Genus MOLPASTES

The genus Molpastes comprises some Indian Bulbuls which are familiar garden birds. One of them (M. humii) appears to be very rare and local, but the others are widely distributed and common.

In Molpastes the crest is thick and of considerable Length, the feathers growing from every portion of the crown and nape. The nuchal hairs are extremely short and difficult to detect. The wing is blunt and the tail is very slightly rounded. All the birds of this genus are remarkable for the bright colour of the under tail-coverts, and are further to be recognized by the broad white tips to the tail-feathers.

The birds of this genus are more frequently found in gardens and cultivated parts of the country than elsewhere. They go about in pairs and have very cheerful notes. They feed mostly on fruit and they are always to be found on fruit-bearing trees in large numbers, but they are not gregarious. Like other Bulbuls they are incapable of much progress on the ground, but they are frequently seen picking up fallen fruit and shuffling about by a series of short ungainly hops.

The Red-vented Bulbuls were in a state of great confusion till Sharpe in his ' Catalogue' rearranged them and pointed out the characters by which they might be distinguished from each other. The exact distribution of each species can only be determined by the examination of specimens, and fortunately the very large series of these birds in the British Museum has enabled me to work out their distribution in sufficient detail.

Key to the Species.

a. Under tail-coverts red.
a1. The black on the crown sharply defined and not extending to the hind neck.
a2. Ear-coverts black, undistinguishable from crown………………M. haemorrhous, p. 208.
a1. Ear-coverts brown, contrasting with the black crown.
a3. Chin, throat, and upper breast deep black………………M. burmanicus, p. 269.
b3. Chin and upper part of throat only black………………M. nigripileus, p. 270.
c2. Ear-coverts whitish like the lower plumage; point of chin only black………………M. atricapillus, p. 270.
b1. The black on the crown extending to the hind neck or back and not sharply defined posteriorly.
d2. Hind neck, back, sides of neck, chin, throat, and breast all deep black………………M. bengalensis, p. 271.
e2. Hind neck black, throat and fore neck black shading into brown on the breast………………M. intermedius, p. 272.
b. Under tail-coverts sulphur-yellow.
c1. Feathers of crown and crest edged with greyish white………………M. leucogenys, p. 272.
d1. Feathers of crown and crest entirely black………………M. humii, p. 274.
c. Under tail-coverts saffron-yellow………………M. leucotis, p. 273.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Genus MOLPASTES
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1889
Page No: 
267
M_ID: 
21903
M_SN: 
Pycnonotus
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
388

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith