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Zosterops atricapilla 2.jpg
Black-capped white-eye
Zosterops atricapilla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Zosteropidae (disputed)
Genus: Zosterops
Vigors & Horsfield, 1827

Some 75, see text.

Zosterops is a genus of birds containing the typical white-eyes. They are traditionally placed in the white-eye family, Zosteropidae, which, however, is now considered part of the Timaliidae ([1][2]).

This genus has the highest number of species among the white-eyes by far. They occur in the Afrotropic ecoregion, the Indomalaya zone, and the Australasia ecozone. Typical white-eyes can reach a length between 8 and 15 cm. Their most characteristic feature is the conspicuous white-feather ring around the eye, though some species lack it. The species in this group vary in the structural adaptations of the tongue.[3]


A review of new DNA sequence data (Jønsson & Fjeldså 2006) suggests the genus might not be monophyletic. Few species have been researched, however, with the highest density of sampled taxa being from Micronesia. There, it appears, a more distinct eastern lineage and a western one closer to East Asian species occur. The relationships of the former to the Rukia white-eyes need investigation.


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Christidis L & Boles WE (2008) Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO, Canberra.
  3. ^ Moreau RE, Mary Perrins & J. Trevor Hughes (1969). "Tongues of the Zosteropidae (White-eyes)" (PDF). Ardea: 29–47. 

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