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and Persoon, but omitted by Pursh, is with one or two species of each genus, adopted: this is probably right.
He acknowledges that he has compiled Two species of Vallisneria are noticed this part from various modern authors; as follows. 1. V. Americana (Tape grass) the Mosses froin Sprengel, the Lj: hens leaves linear, peduncles straight. 2. V. from Acharius, the Fungi from Turton, Spiralis, peduncle of the fruit spiral, leaves &c.; but as the species amounting to go, Linear with tapering base. We doubt of exclusive of ferns, have all been found in the identity or existence of this last, as the New England states, they become a stated; we should have liked to know on new addition to our Flora : whence we what authority it is admitted. Pursh has consider that their enumeration may be not found it, nor did we ever hear of it deemed a valuak'e supplement to that littill now; if really distinct from the V. tle work, and regret it could not be more Americana, it will be probably another extended at present. But we hope, that in new species.
a future edition, such as the author apThe Xylostroma giganlore (Leather pears to have in contemplation, he will punk or Oak leather) with parallel libres, not forget his promise to enumerate an filling the interstices between the cleav- the plants of the northern states, including ages of decaying wood; is well known the cryptogamous, and we invite him at to us as different from the European spe- the same time to correct the errors which cies: many species are probably blended it has been our duty to point out. under the vulgar denomination of Punk; We had omitted to state, that in the and they deserve to be studied.
preamble to this manual, and the notes Many errors of the press are besides to accasionally interwoven, there is some be noticed over the whole work; but for additional and practical information for these the author is not to be blamed, since the student, but little that deserves to be he declares that he lives at a distance recorded. froin Albany. It is much to be regrettedl, Upon the whole, we decm this compithat our printers should be so ignorant, lation a practical and useful one (but by and not yet in the habit of employing en- no means classical,) so far as it extends, lightened correctors, whence it arises that making allowance for the unavoidable very few, if any, works on physical and errors in works of this kind, when unmathematical sciences, are printed cor- dertaken in haste by young botanists, not rectly in the United States.
perfectly acquainted with the state of the The whole of this manual is written in science. We should, however, feel very our vernacular language, an example unwilling to discourage similar attempts worthy of imitation in local works; but of the same author or any other, but unfortunately the technical language of should merely recommend them to acBotany is not yet thoroughly fixed with quaint themselves thoroughly with the is, notwithstanding the labours of Mar- laws, language, and situation of the science tyn, Milne, Smith, Barton, and even Mr. both at home and abroad, before they Eaton, as they are in the Latin and venture to publish their lucubrations and French languages: many terms are arbi- observations; and we ought to warn them trary for want of a translator of para- against mistaking partial or superficial mount authority. Mr. E. has followed his knowledge, for requisite attainment and own translation, but many of his terms needful science. appear rather awkward and at variance In particular reference to the author of with the above authors; we shall not, this work, in which we are happy to perhowever, undertake at present to criticise ceive much zeal and knowledge, we adthem, lest our attempt might be deemed vise him by all means to persevere in his preposterous.
worthy pursuits, but let him endeavour Any endeavour to elucidate the subject to acquire such additional information as of American cryptogamy, must be wel- may be requisite, in order to enable him come to the lovers of Botany, while the to improve his future labours, and it would subject remains so deeply involved in ob- be more gratifying to perceive him herescurity; they will therefore receive with after directing them towards works of a pleasure the first attempt of Mr. E. who original nature, or to the statement of has begun to illustrate the whole subject, facts and observations, rather than the by giving us the genera nearly complete, compilation of names and phrases.
