Pyrrhulauda melanauchen, Cab.
760bis. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 193.
THE BLACK-NECKED FINCH LARK.
Length, 5.4 to 6.1 ; expanse, 9.6 to 10.1; wing, 30.2 to 3.2 ; tail, 2.0 to 2.2 ; tarsus, 0.6 to 0.7 ; bill at gape, 0.47 to 0.5.
Bill pearly-white to whity-brown ; irides brown ; legs pale whity-brown to pale fleshy-brown.
" The male has a broad frontal band, cheeks, ear-coverts, and a band from these round the base of the occiput and a large patch on either side of the breast, white ; in the case of the two latter often tinged brownish.
The base of the lower mandible, chin, throat, central portion of breast, abdomen, vent, and lower tail-coverts, axillaries and wing-lining (except lower primary greater-coverts, which are pale grey-brown like the lower surface of the quills) intensely deep, at times somewhat sooty, at times almost chocolate-brown ; the crown and upper part of occiput are deep-brown, never quite so intense as the lower parts, often considerably lighter, and more purely brown; the anterior portion of the side of the neck behind the lower half of the ear-coverts is always like the breast, sometimes the deep color of these parts extends behind the whole of the ear-coverts, and right round the back of the neck forming a collar immediately behind the white basal occipital band already noticed, sometimes there is not the faintest trace of this, and sometimes again the collar is only represented by a smaller or larger nuchal patch.
This is perhaps the most common form, and hence the name melanauchen.
The interscapulary region is a pale earthy-brown, sometimes with a sandy tinge; the wings rather darker, but all the feathers margined with a pale whity-brown ; inner webs of quills darker, a sort of pale hair-brown ; central tail-feathers slightly paler than tertiaries; rest of tail-feathers deep-brown, but the outer web of the exterior feather white or nearly so, and the inner half or more of the inner web pale whity-brown ; rump and upper tail-coverts pale earthy or sandy-brown, noticeably paler than the interscapulary region ; flanks much the same color as the rump.
The female has the chin, throat, abdomen, vent, and lower tail-coverts white, with more or less traces of a very faint tawny tinge; a broad ill-defined pale tawny band, which is sometimes feebly striated darker, covers the breast; the axillaries and lesser lower-coverts about the ulna are deep-brown, sometimes almost as deep as the breast of the male.
" The female also wants the white frontal band and patch on the sides of the head, the white occipital band, the dark crown and dark sides of the neck, and of course the dark collar or dark nuchal patch so common in the males; the whole top of the head is unicolorous or nearly so with the interscapulary region, though the feathers are generally feebly darker centred. The rest of the upper surface is much as in the male, but as a rule sandier, and less earthy in tinge. The males are distinguished at once from those of grisea by their dark crowns.. Both sexes are distinguished by their somewhat larger size."