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not recommence until the Himalayas are reached; the fishes of that immense area, from Asia Minor over the whole of Central Asia to the coasts of China, being unknown.* What we know of the fishes of the Holy Land is soon told. In the year 1751, Dr. Frederic Hasselquist, a pupil of Linnæus, visited Palestine solely with the object of advancing the science to which he had devoted himself under the guidance of his master. Unfortunately, he was in bad health, and succumbed to the fatigues and cares of the journey before its termination. His manuscripts were recovered and edited by Linnæus; and we find three species described therein. After this, several examples of Cyprinoids, the first which reached Europe, were deposited in the Paris Museum, and described by Valenciennes; and finally, it must be mentioned that an Austrian ichthyologist, Heckel, described several species, not from the Holy Land proper, but from Syria, which species, however, were afterwards rediscovered in Palestine.

The first collection of Holy Land fishes brought to this country was made by Th. W. Beddome, Esq., who visited Palestine in 1862, and fell a victim to a malignant fever during his homeward journey. Small as it was, it contained a Loach and a Barbel, hitherto unknown, and a Blenny, a fish which we would not have expected to find in freshwater so distant and unconnected with the sea as the Lake of Galilee ;t these contents being of sufficient interest to make one long for a more intimate acquaintance with this fauna. And we had not long to wait. In the year 1863, the Rev. H. B. Tristram organized an expedition into the Holy Land, of which he has since given so graphic an account in his work, “ The Land of Israel.” One of the principal objects of this undertaking was the exploration of the natural history of the country; and the collection of fishes brought home by him, and examined and described by the writer of these lines, contained, in numerous well-preserved examples, fifteen distinct species, three of which were previously entirely unknown, whilst eight others were added to the fauna of Palestine.

Mr. Tristram in his work mentioned above, has several times occasion to allude to the immense number of fish found in the Jordan and its affluents. Speaking of the Sea of Galilee, he says, p. 426, “The shoals were marvellous—black masses of many hun

* I am well aware of the valuable, yet fragmentary, contributions of A. Russell Griffith, Count Keyserling, and Heckel.

+ The occurrence of a blenny in the Lake of Galilee is a fact not quite beyond doubt, Mr. Beddome's specimen was certainly in the same bottle with specimens from the Lake of Galilee, but Mr. Tristram, who also found this fish, stated that his specimens were collected in the Nahr el Kelb, a river running into the Mediterranean.

dred yards long, with the back fins projecting out of the water as thickly as they could pack.” Casting nets appear to be the most common means in use; a second way of fishing is described thus : “An old Arab sat on a low cliff, and threw poisoned crumbs of bread as far as he could reach, which the fish seized, and, turning over dead, were washed ashore, and collected for the market.Where the travellers were not provided with fishing tackle, a crooked pin proved as fatal an instrument, as the best Limerick hook. In the briny water of the Dead Sea no fish lives, and it is only at the entrance of the Jordan, and of rivulets, where the water is more diluted, that fishes are found within its basin. Numbers of fish lose their way into the water of the sea, where they die, and numbers of them are constantly washed ashore and picked up by birds.

The following is a complete list of the fishes at present known to occur in Palestine :

1. Blennius lupulus (Blenny). Lake of Galilee, Nahr el Kelb. 2. Chromis nilotica 3. Chromis simonis (Chromis). Lake of Galilee. 4. Chromis andree 5. Hemichromis sacra.

Lake of Galilee. 6. Clarias macracanthus. Lake of Galilee. 7. Cyprinodon dispar. Brine-spring, temp. 91°, near Usdom,

Dead Sea. 8. Cyprinodon cypris. Jordan. 9. Cyprinodon sophiæ. Ain Feshkhah (Dead Sea). 10. Discognathus lamta (Sucking Barbel). Ramoth Gilead. 11. Capoëta damascina. All over the country. 12. Barbus longiceps (Long-snouted Barbel). Lake of Galilee. 13. Barbus canis (Large-scaled Barbel). Jordan. 14. Barbus beddomü (Beddome's Barbel). Lake of Galilee. 15. Acanthrobrama sp. (Spinous Bream.) 16. Nemachilus galilæus Loach {

Lake of Galilee, Dead Sea, 17. Nemachilus insignis

Jacob's well. 18. Anguilla fluviatilis (Eel). Nahr el Kelb.

I do not intend to give here a full technical description of each species ; but the following notes will be useful to the traveller who may be desirous of identifying the species which he meets; and I shall also take this opportunity of making some remarks on the geographical distribution of these fishes, and on the affinity of the Palestine fish-fauna generally.

The EEL.—The examples collected by Mr. Tristram, were from

the Nahr el Kelb, and, hitherto, no specimens have been brought to Europe from the Jordan ; but as the European Anguilla fluviatilis is found also in North Africa, and extends eastwards to China and Japan, we may assume that it will prove to be an inhabitant of all the waters of the Holy Land suited to its habits. The examples mentioned belong to the sharp-snouted variety, much resembling the Eel from the Nile, which also generally has the snout much pointed. Some naturalists have regarded the form of the snout as indicative of specific difference, naming the specimens with a pointed snout Anguilla acutirostris, Anguilla nilotica, etc; but I have convinced myself from an examination of a great number of examples, that the form of the snout varies in the common Eel. A second species does exist in Great Britain, and other parts of Europe and Asia; it is commonly called the broad-nosed Eel (A. latirostris); however, not the broad snout is its distinctive character (which it has in common with numerous examples of the common Eel), but the backward position of the dorsal fin. There is no evidence of the existence of this species in Palestine, although it is not improbable that it will be found in some of the rivers running to the Mediterranean.

