صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

neath, and the subterminal dusky band tends to contract into a medial spot on each tail-feather. Length of wing under two inches, of middle tail-feathers two and a quarter, bill to gape barely five-eighths, and tarse three-quarters of an inch. A specimen sent by Mr. Jerdon with the name sericea, I take to be the young of this; distinguished by the looser texture of its feathers, and by its general much paler colouring : also from Southern India.

7. Dr. fusca, (Hodgson,) P. Z. S. 1835, p. 29: Prinia inornata of Bengal, Nepal, &c., apud nos, passim. Hab. also Arracan. Plumage altogether more fulvescent than in the preceding species, and less firm in texture ; with the tail-feathers much browner, and not so strongly marked at the tips : all the wing-feathers broadly edged with rufousbrown, and tail tinged with the same. Inhabits likewise the Midna

pore district.

8. Dr. Buchanani, nobis ; altered from rufifrons, Franklin, XIII, 376 : Prinia brunnifrons, Hodgson, Ann. Mag. N. H. 1845, p. 19; probably Sylvia longicauda, var. A, of Latham. Nepal, Upper Bengal, Southern India.

9. Dr. lepida, nobis, XIII, 376. During an excursion up the river, I obtained several specimens (and observed many more) of a strongly marked species, which appears to be this one, so far as I can identify it from comparison with the injured Scinde specimen. Length four inches and three-quarters to five and a quarter ; the tail varying from two and one-eighth to two and five-eightlıs, with its outermost feathers from an inch to one and a quarter less; alar


five inches and a quarter to five and a half; closed wing an inch and three-quarters; bill to gape half an inch, or a trifle more ; tarse five-eighths of an inch. Irides bright yellowish-brown: bill plumbeous, paler (and sometimes carneous) below ; legs pale carneous, with a faint tinge of yellow. General colour light olive-grey above, each feather having a mesial dusky streak, broader on those of the crown and back : wings light dusky-brown, the feathers margined with olive-grey: and tail throughout distinctly banded above, with narrow transverse duskyish lines ; below pale, with whitish tips, and a subterminal dusky band to each feather : the under-parts throughout are greyish-white, with lores and a slight supercilium of the same. This bird inhabits low scrub, interinixed with tufts of coarse sedgy grass, growing in sandy places by the

river-side ; and it frequently flies out to feed among the thin herbage growing along the margin of the sand dunes.*

Malacopteron group. I know of no birds more difficult to arrange than the chiefly Malayan series nearly allied to true Timalia, to certain species of which Mr. Eyton first gave the name Malucopteron. Twelve or more species of this series are now before me.

First, following true Timalia and Macronous, we have Turdinus, nobis, XIII, 382, founded on M. macrodactylus of Strickland. Lord Arthur Hay has recently added, with a mark of doubt, a species which his lordship terms Turdinus ? superciliaris (Madr. Journ. No. XXXI, p. 163); but suggests a divisional name, Turdirostris, and defines its characters, in case should it be deemed separable, which I now consider it to be. Indeed, I am not satisfied that its affinities are not rather with Copsychus and Kittacincla (p. 139, ante).

Next, might come M. magnum of Eyton, with which I would only place an allied and larger species of the series before me, which may be described as Malacopteron majus, nobis. Length seven inches and a half, or

of wing three and a half; and tail three inches : bill to gape an inch; and tarse thirteen-sixteenths of an inch. Colour resembling that of M. magnum, except that the upper tail-coverts are brighter rufous, and that the rufous feathers of the forehead and vertex are not tipped with black. Found at Malacca. What appears to be a female of this bird has been since received from Penang. Colour the same, except that the head is plain brown, like the back, and the tail is more rufous underneath : there is a dark line from the base of the lower mandible, bordering the white throat ; and the wing does not exceed three inches.

M. magnum, Eyton, P. Z. S. 1839, p. 103. Length approaching to six inches; of wing two inches and seven-eighths; and tail two and three-quarters ; bill to gape above three-quarters of an inch ; and tarse three-quarters. Colour olive-brown above, greyish towards the neck, more rufous over the rump, and the tail brownish-ferruginous ; forehead and vertex bright rufous, the feathers narrow-spatulate, of rigid texture, and tipped with black ; occiput black; the small feathers around the


• Lord A. Hay informs me of an additional undescribed species, very common in the Upper Provinces, which he calls Dr. terrestris (Non vidi). This specific name has, however, been previously applied to a South African Cisticula.

eye white-centred : lower-parts white, slightly tinged with brown, more especially on the sides of the breast. Bill and feet pale, the former darker above. Also from Malacca.

These two species are distinguished by a much compressed bill, of moderate length, and strongly and abruptly hooked at tip; and by the peculiar rigid feathers of the forehead and vertex; M. majus being moreover stronger and more robustly made, as well as longer, than M. magnum, which latter bird has been rather unlucky in its appellation.

Trichastoma, nobis, XI, 795. This has been referred to Malacopteron, but may now be restored, and I think Malacocincla, nobis, XIV, 600, might be included in it. The bill is more elongated, less compressed, and less abruptly curved at tip, than in the preceding section ; widening considerably at base, and pretty regularly in the first species, while in the second it is narrower and more slender, and in the third (which must be regarded as aberrant) it is deep and much compressed. The species are Tr. ferruginosum, nobis, XIII, 383, - Tr. rostratum, nobis, XI, 795,--and Tr. Abbotti, nobis, XIV, 600. The two former are from Malacca, and the third was described from Arracan, whence the Society has received several specimens altogether similar ; but it has now also one from Malacca, which differs in being of a much more olivaceous and less rufous tinge above, with also less rufous below, and that of the upper tail-coverts is not so deep. *

Next follows Alcippe, nobis, XIII, 384 : of which the following species are before me.-1, A. atriceps (Brachypteryx alriceps, Jerdon); -2, A. affinis, nobis, XIII, 384 ;—3, A. cinerea, (Eyton), ibid ;—4, A. poiocephala (Timalia poiocephala, Jerdon) ;-5, A. sepiaria (Horsfield);—6, A. nipalensis, (Siva nipalensis, Hodgson), of which A. Phayrei, nobis, XIV, 601, seems to be merely an individual variety. Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively from Malacca, S. India, Java, and Nepal and Arracan, are very nearly allied; especially the two last, which present the same dark lines proceeding from over the eye down the nape.

