Australian owlet-nightjar Aegotheles cristatus, photographed by Tony Morris.

Belongs within: Caprimulgiformes.
Contains: Apodiformes, Caprimulgidae.

The Cypselomorphae is a clade uniting the nightjars (Caprimulgidae), potoos (Nyctibiidae), owlet-nightjars (Aegothelidae) and swifts and hummingbirds (Apodiformes). All cypselomorphs are highly aerial; the group is ancestrally insectivorous, though the hummingbirds have since become nectarivorous.

Synapomorphies (from Mayr 2002): Ossa palatina with distinct processus rostrales; processus orbitalis of quadratum strongly reduced; condylus caudalis of quadratum reduced; beak very wide with narial openings large and reaching almost to tip of beak, distal part of rami mandibulae very narrow; fossa dorsalis of phalanx proximalis digiti majoris divided into two depressions by oblique bulge.

    |  i. s.: Archaeotrogonidae M04
    |           |--Laputavis Dyke 2001 M05, Ml02 [=Laputa Dyke 2001 (preoc.) Ml02]
    |           |    `--*L. robusta (Dyke 2001) [=*Laputa robusta] Ml02
    |           |--Hassiavis Mayr 1998 M04
    |           |    `--*H. laticauda Mayr 1998 Ml02
    |           `--Archaeotrogon Milne-Edwards 1892 Ml02
    |                |--A. cayluxensis (Lydekker 1891) (see below for synonymy) Ml02
    |                `--A. nocturnus Mlíkovský 2002 (see below for synonymy) Ml02
    |         Microena Harrison & Walker 1977 M05
    |           `--*M. goodwini Harrison & Walker 1977 Ml02
    |--+--Apodiformes M04
    |  `--Aegotheles Vigors & Horsfield 1826 M04, B94 [incl. Megaegotheles Scarlett 1968 WH02; Aegotheli, Aegothelidae]
    |       |--A. albertisii MMJ03
    |       |--A. cristatus M03
    |       |    |--A. c. cristatus RN72
    |       |    |--A. c. leucogaster RN72
    |       |    |--A. c. major RN72
    |       |    `--A. c. tasmanicus RN72
    |       |--A. insignis HK08
    |       |--A. novaezealandiae (Scarlett 1968) [=*Megaegotheles novaezealandiae] WH02
    |       |--A. savesi S13
    |       `--A. tatei Ma02
    `--+--Caprimulgidae M04
       `--Nyctibiidae M04
            |--Euronyctibius Mourer-Chauviré 1989 M05
            |    `--*E. kurochkini Mourer-Chauviré 1989 Ml02
            |--Paraprefica Mayr 1999 M05
            |    |--*P. kelleri Mayr 1999 Ml02
            |    `--P. major Mayr 1999 Ml02
            `--Nyctibius Vieillot 1816 B94
                 |--N. aethereus [=Caprimulgus aethereus] S66a
                 |--N. bracteatus Gould 1846 S66a [incl. N. rufus S66b]
                 |--N. grandis [=Caprimulgus grandis] S66a
                 |--N. griseus S55
                 |    |--N. g. griseus S55
                 |    `--N. g. jamaicensis S55 (see below for synonymy)
                 |--N. leucopterus [=Caprimulgus leucopterus] S66a
                 |--N. longicaudatus [=Caprimulgus longicaudatus] S66a
                 `--N. pallidus S66a

Archaeotrogon cayluxensis (Lydekker 1891) [=Palaeortyx cayluxensis, Ludiortyx cayluxensis; incl. Archaeotrogon hoffstetteri Mourer-Chauviré 1980, *A. venustus Milne-Edwards 1892, A. zitteli Gaillard 1908] Ml02

Archaeotrogon nocturnus Mlíkovský 2002 [=A. cayluxensis Gaillard 1908 non Palaeortyx cayluxensis Lydekker 1891] Ml02

Nyctibius griseus jamaicensis S55 [=Caprimulgus jamaicensis S66a; incl. C. cornutus S66a, Nyctibius cornutus S66a, N. pectoralis S66a, N. urutao Lafr. 1837 S66a]

*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.

[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.

[Ma02] Mayr, G. 2002. Osteological evidence for paraphyly of the avian order Caprimulgiformes (nightjars and allies). Journal für Ornithologie 143: 82-97.

[M03] Mayr, G. 2003. Phylogeny of early Tertiary swifts and hummingbirds (Aves: Apodiformes). Auk 120 (1): 145-151.

[M04] Mayr, G. 2004. New specimens of Hassiavis laticauda (Aves: Cypselomorphae) and Quasisyndactylus longibrachis (Aves: Alcediniformes) from the Middle Eocene of Messel, Germany. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg 252: 23-28.

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

[MMJ03] Mayr, G., A. Manegold & U. S. Johansson. 2003. Monophyletic groups within ‘higher land birds’ – comparison of morphological and molecular data. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 41: 233-248.

[Ml02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[RN72] Rutgers, A., & K. A. Norris (eds.) 1972. Encyclopaedia of Aviculture vol. 2. Blandford Press: London.

[S13] Sarasin, F. 1913. Die Vögel Neu-Caledoniens und der Loyalty-Inseln. In Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1, Heft I (F. Sarasin & J. Roux, eds) pp. 1-78, pl. 1-3. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[S66a] Sclater, P. L. 1866a. Notes upon the American Caprimulgidae. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 123-145.

[S66b] Sclater, P. L. 1866b. Additional notes on the Caprimulgidae. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 581-590.

[S55] Steinbacher, J. 1955. Über die Schwanzmauser der Eulen (Strigidae) und Nachtschwalben (Caprimulgidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 36: 235-240.

[WH02] Worthy, T. H., & R. N. Holdaway. 2002. The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press: Bloomington (Indiana).

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