Zoological Illustrations/VolII-Pl106

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Zoological Illustrations
by William Swainson
Vol II. Pl. 106. Cursorius Temminckii. Black-bellied Courier.
Zoological Illustrations Volume II Plate 106.jpg

CURSORIUS Temminckii,

Black-bellied Courier.

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Generic Character.

Rostrum mediocre, ad apicem compressum, mandibulis arcuatis, basi depressâ, apice acuto, integro. Nares basales, ovatæ, aperturâ elongatâ, laterali. Pedes longi, digitis tribus anticis omninò divisis, interioribus brevissimis, ungue medio pectinato. Remigum penna prima longissima.—Typus Genericus Cursorius Europæus, Lath.
Bill as long as the head; both mandibles arched, and towards the end compressed; base depressed, the tip acute and entire; nostrils basal, oval, the aperture oblong and lateral; legs long, with three toes in front entirely separated, the inner toes very short, the middle with the claw serrated; wings with the first quill longest.—Generic Type Cream-coloured Plover Latham.

Specific Character.

C. colore columbino; vertice pectoreque ferrugineis; torquibus nuchalibus 2; torque inferiore, remigibus, abdomineque medio nigris; torque superiore abdominisque lateribus albis.
Cream-coloured brown; top of the head and breast ferruginous; nuchal collar double; the lower, with the quills and middle of the body, black; the upper, and the sides of the body, white.
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Dr. Latham first instituted this genus, of which two species were then known; M. Le Vaillant discovered another in Africa; and I am happy in now adding a fourth from the same country, in the possession of Mr. Leadbeater. No ornithologist has paid greater attention both to the natural affinities, and to the illustration of the genera allied with these birds, than Professor Temminck; and I therefore feel pleasure in naming this bird in honour of that excellent ornithologist, from whom whenever I have differed, it has been from the sole wish of eliciting truth. Total length from the bill to the tail eight inches; bill one inch from the gape, and half from the end of the nostrils; the colours of the bird are best seen in the figure; the middle of the body, and the quill feathers, deep black; legs three inches from the naked thigh to the tip of the middle toe, the claw of which is serrated internally; tail round; the middle feathers not spotted; the two next with a black dot near the tip, which, in the next pair, is further broken into two white dots; the outer pair white. These birds inhabit the arid tracts of Africa, at a distance from the sea, and run amazingly swift. One species has occasionally visited England.