Sketches of Natural History of Ceylon
J. Emerson Tennent
Part 8 out of 12
British have had possession of Ceylon. In all probability the reason is
that the sharks are alarmed by the unusual number of boats, the
multitude of divers, the noise of the crews, the incessant plunging of
the sinking stones, and the descent and ascent of the baskets filled
with shells. The dark colour of the divers themselves may also be a
protection; whiter skins might not experience an equal impunity.
Massoudi relates that the divers of the Persian Gulf were so conscious
of this advantage of colour, that they were accustomed to blacken their
limbs, in order to baffle the sea monsters.
[Footnote 1: CORDINER'S _Ceylon_, vol. ii p. 52.]
[Footnote 2: "Ils s'enduisaient les pieds et les jambes d'une substance
noiratre, atin de faire peur aux monstres marins, que, sans cela,
seraient tentes de les devorer."--_Moroudj-al-Dzekeb,_ REINAUD, _Mem.
sur l'Inde_, p. 228.]
The result of our examination of the pearl banks, on this occasion, was
such as to discourage the hope of an early fishery. The oysters in point
of number were abundant, but in size they were little more than "spat,"
the largest being barely a fourth of an inch in diameter. As at least
seven years are required to furnish the growth at which pearls may be
sought with advantage, the inspection served only to suggest the
prospect (which has since been realised) that in time the income from
this source might be expected to revive;--and, forced to content
ourselves with this anticipation, we weighed anchor from Condatchy, on
the 30th March, and arrived on the following day at Colombo.
[Footnote 1: Along with this two plates are given from drawings made for
the Official Inspector, and exhibiting the ascertained size of the pearl
oyster at every period of its growth, from the "spat" to the mature
shell. The young "brood" are shown at Nos. 1 and 2. The shell at four
months old, No. 3, No. 4. six months, No. 5. one year, No. 6, two years.
The second plate exhibits the shell at its full growth.]
The banks of Aripo are not the only localities, nor is the _acicula_ the
only mollusc, by which pearls are furnished. The Bay of Tamblegam,
connected with the magnificent harbour of Trincomalie, is the seat of
another pearl fishery, and the shell which produces them is the thin
transparent oyster (_Placuna placenta_). whose clear white shells are
used, in China and elsewhere, as a substitute for window glass. They are
also collected annually for the sake of the diminutive pearls contained
in them. These are exported to the coast of India, to be calcined for
lime, which the luxurious affect to chew with their betel. These pearls
are also burned in the mouths of the dead. So prolific are the mollusca
of the _Placuna_, that the quantity of shells taken by the licensed
renter in the three years prior to 1858, could not have been less than
eighteen millions. They delight in brackish water, and on more than
one recent occasion, an excess of either salt water or fresh has proved
fatal to great numbers of them.
[Footnote 1: _Report of_ Dr. KELAART, Oct. 1857.]
[Illustration: PEARL OYSTER.
1, 2. The young brood or spat.
3. Four months old.
4. Six months old.
5. One year old.
6. Two years old.]
[Illustration: THE PEARL OYSTER. Full Growth.]
On the occasion of a visit which I made to Batticaloa. in September,
1848, I made some inquiries relative to a story which had reached me of
musical sounds, said to be often heard issuing from the bottom of the
lake, at several places, both above and below the ferry opposite the old
Dutch Fort; and which the natives suppose to proceed from some fish
peculiar to the locality. The report was confirmed in all its
particulars, and one of the spots whence the sounds proceed was pointed
out between the pier and a rock that intersects the channel, two or
three hundred yards to the eastward. They were said to be heard at
night, and most distinctly when the moon was nearest the full, and they
were described as resembling the faint sweet notes of an AEolian harp. I
sent for some of the fishermen, who said they were perfectly aware of
the fact, and that their fathers had always known of the existence of
the musical sounds, heard, they said, at the spot alluded to, but only
during the dry season, as they cease when the lake is swollen by the
freshes after the rain. They believed them to proceed not from a fish,
but from a shell, which is known by the Tamil name of (_oorie cooleeroo
cradoo_, or) the "crying shell," a name in which the sound seems to have
been adopted as an echo to the sense. I sent them in search of the
shell, and they returned bringing me some living specimens of different
shells, chiefly _littorina_ and _cerithium._
[Illustration: CERITHIUM PALUSTRE.]
[Footnote 1: _Littorina laevis. Cerithium palustre._ Of the latter the
specimens brought to me were dwarfed and solid, exhibiting in this
particular the usual peculiarities that distinguish (1) shells
inhabiting a rocky locality from (2) their congeners in a sandy bottom.
Their longitudinal development was less, with greater breadth, and
increased strength and weight.]
In the evening when the moon rose, I took a boat and accompanied the
fishermen to the spot. We rowed about two hundred yards north-east of
the jetty by the fort gate; there was not a breath of wind, nor a ripple
except those caused by the dip of our oars. On coming to the point
mentioned, I distinctly heard the sounds in question. They came up from
the water like the gentle thrills of a musical chord, or the faint
vibrations of a wine-glass when its rim is rubbed by a moistened finger.
It was not one sustained note, but a multitude of tiny, sounds, each
clear and distinct in itself; the sweetest treble mingling with the
lowest bass. On applying the ear to the woodwork of the boat, the
vibration was greatly increased in volume. The sounds varied
considerably at different points, as we moved across the lake, as if the
number of the animals from which they proceeded was greatest in
particular spots; and occasionally we rowed out of hearing of them
altogether, until on returning to the original locality the sounds were
at once renewed.
This fact seems to indicate that the causes of the sounds, whatever they
may be, are stationary at several points; and this agrees with the
statement of the natives, that they are produced by mollusca, and not by
fish. They came evidently and sensibly from the depth of the lake, and
there was nothing in the surrounding circumstances to support the
conjecture that they could be the reverberation of noises made by
insects on the shore conveyed along the surface of the water; for they
were loudest and most distinct at points where the nature of the land,
and the intervention of the fort and its buildings, forbade the
possibility of this kind of conduction.
Sounds somewhat similar are heard under water at some places on the
western coast of India, especially in the harbour of Bombay. At
Caldera, in Chili, musical cadences are stated to issue from the sea
near the landing-place; they are described as rising and falling fully
four notes, resembling the tones of harp strings, and mingling like
those at Batticaloa, till they produce a musical discord of great
delicacy and sweetness. The same interesting phenomenon has been
observed at the mouth of the Pascagoula, in the State of Mississippi,
and of another river called the "Bayou coq del Inde," on the northern
shore of the Gulf of Mexico. The animals from which they proceed have
not been identified at either of these places, and the mystery remains
unsolved, whether the sounds at Batticaloa are given forth by fishes or
[Footnote 1: These sounds are thus described by Dr. BUIST in the _Bombay
Times_ of January 1847: "A party lately crossing from the promontory in
Salsette called the 'Neat's Tongue,' to near Sewree, were, about sunset,
struck by hearing long distinct sounds like the protracted booming of a
distant bell, the dying cadence of an AEolian harp, the note of a
pitchpipe or pitch-fork, or any other long-drawn-out musical note. It
was, at first, supposed to be music from Parell floating at intervals on
the breeze; then it was perceived to come from all directions, almost in
equal strength, and to arise from the surface of the water all around
the vessel. The boatmen at once intimated that the sounds were produced
by fish, abounding in the muddy creeks and shoals around Bombay and
Salsette; they were perfectly well known, and very often heard.
Accordingly, on inclining the ear towards the surface of the water; or,
better still, by placing it close to the planks of the vessel, the notes
appeared loud and distinct, and followed each other in constant
succession. The boatmen next day produced specimens of the fish--a
creature closely resembling, in size and shape the fresh-water perch of
the north of Europe--and spoke of them as plentiful and perfectly well
known. It is hoped they may be procured alive, and the means afforded of
determining how the musical sounds are produced and emitted, with other
particulars of interest supposed new in Ichthyology. We shall be
thankful to receive from our readers any information they can give us in
regard to a phenomenon which does not appear to have been heretofore
noticed, and which cannot fail to attract the attention of the
naturalist. Of the perfect accuracy with which the singular facts above
related have been given, no doubt will be entertained when it is
mentioned that the writer was one of a party of five intelligent
persons, by all of whom they were most carefully observed, and the
impressions of all of whom in regard to them were uniform. It is
supposed that the fish are confined to particular localities--shallows,
estuaries, and muddy creeks, rarely visited by Europeans; and that this
is the reason why hitherto no mention, so far as we know, has been made
of the peculiarity in any work on Natural History."
This communication elicited one from Vizagapatam, relative to "musical
sounds like the prolonged notes on the harp" heard to proceed from under
water at that station. It appeared in the _Bombay Times_ of Feb. 13,
Certain fishes are known to utter sounds when removed from the water,
and some are capable of making noises when under it; but all the
circumstances connected with the sounds which I heard at Batticaloa are
unfavourable to the conjecture that they were produced by either.
[Footnote 1: The Cuckoo Gurnard (_Triglia cuculus_) and the maigre
(_Sciaena aquila_) utter sounds when taken out of the water (YARRELL,
vol. i. p. 44, 107); and herrings when the net has just been drawn have
been observed to do the same. This effect has been attributed to the
escape of air from the air bladder, but no air bladder has been found in
the _Cottus_, which makes a similar noise.]
[Footnote 2: The fishermen assert that a fish about five inches in
length, found in the lake at Colombo, and called by them "_magoora_,"
makes a grunt when disturbed under water. PALLEGOIX, in his account of
Siam, speaks of a fish resembling a sole, but of brilliant colouring
with black spots, which the natives call the "dog's tongue," that
attaches itself to the bottom of a boat, "et fait entendre un bruit
tres-sonore et meme harmonieux."--Tom. i. p. 194. A _Silurus_, found in
the Rio Parana, and called the "armado," is remarkable for making a
harsh grating noise when caught by hook or line, which can be distinctly
heard when the fish is beneath the water. DARWIN, _Nat. Journ._ ch. vii.
Aristotle and AElian were aware of the existence of this faculty in some
of the fishes of the Mediterranean. ARISTOTLE, _De Anim_., lib. iv. ch.
ix.; AELIAN, _De Nat. Anim._, lib. x. ch. xi.; see also PLINY, lib. ix.
ch. vii.. lib. xi. ch. cxiii.; ATHENAEUS, lib. vii. ch. iii. vi. I have
heard of sounds produced under water at Baltimore, and supposed to be
produced by the "cat-fish;" and at Swan River in Australia, where they
are ascribed to the "trumpeter." A similar noise heard in the Tagus is
attributed by the Lisbon fishermen to the "_Corvina_"--but what fish is
meant by that name, I am unable to tell.]
