Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl32

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Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 32.jpg

PSARIS Cuvierii.

Cuvier's Psaris.

Generic Character.

Rostrum validum, crassum, conicum, basi rotundatum, versus apicem leviter compressum, culmine convexo non carinato; mandibulis emarginatis, superiore apice adunco. Nares basales, simplices, rotundæ, juxta marginem sitæ, basi paucis plumulis setaceis incumbentibus. Pedes simplices, tribus digitis anticis æqualiter fissis. Remiges spuriæ nullæ. Cauda brevis: rectricibus duodecim æqualibus.

Typus Genericus Lanius cayanus. Linn., Lath., &c.

Bill strong, thick, conic, the base rounded, towards the top slightly compressed, the top convex, not carinated; both mandibles notched, the tip of the upper hooked. Nostrils basal, simple, round, situated near the margin, the base with a few short incumbent setaceous feathers. Feet simple, the three fore-toes equally cleft. Spurious quills none. Tail short, of twelve equal feathers.

Generic Type Lanius cayanus. Linn., Lath., &c.

Specific Character.

P. olivaceus, subtus albidus; capite suprà nigro; occipite temporibus et colli lateribus cinereis; pectore lateribus tegminibusque infernis flavis.
Olive, beneath whitish; crown black; nape, sides of the head and neck pale cinereous; breast, sides, and under wing-covers yellow.

The genus Psaris was first instituted with great propriety by Cuvier; and before the discovery of the species now made known, was supposed to consist of only one, the Cayenne Shrike of Latham, which with the present bird (named in honour of the first zoologist of the age) is found in Brazil. The figure is nearly of the natural size.

Total length five inches and a half. Bill blueish, three quarters of an inch from the angle of the mouth, and four-tenths from the nostrils, which are ovately round, rather large, and simple, being entirely devoid of an external membrane, but the base is partially covered with small thick-set, short, setaceous feathers; between the eye and base of the bill are a few weak and short hairs; the upper part of the head, as far as the nape, is capped by deep-black, having a blueish gloss: between the nostrils and the eye, as well as on the chin and throat, the colour is white, which changes to a pale cinereous grey on the sides of the head and round the neck; the ears at their base and margin of the eye tinged with yellow; the rest of the upper plumage yellowish-olive. The under plumage on the lower part of the neck and breast, the sides, and the inner wing-covers are clear yellow, and from that to the vent white. Wings two inches long, the quills brown, margined externally with olive and internally with yellow; the first and second quill progressively shorter than the third and fourth, which are of equal length. Tail short, slightly divaricated; olive, with whitish marginal tips. Legs blueish-black; the three fore-toes are equally cleft, but a membrane will be found connecting them equally at the base nearly as far as the first joint.

Temminck must be mistaken in giving as a generic character to this genus, that the external toe is connected to the middle one as far as the first joint, and the inner toe cleft to the base; at least such is not the case either in my specimens of this bird or in those of the Cayenne Shrike: and they have been carefully relaxed in warm water, the best method of ascertaining such peculiarities.