W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso

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Naultinus Pentagonalis,493 Col.

This species is distinguished from its two nearly allied and described species (N. elegans, and N. punctatus), by its larger size, longer toes, form of scales, number of inter-nasal shields, etc.

Front of head, flat, somewhat depressed; eyes, large, broadly orbicular, very prominent in the upper region; the fine scales of the infra-orbital fold, or ring, protruding causes a ciliated appearance; aural apertures, large, elliptic; a strongly-marked median line, or groove, runs from the base of skull nearly to the end of tail; a large protuberance, or hemispherical swelling, immediately behind the vent.

Scales on body and legs most regular and pentagonal; those on lower part of head, towards the snout, and between chin and throat, and behind vent on the swelling, are much larger than those of the body; at base of tail, on each side of its junction with the thighs, and near the vent, are seven large transverse conical-pointed scales, in two rows, 3/4, those of the [263] upper row the largest, and one on one side bifid; (the two young ones are also each showing a row of three transverse conical scales at base of tail); a large semi-circular patch of pre-anal pores, continuous, in three rows of scales, on both sides, in a long line (3/4 inch), under thighs; scales on tail imbricated, particularly towards the tip, where they are also smaller and slightly elongated; three inter-nasal scales; labial scales large, 8/10, gradually decreasing in size, that on the snout largest and emarginate, that on chin same size.

Toes, long, narrow, fine, those of hind-legs nearly twice as long as those of the fore-legs, last three the longest, and about equal in length (5–6 lines), while the fourth toe is the longest of the fore-leg; toes with large transverse scales, but the middle (palm) of foot has granular-like scales.

General colour,—adult: bright emerald green, with large oblong irregular-shaped spots or splashes of dull white, diminishing in size in two broken but parallel lines running from head to tail, one on each side of the back bone; tip of tail, pink; belly, yellowish-green; labial scales on both lips, light green of one hue; mouth, throat, and tongue (of both old and young), dark plum colour between purple and port; feet, tawny-white, or light cinnamon colour below. The young ones are marked each with about ten pairs of pure white irregularly-shaped spots, and nearly opposite, in two parallel lines running from head to tail, half of their number being on the body; one has a semi-circular white streak, 3½ lines long on both sides of its head over the posterior angle of the eye and ear; and one has two additional longitudinal rows, one on each side, of minute whitish spots; labial scales of under-lip, white; belly, light pea-green.

Length of adult, 7 inches 2 lines, of which the tail is nearly 3.6; of the young ones (one year old), 4 inches. The young, when first seen, were a little over one inch in length.


Having obtained a few additional items of interest concerning those lizards since this paper was read, I give them here.

Those lizards commenced hybernating early in July. Possibly they would sooner have done so, but I had kept them in my sitting-room, where there was a daily fire; when, finding they did not care for food (flies), and remained still, I put them away in a dark back room, placing some soft hay in their house. They remained there until the 1st of October, when I brought them back—apparently thinner for their long fast, but healthy; the two young ones had also grown in length. They soon began to catch and eat flies as before. From the very small amount of fæcal deposit found in their cage, I could not but think that the hole in which the original four were found must have been an old and often-used haunt. [264]

On ths 16th November, the young one, No. 2, cast its skin, much broken. (This one only shed its skin twice during the last summer.) On two occasions since, I have seen it have a kind of convulsion fit—once in its cage, and once on my hand—during which its writhings were strange, as if its little legs were disjointed; its head was thrown back and its mouth stretched wide open, showing its capacious throat; it also uttered two faint cries during the fit, and once tried to bite!—but such a little easy nip, scarcely perceptible.

The adult one also, while I was handling (examining) it, bit me—in its fashion!—and twice uttered a cry because it could not get away. Their cry was a grave sound, a little low croak, something like an attempt on our part at uttering the letter a (broad) with the mouth open.