C. S. R.
ART. - . MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES,
By C. S. RAFINESQUE, ESQUIRE. 4. Dissertation on Water Snakes, Sea istence, believing that eels or similar fishes
Snakes and Sea Serpents. had been mistaken for snakes. W HENEVER a singular phenome- Russel was perhaps the first writer who
non, or an extraordinary natural established their existence beyond a doubt; occurrence, happens to be observed in by describing and figuring many of thems the U.S: whether spots in the Sun, huge in his splendid work on the snakes of the fossil hones or sea serpents, a crowd of su- Coast of Coromandel. Schneider estabperficial writers hasten to offerus, instead of lished for them his genus Hydrus, which Tacts, their own ideas and conjectures on wrong name has been with much proprithe subject, which prove, sometimes, more ety changed in Hydrophis. They have or less ingenious; but often wild, incor- since been described in all the works on rect, or ridiculous. They are generally Erpetology, by Shaw, Latreille, Dauding so much taken up by their own fancy, &c. and those last writers have divided that they forget entirely to consult former them into four genera, Enhydris, Platur writers of eminence on the same sub- rus, Pelamis, and Hydrophis : which forrg jects, should they even happen to know a peculiar tribe or natural family in the of their existence; what idea are we to order of snakes, to which I have given the entertain of their attempts to explain those name of Platuria (Platurians, Flat tails or subjects, without availing themselves of Water Snakes): they are completely disthe valuable writings of Herschell or La tinguished from the land snakes, by hav. Place, Cuvier, or Pinkerton, &c.? in whose ing a compressed tail, which serves them works they had been previously and often as an oar and rudder, enabling them to coinpletely illustrated. Let us listen to a swim with great swiftness, and from the group of children attempting to reason fishes of the cel tribe, by having neither and argue on the rising of the sun, an gills nor fins. They breathe througla eclipse of the moon, on the economy of lungs, at remote periods, whence they the bees, or on the structure of a whale, generally live near the surface of the wawithout asking any previous questions to ter, like the animals of the whale tribe. their parents, and we shall find a great They prey on fishes and sea animals, and similarity between their thoughts and some of them have venomous fangs. those of many of our speculative writers. Many are known to come on land as turs They often contribute to render contempt- tles, to deposit their eggs. ible the subject of their inquiries, at least About fourteen species of Water Snakes towards the vulgar, while it would other have been described by the above authors; wise become at all times deeply interest- ten more are noticed in the travels of Ing; and should their crude speculations Peron to Australia or New-Holland, one ever reach Europe, they will certainly af- of which was ten feet long; and lately seford very unfavourable specimens of our veral monstrous species have been seen knowledge and attainments in sciences. near our shores. Many others appear to These reflections have naturally suggested have been perceived by former travellers, themselves to my mind on the present and very probably a great variety are occasion.
known to sailors. The knowledge of these The ancients gave the name of Water animals is merely emerging into notice, Snakes and Sea-Snakes to many fishes of and may yet be greatly improved. I shall the Eel tribe, which bear an apparent like- not pretend to assert that they are as nuness with land snakes, although they dif- merous as land snakes, but it is very likely fer materially on examination, by having that one hundred species at least of this fins and gills, and neither lungs por scales. tribe exist in the waters of the ocean,
Many land snakes are in the habit of lakes and rivers. Intelligent travellers, going into the water, in pursuit of their seamen and fishermen, will gradually food or to escape their enemies, and they make us acquainted with them: meanInave often been called Water Snakes time, I shall endeavour to give a concise when found in that element.
account of those we know, which may Real Water and Sea Snakes had heen facilitate their future observations, and I noticed at a very early period by naviga- shall arrange my labour in a sinoptical ortors, in the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian der, concluding by some remarks on the Seas; but as they had not been described, Sea Serpents, which are merely Sea proinent mtyralists had doubted their ex Snakes, of a very large size.
2. Sp. Platurus jaurenti Raf, Tail · Water Snakes, with a compressed or de- obtuse. pressed tail, and a scaly body. (No fins IV. Genus. HYDROPHIS Latr. Daud. and no gills.)
(Hydrus Schneider.) Body cylindrical, I. Genus. ENHYDRIS Latreille, &c. with equal scales in parallel rows, mouth (Hydrus Schneider. Coluber Pallas Dau- with fangs, tail compressed, scales as on din.) Body with transverse scaly plates the body. underneath, mouth with sharp teeth but 1. Sp. Hydrophis chittul Latr. Chittul no fangs, tail compressed, with two rows Hydrophis. White, with many zones of of scaly plates underneath, and often one a light blue, tạil obtuse, 306 scales in each or two nails at the end.
row of the body, 48 in the caudal rows. 1. Sp. Enhydris caspia Latr. Caspian Found in India by Russel, length 3 feet, Enhydris. Back cinereous olivaceous, very poisonous as well as the following; with 4 rows of round black spots, 180 ab- their bite kills in a few minutes. dominal plates, 70 pair of caudal plates. 2. Sp. Hydrophis cyanura Raf. (H. Found by Pallas in the Caspian Sea, the hoglin Latr.) Hoglin Hydrophis. Blue Wolga, &c. S feet long.
