From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lesser antillean bird2 1 male.jpg
Black-faced grassquit (T. bicolor)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Superfamily: Passeroidea
Family: Thraupidae (see text)
Genus: Tiaris
Swainson, 1827

5, but see text

Tiaris is a genus of songbirds in the tanager family (Thraupidae), containing the bulk of the grassquits. In late 20th-century sources in particular, it was very often allied to the American sparrows and placed in the Emberizidae family.

It contains the following species:

However, these might not be monophyletic relatives, and warrant the splitting off of some species or merging this genus in another. Phylogenetic studies have hitherto failed to place this genus firmly with respect to a large number of species in the group called "Tholospiza", which typically build nests covered by a dome of material. This group consists of radiations out of Central America, into the Caribbean and into the Pacific. The latter group of these American sparrow-like tanagers are the famous Darwin's finches (including the Cocos finch, Pinaroloxias inornata). The former group includes the Caribbean bullfinches (Loxigilla), the Saint Lucia black finch (Melanospiza richardsoni), the yellow-shouldered grassquit (Loxipasser anoxanthus) – though not the blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) –, and probably other Caribbean genera too (e.g. orangequit, Euneornis campestris and the puzzling bananaquit, Coereba flaveola).[1]


  1. ^ Burns et al. (2003), Jønsson & Fjeldså (2006), Klicka et al. (2007)