Charles Walter De Vis

Charles Walter de Vis (Birmingham, England, 9 May 1829 – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 30 April 1915),[1] known as Devis before about 1882, was an English zoologist,[1] ornithologist.,[2] herpetologist,[1][3] and botanist.

De Vis gained a BA from Magdelene College, Cambridge in 1849, became a deacon in 1852, and was rector of Breane, Somerset from 1855-1859.[4] He gave up his ecclesiastical functions to devote himself to science, initially in England then after 1870 in Australia.[1] De Vis also wrote under the name of Thickthorn, the name of his home in Rockhampton.

He was a founder member of the Royal Society of Queensland of which he served as president in 1888-1889, and founder member and first vice-president of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union.[2]

His principal work concerned the fossil birds of Queensland (Darling Downs) and southern Australia (Cooper Creek),[2] but he also described a number of extant bird species. In fact, he was more successful at the latter, because due to insufficient knowledge of stratigraphy and evolution, he—like many ornithologists of his time—mistook subfossil remains of extant birds for the remains of extinct prehistoric species.

Among species he described were the white-winged robin in 1890, and the frill-necked monarch in 1895.[5]

De Vis also worked in the scientific field of herpetology, and he described many new species of reptiles.[1][3]

De Vis is commemorated in the scientific name of an Australian venomous snake, Denisonia devisi.[6]

Charles Walter De Vis
Charles Walter De Vis


  1. ^ a b c d e "de Vis, Charles Walter (1829 - 1915)"Australian Dictionary of Biography
  2. ^ a b c "De Vis, Charles Walter (1829 - 1915)" — Encyclopedia of Australian science
  3. ^ a b "De Vis". The Reptile Database.
  4. ^ Church of England, Central Board of Finance, Church Commissioners (1865). Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1865. Oxford University Press. p. 176 [17].CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Frill-necked Monarch (Arses lorealis) — The Internet Bird Collection
  6. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("De Vis", p. 71).
  7. ^ IPNI.  De Vis.

External links

Blue-capped ifrit

The blue-capped ifrit (Ifrita kowaldi), also known as the blue-capped ifrita, is a small insectivorous bird endemic to the rainforests of New Guinea. It is the only species in the genus Ifrita, which historically has been placed in the family Cinclosomatidae or the Monarchidae. It now appears the bird is more properly placed in its own family, Ifritidae.

Central netted dragon

The central netted dragon or central netted ground dragon, Ctenophorus nuchalis, is a species of agamid lizard occurring in a wide range of arid to semiarid regions of Australia. It is widespread across the continent, commonly found in open, sandy, desert habitats. It is a popular pet and can often be found in zoos.

Centriscus cristatus

Centriscus cristatus, also known as the smooth razorfish or wafer shrimpfish, is the largest member of the family Centriscidae of the order Syngnathiformes. It is found in the eastern Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean.

Concinnia queenslandiae

The prickly skink, or prickly forest skink (Concinnia queenslandiae), is a morphologically and genetically distinctive species of skink endemic to rainforests of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, in north-eastern Australia. Unlike most small skinks, which have smooth scales, this species has rough, ridged and pointed scales. These keeled scales may be an adaptation to its high-rainfall habitat, to its microhabitat in rotting logs, or to camouflage it when moving through forest leaf-litter.

Crested berrypecker

The crested berrypecker or eastern crested berrypecker (Paramythia montium) is a species of bird in the family Paramythiidae. It is found in New Guinea. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Elseya uberrima

Elseya uberrima is an Eocene species of extinct Australian snapping turtle.


Lygisaurus is a genus of skinks, lizards in the family Scincidae.

Mahogany glider

The mahogany glider (Petaurus gracilis) is an endangered gliding possum native to a small region of coastal Queensland in Australia.

Mountain robin

The mountain robin, subalpine robin, alpine robin, or cloud-forest robin (Petroica bivittata) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae. It is found sparsely throughout the New Guinea Highlands.Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Mud adder

The mud adder (Denisonia devisi ), also known as De Vis's banded snake, is a species of venomous snake in the family Elapidae. The species is endemic to certain regions of eastern Australia, including South West Queensland, northern New South Wales and north-west Victoria. Its scientific and common names refer to Charles Walter De Vis (1829-1915), first director of the Queensland Museum and writer of around 50 papers on herpetology.

Nephrurus levis

Nephrurus levis, commonly known as the three-lined knob-tailed gecko, smooth knob-tailed gecko, or common knob-tailed gecko, is a native Australian gecko species. The smooth knob-tailed gecko is part of the Carphodactylidae family, a family endemic to Australia. A common, alternative, name for this family is barking geckos due loud barks they make during threat displays, which includes swaying their bodies, winding their tail and attacking with an open mouth. There are multiple sub-species of Nephrurus levis, these include N.l. levis, N.l. occidentalis and N.l. pibarenis. Its aboriginal name is Illchiljera.

