either of the
two species known in India (_Erinaceus mentalis_ and _E. collaris_)--nor
can I vouch for its existence there at all. But the fact was told to me,
in connexion with the statement, that its favourite dwelling is in the
same burrow with the pengolin. The popular belief in this is attested by
a Singhalese proverb, in relation to an intrusive personage; the import
of which is that he is like "_a hedge-hog in the den of a pengolin_."]

Of two specimens which I kept alive at different times, one, about two
feet in length, from the vicinity of Kandy, was a gentle and affectionate
creature, which, after wandering over the house in search of ants, would
attract attention to its wants by climbing up my knee, laying hold of my
leg with its prehensile tail. The other, more than double that length,
was caught in the jungle near Chilaw, and brought to me in Colombo. I
had always understood that the pengolin was unable to climb trees; but
the one last mentioned frequently ascended a tree in my garden, in
search of ants; and this it effected by means of its hooked feet, aided
by an oblique grasp of the tail. The ants it seized by extending its
round and glutinous tongue along their tracks; and in the stomach of one
which was opened after death, I found a quantity of small stones and
gravel, which had been taken to facilitate digestion. In both specimens
in my possession the scales of the back were a cream-coloured white,
with a tinge of red in that which came from Chilaw, probably acquired by
the insinuation of the Cabook dust which abounds along the western coast
of the island.

[Illustration: THE PENGOLIN.]


Of the habits of the pengolin I found that very little was known by the
natives, who regard it with aversion, one name given to it being the
"Negombo Devil." Those kept by me were, generally speaking, quiet during
the day, and grew restless and active as evening and night approached.
Both had been taken near rocks, in the hollows of which they had their
dwelling, but owing to their slow power of motion, they were unable to
reach their hiding place when overtaken. When frightened, they rolled
themselves instantly into a rounded ball; and such was the powerful
force of muscle, that the strength of a man was insufficient to uncoil
it. In reconnoitring they made important use of the tail, resting upon
it and their hind legs, and holding themselves nearly erect, to command
a view of their object. The strength of this powerful limb will be
perceived from the accompanying drawing of the skeleton of the Manis; in
which it will be seen that the tail is equal in length to all the rest
of the body, whilst the vertebræ which compose it are stronger by far
than those of the back.

From the size and position of the bones of the leg, the pengolin is
endued with prodigious power; and its faculty of exerting this
vertically, was displayed in overturning heavy cases, by insinuating
itself under them, between the supports, by which it is customary in
Ceylon to raise trunks a few inches above the floor, in order to prevent
the attacks of white ants.

VI. RUMINANTIA. _The Gaur_.--Besides the deer, and some varieties of the
humped ox, that have been introduced from the opposite continent of
India, Ceylon has probably but one other indigenous bovine _ruminant_,
the buffalo.[1] There is a tradition that the gaur, found in the
extremity of the Indian peninsula, was at one period a native of the
Kandyan Mountains; but as Knox speaks of one which in his time "was kept
among the king's creatures" at Kandy[2], and his account of it tallies
with that of the _Bos Gaurus_ of Hindustan, it would appear even then to
have been a rarity. A place between Neuera-ellia and Adam's Peak bears
the name of "Gowra-ellia," and it is not impossible that the animal may
yet be discovered in some of the imperfectly explored regions of the
island.[3] I have heard of an instance in which a very old Kandyan,
residing in the mountains near the Horton Plains, asserted that when
young he had seen what he believed to have been a gaur, and he described
it as between an elk and a buffalo in size, dark brown in colour, and
very scantily provided with hair.

[Footnote 1: Bubalus buffelus, _Gray_.]

[Footnote 2: KNOX, _Historical Relation of Ceylon, &c._, A.D. 1681. Book
i. c. 6.]

[Footnote 3: KELAART, _Fauna Zeylan_., p. 87.]

_Oxen_.--Oxen are used by the peasantry both in ploughing and in
tempering the mud in the wet paddi fields before sowing the rice; and
when the harvest is reaped they "tread out the corn," after the
immemorial custom of the East. The wealth of the native chiefs and
landed proprietors frequently consists in their herds of bullocks, which
they hire out to their dependents during the seasons for agricultural
labour; and as they already supply them with land to be tilled, and lend
the seed which is to crop it, the further contribution of this portion
of the labour serves to render the dependence of the peasantry on the
chiefs and headmen complete.

The cows are often worked as well as the oxen; and as the calves are
always permitted to suck them, milk is an article which the traveller
can rarely hope to procure in a Kandyan village. From their constant
exposure at all seasons, the cattle in Ceylon, both those employed in
agriculture and those on the roads, are subject to devastating murrains,
that sweep them away by thousands. So frequent is the recurrence of
these calamities, and so extended their ravages, that they exercise a
serious influence upon the commercial interests of the colony, by
reducing the facilities of agriculture, and augmenting the cost of
carriage during the most critical periods of the coffee harvest.

A similar disorder, probably peripneumonia, frequently carries off the
cattle in Assam and other hill countries on the continent of India; and
there, as in Ceylon, the inflammatory symptoms in the lungs and throat,
and the internal derangement and external eruptive appearances, seem to
indicate that the disease is a feverish influenza, attributable to
neglect and exposure in a moist and variable climate; and that its
prevention might be hoped for, and the cattle preserved, by the simple
expedient of more humane and considerate treatment, especially by
affording them cover at night.

During my residence in Ceylon an incident occurred at Neuera-ellia,
which invested one of these pretty animals with an heroic interest. A
little cow, belonging to an English gentleman, was housed, together with
her calf, near the dwelling of her owner, and being aroused during the
night by her furious bellowing, the servants, on hastening to the stall,
found her goring a leopard, which had stolen in to attack the calf. She
had got it into a corner, and whilst lowing incessantly to call for
help, she continued to pound it with her horns. The wild animal,
apparently stupified by her unexpected violence, was detained by her
till despatched by a bullet.

The number of bullock-carts encountered between Colombo and Kandy, laden
with coffee from the interior, or carrying up rice and stores for the
supply of the plantations in the hill-country, is quite surprising. The
oxen thus employed on this single road, about seventy miles long, are
estimated at upwards of twenty thousand. The bandy to which they are
yoked is a barbarous two-wheeled waggon, with a covering of plaited
coco-nut leaves, in which a pair of strong bullocks will draw from five
to ten hundred weight, according to the nature of the country; and with
this load on a level they will perform a journey of twenty miles a day.

A few of the large humped cattle of India are annually imported for
draught; but the vast majority of those in use are small and
dark-coloured, with a graceful head and neck, and elevated hump, a deep
silky dewlap, and limbs as slender as a deer. They appear to have
neither the strength nor weight requisite for this service; and yet the
entire coffee crop of Ceylon, amounting annually to upwards of half a
million hundred weight, is year after year brought down from the
mountains to the coast by these indefatigable little creatures, which,
on returning, carry up proportionally heavy loads, of rice and
implements for the estates.[1] There are two varieties of the native
bullock; one a somewhat coarser animal, of a deep red colour; the other,
the high-bred black one I have just described. So rare was a white one
of this species, under the native kings, that the Kandyans were
compelled to set them apart for the royal herd.[2]

[Footnote 1: A pair of these little bullocks carry up about twenty
bushels of rice to the hills, and bring down from fifty to sixty bushels
of coffee to Colombo.]

[Footnote 2: WOLF says that, in the year 1763, he saw in Ceylon two
white oxen, each of which measured upwards of eight feet high. They were
sent as a present from the King of Atchin.--_Life and Adventures_, p.

Although bullocks may be said to be the only animals of draught and
burden in Ceylon (horses being rarely used except in spring carriages),
no attempt has been made to improve the breed, or even to better the
condition and treatment of those in use. Their food is indifferent,
pasture in all parts of the island being rare, and cattle are seldom
housed under any vicissitudes of weather.

The labour for which they are best adapted, and in which, before the
opening of roads, these cattle were formerly employed, is in traversing
the jungle paths of the interior, carrying light loads as pack-oxen in
what is called a "_tavalam_"--a term which, substituting bullocks for
camels, is equivalent to a "caravan."[1] The class of persons engaged in
this traffic in Ceylon resemble in their occupations the "Banjarees" of
Hindustan, who bring down to the coast corn, cotton, and oil, and take
back to the interior cloths and iron and copper utensils. In the
unopened parts of the island, and especially in the eastern provinces,
this primitive practice still continues. When travelling in these
districts I have often encountered long files of pack-bullocks toiling
along the mountain paths, their bells tinkling musically as they moved;
or halting during the noonday heat beside some stream in the forests,
their burdens piled in heaps near the drivers, who had lighted their
cooking fires, whilst the bullocks were permitted to bathe and browse.

[Footnote 1: Attempts have been made to domesticate the camel in Ceylon;
but, I am told, they died of ulcers in the feet, attributed to the too
great moisture of the roads at certain seasons. This explanation seems
insufficient if taken in connection with the fact of the camel living in
perfect health in climates equally, if not more, exposed to rain. I
apprehend that sufficient justice has not been done to the experiment.]

The persons engaged in this wandering trade are chiefly Moors, and the
business carried on by them consists in bringing up salt from the
government depots on the coast to be bartered with the Kandyans in the
hills for "native coffee," which is grown in small quantities round
every house, but without systematic cultivation. This they carry down to
the maritime towns, and the proceeds are invested in cotton cloths and
brass utensils, dried fish, and other commodities, with which the
_tavalams_ supply the secluded villages of the interior.

_The Buffalo_.--Buffaloes abound in all parts of Ceylon, but they are
only to be seen in their native wildness in the vast solitudes of the
northern and eastern provinces, where rivers, lagoons, and dilapidated
tanks abound. In these they delight to immerse themselves, till only
their heads appear above the surface; or, enveloped in mud to protect
themselves from the assaults of insects, they luxuriate in the long
sedges by the water margins. When the buffalo is browsing, a crow will
frequently be seen stationed on its back, engaged in freeing it from the
ticks and other pests which attach themselves to its leathery hide, the
smooth brown surface of which, unprotected by hair, shines with an
unpleasant polish in the sunlight. When in motion a buffalo throws back
its clumsy head till the huge horns rest on its shoulders, and the nose
is presented in a line with the eyes.

The temper of the wild buffalo is morose and uncertain, and such is its
strength and courage that in the Hindu epic of the Ramayana its
onslaught is compared to that of the tiger.[1] It is never quite safe to
approach them, if disturbed in their pasture or alarmed from their
repose in the shallow lakes. On such occasions they hurry into line,
draw up in defensive array, with a few of the oldest bulls in advance;
and, wheeling in circles, their horns clashing with a loud sound as they
clank them together in their rapid evolutions, they prepare for attack;
but generally, after a menacing display the herd betake themselves to
flight; then forming again at a safer distance, they halt as before,
elevating their nostrils, and throwing back their heads to take a
defiant survey of the intruders. The true sportsman rarely molests them,
so huge a creature affording no worthy mark for his skill, and their
wanton slaughter adds nothing to the supply of food for their assailant.

[Footnote 1: CAREY and MARSHMAN'S Transl. vol. i. p. 430, 447.]

In the Hambangtotte country, where the Singhalese domesticate buffaloes,
and use them to assist in the labour of the rice lands, the villagers
are much annoyed by the wild ones, that mingle with the tame when sent
out to the woods to pasture; and it constantly happens that a savage
stranger, placing himself at the head of the tame herd, resists the
attempts of the owners to drive them homewards at sunset. In the
districts of Putlam and the Seven Corles, buffaloes are generally used
for draught; and in carrying heavy loads of salt from the coast towards
the interior, they drag a cart over roads which would defy the weaker
strength of bullocks.

In one place between Batticaloa and Trincomalie I found the natives
making an ingenious use of them when engaged in shooting water-fowl in
the vast salt marshes and muddy lakes. Being an object to which the
birds are accustomed, the Singhalese train the buffalo to the sport,
and, concealed behind, the animal browsing listlessly along, they guide
it by ropes attached to its horns, and thus creep undiscovered within
shot of the flock. The same practice prevails, I believe, in some of the
northern parts of India, where they are similarly trained to assist the
sportsman in approaching deer. One of these "sporting buffaloes" sells
for a considerable sum.

In the thick forests which cover the Passdun Corle, to the east, and
south of Caltura, the natives use the sporting buffalo in another way,
to assist in hunting deer and wild hogs. A bell is attached to its neck,
and a box or basket with one side open is securely strapped on its back.
This at nightfall is lighted by flambeaux of wax, and the buffalo
bearing it, is driven slowly into the jungle. The huntsmen, with their
fowling pieces, keep close under the darkened side, and as it moves
slowly onwards, the wild animals, startled by the sound, and bewildered
by the light, steal cautiously towards it in stupified fascination. Even
the snakes, I am assured, will be attracted by this extraordinary
object; and the leopard too falls a victim to curiosity.

There is a peculiarity in the formation of the buffalo's foot, which,
though it must have attracted attention, I have never seen mentioned by
naturalists. It is equivalent to the arrangement which distinguishes the
foot of the reindeer from that of the stag and the antelope. In the
latter, the hoofs, being constructed for lightness and flight, are
compact and vertical; but, in the reindeer, the joints of the tarsal
bones admit of lateral expansion, and the front hoofs curve upwards,
while the two secondary ones behind (which are but slightly developed in
the fallow deer and others of the same family) are prolonged vertically
till, in certain positions, they are capable of being applied to the
ground, thus adding to the circumference and sustaining power of the
foot. It has been usually suggested as the probable design of this
structure, that it is to enable the reindeer to shovel away the snow in
order to reach the lichens beneath it; but I apprehend that another use
of it has been overlooked, that of facilitating its movements in search
of food by increasing the difficulty of its sinking in the snow.

A formation precisely analogous in the buffalo seems to point to a
corresponding design. The ox, whose life is spent on firm ground, has
the bones of the foot so constructed as to afford the most solid support
to an animal of its great weight; but in the buffalo, which delights in
the morasses on the margins of pools and rivers, the construction of the
foot resembles that of the reindeer. The tarsi in front extend almost
horizontally from the upright bones of the leg, and spread apart widely
on touching the ground; the hoofs are flattened and broad, with the
extremities turned upwards; and the false hoofs behind descend till they
make a clattering sound as the animal walks. In traversing the marshes,
this combination of abnormal incidents serves to give extraordinary
breadth to the foot, and not only prevents the buffalo from sinking
inconveniently in soft ground[1], but at the same time presents no
obstacle to the withdrawal of its foot from the mud.

[Footnote 1: PROFESSOR OWEN has noticed a similar fact regarding the
rudiments of the second and fifth digits in the instance of the elk and
bison, which have them largely expanded where they inhabit swampy
ground; whilst they are nearly obliterated in the camel and dromedary,
that traverse arid deserts.--OWEN _on Limbs_, p. 34; see also BELL _on
the Hand_, ch. iii.]

The buffalo, like the elk, is sometimes found in Ceylon as an albino,
with purely white hair and a pink iris.

_Deer_.--"Deer," says the truthful old chronicler, Robert Knox, "are in
great abundance in the woods, from the largeness of a cow to the
smallness of a hare, for here is a creature in this land no bigger than
the latter, though every part rightly resembleth a deer: it is called
_meminna_, of a grey colour, with white spots and good meat."[1] The
little creature which thus dwelt in the recollection of the old man, as
one of the memorials of his long captivity, is the small "musk deer"[2]
so called in India, although neither sex is provided with a musk-bag.
The Europeans in Ceylon know it by the name of the "moose deer;" and in
all probability the terms _musk_ and _moose_ are both corruptions of the
Dutch word "_muis_," or "mouse" deer, a name particularly applicable to
the timid and crouching attitudes and aspect of this beautiful little
creature. Its extreme length never reaches two feet; and of those which
were domesticated about my house, few exceeded ten inches in height,
their graceful limbs being of proportionate delicacy. It possesses long
and extremely large tusks, with which it can inflict a severe bite. The
interpreter moodliar of Negombo had a _milk white_ meminna in 1847,
which he designed to send home as an acceptable present to Her Majesty,
but it was unfortunately killed by an accident.[3]

[Footnote 1: KNOX'S _Relation, &c._, book i. c. 6.]

[Footnote 2: Moschus meminna.]

[Footnote 3: When the English look possession of Kandy, in 1803, they
found "five beautiful milk-white deer in the palace, which was noted as
a very extraordinary thing."--_Letter_ in Appendix to PERCIVAL'S
_Ceylon_, p. 428. The writer does not say of what species they were.]


_Ceylon Elk_.--In the mountains, the Ceylon elk[1], which reminds one of
the red deer of Scotland, attains the height of four or five feet; it
abounds in all shady places that are intersected by rivers; where,
though its chase affords an endless resource to the sportsman, its
venison scarcely equals in quality the inferior beef of the lowland ox.
In the glades and park-like openings that diversify the great forests of
the interior, the spotted Axis troops in herds as numerous as the fallow
deer in England: but, in journeys through the jungle, when often
dependent on the guns of our party for the precarious supply of the
table, we found the flesh of the Axis[2] and the Muntjac[3] a sorry
substitute for that of the pea-fowl, the jungle-cock, and flamingo. The
occurrence of albinos is very frequent in troops of the axis. Deer's
horns are an article of export from Ceylon, and considerable quantities
are annually sent to the United Kingdom.

[Footnote 1: Rusa Aristotelis. Dr. GRAY has lately shown that this is
the great _axis_ of Cuvier.--_Oss. Foss._ 502. t. 39; f. 10: The
Singhalese, on following the elk, frequently effect their approaches by
so imitating the call of the animal as to induce them to respond. An
instance occurred during my residence in Ceylon, in which two natives,
whose mimicry had mutually deceived them, crept so close together in the
jungle that one shot the other, supposing the cry to proceed from the

[Footnote 2: Axis maculata, _H. Smith_.]

[Footnote 3: Stylocerus muntjac, _Horss_.]

VII. PACHYDERMATA.--_The Elephant_.--The elephant, and the wild boar,
the Singhalese "waloora,"[1] are the only representatives of the
_pachydermatous_ order. The latter, which differs somewhat from the wild
boar of India, is found in droves in all parts of the island where
vegetation and water are abundant.

[Footnote 1: Mr. BLYTH of Calcutta has distinguished, from the hog,
common in India, a specimen sent to him from Ceylon, the skull of which
approaches in form, that of a species from Borneo, the _susbarbatus_ of
S. Müller.]

The elephant, the lord paramount of the Ceylon forests, is to be met
with in every district, on the confines of the woods, in the depths of
which he finds concealment and shade during the hours when the sun is
high, and from which he emerges only at twilight to wend his way towards
the rivers and tanks, where he luxuriates till dawn, when he again seeks
the retirement of the deep forests. This noble animal fills so dignified
a place both in the zoology and oeconomy of Ceylon, and his habits in a
state of nature have been so much misunderstood, that I shall devote a
separate section to his defence from misrepresentation, and to an
exposition of what, from observation and experience, I believe to be his
genuine character when free in his native domains. But this seems the
proper place to allude to a recent discovery in connexion with the
elephant, which strikingly confirms a conjecture which I ventured to
make elsewhere[1], relative to the isolation of Ceylon and its
distinctness, in many remarkable particulars, from the great continent
of India. Every writer who previously treated of the island, including
the accomplished Dr. Davy and the erudite Lassen, was contented, by a
glance at its outline and a reference to its position on the map, to
assume that Ceylon was a fragment, which in a very remote age had been
torn from the adjacent mainland, by some convulsion of nature. Hence it
was taken for granted that the vegetation which covers and the races of
animals which inhabit it, must be identical with those of Hindustan; to
which Ceylon was alleged to bear the same relation as Sicily presents to
the peninsula of Italy. MALTE BRUN[2] and the geographers generally,
declared the larger animals of either to be common to both. I was led to
question the soundness of this dictum;--and from a closer examination of
its geological conformation and of its botanical and zoological
characteristics I came to the conclusion that not only is there an
absence of sameness between the formations of the two localities; but
that plants and animals, mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects exist in
Ceylon, which are not to be found in the flora and fauna of the Dekkan;
but which present a striking affinity, and occasionally an actual
identity, with those of the Malayan countries and some of the islands of
the Eastern Archipelago. Startling as this conclusion appeared to be, it
was strangely in unison with the legends of the Singhalese themselves,
that at an infinitely remote period Ceylon formed an integral portion of
a vast continent, known in the mythical epics of the Brahmans by the
designation of "_Lanka_;" so immense that its southern extremity fell
below the equator, whilst in breadth it was prolonged till its western
and eastern boundaries touch at once upon the shores of Africa and

[Footnote 1: _Ceylon, &c._, by Sir J. EMERSON TENNENT, vol. i. pp. 7,
13, 85, 160, 183, n., 205, 270, &c.]

[Footnote 2: MALTE BRUN, _Geogr. Univ._, l. xlix.]

Dim as is this ancient tradition, it is in consistency with the
conclusions of modern geology, that at the commencement of the tertiary
period northern Asia and a considerable part of India were in all
probability covered by the sea but that south of India land extended
eastward and westward connecting Malacca with Arabia. PROFESSOR ANSTED
has propounded this view. His opinion is, that the Himalayas then
existed only as a chain of islands, and did not till a much later age
become elevated into mountain ranges,--a change which took place during
the same revolution that raised the great plains of Siberia and Tartary
and many parts of north-western Europe. At the same time the great
continent whose position between the tropics has been alluded to, and
whose previous existence is still indicated by the Coral islands, the
Laccadives, the Maldives, and the Chagos group, underwent simultaneous
depression by a counteracting movement.[1]

[Footnote 1: _The Ancient World_, by D.T. ANSTED, M.A., &c., pp.

But divested of oriental mystery and geologic conjecture, and brought to
the test of "geographical distribution," this once prodigious continent
would appear to have connected the distant Islands of Ceylon and Sumatra
and possibly to have united both to the Malay peninsula, from which the
latter is now severed by the Straits of Malacca. The proofs of physical
affinity between these scattered localities are exceedingly curious.

A striking dissimilarity presents itself between some of the Mammalia of
Ceylon and those of the continent of India. In its general outline and
feature, this branch of the island fauna, no doubt, exhibits a general
resemblance to that of the mainland, although many of the larger animals
of the latter are unknown in Ceylon: but, on the other hand, some
species discovered there are peculiar to the island. A deer[1] as large
as the Axis, but differing from it in the number and arrangement of its
spots, has been described by Dr. Kelaart, to whose vigilance the natural
history of Ceylon is indebted, amongst others, for the identification of
two new species of monkeys[2], a number of curious shrews[3], and an
orange-coloured ichneumon[4], before unknown. There are also two
squirrels[5] that have not as yet been discovered elsewhere, (one of
them belonging to those equipped with a parachute[6],) as well as some
local varieties of the palm squirrel (Sciurus penicillatus, _Leach_).[7]

[Footnote 1: Cervus orizus, KELAART, _Prod. F. Zeyl.,_ p. 83.]

[Footnote 2: Presbytes ursinus, _Blyth_, and P. Thersites, _Elliot_.]

[Footnote 3: Sorex montanus, S. ferrugineus, and Feroculus macropus.]

[Footnote 4: Herpestes fulvescens, KELAART, _Prod. Faun. Zeylan_.. App.
p. 42.]

[Footnote 5: Sciurus Tennentii, _Layard_.]

[Footnote 6: Sciuropterus Layardi, _Kelaart_.]

[Footnote 7: There is a rat found only in the Cinnamon Gardens at
Colombo, Mus Ceylonus, _Kelaart_; and a mouse which Dr. Kelaart
discovered at Trincomalie, M. fulvidiventris, _Blyth_, both peculiar to
Ceylon. Dr. TEMPLETON has noticed a little shrew (Corsira purpurascens,
_Mag. Nat. Hist_. 1855, p. 238) at Neuera-ellia, not as yet observed

But the Ceylon Mammalia, besides wanting a number of minor animals found
in the Indian peninsula, cannot boast such a ruminant as the majestic
Gaur[1], which inhabits the great forests from Cape Comorin to the
Himalaya; and, providentially, the island is equally free of the
formidable tiger and the ferocious wolf of Hindustan. The Hyena and
Cheetah[2], common in Southern India, are unknown in Ceylon; and, though
abundant in deer, the island possesses no example of the Antelope or the

[Footnote 1: Bos cavifrons, _Hodgs_.; B. frontalis, _Lamb_.]

[Footnote 2: Felis jubata, _Schreb_.]

Amongst the Birds of Ceylon, the same abnormity is apparent. About
thirty-eight species will be presently particularised[1], which,
although some of them may hereafter be discovered to have a wider
geographical range, are at present believed to be unknown in continental
India. I might further extend this enumeration, by including the Cheela
eagle of Ceylon, which, although I have placed it in my list as
identical with the _Hematornis cheela_ of the Dekkan, is, I have since
been assured, a different bird, and is most probably the _Falco bido_ of
Horsfield, known to us by specimens obtained from Java and Sumatra.

[Footnote 1: See Chapter on the Birds of Ceylon.]

As to the Fishes of Ceylon, they are of course less distinct; and
besides they have hitherto been very imperfectly compared. But the
Insects afford a remarkable confirmation of the view I have ventured to
propound; so much so that Mr. Walker, by whom the elaborate lists
appended to this work have been prepared, asserts that some of the
families have a less affinity to the entomology of India than to that of

[Footnote 1: See Chapter on the Insects of Ceylon.]

But more conclusive than all, is the discovery to which I have alluded,
in relation to the elephant of Ceylon. Down to a very recent period it
was universally believed that only two species of the elephant are now
in existence, the African and the Asiatic; distinguished by certain
peculiarities in the shape of the cranium, the size of the ears, the
ridges of the teeth, the number of vertebræ, and, according to Cuvier,
in the number of nails on the hind feet. The elephant of Ceylon was
believed to be identical with the elephant of India. But some few years
back, TEMMINCK, in his survey of the Dutch possessions in the Indian
Archipelago[1], announced the fact that the elephant which abounds in
Sumatra (although unknown in the adjacent island of Java), and which had
theretofore been regarded as the same species with the Indian one, has
been recently found to possess peculiarities, in which it differs as
much from the elephant of India, as the latter from its African
congener. On this new species of elephant, to which the natives give the
name of _gadjah_, TEMMINCK has conferred the scientific designation of
the _Elephas Sumatranus_.

[Footnote 1: _Coup d'Oeil Général sur les Possessions Néerlandaises dans
l'Inde Archipélagique_.]

The points which entitle it to this distinction he enumerated minutely
in the work[1] before alluded to, but they have been summarized as
follows by Prince Lucien Bonaparte.

[Footnote 1: TEMMINCK, _Coup-d'oeil, &c_., t. i. c. iv. p. 328.; t. ii.
c. iii. p. 91.]

"This species is perfectly intermediate between the Indian and African,
especially in the shape of the skull, and will certainly put an end to
the distinction between _Elephas_ and _Loxodon_, with those who admit
that anatomical genus; since although the crowns of the teeth of _E.
Sumatranus_ are more like the Asiatic animal, still the less numerous
undulated ribbons of enamel are nearly quite as wide as those forming
the lozenges of the African. The number of pairs of false ribs (which
alone vary, the true ones being always six) is fourteen, one less than
in the _Africanus_, _one_ more than in the _Indicus_; and so it is with
the dorsal vertebræ, which are twenty in the _Sumatranus_ (_twenty-one_
and _nineteen_, in the others), whilst the new species agrees with
_Africanus_ in the number of sacral vertebræ (_four_), and with
_Indicus_ in that of the caudal ones, which are _thirty-four_."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Proceed. Zool. Soc. London_, 1849. p. 144, _note_. The
original description of TEMMINCK is as follows:

"Elephas Sumatranus, _Nob_. ressemble, par la forme générale du crâne à
l'éléphant du continent de l'Asie; mais la partie libre des
intermaxillaires est beaucoup plus courte et plus étroite; les cavités
nasales sont beaucoup moins larges; l'espace entre les orbites des yeux
est plus étroit; la partie postérieur du crâne au contraire est plus
large que dans l'espèce du continent.

"Les machelières se rapprochent, par la forme de leur couronne, plutòt
de l'espèce Asíatique que do celle qui est propre à l'Afrique;
c'est-à-dire que leur couronne offre la forme de rubans ondoyés et non
pas en losange; mais ces rubans sont de la largeur de ceux qu'on voit à
la couronne des dents de l'éléphant d'Afrique; ils sont conséquemment
moins nombreux que dans celuí du continent de l'Asie. Les dimensions de
ces rubans, dans la direction d'avant en arrière, comparées à celle
prises dans la direction transversale et latérale, sont en raison de 3
ou 4 à 1; tandis que dans l'éléphant du continent elles sont comme 4 ou
6 à 1. La longueur totale de six de ces rubans, dans l'espèce nouvelle
de Sumatra, ainsi que dans celle d'Afrique, est d'environ 12
centimètres, tandis que cette longueur n'est que de 8 à 10 centimètres
dans l'espèce du continent de l'Asie.

"Les autres formes ostéologiques sont à peu près les mêmes dans les
trois espèces; mais il y a différence dans le nombre des os dont le
squelette se compose, ainsi que le tableau comparatif ci-joint

"_L'elephas Africanus_ a 7 vertèbres du cou, 21 vert. dorsales, 3
lombaires, 4 sacrées, et 26 caudales; 21 paires de côtes, dont 6 vraies,
et 15 fausses. _L'elephas Indicus_ a 7 vertèbres du cou, 19 dorsales, 3
lombaires, 5 sacrées, et 34 caudales, 19 paires de côtes, dont 6 vraies,
et 3 fausses. _L'elephas Sumatranus_ a 7 vertèbres du cou, 20 dorsales,
3 lombaires, 4 sacrées, et 34 caudales; 20 paires du côtes, dont 6
vraies, et 14 fausses.

"Ces caractères ont été constatés sur trois squelettes de l'espèce
nouvelle, un mâle et une femelle adultes et un jeune mâle. Nous n'avons
pas encore été à même de nous procurer la dépouille de cette espèce."]

PROFESSOR SCHLEGEL of Leyden, in a paper lately submitted by him to the
Royal Academy of Sciences of Holland, (the substance of which he has
obligingly communicated to me, through Baron Bentinck the Netherlands
Minister at this Court), has confirmed the identity of the Ceylon
elephant with that found in the Lampongs of Sumatra. The osteological
comparison of which TEMMINCK has given the results was, he says,
conducted by himself with access to four skeletons of the latter. And
the more recent opportunity of comparing a living Sumatran elephant with
one from Bengal, has served to establish other though minor points of
divergence. The Indian species is more robust and powerful: the
proboscis longer and more slender; and the extremity, (a point, in which
the elephant of Sumatra resembles that of Africa,) is more flattened and
provided with coarser and longer hair than that of India.

PROFESSOR SCHLEGEL, adverting to the large export of elephants from
Ceylon to the Indian continent, which has been carried on from time
immemorial, suggests the caution with which naturalists, in
investigating this question, should first satisfy themselves whether the
elephants they examine are really natives of the mainland,  or whether
they have been brought to it from the islands.[1] "The extraordinary
fact," he observes in his letter to me, "of the identity thus
established between the elephants of Ceylon and Sumatra; and the points
in which they are found to differ from that of Bengal, leads to the
question whether all the elephants of the Asiatic continent belong to
one single species; or whether these vast regions may not produce in
some quarter as yet unexplored the one hitherto found only in the two
islands referred to? It is highly desirable that naturalists who have
the means and opportunity, should exert themselves to discover, whether
any traces are to be found of the Ceylon elephant in the Dekkan; or of
that of Sumatra in Cochin China or Siam."

[Footnote 1: A further inquiry suggests itself, how far the intermixture
of the breed may have served to confound specific differences, in the
case of elephants bred on the continent of India, from stock partially
imported from Ceylon?]

To me the establishment of a fact so conclusively confirmatory of the
theory I had ventured to broach, is productive of great satisfaction.
But it is not a little remarkable that the distinction should not long
before have been discovered between the elephant of India and that of
Ceylon. Nor can it be regarded otherwise than as a singular illustration
of "geographical distribution" that two remote islands should be thus
shown to possess in common a species unknown in any other quarter of the
globe. As bearing on the ancient myth which represents both countries as
forming parts of a submerged continent, the discovery is curious--and it
is equally interesting in connection with the circumstance alluded to by
Gibbon, that amongst the early geographers and even down to a
comparatively modern date, Sumatra and Ceylon were confounded; and grave
doubts were entertained as to which of the two was the "Taprobane" of
and MERCATOR contended for the former; SALMASIUS, BOCHART, CLUVERIUS,
and VOSSIUS for Ceylon: and the controversy did not cease till it was
terminated by DELISLE about the beginning of the last century.

VIII. CETACEA.--Whales are so frequently seen that they have been
captured within sight of Colombo, and more than once their carcases,
after having been flinched by the whalers, have floated on shore near
the lighthouse, tainting the atmosphere within the fort by their rapid

Of this family, one of the most remarkable animals on the coast is the
dugong[1], a phytophagous cetacean, numbers of which are attracted to
the inlets, from the bay of Calpentyn to Adam's Bridge, by the still
water and the abundance of marine algæ in these parts of the gulf. One
which was killed at Manaar and sent to me to Colombo[2] in 1847,
measured upwards of seven feet in length; but specimens considerably
larger have been taken at Calpentyn, and their flesh is represented as
closely resembling veal.

[Footnote 1: _Halicore dugung_, F. Cuv.]

[Footnote 2: The skeleton is now in the Museum of the Natural History
Society of Belfast.]

[Illustration: THE DUGONG.]

The rude approach to the human outline, observed in the shape of the
head of this creature, and the attitude of the mother when suckling her
young, clasping it to her breast with one flipper, while swimming with
the other, holding the heads of both above water; and when disturbed,
suddenly diving and displaying her fish-like tail,--these, together with
her habitual demonstrations of strong maternal affection, probably gave
rise to the fable of the "mermaid;" and thus that earliest invention of
mythical physiology may be traced to the Arab seamen and the Greeks, who
had watched the movements of the dugong in the waters of Manaar.

Megasthenes records the existence of a creature in the ocean, near
Taprobane, with the aspect of a woman[1]; and Ælian, adopting and
enlarging on his information, peoples the seas of Ceylon with fishes
having the heads of lions, panthers, and rams, and, stranger still,
_cetaceans in the form of satyrs_. Statements such as these must have
had their origin in the hairs, which are set round the mouth of the
dugong, somewhat resembling a beard, which Ælian and Megasthenes both
particularise, from their resemblance to the hair of a woman: "[Greek:
kai gynaikôn opsin echousin aisper anti plokamôn akanthai

[Footnote 1: MEGASTHENES, _Indica_, fragm. lix. 34,]

[Footnote 2: ÆLIAN, _Nat. Hist._, lib. xvi. ch. xviii.]

The Portuguese cherished the belief in the mermaid, and the annalist of
the exploits of the Jesuits in India, gravely records that seven of
these monsters, male and female, were captured at Manaar in 1560, and
carried to Goa, where they were dissected by Demas Bosquez, physician to
the Viceroy, and "their internal structure found to be in all respects
conformable to the human."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Hist, de la Compagnie de Jésus_, quoted in the _Asiat.
Journ._ vol. xiv. p. 461; and in FORBES' _Orient. Memoirs_, vol. i. p.

The Dutch were no less inclined to the marvellous, and they propagated
the belief in the mermaid with earnestness and particularity. VALENTYN,
one of their chaplains, in his account of the Natural History of
Amboina, embodied in his great work on the Netherlands' Possessions in
India, published so late as 1727[1], has devoted the first section of
his chapter on the Fishes of that island to a minute description of the
"Zee-Menschen, Zee-Wyven," and mermaids. As to the dugong he admits its
resemblance to the mermaid, but repudiates the idea of its having given
rise to the fable, by being mistaken for one. This error he imagines
must have arisen at a time when observations on such matters were made
with culpable laxity; but now more recent and minute attention has
established the truth beyond cavil.

[Footnote 1: FRAN. VALENTYN, _Beschryving van Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien_,
&c. 5 vol. fol. Dordrecht and Amsterdam, MDCCXXVII. vol. iii. p. 330.]

For instance, he states that in 1653, when a lieutenant in the Dutch
service was leading a party of soldiers along the sea-shore in Amboina,
he and all his company saw the mermen swimming at a short distance from
the beach with long and flowing hair, of a colour between gray and
green--and six weeks afterwards, the creatures were again seen by him
and more than fifty witnesses, at the same place, by clear daylight.[1]

[Footnote 1: VALENTYN, _Beschryving, &c._, vol. iii. p. 331.]

"If any narrative in the world," adds VALENTYN, "deserves credit, it is
this; since _not only one but two mermen_ together were seen by so many
eye-witnesses. Should the stubborn world, however, hesitate to believe
it, it matters nothing; as there are people who would even deny that
such cities as Rome, Constantinople or Cairo, exist, merely because they
themselves have not happened to see them."

But what are such incredulous persons, he continues, to make of the
circumstance recorded by Albert Herport in his account of India[1], that
a sea-man was seen in the water near the Church of Taquan, on the
morning of the 29th of April 1661, and a mermaid at the same spot the
same afternoon?--or what do they say to the fact that in 1714, a mermaid
was not only seen but captured near the island of Booro? "five feet
Rhineland measure in height, which lived four days and seven hours, but
refusing all food, died without leaving any intelligible account of

[Footnote 1: Probably the _Itinerarium Indicum_ of ALBRECHT HERPORT.
Berne, 1669.]

Valentyn, in support of his own faith in the mermaid, cites numerous
other instances in which both "sea-men and women" were seen and taken at
Amboina; especially one by an office-bearer in the Church of Holland[1],
by whom it was surrendered to the Governor Vanderstel.

[Footnote 1: A "krank-bezoeker" or visitant of the sick.]

Of this well-authenticated specimen he gives an elaborate engraving
amongst those of the authentic fishes of the island--together with a
minute ichthyological description of each for the satisfaction of men of

[Illustration: THE MERMAID (From VALENTYN)]

The fame of this creature having reached Europe, the British Minister in
Holland wrote to Valentyn on the 28th December 1716, whilst the Emperor,
Peter the Great of Russia, was his guest at Amsterdam; to communicate
the desire of the Czar, that the mermaid should be brought home from
Amboina for his Imperial inspection.

To complete his proofs of the existence of mermen and women, Valentyn
points triumphantly to the historical fact, that in Holland in the year
1404, a mermaid was driven during a tempest, through a breach in the
dyke of Edam, and was taken alive in the lake of Purmer. Thence she was
carried to Harlem, where the Dutch women taught her to spin; and where,
several years after, she died in the Roman Catholic faith;--"but this,"
says the pious Calvinistic chaplain, "in no way militates against the
truth of her story."[1]

[Footnote 1: VALENTYN, _Beschryving, &c_., p. 333.]

Finally Valentyn winds up his proofs, by the accumulated testimony of
Pliny [1], Theodore Gaza, George of Trebisond, and Alexander ab
Alexandro, to show that mermaids had in all ages been known in Gaul,
Naples, Epirus, and the Morea. From these and a multitude of more modern
instances he comes to the conclusion, that as there are "sea-cows,"
"sea-horses," and "sea-dogs;" as well as "sea-trees" and "sea-flowers"
which he himself had seen, what grounds in reason are there to doubt
that there may also be "sea-maidens" and "sea-men!"

[Footnote 1: _Nat. Hist_. l. ix. c. 5, where Pliny speaks of the

_List of Ceylon Mammalia._

A list of the Mammalia of Ceylon is subjoined. In framing it, as well as
the lists appended to the other chapters on the Fauna of the island, the
principal object in view has been to exhibit the extent to which the
Natural History of the island had been investigated, and collections
made up to the period of my leaving the colony in 1850. It has been
considered expedient to exclude a few individuals which have not had the
advantage of a direct comparison with authentic specimens, either at
Calcutta or in England. This will account for the omission of a number
that have appeared in other catalogues, but of which many, though
ascertained to exist, have not been submitted to this rigorous process
of identification.

The greater portion of the species of mammals and birds contained in
these lists will be found, with suitable references to the most accurate
descriptions, in the admirable catalogue of the collection at the India
House, published under the care of the late Dr. Horsfield. This work
cannot be too highly extolled, not alone for the scrupulous fidelity
with which the description of each species is referred to its first
discoverer, but also for the pains which have been taken to elaborate
synonymes and to collate from local periodicals and other sources,
(little accessible to ordinary inquirers,) such incidents and traits as
are calculated to illustrate characteristics and habits.


  cephalopterus, _Zimm_.
  ursinus, _Blyth_.
  Priamus, _Elliot & Blyth_.
  Thersites, _Blyth_.
Macacus pileatus, _Shaw & Desm_.
Loris gracilis, _Geoff_.


Pteropus Edwardsii, _Geoff_.
  Leschenaultii, _Dum_.
  marginatus, _Ham_.
Megaderma spasma, _Linn._
  lyra, _Geoff_.
Rhinolophus _affinis_, _Horsf_.
  murinus, _Elliot_.
  speoris, _Elliot_.
  armiger, _Hodgs_.
  vulgaris, _Horsf_.
Kerivoula picta, _Pall_.
  longimanus, _Har_.
Scotophilus Coromandelicus, _F. Cuv._
  _adversus_, _Horsf_.
  Temminkii, _Horsf_.
  Tickelli, _Blyth_.


Sorex coerulescens, _Shaw_.
  ferrugineus, _Kelaart_.
  serpentarius, _Is. Geoff._
  montanus, _Kelaart_.
Feroculus macropus, _Kel_.
Ursus labiatus, _Blainv_.
Lutra nair, _F. Cuv_.
Canis aureus. _Linn._
Viverra Indica, _Geoff_., _Hod_.
Herpestes vitticollis, _Benn_.
  griseus, _Gm_.
  Smithii, _Gray_.
  fulvescens, _Kelaart_.
Paradoxurus typus, _F. Cuv._
  Ceylonicus, _Pall_.
Felis pardus, _Linn._
  chaus, _Guldens_.
  viverrinus, _Benn_.


Sciurus macrurus, _Forst_.
  Tennentii, _Layard_.
  penicillatus. _Leach_.
  trilineatus, _Waterh_.
Sciuropterus Layardi, _Kel_.
Pteromys petaurista, _Pall_.
Mus bandicota, _Bechst_.
  Kok, _Gray_.
Mus rufescens. _Gray_.
  nemoralis, _Blyth_.
  Indicus, _Geoff_.
  fulvidiventris, _Blyth_.
Nesoki _Hardwickii_, _Gray_.
Golunda Neuera, _Kelaart_.
  Ellioti, _Gray_.
Gerbillus Indicus, _Hardw_.
Lepus nigricollis, _F. Cuv._
Hystrix leucurus, _Sykes_.


Manis pentadactyla, _Linn._


Elephas Sumatranus, _Linn._
Sus Indicus, _Gray_.
  _Zeylonicus_, _Blyth_.


Moschus meminna, _Eral_.
Stylocerus muntjac, _Horsf_.
Axis maculata, _H. Smith_.
Rusa Aristotelis, _Cuv_.


Halicore dugung, _F. Cuv._



       *       *       *       *       *

_Structure and Functions._

During my residence at Kandy, I had twice the opportunity of witnessing
the operation on a grand scale, of capturing wild elephants, intended to
be trained for the public service in the establishment of the Civil
Engineer;--and in the course of my frequent journeys through the
interior of the island, I succeeded in collecting so many facts relative
to the habits of these interesting animals in a state of nature, as
enable me not only to add to the information previously possessed, but
to correct many fallacies popularly received regarding their instincts
and disposition. These particulars I am anxious to place on record
before proceeding to describe the scenes of which I was a spectator,
during the progress of the elephant hunts in the district of the Seven
Korles, at which I was present in 1846, and again in 1847.

With the exception of the narrow but densely inhabited belt of
cultivated land, that extends along the seaborde of the island from
Chilaw on the western coast to Tangalle on the south-east, there is no
part of Ceylon in which elephants may not be said to abound; even close
to the environs of the most populous localities of the interior. They
frequent both the open plains and the deep forests; and their footsteps
are to be seen wherever food and shade, vegetation and water[1], allure
them, alike on the summits of the loftiest mountains, and on the borders
of the tanks and lowland streams.

[Footnote 1: M. AD. PICTET has availed himself of the love of the
elephant for water, to found on it a solution of the long-contested
question as to the etymology of the word "elephant,"-a term which,
whilst it has passed into almost every dialect of the West, is scarcely
to be traced in any language of Asia. The Greek [Greek: elephas], to
which we are immediately indebted for it, did not originally mean the
animal, but, as early as the time of Homer, was applied only to its
tusks, and signified _ivory_. BOCHART has sought for a Semitic origin,
and seizing on the Arabic _fil_, and prefixing the article _al_,
suggests _alfil_, akin to [Greek: eleph]; but rejecting this, BOCHART
himself resorts to the Hebrew _eleph_, an "ox"--and this conjecture
derives a certain degree of countenance from the fact that the Romans,
when they obtained their first sight of the elephant in the army of
Pyrrhus, in Lucania, called it the _Luca bos_. But the [Greek: antos] is
still unaccounted for; and POTT has sought to remove the difficulty by
introducing the Arabic _hindi_, Indian, s thus making _eleph-hindi_,
"_bos Indicus_." The conversion of _hindi_ into [Greek: antos] is an
obstacle, but here the example of "tamarind" comes to aid; _tamar
hindi_, the "Indian date," which in mediæval Greek forms [Greek:
tamarenti]. A theory of Benary, that helhephas might be compounded of
the Arabic _al_, and _ibha_, a Sanskrit name for the elephant, is
exposed to still greater etymological exception. PICTET'S solution is,
that in the Sanskrit epics "the King of Elephants," who has the
distinction of carrying the god Indra, is called _airarata_ or
_airavana_, a modification of _airavanta_, "son of the ocean," which
again comes from _iravat_, "abounding in water." "Nous aurions done
ainsi, comme corrélatif du gree [Greek: elephanto], une ancienne forme,
_âirâvanta_ ou _âilâvanta_, affaiblie plus tard en _âirâvata_ ou
_âirâvana_.... On connaît la prédilection de l'éléphant pour le
voisinage des fleuves, et son amour pour l'eau, dont l'abondance est
nécessaire à son bien-être." This Sanskrit name, PICTET supposes, may
have been carried to the West by the Phoenicians, who were the purveyors
of ivory from India; and, from the Greek, the Latins derived _elephas_,
which passed into the modern languages of Italy, Germany, and France.
But it is curious that the Spaniards acquired from the Moors their
Arabic term for ivory, _marfil_, and the Portuguese _marfim_; and that
the Scandinavians, probably from their early expeditions to the
Mediterranean, adopted _fill_ as their name for the elephant itself, and
_fil-bein_ for ivory; in Danish, _fils-ben_. (See _Journ. Asiat._ 1843,
t. xliii. p. 133.) The Spaniards of South America call the palm which
produces the vegetable ivory (_Phytelephas macrocarpa_) _Palma de
marfil_, and the nut itself, _marfil vegetal_.

Since the above was written Gooneratné Modliar, the Singhalese
Interpreter to the Supreme Court at Colombo, has supplied me with
another conjecture, that the word elephant may possibly be traced to the
Singhalese name of the animal, _alia_, which means literally, "the huge
one." _Alia_, he adds, is not a derivation from Sanskrit or Pali, but
belongs to a dialect more ancient than either.]

From time immemorial the natives have been taught to capture and tame
them and the export of elephants from Ceylon to India has been going on
without interruption from the period of the first Punic War.[1] In later
times all elephants were the property of the Kandyan crown; and their
capture or slaughter without the royal permission was classed amongst
the gravest offences in the criminal code.

[Footnote 1: ÆLIAN, _de Nat. Anim._ lib. xvi. c. 18; COSMAS INDICOPL.,
p. 128.]

In recent years there is reason to believe that their numbers have
become considerably reduced. They have entirely disappeared from
localities in which they were formerly numerous[1]; smaller herds have
been taken in the periodical captures for the government service, and
hunters returning from the chase report them to be growing scarce. In
consequence of this diminution the peasantry in some parts of the island
have even suspended the ancient practice of keeping watchers and fires
by night to drive away the elephants from their growing crops.[2] The
opening of roads and the clearing of the mountain forests of Kandy for
the cultivation of coffee, have forced the animals to retire to the low
country, where again they have been followed by large parties of
European sportsmen; and the Singhalese themselves, being more freely
provided with arms than in former times, have assisted in swelling the
annual slaughter.[3]

[Footnote 1: LE BRUN, who visited Ceylon A.D. 1705, says that in the
district round Colombo, where elephants are now never seen, they were
then so abundant, that 160 had been taken in a single corral. (_Voyage_,
&c., tom. ii. ch. lxiii. p. 331.)]

[Footnote 2: In some parts of Bengal, where elephants were formerly
troublesome (especially near the wilds of Ramgur), the natives got rid
of them by mixing a preparation of the poisonous Nepal root called
_dakra_ in balls of grain, and other materials, of which the animal is
fond. In Cuttack, above fifty years ago, mineral poison was laid for
them in the same way, and the carcases of eighty were found which had
been killed by it. (_Asiat. Res._, xv. 183.)]

[Footnote 3: The number of elephants has been similarly reduced
throughout the south of India.]

Had the motive that incites to the destruction of the elephant in Africa
and India prevailed in Ceylon, that is, had the elephants there been
provided with tusks, they would long since have been annihilated for the
sake of their ivory.[1] But it is a curious fact that, whilst in Africa
and India both sexes have tusks[2], with some slight disproportion in
the size of those of the females: not one elephant in a hundred is found
with tusks in Ceylon, and the few that possess them are exclusively
males. Nearly all, however, have those stunted processes called
_tushes_, about ten or twelve inches in length and one or two in
diameter. These I have observed them to use in loosening earth,
stripping off bark, and snapping asunder small branches and climbing
plants; and hence tushes are seldom seen without a groove worn into them
near their extremities.[3]

[Footnote 1: The annual importation of ivory into Great Britain alone,
for the last few years, has been about _one million_ pounds; which,
taking the average weight of a tusk at sixty pounds, would require the
slaughter of 8,333 male elephants.

But of this quantity the importation from Ceylon has generally averaged
only five or six hundred weight; which, making allowance for the
lightness of the tusks, would not involve the destruction of more than
seven or eight in each year. At the same time, this does not fairly
represent the annual number of tuskers shot in Ceylon, not only because
a portion of the ivory finds its way to China and to other places, but
because the chiefs and Buddhist priests have a passion for collecting
tusks, and the finest and largest are to be found ornamenting their
temples and private dwellings. The Chinese profess that for their
exquisite carvings the ivory of Ceylon excels all other, both in density
of texture and in delicacy of tint; but in the European market, the
ivory of Africa, from its more distinct graining and other causes,
obtains a higher price.]

[Footnote 2: A writer in the _India Sporting Review_ for October 1857
says, "In Malabar a tuskless male elephant is rare; I have seen but
two."--p. 157.]

[Footnote 3: The old fallacy is still renewed, that the elephant sheds
his tusks. ÆLIAN says he drops them once in ten years (lib. xiv. c. 5):
and PLINY repeats the story, adding that, when dropped, the elephants
hide them under ground (lib. viii.) whence SHAW says, in his _Zoology_,
"they are frequently found in the woods," and exported from Africa (vol.
i. p. 213): and Sir W. JARDINE in the _Naturalist's Library_ (vol. ix.
p. 110), says, "the tusks are shed about the twelfth or thirteenth
year." This is erroneous: after losing the first pair, or, as they are
called, the "milk tusks," which drop in consequence of the absorption of
their roots, when the animal is extremely young, the second pair acquire
their full size, and become the "permanent tusks," which are never

Amongst other surmises more ingenious than sound, the general absence of
tusks in the elephant of Ceylon has been associated with the profusion
of rivers and streams in the island; whilst it has been thrown out as a
possibility that in Africa, where water is comparatively scarce, the
animal is equipped with these implements in order to assist it in
digging wells in the sand and in raising the juicy roots of the mimosas
and succulent plants for the sake of their moisture. In support of this
hypothesis, it has been observed, that whilst the tusks of the Ceylon
species, which are never required for such uses, are slender, graceful
and curved, seldom exceeding fifty or sixty pounds' weight, those of the
African elephant are straight and thick, weighing occasionally one
hundred and fifty, and even three hundred pounds.[1]

[Footnote 1: Notwithstanding the inferiority in weight of the Ceylon
tusks, as compared with those of the elephant of India, it would, I
think, be precipitate to draw the inference that the size of the former
was uniformly and naturally less than that of the latter. The truth, I
believe to be, that if permitted to grow to maturity, the tusks of the
one would, in all probability, equal those of the other; but, so eager
is the search for ivory in Ceylon, that a tusker, when once observed in
a herd, is followed up with such vigilant impatience, that he is almost
invariably shot before attaining his full growth. General DE LIMA, when
returning from the governorship of the Portuguese settlements at
Mozambique, told me, in 1848, that he had been requested to procure two
tusks of the largest size, and straightest possible shape, which were to
be formed into a cross to surmount the high altar of the cathedral at
Goa: he succeeded in his commission, and sent two, one of which was 180
pounds, and the other 170 pounds' weight, with the slightest possible
curve. In a periodical, entitled _The Friend_, published in Ceylon, it
is stated in the volume for 1837 that the officers belonging to the
ships Quorrah and Alburhak, engaged in the Niger Expedition, were shown
by a native king two tusks, each two feet and a half in circumference at
the base, eight feet long, and weighing upwards of 200 pounds. (Vol. i.
p. 225.) BRODERIP, in his _Zoological Recreations_, p. 255, says a tusk
of 350 pounds' weight was sold at Amsterdam, but he does not quote his

But it is manifestly inconsistent with the idea that tusks were given to
the elephant to assist him in digging for his food, to find that the
females are less bountifully supplied with them than the males, whilst
the necessity for their use extends equally to both sexes. The same
argument serves to demonstrate the fallacy of the conjecture, that the
tusks of the elephant were given to him as weapons of offence, for if
such were the case the vast majority in Ceylon, males as well as
females, would be left helpless in presence of an assailant. But
although in their conflicts with one another, those which are provided
with tusks may occasionally push with them clumsily at their opponents;
it is a misapprehension to imagine that tusks are designed specially to
serve "in warding off the attacks of the wily tiger and the furious
rhinoceros, often securing the victory by one blow which transfixes the
assailant to the earth."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Menageries, &c._, published by the Society for the
Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, vol. i. p. 68: "The Elephant," ch. iii.
It will be seen that I have quoted repeatedly from this volume, because
it is the most compendious and careful compilation with which I am
acquainted of the information previously existing regarding the
elephant. The author incorporates no speculations of his own, but has
most diligently and agreeably arranged all the facts collected by his
predecessors. The story of antipathy between the elephant and rhinoceros
is probably borrowed from ÆLIAN _de Nat._, lib. xvii. c. 44.]

So harmless and peaceful is the life of the elephant, that nature
appears to have left it unprovided with any weapon of offence: its trunk
is too delicate an organ to be rudely employed in a conflict with other
animals, and although on an emergency it may push or gore with its tusks
(to which the French have hastily given the term "_défenses_"), their
almost vertical position, added to the difficulty of raising its head
above the level of the shoulder, is inconsistent with the idea of their
being designed for attack, since it is impossible for the elephant to
strike an effectual blow, or to "wield" its tusks as the deer and the
buffalo can direct their horns. Nor is it easy to conceive under what
circumstances an elephant could have a hostile encounter with either a
rhinoceros or a tiger, with whose pursuits in a state of nature its own
can in no way conflict.

Towards man elephants evince shyness, arising from their love of
solitude and dislike of intrusion; any alarm they exhibit at his
appearance may be reasonably traced to the slaughter which has reduced
their numbers; and as some evidence of this, it has always been observed
that an elephant exhibits greater impatience of the presence of a white
man than of a native. Were its instincts to carry it further, or were it
influenced by any feeling of animosity or cruelty, it must be apparent
that, as against the prodigious numbers that inhabit the forests of
Ceylon, man would wage an unequal contest, and that of the two one or
other must long since have been reduced to a helpless minority.

Official testimony is not wanting in confirmation of this view;--in the
returns of 108 coroners' inquests in Ceylon, during five years, from
1849 to 1855 inclusive, held in cases of death occasioned by wild
animals; 16 are recorded as having been caused by elephants, 15 by
buffaloes, 6 by crocodiles, 2 by boars, 1 by a bear, and 68 by serpents
(the great majority of the last class of sufferers being women and
children, who had been bitten during the night). Little more than
_three_ fatal accidents occurring annually on the average of five years,
is certainly a very small proportion in a population estimated at a
million and a half, in an island abounding with elephants, with which,
independently of casual encounters, voluntary conflicts are daily
stimulated by the love of sport or the hope of gain. Were the elephants
instinctively vicious or even highly irritable in their temperament, the
destruction of human life under the circumstances must have been
infinitely greater. It must also be taken into account, that some of the
accidents recorded may have occurred in the rutting season, when
elephants are subject to fits of temporary fury, known in India by the
term _must_, in Ceylon _mudda_,--a paroxysm which speedily passes away,
but during the fury of which it is dangerous even for the mahout to
approach those ordinarily the gentlest and most familiar.

But, then, the elephant is said to "entertain an extraordinary dislike
to all quadrupeds; that dogs running near him produce annoyance; that he
is alarmed if a hare start from her form;" and from Pliny to Buffon
every naturalist has recorded its supposed aversion to swine.[1] These
alleged antipathies are in a great degree, if not entirely, imaginary.
The habits of the elephant are essentially harmless, its wants lead to
no rivalry with other animals, and the food to which it is most attached
flourishes in such abundance that it is obtained without an effort. In
the quiet solitudes of Ceylon, elephants may constantly be seen browsing
peacefully in the immediate vicinity of other animals, and in close
contact with them. I have seen groups of deer and wild buffaloes
reclining in the sandy bed of a river in the dry season, and elephants
plucking the branches close beside them. They show no impatience in the
company of the elk, the bear, and the wild hog; and on the other hand, I
have never discovered an instance in which these animals have evinced
any apprehension of elephants. The elephant's natural timidity, however,
is such that it becomes alarmed on the appearance in the jungle of any
animal with which it is not familiar. It is said to be afraid of the
horse; but from my own experience, I should say it is the horse that is
alarmed at the aspect of the elephant. In the same way, from some
unaccountable impulse, the horse has an antipathy to the camel, and
evinces extreme impatience, both of the sight and the smell of that
animal.[2] When enraged, an elephant will not hesitate to charge a rider
on horseback; but it is against the man, not against the horse, that his
fury is directed; and no instance has been ever known of his wantonly
assailing a horse. A horse, belonging to the late Major Rogers[3], had
run away from his groom, and was found some considerable time afterwards
grazing quietly with a herd of elephants. In DE BRY'S splendid
collection of travels, however, there is included "_The voyage of a
Certain Englishman to Cambay_;" in which the author asserts that at
Agra, in the year 1607, he was present at a spectacle given by the
Viceregent of the great Mogul, in the course of which he saw an elephant
destroy two horses, by seizing them in its trunk, and crushing them
under foot.[4] But the display was avowedly an artificial one, and the
creature must have been cruelly tutored for the occasion.

[Footnote 1: _Menageries, &c._, "The Elephant," ch. iii.]

[Footnote 2: This peculiarity was noticed by the ancients, and is
recorded by Herodotus: [Greek: "kamêlon hippos phobeetai, kai ouk
anechetai oute tên ideên autês oreôn oute tên odmên osphrainomenos"]
(Herod. ch. 80). Camels have long been bred by the Grand Duke of
Tuscany, at his establishment near Pisa, and even there the same
instinctive dislike to them is manifested by the horse, which it is
necessary to train and accustom to their presence in order to avoid
accidents. Mr. BRODERIP mentions, that, "when the precaution of such
training has not been adopted, the sudden and dangerous terror with
which a horse is seized in coming unexpectedly upon one of them is
excessive."--_Note-book of a Naturalist_, ch. iv. p. 113.]

[Footnote 3: Major ROGERS was many years the chief civil officer of
Government in the district of Oovah, where he was killed by lightning,

[Footnote 4: "Quidam etiam cum equis silvestribus pugnant. Sæpe unus
elephas cum sex equis committitur; atque ipse adeo interfui cum unus
elephas duos equos cum primo impetu protinus prosternerit;--injecta enim
jugulis ipsorum longa proboscide, ad se protractos, dentibus porro
comminuit ac protrivit." _Angli Cujusdam in Cambayam Navigatio_. DE BRY,
_Coll., &c._, vol. iii. ch. xvi. p. 31.]

Pigs are constantly to be seen feeding about the stables of the tame
elephants, which manifest no repugnance to them. As to the smaller
animals, the elephant undoubtedly evinces uneasiness at the presence of
a dog, but this is referable to the same cause as its impatience of a
horse, namely, that neither is habitually seen by it in the forest; but
it would be idle to suppose that this feeling could amount to hostility
against a creature incapable of inflicting on it the slightest
injury.[1] The truth I apprehend to be that, when they meet, the
impudence and impertinences of the dog are offensive to the gravity of
the elephant, and incompatible with his love of solitude and ease. Or
may it be assumed as an evidence of the sagacity of the elephant, that
the only two animals to which it manifests an antipathy, are the two
which it has seen only in the company of its enemy, man? One instance
has certainly been attested to me by an eye-witness, in which the trunk
of an elephant was seized in the teeth of a Scotch terrier, and such was
the alarm of the huge creature that it came at once to its knees. The
dog repeated the attack, and on every renewal of it the elephant
retreated in terror, holding its trunk above its head, and kicking at
the terrier with its fore feet. It would have turned to flight, but for
the interference of its keeper.

[Footnote 1: To account for the impatience manifested by the elephant at
the presence of a dog, it has been suggested that he is alarmed lest the
latter should attack _his feet_, a portion of his body of which the
elephant is peculiarly careful. A tame elephant has been observed to
regard with indifference a spear directed towards his head, but to
shrink timidly from the same weapon when pointed at his foot.]

Major Skinner, formerly commissioner of roads in Ceylon, whose official
duties in constructing highways involved the necessity of his being in
the jungle for months together, always found that, by night or by day,
the barking of a dog which accompanied him, was sufficient to put a herd
to flight. On the whole, therefore, I am of opinion that the elephant
lives on terms of amity with every quadruped in the forest, that it
neither regards them as its foes, nor provokes their hostility by its
acts; and that, with the exception of man, _its greatest enemy is a

The current statements as to the supposed animosity of the elephant to
minor animals originated with Ælian and Pliny, who had probably an
opportunity of seeing, what may at any time be observed, that when a
captive elephant is picketed beside a post, the domestic animals, goats,
sheep, and cattle, will annoy and irritate him by their audacity in
making free with his provender; but this is an evidence in itself of the
little instinctive dread which such comparatively puny creatures
entertain of one so powerful and yet so gentle.

Amongst elephants themselves, jealousy and other causes of irritation
frequently occasion contentions between individuals of the same herd;
but on such occasions it is their habit to strike with their trunks, and
to bear down their opponents with their heads. It is doubtless correct
that an elephant, when prostrated by the force and fury of an antagonist
of its own species, is often wounded by the downward pressure of the
tusks, which in any other position it would be almost impossible to use

[Footnote 1: A writer in the _India Sporting Review_ for October 1857
says a male elephant was killed by two others close to his camp: "the
head was completely smashed in; there was a large hole in the side, and
the abdomen was ripped open. The latter wound was given probably after
it had fallen."--P. 175.]

Mr. Mercer, who in 1846 was the principal civil officer of Government at
Badulla, sent me a jagged fragment of an elephant's tusk, about five
inches in diameter, and weighing between twenty and thirty pounds, which
had been brought to him by some natives, who, being attracted by a noise
in the jungle, witnessed a combat between a tusker and one without
tusks, and saw the latter with his trunk seize one of the tusks of his
antagonist and wrench from it the portion in question, which measured
two feet in length.

Here the trunk was shown to be the more powerful offensive weapon of the
two; but I apprehend that the chief reliance of the elephant for defence
is on its ponderous weight, the pressure of its foot being sufficient to
crush any minor assailant after being prostrated by means of its trunk.
Besides, in using its feet for this purpose, it derives a wonderful
facility from the peculiar formation of the knee-joint in the hind leg,
which, enabling it to swing the hind feet forward close to the ground,
assists it to toss the body alternately from foot to foot, till deprived
of life.[1]

[Footnote 1: In the Third Book of Maccabees, which is not printed in our
Apocrypha, but appears in the series in the Greek Septuagint, the
author, in describing the persecution of the Jews by Ptolemy Philopater,
B.C. 210, states that the king swore vehemently that he would send them
into the other world, "foully trampled to death by the knees and feet of
elephants" ([Greek: pempsein eis hadên en gonasi kai posi thêrion
hêkismenous.] 3 Mac. v. 42). ÆLIAN makes the remark, that elephants on
such occasions use their _knees_ as well as their feet to crush their
victims.--_Hist Anim._ viii. 10.]

A sportsman who had partially undergone this operation, having been
seized by a wounded elephant but rescued from its fury, described to me
his sufferings as he was thus flung back and forward between the hind
and fore feet of the animal, which ineffectually attempted to trample
him at each concussion, and abandoned him without inflicting serious

KNOX, in describing the execution of criminals by the state elephants of
the former kings of Kandy, says, "they will run their teeth (_tusks_)
through the body, and then tear it in pieces and throw it limb from
limb;" but a Kandyan chief, who was witness to such scenes, has assured
me that the elephant never once applied its tusks, but, placing its foot
on the prostrate victim, plucked off his limbs in succession by a sudden
movement of the trunk. If the tusks were designed to be employed
offensively, some alertness would naturally be exhibited in using them;
but in numerous instances where sportsmen have fallen into the power of
a wounded elephant, they have escaped through the failure of the enraged
animal to strike them with its tusks, even when stretched upon the

[Footnote 1: The _Hastisilpe_, a Singhalese work which treats of the
"Science of Elephants," enumerates amongst those which it is not
desirable to possess, "the elephant which will fight with a stone or a
stick in his trunk."]

Placed as the elephant is in Ceylon, in the midst of the most luxuriant
profusion of its favourite food, in close proximity at all times to
abundant supplies of water, and with no enemies against whom to protect
itself, it is difficult to conjecture any probable utility which it
could derive from such appendages. Their absence is unaccompanied by any
inconvenience to the individuals in whom they are wanting; and as
regards the few who possess them, the only operations in which I am
aware of their tusks being employed in relation to the oeconomy of the
animal, is to assist in ripping open the stem of the jaggery palms and
young palmyras to extract the farinaceous core; and in splitting the
juicy shaft of the plantain. Whilst the tuskless elephant crushes the
latter under foot, thereby soiling it and wasting its moisture; the
other, by opening it with the point of his tusk, performs the operation
with delicacy and apparent ease.

These, however, are trivial and almost accidental advantages: on the
other hand, owing to irregularities in their growth, the tusks are
sometimes an impediment in feeding[1]; and in more than one instance in
the Government studs, tusks which had so grown as to approach and cross
one another at the extremities, have had to be removed by the saw; the
contraction of space between them so impeding the free action of the
trunk as to prevent the animal from conveying branches to its mouth.[2]

[Footnote 1: Among other eccentric forms, an elephant was seen in 1844,
in the district of Bintenne, near Friar's-Hood Mountain, one of whose
tusks was so bent that it took what sailors term a "round turn," and
resumed its curved direction as before. In the Museum of the College of
Surgeons, London, there is a specimen, No. 2757, of a _spira_ tusk.]

[Footnote 2: Since the foregoing remarks were written relative to the
undefined use of tusks to the elephant, I have seen a speculation on the
same subject in Dr. HOLLAND'S "_Constitution of the Animal Creation, as
expressed in structural Appendages_;" but the conjecture of the author
leaves the problem scarcely less obscure than before. Struck with the
mere _supplemental_ presence of the tusks, the absence of all apparent
use serving to distinguish them from the essential organs of the
creature, Dr. HOLLAND concludes that their production is a process
incident, but not ancillary, to other important ends, especially
connected with the vital functions of the trunk and the marvellous
motive powers inherent to it; his conjecture is, that they are "a
species of safety valve of the animal oeconomy,"--and that "they owe
their development to the predominance of the senses of touch and smell,
conjointly with the muscular motions of which the exercise of these is
accompanied." "Had there been no proboscis," he thinks, "there would
have been no supplementary appendages,--the former creates the
latter."--Pp. 246, 271.]

It is true that in captivity, and after a due course of training, the
elephant discovers a new use for its tusks when employed in moving
stones and piling timber; so much so that a powerful one will raise and
carry on them a log of half a ton weight or more. One evening, whilst
riding in the vicinity of Kandy, towards the scene of the massacre of
Major Davie's party in 1803, my horse evinced some excitement at a noise
which approached us in the thick jungle, and which consisted of a
repetition of the ejaculation _urmph! urmph!_ in a hoarse and
dissatisfied tone. A turn in the forest explained the mystery, by
bringing me face to face with a tame elephant, unaccompanied by any
attendant. He was labouring painfully to carry a heavy beam of timber,
which he balanced across his tusks, but the pathway being narrow, he was
forced to bend his head to one side to permit it to pass endways; and
the exertion and this inconvenience combined led him to utter the
dissatisfied sounds which disturbed the composure of my horse. On seeing
us halt, the elephant raised his head, reconnoitred us for a moment,
then flung down the timber, and voluntarily forced himself backwards
among the brushwood so as to leave a passage, of which he expected us to
avail ourselves. My horse hesitated: the elephant observed it, and
impatiently thrust himself deeper into the jungle, repeating his cry of
_urmph!_ but in a voice evidently meant to encourage us to advance.
Still the horse trembled; and anxious to observe the instinct of the two
sagacious animals, I forbore any interference: again the elephant of his
own accord wedged himself further in amongst the trees, and manifested
some impatience that we did not pass him. At length the horse moved
forward; and when we were fairly past, I saw the wise creature stoop and
take up its heavy burthen, trim and balance it on its tusks, and resume
its route as before, hoarsely snorting its discontented remonstrance.

Between the African elephant and that of Ceylon, with the exception of
the striking peculiarity of the infrequency of tusks in the latter, the
distinctions are less apparent to a casual observer than to a scientific
naturalist. In the Ceylon species the forehead is higher and more
hollow, the ears are smaller, and, in a section of the teeth, the
grinding ridges, instead of being lozenge-shaped, are transverse bars of
uniform breadth.

The Indian elephant is stated by Cuvier to have four nails on the hind
foot, the African variety having only three: but amongst the perfections
of a high-bred elephant of Ceylon, is always enumerated the possession
of _twenty_ nails, whilst those of a secondary class have but eighteen
in all.[1]

[Footnote 1: See Chapter on Mammalia, p. 60.]

So conversant are the natives with the structure and "points" of the
elephant, that they divide them readily into castes, and describe with
particularity their distinctive excellences and defects. In the
_Hastisilpe_, a Singhalese work which treats of their management, the
marks of inferior breeding are said to be "eyes restless like those of a
crow, the hair of the head of mixed shades; the face wrinkled; the
tongue curved and black; the nails short and green; the ears small; the
neck thin, the skin freckled; the tail without a tuft, and the
fore-quarter lean and low:" whilst the perfection of form and beauty is
supposed to consist in the "softness of the skin, the red colour of the
mouth and tongue, the forehead expanded and hollow, the ears broad and
rectangular, the trunk broad at the root and blotched with pink in
front; the eyes bright and kindly, the cheeks large, the neck full, the
back level, the chest square, the fore legs short and convex in front,
the hind quarter plump, and five nails on each foot, all smooth,
polished, and round.[1] An elephant with these perfections," says the
author of the _Hastisilpe_, "will impart glory and magnificence to the
king; but he cannot be discovered amongst thousands, yea, there shall
never be found an elephant clothed at once with _all_ the excellences
herein described." The "points" of an elephant are to be studied with
the greatest advantage in those attached to the temples, which are
always of the highest caste, and exhibit the most perfect breeding.

[Footnote 1: A native of rank informed me, that "the tail of a
high-caste elephant will sometimes touch the ground, but such are very

The colour of the animal's skin in a state of nature is generally of a
lighter brown than that of those in captivity; a distinction which
arises, in all probability, not so much from the wild animal's
propensity to cover itself with mud and dust, as from the superior care
which is taken in repeatedly bathing the tame ones, and in rubbing their
skins with a soft stone, a lump of burnt clay, or the coarse husk of a
coco-nut. This kind of attention, together with the occasional
application of oil, gives rise to the deeper black which the hides of
the latter present.

Amongst the native Singhalese, however, a singular preference is evinced
for elephants that exhibit those flesh-coloured blotches which
occasionally mottle the skin of an elephant, chiefly about the head and
extremities. The front of the trunk, the tips of the ears, the forehead,
and occasionally the legs, are thus diversified with stains of a
yellowish tint, inclining to pink. These are not natural; nor are they
hereditary, for they are seldom exhibited by the younger individuals in
a herd, but appear to be the result of some eruptive affection, the
irritation of which has induced the animal in its uneasiness to rub
itself against the rough bark of trees, and thus to destroy the outer

[Footnote 1: This is confirmed by the fact that the scar of the ancle
wound, occasioned by the rope on the legs of those which have been
captured by noosing, presents precisely the same tint in the healed

To a European these spots appear blemishes, and the taste that leads the
natives to admire them is probably akin to the feeling that has at all
times rendered a _white elephant_ an object of wonder to Asiatics. The
rarity of the latter is accounted for by regarding this peculiar
appearance as the result of albinism; and notwithstanding the
exaggeration of Oriental historians, who compare the fairness of such
creatures to the whiteness of snow, even in its utmost perfection, I
apprehend that the tint of a white elephant is little else than a
flesh-colour, rendered somewhat more conspicuous by the blanching of the
skin, and the lightness of the colourless hairs by which it is sparsely
covered. A white elephant is mentioned in the _Mahawanso_ as forming
part of the retinue attached to the "Temple of the Tooth" at
Anarajapoora, in the fifth century after Christ[1]; but it commanded no
religious veneration, and like those in the stud of the kings of Siam,
it was tended merely as an emblem of royalty[2]; the sovereign of Ceylon
being addressed as the "Lord of Elephants."[3] In 1633 a white elephant
was exhibited in Holland[4]; but as this was some years before the Dutch
had established themselves firmly in Ceylon, it was probably brought
from some other of their eastern possessions.

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxviii. p. 254, A.D. 433.]

[Footnote 2: PALLEGOIX, _Siam, &c._, vol. i. p. 152.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xviii. p. 111. The Hindu sovereigns of
Orissa, in the middle ages, bore the style of _Gaja-pati_, "powerful in
elephants."--_Asiat. Res_. xv. 253.]

[Footnote 4: ARMANDI, _Hist. Milit. des Elephants_, lib. ii. c. x. p.
380. HORACE mentions a white elephant as having been exhibited at Rome:
"Sive elephas albus vulgi converteret ora."--HOR. _Ep_. II. 196.]



       *       *       *       *       *

_Habits when Wild_.

Although found generally in warm and sunny climates, it is a mistake to
suppose that the elephant is partial either to heat or to light. In
Ceylon, the mountain tops, and not the sultry valleys, are its favourite
resort. In Oovah, where the elevated plains are often crisp with the
morning frost, and on Pedura-talla-galla, at the height of upwards of
eight thousand feet, they are found in herds, whilst the hunter may
search for them without success in the hot jungles of the low country.
No altitude, in fact, seems too lofty or too chill for the elephant,
provided it affords the luxury of water in abundance; and, contrary to
the general opinion that the elephant delights in sunshine, it seems at
all times impatient of glare, and spends the day in the thickest depth
of the forests, devoting the night to excursions, and to the luxury of
the bath, in which it also indulges occasionally by day. This partiality
for shade is doubtless ascribable to the animal's love of coolness and
solitude; but it is not altogether unconnected with the position of the
eye, and the circumscribed use which its peculiar mode of life permits
it to make of the faculty of sight.

All the elephant hunters and natives to whom I have spoken on the
subject, concur in opinion that its range of vision is circumscribed,
and that it relies more on its ear and sense of smell than on its sight,
which is liable to be obstructed by dense foliage; besides which, from
the formation of its short neck, the elephant is incapable of directing
the range of the eye much above the level of the head.[1]

[Footnote 1: After writing the above, I was permitted by the late Dr.
HARRISON, of Dublin, to see some accurate drawings of the brain of an
elephant, which he had the opportunity of dissecting in 1847; and on
looking to that of the base, I have found a remarkable verification of
the information which I collected in Ceylon.

The small figure A is the ganglion of the fifth nerve, showing the small
motor and large sensitive portion.


The _olfactory lobes_, from which the olfactory nerves proceed, are
large, whilst the _optic and muscular nerves of the orbit are singularly
small_ for so vast an animal; and one is immediately struck by the
prodigious size of the fifth nerve, which supplies the proboscis with
its exquisite sensibility, as well as by the great size of the motor
portion of the seventh, which supplies the same organ with its power of
movement and action.]

The elephant's small range of vision is sufficient to account for its
excessive caution, its alarm at unusual noises, and the timidity and
panic exhibited at trivial objects and incidents which, imperfectly
discerned, excite suspicions for its safety.[1] In 1841 an officer[2]
was chased by an elephant that he had slightly wounded. Seizing him near
the dry bed of a river, the animal had its forefoot already raised to
crush him; but its forehead being caught at the instant by the tendrils
of a climbing plant which had suspended itself from the branches above,
it suddenly turned and fled; leaving him badly hurt, but with no limb
broken. I have heard similar instances, equally well attested, of this
peculiarity in the elephant.

[Footnote 1: _Menageries, &c._, "The Elephant," p. 27.]

[Footnote 2: Major ROGERS. An account of this singular adventure will be
found in the _Ceylon Miscellany_ for 1842, vol. i. p. 221.]

On the other hand, the power of smell is so remarkable as almost to
compensate for the deficiency of sight. A herd is not only apprised of
the approach of danger by this means, but when scattered in the forest,
and dispersed out of range of sight, they are enabled by it to
reassemble with rapidity and adopt precautions for their common safety.
The same necessity is met by a delicate sense of hearing, and the use of
a variety of noises or calls, by means of which elephants succeed in
communicating with each other upon all emergencies. "The sounds which
they utter have been described by the African hunters as of three kinds:
the first, which is very shrill, produced by blowing through the trunk,
is indicative of pleasure; the second, produced by the mouth, is
expressive of want; and the third, proceeding from the throat, is a
terrific roar of anger or revenge."[1] These words convey but an
imperfect idea of the variety of noises made by the elephant in Ceylon;
and the shrill cry produced by blowing through his trunk, so far from
being regarded as an indication of "pleasure," is the well-known cry of
rage with which he rushes to encounter an assailant. ARISTOTLE describes
it as resembling the hoarse sound of a "trumpet."[2] The French still
designate the proboscis of an elephant by the same expression "trompe,"
(which we have unmeaningly corrupted into _trunk_,) and hence the scream
of the elephant is known as "trumpeting" by the hunters in Ceylon. Their
cry when in pain, or when subjected to compulsion, is a grunt or a deep
groan from the throat, with the proboscis curled upwards and the lips
wide apart.

[Footnote 1: _Menageries, &c._, "The Elephant," ch. iii. p. 68.]

[Footnote 2: ARISTOTLE, _De Anim_., lib. iv. c. 9. "[Greek: homoion
salpingi]." See also PLINY, lib. x. ch. cxiii. A manuscript in the
British Museum, containing the romance of "_Alexander_" which is
probably of the fifteenth century, is interspersed with drawings
illustrative of the strange animals of the East. Amongst them are two
elephants, whose trunks are literally in form of _trumpets with expanded
mouths_. See WRIGHT'S _Archæological Album_, p. 176.]

Should the attention of an individual in the herd be attracted by any
unusual appearance in the forest, the intelligence is rapidly
communicated by a low suppressed sound made by the lips, somewhat
resembling the twittering of a bird, and described by the hunters by the
word "_prut_."

A very remarkable noise has been described to me by more than one
individual, who has come unexpectedly upon a herd during the night, when
the alarm of the elephants was apparently too great to be satisfied with
the stealthy note of warning just described. On these occasions the
sound produced resembled the hollow booming of an empty tun when struck
with a wooden mallet or a muffled sledge. Major MACREADY, Military
Secretary in Ceylon in 1836, who heard it by night amongst the wild
elephants in the great forest of Bintenne, describes it as "a sort of
banging noise like a cooper hammering a cask;" and Major SKINNER is of
opinion that it must be produced by the elephant striking his sides
rapidly and forcibly with his trunk. Mr. CRIPPS informs me that he has
more than once seen an elephant, when surprised or alarmed, produce this
sound by striking the ground forcibly with the flat side of the trunk;
and this movement was instantly succeeded by raising it again, and
pointing it in the direction whence the alarm proceeded, as if to
ascertain by the sense of smell the nature of the threatened danger. As
this strange sound is generally mingled with the bellowing and ordinary
trumpeting of the herd, it is in all probability a device resorted to,
not alone for warning their companions of some approaching peril, but
also for the additional purpose of terrifying unseen intruders.[1]

[Footnote 1: PALLEGOIX, in his _Description du Royaume Thai ou Siam_,
adverts to a sound produced by the elephant when weary: "quand il est
fatigué, _il frappe la terre avec sa_ trompe, et en tire un son
semblable à celui du cor."--Tom. i. p. 151.]

Elephants are subject to deafness; and the Singhalese regard as the most
formidable of all wild animals, a "rogue"[1] afflicted with this

[Footnote 1: For an explanation of the term "rogue" as applied to an
elephant, see p. 115.]

Extravagant estimates are recorded of the height of the elephant. In an
age when popular fallacies in relation to him were as yet uncorrected in
Europe by the actual inspection of the living animal, he was supposed to
grow to the height of twelve or fifteen feet. Even within the last
century in popular works on natural history, the elephant, when full
grown, was said to measure from seventeen to twenty feet from the ground
to the shoulder.[1] At a still later period, so imperfectly had the
facts been collated, that the elephant of Ceylon was believed "to excel
that of Africa in size and strength."[2] But so far from equalling the
size of the African species, that of Ceylon seldom exceeds the height of
nine feet; even in the Hambangtotte country, where the hunters agree
that the largest specimens are to be found, the tallest of ordinary
herds do not average more than eight feet. WOLF, in his account of the
Ceylon elephant[3], says he saw one taken near Jaffna, which measured
twelve feet and one inch high. But the truth is, that the general bulk
of the elephant so far exceeds that of the animals which we are
accustomed to see daily, that the imagination magnifies its unusual
dimensions; and I have seldom or ever met with an inexperienced
spectator who did not unconsciously over-estimate the size of an
elephant shown to him, whether in captivity or in a state of nature.
Major DENHAM would have guessed some which he saw in Africa to be
sixteen feet in height, but the largest when killed was found to measure
nine feet six, from the foot to the hip-bone.[4]

[Footnote 1: _Natural History of Animals_. By Sir JOHN HILL, M.D.
London, 1748-52, p. 565. A probable source of these false estimates is
mentioned by a writer in the _Indian Sporting Review_ for Oct. 1857.
"Elephants were measured formerly, and even now, by natives, as to their
height, by throwing a rope over them, the ends brought to the ground on
each side, and half the length taken as the true height. Hence the
origin of elephants fifteen and sixteen feet high. A rod held at right
angles to the measuring rod, and parallel to the ground, will rarely
give more than ten feet, the majority being under nine."--P. 159.]

[Footnote 2: SHAW'S _Zoology_. Lond. 1806. vol. i. p. 216; ARMANDI,
_Hist. Milit. des Eléphans_, liv. i. ch. i. p. 2.]

[Footnote 3: WOLF'S _Life and Adventures, &c_., p. 164. Wolf was a
native of Mecklenburg, who arrived in Ceylon about 1750, as chaplain in
one of the Dutch East Indiamen, and having been taken into the
government employment, he served for twenty years at Jaffna, first as
Secretary to the Governor, and afterwards in an office the duties of
which he describes to be the examination and signature of the "writings
which served to commence a suit in any of the Courts of justice." His
book embodies a truthful and generally accurate account of the northern
portion of the island, with which alone he was conversant, and his
narrative gives a curious insight into the policy of the Dutch
Government, and of the condition of the natives under their dominion.]

[Footnote 4: DENHAM'S _Travels, &c_., 4to p. 220. The fossil remains of
the Indian elephant have been discovered at Jabalpur, showing a height
of fifteen feet.--_Journ. Asiat. Soc. Beng_. vi. Professor ANSTED in his
_Ancient World_, p. 197, says he was informed by Dr. Falconer "that out
of eleven hundred elephants from which the tallest were selected and
measured with care, on one occasion in India, there was not one whose
height equalled eleven feet."]

For a creature of such extraordinary weight it is astonishing how
noiselessly and stealthily the elephant can escape from a pursuer. When
suddenly disturbed in the jungle, it will burst away with a rush that
seems to bear down all before it; but the noise sinks into absolute
stillness so suddenly, that a novice might well be led to suppose that
the fugitive had only halted within a few yards of him, when further
search will disclose that it has stolen silently away, making scarcely a
sound in its escape; and, stranger still, leaving the foliage almost
undisturbed by its passage.

The most venerable delusion respecting the elephant, and that which held
its ground with unequalled tenacity, is the ancient fallacy which is
explained by SIR THOMAS BROWNE in his _Pseudodoxia Epidemica_, that "it
hath no joynts; and this absurdity is seconded by another, that being
unable to lye downe it sleepeth against a tree, which the hunters
observing doe saw almost asunder, whereon the beast relying, by the fall
of the tree falls also downe it-selfe and is able to rise no more."[1]
Sir THOMAS is disposed to think that "the hint and ground of this
opinion might be the grosse and somewhat cylindricall composure of the
legs of the elephant, and the equality and lesse perceptible disposure
of the joynts, especially in the forelegs of this animal, they
appearing, when he standeth, like pillars of flesh;" but he overlooks
the fact that PLINY has ascribed the same peculiarity to the
Scandinavian beast somewhat resembling a horse, which he calls a
"machlis,"[2] and that CÆSAR in describing the wild animals in the
Hercynian forests, enumerates the _alce_, "in colour and configuration
approaching the goat, but surpassing it in size, its head destitute of
horns _and its limbs of joints_, whence it can neither lie down to rest,
nor rise if by any accident it should fall, but using the trees for a
resting-place, the hunters by loosening their roots bring the _alce_ to
the ground, so soon as it is tempted to lean on them."[3] This fallacy,
as Sir THOMAS BROWNE says, is "not the daughter of latter times, but an
old and grey-headed errour, even in the days of ARISTOTLE," who deals
with the story as he received it from CTESIAS, by whom it appears to
have been embodied in his lost work on India. But although ARISTOTLE
generally receives the credit of having exposed and demolished the
fallacy of CTESIAS, it will be seen by a reference to his treatise _On
the Progressive Motions of Animals_, that in reality he approached the
question with some hesitation, and has not only left it doubtful in one
passage whether the elephant has joints _in his knee_, although he
demonstrates that it has joints in the shoulders[4]; but in another he
distinctly affirms that on account of his weight the elephant cannot
bend his forelegs together, but only one at a time, and reclines to
sleep on that particular side.[5]

[Footnote 1: _Vulgar Errors_, book iii. chap. 1.]

[Footnote 2: Machlis (said to be derived from _a_, priv., and [Greek:
klinô], _cubo_, quod non cubat). "Moreover in the island of Scandinavia
there is a beast called _Machlis_, that hath neither ioynt in the hough,
nor pasternes in his hind legs, and therefore he never lieth down, but
sleepeth leaning to a tree, wherefore the hunters that lie in wait for
these beasts cut downe the trees while they are asleepe, and so take
them; otherwise they should never be taken, they are so swift of foot
that it is wonderful."--PLINY, _Natur. Hist._ Transl. Philemon Holland,
book viii. ch. xv. p. 200.]

[Footnote 3: "Sunt item quæ appellantur _Alces_. Harum est consimilis
capreis figura, et varietas pellium; sed magnitudine paulo antecedunt,
mutilæque sunt cornibus, _et crura sine nodis articulisque habent_;
neque quietis causa procumbunt; neque, si quo afflictæ casu considerunt,
erigere sese aut sublevare possunt. His sunt arbores pro cubilibus; ad
eas sese applicant, atque ita, paulum modo reclinatæ, quietem capiunt,
quarum ex vestigiis cum est animadversum a venatoribus, quo se recipere
consueverint, omnes eo loco, aut a radicibus subruunt aut accidunt
arbores tantum, ut summa species earum stantium relinquatur. Huc cum se
consuetudine reclinaverint, infirmas arbores pondere affligunt, atque
una ipsæ concidunt."--CÆSAR, _De Bello Gall_. lib. vi. ch. xxvii.

The same fiction was extended by the early Arabian travellers to the
rhinoceros, and in the MS. of the voyages of the "_Two Mahometans_" it
is stated that the rhinoceros of Sumatra "n'a point d'articulation au
genou ni à la main."--_Relations des Voyages, &c._, Paris, 1845, vol. i.
p. 29.]

[Footnote 4: When an animal moves progressively an hypothenuse is
produced, which is equal in power to the magnitude that is quiescent,
and to that which is intermediate. But since the members are equal, it
is necessary that the member which is quiescent should be inflected
either in the knee or in the incurvation, _if the animal that walks is
without knees_. It is possible, however, for the leg to be moved, when
not inflected, in the same manner as infants creep; and there is an
ancient report of this kind about elephants, which is not true, for such
animals as these, _are moved in consequence of an inflection taking
place either in their shoulders or hips_."--ARISTOTLE, _De Ingressu
Anim._, ch. ix. Taylor's Transl.]

[Footnote 5: ARISTOTLE, _De Animal_., lib. ii. ch. i. It is curious that
Taylor, in his translation of this passage, was so strongly imbued with
the "grey-headed errour," that in order to elucidate the somewhat
obscure meaning of Aristotle, he has actually interpolated the text with
the exploded fallacy of Ctesias, and after the word reclining to sleep,
has inserted the words "_leaning against some wall or tree_," which are
not to be found in the original.]

So great was the authority of ARISTOTLE, that ÆLIAN, who wrote two
centuries later and borrowed many of his statements from the works of
his predecessor, perpetuates this error; and, after describing the
exploits of the trained elephants exhibited at Rome, adds the expression
of his surprise, that an animal without joints ([Greek: anarthron])
should yet be able to dance.[1] The fiction was too agreeable to be
readily abandoned by the poets of the Lower Empire and the Romancers of
the middle ages; and PHILE, a contemporary of PETRARCH and DANTE, who in
the early part of the fourteenth century, addressed his didactic poem on
the elephant to the Emperor Andronicus II., untaught by the exposition
of ARISTOTLE, still clung to the old delusion,

  "Podes de toutps thauma kai saphes teras,
  Ous, ou kathaper talla tôn zôôn genê,
  Eiôthe kinein ex anarthrôn klasmatôn,
  Kai gar stibarois syntethentes osteois,
  Kai tê pladara tôn sphyrôn katastasei,
  Kai tê pros arthra tôn skelôn hypokrisei,
  Nyn eis tonous agousi, nyn eis hypheseis,
  Tas pantodapas ekdromas tou thêriou.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Brachyterous ontas de ton opisthiôn
  'Anamphilektôs oida tous emprosthious
  Toutois elephas entatheis osper stylois
  'Orthostadên akamptos hypnôttôn menei."]
                               v. 106, &c.

[Footnote 1: [Greek: "Zpson de anarthron sunienai kai rhuthmou kai
melous, kai phylattein schêma physeôs dôra tauta hama kai idiotês  kath'
ekaston ekplêktikê]."--ÆLIAN, _De Nat. Anim_., lib. ii.  cap. xi.]

SOLINUS introduced the same fable into his _Polyhistor_; and DICUIL, the
Irish commentator of the ninth century, who had an opportunity of seeing
the elephant sent by Haroun Alraschid as a present to Charlemagne[1] in
the year 802, corrects the error, and attributes its perpetuation to the
circumstance that the joints in the elephant's leg are not very
apparent, except when he lies down.[2]

[Footnote 1: Eginhard, _Vita Karoli_, c. xvi. and _Annales Francorum_,
A.D. 810.]

[Footnote 2: "Sed idem Julius, unum de elephantibus mentions, falso
loquitur; dicens elephantem nunquam jacere; dum ille sicut bos
certissime jacet, ut populi communiter regni Francorum elephantem, in
tempore Imperatoris Karoli viderunt. Sed, forsitan, ideo hoc de
elephante ficte æstimando scriptum est, eo quod genua et suffragines sui
nisi quando jacet, non palam apparent."--DICUILUS, _De Mensura Orbis
Terræ_, c. vii.]

It is a strong illustration of the vitality of error, that the delusion
thus exposed by Dicuil in the ninth century, was revived by MATTHEW
PARIS in the thirteenth; and stranger still, that Matthew not only saw
but made a drawing of the elephant presented to King Henry III. by the
King of France in 1255, in which he nevertheless represents the legs as
without joints.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Cotton MSS_. NERO. D. 1. fol. 168, b.]

In the numerous mediæval treatises on natural history, known under the
title of _Bestiaries_, this delusion regarding the elephant is often
repeated; and it is given at length in a metrical version of the
_Physiologus_ of THEOBALDUS, amongst the Arundel Manuscripts in the
British Museum.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Arundel MSS_. No. 292, fol. 4, &c. It has been printed in
the _Reliquiæ Antiquæ_, vol. i. p. 208, by Mr. WRIGHT, to whom I am
indebted for the following rendering of the passage referred to:--

    in water ge sal stonden
    in water to mid side
    that wanne hire harde tide
    that ge ne falle nither nogt
    that it most in hire thogt
    for he ne haven no lith
    that he mugen risen with, etc.

  "They will stand in the water,
  in water up to the middle of the side,
  that when it comes to them hard,
  they may not fall down:
  that is most in their thought,
  for they have no joint
  to enable them to rise again.
  How he resteth him this animal,
  when he walketh abroad,
  hearken how it is here told.
  For he is all unwieldy,
  forsooth he seeks out a tree,
  that it strong and stedfast,
  and leans confidently against it,
  when he is weary of walking.
  The hunter has observed this,
  who seeks to ensnare him,
  where his usual dwelling is,
  to do his will;
  saws this tree and props it
  in the manner that he best may,
  covers it well that he (the elephant) may not be on his guard.
  Then he makes thereby a seat,
  himself sits alone and watches
  whether his trap takes effect.
  Then cometh this unwieldy elephant,
  and leans him on his side,
  rests against the tree in the shadow,
  and so both fall together.
  If nobody be by when he falls,
  he roars ruefully and calls for help,
  roars ruefully in his manner,
  hopes he shall through help rise.
  Then cometh there one (elephant) in haste,
  hopes he shall cause him to stand up;
  labours and tries all his might,
  but he cannot succeed a bit.
  He knows then no other remedy,
  but roars with his brother,
  many and large (elephants) come there in search,
  thinking to make him get up,
  but for the help of them all
  he may not get up.
  Then they all roar one roar,
  like the blast of a horn or the sound of bell,
  for their great roaring
  a young one cometh running,
  stoops immediately to him,
  puts his snout under him,
  and asks the help of them all;
  this elephant they raise on his legs:
  and thus fails this hunter's trick,
  in the manner that I have told you."]

With the Provençal song writers, the helplessness of the fallen elephant
was a favourite simile, and amongst others RICHARD DE BARBEZIEUX, in the
latter half of the twelfth century, sung[1],

  "Atressi cum l'olifans
  Que quan chai no s'pot levar."

[Footnote 1: One of the most venerable authorities by whom the fallacy
was transmitted to modern times was PHILIP de THAUN, who wrote, about
the year 1121, A.D., his _Livre des Créatures_, dedicated to Adelaide of
Louvaine, Queen of Henry I. of England. In the copy of it printed by the
Historical Society of Science in 1841, and edited by Mr. WRIGHT, the
following passage occurs:--

  "Et Ysidre nus dit ki le elefant descrit,

       *       *       *       *       *

  Es jambes par nature nen ad que une jointure,
  Il ne pot pas gesir quant il se volt dormir,
  Ke si cuchet estait par sei nen leveraît;
  Pur ceo li stot apuier, el lui del cucher,
  U à arbre u à mur, idunc dort aseur.

  E le gent de la terre, ki li volent conquere,
  Li mur enfunderunt, u le arbre encíserunt;
  Quant li elefant vendrat, ki s'i apuierat,
  La arbre u le mur carrat, e il tribucherat;
  Issi faiterement le parnent cele gent."
  P. 100.]

As elephants were but rarely seen in Europe prior to the seventeenth
century, there were but few opportunities of correcting the popular
fallacy by ocular demonstration. Hence SHAKSPEARE still believed that,

  "The elephant hath joints; but none for courtesy:
  His legs are for necessity, not flexure:"[1]

and DONNE sang of

  "Nature's great masterpiece, an Elephant;
  The only harmless great thing:
  Yet Nature hath given him no knee to bend:
  Himself he up-props, on himself relies;
  Still sleeping stands."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Troilus and Cressida_, act ii. sc. 3. A.D. 1609.]

[Footnote 2: _Progress of the Soul_, A.D. 1633.]

Sir THOMAS BROWNE, while he argues against the delusion, does not fail
to record his suspicion, that "although the opinion at present be
reasonably well suppressed, yet from the strings of tradition and
fruitful recurrence of errour, it was not improbable it might revive in
the next generation;"[1]--an anticipation which has proved singularly
correct; for the heralds still continued to explain that the elephant is
the emblem of watchfulness, "_nec jacet in somno,"_[2] and poets almost
of our own times paint the scene when

  "Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast
  Their ample shade on Niger's yellow stream,
  Or where the Ganges rolls his sacred waves,
  _Leans_ the huge Elephant."[3]

[Footnote 1: Sir T. BROWNE, _Vulgar Errors_, A.D. 1646.]

[Footnote 2: RANDAL HOME'S _Academy of Armory_, A.D. 1671. HOME
only perpetuated the error of GUILLAM, who wrote his _Display of
Heraldry_ in A.D. 1610; wherein he explains that the elephant is
"so proud of his strength that he never bows himself to any
(_neither indeed can he_), and when he is once down he cannot
rise up again."--Sec. III. ch. xii. p. 147.]

[Footnote 3: THOMSON'S _Seasons_, A.D. 1728.]

It is not difficult to see whence this antiquated delusion took its
origin; nor is it, as Sir THOMAS BROWNE imagined, to be traced
exclusively "to the grosse and cylindricall structure" of the animal's
legs. The fact is, that the elephant, returning in the early morning
from his nocturnal revels in the reservoirs and water-courses, is
accustomed to rub his muddy sides against a tree, and sometimes
against a rock if more convenient. In my rides through the northern
forests, the natives of Ceylon have often pointed out that the
elephants which had preceded me must have been of considerable size,
from the height at which their marks had been left on the trees
against which they had been rubbing. Not unfrequently the animals
themselves, overcome with drowsiness from the night's gambolling, are
found dosing and resting against the trees they had so visited, and in
the same manner they have been discovered by sportsmen asleep, and
leaning against a rock.

It is scarcely necessary to explain that the position is accidental, and
that it is taken by the elephant not from any difficulty in lying at
length on the ground, but rather from the coincidence that the structure
of his legs affords such support in a standing position, that reclining
scarcely adds to his enjoyment of repose; and elephants in a state of
captivity have been known for months together to sleep without lying
down.[1] So distinctive is this formation, and so self-sustaining the
configuration of the limbs, that an elephant shot in the brain, by Major
Rogers in 1836, was killed so instantaneously that it died literally _on
its knees_, and remained resting on them. About the year 1826, Captain
Dawson, the engineer of the great road to Kandy, over the Kaduganava
pass, shot an elephant at Hangwelle on the banks of the Kalany Ganga;
_it remained on its feet_, but so motionless, that after discharging a
few more balls, he was induced to go close to it, and found it dead.

[Footnote 1: So little is the elephant inclined to lie down in
captivity, and even after hard labour, that the keepers are generally
disposed to suspect illness when he betakes himself to this posture.
PHILE, in his poem _De Animalium Proprietate_, attributes the propensity
of the elephant to sleep on his legs, to the difficulty he experiences
in rising to his feet:

    'Orthostadên de kai katheudei panychos
    'HOt ouk anastêsai men eucherôs pelei.]

But this is a misapprehension.]

The real peculiarity in the elephant in lying down is, that he extends
his hind legs backwards as a man does when he kneels, instead of
bringing them under him like the horse or any other quadruped. The wise
purpose of this arrangement must be obvious to any one who observes the
struggle with which the horse _gets up_ from the ground, and the violent
efforts which he makes to raise himself erect. Such an exertion in the
case of the elephant, and the force requisite to apply a similar
movement to raise his weight (equal to four or five tons) would be
attended with a dangerous strain upon the muscles, and hence the simple
arrangement, which by enabling him to draw the hind feet gradually under
him, assists him to rise without a perceptible effort.

The same construction renders his gait not a "gallop," as it has been
somewhat loosely described[1], which would be too violent a motion for
so vast a body; but a shuffle, that he can increase at pleasure to a
pace as rapid as that of a man at full speed, but which he cannot
maintain for any considerable distance.

[Footnote 1: _Menageries, &c_. "The elephant," ch. i. Sir CHARLES BELL,
in his essay on _The Hand and its Mechanism_, which forms one of the
"Bridgewater Treatises," has exhibited the reasons deducible from
organisation, which show the incapacity of the elephant to _spring_ or
_leap_ like the horse and other animals whose structure is designed to
facilitate agility and speed. In them the various bones of the shoulder
and fore limbs, especially the clavicle and humerus, are set at such an
angle, that the shock in descending is modified, and the joints and
sockets protected from the injury occasioned by concussion. But in the
elephant, where the weight of the body is immense, the bones of the leg,
in order to present solidify and strength to sustain it, are built in
one firm and perpendicular column; instead of being placed somewhat
obliquely at their points of contact. Thus whilst the force of the
weight in descending is broken and distributed by this arrangement in
the case of the horse; it would be so concentrated in the elephant as to
endanger every joint from the toe to the shoulder.]


It is to the structure of the knee-joint that the elephant is indebted
for his singular facility in ascending and descending steep activities,
climbing rocks and traversing precipitous ledges, where even a mule dare
not venture; and this again leads to the correction of another generally
received error, that his legs are "formed more for strength than
flexibility, and fitted to bear an enormous weight upon a level surface,
without the necessity of ascending or descending great acclivities."[1]
The same authority assumes that, although the elephant is found in the
neighbourhood of mountainous ranges, and will even ascend rocky passes,
such a service is a violation of its natural habits.

[Footnote 1: _Menageries, &c_., "The Elephant," ch. ii.]

Of the elephant of Africa I am not qualified to speak, nor of the nature
of the ground which it most frequents; but certainly the facts in
connection with the elephant of India are all irreconcilable with the
theory mentioned above. In Bengal, in the Nilgherries, in Nepal, in
Burmah, in Siam, Sumatra, and Ceylon, the districts in which the
elephants most abound, are all hilly and mountainous. In the latter,
especially, there is not a range so elevated as to be inaccessible to
them. On the very summit of Adam's Peak, at an altitude of 7,420 feet,
and on a pinnacle which the pilgrims climb with difficulty, by means of
steps hewn in the rock, Major Skinner, in 1840, found the spoor of an

Prior to 1840, and before coffee-plantations had been extensively opened
in the Kandyan ranges, there was not a mountain or a lofty feature of
land of Ceylon which they had not traversed, in their periodical
migrations in search of water; and the sagacity which they display in
"laying out roads" is almost incredible. They generally keep along the
_backbone_ of a chain of hills, avoiding steep gradients: and one
curious observation was not lost upon the government surveyors, that in
crossing the valleys from ridge to ridge, through forests so dense as
altogether to obstruct a distant view, the elephants invariably select
the line of march which communicates most judiciously with the opposite
point, by means of _the safest ford_.[1] So sure-footed are they, that
there are few places where man can go that an elephant cannot follow,
provided there be space to admit his bulk, and solidity to sustain his

[Footnote 1: Dr. HOOKER, in describing the ascent of the Himalayas,
says, the natives in making their paths despise all zigzags, and run in
straight lines up the steepest hill faces; whilst "the elephant's path
is an excellent specimen of engineering--the opposite of the native
track,--for it winds judiciously."--_Himalayan Journal_, vol. i. ch.

This faculty is almost entirely derived from the unusual position, as
compared with other quadrupeds, of the knee joint of the hind leg;
arising from the superior length of the thigh-bone, and the shortness of
the metatarsus: the heel being almost where it projects in man, instead
of being lifted up as a "hock." It is this which enables him, in
descending declivities, to depress and adjust the weight of his hinder
portions, which would otherwise overbalance and force him headlong.[1]
It is by the same arrangement that he is enabled, on uneven ground, to
lift his feet, which are tender and sensitive, with delicacy, and plant
them with such precision as to ensure his own safety as well as that of
objects which it is expedient to avoid touching.

[Footnote 1: Since the above passage was written, I have seen in the
_Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_, vol. xiii, pt. ii. p. 916, a
paper upon this subject, illustrated by the subjoined diagram.

