1585. Asarcornis scutulatus.
The White-winged Wood-Duck.
Anas scutulata, S. Mull. Verhand. Land- en Volk, p. 159 (1839-44) ; Hume, S. F. viii, p. 158. Sarcidiornis (?) leucopterus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xviii, p. 820 (1849); id. Cat. p. 302. Casarca leucoptera, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 793 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 176 ; Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 165; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 489. Casarca scutulata, Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 176; 1870, p. 176 ; Hume, Cat. no. 955. Anas leucoptera, Hume Marsh. Game B. iii, pp. 147, 172, pl. ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 281; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 287; Simson, Ibis, 1882, p. 92; Hume Cripps, S. F. xi, p. 342. Asarcornis scutulata, Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxvii, p. 60; Baker, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. xi, p. 181.
Coloration. Head and neck white, speckled with black, more thickly on the crown and hind neck ; lower neck blackish brown, glossed with green all round, passing above into the olive-brown of the back, scapulars, rump, tail, and primaries; bend of wing and upper and under wing-coverts white; greater secondary coverts blue-grey, broadly tipped with black ; secondaries blue-grey on outer webs; tertiaries brown, the first with a black border and about half of the outer web inside the border white; lower parts brown tinged with rusty red. Sexes scarcely differing except in size ; back in female less glossy, and the head more or less tinged with ochreous.
Upper mandible dusky orange-red, blotched with black at base and tip and sparingly along commissure ; lower mandible pale orange-yellow, blotched with black along the sides, nail at tip of beak dusky pink ; irides crimson; legs and feet orange-yellow (Cripps).
Length of male 32 ; tail 6 ; wing 15 ; tarsus 2.4; bill from gape 2.9. Female : length 29 ; tail 5.5 ; wing 13 ; tarsus 2 ; bill from gape 2.8.
Distribution. Assam (not rare in the Dibrngarh district), Tenasserim, Malay Peninsula, and Java. The supposed occurrence of this bird in Eastern Bengal appears to be doubtful, and a reported capture in Singbhum requires confirmation.
Habits, &c. A shy resident bird, found singly, as a rule, about sluggish streams and swamps in high forest. It is very scarce in collections; even in the British Museum there are but three skins from Assam and Burma, and two of what is believed to be a domesticated variety, the original A. scutulata, from Java. Nothing is known of the breeding habits except that young birds are said to have been shot on the Dhansiri River in Assam.