|Striated Grassbird, Megalurus palustris|
|15 genera, 60 species|
Megaluridae (Blyth, 1875)
Locustellidae is a newly recognized family of small insectivorous songbirds ("warblers"), formerly placed in the Old World warbler "wastebin" family. It contains the grass-warblers, grassbirds, and the Bradypterus "bush-warblers". These birds occur mainly in Eurasia, Africa, and the Australian region. The family name is sometimes given as Megaluridae, but Locustellidae has priority.
The species are smallish birds with tails that are usually long and pointed; the scientific name of the genus Megalurus in fact means "the large-tailed one" in plain English. They are less wren-like than the typical shrub-warblers (Cettia) but like these drab brownish or buffy all over. They tend to be larger and slimmer than Cettia though, and many have bold dark streaks on wings and/or underside. Most live in scrubland and frequently hunt food by clambering through thick tangled growth or pursuing it on the ground; they are perhaps the most terrestrial of the "warblers". Very unusual for Passeriformes, beginning evolution towards flightlessness is seen in some taxa.
Among the "warbler and babbler" superfamily Sylvioidea, the Locustellidae are closest to the Malagasy warblers, another newly-recognized (and hitherto unnamed) family; the Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapillus) is an American relative derived from the same ancestral stock and not a wren as was long believed.
- Robsonius (2 species)
- Elaphrornis – Sri Lanka Bush-warbler
- Locustella – grass-warblers (24 species)
- Chaetornis – Bristled Grassbird
- Megalurus – Striated Grassbird
- Schoenicola – wide-tailed grassbirds (2 species; tentatively placed here)
- Amphilais: Grey Emutail
- Bradypterus – Megalurid bush-warblers (more than 20 species; paraphyletic) - Dromaeocercus has been merged with it
- Malia: Malia
- Cincloramphus – songlarks (2 species; tentatively placed here)
- Eremiornis – Spinifex-bird
- Poodytes: Little Grassbird
- Bowdleria – fernbirds (1 living species, 1 recently extinct; sometimes included in Megalurus)
- Buettikoferella – Buff-banded Bushbird
- Megalurulus – thicketbirds (5 species)
- ^ a b Alström et al. (2006)
- ^ del Hoyo et al. (2006)
- ^ At least one species - Victorin's Warbler - does not belong in the Locustellidae at all (Beresford et al., 2005).
- ^ John H. Boyd III (January 3, 2012). "SYLVOIDEA I: Stenostiridae through Loucestellidae". TiF Checklist. Retrieved 19-09-2019. Check date values in:
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- Alström, P.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Olsson, U. & Sundberg, P. (2006): Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 38(2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015 PMID 16054402 PDF fulltext
- Beresford, P.; Barker, F.K.; Ryan, P.G.; & Crowe, T.M. (2005): African endemics span the tree of songbirds (Passeri): molecular systematics of several evolutionary 'enigmas'. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 272 (1565): 849–858. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2997 PDF fulltext Electronic appendix
- del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.) (2006): Handbook of Birds of the World (Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers). Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 849655306X
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