The intrinsic muscles of the syrinx fixed to the ends of the bronchial semi-rings; the edges of both mandibles smooth or with a simple notch on the upper one; hinder aspect of the tarsus bilaminated, the laminae entire and smooth; wing with ten primaries and tail with twelve rectrices.'; tongue non-tubular; nostrils clear of the line of forehead, the space between the nostril and the edge of the mandibles less than the space between the nostril and the culmen ; plumage of the young like the adult female, but paler; nostrils bare; rictal bristles absent; the wing is generally long or rather long and pointed and the tarsus is very short, the feet being unusually large and strong with long powerful toes and claws.
Whereas most authors have given the Certhiidae, or Tree-Creepers, a definite family by themselves, others have united them with the Troglodytidae or Wrens, whilst others again have united the latter with the Timaliidae or Turdidae.
Undoubtedly the Wrens and the Certhiidae are very closely allied, their strong feet and the entire absence of rictal bristles being the most conspicuous characters held in common. On the other hand, the longer wings of the Certhiidae together with their short tarsi seem to separate them sufficiently distinctly from the short, rounded winged Troglodytidae with their much longer tarsi.
The Certhiidae are found over a considerable portion of the world and are represented in India by three genera; of: these one possesses the typical stiff, pointed tail-feathers and two have soft, rounded tail-feathers as in the Wrens.
Key to Genera.
A. Tail composed of stiff, pointed feathers .... CERTHIA, p. 428,
B. Tail composed of soft, rounded feathers.
a.First primary not more than a quarter the
length of the second SALPORNIS, p. 439.
b.First primary about half the length of the
second Tichodhoma, p. 441.