Genus GALLUS

This well-marked genus contains the Jungle-fowl, the typical species, G. ferrugineus, being clearly the form from which domestic fowls are derived. The Jungle - fowl are closely allied to Pheasants, and exhibit the same sexual difference of plumage. The males have a fleshy longitudinal coronal crest, known as the "comb," which is small or rudimentary in females; and males of all Indian species have a wattle or lappet on each side of the throat, whilst the sides of the face are mainly or wholly naked in both sexes. The tail is laterally compressed and composed of 14 or 16 feathers (i4 in all Indian species) ; the middle pair in the male are about twice as long as the next pair and nearly four times as long as the outer rectrices; the ends of these long middle tail-feathers diverge and droop when the tail is raised. The feathers of the neck and of the sides of the rump form long hackles in the males. The 1st primary is considerably shorter than the 10th. Tarsus much longer than the middle toe and claw, and armed in males with a long sharp spur.

Jungle-fowl are forest birds, found singly or in small parties in woods or bushy tracts or high grass, and especially in bamboo-jungle. Though essentially polygamous they are often found in pairs. They feed on grain and other seeds, fruit and insects, worms, snails, &c. Four distinct wild species, besides some doubtful forms, are known, ranging throughout the greater part of the Oriental region; three occur within British limits.

Key to the Species.

A. Comb and spurs developed.
a. Neck-hackles yellow or red, without spots.
a1. Breast black………………………….G. ferrugineus , p. 75.
b1. Breast reddish orange………………………….G. lafayettii , p. 77.
b. Neck-hackles blackish, with glossy white and yellow spots………………………….G. sonnerati , p. 78.
B. No spurs, and a rudimentary comb.
a. Breast rufous, with narrow pale shaft-lines………………………….G. ferrugineus , p. 70.
b. Breast mottled, with white shaft-stripes………………………….G. lafayettii , p. 78.
c. Breast black, with broad white shaft-stripes ………………………….G. sonnerati 79.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
Genus GALLUS
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1898
Page No: 
74
M_ID: 
1507
M_SN: 
Gallus
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
1884

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