Ornate wobbegong

The ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus) is a species of carpet shark that lives in Australia and possibly other countries in the Western Pacific Ocean. It is coloured golden brown, yellow-green and blueish-grey, and it grows to about 2.0–2.5 metres (6.6–8.2 ft). Described by Charles Walter De Vis in 1883, it is similar in appearance to other Australian wobbegongs and has previously been classified as the same species as the Gulf wobbegong. It is a nocturnal species, hunting at night, and it can bite humans when disturbed. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed it as a least-concern species.

Panniet naked-backed fruit bat

The Panniet naked-backed fruit bat (Dobsonia pannietensis), also known as the De Vis's Bare-backed Fruit Bat and Panaeati Bare-backed Fruit Bat, is a species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae.It roosts in groups, within caves and tree hollows.


The pineapplefish (Cleidopus gloriamaris) is a species of fish in the family Monocentridae, and the sole member of its genus. It is also known as the knightfish or the coat-of-mail fish, due to the armor-like scales covering its body, and the port-and-starboard light fish, as it has a pair of bioluminescent organs that are reminiscent of navigation lights on ships. Its specific epithet is from the Latin gloria and maris, meaning "glory of the sea".

Ringed brown snake

The ringed brown snake (Pseudonaja modesta) is a species of venomous elapid snake native to a broad swathe of inland Australia, from western New South Wales and Queensland to Western Australia.Albert Günther described it as Cacophis modesta in 1872, from specimens collected in northwestern Australia. The specific name modesta is the Latin adjective "unassuming", "orderly", or "well-behaved", regarded as apt by toxicologist Struan Sutherland, as the snake generally does not bite people. Meanwhile, Charles Walter De Vis described Brachysoma sutherlandi from Carl Creek, Norman River in northwestern Queensland in 1884, and William Macleay described Furina ramsayi, naming it after Edward Pierson Ramsay, in 1885 from a collection from Milparinka in northwestern New South Wales. All three are the same species.Reaching around 50 cm (20 in) in length, the ringed brown snake has grey-brown to red-brown upperparts with a black head and neck split by a cream band, as well as four to seven black bands with cream margins at regular intervals down the length of its body. Its underparts are cream to yellow splotched with orange. The upper dark bands may fade markedly with age. Its colour and markings, particularly its black head and neck band, resemble the juvenile eastern brown snake.The ringed brown snake is found in arid regions across inland Australia (except Victoria). It lives in arid shrubland or grassland, where it hides in spinifex or under fallen timber.A girl bitten by this species in 1987 suffered mild systemic symptoms. No coagulopathy was recorded.

Tagula shrikethrush

The Tagula shrikethrush (Colluricincla discolor) is a species of bird in the family Pachycephalidae.

Threadfin catfish

The threadfin catfish, also known as the Copper catfish or the Northern pout, (Nemapteryx armiger) is a species of catfish in the family Ariidae. It was described by Charles Walter De Vis in 1884, originally under the genus Arius. It is found in rivers and marine waters in Australia and New Guinea. It reaches a maximum standard length of 39.5 cm (15.6 in). Its diet consists of benthic crustaceans including prawns and crabs, as well as worms, mollusks and finfish.

Vis (surname)

Vis is a Dutch metonymic occupational surname. Vis means "fish" and referred to a fisherman. Variant forms are De Vis ("the fish"), De Visch, and Visch.

People with this surname include:

Caroline Vis (born 1970), Dutch tennis player

Fiderd Vis (born 1981), Aruban judoka

Jacob Vis (born 1940), Dutch novelist

Jan Vis (1933–2011), Dutch journalist, legal scholar, and politician

Judith Vis (born 1980), Dutch hurdler and heptathlete

Lucas Vis (born 1947), Dutch conductor and composer

Marja Vis (born 1977), Dutch speed skater

Rudi Vis (born 1941), Dutch-born British politician

Russell Vis (1900–1990), American wrestler

Willem Cornelis Vis (1924–1993), Dutch jurist and expert in international commercial transactionsDe Vis

Charles Walter De Vis (1829–1915), English zoologist and botanist active in Australia(De) Visch

Charles de Visch (1596–1666), Flemish abbot and bibilographer

Henk Visch (born 1950), Dutch sculptor

Matthias de Visch (1701–1765), Flemish historical and portrait painter

Soraya de Visch Eijbergen (born 1993), Dutch badminton player

Yakka skink

The yakka skink (Egernia rugosa) is a species of large skink, a lizard in the family Scincidae. The species is native to the Brigalow Belt in Queensland in eastern Australia.


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