Family SYLVIIDAE

The intrinsic muscles of the syrinx fixed to the ends of the bronchial semi-rings; the edges of both mandibles smooth or the upper one with a single simple notch; hinder aspect of tarsus smooth, composed of two entire longitudinal laminae; wing with ten primaries; tongue non-tubular; nostrils always clear of the line of the forehead, the space between the nostril and the edge of the mandible less than the space between the nostril and the culmen ; plumage of the nestling like that of the adult female, but brighter ; rectrices ten or twelve; sexes generally alike; a partial or complete spring moult in addition to the complete autumn moult.

The Sylviidae, or Warblers, comprise a large number of birds of small size and, with few exceptions, of plain plumage.

Many of them have a complete spring moult, which not only causes a change in the colour of the plumage, but also a change in the shape and Length of the tail. In some the spring moult is confined to portions of the body, and in others again merely to some of the quills of the wings and tail.

In the Sylviidae the sexes are alike, except in a few genera, in which they differ slightly. The young birds are remarkable for being more highly coloured than the adults, but they have the same pattern of colour. It is doubtful if the young birds moult in the first autumn; but if they do so, the moult has apparently no effect on the colour of the plumage. In those birds which have a complete moult in the spring, the adult plumage is assumed at that season; but in those the spring moult of which is partial or imperfect, the young do not assume the adult colours till the second autumn.

The majority of the Warblers are migratory, and the migrations of some are far and wide. Others are quite sedentary and incapable of any Lengthened flight.

The Sylviidae of India comprise 110 species referable to 32 genera. I have Arranged these in two series, the first of which includes all the Warblers with twelve tail-feathers, and the second those with ten.

Key to the Genera.

a. Tail of twelve feathers.
a1. Feathers of the forehead short, rounded, their shafts not elongate ; no hairs or bristles on the margin of the forehead except the ordinary rictal one3 near the gape.
a2.. Rictal bristles arranged in a horizontal row.
a3. The feathers of the head and neck soft, not spinous.
a4. First primary much less than a third of the Length of the second. a5. Wing longer than tail by nearly the Length of the tarsus………………AEDON, p. 350.
b5. Wing and tail about equal in Length.
a6. Rictal bristles very small; tail much, graduated, the outer feathers less than three quarters the Length of tail………………LOCUSTELLA, p. 351.
b6. Rictal bristles strong and well-developed ; tail less graduated, the outer feathers more than three quarters the Length of tail………………ACROCEPHALUS,
b4. The first primary longer than a third of the second, most frequently equal to or exceeding the half. [p. 355.
c5. Rictal bristles extremely short………………TRIBURA, p. 361.
d5. Rictal bristles well-developed.
c6. Bill as long as, or longer than, the head………………ORTHOTOMUS, p. 366.
a6. Bill decidedly shorter than the head.
a7. First primary shorter than half the second.
a8. Wing pointed, the secon¬daries falling short of tip of wing by more than the Length of hind toe………………LUSCINIOLA, p. 369.
b8. Wing rounded, the secon¬daries falling short of tip of wing by a distance not greater than hind toe………………CISTICOLA, p. 370.
b7. First primary longer than half the second.
c8. Third primary falling short of tip of wing by a con¬siderable distance,
a9. Two rictal bristles on each side of the head………………FRANKLINIA, p. 375.
b9. More than two rictal bristles on each side of the head.
a10. Tail much more than once and a half the Length of the wing………………LATICILLA, p. 379.
b10. Tail less than once and a half the Length of the wing………………GRAMINICOLA,P.381.
d8. Third primary reaching to tip of wing.
c9. Tail very much longer than wing………………MEGALURUS, p. 382.
d9. Tail equal to wing………………SCHOENICOLA, p. 384.
b3. The feathers of the head and neck spinous………………ACANTHOPTILA, [p. 385.
b2. Rictal bristles arranged vertically………………CHAETORNIS, p. 387.
b1. Feathers of the forehead disintegrated, the shafts Lengthened; some supplementary bristles, frequently long and numerous, in front of the rictal bristles.
c2. Tail greatly graduated and rounded………………ARUNDINAX, p. 389.
d2. Tail nearly even or sometimes slightly forked.
c3. Supplementary bristles in front of the rictal bristles very short; no frontal hairs over nostrils.
c4. Bill from gape to tip longer than the middle toe with claw………………HYPOLAIS, p. 390.
d4. Bill from gape to tip shorter than middle toe with claw………………SYLVIA, p. 394.
d3. Supplementary bristles very strong and numerous; no frontal hairs over the nostrils; bill short and stout………………HERBIVOCULA, p. 399.
e3. Supplementary bristles not strong but fairly numerous ; no frontal hairs over nostrils; bill weak and slender………………PHYLLOSCOPUS, [p. 400.
f3. Supplementary bristles very strong and numerous, extending up to the cul¬men, and lying over the. nostrils as far as the middle of the bill; bill large and wide at base………………ACANTHOPNEUSTE,
g3. Supplementary bristles very strong and numerous, extending up to the cul¬men, and lying over the nostrils nearly as far as tip of bill………………CRYPTOLOPHA, [p. 411.
b. Tail of ten feathers. [p. 421.
c1 . Tail not subject to variation in Length accord¬ing to season; obsoletely or not at all cross-rayed ; less graduated, the tips of the outer tail-feathers reaching beyond the middle of the tail by more than the Length of the hind toe.
e2. Wing and tail of about the same Length.
h3. Nostrils overhung by long hairs.
e4. Tail very slightly rounded, the outer feathers falling short of tip of tail by less than the Length of the hind toe.
e5. Rictal bristles of great Length, nearly as long as culmen; wing rather longer than tail.
e6. Bill short and pointed………………ABRORNIS, p. 428.
f6. Bill long and very blunt………………TICKELLIA, p. 431.
f5. Rictal bristles moderate, about half Length of culmen ; wing rather shorter than tail………………SCOTOCERCA, p. 432.
f4. Tail considerably rounded, the outer feathers falling short of tip of tail by more than Length of hind toe………………NEORNIS, p. 433.
i3. Nostrils not overhung by hairs.
g4. Supplementary bristles in front of rictal bristles; feathers of forehead with Lengthened shafts………………HORORNIS, p. 434.
h4. No supplementary bristles in front of rictal bristles; feathers of forehead short, smooth, with shafts not pro¬duced.
g5. Bill as long as head, broad, blunt, and narrowing gradually………………PHYLLERGATES,
h5. Bill only half the Length of the head, slender, sharp, and narrow¬ing rapidly. g6. Outer tail-feathers falling short of tip of tail by Length of tarsus………………HOREITES, p. 440. [p. 430.
h6. Outer tail-feathers falling short of tip of tail by Length of hind toe only………………CETTIA, p. 441.
f2. Tail about half Length of wing………………UROSPHENA, p. 442.
d1. Tail subject to variation in Length according to season ; distinctly cross-rayed; greatly graduated, the outer feathers in most cases falling short of middle of tail and never exceeding it by more than Length of hind toe.
g2. Tail about twice Length of wing………………SUYA, p. 443.
h2. Tail about once and a half Length of wing or less………………PRINIA, p. 447

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Family SYLVIIDAE
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1889
Page No: 
346
M_ID: 
25106
M_SN: 
Sylviidae
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
500

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