The writer says, "an elephant descending a bank of too acute an angle to
admit of his walking down it direct, (which, were he to attempt, his
huge tody, soon disarranging the centre of gravity, would certainly
topple over,) proceeds thus. His first manoeuvre is to kneel down close
to the edge of the declivity, placing his chest to the ground: one
fore-leg is then cautiously passed a short way down the slope; and if
there is no natural protection to afford a firm footing, he speedily
forms one by stamping into the soil if moist, or kicking out a footing
if dry. This point gained, the other fore-leg is brought down in the
same way; and performs the same work, a little in advance of the first;
which is thus at liberty to move lower still. Then, first one and then
the second of the hind legs is carefully drawn over the side, and the
hind-feet in turn occupy the resting-places previously used and left by
the fore ones. The course, however, in such precipitous ground is not
straight from top to bottom, but slopes along the face of the bank,
descending till the animal gains the level below. This an elephant has
done, at an angle of 45 degrees, carrying a _howdah_, its occupant, his
attendant, and sporting apparatus; and in a much less time than it takes
to describe the operation." I have observed that an elephant in
descending a declivity uses his knees, on the side next the bank; and
his feet on the lower side only.


A _herd_ of elephants is a family, not a group whom accident or
attachment may have induced to associate together. Similarity of
features and caste attest that, among the various individuals which
compose it, there is a common lineage and relationship. In a herd of
twenty-one elephants, captured in 1844, the trunks of each individual
presented the same peculiar formation,--long, and almost of one uniform
breadth throughout, instead of tapering gradually from the root to the
nostril. In another instance, the eyes of thirty-five taken in one
corral were of the same colour in each. The same slope of the back, the
same form of the forehead, is to be detected in the majority of the same

In the forest several herds will browse in close contiguity, and in
their expeditions in search of water they may form a body of possibly
one or two hundred; but on the slightest disturbance each distinct herd
hastens to re-form within its own particular circle, and to take
measures on its own behalf for retreat or defence.

The natives of any place which may chance to be frequented by elephants,
observe that the numbers of the same herd fluctuate very slightly; and
hunters in pursuit of them, who may chance to have shot one or more,
always reckon with certainty the precise number of those remaining,
although a considerable interval may intervene before they again
encounter them. The proportion of males is generally small, and some
herds have been seen composed exclusively of females; possibly in
consequence of the males having been shot. A herd usually consists of
from ten to twenty individuals, though occasionally they exceed the
latter number; and in their frequent migrations and nightly resort to
tanks and water-courses, alliances are formed between members of
associated herds, which serve to introduce new blood into the family.

In illustration of the attachment of the elephant to its young, the
authority of KNOX has been quoted, that "the shees are alike tender of
any one's young ones as of their own."[1] Their affection in this
particular is undoubted, but I question whether it exceeds that of other
animals; and the trait thus adduced of their indiscriminate kindness to
all the young of the herd,--of which I have myself been an
eye-witness,--so far from being an evidence of the strength of parental
attachment individually, is, perhaps, somewhat inconsistent with the
existence of such a passion to any extraordinary degree.[2] In fact,
some individuals, who have had extensive facilities for observation,
doubt whether the fondness of the female elephants for their offspring
is so great as that of many other animals; as instances are not wanting
in Ceylon, in which, when pursued by the hunters, the herd has abandoned
the young ones in their flight, notwithstanding the cries of the latter
for help.

[Footnote 1: A correspondent of Buffon, M. MARCELLUS BLES, Seigneur de
Moergestal, who resided eleven years in Ceylon in the time of the Dutch,
says in one of his communications, that in herds of forty or fifty,
enclosed in a single corral, there were frequently very young calves;
and that "on ne pouvoit pas reconnaître quelles étoient les mères de
chacun de ces petits éléphans, car tous ces jeunes animaux paroissent
faire manse commune; ils têtent indistinctement celles des femelles de
toute la troupe qui ont du lait, soit qu'elles aient elles-mêmes un
petit en propre, soit qu'elles n'en aient point."--BUFFON, _Suppl. à
l'Hist. des Anim._, vol. vi. p. 25.]

[Footnote 2: WHITE, in his _Natural History of Selborne_, philosophising
on the fact which had fallen under his own notice of this indiscriminate
suckling of the young of one animal by the parent of another, is
disposed to ascribe it to a selfish feeling; the pleasure and relief of
having its distended teats drawn by this intervention. He notices the
circumstance of a leveret having been thus nursed by a cat, whose
kittens had been recently drowned: and observes, that "this strange
affection was probably occasioned by that desiderium, those tender
maternal feelings, which the loss of her kittens had awakened in her
breast; and by the complacency and ease she derived to herself from
procuring her teats to be drawn, which were too much distended with
milk; till from habit she became as much delighted with this foundling
as if it had been her real offspring. This incident is no bad solution
of that strange circumstance which grave historians, as well as the
poets, assert of exposed children being sometimes nurtured by female
wild beasts that probably had lost their young. For it is not one whit
more marvellous that Romulus and Remus in their infant state should be
nursed by a she wolf than that a poor little suckling leveret should be
fostered and cherished by a bloody Grimalkin."--WHITE'S _Selborne_,
lett. xx.]

In an interesting paper on the habits of the Indian elephant, published
in the _Philosophical Transactions for_ 1793, Mr. CORSE says: "If a wild
elephant happens to be separated from its young for only two days,
though giving suck, she never after recognises or acknowledges it,"
although the young one evidently knows its dam, and by its plaintive
cries and submissive approaches solicits her assistance.

If by any accident an elephant becomes hopelessly separated from his own
herd, he is not permitted to attach himself to any other. He may browse
in the vicinity, or frequent the same place to drink and to bathe; but
the intercourse is only on a distant and conventional footing, and no
familiarity or intimate association is under any circumstances
permitted. To such a height is this exclusiveness carried, that even
amidst the terror and stupefaction of an elephant corral, when an
individual, detached from his own party in the _mêlée_ and confusion,
has been driven into the enclosure with an unbroken herd, I have seen
him repulsed in every attempt to take refuge among them, and driven off
by heavy blows with their trunks as often as he attempted to insinuate
himself within the circle which they had formed for common security.
There can be no reasonable doubt that this jealous and exclusive policy
not only contributes to produce, but mainly serves to perpetuate, the
class of solitary elephants which are known by the term _goondahs_, in
India, and which from their vicious propensities and predatory habits
are called _Hora_, or _Rogues_, in Ceylon.[1]

It is believed by the Singhalese that these are either individuals, who
by accident have lost their former associates and become morose and
savage from rage and solitude; or else that being naturally vicious they
have become daring from the yielding habits of their milder companions,
and eventually separated themselves from the rest of the herd which had
refused to associate with them. Another conjecture is, that being almost
universally males, the death or capture of particular females may have
detached them from their former companions in search of fresh
alliances.[2] It is also believed that a tame elephant escaping from
captivity, unable to rejoin its former herd, and excluded from any
other, becomes a "_rogue_" from necessity. In Ceylon it is generally
believed that the _rogues_ are all males (but of this I am not certain),
and so sullen is their disposition that although two may be in the same
vicinity, there is no known instance of their associating, or of a
_rogue_ being seen in company with another elephant.

[Footnote 1: The term "rogue" is scarcely sufficiently accounted for by
supposing it to be the English equivalent for the Singhalese word
_Hora_. In that very curious book, the _Life and Adventures of_ JOHN
CHRISTOPHER WOLF, _late principal Secretary at Jaffnapatam in Ceylon_,
the author says, when a male elephant in a quarrel about the females "is
beat out of the field and obliged to go without a consort, he becomes
furious and mad, killing every living creature, be it man or beast: and
in this state is called _ronkedor_, an object of greater terror to a
traveller than a hundred wild ones."--P. 142. In another passage, p.
164, he is called _runkedor_, and I have seen it spelt elsewhere
_ronquedue_, WOLF does not give "_ronkedor_" as a term peculiar to that
section of the island; but both there and elsewhere, it is obsolete at
the present day, unless it be open to conjecture that the modern term
"rogue" is a modification of _ronquedue._]

[Footnote 2: BUCHANAN, in his _Survey of Bhagulpore_, p. 503, says that
solitary males of the wild buffalo, "when driven from the herd by
stronger competitors for female society, are reckoned very dangerous to
meet with; for they are apt to wreak their vengeance on whatever they
meet, and are said to kill annually three or four people." LIVINGSTONE
relates the same of the solitary hippopotamus which becomes soured in
temper, and wantonly attacks the passing canoes.--_Travels in South
Africa_, p. 231.]

They spend their nights in marauding, often about the dwellings of men,
destroying their plantations, trampling down their gardens, and
committing serious ravages in rice grounds and young coco-nut
plantations. Hence from their closer contact with man and his dwellings,
these outcasts become disabused of many of the terrors which render the
ordinary elephant timid and needlessly cautious; they break through
fences without fear; and even in the daylight a _rogue_ has been known
near Ambogammoa to watch a field of labourers at work in reaping rice,
and boldly to walk in amongst them, seize a sheaf from the heap, and
retire leisurely to the jungle. By day they generally seek concealment,
but are frequently to be met with prowling about the by-roads and jungle
paths, where travellers are exposed to the utmost risk from their savage
assaults. It is probable that this hostility to man is the result of the
enmity engendered by those measures which the natives, who have a
constant dread of their visits, adopt for the protection of their
growing crops. In some districts, especially in the low country of
Badulla, the villagers occasionally enclose their cottages with rude
walls of earth and branches to protect them from nightly assaults. In
places infested by them, the visits of European sportsmen to the
vicinity of their haunts are eagerly encouraged by the natives, who
think themselves happy in lending their services to track the ordinary
herds in consideration of the benefit conferred on the village
communities by the destruction of a rogue. In 1847 one of these
formidable creatures frequented for some months the Rangbodde Pass on
the great mountain road leading to the sanatarium, at Neuera-ellia; and
amongst other excesses, killed a Caffre belonging to the corps of Caffre
pioneers, by seizing him with its trunk and beating him to death against
the bank.

To return to the herd: one member of it, usually the largest and most
powerful, is by common consent implicitly followed as leader. A tusker,
if there be one in the party, is generally observed to be the commander;
but a female, if of superior energy, is as readily obeyed as a male. In
fact, in this promotion there is no reason to doubt that supremacy is
almost unconsciously assumed by those endowed with superior vigour and
courage rather than from the accidental possession of greater bodily
strength; and the devotion and loyalty which the herd evince to their
leader are very remarkable. This is more readily seen in the case of a
tusker than any other, because in a herd he is generally the object of
the keenest pursuit by the hunters. On such occasions the others do
their utmost to protect him from danger: when driven to extremity they
place their leader in the centre and crowd so eagerly in front of him
that the sportsmen have to shoot a number which they might otherwise
have spared. In one instance a tusker, which was badly wounded by Major
ROGERS, was promptly surrounded by his companions, who supported him
between their shoulders, and actually succeeded in covering his retreat
to the forest.

Those who have lived much in the jungle in Ceylon, and who have had
constant opportunities of watching the habits of wild elephants, have
witnessed instances of the submission of herds to their leaders, that
suggest an inquiry of singular interest as to the means adopted by the
latter to communicate with distinctness, orders which are observed with
the most implicit obedience by their followers. The following narrative
of an adventure in the great central forest toward the north of the
island, communicated to me by Major SKINNER, who was engaged for some
time in surveying and opening roads through the thickly-wooded districts
there, will serve better than any abstract description to convey an idea
of the conduct of a herd on such occasions:--

"The case you refer to struck me as exhibiting something more than
ordinary brute instinct, and approached nearer to reasoning powers than
any other instance I can now remember. I cannot do justice to the scene,
although it appeared to me at the time to be so remarkable that it left
a deep impression in my mind.

"In the height of the dry season in Neuera-Kalawa, you know the streams
are all dried up, and the tanks nearly so. All animals are then sorely
pressed for water, and they congregate in the vicinity of those tanks in
which there may remain ever so little of the precious element.

"During one of those seasons I was encamped on the bund or embankment of
a very small tank, the water in which was so dried that its surface
could not have exceeded an area of 500 square yards. It was the only
pond within many miles, and I knew that of necessity a very large herd
of elephants, which had been in the neighbourhood all day, must resort
to it at night.

"On the lower side of the tank, and in a line with the embankment, was a
thick forest, in which the elephants sheltered themselves during the
day. On the upper side and all around the tank there was a considerable
margin of open ground. It was one of those beautiful bright, clear,
moonlight nights, when objects could be seen almost as distinctly as by
day, and I determined to avail myself of the opportunity to observe the
movements of the herd, which had already manifested some uneasiness at
our presence. The locality was very favourable for my purpose, and an
enormous tree projecting over the tank afforded me a secure lodgement in
its branches. Having ordered the fires of my camp to be extinguished at
an early hour, and all my followers to retire to rest, I took up my post
of observation on the overhanging bough; but I had to remain for upwards
of two hours before anything was to be seen or heard of the elephants,
although I knew they were within 500 yards of me. At length, about the
distance of 300 yards from the water, an unusually large elephant issued
from the dense cover, and advanced cautiously across the open ground to
within 100 yards of the tank, where he stood perfectly motionless. So
quiet had the elephants become (although they had been roaring and
breaking the jungle throughout the day and evening), that not a movement
was now to be heard. The huge vidette remained in his position, still as
a rock, for a few minutes, and then made three successive stealthy
advances of several yards (halting for some minutes between each, with
ears bent forward to catch the slightest sound), and in this way he
moved slowly up to the water's edge. Still he did not venture to quench
his thirst, for though his fore-feet were partially in the tank and his
vast body was reflected clear in the water, he remained for some minutes
listening in perfect stillness. Not a motion could be perceived in
himself or his shadow. He returned cautiously and slowly to the position
he had at first taken up on emerging from the forest. Here in a little
while he was joined by five others, with which he again proceeded as
cautiously, but less slowly than before, to within a few yards of the
tank, and then posted his patrols. He then re-entered the forest and
collected around him the whole herd, which must have amounted to between
80 and 100 individuals,--led them across the open ground with the most
extraordinary composure and quietness, till he joined the advanced
guard, when he left them for a moment and repeated his former
reconnoissance at the edge of the tank. After which, having apparently
satisfied himself that all was safe, he returned and obviously gave the
order to advance, for in a moment the whole herd rushed into the water
with a degree of unreserved confidence, so opposite to the caution and
timidity which had marked their previous movements, that nothing will
ever persuade me that there was not rational and preconcerted
co-operation throughout the whole party, and a degree of responsible
authority exercised by the patriarch leader.

"When the poor animals had gained possession of the tank (the leader
being the last to enter), they seemed to abandon themselves to enjoyment
without restraint or apprehension of danger. Such a mass of animal life
I had never before seen huddled together in so narrow a space. It seemed
to me as though they would have nearly drunk the tank dry. I watched
them with great interest until they had satisfied themselves as well in
bathing as in drinking, when I tried how small a noise would apprise
them of the proximity of unwelcome neighbours. I had but to break a
little twig, and the solid mass instantly took to flight like a herd of
frightened deer, each of the smaller calves being apparently shouldered
and carried along between two of the older ones."[1]

[Footnote 1: Letter from Major SKINNER.]

In drinking, the elephant, like the camel, although preferring water
pure, shows no decided aversion to it when discoloured with mud[1]; and
the eagerness with which he precipitates himself into the tanks and
streams attests his exquisite enjoyment of the fresh coolness, which to
him is the chief attraction. In crossing deep rivers, although his
rotundity and buoyancy enable him to swim with a less immersion than
other quadrupeds, he generally prefers to sink till no part of his huge
body is visible except the tip of his trunk, through which he breathes,
moving beneath the surface, and only now and then raising his head to
look that he is keeping the proper direction.[2] In the dry season the
scanty streams which, during the rains, are sufficient to convert the
rivers of the low country into torrents, often entirely disappear,
leaving only broad expanses of dry sand, which they have swept down with
them from the hills. In this the elephants contrive to sink wells for
their own use by scooping out the sand to the depth of four or five
feet, and leaving a hollow for the percolation of the spring. But as the
weight of the elephant would force in the side if left perpendicular,
one approach is always formed with such a gradient that he can reach the
water with his trunk without disturbing the surrounding sand.

[Footnote 1: This peculiarity was known in the middle ages, and PHILE,
writing in the fourteenth century, says, that such is his _preference_,
for muddy water that the elephant _stirs it_ before he drinks.


  "Ydor de pineisynchythen prin anpinoi
  To gar dieides akribos diaptuei."]

         --PHILE _de Eleph_., i. 144.]

[Footnote 2: A tame elephant, when taken by his keepers to be bathed,
and to have his skin washed and rubbed, lies down on his side, pressing
his head to the bottom under water, with only the top of his trunk
protruded, to breathe.]


I have reason to believe, although the fact has not been authoritatively
stated by naturalists, that the stomach of the elephant will be found to
include a section analogous to that possessed by some of the ruminants,
calculated to contain a supply of water as a provision against
emergencies. The fact of his being enabled to retain a quantity of water
and discharge it at pleasure has been long known to every observer of
the habits of the animal; but the proboscis has always been supposed to
be "his water-reservoir,"[1] and the theory of an internal receptacle
has not been discussed. The truth is that the anatomy of the elephant is
even yet but imperfectly understood[2], and, although some peculiarities
of his stomach were observed at an early period, and even their
configuration described, the function of the abnormal portion remained
undetermined, and has been only recently conjectured. An elephant which
belonged to Louis XIV. died at Versailles in 1681 at the age of
seventeen, and an account of its dissection was published in the
_Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire Naturelle_, under the authority of
the Academy of Sciences, in which the unusual appendages of the stomach
are pointed out with sufficient particularity, but no suggestion is made
as to their probable uses."[3]

[Footnote 1: BRODERIP'S _Zoological Recreations_, p. 259.]

[Footnote 2: For observing the osteology of the elephant, materials are
of course abundant in the indestructible remains of the animal: but the
study of the intestines, and the dissection of the softer parts by
comparative anatomists in Europe, have been up to the present time beset
by difficulties. These arise not alone from the rarity of subjects, but
even in cases where elephants have died in these countries,
decomposition interposes, and before the thorough examination of so vast
a body can be satisfactorily completed, the great mass falls into

The principal English authorities are _An Anatomical Account of the
Elephant accidentally burnt in Dublin_, by A. MOLYNEUX, A.D. 1696; which
is probably a reprint of a letter on the same subject in the library of
Trinity College, Dublin, addressed by A. Moulin, to Sir William Petty,
Lond. 1682. There are also some papers communicated to Sir Hans Sloane,
and afterwards published in the _Philosophical Transactions_ of the year
1710, by Dr. P. BLAIR, who had an opportunity of dissecting an elephant
which died at Dundee in 1708. The latter writer observes that,
"notwithstanding the vast interest attaching to the elephant in all
ages, yet has its body been hitherto very little subjected to
anatomical, inquiries;" and he laments that the rapid decomposition of
the carcase, and other causes, had interposed obstacles to the scrutiny
of the subject he was so fortunate as to find access to.

In 1723 Dr. WM. STUCKLEY published _Some Anatomical Observations made
upon the Dissection of an Elephant_; but each of the above essays is
necessarily unsatisfactory, and little has since been done to supply
their defects. One of the latest and most valuable contributions to the
subjects, is a paper read before the Royal Irish Academy, on the 18th of
Feb., 1847, by Professor HARRISON, who had the opportunity of dissecting
an Indian elephant which died of acute fever; but the examination, so
far as he has made it public, extends only to the cranium, the brain,
and the proboscis, the larynx, trachea, and oesophagus. An essential
service would be rendered to science if some sportsman in Ceylon, or
some of the officers connected with the elephant establishment there,
would take the trouble to forward the carcase of a young one to England
in a state fit for dissection.

_Postscriptum._--I am happy to say that a young elephant, carefully
preserved in spirits, has recently been obtained in Ceylon, and
forwarded to Prof. Owen, of the British Museum, by the joint exertions
of M. DIARD and Major SKINNER. An opportunity has thus been afforded
from which science will reap advantage, of devoting a patient attention
to the internal structure of this interesting animal.]

[Footnote 3: The passage as quoted by BUFFON from the _Mémoires_ is as

--"L'estomac avoit peu de diamètre; il en avoit moins que le colon, car
son diamètre n'étoit que de quatorze pouces dans la partie la plus
large; il avoit trois pieds et demi de longueur: l'orifice supérieur
étoit à-peu-près aussi éloigné du pylore que du fond du grand cul-de-sac
qui se terminoit en une pointe composée de tuniques beaucoup plus
épaisses que celles du reste de l'estomac; il y avoit au fond du grand
cul-de-sac plusieurs feuillets épais d'une ligne, larges d'un pouce et
demi, et disposés irrégulierement; le reste de parois intérieures étoit
percé de plusieurs petits trous et par de plus grands qui
correspondoîent à des grains glanduleux."--BUFFON, _Hist. Nat_., vol.
xi. p. 109.]

A writer in the _Quarterly Review_ for December 1850, says that "CAMPER
and other comparative anatomists have shown that the left, or cardiac
end of the stomach in the elephant is adapted, by several wide folds of
lining membrane, to serve as a receiver for water;" but this is scarcely
correct, for although CAMPER has accurately figured the external form of
the stomach, he disposes of the question of the interior functions with
the simple remark that its folds "semblent en faire une espèce de
division particulière."[1] In like manner SIR EVERARD HOME, in his
_Lectures on Comparative Anatomy_, has not only carefully described the
form of the elephant's stomach, and furnished a drawing of it even more
accurate than CAMPER; but he has equally omitted to assign any purpose
to so strange a formation, contenting himself with observing that the
structure is a peculiarity, and that one of the remarkable folds nearest
the orifice of the diaphragm appears to act as a valve, so that the
portion beyond may be considered as an appendage similar to that of the
hog and the _peccary_.[2]

[Footnote 1: "L'extrémité voisine du cardia se termine par une poche
très-considérable et doublée à l'intérieure du quatorze valvules
orbiculaires que semblent en faire une espèce de division
particulière."--CAMPER, _Description Anatomique d'un Eléphant Mâle_, p.
37, tabl. IX.]

[Footnote 2: "The elephant has another peculiarity in the internal
structure of the stomach. It is longer and narrower than that of most
animals. The cuticular membrane of the oesophagus terminates at the
orifice of the stomach. At the cardiac end, which is very narrow and
pointed at the extremity, the lining is thick and glandular, and is
thrown into transverse folds, of which five are broad and nine narrow.
That nearest the orifice of the oesophagus is the broadest, and appears
to act occasionally as a valve, so that the part beyond may be
considered as an appendage similar to that of the peccary and the hog.
The membrane of the cardiac portion is uniformly smooth; that of the
pyloric is thicker and more vascular."--_Lectures on Comparative
Anatomy_, by Sir EVERARD HOME, Bart. 4to. Lond. vol. i. p. 155. The
figure of the elephant's stomach is given, in his _Lectures_, vol. ii.
plate xviii.]

[Illustration: ELEPANT'S STOMACH.]

The appendage thus alluded to by Sir EVERARD HOME is the grand
"cul-de-sac," noticed by the Académic des Sciences, and the "division
particulière," figured by CAMPER. It is of sufficient dimensions to
contain ten gallons of water, and by means of the valve above alluded
to, it can be shut off from the chamber devoted to the process of
digestion. Professor OWEN is probably the first who, not from an
autopsy, but from the mere inspection of the drawings of CAMPER and
HOME, ventured to assert (in lectures hitherto unpublished), that the
uses of this section of the elephant's stomach may be analogous to those
ascertained to belong to a somewhat similar arrangement in the stomach
of the camel, one cavity of which is exclusively employed as a reservoir
for water, and performs no function the preparation of food.[1]

[Footnote 1: A similar arrangement, with some modifications, has more
recently been found in the llama of the Andes, which, like the camel, is
used as a beast of burden in the Cordilleras of Chili and Peru; but both
these and the camel are _ruminants_, whilst the elephants belongs to the


Whilst Professor OWEN was advancing this conjecture, another comparative
anatomist, from the examination of another portion of the structure of
the elephant, was led to a somewhat similar conclusion. Dr. HARRISON of
Dublin had, in 1847, an opportunity of dissecting the body of an
elephant which had suddenly died; and in the course of his examination
of the thoracic viscera, he observed that an unusually close connection
existed between the trachea and oesophagus, which he found to depend on
a muscle unnoticed by any previous anatomist, connecting the back of the
former with the forepart of the latter, along which the fibres descend
and can be distinctly traced to the cardiac orifice of the stomach.
Imperfectly acquainted with the habits and functions of the elephant in
a state of nature, Dr. HARRISON found it difficult to pronounce as to
the use of this very peculiar structure; but looking to the intimate
connection between the mechanism concerned in the functions of
respiration and deglutition, and seeing that the proboscis served in a
double capacity as an instrument of voice and an organ for the
prehension of food, he ventured (apparently without adverting to the
abnormal form of the stomach) to express the opinion that this muscle,
viewing its attachment to the trachea, might either have some influence
in raising the diaphragm, and thereby assisting in expiration, "_or that
it might raise the cardiac orifice of the stomach, and so aid this organ
to regurgitate a portion of its contents into the oesophagus_."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Proceed. Roy. Irish Acad_., vol. iv. p. 133.]

Dr. HARRISON, on the reflection that "we have no satisfactory evidence
that the animal ever ruminates," thought it useless to speculate on the
latter supposition as to the action of the newly discovered muscle, and
rather inclined to the surmise that it was designed to assist the
elephant in producing the remarkable sound through his proboscis known
as "trumpeting;" but there is little room to doubt that of the two the
rejected hypothesis was the more correct one. I have elsewhere described
the occurrence to which I was myself a witness[1], of elephants
inserting their proboscis in their mouths, and withdrawing gallons of
water, which could only have been contained in the receptacle figured by
CAMPER and HOME, and of which the true uses were discerned by the clear
intellect of Professor OWEN. I was not, till very recently, aware that a
similar observation as to the remarkable habit of the elephant, had been
made by the author of the _Ayeen Akbery_, in his account of the _Feel_
_Kaneh_, or elephant stables of the Emperor Akbar, in which he says, "an
elephant frequently with his trunk takes water out of his stomach and
sprinkles himself with it, and it is not in the least offensive."[2]
FORBES, in his Oriental Memoirs, quotes this passage of the _Ayeen
Akbery_, but without a remark; nor does any European writer with whose
works I am acquainted appear to have been cognisant of the peculiarity
in question.

[Footnote 1: In the account of an elephant corral, chap. vi.]

[Footnote 2: _Ayeen Akbery_, transl. by GLADWIN, vol i. pt. i, p. 147.]


It is to be hoped that Professor OWEN'S dissection of the young
elephant, recently arrived, may serve to decide this highly interesting
point.[1] Should scientific investigation hereafter more clearly
establish the fact that, in this particular, the structure of the
elephant is assimilated to that of the llama and the camel, it will be
regarded as more than a common coincidence, that an apparatus, so unique
in its purpose and action, should thus have been conferred by the
Creator on the three animals which in sultry climates are, by this
arrangement, enabled to traverse arid regions in the service of man.[2]
To show this peculiar organization where it attains its fullest
development, I have given a sketch of the water-cells, in the stomach of
the camel on the preceding page.

[Footnote 1: One of the Indian names for the elephant is _duipa_, which
signifies "to drink twice" (AMANDI, p. 513). Can this have reference to
the peculiarity of the stomach for retaining a supply of water? Or has
it merely reference to the habit of the animal to fill his trunk before
transferring the water to his mouth.]

[Footnote 2: The buffalo and the humped cattle of India, which are used
for draught and burden, have, I believe, a development of the
organisation of the reticulum which enables the ruminants generally, to
endure thirst, and abstain from water, somewhat more conspicuous than in
the rest of their congeners; but nothing that approaches in singularity
of character to the distinct cavities in the stomach exhibited by the
three animals above alluded to.]

The _food_ of the elephant is so abundant, that in feeding he never
appears to be impatient or voracious, but rather to play with the leaves
and branches on which he leisurely feeds. In riding by places where a
herd has recently halted, I have sometimes seen the bark peeled
curiously off the twigs, as though it had been done in mere dalliance.
In the same way in eating grass the elephant selects a tussac which he
draws from the ground by a dexterous twist of his trunk, and nothing can
be more graceful than the ease with which, before conveying it to his
mouth, he beats the earth from its roots by striking it gently upon his
fore-leg. A coco-nut he first rolls under foot, to detach the strong
outer bark, then stripping off with his trunk the thick layer of fibre
within, he places the shell in his mouth, and swallows with evident
relish the fresh liquid which flows as he crushes it between his

The natives of the peninsula of Jaffna always look for the periodical
appearance of the elephants, at the precise time when the fruit of the
palmyra palm begins to fall to the ground from ripeness. In like manner
in the eastern provinces where the custom prevails of cultivating what
is called _chena_ land (by clearing a patch of forest for the purpose of
raising a single crop, after which the ground is abandoned, and reverts
to jungle again), although a single elephant may not have been seen in
the neighbourhood during the early stages of the process, the Moormen,
who are the cultivators of this class, will predict their appearance
with almost unerring confidence so soon as the grains shall have begun
to ripen; and although the crop comes to maturity at different periods
in different districts, herds are certain to be seen at each in
succession, as soon as it is ready to be cut. In these well-timed
excursions, they resemble the bison of North America, which, by a
similarly mysterious instinct, finds its way to portions of the distant
prairies, where accidental fires have been followed by a growth of
tender grass. Although the fences around these _chenas_ are little more
than lines of reeds loosely fastened together, they are sufficient, with
the presence of a single watcher, to prevent the entrance of the
elephants, who wait patiently till the rice and _coracan_ have been
removed, and the watcher withdrawn; and, then finding gaps in the fence,
they may be seen gleaning among the leavings and the stubble; and they
take their departure when these are exhausted, apparently in the
direction of some other _chena_, which they have ascertained to be about
to be cut.

There is something still unexplained in the dread which an elephant
always exhibits on approaching a fence, and the reluctance which he
displays to face the slightest artificial obstruction to his passage. In
the fine old tank of Tissa-weva, close by Anarajapoora, the natives
cultivate grain, during the dry season, around the margin where the
ground has been left bare by the subsidence of the water. These little
patches of rice they enclose with small sticks an inch in diameter and
five or six feet in height, such as would scarcely serve to keep out a
wild hog if he attempted to force his way through. Passages of from ten
to twenty feet wide are left between each field, to permit the wild
elephants, which abound in the vicinity to make their nocturnal visits
to the water still remaining in the tank. Night after night these open
pathways are frequented by immense herds, but the tempting corn is never
touched, nor is a single fence disturbed, although the merest, movement
of a trunk would be sufficient to demolish the fragile structure. Yet
the same spots, the fences being left open as soon as the grain has been
cut and carried home, are eagerly entered by the elephants to glean
amongst the stubble.

Sportsmen observe that an elephant, even when enraged by a wound, will
hesitate to charge an assailant across an intervening hedge, but will
hurry along it to seek for an opening. It is possible that, on the part
of the elephant, there may be some instinctive consciousness, that owing
to his superior bulk, he is exposed to danger from sources that might be
perfectly harmless in the case of lighter animals, and hence his
suspicion that every fence may conceal a snare or pitfall. Some similar
apprehension is apparent in the deer, which shrinks from attempting a
fence of wire, although it will clear without hesitation a solid wall of
greater height.

At the same time, the caution with which the elephant is supposed to
approach insecure ground and places of doubtful[1] solidity, appears to
me, so far as my own observation and experience extend, to be
exaggerated, and the number of temporary bridges which are annually
broken down by elephants in all parts of Ceylon, is sufficient to show
that, although in captivity, and when familiar with such structures, the
tame ones may, and doubtless do, exhibit all the wariness attributed to
them; yet, in a state of liberty, and whilst unaccustomed to such
artificial appliances, their instincts are not sufficient to ensure
their safety. Besides, the fact is adverted to elsewhere[2], that the
chiefs of the Wanny, during the sovereignty of the Dutch, were
accustomed to take in pitfalls the elephants which they rendered as
tribute to government.

[Footnote 1: "One of the strongest instincts which the elephant
possesses, is this which impels him to experiment upon the solidity of
every surface which he is required to cross."--_Menageries, &c._ "The
Elephant," vol. i. pp. 17, 19, 66.]

[Footnote 2: WOLF'S _Life and Adventures_, p. 151. See p. 115, _note_.]

A fact illustrative at once of the caution and the spirit of curiosity
with which an elephant regards an unaccustomed object has been
frequently mentioned to me by the officers engaged in opening roads
through the forest. On such occasions the wooden "tracing pegs" which
they are obliged to drive into the ground to mark the levels taken
during the day, will often be withdrawn by the elephants during the
night, to such an extent as frequently to render it necessary to go over
the work a second time, in order to replace them.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Private Letter_ from Dr. DAVY, author of _An Account of
the Interior of Ceylon_.]

Colonel HARDY, formerly Deputy Quarter-Master-General in Ceylon, when
proceeding, about the year 1820, to a military out-post in the
south-east of the island, imprudently landed in an uninhabited part of
the coast, intending to take a short cut through the forest, to his
destination. He not only miscalculated the distance, but, on the
approach of nightfall, he was chased by a vicious rogue elephant. The
pursuer was nearly upon him, when, to gain time, he flung down a small
dressing-case, which he happened to be carrying. The device was
successful; the elephant halted and minutely examined its contents, and
thus gave the colonel time to effect his escape.[1]

[Footnote 1: The _Colombo Observer_ for March 1858, contains an offer of
a reward of twenty-five guineas for the destruction of an elephant which
infested the Rajawallé coffee plantation, in the vicinity of Kandy. Its
object seemed to be less the search for food, than the satisfying of its
curiosity and the gratification of its passion for mischief. Mr. TYTLER,
the proprietor, states that it frequented the jungle near the estate,
whence it was its custom to sally forth at night for the pleasure of
pulling down buildings and trees, "and it seemed to have taken a spite
at the pipes of the water-works, the pillars of which it several times
broke down--its latest fancy being to wrench off the taps." This
elephant has since been shot.]

As regards the general sagacity of the elephant, although it has not
been over-rated in the instances of those whose powers have been largely
developed in captivity, an undue estimate has been formed in relation to
them whilst still untamed. The difference of instincts and habits
renders it difficult to institute a just comparison between them and
other animals. CUVIER[1] is disposed to ascribe the exalted idea that
prevails of their intellect to the feats which an elephant performs with
that unique instrument, its trunk, combined with an imposing expression
of countenance: but he records his own conviction that in sagacity it in
no way excels the dog, and some other species of Carnivora. If there be
a superiority, I am disposed to award it to the dog, not from any excess
of natural capacity, but from the higher degree of development
consequent on his more intimate domestication and association with man.

[Footnote 1: CUVIER, _Règne Animal_. "Les Mammiferes," p. 280.]

One remarkable fact was called to my attention by a gentleman who
resided on a coffee plantation at Rassawé, one of the loftiest mountains
of the Ambogammoa range. More than once during the terrific
thunder-bursts that precede the rains at the change of each monsoon, he
observed that the elephants in the adjoining forest hastened from under
cover of the trees and took up their station in the open ground, where I
saw them on one of these occasions collected into a group; and here, he
said, it was their custom to remain till the lightning had ceased, when
they retired again into the jungle.[1] It must be observed, however,
that showers, and especially light drizzling rain, are believed to bring
the elephants from the jungle towards pathways or other openings in the
forest;--and hence, in places infested by them, timid persons are afraid
to travel in the afternoon during uncertain weather.

[Footnote 1: The elephant is believed by the Singhalese to express his
uneasiness by his voice, on the approach of _rain_; and the Tamils have
a proverb.--"_Listen to the elephant, rain is coming._"]

When free in its native woods the elephant evinces rather simplicity
than sagacity, and its intelligence seldom exhibits itself in cunning.
The rich profusion in which nature has supplied its food, and
anticipated its every want, has made it independent of those devices by
which carnivorous animals provide for their subsistence; and, from the
absence of all rivalry between it and the other denizens of the plains,
it is never required to resort to artifice for self-protection. For
these reasons, in its tranquil and harmless life, it may appear to
casual observers to exhibit even less than ordinary ability; but when
danger and apprehension call for the exertion of its powers, those who
have witnessed their display are seldom inclined to undervalue its

Mr. CRIPPS has related to me an instance in which a recently captured
elephant was either rendered senseless from fear, or, as the native
attendants asserted, _feigned death_ in order to regain its freedom. It
was led from the corral as usual between two tame ones, and had already
proceeded far towards its destination; when night closing in, and the
torches being lighted, it refused to go on, and finally sank to the
ground, apparently lifeless. Mr. CRIPPS ordered the fastenings to be
removed from its legs, and when all attempts to raise it had failed, so
convinced was he that it was dead, that he ordered the ropes to be taken
off and the carcase abandoned. While this was being done he and a
gentleman by whom he was accompanied leaned against the body to rest.
They had scarcely taken their departure and proceeded a few yards, when,
to their astonishment, the elephant rose with the utmost alacrity, and
fled towards the jungle, screaming at the top of its voice, its cries
being audible long after it had disappeared in the shades of the forest.


       *       *       *       *       *


The following narratives have been taken down by a Singhalese gentleman,
from the statements of the natives by whom they are recounted;--and they
are here inserted, in order to show the opinion prevalent amongst the
people of Ceylon as to the habits and propensities of the rogue
elephant. The stories are given in words of my correspondent, who writes
in English, as follows:--

1. "We," said my informant, who was a native trader of Caltura, "were on
our way to Badulla, by way of Ratnapoora and Balangodde, to barter our
merchandize for coffee. There were six in our party, myself, my
brother-in-law, and four coolies, who carried on pingoes[1] our
merchandize, which consisted of cloth and brass articles. About 4
o'clock, P.M., we were close to Idalgasinna, and our coolies were rather
unwilling to go further for fear of elephants, which they said were sure
to be met with at that noted place, especially as there had been a
slight drizzling of rain during the whole afternoon. I was as much
afraid of elephants as the coolies themselves; but I was anxious to
proceed, and so, after a few words of encouragement addressed to them,
and a prayer or two offered up to _Saman dewiyo_[2], we resumed our
journey. I also took the further precaution of hanging up a few
leaves.[3] As the rain was coming down fast and thick, and I was anxious
to get to our halting-place before night, we moved on at a rapid pace.
My brother-in-law was in the van of the party, I myself was in the rear,
and the four coolies between us, all moving along on a rugged, rocky,
and difficult path; as the road to Badulla till lately was on the
sloping side of a hill, covered with jungle, pieces of projecting rock,
and brushwood. It was about five o'clock in the evening, or a little
later, and we had hardly cleared the foot of the hill and got to the
plain below, when a rustling of leaves and a crackling of dry brushwood
were heard on our right, followed immediately by the trumpeting of a
_hora allia_[4], which was making towards us. We all fled, followed by
the elephant. I, who was in the rear of the party, was the first to take
to flight; the coolies threw away their pingoes, and my brother-in-law
his umbrella, and all ran in different directions. I hid myself behind a
large boulder of granite nearly covered by jungle: but as my place of
concealment was on high ground, I could see all that was going on below.
The first thing I observed was the elephant returning to the place where
one of the pingoes was lying: he was carrying one of the coolies in a
coil of his trunk. The body of the man was dangling with the head
downward. I cannot say whether he was then alive or not; I could not
perceive any marks of blood or bruises on his person: but he appeared to
be lifeless. The elephant placed him down on the ground, put the pingo
on his (the man's) shoulder, steadying both the man and the pingo with
his trunk and fore-legs. But the man of course did not move or stand up
with his pingo. Seeing this, the elephant again raised the cooly and
dashed him against the ground, and then trampled the body to a very
jelly. This done, he took up the pingo and moved away from the spot; but
at the distance of about a fathom or two, laid it down again, and
ripping open one of the bundles, took out of it all the contents,
_somans_[5], _camb[=a]yas_[6], handkerchiefs, and several pieces of
white cambrick cloth, all which he tore to small pieces, and flung them
wildly here and there. He did the same with all the other pingoes. When
this was over the elephant quietly walked away into the jungle,
trumpeting all the way as far as I could hear. When danger was past I
came out of my concealment, and returned to the place where we had
halted that morning. Here the rest of my companions joined me soon
after. The next morning we set out again on our journey, our party being
now increased by some seven or eight traders from Salpity Corle: but
this time we did not meet with the elephant. We found the mangled corpse
of our cooly on the same spot where I had seen it the day before,
together with the torn pieces of my cloths, of which we collected as
fast as we could the few which were serviceable, and all the brass
utensils which were quite uninjured. That elephant was a noted rogue. He
had before this killed many people on that road, especially those
carrying pingoes of coco-nut oil and ghee. He was afterwards killed by
an Englishman. The incidents I have mentioned above, took place about
twenty years ago."

[Footnote 1: Yokes borne on the shoulder, with a package at each end.]

[Footnote 2: The tutelary spirit of the sacred mountain, Adam's Peak.]

[Footnote 3: The Singhalese hold the belief, that twigs taken from one
bush and placed on another growing close to a pathway, ensure protection
to travellers from the attacks of wild animals, and especially of
elephants. Can it be that the latter avoid the path, on discovering this
evidence of the proximity of recent passengers?]

[Footnote 4: A rogue elephant.]

[Footnote 5: Woman's robe.]

[Footnote 6: The figured cloth worn by men.]

The following also relates to the same locality. It was narrated to me
by an old Moorman of Barberyn, who, during his earlier years, led the
life of a pedlar.

2. "I and another," said he, "were on our way to Badulla, one day some
twenty-five or thirty years ago. We were quietly moving along a path
which wound round a hill, when all of a sudden, and without the
slightest previous intimation either by the rustling of leaves or by any
other sign, a huge elephant with short tusks rushed to the path. Where
he had been before I can't say; I believe he must have been lying in
wait for travellers. In a moment he rushed forward to the road,
trumpeting dreadfully, and seized my companion. I, who happened to be in
the rear, took to flight, pursued by the elephant, which had already
killed my companion by striking him against the ground. I had not moved
more than seven or eight fathoms, when the elephant seized me, and threw
me up with such force, that I was carried high into the air towards a
_Cahata_ tree, whose branches caught me and prevented my falling to the
ground. By this I received no other injury than the dislocation of one
of my wrists. I do not know whether the elephant saw me after he had
hurled me away through the air; but certainly he did not come to the
tree to which I was then clinging: even if he had come, he couldn't have
done me any more harm, as the branch on which I was far beyond the reach
of his trunk, and the tree itself too large for him to pull down. The
next thing I saw was the elephant returning to the corpse of my
companion, which he again threw on the ground, and placing one of his
fore feet on it, he tore it with his trunk limb after limb; and dabbled
in the blood that flowed from the shapeless mass of flesh which he was
still holding under his foot."

3. "In 1847 or '46," said another informant, "I was a superintendent of
a coco-nut estate belonging to Mr. Armitage, situated about twelve miles
from Negombo. A rogue elephant did considerable injury to the estate at
that time; and one day, hearing that it was then on the plantation, a
Mr. Lindsay, an Englishman, who was proprietor of the adjoining
property, and myself, accompanied by some seven or eight people of the
neighbouring village, went out, carrying with us six rifles loaded and
primed. We continued to walk along a path which, near one of its turns,
had some bushes on one side. We had calculated to come up with the brute
where it had been seen half an hour before; but no sooner had one of our
men, who was walking foremost, seen the animal at the distance of some
fifteen or twenty fathoms, than he exclaimed, 'There! there!' and
immediately took to his heels, and we all followed his example. The
elephant did not see us until we had run some fifteen or twenty paces
from the spot where we turned, when he gave us chase, screaming
frightfully as he came on. The Englishman managed to climb a tree, and
the rest of my companions did the same; as for myself I could not,
although I made one or two superhuman efforts. But there was no time to
be lost. The elephant was running at me with his trunk bent down in a
curve towards the ground. At this critical moment Mr. Lindsay held out
his foot to me, with the help of which and then of the branches of the
tree, which were three or four feet above my head, I managed to scramble
up to a branch. The elephant came directly to the tree and attempted to
force it down, which he could not. He first coiled his trunk round the
stem, and pulled it with all his might, but with no effect. He then
applied his head to the tree, and pushed for several minutes, but with
no better success. He then trampled with his feet all the projecting
roots, moving, as he did so, several times round and round the tree.
Lastly, failing in all this, and seeing a pile of timber, which I had
lately cut, at a short distance from us, he removed it all (thirty-six
pieces) one at a time to the root of the tree, and piled them up in a
regular business-like manner; then placing his hind feet on this pile,
he raised the fore part of his body, and reached out his trunk, but
still he could not touch us, as we were too far above him. The
Englishman then fired, and the ball took effect somewhere on the
elephant's head, but did not kill him. It made him only the more
furious. The next shot, however, levelled him to the ground. I
afterwards brought the skull of the animal to Colombo, and it is still
to be seen at the house of Mr. Armitage."

4. "One night a herd of elephants entered a village in the Four Corles.
After doing considerable injury to plaintain bushes and young coco-nut
trees, they retired, the villagers being unable to do anything to
protect their fruit trees from destruction. But one elephant was left
behind, who continued to scream the whole night through at the same
spot. It was then discovered that the elephant, on seeing a jak fruit on
a tree somewhat beyond the reach of his trunk, had raised himself on his
hind legs, placing his fore feet against the stem, in order to lay hold
of the fruit, but unluckily for him there happened to be another tree
standing so close to it that the vacant space between the two stems was
only a few inches. During his attempts to take hold of the fruit one of
his legs happened to get in between the two trees, where, on account of
his weight and his clumsy attempts to extricate himself, it got so
firmly wedged that he could not remove it, and in this awkward position
he remained for some days, till he died on the spot."



       *       *       *       *       *

_Elephant Shooting._

As the shooting of an elephant, whatever endurance and adroitness the
sport may display in other respects, requires the smallest possible
skill as a marksman, the numbers which are annually slain in this way
may be regarded as evidence of the multitudes abounding in those parts
of Ceylon to which they resort. One officer, Major ROGERS, killed
upwards of 1400; another, Captain GALLWEY, has the credit of slaying
more than half that number; Major SKINNER, the Commissioner of Roads,
almost as many; and less persevering aspirants follow at humbler

[Footnote 1: To persons like myself, who are not addicted to what is
called "sport," the statement of these wholesale slaughters is
calculated to excite surprise and curiosity as to the nature of a
passion that impels men to self-exposure and privation, in a pursuit
which presents nothing but the monotonous recurrence of scenes of blood
and suffering. Mr. BAKER, who has recently published, under the title of
"_The Rifle and the Hound in Ceylon_" an account of his exploits in the
forest, gives us the assurance that "_all real sportsmen are
tender-hearted men, who shun cruelty to an animal, and are easily moved
by a tale of distress_;" and that although man is naturally
bloodthirsty, and a beast of prey by instinct, yet that the true
sportsman is distinguished from the rest of the human race by his "_love
of nature, and of noble scenery_." In support of this pretension to a
gentler nature than the rest of mankind, the author proceeds to attest
his own abhorrence of cruelty by narrating the sufferings of an old
hound, which, although "toothless," he cheered on to assail a boar at
bay, but the poor dog recoiled "covered with blood, cut nearly in half,
with a wound fourteen inches in length, from the lower part of the
belly, passing up the flank, completely severing the muscles of the hind
leg, and extending up the spine; his hind leg having the appearance of
being nearly off." In this state, forgetful of the character he had so
lately given of the true sportsman, as a lover of nature and a hater of
cruelty, he encouraged "the poor old dog," as he calls him, to resume
the fight with the boar, which lasted for an hour, when he managed to
call the dogs off; and perfectly exhausted, the mangled hound crawled
out of the jungle with several additional wounds, including a severe
gash in his throat. "He fell from exhaustion, and we made a litter with
two poles and a horsecloth to carry him home."--P. 314. If such were the
habitual enjoyments of this class of sportsmen, their motiveless
massacres would admit of no manly justification. In comparison with them
one is disposed to regard almost with favour the exploits of a hunter
like Major ROGERS, who is said to have applied the value of the ivory
obtained from his encounters towards the purchase of his successive
regimental commissions, and had, therefore, an object, however
disproportionate, in his slaughter of 1400 elephants.

One gentleman in Ceylon, not less distinguished for his genuine kindness
of heart, than for his marvellous success in shooting elephants, avowed
to me that the eagerness with which he found himself impelled to pursue
them had often excited surprise in his own mind; and although he had
never read the theory of Lord Kames, or the speculations of Vicesimus
Knox, he had come to the conclusion that the passion thus excited within
him was a remnant of the hunter's instinct, with which man was
originally endowed, to enable him, by the chase, to support existence in
a state of nature, and which, though rendered dormant by civilisation,
had not been utterly eradicated.

This theory is at least more consistent and intelligible than the "love
of nature and scenery," sentimentally propounded by the author quoted

But notwithstanding this prodigious destruction, a reward of a few
shillings per head offered by the Government for taking elephants was
claimed for 3500 destroyed in part of the northern province alone, in
less than three years prior to 1848: and between 1851 and 1856, a
similar reward was paid for 2000 in the southern province, between Galle
and Hambangtotte.

Although there is little opportunity for the display of marksmanship in
an elephant battue, there is one feature in the sport, as conducted in
Ceylon, which contrasts favourably with the slaughterhouse details
chronicled with revolting minuteness in some recent accounts of elephant
shooting in South Africa. The practice in Ceylon is to aim invariably at
the head, and the sportsman finds his safety to consist in boldly facing
the animal, advancing to within fifteen paces, and lodging a bullet,
either in the temple or in the hollow over the eye, or in a well-known
spot immediately above the trunk, where the weaker structure of the
skull affords an easy access to the brain.[1] The region of the ear is
also a fatal spot, and often resorted to,--the places I have mentioned
in the front of the head being only accessible when the animal is
"charging." Professor HARRISON, in his communication to the Royal Irish
Academy on the Anatomy of the Elephant, has rendered an intelligible
explanation of this in the following passage descriptive of the
cranium:--"it exhibits two remarkable facts: _first_, the small space
occupied by the brain; and, _secondly_, the beautiful and curious
structure of the bones of the head. The two tables of all these bones,
except the occipital, are separated by rows of large cells, some from
four to five inches in length, others only small, irregular, and
honey-comb-like:--these all communicate with each other, and, through
the frontal sinuses, with the cavity of the nose, and also with the
tympanum or drum of each ear; consequently, as in some birds, these
cells are filled with air, and thus while the skull attains a great size
in order to afford an extensive surface for the attachment of muscles,
and a mechanical support for the tusks, it is at the same time very
light and buoyant in proportion to its bulk; a property the more
valuable as the animal is fond of water and bathes in deep rivers."

[Footnote 1: The vulnerability of the elephant in this region of the
head was known to the ancients, and PLINY, describing a combat of
elephants in the amphitheatre at Rome, says, that one was slain by a
single blow, "pilum sub oculo adactum, in vitalia capitis venerat" (Lib.
viii. c. 7.) Notwithstanding the comparative facility of access to the
brain afforded at this spot, an ordinary leaden bullet is not certain to
penetrate, and frequently becomes flattened. The hunters, to counteract
this, are accustomed to harden the ball, by the introduction of a small
portion of type-metal along with the lead.]


Generally speaking, a single ball, planted in the forehead, ends the
existence of the noble creature instantaneously: and expert sportsmen
have been known to kill right and left, one with each barrel; but
occasionally an elephant will not fall before several shots have been
lodged in his head.[1]

[Footnote 1: "There is a wide difference of opinion as to the most
deadly shot. I think the temple the most certain, but authority in
Ceylon says the 'fronter,' that is, above the trunk. Behind the ear is
said to be deadly, but that is a shot which I never fired or saw fired
that I remember. If the ball go true to its mark, all shots (in the
head) are certain; but the bones on either side of the honey-comb
passage to the brain are so thick that there is in all a 'glorious
uncertainty' which keeps a man on the _qui vive_ till he sees the
elephant down."--From a paper on _Elephant Shooting in Ceylon_, by Major
MACREADY, late Military Secretary at Colombo.]

Contrasted with this, one reads with a shudder the sickening details of
the African huntsman approaching _behind_ the retiring animal, and of
the torture inflicted by the shower of bullets which tear up its flesh
and lacerate its flank and shoulders.[1]

[Footnote 1: In Mr. GORDON CUMMING'S account of a _Hunter's Life in
South Africa_, there is a narrative of his pursuit of a wounded elephant
which he had lamed by lodging a ball in its shoulder-blade. It limped
slowly towards a tree, against which it leaned itself in helpless agony,
whilst its pursuer seated himself in front of it, in safety, to _boil
his coffee_, and observe its sufferings. The story is continued as
follows:--"Having admired him for a considerable time, _I resolved to
make experiments on vulnerable points_; and approaching very near I
fired several bullets at different parts of his enormous skull. He only
acknowledged the shots by a salaam-like movement of his trunk, with the
point of which he gently touched the wounds with a striking and peculiar
action. Surprised and shocked at finding that I was only prolonging the
sufferings of the noble beast, which bore its trials with such dignified
composure, I resolved to finish the proceeding with all possible
despatch, and accordingly opened fire upon him from the left side,
aiming at the shoulder. I first fired _six_ shots with the two-grooved
rifle, which must have eventually proved mortal. After which I fired
_six_ shots at the same part with the Dutch six-pounder. _Large tears
now trickled from his eyes, which he slowly shut and opened, his
colossal frame shivered convulsively, and falling on his side, he
expired_." (Vol. ii. p. 10.)

In another place, after detailing the manner in which he assailed a poor
animal--he says, "I was loading and firing as fast as could be,
sometimes at the head, sometimes behind the shoulder, until my
elephant's fore-quarter was a mass of gore; notwithstanding which he
continued to hold on, leaving the grass and branches of the forest
scarlet in his wake. * * * Having fired _thirty-five rounds_ with my
two-grooved rifle, I opened upon him with the Dutch six-pounder, and
when forty bullets had perforated his hide, he began for the first time,
to evince signs of a dilapidated constitution." The disgusting
description is closed thus: "Throughout the charge he repeatedly cooled
his person with large quantities of water, which he ejected from his
trunk over his sides and back, and just as the pangs of death came over
him, he stood trembling violently beside a thorn tree, and kept pouring
water into his bloody mouth until he died, when he pitched heavily
forward with the whole weight of his fore-quarters resting on the points
of his tusks. The strain was fair, and the tusks did not yield; but the
portion of his head in which the tusks were embedded, extending a long
way above the eye, yielded and burst with a muffled crash."--(_Ib_.,
vol. ii. pp. 4, 5.)]

The shooting of elephants in Ceylon has been described with tiresome
iteration in the successive journals of sporting gentlemen, but one who
turns to their pages for traits of the animal and his instincts is
disappointed to find little beyond graphic sketches of the daring and
exploits of his pursuers, most of whom, having had no further
opportunity of observation than is derived from a casual encounter with
the outraged animal, have apparently tried to exalt their own prowess,
by misrepresenting the ordinary character of the elephant, describing
him as "savage, wary, and revengeful."[1]

These epithets may undoubtedly apply to the outcasts from the herd, the
"Rogues" or _hora allia_, but so small is the proportion of these that
there is not probably one _rogue_ to be found for every five hundred of
those in herds; and it is a manifest error, arising from imperfect
information, to extend this censure to them generally, or to suppose the
elephant to be an animal "thirsting for blood, lying in wait in the
jungle to rush on the unwary passer-by, and knowing no greater pleasure
than the act of crushing his victim to a shapeless mass beneath his
feet."[2] The cruelties practised by the hunters have no doubt taught
these sagacious creatures to be cautious and alert, but their
precautions are simply defensive; and beyond the alarm and apprehension
which they evince on the approach of man, they exhibit no indication of
hostility or thirst for blood.

[Footnote 1: _The Rifle and the Hound in Ceylon_; by S.W. BAKER, Esq.,
pp. 8, 9. "Next to a rogue," says Mr. BAKER, "in ferocity, and even more
persevering in the pursuit of her victim, is a female elephant." But he
appends the significant qualification, "_when her young one has been
killed_."--_Ibid_., p. 13.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_.]

An ordinary traveller seldom comes upon elephants unless after sunset or
towards daybreak, as they go to or return from their nightly visits to
the tanks: but when by accident a herd is disturbed by day, they evince,
if unattacked, no disposition to become assailants; and if the attitude
of defence which they instinctively assume prove sufficent to check the
approach of the intruder, no further demonstration is to be apprehended.

Even the hunters who go in search of them find them in positions and
occupations altogether inconsistent with the idea of their being savage,
wary, or revengeful. Their demeanour when undisturbed is indicative of
gentleness and timidity, and their actions bespeak lassitude and
indolence, induced not alone by heat, but probably ascribable in some
degree to the fact that the night has been spent in watchfulness and
amusement. A few are generally browsing listlessly on the trees and
plants within reach, others fanning themselves with leafy branches, and
a few are asleep; whilst the young run playfully among the herd, the
emblems of innocence, as the older ones are of peacefulness and gravity.

Almost every elephant may be observed to exhibit some peculiar action of
the limbs when standing at rest; some move the head monotonously in a
circle, or from right to left; some swing their feet back and forward;
others flap their ears or sway themselves from side to side, or rise and
sink by alternately bending and straightening the fore knees. As the
opportunities of observing this custom have been almost confined to
elephants in captivity, it has been conjectured to arise from some
morbid habit contracted during the length of a voyage by sea[1], or from
an instinctive impulse to substitute a motion of this kind in lieu of
their wonted exercise; but this supposition is erroneous; the propensity
being equally displayed by those at liberty and those in captivity. When
surprised by sportsmen in the depths of the jungle, individuals of a
herd are always occupied in swinging their limbs in this manner; and in
the several corrals which I have seen, where whole herds have been
captured, the elephants in the midst of the utmost excitement, and even
after the most vigorous charges, if they halted for a moment in stupor
and exhaustion, manifested their wonted habit, and swung their limbs or
swayed their bodies to and fro incessantly. So far from its being a
substitute for exercise, those in the government employment in Ceylon
are observed to practise their acquired motion, whatever it may be, with
increased vigour when thoroughly fatigued after excessive work. Even the
favourite practice of fanning themselves with a leafy branch seems less
an enjoyment in itself than a resource when listless and at rest. The
term "fidgetty" seems to describe appropriately the temperament of the

[Footnote 1: _Menageries_, &c., "The Elephant," ch. i. p. 21.]

They evince the strongest love of retirement and a corresponding dislike
to intrusion. The approach of a stranger is perceived less by the eye,
the quickness of which is not remarkable (besides which its range is
obscured by the foliage), than by sensitive smell and singular acuteness
of hearing; and the whole herd is put in instant but noiseless motion
towards some deeper and more secure retreat. The effectual manner in
which an animal of the prodigious size of the elephant can conceal
himself, and the motionless silence which he preserves, is quite
surprising; whilst beaters pass and repass within a few yards of his
hiding place, he will maintain his ground till the hunter, creeping
almost close to his legs, sees his little eye peering out through the
leaves, when, finding himself discovered, the elephant breaks away with
a crash, levelling the brushwood in his headlong career.

If surprised in open ground, where stealthy retreat is impracticable, a
herd will hesitate in indecision, and, after a few meaningless
movements, stand huddled together in a group, whilst one or two, more
adventurous than the rest, advance a few steps to reconnoitre. Elephants
are generally observed to be bolder in open ground than in cover, but,
if bold at all, far more dangerous in cover than in open ground.

In searching for them, sportsmen often avail themselves of the
expertness of the native trackers; and notwithstanding the demonstration
of Combe that the brain of the timid Singhalese is deficient in the
organ of destructiveness[1], he shows an instinct for hunting, and
exhibits in the pursuit of the elephant a courage and adroitness far
surpassing in interest the mere handling of the rifle, which is the
principal share of the proceeding that falls to his European companions.

[Footnote 1: _System of Phrenology_, by GEO. COMBE, vol. i. p. 256.]

The beater on these occasions has the double task of finding the game
and carrying the guns; and, in an animated communication to me, an
experienced sportsman describes "this light and active creature, with
his long glossy hair hanging down his shoulders, every muscle quivering
with excitement; and his countenance lighting up with intense animation,
leaping from rock to rock, as nimble as a deer, tracking the gigantic
game like a blood-hound, falling behind as he comes up with it, and as
the elephants, baffled and irritated, make the first stand, passing one
rifle into your eager hand and holding the other ready whilst right and
left each barrel performs its mission, and if fortune does not flag, and
the second gun is as successful as the first, three or four huge
carcases are piled one on another within a space equal to the area of a
dining room."[1]

[Footnote 1: Private letter from Capt. PHILIP PAYNE GALLWEY.]

It is curious that in these encounters the herd never rush forward in a
body, as buffaloes or bisons do, but only one elephant at a time moves
in advance of the rest to confront, or, as it is called, to "charge,"
the assailants. I have heard of but one instance in which _two_ so
advanced as champions of their companions. Sometimes, indeed, the whole
herd will follow a leader, and manoeuvre in his rear like a body of
cavalry; but so large a party are necessarily liable to panic; and, one
of them having turned in alarm, the entire body retreat with terrified

As regards boldness and courage, a strange variety of temperament is
observable amongst elephants, but it may be affirmed that they are, much
more generally timid than courageous. One herd may be as difficult to
approach as deer, gliding away through the jungle so gently and quickly
that scarcely a trace marks their passage; another, in apparent stupor,
will huddle themselves together like swine, and allow their assailant to
come within a few yards before they break away in terror; and a third
will await his approach without motion, and then advance, with fury to
the "charge."

In individuals the same differences are discernible; one flies on the
first appearance of danger, whilst another, alone and unsupported, will
face a whole host of enemies. When wounded and infuriated with pain,
many of them become literally savage[1]; but, so unaccustomed are they
to act as assailants, and so awkward and inexpert in using their
strength, that they rarely or ever exceed in killing a pursuer who falls
into their power. Although the pressure of a foot, a blow with the
trunk, or a thrust with the tusk, could scarcely fail to prove fatal,
three-fourths of those who have fallen into their power have escaped
without serious injury. So great is this chance of impunity, that the
sportsman prefers to approach within about fifteen paces of the
advancing elephant, a space which gives time for a second fire should
the first shot prove ineffectual, and should both fail there is still
opportunity for flight.

[Footnote 1: Some years ago an elephant which had been wounded by a
native, near Hambangtotte, pursued the man into the town, followed him
along the street, trampled him to death in the bazaar before a crowd of
spectators, and succeeded in making good its retreat to the jungle.]

Amongst full-grown timber, a skilful runner can escape from an elephant
by "dodging" round the trees, but in cleared land, and low brushwood,
the difficulty is much increased, as the small growth of underwood which
obstructs the movements of man presents no obstacle to those of an
elephant. On the other hand, on level and open ground the chances are
rather in favour of the elephant, as his pace in full flight exceeds
that of man, although as a general rule, it is unequal to that of a
horse, as has been sometimes asserted.[1]

[Footnote 1: SHAW, in his _Zoology_, asserts that an elephant can run as
swiftly as a horse can gallop. London, 1800-6, vol. i. p. 216.]

The incessant slaughter of elephants by sportsmen in Ceylon, appears to
be merely in subordination to the influence of the organ of
destructiveness, since the carcase is never applied to any useful
purpose, but left to decompose and to defile the air of the forest. The
flesh is occasionally tasted as a matter of curiosity: as a steak it is
coarse and tough; but the tongue is as delicate as that of an ox; and
the foot is said to make palatable soup. The Caffres attached to the
pioneer corps in the Kandyan province are in the habit of securing the
heart of any elephant shot in their vicinity, and say it is their custom
to eat it in Africa. The hide it has been found impracticable to tan in
Ceylon, or to convert to any useful purpose, but the bones of those shot
have of late years been collected and used for manuring coffee estates.
The hair of the tail, which is extremely strong and horny, is mounted by
the native goldsmith, and made into bracelets; and the teeth are sawn by
the Moormen at Galle (as they used to be by the Romans during a scarcity
of ivory) into plates, out of which they fashion numerous articles of
ornament, knife-handles, card racks, and "presse-papiers."


Amongst extraordinary recoveries from desperate wounds, I venture to
record here an instance which occurred in Ceylon to a gentleman while
engaged in the chase of elephants, and which, I apprehend, has few
parallels in pathological experience. Lieutenant GERARD FRETZ, of the
Ceylon Rifle Regiment, whilst firing at an elephant in the vicinity of
Fort MacDonald, in Oovah, was wounded in the face by the bursting of his
fowling-piece, on the 22nd January, 1828. He was then about thirty-two
years of age. On raising him, it was found that part of the breech of
the gun and about two inches of the barrel had been driven through the
frontal sinus, at the junction of the nose and forehead. It had sunk
almost perpendicularly till the iron-plate called "the tail-pin," by
which the barrel is made fast to the stock by a screw, had descended
through the palate, carrying with it the screw, one extremity of which
had forced itself into the right nostril, where it was discernible
externally, whilst the headed end lay in contact with his tongue. To
extract the jagged mass of iron thus sunk in the ethmoidal and
sphenoidal cells was found hopelessly impracticable; but, strange to
tell, after the inflammation subsided, Mr. FRETZ recovered rapidly; his
general health was unimpaired, and he returned to his regiment with
this, singular appendage firmly embedded behind the bones of his face.
He took his turn of duty as usual, attained the command of his company,
participated in all the enjoyments of the mess-room, and died _eight
years afterwards_, on the 1st of April, 1836, not from any consequences
of this fearful wound, but from fever and inflammation brought on by
other causes.

So little was he apparently inconvenienced by the presence of the
strange body in his palate that he was accustomed with his finger
partially to undo the screw, which but for its extreme length he might
altogether have withdrawn. To enable this to be done, and possibly to
assist by this means the extraction of the breech itself through the
original orifice (which never entirely closed), an attempt was made in
1835 to take off a portion of the screw with a file; but, after having
cut it three parts through the operation was interrupted, chiefly owing
to the carelessness and indifference of Capt. FRETZ, whose death
occurred before the attempt could be resumed. The piece of iron, on
being removed after his decease, was found to measure 2-3/4 inches in
length, and weighed two scruples more than two ounces and three
quarters. A cast of the breech and screw now forms No. 2790 amongst the
deposits in the Medical Museum of Chatham.



       *       *       *       *       *

_An Elephant Corral_.

So long as the elephants of Ceylon were merely required in small numbers
for the pageantry of the native princes, or the sacred processions of
the Buddhist temples, their capture was effected either by the
instrumentality of female decoys, or by the artifices and agility of the
individuals and castes who devoted themselves to their pursuit and
training. But after the arrival of the European conquerors of the
island, and when it had become expedient to take advantage of the
strength and intelligence of these creatures in clearing forests and
making roads and other works, establishments were organised on a great
scale by the Portuguese and Dutch, and the supply of elephants kept up
by periodical battues conducted at the cost of the government, on a plan
similar to that adopted on the continent of India, when herds varying in
number from twenty to one hundred and upwards are driven into concealed
enclosures and secured.

In both these processes, success is entirely dependent on the skill with
which the captors turn to advantage the terror and inexperience of the
wild elephant, since all attempts would be futile to subdue or confine
by ordinary force an animal of such strength and sagacity.[1]

[Footnote 1: The device of taking them by means of pitfalls still
prevails in India: but in addition to the difficulty of providing
against that caution with which the elephant is supposed to reconnoitre
suspicious ground, it has the further disadvantage of exposing him to
injury from bruises and dislocations in his fall. Still it was the mode
of capture employed by the Singhalese, and so late as 1750 WOLF relates
that the native chiefs of the Wanny, when capturing elephants for the
Dutch, made "pits some fathoms deep in those places whither the elephant
is wont to go in search of food, across which were laid poles covered
with branches and baited with the food of which he is fondest, making
towards which he finds himself taken unawares. Thereafter being subdued
by fright and exhaustion, he was assisted to raise himself to the
surface by means of hurdles and earth, which he placed underfoot as they
were thrown down to him, till he was enabled to step out on solid
ground, when the noosers and decoys were in readiness to tie him up to
the nearest tree."--See WOLF'S _Life and Adventures_, p. 152. Shakspeare
appears to have been acquainted with the plan of taking elephants in
pitfalls: Decius, encouraging the conspirators, reminds them of Cæsar's
taste for anecdotes of animals, by which he would undertake to lure him
to his fate:

  "For he loves to hear
  That unicorns may be betrayed with trees.
  And bears with glasses; _elephants with holes_."

JULIUS CÆSAR, Act ii. Scene I.]

Knox describes with circumstantiality the mode adopted, two centuries
ago, by the servants of the King of Kandy to catch elephants for the
royal stud. He says, "After discovering the retreat of such as have
tusks, unto these they drive some _she elephants_, which they bring with
them for the purpose, which, when once the males have got a sight of,
they will never leave, but follow them wheresoever they go; and the
females are so used to it that they will do whatsoever, either by word
or a beck, their keepers bid them. And so they delude them along through
towns and countries, and through the streets of the city, even to the
very gates of the king's palace, where sometimes they seize upon them by
snares, and sometimes by driving them into a kind of pound, they catch

[Footnote 1: KNOX'S _Historical Relation of Ceylon_, A.D. 1681, part i.
ch. vi. p. 21.]

In Nepaul and Burmah, and throughout the Chin-Indian Peninsula, when in
pursuit of single elephants, either _rogues_ detached from the herd, or
individuals who have been marked for the beauty of their ivory, the
natives avail themselves of the aid of females in order to effect their
approaches and secure an opportunity of casting a noose over the foot of
the destined captive. All accounts concur in expressing high admiration
of their courage and address; but from what has fallen under my own
observation, added to the descriptions I have heard from other
eye-witnesses, I am inclined to believe that in such exploits the
Moormen of Ceylon evince a daring and adroitness, surpassing all others.

These professional elephant catchers, or, as they are called, Panickeas,
inhabit the Moorish villages in the north and north-east of the island,
and from time immemorial have been engaged in taking elephants, which
are afterwards trained by Arabs, chiefly for the use of the rajahs and
native princes in the south of India, whose vakeels are periodically
despatched to make purchases in Ceylon.

The ability evinced by these men in tracing elephants through the woods
has almost the certainty of instinct; and hence their services are
eagerly sought by the European sportsmen who go down into their country
in search of game. So keen is their glance, that like hounds running
"breast high" they will follow the course of an elephant, almost at the
top of their speed, over glades covered with stunted grass, where the
eye of a stranger would fail to discover a trace of its passage, and on
through forests strewn with dry leaves, where it seems impossible to
perceive a footstep. Here they are guided by a bent or broken twig, or
by a leaf dropped from the animal's mouth, on which the pressure of a
tooth may be detected. If at fault, they fetch a circuit like a setter,
till lighting on some fresh marks, they go a-head again with renewed
vigour. So delicate is the sense of smell in the elephant, and so
indispensable is it to go against the wind in approaching him, that on
those occasions when the wind is so still that its direction cannot be
otherwise discerned, the Panickeas will suspend the film of a gossamer
to determine it and shape their course accordingly.

They are enabled by the inspection of the footmarks, when impressed in
soft clay, to describe the size as well as the number of a herd before
it is seen; the height of an elephant at the shoulder being as nearly as
possible twice the circumference of his fore foot.[1]

On overtaking the game their courage is as conspicuous as their
sagacity. If they have confidence in the sportsman for whom they are
finding, they will advance to the very heel of the elephant, slap him on
the quarter, and convert his timidity into anger, till he turns upon his
tormentor and exposes his front to receive the bullet which is awaiting

[Footnote 1: Previous to the death of the female elephant in the
Zoological Gardens, in the Regent's Park, in 1851, Mr. MITCHELL, the
Secretary, caused measurements to be accurately made, and found the
statement of the Singhalese hunters to be strictly correct, the height
at the shoulders being precisely twice the circumference of the fore

[Footnote 2: Major SKINNER, the Chief Officer at the head of the
Commission of Roads, in Ceylon, in writing to me, mentions an anecdote
illustrative of the daring of the Panickeas. "I once saw," he says, "a
very beautiful example of the confidence with which these fellows, from
their knowledge of the elephants, meet their worst defiance. It was in
Neuera-Kalawa; I was bivouacking on the bank of a river, and had been
kept out so late that I did not get to my tent until between 9 and 10 at
night. On our return towards it we passed several single elephants
making their way to the nearest water, but at length we came upon a
large herd that had taken possession of the only road by which we could
pass, and which no intimidation would induce to move off. I had some
Panickeas with me; they knew the herd, and counselled extreme caution.
After trying every device we could think of for a length of time, a
little old Moorman of the party came to me and requested we should all
retire to a distance. He then took a couple of chules (flambeaux of
dried wood, or coco-nut leaves), one in each hand, and waving them above
his head till they flamed out fiercely, he advanced at a deliberate pace
to within a few yards of the elephant who was acting as leader of the
party, and who was growling and trumpeting in his rage, and flourished
the flaming torches in his face. The effect was instantaneous: the whole
herd dashed away in a panic, bellowing, screaming, and crushing through
the underwood, whilst we availed ourselves of the open path to make our
way to our tents."]

So fearless and confident are they that two men, without aid or
attendants, will boldly attempt to capture the largest-sized elephant.
Their only weapon is a flexible rope made of elk's or buffalo's hide,
with which it is their object to secure one of the hind legs. This they
effect either by following in its footsteps when in motion or by
stealing close up to it when at rest, and availing themselves of its
well-known propensity at such moments to swing the feet backwards and
forwards, they contrive to slip a noose over the hind leg.

At other times this is achieved by spreading the noose on the ground
partially concealed by roots and leaves beneath a tree on which one of
the party is stationed, whose business it is to lift it suddenly by
means of a cord, raising it on the elephant's leg at the moment when his
companion has succeeded in provoking him to place his foot within the
circle, the other end having been previously made fast to the stem of
the tree. Should the noosing be effected in open ground, and no tree of
sufficient strength at hand round which to wind the rope, one of the
Moors, allowing himself to be pursued by the enraged elephant, entices
him towards the nearest grove; where his companion, dexterously laying
hold of the rope as it trails along the ground, suddenly coils it round
a suitable stem, and brings the fugitive to a stand still. On finding
himself thus arrested, the natural impulse of the captive is to turn on
the man who is engaged in making fast the rope, a movement which it is
the duty of his colleague to present by running up close to the
elephant's head and provoking the animal to confront him by irritating
gesticulations and taunting shouts of _dah! dah!_ a monosyllable, the
sound of which the elephant peculiarly dislikes. Meanwhile the first
assailant, having secured one noose, comes up from behind with another,
with which, amidst the vain rage and struggles of the victim, he entraps
a fore leg, the rope being, as before, secured to another tree in front,
and the whole four feet having been thus entangled, the capture is

A shelter is then run up with branches, to protect their prisoner from
the sun, and the hunters proceed to build a wigwam for themselves in
front of him, kindling their fires for cooking, and making all the
necessary arrangements for remaining day and night on the spot to await
the process of subduing and taming his rage. In my journeys through the
forest I have come unexpectedly on the halting place of adventurous
hunters when thus engaged; and on one occasion, about sunrise, in
ascending the steep ridge from the bed of the Malwatte river, the
foremost rider of our party was suddenly driven back by a furious
elephant, which we found picketed by two Panickeas on the crest of the
bank. In such a position, the elephant soon ceases to struggle; and what
with the exhaustion of rage and resistance, the terror of fire which he
dreads, and the constant annoyance of smoke which he detests, in a very
short time, a few weeks at the most, his spirit becomes subdued; and
being plentifully supplied with plantains and fresh food, and indulged
with water, in which he luxuriates, he grows so far reconciled to his
keepers that they at length venture to remove him to their own village,
or to the sea-side for shipment to India.

No part of the hunter's performances exhibits greater skill and audacity
than this first forced march of the recently captured elephant from the
great central forests to the sea-coast. As he is still too morose to
submit to be ridden, and as it would be equally impossible to lead or to
drive him by force, the ingenuity of the captors is displayed in
alternately irritating and eluding him, but always so attracting his
attention as to allure him along in the direction in which they want him
to go. Some assistance is derived from the rope by which the original
capture was effected, and which, as it serves to make him safe at night,
is never removed from the leg till his taming is sufficiently advanced
to permit of his being entrusted with partial liberty.

In Ceylon the principal place for exporting these animals to India is
Manaar, on the western coast, to which the Arabs from the continent
resort, bringing with them horses to be bartered for elephants. In order
to reach the sea, open plains must be traversed, across which it
requires the utmost courage, agility, and patience of the Moors to coax
their reluctant charge. At Manaar the elephants are usually detained
till any wound on the leg caused by the rope has been healed, when the
shipment is effected in the most primitive manner. It being next to
impossible to induce the still untamed creature to walk on board, and no
mechanical contrivances being provided to ship him; a dhoney, or native
boat, of about forty tons' burthen, and about three parts filled with
the strong ribbed leaves of the Palmyra palm, is brought alongside the
quay in front of the Old Dutch Fort, and lashed so that the gunwale may
be as nearly as possible on a line with the level of the wharf. The
elephant being placed with his back to the water is forced by goads to
retreat till his hind legs go over the side of the quay, but the main
contest commences when it is attempted to disengage his fore feet from
the shore, and force him to entrust himself on board. The scene becomes
exciting from the screams and trumpeting of the elephants, the shouts of
the Arabs, the calls of the Moors, and the rushing of the crowd.
Meanwhile the huge creature strains every nerve to regain the land; and
the day is often consumed before his efforts are overcome, and he finds
himself fairly afloat. The same dhoney will take from four to five
elephants, who place themselves athwart it, and exhibit amusing
adroitness in accommodating their movements to the rolling of the little
vessel; and in this way they are ferried across the narrow strait which
separates the continent of India from Ceylon.[1]

[Footnote 1: In the _Philosophical Transactions_ for 1701, there is "An
Account of the taking of Elephants in Ceylon, by Mr. STRACHAN, a
Physician who lived seventeen years there," in which the author
describes the manner in which they were shipped by the Dutch, at Matura,
Galle, and Negombo. A piece of strong sail-cloth having been wrapped
round the elephant's chest and stomach, he was forced into the sea
between two tame ones, and there made fast to a boat. The tame ones then
returned to land, and he swam after the boat to the ship, where tackle
was reeved to the sail-cloth, and he was hoisted on board.

"But a better way has been invented lately," says Mr. Strachan; "a large
flat-bottomed vessel is prepared, covered with planks like a floor; so
that this floor is almost of a height with the key. Then the sides of
the key and the vessel are adorned with green branches, so that the
elephant sees no water till he is in the ship."--_Phil. Trans._, vol.
xxiii. No. 227, p. 1051.]

But the feat of ensnaring and subduing a single elephant, courageous as
it is, and demonstrative of the supremacy with which man wields his
"dominion over every beast of the earth," falls far short of the daring
exploit of capturing a whole herd: when from thirty to one hundred wild
elephants are entrapped in one vast decoy. The mode of effecting this,
as it is practised in Ceylon, is no doubt imitated, but with
considerable modifications, from the methods prevalent in various parts
of India. It was introduced by the Portuguese, and continued by the
Dutch, the latter of whom had two elephant hunts in each year, and
conducted their operations on so large a scale, that the annual export
after supplying the government establishments, was from one hundred to
one hundred and fifty elephants, taken principally in the vicinity of
Matura, in the southern province, and marched for shipment to Manaar.[1]

[Footnote 1: VALENTYN. _Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien_, ch. xv. p. 272.]

The custom in Bengal is to construct a strong enclosure (called a
_keddah_), in the heart of the forest, formed of the trunks of trees
firmly secured by transverse beams and buttresses, and leaving the gate
for the entrance of the elephants. A second enclosure, opening from the
first, contains water (if possible a rivulet): this, again, communicates
with a third, which terminates in a funnel-shaped passage, too narrow to
admit of an elephant turning, and within this the captives being driven
in line, are secured with ropes introduced from the outside, and led
away in custody of tame ones trained for the purpose.

The _keddah_ being prepared, the first operation is to drive the
elephants towards it, for which purpose vast bodies of men fetch a
compass in the forest around the haunts of the herds, contracting it by
degrees, till they complete the enclosure of a certain area, round which
they kindle fires, and cut footpaths through the jungle, to enable the
watchers to communicate and combine. All this is performed in cautious
silence and by slow approaches, to avoid alarming the herd. A fresh
circle nearer to the _keddah_ is then formed in the same way, and into
this the elephants are admitted from the first one, the hunters
following from behind, and lighting new fires around the newly inclosed
space. Day after day the process is repeated; till the drove having been
brought sufficiently close to make the final rush, the whole party close
in from all sides, and with drums, guns, shouts, and flambeaux, force
the terrified animals to enter the fatal enclosure, when the passage is
barred behind them, and retreat rendered impossible.

Their efforts to escape are repressed by the crowd, who drive them back
from the stockade with spears and flaming torches; and at last compel
them to pass on into the second enclosure. Here they are detained for a
short time, and their feverish exhaustion relieved by free access to
water;--until at last, being tempted by food, or otherwise induced to
trust themselves in the narrow outlet, they are one after another made
fast by ropes, passed in through the palisade; and picketed in the
adjoining woods to enter on their course of systematic training.

These arrangements vary in different districts of Bengal; and the method
adopted in Ceylon differs in many essential particulars from them all;
the Keddah, or, as it is here called, the corral or _korahl_[1] (from
the Portuguese _curral_, a "cattle-pen"), consists of but one enclosure
instead of three. A stream or watering-place is not uniformly enclosed
within it, because, although water is indispensable after the long
thirst and exhaustion of the captives, it has been found that a pond or
rivulet within the corral itself adds to the difficulty of leading them
out, and increases their reluctance to leave it; besides which, the
smaller ones are often smothered by the others in their eagerness to
crowd into the water. The funnel-shaped outlet is also dispensed with,
as the animals are liable to bruise and injure themselves within the
narrow stockade; and should one of them die in it, as is too often the
case in the midst of the struggle, the difficulty of removing so great a
carcase is extreme. The noosing and securing them, therefore, takes
place in Ceylon within the area of the first enclosure into which they
enter, and the dexterity and daring displayed in this portion of the
work far surpasses that of merely attaching the rope through the
openings of the paling, as in an Indian keddah.

[Footnote 1: It is thus spelled by WOLF, in his _Life and Adventures_,
p. 144. _Corral_ is at the present day a household word in South
America, and especially in La Plata, to designate an _enclosure for

One result of this change in the system is manifested in the increased
proportion of healthy elephants which are eventually secured and trained
out of the number originally enclosed. The reason of this is obvious:
under the old arrangements, months were consumed in the preparatory
steps of surrounding and driving in the herds, which at last arrived so
wasted by excitement and exhausted by privation that numbers died within
the corral itself, and still more died during the process of training.
But in later years the labour of months is reduced to weeks, and the
elephants are driven in fresh and full of vigour, so that comparatively
few are lost either in the enclosure or the stables. A conception of the
whole operation from commencement to end will be best conveyed by
describing the progress of an elephant corral as I witnessed it in 1847
in the great forest on the banks of the Alligator River, the Kimbul-oya,
in the district of Kornegalle, about thirty miles north-west of Kandy.

Kornegalle, or Kurunai-galle, was one of the ancient capitals of the
island, and the residence of its kings from A.D. 1319 to 1347.[1] The
dwelling-house of the principal civil officer in charge of the district
now occupies the site of the former palace, and the ground is strewn
with fragments of columns and carved stones, the remnants of the royal
buildings. The modern town consists of the bungalows of the European
officials, each surrounded with its own garden; two or three streets
inhabited by Dutch descendants and by Moors; and a native bazaar, with
the ordinary array of rice and curry stuffs and cooking chattees of
brass or burnt clay.

[Footnote 1: See SIR J. EMERSON TENNENT'S _Ceylon_, Vol. I. Pt. III. ch.
xii. p. 415.]

The charm of the village is the unusual beauty of its position. It rests
within the shade of an enormous rock of gneiss upwards of 600 feet in
height, nearly denuded of verdure, and so rounded and worn by time that
it has acquired the form of a couchant elephant, from which it derives
its name of Ætagalla, the Rock of the Tusker.[1] But Ætagalla is only
the last eminence in a range of similarly-formed rocky mountains, which
here terminate abruptly; and, which from the fantastic shapes into which
their gigantic outlines have been wrought by the action of the
atmosphere, are called by the names of the Tortoise Rock, the Eel Rock,
and the Rock of the Tusked Elephant. So impressed are the Singhalese by
the aspect of these stupendous masses that in ancient grants lands are
conveyed in perpetuity, or "so long as the sun and the moon, so long as
Ætagalla and Andagalla shall endure."[2]

[Footnote 1: Another enormous mass of gneiss is called the
Kuruminiagalla, or the Beetle-rock, from its resemblance in shape to the
back of that insect, and hence is said to have been derived the name of
the town, _Kuruna-galle_ or Kornegalle.]

[Footnote 2: FORBES quotes a Tamil conveyance of land, the purchaser of
which is to "possess and enjoy it as long as the sun and the moon, the
earth and its vegetables, the mountains and the River Cauvery
exist."--_Oriental Memoirs_, vol. ii. chap. ii. It will not fail to be
observed, that the same figure was employed in Hebrew literature as a
type of duration--" They shall fear thee, _so long as the sun and moon
endure_; throughout all generations."--Psalm lxxii. 5, 17.]

Kornegalle is the resort of Buddhists from the remotest parts of the
island, who come to visit an ancient temple on the summit of the great
rock, to which access is had from the valley below by means of steep
paths and steps hewn out of the solid stone. Here the chief object of
veneration is a copy of the sacred footstep hollowed in the granite,
similar to that which confers sanctity on Adam's Peak, the towering apex
of which, about forty miles distant, the pilgrims can discern from

At times the heat at Kornegalle is intense, in consequence of the
perpetual glow diffused from these granite cliffs. The warmth they
acquire during the blaze of noon becomes almost intolerable towards
evening, and the sultry night is too short to permit them to cool
between the setting and the rising of the sun. The district is also
liable to occasional droughts when the watercourses fail, and the tanks
are dried up. One of these calamities occurred about the period of my
visit, and such was the suffering of the wild animals that numbers of
crocodiles and bears made their way into the town to drink at the wells.
The soil is prolific in the extreme; rice, cotton, and dry grain are
cultivated largely in the valley. Every cottage is surrounded by gardens
of coco-nuts, arecas, jak-fruit and coffee; the slopes, under tillage,
are covered with luxuriant vegetation, and, as far as the eye can reach
on every side, there are dense forests intersected by streams, in the
shade of which the deer and the elephant abound.

In 1847 arrangements were made for one of the great elephant hunts for
the supply of the Civil Engineer's Department, and the spot fixed on by
Mr. Morris, the Government officer who conducted the corral, was on the
banks of the Kimbul river, about fifteen miles from Kornegalle. The
country over which we rode to the scene of the approaching capture
showed traces of the recent drought, the fields lay to a great extent
untilled, owing to the want of water, and the tanks, almost reduced to
dryness, were covered with the leaves of the rose-coloured lotus.

Our cavalcade was as oriental as the scenery through which it moved; the
Governor and the officers of his staff and household formed a long
cortege, escorted by the native attendants, horse-keepers, and
foot-runners. The ladies were borne in palankins, and the younger
individuals of the party carried in chairs raised on poles, and covered
with cool green awnings made of the fresh leaves of the talipat palm.

After traversing the cultivated lands, the path led across open glades
of park-like verdure and beauty, and at last entered the great-forest
under the shade of ancient trees wreathed to their crowns with climbing
plants and festooned by natural garlands of convolvulus and orchids.
Here silence reigned, disturbed only by the murmuring hum of glittering
insects, or the shrill clamour of the plum-headed parroquet and the
flute-like calls of the golden oriole.

We crossed the broad sandy beds of two rivers over-arched by tall trees,
the most conspicuous of which is the Kombook[1], from the calcined bark
of which the natives extract a species of lime to be used with their
betel. And from the branches hung suspended over the water the gigantic
pods of the huge puswæl bean[2], the sheath of which measures six feet
long by five or six inches broad.

[Footnote 1: _Pentaptera paniculata_.]

[Footnote 2: _Entada pursætha_.]

On ascending the steep bank of the second stream, we found ourselves in
front of the residences which had been extemporised for our party in the
immediate vicinity of the corral. These cool and enjoyable structures
were formed of branches and thatched with palm leaves and fragrant lemon
grass; and in addition to a dining-room and suites of bedrooms fitted
with tent furniture, they included kitchens, stables, and storerooms,
all run up by the natives in the course of a few days.

In former times, the work connected with these elephant hunts was
performed by the "forced labour" of the natives, as part of that feudal
service which under the name of Raja-kariya was extorted from the
Singhalese during the rule of their native sovereigns. This system was
continued by the Portuguese and Dutch, and prevailed under the British
Government till its abolition by the Earl of Ripon in 1832. Under it
from fifteen hundred to two thousand men superintended by their headmen,
used to be occupied, in constructing the corral, collecting the
elephants, maintaining the cordon of watch-fires and watchers, and
conducting all the laborious operations of the capture. Since the
abolition of Raja-kariya, however, no difficulty has been found in
obtaining the voluntary co-operation of the natives on these exciting
occasions. The government defrays the expense of that portion of the
preparations which involves actual cost,--for the skilled labour
expended in the erection of the corral and its appurtenances, and the
providing of spears, ropes, arms, flutes, drums, gunpowder, and other
necessaries for the occasion.

The period of the year selected is that which least interferes with the
cultivation of the rice-lands (in the interval between seed time and
harvest), and the people themselves, in addition to the excitement and
enjoyment of the sport, have a personal interest in reducing the number
of elephants, which inflict serious injury on their gardens and growing
crops. For a similar reason the priests encourage the practice, because
the elephants destroy their sacred Bo-trees, of the leaves of which they
are passionately fond; besides which it promotes the facility for
obtaining elephants for the processions of the temples: and the
Rata-mahat-mayas and headmen have a pride in exhibiting the number of
retainers who follow them to the field, and the performances of the tame
elephants which they lend for the business of the corral. Thus vast
numbers of the peasantry are voluntarily occupied for many weeks in
putting up the stockades, cutting paths through the jungle, and
relieving the beaters who are engaged in surrounding and driving in the

In selecting the scene for the hunt a position is chosen which lies on
some old and frequented route of the animals, in their periodical
migrations in search of forage and water; and the vicinity of a stream
is indispensable, not only for the supply of the elephants during the
time spent in inducing them to approach the enclosure, but to enable
them to bathe and cool themselves throughout the process of training
after capture.


In constructing the corral itself, care is taken to avoid disturbing the
trees or the brushwood within the included space, and especially on the
side by which the elephants are to approach, where it is essential to
conceal the stockade as much as possible by the density of the foliage.
The trees used in the structure are from ten to twelve inches in
diameter; and are sunk about three feet in the earth, so as to leave a
length of from twelve to fifteen feet above ground; with spaces between
each stanchion sufficiently wide to permit a man to glide through. The
uprights are made fast by transverse beams, to which they are lashed
securely by ratans and flexible climbing plants, or as they are called
"jungle ropes," and the whole is steadied by means of forked supports,
which grasp the tie beams, and prevent the work from being driven
outward by the rush of the wild elephants.

On the occasion I am now attempting to describe, the space thus enclosed
was about 500 feet in length by 250 wide. At one end an entrance was
left open, fitted with sliding bars, so prepared as to be capable of
being instantly shut;--and from each angle of the end by which the
elephants were to approach, two lines of the same strong fencing were
continued, and cautiously concealed by the trees; so that if, instead of
entering by the open passage, the herd should swerve to right, or left,
they would find themselves suddenly stopped and forced to retrace their
course to the gate.

The preparations were completed by placing a stage for the Governor's
party on a group of the nearest trees looking down into the enclosure,
so that a view could be had of the entire proceeding, from the entrance
of the herd, to the leading out of the captive elephants.

It is hardly necessary to observe that the structure here described,
massive as it is, would be entirely ineffectual to resist the shock, if
assaulted by the full force of an enraged elephant; and accidents have
sometimes happened by the breaking through of the herd; but reliance is
placed not so much on the resistance of the stockade as on the timidity
of the captives and their unconsciousness of their own strength, coupled
with the daring of their captors and their devices for ensuring

The corral being prepared, the beaters address themselves to drive in
the elephants. For this purpose it is often necessary to fetch a circuit
of many miles in order to surround a sufficient number, and the caution
to be observed involves patience and delay; as it is essential to avoid
alarming the elephants, which might otherwise escape. Their disposition
being essentially peaceful, and their only impulse to browse in solitude
and security, they withdraw instinctively before the slightest
intrusion, and advantage is taken of this timidity and love of seclusion
to cause only just such an amount of disturbance as will induce them to
return slowly in the direction which it is desired they should take.
Several herds are by this means concentrated within such an area as will
admit of their being completely surrounded by the watchers; and day
after day, by degrees, they are moved gradually onwards to the immediate
confines of the corral. When their suspicions become awakened and they
exhibit restlessness and alarm, bolder measures are adopted for
preventing their escape. Fires are kept burning at ten paces apart,
night and day, along the circumference of the area within which they are
detained; a corps of from two to three thousand beaters is completed,
and pathways are carefully cleared through the jungle so as to keep open
a communication along the entire circuit. The headmen keep up a constant
patrol, to see that their followers are alert at their posts, since
neglect at any one spot might permit the escape of the herd, and undo in
a moment the vigilance of weeks. By this means any attempt of the
elephants to break away is generally checked, and on any point
threatened a sufficient force can be promptly assembled to drive them
back. At last the elephants are forced onwards so close to the
enclosure, that the investing cordon is united at either end with the
wings of the corral, the whole forming a circle of about two miles,
within the area of which the herd is detained to await the signal for
the final drive.

Two months had been spent in these preliminaries, and the preparations
had been thus far completed, on the day when we arrived and took our
places on the stage erected for us, overlooking the entrance to the
corral. Close beneath us a group of tame elephants sent by the temples
and the chiefs to assist in securing the wild ones, were picketed in the
shade, and lazily fanning themselves with leaves. Three distinct herds,
whose united numbers were variously represented at from forty to fifty
elephants, were enclosed, and were at that moment concealed in the
jungle within a short distance of the stockade. Not a sound was
permitted to be made, each person spoke to his neighbour in whispers,
and such was the silence observed by the multitude of the watchers at
their posts, that occasionally we could hear the rustling of the
branches as some of the elephants stripped off a leaf.

Suddenly the signal was made, and the stillness of the forest was broken
by the shouts of the guard, the rolling of the drums and tom-toms, and
the discharge of muskets; and beginning at the most distant side of the
area, the elephants were urged forward at a rapid pace towards the
entrance into the corral.

The watchers along the line kept silence only till the herd had passed
them, and then joining the cry in their rear they drove them onward with
redoubled shouts and noises. The tumult increased as the terrified rout
drew near, swelling now on one side now on the other, as the herd in
their panic dashed from point to point in their endeavours to force the
line, but they were instantly driven back by screams, muskets, and

At length the breaking of the branches and the crackling of the
brushwood announced their close approach, and the leader bursting from
the jungle rushed wildly forward to within twenty yards of the entrance
followed by the rest of the herd. Another moment and they would have
plunged into the open gate, when suddenly they wheeled round, re-entered
the forest, and in spite of the hunters resumed their original position.
The chief headman came forward and accounted for the freak by saying
that a wild pig[1], an animal which the elephants are said to dislike,
had started out of the cover and run across the leader, who would
otherwise have held on direct for the corral; and intimated that as the
herd was now in the highest pitch of excitement: and it was at all times
much more difficult to effect a successful capture by daylight than by
night when the fires and flambeaux act with double effect, it was the
wish of the hunters to defer their final effort till the evening, when
the darkness would greatly aid their exertions.

[Footnote 1: Fire, the sound of a horn, and the grunting of a boar are
the three things which the Greeks, in the middle ages, believed the
elephant specially to dislike:

  Pyr de ptoeitai kai krion kerasphoron,
  Kai tôn moniôn tên boên tên athroan.]

    --PHILE, _Expositio de Elephante_, 1. 177.]

After sunset the scene exhibited was of extraordinary interest; the low
fires, which had apparently only smouldered in the sunlight, assumed
their ruddy glow amidst the darkness, and threw their tinge over the
groups collected round them; while the smoke rose in eddies through the
rich foliage of the trees. The crowds of spectators maintained a
profound silence, and not a sound was perceptible beyond the hum of an
insect. On a sudden the stillness was broken by the distant roll of a
drum, followed by a discharge of musketry. This was the signal for the
renewed assault, and the hunters entered the circle with shouts and
clamour; dry leaves and sticks were flung upon the watch-fires till they
blazed aloft, and formed a line of flame on every side, except in the
direction of the corral, which was studiously kept dark; and thither the
terrified elephants betook themselves, followed by the yells and racket
of their pursuers.

The elephants approached at a rapid pace, trampling down the brushwood
and crushing the dry branches; the leader emerged in front of the
corral, paused for an instant, stared wildly round, and then rushed
headlong through the open gate, followed by the rest of the herd.
Instantly, as if by magic, the entire circuit of the corral, which up to
this moment had been kept in profound darkness, blazed with thousands of
lights, every hunter on the instant that the elephants entered, rushing
forward to the stockade with a torch kindled at the nearest watch-fire.

The elephants first dashed to the very extremity of the enclosure, and
being brought up by the fence, retreated to regain the gate, but found
it closed. Their terror was sublime: they hurried round the corral at a
rapid pace, but saw it now girt by fire on every side; they attempted to
force the stockade, but were driven back by the guards with spears and
flambeaux; and on whichever side they approached they were repulsed with
shouts and volleys of musketry. Collecting into one group, they would
pause for a moment in apparent bewilderment, then burst off in another
direction, as if it had suddenly occurred to them to try some point
which they had before overlooked; but again baffled, they slowly
returned to their forlorn resting-place in the centre of the corral.

The attraction of this strange scene was not confined to the spectators;
it extended to the tame elephants which were stationed outside. At the
first approach of the flying herd they evinced the utmost interest. Two
in particular which were picketed near the front were intensely excited,
and continued tossing their heads, pawing the ground, and starting as
the noise drew near. At length, when the grand rush into the corral took
place, one of them fairly burst from her fastenings and rushed towards
the herd, levelling a tree of considerable size which obstructed her

[Footnote 1: The other elephant, a fine tusker, which belonged to
Dehigam Ratamahatmeya, continued in extreme excitement throughout all
the subsequent operations of the capture, and at last, after attempting
to break its way into the corral, shaking the bars with its forehead and
tusks, it went off in a state of frenzy into the jungle. A few days
after the Aratchy went in search of it with a female decoy, and watching
its approach, sprang fairly on the infuriated beast, with a pair of
sharp hooks in his hands, which he pressed into tender parts in front of
the shoulder, and thus held the elephant firmly till chains were passed
over its legs, and it permitted itself to be led quietly away.]

For upwards of an hour the elephants continued to traverse the corral
and assail the palisade with unabated energy, trumpeting and screaming
with rage after each disappointment. Again and again they attempted to
force the gate, as if aware, by experience, that it ought to afford an
exit as it had already served as an entrance, but they shrank back
stunned and bewildered. By degrees their efforts became less and less
frequent. Single ones rushed excitedly here and there, returning
sullenly to their companions after each effort; and at last the whole
herd, stupified and exhausted, formed themselves into a single group,
drawn up in a circle with the young in the centre, and stood motionless
under the dark shade of the trees in the middle of the corral.

Preparations were now made to keep watch during the night, the guard was
reinforced around the enclosure, and wood heaped on the fires to keep up
a high flame till sunrise.

Three herds had been originally entrapped by the beaters outside; but
with characteristic instinct they had each kept clear of the other,
taking up different stations in the space invested by the watchers. When
the final drive took place one herd only had entered the enclosure, the
other two keeping behind; and as the gate had to be instantly shut on
the first division, the last were unavoidably excluded and remained
concealed in the jungle. To prevent their escape, the watchers were
ordered to their former stations, the fires were replenished; and all
precautions having been taken, we returned to pass the night in our
bungalows by the river.



       *       *       *       *       *

_The Captives._

As our sleeping-place was not above two hundred yards from the corral,
we were frequently awakened by the din of the multitude who were
bivouacking in the forest, by the merriment round the watch-fires, and
now and then by the shouts with which the guards repulsed some sudden
charge of the elephants in attempts to force the stockade. But at
daybreak, on going down to the corral, we found all still and vigilant.
The fires were allowed to die out as the sun rose, and the watchers who
had been relieved were sleeping near the great fence, the enclosure on
all sides being surrounded by crowds of men and boys with spears or
white peeled wands about ten feet long, whilst the elephants within were
huddled together in a compact group, no longer turbulent and restless,
but exhausted and calm, and utterly subdued by apprehension and
amazement at all that had been passing around them.

Nine only had been as yet entrapped[1], of which three were very large,
and two were little creatures but a few months old. One of the large
ones was a "rogue" and being unassociated with the rest of the herd, he
was not admitted to their circle, although permitted to stand near them.

[Footnote 1: In some of the elephant hunts conducted in the southern
provinces of Ceylon by the earlier British Governors, as many as 170 and
200 elephants were secured in a single corral, of which a portion only
were taken out for the public service, and the rest shot, the motive
being to rid the neighbourhood of them, and thus protect the crops from
destruction. In the present instance, the object being to secure only as
many as were required for the Government stud, it was not sought to
entrap more than could conveniently be attended to and trained after

Meanwhile, preparations were making outside to conduct the tame
elephants into the corral, in order to secure the captives. Noosed ropes
were in readiness; and far apart from all stood a party of the out-caste
Rodiyas, the only tribe who will touch a dead carcase, to whom,
therefore, the duty is assigned of preparing the fine flexible rope for
noosing, which is made from the fresh hides of the deer and the buffalo.

At length, the bars which secured the entrance to the corral were
cautiously withdrawn, and two trained elephants passed stealthily in,
each ridden by its mahout (or _ponnekella_, as the keeper is termed in
Ceylon), and one attendant; and, carrying a strong collar, formed by
coils of rope made from coco-nut fibre, from which hung on either side
cords of elk's hide, prepared with a ready noose. Along with these, and
concealed behind them, the headman of the "_cooroowe_," or noosers,
crept in, eager to secure the honour of taking the first elephant, a
distinction which this class jealously contests with the mahouts of the
chiefs and temples. He was a wiry little man, nearly seventy years old,
who had served in the same capacity under the Kandyan king, and wore two
silver bangles, which had been conferred on him in testimony of his
prowess. He was accompanied by his son, named Ranghanie, equally
renowned for his courage and dexterity.

On this occasion ten tame elephants were in attendance; two were the
property of an adjoining temple (one of which had been caught but the
year before, yet it was now ready to assist in capturing others), four
belonged to the neighbouring chiefs, and the rest, including the two
which first entered the corral, were part of the Government stud. Of the
latter, one was of prodigious age, having been in the service of the
Dutch and English Governments in succession for upwards of a century.[1]
The other, called by her keeper "Siribeddi," was about fifty years old,
and distinguished for gentleness and docility. She was a most
accomplished decoy, and evinced the utmost relish for the sport. Having
entered the corral noiselessly, carrying a mahout on her shoulders with
the headman of the noosers seated behind him, she moved slowly along
with a sly composure and an assumed air of easy indifference; sauntering
leisurely in the direction of the captives, and halting now and then to
pluck a bunch of grass or a few leaves as she passed. As she approached
the herd, they put themselves in motion to meet her, and the leader,
having advanced in front and passed his trunk gently over her head,
turned and paced slowly back to his dejected companions. Siribeddi
followed with the same listless step, and drew herself up close behind
him, thus affording the nooser an opportunity to stoop under her and
slip the noose over the hind foot of the wild one. The latter instantly
perceived his danger, shook off the rope, and turned to attack the man.
He would have suffered for his temerity had not Siribeddi protected him
by raising her trunk and driving the assailant into the midst of the
herd, when the old man, being slightly wounded, was helped out of the
corral, and his son, Ranghanie, took his place.

[Footnote 1: This elephant is since dead; she grew infirm and diseased,
and died at Colombo in 1848. Her skeleton is now in the Museum of the
Natural History Society at Belfast.]

The herd again collected in a circle, with their heads towards the
centre. The largest male was singled out, and two tame ones pushed
boldly in, one on either side of him, till the three stood nearly
abreast. He made no resistance, but betrayed his uneasiness by shifting
restlessly from foot to foot. Ranghanie now crept up, and, holding the
rope open with both hands (its other extremity being made fast to
Siribeddi's collar), and watching the instant when the wild elephant
lifted its hind-foot, succeeded in passing the noose over its leg, drew
it close, and fled to the rear. The two tame elephants instantly fell
back, Siribeddi stretched the rope to its full length, and, whilst she
dragged out the captive, her companion placed himself between her and
the herd to prevent any interference.

