Zoological Illustrations/VolIII-Pl163

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Zoological Illustrations Volume III Plate 163.jpg


White-spotted Turnix.

Generic Character.

Rostrum mediocre, gracile, rectum, valdè compressum culmine levato, ad apicem sub-incurvo. Nares laterales, lineares, sulcatæ, membranâ convexâ corneâ vix tectæ, aperturâ fissâ, elongatâ. Pedes longi, digitis tribus anticis divisis. Halluce caret. Cauda brevissima tectricibus obtecta. Alæ mediocres.
Bill moderate, slender, straight, much compressed, culmen elevated, towards the tip slightly incurved. Nostrils lateral, linear, sulcated, partially covered by a convex horny membrane, the aperture narrow and elongated; legs long, with three toes before, divided at their base. Hind toe none. Tail very short, concealed by the covers. Wings moderate.
Generic Type. Perdix nigricollis. Lath.

Specific Character.

H. supra ferrugineo varius; mento albescente; jugulo pectoreque pallidè ferrugineis, maculis albis, nitidis, ornatis; corpore albo; uropygio caudæque tectricibus superioribus rufis, immaculatis.
Above varied with ferruginous; chin whitish; throat and breast pale ferruginous, with white shining spots; body white; rump and upper tail-covers rufous, unspotted.
H. nivosus. Swainson, in Tilloch's Phil. Magazine, vol. 60. p. 353.

I have represented this delicate little bird of its natural size; which is so small, as scarcely to equal that of a Lark. The Turnix inhabits the sandy deserts of Africa and India, and seems to form a race of pigmy Bustards, all the species yet discovered (fourteen in number) being very diminutive. Little is known of their habits in a state of nature, further than that they migrate, and fly with great rapidity. The specific character will distinguish H. nivosus as a species; and I have already given a more detailed description of it in the Journal above quoted. Mr. Leadbeater received it from Senegal.