1340. Gennaeus lineatus

1340. Gennaeus lineatus.

The Burmese Silver Pheasant.

Phasianus lineatus, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 24. Gennaeus lineatus, Wagl. Isis, 1832, p. 1228; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 304. Euplocamus lineatus, Blyth, Cat. p. 244; Hume, N. & E. p. 525 ; id. & Oates, S. F. iii, p. 165 ; id. & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 436; id. & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 205, pl. ; Hume, Cat. no. 811 ter ; Bingham, 8. F. ix, p. 195; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) v, p. 620; vii, p. 425; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 316; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 416. Nycthemerus lineatus, Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 149. Arrakan race intermediate between G. lineatus and G. horsfieldi. Lophophorus cuvieri, Temm. Pl. Col. v, pl. 10 [no. 1] (1820) ; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 153 ; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 166, note. Euplocamus cuvieri, Oates, S. F. iii, p. 348 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 201, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 811 bis; Sanderson, S. F. viii, p. 493; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 318. Gennaeus cuvieri (G. horsfieldi. subsp.), Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 303.

Gennaeus oatesi (subsp.), Ogilvie Grant, t. c. p. 306. Yit, Kayit, Burm.; Rak, Arrakan ; Synklouk, Talain; Phuyyk, Karen.

Coloration. Male. Forehead, crown, and crest black, glossed with steely purple or green, remainder of upper surface finely vermiculated with alternating black and white lines, more or less transversely to the feathers, quills and tail-feathers similarly but more coarsely marked; inner webs and tips of middle pair of tail-feathers entirely white ; lower parts black, with a slight purple gloss on the throat, breast, and flanks ; feathers of sides of breast and flanks, and sometimes the whole breast, with white shaft-stripes, broader and fusiform and mottled with black at the sides.

Female. Above, including the crest, brown, all the feathers minutely stippled and vermiculated with yellow-buff; the forehead, supercilia, ear-coverts, cheeks, and sometimes the wing-coverts, with white shaft-stripes, which become v-shaped or arrowhead-shaped white marks on the back and sides of the neck and upper back ; quills brown, with buff vermiculation on the outer webs ; outer tail-feathers blackish, with narrow wavy white crossbars, some chestnut or brown marks in the middle of each black interspace, the two or three middle pairs brownish buff, streaked and mottled with rufous brown, inner webs and tips of middle pair entirely buff; chin and throat whitish ; rest of lower parts brownish rufous, with lanceolate white shaft-streaks.

Bill greenish horny, dusky at the base ; irides reddish brown; sides of head crimson ; legs plumbeous brown to pinkish fleshy.

Length of males 25.5 to 30; tail about 12; wing 10; tarsus 3.2; bill from gape 1.35. Length, of females about 23 ; tail 9 ; wing 9.25.

Distribution. Throughout the greater part of Burma except Southern Tenasserim, also in N.W. Siam.

Varieties. G. cuvieri is found in the Arrakan ranges and in Pegu west of the Irrawaddy. The male is black with deep violet gloss, the upper parts sparingly and minutely speckled and vermiculated with white, the black greatly predominating; lower back and rump with broad white bars; the white speckling appears to be wanting on the outer tail-feathers.

The female resembles that of 67. horsfieldi, except that the outer tail-feathers are more or less rufous and not entirely black. In the variety called G. oatesi they are rufous throughout.

This race, which occupies the country between the areas inhabited by G. horsfieldi and G. lineatus, is not only perfectly intermediate between those two forms, but is, so far as the few skins in the British Museum show, excessively variable. It was regarded by Blyth (J. A. S. B. xviii, p. 817; "Cat. p. 244; Birds Burm. p. 149) as a hybrid between the two. He showed, and he was, I think, right, that there is a complete passage from one species to the other in Arrakan. Oates ascertained that G. cuvieri occurs throughout the Arrakan hills, but his specimens vary so much that two of them are distinguished by Ogilvie Grant as a different subspecies, G. oatesi. Of the two males (one collected by Oates, the other received from the Indian Museum) referred to G. oatesi, one has white rump-bars and no white streaks on the breast, as in G. horsfieldi; the other has no white bars on the rump, but it has white streaks on the breast as in G. lineatus.

Habits, &c. " This Pheasant occurs abundantly wherever the ground is hilly or broken, and it is most numerous on the higher and wilder parts of the hills. It keeps to dense cover, seldom showing itself, runs with great speed, and takes wing unwillingly. The male during the breeding-season makes a curious drumming sound with his wings, as a challenge to other cocks. The breeding-season commences in March and is over by the end of April. The nest is merely a hollow in the ground, lined with a few dead leaves, under a shrub or at the foot of a tree. The eggs, which are seldom more than seven in number, are of a pale buff colour" {Oates). They measure about 1.85 by 1.45.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1340. Gennaeus lineatus
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Burmese Silver Pheasant
Lophura leucomelanos lineata
Vol. 4

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