Perdicula Hodg., Beng. Sport. Mag., ix, p. 344 (1837).
Type, Perdix asiatica Lath.
The genus Perdicula contains but one species, Perdicula asiatica, with two races, P. a. asiatica and P. a. argoondah, hitherto always considered to be species. The distribution of the two is most puzzling, as they constantly overlap, but many individuals are exactly halfway between the two and it would seem that, whilst the extremes are very distinct, there is an immense intervening area where there is no really constant form.
The genus is peculiar to the Indian Peninsula and is, in many respects, nearer the Partridges than the Quails. In size they are small; the bill is short and thick and the culmen very convex; the wing is short and rounded, the first primary equal to the eighth and the fourth longest; the tail of twelve feathers is about half the length of the wing; the tarsus is equal to the middle toe and claw and the male has a short blunt spur.
The sexes differ in colour.
Key to Subspecies.
A.Breast barred black and white. (Males.)
a. Supercilium and line between cheeks and throat conspicuous. No barring on
back…………..P. a. asiatica, p. 377.
b. Supercilium and cheek-stripe obsolete or absent; back barred with rufous or buff…………..P. a. argoondah, p. 379.
B.Breast dull vinaceous or rufous-buff. (Females.)
c.Inner webs of primaries brown throughout…………..P. a. asiatica, p. 377.
d.Inner webs of primaries mottled or barred with buff. …………..P. a. argoondah, p. 379.