Zoological Illustrations/VolIII-Pl121

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Zoological Illustrations Volume III Plate 121.jpg

CINNYRIS Javanica,

Javanese Creeper.

Generic Character.—See Pl. 95.

Specific Character.

C. supra nitidè purpureo-ærata, subtus olivaceo-crocea; scapulis, uropygio, strigâque laterali a rostro ad pectus descendente nitidè violaceis; jugulo castaneo; caudâ nigra.
Above glossy metallic purple; beneath olive yellow; scapulars, rump, and lateral stripe from the bill to the breast, shining violet; throat chesnut; tail black.
Nectarinia Javanica. Horsfield in Linn. Tran. vol. 13. i. p. 167.

Under the full conviction that nature has defined, in the most complete manner, the geographic limits of the various tribes of birds subsisting on vegetable juices, I am particularly anxious to rectify any mistakes that may shake this hypothesis, in which I find myself supported, in the fullest manner, by the opinion of Professor Temminck, in the last edition of his Manuel.

Dr. Horsfield, in his account of the birds of Java, describes two species under the names of Nectarinia Javanica and Pectoralis. It happens, however, that specimens of both these birds are in my own cabinet, and have enabled me to ascertain that they are both decided species of Cinnyris, perfectly agreeing with the characters laid down by Cuvier, Temminck, and myself, for this group. It is difficult to say how this oversight has occurred, because Dr. H., just before, introduces the genus Cinnyris, and describes under it two new species. In short, no doubt remains in my own mind, that Cinnyris is a genus as strictly confined to the tropical latitudes of the old, as Nectarinia is to the new world.

The figure is the size of life; the outline of the bill will illustrate the generic characters, of which one of the most important is the nostrils. Nothing can exceed the richness and variety of tints with which this splendid little creature is ornamented; particularly on the head, which is glossed alternately with lilac, sea-green, and violet, and appears as if covered with some metallic substance; the blue on the wings, back, and edges of the tail is very deep, shining, and glossed with purple; all the wing-feathers are edged with olive, and some of the lesser quills with chesnut.