Bill long and stout, culmen angulate, almost straight; nasal ridge strongly developed, nearer to the culmen than to the commissure at the base of the bill; nostrils open, not concealed by plumes; chin-angle nearly halfway from gape to tip of bill; no crest. Wings rounded, primaries scarcely exceeding secondaries in length ; tail short; outer pair of tail-feathers longer than the coverts; first toe well-developed; fourth (or reversible) toe a little longer than third. Colour bay above more or less banded with black, very dark brown beneath, a partial red collar in males.
Only two species are known.
Key to the Species.
Larger: wing 5.75; back barred ………………….P. pyrrhotis, p. 50.
Smaller: wing 4.8; back not barred………………….P. rubiginosus, p. 51.
The oldest name for this genus, Venilia (of which the type appears to have been V. porphyromelas, Bp. Consp. i, p. 128) cannot be used, as it had previously been employed in both Lepidoptera and Mollusca. Lepocestes of Cabanis (1863) has been adopted by Hargitt, but Pyrrhopicus and Plinthopicus of Malherbe date from 1861, and I accept the first. Blythipicus of Bonaparte (1854) is generally regarded as too absurd a term to be admitted. '
? Picus nanus, Vigors. P. Z. S. 1831, p. 172 (1832). Iyngipicus nanus, Hargitt, Ibis, 1882, p. 38 ; id. Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 327 ; Gould, B. Asia, vi, pl. xxxiv.
Coloration. Crown and eye-stripe dark brown, nape very dark; supercilium extending to neck and a band below the eye-stripe white; upper parts dark brown with white cross-bands; all tail-feathers spotted, the spots on the outer webs of the primaries small; chin and throat pure white, bordered on each side by a brown malar stripe; rest of lower parts sullied white with indistinct rather broad brown streaks. Male with, as usual, a red streak on each side of the occiput.
Wing 305 inches; tail 1.6; tarsus .65 ; bill from gape .7.
Distribution. Three specimens collected by Captain Stackhouse Pinwill, one at Dharmsala, the other two in North-western India, are in the British Museum, and have been referred by Hargitt to Vigors's species, which was said to be from the N.W. Himalayas, and with the description of which they agree fairly. At the same time they are, as Hargitt points out, only just separable from the Malay I. auritus, and it is difficult to believe that all the ornithologists who have ransacked the N.W. Himalayas of late years can have overlooked this bird, which is easily distinguished from I. pygmaeus and I. hardwickii, if it, inhabits the area.