900. Arachnechthra minima.
The Small Sun-bird.
Cinnyris minima, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 99; Shelley, Mon. Nect. pp. xxvii, xxxiv, 143, pl. 46; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 572; Hume, Cat. no. 233; Gadow, Cat. B. M. ix, p. 62; Davison, S. F. x, p. 362; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 136. Nectarinia minima (Sykes), Blyth, Cat. p. 226. Leptocoma minima (Sykes), Horsf. M. Cat. ii, p. 742; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 369; Hume, N. & E. p. 150; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 256; Hume, S. F. iv, p. 392. Arachnechthra minima (Sykes), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 263.
The Tiny Honey-sucker, Jerd.
Coloration. Male. Forehead and crown metallic green; back and scapulars deep crimson ; rump and upper tail-coverts metallic red, glossed with lilac; tail black; lesser and median wing-coverts black, tipped with crimson ; remaining coverts and quills dull black; sides of the head dull black; chin and throat metallic lilac; sides of neck and the upper breast crimson, followed by a band of black; remainder of lower plumage yellow; axillaries and under wing-coverts pale yellowish white.
Female. Upper plumage and sides of the head and neck olive-green ; rump and upper tail-coverts dull red; tail dark brown, edged with rufous; whole lower plumage yellow; wings brown, each feather edged with olive-green.
Bill, legs, and feet black; iris dark brown (Davison).
Length 3.5 to 4; tail 1.3; wing 1.9; tarsus .6; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. The Western Ghats of India from about the latitude of Bombay down to Cape Comorin ; Ceylon. This species is found up to 6000 feet.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Nilgiris in September and October, making a nest of the usual type, and laying two eggs, which are dull white marked with grey and brown, and measure about .62 by .42.