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Recent Acquisitions at the British Museum

Nature volume 134, page 175 (04 August 1934) | Download Citation



THE Department of Zoology has received as a donation from the Rowland Ward Trustees a crab-eating opossum (Didelphys cancrivorus) and a rat-tailed opossum (Metachirus nudicaudatus). A rare tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus ursinus) from New Guinea is the gift of Sir Frank Colyer. The Study Collection has been enriched through the gift from Col. J. Hamilton Leigh of a collection of fifty mammals, mostly from Scotland. The most important specimens in this collection are a series of Scottish wild cats. The Department of Entomology has received as a gift from Dr. G. Arnold, Director of the Rhodesian Museum, the very valuable collection of ants which formed the basis of his “Monograph of the Formicidse of South Africa” published in the Annals of the South African Museum (766 pp., 9 plates, 1915-1924). The collection contains upwards of 7,000 specimens, comprising examples of 653 species many of which have hitherto been unrepresented in the Museum. In the economic life of most tropical countries ants are an important factor, principally in the control of other insects, especially the so-called white ants. In this connexion, Dr. Arnold states that the food of one large group of ants consists of 80 per cent at least of these very serious pests. The Department of Botany has purchased sixty-four bundles of plants from the Saffron Walden Museum. There are about 3,500 foreign specimens many of which were purchased by W. Gibson at A. B. Lambert's sale. The most important of these are about 150 plants collected by the Rev. E. D. Clarke on his travels in the Crimea, Greece, Troy and elsewhere. It is probable that additional historical material will be recognised, as the collection is worked through.

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