In order to tie him to a tree he had to be drawn backwards some twenty
or thirty yards, making furious resistance, bellowing in terror,
plunging on all sides, and crushing the smaller timber, which bent like
reeds beneath his clumsy struggles. Siribeddi drew him steadily after
her, and wound the rope round the proper tree, holding it all the time
at its full tension, and stepping cautiously across it when, in order to
give it a second turn, it was necessary to pass between the tree and the
elephant. With a coil round the stem, however, it was beyond her
strength to haul the prisoner close up, which was, nevertheless,
necessary in order to make him perfectly fast; but the second tame one,
perceiving the difficulty, returned from the herd, confronted the
struggling prisoner, pushed him shoulder to shoulder, and head to head,
forcing him backwards, whilst at every step Siribeddi hauled in the
slackened rope till she brought him fairly up to the foot of the tree,
where he was made fast by the cooroowe people. A second noose was then
passed over the other hind-leg, and secured like the first, both legs
being afterwards hobbled together by ropes made from the fibre of the
kitool or jaggery palm, which, being more flexible than that of the
coco-nut, occasions less formidable ulcerations. The two decoys then
ranged themselves, as before, abreast of the prisoner on either side,
thus enabling Ranghanie to stoop under them and noose the two fore-feet
as he had already done the hind; and these ropes being made fast to a
tree in front, the capture was complete, and the tame elephants and
keepers withdrew to repeat the operation on another of the herd.



As long as the tame ones stood beside him the poor animal remained
comparatively calm and almost passive under his distress, but the moment
they moved off, and he was left utterly alone, he made the most
surprising efforts to set himself free and rejoin his companions. He
felt the ropes with his trunk and tried to untie the numerous knots; he
drew backwards to liberate his fore-legs, then leaned forward to
extricate the hind ones, till every branch of the tall tree vibrated
with his struggles. He screamed in anguish, with his proboscis raised
high in the air, then falling on his side he laid his head to the
ground, first his cheek and then his brow, and pressed down his
doubled-in trunk as though he would force it into the earth; then
suddenly rising he balanced himself on his forehead and forelegs,
holding his hind-feet fairly off the ground. This scene of distress
continued some hours, with occasional pauses of apparent stupor, after
which the struggle was from time to time renewed convulsively, and as if
by some sudden impulse; but at last the vain strife subsided, and the
poor animal remained perfectly motionless, the image of exhaustion and

Meanwhile Ranghanie presented himself in front of the governor's stage
to claim the accustomed largesse for tying the first elephant. He was
rewarded by a shower of rupees, and retired to resume his perilous
duties in the corral.

The rest of the herd were now in a state of pitiable dejection, and
pressed closely together as if under a sense of common misfortune. For
the most part they stood at rest in a compact body, fretful and uneasy.
At intervals one more impatient than the rest would move out a few steps
to reconnoitre; the others would follow at first slowly, then at a
quicker pace, and at last the whole herd would rush off furiously to
renew the often-baffled attempt to storm the stockade.

There was a strange combination of the sublime and the ridiculous in
these abortive onsets; the appearance of prodigious power in their
ponderous limbs, coupled with the almost ludicrous shuffle of their
clumsy gait, and the fury of their apparently resistless charge,
converted in an instant into timid retreat. They rushed madly down the
enclosure, their backs arched, their tails extended, their ears spread,
and their trunks raised high above their heads, trumpeting and uttering
shrill screams, yet when one step further would have dashed the opposing
fence into fragments, they stopped short on a few white rods being
pointed at them through the paling[1]; and, on catching the derisive
shouts of the crowd, they turned in utter discomfiture, and after an
objectless circle or two through the corral, they paced slowly back to
their melancholy halting place in the shade.

[Footnote 1: The fact of the elephant exhibiting timidity, on having a
long rod pointed towards him, was known to the Romans; and PLINY,
quoting from the annals of PISO, relates, that in order to inculcate
contempt for want of courage in the elephant, they were introduced into
the circus during the triumph of METELLUS, after the conquest of the
Carthaginians in Sicily, and _driven round the area by workmen holding
blunted spears_,--"Ab operariis hastas præpilatas habentibus, per circum
totam actos."--Lib. viii. c. 6.]

The crowd, chiefly comprised of young men and boys, exhibited
astonishing nerve and composure at such moments, rushing up to the point
towards which the elephants charged, pointing their wands at their
trunks, and keeping up the continual cry of _whoop! whoop!_ which
invariably turned them to flight.

The second victim singled out from the herd was secured in the same
manner as the first. It was a female. The tame ones forced themselves in
on either side as before, cutting her off from her companions, whilst
Ranghanie stooped under them and attached the fatal noose, and Siribeddi
dragged her out amidst unavailing struggles, when she was made fast by
each leg to the nearest group of strong trees. When the noose was placed
upon her fore-foot, she seized it with her trunk, and succeeded in
carrying it to her mouth, where she would speedily have severed it had
not a tame elephant interfered, and placing his foot on the rope pressed
it downwards out of her jaws. The individuals who acted as leaders in
the successive charges on the palisades were always those selected by
the noosers, and the operation of tying each, from the first approaches
of the decoys, till the captive was left alone by the tree, occupied on
an average somewhat less than three-quarters of an hour.

It is strange that in these encounters the wild elephants made no
attempt to attack or dislodge the mahouts or the cooroowes, who rode on
the tame ones. They moved in the very midst of the herd, any individual
in which could in a moment have pulled the riders from their seats; but
no effort was made to molest them.[1]

[Footnote 1: "In a corral, to be on a tame elephant, seems to insure
perfect immunity from the attacks of the wild ones. I once saw the old
chief Mollegodde ride in amongst a herd of wild elephants, on a small
elephant; so small that the Adigar's head was on a level the back of the
wild animals: I felt very nervous, but he rode right in among them, and
received not the slightest molestation."--_Letter from_ MAJOR SKINNER.]


As one after another their leaders wore entrapped and forced away from
them, the remainder of the group evinced increased emotion and
excitement; but whatever may have been their sympathy for their lost
companions, their alarm seemed to prevent them at first from following
them to the trees to which they had been tied. In passing them
afterwards they sometimes stopped, mutually entwined their trunks,
lapped them round each other's limbs and neck, and exhibited the most
touching distress at their detention, but made no attempt to disturb the
cords that bound them.


The variety of disposition in the herd as evidenced by difference of
demeanour was very remarkable: some submitted with comparatively little
resistance; whilst others in their fury dashed themselves on the ground
with a force sufficient to destroy any weaker animal. They vented their
rage upon every tree and plant within reach; if small enough to be torn
down, they levelled them with their trunks, and stripping them of their
leaves and branches, they tossed them wildly over their heads on all
sides. Some in their struggles made no sound, whilst others bellowed and
trumpeted furiously, then uttered short convulsive screams, and at last,
exhausted and hopeless, gave vent to their anguish in low and piteous
moanings. Some, after a few violent efforts of this kind, lay motionless
on the ground, with no other indication of suffering than the tears
which suffused their eyes and flowed incessantly. Others in all the
vigour of their rage exhibited the most surprising contortions; and to
us who had been accustomed to associate with the unwieldy bulk of the
elephant the idea that he must of necessity be stiff and inflexible, the
attitudes into which they forced themselves were almost incredible. I
saw one lie with the cheek pressed to the earth, and the fore-legs
stretched in front, whilst the body was twisted round till the hind-legs
extended in the opposite direction.

It was astonishing that their trunks were not wounded by the violence
with which they flung them on all sides. One twisted his proboscis into
such fantastic shapes, that it resembled the writhings of a gigantic
worm; he coiled it and uncoiled it with restless rapidity, curling it up
like a watch-spring, and suddenly unfolding it again to its full length.
Another, which lay otherwise motionless in all the stupor of hopeless
anguish, slowly beat the ground with the extremity of his trunk, as a
man in despair beats his knee with the palm of his hand.

They displayed an amount of sensitiveness and delicacy of touch in the
foot, which was very remarkable in a limb of such clumsy dimensions and
protected by so thick a covering. The noosers could always force them to
lift it from the ground by the gentlest touch of a leaf or twig,
apparently applied so as to tickle; but the imposition of the rope was
instantaneously perceived, and if it could not be reached by the trunk
the other foot was applied to feel its position, and if possible remove
it before the noose could be drawn tight.

One practice was incessant with almost the entire herd: in the interval
between their struggles they beat the ground with their fore feet, and
taking up the dry earth in a coil of the trunk, they flung it
dexterously over every part of their body. Even when lying down, the
sand within reach was thus collected and scattered over their limbs:
then inserting the extremity of the trunk in their mouths, they withdrew
a quantity of water, which they discharged over their backs, repeating
the operation again and again, till the dust was thoroughly saturated. I
was astonished at the quantity of water thus applied, which was
sufficient when the elephant, as was generally the case, had worked the
spot where he lay into a hollow, to convert its surface into a coating
of mud. Seeing that the herd had been now twenty-four hours without
access to water of any kind, surrounded by watch-fires, and exhausted by
struggling and terror, the supply of moisture an elephant is capable of
containing in the receptacle attached to his stomach must be very

The conduct of the tame ones during all these proceedings was truly
wonderful. They displayed the most perfect conception of every movement,
both of the object to be attained, and of the means to accomplish it.

They manifested the utmost enjoyment in what was going on. There was no
ill-humour, no malignity in the spirit displayed, in what was otherwise
a heartless proceeding, but they set about it in a way that showed a
thorough relish for it, as an agreeable pastime. Their caution was as
remarkable as their sagacity; there was no hurrying, no contusion, they
never ran foul of the ropes, were never in the way of the animals
already noosed; and amidst the most violent struggles, when the tame
ones had frequently to step across the captives, they in no instance
trampled on them, or occasioned the slightest accident or annoyance. So
far from this, they saw intuitively a difficulty or a danger, and
addressed themselves unbidden to remove it. In tying up one of the
larger elephants, he contrived before he could be hauled close up to the
tree, to walk once or twice round it, carrying the rope with him; the
decoy, perceiving the advantage he had thus gained over the nooser,
walked up of her own accord, and pushed him backwards with her head,
till she made him unwind himself again; upon which the rope was hauled
tight and made fast. More than once, when a wild one was extending his
trunk, and would have intercepted the rope about to be placed over his
leg, Siribeddi, by a sudden motion of her own trunk, pushed his aside,
and prevented him; and on one occasion, when successive efforts had
failed to put the noose over the fore-leg of an elephant which was
already secured by one foot, but which wisely put the other to the
ground as often as it was attempted to pass the noose under it, I saw
the decoy watch her opportunity, and when his foot was again raised,
suddenly push in her own leg beneath it, and hold it up till the noose
was attached and drawn tight.

One could almost fancy there was a display of dry humour in the manner
in which the decoys thus played with the fears of the wild herd, and
made light of their efforts at resistance. When reluctant they shoved
them forward, when violent they drove them back; when the wild ones
threw themselves down, the tame ones butted them with head and
shoulders, and forced them up again. And when it was necessary to keep
them down, they knelt upon them, and prevented them from rising, till
the ropes were secured.

At every moment of leisure they fanned themselves with a bunch of
leaves, and the graceful ease with which an elephant uses his trunk on
such occasions is very striking. It is doubtless owing to the
combination of a circular with a horizontal movement in that flexible
limb; but it is impossible to see an elephant fanning himself without
being struck by the singular elegance of motion which he displays. The
tame ones, too, indulged in the luxury of dusting themselves with sand,
by flinging it from their trunks; but it was a curious illustration of
their delicate sagacity, that so long as the mahout was on their necks,
they confined themselves to flinging the dust along their sides and
stomach, as if aware, that to throw it over their heads and back would
cause annoyance to their riders.

One of the decoys which rendered good service, and was obviously held in
special awe by the wild herd, was a tusker belonging to Dehigame
Rata-mahatmeya. It was not that he used his tusks for purposes of
offence, but he was enabled to insinuate himself between two elephants
by wedging them in where he could not force his head; besides which they
assisted him in raising up the fallen and refractory with greater ease.
In some instances where the intervention of the other decoys failed to
reduce a wild one to order, the mere presence and approach of the tusker
seemed to inspire fear, and insure submission, without more active

I do not know whether it was the surprising qualities exhibited by the
tame elephants that cast the courage and dexterity of the men into the
shade, but even when supported by the presence, the sagacity, and
co-operation of these wonderful creatures, the part sustained by the
noosers can bear no comparison with the address and daring displayed by
the _pícador_ and _matador_ in a Spanish bull-fight. They certainly
possessed great quickness of eye in watching the slightest movement of
the elephant, and great expertness in flinging the noose over its foot
and attaching it firmly before the animal could tear it off with its
trunk; but in all this they had the cover of the decoys to conceal them;
and their shelter behind which to retreat. Apart from the services
which, from their prodigious strength, the tame elephants are alone
capable of rendering, in dragging out and securing the captives, it is
perfectly obvious that without their co-operation the utmost prowess and
dexterity of the hunters would not avail them, unsupported, to enter the
corral and ensnare and lead out a single captive.

Of the two tiny elephants which were entrapped, one was about ten months
old, the other somewhat more. The smaller one had a little bolt head
covered with woolly brown hair, and was the most amusing and interesting
miniature imaginable. Both kept constantly with the herd, trotting after
them in every charge; when the others stood at rest they ran in and out
between the legs of the older ones; and not their own mothers alone, but
every female in the group caressed them in turn.

The dam of the youngest was the second elephant singled out by the
noosers, and as she was dragged along by the decoys, the little creature
kept by her side till she was drawn close to the fatal tree. The men at
first were rather amused than otherwise by its anger; but they found
that it would not permit them to place the second noose upon its mother;
it ran between her and them, it tried to seize the rope, it pushed them
and struck them with its little trunk, till they were forced to drive it
back to the herd. It retreated slowly, shouting all the way, and pausing
at every step to look back. It then attached itself to the largest
female remaining in the group, and placed itself across her forelegs,
whilst she hung down her trunk over its side and soothed and caressed
it. Here it continued moaning and lamenting; till the noosers had left
off securing its mother, when it instantly returned to her side; but as
it became troublesome again, attacking every one who passed, it was at
last tied up by a rope to an adjoining tree, to which the other young
one was also tied. The second little one, equally with its playmate,
exhibited great affection for its dam; it went willingly with its captor
as far as the tree to which she was fastened, and in passing her
stretched out its trunk and tried to rejoin her; but finding itself
forced along, it caught at every twig and branch within its reach, and
screamed with grief and disappointment.

These two little creatures were the most vociferous of the whole herd,
their shouts were incessant, they struggled to attack every one within
reach; and as their bodies were more lithe and pliant than those of
greater growth, their contortions were quite wonderful. The most amusing
thing was, that in the midst of all their agony and affliction, the
little fellows seized on every article of food that was thrown to them,
and ate and roared simultaneously.

Amongst the last of the elephants noosed was the rogue. Though far more
savage than the others, he joined in none of their charges and assaults
on the fences, as they uniformly drove him off and would not permit him
to enter their circle. When dragged past another of his companions in
misfortune, who was lying exhausted on the ground, he flew upon him and
attempted to fasten his teeth in his head; this was the only instance of
viciousness which occurred during the progress of the corral. When tied
up and overpowered, he was at first noisy and violent, but soon lay down
peacefully, a sign, according to the hunters, that his death was at
hand. Their prognostication was correct; he continued for about twelve
hours to cover himself with dust like the others, and to moisten it with
water from his trunk; but at length he lay exhausted, and died so
calmly, that having been moving but a few moment before, his death was
only perceived by the myriads of black flies by which his body was
almost instantly covered, although not one was visible a moment
before.[1] The Rodiyas were called in to loose the ropes that bound him,
from the tree, and two tame elephants being harnessed to the dead body,
it was dragged to a distance without the corral.

[Footnote 1: The surprising faculty of vultures for discovering carrion,
has been a subject of much speculation, as to whether it be dependent on
their power of sight or of scent. It is not, however, more mysterious
than the unerring certainty and rapidity with which some of the minor
animals, and more especially insects, in warm climates congregate around
the offal on which they feed. Circumstanced as they are, they must be
guided towards their object mainly if not exclusively by the sense of
smell; but that which excites astonishment is the small degree of odour
which seems to suffice for the purpose; the subtlety and rapidity with
which it traverses and impregnates the air; and the keen and quick
perception with which it is taken up by the organs of those creatures.
The instance of the scavenger beetles has been already alluded to; the
promptitude with which they discern the existence of matter suited to
their purposes, and the speed with which they hurry to it from all
directions; often from distances as extraordinary, proportionably, as
those traversed by the eye of the vulture. In the instance of the dying
elephant referred to above, life was barely extinct when the flies, of
which not one was visible but a moment before, arrived in clouds and
blackened the body by their multitude; scarcely an instant was allowed
to elapse for the commencement of decomposition; no odour of
putrefaction could be discerned by us who stood close by; yet some
peculiar smell of mortality, simultaneously with parting breath, must
have summoned them to the feast. Ants exhibit an instinct equally
surprising. I have sometimes covered up a particle of refined sugar with
paper on the centre of a polished table; and counted the number of
minutes which would elapse before it was fastened on by the small black
ants of Ceylon, and a line formed to lower it safely to the floor. Here
was a substance which, to our apprehension at least, is altogether
inodorous, and yet the quick sense of smell must have been the only
conductor of the ants. It has been observed of those fishes which travel
overland on the evaporation of the ponds in which they live, that they
invariably march in the direction of the nearest water, and even when
captured, and placed on the floor of a room, their efforts to escape are
always made towards the same point. Is the sense of smell sufficient to
account for this display of instinct in them? or is it aided by special
organs in the case of the others? Dr. MCGEE, formerly of the Royal Navy,
writing to me on the subject of the instant appearance of flies in the
vicinity of dead bodies, says: "In warm climates they do not wait for
death to invite them to the banquet. In Jamaica I have again and again
seen them settle on a patient, and hardly to be driven away by the
nurse, the patient himself saying. 'Here are these flies coming to eat
me ere I am dead.' At times they have enabled the doctor, when otherwise
he would have been in doubt as to his prognosis, to determine whether
the strange apyretic interval occasionally present in the last stage of
yellow fever was the fatal lull or the lull of recovery; and 'What say
the flies?' has been the settling question. Among many, many cases
during a long period I have seen but one recovery after the assembling
of the flies. I consider the foregoing as a confirmation of smell being
the guide even to the attendants, a cadaverous smell has been perceived
to arise from the body of a patient twenty-four hours before death."]

When every wild elephant had been noosed and tied up, the scene
presented was truly oriental. From one to two thousand natives, many of
them in gaudy dresses and armed with spears, crowded about the
enclosures. Their families had collected to see the spectacle; women,
whose children clung like little bronzed Cupids by their sides; and
girls, many of them in the graceful costume of that part of the
country,--a scarf, which, after having been brought round the waist, is
thrown over the left shoulder, leaving the right arm and side free and

At the foot of each tree was its captive elephant; some still struggling
and writhing in feverish excitement, whilst others, in exhaustion and
despair, lay motionless, except that, from time to time, they heaped
fresh dust upon their heads. The mellow notes of a Kandyan flute, which
was played at a distance, had a striking effect upon one or more of
them; they turned their heads in the direction from which the music
came, expanded their broad ears, and were evidently soothed with the
plaintive sound. The two young ones alone still roared for freedom; they
stamped their feet, and blew clouds of dust over their shoulders,
brandishing their little trunks aloft, and attacking every one who came
within their reach.

At first the older ones, when secured, spurned every offer of food,
trampled it under foot, and turned haughtily away. A few, however, as
they became more composed, could not resist the temptation of the juicy
stems of the plantain, but rolling them under foot, till they detached
the layers, they raised them in their trunks, and commenced chewing

On the whole, whilst the sagacity, the composure, and docility of the
decoys were such as to excite lively astonishment, it was not possible
to withhold the highest admiration from the calm and dignified demeanour
of the captives. Their entire bearing was at variance with the
representation made by some of the "sportsmen" who harass them, that
they are treacherous, savage, and revengeful; when tormented by the guns
of their persecutors, they, no doubt, display their powers and sagacity
in efforts to retaliate or escape; but here their every movement was
indicative of innocence and timidity. After a struggle, in which they
evinced no disposition to violence or revenge, they submitted with the
calmness of despair. Their attitudes were pitiable, their grief was most
touching, and their low moaning went to the heart. We could not have
borne to witness their distress had their capture been effected by the
needless infliction of pain, or had they been destined to ill-treatment

It was now about two hours after noon, and the first elephants that had
entered the corral having been disposed of, preparations were made to
reopen the gate, and drive in the other two herds, over which the
watchers were still keeping guard. The area of the enclosure was
cleared; and silence was again imposed on the crowds who surrounded the
corral. The bars that secured the entrance were withdrawn and every
precaution repeated as before; but as the space inside was now somewhat
trodden down, especially near the entrance, by the frequent charges of
the last herd, and as it was to be apprehended that the others might be
earlier alarmed and retrace their steps, before the barricades could be
replaced, two tame ones were stationed inside to protect the men to whom
that duty was assigned.

All preliminaries being at length completed, the signal was given; the
beaters on the side most distant from the corral closed in with tom-toms
and discordant noises; a hedge-fire of musketry was kept up in the rear
of the terrified elephants; thousands of voices urged them forward; we
heard the jungle crashing as they came on, and at last they advanced
through an opening amongst the trees, bearing down all before them like
a charge of locomotives. They were led by a huge female, nearly nine
feet high, after whom one half of the herd dashed precipitately through
the narrow entrance, but the rest turning suddenly towards the left,
succeeded in forcing the cordon of guards and making good their escape
to the forest.

No sooner had the others passed the gate, than the two tame elephants
stepped forward from either side, and before the herd could return from
the further end of the enclosure, the bars were drawn, the entrance
closed, and the men in charge glided outside the stockade. The elephants
which had previously been made prisoners within exhibited intense
excitement as the fresh din arose around them; they started to their
feet, and stretched their trunks in the direction whence they winded the
scent of the herd in its headlong flight; and as the latter rushed past,
they renewed their struggles to get free and follow. It is not possible
to imagine anything more exciting than the spectacle which the wild ones
presented careering round the corral, uttering piercing screams, their
heads erect and trunks aloft, the very emblems of rage and perplexity,
of power and helplessness.

Along with those which entered at the second drive was one that
evidently belonged to another herd, and had been separated from them in
the _mêlée_ when the latter effected their escape, and, as usual, his
new companions in misfortune drove him off indignantly as often as he
attempted to approach them.

The demeanour of those taken in the second drive differed materially
from that of the preceding captives, who, having entered the corral in
darkness, to find themselves girt with fire and smoke, and beset by
hideous sounds and sights on every side, were speedily reduced by fear
to stupor and submission--whereas, the second herd having passed into
the enclosure by daylight, and its area being trodden down in many
places, could clearly discover the fences, and were consequently more
alarmed and enraged at their confinement. They were thus as restless as
the others had been calm, and so much more vigorous in their assaults
that, on one occasion, their courageous leader, undaunted by the
multitude of white wands thrust towards her, was only driven back from
the stockade by a hunter hurling a blazing flambeau at her head. Her
attitude as she stood repulsed, but still irresolute, was a study for a
painter. Her eye dilated, her ears expanded, her back arched like a
tiger, and her fore-foot in air, whilst she uttered those hideous
screams that are imperfectly described by the term "_trumpeting_."

Although repeatedly passing by the unfortunates from the former drove,
the new herd seemed to take no friendly notice of them; they halted
inquiringly for a minute, and then resumed their career round the
corral, and once or twice in their headlong flight they rushed madly
over the bodies of the prostrate captives as they lay in their misery on
the ground.

It was evening before the new captives had grown wearied with their
furious and repeated charges, and stood still in the centre of the
corral collected into a terrified and motionless group. The fires were
then relighted, the guard redoubled by the addition of the watchers, who
were now relieved from duty in the forest, and the spectators retired to
their bungalows for the night. The business of the _third day_ began by
noosing and tying up the new captives, and the first sought out was
their magnificent leader. Siribeddi and the tame tusker having forced
themselves on either side of her, a boy in the service of the
Rata-Mahatmeya succeeded in attaching a rope to her hind-foot. Siribeddi
moved off, but feeling her strength insufficient to drag the reluctant
prize, she went down on her fore-knees, so as to add the full weight of
her body to the pull. The tusker, seeing her difficulty, placed himself
in front of the prisoner, and forced her backwards, step by step, till
his companion, brought her fairly up to the tree, and wound the rope
round the stem. Though overpowered by fear, she showed the fullest sense
of the nature of the danger she had to apprehend. She kept her head
turned towards the noosers, and tried to step in advance of the decoys;
in spite of all their efforts, she tore off the first noose from her
fore-leg, and placing it under her foot, snapped it into fathom lengths.
When finally secured, her writhings were extraordinary. She doubled in
her head under her chest, till she lay as round as a hedgehog, and
rising again, stood on her fore-feet, and lifting her hind-feet off the
ground, she wrung them from side to side, till the great tree above her
quivered in every branch.

Before proceeding to catch the others, we requested that the smaller
trees and jungle, which partially obstructed our view, might be broken
away, being no longer essential to screen the entrance to the corral;
and five of the tame elephants were brought up for the purpose. They
felt the strength of each tree with their trunks, then swaying it
backwards and forwards, by pushing it with their foreheads, they watched
the opportunity when it was in full swing to raise their fore-feet
against the stem, and bear it down to the ground. Then tearing off the
festoons of climbing plants, and trampling down the smaller branches and
brushwood, they pitched them with their tusks, piling them into heaps
along the side of the fence.

[Illustration of elephant resisting capture.]

Amongst the last that was secured was the solitary individual belonging
to the fugitive herd. When they attempted to drag him backwards from the
tree near which he was noosed, he laid hold of it with his trunk and lay
down on his side immoveable. The temple tusker and another were ordered
up to assist, and it required the combined efforts of the three
elephants to force him along. When dragged to the place at which he was
to be tied up, he continued the contest with desperation, and to prevent
the second noose being placed on his foot, he sat down on his haunches,
almost in the attitude of the "Florentine Boar," keeping his hind-feet
beneath him, and defending his fore-feet with his trunk, with which he
flung back the rope as often as it was attempted to attach it.

[Illustration of elephant lying on ground after capture.]

When overpowered and made fast, his grief was most affecting; his
violence sunk to utter prostration, and he lay on the ground, uttering
choking cries, with tears trickling down his cheeks.

The final operation was that of slackening the ropes, and marching each
captive down to the river between two tame ones. This was effected very
simply. A decoy, with a strong collar round its neck, stood on either
side of the wild one, on which a similar collar was formed, by
successive coils of coco-nut rope; and then, connecting the three
collars together, the prisoner was effectually made safe between his two
guards. During this operation, it was curious to see how the tame
elephant, from time to time, used its trunk to shield the arm of its
rider, and ward off the trunk of the prisoner, who resisted the placing
the rope round his neck. This done, the nooses were removed from his
feet, and he was marched off to the river, in which he and his
companions were allowed to bathe; a privilege of which all availed
themselves eagerly. Each was then made fast to a tree in the forest, and
keepers being assigned to him, with a retinue of leaf-cutters, he was
plentifully supplied with his favourite food, and left to the care and
tuition of his new masters.

Returning from a spectacle such as I have attempted to describe, one
cannot help feeling how immeasurably it exceeds in interest those royal
battues where timid deer are driven in crowds to unresisting slaughter;
or those vaunted "wild sports" the amusement of which appears to be in
proportion to the effusion of blood. Here the only display of power was
the imposition of restraint; and though considerable mortality often
occurs amongst the animals caught, the infliction of pain, so far from
being an incident of the operation, is most cautiously avoided from its
tendency to enrage, the policy of the captor being to conciliate and
soothe. The whole scene exhibits the most marvellous example of the
voluntary alliance of animal sagacity and instinct in active
co-operation with human intelligence and courage; and nothing else in
nature, not even the chase of the whale, can afford so vivid an
illustration of the sovereignty of man over brute creation even when
confronted with force in its most stupendous embodiment.

Of the two young elephants which were taken in the corral, the smallest
was sent down to my house at Colombo, where he became a general
favourite with the servants. He attached himself especially to the
coachman, who had a little shed erected for him near his own quarters at
the stables. But his favourite resort was the kitchen, where he received
a daily allowance of milk and plantains, and picked up several other
delicacies besides. He was innocent and playful in the extreme, and when
walking in the grounds he would trot up to me, twine his little trunk
round my arm, and coax me to take him to the fruit-trees. In the evening
the grass-cutters now and then indulged him by permitting him to carry
home a load of fodder for the horses, on which occasions he assumed an
air of gravity that was highly amusing, showing that he was deeply
impressed with the importance and responsibility of the service
entrusted to him. Being sometimes permitted to enter the dining-room,
and helped to fruit at desert, he at last learned his way to the
side-board; and on more than one occasion having stolen in, during the
absence of the servants, he made a clear sweep of the wine-glasses and
china in his endeavours to reach a basket of oranges. For these and
similar pranks we were at last forced to put him away. He was sent to
the Government stud, where he was affectionately received and adopted by
Siribeddi, and he now takes his turn of public duty in the department of
the Commissioner of Roads.



      *        *       *       *       *

_Conduct in Captivity._

The idea prevailed in ancient times, and obtains even at the present
day, that the Indian elephant surpasses that of Africa in sagacity and
tractability, and consequently in capacity for training, so as to render
its services more available to man. There does not appear to me to be
sufficient ground for this conclusion. It originated, in all
probability, in the first impressions created by the accounts of the
elephant brought back by the Greeks after the Indian expedition of
Alexander, and above all by the descriptions of Aristotle, whose
knowledge of the animal was derived exclusively from the East. A long
interval elapsed before the elephant of Africa, and its capabilities,
became known in Europe. The first elephants brought to Greece by
Antipater, were from India, as were also those introduced by Pyrrhus
into Italy. Taught by this example, the Carthaginians undertook to
employ African elephants in war. Jugurtha led them against Metellus, and
Juba against Cæsar; but from inexperienced and deficient training, they
proved less effective than the elephants of India[1], and the historians
of these times ascribed to inferiority of race, that which was but the
result of insufficient education.

[Footnote 1: ARMANDI, _Hist. Milit. des Eléphants_, liv. i. ch. i. p. 2.
It is an interesting fact, noticed by ARMANDI, that the elephants
figured on the coins of Alexander, and the Seleucidæ invariably exhibit
the characteristics of the Indian type, whilst those on Roman medals can
at once be pronounced African, from the peculiarities of the convex
forehead and expansive ears.--_Ibid_. liv. i. cap. i. p. 3.


ARMANDI has, with infinite industry, collected from original sources a
mass of curious informations relative to the employment of elephants in
ancient warfare, which he has published under the title of _Histoire
Militaire des Eléphants depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu' à
l'introduction des armes a feu_. Paris. 1843.]

It must, however, be remembered that the elephants which, at a later
period, astonished the Romans by their sagacity, and whose performances
in the amphitheatre have been described by Ælian and Pliny, were brought
from Africa, and acquired their accomplishments from European
instructors[1]; a sufficient proof that under equally favourable
auspices the African species are capable of developing similar docility
and powers with those of India. It is one of the facts from which the
inferiority of the Negro race has been inferred, that they alone, of all
the nations amongst whom the elephant is found, have never manifested
ability to domesticate it; and even as regards the more highly developed
races who inhabited the valley of the Nile, it is observable that the
elephant is nowhere to be found amongst the animals figured on the
monuments of ancient Egypt, whilst the camelopard, the lion, and even
the hippopotamus are represented. And although in later times the
knowledge of the art of training appears to have existed under the
Ptolemies, and on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, it admits of
no doubt that it was communicated by the more accomplished natives of
India who had settled there.[2]

[Footnote 1: ÆLIAN, lib. ii. cap. ii.]

[Footnote 2: See SCHLEGEL'S Essay on the Elephant and the Sphynx.
_Classical Journal_, No. lx. Although the trained elephant nowhere
appears upon the monuments of the Egyptians, the animal was not unknown
to them, and ivory and elephants are figured on the walls of Thebes and
Karnac amongst the spoils of Thothmes III., and the tribute paid to
Rameses I. The Island of Elephantine, in the Nile, near Assouan (Syene)
is styled in hieroglyphical writing "The Land of the Elephant;" but as
it is a mere rock, it probably owes its designation to its form. See Sir
GARDNER WILKINSON'S _Ancient Egyptians_, vol. i. pl. iv.; vol. v. p.
176. Above the first cataract of the Nile are two small islands, each
bearing the name of Phylæ;--quære, is the derivation of this word at all
connected with the Arabic term _fil_? See ante, p. 76, note. The
elephant figured in the sculptures of Nineveh is universally as wild,
not domesticated.]

Another favourite doctrine of the earlier visitors to the East seems to
me to be equally fallacious; PYRARD, BERNIER, PHILLIPE, THEVENOT, and
other travellers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, proclaimed
the superiority of the elephant of Ceylon, in size, strength, and
sagacity, above those of all other parts of India[1]; and TAVERNIER in
particular is supposed to have stated that if a Ceylon elephant be
introduced amongst those bred in any other place, by an instinct of
nature they do him homage by laying their trunks to the ground, and
raising them reverentially. This passage has been so repeatedly quoted
in works on Ceylon that it has passed into an aphorism, and is always
adduced as a testimony to the surpassing intelligence of the elephants
of that island; although a reference to the original shows that
Tavernier's observations are not only fanciful in themselves, but are
restricted to the supposed excellence of the Ceylon animal _in war_.[2]
This estimate of the superiority of the elephant of Ceylon, if it ever
prevailed in India, was not current there at a very early period; for in
the _Ramayana_, which is probably the oldest epic in the world, the stud
of Dasartha, the king of Ayodhya, was supplied with elephants from the
Himalaya and the Vindhya Mountains.[3] I have had no opportunity of
testing by personal observation the justice of the assumption; but from
all that I have heard of the elephants of the continent, and seen of
those of Ceylon, I have reason to conclude that the difference, if not
imaginary, is exceptional, and must have arisen in particular and
individual instances, from more judicious or elaborate instruction.

[Footnote 1: This is merely a reiteration of the statement of ÆLIAN, who
ascribes to the elephants of Taprobane a vast superiority in size,
strength, and intelligence, above, those of continental India,--[Greek:
"Kai oide ge næsiotai elephantes ton hæpiroton halkimoteroi te tæn
rhomæn kai meixous idein eisi, kai thumosophoteroi de panta pantæ
krinointo han."]--ÆLIAN, _De Nat. Anim_., lib. Xvi. Cap. xviii.

ÆLIAN also, in the same chapter, states the fact of the shipment of
elephants in large boats from Ceylon to the opposite continent of India,
for sale to the king of Kalinga; so that the export from Manaar,
described in a former passage, has been going on apparently without
interruption since the time of the Romans.]

[Footnote 2: The expression of TAVERNIER is to the effect that as
compared with all others, the elephants of Ceylon are "plus courageux _à
la guerre_." The rest of the passage is a curiosity:--

"Il faut remarquer ici une chose qu'on aura peut-être de la peine à
croire main quit est toutefois très-véritable: c'est que lorsque quelque
roi on quelque seigneur a quelqu'un de ces éléphants de Ceylan, et qu'on
en amène quelqu'autre des lieux où les marchands vont les prendre, comme
d'Achen, de Siam, d'Arakan, de Pegu, du royáume de Boutan, d'Assam, des
terres de Cochin et de la coste du Mélinde, dés que les éléphants en
voient un de Ceylan, par un instinct de nature, ils lui font la
révérence, portant le bout de leur trompe à la terre et la relevant. Il
est vrai que les éléphants que les grand seigneurs entretiennent, quand
en les amine devant eux, pour voir s'ils sent en bon point, font troi
fois une espére de révérence avec leur troupe, _a que j'ai en souvent_,
mais ils sont stylés à cela, et leurs maitres le leur enseignent de
bonne heure."--_Les Six Voyages de_ J.B. TAVERNIER, lib. iii. ch. 20.]

[Footnote 3: _Ramayana_, sec. vi.: CAREY and MARSHMAN, i. 105: FAUCHE,
t. i. p. 66.]

The earliest knowledge of the elephant in Europe and the West, was
derived from the conspicuous position assigned to it in the wars of the
East: in India, from the remotest antiquity, it formed one of the most
picturesque, if not the most effective, features in the armies of the
native princes.[1] It is more than probable that the earliest attempts
to take and train the elephant, were with a view to military uses, and
that the art was perpetuated in later times to gratify the pride of the
eastern kings, and sustain the pomp of their processions.

[Footnote 1: The only mention of the elephant in Sacred History in the
account given in _Maccabees_ of the invasion of Egypt by Antiochus, who
entered it 170 B.C., "with chariots and elephants, and horsemen, and a
great navy."--1 _Macc_. i. 17. Frequent allusions to the use of
elephants in war occur in both books: and in chap. vi. 34, it is stated
that "to provoke the elephants to fight they showed them the blood of
grapes and of mulberries." The term showed, "[Greek: edeixan]," might be
thought to imply that the animals were enraged by the sight of the wine
and its colour, but in the Third Book of Maccabees, in the Greek
Septuagint, various other passages show that wine, on such occasions,
was administered to the elephants to render them furious.--Mace, v. 2.
10, 45. PHILE mentions the same fact, _De Elephante_, i. 145.

There is a very curious account of the mode in which the Arab conquerors
of Seinde, in the 9th and 10th centuries, equipped the elephant for war;
which being written with all the particularity of an eye-witness, bears
the impress of truth and accuracy. MASSOUDI, who was born in Bagdad at
the close of the 9th century, travelled in India in the year A.D. 913,
and visited the Gulf of Cambay, the coast of Malabar, and the Island of
Ceylon:--from a larger account of his journeys he compiled a summary
under the title of "_Moroudj al-dzeheb," or the "Golden Meadows_," the
MS. of which is now in the Bibliothèque Nationale. M. REINAUD, in
describing this manuscript says on its authority, "The Prince of
Mensura, whose dominions lay south of the Indus, maintained eighty
elephants trained for war, each of which bore in his trunk a bent
cymeter (carthel), with which he was taught to cut and thrust at all
confronting him. The trunk itself was effectually protected by a coat of
mail, and the rest of the body enveloped in a covering composed jointly
of iron and horn. Other elephants were employed in drawing chariots,
carrying baggage, and grinding forage, and the performance of all
bespoke the utmost intelligence and docility."--REINAUD, _Mèmoires sur
l'Inde, antérieurement au milieu du XIe siècle, d'après les écrivains
arabes, persans et chinois_. Paris, M.D.CCC. XLIX. p. 215. See
SPRENGER'S English Translation of Massoudi, vol. i. p. 383.]

An impression prevails even to the present day, that the process of
training is tedious and difficult, and the reduction of a full-grown
elephant to obedience, slow and troublesome in the extreme.[1] In both
particulars, however, the contrary is the truth. The training as it
prevails in Ceylon is simple, and the conformity and obedience of the
animal are developed with singular rapidity. For the first three days,
or till they will eat freely, which they seldom do in a less time, the
newly-captured elephants are allowed to stand quiet; and, if
practicable, a tame elephant is tied near to give the wild ones
confidence. Where many elephants are being trained at once, it is
customary to put every new captive between the stalls of half-tamed
ones, when it soon takes to its food. This stage being attained,
training commences by placing tame elephants on either side. The
"cooroowe vidahn," or the head of the stables, stands in front of the
wild elephants holding a long stick with a sharp iron point. Two men are
then stationed one on either side, assisted by the tame elephants, and
each holding a _hendoo_ or crook[2] towards the wild one's trunk, whilst
one or two others rub their hands over his back, keeping up all the
while a soothing and plaintive chaunt, interlarded with endearing
epithets, such as "ho! my son," or "ho! my father," or "my mother," as
may be applicable to the age and sex of the captive. The elephant is at
first furious, and strikes in all directions with his trunk; but the men
in front receiving all these blows on the points of their weapons, the
extremity of the trunk becomes so sore that the animal curls it up
close, and seldom afterwards attempts to use it offensively. The first
dread of man's power being thus established, the process of taking him
to bathe between two tame elephants is greatly facilitated, and by
lengthening the neck rope, and drawing the feet together as close as
possible, the process of laying him down in the water is finally
accomplished by the keepers pressing the sharp point of their hendoos
over the backbone.

[Footnote 1: BRODERIP, _Zoological Recreations_, p. 226.]

[Footnote 2: The iron goad with which the keeper directs the movements
of the elephants, called a _hendoo_ in Ceylon and _hawkus_ in Bengal,
appears to have retained the present shape from the remotest antiquity.
It is figured in the medals of Caracalla in the identical form in which
it is in use at the present day in India.

The Greeks called it [Greek: harpê], and the Romans _cuspis_.

[Illustration: Medal of Numidia.]

[Illustration: Modern Hendoo.]]

For many days the roaring and resistance which attend the operation are
considerable, and it often requires the sagacious interference of the
tame elephants to control the refractory wild ones. It soon, however,
becomes practicable to leave the latter alone, only taking them to and
from the stall by the aid of a decoy. This step lasts, under ordinary
treatment, for about three weeks, when an elephant may be taken alone
with his legs hobbled, and a man walking backwards in front with the
point of the hendoo always presented to the elephant's head, and a
keeper with an iron crook at each ear. On getting into the water, the
fear of being pricked on his tender back induces him to lie down
directly on the crook being only held over him _in terrorem_. Once this
point has been achieved, the further process of taming is dependent upon
the disposition of the creature.

The greatest care is requisite, and daily medicines are applied to heal
the fearful wounds on the legs which even the softest ropes occasion.
This is the great difficulty of training; for the wounds fester
grievously, and months and sometimes years will elapse before an
elephant will allow his feet to be touched without indications of alarm
and anger.

The observation has been frequently made that the elephants most vicious
and troublesome to tame, and the most worthless when tamed, are those
distinguished by a thin trunk and flabby pendulous ears. The period of
tuition does not appear to be influenced by the size or strength of the
animals: some of the smallest give the greatest amount of trouble;
whereas, in the instance of the two largest that have been taken in
Ceylon within the last thirty years, both were docile in a remarkable
degree. One in particular, which was caught and trained by Mr. Cripps,
when Government agent, in the Seven Korles, fed from the hand the first
night it was secured, and in a very few days evinced pleasure on being
patted on the head.[1] There is none so obstinate, not even a _rogue_,
that may not, when kindly and patiently treated, be conciliated and

[Footnote 1: This was the largest elephant that had been tamed in
Ceylon; he measured upwards of nine feet at the shoulders and belonged
to the caste so highly prized for the temples. He was gentle after his
first capture, but his removal from the corral to the stables, though
only a distance of six miles, was a matter of the extremest difficulty;
his extraordinary strength rendering him more than a match for the
attendant decoys. He, on one occasion, escaped, but was recaptured in
the forest; and he afterwards became so docile as to perform a variety
of tricks. He was at length ordered to be removed to Colombo; but such
was his terror on approaching the gate, that on coaxing him to enter the
gate, he became paralysed in the extraordinary way elsewhere alluded to,
and _died on the spot_.]

The males are generally more unmaneagable than the females, and in both
an inclination to lie down to rest is regarded as a favourable symptom
of approaching tractability, some of the most resolute having been known
to stand for months together, even during sleep. Those which are the
most obstinate and violent at first are the soonest and most effectually
subdued, and generally prove permanently docile and submissive. But
those which are sullen or morose, although they may provoke no
chastisement by their viciousness, are always slower in being taught,
and are rarely to be trusted in after life.[1]

[Footnote 1: The natives profess that the high caste elephants, such as
are allotted to the temples, are of all others the most difficult to
tame, and M. BLES, the Dutch correspondent of BUFFON, mentions a caste
of elephants which he had heard of, as being peculiar to the Kandyan
kingdom, that were not higher than a heifer (génisse), covered with
hair, and insusceptible of being tamed. (BUFFON, _Supp._ vol. vi. p.
29.) Bishop HEBER, in the account of his journey from Bareilly towards
the Himalayas, describes the Raja Gourman Sing, "mounted on a little
female elephant, hardly bigger than a Durham ox, and almost as shaggy as
a poodle."--_Journx._, ch. xvii. It will be remembered that the mammoth
discovered in 1803 embedded in icy soil in Siberia, was covered with a
coat of long hair, with a sort of wool at the roots. Hence there arose
the question whether that northern region had been formerly inhabited by
a race of elephants, so fortified by nature against cold; or whether the
individual discovered had been borne thither by currents from some more
temperate latitudes. To the latter theory the presence of hair seemed a
fatal objection; but so far as my own observation goes, I believe the
elephants are more or less provided with hair. In some it is more
developed than in others, and it is particularly observable in the
young, which when captured are frequently covered with a woolly fleece,
especially about the head and shoulders. In the older individuals in
Ceylon, this is less apparent: and in captivity the hair appears to be
altogether removed by the custom of the mahouts to rub their skin daily
with oil and a rough lump of burned clay. See a paper on the subject,
_Asiat. Journ._ N.S. vol. xiv. p. 182, by Mr. G. FAIRHOLME.]

But whatever may be its natural gentleness and docility, the temper of
an elephant is seldom to be implicitly relied on in a state of captivity
and coercion. The most amenable are subject to occasional fits of
stubbornness; and even after years of submission, irritability and
resentment will unaccountably manifest themselves. It may be that the
restraints and severer discipline of training have not been entirely
forgotten; or that incidents which in ordinary health would be
productive of no demonstration whatever, may lead, in moments of
temporary illness, to fretfulness and anger. The knowledge of this
infirmity led to the popular belief recorded by PHILE, that the elephant
had _two hearts_, under the respective influences of which it evinced
ferocity of gentleness; subdued by the one to habitual tractability and
obedience, but occasionally roused by the other to displays of rage and

[Footnote 1:
  "Diplês de phasin euporêsai kardias
  Kai tê men einai thumikon to thêrion
  Eis akratê kinêsin êrethismenon,
  Tê de prosênes kai thrasytêtos xenon.
  Kai pê men autôn akroasthai ton logôn
  Ous an tis Indos eu tithaseuôn legoi,
  Pê de pros autous tous nomeis epitrechein
  Eis tas palaias ektrapen kakoupgias."]
       PHILE, _Expos. de Eleph._, l. 126, &c.]

In the process of taming, the presence of the tame ones can generally be
dispensed with after two months, and the captive may then be ridden by
the driver alone; and after three or four months he may be entrusted
with labour, so far as regards docility;--but it is undesirable, and
even involves the risk of life, to work an elephant too soon; it has
frequently happened that a valuable animal has lain down and died the
first time it was tried in harness, from what the natives believe to be
"broken heart,"--certainly without any cause inferable from injury or
previous disease.[1] It is observable, that till a captured elephant
begins to relish food, and grow fat upon it, he becomes so fretted by
work, that it kills him in an incredibly short space of time.

[Footnote 1: Captain YULE, in his _Narrative of an Embassy to Ava in_
1855, records an illustration of this tendency of the elephant to sudden
death; one newly captured, the process of taming which was exhibited to
the British Envoy, "made vigorous resistance to the placing of a collar
on its neck, and the people were proceeding to tighten it, when the
elephant, which had lain down as if quite exhausted, reared suddenly on
the hind quarters, and fell on its side--_dead_!"--P. 104.

Mr. STRACHAN noticed the same liability of the elephants to sudden death
from very slight causes; "of the fall." he says, "at any time, though on
plain ground, they either die immediately, or languish till they die;
their great weight occasioning them so much hurt by the fall."--_Phil.
Trans._ A.D. 1701, vol. xxiii. p. 1052.]

The first employment to which an elephant is put is to tread clay in a
brick-field, or to draw a waggon in double harness with a tame
companion. But the work in which the display of sagacity renders his
labours of the highest value, is that which involves the use of heavy
materials; and hence in dragging and piling timber, or moving stones[1]
for the construction of retaining walls and the approaches to bridges,
his services in an unopened country are of the utmost importance. When
roads are to be constructed along the face of steep declivities, and the
space is so contracted that risk is incurred either of the working
elephant falling over the precipice or of rocks slipping down from
above, not only are the measures to which he resorts the most judicious
and reasonable that could be devised, but if urged by his keeper to
adopt any other, he manifests a reluctance sufficient to show that he
has balanced in his own mind the comparative advantages of each. An
elephant appears on all occasions to comprehend the purpose and object
that he is expected to promote, and hence he voluntarily executes a
variety of details without any guidance whatever from his keeper. This
is one characteristic in which this animal manifests a superiority over
the horse; although his strength in proportion to his weight is not so
great as that of the latter.

[Footnote 1: A correspondent informs me that on the Malabar coast of
India, the elephant, when employed in dragging stones, moves them by
means of a rope, which he either draws with his forehead, or manages by
seizing it in his teeth.]

His minute motions when engrossed by such operations, the activity of
his eye, and the earnestness of his attitudes, can only be comprehended
by being seen. In moving timber and masses of rock his trunk is the
instrument on which he mainly relies, but those which have tusks turn
them to good account. To get a weighty stone out of a hollow an elephant
will kneel down so as to apply the pressure of his head to move it
upwards, then steadying it with one foot till he can raise himself, he
will apply a fold of his trunk to shift it to its place, and fit it
accurately in position: this done, he will step round to view it on
either side, and adjust it with due precision. He appears to gauge his
task by his eye, and to form a judgment whether the weight be
proportionate to his strength. If doubtful of his own power, he
hesitates and halts, and if urged against his will, he roars and shows

In clearing an opening through forest land, the power of the African
elephant, and the strength ascribed to him by a recent traveller, as
displayed in uprooting trees, have never been equalled or approached by
anything I have seen of the elephant in Ceylon[1] or heard of them in

[Footnote 1: "Here the trees were large and handsome, but not strong
enough to resist the inconceivable strength of the mighty monarch of
these forests; almost every tree had half its branches broken short by
them and at every hundred yards I came upon entire trees, and these,
_the largest in the forest_, uprooted clean out of the ground, and
_broken short across their stems_."--_A Hunter's Life in South Africa_.
By R. GORDON CUMMING, vol. ii. p. 305.--

"Spreading out from one another, they smash and destroy all the finest
trees in the forest which happen to be in their course.... I have rode
through forests where the trees thus broken lay so thick across one
another, that it was almost impossible to ride through the
district."--_Ibid_., p. 310.

Mr. Gordon Cumming does not name the trees which he saw thus "uprooted"
and "broken across," nor has he given any idea of their size and weight;
but Major DENHAM, who observed like traces of the elephant in Africa,
saw only small trees overthrown by them; and Mr. PRINGLE, who had an
opportunity of observing similar practices of the animals in the neutral
territory of the Eastern frontier of the Cape of Good Hope, describes
their ravages as being confined to the mimosas, "immense numbers of
which had been torn out of the ground, and placed in an inverted
position, in order to enable the animals to browse at their ease on the
soft and juicy roots, which form a favourite part of their food. Many of
the _larger mimosas had resisted all their efforts; and indeed, it is
only after heavy rain, when the soil is soft and loose, that they ever
successfully attempt this operation._"--Pringle's _Sketches of South

Of course much must depend on the nature of the timber and the moisture
of the soil; thus a strong tree on the verge of a swamp may be
overthrown with greater ease than a small and low one in parched and
solid ground. I have seen no "tree" deserving the name, nothing but
jungle and brushwood, thrown down by the mere movement of an elephant
without some special exertion of force. But he is by no means fond of
gratuitously tasking his strength; and food being so abundant that he
obtains it without an effort, it is not altogether apparent, even were
he able to do so, why he should assail "the largest trees in the
forest," and encumber his own haunts with their broken stems; especially
as there is scarcely anything which an elephant dislikes more than
venturing amongst fallen timber.

A tree of twelve inches in diameter resisted successfully the most
strenuous struggles of the largest elephant I ever saw led to it; and
when directed by their keepers to clear away jungle, the removal of even
a small tree, or a healthy young coco-nut palm, is a matter both of time
and exertion. Hence the services of an elephant are of much less value
in clearing a forest than in dragging and piling felled timber. But in
the latter occupation he manifests an intelligence and dexterity which
is surprising to a stranger, because the sameness of the operation
enables the animal to go on for hours disposing of log after log, almost
without a hint or direction from his attendant. For example, two
elephants employed in piling ebony and satinwood in the yards attached
to the commissariat stores at Colombo, were so accustomed to their work,
that they were able to accomplish it with equal precision and with
greater rapidity than if it had been done by dock-labourers. When the
pile attained a certain height, and they were no longer able by their
conjoint efforts to raise one of the heavy logs of ebony to the summit,
they had been taught to lean two pieces against the heap, up the
inclined plane of which they gently rolled the remaining logs, and
placed them trimly on the top.

It has been asserted that in their occupations "elephants are to a
surprising extent the creatures of habit,"[1] that their movements are
altogether mechanical, and that "they are annoyed by any deviation from
their accustomed practice, and resent any constrained departure from the
regularity of their course." So far as my own observation goes, this is
incorrect; and I am assured by officers of experience, that in regard to
changing his treatment, his hours, or his occupation, an elephant
evinces no more consideration than a horse, but exhibits the same
pliancy and facility.

[Footnote 1: _Menageries_, &c., "The Elephant," vol. ii. p. 23.]

At one point, however, the utility of the elephant stops short. Such is
the intelligence and earnestness he displays in work, which he seems to
conduct almost without supervision, that it has been assumed[1] that he
would continue his labour, and accomplish his given task, as well in the
absence of his keeper as during his presence. But here his innate love
of ease displays itself, and if the eye of his attendant be withdrawn,
the moment he has finished the thing immediately in hand, he will stroll
away lazily, to browse or enjoy the luxury of fanning himself and
blowing dust over his back.

[Footnote 1: _Ibid._, ch. vi. p. 138.]

The means of punishing so powerful an animal is a question of difficulty
to his attendants. Force being almost inapplicable, they try to work on
his passions and feelings, by such expedients as altering the nature of
his food or withholding it altogether for a time. Ou such occasions the
demeanour of the creature will sometimes evince a sense of humiliation
as well as of discontent. In some parts of India it is customary, in
dealing with offenders, to stop their allowance of sugar canes or of
jaggery; or to restrain them from eating their own share of fodder and
leaves till their companions shall have finished; and in such cases the
consciousness of degradation betrayed by the looks and attitudes of the
culprit is quite sufficient to identify him, and to excite a feeling of
sympathy and pity.

The elephant's obedience to his keeper is the result of affection, as
well as of fear; and although his attachment becomes so strong that an
elephant in Ceylon has been known to remain out all night, without food,
rather than abandon his mahout, lying intoxicated in the jungle, yet he
manifests little difficulty in yielding the same submission to a new
driver in the event of a change of attendants. This is opposed to the
popular belief that "the elephant cherishes such an enduring remembrance
of his old mahout, that he cannot easily be brought to obey a
stranger."[1] In the extensive establishments of the Ceylon Government,
the keepers are changed without hesitation, and the animals, when
equally kindly treated, are usually found to be as tractable and
obedient to their new driver as to the old, in fact so soon as they have
become familiarised with his voice. This is not, however, invariably the
case; and Mr. CRIPPS, who had remarkable opportunities for observing the
habits of the elephant in Ceylon, mentioned to me an instance in which
one of a singularly stubborn disposition occasioned some inconvenience
after the death of its keeper, by refusing to obey any other, till its
attendants bethought them of a child about twelve years old, in a
distant village, where the animal had been formerly picketed, and to
whom it had displayed much attachment. The child was sent for: and on
its arrival the elephant, as anticipated, manifested extreme
satisfaction, and was managed with ease, till by degrees it became
reconciled to the presence of a new superintendent.

[Footnote 1: _Menageries, &c._, "The Elephant," vol. i. p. 19.]

It has been said that the mahouts die young, owing to some supposed
injury to the spinal column from the peculiar motion of the elephant;
but this remark does not apply to those in Ceylon, who are healthy, and
as long lived as other men. If the motion of the elephant be thus
injurious, that of the camel must be still more so; yet we never hear of
early death ascribed to this cause by the Arabs.

The voice of the keeper, with a very limited vocabulary of articulate
sounds, serves almost alone to guide the elephant in his domestic
occupations.[1] Sir EVERARD HOME, from an examination of the muscular
fibres in the drum of an elephant's ear, came to the conclusion, that
notwithstanding the distinctness and power of his perception of sounds
at a greater distance than other animals, he was insensible to their
harmonious modulation and destitute of a musical ear.[2] But Professor
HARRISON, in a paper read before the Royal Irish Academy in 1847, has
stated that on a careful examination of the head of an elephant which he
had dissected, he could "see no evidence of the muscular structure of
the _membrana tympani_ so accurately described by Sir E. HOME." Sir
EVERARD'S deduction, I may observe, is clearly inconsistent with the
fact that the power of two elephants may be combined by singing to them
a measured chant, somewhat resembling a sailor's capstan song; and in
labour of a particular kind, such as hauling a stone with ropes, they
will thus move conjointly a weight to which their divided strength would
be unequal.[3]

[Footnote 1: The principal sound by which the mahouts in Ceylon direct
the motions of the elephants is a repetition, with various modulations,
of the words _ur-re! ur-re!_ This is one of those interjections in which
the sound is so expressive of the sense that persons in charge of
animals of almost every description throughout the world appear to have
adopted it with a concurrence that is very curious. The drivers of
camels in Turkey, Palestine, and Egypt encourage them to speed by
shouting _ar-ré! ar-ré!_ The Arabs in Algeria cry _eirich!_ to their
mules. The Moors seem to have carried the custom with them into Spain,
where mules are still driven with cries of _arré_ (whence the muleteers
derive their Spanish appellation of "arrieros"). In France the Sportsman
excites the hound by shouts of _hare! hare!_ and the waggoner there
turns his horses by his voice, and the use of the word _hurhaut!_ In the
North, "_Hurs_ was a word used by the old Germans in urging their horses
to speed;" and to the present day, the herdsmen in Ireland, and parts of
Scotland, drive their pigs with shouts of _hurrish!_ a sound closely
resembling that used by the mahouts in Ceylon.]

[Footnote 2: _On the Difference between the Human Membrana Tympani and
that of the Elephant_. By Sir EVERARD HOME, Bart., Philos. Trans., 1823.
Paper by Prof. HARRISON. Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. iii. p. 386.]

[Footnote 3: I have already noticed the striking effect produced on the
captive elephants in the corral, by the harmonious notes of an ivory
flute; and on looking to the graphic description which is given by ÆLIAN
of the exploits which he witnessed as performed by the elephants
exhibited at Rome, it is remarkable how very large a share of their
training appears to have been ascribed to the employment of music.

PHILE, in the account which he has given of the elephant's fondness for
music, would almost seem to have versified the prose narrative of ÆLIAN,
as he describes its excitement at the more animated portions, its step
being regulated to the time and movements of the harmony: the whole
"_surprising in a creature whose limbs are without joints!_

  "Kainon ti poiôn ex anarthrôn organôn."]
          PHILE, _Expos. de Eleph_, 1. 216.

For an account of the training and performances of the elephants at
Rome, as narrated by ÆLIAN see the appendix to this chapter.]

Nothing can more strongly exhibit the impulse to obedience in the
elephant, than the patience with which, at the order of his keeper, he
swallows the nauseous medicines of the native elephant-doctors; and it
is impossible to witness the fortitude with which (without shrinking) he
submits to excruciating surgical operations for the removal of tumours
and ulcers to which he is subject, without conceiving a vivid impression
of his gentleness and intelligence. Dr. DAVY when in Ceylon was
consulted about an elephant in the government Stud, which was suffering
from a deep, burrowing sore in the back, just over the back-bone, which
had long resisted the treatment ordinarily employed. He recommended the
use of the knife, that issue might be given to the accumulated matter,
but no one of the attendants was competent to undertake the operation.
"Being assured," he continues, "that the creature would behave well, I
undertook it myself. The elephant was not bound, but was made to kneel
down at his keeper's command--and with an amputating knife, using all my
force, I made the incision required through the tough integuments. The
elephant did not flinch, but rather inclined towards me when using the
knife; and merely uttered a low, and as it were suppressed, groan. In
short, he behaved as like a human being as possible, as if conscious (as
I believe he was), that the operation was for his good, and the pain

[Footnote 1: The _Angler in the Lake District_, p. 23.]

Obedience to the orders of his keepers is not, however, to be assumed as
the result of a uniform perception of the object to be attained by
compliance; and we cannot but remember the touching incident which took
place during the slaughter of the elephant at Exeter Change in 1846,
when, after receiving ineffectually upwards of 120 balls in various
parts of his body, he turned his face to his assailants on hearing the
voice of his keeper, and knelt down at the accustomed word of command,
so as to bring his forehead within view of the rifles.[1]

[Footnote 1: A shocking account of the death of this poor animal is
given in HONE'S _Every-Day Book_, March, 1830, p. 337.]

The working elephant is always a delicate animal, and requires
watchfulness and care. As a beast of burden he is unsatisfactory; for
although in point of mere strength there is scarcely any weight which
could be conveniently placed on him that he could not carry, it is
difficult to pack his load without causing abrasions that afterwards
ulcerate. His skin is easily chafed by harness, especially in wet
weather. During either long droughts or too much moisture, his feet
become liable to sores, that render him non-effective for months. Many
attempts have been made to provide him with some protection for the sole
of the foot, but from his extreme weight and peculiar mode of planting
the foot, they have all been unsuccessful. His eyes are also liable to
frequent inflammations, and the skill of the native elephant-doctors,
which has been renowned since the time of Ælian, is nowhere more
strikingly displayed than in the successful treatment of such
attacks.[1] In Ceylon, the murrain among cattle is of frequent
occurrence, and carries off great numbers of animals, wild as well as
tame. In such visitations the elephants suffer severely, not only those
at liberty in the forest, but those carefully tended in the government
stables. Out of a stud of about 40 attached to the department of the
Commission of Roads, the deaths between 1841 and 1849 were on an average
_four_ in each year, and this was nearly doubled in those years when
murrain prevailed.

[Footnote 1: ÆLIAN, lib. xiii. c. 7.]

Of 240 elephants, employed in the public departments of the Ceylon
Government, which died in twenty-five years, from 1831 to 1856, the
length of time that each lived in captivity has only been recorded in
the instances of 138. Of these there died:--

  Duration of Captivity.        No.     Male.   Female

  Under 1 year                  72        29      43
  From 1 to   2 years           14         5       9
    "  2  "   3   "              8         5       3
    "  3  "   4   "              8         3       5
    "  4  "   5   "              3         2       1
    "  5  "   6   "              2         2       .
    "  6  "   7   "              3         1       2
    "  7  "   8   "              5         2       3
    "  8  "   9   "              5         5       .
    "  9  "  10   "              2         2       .
    " 10  "  11   "              2         2       .
    " 11  "  12   "              3         1       2
    " 12  "  13   "              3         .       3
    " 13  "  14   "              .         .       .
    " 14  "  15   "              3         1       2
    " 15  "  16   "              1         1       .
    " 16  "  17   "              1         .       1
    " 17  "  18   "              .         .       .
    " 18  "  19   "              2         1       1
    " 19  "  20   "              1         .       1

        Total                  138        62      76

Of the 72 who died in one year's servitude, 35 expired within the first
six months of their captivity. During training, many elephants die in
the unaccountable manner already referred to, of what the natives
designate _a broken heart_.

On being first subjected to work, the elephant is liable to severe and
often fatal swellings of the jaws and abdomen.[1]

[Footnote 1: The elephant which was dissected by DR. HARRISON of Dublin,
in 1847, died of a febrile attack, after four or five days' illness,
which, as Dr. H. tells me in a private letter, was "very like
scarlatina, at that time a prevailing disease; its skin in some places
became almost scarlet."]

  From these causes there died, between 1841 and 1849    9
  Of cattle murrain                                     10
  Sore feet                                              1
  Colds and inflammation                                 6
  Diarrhoea                                              1
  Worms                                                  1
  Of diseased liver                                      1
  Injuries from a fall                                   1
  General debility                                       1
  Unknown causes                                         3

Of the entire, twenty-three were females and eleven males.

The ages of those that died could not be accurately stated, owing to the
circumstance of their having been captured in corral. Two only were
tuskers. Towards keeping the stud in health, nothing has been found so
conducive as regularly bathing the elephants, and giving them the
opportunity to stand with their feet in water, or in moistened earth.

Elephants are said to be afflicted with tooth-ache; their tushes have
likewise been found with symptoms of internal perforation by some
parasite, and the natives assert that, in their agony, the animals have
been known to break them off short.[1] I have never heard of the teeth
themselves being so affected, and it is just possible that the operation
of shedding the subsequent decay of the milk-tushes, may have in some
instances been accompanied by incidents that gave rise to this story.

[Footnote 1: See a paper entitled "_Recollections of Ceylon_," in
_Fraser's Magazine_ for December, 1860.]

At the same time the probabilities are in favour of its being true.
CUVIER committed himself to the statement that the tusks of the elephant
have no attachments to connect them with the pulp lodged in the cavity
at their base, from which the peculiar modification of dentine, known as
"ivory," is secreted[1]; and hence, by inference, that they would be
devoid of sensation.

[Footnote 1: _Annales du Muséum_ F. viii. 1805. p. 94, and _Ossemens
Fossiles_, quoted by OWEN, in the article on "Teeth," in TODD'S _Cyclop.
of Anatomy, &c_., vol. iv. p. 929.]

But independently of the fact that ivory in permeated by tubes so fine
that at their origin from the pulpy cavity they do not exceed 1/15000th
part of an inch in diameter, OWEN had the tusk and pulp of the great
elephant which died at the Zoological Gardens in London in 1847
longitudinally divided, and found that, "although the pulp could be
easily detached from the inner surface of the cavity, it was not without
a certain resistance; and when the edges of the co-adapted pulp and tusk
were examined by a strong lens, the filamentary processes from the outer
surface of the former could be seen stretching, as they were drawn from
the dentinal tubes, before they broke. These filaments are so minute, he
adds, that to the naked eye the detached surface of the pulp seems to be
entire; and hence CUVIER was deceived into supposing that there was no
organic connexion between the pulp and the ivory. But if, as there seems
no reason to doubt, these delicate nervous processes traverse the tusk
by means of the numerous tubes already described, if attacked by caries
the pain occasioned to the elephant would be excruciating.

As to maintaining a stud of elephants for the purposes to which they are
now assigned in Ceylon, there may be a question on the score of prudence
and economy. In the rude and unopened parts of the country, where rivers
are to be forded, and forests are only traversed by jungle paths, their
labour is of value, in certain contingencies, in the conveyance of
stores, and in the earlier operations for the construction of fords and
rough bridges of timber. But in more highly civilised districts, and
wherever macadamised roads admit of the employment of horses and oxen
for draught, I apprehend that the services of elephants might, with
advantage, be gradually reduced, if not altogether dispensed with.

The love of the elephant for coolness and shade renders him at all times
more or less impatient of work in the sun, and every moment of leisure
he can snatch is employed in covering his back with dust, or fanning
himself to diminish the annoyance of the insects and heat. From the
tenderness of his skin and its liability to sores, the labour in which
he can most advantageously be employed is that of draught; but the
reluctance of horses to meet or pass elephants renders it difficult to
work the latter with safety on frequented roads. Besides, were the full
load which an elephant is capable of drawing, in proportion to his
muscular strength, to be placed upon waggons of corresponding dimension,
the to the roads would be such that the wear and tear of the highways
and bridges would prove too costly to be borne. On the other hand, by
restricting it to a somewhat more manageable quantity, and by limiting
the weight, as at present, to about _one ton and a half_, it is doubtful
whether an elephant performs so much more work than could be done by a
horse or by bullocks, as to compensate for the greater cost of his
feeding and attendance.

Add to this, that from accidents and other causes, from ulcerations of
the skin, and illnesses of many kinds, the elephant is so often
invalided, that the actual cost of his labour, when at work, is very
considerably enhanced. Exclusive of the salaries of higher officers
attached to the government establishments, and other permanent charges,
the expenses of an elephant, looking only to the wages of his attendants
and the cost of his food and medicines, varies from _three shillings to
four shillings and sixpence_, per diem, according to his size and
class.[1] Taking the average at three shillings and nine-pence, and
calculating that hardly any individual works more than four days out of
seven, the charge for each day so employed would amount to _six
shillings and sixpence_. The keep per day of a powerful dray-horse,
working five days in the week, would not exceed half-a-crown, and two
such would unquestionably do more work than any elephant under the
present system. I do not know whether it be from a comparative
calculation of this kind that the strength of the elephant
establishments in Ceylon has been gradually diminished of late years,
but in the department of the Commissioner of Roads, the stud, which
formerly numbered upwards of sixty elephants, was reduced, some years
ago, to thirty-six, and is at present less than half that number.

[Footnote 1: An ordinary-sized elephant engrosses the undivided
attention of _three_ men. One, as his mahout or superintendent, and two
as leaf-cutters, who bring him branches and grass for his daily
supplies. An animal of larger growth would probably require a third
leaf-cutter. The daily consumption is two cwt. of green food with about
half a bushel of grain. When in the vicinity of towns and villages, the
attendants have no difficulty in procuring an abundant supply of the
branches of the trees to which elephants are partial; and in journeys
through the forests and unopened country, the leaf-cutters are
sufficiently expert in the knowledge of those particular plants with
which the elephant is satisfied. Those that would be likely to disagree
with him he unerringly rejects. His favourites are the palms, especially
the cluster of rich, unopened leaves, known as the "cabbage," of the
coco-nut, and areca; and he delights to tear open the young trunks of
the palmyra and jaggery (_Caryota urens_) in search of the farinaceous
matter contained in the spongy pith. Next to these come the varieties of
fig-trees. particularly the sacred _Bo_ (_F. religiosa_) which is found
near every temple, and the _na gaha_ (_Messua ferrea_), with thick dark
leaves and a scarlet flower. The leaves of the Jak-tree and bread-fruit
(_Artocarpus integrifolia_, and _A. incisa_), the Wood apple (_Ægle
Marmelos_), Palu (_Mimusops Indica_), and a number of others well known
to their attendants, are all consumed in turn. The stems of the
plaintain, the stalks of the sugar-cane, and the feathery tops of the
bamboos, are irresistible luxuries. Pine-apples, water-melons, and
fruits of every description, are voraciously devoured, and a coco-nut
when found is first rolled under foot to detach it from the husk and
fibre, and then raised in his trunk and crushed, almost without an
effort, by his ponderous jaws.

The grasses are not found in sufficient quantity to be an item of daily
fodder; the Mauritius or the Guinea grass is seized with avidity; lemon
grass is rejected from its overpowering perfume, but rice in the straw,
and every description of grain, whether growing or dry; gram (_Cicer
arietinum_), Indian Corn, and millet are his natural food. Of such of
these as can be found, it is the duty of the leaf-cutters, when in the
jungle and on march, to provide a daily supply.]

The fallacy of the supposed reluctance of the elephant to breed in
captivity has been demonstrated by many recent authorities; but with the
exception of the birth of young elephants at Rome, as mentioned by
ÆLIAN, the only instances that I am aware of their actually producing
young under such circumstances, took place in Ceylon. Both parents had
been for several years attached to the stud of the Commissioner of
Roads, and in 1844 the female, whilst engaged in dragging a waggon, gave
birth to a still-born calf. Some years before, an elephant that had been
captured by Mr. Cripps, dropped a female calf, which he succeeded in
rearing. As usual, the little one became the pet of the keepers; but as
it increased in growth, it exhibited the utmost violence when thwarted;
striking out with its hind-feet, throwing itself headlong on the ground,
and pressing its trunk against any opposing object.

The duration of life in the elephant has been from the remotest times a
matter of uncertainty and speculation. Aristotle says it was reputed to
live from two to three hundred years[1], and modern zoologists have
assigned to it an age very little less; CUVIER[2] allots two hundred and
DE BLAINVILLE one hundred and twenty. The only attempt which I know of
to establish a period historically or physiologically is that of
FLEURENS, who has advanced an ingenious theory on the subject in his
treatise "_De la Longévité Humaine_." He assumes the sum total of life
in all animals to be equivalent to five times the number of years
requisite to perfect their growth and development;--and he adopts as
evidence of the period at which growth ceases, the final consolidation
of the bones with their _epiphyses_; which in the young consist of
cartilages; but in the adult become uniformly osseous and solid. So long
as the epiphyses are distinct from the bones, the growth of the animal
is proceeding, but it ceases so soon as the consolidation is complete.
In man, according to FLEURENS, this consummation takes place at 20 years
of age, in the horse at 5, in the dog at 2; so that conformably to this
theory the respective normal age for each would be 100 years for man, 25
for the horse, and 10 for a dog. As a datum for his conclusion, FLEURENS
cites the instance of one young elephant in which, at 26 years old, the
epiphyses were still distinct, whereas in another, which died at 31,
they were firm and adherent. Hence he draws the inference that the
period of completed solidification is thirty years, and consequently
that the normal age of the elephant is _one hundred and fifty_.[3]

[Footnote 1: ARISTOTELES _de Anim. l. viii._ c. 9.]

[Footnote 2: _Menag. de Mus. Nat._ p. 107.]

[Footnote 3: FLEURENS, _De la Longévité Humaine_, pp. 82, 89.]

Amongst the Singhalese the ancient fable of the elephant attaining to
the age of two or three hundred years still prevails; but the Europeans,
and those in immediate charge of tame ones, entertain the opinion that
the duration of life for about _seventy_ years is common both to man and
the elephant; and that before the arrival of the latter period, symptoms
of debility and decay ordinarily begin to manifest themselves. Still
instances are not wanting in Ceylon of trained decoys that have lived
for more than double the reputed period in actual servitude. One
employed by Mr. Cripps in the Seven Korles was represented by the
Cooroowe people to have served the king of Kandy in the same capacity
sixty years before; and amongst the papers left by Colonel Robertson
(son to the historian of "Charles V."), who held a command in Ceylon in
1799, shortly after the capture of the island by the British, I have
found a memorandum showing that a decoy was then attached to the
elephant establishment at Matura, which the records proved to have
served under the Dutch during the entire period of their occupation
(extending to upwards of one hundred and forty years); and it was said
to have been found in the stables by the Dutch on the expulsion of the
Portugese in 1656.

It is perhaps from this popular belief in their almost illimitable age,
that the natives generally assert that the body of a dead elephant is
seldom or never to be discovered in the woods. And certain it is that
frequenters of the forest with whom I have conversed, whether European
or Singhalese, are consistent in their assurances that they have never
found the remains of an elephant that had died a natural death. One
chief, the Wannyah of the Trincomalie district, told a friend of mine,
that once after a severe murrain, which had swept the province, he found
the carcases of elephants that had died of the disease. On the other
hand, a European gentleman, who for thirty-six years without
intermission has been living in the jungle, ascending to the summits of
mountains in the prosecution of the trigonometrical survey, and
penetrating valleys in tracing roads and opening means of
communication,--one, too, who has made the habits of the wild elephant a
subject of constant observation and study,--has often expressed to me
his astonishment that after seeing many thousands of living elephants in
all possible situations, he had never yet found a single skeleton of a
dead one, except of those which had fallen by the rifle.[1]

[Footnote 1: This remark regarding the elephant of Ceylon does not
appear to extend to that of Africa, as I observe that BEAVER, in his
_African Memoranda,_ says that "the skeletons of old ones that have died
in the woods are frequently found."--_African Memoranda relative to an
attempt to establish British Settlements at the Island of Bulama_. Lond.
1815, p. 353.]

It has been suggested that the bones of the elephant, may be so porous
and spongy as to disappear in consequence of an early decomposition; but
this remark would not apply to the grinders or to the tusks; besides
which, the inference is at variance with the fact, that not only the
horns and teeth, but entire skeletons of deer, are frequently found in
the districts inhabited by the elephant.

The natives, to account for this popular belief, declare that the
survivors of the herd bury such of their companions as die a natural
death.[1] It is curious that this belief was current also amongst the
Greeks of the Lower Empire; and PHILE, writing early in the fourteenth
century, not only describes the younger elephants as tending the
wounded, but as burying the dead:

[Greek: "Otan d' epistê tês teleutês o chronos Koinou telous amunan o
xenos pherei]."[2]

[Footnote 1: A corral was organised near Putlam in 1846, by Mr. Morris,
the chief officer of the district. It was constructed across one of the
paths which the elephants frequent in their frequent marches, and during
the course of the proceedings two of the captured elephants died. Their
carcases were left of course within the enclosure, which was abandoned
as soon as the capture was complete. The wild elephants resumed their
path through it, and a few days afterwards the headman reported to Mr.
Morris that the bodies had been removed and carried outside the corral
to a spot to which nothing but the elephants could have borne them.]

[Footnote 2: PHILE, _Expositio de Eleph._ l. 243.]

The Singhalese have a further superstition in relation to the close of
life in the elephant: they believe that, on feeling the approach of
dissolution, he repairs to a solitary valley, and there resigns himself
to death. A native who accompanied Mr. Cripps, when hunting, in the
forests of Anarajapoora, intimated to him that he was then in the
immediate vicinity of the spot "_to which the elephants come to die_,"
but that it was so mysteriously concealed, that although every one
believed in its existence, no one had ever succeeded in penetrating to
it. At the corral which I have described at Kornegalle, in 1847,
Dehigame, one of the Kandyan chiefs, assured me it was the universal
belief of his countrymen, that the elephants, when about to die,
resorted to a valley in Saffragam, among the mountains to the east of
Adam's Peak, which was reached by a narrow pass with walls of rock on
either side, and that there, by the side of a lake of clear water, they
took their last repose.[1] It was not without interest that I afterwards
recognised this tradition in the story of _Sinbad of the Sea_, who in
his Seventh Voyage, after conveying the presents of Haroun al Raschid to
the king of Serendib, is wrecked on his return from Ceylon, and sold as
a slave to a master who employs him in shooting elephants for the sake
of their ivory; till one day the tree on which he was stationed having
been uprooted by one of the herd, he fell senseless to the ground, and
the great elephant approaching wound his trunk around him and carried
him away, ceasing not to proceed, until he had taken him to a place
where, his terror having subsided, _he found himself amongst the bones
of elephants, and knew that this was their burial place_.[2] It is
curious to find this legend of Ceylon in what has, not inaptly, been
described as the "Arabian Odyssey" of Sinbad; the original of which
evidently embodies the romantic recitals of the sailors returning from
the navigation of the Indian Seas, in the middle ages[3], which were
current amongst the Mussulmans, and are reproduced in various forms
throughout the tales of the _Arabian Nights_.

[Footnote 1: The selection by animals of a _place to die_, is not
confined to the elephant, DARWIN says, that in South America "the
guanacos (llamas) appear to have favourite spots for lying down to die;
on the banks of the Santa Cruz river, in certain circumscribed spaces
which were generally bushy and all near the water, the ground was
actually white with their bones; on one such spot I counted between ten
and twenty heads."--_Nat. Voy._ ch. viii. The same has been remarked in
the Rio Gallegos; and at St. Jago in the Cape de Verde Islands, DARWIN
saw a retired corner similarly covered with the bones of the goat, as if
it were "the burial-ground of all the goats in the island."]

[Footnote 2: _Arabian Nights' Entertainment_, LANE'S edition, vol. iii.
p. 77.]

[Footnote 3: See a disquisition on the origin of the story of Sinbad, by
M. REINAUD, in the introduction prefixed to his translation of the
_Arabian Geography of Aboulfeda_, vol. i. p. lxxvi.]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

As Ælian's work on the _Nature of Animals_ has never, I believe, been
republished in any English version, and the passage in relation to the
training and performance of elephants is so pertinent to the present
inquiry, I venture to subjoin a translation of the 11th Chapter of his
2nd Book.

"Of the cleverness of the elephant I have spoken elsewhere, and likewise
of the manner of hunting. I have mentioned these things, a few out of
the many which others have stated; but for the present I purpose to
speak of their musical feeling, their tractability, and facility in
learning what it is difficult for even a human being to acquire, much
less a beast, hitherto so wild:--such as to dance, as is done on the
stage; to walk with a measured gait; to listen to the melody of the
flute and to perceive the difference of sounds, that, being pitched low
lead to a slow movement, or high to a quick one: all this the elephant
learns and understands, and is accurate withal, and makes no mistake.
Thus has Nature formed him not only the greatest in size, but the most
gentle and the most easily taught. Now if I were going to write about
the tractability and aptitude to learn amongst those of India, Æthiopia,
and Libya, I should probably appear to be concocting a tale and acting
the braggart, or to be telling a falsehood respecting the nature of the
animal founded on a mere report, all which it behoves a philosopher, and
most of all one who is an ardent lover of truth, not to do. But what I
have seen myself, and what others have described as having occurred at
Rome, this I have chosen to relate, selecting a few facts out of many,
to show the particular nature of those creatures. The elephant when
tamed is an animal most gentle and most easily led to do whatever he is
directed. And by way of showing honour to time, I will first narrate
events of the oldest date. Cæsar Germanicus, the nephew of Tiberius,
exhibited once a public show, wherein there were many full-grown
elephants, male and female, and some of their breed born in this
country. When their limbs were beginning to become firm, a person
familiar with such animals instructed them by a strange and surpassing
method of teaching; using only gentleness and kindness, and adding to
his mild lessons the bait of pleasant and varied food. By this means he
led them by degrees to throw off all wildness, and, as it were, to
desert to a state of civilisation, conducting themselves in a manner
almost human. He taught them neither to be excited on hearing the pipe,
nor to be disturbed by the beat of drum, but to be soothed by the sounds
of the reed, and to endure unmusical noises and the clatter of feet from
persons while marching; and they were trained to feel no fear of a mass
of men, nor to be enraged at the infliction of blows, not even when
compelled to twist their limbs and to bend them like a stage-dancer, and
this too although endowed with strength and might. And there is in this
a very noble addition to nature, not to conduct themselves in a
disorderly manner and disobediently towards the instructions of man; for
after the dancing-master had made them expert, and they had learnt their
lessons accurately, they did not belie the labour of his instruction
whenever a necessity and opportunity called upon them to exhibit what
they had been taught. For the whole troop came forward from this and
that side of the theatre, and divided themselves into parties: they
advanced walking with a mincing gait and exhibiting in their whole body
and persons the manners of a beau, clothed in the flowery dresses of
dancers; and on the ballet-master giving a signal with his voice, they
fell into line and went round in a circle, and if it were requisite to
deploy they did so. They ornamented the floor of the stage by throwing
flowers upon it, and this they did in moderation and sparingly, and
straightway they beat a measure with their feet and kept time together.

"Now that Damon and Spintharus and Aristoxenus and Xenophilus and
Philoxenus and others should know music excellently well, and for their
cleverness be ranked amongst the few, is indeed a thing of wonder, but
not incredible nor contrary at all to reason. For this reason that a man
is a rational animal, and the recipient of mind and intelligence. But
that a jointless animal ([Greek: anarthron]) should understand rhythm
and melody, and preserve a gesture, and not deviate from a measured
movement, and fulfil the requirements of those who laid down
instructions, these are gifts of nature, I think, and a peculiarity in
every way astounding. Added to these there were things enough to drive
the spectator out of his senses; when the strewn rushes and other
materials for beds on the ground were placed on the sand of the theatre,
and they received stuffed mattrasses such as belonged to rich houses and
variegated bed coverings, and goblets were placed there, very expensive,
and bowls of gold and silver, and in them a great quantity of water; and
tables were placed there of sweet-smelling wood and ivory very superb:
and upon them flesh meats and loaves enough to fill the stomachs of
animals the most voracious. When the preparations were completed and
abundant, the banqueters came forward, six male and an equal number of
female elephants; the former had on a male dress, and the latter a
female; and on a signal being given they stretched forward their trunks
in a subdued manner, and took their food in great moderation, and not
one of them appeared to be gluttonous greedy, or to snatch at a greater
portion, as did the Persian mentioned by Xenophon. And when it was
requisite to drink, a bowl was placed by the side of each; and inhaling
with their trunks they took a draught very orderly; and then they
scattered the drink about in fun; but not as in insult. Many other acts
of a similar kind, both clever and astonishing, have persons described,
relating to the peculiarities of these animals, and I saw them writing
letters on Roman tablets with their trunks, neither looking awry nor
turning aside. The hand, however, of the teacher was placed so as to be
a guide in the formation of the letters; and while it was writing the
animal kept its eye fixed down in an accomplished and scholarlike



Of the _Birds_ of the island, upwards of three hundred and twenty
species have been indicated, for which we are indebted to the
persevering labours of Dr. Templeton, Dr. Kelaart, and Mr. Layard; but
many yet remain to be identified. In fact, to the eye of a stranger,
their prodigious numbers, and especially the myriads of waterfowl which,
notwithstanding the presence of the crocodiles, people the lakes and
marshes in the eastern provinces, form one of the marvels of Ceylon.

In the glory of their plumage, the birds of the interior are surpassed
by those of South America and Northern India; and the melody of their
song bears no comparison with that of the warblers of Europe, but the
want of brilliancy is compensated by their singular grace of form, and
the absence of prolonged and modulated harmony by the rich and melodious
tones of their clear and musical calls. In the elevations of the Kandyan
country there are a few, such as the robin of Neuera-ellia[1] and the
long-tailed thrush[2], whose song rivals that of their European
namesakes; but, far beyond the attraction of their notes, the traveller
rejoices in the flute-like voices of the Oriole, the Dayal-bird[3], and
some others equally charming; when at the first dawn of day, they wake
the forest with their clear _réveil_.

[Footnote 1: Pratincola atrata, _Kelaart_.]

[Footnote 2: Kittacincla macrura, _Gm_.]

[Footnote 3: Copsychussaularis, _Linn._. Called by the Europeans in
Ceylon the "Magpie Robin." This is not to be confounded with the other
popular favourite the "Indian Robin" (Thamnobia fulicata, _Linn._),
which is "never seen in the unfrequented jungle, but, like the coco-nut
palm, which the Singhalese assert will only flourish within the sound of
the human voice, it is always found near the habitations of men."--E.L.

It is only on emerging from the dense woods and coming into the vicinity
of the lakes and pasture of the low country, that birds become visible
in great quantities. In the close jungle one occasionally hears the call
of the copper-smith[1], or the strokes of the great orange-coloured
woodpecker[2] as it beats the decaying trees in search of insects,
whilst clinging to the bark with its finely-pointed claws, and leaning
for support upon the short stiff feathers of its tail. And on the lofty
branches of the higher trees, the hornbill[3] (the toucan of the East),
with its enormous double casque, sits to watch the motions of the tiny
reptiles and smaller birds on which it preys, tossing them into the air
when seized, and catching them in its gigantic mandibles as they
fall.[4] The remarkable excrescence on the beak of this extraordinary
bird may serve to explain the statement of the Minorite friar Odoric, of
Portenau in Friuli, who travelled in Ceylon in the fourteenth century,
and brought suspicion on the veracity of his narrative by asserting that
he had there seen "_birds with two heads_."[5]

[Footnote 1: The greater red-headed Barbet (Megalaima indica, _Lath_.;
M. Philippensis, _var. A. Lath_.), the incessant din of which resembles
the blows of a smith hammering a cauldron.]

[Footnote 2: Brachypternus aurantius, _Linn._]

[Footnote 3: Buceros pica, _Scop_.; B. Malaharicus, _Jerd_. The natives
assert that B. pica builds in holes in the trees, and that when
incubation has fairly commenced, the female takes her seat on the eggs,
and the male closes up the orifice by which she entered, leaving only a
small aperture through which he feeds his partner, whilst she
successfully guards their treasures from the monkey tribes; her
formidable bill nearly filling the entire entrance. See a paper by Edgar
L. Layard, Esq. _Mag. Nat. Hist._ March, 1853. Dr. Horsfield had
previously observed the same habit in a species of Buceros in Java. (See
HORSFIELD and MOORE'S _Catal. Birds_, E.I. Comp. Mus. vol. ii.) It is
curious that a similar trait, though necessarily from very different
instincts, is exhibited by the termites, who literally build a cell
round the great progenitrix of the community, and feed her through

[Footnote 4: The hornbill is also frugivorous, and the natives assert
that when endeavouring to detach a fruit, if the stem is too tough to be
severed by his mandibles, he flings himself off the branch so as to add
the weight of his body to the pressure of his beak. The hornbill abounds
in Cuttack, and bears there the name of "Kuchila-Kai," or Kuchila-eater,
from its partiality for the fruit of the Strychnus nuxvomica. The
natives regard its flesh as a sovereign specific for rheumatic
affections.--_Asiat. Res._ ch. xv. p. 184.]

[Footnote 5: _Itinerarius_ FRATRIS ODORICI, de Foro Julii de
Portu-vahonis, &c.--HAKLUYT, vol. ii. p. 39.]

[Illustration: THE HORNBILL.]

The Singhalese have a belief that the hornbill never resorts to the
water to drink; but that it subsists exclusively by what it catches in
its prodigious bill while rain is falling. This they allege is
associated with the incessant screaming which it keeps up during

As we emerge from the dark shade, and approach park-like openings on the
verge of the low country, quantities of pea-fowl are to be found either
feeding on the seeds among the long grass or sunning themselves on the
branches of the surrounding trees. Nothing to be met with in English
demesnes can give an adequate idea of the size and magnificence of this
matchless bird when seen in his native solitudes. Here he generally
selects some projecting branch, from which his plumage may hang free of
the foliage, and, if there be a dead and leafless bough, he is certain
to choose it for his resting-place, whence he droops his wings and
suspends his gorgeous train, or spreads it in the morning sun to drive
off the damps and dews of the night.

In some of the unfrequented portions of the eastern province, to which
Europeans rarely resort, and where the pea-fowl are unmolested by the
natives, their number is so extraordinary that, regarded as game, it
ceases to be "sport" to destroy them; and their cries at early dawn are
so tumultuous and incessant as to banish sleep, and amount to an actual
inconvenience. Their flesh is excellent in flavour when served up hot,
though it is said to be indigestible; but, when cold, it contracts a
reddish and disagreeable tinge.

The European fable of the jackdaw borrowing the plumage of the peacock,
has its counterpart in Ceylon, where the popular legend runs that the
pea-fowl stole the plumage of a bird called by the natives _avitchia_. I
have not been able to identify the species which bears this name; but it
utters a cry resembling the word _matkiang!_ which in Singhalese means,
"I _will_ complain!" This they believe is addressed by the bird to the
rising sun, imploring redress for its wrongs. The _avitchia_ is
described as somewhat less than a crow, the colours of its plumage being
green, mingled with red.

But of all, the most astonishing in point of multitude, as well as the
most interesting from their endless variety, are the myriads of aquatic
birds and waders which frequent the lakes and watercourses; especially
those along the coast near Batticaloa, between the mainland and the sand
formations of the shore, and the innumerable salt marshes and lagoons to
the south of Trincomalie. These, and the profusion of perching birds,
fly-catchers, finches, and thrushes, that appear in the open country,
afford sufficient quarry for the raptorial and predatory
species--eagles, hawks, and falcons--whose daring sweeps and effortless
undulations are striking objects in the cloudless sky.

I. ACCIPITRES. _Eagles_.--The Eagles, however, are small, and as
compared with other countries rare; except, perhaps, the crested
eagle[1], which haunts the mountain provinces and the lower hills,
disquieting the peasantry by its ravages amongst their poultry; and the
gloomy serpent eagle[2], which, descending from its eyrie in the lofty
jungle, and uttering a loud and plaintive cry, sweeps cautiously around
the lonely tanks and marshes, to feed upon the reptiles on their margin.
The largest eagle is the great sea Erne[3], seen on the northern coasts
and the salt lakes of the eastern provinces, particularly when the
receding tide leaves bare an expanse of beach, over which it hunts, in
company with the fishing eagle[4], sacred to Siva. Unlike its
companions, however, the sea eagle rejects garbage for living prey, and
especially for the sea snakes which abound on the northern coasts. These
it seizes by descending with its wings half closed, and, suddenly
darting down its talons, it soars aloft again with its writhing

[Footnote 1: Spizaëtuslimnaëtus, _Horsf_. The race of these birds in the
Deccan and Ceylon are rather more crested, originating the Sp.
Cristatellus, _Auct_.]

[Footnote 2: Which Gould believes to be the _Hæmatornis Bacha_, Daud.]

[Footnote 3: Pontoaëtus leucogaster, _Gmel_.]

[Footnote 4: Haliastur Indus, _Bodd._]

[Footnote 5: E.L. Layard. Europeans have given this bird the name of the
"Brahminy Kite," probably from observing the superstitious feeling of
the natives regarding it, who believe that when two armies are about to
engage, its appearance prognosticates victory to the party over whom it

_Hawks_.--The beautiful Peregrine Falcon[1] is rare, but the Kestrel[2]
is found almost universally; and the bold and daring Goshawk[3] wherever
wild crags and precipices afford safe breeding places. In the district
of Anarajapoora, where it is trained for hawking, it is usual, in lieu
of a hood, to darken its eyes by means of a silken thread passed through
holes in the eyelids. The ignoble birds of prey, the Kites[4], keep
close by the shore, and hover round the returning boats of the fishermen
to feast on the fry rejected from their nets.

[Footnote 1: Falco peregrinus, _Linn._]

[Footnote 2: Tinnunculus alaudarius, _Briss._]

[Footnote 3: Astur trivirgatus, _Temm._]

[Footnote 4: Milvus govinda, _Sykes._ Dr. Hamilton Buchanan remarks that
when gorged this bird delights to sit on the entablature of buildings,
exposing its back to the hottest rays of the sun, placing its breast
against the wall, and stretching out its wings _exactly as the Egyptian
Hawk is represented on the monuments_.]

_Owls_.--Of the nocturnal accipitres the most remarkable is the brown
owl, which, from its hideous yell, has acquired the name of the
"Devil-Bird."[1] The Singhalese regard it literally with horror, and its
scream by night in the vicinity of a village is bewailed as the
harbinger of impending calamity.[2] There is a popular legend in
connection with it, to the effect that a morose and savage husband, who
suspected the fidelity of his wife, availed himself of her absence to
kill her child, of whose paternity he was doubtful, and on her return
placed before her a curry prepared from its flesh. Of this the unhappy
woman partook, till discovering the crime by finding the finger of her
infant, she fled in frenzy to the forest, and there destroyed herself.
On her death she was metamorphosed, according to the Buddhist belief,
into an _ulama_, or Devil-bird, which still at nightfall horrifies the
villagers by repeating the frantic screams of the bereaved mother in her

[Footnote 1: Syrnium Indranee, _Sykes._ Mr. Blyth writes to me from
Calcutta that there are some doubts about this bird. There would appear
to be three or four distinguishable races, the Ceylon bird approximating
most nearly to that of the Malayan Peninsula.]

[Illustration: THE "DEVIL BIRD."]

[Footnote 2: The horror of this nocturnal scream was equally prevalent
in the West as in the East. Ovid introduces it in his _Fasti_, L. vi. l.
139; and Tibullus in his Elegies, L. i. El. 5. Statius says--

  Nocturnæque gemunt striges, et feralla bubo
  _Damna canens_.       Theb. iii. l. 511.

But Pliny, l. xi. c. 93, doubts as to what bird produced the sound;--and
the details of Ovid's description do not apply to an owl.

Mr. Mitford, of the Ceylon Civil Service, to whom I am indebted for many
valuable notes relative to the birds of the island, regards the
identification of the Singhalese Devil-Bird as open to similar doubt: he
says--"The Devil-Bird is not an owl. I never heard it until I came to
Kornegalle, where it haunts the rocky hill at the back of
Government-house. Its ordinary note is a magnificent clear shout like
that of a human being, and which can be heard at a great distance, and
has a fine effect in the silence of the closing night. It has another
cry like that of a hen just caught, but the sounds which have earned for
it its bad name, and which I have heard but once to perfection, are
indescribable, the most appalling that can be imagined, and scarcely to
be heard without shuddering; I can only compare it to a boy in torture,
whose screams are being stopped by being strangled. I have offered
rewards for a specimen, but without success. The only European who had
seen and fired at one agreed with the natives that it is of the size of
a pigeon, with a long tail. I believe it is a Podargus or Night Hawk."
In a subsequent note he further says--"I have since seen two birds by
moonlight, one of the size and shape of a cuckoo, the other a large
black bird, which I imagine to be the one which gives these calls."]

II. PASSERES. _Swallows_.--Within thirty-five miles of Caltura, on the
western coast, are inland caves, to which the Esculent Swift[1] resorts,
and there builds the "edible bird's nest," so highly prized in China.
Near the spot a few Chinese immigrants have established themselves, who
rent the nests as a royalty from the government, and make an annual
export of the produce. But the Swifts are not confined to this district,
and caves containing them have been found far in the interior, a fact
which complicates the still unexplained mystery of the composition of
their nest; and, notwithstanding the power of wing possessed by these
birds, adds something to the difficulty of believing that it consists of
glutinous material obtained from algæ.[2] In the nests brought to me
there was no trace of organisation; and the original material, whatever
it be, is so elaborated by the swallow as to present somewhat the
appearance and consistency of strings of isinglass. The quantity of
these nests exported from Ceylon is trifling.

[Footnote 1: Collocalia brevirostris, _McClell_.; C. nidifica, _Gray_.]

[Footnote 2: An epitome of what has been written on this subject will be
found in _Dr. Horsfield's Catalogue_ of the Birds in the E.I. Comp.
Museum, vol. i. p. 101, &c. Mr. Morris assures me, that he has found the
nests of the Esculent Swallow eighty miles distant from the sea.]

_Kingfishers_.--In solitary places, where no sound breaks the silence
except the gurgle of the river as it sweeps round the rocks, the lonely
Kingfisher, the emblem of vigilance and patience, sits upon an
overhanging branch, his turquoise plumage hardly less intense in its
lustre than the deep blue of the sky above him; and so intent is his
watch upon the passing fish that intrusion fails to scare him from his

_Sun Birds_.--In the gardens the tiny Sun Birds[1] (known as the Humming
Birds of Ceylon) hover all day long, attracted to the plants, over which
they hang poised on their glittering wings, and inserting their curved
beaks to extract the insects that nestle in the flowers.

[Footnote 1: Nectarina Zeylanica, _Linn._]

Perhaps the most graceful of the birds of Ceylon in form and motions,
and the most chaste in colouring, is the one which Europeans call "the
Bird of Paradise,"[1] and natives "the Cotton Thief," from the
circumstance that its tail consists of two long white feathers, which
stream behind it as it flies. Mr. Layard says:--"I have often watched
them, when seeking their insect prey, turn suddenly on their perch and
_whisk their long tails with a jerk_ over the bough, as if to protect
them from injury."

[Footnote 1: Tchitrea paradisi, _Linn._]

[Illustration: TCHITREA PARADISI.]

The tail is sometimes brown, and the natives have the idea that the bird
changes its plumage at stated periods, and that the tail-feathers become
white and brown in alternate years. The fact of the variety of plumage
is no doubt true, but this story as to the alternation of colours in the
same individual requires confirmation.[1]

[Footnote 1: The engraving of the Tchitrea given on page 244 is copied
by permission from one of the splendid drawings in. MR. GOULD'S _Birds
of India_.]

_The Bulbul_.--The _Condatchee Bulbul_[1], which, from the crest on its
head, is called by the Singhalese the "Konda Cooroola," or _Tuft bird_,
is regarded by the natives as the most "_game_" of all birds; and
training it to fight was one of the duties entrusted by the Kings of
Kandy to the Cooroowa, or Head-man, who had charge of the King's animals
and Birds. For this purpose the Bulbul is taken from the nest as soon as
the sex is distinguishable by the tufted crown; and secured by a string,
is taught to fly from hand to hand of its keeper. When pitted against an
antagonist, such is the obstinate courage of this little creature that
it will sink from exhaustion rather than release its hold. This
propensity, and the ordinary character of its notes, render it
impossible that the Bulbul of India could be identical with the Bulbul
of Iran, the "Bird of a Thousand Songs,"[2] of which, poets say that its
delicate passion for the rose gives a plaintive character to its note.

[Footnote 1: Pycnonotus hæmorrhous, _Gmel_.]

[Footnote 2: "Hazardasitaum" the Persian name for the bulbul. "The
Persians," according to Zakary ben Mohamed al Caswini, "say the bulbul
has a passion for the rose, and laments and cries when he sees it
pulled."--OUSELEY'S _Oriental Collections_, vol. i. p. 16. According to
Pallas it is the true nightingale of Europe, Sylvia luscinia, which the
Armenians call _boulboul_, and the Crim-Tartars _byl-byl-i_.]

_Tailor-Bird_.--_The Weaver-Bird_.--The tailor-bird[1] having completed
her nest, sewing together leaves by passing through them a cotton thread
twisted by herself, leaps from branch to branch to testify her happiness
by a clear and merry note; and the Indian weaver[2], a still more
ingenious artist, hangs its pendulous dwelling from a projecting bough;
twisting it with grass into a form somewhat resembling a bottle with a
prolonged neck, the entrance being inverted, so as to baffle the
approaches of its enemies, the tree snakes and other reptiles. The
natives assert that the male bird carries fire flies to the nest, and
fastens them to its sides by a particle of soft mud;--Mr. Layard assures
me that although he has never succeeded in finding the fire fly, the
nest of the male bird (for the female occupies another during
incubation) invariably contains a patch of mud on each side of the
perch. Grass is apparently the most convenient material for the purposes
of the Weaver-bird when constructing its nest, but other substances are
often substituted, and some nests which I brought from Ceylon proved to
be formed with delicate strips from the fronds of the dwarf date-palm,
_Phoenix paludosa_, which happened to grow near the breeding place.

[Footnote 1: Orthotomus longicauda, _Gmel_.]

[Footnote 2: Ploceus baya, _Blyth_.; P. Philippinus, _Auct_.]

[Illustration: "CISSA PUELLA."]

Amongst the birds of this order, one which, as far as I know, is
peculiar to the island is _Layard's Mountain-jay_ (_Cissa puella_, Blyth
and Layard), is distinguished not less by the beautiful blue colour
which enlivens its plumage, than by the elegance of its form and the
grace of its attitudes. It frequents the hill country, and is found
about the mountain streams at Neuera-ellia, and elsewhere.[1]

[Footnote 1: The engraving above is taken by permission of Mr. Gould
from one of his drawings for his _Birds of India_.]

_Crows_.--Of all the Ceylon birds of this order the most familiar and
notorious are the small glossy crows, whose shining black plumage shot
with blue has suggested the title of _Corvus splendens_.[1] They
frequent the towns in companies, and domesticate themselves in the close
vicinity of every house; and it may possibly serve to account for the
familiarity and audacity which they exhibit in their intercourse with
men, that the Dutch during their sovereignty in Ceylon, enforced severe
penalties against any one killing a crow, under the belief that they
were instrumental in extending the growth of cinnamon by feeding on the
fruit, and thus disseminating the undigested seed.[2]

[Footnote 1: There is another species, the _C. culminatus_, so called
from the convexity of its bill; but though seen in the towns, it lives
chiefly in the open country, and may be constantly observed wherever
there are buffaloes, perched on their backs and engaged, in company with
the small Minah (_Acridotheres tristis_), in freeing them from ticks.]

[Footnote 2: WOLF'S _Life and Adventures_, p. 117.]

So accustomed are the natives to their presence and exploits, that, like
the Greeks and Romans, they have made the movements of crows the basis
of their auguries; and there is no end to the vicissitudes of good and
evil fortune which may not be predicted from the direction of their
flight, the hoarse or mellow notes of their croaking, the variety of
trees on which they rest, and the numbers in which they are seen to

All day long these birds are engaged in watching either the offal of the
offices, or the preparation for meals in the dining-room: and as doors
and windows are necessarily opened to relieve the heat, nothing is more
common than the passage of a crow across the room, lifting on the wing
some ill-guarded morsel from the dinner-table. No article, however
unpromising its quality, provided only it be portable, can with safety
be left unguarded in any apartment accessible to them. The contents of
ladies' work-boxes, kid gloves, and pocket handkerchiefs vanish
instantly if exposed near a window or open door. They open paper parcels
to ascertain the contents; they will undo the knot on a napkin if it
encloses anything eatable, and I have known a crow to extract the peg
which fastened the lid of a basket in order to plunder the provender

On one occasion a nurse seated in a garden adjoining a regimental
mess-room, was terrified by seeing a bloody clasp-knife drop from the
air at her feet; but the mystery was explained on learning that a crow,
which had been watching the cook chopping mince-meat, had seized the
moment when his head was turned to carry off the knife.

One of these ingenious marauders, after vainly attitudinising in front
of a chained watch-dog, that was lazily gnawing a bone, and after
fruitlessly endeavouring to divert his attention by dancing before him,
with head awry and eye askance, at length flew away for a moment, and
returned bringing a companion which perched itself on a branch a few
yards in the rear. The crow's grimaces were now actively renewed, but
with no better success, till its confederate, poising itself on its
wings, descended with the utmost velocity, striking the dog upon the
spine with all the force of its strong beak. The _ruse_ was successful;
the dog started with surprise and pain, but not quickly enough to seize
his assailant, whilst the bone he had been gnawing was snatched away by
the first crow the instant his head was turned. Two well-authenticated
instances of the recurrence of this device came within my knowledge at
Colombo, and attest the sagacity and powers of communication and
combination possessed by these astute and courageous birds.

On the approach of evening the crows near Colombo assemble in noisy
groups along the margin of the freshwater lake which surrounds the fort
on the eastern side; and here for an hour or two they enjoy the luxury
of throwing the water over their shining backs, and arranging their
plumage decorously, after which they disperse, each taking the direction
of his accustomed quarters for the night.[1]

[Footnote 1: A similar habit has been noticed in the damask Parrots of
Africa (_Palæornis fuscus_) which daily resort at the same hour to their
accustomed pools to bathe.]

