Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl56

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Zoological Illustrations
by William Swainson
Vol I. Pl. 56. Ramphastos vitellinus. Sulphur-and-white-breasted Toucan.
Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 56.jpg

RAMPHASTOS vitellinus.

Sulphur-and-white-breasted Toucan.

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Generic Character.—See Pl. 45.


Specific Character.

R. niger, gulâ flavo-aurantiâ; lateribus auribusque albis; fasciâ pectorali tegminibusque rubris; rostro nigro fasciâ basali cæruleâ, culmine subcurvato convexo, lateribus incrassatis.
Black; throat yellowish-orange; the sides and ears white; pectoral bar and tail-covers red; bill black, with a blue basal belt, the top convex and but slightly curved, the sides thickened.
R. vitellinus. Illiger ——
Le Pignancoin. Vaill. pl. 7.
Var.? Le Grand Toucan à ventre rouge. Vaill. pl. 6.
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The descriptions of Dr. Latham, and the compilations of Dr. Shaw on the various species of Toucans, are so confused, and their synonyms so inaccurate, that it is quite impossible to quote them in reference to this bird; but which I am informed has already been distinguished by the celebrated Illiger as a distinct species, under the name here adopted.

Independent of colour, this differs from R. Tucanus in having the bill less curved, the top convex and obscure pink, not flat and blue. The belt at the base is always vivid blue (grey in the dead bird), not, as in R. Tucanus, of a rich yellow. This I have never met with in Brazil; the other is common from lat. 8 to 23° S. A drawing from the live bird by the late Sydenham Edwards (obligingly lent me by Lord Stanley) confirms others I have seen as to the colour of the bill, orbits, &c. It varies, however, in that of the throat, breadth of the red band, and in the tail-covers. A specimen I possess being somewhat larger, the breast is nearly white, and the upper tail-covers sulphur. In young birds the white on the sides is tinged with grey. I am inclined to consider the Grand Toucan à ventre rouge of Vaillant as a mere variety, having the red pectoral bar very broad.

In general size it is rather larger than the Brazilian Toucan. Our figure is on the exact scale of four-tenths to an inch. Its precise locality I am unacquainted with. We hope to enlarge more on this interesting genus in another publication.