Zoological Illustrations/VolIII-Pl140

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Zoological Illustrations Volume III Plate 140.jpg

TROGLODYTES rectirostris,

Straight-billed Wren.

Troglodytes. Ray. Cuvier. Vieillot. Sylvia. Latham. Temminck.

Generic Character.

Rostrum curvatum, rarò rectum, lateribus compressis; apice vix emarginato. Nares basales. Alæ brevissimæ, rotundatæ, remigum majorum 3 exteriorum longitudine quartæ longitudinem superante, cæteris paribus et vix remigibus minoribus longioribus. Rectrices breves, fasciculatæ, erectæ. Hallux digito medio brevior. Plumæ fuscæ.
Bill curved; rarely straight, the sides compressed, the tip slightly notched. Nostrils basal. Wings remarkably short, rounded, the three exterior greater quills shorter than the fourth; the remainder of equal length, and hardly longer than the lesser quills. Tail-feathers weak, short, fasciculated, and generally carried erect. Hind toe shorter than the middle toe. Plumage brown.
Generic Types Motacillæ troglodytes et furva. Gm. Certhiæ familiaris, palustris, et Caroliniana. Wilson, Am. Orn.

Specific Character.

T. fuscus, jugulo pectoreque pallidioribus; mento nigricante; corpore medio niveo; rectricibus angustis, nigris; mandibulæ superiore apice adunco.
Brown; throat and breast paler; chin blackish, middle of the body snowy, feathers of the tail black and narrow; tip of the upper mandible hooked.

This singular little bird agrees more in its general character with Troglodytes, than with any other established genus; yet with this its similitude is but slight. Anxious, nevertheless, to avoid what might hereafter prove an unnecessary innovation, I have placed it with the Wrens, under the distinguishing name of rectirostris; although I am more inclined to think it constitutes a distinct genus.

Troglodytis, originally instituted as a genus by our illustrious countryman Ray, has been adopted both by M.M. Cuvier and Vieillot. Professor Temminck, on the contrary, has included it with Sylvia; an immense genus, already burthened with more species than are rightly understood, or that really belong to it.

Figure the natural size. Bill straight, triangular at the base, the sides compressed, tip of the upper mandible bent down and notched; nostrils large, lengthened, covered by a membrane, which (except at the base,) is naked; the aperture terminal, near the edge of the bill, narrow, and oblong: the feathers on the rump and flanks remarkably long; the three fore toes slender, and all connected at their base as far as the first joint: tail even, and longer than the generality of Wrens, the feathers very narrow, weak, and deep black. Plumage above light or reddish brown; sides of the head, neck, breast, and body, the same, but tinged with fulvous; the chin and upper part of the throat blackish, but the margin of the feathers partly white: lower part of the throat and breast dusky: middle of the body pure white; under wing covers, inside margin of the quills, and edge of the shoulders, white.

Mr. Leadbeater favoured me with this bird, which he received from Brazil.

The comparative length of the bill in this genus, (leaving the present bird out of consideration,) offers no generic distinction, because it varies greatly in different species. Some of those found in Brazil have the bill nearly double the length of the common European Wren.