Zoological Illustrations/VolII-Pl72

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Zoological Illustrations Volume II Plate 72.jpg

POGONIAS hirsutus,

Hairy-breasted Toothbill.

Generic Character.—See Pl. 68.

Specific Character.

P. supra fuscus, maculis sulphureis, subtus sulphureus maculis nigris interstinctus, capite juguloque nigris; pectoris plumis elongatis, pilis setaceis terminatis.
Above brown, spotted with sulphur; beneath sulphureous, with black spots; head and chin black; feathers of the breast lengthened, and ending in long setaceous hairs.

I have before observed, that this genus of birds was first characterized under the name of Pogonias, by Illiger, in 1811; some years after (1815), M. Vieillot changed the name to Pogonia, without taking any notice of Illiger's denomination, and Dr. Leach has followed Vieillot without probably being aware of the plagiarism; Vieillot's name must, however, be expunged, as Mr. Brown has some time back affixed the name of Pogonia to a remarkable genus of plants.

Total length about seven inches; bill blueish black, one inch two lines long, and large in proportion; the tooth in the middle very prominent; behind the eye is a short white stripe, and another much longer begins from the under mandible, and goes half way down the neck; the chin and part of the throat, together with the head and neck above, deep black, which changes to a dark brown on the back, wings, covers, and tail; a small round sulphur spot is on the tip of each feather of the hind head, back, and lesser wing covers; the quills pale brown, margined with sulphur; the under plumage is greenish sulphur, closely spotted with blackish; the most extraordinary peculiarity of this bird consists in the feathers of the breast, which are more rigid than the others, pointed, and the shaft of the lower ones ending in fine incurved setaceous hairs, many of which are near an inch long. The probable use this particular formation is intended for, it is impossible to conjecture.

Mr. B. Leadbeater, to whom I am often obliged for the inspection of rare subjects, received this from Africa, and it is the only individual of the species I ever heard of.