(1034) Erythrura prasina prasina.
The Malay Long-tailed Munia.
Loxia prasina Sparrm., Mus. Carls, pis. 72, 73, (1788) (Java). Erythrura prasina. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 190,
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Adult male. Lores black; forehead, cheeks, ear-coverts, chin and throat blue; upper plumage, wing-coverts, innermost secondaries and edges of quills bright grass-green; lower rump and upper tail-coverts brilliant scarlet-crimson; middle pair of tail-feathers dull red, turning to brown towards the terminal half; outer tail-feathers brown; concealed portions of primaries and outer secondaries dark brown ; lower plumage orange-buff with a large patch of scarlet on the upper abdomen.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill black; legs and feet fleshy-pink.
Measurements. Total length about 150 mm.; wing 57 to 59 mm.; tail 57 to 65 mm.; tarsus 15 mm.; culmen about 12 mm.
Female. Like the male but with no scarlet patch on the abdomen; the blue of the head is confined to the cheeks and anterior ear-coverts and sometimes a wash on the throat; the lower parts are a duller buff, often washed with greenish blue on the breast and flanks.
Young birds are like the female but have the upper tail-coverts and tail yellowish.
Over the whole range of this species a form occurs having the crimson abdomen replaced with gold, the same colour also replacing the red of the upper tail-coverts and tail.
Distribution. Tenasserim to the extreme South of the Malay Peninsula, Java and Sumatra.
Nidification. Nothing recorded.
Habits. Said to be a shy bird, feeding in the open rice-fields in Tenasserim, sometimes in company with Munias of other genera but retreating into dense bamboo jungle when disturbed. They are gregarious like others of the family and have notes very similar to those of other Munias and, like these, they feed entirely on grain and seeds. Davison says they have a soft twittering note which they constantly utter when roosting. It is possible that this beautiful Munia is only a seasonal visitor to Tenasserim but, judging from the family, it is more likely to be a resident, though retiring to unfrequented places when breeding.