Philomachus Anon., Allg. Lit. Zeit., 1804 (2), p. 168, col. 54.
Type by mon., Tringa pugnax; Linne.
This genus is distinguished from others in having the male much larger than the female, whilst the former in the breeding-season assumes a ruff of long feathers extending from the nape down each side of the neck and varying in colour to the most extraordinary degree. The Ruff is said to be polygamous and fights and displays for the females in a manner very like some of the Game-birds.
The bill is moderately long, straight and flexible, both mandibles grooved over the greater part of their length, the linear nostril being placed in the groove close to the base of the upper mandible; the wing is of the usual shape, long and pointed with the first primary longest; the inner secondaries are lengthened ; tail rather short and rounded ; the tarsus is longer than the bill from the gape and transversely shielded in front and behind; hind toe moderate, outer and middle toe connected by a web, that between the inner and middle toe obsolete; the tail:coverts are very long.
There is but one species which extends throughout Europe-and Asia.