During the storms which usher in the monsoon, it has been observed, that
when coco-nut palms are destroyed by lightning, the effect frequently
extends beyond a single tree, and from the contiguity and conduction of
the spreading leaves, or some other peculiar cause, large groups will be
affected by a single flash, a few killed instantly, and the rest doomed
to rapid decay. In Belligam Bay, a little to the east of Point-de-Galle,
a small island, which is covered with coco-nuts, has acquired the name
of "Crow Island," from being the resort of those birds, which are seen
hastening towards it in thousands towards sunset. A few years ago,
during a violent storm of thunder, such was the destruction of the crows
that the beach for some distance was covered with a black line of their
remains, and the grove on which they had been resting was to a great
extent destroyed by the same flash.[1]

[Footnote 1: Similar instances are recorded in other countries of sudden
and prodigious mortality amongst crows; but whether occasioned by
lightning seems uncertain. In 1839 thirty-three thousand dead crows were
found on the shores of a lake in the county Westmeath in Ireland after a
storm.--THOMPSON'S _Nat. Hist. Ireland_, vol. i. p. 319. PATTERSON in
his _Zoology_, p. 356, mentions other cases.]

III. SCANSORES. _Parroquets_.--Of the Psittacidæ the only examples are
the parroquets, of which the most renowned is the _Palæornis Alexandri_,
which has the historic distinction of bearing the name of the great
conqueror of India, having been the first of its race introduced to the
knowledge of Europe on the return of his expedition. An idea of their
number may be formed from the following statement of Mr. Layard, as to
the multitudes which are to be found on the western coast. "At Chilaw, I
have seen such vast flights of parroquets hurrying towards the coco-nut
trees which overhang the bazaar, that their noise drowned the Babel of
tongues bargaining for the evening provisions. Hearing of the swarms
that resorted to this spot, I posted myself on a bridge some half mile
distant, and attempted to count the flocks which came from a single
direction to the eastward. About four o'clock in the afternoon,
straggling parties began to wend towards home, and in the course of half
an hour the current fairly set in. But I soon found that I had no longer
distinct flocks to count, it became one living screaming stream. Some
flew high in the air till right above their homes, and dived abruptly
downward with many evolutions till on a level with the trees; others
kept along the ground and dashed close by my face with the rapidity of
thought, their brilliant plumage shining with an exquisite lustre in the
sun-light. I waited on the spot till the evening closed, when I could
hear, though no longer distinguish, the birds fighting for their
perches, and on firing a shot they rose with a noise like the 'rushing
of a mighty wind,' but soon settled again, and such a din commenced as I
shall never forget; the shrill screams of the birds, the fluttering of
their innumerable wings, and the rustling of the leaves of the palm
trees was almost deafening, and I was glad at last to escape to the
Government Rest House."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Annals of Nat. Hist._ vol. xiii. p. 263.]

IV. COLUMBIDÆ. _Pigeons_.--Of pigeons and doves there are at least a
dozen species. Some live entirely on trees[1], never alighting on the
ground; others, notwithstanding the abundance of food and warmth, are
migratory[2], allured, as the Singhalese allege, by the ripening of the
cinnamon berries, and hence one species is known in the southern
provinces as the "Cinnamon Dove." Others feed on the fruits of the
banyan: and it is probably to their instrumentality that this marvellous
tree chiefly owes its diffusion, its seeds being carried by them to
remote localities. A very beautiful pigeon, peculiar to the mountain
range, discovered in the lofty trees at Neuera-ellia, has, in compliment
to the Viscountess Torrington, been named _Carpophaga Torringtoniæ_.

[Footnote 1: Treron bicincta. _Jerd_.]

[Footnote 2: _Alsocomus puniceus_, the "Season Pigeon" of Ceylon, so
called from its periodical arrival and departure.]

Another, called by the natives _neela-cobeya_[1], although strikingly
elegant both in shape and colour, is still more remarkable for the
singularly soothing effect of its low and harmonious voice. A gentleman
who has spent many years in the jungle, in writing to me of this bird
and of the effects of its melodious song, says, that "its soft and
melancholy notes, as they came from some solitary place in the forest,
were the most gentle sounds I ever listened to. Some sentimental smokers
assert that the influence of the propensity is to make them feel _as if
they could freely forgive all who had ever offended them_; and I can say
with truth such has been the effect on my own nerves of the plaintive
murmurs of the neela-cobeya, that sometimes, when irritated, and not
without reason, by the perverseness of some of my native followers, the
feeling has almost instantly subsided into placidity on suddenly hearing
the loving tones of these beautiful birds."

[Footnote 1: Chalcophaps Indicus, _Linn._]

V. GALLINÆ. _The Ceylon Jungle-fowl_.--The jungle-fowl of Ceylon[1] is
shown by the peculiarity of its plumage to be not only distinct from the
Indian species, but peculiar to the island. It has never yet bred or
survived long in captivity, and no living specimens have been
successfully transmitted to Europe. It abounds in all parts of the
island, but chiefly in the lower ranges of mountains; and one of the
vivid memorials which are associated with our journeys through the
hills, is its clear cry, which sounds like a person calling "George
Joyce,"[2] and rises at early morning amidst mist and dew, giving life
to the scenery, that has scarcely yet been touched by the sun-light.

[Footnote 1: Gallus Lafayetti, _Lesson_.]

[Footnote 2: I apprehend that in the particular of the peculiar cry the
Ceylon jungle fowl differs from that of the Dekkan, where _I am told_
that it crows like a bantam cock.]

The female of this handsome bird was figured many years ago by Dr. GRAY
in his illustrations of "_Indian Zoology_," under the name of _G.
Stanleyi_. The cock bird subsequently received from LESSON, the name by
which the species is now known: but its habitat was not discovered,
until a specimen having been forwarded from Ceylon to Calcutta, Dr.
BLYTH recognised it as the long-sought-for male of Dr. Gray's specimen.

Another of the Gallinæ of Ceylon, remarkable for the delicate
pencillings of its plumage, as well as for the peculiarity of the double
spur, from which it has acquired its trivial name, is the _Galloperdix
bicalcaratus_, of which a figure is given from a drawing by Mr. Gould.


VI. GRALLÆ.--On reaching the marshy plains and shallow lagoons on either
side of the island, the astonishment of the stranger is excited by the
endless multitudes of stilt-birds and waders which stand in long array
within the wash of the water, or sweep in vast clouds above it.
Ibises[1], storks[2], egrets, spoonbills[3], herons[4], and the smaller
races of sand larks and plovers, are seen busily traversing the wet
sand, in search of the red worm which burrows there, or peering with
steady eye to watch the motions of the small fry and aquatic insects in
the ripple on the shore.

[Footnote 1: Tantalus leucocephalus, and Ibis falcinellus.]

[Footnote 2: The violet-headed Stork (Ciconia leticocephala).]

[Footnote 3: Platalea leucorodia, _Linn._]

[Footnote 4: Ardea cinerea. A. purpurea.]

VII. ANSERES.--Preeminent in size and beauty, the tall _flamingoes_[1],
with rose-coloured plumage, line the beach in long files. The Singhalese
have been led, from their colour and their military order, to designate
them the "_English Soldier birds_." Nothing can be more startling than
the sudden flight of these splendid creatures when alarmed; their strong
wings beating the air with a sound like distant thunder; and as they
soar over head, the flock which appeared almost white but a moment
before, is converted into crimson by the sudden display of the red
lining of their wings. A peculiarity in the beak of this bird has
scarcely attracted the attention it merits, as a striking illustration
of creative wisdom in adapting the organs of animals to their local

[Illustration: FLAMINGO.]

[Footnote 1: Phoenicopterus roseus, _Pallas_.]

The upper mandible, which is convex in other birds, is flattened in the
flamingo, whilst the lower, instead of being flat, is convex. To those
who have had an opportunity of witnessing the action of the bird in its
native haunts, the expediency of this arrangement is at once apparent.
To counteract the extraordinary length of its legs, it is provided with
a proportionately long neck, so that in feeding in shallow water the
crown of the head becomes inverted and the upper mandible brought into
contact with the bottom; where its flattened surface qualifies it for
performing the functions of the lower one in birds of the same class;
and the edges of both being laminated, it is thus enabled, like the
duck, by the aid of its fleshy tongue, to sift before swallowing its

Floating on the surface of the deeper water, are fleets of the Anatidæ,
the Coromandel teal[1], the Indian hooded gull[2], the Caspian tern, and
a countless variety of ducks and smaller fowl--pintails[3], teal[4],
red-crested pochards[5], shovellers[6], and terns.[7] Pelicans[8] in
great numbers resort to the mouths of the rivers, taking up their
position at sunrise on some projecting rock, from which to dart on the
passing fish, and returning far inland at night to their retreats among
the trees, which overshadow some solitary river or deserted tank.

[Footnote 1: Nettapus coromandelianus, _Gm_.]

[Footnote 2: Larus brunnicephalus, _Jerd_.]

[Footnote 3: Dafila acuta, _Linn._]

[Footnote 4: Querquedula creeca, _Linn._]

[Footnote 5: Fuligula rufina, _Pallas_.]

[Footnote 6: Spatula clypeata, _Linn._]

[Footnote 7: Sterna minuta, _Linn._]

[Footnote 8: Pelicanus Philippensis, _Gmel_.]

I chanced upon one occasion to come unexpectedly upon one of these
remarkable breeding places during a visit which I made to the great tank
of Padivil, one of those gigantic constructions by which the early kings
of Ceylon have left imperishable records of their reigns.

It is situated in the depth of the forests to the north-west of
Trincomalie; and the tank is itself the basin of a broad and shallow
valley, enclosed between two lines of low hills, that gradually sink
into the plain as they approach towards the sea. The extreme breadth of
the included space may be twelve or fourteen miles, narrowing to eleven
at the spot where the retaining bund has been constructed across the
valley; and when this enormous embankment was in effectual repair, and
the reservoir filled by the rains, the water must have been thrown back
along the basin of the valley for at least fifteen miles. It is
difficult now to determine the precise distances, as the overgrowth of
wood and jungle has obliterated all lines left by the original level of
the lake at its junction with the forest. Even when we rode along it,
the centre of the tank was deeply submerged, so that notwithstanding the
partial escape, the water still covered an area of ten miles in
diameter. Even now its depth when full must be very considerable, for
high on the branches of the trees that grow in the area, the last flood
had left quantities of driftwood and withered grass; and the rocks and
banks were coated with the yeasty foam, that remains after the
subsidence of an agitated flood.

The bed of the tank was difficult to ride over, being still soft and
treacherous, although covered everywhere with tall and waving grass; and
in every direction it was poched into deep holes by the innumerable
elephants that had congregated to roll in the soft mud, to bathe in the
collected water, or to luxuriate in the rich herbage, under the cool
shade of the trees. The ground, too, was thrown up into hummocks like
great molehills which, the natives told us, were formed by a huge
earthworm, common in Ceylon, nearly two feet in length, and as thick as
a small snake. Through these inequalities the water was still running
off in natural drains towards the great channel in the centre, that
conducts it to the broken sluice; and across these it was sometimes
difficult to find a safe footing for our horses.

In a lonely spot, towards the very centre of the tank, we came
unexpectedly upon an extraordinary scene. A sheet of still water, two or
three hundred yards broad, and about half a mile long, was surrounded by
a line of tall forest-trees, whose branches stretched above its margin.
The sun had not yet risen, when we perceived some white objects in large
numbers on the tops of the trees; and as we came nearer, we discovered
that a vast colony of pelicans had formed their settlement and
breeding-place in this solitary retreat. They literally covered the
trees in hundreds; and their heavy nests, like those of the swan,
constructed of large sticks, forming great platforms, were sustained by
the horizontal branches. Each nest contained three eggs, rather larger
than those of a goose; and the male bird stood placidly beside the
female as she sat upon them.

Nor was this all; along with the pelicans prodigious numbers of other
water-birds had selected this for their dwelling-place, and covered the
trees in thousands, standing on the topmost branches; tall flamingoes,
herons, egrets, storks, ibises, and other waders. We had disturbed them
thus early, before their habitual hour for betaking themselves to their
fishing-fields. By degrees, as the light increased, we saw them
beginning to move upon the trees; they looked around them on every side,
stretched their awkward legs behind them, extended their broad wings,
gradually rose in groups, and slowly soared away in the direction of the

The pelicans were apparently later in their movements; they allowed us
to approach as near them as the swampy nature of the soil would permit;
and even when a gun was discharged amongst them, only those moved off
which the particles of shot disturbed. They were in such numbers at this
favourite place; that the water over which they had taken up their
residence was swarming with crocodiles, attracted by the frequent fall
of the young birds; and the natives refused, from fear of them, to wade
in for one of the larger pelicans which had fallen, struck by a rifle
ball. It was altogether a very remarkable sight.

Of the birds familiar to European sportsmen, partridges and quails are
to be had at all times; the woodcock has occasionally been shot in the
hills, and the ubiquitous snipe, which arrives in September from
Southern India, is identified not alone by the eccentricity of its
flight, but by retaining in high perfection the qualities which have
endeared it to the gastronome at home. But the magnificent pheasants,
which inhabit the Himalayan range and the woody hills of the Chin-Indian
peninsula, have no representative amongst the tribes that people the
woods of Ceylon; although a bird believed to be a pheasant has more than
once been seen in the jungle, close to Rangbodde, on the road to

       *       *       *       *       *

_List of Ceylon Birds_.

In submitting this Catalogue of the birds of Ceylon, I am anxious to
state that the copious mass of its contents is mainly due to the
untiring energy and exertions of my friend, Mr. E.L. Layard. Nearly
every bird in the list has fallen by his gun; so that the most ample
facilities have been thus provided, not only for extending the limited
amount of knowledge which formerly existed on this branch of the zoology
of the island; but for correcting, by actual comparison with recent
specimens, the errors which had previously prevailed as to imperfectly
described species. The whole of Mr. Layard's fine collection is at
present in England.


    Bonelli, _Temm_.
    pennata, _Gm_.
    Nipalensis, _Hodgs_.
    limnæëtus, _Horsf_.
    Malayensis, _Reinw_.
    Bacha, _Daud_.
    spilogaster, _Blyth_.
    leucogaster, _Gm_.
    ichthyaëtus, _Horsf_.
    Indus, _Bodd_.
    peregrinus, _Linn._
    peregrinator, _Sund_.
    alaudarius, _Briss_.
    chicquera, _Daud_.
    lophotes, _Cuv_.
    govinda, _Sykes_.
    melanopterus, _Daud_.
    trivirgatus, _Temm_.
    badius, _Gm_.
    Swainsonii, _A. Smith_.
    cinerascens, _Mont_.
    melanoleucos, _Gm_.
    _æruginosus, Linn_.
    castonatus, _Blyth_.
    scutulata, _Raffles_.
    scops, _Linn._
    lempijii, _Horsf_.
    sunia, _Hodgs_.
    Ceylonensis, _Gm_.
    Indranee, _Sykes_.
    Javanica, _Gm_.


    moniliger, _Layard_.
    _Mahrattensis, Sykes_.
    Kelaarti, _Blyth_.
    Asiaticus, _Lath_.
    batassiensis, _Gray_.
    melba, _Linn._
    affinis, _Gray_.
    coronatus, _Tickell_.
    brevirostris, _McClel_.
    caudacuta, _Lath_.
    panayana, _Gm_.
    daurica, _Linn._
    hyperythra, _Layard_.
    domicola, _Jerdon_.
    Indica, _Linn._
    fasciatus, _Gm_.
    orientalis, _Linn._
    Capensis, _Linn._
    atricapillus, _Gm_.
    Smyrnensis, _Linn._
    tridactyla, _Linn._
    Bengalensis, _Gm_.
    rudis, _Linn._
    Philippinus, _Linn._
    viridis, _Linn._
    quincticolor, _Vieill_.
    nigripennis, _Gould_.
    Zeylanica, _Linn._
    minima, _Sykes_.
    Asiatica, _Lath_.
    Lotenia, _Linn._
    minimum, _Tickell_.
    Malabarica, _Lath_.
    Jerdoni, _Blyth_.
    frontalis, _Horsf_.
    agile, _Blyth_.
    longicauda, _Gm_.
    cursitans, _Frankl_.
    omalura, _Blyth_.
    valida, _Blyth_.
    inornata, _Sykes_.
    socialis, _Sykes_.
    dumetorum, _Blyth_.
    nitidus, _Blyth_.
    montanus, _Blyth_.
    viridanus, _Blyth_.
    saularis, _Linn._
    macrura, _Gm_.
    caprata, _Linn._
    atrata, _Kelaart_.
    cyanea, _Hodgs_.
    fulicata, _Linn._
    Suecica, _Linn._
    affinis, _Blyth_.
    cinereus, _Vieill_.
    palpebrosus, _Temm_.
    Zeylanica, _Gm_.
    typhia, _Linn._
    sulphurea, _Becks_.
    Indica, _Gm_.
    Madraspatana, _Briss_.
    viridis, _Gm_.
    rutulus, _Vieill_.
    Richardii, _Vieill_.
    striolatus, _Blyth_.
    Palliseri, _Kelaart_.
    nigrifrons, _Blyth_.
    brachyura, _Jerd_.
    spiloptera, _Blyth_.
    Wardii, _Jerd_.
    Kinnisii, _Kelaart_.
    imbricata, _Layard_.
    cinereifrons, _Blyth_.
    melanurus, _Blyth_.
    rufescens, _Blyth_.
    griseus, _Gm_.
    striatus, _Swains_.
    fuscocapillum, _Blyth_.
    albogularis, _Blyth_.
    Sinense, _Gm_.
    melanocephalus, _Linn._
    _Indicus, Briss_.
    ictericus, _Stickl_.
    pencillatus, _Kelaart_.
    flavirictus, _Strickl_.
    hæmorrhous, _Gm_.
    atricapillus, _Vieill_.
    picatus, _Sykes_.
    Nilgherriensis, _Jerd_.
    rubeculoïdes, _Vig_.
    azurea, _Bodd_.
    cinereocapilla, _Vieill_.
    _compressirostris, Blyth_.
    paradisi, _Linn._
    latirostris, _Raffles_.
    Muttui, _Layard_.
    melanops, _Vig_.
    flammeus, _Forst_.
    peregrinus, _Linn._
    Macei, _Less_.
    Sykesii, _Strickl_.
    fuscus, _Vieill_.
    paradiseus, _Gm_.
    macrocereus, _Vieill_.
    edoliformis, _Blyth_.
    longicaudatus, _A. Hoy_.
    leucopygialis, _Blyth_.
    _cærulescens_, _Linn._
    puella, _Lath_.
    superciliosus, _Lath_.
    _erythronotus, Vig_.
    affinis, _Blyth_.
    puella, _Blyth & Layard_.
    splendens, _Vieill_.
    culminatus, _Sykes_.
    religiosa, _Linn._
    ptilogenys, _Blyth_.
    roseus, _Linn._
    pagodarum, _Gm_.
    _albifrontata, Layard_.
    tristis, _Linn._
    manyar, _Horsf_.
    baya, _Blyth_.
    undulata, _Latr_.
    _Malabarica, Linn_.
    Malacca, _Linn._
    rubronigra, _Hodgs_.
    striata, _Linn._
    Kelaarti, _Blyth_.
    Indicus, _Jard. & Selb._
    gulgula, _Frank_.
    _Malabarica, Scop_.
    grisea, _Scop_.
    affinis, _Jerd_.
    gingalensis, _Shaw_.
    Malabaricus, _Jerd_.


    Asiaticus, _Lath_.
    Alexandri, _Linn._
    torquatus, _Briss_.
    cyanocephalus, _Linn._
    Calthropæ, _Layard_.
    Indica, _Latr_.
    Zeylanica, _Gmel_.
    flavifrons, _Cuv_.
    rubicapilla, _Gm_.
    gymnophthalmus, Blth.
    Mahrattensis, _Lath_.
    _Macei, Vieill_.
    chlorophanes, _Vieill_.
    aurantius, _Linn._
    Ceylonus, _Forst_.
    _rubescens, Vieill_.
    Stricklandi, _Layard_.
    gularis, _Jerd_.
    rufipennis, _Illiger_.
    chlororhynchos, _Blyth_.
    melanoleucos, _Gm_.
    Coromandus, _Linn._
    orientalis, _Linn._
    Poliocephalus, _Lath_.
    striatus, _Drapiex_.
    canorus, _Linn._
    tenuirostris, _Gray_.
    Sonneratii, _Lath_.
    varius, _Vahl_.
    dicruroïdes, _Hodgs_.
    pyrrhocephalus, _Forst_.
    viridirostris, _Jerd_.


    bicincta, _Jerd_.
    flavogularis, _Blyth_.
    Pompadoura, _Gm_.
    chlorogaster, _Blyth_.
    pusilla, _Blyth_.
    Torringtoniæ, _Kelaart_.
    puniceus, _Tickel_.
    intermedia, _Strickl_.
    risorius, _Linn._
    Suratensis, _Lath_.
    humilis, _Temm_.
    orientalis, _Lath_.
    Indicus, _Linn._


    cristatus, _Linn._
    Lafayetti, _Lesson_.
    bicalcaratus, _Linn._
    Ponticerianus, _Gm_.
    agoondah, _Sykes_.
    Chinensis, _Linn._
  Turnix ocellatus
    _var._ Bengalensis, _Blyth_.
    _var._ taigoor, _Sykes_.


    recurvirostris, _Cuv_.
    crepitans, _Temm_.
    Coromandelicus, _Gm_.
    bilobus, _Gm_.
    Göensis, _Gm_.
    virginicus, _Bechs_.
    Philippensis, _Scop_.
    Cantiana, _Lath_.
    Leschenaultii, _Less_.
    Interpres, _Linn._
    purpurea, _Linn._
    cinerea, _Linn._
    asha, _Sykes_.
    intermedia, _Wagler_.
    garzetta, _Linn._
    _alba, Linn_.
    bubulcus, _Savig_.
    leucoptera, _Bodd_.
    cinnamomea, _Gm_.
    flavicollis, _Lath_.
    Sinensis, _Gm_.
    Javanica, _Horsf_.
    leucorodia, _Linn._
    griseus, _Linn._
    melanolopha, _Raffl_.
    australis, _Shaw_.
    Javanica, _Horsf_.
    leucocephala, _Gm_.
    oscitans, _Bodd_.
    leucocephalus, _Gm_.
    melanocephalus, _Lath_.
    igneus, _Gm_.
    arquatus, _Linn._
    phæopus, _Linn._
    fuscus, _Linn._
    calidris, _Linn._
    glottis, _Linn._
    stagnalis, _Bechst_.
    glareola, _Gm_.
    ochropus, _Linn._
    hypoleucos, _Linn._
    minuta, _Leist_.
    subarquata, _Gm_.
    platyrhyncha, _Temm_.
    ægocephala, _Linn._
    candidus, _Bon_.
    avocetta, _Linn._
    ostralegus, _Linn._
    Bengalensis, _Linn._
    rusticola, _Linn._
    stenura, _Temm_.
    _scolopacina, Bon_.
    _gallinula, Linn_.
    Sinensis, _Gm_.
    rubiginosa, _Temm_.
    Zeylanica, _Gm_.
    striatus, _Linn._
    Indicus, _Blyth_.
    poliocephalus, _Lath_.
    pygmæa, _Nan_.
    phoenicura, _Penn_.
    chloropus, _Linn._
    cristata, _Lath_.


    ruber, _Linn._
    melanonotos, _Penn_.
    Coromandelianus, _Gm_.
    poecilorhyncha, _Penn_.
    arcuatus, _Cuv_.
    acuta, _Linn._
    crecca, _Linn._
    circia, _Linn._
    rufina, Pall_.
    clypeata, _Linn._
    Philippensis, _Gm_.
    brunnicephalus, _Jerd_.
    ichthyaëtus, _Pall_.
    Caspius, _Lath_.
    Indicus, _Steph_.
    Anglicus, _Mont_.
    anasthætus, _Scop_.
    Javanica, _Horsf_.
    melanogaster, _Temm_.
    minuta, _Linn._
    aurantia, _Gray_.
    Bengalensis, _Less_.
    cristata, _Stepth_.
    ardeola, _Payk_.
    ariel, _Gould_.
    _melanogaster, Gould_.
    melanogaster, _Gm_.
    Philippensis, _Gm_.
    Sinensis, _Shaw_.
    pygmæus, _Pallas_.


The following is a list of the birds which are, as far as is at present
known, peculiar to the island; it will probably be determined at some
future day that some included in it have a wider geographical range.

Hæmatornis spilogaster. The "Ceylon eagle;" was discovered by Mr. Layard
in the Wanny, and by Dr. Kelaart at Trincomalie.

Athene castonotus. The chestnut-winged hawk owl. This pretty little owl
was added to the list of Ceylon birds by Dr. Templeton. Mr. Blyth is at
present of opinion that this bird is identical with Ath. Castanopterus,
_Horsf_. of Java as figured by Temminck: _P. Col._

Batrachostomus moniliger. The oil bird; was discovered amongst the
precipitous rocks of the Adam's Peak range by Mr. Layard. Another
specimen was sent about the same time to Sir James Emerson Tennent from
Avisavelle. Mr. Mitford has met with it at Ratnapoora.

Caprimulgus Kelaarti. Kelaart's nightjar; swarms on the marshy plains of
Neuera-ellia at dusk.

Hirundo hyperythra. The red-bellied swallow; was discovered in 1849, by
Mr. Layard at Ambepusse. They build a globular nest, with a round hole
at top. A pair built in the ring for a hanging lamp in Dr. Gardner's
study at Peradenia, and hatched their young, undisturbed by the daily
trimming and lighting of the lamp.

Cisticola omalura. Layard's mountain grass warbler; is found in
abundance on Horton Plain and Neuera-ellia, among the long Patena grass.

Drymoica valida. Layard's wren-warbler; frequents tufts of grass and low
bushes, feeding on insects.

Pratincola atrata. The Neuera-ellia robin; a melodious songster; added
to our catalogue by Dr. Kelaart.

Brachypteryx Palliseri. Ant thrush. A rare bird, added by Dr. Kelaart
from Dimboola and Neuera-ellia.

Pellorneum fuscocapillum. Mr. Layard found two specimens of this rare
thrush creeping about shrubs and bushes, feeding on insects.

Alcippe nigrifrons. This thrush frequents low impenetrable thickets, and
seems to be widely distributed.

Oreocincla spiloptera. The spotted thrush is only found in the mountain
zone about lofty trees.

Merula Kinnisii. The Neuera-ellia blackbird; was added by Dr. Kelaart.

Garrulax cinereifrons. The ashy-headed babbler; was found by Mr. Layard
near Ratnapoora.

Pomatorhinus melanurus. Mr. Layard states that the mountain babbler
frequents low, scraggy, impenetrable brush, along the margins of
deserted cheena land. This may turn out to be little more than a local
yet striking variety of P. Horsfieldii of the Indian Peninsula.

Malacocercus rufescens. The red dung thrush added by Dr. Templeton to
the Singhalese Fauna, is found in thick jungle in the southern and
midland districts.

Pycnonotus penicillatus. The yellow-eared bulbul; was found by Dr.
Kelaart at Neuera-ellia.

Butalis Muttui. This very handsome flycatcher was procured at Point
Pedro, by Mr. Layard.

Dicrurus edoliformis. Dr. Templeton found this kingcrow at the Bibloo
Oya. Mr. Layard has since got it at Ambogammoa.

Dicrurus leucopygialis. The Ceylon kingcrow was sent to Mr. Blyth from
the vicinity of Colombo, by Dr. Templeton. A species very closely allied
to D. coerulescens of the Indian continent.

Tephrodornis affinis. The Ceylon butcher-bird. A migatory species found
in the wooded grass lands in October.

Cissa puella. Layard's mountain jay. A most lovely bird, found along
mountain streams at Neuera-ellia and elsewhere.

Eulabes ptilogenys. Templeton's mynah. The largest and most beautiful of
the species. It is found in flocks perching on the highest trees,
feeding on berries.

Munia Kelaarti. This Grosbeak previously assumed to be M. pectoralls of
Jerdon; is most probably peculiar to Ceylon.

Loriculus asiaticus. The small parroquet, abundant in various districts.

Palæornis Calthropæ. Layard's purple-headed parroquet, found at Kandy,
is a very handsome bird, flying in flocks, and resting on the summits of
the very highest trees. Dr. Kelaart states that it is the only parroquet
of the Neuera-ellia range.

Megalaima flavifrons. The yellow-headed barbet, is not uncommon.

Megalaima rubricapilla, is found in most parts of the island.

Picus gymnophthalmus. Layard's woodpecker. The smallest of the species,
was discovered near Colombo, amongst jak-trees.

Brachypternus Ceylonus. The Ceylon woodpecker, is found in abundance
near Neuera-ellia.

Brachypternus rubescens. The red woodpecker.

Centropus chlororhynchus. The yellow-billed cuckoo, was detected by Mr.
Layard in dense jungle near Colombo and Avisavelle.

Phoenicophaus pyrrhocephalus. The malkoha, is confined to the southern

Treron Pompadoura. The Pompadour pigeon. "The Prince of Canino has shown
that this is a totally distinct bird from Tr. flavogularis, with which
it was confounded: it is much smaller, with the quantity of maroon
colour on the mantle greatly reduced."--Paper by Mr. BLYTH, _Mag. Nat.
Hist._ p. 514: 1857.

Carpophaga Torringtoniæ. Lady Torrington's pigeon; a very handsome
pigeon discovered in the highlands by Dr. Kelaart. It flies high in long
sweeps, and makes its nest on the loftiest trees. Mr. Blyth is of
opinion that it is no more than a local race, barely separable from C.
Elphinstonii of the Nilgiris and Malabar coast.

Carpophaga pusilla. The little-hill dove a migratory species found by
Mr. Layard in the mountain zone, only appearing with the ripened fruit
of the teak, banyan, &c., on which they feed.

Gallus Lafayetti.--The Ceylon jungle fowl. The female of this handsome
bird was figured by Mr. GRAY (_Ill. Ind. Zool._) under the name of G.
Stanleyi. The cock bird had long been lost to naturalists, until a
specimen was forwarded by Dr. Templeton to Mr. Blyth, who at once
recognised it as the long-looked-for male of Mr. Gray's recently
described female. It is abundant in all the uncultivated portions of
Ceylon; coming out into the open spaces to feed in the mornings and
evenings. Mr. Blyth states that there can be no doubt that Hardwicke's
published figure refers to the hen of this species, long afterwards
termed G. Lafayetti.

Galloperdix bicalcaratus. Not uncommon in suitable situations.



LIZARDS. _Iguana_.--One of the earliest, if not the first remarkable
animal to startle a stranger on arriving in Ceylon, whilst wending his
way from Point-de-Galle to Colombo, is a huge lizard of from four to
five feet in length, the _Talla-goy[=a]_ of the Singhalese, and
Iguana[1] of the Europeans. It may be seen at noonday searching for ants
and insects in the middle of the highway and along the fences; when
disturbed, but by no means alarmed, by the approach of man, it moves off
to a safe distance; and, the intrusion being at an end, it returns again
to the occupation in which it had been interrupted. Repulsive as it is
in appearance, it is perfectly harmless, and is hunted down by dogs in
the maritime provinces, and its delicate flesh, which is believed to be
a specific in dysentery, is converted into curry, and its skin into
shoes. When seized, it has the power of inflicting a smart blow with its
tail. The Talla-goy[=a] lives in almost any convenient hollow, such as a
hole in the ground, or a deserted nest of the termites; and some small
ones, which frequented my garden at Colombo, made their retreat in the
heart of a decayed tree.

[Footnote 1: Monitor dracæna, _Linn._ Among the barbarous nostrums of
the uneducated natives, both Singhalese and Tamil, is the tongue of the
iguana, which they regard as a specific for consumption, if plucked from
the living animal and swallowed whole.]

A still larger species, the _Kabara-goy[=a]_[1], is partial to marshy
ground, and when disturbed upon land, will take refuge in the nearest
water. From the somewhat eruptive appearance of the yellow blotches on
its scales, a closely allied species, similarly spotted, formerly
obtained amongst naturalists the name of _Monitor exanthematicus_, and
it is curious that the native appellation of this one, _kabara_[2], is
suggestive of the same idea. The Singhalese, on a strictly homoeopathic
principle, believe that its fat, externally applied, is a cure for
cutaneous disorders, but that taken inwardly it is poisonous. The
skilfulness of the Singhalese in their preparation of poisons, and their
addiction to using them, are unfortunately notorious traits in the
character of the rural population. Amongst these preparations, the one
which above all others excites the utmost dread, from the number of
murders attributed to its agency, is the potent kabara-tel--a term which
Europeans sometimes corrupt into _cobra-tel_, implying that the venom is
obtained from the hooded-snake; whereas it professes to be extracted
from the "kabara-goy[=a]." Such is the bad renown of this formidable
poison, that an individual suspected of having it in his possession, is
cautiously shunned by his neighbours. Those especially who are on
doubtful terms with him, suspect their servants lest they should be
suborned to mix kabara-tel in the curry. So subtle is the virus supposed
to be, that one method of administering it, is to introduce it within
the midrib of a leaf of betel, and close the orifice with chunam; and,
as it is an habitual act of courtesy for one Singhalese on meeting
another to offer the compliment of a betel-leaf, which it would be
rudeness to refuse, facilities are thus afforded for presenting the
concealed drug. It is curious that to this latent suspicion has been
traced the origin of a custom universal amongst the natives, of nipping
off with the thumb nail the thick end of the stem before chewing the

[Footnote 1: Hydrosaurus salvator, _Laur_. Tail compressed; fingers
long; nostrils near the extremity of the snout. A black band on each
temple; round yellow spots disposed in transverse series on the back.
Teeth with the crown compressed and notched.]

[Footnote 2: In the _Mahawanso_ the hero Tissa, is said to have been
"afflicted with a cutaneous complaint which made his skin scaly like
that of the _godho_."--Ch. xxiv. p. 148. "Godho" is the Pali name for
the Kabara-goy[=a].]

[Illustration: THE KABARA-GOYA.]

In the preparation of this mysterious compound, the unfortunate
Kabara-goya is forced to take a painfully prominent part. The receipt,
as written down by a Kandyan, was sent to me from Kornegalle, by Mr.
Morris, the civil officer of that district; and in dramatic arrangement
it far outdoes the cauldron of _Macbeth's_ witches. The ingredients are
extracted from venomous snakes, the cobra de capello, the Carawilla, and
the Tic-polonga, by making incisions in the head of these reptiles and
suspending them over a chattie to collect the poison as it flows. To
this, arsenic and other drugs are added, and the whole is "boiled in a
human skull, with the aid of the three Kabara-goyas, which are tied on
three sides of the fire, with their heads directed towards it, and
tormented by whips to make them hiss, so that the fire may blaze. The
froth from their lips is then added to the boiling mixture, and so soon
as an oily scum rises to the surface, the _kabara-tel_ is complete."

It is obvious that arsenic is the main ingredient in the poison, and Mr.
Morris reported to me that the mode of preparing it, described above,
was actually practised in his district. This account was transmitted by
him apropos to the murder of a Mohatal[1] and his wife, which had been
committed with the _kabara-tel_, and was then under investigation.
Before commencing the operation of preparing the poison, a cock has to
be sacrificed to the _yakhos_ or demons.

[Footnote 1: A native head-man of low rank.]

This ugly lizard is itself regarded with such aversion by the
Singhalese, that if a _kabara_ enter a house or walk over the roof, it
is regarded as an omen of ill fortune, sickness, or death; and in order
to avert the evil, a priest is employed to go through a rhythmical
incantation; one portion of which consists in the repetition of the

  Kabara goyin wan d[=o]sey
  Ada palayan e d[=o]sey.

"These are the inflictions caused by the Kabara-goya--let them now be

It is one of the incidents that serve to indicate that Ceylon may belong
to a separate circle of physical geography, that this lizard, though
found to the eastward in Burmah[1], has not hitherto been discovered in
the Dekkan or Hindustan.

[Footnote 1: In corroboration of the view propounded elsewhere (see pp.
7, 84, &c), and opposed to the popular belief that Ceylon, at some
remote period, was detached from the continent of India by the
interposition of the sea, a list of reptiles will be found at p. 319,
including not only individual species, but whole genera peculiar to the
island, and not to be found on the mainland. See a paper by Dr. A.
GÜNTHER on _The Geog. Distribution of Reptiles_. Magaz. Nat. Hist. for
March, 1859, p. 230.]


_Blood-suckers_.--The lizards already mentioned, however, are but the
stranger's introduction to innumerable varieties of others, all most
attractive in their sudden movements, and some unsurpassed in the
brilliancy of their colouring, which bask on banks, dart over rocks, and
peer curiously out of the chinks of every ruined wall. In all their
motions there is that vivid and brief energy, the rapid but restrained
action associated with their limited power of respiration, which
justifies the accurate picture of--

  "The green lizard, rustling thro' the grass,
  And up the fluted shaft, _with short, quick, spring_
  To vanish in the chinks which time has made."[1]

[Footnote 1: ROGERS' _Pæstum._]

The most beautiful of the race is the _green calotes_[1], in length
about twelve inches, which, with the exception of a few dark streaks
about the head, is as brilliant as the purest emerald or malachite.
Unlike its congeners of the same family, it never alters this dazzling
hue; whilst many of them possess, but in a less degree, the power, like
the chameleon, of exchanging their ordinary colours for others less
conspicuous. One of the most remarkable features in the physiognomy of
those lizards is the prominence of their cheeks. This results from the
great development of the muscles of the jaws; the strength of which is
such that they can crush the hardest integuments of the beetles on which
they feed. The calotes will permit its teeth to be broken, rather than
quit its hold of a stick into which it may have struck them. It is not
provided, like so many other tropical lizards, with a gular sac or
throat-pouch, capable of inflation when in a state of high excitement.
The tail, too, is rounded, not compressed, thus clearly indicating that
its habits are those of a land-animal.

[Footnote 1: Calotes sp.]

The _Calotes versicolor_; and another, the _Calotes ophioimachus_, of
which a figure is attached, possess in a remarkable degree the faculty,
above alluded to, of changing their hue. The head and neck, when the
animal is irritated or hastily swallowing its food, become of a
brilliant red (whence the latter species has acquired the name of the
"blood-sucker"), whilst the usual tint of the rest of the body is
converted into pale yellow.[1] The _sitana_[2], and a number of others,
exhibit similar phenomena.

[Footnote 1: The characteristics by which the _Calotes ophiomachus_ may
be readily recognised, are a small crest formed by long spines running
on each side of the neck to above the ear, coupled with a green
ground-colour of the scales. Many specimens are uniform, others banded
transversely with white, and others again have a black band on each side
of the neck.]

[Footnote 2: Sitana Ponticereana, _Cuv_.]

The lyre-headed lizard[1], which is not uncommon in the woods about
Kandy, is more bulky than any of the species of Calotes, and not nearly
so active in its movements.

[Footnote 1: Lyriocephalus scutatus, _Linn._]

As usually observed it is of a dull greenish brown, but when excited its
back becomes a rich olive green, leaving the head yellowish: the
underside of the body is of a very pale blue, almost approaching white.
The open mouth exhibits the fauces of an intense vermilion tint; so
that, although extremely handsome, this lizard presents, from its
extraordinarily shaped head and threatening gestures, a most malignant
aspect. It is, however, perfectly harmless.

_Chameleon_.--The true chameleon[1] is found, but not in great numbers,
in the dry districts to the north of Ceylon, where it frequents the
trees, in slow pursuit of its insect prey; but compensated for the
sluggishness of its other movements, by the electric rapidity of its
extensible tongue. Apparently sluggish in its general habits, the
chameleon rests motionless on a branch, from which its varied hues
render it scarcely distinguishable in colour; and there patiently awaits
the approach of the insects on which it feeds. Instantly on their
appearance its wonderful tongue comes into play.

[Footnote 1: Chameleo vulgaris, _Daud_.]

[Illustration: TONGUE OF CHAMELEON.]

Though ordinarily concealed, it is capable of protrusion till it exceeds
in length the whole body of the creature. No sooner does an incautious
fly venture within reach than the extremity of this treacherous weapon
is disclosed, broad and cuneiform, and covered with a viscid fluid; and
this, extended to its full length, is darted at its prey with an
unerring aim, and redrawn within the jaws with a rapidity that renders
the act almost invisible.[1]

[Footnote 1: Prof. RYMER JONES, art. _Reptilia_, in TODD'S _Cyclop. of
Anat_. vol. iv. pt. i. p. 292.]

Whilst the faculty of this creature to assume all the colours of the
rainbow has attracted the wonder of all ages, sufficient attention has
hardly been given to the imperfect sympathy which subsists between the
two lobes of its brain, and the two sets of nerves that permeate the
opposite sides of its frame. Hence, not only has each of the eyes an
action quite independent of the other, but one side of its body appears
to be sometimes asleep whilst the other is vigilant and active; one will
assume a green tinge whilst the opposite one is red; and it is said that
the chameleon is utterly unable to swim, from the incapacity of the
muscles of the two sides to act in concert.

_Ceratophora_.--This which till lately was an unique lizard, known by
only two specimens, one in the British Museum, and another in that of
Leyden, was ascertained by Dr. Kelaart, about five years ago, to be a
native of the higher Kandyan hills, where it is sometimes seen in the
older trees in pursuit of insect larvæ. The first specimen brought to
Europe was called _Ceratophora Stoddartii_, after the name of its
finder; and the recent discovery of several others in the National
Collection has enabled me, by the aid of Dr. A. Günther, to add some
important facts to their history.

This lizard is remarkable for having no external ear; and it has
acquired its generic name from the curious horn-like process on the
extremity of the nose. This horn, as it is found in mature males of ten
inches in length, is five lines long, conical, pointed, and slightly
curved; a miniature form of the formidable weapon, from which the
_Rhinoceros_ takes its name. But the comparison does not hold good
either from an anatomical or a physiological point of view. For, whilst
the horn of the rhinoceros is merely a dermal production, a
conglomeration of hairs cemented into one dense mass as hard as bone,
and answering the purpose of a defensive weapon, besides being used for
digging up the roots on which the animal lives; the horn of the
_ceratophora_ is formed of a soft, spongy substance, coated by the
rostral shield, which is produced into a kind of sheath. Although
flexible, it always remains erect, owing to the elasticity of its
substance. Not having access to a living specimen, which would afford
the opportunity of testing conjecture, we are left to infer from the
internal structure of this horn, that it is an erectile organ which, in
moments of irritation, will swell like the comb of a cock. This opinion
as to its physiological nature is confirmed by the remarkable
circumstance that, like the rudimentary comb of the hen and young cocks,
the female and the immature males of the _ceratophora_ have the horn
exceedingly small. In mature females of eight inches in length (and the
females appear always to be smaller than the males), the horn is only
one half or one line long; while in immature males five inches in
length, it is one line and a half.


Among the specimens sent from Ceylon by Dr. Kelaart, and now in the
British Museum, there is one which so remarkably differs from _C.
Stoddartii_, that it attracted my attention, by the peculiar form of
this rostral appendage. Dr. Günther pronounced it to be a new species;
and Dr. Gray concurring in this opinion, they have done me the honour to
call it _Ceratophora Tennentii_. Its "horn" somewhat resembles the comb
of a cock not only in its internal structure, but also in its external
appearance; it is nearly six lines long by two broad, slightly
compressed, soft, flexile, and extensible, and covered with a
corrugated, granular skin. It bears no resemblance to the depressed
rostral hump of _Lyriocephalus_, and the differences of the new species
from the latter lizard may be easily seen from the annexed drawing and
the notes given below.[1]

[Footnote 1: The specimen in the British Museum is apparently an adult
male, ten inches long, and is, with regard to the distribution of the
scales and the form of the head very similar to _C. Stoddartii_. The
posterior angles of the orbit are not projecting, but there is a small
tubercle behind them; and a pair of somewhat larger tubercles on the
neck. The gular sac is absent. There are five longitudinal quadrangular,
imbricate scales on each side of the throat; and the sides of the body
present a nearly horizontal series of similar scales. The scales on the
median line of the back scarcely form a crest; it is, however distinct
on the nape of the neck. The scales on the belly, on the extremities,
and on the tail are slightly keeled. Tail nearly round. This species is
more uniformly coloured than _C. Stoddartii_; it is greenish, darker on
the sides.]

_Geckoes_.--The most familiar and attractive of the lizard class are the
_Geckoes_[1], that frequent the sitting-rooms, and being furnished with
pads to each toe, they are enabled to ascend perpendicular walls and
adhere to glass and ceilings. Being nocturnal in their habits, the pupil
of the eye, instead of being circular as in the diurnal species, is
linear and vertical like that of the cat. As soon as evening arrives,
the geckoes are to be seen in every house in keen and crafty pursuit of
their prey; emerging from the chinks and recesses where they conceal
themselves during the day, to search for insects that then retire to
settle for the night. In a boudoir where the ladies of my family spent
their evenings, one of these familiar and amusing little creatures had
its hiding-place behind a gilt picture frame. Punctually as the candles
were lighted, it made its appearance on the wall to be fed with its
accustomed crumbs; and if neglected, it reiterated it sharp, quick call
of _chic, chic, chit,_ till attended to. It was of a delicate gray
colour, tinged with pink; and having by accident fallen on a work-table,
it fled, leaving part of its tail behind it, which, however, it
reproduced within less than a month. This faculty of reproduction is
doubtless designed to enable the creature to escape from its assailants:
the detaching of the limb is evidently its own act; and it is
observable, that when reproduced, the tail generally exhibits some
variation from the previous form, the diverging spines being absent, the
new portion covered with small square uniform scales placed in a cross
series, and the scuta below being seldom so distinct as in the original
member.[2] In an officer's quarters in the fort of Colombo, a geckoe had
been taught to come daily to the dinner-table, and always made its
appearance along with the dessert. The family were absent for some
months, during which the house underwent extensive repairs, the roof
having been raised, the walls stuccoed, and the ceilings whitened. It
was naturally surmised that so long a suspension of its accustomed
habits would have led to the disappearance of the little lizard; but on
the return of its old friends, it made its entrance as usual at their
first dinner the instant the cloth was removed.

[Footnote 1: Hemidactylus maculatus, _Dum_. et _Bib_., H. Leschenaultii,
_Dum_, et _Bib_; H. frenatus, _Schlegel_. Of these the last is very
common in the houses of Colombo. Colour, grey; sides with small
granules; thumb short; chin-shields four; tail rounded with transverse
series of small spines; femoral and preanal pores in a continuous line.
GRAY, _Lizard_, p. 155.]

[Footnote 2: _Brit. Mus. Cat._ p. 143; KELAART's _Prod. Faun. Zeylan.,_
p. 183.]

_Crocodile._--The Portuguese in India, like the Spaniards in South
America, affixed the name of _lagarto_ to the huge reptiles that
infested the rivers and estuaries of both continents; and to the present
day the Europeans in Ceylon apply the term _alligator_ to what are in
reality _crocodiles_, which literally swarm in the still waters and
tanks in the low country, but rarely frequent rapid streams, and have
never been found in the marshes among the hills. The differences,
however, between the two, when once ascertained, are sufficiently
marked, to prevent their being afterwards confounded. The head of the
alligator is broader and the snout less prolonged, and the canine teeth
of the under jaw, instead of being received into foramina in the upper,
as in the crocodile, fit into furrows on each side of it. The legs of
the alligator, too, are not denticulated, and the feet are only

The following drawing exhibits a cranium of each.


The instincts of the crocodiles in Ceylon do not lead to any variation
from the habits of those found in other countries. There would appear to
be two well-distinguished species found in the island, the
_Eli-kimboola_[1], the Indian crocodile, inhabiting the rivers and
estuaries throughout the low countries of the coasts, attaining the
length of sixteen or eighteen feet, and ready to assail man when pressed
by hunger; and the marsh-crocodile[2], which lives exclusively in fresh
water, frequenting the tanks in the northern and central provinces, and
confining its attacks to the smaller animals: in length it seldom
exceeds twelve or thirteen feet. Sportsmen complain that their dogs are
constantly seized by both species; and water-fowl, when shot, frequently
disappear before they can be secured by the fowler.[3] It is generally
believed in Ceylon that, in the case of larger animals, the crocodile
abstains from devouring them till the commencement of decomposition
facilitates the operation of swallowing. To assist in this, the natives
assure me that the reptile contrives to fasten the carcase behind the
roots of a mangrove or some other convenient tree and tears off each
piece by a backward spring.

[Footnote 1: Crocodilus biporcatus. _Cuvier_.]

[Footnote 2: Crododilus palustris, _Less_.]

[Footnote 3: In Siam the flesh of the crocodile is sold for food in the
markets and bazaars, "Un jour je vis plus de cinquante crocodiles,
petits et grands, attachés aux colonnes de leurs maisons. Ils es vendent
la chair comme on vendrait de la chair de porc, mais à bien meilleur
marché."-PALLEGOIX, _Siam_, vol. i. p. 174.]

There is another popular belief that the crocodile is exceedingly
sensitive to tickling; and that it will relax its hold of a man, if he
can only contrive to reach and rub with his hand the softer parts of its
under side.[1] An incident indicative of some reality in this piece of
folklore, once came under my own observation. One morning, about
sunrise, when riding across the sandy plain near the old fort of
Moeletivoe, we came suddenly upon a crocodile asleep under some bushes
of the Buffalo-thorn, several hundred yards from the water. The terror
of the poor wretch was extreme, when it awoke and found itself
discovered and completely surrounded. It was a hideous creature, upwards
of ten feet long, and evidently of prodigious strength, had it been in a
condition to exert it, but consternation completely paralysed it. It
started to its feet and turned round in a circle hissing and clanking
its bony jaws, with its ugly green eye intently fixed upon us. On being
struck with a stick, it lay perfectly quiet and apparently dead.
Presently it looked cunningly round, and made a rush towards the water,
but on a second blow it lay again motionless and feigning death. We
tried to rouse it, but without effect, pulled its tail, slapped its
back, struck its hard scales, and teased it in every way, but all in
vain; nothing would induce it to move till accidentally my son, then a
boy of twelve years old, tickled it gently under the arm, and in an
instant it drew the limb close to its side and turned to avoid a
repetition of the experiment. Again it was touched under the other arm,
and the same emotion was exhibited, the great monster twisting about
like an infant to avoid being tickled. The scene was highly amusing, but
the sun was rising high, and we pursued our journey to Moeletivoe,
leaving the crocodile to make its way to the adjoining lake.

[Footnote 1: A native gentleman who resided for a long time at Caltura
tells me that in the rivers which flow into the sea, both there and at
Bentotte, crocodiles are frequently caught in corrals, formed of stakes
driven into the ground in shallow water, and so constructed, that when
the reptile enters to seize the bait placed within, the aperture closes
behind and secures him. A professional "crocodile charmer" then enters
muttering a spell, and with one end of a stick pats the creature gently
on the head for a time. The operator then boldly mounts astride upon its
shoulders, and continues to soothe it with his one hand, whilst with the
other he contrives to pass a rope under its body, by which it is at last
dragged on shore. This story serves to corroborate the narrative of Mr.
Waterton and his alligator.]

The Singhalese believe that the crocodile can only move swiftly on sand
or smooth clay, its feet being too tender to tread firmly on hard or
stony ground. In the dry season, when the watercourses begin to fail and
the tanks become exhausted, the marsh-crocodiles have occasionally been
encountered in the jungle, wandering in search of water. During a severe
drought in 1844, they deserted a tank near Kornegalle and traversed the
town during the night, on their way to another reservoir in the suburb;
two or three fell into the wells; others in their trepidation, laid eggs
in the street, and some were found entangled in garden fences and

Generally, however, during the extreme drought, when unable to procure
their ordinary food from the drying up of the watercourses, they bury
themselves in the mud, and remain in a state of torpor till released by
the recurrence of rains.[1] At Arne-tivoe, in the eastern province,
whilst riding across the parched bed of the tank, I was shown the
recess, still bearing the form and impress of a crocodile, out of which
the animal had been seen to emerge the day before. A story was also
related to me of an officer attached to the department of the
Surveyor-General, who, having pitched his tent in a similar position,
was disturbed during the night by feeling a movement of the earth below
his bed, from which on the following day a crocodile emerged, making its
appearance from beneath the matting.[2]

[Footnote 1: HERODOTUS records the observations of the Egyptians that
the crocodile of the Nile abstains from food during the four winter
months.--_Euterpe_, lviii.]

[Footnote 2: HUMBOLDT relates a similar story as occurring at Calabazo,
in Venezuela.--_Personal Narrative_, c, xvi.]

The fresh water species that inhabits the tanks is essentially cowardly
in it instincts, and hastens to conceal itself on the appearance of man.
A gentleman (who told me the circumstance), when riding in the jungle,
overtook a crocodile, evidently roaming in search of water. It fled to a
shallow pool almost dried by the sun, and, thrusting its head into the
mud till it covered up its eyes, remained unmoved in profound confidence
of perfect concealment. In 1833, during the progress of the Pearl
Fishery, Sir Robert Wilmot Horton employed men to drag for crocodiles in
a pond which was infested by them in the immediate vicinity of Aripo.
The pool was about fifty yards in length, by ten or twelve wide,
shallowing gradually to the edge, and not exceeding four or five feet at
the deepest part. As the party approached the bund, from twenty to
thirty reptiles, which had been basking in the sun, rose and fled to the
water. A net, specially weighted so as to sink its lower edge to the
bottom, was then stretched from bank to bank and swept to the further
end of the pond, followed by a line of men with poles to drive the
crocodiles forward: so complete was the arrangement, that no individual
could have evaded the net, yet, to the astonishment of the Governor's
party, not one was to be found when it was drawn on shore, and no means
of escape for them was apparent or possible except by their descending
into the mud at the bottom of the pond.

The lagoon of Batticaloa, and indeed all the still waters of this
district, are remarkable for the numbers and prodigious size of the
crocodiles which infest them. Their teeth are sometimes so large that
the natives mount them with silver lids and use them for boxes to carry
the powdered chunam, which they chew with the betel leaf. During one of
my visits to the lake a crocodile was caught within a few yards of the
government agent's residence, a hook having been laid the night before,
baited with the entrails of a goat; and made fast, in the native
fashion, by a bunch of fine cords, which the creature cannot gnaw
asunder as it would a solid rope, since they sink into the spaces
between its teeth. The one taken was small, being only about ten or
eleven feet in length, whereas they are frequently killed from fifteen
to nineteen feet long. As long as it was in the water, it made strong
resistance to being hauled on shore, carrying the canoe out into the
deep channel, and occasionally raising its head above the surface, and
clashing its jaws together menacingly. This action has a horrid sound,
as the crocodile has no fleshy lips; and it brings its teeth and the
bones of the mouth together with a loud crash, like the clank of two
pieces of hard wood. After playing it a little, the boatmen drew it to
land, and when once fairly on the shore all courage and energy seemed
utterly to desert it. It tried once or twice to regain the water, but at
last lay motionless and perfectly helpless on the sand. It was no easy
matter to kill it; a rifle ball sent diagonally through its breast had
little or no effect, and even when the shot had been repeated more than
once, it was as full of life as ever.[1] It feigned death and lay
motionless, with its eye closed; but, on being pricked with a spear, it
suddenly regained all its activity. It was at last finished by a
harpoon, and then opened. Its maw contained several small tortoises, and
a quantity of broken bricks and gravel, taken medicinally, to promote

[Footnote 1: A remarkable instance of the vitality of the common
crocodile, _C. biporcatus_, was related to me by a gentleman at Galle:
he had caught on a baited hook an unusually large one, which his coolies
disembowelled, the aperture in the stomach being left expanded by a
stick placed across it. On returning in the afternoon with a view to
secure the head, they found that the creature had crawled for some
distance, and made its escape into the water.

"A curious incident occurred some years ago on the Maguruganga, a stream
which flows through the Pasdun Corle, to join the Bentolle river. A man
was fishing seated on the branch of a tree that overhung the water; and
to shelter himself from the drizzling rain, he covered his head and
shoulder with a bag folded into a shape common with the natives. While
in this attitude, a leopard sprang upon him from the jungle, but missing
its aim, seized the bag and not the man, and fell with it into the
river. Here a crocodile, which had been eyeing the angler is despair,
seized the leopard as it fell, and sunk with it to the
bottom."--_Letter_ from GOONE-RATNE Modliar, interpreter of the Supreme
Court, 10th Jany., 1861.]

During our journeys we had numerous opportunities of observing the
habits of these hideous creatures, and I am far from considering them so
formidable as they are usually supposed to be. They are evidently not
wantonly destructive; they act only under the influence of hunger, and
even then their motions on land are awkward and ungainly, their action
timid, and their whole demeanour devoid of the sagacity and courage
which characterise other animals of prey.

TESTUDINATA. _Tortoise_.--Land tortoises are numerous, but present no
remarkable features beyond the beautiful marking of the starred
variety[1], which is common in the north-western province around Putlam
and Chilaw, and is distinguished by the bright yellow rays which
diversify the deep black of its dorsal shield. From one of these which
was kept in my garden I took a number of flat ticks (_Ixodes_), which
adhere to its fleshy neck in such a position as to baffle any attempt of
the animal itself to remove them; but as they are exposed to constant
danger of being crushed against the plastron during the protrusion and
retraction of the head, each is covered with a horny case almost as
resistant as the carapace of the tortoise itself. Such an adaptation of
structure is scarcely less striking than that of the parasites found on
the spotted lizard of Berar by Dr. Hooker, each of which presents the
distinct colour of the scale to which it adheres.[2]

[Footnote 1: Testudo stellata.]


[Footnote 2: HOOKER'S _Himalayan Journals_, vol. i. p. 37.]

The marshes and pools of the interior are frequented by _terrapins_[1],
which the natives are in the habit of keeping alive in wells under the
conviction that they clear them of impurities. These fresh-water
tortoises, the greater number of which are included in the genus _Emys_
of naturalists, are distinguished by having their toes webbed. Their
shell is less convex than that of their congeners on land (but more
elevated than that of the sea-turtle); and it has been observed that the
more rounded the shell, the nearer does the terrapin approach to the
land-tortoise both in its habits and in the choice of its food. Some of
them live upon animal as well as vegetable food, and those which subsist
exclusively on the former, are noted as having the flattest shells.

[Footnote 1: _Cryptopus granum_, SCHÖPF; DR. KELAART, in his _Prodromus_
(p. 179), refers this to the common Indian species, _C. punctata_; but
it is distinct. It is generally distributed in the lower parts of
Ceylon, in lakes and tanks. It is the one usually put into wells to act
the part of a scavenger. By the Singhalese it is named _Kiri-ibba_.]

The terrapins lay about thirty eggs in the course of several weeks, and
these are round, with a calcareous shell. They thrive in captivity,
provided that they have a regular supply of water and of meat, cut into
small pieces and thrown to them. The tropical species, if transferred to
a colder climate, should have arrangements made for enabling them to
hybernate during the winter: they will die in a very short time if
exposed to a temperature below the freezing point.[1]

[Footnote 1: Of the _Emys trijuga_, the fresh water tortoise figured on
preceding page, the technical characteristics are;--vertical plates
lozenge-shaped; shell convex and oval; with three more or less distinct
longitudinal keels; shields corrugated; with areola situated in the
upper posterior corner. Shell brown, with the areolæ and the keels
yellowish; head brown, with a yellow streak over each eye.]

The edible turtle[1] is found on all the coasts of the island, and sells
for a few shillings or a few pence, according to its size and abundance
at the moment. A very repulsive spectacle is exhibited in the markets of
Jaffna by the mode in which the flesh of the turtle is sold piece-meal,
whilst the animal is still alive, by the families of the Tamil
fishermen. The creatures are to be seen in the market-place undergoing
this frightful mutilation; the plastron and its integuments having been
previously removed, and the animal thrown on its back, so as to display
all the motions of the heart, viscera, and lungs. A broad knife, from
twelve to eighteen inches in length, is first inserted at the left side,
and the women, who are generally the operators, introduce one hand to
scoop out the blood, which oozes slowly. The blade is next passed round,
till the lower shell is detached and placed on one side, and the
internal organs exposed in full action. A customer, as he applies, is
served with any part selected, which is cut off as ordered, and sold by
weight. Each of the fins is thus successively removed, with portions of
the fat and flesh, the turtle showing, by its contortions, that each act
of severance is productive of agony. In this state it lies for hours,
writhing in the sun, the heart[2] and head being usually the last pieces
selected, and till the latter is cut off the snapping of the mouth, and
the opening and closing of the eyes, show that life is still inherent,
even when the shell has been nearly divested of its contents.

[Footnote 1: Chelonia virgata, _Schweig_.]

[Footnote 2: ARISTOTLE was aware of the fact that the turtle will live
after the removal of the heart.--_De Vita et Morte_, ch. ii.]

At certain seasons the flesh of turtle on the south-western coast of
Ceylon is avoided as poisonous, and some lamentable instances are
recorded of deaths ascribed to its use. At Pantura, to the south of
Colombo, twenty-eight persons who had partaken of turtle in October,
1840, were immediately seized with sickness, after which coma
supervened, and eighteen died during the night. Those who survived said
there was nothing unusual in the appearance of the flesh except that it
was fatter than ordinary. Other similarly fatal occurrences have been
attributed to turtle curry; but as they have never been proved to
proceed exclusively from that source, there is room for believing that
the poison may have been contained in some other ingredient.

In the Gulf of Manaar turtle is frequently found of such a size as to
measure between four and five feet in length; and on one occasion, in
riding along the sea-shore north of Putlam, I saw a man in charge of
some sheep, resting under the shade of a turtle shell, which he had
erected on sticks to protect him from the sun--almost verifying the
statement of Ælian, that in the seas off Ceylon there are tortoises so
large that several persons may find ample shelter beneath a single

[Footnote 1: [Greek: "Tiktontai de ara en tautê tê thalattê, kai
chelônai megistai, ônper oun ta elytra orophoi ginontai kai gar esti kai
pentekaideka pêchôn en chelôneion, ôs hypoikein ouk oligous, kai tous
hêlious pyrodestatous apostegei, kai skian asmenois parechei."]--Lib.
xvi. c. 17. Ælian copied this statement literatim from MEGASTHESES,
_Indica Frag._ lix. 31. May not Megasthenes have referred to some
tradition connected with the gigantic fossilised species discovered on
the Sewalik Hills, the remains of which are now in the Museum at the
East India House?]

The hawksbill-turtle[1], which supplies the tortoise-shell of commerce,
was at former times taken in great numbers in the vicinity of
Hambangtotte during the season when they came to deposit their eggs.
This gave rise to the trade in tortoise-shell at Point de Galle, where
it is still manufactured into articles of ornament by the Moors; but the
shell they employ is almost entirely imported from the Maldives.

[Footnote 1: Caretta imbricata, _Linn._]

If taken from the animal after death and decomposition, the colour of
the shell becomes clouded and milky, and hence the cruel expedient is
resorted to of seizing the turtles as they repair to the shore to
deposit their eggs, and suspending them over fires till heat makes the
plates on the dorsal shields start from the bone of the carapace, after
which the creature is permitted to escape to the water.[1] In
illustration of the resistless influence of instinct at the period of
breeding, it may be mentioned that the identical tortoise is believed to
return again and again to the same spot, notwithstanding that at each
visit she may have to undergo a repetition of this torture. In the year
1826, a hawksbill turtle was taken near Hambangtotte, which bore a ring
attached to one of its fins that had been placed there by a Dutch
officer thirty years before, with a view to establish the fact of these
recurring visits to the same beach.[2]

[Footnote 1: At Celebes, whence the finest tortoise-shell is exported to
China, the natives kill the turtle by blows on the head, and immerse the
shell in boiling water to detach the plates. Dry heat is only resorted
to by the unskilful, who frequently destroy the tortoise-shell in the
operation--_Journal Indian Archipel_. vol. iii. p. 227, 1849.]

[Footnote 2: BENNETT'S _Ceylon, &c._, c. xxxiv.]

An opportunity is afforded on the sea-shore of Ceylon for observing a
remarkable illustration of instinct in the turtle, when about to deposit
its eggs. As if conscious that if she went and returned by one and the
same line across the sandy beach, her hiding place would be discovered
at its farthest extremity, she resorts to the expedient of curving her
course, so as to regain the sea by a different track; and after
depositing the eggs, burying them about eighteen inches deep, she
carefully smoothes over the surface to render the precise spot
indiscernible. The Singhalese, aware of this device, sound her line of,
march with a rod till they come upon the concealed nest.

_Snakes_.--It is perhaps owing to the aversion excited by the ferocious
expression and unusual action of serpents, combined with an instinctive
dread of attack[1], that exaggerated ideas prevail both as to their
numbers in Ceylon, and the danger to be apprehended from encountering
them. The Singhalese profess to distinguish a great many kinds, of which
they say not more than one half have as yet been scientifically
identified[2]; but so cautiously do serpents make their appearance, that
the surprise of persons long resident is invariably expressed at the
rarity with which they are to be seen; and from my own journeys through
the jungle, often of from two to five hundred miles, I have frequently
returned without observing a single snake. Mr. Bennett, who resided much
in the south-east of the island, ascribes the rarity of serpents in the
jungle to the abundance of the wild peafowl, whose partiality to young
snakes renders them the chief destroyers of these reptiles. It is
likely, too, that they are killed by the jungle-cocks; for they are
frequently eaten by the common barn-door fowl in Ceylon. This is
rendered the more probable by the fact, that in those districts where
the extension of cultivation, and the visits of sportsmen, have reduced
the numbers of the jungle-cocks and pea-fowl, snakes have perceptibly
increased. The deer also are enemies of the snakes, and the natives who
have had opportunities of watching their encounters assert that they
have seen deer rush upon a serpent and crush it by leaping on it with
all its four feet. As to the venomous powers of snakes, DR. DAVY, whose
attention was carefully directed to the poisonous serpents of Ceylon[3],
came to the conclusion that but _four_, out of twenty species examined
by him, were venomous, and that of these only two (the _tic-polonga_[4]
and _cobra de capello_[5]) were capable of inflicting a wound likely to
be fatal to man. The third is the _carawala_[6], a brown snake of about
two feet in length; and for the fourth, of which only a few specimens
have been procured, the Singhalese have no name in their vernacular--a
proof that it is neither deadly nor abundant. But Dr. Davy's estimate of
the venom of the _carawala_ is below the truth, as cases have been
authenticated to me, in which death from its bite ensued within a few
days. The effect, however, is not uniformly fatal; a circumstance which
the natives explain by asserting that there are three varieties of the
carawala, named the _hil-la_, the _dunu_, and the _mal_-carawala; the
second being the largest and the most dreaded.

[Footnote 1: Genesis iii. 15.]

[Footnote 2: This is not likely to be true: in a very large collection
of snakes made in Ceylon by Mr. C.R. Butler, and recently examined by
Dr. Günther, of the British Museum, only a single-specimen proved to be

There is, however, one venomous snake, of the existence of which I am
assured by a native correspondent in Ceylon, no mention has yet been
made by European naturalists. It is called M[=a]pil[=a] by the
Singhalese; it is described to me as being about four feet in length, of
the diameter of the little finger, and of a uniform dark brown colour.
It is said to be often seen in company with another snake called in
Singhalese _Lay Medilla_, a name which implies its deep red hue. The
latter is believed to be venomous. It would be well if some collector in
Ceylon would send home for examination the species which respectively
bear these names.]

[Footnote 3: See DAVY'S _Ceylon_, ch. xiv.]

[Footnote 4: Daboia elegans, _Daud._]

[Footnote 5: Naja tripudians, _Merr._]

[Footnote 6: Trigonocephalus hypnale, _Merr._]

In like manner, the _tic-polonga_, particularised by Dr. Davy, is said
to be but one out of seven varieties of that formidable reptile. The
word "tic" means literally the "spotted" polonga, from the superior
clearness of the markings on its scales. Another, the _nidi_, or
"sleeping" polonga, is so called from the fact that a person bitten by
it is soon prostrated by a lethargy from which he never awakes.[1] These
formidable serpents so infested the official residence of the District
Judge of Trincomalie in 1858, as to compel his family to abandon it. In
another instance, a friend of mine, going hastily to take a supply of
wafers from an open tin case which stood in his office, drew back his
hand, on finding the box occupied by a tic-polonga coiled within it.
During my residence in Ceylon, I never heard of the death of a European
which was caused by the bite of a snake; and in the returns of coroners'
inquests made officially to my department, such accidents to the natives
appear chiefly to have happened at night, when the animal, having been
surprised or trodden on, inflicted the wound in self-defence.[2] For
these reasons the Singhalese, when obliged to leave their houses in the
dark, carry a stick with a loose ring, the noise[3] of which as they
strike it on the ground is sufficient to warn the snakes to leave their

[Footnote 1: The other varieties are the _getta, lay, alu, kunu,_ and
_nil-polongas._ I have heard of an eighth, the _palla-polonga_.

Amongst the numerous pieces of folk-lore in Ceylon in connexion with
snakes, is the belief that a deadly enmity subsists between the polonga
and the cobra de capello, and that the latter, which is naturally shy
and retiring, is provoked to conflicts by the audacity of its rival.
Hence the proverb applied to persons at enmity, that "they hate like the
polonga and cobra."

The Singhalese believe the polonga to be by far the most savage and
wanton of the two, and they illustrate this by a popular legend, that
once upon a time a child, in the absence of its mother, was playing
beside a tub of water, which a cobra, impelled by thirst during a
long-continued drought, approached to drink, the unconscious child all
the while striking it with its hands to prevent the intrusion. The
cobra, on returning, was met by a tic-polonga, which seeing its scales
dripping with delicious moisture, entreated to be told the way to the
well. The cobra, knowing the vicious habits of the other snake, and
anticipating that it would kill the innocent child which it had so
recently spared, at first refused, and only yielded on condition that
the infant was not to be molested. But the polonga, on reaching the tub,
was no sooner obstructed by the little one, than it stung him to death.]

[Footnote 2: In a return of 112 coroners' inquests, in cases of death
from wild animals, held in Ceylon in five years, from 1851 to 1855
inclusive, 68 are ascribed to the bites of serpents; and in almost every
instance the assault is set down as having taken place _at night_. The
majority of the sufferers were children and women.]

[Footnote 3: PLINY notices that the serpent has the sense of hearing
more acute than that of sight; and that it is more frequently put in
motion by the sound of footsteps than by the appearance of the intruder,
"excitatur pede sæpius."--Lib, viii. c. 36.]

_Cobra de Capello._--The cobra de capello is the only one exhibited by
the itinerant snake-charmers: and the truth of Davy's conjecture, that
they control it, not by extracting its fangs, but by courageously
availing themselves of its well-known timidity and extreme reluctance to
use its fatal weapons, received a painful confirmation during my
residence in Ceylon, by the death of one of these performers, whom his
audience had provoked to attempt some unaccustomed familiarity with the
cobra; it bit him on the wrist, and he expired the same evening. The
hill near Kandy, on which the official residences of the Governor and
Colonial Secretary are built, is covered in many places with the
deserted nests of the white ants (_termites_), and these are the
favourite retreats of the sluggish and spiritless cobra, which watches
from their apertures the toads and lizards on which it preys. Here, when
I have repeatedly come upon them, their only impulse was concealment;
and on one occasion, when a cobra of considerable length could not
escape, owing to the bank being nearly precipitous on both sides of the
road, a few blows from my whip were sufficient to deprive it of life.[1]

[Footnote 1: A Singhalese work, the _Sarpados[=a]_, enumerates four
castes of the cobra;--the _raja_, or king: the _bamunu_, or Brahman; the
_velanda_, or trader; and the _gori_, or agriculturist. Of these the
raja, or "king of the cobras," is said to have the head and the anterior
half of the body of so light a colour, that at a distance it seems like
a silvery white. The work is quoted, but not correctly, in the _Ceylon
Times_ for January, 1857. It is more than probable, as the division
represents the four castes of the Hindus, Chastriyas, Brahmans Vaisyas,
and Sudras; that the insertion of the _gori_ instead of the latter was a
pious fraud of some copyist to confer rank upon the Vellales, the
agricultural caste of Ceylon.]

A gentleman who held a civil appointment at Kornegalle, had a servant
who was bitten by a snake and he informed me that on enlarging a hole
near the foot of the tree under which the accident occurred, he
unearthed a cobra of upwards of three feet long, and so purely white as
to induce him to believe that it was an albino. With the exception of
the _rat-snake_[1], the cobra de capello is the only serpent which seems
from choice to frequent the vicinity of human dwellings, doubtless
attracted by the young of the domestic fowl and by the moisture of the
wells and drainage.

[Footnote 1: _Coryphodon Blumenbachii._ There is a belief in Ceylon that
the bite of the rat-snake, though harmless to man, is fatal to black
cattle. The Singhalese add that it would be equally so to man were the
wound to be touched by cow-dung. WOLF, in the interesting story of his
_Life and Adventures in Ceylon_, mentions that rat-snakes were often so
domesticated by the native as to feed at their table. He says: "I once
saw an example of this in the house of a native. It being meal time, he
called his snake, which immediately came forth from the roof under which
he and I were sitting. He gave it victuals from his own dish, which the
snake took of itself from off a fig-leaf that was laid for it, and ate
along with its host. When it had eaten its fill, he gave it a kiss, and
bade it go to its hole." Major SKINNER, writing to me 12th Dec., 1858,
mentions the still more remarkable case of the domestication of the
cobra de capello in Ceylon. "Did you ever hear," he says, "of tame
cobras being kept and domesticated about a house, going in and out at
pleasure, and in common with the rest of the inmates? In one family,
near Negombo, cobras are kept as protectors, in the place of dogs, by a
wealthy man who has always large sums of money in his house. But this is
not a solitary case of the kind. I heard of it only the other day, but
from undoubtedly good authority. The snakes glide about the house, a
terror to thieves, but never attempting to harm the inmates."]

The young cobras, it is said, in the _Sarpa-dosa_, are not venomous till
after the thirteenth day, when they shed their coat for the first time.

The Singhalese remark that if one cobra be destroyed near a house, its
companion is almost certain to be discovered immediately after,--a
popular belief which I had an opportunity of verifying on more than one
occasion. Once, when a snake of this description was killed in a bath of
the Government House at Colombo, its mate was found in the same spot the
day after; and again, at my own stables, a cobra of five feet long,
having fallen into the well, which was too deep to permit its escape,
its companion of the same size was found the same morning in an
adjoining drain.[1] On this occasion the snake, which had been several
hours in the well, swam with ease, raising its head and hood above
water; and instances have repeatedly occurred of the cobra de capello
voluntarily taking considerable excursions by sea. When the
"Wellington," a government vessel employed in the conservancy of the
pearl banks, was anchored about a quarter of a mile from the land, in
the bay of Koodremalé, a cobra was seen, about an hour before sunset,
swimming vigorously towards the ship. It came within twelve yards, when
the sailors assailed it with billets of wood and other missiles, and
forced it to return to land. The following morning they discovered the
track which it had left on the shore, and traced it along the sand till
it was lost in the jungle. On a later occasion, in the vicinity of the
same spot, when the "Wellington" was lying at some distance from the
shore, a cobra was found and killed on board, where it could only have
gained access by climbing up the cable. It was first discovered by a
sailor, who felt the chill as it glided over his foot.

[Footnote 1: PLINY notices the affection that subsists between the male
and female asp; and that if one of them happens to be killed, the other
seeks to avenge its death.--Lib. viii. c. 37.]

One curious tradition in Ceylon embodies the popular legend, that the
stomach of the cobra de capello occasionally contains a precious stone
of such unapproachable brilliancy as to surpass all known jewels. This
inestimable stone is called the _n[=a]ga-m[=a]nik-kya_; but not one
snake in thousands is supposed to possess such a treasure. The cobra,
before eating, is believed to cast it up and conceal it for the moment;
else its splendour, like a flambeau, would attract all beholders. The
tales of the peasantry, in relation to it, all turn upon the devices of
those in search of the gem, and the vigilance and cunning of the cobra
by which they are baffled; the reptile itself being more enamoured of
the priceless jewel than even its most ardent pursuers.

In BENNETT'S account of "_Ceylon and its Capabilities_," there is
another curious piece of Singhalese folk-lore, to the effect, that the
cobra de capello every time it expends its poison _loses a joint of its
tail_, and eventually acquires a head resembling that of a toad. A
recent addition to zoological knowledge has thrown light on the origin
of this popular fallacy. The family of "false snakes" (_pseudo
typhlops_, as Schlegel names the group) have till lately consisted of
but three species, of which only one was known to inhabit Ceylon. They
belong to a family intermediate between the serpents and that Saurian
group-commonly called _Slow-worms_ or _Glass-snakes_; they in fact
represent the slow-worms of the temperate regions in Ceylon. They have
the body of a snake, but the cleft of their mouth is very narrow, and
they are unable to detach the lateral parts of the lower jaw from each
other, as the true snakes do when devouring a prey. The most striking
character of the group, however, is the size and form of the tail; this
is very short, and according to the observations of Professor Peters of
Berlin[1], shorter in the female than in the male. It does not terminate
in a point as in other snakes, but is truncated obliquely, the abrupt
surface of its extremity being either entirely flat, or more or less
convex, and always covered with rough keels. The reptile assists its own
movements by pressing the rough end to the ground, and from this
peculiar form of the tail, the family has received the name of
_Uropeltidæ_, or "Shield-tails." Within a very recent period important
additions have been made to this family. which now consists of four
genera and eleven species. Those occurring in Ceylon are enumerated in
the List appended to this chapter. One of these, the _Uropeltis grandis_
of Kelaart[2], is distinguished by its dark brown colour, shot with a
bluish metallic lustre, closely approaching the ordinary shade of the
cobra; and the tail is abruptly and flatly compressed as though it had
been severed by a knife. The form of this singular reptile will be best
understood by a reference to the accompanying figure; and there can, I
think, be little doubt that to its strange and anomalous structure is to
be traced the fable of the transformation of the cobra de capello. The
colour alone would seem to identify the two reptiles, but the head and
mouth are no longer those of a serpent, and the disappearance of the
tail might readily suggest the mutilation which the tradition asserts.


[Footnote 1: PETERS, _De Serpentum familia Uropeltaceorum_. Berol, 4.

[Footnote 2: The _Uropeltis grandis_ of Kelaart, which was at first
supposed to be a new species, proves to be identical with _U.
Phillippinus_ of Cuvier. It is doubtful, however, whether this species
be found in the Phillippine Islands, as stated by Cuvier; and it is more
than, probable that the typical specimen came from Ceylon--a further
illustration of the affinity of the fauna of Ceylon to that of the
Eastern Archipelago. The characteristics of this reptile, as given by
Dr. GRAY, are as follows:--"Caudal disc subcircular, with large
scattered tubercles; snout subacute, slightly produced. Dark brown,
lighter below, with some of the scales dark brown in the centre near the
posterior edge. GRAY, _Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1858, p. 262.]

The Singhalese Buddhists, in their religious abstinence from inflicting
death on any creature, are accustomed, after securing a venomous snake,
to enclose it in a basket woven of palm leaves, and to set it afloat on
a river.

_The Python._--The great python[1] (the "boa," as it is commonly
designated by Europeans, the "anaconda" of Eastern story), which is
supposed to crush the bones of an elephant, and to swallow the tiger, is
found, though not of such portentous dimensions, in the cinnamon gardens
within a mile of the fort of Colombo, where it feeds on hog-deer, and
other smaller animals.

[Footnote 1: Python reticulatus, _Gray_.]

The natives occasionally take it alive, and securing it to a pole expose
it for sale as a curiosity. One that was brought to me tied in this way
measured seventeen feet with a proportionate thickness: but one more
fully grown, which crossed my path on a coffee estate on the Peacock
Mountain at Pusilawa, considerably exceeded these dimensions. Another
which I watched in the garden at Elie House, near Colombo, surprised me
by the ease with which it erected itself almost perpendicularly in order
to scale a wall upwards of ten feet high.

The Singhalese assert that when it has swallowed a deer, or any animal
of similarly inconvenient bulk, the python draws itself through the
narrow aperture between two trees, in order to crush the bones and
assist in the process of deglutition.

It is a singular fact that the small and innocuous ground-snakes called
_Calamariæ_, which abound on the continent of India and in the islands
are not to be found in Ceylon; where they would appear to be replaced by
two singular genera, the _Aspidura_ and _Haplocercus_, These latter have
only one series of shields below the tail, whilst most other harmless
snakes (_Calamaria_ included) have a double series of sub-candals. The
_Aspidura_ has been known to naturalists for many years[1]; the
_Haplocercus_ of Ceylon has only recently been described by Dr. Günther,
and of it not more than three existing specimens are known: hence its
habits and the extent of its distribution over the island are still left
in uncertainty.[2]

[Footnote 1: Boie in Isis 1827 p. 517.]

[Footnote 2: GÜNTH. _Col. Snakes_, p. 14. In the hope that some inquirer
in Ceylon will be able to furnish such information as may fill up this
blank in the history of the haplocercus, the following particulars are
here appended. The largest of the specimens in the British Museum is
about twenty-five inches in length; the body thin, and much elongated;
the head narrow, and not distinct from the neck, the tail of moderate
length. Forehead covered by three shields, one anterior and two
posterior frontals; no loreal shield; one small shield before, two
behind the eye; seven shields along the upper lip, the eye being above
the fourth. The scales are disposed in seventeen longitudinal series;
they are lanceolate and strongly keeled. The upper parts are uniform
blackish or brown, with two dorsal rows of small indistinct black spots;
occiput with a whitish collar, edged with darker. The lower parts
uniform yellowish.]

Of ten species of snakes that ascend trees in Ceylon to search for
squirrels and lizards, and to rifle the nests of birds, one half,
including the green _carawala_, and the deadly _tic polonga_, are
believed by the natives to be venomous; but the truth of this is very
dubious. I have heard of the cobra being found on the crown of a
coco-nut palm, attracted, it was said, by the toddy which was flowing at
the time, it being the season for drawing it. Surrounding Elie House,
near Colombo, in which I resided, were a number of tall _casuarinas_ and
India-rubber trees, whose branches almost touched the lattices of the
window of the room in which I usually sat. These were a favourite resort
of the tree-snakes, and in the early morning the numbers which clung to
them were sometimes quite remarkable. I had thus an opportunity of
observing the action of these creatures, which seems to me one of
vigilance rather than of effort, the tongue being in perpetual activity,
as if it were an organ of feeling; and in those in which the nose is
elongated, a similar mobility and restlessness, especially when alarmed,
affords evidence of the same faculty.

The general characteristic of the Tree-snake is an exceedingly thin and
delicate body, often adorned with colours exquisite as those of the
foliage amongst which they live concealed. In some of the South American
species the tints vie in brilliancy with those of the humming-birds;
whilst their forms are so flexible and slender as to justify the name
conferred on them of "_whip-snakes_." The Siamese, to denote these
combinations of grace and splendour, call them "Sun-beams." A
naturalist[1], describing a bright green species in Brazil (_Philodryas
viridissimus_), writes: "I am always delighted when I find that another
tree-snake has settled in my garden. You look for a bird's nest, the
young ones have gone, but you find their bed occupied by one of these
beautiful creatures, which will coil up its body of two feet in length
within a space no larger than the hollow of your hand. They appear to be
always watchful; for at the instant you discover one, the quick playing
of the long, black, forked tongue will show you that you too are
observed. On perceiving the slightest sign of your intention to disturb
it, the snake will dart upwards through the branches and over the leaves
which scarcely appear to bend beneath the weight. A moment more, and you
have lost sight of it. Whenever I return to Europe, you may be sure that
in my hot-house those harmless, lovely creatures shall not be missing."

[Footnote 1: Dr. WUCHERER of Bahia.]

[Illustration: TREE SNAKE. Passerita fusca.]

Ceylon has several species of Tree-snakes, and one of the most common is
the green _Passerita_, easily recognized from its bright colour and from
the pointed moveable appendage, into which the snout is prolonged. The
snakes of this genus being active chiefly during the night, the pupil of
the eye is linear and horizontal. They never willingly descend from
trees, but prey there upon nocturnal Saurians, geckoes, small birds and
their young; and they are perfectly harmless, although they often try to
bite. It is strange that none of the numerous specimens which it has
been attempted to bring to Europe have ever fed in captivity; whilst in
South America they take their food freely in confinement, provided that
some green plants are placed in their cage.

In Ceylon I have never seen any specimen of a larger size than three
feet; whilst they are known to attain to more than five on the Indian

The inference is obvious, that the green coloration of the majority of
tree-snakes has more or less connection with their habits and mode of
life. Indeed, whenever a green-coloured snake is observed, it may at
once be pronounced, if slender or provided with a prehensile tail, to be
of the kind which passes its life on trees; but if it be short-bodied
then it lives on the prairies. There are nevertheless tree-snakes which
have a very different coloration; and one of the most remarkable species
is the _Passerita fusca_ or _Dryinus fuscus_, of which a figure is
annexed. It closely resembles the green Passerita in form, so that
naturalists have considered it to be a mere variety. It is entirely of a
shining brown, shot with purple, and the yellow longitudinal stripe
which runs along the side of the belly of the green species, is absent
in this one. It is much more rare than the green one, and does not
appear to be found in Hindostan: no intermediate forms have been
observed in Ceylon.

_Water-Snakes._--The fresh-water snakes, of which several species[1]
inhabit the still waters and pools, are all harmless in Ceylon. A
gentleman, who found near a river an agglutinated cluster of the eggs of
one variety (_Tropidophis schistosus_), placed them under a glass shade
on his drawing-room table, where one by one the young reptiles emerged
from the shell to the number of twenty.

[Footnote 1: Chersydrus granulatus, _Merr_.; Cerberus cinereus. _Daud._;
Tropidophis schistosus, _Daud._]

The _sea-snakes_ of the Indian tropics did not escape the notice of the
early Greek mariners who navigated those seas; and amongst the facts
collected by them, Ælian has briefly recorded that the Indian Ocean
produces serpents _with flattened tails_[1], whose bite, he adds, is to
be dreaded less for its venom than the laceration of its teeth. The
first statement is accurate, but the latter is incorrect, as there is an
all but unanimous concurrence of opinion that every species of this
family of serpents is more or less poisonous. The compression of the
tail noticed by Ælian is one of the principal characteristics of these
reptiles, as their motion through the water is mainly effected by its
aid, coupled with the undulating movement of the rest of the body. Their
scales, instead of being imbricated like those of land-snakes, form
hexagons; and those on the belly, instead of being scutate and enlarged,
are nearly of the same size and form as on other parts of the body.

[Footnote 1: "[Greek: Plateis tas ouras]." ÆLIAN, L. xvi. c. 8.

Ælian speaks elsewhere of fresh-water snakes. His remark on the
compression of the tail shows that his informants were aware of this
speciality in those that inhabit the sea.]

Sea-snakes (_Hydrophis_) are found on all the coasts of Ceylon. I have
sailed through large shoals of them in the Gulf of Manaar, close to the
pearl-banks of Aripo. The fishermen of Calpentyn on the west live in
perpetual dread of them, and believe their bite to be fatal. In the
course of an attempt which was recently made to place a lighthouse on
the great rocks of the south-east coast, known by seamen as the
Basses[1], or _Baxos_, the workmen who first landed found the portion of
the surface liable to be covered by the tides, honeycombed, and hollowed
into deep holes filled with water, in which were abundance of fishes and
some molluscs. Some of these cavities also contained sea-snakes from
four to five feet long, which were described as having the head "hooded
like the cobra de capello, and of a light grey colour, slightly
speckled. They coiled themselves like serpents on land, and darted at
poles thrust in among them. The Singhalese who accompanied the party,
said that they not only bit venomously, but crushed the limb of any
intruder in their coils."[2]

[Footnote 1: The Basses are believed to be the remnants of the great
island of Giri, swallowed up by the sea.--_Mahawanso_, ch. i. p. 4. They
may possibly be the _Bassæ_ of Ptolemy's map of _Taprobane_.]

[Footnote 2: Official Report to the Governor of Ceylon.]

Still, sea-snakes, though well-known to the natives, are not abundant
round Ceylon, as compared with their numbers in other places. Their
principal habitat is the ocean between the southern shores of China and
the northern coast of New Holland; and their western limit appears to be
about the longitude of Cape Comorin. It has long since been ascertained
that they frequent the seas that separate the islands of the Pacific;
but they have never yet been found in the Atlantic, nor even on the
western shores of tropical America. And if, as has been stated[1], they
have been seen on a late occasion in considerable numbers in the Bay of
Panama, the fact can only be regarded as one of the rare instances, in
which a change in the primary distribution of a race of animals has
occurred, either by an active or a passive immigration. Being
exclusively inhabitants of the sea, they are liable to be swept along by
the influence of currents; but to compensate for this they have been
endowed with a wonderful power of swimming. The individuals of all the
groups of terrestrial serpents are observed to be possessed of this
faculty to a greater or a less degree; and they can swim for a certain
distance without having any organs specially modified for the purpose;
except, perhaps, the lung, which is a long sac capable of taking in a
sufficient quantity of air, to keep the body of the snake above water.
Nor do we find any peculiar or specially adapted organs even in the
freshwater-snakes, although they can catch frogs or fishes while
swimming. But in the _hydrophids_, which are permanent inhabitants of
the ocean, and which in an adult state, approach the beach only
occasionally, and for very short times, the tail, which is rounded and
tapering in the others, is compressed into a vertical rudder-like organ,
similar to, and answering all the purposes of, the caudal fin in a fish.
When these snakes are brought on shore or on the deck of a ship, they
are helpless and struggle vainly in awkward attitudes. Their food
consists exclusively of such fishes as are found near the surface; a
fact which affords ample proof that they do not descend to great depths,
although they can dive as well as swim. They are often found in groups
during calm weather, sleeping on the sea; but owing to their extreme
caution and shyness, attempts to catch them are rarely successful; on
the least alarm, they suddenly expel the air from their lungs and
descend below the surface; a long stream of rising air-bubbles marking
the rapid course which they make below. Their poisonous nature has been
questioned; but the presence of a strong perforated tooth and of a
venomous gland sufficiently attest their dangerous powers, even if these
had not been demonstrated by the effects of their bite. But fortunately
for the fishermen, who sometimes find them unexpectedly among the
contents of their nets, sea-snakes are unable, like other venomous
serpents, to open the jaws widely, and in reality they rarely inflict a
wound. Dr. Cantor believes, that, they are blinded by the light when
removed from their own element; and he adds that they become sluggish
and speedily die.[2]

[Footnote 1: Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.]

[Footnote 2: _Catal. Mal. Rept_. p. 136.]

[Illustration: SEA SNAKE Hydrophis subloevis]

Those found near the coasts of Ceylon are generally small,--from one to
three feet in length, and apparently immature; and it is certain that
the largest specimens taken in the Pacific do not attain to greater
length than eight feet. In colour they are generally of a greenish
brown, in parts inclining to yellow, with occasionally cross bands of
black. The species figured in the accompanying drawing is the _Hydrophis
subloevis_ of Gray; or _Hydrus cyanocinctus_ of Boie.[1] The specimen
from which the drawing is taken, was obtained by Dr. Templeton at

[Footnote 1: Its technical characteristics are as follows,--Body rather
slender; ground colour yellowish with irregular black rings. Scales
nearly smooth; ventral plates broad, six-sided, smooth, some divided
into two, by a slight central groove. Occipital shields large,
triangular, and produced, with a small central shield behind them; a
series of four large temporal shields; chin shields in two pairs; eyes
very small, over the fourth and fifth labials; one ante-and two
post-oculars; the second upper labial shield elongated.]

The use of the Pamboo-Kaloo, or snake-stone, as a remedy in cases of
wounds by venomous serpents, has probably been communicated to the
Singhalese by the itinerant snake-charmers who resort to the island from
the coast of Coromandel; and more than one well-authenticated instance
of its successful application has been told to me by persons who had
been eye-witnesses to what they described. On one occasion, in March,
1854, a friend of mine was riding, with some other civil officers of the
Government, along a jungle path in the vicinity of Bintenne, when he saw
one of two Tamils, who were approaching the party, suddenly dart into
the forest and return, holding in both hands a cobra de capello which he
had seized by the head and tail. He called to his companion for
assistance to place it in their covered basket, but, in doing this, he
handled it so inexpertly that it seized him by the finger, and retained
its hold for a few seconds, as if unable to retract its fangs. The blood
flowed, and intense pain appeared to follow almost immediately; but,
with all expedition, the friend of the sufferer undid his waistcloth,
and took from it two snake-stones, each of the size of a small almond,
intensely black and highly polished, though of an extremely light
substance. These he applied, one to each wound inflicted by the teeth of
the serpent, to which they attached themselves closely; the blood that
oozed from the bites being rapidly imbibed by the porous texture of the
article applied. The stones adhered tenaciously for three or four
minutes, the wounded man's companion in the meanwhile rubbing his arm
downwards from the shoulder towards the fingers. At length the
snake-stones dropped off of their own accord; the suffering of the man
appeared to subside; he twisted his fingers till the joints cracked, and
went on his way without concern. Whilst this had been going on, another
Indian of the party who had come up took from his bag a small piece of
white wood, which resembled a root, and passed it gently near the head
of the cobra, which the latter immediately inclined close to the ground;
he then lifted the snake without hesitation, and coiled it into a circle
at the bottom of his basket. The root by which he professed to be
enabled to perform this operation with safety he called the _Naya-thalic
Kalanga_ (the root of the snake-plant), protected by which he professed
his ability to approach any reptile with impunity.

In another instance, in 1853, Mr. Lavalliere, then District Judge of
Kandy, informed me that he saw a snake-charmer in the jungle, close by
the town, search for a cobra de capello, and, after disturbing one in
its retreat, the man tried to secure it, but, in the attempt, he was
bitten in the thigh till blood trickled from the wound. He instantly
applied the _Pamboo-Kaloo_, which adhered closely for about ten minutes,
during which time he passed the root which he held in his hand backwards
and forwards above the stone, till the latter dropped to the ground. He
assured Mr. Lavalliere that all danger was then past. That gentleman
obtained from him the snake-stone he had relied on, and saw him
repeatedly afterwards in perfect health.

The substances used on both these occasions are now in my possession.
The roots employed by the several parties are not identical. One appears
to be a bit of the stem of an Aristolochia; the other is so dried as to
render its identification difficult, but it resembles the quadrangular
stem of a jungle vine. Some species of Aristolochia, such as the _A.
serpentaria_ of North America, are supposed to act as specifics in the
cure of snakebites; and the _A. indica_ is the plant to which the
ichneumon is popularly believed to resort as an antidote when bitten[1];
but it is probable that the use of any particular plant by the
snake-charmers is a pretence, or rather a delusion, the reptile being
overpowered by the resolute action of the operator[2], and not by the
influence of any secondary appliance. In other words, the confidence
inspired by the supposed talisman enables its possessor to address
himself fearlessly to his task, and thus to effect, by determination and
will, what is popularly believed to be the result of charms and
stupefaction. Still it is curious that, amongst the natives of Northern
Africa, who lay hold of the _Cerastes_ without fear or hesitation,
impunity is ascribed to the use of a plant with the juice of which they
anoint themselves before touching the reptile[3]; and Bruce says of the
people of Sennar, that they acquire exemption from the fatal
consequences of the bite by chewing a particular root, and washing
themselves with an infusion of certain plants. He adds that a portion of
this root was given him, with a view to test its efficacy in his own
person, but that he had not sufficient resolution to make the

[Footnote 1: For an account of the encounter between the ichneumon and
the venomous snakes of Ceylon, see Ch. I. p. 39.]

[Footnote 2: The following narrative of the operations of a
snake-charmer in Ceylon is contained in a note from Mr. Reyne, of the
department of public works: "A snake-charmer came to my bungalow in
1851, requesting me to allow him to show me his snakes dancing. As I had
frequently seen them, I told him I would give him a rupee if he would
accompany me to the jungle, and catch a cobra, that I knew frequented
the place. He was willing, and as I was anxious to test the truth of the
charm, I counted his tame snakes, and put a watch over them until I
returned with him. Before going I examined the man, and satisfied myself
he had no snake about his person. When we arrived at the spot, he played
on a small pipe, and after persevering for some time out came a large
cobra from an ant hill, which I knew it occupied. On seeing the man it
tried to escape, but he caught it by the tail and kept swinging it round
until we reached the bungalow. He then made it dance, but before long it
bit him above the knee. He immediately bandaged the leg above the bite,
and applied a snake-stone to the wound to extract the poison. He was in
great pain for a few minutes, but after that it gradually went away, the
stone falling off just before he was relieved. When he recovered he held
a cloth up which the snake flew at, and caught its fangs in it; while in
that position, the man passed his hand up its back, and having seized it
by the throat, he extracted the fangs in my presence and gave them to
me. He then squeezed out the poison on to a leaf. It was a clear oily
substance, and when rubbed on the hand produced a fine lather. I
carefully watched the whole operation, which was also witnessed by my
clerk and two or three other persons. _Colombo, 13th January_
1860.--H.E. REYNE."]

[Footnote 3: Hasselquist.]

As to the snake-stone itself, I submitted one, the application of which
I have been describing, to Mr. Faraday, who has communicated to me, as
the result of his analysis, his belief that it is "a piece of charred
bone which has been filled with blood perhaps several times, and then
carefully charred again. Evidence of this is afforded, as well by the
apertures of cells or tubes on its surface as by the fact that it yields
and breaks, under pressure; and exhibits an organic structure within.
When heated slightly, water rises from it, and also a little ammonia;
and, if heated still more highly in the air, carbon burns away, and a
bulky white ash is left, retaining the shape and size of the stone."
This ash, as is evident from inspection, cannot have belonged toany
vegetable substance, for it is almost entirely composed of phosphate of
lime. Mr. Faraday adds that "if the piece of matter has ever been
employed as a spongy absorbent, it seems hardly fit for that purpose in
its present state: but who can say to what treatment it has been
subjected since it was fit for use, or to what treatment the natives may
submit it when expecting to have occasion to use it?"

The probability is, that the animal charcoal, when instantaneously
applied, may be sufficiently porous and absorbent to extract the venom
from the recent wound, together with a portion of the blood, before it
has had time to be carried into the system; and that the blood which Mr.
Faraday detected in the specimen submitted to him was that of the Indian
on whose person the effect was exhibited on the occasion to which my
informant was an eye-witness. The snake-charmers from the coast who
visit Ceylon profess to prepare the snake-stones for themselves, and to
preserve the composition a secret. Dr. Davy[1], on the authority of Sir
Alexander Johnston, says the manufacture of them is a lucrative trade,
carried on by the monks of Manilla, who supply the merchants of
India--and his analysis confirms that of Mr. Faraday. Of the three
different kinds which he examined--one being of partially burnt bone,
and another of chalk, the third, consisting chiefly of vegetable matter,
resembled bezoar,--all of them (except the first, which possessed a
slight absorbent power) were quite inert, and incapable of having any
effect except on the imagination of the patient. Thunberg was shown the
snake-stone used by the boers at the Cape in 1772, which was imported
for them "from the Indies, especially from Malabar," at so high a price
that few of the farmers could afford to possess themselves of it; he
describes it as convex on one side, black and so porous that "when
thrown into water, it caused bubbles to rise;" and hence, by its
absorbent qualities, it served, if speedily applied, to extract the
poison from the wound.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Account of the Interior of Ceylon_, ch. iii. p. 101.]

[Footnote 2: _Thunberg_, vol. i. p. 155. Since the foregoing account was
published, I have received a note from Mr. HARDY, relative to the
_piedra ponsona_, the snake-stone of Mexico, in which he gives the
following account of the method of preparing and applying it: "Take a
piece of hart's horn of any convenient size and shape; cover it well
round with grass or hay, enclose both in a thin piece of sheet copper
well wrapped round them, and place the parcel in a charcoal fire till
the bone is sufficiently charred.

"When cold, remove the calcined horn from its envelope, when it will be
ready for immediate use. In this state it will resemble a solid black
fibrous substance, of the same shape and size as before it was subjected
to this treatment.

"USE.--The wound being slightly punctured, apply the bone to the
opening, to which it will adhere firmly for the space of two minutes;
and when it falls, it should be received into a basin of water. It
should then be dried in a cloth, and again applied to the wound. But it
will not adhere longer than about one minute. In like manner it may be
applied a third time; but now it will fall almost immediately, and
nothing will cause it to adhere any more.

"These effects I witnessed in the case of a bite of a rattle-snake at
Oposura, a town in the province of Sonora, in Mexico, from whence I
obtained my recipe; and I have given other particulars respecting it in
my Travels in the Interior of Mexico, published in 1830. R.W.H. HARDY.
_Bath_, 30_th January_, 1860."]

_Coecilia_.--The rocky jungle, bordering the higher coffee estates,
provides a safe retreat for a very singular animal, first introduced to
the notice of European naturalists about a century ago by Linnæus, who
gave it the name _Coecilia glutinosa_, to indicate two peculiarities
manifest to the ordinary observer--an apparent defect of vision, from
the eyes being so small and embedded as to be scarcely distinguishable;
and a power of secreting from minute pores in the skin a viscous fluid,
resembling that of snails, eels, and some salamanders. Specimens are
rare in Europe owing to the readiness with which it decomposes, breaking
down into a flaky mass in the spirits in which it is attempted to
preserve it.

The creature is about the length and thickness of an ordinary round desk
ruler, a little flattened before and rounded behind. It is brownish,
with a pale stripe along either side. The skin is furrowed into 350
circular folds, in which are imbedded minute scales. The head is
tolerably distinct, with a double row of fine curved teeth for seizing
the insects and worms on which it is supposed to live.

Naturalists are most desirous that the habits and metamorphoses of this
creature should be carefully ascertained, for great doubts have been
entertained as to the position it is entitled to occupy in the chain of

_Batrachians._--In the numerous marshes formed by the overflowing of the
rivers in the plains of the low country, there are many varieties of
frogs, which, both by their colours and by their extraordinary size, are
calculated to excite the surprise of a stranger. In the lakes around
Colombo and the still water near Trincomalie, there are huge creatures
of this family, from six to eight inches in length[1], of an olive hue,
deepening into brown on the back and yellow on the under side. A Kandyan
species, recently described, is of much smaller dimensions, but
distinguished by its brilliant colouring, a beautiful grass green above
and deep orange underneath[2].

[Footnote 1: A Singhalese variety of the _Rana cutipora?_ and the
Malabar bull-frog, _Hylarana Malabarica_. A frog named by BLYTH _Rana
robusta_ proves to be a Ceylon specimen of the _R. cutipora_.]

[Footnote 2: _R. Kandiana_, Kelaart.]

In the shrubberies around my house at Colombo the graceful little
tree-frogs[1] were to be found in great numbers, sheltered under broad
leaves to protect them from the scorching sun;--some of them utter a
sharp metallic sound at night, similar to that produced by smacking the

[Footnote 1: _Polypedates maculatus,_ Gray.]

In the gardens and grounds toads[1] crouch in the shade, and pursue the
flies and minute coleoptera. In Ceylon, as in Europe, these creatures
suffer from the bad renown of injecting a poison into the wound
inflicted by their bite.[2] The main calumny is confuted by the fact
that no toad has yet been discovered furnished with any teeth
whatsoever; but the obnoxious repute still attaches to the milky
exudation sometimes perceptible from glands situated on either side
behind the head; nevertheless experiments have shown, that though acrid,
the secretions of the toad are incapable of exciting more than a slight
erythema on the most delicate skins. The smell is, however, fetid and
offensive, and hence toads are less exposed to the attacks of
carnivorous animals and of birds than frogs, in which such glands do not

[Footnote 1: _Bufo melanostictus_, Schneid.]

[Footnote 2: In Ceylon this error is as old as the third century, B.C.,
when, as the _Mahawanso_ tells us, the wife of "King Asoka attempted to
destroy the great bo-tree (at Magadha) _with, the poisoned fang of a
toad._"--Ch. xx. p. 122.]

In the class of Reptiles, those only are included in the order of
Batrachians which undergo a metamorphosis before attaining maturity; and
as they offer the only example amongst Vertebrate animals of this
marvellous transformation, they are justly considered as the lowest in
the scale, with the exception of fishes, which remain during life in
that stage of development which is only the commencement of existence to
a frog.

In undergoing this change, it is chiefly the organs of respiration that
manifest alteration. In its earliest form the young batrachian, living
in the water, breathes as a fish does by _gills_, either free and
projecting as in the water-newt, or partially covered by integument as
in the tadpole. But the gills disappear as the lungs gradually become
developed: the duration of the process being on an average one hundred
days from the time the eggs were first deposited. After this important
change, the true batrachian is incapable any longer of living
continuously in water, and either betakes itself altogether to the land,
or seeks the surface from time to time to replenish its exhausted

[Footnote 1: A few Batrachians, such as the _Siren_ of Carolina, the
_Proteus_ of Illyria, the _Axolotl_ of Mexico, and the _Menobranchus_ of
the North American Lakes, retain their gills during life; but although
provided with lungs in mature age, they are not capable of living out of
the water. Such batrachians form an intermediate link between reptiles
and fishes.]