above, yellow underneath, 508 scales in 2. Sp. Enhydris piscator Latr. Fishing each row of the body; tail entirely blue, Enhydris. Yellowish brown, with many with 48 scales in each row. Also found small round black spots, in oblique rows in the East Indies by Russel, length two and black line, 152 abdominal plates, and feet and half. 24 pairs of caudal plates. Found by V.Genus. PELAMIS Daud. (Hydrophis Russel in the swamps of India, Sfeet long. Latr. Hydrus Schneider.) Differing from
3.Sp. Enhydris palustris Latr. Swamp Hydrophis, by having no fangs, and thereEnhydris. Yellow brown, with rhom fore being harmless. boidal brown spots, edged with black, tail 1. Sp. Pelamis bicolor Daud. (Hydrowhitish underneath, 140 abdominal plates, phis platura Latr.) Bicolor Pelamis. 49 pairs of caudal plates. Found by Black above, whiteunderneath, tail roundRussel in the swamps of India, 2 or 3 ed at the end. Found by Forster in the feet long.
Pacific Ocean. 4. Sp. Enhydris cerulea Latr. Blue 2. Sp. Pelamis schneideri Raf. (PelaEnhydris. Body blue, belly and tail yel- mis bicolor Var. Daud.) Schneiderian Pelow, with a blue line in the middle, 159 lamis. From the East Indies. abdominal plates, 52 pairs of caudal plates. 3. Sp. Pelamis fasciatus Daud. (HydroFound by Russel in the rivers of India, 2 phis lancicauda Latr.) Zoned Pelamis. feet long.
Sallow, with transverse brown zones, 200 5. Sp. Enhydris rhyncops Latr. Beak- scales in each row of the body; tail, laned Enhydris. Head partly black, with a ceolate acute, with 50 scales in each row. bill shaped snout, body dark gray, throat Described by Vosmaer and Russel, from and belly yellowish, 144 abdominal plates, the Indian Archipelago, &c. 59 pairs of caudal plates. Found in the 4. Sp. Pelamis marginatus Raf. (HyEast Indies by Russel, length four feet and drophis Shootur Latr.) Shootur Pelamis. half, perhaps a peculiar genus.
Blue, scales slightly edged with yellow, II. Genus. NATRIX Raf. (Enhydris many narrow transverse yellow stripes on Latr. Daud.) It differs from the fore- the back: very faint posteriorly, 332 scales going, by having a broad head, (per- in the rows of the body; tail lanceolate, haps with fangs) a narrow neck, the ab- with 40 scales in each row. Found by domen carinated, &c.
Russel in the swamps of India, perhaps an 1. Sp. Natrix dors alis Raf. (Enhydris Hydrophis. dorsalis Latr. Daud.) Dorsal Natrix. 5. Sp. Pelamis fuscatus Raf. Brown Dirty white, with a black sinuated dorsal Pelamis. Entirely of an olivaceous brown, stripe, 43 pairs of caudal plates. A very scales very small, tail obtuse. I have obsmall species, about 1 foot long.
served it in the Mediterranean, near the III. Genus. PLATURUS Latr. Daud. shores of Sicily, where it is called Serpe(Hydrus Sclineider.) Differing from En- demari (Sea Snake,) along with many hydris, by having fangs, and the tail with real fishes: length 2 feet. two scales at the top.
VI. Genus. OPAINECTES Raf. Dif1. Sp. Platurus fasciatus. Latr. (Hy- fering from Pelamis by having a comdrus colubrinus Schn.) Zoned Plature. pressed body and a carinated or angular Cinereous above, with broad brown zones, abdomen.-I arrange in this new genus, all tail acute. Length 2 feet, from South the Sea Snakes, mentioned in Peron's America and the East Indies : many spe- Travels; they were all found on the westcies are probably blended here.
ern and southern shores of Australia or
New-Holland ; such as may have fangs in imitation of the ancient Greek and Roought to belong to the genus Natrix, and man writers, given the name of Seathose with cylindrical bodies to the genus Snakes to the large eels or fishes they Pelamis.
happened to observe; this I apprehend 1. Sp. Ophinectes cinereus, Raf. Cine- is the case with Pontopidan in his Natural revus Ophinectes. Entirely gray or ash History of Norway, with Mongitore in colour.
