1337. Gennaeus leucomelanus.
The Nepal Kalij Pheasant.
Phasianus leucomelanos, Lath. Ind. Orn. ii, p. 633 (1790). Gallophasis leucomelanus, Hutton, J. A. S. B. xvii, pt. 2, p. 694 ; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 345. Euplocamus leucomelanus, Hume, S. F. vii, p. 428; id. Cat. no. 810 bis ; id. & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 185, pl. Gennaeus leucomelanus, Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 300.
Kalij, H.; Rechabo, Bhutia.
The male is distinguished from that of the last species by having a black crest glossed with purplish blue, and the white terminal bars on the lower back and rump are, as a rule, narrower. The female shows no constant distinction from that of G. albicristatus, but is generally darker and the middle rectrices more rufous.
Bill greenish horny; irides dark brown; orbital skin crimson; feet brownish grey-horny (Scully).
Dimensions less than those of G. albicristatus: length of male 23 to 26; tail about 11.5 ; wing 9; tarsus 2.9 ; bill from gape 1.3 : length of female about 20 ; tail 8 ; wing 8.
Distribution. Almost throughout Nepal, from the extreme or nearly the extreme west, to the Arun River, at all events, on the east, and from the base of the hills to 9000 feet near Khatmandu. Mandelli obtained specimens, now in the British Museum collection, from " Dholaka," probably on the Arun River.
Habits, &c Similar to those of the last. The eggs do not appear to have been described. Two young males brought up in confinement were found to assume the black plumage when about five months old.
This Kalij was regarded by Blyth and Jerdon as a hybrid between G. albicristatus and G. melanonotus; but Scully has shown that G. leucomelanus is constant in plumage throughout the greater part of Nepal, where neither of the other two races is found.