Organs of hearing have been clearly ascertained to exist, mot only in
fishes, but in mollusca. In the oyster the presence of an acoustic
apparatus of the simplest possible construction has been established by
the discoveries of Siebold, and from our knowledge of the reciprocal
relations existing between the faculties of hearing and of producing
sounds, the ascertained existence of the one affords legitimate grounds
for inferring the coexistence of the other in animals of the same
[Footnote 1: AGASSIZ, _Comparative Physiology_, sec. ii. 158.]
[Footnote 2: It consists of two round vesicles containing fluid, and
crystalline or elliptical calcareous particles or otolites, remarkable
for their oscillatory action in the living or recently killed animal.
OWEN'S _Lectures on the Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of the
Invertebrate Animals_, 1855, p. 511-552.]
[Footnote 3: I am informed that Professor MUeLLER read a paper on
"Musical fishes" before the Academy of Berlin, in 1856. It will probably
be found in the volume of MUeLLER'S _Archiv. fuer Physiologie_ for that
year; but I have not had an opportunity of reading it.]
Besides, it has been clearly established, that one at least of the
gasteropoda is furnished with the power of producing sounds. Dr. Grant,
in 1826, communicated to the Edinburgh Philosophical Society the fact,
that on placing some specimens of the _Tritonia arborescens_ in a glass
vessel filled with sea water, his attention was attracted by a noise
which he ascertained to proceed from these mollusca. It resembled the
"clink" of a steel wire on the side of the jar, one stroke only being
given at a time, and repeated at short intervals.
[Footnote 1: _Edinburgh Philosophical Journ_., vol. xiv. p. 188. See
also the Appendix to this chapter.]
The affinity of structure between the _Tritonia_ and the mollusca
inhabiting the shells brought to me at Batticaloa, might justify the
belief of the natives of Ceylon, that the latter are the authors of the
sounds I heard; and the description of those emitted by the former as
given by Dr. Grant, so nearly resemble them, that I have always
regretted my inability, on the occasion of my visits to Batticaloa, to
investigate the subject more narrowly. At subsequent periods I have
since renewed my efforts, but without success, to obtain specimens or
observations of the habits of the living mollusca.
The only species afterwards sent to me were _Cerithia_; but no vigilance
sufficed to catch the desired sounds, and I still hesitate to accept the
dictum of the fishermen, as the same mollusc abounds in all the other
brackish estuaries on the coast; and it would be singular, if true, that
the phenomenon of its uttering a musical note should be confined to a
single spot in the lagoon of Batticaloa.
[Footnote 1: The letter which I received from Dr. Grant on this subject,
I have placed in a note to the present chapter, in the hope that it may
stimulate some other inquirer in Ceylon to prosecute the investigation
which I was unable to carry out successfully.]
Although naturalists have long been familiar with the marine testacea of
Ceylon, no successful attempt has yet been made to form a classified
catalogue of the species; and I am indebted to the eminent conchologist,
Mr. Sylvanus Hanley, for the list which accompanies this notice.
In drawing it up, Mr. Hanley observes that he found it a task of more
difficulty than would at first be surmised, owing to the almost total
absence of reliable data from which to construct it. Three sources were
available: collections formed by resident naturalists, the contents of
the well-known satin-wood boxes prepared at Trincomalie, and the
laborious elimination of locality from the habitats ascribed to all the
known species in the multitude of works on conchology in general.
But, unfortunately, the first resource proved fallacious. There is no
large collection in this country composed exclusively of Ceylon
shells;--and as the very few cabinets rich in the marine treasures of
the island have been filled as much by purchase as by personal exertion,
there is an absence of the requisite confidence that all professing to
be Singhalese have been actually captured in the island and its waters.
The cabinets arranged by the native dealers, though professing to
contain the productions of Ceylon, include shells which have been
obtained from other islands in the Indian seas; and the information
contained in books, probably from these very circumstances, is either
obscure or deceptive. The old writers content themselves with assigning
to any particular shell the too-comprehensive habitat of "the Indian
Ocean," and seldom discriminate between a specimen from Ceylon and one
from the Eastern Archipelago or Hindustan. In a very few instances,
Ceylon has been indicated with precision as the habitat of particular
shells, but even here the views of specific essentials adopted by modern
conchologists, and the subdivisions established in consequence, leave us
in doubt for which of the described forms the collective locality should
Valuable notices of Ceylon shells are to be found in detached papers, in
periodicals, and in the scientific surveys of exploring voyages. The
authentic facts embodied in the monographs of REEVE, KUSTER, SOWERBY,
and KIENER, have greatly enlarged our knowledge of the marine testacea;
and the land and fresh-water mollusca have been similarly illustrated by
the contributions of BENSON and LAYARD to the _Annals of Natural
The dredge has been used, but only in a few insulated spots along the
coasts of Ceylon; European explorers have been rare; and the natives,
anxious only to secure the showy and saleable shells of the sea, have
neglected the less attractive ones of the land and the lakes. Hence Mr.
Hanley finds it necessary to premise that the list appended, although
the result of infinite labour and research, is less satisfactory than
could have been wished. "It is offered," he says, "with diffidence, not
pretending to the merit of completeness as a shell-fauna of the island,
but rather as a form, which the zeal of other collectors may hereafter
elaborate and fill up."
Looking at the little that has yet been done, compared with the vast and
almost untried field which invites explorers, an assiduous collector may
quadruple the species hitherto described. The minute shells especially
may be said to be unknown; a vigilant examination of the corals and
excrescences upon the spondyli and pearl-oysters would signally increase
our knowledge of the Rissoae, Chemnitziae, and other perforating testacea,
whilst the dredge from the deep water will astonish the amateur by the
wholly new forms it can scarcely fail to display.
* * * * *
_List of Ceylon Shells._
The arrangement here adopted is a modified Lamarckian one, very similar
to that used by Reeve and Sowerby, and by Mr. HANLEY, in his
_Illustrated Catalogue of Recent Shells_.
[Footnote 1: Below will be found a general reference to the Works or
Papers in which are given descriptive notices of the shells contained in
the following list; the names of the authors (in full or abbreviated)
being, as usual, annexed to each species.
ADAMS, _Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1853, 54, 56; _Thesaur. Conch._ ALBERS,
_Zeitsch. Malakoz._ 1853. ANTON, _Wiegm. Arch. Nat._ 1837; _Verzeichn.
Conch_. BECK in _Pfeiffer, Symbol. Helic._ BENSON, _Ann. Nat. Hist._
vii. 1851; xii. 1853, xviii, 1856. BLAINVILLE, _Dict. Sc. Nat.; Nouv.
Ann. Mus. His. Nat._ i. BOLTEN, _Mus._ BORN, _Test. Mus. Caecs. Vind._
BRODERIP, _Zool. Journ._ i. iii. BRUGUIERE, _Encyc. Method. Vers._
CARPENTER, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1856. CHEMNITZ, _Conch. Cab._ CHENU,
_Illus. Conch._ DESHAYES. _Encyc. Meth. Vers.; Mag. Zool. 1831; Voy.
Belanger; Edit. Lam. An. s. Vert.; Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1853, 54, 55.
DILLWYN. _Deser. Cat. Shells._ DOHRN, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1857, 58;
_Malak. Blaetter; Land and Fluviatile Shells of Ceylon._ DUCLOS, _Monog.
of Oliva._ FABRICIUS, _in Pfeiffer Monog. Helic.; in Dohrn's MSS._
FERUSSAC, _Hist. Mollusques._ FORSKAL, _Anim. Orient._ GMELIN, _Syst.
Nat._ GRAY, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1834, 52; _Index Testaceologicus Suppl.;
Spicilegia Zool.; Zool. Journ._ i.; _Zool. Beechey Voy._ GRATELOUP,
_Act. Linn. Bordeaux,_ xi. GUERIN, _Rev. Zool._ 1847. HANLEY, _Thesaur.
Conch,_ i.; _Recent Bivalves; Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1858. HINDS, _Zool. Voy.
Sulphur; Proc. Zool. Soc._ HUTTON, _Journ. As. Soc._ KARSTEN, _Mus.
Lesk._ KIENER, _Coquilles Vivantes._ KRAUSS, _Sud-Afrik Mollusk._
LAMARCK, _An. sans Verteb._ LAYARD, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1854. LEA,
_Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1850. LINNAEUS, _Syst. Nat._ MARTINI, _Conch. Cab._
MAWE. _Introd. Linn. Conch.; Index Test. Suppl._ MEUSCHEN, in _Gronor.
Zoophylac._ MENKE, _Synop. Mollus._ MULLER, _Hist. Verm. Terrest._
PETIT, _Pro. Zool. Soc._ 1842. PFEIFFER, _Monog. Helic.: Monog.
Pneumon.; Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1852, 53, 54, 55. 56; _Zeitschr.
Malacoz._ 1853. PHILIPPI, _Zeitsch. Mal._ 1846, 47: _Abbild. Neuer
Conch._ POTIEZ et MICHAUD. _Galeric Douai._ RANG, _Mag. Zool._ ser. i.
p. 100. RECLUZ, _Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1845; _Revue Zool. Cur._ 1841:
_Mag. Conch._ REEVE, _Conch. Icon.; Proc. Zool. Soc_: 1842, 52.
SCHUMACHER. _Syst._ SHUTTLEWORTH. SOLANDER. in _Dillwyn's Desc. Cat.
Shells;_ SOWERBY, _Genera Shells; Species Conch.; Conch. Misc.; Thesaur.
Conch.; Conch. Illus.; Proc. Zool. Soc.; App. to Tankerrille Cat._
SPENGLER, _Skrivt. Nat. Selsk. Kiobenhav._ 1792. SWAINSON, _Zool.
Illust._ ser. ii. TEMPLETON, _Ann. Nat. Hist._ 1858. TROSCHEL, in
_Pfeiffer, Mon. Pneum; Zeitschr. Malak._ 1847; _Wiegm. Arch. Nat._ 1837.
WOOD, _General Conch_.]
Aspergillum Javanum. _Brug._ Enc. Met.
sparsum, _Sowerby_, Gen. Shells.
clavatum, _Chenu,_ lllust. Conch.
Teredo nucivorus. _Sp_ Skr. Nat. Sels.
Solen truncatus. _Wood_, Gen. Couch.
linearis, _Wood_, Gen. Conch.
cultellus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
radiatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Anatina subrostrata, _Lam._ Ani. s. Vert.
Anatinella Nicobarica, _Gm._ Syst. Nat.
Lutraria Egyptiaca, _Chemn._ Couch. Cab.
Blainvillea vitrea, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Scrobicularia angulata. _Chem._ Con. Cab.
Mactra complanata, _Desh._ Proc. Zl. Soc.
tumida, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
antiquata, _Reeve_ (as of _Spengl._), C. Icon.
cygnea, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Corbiculoides, _Deshayes_, Pr. Zl. S. 1854.
Layardi, _Deshayes_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1854.
striata, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Cras-atella rostrata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
sulcata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
duplicatum, _Sowerby_. Species Conch.
Pandora Ceylanica, _Sowerby_, Couch. Mis.
Galeomma Layardi. _Desh._ Pr. Zl. S. 1856.
Kellia peculiaris, _Adams_, Pr. Zl. S. 1856.
Petricola cultellus, _Desh._ Pr. Zl. S. 1853.
Sangumoiaria rosea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Psammobia rostrata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
orcidens, _Gm._ Systems Naturae.
Skinneri, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Layardi, _Desh_. P.Z. Soc. 1854.
[Footnote 1: A. dichotomum, _Chenu._]
[Footnote 2: Fistulana gregata, _Lam._]
[Footnote 3: Blainvillea, _Hupe._]
[Footnote 4: Latraria tellinoides, _Lam._]
[Footnote 5: I have also seen M. hians of Philippi
in a Ceylon collection.]
[Footnote 6: M. Taprobanensis, _Index Test. Suppl._]
[Footnote 7: Psammotella Skinneri, _Reeve._]
lunulata, _Desh_. P.Z. Soc. 1854.
amethystus, _Wood_, Gen. Conch.
rugosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Tellina virgata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
rugosa, _Born_, Test. Mus. Caes. Vind.
ostracea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
ala, _Hanley_, Thesaur. Conch. i.
inaequalis, _Hanley_, Thesaur. Conch. i.
Layardi, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
callosa, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
rubra, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
abbreviata, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
foliacea, _Linn._ Systema Naturae.
lingua-felis, _Linn._ Systema Naturae.
vulsella, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Lucina interrupta, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Layardi, _Deshayes_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1855.
Donax scortum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
cuneata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
faba, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
spinosa, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
paxillus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Cyrena Ceylanica, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Tennentii, _Hanley_, P.Z. Soc. 1858.
Cytherea Erycina, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
meretrix, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
castanea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
castrensis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
casta, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
costata, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
laeta, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
trimaculata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Hebraea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
rugifera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
scripta, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
gibbia, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Meroe, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
testudinalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
seminuda, _Anton_. Wiegm. A. Nat. 1837.
Venus reticulata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
pinguis, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
recens, _Philippi_, Abbild. Neuer Conch.
thiara, _Dillw_. Descriptive Cat. Shells.
Malabarica, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Bruguieri, _Hanley_, Recent Bivalves.
papilionacea, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Indica, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch. ii.
inflata, _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
Ceylonensis, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch. ii.
literata, _Linn._ Systema Naturae.
textrix, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Cardium unedo, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
maculosum, _Wood_, Gen. Con.
leucostomum, _Born_, Tt. M. Caes. Vind.
rugosum, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
biradiatum, _Bruguiere_, En. Meth. Vers.
attenuatum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
enode, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
papyraceum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
ringiculum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
subrugosum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
latum, _Born_, Test. Mus. Caes. Vind.
Asiaticum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Cardita variegata, _Brug_. Enc. Meth. Vers.
bicolor, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Arca rhombea, _Born_, Test. Mus.
vellicata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
cruciata, _Philippi_, Ab. Neur Conch.
decussata, _Reeve_ (as of Sowerby), C.I.
scapha, _Meuschen_, in Gronov. Zoo.
Pectunculus nodosus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
pectiniformis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Nucula mitralis, _Hinds_, Zool. voy. Sul.
Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Mauritii (_Hanley_ as of _Hinds_), Rec. Biv.
corrugatus, _Mueller_, Hist. Verm. Ter.
marginalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
cinnamoneus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Mytilus viridis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
bilocularis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Pinna inflata, _Chamn_. Conch. Cab.
cancellata, _Mawe_, Intr. Lin. Conch.
Malleus vulgaris, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
albus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Meleagrina margaritifera, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
vexillum, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Avicula macroptera, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Lima squamosa, _Linn._ Anim. s. Vert.
Pecten plica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
radula, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
pleuronectes, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
pallium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
senator, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
histrionicus, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
Indicus, _Deshayes_, Voyage Belanger.
Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Spondylus Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
candidus, _Reeve_ (as of _Lam._) C. Icon.
Ostrea hyotis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
glaucina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Mytiloides, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
cucullata? var., _Born_, Test. M. Vind.
Pholadiformis, _Reeve_, C. Icn. (immat.)
Placuna placenta, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Lingula anatina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
[Footnote 1: P. caerulesens, _Lam._]
[Footnote 2: Sanguinolaria rugosa, _Lam._]
[Footnote 3: T. striatula of Lamarck is also supposed to be indigenous
[Footnote 4: T. rostrata, _Lam._]
[Footnote 5: L. divaricata is found, also, in mixed Ceylon collections.]
[Footnote 6: C. dispar of Chemnitz is occasionally found in Ceylon
[Footnote 7: C. impudica. _Lam._]
[Footnote 8: As Donax.]
[Footnote 9: V. corbis, _Lam._]
[Footnote 10: As Tapes.]
[Footnote 11: V. textile, _Lam._]
[Footnote 12:?Arca Helblingii, _Chemn._]
[Footnote 13: Mr. Cuming informs me that he has forwarded no less than
six distinct _Uniones_ from Ceylon to Isaac Lea, of Philadelphia, for
determination or description.]
[Footnote 14: M. smaragdinus, _Chemn._]
[Footnote 15: As Avicula.]
[Footnote 16: The specimens are not in a fitting state for positive
determination. They are strong, extremely narrow, with the beak of the
lower valve much produced, and the inner edge of the upper valve
denticulated throughout. The muscular impressions are dusky brown.]
Hyalaea tridentata, _For_. Anim. Orient.
Chiton, 2 species (_Layard_).
Patella Reynaudii, _Deshayes_, Voy. Be.
testodinaria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Emarginula fissurata, _Ch_. C. Cab. _Lam._
Calyptraea (Crucibulum) violascens, _Carpenter_,
Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
octogonum, _Lam_ Anim. s. Vert.
aprinum. _Linn_ Syst. Nat.
Bulla soluta, _Chemn_ Conch. Cab.
vexillum, _Chemn_ Conch. Cab.
Bruguieri, _Adams_, Thes. Conch.
elongata, _Adams_, Thes. Conch.
ampulla, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Lamellaria (as Marsenia Indica, _Leach_.
in Brit. Mus.) allied to L. Mauritiana,
if not it.
Vaginula maculata, _Templ._ An. Nat.
Lunax, 2 sp.
Parmacella Tennentii, _Templ._
Vitrina irradians, _Pfeiffer_, Mon. Helic.
Edgariana, _Ben._ Ann. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
membranacea, _Ben._ A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
Helix haemastoma, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
vittata, _Mueller_, Vermium Terrestrium.
bistrialis, _Beck_, in Pfeiff. Symb. Helic.
Tranquebarica, _Fabricius_, in _Pfeiff_.
Juliana, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
Waltoni, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1842.
Skinneri. _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. vii.
corylus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. vii.
umbrina (_Reeve_, as of _Pfeiff._.), C. Ic. vii.
fallaciosa. _Ferussac_, Hist. Mollus.
Rivolii, _Deshayes_. Enc. Meth. Vers. ii.
Charpentieri, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
erronea, _Albers. Zeitschr_. Mal. 18S3.
carneola, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
convexiuscula, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
gnoma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Chenui, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
semidecussata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
phoenix, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
superba, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Gardnerii, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
coriaria, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Layardi, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
concavospira, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
novella, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
verrucula, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
hyphasma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Emiliana, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Woodiana, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
partita, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
biciliata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Isabellina, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc.
trifilosa, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
politissima, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Sc. 1854.
Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
nepos, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1855.
subopaca, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
subconoidea, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. S. 18S4.
ceraria, _Benson_, An. Nat. H. 1853 (xii.)
vilipensa, _Benson_, An. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
perfucata, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
puteolus, _Benson_, An. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
mononema, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
marcida, _Benson_, An. N.H. 1853 (xii.)
galerus, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
albizonata. _Dohrn_, Proc. Zoo. Soc. 1858.
Nictneri, _Dohrn_, MS.
Grevillei, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Streptaxis Layardi, _Pfeiff._ Mon. Helic.
Cingalensis, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Helic.
muscerda, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
mimula, _Benson_, A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
trifasciatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
pullus, _Gray._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
gracilis, _Hutton_, Journ. Asiat. Soc. iii.
punctatus, _Anton_, Verzeichn. Conch.
Ceylanicus, _Pfeiff_. (?Blaevis, _iGray_, in
adumbratus, _Pfieff_. Monog. Helic.
intermedius, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
proletarius, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
albizonatus. _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Mavortius, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
luscoventris, _Ben_. A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
rufopictus, _Ben_. A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
panos, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. H. 1853 (xii.)
Achatina nitens, _Gray_, Spicilegia Zool.
inornata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
capillacea, _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
Punctogaliana. _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
veruina, _Bens_, A. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
parabilis, _Bens_, A.N. Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
Succinea Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_ Monog. Helic.
Ceylanica, _Adams._ Pr. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Ceylanica, _Petit_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1842.
Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
pellucens, _Menke_, Synopsis Moll.
Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Zeits. Malacoz. 1853.
ovata, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Cyclostoma (_Cyclophorus_) Ceylanicum,
_Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
involvulum, _Mueller_, Verm. Terrest.
Menkeanum, _Philippi_, Zeit. Mal. 1847.
punctatum, _Gratel_. A.L. Bordeaux (xi.)
loxostoma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
[Footnote 1: As Anomia.]
[Footnote 2: The fissurata of Humphreys and Dacosta, pl. 4.--E. rubra,
[Footnote 3: B. Ceylanica, _Brug_.]
[Footnote 4: P. Tennentii. "Greyish brown, with longitudinal rows of
rufous spots, forming interrupted bands along the sides. A singularly
handsome species, having similar habits to _Limax_. Found in the valleys
of the Kalany Ganga, near Ruanwelle."--_Templeton_ MSS.]
