Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2]
Phillip Parker King
Part 6 out of 10
Otway. (See Horsburgh volume 2 page 499.)
There appears to be a considerable difference in the positions assigned
to ALBATROSS ISLAND, by the French expedition and Captain Flinders; the
former made the difference between the meridian of Albatross Island, and
that of the rock in Sea-Elephant Bay, 24 minutes 45 seconds; whilst by
the latter it is 32 minutes 30 seconds. But as Captain Flinders only saw
the north end of KING'S ISLAND, the error seems to originate in his
having laid down its eastern side from other authorities, for his
difference of longitude between its north-west point and the centre of
Albatross Island only differs 2 minutes 30 seconds from the French, who
surveyed that island with great care.
Several sunken rocks have been discovered from time to time near the
north end of GREAT ISLAND, so that ships, bound through Bass Strait to
the eastward, should not pass within Craggy Island without using great
caution. The best passage is on the south side of Kent's Group, between
it and the rocky islet (WRIGHT'S ROCK) to the south-east.
In a line between the above rocky islet and Craggy Island, and about two
miles from the former, is a reef with two small rocks upon it. (See
Horsburgh Supp. page 32.)
There are some considerable errors in Captain Flinders' chart of Van
Diemen's Land, with respect to the latitudes of the South-west Cape, the
Mewstone, the South cape, and the land between them. The first is laid
down 8 minutes too much to the North 30 degrees West (true) and the other
places in proportion. The corrected situations are given in the second
volume of this work.
APPENDIX A. SECTION 7.
DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOALS AND REEFS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE COASTS OF
REEFS, EAST COAST.
ELIZABETH'S REEF (see Horsburgh's Supp. page 52) in latitude 30 degrees 5
minutes, and longitude 159 degrees, was discovered by the ships Claudine
and Marquis of Hastings, on the 16th of May, 1820. Within two cables'
length of the reef, they found fourteen fathoms; at a quarter of a mile
off the depth was twenty-five fathoms, but beyond that the bottom was not
reached. It is about three miles in circuit, with deep water in the
centre: the edge is covered, but some straggling rocky lumps show at
intervals above the surface of the water. The east side of the reef
extends about North-North-East and South-South-West for one mile, but the
greatest extent seemed to be West-North-West and East-South-East.
MIDDLETON'S SHOAL is in latitude 29 degrees 14 minutes, and longitude 158
degrees 53 minutes. (See Horsburgh volume 2 page 508.)
CATO'S BANK is in latitude 23 degrees 6 minutes, and longitude 155
degrees 23 minutes. (Flinders volume 2 page 298 and Horsburgh volume 2
WRECK REEF is in latitude 22 degrees 11 minutes 23 seconds, and longitude
155 degrees 18 minutes 50 seconds. (Flinders volume 2 page 330 and
Horsburgh volume 2 page 509.)
CARNS, or MID-DAY REEF, was discovered by Mr. Carns, the master of the
ship Neptune, on the 21st of June, 1818, having taken a departure the day
before from Sandy Cape. It extends east and west for a considerable
distance: the ship passed round the western extremity at two miles off,
and found its bearing from Sandy Cape to be North 21 degrees East, one
hundred and seventy-six miles, and to be in latitude 21 degrees 58
minutes, and longitude 154 degrees 20 minutes. Its eastern limit was not
seen: it consists of a string of sandbanks and rocks, from five to twenty
feet high, with passages between them. (Horsburgh Supp. page 35.)
SIR JAMES SAUMAREZ' SHOAL was seen by Mr. Lihou; it is in latitude 21
degrees 40 minutes, and longitude 153 degrees 46 minutes by chronometer,
which was found correct on making Sandy Cape a day or two afterwards.
There is reason to suppose that many other reefs exist to the North-West
of this position.
KENN'S REEF, discovered by Mr. Alexander Kenn, Master of the ship William
Shand, on her passage from Sydney to Batavia, extends in the direction of
North West by North 1/2 North for ten miles, and is composed of sand and
rocks, some of which, at the south end, were six or eight feet out of the
water: it is six miles broad; the centre of the edge (? north) is in
latitude 21 degrees 9 minutes, and longitude 155 degrees 49 minutes (by
chronometer and lunars): it was found to bear South 67 degrees West, six
miles from Bird Islet, of Wreck Reef.
BOOBY and BELLONA SHOALS. In the neighbourhood of these reefs, Lieutenant
John Lamb, R.N., Commander of the ship Baring, was embarrassed for three
days, in which interval he was sounding in between nineteen and
forty-five fathoms, and frequently passed shoal parts, upon which the sea
was breaking. The limits assigned by this officer to the extent of the
rocky ground, are the parallels of 20 degrees 40 minutes, and 21 degrees
50 minutes, and the meridians of 158 degrees 15 minutes and 159 degrees
30 minutes. A sandy islet was also seen by him, surrounded by a chain of
rocks in 21 degrees 24 1/2 minutes South, and 158 degrees 30 minutes
East. The ship Minerva also struck soundings in eight fathoms, with the
appearance of shoaler water to the South-West; this last danger is in a
line between the two shoals in about longitude 159 degrees 20 minutes.
(See Horsburgh Supp. page 35.)
BAMPTON'S SHOAL is laid down in the shape of a horse-shoe, of not less
than forty-five miles in extent; on the north-east end are two islets
with trees. The AVON ISLES are probably near its south-west extremity:
they were seen by Mr. Sumner, Master of the ship Avon, September 18,
1823; and are described by him as being three-quarters of a mile in
circumference, twenty feet high, and the sea between them twenty fathoms
deep. At four miles North East by North from them the vessel sounded in
twelve fathoms, and at the same time saw a reef ten or fifteen miles to
the South-East, with deep water between it and the islets. A boat landed
on the south-westernmost islet, and found it inhabited only by birds, but
clothed with shrubs and wild grapes. By observation, these islands were
found to lie in latitude 19 degrees 40 minutes, and longitude 158 degrees
A reef is laid down in M. Krusenstern's Atlas of the Pacific Ocean (1824)
in latitude 17 degrees, and longitude 156 degrees, and is there called
A REEF was seen by the ship FREDERICK, the north-east extremity of which
is laid down in latitude 20 degrees 44 minutes, and longitude 150 degrees
32 minutes; it is of semi-circular shape, and extends as far south as 21
degrees 2 minutes, and appears to be nearly twenty miles wide.
VINE'S HORSE-SHOE SHOAL; its northernmost end is in latitude 20 degrees 5
minutes, and longitude 151 degrees 50 minutes: it presents its convex, or
outer edge, to the Southward, and extends as far as fifteen miles to the
South and East.
DIANA'S BANK is placed in latitude 15 degrees 38 minutes, and longitude
150 degrees 28 minutes. (Horsburgh volume 2 page 509.)
BETWEEN the parallels of 16 degrees 50 minutes and 17 degrees 45 minutes,
and the meridians of 150 degrees 30 minutes and 152 degrees 30 minutes,
there are several very extensive reefs, various parts of which have been
seen, according to the following accounts.
Lieutenant Vine saw a DRY BANK in latitude 17 degrees 46 minutes, and
longitude 151 degrees 40 minutes. See the account of the shoal described
by M. Tregrosse.
Mr. Brodie, Commander of the brig Alert, in October, 1817, saw A REEF
extending for a considerable distance in a North-East and South-West
direction. The Alert ran along the reef for twenty-five miles: about the
centre Mr. Brodie saw two sand islets in latitude 17 degrees 2 minutes,
and longitude 151 degrees 49 minutes.
LIHOU'S SHOAL, probably a part of the above reefs seen by Lieutenant Vine
and from the Alert, lies in latitude 17 degrees 25 minutes, and longitude
151 degrees 45 minutes: it is forty-six miles in length, and lies
North-North-East and South-South-West.
A very extensive RANGE OF SHOALS and ISLETS was seen by M. Tregrosse, of
the French brig Les Trois Freres, in company with the brig Jessie, in
1821, according to the subjoined account.
On the 19th June, the two brigs in company fell in with a range of reefs,
terminated to the eastward by two sandy islets, the easternmost of which
is in 151 degrees 47 minutes (149 degrees 27 minutes East of Paris); the
vessels hauled to the wind immediately, but finding they could not pass
to windward, bore up, and ran along the shoal from eight a.m. to four
p.m., at the distance of a league and a half. Altogether they counted
seven islets, three of which were covered with shrubs, and the whole
connected by a reef, on the edge of which the sea broke heavily: they
were called GOVERNOR FARQUHAR'S GROUP: the westernmost islet is in 17
degrees 39 minutes, and 151 degrees 27 minutes (149 degrees 7 minutes
East of Paris) and appeared to terminate the group. As it was near
sunset, the vessels hauled to the wind for the night, and at daylight
bore up on a north course: soon afterwards they saw an islet
West-North-West; they, however, continued to steer North until eight
o'clock, and then, having run nine miles, saw another island
North-North-East. On attempting to steer between the isles, they were
found to be connected, and having sounded in eleven fathoms, the vessels
bore up, and steered between the westernmost islet and two extensive
reefs, through a passage five or six miles wide, that appeared to be
The westernmost islet is in 17 degrees 42 minutes South, and 150 degrees
43 minutes East (148 degrees 23 minutes East of Paris) and the
westernmost reef, in 17 degrees 44 minutes South, and 150 degrees 32
minutes East (148 degrees 12 minutes East of Paris). A space of ten or
twelve leagues between Governor Farquhar's Group and that seen the
preceding day was passed in the night, and probably may contain other
reefs. The last group was named TREGROSSE'S ISLETS.
The ALERT struck on a shoal to the westward of Torres Strait in 1817; it
seemed to be about two hundred fathoms in length, and about fifty yards
broad: it is in latitude 9 degrees 52 minutes, and longitude 140 degrees
In the vicinity of Cape Van Diemen there are many submarine coral banks,
that are not yet shoal enough to be called reefs; that which Captain
Flinders saw, and sounded upon in seven fathoms, lies in 9 degrees 56
minutes latitude, and 129 degrees 28 minutes longitude. The Alert also
passed over a shoal patch with nine fathoms in 10 degrees 1 minute South,
and 129 degrees 8 minutes East.
SAHUL BANK is but very imperfectly known, and its extent by no means so
large as is laid down upon the chart. In that interval, however, there
are probably many reefs, which have been occasionally seen. Captain
Heywood saw a dry part in latitude 11 degrees 35 minutes and longitude
124 degrees 10 minutes, and there are shoal soundings in crossing it on
the following parts, namely:
COLUMN 1: SOUNDINGS OVER CORAL REEF IN FATHOMS.
COLUMN 2: LATITUDE.
COLUMN 3: LONGITUDE.
12 : 11 degrees 21 minutes : 125 degrees 23 minutes.
16 : 11 degrees 10 minutes : 125 degrees 27 minutes.
12 : 11 degrees 7 minutes : 125 degrees 30 minutes.
15 : 10 degrees 57 minutes : 125 degrees 34 minutes.
All of which are detached and separated by deep water. (See Horsburgh
volume 1 page 103.)
