(361) Aethorhynchus lafresnayi.
THE GREAT IORA.
Iora lafresnayi Hartl., Rev. Zool., 1844, p. 401 (Malacca). Aethorhynchus lafresnayi. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 228.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description.— Breeding male. Upper plumage dull green, the feathers fringed with black: wings, tail and upper tail-coverts deep black, the primaries and outer secondaries very narrowly edged with greenish on the outer and more broadly with white on the inner webs; lores, cheeks, a ring round the eye and the whole lower plumage bright yellow.
Non-breeding male and female. Upper plumage without the black fringes; the tail dull greenish yellow; primaries and secondaries brown instead of black.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown or hazel-brown; bill plumbeous, leaden blue or bluish slate, the culmen darker; legs and feet clear slate or plumbeous blue, the claws horny-brown.
Measurements. Length about 165 mm.; wing 67 to 72 mm.; tail about 55 to 57 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen about 17 mm.
Distribution. From South Arrakan down West Burma to Tenasserim and the Malay Peninsula, Siam and ? Annam.
Nidification, Two nests taken by Mr. W. A. T. Kellow near Perak are small, rather deep cups of the softest grasses, fined with the same and well bound round and about with spiders' webs, often mixed with their egg-bags. Both were placed in high bushes in evergreen-jungle. They were taken on 4th January and 27th March and contained one and three eggs respectively. In ground-colour these are a greyish white and they are marked longitudinally with grey streaks and here and there with one more reddish. They measure between 17.3 x 14.1 mm. and 20.2 x 15.3 mm.; the former is presumably abnormally small.
Habits. The Great Iora is more of a forest, than a garden bird, at the same time in Mergui and other places it is known to enter compounds and orchards. It is said to keep, to the higher trees in preference to scrub- and bush-jungle, to have a fine whistling call and to be entirely insectivorous in its diet.