(1927) Gennaeus nycthemerus rufipes.
THE RUBY MINES SILVER PHEASANT.
Gennaeus rufipes Oates, Man. Game-B., i, p. 362 (1898).
Vernacular names. Yit (Burma); Wuri (Kachin).
Description.— Adult male. Similar to the preceding race but darker, the black lines and bars broader and more numerous, especially on the tail; the sides of the neck are less white and are vermiculated with tiny narrow bars of black; the tail is on an average much shorter than in S. n. ripponi.
Colours of soft parts as in the Yunnan Silver Pheasant.
Measurements. Wing 246 to 279 mm.; tail 406 to 52S mm.
Female. General colour above rich olive-brown, crest darker; tail richly mottled and barred with deep chestnut and blackish-brown, the outermost tail-feathers darkest; underparts rufous brown to rich blackish-brown, the feathers marked with bold concentric bars of fulvous, these bars following the contour of the feathers and not in straight streaks as in the Burmese Silver Pheasant.
Measurements. Wins: 228 to 256 mm.
Nisbett gives the average weight of the males as 3 lb. and that of the females as 2 1/2 lb.
Distribution. Between the Irrawaddy and the Salwin, West and East and between latitudes 27° on the North and 21° on the South, working down the higher ridges above the Salwin as far South'as 20°.
Nidification. Nothing recorded but they probably breed principally in April and May.
Habits. Nesbitt records these birds as common in the very open evergreen-forest between 3,000 to 5,000 feet in Winter, but he saw none after the breeding-season commenced and they probably work up higher at this time. About April the cocks could be heard challenging one another in all directions but there were no signs or sound of them after the end of that month.
Individuals are often met with on the extreme West above the Irrawaddy, which are obvious hybrids with Gennaeus horsfieldii. In one brood many variations may be seen and even occasionally cocks with one leg green and one red. Gennaeus h. horsfieldii comes very far up the Irrawaddy valley; doubtless many cocks wander high up and meet wandering hens of G. n. rufipes and vice versa, so that we get the two extremes of one great series of races meeting and forming genuine hybrids, not merely the intermediate forms of subspecies in intermediate areas called hybrids by Beebe and others.