Enanthe Vieill., Analyse, p. 40, 1816. Type, Motacilla aenanthe Linn.
As already explained, the name Saxicola cannot be used for the Wheatears, as in 1827 Swainson designated Motacilla rubicola as the genotype, thus anticipating Gray who did not give Motacilla aenanthe as the type of Saxicola until 1841. The next oldest name is Vieillot's AEnanthe, 1816, type by tautonymy Motacilla aenanthe Linn.
The genus AEnanthe contains a large number of species which are essentially birds of deserts and waste lands, and they are most developed in the dry parts of South-Western Asia and Northern Africa. The majority of the species are migratory and only winter visitors to India but others are resident and breed within our area. The sexes are usually dissimilar and both sexes undergo a seasonal change of plumage which in some species causes a very great alteration in their appearance.
In AEnanthe the bill is about half the length of the head, slender and not widened at the base; the rictal bristles few and weak; the wing is pointed, the first primary being about one-third the length of the second; the tail is shorter than the wing and nearly square; the tarsus is rather long but slender.
The young of AEnanthe are typically Saxicoline, having the plumage both above and below barred and spotted, giving a mottled appearance. This juvenile plumage is moulted in the first autumn into one similar to that of the adult.
Key to Species.
A. Tail white or buff and brown; the lateral feathers immaculate or ob-
liquely marked with black…… AE. monacha, p. 40.
B. Tail white and black; the laterals with
a broad band at the tip. a. Band on lateral tail-feathers not ex¬ceeding 25 mm. in breadth. a1 Second primary shorter than sixth.
a2. Sexes alike, plumage black and
white AE. alboniger, p. 40.
b2. Sexes different; males black and white, females brown.
a3. Abdomen white, crown black. AE. picata, p-42.
b3 Abdomen and crown both
white AE. capistrata, , p. 43.
c3 Abdomen black AE. opistholeuca, p- 44.
d3. Throat and breast dark brown, contrasting with the pale
abdomen AE. picata, p. 42.
e3. Throat and breast buff, blend¬ing into the paler buff
abdomen AE. capistrata, p. 43.
f3. Throat, breast and upper
abdomen sooty-brown .... AE. opistholeuca, P. 45.
b1. Second primary between sixth and fifth; sexes different; chin and throat black.
c2. Back and scapulars of the same
colour AE. leucomela, p- 45.
d2. Back buff, scapulars black...... AE. melanoleuca, p. 47.
c1. Second primary equal to or longer than fifth; chin and
throat never black
e2. Sexes different; bands on tail
about 22 mm
g3. Under wing-coverts black
edged with white AE. aenanthe, p. 48.
h3 Under wing-coverts brown
edged with rufous AE. aenanthe, p. 48.
f2. Sexes alike; band on tail about 26 mm.; under wing-coverts
uniform fulvous AE. isabellina, p. 49.
b. Band on lateral tail-feathers more
than 25 mm. broad AE. deserti, p. 51.
C. Tail chestnut and black; the lateral
feathers with a broad hand at the*tip. AE. xanthoprymna, p. 53.