Anous stolidus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 227 (1766) ; (Audub.), B. Am. pl. 275 ; (Gould), B. of E. v. pl. 421 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 486, pl. cxxxiv. fig. 3 ; (Seebohm), B. Jap. Emp. p. 300 ; Gould, B. of Austral, vii. pl. 34 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 529 ; Saunders, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxv. p. 136 ; id. Manual, p. 655 ; Ridgway, p. 48 ; Lilford, vi. p. 29, pl. 13 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 325.
Male ad. (Brit. Honduras). Forehead nearly white ; crown, pale grey passing into greyish brown on the nape ; lores and orbital region black ; cheeks and throat plumbeous ; rest of plumage above and below chocolate- brown ; wings and tail blackish ; bill black, orange at the angle of the gape ; legs dusky vinous purple ; iris deep brown. Culmen 2.1, wing 10.15, tail 6.2, tarsus 1.0 inch.
Hab. Tropical and subtropical seas ; the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of America down to Tristan da Cunha in the Atlantic ; the coasts of tropical and subtropical Africa, and of Asia north to Japan ; Australia down to about 35° S. lat. ; islands of the Pacific up to Laysan, &c., and down to the Galapagos, but not Peru or Chile ; is said to have been obtained off the south¬east coast of Ireland.
Is essentially an oceanic species. It feeds on small fish, mollusca, medusae, &c. Unlike the other Terns, it constructs a somewhat bulky nest of twigs, grass, or seaweed, which is placed on a bush or tree, and deposits 1 egg only, which is laid from January to May and September, according to latitude. The eggs are dull and glossless in texture, white, muddy white, or buffy white in ground-colour, sparingly marked with pale pur¬plish grey shell spots and reddish brown or dark brown surface spots, and measure about 2.06 by 1.38.
1127. Anous stolidus