Melophus Swainson, Class. Birds, ii, p. 290 (1837). Type, Melophus melanicterus Gmelin.
The genus Melophus, which contains but one Indian species, differs from all other Buntings in having a long crest. The tail is nearly square at the tip. The sexes are differently coloured but both male and female have a considerable amount of red on the wings and tail.
This bird is founded by Gmelin in part on Muller's Loxia fimbriata (Nat. Hist. Suppl. p. 153, 1776), which in turn is based on Buffon's Moineau de Macao (Planches Enl. No. 224). In this plate three birds are represented and No. 1 bears some superficial resemblance to Melophus but it has no crest and a quite wrongly-coloured tail. It is, moreover, figured with two black American Tanagers, to which it bears an even closer resemblance except for the chestnut wings. It is extremely doubtful if this bird was ever intended to represent a Crested Bunting and, this being so, Muller's name of fimbriata cannot be accepted.