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Distrigus, the latter having a single species in Madagascar. There are 80 genera of this family peculiar to the region, 10 of which have only been found in Ceylon. Among the Lucanidae, or stag-beetles, Lucanus, Odontolabris, and Cladognathus are the most characteristic forms. Sixteen genera inhabit the region, of which 7 are altogether peculiar, while three others only extend eastward to the Austro-Malayan sub-region. The beautiful Cetoniidae, or rose-chafers, are well represented by Rhomborhina, Heterorhina, Clinteria, Macronota, Agestrata, Chalcothea and many fine species of Cetonia. There are 17 peculiar genera, of which Mycteristes, Phaedimus, Plectrone, and Rhagopteryx, are Malayan; while Narycius, Clerota, Bombodes, and Chiloloba are Indian. In Buprestidae—those elongate metallic-coloured beetles whose elytra are used as ornaments in many parts of the world—this region stands pre-eminent, in its gigantic Catocantha, its fine Chrysochroa, its Indian Sternocera, its Malayan Chalcophora and Belionota, as well as many other beautiful forms. It possesses 41 genera, of which 14 are peculiar to it, the rest being generally of wide range or common to the Ethiopian and Australian regions. In the extensive and elegant group of Longicorns, the Oriental region is only inferior to the Neotropical. It possesses 360 genera, 25 of which are Prionidae, 117 Cerambicidae, and 218 Lamiidae;—about 70 per cent of the whole being peculiar. The most characteristic genera are Rhaphidopodus and Ægosoma among Prionidae; Neocerambya, Euryarthrum, Pachyteria, Acrocyrta, Tetraommatus, Chloridolum, and Polyzonus among Cerambycidae; and Colosterna, Rhytidophora, Batocera, Agelasta, and Astathes among Lamiidae. Of remarkable forms in other families, we may mention the gigantic horned Chalcosoma among Scarabaeidae; the metallic Campsosternus among Elateridae; the handsome but anomalous Trictenotoma forming a distinct family; the gorgeous Pachyrhynchi of the Philippine Islands among Curculionidae; Diurus o
among Brenthidae; with an immense number and variety of Anthotribidae, Heteromera, Malacoderma, and Phytophaga.
THE ORIENTAL SUB-REGIONS.
The four sub-regions into which we have divided the Oriental region, are very unequal in extent, and perhaps more so in productiveness, but they each have well-marked special features, and serve well to exhibit the main zoological characteristics of the region. As they are all tolerably well defined and their faunas comparatively well-known, their characteristics will be given with rather more than usual detail.
I. Hindostan, or Indian Sub-region.
This includes the whole peninsula of India from the foot of the Himalayas on the north to somewhere near Seringapatam on the south, the boundary of the Ceylonese sub-region being unsettled. The deltas of the Ganges and Brahmaputra mark its eastern limits, and it probably reaches to about Cashmere in the northwest, and perhaps to the valley of the Indus further south; but the great desert tract to the east of the Indus forms a transition to the south Palaearctic sub-region. Perhaps on the whole the Indus may be taken as a convenient boundary. Many Indian naturalists, especially Mr. Blyth and Mr. Blanford, are impressed with the relations of the greater part of this sub-region to the Ethiopian region, and have proposed to divide it into several zoological districts dependent on differences of climate and vegetation, and characterized by possessing faunas more or less allied either to the Himalayan or the Ethiopian type. But these subdivisions appear far too complex to be useful to the general student, and even were they proved to be natural, would be beyond the scope of this work. I agree, however, with Mr. Elwes in thinking that they really belong to local rather than to geographical distribution, and confound “station” with “habitat.” Wherever there is a marked diversity of surface and vegetation the productions of a country will correspondingly differ; the groups peculiar to forests, for example, will be absent from open plains or arid deserts. It happens that the three great Old World regions are separated from each other by a debatable land which is chiefly of a desert character; hence we must expect to find a resemblance between the inhabitants of such districts in each region. We also find a great resemblance between the aquatic birds of the three regions; and as we generally give little weight to these in our estimate of the degree of affinity of the faunas of different countries, so we should not count the desert fauna as of equal weight with the more restricted and peculiar types which are found in the fertile tracts, in the mountains and valleys, and especially in the primeval forests. The supposed preponderance of exclusively Ethiopian groups of Mammalia and Birds in this sub-region, deserves however a close examination, in order to ascertain how far the facts really warrant such an opinion.
Mammalia—The following list of the more important genera of Mammalia which range over the larger part of this sub-region will enable naturalists to form an independent judgment as to the preponderance of Ethiopian, or of Oriental and Palaearctic types, in this, the most important of all the classes of animals for geographical distribution.
