Page:Ibis - Series 3 - Volume 3.djvu/36

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A. von Pelzeln on Birds in

The type of this species, which we believe still remains unique, is now in Elliot's collection; and though evidently allied (from its straight bill) to P. bourcieri, is eminently distinct from that species in coloration. We may remark that, although Mr. Gould expresses a doubt from what part of America this bird was procured, M. Bourcier, in his original description, without hesitation assigns Bolivia as its habitat.

Bolivia: (Bourcier) Mus. D. G. E. (type of species).

II.—On the Birds in the Imperial Collection at Vienna obtained from the Leverian Museum. By A. von Pelzeln.

(Plate I.)

IT was in the year 1806 that the celebrated museum formerly in possession of Sir Ashton Lever and then of Mr. T. Parkinson, was sold by auction in London. Rich as this collection was, its value was further increased by the circumstance that the types of a number of species described by various authors were therein included. The reigning Emperor of Austria, Francis I., resolved, on the report of Director von Schreibers, that some of the treasures of this collection should be acquired for the Imperial Museum at Vienna ; and the well-known naturalist Leopold von Fichtel, being about to proceed to England, was commissioned with the negotiation of the purchase. In fulfilling his mission Herr von Fichtel bought at the auction no less than 82 mammals, more than 200 birds, 60 reptiles, 73 fishes, and other objects of various classes of the animal kingdom[1]. Among the birds there were included a considerable number of types, especially of species described or figured by Latham in his ' General Synopsis of Birds' and 'Index Ornithologicus' by White in the ' Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales' and by Shaw in the ' Museum Leverianum'[2].

Believing that it is of importance to science that the exis-

  1. See Fitzinger, "Geschichte des k.-k. Hof-Naturalien-Cabinetes zu Wien, ii. Abth.," in Sitzungsb. d. k. Akad. d. Wissensch. lvii. (1868) p. 1040.
  2. Musei Leveriani explicatio anglica et latina, 1792-1796. Published by James Parkinson, proprietor of the above museum. I regret that the Supplement ii. of Latham's 'General Synopsis' is not in our library, and that therefore, respecting the species described therein for the first time, I am only able to compare the short descriptions in the 'Index Ornithologicus' and the quotations in Shaw's 'General Zoology.' Under these circumstances it is not always possible to say whether specimens in our collection were Latham's types or not.