Genus TOTANUS

Bill long, slender, straight or slightly curved upwards; both mandibles distinctly grooved at each side; tip of upper mandible bard and bent down. Wings long, pointed; 1st quill longest; tertiaries long; tail moderate, slightly rounded. Legs and feet variable; the tarsus always scutulated in front and behind, generally of nearly the same length as the bill, but occasionally slightly longer and more frequently a little shorter. Hind toe present; anterior toes united by web, which is in some species rudimentary between the middle and inner toes.

Owing to differences in the relative and absolute length of the bill and tarsi, and in the development of the web between the 2nd and 3rd toes, the species here brought together are often distributed into several genera. Amongst the more important distinctions are those of T. fuscus, which has a remarkable dark breeding-plumage, the other species not showing any great change in their summer garb ; T. stagnatilis, in which the tarsus is considerably longer than the bill; T. glottis and T. ochropus, with a single emargination on each side of the sternum instead of two, the latter, moreover, having a peculiar parasitic nidification ; and T. calidris and T. guttifer, in which the web between the 2nd and 3rd toes is well developed. As here regarded, the genus Totanus is generally distributed and contains eight Indian species.

Key to the Species.

a. Bill straight, not curved upwards.
a1. Small forms; wing not exceeding 5; legs olive or green.
a2. No white on rump…………………………T. hypoleucus, p. 260.
b2. Rump white…………………………T. glareola, p. 261.
b1. Wing between 5 and 6; legs olive or green.
c2. Lower back brown ; tarsus shorter than bill…………………………T. ochropus, p. 262.
d1. Lower back white ; tarsus longer than bill…………………………T. stagnatilis, p. 263.
c1. Wing over 6; leg's red.
e2. Secondary quills all white…………………………T. calidris, p. 264.
f2. Secondary quills barred brown and white…………………………T. fuscus, p. 265.
b. Bill slightly curved upwards; wing over 6.
g2. Tarsus 2.5 ; legs yellowish green…………………………T. glottis, p. 266.
h2. Tarsus 1.75; legs dull yellow…………………………T. guttifer, p. 267.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
Genus TOTANUS
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1898
Page No: 
259
M_ID: 
4306
M_SN: 
Actitis
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
2108

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