The genus Trochalopterum differs from the preceding genera in having the base of the bill quite devoid of all bristles and hairs, the nostrils and their membranes being free and exposed. In other respects it is quite typical of the subfamily.
The bill varies a good deal in length and stoutness, and the nostrils in some are oval and exposed, whilst in others they are long and narrow and partly covered by a membrane. Oates and Harington point out that those birds with short, stout bills lay unspotted eggs, whilst those with slender bills and long linear nostrils lay spotted eggs. This is true, but, on the other hand, birds of the group of Laughing-Thrushes with the curious wing-speculum, probably an older feature than bill and nostril, all lay spotted eggs with the one exception of T. squamatum, which lays them plain blue. Even the shape of the bills and nostrils, however, varies only in degree, more or less intergrading with one another.
If Harington and Oates, and before them Gray, thought it desirable to split up the genus, we have Hartert on the contrary lumping under the one name (Ianthocincla), Oates's genera Ianthocincla, Babax and Trochalopterum. It must be remembered, however, that in the Palaearctic region Hartert has to deal with only 29 species and subspecies, whereas in the Oriental region the number is much greater, no less than 40 species and subspecies being found in India in this genus alone.
Oates's genera, as given in the first edition of the ' Avifauna,' seem reasonable and are easy for the student to understand, and I retain them in the present edition.
In the first edition, however, many geographical races were quite wrongly given the status of full species, and these are now relegated to their proper position. A few new species and subspecies have been added to our list, and we have recognized in this genus 12 species and 17 subspecies.
Key to Species.
A. Chestnut on crow, or nape, or both T. erythrocephalum,
B. No chestnut on crown or nape. [p. 162.
a. Wings brightly coloured.
a1. "Wings chiefly crimson.
a2. Tail black ..' T. phaeniceum, p. 168.
b2. Tail crimson T. milnei, p. 170.
b1. Win^s chiefly bright yellow.
c2. Primary-coverts brown T. subunicolor, p. 171.
d2. Primary-coverts black.
a3. Tail without white tips T. affine, p. 172.
gatum, p. 178.
b3. Tail with white tips T. variegatum varie-
[p. 174.
c1. Wings chiefly slaty-blue T. variegatum simile,
d1. Wings with patch of bright blue ...T. squamatum, p. 174.
b. Wings dull coloured with no bright patch.
e1. Upper plumage not striped.
e2. Breast rufous T. cachinnans, p. 176.
f2.. Breast whitish, streaked ashy T. jerdoni, p. 177.
g2. Breast olive grey-brown T. henrici, p. 183.
f1. Upper plumage striped.
h2. With a white supercilium T. virgatum, p. 179.
i2. With no white supercilium T. lineatum, p. 180.
Trochalopterum erythrocephalus.
This species is a very widely extended one, ranging from the Western Himalayas to the south of Tenasserim. As might be expected, its geographical variations are great, and it is therefore divided into 8 subspecies.
Key to Subspecies.
A. Back and breast with large black round spots.
a. .No conspicuous grey supercilium.
a1. Ear-coverts chestnut, tipped black [p. 163.
and white T. e. erythrocephalum,,
b1. Ear-coverts black, edged pinkish
white....................... T. e. nigrimentum, p. 164.
c1. Ear-coverts chestnut like the crown. T. e. erythrolaema, p. 164.
b. A conspicuous grey supercilium.
d1. Ear-coverts chestnut T.e. godwini, p. 165.
e1. Ear-coverts grey with black shaft-
stripes T. e. woodi, p. 166.
B. Back and breast with brown oval spots .. T. e. chryscpterum, p. 166.
C. No spots on back or breast.
c. Chin and throat only rufous T. e. melanostigma, p. 167.
d. Chin, throat and breast rufous T. e. ramsayi, p. 168.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.1 1922.
Title in Book: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
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