The change in the digestive functions during metamorphosis is scarcely
less extraordinary; frogs, for example, which feed on animal substances
at maturity, subsist entirely upon vegetable when in the condition of
larvæ, and the subsidiary organs undergo remarkable development, the
intestinal canal in the earlier stage being five times its length in the
later one.

Of the family of tailed batrachians, Ceylon does not furnish a single
example; but of those without this appendage, the island, as above
remarked, affords many varieties; seven distinguishable species
pertaining to the genus _rana_, or true frogs with webs to the hind
feet; two to the genus _bufo_, or true toads, and five to the
_Polypedates_, or East Indian "tree-frogs;" besides a few others in
allied genera. The "tree-frog," whose toes are terminated by rounded
discs which assist it in climbing, possesses, in a high degree, the
faculty of changing its hues; and one as green as a leaf to-day, will be
found grey and spotted like the bark to-morrow. One of these beautiful
little creatures, which had seated itself on the gilt pillar of a lamp
on my dinner-table, became in a few minutes scarcely distinguishable in
colour from the or-molu ornament to which it clung.

       *       *       *       *       *

_List of Ceylon Reptiles._

I am indebted to Dr. Gray and Dr. Günther, of the British Museum, for a
list of the reptiles of Ceylon; but many of those new to Europeans have
been carefully described by the late Dr. Kelaart in his _Prodromus Fauna
Zeylanicæ_ and its appendices, as well as in the 13th vol. _Magaz. Nat.
Hist._ (1854).


    salvator, _Wagler._
    dracæna, _Linn._
    punctata, _Linn._
    Hardwickii, _Gray._
    Bonitæ, _Dum. & Bib._
    rufescens, _Shaw._
    Taprobanius, _Kel._
    Burtoni, _Gray._
    Layardi, _Kelaart._
    bramicus, _Daud._
    fallax, _Peters._
    oxyrhynchus, _Schn._
    punctatus, _J. Müll_
    philippinus, _J. Müll_
    homolepis, _Hempr._
    planiceps, _Peters._
    Blythii, _Kelaart._
    melanogaster, _Gray._
    grandis, _Kelaart._
    _saffragamus, Kelaart._
    Ceylonica, _Cuv._
    frenatus, _Schleg._
    Leschenaultii, _Dum. & Bib._
    trihedrus, _Daud._
    maculatus, _Dum. & Bib._
    Piresii, _Kelaart._
    Coctoei, _Dum. & Bib._
    pustulatus, _Dum._
    sublævis, _Cantor._
    Peronii, _Dum. & Bib._
    Kandianus, _Kelaart._
    Ponticereana, _Cuv._
    scutatus, _Linn._
    Stoddartii, _Gray._
    Tennentii, _Günther._
    bivittata, _Wiegm._
  _Salea Jerdoni, Gray._
    ophiomachus, _Merr._
    nigrilabris, _Peters._
    versicolor, _Daud._
    Rouxii, _Dum. & Bib._
    mystaceus, _Dum._
    vulgaris, _Daud._


    trigonocephala, _Latr._
    hypnalis, _Merr._
    elegans, _Daud._
    _bicolor, Daud._
    _lapemoides, Gray._
    sublævis, _Gray._
    cyanocinctus, _Daud._
    granulatus, _Schneid_.
    cinereus, _Daud._
    schistosus, _Daud._
    reticulatus, _Gray._
    rufa, _Schneid._
    maculata, _Linn._
    brachyorrhos, _Boie._
    trachyprocta, _Cope._
    Ceylonensis, _Günth._
    subquadratus, _Dum. & Bib._
    subgriseus, _Dum. & Bib._
    sublineatus, _Dum. & Bib._
    Russellii, _Daud._
    purpurascens, _Schleg._
    collaris, _Gray._
    quincunciatus, _Schleg._
      var. funebris.
      var. carinatus.
    stolatus, _Linn._
    chrysargus, _Boie._
    Helena, _Daud._
    Blumenbachii, _Merr._
    calamaria, _Günth._
    ornata, _Shaw._
    picta, _Gm._
    mycterizans, _Linn._
    Ceylonensis, _Günth._
    aulicus, _Linn._
    carinata, _Kuhl._
    fasciatus, _Schneid._
    var. Ceylonensis, _Gthr._
    tripudians, _Merr._


    stellata, _Schweig._
    Sebæ, _Gray._
    trijuga, _Schweigg._
    imbricata, _Linn._
    virgata, _Schweigg._


    biporcatus. _Cuv._
    palustris, _Less._


    hexadactyla, _Less._
    Kuhlii, _Schleg._
    cutipora, _Dum. & Bib._
    tigrina, _Daud._
    vittigera, _Wiegm._
    Malabarica, _Dum. & Bib._
    Kandiana, _Kelaart._
    Neuera-elliana, _Kel._
    melanostictus, _Schneid._
    Kelaartii, _Günth._
    variabilis, _Günth._
    leucorhinus, _Martens._
    poecilopleurus, _Mart._
    aurifasciatus, _Schleg._
    schmardanus, _Kelaart._
    maculatus, _Gray._
    microtympanum, _Gth._
    eques, _Günth._
    lividus, _Blyth._
    macularis, _Blyth._
    mutabilis, _Kelaart._
    maculatus, _Kelaart._
    pulchra, _Gray._
    balteata, var. _Günth._
    stellata, _Kelaart._
    badioflavus, _Copr._
    fodiens, _Jerd._
    rubrum, _Jerd._


    glutinosa, _Linn._

NOTE.--The following species are peculiar to Ceylon (and the genera
Ceratophora, Otocryptis, Uropeltis, Aspidura. Cercaspis, and Haplocercus
would appear to be similarly restricted);--Lygosoma fallax; Trimesurus
Ceylonensis, T. nigromarginatus; Megæra Trigonocephala; Trigonocephalus
hypnalis; Daboia elegans; Rhinophis punctatus, Rh. homolepis, Rh.
planiceps, Rh. Blythii, Rh. melanogaster; Uropeltis grandis; Silybura
Ceylonica; Cylindrophis maculata; Aspidura brachyorrhos; Haplocercus
Ceylonensis; Oligodon sublineatus; Cynophis Helena; Cyclophis calamaria;
Dipsadomorphus Ceylonensis; Cercaspis carinata; Ixalus variabilis, I.
leucorhinus, I. poecilopleurus; Polypedates microtympanum. P. eques.



Hitherto no branch of the zoology of Ceylon has been so imperfectly
investigated as its Ichthyology. Little has been done in the examination
and description of its fishes, especially those which frequent the
rivers and inland waters. Mr. BENNETT, who was for some years employed
in the Civil Service, directed his attention to the subject, and
published in 1830 some portions of a projected work on the marine fishes
of the island[1], but it never proceeded beyond the description of
thirty individuals. The great work of Cuvier and Valenciennes[2]
particularises about one hundred species, specimens of which were
procured from Ceylon by Reynard, Leschenault and other correspondents;
but of these not more than half a dozen belong to fresh water.

[Footnote 1: _A Selection of the most Remarkable and Interesting Fishes
found on the Coast of Ceylon._ By J.W. BENNETT, Esp. London, 1830.]

[Footnote 2: _Histoire Naturelle des Poissons._]

The fishes of the coast, as far as they have been examined, present few
that are not in all probability common to the seas of Ceylon and India.
A series of drawings, including upwards of six hundred species and
varieties of Ceylon fish, all made from recently-captured specimens,
have been submitted to Professor Huxley, and a notice of their general
characteristics forms an interesting appendix to the present chapter.[1]

[Footnote 1: See note B appended to this chapter.]

Of those in ordinary use for the table the finest by far is the
Seir-fish[1], a species of Scomberoids, which is called _Tora-malu_ by
the natives. It is in size and form very similar to the salmon, to which
the flesh of the female fish, notwithstanding its white colour, bears a
very close resemblance both in firmness and flavour.

[Footnote 1: _Cybium_ (_Scomber_, Linn.) _guttatum_.]

Mackerel, carp, whitings, mullet both red and striped, perches and soles
are abundant, and a sardine (_Sardinella Neohowii_, Val.) frequents the
southern and eastern coast in such profusion that in one instance in
1839, a gentleman who was present saw upwards of four hundred thousand
taken in a haul of the nets in the little bay of Goyapanna, east of
Point-de-Galle. As this vast shoal approached the shore the broken water
became as smooth as if a sheet of ice had been floating below the

[Footnote 1: These facts serve to explain the story told by the friar
ODORIC of Friuli, who visited Ceylon about the year 1320 A.D., and says
there are "fishes in those seas that come swimming towards the said
country in such abundance that for a great distance into the sea nothing
can be seen but the backs of fishes, which casting themselves on the
shore, do suffer men for the space of three daies to come and to take as
many of them as they please, and then they return again into the
sea."--_Hakluyt_, vol. ii. p. 57.]

_Poisonous Fishes._--The sardine has the reputation of being poisonous
at certain seasons, and accidents ascribed to eating it are recorded in
all parts of the island. Whole families of fishermen who have partaken
of it have died. Twelve persons in the jail of Chilaw were thus
poisoned, about the year 1829; and the deaths of soldiers have
repeatedly been ascribed to the same cause. It is difficult in such
instances to say with certainty whether the fish were in fault; whether
there was not a peculiar susceptibility in the condition of the
recipients; or whether the mischief may not have been occasioned by the
wilful administration of poison, or its accidental occurrence in the
brass cooking vessels used by the natives. The popular belief was,
however, deferred to by an order passed by the Governor in Council in
February, 1824, which, after reciting that "Whereas it appears by
information conveyed to the Government that at three several periods at
Trincomalie, death has been the consequence to several persons from
eating the fish called Sardinia during the months of January and
December," enacts that it shall not be lawful in that district to catch
sardines during these months, under pain of fine and imprisonment. This
order is still in force, but the fishing continues notwithstanding.[1]

[Footnote 1: There are other species of Sardine found at Ceylon besides
the _S. Neohowii_; such as the _S. lineolata_, Cuv. and Val. and the _S.
leiogaster_, Cuv. and Val. xx. 270, which was found by M. Reynaud at
Trincomalie. It occurs also off the coast of Java. Another Ceylon fish
of the same group, a Clupea, is known as the "poisonous sprat;" the
bonito (_Thynnus affinis_, Cang.), the kangewena, or unicorn fish
(_Balistes?_), and a number of others, are more or less in bad repute
from the same imputation.]

_Sharks._--Sharks appear on all parts of the coast, and instances
continually occur of persons being seized by them whilst bathing even in
the harbours of Trincomalie and Colombo. In the Gulf of Manaar they are
taken for the sake of their oil, of which they yield such a quantity
that "shark's oil" is a recognised export. A trade also exists in drying
their fins, for which, owing to the gelatine contained in them, a ready
market is found in China; whither the skin of the basking shark is also
sent, to be converted, it is said, into shagreen.

_Saw Fish._--The huge _Pristis antiquorum_[1] infests the eastern coast
of the island, where it attains a length of from twelve to fifteen feet,
including the serrated rostrum from which its name is derived. This
powerful weapon seems designed to compensate for the inadequacy of the
ordinary maxillary teeth which are unusually small, obtuse, and
insufficient to capture and kill the animals which form the food of this
predatory shark. To remedy this, the fore part of the head and its
cartilages are prolonged into a flattened plate, the length of which is
nearly equal to one third of the whole body, its edges being armed with
formidable teeth, that are never shed or renewed, but increase in size
with the growth of the creature.

[Footnote 1: Two other species are found in the Ceylon waters, _P.
cuspidatus_ and _P. pectinatus_.]


The _Rays_ form a large tribe of cartilaginous fishes in which, although
the skeleton is not osseous, the development of organs is so advanced
that they would appear to be the highest of the class, approaching
nearest to amphibians. They are easily distinguished from the sharks by
their broad and flat body, the pectoral fins being expanded like wings
on each side of the trunk. They are all inhabitants of the ocean, and
some grow to a prodigious size. Specimens have been caught of twenty
feet in breadth. These, however, are of rare occurrence, as such huge
monsters usually retreat into the depths of the sea, where they are
secure from the molestation of man. It is, generally speaking, only the
young and the smaller species that approach the coasts, where they find
a greater supply of those marine animals which form their food. The Rays
have been divided into several generic groups, and the one of which a
drawing (_Aëtobates narinari_[1]) is given, has very marked
characteristics in its produced snout, pointed and winged-like pectoral
fins, and exceedingly long, flagelliform tail. The latter is armed with
a strong, serrated spine, which is always broken off by the fishermen
immediately on capture, under the impression that wounds inflicted by it
are poisonous. Their fears, however, are utterly groundless, as the ray
has no gland for secreting any venomous fluid. The apprehension may,
however, have originated in the fact that a lacerated wound such as
would be produced by a serrated spine, is not unlikely to assume a
serious character, under the influence of a tropical climate. The
species figured on the last page is brownish-olive on the upper surface,
with numerous greenish-white round spots, darkening towards the edges.
The anterior annulations of the tail are black and white, the posterior
entirely black. Its mouth is transverse and paved with a band of
flattened teeth calculated to crush the hard shells of the animals on
which it feeds. It moves slowly along the bottom in search of its food,
which consists of crustacea and mollusca, and seems to be unable to
catch fishes or other quickly moving animals. Specimens have been taken
near Ceylon, of six feet in width. Like most deep-sea fishes, the ray
has a wide geographical range, and occurs not only in all the Indian
Ocean, but also in the tropical tracts of the Atlantic.


[Footnote 1: _Raja narinari_, Bl. Schn. p. 361. _Aëtobates narinari_,
Müll. und Henle., Plagiost. p. 179.]

Another armed fish, renowned since the times of Ælian and Pliny for its
courage in attacking the whale, and even a ship, is the sword-fish
(_Xiphias gladius_).[1] Like the thunny and bonito, it is an inhabitant
of the deeper seas, and, though known in the Mediterranean, is chiefly
confined to the tropics. The dangerous weapon with which nature has
equipped it is formed by the prolongation and intertexture of the bones
of the upper jaw into an exceedingly compact cylindrical protuberance,
somewhat flattened at the base, but tapering to a sharp point. In
strange inconsistence with its possession of so formidable an armature,
the general disposition of the sword-fish is represented to be gentle
and inoffensive; and although the fact of its assaults upon the whale
has been incontestably established, yet the motive for such conflicts,
and the causes of its enmity, are beyond conjecture. Competition for
food is out of the question, as the Xiphias can find its own supplies
without rivalry on the part of its gigantic antagonist; and as to
converting the whale itself into food, the sword-fish, from the
construction of its mouth and the small size of its teeth, is quite
incapable of feeding on animals of such dimensions.

[Footnote 1: ÆLIAN tells a story of a ship in the Black Sea, the bottom
of which was penetrated by the sword of a _Xiphias_ (L. xiv. c. 23); and
PLINY (L. xxxii. c. 8) speaks of a similar accident on the coast of
Mauritania. In the British Museum there is a specimen of a plank of oak,
pierced by a sword-fish, and still retaining the broken weapon.]

In the seas around Ceylon sword-fishes sometimes attain to the length of
twenty feet, and are distinguished by the unusual height of the dorsal
fin. Those both of the Atlantic and Mediterranean possess this fin in
its full proportions, only during the earlier stages of their growth.
Its dimensions even then are much smaller than in the Indian species;
and it is a curious fact that it gradually decreases as the fish
approaches to maturity; whereas in the seas around Ceylon, it retains
its full size throughout the entire period of life. They raise it above
the water, whilst dashing along the surface in their rapid course; and
there is no reason to doubt that it occasionally acts as a sail.

The Indian species (which are provided with two long and filamentous
ventral fins) have been formed into the genus _Histiophorus_; to which
belongs the individual figured on the next page. It is distinguished
from others most closely allied to it, by having the immense dorsal fin
of one uniform dark violet colour; whilst in its congeners, it is
spotted with blue. The fish from which the engraving has been made, was
procured by Dr. Templeton, near Colombo. The species was previously
known only by a single specimen captured in the Red Sea, by Rüppell, who
conferred upon it the specific designation of "_immaculatus_."[1]

[Footnote 1: Trans. Zool. Soc. ii. p. 71. Pl. 15.]


Ælian, in his graphic account of the strange forms presented by the
fishes inhabiting the seas around Ceylon, says that one in particular is
so grotesque in its configuration, that no painter would venture to
depict it; its main peculiarity being that it has feet or claws rather
than fins.[1] The annexed drawing[2] may probably represent the creature
to which the informants of Ælian referred. It is a cheironectes; one of
a group in which the bones of the carpus form arms that support the
pectoral fins, and enable these fishes to walk along the moist ground,
almost like quadrupeds.

[Footnote 1: [Greek: Podas ge mên chêlas ê pterygia.]--Lib. xvi. c. 18.]

[Footnote 2: The fish from which this drawing of the _Cheironectes_ was
made, was taken near Colombo, and from the peculiarities which it
presents it is in all probability a new and undescribed species. Dr.
GÜNTHER has remarked, that in it, whilst the first and second dorsal
spines are situated as usual over the eye (and form, one the angling
bait of the fish, the other the crest above the nose), the third is at
an unusual distance from the second, and is not separated, as in the
other species, from the soft fin by a notch.]

They belong to the family of _Lophiads_ or "anglers," not unfrequent on
the English coast; which conceal themselves in the mud, displaying only
the erectile ray, situated on the head, which bears an excrescence on
its extremity resembling a worm; by agitating which, they attract the
smaller fishes, that thus become an easy prey.

[Illustration: CHEIRONECTES]

On the rocks in Ceylon which are washed by the surf there are quantities
of the curious little fish, _Salarius alticus_[1], which possesses the
faculty of darting along the surface of the water, and running up the
wet stones, with the utmost ease and rapidity. By aid of the pectoral
and ventral fins and gill-cases, they move across the damp sand, ascend
the roots of the mangroves, and climb up the smooth face of the rocks in
search of flies; adhering so securely as not to be detached by repeated
assaults of the waves. These little creatures are so nimble, that it is
almost impossible to lay hold of them, as they scramble to the edge, and
plunge into the sea on the slightest attempt to molest them. They are
from three to four inches in length, and of a dark brown colour, almost
undistinguishable from the rocks they frequent.

[Footnote 1: Cuv. and VALEN., _Hist. Nat. des Poissons_, tom. xi. p.
249. It is identical with _S. tridactylus,_ Schn.]

But the most striking to the eye of a stranger are those fishes whose
brilliancy of colouring has won for them the wonder even of the listless
Singhalese. Some, like the Red Sea Perch (_Holocentrum rubrum_, Forsk)
and the Great Fire Fish[1], are of the deepest scarlet and flame colour;
in others purple predominates, as in the _Serranus flavo-cæruleus_; in
others yellow, as in the _Choetodon Brownriggii_[2], and _Acanthurus
vittatus_, of Bennett[3], and numbers, from the lustrous green of their
scales, have obtained from the natives the appropriate name of
_Giraway_, or _parrots_, of which one, the _Sparus Hardwickii_ of
Bennett, is called the "Flower Parrot," from its exquisite colouring,
being barred with irregular bands of blue, crimson, and purple, green,
yellow, and grey, and crossed by perpendicular stripes of black.

[Footnote 1: _Pterois muricata_, Cuv. and Val. iv. 363. _Scarpæna
miles_, Bennett; named, by the Singhalese, "_Maharata-gini_," the Great
Red Fire, a very brilliant red species spotted with black. It is very
voracious, and is regarded on some parts of the coast as edible, while
on others it is rejected.]

[Footnote 2: _Glyphisodon Brownriggii_, Cuv. and Val. v. 484; _Choetodon
Brownriggii_, Bennett. A very small fish about two inches long, called
_Kaha hartikyha_ by the natives. It is distinct from Choetodon, in which
BENNETT placed it. Numerous species of this genus are scattered
throughout the Indian Ocean. It derives its name from the fine hair-like
character of its teeth. They are found chiefly among coral reefs, and,
though eaten, are not much esteemed. In the French colonies they are
called "Chauffe-soleil." One species is found on the shores of the New
World (_G. saxatalis_), and it is curious that Messrs. QUOY and GAIMARD
found this fish at the Cape de Verde Islands in 1827.]

[Footnote 3: This fish has a sharp round spine on the side of the body
near the tail; a formidable weapon, which is generally partially
concealed within a scabbard-like incision. It raises or depresses this
spine at pleasure. The fish is yellow, with several nearly parallel blue
stripes on the back and sides; the belly is white, the tail and fins
brownish green, edged with blue.

It is found in rocky places; and according to BENNETT, who has figured
it in his second plate, it is named _Seweya_. It has been known,
however, to all the old ichthyologists, Valentyn, Renard, Seba, Artedi,
and has been named _Chætodon lineatus_, by Linné. It is scarce on the
southern coast of Ceylon.]

Of these richly coloured fishes the most familiar in the Indian seas are
the _Pteroids_. They are well known on the coast of Africa, and thence
eastward to Polynesia; but they do not extend to the west coast of
America, and are utterly absent from the Atlantic. The rays of the
dorsal and pectoral fins are so elongated, that when specimens were
first brought to Europe it was conjectured that these fishes have the
faculty of flight, and hence the specific name of "_volitans_" But this
is an error, for, owing to the deep incisions between the pectoral rays,
the pteroids are wholly unable to sustain themselves in the air. They
are not even bold swimmers, living close to the shore and never
venturing into the deep sea. Their head is ornamented with a number of
filaments and cutaneous appendages, of which one over each eye and
another at the angles of the mouth are the most conspicuous. Sharp
spines project on the crown and on the side of the gill-apparatus, as in
the other sea-perches, _Scorpæna, Serranus_, &c., of which these are
only a modified and ornate form. The extraordinary expansion of their
fins is not, however, accompanied by a similar development of the bones
to which they are attached, simply because they appear to have no
peculiar function, as in flying fishes, or in those where the spines of
the fins are weapons of offence. They attain to the length of twelve
inches, and to a weight of about two pounds; they live on small marine
animals, and by the Singhalese the flesh (of some at least) is
considered good for table. Nine or ten species are known to occur in the
East Indian Seas, and of these the one figured above is, perhaps, the
most common.

[Illustration: PTEROIS VOLITANS.]

Another species known to occur on the coasts of Ceylon is the _Scorpæna
miles_, Bennett, or _Pterois miles_, Günther[1], of which Bennett has
given a figure[2], but it is not altogether correct in some particulars.

[Footnote 1: The fish from the Sea of Pinang, described by Dr. CANTOR
with this name (Catal. Mal. Fish. p. 42), is again different, and
belongs to a third species.]

[Footnote 2: _Fishes of Ceylon_, Pl. ix.]

In the fishes of Ceylon, however, beauty is not confined to the
brilliancy of their tints. In some, as in the _/Scarus harid_, Forsk[1],
the arrangement of the scales is so graceful, and the effect is so
heightened by modifications of colour, as to present the appearance of
tessellation, or mosaic work.

[Footnote 1: This is the fish figured by BENNETT as _Sparus pepo_.
_Fishes of Ceylon_, Plate xxviii.]

[Illustration: SCARUS HARID. After Bennett.]

_Fresh-water Fishes_.--Of the fresh-water fish, which inhabit the rivers
and tanks, so very little has hitherto been known to naturalists[1],
that of nineteen drawings sent home by Major Skinner in 1852, although
specimens of well-known genera, Colonel Hamilton Smith pronounced nearly
the whole to be new and undescribed species.

[Footnote 1: In extenuation of the little that is known of the
fresh-water fishes of Ceylon, it may be observed that very few of them
are used at table by Europeans, and there is therefore no stimulus on
the part of the natives to catch them. The burbot and grey mullet are
occasionally eaten, but they taste of mud, and are not in request.

Some years ago the experiment was made, with success, of introducing
into Mauritius the _Osphromenus olfax_ of Java, which has also been
taken to French Guiana. In both places it is now highly esteemed as a
fish for table. As it belongs to a family which possesses the faculty,
hereafter alluded to, of surviving in the damp soil after the subsidence
of the water in the tanks and rivers, it might with equal advantage be
acclimated in Ceylon. It grows to 20 lbs. weight and upwards.]

Of eight of these, which were from the Mahawelliganga, and caught in the
vicinity of Kandy, five were carps; two were _Leucisci_, and one a
_Mastacembelus_ (_M. armatus_, Lacep); one was an _Ophiocephalus_, and
one a _Polyacanthus_, with no serræ on the gills. Six were from the
Kalanyganga, close to Colombo, of which two were _Helostoma_, in shape
approaching the Chætodon; two _Ophiocephali_, one a _Silurus_, and one
an _Anabas_, but the gills were without denticulation. From the still
water of the lake, close to the walls of Colombo, there were two species
of _Eleotris_, one _Silurus_ with barbels, and two _Malacopterygians_,
which appear to be _Bagri_.

The _fresh-water Perches_ of Europe and of the North of America are
represented in Ceylon and India by several genera, which bear to them a
great external similarity (_Lates, Therapon_). They have the same habits
as their European allies, and their flesh is considered equally
wholesome, but they appear to enter salt-water, or at least brackish
water, more freely. It is, however, in their internal organisation that
they differ most from the perches of Europe; their skeletons are
composed of fewer vertebræ, and the air bladder of the _Therapon_ is
divided into two portions, as in the carps. Four species at least of
this genus inhabit the lakes and rivers of Ceylon, and one of them, of
which a figure is given above, has been but imperfectly described in any
ichthyological work[1]; it attains to the length of seven inches.

[Footnote 1: Holocentrus quadrilineatus, _Bloch_. It is allied to
_Helotes polytoenia_, Bleek., from Halmaheira which it can be readily
distinguished by having only five or six blackish longitudinal bands,
the black humeral spot being between the first and second; another
blackish blotch is in the spinous dorsal fin. There are two specimens in
the British Museum collection, one of which has recently arrived from
Amoy; of the other the locality is unknown. See GÜNTHER, _Acanthopt.
Fishes_, vol. i. p. 282, where mention of the black humeral spot has
been omitted.]


In addition to marine eels, in which the Indian coasts abound, Ceylon
has some true fresh-water eels, which never enter the sea. These are
known to the natives under the name of _Theliya_, and to naturalists by
that of _Mastacembelus_. They have sometimes in ichthyological systems
been referred to the Scombridæ and other marine families, from the
circumstance that the dorsal fin anteriorly is composed of spines. But,
in addition to the general shape of the body, their affinity to the eel
is attested, by their confluent fins, by the absence of ventral fins, by
the structure of the mouth and its dentition, by the apparatus of the
gills, which opens with an inferior slit, and above all by the formation
of the skeleton itself.[1]

[Footnote 1: See GÜNTHER'S _Acanthopt. Fishes_, vol. iii. (Family

Their skin is covered with minute scales, coated by a slimy exudation,
and the upper jaw is produced into a soft tripartite tentacle, with
which they are enabled to feel for their prey in the mud. They are very
tenacious of life, and belong, without doubt, to those fishes which in
Ceylon descend during the drought into the muddy soil.[1] Their flesh
very much resembles that of the eel; and is highly esteemed.[2] They
were first made known to European naturalists by Russell[3], who brought
to Europe from the rivers round Aleppo specimens, some of which are
still preserved in the collection of the British Museum. Aleppo is the
most western point of their geographical range, the group being mainly
confined to the East-Indian continent and its islands.

In Ceylon only one species appears to occur, the

[Footnote 1: See post, p. 351.]

[Footnote 2: CUV. and VAL., _Hist. Poiss._ vol. iii. p. 459.]

[Footnote 3: _Nat. Hist. Aleppo_, 2nd edit. Lond. 1794, vol. ii. p. 208,
pl. vi.]


_Mastacembelus armatus_.[1] The back is armed with from thirty-five to
thirty-nine short, stout spines; there being three others before the
anal fin. The ground colour of the fish is brown, and the head has two
rather irregular longitudinal black bands; deep-brown spots run along
the back as well as along the dorsal and anal fins; and the sides are
ornamented with irregular and reticulated brown lines. This eel attains
to the length of two feet. The old females do not show any markings,
being of a uniform brown colour.

[Footnote 1: Macrognathus armatus, _Lacép._; Mastacembelus armatus,
_Cuv., Val._]

In the collection of Major Skinner, before alluded to, brought together
without premeditation, the naturalist will be struck by the
preponderance of those genera which are adapted by nature to endure, a
temporary privation of moisture; and this, taken in connection with the
vicissitudes affecting the waters they inhabit, exhibits a surprising
illustration of the wisdom of the Creator in adapting the organisation
of his creatures to the peculiar circumstances under which they are
destined to exist.

So abundant are fish in all parts of the island, that Knox says, not the
running streams alone, but the reservoirs and ponds, "nay, every ditch
and little plash of water but ankle deep hath fish in it."[1] But many
of these reservoirs and tanks are, twice in each year, liable to be
evaporated to dryness till the mud of the bottom is converted into dust,
and the clay cleft by the heat into gaping apertures; yet within a very
few days after the change of the monsoon, the natives are busily engaged
in fishing in those very spots and in the hollows contiguous to them,
although the latter are entirely unconnected with any pool or running
streams. Here they fish in the same way which Knox described nearly 200
years ago, with a funnel-shaped basket, open at bottom and top, "which,"
as he says, "they jibb down, and the end sticks in the mud, which often
happens upon a fish; which, when they feel beating itself against the
sides, they put in their hands and take it out, and reive a ratan
through their gills, and so let them drag after them."[2]

[Footnote 1: Knox's _Historical Relation of Ceylon,_ Part i. ch. vii.
The occurrence of fish in the most unlooked-for situations, is one of
the mysteries of other eastern countries as well as Ceylon and India. In
Persia irrigation is carried on to a great extent by means of wells sunk
in line in the direction in which it is desired to lead a supply of
water, and these are connected by channels, which are carefully arched
over to protect them from evaporation. These _kanats,_ as they are
called, are full of fish, although neither they nor the wells they unite
have any connection with streams or lakes.]

[Footnote 2: Knox, _Historical Relation of Ceylon_, Part i. ch vi.]

[Illustration: FROM KNOX'S CEYLON, A.D. 1681]

This operation may be seen in the lowlands, traversed by the high road
leading from Colombo to Kandy. Before the change of the monsoon, the
hollows on either side of the highway are covered with dust or stunted
grass; but when flooded by the rains, they are immediately resorted to
by the peasants with baskets, constructed precisely as Knox has stated,
in which the fish are entrapped and taken out by the hand.[1]

[Footnote 1: As anglers, the native Singhalese exhibit little
expertness; but for fishing the rivers, they construct with singular
ingenuity fences formed of strong stakes, protected by screens of ratan,
that stretch diagonally across the current; and along these the fish are
conducted into a series of enclosures from which retreat is
impracticable. MR. LAYARD, in the _Magazine of Natural History_ for May,
1853, has given a diagram of one of these fish "corrals," as they are
called, of which a copy is shown on the next page.]

So singular a phenomenon as the sudden re-appearance of full-grown
fishes in places that a few days before had been encrusted with hardened
clay, has not failed to attract attention; but the European residents
have been content to explain it by hazarding conjectures, either that
the spawn must have lain imbedded in the dried earth till released by
the rains, or that the fish, so unexpectedly discovered, fall from the
clouds during the deluge of the monsoon.

As to the latter conjecture; the fall of fish during showers, even were
it not so problematical in theory, is too rare an event to account for
the punctual appearance of those found in the rice-fields, at stated
periods of the year. Both at Galle and Colombo in the south-west
monsoon, fish are popularly believed to have fallen from the clouds
during violent showers, but those found on the occasions that give rise
to this belief, consist of the smallest fry, such as could be caught up
by waterspouts, and vortices analogous to them, or otherwise blown on
shore from the surf; whereas those which suddenly appear in the
replenished tanks and in the hollows which they overflow, are mature and
well-grown fish.[1] Besides, the latter are found, under the
circumstances I have described, in all parts of the interior, whilst the
prodigy of a supposed fall of fish from the sky has been noticed, I
apprehend, only in the vicinity of the sea, or of some inland water.

[Footnote 1: I had an opportunity, on one occasion only, of witnessing
the phenomenon which gives rise to this popular belief. I was driving in
the cinnamon gardens near the fort of Colombo, and saw a violent but
partial shower descend at no great distance before me. On coming to the
spot I found a multitude of small silvery fish from one and a half to
two inches in length, leaping on the gravel of the high road, numbers of
which I collected and brought away in my palankin. The spot was about
half a mile from the sea, and entirely unconnected with any watercourse
or pool.

Mr. Whiting, who was many years resident in Trincomadie, writes me that
he "had often been told by the natives on that side of the island that
it sometimes rained fishes; and on one occasion" (he adds) "I was taken
by them, in 1849, to a field at the village of Karrancotta-tivo, near
Batticaloa, which was dry when I passed over it in the morning, but, had
been covered in two hours by sudden rain to the depth of three inches,
in which there was then a quantity of small fish. The water had no
connection with any pond or stream whatsoever." Mr. Cripps, in like
manner, in speaking of Galle, says: "I have seen in the vicinity of the
fort, fish taken from rain-water that had accumulated in the hollow
parts of land that in the hot season are perfectly dry and parched. The
place is accessible to no running stream or tank; and either the fish or
the spawn from which they were produced, must of necessity have fallen
with the rain."

Mr. J. PRINSEP, the eminent secretary to the Asiatic Society of Bengal,
found a fish in the pulviometer at Calcutta, in 1838.--_Journ. Asiat.
Soc. Bengal_, vol. vi. p. 465.

A series of instances in which fishes have been found on the continent
of India under circumstances which lead to the conclusion that they must
have fallen from the clouds, have been collected by the late Dr. BUIST
of Bombay, and will be found in the appendix to this chapter.]

[Illustration: FISH CORRAL]

The surmise of the buried spawn is one sanctioned by the very highest
authority. Mr. Yarrell in his "_History of British Fishes_," adverting
to the fact that ponds (in India) which had been previously converted
into hardened mud, are replenished with small fish in a very few days
after the commencement of each rainy season, offers this solution of the
problem as probably the true one: "The impregnated ova of the fish of
one rainy season are left unhatched in the mud through the dry season,
and from their low state of organisation as ova, the vitality is
preserved till the recurrence, and contact of the rain and oxygen in the
next wet season, when vivification takes place from their joint

[Footnote 1: YARRELL, _History of British Fishes_, introd. vol. i. p.
xxvi. This too was the opinion of Aristotle, _De Respiratione_, c. ix.]

This hypothesis, however, appears to have been advanced upon imperfect
data; for although some fish, like the salmon, scrape grooves in the
sand and place their spawn in inequalities and fissures; yet as a
general rule spawn is deposited not beneath but on the surface of the
ground or sand over which the water flows, the adhesive nature of each
egg supplying the means of attachment. But in the Ceylon tanks not only
is the surface of the soil dried to dust after the evaporation of the
water, but earth itself, twelve or eighteen inches deep, is converted
into sun-burnt clay, in which, although the eggs of mollusca, in their
calcareous covering, are in some instances preserved, it would appear to
be as impossible for the ova of fish to be kept from decomposition as
for the fish themselves to sustain life. Besides, moisture in such
situations is only to be found at a depth to which spawn could not be
conveyed by the parent fish, by any means with which we are yet

But supposing it possible to carry the spawn sufficiently deep, and to
deposit it safely in the mud below, which is still damp, whence it could
be liberated on the return of the rains, a considerable interval would
still be necessary after the replenishing of the ponds with water to
admit of vivification and growth. Yet so far from this interval being
allowed to elapse, the rains have no sooner fallen than the taking of
the fish commences, and those captured by the natives in wicker cages
are mature and full grown instead of being "small fish" or fry, as
supposed by Mr. Yarrell.

Even admitting the soundness of his theory, and the probability that,
under favourable circumstances, the spawn in the tanks might be
preserved during the dry season so as to contribute to the perpetuation
of their breed, the fact is no longer doubtful, that adult fish in
Ceylon, like some of those that inhabit similar waters both in the New
and Old World, have been endowed by the Creator with the singular
faculty of providing against the periodical droughts either by
journeying overland in search of still unexhausted water, or, on its
utter disappearance, by burying themselves in the mud to await the
return of the rains.

It is an illustration of the eagerness with which, after the expedition
of Alexander the Great, particulars connected with the natural history
of India were sought for and arranged by the Greeks, that in the works
both of ARISTOTLE and THEOPHRASTUS facts are recorded of the fishes in
the Indian rivers migrating in search of water, of their burying
themselves in the mud on its failure, of their being dug out thence
alive during the dry season, and of their spontaneous reappearance on
the return of the rains. The earliest notice is in ARISTOTLE'S treatise
_De Respiratione_[1], where he mentions the strange discovery of living
fish found beneath the surface of the soil, "[Greek: tôn ichthyôn oi
polloi zôsin en tê gê, akinêtizontes mentoi, kai euriskontai
oryttomenoi?]" and in his History of Animals he conjectures that in
ponds periodically dried the ova of the fish so buried become vivified
at the change of the season.[2] HERODOTUS had previously hazarded a
similar theory to account for the sudden appearance of fry in the
Egyptian marshes on the rising of the Nile; but the cases are not
parallel. THEOPHRASTUS, the friend and pupil of Aristotle, gave
importance to the subject by devoting to it his essay [Greek: Peri tês
tôn ichthyôn en zêrô diamonês], _De Piscibus in sicco degentibus_. In
this, after adverting to the fish called _exocoetus_, from its habit of
going on shore to sleep, "[Greek: apo tês koitês,]" he instances the
small fish ([Greek: ichthydia]), that leave the rivers of India to
wander like frogs on the land; and likewise a species found near
Babylon, which, when the Euphrates runs low, leave the dry channels in
search of food, "moving themselves along by means of their fins and
tail." He proceeds to state that at Heraclea Pontica there are places in
which fish are dug out of the earth, "[Greek: oryktoi tôn ichthyôn],"
and he accounts for their being found under such circumstances by the
subsidence of the rivers, "when the water being evaporated the fish
gradually descend beneath the soil in search of moisture; and the
surface becoming hard they are preserved in the damp clay below it, in a
state of torpor, but are capable of vigorous movements when disturbed."
"In, this manner, too," adds Theophrastus, "the buried fish propagate,
leaving behind them their spawn, which becomes vivified on the return of
the waters to their accustomed bed." This work of Theophrastus became
the great authority for all subsequent writers on this question.
ATHENÆUS quotes it[3], and adds the further testimony of POLYBIUS, that
in Gallia Narbonensis fish are similarly dug out of the ground.[4]
STRABO repeats the story[5], and the Greek naturalists one and all
received the statement as founded on reliable authority.

[Footnote 1: Chap. ix.]

[Footnote 2: Lib. vi. ch. 15, 16, 17.]

[Footnote 3: Lib. viii. ch. 2.]

[Footnote 4: _Ib._ ch. 4.]

[Footnote 5: Lib. iv. and xii.]

Not so the Romans. LIVY mentions it as one of the prodigies which were
to be "expiated" on the approach of a rupture with Macedon, that "in
Gallico agro qua induceretur aratrum sub glebis pisces emersisse,"[1]
thus taking it out of the category of natural occurrences. POMPONIUS
MELA, obliged to notice the matter in his account of Narbon Gaul,
accompanies it with the intimation that although asserted by both Greek
and Roman authorities, the story was either a delusion or a fraud,
JUVENAL has a sneer for the rustic--

          "miranti sub aratro
   Piscibus inventis."--_Sat_. xiii. 63.

[Footnote 1: Lib. xlii. ch. 2.]

And SENECA, whilst he quotes Theophrastus, adds ironically, that now we
must go to fish with a _hatchet_ instead of a hook; "non cum hamis, sed
cum dolabra ire piscatum." PLINY, who devotes the 35th chapter of his
9th book to this subject, uses the narrative of Theophrastus, but with
obvious caution, and universally the Latin writers treated the story as
a fable.

In later times the subject received more enlightened attention, and
Beekman, who in 1736 published his commentary on the collection [Greek:
Peri Thaumasiôn akousmatôn], ascribed to Aristotle, has given a list of
the authorities about his own times,--GEORGIUS AGRICOLA, GESNER,
RONDELET, DALECHAMP, BOMARE, and GRONOVIUS, who not only gave credence
to the assertions of Theophrastus, but adduced modern instances in
corroboration of his Indian authorities.

As regards the fresh-water fishes of India and Ceylon, the fact is now
established that certain of them possess the power of leaving the rivers
and returning to them again after long migrations on dry land, and
modern observation has fully confirmed their statements. They leave the
pools and nullahs in the dry season, and led by an instinct as yet
unexplained, shape their course through the grass towards the nearest
pool of water. A similar phenomenon is observable in countries similarly
circumstanced. The Doras of Guiana[1] have been seen travelling over
land during the dry season in search of their natural element[2], in
such droves that the negroes fill baskets with them during these
terrestrial excursions. PALLEGOIX in his account of Siam, enumerates
three species of fishes which leave the tanks and channels and traverse
the damp grass[3]; and SIR JOHN BOWRING, in his account of his embassy
to the Siamese kings in 1855, states, that in ascending and descending
the river Meinam to Bankok, he was amused with the novel sight of fish
leaving the river, gliding over the wet banks, and losing themselves
amongst the trees of the jungle.[4]

[Footnote 1: _D. Hancockii_, CUV. et VAL.]

[Footnote 2: Sir R. Schomburgk's _Fishes of Guiana_, vol. i. pp. 113,
151, 160. Another migratory fish was found by Bose very numerous in the
fresh waters of Carolina and in ponds liable to become dry in summer.
When captured and placed on the ground, "they _always, directed
themselves towards the nearest water, which they could not possibly
see_, and which they must have discovered by some internal index. They
belong to the genus _Hydrargyra_ and are called Swampines.--KIRBY,
_Bridgewater Treatise_, vol. i. p. 143.

Eels kept in a garden, when August arrived (the period at which instinct
impels them to go to the sea to spawn) were in the habit of leaving the
pond, and were invariably found moving eastward _in the direction of the
sea_.--YARRELL, vol. ii. p. 384. Anglers observe that fish newly caught,
when placed out of sight of water, always struggle towards it to

[Footnote 3: PALLEGOIX, vol. i. p. 144.]

[Footnote 4: Sir J. BOWERING'S _Siam,_ &c., vol. i. p. 10.]

The class of fishes endowed with this power are chiefly those with
labyrinthiform pharyngeal bones, so disposed in plates and cells as to
retain a supply of moisture, which, whilst they are crawling on land,
gradually exudes so as to keep the gills damp.[1]

[Footnote 1: CUVIER and VALENCIENNES, _Hist. Nat. des Poissons_, tom.
vii. p. 246.]

The individual most frequently seen in these excursions in Ceylon is a
perch called by the Singhalese _Kavaya_ or _Kawhy-ya_, and by the Tamils
_Pannei-eri_, or _Sennal_. It is closely allied to the _Anabas scandens_
of Cuvier, the _Perca scandens_ of Daldorf. It grows to about six inches
in length, the head round and covered with scales, and the edges of the
gill-covers strongly denticulated. Aided by the apparatus already
adverted to in its head, this little creature issues boldly from its
native pools and addresses itself to its toilsome march generally at
night or in the early morning, whilst the grass is still damp with the
dew; but in its distress it is sometimes compelled to move by day, and
Mr. E.L. Layard on one occasion encountered a number of them travelling
along a hot and dusty road under the midday sun.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Annals and Mag. of Nat. Hist_., May, 1853, p. 390. Mr.
Morris, the government-agent of Trincomalie, writing to me on this
subject in 1856, says--"I was lately on duty inspecting the kind of a
large tank at Nade-cadua, which, being out of repair, the remaining
water was confined in a small hollow in the otherwise dry bed. Whilst
there heavy rain came on, and, as we stood on the high ground, we,
observed a pelican on the margin of the shallow pool gorging himself;
our people went towards him and raised a cry of fish! fish! We hurried
down, and found numbers of fish struggling upwards through the grass in
the rills formed by the trickling of the rain. There was scarcely water
enough to cover them, but nevertheless they made rapid progress up the
bank, on which our followers collected about two bushels of them at a
distance of forty yards from the tank. They were forcing their way up
the knoll, and, had they not been intercepted first by the pelican and
afterwards by ourselves, they would in a few minutes have gained the
highest point and descended on the other side into a pool which formed
another portion of the tank. They were chub, the same as are found in
the mud after the tanks dry up." In a subsequent communication in July,
1857, the same gentleman says--"As the tanks dry up the fish congregate
in the little pools till at last you find them in thousands in the
moistest parts of the beds, rolling in the blue mud which is at that
time about the consistence of thick gruel."

"As the moisture further evaporates the surface fish are left uncovered,
and they crawl away in search of fresh pools. In one place I saw
hundreds diverging in every direction, from the tank they had just
abandoned to a distance of fifty or sixty yards, and still travelling
onwards. In going this distance, however, they must have used muscular
exertion sufficient to have taken them half a mile on level ground, for
at these places all the cattle and wild animals of the neighbourhood had
latterly come to drink; so that the surface was everywhere indented with
footmarks in addition to the cracks in the surrounding baked mud, into
which the fish tumbled in their progress. In those holes which were deep
and the sides perpendicular they remained to die, and were carried off
by kites and crows."

"My impression is that this migration takes place at night or before
sunrise, for it was only early in the morning that I have seen them
progressing, and I found that those I brought away with me in chatties
appeared quiet by day, but a large proportion managed to get out of the
chatties at night--some escaped altogether, others were trodden on and

"One peculiarity is the large size of the vertebral column, quite
disproportioned to the bulk of the fish. I particularly noticed that all
in the act of migrating had their gills expanded."]

Referring to the _Anabas scandens_, DR. HAMILTON BUCHANAN says, that of
all the fish with which he was acquainted it is the most teliacious of
life; and he has known boatmen on the Ganges to keep them for five or
six days in an earthen pot without water, and daily to use what they
wanted, finding them as lively and fresh as when caught.[1] Two Danish
naturalists residing at Tranquebar, have contributed their authority to
the fact of this fish ascending trees on the coast of Coromandel, an
exploit from which it acquired its epithet of _Perca scandens_. DALDORF,
who was a lieutenant in the Danish East India Company's service,
communicated to Sir Joseph Banks, that in the year 1791 he had taken
this fish from a moist cavity in the stem of a Palmyra palm, that grew
near a lake. He saw it when already five feet above the ground
struggling to ascend still higher;--"suspending itself by its
gill-covers, and bending its tail to the left, it fixed its anal fin in
the cavity of the bark, and sought by expanding its body to urge its way
upwards, and its march was only arrested by the hand with which he
seized it."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Fishes of the Ganges_, 4to. 1822.]

[Footnote 2: _Transactions Linn. Soc._ vol. iii. p. 63. It is
remarkable, however, that this discovery of Daldorf, which excited so
great an interest in 1791, had been anticipated by an Arabian voyager a
thousand years before. Abou-zeyd, the compiler of the remarkable MS.
known since Renaudot's translation by the title of the _Travels of the
Two Mahometans_, states that Suleyman, one of his informants, who
visited India at the close of the ninth century, was told there of a
fish which, issuing from the waters, ascended the coco-nut palms to
drink their sap, and returned to the sea. "On parle d'un poisson de mer
qui, sortant de l'eau, monte sur la cocotier et boit le suc de la
plante; ensuite il retourne á la mer." See REINAUD, _Rélations des
Voyages faits par les Arabes et Persans dans le neuvième siècle_, tom.
i. p, 21, tom. ii. p. 93.]

There is considerable obscurity about the story of this ascent, although
corroborated by M. JOHN. Its motive for climbing is not apparent, since
water being close at hand it could not have gone for sake of the
moisture contained in the fissures of the palm; nor could it be in
search of food, as it lives not on fruit but on aquatic insects.[1] The
descent, too, is a question of difficulty.

[Footnote 1: Kirby says that it is "in pursuit of certain crustaceans
that form its food" (_Bridgewater Treatise_, vol i. p. 144); but I am
not aware of any crustaceans in the island which ascend the palmyra or
feed upon its fruit. The _Birgus latro_, which inhabits Mauritius, and
is said to climb the coco-nut for this purpose, has not been observed in

The position of its fins, and the spines on its gill-covers, might
assist its journey upwards, but the same apparatus would prove anything
but a facility in steadying its journey down. The probability is, as
suggested by Buchanan, that the ascent which was witnessed by Daldorf
was accidental, and ought not to be regarded as the habit of the animal.
In Ceylon I heard of no instance of the perch ascending trees[1], but
the fact is well established that both it, the _pullata_ (a species of
_polyacanthus_), and others, are capable of long journeys on the level

[Footnote 1: This assertion must be qualified by a fact stated by Mr.
E.A. Layard, who mentions that on visiting one of the fishing stations
on a Singhalese river, where the fish are caught in staked enclosures,
as described at p. 342, and observing that the chambers were covered
with netting, he asked the reason, and was told "_that some of the fish
climbed up the sticks and got over._"--Mag. Nat. Hist, for May 1823, p.

[Footnote 2: Strange accidents have more than once occurred at Ceylon
arising from the habit of the native anglers; who, having neither
baskets nor pockets in which to place what they catch, will seize a fish
in their teeth whilst putting fresh bait on their hook. In August, 1853,
a man was carried into the Pettah hospital at Colombo, having a climbing
perch, which he thus attempted to hold, firmly imbedded in his throat.
The spines of its dorsal fin prevented its descent, whilst those of the
gill-covers equally forbade its return. It was eventually extracted by
the forceps through an incision in the oesophagus, and the patient
recovered. Other similar cases have proved fatal.]

_Burying Fishes._--But a still more remarkable power possessed by some
of the Ceylon fishes, is that already alluded to, of secreting
themselves in the earth in the dry season, at the bottom of the
exhausted ponds, and there awaiting the renewal of the water at the
change of the monsoon. The instinct of the crocodile to resort to the
same expedient has been already referred to[1], and in like manner the
fish, when distressed by the evaporation of the tanks, seek relief by
immersing first their heads, and by degrees their whole bodies, in the
mud; sinking to a depth at which they find sufficient moisture to
preserve life in a state of lethargy long after the bed of the tank has
been consolidated by the intense heat of the sun. It is possible, too,
that the cracks which reticulate the surface may admit air to some
extent to sustain their faint respiration.

[Footnote 1: See _ante_, p. 285.]

The same thing takes place in other tropical regions, subject to
vicissitudes of drought and moisture. The Protopterus[1], which inhabits
the Gambia (and which though demonstrated by Professor Owen to possess
all the essential organisation of fishes, is nevertheless provided with
true lungs), is accustomed in the dry season, when the river retires
into its channel, to bury itself to the depth of twelve or sixteen
inches in the indurated mud of the banks, and to remain in a state of
torpor till the rising of the stream after the rains enables it to
resume its active habits. At this period the natives of the Gambia, like
those of Ceylon, resort to the river, and secure the fish in
considerable numbers as they flounder in the still shallow water. A
parallel instance occurs, in Abyssinia in relation to the fish of the
Mareb, one of the sources of the Nile, the waters of which are partially
absorbed in traversing the plains of Taka. During the summer its bed is
dry, and in the slime at the depth of more than six feet is found a
species of fish without scales, different from any known to inhabit the

[Footnote 1: _Lepidosiren annectans_, Owen. See _Linn. Trans._ 1839.]

[Footnote 2: This statement will be found in QUATREMERE'S Mémoires sur
l'Egypte, tom. i. p. 17, on the authority of Abdullah ben Ahmed ben
Solaim Assouany, in his _History of Nubia_, "Simon, héritier présomptif
du royanme d'Alouah, m'a assuré que l'on trouve, dans la vase qui couvre
fond de cette rivière, un grand poisson sans écailles, qui ne ressemble
en rien aux poissons du Nil, et que, pour l'avoir, il faut creuser à une
toise et plus de profondeur." To this passage, there is appended this
note:--"Le patriarche Mendes, cité par Legrand (_Relation Hist. d'
Abyssinie_, du P. LOBO, p. 212-3) rapporte que le fleuve Mareb, après
avoir arrosé une étendue de pays considérable, se perd sous terre; et
que quand les Portugais faisaient la guerre dans ce pays, ils
fouilloient dans le sable, et y trouvoient de la bonne eau et du ban
poisson. An rapport de l'auteur de _l' Ayin Akbery_ (tom. ii, p. 146,
ed. 1800), dans le Soubah do Caschmir, pres du lieu nommé Tilahmoulah,
est une grande pièce de terre qui est inondée pendant la saison des
pluies. Lorsque les eaux se sont évaporées, et que la vase est presque
séche, les habitans prennant des bâtons d'environ une aune do long,
qu'ils enfoncent dans la vase, et ils y trouvent quantité de grands et
petits poissons." In the library of the British Museum there is an
unique MS. of MANOEL DE ALMEIDA, written in the sixteenth century, from
which Balthasar Tellec compiled his _Historia General de Ethiopia alta_,
printed at Coimbra in 1660, and in it the above statement of Mendes is
corroborated by Almeida, who says that he was told by João Gabriel, a
Creole Portuguese, born in Abyssinia, who had visited the Mareb, and who
said that the "fish were to be found everywhere eight or ten palms down,
and that he had eaten of them."]

In South America the "round-headed hassar" of Guiana, _Callicthys
littoralis_, and the "yarrow," a species of the family Esocidæ, although
they possess no specially modified respiratory organs, are accustomed to
bury themselves in the mud on the subsidence of water in the pools
during the dry season.[1] The _Loricaria_ of Surinam, another Siluridan,
exhibits a similar instinct, and resorts to the same expedient. Sir R.
Schomburgk, in his account of the fishes of Guiana, confirms this
account of the Callicthys, and says "they can exist in muddy lakes
without any water whatever, and great numbers of them are sometimes dug
up from such situations."[2]

[Footnote 1: See Paper "_on some Species of Fishes and Reptiles in
Demerara_," by J. HANDCOCK, Esq., M.D., _Zoological Journal_, vol. iv.
p. 243.]

[Footnote 2: A curious account of the _borachung_ or "ground fish" of
Bhootan, will be found in Note (C.) appended to this chapter.]

In those portions of Ceylon where the country is flat, and small tanks
are extremely numerous, the natives are accustomed in the hot season to
dig in the mud for fish. Mr. Whiting, the chief civil officer of the
eastern province, informs me that, on two occasions, he was present
accidentally when the villagers were so engaged, once at the tank of
Malliativoe, within a few miles of Kottiar, near the bay of Trincomalie,
and again at a tank between Ellendetorre and Arnitivoe, on the bank of
the Vergel river. The clay was firm, but moist, and as the men flung out
lumps of it with a spade, it fell to pieces, disclosing fish from nine
to twelve inches long, which were full grown and healthy, and jumped on
the bank when exposed to the sun light.


Being desirous of obtaining a specimen of fish so exhumed, I received
from the Moodliar of Matura, A.B. Wickremeratne, a fish taken along with
others of the same kind from a tank in which the water had dried up; it
was found at a depth of a foot and a half where the mud was still moist,
whilst the surface was dry and hard. The fish which the moodliar sent to
me is an Anabas, closely resembling the _Perca scandens_ of Daldorf; but
on minute examination it proves to be a species unknown in India, and
hitherto found only in Boreno and China. It is the _A. oligolepis_ of

But the faculty of becoming torpid at such periods is not confined in
Ceylon to the crocodile sand fishes;--it is also possessed by some of
the fresh-water mollusca and aquatic coleoptera. One of the former, the
_Ampullaria glauca_, is found in still water in all parts of the island,
not alone in the tanks, but in rice-fields and the watercourses by which
they are irrigated. When, during the dry season, the water is about to
evaporate, it burrows and conceals itself[1] till the returning rains
restore it to activity, and reproduce its accustomed food. There, at a
considerable depth in the soft mud, it deposits a bundle of eggs with a
white calcareous shell, to the number of one hundred or more in each
group. The _Melania Paludina_ in the same way retires during the
droughts into the muddy soil of the rice lands; and it can only be by
such an instinct that this and other mollusca are preserved when the
tanks evaporate, to re-appear in full growth and vigour immediately on
the return of the rains.[2]

[Footnote 1: A knowledge of this fact was turned to prompt account by
Mr. Edgar S. Layard, when holding a judicial office at Point Pedro in
1849. A native who had been defrauded of his land complained before him
of his neighbour, who, during his absence, had removed their common
landmark, diverting the original watercourse and obliterating its traces
by filling it up to a level with the rest of the field. Mr. Layard
directed a trench to be sunk at the contested spot, and discovering
numbers of the Ampullaria, the remains of the eggs, and the living
animal which had been buried for months, the evidence was so resistless
as to confound the wrong-doer, and terminate the suit.]

[Footnote 2: For a similar fact relative to the shells and water beetles
in the pools near Rio Janeiro, see DARWIN'S _Nat. Journal_, ch. v. p.
99. BENSON, in the first vol. of _Gleanings of Science_, published at
Calcutta in 1829, describes a species of _Paludina_ found in pools,
which are periodically dried up in the hot season but reappear with the
rains, p. 363. And in the _Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_ for
Sept. 1832, Lieut. HUTTON, in a singularly interesting paper, has
followed up the same subject by a narrative of his own observations at
Mirzapore, wherein June, 1832, after a few heavy showers of rain, that
formed pools on the surface of the ground near a mango grove, he saw the
_Paludinæ_ issuing from the ground, "pushing aside the moistened earth
and coming forth from their retreats; but on the disappearance of the
water not one of them was to be seen above ground. Wishing to ascertain
what had become of them he turned up the earth at the base of several
trees, and invariably found the shells buried from an inch to two inches
below the surface." Lieut. Hutton adds that the _Ampullariæ_ and
_Planorbes_, as well as the _Paludinæ_ are found in similar situations
during the heats of the dry season. The British _Pisidea_ exibit the
same faculty (see a monograph in the _Camb. Phil. Trans._ vol. iv.). The
fact is elsewhere alluded to in the present work of the power possessed
by the land leech of Ceylon of retaining vitality even after being
parched to hardness during the heat of the rainless season. LYELL
mentions the instance of some snails in Italy which, when they
hybernate, descend to the depth of five feet and more below the surface.
_Princip. of Geology,_ &c, p. 373.]

Dr. John Hunter[1] has advanced an opinion that hybernation, although a
result of cold, is not its immediate consequence, but is attributable to
that deprivation of food and other essentials which extreme cold
occasions, and against the recurrence of which nature makes a timely
provision by a suspension of her functions. Excessive heat in the
tropics produces an effect upon animals and vegetables analogous to that
of excessive cold in northern regions, and hence it is reasonable to
suppose that the torpor induced by the one may be but the counterpart of
the hybernation which results from the other. The frost that imprisons
the alligator in the Mississippi as effectually cuts it off from food
and action as the drought which incarcerates the crocodile in the
sun-burnt clay of a Ceylon tank. The hedgehog of Europe enters on a
period of absolute torpidity as soon as the inclemency of winter
deprives it of its ordinary supply of slugs and insects; and the
_tenrec_[2] of Madagascar, its tropical representative, exhibits the
same tendency during the period when excessive heat produces in that
climate a like result.

[Footnote 1: HUNTER'S _Observations on parts of the Animal oeconomy_, p.

[Footnote 2: _Centetes ecaudatus_, Illiger.]

The descent of the _Ampullaria_, and other fresh-water molluscs, into
the mud of the tanks, has its parallel in the conduct of the _Bulimi_
and _Helices_ on land. The European snail, in the beginning of winter,
either buries itself in the earth or withdraws to some crevice or
overarching stone to await the returning vegetation of spring. So, in
the season of intense heat, the _Helix Waltoni_ of Ceylon, and others of
the same family, before retiring under cover, close the aperture of
their shells with an impervious epiphragm, which effectually protects
their moisture and juices from evaporation during the period of their
æstivation. The Bulimi of Chili have been found alive in England in a
box packed in cotton after an interval of two years, and the animal
inhabiting a land-shell from Suez, which was attached to a tablet and
deposited in the British Museum in 1846, was found in 1850 to have
formed a fresh epiphragm, and on being immersed in tepid water, it
emerged from its shell. It became torpid again on the 15th November,
1851, and was found dead and dried up in March, 1852.[1] But exceptions
serve to prove the accuracy of Hunter's opinion almost as strikingly as
accordances, since the same genera of animals that hybernate in Europe,
where extreme cold disarranges their oeconomy, evince no symptoms of
lethargy in the tropics, provided their food be not diminished by the
heat. Ants, which are torpid in Europe during winter, work all the year
round in India, where sustenance is uniform.[2] The shrews of Ceylon
(_Sorex montanus_ and _S. ferrugineus_ of Kelaart), like those at home,
subsist upon insects, but as they inhabit a region where the equable
temperature admits of the pursuit of their prey at all seasons of the
year, unlike those of Europe, they never hybernate. A similar
observation applies to bats, which are dormant during a northern winter
when insects are rare, but never become torpid in any part of the
tropics. The bear, in like manner, is nowhere deprived of its activity
except when the rigour of severe frost cuts off its access to its
accustomed food. On the other hand, the tortoise, which in Venezuela
immerses itself in indurated mud during the hot months shows no tendency
to torpor in Ceylon, where its food is permanent; and yet it is subject
to hybernation when carried to the colder regions of Europe.

[Footnote 1: _Annals of Natural History_, 1860. See Dr. BAIRD'S _Account
of Helix desertorum; Excelsior,_ &c., ch. i. p. 345.]

[Footnote 2: Colonel SKYES has described in the _Entomological Trans._
the operations of an ant in India which lays up a store of hay against
the rainy season.]

To the fish in the detached tanks and pools when the heat, by exhausting
the water, deprives them at once of motion and sustenance, the practical
effect must be the same as when the frost of a northern winter encases
them in ice. Nor is it difficult to believe that they can successfully
undergo the one crisis when we know beyond question that they may
survive the other.[1]

[Footnote 1: YARRELL, vol. i. p. 364, quotes the authority of Dr. J.
Hunter in his _Animal oeconomy_, that fish, "after being frozen still
retain so much of life as when thawed to resume their vital actions;"
and in-the same volume (_Introd_. vol. i. p. xvii.) he relates from
JESSE'S _Gleanings in Natural History_, the story of a gold fish
(_Cyprinus auratus_), which, together with the a marble basin, was
frozen into one solid lump of ice, yet, on the water being thawed, the
fish became as lively as usual. Dr. RICHARDSON in the third vol of his
_Fauna Borealis Americana_, says the grey sucking carp, found in the fur
countries of North America, may be frozen and thawed again without being
killed in the process.]

_Hot-water Fishes_.--Another incident is striking in connection with the
fresh-water fishes of Ceylon. I have described elsewhere the hot springs
of Kannea[1], in the vicinity of Trincomalie, the water in which flows
at a temperature varying at different seasons from 85° to 115°. In the
stream formed by these wells M. Reynaud found and forwarded to Cuvier
two fishes which he took from the water at a time when his thermometer
indicated a temperature of 37° Reaumur, equal to 115° of Fahrenheit. The
one was an Apogon, the other an Ambassis, and to each, from the heat of
its habitat, he assigned the specific name of "thermalis."[2]

[Footnote 1: See SIR J. EMERSON TENNET's _Ceylon_, &c., vol. ii. p.

[Footnote 2: CUV. and VAL., vol. iii. p. 363. In addition to the two
fishes above named, a loche _Cobitis thermalis_, and a carp, _Nuria
thermoicos_, were found in the hot-springs of Kannea, at a heat 40°
Cent., 114° Fahr., and a roach, _Leuciscus thermalis_, when the
thermometer indicated 50° Cent, 122° Fahr.--_Ib_. xviii. p. 59, xvi. p.
182, xvii. p. 94. Fish have been taken from a hot spring at Pooree when
the thermometer stood at 112° Fahr., and as they belonged to a
carnivorous genus, they must have found prey living in the same high
temperature.--_Journ. Asiatic Soc. of Beng._ vol. vi. p. 465. Fishes
have been observed in a hot spring at Manila which raises the
thermometer to 187°, and in another in Barbary, the usual temperature of
which is 172°; and Humboldt and Bonpland, when travelling in South
America, saw fishes thrown up alive from a volcano, in water that raised
the temperature to 210°, being two degrees below the boiling point.
PATTERSON'S _Zoology_, Pt. ii. p. 211; YARRELL'S _History of British
Fishes_, vol. i. In. p. xvi.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_List of Ceylon Fishes._

In the following list, the Acanthopterygian fishes of Ceylon has been
prepared for me by Dr. GÜNTHER, and will be found the most complete
which has appeared of this order. I am also indebted to him for the
correction of the list of Malacopterygians, which I hope ere long to
render still more extended, as well as that of the Cartilaginous fishes.



  Myripristis murdjan, _Forsk_.
  Holocentrum rubrum, _Forsk_.
     spiniferum, _Forsk_.
     diadema, _Lacép_.

PERCIDÆ, _Günther_.
 *Lates calcarifer, _Bl._
  Serranus louti, _Forsk_.
     pachycentrum, _C. & V._
     guttatus, _Bl._
     Sonneratii, _C. & V._
     angularis, _C.& V._
     marginalis, _Bl._
     hexagonatis, _Forsk_.
     flavocoeruleus, _Lacép_.
     biguttatus, _C. & V._
     lemniscatus, _C. & V._
     Amboinensis, _Bleek_.
     boenak, _C. & V._
  Grammistes orientalis,  _Bl._
  Genyoroge Sebæ, _C. & V._
     Bengalensis, _C. & V._
     marginata, _C. & V._
     rivulata, _C. & V._
     gibba, _Forsk_.
     spilura, _Benn_.
  Mesoprion aurolineatus, _C. & V._
     rangus, _C. & V._
     quinquelineatus, _Rüpp_.
     Johnii, _Bl._
     annularis, _C. & V._
  ?Priacanthus Blochii, _Bleek_.
  Ambassis n. sp., _Günth_.
     Commersonii, _C. & V._
     thermalis, _C. & V._
  Apogon Ceylonicus, _C. & V._
     thermalis, _C. & V._
     annularis, _Rüpp_. Var. roseipinnis.
  Chilodipterus quinquelineatus, _C. & V._

  Dules Bennettii, _Bleek_.
 *Therapon servus, _Bloch_.
    *trivittatus, _Buch. Ham_.
     quadrilineatus, _Bl._
 *Helotes polytænia, _Bleek_.
  Pristipoma hasta, _Bloch_.
     maculatum, _Bl._
  Diagramma punctatum, _Ehrenb_.
     orientale, _Bl._
     poecilopterum, _C. & V._
     Blochii, _C. & V._
     lineatum, _Gm_.
     Radja, _Bleek_.
  Lobotes auctorum, _Günth_.
  Gerres oblongus, _C & V._
  Scolopsia Japonicus, _Bl._
     bimaculatus, _Rüpp_.
     monogramma, _k. & v. H._
  Synagris furcosus, _C. & V._
  Pentapus aurolineatus, _Lacép_.
  Smaris balteatus, _C. & V._
  Cæsio coerulaureus, _Lacép_.

MULLIDÆ, _Gray_.
  Upeneus tæniopterus, _C. & V._
     Indicus, _Shaw_.
     cyclostoma, _Lacép_.
  Upe. trifasciatus, _Lacép_.
     cinnabarinus, _C. & V._
  Upeneoides vittatus, _Forsk._
     sulphureus, _C. & V._
  Mulloides flavolineatus, _Lacép_.
     Ceylonicus, _C. & V._

SPARIDÆ, _Günther_.
  Lethrinus frenatus, _C. & V._
     cinereus, _C. & V._
     fasciatus, _C. & V._
    ?ramak, _Forsk._
     opercularis, _C. & V._
     erythrurus, _C. & V._
  Pagrus spinifer, _Forsk_.
  Crysophrys hasta, _Bl._
 ?Pimelepterus Ternatensis, _Bleek_.

  Chætodon Layardi, _Blyth_.
     oligacanthus, _Bleek_.
     setifer, _Bl._
     vagabundus, _L._
     guttatissimus, _Benn_.
     pictus, _Forsk_.
     xanthocephalus, _Benn_.
     Sebæ, _C. & V._
  Heniochus macrolepidotus, _Artedi_.
  Holacanthus annularis, _Bl._
     xanthurus, _Benn_.
     imperator, _B1_.
  Scatophagus argus, _Gm_.
  Ephippus orbis, _Bl._
  Drepane punctata, _Gm_.

  Cirrhites Forsteri, _Schn_.

  Scorpæna polyprion, _Bleek_.
  Pterois volitans, _L._
     miles, _Benn_.
  Tetraroge longispinis, _C. & V._
  Platycephalus insidiator, _Forsk_.
     punctatus, _C. & V._
     serratus, _C. & V._
     tuberculatus, _C. & V._
     suppositus, _Trosch_.
  Dactylopterus orientalis, _C. & V._

TRACHINIDÆ, _Günther_.
 ?Uranoscopus guttatus, _C. & V._
  Percis millepunctata, _Günth_.
  Sillago siliama, _Forsk_.

SCIÆNIDÆ, _Günther_.
  Sciæna diacantha, _Lacép_.
     maculata, _Schn_.
     Dussumieri, _C & V._
  Corvina miles, _C. & V._
  Otolithus argenteus, _k. & v. H._

POLYNEMIDÆ, _Günther_.
  Polynemus heptadactylus, _C. & V._
     hexanemus, _C. & V._
     Indicus, _Shaw_.
     plebeius, _Gm._
     tetradactylus, _Shaw_.

  Sphyræna jello, _C. & V._
     obtusata, _C. & V._

  Trichiurus savala, _Cuv._

SCOMBRIDÆ, _Günther_.
 ?Thynnus affinis, _Cant._
  Cybium Commersonii, _Lacép._
     guttatum, _Schn._
  Naucrates ductor, _L._
  Elacate nigra, _Bl._
    ?n. sp.
  Echeneis remora, _L._
     scutata, _Günth._
     naucrates, _L._
  Stromateus cinereus, _Bl._
     niger, _Bl._
  Coryphæna hippurus, _L._
  Mene maculata, _Schn._

CARANGIDÆ, _Günther._
  Caranx Heberi, _Benn._
  Rottleri, _Bl._
     calla, _C.&V._
     xanthurus, _K.&v.H._
     talamparoides, _Bleek._
     Malabaricus, _Schn._
     speciosus, _Forsk._
     carangus, _Bl._
     hippos, _L._
     armatus, _Forsk._
     ciliaris, _Bl._
     gallus, _L._
  Micropteryx chrysurus, _L._
  Seriola nigro-fasciata, _Rüpp._
  Chorinemus lysan, _Forsk._
     Sancti Petri, _C. & V._
  Trachynotus oblongus, _C. & V._
     ovatus, _L._
  Psettus argenteus, _L._
  Platax vespertilio, _Bl._
     Raynaldi, _C.&V._
  Zanclus sp. n.
  Lactarius delicatulus, _C. & V._
  Equula fasciata, _Lacép._
     edentula, _Bl._
     daura, _Cuv._
  Gazza minuta, _Bl._
     equulæformis, _Rüpp._
  Pempheris sp.

XIPHIIDÆ, _Agass._
  Histiophorus immaculatus, _Rüpp._

THEUTYIDÆ, _Günther._
  Theutys Javus, _L._
     stellata, _Forsk._
     nebulosa, _A. & G._

ACRONURIDÆ, _Günther._
  Acanthurus triostegus, _L._
     nigrofuscus, _Forsk._
     lineatus, _L._
     Tennentii, _Gthr._
     leucosternon, _Bennett._
     ctenodon, _C.&V._
     rhombeus, _Kittl._
     xanthurus, _Blyth._
  Acronurus melas, _C. & V._
     melanurus, _C. & V._
  Naseus unicornis, _Forsk,_
     brevirostris, _C. & V._
     tuberosus, _Lacép._
     lituratus, _Forster._

  Fistularia serrata, _Bl._

  Salarias fasclatus, _Bl._
  Sal. marmoratus, _Benn._
     tridactylus, _Schn._
     quadricornis, _C.&V._

GOBIIDÆ, _Müll._
  Gobius ornatus, _Rüpp._
     giuris, _Buch. Ham._
     albopunctatus, _C. & V._
     grammepomus, _Bleek._
  Apocryptes lanceolatus, _Bl._
  Periophthalmus Koelreuteri, _Pall._
  Eleotris ophiocephalus, _K. & v.H._
     fusca, _Bl._
     sexguttata, _C. & V._
     muralis, _A. & G._

  Mastacembelus armatus, _Lacép._

  Antennarius marmoratus, _Günth._
     hispidus, _Schn._
     pinniceps, _Commers._
     Commersonii, _Lacép._
     multiocellatus _Günth._
     bigibbus, _Lacép._

ATHERINIDÆ, _Günther._
  Atherina Forskalii, _Rüpp._
     duodecimalis, _C. & V._

MUGILIDÆ, _Günther._
  Mugil planiceps, _C. & V._
     Waigiensis, _A.G._
     Ceylonensis, _Günth._

  Ophiocephalus punctatus, _Bl._
     Kelaartii, _Günth._
     striatus, _Bl._
     marulius, _Ham. Buch._
  Channa orientalis, _Schn._

  Anabas oligolepis, _Bleek._
  Polyacanthus signatus, _Günth._

  Amphiprion Clarkii, _J. Benn._
  Dascyllus aruanus, _C. & V._
  trimaculatus, _Rüpp._
  Glyphisodon septem-fasciatus, _C. & V._
     Brownrigii, _Benn,_
     coelestinus, _Sol._
  Etroplus Suratensis, _Bl._
  Julis lunaris _Linn._
     decussatus, _W Benn._
     formosus, _C.&V._
     quadricolor. _Lesson._
     dorsalis, _Quoy & Gaim._
     aureomaculatus, _W. Benn._
     Cellanicus, _E. Benn._
     Finlaysoni, _C. & V._
     purpureo-lineatus, _C. & V._
     cingulum, _C. & V._
  Gomphosus fuscus, _C. & V._
     coeruleus, _Comm._
     viridis, _W. Benn._
  Scarus pepo, _W. Benn._
     harid. _Forsk._
  Tautoga fasciata, _Thunb._
  Hemirhamphus Reynaldi, _C. & V._
     Georgii _C.& V._
  Exocoetus evolans. _Linn._
  Belone annulata, _C. & V._

  Bagrus gulio, _Buch_.
     albilabris, _C. & V._
  Plotosus lineatus, _C. & V._
  Barbus tor, _C. & V._
  Nuria thermoicos, _C. & V._
  Leuciscus dandia, _C. & V._
     scalpellus, _C. & V._
     Ceylonicus, _E. Benn_.
     thermalis, _C. & V._
  Cobitis thermalis, _C. & V._
  Chirocentrus dorab, _Forsk_.
  Elops saurus, _L._
  Megalops cundinga, _Buch_.
  Engraulis Brownii, _Gm_.
  Sardinella leiogaster, _C. & V._
     lineolata, _C. & V._
  Saurus myops, _Val_.
  Saurida tombil, _Bl._

  Pleuronectes, _L._


  Syngnathus, _L._

  Tetraodon ocellatus, _W. Benn_.
     tepa, _Buch_.
     argyropleura, _E. Bennett_.
     argentatus, _Blyth_.
  Balistes biaculeatus, _W. Benn_.
     lineatus, _Bl._
  Triacanthus biaculeatus, _W. Benn_.
  Alutarius lævis, _Bl._


  Pristis antiquorum, _Lath_.
     cuspidatus, _Lath_.
     pectinatus, _Lath_.
  Chiloscyllium plagiosum, _Benn_.
  Stegostoma fasciatum, _Bl._
  Carcharias acutus, _Rüpp_.
  Sphyrna zygæna, _L._
  Rhynchobatus lævis, _Bl._
  Trygon uarnak, _Forsk_.
  Pteroplatea micrura, _Bl._
  Tæniura lymna, _Forsk_.
  Myliobatis Nieuhofii, _Bl._
  Aëtobates narinari, _Bl._

       *       *       *       *       *



(_From the Bombay Times,_ 1856.)

See Page 343.

The late Dr. Buist, after enumerating cases in which fishes were said to
have been thrown out from volcanoes in South America and precipitated
from clouds in various parts of the world, adduced the following
instances of similar occurrences in India. "In 1824," he says, "fishes
fell at Meerut, on the men of Her Majesty's 14th Regiment, then out at
drill, and were caught in numbers. In July, 1826, live fish were seen to
fall on the grass at Moradabad during a storm. They were the common
cyprinus, so prevalent in our Indian waters. On the 19th of February,
1830, at noon, a heavy fall of fish occurred at the Nokulhatty factory,
in the Daccah zillah; depositions on the subject were obtained from nine
different parties. The fish were all dead; most of them were large; some
were fresh, others were rotten and mutilated. They were seen at first in
the sky, like a flock of birds, descending rapidly to the ground; there
was rain drizzling, but no storm. On the 16th and 17th of May, 1833, a
fall of fish occurred in the zillah of Futtehpoor, about three miles
north of the Jumna, after a violent storm of wind and rain. The fish
were from a pound and a half to three pounds in weight, and of the same
species as those found in the tanks in the neighbourhood. They were all
dead and dry. A fall of fish occurred at Allahabad, during a storm in
May, 1835; they were of the chowla species, and were found dead and dry
after the storm had passed over the district. On the 20th of September,
1839, after a smart shower of rain, a quantity of live fish, about three
inches in length and all of the same kind, fell at the Sunderbunds,
about twenty miles south of Calcutta. On this occasion it was remarked
that the fish did not fall here and there irregularly over the ground,
but in a continuous straight line, not more than a span in breadth. The
vast multitudes of fish, with which the low grounds round Bombay are
covered, about a week or ten days after the first burst of the monsoon,
appear to be derived from the adjoining pools or rivulets, and not to
descend from the sky. They are not, so far as I know, found in the
higher parts of the island. I have never seen them, (though I have
watched carefully,) in casks collecting water from the roofs of
buildings, or heard of them on the decks or awnings of vessels in the
harbour, where they must have appeared had they descended from the sky.
One of the most remarkable phenomena of this kind occurred during a
tremendous deluge of rain at Kattywar, on the 25th of July, 1850, when
the ground around Rajkote was found literally covered with fish; some of
them were found on the tops of haystacks, where probably they had been
drifted by the storm. In the course of twenty-four successive hours
twenty-seven inches of rain fell, thirty-five fell in twenty-six hours,
seven inches within one hour and a half, being the heaviest fall on
record. At Poonah, on the 3rd of August, 1852, after a very heavy fall
of rain, multitudes of fish were caught on the ground in the
cantonments, full half a mile from the nearest stream. If showers of
fish are to be explained on the assumption that they are carried up by
squalls or violent winds, from rivers or spaces of water not far away
from where they fall, it would be nothing wonderful were they seen to
descend from the air during the furious squalls which occasionally occur
in June."

       *       *       *       *       *



(_Memorandum by Professor Huxley._)

See Page 324.

The large series of beautifully coloured drawings of the fishes of
Ceylon, which has been submitted to my inspection, possesses an unusual
value for several reasons.

The fishes, it appears, were all captured at Colombo, and even had those
from other parts of Ceylon been added, the geographical area would not
have been very extended. Nevertheless there are more than 600 drawings,
and though it is possible that some of these represent varieties in
different stages of growth of the same species, I have not been able to
find definite evidence of the fact in any of those groups which I have
particularly tested. If, however, these drawings represent _six hundred_
distinct species of fish, they constitute, so far as I know, the largest
collection of fish from one locality in existence.

The number of known British fishes may be safely assumed to be less than
250, and Mr. Yarrell enumerates only 226, Dr. Cantor's valuable work on
Malayan fishes enumerates not more than 238, while Dr. Russell has
figured only 200 from Coromandel. Even the enormous area of the Chinese
and Japanese seas has as yet not yielded 800 species of fishes.

The large extent of the collection alone, then, renders it of great
importance: but its value is immeasurably enhanced by the two
circumstances,--_first_, that every drawing was made while the fish
retained all that vividness of colouring which becomes lost so soon
after its removal from its native element; and _secondly_, that when the
sketch was finished its subject was carefully labelled, preserved in
spirits, and forwarded to England, so that at the present moment the
original of every drawing can be subjected to anatomical examination,
and compared with already named species.

Under these circumstances, I do not hesitate to say that the collection
is one of the most valuable in existence, and might, if properly worked
out, become a large and secure foundation for all future investigation
into the ichthyology of the Indian Ocean.

It would be very hazardous to express an opinion as to the novelty or
otherwise of the species and genera figured without the study of the
specimens themselves, as the specific distinctions of fish are for the
most part based upon character--the fin-rays, teeth, the operculum, &c.,
which can only be made out by close and careful examination of the
object, and cannot be represented in ordinary drawings however accurate.

There are certain groups of fish, however, whose family traits are so
marked as to render it almost impossible to mistake even their
portraits, and hence I may venture, without fear of being far wrong,
upon a few remarks as to the general features of the ichthyological
fauna of Ceylon.

In our own seas rather less than a tenth of the species of fishes belong
to the cod tribe. I have not found one represented in these drawings,
nor do either Russell or Cantor mention any in the surrounding seas, and
the result is in general harmony with the known laws of distribution of
these most useful of fishes.

On the other hand, the mackerel family, including the tunnies, the
bonitas, the dories, the horse-mackerels, &c., which form not more than
one sixteenth of our own fish fauna, but which are known to increase
their proportion in hot climates, appear in wonderful variety of form
and colour, and constitute not less than one fifth of the whole of the
species of Ceylon fish. In Russell's catalogue they form less than one
fifth, in Cantor's less than one sixth.

Marine and other siluroid fishes, a group represented on the continent
of Europe, but doubtfully, if at all, in this country, constitute one
twentieth of the Ceylon fishes. In Russell's and Cantor's lists they
form about one thirtieth of the whole.

The sharks and rays form about one seventh of our own fish fauna. They
constitute about one tenth or one eleventh of Russell's and Cantor's
lists, while among these Ceylon drawings I find not more than twenty, or
about one thirtieth of the whole, which can be referred to this group of
fishes. It must be extremely interesting to know whether this
circumstance is owing to accident, or to the local peculiarities of
Colombo, or whether the fauna of Ceylon really is deficient in such

The like exceptional character is to be noticed in the proportion of the
tribe of flat fishes, or _Pleuronectidæ_. Soles, turbots, and the like,
form nearly one twelfth of our own fishes. Both Cantor and Russell give
the flat fishes as making one twenty-second part of their collection,
while in the whole 600 Ceylon drawings I can find but five

When this great collection has been carefully studied, I doubt not that
many more interesting distributional facts will be evolved.

       *       *       *       *       *

Since receiving this note from Professor Huxley, the drawings in
question have been submitted to Dr. Gray, of the British Museum. That
eminent naturalist, after a careful analysis, has favoured me with the
following memorandum of the fishes they represent, numerically
contrasting them with those of China and Japan, so far as we are
acquainted with the ichthyology of those seas:--


                         Ceylon.      China and Japan.

  Squali                   12               15
  Raiæ                     19               20
  Sturiones                 0                1


       tetraodontidæ       10               21
       balistidæ            9               19
       syngnathidæ          2                2
       pegasidæ             0                3
       lophidæ              1                3
       echeneidæ            0                1
       cyclopteridæ         0                1
       gobidæ               7               35
       callionymidæ         0                7
       uranoscopidæ         0                7
       cottidæ              0               13
       triglidæ            11               37
       polynemidæ          12                3
       mullidæ              1                7
       perecidæ            26               12
       berycidæ             0                5
       sillaginidæ          3                1
       sciænidæ            19               13
       hæmullinidæ          6               12
       serranidæ           31               38
       theraponidæ          8               20
       cirrhitidæ           0                2
       mænidiæ             37               25
       sparidæ             16               17
       acanthuridæ         14                6
       chætodontidæ        25               21
       fistularidæ          2                3
       mugilidæ             5                7
       anabantidæ           6               15
       pomacentridæ        10               11
       labridæ             16               35
       scomberesocidæ      13                6
       blenniidæ            3                8
       zeidæ                0                2
       sphyrænidæ           5                4
       scomberidæ         118               62
       xiphlidæ             0                1
       cepolidæ             0                5
       platessoideæ         5               22
       siluridæ            31               24
       cyprinidæ           19               52
       scopelinidæ          2                7
       salmonidæ            0                1
       clupeidæ            43               22
       gadidæ               0                2
       macruridæ            1                0
       anguillidæ           8               12
       murænidæ             8                6
       sphagebranchidæ      8               10

       *       *       *       *       *



See P. 353.

In Bhootan, at the south-eastern extremity of the Himalayas, a fish is
found, the scientific name of which is unknown to me, but it is called
by the natives the _Bora-chung_, and by European residents the
"ground-fish of Bhootan." It is described in the _Journal of the Asiatic
Society of Bengal for_ 1839, by a writer (who had seen it alive), as
being about two feet in length, and cylindrical, with a thick body,
somewhat shaped like a pike, but rounder, the nose curved upwards, the
colour olive-green, with orange stripes, and the head speckled with
crimson.[1] This fish, according to the native story, is caught not in
the rivers in whose vicinity it is found, but "in perfectly dry places
in the middle of grassy jungle, sometimes as far as two miles from the
banks." Here, on finding a hole four or five inches in diameter, they
commence to dig, and continue till they come to water; and presently the
_bora-chung_ rises to the surface, sometimes from a depth of nineteen
feet. In these extemporised wells these fishes are found always in
pairs, and I when brought to the surface they glide rapidly over the
ground with a serpentine motion. This account appeared in 1839; but some
years later, Mr. Campbell, the Superintendent of Darjeeling, in a
communication to the same journal[2], divested the story of much of its
exaggeration, by stating, as the result of personal inquiry in Bhootan,
that the _bora-chung_ inhabits the jheels and slow-running streams near
the hills, but lives principally on the banks, into which it penetrates
from one to five or six feet. The entrance to these retreats leading
from the river into the bank is generally a few inches below the
surface, so that the fish can return to the water at pleasure. The mode
of catching them is by introducing the hand into these holes; and the
_bora-chungs_ are found generally two in each chamber, coiled
concentrically like snakes. It is not believed that they bore their own
burrows, but that they take possession of those made by land-crabs. Mr.
Campbell denies that they are more capable than other fish of moving on
dry ground. From the particulars given, the _bora-chung_ would appear to
be an _Ophiocephalus_, probably the _O. barka_ described by Buchanan, as
inhabiting holes in the banks of rivers tributary to the Ganges.

[Footnote 1: Paper by Mr. J.T. PEARSON, _Journ. Asiat. Soc. Beng._, vol.
viii p. 551.]

[Footnote 2: _Journ. Asiat. Soc. Beng._, vol. xi. p. 963.]



       *       *       *       *       *

_Mollusca.--Radiata, &c._

Ceylon has long been renowned for the beauty and variety of the shells
which abound in its seas and inland waters, and in which an active trade
has been organised by the industrious Moors, who clean them with great
expertness, arrange them in satin-wood boxes, and send them to Colombo
and all parts of the island for sale. In general, however, these
specimens are more prized for their beauty than valued for their rarity,
though some of the "Argus" cowries[1] have been sold as high as _four
guineas_ a pair.

[Footnote 1: _Cypræa Argus_.]

One of the principal sources whence their supplies are derived is the
beautiful Bay of Venloos, to the north of Batticaloa, formed by the
embouchure of the Natoor river. The scenery at this spot is enchanting.
The sea is overhung by gentle acclivities wooded to the summit; and in
an opening between two of these eminences the river flows through a
cluster of little islands covered with mangroves and acacias. A bar of
rocks projects across it, at a short distance from the shore; and these
are frequented all day long by pelicans, that come at sunrise to fish,
and at evening return to their solitary breeding-places remote from the
beach. The strand is literally covered with beautiful shells in rich
profusion, and the dealers from Trincomalie know the proper season to
visit the bay for each particular description. The entire coast,
however, as far north as the Elephant Pass, is indented by little rocky
inlets, where shells of endless variety may be collected in great
abundance.[1] During the north-east monsoon a formidable surf bursts
upon the shore, which is here piled high with mounds of yellow sand; and
the remains of shells upon the water mark show how rich the sea is in
mollusca. Amongst them are prodigious numbers of the ubiquitous
violet-coloured _Ianthina_[2], which rises when the ocean is calm, and
by means of its inflated vesicles floats lightly on the surface.

[Footnote 1: In one of these beautiful little bays near Catchavelly,
between Trincomalie and Batticaloa, I found the sand within the wash of
the sea literally covered with mollusca and shells, and amongst others a
species of _Bullia_ (B. vittata, I think), the inhabitant of which, has
the faculty of mooring itself firmly by sending down its membranous foot
into the wet sand, where, imbibing the water, this organ expands
horizontally into a broad, fleshy disc, by which the animal anchors
itself, and thus secured, collects its food in the ripple of the waves.
On the slightest alarm, the water is discharged, the disc collapses into
its original dimensions, and the shell and its inhabitant disappear
together beneath the sand.]

[Illustration: BULLIA VITTATA]

[Footnote 2: _Ianthina communis_, Krause and _I. prolongata_, Blainv.]

[Illustration: IANTHINA.]

The trade in shells is one of extreme antiquity in Ceylon. The Gulf of
Manaar has been fished from the earliest times for the large chank
shell, _Turbinella_ _rapa_, to be exported to India, where it is still
sawn into rings and worn as anklets and bracelets by the women of
Hindustan. Another use for these shells is their conversion into wind
instruments, which are sounded in the temples on all occasions of
ceremony. A chank, in which the whorls, instead of running from left to
right, as in the ordinary shell, are reversed, and run from right to
left, is regarded with such reverence that a specimen formerly sold for
its weight in gold, but one may now be had for four or five pounds.
COSMAS INDICO-PLEUSTES, writing in the fifth century, describes a place
on the west coast of Ceylon, which he calls Marallo, and says it
produced "[Greek: kochlious]," which THEVENOT translates "oysters;" in
which case Marallo might be conjectured to be Bentotte, near Colombo,
which yields the best edible "oysters" in Ceylon.[1] But the shell in
question was most probably the chank, and Marallo was Mantotte, off
which it is found in great numbers.[2] In fact, two centuries later
Abouzeyd, an Arab, who wrote an account of the trade and productions of
India, speaks of these shells by the name they still bear, which he
states to be _schenek_[3]; but "schenek" is not an Arabic word, and is
merely an attempt to spell the local term, _chank_, in Arabic

[Footnote 1: COSMAS INDICO-PLEUSTES, in Thevenot's ed. t i. p. 21.]

[Footnote 2: At Kottiar, near Trincomalie, I was struck with the
prodigious size of the edible oysters, which were brought to us at the
rest-house. The shell of one of these measured a little more than eleven
inches in length, by half as many broad: thus unexpectedly attesting the
correctness of one of the stories related by the historians of
Alexander's expedition, that in India they had found oysters a foot
long. PLINY says: "In Indico mari Alexandri rerum auctores pedalia
inveniri prodidere."--_Nat. Hist._ lib. xxxii. ch. 31. DARWIN says, that
amongst the fossils of Patagonia, he found "a massive gigantic oyster,
sometimes even a foot in diameter."--_Nat. Voy._, ch. viii.]

[Footnote 3:--ABOUZEYD, _Voyages Arabes,_ &c., t. i. p. 6; REINAUD,
_Mémoire sur l'Inde,_ &c p. 222.]

BERTOLACCI mentions a curious local peculiarity[1] observed by the
fishermen in the natural history of the chank. "All shells," he says,
"found to the northward of a line drawn from a point about midway from
Manaar to the opposite coast (of India) are of the kind called _patty_,
and are distinguished by a short flat head; and all those found to the
southward of that line are of the kind called _pajel_, and are known
from having a longer and more pointed head than the former. Nor is there
ever an instance of deviation from this singular law of nature. The
_Wallampory_, or 'right-hand chanks,' are found of both kinds."

[Footnote 1: See also the _Asiatic Journal for_ 1827, p. 469.]

This tendency of particular localities to re-produce certain
specialities of form and colour is not confined to the sea or to the
instance of the chank shell. In the gardens which line the suburbs of
Galle in the direction of Matura the stems of the coco-nut and jak trees
are profusely covered with the shells of the beautiful striped _Helix
hamastoma_. Stopping frequently to collect them, I was led to observe
that each separate garden seemed to possess a variety almost peculiar to
itself; in one the mouth of every individual shell was _red_; in
another, separated from the first only by a wall, _black_; and in others
(but less frequently) _pure white_; whilst the varieties of external
colouring were equally local. In one enclosure they were nearly all red,
and in an adjoining one brown.[1]

[Footnote 1: DARWIN, in his _Naturalist's Voyage_, mentions a parallel
instance of the localised propagation of colours amoungst the cattle
which range the pasturage of East Falkland Island: "Round Mount Osborne
about half of some of the herds were mouse-coloured, a tint no common
anywhere else,--near Mount Pleasant dark-brown prevailed; whereas south
of Choiseul Sound white beasts with black heads and feet were
common."--Ch. ix. p. 192.]

A trade more ancient by far than that carried on in chanks, and
infinitely more renowned, is the fishery of pearls on the west coast of
Ceylon, bordering the Gulf of Manaar. No scene in Ceylon presents so
dreary an aspect as the long sweep of desolate shore to which, from time
immemorial, adventurers have resorted from the uttermost ends of the
earth in search of the precious pearls for which this gulf is renowned.
On approaching it from sea the only perceptible landmark is a building
erected by Lord Guildford, as a temporary residence for the Governor,
and known by the name of the "Doric," from the style of its
architecture. A few coco-nut palms appear next above the low sandy
beach, and presently are discovered the scattered houses which form the
villages of Aripo and Condatchy.

Between these two places, or rather between the Kalaar and Arrive river,
the shore is raised to a height of many feet, by enormous mounds of
shells, the accumulations of ages, the millions of oysters[1], robbed of
their pearls, having been year after year flung into heaps, that extend
for a distance of many miles.

[Footnote 1: It is almost unnecessary to say that the shell fish which
produces the true Oriental pearls is not an oyster, but belongs to the
genus Avicula, or more correctly, Meleagrina. It is the _Meleagrina
Margaritifera_ of Lamarck.]

During the progress of a pearl-fishery, this singular and dreary expanse
becomes suddenly enlivened by the crowds who congregate from distant
parts of India; a town is improvised by the construction of temporary
dwellings, huts of timber and cajans[1], with tents of palm leaves or
canvas; and bazaars spring up, to feed the multitude on land, as well as
the seamen and divers in the fleets of boats that cover the bay.

[Footnote 1: _Cajan_ is the local term for the plaited fronds of a

I visited the pearl banks officially in 1848 in company with Capt.
Stenart, the official inspector. My immediate object was to inquire into
the causes of the suspension of the fisheries, and to ascertain the
probability of reviving a source of revenue, the gross receipts from
which had failed for several years to defray the cost of conservancy. In
fact, between 1837 and 1854, the pearl banks were an annual charge,
instead of producing an annual income, to the colony. The conjecture,
hastily adopted, to account for the disappearance of mature shells, had
reference to mechanical causes; the received hypothesis being that the
young broods had been swept off their accustomed feeding grounds, by the
establishment of unusual currents, occasioned by deepening the narrow
passage between Ceylon and India at Paumbam. It was also suggested, that
a previous Governor, in his eagerness to replenish the colonial
treasury, had so "scraped" and impoverished the beds as to exterminate
the oysters. To me, neither of these suppositions appeared worthy of
acceptance; for, in the frequent disruptions of Adam's Bridge, there was
ample evidence that the currents in the Gulf of Manaar had been changed
at former times without destroying the pearl beds: and moreover the
oysters had disappeared on many former occasions, without any imputation
of improper management on the part of the conservators; and returned
after much longer intervals of absence than that which fell under my own
notice, and which was then creating serious apprehension in the colony.

A similar interruption had been experienced between 1820 and 1828: the
Dutch had had no fishing for twenty-seven years, from 1768 till 1796[1];
and they had been equally unsuccessful from 1732 till 1746. The Arabs
were well acquainted with similar vicissitudes, and Albyronni (a
contemporary of Avicenna), who served under Mahmoud of Ghuznee, and
wrote in the eleventh century, says that the pearl fishery, which
formerly existed in the Gulf of Serendib, had become exhausted in his
time, simultaneously with the appearance of a fishery at Sofala, in the
country of the Zends, where pearls were unknown before; and hence, he
says, arose the conjecture that the pearl oyster of Serendib had
migrated to Sofala.[2]

[Footnote 1: This suspension was in some degree attributable to disputes
with the Nabob of Arcot and other chiefs, and the proprietors of temples
on the opposite coast of India, who claimed, a right to participate in
the fisheries of the Gulf of Manaar.]

[Footnote 2: "Il y avait autrefois dans le Golfe de Serendyb, une
pêcherie de perles qui s'est épuiseé de notre temps. D'un autre côté il
s'est formé une pêcherie de Sofala dans le pays des Zends, là ou il n'en
existait pas auparavant--on dit que c'est la pêcherie de Serendyb qui
s'est transportée à Sofala."--ALBYROUNI, _in_ RENAUD'S _Fragmens Arabes,
&c_, p. 125; see also REINAUD'S _Mémoire sur l'Inde_, p. 228.]

It appeared to me that the explanation of the phenomenon was to be
sought, not merely in external causes, but also in the instincts and
faculties of the animals themselves, and, on my return to Colombo, I
ventured to renew a recommendation, which had been made years before,
that a scientific inspector should be appointed to study the habits and
the natural history of the pearl-oyster, and that his investigations
should be facilitated by the means at the disposal of the Government.

Dr. Kelaart was appointed to this office, by Sir H.G. Ward, in 1857, and
his researches speedily developed results of great interest. In
opposition to the received opinion that the pearl-oyster is incapable of
voluntary movement, and unable of itself to quit the place to which it
is originally attached[1], he demonstrated, not only that it possesses
locomotive powers, but also that their exercise is indispensable to its
oeconomy when obliged to search for food, or compelled to escape from
local impurities. He showed that, for this purpose, it can sever its
byssus, and re-form it at pleasure, so as to migrate and moor itself in
favourable situations.[2] The establishment of this important fact may
tend to solve the mystery of the occasional disappearances of the
oyster; and if coupled with the further discovery that it is susceptible
of translation from place to place, and even from salt to brackish
water, it seems reasonable to expect that beds may be formed with
advantage in positions suitable for its growth and protection. Thus,
like the edible oyster of our own shores, the pearl-oyster may be
brought within the domain of pisciculture, and banks may be created in
suitable places, just as the southern shores of France are now being
colonised with oysters, under the direction of M. Coste.[3] The
operation of sowing the sea with pearl, should the experiment succeed,
would be as gorgeous in reality, as it is grand in conception: and the
wealth of Ceylon, in her "treasures of the deep," might eclipse the
renown of her gems when she merited the title of the "Island of Rubies."

[Footnote 1: STEUART'S _Pearl Fisheries of Ceylon_, p. 27: CORDINER'S
_Ceylon, &c_, vol. ii. p. 45.]

[Footnote 2: See Dr. KELAART'S Report on the Pearl Oyster in the _Ceylon
Calendar for 1858--Appendix_, p. 14.]

[Footnote 3: _Rapport de_ M. COSTE, Professeur d'Embryogénie, &c.,
Paris, 1858.]

On my arrival at Aripo, the pearl-divers, under the orders of their
Adapanaar, put to sea, and commenced the examination of the banks.[1]
The persons engaged in this calling are chiefly Tamils and Moors, who
are trained for the service by diving for chanks. The pieces of
apparatus employed to assist the diver in his operations are exceedingly
simple in their character: they consist merely of a stone, about thirty
pounds' weight, (to accelerate the rapidity of his descent,) which is
suspended over the side of the boat, with a loop attached to it for
receiving the foot; and of a net-work basket, which he takes down to the
bottom and fills with the oysters as he collects them. MASSOUDI, one of
the earliest Arabian geographers, describing, in the ninth century, the
habits of the pearl-divers in the Persian Gulf, says that, before
descending, each filled his ears with cotton steeped in oil, and
compressed his nostrils by a piece of tortoise-shell.[2] This practice
continues there to the present day[3]; but the diver of Ceylon rejects
all such expedients; he inserts his foot in the "sinking stone" and
inhales a full breath; presses his nostrils with his left hand; raises
his body as high as possible above water, to give force to his descent:
and, liberating the stone from its fastenings, he sinks rapidly below
the surface. As soon as he has reached the bottom, the stone is drawn
up, and the diver, throwing himself on his face, commences with alacrity
to fill his basket with oysters. This, on a concerted signal, is hauled
rapidly to the surface; the diver assisting his own ascent by springing
on the rope as it rises.

[Footnote 1: Detailed accounts of the pearl fishery of Ceylon and the
conduct of the divers, will be found in PERCIVAL's _Ceylon_, ch. iii.:
and in CORDINER'S _Ceylon_, vol. ii. ch. xvi. There is also a valuable
paper on the same subject by Mr. LE BECK, in the _Asiatic Researches_,
vol. v. p. 993; but by far the most able and intelligent description is
contained in the _Account of the Pearl Fisheries of Ceylon_, by JAMES
STEUART, Esq., Inspector of the Pearl Banks, 4to. Colombo, 1843.]

[Footnote 2: MASSOUDI says that the Persian divers, as they could not
breathe through their nostrils, _cleft the root of the ear_ for that
purpose: "_Ils se fendaient la racine de l'oreille pour respirer_; en
effet, ils ne peuvent se servir pour cet objet des narines, vu qu'ils se
les bouchent avec des morceaux d'écailles de tortue marine on bien avec
des morceaux de corne ayant la forme d'un fer de lance. En même temps
ils se mettent dans l'oreille du coton trempé dans de
l'huile."--_Moroudj-al-Dzeheb,_ &c., REINAUD, _Mémoire sur l'Inde,_ p.

[Footnote 3: Colonel WILSON says they compress the nose with horn, and
close the ears with beeswax. See _Memorandum on the Pearl Fisheries in
Persian Gulf.--Journ. Geogr. Soc._ 1833, vol. iii. p. 283.]

Improbable tales have been told of the capacity which these men acquire
of remaining for prolonged periods under water. The divers who attended
on this occasion were amongst the most expert on the coast, yet not one
of them was able to complete a full minute below. Captain Steuart, who
filled for many years the office of Inspector of the Pearl Banks,
assured me that he had never known a diver to continue at the bottom
longer than eighty-seven seconds, nor to attain a greater depth than
thirteen fathoms; and on ordinary occasions they seldom exceeded
fifty-five seconds in nine fathom water[1].

[Footnote 1: RIBEYRO says that a diver could remain below whilst two
_credos_ were being repeated: "Il s'y tient l'espace de deux
_credo_."--Lib. i. ch. xxii. p. 169. PERCIVAL says the usual time for
them to be under water was two minutes, but that some divers stayed
_four_ or _five_, and one _six_ minutes,--_Ceylon_ p. 91; LE BECK says
that in 1797 he saw a Caffre boy from Karical remain down for the space
of seven minutes.--_Asiat. Res_ vol. v. p. 402.]

The only precaution to which the Ceylon diver devotedly resorts, is the
mystic ceremony of the shark-charmer, whose exorcism is an indispensable
preliminary to every fishery. His power is believed to be hereditary;
nor is it supposed that the value of his incantations is at all
dependent upon the religious faith professed by the operator, for the
present head of the family happens to be a Roman Catholic. At the time
of our visit this mysterious functionary was ill and unable to attend;
but he sent an accredited substitute, who assured me that although he
himself was ignorant of the grand and mystic secret, the mere fact of
his presence, as a representative of the higher authority, would be
recognised and respected by the sharks.

Strange to say, though the Gulf of Manaar abounds with these hideous
creatures, not more than one well authenticated accident[1] is known to
have occurred from this source during any pearl fishery since the
British have had possession of Ceylon. In all probability the reason is
that the sharks are alarmed by the unusual number of boats, the
multitude of divers, the noise of the crews, the incessant plunging of
the sinking stones, and the descent and ascent of the baskets filled
with shells. The dark colour of the divers themselves may also be a
protection; whiter skins might not experience an equal impunity.
Massoudi relates that the divers of the Persian Gulf were so conscious
of this advantage of colour, that they were accustomed to blacken their
limbs, in order to baffle the sea monsters.[2]

[Footnote 1: CORDINER'S _Ceylon_, vol. ii p. 52.]

[Footnote 2: "Ils s'enduisaient les pieds et les jambes d'une substance
noirâtre, atin de faire peur aux monstres marins, que, sans cela,
seraient tentés de les dévorer."--_Moroudj-al-Dzekeb,_ REINAUD, _Mém.
sur l'Inde_, p. 228.]

The result of our examination of the pearl banks, on this occasion, was
such as to discourage the hope of an early fishery. The oysters in point
of number were abundant, but in size they were little more than "spat,"
the largest being barely a fourth of an inch in diameter. As at least
seven years are required to furnish the growth at which pearls may be
sought with advantage[1], the inspection served only to suggest the
prospect (which has since been realised) that in time the income from
this source might be expected to revive;--and, forced to content
ourselves with this anticipation, we weighed anchor from Condatchy, on
the 30th March, and arrived on the following day at Colombo.

[Footnote 1: Along with this two plates are given from drawings made for
the Official Inspector, and exhibiting the ascertained size of the pearl
oyster at every period of its growth, from the "spat" to the mature
shell. The young "brood" are shown at Nos. 1 and 2. The shell at four
months old, No. 3, No. 4. six months, No. 5. one year, No. 6, two years.
The second plate exhibits the shell at its full growth.]

