1350. Galloperdix lunulata.
The Painted Spur-fowl.
Perdix lunulata, Valenc. Dict. Sci. Nat. xxxviii, p. 446 (1825). Galloperdix lunulosa, Blyth, Cat. p. 241 ; Jerdon, B. I iii, p. 543 ; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 382; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 189. Galloperdix lunulatus, Hume, N. & E. p. 533 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 225; Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 255, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 815; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 422; Davison, S. F. x, p. 410; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 306 ; Oates in. Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 425. Galloperdix lunulata, Oyilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 263.
Kainjer, Uriya; Askol, Orissa and Singhboom; Hutka, Gond. (Chanda); Kul-koli, Tam. ; Jitta kodi, Tel.
Coloration. Male. Forehead and crown black glossed with metallic green, each feather with an elongate white drop, that has sometimes a black centre ; sides of head and neck all round black with broader white subterminal spots; chin buffy white with black tips to feathers; back, rump, and wing-coverts chestnut, the feathers tipped with white black-edged ocelli, smaller or replaced by small black tips or sometimes wanting on the lower back and rump: scapulars and some wing-coverts metallic green ; quills dark brown; upper tail-coverts and tail blackish brown with a slight green gloss; breast and upper abdomen buff, with triangular black tips to each feather; lower abdomen and flanks chestnut, with white black-edged spots ; under tail-coverts chestnut mixed with black.
Female. Crown black, with chestnut shaft-stripes ; forehead, supercilia, and sides of head dark chestnut ; chin and throat chestnut mixed with buff, the latter prevailing on the chin and on a moustachial stripe from the gape: body and wings, including quills, dark brown with an olive tinge, paler and yellower or rufescent on the breast; tail blackish brown.
Bill blackish ; irides red-brown, orbits red ; legs horny brown.
Length of male about 12.5 ; tail 5 ; wing 6 ; tarsus 1.75 ; bill from gape .8. Females a little smaller.
Distribution. This Spur-fowl occurs in parts of the area inhabited by (?. spadicea, but does not range so far to the west or north. It is met with in Western and South-western Bengal, Orissa, Chutia Nagpur, Chhattisgarh, and locally throughout the hills of Bundelcund and the Central Provinces as far west as Jhansi, Lalitpur, and Ellichpur west of Nagpur, and in many of the hilly and jungly tracts of the Madras Presidency, as on the eastern base of the Nilgiris; but it is not known to occur in the Bombay Presidency north of Belgaum, nor anywhere north of the Ganges, nor in North-western India (the localities Nepal and N.W. India in the British Museum Catalogue are probably due to some mistake). It does not appear to have been observed on the Malabar coast.
Habits, &c. Very similar to those of G. spadicea, except that the Painted Spur-fowl keeps more to rocky hills. As noticed by several writers, this bird is most generally seen when the hills of granitoid gneiss, so common in parts of India, are being beaten for large game. It breeds from March to May, laying not more than five eggs in a slight hollow in the ground. The eggs are glossy, pale greyish-brown in colour, and measure about 1.62 by 1.11.