Fieldfare Turdus pilaris, photographed by Arnstein Rønning.

Belongs within: Turdidae.

Turdus, the true thrushes, is a large cosmopolitan genus of omnivorous songbirds native to all continents except Antarctica and Australia. The majority of species are mottled brown in coloration, often with streaked or spotted pale underparts, but some species are darker in coloration. These include the Eurasian blackbird Turdus merula, the males of which have all-black plumage with a yellow bill and eye-ring. Females have more typical Turdus-pattern plumage, albeit reasonably dark overall. The song thrush T. philomelos, native to the western Palaearctic and introduced to New Zealand, is brown above and cream or buff spotted with black below.

See also: More than four and twenty blackbirds.

Turdus Linnaeus 1758 CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |--+--Psophocichla litsipsirupa JT12
    |  `--T. mupinensis JT12
    `--+--+--*T. viscivorus Linnaeus 1758 CC10, JT12, M02
       |  `--T. philomelos Brehm 1831 JT12, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       |       |--T. p. philomelos CC10
       |       `--T. p. clarkei Hartert 1909 CC10
       `--+--T. lherminieri BKB15 [=Cichlherminia lherminieri JF06]
          `--+--+--T. leucops BKB15 [=Platycichla leucops JF06]
             |  `--+--T. rufopalliatus BKB15
             |     `--+--+--T. leucomelas BKB15
             |        |  `--+--T. fumigatus JT12
             |        |     `--T. hauxwelli JT12
             |        `--+--+--T. albicollis BKB15
             |           |  `--T. assimilis JT12
             |           `--+--+--T. obsoletus BKB15 [=Planesticus obsoletus S18]
             |              |  `--+--T. rufiventris BKB15
             |              |     `--+--T. nudigenis BKB15
             |              |        `--+--T. maculirostris BKB15
             |              |           `--+--T. grayi BKB15 [=Planesticus grayi S18]
             |              |              |    |--T. g. grayi FS55
             |              |              |    |--‘Planesticus’ g. casius S18
             |              |              |    `--T. g. megas FS55
             |              |              `--T. haplochrous BKB15
             |              `--+--T. lawrencii BKB15
             |                 `--+--+--T. flavipes BKB15
             |                    |  `--T. reevei BKB15
             |                    `--+--+--Nesocichla eremita BKB15
             |                       |  `--+--T. amaurochalinus JT12
             |                       |     `--+--T. ignobilis JT12
             |                       |        `--T. maranonicus JT12
             |                       `--+--T. fulviventris JT12
             |                          `--+--T. olivater BKB15
             |                             `--+--T. nigriceps BKB15
             |                                `--+--T. fuscater BKB15
             |                                   `--+--T. chiguanco BKB15
             |                                      `--T. serranus BKB15
             `--+--+--T. merula Linnaeus 1758 BKB15, CC10 [=Merula merula CC10; incl. *M. nigra CC10]
                |  `--+--T. iliacus Linnaeus 1766 BKB15, M02 [=Arceuthornis iliacus L81]
                |     `--T. plebejus BKB15
                `--+--+--+-T. abyssinicus BKB15
                   |  |  `--+--T. helleri BKB15
                   |  |     `--T. roehli BKB15
                   |  `--+--T. olivaceus BKB15
                   |     `--+--T. ludoviciae BKB15
                   |        `--+--T. mandarinus BKB15 [=T. merula mandarinus VP89]
                   |           `--+--T. smithi BKB15
                   |              `--T. tephronotus BKB15
                   `--+--+--+--T. bewsheri BKB15
                      |  |  `--T. libonyanus JT12
                      |  `--+--+--T. infuscatus BKB15
                      |     |  `--T. nigrescens JT12
                      |     `--+--T. migratorius JT12 [=Planesticus migratorius S18]
                      |        `--T. rufitorques JT12
                      `--+--+--T. falcklandii BKB15
                         |  |    |--T. f. falcklandii HRS06
                         |  |    `--T. f. magellanicus (King 1851) HRS06
                         |  `--+--T. aurantius BKB15
                         |     `--T. plumbeus Linnaeus 1758 JT12, L58
                         `--+--+--+--T. pelios BKB15
                            |  |  `--+--T. olivaceofuscus BKB15
                            |  |     `--T. xanthorhynchus BKB15
                            |  `--+--T. swalesi BKB15
                            |     `--+--T. jamaicensis BKB15 (see below for synonymy)
                            |        `--T. menachensis BKB15
                            `--+--+--T. niveiceps BKB15
                               |  `--+--+--T. boulboul BKB15
                               |     |  `--T. simillimus BKB15
                               |     `--+--+--T. cardis BKB15
                               |        |  `--T. hortulorum JT12
                               |        `--+--T. dissimilis JT12
                               |           `--T. unicolor JT12
                               `--+--+--T. poliocephalus Latham 1802 BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                                  |  |    |--T. p. poliocephalus (see below for synonymy) CC10
                                  |  |    `--T. p. erythropleurus Sharpe 1887 FT08
                                  |  `--+--+--T. celaenops Stejneger 1887 JT12, I92
                                  |     |  `--T. chrysolaus JT12
                                  |     `--+--T. pallidus JT12 [=Merula pallida S89]
                                  |        `--+--T. feae JT12 [=Merula feae S89]
                                  |           `--T. obscurus JT12 [=Merula obscura S89]
                                  `--+--+--T. torquatus Linnaeus 1758 BKB15, L58
                                     |  `--+--T. naumanni JT12
                                     |     |    |--T. n. naumanni VP89
                                     |     |    `--T. n. eunomus VP89
                                     |     `--T. ruficollis JT12
                                     `--+--T. pilaris Linnaeus 1758 BKB15, M02
                                        `--+--+--T. albocinctus BKB15
                                           |  `--T. rubrocanus JT12
                                           `--+--T. kessleri BKB15
                                              `--T. maximus BKB15

