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most important collections; and disposing the whole in a system, which, while it aims to retain all that was most valuable in the old, gives us, as it should, the whole light of modern (microscopical) science upon both old and new. We have only room to add here that “ Usnea lacunosa, Willd,” is a name found only in Willdenow's herbarium, and was anticipated in print by U. cavernosa, published by the present writer, in the appendix to Agassiz's tour to Lake Superior. Messrs. Westermann and Company of New York, will receive subscriptions to the synopsis, which is put at a moderate price for so handsome a book. E. T.

6. Reports of Explorations and Surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, made under the direction of the Secretary of War, in 1853–6, &c., vol. x. Washington, 1859–FISHES; by CHARLEs GIRARD, M.D. Washington, D.C., 1858. Of recent contributions to our knowledge of special Faunas, none have been of greater importance or interest than the report on the Fishes of Western North America. In this volume, Dr. Girard has incorporated almost everything known to the date of publication concerning the Ichthyology of our Pacific possessions. In the introductory remarks, (which with some variations, are duplicated) a general view is given of the Piscine Fauna of Western North America. The families which are richest in genera and species, and which are most characteristic of the Californian Fauna especially, are those of the Cataphracti, the Blennoids, the Embiotocoids, and the Pleuronectoids. Of all these families, many new genera, previously indicated in the “Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia,” are described and illustrated. The classification of the late Johannes Muller is adopted, and the orders, suborders and families of which representatives are described, are all characterized; the genus Amblodon, however, is retained in the family of Sciaenoids; this should in strict accordance with the principles of that classification, be transferred to the order of Pharyngognathi. Agassiz has demonstrated the union of the lower pharyngeal bones, the only character on which the order depends. Dr. Girard does not appear to have noticed this discovery as he has not adverted to it in the generic diagnosis of Amblodon. -Of the family of Percoids, representatives of only one genus are yet known as inhabitants of the Pacific coast. This genus has been described as new under the name of Paralabraz, and includes two species, both of which had been first referred to Labraa in the Proceedings of the Academy. It is here placed in the vicinity of Serranus. Many fresh water Percoids are described, belonging to the genera Dioplites Raf, Pomoris Raf, Ambloplites Raf, Calliurus Raf, Bryttus Val, Pomotis Raf, Labraz Cuv., and Stizostedion Raf. The species described have been collected in many distant places west of the Mississippi river, but one species (Ambloplites interruptus) having been obtained in California. The name of Dioplites has been substituted for Grystes of Cuvier. It would by many have been deemed more proper to have applied Rafinesque's generic name of Lepomis. Rafinesque in his “Ichthyologia Ohiensis” has characterized the genus Lepomis and divided it into two subgenera, Aplites and Dioplites, giving at the same time, to each of the species,the generic name of Lepomis—Aplites and Dioplites having been separated in consequence of an error of observation, and not differing from each other, cannot be retained—Lepomis must be therefore used, as it should have been for one of the genera or subgenera, if both had been established on true principles. Dioplites is restricted by Dr. Girard to the species without teeth on the tongue. The Cuvieran section of “Percoids a Joues cuuirassés” is retained as a “tribe” under the name of Cataphracti, and is divided into three families, Heterolepidae, Cottidae, Scorpaenidae. Perhaps the families so indicated are valid, but the characters given to them are vague and will require revision after a comparative study of the foreign genera. The family called Heterolepidae had been previously named by Swain. son Chiridae, and that name should have been retained, as well on account of its priority, as its consonance with the terminology of the other families. In the family of Cottoids, the species are distributed into ten genera, all of which appear to be founded on good characters, but the names of some of which are objectionable. - Among the Salmonoids, the three genera of Valenciennes, Salmo, Fario and Salar are accepted, but we notice that Dr. Girard has named all the new species he describes as belonging to those genera, Salmo– “Gral. MSS.” in the synonymical lists of the species. In the family of Clupeoids, the modifications of Valenciennes have not been adopted, and the genus Hyodon is interposed between Meletta Wal. and Engraulis. The genus Anarrhichthys of Ayres is adopted; its only species is called Anarrhichthys felis Girard. To this name we desire to draw the attention of our readers, as an important question of nomenclature is involved. In the “Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia” for 1854, Dr. Girard mentions a fish which he calls Anarrhicas felis, and observes that two large specimens were received in such a precarious state of preservation that there was no probability of keeping them, and that having mislaid the notes, no diagnosis could be given. Subsequently, Mr. Ayres, in the Proceedings of the Californian Academy, gave a full description of a species which he referred to a new genus and called Anarrhichthys ocellatus, which was chiefly distinguished from Anarrhicas by its anguilliform body, and the union of the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. This is the species that Dr. Girard has claimed as his own Anarrhicas felis. To this reference we would remark that as Anarrhicas has by all modern naturalists, been restricted to such species as had the dorsal and anal fins separated from the caudal, we would infer that any species placed without comment in the genus would have those characters. Dr. Girard's name of Anarrhicas felis was not only without any description whatever and therefore not established, but a statement by implication was made that the species possessed the stout body and fins of Anarrhicas, and was consequently in direct opposition to the characters of Anarrhichthys ocellatus. Such being the case, Dr. Girard's name cannot be adopted, and that of Ayres must be retained.

