American cliff swallows Petrochelidon pyrrhonota, copyright Mark Watson.

Belongs within: Hirundinidae.

Petrochelidon, the cliff swallows, is a genus of swallows that nest colonially, building nests from mud cemented to surfaces such as cliffs, building walls or inside tree hollows. Members include the tree martin P. nigricans of eastern Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Australia, which has a metallic blue crown and back, brown wings and tail, and whitish underparts.

<==Petrochelidon Cabanis 1850 [incl. Hylochelidon Gould 1865] CC10
    |  i. s.: P. albifrons L81
    |         P. andecola L03
    |           |--P. a. andecola L03
    |           `--P. a. oroyae Chapman 1924 L03
    |         P. lunifrons S18
    |           |--P. l. lunifrons S18
    |           `--P. l. tachina S18
    |--+--+--P. fulva BKB15 [=Hirundo fulva JF06]
    |  |  `--P. pyrrhonota (Vieillot 1817) JT12, L03 (see below for synonymy)
    |  `--+--P. preussi BKB15 [=Hirundo preussi JT12]
    |     `--P. rufigula JF06 [=Hirundo rufigula JT12]
    `--+--P. spilodera BKB15 [=Hirundo spilodera JT12]
       `--+--P. ariel (Gould 1842) CC10 (see below for synonymy)
          `--+--P. fluvicola JF06 [=Hirundo fluvicola JT12]
             `--P. nigricans (Vieillot 1817) CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                  |--P. n. nigricans CC10
                  |--P. n. neglecta Mathews 1912 (see below for synonymy) L03
                  `--P. n. timoriensis CC10 [=Hirundo nigricans timoriensis J06]

Petrochelidon ariel (Gould 1842) CC10 [=Collocalia ariel CC10, Hirundo ariel JT12, Hylochelidon ariel WS48; incl. P. ariel conigravi Mathews 1912 L03]

Petrochelidon nigricans (Vieillot 1817) CC10 [=Hirundo nigricans JT12, *Hylochelidon nigricans CC10, Petrochelida (l. c.) nigricans CC10]

Petrochelidon nigricans neglecta Mathews 1912 [incl. P. nigricans caleyi Mathews 1913, P. cayleyi, P. nigricans distinguenda Mathews 1912, Hirundo pyrrhonota Vigors & Horsfield 1827 non Vieillot 1817, P. nigricans rogersi Mathews 1912, P. nigricans socialis Stresemann 1923] L03

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota (Vieillot 1817) JT12, L03 [=Hirundo pyrrhonota JF06; incl. H. melanogaster CC10, *Petrochelidon melanogaster 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.

[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.

[J06] Johnstone, R. E. 2006. The birds of Gag Island, Western Papuan islands, Indonesia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 23 (2): 115–132.

[JF06] Jønsson, K. A., & J. Fjeldså. 2006. A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds. Zoologica Scripta 35: 149–186.

[L03] LeCroy, M. 2003. Type specimens of birds in the American Museum of Natural History. Part 5. Passeriformes: Alaudidae, Hirundinidae, Motacillidae, Campephagidae, Pycnonotidae, Irenidae, Laniidae, Vangidae, Bombycillidae, Dulidae, Cinclidae, Troglodytidae, and Mimidae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 278: 1–156.

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

[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.

[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: 15 July 2019.

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