These are rather drab brownish warblers usually associated with marshes or other wetlands. Some are streaked, others plain. Many species breeding in temperate regions are migratory.
This genus has heavily diversified into many species throughout islands across the tropical Pacific. This in turn has led to many of the resulting insular endemic species to become endangered. Several of these species (including all but one of the species endemic to the Marianas and two endemic to French Polynesia) have already gone extinct.
The most enigmatic species of the genus, the large-billed reed warbler (A. orinus), was rediscovered in Thailand in March, 2006; it was found also in a remote corner of Afghanistan in the summer of 2009. Prior to these recent sightings, it had been found only once before, in 1867.
Many species have a flat head profile, which gives rise to the group's scientific name. The genus name Acrocephalus is from Ancient Greekakros, "highest", and kephale, "head". It is possible that Naumann and Naumann thought akros meant "sharp-pointed".
Fragmentary fossil remains from the Late Miocene (about 11 mya) of Rudabánya (NE Hungary) show some apomorphies typical of this genus. 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 Acrocephalidae at the least.
^Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Olsson, U.; Rguibi-Idrissi, H.; Copete, J.L.; Arroyo Matos, J.L.; Provost, P.; Amezian, M.; Alström, P.; Jiguet, F. (2016). "Mitochondrial phylogeny of the Eurasian/African reed warbler complex (Acrocephalus, Aves). Disagreement between morphological and molecular evidence and cryptic divergence: A case for resurrecting Calamoherpe ambigua Brehm 1857". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 102: 30–44. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.05.026.
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