Leiothrichidae

The laughingthrushes are a family of Old World passerine birds. They are diverse in size and coloration. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The entire family used to be included in the Timaliidae.

Leiothrichidae
A03 2880 640x427
White-crested laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Superfamily: Sylvioidea
Family: Leiothrichidae
Swainson, 1832
Genera

Dozens; see article text

Grammatoptila

Cutia

Laniellus

Trochalopteron

Montecincla

Actinodura

Minla

Leioptila

Leiothrix

Liocichla

Heterophasia

Argya

Turdoides

Garrulax

Ianthocincla

Pterorhinus

Cladogram based on Cibois et al. 2018.[1]

Characteristics

They are small to medium-sized birds. They have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. They typically have generalised bills, similar to those of a thrush. Most have predominantly brown plumage, with minimal difference between the sexes, but many more brightly coloured species also exist.[2]

This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight. They live in lightly wooded or scrubland environments, ranging from swamp to near-desert. They are primarily insectivorous, although many will also take berries, and the larger species will even eat small lizards and other vertebrates.[2]

Taxonomy

The family Leiothrichidae was introduced (as a subfamily Leiotrichanae) by the English naturalist William Swainson in 1832.[3] A comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study of the family published in 2018 led to substantial revision of the taxonomic classification.[1] The laughingthrushes in the genus Garrulax were found to belong to three separate clades that had diverged in the Miocene 7-9 million year ago. The genus was therefore split with Garrulax restricted to one clade and the genera Pterorhinus and Ianthocincla resurrected for the other two clades. The genus Turdoides was also split and species moved into the resurrected genus Argya.[1][4]

In a separate change, the crocias were moved to the genus Laniellus Swainson, 1832 which has priority over Crocias Temminck, 1836.[4][5][6]

List of genera

The family contains 135 species divided into 16 genera:[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c Cibois, A.; Gelang, M.; Alström, P.; Pasquet, E.; Fjeldså, J.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Olsson, U. (2018). "Comprehensive phylogeny of the laughingthrushes and allies (Aves, Leiothrichidae) and a proposal for a revised taxonomy". Zoologica Scripta. 47 (4): 428–440. doi:10.1111/zsc.12296.
  2. ^ a b Perrins, C. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 188–190. ISBN 1-85391-186-0.
  3. ^ Swainson, William John; Richardson, J. (1831). Fauna boreali-americana, or, The zoology of the northern parts of British America. Part 2. The Birds. London: J. Murray. p. 490. The title page bears the year 1831 but the volume did not appear until 1832.
  4. ^ a b c Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Laughingthrushes and allies". World Bird List Version 9.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  5. ^ Gregory, S.M.S.; Dickinson, E. (2012). "An assessment of three little‐noticed papers on avian nomenclature by G.N. Kashin during 1978‐1982". Zootaxa. 3340: 44-58 [51].
  6. ^ Dickinson, E.C.; Christidis, L., eds. (2014). The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines (4th ed.). Eastbourne, UK: Aves Press. p. 548. ISBN 978-0-9568611-2-2.

Further reading

  • Cibois, A. (2003). "Mitochondrial DNA phylogeny of babblers (Timaliidae)". Auk. 120: 35–54. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2003)120[0035:MDPOBT]2.0.CO;2.
  • Collar, N. J., and C. Robson. 2007. Family Timaliidae (babblers). Pages 70–291 in J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and D.A. Christie (editors), Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  • Gelang, M., A. Cibois, E. Pasquet, U. Olsson, P. Alström and P.G.P. Ericson. 2009. Phylogeny of babblers (Aves, Passeriformes): major lineages, family limits and classification. Zoologica Scripta 38: 225–236.
Argya

Argya is a genus of passerine birds in the family Leiothrichidae. Many of the species in this genus were formerly placed in other genera including Turdoides and Garrulax.