"his remarkable objects of Sicily, with Le2. Sp. Ophinectes viridis, Raf. Green guat in his travels to Rodriguez-Island, Ophinectes. Entirely green.
&c. Their observations, and the facts 3. Sp. Ophinectes luteus, Raf. Yellow they record, are notwithstanding equally 0. Entirely yellow.
valuable, since they relate to monstrous 4. Sp. Ophinectes cerulescens, Raf. unknown fishes, which seldom fall under Bluish O. Entirely of a bluish colour, the observation of men. The individuals
5. Sp. Ophinectes versicolor, Raf. Ver- of huge species are not numerous in nasicolor 0. Varied with many transverse ture, either on land and in water, and it is gones, blue, white, red, green, and black. probable they often become extinct for Many species are probably meant here. want of food or reproduction.
6. Sp. Ophinectes maculatus, Raf. Spot- Among the four different animals which ted 0. Covered with many irregular large have lately been observed by Americans, spots. Many species.
and named Sea-Serpents, only one (the 7. Sp. Ophinectes punctatus, Raf. Dot- Massachusetts Serpent) appears to be ted 0. Covered with numberless small such: another is evidently a fish, and two dots.-Many species.
are doubtful. I shall offer a few remarks 8. Sp. Ophinectes crythrocephalus, Raf. on each. Red-head O. Head of a beautiful red, 1. The Massachusetts Sea Serpent. body
From the various and contradictory ac9. Sp. Ophinectus dorsalis, Raf. Backed counts given of this monster by witnesses, O. Dark green with large spots of yel- the following description may be collecttow and light green on the back.-Length ed—It is about 100 feet long, the body is 3 or 4 feet; near Dewitt's land.
round and nearly two feet in diameter, of · 10. Sp. Ophinectes major, Raf. Large a dark brown, and covered with long Ophinectes. Green spotted with red and scales in transverse rows; its head isscaly, brown.-Length from 8 to 10 feet; also brown mixed with white, of the size of a from the shores of Dewitt's land.
horse's and nearly the shape of a dog's; This last species appears to be the the mouth is large, with teeth like a shark; largest real sea-snake, which has fallen its tail is compressed, obtuse, and shaped under the personal observation of natural- like an oar. This animal came in August ists as yet. But larger species still have last into the bay of Massachusetts, in purbeen noticed at different periods. If I had suit of shoals of fishes, herrings, squids, the time and opportunity of perusing all &c. on which it feeds. Its motions are the accounts of travellers and historians, very quick; it was seen by great many, I could probably bring many into notice; but all attempts to catch it have failed, but this tedious labour must be postponed, although $5000 has been offered for its and I must warn those that may be in- spoils. It is evidently a real Sea-Spake, clined to inquire into the subject, not to belonging probably to the genus Pelamis, be deceived by the imperfect and exagge- and I propose to call it Pelamis megophias, rated accounts of ancient or unknown which means great sea-snake Pelamis. It writers. Whenever they neither mention might however be a peculiar genus, which the scales nor tail of their Sea Serpents, the long equal scales seem to indicate, and or when they assert they had no scales, which a closer examination might have or had gills or fins, you must in all those decided : in that case the name of Megoinstances be certain that they are real phias monstruosus might have been apfishes rather than Serpents. There might propriated to it. however be found some Sea Snakes with- 2. Capt. Brown's Sea Serpent. This out scales, since there are such land snakes, fish was observed by capt. Brown in a and there are fishes with scales and yet voyage from America to St. Petersburg, without fins ; but there are no fishes with. in July, 1816, near 60 N. latitude and 8 out gills, and no snakes or serpents with W. longitude, or north of Ireland. In gills ! in that important character the clas- swimming, the head, neck, and fore part sical distinction consists.
