RECORD: Martin, W. 1837. [Observations on a Specimen of Dasypus hybridus, Desm., from Mr. Darwin's Collection]. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 5: 13-14.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned by John van Wyhe, transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 6.2008. RN1

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[page] 13

Mr. Martin called the attention of the meeting to a specimen of the Dasypus hybridus, in the collection presented to the Society by C. Darwin, Esq. This animal, the tatou mulet of Azara, has been characterised it all systematic works, as closely related to Dasypus Peba, and as having large ears; whereas the ears are much smaller than in D. Peba, and but little larger than those of D. minutus. In reference to this species, which he at first was unable satisfactorily to identify, he observed that the vague end unsatisfactory account given in systematic works would, he conceived, justify him in laying before the meeting a more complete and definite description of the animal than he had been able to meet with, the want of which he had himself experienced, which he thus ventured to supply.

In Dasypus hybridus the contour of the body is short and stout, the limbs are robust, and the muzzle is shorter in proportion than in D. Peba. The admeasurements of the specimen in question are as follows:

inch. lin.
Length from the tip of the nose over the back to the root of the tail ……… 13 3
—— from the top of the frontal plate to the end of the nose ……… 3 0
—— from the anterior angle of eye to end of nose ……… 1 7
—— from the same to base of ear ….. 1 5
—— of ears ……………… 0 10
Extent of shoulder plate, from back of neck to its posterior edge ……… 2 10

[page] 14

inch. lin.
Haunch plate, from its anterior to its terior margin above the tail. … 2 10
Length of tail ……………… 6 9
Circumference of its basal ring, from which it rapidly tapers to a slender point 4 0
Number of dorsal bands 7.

In a small specimen of D. Peba, measuring from nose to root of tail 1 foot 2½ inches, the ears measure 1¼ inch in length; and in a somewhat larger specimen (from nose to root of tail, 1 foot 3 inches) 1 3/8th inch.

In the smaller specimen of D. Peba the extent of the shoulder plate is 2 3/4 inches,—of the haunch plate 4 inches.

The length of the head 3½ inches, and the distance from the anterior angle of the eye to the end of the nose, 2 1/8 inches.

Tail imperfect, but much longer than in D. hybridus.

Between D. hybridus and D. Peba, independently of the differences in the proportion of the ears and length of snout, the characters exhibited by the scutellæ of the plates are very distinct. In D. hybridus the scutellæ of the helmet are of moderate size, those in the centre of the upper part being elongated, and many sub-triangular, the rest occupying the space between the eyes and downwards are of an irregular figure, some nearly square, others pentagonal and hexagonal. In D. Peba the scutellæ are not only much larger, but of a more definite figure, being mostly hexagonal, with sides of unequal length.

In D. hybridus the scutellæ of the shoulder plate consist of elevated oval tubercles in transverse rows, the intervals being filled with smaller, very irregular, and less elevated granuli. The same observation applies to the haunch plate, in which the elevated oval scutellæ are remarkably distant and large, while somewhat smaller and flatter scutellæ form a rosette round each. In the D. Peba the larger scutellæ of this plate are round, and are encircled by others of very small size.

In D. hybridus the ears are delicately granulated,—in D. Peba coarsely.

As respects the Das. minutus there can be no possibility of confounding it with the D. hybridus.

Mr. James Reid exhibited to the Meeting, and characterized as new, under the name of Obscurus, a dark-coloured monkey, from the Society's collection, belonging to the genus Semnopithecus. The locality of the particular specimen before the Meeting was unknown.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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