977. Iyngipicus gymnophthalmus.
The Ceylon Pigmy Woodpecker.
Picus gymnophthalmos, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xviii, p. 804 (1849) ; id. Cat. p. 64; Layard, A. M. N. H. (2) xiii, p. 448 (1854). Yungipicus gymnophthalmus, Jerdon, Ibis, 1872, p. 8; Holdsworth, P. Z. S. 1872, p. 427; Legge, S. F. i, p. 433; id. Birds Ceyl. p. 186; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 60; id. Cat. no. 164 bis; Hume Bourdillon, S. F. iv, p. 389; Fairbank, S. F. v, p. 396; Davison, S. F. x, p. 354; Parker, Ibis, 1886, p. 183. Iyngipicus gymnophthalmus, Hargitt, Ibis, 1882, p. 47 ; id, Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 330; Oates in Hume's N. & E. ii, p. 308. Iyngipicus peninsularis, Hargitt, Ibis, 1882, p. 48; id. Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 331.
Coloration. Very similar to that of I. hardwickii, but much darker above and almost or quite streakless beneath in adults. Head above and stripe behind eye blackish sepia-brown. Upper parts dark brown with white cross-bars. Long supercilium extending to neck, cheeks below eye-stripe, chin, and throat white ; no malar stripe; lower parts unstriped, sullied white in adults, and faintly streaked in the young; flanks generally streaked in all, and lower tail-coverts with dark shaft-stripes. There are the usual scarlet occipital stripes in males; the white spots are often small and sometimes wanting on the outer webs of the primaries.
Bill brownish olivaceous, somewhat paler beneath ; iris white, greyish white, yellowish white, or reddish white ; eyelid and orbital skin dull mauve or purplish; legs and feet greenish plumbeous (Legge).
Length 4.8 ; tail 1.6 ; wing 2.9 ; tarsus .55 ; bill from gape .65.
Distribution. Throughout Ceylon up to about 3000 feet above the sea, also the Malabar coast and the ranges near it as far north as the Palni hills, and perhaps farther. Malabar specimens have the heads rather paler than- Ceylonese, and are the race called I. peninsularis by Hargitt, and the specimens thus labelled by him in the British Museum include the Malabar skins of I. gymnophthalmus and the Belgaum and Mysore specimens already mentioned of I. hardwickii. There is evidently in this, as in many similar cases, a passage between two well-marked forms.
Habits, &c. Similar to those of other lyngipici. This bird is thoroughly arboreal and frequents the uppermost branches of trees, picking up small insects, and often perching. It has considerable powers of flight, and its note, according to Legge, is a prolonged trill. It breeds in February and March, and also in July, nesting in holes in small branches, and the white eggs measure about .62 by .53 *.