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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Corvida
Superfamilia: Corvoidea

Familia: Cinclosomatidae
Genera: Androphobus - Cinclosoma - Psophodes - Ptilorrhoa


Vernacular names
Deutsch: Flöter
English: Cinclosomatidae

Cinclosomatidae is a family of passerine birds native to Australia and New Guinea. It has a complicated taxonomic history and different authors vary in which birds they include in the family. It includes the quail-thrushes and jewel-babblers.


The quail-thrushes, jewel-babblers, whipbirds and wedgebills were traditionally included with the logrunners (Orthonyx) in the family Orthonychidae.[1] Sometimes the Malaysian rail-babbler and blue-capped ifrit (Ifrita kowaldi) were also included in the family.[2] In 1985, Sibley and Ahlquist found that the logrunners were not related to the others and included only the logrunners in the Orthonychidae.[3] They treated the others as the subfamily Cinclosomatinae within their expanded family Corvidae.[4]

A number of authors later treated the quail-thrushes and allies as the family Cinclosomatidae, a name first coined by Gregory Mathews in 1921–1922. However, if the whipbirds are included in the family, the older name Psophodidae Bonaparte, 1854 has priority. If the Malaysian rail-babbler is also included, the name Eupetidae Bonaparte, 1850 has priority.[3]

The Malaysian rail-babbler has now been shown to be unrelated to the others, probably being an early offshoot of the Passerida.[5] Another study found the quail-thrushes and jewel-babblers to be related to each other but did not show them to have a close relationship with Psophodes or Ifrita.[6]

The quail-thrushes and jewel babblers are medium-sized songbirds, 17–28 cm in length.[7][8] They have strong legs and bills. Males and females often differ in plumage markings. The quail-thrushes are largely brown above, the colour varying to provide camouflage against the soil, but are more boldly marked with black and white below.[8] Jewel-babblers usually have extensive blue in their plumage.[7] Most species have loud, distinctive songs.[9]
Distribution and habitat

Jewel-babblers are found on New Guinea and the neighbouring islands of Yapen, Batanta, Misool and Salawati.[7] They occur in forest, generally replacing each other at different altitudes. The painted quail-thrush is also found in the forests of New Guinea.[7] The other quail-thrushes are restricted to Australia where they are found in drier habitats, occurring in open forest, scrub and on stony ground.[8] None of the species are thought to be threatened but one subspecies of the spotted quail-thrush is certainly critically endangered and possibly extinct.[10]
Chestnut-backed quail-thrush (Cinclosoma castanotum)

Jewel-babblers and Quail-thrushes are terrestrial birds which fly fairly weakly and prefer to squat or run when disturbed.[1] They forage on the ground feeding mainly on insects and other invertebrates.[9] In the desert, quail-thrushes also eat some seeds.[1]

They build a cup-shaped nest among shrubs or on the ground. Two or three eggs are laid.[9]
Species list

Genus Cinclosoma – quail-thrushes
Painted quail-thrush, Cinclosoma ajax
Spotted quail-thrush, Cinclosoma punctatum
Chestnut quail-thrush, Cinclosoma castanotum
Copperback quail-thrush, Cinclosoma clarum
Chestnut-breasted quail-thrush, Cinclosoma castaneothorax
Western quail-thrush, Cinclosoma marginatum
Nullarbor quail-thrush, Cinclosoma alisteri
Cinnamon quail-thrush, Cinclosoma cinnamomeum
Genus Ptilorrhoa – jewel-babblers
Spotted jewel-babbler, Ptilorrhoa leucosticta
Blue jewel-babbler, Ptilorrhoa caerulescens
Brown-headed jewel-babbler, Ptilorrhoa (caerulescens) geisleroroum
Chestnut-backed jewel-babbler, Ptilorrhoa castanonota


Roberson, Don (2004) Quail-thrushes Cinclosomatidae, Bird Families of the World. Accessed 4 January 2010.
Howard, Richard & Alick Moore (1980) A complete checklist of the Birds of the World, 1st ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Christidis, Les & Walter Boles (2008) Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds, CSIRO Publishing.
Sibley's Sequence: Passeriformes. Accessed 4 January 2010.
Jønsson, K.A., J. Fjeldså, P.G.P. Ericson, and M. Irestedt (2007) Systematic placement of an enigmatic Southeast Asian taxon Eupetes macrocerus and implications for the biogeography of a main songbird radiation, the Passerida, Biology Letters 3(3):323–326.
Norman, Janette A., Per G.P. Ericson, Knud A. Jønsson, Jon Fjeldså & Les Christidis (2009) A multi-gene phylogeny reveals novel relationships for aberrant genera of Australo-Papuan core Corvoidea and polyphyly of the Pachycephalidae and Psophodidae (Aves: Passeriformes), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 52:488–497.
Coates, Brian J. & William S. Peckover (2001), Birds of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago: a photographic guide, Dove Publications, Alderley, Australia.
Pizzey, Graham & Frank Knight (1997) Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, HarperCollins, London, UK.
Perrins, Christopher, ed. (2004) The New Encyclopedia of Birds, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
"Cinclosoma punctatum anachoreta Spotted Quail-thrush". Australian Government: Department of the Environment and Energy. Retrieved 9 July 2019.

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