(737) Pericrocotus speciosus flammeus.
The Orange Minivet.
Muscicapa flammea Forst., Ind. Zool., p. 25 (1781) (Travancore). Pericrocotus flammeus, Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 482.
Vernacular names. Phari-balal-chasm (Hind.); Suli-sangam, Asan-buradi, (of the Halopyks, Jerd.) ; Gene-hurula (Ceylon).
Description. Differs from all the other races of speciosus in having the lower parts orange-red, whilst the females differ from the others in having the lower parts a much paler yellow and in having the forehead narrower and a paler yellow. In the male the first three, often the first four, primaries are unmarked with red, whilst the female has no yellow on the first four.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 90 to 95 mm.; one Ceylon bird has it only 87 mm.; tail 83 to 95 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen about 14 to 15 mm.
Distribution. South-Western India from Khandala to Cape Cormorin, Mysore, Nilgiris, Palni and adjacent hills ; Ceylon.
Nidification. The Orange Minivet breeds in the Nilgiris and Palni Hills in July and in Ceylon in February. The nest is. quite typical of the genus and two eggs are described as pale greenish, sparingly blotched with pale yellowish brown in one egg and in the second with brown and lilac spots and specks. The two eggs measured 25.l x l7.0 mm. and 22.3 x 17.2 mm. Two other eggs sent me from Ceylon are pale sea-green profusely marked with reddish brown. They measure 19.2 x 13.6 and 19.0 X13.0 mm., possibly unusually small.
Habits. The Orange Minivet is found from the level of the sea up to about 6,000 feet, but only in well-wooded country, and during the breeding-season it keeps entirely to forest. In Winter it collects in flocks and haunts the upper branches of high trees, catching insects on the wing and also hunting for them both on the branches and the moss-covered trunks themselves. Legge says that it has a " weak, though cheerful little warble," which it constantly utters. It assembles in small flocks and, as the young birds resemble the adult female, the natives give the one or two full-grown cock-birds with the flock the credit of running a harem.