ON FISH POISONING AND POISONS EMPLOYED AMONG THE ABORIGINES OF QUEENSLAND. By R. Hamlyn-Harris, D.Sc, F.L.S., Etc., and Frank Smith, B.Sc.,F.I.C. (Plates IV. and V. and One Text-figure.) The practice of employing vegetable poisons for stupefying or killing fish is by no means confined to the aboriginal inhabitants of North-Eastern Australia, but is in vogue almost universally and dates back to ancient tiines ; the method did not even escape the notice of the wily English poacher. We find similar methods to those adopted here practised in other parts of Australia, viz., New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. Central and South Australia are excepted, local conditions being generally unfavourable to their application ; whilst the Tasmanians never used fish-poisons at all ; they never attempted to catch fish at any time, strange as it may appear, and confined their attention to the taking of shellfish, crays, and mussels. (Beattie.) As far as South and Central Australia are concerned, Professor E. C. Stirling says : " I have no knowledge that fish-poisons are used in these regions. I never heard of the practice during my two visits to the MacDonnell Ranges, where from the localised and restricted conditions of the waters it might be practicable ; and I have recently had my own opinion confirmed by the more extended knowledge of an observant friend who spent many years in the MacDonnells. The natives there do, however, poison with pituri the waters where emus drink. In the southern parts of South Australia, where the fish are got from the large lakes and River Murray, the practice would be impossible. ' ' With reference to Western Australia we know very little ; such mention of fish-poisons as E. Clement favours us with when he says ''fish is caught either with nets or are stupefied by a plant called 'Kurrurru' which is placed into the pools''^ is of little more scientific value than a record, since probably by this time the identity of the plant is unfortunately lost. Going further afield, we find that their use was known in Malaysia to a considerable degree, to parts of Polynesia and Melanesia, India, South Africa, South America, and amongst the North American Indians. Expert navigators and canoe-builders such as the Maoris never used them. Fish are very plentiful all around the coast, and they probably never ^ " Ethnological Notes on the Western Australian Aboriginals," publications of the Royal Ethnographical Museum at Leyden, series 2, No. 6, reprinted from International Archiv. fiir Ethnographic, vol. 16, 1903.