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Record number: WCP786

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
John Gould
30 September 1859

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Amboyna [Ambon Island], [Indonesia] to John Gould [none given] on 30 September 1859.

Record created:
26 September 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


Reply to Gould's letter of June 25th; re. Semioptera wallacei G.R. Gray.

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Wallace, Alfred Russel. (1860). Notes on Semioptera wallacii, Gray, from a letter addressed to John Gould , Esq., F.R.S., by A. R. Wallace, Esq., dated Amboyna, Sept. 30, 1859. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 28: 61. [p. 61]

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[[1]]1 [p. 61]

The Semioptera wallacii frequents the lower trees of the virgin forests, and is almost constantly in motion. It flies from branch to branch, and clings to the twigs and even to the vertical smooth trunks almost as easily as a Woodpecker. It continually utters a harsh croaking cry, something between that of Paradisea apoda and the more musical cry of Cicinnurus regius. The males, at short intervals, open and flutter their wings, erect the long shoulder feathers, and expand the elegant shields on each side of the breast. Like the other Birds of Paradise, the females and young males far outnumber the fully plumaged birds, which renders it probable that the extraordinary accessory plumes are not fully developed until the second or third year. The bird seems to feed principally upon fruit, but it probably takes insects occasionally.

"The iris is of a deep olive; the bill horny-olive; the feet orange, and the claws horny.

"I have now obtained a few examples of apparently the same bird from Gilolo; but in these the crown is of a more decided violet hue, and the plumes of the breast are much larger."


1. Editor Charles H. Smiths Note: From a letter from Wallace to John Gould dated 30 September 1859, and published on page 61 of the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London for 1860.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smiths The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S055.htm

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.