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A RECORD OF ADVENTURES, HABITS OF ANIMALS, SKETCHES OF BRAZILIAN AND
ELEVEN YEARS OF TRAVEL.
HENRY WALTER BATES, F.L.S.,
PARTS I. AND II. COMPLETE.
shore, the shallowness of the water far out
around the mouth of the great river not perPARÁ.
mitting in safety a nearer approach ; and tho Arrival-Aspect of the country-The Park river-First walk in the subnrbs of Pará-Birds, Lizards, and
deep interest that my companion and myself, Insects of the suburbs-Leaf-carrying Ant-Sketch of the climate, history, and present condition of both now about to see and examine the beau. Pará.
ties of a tropical country for the first time, I EMBARKED at Liverpool, with Mr. Wal. gazed on the land where I, at least, eventually lace, in a Inall trading vessel, on the 26th of spent eleven of the best years of my life. To April, 1848 ; and, after a swift passage from the eastward the country was not remarkable the Irish Channel to the equator, arrived, on in appearance, being slightly undulating, the 26th of May, off Salinas. This is the with bare sand-hills and scattered trees ; but pilot-station for vessels bound to Pará, the to the westward, stretching toward the mouth only port of entry to the vast region watered of the river, we could see through the capby the Amazons. It is a small village, for- tain's glass a long line of forest, rising appar. merly a missionary settlement of the Jesuits, ently out of the water ; a densely-packed situated a few miles to the eastward of the mass of tall trees, broken into groups, and Pará river. Here the ship anchored in the finally into single trees, as it dwindled away open.scu, at a distance of six miles from the in the distance. This was the frontier, in
this direction, of the great primeval forest street leading to the suburbs. Beyond this, characteristic of this region, which contains our road lay across a grassy common into a 80 many wonders in its recesses, and clothes picturesque lane leading to the virgin forest. the whole surface of the country for two The long street was inhabited by the poorer thousand miles from this point to the foot of class of the population. The houses were of the Andes.
one story only, and had an irregular an.1 On the following day and night we sailed, mean appearance. The windows were withe with a light wind, partly aided by the tide, out glass, having, instead, projecting lattice up the Pará river. Toward evening we casements. The street was unpaved, and passed Vigia und Colares, two fisbing vil- inches deup in loose sand. Groups of people lages, and saw many native canoes, which were cooling themselves outside their voors seemed like toys beneath the lofty walls of people of all shades in color of skin, Eurothe dark forest. The air was excessively close, peau, negro and Indian, but chiefly an unthe sky overcast, and sheet lightning played certain mixture of the three. Among them almost incessantly around the horizon, an ap- were several handsome women, dressed in a propriate greeting on the threshold of a coun. slovenly manner, barefoot or shod in loose try lying close under the equator! The slippers ; but wearing richly decorated earevening was calm, this being the season rings, and around their necks strings of very when the winds are not strong, 80 we glided large gold beads. They had dark expressive along in a noiseless manner, wbich contrast. eyes, and remarkably rich heads of hair. It ed pleasantly with the unceasing turmoil to was a mere fancy, but I thought the mingled which we had been lately accustomed on the squalor, luxuriance, and beauty of these womAtlantic. The immensity of the river struck en were pointedly in barmony with the rest of us greatly, for although sailing sometimes at the scene ; so striking, in the view, was the a distance of eight or nine miles from the mixture of natural riches and human poverty. eastern bank, the opposite shore was at uo Tbe houses were mostly in a dilapidated contime visible. Indeed, the Pará river is dition, and signs of indolence and neglect thirty-six miles in breadth at its mouth ; and were everywhere visible. The wooden palat the city of Pará, nearly seventy miles from ings which surrounded the weed-grown gar. the sea, it is twenty miles wide ; but at that dens were strewn about, broken.; and hogs, point a series of islands commences, which goals, and ill-fed poultry wandered in and contracts the river view in front of the port out through the gups. But amid all, and
On the morning of the 28th of May we ar. compensating every defect, rose the overrived at our destination. The appearance of powering beauty of the vegetation. The the city at sunrise was pleasing in the highe massive dark crowus of shady mangoes were est degree. It is built on a low tract of land, seen everywhere among the dwellings, amid having only one small rocky elevation at its fragrant blossoming orange, lemon, and southern extremity ; it therefore affords no many other tropical fruit-trees ; some in amphitheatral view from the river ; but the flower, others in fruit, at varying stages of white buildings roofel with red tiles, the ripeness. Here and there, shooting above numerous towers and cupulas of churches the more dome-like and sombre trees, were and convents, the crowds of palm-trees reared the smooth columnar stems of palms, bearing
ove the buildings. all 'sharply defined aloft their magnificent crowns of finely cut ilgainst the clear blue sky, give an appear fronds. Among the latter the slim assait :ance of lightness and cheerfulness which is palm was especially noticeable, growing in jnost exhilarating. The perpetual forest groups of four and five ; its smooth, gently.