CARTIER ISLAND, seen in 1800 by the ship Cartier, is a dry sand bank
surrounded by a shoal extending for four miles to the northward. It is in
12 degrees 29 minutes South, and 123 degrees 56 minutes East, by
Captain Heywood in 1801 saw the following reefs. The centre of one in
latitude 12 degrees 48 minutes, and longitude 124 degrees 25 minutes; and
the other in 13 degrees 29 minutes, and 124 degrees 5 minutes.
HIBERNIA SHOAL, seen by Mr. Samuel Ashmore, Commander of the ship
Hibernia, consists of two small sandbanks in the centre of a shoal, four
miles in extent, lying in an east and west direction. It is in latitude
11 degrees 56 minutes, and longitude 123 degrees 28 minutes, by
Mr. Ashmore also saw another shoal in 1811, the particulars of which are
detailed in the following letter.
"The north-east end of the shoal, fell in with on the 11th June, 1811, by
a good noon observation, is in 12 degrees 11 minutes South, longitude by
chronometer 122 degrees 58 minutes 30 seconds (allowing the south head of
Port Jackson to be in 151 degrees 25 minutes 25 seconds). To the westward
of the barrier of black rocks, that presented themselves to our view,
were several sandbanks, the highest of which, on the east end, appeared
to have some vegetation: the rocks in general were six or eight feet
above the water and the surf broke violently on the North-East and
South-East points in view. The shoal trends in a West by North direction
for six or seven miles," It is distinguished on the chart by the name of
SCOTT'S REEF (see Horsburgh volume 1 page 102) was discovered by Captain
Heywood, R.N., in 1811: the north-west end is in latitude 13 degrees 52
1/2, and longitude 121 degrees 59 minutes; thence it extends South 16
degrees East for eighteen or nineteen miles to the north-east point, in
latitude 14 degrees 1 minute, and longitude 122 degrees 16 minutes; the
south extent was not ascertained. It is ninety-seven miles due East from
the situation assigned to Dampier's Rocks. The Cartier also struck upon a
shoal hereabouts, and Captain Horsburgh seems to think that there is
little doubt of Scott's Reef being the same that Dampier saw, as well as
that on which the Cartier struck.
ROWLEY'S SHOALS consist of three separate reefs, the westernmost is the
Imperieuse, the middle Clerke's, and the north-easternmost the Mermaid's.
The Imperieuse is ten miles in length from north to south, and its
greatest breadth five miles: it is surrounded by very deep water and near
the eastern edge, in latitude 17 degrees 35 minutes, and longitude 118
degrees 51 minutes, are some dry rocks. Clerke's Shoal (south end in
latitude 17 degrees 28 minutes, longitude 119 degrees 18 minutes) extends
to the north-west, and probably joins the Minstrel's Shoal, which is
described below, and, if this is the case, trends North-North-West 1/2
West for seventeen miles. The south end of Mermaid's Shoal is in 17
degrees 12 minutes South, and 119 degrees 35 minutes East, and extends to
the northward for seven miles; but its termination in that direction was
not seen. The edges of all these reefs are steep to; and no bottom was
obtained with one hundred and eighty fathoms. Within the reefs, however,
there is a bank of soundings of the depth of from one hundred and seventy
to one hundred and twenty fathoms. (See Horsburgh volume 1 page 101.)
MINSTREL'S SHOAL (see Horsburgh's Supp. page 52) its north-east end is in
17 degrees 14 minutes South, and 118 degrees 57 minutes East, or 5
degrees 28 minutes East by chronometer, from the coast of New Holland in
latitude 23 degrees 10 minutes South. The longitude of that part of the
coast by my survey, is 113 degrees 42 minutes; this will make the
Minstrel's Shoal in 119 degrees 10 minutes, which agrees very well with
Clerke's Reef, the centre reef of Rowley's Shoals, of which it is
certainly the north end; so Captain Horsburgh also supposes.
A ship called the LIVELY was wrecked on a coral reef in about 16 degrees
30 minutes South, and 119 degrees 35 minutes East.
RITCHIE'S REEF, or the Greyhound's Shoal. The situation of this reef is
recorded by Captain Horsburgh (see Supp. page 38) to be in latitude 19
degrees 58 minutes, and longitude 114 degrees 40 1/4 minutes; but, by a
letter published in the Sydney Gazette by Lieutenant Ritchie, R.N., the
commander, it would appear to be in 20 degrees 17 minutes 40 seconds,
longitude by lunars 114 degrees 46 minutes 6 seconds.
ROCK OFF VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.
The Russian ship RURICK, in 1822, saw a dry rock above water off the
south-east coast of Van Diemen's Land, in latitude 44 degrees, and
longitude 147 degrees 45 minutes.
A rock was also seen by the ship LORD SIDMOUTH in 1819, in latitude 43
degrees 48 minutes, and longitude 147 degrees 15 minutes.
APPENDIX A. SECTION 8.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE PASSAGE WITHIN THE REEFS THROUGH TORRES STRAIT.
The passage recommended by Captain Flinders for passing through Torres
Strait us by entering the reefs at Murray's Island; by which route a
two-days' passage will carry a ship past all danger: but, as the space
between Wreck Reef and Murray's Island is strewed with dangers, many of
which have been discovered since the publication of his charts, and of
which the greater number have only been recently seen, it cannot be
called a safe navigation. The dangers consist of low coral islands,
surrounded by extensive reefs, upon which in long and dark nights a
vessel is in momentary danger of striking; the result of which must be
the certain destruction of the vessel, and the probable loss of the crew.
The Inner Route was first pursued by Mr. Cripps in the brig Cyclops,
bound from Port Jackson to Bengal, in 1812. It was subsequently followed
by Lieutenant C. Jeffreys, R.N., in the command of the hired armed vessel
Kangaroo, on her passage from Port Jackson to Ceylon, in 1815.* This
officer drew a chart, with a track of his voyage up the coast; which,
considering the shortness of his time, and other circumstances that
prevented his obtaining the necessary data to lay down with accuracy so
intricate and dangerous a passage, does him very great credit; he filled
up the space between Endeavour River and Cape Direction, which Captain
Cook did not see; the only part that had previously been left a blank
upon the chart of New South Wales; his outline was found to be tolerably
correct, and my alterations have only been caused by better
opportunities, and by the greater detail of my operations. The general
feature of the coast has scarcely required correction; the principal
corrections have been in the number, size, and relative bearings of the
coral reefs and islands that front it.
(*Footnote. Horsburgh's Indian Directory volume 2 page 514.)
In describing this route, the whole of the bearings are magnetic; and the
courses are freed from the effect of tide or current, since they are only
temporary, and often of trifling importance.*
(*Footnote. In following these directions, reference should be made to
the description of the coast contained in this Appendix.)
Having hauled round Breaksea Spit (see Flinders' chart sheet 3) in the
evening, it would perhaps be dangerous to steer on through the night;
after running, therefore, to the West-North-West for five or six leagues,
bring to until daylight: but, if the day is before you, the course from
the extremity of the spit is West-North-West 1/4 West for about a hundred
miles. You will then be about twenty miles from Cape Capricorn: on your
way to which you should pass about three miles within Lady Elliot's
Island, and also within the southernmost islet of Bunker's Group, by
which you will see how the current has affected your course, and you can
act accordingly: if it has set you to the northward, you may pass on
either side of or through the islands without danger. After making Cape
Capricorn, you may leave it at a convenient distance, and, directing your
course about North West by North, pass either within or without the
Peaked and Flat Islands off Port Bowen; then, steering for the Percy
Group, pass between the 2nd and 3rd Northumberland Islands.
After passing the latter, avoid a low dangerous rock, that bears from it
North 8 degrees East five miles and three-quarters, and from 1st Peak
South 85 degrees West. To avoid this in the night, pass close round
Number 3, when, its situation being known, you can easily avoid it.
The channel is safe on either side of the Percy Isles, but that to the
westward of them, being better known, is therefore recommended as the
safest. Then steer either over the Mermaid's or Bathurst's tracks, which
will carry a ship round the projections of the coast as far as Cape
Grafton, as far as which, if the weather is fine, there can be no danger
of proceeding through the night; but it must be recollected, that at Cape
Grafton the coral reefs approach the coast, and, consequently, great care
must be used.
On reaching Fitzroy Island, round it at a mile off shore, and, when its
north end bears West, steer North-West 1/2 North for thirty-five miles;
you will then be a league to the South-East of a group of low isles; if
it should be night when you pass them, come no nearer to them than
fourteen fathoms. In steering this course, great care should be taken,
not to go too much to the eastward to avoid the reef which the Tamar saw.
If the moon is up the islets will be readily distinguished, but otherwise
it would be more prudent to wait for daylight. This course will carry a
ship over two of my tracks, and the soundings will be in seventeen,
eighteen, and nineteen fathoms. From the low isles direct your course for
the Hope Islands, which bear from the former North 18 degrees West
thirty-eight miles, but the course had better be within that line, to
avoid some reefs in latitude 15 degrees 51 minutes: pass, therefore,
within five miles of Cape Tribulation, when a direct course may be
steered either to the eastward or westward of the Hope Isles. The better
route will be within the western Hope, and along its reef at the distance
of three-quarters of a mile, by which you will avoid reef a. When you are
abreast of its north end, steer North by West westerly for twenty-eight
miles; this will carry you to Cape Bedford which you may round at from
one to three or four miles. You will see in your way, at three miles and
a half from the north end of the Hope Reef, reef b; and at fifteen miles
from it you will be abreast of e; and five miles farther on you will pass
Captain Cook's Turtle Reef, which has a dry sand at its north end. These
three reefs will be to the eastward of your course.
The current sets to the North-West, so that your course must be directed
accordingly. In coasting along the shore, you will discern the summits
which are marked on the chart. The high conical hill, on the south side
of the entrance of Endeavour River, is Mount Cook, bearings of which,
crossed with the summit of Cape Bedford, or any of the particularized
summits or points will give the vessel's place, by which the effects of
the current, which is generally very slight, will be perceived: on one
occasion we found a current in the space between the Endeavour Reef and
Turtle Reef of two miles an hour to the North-West.
Being off Cape Bedford, and steering to the North 1/2 West, you will see
the Three Isles ahead: steer between them and the low wooded island; and
direct your course round Cape Flattery and Point Lookout, to anchor under
the Turtle Group, unless you have time before dark to reach the islands
4, 5, or 6, of Howick's Group. Under which anchorage may be found. In
rounding Point Lookout, do not come within two miles and a half of it, to
avoid a reef that is on Captain Cook's chart, but which we did not see;
it lies a mile and a half north from the peaked hill at the extremity of
the point. You may pass without the Turtle Group, or you will find
anchorage under Lizard Island, but this is not recommended, both because
the wind is generally fresher as you increase your distance from the
shore, and because it lengthens the distance.
From the Turtle Group steer North West by West 1/2 West until you see the
hillock at the south-east end of Number 1 of Howick's Group: then pass
inside and within a mile of 2 and 3, and between islet 4 and Cole's
Islands, and inshore of 6 and the dry sands s, t, and u. The Mermaid's
track will direct the course to Cape Melville. If the day is late when
abreast of 6, of Howick's Group, anchorage had better be secured under
it, as there is none to be recommended between it and Cape Flinders.