[Footnote 5: Not far from bistrialis and Ceylanica. The manuscript
species of Mr. Dohrn will shortly appear in his intended work upon the
land and fluviatile shells of Ceylon.]
[Footnote 6: As Ellobium.]
[Footnote 7: As Melampus.]
[Footnote 8: As Ophicardelis.]
alabastrum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Bairdii, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
annulatum, _Trosch._ in Pfeiff. M. Pneum.
parapsis, _Bens._ An. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
parma, _Bens._ An. Nat. His. 1856 (xviii.)
cratera, _Bens._ An. N. Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
(_Leptopoma_) halophilum, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. (ser. 2 vii.) 1851.
orophilum, _Bens._ A.N.H. (ser. 2. xi.)
apicatum, _Bens._ A.N.H. 1856 (xviii.)
conulus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
flammeum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
semiclausum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
poecilum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
elatum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Iteri, _Guerin_, Rev. Zool. 1847.
helicinum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Hoffmeisteri, _Troschel_, Zeit. Mat. 1847.
grande, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
spheroideum, _Dohrn_, Malak. Blaetter.
(?) gradatum, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Cingalense, _Bens._ A.N.H. (ser. 2. xi.)
Troscheli, _Bens._ Ann. Nat. Hist. 1851.
Cumingii, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
bifrons, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Pneumon.
Cataulus Templemani, _Pfeiff._ Mon. Pneu.
eurytrema, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
marginatus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
duplicatus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
aureus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1855.
Layardi, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
Austenianus _Bens._ A.N.H. 1853 (xii.)
Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zo. Soc. 1852.
Cumingii, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
decorus, _Bens._ Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853.
haemastoma, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zo. Soc. 1856.
Coromandelianus, _Fab._ in _Dorhn's_ MS.
Stelzeneri, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
elegantulus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z. Soc. 1858.
tigrina, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
pinguis, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
tuberculata, _Mueller_, Verm. Ter.
spinulosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
corrugata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
rudis, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
acanthica, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
Zeylanica, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
confusa, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
datura, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
Layardi, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
abbreviatus, _Reeve_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1852.
clavatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
dilatatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
globulosus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
decussatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
nigricans, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
constrictus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1852.
bicinctus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
phaslaninus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1852.
laevis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
palustris, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
fulguratus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
nasutus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
sphaericus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
solidus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
distinguendus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z.S. 1857.
Cumingianus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z.S. 1857.
dromedarius, _Dohrn_, Proc. Z.S. 1857.
Skinneri, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
Swainsoni, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
nodulosus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zo. Soc. 1857.
loricatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
erinaceus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
aereus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
Layardi, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
undatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Gardneri, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Tennentii, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Reevei, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
violaceus, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
similis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
funiculatus, _Layard_, Pr. Z. Soc. 1854.
sulcatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
regalis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Thwaitesii, _Layard_, P. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Pirena atra, _Linn._ Systema Naturae.
Paludina melanostoma, _Bens._
Ceylanica, _Dohrn_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1857.
Bythinia stenothyroides, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
modesta, _Dohrn_, MS.
inconspicua, _Dohrn_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1857.
Ampullaria Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
moesta, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
cinerea, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Woodwardi, _Dohrn_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1858.
Tischbeini, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
carinata, _Swainson_, Zool. Illus. ser. 2.
paludinoides, Cat. _Cristofori & Jan._
Malabarica, _Philippi_, monog. Ampul.
Luzonica, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Sumatrensis, _Philippi_, monog. Ampul.
Navicella eximia, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
reticulata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Livesayi, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
squamata, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
depressa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
crepidularia, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
melanostoma, _Trosch._ W.A. Nat. 1837.
triserialis, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illustr.
Colombaria, _Recluz_, Pr. Zool. Soc. 1845.
Perottetiana, _Recluz_, Rev. Z. Cuv. 1841.
Ceylanensis, _Recluz_, Mag. Conch. 1851.
Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
rostrata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
reticulata, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illustr.
Nerita plicata, _Linn._ Systema Naturae.
costata, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
plexa, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Natica aurantia, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
mammilla, _Linn._ Systema Naturae.
picta, _Reeve_, (as of _Recluz_), C. Icon.
arachnoidea, _Gm._ Systema Naturae.
lineata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
[Footnote 1: M. fasciolata, _Olivier_.]
[Footnote 2: These four species are included on the authority of Mr.
[Footnote 3: N. exuvia, _Lam._ not _Linn._]
adusta, _Ch_. C. C. f. 1926-7, & _Karsten_.
pellis-tigrina, _Karsten_, Mus. Lesk.
didyma, _Bolten_, Mus.
Ianthina prolongata, _Blainv_., D.S.N. xxiv.
communis, _Kr_., (as of _L._ in part) S.A.M.
calliostoma, _Adams_, Thesaur. Conch.
Haliotis varia, _Linn._ Systema Naturae.
striata, _Martini_ (as of _Linn._), C. Cab. i.
semistriata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Tornatella solidula, _Linn._ Systema Nat.
maculosa, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
Eulima Martini, _Adams_, Thes. Conch, ii.
muricata, _Born_, Test. Mus. Caes. Vind.
Scalaria raricostata, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
Delphinula laciniata, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
distorta, _Linn._, Syst. Nat.
Solarium perdix, _Hinds_., Proc. Zool. Soc.
Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Rotella vestiaria, _Linn._, Syst. Nat.
Phorus pallidulus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. i.
elegantulus, _Gray_, Index Tes. Suppl.
Niloticus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Monodonta labio, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
canaliculata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Turbo versicolor, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
Planaxis undulatus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Littorina angulifera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
melanostoma, _Gray_, Zool., _Beech_. Voy.
trilineata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
lirata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
lineolata, _Gray_, Index Test. Suppl.
bacillum, _Kiener_, Coquilles Vivantes.
columnaris, _Kiener_, Coquilies Vivantes.
duplicata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
attenuata, _Reeve_, Syst. Nat.
Cerithium fluviatile, _Potrez & Michaud_, Galerie Douai.
Layardi (Cerithidea), _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
palustre, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
aluco, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
asperula, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
telescopium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
palustre obeliscus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
fasciatum, _Brug_., Encycl. Meth. Vers.
rubus, _Sower_. (as of _Mart_.), Thes. C. ii.
Sowerbyi, _Kiener_, Coquilles Vivantes (teste Sir E. Tennent).
Pleurotoma Indica, _Deshayes_, Voyage Belanger.
virgo, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Turbinella pyrum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
rapa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert. (the Chank.)
cornigera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
spirillus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
trigonostoma, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
scalata, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
articularis, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
Littoriniformis, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
contabulata, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
filamentosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
trapezium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Fusus longissimus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
colus, _Linn._ Mus. Lud. Ulricae.
toreuma, _Deshayes_, (as Mur. t. _Martyn_).
laticostatus, _Deshayes_, Mag. Zool. 1831.
Blosvillei, _Deshayes_, E. Meth. Vers., ii.
Pyrula rapa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
citrina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
pugilina, _Born_, Test. Mus. Vind.
ficus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
ficoides, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Ranella crumena, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
spinosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
rana, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
margaritula, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belanger.
Murex baustellum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
adustus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
microphyllus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
anguliferus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
palmarosae, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
ternispina, _Kiener_, (as of _Lam._), Coquilles Vivantes.
tenuispina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
ferrugo, _Mawe_, Index. Test. Suppl.
Reeveanus, _Shuttleworth_, (teste _Cuming_)
Triton anus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
mulus, _Dillwyn_, Descript. Cat. Shells.
retusus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
pyrum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
clavator, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Ceylonensis, _Sowerby_, Proc. Zool. Soc.
lotorium, _Lam._ (not _Linn_.), An. s. Vert.
lampas, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Pterocera lambis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
millepeda, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Strombus canarium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
succinotus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
fasciatus, _Born_, Test. Mus. Caes. Vind.
[Footnote 1: Conch. Cab. f. 1926-7, and N. melanostoma, _Lam._ in part.]
[Footnote 2: Chemn. Conch. Cab. 1892-3.]
[Footnote 3: N. glauciua, _Lam._ not _Linn._]
[Footnote 4: A species (possibly Javanicus) is known to have been
collected. I have not seen it.]
[Footnote 5: Not of _Lamarck_. D. atrata. _Reeve_.]
[Footnote 6: Philippia L.]
[Footnote 7: Zeit. Mal. 1846 for T. argyrostoma, _Lam._ not _Linn._]
[Footnote 8: Buccinum pyramidatum, _Gm_. in part: B. sulcatum, var. C.
[Footnote 9: Teste Cuming.]
[Footnote 10: As Delphinulat.]
[Footnote 11: Ed. _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.]
[Footnote 12: P. papyracea, _Lam._ In mixed collections I have seen the
Chinese P. bezoar of _Lamarck_ as from Ceylon.]
[Footnote 13: P. vespertilio, _Gm_.]
[Footnote 14: R. albivaricosa, _Reeve_.]
[Footnote 15: M. anguliferus var. _Lam._]
[Footnote 16: T. cynocephalus of _Lamarck_ is also met with in Ceylon
[Footnote 17: S. incisus of the Index Testaceologicus (urceus, var.
_Sow_. Thesaur.) is found in mixed Ceylon collections.]
Sibbaldii, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch. t.
lentiginosus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
marginatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Lamarckii, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
Cassis glauca, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
canaliculata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Zeylanica, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
areola, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Ricinula albolabris, _Blainv_. Nouv. Ann. Mus. H. N. i.
horrida, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
morus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Purpura tiscella, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Persica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
hystrix, _Lam._ (not _Linn._) An. s. Vert.
granatina, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belanger.
mancinella, _Lam._ (as of _Linn._) An. s.V.
buto, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
carinitera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Harpa conoldalis, _Lam._ Anim, s. Vert.
minor, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Dolium pomum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
olearium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
perdix, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
maculatum, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Nassa ornata, _Kiener_, Coq. Vivantes. 
verrucosa, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
crenulata, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
olivacea, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
glans, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
arcularia, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
papillosa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Phos virgatus, _Hinds_. Zool. Sul. Moll.
retecosus, _Hinds_, Zool. Sulphur, Moll.
senticosus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Buccinum melanostoma, _Sowerby_, App. to Tankerv. Cat.
erythrostoma, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Proteus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
rubiginosum, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Eburna spirata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
canaliculata, _Schumacher_, S.A. s. V.
