Under Construction



John Harshman
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taxon links [up-->]Philydor [up-->]Megaxenops parnaguae [up-->]Leptasthenura [up-->]Chilia melanura [up-->]Pseudocolaptes [up-->]Upucerthia [up-->]Xenops [up-->]Furnarius [up-->]Hylocryptus [up-->]Anabacerthia [up-->]Acrobatornis fonsecai [up-->]Anumbius annumbi [up-->]Cichlocolaptes leucophrus [up-->]Phacellodomus [up-->]Aphrastura [up-->]Synallaxis [up-->]Xenerpestes [up-->]Asthenes [up-->]Syndactyla [up-->]Anabazenops [up-->]Schoeniophylax phryganophilus [up-->]Coryphistera alaudina [up-->]Premnoplex [up-->]Lochmias nematura [up-->]Metopothrix aurantiaca [up-->]Pygarrhichas albogularis [up-->]Cinclodes [up-->]Premnornis guttuligera [up-->]Thripadectes [up-->]Automolus [up-->]Schizoeaca [up-->]Margarornis [up-->]Gyalophylax hellmayri [up-->]Cranioleuca [up-->]Certhiaxis [up-->]Simoxenops [up-->]Thripophaga [up-->]Hyloctistes [up-->]Berlepschia rikeri [up-->]Pseudoseisura Monophyly UncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Furnarii Interpreting the tree
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Relationships after Chesser et al. 2007, Fjeldså et al. 2007, Irestedt et al. 2006, Moyle et al. 2009.

Containing group: Furnarii

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

The traditional family Furnariidae (ovenbirds) is not monophyletic; current research suggests that only three genera,  here given their own family Scleruridae, must be removed to make it so. The genus Xenops has been argued to be the sister group of the woodcreepers (Irestedt et al. 2002, 2006), but more recent analyses (Moyle et al. 2009) place it within ovenbirds.

Within Furnariidae, several genera are not monophyletic. Upucerthia (earthcreepers) is split into five parts. Cranioleuca and Asthenes too are not monophyletic, but not enough species have been sampled to make relationships clear. Further study may reveal more non-monophyletic genera. The genus name always goes with the type species, and other parts of the polyphyletic genera will need other names eventually. Some of these have already been proposed, e.g. Tarphonomus for two species formerly placed in Upucerthia. Unfortunately, the type species of several polyphyletic genera, Asthenes among them, have not yet been sampled, and so I am forced to guess which fragment of the genus retains its name. I have adopted a convention to deal with species that have new genus names, or that now need them: the old genus name appears in brackets, after the new genus name if there is one, alone if there isn't.

Other Names for Furnariidae


Areta, J. I. 2007. Behavior and phylogenetic position of Premnoplex barbtails (Furnariidae). Condor 109(2):399-407.

Chesser, R. T. 2004. Molecular systematics of New World suboscine birds. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32:11-24.

Chesser, R. T., F. K. Barker, and R. T. Brumfield. 2007. Four-fold polyphyly of the genus formerly known as Upucerthia, with notes on the systematics and evolution of the avian subfamily Furnariinae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44(3):1320-1332.

Fjeldså, J., M. Irestedt, and P. G. P. Ericson. 2005. Molecular data reveal some major adaptational shifts in the early evolution of the most diverse avian family, the Furnariidae. Journal of Ornithology 146:1–13.

Fjeldså, J., M. Irestedt, K. A. Jønsson, J. I. Ohlson, and P. G. P. Ericson. 2007. Phylogeny of the ovenbird genus Upucerthia: a case of independent adaptations for terrestrial life. Zoologica scripta 36(2):133-141.

Fjeldså, J. and N. Krabbe. 1990. Birds of the High Andes. Zoology Museum, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Gill, F. and M. Wright. 2006. Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.

Gonzalez, J. and M. Wink. 2008. Phylogenetic position of the monotypic Des Murs' Wiretail (Sylviorthorhynchus desmursii, Aves: Furnariidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. J. Ornithol. 149:393-398.

Hilty, S. 2003. A guide to the birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Irestedt, M., J. Fjeldså, and P. G. P. Ericson. 2006. Evolution of the ovenbird-woodcreeper assemblage (Aves: Furnariidae) — major shifts in nest architecture and adaptive radiation. Journal of Avian Biology 37:261–272.

Irestedt, M., J. Fjeldså, U. S. Johansson, and P. G. P. Ericson. 2002. Systematic relationships and biogeography of the tracheophone suboscines (Aves: Passeriformes). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 23:499–512.

Moyle, R. G., R. T. Chesser, R. T. Brumfield, J. G. Tello, D. J. Marchese, and J. Cracraft. 2009. Phylogeny and phylogenetic classification of the antbirds, ovenbirds, woodcreepers, and allies (Aves: Passeriformes: infraorder Furnariides. Cladistics 25:386-405.

Olson, S. L., M. Irestedt, P. G. P. Ericson, and J. Fjeldså. 2005. Independent evolution of two Darwinian marsh-swelling ovenbirds (Furnariidae: Limnornis, Limnoctites). Ornitología Neotropical 16:347–359.

Remsen, J. V. 2003. Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds). Pages 162–357 in Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. J. del Hoyo, A. Elliot, and D. Christie, eds. BirdLife International and Lynx Editions, Cambridge, UK and Barcelona.

Rudge, D. W. and R. J. Raikow. 1992. Structure, function, and variation in the hindlimb muscles of the Margarornis assemblage (Aves: Passeriformes: Furnariidae). Annals of the Carnegie Museum 61:207–237.

Rudge, D. W. and R. J. Raikow. 1992. The phylogenetic relationships of the Margarornis assemblage (Furnariidae). Condor 94:760–766.

Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil. A Natural History. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Skutch, A. F. 1996. Antbirds and Ovenbirds. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.

Vaurie, C. 1980. Taxonomy and geographical distribution of the Furnariidae (Aves, Passeriformes). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 166:1–357.

Zyskowski, K. and R. O. Prum. 1999. Phylogenetic analysis of the nest architecture of neotropical ovenbirds (Furnariidae). Auk 116:891–911.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Aphrastura spinicauda
Location Petrohué, Chile
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda)
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2007 Pablo Caceres Contreras
Scientific Name Lochmias nematura
Location Petrópolis, Brasil
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source João-porca
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2006 Antonio CBC Lopes
About This Page

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to John Harshman at

Page: Tree of Life Furnariidae. Ovenbirds. Authored by John Harshman. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Harshman, John. 2009. Furnariidae. Ovenbirds. Version 22 August 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Furnariidae/67993/2009.08.22 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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