Upon rounding Cape Melville, the Islands of Flinders' Group will be seen;
and as soon as you have passed round the stony reef that projects off the
Cape (the extremity of which bears from it by compass North West by
North, and from Pipon's Island South-West by West 1/4 West nearly) in
doing which steer within the reef that surrounds Pipon Island, direct the
course for the extremity of the islands, which is Cape Flinders; the
course and distance being West 3/4 South nearly thirteen miles: on this a
low woody island will be left on the starboard hand.
His Majesty's sloop Satellite, in 1822, grounded upon a small reef,
bearing North by East (easterly) from the extremity of the cape, distant
about two miles; but, as a ship may pass within a stone's throw of the
cape, this danger may be easily avoided. The best anchorage here is under
the flat-topped hill, at a third of a mile from the shore, in ten
fathoms, muddy bottom. In hauling round the cape, avoid a shoal which
extends for a short distance from the shore on its western side.
If the day is not far advanced, and you have time to run fifteen miles
further, the ship may proceed to the reef d; but, indeed, anchorage may
be obtained under any of the reefs or islets between this part and Cape
Grenville, for the bottom is universally of mud; and by anchoring with
the body of a reef, bearing South-East, the vessel is sufficiently
sheltered from the sea, which is generally smooth.
On leaving Cape Flinders, steer West 3/4 North for about twenty-three
miles, leaving the reefs c and g to seaward, and d, e, and f to the
southward, of the course; then haul up about North-West 3/4 North, and
steer within the reef l and Pelican Island, and to seaward of the
Claremont Islands 1 and 2, which are low and woody.
When abreast of 2, the south-west end of the reef m will be seen, which
should be passed at from one to two miles, and the course North by West
1/4 West will carry you to 4 and 5, which you may pass on either side of,
the channel between them being quite safe. If you take the latter course,
steer north, within the reef o, and then close within 6, to avoid the low
rock that covers with the tide. Having passed this rock, steer for 7, and
pass within one mile of it, to avoid the shoals that extend off Cape
Sidmouth. Hence the course is North-North-West towards Night Island; and,
when abreast of it, steer North 1/2 West until near the covered shoal v,
when the course may be directed within Sherrard's Islets and reef 10 (on
which there is a sandy islet covered with some bushes) and then steer
round Cape Direction.
Hence the course North-North-West 1/4 West will carry you within the
reefs y, z, a, b, and c, and without the rocky islet that lies off
Restoration Island: continuing this course you will, at about five miles
beyond the cape, see the long reef e; steer North-West parallel with its
edge, which extends until you are abreast of Fair Cape, where it
terminates with a very narrow point. Then steer North-West 1/2 North, and
pass between the two easternmost Piper's Islands and the reefs h, i, and
k; then pass on either side of l and m, inshore of Haggerston's Island,
and round the outermost of Sir Everard Home's Group.
The anchorages between Cape Flinders and this are so numerous as not to
require particular mention: the north-west end of every reef will afford
shelter; but the anchor should not be dropped too near, because the tide
sweeps round the edge with greater strength than it does at half a mile
off, within which distance the bottom is generally deeper. If the day is
advanced and the breeze fresh, Night Island should not be passed: because
the anchorages between it and Piper's Islands are rather exposed; and a
vessel getting underweigh from Night Island at daylight will easily reach
Piper's Islands, or Margaret Bay, before dark.
The latter bay is round Cape Grenville; it is fronted by Sunday Island,
which affords good shelter from the wind: it is a safe place to stop at.
In passing round Sir Everard Home's Islands, steer wide from them, to
avoid the tide drifting you towards the group, for it sets to the
North-West across the course. The course is then about North-West 1/4
West to the Bird Isles, and thence, to the reef v, about North West by
North; the better and more direct plan is to pass within v and w (there
is, however, a safe channel between them) and when abreast of the west
end of the latter, the course to Cairncross Island is North by West 1/2
West, and the distance about eighteen miles.
There not being any very good anchorage between this and Cape York, it
would be perhaps better to anchor under it for the night, in about
fourteen or fifteen fathoms, mud, the island bearing South-East, but not
nearer than half a mile, because, within that distance, the bottom is
Leaving Cairncross Island, steer North-North-West 1/4 West until Escape
River is abreast of you, when look out for reef x: steer within it about
North West by North, which will take you inside the covered reef z. Your
course then must be round the Albany Islands, and hence North West by
North for a, which is a rocky islet that may be seen from abreast the
The passage through the Possession Isles and Endeavour Strait is not to
be recommended for a large ship, on account of the shoal water that
extends from Wallis' Isles towards Shoal Cape; but the route round the
north end of Wednesday and Hammond's Islands is preferable. Upon passing
reef a, Wednesday Island will be seen: in steering towards it, avoid
standing too close to the rocky islet that is abreast of the strait
between it and Horned Hill, as some sunken rocks stretch off it for about
a quarter of a mile: steer round the north point of Wednesday Island at
half a mile, and then West by South 1/4 South which will carry you to the
northward of the rock off Hammond's Island. Having passed this rock,
steer South-West by West; and when abreast of the south-west end of
Hammond's Island, haul towards a reef, to the southward of the course, on
which you will see some dry rocks, which you may pass within half a mile
of: you will then avoid reef d, which is generally, if not always,
covered: the fairway of this channel is seven and eight fathoms deep.
When the summit of Good's Island bears South-West by West, steer West by
South southerly for Booby Island, by which you will avoid Larpent's bank,
and when you have passed it, you are clear of the strait. Hence you may
steer West 3/4 South through the night, on which course you will very
gradually deepen your water.
APPENDIX A. SECTION 9.
TABLE: DIP OF THE MAGNETIC NEEDLE, OBSERVED DURING THE MERMAID'S AND
BATHURST'S VOYAGES UPON THE COAST OF AUSTRALIA.
COLUMN 1: DATE.
COLUMN 2: PLACE.
COLUMN 3: LATITUDE SOUTH IN DEGREES MINUTES SECONDS.
COLUMN 4: LONGITUDE EAST IN DEGREES MINUTES SECONDS.
COLUMN 5: DIP OF THE NEEDLE IN DEGREES MINUTES SECONDS.
COLUMN 6: NORTH OR SOUTH END.
COLUMN 7: VARIATION IN DEGREES MINUTES SECONDS.
COLUMN 8: REMARKS.
1817. October 9, November 28 : Port Jackson, East Coast : 33 51 : 151 15
: 62 1 30 : South : 8 42 East : Observed on shore, on the north side of
1819. January : Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land : 42 54 : 147 27 : 70 7 00
: South : 9 00 East : Observed on shore.
June 16 : Cleveland Bay, East Coast : 19 10 : 146 56 : 44 6 40 : South :
5 12 1/2 East : Two observations made at the extremity of the cape.
July : Endeavour River, East Coast : 15 27 : 145 11 : 38 00 00 : South :
5 27 East : Taken at the tent.
1818. April : Goulburn Island, North Coast : 11 38 : 133 20 : 27 32 30 :
South : 2 0 East : Taken on Bottle Rock, in South-west Bay.
1820. October : Careening Bay, North-west Coast : 15 6 1/4 : 125 0 : 38
44 36 : South : 0 43 1/2 West : Taken at the tent.
Dip of the Needle at Port Louis, Simon's Bay, and various parts of the
Atlantic Ocean, observed upon the Bathurst's return to England.
1821. November : Port Louis, Mauritius : 20 10 : 57 29 East : 51 42 :
South : 12 00 West : On shore.
1823. February : Simon's Bay, Cape of Good Hope : 34 11 2/3 : 18 28 1/2 :
48 23 1/2 : - : 28 to 30 : On shore.
February 9 : False Bay 5 minutes East-South-East of Simon's Bay : - : - :
48 48 : - : 28 to 30 : On the binnacle.
February 14 : At Sea : 27 18 : 8 50 : 37 57 1/2 : - : 24 00 : On the
February 16 : At Sea : 23 47 : 4 2 : 30 10 : - : 24 00 : This observation
is correct to 3/4 degree.
The situation for the above observation bears East 5 degrees North from
the place where the same dip was observed by M. Perouse on the Coast of
February 20 : At Sea : 17 7 : 4 57 West : 15 42 1/2 : - : 21 9 : Correct
to 1/2 degree.
The above situation bears East 16 1/2 degrees North from the place where
Commodore Baudin observed the dip of 15 degrees; and East 14 degrees
North from the observation of 14 degrees by M. Perouse.
February 24 : At Sea, four leagues North-North-West from St. Helena : - :
- : 11 45 : - : 20 35 : Correct to 1/2 degree.
February 26 : At Sea : 14 25 : 7 53 : 7 56 1/4 : - : 18 54 : Correct to
1823. February 27 : At Sea : 12 42 South : 9 21 West : 3 6 3/4 : South :
18 28 West : -.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 45 degrees East the needle dipped 4 30.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 67 East the needle dipped 11 30.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 78 East the needle dipped 14 30.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 85 East the needle dipped 18 15.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 88 East the needle dipped 20 0.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 91 East the needle dipped 25 0.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 92 1/2 East it was vertical.
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of North 95 East the needle shifted on the opposite side to 65
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of South 45 East the needle shifted on the opposite side to 3
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction of South 45 West the needle shifted on the opposite side to 3
Upon placing the instrument with the end marked 180 degrees in the
direction North 45 West the needle shifted on the opposite side to 5 30.
The mean of the observation, on placing either end North and South was 3
6 3/4 degrees.
The mean of the observation, on placing either end North-East and
South-West was 3 45.
The mean of the observation, on placing either end South-East and
North-West was 4 35.
1823. February 28 : At Sea : 11 44 South : 10 12 West : 1 25 : South : 17
to 18 West : -.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of North 45 East the needle
dipped 2 10.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of North 60 East the needle
dipped 2 50.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of North 70 East the needle
dipped 4 25.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of North 80 East the needle
dipped 5 15.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of North 90 East the needle
dipped 8 15.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of North 92 East the needle
dipped 14 00.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of South 60 East the needle
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of South 45 East the needle
shifted 2 20.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of South 45 West the needle
shifted 1 40.
Upon placing the instrument in the direction of North 45 West the needle
shifted 1 00.
Mean when placed at North-East and North-East 1 55.
Mean when placed at North-West and South-East 1 40.
February 28 : At Sea : 11 30 1/2 : 10 20 : 0 45 : South : 17 to 18 West :
February 28 : At Sea : 11 5 1/2 : 10 34 : 0 15 : North : 17 to 18 West :
From the above observations, it would appear that the Magnetic Equator
crosses the meridian of 10 1/2 degrees West, in 11 degrees 12 minutes
South latitude. At the latter observation--when the direction of the
instrument was changing, the needle remained quite stationary, the south
end of the needle pointing to the north, until the change was effected;
it remained in this position for two seconds of time, and then suddenly
shifted to the opposite, its proper, direction; its movements were,
however, very sluggish and irregular in its shifting end for end. The day
was so rainy that no observation could be made for the variation of the
March 1 : At Sea : 10 1 South : 11 31 West : 3 32 1/2 : North : 17 44
West : -.
March 2 : At Sea : 8 21 South : 12 57 : 6 50 : North : 18 00 : -.
March 5 : At Sea : 7 3 South : 15 42 : 11 22 1/2 : North : 16 5 : -.
March 7 : At Sea : 4 17 South : 18 50 : 19 15 : North : 13 18 : -.
March 9 : At Sea : 0 0 1/3 South : 22 6 1/4 : 27 45 : North : 12 51 : -.
March 24 : At Sea : 17 4 North : 35 40 : 54 23 3/4 : North : 11 3 :
Correct to 3/4 degree.
March 31 : At Sea : 29 33 North : 38 35 : 65 25 : North : 10 59 : Correct
to 1 degree.
APPENDIX A. SECTION 10.
UPON THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITIONS OF THE FIXED POINTS OF THE SURVEY.
The observations for determining the longitudes of the various parts of
the coast were taken with a circle and a sextant by Troughton: besides
these valuable instruments we had three chronometers of Arnold's make,
namely, 413 (box) 2054 (pocket) and 394 (pocket); of which the two first
were supplied by the Admiralty. At the end of the fourth year, in
consequence of 394 having stopped, a fourth chronometer, made by
Parkinson and Frodsham (Number 287 box) was purchased in the colony, and
proved to be a most excellent watch.
The situations of the following places, which were either fixed by us or
adapted from other authorities, served as the basis of the chronometrical
determination of the longitudes of the intermediate parts.
The flagstaff of FORT MACQUARIE on the north-east head of Sydney Cove in
PORT JACKSON (the Cattle Point of Flinders, and otherwise Bennelong
Point) is in latitude 33 degrees 51 minutes 28 seconds South and
longitude 151 degrees 15 minutes 26 East, being, according to the ensuing
table, the mean of all the observations that have been taken.
Latitude (in degrees minutes seconds) observed by:
Captain Flinders, in 1795 and 1802: 33 51 45.6.
De Freycinet in 1802: 33 51 21.
King (reduced) 1817: 33 51 18.
Sir T. Brisbane (reduced) 1822: 33 51 30.
Mean Latitude of Fort Macquarie 33 51 28.
Longitude (in degrees minutes seconds) observed by:
Captain Cook, reduced from his observations at Botany Bay, 1770: 151 11
Captain Hunter, 1788: 151 19 43.
Lieutenant Dawes 1788: 151 18 50.
Lieutenant Bradley: 151 20 38.
Malespina: 151 17 53.
Messrs. Broughton and Crosley, 1795: 151 9 3.
Captain Flinders, 1795-6: 151 17 12.
Ditto 1802: 151 11 49.
Captain De Freycinet, 1802: 151 8 32.
M. D'Espinosa by an eclipse of sun and occultation of Jupiter 1st and 2nd
Satellites, 1793: 151 12 45.
Governor Bligh, 1806, eclipse of sun: 151 17 49.
Captain P.P. King, 1817, eclipse of sun, calculated by Mr. Rumker: 151 17
Sir Thomas Brisbane, 1822 (the mean of six eclipses places his
observatory in 151 degrees 15 minutes 20 seconds): 151 15 32.
Mr. Rumker, eclipse of sun at Parramatta, reduced to Fort Macquarie: 151
Mean Longitude of Fort Macquarie 151 15 26.
PERCY ISLAND (Number 2). The longitude of the south-west end of this
island is by Captain Flinders' observation in 150 degrees 13 minutes
ENDEAVOUR RIVER. The observatory, which was placed within a few yards of
the shore on the south side of the entrance (the summit of the highest
bush near the extremity of the opposite sandy beach, bearing by compass
West 3 degrees 40 minutes South) was found to be situated in latitude 15
degrees 27 minutes 4 seconds, and longitude 145 degrees 10 minutes 49
seconds. (See note, Appendix A.)
GOULBURN ISLANDS. The observations were taken upon Bottle Rock, the
largest of two rocky islets at the north end of South-west Bay; but the
results were so doubtful and unsatisfactory, that the longitude
determined by the chronometers was preferred. The following are the
observations that were taken to fix its situation, namely:
Latitude by fourteen meridional altitudes of the sun l. l. on the
sea-horizon, taken in various parts of the bay, and reduced by survey to
Bottle Rock 11 37 24.
The difference of longitude between Bottle Rock and Cassini Island by
chronometers, taken in:
1819: 7 40 47.
1820: 7 40 00.
1821: 7 38 28.
Mean difference between Cassini Island and Bottle Rock: 7 39 45.
Longitude of Cassini Island from Careening Bay, by survey: 125 38 46.
Longitude of Bottle Rock, by chronometer, from Cassini Island: 133 18 31.
The mean of the results of the lunar distances that were taken during the
years 1818 and 1819, gave for the longitude of the rock 133 degrees 31
minutes 58 seconds East. On our last voyage the mean of the Bathurst's
and Dick's watches made it 133 degrees 19 minutes 40 seconds, which was
finally adapted, since it accorded better with the chronometrical
difference between its meridian and that of Cassini Island. I have never
been able to account for this extraordinary disagreement between the
results of the lunar distances and the chronometers, since the former
were taken with the sun on both sides of the moon, and seemed to be very
CAREENING BAY. This place was fixed by a series of observations, in
latitude 15 degrees 6 minutes 18 seconds South, and 125 degrees 0 minutes
46 seconds East. (See Appendix A. in a note.)
KING GEORGE THE THIRD'S SOUND. The longitude of this place was adapted
from the observations and survey of Captain Flinders, as follows; namely:
The tent on the east shore of the entrance of Oyster Harbour. Latitude 35
degrees 0 minutes 17 seconds, and longitude 117 degrees 56 minutes 22
The sandy beach under the low part of the land of Bald Head (the first
sandy bay round the head) is in latitude 35 degrees 6 minutes, and
longitude 117 degrees 58 minutes 6 seconds.
COEPANG, in the Island of Timor. The situation of the flag-staff of FORT
CONCORDIA, where our chronometers were rated, is in latitude 10 degrees 9
minutes 6 seconds, and longitude 123 degrees 35 minutes 46 seconds,
according to the observations of Captain Flinders.
CONTAINING A LIST AND DESCRIPTION OF THE SUBJECTS OF NATURAL HISTORY
COLLECTED DURING CAPTAIN KING'S SURVEY OF THE INTERTROPICAL AND WESTERN
COASTS OF AUSTRALIA.
Previously to the establishment of the British Colony at Port Jackson, in
the year 1787, the shores of this extensive continent had been visited by
very few navigators who have recorded any account of the productions of
its Animal Kingdom. The first authentic report that we have, is that of
Vlaming, who is celebrated as the first discoverer of that rara avis, the
black swan: next to him followed Dampier, who has handed down to us in
his intelligent, although quaint, style, the account of several of the
productions of the North-western and Western Coasts; but the harvest was
reserved for Banks and Solander, the companions of Cook, whose names are
so well and widely known in the fields of science. These distinguished
naturalists were the first collectors upon the Coast of New South Wales;
and although their labours were not confined to any particular branch of
Natural History, yet Botany appeared to be their chief object, of which
the Banksian Herbarium yields ample proof.
Among the collectors of Natural History, in the neighbourhood of the
colony, since the year 1787, may be recorded the names of White,
Paterson, Collins, Brown, Caley, Lewin, Humphreys, and Jamison; and in
this interval the coasts have been visited by two English and two French
expeditions of discovery; namely, those commanded by Admiral
D'Entrecasteaux, Captains Vancouver and Flinders, and Commodore Baudin.
The first merely touched upon the south coast at the Recherche's
Archipelago, and on the south shores of Van Diemen's Land; and the second
only at King George the Third's Sound, near the South-west Cape; but
these opportunities were sufficient to celebrate the names of
Labillardiere and Menzies as Australian Botanists, notwithstanding they
have been since eclipsed by the more extensive discoveries of Mr. Brown,
whose collections of Natural History upon the voyage of Captain Flinders,
and his pre-eminent qualifications, have justly raised him to the
pinnacle of botanical science upon which he is so firmly and deservedly
Peron and Lesueur, in Baudin's voyage, extended their inquiries chiefly
among the branches of zoological research; but in that expedition each
department of Natural History had its separate collector, and the names
of Leschenault de la Tour, Riedle, Depuch, and Bailly, will not be
forgotten. Unfortunately, the Natural History of this voyage has never
yet been given to the world, the death of M. Peron having put a stop to
its publication; a few of the subjects, however, have been taken up by
MM. Lacepede and Cuvier, and other French naturalists, in the form of
monographs, in their various scientific journals; but the greater part is
yet untouched, probably from the want of the valuable information which
died with its collector. M. Peron, in his historical account of that
expedition, notices a few subjects of zoology that were collected by him,
but in so vague a manner, that it is with very great doubt that the
specimens which we procured, and suspect to be his discoveries, can be
compared with his descriptions.
Of the Natural History collections of Captain Flinders and Mr. Brown, no
account has been published, excepting the valuable botanical works of the
With respect to the collection which has been formed upon this
expedition, it is to be regretted that the gleanings of the Animal
Kingdom, particularly of quadrupeds and birds, should have been so
trifling in number; and that the students of Natural History should have
suffered disappointment in what might, at first view, be fairly
considered to have arisen from neglect and careless attention to the
subject; but as the principal, and almost the only, object of the voyage
was the survey of the coast, for which purpose a small vessel was justly
considered the most advantageous, accommodation for a zoological
collection was out of the question. The very few specimens that are now
offered to the world were procured as leisure and opportunity offered;
but many interesting and extremely curious subjects were in fact obliged
to be left behind from want of room, and from our not possessing
apparatus for collecting and preserving them.
A botanical collector for the Royal Garden, Mr. Allan Cunningham, was
attached to the expedition; and this gentleman did not fail to make a
very extensive and valuable collection in his department, the whole of
which is preserved at Kew.
In making out the Appendix, every species brought home (excepting three
or four fishes) has been mentioned, for the sake of furnishing materials
for the students of Geographical Zoology. The distribution of animals is
a branch of study that has been very much neglected, which is to be
lamented, as it appears likely to offer a very great assistance to the
systematic Physiologist; and for this reason the species found at the
Isle of France have been added to the list.
For the catalogue and descriptions of the quadrupeds, reptiles, and
shells, I am under obligation to Mr. J.E. Gray, of the British Museum.
Mr. Vigors has kindly assisted me with the use of his collection, and his
valuable advice with respect to the few specimens of birds that were
preserved; and Mr. W.S. MacLeay has furnished me with a very valuable
description of my entomological collection. I am also indebted to Mr.
Cunningham for his remarks upon the botany of the country; to Mr. Brown,
for his description of a new tree from King George the Third's Sound; and
lastly to Dr. Fitton, for his kindness in drawing up for me a very
interesting geological notice from the specimens that have been presented
to the Geological Society of London, of which he is one of the most
active and scientific members.
BY JOHN EDWARD GRAY, ESQUIRE, M.G.S., ETC.
1. Pteropus edwardsii, Desm. Mamm. 109.
Madagascar Bat, Edwards' Birds, t. 108.
Vespertilio vampyrus, Lin. Syst. Nat. 1 45.
Flying Fox, Colonists of Port Jackson.
This specimen, caught at Point Cunningham on the North-west Coast,
appears to agree with Edwards' figure, and with the specimen preserved in
the British Museum. There is also one in the collection of the Linnean
Society from Port Jackson. Large flights of these animals were observed
at Port Keats and in Cambridge Gulf, on the North-west Coast. This bat
seems also to be very abundant on the Friendly Islands, for Forster
describes having seen five hundred hanging upon one casuarina tree.
