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are either almost or entirely restricted to one portion of the archipelago:— .
Indo-Malayan Region. Awstro-Malayan Region. Nox-group. Priamus-group. Coon-group. Ulysses-group. Macareus-group (nearly). Erechtheus-group.
The remaining groups, which range over the whole archipelago, are, in many cases, insects of very powerful flight, or they frequent open places and the seabeach, and are thus more likely to get blown from island to island. The fact that three such characteristic groups as those of Priamus, Ulysses, and Erechtheus are strictly limited to the Australian region of the archipelago, while five other groups are with equal strictness confined to the Indian region, is a strong corroboration of that division which has been founded almost entirely on the distribution of Mammalia and Birds.
If the various Malayan islands have undergone recent changes of level, and if any of them have been more closely united within the period of existing species than they are now, we may expect to find indications of such changes in community of species between islands now widely separated; while those islands which have long remained isolated would have had time to acquire peculiar forms by a slow and natural process of modification.
An examination of the relations of the species of the adjacent islands, will thus enable us to correct opinions formed from a mere consideration of their relative positions. For example, looking at a map of the archipelago, it is almost impossible to avoid the idea that Java and Sumatra have been recently united; their present proximity is so great, and they have such an obvious resemblance in their volcanic structure. Yet there can be little doubt that this opinion is erroneous, and that Sumatra has had a more recent and more intimate connexion with Borneo than it has had with Java. This is strikingly shown by the mammals of these islands—very few of the species of Java and Sumatra being identical, while a considerable number are common to Sumatra and Borneo. The birds show a somewhat similar relationship ; and we shall find that the distribution of the Papilionidae tells exactly the same tale. Thus:–
Sumatra has... 21 species
Sumatra, ,, ... 21 , & * Y’a, ,, ... 28 } 11 sp. common to both islands;
} 20 sp. common to both islands;
Borneo ,, ... 30 ,
Java ,, ... 28 } 20 sp. common to both islands;
showing that both Sumatra and Java have a much
closer relationship to Borneo than they have to each
other—a most singular and interesting result, when we
consider the wide separation of Borneo from them both,
and its very different structure. The evidence fur
nished by a single group of insects would have had O
but little weight on a point of such magnitude if standing alone; but coming as it does to confirm deductions drawn from whole classes of the higher animals, it must be admitted to have considerable value. We may determine in a similar manner the relations of the different Papuan Islands to New Guinea. Of thirteen species of Papilionidae obtained in the Aru Islands, six were also found in New Guinea, and seven not. Of mine species obtained at Waigiou, six were New Guinea, and three not. The five species found at Mysol were all New Guinea species. Mysol, therefore, has closer relations to New Guinea than the other islands; and this is corroborated by the distribution of the birds, of which I will only now give one instance. The Paradise Bird found in Mysol is the common New Guinea species, while the Aru Islands and Waigiou have each a species peculiar to themselves. The large island of Borneo, which contains more species of Papilionidae than any other in the archipelago, has nevertheless only three peculiar to itself; and it is quite possible, and even probable, that one of these may be found in Sumatra or Java. The lastnamed island has also three species peculiar to it; Sumatra has not one, and the peninsula of Malacca only two. The identity of species is even greater than in birds or in most other groups of insects, and points very strongly to a recent connexion of the whole with each other and the continent.
Remarkable Peculiarities of the Island of Celebes.
If we now pass to the next island (Celebes), separated from those last mentioned by a strait not wider than that which divides them from each other, we have a striking contrast; for with a total number of species less than either Borneo or Java, no fewer than eighteen are absolutely restricted to it. Further east, the large islands of Ceram and New Guinea have only three species peculiar to each, and Timor has five. We shall have to look, not to single islands, but to whole groups, in order to obtain an amount of individuality comparable with that of Celebes. For example, the extensive group comprising the large islands of Java, Borneo, and Sumatra, with the peninsula of Malacca, possessing altogether 48 species, has about 24, or just half, peculiar to it; the numerous group of the Philippines possess 22 species, of which 17 are peculiar; the seven chief islands of the Moluccas have 27, of which 12 are peculiar ; and the whole of the Papuan Islands, with an equal number of species, have 17 peculiar. Comparable with the most isolated of these groups is Celebes, with its 24 species, of which the large proportion of 18 are peculiar. We see, therefore, that the opinion I have elsewhere expressed, of the high degree of isolation and the remarkable distinctive features of this interesting island, is fully borne out by the examination of this conspicuous family of insects. A single straggling island with a few small satellites, it is zoologically of equal importance with extensive groups of islands many times as large as itself; and standing in the very centre of the archipelago, surrounded on every side with islets connecting it with the larger groups, and which seem to afford the greatest facilities for the migration and intercommunication of their respective productions, it yet stands out conspicuous with a character of its own in every department of nature, and presents peculiarities which are, I believe, without a parallel in any similar locality on the globe. Briefly to summarize these peculiarities, Celebes possesses three genera of mammals (out of the very small number which inhabit it) which are of singular and isolated forms, viz., Cynopithecus, a tailless Ape allied to the Baboons; Anoa, a straight-horned Antelope of obscure affinities, but quite unlike anything else in the whole archipelago or in India : and Babirusa, an altogether abnormal wild Pig. With a rather limited bird population, Celebes has an immense preponderance of species confined to it, and has also six remarkable genera (Meropogon, Ceycopsis, Streptocitta, Enodes, Scissirostrum, and Megacephalon) entirely restricted to its narrow limits, as well as two others (Prioniturus and Basilornis) which only range to a single island beyond it. |Mr. Smith's elaborate tables of the distribution of Malayan Hymenoptera (see “Proc. Linn. Soc.” Zool. vol. vii.) show that out of the large number of 301 species collected in Celebes, 190 (or nearly two-thirds) are absolutely restricted to it, although Borneo on one