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Culicicapa ceylonensis - Mae Wong.jpg
Grey-headed canary-flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Infraorder: Passerida
Family: Stenostiridae
Beresford, F.K. Barker, Ryan & Crowe, 2005
Stenostiridae distribution map.png

Stenostiridae, or the fairy flycatchers,[1] are a family of small passerine birds proposed as a result of recent discoveries in molecular systematics.[2] They are also referred to as stenostirid warblers.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

This new clade is named after the fairy flycatcher, a distinct species placed formerly in the Old World flycatchers. This is united with the "sylvioid flycatchers": the genus Elminia (formerly placed in the Monarchinae) and the closely allied former Old World flycatcher genus Culicicapa, as well as one species formerly believed to be an aberrant fantail.[2][3]

Other African or Asian species might conceivably fall into this novel clade. The tit-flycatchers (Myioparus) are apparently true flycatchers morphologically somewhat convergent to Stenostira.[4]

The Stenostiridae as a whole are related to penduline tits, titmice and chickadees. All these appear to be closer to the Sylvioidea than to other Passerida, but this is not robustly supported by the available data and they might constitute a distinct, more basal superfamily.[2][5][6]



  1. ^ IOC Archived 2010-06-29 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c Beresford et al. (2005)
  3. ^ Fuchs et al. (2006)
  4. ^ Jønsson & Fjeldså (2006)
  5. ^ Alström et al. (2006)
  6. ^ Barker et al. (2004)


  • Alström, Per; Ericson, Per G.P.; Olsson, Urban & Sundberg, Per (2006): Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38(2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015 PMID 16054402
  • Barker, F. Keith; Cibois, Alice; Schikler, Peter A.; Feinstein, Julie & Cracraft, Joel (2004): Phylogeny and diversification of the largest avian radiation. PNAS 101(30): 11040–11045. doi:10.1073/pnas.0401892101 PMID 15263073 PDF fulltext Supporting information
  • Beresford, P.; Barker, F.K.; Ryan, P.G. & Crowe, T.M. (2005): African endemics span the tree of songbirds (Passeri): molecular systematics of several evolutionary 'enigmas'. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 272(1565): 849–858. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2997 PDF fulltext Electronic appendix[permanent dead link]
  • Fuchs, J.; Fjeldså, J.; Bowie, R. C. K.; Voelker, G. & Pasquet, E. (2006): The African warbler genus Hyliota as a lost lineage in the oscine songbird tree: Molecular support for an African origin of the Passerida. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 39(1): 186–197. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.07.020 (HTML fulltext)
  • Jønsson, Knud A. & Fjeldså, Jon (2006): A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds (Aves: Passeri). Zool. Scripta 35(2): 149–186. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2006.00221.x (HTML abstract)