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Acanthornis magna

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Corvida
Superfamilia: Meliphagoidea

Familia: Acanthizidae
Genus: Acanthornis
Species: Acanthornis magna
Subspecies: A. m. greeniana - A. m. magna

Acanthornis magna (Gould, 1855)

Acanthornis magnus


The birds of Australia. Supplement. pt2 pl.28

The scrubtit (Acanthornis magna) is a species of bird in the thornbill family Acanthizidae. It is endemic to Tasmania and King Island in Australia. Its natural habitat is the temperate rainforest, Nothofagus beech forest and eucalypt woodland. It is a small species that resembles the Sericornis scrubwrens (with which it was once placed).


The scrubtit belongs to the monotypic genus Acanthornis.[3] A 2017 genetic study using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA found the ancestor of the scrubtit diverged from that of the three whitefaces of the genus Aphelocephala around 7 million years ago. The combined lineage had diverged from the thornbill lineage around 13 million years ago.[4]

The scrubtit is 11 to 12 centimetres (4.33 to 4.72 in) long and weighs around 10 grams (0.35 oz). The plumage consists of a white throat and belly, a brown back, crown, flank and tail, black wings and grey on the face. The eye is pale and the bill is short, black and slightly curved. The species is often silent, but makes quite loud contact calls and has a song described as "sweet [and] musical".

The scrubtit forages individually, in pairs or in small family groups near the ground in dense cover. It feeds on small invertebrates, particularly insects and their eggs. The species will associate with mixed-species feeding flocks. The species is territorial and monogamous, with the breeding season lasting from September to January. The nest is a woven globe with a side entrance, lined with feathers and fur, camouflaged and usually found between 1–3 m off the ground. The clutch size is usually three eggs but sometimes four. The eggs measure 18 by 15 millimetres (0.71 by 0.59 in) and are pearly white, with fine reddish spots, mostly around the larger end.[5] No information exists about incubation or nestling times. Both parents feed the chicks in the nest, but unlike many Australian passerines helpers have never been reported.[6] The species is victim to brood parasitism by fan-tailed cuckoos (Cacomantis flabelliformis) and shining bronze-cuckoos (Chrysococcyx lucidus), and quolls (Dasyurus) also take eggs and nestlings.[7]

The species has a restricted range but is not considered threatened by the IUCN. The subspecies found on King Island is considered critically endangered, however. The species is shy and unobtrusive and is seldom observed by people.

BirdLife International (2017). "Acanthornis magna". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22704585A118669570. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22704585A118669570.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen (Eds). 2020. IOC World Bird List (v10.2). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.10.2.
IOC-Classification: Scrubtit (Acanthornis magna), Acanticidae in order Passeriformes
Marki, Petter Z.; Jønsson, Knud A.; Irestedt, Martin; Nguyen, Jacqueline M.T.; Rahbek, Carsten; Fjeldså, Jon (2017). "Supermatrix phylogeny and biogeography of the Australasian Meliphagides radiation (Aves: Passeriformes)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 107: 516–29. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.12.021. hdl:10852/65203. PMID 28017855.
Morcombe, Michael (2012) Field Guide to Australian Birds. Pascal Press, Glebe, NSW. Revised edition. ISBN 978174021417-9
See for instance Old endemics and new invaders: alternative strategies of passerines for living in the Australian environment

Gregory, P. (2020). "Scrubtit (Acanthornis magna), version 1.0." In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie D. (editors). (2006). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-96553-42-2

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