Very close to the above, and scarcely separable from them, ranges my Setaria albogularis, XIII, 385 ; and if Brachypteryx nigrocapitata

Brachypteryx bicolor of Lesson, vide XIII, 385, is not improbably either Tr. ferruginosum or Tr. rostratum,

of Eyton truly belong to the present series, another subdivision will be required for its reception.

I have at length brought my remarks on the Insessores to a close for the present; and it is not likely that I shall again have such an accumulation of them to deal with. In conclusion, I may once more refer to Mr. Hodgson's late paper, in the · Proceedings of the Zoological Society,' for April 8th, 1845, to identify a few more synonymes than have been already indicated in the present article.—Micornis ruficeps M. chloris,* J. A. S. XI, 794, and note to XIII, 380; Erpornis ranthochlora=E. xantholeuca, Hodgson, XIII, 380 ; Floreites schistilatus, Horornis ? fuligiventer, and H? fulviventris,-non vidi; Chelidorhynx chrysoschistos=Rhipidura hypoxanthus, (nobis,) XII, 936. The reduction of synonymes is oftentimes a more acceptable service to Zoology, than the establishment (or especially the semi-establishment) of species previously undescribed; and the time and labour expended in the task of reducing synonymes, can only be appreciated by those who have personally engaged in it.

Postscript.- The Strix indranee of Sykes, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1832, p. 82, is a species which has not heretofore been identified ; but I think there can be little doubt that it refers to the young of Bulaca newaren sis, Hodgson, As. Res. XIX, 168, and J. A. S. VI, 372, v. B. monticola, Jerdon, Madr. Journ. No. XXX, 167; there being evidently a mistake in the dimensions assigned—"longitudo corporis 21 unc., caudæ 9,”--21 being put for 11. Thus Mr. Jerdon gives--"Length of male 20 in., of female 22 in. Of the latter the wing is 14, tail 9 ;” and in a fine specimen from Goomsoor, which looks in imperfectly mature plumage, the length of wing and tail are respectively as here given ; but its total length would scarcely have exceeded 19 in. Mr. Hodgson states that the sexes of his B. newarensis “are alike both as to size and colours," and merely gives the dimensions as “ 20 to 21 inches, by 48 to 50 between the wings :” but rather the larger of two fine specimens before me, from the N. W. Himalaya, has the wing 17 inches long, and the tail 11 inches; and its total length, when recent, must have been fully 2 ft. All, however, are evidently of the same species, which must now accordingly rank as Bulaca indranee, (Sykes.) Mr. G. R. Gray has figured this bird with yellow irides, instead of their being dark brown :

• Probably Motacillu rubicapillu, Tickell, as I formerly suggested.

such a feature would detract from its undoubted near affinity for Syrnium, to which genus Mr. Gray even refers it.*

The other Indian species of Bulaca, which is currently (but by no means satisfactorily) referred to Strix sinensis, Lath., is beautifully connected in the same group with B. indranee by the intervention of the Malayan B. seloputo, (Ilorsf.), v. pagodarum, (Tem.)

With regard to Syrnium niricolum, XIV, 185, XV, 9, I find that it has a fulvous phase and a non-fulvous phase of plumage, corresponding to what obtain in S. aluco; but the dark markings are always much deeper-coloured in the European species, and mottle the plumage more uniformly and more minutely; the black being much more predominant on the upper-parts, and without producing any streaky appear ance. The ground-hue of the lower-parts is quite white in some specimens, deep fulvous in others, but in all is mottled similarly with dull black.

Genus Bucco, Lin. There are several allied species of small Barbets which require discrimination.

1. B. indicus, Lath. One of the commonest birds of India generally, but I have not yet seen it from Ceylon, where it is replaced by one of its affines ; on the eastern side of the Bay of Bengal, I have seen it from Arracan, the Tenasserim provinces, and Malayan peninsula (where it seems rare); so that it may also be the B. philippensis of Raffles's list of Sumatran birds, which, he remarks,“ does not appear to be different from the B, indicus."

2. B. philippensis, Lin. : B. rubricollis (?), Cuv. This has been generally confounded with the preceding species ; but (from the description) it should differ in wanting the black on the crown and sides of the neck. Dr. Horsfield includes it in his catalogue of the birds of Java.

3. B. rubricapillus, Gmelin ; founded on the “ Red-crowned Barbet” of Brown's Illustrations. On comparing four specimens of a small Barbet from Ceylon with Brown's most wretched figure, I have no doubt that they are of the species meant to be represented ; in which case Browu must have got up his coloured drawing from a much injured skin. This Ceylon bird differs from B. indicus in having its throat, and above and below the eye, orange-yellow, instead of sulphur-yellow;

* In his ('atalogue of Mr. Hodgson's specimens presented to the British Museum, I am glad to see that Mr. Gray also refers B. neuarensis, Hodgson, to Strix indranee of Sykes.

« السابقةمتابعة »