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(Number of families of resident land-birds in the Antilles ..... TOTALS » » genera
, species VOL. II.-6
Reptiles and Amphibia.—These classes not having been systematically collected, and the numerous described genera not having undergone careful revision, little trustworthy information can be derived from them. The following enumeration of the chief groups hitherto noticed or described, will, however, show very similar features to those presented by the birds—a general relation to Neotropical forms, a more special relation to those of Central America and Mexico, and a considerable number of peculiar types.
Snakes.- Arrhyton (Calamariidæ) from Cuba, Hypsirhynchus from Barbadoes, Cryptodacus from Cuba, faltris from Hayti, and Coloragia from Cuba (all Colubridæ), have been described as genera peculiar to the Antilles. Phylodryas and Dromicus (Colubridæ) are Antillean and Neotropical; Ahætulla (Dendrophidae) has the same distribution but extends to tropical Africa; Epicrates and Corallus (Pythonidæ) are Neotropical and Antillean ; while Chilabothrus from Jamaica and Ungalia from Cuba and Jamaica (both Pythonidæ) are found elsewhere only in Central America and Mexico. There appear to be no Crotalidæ except an introduced species of Craspedocephalus in St. Lucia.
Lizards are more numerous. Ameiva (Teidæ) is found all over America. Gerrhonotus (Zonuridæ) is Neotropical and occurs in Cuba; Gymnopthalmus is South American and Antillean. Of Scincidæ seven genera are noted. Celestus (with 9 species) is peculiar to the Antilles; Camilia (1 species) to Jamaica, Panoplus (1 species) and Embryopus (1 species) to Hayti; Diplogossus is Antillean and South American ; while Plestiodon and Mabouya are cosmopolite. Of Geckotidæ there are four genera ; Phyllodactylus and Hemidactylus which are cosmopolite; Sphoerodactylus which is wholly American; and Cubina found only in Martinique and Brazil. Of Iguanidæ there are six genera; Anolis, which ranges all over America ; Polychrus, which is Neotropical; Iguana and Lincephalus which are South American; Tropedurus found in Cuba and Brazil; and Cyclura only known from Jamaica, Cuba, and Central America.
Amphibia.—The genus Trachycephalus, belonging to the Hylidæ or tropical tree-frogs, is almost peculiar to the Antilles ; Cuba, Hayti, and Jamaica possessing seven species, while only one is recorded from South America. Other genera are, Peltaphryne (Bufonidæ) from Portorico; Phyllobates (Polypedatidae) from Cuba ; Leiuperus (Ranidæ) from Hayti,—all Neotropical. Of the Urodela, or tailed batrachians, no representative occurs, although they are so characteristic a feature of the Nearctic region.
Fresh-water fish.—The same general remarks apply to these as to the reptiles. Only one peculiar genus is noted-Lebistes, a form of Cyprinodontidæ from Barbadoes; other genera of the same family being, Haplochilus, Rivulus, and Girardinus, widely spread in the Neotropical region; while Gambusia is confined to Central America, Mexico, and the Antilles. Four other families are represented; Siluridæ by Chạtostomus, found in Portorico and South America ; Chromidæ by the South American Acara; Mugillidæ by the Central American Agonostoma ; and Percidæ by the North American Centrarchus, of which a species is recorded from Cuba.
Insects. The various West Indian islands have not been well explored entomologically; one reason no doubt being, that their comparative poverty renders them little attractive to the professional collector, while the abounding riches of Central and South America lie so pear at hand. We can, therefore, hardly tell whether the comparative poverty, or even total absence of some families while others seem fairly represented, is a real phenomenon of distribution, or only dependent on imperfect knowledge. Bearing this in mind, we proceed to give a sketch of what is known of the chief groups of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera.
Lepidoptera.--The Neotropical butterfly-fauna is but poorly represented, the majority of the most remarkable types being entirely wanting; yet there are a few peculiar and very characteristic forms which show great isolation, while the majority of the species are peculiar. Four genera are exclusively or characteristically Antillean -- Calisto belonging to the Satyridæ, with four species, of which one ranges to South Carolina ; Clothilda