Ardetta, diminutive of Ardea=& Heron, on the analogy of the Italian Garzetta, etc. In Pliny the diminutive is Ardeifla.
A remarkable genus, of small size, with wing not longer than 6". Toes long, and claws strong. May be said to be BITTERNS with EGRET bills. Head with short pointed crest. No neck-frill. Space behind eye feathered. Feathers of upper breast lengthened and concealing lower breast, but not forming ornamental plumes. Four powder-down patches. Nearly cosmopolitan.
Back and scapulars in males uniform, in females generally mottled or streaked. Cheater coverts never chestnut.