« السابقةمتابعة »
recently, he has favoured me with his montana of southern India, which is identical with the Bengal species. I have pointed out the distinctions, loc. cit.; and may add that the songs of the two species are altogether different, that of C. montana being a low soft warble.* C. montana is probably the Sylvia arundinacea, var. A, of Latham.
Phyllopneuste, vide XIV, 593. Mr. Jerdon has sent me two very closely allied races which he thinks have been confounded under Ph,
The one he regards as true rama, which is of a more rufescent brown colour; the other has a more greyish shade. I can hardly, however, bring myself to admit their distinctness. The latter variety occurs abundantly in Lower Bengal, upon the sandy soil above the tideway of the Hoogly, haunting baubu) topes and scattered trees near villages, as well as hedges and low bush-jungle; and I have recently observed it in the jungles north and west of Midnapore. The following are my notes, taken from several recent specimens. Length five inches, by seven and a half in alar expanse ; wing two inches and three-eighths, to two and a half; tail two inches to two and one-eighth, its outermost feather an eighth of an inch shorter : bill to gape fiveeighths of an inch; tarse three-quarters. Irides dark : bill dusky above, pale carneous below : inside of mouth yellow: legs light brown, tinged with plumbeous on the joints. Length of first primary, fiveeighths of an inch and upwards. Colour above greyish-brown, below pale, passing to white at the vent and on the lower tail-coverts ; lores, continued as a streak passing the eye, pale.
Culicipeta, nobis, XII, 968. I obtained a very beautiful species of this genus a few miles above Calcutta.
C. cantator, (Tickell,) J. A. S. II, 576.7 Length four inches and a quarter, by six and three-eighths in alar expanse ; wing two inches and a quarter; and tail an inch and three-qnarters : bill to gape nearly five-eighths; and tarse five-eighths of an inch. Bill light dusky above, amber-coloured below; legs light yellowish-carneous, with a leaden tinge : bill narrower than in C. Burkii ; and the rictal setæ are less developed ; the claws, especially that of the hind-toe, being shorter. Colour, a lively yellowish-green above, bright yellow on the throat, cheek, supercilium, lower tail-coverts, and edge of the wing above the insertion of the quills: the great alars are also margined externally with greenish-yellow, and the tail more especially towards its base : greater wing-coverts tipped with pale yellow, forming a bar on the wing: the entire abdomen and flanks greyish-white: on each side of the crown a broad black longitudinal band, divided by a yellowish-green mesial one: upper tertiaries very slightly margined at the tips with yellowish-white; and the tail-feathers having a narrow yellowish-white internal border. Shot near Calcutta.
* Mr. Jerdon has also sent a British specimen of C. salicaria, which certainly approximates to montana more than two others in the Society's collection do; these three being unquestionably of the same species: all, bowever, are of a more rufescent and less greenish shade than C. montana ; the bill of C. salicaria is narrower; and, as above remarked, the notes of the two species are exceedingly unlike, which, I think, of itself decides the question. Mr. Jerdon suggests that C. agricola may perhaps be the C. pulustris of Europe.
+ C. schisticeps of Mr. Gray's catalogue of Mr. Hodgson's specimens presented to the British Museum, pp. 67, 153.
C. poliogenys, nobis, n. 8. This is nearly allied to Abrornis schisticeps, Hodgson, (XIV, 592,) from which it differs in having the cheeks and ear-coverts, with the feathers commencing from the base of the lower mandible, of the same ash-grey colour as the head, and the throat greyish white, instead of these parts being bright yellow, as in C. schisticeps. There is also a conspicuous whitish-yellow wing-band, of which the latter species presents no trace whatever. From Darjeeling.
It is exceedingly difficult to arrange the great series of the birds of this group at all satisfactorily; and I fear that we shall have eventually to adopt many divisions among them. Of the various species allied in colouring and markings to Culicipeta Burkii, that bird stands alone in several particulars, as the more decided fly-catching form of bill, and accompanying development of the rictal setæ ; also the longer and more slender, though equally curved, claws. Although the species upon which the division was originally founded, I regard it as aberrant member of its genus, though Mr. Hodgson would separate from it the others by the name Abrornis, XIV, 592. Retaining, however, the near Culicipeta for the series, I think we must refer to it2, C. schisticeps,* (Hodg., loc. cit.) 3, C. poliogenys, -4, C. cantator,
• This is Phyllopneuste xunthoschistos, Hodgson, of Gray's catalogue; and Culicipeta schisticeps of the same is C. cantator, (Tickell). Abrornis chloronotus, Hodg., Gray, so far as I could judge from a sadly injured specimen, did not appear to me to differ from Regulvides modeslus, (Gould,) except in being rather brighter than usual.
-5, C. pulchra, (Hodg., ibid.),-6, C. castaniceps, (Hodg., ibid.)-7, C. trochiloides (Acanthiza trochiloides, Sundevall, v. Ph. reguloides, nobis, XI, 191, and XII, 963),—and 8, C. occipitalis, (Jerdon, XIV, 593), formerly referred by me to Phyllopneuste.*
As another aberrant member of the same group, but which can scarcely range in the same minimum division with C. Burkii, though barely separable from C. trochiloides in a subgeneric sense, we have the Regulus modestus, Gould, a form which, if Abrornis be detached from Culicipeta, would equally require to be separated, and might range as the type of a distinct subdivision-Reguloides, nobis.
Then, of Phyllopneuste may be recognised two marked subdivisions ; that with the green plumage, typified by Ph. hippolais of Europe and Ph. indica : and that with brown plumage, exemplified by Ph. rama : the former being allied to the green species of Phylloscopus ; the latter to those with brown plumage, as Ph. fuscatus and its immediate allies.
