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Record: oai:ARNO:508404

AuthorO. Finsch
TitleOn the identity of Muscicapula Westermanni, Sharpe and M. melanoleuca, Hodgs
JournalNotes from the Leyden Museum
AbstractUnder the first name Dr. Sharpe describes (Proc. Z. S. L. 1888, p. 270) a small flycatcher, a single specimen collected by Mr. L. Wray in the principal mountain range of Perak (Mt. Ulu Batang Padang, 4200 f. h.). This specimen was marked »adult male”, but Mr. Sharpe adds: »it may not be the fully adult of its species, but I believe it to be so” and remarks further: »the reddish upper tailcoverts and tail remind one of the female of M. maculata, but the blue-grey upper surface distinguishes it at a glance.” The relationship is here correctly pointed out, for the typespecimen of M. Westermanni is undoubtedly not an »adult male” but an »adult female”, as proved by Dr. Sharpe himself on a pair of flycatchers collected by Mr. Whitehead on the Kina Balu. About these two birds Dr. Sharpe says (Ibis 1888, p. 385): »I cannot see any difference between this male bird and specimens from the Himalayas (M. maculata Tick.). The bird Mr. Whitehead sends as the female is undoubtedly the same as my M. Westermanni, so that if those two birds are sexes of one species, the latter may have to be separated on the females alone, while M. Westermanni (»female”!) is certainly different from any Himalayan specimen of M. maculata.” Species in which the males are precisely alike and which can be only distinguished by differences in the colours of the female, may always be considered as rather doubtful, and this as more if these differences are so slight as between the females of M. melaholeuca and of the socalled M. Westermanni. The more grey tone on the back of the latter, scarcely to be termed »blue-grey”, is seen in freshly moulted females, as in the specimen (N° 14) in our Museum from the highlands of Luzon. Other females from Java (N° 8), already specifically separated by Temminck s. n. Muscicapa Hasselti, and from Timor, show the upper surface more brownish grey and agree perfectly with Dr. Sharpe’s description of the female of M. maculata from Sikkim (Cat. B. Brit. M. IV, p. 207). As in many other similarly coloured species the colouring of the back varies therefore somewhat. So Mr. Oates notices: »females from Manipur are commonly much darker than such from the Indian peninsula”, and Mr. Grant likewise says (Ibis 1896, p. 540): »upper parts of females from Negros are of a rather darker grey than in Luzon specimens.”
Document typearticle
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