Loach.—Two other fishes, which the European traveller will recognize as forms familiar to him, are the species of Loach (Nemachilus insignis and Nemachilus galilæus). They are of about the same size as the common English Loach, more prettily coloured, and were obtained from the Sea of Galilee, and rivulets entering the Dead Sea.

BARBEL.— The Cyprinoid genus, Barbus, of which there is but a single species (B. fluviatilis), in northern and central Europe, is represented in the Jordan by three species, viz., the long-snouted Barbel (B. longiceps), the large-scaled Barbel (B. canis), and Beddome's Barbel (B. beudomii). The first is very similar to the Barbel of our rivers, having scales of the same small size, namely, fifty or sixty along the lateral series of pores, which is called the lateral line; but it has the head, and especially the snout, much more elongate. The two other species have much larger scales, about thirty in the lateral line. Moreover, Beddome's Barbel has a strong and posteriorly serrated osseous ray in front of the dorsal fin, whilst in B. canis the same ray is feeble and without any serrature. The long-snouted and large-scaled Barbels appear to be common fish in the Jordan and Lake of Galilee, attaining to about the same size and weight as the common Barbel ; but of Beddome's Barbel I have seen one example only, which is four inches long

Three other fishes of the Carp, or Cyprinoid family, are known to exist in the Holy Land, but they belong to types not found in Europe. The first, ACANTHOBRAMA, has quite the appearance of a bream, having a deep body, and a long, many-rayed fin behind the vent; but the dorsal fin is armed with an osseous spine which is not found in European Breams. As I know of the existence of this fish only from a single very small example, I suppose it to be not a common fish in Palestine.

The second, CAPOËTA, is in appearance similar to a Barbel, and has likewise the dorsal fin provided with a strong, bony ray, but


the mouth is differently formed; it is entirely at the lower side of the snout, and quite straight in a transverse line, the lower jaw having a straight, sharp edge, covered with a horny brown layer. These fishes are vegetable feeders, and probably scrape off with this spatulate jaw any vegetable growth with which the bottom of their abode is covered. They are confined to the rivers of Western Asia, and the species of the Holy Land is one of the commonest fishes all over Syria and Asia Minor, attaining to the length of a middle-sized Barbel.

The third, DISCOGNATHUS, is another barbel-like fish, with the inouth modified in a still more extraordinary manner than in Capoëta. The mouth is also at the lower side of the snout, the edges of the jaws being covered with a horny substance; but, besides, the lower lip is dilated into a broad disc, by which the fish is evidently enabled to attach itself to some object, and to remain stationary, without being carried off by the strong current of the streams which it inhabits. Like the Loaches, it lives on the bottom, which habit is also clearly indicated by the perfectly horizontal position of its pectoral fins. It rarely reaches a length of eight inches. The occurrence of this fish in Palestine is a most curious fact, as it is specifically identical with a common Indian fish, desscribed by Hamilton Buchanan in his “Fishes of the Ganges," as

Cyprinus lamta. It is found in all the mountain-streams of Assam, Nepal, Cachar, Dekkan, Malabar, Ceylon, and probably in the countries intermediate between India and Syria.

The CYPRINODONTs are very small freshwater fishes, somewhat of the appearance of a young carp, but with distinct teeth in the upper and lower jaws. The genus inhabiting Palestine, is found in what is called the Mediterranean region, viz., South Europe, North Africa, and Eastern Asia. These fishes, small as they are, are remarkable in many respects; as far as we know, most of the species are viviparous; the two sexes are externally as dissimilar as in Gallinaceous birds; one and the same species is capable of inhabiting cold, pure fresh water, brackish water, or briny pools, and hotsprings of a temperature exceeding 90°; thus one species, C. dispar, discovered in freshwater in Abyssinia, occurs also in the saline pools of the Sahara, and in brine-springs on the shores of the Dead Sea, in which no other fish can live. Three species have been discovered in Palestine, and it requires a little attention to distinguish so closely allied and diminutive forms; the principal characters are the following:

1. 0. dispar.-Dorsal fin with nine rays.
2. O. cypris.—Dorsal fin with eleven or twelve rays.

The eye is as long as the snout, and two-sevenths of the length of the head.

3. C. sophice.-Dorsal fin with eleven or twelve rays. The eye is larger than in the preceding species, being longer than the snout, and only one-third of the length of the head.

CLARIAS.—The fish which will have the strangest appearance in the eyes of the European traveller, is one belonging to the Siluroid family, and to a genus found in Africa and tropical Asia only, viz., a Clarias. Its origin is not from Western Asia, as that of Disco

rays. The


gnathus, but evidently from Africa, the species of the Lake of Galilee being perfectly identical with one found in the Nile. It is a long, scaleless, eel-like fish of black colour, with a many-rayed fin extend

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