The birds of this family are very close to those of the last but seem to be sufficiently divided by the short, rounded wings of the Wrens as compared with the longer, pointed wings of the Tree-creepers ; the tarsi also are longer and the bill, though varying in shape from the curious wedge-shaped bill of Sphenocichla to the thin, narrow bill of Troglodytes, is never like the long, slight bill of Certhia with the culmen curved downwards practically from its base.
In the Troglodytidae the tail is composed of soft feathers numbering from 6 in Pnoepyga and 10 in Spelaeornis to 12 in others; the tarsi and feet are very strong; there are no rictal bristles except in the rather aberrant genus Tesia. The young of the spotted forms are much less barred or spotted than the adults, whilst the young of Tesia have quite a different coloration to that of either parent. In some of the genera the sexes are alike, whilst in others they differ greatly.
Key to Genera.
A. Without any rictal bristles.
a. Tail much shorter than wing.
a1. Tail of twelve feathers.
a2. Tail not greatly graduated, the outer¬most feathers about three-quarters
length of central TROGLODYTES, p. 444
b2. Tail much graduated, outermost
feathers only naif length of central. ELACHURA, p. 448.
b1 Tail of ten feathers SPELAEORNIS,, p. 451.
c1 Tail of six feathers PNOEPYGA, p. 457.
b. Tail and wing about the same in length . SPHENOCICHLA, p. 460.
B. With well-developed rictal bristles TESIA, p. 462.
Genus TROGLODYTES Vieill., 1807.
The name Troglodytes has been rejected as it was first applied to an American Wren; as this species, however, is quite congeneric with the English Wren, of which the Indian forms are but local races, it should be retained.
In Troglodytes the sexes are alike and the young bird is similar to the adult. The bill is very slender and feeble and about half the length of the heady the wing is extremely short and rounded, the first primary being about two-thirds the length of the second 5 the tail, of 12 feathers, is shorter than ,the wing and not very much graduated, the outer feathers being about three-quarters the length of the central ones; the tarsi and claws are long and slender.
Key to SUBSPecieS.
A. Upper plumage very dark rufous-brown .. T. t. nipalensis, p. 445.
B. Upper plumage rufous-brown, not very dark. T. t. talifuensis, p.446.
C. Upper plumage a much paler rufous-brown.
a. Wing 47 to 51 mm.; culmen 11 to
11.5 mm T. t. neglectus, p. 446.
b. Wing 53 to 56 mm.; culmen about 13 mm T. t. tibetanus, p. 448