Turdus incertae sedis:
  T. bresciensis Giebel 1847 M02
  T. canorus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  T. daguae JT12
  T. mareensis [=Merula mareensis] S13
    |--T. m. mareensis S13
    `--‘Merula’ m. larochensis Sarasin 1913 S13
  T. orpheus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  T. polyglottos Linnaeus 1758 L58
  T. pritzbueri [=Merula pritzbueri] S13
  T. ravidus HSS13
  T. roseus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  T. rufus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  ‘Merula’ samoensis S13
  T. subalaris JT12
  T. subcinereus Sclater 1866 S66
  ‘Merula’ subobscura Salvadori 1889 S89
  T. terrestris Kittlitz 1831 I92
  T. ulietensis FP64
  ‘Merula’ vanicorensis S13
  T. virens Linnaeus 1758 L58
  T. xanthopus M03 [=Merula xanthopus S13]
    |--T. x. xanthopus M03
    `--T. x. vinitinctus M03 [=T. poliocephalus vinitinctus FP64]

Turdus Linnaeus 1758 CC10 [incl. Ixocossyphus Kaup 1829 B94, Merula Leach 1816 CC10, Planesticus Bonaparte 1854 CC10, Platycichla Baird 1864 B94; Ixocossyphinae, Merulinae]

Turdus jamaicensis BKB15 [incl. T. lereboulleti CC10, *Planesticus lereboulleti CC10]

Turdus philomelos Brehm 1831 JT12, CC10 [incl. T. ericetorum Turton 1807 (nom. rej.) CC10, T. musicus Linnaeus 1766 (nom. rej.) CC10]

Turdus poliocephalus Latham 1802 BKB15, CC10 [=Geocichla poliocephala CC10, Merula poliocephala CC10]

Turdus poliocephalus poliocephalus Latham 1802 [incl. T. badius Gray 1869, T. fuliginosus Latham 1802, Planesticus fuliginosus, Merula nestor Gould 1836] CC10

*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.

[FS55] Felten, H., & J. Steinbacher. 1955. Zur Vogelfauna von El Salvador. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36 (1–2): 9–19.

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

[FT08] Framenau, V. W., & M. L. Thomas. 2008. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean): identification and distribution. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25 (1): 45–85.

[HRS06] Hahn, I., U. Römer & R. P. Schlatter. 2006. Population numbers and status of land birds of the Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile (Aves: Falconiformes, Columbiformes, Strigiformes, Caprimulgiformes, Passeriformes). Senckenbergiana Biologica 86 (1): 109–125.

[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.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

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

[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.

[S89] Salvadori, T. 1889. Viaggio di Leonardo Fea nella Birmania e nelle regioni vicine. XIX.—Uccelli raccolti nei Monti Carin a nord-est di Tounghoo, nel Pegù presso Rangoon e Tounghoo e nel Tenasserim presso Malewoon. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 369–438.

[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.

[S66] Sclater, P. L. 1866. Descriptions of six new species of American Oscines. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 320–324.

[S18] Stone, W. 1918. Birds of the Panama Canal Zone, with special reference to a collection made by Mr. Lindsey L. Jewel. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 70: 239–280.

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

Last updated: 15 July 2019.

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