of the body stood upright like a mast; it Nearly all the writers which I can re- was surrounded by porpoises and fishes. member, have been unacquainted with It was smooth without scales, and had "tkat obvious distinction; and they have 8 gills under the neck, which decidedly evinces that it is not a Snake, but a new 2. It appears thatanother large species of genus of fish! belonging to the eighth or. Water-Snake is noticed by D. Felix Azader Tremapnea, 28th family Ophictia, and ra, in his travels in South America, (Paris, third sub-family Catremia, along with the 1809. 4 vol. 8vo.) under the name of genera Sphagebranchus and Synbranchus Curiyre, which may belong to the genus of Bloch, which differ by having only one Pelamis, although this worthy traveller or two round gills under the neck. I has omitted to describe its tail and scales. shall call this new genus Octipos (mean- It may be called and characterized as foling 8 gills beneath), whose characters will lows: be--body round, without scales, (or Pelamis curis. (Curiyu. Azara trav. fins,) head depressed, mouth transverse, Vol. I. p. 226.) Spotted and variegated, large, 8 transverse gills under the neck.- of black and yellowish white. And its specific name and definition will It measures over 10 feet, and is ofthe size be Octipos bicolor. Dark brown above, of the leg; it lives in the lakes and rivers muddy white beneath, head obtuse.-- of Paraguay, north of the 31st degree of Capt. B. adds, that the head was two feet latitude. It goes sometimes on land (and łong, the mouth 15 inches, and the eyes shrubs), but moves heavily thereon; it over the jaws similar to the horse'sihe has a dreadful aspect, but does not bite; whole length might be 50 feet.
itlives on fishes, young otters, apereas and 3. The Scarlet Sea-Serpent. This was copibaras. observed in the Atlantic ocean by the cap- 3. The Water-Snake of Lake Erie has tain and crew of an American vessel, from been seen again, and described to be of a New-York, while reposing and coiled up, copper colour, with bright eyes, and sixty near the surface of the water, in the sum- feet long. It is added, that at a short dismer of 1816. It is very likely that it was tance balls had no effect on him ; but it is a fish, and perhaps might belong to the omitted to mention whether it was owing same genus with the foregoing; I shall to having hard scales, (in which case it refer it thereto, with doubt, and name it might be a real snake of the genus EnhyOctipos ? Coccineus.--Entirely of a bright dris or Pelamis) or to the indexterity of crimson, head acute. Nothing further the marksman. descriptive was added in the Gazettes 4. Mr. W. Lee has brought to notice where the account was given, except that another Sea-Snake, seen by him many Its length was supposed to be about 40 years ago, near Cape Breton and Newfeet
foundland, which was over 200 feet long, 4. Lake Erie Serpent. It appears that with the back of a dark green; it stood on our large lakes have huge serpents or fish- the water in flexuous hillocks, and went es, as well as the sea. On the 30 July, through it with impetuous noise. This 1817, one was seen in lake Erie, 3 miles appears to be the largest on record, and from land, by the crew of a schooner, might well be called Pelamis monstruosus; which was 35 or 40 feet long, and one foot but if there are other species of equal size. in diameter; its colour was a dark ma- it must be called then Pelamis chloronotis, hogany, nearly black. This account is or green-back Pelamis. very imperfect, and does not even notice5. Dr. Samuel Mitchill has exhibited if it had scales; therefore, it must remain to the Lyceum of Natural History, at the doubtful whether it was a snake or a fish. sitting of the 15th September, the speciI am inclined to believe it was a fish, un- men of a species of Sea-Snake from his til otherwise convinced; it might be a gi- museum, sent him some years ago from gantic species of eel, or a species of the Guadaloupe, by Mr. Ricord de Mariana, above genus Octipos. Until seen again, which appears to be another new species, and better described, it may be recorded belonging to the genus Enhydris, to which under the name of Anguilla gigas, or gi- the name of Enhydris annularis may be gantic eel. ,
given: we shall add its definition and de· ADDITIONS.
scription. , 1. The Pelamis megophias,or Great Sea- Enhydris annularis. Ringed Enhydris Snake, appears to have left the shores of --whitish, ringed with black, rings broadMassachusetts, and to have baffled the at er on the back, which is cinereous and ratempts to catch it, probably because those ther angular in the middle ; tail broad, attempts were conducted with very little short,obtuse,with 70 pairs of scales underjudgment. But a smaller snake, or fish, neath, more than 200 pairs of abdominal 9 feet long, and a strange shark have been scales. taken, of which the papers give no de- This animal is about 18 inches long, coscription; let us hope that they will be vered with smooth and roundish scales described by thd naturalism of Boston, ahove, the head is depressed, obtuse, small