894. Arachnechthra lotenia.
Certhia lotenia, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 188 (1766). Nectarinia lotenia (L.), Blyth, Cat. p. 224. Arachnechthra lotenia (L.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 743; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 372 ; Wald. Ibis, 1870, p. 23; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 563; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 251. Cinnyris lotenius (L.), Shelley, Mon. Nect. pp. xxviii, xxxvi, 177, pl. 56; Hume, Cat. no. 235 ; Gadoio, Cat. B. M. ix, p. 60 ; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 57; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 390; Davison, S. F. x, p. 362; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 137.
The Large Purple Honey-sucker, Jerd.
Coloration. Male. The whole upper plumage metallic green glossed with lilac, the upper tail-coverts metallic blue; lesser and median wing-coverts lilac ; greater coverts and wings brown ; tail blue; sides of the head and neck green glossed with lilac; cheeks, chin, and upper throat metallic green; breast rich metallic violet changing to green at the sides; a band of maroon below the breast; pectoral tufts rich yellow with a small intermixture of crimson; remainder of lower plumage snuff-brown.
Female. "Whole upper plumage, wings, sides of the head, and neck greenish brown; entire lower plumage very dull yellow; tail blackish, the lateral feathers broadly tipped with whitish. Bill, legs, feet, and claws black ; iris deep brown (Davison).
Length about 5.5 ; tail 1.6; wing 2.3; tarsus .6 ; bill from gape 1.2. The female is considerably smaller, the tail being about 1.3, the wing 2, and the bill from gape 1.
Distribution. Ceylon and Southern India. On the west this species extends north as far as Ratnagiri, but on the east its limits are undetermined. Davison found this bird at 5000 feet in the Wynaad.
Habits, &c. A nest found by Mr. E. H. Aitken in November was similar to the nest of A. zeylonica, and contained a young bird and an egg. The latter is described as being dirty brownish white covered with dull brown marks.