Yellow-hooded blackbird Chrysomus icterocephalus bogotensis, copyright Nick Athanas.

Belongs within: Emberizoidea.
Contains: Sturnella, Cacicus, Icterus, Agelaius, Molothrus, Quiscalus, Agelasticus.

The Icteridae, sometimes referred to as New World Orioles or New World blackbirds, are a family of small to large passerine birds found in North and South America. Icterids have pointed bills and generally dark, often glossy plumage, often also with brightly-coloured patches (Internet Bird Collection). Recent phylogenetic studies have lead some authors to include the yellow-breasted chat Icteria virens, a warbler-like bird found over much of North America, as a basal member of this family.

Icteridae [Icterinae, Icterini]
    |--Icteria Vieillot 1808 OF19, B94 [Icteriidae]
    |    `--I. virens OF19
    `--+--+--Sturnella JT12
       |  `--+--Xanthocephalus Bonaparte 1850 JT12, F11
       |     |    `--X. xanthocephalus (Bonaparte 1826) [=Icterus xanthocephalus] F11
       |     `--Dolichonyx Swainson 1827 JT12, B94 [Dolichonychinae]
       |          `--D. oryzivorus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Fringilla oryzivora] F11
       `--+--Cacicus JT12
          `--+--Icterus JT12
             `--+--Amblycercus Cabanis 1851 JT12, F11
                |    `--A. holosericeus (Deppe 1830) [=Sturnus holosericeus] F11
                |         |--A. h. holosericeus F11
                |         |--A. h. australis Chapman 1919 F11
                |         `--A. h. flavirostris Chapman 1915 F11
                `--+--Nesopsar Sclater 1859 BKB15, F11
                   |    `--N. nigerrimus (Osburn 1859) [=Icterus nigerrimus] F11
                   `--+--Dives Cassin 1867 BKB15, F11 [incl. Ptiloxena Chapman 1892 F11]
                      |    |--D. atroviolaceus (d’Orbigny 1839) JT12, F11 (see below for synonymy)
                      |    |--D. dives (Deppe 1830) [=Icterus dives] F11
                      |    `--D. warszewiczi (Cabanis 1861) [=Lampropsar warszewiczi] F11
                      |         |--D. w. warszewiczi F11
                      |         `--D. kalinowskii Berlepsch & Stolzmann 1892 F11
                      `--+--Agelaius BKB15
                         `--+--Molothrus BKB15
                            `--+--+--Quiscalus BKB15
                               |  `--Euphagus Cassin 1867 JT12, F11
                               |       |--E. carolinus (Statius Müller 1776) [=Turdus carolinus] F11
                               |       |    |--E. c. carolinus F11
                               |       |    `--E. c. nigrans Burleigh & Peters 1948 F11
                               |       |--E. cyanocephalus (Wagler 1829) [=Psarocolius cyanocephalus] F11
                               |       `--E. magnirostris FP64
                               `--+--Macroagelaius Cassin 1866 BKB15, F11
                                  |    `--M. subalaris (Boissonneau 1840) [=Quiscalus subalaris] F11
                                  `--+--+--‘Macroagelaius’ imthurni (Sclater 1881) BKB15, F11 [=Agelaeus imthurni F11]
                                     |  `--+--Gymnomystax Reichenbach 1850 BKB15, F11
                                     |     |    |--G. melanicterus SS66
                                     |     |    `--G. mexicanus (Linnaeus 1766) [=Oriolus mexicanus] F11
                                     |     `--+--Hypopyrrhus Bonaparte 1850 JT12, F11
                                     |        |    `--H. pyrohypogaster (de Tarragon 1847) (see below for synonymy) F11
                                     |        `--Lampropsar Cabanis 1847 BKB15, F11
                                     |             `--L. tanagrinus (Spix 1824) [=Icterus tanagrinus] F11
                                     |                  |--L. t. tanagrinus F11
                                     |                  |--L. t. boliviensis Gyldenstolpe 1941 F11
                                     |                  |--L. t. guianensis Cabanis 1848 F11
                                     |                  |--L. t. macropterus Gyldenstolpe 1945 F11
                                     |                  `--L. t. violaceus Hellmayr 1906 F11
                                     `--+--+--Amblyramphus Leach 1814 BKB15, F11
                                        |  |    `--A. holosericeus (Scopoli 1786) [=Xanthornus holosericeus] F11
                                        |  `--Curaeus Sclater 1862 JT12, F11
                                        |       |--C. curaeus (Molina 1782) (see below for synonymy) F11
                                        |       |    |--C. c. curaeus F11
                                        |       |    `--C. c. reynoldsi Sclater 1939 F11
                                        |       `--C. forbesi (Sclater 1886) (see below for synonymy) F11
                                        `--+--Agelasticus BKB15
                                           `--+--+--Gnorimopsar Richmond 1908 BKB15, F11
                                              |  |    `--G. chopi (Vieillot 1819) [=Agelaius chopi] F11
                                              |  |         |--G. c. chopi F11
                                              |  |         |--G. c megistus (Leverkühn 1889) F11
                                              |  |         `--G. c. sulcirostris (Spix 1824) F11
                                              |  `--Chrysomus Swainson 1837 BKB15, F11
                                              |       |--C. icterocephalus (Linnaeus 1766) (see below for synonymy) F11
                                              |       |    |--C. i. icterocephalus F11
                                              |       |    `--C. i. bogotensis (Chapman 1914) F11
                                              |       `--C. ruficapillus (Vieillot 1819) [=Agelaius ruficapillus] F11
                                              |            |--C. r. ruficapillus F11
                                              |            `--C. r. frontalis (Vieillot 1819) F11
                                              `--+--+--Xanthopsar Ridgway 1901 BKB15, F11
                                                 |  |    `--X. flavus (Gmelin 1788) (see below for synonymy) F11
                                                 |  `--Pseudoleistes Sclater 1862 JT12, F11
                                                 |       |--P. guirahuro (Vieillot 1819) [=Agelaius guirahuro] F11
                                                 |       `--P. virescens (Vieillot 1819) [=Agelaius virescens] F11
                                                 `--+--Oreopsar Sclater 1939 JT12, F11
                                                    |    `--O. bolivianus Sclater 1939 [incl. Agelaioides oreopsar] F11
                                                    `--Agelaioides Cassin 1866 BKB15, F11
                                                         |--A. badius (Vieillot 1819) (see below for synonymy) F11
                                                         |    |--A. b. badius F11
                                                         |    `--A. b. bolivianus (Hellmayr 1917) F11
                                                         `--A. fringillarius (Spix 1824) [=Icterus fringillarius] F11