Forster, page 187.
2. Canis australiae.
Canis familiaris australasiae, Desmarest, Mamm. 191.
Australasian Dog, or Dingo, Shaw's Zool. 1 278, t. 76.
This animal is common in the neighbourhood of Port Jackson, and dogs, to
all appearance of the same species, are found on all parts of the coast.
Captain King presented a living specimen to Sir Everard Home, Bart., who
sent it to Exeter Change.
In considering this species as distinct from the common dog, I am
supported by the opinion of Mr. William MacLeay*. (See Linnean
(*Footnote. No such opinon has been expressed by Mr. W. S. Macleay in the
place alluded to.--P.P.K. [added in "errata"])
Captain King informs me that these dogs never bark, in which particular
they agree with the Linnean account of the American dog; that, in their
appearance and cunning disposition, they resemble the fox; and although
occasionally domesticated in New South Wales, they never lose the sly
habits peculiar to their breed, nor can be prevented from killing poultry
or biting sheep.
This dog, however, seems to be quite a distinct species from that found
in the South Sea Islands, which Forster describes as being "of a singular
race: they mostly resemble the common cur, but have prodigious large
heads, remarkably little eyes, prick ears, long hair, and a short bushy
tail. They are chiefly fed with fruit at the Society Isles; but in the
Low Isles and New Zealand, where they are the only domestic animals, they
live upon fish. They are exceedingly stupid, and seldom or NEVER BARK,
only howl now and then." Forster's Observations, page 189.
3. Otaria cinerea, Peron et Lesueur. Voyage aux Terres Austral. ij. 75.
The head of a species, agreeing with the short description of Peron, was
brought home by the expedition, but that it is the one intended by these
authors, there is great room to doubt. I am informed that specimens of
Peron's animal are in the Paris Museum, but Desmarest and Frederic
Cuvier, who have both lately written upon seals, have only copied the
very short specific character given by Peron. The head of our specimen is
gray, covered with rather short, rigid, hairs, and without any woolly
fur. The ears are short, conical.
It is very distinct from the Otaria Falklandica of Desmarest (the Phoca
falklandica* of Shaw) by the want of the woolly substance under the hair
(called fur by the seal-fishers) and by the length of the ear, which in
the latter species, described by Shaw, is long and awl-shaped.
(*Footnote. The specimen in the Museum, which I take for this species,
was brought by Captain Peake from New South Shetland: it differs from
Pennant's, and consequently from all succeeding descriptions that are
taken from him, in having five instead of four claws and toes to the hind
Captain King in his manuscript observes, that this seal is found at
Rottnest Island on the West Coast, and at King George the Third's Sound.
It appeared also to be the same species that frequents Shark's Bay; and,
if it is M. Peron's Otaria cinerea, it is also found as far to the
eastward as Kangaroo Island.
The head is deposited in the Linnean Society's collection.
4. Petaurista sciurea, Desm. N. Dict. H.N. 25 403.
Didelphis sciurea, Shaw's Zool. 1 t. 113.
Sugar Squirrel, Colonists of Port Jackson.
A well preserved natural skeleton of this animal was brought home and
deposited in the British Museum.
5. Acrobata pygmaea, Desm. Mamm. 270.
Didelphis pygmaea, Shaw's Gen. Zool. 1 t. 114.
Phalangista pygmaea, Geoffr. manuscripts.
Petaurus pygmaeus, Desm. N. Dict. H.N. 25 405.
Opossum Mouse, Colonists at Port Jackson.
This little animal, the smallest and most beautiful of the opossum tribe,
is exceedingly numerous in the vicinity of Port Jackson. It was first
described by Dr. Shaw in his Zoology of New Holland. There are several
specimens in the Linnean Society's collection. The above is placed in the
6. Delphinorhynchus pernettensis ?
Delphinus pernettensis, Blainville.
Delphinus delphis, var. Bonnaterre, Ency. Cetol. 21.
Dauphin, Pernetty, Voyage aux Isles Malouines, 99. t. 2. f. 1.
A head, apparently belonging to this species, was brought home and
deposited in the collection of the British Museum. This animal is very
common upon the northern coasts of New Holland.
Captain King, in his manuscript, remarks, that the coasts of New South
Wales, and the north-western side of New Holland, abound in cetaceous
animals. Upon the North-east Coast, within the reefs, the sea is crowded
with Balaena physalis, Linn., or fin-backed whales, as they are called by
the whalers, who pay little attention to them, on account of the danger
of approaching them. His boats were sometimes placed in critical
situations from these animals suddenly rising to the surface of the water
close to them, and lashing the sea with their tremendous fins, and their
occasionally leaping out of the water, and falling down with a crushing
weight. Their colour is generally of a cinereous hue, but a few were
noticed that were variegated black and white. The whales of the
North-west Coast appeared to be of the same species, but of a darker
colour. At one of the anchorages, near Cape Leveque (volume 2 page 91)
the brig was for a whole night surrounded by these enormous fish, and the
crew in momentary dread of their falling on board, the consequence of
which would have been very disastrous. The noise of their fall in the
water, on a calm night, was as loud as the report of a cannon.
THIS COLLECTION HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, IN WHOSE
CABINETS THEY ARE NUMBERED ACCORDING TO THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY ARE HERE
1. Halcyon sacra. Swainson.
Alcedo sacra, Ind. Orn. 1 250.
Sacred Kingfisher, Latham, 4 25.
This bird was taken at sea, in the neighbourhood of Cambridge Gulf, on
the North-west Coast, having probably been blown off by a strong land
2. Barita tibicen. Cuvier.
Coracias tibicen, Ind. Orn. sup. 27.
Piping roller, Latham, 3 86.
3. Barita varia. Cuvier.
Coracias varia, Ind. Orn. 1 173.
Pied roller, Latham, 3 86.
This appears to be a young specimen.
4. Centropus phasianus. Illiger.
Cuculus phasianus, Ind. Orn. Sup. 30.
Polophilus phasianus, Leach, Zool. Misc. plate 46.
Pheasant Cuckoo, Latham, 3 240.
This bird is found upon all parts of the coast of New South Wales north
of Port Jackson, as well as upon the eastern part of the North-west
Coast. Its habitat in Australia is known to extend as wide as twenty-four
degrees of latitude, and twenty-six degrees of longitude. This specimen
was taken at Endeavour River, on the East Coast. There is also another
specimen of this bird in the Linnean Society's collection, that was taken
in the neighbourhood of Port Jackson.
5. Meliphaga corniculata. Lewin.
Merops corniculata, Ind. Orn. 1 276.
Knob-fronted Honey-eater, Latham, 4 161.
This bird is found upon the whole extent of the Eastern Coast.
The next bird in the collection has been arranged by Dr. Latham in the
Linnean genus Gracula, but appears to me to agree in no respect with that
genus, as originally characterized by Linnaeus, much less with it as it
has been modified by modern ornithologists. Whether we consider,
according to M. Cuvier,* that the type of Gracula is the Paradisea
tristis, Linn., or, according to M. Temminck, that it is the Gracula
religiosa, Linn.,** in which latter opinion I feel rather disposed to
acquiesce, my bird agrees with the group in none of its essential
characters. In fact, the Linnean genus Oriolus is that to which it bears
the closest resemblance in its general appearance; particularly by a
similar disposition of its colours, and in the structure of its bill,
wings, and legs. I would at once refer it to that genus, but that I have
some reason to think that it belongs to the meliphagous birds, which are
so abundant in New Holland, and which have been observed to assume the
appearance of almost every group in the Insessores. Indeed, some birds of
that country, which have been decided to be
meliphagous, such as the Meliphaga cyanops, Lewin,*** [Graculine
Honey-eater, Lath. Syn. 4 166. sp. Ed. 2da.] and others allied to it, and
which differ little from the bird before us, have so many external
relations with the Orioles, that they probably would be found to arrange
themselves in the same family with them, were it not for the totally
different structure of their tongue, and the consequent difference in
their habits of life. Of the tongue, or mode of feeding of the bird at
present before us, I can myself say nothing decisively, not having had
leisure or opportunity, as I have already observed, of attending to the
more interesting details of Natural History during the expedition. But
general opinion places this bird among the groups that feed by suction;
and as I have a second species hitherto undescribed, which is closely
allied to it, I prefer forming both provisionally into a new genus, to
referring them to one, from which, although they agree with it in
external appearance, they may be totally remote, in consequence of their
internal anatomy and habits of life. The error at least will not be so
great, and may be easily retrieved. If the tongue of my birds be found to
accord with that of the Orioles, and not of the Honey-suckers, my group
of course must fall.
(*Footnote. Regne Anim. 1 360.)
(**Footnote. Analyse d'un Syst. Gen. d'Orn. page 52.)
(***Footnote. Birds of New Holland plate 4.)
(*Footnote. Mimetes, from Greek, imitator; [assuming the appearance of a
Rostrum forte, subarcuatum, subcultratum, mandibulis utrisque apice
emarginatis; naribus basalibus, lateralibus, subovalibus, membrano partim
Lingua ad sugendum idonea ?
Alae mediocres, rotundatae; remige 1ma brevissima; 2da et 6ta aequalibus;
3tia et 4ta fere aequalibus; longissimis; 5ta his paulo breviori: remigum
3tiae ad 6tam inclusam pogoniis externis in medio gradatim productis.
Pedes subbreves; acrotarsiis scutellatis, scutis quinque; paratarsiis
Cauda mediocris, fere aequalis.
6. VIRIDIS. M. olivaceo-viridis, subtus albidus nigro guttatim striatus;
alis caudaque nigro-fuscis, illis albido-marginatis, hac apice albo.
Gracula viridis. Lath. Ind. Orn. supp. page 28.
Caput dorsumque olivaceo-viridia, plumis in medio longitudinaliter
fusco-lineatis. Tectrices superiores nigro-fuscae, ad apicem
albido-marginatae; inferiores albido nigroque variegatae. Remiges supra
fuscae, ad marginem externum apicemque leviter albido-notatae; subtus
pallide fuscae. Rectrices nigro-fuscae, subtus pallidiores, omnibus,
duabus mediis exceptis, apice albo-maculatis. Rostrum flavum. Pedes
nigri. Longitudo* corporis, 10 1/4; alae a carpo ad remigem 3tiam, 5
7/10; caudae, 4 4/5; tarsi, 17/20; rostri ad frontem, 1 2/10, ad rictum,
(*Footnote. My measurement is in inches, and their component parts.)
7. FLAVO-CINCTUS (n.s.) M. flavo-viridis, subtus pallidior, capite
dorsoque fusco-lineatis, alis caudaque nigris viridi flavoque variegatis.
Capitis, gulae, dorsique plumae flavo-virides, in medio fusco-lineatae,
hujus lineis latioribus. Tectrices superiores nigrae, apice
flavo-marginatae, pteromatum margine flavo, alis clausis, fasciam
conspicuam formante; inferiores flavee, ad basin nigro-notatae. Remiges
supra nigrae, subtus fuscae; primariis anguste, secondariis late, apice
flavo-marginatis; pogoniis externis anguste, internis late,
flavo-marginatis. Rectrices supra nigrae flavo-viridi marginatae; subtus
pallidiores, omnibus, duabus mediis exceptis, macula flava lata apicali
notatis. Rostrum flavum, paulo altius, et magis carinatum, quam rostrum
M. viridis. Pedes nigri.
The dimensions of this bird are nearly the same as those of M. viridis:
the bill only slightly differing in being somewhat higher, and more
carinated. The above descriptions will point out the specific differences
between the two birds, which are strongly apparent, not merely by the M.
flavo-cinctus being marked with yellow where the other bird is white, but
by the general distribution of the colours. In this respect, M.
flavo-cinctus resembles more closely the true Orioles, particularly in
the yellow fascia which is formed on the wing, when closed by the
junction of the apical spots on the quill coverts.
8. Rallus philippensis. Lin. Syst. 1 263.7. Ind. Orn. 756. Bris. 5 163.
t. 14. f. 1. Plate Enl. 774.
This bird was found upon Booby Island, near Cape York (the north
extremity of New South Wales) and agrees with a specimen already in the
Linnean Society's collection, that was taken in the neighbourhood of Port
Jackson. My bird, being of smaller size than most of those with which I
have compared it, is probably a young specimen. The rufous band on the
breast is narrower than is usual in the species, originating probably
from the same circumstance: otherwise it agrees precisely.
Rallus philippensis was originally found in the Philippine Islands. It
appears to have a very extensive range, as it inhabits lands both in the
North and South Pacific, as well as in the Indian Ocean.
9. Haematopus picatus (n.s.)
H. ater; corpore subtus, fascia alarum, uropygio, caudaeque basi, albis;
remigibus primoribus totis nigris.
Rostrum pedesque rubri; collum totum nigrum; tectrices inferiores
primores fuscae, secondariae albae, ad carpum et ad marginem exteriorem
nigro-variegatae; fascia alarum angusta; remiges primores supra nigrae,
subtus fuscae; uropygium album parce nigro variegatum.
Longitudo corporis ab apice rostri ad apicem caadae, 22; alae a carpo ad
remigem primam, 11; rosri, 3 3/10; tarsi, 2 3/10; caudae, 5.
Besides the common Oyster-Catcher of Europe, two species have lately been
added to the genus, namely, H. palliatus, Temm., a native of Brazil, and
H. niger, Cuv., from New Holland. The bird above described approaches
more closely to the European species (H. ostralegus) than to the other
two; but may be distinguished from it by the following characters,
In its dimensions it exceeds the length of the European bird by six
inches, and the other parts in proportion; it wants the white collar
round the neck, which is a very distinctive character of H. ostralegus;
the fascia on the wing is confined to the extremity of the secondary
quill feathers alone, whilst in the other bird it extends to some of the
wing coverts: the primary quill feathers also are entirely black; whereas
the other has them partially variegated with white: the under wing
coverts also differ, the primary ones being fuscous, and the outer
secondary partially marked with black; whilst the whole of the under wing
coverts in H. ostralegus are white. The uropygium also, which in the
European bird is entirely white, is in our specimen partially variegated
with black. The marginal webs of the toes are much more dilated. The
whitish lunular mark under the eye of H. ostralegus, is entirely wanting
in our species, of which the margin of the eye seems to be of a reddish
tinge, of the same colour as the bill. This bird is common upon the
shores of the continent generally; it is called by the colonists the Red
10. Aptenodytes minor. Gmel. Syst. 1 558.
The Little Penguin, Latham.
This bird is common in all parts of the Southern Ocean. The above
specimen was found at King George the Third's Sound near the south-west
extremity of New Holland. There are two specimens in the collection
marked 9 a, and 9 b.
11. Tachypetes aquila. Vieillot.
Pelecanus Aquila, Gmel. Lin. 1 572.
This specimen was obtained at Ascension, and is common in all parts of
the Atlantic within or near the Tropic.
12. Sterna fuliginosa. Gmel. Lin. 1 605. Ind. Orn. 2 804.
Egg Bird, Forst. Voyage 1 115. Cook, Voyage 1 66, 275.
Noddy, Dampier, 3 pt. 1 99., table page 85. figure 5. Hawkesworth's Coll.
of Voyages, 3 652.
Sooty Tern, Gen. Syn. 6 352. Arc. Zool. 2 Number 447.
There are two specimens of this bird in the collection, marked 12 a, and
13. Sterna pelecanoides (n.s.)
S. alba; capitis vertice nigro albo-variegato; dorso, alis, caudaque
canis; remigibus fusco-atris, rhachibus albis.
Colli latera parce cano-maculata; tectrices secundariae primoribus
obscuriores; remiges fusco-atrae, pogoniis internis fere ad apicem
albo-marginatis; rectrices externae fuscae basi apiceque albis; rostrum
subflavum; pedes nigri.
Longitudo corporis, 19 1/4; alae a carpo ad remigem primam, 13 1/2;
caudae, 6 3/4; rostri, ad frontem, 2 1/3, ad rictum, 3 1/6; tarsi, 1 1/6.
The hallux, or hind toe, of this bird appears to be more closely united
to the fore toes, and to be situated more in front than is usual among
the Terns: it is also to be observed, that the side of the nail of the
middle toe is considerably dilated, although not serrated, similar to
what is observed among the Pelecanidae. These characters offer a
corroboration of the affinity of the Sternae to the family of the
Pelecanidae, and particularly to the genus Phaeton, which approaches the
Terns more closely than any other group of that family, in the smaller
size of the membrane that unites the toes (see Linnean Transactions 14
505). It may also be stated on the other hand, that the same membrane of
the Sterna pelecanoides deviates from its own genus, and approaches the
Pelecanidae, in its being more dilated than usual. The wings are longer
than the tail for a considerable extent, by which our bird also evinces
another character, in common with the long-winged Tachypetes, or Frigate
14. Larus georgii (n.s.)
L. albus, dorso alisque nigris; rectricibus albis, fascia media atra.
Rostrum flavum, apice rubro; mandibulae inferioris gonide maxime
angulata; remiges primores atrae, secundariae supra nigrae apice albo,
infra albae; tectrices inferiores albae; pedes flavi.
Longitudo corporis, 28; alae, a carpo ad remigem primam 18 3/4;
mandibulae, superioris ad frontem, 2 1/3, ad rictum, 3 1/6; tarsi, 2
11/12; caudae, 8 1/2.
This bird was found at King George the Third's Sound, on the South-west
Coast, in the vicinity of Seal Island.
BY JOHN EDWARD GRAY, ESQUIRE, M.G.S.
Genus CHLAMYDOSAURUS. Gray.
Capite depresso; membrana tympani aperta.
Gula pennulis plicatis ornata.
Digitis quinque, elongatis, simplicibus.
Cauda elongata, subcylindrica.
Animal scaly; the head depressed; the nostrils placed on the side, midway
between the eyes and the end of the head; the drum of the ear naked; the
front teeth conical, awl-shaped (eight in the upper, and four in the
lower jaw); the hinder ones largest; the side or cheek teeth compressed,
short, forming a single ridge, gradually longer behind; tongue short,
fleshy, with an oval smooth disk at each side of the lower part of its
front part; neck rather long, furnished on each side with a large plaited
frill, supported above by a crescent-shaped cartilage arising from the
upper hinder part of the ear, and, in the middle, by an elongation of the
side fork of the bone of the tongue; body compressed; legs rather long,
especially the hinder ones; destitute of femoral pores; feet four, with
five toes, the first having two, the second three, the third four, the
fourth five, and the little finger and toe three joints; claws
compressed, hooked; tail long, nearly round, scaly.
This genus appears to be nearly allied to the Agamae, but differs from
them in the peculiar frill that is appended to the neck.
1. Chlamydosaurus kingii (n.s.)
C. corpore luteo, nigro, variegato; squamis carinatis; pennula antice
serrata; cauda corpore duplo longiore.
Chlamydosaurus kingii, Gray manuscripts.
Icon. Table A. Natural size.
Inhabits Port Nelson, north-west coast of Australia.
The colour yellowish-brown variegated with black: the head depressed,
with the sides erect, leaving a blunt ridge on the upper part, in which
the eyes are placed: the ridge over the eyes covered with larger scales
than those over the head; eyes rather small, with a fleshy ridge above
them; eye-lids covered with minute, and surrounded by a delicate serrated
ridge of small upright scales: the lips surrounded by a row of oblong,
four-sided scales, arranged lengthways, the front scale of the upper lip
being the largest: the chin covered with narrow mid-ribbed scales, with a
five-sided one in the centre, and several of larger size just over the
front of the fork of the lower jaw: nostrils, surrounded by rather a
large orbicular scale, situated nearly mid-way between the eye and the
end of the upper jaw, the tubes pointing forwards: the side of the face
has a very obscure ridge extending from the angle of the mouth to the
under part of the ear: neck covered with small scales: frill arising from
the hinder part of the head, just over the front of the ears, and
attached to the sides of the neck and extending down to the front part of
the chest, supported above by a lunate cartilage arising from the hinder
dorsal part of the ear, and in the centre by a bone, which extends about
half its length: this bone appears to be an elongation of the side fork
of the bone of the tongue, but it could not be determined with certainty
without injuring the specimen; each frill has four plaits, which converge
on the under part of the chin, and fold it up on the side, and a fifth
where the two are united in the centre of the lower part of the neck; the
front part of its upper edge is elegantly serrated, but the hinder or
lower part is quite whole; the outer surface is covered with keeled
scales, which are largest towards its centre; the inner surface is quite
smooth. The scales of the back are oval, smoothish; those of the lower
part of the body and upper part of the legs acutely mid-ribbed, and of
the sides and joints of the limbs minute. The tail is twice as long as
the body, roundish, covered with acutely mid-ribbed scales, which towards
the end form six rows, so as to render it obscurely six-sided; the end is
blunt: the toes long, very unequal, varying in joints, as stated in the
generic character (which includes also the claw joint) compressed, scaly;
the claws hooked, horn-coloured.
Length of the tail: 12 inches.
Length of the body: 5 inches.
Length of the head: 5 1/2 inches.
Breadth of the head over the eyes: 1 inch.
Length of the thigh: 1 9/10 inches.
Length of the foot and sole: 2 2/10 inches.
Length of the outer edge of the frill: 10 inches.
This interesting lizard was found by Mr. Allan Cunningham, who
accompanied the expedition as His Majesty's Botanical Collector for Kew
Gardens, on the branch of a tree in Careening Bay, at the bottom of Port
Nelson. (See volume 1.) It was sent by him to Sir Everard Home, by whom
it was deposited in the Museum of the College of Surgeons,* which
precluded my examination of its internal structure.
(*Footnote. Upon application to the Board of Curators of the College, I
was permitted to have a drawing made of this curious and unique specimen
for the Appendix of my work. The plate was engraved by Mr. Curtis, from
an exceedingly correct drawing made by my friend, Henry C. Field,
Respecting this remarkable Lizard, Mr. Cunningham's journal contains the
following remarks. "I secured a lizard of extraordinary appearance, which
had perched itself upon the stem of a small decayed tree. It had a
curious crenated membrane like a ruff or tippet round its neck, covering
its shoulders, and when expanded, which it was enabled to do by means of
transverse slender cartilages, spreads five inches in the form of an open
umbrella. I regret that my eagerness to secure so interesting an animal
did not admit of sufficient time to allow the lizard to show by its alarm
or irritability how far it depended upon, or what use it made of, this
extraordinary membrane when its life was threatened. Its head was rather
large, and eyes, whilst living, rather prominent; its tongue, although
bifid, was short and thick, and appeared to be tubular." Cunningham
Captain King informs me, that the colour of the tongue and inside of the
mouth was yellow.
