Clamorous reed warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus, photographed by John A. Thompson.

Belongs within: Acrocephalidae.

The genus Acrocephalus includes the reed warblers, a cosmopolitan group of insectivorous birds generally found in marshy habitats. Most Acrocephalus species are brown in colour. However, phylogenetic analysis also indicates the inclusion in this group of the papyrus yellow warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris, a more brightly coloured species with olive-brown upper parts and a yellow underbelly. Notable members of the genus include the great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, the largest warbler species found in Europe, which breeds in temperate regions of the western Palaearctic and migrates to an overwintering range in southern Africa.

Acrocephalus Naumann & Naumann 1811 CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |  i. s.: A. luscinius JT12
    |         A. orientalis JF06
    |         A. rehsei JT12
    |         A. rodericanus JT12
    |         A. sorghophilus JT12
    |         A. syrinx JT12 [=A. luscinia syrinx MS55]
    |--+--‘Chloropeta’ gracilirostris BKB15
    |  `--+--A. schoenobaenus BKB15
    |     `--+--A. paludicola BKB15
    |        `--+--A. bistrigiceps BKB15
    |           `--A. melanopogon BKB15
    `--+--+--+--A. agricola BKB15
       |  |  `--+--A. concinens JT12
       |  |     `--A. tangorum JT12
       |  `--+--+--A. dumetorum BKB15
       |     |  `--A. orinus JT12
       |     `--+--A. palustris (Bechstein 1811) BKB15, M02 [=Motacilla (Sylvia) palustris M02]
       |        `--+--A. baeticatus BKB15
       |           `--+--A. avicenniae BKB15
       |              `--A. scirpaceus BKB15
       `--+--A. griseldis BKB15
          `--+--+--+--A. newtoni JT12
             |  |  `--A. sechellensis JT12 [=Bebrornis sechellensis JF06]
             |  `--+--A. gracilirostris (Hartlaub in Gurney 1864) JT12, B93 [=Calamoherpe gracilirostris B93]
             |     `--+--A. brevipennis JT12
             |        `--A. rufescens JT12
             `--+--*A. arundinaceus (Linnaeus 1758) CC10, JT12, M02 [=Turdus arundinaceus CC10]
                |    |--A. a. arundinaceus AE06
                |    `--A. a. zarudnyi AE06
                `--+--A. stentoreus JT12
                   `--+--A. familiaris JT12
                      |    |--A. f. familiaris FP64
                      |    `--A. f. kingi FP64
                      `--+--+--A. mendanae BKB15
                         |  `--+--A. aequinoctialis BKB15
                         |     `--A. australis (Gould in Lewin 1838) JT12, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                         `--+--+--A. kerearako BKB15
                            |  `--A. rimatarae JT12
                            `--+--A. atyphus BKB15
                               `--+--A. caffer BKB15
                                  `--+--A. taiti BKB15 [=A. vaughani taiti C98]
                                     `--A. vaughani JT12

Acrocephalus Naumann & Naumann 1811 CC10 [incl. Calamoherpe Boie 1822 B94, Tatare Lesson 1831 B94; Calamoherpinae, Tatarinae]

Acrocephalus australis (Gould in Lewin 1838) JT12, CC10 [=Calamoherpe australis CC10, A. arundinaceus australis WS48; incl. C. longirostris Gould 1845 WS48]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AE06] Alström, P., P. G. P. Ericson, U. Olsson & P. Sundberg. 2006. Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38: 381–397.

[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[B93] Brooke, R. K. 1993. Annotated catalogue of the Aves type specimens in the South African Museum. Annals of the South African Museum 102 (10): 327–349.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[C98] Cockburn, A. 1998. Evolution of helping behavior in cooperatively breeding birds. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29: 141–177.

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[JF06] Jønsson, K. A., & J. Fjeldså. 2006. A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds. Zoologica Scripta 35: 149–186.

[MS55] Mertens, R., & J. Steinbacher. 1955. Die im Senckenberg-Museum vorhandenen Arten ausgestorbener, aussterbender oder seltener Vögel. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36 (3–4): 241–265.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M., & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1–126.

Last updated: 15 July 2019.

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