HIRUNDO LEUCOSOMA, Swains.
Hirundo leucosoma, Swains. B. W. Afr. ii. p. 74 (1837) ; Fraser, P. Z. S. 1843. p. 51 ; Gray, Gen. B. i. p. 58 (1845) ; id. Cat. Fiss. Brit. Mus. p. 24 (1848) ; Bp. Consp. i. p. 339 (1850) ; Hartl. J. f. O. 1853, p. 398 ; id. Orn. W.-Afr. p. 27 (1857) ; id. J. f. O. 1861, p. 103 ; Sharpe, Ibis, 1869, p. 188 ; Gray, Hand-l B. i. p. 70, no. 827 (1869) ; Sharpe, P. Z. S. 1870, p. 309 ; id. Cat, Afr. B. p. 46 (1871) ; Shelley & Buekley, Ibis, 1872, p. 288 ; Ussher, Ibis, 1874, p. 62 ; De Rochebr. Faun. Seneg. Ois. p. 218 (1884) ; Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus. x. p. 147 (1885).
Chelidon leucosoma, Boie, Isis, 1844, p. 171.
Hemicecrops leucosoma, Bp. Rivist. Contemp., Torino. 1857, p. 4.
H. tergo eaeruleo, uropygio dorso concolore ; fronte pileo concolore gutture et corpore toto inferiore pure albis ; teetrieibus alarum majoribus intimis et seeuudariis intimis externe albis, fasciam longitn-dinalem albam formantibus.
Hab. in Africa occidentali eis-equatoriali.
Adult. Above dark glossy blue ; a white longitudinal bar on the wing, which is produced by the inner greater coverts and secondaries being for the most part broadly edged externally with pure while ; tail graduated, dark blue above, dusky beneath, all the feathers except the two middle ones marked with white on the inner web, the exterior feathers having a large oval spot, which gradually gets smaller on the feathers as they approach the centre of the tail, till in the two nearest to the central feathers it is reduced to a small oval spot ; entire under surface with the tinder wing and tail-coverts pure white ; bill and feet black. Total length 4.8 inches ; of bill from front 0.3 from gape 0.45 ; wing 4, tail 1.8, tarsus 0.3, middle toe 0.4, hind toe 0.2, lateral toe 0.2.
Hab. West Africa, from Senegambia to Gaboon.
This very distinet species of Chimney-Swallow was first described by Swainson from a Gambian specimen ; and Dr. de Rochebrune states that it has been met with at Casamence, Melacorce, Zekinkior, and Daranka in Senegambia, but it is rare in that part of West Africa ; the native name is, as usual, “N'Jargaigne. In the British Museum are specimens from Fantee and from Accra on the Gold Coast. the latter obtained by Capt. Haynes. The late Mr. L. Fraser also procured it in the latter locality ; but it appears to be by no means plentiful, as Capt. Shelley and Mr. T. E. Buekley state that they only met with it occasionally. The late Governor Fissher has written the following note:—“ Not very common in Fantee. although occasionally met with about the small native ‘crooms,' or hamlets, in the interior. The last specimen I collected for Mr. Sharpe was one of a pair that had selected for their nidification the overhanging rafters of an empty room in a small country-house belonging to the Wesleyan Mission, where I happened to he staying. I have never seen them away from buildings ; nor have I observed them in large towns. They are generally met with in pairs, and are graceful and attractive in appearance. They appear to show great solicitude for their young.” The most southern locality as yet recorded for the species appears to be Gaboon, whence the late M. Jules Verreaux received a specimen. Dr. de Rochebrune speaks of the latter gentleman as the discoverer of the species in Gaboon, as well as at Casamence ; but he, of course, means this only in the sense of Jules Verreaux having been the first to record its occurrence in these two localities, as he never personally visited either of them to our knowledge. M. Beaudouin was, we believe, the correspon¬dent of the “Maison Verreaux” at Casamence, and in Gaboon that great establishment had several collectors at different periods.
Nothing is known of the changes of plumage undergone by this species, which is decidedly rare in collections. In the British Museum one specimen is much duller blue, and has not so much white on the wing ; this may he the young bird.
The description is taken from the ‘Catalogue’ of the British Museum ; the bird figured is in Capt. Shelley’s collection, and was obtained near Accra.
HIRUNDO LEUCOSOMA, Swains.