The banks of Aripo are not the only localities, nor is the _acicula_ the
only mollusc, by which pearls are furnished. The Bay of Tamblegam,
connected with the magnificent harbour of Trincomalie, is the seat of
another pearl fishery, and the shell which produces them is the thin
transparent oyster (_Placuna placenta_). whose clear white shells are
used, in China and elsewhere, as a substitute for window glass. They are
also collected annually for the sake of the diminutive pearls contained
in them. These are exported to the coast of India, to be calcined for
lime, which the luxurious affect to chew with their betel. These pearls
are also burned in the mouths of the dead. So prolific are the mollusca
of the _Placuna_, that the quantity of shells taken by the licensed
renter in the three years prior to 1858, could not have been less than
eighteen millions.[1] They delight in brackish water, and on more than
one recent occasion, an excess of either salt water or fresh has proved
fatal to great numbers of them.

[Footnote 1: _Report of_ Dr. KELAART, Oct. 1857.]

[Illustration: PEARL OYSTER.

1, 2. The young brood or spat.
3. Four months old.
4. Six months old.
5. One year old.
6. Two years old.]

[Illustration: THE PEARL OYSTER. Full Growth.]

On the occasion of a visit which I made to Batticaloa. in September,
1848, I made some inquiries relative to a story which had reached me of
musical sounds, said to be often heard issuing from the bottom of the
lake, at several places, both above and below the ferry opposite the old
Dutch Fort; and which the natives suppose to proceed from some fish
peculiar to the locality. The report was confirmed in all its
particulars, and one of the spots whence the sounds proceed was pointed
out between the pier and a rock that intersects the channel, two or
three hundred yards to the eastward. They were said to be heard at
night, and most distinctly when the moon was nearest the full, and they
were described as resembling the faint sweet notes of an Æolian harp. I
sent for some of the fishermen, who said they were perfectly aware of
the fact, and that their fathers had always known of the existence of
the musical sounds, heard, they said, at the spot alluded to, but only
during the dry season, as they cease when the lake is swollen by the
freshes after the rain. They believed them to proceed not from a fish,
but from a shell, which is known by the Tamil name of (_oorie cooleeroo
cradoo_, or) the "crying shell," a name in which the sound seems to have
been adopted as an echo to the sense. I sent them in search of the
shell, and they returned bringing me some living specimens of different
shells, chiefly _littorina_ and _cerithium._[1]


[Footnote 1: _Littorina lævis. Cerithium palustre._ Of the latter the
specimens brought to me were dwarfed and solid, exhibiting in this
particular the usual peculiarities that distinguish (1) shells
inhabiting a rocky locality from (2) their congeners in a sandy bottom.
Their longitudinal development was less, with greater breadth, and
increased strength and weight.]

In the evening when the moon rose, I took a boat and accompanied the
fishermen to the spot. We rowed about two hundred yards north-east of
the jetty by the fort gate; there was not a breath of wind, nor a ripple
except those caused by the dip of our oars. On coming to the point
mentioned, I distinctly heard the sounds in question. They came up from
the water like the gentle thrills of a musical chord, or the faint
vibrations of a wine-glass when its rim is rubbed by a moistened finger.
It was not one sustained note, but a multitude of tiny, sounds, each
clear and distinct in itself; the sweetest treble mingling with the
lowest bass. On applying the ear to the woodwork of the boat, the
vibration was greatly increased in volume. The sounds varied
considerably at different points, as we moved across the lake, as if the
number of the animals from which they proceeded was greatest in
particular spots; and occasionally we rowed out of hearing of them
altogether, until on returning to the original locality the sounds were
at once renewed.

This fact seems to indicate that the causes of the sounds, whatever they
may be, are stationary at several points; and this agrees with the
statement of the natives, that they are produced by mollusca, and not by
fish. They came evidently and sensibly from the depth of the lake, and
there was nothing in the surrounding circumstances to support the
conjecture that they could be the reverberation of noises made by
insects on the shore conveyed along the surface of the water; for they
were loudest and most distinct at points where the nature of the land,
and the intervention of the fort and its buildings, forbade the
possibility of this kind of conduction.

Sounds somewhat similar are heard under water at some places on the
western coast of India, especially in the harbour of Bombay.[1] At
Caldera, in Chili, musical cadences are stated to issue from the sea
near the landing-place; they are described as rising and falling fully
four notes, resembling the tones of harp strings, and mingling like
those at Batticaloa, till they produce a musical discord of great
delicacy and sweetness. The same interesting phenomenon has been
observed at the mouth of the Pascagoula, in the State of Mississippi,
and of another river called the "Bayou coq del Inde," on the northern
shore of the Gulf of Mexico. The animals from which they proceed have
not been identified at either of these places, and the mystery remains
unsolved, whether the sounds at Batticaloa are given forth by fishes or
by molluscs.

[Footnote 1: These sounds are thus described by Dr. BUIST in the _Bombay
Times_ of January 1847: "A party lately crossing from the promontory in
Salsette called the 'Neat's Tongue,' to near Sewree, were, about sunset,
struck by hearing long distinct sounds like the protracted booming of a
distant bell, the dying cadence of an Æolian harp, the note of a
pitchpipe or pitch-fork, or any other long-drawn-out musical note. It
was, at first, supposed to be music from Parell floating at intervals on
the breeze; then it was perceived to come from all directions, almost in
equal strength, and to arise from the surface of the water all around
the vessel. The boatmen at once intimated that the sounds were produced
by fish, abounding in the muddy creeks and shoals around Bombay and
Salsette; they were perfectly well known, and very often heard.
Accordingly, on inclining the ear towards the surface of the water; or,
better still, by placing it close to the planks of the vessel, the notes
appeared loud and distinct, and followed each other in constant
succession. The boatmen next day produced specimens of the fish--a
creature closely resembling, in size and shape the fresh-water perch of
the north of Europe--and spoke of them as plentiful and perfectly well
known. It is hoped they may be procured alive, and the means afforded of
determining how the musical sounds are produced and emitted, with other
particulars of interest supposed new in Ichthyology. We shall be
thankful to receive from our readers any information they can give us in
regard to a phenomenon which does not appear to have been heretofore
noticed, and which cannot fail to attract the attention of the
naturalist. Of the perfect accuracy with which the singular facts above
related have been given, no doubt will be entertained when it is
mentioned that the writer was one of a party of five intelligent
persons, by all of whom they were most carefully observed, and the
impressions of all of whom in regard to them were uniform. It is
supposed that the fish are confined to particular localities--shallows,
estuaries, and muddy creeks, rarely visited by Europeans; and that this
is the reason why hitherto no mention, so far as we know, has been made
of the peculiarity in any work on Natural History."

This communication elicited one from Vizagapatam, relative to "musical
sounds like the prolonged notes on the harp" heard to proceed from under
water at that station. It appeared in the _Bombay Times_ of Feb. 13,

Certain fishes are known to utter sounds when removed from the water[1],
and some are capable of making noises when under it[2]; but all the
circumstances connected with the sounds which I heard at Batticaloa are
unfavourable to the conjecture that they were produced by either.

[Footnote 1: The Cuckoo Gurnard (_Triglia cuculus_) and the maigre
(_Sciæna aquila_) utter sounds when taken out of the water (YARRELL,
vol. i. p. 44, 107); and herrings when the net has just been drawn have
been observed to do the same. This effect has been attributed to the
escape of air from the air bladder, but no air bladder has been found in
the _Cottus_, which makes a similar noise.]

[Footnote 2: The fishermen assert that a fish about five inches in
length, found in the lake at Colombo, and called by them "_magoora_,"
makes a grunt when disturbed under water. PALLEGOIX, in his account of
Siam, speaks of a fish resembling a sole, but of brilliant colouring
with black spots, which the natives call the "dog's tongue," that
attaches itself to the bottom of a boat, "et fait entendre un bruit
très-sonore et même harmonieux."--Tom. i. p. 194. A _Silurus_, found in
the Rio Parana, and called the "armado," is remarkable for making a
harsh grating noise when caught by hook or line, which can be distinctly
heard when the fish is beneath the water. DARWIN, _Nat. Journ._ ch. vii.
Aristotle and Ælian were aware of the existence of this faculty in some
of the fishes of the Mediterranean. ARISTOTLE, _De Anim_., lib. iv. ch.
ix.; ÆLIAN, _De Nat. Anim._, lib. x. ch. xi.; see also PLINY, lib. ix.
ch. vii.. lib. xi. ch. cxiii.; ATHENÆUS, lib. vii. ch. iii. vi. I have
heard of sounds produced under water at Baltimore, and supposed to be
produced by the "cat-fish;" and at Swan River in Australia, where they
are ascribed to the "trumpeter." A similar noise heard in the Tagus is
attributed by the Lisbon fishermen to the "_Corvina_"--but what fish is
meant by that name, I am unable to tell.]

Organs of hearing have been clearly ascertained to exist, mot only in
fishes[1], but in mollusca. In the oyster the presence of an acoustic
apparatus of the simplest possible construction has been established by
the discoveries of Siebold[2], and from our knowledge of the reciprocal
relations existing between the faculties of hearing and of producing
sounds, the ascertained existence of the one affords legitimate grounds
for inferring the coexistence of the other in animals of the same

[Footnote 1: AGASSIZ, _Comparative Physiology_, sec. ii. 158.]

[Footnote 2: It consists of two round vesicles containing fluid, and
crystalline or elliptical calcareous particles or otolites, remarkable
for their oscillatory action in the living or recently killed animal.
OWEN'S _Lectures on the Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of the
Invertebrate Animals_, 1855, p. 511-552.]

[Footnote 3: I am informed that Professor MÜLLER read a paper on
"Musical fishes" before the Academy of Berlin, in 1856. It will probably
be found in the volume of MÜLLER'S _Archiv. für Physiologie_ for that
year; but I have not had an opportunity of reading it.]

Besides, it has been clearly established, that one at least of the
gasteropoda is furnished with the power of producing sounds. Dr. Grant,
in 1826, communicated to the Edinburgh Philosophical Society the fact,
that on placing some specimens of the _Tritonia arborescens_ in a glass
vessel filled with sea water, his attention was attracted by a noise
which he ascertained to proceed from these mollusca. It resembled the
"clink" of a steel wire on the side of the jar, one stroke only being
given at a time, and repeated at short intervals.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Edinburgh Philosophical Journ_., vol. xiv. p. 188. See
also the Appendix to this chapter.]

The affinity of structure between the _Tritonia_ and the mollusca
inhabiting the shells brought to me at Batticaloa, might justify the
belief of the natives of Ceylon, that the latter are the authors of the
sounds I heard; and the description of those emitted by the former as
given by Dr. Grant, so nearly resemble them, that I have always
regretted my inability, on the occasion of my visits to Batticaloa, to
investigate the subject more narrowly. At subsequent periods I have
since renewed my efforts, but without success, to obtain specimens or
observations of the habits of the living mollusca.

The only species afterwards sent to me were _Cerithia_; but no vigilance
sufficed to catch the desired sounds, and I still hesitate to accept the
dictum of the fishermen, as the same mollusc abounds in all the other
brackish estuaries on the coast; and it would be singular, if true, that
the phenomenon of its uttering a musical note should be confined to a
single spot in the lagoon of Batticaloa.[1]

[Footnote 1: The letter which I received from Dr. Grant on this subject,
I have placed in a note to the present chapter, in the hope that it may
stimulate some other inquirer in Ceylon to prosecute the investigation
which I was unable to carry out successfully.]

Although naturalists have long been familiar with the marine testacea of
Ceylon, no successful attempt has yet been made to form a classified
catalogue of the species; and I am indebted to the eminent conchologist,
Mr. Sylvanus Hanley, for the list which accompanies this notice.

In drawing it up, Mr. Hanley observes that he found it a task of more
difficulty than would at first be surmised, owing to the almost total
absence of reliable data from which to construct it. Three sources were
available: collections formed by resident naturalists, the contents of
the well-known satin-wood boxes prepared at Trincomalie, and the
laborious elimination of locality from the habitats ascribed to all the
known species in the multitude of works on conchology in general.

But, unfortunately, the first resource proved fallacious. There is no
large collection in this country composed exclusively of Ceylon
shells;--and as the very few cabinets rich in the marine treasures of
the island have been filled as much by purchase as by personal exertion,
there is an absence of the requisite confidence that all professing to
be Singhalese have been actually captured in the island and its waters.

The cabinets arranged by the native dealers, though professing to
contain the productions of Ceylon, include shells which have been
obtained from other islands in the Indian seas; and the information
contained in books, probably from these very circumstances, is either
obscure or deceptive. The old writers content themselves with assigning
to any particular shell the too-comprehensive habitat of "the Indian
Ocean," and seldom discriminate between a specimen from Ceylon and one
from the Eastern Archipelago or Hindustan. In a very few instances,
Ceylon has been indicated with precision as the habitat of particular
shells, but even here the views of specific essentials adopted by modern
conchologists, and the subdivisions established in consequence, leave us
in doubt for which of the described forms the collective locality should
be retained.

Valuable notices of Ceylon shells are to be found in detached papers, in
periodicals, and in the scientific surveys of exploring voyages. The
authentic facts embodied in the monographs of REEVE, KUSTER, SOWERBY,
and KIENER, have greatly enlarged our knowledge of the marine testacea;
and the land and fresh-water mollusca have been similarly illustrated by
the contributions of BENSON and LAYARD to the _Annals of Natural

The dredge has been used, but only in a few insulated spots along the
coasts of Ceylon; European explorers have been rare; and the natives,
anxious only to secure the showy and saleable shells of the sea, have
neglected the less attractive ones of the land and the lakes. Hence Mr.
Hanley finds it necessary to premise that the list appended, although
the result of infinite labour and research, is less satisfactory than
could have been wished. "It is offered," he says, "with diffidence, not
pretending to the merit of completeness as a shell-fauna of the island,
but rather as a form, which the zeal of other collectors may hereafter
elaborate and fill up."

Looking at the little that has yet been done, compared with the vast and
almost untried field which invites explorers, an assiduous collector may
quadruple the species hitherto described. The minute shells especially
may be said to be unknown; a vigilant examination of the corals and
excrescences upon the spondyli and pearl-oysters would signally increase
our knowledge of the Rissoæ, Chemnitziæ, and other perforating testacea,
whilst the dredge from the deep water will astonish the amateur by the
wholly new forms it can scarcely fail to display.

       *       *       *       *       *

_List of Ceylon Shells._

The arrangement here adopted is a modified Lamarckian one, very similar
to that used by Reeve and Sowerby, and by Mr. HANLEY, in his
_Illustrated Catalogue of Recent Shells_.[1]

[Footnote 1: Below will be found a general reference to the Works or
Papers in which are given descriptive notices of the shells contained in
the following list; the names of the authors (in full or abbreviated)
being, as usual, annexed to each species.

ADAMS, _Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1853, 54, 56; _Thesaur. Conch._ ALBERS,
_Zeitsch. Malakoz._ 1853. ANTON, _Wiegm. Arch. Nat._ 1837; _Verzeichn.
Conch_. BECK in _Pfeiffer, Symbol. Helic._ BENSON, _Ann. Nat. Hist._
vii. 1851; xii. 1853, xviii, 1856. BLAINVILLE, _Dict. Sc. Nat.; Nouv.
Ann. Mus. His. Nat._ i. BOLTEN, _Mus._ BORN, _Test. Mus. Cæcs. Vind._
BRODERIP, _Zool. Journ._ i. iii. BRUGUIERE, _Encyc. Méthod. Vers._
CARPENTER, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1856. CHEMNITZ, _Conch. Cab._ CHENU,
_Illus. Conch._ DESHAYES. _Encyc. Méth. Vers.; Mag. Zool. 1831; Voy.
Belanger; Edit. Lam. An. s. Vert.; Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1853, 54, 55.
DILLWYN. _Deser. Cat. Shells._ DOHRN, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1857, 58;
_Malak. Blätter; Land and Fluviatile Shells of Ceylon._ DUCLOS, _Monog.
of Oliva._ FABRICIUS, _in Pfeiffer Monog. Helic.; in Dohrn's MSS._
FÉRUSSAC, _Hist. Mollusques._ FORSKAL, _Anim. Orient._ GMELIN, _Syst.
Nat._ GRAY, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1834, 52; _Index Testaceologicus Suppl.;
Spicilegia Zool.; Zool. Journ._ i.; _Zool. Beechey Voy._ GRATELOUP,
_Act. Linn. Bordeaux,_ xi. GUERIN, _Rev. Zool._ 1847. HANLEY, _Thesaur.
Conch,_ i.; _Recent Bivalves; Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1858. HINDS, _Zool. Voy.
Sulphur; Proc. Zool. Soc._ HUTTON, _Journ. As. Soc._ KARSTEN, _Mus.
Lesk._ KIENER, _Coquilles Vivantes._ KRAUSS, _Sud-Afrik Mollusk._
LAMARCK, _An. sans Vertéb._ LAYARD, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1854. LEA,
_Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1850. LINNÆUS, _Syst. Nat._ MARTINI, _Conch. Cab._
MAWE. _Introd. Linn. Conch.; Index Test. Suppl._ MEUSCHEN, in _Gronor.
Zoophylac._ MENKE, _Synop. Mollus._ MULLER, _Hist. Verm. Terrest._
PETIT, _Pro. Zool. Soc._ 1842. PFEIFFER, _Monog. Helic.: Monog.
Pneumon.; Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1852, 53, 54, 55. 56; _Zeitschr.
Malacoz._ 1853. PHILIPPI, _Zeitsch. Mal._ 1846, 47: _Abbild. Neuer
Conch._ POTIEZ et MICHAUD. _Galeric Douai._ RANG, _Mag. Zool._ ser. i.
p. 100. RÉCLUZ, _Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1845; _Revue Zool. Cur._ 1841:
_Mag. Conch._ REEVE, _Conch. Icon.; Proc. Zool. Soc_: 1842, 52.
SCHUMACHER. _Syst._ SHUTTLEWORTH. SOLANDER. in _Dillwyn's Desc. Cat.
Shells;_ SOWERBY, _Genera Shells; Species Conch.; Conch. Misc.; Thesaur.
Conch.; Conch. Illus.; Proc. Zool. Soc.; App. to Tankerrille Cat._
SPENGLER, _Skrivt. Nat. Selsk. Kiobenhav._ 1792. SWAINSON, _Zool.
Illust._ ser. ii. TEMPLETON, _Ann. Nat. Hist._ 1858. TROSCHEL, in
_Pfeiffer, Mon. Pneum; Zeitschr. Malak._ 1847; _Wiegm. Arch. Nat._ 1837.
WOOD, _General Conch_.]

Aspergillum Javanum. _Brug._ Enc. Mét.
  sparsum, _Sowerby_, Gen. Shells.[1]
  clavatum, _Chenu,_ lllust. Conch.

Teredo nucivorus. _Sp_ Skr. Nat. Sels.[2]

Solen truncatus. _Wood_, Gen. Couch.
  linearis, _Wood_, Gen. Conch.
  cultellus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  radiatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.

Anatina subrostrata, _Lam._ Ani. s. Vert.

Anatinella Nicobarica, _Gm._ Syst. Nat.

Lutraria Egyptiaca, _Chemn._ Couch. Cab.

Blainvillea vitrea, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.[3]

Scrobicularia angulata. _Chem._ Con. Cab.[4]

Mactra complanata, _Desh._ Proc. Zl. Soc.[5]
  tumida, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  antiquata, _Reeve_ (as of _Spengl._), C. Icon.
  cygnea, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  Corbiculoides, _Deshayes_, Pr. Zl. S. 1854.

  Layardi, _Deshayes_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  striata, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.[6]

Cras-atella rostrata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  sulcata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.

  duplicatum, _Sowerby_. Species Conch.

Pandora Ceylanica, _Sowerby_, Couch. Mis.

Galeomma Layardi. _Desh._ Pr. Zl. S. 1856.

Kellia peculiaris, _Adams_, Pr. Zl. S. 1856.

Petricola cultellus, _Desh._ Pr. Zl. S. 1853.

Sangumoiaria rosea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.

Psammobia rostrata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  orcidens, _Gm._ Systems Naturæ.
  Skinneri, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.[7]
  Layardi, _Desh_. P.Z. Soc. 1854.

[Footnote 1: A. dichotomum, _Chenu._]

[Footnote 2: Fistulana gregata, _Lam._]

[Footnote 3: Blainvillea, _Hupé._]

[Footnote 4: Latraria tellinoides, _Lam._]

[Footnote 5: I have also seen M. hians of Philippi
in a Ceylon collection.]

[Footnote 6: M. Taprobanensis, _Index Test. Suppl._]

[Footnote 7: Psammotella Skinneri, _Reeve._]

  lunulata, _Desh_. P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  amethystus, _Wood_, Gen. Conch.[1]
  rugosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.[2]
Tellina virgata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[3]
  rugosa, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  ostracea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  ala, _Hanley_, Thesaur. Conch. i.
  inæqualis, _Hanley_, Thesaur. Conch. i.
  Layardi, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  callosa, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  rubra, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  abbreviata, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  foliacea, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
  lingua-felis, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
  vulsella, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.[4]
Lucina interrupta, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.[5]
  Layardi, _Deshayes_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1855.
Donax scortum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  cuneata,  _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  faba, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  spinosa, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  paxillus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Cyrena Ceylanica, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  Tennentii, _Hanley_, P.Z. Soc. 1858.
Cytherea Erycina, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[6]
  meretrix, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[7]
  castanea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  castrensis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  casta, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  costata, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  læta, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  trimaculata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  Hebræa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  rugifera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  scripta, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  gibbia, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  Meroe, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  testudinalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  seminuda, _Anton_. Wiegm. A. Nat. 1837.[8]
Venus reticulata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[9]
  pinguis, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  recens, _Philippi_, Abbild. Neuer Conch.
  thiara, _Dillw_. Descriptive Cat. Shells.
  Malabarica, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  Bruguieri, _Hanley_, Recent Bivalves.
  papilionacea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  Indica, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch. ii.
  inflata, _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.[10]
  Ceylonensis, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch. ii.
  literata, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
  textrix, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.[11]
Cardium unedo, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  maculosum, _Wood_, Gen. Con.
  leucostomum, _Born_, Tt. M. Cæs. Vind.
  rugosum, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  biradiatum, _Bruguiere_, En. Méth. Vers.
  attenuatum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
  enode, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
  papyraceum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  ringiculum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
  subrugosum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
  latum, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  Asiaticum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Cardita variegata, _Brug_. Enc. Méth. Vers.
  bicolor, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Arca rhombea, _Born_, Test. Mus.
  vellicata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  cruciata, _Philippi_, Ab. Neur Conch.
  decussata, _Reeve_ (as of Sowerby), C.I.[12]
  scapha, _Meuschen_, in Gronov. Zoo.
Pectunculus nodosus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  pectiniformis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Nucula mitralis, _Hinds_, Zool. voy. Sul.
  Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
  Mauritii (_Hanley_ as of _Hinds_), Rec. Biv.
  corrugatus, _Müller_, Hist. Verm. Ter.[13]
  marginalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  cinnamoneus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Mytilus viridis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[14]
  bilocularis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Pinna inflata, _Chamn_. Conch. Cab.
  cancellata, _Mawe_, Intr. Lin. Conch.
Malleus vulgaris, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  albus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Meleagrina margaritifera, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  vexillum, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.[15]
Avicula macroptera, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Lima squamosa, _Linn._ Anim. s. Vert.
Pecten plica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  radula, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  pleuronectes, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  pallium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  senator, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  histrionicus, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  Indicus, _Deshayes_, Voyage Belanger.
  Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Spondylus Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  candidus, _Reeve_ (as of _Lam._) C. Icon.
Ostrea hyotis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  glaucina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  Mytiloides, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  cucullata? var., _Born_, Test. M. Vind.[16]
  Pholadiformis, _Reeve_, C. Icn. (immat.)
Placuna placenta, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Lingula anatina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.

[Footnote 1: P. cærulesens, _Lam._]

[Footnote 2: Sanguinolaria rugosa, _Lam._]

[Footnote 3: T. striatula of Lamarck is also supposed to be indigenous
to Ceylon.]

[Footnote 4: T. rostrata, _Lam._]

[Footnote 5: L. divaricata is found, also, in mixed Ceylon collections.]

[Footnote 6: C. dispar of Chemnitz is occasionally found in Ceylon

[Footnote 7: C. impudica. _Lam._]

[Footnote 8: As Donax.]

[Footnote 9: V. corbis, _Lam._]

[Footnote 10: As Tapes.]

[Footnote 11: V. textile, _Lam._]

[Footnote 12:?Arca Helblingii, _Chemn._]

[Footnote 13: Mr. Cuming informs me that he has forwarded no less than
six distinct _Uniones_ from Ceylon to Isaac Lea, of Philadelphia, for
determination or description.]

[Footnote 14: M. smaragdinus, _Chemn._]

[Footnote 15: As Avicula.]

[Footnote 16: The specimens are not in a fitting state for positive
determination. They are strong, extremely narrow, with the beak of the
lower valve much produced, and the inner edge of the upper valve
denticulated throughout. The muscular impressions are dusky brown.]

Hyalæa tridentata, _For_. Anim. Orient.[1]
Chiton, 2 species (_Layard_).
Patella Reynaudii, _Deshayes_, Voy. Be.
  testodinaria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Emarginula fissurata, _Ch_. C. Cab.[2] _Lam._
Calyptræa (Crucibulum) violascens, _Carpenter_,
  Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
  octogonum, _Lam_ Anim. s. Vert.
  aprinum. _Linn_ Syst. Nat.
Bulla soluta, _Chemn_ Conch. Cab.[3]
  vexillum, _Chemn_ Conch. Cab.
  Bruguieri, _Adams_, Thes. Conch.
  elongata, _Adams_, Thes. Conch.
  ampulla, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Lamellaria (as Marsenia Indica, _Leach_.
  in Brit. Mus.) allied to L. Mauritiana,
  if not it.
Vaginula maculata, _Templ._ An. Nat.
Lunax, 2 sp.
Parmacella Tennentii, _Templ._[4]
Vitrina irradians, _Pfeiffer_, Mon. Helic.
  Edgariana, _Ben._ Ann. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  membranacea, _Ben._ A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
Helix hæmastoma, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  vittata, _Müller_, Vermium Terrestrium.
  bistrialis, _Beck_, in Pfeiff. Symb. Helic.
  Tranquebarica, _Fabricius_, in _Pfeiff_.
  Monog. Helic.
  Juliana, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
  Waltoni, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1842.
  Skinneri. _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. vii.
  corylus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. vii.
  umbrina (_Reeve_, as of _Pfeiff._.), C. Ic. vii.
  fallaciosa. _Férussac_, Hist. Mollus.
  Rivolii, _Deshayes_. Enc. Méth. Vers. ii.
  Charpentieri, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  erronea, _Albers. Zeitschr_. Mal. 18S3.
  carneola, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  convexiuscula, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  gnoma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Chenui, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  semidecussata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  phoenix, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  superba, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Gardnerii, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  coriaria, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Layardi, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  concavospira, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  novella, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  verrucula, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  hyphasma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Emiliana, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Woodiana, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  partita, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  biciliata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Isabellina, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc.
  trifilosa, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  politissima, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Sc. 1854.
  Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  nepos, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1855.
  subopaca, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
  subconoidea, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. S. 18S4.
  ceraria, _Benson_, An. Nat. H. 1853 (xii.)
  vilipensa, _Benson_, An. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  perfucata, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  puteolus, _Benson_, An. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  mononema, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  marcida, _Benson_, An. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  galerus, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
  albizonata. _Dohrn_, Proc. Zoo. Soc. 1858.
  Nictneri, _Dohrn_, MS.[5]
  Grevillei, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Streptaxis Layardi, _Pfeiff._ Mon. Helic.
  Cingalensis, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Helic.
  muscerda, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  mimula, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  trifasciatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  pullus, _Gray._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
  gracilis, _Hutton_, Journ. Asiat. Soc. iii.
  punctatus, _Anton_, Verzeichn. Conch.
  Ceylanicus, _Pfeiff_. (?Blævis, _iGray_, in
  Index Testaceologicus.)
  adumbratus, _Pfieff_. Monog. Helic.
  intermedius, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  proletarius, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  albizonatus. _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Mavortius, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  luscoventris, _Ben_. A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
  rufopictus, _Ben_. A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
  panos, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. H. 1853 (xii.)
Achatina nitens, _Gray_, Spicilegia Zool.
  inornata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  capillacea, _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
  Punctogaliana. _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
  pachycheila, _Benson_
  veruina, _Bens_, A. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  parabilis, _Bens_, A.N. Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
Succinea Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
  Ceylanica, _Adams._ Pr. Zool. Soc. 1854.[6]
  Ceylanica, _Petit_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1842.[7]
  Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.[8]
  pellucens, _Menke_, Synopsis Moll.
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Zeits. Malacoz. 1853.
  ovata, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Cyclostoma (_Cyclophorus_) Ceylanicum,
  _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
  involvulum, _Müller_, Verm. Terrest.
  Menkeanum, _Philippi_, Zeit. Mal. 1847.
  punctatum, _Gratel_. A.L. Bordeaux (xi.)
  loxostoma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.

[Footnote 1: As Anomia.]

[Footnote 2: The fissurata of Humphreys and Dacosta, pl. 4.--E. rubra,

[Footnote 3: B. Ceylanica, _Brug_.]

[Footnote 4: P. Tennentii. "Greyish brown, with longitudinal rows of
rufous spots, forming interrupted bands along the sides. A singularly
handsome species, having similar habits to _Limax_. Found in the valleys
of the Kalany Ganga, near Ruanwellé."--_Templeton_ MSS.]

[Footnote 5: Not far from bistrialis and Ceylanica. The manuscript
species of Mr. Dohrn will shortly appear in his intended work upon the
land and fluviatile shells of Ceylon.]

[Footnote 6: As Ellobium.]

[Footnote 7: As Melampus.]

[Footnote 8: As Ophicardelis.]

  alabastrum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  Bairdii, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  annulatum, _Trosch._ in Pfeiff. M. Pneum.
  parapsis, _Bens._ An. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  parma, _Bens._ An. Nat. His. 1856 (xviii.)
  cratera, _Bens._ An. N. Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
  (_Leptopoma_) halophilum, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. (ser. 2 vii.) 1851.
  orophilum, _Bens._ A.N.H. (ser. 2. xi.)
  apicatum, _Bens._ A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
  conulus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  flammeum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  semiclausum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  poecilum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  elatum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Cyclostoma (_Aulopoma_).
  Iteri, _Guérin_, Rev. Zool. 1847.
  helicinum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  Hoffmeisteri, _Troschel_, Zeit. Mat. 1847.
  grande, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  spheroideum, _Dohrn_, Malak. Blätter.
  (?) gradatum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Cyclostoma (_Pterocyclos_).
  Cingalense, _Bens._ A.N.H. (ser. 2. xi.)
  Troscheli, _Bens._ Ann. Nat. Hist. 1851.
  Cumingii, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
  bifrons, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Cataulus Templemani, _Pfeiff._ Mon. Pneu.
  eurytrema, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  marginatus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
  duplicatus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  aureus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1855.
  Layardi, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  Austenianus _Bens._ A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
  Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zo. Soc. 1852.
  Cumingii, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
  decorus, _Bens._ Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853.
  hæmastoma, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zo. Soc. 1856.
  Coromandelianus, _Fab._ in _Dorhn's_ MS.
  Stelzeneri, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  elegantulus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z. Soc. 1858.
  tigrina, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  pinguis, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  tuberculata, _Müller_, Verm. Ter.[1]
  spinulosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  corrugata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  rudis, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
  acanthica, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
  Zeylanica, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
  confusa, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  datura, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  Layardi, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  abbreviatus, _Reeve_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  clavatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  dilatatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  globulosus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  decussatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  nigricans, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  constrictus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1852.
  bicinctus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  phaslaninus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1852.
  lævis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  palustris, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  fulguratus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
  nasutus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  sphæricus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
  solidus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  distinguendus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z.S. 1857.
  Cumingianus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z.S. 1857.
  dromedarius, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z.S. 1857.
  Skinneri, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  Swainsoni, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
  nodulosus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
Paludomus (_Tanalia_).
  loricatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  erinaceus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  æreus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  Layardi, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  undatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Gardneri, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Tennentii, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Reevei, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  violaceus, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  similis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  funiculatus, _Layard_, Pr. Z. Soc. 1854.
Paludomus (_Philopotamis_).
  sulcatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  regalis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  Thwaitesii, _Layard_, P. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Pirena atra, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
Paludina melanostoma, _Bens._
  Ceylanica, _Dohrn_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1857.
Bythinia stenothyroides, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  modesta, _Dohrn_, MS.
  inconspicua, _Dohrn_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1857.
Ampullaria Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  moesta, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  cinerea, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Woodwardi, _Dohrn_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  Tischbeini, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  carinata, _Swainson_, Zool. Illus. ser. 2.
  paludinoides, Cat. _Cristofori & Jan._[2]
  Malabarica, _Philippi_, monog. Ampul.[2]
  Luzonica, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.[2]
  Sumatrensis, _Philippi_, monog. Ampul.[2]
Navicella eximia, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  reticulata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Livesayi, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  squamata, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  depressa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  crepidularia, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  melanostoma, _Trosch._ W.A. Nat. 1837.
  triserialis, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illustr.
  Colombaria, _Recluz_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1845.
  Perottetiana, _Recluz_, Rev. Z. Cuv. 1841.
  Ceylanensis, _Recluz_, Mag. Conch. 1851.
  Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  rostrata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  reticulata, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illustr.
Nerita plicata, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
  costata, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  plexa, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.[3]
Natica aurantia, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  mammilla, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
  picta, _Reeve_, (as of _Recluz_), C. Icon.
  arachnoidea, _Gm._ Systema Naturæ.
  lineata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.

[Footnote 1: M. fasciolata, _Olivier_.]

[Footnote 2: These four species are included on the authority of Mr.

[Footnote 3: N. exuvia, _Lam._ not _Linn._]

  adusta, _Ch_. C. C. f. 1926-7, & _Karsten_.[1]
  pellis-tigrina, _Karsten_, Mus. Lesk.[2]
  didyma, _Bolten_, Mus.[3]
Ianthina prolongata, _Blainv_., D.S.N. xxiv.
  communis, _Kr_., (as of _L._ in part) S.A.M.
Sigaretus, sp.[4]
  calliostoma, _Adams_, Thesaur. Conch.
Haliotis varia, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
  striata, _Martini_ (as of _Linn._), C. Cab. i.
  semistriata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Tornatella solidula, _Linn._ Systema Nat.
  maculosa, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
Eulima Martini, _Adams_, Thes. Conch, ii.
  muricata, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
Scalaria raricostata, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
Delphinula laciniata, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
  distorta, _Linn._, Syst. Nat.[5]
Solarium perdix, _Hinds_., Proc. Zool. Soc.
  Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.[6]
Rotella vestiaria, _Linn._, Syst. Nat.
Phorus pallidulus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. i.
  elegantulus, _Gray_, Index Tes. Suppl.
  Niloticus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Monodonta labio, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  canaliculata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Turbo versicolor, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  princeps, _Philippi_.[7]
Planaxis undulatus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.[8]
Littorina angulifera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  melanostoma, _Gray_, Zool., _Beech_. Voy.[9]
  trilineata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
  lirata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
  lineolata, _Gray_, Index Test. Suppl.
  bacillum, _Kiener_, Coquilles Vivantes.
  columnaris, _Kiener_, Coquilies Vivantes.
  duplicata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  attenuata, _Reeve_, Syst. Nat.
Cerithium fluviatile, _Potrez & Michaud_, Galerie Douai.
Layardi (Cerithidea), _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  palustre, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  aluco, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  asperula, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  telescopium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  palustre obeliscus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  fasciatum, _Brug_., Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  rubus, _Sower_. (as of _Mart_.), Thes. C. ii.
  Sowerbyi, _Kiener_, Coquilles Vivantes (teste Sir E. Tennent).
Pleurotoma Indica, _Deshayes_, Voyage Belanger.
  virgo, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Turbinella pyrum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  rapa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert. (the Chank.)
  cornigera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  spirillus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  trigonostoma, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.[10]
  scalata, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
  articularis, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
  Littoriniformis, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
  contabulata, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
  filamentosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  trapezium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Fusus longissimus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  colus, _Linn._ Mus. Lud. Ulricæ.
  toreuma, _Deshayes_, (as Mur. t. _Martyn_).[11]
  laticostatus, _Deshayes_, Mag. Zool. 1831.
  Blosvillei, _Deshayes_, E. Méth. Vers., ii.
Pyrula rapa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[12]
  citrina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  pugilina, _Born_, Test. Mus. Vind.[13]
  ficus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  ficoides, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Ranella crumena, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  spinosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  rana, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[14]
  margaritula, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belanger.
Murex baustellum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  adustus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  microphyllus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  anguliferus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  palmarosæ, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  ternispina, _Kiener_, (as of _Lam._), Coquilles Vivantes.
  tenuispina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  ferrugo, _Mawe_, Index. Test. Suppl.[15]
  Reeveanus, _Shuttleworth_, (teste _Cuming_)
Triton anus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[16]
  mulus, _Dillwyn_, Descript. Cat. Shells.
  retusus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  pyrum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  clavator, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  Ceylonensis, _Sowerby_, Proc. Zool. Soc.
  lotorium, _Lam._ (not _Linn_.), An. s. Vert.
  lampas, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Pterocera lambis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  millepeda, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Strombus canarium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[17]
  succinotus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  fasciatus, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.

[Footnote 1: Conch. Cab. f. 1926-7, and N. melanostoma, _Lam._ in part.]

[Footnote 2: Chemn. Conch. Cab. 1892-3.]

[Footnote 3: N. glauciua, _Lam._ not _Linn._]

[Footnote 4: A species (possibly Javanicus) is known to have been
collected. I have not seen it.]

[Footnote 5: Not of _Lamarck_. D. atrata. _Reeve_.]

[Footnote 6: Philippia L.]

[Footnote 7: Zeit. Mal. 1846 for T. argyrostoma, _Lam._ not _Linn._]

[Footnote 8: Buccinum pyramidatum, _Gm_. in part: B. sulcatum, var. C.
of _Brug_.]

[Footnote 9: Teste Cuming.]

[Footnote 10: As Delphinulat.]

[Footnote 11: Ed. _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.]

[Footnote 12: P. papyracea, _Lam._ In mixed collections I have seen the
Chinese P. bezoar of _Lamarck_ as from Ceylon.]

[Footnote 13: P. vespertilio, _Gm_.]

[Footnote 14: R. albivaricosa, _Reeve_.]

[Footnote 15: M. anguliferus var. _Lam._]

[Footnote 16: T. cynocephalus of _Lamarck_ is also met with in Ceylon

[Footnote 17: S. incisus of the Index Testaceologicus (urceus, var.
_Sow_. Thesaur.) is found in mixed Ceylon collections.]

  Sibbaldii, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch. t.
  lentiginosus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  marginatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  Lamarckii, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
Cassis glauca, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[1]
  canaliculata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  Zeylanica, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  areola, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Ricinula albolabris, _Blainv_. Nouv. Ann. Mus. H. N. i.[2]
  horrida, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  morus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Purpura tiscella, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  Persica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  hystrix, _Lam._ (not _Linn._) An. s. Vert.
  granatina, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belanger.
  mancinella, _Lam._ (as of _Linn._) An. s.V.
  buto, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  carinitera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Harpa conoldalis, _Lam._ Anim, s. Vert.
  minor, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Dolium pomum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  olearium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  perdix, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  maculatum, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Nassa ornata, _Kiener_, Coq. Vivantes. [3]
  verrucosa, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  crenulata, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  olivacea, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  glans, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  arcularia, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  papillosa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Phos virgatus, _Hinds_. Zool. Sul. Moll.
  retecosus, _Hinds_, Zool. Sulphur, Moll.
  senticosus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Buccinum melanostoma, _Sowerby_, App. to Tankerv. Cat.
  erythrostoma, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Proteus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  rubiginosum, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Eburna spirata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[4]
  canaliculata, _Schumacher_, S.A. s. V.[5]
  Ceylanica, _Bruguiere_, En. Méth. Vers.
Bullia vittata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  lineolata, _Sowerby_, Tankerv. Cat.[6]
  Melanoides, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belan.
Terebra chlorata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  muscaria, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  lævigata, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
  maculata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  subulata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  concinna, _Deshayes_, ed. _Lam._ A. s. V.
  myurus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  tigrina, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  cerithina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Columbella flavida, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  fulgurans, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  mendicaria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  scripta, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert. (Teste _Jay_).
  episcopalis, _Dillwyn_, Des. Cat. Shells.
  cardinalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  crebrilirata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  punctostriata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. So. 1854.
  insculpta, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.[7]
Voluta vexillum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  Lapponica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Melo Indicus, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
Marginella Sarda, _Kiener_, Coq. Vivantes.
Ovulum ovum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  verrucosum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  pudicum, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Cypræa Argus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  Arabica, _Linn._ Syst Nat.
  Mauritiana, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  hirundo, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  Lynx, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  asellus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  erosa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  vitellus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  stolida, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  mappa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  helvola, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  errones, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  cribraria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  globulus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  clandestina, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  ocellata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  caurica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  tabescens, _Soland_. in Dillwyn Des. C. Sh.
  gangrenosa, _Soland_. in Dillw. D.C. Sh.
  interrupta, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
  lentiginosa, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
  pyriformis, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
  nivosa, _Broderip_, Zool. Journ. iii.
  poraria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  testudinaria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  subulatum, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Ancillaria glabrata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  candida, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Oliva Maura, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert,
  erythrostoma, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  gibbesa, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs.[8]
  nebulosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  Macleayana, _Duclos_, Monogr. of Oliva.
  episcopalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  elegans, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  ispidula, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. (partly).[9]
  Zeilanica, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  undata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  irisans, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert. (teste _Duclos_).
Conus miles, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  generalis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  betulinus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  stercus-muscarum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  Hebræus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  virgo, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  geographicus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  aulicus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  figutinus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  striatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  senator, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[10]
  literatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.

[Footnote 1: C. plicaria of _Lamarck_, and C. coronulata of _Sowerby_,
are also said to be found in Ceylon.]

[Footnote 2: As Purpura.]

[Footnote 3: N. suturalis, _Reeve_ (as of _Lam._), is met with in mixed
Ceylon collections.]

[Footnote 4: E. areolata, _Lam._]

[Footnote 5: E. spirata, _Lam._ not _Linn._]

[Footnote 6: B. Belangeri, _Kiener_.]

[Footnote 7: As Turricula L.]

[Footnote 8: O. utriculus, _Dillwyn_.]

[Footnote 9: C. planorbis, _Born_; C. vulpinus, _Lam._]

[Footnote 10: Conus ermineus, _Born_, in part.]

  imperialis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  textile, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  terebra, _Born_, Test. Must. Cæs. Vind.
  tessellatus, _Born,_ Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  augur, _Bruguiere_, Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  obesus, _Bruguiere_, Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  araneosus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  gubernator, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  monite, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  nimbosus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  eburneus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  vitulinus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  quercinus _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  lividus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Omaria, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Maldivus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  nocturnus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Ceylonensis, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  arenatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Nicobaricus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  glans, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Amadis, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  punctatus, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  minimus, _Reeve_. (as of _Linn_), C. Icon.
  terminus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  lineatus, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
  episcopus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  verriculum, _Reeve_. Conch. Cab.
  zonatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  rattus. _Brug_. En. Mth. V. (teste _Chemn._)
  pertusus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Nussatella, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  lithoglyphus, _Brug_. En. Méth. Vers.[4]
  tulipa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  Ammiralis, var. _Linn._ teste _Brug_.
Spirula Peronii, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Sepia Hieredda, _Rang_. M.Z., ser. i. p. 100.
Sepioteuthis, _Sp_.
Loligo, _Sp_.

A conclusion not unworthy of observation may be deduced from this
catalogue; namely, that Ceylon was the unknown, and hence
unacknowledged, source of almost every extra-European shell which has
been described by Linnæus without a recorded habitat. This fact gives to
Ceylon specimens an importance which can only be appreciated by
collectors and the students of Mollusca.


The eastern seas are profusely stocked with radiated animals, but it is
to be regretted that they have as yet received but little attention from
English naturalists. Recently, however, Dr. Kelaart has devoted himself
to the investigation of some of the Singhalese species, and has
published his discoveries in the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the
Asiatic Society for 1856-8. Our information respecting the radiata on
the confines of the island is, therefore, very scanty; with the
exception of the genera[1] examined by him. Hence the notice of this
extensive class of animals must be limited to indicating a few of those
which exhibit striking peculiarities, or which admit of the most common

[Footnote 1: Actinia, 9 sp.; Anthea, 4 sp.; Actinodendron, 3 sp.;
Dioscosoma, 1 sp.; Peechea, 1 sp.; Zoanthura, 1 sp.]

_Star Fish_.--Very large species of _Ophiuridæ_ are to be met with at
Trincomalie, crawling busily about, and insinuating their long
serpentine arms into the irregularities and perforations in the rocks.
To these they attach themselves with such a firm grasp, especially when
they perceive that they have attracted attention, that it is almost
impossible to procure unmutilated specimens without previously depriving
them of life, or at least modifying their muscular tenacity. The upper
surface is of a dark purple colour, and coarsely spined; the arms of the
largest specimens are more than a foot in length, and very fragile.

The star fishes, with immovable rays[1], are by no means rare; many
kinds are brought up in the nets, or maybe extracted from the stomachs
of the larger market fish. One very large species[2], figured by
Joinville in the manuscript volume in the library at the India House, is
not uncommon; it has thick arms, from which and the disc numerous large
fleshy cirrhi of a bright crimson colour project downwards, giving the
creature a remarkable aspect. No description of it, so far as I am
aware, has appeared in any systematic work on zoology.

[Footnote 1: _Asterias_, Linn.]

[Footnote 2: _Pentaceros?_]

_Sea Slugs_.--There are a few species of _Holothuria_, of which the
trepang is the best known example. It is largely collected in the Gulf
of Manaar, and dried in the sun to prepare it for export to China. A
good description and figures of its varieties are still desiderata.

_Parasitic Worms_.--Of these entozoa, the _Filaria medinensis_, or
Guinea-worm, which burrows in the cellular tissue under the skin, is
well known in the north of the island, but rarely found in the damper
districts of the south and west. In Ceylon, as elsewhere, the natives
attribute its occurrence to drinking the waters of particular wells; but
this belief is inconsistent with the fact that its lodgment in the human
body is almost always effected just above the ankle. This shows that the
minute parasites are transferred to the skin of the leg from the moist
vegetation bordering the footpaths leading to wells. At this period the
creatures are very small, and the process of insinuation is painless and
imperceptible. It is only when they attain to considerable size, a foot
or more in length, that the operation of extracting them is resorted to,
when exercise may have given rise to inconvenience and inflammation.

These pests in all probability received their popular name of
_Guinea-worms_, from the narrative of Bruno or Braun, a citizen and
surgeon of Basle, who about the year 1611 made several voyages to that
part of the African coast, and on his return published, amongst other
things, an account of the local diseases.[1] But Linschoten, the Dutch
navigator, had previously observed the same worms at Ormus in 1584, and
they are thus described, together with the method of removing them, in
the English version of his voyage.

[Footnote 1: In DE BRY'S, _Collect_, vol. i. p. 49.]

"There is in Ormus a sickenesse or common plague of wormes, which growe
in their legges, it is thought that they proceede of the water that they
drink. These wormes are like, unto lute strings, and about two or three
fadomes longe, which they must plucke out and winde them aboute a straw
or a feather, everie day some part thereof, so longe as they feele them
creepe; and when they hold still, letting it rest in that sort till the
next daye, they bind it fast and annoynt the hole, and the swelling from
whence it commeth foorth, with fresh butter, and so in ten or twelve
dayes, they winde them out without any let, in the meanetime they must
sit still with their legges, for if it should breake, they should not,
without great paine get it out of their legge, as I have seen some men
doe." [1]

[Footnote 1: JOHN HUIGHEN VAN LINSCHOTEN _his Discours of Voyages into
the Easte and West Indies._ London, 1599, p, 16.]

The worm is of a whitish colour, sometimes inclining to brown. Its
thickness is from a half to two-thirds of a line, and its length has
sometimes reached to ten or twelve feet. Small specimens have been found
beneath the tunica conjunctiva of the eye; and one species of the same
genus of _Nematoidea_ infests the cavity of the eye itself.[1]

[Footnote 1: OWEN'S _Lectures on the Invertebrata_, p. 96.]

_Planaria_.--In the journal already mentioned, Dr. Kelaart has given
descriptions of fifteen species of planaria, and four of a new genus,
instituted by him for the reception of those differing from the normal
kinds by some peculiarities which they exhibit in common. At Point
Pedro, Mr. Edgar Layard met with one on the bark of trees, after heavy
rain, which would appear to belong to the subgenus _geoplana_.[1]

[Footnote 1: "A curious species, which is of a light brown above, white
underneath; very broad and thin, and has a peculiarly shaped tail,
half-moon-shaped in fact, like a grocer's cheese knife."]

_Acalephæ_.--Acalephæ[1] are plentiful, so much so, indeed, that they
occasionally tempt the larger cetacea into the Gulf of Manaar. In the
calmer months of the year, when the sea is glassy, and for hours
together undisturbed by a ripple, the minute descriptions are rendered
perceptible by their beautiful prismatic tinting. So great is their
transparency that they are only to be distinguished from the water by
the return to the eye of the reflected light that glances from their
delicate and polished surfaces. Less frequently they are traced by the
faint hues of their tiny peduncles, arms, or tentaculæ; and it has been
well observed that they often give the seas in which they abound the
appearance of being crowded with flakes of half-melted snow. The larger
kinds, when undisturbed in their native haunts, attain to considerable
size. A faintly blue medusa, nearly a foot across, may be seen in the
Gulf of Manaar, where, no doubt, others of still larger growth are to be

[Footnote 1: Jelly-fish.]


Occasionally after storms, the beach at Colombo is strewn with the thin
transparent globes of the "Portuguese Man of War," _Physalus urticulus_,
which are piled upon the lines left by the waves, like globules of glass
delicately tinted with purple and blue. They sting, as their trivial
name indicates, like a nettle when incautiously touched.

_Red infusoria_.--On both sides of the island (but most frequently on
the west), during the south-west monsoon, a broad expanse of the sea
assumes a red tinge, considerably brighter than brick-dust; and this is
confined to a space so distinct that a line seems to separate it from
the green water which flows on either side. Observing at Colombo that
the whole area so tinged changed its position without parting with any
portion of its colouring, I had some of the water brought on shore, and,
on examination with the microscope, found it to be filled with
_infusoria_, probably similar to those which have been noticed near the
shores of South America, and whose abundance has imparted a name to the
"Vermilion Sea" off the coast of California.[1]

[Footnote 1: The late Dr. BUIST, of Bombay, in commenting on this
statement, writes to the _Athenæum_ that: "The red colour with which the
sea is tinged, round the shores of Ceylon, during a part of the S.W.
monsoon is due to the _Proto-coccus nivalis_, or the Himatta-coccus,
which presents different colours at different periods of the
year--giving us the seas of milk as well as those of blood. The coloured
water at times is to be seen all along the coast north to Kurrachee, and
far out, and of a much more intense tint in the Arabian Sea. The
frequency of its appearance in the Red Sea has conferred on it its

The remaining orders, including the corals, madrepores, and other
polypi, have yet to find a naturalist to undertake their investigation,
but in all probability the new species are not very numerous.

       *       *       *       *       *



The following is the letter of Dr. Grant, referred to at page 385:--

Sir,--I have perused, with much interest, your remarkable communication
received yesterday, respecting the musical sounds which you heard
proceeding from under water, on the east coast of Ceylon. I cannot
parallel the phenomenon you witnessed at Batticaloa, as produced by
marine animals, with anything with which my past experience has made me
acquainted in marine zoology. Excepting the faint clink of the _Tritonia
arborescens_, repeated only once every minute or two, and apparently
produced by the mouth armed with two dense horny laminæ, I am not aware
of any sounds produced in the sea by branchiated invertebrata. It is to
be regretted that in the memorandum you have not mentioned your
observations on the living specimens brought you by the sailors as the
animals which produced the sounds. Your authentication of the hitherto
unknown fact, would probably lead to the discovery of the same
phenomenon in other common accessible paludinæ, and other allied
branchiated animals, and to the solution of a problem, which is still to
me a mystery, even regarding the _tritonia_.

My two living _tritonia_, contained in a large clear colourless glass
cylinder, filled with pure sea water, and placed on the central table of
the Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh, around which many
members were sitting, continued to clink audibly within the distance of
twelve feet during the whole meeting. These small animals were
individually not half the size of the last joint of my little finger.
What effect the mellow sounds of millions of these, covering the shallow
bottom of a tranquil estuary, in the silence of night, might produce, I
can scarcely conjecture.

In the absence of your authentication, and of all geological explanation
of the continuous sounds, and of all source of fallacy from the hum and
buzz of living creatures in the air or on the land, or swimming on the
waters, I must say that I should be inclined to seek for the source of
sounds so audible as those you describe rather among the pulmonated
vertebrata, which swarm in the depths of these seas--as fishes, serpents
(of which my friend Dr. Cantor has described about twelve species he
found in the Bay of Bengal), turtles, palmated birds, pinnipedous and
cetaceous mammalia, &c.

The publication of your memorandum in its present form, though not quite
satisfactory, will, I think, be eminently calculated to excite useful
inquiry into a neglected and curious part of the economy of nature.

I remain, Sir,

Yours most respectfully,


_Sir J. Emerson Tennent, &c. &c._



Owing to the favourable combination of heat, moisture, and vegetation,
the myriads of insects in Ceylon form one of the characteristic features
of the island. In the solitude of the forests there is a perpetual music
from their soothing and melodious hum, which frequently swells to a
startling sound as the cicada trills his sonorous drum on the sunny bark
of some tall tree. At morning the dew hangs in diamond drops on the
threads and gossamer which the spiders suspend across every pathway; and
above the pool dragon-flies, of more than metallic lustre, flash in the
early sunbeams. The earth teems with countless ants, which emerge from
beneath its surface, or make their devious highways to ascend to their
nests in the trees. Lustrous beetles, with their golden elytra, bask on
the leaves, whilst minuter species dash through the air in circles,
which the ear can follow by the booming of their tiny wings. Butterflies
of large size and gorgeous colouring, flutter over the endless expanse
of flowers, and at times the extraordinary sight presents itself of
flights of these delicate creatures, generally of a white or pale yellow
hue, apparently miles in breadth, and of such prodigious extension as to
occupy hours, and even days, uninterruptedly in their passage--whence
coming no one knows; whither going no one can tell.[1] As day declines,
the moths issue from their retreats, the crickets add their shrill
voices to swell the din; and when darkness descends, the eye is charmed
with the millions of emerald lamps lighted up by the fire-flies amidst
the surrounding gloom.

[Footnote 1: The butterflies I have seen in these wonderful migrations
in Ceylon were mostly _Callidryas Hilariæ, C. Alcmeone_, and _C.
Pyranthe_, with straggling individuals of the genus _Euplæa, E. Coras_,
and _E. Prothoe_. Their passage took place in April and May, generally
in a north-easterly direction. The natives have a superstitious belief
that their flight is ultimately directed to Adam's Peak, and that their
pilgrimage ends on reaching the sacred mountain. A friend of mine
travelling from Kandy to Kornegalle, drove for nine miles through a
cloud of white butterflies, which were passing across the road by which
he went.]

As yet no attempt has been made to describe the insects of Ceylon
systematically, much less to enumerate the prodigous number of species
that abound in every locality. Occasional observers have, from time to
time, contributed notices of particular families to the Scientific
Associations of Europe, but their papers remain undigested, and the time
has not yet arrived for the preparation of an Entomology of the island.

What DARWIN remarks of the Coleoptera of Brazil is nearly as applicable
to the same order of insects in Ceylon: "The number of minute and
obscurely coloured beetles is exceedingly great; the cabinets of Europe
can as yet, with partial exceptions, boast only of the larger species
from tropical climates, and it is sufficient to disturb the composure of
an entomologist to look forward to the future dimensions of a catalogue
with any pretensions to completeness."[1] M. Nietner, a German
entomologist, who has spent some years in Ceylon, has recently
published, in one of the local periodicals, a series of papers on the
Coleoptera of the island, in which every species introduced is stated to
be previously undescribed.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Nat. Journal_, p. 39.]

[Footnote 2: Republished in the _Ann. Nat. Hist._]

COLEOPTERA.--_Buprestidæ; Golden Beetles_.--In the morning the
herbaceous plants, especially on the eastern side of the island, are
studded with these gorgeous beetles, whose golden wing-cases[1] are used
to enrich the embroidery of the Indian zenana, whilst the lustrous
joints of the legs are strung on silken threads, and form necklaces and
bracelets of singular brilliancy.

[Footnote 1: _Sternocera Chrysis; S. sternicornis_.]

These exquisite colours are not confined to one order, and some of the
Elateridæ[1] and Lamellicorns exhibit hues of green and blue, that rival
the deepest tints of the emerald and sapphire.

[Footnote 1: Of the family of _Elateridæ_, one of the finest is a
Singhalese species, the _Campsosternus Templetonii_, of an exquisite
golden green colour, with blue reflections (described and figured by Mr.
WESTWOOD in his _Cabinet of Oriental Entomology_, pl. 35, f. 1). In the
same work is figured another species of large size, also from Ceylon,
this is the _Alaus sordidus_.--WESTWOOD, l. c. pl. 35, f. 9.]

_Scavenger Beetles_.--Scavenger beetles[1] are to be seen wherever the
presence of putrescent and offensive matter affords opportunity for the
display of their repulsive but most curious instincts; fastening on it
with eagerness, severing it into lumps proportionate to their strength,
and rolling it along in search of some place sufficiently soft in which
to bury it, after having deposited their eggs in the centre. I had
frequent opportunities, especially in traversing the sandy jungles in
the level plains to the north of the island, of observing the unfailing
appearance of these creatures instantly on the dropping of horse dung,
or any other substance suitable for their purpose; although not one was
visible but a moment before. Their approach on the wing is announced by
a loud and joyous booming sound, as they dash in rapid circles in search
of the desired object, led by their sense of smell, and evidently little
assisted by the eye in shaping their course towards it. In these
excursions they exhibit a strength of wing and sustained power of
flight, such as is possessed by no other class of beetles with which I
am acquainted, but which is obviously indispensable for the due
performance of the useful functions they discharge.

[Footnote 1: _Ateuchus sacer; Copris sagax; C. capucinus_, &c. &c.]


_The Coco-nut Beetle_.--In the luxuriant forests of Ceylon the extensive
family of _Longicorns_[1] and _Passalidæ_ live in destructive abundance.
To the coco-nut planters the ravages committed by beetles are painfully
familiar.[2] The larva of one species of _Dynastida_, the _Oryctes
rhinoceros_, called by the Singhalese "_Gascooroominiya_," makes its way
into the younger trees, descending from the top, and after perforating
them in all directions, forms a cocoon of the gnawed wood and sawdust,
in which it reposes during its sleep as a pupa, till the arrival of the
period when it emerges as a perfect beetle. Notwithstanding the
repulsive aspect of the large pulpy larvæ of these beetles, they are
esteemed a luxury by the Malabar coolies, who so far avail themselves of
the privilege accorded by the Levitical law, which permitted the Hebrews
to eat "the beetle after his kind."[3]

[Footnote 1: The engraving on the preceding page represents in its
various transformations one of the most familiar and graceful of the
longicorn beetles of Ceylon, the _Batocera rubus_.]

[Footnote 2: There is a paper in the _Journ. of the Asiat. Society of
Ceylon_, May, 1845, by Mr. CAPPER, on the ravages perpetrated by these
beetles. The writer had recently passed through several coco-nut
plantations, "varying in extent from 20 to 150 acres, and about two to
three years old: and in these he did not discover a single young tree
untouched by the cooroominiya."--P. 49.]

[Footnote 3: Leviticus, xi. 22.]

Amongst the superstitions of the Singhalese arising out of their belief
in demonology, one remarkable one is connected with the appearance of a
beetle when observed on the floor of a dwelling-house after nightfall.
The popular belief is that in obedience to a certain form of incantation
(called _cooroominiya-pilli_) a demon in the shape of a beetle is sent
to the house of some person or family whose destruction it is intended
to compass, and who presently falls sick and dies. The only means of
averting this catastrophe is, that some one, himself an adept in
necromancy, should perform a counter-charm, the effect of which is to
send back the disguised beetle to destroy his original employer; for in
such a conjuncture the death of one or the other is essential to appease
the demon whose intervention has been invoked. Hence the discomfort of a
Singhalese on finding a beetle in his house after sunset, and his
anxiety to expel but not to kill it.

_Tortoise Beetles_.--There is one family of insects, the members of
which cannot fail to strike the traveller by their singular beauty, the
_Cassididæ_ or tortoise beetles, in which the outer shell overlaps the
body, and the limbs are susceptible of being drawn entirely within it.
The rim is frequently of a different tint from the centre, and one
species which I have seen is quite startling from the brilliancy of its
colouring, which gives it the appearance of a ruby enclosed in a frame
of pearl; but this wonderful effect disappears immediately on the death
of the insect.

ORTHOPTERA. _Leaf-insects_.--But in relation to the insects of Ceylon
the admiration of their colours is still less exciting than the
astonishment created by the forms in which some of the families present
themselves; especially the "soothsayers" (_Mantidæ_) and "walking
leaves." The latter[1], exhibiting the most cunning of all nature's
devices for the preservation of her creatures, are found in the jungle
in all varieties of hues, from the pale yellow of an opening bud to the
rich green of the full-blown leaf, and the withered tint of decay. So
perfect is the imitation of a leaf in structure and articulation, that
this amazing insect when at rest is almost undistinguishable from the
foliage around: not only are the wings modelled to resemble ribbed and
fibrous follicles, but every joint of the legs is expanded into a broad
plait like a half-opened leaflet.

[Footnote 1: Phyllium siccifolium.]


It rests on its abdomen, the legs serving to drag it slowly along, and
thus the flatness of its attitude serves still further to add to the
appearance of a leaf. One of the most marvellous incidents connected
with its organisation was exhibited by one which I kept under a glass
shade on my table, it laid a quantity of eggs, that, in colour and
shape, were not to be distinguished from _seeds_. They were brown, and
pentangular, with a short stem, and slightly punctured at the


The "soothsayer," on the other hand (_Mantis superstitiosa._ Fab.[1]),
little justifies by its propensities the appearance of gentleness, and
the attitudes of sanctity, which have obtained for it the title of the
"praying mantis." Its habits are carnivorous, and degenerate into
cannibalism, as it preys on the weaker individuals of its own species.
Two which I enclosed in a box were both found dead a few hours after,
literally severed limb from limb in their encounter. The formation of
the foreleg enables the tibia to be so closed on the sharp edge of the
thigh as to amputate any slender substance grasped within it.

[Footnote 1: _M. aridifolia_ and _M. extensicollis_, as well as _Empusa
gongylodes_, remarkable for the long leaf-like head, and dilatations on
the posterior thighs, are common in the island.]

_The Stick-insect_.--The _Phasmidæ_ or spectres, another class of
orthoptera, present as close a resemblance to small branches or leafless
twigs as their congeners do to green leaves. The wing-covers, where they
exist, instead of being expanded, are applied so closely to the body as
to detract nothing from its rounded form, and hence the name which they
have acquired of "_walking-sticks_." Like the _Phyllium_, the _Phasma_
lives exclusively on vegetables, and some attain the length of several

Of all the other tribes of the _Orthoptera_ Ceylon possesses many
representatives; in swarms of cockroaches, grasshoppers, locusts, and

NEUROPTERA. _Dragon-flies_.--Of the _Neuroptera_, some of the
dragon-flies are pre-eminently beautiful; one species, with rich
brown-coloured spots upon its gauzy wings, is to be seen near every
pool.[1] Another[2], which dances above the mountain streams in Oovah,
and amongst the hills descending towards Kandy, gleams in the sun as if
each of its green enamelled wings had been sliced from an emerald.

[Footnote 1: _Libellula pulchella_.]

[Footnote 2: _Euphæa splendens_.]

_The Ant-Lion._--Of the ant-lion, whose larvæ have earned a bad renown
from their predaceous ingenuity, Ceylon has, at least, four species,
which seem peculiar to the island.[1] This singular creature,
preparatory to its pupal transformation, contrives to excavate a conical
pitfall in the dust to the depth of about an inch, in the bottom of
which it conceals itself, exposing only its open mandibles above the
surface; and here every ant and soft-bodied insect which curiosity
tempts to descend, or accident may precipitate into the trap, is
ruthlessly seized and devoured by its ambushed inhabitant.

[Footnote 1: _Palpares contrarius_, Walker; _Myrmeleon gravis_, Walker;
_M. dirus_, Walker; _M. barbarus_, Walker.]

_The White Ant_.--But of the insects of this order the most noted are
the _white ants_ or termites (which are ants only by a misnomer). They
are, unfortunately, at once ubiquitous and innumerable in every spot
where the climate is not too chilly, or the soil too sandy, for them to
construct their domed edifices.

These they raise from a considerable depth under ground, excavating the
clay with their mandibles, and moistening it with tenacious saliva[1]
until it assume the appearance, and almost the consistency, of
sandstone. So delicate is the trituration to which they subject this
material, that the goldsmiths of Ceylon employ the powdered clay of the
ant hills in preference to all other substances in the preparation of
crucibles and moulds for their finer castings: and KNOX says, "the
people use this finer clay to make their earthen gods of, it is so pure
and fine."[2] These structures the termites erect with such perseverance
and durability that they frequently rise to the height of ten or twelve
feet from the ground, with a corresponding diameter. They are so firm in
their texture that the weight of a horse makes no apparent indentation
on their solidity; and even the intense rains of the monsoon, which no
cement or mortar can long resist, fail to penetrate the surface or
substance of an ant hill.[3] In their earlier stages the termites
proceed with such energetic rapidity, that I have seen a pinnacle of
moist clay, six inches in height and twice as large in diameter,
constructed underneath a table between sitting down to dinner and the
removal of the cloth.

[Footnote 1: It becomes an interesting question whence the termites
derive the large supplies of moisture with which they not only temper
the clay for the construction of their long covered ways above ground,
but for keeping their passages uniformly damp and cool below the
surface. Yet their habits in this particular are unvarying, in the
seasons of droughts as well as after rain; in the driest and least
promising positions, in situations inaccessible to drainage from above,
and cut off by rocks and impervious strata from springs from below. Dr.
Livingstone, struck with this phenomenon in Southern Africa, asks: "Can
the white ants possess the power of combining the oxygen and hydrogen of
their vegetable food by vital force so as to form water?"--_Travels_, p.
22. And he describes at Angola, an insect[A] resembling the _Aphrophora
spumaria_; seven or eight individuals of which distil several pints of
water every night.--P. 414. It is highly probable that the termites are
endowed with some such faculty: nor is it more remarkable that an insect
should combine the gases of its food to produce water, than that a fish
should decompose water in order to provide itself with gas. FOURCROIX
found the contents of the air-bladder in a carp to be pure
nitrogen.--_Yarrell_, vol. i. p. 42. And the aquatic larva of the
dragon-fly extracts air for its respiration from the water in which it
is submerged. A similar mystery pervades the inquiry whence plants under
peculiar circumstances derive the water essential to vegetation.]

[Footnote A: _A. goudotti?_ Bennett.]

[Footnote 2: KNOX'S _Ceylon_, Part i, ch. vi, p.24.]

[Footnote 3: Dr. HOOKER, in his _Himalayan Journal_ (vol. i. p. 20) is
of opinion that the nests of the termites are not independent
structures, but that their nucleus is "the debris of clumps of bamboos
or the trunks of large trees which these insects have destroyed." He
supposes that the dead tree falls leaving the stump coated with sand,
_which the action of the weather soon fashions into a cone_. But
independently of the fact that the "action of the weather" produces
little or no effect on the closely cemented clay of the white ants'
nest, they may be daily seen constructing their edifices in the very
form of a cone, which they ever after retain. Besides which, they appear
in the midst of terraces and fields where no trees are to be seen: and
Dr. Hooker seems to overlook the fact that the termites rarely attack a
living tree; and although their nests may be built against one, it
continues to flourish not the less for their presence.]

As these lofty mounds of earth have all been carried up from beneath the
surface, a cave of corresponding dimensions is necessarily scooped out
below, and here, under the multitude of miniature cupolas and pinnacles
which canopy it above, the termites hollow out the royal chamber for
their queen, with spacious nurseries surrounding it on all sides; and
all are connected by arched galleries, long passages, and doorways of
the most intricate and elaborate construction. In the centre and
underneath the spacious dome is the recess for the queen--a hideous
creature, with the head and thorax of an ordinary termite, but a body
swollen to a hundred times its usual and proportionate bulk, and
presenting the appearance of a mass of shapeless pulp. From this great
progenitrix proceed the myriads that people the subterranean hive,
consisting, like the communities of the genuine ants, of labourers and
soldiers, which are destined never to acquire a fuller development than
that of larvæ, and the perfect insects which in due time become invested
with wings and take their departing flight from the cave. But their new
equipment seems only destined to facilitate their dispersion from the
parent nest, which takes place at dusk; and almost as quickly as they
leave it they divest themselves of their ineffectual wings, waving them
impatiently and twisting them in every direction till they become
detached and drop off, and the swarm, within a few hours of their
emancipation, become a prey to the night-jars and bats, which are
instantly attracted to them as they issue in a cloud from the ground. I
am not prepared to say that the other insectivorous birds would not
gladly make a meal of the termites, but, seeing that in Ceylon their
numbers are chiefly kept in check by the crepuscular birds, it is
observable, at least as a coincidence, that the dispersion of the swarm
generally takes place at _twilight_. Those that escape the _caprimulgi_
fall a prey to the crows, on the morning succeeding their flight.

The strange peculiarity of the omnivorous ravages of the white ants is
that they shrink from the light; in all their expeditions for providing
food they construct a covered pathway of moistened clay, and their
galleries above ground extend to an incredible distance from the central
nest. No timber, except ebony and ironwood, which are too hard, and
those which are strongly impregnated with camphor or aromatic oils,
which they dislike, presents any obstacle to their ingress. I have had a
case of wine filled, in the course of two days, with almost solid clay,
and only discovered the presence of the white ants by the escape from
the corks. I have had a portmanteau in my tent so peopled with them in
the course of a single night that the contents were found worthless in
the morning. In an incredibly short time a detachment of these pests
will destroy a press full of records, reducing the paper to fragments;
and a shelf of books will be tunnelled into a gallery if it happen to be
in their line of march. The timbers of a house when fairly attacked are
eaten from within till the beams are reduced to an absolute shell, so
thin that it may be punched through with the point of the finger: and
even kyanized wood, unless impregnated with an extra quantity of
corrosive sublimate, appears to occasion them no inconvenience. The only
effectual precaution for the protection of furniture is incessant
vigilance--the constant watching of every article, and its daily removal
from place to place, in order to baffle their assaults.

They do not appear in the hills above the elevation of 4000 or 5000
feet. One species of white ant, the _Termes Taprobanes_, was at one time
believed by Mr. Walker to be peculiar to the island, but it has recently
been found in Sumatra and Borneo, and in some parts of Hindustan.

There is a species of Termes in Ceylon (_T. monoceros_), which always
builds its nest in the hollow of an old tree; and, unlike the others,
carries on its labours without the secrecy and protection of a covered
way. A marching column of these creatures may be observed at early
morning in the vicinity of their nest, returning laden with the spoils
collected during their foraging excursions. These consist of comminuted
vegetable matter, derived, it may be, from a thatched roof, if one
happens to be within reach, or from the decaying leaves of a coco-nut.
Each little worker in the column carries its tiny load in its jaws; and
the number of individuals in one of these lines of march must be
immense, for the column is generally about two inches in width, and very
densely crowded. One was measured which had most likely been in motion
for hours, moving in the direction of the nest, and was found to be
upwards of sixty paces in length. If attention be directed to the mass
in motion, it will be observed that flanking it on each side throughout
its whole length are stationed a number of horned soldier termites,
whose duty it is to protect the labourers, and to give notice of any
danger threatening them. This latter duty they perform by a peculiar
quivering motion of the whole body, which is rapidly communicated from
one to the other for a considerable distance: a portion of the column is
then thrown into confusion for a short time, but confidence soon
returns, and the progress of the little creatures goes on with
steadiness and order as before. The nest is of a black colour, and
resembles a mass of scoriæ; the insects themselves are of a pitchy

[Footnote 1: For these particulars of the _termes monoceros_, I am
indebted to Mr. Thwaites, of the Roy. Botanic Garden at Kandy.]

HYMENOPTERA. _Mason Wasp_.--In Ceylon as in all other countries, the
order of hymenopterous insects arrests us less by the beauty of their
forms than the marvels of their sagacity and the achievements of their
instinct. A fossorial wasp of the family of _Sphegidæ_,[1] which is
distinguished by its metallic lustre, enters by the open windows, and
converts irritation at its movements into admiration of the graceful
industry with which it stops up the keyholes and similar apertures with
clay in order to build in them a cell. Into this it thrusts the pupa of
some other insect, within whose body it has previously introduced its
own eggs. The whole is surrounded with moistened earth, through which
the young parasite, after undergoing its transformations, gnaws its way
into light, to emerge as a four-winged fly.[2]

[Footnote 1: It belongs to the genus _Pelopæus, P. Spinolæ_, of St.
Fargean. The _Ampulex compressa_, which drags about the larvæ of
cockroaches into which it has implanted its eggs, belongs, to the same

[Footnote 2: Mr. E.L. Layard has given an interesting account of this
Mason wasp in the _Annals and Magazine of Nat. History_ for May, 1853.
"I have frequently," he says, "selected one of these flies for
observation, and have seen their labours extend over a period of a
fortnight or twenty days; sometimes only half a cell was completed in a
day, at others as much as two. I never saw more than twenty cells in one
nest, seldom indeed that number, and whence the caterpillars were
procured was always to me a mystery. I have seen thirty or forty brought
in of a species which I knew to be very rare in the perfect state, and
which I had sought for in vain, although I knew on what plant they fed.

"Then again how are they disabled by the wasp, and yet not injured so as
to cause their immediate death? Die they all do, at least all that I
have ever tried to rear, after taking them from the nest.

"The perfected fly never effects its egress from the closed aperture,
through which the caterpillars were inserted, and when cells are placed
end to end, as they are in many instances, the outward end of each is
always selected. I cannot detect any difference in the thickness in the
crust of the cell to cause this uniformity of practice. It is often as
much as half an inch through, of great hardness, and as far as I can see
impervious to air and light. How then does the enclosed fly always
select the right end, and with what secretion is it supplied to
decompose this mortar?"]

A formidable species (_Sphex ferruginea_ of St. Fargeau), which is
common to India and most of the eastern islands, is regarded with the
utmost dread by the unclad natives, who fly precipitately on finding
themselves in the vicinity[1] of its nests. These are of such ample
dimensions, that when suspended from a branch, they often measure
upwards of six feet in length.[2]

[Footnote 1: It ought to be remembered in travelling in the forests of
Ceylon that sal volatile applied immediately is a specific for the sting
of a wasp.]

[Footnote 2: At the January (1839) meeting of the Entomological Society,
Mr. Whitehouse exhibited portions of a wasps' nest from Ceylon, between
seven and eight feet long and two feet in diameter, and showed that the
construction of the cells was perfectly analogous to those of the hive
bee, and that when connected each has a tendency to assume a circular
outline. In one specimen where there were three cells united the outer
part was circular, whilst the portions common to the three formed
straight walls. From this Singhalese nest Mr. Whitehouse demonstrated
that the wasps at the commencement of their comb proceed slowly, forming
the bases of several together, whereby they assume the hexagonal shape,
whereas, if constructed separately, he thought each single cell would be
circular. See _Proc. Ent. Soc._, vol. iii. p. 16.]

_Bees._--Bees of several species and genera, some unprovided with
stings, and some in size scarcely exceeding a house-fly, deposit their
honey in hollow trees, or suspend their combs from a branch. The spoils
of their industry form one of the chief resources of the uncivilised
Veddahs, who collect the wax in the upland forests, to be bartered for
arrow points and clothes in the lowlands.[1] I have never heard of an
instance of persons being attacked by the bees of Ceylon, and hence the
natives assert, that those most productive of honey are destitute of

[Footnote 1: A gentleman connected with the department of the
Surveyor-General writes to me that he measured a honey-comb which he
found fastened to the overhanging branch of a small tree in the forest
near Adam's Peak, and found it nine links of his chain or about six feet
in length and a foot in breadth where it was attached to the branch, but
tapering towards the other extremity. "It was a single comb with a layer
of cells on either side, but so weighty that the branch broke by the

_The Carpenter Bee._--The operations of one of the most interesting of
the tribe, the Carpenter bee[1], I have watched with admiration from the
window of the Colonial Secretary's official residence at Kandy. So soon
as the day grew warm, these active creatures were at work perforating
the wooden columns which supported the verandah. They poised themselves
on their shining purple wings, as they made the first lodgment in the
wood, enlivening the work with an uninterrupted hum of delight, which
was audible to a considerable distance. When the excavation had
proceeded so far that the insect could descend into it, the music was
suspended, but renewed from time to time, as the little creature came to
the orifice to throw out the chips, to rest, or to enjoy the fresh air.
By degrees, a mound of saw-dust was formed at the base of the pillar,
consisting of particles abraded by the mandibles of the bee. These, when
the hollow was completed to the depth of several inches, were partially
replaced in the excavation after being agglutinated to form partitions
between the eggs, as they were deposited within. The mandibles[2] of
these bees are admirably formed for the purpose of working out the
tunnels required, being short, stout, and usually furnished at the tip
with two teeth which are rounded somewhat into the form of

[Footnote 1: _Xylocopa tenuiscapa_, Westw.; Another species found in
Ceylon is the _X. latipes_, Drury.]

[Footnote 2: See figure above.]

[Illustration: THE CARPENTER BEE]

These when brought into operation cut out the wood in the same way as a
carpenter's double gouge, the teeth being more or less hollowed out
within. The female alone is furnished with these powerful instruments.
In the males the mandibles are slender as compared with those of the
females. The bores of some of these bees are described as being from
twelve to fourteen inches in length.

_Ants_.--As to ants, I apprehend that, notwithstanding their numbers and
familiarity, information is very imperfect relative to the varieties and
habits of these marvellous insects in Ceylon.[1] In point of multitude
it is scarcely an exaggeration to apply to them the figure of "the sands
of the sea." They are everywhere; in the earth, in the houses, and on
the trees; they are to be seen in every room and cupboard, and almost on
every plant in the jungle. To some of the latter they are, perhaps,
attracted by the sweet juices secreted by the aphides and coccidæ.[2]
Such is the passion of the ants for sugar, and their wonderful faculty
of discovering it, that the smallest particle of a substance containing
it is quickly covered with them, though placed in the least conspicuous
position, where not a single one may have been visible a moment before.
But it is not sweet substances alone that they attack; no animal or
vegetable matter comes amiss to them: no aperture appears too small to
admit them; it is necessary to place everything which it may be
desirable to keep free from their invasion, under the closest cover, or
on tables with cups of water under every foot. As scavengers, they are
invaluable; and as ants never sleep, but work without cessation during
the night as well as by day, every particle of decaying vegetable or
putrid animal matter is removed with inconceiveable speed and certainty.
In collecting shells, I have been able to turn this propensity to good
account; by placing them within their reach, the ants in a few days
removed every vestige of the mollusc from the innermost and otherwise
inaccessible whorls; thus avoiding all risk of injuring the enamel by
any mechanical process.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Jerdan, in a series of papers in the thirteenth volume
of the _Annals of Natural History_, has described forty-seven species of
ants in Southern India. But M. Nietner has recently forwarded to the
Berlin Museum upwards of seventy species taken by him in Ceylon, chiefly
in the western province and the vicinity of Colombo. Of these many are
identical with those noted by Mr. Jerdan as belonging to the Indian
continent. One (probably _Drepanognathus saltator_ of Jerdan) is
described by M. Nietner as occasionally "moving by jumps of several
inches at a spring."]

[Footnote 2: Dr. DAVY, in a paper on Tropical Plants, has introduced the
following passage relative to the purification of sugar by ants:

"If the juice of the sugar-cane--the common syrup as expressed by the
mill--be exposed to the air, it gradually evaporates, yielding a
light-brown residue, like the ordinary muscovado sugar of the best
quality. If not protected, it is presently attacked by ants, and in a
short time is, as it were, converted into white crystalline sugar, the
ants having refined it by removing the darker portion, probably
preferring that part from it containing azotized matter. The negroes, I
may remark, prefer brown sugar to white: they say its sweetening power
is greater; no doubt its nourishing quality is greater, and therefore as
an article of diet deserving of preference. In refining sugar as in
refining salt (coarse bay salt containing a little iodine), an error may
be committed in abstracting matter designed by nature for a useful

But the assaults of the ants are not confined to dead animals alone,
they attack equally such small insects as they can overcome, or find
disabled by accidents or wounds; and it is not unusual to see some
hundreds of them surrounding a maimed beetle, or a bruised cockroach,
and hurrying it along in spite of its struggles. I have, on more than
one occasion, seen a contest between, them and one of the viscous
ophidians, _Cæcilia, glutinosa_[1], a reptile resembling an enormous
earthworm, common in the Kandyan hills, of an inch in diameter, and
nearly two feet in length. On these occasions it would seem as if the
whole community had been summoned and turned out for such a prodigious
effort; they surround their victim literally in tens of thousands,
inflicting wounds on all parts, and forcing it along towards their nest
in spite of resistance. In one instance to which I was a witness, the
conflict lasted for the latter part of a day, but towards evening the
Coecilia was completely exhausted, and in the morning it had totally
disappeared, having been carried away either whole or piecemeal by its

[Footnote 1: See _ante_, p. 317.]

The species I here allude to is a very small ant, which the Singhalese
call by the generic name of _Koombiya_. There is a species still more
minute, and evidently distinct, which frequents the caraffes and toilet
vessels. A third, probably the _Formica nidificans_ of Jerdan, is black,
of the same size as that last mentioned, and, from its colour, called
the _Kalu koombiga_ by the natives. In the houses its propensities and
habits are the same as those of the others; but I have observed that it
frequents the trees more profusely, forming small paper cells for its
young, like miniature wasps' nests, in which it deposits its eggs,
suspending them from a twig.

The most formidable of all is the great red ant or Dimiya.[1] It is
particularly abundant in gardens, and on fruit trees; it constructs its
dwellings by glueing the leaves of such species as are suitable from
their shape and pliancy into hollow balls, and these it lines with a
kind of transparent paper, like that manufactured by the wasp. I have
watched them at the interesting operation of forming these dwellings;--a
line of ants standing on the edge of one leaf bring another into contact
with it, and hold both together with their mandibles till their
companions within attach them firmly by means of their adhesive paper,
the assistants outside moving along as the work proceeds. If it be
necessary to draw closer a leaf too distant to be laid hold of by the
immediate workers, they form a chain by depending one from the other
till the object is reached, when it is at length brought into contact,
and made fast by cement.

[Footnote 1: _Formica smaragdina,_ Fab.]

Like all their race, these ants are in perpetual motion, forming lines
on the ground along which they pass, in continual procession to and from
the trees on which they reside. They are the most irritable of the whole
order in Ceylon, biting with such intense ferocity as to render it
difficult for the unclad natives to collect the fruit from the mango
trees, which the red ants especially frequent. They drop from the
branches upon travellers in the jungle, attacking them with venom and
fury, and inflicting intolerable pain both upon animals and man. On
examining the structure of the head through a microscope, I found that
the mandibles, instead of merely meeting in contact, are so hooked as to
cross each other at the points, whilst the inner line is sharply
serrated throughout its entire length; thus occasioning the intense pain
of their bite, as compared with that of the ordinary ant.

To check the ravages of the coffee bug[1] (_Lecanium coffeæ_, Walker),
which for some years past has devastated some of the plantations in
Ceylon, the experiment was made of introducing the red ants, who feed
greedily on the Coccus. But the remedy threatened to be attended with
some inconvenience, for the Malabar Coolies, with bare and oiled skins,
were so frequently and fiercely assaulted by the ants as to endanger
their stay on the estates.

[Footnote 1: For an account of this pest, see p. 437.]

The ants which burrow in the ground in Ceylon are generally, but not
invariably, black, and some of them are of considerable size. One
species, about the third of an inch in length, is abundant in the hills,
and especially about the roots of trees, where they pile up the earth in
circular heaps round the entrance to their nests, and in doing this I
have observed a singular illustration of their instinct. To carry up
each particle of sand by itself would be an endless waste of labour, and
to carry two or more loose ones securely would be to them embarrassing,
if not impossible. To overcome the difficulty they glue together with
their saliva so much earth or sand as is sufficient for a burden, and
each ant may be seen hurrying up from below with his load, carrying it
to the top of the circular heap outside, and throwing it over, the mass
being so strongly attached as to roll to the bottom without breaking

The ants I have been here describing are inoffensive, differing in this
particular from the Dimiya and another of similar size and ferocity,
which is called by the Singhalese _Kaddiya_. They have a legend
illustrative of their alarm for the bites of the latter, to the effect
that the cobra de capello invested the Kaddiya with her own venom in
admiration of the singular courage displayed by these little

[Footnote 1: KNOX'S _Historical Relation of Ceylon_, pt. i. ch. vi. p.

LEPIDOPTERA. _Butterflies_.--In the interior of the island butterflies
are comparatively rare, and, contrary to the ordinary belief, they are
seldom to be seen in the sunshine. They frequent the neighbourhood of
the jungle, and especially the vicinity of the rivers and waterfalls,
living mainly in the shade of the moist foliage, and returning to it in
haste after the shortest flights, as if their slender bodies were
speedily dried up and exhausted by exposure to the intense heat.

Among the largest and most gaudy of the Ceylon Lepidoptera is the great
black and yellow butterfly (_Ornithoptera darsius_, Gray); the upper
wings of which measure six inches across, and are of deep velvet black,
the lower ornamented by large particles of satiny yellow, through which
the sunlight passes. Few insects can compare with it in beauty, as it
hovers over the flowers of the heliotrope, which furnish the favourite
food of the perfect fly, although the caterpillar feeds on the
aristolochia and the _betel leaf_, and suspends its chrysalis from its
drooping tendrils.

Next in size as to expanse of wing, though often exceeding it in
breadth, is the black and blue _Papilio Polymnestor_, which darts
rapidly through the air, alighting on the ruddy flowers of the hibiscus,
or the dark green foliage of the citrus, on which it deposits its eggs.
The larvæ of this species are green with white bands, and have a hump on
the fourth or fifth segment. From this hump the caterpillar, on being
irritated, protrudes a singular horn of an orange colour, bifurcate at
the extremity, and covered with a pungent mucilaginous secretion. This
is evidently intended as a weapon of defence against the attack of the
ichneumon flies, that deposit their eggs in its soft body, for when the
grub is pricked, either by the ovipositor of the ichneumon, or by any
other sharp instrument, the horn is at once protruded, and struck upon
the offending object with unerring aim.

Amongst the more common of the larger butterflies is the _P. Hector_,
with gorgeous crimson spots set in the black velvet of the inferior
wings; these, when fresh, are shot with a purple blush, equalling in
splendour the azure of the European "_Emperor._"

_The Spectre Butterfly._--Another butterfly, but belonging to a widely
different group, is the "sylph" (_Hestia Jasonia_), called by the
Europeans by the various names of _Floater, Spectre_, and _Silver-paper
fly_, as indicative of its graceful flight. It is found only in the deep
shade of the damp forest, usually frequenting the vicinity of pools of
water and cascades, about which it sails heedless of the spray, the
moisture of which may even be beneficial in preserving the elasticity of
its thin and delicate wings, that bend and undulate in the act of

The _Lycanidæ_[1], a particularly attractive group, abound near the
enclosures of cultivated grounds, and amongst the low shrubs edging the
patenas, flitting from flower to flower, inspecting each in turn, as if
attracted by their beauty, in the full blaze of sun-light; and shunning
exposure less sedulously than the other diurnals. Some of the more
robust kinds[2] are magnificent in the bright light, from the splendour
of their metallic blues and glowing purples, but they yield in elegance
of form and variety to their tinier and more delicately-coloured

[Footnote 1: _Lycæna polyommatus, &c._]

[Footnote 2: _Amblypodia pseudocentaurus, &c._]

Short as is the eastern twilight, it has its own peculiar forms, and the
naturalist marks with interest the small, but strong, _Hesperidæ_[1],
hurrying, by abrupt and jerking flights, to the scented blossoms of the
champac or the sweet night-blowing moon-flower; and, when darkness
gathers around, we can hear, though hardly distinguish amid the gloom,
the humming of the powerful wings of innumerable hawk moths, which hover
with their long proboscides inserted into the starry petals of the

[Footnote 1: _Pamphila hesperia, &c._]

Conspicuous amidst these nocturnal moths is the richly-coloured
_Acherontia Satanas_, one of the Singhalese representatives of our
Death's-head moth, which utters a sharp and stridulous cry when seized.
This sound has been conjectured to be produced by the friction of its
thorax against the abdomen;--Reaumur believed it to be caused by the
rubbing of the palpi against the tongue. I have never been able to
observe either motion, and Mr. E.L. Layard is of opinion that the sound
is emitted from two apertures concealed by tufts of wiry bristles thrown
out from each side of the inferior portion of the thorax.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is another variety of the same moth in Ceylon which
closely resembles it in its markings, but in which I have never detected
the uttering of this curious cry. It is smaller than the _A. Satanas_,
and, like it, often enters dwellings at night, attracted by the lights;
but I have not found its larvæ, although that of the other species is
common on several widely different plants.]

_Moths._--Among the strictly nocturnal _Lepidoptera_ are some gigantic
species. Of these the cinnamon-eating _Atlas_, often attains the
dimensions of nearly a foot in the stretch of its superior wings. It is
very common in the gardens about Colombo, and its size, and the
transparent talc-like spots in its wings, cannot fail to strike even the
most careless saunterer. But little inferior to it in size is the famed
Tusseh silk moth[1], which feeds on the country almond (_Terminalia
catappa_) and the palma Christi or Castor-oil plant; it is easily
distinguishable from the Atlas, which has a triangular wing, whilst its
is falcated, and the transparent spots are covered with a curious
thread-like division drawn across them.

[Footnote 1: _Antheræa mylitta,_ Drury.]

Towards the northern portions of the island this valuable species
entirely displaces the other, owing to the fact that the almond and
_palma Christi_ abound there. The latter plant springs up spontaneously
on every manure-heap or neglected spot of ground; and might be
cultivated, as in India, with great advantage, the leaf to be used as
food for the caterpillar, the stalk as fodder for cattle, and the seed
for the expression of castor-oil. The Dutch took advantage of this
facility, and gave every encouragement to the cultivation of silk at
Jaffna[1], but it never attained such a development as to become an
article of commercial importance. Ceylon now cultivates no silkworms
whatever, notwithstanding this abundance of the favourite food of one
species; and the rich silken robes sometimes worn by the Buddhist
priesthood are imported from China and the continent of India.

[Footnote 1: The Portuguese had made the attempt previous to the arrival
of the Dutch, and a strip of land on the banks of the Kalany river near
Colombo, still bears the name of Orta Seda, the silk garden. The attempt
of the Dutch to introduce the true silkworm, the _Bombyx mori_, took
place under the governorship; of Ryklof Van Goens, who, on handing over
the administration to his successor in A.D. 1663, thus apprises him of
the initiation of the experiment:--"At Jaffna Palace a trial has been
undertaken to feed silkworms, and to ascertain whether silk may be
reared at that station. I have planted a quantity of mulberry trees,
which grow well there, and they ought to be planted in other
directions."--VALENTYN, chap. xiii. The growth of the mulberry trees is
noticed the year after in a report to the governor-general of India, but
the subject afterwards ceased to be attended to.]

In addition to the Atlas moth and the Mylitta, there are many other
_Bombycidæ_; in Ceylon; and, though the silk of some of them, were it
susceptible of being unwound from the cocoon, would not bear a
comparison with that of the _Bombyx mori_, or even of the Tusseh moth,
it might still prove to be valuable when carded and spun. If the
European residents in the colony would rear the larvæ of these
Lepidoptera, and make drawings of their various changes, they would
render a possible service to commerce, and a certain one to
entomological knowledge.

_Stinging Caterpillars_.--The Dutch carried to their Eastern settlements
two of their home propensities, which distinguish and embellish the
towns of the Low Countries; they indulged in the excavation of canals,
and they planted long lines of trees to diffuse shade over the sultry
passages in their Indian fortresses. For the latter purpose they
employed the Suriya (_Hibiscus populneus_), whose broad umbrageous
leaves and delicate yellow flowers impart a delicious coolness, and give
to the streets of Galle and Colombo the fresh and enlivening aspect of
walks in a garden.

In the towns, however, the suriya trees are productive of one serious
inconvenience. They are the resort of a hairy greenish caterpillar[1],
longitudinally striped, great numbers of which frequent them, and at a
certain stage of growth descend by a silken thread to the ground and
hurry away, probably in search of a suitable spot in which to pass
through their metamorphoses. Should they happen to alight, as they often
do, upon some lounger below, and find their way to his unprotected skin,
they inflict, if molested, a sting as pungent, but far more lasting,
than that of a nettle or a star-fish.

[Footnote 1: The species of moth with which it is identified has not yet
been determined, but it most probably belongs to a section of
Boisduval's genus _Bombyx_ allied to _Cnethocampa_, Stephens.]

Attention being thus directed to the quarter whence an assailant has
lowered himself down, the caterpillars above will be found in clusters,
sometimes amounting to hundreds, clinging to the branches and the bark,
with a few straggling over the leaves or suspended from them by lines.
These pests are so annoying to children as well as destructive to the
foliage, that it is often necessary to singe them off the trees by a
flambeau fixed on the extremity of a pole; and as they fall to the
ground they are eagerly devoured by the crows and domestic fowls.[1]

[Footnote 1: Another caterpillar which feeds on the jasmine flowering
Carissa, stings with such fury that I have known a gentleman to shed
tears while the pain was at its height. It is short and broad, of a pale
green, with fleshy spines on the upper surface, each of which seems to
be charged with the venom that occasions this acute suffering. The moth
which this caterpillar produces, _Neæra lepida_, Cramer; _Limacodes
graciosa_, Westw., has dark brown wings, the primary traversed by a
broad green band. It is common in the western side of Ceylon. The larvæ
of the genus _Adolia_ are also hairy, and sting with virulence.]

_The Wood-carrying Moth_.--There is another family of insects, the
singular habits of which will not fail to attract the traveller in the
cultivated tracts of Ceylon--these are moths of the genus
_Oiketicus_[1], of which the females are devoid of wings, and some
possess no articulated feet. Their larvæ construct for themselves cases,
which they suspend to a branch frequently of the pomegranate[2],
surrounding them with the stems of leaves, and thorns or pieces of twigs
bound together by threads, till the whole presents the appearance of a
bundle of rods about an inch and a half long; and, from the resemblance
of this to a Roman fasces, one African species has obtained the name of
"Lictor." The German entomologists denominated the group _Sackträger_,
the Singhalese call them _Dara-kattea_ or "billets of firewood," and
regard the inmates as human beings, who, as a punishment for stealing
wood in some former state of existence, have been condemned to undergo a
metempsychosis under the form of these insects.

[Footnote 1: _Eumeta_, Wlk.]

[Footnote 2: The singular instincts of a species of Thecla, _Dipsas
Isocrates_, Fab., in connection with the fruit of the pomegranate, were
fully described by Mr. Westwood, in a paper read before the
Entomological Society of London in 1835.]


The male, at the close of the pupal rest, escapes from one end of this
singular covering, but the female makes it her dwelling for life; moving
about with it at pleasure, and entrenching herself within it, when
alarmed, by drawing together the purse-like aperture at the open end. Of
these remarkable creatures there are five ascertained species in Ceylon:
_Psyche Doubledaii_, Westw.; _Metisa plana_; Walker; _Eumeta Cramerii_,
Westw.; _E. Templetonii_, Westw.; and _Cryptothelea consorta_, Temp.

All the other tribes of minute _Lepitoptera_ have abundant
representatives in Ceylon; some of them most attractive from the great
beauty of their markings and colouring. The curious little split-winged
moth (_Pterophorus_) is frequently seen in the cinnamon gardens and in
the vicinity of the fort, hid from the noon-day heat among the cool
grass shaded by the coco-nut topes. Three species have been captured,
all characterised by the same singular feature of having the wings
fan-like, separated nearly their entire length into detached sections,
resembling feathers in the pinions of a bird expanded for flight.

HOMOPTERA. _Cicada._--Of the _Homoptera_, the one which will most
frequently arrest attention is the cicada, which, resting high up on the
bark of a tree, makes the forest re-echo with a long-sustained noise so
curiously resembling that of a cutler's wheel that the creature
producing it has acquired the highly-appropriate name of the

[Illustration: CICADA--"THE KNIFE GRINDER."]

In the jungle which adjoined the grounds attached to my official
residence at Kandy, the shrubs were frequented by an insect covered
profusely with a snow-white powder, arranged in delicate filaments that
curl like a head of dressed celery. These it moves without dispersing
the powder: but when dead they fall rapidly to dust. I regret that I did
not preserve specimens, but I have reason to think that they are the
larvæ of the _Flata limbata_, or of some other closely allied
species[1], though I have not seen in Ceylon any of the wax produced by
the _flata_.

[Footnote 1: Amongst the specimens of this order which I brought from
Ceylon, two proved to be new and undescribed, and have been named by Mr.
A. WHITE _Elidiptera Emersoniana_ and _Poeciloptera Tennentina_.]

HEMIPTERA. _Bugs_.--On the shrubs in his compound the newly-arrived
traveller will be attracted by an insect of a pale green hue and
delicately-thin configuration, which, resting from its recent flight,
composes its scanty wings, and moves languidly along the leaf. But
experience will teach him to limit his examination to a respectful view
of its attitudes; it is one of a numerous family of bugs, (some of them
most attractive[1] in their colouring,) which are inoffensive if
unmolested, but if touched or irritated, exhale an odour that, once
endured, is never afterwards forgotten.

[Footnote 1: Such as _Cantuo ocellatus, Leptoscelis Marginalis, Callidea
Stockerius_, &c. &c. Of the aquatic species, the gigantic _Belostoma
Indicum_ cannot escape notice, attaining a size of nearly three inches.]

APHANIPTERA. _Fleas_.--Fleas are equally numerous, and may be seen in
myriads in the dust of the streets or skipping in the sunbeams which
fall on the clay floors of the cottages. The dogs, to escape them,
select for their sleeping places spots where a wood fire has been
previously kindled; and here prone on the white ashes, their stomachs
close to the earth, and their hind legs extended behind, they repose in
comparative coolness, and bid defiance to their persecutors.



DIPTERA. _Mosquitoes_.--But of all the insect pests that beset an
unseasoned European the most provoking by far is the truculent
mosquito.[1] Next to the torture which it inflicts, its most annoying
peculiarities are the booming hum of its approach, its cunning, its
audacity, and the perseverance with which it renews its attacks however
frequently repulsed. These characteristics are so remarkable as fully to
justify the conjecture that the mosquito, and not the ordinary fly,
constituted the plague inflicted upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Culex laniger?_ Wied. In Kandy Mr. Thwaites finds _C.
fuscanns, C. circumcolans,_ &c., and one with a most formidable hooked
proboscis, to which he has assigned the appropriate name _C. Regius_.]

[Footnote 2: The precise species of insect by means of which the
Almighty signalised the plague of flies, remains uncertain, as the
Hebrew term _arob_ or _oror_ which has been rendered in one place.
"Divers sorts of flies," Ps. cv. 31; and in another, "swarms of flies,"
Exod. viii. 21, &c., means merely "an assemblage." a "mixture" or a
"swarm," and the expletive. "_of flies_" is an interpolation of the
translators. This, however, serves to show that the fly implied was one
easily recognisable by its habit of _swarming_; and the further fact
that it _bites_, or rather stings, is elicited from the expression of
the Psalmist, Ps. lxxviii. 45, that the insects by which the Egyptians
were tormented "devoured them," so that here are two peculiarities
inapplicable to the domestic fly, but strongly characteristic of gnats
and mosquitoes.

Bruce thought that the fly of the fourth plague was the "zimb" of
Abyssinia which he so graphically describes: and WESTWOOD, in an
ingenious passage in his _Entomologist's Text-book._ p. 17, combats the
strange idea of one of the bishops, that it was a cockroach! and argues
in favour of the mosquito. This view he sustains by a reference to the
habits of the creature, the swarms in which it invades a locality, and
the audacity with which it enters the houses; and he accounts for the
exemption of "the land of Goshen in which the Isrælites dwelt," by the
fact of its being sandy pasture above the level of the river; whilst the
mosquitoes were produced freely in the rest of Egypt, the soil of which
was submerged by the rising of the Nile.

In all the passages in the Old Testament in which flies are alluded to,
otherwise than in connection with the Egyptian infliction, the word used
in the Hebrew is _zevor_, which the Septuagint renders by the ordinary
generic term for flies in general, [Greek: muia], "_musca_" (Eccles. x.
1, Isaiah vii. 10); but in every instance in which mention is made of
the miracle of Moses, the Septuagint says that the fly produced was the
[Greek: kunomyia], the "dog-fly." What insect was meant by this name it
is not now easy to determine, but ÆLIAN intimates that the dogfly both
inflicts a wound and emits a booming sound, in both of which particulars
it accords with the mosquito (lib. iv, 51); and PHILO-JUDÆUS, in his
_Vita Mosis_, lib. i. ch. xxiii., descanting on the plague of flies, and
using the term of the Septuagint, [Greek: kunomyia], describes it as
combining the characteristic of "the most impudent of all animals, the
fly and the dog, exhibiting the courage and the cunning of both, and
fastening on its victim with the noise and rapidity of an
arrow"--[Greek: meta roizou kathaper belos]. This seems to identify the
dog-fly of the Septuagint with the description of the Psalmist, Ps.
lxxviii. 45, and to vindicate the conjecture that the tormenting
mosquito, and not the house-fly, was commissioned by the Lord to humble
the obstinacy of the Egyptian tyrant.]

Even in the midst of endurance from their onslaughts one cannot but be
amused by the ingenuity of their movements; as if aware of the risk
incident to an open assault, a favourite mode of attack is, when
concealed by a table, to assail the ankles through the meshes of the
stocking, or the knees which are ineffectually protected by a fold of
Russian duck. When you are reading, a mosquito will rarely settle on
that portion of your hand which is within range of your eyes, but
cunningly stealing by the underside of the book fastens on the wrist or
little finger, and noiselessly inserts his proboscis there. I have
tested the classical expedient recorded by Herodotus, who states that
the fishermen inhabiting the fens of Egypt, cover their beds with their
nets, knowing that the mosquitoes, although they bite through linen
robes, will not venture through a net.[1] But, notwithstanding the
opinion of Spence[2], that nets with meshes an inch square will
effectually exclude them, I have been satisfied by painful experience
that (if the theory be not altogether fallacious) at least the modern
mosquitoes of Ceylon are uninfluenced by the same considerations which
restrained those of the Nile under the successors of Cambyses.

[Footnote 1: HERODOTUS, _Euterpe._ xcv.]

[Footnote 2: KIRBY and SPENCE'S _Entomology_, letter iv.]

_The Coffee-Bug_.--Allusion has been made in a previous passage to the
coccus known in Ceylon as the "Coffee-Bug" (_Lecanium Caffeæ_, Wlk.),
which of late years has made such destructive ravages in the plantations
in the Mountain Zone.[1] The first thing that attracts attention on
looking at a coffee tree infested by it, is the number of brownish
wart-like bodies that stud the young shoots and occasionally the margins
on the underside of the leaves.[2] Each of these warts or scales is a
transformed female, containing a large number of eggs which are hatched
within it.

[Footnote 1: The following notice of the "coffee-bug," and of the
singularly destructive effects produced by it on the plants, has been
prepared chiefly from a memoir presented to the Ceylon Government by the
late Dr. Gardner, in which he traces the history of the insect from its
first appearance in the coffee districts, until it had established
itself more or less permanently in all the estates in full cultivation
throughout the island.]

[Footnote 2: See the annexed drawing, Fig. 1.]

When the young ones come out from their nest, they run about over the
plant like diminutive wood-lice, and at this period there is no apparent
distinction between male and female. Shortly after being hatched the
males seek the underside of the leaves, while the females prefer the
young shoots as a place of abode. If the under surface of a leaf be
examined, it will be found to be studded, particularly on its basil
half, with minute yellowish-white specks of an oblong form.[1] These are
the larvæ of the males undergoing transformation into pupæ, beneath
their own skins; some of these specks are always in a more advanced
state than the others, the full-grown ones being whitish and scarcely a
line long. Some of this size are translucent, the insect having escaped;
the darker ones still retain it within, of an oblong form, with the
rudiment of a wing on each side attached to the lower part of the thorax
and closely applied to the sides; the legs are six in number, the four
hind ones being directed backwards, the anterior forwards (a peculiarity
not common in other insects); the two antennæ are also inclined
backwards, and from the tail protrude three short bristles, the middle
one thinner and longer than the rest.

