Metallic starling Aplonis metallica, photographed by Ian Montgomery.

Belongs within: Sturnidae.

Aplonis is a genus of starlings found primarily on islands in south-east Asia, Australasia and Oceania. Members of this genus are uniformly dark-coloured as adults (juveniles may have pale underparts), often with a metallic gloss. Notable members include the metallic starling A. metallica, found between the Moluccas, Solomon Islands and northern Queensland, which has a forked tail and bright red eyes.

<==Aplonis Gould 1836 [=Aplornis Gould 1836] CC10
    |--+--A. cantoroides JT12
    |  `--+--A. minor Sarasin 1913 JT12, S13 [=A. atronitens minor S13]
    |     `--A. panayensis JT12
    |          |--A. p. panayensis R02
    |          `--A. p. sanghirensis R02
    `--+--+--A. insularis BKB15
       |  `--+--A. cinerascens JT12
       |     `--A. tabuensis JT12
       `--+--A. grandis BKB15
          `--+--A. brunneicapillus BKB15
             `--+--A. metallica JT12
                |    |--A. m. metallica M03
                |    `--A. m. circumscripta M03
                `--A. pelzelni JT12

Aplonis incertae sedis:
  *A. fusca Gould 1836 [=*Aplonis fuscus, *Aplornis fusca, *Aplornis fuscus] CC10
    |--A. f. fusca M03
    `--A. f. hullianus M03
  A. atrifusca JT12
  A. atronitens S13
  A. caledonica [incl. A. viridigrisea] S13
  A. corvina FP64
  A. crassa JT12
  A. dichroa JT12
  A. feadensis JT12
  A. magna JT12
  A. mavornata FP64
  A. mysolensis JT12
  A. mystacea JT12
  A. opaca JT12
  A. santovestris JT12
  A. striata (Gmelin 1788) [incl. A. obscura (du Bus de Gisignies 1839)] CC10
  A. zelandica (Quoy & Gaimard 1830) CC10

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

[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.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[R02] Riley, J. 2002. Population sizes and the status of endemic and restricted-range bird species on Sangihe Island, Indonesia. Bird Conservation International 12: 53–78.

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

Last updated: 15 July 2019.

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