Mirafra Horsf., Trans. Linn. Soc, xiii, p. 159 (1820). Type, Mirafra javanica Horsf.
In the genus Mirafra the bill is short and stout with the nostrils fully exposed ; the wing has two primaries of which the first varies between half and two-thirds the length of the second while the second almost reaches the tip of the wing; the third and fourth and sometimes the fifth are longest and subequal; the hind claw is as long as, or longer than, the hind toe and is slightly curved.
Key to Species.
A. Inner web of outer tail-feathers largely white or very pale rufous.
a. Above sandy rufous………..M. cantillaus, p. 334.
b. Above very dark rufous………..M. javanica, p. 335.
B. Innei web of outer tail-feathers all brown.
a. Rufous on inner and outer webs of primaries separated by a brown band………..M. assamica, p. 336.
d. Rufous on inner and outer webs of primaries confluent………..M. erythroptera, p. 340.
The position of M. cantillans is a little doubtful as it only differs from the javanica group in degree, or depth, of coloration and not at all in pattern of colour or in any other respect. There is, however, a very wide geographical ax*ea between these two in which there is no representative form and, as there is an equally big corresponding gap in the two decrees of colour, it seems justifiable and convenient to accept the two as species, the connecting links, if any ever existed, having been eliminated.