Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
On Some New Birds From the Northern Moluccas
(S70: 1862)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A short systematic review that appeared in the October 1862 issue of the Ibis. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S070.htm


    [[p. 348]] In a collection just received from Mr. Allen, made during a visit to the north of Gilolo and the adjacent island of Morty, a few species occur not included in the list published by Mr. G. R. Gray. Two of these, a Tanysiptera and a Tropidorhynchus, are from Morty (a small island to the north of Gilolo), to which they are no doubt strictly confined, other and very distinct species of the same genera taking their place in Gilolo itself; and they are further interesting as marking the northern limit to which these two genera are yet known to extend. The other birds found at Morty are Gilolo species, with the exception of a Crow, which appears to agree best with the Corvus orru of New Guinea, and Butalis hypogrammica, n. s., which agrees with specimens from Ceram, but has not yet been found in Gilolo.

    The island possesses an active volcano, but otherwise consists only of raised coral-rock and sand. It has therefore, probably, never been connected with any other land, but has been gradually [[p. 349]] raised in the ocean by volcanic agency. While this was going on, it would be peopled by stragglers from the surrounding countries, and an overwhelming proportion of Gilolo species would naturally result from the proximity of that island. The species of Tanysiptera and Tropidorhynchus, which, from being generally very local, we may conclude to be peculiarly subject to modification, are those which have undergone the greatest amount of change, and already present us with well-marked specific characters.

    LORICULUS AMABILIS.

    Dark green above, lighter green beneath, middle of the back and under tail-coverts yellowish green; crown of the head, rump, and upper tail-coverts, a spot on the throat, and the outer bend of the wings bright red; quills black, on the upper side with the outer web green, beneath with the inner web blue; tail green above, blue beneath, with a minute yellowish spot at the apex of each feather. The female wants the red on the crown, and has a more brownish tinge between the shoulders.

    Bill black; feet light red.

    Total length ♂ 4 1/4 in., ♀ 4 3/4 in., wing 2 3/4 in.
    Hab. Gilolo.
    Remark.--This beautiful bird is a minute copy of the L. stigmatus of Celebes, from which it differs a little in colour and in the greatly developed upper tail-coverts, which completely hide the tail, and sometimes extend beyond it.

    TANYSIPTERA DORIS.

    Black, slightly tinged with deep blue, which is more distinct on the ear-coverts, nape, and shoulders; crown and lesser wing-coverts verditer blue; a large spot in the middle of the back, rump, throat, breast, and belly white, slightly rufous-tinged; tail white, with the outer web of all the feathers blue above and dusky beneath; two middle feathers entirely blue above, except the spatula-tips and a portion of inner web at the base, which are white; under wing-coverts white, mixed with black at the base and on the shoulder-margins; sides of breast and belly blackish.

    Bill deep orange-red; feet dark olive.

    [[p. 350]] Total length about 14 inches; wing 4 inches.
    Hab. Morty Island.
    In the young bird there are numerous oval buff spots on the middle of the back, which do not occur in the young of any of the other species.
    Remark.--This species differs from its allies in the large white dorsal spot; from T. sabrina, G. R. G., which has a small dorsal spot, it differs in the much lighter blue of the crown, which is sharply defined behind: in general coloration it more nearly resembles T. isis, G. R. G., but is rather larger, and has the tail-spatulæ more like T. galatea, G. R. G. It seems to be confined to the small island of Morty, only separated by a strait 30 miles wide from Gilolo, the habitat of T. isis.

    ACROCEPHALUS INSULARIS.

    Above olive-brown, more rufous on the rump and tail; beneath white, tinged with ash on the neck and breast, and with rufous on the flanks and under tail-coverts; an obscure pale stripe from the nostrils over the eyes and ear-coverts.

    Bill dusky; lower mandible and feet pale.

    Total length 6 3/4 inches; wing 3 1/4 inches; bill from gape 4/5 inch.
    Hab. Gilolo and Morty Island.

    BUTALIS HYPOGRAMMICA.

    Ashy brown, wings and tail blackish; beneath white, with dusky stripes on the sides of the throat, breast, and flanks; lores white; bill and feet black; base of lower mandible pale yellow; iris black.

    Total length 5 1/4 inches; wing 3 1/4 inches.
    Hab. Ceram and Morty Island.
    Remark.--The above is the manuscript name attached to my specimen from Ceram by Mr. George Robert Gray.

    CRINIGER SIMPLEX.

    Above olive-yellow; beneath dusky yellow, rather paler on the throat; quills with the inner margins dusky brown; tail-feathers dull olive beneath and on the inner webs. Bill dusky lead-colour, margins pale; feet lead-colour; iris dark.

    [[p. 351]] Total length 8 1/2 inches; wing 4 inches; bill from gape 7/8 inch.
    Hab. Batchian, Gilolo, and Morty.
    Remark.--This species is smaller than C.flavicaudus, Bp., from which it differs in the uniform dusky tail. My specimens from Gilolo differ among themselves in the size of the bill, showing that this important organ is, like every other part, liable to variation. This species was included in Mr. G. R. Gray's list of Moluccan birds as C. flavicaudus.

    TROPIDORHYNCHUS FUSCICAPILLUS.

    Above dark glossy olive-brown, deepening to blackish olive on the head; beneath earthy brown; under tail-coverts lighter; throat light ash, whitest near the ears, where it has almost a silvery gloss; outer edges of the quills, lower part of the throat, and the breast tinged with olive-yellow, which seems more distinct in the male than the female; orbits and bare part of face flesh-colour; bill, simply keeled at the base, black; feet lead-colour.

    Total length 14 inches; wing 6 inches; bill from gape 1.7 inch.
    The young birds have the quills and feathers of the middle of the back and breast broadly margined with olive-yellow.
    Hab. Morty Island, near Gilolo.
    This species is very distinct by its dark head, simple beak, and bare flesh-coloured orbits, and by wanting the characteristic recurved feathers on the nape.

    ERYTHRURA MODESTA.

    Green; forehead and cheeks blue; sides of neck yellow-tinged; upper tail-coverts, two middle tail-feathers, and margins of the outer ones red; tips of wings dusky; under wing-coverts yellowish buff.

    In the female the blue and red colours are duller, and do not extend quite so far.

    Bill black; feet pale dusky red; iris dark.

    Total length 5 inches; wing 2.4 inches.
    Hab. Ternate, at an elevation of about 2000 feet.


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