Ceylanica, _Bruguiere_, En. Meth. Vers.
Bullia vittata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
lineolata, _Sowerby_, Tankerv. Cat.
Melanoides, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belan.
Terebra chlorata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
muscaria, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
laevigata, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
maculata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
subulata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
concinna, _Deshayes_, ed. _Lam._ A. s. V.
myurus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
tigrina, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
cerithina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Columbella flavida, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
fulgurans, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
mendicaria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
scripta, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert. (Teste _Jay_).
episcopalis, _Dillwyn_, Des. Cat. Shells.
cardinalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
crebrilirata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
punctostriata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. So. 1854.
insculpta, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Voluta vexillum, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
Lapponica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Melo Indicus, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
Marginella Sarda, _Kiener_, Coq. Vivantes.
Ovulum ovum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
verrucosum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
pudicum, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Cypraea Argus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Arabica, _Linn._ Syst Nat.
Mauritiana, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
hirundo, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Lynx, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
asellus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
erosa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
vitellus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
stolida, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
mappa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
helvola, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
errones, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
cribraria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
globulus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
clandestina, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
ocellata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
caurica, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
tabescens, _Soland_. in Dillwyn Des. C. Sh.
gangrenosa, _Soland_. in Dillw. D.C. Sh.
interrupta, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
lentiginosa, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
pyriformis, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
nivosa, _Broderip_, Zool. Journ. iii.
poraria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
testudinaria, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
subulatum, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Ancillaria glabrata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
candida, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Oliva Maura, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert,
erythrostoma, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
gibbesa, _Born_, Test. Mus. Caes.
nebulosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Macleayana, _Duclos_, Monogr. of Oliva.
episcopalis, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
elegans, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
ispidula, _Linn._ Syst. Nat. (partly).
Zeilanica, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
undata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
irisans, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert. (teste _Duclos_).
Conus miles, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
generalis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
betulinus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
stercus-muscarum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Hebraeus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
virgo, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
geographicus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
aulicus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
figutinus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
striatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
senator, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
literatus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
[Footnote 1: C. plicaria of _Lamarck_, and C. coronulata of _Sowerby_,
are also said to be found in Ceylon.]
[Footnote 2: As Purpura.]
[Footnote 3: N. suturalis, _Reeve_ (as of _Lam._), is met with in mixed
[Footnote 4: E. areolata, _Lam._]
[Footnote 5: E. spirata, _Lam._ not _Linn._]
[Footnote 6: B. Belangeri, _Kiener_.]
[Footnote 7: As Turricula L.]
[Footnote 8: O. utriculus, _Dillwyn_.]
[Footnote 9: C. planorbis, _Born_; C. vulpinus, _Lam._]
[Footnote 10: Conus ermineus, _Born_, in part.]
imperialis, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
textile, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
terebra, _Born_, Test. Must. Caes. Vind.
tessellatus, _Born,_ Test. Mus. Caes. Vind.
augur, _Bruguiere_, Encycl. Meth. Vers.
obesus, _Bruguiere_, Encycl. Meth. Vers.
araneosus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
gubernator, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
monite, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
nimbosus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
eburneus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
vitulinus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
quercinus _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
lividus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
Omaria, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
Maldivus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
nocturnus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
Ceylonensis, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
arenatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
Nicobaricus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
glans, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
Amadis, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
punctatus, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
minimus, _Reeve_. (as of _Linn_), C. Icon.
terminus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
lineatus, _Chemn._ Conch. Cab.
episcopus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
verriculum, _Reeve_. Conch. Cab.
zonatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
rattus. _Brug_. En. Mth. V. (teste _Chemn._)
pertusus, _Brug_. Encycl. Meth. Vers.
Nussatella, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
lithoglyphus, _Brug_. En. Meth. Vers.
tulipa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Ammiralis, var. _Linn._ teste _Brug_.
Spirula Peronii, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Sepia Hieredda, _Rang_. M.Z., ser. i. p. 100.
A conclusion not unworthy of observation may be deduced from this
catalogue; namely, that Ceylon was the unknown, and hence
unacknowledged, source of almost every extra-European shell which has
been described by Linnaeus without a recorded habitat. This fact gives to
Ceylon specimens an importance which can only be appreciated by
collectors and the students of Mollusca.
The eastern seas are profusely stocked with radiated animals, but it is
to be regretted that they have as yet received but little attention from
English naturalists. Recently, however, Dr. Kelaart has devoted himself
to the investigation of some of the Singhalese species, and has
published his discoveries in the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the
Asiatic Society for 1856-8. Our information respecting the radiata on
the confines of the island is, therefore, very scanty; with the
exception of the genera examined by him. Hence the notice of this
extensive class of animals must be limited to indicating a few of those
which exhibit striking peculiarities, or which admit of the most common
[Footnote 1: Actinia, 9 sp.; Anthea, 4 sp.; Actinodendron, 3 sp.;
Dioscosoma, 1 sp.; Peechea, 1 sp.; Zoanthura, 1 sp.]
_Star Fish_.--Very large species of _Ophiuridae_ are to be met with at
Trincomalie, crawling busily about, and insinuating their long
serpentine arms into the irregularities and perforations in the rocks.
To these they attach themselves with such a firm grasp, especially when
they perceive that they have attracted attention, that it is almost
impossible to procure unmutilated specimens without previously depriving
them of life, or at least modifying their muscular tenacity. The upper
surface is of a dark purple colour, and coarsely spined; the arms of the
largest specimens are more than a foot in length, and very fragile.
The star fishes, with immovable rays, are by no means rare; many
kinds are brought up in the nets, or maybe extracted from the stomachs
of the larger market fish. One very large species, figured by
Joinville in the manuscript volume in the library at the India House, is
not uncommon; it has thick arms, from which and the disc numerous large
fleshy cirrhi of a bright crimson colour project downwards, giving the
creature a remarkable aspect. No description of it, so far as I am
aware, has appeared in any systematic work on zoology.
[Footnote 1: _Asterias_, Linn.]
[Footnote 2: _Pentaceros?_]
_Sea Slugs_.--There are a few species of _Holothuria_, of which the
trepang is the best known example. It is largely collected in the Gulf
of Manaar, and dried in the sun to prepare it for export to China. A
good description and figures of its varieties are still desiderata.
_Parasitic Worms_.--Of these entozoa, the _Filaria medinensis_, or
Guinea-worm, which burrows in the cellular tissue under the skin, is
well known in the north of the island, but rarely found in the damper
districts of the south and west. In Ceylon, as elsewhere, the natives
attribute its occurrence to drinking the waters of particular wells; but
this belief is inconsistent with the fact that its lodgment in the human
body is almost always effected just above the ankle. This shows that the
minute parasites are transferred to the skin of the leg from the moist
vegetation bordering the footpaths leading to wells. At this period the
creatures are very small, and the process of insinuation is painless and
imperceptible. It is only when they attain to considerable size, a foot
or more in length, that the operation of extracting them is resorted to,
when exercise may have given rise to inconvenience and inflammation.
These pests in all probability received their popular name of
_Guinea-worms_, from the narrative of Bruno or Braun, a citizen and
surgeon of Basle, who about the year 1611 made several voyages to that
part of the African coast, and on his return published, amongst other
things, an account of the local diseases. But Linschoten, the Dutch
navigator, had previously observed the same worms at Ormus in 1584, and
they are thus described, together with the method of removing them, in
the English version of his voyage.
[Footnote 1: In DE BRY'S, _Collect_, vol. i. p. 49.]
"There is in Ormus a sickenesse or common plague of wormes, which growe
in their legges, it is thought that they proceede of the water that they
drink. These wormes are like, unto lute strings, and about two or three
fadomes longe, which they must plucke out and winde them aboute a straw
or a feather, everie day some part thereof, so longe as they feele them
creepe; and when they hold still, letting it rest in that sort till the
next daye, they bind it fast and annoynt the hole, and the swelling from
whence it commeth foorth, with fresh butter, and so in ten or twelve
dayes, they winde them out without any let, in the meanetime they must
sit still with their legges, for if it should breake, they should not,
without great paine get it out of their legge, as I have seen some men
[Footnote 1: JOHN HUIGHEN VAN LINSCHOTEN _his Discours of Voyages into
the Easte and West Indies._ London, 1599, p, 16.]
The worm is of a whitish colour, sometimes inclining to brown. Its
thickness is from a half to two-thirds of a line, and its length has
sometimes reached to ten or twelve feet. Small specimens have been found
beneath the tunica conjunctiva of the eye; and one species of the same
genus of _Nematoidea_ infests the cavity of the eye itself.
[Footnote 1: OWEN'S _Lectures on the Invertebrata_, p. 96.]
_Planaria_.--In the journal already mentioned, Dr. Kelaart has given
descriptions of fifteen species of planaria, and four of a new genus,
instituted by him for the reception of those differing from the normal
kinds by some peculiarities which they exhibit in common. At Point
Pedro, Mr. Edgar Layard met with one on the bark of trees, after heavy
rain, which would appear to belong to the subgenus _geoplana_.
[Footnote 1: "A curious species, which is of a light brown above, white
underneath; very broad and thin, and has a peculiarly shaped tail,
half-moon-shaped in fact, like a grocer's cheese knife."]
_Acalephae_.--Acalephae are plentiful, so much so, indeed, that they
occasionally tempt the larger cetacea into the Gulf of Manaar. In the
calmer months of the year, when the sea is glassy, and for hours
together undisturbed by a ripple, the minute descriptions are rendered
perceptible by their beautiful prismatic tinting. So great is their
transparency that they are only to be distinguished from the water by
the return to the eye of the reflected light that glances from their
delicate and polished surfaces. Less frequently they are traced by the
faint hues of their tiny peduncles, arms, or tentaculae; and it has been
well observed that they often give the seas in which they abound the
appearance of being crowded with flakes of half-melted snow. The larger
kinds, when undisturbed in their native haunts, attain to considerable
size. A faintly blue medusa, nearly a foot across, may be seen in the
Gulf of Manaar, where, no doubt, others of still larger growth are to be
[Footnote 1: Jelly-fish.]
[Illustration: PHYSALUS URTICULUS.]
Occasionally after storms, the beach at Colombo is strewn with the thin
transparent globes of the "Portuguese Man of War," _Physalus urticulus_,
which are piled upon the lines left by the waves, like globules of glass
delicately tinted with purple and blue. They sting, as their trivial
name indicates, like a nettle when incautiously touched.
