Knysna warbler Bradypterus sylvaticus, photographed by Peter Steyn.

Belongs within: Sylvioidea.
Contains: Locustella.

The Megalurinae include the grassbirds, brownish birds with long tails found around the Old World. They are supported as a clade by molecular analysis (Jetz et al. 2012). Megalurines are secretive birds, often living concealed among tall grasses (hence the vernacular name).

    |  i. s.: Bowdleria Rothschild 1896 [Bowdleriinae] B94
    |           |--B. caudata (Buller 1894) WH02 [=B. punctata caudata R85]
    |           |--B. punctata (Quoy & Gaimard 1830) WH02
    |           |    |--B. p. punctata R85
    |           |    |--B. p. stewartiana Oliver 1930 R85 [incl. B. punctata insularis FST81]
    |           |    |--B. p. vealeae Kemp 1912 R85
    |           |    `--B. p. wilsoni Stead 1936 R85
    |           `--B. rufescens (Buller 1869) WH02 [=Sphenoeacus rufescens HWT01, B. punctata rufescens HWT01]
    |--+--+--‘Locustella’ pryeri JT12 [=Megalurus pryeri Seebohm 1884 JF06, I92]
    |  |  `--‘Acrocephalus’ palustris (Bechstein 1811) JT12, M02 [=Motacilla (Sylvia) palustris M02]
    |  `--Megalurus Horsfield 1821 JT12, B94
    |       |--M. albolimbatus JT12
    |       |--M. gramineus (Gould 1845) (see below for synonymy) WS48
    |       |    |--M. g. gramineus M03
    |       |    `--M. g. goulburni M03
    |       `--M. timoriensis Wallace 1863 WS48
    |            |--M. t. timoriensis WS48
    |            `--M. t. alisteri Mathews 1912 WS48
    `--+--Locustella JT12
       `--+--+--‘Megalurus’ palustris JT12
          |  `--Cincloramphus Gould 1838 JT12, B94 [incl. Ptenoedus Cabanis 1851 B94; Ptenoedinae]
          |       |--C. cruralis (Vigors & Horsfield 1827) (see below for synonymy) WS48
          |       `--C. mathewsi Ireland 1911 WS48 (see below for synonymy)
          `--Bradypterus Swainson 1837 JT12, B94 [Bradypterinae]
               |  i. s.: B. accentor JT12
               |         B. alfredi JT12
               |         B. alishanensis JT12
               |         B. caudatus JT12
               |         B. grandis JT12
               |         B. graueri JT12
               |         B. luteoventris VP89
               |         B. major JT12
               |         B. palliseri JT12
               |         B. seebohmi JT12
               |         B. timorensis JT12
               |--+--B. sylvaticus JT12
               |  `--Schoenicola JT12
               |       |--S. brevirostris BB05
               |       `--S. platyurus JT12
               `--+--+--B. carpalis JT12
                  |  `--+--B. baboecala JT12
                  |     `--Dromaeocercus brunneus JT12
                  `--+--B. bangwaensis JT12
                     `--+--+--B. barratti JT12
                        |  `--B. lopezi JT12
                        `--+--B. cinnamomeus JT12
                           `--B. mariae JT12

Cincloramphus cruralis (Vigors & Horsfield 1827) [=Megalurus cruralis; incl. C. cruralis clelandi Mathews 1912, C. cruralis rogersi Mathews 1912] WS48

Cincloramphus mathewsi Ireland 1911 WS48 [=C. rufescens mathewsi WS48; incl. C. mathewsi alisteri Mathews 1912 WS48, Anthus rufescens Vigors & Horsfield 1827 (preoc.) WS48, Ptenoedus rufescens R66, C. mathewsi subalisteri Mathews 1912 WS48]

Megalurus gramineus (Gould 1845) [=Sphenoeacus gramineus; incl. M. striatus Milligan 1903, M. gramineus thomasi Mathews 1912] WS48

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BB05] Beresford, P., F. K. Barker, P. G. Ryan & T. M. Crowe. 2005. African endemics span the tree of songbirds (Passeri): Molecular systematics of several evolutionary ‘enigmas’. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B—Biological Sciences 272: 849-858.

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

[FST81] Falla, R. A., R. B. Sibson & E. G. Turbott. 1981. Collins Guide to the Birds of New Zealand and Outlying Islands 2nd ed. with addenda. Collins: Auckland.

[HWT01] Holdaway, R. N., T. H. Worthy & A. J. D. Tennyson. 2001. A working list of breeding bird species of the New Zealand region at first human contact. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 28: 119-187.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[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.

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

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

[R66] Ramsay, E. P. 1866. Remarks upon the new species of Atrichia and on A. clamosa of the west coast. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 439-440.

[R85] Robertson, C. J. R. (ed.) 1985. Reader’s Digest Complete Book of New Zealand Birds. Reader’s Digest: Sydney.

[VP89] Viney, C., & K. Phillipps. 1989. Birds of Hong Kong 5th ed. Government Printer: Hong Kong.

[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).

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