272, Plotus melanogaster.
THE INDIAN DARTER or SNAKE BIRD.
Banwa, India; Sili, Sind; Goyar, Bengal; Killaki-pitta (Telugu); Pam buttara, Ceylon.
Male 32" to 36". Legs black. Bill dusky and yellow. Long and lanceolate scapulars more than 5" long, spotted white. Outer webs of secondary coverts mostly silvery white. Foreneck never entirely chestnut. Black at base of foreneck, and chest not divided by buff bands from brown base of hind neck and upper back.— Female : Black at base of foreneck, and chest divided on each side from hind neck and upper back by a wide buff band terminating at the shoulder. Throughout the Oriental region, India, Ceylon, and Burma. Three or four eggs (2.13 x 1.37).
Also P. novae hollandiae. 31". Scapulars less than 5" long. Neck and under parts black. Long chestnut patch at base of foreneck.— Female ; Foreneck and below white. Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand.
P. rufus. 36". Outer webs of secondary coverts mostly rufous. Entire foreneck from throat downward chestnut. Black at back of foreneck, and chest not divided by chestnut bands from base of hind neck and upper back.— Female : Black at base of foreneck, and chest divided on each side from base of hindneck and upper back by a chestnut band terminating at the shoulder. N. Syria, Africa, north of 20° N. lat., and Madagascar.
P. anhinga. 36". Tail tipped white. Foreneck, chest, and below black.— Female: Foreneck and chest whitish. Tropical and subtropical America.