Savi's warbler Locustella luscinioides, copyright Ron Knight.

Belongs within: Sylviida.

The Locustellidae, grass warblers and grassbirds, are a group of slender, brownish birds with usually long tails found around the Old World. They are supported as a clade by molecular analyses (Jetz et al. 2012). Locustellids are secretive birds, often living concealed among tall grasses (hence the vernacular name). Members include the bush warblers of the genus Bradypterus, smaller species found in warm regions of Africa and Asia.

Locustellidae [Megaluridae, Megalurinae]
    |--Robsonius OF19
    |    |--R. rabori OF19
    |    `--R. sorsogonensis JT12
    `--+--Locustella Kaup 1829 OF19, B94 [Locustellinae]
       |    |--+--+--L. amnicola BKB15
       |    |  |  `--L. fasciolata JT12
       |    |  `--+--L. pryeri (Seebohm 1884) JT12, I92 [=Megalurus pryeri BKB15]
       |    |     `--+--L. certhiola BKB15
       |    |        |    |--L. c. certhiola VP89
       |    |        |    `--L. c. rubescens VP89
       |    |        `--+--L. ochotensis JT12
       |    |           `--L. pleskei Taczanowski 1889 JT12, I92 [=L. ochotensis pleskei I92]
       |    `--+--‘Megalurus’ gramineus (Gould 1845) BKB15, WS48 (see below for synonymy) WS48
       |       |    |--M. g. gramineus M03
       |       |    `--M. g. goulburni M03
       |       `--+--+--L. lanceolata BKB15
       |          |  `--+--L. fluviatilis BKB15
       |          |     `--L. luscinioides JF06
       |          `--+--+--‘Bradypterus’ luteoventris BKB15
       |             |  `--+--‘Bradypterus’ tacsanowskius BKB15
       |             |     `--+--‘Bradypterus’ major BKB15
       |             |        `--L. naevia BKB15
       |             `--+--+--‘Bradypterus’ castaneus BKB15
       |                |  `--‘Bradypterus’ caudatus JT12
       |                `--+--+--‘Bradypterus’ alishanensis BKB15
       |                   |  `--+--‘Bradypterus’ mandelli BKB15
       |                   |     `--‘Bradypterus’ montis BKB15
       |                   `--+--‘Bradypterus’ davidi BKB15
       |                      `--+--‘Bradypterus’ kashmirensisi BKB15
       |                         `--‘Bradypterus’ thoracicus BKB15
       `--+--+--+--Cincloramphus Gould 1838 BKB15, B94 [incl. Ptenoedus Cabanis 1851 B94; Ptenoedinae]
          |  |  |    `--C. cruralis (Vigors & Horsfield 1827) WS48 (see below for synonymy)
          |  |  `--‘Megalurus’ timoriensis Wallace 1863 BKB15, WS48
          |  |       |--M. t. timoriensis WS48
          |  |       `--M. t. alisteri Mathews 1912 WS48
          |  `--+--Eremiornis carteri Noreth 1900 BKB15, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
          |     `--Bowdleria Rothschild 1896 [Bowdleriinae] CC10
          |          |--*B. punctata (Quoy & Gaimard in Dumont d’Urville 1830) CC10 (see below for synonymy)
          |          |    |--B. p. punctata [incl. Sphenoeacus fulvus Gray 1862, B. fulva, Megalurus fulvus] CC10
          |          |    |--B. p. caudata (Buller 1894) [=Sphenoeacus caudatus] CC10
          |          |    |--B. p. stewartiana Oliver 1930 (see below for synonymy) CC10
          |          |    |--B. p. vealeae Kemp 1912 CC10
          |          |    `--B. p. wilsoni Stead 1936 CC10
          |          `--B. rufescens (Buller 1869) (see below for synonymy) CC10
          `--+--+--‘Cincloramphus’ mathewsi Ireland 1911 BKB15, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
             |  `--Megalurus Horsfield 1821 OF19, B94
             |       |--M. albolimbatus JT12
             |       `--M. palustris BKB15
             |            |--M. p. palustris GC09
             |            `--M. p. toklao GC09
             `--+--Schoenicola BKB15
                |    |--S. brevirostris JT12
                |    `--S. platyurus JT12
                `--Bradypterus Swainson 1837 BKB15, B94 [Bradypterinae]
                     |  i. s.: B. accentor JT12
                     |         B. alfredi JT12
                     |         B. grandis JT12
                     |         B. palliseri JT12
                     |         B. seebohmi JT12
                     |         B. timorensis JT12
                     |--+--B. bangwaensis BKB15
                     |  `--+--B. cinnamomeus BKB15
                     |     `--+--B. lopezi BKB15
                     |        `--B. mariae BKB15
                     `--+--+--Dromaeocercus brunneus BKB15
                        |  `--B. sylvaticus BKB15
                        `--+--+--B. tongensis BKB15 [=B. baboecala tongensis AE06]
                           |  `--B. transvaalensis BKB15 [=B. baboecala transvaalensis AE06]
                           `--+--B. carpalis BKB15
                              |--B. graueri BKB15
                              `--+--B. baboecala BKB15
                                 `--B. barratti BKB15

*Bowdleria punctata (Quoy & Gaimard in Dumont d’Urville 1830) CC10 [=Synallaxis punctata CC10, Megalurus punctatus BKB15, Sphenoeacus punctatus CC10]

Bowdleria punctata stewartiana Oliver 1930 [=B. punctata stewartiae; incl. B. punctata insularis Stead 1936] CC10

Bowdleria rufescens (Buller 1869) [=Sphenoeacus rufescens, B. punctata rufescens, Megalurus rufescens] CC10

Cincloramphus cruralis (Vigors & Horsfield 1827) WS48 [=Megalurus cruralis WS48; incl. C. cantillans R87, C. cruralis clelandi Mathews 1912 WS48, C. cruralis rogersi Mathews 1912 WS48]

Cincloramphus’ mathewsi Ireland 1911 BKB15, 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]

Eremiornis carteri Noreth 1900 BKB15, WS48 [incl. E. c. assimilis Montague 1913 WS48, E. c. rogersi Mathews 1913 WS48]

Megalurus gramineus (Gould 1845) BKB15, WS48 [=Sphenoeacus gramineus WS48; incl. M. striatus Milligan 1903 WS48, M. gramineus thomasi Mathews 1912 WS48]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AE06] Alström, P., P. G. P. Ericson, U. Olsson & P. Sundberg. 2006. Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38: 381–397.

[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.

[GC09] Gelang, M., A. Cibois, E. Pasquet, U. Olsson, P. Alström & P. G. P. Ericson. 2009. Phylogeny of babblers (Aves, Passeriformes): major lineages, family limits and classification. Zoologica Scripta 38: 225–236.

[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.

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

[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.

[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.

[R87] Ramsay, E. P. 1887. List of Western Australian birds collected by Mr. Cairn, and Mr. W. H. Boyer-Bower, at Derby and its vicinity, with remarks on the species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1085–1100.

[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.

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