Genus ARACHNECHTHRA

I retain the genus Arachnechthra for those Indian Sun-birds in which the tail in both sexes is short and rounded, the covering-membrane of the nostril bare, and the bill slender and much curved downwards. The type of the genus Cinnyris, in which genus these Sun-birds have latterly been placed, is C. splendida from Africa, and this species has the upper tail-coverts very ample, reaching quite to the tip of the tail. I cannot therefore consider the Indian species, which I retain in Arachnechthra, at all congeneric with this African bird.

In the genus Arachnechthra the sexes are very different in coloration, the males being clothed in metallic colours and the females being greenish above and yellow beneath. The females of the different species resemble each other very closely and are difficult to separate, except in the case of a few.

Key to the Species.

a. Chin and throat dark-coloured and metallic.
a1. Lower plumage, below the breast, dark-coloured.
a2. Upper plumage uniformly of one colour.
a3. Abdomen snuff-brown…………………A. lotenia p.358.
b3. Abdomen violet-black…………………A. asiatica p. 359.
b2. Upper plumage green, black, and blue…………………A. hasselti p. 360.
b1. Lower plumage, below the breast, yellow,
c2. Back olive-yellow,
c3. Forehead and anterior part of crown violet-blue…………………A. pectoralis , p. 361.
d3. Forehead and anterior part of crown like back.
a4. Pectoral tufts yellow and flame-colour; bill from gape .8…………………A. flammaxillaris P. 362.
b4. Pectoral tufts entirely yel¬low ; bill from gape more than .9…………………A. andamanica P. 363.
d2. Back crimson.
e3. Upper tail-coverts metallic red…………………A. minima P. 363.
f3. Upper tail-coverts metallic purple…………………A. zeylonica P. 364.
b. Chin and throat pale-coloured and non-metallic,
c1. Entire lower plumage yellow.
e2. Rump and upper tail-coverts of the same colour as the back.
g3. Bill from gape quite 1 inch or more…………………A. lotenia , p.358.
h3. Bill from gape well under 1 inch.
c4. Lower plumage rich yellow…………………A. pectoralis p. 361.
d4. Lower plumage pale yellow.
a5. Bill at gape .65…………………A. hasselti p. 360.
b5. Bill at gape .8.
a6. Lateral tail-feathers very narrowly tipped…………………A. asiatica p, 359.
b6. Lateral tail-feathers very broadly tipped…………………A. flammaxillaris p. 362.
c5. Bill at gape .9…………………A. andamanica p. 363.
f2. Rump and upper tail-coverts red…………………A. minima p. 363.
d1. Chin and throat ashy white; remaining lower parts bright yellow…………………A. zeylonica p. 364.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
Genus ARACHNECHTHRA
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1890
Page No: 
357
M_ID: 
29046
M_SN: 
Cinnyris
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
1220

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