Subfamily LIOTRICHINAE

This subfamily contains a number of genera the placing of many of which is a matter of no little difficulty. Since Oates wrote the first volume of the first edition of the Avifauna we have learnt a good deal which has enabled us to eliminate several genera which are obviously non-Timaliine, but further examination of material anatomically may assist us to place yet others in more suitable positions than the present.
Of the 16 genera included by Oates in his Liotrichinae, the following five have been removed to other families. Irena is now placed in Oberholser's new Family Irenidae; Melanochlora has been transferred to the Titmouses, Paridae; Leptopaecile and Cephalopyrus have been included in the Regulidae, whilst Psaraglossa is a true Starling and will be found in the Sturnidae.
Of the remaining genera there are still some whose position is especially doubtful. Cutia and Pleruthius have, it has been suggested, many affinities with the Campephagidae and Harington claims that their nidification also proves this ; to me, however, the nidification seems to point strongly to a position somewhere near Yuhina, Ixulus etc. and, for the present, the reasons for their retention in the subfamily seem greater than for their rejection.
The position of Myzornis is problematical, and careful examination of pterylosis and anatomy and a correct knowledge of its breeding habits are urgently required. Chlorqpsis is in the same group as Aethorhynchus and AEgithina and seems to be in many ways intermediate between the Timaliidae and Pycnonotidae, the fact that the sexes differ seeming to determine their position in the former rather than the latter. Hypocolius is a very curious bird with a very short first primary and may eventually have to be placed in a family by itself.
The subfamily as now restricted differs from the previous subfamilies of the Timaliidae and from the Pycnonotidae in having the sexes differing in coloration; the young are very like the adults but rather duller; the wing and tail are generally not greatly different in length; the first primary, with the exception of Hypocolius, is about half the length of the second; the wing is fairly rounded but longer and more pointed than in the preceding subfamilies ; the tarsus is strong, though more fitted for arboreal than terrestrial habits and the bill is usually short.
Key to Genera.
A. First primary about half the length of the second.
a. Tail considerably shorter than wing.
a1. Tail-feathers curved outwards LIOTHRIX, p. 327.
b1. Tail-feathers straight.
a2. Upper tail-coverts falling short of tip of
tail by less than the length of hind toe. CUTIA, p. 329,
b2. Upper tail-coverts falling short of tip of tail by about the length of tarsus,
a3. Tarsus longer than middle toe and claw.
a4. Bill stout, strongly notched and hooked at tip.
a5. Bill about half the length of head; [p. 330.
culmen well curved PTERUTHIUS,
b5. Bill as long as head; culmen nearly
straight AETHORHYNCHUS,
b4. Bill slender and very little deflected at tip. LP- 337.
c3. Plumage principally black and
greenish yellow AEGITHINA, p. 339.
d3. Plumage green and red MYZORNIS, p. 344.
b3. Tarsus shorter than middle toe and claw CHLOROPSIS,
b. Tail and wing about equal in length. [p, 346.
c1. Outer tail-feather falling short of tip of tail by a
distance equal to length of tarsus .. HILAROCICHLA,
d1. Outer tail-feather falling short of tip of tail [p. 336.
by a distance less than length of tarsus,
c2. Closed bill deeper than wide at nostril .. MESIA, p. 353.
d2. Closed bill equal in width and depth at
nostril MINLA, p. 355.
B. First primary about a sixth the length of the [p. 356.
second HYPOCOLIUS,

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Reference: 
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.1 1922.
Title in Book: 
Subfamily LIOTRICHINAE
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Year: 
1922
Page No: 
326
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
2797

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith