Australian owlet-nightjar Aegotheles cristatus, copyright Ron Knight.

Belongs within: Aves.
Contains: Gruiformes, Aequorlitornithes, Telluraves, Otididae, Cuculidae, Musophagidae, Columbidae, Pteroclidae, Caprimulgidae, Nyctibiidae, Podargidae, Apodiformes.

The Neoaves is a large clade identified by molecular analyses (Hackett et al. 2008) that includes the majority of living birds except the palaeognaths (ratites and tinamous) and galloanserines (gamefowl and waterfowl). Basal relationships within the Neoaves remain highly contentious, with many large-scale analyses differing significantly in their results; some authors have even suggested that the base of Neoaves may be an insoluble hard polytomy. Relatively well-supported clades include the Strisores, an assemblage uniting the Apodiformes (swifts and hummingbirds) with the traditional Caprimulgiformes (nightjars, frogmouths, etc.), with the latter being paraphyletic to the former.

<==Neoaves (see below for synonymy)
    |  i. s.: Protopelicanus Reichenbach 1852 M05a, M02
    |           `--*P. cuvieri Reichenbach 1852 M02
    |         Onychopteryx [Onychopterygidae] M09
    |           `--O. simpsoni Cracraft 1971 M09
    |--+--+--Gruiformes PB15
    |  |  `--+--Aequorlitornithes PB15
    |  |     `--Inopinaves PB15
    |  |          |--Telluraves PB15
    |  |          `--Opisthocomidae [Opisthocomi, Opisthocomiformes] JM14
    |  |               |--Hoazinoides magdalenae FP64
    |  |               |--Hoazinavis lacustris JM14
    |  |               `--Opisthocomus Illiger 1811 PB15, B94
    |  |                    `--O. hoazin (Müller 1776) ME04
    |  `--Columbaves PB15
    |       |--Otidimorphae JM14
    |       |    |  i. s.: Pumiliornis Mayr 1999 M09, M02
    |       |    |           `--*P. tessellatus Mayr 1999 M02
    |       |    |--+--Otididae PB15
    |       |    |  `--Cuculidae PB15
    |       |    `--+--Musophagidae PB15
    |       |       `--Foro [Foratidae] PB15
    |       |            `--F. panarium Olson 1992 M09
    |       `--Columbimorphae JM14
    |            |--Columbidae PB15
    |            `--+--Pteroclidae JM14
    |               `--Mesitornithidae [Mesitidae, Mesitornithes, Mesitornithiformes, Mesoenatidae, Mesoenatides] JM14
    |                    |--Monias Oustalet & Grandidier 1903 JT12, L98 [Moniidae]
    |                    |    `--M. benschi JT12
    |                    `--Mesitornis Bonaparte 1855 L98 (see below for synonymy)
    |                         |--M. unicolor (Des Murs 1845) ME04 [=Mesoenas unicolor A61]
    |                         `--M. variegata ME04
    `--Strisores [Caprimulgi, Caprimulgimorphae, Cypselomorphae, Podarginae] PB15
         |  i. s.: Archaeotrogonidae M04
         |           |--Hassiavis Mayr 1998 M04
         |           |    `--*H. laticauda Mayr 1998 M02
         |           `--Archaeotrogon Milne-Edwards 1892 M02
         |                |--*A. venustus Milne-Edwards 1892 M02, M09
         |                |--A. cayluxensis (Lydekker 1891) [=Palaeortyx cayluxensis, Ludiortyx cayluxensis] M02
         |                |--A. hoffstetteri Mourer-Chauviré 1980 M09
         |                |--A. nocturnus Mlíkovský 2002 (see below for synonymy) M02
         |                `--A. zitteli Gaillard 1908 M09
         |         Microena Harrison & Walker 1977 M05a
         |           `--*M. goodwini Harrison & Walker 1977 M02
         |         Protocypselomorphus manfredkelleri Mayr 2005 M09
         |--Caprimulgidae PB15
         `--+--+--Nyctibiidae BKB15
            |  `--Steatornithidae [Steatornithes, Steatornithiformes, Steatornithinae] BKB15
            |       |--Prefica Olson 1987 M03a, M02 [Preficinae]
            |       |    `--P. nivea Olson 1987 M03a
            |       `--Steatornis Humboldt 1814 PB15, B94
            |            `--S. caripensis [incl. Caprimulgus steatornis] S66
            `--+--+--Podargidae PB15
               |  `--Fluvioviridavidae M05b
               |       |--Fluvioviridavis Mayr & Daniels 2001 PB15, M05b
               |       |    `--F. platyrhamphus Mayr & Daniels 2001 M05b
               |       `--Eurofluvioviridavis Mayr 2005 M05b
               |            `--*E. robustipes Mayr 2005 M05b
               `--Daedalornithes F05
                    |--+--Apodiformes PB15
                    |  `--Eocypselus Harrison 1984 M09, M03b [Eocypselidae]
                    |       |--*E. vincenti Harrison 1984 M03b
                    |       `--E. rowei PB15
                    `--Aegotheles Vigors & Horsfield 1826 M04, B94 (see below for synonymy)
                         |  i. s.: A. novaezealandiae (Scarlett 1968) (see below for synonymy) CC10
                         |         A. savesi JT12
                         |--A. tatei BKB15
                         `--+--A. insignis BKB15
                            `--+--+--A. albertisi BKB15
                               |  `--+--A. archboldi JT12
                               |     `--A. wallacii JT12
                               `--+--A. crinifrons JT12 (see below for synonymy)
                                  `--+--A. cristatus (Shaw 1790) JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
                                     |    |--A. c. cristatus RN72
                                     |    |--A. c. leucogaster Gould 1844 WS48
                                     |    |--A. c. major RN72
                                     |    |--A. c. murchisonianus Mathews 1912 [=A. cristata murchisoniana] WS48
                                     |    |--A. c. rufus Hall 1901 [=A. rufescens Hall 1901 (preoc.)] WS48
                                     |    `--A. c. tasmanicus RN72
                                     `--A. bennettii JT12

