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Eurylaimus javanicus - Khao Yai.jpg
Banded broadbill
Eurylaimus javanicus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Superfamily: Eurylaimoidea
Family: Eurylaimidae
Lesson, 1831


The Eurylaimidae are a family of suboscine passerine birds that occur from the eastern Himalayas to Indonesia and the Philippines. The family previously included the sapayoa from the Neotropics, the asities from Madagascar, and the Calyptomenidae from Africa and Asia, but these are now separated into distinct families.


Many of the species are brightly coloured birds that present broad heads, large eyes and a hooked, flat and broad beak. They range from 13 to 28 centimetres in length, and live in the dense canopies of wet forests, allowing them to hide despite their brightly coloured plumage.[1] The plumage of the juveniles eurylaimids are similar to those of the adults, differing in being duller and shorter-winged and shorter-tailed in some cases.[2]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

They are for the most part insectivorous and carnivorous. Prey taken include insects, spiders, centipedes, and millipedes, as well as lizards and tree frogs. Prey is obtained by sallying from a perch to snatch it in flight, and gleaning the prey off leaves and branches while flying. Some species may take some fruit, but only the green broadbills of the genus Calyptomena and the Grauer's broadbill are primarily frugivores (which also take some insects as well).

They are generally gregarious, with many species moving about in flocks of about 20 individuals. They attach their purse-shaped nests to suspended vines, and leave a tail of fibres hanging below it. This gives the nest the appearance of being random debris caught in the tree, an effect further enhanced by the birds covering the nest with lichen and spider webs.[1] Broadbills typically lay two to three eggs.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The family Eurylaimidae was introduced in 1831 (as Eurylaimes) by the French naturalist René Lesson.[3][4] The family includes nine species of which five are each placed in their own monotypic genera:[5]

Image Genus Living Species
Black-and-red Broadbill - Kang Kra Chan - Thailand S4E5132 (14071725919).jpg Cymbirhynchus Vigors, 1830
Psarisomus dalhousiae - Kaeng Krachan.jpg Psarisomus Swainson, 1837
Serilophus lunatus by Jason Thompson.jpg Serilophus Swainson, 1837
Black-and-Yellow Broadbill - Thailand H8O6740.jpg Eurylaimus Horsfield, 1821
Sarcophanops steerii.jpg Sarcophanops Gould, 1877
Corydon sumatranus - Khao Yai.jpg Corydon Lesson, 1828
Pseudocalyptomena Rothschild, 1909


  1. ^ a b McClure, H. Elliott (1991). Forshaw, Joseph (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. p. 158. ISBN 1-85391-186-0.
  2. ^ del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. (2003). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-50-4.
  3. ^ Lesson, René (1831). Traité d'Ornithologie, ou Tableau Méthodique (in French). Paris: F.G. Levrault. p. xxv. Published in 8 livraisons between 1830 and 1831. For the publication date see: Dickinson, E.C.; Overstreet, L.K.; Dowsett, R.J.; Bruce, M.D. (2011). Priority! The Dating of Scientific Names in Ornithology: a Directory to the literature and its reviewers. Northampton, UK: Aves Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-9568611-1-5.
  4. ^ Bock, Walter J. (1994). History and Nomenclature of Avian Family-Group Names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. Vol. Number 222. New York: American Museum of Natural History. pp. 149, 247.
  5. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "NZ wrens, Sapayoa, broadbills, asities, pittas". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 June 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]