(821) Lusciniola melanopogon mimica.
The Eastern Moustached Sedge-Warbler.
Lusciniola mimica Madtu&sz, Verlauf. ub. ein nen Roles (1903) (Transcaspia). Lusciniola melanopogon. Blanf. & Oatea, 5, p. 309.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description, forehead, crown and nape black edged with rufous-brown; hind neck, back and scapulars rufous-brown, streaked with dark brown; rump and upper tail-coverts plain rufous-brown ; wings and tail brown, edged with rufous-brown; lores and a streak through the eye dark brown; a bold white supercilium from the nostrils to the nape; ear-coverts mixed rufous and white; lower parts white suffused with buff from breast to under tail-coverts and more strongly so on flanks.
L. m. mimica is a much darker bird both above and below and is much more boldly marked on the back and scapulars than L. m. melanopogon.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill deep greenish brown above, below lighter and fleshy at the base; legs, feet and claws greenish brown (Bingham).
Measurements. Total length about 146 to 152 mm.; wing 61 to 66 mm.; tail 47 to 52 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen about 11 to 12 mm.
Distribution. In India this bird lias been found in Sind, Kashmir, the Punjab and N.W. Provinces, the majority of the specimens in. the British Museum coming from Etawah and Sind. Outside India it is found from the delta of the Volga, Kirghis Steppes, Transcaspia, "West Turkestan, Persia.
Nidification. It has been obtained breeding in Issuk Kul. The nest is like that of the Moustached Sedge-Warbler, a cup of grasses and roots lined with fine grasses placed low down in reeds in swampy ground. The only clutches of eggs I have seen were quite indistinguishable from those of the Western birds; in ground-colour they are pale greenish grey, stippled all over, with a darker shade of the same forming a ring at the larger end; there are also a few black hair-lines. The eggs in my collection vary from 16.1 x 12.9 to 19.0 x 13.5 mm.
The full number of eggs appears to be four and the breeding months April and May.
Habits. A shy skulking little bird creeping actively but unobtrusively in and out of reeds, tamarisk and other bushes standing in water or other swampy ground. In Sind during heavy floods, when most of its normal cover is flooded out, Ticehurst says that it is much more conspicuous and by no means wild. He describes its note as a curious scolding chuckle.