The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.
The Collection of Fishes comprises fifty-four species, which are for the most part well known forms. A large number of them are widely distributed, and range from the Red Sea and the east coast of Africa across the Indian and Java Seas to Polynesia. Smaller and possibly more interesting species were not obtained, due to the only possible method of procuring them. The natives brought in the fishes as caught by net or hook, and not conceiving that they were required for other than edible purposes, naturally preserved only the best examples from their point of view. At first they very seduously avoided bringing to land any specimens they regarded as poisonous, and it was some time before they could be made to understand that the fishes were not to be eaten.
Zoologically this notice is little more than a list, which is of value more especially for extending the known range, and by supplying an exact locality for the species enumerated.
Some of the short notes may be of wider interest, and this refers especially to the native names which have an Ethnological value.
All the specimens have been referred to described species, but in a few instances the identification is doubtful, due to insufficient descriptions, the fugitive nature of the characters described, or to the necessary literature not being accessible.