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Orthotomus longicauda.* In general, I think it will be observed that they frequent higher jungle, and scrubby open country less, than the Drymoice ; which would bear out their affinity to the Orthotomi : and, lastly, it may be remarked, that the first species below noticed was classed as an Orthotomus by, I believe, the Baron de la Fresnaye.
1. Pr. flaviventris, (Delessert,) vide XIII, 376. This species is remarkable for the absence of subterminal variegation to its tail-feathers,
2. Pr.oliraceus, (Raffles,) Lin. Tr. XIII, 313. Apparently closely allied to the preceding, but having a subterminal blackish band to its tail-feathers.
3. Pr. familiaris, Ilorsfield, figured both in the Zoological Re. searches in Java,' and by Mr. Swainson. Also evidently allied to the two preceding.
4. Pr. socialis, Sykes : Foodkey Warbler of Latham. Southern India.
5. Pr. Stewarti, nobis ; Sylvia kalaphutki, Buch. Ilam., MS. : probably Flaxen Varbler, var. A, of Latham. I found this species upon three specimens procured by Dr. Stewart near Agra, which alike differ from three of Pr. socialis before me, in their smaller size, considerably smaller bill, whiter throat, and much less distinct subterminal broad caudal band as seen above, the rest of the tail-feathers being also considerably more rufescent : in other respects the two species present a close resemblance. Length of wing an inch and three-quarters; tail two and a quarter ; bill to gape nine-sixteenths; tarse three-quarters of an inch : the corresponding measurements in Pr. socialis being two inches, two and a quarter, eleven-sixteenths, and seven-eighths or nearly so. In the latter species, the tips of the tail-feathers have the terminal quarter of an inch conspicuously black, with a slight greyish edge beyond ; while in the present species the dark band is much less broad, and only appears above as if showing through the feathers.
This observation concerning the nest leads me to suggest that the “unspotted verditer-blue eggs” found in some Tailor-birds' nests, as noticed by Mr. Hodgson, in P. Z. S. 1845, p. 29, were those of Pr. Hodgsoni, nobis; for the nearly allied Drymoica lay blue eggs, as remarked by Mr. Jerdon of Dr. inornata, and so do the Malacocerci, Sphenura , &c., to which they approximate. As for Mr. Hodgson's two species of Orthotomus, I consider his 0. patia to be decidedly the young of the other, previously named 0. lingos by Sykes. Mr. H. forwarded the young as a separate species to the Society's Mu
6. Pr. Hodgsoni, nobis, XIII, 376: Pr. gracilis apud Jerdon, et nos passim.
7. Pr. gracilis, Franklin.* A species which I consider to be this one, was observed abundantly in the low sál jungles to the northward of Midnapore ; and some time previously, Mr. Jerdon forwarded a young bird with the MS. name Pr. tarda, which, without having now by me for comparison, I suspect will prove to be the same. Length four inches and a half, by five and three-quarters in alar expanse ; wing an inch and seven-eighths ; tail two inches ; bill to gape five-eighths ; tarse thirteensixteenths of an inch. Some specimens are rather smaller. Bill black; irides deep amber ; bare orbits dull yellow ; feet dull orpiment-yellow. Colour slightly rufescent olive above, greyer on the head and neck; the wing-feathers edged externally with rufous-brown: under-parts silkywhite, tinged with yellowish-fulvous on the flanks, and faintly on the sides of the neck : tail brown, albescent-greyish underneath, with subterminal dark band and whitish tips, much more conspicuous on the under surface than above. The following is the description which I took of Mr. Jerdon's specimen from S. India :
Colour light greyish olive-green above, slightly fulvescent white below, with a tinge of yellow on the sides of the neck : wings pale dusky, margined with light rufescent-brown; and tail the same, with a very strongly marked subterminal blackish band and pale greyish tips, as seen beneath, but the former scarcely visible on its middle feathers above: bill pale, the ridge a little dusky towards its tip; and legs very pale, probably flesh-coloured in the recent specimen. Length about five inches or less, of wing one and seven-eighths, and middle tail-feathers two inches, the outermost an inch and an eighth less; tarse thirteensixteenths. This species is very common in the Midnapore jungles, in straggling flocks of a dozen or more individuals ; and a number of them together sometimes utter a twittering kind of song : but from their small size, restlessness, and the nature of the cover they frequent, it requires some patience to obtain a number of specimens.
8. Pr. rufescens, nobis, n. 8. Closely allied to the last, from which it is distinguished by the much more rufous colouring of its entire upper-parts, and of the flanks: the tail above, and wings externally, are uniform rufous or light ferruginous. Inhabits Arracan.
* Nec Pr. gracilis, Ruppell, which should be a Drymvicu, if the distinction here proposed be adopted.
To Cisticola we can only refer
C. cursitans, (Franklin.) India generally, including Lower Bengal, though chiefly above the tideway of the river. A second species is common in parts of the south of Europe, the C.schoenicola, Bonap.; and a third occurs in Australia, recently described (and since figured) by Mr. Gould as C. campestris, P. 2. S. 1835, p. 20.* These little birds frequent sedges and long grass in the open country, also growing corn and other low crops ; and the Indian species may be commonly observed to rise a little
way into the air, as is the habit of so many birds that inhabit similar situations, repeating at quick intervals a single note--jik, jik. Like its European affine, it is also remarkable for the beautiful construction of its nest, sewing together a number of growing stems and leaves of grass, with a delicate pappus which forms also the lining, and laying four or five translucent white eggs, with reddish brown spots, more numerous and forming a ring at the large end, very like those of Orthotomus longicauda. It abounds in suitable districts throughout the country.
