|Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)|
Sylviidae is a family of passerine birds that includes the typical warblers and a number of babblers formerly placed within the Old World babbler family. They are found in Eurasia and Africa.
The scientific name Sylviidae was coined by the English zoologist William Elford Leach (as Sylviadæ) in a guide to the contents of the British Museum published in 1820. Formerly, the family was part of an assemblage known as the Old World warblers and was a wastebin taxon with over 400 species of bird in over 70 genera. Advances in classification, particularly helped with molecular data, have led to the splitting out of several new families from within this group. There is now evidence that these Sylvia "warblers" are more closely related to the Old World babblers than the warblers and thus these birds are better referred to as Sylvia babblers, or just sylvids.
A molecular phylogenetic study using mitochondrial DNA sequence data published in 2011 found that the species in the genus Sylvia formed two distinct clades. Based on these results, the ornithologists Edward Dickinson and Leslie Christidis in the fourth edition of Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, chose to split the genus and moved most of the species into a resurrected genus Curruca retaining only the Eurasian blackcap and the garden warbler in Sylvia. In an additional change they moved the African hill babbler and Dohrn's thrush-babbler into Sylvia. The split was not made by the British Ornithologists' Union on the grounds that "a split into two genera would unnecessarily destabilize nomenclature and results in only a minor increase in phylogenetic information content."
The family includes 34 species divided into 2 genera: This list is presented according to the IOC taxonomic sequence and can also be sorted alphabetically by common name and binomial.
|Common name||Binomial name||IOC sequence|
|Eurasian blackcap||Sylvia atricapilla||1|
|Garden warbler||Sylvia borin||2|
|Dohrn's warbler||Sylvia dohrni||3|
|Abyssinian catbird||Sylvia galinieri||4|
|Bush blackcap||Sylvia nigricapillus||5|
|African hill babbler||Sylvia abyssinica||6|
|Rwenzori hill babbler||Sylvia atriceps||7|
|Barred warbler||Curruca nisoria||8|
|Layard's warbler||Curruca layardi||9|
|Banded parisoma||Curruca boehmi||10|
|Chestnut-vented warbler||Curruca subcoerulea||11|
|desert whitethroat||Curruca minula||12|
|Lesser whitethroat||Curruca curruca||13|
|Hume's whitethroat||Curruca althaea||14|
|Brown parisoma||Curruca lugens||15|
|Yemen warbler||Curruca buryi||16|
|Arabian warbler||Curruca leucomelaena||17|
|Western Orphean warbler||Curruca hortensis||18|
|Eastern Orphean warbler||Curruca crassirostris||19|
|African desert warbler||Curruca deserti||20|
|Asian desert warbler||Curruca nana||21|
|Tristram's warbler||Curruca deserticola||22|
|Menetries's warbler||Curruca mystacea||23|
|Rüppell's warbler||Curruca ruppeli||24|
|Cyprus warbler||Curruca melanothorax||25|
|Sardinian warbler||Curruca melanocephala||26|
|Western subalpine warbler||Curruca iberiae||27|
|Moltoni's warbler||Curruca subalpina||28|
|Eastern subalpine warbler||Curruca cantillans||29|
|Common whitethroat||Curruca communis||30|
|Spectacled warbler||Curruca conspicillata||31|
|Marmora's warbler||Curruca sarda||32|
|Dartford warbler||Curruca undata||33|
|Balearic warbler||Curruca balearica||34|
Sylviids are small to medium-sized passerine birds. The bill is generally thin and pointed with bristles at the base. Sylviids have a slender shape and an inconspicuous and mostly plain plumage. The wings have ten primaries, which are rounded and short in non-migratory species.
Most species occur in Asia, and to a lesser extent in Africa. A few range into Europe.
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