hemas the city in on all sides landward ; and curving stem, twenty to thirty feet high, iert -toward the suburbs picturesque country minating in a head of feathery foliage, inex hvuses are seen scattered about, half buried. pressibly light and elegant in outline. Od in luxuriant foliage. The port was full of the hougbs of the taller and more ordinary native canoes and other vessels, large and looking trees sat tufts of curiously-leaved, small ; and the ringing of bells and firing of parasites. Slender woody lianas hung in rockets, announcing the dawn of some festoons from the branches, or were susRoman Catholic festival day, showed that pended in the form of cords and ribbons ; the population was astir at that early hour. while luxuriant creeping plants overran alike
The impressions received during our first tree-trunks, roofs and walls, or toppled uver walk, on the evening of the day of our ar. palings in copious profusion of foliage. The rival, cau never wholly fade from my mind. superb banana (Musa paradisiaca), of which After traversing the few streets of tall. I had always read as forming one of the gioumy, convent-looking buildings near the charms of tropical vegetation, here grew with port, inhabited chiefly by merchants and great luxuriance : its glossy velvety-green Bhopkeepers ; along which idle soldiers, leaves, twelve feet in length, curving over the ..dressed in shabby uniforms, carrying their roufs of verandas in the rear of every house,
muskets carelessly over their arms, priests, The shape of the leaves, the varying shades 's Degresses with red water-jars on their headsof green which they present when lightly :sad-looking Indian women carrying their moved by the wind, and especially the con. naked children astride on their hips, und trast they afford in color and form to the other samples of the motley life of the place, more sombre hues and more rouuded outline were seen;; we passed down a long warrow of the other trees, are quite sufficient to ac
count for the charm of this glorious tree.
Strange forms of vegetation drew our atten. try extends close up to the city streets ; in. tion at almost every step. Among them were deed, the town is built on a tract of cleared the different kinds of Bromelia, or pine-apple land, and is kept free from the jungle only plants, with their long, rigid, sword-shaped by the coustant care of the Government. leaves, in some species jagged or fooihed The surface, though everywhere low, is ulung their edges. Then there was the slightly undulating, so that areas of dry land bread-fruit-treean importation, it is true ; alternate throughout with areas of swampy but remarkable for its large, glossy, dark- ground, the vegetation and animal tenants of green, strongly digitated foliage, and its in- The iwo being widely different. Our resi. teresting history. Many other trees and dence lay on the side of the city nearest the plants, curious in leaf, stem, or manner of Guamá on the borders of one of the low and growth, grew on the borders of the thickets swampy areas which bere extends over a por. along which lay our road ; they were all at- tion of the suburbs. The tract of land is in. tractive to new-comers, whose last country tersected by well macadamized suburban ramble, of quite recent date, was over the roads, the chief of which, Estrada das Mon. bleak moors of Derbyshire on a sleety morn. gubeiras (the Monguba road), about a milo ing in April.
