Locustella Kaup. Naturl. Syst., p. 115 (1829). Type, Locustella locustella Lath.
The genus Locustella is represented in India by three species of somewhat similar appearance and size and of plain colours. They are found in reed-beds, swamps and wet cover of all sorts, and occur in India only in the Winter. Their Summer-quarters are the Northern parts of Asia, none of them breeding within the limits of this work. The Summer and Winter plumages only differ in the latter being a little paler and brighter; the young differ from the adults in being much more yellow and, perhaps, in being rather more heavily streaked. The sexes are alike.
The birds of this genus have a slender bill, about half as long as the head; the rictal bristles are very weak and hardly noticeable and the forehead is very smooth and free from all hairs; the plumage is soft but not fluffy in appearance; the first primary is very small and the second primary long, reaching almost to the tip of the wing; the tail is considerably graduated, the feathers being slightly pointed; the under tail-coverts are very long.
Key to Species.
A. Tail-feathers broadly tipped with white .... L. certhiola, p. 399.
B. Tail-feathers without broad white tips.
a. Lower plumage streaked L. lanceolata, p. 401.
b. Lower plumage not streaked L. naevia p. 401.