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Sylvia atricapilla male 2.jpg
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Sylvioidea

See text

Sylvioidea is a clade of passerine birds. It is one of at least three major clades within the Passerida along with the Muscicapoidea and Passeroidea. It contains about 1300 species including the Old World warblers, Old World babblers, swallows, larks, bulbuls and perhaps the tits. Members of the clade are found worldwide but fewer species are present in the Americas.


The superfamily Sylvioidea was first proposed in 1990 in the Sibley–Ahlquist taxonomy of birds.[1] More recent studies have failed to support the inclusion of some families such as the treecreepers, wrens and allies but do support the addition of the larks.[2]

Some of the families within the Sylvioidea have been greatly redefined. In particular, the Old World warbler family Sylviidae and Old World babbler family Timaliidae were used as wastebin taxa and included many species which have turned out not to be closely related. Several new families have been created and some species have been moved from one family to another.[3]

List of families[edit]

It is not yet certain if the three families above belong in the Sylvioidea and they are sometimes treated as a separate superfamily, Paroidea.[3]

The following groups form a single babbler radiation and it is not yet certain how many separate families should be recognized. Gelang et al. proposed a division into two families, Sylviidae and Timaliidae, with Timaliidae being divided into four subfamilies.[5] The list of the International Ornithological Congress provisionally recognizes five families.[9]


  1. ^ Sibley, C.G. & Ahlquist, J.E. (1990): Phylogeny and Classification of Birds. A Study in Molecular Evolution. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
  2. ^ Alström, Per; Ericson, Per G.P.; Olsson, Urban & Sundberg, Per (2006): "Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 38(2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015 PMID 16054402 PDF fulltext
  3. ^ a b Boyd, John H. (2010): Sylvioidea, Aves — A Taxonomy in Flux. Accessed 7 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b Johansson, U.S., Fjeldså, J. & Bowie, R. C. K. (2008). Phylogenetic relationships within Passerida (Aves: Passeriformes): a review and a new molecular phylogeny based on three nuclear intron markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 48, 858–876.
  5. ^ a b Gelang, Magnus; Cibois, Alice; Pasquet, Eric; Olsson, Urban; Alström, Per; Ericson, Per G. P. (2009). "Phylogeny of babblers (Aves, Passeriformes): major lineages, family limits and classification". Zoologica Scripta. 38 (3): 225–236. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00374.x. 
  6. ^ Roberson, Don (2005) African warblers, Bird Families of the World. Accessed 7 January 2010.
  7. ^ Remsen, J. V., Jr., C. D. Cadena, A. Jaramillo, M. Nores, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, T. S. Schulenberg, F. G. Stiles, D. F. Stotz, and K. J. Zimmer (2011). A classification of the bird species of South America, Version 4. American Ornithologists' Union. Accessed 7 January 2010.
  8. ^ Cibois, Alice; Normand David, Steven M. S. Gregory & Eric Pasquet (2010) Bernieridae (Aves: Passeriformes): a family-group name for the Malagasy sylvioid radiation, Zootaxa, 2554: 65-68.
  9. ^ Gill, F and D Donsker, Eds. (2010): Babbler families and genera, IOC World Bird Names. Accessed 7 January 2010.