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Colius striatus1.jpg
Speckled mousebird, Colius striatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coliiformes
Family: Coliidae
Subfamily: Coliinae
Genus: Colius
Brisson, 1760

Colius castanotus
Colius colius
Colius leucocephalus
Colius striatus

Colius is a bird genus in the family Coliidae. It contains the following species:

A fossil species, Colius hendeyi, was described from Early Pliocene remains found at Langebaanweg in South Africa.

Some Miocene taxa from France were previously assigned to Colius. Of these, only the Middle Miocene "Colius" palustris might plausibly belong there,[1] but it is more often separated in Necrornis. In younger lineages like Passeriformes, extant genera (e.g. Menura and Orthonyx) were around by then, though it must be remembered that simply because two taxa are of same taxonomic rank they do not need to be of the same age. All that can be said is that while it cannot be ruled out that the modern genus Colius was around in Miocene Europe, it more likely evolved later, and probably in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Colius" archiaci, "C." consobrinus and "C." paludicola on the other hand are 3 taxa described from fragmentary remains found at Saint-Gérand-le-Puy. Their taxonomic history is convoluted, being initially described as woodpeckers and variously merged and split. Today it is believed that they might all belong to a species in the modern genus Urocolius, or at least 2 into a prehistoric genus Limnatornis.[1]


  1. ^ a b Mlíkovský (2002)