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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
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: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Certhioidea

Familia: Troglodytidae
Genus: Troglodytes
Species: T. aedon – T. cobbi – T. hiemalis – T. monticola – T. ochraceus – T. pacificus – T. rufociliatus – T. rufulus – T. sissonii – T. solstitialis – T. tanneri – T. troglodytes

Troglodytes Vieillot, 1809
Type species

Troglodytes aedon Vieillot, 1809


Vieillot, L.J.P. 1807. Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de l'Amérique Septentrionale: contenant un grand nombre d'espèces décrites ou figurées pour la première fois Tome 2 Part 1. 74 pp. + 70 tt. Desray, Paris. p.52 BHL Reference page.

Troglodytes[1] is a genus of small passerine birds in the wren family. These wrens are around 11–13 centimetres (4.3–5.1 in) long. They are brownish above and somewhat paler below, with strong legs. Their short rounded wings and frequently cocked tail have a dark barred pattern. The flight is direct and buzzing.

Troglodytes wrens are mostly found in somewhat cooler habitats than most of their relatives. Most of the species are found in the mountains from Mexico to northern South America. Five species are found in temperate latitudes: The house wren occurs widely in both tropical and temperate lowlands, but is frequently split into several species. Until recently, the hardy winter wren was believed to have a wide distribution in North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa, but it has recently been split into three species, of which the Eurasian wren is the only wren of any genus found outside the New World. The Cobb's wren of the Falkland Islands is another species which tolerates harsh conditions well.

Like other wrens, they are elusive as they hunt for small insects and spiders, but they readily reveal their positions through their loud songs.

These are territorial birds, but the tiny winter wren will roost communally in a cavity in cold weather to help conserve heat.

Systematics and species

The genus Troglodytes was introduced by the French ornithologist Louis Pierre Vieillot in 1809.[2] The type species was subsequently designated as the house wren (Troglodytes aedon).[3]

The closest living relatives of this genus are possibly the timberline wren and the Cistothorus species, rather than the Henicorhina wood-wrens as is sometimes proposed.[4]

A number of the Troglodytes species, such as the Clarión wren, were formerly considered subspecies of the house wren, and it has been argued that at least the tropical forms of the house wren should be further split as the southern house wren, Troglodytes musculus. The Socorro wren, in older times placed into Thryomanes (Bewick's wren), is actually a close relative of the house wren complex, as indicated by "manners, song, plumage, etc."[5] and by biogeography and mtDNA NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequence analysis.[4]

The winter wren is less closely related to the other members of the genus, and is occasionally split as the monotypic genus Nannus. It might actually be closely related to Cistothorus,[4] but again, the molecular data is insufficient to properly resolve this issue.

Even with the help of the most recent molecular data,[4] the relationships of the species could not be fully resolved, however. There appear to be two clades, one comprising the house wren group and another containing Central and South American species. The relationships of the rufous-browed and brown-throated wrens are indeterminable with the present molecular data; they appear fairly basal and the former might be closer to the house wren group than the latter. The Santa Marta wren is quite enigmatic and little-studied.


Etymology: Ancient Greek τρωγλοδύτες "cave-dwellers" (compare troglodyte), from trogle (τρώγλη) "hole" + dyein (δυειν) "to enter". In reference to the tendency of these wrens to enter small crevices as they search for food.
Vieillot, Louis Jean Pierre (1809). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de l'Amérique Septentrionale : contenant un grand nombre d'espèces décrites ou figurées pour la première fois (in French). Vol. 2. Paris: Desray. p. 52. Dated 1807 on title page but not published until 1809.
Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1960). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 9. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 415.
Gómez, Juan E. Martínez; Barber, Brian R.; Peterson, A. Townsend (2005). "Phylogenetic position and generic placement of the Socorro Wren (Thryomanes sissonii)" (PDF). The Auk. 122: 50. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0050:PPAGPO]2.0.CO;2. hdl:1808/16612. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-17.

Howell, Steven N.G. & Webb, Sophie (1995): A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York. ISBN 0-19-854012-4

Further reading

ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton & Eckelberry, Don R. (1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
Hilty, Steven L. (2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
National Geographic Society (2002): Field Guide to the Birds of North America. National Geographic, Washington DC. ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
Rice, Peterson and Escalona-Segura: Phylogenetic patterns in montane Troglodytes wrens
Stiles, F. Gary & Skutch, Alexander Frank (1989): A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comistock, Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4
Svensson, Lars; Zetterström, Dan; Mullarney, Killian & Grant, P. J. (1999): Collins bird guide. Harper & Collins, London. ISBN 0-00-219728-6

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