J. E. Gray, 1831,
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
Previously placed in a separate genus, Melophus. See remarks under Family Emberizidae. Quite marked difference between shiny blue-black and rusty-chestnut males in W part of range (India) and dull brownish-black and orange-rufous males in E China, but extensive intervening areas inhabited by intermediates; Indian populations sometimes separated as race subcristata (described from the Deccan, in SC India), but delimitation of any clear races difficult. Monotypic.
S slopes of Himalayas from NE Pakistan (Murree Hills) E to NE India (Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur), also C India (from E Rajasthan, S Gujarat, SW Maharashtra, N Andhra Pradesh and E Madhya Pradesh E to S Bihar), and S China (from Red Basin of Sichuan E, chiefly S of 30° N, to Anhui and Zhejiang, S to Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdong) S to Myanmar, N & C Laos and N Vietnam (Tonkin). Also W & NW Thailand in non-breeding season.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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