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; 2008a). 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, 113 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).

Based on Rheindt et al., the Glossy Swiftlet, Collocalia esculenta, has been split into 8 species: