Coturnix=a Quail, in classical Latin. Etymology unknown.
Bill small and slender. Plumage prominently streaked on back and sides. Axillaries long and white. First primary equal to third (second longest), or first second, and third quills are subequal or first longest. Outer web of primaries barred or plain. Tail of ten or twelve feathers less than half the length of the wing. No spurs. Flight rapid, close to the ground, and very straight.
True Quail (Coturnix and Synoecus) are most common in S. Asia, but occur throughout the whole of the Old Continent as far as New Zealand. Of the Blue Quail (Excalfactoria), one species occurs in India and China, another extends from Malaya to the Philippines and Australia, a third off New Guinea, and a fourth in Africa; but none in Central and Western Asia. The species from the islands E. of New Guinea (E. lepida) is the smallest game bird in the world. Bush-Quail (Perdicula and Microperdix) are peculiar to the Indian Empire.