Drymoica, Sw. The types of this division, as cited by Mr. Swainson, are-1, the European Cisticola schenicola,—and 2, le Capocier of Levaillant, or Sylvia macroura, Lath., of South Africa, considered identical with the species figured in Denon's Egypt. Other African species have been figured and described by Ruppell and by Dr. A. Smith : but no restricted Prinia appears to have been yet met with on the African continent. To the same immediate group as Dr. macroura, (Lath.) Sw., must also be referred several Indian species, some of which are very closely allied together, and difficult to describe apart. The bill is shorter, less slender, wider and deeper at base, with more developed stiff rictal bristles, than in the true Priniæ; and, if black, is only of this colour during the breeding season, as in Sphenura and Megalurus. The plumage is commonly plain deep brown, darker (or sometimes rufous) on the crown, where the feathers have usually somewhat paler margins; the lores, under-parts, and more or less developed eye-streak, pale ; and the graduating tail-feathers have a subterminal dusky bar and pale tip, in general distinctly traceable, but less strongly marked and contrasting than in the Prinia and Cisticolæ. They inhabit low scrubby bush-cover in the open country, rather than high bush-jungle, to which the Prinia chiefly resort ; or long grass, the favourite abode of the Cisticolæ : and the nest is of ordinary construction and open above, neither formed by sewing a few grass stems and leaves together, in the manner of the Cisticole, nor broad leaves, like the Orthotomi and (so far as known) the Prinic. At the head of the Indian species may be placed
* Add, also, several of Dr. A. Smith's Drymoicæ of South Africa, as Levaillantii, terrestris, cherina, subruficapilla, apparently also the large nutalensis, and perhaps chini.
His Dr. teatrir, or the Pincpinc of Levaillant, constitutes Mr. Swainson's further subdivision Hemipteryr. Gould also figures and describes a C, magna from Australia.
1. Dr. criniger ; Suya criniger, Hodgson, As. Res. XIX, 183. Nepal.
2. Dr. longicaudata ? Sylvia longicaudata (?), Tickell, II, 576 : Prinia macroura, Franklin (nec Sylvia macroura, Lath.), altered to Pr. Franklinii, nobis, in XIII, 376. (Non vidi.) Hab. Indian peninsula, probably to the northward chiefly.
3. Dr. sylvatica, Jerdon. A specimen of what appears to me as the young of this bird, has been forwarded on loan by Mr. Jerdon with the specific name neglecta.* The plumage has the unsubstantial texture characteristic of immaturity; and the general colour is not so dark, the crown being of the same faintly rufescent brown as the rest of the upperparts,t the rufescent edgings of the wing-coverts and primaries are more developed, and the tail is much shorter ; its middle feathers measuring but two inches and a half, and the three or four outer tail-feathers having broader but ill-defined dull whitish tips, and no decided indication of the subterminal dusky band (which I also find to be the case in certain unshed tail-feathers of a specimen of Dr. Jerdoni, while those that had been moulted resemble the corresponding feathers of Dr. sylvatica). Entire under-parts of the same uniform clear fulvous-white. Length of wing two inches and a quarter ; of bill to gape five-eighths, and tarse seveneighths, having apparently been fleshy-white. This young bird (for such it certainly is, whatever its species), was procured from the jungle skirting the base of the eastern ghauts of the peninsula. Dr. sylvatica inhabits the Neilgherries, but I believe is not confined to them.*
* It is described by Mr. Jerdon as Prinia neglecta, in the Madr. Journ. No. XXXI, 130; being altogether different from Dr. Jerdoni, of which that gentleman forwarded a second specimen by the same opportunity.
+ In the young of Dr. Buchununi, the rufous crown is much less marked than in the adult.
The Society has received a species from Java almost exactly similar to Dr. sylvatica, but smaller, having the wing but two inches and an eighth, instead of from two and three-eighths to two and a half: the bill, however, is fully as long, or longer than in most specimens of Dr. sylvatica, and the tips of the tail-feathers have a much broader and more conspicuous dusky band, as seen from beneath, with a narrower whitish terminal margin.
4. Dr. brevicaudata, nobis, n. 8. Length five inches and a quarter, of wing two and an eighth, and tail but two inches, its outermost feathers half an inch shorter ; bill to gape five-eighths, and tarse threequarters of an inch. Colour plain uniform greenish olive-brown above, inclining to tawny towards the tail; paler and albescent below, passing to olive on the flanks : the anterior third of the under surface of the wing nearly pure white. Bill dusky, and legs pale. From Darjeeling.
5. Dr. Jerdoni, nobis : described as a new species of Prinia in XI, 883, but regarded as a variety of Dr. inornata in XIII, 376. Intermediate to Dr. sylvatica' and Dr. inornata (vera) of Southern India ; also nearly allied to the Javanese species, which it resembles in size, but differs in its subterminal dusky tail-band not being nearly so broad, and essentially resembling that of Dr. sylvatica. Except in being smaller, I can detect no available distinction of this species from Dr. sylvatica; i. e. distinctions which I might predicate as constant : but two specimens before me correspond exactly in dimensions ; having the wing two inches and an eighth, middle tail-feathers two and a half, bill to gape five-eighths, and tarse three-quarters. Inhabits Southern India.
Dr. inornata, (Sykes.) This is smaller, again, but otherwise similar, except that the tail-feathers are more albescent under
* I recently obtained a single specimen, about 40 miles to the N. W. of Midnapore. It was in an open bushy place, near tree-jungle; where also were many of the Chrysomma hypoleucos. Its note was a long-continued and rapid repetition of the sound twit. Length six inches and a half, by seven inches in spread of wing ; closed wing two inches and a quarter ; tail three and one-eighth. Legs carneous-brown ; irides deep amber, as usual throughout the group.