The 46 Orders







APODIFORMES Peters, 1940 (1867)

This name has a complicated history. Priority would seem to indicate that Trochiliformes should be used as it dates back to Wagler, 1830 (as the suborder Trochili). However, modern usage is Apodiformes. For a long time, names based on Cypselus were used, but this is a junior subjective synonym of Apus, hence Apodiformes. For families, the updated name would retain the same priority as the original, which dates back to Huxley as Cypselomorphae. That's what the (1867) is about. Still, 1830 trumps 1867. In this case I think it's better to emphasize stability over priority and use Apodiformes, not Trochiliformes.

The Apodiformes are an old clade. Ksepka et al. (2013) have found a fossil Eocypselus from the Green River formation (about 48 milliion years old) from a lineage that seems to predate the swift/hummingbird split (the lineage, not necessarily the fossil). The owlet-nightjar branch would be even older (note that Ksepka et al. use "Apodiformes" in the narrow sense of swifts plus hummingbirds).

Aegothelidae: Owlet-nightjars Bonaparte, 1853

1 genus, 11 species HBW-5

Aegothelidae Tree

The owlet-nightjars seem to be more closely related to the traditional Apodiformes (swifts and hummingbirds) than they are to the nightjars. This is not only supported by molecular evidence, but also by morphology (see Mayr, 2002; 2008). The arrangement of species follows Dumbacher et al. (2003), which also provided evidence that A. salvadorii is not a subspecies of A. albertisi.

Note that Cleere (2010) uses the name Salvadori's Owlet-nightjar to refer to affinis, not salvadorii while the IOC used it to refer to salvadorii, calling affinis the Vogelkop Owlet-nightjar. It might be less confusing to use another name for salvadorii, but I don't know of any in current use that help. The term Mountain Owlet-nightjar is also a problem. H&M 4 (Dickinson and Remsen, 2013), which recognizes the same species as the TiF list, uses Mountain Owlet-nightjar for salvadorii and Arfak Owlet-nightjar for albertisi, further adding to the confusion.

Hemiprocnidae: Treeswifts Oberholser, 1906 (1852)

1 genus, 4 species HBW-5

Apodidae: Swifts Olphe-Galliard, 1887 (1836)

19 genera, 106 species HBW-5

The subfamilies and tribes follow HBW-5. Although they focus on the swiftlets, the available molecular studies suggest that some reorganization will be needed (see Thomassen et al., 2003, 2005; Price et al., 2004, 2005).

The Ameline Swiftlet, Aerodramus amelis, including palawanensis, has been split from the Uniform Swiftlet, Aerodramus vanikorensis (see Price et al., 2005; Dickinson and Remsen, 2013). The Three-toed Swiftlet seems to be sister to the Giant Swiftlet, Hydrochous gigas (Price et al., 2005), and so has been moved to Hydrochous.

Based on Päckert et al. (2012a), Alpine Swift, Tachymarptis melba and Mottled Swift, Tachymarptis aequatorialis, have been returned to Tachymarptis (from Apus). Further, Apus has been rearranged based on their study.

Following Leader (2011), the Fork-tailed Swift, Apus pacificus, has been split into 4 species: Blyth's Swift, Apus leuconyx, Salim Ali's Swift, Apus salimalii, Pacific Swift, Apus pacificus, and Cook's Swift, Apus cooki. In fact, Päckert et al. (2012a) subsequently found that Cook's Swift is more closely related to the Dark-rumped Swift than to the Pacific Swift. They did not include Blyth's or Salim Ali's Swifts, but it is likely that they are closer to Pacific, and that the Dark-rumped/Pacific complexes are themselves sisters.

Cypseloidinae: Primitive American Swifts Brooke, 1970

Apodinae Olphe-Galliard, 1887 (1836)

Collocalini: Swiftlets Bonaparte, 1853 (1852)

Chaeturini: Needletails Bonaparte, 1857

Apodini: Typical Swifts Olphe-Galliard, 1887 (1836)

Trochilidae: Hummingbirds Vigors, 1825

104 genera, 344 species HBW-5

Click for Trochilidae tree
Click for Trochilidae genera

Hummingbird taxonomy has been substantially revised. At first this was based on Altshuler et al. (2004), McGuire et al. (2007, 2009), and Kirchman et al. (2010). Now I use the phylogeny of McGuire et al. (2014) which includes 85% of all hummingbird species. Although details differ, the AOU's SACC has also adopted this type of arrangement. The subfamilies and tribes represent the natural groupings in McGuire et al. (2014). Clicking on the subfamily tree will give you a 2-part genus-level tree of the hummingbirds. There one note on the tribe names. I've used Coeligenini (Eudes-Deslongchamps 1881) and treated it as a pre-1961 replacement name for Heliantheini (Reichenbach 1853). The problem is that until 2009, neither name was in prevailing usage, so that article 40.2 of the ICZN Code does not really apply. McGuire et al. (2009) proposed use of Coeligenini as a Phylocode clade name. This has gained some traction. To avoid confusion, I also use Coeligenini and treat it a replacement for the archaic name Heliantheini, although it may not stricly follow the the Code.

The latest changes in genera follow. This is on top of the previous changes described below.

Further, the Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird moved to Saucerottia from Amazilia, and the Sapphire-spangled Emerald moved to Hylocharis from Juliamyia.

Finally, the Mexican Hermit, Phaethornis mexicanus, has been spilt from Long-billed Hermit, Phaethornis longirostris. See Howell (2013), and Arbeláz-Cortés and Navarro-Sigüenza (2013).

