Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Systematic revision of the avian family Cisticolidae based on a multi-locus phylogeny of all genera

Olsson, Urban; Irestedt, Martin; Sangster, George; Ericson, Per G.P.; Alström, Per


The avian taxon Cisticolidae includes c. 110 species which are distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical parts of the Old World. We estimated the phylogeny of 47 species representing all genera assumed to be part of Cisticolidae based on sequence data from two mitochondria( and two nuclear markers, in total 3495 bp. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses resulted in a generally well-supported phylogeny which clarified the position of several previously poorly known taxa. The placement of Drymocichla, Malcorus, Micromacronus, Oreophilais, Phragmacia, Phyllolais, Poliolais and Urorhipis in Cisticolidae is corroborated, whereas Rhopophilus and Scotocerca are removed from Cisticolidae. Urorhipis and Heliolais are placed in the genus Prinia whereas Prinia burnesii is shown to be part of Timaliidae, and is placed in the genus Laticilla. Although not recovered by all single loci independently, four major clades were identified within Cisticolidae, and one of these is here described as a new taxon (Neomixinae).


Bayesian inference; Maximum likelihood; Indels; Ayes Passeriformes; Taxonomy

Published in

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
2013, volume: 66, number: 3, pages: 790-799

Authors' information

Olsson, Urban
University of Gothenburg
Irestedt, Martin
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Sangster, George
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Ericson, Per G.P.
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Species Information Centre

UKÄ Subject classification

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
Biological Systematics
Evolutionary Biology

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)