Bonap., Comp. Eend., xxxviii, p. 6 (1854). Type, O. melanoleuca.
This genus differs from Saxicola in having a longer and much more graduated tail.
Key to Species.
A. Whole upper plumage, wings and tail black. O. jerdoni, p. 36.
B. Upper plumage ashy and black; wing-coverts
largely white; tail margined white O. ferrea, p. 36.
C. Upper plumage rufous-brown or rufous-ashy.
a With no supercilium O. jerdoni, p. 35.
b. With a supercilium O. ferrea, p. 37.
Oreicola ferrea has been divided into two races by Hartert and I think rightly, though his chief character for separating them, length of tail, is of no use. There are very fine series of both forms in the British Museum and these show that whilst the tails of O. f. ferrea range from 55 to 60 mm., those of O.f. haringtoni range from 51 to 63 mm. On the other hand, when two rows are laid out, one of the Western form, ferrea^ and one of the Eastern form, haringtoni, the latter is obviously a much whiter bird below and quite easy to distinguish. The eggs laid by the two races contrast well with one another.