File:Chestnut throated apalis1.jpg
Chestnut-throated Apalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cisticolidae
Genus: Apalis
Swainson, 1833

See species list

The apalises are small passerine birds belonging to the genus Apalis. They are found in forest, woodlands and scrub across most parts of sub-Saharan Africa.[1] They are slender birds with long tails and have a slender bill for catching insects. They are typically brown, grey or green above and several species have brightly coloured underparts. Males and females are usually similar in appearance but the males are sometimes brighter.[1]

Apalises were traditionally classified in the Old World warbler family Sylviidae but are now commonly placed, together with several other groups of mainly African warblers, in a separate family Cisticolidae.[2]

There are at least 21 species of apalis, the exact number varies according to differing authorities. The African Tailorbird and Long-billed Tailorbird were formerly considered to be apalises but are now often placed either with the tailorbirds (Orthotomus) or in their own genus Artisornis.[1] The Red-fronted Warbler or Red-faced Apalis has also been moved into a different genus, either Spiloptila or Urorhipis.[3] Further shuffling may be necessary as a recent study[4] found the genus to be polyphyletic with two species (Black-collared and Ruwenzori Apalis') only distantly related to the other three tested. Future studies may result in further division of the genus.

Species list


  1. ^ a b c Sinclair, Ian; Ryan, Peter (2003). Birds of Africa south of the Sahara. Struik. pp. 512, 540. ISBN 1-868-72857-9.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  2. ^ Roberson, Don. "Cisticolas & Allies Cisticolidae". Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  3. ^ Lepage, Denis. "Red-faced Apalis (Urorhipis rufifrons) (Rüppell, 1840)". Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  4. ^ Nguembock, B; Fjeldså, J.; Tillier, A.; Pasquet, E. (2007). "A phylogeny for the Cisticolidae (Aves: Passeriformes) based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data, and a re-interpretation of an unique nest-building specialization". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 42 (1): 272–286. PMID 16949311. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.07.008.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  5. ^ Shaw, Philip; Mungaya, Elias (2006). "The status and habitat of Karamoja Apalis Apalis karamojae in the Wembere Steppe, Sukumaland, Tanzania". Bird Conservation International. 16 (02): 97–111. doi:10.1017/S0959270906000049. 

Further reading

  • Ryan, Peter (2006). "Family Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and allies)". In del Hoyo J., Elliott A. & Christie D.A. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 11. Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 378–492. ISBN 978-84-96553-06-4. 


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