This subfamily differs from the Timaliines in having longer wings and comparatively shorter, weaker tarsi and feet. Together with these features they have different habits, as one would have expected. They are strictly arboreal, seldom, if ever, feeding on the ground, nor do they scramble and climb about the undergrowth but hop from one branch to another, take easily to flight, and are not nearly so noisy as the last group of birds.
The sexes are alike in plumage and often brightly coloured.
This subfamily remains much as in Blanford and Oates, but the genus Zosterops is removed en bloc to a family by itself, Zosteropidae of Sharpe.
The genus Actinodura I retain in this subfamily with some doubt, as in many ways it approaches the previous subfamily, especially in its nidification, but on the whole it appears to be properly placed where it is.
Key to Genera.
A. Tail nearly twice the length of wing SIBIA, p. 295.
B. Tail and wing not differing much in length.
a. Tail-feathers graduated.
a1. All the tail-feathers graduated.
a2. Tail longer than wing; the outer tail-feathers falling short of tip of tail by a distance equal to length of tarsus.
a2. Wings not barred LEIOPTILA, p. 296.
b3. Wings barred ACTINODURA, p. 303.
b2. Tail not longer than wing; the outer tail-feathers falling short of the tip of tail by less than the length of tarsus. c3. Nostrils not overhung by hairs;
wings barred IXOPS, p. 307.
d3. Nostrils overhung by hairs and wings not barred STAPHIDIA, p. 309.
b1. The two outer pairs only of tail-feathers
graduated SIVA, p. 312.
a. Tail square and not graduated. c1. Bill slender, gently curved and both
mandibles of the same length YUHINA, p. 316.
d1. Bill stout and straight, the upper man¬dible longer than the lower one, with the tip bent down.
e2. Depth of bill at nostrils less than
breadth Ixulus, p. 321.
d2. Depth of bill at nostrils more than
breadth ERPORNIS, p. 324.