Previously, there was some adjustment of genera due to Kirchman et al. (2009) and in the Amazilia complex, Ornelas et al. (2014). Both Chalcostigma (1854) and Oreonympha (1869) have been merged with Oxypogon. As Oxypogon dates to 1848, it has priority. Within Oxypogon, the Bearded Helmetcrest, Oxypogon guerinii has been split into Green-bearded Helmetcrest, Oxypogon guerinii, Blue-bearded Helmetcrest, Oxypogon cyanolaemus, White-bearded Helmetcrest, Oxypogon lindenii, and Buffy Helmetcrest, Oxypogon stuebelii based on Collar and Salaman (2013). Finally, Kirchman et al. found that the Bogota Sunangel is not part of Heliangelus. It needs a new genus name and until then will be designated “Heliangelus” in this list.

Most of the changes in generic limits involve the Amazilia/Hylocharis complex (the clade marked A on the tree). McGuire et al. (2007, 2009) and Ornelas et al. (2014) found these were entangled, and I've attempted to untangle the situation by combining their analysis with the treatment in HBW-5 (Schuchmann, 1999). Although this involves some adjustment of even Schuchmann's generic limits, I think it does a decent job of making sense of the situation.

This involves reviving the following genera: Basilinna (Boie 1831, type leucotis); Polyerata (Heine 1863, type amabilis); and Saucerrotia (Bonaparte 1850, type saucerrottei). The genus Lepidopyga, used by Schuchmann (1999), has been merged into a greatly expanded Chrysuronia.

Compared with H&M 4, the result is that Saucerottia consists entirely of former Amazilia with Amazilia itself reduced to 4 species. Many other Amazilia are grouped with Chrysuronia, Lepidopyga, and two Hylocharis to make an expanded Chrysuronia. Five other Amazilia are separated as Polyerata, while Juliamyia gains two Amazilia and two Hylocharis (note that Damophila is preoccupied). Lastly, the new Hylocharis contains only two of the former Hylocharis, but has gained 3 former Amazilia. Two of the Hylocharis ended up in Basilinna.

There are four non-AOU species in the list: Gray-tailed Mountain-gem, Doubleday's Hummingbird, Curve-winged Sabrewing, and Black-billed Streamertail.

Purple-throated Mountain-gem
Purple-throated Mountain-gem
Lampornis calolaemus
Monteverde, Costa Rica, 2003

The proper taxonomic treatment of the Lampornis castaneoventris complex remains unclear. There are three forms: with purple throats and blue tails (calolaemus, pectoralis, and homogenes), with white throats and blue tails (castaneoventris), and with white throats and gray tails (cinereicauda). They could represent subspecies of one species, the Variable Mountain-gem, as in Schuchman (1999 = HBW-5). Or the AOU could be right that they are two species, the Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Lampornis calolaemus, and the White-throated Mountain-gem, Lampornis castaneoventris (including cinereicauda). Alternatively, Stiles and Skutch (1989) and the IOC treat them as three allospecies, with Lampornis cinereicauda taking the name Gray-tailed Mountain-gem.

The DNA analysis revealed that these taxa are very closely related (García-Moreno et al., 2006), and is consistent with lumping all three forms into Variable Mountain-gem. However, although the ranges do meet, there is only limited evidence of hybridization, suggesting that they are best treated as three allospecies. That is the course followed here. In truth, there is insufficient data and a detailed study would be useful.

Doubleday's Hummingbird, Cynanthus doubledayi, was split from Broad-billed Hummingbird, Cynanthus latirostris. These two taxa have easily distinguished plumage, and in spite of the fact that their ranges abut one another, seem to be reciprocally monophyletic (García-Deras et al., 2008). In short, they appear to be distinct species, as treated by IOC, HBW-5 (Schuchmann, 1999), and Howell and Webb (1995), but not AOU.

García-Moreno et al. (2006) also found some evidence that White-bellied Mountain-gem, Lampornis hemileucus, does not belong with the other Lampornis but is closer to Panterpe. However, McGuire et al. (2009), which used a superset of the genes studied by García-Moreno et al., found the White-bellied Mountain-gem was closer to the other Lampornis (with low support). For the present, it seems most reasonable to leave in Lampornis.

Following the AOU supplement 53 and McGuire et al., Stellula (Calliope Hummingbird) has been merged into Selasphorus. Using McGuire et al. and HBW-5, I've rearranged Selasphorus to accomodate this.

Based on Gonzalez et al. (2011) and Navarro-Sig\"uenza, and Peterson (2004), the Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Campylopterus curvipennis, has been split into Curve-winged Sabrewing, Campylopterus curvipennis (sister to Long-tailed Sabrewing, Campylopterus excellens) and Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Campylopterus pampa, of the Yucatan.

The Violet-crowned Woodnymph, Thalurania colombica, and Green-crowned Woodnymph, Thalurania fannyi, have been merged into Crowned Woodnymph, Thalurania colombica. See SACC proposal #558. Note that AOU's NACC has not acted on this yet.

The Streamertail, Trochilus polytmus, was split into Red-billed Streamertail, Trochilus polytmus, and Black-billed Streamertail, Trochilus scitulus. The AOU maintains these as one species, but Gill et al. (1973) provides evidence of a narrow hybrid zone. Accordingly, I've decided to follow the IOC and HBW-5 (Schuchmann, 1999) on this one.

Florisuginae: Topazes Bonaparte, 1853

Phaethornithinae: Hermits Jardine, 1833

Trochilinae: Hummingbirds Vigors, 1825

Polytmini: Mangoes Reichenbach, 1849

Lesbiini: Coquettes Reichenbach, 1853

Coeligenini: Brilliants Eudes-Deslongchamps 1881 (1853)

Patagonini: Giant Hummingbird Bonaparte, 1853

Lampornini: Mountain-Gems Jardine, 1833

Mellisugini: Bees G.R. Gray, 1848

Trochilini: Emeralds Vigors, 1825

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