_Red infusoria_.--On both sides of the island (but most frequently on
the west), during the south-west monsoon, a broad expanse of the sea
assumes a red tinge, considerably brighter than brick-dust; and this is
confined to a space so distinct that a line seems to separate it from
the green water which flows on either side. Observing at Colombo that
the whole area so tinged changed its position without parting with any
portion of its colouring, I had some of the water brought on shore, and,
on examination with the microscope, found it to be filled with
_infusoria_, probably similar to those which have been noticed near the
shores of South America, and whose abundance has imparted a name to the
"Vermilion Sea" off the coast of California.
[Footnote 1: The late Dr. BUIST, of Bombay, in commenting on this
statement, writes to the _Athenaeum_ that: "The red colour with which the
sea is tinged, round the shores of Ceylon, during a part of the S.W.
monsoon is due to the _Proto-coccus nivalis_, or the Himatta-coccus,
which presents different colours at different periods of the
year--giving us the seas of milk as well as those of blood. The coloured
water at times is to be seen all along the coast north to Kurrachee, and
far out, and of a much more intense tint in the Arabian Sea. The
frequency of its appearance in the Red Sea has conferred on it its
The remaining orders, including the corals, madrepores, and other
polypi, have yet to find a naturalist to undertake their investigation,
but in all probability the new species are not very numerous.
* * * * *
The following is the letter of Dr. Grant, referred to at page 385:--
Sir,--I have perused, with much interest, your remarkable communication
received yesterday, respecting the musical sounds which you heard
proceeding from under water, on the east coast of Ceylon. I cannot
parallel the phenomenon you witnessed at Batticaloa, as produced by
marine animals, with anything with which my past experience has made me
acquainted in marine zoology. Excepting the faint clink of the _Tritonia
arborescens_, repeated only once every minute or two, and apparently
produced by the mouth armed with two dense horny laminae, I am not aware
of any sounds produced in the sea by branchiated invertebrata. It is to
be regretted that in the memorandum you have not mentioned your
observations on the living specimens brought you by the sailors as the
animals which produced the sounds. Your authentication of the hitherto
unknown fact, would probably lead to the discovery of the same
phenomenon in other common accessible paludinae, and other allied
branchiated animals, and to the solution of a problem, which is still to
me a mystery, even regarding the _tritonia_.
My two living _tritonia_, contained in a large clear colourless glass
cylinder, filled with pure sea water, and placed on the central table of
the Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh, around which many
members were sitting, continued to clink audibly within the distance of
twelve feet during the whole meeting. These small animals were
individually not half the size of the last joint of my little finger.
What effect the mellow sounds of millions of these, covering the shallow
bottom of a tranquil estuary, in the silence of night, might produce, I
can scarcely conjecture.
In the absence of your authentication, and of all geological explanation
of the continuous sounds, and of all source of fallacy from the hum and
buzz of living creatures in the air or on the land, or swimming on the
waters, I must say that I should be inclined to seek for the source of
sounds so audible as those you describe rather among the pulmonated
vertebrata, which swarm in the depths of these seas--as fishes, serpents
(of which my friend Dr. Cantor has described about twelve species he
found in the Bay of Bengal), turtles, palmated birds, pinnipedous and
cetaceous mammalia, &c.
The publication of your memorandum in its present form, though not quite
satisfactory, will, I think, be eminently calculated to excite useful
inquiry into a neglected and curious part of the economy of nature.
I remain, Sir,
Yours most respectfully,
ROBERT E. GRANT.
_Sir J. Emerson Tennent, &c. &c._
Owing to the favourable combination of heat, moisture, and vegetation,
the myriads of insects in Ceylon form one of the characteristic features
of the island. In the solitude of the forests there is a perpetual music
from their soothing and melodious hum, which frequently swells to a
startling sound as the cicada trills his sonorous drum on the sunny bark
of some tall tree. At morning the dew hangs in diamond drops on the
threads and gossamer which the spiders suspend across every pathway; and
above the pool dragon-flies, of more than metallic lustre, flash in the
early sunbeams. The earth teems with countless ants, which emerge from
beneath its surface, or make their devious highways to ascend to their
nests in the trees. Lustrous beetles, with their golden elytra, bask on
the leaves, whilst minuter species dash through the air in circles,
which the ear can follow by the booming of their tiny wings. Butterflies
of large size and gorgeous colouring, flutter over the endless expanse
of flowers, and at times the extraordinary sight presents itself of
flights of these delicate creatures, generally of a white or pale yellow
hue, apparently miles in breadth, and of such prodigious extension as to
occupy hours, and even days, uninterruptedly in their passage--whence
coming no one knows; whither going no one can tell. As day declines,
the moths issue from their retreats, the crickets add their shrill
voices to swell the din; and when darkness descends, the eye is charmed
with the millions of emerald lamps lighted up by the fire-flies amidst
the surrounding gloom.
[Footnote 1: The butterflies I have seen in these wonderful migrations
in Ceylon were mostly _Callidryas Hilariae, C. Alcmeone_, and _C.
Pyranthe_, with straggling individuals of the genus _Euplaea, E. Coras_,
and _E. Prothoe_. Their passage took place in April and May, generally
in a north-easterly direction. The natives have a superstitious belief
that their flight is ultimately directed to Adam's Peak, and that their
pilgrimage ends on reaching the sacred mountain. A friend of mine
travelling from Kandy to Kornegalle, drove for nine miles through a
cloud of white butterflies, which were passing across the road by which
As yet no attempt has been made to describe the insects of Ceylon
systematically, much less to enumerate the prodigous number of species
that abound in every locality. Occasional observers have, from time to
time, contributed notices of particular families to the Scientific
Associations of Europe, but their papers remain undigested, and the time
has not yet arrived for the preparation of an Entomology of the island.
What DARWIN remarks of the Coleoptera of Brazil is nearly as applicable
to the same order of insects in Ceylon: "The number of minute and
obscurely coloured beetles is exceedingly great; the cabinets of Europe
can as yet, with partial exceptions, boast only of the larger species
from tropical climates, and it is sufficient to disturb the composure of
an entomologist to look forward to the future dimensions of a catalogue
with any pretensions to completeness." M. Nietner, a German
entomologist, who has spent some years in Ceylon, has recently
published, in one of the local periodicals, a series of papers on the
Coleoptera of the island, in which every species introduced is stated to
be previously undescribed.
[Footnote 1: _Nat. Journal_, p. 39.]
[Footnote 2: Republished in the _Ann. Nat. Hist._]
COLEOPTERA.--_Buprestidae; Golden Beetles_.--In the morning the
herbaceous plants, especially on the eastern side of the island, are
studded with these gorgeous beetles, whose golden wing-cases are used
to enrich the embroidery of the Indian zenana, whilst the lustrous
joints of the legs are strung on silken threads, and form necklaces and
bracelets of singular brilliancy.
[Footnote 1: _Sternocera Chrysis; S. sternicornis_.]
These exquisite colours are not confined to one order, and some of the
Elateridae and Lamellicorns exhibit hues of green and blue, that rival
the deepest tints of the emerald and sapphire.
[Footnote 1: Of the family of _Elateridae_, one of the finest is a
Singhalese species, the _Campsosternus Templetonii_, of an exquisite
golden green colour, with blue reflections (described and figured by Mr.
WESTWOOD in his _Cabinet of Oriental Entomology_, pl. 35, f. 1). In the
same work is figured another species of large size, also from Ceylon,
this is the _Alaus sordidus_.--WESTWOOD, l. c. pl. 35, f. 9.]
_Scavenger Beetles_.--Scavenger beetles are to be seen wherever the
presence of putrescent and offensive matter affords opportunity for the
display of their repulsive but most curious instincts; fastening on it
with eagerness, severing it into lumps proportionate to their strength,
and rolling it along in search of some place sufficiently soft in which
to bury it, after having deposited their eggs in the centre. I had
frequent opportunities, especially in traversing the sandy jungles in
the level plains to the north of the island, of observing the unfailing
appearance of these creatures instantly on the dropping of horse dung,
or any other substance suitable for their purpose; although not one was
visible but a moment before. Their approach on the wing is announced by
a loud and joyous booming sound, as they dash in rapid circles in search
of the desired object, led by their sense of smell, and evidently little
assisted by the eye in shaping their course towards it. In these
excursions they exhibit a strength of wing and sustained power of
flight, such as is possessed by no other class of beetles with which I
am acquainted, but which is obviously indispensable for the due
performance of the useful functions they discharge.
[Footnote 1: _Ateuchus sacer; Copris sagax; C. capucinus_, &c. &c.]
[Illustration: LONGHORN BEETLE (BATEROCERA RUBUS).]
_The Coco-nut Beetle_.--In the luxuriant forests of Ceylon the extensive
family of _Longicorns_ and _Passalidae_ live in destructive abundance.
To the coco-nut planters the ravages committed by beetles are painfully
familiar. The larva of one species of _Dynastida_, the _Oryctes
rhinoceros_, called by the Singhalese "_Gascooroominiya_," makes its way
into the younger trees, descending from the top, and after perforating
them in all directions, forms a cocoon of the gnawed wood and sawdust,
in which it reposes during its sleep as a pupa, till the arrival of the
period when it emerges as a perfect beetle. Notwithstanding the
repulsive aspect of the large pulpy larvae of these beetles, they are
esteemed a luxury by the Malabar coolies, who so far avail themselves of
the privilege accorded by the Levitical law, which permitted the Hebrews
to eat "the beetle after his kind."
[Footnote 1: The engraving on the preceding page represents in its
various transformations one of the most familiar and graceful of the
longicorn beetles of Ceylon, the _Batocera rubus_.]
[Footnote 2: There is a paper in the _Journ. of the Asiat. Society of
Ceylon_, May, 1845, by Mr. CAPPER, on the ravages perpetrated by these
beetles. The writer had recently passed through several coco-nut
plantations, "varying in extent from 20 to 150 acres, and about two to
three years old: and in these he did not discover a single young tree
untouched by the cooroominiya."--P. 49.]
[Footnote 3: Leviticus, xi. 22.]
Amongst the superstitions of the Singhalese arising out of their belief
in demonology, one remarkable one is connected with the appearance of a
beetle when observed on the floor of a dwelling-house after nightfall.
