« السابقةمتابعة »
of Jerdon. This differs from true P. xanthogenys of the Himalaya in various details of its markings: as in having the back plain dull yellowish olive-green, without the broad black lateral margins to each feather, conspicuous in the Himalayan species ; in having the yellow colouring reduced in quantity, and also less vivid, the posterior crestfeathers being but slightly tipped with yellow; the broad and well marked yellow supercilium is diminished to an elongated spot posterior only to the eye, there being no yellow above the eye; and the loral feathers, instead of being wholly yellow, are black with slight yellowish tips: the black band posterior to the eye is much broader ; and the black throat and front of the neck very much broader, comprehending the feathers about the gape, which are yellow in the other species: the white tips to the tail-feathers are also much more developed : and, lastly, without descending to more minute particulars, the tertiaries are laterally edged throughout with white, whereas in P. xanthogenys there is only a trace of this towards their base. The general resemblance, however, between these two species is very great : but P. xanthogenys is at once distinguished by the variegation of its back; and when the two are seen together, by the much greater quantity of yellow on the sides of the head and neck : while in P. aplonotus the black throat is conspicuously much broader, and there is a greater proportion of white on the wings and tail. P. aplonotus inhabits the mountains of central
and there is little doubt of its being Mr. Jerdon's more southern bird referred to P. xanthogenys.
P. Griffithii, nobis. This species is founded on a drawing of a bird obtained by the late Dr. Griffith, between Assam and Ava. With a near affinity in colouring to P. xanthogenys and P. aplonotus, it is at once distinguished by being crestless, and by the details of its markings. Length of wing about two inches and three-quarters, and of tail two inches and a quarter. Colour black, with the lores and sides of neck, the rump, under-parts, an occipital spot, and triangular terminal drops on the dorsal feathers, yellow; throat and fore-neck black : tail considerably forked, and tipped with white; also the greater wing-coverts and the tertiaries, with the base and edge of the primaries.
P. rubidiventris, nobis : P. melanolophos apud Hodgson. Here, again, two nearly allied species have been confounded together, from their general resemblance: the true P. melanolophos inhabiting the
N. W. Himalaya, as about Simla; and the present species, Nepal and Sikim. Size about the same, but the bill of P. melanolophos is conspicuously more slender: the latter has also the back, and the belly, pure dark grey; the black of the throat and breast carried further down ; a ferruginous patch confined to each side of the breast, below the black; and the greater and lesser wing-coverts are tipped with rufescent-white, forming two bars on the wing.-P. rubidiventris, on the other hand, has the upper-parts of a paler and rufescent grey, with a strong tinge of ferruginous upon the rump; no trace of bars on the wing; the black of the throat less developed, this being bordered with the same grey as the back; and the whole of the abdominal region is tinged with dilute ferruginous.
P. atriceps, Horsfield, will bear the prior name cinereus of Vieillot, founded on one of Levaillant's figures. It is the P. major, var. B, of Latham.* In my description of Sylviparus modestus, Burton, XIII, 942, I omitted to notice the spot of silky-yellow feathers above the
eye, upon which Mr. Hodgson founds his name seriophrys (or sericophrys would have been better); neither has Mr. Burton noticed it. This is very conspicuous, however, in the recent specimen (as I have been informed); but was completely hidden in the dry skin from which I drew
the notice adverted to. Paradoxornis group, XIV, 578. To this should probably be referred the Australian genus Struthidea. Of Heteromorpha ruficeps, Capt. Tickell writes me word—“I have killed several of these birds, and watched them in their wild state, at Geeng, near Darjeeling; and I cannot agree in opinion with those who would class its group among the Crateropodines. This bird is a great devourer of grain (maize, rice, and buckwheat, which last is common about Nepal). It perches on the tops of high trees, as well as bushes, when off its feed; and in fact shows nothing in its manners of the thicket-loving, skulking, habits of the Crateropodines."
Of the vast series of birds comprised in, or allied to, the last named, many subgroups will require to be distinguished. Just upon the confines of the series, we have the Leiotrichanæ, comprising Cutia, Pteruthius, Leiothrix and its subgenera, Ixulus, Yuhina, and even Myzornis, Then another minor series, comprising Sibia, Leioptila, Ixops, Actino
* The Society has lately received a specimen of this bird from Ceylon.
dura, Garrulax (perhaps further separable, especially the form of G. striatus and G. imbricatus), Crateropus of Africa, Psophodes and Sphenostoma of Australia, and finally Turnagra of Lesson (v. Keropia, G. R. Gray), to which the Garrulus striatus of Vigors has been referred. Another little section consists of Pomatorhinus and liphorhamphus, nobis, to the former of which true Timalia is nearly allied. Another of Menura, Pteroptochus, and Scytalopus. Another long subseries, of Cinclosoma, Circlorhamphus, Megalurus, Gampsorhynchus, Arundinar, Sphenura, Sphenæacus, Schenicola, Laticilla, Amytis, Stipiturus, Malurus, Atrichea, lylacola, Praticola (v. Calamanthus), Pellornium, Malacocercus, Drymoica, Cisticola, Prinia, and Orthotomus ; and scarcely separable would be T'imalia, Mixornis, Chrysomma, Macronous, Turdinus, Malucopteron, Alcippe, Setaria, Erpornis (?), and Stachyris. How all these are to be finally disposed of, each according to its proper affinities, is a problem to our best ornithologists just now; and those who have most studied the series, will not, I believe, be the most eager to offer an opinion. It is easy enough to cut the Gordian knot, by carrying out the principle of ranging all the large species in Merulide, and all the small in Sylviada, and thus manufacturing duplex series, presenting “ beautiful analogies” and “representations” one of the other ; but the time has a little gone by for such frivolities, and ornithologists must pursue the course adopted by students of other branches of Natural History,-must study structure, internal as well as external, and learn to regard habit as altogether subordinate, inasmuch as species may be framed on any particular subtype of organization, however subordinate, and be modified upon that subtype in adaptation to any special mode of life,—and this too, without reference to each other, beyond the fortuitous one of their presenting similar modifications, which are thus analogous merely, or by no means indicative of afinity, i. e. of that intrinsical relationship upon which all legitimate classification must be founded. But I pass to add a few new species, and remarks on old species, to some of the genera that have been enumerated ; having upon former occasions treated of the several Indian genera among them : and this having done, shall bid adieu to the Insessorial tribes for a while, till fresh novelties among them begin again to accumulate.