Also, of Phylloscopus, should perhaps be distinguished the bright green species with long wings, such as Ph. sibilatrix and Ph. nitidus ; and the numerous species of the type of Ph. trochilus and Ph. rufus of Europe, of which I have already described-Ph. javanicus, (Horsf. v. magnirostris, nobis,) Ph. viridanus, Ph. lugubris, Ph. tristis, Ph. brunneus, and Ph. fuscatus ; probably also the Ph. affinis, (Tickell), to which Mr. Jerdon refers his Sylvia indica.
The last appears to be a bird which I long regarded as the young (in the yellow dress) of Ph. lugubris ; and which Mr. Jerdon thinks is his Ph. indicus, but wishes to see a recent specimen before he quite decides that it is so. That it is distinct from Ph. lugubris, I am now satisfied ; and must not omit to state that Prof. Behn, of Kiel University, first pointed out to me the specifical distinctions of the two, when we had fresh specimens of each before us, in the course of a fortnight's trip which I had the pleasure of taking with him and M. Kielroup, both of the scientific corps attached to the Danish frigate Galatea, in quest of specimens of all kinds on the banks of the Hoogly and their vicinity. The following are the distinctions which I noted down at that time. The bill is more feeble, and much more compressed, in Ph. affinis ; while in Ph. lugubris it is very little compressed, approaching to the Culicipeta (i. e. Abrornis) form, and the rictal setæ are considerably more developed. The colour of the legs is also very different, being in lugubris pale greenish-dusky, while in affinis there is a strong tinge of brown. I have obtained numerous specimens of this bird, all of which were of the same dusky-green colour above, with dull yellow supercilium and lower-parts, brightening on the middle of the belly; and I have reason to believe that this colouring is permanent, unlike the yellow dress of the British Ph. trochilus and Ph. rufus, which is not their nestling garb, but is put forth very soon after leaving the nest.
* To the synonymes already given of C. Burkii, add Acanthiza arrogans, Sundevall.
Ph. affinis measures four inches and three-eighths to four and three-quarters long, by six and a half to seven inches in expanse ; wing two inches and one-eighth, to two and three-eighths; and tail an inch and three-quarters to one and seven-eighths : bill to gape half an inch, or a trifle more ; tarse three-quarters of an inch, or nearly so. Irides dark. Bill dusky above, amber-coloured below; interior of the mouth bright yellow; and legs pale brownish-dusky, tinged with yellow; the soles more or less yellowish.
Another and larger species was obtained on the same occasion, with very similar colouring.
Ph. griseolus, nobis, n. 8. Length five inches and a quarter, by seven and a quarter; wing two and five-eighths; tail two and a quarter ; bill to gape nine-sixteenths ; tarse three quarters of an inch. Irides very dark brown; bill dusky above, below pale amber; interior of the mouth whitish, with scarcely a tinge of yellow; tarse externally, and the toes above, light brown, internally and beneath yellow. This bird is distinguished from Ph. affinis by its much larger size, and by the decided ashy tinge of its upper-parts; also by the colour of the legs in the recent specimen, and whitish interior of the mouth. The yellow of the under-parts is more confined to the central region, and a somewhat ruddy whitish prevails, instead of yellow, on the ear-coverts. Some specimens of Ph. fuscatus are so similar, except in wanting the yellow, that I should have been tempted to regard them as different phases of plumage of the same species, analogous to those exhibited by Ph. trochilus and Ph. rufus, were it not for the different proportions of the first primaries, besides that the wing is longer in Ph. griseolus than in any specimen of fuscatus yet examined. In the latter, the first pri. mary is fully half the length of the second ; while in the former it does not exceed one-third of the length of the second : measuring from the tip of the short first primary to that of the wing, Ph. fuscatus gives but an inch (in four specimens under examination), while Ph. griseolus gives an inch and a half.
It would seem that Ph. fuscatus undergoes a certain seasonal change of colouring: the whole plumage being less olivaceous, and more of a fuscous-ashy above, with a faint ruddy tinge on the supercilium, earcoverts, and slightly on the under-parts, and the bill and feet being darker, in a specimen shot late in April, than is observable in others killed during the cold weather.* Perhaps, however, the former may be merely a very bright old bird, and it is to this specimen in particular that Ph. griseolus shows a marked approximation : but the difference in the length of their first primaries betokens their distinctness ; and the latter has also the wing fully a quarter of an inch longer than in the other.
Regulus cristatus, Ray. This species visits Simla, and a fine specimen procured near that station has been obligingly presented to the Society by Capt. Thomas. It is quite undistinguishable from the British bird ; and the genus has not heretofore been recorded as Himalayan.
Ægithalus flammiceps, Burton, P. 2. S. 1835, p. 153. In XIII, 379, I suggested that this might probably turn out to be a Stachyris, Hodgson : but I have lately obtained a specimen, and consider it to be rightly classified. The Diccum sanguinifrons of Lord Arthur Hay, XV, 44, refers evidently to this bird: but the affinities of the genus do not seem to be with Diccum, and indeed are at present very obscure. I certainly do not think that Ægithalus approximates Parus, near which it has been currently arranged; nor do I know of any Old World form that much resembles it.
Parus, Lin. A synopsis of the Indian species of this group was attempted in XIII, 942; and a new species from the eastern ghats of the peninsula described in XIV, 553. I have now to add three others, two of which have been overlooked hitherto from their similarity to allied species.
P. aplonotus, nobis : P. xanthogenys apud nos, XI, 59, and probably
* Another, recently obtained (March 17), resembles that above described ; and tha difference from Ph. fuscatus is so marked, that I cannot help here also suspecting a distinctness of species.