THE Comb-Duck or Nukta is the only representative of the group within our limits. It is a resident species, and is widely distributed.
The two sexes of the Comb-Duck differ slightly in plumage, and the drake is very much larger than the duck. The bill is large and of equal width throughout; that of the male being furnished with a fleshy knob, which is about two inches in diameter at the breeding season, but considerably reduced in size at other periods. The legs and feet are very massive, and these Ducks are able to walk well. The wing is large, but not very strong, the outer secondaries reaching to about the tips of the primary coverts when the wing is closed. There is no distinct speculum, but there is a large amount of lustre on the wing. The primaries are uniformly black. The spur which, in almost all Ducks, is to be found at the bend of the wing, is, in this species, strongly developed.
Although the Comb-Duck resembles the Indian Wood-Duck in having the head and neck white, spotted with black, these two species differ in so many important respects, notably in the shape of the wing, the relative strength of the legs and feet, and the colour of the axillaries and under wing-coverts, that they do not appear to me to be in any way closely related.