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the road to extinction. Thus we may understand their isolated geographical position. The following are the names and distribution of the genera :—
Eurylcemus (2 species], Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo; Corydon (1 species), Malacca, Sumatra and Borneo (Plate IX. Vol. I. p. 339); Psarisomus (1 species), Himalayas to Burmah, up to 6,000 feet; Serilophus (2 species), Nepal to Tenasserim; Cymbirhynchus (2 species), Siam to Sumatra and Borneo; Calyptomena (1 species), Penang to Sumatra and Borneo.
Family 44.—DENDEOCOLAPTID^E. (43 Genera, 217 Species.) General Distribution.
The Dendrocolaptidae, or American Creepers, are curious brown-coloured birds with more or less rigid tail feathers, strictly confined to the continental Neotropical region, and very numerous in its south-temperate extremity. They are divided by Messrs. Sclater and Salvin into five sub-families, to which I shall confine my remarks on their distribution The details of the numerous genera, being only interesting to specialists, will be given in the table of genera of the Neotropical region. No less than 13 of the genera are confined to South-Temperate America and the High Andes; 14 are restricted to Tropical South America, while not one is peculiar to Tropical North America, and only 15 of the 43 genera extend into that sub-region, showing that this is one of the pre-eminently South American groups.
Sub-family I. FtJRNARHNiE (8 genera, 30 species). Eanges over all South America, 4 genera and 18 species being restricted to the temperate sub-region; one species is found in the Falkland Islands.
Sub-family II. Sclerurlnje (1 genus, 6 species). Brazil to Guiana, Columbia, and north to Mexico.
Sub-family III. Synallaxin^e (12 genera, 78 species). Eanges from Patagonia to Mexico; 7 genera and 28 species are confined
to the temperate sub-region; species occur in the islands of Mas-a-fuera, Trinidad, and Tobago.
Sub-family IV. Philydorin^e (6 genera, 35 species). Confined to Tropical America from Brazil to Mexico; 4 genera and 8 species occur in Tropical North America.
Sub-family V. Dendrocolaptinje (14 genera, 59 species). Eanges from Chili and La Plata to Mexico; only 3 species occur in the South Temperate sub-region, while 9 of the genera extend into Tropical North America. Two of the continental species occur in the island of Tobago, which, together with Trinidad, forms part of the South American rather than of the true Antillean sub-region.
Family 45.—FORMICARIIDiE. (32 Genera, 211 Species.)
The Formicariidae, comprising the Bush-Shrikes and Antthrushes, form one of the most exclusively Neotropical families; and the numerous species are rigidly confined to the warm and wooded districts, only a single species extending to La Plata, and none to the Antilles or to the Nearctic region. Less than 30 species are found north of Panama. Messrs. Sclater and Salvin divide the group into three sub-families, whose distribution may be conveniently treated, as in the Dendrocolaptidae, without enumerating the genera.
Sub-family I. Thamnophilinje.—(10 genera, 70 species.) One species of Thamnophilus inhabits La Plata; only 3 genera and 12 species are found north of Panama, the species of this sub-family being especially abundant in the Equatorial forest districts.
Sub-family II. FoRMlclvoRlN.fi.—(14 genera, 95 species.) Only 8 species occur north of Panama, and less than one-third of the species belong to the districts south of the Equator.
Sub-family III. Formicariin.e,—(8 genera, 46 species.) About 12 species occur north of Panama, and only 5 south of the Equatorial district.
It appears, therefore, that this extensive family is especially characteristic of that part of South America from the Amazon valley northwards.
Family 46.—PTEROPTOCHID,®. (8 Genera, 19 Species.)
The Pteroptochidae are a group of curious Wren-like birds, almost confined to the temperate regions of South America, extending along the Andes beyond the Equator, and with a few species in South-east Brazil, and one in the valley of the Madeira. The genera are as follows :—
Scytalopus (8 sp.), Chili and West Patagonia to the Andes of Columbia; Merulcuris (1 sp), South-east Brazil; Bhiiwarypta (2 sp.), Northern Patagonia and La Plata ; Lioscelis (1 sp.), Madeira valley; Pteroptochus (2 sp.), Chili; Rylactes (3 sp.), Western Patagonia and Chili; Acropternis (1 sp.), Andes of Ecuador and Columbia; Triptorhimis (1 sp.), Chili.
Family 47.—PITTIDiE. (4 Genera, 40 Species.)
The Pittas comprise a number of beautifully-coloured Thrushlike birds, which, although confined to the Old World, are more nearly allied to the South American Pteroptochidae than to any other family. They are most abundant in the Malay Archipelago, between the Oriental and Australian divisions of which they ar*> pretty equally divided. They seem, however, to attain their maximum of beauty and variety in the large islands of Borneo and Sumatra; from whence they diminish in numbers in every direction till we find single species only in North China, West Africa, and Australia. The genera here adopted are the following:—
(1087 loss low io92 1093) p^a (33 sp.), has the range of the family; C089) Hydrornis (3 sp.), Himalayas and Malaya; Encichla (3 sp.), Malaya; Melampitta (1 sp.), recently discovered in New Guinea.
• Family 48.—VAICTTDM. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)
This family was established by Professor Sundevall, for an anomalous bird of Madagascar, which he believes to have some affinity for the American Formicariidse, but which perhaps comes best near the Pittas. The only genus is Philepitta, containing two species.
The Menuridse, or Lyre Birds, remarkable for the extreme elegance of the lyre-shaped tail in the species first discovered, are birds of a very anomalous structure, and have no near affinity to any other family. Two species of Menura are known, confined to South and East Australia (Plate XII. Vol. I. p. 441,.
The genus Atrichia, or Scrub-birds of Australia, have been formed into a separate family by Professor Newton, on account of peculiarities in the skeleton which separate them from all other Passeres. Only two species are known, inhabiting East and West Australia respectively. They are very noisy, browncoloured birds, and have been usually classed with the warblers, near Amytis and other Australian species.
General remarks on the distribution of the Passeres.
The order Passeres, is the most extensive among birds, comprehending about 5,700 species grouped • in 870 genera, and 51 families. The distribution of the genera, and of the families considered individually, has been already sufficiently given, and we now have to consider the peculiarities of distribution of the families collectively, and in their relations to each other, as representing well-marked types of bird-structure. The first thing to be noted is, how very few of these families are truly cosmopolitan; for although there are seven which are found in each of the great regions, yet few of these are widely distributed throughout all the regions, and we can only find three that inhabit every sub-region, and are distributed with tolerable uniformity; these are the Hirundimdse, or swallows, the Motacillidae or wagtails and pipits, and the Corvidae or crows,—but the latter is a family of so heterogeneous a nature, that it possibly contains the materials of several natural families, and if so divided, the parts would probably all cease to be cosmopolitan. The Sylviidse, the