Kaup, Skizz. Entw. Gesch. Nat. Syst., p. 93 (1829). Type, Arceuthornis pilaris.
The Thrushes of this genus (Turdus auct.) are very closely allied both to Turdus and Geocichla. They contain three birds which are found in India in which the sexes are alike—the under wing-coverts and axillaries are of one colour and there is no pattern on the underside of the wing. The wing and tail are both long, though their comparative lengths vary slightly, and the latter is slightly graduated. The bill is smaller than in Turdus: the tarsi equally strong and well developed.
The Indian race of the Missel-Thrush is more or less sedentary; the other two species (the Fieldfare and Redwing) are very widely distributed and are migratory. They seek their food both on the ground and on trees.
As already shown, the name Turdus refers to the Thrushes of the merula type and therefore cannot be used for the Missel-Thrushes except by those ornithologists who unite all these genera in one. The next earliest name is Arceuthornis of Kaup, which will therefore have to be used.
Key to Species.
A. Under wing-coverts and axillaries white.
a. Crown and mantle brown A. viscivorus, p. 154.
b. Crown slaty-grey, mantle rufous A. pilaris, p. 155.
B. Under wing-coverts and axillaries rufous ... A. musicus, p. 156.
Arceuthornis viscivorus Linn., 1758. Type-locality: Europe, restricted to Sweden.