The family of Golidae is limited to the species with the ventral fins united in the manner of a funnel and thus excludes the Eleotroids as well as the Cyclopteroids. The latter are very properly regarded as distinct, but the propriety of excluding the former from the Gobioids is more doubtful. The genus Gobius is limited to the species with cycloid scales. The name cannot be retained for such species, as the genus had by several naturalists been previously restricted to species with pectinated scales. Mr. Gill has framed for the two species thus referred to Gobius, a genus which he has called Lepidogobius. We find that in the family of Cyclopteroids, the Gronovian name of Cyclogaster is substituted for the Artedian name of Liparis. Liparis has been almost universally accepted by naturalists, and being the prior name, should be adopted. No description is given by Artedi of the generic or specific characters of Liparis, but the references he has given are full and ample, enabling us without doubt to ascertain what is meant. In the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Dr. Girard has described a genus under the name of Homalopomus which he has referred to the Trachinoids. This is now referred to the Gadoids, and a doubt is even expressed whether it is distinct from Merlangus or Merlucius. It does not appear to differ from the latter genus. The cause of the former erroneous reference is attributed to the broken tips of the rays of the specimen on which the species was founded. The family of Embiotocoids is rich in generic forms, nine being described and illustrated, and references being made to the descriptions by Dr. Gibbons of five others which Dr. Girard was unable to identify with his. Some of the species described as new by Dr. Girard will probably be found to have been previously indicated by Gibbons. In the remarks on the family, no mention is made of the presence of the two rows of lamellae which are present on each of the branchial arches, and which was especially noticed by Prof. Agassiz. This character has been regarded as having considerable importance by many ichthyologists and being one of the best distinctive ones of the family, the fourth branchial arch of the Labroids having but one row of lamellae. Dr. Girard claims “that the real knowledge of the remarkable peculiarities concerning some of their habits was obtained in the spring of 1852, by Dr. Thomas H. Webb, while attached to the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission.” The genera described and illustrated are Embiotoca Ag, with seven species, Damalichthys Girard, Phanerodon Grd, Abeona Grd, Rhacochilus Ag., Hysterocarpus Gibbon, Holconotus Ag., each with one species, Ennichthys Grd., and Amphistichus Ag., each with two species. These genera are chiefly characterized by the comparative size of the head; the character of the lips, and the attachment or non-attachment of the lower one by a fraenum to the jaw, the comparative protractility of the premaxillaries; the number of rows of teeth on the jaws, and the outline of the dorsal fin. Dr. Girard has given some information on the embryology of the Embiotocoids, which will prove of general interest. He denies the presence of any resemblance between their gestation and that of the marsupial mammals. Want of space forbids us to make extracts from the recorded observations, and we must remain satisfied with referring to the text and plates of the report. Of the Cyprinoids, numerous genera and species are described from almost every portion of the west. The family is divided into the tribes of 1. Cyprini with teeth of the molar kind, of the grinding type, 2. Catastomi, with pectiniform teeth; 3. Chondrostomi, in American species of which there are no barbels, and the teeth are of “the grinding type and cultriform kind;” 4. Pognichthyi, in which barbels are present, the snout is prominent, and the pharyngeal teeth are more or less hooked; and 5. Alburni, which differ from the Pogonichthyi by the absence of barbels. The author has devoted much time and research to these groups, and all of the genera may be good, but some of them appear to be distinguished on quite slight grounds, and many of the species are small and perhaps the young of others. But on this question we will not venture to disagree with Dr. Girard. Most of the new genera have received Indian names, and although not cacophonous, some of those names appear strange to ears that have been mostly accustomed to Latin and Greek derivatives. In Dionda, a genus of Cyprinoids, Dr. Girard has named two species collected by Capt. John Pope, Dionda episcopa and D. Papalis. The genus “Argyreus Heckel” is synonymous with Rhinichthys of Agassiz. It is not probable that Dr. Girard will be sustained by Ichthyologists in this application of Heckel's name. An extract from the remarks of the learned Doctor himself on the nomenclature of the genus will show the history of the name Argyreus. “Heckel includes in this genus two species which are generically disdistinct Cyprinus atronasus Mitch., and Cypr. rubripinnus Mus. Par. MS. But Cyprinus rubripinnis is identical with Leuciscus cornutus; and since Leuciscus cornutus is to enter the genus Plargyrus of Rafinesque, Cyprinus atronasus remains as the type of the genus Argyreus which again is identical with Rhinichthys. It must be recollected, however, that the teeth figured by Heckel under the name of Argyreus rubripinnis are those of Plargyrus cornutus.” The diagnosis and illustration of Argyreus having been by Heckel founded on “Cyprinus rubripinnis” and not answering to C. atronasus,” the former species in the type of the genus, and if Rafinesque's name Plargyrus is adopted, Heckel's name must be treated as a synonyme. Heckel would scarcely have referred a species of Rhinichthys to the same genus as C. rubripinnis if he had known the pharyngeal teeth, and he could only have done so from an ignorance of the species. Because a species on which a genus is established belongs to a previously named genus, it by no means follows that the generic name has to be used for another species of the genus, when it proves to be distinct from the type. If the above views are correct, Rhinichthys will have to be retained for the genus called by Girard Argyreus, and the two species described by him in his report must be called Rhinichthys dulcis and R. nubilus, The Lepidostei have been separated apparently on good grounds into three groups distinguished by the comparative length and breadth of the

