896. Arachnechthra hasselti.
Van Hasselt's Sun-bird.
Certhia brasiliana, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 474 (1788). Nectarinia hasseltii, Temm. Pl. Col. pl. 376, fig. 3 (1825); Blyth, Cat. p. 226. Nectarinia phayrei, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 1008 (1843). Leptocoma hasseltii (Temm.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 740; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, p. 156. Leptocoma brasiliana (Gm.), Wald. P. Z. S. 1866, p. 543 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 184. Nectarophila brasiliana (Gm.), Wald. Ibis, 1870, p. 41. Cinnyris hasselti (Temm), Shelley, Mon. Nect. pp. xxvii, xxxi, 127, pl. 42; Oates, S. F. x, p. 197; id. B. B. i, p. 318 ; Gadow, Cat. B. M. ix, p. 67. Cinnyris brasiliana (Gm.), Hume, Cat. no. 233 bis. Arachnechthra hasselti (Temm.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii. p. 258.
Coloration. Male, Forehead and crown shining golden green ; lores, cheeks, ear-coverts, the neck above and at the sides, the upper back, tertiaries, and all the wing-coverts except those near the edge of the wing deep black; the wing-coverts near the edge of the wing, scapulars, lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts brilliant purplish blue; primaries and secondaries brownish black; under wing-coverts deep black; throat and fore neck brilliant amethystine-purple ; breast and upper abdomen rich red; lower abdomen, sides of the body, vent, and under tail-coverts dull greyish black; tail brilliant purplish black.
Female. Upper plumage olive-green, the feathers of the crown dark-centred; wings brown, the coverts edged with greenish, the quills with pale rufous; tail blackish, the margins greenish and the lateral feathers tipped pale; entire lower plumage, under wing-coverts, and axillaries pale yellow.
Bill dark brown ; the gape and mouth cinnamon-red; iris dark hazel; eyelids plumbeous; legs black ; claws brown.
Length 4; tail 1.2; wing 1.95; tarsus .45 ; bill from gape .65.
Distribution. This species is spread over the whole of Arrakan, Pegu, and Tenasserim, but appears to be nowhere very common, except in the southern portion of the latter division. Godwin-Austen obtained this Sun-bird in Tipperah, whence Hume also records it as well as from Chittagong. It extends down the Malay peninsula to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo. The nest has not yet been found within Indian limits.
Habits, &c. This species probably breeds from March to June. A nest is described as being of the ordinary type, without a portico over the entrance, and composed of glistening red-brown scales taken from the stems of ferns felted together and covered with black moss-roots and cocoon-silk. The eggs, two in number, are brown with a darker ring round the larger end, and measure about .58 by .4.