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Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Sylvioidea

See text



Sylvioidea is a superfamily of passerine birds, 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 and bulbuls. 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 based on DNA–DNA hybridization experiments.[1] More recent studies based on comparison of DNA sequences have failed to support the inclusion of some families such as Certhiidae (treecreepers), Sittidae (nuthatches), Paridae (tits and chickadees) and Regulidae (goldcrests and kinglets) but instead support the addition of Alaudidae (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]

This list of 25 families is based on the molecular phylogenetic study published by Silke Fregin and colleagues in 2012.[4][5] and the revisions of the babbler group by Cai et al (2019)[6] The family sequence and number of species is from the online list of world birds maintained by Frank Gill and David Donsker on behalf of the International Ornithological Committee (IOC).[7]


  1. ^ Sibley, C.G.; Ahlquist, J.E. (1990). Phylogeny and Classification of Birds. A Study in Molecular Evolution. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
  2. ^ Alström, Per; Ericson, Per G.P.; Olsson, Urban; Sundberg, Per (2006). "Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 38 (2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015. PMID 16054402.
  3. ^ Boyd, John H. (2010): Sylvioidea, Aves — A Taxonomy in Flux. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
  4. ^ Fregin, Silke; Haase, Martin; Olsson, Urban; Alström, Per (2012). "New insights into family relationships within the avian superfamily Sylvioidea (Passeriformes) based on seven molecular markers". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12 (157): 1–12. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-157. PMC 3462691. PMID 22920688.
  5. ^ Alström, Per; Olsson, Urban; Lei, Fumin (2013). "A review of the recent advances in the systematics of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea". Chinese Birds. 4 (2): 99–131. doi:10.5122/cbirds.2013.0016.
  6. ^ a b Cai, Tianlong; Cibois, Alice; Alström, Per; Moyle, Robert G.; Kennedy, Jonathan D.; Shao, Shimiao; Zhang, Ruiying; Irestedt, Martin; Ericson, Per G.P.; Gelang, Magnus; Qu, Yanhua; Lei, Fumin; Fjeldså, Jon (2019). "Near-complete phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the world's babblers (Aves: Passeriformes)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 130: 346–356. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.010. ISSN 1055-7903. PMID 30321696.
  7. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (eds.). "Family index 10.2". IOC World Bird List. International Ornithological Congress. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  8. ^ Gill, Frank B.; Donsker, David B., eds. (2019). "Bushtits, leaf warblers, reed warblers". IOC World Bird List. 9.2. doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.9.2. Retrieved 1 September 2019.