901. Arachnechthra zeylonica.
The Purple-rumped Sun-bird.
Certhia zeylonica, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 188 (1766). Nectarinia zeylonica (Linn.), Blyth, Cat. p. 226. Leptocoma zeylonica (Linn.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 740; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 368; Hume, N. & E. p. 147. Cinnyris zeylonicus (Linn.), Shelley, Mon. Nect. pp. xxvii, xxxiii, 137, pl. 45 ; Hume, S. F. v, pp. 270, 398; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 569; Hume, Cat. no. 232 ; Gadow, Cat. B. M. ix, p. 64 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 136. Arachnechthra zeylonica (Linn.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 263.
The Amethyst-rumped Honey-sucker, Jerd.; Shakar khora, Hind.; Man chungee, Beng.; Than-kudi, Tam.; Mal sutika, Cing.
Coloration. Male. Forehead, crown, and lesser wing-coverts metallic lilac; hind neck, sides of neck, back, scapulars, and median wing-coverts dull crimson; rump and upper tail-coverts metallic purple; tail black, with pale tips to the lateral feathers ; greater coverts and quills brown, edged with rufous; sides of the head coppery brown; chin and throat metallic purple; a collar below the throat maroon; breast, abdomen, and under tail-coverts bright yellow; sides of the body, axillaries, under wing-coverts, and the inner margins of quills white.
Female. Upper plumage ashy brown, the longer rump-feathers tipped with rufous, the upper tail-coverts black; tail black, the ' lateral feathers tipped pale ; wings brown, margined with rufous ; an indistinct narrow whitish supercilium; lores and a streak behind the eye dark brown; sides of the head ashy; cheeks, chin, and throat pale ashy white; breast, abdomen, and under tail-coverts yellow; sides of body, axillaries, and under wing-coverts white.
Iris dull red; bill and legs black ( Cripps).
Length about 4.5 ; tail 1.4; wing 2.3; tarsus .65; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. Ceylon; India proper from Cape Comorin to Bombay on the west; thence the northern limits of this species are difficult to trace, but it occurs at Dhulia in Khandesh, at Raipur and Sambalpur in the Central Provinces, and at Lohardugga, and Burdwan in Bengal. A line drawn through these places will probably indicate the ordinary northern limits of this bird. To the east it is said to be common at Furreedpore in Eastern Bengal and at Dacca, and it has been obtained in the Khasi hills. This latter locality was probably Jerdon's warrant for stating that this Sunbird extended to Assam. This species is found up to 2500 feet in the Nilgiris.
Habits, &c. Breeds in almost every month of the year according to locality, making a nest of the usual type with a portico over the entrance. The eggs, two in number, resemble those of A. asiatica and measure about .65 by .47.