The Woodcocks and Snipe differ from the other subfamilies of the Scolopacidae, as indeed from all other Charadriidae, in having the eyes placed very far back in the head, the ear-orifice being just beneath the hinder edge of the orbit. The toes, as in Erolia, have no webs ; the bill is long, slender and very sensitive, the tip slightly swollen and provided with nerves; the tarsus is short, not exceeding the middle toe and claw in length.
The genus Rostratula, which has generally been included in this group, has now been shown to possess affinities which are more Ralline than Scolopacine and has therefore been removed (see ante) to a group by itself. The Jack-Snipe, which was included by Blanford in the genus Gallinago, has, in agreement with the general opinion of systematists, been removed to a genus by itself, Lymnocryptes, whilst, most unfortunately, the name of the genus Gallinago has had to be changed to Capella.
Key to Genera.
A. Tibia feathered throughout; no longitudinal pale stripes; occiput and nape transversely striped..................SCOLOPAX, p. 252.
B. Tibia partly naked.
a. Crown with longitudinal stripes and median pale band; tail-feathers rounded. ..................CAPELLA, p. 254.
b. Crown with no median pale band; tail-feathers pointed..................LYMNOCRYPTES, P.. 265.