Inorganic: Opisthocomidus opisthocomidus minilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87

Aegotheles Vigors & Horsfield 1826 M04, B94 [incl. Euaegotheles Mathews 1918 CC10, Megaegotheles Scarlett 1968 WH02; Aegothelae, Aegotheli, Aegothelidae, Aegotheliformes, Aegothelinae]

Aegotheles crinifrons JT12 [incl. Batrachostomus psilopterus CC10, *Euaegotheles psilopterus CC10]

Aegotheles cristatus (Shaw 1790) JT12, WS48 [=Caprimulgus cristatus WS48; incl. C. novaehollandiae CC10, *Aegotheles novaehollandiae CC10]

Aegotheles novaezealandiae (Scarlett 1968) [=*Megaegotheles novaezealandiae, Ae. novaezelandiae; incl. Strix parvissima Ellman 1861 (n. d.), Athene (Strix) parvissima] CC10

Archaeotrogon nocturnus Mlíkovský 2002 [=A. cayluxensis Gaillard 1908 non Palaeortyx cayluxensis Lydekker 1891] M02

Mesitornis Bonaparte 1855 L98 [incl. Mesites Geoffroy-St. Hilaire 1838 non Schönherr 1838 B94, Mesoenas Reichenbach 1862 B94]

Neoaves [Anomalogonates, Charadriimorphae, Ciconiae, Ciconiiformes, Ciconiimorphae, Ciconioidea, Coccyges, Columbea, Coronaves, Cuculimorphae, Cursorimorphae, Dendrornithes, Eurypygoidea, Gaviae, Gavii, Gaviomorphae, Grallae, Impennes, Incessores, Longipennes, Metaves, Oxypterae, Paludicolae, Passerea, Passeres, Pelecani, Picae, Plethornithes, Psittacimorphae, Pygopodes, Pygopodotubinares, Ralliformes, Simplicirostres, Terrestrornithes, Turniciformes]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Austin, O. L., Jr. 1961. Birds of the World: A survey of the twenty-seven orders and one hundred and fifty-five families. Paul Hamlyn: London.

