Genus AETHOPYGA

The genus Aethopyga contains those Sun-birds, the males of which have the middle pair of tail-feathers produced beyond the next pair and the lower back or rump yellow. The females are not so easy to diagnose. They resemble each other very closely and also the females of the next genus Arachnechthra, but they may be distinguished from the latter by the general green tone of the lower plumage.

In this genus the bill is slender and well curved downwards and the covering-membrane of the nostril is bare.

Key to the Species.

a. Chin and throat crimson.
a1. Middle tail-feathers exceeding next pair by more than length of tarsus.
a2. Crown and tail metallic green; tail 27…………………AE. seheriae , p. 348.
b2. Crown and tail metallic violet; tail…………………AE. andersoni , p. 349.
b1. Middle tail-feathers exceeding next pair by less than half tarsus.
c2. No metallic patch behind the ear-coverts.
a3. Moustachial streak entirely violet…………………AE. cara , p. 349.
b3. Moustachial streak bordered with black interiorly…………………AE. nicobarica p. 350.
d2. A metallic patch behind the ear-coverts…………………AE. vigorsi p. 350.
b. Chin and throat of a dark colour, not crimson.
c1. Middle tail-feathers red…………………AE. ignicauda p. 351.
d1. Middle tail-feathers green or violet.
e2. Back crimson.
c3. Dark portion of crown abruptly defined posteriorly and not ex¬tending to nape.
a4. Breast yellow…………………AE. gouldiae p. 352.
b4. Breast crimson…………………AE. dabryi p. 353.
d3. Dark portion of crown extending to hind neck or mantle.
c4. Crown, upper tail-coverts, and tail steel-blue.
a5. Breast black…………………AE. saturata p. 354.
b5. Breast yellow, streaked with crimson…………………AE. sanguinipectus [p. 354.
d4. Crown, upper tail-coverts, and tail green…………………AE. nepalensis , p. 355.
f2. Back olive-yellow…………………AE. horsfieldi , p. 356.
e. Chin and throat green, like remainder of lower plumage.
e1. A yellow band across the rump. g2. Upper plumage light green.
e3. Bill from gape to tip .8 …………………AE. saturata , p. 354.
f3. Bill from gape to tip .65…………………AE. gouldiae p. 352.
h2. Upper plumage dull green tinged with ashy. [p. 354.
g3. Bill from gape to tip .8 …………………AE. sanguinipectus
h3. Bill from gape to tip .7 …………………AE. dabryi , p. 353.
f1. No yellow band across rump.
i2. Distance from tip of outermost feather of tail to tip of tail equal to tarsus or more.
i3. Pale tips to tail-feathers obsolete…………………AE. ignicauda , p. 351.
k3. Tips of tail-feathers large, white, and well-defined…………………AE. nepalensis p. 355 & AE. seheriae p. 348
k2. Distance from tip of outermost feather of tail to tip of tail less than hind toe.
l3. Tail about 1.7 ; lower plumage distinctly ashy green…………………AE. vigorsi , p. 350.
m3. Tail about 1.5; lower-plumage distinctly pure green…………………AE. cara , p. 349.

* I have not been able to examine females of AE. nicobarica and AE. andersoni, and the only female of AE. horsfieldi accessible to me has no bill. I consequently omit these three from the Key.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
Genus AETHOPYGA
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1890
Page No: 
346
M_ID: 
29202
M_SN: 
Aethopyga
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
1207

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