Long-tailed finches Poephila acuticauda, photographed by Hans & Judy Beste.

Belongs within: Estrildidae.

The Poephilinae includes the grass-finches of Australia and New Guinea. Members of this group are united by their courtship behaviour, including an extended introductory 'waltz'. The zebra finches of the genus Taeniopyga are popular cage birds around the world, and have been introduced to parts of the Americas. Members of the northern Australian genus Poephila have a buff or brown back, black facial markings, and a white rump above a black tail.

<==Poephilinae B94
    |--Neochmia phaeton BKB15
    |    |--N. p. phaeton [incl. N. p. iredalei] M03
    |    `--N. p. evangelinae M03
    `--+--Taeniopygia BKB15
       |    |--T. bichenovii BKB15 [=Stizoptera bichenovii JF06]
       |    `--T. castanotis (Gould 1837) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       `--+--Bathilda ruficauda JF06 [=Neochmia ruficauda BKB15]
          |    |--B. r. ruficauda M03
          |    `--‘Neochmia’ r. clarescens M03
          `--+--+--Neochmia temporalis (Latham 1802) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
             |  |    |--N. t. temporalis M03
             |  |    |--N. t. loftyi M03
             |  |    `--N. t. minor M03
             |  `--Emblema Gould 1842 BKB15, B94 [incl. Zonaeginthus Cabanis 1851 B94; Zonaeginthinae]
             |       |--E. guttata L81
             |       |--E. oculatum (Quoy & Gaimard 1830) SJ85, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
             |       |--‘Zonaeginthus’ phaeton FP64
             |       |--E. pictum Gould 1842 JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
             |       `--E. temporale SJ85
             `--Poephila Gould 1842 BKB15, B94
                  |  i. s.: P. bichenovii (Vigors & Horsfield 1827) [=Fringilla bichenovii] WS48
                  |         P. gouldiae (Gould 1844) (see below for synonymy) WS48
                  |         P. longicauda R87
                  |         P. mirabilis S13
                  |         P. phaeton (Hombron & Jacquinot 1841) (see below for synonymy) WS48
                  |         P. ruficauda (Gould 1837) (see below for synonymy) WS48
                  |--P. personata Gould 1842 JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
                  |    |--P. p. personata M03
                  |    `--P. p. leucotis M03
                  `--+--Aidemosyne modesta JF06 [=Neochmia modesta BKB15]
                     `--+--P. acuticauda (Gould 1839) JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
                        `--P. cincta (Gould 1837) JT12, CC10 [=Amadina cincta CC10]
                             |--P. c. cincta M03
                             |--P. c. atropygialis M03
                             `--P. c. nigrotecta M03

Emblema oculatum (Quoy & Gaimard 1830) SJ85, WS48 [=Fringilla oculata WS48, Zonaeginthus oculatus WS48; incl. Z. oculatus gaimardi Mathews 1923 WS48]

Emblema pictum Gould 1842 JT12, WS48 [=Zonaeginthus pictus WS48; incl. E. picta clelandi Mathews 1914 WS48, E. picta conngani Mathews 1912 WS48]

Neochmia temporalis (Latham 1802) BKB15, CC10 [=Fringilla temporalis CC10, Aegintha temporalis CC10, Estrelda temporalis CC10]

Poephila acuticauda (Gould 1839) JT12, WS48 [=Amadina acuticauda WS48; incl. P. acuticauda hecki M03]

Poephila gouldiae (Gould 1844) [=Amadina gouldiae; incl. Gouldaeornis gouldiae westra Mathews 1923] WS48

Poephila personata Gould 1842 JT12, WS48 [incl. P. personata belcheri Mathews 1911 WS48, Neochmia personata harterti Mathews 1912 WS48]

Poephila phaeton (Hombron & Jacquinot 1841) [=Fringilla phaeton; incl. Neochmia phaeton fitzroyi Mathews 1912] WS48

Poephila ruficauda (Gould 1837) [=Amadina ruficauda; incl. Aegintha ruficauda subclarescens Mathews 1912, Ae. ruficauda thorpei Mathews 1912] WS48

Taeniopygia castanotis (Gould 1837) BKB15, CC10 [=Amadina castanotis CC10, Poephila guttata castonotis WS48, L81, Taeniopygia guttata castanotis CC10; incl. Loxia guttata Vieillot 1807 non Shaw 1796 WS48, P. guttata H86, Taeniopygia guttata JT12, T. castanotis hartogi Mathews 1920 WS48, Zonaeginthus castanotis mungi Mathews 1912 WS48, Z. castanotis roebucki Mathews 1913 WS48, Z. castanotis wayensis Mathews 1912 WS48]

*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.

[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.

[H86] Harvey, P. H. 1986. Birds, bands and better broods? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 1 (1): 8–9.

[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.

[L81] Long, J. L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the World: The worldwide history, distribution and influence of birds introduced to new environments. Reed: Sydney.

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

[R87] Ramsay, E. P. 1887. Descriptions of Australian birds' eggs. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1141–1152, pl. 19.

[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.

[SJ85] Storr, G. M., & R. E. Johnstone. 1985. Field Guide to the Birds of Western Australia 2nd ed. Western Australian Museum: Perth (Australia).

[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.

Last updated: 8 July 2019.

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