550. Acridotheres melanosternus.
The Common Ceylon Myna.
Acridotheres melanosternus, Legge, A. M. N. H. (5) iii, p. 168 (1879); id. Birds Ceyl. p. 670, pi. 29; Hume, S. F. viii, p. 72; id. Cat. no. 684 bis; id. S. F. ix, p. 295; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 83; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 380.
Gon kawada, Gon kowdichya, Cing.
Coloration. Resembles A. tristis. Differs in being darker, the sides of the body especially being dark vinous ; in having the black of the breast produced down on to the abdomen; and in having the outer webs of the earlier primary-coverts black.
Iris variable, pink, brown, and pinkish grey in some, in others whitish mottled with fine specks of dark colour; bill yellow, blackish at the sides near base of lower mandible; legs and feet sickly yellow; orbital skin yellow, extending round the eye, but very narrow above, and hidden by the superciliary feathers (Legge).
Of the same size as A. tristis.
Specimens of A. tristis from Southern India are darker than those from Northern India, and approach the present species in coloration, but no peninsular birds have any black on the primary-coverts.
Habits, &c. Breeds in Ceylon from February to May. The Dest and eggs of this species resemble those of A. tristis. The latter measure about 1.13 by .88.