Forster's name Phaenicurus for this genus dates from 1817 (Syn. Cat. Brit. Birds, 1817, p. 17), antedates Ruticilla (C. L. Brehm, Isis, 1828, p. 1280) and must therefore be used.
The type of the genus is P. phaenicurus Linn. S. N. i, p. 335 (1766).
The genus Phaenicurus contains the true Redstarts, which may be recognized by their rather long tail, which is more than twice the length of the tarsus and nearly, or quite, square at the tip; the tail is largely chestnut and the sexes are not alike.
The bill is short, slender and black and the rictal bristles moderate or short; the wing is sharply pointed and the first primary less than half the second; the tarsus is rather long.
Nestlings have the plumage streaked above and squamated below but the tail-pattern is similar to that of the adult, rendering identification fairly easy. Like the Chat the seasonal change caused by the abrasion of the feathers in summer is very great.
Key to Species.
A. Tail-feathers, except middle pair, abruptly
tipped with black P. frontalis, p. 69.
B. None of the tail-feathers tipped.
a. A large white patch on throat P. schisticeps, p. 70.
b. No white patch on throat.
a1. Middle tail-feathers different' to lateral. "Wing under 100 mm. a2. Secondaries with white on both webs P. auroreas, p. 71.
b2. No white on inner webs of second¬aries.
a3. Terminal portion of shafts of all
tail-feathers black P. erythronota, p. 73.
b3. Shafts of lateral tail-feathers entirely chestnut. a4 Throat and breast black.
a3 Secondaries with broad white
edges P. hodgsoni, p. 74.
b3 Secondaries with no white .. P. ochrurus, p. 75.
b4 Throat and breast buff or ashy-brown.
c5 Lower plumage chiefly ashy-
brown P. hodgsoni, p. 75.
d3 Lower plumage buff or orange-buff P. ochrurus, p. 75.
b1. Middle tail-feathers similar to lateral
ones. Wing over 100 mm P. erythrogaster, p. 78.