The genus Sphenocichla contains two remarkable birds which, following Sharpe and having regard also to the entire absence of rictal bristles, I do not hesitate to place with the Wrens. They are of strong, heavy build, with large feet. Unfortunately nothing is known of their habits, and we have nothing but structure to guide us, and I am of opinion that the absence of rictal bristles, a character possessed by so few birds of this section, is of more importance than any other.
In Sphenocichla the sexes are alike, and, judging from a considerable series of S. humii, the young do not differ from the adults. The bill is perfectly conical and sharp-pointed when viewed laterally, about the Length of the head or a little shorter; the wing is short and rounded ; the tail of twelve feathers is greatly graduated, the outer feather reaching only over two thirds of the tail; the tarsi and feet are very strong.
Key to the Species
a. Feathers of the throat and breast black, with pale shafts……………..S. humii, p, 336.
b. Feathers of the throat and breast with a submarginal white border……………..S. roberti, p.336