Myiophoneus Temm., Pl. Col., ii, p. 29 (1823). Type, Myiophoneus flavirostris.
This genus, which Oates placed among the Crateropodidae (Timaliidae), is a true Thrush in every respect and the nestling shows distinct bars and streaks. They are large birds of black plumage glossed with blue and are very handsome. The bill is stout and rather less than the head in length; it is compressed laterally and hooked at the tip. The nostrils are round and broad ovals. The wing is rather rounded for a Thrush's but the legs and feet are typically Thrush-like, long and strong. The sexes are alike.
There are only two species in India, and some ornithologists might even place all our races in one species. The blue forehead and blue patch on the wing-coverts, neither of which is ever even indicated in any of the other forms, seem, however, sufficient to specifically distinguish horsfieldii from any of the other forms.
Key to Species.
A. A bright blue forehead and a brilliant patch
of cobalt-blue on the lesser wing-coverts*. M. horsfieldii p. 178.
B. No definite blue forehead or blue patch on
wing-coverts M. temminckii p. 180.