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

[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.

[F05] Fernández, J. 2005. Noticia de nuevos táxones para la ciencia en el ámbito Íbero-Balear y Macaronésico. Nuevos táxones animales descritos en la península Ibérica y Macaronesia desde 1994 (IX). Graellsia 61 (2): 261–282.

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

[JM14] Jarvis, E. D., S. Mirarab, A. J. Aberer, B. Li, P. Houde, C. Li, S. Y. W. Ho, B. C. Faircloth, B. Nabholz, J. T. Howard, A. Suh, C. C. Weber, R. R. de Fonseca, J. Li, F. Zhang, H. Li, L. Zhou, N. Narula, L. Liu, G. Ganapathy, B. Boussau, M. S. Bayzid, V. Zavidovych, S. Subramanian, T. Gabaldón, S. Capella-Gutiérrez, J. Huerta-Cepas, B. Rekepalli, K. Munch, M. Schierup, B. Lindow, W. C. Warren, D. Ray, R. E. Green, M. W. Bruford, X. Zhan, A. Dixon, S. Li, N. Li, Y. Huang, E. P. Derryberry, M. F. Bertelsen, F. H. Sheldon, R. T. Brumfield, C. V. Mello, P. V. Lovell, M. Wirthlin, M. P. Cruz Schneider, F. Prosdocimi, J. A. Samaniego, A. M. Vargas Velazquez, A. Alfaro-Núñez, P. F. Campos, B. Petersen, T. Sitcheritz-Ponten, A. Pas, T. Bailey, P. Scofield, M. Bunce, D. M. Lambert, Q. Zhou, P. Perelman, A. C. Driskell, B. Shapiro, Z. Xiong, Y. Zeng, S. Liu, Z. Li, B. Liu, K. Wu, J. Xiao, X. Yinqi, Q. Zheng, Y. Zhang, H. Yang, J. Wang, L. Smeds, F. E. Rheindt, M. Braun, J. Fjeldså, L. Orlando, F. K. Barker, K. A. Jønsson, W. Johnson, K.-P. Koepfli, S. O'Brien, D. Haussler, O. A. Ryder, C. Rahbek, E. Willerslev, G. R. Graves, T. C. Glenn, J. McCormack, D. Burt, H. Ellegren, P. Alström, S. V. Edwards, A. Stamatakis, D. P. Mindell, J. Cracraft, E. L. Braun, T. Warnow, W. Jun, M. T. P. Gilbert & G. Zhang. 2014. Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds. Science 346 (6215): 1320–1331.

[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.

[L98] Livezey, B. C. 1998. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gruiformes (Aves) based on morphological characters, with an emphasis on the rails (Rallidae). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B—Biological Sciences 353: 2077–2151.

[M03a] Mayr, G. 2003a. On the phylogenetic relationships of trogons (Aves, Trogonidae). Journal of Avian Biology 34 (1): 81–88.

[M03b] Mayr, G. 2003b. A new Eocene swift-like bird with a peculiar feathering. Ibis 145: 382–391.

[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.

[M05a] Mayr, G. 2005a. The Paleogene fossil record of birds in Europe. Biological Reviews 80: 515–542.

[M05b] Mayr, G. 2005b. A Fluvioviridavis-like bird from the Middle Eocene of Messel, Germany. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 42: 2021–2037.

[M09] Mayr, G. 2009. Paleogene Fossil Birds. Springer.

[ME04] Mayr, G., & P. G. P. Ericson. 2004. Evidence for a sister group relationship between the Madagascan mesites (Mesitornithidae) and the cuckoos (Cuculidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 84 (1–2): 1–17.

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

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[PB15] Prum, R. O., J. S. Berv, A. Dornburg, D. J. Field, J. P. Townsend, E. M. Lemmon & A. R. Lemmon. 2015. A comprehensive phylogeny of birds (Aves) using targeted next-generation DNA sequencing. Nature 526: 569–573.

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

[S66] Sclater, P. L. 1866. Notes upon the American Caprimulgidae. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 123–145.

[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.

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

Last updated: 6 August 2017.

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