Common scimitarbill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas, photographed by Francesco Veronesi.

Belongs within: Anomalogonatae.

The Upupiformes contain the hoopoes, smaller birds with long, decurved bills. As well as the true hoopoes (Upupa; sometimes treated as a single species U. epops, sometimes divided between more species), living Upupiformes include the wood-hoopoes (Phoeniculus) and scimitarbills (Rhinopomastus) of Africa.

Characters (from Mayr 2000): Beak long, pointed, dorsoventrally high at base; large processus retroarticulares present on mandible; apophysis furculae absent; humerus stout; shaft of ulna with projection distal to cotyla dorsalis; carpometacarpus with osseous ridge from ventral margin of os metacarpale minus to processus pisiformis; caudal margin of os metacarpale minus undulated; hallux long.

<==Upupiformes [Epopinae, Epopomorphae, Epopsinae, Upupides]
    |--Laurillardia Milne-Edwards 1871 M02 [Laurillardiidae M05]
    |    |--*L. longirostris Milne-Edwards 1871 [incl. L. parisiensis Flot 1892] M02
    |    `--L. munieri Flot 1892 M02
    |--Messelirrisor Mayr 1998 M00, M02 [Messelirrisoridae]
    |    |--*M. parvus Mayr 1998 M02
    |    |--M. grandis Mayr 2000 M00
    |    `--M. halcyrostris Mayr 1998 M05
    `--+--Upupa Linnaeus 1758 HK08, M02 [incl. Epops Morris 1837 B94; Epopidae, Upupidae, Upupinae]
       |    |--U. epops Linnaeus 1758 [incl. U. phoeniculides Jánossy 1974] M02
       |    |--U. marginata S66
       |    `--U. nigripennis B66
       `--Phoeniculidae [Phoeniculinae] M02
            |--Phoeniculus Jarocki 1821 M02 [incl. Irrisor Lesson 1831 B94; Irrisoridae]
            |    `--P. purpureus HK08
            |--Phirriculus Mlíkovský & Göhlich 2000 M02
            |    `--*P. pinicola Mlíkovský & Göhlich 2000 M02
            `--Rhinopomastus Jardine 1828 [Rhinopomastidae] B94
                 |--R. cyanomelas EA06
                 `--R. minor (Rüppell 1845) [=Promerops minor, Epimachus minor] S05

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

[B66] Bulger, G. E. 1866. List of birds observed at Wellington, Neilgherry Hills, about 6000 feet above the level of the sea, during the months of April and May, 1866. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 568-571.

[EA06] Ericson, P. G. P., C. L. Anderson, T. Britton, A. Elzanowski, U. S. Johansson, M. Källersjö, J. I. Ohlson, T. J. Parsons, D. Zuccon & G. Mayr. 2006. Diversification of Neoaves: integration of molecular sequence data and fossils. Biology Letters 2 (4): 543-547.

[HK08] Hackett, S. J., R. T. Kimball, S. Reddy, R. C. K. Bowie, E. L. Braun, M. J. Braun, J. L. Chojnowski, W. A. Cox, K.-L. Han, J. Harshman, C. J. Huddleston, B. D. Marks, K. J. Miglia, W. S. Moore, F. H. Sheldon, D. W. Steadman, C. C. Witt & T. Yuri. 2008. A phylogenomic study of birds reveals their evolutionary history. Science 320: 1763-1768.

[M00] Mayr, G. 2000. Tiny hoopoe-like birds from the Middle Eocene of Messel (Germany). Auk 117 (4): 964-970.

[M05] Mayr, G. 2005. The Paleogene fossil record of birds in Europe. Biological Reviews 80: 515-542.

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

[S66] Schlegel, H. 1866. Communication from, on mammals and birds collected in Madagascar. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 419-426.

[S05] Steinheimer, F. D. 2005. Eduard Rüppel’s avian types at the Natural History Museum, Tring (Aves). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (2): 233-264.

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