This genus has hitherto been placed with the Limicolae in the family Scolopacidae. Its affinities seem, however, to be with the Bails rather than with the Snipe and it is probably an early offshoot from the avian branch, which produced the former. It is one of the few forms of birds in which the female is the larger, brighter coloured of the sexes and the dominating partner in sexual matters.
In this genus the bill is slender and long but shorter than in most species of Snipe and not pitted at the end as it is with these birds; the tip is slightly swollen and bent down; both mandibles are grooved at the base and the nostrils basal; tarsi strong but of moderate length, the tibia partly naked and the toes long; the wings are short, broad and rather lax, the first and second primaries being longest and subequal; tail of fourteen feathers : sexes dissimilar in plumage.
There is only one genus, containing three species found in Australia, South America and in India and Africa.