103. Stactocichla merulina.
The Spotted-breasted Laughing-Thrush.
Garrulax merulinus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xx, p. 521 (1851) ; Jerd. Ibis, 1872, p. 303 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 162 ; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 394; id. Cat. no. 413 his; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 101. Stactocichla merulina (Blyth), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 449.
Moh mepeh, of the Angami Nagas.
Coloration. Entire upper plumage, sides of the head and neck, tail, and exposed part of closed wings rufescent olive-brown; a narrow white streak over the ear-coverts ; forehead mottled with grey; chin, throat, and breast yellowish buff, broadly streaked with oval black stripes ; centre of abdomen yellowish buff ; sides of the body rufescent olive-brown ; under tail-coverts bright ochraceous.
Legs and feet rather pale brown; upper mandible blackish, lower horny grey; iris pale pinkish buff; orbital skin pale leaden (Hume).
Length about 10.5; tail 3.8; wing 3.8; tarsus 1.6 ; bill from gape 1.3.
Distribution. The Khasi, Naga, and Lhota Naga hills; the Eastern hills of Manipur.
Habits, &c. Hume describes this bird as a terrible skulk, clinging to dense thorny scrub. It is very vocal and has a great number of clear, beautiful notes, which it combines into a great variety of calls, and it has also a coughing, chuckling, oft-repeated note.