Barwing

The barwings are the genus Actinodura of passerine birds in the Leiothrichidae family. They are found in the hills of southern Asia from India east to China and Taiwan.

Brown babbler

The brown babbler (Turdoides plebejus) is a species of bird in the family Leiothrichidae. It is predominantly found in West Africa, but ranging from the Gambia to Kenya. The species is common across its range. The species is also known as the Sudan babbler.

Capuchin babbler

The capuchin babbler (Turdoides atripennis) is a species of bird in the Leiothrichidae family.

It is found in Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

The capuchin babbler was moved from the monotypic genus Phyllanthus to Turdoides based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2018.

Chinese babax

The Chinese babax (Pterorhinus lanceolatus) is a species of bird in the family Leiothrichidae.

It is found in China, Hong Kong, India, and Myanmar.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Babax but following the publication of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study in 2018, it was moved to the resurrected genus Pterorhinus.

Cutia

The agoutis of the genus Dasyprocta are locally known as "cutias". See also Hutia, where the name for these mammals originated.

The cutias are the passerine bird genus Cutia in the family Leiothrichidae. These birds are found in montane forests of continental South and Southeast Asia. The name is derived from the Nepali name khatya or khutya for the type species, the Himalayan cutia (C. nipalensis). The cutias are related to the alcippes and the laughingthrushes.

Garrulax

Garrulax is a genus of passerine birds in the Leiothrichidae family.

Heterophasia

Heterophasia, the sibias, is a bird genus in the family Leiothrichidae.

Ianthocincla

Ianthocincla is a genus of passerine birds in the family Leiothrichidae.

Leiothrix (bird)

Leiothrix is a genus of passerine birds in the Leiothrichidae family. They belong to a clade also containing at least the liocichlas, barwings, minlas and sibias. The sibias are possibly their closest living relatives.

Lesser necklaced laughingthrush

The lesser necklaced laughingthrush (Garrulax monileger) is a species of bird in the family Leiothrichidae.

Long-tailed sibia

The long-tailed sibia (Heterophasia picaoides) is a species of Leiothrichidae from Southeast Asia. The species was once placed in the large family Timaliidae, but that family is sometimes split with this species being placed with the laughingthrushes in the family Leiothrichidae. The species is sometimes treated as the only species in the genus Heterophasia, with the other species being placed in the genus Malacias.

Pterorhinus

Pterorhinus is a genus of passerine birds in the family Leiothrichidae.

Rufous babbler

The rufous babbler (Argya subrufa) is an endemic species of bird found in the Western Ghats of southern India belonging to the Leiothrichidae family It is dark brown and long tailed, and is usually seen foraging in noisy groups along open hillsides with a mixture of grass, bracken and forest.

Slender-billed babbler

The slender-billed babbler (Argya longirostris) is a species of bird in the Leiothrichidae family.

It is found in Bangladesh, Nepal, Northeast India and possibly Myanmar.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland.

It is threatened by habitat loss.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Turdoides but following the publication of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study in 2018, it was moved to the resurrected genus Argya.

Striated babbler

The striated babbler (Argya earlei) is a species of bird in the family Leiothrichidae. It is found in southern Asia from Pakistan to Myanmar.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Turdoides but following the publication of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study in 2018, it was moved to the resurrected genus Argya.

Trochalopteron

Trochalopteron is a genus of passerine birds in the family Leiothrichidae.

Turdoides

Turdoides is a genus of passerine birds in the Leiothrichidae family. The species distributed across Africa and southern Asia. They are typically fairly large, long-tailed birds which forage in noisy groups. The majority of species have drab brown or grey-brown plumage. Several species that were included in Turdoides in the past have been reassigned to Argya following a 2018 study that found multiple clades.

White-browed laughingthrush

The white-browed laughingthrush (Pterorhinus sannio) is a bird species in the family Leiothrichidae. It is found in China, Hong Kong, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Garrulax but following the publication of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study in 2018, it was moved to the resurrected genus Pterorhinus.

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