Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and eBook

James Emerson Tennent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 712 pages of information about Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and.
  poecilopleurus, Martens.
  aurifasciatus, Dum. & Bib.
Pyxicephalus fodiens, Jerd.
Polypedates leucomystax, Gray.
Polypedates microtympanum, Gray.
  eques, Gray.
  stellata, Kelaart.
  schmardana, Kelaart.
Limnodytes lividus, Blyth.
  macularis, Blyth.
  mutabilis, Kelaart.
  maculatus, Kelaart.
Bufo melanostictus, Schneid.
  Kelaartii, Gray.
Engystoma marmoratum, Cuv.
  rubrum, Jerd.
Kaloula pulchra, Gray.
  balteata, Guenther.

PSEUDOPHIDIA.

Caecilia glutinosa, Linn.

NOTE.—­The following species are peculiar to Ceylon; and the genera Aspidura, Cercaspis, and Haplocercus would appear to be similarly restricted.  Trimesurus Ceylonensis, T. nigro-marginatus; Megaera Trigonocephala; Trigonocephalus hypnalis; Daboia elegans; Cylindrophis maculata; Aspidura brachyorrhos; Haplocercus Ceylonensis; Oligodon sublineatus; Cynophis Helena; Cyclophis calamaria; Dipsadomorphus Ceylonensis; Cercaspis carinata; Ixalus variabilis, I. Leucorhinus, I. poecilopleurus; Polypedates microtympanum, P. eques.

CHAP.  IV.

FISHES.

Little has been yet done to examine and describe the fishes of Ceylon, especially those which frequent the rivers and inland waters.  Mr. Bennett, who was for some years employed in the Civil Service, directed his attention to the subject, and published in 1830 some portions of a projected work on the marine ichthyology of the island[1], but it never proceeded beyond the description of about thirty individuals.  The great work of Cuvier and Valenciennes[2] particularises about one hundred species, specimens of which were procured from Ceylon by Reynard Leschenault and other correspondents, but of these not more than half a dozen belong to fresh water.

[Footnote 1:  A Selection of the most Remarkable and Interesting Fishes found on the Coast of Ceylon.  By J.W.  BENNETT, Esq.  London, 1830.]

[Footnote 2:  Historie Naturelle des Poissons.]

The fishes of the coast, so far as they have been examined, present few which are not common to the seas of Ceylon and India.  A series of drawings, including upwards of six hundred species and varieties, of Ceylon fish, all made from recently-captured specimens, has been submitted to Professor Huxley, and a notice of their general characteristics forms an interesting article in the appendix to the present chapter.[1]

[Footnote 1:  See note C to this chapter.]

Of those in ordinary use for the table the finest by far is the Seir-fish[1], a species of scomber, which is called Tora-malu by the natives.  It is in size and form very similar to the salmon, to which the flesh of the female fish, notwithstanding its white colour, bears a very close resemblance both in firmness and flavour.

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