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It is, however, sufficiently rich, possessing 54 families of land birds, besides a few genera whose position is not well ascertained, and which may constitute distinct families. Of these 6 are peculiar, Musophagidæ (the plantain eaters); Coliidæ (the colies) ; Leptosomidæ, allied to the cuckoos; Irrisoridæ, allied to the hoopoes; and Serpentaridæ, allied to the hawks. Only one Passerine family is peculiar—Paietidæ, while most of the other tropical regions possess several; but Euryceros and Buphaga, here classed with the Sturnidæ, ought, perhaps, to form two more. It has, however, many peculiar genera, especially among the fruit-thrushes, Pycnonotidæ; flycatchers, Muscicapidæ; shrikes, Lanidæ; crows, Corvidæ; starlings, Sturnidæ; and weaver-birds, Ploceidæ; the latter family being very characteristic of the region. It is also rich in barbets, Megalæmidæ (7 peculiar genera); cuckoos, Cuculidæ; rollers, Coraciidæ; bee-eaters, Meropidæ; hornbills, Bucerotidæ; and goat-suckers, Caprimulgidæ. It is poor in parrots and rather so in pigeons; but it abounds in Pterocles and Francolinus, genera of Gallinæ, and possesses 4 genera of the peculiar group of the guinea-fowls, forming part of the pheasant family. It abounds in vultures, eagles, and other birds of prey, among which is the anomalous genus Serpentarius, the secretary-bird, constituting a distinct family. Many of the most remarkable forms are confined to Madagascar and the adjacent islands, and will be noticed in our account of that subregion.
Reptiles. Of the reptiles there are 4 peculiar Ethiopian families ;—3 of snakes, Rachiodontidæ, Dendraspidæ, and Atractaspidæ and 1 of lizards, Chamæsauridæ.
Psammophidæ (desert snakes) are abundant, as are Lycodontidæ (fanged ground-snakes), and Viperidæ (vipers). The following genera of snakes are peculiar or highly characteristic :-Leptorhynchus, Rhamnophis, Herpetethiops and Grayia (Colubridæ); Hopsidrophis and Bucephalus (Dendrophida); Langalia (Dryophidæ); Pythonodipsas (Dipsadidæ); Boedon, Lycophidion, Holuropholis, Simocephalus and Lamprophis (Lycodontidæ); Hortulia and Sanzinia (Pythonidæ); Cyrptophis, Elapsoidea and Poecilophis (Elapidæ); and Atheris (Viperidæ). The following genera
of lizards are the most characteristic :-Monotrophis (Lepidosternidæ); Cordylus, Pseudocordylus, Platysaurus, Cordylosaurus, Pleurostichus, Saurophis and Zonurus (Zonuridæ); Sphænops, Scelotes, Sphænocephalus and Sepsina (Sepidæ); Pachydactylus (Geckotidæ); Agama (Agamidæ); and Chameleon (Chameleonidæ). Of tortoises, Cynyæis, Pyxis and Chersina (Testudinidae), and Cycloderma (Trionychidae) are the most characteristic.
Amphibia.—Of the 9 families of amphibia there is only 1 peculiar, the Dactylethridæ, a group of toads ; but the Alytidæ, a family or frogs, are abundant.
Fresh-water Fish.Of the 14 families of fresh-water fishes 3 are peculiar: Mormyridæ and Gymnarchidæ, small groups not far removed from the pikes; and Polypteridæ, a small group of ganoid fishes allied to the gar-pikes (Lepidosteidæ) of North America.
Summary of Ethiopian Vertebrates.—Combining the results here indicated and set forth in greater detail in the tables of distribution, we find that the Ethiopian region possesses examples of 44 families of mammalia, 72 of birds, 35 of reptiles, 9 of amphibia, and 15 of fresh-water fishes. It has 23 (or perhaps 25) families of Vertebrata altogether peculiar to it out of a total of 175 families, or almost exactly one-eighth of the whole. Out of 142 genera of mammalia found within the region, 90 are peculiar to it; a proportion not much short of two-thirds. Of land birds there are 294 genera, of which 179 are peculiar; giving a proportion of a little less than three-fifths.
Compared with the Oriental region this shows a considerably larger amount of speciality under all the heads; but the superiority is mainly due to the wonderful and isolated fauna of Madagascar, to which the Oriental region has nothing comparable. Without this the regions would be nearly equal.
Insects : Lepidoptera.-11 out of the 16 families of butterflies have representatives in Africa, but none are peculiar. Acræidæ is one of the most characteristic families, and there
are many interesting forms of Nymphalidæ, Lycænidæ, and Papilionidæ. The peculiar or characteristic forms are Amauris (Danaidæ); Gnophodes, Leptoneura, Bicyclus, Heteropsis and Conyra (Satyridæ); Acræa (Acræidæ); Lachnoptera, Precis, Salamis, Crenis, Godartia, Amphidema, Pseudacræa, Catuna, Euryphene, Romalæosoma, Hamanumida, Aterica, Harma, Meneris, Charaxes, and Philognoma (Nymphalidæ); Pentila, Liptena, Durbania, Zeritis, Capys, Phytala, Epitola, Hewitsonia and Deloneura (Lycænidæ); Pseudopontia, Idmais, Teracolus, Callosune (Pieridæ); Abantis, Ceratrichia and Caprona (Hesperidæ). The total number of species known is about 750; which is very poor for an extensive tropical region, but this is not to be wondered at when the nature of much of the country is considered. It is also, no doubt, partly due to our comparative ignorance of the great equatorial forest district, which is the only part likely to be very productive in this order of insects.
Coleoptera.-In our first representative family, Cicindelidæ or tiger-beetles, the Ethiopian region is rather rich, having 13 genera, 11 of which are peculiar to it; and among these are such remarkable forms as Manticora, Myrmecoptera and Dromica; with Megacephala, a genus only found elsewhere in Australia and South America.
In Carabidæ or carnivorous ground beetles, there are about 75 peculiar genera. Among the most characteristic are Anthia, Polyrhina, Graphipterus and Piezia, which are almost all peculiar; while Orthogonius, Hexagonia, Macrochilus, Thyreopterus, Erdema, and Abacetus are common to this and the Oriental region; and Hypolithus to the Neotropical.
Out of 27 genera of Buprestidæ, or metallic beetles, only 6 are peculiar to the region, one of the most remarkable being Polybothrus, confined to Madagascar. Sternocera and Chrysochroa are characteristic of this region and the Oriental; it has Julodis in common with the Mediterranean sub-region, aná Belionota with the Malayan.
The region is not rich in Lucanidæ, or stag-beetles, possessing only 10 genera, 7 of which are peculiar, but most of them con
sist of single species. The other three genera, Cladognathus, Nigidius, and Figulus, are the most characteristic, though all have a tolerably wide range in the Old World.
In the elegant Cetoniidæ, or rose-chafers, this region stands preeminent, possessing 76 genera, 64 of which are peculiar to it. The others are chiefly Oriental, except Oxythræa which is European, and Stethodesma which is Neotropical. Preeminent in size and beauty is Goliathus, comprising perhaps the most bulky of all highly-coloured beetles. Other large and characteristic genera
are Ceratorhina, Ischnostoma, Anochilia, Diplognatha, Agenius, and many others of less extent.
In the enormous tribe of Longicorns, or long-horned beetles, the Ethiopian is not so rich as the other three tropical regions ; but this may be, in great part, owing to its more productive districts having never been explored by any competent entomologists. It nevertheless possesses 262 genera, 216 of which are peculiar, the others being mostly groups of very wide range. Out of such a large number it is difficult to select a few as most characteristic, but some of the peculiarities of distribution as regards other regions may be named. Among Prionidæ, Tithoes is a characteristic Ethiopian genus. A few species of the American genera Parandra and Mallodon occur here, while the North Temperate genus Prionus is only found in Madagascar. Among Cerambycidæ, Promeces is the most characteristic. The American genera Oeme and Cyrtomerus occur; while Homalachnus and Philagathes are Malayan, and Leptocera occurs only in Madagascar, Ceylon, Austro-Malaya, and Australia. The Lamiidæ are very fine; Sternotomis, Tragocephala, Ceroplesis, Phryneta, Volumnia, and Nitocris, being very abundant and characteristic. Most of the non-peculiar genera of this family are Oriental, but Spalacopsis and Acanthoderes are American, while Tetraglenes and Schønionta have been found only in East and South Africa and in Malaya.
Terrestrial Mollusca—In the extensive family of the Helicidæ or snails, 13 genera are represented, only one of which, Columna, is peculiar. This region is however the metropolis of Achatina, some of the species being the largest land-shells
known. Buliminus, Stenogyra, and Pupa are characteristic genera Bulimus is absent, though one species inhabits St. Helena. The operculated shells are not very well represented, the great family of Cyclostomidæ having here only nine genera, with but one peculiar, Lithidion, found in Madagascar, Socotra, and Arabia. None of the genera appear to be well represented throughout the region, and they are almost or quite absent from West Africa.
According to Woodward's Manual (1868) West Africa has about 200 species of land-shells, South Africa about 100, Madagascar nearly 100, Mauritius about 50. All the islands have their peculiar species; and are, in proportion to their extent, much richer than the continent; as is usually the case.
THE ETHIOPIAN SUB-REGIONS.
It has been already explained that these are to some extent provisional; yet it is believed that they represent generally the primary natural divisions of the region, however they may be subdivided when our knowledge of their productions becomes more accurate.
I. The Eust African Sub-region, or Central and East Africa.
This division includes all the open country of tropical Africa south of the Sahara, as well as an undefined southern margin of that great desert. With the exception of a narrow strip along the east coast and the valleys of the Niger and Nile, it is a vast elevated plateau from 1,000 to 4,000 feet high, hilly rather than mountainous, except the lofty table land of Abyssinia, with mountains rising to 16,000 feet and extending south to the equator, where it terminates in the peaks of Kenia and Kilimandjaro, 18,000 and 20,000 feet high. The northern portion of this sub-region is a belt about 300 miles wide between the Sahara on the north and the great equatorial forest on the south, extending from Cape Verd, the extreme western point of Africa, across the northern bend of the Niger and Lake Tchad to the mountains of Abyssinia. The greater part of this tract has a