snout, and the presence of one or two rows of teeth in the upper jaw. For two of these groups, Rafinesque's names of Cylindrosteus and Atractosteus have been adopted, although to Dr. Girard, the credit of first giving them valid characters is due. * In the Plagiostomes, we have some interesting additions. A second species of Triakis (T. semifasciatus Grd.) is described. Probably this is the species noticed as Triakis californica in the list of Chondropterygii of the British Museum, but as this name is unaccompanied by a description, Girard's name must of course be retained. A new species of Heterodontus is described which is called Cestracion francisci Grd. But the name JHeterodontus of Blainville must be retained for the Cuvieran Cestraciontes, and the species must be consequently called Heterodontus francisci. The Motorhynchus maculatus of Ayres is referred to the genus Heptanchus, Raf. Among the Rays, a second species of Muller and Henle’s genus Uraptera is made known. Among the Cyclostomi we perceive that Dr. Girard has not only retained the genus Ammocoetes, but he has even separated from it a new genus which he has called Scolecosoma. The researches of A. Muller have demonstrated that the Ammocoetes are only the young of Petromizontoids, and there is no reason to doubt his accuracy. Dr. Girard must have been acquainted with these researches, and it would therefore have been more advisable not to have added to the number of names, until it was certain, as may possibly be the case, that there are fishes of the Ammocoetoid type which are adult. We have now concluded, and although we think that there is cause to dissent from the author in many cases, we most cheerfully bear witness to to the general ability with which the work has been performed, and to the very great advance in our knowledge of the Fauna of our Pacific possessions. To the Smithsonian Institution, we are indebted for the accumulation of the materials which have been used in the elaboration of the report. Although published by the liberality of the General Government, it is one of the valuable “contributions to knowledge” which we owe to the fostering care of that Institution. T. G.

IV. ASTRONOMY AND METEOROLOGY.

Solar Eclipse of July 18, 1860.-From the numerous accounts which have reached us of the observations made upon this Eclipse we place the following before our readers.”

1. Wotice of the Astronomical Eapedition to Cape Chudleigh (or Chidley), Labrador, (in a letter to one of the Editors),-Dear Sir:-The American Astronomical Expedition despatched to the coast of Labrador for the purpose of observing the total solar eclipse of July 17th, (astr. time), 1860, sailed from the Navy Yard at Brooklyn on the morning of the 28th of June last. The expedition had been organized by the accomplished and energetic Superintendent of the U. S. Coast Survey, under

* For LeVerrier's account of the French Expedition, see Postscript, p. 309. AM, JOUR. SCI., SECOND SERIES, Vol. XXX, No. 89.-SEPT., 1860,

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