Phaeton indicus, Hume.
996bis. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 327.
THE INDIAN TROPIC BIRD.
Length, including elongated central tail-feathers which project from 3 to 5.9 inches beyond the rest of the tail, 20 to 23 ; expanse, 37 to 40 ; tail, 7.5 to 10.5 ; wing, 10.75 to 11.75 ; tarsus, 1; bill at front, 2.4.
Irides deep brown ; legs and hind-toe with web white, tinged bluish and creamy-yellow ; rest of feet and claws black.
A broad conspicuous black crescent in front of the eye, and a narrow black line, from the gape to nostrils, and nostrils to culmen, dividing the feathers from the bill ; the whole forehead, front part of the crown, ear-coverts, and entire lower parts, including wing lining and axillaries, pure white ; a black line from the posterior angle of the eye, running round the back of the nape, where it forms a more or less conspicuous half-collar; hind-crown and nape inside the half-collar white, each feather with a triangular black bar near the tip; carpal joint of wing, four or five posterior primaries, all the secondaries, the primary coverts except those of the first five quills, the greater and median coverts pure white ; winglet, greater-coverts, shafts and outer webs of the first five primaries, together with a narrow stripe along the shaft of the inner web, black ; the extreme tips and inner webs of these feathers white; tertiaries and their greater-coverts black, narrowly margined on the exterior webs and tipped with white ; the lesser secondary-coverts similar; the entire back, rump, scapulars and upper tail-coverts white, closely barred with black, the bars being slightly cuspidate on the upper back, and the longest scapulars almost devoid of barring; tail-feathers white, their bases black shafted, and the lateral feathers mostly with an arrow-head bar or spot near the tips.
The above description is reproduced from " Stray Feathers."- It still remains doubtful whether this is an immature phase of P. oethereus or a new species.
Several specimens have been obtained at different times on the Mekran Coast.