long, is a magnificent avenue of silk-cottun. As we continued our walk the brief twi. trees (Bombax monguba and B. ceiba), huge light cummenced, and the sounds of multi- trees whose trunks taper rapidly from the farious life came from the vegetation around. ground upward, and whose flowers before The whirring of cicadas ; the shrill stridula. Opening look like red balls studding the tion of a vast number and variety of field branches. This fiue road was constructed crickets and grasshoppers, each species sound- under the governorship of the Count dos ing its peculiar note; the plaintive booting of Arcus, about the year 1812. At rigbt angles tree frogs-all blended together in one con- to it run a number of narrow green lanes, tinuous ringing sound-thouudible expression and the whole district is drained by a system of the teeming profusion of nature. As night of spiall canals, or trenches through which came on, many species of frogs and toads in the vide elbs and flows, showing the lowness the marshy places joined in the chorus ; Their of the site. Before I left the country, other croaking and drumming, far louder than any, enierprising presidents had formed a number : thing I had before heard in the same live, of avenues lined with cucoa-nut palms, being added to the othçr noises, created an alpoud and other trees, in conticuation of almost deafening din. This uproar of life, I the Moguba road, over the more elevated arx afterward found, never wholly ceased, night diier ground to the north-east of the city, or day: in course of time I became, like On the high ground the vegetation has an as other residents, accustomed to it. It is, how. pect quite different from that which it pre. ever, one of the peculiarities of a tropical- sents in the swampy parts. Indeed, with the at least a Brazilian-climate which is most exception of the palm-trees, the suburbs here likely to surprise a stranger. After my re- have an aspect like that of a village green at turn to England, the deathlike stillness of home. The soil is sandy, and the open com- · summer days in the country appeared to me mons are covered with a short grassy and as strange as the ringing uproar did on my shrubby vegetation. Beyond this, the land first arrival at Pará. The object of our visit again descends to a marshy tract, where, at being accomplished, we returned to the city. the bottom of the moist höllows, the public The Bre-flies were then out in great numbers, wells are situated. Here all the lines of the Aitting about the sombre woods, and even city is washed by hosts of noisy pogresses, the frequented streets. We trned into our and here also the water-carts are filled hammocks, well pleased with what we hud painted bogsheads on wheels, drawn by bul. seen, and full of anticipation with regard lucks. In early morning, when the sun to the wealth of natural objects we had come sometimes shines through a light mist, and tu explore.
everything is dripping with moisture, this
part of the city is full of life : vociferous During the first few days we were em negrves and wrangling Gallegos, the proployed in landing our baggage and arranging prietors of the water-carts, are gathered our extensive apparatus. We then accepted about, jabbering continually, and taking their the invitation of the consignee of the vessel morning drums in dirty wine-shops at the to make use of his rocinha, or country-house street corners. in the suburbs, until we finally decided on a Along these beautiful roads we found much residence. Upon this we made our first to interest us during the first few days. Subessay in housekeeping. We bought cotton urbs of towns, and open, sunny, cultivated hammocks, the universal substitute for beds places in Brazil, are tenanted by species of in this country, cooking utensils, and animals and plants which are mostly differ. crockery, and engaged a free negro, nanied ent from those of the dense primeval forests. Isidoro, as cook and servant of all work. I will, therefore, give an account of what we Our first walks were in the immediate sub- observed of the animal world, during our ex. urbs of Pará. The city lies on a corner of plorations in the immediate neighborhood of land formed by the junction of the river Pará. Guamá with the Pará. As I have said be. The number and beauty of the birds and fore, the forest which covers the whole coun. insects did not at first equal our expectations.
The majority of the birds we saw were smail compact and velvety in texture. The shape and obscurely colored ; they were indeed of its head and its physiognomy are very similar, in general appearance, to such as are similar to those of the magpie ; it has light met with in country places in England. Oc- gray eyes, which give it the same knowing casionally a flock of sınall paroquets, green, expression. It is social in its babits, ani with a patch of yellow on the forehead, builds its nest, like the English rook, on trees would come at early morning to the trees in the neighborhood of habitations. But the near the Estrada. They would feed quietly, nests are quite differently constructed, being sometimes chattering in subdued tones, but shaped like purses, two feet in length, and setting up a harsh scream, aud flying off, on suspended from the slender branches all round being disturbed. Humming-birds we did the tree, some of them very near the ground. not see at this time, although I afterwar. The entrance is on the side near the bottom found them by hundreds when certain trees of the nest. The bird is a great favorite were in flower. Vultures we only saw at & with the Brazilians of Pará : it is a noisy, distance, sweeping round at a great height, stirring, babbling creature, passing constantly over the public slaughter-bouses. Several to and fro, chattering to its comrades, and is fly-catchers, finches, ant-thrushes, a tribe of very ready at imitating other birds, especially plainly-colored birds, intermediate in struc- the domestic poultry of the vicinity. There iure between fly-catchers and thrusbes, some was at one time a weekly newspaper pubof which startle the new-comer by their ex. lished at Pará, called The Japim; the name traordinary notes emitted from their places being chosen, I suppose, on account of the of concealment in the dense thickets; and babbling propensities of the bird. Its eggs also tanagers, and other small birds, inhabit are nearly round, and of a bluish-white color, ed the neighborhood. None of these had a speckled with brown. pleasing song, except a little brown wren of other vertebrate animals we saw very (Troglodytes furvus), whose voice and melody little, except of the lizards. They are sure resemble those of our English robin. It is to attract the attention of the new.comer often seen, bopping and climbing about the from Northern Europe, by reason of their walls and roofs of houses and on trees in strange uppearance, great numbers and vari. their vicinity. Its sung is more frequently ety. The species which are seen crawling heard in the rainy season, when the monguba. over the walls of buildings in the city are trees shed their leaves. At those times the different from those found in the forest or in Estrada das Mongubeiras has an appearance the interior of houses. They are unpleasantquite unusual in a tropical country. The looking animals, with colors assimilated to tree is one of the few in the Amazons region those of tbe dilapidated stone and mud walls which sheds all its foliage before any of the on which they are seen. The house lizards new leaf-buds expand. The naked branches, belong to a peculiar family, the Geckos, and the sodden ground matted with dead leaves, are found even in the best-kept cbarbers, the gray mist veiling the surrounding vege. most frequently on the walls and ceilings, to tation, and the cool atmosphere soon after which they cling motionless by day, being sunrise, all combine to remind one of au- active only at night. They are of speckled tumpul mornings in England. While loiter- gray or asby colors. The structure of their ing about at such times in a balf-oblivious feet is beautifully adapted for clinging to moud, thinking of home, the song of this and running over smooth surfaces; the bird would create for the moment a perfect under side of their toes being expanded into illusion. Numbers of tanagers frequented the cushions, beneath which folds of skin form a fruit and other trces in our garden. The series of flexible plates. By means of this two principal kinds which attracted our at- apparatus they can walk or run across à tention were the Rhamphucælus jacapa and smooth ceiling with their backs downward ; the Tanagra episcopus. The females of the plated soles, by quick muscular action, both are dull in color, but the male of Jacapa exbausting and admitting air alternately. has a beautiful velvety purple and black The Geckos are very repulsive in appearance. plumage, the beak being partly wbite, while The Brazilians give them the name of Osgus, The same sex in Episcopus is of a pale blue and firmly believe them to be poisonous ; culor. with white spots on the wings. In they are, however, harmless creatures. Those their habits they both resemble the common found in houses are small ; but I have seen house.sparrow of Europe, which does not ex- others of great size, in crevices of tree trunks ist in South America, its place being in some in the forests. Sometimes Geckos are found measure filled by these familiar tanagers. with forked tails ; this results from the budThey are just as lively, restless, bold, and ding of a rudimentary tail at the side, from wary ; their notes are very similar, chirping an injury done to the member. A slight rap and ipharmonious, and they seem to he will cause their tails to snap off, the loss almost as foud of the nighborhood of man. being afterward partially repaired by a new They do not, however, build their nests on growth. The tails of lizards seem to be bouses.
almost useless appendages to the animals. I Another interesting and common bird was used often to amuse myself in the suburbs, the Japím, a species of Cassicus (C. icterono- while resting in the verandah of vur house tus). It belongs to the same family of birds during the heat of midday, by watching the As our starling, magpie, aud rook, and has a variegated green, brown, and yellow ground. ch yellow and biack plumage, remarkably lizards. They would come niably forward,
and commence grubbing with their fore feet eni color from the surrounding soil, which and snouts around the roots of herbage, search- were thrown up in the plantations and ing for insect larvæ. On the slightest alarm woods. Some of them were very extensive, they will scamper off ; their tails cocked upin being forty yards in circumference, but not the air as they waddled awkwardly away, evi. more than two feet in height. We soon dently an incumbrance to them in their lligut. ascertained that these were the work of the
Next to the birds and lizards, the insects Suübas, being the outworks, or domes; which of the suburbs of Pará deserve a few remarks. overlie and protect the entrances to their vast I will pass over the many other orders and subterranean galleries. On close examinafamilies of this class, and proceed at once to tion, I found the earth of which they are the ants. These were in great numbers every- composed 10 consist of very minute granules, where, but I will mention here only two agglomerated without cement, and forming kinds. We were amazed at seeing ants an many rows of little ridges and turrets. The inch and a quarter in length, and stuut in difference in color from the superficial soil of proportion, marching iu single tile through the vicinity is owing to their being formed the thickets. These belonged to the species of the underscil, brought up from a consider. called Dinoponera grandis. Its colonies con- alle depih. It is very rarely that the ants sist of a small pumber of individuals, and are are seen at work on these mounds; the en
liances seeem to be generally closed ; only now and then, when some particular work is going on, are the galleries opened. The entrances are small and numerous ; in the large billocks it would require a great amount of excavation to get at the main galleries ; but I succeeded in removing portions of the dome in smaller hillocks, and then I found that the minor entrances cor verged, at the depth of about two feet, to one broad elaboratelyworked gallery or mine, which was four or five inches in diameter.
This habit in the Saüba ant of clipping and Saüba or Leaf-carrying Aut.-1. Working minor ; carrying away immense quantities of ler:vt's 2. Working-major; 3. Subterranean worker.
has long been recorded in books on natural established about the roots of slender trees. history. When employed on this work, Vieir It is a stinging species, but the sting is not processions look like a multitude of animate: so severe as in many of the smaller kinds. leaves on the march. Iu some places I found There was nothing peculiar or attractive in an accumulation of such leaves, all circular the habits of this giant among the ants. pieces, about the size of a sixpence, lying Another far more interesting species was the on the pathway unallended by ants, and at Saüba (Ecodoma cephalotes). This ant is some distance from any colony. Such heaps seen everywhere about the suburbs, march- are always found to be removed when the ing to and fro in broad columns. From its place is revisited the next day. In course of habit of despoiling the most valuable culti- time I had plenty of opportunities of seeing vated trees of their foliage, it is a great them at work. They mount the tree in mul scourge to the Brazilians. In some districts titudes, the individuals being all worker. it is so abundant that agriculture is almost minors. Each one places itself on the sur. impossible, and everywhere complaints are face of a leaf, and cuts with its sharp scissorbeard of the terrible pest.
like jaws a nearly semicircular incision on The workers of this species are of three the upper side ; it then takes the edge beorders, and vary in size from two to seven tween its jaws, and by a sharp jerk detaches lines ; some idea of them may be obtained the piece. Sometimes they let the leaf drop from nthe accompanying wood-cut. The to the ground, where a little heap accumu. true working-class of a colony is formed lates, until carried off by another relay of by the small-sized order of workers, the workers ; but, generally, each marches off worker-minors as they are called (Fig. 1). with the piece it has operated upun, and as The two other kinds, whose functions, as all take the same road to their colony, the we shall see, are not yet properly understood, path they follow becomes in a short time have enormously swollen and massive heads; smooth and bare, looking like the impression in one (Fig. 2), ihe head is highly polished; of a cart-wheel through the herbage. in the other (Fig. 3), it is opaque and hairy. It is a most interesting sight to see the vast The worker-minors vary greatly in size, some host of busy diminutive laborers occupied on being double the bulk of others. The entire this work. Unfortunately they choose calbody is of very solid consistence, and of a tivated trees for their purpose. This ant is pale reddish-brown color. The thorax or quite peculiar to tropical America, as is the middle segment is armed with three pairs of entire genus to which it belongs ; it somesharp spines; the head, also, has a pair of times despoils the young trees of species similar spines proceeding from the cheeks growing wild in its native forests ; but seems bebind.
to prefer, when within reach, plants importIn vur first walks we were puzzled to ac. ed from other countries, such as the coffee count for large mounds of earth, of a differ- and orange trees. It bas not hitherto huen