(2159) Erolia acuminata.
THE ASIATIC PECTORAL SANDPIPER.
Totanus acuminatus Horsf., Trans. Linn. Soc, xiii, p. 192 (1821) (Java). Tringa acuminata. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 276.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description - Breeding plumage. Lores, edge of forehead and supercilium white with tiny black streaks; crown rufous with black streaks ; hind-neck duller paler rufous with black streaks ; mantle rich rufous, each feather broadly centred black and the scapulars, inner secondaries and wing-coverts edged with white ; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts blackish, narrowly edged rufescent; the lateral rump- and covert-feathers white with black centres; central tail-feathers blackish, edged with chestnut-rufous, lateral feathers lighter brown edged with white; wing-coverts dark brown, edged rufous and white ; primary coverts and primaries black, the first primary with a white shaft; outer -secondaries brown with white edges; underparts white, strongly tinged with rufous on the breast and fore-neck; chin to breast streaked with blackish, becoming bars on the flanks, abdomen and under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown or chocolate; bill dull black; legs and feet yellow-ochre.
Measurements. Wing 124 to 140 mm.; tail 45 to 58 mm.; tarsus 28 to 29 mm. (once 31 mm.); culmen 23 to 27 mm.
In Winter the upper parts are rather less rufous and black but the difference is not great; the breast, flanks and fore-neck are rufous-buff, the latter only lightly streaked with blackish.
Young birds are like the adult but have the upper parts more marked with cinnamon or rufous.
Distribution. Breeding in North-East Siberia and Alaska; in Winter South to China, the Indo-Chinese countries, the Malay States and Malay Archipelago and once obtained by Scully at Gilgit. To the East it is common in Australia.
Nidification unknown. Dybowski found it during June in Dauria, where it probably breeds.
Habits. Those of the genus *.
* This species is often separated from Erolia on account of its sharply-pointed and rather long central tail-feathers and Mathews, who divides Erolia into several genera, retains this bird under the generic name Limnocinclus. As, however, the tail varies very greatly and in nearly all species has the central tail-feathers more or less pointed, the differences do not seem of generic value.