Bill from gape longer than tarsus, stout; culmen considerably curved ; no frontal shield ; nostril elongate, pervious, placed near the middle of the upper mandible ; tarsus shorter than middle toe without claw ; toes broadly fringed with skin, which is lobed as in Coots. Wing rounded, 2nd quill or 2nd and 3rd longest, 1st between 5th and 6th. Tail of 18 feathers, about half as long as wing, slightly rounded, rectrices broad and stiff. Sexes slightly different.
A single species. This bird has until recently been placed in the same genus as the African Podica ; but Dr. Sharpe has shown that the Asiatic bird is really quite as nearly related to the American Heliornis, and has rightly, I think, placed it in a distinct genus.