1338. Gennaeus melanonotus.
The Black-backed Kalij Pheasant.
Euplocomus melanotus, Blyth, Button, J. A. S. B. xvii, pt. 2, p. 694 (1848); Blyth, Cat. p. 244 ; Hume, S. F. v, p. 42. Gallophasis melanotus, Mitchell, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 545, pl. 149, fig. 2 (egg) ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 534; Hume. N. & E. p. 527. Euplocamus melanonotus, Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 191; pl. ; Hume, Cat. no. 811 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 415. Gennaeus muthura, Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 301.
The male differs from the last species in wanting entirely the white bars on the lower back and rump, where the feathers have velvety-black edges. There are no whitish edges on the upper back. The whole upper plumage is black, richly glossed with violet, and on the wings and tail with greenish, and conspicuously white-shafted. The female is similar to that of G. leucomelanus.
Bill yellowish or greenish horny; irides brown; orbital skin bright red ; legs and feet pale horny brown (Hume).
Dimensions as in G. leucomelanus.
The name G. muthura cannot, I think, be used for this species; it was founded on Latham's " Chittygong Pheasant,'' which, if it was, as stated, an inhabitant of the Chittagong hills and known to the natives as " muthurau," should have been 67. horsfieldi. But it was said to have a white breast, and to be as large as a Turkey, three feet eight inches in length, with an even tail. It is impossible to identify any species of Gennaeus with this description.
Distribution. Sikhim Himalayas, from about 1000 to 8000 feet elevation, chiefly from 2000 to 6000 feet. This species extends into Eastern Nepal on the west, and into Bhutan on the east, but how far is not known.
Habits, &c. Similar to those of other species. This Kalij breeds at low elevations at the end of March, at higher levels later, up to July, and lays usually six to ten eggs, without any nest. The eggs vary from creamy pink to brownish, and measure about 1.91 by 1.47.