Seicercus Swainson, Class. Birds, p. 84 (1837). Type, Cryptolopha aureicapilla —Sylvia burkii Barton, 1835.
The name Cryptolopha Swainson, which occurs on p. 259, op. cit. cannot be used, as it is antedated by Seicercus on p. 84. Swainson, in creating the name Cryptolopha, merely says that he does so to replace the name Seicercus, which might possibly be confused with Seiurus. This genus includes a large number of Oriental Warblers which superficially very closely approach the Flycatchers in appearance, more especially in the very great development of the frontal hairs. The young, however, are neither spotted nor squamated, but paler and even brighter than the adults, as is usual in the Sylviidae.
In Seicercus the bill is about half the length of the head, very broad and blunt; the rictal bristles are greatly developed and the supplementary hairs reach beyond the nostrils and, in some cases, almost to the tip of the bill; the wing is rather rounded, the first primary small, the second and third graduated; the tail is moderate, square or, occasionally, slightly forked. It has a partial Spring moult. The species are not migratory, though they move vertically to some extent with the seasons.
Key to Species.
A. Entire lower plumage deep yellow.
a. lateral bands on crown blackish; median band well defined.
a1. A white ring round eye; sides of
head bluish grey . S. affinis, p. 480.
b1 . A yellow ring round eye; sides of
head yellowish S. burkii, p. 487.
b. Lateral bands on bead ashy; median
band ill-defined S xanthoschistus, p. 488.
B. Lower plumage not entirely yellow.
c. Inner webs of outer tail-feathers white.
c1. Chin grey; crown blackish S. poliogenys, p. 491.
d1. Chin, throat and upper breast grey ;
crown chestnut S castaneoceps, p. 492.
d. Inner webs of tail-feathers not white.. S. cantator, p. 492.