I have since fully proved the strong prehensile power of their tails; they can hold on by them to a cord, or small branch, or to my finger, and thus suspend themselves for some time.

An acquaintance here looking at them observed, that he once saw two green lizards (Naultinus sp.) together near Auckland; in endeavouring to capture them, one got away among the fern, and the other was unfortunately killed. He, however, noticing that its abdomen was very large opened it, and found two small living lizards within. This statement strengthens me in my supposition that this lizard is viviparous.

The adult lizard is now casting its skin in the usual manner (November 26th).


1879 A Description of a few new Plants from our New Zealand Forests, with dried Specimens of the same. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 12: 359-367.

[Read before the Hawke’s Bay Philosophical Institute, 13th October, 1879.]

During the last few years I have again turned my attention in spare time to the elucidating a little more of the still unknown botany of our adopted country; being as strong a believer as ever in the great peculiarities and narrow areas of not a few plants of our local Floras. And, from among several plants which I have detected, which have pleased me, I now bring you the following—all, I believe, being new species and hitherto undescribed, if not totally unknown to science. Some of them, I think, will interest you, particularly the Clematis, one of the two species of Metrosideros, and the three ferns. But, alas! between the most carefully prepared dried specimens and living plants—in all their glory and beauty—there is “a great gulph” of difference:—

Clematis parkinsoniana.494

A diffuse slender climber; branches striated.

Leaves 3-foliolate, submembranaceous, various in size and outline, mostly (1) ovate acute, mucronate, entire, 1½ inches long, 7–8 lines broad, (2) sometimes deeply serrated and incised, having 1–4 incisions near apex, (3) sometimes cordate acuminate, 2 inches long, with 6–8 very large and irregular serratures or incisions, and (4) sometimes (rarely) broadly elliptic, almost orbicular, entire, and very obtuse; obscurely trinerved, nerves red; both surfaces well covered with adpressed golden-yellow shining hairs; veins numerous, yellow-red and semi-translucent, very finely reticulated—compound anastomosing having free veinlets terminating in areoles, as obtains in some ferns—(e.g., Polypodium membranaceum and our own P. billardieri); common petiole 3 inches long, petiolules 8–10 lines long; young branches, petioles, peduncles, and pedicels densely villous with yellowish-brown spreading woolly hairs. Flowers numerous, diameter 9–10 lines, disposed in long loose axillary panicles 4 inches long; sepals (male), six, yellow (brass colour), oblong-lanceolate, very obtuse or retuse, 4 lines long, obscurely 3–5 nerved, nerves branching, very woolly on the outside, the silky wool extending far beyond margins and apex, giving a subciliated appearance; anthers elliptic, obtuse, pinkish; filaments linear lanceolate, of various lengths, but much shorter than sepals, not very numerous, under thirty, often remaining after the sepals have fallen. Peduncles opposite, springing from main rhachis, 1–2 inches long, and about 1 inch apart, generally trichotomously bearing three flowers on pedicels 5–8 lines long, the central pedicel always the longest; peduncles and pedicels each having a pair of oblong obtuse connate bracts at their bases, those of the pedicels being the longest, thinnest, and simply veined. [360]

A species having affinity with C. parviflora, A. Cunn., though very distinct.

Hab.—On the banks of the River Mangatawhainui (head of the River Manawatu), “Forty-mile bush,” 1878, and again, 1879; where it forms dense bushes with Rubus cissoides, climbing tolerably high, 14–16 feet, and presenting a glorious mass of yellow blossoms. Its flowers, however, are very fugacious, so much so that it is difficult to obtain good specimens, the mere gathering causing them to fall; hermaphrodite flowers, though carefully sought, were not seen.

I have very great pleasure in naming this graceful plant after our earliest botanical draughtsman, Sydney Parkinson, who accompanied Sir Joseph Banks and Captain Cook on their first voyage of discovery to New Zealand. Manibus Parkinsonibus sacrum.495

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