885. Aethopyga nicobarica.
The Nicobar Yellow-backed Sunbird.
Aethopyga nicobarica, Hume, S. F. i, p, 412 (1873) ; Shelley, Mon. Nect. pp. xx, 61, pl. 20; Hume, Cat. no. 225 bis; Gadow, Cat. B. M. ix, p. 22.
Coloration. Male. Differs from AE. seheriae in having the metallic portion of the crown of very small extent and suffused with violet; the nape crimson; the moustachial stripe lined with black interiorly; the exposed parts of the tail violet, not green.
Female. Differs from AE. seheriae in wanting the yellow on the flanks; in having the tail 1.3 inches in length, the lateral feathers being only .2 shorter than the middle pair; and in having a much broader and a pale-coloured bill.
The male agrees with that of AE. cara in having short middle tail-feathers, but differs from it in having a smaller cap and the moustachial stripe lined with black.
Both Hume and Shelley are in error, I think, in asserting that the female of this species has the throat red ; three specimens in the Hume Collection, sexed as females it is true, but having the throat red, are in my opinion young males, and the females when obtained will probably prove to be green birds without a trace of red, as is the case with all the other species of this genus.
This species differs from AE. siparaja, which inhabits the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo, in having a much longer bill. In AE. siparaja the bill measured at front is .6.
Male : legs, feet, and upper mandible dark brown ; lower mandible pale brown ; iris brown. Female : upper mandible horny brown ; lower mandible, legs, and feet yellow; iris brown (Hume).
Male: length about 5; tail 2; wing 2.1; tarsus .5; bill at front .75.
Distribution. The Nicobar Islands.