RECORD: Goodwin, William. 1860. On an apparently new species of paradise-bird. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1860 May 8: 243-244.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 2012. RN1

[page] 243

The following papers were read:—


I beg permission to introduce to your notice a Bird of Paradise, which I believe to be either altogether unknown, or at least hitherto undescribed.

I have interested myself for many years in this branch of Ornithology, and possess in my own collection twenty-nine specimens, representing all the different species known up to the present time, with the exception of Semioptera wallacii. I have had opportunities of inspecting the fine collections of these birds sent to England by that energetic and able naturalist Mr. Wallace, and have searched in vain for any specimen similar to that which I have now the honour of introducing to the meeting. I therefore conclude it to be in all probability an entirely new and undescribed species.

The bird now before you, which I believe to be the female, came into my possession about twenty years ago, together with another, which I have no doubt is the male bird. This latter specimen is now in the British Museum.

[page] 244

I received them both from Mr. Bartlett, and we then agreed in considering them as a young male and female of the Paradisea papuana; but the numerous specimens which I have examined in the collections of Mr. Wallace, consisting of males, females, and young of the latter bird, have now convinced me that they belong to an entirely distinct species.

The male (now in the British Museum) is smaller than the Paradisea papuana, the length from head to end of tail being about 9 inches, bill 1¼ inch, wings from shoulder to tips barely 7½ inches, tail 5½ inches. Feathers on the head and shoulders yellow; back, tail, and wings dark chestnut-brown; the coverts of the wings edged with yellow; the two central tail-feathers have naked shafts 15 inches in length, terminating with elongated webs 3 inches long; the throat has a small patch of golden green, which surrounds the base of the bill; the lower parts, with the exception of a small patch of brown under the throat, white; side feathers somewhat elongated and soft.

Female: length from head to end of tail about 9 inches, bill 1¼ inch. Forehead, throat, sides and top of the head dark chocolate-brown, shading to a dingy yellow and cinnamon colour; tail-coverts tinged with yellowish-brown; tail cinnamon-brown, 4 5/8; inches long, the two middle feathers narrow, pointed and curved, 4½ inches in length; the whole of the under parts from the throat white; side feathers soft; legs and wings imperfect.

Mr. Bartlett informed me that these birds came to England with other skins of Birds of Paradise, viz. the Clouded (P. magnifica), Golden-breasted (P. aurea), and the Ptilorhis magnifica.

The locality was unknown to him, and is probably one which Mr. Wallace has not yet visited. Should he continue his researches, he may yet be fortunate enough to meet with this species.

In conclusion, I beg to propose that the bird now brought under your notice be named Paradisea bartlettii, in recognition of the valuable services rendered by Mr. Bartlett to the lovers of ornithological science by his very careful researches and numerous observations.


(Radiata, Pl. XVII.)

The British Museum has lately received several very fine specimens of a beautiful palmated Coral, belonging to the genus Distichopora, from the sea near New Caledonia.


Coral bright crimson, much branched, compressed; branches rather fan-shaped, expanded, placed on each side of the stem; the sides of the branches rather compressed; the main branches with a

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2012-. Wallace Online. (

File last updated 26 September, 2012