Schaenicola Blyth, J. A. S. B., xiii, p. 374 (1844). Type, 8. platyura (Jerdon).
The genus Schaenicola differs from Megalurus in having two complete moults in the year. The bill is rather short, being about half as long as the head ; there are two strong rictal bristles, no supplementary hairs and the feathers of the forehead are short and close. The wing is rather long, the third primary longest and the first and second large and graduated; the tail is long, broad and well graduated and the feet are powerful.
With the material at present available, it is impossible to say whether Oates is correct in assigning the very great differences in the plumage of these birds to seasonal changes. There are 10 specimens in the British Museum collection from Travancore and Ceylon and 7 from Belgaum : the former, collected April to June, are all rich brown above, rich ochraceous below; the latter, collected in August-September, are all fulvous-brown above and pale ochraceous-white below. Again, the former wing-measurements vary between 63 and 67 mm., the latter between 66 and 71 mm. It may be unsafe to separate them until material for both the breeding and non-breeding season is available from one place but it looks as if there would prove to be two well-defined races.