Grass warbler

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Grasshopper warblers
Locustellaluscinioides.jpg
Locustella luscinioides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Locustellidae
Genus: Locustella
Kaup, 1829
Species

Locustella accentor
Locustella alishanensis
Locustella amnicola
Locustella castanea
Locustella caudata
Locustella certhiola
Locustella chengi
Locustella davidi
Locustella fasciolata
Locustella fluviatilis
Locustella kashmirensis
Locustella lanceolata
Locustella luscinoides
Locustella luteoventris
Locustella major
Locustella mandelli
Locustella montis
Locustella naevia
Locustella ochotensis
Locustella pleskei
Locustella pryeri
Locustella seebohmi
Locustella tacsanowskia
Locustella thoracica
Locustella timorensis

The grasshopper warblers are small passerine birds belonging to the genus Locustella. Formerly placed in the paraphyletic "Old World warbler" assemblage, they are now considered the northernmost representatives of a largely Gondwanan family, the Locustellidae. The genus name Locustella is from Latin and is a diminutive of locusta, "grasshopper".[1] Like the English name, this refers to the insect-like song of some species.[2]

These are rather drab brownish "warblers" usually associated with fairly open grassland, shrubs or marshes. Some are streaked, others plain, all are difficult to view. They are insectivorous.

The most characteristic feature of this group is that the song of several species is a mechanical insect-like reeling which gives rise to the group's scientific name.

Species breeding in temperate regions are strongly migratory.

The species are:

A fossil acrocoracoid from the Late Miocene (about 11 mya) of Rudabánya (NE Hungary) is quite similar to this bone in the present genus.[3] Given its rather early age (most Passerida genera are not known until the Pliocene), it is not too certain that it is correctly placed here, but it is highly likely to belong to the Locustellidae, or the Sylvioidea at the least. As the grasshopper warblers are the only known locustellid warblers from Europe, it is still fairly likely that the bone piece belongs to a basal Locustella.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 229. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  2. ^ "Grasshopper". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Bernor, R.L.; Kordos, L. & Rook, L. (eds):"Recent Advances on Multidisciplinary Research at Rudabánya, Late Miocene (MN9), Hungary: A compendium". Paleontographica Italiana 89: 3-36.