The popular belief is that in obedience to a certain form of incantation
(called _cooroominiya-pilli_) a demon in the shape of a beetle is sent
to the house of some person or family whose destruction it is intended
to compass, and who presently falls sick and dies. The only means of
averting this catastrophe is, that some one, himself an adept in
necromancy, should perform a counter-charm, the effect of which is to
send back the disguised beetle to destroy his original employer; for in
such a conjuncture the death of one or the other is essential to appease
the demon whose intervention has been invoked. Hence the discomfort of a
Singhalese on finding a beetle in his house after sunset, and his
anxiety to expel but not to kill it.
_Tortoise Beetles_.--There is one family of insects, the members of
which cannot fail to strike the traveller by their singular beauty, the
_Cassididae_ or tortoise beetles, in which the outer shell overlaps the
body, and the limbs are susceptible of being drawn entirely within it.
The rim is frequently of a different tint from the centre, and one
species which I have seen is quite startling from the brilliancy of its
colouring, which gives it the appearance of a ruby enclosed in a frame
of pearl; but this wonderful effect disappears immediately on the death
of the insect.
ORTHOPTERA. _Leaf-insects_.--But in relation to the insects of Ceylon
the admiration of their colours is still less exciting than the
astonishment created by the forms in which some of the families present
themselves; especially the "soothsayers" (_Mantidae_) and "walking
leaves." The latter, exhibiting the most cunning of all nature's
devices for the preservation of her creatures, are found in the jungle
in all varieties of hues, from the pale yellow of an opening bud to the
rich green of the full-blown leaf, and the withered tint of decay. So
perfect is the imitation of a leaf in structure and articulation, that
this amazing insect when at rest is almost undistinguishable from the
foliage around: not only are the wings modelled to resemble ribbed and
fibrous follicles, but every joint of the legs is expanded into a broad
plait like a half-opened leaflet.
[Footnote 1: Phyllium siccifolium.]
[Illustration: STICK INSECT AND MANTIS]
It rests on its abdomen, the legs serving to drag it slowly along, and
thus the flatness of its attitude serves still further to add to the
appearance of a leaf. One of the most marvellous incidents connected
with its organisation was exhibited by one which I kept under a glass
shade on my table, it laid a quantity of eggs, that, in colour and
shape, were not to be distinguished from _seeds_. They were brown, and
pentangular, with a short stem, and slightly punctured at the
The "soothsayer," on the other hand (_Mantis superstitiosa._ Fab.),
little justifies by its propensities the appearance of gentleness, and
the attitudes of sanctity, which have obtained for it the title of the
"praying mantis." Its habits are carnivorous, and degenerate into
cannibalism, as it preys on the weaker individuals of its own species.
Two which I enclosed in a box were both found dead a few hours after,
literally severed limb from limb in their encounter. The formation of
the foreleg enables the tibia to be so closed on the sharp edge of the
thigh as to amputate any slender substance grasped within it.
[Footnote 1: _M. aridifolia_ and _M. extensicollis_, as well as _Empusa
gongylodes_, remarkable for the long leaf-like head, and dilatations on
the posterior thighs, are common in the island.]
_The Stick-insect_.--The _Phasmidae_ or spectres, another class of
orthoptera, present as close a resemblance to small branches or leafless
twigs as their congeners do to green leaves. The wing-covers, where they
exist, instead of being expanded, are applied so closely to the body as
to detract nothing from its rounded form, and hence the name which they
have acquired of "_walking-sticks_." Like the _Phyllium_, the _Phasma_
lives exclusively on vegetables, and some attain the length of several
Of all the other tribes of the _Orthoptera_ Ceylon possesses many
representatives; in swarms of cockroaches, grasshoppers, locusts, and
NEUROPTERA. _Dragon-flies_.--Of the _Neuroptera_, some of the
dragon-flies are pre-eminently beautiful; one species, with rich
brown-coloured spots upon its gauzy wings, is to be seen near every
pool. Another, which dances above the mountain streams in Oovah,
and amongst the hills descending towards Kandy, gleams in the sun as if
each of its green enamelled wings had been sliced from an emerald.
[Footnote 1: _Libellula pulchella_.]
[Footnote 2: _Euphaea splendens_.]
_The Ant-Lion._--Of the ant-lion, whose larvae have earned a bad renown
from their predaceous ingenuity, Ceylon has, at least, four species,
which seem peculiar to the island. This singular creature,
preparatory to its pupal transformation, contrives to excavate a conical
pitfall in the dust to the depth of about an inch, in the bottom of
which it conceals itself, exposing only its open mandibles above the
surface; and here every ant and soft-bodied insect which curiosity
tempts to descend, or accident may precipitate into the trap, is
ruthlessly seized and devoured by its ambushed inhabitant.
[Footnote 1: _Palpares contrarius_, Walker; _Myrmeleon gravis_, Walker;
_M. dirus_, Walker; _M. barbarus_, Walker.]
_The White Ant_.--But of the insects of this order the most noted are
the _white ants_ or termites (which are ants only by a misnomer). They
are, unfortunately, at once ubiquitous and innumerable in every spot
where the climate is not too chilly, or the soil too sandy, for them to
construct their domed edifices.
These they raise from a considerable depth under ground, excavating the
clay with their mandibles, and moistening it with tenacious saliva
until it assume the appearance, and almost the consistency, of
sandstone. So delicate is the trituration to which they subject this
material, that the goldsmiths of Ceylon employ the powdered clay of the
ant hills in preference to all other substances in the preparation of
crucibles and moulds for their finer castings: and KNOX says, "the
people use this finer clay to make their earthen gods of, it is so pure
and fine." These structures the termites erect with such perseverance
and durability that they frequently rise to the height of ten or twelve
feet from the ground, with a corresponding diameter. They are so firm in
their texture that the weight of a horse makes no apparent indentation
on their solidity; and even the intense rains of the monsoon, which no
cement or mortar can long resist, fail to penetrate the surface or
substance of an ant hill. In their earlier stages the termites
proceed with such energetic rapidity, that I have seen a pinnacle of
moist clay, six inches in height and twice as large in diameter,
constructed underneath a table between sitting down to dinner and the
removal of the cloth.
[Footnote 1: It becomes an interesting question whence the termites
derive the large supplies of moisture with which they not only temper
the clay for the construction of their long covered ways above ground,
but for keeping their passages uniformly damp and cool below the
surface. Yet their habits in this particular are unvarying, in the
seasons of droughts as well as after rain; in the driest and least
promising positions, in situations inaccessible to drainage from above,
and cut off by rocks and impervious strata from springs from below. Dr.
Livingstone, struck with this phenomenon in Southern Africa, asks: "Can
the white ants possess the power of combining the oxygen and hydrogen of
their vegetable food by vital force so as to form water?"--_Travels_, p.
22. And he describes at Angola, an insect[A] resembling the _Aphrophora
spumaria_; seven or eight individuals of which distil several pints of
water every night.--P. 414. It is highly probable that the termites are
endowed with some such faculty: nor is it more remarkable that an insect
should combine the gases of its food to produce water, than that a fish
should decompose water in order to provide itself with gas. FOURCROIX
found the contents of the air-bladder in a carp to be pure
nitrogen.--_Yarrell_, vol. i. p. 42. And the aquatic larva of the
dragon-fly extracts air for its respiration from the water in which it
is submerged. A similar mystery pervades the inquiry whence plants under
peculiar circumstances derive the water essential to vegetation.]
[Footnote A: _A. goudotti?_ Bennett.]
[Footnote 2: KNOX'S _Ceylon_, Part i, ch. vi, p.24.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. HOOKER, in his _Himalayan Journal_ (vol. i. p. 20) is
of opinion that the nests of the termites are not independent
structures, but that their nucleus is "the debris of clumps of bamboos
or the trunks of large trees which these insects have destroyed." He
supposes that the dead tree falls leaving the stump coated with sand,
_which the action of the weather soon fashions into a cone_. But
independently of the fact that the "action of the weather" produces
little or no effect on the closely cemented clay of the white ants'
nest, they may be daily seen constructing their edifices in the very
form of a cone, which they ever after retain. Besides which, they appear
in the midst of terraces and fields where no trees are to be seen: and
Dr. Hooker seems to overlook the fact that the termites rarely attack a
living tree; and although their nests may be built against one, it
continues to flourish not the less for their presence.]
As these lofty mounds of earth have all been carried up from beneath the
surface, a cave of corresponding dimensions is necessarily scooped out
below, and here, under the multitude of miniature cupolas and pinnacles
which canopy it above, the termites hollow out the royal chamber for
their queen, with spacious nurseries surrounding it on all sides; and
all are connected by arched galleries, long passages, and doorways of
the most intricate and elaborate construction. In the centre and
underneath the spacious dome is the recess for the queen--a hideous
creature, with the head and thorax of an ordinary termite, but a body
swollen to a hundred times its usual and proportionate bulk, and
presenting the appearance of a mass of shapeless pulp. From this great
progenitrix proceed the myriads that people the subterranean hive,
consisting, like the communities of the genuine ants, of labourers and
soldiers, which are destined never to acquire a fuller development than
that of larvae, and the perfect insects which in due time become invested
with wings and take their departing flight from the cave. But their new
equipment seems only destined to facilitate their dispersion from the
parent nest, which takes place at dusk; and almost as quickly as they
leave it they divest themselves of their ineffectual wings, waving them
impatiently and twisting them in every direction till they become
detached and drop off, and the swarm, within a few hours of their
emancipation, become a prey to the night-jars and bats, which are
instantly attracted to them as they issue in a cloud from the ground. I
am not prepared to say that the other insectivorous birds would not
gladly make a meal of the termites, but, seeing that in Ceylon their
numbers are chiefly kept in check by the crepuscular birds, it is
observable, at least as a coincidence, that the dispersion of the swarm
generally takes place at _twilight_. Those that escape the _caprimulgi_
fall a prey to the crows, on the morning succeeding their flight.
The strange peculiarity of the omnivorous ravages of the white ants is
that they shrink from the light; in all their expeditions for providing
food they construct a covered pathway of moistened clay, and their
galleries above ground extend to an incredible distance from the central
nest. No timber, except ebony and ironwood, which are too hard, and
those which are strongly impregnated with camphor or aromatic oils,
which they dislike, presents any obstacle to their ingress. I have had a
case of wine filled, in the course of two days, with almost solid clay,
and only discovered the presence of the white ants by the escape from
the corks. I have had a portmanteau in my tent so peopled with them in
the course of a single night that the contents were found worthless in
the morning. In an incredibly short time a detachment of these pests
will destroy a press full of records, reducing the paper to fragments;
and a shelf of books will be tunnelled into a gallery if it happen to be
in their line of march. The timbers of a house when fairly attacked are
eaten from within till the beams are reduced to an absolute shell, so
thin that it may be punched through with the point of the finger: and
even kyanized wood, unless impregnated with an extra quantity of
corrosive sublimate, appears to occasion them no inconvenience. The only
effectual precaution for the protection of furniture is incessant
vigilance--the constant watching of every article, and its daily removal
from place to place, in order to baffle their assaults.
