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XXX MEMOIR OF THE LATE WM. THOMPSON, ESU.

"At a special meeting held in the Museum, on the 10th March, 1852, a series of resolutions was unanimously adopted, expressive of the feelings entertained by the members as to the great loss they had sustained by the death of their late president, Wm. Thompson, Esq. A committee was then appointed to consider the most suitable mode of doing honour to his memory. This committee, after careful consideration, reported that the most appropriate memorial of Mr. Thompson would be a separate room to be added to the Museum, and be called the ' Thompson R Iom,' in which should be placed the private collections which he had bequeathed to the Museum. This method of testifying the Society's estimation of Mr. Thompson would have the double advantage of perpetuating his name within the Museum, and of preserving for reference a large portion of those specimens to which he alludes in his writings on the Natural History of Ireland. This report of the committee was unanimously agreed to, and the council were authorized to have it carried into immediate effect."

The necessary funds were speedily subscribed, and the "Thompson Room" erected accordingly.

A striking likeness of Mr. Thompson appeared in 1849, in the series of scientific portraits, published at the expense of Mr. George Ransome, at that time Honorary Secretary to the Ipswich Museum. By the kind permission of that gentleman, the frontispiece of the present volume has been copied from the former portrait, by the same talented artist by whom the original had been taken.

Several of the leading naturalists of the day have at different times marked their estimation of Mr. Thompson's character and labours, by dedicating to him some undescribed species of animal or plant. The touching yet appropriate words employed by Professor Bell, when giving to a small marine animal, taken in Belfast Bay, the name of his departed friend, may form an appropriate conclusion to this little Memoir :—* "I have a melancholy gratification in dedicating this species, by name, to a gentleman who, for many years, was justly considered as the representative of the Zoology of Ireland, and whose acute discrimination and persevering enthusiasm in his favourite pursuit were only equalled by the liberal and unselfish feeling with which he placed his treasures in the hands of his fellow-labourers, whenever he believed the interests of science would be thereby furthered. The specimen from which the above description is taken was placed in my hands, by my lamented friend, only a very few days before his untimely death deprived the science of Ireland of one of its most distinguished ornaments, and society of as kind and true-hearted a man as ever lived."—p. 373.

* The species is Pagurus Thompsoni, dredged at 50 fathoms, entrance of Belfast Bay, by Mr. Hyndman. Vide Bell's " History of British Stalk-eyed Crustacea."

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CLASS MAMMALIA.

SECTION I.-MAMMALIA TERRESTRIA.

OEDEE I.—CHEIEOPTEEA.
Family Vespertilionida.

The Common Bat Or Pipistrelle, Vespertilio Pipistrellus, Geoff.

This is the common bat of Ireland, and is abundant from North to South.

I have examined specimens from all quarters of the island, since the publication of the Rev. L. Jenyns' paper, in the 16th vol. of the Linmruu Transactions, on the subject of the common bat of Pennant.

The common Irish species had been previously considered the Vespertilio Murinus of Linnaeus, and of recent continental authors. It is, however, the V. Pipistrellus, as described by Mr. Jenyns, and figured by Geoffroy in the Ann. Mus. d' Hist . Nat.; and is, consequently, identical with the common bat of England.

In the summer evenings, I have more than once stood still within a few yards of the bat, and looked with much interest on its pursuit of moths, for the capture of which it is so admirably fitted. But I have also been occasionally surprised at the length of time required to effect the seizure of a single insect, even when the bat was apparently using its best exertions for that purpose.

A female of this species, which Mr. G. C. Hyndman retained for some weeks in captivity, had, when taken (in the month of July), a young one clinging to the teat, which position it retained until its death, two days afterwards. Living flies or moths, when put into the cage, were seized by the parent bat with her mouth. She did not make use of the claws in catching or holding them. After seizing such food, the bat bent her head downwards, apparently with the view of preventing the escape of the prey, every portion of which was eaten, the wings not excepted. This captive drank plentifully of water, offered on the end of a feather, and, when catching at food, made a slight screaming noise. After being accustomed to be fed, she uttered a kind of chirp, when expecting anything. Scraps of raw beef or mutton were eaten readily, if quite fresh and juicy, but not otherwise.

In the North of Ireland this species is seen abroad throughout mild winters, as frequently noted in my journal, from which the following memoranda are extracted:—

On 9th December, 1832, between two and three o'clock, p. M., the day being fine, but rather dark and cloudy, one of these bats flew closely past me, and continued within view for a considerable time, during which it was pursued by a pair of wagtails [Motacilla Yarrellii), evidently to its great annoyance.

On the 3rd and 21st January, 1834, I also saw two others, in the neighbourhood of Belfast, at half-past four o'clock, p. M. The thermometer, at two o'clock on those days, respectively, was 52 and 51 of Fahrenheit.

6th December, 1850.—A bat of this species was observed flying through one of the streets in Belfast, at twelve o'clock, noon. The day was very fine and mild, with bright sunshine.

The Reddish Grey Bat, Vespertilio Nattereri, Kuhl.

An individual of this species is recorded by Mr. F. M'Coy as having been obtained near Dublin.— Vide Ann. Nat . Hist. vol. xv. p. 270.

This is one of the species which I thought would probably be added to our catalogue, from the circumstance of my having found a specimen among the ruins of Harlech Castle, Merionethshire, as noticed in the Proceedgs Zool. Soc. 1837. It had previously been obtained only in the East and South-East of England.

Daubenton's Bat, Vespertilio Daubentonii, Leisler,

Is only known as Irish from a specimen obtained by the Ordnance collectors, in the County of Londonderry. The species was determined by Mr. Jenyns.

Long-eared Bat, Plecotus auritus, Geoff.,

Is common in suitable localities throughout the island. Specimens from North, East, and South have come under my examination.

Dr. ]{. Ball considers this species more common about Youghal than the pipistrelle; and Mr. T. F. Neligan was of the same opinion with respect to Kerry.

When the roofs of old houses are being repaired or taken down, in the North of Ireland, numbers of these bats are often discovered. The pipistrelle frequents similar places, but is probably less gregarious, as I have not known it to be found so plentifully under similar circumstances, although it is more frequently seen flying about. The roofs of houses have been referred to, by some writers, as being uniformly resorted to by the long-eared bat. I have, however, known several of this species to be taken from the crevices of an old stone wall, in the course of its removal, although many houses were in the vicinity.

In the month of January, 1833,1 obtained, from an aperture in the roof of an uninhabited house, a long-eared bat, which did not exhibit any symptom of torpidity. When placed in a room lighted from the North, it flew to the top of the cage in which it was confined, and turning its back to the window, clung by its feet to one of the wires, with the head downwards and wings approaching each other, so as nearly to meet in front. Small fragments of raw meat, when offered to it, were invariably rejected with a scream, and, when left in the cage, were afterwards found untouched. This bat lived but a few days, and after death retained the same position in its cage as above described.

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