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Flickr - Dario Sanches - GUARACAVA-DE-BARRIGA-AMARELA (Elaenia flavogaster).jpg
Yellow-bellied elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Elaenia
Sundevall, 1836
Type species
Pipra flavogaster
Thunberg, 1822

see text

Elaenia is a genus of passerine birds in the tyrant flycatcher family which occur in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Except by voice, specific identification is often difficult since many species are very similar.

Elaenia flycatchers are typically brownish, greyish or olive above, and off-white and/or pale yellow on the belly, with a white or pale yellowish eye-ring of variable strength and two or three wing bars. Some species show a crest; often with a semi-concealed white patch/streak.


The genus Elaenia was introduced by the Swedish zoologist Carl Jakob Sundevall in 1836.[1] The type species was subsequently designated as the yellow-bellied elaenia.[2] The name of the genus is from the Ancient Greek ελαινεος elaineos "of olive-oil" or "oleaginous".[3]

The genus contains 21 species:[4]

See also[edit]

  • Myiopagis, another genus of tyrant flycatchers commonly known as elaenias


  1. ^ Sundevall, Carl Jakob (1836). "Elaenia". Kungl. Svenska vetenskapsakademiens handlingar. series 3 (in Latin). 23: 89.
  2. ^ Traylor, Melvin A. Jr, ed. (1979). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 8. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. pp. 26–27.
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E., eds. "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Tyrant flycatchers". World Bird List Version 8.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 1 July 2018.