2. Uaranus varius, Merrem.
Lacerta varia, White, Journal of a Voyage to New Holland, 253, t. 38.
Shaw, Nat. Misc. t. 83.
Tupinambis variegatus, Daud. Rept. iij. 76.
Monitor bigarre, Cuv. Reg. Anim. ij. 24.
This species, better known to English Dealers under the name of The Lace
Lizard, is peculiar in having the two series of the scales, placed on the
upper part of the centre of the tail, raised into a biserrated ridge, and
in the outer toe, or rather thumb, of the hinder-foot being long, and
reaching to the penultimate distal joint of the first or longest toe; the
claws are compressed, sharp.
Genus PHELSUMA. Gray.
Pedes quatuor, digitis fere aequalibus, totis lobatis, muticis; poris
Caput et truncus supra tesserulis minutis, infra squamis minimis, tecti.
This genus, which appears to be confined to the Isle of France, differs
from the rest of the Geckonidae, by the toes being dilated the whole
length, and entirely clawless, and covered beneath with transverse
scales; by the thumb being very small and indistinct, and by the thighs
being furnished with a series of minute pores.
3. Phelsuma ornata (n.s.).
P. supra plumbea macula, fasciaque rufa ornata, subtus albida.
Inhabits Isle of France.
Head depressed, truncated in front, covered with minute ovate scales; the
front of the upper part lead-coloured, with a rather broad red band a
little before the eyes, and a white crescent-shaped spot on each side
immediately behind it, and then some obscure red shades just behind that;
the back lead-coloured and blue, with six longitudinal series of
irregular-sized red spots; belly whitish; tail rather longer than the
body. Body one inch and five-eighths, head half an inch, tail two inches
and a half long.
This animal is very interesting, as being the second species of a genus
recently established, which only consisted of P. cepedia, the Gecko
cepedien of Peron; Cuv. Reg. Anim. 2 46. and 4 t. 5. f. 5.; which has
somewhat the manner of colouring, but is very distinct from the Gecko
ocellatus of Oppel.
Genus TILIQUA. Gray.
Pedes quatuor pentadactyli, poris femoralibus nullis.
Caput scutatum; dentes in palato nulli.
Truncus regulariter squamosus.
This genus is distinguished from the true Skinks by the want of Palatine
teeth, the shorter body, and the holes of the ears being furnished on
their front part with a fringe. It differs from the succeeding Genus,
Trachysaurus, in the head being covered with distinct flat plates, and
the whole of the body with cut hexangular scales; the scales are harder
than those of the true Skink, but not so distinctly bony as those of the
4. Tiliqua tuberculata. Gray.
Lacerta scincoides. Shaw, Nat. Misc.
Lacerta occidua. var. Shaw, Zool. iij. 289.
Scincus tuberculatus, Merrem. Syst. Amph. 73.
Scincoid, or Skink-formed Lizard, White, Journal 242.
Icon. White, l. c. t. 30. Shaw, N. M. t. 179; Zool. iij. t. 81.
This Lizard, which was first described in the excellent journal of Mr.
White, does not appear to be uncommon on the coast of Australia, as there
are several specimens both in the British Museum and in the collection of
the Linnean Society, that were probably taken in the neighbourhood of the
colony; the specimen before me was caught at Seal Island, in King George
the Third's Sound.
The scales of the whole of the body are broad, hexangular, with five or
six longitudinal, slightly-raised ridges, which gradually taper, and are
lost just before they reach the margin. The legs are short, thick; the
toes of the fore-feet are rather short, the outer reaching to the middle
of the second, the second and third equal; the fourth reaching to the
last joint of the third, and the little one to the second joint of the
fourth finger. In the hind foot the first and third toe are nearly equal,
and only half as long as the second; the fourth only half as long as the
third; and the fifth about half the length of the fourth toe.
Genus TRACHYSAURUS. Gray.
Pedes quatuor pentadactyli.
Caput sub-scutatum, dentes in palato nulli.
Truncus supra sqoamis crassis elongatis subspinosis, infra hexagonis
membranaceis imbricatis, tectus.
Cauda brevis, depressa.
This genus is at once distinguished from the former, and indeed from the
whole of the Scincidae, by the large hard scales that cover the back of
the body and head; which are formed of distinct triangular long plates,
rough on the outside, and covered with a membranaceous skin. The body
shields of the head pass gradually into the dorsal plates. The teeth
short, thick, and conical; the palate toothless. The belly and lower
surface of the tail are covered with large six-sided scales, like the
other genera of the family. The head is rather large, triangular. The
legs short, weak; the toes very short, covered only with as many scales
as there are joints; the outer and innermost being about half as long as
the three central toes, which are nearly of equal length; claws short,
conical, channelled beneath. The tail short, depressed.
5. Trachysaurus rugosus (n.s.)
T. squamis dorsi rugosis, caudae subspinosis; cauda brevissima.
The body nearly uniform, chestnut brown; the head depressed with the
scales convex, and more nearly of an equal size than usual: those round
the eyes and mouth large; the three anterior scales on the edge of the
lower jaw larger than those which cover the lower surface of the head,
body, and tail, which are uniform, distinct, large, and membranaceous:
the scales of the back are nearly of equal size with those covering the
commencement of the tail; they are furnished with a prominent midrib, and
end in a point. The legs very short, compressed, covered with nearly
smooth, rather thin, scales. The toes very short; claws rather thick, and
short. The tail about half the length of the body.
Head, three inches long.
Body, seven inches.
Tail, four inches.
Only one specimen of this exceedingly interesting animal was brought home
by Captain King, but the spirits in which it had been preserved had
unfortunately evaporated, so that it was considerably injured; there is,
however, a specimen, apparently of the same animal, in the collection of
the Linnean Society, which wants the end of its tail.
The above specimen was found at King George the Third's Sound, and is
preserved in the Museum.
6. Agama muricata. Daud.
Lacerta muricata, Shaw, in White's Journal of a Voyage to New South
Lacerta Agama, var. ? Shaw, Gen. Zool. iij. 211.
Muricated Lizard, Shaw.
Icon. Shaw, Gen. Zool. t. 65, and White's Journal t. 31. f. 2.
This lizard was first described in Mr. White's Journal, by the late Dr.
Shaw, who paid particular attention to that class of animals; but he was
afterwards inclined to consider it as only a variety of the common
Lacerta agama, or American Galeote, from which, however, it is quite
It appears to be a young specimen, since its length is only seven inches,
whilst that described by Dr. Shaw was more than a foot in length; and
some have been caught even of a much larger size. The Doctor's figure is
remarkably good, but rather more spinous than the specimen under
examination, which is probably another proof of its youth. It was taken
and preserved by Mr. James Hunter, R.N., who accompanied Captain King as
surgeon during the Mermaid's third voyage, and has been presented by him
to the British Museum.
7. Disteira doliata. Lacepede, Ann. de Museum, D'Hist. Nat. 4 199. 210.
Enhydris doliatus, Merrem, Syst. Amph. 140.
Icon. Lacep. Ann. Mus. 4 t. 57. f. 2.
The series of small hexagonal shields on the abdomen of this curious
animal appears to be formed of two series of scales united laterally. The
length of the specimen brought home by Captain King exceeds four feet.
The figure by M. Lacepede seems to be too short, but his description
agrees admirably with our specimen, which has been presented to the
8. Leptophis* punctulatus (n.s.).
N. squamis laevibus apice uni-indentatis, spinae dorsalis triangularibus;
cauda quadrantali, tenui, squamis aequalibus.
(*Footnote. I have adopted Mr. Bell's manuscript name for this genus
since his paper was read at the Zoological club of the Linnean Society,
before the publication of my genera of Reptiles in the Annals of
Philosophy, where I erroneously considered it as synonymous with Dr.
Leach's genus Macrosoma instead of my Ahaetulla. J.E.G.)
Scales uniform, pale brown, with a minute black dot impressed on the
apex: body slender, compressed: abdominal scutae rather broad. The series
of scales on the side next to the ventral plates ovate and blunt; those
on the sides narrow, linear, in five series; the series of scales along
the centre of the back long, triangular. This arrangement of the scales
gradually assumes a uniform appearance on the neck close to the head,
where they are ovate. Head rather long with nine plates, frontal plate
being divided; the snout very blunt, truncated; the upper central labial
scale octangular, with a deep concavity on the labial margin; the
anterior and posterior mental scales long. The tail one-fourth the length
of the body, covered with uniform ovate quadrangular scales. Length, four
This species appears to have a considerable affinity to the genus named
Macrosoma by Dr. Leach, but not described by him, and is very much like
Coluber decorus of Shaw. It belongs to the group called by English
Zoologists, Whip Snakes.
The specimen above described was taken by Mr. James Hunter, at Careening
Bay, on the north coast, and presented by him to the British Museum.
9. Leptophis spilotus.
Coluber spilotus, Lacepede, Ann. Mus. iv 209.
A specimen of this snake was brought home by Captain King, agreeing very
well with the short description given by Lacepede, in his account of some
new species of animals from New Holland. It has not been taken notice of
in the modern works on Reptiles. It may, perhaps, be distinct from it;
but upon considering that upwards of two hundred species of this genus
have been already described, I thought it best not to increase the number
without very good reason. This species forms a second section in the
genus Leptophis, on account of the form of its scales, particularly those
of the throat.
Captain King has informed me that turtles of two or three kinds are
common on the coasts of Australia, particularly within the tropic; and
Alligators were seen, in great abundance, in the rivers of the northern
and north-western coasts, particularly in those that empty themselves
into the bottom of Van Diemen's Gulf; but as no specimens of either of
these animals were preserved, no further notice can be taken of them.*
(*Footnote. The turtle that frequents the North-east Coast, in the
neighbourhood of Endeavour River, is a variety of the Testudo mydas. See
Banks and Solander manuscripts.)
BY JOHN EDWARD GRAY, ESQUIRE, M.G.S.
1. Tetraodon argenteus. Lacepede, Ann. Mus. 4 203.
Icon. Ann. Mus. l.c. t. 58. f. 2.
2. Chironectes tuberosus, G. Cuvier, Mem. Mus. 3 432.
There are two other species of this genus in Captain King's collection,
which appear to be new.
3. Balistes australis. Donovan. Naturalist. Repos. 26.
4. Teuthis australis (n.s.).
T. fusca, fasciis sexta transversis nigro-fuscis, cauda truncata.
Body brown, paler beneath, with six transverse blackish-brown bands; the
first placed across the eye and front angle of the gill flap; the second
obliquely across the pectoral fin, and the three next, nearly
equidistant, straight across the body, the last band placed between the
spine and the base of the rays of the tail; and with a black longitudinal
line between the eyes. Teeth flat, rather broad, rounded at the end, and
denticulated. The gills flat, unarmed; pectoral fin subacute, triangular;
ventral fin triangular, supported by a very strong first ray; dorsal and
anal fins rounded. Tail truncated, spine on the side of the tail very
distinct, imbedded in a sheath.