Icteridae incertae sedis:
  Tangavius armenti FP64
  Cassiculus Swainson 1827 F11
    `--C. solitarius [incl. C. nigerrimus] SS66
  Ostinops SS66
    |--O. angustifrons SS66
    |--O. atrovirens SS66
    |--O. cristatus SS66
    `--O. yuracarium SS66
  Xanthosomus icterocephalus SS66
  Megaquiscalus major S18
    |--M. m. major S18
    `--M. m. macrourus S18
  Cremaster tytthus Brodkorb 1959 U93
  Pandanaris F11
    |--P. convexa F11
    `--P. floridana Brodkorb 1957 U93
  Pyelorhamphus molothroides F11
  ‘Colinus’ eatoni Shufeldt 1915 U93

Agelaioides badius (Vieillot 1819) [=Agelaius badius, Molothrus badius] F11

Chrysomus icterocephalus (Linnaeus 1766) [=Oriolus icterocephalus, Agelaius icterocephalus] F11

Curaeus curaeus (Molina 1782) [=Turdus curaeus; incl. C. curaeus recurvirostris] F11

Curaeus forbesi (Sclater 1886) [=Agelaius forbesi, Gnorimopsar forbesi] F11

Dives atroviolaceus (d’Orbigny 1839) JT12, F11 [=Quiscalus atroviolaceus F11, Ptiloxena atroviolacea F11]

Hypopyrrhus pyrohypogaster (de Tarragon 1847) [=Cassicus pyrohypogaster] F11

Xanthopsar flavus (Gmelin 1788) [=Oriolus flavus, Agelaius flavus; incl. Icterus xantholemus] F11

*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.

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

[F11] Fraga, R. M. 2011. Family Icteridae (New World blackbirds). In: Hoyo, J. del, A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds) Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 16. Tanagers to New World Blackbirds pp. 684–807. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona.

[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.

[OF19] Oliveros, C. H., D. J. Field, D. T. Ksepka, F. K. Barker, A. Aleixo, M. J. Andersen, P. Alström, B. W. Benz, E. L. Braun, M. J. Braun, G. A. Bravo, R. T. Brumfield, R. T. Chesser, S. Claramunt, J. Cracraft, A. M. Cuervo, E. P. Derryberry, T. C. Glenn, M. G. Harvey, P. A. Hosner, L. Joseph, R. T. Kimball, A. L. Mack, C. M. Miskelly, A. T. Peterson, M. B. Robbins, F. H. Sheldon, L. F. Silveira, B. T. Smith, N. D. White, R. G. Moyle & B. C. Faircloth. 2019. Earth history and the passerine superradiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 116 (16): 7916–7925.

[SS66] Sclater, P. L., & O. Salvin. 1866. Catalogue of birds collected by Mr. E. Bartlett on the River Uyacali, Eastern Peru, with notes and descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 175–201.

[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.

[U93] Unwin, D. M. 1993. Aves. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 717–737. Chapman & Hall: London.

Last updated: 5 July 2019.

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