[Footnote 1: Figs. 2, and 3 and 5 in the engraving, where these and all
the other figures are considerably enlarged.]

When the transformation is complete, the mature insect makes its way
from beneath the pellucid case[1], all its organs having then attained
their full size: the head is sub-globular, with two rather prominent
black eyes, and two antennæ, each with eleven joints, hairy throughout,
and a tuft of rather longer hairs at the apices; the legs are also
covered with hairs, the wings are horizontal, of an obovate oblong
shape, membranous, and extending a little farther than the bristles of
the tail. They have only two nerves, neither of which reaches so far as
the tips; one of them runs close to the costal margin, and is much
thicker than the other, which branches off from its base and skirts
along the inner margin; behind the wings is attached a pair of minute
halteres of peculiar form. The possession of wings would appear to be
the cause why the full-grown male is more rarely seen on the coffee
bushes than the female.

[Footnote 1: Fig. 4. Mr. WESTWOOD, who observed the operation in one
species, states that they escape backwards, the wings being extended
flatly over the head.]

The female, like the male, attaches herself to the surface of the plant,
the place selected being usually the young shoots; but she is also to be
met with on the margins of the undersides of the leaves (on the upper
surface neither the male nor female ever attach themselves); but, unlike
the male, which derives no nourishment from the juices of the tree (the
mouth being obsolete in the perfect state), she punctures the cuticle
with a proboscis (a very short three-jointed _promuscis_), springing as
it were from the breast, but capable of being greatly porrected, and
inserted in the cuticle of the plant, and through this she abstracts her
nutriment. In the early pupa state the female is easily distinguishable
from the male, by being more elliptical and much more convex. As she
increases in size her skin distends and she becomes smooth and dry; the
rings of the body become effaced; and losing entirely the form of an
insect, she presents, for some time, a yellowish pustular shape, but
ultimately assumes a roundish conical form, of a dark brown colour.[1]

[Footnote 1: Figs. 6 and 7. There are many other species of the Coccus
tribe in Ceylon, some (Pseudococcus?) never appearing as a scale, the
female wrapping herself up in a white cottony exudation; many species
nearly allied to the true Coccus infest common plants about gardens,
such as the Nerium Oleander, Plumeria Acuminata, and others with milky
juices; another subgenus (Ceroplastes?), the female of which produces a
protecting waxy material, infests the Gendurassa Vulgaris, the Furrcæa
Gigantea, the Jak Tree, Mango, and other common trees.]

Until she has nearly reached her full size, she still possesses the
power of locomotion, and her six legs are easily distinguishable in the
under surface of her corpulent body; but at no period of her existence
has she wings. It is about the time of her obtaining full size that
impregnation takes place[1]; after which the scale becomes somewhat more
conical, assumes a darker colour, and at length is permanently fixed to
the surface of the plant, by means of a cottony substance interposed
between it and the vegetable cuticle to which it adheres. The scale,
when full grown, exactly resembles in miniature the hat of a Cornish
miner[2], there being a narrow rim at the base, which gives increased
surface of attachment. It is about 1/8 inch in diameter, by about 1/12
deep, and it appears perfectly smooth to the naked eye; but it is in
reality studded over with a multitude of very minute warts, giving it a
dotted appearance. Except the margin, which is ciliated, it is entirely
destitute of hairs. The number of eggs contained in one of the scales is
enormous, amounting in a single one to 691. The eggs are of an oblong
shape, of a pale flesh colour, and perfectly smooth.[3] In some of the
scales, the eggs when laid on the field of the microscope resemble those
masses of life sometimes seen in decayed cheese.[4] A few small
yellowish maggots are sometimes found with them, and these are the
larvæ[5] of insects, the eggs of which have been deposited in the female
while the scale was soft. They escape when mature by cutting a small
round hole in the dorsum of the scale.

[Footnote 1: REAUMUR has described the singular manner in which this
occurs. _Mem._ tom. iv.]

[Footnote 2: Fig. 8.]

[Footnote 3: Fig. 9.]

[Footnote 4: Figs. 10, 11.]

[Footnote 5: Of the parasitic Chalcididiæ, many genera of which are well
known to deposit their eggs in the soft Coccus, viz.: Encystus,
Coccophagus, Pteromalus, Mesosela, Agonioneurus; besides Aphidius, a
minutely sized genus of Ichneumonidæ. Most, if not all, of these genera
are Singhalese.]

[Illustration: THE COFFEE BUG. Lecanium Coffeæ.]

It is not till after this pest has been on an estate for two or three
years that it shows itself to an alarming extent. During the first year
a few only of the ripe scales are seen scattered over the bushes,
generally on the younger shoots; but that year's crop does not suffer
much, and the appearance of the tree is little altered.

The second year, however, brings a change for the worse; if the young
shoots and the underside of the leaves he now examined, the scales will
be found to have become much more numerous, and with them appear a
multitude of white specks, which are the young scales in a more or less
forward state. The clusters of berries now assume a black sooty look,
and a great number of them fall off before coming to maturity; the
general health of the tree also begins to fail, and it acquires a
blighted appearance. A loss of crop is this year sustained, but to no
great extent.

The third year brings about a more serious change, the whole plant
acquires a black hue, appearing as if soot had been thrown over it in
great quantities; this is caused by the growth of a parasitic fungus[1]
over the shoots and the upper surface of the leaves, forming a fibrous
coating, somewhat resembling velvet or felt. This never makes its
appearance till the insect has been a considerable time on the bush, and
probably owes its existence there to an unhealthy condition of the
juices of the leaf, consequent on the irritation produced by the coccus,
since it never visits the upper surface of the leaf until the latter has
fully established itself on the lower. At this period the young shoots
have an exceedingly disgusting look from the dense mass of yellow
pustular bodies forming on them, the leaves get shrivelled, and the
infected trees become conspicuous in the row. The black ants are
assiduous in their visits to them. Two-thirds of the crop is lost, and
on many trees not a single berry forms.

[Footnote 1: _Racodium?_ Species of this genus are not confined to the
coffee plant alone in Ceylon, but follow the "bugs" in their attacks on
other bushes. It appears like a dense interlaced mesh of fibres, each
made up of a single series of minute oblong vesicles applied end to

This _Lecanium_, or a very closely allied species, has been observed in
the Botanic Garden at Peradenia, on the _Citrus acida, Psidium
pomiferum, Myrtus Zeylanica, Rosa Indica, Careya arborea, Vitex
Negundo_, and other plants. The coffee coccus has generally been first
observed in moist, hollow places sheltered from the wind; and thence it
has spread itself even over the driest and most exposed parts of the
island. On some estates, after attaining a maximum, it has generally
declined, but has shown a liability to reappear, especially in low
sheltered situations, and it is believed to prevail most extensively in
wet seasons. While in its earlier stages, it is easily transmitted from
one estate to another, on the clothes of human beings, and in various
other ways, which will readily suggest themselves. Dr. Gardner, after a
careful consideration and minute examination of estates, arrived at the
conclusion, that all remedies suggested up to that time had utterly
failed, and that none at once cheap and effectual was likely to be
discovered. He seems also to have been of opinion that the insect was
not under human control; and that even if it should disappear, it would
only be when it should have worn itself out as other blighte have been
known to do in some mysterious way. Whether this may prove to be the
case or not, is still very uncertain, but every thing observed by Dr.
Gardner tends to indicate the permanency of the pest.

       *       *       *       *       *

_List of Ceylon Insects._

For the following list of the insects of the island, and the remarks
prefixed to it, I am indebted to Mr. F. Walker, by whom it has been
prepared after a careful inspection of the collections made by Dr.
Templeton, Mr. E.L. Layard, and others: as well as of those in the
British Museum and in the Museum of the East India Company.[1]

[Footnote 1: The entire of the new species contained in this list have
been described in a series of papers by Mr. WALKER in successive numbers
of the _Annals of Natural History_ (1858-61): those, from Dr.
TEMPLETON'S collection of which descriptions have been taken, have been
at his desire transferred to the British Museum for future reference and

"A short notice of the aspect of the island will afford the best means
of accounting, in some degree, for its entomological Fauna: first, as it
is an island, and has a mountainous central region, the tropical
character of its productions, as in most other cases, rather diminishes,
and somewhat approaches that of higher latitudes.

"The coast-region of Ceylon, and fully one-third of its northern part,
have a much drier atmosphere than that of the rest of its surface; and
their climate and vegetation are nearly similar to those of the
Carnatic, with which this island may have been connected at no very
remote period.[1] But if, on the contrary, the land in Ceylon is
gradually rising, the difference of its Fauna from that of Central
Hindustan is less remarkable. The peninsula of the Dekkan might then be
conjectured to have been nearly or wholly separated from the central
part of Hindustan, and confined to the range of mountains along the
eastern coast; the insect-fauna of which is as yet almost unknown, but
will probably be found to have more resemblance to that of Ceylon than
to the insects of northern and western India--just as the insect-fauna
of Malaya appears more to resemble the similar productions of
Australasia than those of the more northern continent.

[Footnote 1: On the subject of this conjecture see _ante_, p. 60.]

"Mr. Layard's collection was partly formed in the dry northern province
of Ceylon; and among them more Hindustan insects are to be observed than
among those collected by Dr. Templeton, and found wholly in the district
between Colombo and Kandy. According to this view the faunas of the
Nilgherry Mountains, of Central Ceylon, of the peninsula of Malacca, and
of Australasia would be found to form one group;--while those of
Northern Ceylon, of the western Dekkan, and of the level parts of
Central Hindustan would form another of more recent origin. The
insect-fauna of the Carnatic is also probably similar to that of the
lowlands of Ceylon; but it is still unexplored. The regions of Hindustan
in which species have been chiefly collected, such as Bengal, Silbet,
and the Punjaub, are at the distance of from 1300 to 1600 miles from
Ceylon, and therefore the insects of the latter are fully as different
from those of the above regions as they are from those of Australasia,
to which Ceylon is as near in point of distance, and agrees more with
regard to latitude.

"Dr. Hagen has remarked that he believes the fauna of the mountains of
Ceylon to be quite different from that of the plains and of the shores.
The south and west districts have a very moist climate, and as their
vegetation is like that of Malabar, their insect-fauna will probably
also resemble that of the latter region.

"The insects mentioned in the following list are thus distributed:--


"The recorded species of _Cicindelidæ_ inhabit the plains or the coast
country of Ceylon, and several of them are also found in Hindustan.

"Many of the species of _Carabidæ_ and of _Staphylinidæ_, especially
those collected by Mr. Thwaites, near Kandy, and by M. Nietner at
Colombo, have much resemblance to the insects of these two families in
North Europe; in the _Scydmænid, Ptiliadæ, Phalacridæ, Nitidulidæ,
Colydiadæ_, and _Lathridiadæ_ the northern form is still more striking,
and strongly contrasts with the tropical forms of the gigantic _Copridæ,
Buprestidæ, and Cerambycidæ_, and with the _Elateridæ, Lampyridæ,
Tenebrionidæ, Helopidæ, Meloidæ, Curculionidæ, Prionidæ, Cerambycidæ,
Lamiidæ_, and _Endomychidæ_.

"The _Copridæ, Dynastidæ, Melolonthidæ, Cetoniadæ_, and _Passalidæ_ are
well represented on the plains and on the coast, and the species are
mostly of a tropical character.

"The _Hydrophilidæ_ have a more northern aspect, as is generally the
case with aquatic species.

"The order _Strepsiptera_ is here considered as belonging to the
_Mordellidæ_, and is represented by the genus _Myrmecolax_, which is
peculiar, as yet, to Ceylon.

"In the _Curculionidæ_ the single species of _Apion_ will recall to mind
the great abundance of that genus in North Europe.

"The _Prionidæ_ and the two following families have been investigated by
Mr. Pascoe, and the _Hispidæ_, with the five following families, by Mr.
Baly; these two gentlemen are well acquainted with the above tribes of
beetles, and kindly supplied me with the names of the Ceylon species.


"These insects in Ceylon have mostly a tropical aspect. The _Physapoda_,
which will probably be soon incorporated with them, are likely to be
numerous, though only one species has as yet been noticed.


"The list here given is chiefly taken from the catalogue published by
Dr. Hagen, and containing descriptions of the species named by him or by
M. Nietner. They were found in the most elevated parts of the island,
near Rangbodde, and Dr. Hagen informs me that not less than 500 species
have been noticed in Ceylon, but that they are not yet recorded, with
the exception of the species here enumerated. It has been remarked that
the _Trichoptera_ and other aquatic _Neuroptera_ are less local than the
land species, owing to the more equable temperature of the habitation of
their larvæ, and on account of their being often conveyed along the
whole length of rivers. The species of _Psocus_ in the list are far more
numerous than those yet observed in any other country, with the
exception of Europe.


"In this order the _Formicidæ_ and the _Poneridæ_ are very numerous, as
they are in other damp and woody tropical countries. Seventy species of
ants have been observed, but as yet few of them have been named. The
various other families of aculeate _Hymenoptera_ are doubtless more
abundant than the species recorded indicate, and it may be safely
reckoned that the parasitic _Hymenoptera_ in Ceylon far exceed one
thousand species in number, though they are yet only known by means of
about two dozen kinds collected at Kandy by Mr. Thwaites.


"The fauna of Ceylon is much better known in this order than in any
other of the insect tribes, but as yet the _Lepidoptera_ alone in their
class afford materials for a comparison of the productions of Ceylon
with those of Hindustan and of Australasia; nine hundred and thirty-two
species have been collected by Dr. Templeton and by Mr. Layard in the
central, western, and northern parts of the island. All the families,
from the _Papilionidæ_ to the _Tineidæ_, abound, and numerous species
and several genera appear, as yet, to be peculiar to the island. As
Ceylon is situate at the entrance to the eastern regions, the list in
this volume will suitably precede the descriptive catalogues of the
heterocerous _Lepidoptera_ of Hindustan, Java, Borneo, and of other
parts of Australasia, which are being prepared for publication. In some
of the heterocerous families several species are common to Ceylon and to
Australasia, and in various cases the faunas of Ceylon and of
Australasia seem to be more similar than those of Ceylon and of
Hindustan. The long intercourse between those two regions may have been
the means of conveying some species from one to the other. Among the
_Pyralites, Hymenia recurvalis_ inhabits also the West Indies, South
America, West Africa, Hindustan, China, Australasia, Australia, and New
Zealand; and its food-plant is probably some vegetable which is
cultivated in all those regions; so also _Desmia afflictalis_ is found
in Sierra Leone, Abyssinia, Ceylon, and China.


"About fifty species were observed by Dr. Templeton, but most of those
here recorded were collected by Mr. Thwaites at Kandy, and have a great
likeness to North European species. The mosquitoes are very annoying on
account of their numbers, as might be expected from the moisture and
heat of the climate. _Culex laniger_ is the coast species, and the other
kinds here mentioned are from Kandy. Humboldt observed that in some
parts of South America each stream had its peculiar mosquitoes, and it
yet remains to be seen whether the gnats in Ceylon are also thus
restricted in their habitation. The genera _Sciara, Cecidomyia_, and
_Simulium_, which abound so exceedingly in temperate countries, have
each one representative species in the collection made by Mr. Thwaites.
Thus an almost new field remains for the Entomologist in the study of
the yet unknown Singhalese Diptera, which must be very numerous.


"The species of this order in the list are too few and too similar to
those of Hindustan to need any particular mention. _Lecanium coffeæ_ may
be noticed, on account of its infesting the coffee plant, as its name
indicates, and the ravages of other species of the genus will be
remembered, from the fact that one of them, in other regions, has put a
stop to the cultivation of the orange as an article of commerce.

"In conclusion, it may be observed that the species of insects in Ceylon
may be estimated as exceeding 10,000 in number, of which about 2000 are
enumerated in this volume.


"Four or five species of spiders, of which the specimens cannot be
satisfactorily described; one _Ixodes_ and one _Chelifer_ have been
forwarded to England from Ceylon by Mr. Thwaites."

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--The asterisk prefixed denotes the species discovered in Ceylon
since Sir J.E. Tennent's departure from the Island in 1849.

Order COLEOPTERA, _Linn._

Fam. CICINDELIDÆ, _Steph._

Cicindela, _Linn._
  flavopunctata, _Aud._
  discrepans, _Wlk._
  aurofasciaca, _Guér._
  quadrilineata, _Fabr._
  biramosa, _Fabr._
  catena, _Fabr._
  *insignificans, _Dohrn._

Tricondyla, _Latr._
  femorata, _Wlk._
  *tumidula, _Wlk._
  *scitiscabra, _Wlk._
  *concinna, _Dohrn._

Fam. CARABIDÆ, _Leach._

Casnonia, _Latr._
  *punctata, _Niet._
  *pilifera, _Niet._

Ophionea, _Klug._
  *cyanocephala, _Fabr._

Euplynes, _Niet._
  Dohrni, _Niet._

Heteroglossa, _Niet._
  *elegans, _Niet._
  *ruficollis, _Niet._
  *bimaculata, _Niet._

Zuphium, _Latr._
  *pubescens, _Niet._

Pheropsophos, _Solier._
  Cateisei, _Dej._
  bimaculatus, _Fabr._

Cymindis, _Latr_
  rufiventris, _Wlk._

Anchisia, _Niet._
  *modesta, _Niet._

Dromius, _Bon._
  marginiter, _Wlk._
  repandens, _Wlk._

Lebia, _Latr._
  *bipars, _Wlk,_

Creagris, _Niet._
  labrosa, _Niet._

Elliotia, _Niet._
  paltipes, _Niet._

Maraga, _Wlk._
  planigera, _Wlk._

Catascopus, _Kirby._
  facialis, _Wied._
  reductus, _Wlk._

Scarites, _Fabr._
  obliterans, _Wlk._
  subsignans, _Wlk._
  designans, _Wlk._
  *minor, _Wlk._

Clivina, _Latr._
  *rugosifrons, _Niet._
  *elongatula, _Niet._
  *maculata, _Niet._
  recta, _Wlk._

Leistus, _Fræhl._
  linearis, _Wlk._

Isotarsus, _Laferlé_
  quadrimaculatus, _Oliv._

Panagæus, _Latr._
  retractus, _Wlk._

Chlænius, _Bon._
  bimaculatus, _Dej._
  diffinis, _Reiche._
  *Ceylanicus, _Niet._
  *quinque-maculatus, _Niet._
  pulcher, _Niet._
  cupricollis, _Niet._
  ruginosus, _Niet._

Anchomenus, _Bon._
  illocatus, _Wlk._

Agonum, _Bon._
  placidulum, _Wlk._

Corpodes?, _Macl._
  marginicallis, _Wlk._

Argutor, _Meg._
  degener, _Wlk._
  relinquens, _Wlk._

Simphyus, _Niet._
  *unicolor, _Niet._

Bradytus, _Steph._
  stolidus, _Wlk._
 Curtonotus, _Wlk._

Harpalus, _Latr._
  *advolans, _Niet._
  dispellens, _Wlk._

Calodromus, _Niet._
  *exornatus, _Niet._

Megaristerus, _Niet._
  *mandibularis, _Niet._
  *stenolophoides, _Niet._
  *Indicus, _Niet._

Platysma, _Bon._
  retinens, _Wlk._

Morio, _Latr._
  trogositoides, _Wlk._
  cucujoides, _Wlk._

Barysomus, _Dej._
  *Gyllenhalii, _Dej._

Oodes, _Bon._
  *piceus, _Niet._

Selenophorus, _Dej._
  inuxus, _Wlk._

Orthogonius, _Dej._
  femoratus, _Dej._

Helluodes, _Westw._
  Taprobanæ, _Westw._

Physocrotaphus, _Parry._
  Ceylonicus, _Parry._
  *minax, _West._

Physodera, _Esch._
  Eschscholtzii, _Parry._

Omphra, _Latr._
  *ovipennis, _Reiche._

Planetes, _Macl._
  bimaculatus, _Macleay._

Cardiaderus, _Dej._
  scitus, _Wlk._

Distrigus, _Dej._
  *costatus, _Niet._
  *submetallicus, _Niet._
  rufopiceus, _Niet._
  *æneus, _Niet._
  *Dejeani, _Niet._

Drimostoma, _Dej._
  *Ceylanicum, _Niet._
  *marginale, _Wlk_.

Cyclosomus, _Latr_.
  flexuosus, _Fabr_.

Ochthephilus, _Niet_.
  *Ceylanicus, _Niet_.

Spathinus, _Niet_.
  *nigriceps, _Niet_.

Acuparpus, _Latr_.
  derogatus, _Wlk_.
  extremus, _Wlk_.

Bembidium, _Latr_.
  finitimum, _Wlk_.
  *opulentum, _Niet_.
  *truncatum, _Niet_.
  *tropicum, _Niet_.
  *triangulare, _Niet_.
  *Ceylanicum, _Niet_.
  Klugii, _Niet_.
  *ebeninum, _Niet_.
  *orientale, _Niet_.
  *emarginatum, _Niet_.
  *ornatum, _Niet_.
  *scydmænoides, _Niet_.

Fam. PAUSSIDÆ, _Westw_.

Cerapterus, _Swed_.
  latipes, _Swed_.

Pleuropterus, _West_.
  Westermanni, _West_.

Paussus, _Linn._
  pacificus, _West_.

Fam. DYTISCIDÆ, _Macl_.

Cybister, _Curt_.
  limbatus, _Fabr_.

Dytiscus, _Linn._
  extenuans, _Wlk_.

Eunectes, _Erich_.
  griseus, _Fabr_.

Hydaticus, _Leach_.
  festivus, _Ill_.
  vittatus, _Fabr_.
  dislocans, _Wlk_.
  fractifer, _Wlk_.

Colymbetes, _Clairv_.
  interclusus, _Wlk_.

Hydroporus, _Clairv_.
  interpulsus, _Wlk_.
  intermixtus, _Wlk_.
  lætabilis, _Wlk_.
  *inefficiens, _Wlk_.

Fam. GYRINIDÆ, _Leach_.

Dineutes, _Macl_.
  spinosus, _Fabr_.

Porrorhynchus, _Lap_.
  indicans, _Wlk_.

Gyretes, _Brullé_.
  discifer, _Wlk_.

Gyrinus, _Linn._
  nitidulus, _Fabr_.
  obliquus, _Wlk_.

Orectochilus, _Esch_.
  *lenocinium, _Dohrn_.


Ocypus, _Kirby_.
  longipennis, _Wlk_.
  congruus, _Wlk_.
  punctilinea, _Wlk_.
  *lineatus, _Wlk_.

Philonthus, _Leach_.
  *pedestris, _Wlk_.

Xantholinus, _Dahl_.
  cinctus, _Wlk_.
  *inclinans, _Wlk_.

Sunius, _Leach_.
  *obliquus, _Wlk_.

Oedichirus, _Erich_.
  *alatus, _Niet_.

Poederus, _Fabr_.
  alternans, _Wlk_.

Stenus, _Latr_.
  *barbatus, _Niet_.
  *lærtoides, _Niet_.

Osorius? _Leach_.
  *compactus, _Wlk_.

Prognatha, _Latr_.
  decisi, _Wlk_.
  *tenuis, _Wlk_.

Leptochirus, _Perty_.
  *piscinus, _Erich_.

Oxytelus, _Grav_.
  rudis, _Wlk_.
  productus, _Wlk_.
  *bicolor, _Wlk_.

Trogophloeus, _Mann_.
  *Taprobanæ, _Wlk_.

Omalium, _Grav_.
  filiforme, _Wlk_.

Aleochara, _Grav_.
  postica, _Wlk_.
  *translata, _Wlk_.
  *subjecta, _Wlk_.

Dinarda, _Leach_.
  serricornis, _Wlk_.

Fam. PSELAPHIDÆ, _Leach_.

Pselaphanax, _Wlk_.
  setosus, _Wlk_.

Fam. SCYDMÆNIDÆ, _Leach_.

Erineus, _Wlk_.
  monstrosus, _Wlk_.

Scydmænus, _Latr_.
  *megamelas, _Wlk_.
  *alatus, _Niet_.
  *femoralis, _Niet_.
  *Ceylanicus, _Niet_.
  *intermedius, _Niet_.
  *pselaphoides, _Niet_.
  *advolans, _Niet_.
  *pubescens, _Niet_.
  *pygmæus, _Niet_.
  *glanduliferus, _Niet_.
  *graminicola, _Niet_.
  *pyriformis, _Niet_.
  *angusticeps, _Niet_.
  *ovatus, _Niet_.

Fam. PTILIADÆ, _Wo_.

Trichopteryx, _Kirby_.
  *cursitans, _Niet_.
  *immatura, _Niet_.
  *invisibilis, _Niet_.

Ptilium, _Schüpp_.
  *subquadratum, _Niet_.

Ptenidium, _Erich_.
  *macrocephalum, _Niet_.

Fam. PHALACRIDÆ, _Leach_.

Phalacrus, _Payk_.
  conjiciens, _Wlk_.
  confectus, _Wlk_.

Fam. NITUDULIDÆ, _Leach_.

Nitidula, _Fabr_.
  contigens, _Wlk_.
  intendens, _Wlk_.
  significans, _Wik_.
  tomentifera, _Wlk_.
  *submaculata, _Wlk_.
  *glabricula, _Dohrn_.

Nitidulopsis, _Wlk_.
  æqualis, _Wlk_.

Meligethes, _Kirby_.
  *orientalis, _Niet_.
  *respondens, _Wlk_.

Rhizophagus, _Herbst_.
  parallelus, _Wlk_.

Fam. COLYDIADÆ, _Woll_.

Lyctus, _Fabr_.
  retractus, _Wlk_.
  disputans, _Wlk_.

Ditoma, _Illig_.
  rugicollis, _Wlk_.

Fam. TROGOSITIDÆ, _Kirby_.

Trogosita, _Oliv_.
  insinuans, _Wlk_.
  *rhyzophagoides, _Wlk_.

Fam. CUCUJIDÆ, _Steph_.

Loemophloeus, _Dej_.
  ferrugineus, _Wlk_.

Cucujus? _Fabr_.
  *incommodus, _Wlk_.

Silvanus, _Latr_.
  retrahens, _Wlk_.
  *scuticollis, _Wlk_.
  *Porrectus, _Wlk_.

Brontes, _Fabr_.
  *orientalis, _Dej_.


Lathridius, _Herbst_.
  perpusillus, _Wlk_.

Corticaria, _Marsh_.
  resecta, _Wlk_.

Monotoma, _Herbst_.
  concinnula, _Wlk_.

Fam. DERMESTIDÆ, _Leach_.

Dermestes, _Linn._
  vulpinus, _Fabr_.

Attagenus, _Latr_.
  detectus, _Wlk_.
  rufipes, _Wlk_.

Trinodes, _Meg_.
  hirtellus, _Wlk_.

Fam. BYRRHIDÆ, _Leach_.

Inclica, _Wlk_.
  solida, _Wlk_.

Fam. HISTERIDÆ, _Leach_.

Hister, _Linn._
  Bengalensis, _Weid_.
  encaustus, _Mars._
  orientalis, _Payk_.
  bipustulatus, _Fabr._
  *mundissimus, _Wlk._

Saprinus, _Erich_.
  semipunctatus, _Fabr._

Platysoma, _Leach._
  atratum? _Erichs._
  desmens, _Wlk._
  restoratum, _Wlk._

Dendrophilus, _Leach._
  finitimus, _Wlk._

Fam. APHODIADÆ, _Macl._

Aphodius, _Illig._
  robustus, _Wlk._
  dynastoides, _Wlk._
  pallidicornis, _Wlk._
  mutans, _Wlk_.
  sequens, _Wlk._

Psammodius, _Gyll._
  inscitus, _Wlk._

Fam. TROGIDÆ, _Macl._

Trox, _Fabr._
  inclusus, _Wlk._
  cornutus, _Fabr._

Fam. COPRIDÆ, _Leach._

Ateuchus, _Weber._
  sacer, _Linn._

Gymnopleurus, _Illig_
  smaragdifer, _Wlk._
  Koenigii, _Fabr._

Sisyphus, _Latr._
  setosulus _Wlk._
  subsideus, _Wlk._

Orepanocerus, _Kirby._
  Taprobanæ, _West._

Cobris, _Geoffr._
  Pirmal, _Fabr._
  sagax, _Quens._
  capucinus, _Fabr._
  cribricollis, _Wlk._
  repertus, _Wlk._
  sodalis, _Wlk._
  signatus, _Wlk._
  diminutivus, _Wlk._

Onthophagus, _Latr._
  Bonassus, _Fabr._
  cervicornis, _Fabr._
  prolixus, _Wlk._
  gravis, _Wlk._
  difficilis, _Wlk._
  lucens, _Wlk._
  negligens, _Wlk._
  moerens, _Wlk._
  turbatus. _Wlk._

Onitis, _Fabr._
  Philemon, _Fabr._

Fam. DYNASTIDÆ, _Macl._

Oryctes, _Illig._
  rhinoceros, _Linn._

Xylotrupes, _Hope._
  Gideon, _Linn._
  reductus, _Wlk._
  solidipes, _Wlk._

Phileurus, _Latr._
  detractus, _Wlk._

Orphnus, _Macl._
  detegens, _Wlk._
  scitissimus, _Wlk._

Fam. GECTRUPIDÆ, _Leach_.

Bolboceras, _Kirby_.
  lineatus, _Westw_.


Melolontha, _Fabr_.
  nummicudens, _Newm_.
  rubiginosa, _Wlk_.
  ferruginosa, _Wlk_.
  seriata, _Hope_.
  pinguis, _Wlk_.
  setosa, _Wlk_.

Rhizotrogus, _Latr_.
  hirtipectus, _Wlk_.
  æqualis, _Wlk_.
  costatus, _Wlk_.
  inductus, _Wlk_.
  exactus, _Wlk_.
  sulcifer, _Wlk_.

Phyllopertha, _Kirby_.
  transversa, _Burm_.

Silphodes, _Westw_.
  Indica, _Westw_.

Trigonostoma, _Dej_.
  assimile, _Hope_.
  compressum? _Weid_.
  nanum, _Wlk_.

Serica, _Macl_.
  pruinosa, _Hope_.

Popilia, _Leach_.
  marginicollis, _Newm_.
  cyanella, _Hope_.
  discalis, _Wlk_.

Scricesthis, _Dej_.
  rotundata, _Wlk_.
  subsignata, _Wlk_.
  mollis, _Wlk_.
  confirmata, _Wlk_.

Plectris, _Lep. & Serv_.
  solida, _Wlk_.
  punctigera, _Wlk_.
  glabsilinea, _Wlk_.

Isonychus, _Mann_.
  ventralis, _Wlk_.
  pectoralis, _Wlk_.

Omaloplia, _Meg_.
  fracta, _Wlk_.
  interrupta, _Wlk_.
  semicincta, _Wlk_.
  *hamifera, _Wlk_.
  *picta, _Dohrn_.
  *nana, _Dohrn_.

Apogenia, _Kirby_.
  nigricans, _Hope_.

Phytalos _Erich_.
  eurystomus, _Burm_.

Ancylon cha. _Dej_.
  Reynaudii, _Blanch_.

Leucopholis, _Dej_.
  Mellei, _Guer_.
  pinguis, _Burm_.

Anomala, _Meg_.
  elata, _Fabr_.
  humeralis, _Wlk_.
  discalis, _Wlk_.
  varicolor, _Sch_.
  conformis, _Wlk_.
  similis, _Hope_.
  punctatissima, _Wlk_.
  infixa, _Wlk_.

Mimela, _Kirby_.
  variegata, _Wlk_.
  mundissima, _Wlk_.

Parastasia, _Westw_.
  rufopic a. _Westw_.

Euchlora, _Macl_.
  viridis, _Fabr_.
  perplexa, _Hope_.

Fam. CETONIADÆ, _Kirby_.

Glycyphana, _Burm_.
  versicolor, _Fabr_.
  luctuosa, _Gory_.
  variegata, _Fabr_.
  marginicollis, _Gory_.

Clinteria, _Burm_.
  imperalis, _Schaum_.
  incerta, _Parry_.
  chloronota, _Blanch_.

Tæniodera, _Burm_.
  Malabariensis, _Gory_.
  quadrivittata, _White_.
  alboguttata, _Vigors_.

Protætia, _Burm_.
  maculata, _Fabr_.
  Whitehousii, _Parry_.

Agestrata, _Erich_.
  nigrita, _Fabr_.
  orichalcea, _Linn._

Coryphocera, _Burm_.
  elegans, _Fabr_.

Nacronota, _Hoffm_.
  quadrivittata, _Sch_.

Fam. TRICHIADÆ, _Leach_.

Valgus, _Scriba_.
  addendus, _Wlk_.

Fam. LUCANIDÆ, _Leach_.

Odontolabis, _Burm_.
  Bengalensis, _Parry_.
  emarginatus, _Dej_.

Ægus, _Macl_.
  acuminatus, _Fabr_.
  lunatus, _Fabr_.

Singuala, _Blanch_.
  tenella, _Blanch_.

Fam. PASSALIDÆ, _Macl_.

Passalus, _Fabr_.
  transversus, _Dohrn_.
  interstitialis, _Perch_.
  punctiger? _Lefeb_.
  bicolor, _Fabr_.

Fam. SPHÆRIDIADÆ, _Leach_.

Sphæridium, _Fabr_.
  tricolor, _Wlk_.

Cercyon, _Leach_.
  *vicinale, _Wlk._


Hydrous, _Leach_.
  *rufiventris, _Niet_.
  *inconspicuus, _Niet._

Hydrobius, _Leach._
  stultus, _Wlk._

Philydrus, _Solier._
  esurieus, _Wlk._

Berosus, _Leach._
  *decrescens, _Wlk._

Hydrochus, _Germ._
  *lacustris, _Niet._

Georyssus, _Latr._
  *gemma, _Niet._
  *insularis, _Dohrn._

Dastareus, _Wlk._
  porosus, _Wlk._

Fam. BUPRESTIDIE, _Steph._

Sternocera, _Esch._
  chrysis, _Linn._
  sternicornis, _Linn._

Chrysochroa, _Solier._
  ignita, _Linn._
  Chinensis, _Lap._
  Rajah, _Lap._
  *cyaneocephala, _Fabr._

Chyrsodema, _Lap_
  sulcata, _Thunb._

Belionota, _Esch._
  scutellaris, _Fabr._
  *Petiri, _Gory._

Chrysobothris, _Esch._
  suturalis, _Wlk._

Agrilus, _Meg._
  sulcicollis, _Wlk._
  *cupreiceps, _Wlk._
  *cupreicollis, _Wlk._
  *armatus, _Fabr._

Fam. ELATERIDÆ, _Leach._

Campsosternos, _Latr._
  Templetonii, _Westw._
  aureolus, _Hope._
  Bohemannii, _Cand._
  venustulus, _Cand._
  pallidipes, _Cand._

Agrypnus, _Esch._
  fuscipes, _Fabr._

Alaus, _Esch._
  speciosus, _Linn._
  sordidus, _Westw._

Cardiophorus, _Esch._
  humerifer, _Wlk._

Corymbites, _Latr._
  dividens, _Wlk._
  divisa, _Wlk._
  *bivittava, _Wlk._

Lacon, _Lap._
  *obesus, _Cand._

Athous, _Esch._
  punctosus, _Wlk._
  inapertus, _Wlk._
  decretus, _Wlk._
  inefficiens, _Wlk._

Ampedus, _Meg._
  *acutifer, _Wlk._
  *discicollis, _Wlk._

Legna, _Wlk._
  idonea, _Wlk._

Fam. LAMPYRIDÆ, _Leach._

Lycus, _Fabr_.
  triangularis, _Hope._
  geminus, _Wlk._
  astutus, _Wlk._
  fallix, _Wlk._
  planicornis, _Wlk._
  melanopterus, _Wlk._
  pubicornis, _Wlk._
  duplex, _Wlk._
  costifer, _Wlk._
  revocans, _Wlk._
  dispellens, _Wlk._
  *pubipennis, _Wlk._
  *humerifer, _Wlk._
  expansicornis, _Wlk._
  divisus, _Wlk._

Dictyopterus, _Latr._
  internexus, _Wlk._

Lampyris, _Geoff._
  tenebrosa, _Wlk._
  diffinis, _Wlk._
  lutescens, _Wlk._
  *vitrifera, _Wlk._

Colophotia, _Dej._
  humeralis, _Wlk._
  [vespertina, _Febr._
  perplexa, _Wlk._?]
  intricata, _Wlk._
  extricans, _Wlk._
  promelas, _Wlk._

Harmatelia, _Wlk._
  discalis, _Wlk_
  bilinea, _Wlk._

Fam. TELEPHORIDÆ, _Leach._

Telephorus, _Schäff._
  dimidiatus, _Fabr._
  malthinoides, _Wlk._

Eugeusis, _Westw._
  palpator, _Westw._
  gryphus, _Hope._
  olivaceus, _Hope._

Fam. CEBRIONIDÆ, _Steph._

Callirhipis, _Latr._
  Templetonii, _Westw._
  Championii, _Westw._

Fam. MERLYRIDÆ, _Leach._

Malachius, _Fabr._
  plagiatus, _Wlk._

Malthinus, _Latr._
  *forticornis, _Wlk._
  *retractus, _Wlk._
  fragilis, _Dohrn._

Enciopus, _Steph._
  proficiens, _Wlk._

Honosca, _Wlk._
  necrobioides, _Wlk._

Fam. CLERIDÆ, _Kirby._

Cylidrus, _Lap._
  sobrinus, _Dohrn._

Stigmatium, _Gray._
  elaphroides, _Westw._

Necrobia, _Latr._
  rufipes, _Fabr._
  aspera, _Wlk._

Fam. PTINIDÆ, _Leach._

Ptinus, _Linn._
  *nigerrimus, _Boield._

Fam. DIAPERIDÆ, _Leach._

Diaperis, _Geoff._
  velutina, _Wlk._
  fragilis, _Dohrn._


Zophobas, _Dej._
  errans? _Dej._
  clavipes, _Wlk._
  ?solidus, _Wlk._

Pseudoblaps, _Guer._
  nigrita, _Fabr._

Tenebrio, _Linn._
  rubripes, _Hope._
  retenta, _Wlk._

Trachyscelis, _Latr._
  brunnea, _Dohrn._

Fam. OPATRIDÆ, _Shuck._

Opatrum, _Fabr._
  contrahens, _Wlk._
  bilineatum, _Wlk._
  planatum, _Wlk._
  serricolle, _Wlk._

Asida, _Latr._
  horrida, _Wlk._

Crypticus, _Latr._
  detersus, _Wlk._
  longipennis, _Wlk._

Phaleria, _Latr._
  rutipes, _Wlk._

Toxicum, _Latr._
  oppugnans, _Wlk._
  biluna, _Wlk._

Boletophagus, _Ill._
  *inorosus, _Dohrn._
  *exasperatus, _Dohrn._

Uloma, _Meg._
  scita, _Wlk._

Alphitophagus, _Steph._
  subFascia, _Wlk._

Fam. HELOPIDÆ, _Steph._

Osdara, _Wlk._
  picipes, _Wlk._

Cholipus, _Dej._
  brevicornis, _Dej._
  parabolicus, _Wlk._
  læviusculus, _Wlk._

Helops, _Fabr._
  ebeninus, _Wlk._

Camaria, _Lep. & Serv._
  amethystina, _L.&S._

Amarygmus, _Dalm._
  chrysomeloides, _Dej._

Fam. MELOIDÆ, _Woll._

Epicanta, _Dej._
  nigrifinis, _Wlk._

Cissites, _Latr._
  testaceus, _Febr._

Mylabris, _Fabr._
  humeralis, _Wlk._
  alterna, _Wlk._
  *recognita, _Wlk._

Atratocerus, _Pal., Bv._
  debilis, _Wlk._
  reversus, _Wlk._

Fam. OEDEMERIDÆ, _Steph._

Cistela, _Fabr_.
  congrua, _Wlk_.
  *falsifica, _Wlk_.

Allecula, _Fabr_.
  fusiformis, _Wlk_.
  elegans, _Wlk_.
  *flavifemur, _Wlk_.

Sora, _Wlk_.
  *marginata, _Wlk_.

Thaceona, _Wlk_.
  dimelas, _Wlk_.

Fam. MORDELLIDÆ, _Steph_.

Acosmas, _Dej_.
  languidus, _Wlk_.

Rhipiphorus, _Fabr_.
  *tropicus, _Niet_.

Mordella, _Linn._
  composita, _Wlk_.
  *detectiva, _Wlk_.

Myrmecolax, _Westir_.
  *Nietneri, _Westir_.

Fam. ANTHICIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Anthicus, _Payk_.
  *quisquilairius, _Niet_.
  *insularius, _Niet_.
  *sticticollis, _Wlk_.

Fam. CISSIDÆ, _Leach_.

Cis, _Latr_.
  contendens, _Wlk_.

Fam. TOMICIDÆ, _Shuck_.

Apate, _Fabr_.
  submedia, _Wlk_.

Bostrichus, _Geoff_.
  mutuatus, _Wlk_.
  *vertens, _Wlk_.
  *moderatus, _Wlk_..
  *testaceus, _Wlk_.
  *exiguns, _Wlk_.

Platypus, _Herbst_.
  minex, _Wlk_.
  solidus, _Wlk_.
  *latifinis, _Wlk_.

Hylurgus, _Latr_.
  determinans, _Wlk_.
  *concinnulus, _Wlk_.

Hylesinus, _Fahr_.
  curvifer, _Wlk_.
  despectus, _Wlk_.
  irresolutus, _Wlk_.


Bruchus, _Linn._
  scutellaris, _Fabr_.

Spermophagus, _Steven_.
  convolvuli, _Thunb_.
  figuratus, _Wlk_.
  Cisti, _Fabr_.
  incertus, _Wlk_.
  decretus, _Wlk_.

Dendropemon, _Schön_.
  *melancholicus, _Dohrn_.

Dendrotrogus, _Jek_.
  Dohrnii, _Jek_.
  discrepans, _Dohrn_.

Eucorynus, _Schön_.
  colligendus, _Wlk_.
  colligens, _Wlk_.

Basitropis, _Jek_.
  *disconotatus, _Jek_.

Litocerus, _Schön_.
  punctulatus, _Dohrn_.

Tropideres, _Sch_.
  punctulifer, _Dohrn_.
  tragilis, _Wlk_.

Cedus, _Waterh_.
  *cancellatus, _Dohrn_.

Xylinades, _Latr_.
  sobrinulus, _Dohrn_.
  indignus, _Wlk_.

Xenocerus, _Germ_.
  anguliterus, _Wlk_.
  revocans, _Wlk_.
  *anchoralis, _Dohrn_.

Callistocerus, _Dohrn_.
  *Nietneri, _Dohrn_.

Anthribus, _Geoff_.
  longicornis, _Fabr_.
  apicalis, _Wlk_.
  facilis, _Wlk_.

Aræcerus, _Schön_.
  coffeæ, _Fabr_.
  *insidiosus, _Fabr_.
  *musculus, _Dohrn_.
  *intangens, _Wlk_.
  *bifovea, _Wlk_.

Dipieza, _Pasc_.
  *insignis, _Dohrn_.

Apolecta, _Pasc_.
  *Nietneri, _Dohrn_.
  *musculus, _Dohrn_.

Arrhenodes, _Steven_.
  miles, _Sch_.
  pilicornis, _Sch_.
  dentirosiris, _Jek_.
  approximans, _Wlk_.
  Veneris, _Dohrn_.

Cerobates, _Schön_.
  thrasco, _Dohrn_.
  aciculatus, _Wlk_.

Ceocephalus, _Schön_.
  cavus, _Wlk_.
  reticulatus, _Fabr_.

Nemocephalus, _Latr_.
  sulcirostris, _De Haan_.
  planicollis, _Wlk_.
  spinirostris, _Wlk_.

Apoderus, _Oliv_.
  longicollis? _Fabr_.
  Tranquebaricus, _Fabr_.
  cygneus, _Fabr_.
  scitulus, _Wlk_.
  *triangularis, _Fabr_.
  *echinatus, _Sch_.

Rhynchites, _Herbst_.
  suffundens, _Wlk_.
  *restituens, _Wlk_.

Apion, _Herbst_.
  *Cingalense, _Wlk_.

Strophosomus, _Bilbug_.
  *suturalis, _Wlk_.

Piazomias, _Schön_.
  æqualis, _Wlk_.

Astycus, _Schön_.
  lateralis, _Fabr_.?
  ebeninus, _Wlk_.
  *immunis, _Wlk_.

Cleonus, _Schön_.
  inducens, _Wlk_.

Myllocerus, _Schön_.
  transmarinus, _Herbst_.?
  spurcatus, _Wlk_.
  *retrahens, _Wlk_.
  *posticus, _Wlk_.

Phyllobius, _Schön_.
  *mimicus, _Wlk_.

Episomus, _Schön_.
  pauperatus, _Fabr_.

Lixus, _Fabr_.
  nebulitascia, _Wlk_.

Aclees, _Schön_.
  cribratus, _Dej_.

Alcides, _Dalm_.
  signatus, _Boh_.
  obliquus, _Wlk_.
  transversus, _Wlk_.
  *clausus, _Wlk_.

Acienemis, _Fairm_.
  Ceylonicus, _Jek_.

Apotomorhinus, _Schön_.
  signatus, _Wlk_.
  alboater, _Wlk_.

Cryptorhynchus, _Illig_.
  ineffectus, _Wlk_.
  assimilans, _Wlk_.
  declaratus, _Wlk_.
  notabilis, _Wlk_.
  vexatus, _Wlk_.

Camptorhinus, _Schön_.?
  reversus, _Wlk_.
  *indiscretus, _Wlk_.

Desmidophorus, _Chevr_.
  hebes, _Fabr_.
  communicans, _Wlk_.
  strenuus, _Wlk_.
  *discriminans, _Wlk_.
  inexpertus, _Wlk_.
  fasciculicollis, _Wlk_.

Sipaius, _Schön_.
  granulatus, _Fabr_.
  porosus, _Wlk_.
  tinctus, _Wlk_.

Mecopus, _Dalm_.
  *Waterhousei, _Dohrn_.

Rhynchophorus, _Herbst_.
  ferrugineus, _Fabr_.
  introducens, _Wlk_.

Protocerus, _Schön_.
  molossus? _Oliv_.

Sphænophorus, _Schön_.
  glabridiscus, _Wlk_.
  exquisitus, _Wlk_.
  Debaani?, _Jek_.
  cribricollis, _Wlk_.
  ?panops, _Wlk_.

Cossonus, _Clairv_.
  *quadrimacula, _Wlk_.
  ?hebes, _Wlk_.
  ambiguus, _Sch_.?

Scitophilus, _Schön_.
  orizæ, _Linn._
  disciferus, _Wlk_.

Mecinus, Germ.
  *?relictus, _Wlk_.

Fam. PRIONIDÆ, _Leach_.

Trictenotoma, _G.R. Gray_.
  Templetoni, _Westw_.

Prionomina, _White_.
  orientalis, _Oliv_.

Acanthophorus, _Serv_.
  serraticornis, _Oliv_.

Cnemoplites, _Newm_.
  Rhesus, _Motch_.

Ægosoma, _Serv_.
  Cingalense, _White_.

Fam. CERAMBYCIDÆ, _Kirby_.

Cerambyx, _Linn._
  indutus, _Newm_.
  vernicosus, _Pasc_.
  consocius, _Pasc_.
  versutus, _Pasc_.
  nitidus, _Pasc_.
  macilentus, _Pasc_.
  venustus, _Pasc_.
  torticollis, _Dohrn_.

Sebasmia, _Pasc_.
  Templetoni, _Pasc_.

Callichroma, _Latr_.
  trogoninum, _Pasc_.
  telephoroides, _Westw_.

Homalomelas, _White_.
  gracilipes, _Parry_.
  zonatus, _Pasc_.

Colobus, _Serv_.
  Cingalensis, _White_.

Thramus, _Pasc_.
  gibbosus, _Pasc_.

Deuteromina, _Pasc_.
  mutica, _Pasc_.

Obrium, _Meg_.
  laterale, _Pasc_.
  moestum, _Pasc_.

Psilomerus, _Blanch_.
  macilentus, _Pasc_.

Clytus, _Fabr_.
  vicinus, _Hope_.
  ascendens, _Pasc_.
  Walkeri, _Pasc_.
  annularis, _Fabr_.
  *aurilinea, _Dohrn_.

Rhaphuma, _Pasc_.
  leucoscutellata, _Hope_.

Ceresium, _Newm_.
  cretatum, _White_.
  Zeylanicum, _White_.

Stromatium, _Serv_.
  barbatum, _Fabr_.
  maculatum, _White_.

Hespherophanes, _Muls_.
  simplex, _Gyll_.

Fam. LAMIDIÆ, _Kirby_.

Nyphona, _Muls_.
  cylindracea, _White_.

Mesosa, _Serv_.
  columba, _Pasc_.

Coptops, _Serv_.
  bidens, _Fabr_.

Xylorhiza, _Dej_.
  adusta, _Wied_.

Cacia, _Newm_.
  triloba, _Pasc_.

Batocera, _Blanch_.
  rubus, _Fabr_.
  ferruginea, _Blanch_.

Monohammus, _Meg_.
  tistulator, _Germ_.
  crucifer, _Fabr_.
  nivosus, _White_.
  commixtus, _Pasc_.

Cereposius, _Dup_.
  patronus, _Pasc_.

Pelargoderus, _Serv_.
  tigrinus, _Chevr_.

Olenocamptus, _Chevr_.
  bilobus, _Fabr_.

Praonetha, _Dej_.
  annulata, _Chevr_.
  posticalis, _Pasc_.

Apomecyna, _Serv_.
  histrio, _Fabr_., var.?

Ropica, _Pasc_.
  præusta, _Pasc_.

Hathlia, _Serv_.
  procera, _Pasc_.

Iolea, _Pasc_.
  proxima, _Pasc_.
  histrio, _Pasc_.

Glenea, _Newm_.
  sulphurella, _White_.
  commissa, _Pasc_.
  scapitera, _Pasc_.
  vexator, _Pasc_.

Stibara, _Hope_.
  nigricornis, _Fabr_.

Fam. HISPIDÆ, _Kirby_.

Oncocephala, _Dohrn_.
  deltoides, _Dohrn_.

Leptispa, _Baly_.
  pygmæa, _Baly_.

Amplistea, _Baly_.
  Döhrnii, _Baly_.

Estigmena, _Hope_.
  Chinensis, _Hope_.

Hispa, _Linn._
  hystrix, _Fabr_.
  erinacea, _Fabr_.
  nigrina, _Dohrn_.
  *Walkeri, _Baly_.

Platypria, _Guér_.
   echidna, _Guér_.

Fam. CASSIDIDÆ, _Westw_.

Episticia, _Boh_.
  matronula, _Boh_.

Hoplionota, _Hope_.
  tetraspilota, _Baly_.
  rubromarginata, _Boh_.
  horrifica, _Boh_.

Aspidomorpha, _Hope_.
  St. crucis, _Fabr_.
  miliaris, _Fabr_.
  pallidimarginata, _Baly_.
  dorsata, _Fabr_.
  calligera, _Boh_.
  micans, _Fabr_.

Cassida, _Linn._
  clathrata, _Fabr_.
  timefacta, _Boh_.
  farinosa, _Boh_.

Laccoptera, _Boh_.
  14-notata, _Boh_.

Coptcycla, _Chevr_.
  sex-notata, _Fabr_.
  13-signata, _Boh_.
  13-notata, _Boh_.
  ornata, _Fabr_.
  Ceylonica, _Boh_.
  Balyi, _Boh_.
  trivittata, _Fabr_.
  15-punctuata, _Boh_.
  catenata, _Dej_.

Fam. SAGRIDÆ, _Kirby_.

Sagra, _Fabr_.
  nigrita, _Oliv_.

Fam. DONACIDÆ, _Lacord_.

Donacia, _Fabr_.
  Delesserti, _Guér_.

Coptocephala, _Chev_.
  Templetoni, _Baly_.

Fam. EUMOLFIDÆ, _Baly_.

Corynodes, _Hope_.
  cyaneus, _Hope_.
  æneus, _Baly_.

Glyptoscelis, _Chevr_.
  Templetoni, _Baly_.
  pyrospilotus, _Baly_.
  micans, _Baly_.
  cupreus, _Baly_.

Eumolpus, _Fabr_.
  lemoides, _Wlk_.


Cryptocephalus, _Geoff_.
  sex-punctatus, _Fabr_.
  Walkeri, _Baly_.

Diapromorpha, _Lac_.
  Turcica, _Fabr_.


Chalcolampa, _Baly_.
  Templetoni, _Baly_.

Lina, _Meg_.
  convexa, _Baly_.

Chrysomela, _Linn._
  Templetoni, _Baly_.

Fam. GALERUCIDÆ, _Steph_.

Galeruca, _Geoff_.
  *pectinata, _Dohrn_.

Graphodera, _Chevr_.
  cyanea, _Fabr_.

Monolepta, _Chevr_.
  pulchella, _Baly_.

Thyamis, _Steph_.
  Ceylonicus, _Baly_.


Epilachna, _Chevr_.
  28-punctata, _Fabr_.
  Delessortii, _Guér_.
  pubescens, _Hope_.
  innuba, _Oliv_.

Coccinella, _Linn._
  tricincta, _Fabr_.
  *repanda, _Muls_.
  tenuilinea, _Wlk_.
  rejiciens, _Wlk_.
  interrumpens, _Wlk_.
  quinqueplaga, _Wlk_.
  simplex, _Wlk_.
  antica, _Wlk_.
  flaviceps, _Wlk_.

Neda, _Muls_.
  tricolor, _Fabr_.

Coelophora, _Muls_.
  9-maculata, _Fabr_.?

Chilocorus, _Leach_.
  opponens, _Wlk_.

Scymnus, _Kug_.
  varibilis, _Wlk_.

Fam. EROTYLIDÆ, _Leach_.

Fatua, _Dej_.
  Nepalensis, _Hope_.

Triplax, _Payk_.
  decorus, _Wlk_.

Tritoma, _Fabr_.
  *bilactes, _Wlk_.
  *preposita, _Wlk_.

Ischyrus, _Cherz_.
  grandis, _Fabr_.

Fam. ENDOMYCHIDÆ, _Leach_.

Eugonius, _Gerst_.
  annularis, _Gerst_.
  lunulatus, _Gerst_.

Eumorphus, _Weber_.
  pulcripes, _Gerst_.
  *tener, _Dohrn_.

Stenotarsus, _Perty_.
  Nietneri, _Gerst_.
  *castaneus, _Gerst_.
  *tormentosus, _Gerst_.
  *vallatus, _Gerst_.

Lycoperdina, _Latr_.
  glabrata, _Wlk_.

Ancylopus, _Gerst_.
  melanocephalus, _Oliv_.

Saula, _Gerst_.
  *nigripes, _Gerst_.
  *ferruginea, _Gerst_.

Mycerina, _Gerst_.
  castanea, _Gerst_.

Order ORTHOPTERA, _Linn._

Fam. FORFICULIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Forficula, _Linn._

Fam. BLATTIDÆ, _Steph_.

Panesthia, _Serv_.
  Javanica, _Serv_.
  plagiata, _Wlk_.

Polyxosteria, _Burm_.

Corydia, _Serv_.
  Petiveriana, _Linn._

Fam. MANTIDÆ, _Leach_.

Empusa, _Illig_.
  gongylodes, _Linn._

Harpax, _Serv_.
  signiter, _Wlk_.

Schizocephala, _Serv_.
  bicornis, _Linn._

Mantis, _Linn._
  superstitiosa, _Fabr_.
  aridifolia, _Stoll_.
  extensicollis, ? _Serv_.

Fam. PHASMIDÆ, _Serv_.

Acrophylla, _Gray_.
  systropedon, _Westw_.

Phasma, _Licht_.
  sordidium, _DeHaan_.

Phyllium, _Illig_.
 siccifolium, _Linn._

Fam. GRYLLIDÆ, _Steph_.

Acheta, _Linn._
  bimaculata, _Deg_.
  supplicans, _Wlk_.
  æqualis, _Wlk_.
  confirmata, _Wlk_.

Platydactylus, _Brull_.
  crassipes, _Wlk_.

Steirodon, _Serv_.
  lanceolatum, _Wlk_.

Phyllophora, _Thunb_.
  falsifolia, _Wlk_.

Acanthodis, _Serv_.
  rugosa, _Wlk_.

Phaneroptera, _Serv_.
  attenuata, _Wlk_.

Phymateus, _Thunb_.
  miliaris, _Linn._

Truxalis, _Linn._
  exaltata, _Wlk_.
  porrecta, _Wlk_.

Acridium, _Geoffr_.
  extensum, _Wlk_.
  deponens, _Wlk_.
  rutitibia, _Wlk_.
  cinctifemur, _Wlk_.
  respondens, _Wlk_.
  nigrifascia, _Wlk_.

Order PHYSAPODA, _Dum_.

Thrips, _Linn._
  stenomeras, _Wlk_.

Order NEUROPTERA, _Linn._


Mormonia, _Curt_.
  *ursina, _Hagen_.

Fam. LEPTOCERIDÆ, _Leach_.

Macronema, _Pict_.
   multifarium, _Wlk_.
  *splendidum, _Hagen_.
  *nebulosum, _Hagen_.
  *obliquum, _Hagen_.
  *Ceylanicum, _Niet_.
  *annulicorne, _Niet_.

Molanna, _Curt_.
  mixta, _Hagen_.

Setodes, _Ramb_.
  *Iris, _Hagen_.
  *Ino, _Hagen_.

Fam. PSYCHOMIDÆ, _Curt_.

Chimarra, _Leach_.
  *aurieps, _Hagen_.
  *tunesta, _Hagen_.
  *sepulcralis, _Hagen_.


Hydropsyche, _Pict_.
  *Taprobanes, _Hagen_.
  *mitis, _Hagen_.


Rhyacophila, _Pict_.
  *castanea, _Hagen_.

Fam. PERLIDÆ, _Leach_.

Perla, _Geoffr_.
  angulata, _Wlk_.
  *testacea, _Hagen_.
  *limosa, _Hagen_.

Fam. SILIDÆ, _Westw_.

Dilar, _Ramb_.
  *Nietneri, _Hagen_.

Fam. HEMEROBIDÆ, _Leach_.

Mantispa, _Illig_.
  *Indica, _Westw_.
  mutata, _Wlk_.

Chrysopa, _Leach_.
  invaria, _Wlk_.
  *tropica, _Hagen_.
  auritera, _Wlk_.
  *punctata, _Hagen_.

Micromerus, _Ramb_.
  *linearis, _Hagen_.
  *australis, _Hagen_.

Hemerobius, _Linn._
  *frontalis, _Hagen_.

Coniopteryx, _Hal_.
  *cerata, _Hagen_.


Palpares, _Ramb_.
  contrarius, _Wlk_.

Acanthoclisis, _Ramb_.
  *--n. s. _Hagen_.
  *molestus, _Wlk_.

Myrmeleon, _Linn._
  gravis, _Wlk_.
  nirus, _Wlk_.
  barbarus, _Wlk_.

Ascalaphus, _Fabr_.
  nugax, _Wlk_.
  incusans, _Wlk_.
  *cervinus, _Niet_.

Fam. PSOCIDÆ, _Leach_.

Psocus, _Latr_.
  *Taprobanes, _Hagen_.
  *oblitus, _Hagen_.
  *consitus, _Hagen_.
  *trimaculatus, _Hagen_.
  *obtusus, _Hagen_.
  *elongatus, _Hagen_.
  *chloroticus, _Hagen_.
  *aridus, _Hagen_.
  *coleoptratus, _Hagen_.
  *dolabratus, _Hagen_.
  *infelix, _Hagen_.

Fam. TERMITIDÆ, _Leach_.

Termes, _Linn._
  Taprobanes, _Wlk_.
  fatalis, _Koen_.
  monocerous, _Koen_.
  *umbilicatus, _Hagen_.
  *n. s., _Jouv_.
  *n. s., _Jouv_.

Fam. EMBIDÆ, _Hagen_.

Oligotoma, _Westw_.
  *Saundersii, _Westw_.

Fam. EPHEMERIDÆ, _Leach_.

Bætis, _Leach_.
  Taprobanes, _Wlk_.

Potamanthus, _Pict_.
  *fasciatus, _Hagen_.
  *annulatus, _Hagen_.
  *femoralis, _Hagen_.

Cloe, _Burm_.
  *tristis, _Hagen_.
  *consueta, _Hagen_.
  *solida, _Hagen_.
  *sigmata, _Hagen_.
  *marginalis, _Hagen_.

Cænis, _Steph_.
  perpusida, _Wlk_.


Calopteryx, _Leach_.
  Chinensis, _Linn._

Euphoea, _Selys_.
  splendens, _Hagen_.

Micromerus, _Ramb_.
   lineatus, _Burm_.

Trichoenemys, _Selys_.
  *serapica, _Hagen_.

Lestes, _Leach_.
  *elata, _Hagen_.
  *gracilis, _Hagen_.

Agrion, _Fabr_.
  *Coromandelianum, _F._
  *tenax, _Hagen_.
  *hilare, _Hagen_.
  *velare, _Hagen_.
  *delicatum, _Hagen_.

Gynacantha, _Ramb_.
  subinterrupta, _Ramb_.

Epophthalmia, _Burm_.
  vittata, _Burm_.

Zyxomma, _Ramb_.
  petiolatum, _Ramb_.

Acisoma, _Ramb_.
  panorpoides, _Ramb_.

Libellula, _Linn._
  Marcia, _Drury_.
  Tillarga, _Fabr_.
  variegata, _Linn._
  flavescens, _Fabr_.
  Sabina, _Drury_.
  viridula, _Pal. Beauv_.
  congener, _Ramb_.
  soror, _Ramb_.
  Aurora, _Burm_.
  violacea, _Niet_.
  perla, _Hagen_.
  sanguinea, _Burm_.
  trivialis, _Ramb_.
  contaminata, _Fabr_.
  equestris, _Fabr_.
  nebulosa, _Fabr_.

Order HYMENOPTERA, _Linn._

Fam. FORMICIDÆ, _Leach_.

Formica, _Linn._
  smaragdina, _Fabr_.
  mitis, _Smith_.
  *Taprobane, _Smith_.
  *variegata, _Smith_.
  *exercita, _Wlk_.
  *exundans, _Wlk_.
  *meritans, _Wlk_.
  *latebrosa, _Wlk_.
  *pangens, _Wlk_.
  *ingruens, _Wlk_.
  *detorquens, _Wlk_.
  *diffidens, _Wlk_.
  *obscurans, _Wlk_.
  *indeflexa, _Wlk_.
  consultans, _Wlk_.

Polyrhachis, _Smith_.
  *illandatus, _Wlk_.

Fam. PONERIDÆ, _Smith_.

Odontomachus, _Latr_.
  simillimus, _Smith_.

Typhlopone, _Westw_.
  Curtisii, _Shuck_.

Myrmica, _Latr_.
  basalis, _Smith_.
  contigua, _Smith_.
  glyciphila, _Smith_.
  *consternens, _Wlk_.

Crematogaster, _Lund_.
  *pellens, _Wlk_.
  *deponens, _Wlk_.
  *forticulus, _Wlk_.

Pseudomyrma, _Guré_.
  *atrata, _Smith_.
  allaborans, _Wlk_.

Atta, _St. Farg_.
  didita, _Wlk_.

Pheidole, _Westw_.
  Janus, _Smith_.
  *Taprobanæ, _Smith_.
  *rugosa, _Smith_.

Meranopius, _Smith_.
  *dimicans, _Wlk_.

Cataulacus, _Smith_.
  Taprobanæ, _Smith_.

Fam. MUTILLIDÆ, _Leach_.

Mutilla, _Linn._
  *Sibylla, _Smith_.

Tiphia, _Fabr_.
  *decrescens, _Wlk_.

Fam. EUMENIDÆ, _Westw_.

Odynerus, _Latr_.
  *tinctipennis, _Wlk_.
  *intendens, _Wlk_.
  *intendens, _Wlk_.

Scolia, _Fabr_.
  auricollis, _St. Farg_.

Fam. CRABRONIDÆ, _Leach_.

Philanthus, _Fabr_.
  basalis, _Smith_.

Stigmus, _Jur_.
  *congruus, _Wilk_.

Fam. SPHEGIDÆ, _Steph_.

Ammophila, _Kirby_.
  atripes, _Smith_.

Pelopæus, _Latr_.
  spinolæ, _St. Farg_.

Sphex, _Fabr_.
  ferruginea, _St. Farg_.

Ampulex, _Jur_.
  compressa, _Fabr_.

Fam. LARRIDÆ, _Steph_.

Larrada, _Smith_.
  *extensa, _Wlk_.

Fam. POMPILIDÆ, _Leach_.

Pompilus, _Fabr_.
  analis, _Fabr_.

Fam. APIDÆ, _Leach_.

Andrena, _Fabr_.
  *exagens, _Wlk_.

Nomia, _Latr_.
  rustica, _Westw_.
  *vincta, _Wlk_.

Allodaps, _Smith_.
  *marginata, _Smith_.

Ceratina, _Latr_.
  viridis, _Guér_.
  picta, _Smith_.
  *similliana, _Smith_.

Coelioxys, _Latr_.
  capitata, _Smith_.

Croeisa, _Jur_.
  *ramosa, _St. Farg_.

Stelis, _Panz_.
  carbonaria, _Smith_.

Anthophora, _Latr_.
  zonarta, _Smith_.

Xylocopa, _Latr_.
  tenuiscatia, _Westw_.
  latipes, _Drury_.

Apis, _Linn._
  Indica, _Smith_.

Trigona, _Jur_.
  iridipennis, _Smith_.
  *præterita, _Wlk_.

Fam. CHRYSIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Stilbum, _Spin_.
  splendidum, _Dahl_.

Fam. DORYLIDÆ, _Shuck_.

Enictus, _Shuck_.
  porizonoides, _Wlk_.

Fam. ICHNEUONIDÆ, _Leach_.

Cryptus, _Fabr_.
  *onustus, _Wlk_.

Hemiteles?, _Grav_.
  *varius, _Wlk_.

Porizon, _Fabr_.
  *dominans, _Wlk_.

Pimpla, _Fabr_.
  albopicta, _Wlk_.

Fam. BRACONIDÆ, _Hal_.

Microgaster, _Latr_.
  *recusans, _Wlk_.
  *significans, _Wlk_.
  *subducens, _Wlk_.
  *detracta, _Wlk_.

Spathius, _Nees_.
  *bisignatus, _Wlk_.
  *signipennis, _Wlk_.

Heratemis, _Wlk_.
  *tilosa, _Wlk_.

Nebartha, _Wlk_.
  *macropoides, _Wlk_.

Psyttalia, _Wlk_.
  *testacea, _Wlk_.

Fam. CHALCIDIÆ, _Spin_.

Chalcis, _Fabr_.
  *dividens, _Wlk_.
  *pandens, _Wlk_.

Halticella, _Spin_.
  *rufimanus, _Wlk_.
  *inticiens, _Wlk_.

Dirrhinus, _Dalm_.
  *anthracia, _Wlk_.

Eurytoma, _Ill_.
  *contraria, _Wlk_.
  indefensa, _Wlk_.

Eucharis, _Latr_.
  *convergens, _Wlk_.
  *deprivata, _Wlk_.

Pteromalus, _Swed_.
  *magniceps, _Wlk_.

Encyrtus, _Latr_.
  *obstructus, _Wlk_.

Fam. DIAPRIDÆ, _Hal_.

Diapria, _Latr_.
  apicalis, _Wlk_.

Order LEPIDOPTERA, _Linn._

Fam. PAPILIONIDÆ, _Leach_.

Ornithoptera, _Boisd_.
  Darsius, _G.R. Gray_.

Papilio, _Linn._
  Diphilus, _Esp_.
  Jophon, _G.R. Gray_.
  Hector, _Linn._
  Romulus, _Cram_.
  Polymnestor, _Cram_.
  Crino, _Fabr_.
  Helenus, _Linn._
  Pammon, _Linn._
  Polytes, _Linn._
  Erithonius, _Cram_.
  Antipathis, _Cram_.
  Agamemnon, _Linn._
  Eurypilus, _Linn._
  Bathycles, _Zinck-Som_.
  Sarpedon, _Linn._
  dissimilis, _Linn._

Pontia, _Fabr_.
  Nina, _Fabr_.

Pleris, _Schr_.
  Eucharis, _Drury_.
  Coronis, _Cram_.
  Epicharis, _Godt_.
  Nama, _Doubl_.
  Remba, _Moore_.
  Mesentina, _Godt_.
  Severina, _Cram_.
  Namouna, _Doubl_.
  Phryne, _Fabr_.
  Paulina, _Godt_.
  Thestylis, _Doubl_.

Callosune, _Doubl_.
  Eucharis, _Fabr_.
  Danaë, _Fabr_.
  Etrida, _Boisd_.

Idmais, _Boisd_.
  Calais, _Cram_.

Thestias, _Boisd_.
  Marianne, _Cram_.
  Pirene, _Linn._

Hebomoia, _Hübn_.
  Glaucippe, _Linn._

Eronia, _Hübn_.
  Valeria, _Cram_.

Callidryas, _Boisd_.
  Philippina, _Boisd_.
  Pyranthe, _Linn._
  Hilaria, _Cram_.
  Alcmeone, _Cram_.
  Thisorella, _Boisd_.

Terias, _Swain_.
  Drona, _Horsf_.
  Hecabe, _Linn._

Fam. NYMPHALIDÆ, _Swain_.

Euploea, _Fabr_.
  Prothoe, _Godt_.
  Core, _Cram_.
  Alcathoë, _Godt_.

Danais, _Latr_.
  Chrysippus, _Linn._
  Plexippus, _Linn._
  Aglæ, _Cram_.
  Melissa, _Cram_.
  Limniacæ, _Cram_.
  Juventa, _Cram_.

Hestia, _Hübn_.
  Jasonia, _Westw_.

Telchinia, _Hübn_.
  violæ, _Fabr_.

Cethosia, _Fabr_.
  Cyane, _Fabr_.

Messarus, _Doubl_.
  Erymanthis, _Drury_.

Atella, _Doubl_.
  Phalanta, _Drury_.

Argychis, _Fabr_.
  Niphe, _Linn._
  Clagia, _Godt_.

Ergolis, _Boisd_.
  Taprobana, _West_.

Vanessa, _Fabr_.
  Charonia, _Drury_.

Libythea, _Fabr_.
  Medhavina, _Wlk_.
  Pushcara, _Wlk_.

Pyrameis, _Hübn_.
  Charonia, _Drury_.
  Cardui, _Linn._
  Callirhoë, _Hübn_.

Junonia, _Hübn_.
  Limomas, _Linn._
  Oenone, _Linn._
  Orithia, _Linn._
  Laomedia, _Linn._
  Asterie, _Linn._

Precis, _Hübn_.
  Iphita, _Cram_.

Cynthia, _Fabr_.
  Arsinoe, _Cram_.

Parthenos, _Hübn_.
  Gambrisius, _Fabr_.

Limenitis, _Fabr_.
  Calidusa, _Moore_.

Neptis, _Fabr_.
  Heliodore, _Fabr_.
  Columelia, _Cram_.
  aceris, _Fabr_.
  Jumbah, _Moore_.
  Hordonia, _Stoll_.

Diadema, _Boisd_.
  Auge, _Cram_.
  Bolina, _Linn._

Symphædra, _Hubn_.
  Thyelia, _Fabr_.

Adolias, _Boisd_.
  Evelina, _Stoll_.
  Lutentina, _Fabr_.
  Vasanta, _Moore_.
  Garuda, _Moore_.

Nymphalis, _Latr_.
  Psaphon, _Westw_.
  Bernardus, _Fabr_.
  Athamas, _Cram_.
  Fabius, _Fabr_.
  Katlima, _Doubl_.
  Philarchus, _Westw_.
  Melanitis, _Fabr_.
  Banksia, _Fabr_.
  Leda, _Linn._
  Casiphone, _G.R. Gray_.
  undularis, _Boisd_.

Ypththima, _Hübn_.
  Lysandra, _Cram_.
  Parthalis, _Wlk_.

Cyllo, _Boisd_.
  Gorya, _Wlk_.
  Cathæna, _Wlk_.
  Embolima, _Wlk_.
  Neilgherriensis, _Guér_.
  Purimata, _WLk_.
  Pushpamitra, _Wlk_.

Mycalesis, _Hübn_.
  Patnia, _Moore_.
  *Gamaliba, _Wlk_.
  Dosaron, _Wlk_.
  Samba, _Moore_.

Cænonympha, _Hübn_.
  Euaspla, _Wlk_.

Emesis, _Fabr_.
  Echerius, _Stoll_.

Fam. LYCÆNIDÆ, _Leach_.

Anops, _Boisd_.
  Bulis, _Boisd_.
  Thetys, _Drury_.

Loxura, _Horsf_.
  Atymnus, _Cram_.

Myrina, _Godt_.
  Schumous, _Doubled_.
  Triopas, _Cram_.

Amblypodia, _Horsf_.
  Longinus, _Fabr_.
  Narada, _Horsf_.
  pseudocentaurus, _Do_.
  quercetorum, _Boisd_.

Aphnæus, _Hübn_.
  Pindarus, _Fabr_.
  Etolus, _Cram_.
  Hephæstos, _Doubled_.
  Crotus, _Doubled_.

Dipsas, _Doubled_.
  chrysomallus, _Hübn_.
  Isocrates, _Fabr_.

Lycæna, _Fabr_.
  Alexis, _Stoll_.
  Boetica, _Linn._
  Chejus, _Horsf_.
  Rosimon, _Fabr_.
  Theophrasius, _Fabr_.
  Pluto, _Fabr_.
  Parana, _Horsf_.
  Nyseus, _Guér_.
  Ethion, _Basd_.
  Celeno, _Cram_.
  Kandarpa, _Horsf_.
  Elpis, _Godt_.
  Chimonas, _Wlk_.
  Gandara, _Wlk_.
  Chorienis, _Wlk_.
  Geria, _Wlk_.
  Doanas, _Wlk_.
  Sunya, _Wlk_.
  Audhra, _Wlk_.

Polyommatus, _Latr_.
  Akasa, _Horsf_.
  Puspa, _Horsf_.
  Laius, _Cram_.
  Ethion, _Boisd_.
  Cataigara, _Wlk_.
  Gorgippia, _Wlk_.

Lucia, _Westw_.
  Epius, _Westw_.

Pithecops, _Horsf_.
  Hylax, _Fabr_.

Fam. HESPERIDÆ, _Steph_.

Goniloba, _Westw_.
  Iapetus, _Cram_.

Pyrgus, _Hübn_.
  Superna, _Moore_.
  Danna, _Moore_.
  Genta, _Wlk_.
  Sydrus, _Wlk_.

Nisoniades, _Hübn_.
  Diocles, _Boisd_.
  Salsala, _Moore_.
  Toides, _Wlk_.

Pamphila, _Fabr_.
  Angias, _Linn._

Achylodes, _Hübn_.
  Temata, _Wlk_.

Hesperia, _Fabr_.
  Indrani, _Moore_.
  Chaya, _Moore_.
  Cinnara, _Moore_.
  gremius, _Latr_.
  Ceodochates, _Wlk_.
  Tiagara, _Wlk_.
  Cetiaris, _Wlk_.
  Sigala, _Wlk_.

Fam. SPHINGIDÆ, _Leach_.

Sesia, _Fabr_.
  Hylas, _Linn._

Macroglossa, _Ochs_.
  Stenatarum, _Linn._
  gyrans, _Borsd_.
  Corythus, _Borsd_.
  divergens, _Wlk_.

Calymina, _Borsd_.
  Panopus, _Cram_.

Choerocampa, _Dup_.
  Thyslia, _Linn._
  Nyssus, _Drury_.
  Clotho, _Drury_.
  Oldenlandiæ, _Fabr_.
  Lycetus, _Cram_.
  Silhetensis, _Boisd_.

Pergesa, _Wlk_.
  Acteus, _Cram_.

Panacia, _Wlk_.
  vigil, _Guér_.

Daphnis, _Hübn_.
  Nern, _Linn._

Zonitia, _Boisd_.
  Morpheus, _Cram_.

Macrosila, _Boisd_.
  ordiqua, _Wlk_.
  discistriga, _Wlk_.

Sphinx, _Linn._
  convolvuli, _Linn._

Acherontia, _Ochs_.
  Satanas, _Boisd_.

Smerintinis, _Latr_.
  Dryas, _Boisd_.

Fam. CASTNIIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Eusemia, _Dalm_.
  beliatrix, _Westw_.

Ægocera, _Latr_.
  Venuia, _Cram_.
  bimacula, _Wlk_.

Fam. ZYGÆNIDÆ, _Leach_.

Syntomis, _Ochs_.
  Schoenherri, _Boisd_.
  Creusa, _Linn._
  Imaoa, _Cram_.

Glaucopis, _Fabr_.
  subaurata, _Wlk_.

Enchiomia, _Hübn_.
  Polymena, _Cram_.
  diminuta, _Wlk_.

Fam. LITHOSIIDÆ, _Steph_.

Scaptesyle, _Wlk_.
  bicolor, _Wlk_.

Nyctemera, _Hübn_.
  lacticima, _Cram_.
  latistriga, _Wlk_.
  Coleta, _Cram_.

Euschema, _Hübn_.
  subrepleta, _Wlk_.
  transversa, _Wlk_.
  vilis, _Wlk_.

Chalcosia, _Hübn_.
  Tiberina, _Cram_.
  venosa, _Anon_.

Eterusia, _Hope_.
  Ædea, _Linn._

Trypanophora, _Koll_.
  Taprobanes, _Wlk_.

Heteropan, _Wlk_.
  scintillans, _Wlk_.

Hypsa, _Hübn_.
  plana, _Wlk_.
  caricæ, _Fabr_.
  ficus, _Fabr_.

Vitessa, _Moor_.
  Zeinire, _Cram_.

Lithosia, _Fabr_.
  autica, _Wlk_.
  brevipennis, _Wlk_.

Setina, _Schr_.
  semitascia, _Wlk_.
  solita, _Wlk_.

Doliche, _Wlk_.
  hilaris, _Wlk_.

Pitane, _Wlk_.
  conserta, _Wlk_.

Æmene, _Wlk_.
  Taprobanes, _Wlk_.

Dirade, _Wlk_.
  attacoides, _Wlk_.

Cyllene, _Wlk_.
  transversa, _Wlk_.
  *spoliata, _Wlk_.

Bizone, _Wlk_.
  subornata, _Wlk_.
  peregrina, _Wlk_.

Delopeia, _Steph_.
  pulcella, _Linn._
  Astrea, _Drury_.
  Argus, _Kodar_.

Fam. ARCHTIIDÆ, _Leach_.

Alope, _Wlk_.
  ocellitera, _Wlk_.
  Sangalida, _Cram_.

Tinolius, _Wlk_.
  eburneigutta, _Wlk_.

Creatonotos, _Hübn_.
  interrupta, _Linn._
  emitteus, _Wlk_.

Acmonia, _Wlk_.
  Etnosioides, _Wlk_.

Spilosoma, _Steph_.
  subtascia, _Wlk_.

Cycnia, _Hübn_.
  rubida, _Wlk_.
  sparsigutta, _Wlk_.

Antheua, _Wlk_.
  discalis, _Wlk_.

Atoa, _Wlk_.
  lactmea, _Cram_.
  candidula, _Wlk_.
  erisa, _Wlk_.

Amerila, _Wlk_.
  Melipithus, _Wlk_.

Ammotho, _Wlk_.
  cunionotatus, _Wlk_.

Fam. LIPARIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Artaxa, _Wlk_.
  guttata, _Wlk_.
  *varians, _Wlk_.
  atomaria, _Wlk_.

Acyphas, _Wlk_.
  viridescens, _Wlk_.

Lacida, _Wlk_.
  rotundata, _Wlk_.
  antica, _Wlk_.
  subnotata, _Wlk_.
  complens, _Wlk_.
  promittens, _Wlk_.
  strigulitera, _Wlk_.

Amsacta? _Wlk_.
  tenebrosa, _Wlk_.

Antipha, _Wlk_.
  costalis, _Wlk_.

Anaxila, _Wlk_.
  norata, _Wlk_.

Procodeca, _Wlk_.
  angulifera, _Wlk_.

Redoa, _Wlk_.
  submarginata, _Wlk_.

Euproctis, _Hübn_.
  virguncula, _Wlk_.
  bimaculata, _Wlk_.
  lunata, _Wlk_.
  tinctifera, _Wlk_.

Cispia, _Wlk_.
  plagiata, _Wlk_.

Dasychira, _Hübn_.
  pudibunda, _Linn._

Lymantria, _Hühn_.
  grandis, _Wlk_.
  marginata, _Wlk_.

Enome, _Wlk_.
  ampla, _Wlk_.

Dreata, _Wlk_.
  plumipes, _Wlk_.
  geminata, _Wlk_.
  mutans, _Wlk_.
  mollifera, _Wlk_.

Pandala, _Wlk_.
  dolosa, _Wlk_.

Charnidas, _Wlk_.
  junctifera, _Wlk_.

Fam. PSYCHIDÆ, _Bru_.

Psyche, _Schr_.
  Doubledaii, _Westw_.

Metisa, _Wlk_.
  plana, _Wlk_.

Eumeta, _Wlk_.
  Cramerii, _Westw_.
  Templetonii, _Westw_.

Cryptothelea, _Templ_.
  consorta, _Templ_.


Cerura, _Schr_.
  liturata, _Wlk_.

Stauropus, _Germ_.
  alternans, _Wlk_.

Nioda, _Wlk_.
  fusiformis, _Wlk_.
  transversa, _Wlk_.

Rilia, _Wlk_.
  lanceolata, _Wlk_.
  basivitta, _Wlk_.

Ptilomacra, _Wlk_.
  juvenis, _Wlk_.

Elavia, _Wlk_.
  metaphæa, _Wlk_.

Notodonta, _Ochs_.
  ejecta, _Wlk_.

Ichthyura, _Hübn_.
  restituens, _Wlk_.


Scopelodes, _Westw_.
  unicolor, _Westw_.

Messata, _Wlk_.
  rubiginosa, _Wlk_.

Miresa, _Wlk_.
  argeutifera, _Wlk_.
  aperiens, _Wlks_.

Nyssia, _Herr Sch_.
  læta, _Westw_.

Neæra, _Herr. Sch_.
  graciosa, _Westw_.

Narosa, _Wlk_.
  conspersa, _Wlk_.

Naprepa, _Wlk_.
  varians, _Wlk_.


Oreta, _Wlk_.
  suffusa, _Wlk_.
  extensa, _Wlk_.

Arna, _Wlk_.
  apicaus, _Wlk_.

Ganisa, _Wlk_.
  postica, _Wlk_.


Attacus, _Linn._
  Atlas, _Linn._
  lunula, _Anon_.

Antheræa, _Hübn_.
  Mylitta, _Drury_.
  Assama, _Westw_.

Tropæa, _Hübn_.
  Selene, _Hübn_.

Fam. BOMBYCIDÆ, _Steph_.

Trabala, _Wlk_.
  basalis, _Wlk_.
  prasina, _Wlk_.

Lasiocampa, _Schr_.
  trifascia, _Wlk_.

Megasoma, _Boisd_.
  venustum, _Wlk_.

Lebeda, _Wlk_.
  repanda, _Wlk_.
  plagiata, _Wlk_.
  bimaculata, _Wlk_.
  scriptiplaga, _Wlk_.

Fam. COSSIDÆ, _Newm_.

Cossus, _Fabr_.
  quadrinotatus, _Wlk_.

Zeuzera, _Latr_.
  leuconota, _Steph_.
  pusilla, _Wlk_.

Fam. HEPIALIDÆ, _Steph_.

Phassus, _Steph_.
  signifer, _Wlk_.

Fam. CYMATOPHORIDÆ, _Herr. Sch_.

Thyatira, _Ochs_.
  repugnans, _Wlk_.


Bryophila, _Treit_.
  semipars, _Wlk_.

Fam. BOMBYGOIDÆ, _Guén_.

Diphtera, _Ochs_.
  deceptura, _Wlk_.

Fam. LEUCANIDÆ, _Guén_.

Leucania, _Ochs_.
  confusa, _Wlk_.
  exempta, _Wlk_.
  interens, _Wlk_.
  collecta, _Wlk_.

Brada, _Wlk_.
  truncata, _Wlk_.

Crambopsis, _Wlk_.
  excludens, _Wlk_.

Fam. GLOTTULIDÆ, _Guén_.

Polytela, _Guén_.
  gloriosa, _Fabr_.

Glottula, _Guén_.
  Dominic, _Cram_.

Chasmma, _Wlk_.
  pavo, _Wlk_.
  cygnus, _Wlk_.

Fam. APAMIDÆ, _Guén_.

Laphygma, _Guér_.
  obstans, _Wlk_.
  trajiciens, _Wlk_.

Prodenia, _Guén_.
  retina, _Friv_.
  glaucistriga, _Wlk_.
  apertura, _Wlk_.

Calogramma, _Wlk_.
  festiva, _Don_.

Heliophobus, _Boisd_.
  discrepans, _Wlk_.

Hydræcia, _Guér_.
  lampadifera, _Wlk_.

Apamea, _Ochs_.
  undecilia, _Wlk_.

Celæna, _Steph_.
  serva, _Wlk_.


Amyna, _Guér_.
  selenampha, _Guér_.

Fam. NOCTUIDÆ, _Guér_.

Agrotis, _Ochs_.
  aristifera, _Guér_.
  congrua, _Wlk_.
  punctipes, _Wlk_.
  mundata, _Wlk_.
  transducta, _Wlk_.
  plagiata, _Wlk_.
  plagifera, _Wlk_.

Fam. HADENIDÆ, _Guén_.

Eurois, _Hübn_.
  auriplena, _Wlk_.
  inclusa, _Wlk_.

Epiceia, _Wlk_.
  subsignata, _Wlk_.

Hadena, _Treit_.
  subcurva, _Wlk_.
  postica, _Wlk_.
  retrahens, _Wlk_.
  confundens, _Wlk_.
  congressa, _Wlk_.
  ruptistriga, _Wlk_.

Ansa, _Wlk_.
  filipalpis, _Wlk_.

Fam. XYLINIDÆ, _Guén._

Ragada, _Wlk_.
  pyrorchroma, _Wlk._

Cryassa, _Wlk_.
  bifacies, _Wlk_.

Egelista, _Wlk_.
 rudivitta, _Wlk_.

Xylina, _Ochs_.
  deflexa, _Wlk_.
  inchoans, _Wlk_.

Fam. HELIOTHIDÆ, _Guén_.

Heliothis, _Ochs_.
  armigera, _Hübn_.

Fam. HEMEROSIDÆ, _Guén_.

Ariola, _Wlk_.
  coelisigna, _Wlk_.
  dilectissima, _Wlk_.
  saturata, _Wlk_.

Fam. ACONTIDÆ, _Guén_.

Xanthodes, _Guén_.
  intersepta, _Guén_.

Acontia, _Ochs_.
  tropica, _Guén_.
  olivacea, _Wlk_.
  fasciculosa, _Wlk_.
  signifera, _Wlk_.
  turpis, _Wlk_.
  mianöides, _Wlk_.
  approximans, _Wlk_.
  divulsa, _Wlk_.
  *egens, _Wlk_.
  plenicosta, _Wlk_.
  determinata, _Wlk_.
  hypætroides, _Wlk_.

Chlumetia, _Wlk_.
  multilinea, _Wlk_.


Micra, _Guén_.
  destituta, _Wlk_.
  derogata, _Wlk_.
  simplex, _Wlk_.

Fam. ERIOPIDÆ, _Guén_.

Callopistria, _Hübn_.
  exotiac, _Guén_.
  rivularis, _Wlk_.
  duplicans, _Wlk_.

Fam. EURHIPIDÆ, _Guén_.

Penicillaria, _Guén_.
  nugatrix, _Guén_.
  resoluta, _Wlk_.
  solida, _Wlk_.
  lodatrix, _Wlk_.

Rhesala, _Wlk_.
  imparata, _Wlk_.

Eutelia, _Hübn_.
  favillatrix, _Wlk_.
  thermesiides, _Wlk_.

Fam. PLUSIIDÆ, _Boisd_.

Abrostola, _Ochs_.
  transfixa, _Wlk_.

Plusia, _Ochs_.
  aurilera, _Hübn_.
  verticillata, _Guén_.
  agramma, _Guén_.
  obtusisigna, _Wlk_.
  nigriluna, _Wlk_.
  signata, _Wlk_.
  dispellens, _Wlk_.
  propulsa, _Wlk_.

Fam. CALPIDÆ, _Guén_.

Calpe, _Treit_.
  minuticornis, _Guén_.

Oroesia, _Guén_.
  emarginata, _Fabr_.

Deva, _Wlk_.
  conducens, _Wlk_.

Fam. HEMICERIDÆ, _Guén_.

Westermannia, _Hübn_.
  supberba, _Hübn_.

Fam. HYBLÆIDÆ, _Guén_.

Hyblæa, _Guén_.
  Puera, _Cram_.
  constellica, _Guén_.

Nolasena, _Wlk_.
  ferrifervens, _Wlk_.


Cosmophila, _Boisd_.
  Indica, _Guén_.
  xanthindvina, _Boisd_.

Anomis, _Hübn_.
  fulvida, _Guén_.
  icomea, _Wlk_.

Gonitis, _Guén_.
  combinans, _Wlk_.
  albitibia, _Wlk_.
  mesogona, _Wlk_.
  guttanivis, _Wlk_.
  involuta, _Wlk_.
  basalis, _Wlk_.

Eporedia, _Wlk_.
  damnipennis, _Wlk_.

Rusicada, _Wlk_.
  nigritarsis, _Wlk_.

Pasipeda, _Wlk_.
  rutipalpis, _Wlk_.


Toxocampa, _Guén_.
  metaspila, _Wlk_.
  sexlinea, _Wlk_.
  quinquelina, _Wlk_.

Albonica, _Wlk_.
  reversa, _Wlk_.


Polydesma, _Boisd_.
  boarmoides, _Wlk_.
  erubescens, _Wlk_.


Alamis, _Guén_.
  spoliata, _Wlk_.

Homoptera, _Boisd_.
  basipallens, _Wlk_.
  retrahens, _Wlk_.
  costifera, _Wlk_.
  divisistriga, _Wlk_.
  procumbens, _Wlk_.

Diacuista, _Wlk_.
  homopteroides, _Wlk_.

Daxata, _Wlk_.
  bijungens, _Wlk_.


Briarda, _Wlk_.
  precedens, _Wlk_.

Brana, _Wlk_.
  calopasa, _Wlk_.

Corsa, _Wlk_.
  lignicolor, _Wlk_.

Avatha, _Wlk_.
  includens, _Wlk_.

Gadirtha, _Wlk_.
  decrescens, _Wlk_.
  impingens, _Wlk_.
  spurcata, _Wlk_.
  rectifera, _Wlk_.
  duplicans, _Wlk_.
  intrusa, _Wlk_.

Ercheia, _Wlk_.
  diversipennis, _Wlk_.

Plotheia, _Wlk_.
  frontalis, _Wlk_.

Diomea, _Wlk_.
  rotundata, _Wlk_.
  chloromela, _Wlk_.
  orbicularis, _Wlk_.
  muscosa, _Wlk_.

Dinumma, _Wlk_.
  placens, _Wlk_.

Lusia, _Wlk_.
  geometroids, _Wlk_.
  perficita, _Wlk_.
  replusa, _Wlk_.

Abunis, _Wlk_.
  trimesa, _Wlk_.

Fam. CATEPHIDÆ, _Guén_.

Cocytodes, _Guén_.
  coerula, _Guén_.
  modesta, _Wlk_.

Catephia, _Ochs_.
  linteola, _Guén_.

Anophia, _Guén_.
  acronyctoids, _Guén_.

Steiria, _Wlk_.
  subobliqua, _Wlk_.
  trajiciens, _Wlk_.

Aucha, _Wlk_.
  velans, _Wlk_.

Ægilia, _Wlk_.
  describens, _Wlk_.

Maceda, _Wlk_.
  mansueta, _Wlk_.

Fam. HYPOCALIDÆ, _Guén_.

Hypocala, _Guén_.
  efflorescens, _Guén_.
  subsatura, _Guén_.

Fam. CATOCALIDÆ, _Boisd_.

Blenina, _Wlk_.
  donans, _Wlk_.
  accipiens, _Wlk_.

Fam. OPHIDERIDÆ, _Guén_.

Ophideres, _Boisd_.
  Materna, _Linn._
  fullonica, _Linn._
  Cajeta, _Cram_.
  Ancilla, _Cram_.
  Salaminia, _Cram_.
  Hypermnestra, _Cram_.
  multiscripta, _Wlk_.
  bilineosa, _Wlk_.

Potamophera, _Guén_.
  Maulia, _Cram_.

Lygniodes, _Guén_.
  reducens, _Wlk_.
  disparans, _Wlk_.
  hypolenca, _Guén_.

Fam. EREBIDÆ, _Guén_.

Oxyodes, _Guén_.
  Clytia, _Cram_.


Speiredonia, _Hübn_.
  retrahens, _Wlk_.

Sericia, _Guén_.
  atrops, _Guén_.
  parvipennis, _Wlk_.

Patula, _Guén_.
  macrops, _Linn._

Argiva, _Hübn_.
  hieroglyphica, _Drury_.

Beregra, _Wlk_.
  replenens, _Wlk_.

Fam. HYPOPYRIDÆ, _Guén_.

Spiramia, _Guén_.
  Heliconia, _Hübn_.
  triloba, _Guén_.

Hypopyra, _Guén_.
  vespertilio, _Fabr_.

Ortospana, _Wlk_.
  connectens, _Wlk_.

Entomogramma, _Guén_.
  fautrix, _Guén_.

Fam. BENDIDÆ, _Guén_.

Homæa, _Guén_.
  clathrum, _Guén_.

Hulodes, _Guén_.
  caranea, _Cram_.
  palumba, _Guén_.

Fam. OPHIUSIDÆ, _Guén_.

Sphingomorpha, _Guén_.
  Chlorea, _Cram_.

Lagoptera, _Guén_.
  honesta, _Hübn_.
  magica, _Hübn_.
  dotata, _Fabr_.

Ophiodes, _Guén_.
  discriminans, _Wlk_.
  basistigma, _Wlk_.

Cerbia, _Wlk_.
  fugitiva, _Wlk_.

Ophisma, _Guén_.
  lætabilis, _Guén_.
  deficiens, _Wlk_.
  gravata, _Wlk_.
  circumferens, _Wlk_.
  terminans, _Wlk_.

Achæa, _Hübn_.
  Melicerta, _Drury_.
  Mezentia, _Cram_.
  Cyllota, _Guén_.
  Cyllaria, _Cram_.
  fusifera, _Wlk_.
  signivitta, _Wlk_.
  reversa, _Wlk_.
  combinans, _Wlk_.
  expectans, _Wlk_.

Serrodes, _Guén_.
  campana, _Guén_.

Naxia, _Guén_.
  absentimacula, _Guén_.
  Onelia, _Guén_.
  calefaciens, _Wlk_.
  calorifica, _Wlk_.

Catesia, _Guén_.
  hoemorrhoda, _Guén_.

Hypætra, _Guén_.
  trigonifera, _Wlk_.
  curvifera, _Wlk_.
  condita, _Wlk_.
  complacens, _Wlk_.
  divisa, _Wlk_.

Ophiusa, _Ochs_.
  myops, _Guén_.
  albivitta, _Guén_.
  Achatina, _Sulz_.
  fulvotænia, _Guén_.
  simillima, _Guén_.
  festinata, _Wlk_.
  pallidilinea, _Wlk_.
  luteipalpis, _Wlk_.

Fodina, _Guén_.
  stola, _Guén_.

Grammodes, _Guén_.
  Ammonia, _Cram_.
  Mygdon, _Cram_.
  stolida, _Fabr_.
  mundicolor, _Wlk_.

Fam. EUCLIDIDÆ, _Guén_.
Trigonodes, _Guén_.
  Hippasia, _Cram_.

Fam. REMIGIDÆ, _Guén_.

Remigia, _Guén_.
  Archesia, _Cram_.
  frugalis, _Fabr_.
  pertendens, _Wlk_.
  congregata, _Wlk_.
  opturata, _Wlk_.

Fam. FOCILLIDÆ, _Guén_.

Focilla, _Guén_.
  submemorans, _Wlk_.


Lacera, _Guén_.
  capella, _Guén_.

Amphigonia, _Guén_.
  hepatizans, _Guén_.

Fam. THERMISIDÆ, _Guén_.

Sympis, _Guén_.
  rutibasis, _Guén_.

Thermesia, _Hübn_.
  finipalpis, _Wlk_.
  soluta, _Wlk_.

Azazia, _Wlk_.
  rubricans, _Boisd_.

Selenis, _Guén_.
  nivisapex, _Wlk_.
  multiguttata, _Wlk_.
  semilux, _Wlk_.

Ephyrodes, _Guén_.
  excipiens, _Wlk_.
  crististera, _Wlk_.
  lineitera, _Wlk_.

Capnodes, _Guén_.
  *maculicosta, _Wlk_.

Ballatha, _Wlk_.
  atrotumens, _Wlk_.

Daranissa, _Wlk_.
  digramma, _Wlk_.

Darsa, _Wlk_.
  detectissima, _Wlk_.

Fam. URAPTERYDÆ, _Guén_.

Lagyra, _Wlk_.
  Talaca, _Wlk_.

Fam. ENNOMIDÆ, _Guén_.

Hyperythra, _Guén_.
  limbolaria, _Guén_.

Orsonoba, _Wlk_.
  Rajaca, _Wlk_.

Fascelima, _Wlk_.
  chromataria, _Wlk_.

Laginia, _Wlk_.
  bractiaria, _Wlk_.

Fam. BOARMIDÆ, _Guén_.

Amblychia, _Guén_.
  angeronia, _Guén_.
  poststrigaria, _Wlk_.

Boarmia, _Treit_.
  sublavaria, _Guén_.
  admissaria, _Guén_.
  raptaria, _Wlk_.
  Medasina, _Wlk_.
  Bhurmitra, _Wlk_.
  Suiasasa, _Wlk_.
  diffluaria, _Wlk_.
  caritaria, _Wlk_.
  exclusaria, _Wlk_.

Hypochroma, _Guén_.
  minimaria, _Guén_.

Gnophos, _Treit_.
  Pulinda, _Wlk_.
  Culataria, _Wlk_.

Hemerophila, _Steph_.
  vidhisara, _Wlk_.

Agathia, _Guén_.
  blandiaria, _Wlk_.

Bulonga, _Wlk_.
  Ajaia, _Wlk_.
  Chacoraca, _Wlk_.
  Chandubija, _Wlk_.

Fam. GEOMETRIDÆ, _Guén_.

Geometra, _Linn._
  specularia, _Guén_.
  Nanda, _Wlk_.

Nemoria, _Hubn_.
  caudularia, _Guên_.
  solidaria, _Guén_.

Thalassodes, _Guén_.
  quadraria, _Guén_.
  catenaria, _Wlk_.
  immissaria, _Wlk_.
  Sisunaga, _Wlk_.
  adornataria, _Wlk_.
  meritaria, _Wlk_.
  coelataria, _WlK_.
  gratularia, _Wlk_.
  chlorozonaria, _Wlk_.
  læsaria, _Wlk_.
  simplicaria, _Wlk_.
  immissaria, _Wlk_.

Comibæna, _Wlk_.
  Divapala, _Wlk_.
  impulsaria, _Wlk_.

Celenna, _Wlk_.
  saturaturia, _Wlk_.

Pseudoterpna, _Wlk_.
  Vivilaca, _Wlk_.

Amaurima, _Guén_.
  rubrolimbaria, _Wlk_.

Fam. PALYADÆ, _Guén_.

Eumelea, _Dunc_.
  ludovicata, _Guén_.
  aureliata, _Guén_.
  *carnearia, _Wlk_.

Fam. EPHYRIDÆ, _Guén_.

Ephyra, _Dap_.
  obrinaria, _Wlk_.
  decursaria, _Wlk_.
  Cacavena, _Wlk_.
  abhadraca, _Wlk_.
  Vasudeva, _Wlk_.
  Susarmana, _Wlk_.
  Vutumana, _Wlk_.
  inæquata, _Wlk_.

Fam. ACIDALIDÆ, _Guén_.

Drapetodes, _Guén_.
  mitaria, _Guén_.

Pomasia, _Guén_.
  Psylaria, _Guén_.
  Sunandaria, _Wlk_.

Acidaria, _Treit_.
  obliviaria, _Wlk_.
  adeptaria, _Wlk_.
  nexiaria, _Wlk_.
  addictaria, _Wlk_.
  actiosaria, _Wlk_.
  defamataria, _Wlk_.
  negataria, _Wlk_.
  actuaria, _Wlk_.
  cæsaria, _Wlk_.

Cabera, _Steph_.
  falsaria, _Wlk_.
  decussaria, _Wlk_.
  famularia, _Wlk_.
  nigrarenaria, _Wlk_.

Hyria, _Steph_.
  elataria, _Wlk_.
  marcidaria, _Wlk_.
  oblataria, _Wlk_.
  grataria, _Wlk_.
  rhodinaria, _Wlk_.

Timandra, _Dup_.
  Ajura, _Wlk_.
  Vijura, _Wlk_.

Agyris, _Guén_.
  deharia, _Guén_.

Zanclopteryx, _Herr. Sch_.
  saponaria, _Herr. Sch_.

Fam. MICRONIDÆ, _Guén_.

Micronia, _Guén_.
  caudata, _Fabr_.
  aculeata, _Guén_.

Fam. MACARIDÆ, _Guén_.

Macaria, _Curt_.
  Eleonora, _Cram_.
  Varisara, _Wlk_.
  Rhagivata, _Wlk_.
  Palaca, _Wlk_.
  honestaria, _Wlk_.
  Sangata, _Wlk_.
  honoraria, _Wlk_.
  cessaria, _Wlk_.
  subcandaria, _Wlk_.

Doava, _Wlk_.
  adjutaria, _Wlk_.
  figuraria, _Wlk_.

Fam. LARENTIDÆ, _Guén_.

Sauris, _Guén_.
  hirudinata, _Guén_.

Camptogramma, _Steph_.
  baceata, _Guén_.

Blemyia, _Wlk_.
  Bataca, _Wlk_.
  blitiaria, _Wlk_.

Corenna, _Guén_.
  Comatina, _Wlk_.

Lobophora, _Curt_.
  Salisnea, _Wlk_.
  Ghosha, _Wlk_.
  contributaria, _Wlk_.

Mesogramma, _Steph_.
  lactularia, _Wlk_.
  scitaria, _WLk_.

Eupithecia, _Curt_.
  recensitaria, _Wlk_.
  admixtaria, _Wlk_.
  immixtaria, _Wlk_.

Gathynia, _Wlk_.
  miraria, _Wlk_.

Fam. PLATYDIDÆ, _Guén_.

Trigonia, _Guén_.
  Cydoniatis, _Cram_.

Fam. HYPENIDÆ, _Herr_.

Dichromia, _Guén_.
  Orosialis, _Cram_.

Hypena, _Schr_.
  rhombalis, _Guén_.
  jocosalis, _Wlk_.
  mandatalis, _Wlk_.
  quæsitalis, _Wlk_.
  laceratalis, _Wlk_.
  iconicalis, _Wlk_.
  labatalis, _Wlk_.
  obacerralis, _Wlk_.
  pactalis, _Wlk_.
  raralis, _Wlk_.
  paritalis, _Wlk_.
  surreptalis, _Wlk_.
  detersalis, _Wlk_.
  ineffectalis, _Wlk_.
  incongrualis, _Wlk_.
  rubripunctum, _Wlk_.

Gesonia, _Wlk_.
 *obeditalis, _Wlk_.
  duplex, _Wlk_.

Fam. HERMINIDÆ, _Dup_.

Herminia, _Latr_.
  Timonaris, _Wlk_.
  diffusalis, _Wlk_.
  interstans, _Wlk_.

Adrapsa, _Wlk_.
  ablualis, _Wlk_.

Bertula, _Wlk_.
  abjudicalis, _Wlk_.
  raptatalis, _Wlk_.
  contigens, _Wlk_.

Bocana, _Wlk_.
  jutalis, _Wlk_.
  manifestalis, _Wlk_.
  ophinsalis, _Wlk_.
  vagalis, _Wlk_.
  turpatalis, _Wlk_.
  hypernalis, _Wlk_.
  gravatalis, _Wlk_.
  tomodalis, _Wlk_.

Orthaga, _Wlk_.
  Euadrusalis, _Wlk_.

Hipoepa, _Wlk_.
  lapsalis, _Wlk_.

Lamura, _Wlk_.
  oberratans, _Wlk_.

Echana, _Wlk_.
  abavalis, _Wlk_.

Dragana, _Wlk_.
  pansalis, _Wlk_.

Pingrasa, _Wlk_.
  accuralis, _Wlk_.

Egnasia, _Wlk_.
  ephiradalis, _Wlk_.
  accingalis, _Wlk_.
  participalis, _Wlk_.
  usurpatalis, _Wlk_.

Berresa, _Wlk_.
  natalis, _Wlk_.

Imma, _Wlk_.
  rugosalis, _Wlk_.

Chusaris, _Wlk_.
  retatalis, _Wlk_.

Corgatha, _Wlk_.
  zonalis, _Wlk_.

Catada, _Wlk_.
  glomeralis, _Wlk_.
  captiosalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. PYRALADÆ, _Guén_.

Pyralis, _Linn._
  igniflualis, _Wlk_.
  Palesalis, _Wlk_.
  reconditalis, _Wlk_.
  Idahalis, _Wlk_.
  Janassalis, _Wlk_.

Aglossa, _Latr_.
  Guidusalis, _Wlk_.

Labanda, _Wlk_.
  herbealis, _Wlk_.

Fam. ENNYCHIDÆ, _Dup._

Pyrausta. _Schr._
  *absistalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. ASOPIDÆ, _Guén_

Desmia, _Westw_.
  afflictalis, _Guén_.
  concisalis, _Wlk_.

Ædiodes, _Guén._.
  flavibasalis. _Guén_.
  effertalis, _Wlk_.

Samea, _Guén_.
  gratiosalis, _Wlk_.

Asopia. _Guén_.
  vulgalis, _Guén_.
  falsidicalis, _Wlk_.
  abruptalis, _Wlk_.
  latim orginalis, _Wlk_.
  præteritalis, _Wlk_.
  Eryxelis, _Wlk_.
  rofidalis, _Wlk_.

Agathodes, _Guén_.
  ostentalis, _Geyer_.

Leucinades, _Guén_.
  orbonalis, _Guén_.

Hymenia, _Hübn_.
  recurvalis, _Fabr_.

Agrotera, _Schr_.
  suffusalis, _Wlk_.
  decessalis, _Wlk_.

Isopteryx, _Guén_.
  *melaleucalis, _Wlk_.
  *impulsalis, _Wlk_.
  *spromelalis, _Wlk_.
  acclaralis, _Wlk_.
  abnegatalis, _Wlk_.

Oligostigma, _Guén_.
  obitalis, _Wlk_.
  votalis, _Wlk_.

Cataclysia, _Herr Sch_.
  diaicidalis, _Guén_.
  bisectalis, _Wlk_.
  blaudialis, _Wlk_.
  elutalis, _Wlk_.

Lepyrodes, _Guén_.
  geometralis, _Guén_.
  lepidalis, _Wlk_.
  peritalis, _Wlk_.

Phalangiodes, _Guén_.
  Neptisalis, _Cram_.

Spilomela, _Guén_.
  meritalis, _Wlk_.
  abdicatis, _Wlk_.
  decussalis, _Wlk_.

Nistra, _Wlk_.
  coelatalis, _Wlk_.

Pagyda. _Wlk_.
  salvalis, _Wlk_.

Massepha, _Wlk_.
  absolutalis, _Wlk_.


Glyphodes, _Guén_.
  diurnalis, _Guén_.
  decretalis, _Guén_.
  coesalis, _Wlk_.
  univocalis, _Wlk_.

Phakellura, _L. Guild_.
  gazorialis, _Guén_.

Margarodes, _Guén_.
  psittæalis, _Hübn_.
  pomonalis, _Guén_.
  hilaralis, _Wlk_.

Pygospila, _Guén_.
  Tyresalis, _Cram_.

Neurina, _Guén_.
  Procopalis, _Cram_.
  ignibasalis, _Wlk_.

Hurgia, _Wlk_.
  detamalis, _Wlk_.

Maruca, _Wlk_.
  ruptalis, _Wlk_.
  caritalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. BOTYDÆ, _Guén_.

Botys, _Latr_.
  marginalis, _Cram_.
  sillalis, _Guén_.
  multilineatis, _Guén_.
  admensalis, _Wlk_.
  abjungalis, _Wlk_.
  rutilalis, _Wlk_.
  admixtalis, _Wlk_.
  celatalis, _Wlk_.
  deductalis, _Wlk_.
  celsalis, _Wlk_.
  vulsalis, _Wlk_.
  ultimalis, _Wlk_.
  tropicalis, _Wlk_.
  abstrusalis, _Wlk_.
  ruralis, _Wlk_.
  adhoesalis, _Wlk_.
  illisalis, _Wlk_.
  stultalis, _Wlk_.
  adductalis, _Wlk_.
  histricalis, _Wlk_.
  illectalis, _Wlk_.
  suspictalis, _Wlk_.
  Janassalis, _Wlk_.
  Cynaralis, _Wlk_.
  Dialis, _Wlk_.
  Thaisalis, _Wlk_.
  Dryopealis, _Wlk_.
  Myrinalis, _Wlk_.
  phycidalis, _Wlk_.
  annulalis, _Wlk_.
  brevilinealis, _Wlk_.
  plagiatalis, _Wlk_.

Ebulea, _Guén_.
  aberratalis, _Wlk_.
  Camillalis, _Wlk_.

Pionea, _Guén_.
  actualis, _Wlk_.
  Optiletalis, _Wlk_.
  Jubesalis, _Wlk_.
  brevialis, _Wlk_.
  suffusalis, _Wlk_.

Scopula, _Schr_.
  revocatalis, _Wlk_.
  turgidalis, _Wlk_.
  volutatalis, _Wlk_.

Godara, _Wlk_.
  pervasalis, _Wlk_.

Herculia, _Wlk_.
  bractialis, _Wlk_.

Mecyna. _Guén_.
  deprivalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. SCOPARIDÆ, _Guén_.
Scoparia. _Haw_.
  murificalis, _Wlk_.
  congestalis, _Wlk_.
  Alconalis, _Wlk_.

Davana. _Wlk_.
  Phalantalis, _Wlk_.

Darsania, _Wlk_.
  Niobesalis, _Wlk_.

Dosara. _Wlk_.
  coelatella, _Wlk_.
  lapsalis, _Wlk_.
  immeritalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. CHOREUTIDÆ, _Staint_.

Niaccaba. _Wlk_.
  sumptialis, _Wlk_.

Simæthis. _Leach_.
  Clatella, _Wlk_.
  Damonella, _Wlk_.
  Bathusella, _Wlk_.

Fam. PHYCIDÆ, _Staint_.

Myelois, _Hübn_.
  actiosella, _Wlk_.
  bractiatella, _Wlk_.
  cantella, _Wlk_.
  adaptella, _Wlk_.
  illusella, _Wlk_.
  basifuscella, _Wlk_.
  Ligeralis, _Wlk_.
  Marsyasalis, _Wlk_.

Dascusa, _Wlk_.
  Valensalis, _Wlk_.

Daroma, _Wlk_.
  Zeuxoalis, _Wlk_.
  Epulusalis, _Wlk_.
  Timeusalis, _Wlk_.

Homoesoma, _Curt_.
  gratella, _Wlk_.
 Getusella, _Wlk_.

Nephopteryx, _Hübn_.
  Etolusalis, _Wlk_.
  Cyllusalis, _Wlk_.
  Hylasalis, _Wlk_.
  Acisalis, _Wlk_.
  Harpaxalis, _Wlk_.
  Æolusalis, _Wlk_.
  Argiadesalis, _Wlk_.
  Philiasalis, _Wlk_.

Pempelia, _Hübn_.
  laudatella, _Wlk_.

Prionapteryx, _Steph_.
  Lincusalis, _Wlk_.

Pindicitora, _Wlk_.
  Acreonalis, _Wlk_.
  Annusalis, _Wlk_.
  Thysbesalis, _Wlk_.
  Linceusalis, _Wlk_.

Lacipea, _Wlk_.
  muscosella, _Wlk_.

Araxes, _Steph_.
  admotella, _Wlk_.
  decusella, _Wlk_.
  celsella, _Wlk_.
  admigratella, _Wlk_.
  coesella, _Wlk_.
  candidatella, _Wlk_.
Catagela, _Wlk_.
  adjurella, _Wlk_.
  acricuella, _Wlk_.
  lunulella, _Wlk_.

Fam. CRAMBIDÆ, _Dup_.

Crambus, _Fabr_.
  concinellus, _Wlk_.

Darbhaca, _Wlk_.
  inceptella, _Wlk_.

Jartheza, _Wlk_.
  honosella, _Wlk_.

Bulina, _Wlk_.
  solitella, _Wlk_.

Bembina, _Wlk_.
  Cyanusalis, _Wlk_.

Chilo, _Zinck_.
  dodatella, _Wlk_.
  gratiosella, _Wlk_.
  aditella, _Wlk_.
  blitella, _Wlk_.

Dariausa, _Wlk_.
  Eubusalis, _Wlk_.

Arrhade, _Wlk_.
  Ematheonalis, _Wlk_.

Darnensis, _Wlk_.
  Strephonella, _Wlk_.

Fam. CHLOEPHORIDÆ. _Staint_.

Thagora, _Wlk_.
  tigurans, _Wlk_.

Earias, _Hübn_.
  chromatana, _Wlk_.

Fam. TORTRICIDÆ, _Steph_.

Lozotænia, _Steph_.
  retractana, _Wlk_.

Peronea, _Curt_.
  divisana, _Wlk_.

Lithogramma, _Steph_.
  flexilineana, _Wlk_.

Dictyopteryx, _Steph_.
  punctana, _Wlk_.

Homona, _Wlk_.
  fasciculana, _Wlk_.

Hemonia, _Wlk_.
  obiterana, _Wlk_.

Achroia, _Hübn_.
  tricingulana, _Wlk_.


Atteva, _Wlk_.
  niveigutta, _Wlk_.

Fam. GELICHIDÆ, _Staint_.

Depressaria, _Haw_.
  obligatella, _Wlk_.
  fimbriella, _Wlk_.

Decuaria, _Wlk_.
  mendicella, _Wlk_.

Gelechia, _Hübn_.
  nugatella, _Wlk_.
  calatella, _Wlk_.
  deductella, _Wlk_.
  Perionella, _Wlk_.

Gizama, _Wlk_.
  blandiella, _Wlk_.

Enisima, _Wlk_.
  falsella, _Wlk_.

Gapharia, _Wlk_.
  recitatella, _Wlk_.

Goesa. _Wlk_.
  decusella, _Wlk_.

Cimitra, _Wlk_.
  secinsella, _Wlk_.

Ficulea, _Wlk_.
  blandinella, _Wlk_.

Fresilia, _Wlk_.
  nesciatella, _Wlk_.

Gesontha, _Wlk_.
  cantiosella, _Wlk_.

Aginis, _Wlk_.
  hilariella, _Wlk_.

Cadra, _Wlk_.
  delectella, _Wlk_.

Fam. GLYPHYPTIDÆ, _Staint_.

Glyphyteryx, _Hübn_.
  scitulella, _Wlk_.

Hybele, _Wlk_.
  mansuetella, _Wlk_.

Fam. TINEIDÆ, _Leach_.

Tinea, _Linn._
  tapetzella, _Linn._
  receptella, _Wlk_.
  pelionella, _Linn._
  plagiferella, _Wlk_.

Fam. LYONETIDÆ, _Staint_.

Cachura, _Wlk_.
  objectella, _Wlk_.


Pterophorus, _Geoffr_.
  leucadacivius, _Wlk_.
  oxydactylus, _Wlk_.
  anisodactylus, _Wlk_.

Order DIPTERA, _Linn._


Sciara, _Meig_.
  *valida, _Wlk_.


Cecidomyia, _Latr_.
  *primaria, _Wlk_.

Fam. SIMULIDÆ, _Hal_.

Simulium, _Latr_.
  *destinatum, _Wlk_.


Ceratopogon, _Meig_.
  *albocinctus, _Wlk_.

Fam. CULICIDÆ, _Steph_.

Culex, _Linn._
  regius, _Thwaites_.
  fuscanns, _Wlk_.
  circumvolans, _Wlk_.
  contrahens, _Wlk_.

Fam. TIPULIDÆ, _Hal_.

Ctenophora, _Fabr_.
  Taprobanes, _Wlk_.

Gymnoplistia? _Westw_.
  hebes, _Wlk_.


Ptilocera, _Wied_.
  quadridentata, _Fabr_.
  tastuosa, _Geist_.

Pachygaster, _Meig_.
  rutitarsis, _Macq_.

Acanthina, _Wied_.
  azurea, _Geist_.

Fam. TABANIDÆ, _Leach_.

Pangonia, _Latr_.
  Taprobanes, _Wlk_.

Fam. ASILIDÆ, _Leach_.

Trupanea, _Macq_.
  Ceylanica _Macq_.

Asilus, _Linn._
  flavicornis, _Macq_.
  Barium, _Wlk_.

Fam. DOLICHOPIDÆ, _Leach_.

Psilopus, _Meig_.
  *procuratus, _Wlk_.

Fam. MUSCIDÆ, _Latr_.

Tachina? _Fabr_.
 *tenebrosa, _Wlk_.

Musca. _Linn._
  domestica, _Linn._

Dacus, _Fabr_.
  *interclusus, _Wlk_.
  *nigroæneus, _Wlk_.
  *detentus, _Wlk_.

Ortalis, _*Fall_.
  *confundens, _Wlk_.

Sciomyza, _Fall_.
  eucotelus, _Wlk_.

Drosophila, _*Fall_.
  *restituens, _Wlk_.

Fam. NYCTERIBIDÆ, _Leach_.

Nycteribia, _Latr_.
   ----? a species
     parasitic on Scatophilus

Order HEMIPTERA, _Linn._


Cantuo, _Amyot & Serv_.
  ocellatus, _Thunb_.

Callidea, _Lap_.
  superba, _Dall_.
  Stockerus, _Linn._


Trigonosoma, _Lap_.
  Destontainii, _Fabr_.

Fam. PLATASPIDÆ, _Dall_.

Coptosoma, _Lap_.
  laticeps, _Dall_.

Fam. HALYDIDÆ, _Dall_.

Halys, _Fabr_.
  dentata, _Fabr_.

Fam. PENTATOMIDÆ, _Steph_.

Pentatoma, _Oliv_.
  Timorensis, _Hope_.
  Taprobanensis, _Dall_.

Catacanthus, _Spin_.
  Incarnatus, _Drury_.

Rhaphigaster, _Lap_.
  congrua, _Wlk_.

Fam. EDESSIDÆ, _Dall_.

Aspongopus, _Lap_.
  anus, _Fabr_.

Tesseratoma, _Lep. & Serv_.
  papillosa, _Drury_.

Cyclopelta, _Am. & Serv_.
  siccifolia, _Hope_.


Phyllocephala, _Lap_.
  Ægyptiaca, _Lefeb_.

Fam. MICTIDÆ, _Dall_.

Mictis, _Leach_.
  castanea, _Dall_.
  valida, _Dall_.
  punctum, _Hope_.

Crinocerus, _Burm_.
  ponderosus, _Wlk_.


Leptoscelis, _Lap_.
  ventralis, _Dall_.
  turpis, _Wlk_.
  marginalis, _Wlk_.

Serinetha, _Spin_.
  Taprobanensis, _Dall_.
  abdominalis, _Fabr_.

Fam. ALYDIDÆ, _Dall_.

Alydus, _Fabr_.
  linearis, _Fabr_.


Leptocorisa, _Latr_.
  Chinensis, _Dall_.

Fam. COREIDÆ, _Steph_.

Rhopalus, _Schill_.
  interruptus, _Wlk_.

Fam. LYGÆIDÆ, _Westw_.

Lygæus, _Fabr_.
  lutescens, _Wlk_.
  figuratus, _Wlk_.
  discifer, _Wlk_.

Rhyparochromus, _Curt_.
  testacelpes, _Wlk_.

Fam. ARADIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Piestosoma, _Lap_.
  pierpes, _Wlk_.

Fam. TINGIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Calloniana, _Wlk_.
  *elegans, _Wlk_.

Fam. CIMICIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Cimex, _Linn._
  lectularius, _Linn._?

Fam. REDUVIIDÆ, _Steph_.

Pirates, _Burm_.
  marginatus, _Wlk_.

Acanthaspis, _Am. & Serv_.
  sanguimpes, _Wlk_.
 fulvispina, _Wlk_.


Ptilomera, _Am. & Serv_.
  laticanda, _Hardw_.

Fam. NEPIDÆ, _Leach_.

Belostoma, _Latr_.
  Indicum, _St. Farg_.

Nepa, _Linn._
  minor, _Wlk_.

Fam. NOTONECTIDÆ, _Steph_.

Notonecta, _Linn._
  abbreviata, _Wlk_.
  simplex, _Wlk_.

Corixa, _Geoff._
  *subjacens, _Wlk_.

Order HOMOPTERA, _Latr_.

Fam. CICADIDÆ, _Westw_.

Dundubia, _Am. & Serv_.
  stipata, _Wlk_.
  Clonia, _Wlk_.
  Larus, _Wlk_.

Cicada, _Linn._
  limitaris, _Wlk_.
  nubifurca, _Wlk_.

Fam. FULGORIDÆ, _Schaum_.

Hotinus, _Am. & Serv_.
  maculatus, _Oliv_.
  fulvirostris, _Wlk_.
  coccineus, _Wlk_.

Pyrops, _Spin_.
  punctata, _Oliv_.

Aphæna, _Guér_.
  sanguinalis, _Westw_.

Elidiptera, _Spin_.
  Emersoniana, _White_.

Fam. CIXIIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Eurybrachys, _Guér_.
  tomentosa, _Fabr_.
  dilatata, _Wlk_.
  crudelis, _Westw_.

Cixius, _Latr_.
  *nubilus, _Wlk_.

Fam. ISSIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Hemisphærius, _Schaum_.
  *Schaumi, _Staf_.
  *bipustulatus, _Wlk_.

Fam. DERBIDÆ, _Schaum_.

Thracia, _Westw_.
  pterophorides, _Westw_.

Derbe, _Fabr_.
  *furcato-vittata, _Stal_.

Fam. FLATTIDÆ, _Schaum_.

Flatoides, _Guér_.
  hyalinus, _Fabr_.
  tenebrosus, _Wlk_.

Ricania, _Germ_.
  Hemerobii, _Wlk_.

Poeciloptera, _Latr_.
  pulvernlenta, _Guér_.
  stellaris, _Wlk_.
  Tennentina, _White_.


Oxyrhachis, _Germ_.
  *indicans, _Wlk_.

Centrotus, _Fabr_.
  *reponens, _Wlk_.
  *malleus, _Wlk_.
  substitutus, _Wlk_.
  *decipiens, _Wlk_.
  *relinquens, _Wlk_.
  *imitator, _Wlk_.
  *repressus, _Wlk_.
  *terminalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. CERCOPIDÆ, _Leach_.

Cercopis, _Fabr_.
  inclusa, _Wlk_.

Ptyelus, _Lep. & Serv_.
  costalis, _Wlk_.


Tettigonia, _Latr_.
  paulula, _Wlk_.

Fam. SCARIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Ledra, _Fabr_.
  rugosa, _Wlk_.
  conica, _Wlk_.

Gypona, _Germ_.
  prasina, _Wlk_.

Fam. IASSIDÆ, _Wlk_.

Acocephalus, _Germ_.
  porrectus, _Wlk_.

Fam. PSYLLIDÆ, _Latr_.

Psylla, _Goff_.
  *marginalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. COCCIDÆ, _Leach_.

Lecanium, _Illig_.
  Coffeæ, _Wlk_.



       *       *       *       *       *

_Arachinida--Myriopoda--Crustacea, etc._

With a few striking exceptions, the true _spiders_ of Ceylon resemble in
oeconomy and appearance those we are accustomed to see at home;--they
frequent the houses, the gardens, the rocks and the stems of trees, and
along the sunny paths, where the forest meets the open country, the
_Epeira_ and her congeners, the true net-weaving spiders, extend their
lacework, the grace of the designs being even less attractive than the
beauty of the creatures that elaborate them.

Such of them as live in the woods select with singular sagacity the
bridle-paths and narrow passages for expanding their nets; perceiving no
doubt that the larger insects frequent these openings for facility of
movement through the jungle; and that the smaller ones are carried
towards them by currents of air. Their nets are stretched across the
path from four to eight feet above the ground, suspended from projecting
shoots, and attached, if possible, to thorny shrubs; and they sometimes
exhibit the most remarkable scenes of carnage and destruction. I have
taken down a ball as large as a man's head consisting of successive
layers rolled together, in the heart of which was the original den of
the family, whilst the envelope was formed, sheet after sheet, by coils
of the old web filled with the wings and limbs of insects of all
descriptions, from large moths and butterflies to mosquitoes and minute
coleoptera. Each layer appeared to have been originally hung across the
passage to intercept the expected prey; and, when it had become
surcharged with carcases, to have been loosened, tossed over by the wind
or its own weight, and wrapped round the nucleus in the centre, the
spider replacing it by a fresh sheet, to be in turn detached and added
to the mass within.

[Illustration: Spider]

Separated by marked peculiarities both of structure and instinct, from
the spiders which live in the open air, and busy themselves in providing
food during the day, the _Mygale fasciata_ is not only sluggish in its
habits, but disgusting in its form and dimensions. Its colour is a
gloomy brown, interrupted by irregular blotches and faint bands (whence
its trivial name); it is sparingly sprinkled with hairs, and its limbs,
when expanded, stretch over an area of six to eight inches in diameter.
It is familiar to Europeans in Ceylon, who have given it the name, and
ascribed to it the fabulous propensities, of the Tarentula.[1]

[Footnote 1: Species of the true _Tarentula_ are not uncommon in Ceylon;
they are all of very small size, and perfectly harmless.]

The Mygale is found abundantly in the northern and eastern parts of the
island, and occasionally in dark unfrequented apartments in the western
province; but its inclinations are solitary, and it shuns the busy
traffic of towns.

The largest specimens I have seen were at Gampola in the vicinity of
Kandy, and one taken in the store-room of the rest-house there, nearly
covered with its legs an ordinary-sized breakfast plate.[1]

[Footnote 1: See Plate opposite.]

This hideous creature does not weave a broad web or spin a net like
other spiders, but nevertheless it forms a comfortable mansion in the
wall of a neglected building, the hollow of a tree, or under the eave of
an overhanging stone. This it lines throughout with a tapestry of silk
of a tubular form; and of a texture so exquisitely fine and closely
woven, that no moisture can penetrate it. The extremity of the tube is
carried out to the entrance, where it expands into a little platform,
stayed by braces to the nearest objects that afford a firm hold. In
particular situations, where the entrance is exposed to the wind, the
mygale, on the approach of the monsoon, extends the strong tissue above
it so as to serve as an awning to prevent the access of rain.

The construction of this silken dwelling is exclusively designed for the
domestic luxury of the spider; it serves no purpose in trapping or
securing prey, and no external disturbance of the web tempts the
creature to sally out to surprise an intruder, as the epeira and its
congeners would.

By day it remains concealed in its den, whence it issues at night to
feed on larvæ and worms, devouring cockroaches and their pupæ, and
attacking the millepeds, gryllotalpæ, and other fleshy insects.

Mr. EDGAR L. LAYARD has described[1] an encounter between a Mygale and a
cockroach, which he witnessed in the madua of a temple at Alittane,
between Anarajapoora and Dambool. When about a yard apart, each
discerned the other and stood still, the spider with his legs slightly
bent and his body raised, the cockroach confronting him and directing
his antennæ with a restless undulation towards his enemy. The spider, by
stealthy movements, approached to within a few inches and paused, both
parties eyeing each other intently; then suddenly a rush, a scuffle, and
both fell to the ground, when the blatta's wings closed, the spider
seized it under the throat with his claws, and dragged it into a corner,
when the action of his jaws was distinctly audible. Next morning Mr.
Layard found that the soft parts of the body had been eaten, nothing but
the head, thorax, and clytra remaining.

[Footnote 1: _Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist._ May, 1853.]

But, in addition to minor and ignoble prey, the Mygale rests under the
imputation of seizing small birds and feasting on their blood. The
author who first gave popular currency to this story was Madame MERIAN,
a zoological artist of the last century, many of whose drawings are
still preserved in the Museums of St. Petersburg, Holland, and England.
In a work on the Insects of Surinam, published in 1705[1], she figured
the _Mygale aricularia_, in the act of devouring a humming-bird. The
accuracy of her statement has since been impugned[2] by a correspondent
of the Zoological Society of London, on the ground that the mygale makes
no net, but lives in recesses, to which no humming-bird would resort;
and hence, the writer somewhat illogically declares, that he
"disbelieves the existence of any bird-catching spider."

[Footnote 1: _Dissertatio de Generatione et Metamorphosibus Insectorum
Surinamensium_, Amst. 1701. Fol.]

[Footnote 2: By Mr. MACLEAY in a paper communicated to the Zoological
Society of London, _Proc._ 1834, p. 12.]

Some years later, however, the same writer felt it incumbent on him to
qualify this hasty conclusion[1], in consequence of having seen at
Sydney an enormous spider, the _Epeira diadema_, in the act of sucking
the juices of a bird (the _Zosterops dorsalis_ of Vigors and Horsfield),
which, it had caught in the meshes of its geometrical net. This
circumstance, however, did not in his opinion affect the case of the
_Mygale_; and even as regards the _Epeira_, Mr. MacLeay, who witnessed
the occurrence, was inclined to believe the instance to be accidental
and exceptional; "an exception indeed so rare, that no other person had
ever witnessed the fact."

[Footnote 1: See _Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist._ for 1842, vol. viii. p.

Subsequent observation has, however, served to sustain the story of
Madame Merian.[1] Baron Walckenær and Latreille both corroborated it by
other authorities; and M. Moreau da Jonnès, who studied the habits of
the Mygale in Martinique, says it hunts far and wide in search of its
prey, conceals itself beneath leaves for the purpose of surprising them,
and climbs the branches of trees to devour the young of the
humming-bird, and of the _Certhia flaveola_. As to its mode of attack,
M. Jonnès says that when it throws itself on its victim it clings to it
by the double hooks of its tarsi, and strives to reach the back of the
head, to insert its jaws between the skull and the vertebræ.[2]

[Footnote 1: See authorities quoted by Mr. SHUCKARD in the _Ann. and
Mag. of Nat. Hist._ 1842, vol. viii. p. 436, &c.]

[Footnote 2: At a meeting of the Entomological Society, July 20, 1855, a
paper was read by Mr. H.W. BATES, who stated that in 1849 at Cameta in
Brazil, he "was attracted by a curious movement of the large grayish
brown Mygale on the trunk of a vast tree: it was close beneath a deep
crevice or chink in the tree, across which this species weaves a dense
web, at one end open for its exit and entrance. In the present instance
the lower part of the web was broken, and two small finches were
entangled in its folds. The finch was about the size of the common
Siskin of Europe, and he judged the two to be male and female; one of
them was quite dead, but secured in the broken web; the other was under
the body of the spider, not quite dead, and was covered in parts with a
filthy liquor or saliva exuded by the monster. "The species of spider,"
Mr. Bates says, "I cannot name; it is wholly of a gray brown colour, and
clothed with coarse pile." "If the Mygales," he adds, "did not prey upon
vertebrated animals, I do not see how they could find sufficient
subsistence."--_The Zoologist_, vol. xiii. p. 480.]

For my own part, no instance came to my knowledge in Ceylon of a mygale
attacking a bird; but PERCIVAL, who wrote his account of the island in
1805, describes an enormous spider (possibly an Epeirid) thinly covered
with hair which "makes webs strong enough to entangle and hold even
small birds that form its usual food."[1]

[Footnote 1: PERCIVAL'S _Ceylon_, p. 313.]

The fact of its living on millepeds, blattæ, and crickets, is
universally known; and a lady who lived at Marandahn, near Colombo, told
me that she had, on one occasion, seen a little house-lizard (_gecko_)
seized and devoured by one of these ugly spiders.

Walckenær has described a spider of large size, under the name of _Olios
Taprobanius_, which is very common in Ceylon, and conspicuous from the
fiery hue of the under surface, the remainder being covered with gray
hair so short and fine that the body seems almost denuded. It spins a
moderate-sized web, hung vertically between two sets of strong lines,
stretched one above the other athwart the pathways. Some of the threads
thus carried horizontally from tree to tree at a considerable height
from the ground are so strong as to cause a painful check across the
face when moving quickly against them; and more than once in riding I
have had my hat lifted off my head by one of these cords.[1]

[Footnote 1: Over the country generally are scattered species of
_Gasteracantha_, remarkable for their firm shell-covered bodies, with
projecting knobs arranged in pairs. In habit these anomalous-looking
_Epeirdæ_ appear to differ in no respect from the rest of the family,
waylaying their prey in similar situations and in the same manner.

Another very singular subgenus, met with in Ceylon, is distinguished by
the abdomen being dilated behind, and armed with two long spines,
arching obliquely backwards. These abnormal kinds are not so handsomely
coloured as the smaller species of typical form.]

An officer in the East India Company's Service[1], in a communication to
the Asiatic Society of Bengal, describes the gigantic web of a black and
red spider six inches in diameter, (his description of which, both in
colour and size, seems to point to some species closely allied to the
_Olios Taprobanius_,) which he saw near Monghyr on the Ganges; in this
web "a bird was entangled, and the young spiders, eight in number, and
entirely of a brick red colour, were feeding on the carcase."[2]

[Footnote 1: Capt. Sherwill.]

[Footnote 2: _Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal_, 1850, vol. xix. p. 475.]

The voracious _Galeodes_ has not yet been noticed in Ceylon; but its
carnivorous propensities are well known in those parts of Hindustan,
where it is found, and where it lives upon crickets, coleoptera and
other insects, as well as small lizards and birds. This "tiger of the
insect world," as it has aptly been designated by a gentleman who was a
witness to its ferocity[1], was seen to attack a young sparrow half
grown, and seize it by the thigh, _which it sawed through_. The "savage
then caught the bird by the throat, and put an end to its sufferings by
cutting off its head." "On another occasion," says the same authority,
"Dr. Baddeley confined one of these spiders under a glass wall-shade
with two young musk-rats (_Sorex Indicus_), both of which it destroyed."
It must be added, however, that neither in the instance of the bird, of
the lizard, or the rats, did the galeodes devour its prey after killing

[Footnote 1: Capt. Hutton. See a paper on the _Galeodes voræ_ in the
_Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_, vol. xi. Part 11. p. 860.]

In the hills around Pusilawa, I have seen the haunts of a curious
species of long-legged spiders[1], popularly called "harvest-men," which
congregate in hollow trees and in holes in the banks by the roadside, in
groups of from fifty to a hundred, that to a casual observer look like
bunches of horse-hair. This appearance is produced by the long and
slender legs of these creatures, which are of a shining black, whilst
their bodies, so small as to be mere specks, are concealed beneath them.
The same spider is found in the low country near Galle, but there it
shows no tendency to become gregarious. Can it be that they thus
assemble in groups in the hills for the sake of accumulated warmth at
the cool altitude of 4000 feet?

[Footnote 1: _Phalangium bisignatum_.]

_Ticks_.--Ticks are to be classed among the intolerable nuisances to the
Ceylon traveller. They live in immense numbers in the jungle[1], and
attaching themselves to the plants by the two forelegs, lie in wait to
catch at unwary animals as they pass. A shower of these diminutive
vermin will sometimes drop from a branch, if unluckily shaken, and
disperse themselves over the body, each fastening on the neck, the ears,
and eyelids, and inserting a barbed proboscis. They burrow, with their
heads pressed as far as practicable under the skin, causing a sensation
of smarting, as if particles of red hot sand had been scattered over the
flesh. If torn from their hold, the suckers remain behind and form an
ulcer. The only safe expedient is to tolerate the agony of their
penetration till a drop of coco-nut oil or the juice of a lime can be
applied, when these little furies drop off without further ill
consequences. One very large species, dappled with grey, attaches itself
to the buffaloes.

[Footnote 1: Dr. HOOKER, in his _Himalayan Journal_, vol. i. p. 279, in
speaking of the multitude of those creatures in the mountains of Nepal,
wonders what they tend to feed on, as in these humid forests in which
they literally swarmed, there was neither pathway nor animal life. In
Ceylon they abound everywhere in the plains on the low brush-wood; and
in the very driest seasons they are quite as numerous as at other times.
In the mountain zone, which is more humid, they are less prevalent. Dogs
are tormented by them: and they display something closely allied to
cunning in always fastening on an animal in those parts where they
cannot be torn off by his paws; on his eye-brows, the tips of his ears,
and the back of his neck. With a corresponding instinct I have always
observed in the gambols of the Pariah dogs, that they invariably
commence their attentions by mutually gnawing each other's ears and
necks, as if in pursuit of ticks from places from which each is unable
to expel them for himself. Horses have a similar instinct; and when they
meet, they apply their teeth to the roots of the ears of their
companions, to the neck and the crown of the head. The buffaloes and
oxen are relieved of ticks by the crows which rest on their backs as
they browse, and free them from these pests. In the low country the same
acceptable office is performed by the "cattle-keeper heron" (_Ardea
bubulcus_), which is "sure to be found in attendance on them while
grazing; and the animals seem to know their benefactors, and stand
quietly, while the birds peck their tormentors from their
flanks."--_Mag. Nat. Hist._ p. 111, 1844.]

_Mites_.--The _Trombidium tinctorum_ of Hermann is found about Aripo,
and generally over the northern provinces,--where after a shower of rain
or heavy night's dew, they appear in countless myriads. It is about half
an inch long, like a tuft of crimson velvet, and imparts its colouring
matter readily to any fluid in which it may be immersed. It feeds on
vegetable juices, and is perfectly innocuous. Its European
representative, similarly tinted, and found in garden mould, is commonly
called the "Little red pillion."

MYRIAPODS.--The certainty with which an accidental pressure or unguarded
touch is resented and retorted by a bite, makes the centipede, when it
has taken up its temporary abode, within a sleeve or the fold of a
dress, by far the most unwelcome of all the Singhalese assailants. The
great size, too (little short of a foot in length), to which it
sometimes attains, renders it formidable, and, apart from the
apprehension of unpleasant consequences from a wound, one shudders at
the bare idea of such a hideous creature crawling over the skin, beneath
the innermost folds of one's garments.

[Illustration: CERMATIA.]

At the head of the _Myriapods_, and pre-eminent from a
superiorly-developed organisation, stands the genus _Cermatia_:
singular-looking objects; mounted upon slender legs, of gradually
increasing length from front to rear, the hind ones in some species
being amazingly prolonged, and all handsomely marked with brown annuli
in concentric arches. These myriapods are harmless, excepting to
woodlice, spiders, and young cockroaches, which form their ordinary
prey. They are rarely to be seen; but occasionally at daybreak, after a
more than usually abundant repast, they may be observed motionless, and
resting with their regularly extended limbs nearly flat against the
walls. On being disturbed they dart away with a surprising velocity, to
conceal themselves in chinks until the return of night.

But the species to be really dreaded are the true _Scolopendræ_, which
are active and carnivorous, living in holes in old walls and other
gloomy dens. One species[1] attains to nearly the length of a foot, with
corresponding breadth; it is of a dark purple colour, approaching black,
with yellowish legs and antennæ, and in its whole aspect repulsive and
frightful. It is strong and active, and evinces an eager disposition to
fight when molested. The _Scolopendræ_ are gifted by nature with a rigid
coriaceous armour, which does not yield to common pressure, or even to a
moderate blow; so that they often escape the most well-deserved and
well-directed attempts to destroy them, seeking refuge in retreats which
effectually conceal them from sight.

[Footnote 1: _Scolopendra crassa_, Temp.]

There is a smaller species[1], that frequents dwelling-houses; it is
about one quarter the size of the preceding, and of a dirty olive
colour, with pale ferruginous legs. It is this species that generally
inflicts the wound, when persons complain of being bitten by a scorpion;
and it has a mischievous propensity for insinuating itself into the
folds of dress. The bite at first does not occasion more suffering than
would arise from the penetration of two coarsely-pointed needles; but
after a little time the wound swells, becomes acutely painful, and if it
be over a bone or any other resisting part, the sensation is so
intolerable as to produce fever. The agony subsides after a few hours'
duration. In some cases the bite is unattended by any particular degree
of annoyance, and in these instances it is to be supposed that the
contents of the poison gland had become exhausted by previous efforts,
since, if much tasked, the organ requires rest to enable it to resume
its accustomed functions and to secrete a supply of venom.

[Footnote 1: _Scolopendra pallipes_.]

_The Fish-insect_.--The chief inconvenience of a residence in Ceylon,
both on the coast and in the mountains, is the prevalence of damp, and
the difficulty of protecting articles liable to injury from this cause.
Books, papers, and manuscripts rapidly decay; especially during the
south-west monsoon, when the atmosphere is saturated with moisture.
Unless great precautions are taken, the binding fades and yields, the
leaves grow mouldy and stained, and letter-paper, in an incredibly short
time, becomes so spotted and spongy as to be unfit for use. After a very
few seasons of neglect, a book falls to pieces, and its decomposition
attracts hordes of minute insects, that swarm to assist in the work of
destruction. The concealment of these tiny creatures during daylight
renders it difficult to watch their proceedings, or to discriminate the
precise species most actively engaged; but there is every reason to
believe that the larvæ of the death-watch and numerous acari are amongst
the most active. As nature seldom peoples a region supplied with
abundance of suitable food, without, at the same time, taking measures
of precaution against the disproportionate increase of individuals; so
have these vegetable depredators been provided with foes who pursue and
feed greedily upon them. These are of widely different genera; but
instead of their services being gratefully recognised, they are
popularly branded as accomplices in the work of destruction. One of
these ill-used creatures is a tiny, tail-less scorpion (_Chelifer_[1]),
and another is the pretty little silvery creature (_Lepisma_), called by
Europeans the "fish-insect."[2]

[Footnote 1: Of the first of these, three species have been noticed in
Ceylon, all with the common characteristics of being nocturnal, very
active, very minute, of a pale chesnut colour, and each armed with a
crab-like claw. They are

  _Chelifer Librorum_, Temp.
  _Chelifer oblongus_, Temp.
  _Chelifer acaroides_, Hermann.

Dr. Templeton appears to have been puzzled to account for the appearance
of the latter species in Ceylon, so far from its native country, but it
has most certainly been introduced from Europe, in Dutch or Portuguese

[Footnote 2: _Lepisma niveo-fasciata_, Templeton, and _L. niger_, Temp.
It was called "Lepisma" by Fabricius, from its fish-like scales. It has
six legs, filiform antenna, and the abdomen terminated by three
elongated setæ, two of which are placed nearly at right angles to the
central one. LINNÆUS states that the European species, with which book
collectors are familiar, was first brought in sugar ships from America.
Hence, possibly, these are more common in seaport towns in the South of
England and elsewhere, and it is almost certain that, like the chelifer,
one of the species found on book-shelves in Ceylon, has been brought
thither from Europe.]

The latter, which is a familiar genus, comprises several species, of
which only two have as yet been described; one is of a large size, most
graceful in its movements, and singularly beautiful in appearance, owing
to the whiteness of the pearly scales from which its name is derived.
These, contrasted with the dark hue of the other parts, and its
tri-partite tail, attract the eye as the insect darts rapidly along.
Like the chelifer, it shuns the light, hiding in chinks till sunset, but
is actively engaged throughout the night feasting on the acari and
soft-bodied insects which assail books and papers.

_Millepeds_.--In the hot dry season, and more especially in the northern
portions of the island, the eye is attracted along the edges of the
sandy roads by fragments of the dislocated rings of a huge species of
millepede[1], lying in short curved tubes, the cavity admitting the tip
of the little finger. When perfect the creature is two-thirds of a foot
long, of a brilliant jet black, and with above a hundred yellow legs,
which, when moving onward, present the appearance of a series of
undulations from rear to front, bearing the animal gently forwards. This
_Julus_ is harmless, and may be handled with perfect impunity. Its food
consists chiefly of fruits and the roots and stems of succulent
vegetables, its jaws not being framed for any more formidable purpose.
Another and a very pretty species[2], quite as black, but with a bright
crimson band down the back, and the legs similarly tinted, is common in
the gardens about Colombo and throughout the western province.

[Footnote 1: _Julus ater_.]

[Footnote 2: _Julus carnifex_, Fab.]

CRUSTACEA.--The seas around Ceylon abound with marine articulata; but a
knowledge of the crustacea of the island is at present a desideratum;
and with the exception of the few commoner species that frequent the
shores, or are offered in the markets, we are literally without
information, excepting the little that can be gleaned from already
published systematic works.


In the bazaars several species of edible crabs are exposed for sale; and
amongst the delicacies at the tables of Europeans, curries made from
prawns and lobsters are the triumphs of the Ceylon cuisine. Of these
latter the fishermen sometimes exhibit specimens[1] of extraordinary
dimensions and of a beautiful purple hue, variegated with white. Along
the level shore north and south of Colombo, and in no less profusion
elsewhere, the nimble little Calling Crabs[2] scamper over the moist
sands, carrying aloft the enormous hand (sometimes larger than the rest
of the body), which is their peculiar characteristic, and which, from
its beckoning gesture has suggested their popular name. They hurry to
conceal themselves in the deep retreats which they hollow out in the
banks that border the sea.

[Footnote 1: _Palinurus ornatus_, Fab. P--n. s.]

[Footnote 2: _Gelasimus tetragonon_? Edw.; _G. annulipes_? Edw.; _G.
Dussumieri_? Edw.]

_Sand Crabs_.--In the same localities, or a little farther inland, the
_Ocypode_[1] burrows in the dry soil, making deep excavations, bringing
up literally armfulls of sand; which with a spring in the air, and
employing its other limbs, it jerks far from its burrows, distributing
it in a circle to the distance of several feet.[2] So inconvenient are
the operations of these industrious pests that men are kept regularly
employed at Colombo in filling up the holes formed by them on the
surface of the Galle face. This, the only equestrian promenade of the
capital, is so infested by these active little creatures that accidents
often occur through horses stumbling in their troublesome excavations.

[Footnote 1: _Ocypode ceratophthamus_. Pall.]

[Footnote 2: _Ann. Nat. Hist_. April, 1852. Paper by Mr. EDGAR L.

_Painted Crabs_.--On the reef of rocks which lies to the south of the
harbour at Colombo, the beautiful little painted crabs[1], distinguished
by dark red markings on a yellow ground, may be seen all day long
running nimbly in the spray, and ascending and descending in security
the almost perpendicular sides of the rocks which are washed by the
waves. _Paddling Crabs_[2], with the hind pair of legs terminated by
flattened plates to assist them in swimming, are brought up in the
fishermen's nets. _Hermit Crabs_ take possession of the deserted shells
of the univalves, and crawl in pursuit of garbage along the moist beach.
Prawns and shrimps furnish delicacies for the breakfast table; and the
delicate little pea crab, _Pontonia inflata_[3], recalls its
Mediterranean congener[4], which attracted the attention of Aristotle,
from taking up its habitation in the shell of the living pinna.

[Footnote 1: _Grapsus strigosus_, Herbst.]

[Footnote 2: _Neptunus pelagicus_, Linn.; _N. sanguinolentus_, Herbst,
&c. &c.]

[Footnote 3: MILNE EDW., _Hist. Nat. Crust_., vol. ii. p. 360.]

[Footnote 4: _Pinnotheres veterum_.]

ANNELIDÆ.--The marine _Annelides_ of the island have not as yet been
investigated; a cursory glance, however, amongst the stones, on the
beach at Trincomalie and in the pools that afford convenient basins for
examining them, would lead to the belief that the marine species are not
numerous; tubicole genera, as well as some nereids, are found, but there
seems to be little diversity, though it is not impossible that a closer
scrutiny might be repaid by the discovery of some interesting forms.

_Leeches_.--Of all the plagues which beset the traveller in the rising
grounds of Ceylon, the most detested are the land leeches.[1] They are
not frequent in the plains. which are too hot and dry for them; but
amongst the rank vegetation in the lower ranges of the hill country,
which is kept damp by frequent showers, they are found in tormenting
profusion. They are terrestrial, never visiting ponds or streams. In
size they are about an inch in length, and as fine as a common knitting
needle; but they are capable of distension till they equal a quill in
thickness, and attain a length of nearly two inches. Their structure is
so flexible that they can insinuate themselves through the meshes of the
finest stocking, not only seizing on the feet and ankles, but ascending
to the back and throat and fastening on the tenderest parts of the body.
In order to exclude them, the coffee planters, who live amongst these
pests, are obliged to envelope their legs in "leech gaiters" made of
closely woven cloth. The natives smear their bodies with oil, tobacco
ashes, or lemon juice[2]; the latter serving not only to stop the flow
of blood, but to expedite the healing of the wounds. In moving, the land
leeches have the power of planting one extremity on the earth and
raising the other perpendicularly to watch for their victim. Such is
their vigilance and instinct, that on the approach of a passer-by to a
spot which they infest, they may be seen amongst the grass and fallen
leaves on the edge of a native path, poised erect, and preparing for
their attack on man and horse. On descrying their prey they advance
rapidly by semi-circular strides, fixing one end firmly and arching the
other forwards, till by successive advances they can lay hold of the
traveller's foot, when they disengage themselves from the ground and
ascend his dress in search of an aperture to enter. In these encounters
the individuals in the rear of a party of travellers in the jungle
invariably fare worst, as the leeches, once warned of their approach,
congregate with singular celerity. Their size is so insignificant, and
the wound they make is so skilfully punctured, that both are generally
imperceptible, and the first intimation of their onslaught is the
trickling of the blood or a chill feeling of the leech when it begins to
hang heavily on the skin from being distended by its repast. Horses are
driven wild by them, and stamp the ground in fury to shake them from
their fetlocks, to which they hang in bloody tassels. The bare legs of
the palankin bearers and coolies are a favourite resort; and, as their
hands are too much engaged to be spared to pull them off, the leeches
hang like bunches of grapes round their ankles; and I have seen the
blood literally flowing over the ledge of a European's shoe from their
innumerable bites. In healthy constitutions the wounds, if not
irritated, generally heal, occasioning no other inconvenience than a
slight inflammation and itching; but in those with a bad state of body,
the punctures, if rubbed, are liable to degenerate into ulcers, which
may lead to the loss of limb or even of life. Both Marshall and Davy
mention, that during the march of troops in the mountains, when the
Kandyans were in rebellion, in 1818, the soldiers, and especially the
Madras sepoys, with the pioneers and coolies, suffered so severely from
this cause that numbers perished.[3]

[Footnote 1: _Hæmadipsa Ceylanica_. Bose. Blainv. These pests are not,
however, confined to Ceylon, they infest the lower ranges of the
Himalaya.--HOOKER, vol. i. p. 107; vol. ii. p. 54. THUNBERG, who records
(_Travels_, vol. iv. p. 232) having seen them in Ceylon, likewise met
with them in the forests and slopes of Batavia. MARSDEN (_Hist_. p. 311)
complains of them dropping on travellers in Sumatra. KNORR found them at
Japan; and it is affirmed that they abound in islands farther to the
eastward. M. GAY encountered them in Chili.--(MOQUIN-TANDON,
_Hirudinées_, p. 211, 346). It is very doubtful, however, whether all
these are to be referred to one species. M. DE BLAINVILLE, under _H.
Ceylanica_, in the _Dict. de Scien. Nat_. vol. xlvii. p. 271, quotes M.
Bosc as authority for the kind, which that naturalist describes being
"rouges et tachetées;" which is scarcely applicable to the Singhalese
species. It is more than probable therefore, considering the period at
which M. BOSC wrote, that he obtained his information from travellers to
the further east, and has connected with the habitat universally
ascribed to them from old KNOX'S work (Part 1. chap. vi.) a meagre
description, more properly belonging to the land leech of Batavia or
Japan. In all likelihood, therefore, there may be a _H. Boscii_,
distinct from the _H. Ceylanica_. That which is found in Ceylon is
round, a little flattened on the inferior surface, largest at the anal
extremity, thence gradually tapering forward, and with the anal sucker
composed of four rings, and wider in proportion than in other species.


It is of a clear brown colour, with a yellow stripe the entire length of
each side, and a greenish dorsal one. The body is formed of 100 rings;
the eyes, of which there are five pairs, are placed in an arch on the
dorsal surface; the first four pairs occupying contiguous rings (thus
differing from the water-leeches, which have an unoccupied ring betwixt
the third and fourth); the fifth pair are located on the seventh ring,
two vacant rings intervening. To Mr. Thwaites, Director of the Botanic
Garden at Peradenia, who at my request examined their structure
minutely, I am indebted for the following most interesting particulars
respecting them. "I have been giving a little time to the examination of
the land leech. I find it to have five pairs of ocelli, the first four
seated on corresponding segments, and the posterior pair on the seventh
segment or ring, the fifth and sixth rings being eyeless (_fig_. A). The
mouth is very retractile, and the aperture is shaped as in ordinary
leeches. The serratures of the teeth, or rather the teeth themselves,
are very beautiful. Each of the three 'teeth,' or cutting instruments,
is principally muscular, the muscular body being very clearly seen. The
rounded edge in which the teeth are set appears to be cartilaginous in
structure; the teeth are very numerous, (_fig_. B); but some near the
base have a curious appendage, apparently (I have not yet made this out
quite satisfactorily) set upon one side. I have not yet been able to
detect the anal or sexual pores. The anal sucker seems to be formed of
four rings, and on each side above is a sort of crenated flesh-like
appendage. The tint of the common species is yellowish-brown or
snuff-coloured, streaked with black, with a yellow-greenish dorsal, and
another lateral line along its whole length. There is a larger species
to be found in this garden with a broad green dorsal fascia; but I have
not been able to procure one although I have offered a small reward to
any coolie who will bring me one." In a subsequent communication Mr.
Thwaites remarks "that the dorsal longitudinal fascia is of the same
width as the lateral ones, and differs only in being perhaps slightly
more green; the colour of the three fasciæ varies from brownish-yellow
to bright green." He likewise states "that the rings which compose the
body are just 100, and the teeth 70 to 80 in each set, in a single row,
except to one end, where they are in a double row."]


[Footnote 2: The Minorite friar, ODORIC of Portenau. writing in A.D.
1320, says that the gem-finders who sought the jewels around Adam's
Peak, "take lemons which they peel, anointing themselves with the juice
thereof, so that the leeches may not be able to hurt them."--HAKLUYT,
_Voy._ vol. ii. p. 58.]

[Footnote 3: DAVY'S _Ceylon_, p. 104; MARSHALL'S _Ceylon_, p. 15.]

One circumstance regarding these land leeches is remarkable and
unexplained; they are helpless without moisture, and in the hills where
they abound at all other times, they entirely disappear during long
droughts;--yet re-appear instantaneously on the very first fall of rain;
and in spots previously parched, where not one was visible an hour
before, a single shower is sufficient to reproduce them in thousands,
lurking beneath the decaying leaves, or striding with rapid movements
across the gravel. Whence do they re-appear? Do they, too, take a
"summer sleep," like the reptiles, molluscs, and tank fishes? or may
they, like the _Rotifera_, be dried up and preserved for an indefinite
period, resuming their vital activity on the mere recurrence of

[Footnote 1: See an account of the _Rotifera_ and their faculty of
repeated vivifaction, in the note appended to this chapter.]

Besides a species of the medicinal leech, which[1] is found in Ceylon,
nearly double the size of the European one, and with a prodigious
faculty of engorging blood, there is another pest in the low country,
which is a source of considerable annoyance, and often of loss, to the
husbandman. This is the cattle leech[2], which infests the stagnant
pools, chiefly in the alluvial lands around the base of the mountain
zone, whither the cattle resort by day, and the wild animals by night,
to quench their thirst and to bathe. Lurking amongst the rank vegetation
that fringes these deep pools, and hid by the broad leaves, or concealed
among the stems and roots covered by the water, there are quantities of
these pests in wait to attack the animals on their approach to drink.
Their natural food consists of the juices of lumbrici and other
invertebrata; but they generally avail themselves of the opportunity
afforded by the dipping of the muzzles of the animals in the water to
fasten on their nostrils, and by degrees to make their way to the deeper
recesses of the nasal passages, and the mucous membranes of the throat
and gullet. As many as a dozen have been found attached to the
epiglottis and pharynx of a bullock, producing such irritation and
submucous effusion that death has eventually ensued; and so tenacious
are the leeches that even after death they retain their hold for some

[Footnote 1: _Hirudo sanguisorba_. The paddi-field leech of Ceylon, used
for surgical purposes, has the dorsal surface of blackish olive, with
several longitudinal striæ, more or less defined; the crenated margin
yellow. The ventral surface is fulvous, bordered laterally with olive;
the extreme margin yellow. The eyes are ranged as in the common
medicinal leech of Europe; the four anterior ones rather larger than the
others. The teeth are 140 in each series, appearing as a single row; in
size diminishing gradually from one end, very close set, and about half
the width of a tooth apart. When full grown, these leeches are about two
inches long, but reaching to six inches when extended. Mr. Thwaites, to
whom I am indebted for these particulars, adds that he saw in a tank at
Kolona Korle leeches which appeared to him flatter and of a darker
colour than those described above, but that he had not an opportunity of
examining them particularly.

[Illustration: DORSAL.]

[Illustration: VENTRAL.]

Mr. Thwaites states that there is a smaller tank leech of an olive-green
colour, with some indistinct longitudinal striæ on the upper surface;
the crenated margin of a pale yellowish-green; ocelli as in the
paddi-field leech; length, one inch at rest, three inches when extended.

Mr. E.L. LAYARD informs us, _Mag. Nat. Hist_. p. 225, 1853, that a
bubbling spring at the village of Tonniotoo, three miles S.W. of
Moeletivoe, supplies most of the leeches used in the island. Those in
use at Colombo are obtained in the immediate vicinity.]

[Footnote 2: _Hæmopsis paludum_. In size the cattle leech of Ceylon is
somewhat larger than the medicinal leech of Europe: in colour it is of a
uniform brown without bands, unless a rufous margin may be so
considered. It has dark striæ. The body is somewhat rounded, flat when
swimming, and composed of rather more than ninety rings. The greatest
dimension is a little in advance of the anal sucker; the body thence
tapers to the other extremity, which ends in an upper lip projecting
considerably beyond the mouth. The eyes, ten in number, are disposed as
in the common leech. The mouth is oval, the biting apparatus with
difficulty seen, and the teeth not very numerous. The bite is so little
acute that the moment of attachment, and the incision of the membrane is
scarcely perceived by the sufferer from its attack.]

[Footnote 3: Even men, when stooping to drink at a pool, are not safe
from the assault of the cattle leeches. They cannot penetrate the human
skin, but the delicate membrane of the mucous passages is easily
ruptured by their serrated jaws. Instances have come to my knowledge of
Europeans into whose nostrils they had gained admission and caused
serious disturbance.]

       *       *       *       *       *




Podura _albicollis_.

Archoreutes _coccinea_.

Lepisma nigrofasciara, _Temp_.


Buthus afer. _Linn_.
  Ceylonicus, _Koch_.

Scorpio _linearis_.

Chelifer librorum.

Obisium _crassifemur_.

Phrynus lunatus, _Pall_.

Thelyphonus caudatus, _Linn._

Phalangium _bisignatum_.

Mygale fasciata, _Walck_.

Olios taprobanius, _Walck_.

Nephila ... ?

Trombidium tinctorum, _Herm_.

Oribata ... ?

Ixodes ... ?


Cermatia _dispar_.

Lithobius _umbratilis_.

Scolopendra _crassa_.
  spinosa, _Newp_.
  _Grayii_? _Newp_.
  tuberculidens, _Newp_.
  Ceylonensis, _Newp_.
  flava, _Newp_.

Cryptops _sordidus_.

Geophilus _tegularius_.

Julus _ater_.
  carnifex, _Fabr_.

Craspedosoma _juloides_.

Polydesmus _granulatus_.

Cambala _catenulata_.

Zephronia _conspicua_.




Neptunus pelagicus, _Linn._
  sanguinolentus, _Herbst_.

Thalamlta ... ?

Thelphusa _Indica, Latr_.

_Cardisoma_ ... ?

Ocypoda ceratophthalmus, _Pall_,
  _macrocera, Edw_.

Gelasimus _tetragonon, Edw_.
  _annulipes, Edw_.

Macrophthalmus _carinimanus, Latr_.

Grapsus _messor, Forsk_.
  strigosus, _Herbst_.

Plagusia depressa, _Fabr_.

Calappa philargus, _Linn._
  _tuberculata, Fabr_.

Matota victor, _Fabr_.

Leucosia _fugax, Fabr_.



_Dromia_ ... ?

Hippa Asiatica, _Edw_.

Pagurus affinis, _Edw_.
  _punctulatus, Oliv_.

_Porcellana_ ... ?


Scyllarus _orientalis, Fabr_.

Palinurus ornatus, _Fabr_.
  affinis, _N.S._

_Crangon_ ... ?

_Alpheus_ ... ?

Pomonia inflata, _Edw_.

Palæmon carcinus, _Fabr_.

Steaopus ... ?

Peneus ...?


_Squilla_ ... ?

Gonodactylus chiragra, _Fabr_.







  Hirudo _sanguisorba_.
  Hæmopsis _paludum_.
  Hæmadipsa Ceylana. _Blainv_.

Lumbricus ... ?

       *       *       *       *       *



The _Rotifer_, a singular creature, although it can only truly live in
water, inhabits the moss on house-tops, dying each time the sun dries up
its place of retreat, to revive as often as a shower of rain supplies it
with the moisture essential to its existence; thus employing several
years to exhaust the eighteen days of life which nature has allotted to
it. These creatures were discovered by LEUWENHOECK, and have become the
types of a class already numerous, which undergo the same conditions of
life, and possess the same faculty. Besides the _Rotifera_, the
_Tardigrades_, (which belong to the _Acari_,) and certain paste-eels,
all exhibit a similar phenomenon. But although these different species
may die and be resuscitated several times in succession, this power has
its limits, and each successive experiment generally proves fatal to one
or more individuals. SPALLANZANI, in his experiments on the _Rotifera_,
did not find that any survived after the sixteenth alternation of
desiccation and damping, but paste-eels bore seventeen of those

SPALLANZANI, after thoroughly drying sand rich in _Rotifera_, kept it
for more than three years, moistening portions taken from it every five
or six months. BAKER went further still in his experiments on
paste-eels, for he kept the paste from which they had been taken,
without moistening it in any way, for twenty-seven years, and at the end
of that time the eels revived on being immersed in a drop of water. _If
they had exhausted their lives all at once and without these
intermissions, these Rotifera and paste-eels would not have lived beyond
sixteen or eighteen consecutive days._

To remove all doubt as to the complete desiccation of the animalcules
experimented on by SPALLANZANI and BAKER, M. DOYÈRE has published, in
the _Annales des Sciences Naturales_ for 1842, the results of his own
observation, in cases in which the mosses containing the insects were
dried under the receiver of an air-pump and left there for a week; after
which they were placed in a stove heated to 267° Fahr., and yet, when
again immersed in water, a number of the _Rotifera_ became as lively as

Further particulars of these experiments will be found in the Appendix
to the _Rambles of a Naturalist, &c._, by M. QUARTREFAGE.


       *       *       *       *       *

ABOU-ZEYD, his account of fish on dry land, 350 n.
Abyssinia, fishes of, 352.
_Acalephæ_, 398. _See_ Radiata.
Acanthopterygii, 360.
Accipitres, 245.
_Acherontia Sathanas_, 427
Adam's Peak, elephants on the summit, 109.
Ælian's account of the mermaid, 69.
his statement as to the export of elephants from Ceylon, 77 _n_., 209 _n_.
  error as to the shedding of the elephant's tusks, 79 _n_.
  describes elephants killing criminals with their knees. 87 _n_.
  error as to elephants' joints, 102.
  his account of Ceylon tortoises, 293.
  his account of the superiority of the elephants of Ceylon, 209 _n_.
  his description of the performances of the trained elephants at
    Rome, 237.
  his account of the sword-fish, 328.
  describes a _Cheironectes_, 331.
African elephant, its peculiarities, 65.
  not inferior to the Indian in tractability, 208.
Albino buffalo, 57.
  deer, 59.
Albyrouni, on the pearl oyster, 375.
Alce, described by Pliny and Cæsar, 101 _n_.
Alexandria, story of the dogs at, 34.
Alligator, 283. _See_ Crocodile.
Almeida, Manoel de, on burying fishes, 353 _n_.
Amboina, mermaids at, 70.
Ampullaria, its faculty of burying itself, 355.
_Anabas_, 354.
  Daldorf's account of, doubted, 349, 350.
  accidents from, 351 n.
Angling bad in Ceylon, 335 _n_., 341.
_Annelidæ_, leeches, 479.
  land-leech, its varieties, 482.
  land-leech, its teeth and eyes, 480.
  its tormenting bite, 482.
  list of, 485.
Anseres, 260.
Ansted, Prof., on the geology of Ceylon, 61.
  his statement as to the height of Indian elephants, 100 _n_.
Antiochus, elephants used by, 208.
Antipater, the first to bring the Indian elephant to Europe, 207.
Ant-lion, 411. _See_ Insects.
Ants, 420 _See_ Insects.
  red, 420, 422.
  white, 412. _See Termites_.
  their faculty in discovering food, 421.
Armandi's work on the use of elephants in war, 208 _n_.
Aphaniptera, 433.
_Arachnidæ_, spiders, 464.
  extraordinary webs, _ib_.
  _Olios Taprobanius_, 470.
  _Mygale fasciata_, 465.
  erroneously called "tarentula," _ib_.
  anecdote of, 466.
  spiders, the Mygale, 465.
  birds killed by it, 468.
  Galeodes, 470.
  ticks, their multitude, 471.
  mites, 472.
  _Trombidium tinctorum_, 472.
  list of, 485.
Argus cowrie, 369.
Aripo, the sea-shore, 373.
Aristotle, account of fishes migrating overland, 344.
  sounds made by elephants, 97.
  his error as to the elephant's knees, 101.
Armitage, Mr., story of an elephant on his estate, 139.
Articulata, list of, 485.
Athenæus, anecdotes of fishes on dry land, 346.
Avicula, 373. _See_ Pearl Fishery.
Avitchia, story of, 244. _See_ Jackdaw.
Ayeen Akbery, elephant stomach described in, 128.

Baker, Mr., his theory of the passion for sporting, 142 n.
  its accuracy questionable, 142 _n_.
Badger, the Ceylon, 38. _See_ Mongoos.
Bandicoot rat, 44.
Barbezieux, on the elephant, 104.
_Batocera rubus_, 406.
Batrachia, 318.
Bats, 13 _See_ Mammalia _and_ Cheiroptera.
  orange-coloured bats, 14.
  bats do not hybernate in Ceylon, 18.
  horse-shoe bat, 19.
  sense of smell and touch, 19.
  small bat, _Scotophilus Coromandelicus_, 20.
  their parasite (Nycteribia), 20-22.
Batticaloa, musical fish, 380.
Bears, 22. _See_ Mammalia.
  ferocity of, 23.
  charm to protect from, 25 _n_.
Beaters for elephants, 150.
Beaver, on African elephant, 234.
Beckman's account of fishes on dry land, 346.
Bees, 419. _See_ Insects.
Beetles, 405. _See_ Insects.
  instincts of the scavenger beetle, 405.
  coco-nut beetle, 407.
  tortoise beetle, 408.
Bell, Sir Charles, on the elephant's shoulder, 108.
Benary, his derivation of the word elephant, 76 _n_.
Bengal mode of taking elephants, 164.
Bennett's account of Ceylon, _Introd_.
  work on its Ichthyology, 323.
Bernier, on the Ceylon elephant, 209.
Bertolacci, on form of _chank shell_, 372.
Bestiaries, 104.
Bicho de Mar. _See_ Holothuria.
Birds of Ceylon, 241.
  their number and character, _ib_.
  few songsters, 242.
  pea-fowl, 244.
  eagles and hawks, 245.
  owls, devil bird, 246, 247.
  swallows, 248.
  edible bird' nests, 248.
  kingfisher, sun birds, 249.
  bulbul, tailor bird, weaver bird, 251.
  crows, anecdotes of, 253.
  paroquets, 256.
  pigeons, 257.
  jungle-fowl, 259.
  _grallæ_, flamingoes, 260.
  list of Ceylon birds, 265.
Bird-eating spiders, 469.
Birds' nests, edible, 248.
Blainville, De, on the age of the elephant, 232.
Blair, on the anatomy of the elephant, 123 _n_.
Bles, Marcellus, on the elephants of Ceylon. 113 _n_., 215 _n_.
Blood-suckers, 275.
Blyth, Mr., of Calcutta, his cultivation of zoology, 4.
  his revision of this work, _Introd_.
Boa, 303. _See_ Python.
Boar, wild, 59.
Bochart, 68.
  his derivation of the word "elephant," 76 _n_.
Bora-chung, a curious fish, 367.
Bosquez, Demas, account of a mermaid, 70.
Bowring, Sir John, on the fishes of Siam, 348.
Broderip, on the elephant, 122.
Browne, Sir Thomas, _vulgar errors_, 100, 105.
  error as to elephants' joints, 102.
Brun, Le, account of the elephants at Colombo, 77 _n_.
Bruno _or_ Braun, his account of the Guinea worm, 397.
Buchanan, story of buffalo "rogues," 115 _n_.
Buffalo, 54. _See_ Mammalia.
  its temper, 54.
  sporting buffaloe, 55.
  peculiar structure of its foot, 56.
  rogue buffalo, 115 _n_.
  buffalo's stomach and its water-cells, 129 _n_.
Buffon, on the elephant, 113 _n_., 215.
Bugs, 433. _See_ Insects _and_ Coffee-bug.
Buist, Dr., account of fish fallen from clouds, 362.
Bulbul, 251. _See_ Birds.
_Bulimi_, their vitality, 357.
_Bullia_, curious property of, 370.
Bullocks for draught, 50.
Burying fishes, 351.
Butterflies, 403, 425. _See_ Insects.
  migration of, 403 _n_.
  the spectre butterfly, 426.

Cæcilia, 317. _See_ Reptiles.
Cæsar's description of the "_alce_," 100 _n_.
Cajan, 373 _n_.
Caldera, in Chili, musical sounds under water, 383.
Calotes, the green, 276.
Camel, attempt to domesticate in Ceylon, 53 _n_.
  stomach of, 128.
  antipathy to the horse, 83 _n_.
Camper, on the anatomy of the elephant's stomach, 125.
Carawala, 296. _See_ Reptiles.
Carnivora, 74.
Carpenter bee, 418. _See_ Insects.
Caterpillars, stings of, 429.
Cats attracted by the _Cuppa-may-niya,_ 33.
Centipede, 474. _See_ Myriapoda _and_ Scolopendræ.
_Ceratophora_, 279.
_Cerithia_, 381.
  probably musical, 381 _n._
_Cermatia_, 473. _See_ Myriapoda.
Cetacea, 68, 74.
  described by Megasthenes and Ælian, 69.
Chameleon, 278. _See_ Reptiles.
Chank shell, Turbinella rapa, 371. _See_ [Greek: Kochlious] and
Cheetah, 26. _See_ Leopard.
Cheironectes, described by Ælian, 331.
Cheiroptera, 13, 74.
_Chelifer_, 475.
Chelonia, 322.
Chena cultivation, 130.
Cicada, 432. _See_ Insects.
_Cirrhipeda_, 486.
Cissa, 252.
Civet, 32. _See_ Genette.
Climbing fish (_Anabas scandens_), 349.
Cluverius, 68.
Cobra de Capello, anecdotes of, 297.
  legend of, 297 _n_.
  a white cobra, 298 _n_.
  a tame cobra, 299 _n_.
  cobra crossing the sea, 300.
  curious belief as to the cobra, 300, 301.
  worship of, 303.
Cobra-tel, poison, 272. _See_ Kabara-tel.
Coecilia glutinosa, 317.
  attacked and killed by ants, 422.
Coco-nut beetle, 407.
Coffee-bug, _Lecanium Caffeæ_, 436.
Coffee rat, 43.
Coleoptera, 405.
Columbidæ, 257.
Conchology. _See_ Shells.
Cooroowe, elephant catchers, 181.
Corral for taking elephants, 156, 164. _See_ Elephant.
  process of its construction, 170.
  mode of conducting the capture, 156, 169.
Corse, Mr., account of elephants, 114.
Cosmas Indico pleustes, his reference to chanks at Marallo, 371.
Cotton-thief, 250. _See_ Tchitrea.
Crabs, 477. _See_ Crustacea.
Cripps, Mr., on sounds produced by elephants, 98.
  his story of an elephant which feigned death, 135.
  his account of fishes after rain, 343.
Crocodile, 282. _See_ Reptiles.
  its sensibility to tickling, 285.
  habit of the crocodile to bury itself in the mud, 286.
  its flesh eaten, 284 _n._
  their vitality, 288 _n_.
  one killed at Batticaloa, 287.
Crows, 233. _See_ Birds.
  anecdotes of, 254.
  story of a crow and a dog, 255.
Cruelty to turtle, &c., 291.
_Crustacea_, calling crabs, 477.
  Sand crabs (ocypode), 478.
  Painted crabs, 478.
  Paddling crabs, 478.
  Hermit crabs, 478.
  Pea crabs, 479.
  List of Ceylon Crustacea, 486.
Ctesias' error as to the elephant's knee, 101.
Cumming, Mr. Gordon, on the power of the elephant in overturning trees,
  218 _n_.
_Cuppa-moy niya_ plant, its attraction for cats, 33 _n_.
Cuvier, on the elephant, 133.
  on the structure of its tusks, 228.
  on the elephant's age, 232.

Daldorf's account of climbing fish, 350.
   his story doubted, 350.
Darwin, burying-place of llamas and goats,
  236 _n_.
  on the coleoptera of Brazil, 405.
Davy, Dr. John, describes the reptiles of
  Ceylon, 3.
  stimulates study of natural history, 3.
  operation on a diseased elephant, 224.
Dawson, Captain, story of an elephant, 107.
Deafness frequent in elephants, 98.
Death's-head moth, 427.
Decoy elephants, 157.
_Decapoda brachyura_, 486.
  _anomura_, 486.
  _macrura_, 486.
Deer, 57.
  meminna, 58.
  Ceylon elk, 59.
  milk-white, 59 _n_.
Demon-worship, anecdote of, 408.
Denham, error as to height of elephants, 99.
Devil-bird, 246. _See_ Owls.
  Mr. Mitford's account of, 247 _n_.
Diard, M., sends home an elephant for dissection, 123 _n_.
Dicuil on the elephant, 103.
Diptera, 434.
Dogs, 33.
  device of, to escape fleas, 433, 434.
  dog-tax, 33.
  republican instincts, 34.
  disliked by elephants, 82, 84.
Donne, on the elephant, 105.
Doras, fish of Guiana, 347.
Dragon-flies, 411. _See_ Insects.
Dugong, 68, 69.
  abundant at Manaar, 69.
  origin of the fable of the mermaid, 69.
Dutch belief in the mermaid, 70.

Eagles, 245. _See_ Birds.
Edentata, 46, 74.
Edrisi, the Arabian geographer, his account of musk, 32 _n_.
Eels, 337, 347 _n_.
Eginhard, life of Charlemagne, 103.
Elephant, 64, 75.
  Sumatran species, 64.
  points of distinction, 65.
  those of Ceylon extolled, 209.
  elephants on Adam's Peak, 109.
  numbers in Ceylon, 76.
  [Greek: Elephas], derivation of the word, 76 _n_.
  antiquity of the trade in, 77.
  numbers diminishing, 77.
  mode of poisoning, 77 _n_.
  tusks and their uses, 78.
  disposition gentle, 81.
  accidents from, 81.
  antipathy to other animals, 82; to the horse, 83.
  jealousy of each other, 86.
  mode of attacking man, 87.
  anecdote of a tame elephant, 89.
  African elephant differs from that of Ceylon, 64.
  skin, 91.
  white elephant, 92.
  love of shade, 94.
  water, not heat, essential to them, 94.
  sight limited--smell acute, 95.
  anatomy of the brain, 95.
  power of smell, 96.
  sounds uttered by, 96.
  subject to deafness, 98.
  exaggeration as to size, 98.
  source of this mistake, 98 _n_.
  stealthy motions, 100.
  error as to the elephant's want of joints, 100.
  probable origin of this mistake, 106.
  mode of lying down, 107.
  ability to climb acclivities, 108.
  mode of descending a mountain, 110.
  a herd is a family, 111.
  attachment to young, 112.
  young suckled by all the females in a herd, 113.
  theory of this, according to White, 113 _n_.
  a rogue, what, 114.
  savage attacks of rogues, 116.
  character of the rogues, 116, 147.
  habits of the herd, 117.
  anecdote of, 118.
  elephant's mode of drinking, 120.
  their method of swimming, 121.
  wells sunk by, 122.
  receptacle in the stomach, 122.
  stomach, anatomy of, 124.
  food of the elephant, 129.
  instinct in search of food, 130.
  dread of fences, 131.
  their caution exaggerated, 132.
  spirit of curiosity in elephants, 132.
  anecdote of Col. Hardy, 132, 133.
  sagacity in freedom over-estimated, 134.
  leave the forests during thunder, 134.
  cunning, feign death, 135.
  stories of encounters with wild elephants, 136.
  sporting, numbers shot, 142.
  butchery by expert shots, 142 _n_.
  fatal spots in the head, 144, 145.
  peculiar actions of elephants, 148.
  love of retirement, 149.
  elephant-trackers, 150.
  herd charging, 151.
  carcase useless 153.
  remarkable recovery from a wound, 154. _See Lieut_. Fretz.
  mode of taking in India, 157-162.
  height measured by the circumference of the foot, 159.
  mode of shipping elephants at Manaar, 162.
  mode of shipping elephants at Galle, in 1701, 163 _n_.
  _keddah_ for taking elephants in Bengal, 164.
  a corral (kraal) described, 165, 166.
  derivation of the word _corral_, 165 _n_.
  corral, its construction, 167, 172.
  corral, driving in the elephants, 173.
  the capture, 177.
  mode of securing, 181.
  the "cooroowe," or noosers, 181.
  tame elephants, their conduct, 182, 191.
  captives, their resistance and demeanour, 184.
  dread of white rods, 186.
  their contortions, 190.
  a young one, 206.
  conduct in captivity, 207.
  mode of training, 211.
  their employment in ancient warfare, 207.
  superiority of Ceylon, a fallacy, 209.
  elephant driver's crook (hendoo), 212.
  hairy elephants in Ceylon, 215 _n_.
Elephants, capricious disposition of, 215.
  first labour intrusted to them, 217.
  his comprehension of his duties, 218.
  exaggeration of his strength in uprooting trees, 218 _n_.
  Mahouts and their duties, 221.
  Their cry of _urre!_ 222 _n_.
  elephant's sense of musical notes, 223.
  its endurance of pain, 224.
  diseases in captivity, 225.
  subject to tooth-ache, 227.
  questionable economy of keeping trained elephants for labour, 229.
  their cost, 230.
  their food, 230 _n_.
  fallacy of their alleged reluctance to breed in captivity, 231.
  duration of life in the elephant, 232.
  theory of M. Fleurens, 232.
  instances of very old elephants in Ceylon, 233.
  dead elephant never found, 234.
  Sinbad's story, 236.
  passage from Ælian regarding the, 237.
Elk, 59. _See_ Deer; Mammalia.
Emydosauri, 321.
Emys trijuga, 290.
Englishman, anonymous, his story of a fight between elephants and horses,

Falconer, Dr., height of Indian elephant, 99 _n_.
Falkland Islands, peculiarity in the cattle there, 372 _n_.
Fauna of Ceylon, not common to India, _Introd_. 62.
  peculiar and independent, _Introd_. 62.
  have received insufficient attention, 3.
  first study due to Dr. Davy, 3.
  subsequent, due to Templeton, Layard, and Kelaart, 3, 4.
Fishes of Ceylon, little known, 323.
  seir fish, and others for table, 324.
  abundance of perch, soles, and sardines, 324.
  explanation of Odoric's statement, 324 _n_.
  sardines, said to be poisonous, 324.
  shark, and sawfish, 325.
  sawfish, 325.
  ray, 326.
  swordfish, 328.
  cheironectes of Ælian, 331.
  fishes of rare forms, and of beautiful colours, 332.
  fresh-water fishes, their peculiarities, 335.
  fresh-water, little known, _ib_.; reason, 335 _n_.
  eels, 337.
  reappearance of fishes after the dry season, 340.
Fishes, similar mysterious re-appearances elsewhere, 342 _n_.
  method of taking them by hand, 340.
  a fish decoy, 342.
  fish filling from clouds, 342 _n_., 362.
  buried alive in mud, 347.
  Mr. Yarrell's theory controverted, 344.
  travelling overland, 345.
  the fact was known to the Greeks and Romans, 345.
  instances in Guiana and Siam, 347.
  faculty of all migratory fish for discovering water, 347 _n_.
  on dry land in Ceylon, 348.
  fish ascending trees, 349.
  excerpt from letter by Mr. Morris, 348 _n_.
  Anabas scandens, 349, 350.
  Daldorf's statement, anticipated by Abou-zeyd, 350 _n_.
  accidents when fishing, 351 _n_.
  burying fishes and travelling fish, 351.
  occurrence of similar fish in Abyssinia and elsewhere, 352.
  statement of the patriarch Mendes, 553 _n_.
knowledge of habits of Melania employed judicially by E.L. Layard, 355
  illustrations of æstivating fish and animals, 356.
  æstivating shell-fish and water-beetlea, 351.
  fish in hot water, 358.
  list of Ceylon fishes, 359.
  Professor Huxley's memorandum on the fishes of Ceylon, 364.
  Dr. Gray's memorandum, 366.
  _Note_ on the _Bora-chung_, 367.
Fishing, native mode of, 340.
Fish insect, 475.
Flamingoes, 261. _See_ Birds.
Fleas, 433. _See_ Insects.
Fleurens, on the duration of life in the elephant, 232.
Flies, their instinct in discovering carrion, 196 _n_.
  mosquitoes, the plague of, 434.
Flowers, fondness of monkeys for, 7.
Flying Fox. _Pteropus Edwardsii_, 14. _See_ Mammalia.
  its sizes, 14.
  skeleton of, 15.
  food, 16.
  habits, 16.
  numbers, 16.
  strange attitudes, 17.
  food and habits, 18.
  drinking toddy, 18.
Flying squirrels, 41.
Fresh-water fishes, 335.
Fretz, Lieut., his singular wound, 154.
Frogs, 318.
  tree frogs, 319, 320.

Galle, elephants shipped in 1701, 163 _n_.
Gallinæ, 259.
Galloperdix bicalcaratus, 259.
Gallwey, Capt. P.P., great number of elephants shot by him, 142.
Game birds, 265.
Gardner, Dr., his account of the coffee bug, 436-441.
Gaur, 49 _See_ Mammalia.
  Knox's account of the gaur, 49.
Geckoes, 281.
Gemma Frisius, 68.
Genette, 32.
Geology of Ceylon, errors as to, 60.
  previous accounts, 61.
  traditions of ancient submersion, 61, 67.
  Ceylon has a fauna distinct from India, 62.
"Golden Meadows," 211 _n_. _See_ Massoude.
Golunda rat, 43.
_Goondah_, 114. _See_ Rogue.
Gooneratne, Mr., _Introd_.
  his story of the jackal, 35.
Gordon Cumming, his butchery of elephants in Africa, 146 _n_.
Gowra-ellia, 49.
Grallæ, 260.
Gray, Dr. J.E., Brit. Mus., _Introd_.
  notice of Ceylon fishes, 366.
Great fire-fish, 332.
Guinea worm, 397.
Günther, Dr. A., on Ceylon reptiles, 275 _n_., 304.
Gwillim's Heraldry, error as to elephants, 105 _n_.

Hambangtotte, elephants of, 99.
Hardy, Col, anecdote of, when chased by an elephant, 133.
Hardy, Rev. Spence, describes a white monkey, 8.
Haroun Alraschid, sends an elephant to Charlemagne, 103.
Harrison, Dr., 95.
  his anatomy of the elephant, 123 _n_., 126.
  his account of elephant's head, 142.
  of the elephant's ear, 223.
Hastisilpe, a work on elephants, 87 _n_., 91.
Hawking, 246.
Hawks. _See_ Birds, 246.
Hedge-hog, 46.
Helix hæmastoma, its colouring, 372.
Hemiptera, 433, 462.
Hendoo, crook for driving elephants, 212.
Herd, a, of elephants, is a family, 111.
  its mode of electing a leader, 117.
Herodotus, on mosquitoes, 435.
  antipathy of the elephant to the camel, 83 _n_.
Herpestes, 38.
Herport, Albrecht, his work on India, 71 _n_.
_Hesperidæ_, 426.
Hill, Sir John, error as to elephants, 98.
Hippopotamus rogues, 115 _n_.
Histiophorus, 330. _See_ Sword-fish.
Holland, Dr., his theory as to the formation of tusks, 89 _n_.
_Holothurin_, sea-slug and Trepang, 396.
Home, Sir Everard, on the elephant's stomach, 124.
  error as to the elephant's ear, 223.
Home, Randal, error as to elephant, 105 _n_.
Homoptera, 462, 463.
Honey-comb, great size of, 418.
Hooker, Dr. J.D., on the elephants of the Himalaya, 110 _n_.
  error as to white ants' nests, 413.
  on ticks in Nepal, 471 _n_., 472.
_Hora_, 115. _See_ Rogue.
Horace, alludes to a white elephant, 92 _n_.
Hornbill, _Buceros_, 242, 243.
Horse, alleged antipathy to the elephant, 83.
  to the camel, 83 _n_.
  story of, and an elephant, 89.
  horses taught to fight with elephants, 84.
Hotambeya, 40. _See_ Mongoos.
Hot-water fishes, 358.
Hunt, mode of conducting an elephant-hunt, 157.
Hunter, Dr. John, his theory of æstivation, 356.
Hurra! 223 _n_.
Huxley, Prof., _Introd_.
  his memorandum on the fishes of Ceylon, 364.
Hydrophobia in jackals, 36.
Hymenoptera, 416.

_Ianthina_, 370.
Ichneumon, 39. _See_ Mongoos.
Iguana, 271. _See_ Reptiles.
_Infusoria_, Red, in the Ceylon seas, 400.
Insects of Ceylon, 403.
  their profusion and beauty, 403.
  hitherto imperfectly described, 404.
  coleoptera, 405.
  Beetles, scavengers, 405.
  coco-nut beetle, tortoise beetle, 407.
  tortoise beetle, 408.
  Orthoptera, 408.
  the soothsayer, leaf-insect, 410.
  Neuroptera, 411.
  dragon-flies, 411.
  ant-lion, 411.
  white ant, termites, 411.
Insects, _Hymenoptera_, mason-wasp, 416.
  wasps, bees, wasps' nest, 418.
  carpenter bee, 418.
  ants, 420.
  value of scavenger ants to conchologists, 421.
  dimiya or red ant, 422.
  introduced to destroy coffee-bug, 423.
  _Lepidoptera_, butterflies, 424.
  _lycænidæ, hesperidæ_, 426.
  _acherontia sathanas_, 427.
  moths, silk-worm, 427.
  stinging caterpillars, 429.
  oiketicus, 430.
  _Homoptera, cicada_, the "knife-grinder," 432.
  Flata, 433.
  _Aphaniptera_--fleas, 433.
  _Diptera_--mosquitoes, 434.
  Coffee bug, 436-441.
  Mr. Walker's memorandum on Ceylon insects, 442.
  list, 447.
Ivory, annual consumption, 78 _n_.
  superiority of Chinese, _ib_.

Jackal, 35.
  its cunning, 35.
  probably the "fox" of Scripture, 35.
  its sagacity in hunting, 36.
  subject to hydrophobia, 36.
  jackal's horn, the _narric comboo_, 37.
  superstitions connected with, 37.
Jackdaw, fable of, 244. _See_ Avitchia.
Jardine, Sir W., error as to elephants shedding their tusks, 79 _n_.
Jay, the mountain, 252. _See_ Cissa.
Joinville, on the parasite of the bat, 20.
_Julus_, 477.
Jungle fowl, 259. _See_ Birds.
Juvenal's allusion to fishes on land, 346.

Kabragoya, 272, 273. _See_ Iguana.
  Kabara-tel, poison, 274.
  Kanats in Persia, 339 _n_.
Keddah, for taking elephants, 164.
Kelaart, Dr., work on the Zoology of Ceylon, 4.
  examination of the Radiata, 395.
  discoveries as to the pearl oyster, 375.
Kingfisher, 249. _See_ Birds.
Kinnis, Dr., cultivates zoology, 4.
Kite, on Egyptian sculpture, 246 _n_.
Knife-grinder, 432. _See_ Cicada.
Knox, R., account of Ceylon fauna, _Introd_.
  his description of the Wanderoo, 5.
  of elephants executing criminals, 87.
  of the mode of catching elephants, 157.
Knox, his description of natives fishing, 340.
[Greek: Kochlious], 371.
Kombook tree, its bark, 170.
_Korahl_, 165. _See_ Kraal _and_ Corral.
  derivation of the word, 165 _n_.
Kornegalle, beauty of the place, 167.
Kottiar, immense oysters, 371 _n_. _See_ Cottiar.
Kraal, 165. _See_ Corral _and_ Korahl.
Krank-bezoeker, 71 _n_.

Layard, E.A., his knowledge of Ceylon zoology, 4.
  his collections of Ceylon birds, 241.
  story of fish on dry land, 318.
  anecdote of burying molluscs, 355.
Leaf insect. 408-410. _See_ Insects.
Leaping fish, 332. _See Salarias alticus_.
_Lecanium Caffeæ_, 436.
Leeches, 479. _See Annelidæ_.
  land leech, 479.
  medicinal leech, 483.
  cattle leech, 344.
Leopard, 25.
  in Ceylon confounded with the _cheetah_, 26.
  superstitions regarding, 26.
  anecdotes of their ferocity, 27.
  attracted by the small-pox, 28.
  story of Major Skinner, 29.
  monkeys killed by leopards, 31.
Lepidoptera, 424.
_Lepisma_, the fish insect, 474.
Lima, General de, his account of the weight of elephants' tusks at
Mozambique, 79 _n_.
Livingstone's account of the "rogue" hippopotamus, 115 _n_.
Llama of the Andes, its stomach, 128 _n_.
Livy, account of fishes on dry land, 346.
Lizards, 271. _See_ Reptiles.
Lophobranchi, 362.
_Loris_, 12. _See_ Mammalia.
  two varieties in Ceylon, 12.
  torture inflicted on it, 13.
Lucan, description of the ichneumon, 39.
_Lycænidæ_, 426.
Lyre-headed lizard, 277.

Macabbees iii. Book, allusion to elephants, 87 _n_., 211 _n_.
Macacus monkey, 5.
Machlis described by Cæsar, 101.
Macready, Major, account of a noise made by elephants, 97.
his opinion as to the vulnerable point in the elephant's head. 145
Mahawanso, mentions a white elephant, 93.
Mahout, an elephant driver, 181. _See_ Ponnekella.
Mahout, alleged short life, 222.
_Malacopterygii abdominales_, 362.
  _sub-branchiati_, 362.
  _apoda_, 362.
Mammalia, 3.
  Monkeys, 5.
  Wanderoo, 6.
  error as to the Ceylon Wanderoo, 6, _n_.
  Wanderoo, mode of flight among trees, 9.
  monkeys never found dead, 11.
  _Loris_, 12.
  tortures inflicted on it, 13.
  Bat, flying fox, 14.
  skeleton of, 14.
  attracted by toddy to the coco-nut palms, 18.
  horse-shoe bat, 18.
  parasite of the bat, Nycteribia, 20, 21.
  bears, 22.
  bears dreaded in Ceylon, 24.
  leopards, 25.
  attracted by the odour of small pox, 28.
  anecdote of a leopard, 29.
  lesser felines, 32.
  dogs, Pariah, 34.
  jackal, 34.
  the jackal's horn, 36.
  Mongoos, 37.
  assaults of Mongoos on the serpent, 38.
  squirrels, 41.
  the flying squirrel, 41.
  rats, the rat snake, 42.
  coffee rat, 43, 44.
  bandicoot, 44, 45.
  porcupine, 45.
  pengolin, 46-48.
  the gaur, 49.
  the ox, 50.
  anecdote of, 51.
  draft oxen, 51-53.
  the buffalo, 54.
  sporting buffaloes, 55.
  peculiarity of the buffalo's foot, 56.
  deer, 57.
  meminna, 57, 58.
  Ceylon elk, 59.
  wild boar, 59.
  elephant, 69, 75.
  whale and dugong, 68, 69.
  peculiarities of Ceylon mammalia, 73.
  list of, 73.
Manaar, mermaid taken at, 69.
  elephants shipped at, 162.
  pearl fishery, 373.
Manis. _See_ Pengolin, 46.
Mantis, 410.
Massoudi, on the use of elephants in war, 211 _n_.
  his account of pearl-diving, 377 _n_.
_Mastacembelus_, 338. _See_ Eels.
Megasthenes' account of the mermaid, 69.
Mehemet Ali, story of, 34.
_Melania Paludina_, its habit of burying itself, 355.
  its hybernation, 355.
Melania, story of a law suit decided by, 355 _n_.
Meleagrina, 373 _n_. _See_ Pearl fishery.
Meminna deer, 58.
Mercator, 68.
Mercer, Mr., his story of an elephant fight, 86.
Mermaid, 68. _See_ Dugong.
Mermaids, at Manaar, 69.
  at Amboina, 70.
  at Booro, 71.
  at Edam, 72.
Millipeds, _Julus_, 477.
Mites, 472.
Mollusca. _See_ Shells.
Molyneux, on the anatomy of the elephant, 122 _n_.
Mongoos, 38. _See_ Ichneumon.
  species at Neuera-ellia, _Herpestes Vitticollis_, 38.
  story of its antidote against the bite of serpents, 39.
  its mode of killing snakes, 39.
Monkeys, 5.
  never found dead, 11.
  a white monkey, 8.
Moors of Galle, make ornaments of the elephant's teeth, 153.
Moors, as caravan drivers, 53.
Moose deer, 58. _See_ Meminna.
Morris, Mr., account of fishes on land, 348.
Mosquitoes, their cunning, 434.
  Herodotus, account of, 436.
  probably the plague of flies, 434 _n_.
Moths, 427. _See_ Insects.
Munster, Sebastian, 68.
Musical fishes, 380.
  account of, at Batticaloa, 380.
  similar phenomena at other places, 383 _n_.
  fishes known to utter sounds, 384.
  _Tritonia arborescens_, 385.
Musk, 32.
Mygale, spider, 465.
Myriapods, 472.

Narric-comboo, 37. _See_ Jackal's Horn.
Natural history neglected in Ceylon, 3.
Neela-cobeya, pigeon, 258.
Neuroptera, 411.
Nietner, on Ceylon insects, _Introd_.
_Nycteribia_, parasite of the bat, 20, 21.
  its extraordinary structure, 22.

Odoric of Portenau, his cure for leech bites, 481.
  his account of birds with two heads, 243.
  his account of fishes in Ceylon, 324 _n_.
_Oiketicus_, 430.
Oil-bird, 269.
Ophidia, 321.
Ortelius, 68.
Orthoptera, 408.
Ouanderoo. _See_ Wanderoo.
Owen, Professor, on the structure of the elephant's tusk, 228.
  on the Protopterus of the Gambia, 352.
Owls. _See_ Birds.
Oxen, their uses and diseases, 50.
  anecdote of a cow and a leopard, 51.
  white, eight feet high, seen by Wolf, 52 _n_.
Oysters at Bentotte, 371.
  immense, at Kottiar, 371 _n_.

Pachydermata, 59, 74.
Padivil, the great tank, 262.
Pallegoix, on the elephants of Siam, 98 _n_.
  on the fishes of Siam, 347.
Palm-cat, 32.
Panickeas, elephant catchers, 150, 158.
  their skill, 159.
Pariah dogs, 33.
Paris, Matthew, on the elephant, 103.
Paroquets, their habits; anecdote of, 256.
Passeres, 248.
Patterson, R., Esq., _Introd_.
Pea-fowl, 244. _See_ Birds.
  fable of the jackdaw, 244.
Pearl fishery of Ceylon, its antiquity, 373.
  dreary scenery of Aripo, 373.
  disappearances of the pearl-oyster, 374.
  capable of transplantation, 376.
  operation of diving, 377.
  endurance of the divers under water, 377.
  growth of the pearl-oyster, 379.
  pearls of Tamblegam, 380.
Pelicans, 262.
  strange scene at their breeding place, 263.
Pengolin, 46.
  its habits and food, 47.
  skeleton of, 48.
Phile, his account of the elephant, 103.
  error as to its joints, 107.
  describes its drinking, 121 _n_.
  its dispositions, 216 _n_.
  on the elephant's ear, 224.
  on elephants burying their dead, 235.
Phillipe, on the elephant of Ceylon, 209.
Phyllium, 410. _See_ Leaf Insect.
Physalus urticulus, 400. _See_ Portuguese Man-of-war.
Pictet, Mon., his derivation of the word "elephant," 76 _n_.
Pigeons, 257. _See_ Birds.
Pigeons, Lady Torrington's pigeon, 258.
_Placuna placenta_, pearls of, 380.
_Planaria_, 398. _See Radiata_.
Pliny's nereids, 72 _n_.
  error as to elephants shedding their tusks, 79 _n_.
  error as to their antipathy to other animals, 85.
  error as to elephant's joints, 100.
  account of the _machlis_, 101 _n_.
  his knowledge of the vulnerability of the elephant's head, 144 _n_.
  of fishes on dry land, 346.
  Ponnekella. _See_ Mahout.
Polybius' account of fishes on dry land, 346.
Pomponius, Mela, account of fishes on land, 346.
Porcupine, 45.
Portuguese belief in the mermaid, 69.
  Man-of-war, 400.
Pott, his derivation of the word elephant, 76 _n_.
Presbytes _cephalopterus_, 7.
  _ursinus_, 6, 9.
  _Thersites_, 6, 10.
  its fondness of attention, 10.
  _Priamus_, 10.
  its curiosity, 11.
Protopterus of the Gambia, 352.
Pseudophidia, 322.
Pterois volitans, 333.
_Pterophorus_, 430. _See_ Insects.
Pteropus, 14. _See_ Flying Fox.
Pyrard de Laval, on the Ceylon elephant, 209.
Python, its great size, 303.

Quadrumana, 5, 74.
Quatrefage on the Rotifera, 487.

_Radiata_, star-fish, 395.
  sea-slugs, holothuria, 396.
  parasitic worms, 396.
  Guinea worm, 397.
  _planaria_, 398.
  _acalephæ_, 398.
  Portuguese Man-of-war, 400.
  Red infusoria, 400.
Raja-kariya, forced labour, in elephant hunts, 170.
Raja-welle estate, story of an elephant at, 133 _n_.
Ramayana, Ceylon elephants mentioned in, 210.
Rats, 42.
  eaten as food in Oovah and Bintenne, 43.
  liable to hydrophobia, 43.
  coffee rat, 43.
  bandicoot, 44.
Rat snake, anecdote of, 43.
Rat-snake, domesticated, 299 _n_.
Ray, 326, 327.
Reinaud, on the ancient use of the elephant in Indian wars, 205 _n_.
Reptiles of Ceylon described by Dr. Davy, _Introd_.
  lizards, iguana, 271.
  kabara-tel, poison, 272.
  blood-suckers, 275.
  calotes, the green, 276.
  lyre-headed lizard, 277.
  chameleon, 278.
  _ceratophora_, 279.
  gecko, anecdotes of, 281, 282.
  crocodile, anecdotes of, 282, 283.
  crocodile and alligator, skulls of, 283.
  tortoises, 289.
  parasites of the tortoise, 289.
  Terrapins, 290.
  cruel mode of cutting up turtle, 291.
  turtle, said to be poisonous, 292.
  hawk's-bill turtle, 293.
  cruel mode of taking tortoise-shell, 293.
  snakes, few poisonous, 294.
  tic-polonga, 296.
  cobra de capello, 297.
  legends of the cobra, 297-298 _n_.
  _uropeltis_, 301.
  the python, 303.
  haplocercus, 304.
  tree-snakes, 305.
  water snakes, 308.
  sea snakes, 308.
  the snake-stone and its composition, 312-317.
  _cæcilia_, 317.
  frogs, 318.
  tree frogs, 319.
  list of Ceylon reptiles, 321.
  snakes peculiar to Ceylon, 322.
Rhinolophus, 19. _See_ Horse-shoe Bat.
Ribeyro's account of pearl-diving, 378.
Rilawa monkey, 5.
Rodentia, 41, 74.
Rogers, Major, story of his horse, 84.
  his death by lightning, 84 _n_.
  anecdote of an elephant killed by him, 107.
  great numbers of elephants shot by him, 142.
"A Rogue" elephant. _See_ Elephant, 114.
  derivation of the term "Rogue," 114.
_Ronkedor_, 114. _See_ "Rogue."
_Ronquedue_, 114. _See_ "Rogue."
  dangerous encounters with, 136.
Rotifera, marvellous faculty in, 486.
Rousette. _See_ Flying-fox _and_ Pteropus, 14.
Ruminantia, 49, 74.

_Salarias Alticus_, 332.
  almasius, 68.
Sardines, said to be poisonous, 324.
Saw fish, 325. _See_ Fishes.
Scaliger, Julius, 68.
Scansores, 256.
_Scarus harid_, 335.
_Schenck_, 371. _See_ Chank.
Schlegel's essay on the elephant, 208 _n_.
Schlegel, Prof., of Leyden, his account of the Sumatran elephant, 66.
Schmarda, Prof., 5.
Schomburgk, Sir R., on the fishes of Guiana, 347.
Sciurus Tennentii, 41 _n_.
_Scolopiendræ_, centipede, 474.
Scorpions, 474.
Sea slugs, _holothuria_, 397.
Sea snakes, 308.
Seir-fish, 324.
Seneca, account of fishes on dry land, 346.
Septuagint, allusion to elephants in, 87, 210 _n_.
Serpents, 294. _See_ Reptiles.
Shakspeare, on the elephant, 105.
  describes its capture in pit-falls, 157 _n_.
Sharks, 325.
Shark charmer, 378.
Shaw, error as to elephants shedding their tusks, 79 _n_.
Shells of Ceylon, 369.
  lanthina, 370.
  Bullia vittata, 370.
  chanks, 371.
  oysters, immense, 371 _n_.
  Helix hæmastoma, 372.
  Pearl fishery, 373.
  Musical shells, 381.
  Mr. Henley's memorandum, 386.
  uncertainty as to species, 387.
  list of Ceylon shells, 388.
Siam, fishes on dry land, 347.
Silk, cultivated by the Dutch, 429.
Silkworm. _See_ Insects.
Sindbad's story of the elephants burying-place, 236.
Skinner, Major, knowledge of Ceylon. _Introd_. _n_.
  adventure with a leopard, 30.
  great number of elephants killed by him, 142.
  description of the Panickeas or elephant catchers, 158, 159 _n_.
  anecdotes of elephants, 118.
  collection of Ceylon fish, 339.
Small-pox attracts the leopard, 28.
  native superstition, 29.
Snakes, 294. _See_ Reptiles.
  few venomous, 296.
  tic-polonga, 296.
  cobra de capello, 297.
  legends of, 297 _n_.
  stories of, 298.
Snakes, tamed snakes, 299 _n_.
  snakes crossing the sea, 300.
  curious tradition of the cobra-de-capello, 300.
  uropeltis, and explanation of the popular belief, 302.
  reluctance of Buddhists to kill snakes, 303.
  python or "boa," 303.
  tree snakes, 305.
  the _Passerita fusca_, 306.
  water snakes, 308.
  sea snakes, 308.
  their geographical distribution, 309.
  their habits, 310.
  cæcilia, 317.
Snake-stone, its alleged virtue, 312.
  anecdotes of its use, 312.
  analysis of, by Professor Faraday, 315.
Sofala, pearls at, 375 _n_.
Solinus, on the elephant, 103.
Soothsayer insect, 410.
Spectre butterfly, 426.
Spiders. _See Arachnida_, 464.
  at Gampola, 465.
  at Pusilawa, 471.
Squirrel, 41.
  the flying squirrel, 44.
Star-fish, 396. _See Radiata_.
Stick insect, 410. _See_ Insects.
Stinging caterpillars, 429.
Strabo, his account of fishes on dry land, 346.
Strachan, Mr., account of the elephants shipped at Ceylon, 163 _n_,
  210 _n_.
Stuckley, on the anatomy of the elephant, 123 _n_.
Sumatra confounded with Ceylon, 67.
  elephant of, 64.
  points in which it differs from that of India, 65.
Sun bird, 249. _See_ Birds.
Superstitions:--Singhalese folk-lore regarding bears, 24 _n_.
  leopards, 27, 29.
  mongoos, 38.
  kabra-goya, 273.
  cobra-de-capello, 300.
  use of snake-stones, 315.
  elephants' burial-place, 236.
Suriya trees, caterpillars on, 429.
Syrnum Indranee, 246. _See_ Devil-bird.
Swallows, 248. _See_ Birds.
Sword-fish, 328.

Tailor-bird, 251. _See_ Birds;
Tamblegam, lake of, 380.
  pearls, 380.
Tarentula, _Mygale fasciata_, 465.
  fight with a cockroach, 467.
  numerous at Gampola, 465.
Tavalam, a caravan of bullocks, 53.
Tavernier, error as to Ceylon elephants, 203, 214.
Taylor, the translator of Aristotle, his error as to elephants' joints,
Tchitrea paradisi, 250.
Temminck, his discovery of the Sumatran elephant, 64.
  his account of it, 65.
Templeton, Dr. R.A., his knowledge of Ceylon, _Introd_.
  his valuable aid in the present work, _ib_.
  his cultivation of zoology, 4.
  notice of Ceylon monkeys, 6.
_Termites_, white ants, their ravages, 412.
  whence comes their moisture, 412 _n_.
Terrapins, 290.
Terrier, attacks an elephant, 85.
Testudinata, 289.
Thaun, Philip de, on the elephant, 104.
Theobaldus' _Physiologus_, 104.
Theophrastus' account of fishes on dry land, 344, 345.
Thevenot, on the Ceylon elephant, 203.
Thomson's "_Seasons_," error as to the elephant, 106.
Thunberg, account of the snake-stone, 317.
_Thysdnura_, 464.
Ticks, 475.
Tic-polonga, 296. See Reptiles.
Tiger at Trincomalie, 25 _n_.
Toad, 319.
Torrington, Viscount, his tax on dogs, 33.
Tortoises, 289, 291. _See_ Turtle.
  parasite of, 289.
  fresh-water tortoises, 290. _See_ Terrapins.
Tortoise-shell, cruel mode of taking, 293.
Tree frogs, 320.
Tree snakes, 304.
Trepang, 396. _See_ Sea-slug.
_Tritonia arborescens_, 385. _See_ Musical Fish.
  letter on, 401.
_Trombidium tinctorum. See_ Mites.
Trumpeting of elephants, 97, 201.
Trunk, elephant's, origin of the name, 97 _n_.
Tsetse fly of Africa, 40.
Turbinella rapa, 371. _See_ Chank.
Turtle, 291. _See_ Reptiles.
  barbarous treatment of, 291.
Tushes, 79.
Tusks, 79. _See_ Elephant; Ivory.
  fallacy that they are shed, 79.
  weight of, 80.
  their uses, 80.
  singular shapes of, 88 _n_.
Tusks, Dr. Holland's theory of their formation, 88 _n_.
Tytler, Mr., story of an elephant, 133 _n_.

_Uropeltis_, 301.
Urré! cry of the elephant drivers, 222.

Valentyn's account of the mermaid, 70.
  Dutch mode of taking elephants, 164.
Venloos Bay, its profusion of shells, 369.
Vossius, Isaac, 68.

Waloora. _See_ Wild-boar, 59.
  dreaded by the Singhalese, 59.
Wanderoo monkey, 5.
Wasps, wasps' nest, 418.
  mason-wasp, 416.
Water-fowl, 260, 262.
Water snakes, 308.
Weaver-bird, 251.
Whales, 68. _See_ Cetacea.
White, Adam, Esq., Brit Mus., _Introd_.
White, of Selbourne, his theory of animals suckled by strange mothers, 113
White ants, 411. _See_ Termites.
Whiting, Mr., account of buried fishes, 342 _n_., 354.
Wild-boar, 59.
Wolf, Jo. Christian, travels in Ceylon, 99 _n_., 115 _n_.
  his account of elephants there, 99.
  describes pitfalls for elephants, 157 _n_.
Wood-carrying moth, 430. See Insects.
Worms, parasite, 396. _See Radiata_.
Wound when elephant shooting, 154.
Wright, Thomas, Esq., F.S.A., 104.

Yarrell's theory of buried fish, 342.
Yule's embassy to Ava, 216 _n_.

Zimb fly, 434.
Zoology neglected in Ceylon, 3. _See_ Natural History.
  partial extent to which it has been cultivated, _Introd_.



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