They do not appear in the hills above the elevation of 4000 or 5000
feet. One species of white ant, the _Termes Taprobanes_, was at one time
believed by Mr. Walker to be peculiar to the island, but it has recently
been found in Sumatra and Borneo, and in some parts of Hindustan.
There is a species of Termes in Ceylon (_T. monoceros_), which always
builds its nest in the hollow of an old tree; and, unlike the others,
carries on its labours without the secrecy and protection of a covered
way. A marching column of these creatures may be observed at early
morning in the vicinity of their nest, returning laden with the spoils
collected during their foraging excursions. These consist of comminuted
vegetable matter, derived, it may be, from a thatched roof, if one
happens to be within reach, or from the decaying leaves of a coco-nut.
Each little worker in the column carries its tiny load in its jaws; and
the number of individuals in one of these lines of march must be
immense, for the column is generally about two inches in width, and very
densely crowded. One was measured which had most likely been in motion
for hours, moving in the direction of the nest, and was found to be
upwards of sixty paces in length. If attention be directed to the mass
in motion, it will be observed that flanking it on each side throughout
its whole length are stationed a number of horned soldier termites,
whose duty it is to protect the labourers, and to give notice of any
danger threatening them. This latter duty they perform by a peculiar
quivering motion of the whole body, which is rapidly communicated from
one to the other for a considerable distance: a portion of the column is
then thrown into confusion for a short time, but confidence soon
returns, and the progress of the little creatures goes on with
steadiness and order as before. The nest is of a black colour, and
resembles a mass of scoriae; the insects themselves are of a pitchy
[Footnote 1: For these particulars of the _termes monoceros_, I am
indebted to Mr. Thwaites, of the Roy. Botanic Garden at Kandy.]
HYMENOPTERA. _Mason Wasp_.--In Ceylon as in all other countries, the
order of hymenopterous insects arrests us less by the beauty of their
forms than the marvels of their sagacity and the achievements of their
instinct. A fossorial wasp of the family of _Sphegidae_, which is
distinguished by its metallic lustre, enters by the open windows, and
converts irritation at its movements into admiration of the graceful
industry with which it stops up the keyholes and similar apertures with
clay in order to build in them a cell. Into this it thrusts the pupa of
some other insect, within whose body it has previously introduced its
own eggs. The whole is surrounded with moistened earth, through which
the young parasite, after undergoing its transformations, gnaws its way
into light, to emerge as a four-winged fly.
[Footnote 1: It belongs to the genus _Pelopaeus, P. Spinolae_, of St.
Fargean. The _Ampulex compressa_, which drags about the larvae of
cockroaches into which it has implanted its eggs, belongs, to the same
[Footnote 2: Mr. E.L. Layard has given an interesting account of this
Mason wasp in the _Annals and Magazine of Nat. History_ for May, 1853.
"I have frequently," he says, "selected one of these flies for
observation, and have seen their labours extend over a period of a
fortnight or twenty days; sometimes only half a cell was completed in a
day, at others as much as two. I never saw more than twenty cells in one
nest, seldom indeed that number, and whence the caterpillars were
procured was always to me a mystery. I have seen thirty or forty brought
in of a species which I knew to be very rare in the perfect state, and
which I had sought for in vain, although I knew on what plant they fed.
"Then again how are they disabled by the wasp, and yet not injured so as
to cause their immediate death? Die they all do, at least all that I
have ever tried to rear, after taking them from the nest.
"The perfected fly never effects its egress from the closed aperture,
through which the caterpillars were inserted, and when cells are placed
end to end, as they are in many instances, the outward end of each is
always selected. I cannot detect any difference in the thickness in the
crust of the cell to cause this uniformity of practice. It is often as
much as half an inch through, of great hardness, and as far as I can see
impervious to air and light. How then does the enclosed fly always
select the right end, and with what secretion is it supplied to
decompose this mortar?"]
A formidable species (_Sphex ferruginea_ of St. Fargeau), which is
common to India and most of the eastern islands, is regarded with the
utmost dread by the unclad natives, who fly precipitately on finding
themselves in the vicinity of its nests. These are of such ample
dimensions, that when suspended from a branch, they often measure
upwards of six feet in length.
[Footnote 1: It ought to be remembered in travelling in the forests of
Ceylon that sal volatile applied immediately is a specific for the sting
of a wasp.]
[Footnote 2: At the January (1839) meeting of the Entomological Society,
Mr. Whitehouse exhibited portions of a wasps' nest from Ceylon, between
seven and eight feet long and two feet in diameter, and showed that the
construction of the cells was perfectly analogous to those of the hive
bee, and that when connected each has a tendency to assume a circular
outline. In one specimen where there were three cells united the outer
part was circular, whilst the portions common to the three formed
straight walls. From this Singhalese nest Mr. Whitehouse demonstrated
that the wasps at the commencement of their comb proceed slowly, forming
the bases of several together, whereby they assume the hexagonal shape,
whereas, if constructed separately, he thought each single cell would be
circular. See _Proc. Ent. Soc._, vol. iii. p. 16.]
_Bees._--Bees of several species and genera, some unprovided with
stings, and some in size scarcely exceeding a house-fly, deposit their
honey in hollow trees, or suspend their combs from a branch. The spoils
of their industry form one of the chief resources of the uncivilised
Veddahs, who collect the wax in the upland forests, to be bartered for
arrow points and clothes in the lowlands. I have never heard of an
instance of persons being attacked by the bees of Ceylon, and hence the
natives assert, that those most productive of honey are destitute of
[Footnote 1: A gentleman connected with the department of the
Surveyor-General writes to me that he measured a honey-comb which he
found fastened to the overhanging branch of a small tree in the forest
near Adam's Peak, and found it nine links of his chain or about six feet
in length and a foot in breadth where it was attached to the branch, but
tapering towards the other extremity. "It was a single comb with a layer
of cells on either side, but so weighty that the branch broke by the
_The Carpenter Bee._--The operations of one of the most interesting of
the tribe, the Carpenter bee, I have watched with admiration from the
window of the Colonial Secretary's official residence at Kandy. So soon
as the day grew warm, these active creatures were at work perforating
the wooden columns which supported the verandah. They poised themselves
on their shining purple wings, as they made the first lodgment in the
wood, enlivening the work with an uninterrupted hum of delight, which
was audible to a considerable distance. When the excavation had
proceeded so far that the insect could descend into it, the music was
suspended, but renewed from time to time, as the little creature came to
the orifice to throw out the chips, to rest, or to enjoy the fresh air.
By degrees, a mound of saw-dust was formed at the base of the pillar,
consisting of particles abraded by the mandibles of the bee. These, when
the hollow was completed to the depth of several inches, were partially
replaced in the excavation after being agglutinated to form partitions
between the eggs, as they were deposited within. The mandibles of
these bees are admirably formed for the purpose of working out the
tunnels required, being short, stout, and usually furnished at the tip
with two teeth which are rounded somewhat into the form of
[Footnote 1: _Xylocopa tenuiscapa_, Westw.; Another species found in
Ceylon is the _X. latipes_, Drury.]
[Footnote 2: See figure above.]
[Illustration: THE CARPENTER BEE]
These when brought into operation cut out the wood in the same way as a
carpenter's double gouge, the teeth being more or less hollowed out
within. The female alone is furnished with these powerful instruments.
In the males the mandibles are slender as compared with those of the
females. The bores of some of these bees are described as being from
twelve to fourteen inches in length.
_Ants_.--As to ants, I apprehend that, notwithstanding their numbers and
familiarity, information is very imperfect relative to the varieties and
habits of these marvellous insects in Ceylon. In point of multitude
it is scarcely an exaggeration to apply to them the figure of "the sands
of the sea." They are everywhere; in the earth, in the houses, and on
the trees; they are to be seen in every room and cupboard, and almost on
every plant in the jungle. To some of the latter they are, perhaps,
attracted by the sweet juices secreted by the aphides and coccidae.
Such is the passion of the ants for sugar, and their wonderful faculty
of discovering it, that the smallest particle of a substance containing
it is quickly covered with them, though placed in the least conspicuous
position, where not a single one may have been visible a moment before.
But it is not sweet substances alone that they attack; no animal or
vegetable matter comes amiss to them: no aperture appears too small to
admit them; it is necessary to place everything which it may be
desirable to keep free from their invasion, under the closest cover, or
on tables with cups of water under every foot. As scavengers, they are
invaluable; and as ants never sleep, but work without cessation during
the night as well as by day, every particle of decaying vegetable or
putrid animal matter is removed with inconceiveable speed and certainty.
In collecting shells, I have been able to turn this propensity to good
account; by placing them within their reach, the ants in a few days
removed every vestige of the mollusc from the innermost and otherwise
inaccessible whorls; thus avoiding all risk of injuring the enamel by
any mechanical process.
[Footnote 1: Mr. Jerdan, in a series of papers in the thirteenth volume
of the _Annals of Natural History_, has described forty-seven species of
ants in Southern India. But M. Nietner has recently forwarded to the
Berlin Museum upwards of seventy species taken by him in Ceylon, chiefly
in the western province and the vicinity of Colombo. Of these many are
identical with those noted by Mr. Jerdan as belonging to the Indian
continent. One (probably _Drepanognathus saltator_ of Jerdan) is
described by M. Nietner as occasionally "moving by jumps of several
inches at a spring."]
[Footnote 2: Dr. DAVY, in a paper on Tropical Plants, has introduced the
following passage relative to the purification of sugar by ants:
"If the juice of the sugar-cane--the common syrup as expressed by the
mill--be exposed to the air, it gradually evaporates, yielding a
light-brown residue, like the ordinary muscovado sugar of the best
quality. If not protected, it is presently attacked by ants, and in a
short time is, as it were, converted into white crystalline sugar, the
ants having refined it by removing the darker portion, probably
preferring that part from it containing azotized matter. The negroes, I
may remark, prefer brown sugar to white: they say its sweetening power
is greater; no doubt its nourishing quality is greater, and therefore as
an article of diet deserving of preference. In refining sugar as in
refining salt (coarse bay salt containing a little iodine), an error may
be committed in abstracting matter designed by nature for a useful
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