RANGE of THE GENERA of MAMMALLA which INHABIT THE SUB-REGION of HINDOSTAN.
1. Presbytes ... Oriental only.
22. Cervus ... Oriental and Palaearctic; family not Ethiopian. 23. Cervulus ... Oriental; family not Ethiopian. 24. Bibos ... ... Palaearctic and Oriental.
25. Portax ... Oriental.
26. Gazella ... Palaearctic and Ethiopian.
27. Antilope ... Oriental.
28. Tetraceros ... Oriental.
29. Elephas ... Oriental species.
30. Mus ... ... Cosmopolite nearly.
32. Meriones ... Very wide range.
34. Sciurus ... Almost Cosmopolite.
35. Pteromys ... Palaearctic and Oriental to China and Malaya. 36. Hystrix ... Wide range.
37. Lepus ... ... Wide range.
38. Manis... ... Ethiopian and Oriental to Malaya.
Out of the above 38 genera, 8 have so wide a distribution as to give no special geographical indications. Of the remaining 30, whose geographical position we have noted, 14 are Oriental only; 5 have as much right to be considered Oriental as Ethiopian, extending as they do over the greater part of the Oriental region; 2 (the hyaena and gazelle) show Palaearctic rather than Ethiopian affinity; 7 are Palaearctic and Oriental but not Ethiopian; and only 2 (Cynaelurus and Mellivora) can be considered as especially Ethiopian. We must also give due weight to the fact that we have here Ursidae and Cervidae, two families entirely absent from the Ethiopian region, and we shall then be forced to conclude that the affinities of the Indian peninsula are not only clearly Oriental, but that the Ethiopian element is really present in a far less degree than the Palaearctic.
Birds—The naturalists who have adopted the “Ethiopian theory” of the fauna of Hindostan, have always supported their views by an appeal to the class of birds; maintaining, that not only are almost all the characteristic Himalayan and Malayan genera absent, but that their place is to a great extent supplied by others which are characteristic of the Ethiopian region. After a careful examination of the subject, Mr. Elwes, in a paper read before the Zoological Society (June 1873) came to the conclusion, that this view was an erroneous one, founded on the fact that the birds of the plains are the more abundant and more open to observation; and that these are often of wide-spread types, and some few almost exclusively African. The facts he adduced do not, however, seem to have satisfied the objectors; and as the subject is an important one, I will here give lists of all the genera of Passeres, Picariae, Psittaci, Columbae, and Gallinae, which inhabit the sub-region, leaving out those which only just enter within its boundaries from adjacent sub-regions. These are arranged under four heads:—1. Oriental genera; which are either wholly confined to, or strikingly prevalent in, the Oriental region beyond the limits of the Indian peninsula. 2. Genera of Wide Range; which are fully as much entitled to be considered Oriental or Palaearctic as Ethiopian, and cannot be held to prove any Ethiopian affinity. 3. Palaearctic genera; which are altogether or almost absent from the Ethiopian region. 4. Ethiopian genera; which are confined to, or very prevalent in, the Ethiopian region, whence they extend into the Indian peninsula but not over the whole Oriental region. The last are the only ones which can be fairly balanced against those of the first list, in order to determine the character of the fauna.
1. ORIENTAL GENERA IN CENTRAL INDIA.
Geocichla, Orthotomus, Prinia, Megalurus, Abrornis, Larvivora, Copsychus, Kittacincla, Pomatorhinus, Malacocercus, Chatarrhaea, Layardia, Garrulaw, Trochalopteron, Pellorneum, Dumetia, Pyctoris, Alcippe, Myiophonus, Sitta, Dendrophila, Phyllornis, Iora, Hypsipetes, Pericrocotus, Graucalus, Volvocivora, Chibia, Chaptia, Irena, Erythrosterna, Hemipus, Hemichelidon, Wiltava, Cyornis, Eumyias, Hypothymis, Myialestes, Tephrodornis, Dendrocitta, Arachnechthra, Nectarophila, Arachnothera, Dicaeum, Piprisoma, Munia, Eulabes, Pastor, Acridotheres, Sturnia, Sturnopastor, Artamus, Nemoricola, Pitta, Yungipicus, Chrysocolaptes, Hemicircus, Gecinus, Mulleripicus, Brachypternus, Tiga, Micropternus, Megalaema, Xantholoema, Rhopodytes, Taccocoua, Surniculus, Hierococcyx, Budynamnis, Nyctionnis, Harpactes, Pelargopsis, Ceyr, Hydrocissa, Meniceros, Batrachostomus, Dendrochelidon, Collocalia, Palaeornis, Treron, Carpophaga, Chalcophaps, Ortygornis, Perdia, Pavo, Gallus, Galloperdic ;-87 genera; and