Pectoral fin, fifteen rays, first very short: Ventral fin, five rays, one
very strong, short. Dorsal fin, thirty-one; anterior very strong, first
short. Anal fin, twenty-three; two first very strong and short. Caudal
fin, sixteen rays, divided.
Body 3; tail 1 1/4 inches long. Body 2 3/4 high; dorsal fin 3/4; pectoral
fin 1 1/4 inches long.
This fish belongs to the Genus Acanthurus of Bloch, adopted by Shaw
(Harpurus, of Forster) but as that genus is apparently formed from the
type of Linnaeus' Genus, Teuthis, I have adopted the latter name for
those Chetodons which have one spine on each side of the tail, and
Acanthurus for those that have two. They are usually called Lancet-fish,
from the curious structure of the sub-caudal spines.
Captain King has presented to the Museum seven or eight other sorts of
fish, in spirits, and several interesting drawings, which I have not
hitherto been enabled to find in any of the works on Ichthyology, but so
little is known of the genera and species of this department of Natural
History, that I am not inclined to describe them as new, for fear of
increasing the confusion at present existing.
Among the unnamed fish, there is one exactly similar to a species found
by my late friend Mr. Cranch, in the South Atlantic.
5. Squalus ocellatus. Gmelin, Syst. Nat. 1494.
Squalus oculatus. Banks and Solander, manuscripts.
6. Squalus glaucus.
Captain King observes, this fish is frequently found in the neighbourhood
of the coast.
7. Squalus. Captain King in his manuscripts observes, that a species of
shark was observed commonly near the shores, having a short nose, with a
very capacious mouth; the body was of an ash grey colour, marked with
darker spots, of a round shape, and about two inches in diameter. This
shark was usually ten or eleven feet long.
1. Leodice gigantea. Savigny Syst. des Annel. page 49. Lam. 5 322.
Eunice gigantea, Cuv. Reg. Anim. 2 524.
Nereis aphroditois, Pall. Nov. Act. Petrop. 2 229. table 5. figure 1.7.
Terebella aphroditois, Gmelin, Syst. Nat. 3114.
The specimen brought by Captain King is nearly five feet long, and was
procured at the Isle of France.
CATALOGUE OF INSECTS, COLLECTED BY CAPTAIN KING, R.N.
BY WILLIAM SHARP MACLEAY, ESQUIRE, A.M., F.L.S.
The collection consists of one hundred and ninety-two species, of which
one hundred and thirty belong to the class Mandibulata, fifty-eight to
Haustellata, and four to the Arachnida. Eighty-one of the species are
new, and the extent to which each order of winged insects has been
collected, will be best understood from the following summary.
COLUMN 1: MANDIBULATA.
COLUMN 2: HAUSTELLATA.
108 Coleoptera : 40 Lepidoptera.
8 Orthoptera : 2 Homoptera.
5 Neuroptera : 8 Hemiptera.
9 Hymenoptera : 8 Diptera.
Total 188 Species.
This number is, of course, not sufficient to allow any general remarks to
be founded on the collection, and the following Catalogue is, therefore,
1. Panagaeus quadrimaculatus. Oliv. Enc. Meth. Hist. Nat.
Obs. There is a wretched figure of this insect given in the fourth volume
of Cuvier's Regne Animal.
2. Paecilus kingii (n.s.) P. atronitidus, antennis tomentosis obscuris,
basi et apice piceis, labri margine antico palpisque rufo-piceis, thorace
linea media longitudinali vix marginem
posticum attingente fossulaque utrinque postica, elytris striatis vix
atro-aeneis tibiis ad apicem tarsisque atro-piceis.
3. Gyrinus rufipes. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. page 276. 13.
Obs. The description of this species, as given by Fabricius is very
vague; but as it applies tolerably well to the insect collected by
Captain King, I have not thought proper to give it a new name.
4. Silpha lacrymosa. Schreiber, in Linnean Transactions 6 194. t. 20, f.
5. Creophilus erythrocephalus.
Staphylinus erythrocephalus. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 2 593. 19.
6. Hister cyaneus. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 1 page 88. 13.
7. Hister. speciosus. Dej. Cat. page 48.
8. Passalus polyphyllus (n.s.) P. ater depressiusculus, antennis
sex-lamellatis, vertice tuberculis tribus, intermedio majore compressa
linearum superiorem duarum elevatarum transversarum dissecante, thoracis
lateribus rufo-ciliatis, elytrorum striis lateralibus punctatis.
9. Passalus edentulus (n.s.) P. ater convexiusculus antennis triphyllis,
verticis cornu elevato incurva canaliculato apice emarginato, tuberculo
utrinque acuto, elytrorllm striis subpunctatis, mandibulis concavis extus
Obs. This insect is much less in size than the former, and is more
10. Lamprima aenea. Horae Entom. 1 page 101. 3.
11. Dasygnathus dejeanii. Horae Entom. 1 page 141. 1.
12. Trox alternans (n.s.) T. capite antice linea angulati elevata
marginato, thorace lineis quatuor mediis elevatis, exterioribus
interruptis tuberculisque utrinque duobus inaequalibus, elytris
tuberculis striatim dispositis, striis alternatim majoribus.
13. Melolontha festiva. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 2 171. page 63.
Obs. This most beautiful insect ought to be considered as the type of a
new genus near to Serica.
14. Diphucephala sericea. Kirby, in Linnean Transactions 12 page 463.
Obs. This genus I had named Agrostiphila in my manuscripts, but M. Dejean
has since published it under the name of Diphucephala.
15. Diphucephala splendens (n.s.). D. viridis nitidissima antennis
palpisque nigris, capite antice thoracisque lateribus subpunctatis, media
canaliculato, elytris punctis rugosis seriatim dispositis, corpore subtus
An Melolontha colaspidoides, Schon. App. 101. ?
16. Cetonia variegata. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 2 page 157. 112.
C. luctuosa. Lat. in Cat. Mus. Gall.
Obs. This insect is an inhabitant of the Isle of France, and was probably
collected by Captain King during his stay in that island.
17. Cetonia australasiae. Donov. Ins. of New Holland, table 1.
18. Cetonia dorsalis. Donov. Ins. of New Holland, table 1.
19. Anoplognathus viridiaeneus. Horae. Ent. 1 page 144. 1.
20. Anoplognathus viriditarsis. Leach. Zool. Miscel. 2 44.
21. Anoplognathus rugosus. Kirby, Linnean Transactions 12 405.
22. Anoplognathus inustus. Kirby, Linnean Transactions 12 405.
23. Repsimus aeneus.
Melolontha aenea. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 2 page 166. 30.
24. Repsimus dytiscoides. Horae. Entom. 1 page 144. 2.
25. Buprestis macularis.
Buprestis macularia. Don. Ins. of New Holland, table 8.
26. Buprestis imperialis. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 2 page 204. 98.
27. Buprestis suturalis. Don. Ins. of New Holland, table 8.
28. Buprestis variabilis. Don. Ins. of New Holland, table 7.
29. Buprestis kingii (n.s.) B. elytris striatis nigro-violaceis
testaceo-quadrifasciatis haud bidentatis, thorace punctato nigro-aeneo
Obs. This species comes perhaps too near to some of the darker varieties
of B. variabilis, of the true appearance of which scarcely any idea can
be formed from the figures of Donovan. Our insect bears a remarkable
similarity to a Surinam Buprestis, with serrated elytra.
30. Buprestis bimaculata. Lin. Syst. Nat. 2 662. 16. Oliv. Ins. 2 32,
table 12, figure 140.
Obs. This is an East Indian Insect; and, as Captain King collected a few
species in the Isle of France, this is probably one of them.
31. Buprestis fissiceps. Kirby, in Linnean Transactions 12 page 458,
table 23, figure 4.
32. Buprestis lapidosa (n.s.) B. cuprea scabrosa thorace lineis duabus
parallelis longitudinalibus elevatis, elytris integris subacuminatis
substriatis inter tuberculos punctatis, corpore subtus aeneo.
33. Elater xanthomus (n.s.) E. ater antennis apicem versus dilatatis
serratis, thorace punctato canaliculato, elytris punctatis striatis
pubescentibus basi late auratis dimidiatis.
Obs. This insect is about four lines long, and entirely black, except the
upper half of the elytra.
34. Elater nigro-terminatus (n.s.) E. luteus cavite antennisque atris,
thorace convexo macula longitudinali sub-acuminata a margine antico ultra
medium attingente, elytris punctato~striatis apice late nigris, anoque
Obs. This insect is about the same length with the former, having its
feet and underside entirely yellow, excepting the head and a black anal
spot, something like the letter V.
35. Lycus serraticornis. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. volume 2 1ll. 6.
36. Lycus septemcavus (n.s.) L. ater thorace parabolico fossulis septem,
quatuor anticis fere aequalibus, posticarum media angusta lanciformi,
duabus lateralibus latis antice emarginatis. Scutello quadrato nigro;
elytrls rubris marginatis lineis quatuor elevatis, interstitiis duplici
serie punctorum transversorum crenatis.
37. Lycus rhipidium (n.s.) L. ater antennis fiabellatis; thorace angulis
porrectis obtusis, fossulis septem, posticarum trium media longitudinali
lanciformi; scutello quadrato nigro; elytris rubris marginatis lineis
novem elevatis, quatuor alternatim majoribus, interstitiis crenatis.
38. Telephorus pulchellus (n.s.) T. capite thoraceque nigro-nitidis,
hujus margine postico late rufo, elytris viridi-caeruleis tomentosis
punctatis ad suturam marginatis, corpore pedibusque nigris abdomine
39. Malachius verticalis, (n.s.) M. rufo-testaceus vertice antennisque
apice nigro-nitidis, thorace testaceo. elytris fascia humerali mediaque
violaceis, postpectore pedibus anoque nigris.
40. Clerus cruciatus (n.s.) C. testacea tomentosa, capite thoracis
lateribus elytrorumque maculis duabus longitudinalibus, quarum postica
latiori, nigris, elytris striato-punctatis apice rufescentibus, antennis
piceis. pedibus palpisque pallidis.
41. Oedemera livida. Oliv. Ins. 50, table 1 figure 2.
Dryops livida. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 2 68. 3.
42. Oedemera lineata. Oliv. Ins. 50, table 1 figure 4.
Dryops lineata. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. 2 68. 4.
Obs. I suspect this insect to be merely a variety of the former species.
43. Oedemera punctum (n.s.) Oe. flavo-nitida antennis obscuris, fronte
puncto atro-nitido impresso, thorace lunula utrinque atro-nitida
impresso, scutello flavo, elytris nigro-fuscis limbo et sutura testaceis,
geniculis tibiis tarsisque nigris.
44. Lagria tomentosa. Fab. Syst. Eleuth. volume 2 page 70. 9.
45. Lagria rufescens. Dej. Cat. 72.
46. Cistela securigera (n.s.) C. subtus picea supra brunnea pubescens,
antennis apice palporumque articulo ultimo securiformi nigris, elytris
punctis crenatis striatis.
47. Amarygmus tristis.
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