Leiotrichane. (Treated of in XIII, 934 et seq., and XIV, 552).
The Siva nipalensis, Hodgson, should, I now think, be referred to Alcippe, nobis, being closely allied to A. sepiaria, (Horsfield); and I doubt whether A. Phayrei, nobis, XIV, 601, is other than an individual variety of S. nipalensis, in which the blackish nuchal streaks are wanting. S. nipalensis, with the nuchal streaks, is not uncommon in Arracan. I also now think it better to class my Siva occipitalis, XIV, 553, with Ixulus flavicollis, Hodgson; modifying the diagnosis of Ixulus so as to comprise both species, for they are undoubtedly very closely allied, notwithstanding the considerable difference in form of bill. Of the
genus Pteruthius, Mr. Hodgson has sent the following descriptions of what are considered by him to be two new species.
Pt. canthochloris, H. (Non vidi.) “Above vernal-green, below bright yellow. Cap slaty-blue. Throat white: alars and caudals internally dark, the latter tipped with yellow, and albescent marginally on the sides. Iris dark brown. Legs fleshy-white. Bill plumbeous. Structure typical. Size small. Sexes alike? Length five inches; bill seven-sixteenths ; tail under two inches ; wing two and a quarter in some, nearly two and a half in other specimens ; tarse thirteen-sixteenths ; central toe and nail nine-sixteenths ; hind seven-sixteenths."
Pt. melanotis, H. (Non vidi.) “Structure typical. Closely allied in size and otherwise to the preceding species. Length four inches and a half; extent six and a half. Bill half an inch. Tail an inch and six-tenths; tarse eight-tenths. Central toe and nail plus half an inch. Hind unde. half an inch. Above vernal-green, below bright yellow. Throat bright chesnut. Nape slaty. Ears half golden, half black. Wing-coverts black with white tips. Bill dark slaty. Legs fleshy. Tail nearly even, and paled to the sides.” The habitat of both these (alleged) species would appear to be the region of the Terai, at the base of the S. E. Himalaya. I cannot, however, help suspecting that the latter is merely the adult male of the former.
Proparus chrysotis (chrysopterus ?), Hodgson, XIII, 938.* Fine specimens of this bird, from Darjeeling, are now before me, in much better order than that formerly sent by Mr. Hodgson. They have the upper-parts fine olive-green, which fades to ashy by exposure to the
• The name chrysotis must have arisen from a slip of the pen on the part of Mr. H., probably for chrysopterus, or perhaps leucotis, as the former is inapplicable to the species. It had better stand as Pr, leucotis.
light; crown nigrescent, and throat dark silvery-ash ; the ear-coverts whitish silvery-ash. The male has the whole under-parts, below the throat and fore-neck, bright yellow, the first five primaries edged with the same; the secondaries and basal two-thirds of all but the middle pair of rectrices are margined with orange-yellow; the tertiaries internally with dull white, and most of the great alars have a small white spot at tip. In the females, the lower-parts are merely tinged with yellow, and that of the wings and tail is comparatively very faint.
Minla cinerea, nobis, n. 8. Allied in form and size to M. castaniceps, XIII, 939. Colour olive-grey above, tinged with green ; beneath white, tinged on the flanks with ashy, and shewing some yellow along the middle of the abdomen : a broad yellowish-white supercilium, and over this a black one ; the coronal feathers margined with black, and the cheeks mingled black and white ; orbital feathers subdued white; wings and tail without markings; the tertiaries edged with grey, and the secondaries with very faint dull yellowish. Length four inches and a half, of wing two and a quarter, and tail an inch and three-quarters ; bill to gape nearly five-eighths; and tarse three-quarters of an inch. Probably a female bird. From Darjeeling.
In XIV, 600, at the suggestion of Mr. Strickland, I regarded as identical the Hypsipetes gracilis, M'Clelland and Horsfield, with Sibia capistrata, (Vig.), v. nigriceps, Hodgson ; but referring since to Dr. M'Clelland's drawing of Sibia gracilis, and more particularly also to the latin diagnosis (P. 2. S. 1839, p. 159), I find that they are decidedly distinct. The following description is taken from the drawing of S. gracilis. Above dark non-rufous brown, paler below, and the throat white; rump and upper tail-coverts ashy; tail also greyish, with a broad black subterminal band, and broad greyish-white tips; wings dusky-black, the great coverts partly, and the tertiaries wholly, greyishwhite, the latter having a slight dusky subterminal border and white extreme edge. Iris whitish. Bill dusky-black; and legs dull white. Wing three inches and a half : tail about four inches. Inhabits Assam.
Leioptila, nobis, n. g. This form serves to connect Sibia, Hodg., as exemplified by S. capistrata, with Yuhina, Hodg; but cannot be placed satisfactorily with either. It also much approaches Ixops, Hodg., in general structure, but the legs and toes are much smaller. The bill, too, is more slender, less so than in Yuhina, rather more so than in