Male (left) and female superb fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus, photographed by Krysia.

Belongs within: Meliphagoidea.

Malurus, the fairy wrens, is a genus of small, short-winged but strong-legged insectivorous birds found in Australia and New Guinea. Species of this genus have long, narrow tails that are often held cocked upwards; males in breeding plumage are often brightly coloured. For instance, breeding males of the splendid fairy wren M. splendens are predominantly bright blue with black stripes on the side of the head and across the breast; females and non-breeding males are mostly brown with blue coloration restricted to the tail and (in males) wings.

<==Malurus Vieillot 1816B94
    |  i. s.: M. alboscapulatusJT12
    |         M. campbelliJT12
    |         M. cyanocephalusJT12
    |         M. grayiJT12
    |         M. leuconotus Gould 1865WS48 (see below for synonymy)
    |--+--M. leucopterus Dumont 1824JT12, WS48 [incl. M. edouardi Campbell 1901WS48, M. leucopterus edouardiM03]
    |  `--M. melanocephalus (Latham 1801)JT12, WS48 [=Muscicapa melanocephalaWS48; incl. Sylvia dorsalisR87]
    |       |--M. m. melanocephalusWS48
    |       `--M. m. cruentatus Gould 1839 [incl. M. cruentatus boweri Ramsay 1886]WS48
    `--+--+--M. coronatus Gould 1857JT12, WS48
       |  |    |--M. c. coronatus [incl. Rosina coronata rogersiana Mathews 1912]WS48
       |  |    `--M. c. macgillivrayiM03
       |  `--+--M. cyaneusJT12
       |     |    |--M. c. cyaneusCC10
       |     |    |--M. c. ashbyiM03
       |     |    |--M. c. cyanochlamys Sharpe 1881CC10
       |     |    |--M. c. elizabethaeM03
       |     |    |--M. c. leggeiM03
       |     |    `--M. c. samueliM03
       |     `--M. splendens (Quoy & Gaimard 1830)JT12, WS48 [=Saxicola splendensWS48]
       |          |--M. s. splendens [incl. M. pectoralis Gould 1833 (preoc.), M. splendens perthi Mathews 1922]WS48
       |          |--M. s. callainusSJ85
       |          |--M. s. emmotorumM03
       |          |--M. s. melanotusM03
       |          |--M. s. musgraviM03
       |          `--M. s. riordani Mathews 1912 [incl. M. splendens aridus Mack 1934]WS48
       `--+--M. elegans Gould 1837 (nom. cons.)JT12, WS48 [incl. Leggeornis elegans warreni Mathews 1916WS48]
          `--+--M. pulcherrimus Gould 1844BKB15, WS48 [incl. M. pulcherrimus stirlingi Mathews 1913WS48]
             `--+--M. amabilis Gould 1850JT12, WS48 [incl. M. amabilis rogersi Mathews 1912WS48, M. lamberti rogersiM03]
                `--M. lamberti Vigors & Horsfield 1827JT12, WS48
                     |--M. l. lambertiWS48
                     |--M. l. assimilisM03
                     |--M. l. bernieri Ogilvie-Grant 1909WS48
                     |--M. l. dulcisM03
                     `--M. l. mastersi Mathews 1912 (see below for synonymy)WS48

Malurus lamberti mastersi Mathews 1912 [incl. Leggornis lamberti hartogi Mathews 1918, M. lamberti occidentalis Mathews 1912]WS48

Malurus leuconotus Gould 1865WS48 [=M. leucopterus leuconotusM03; incl. M. cyanotus exsul Mathews 1912WS48, M. leuconotus perplexus Mathews 1912WS48, Hallornis leuconotus wongani Mathews 1922WS48]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[R87] Ramsay, E. P. 1887. List of Western Australian birds collected by Mr. Cairn, and Mr. W. H. Boyer-Bower, at Derby and its vicinity, with remarks on the species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1085–1100.

[SJ85] Storr, G. M., & R. E. Johnstone. 1985. Field Guide to the Birds of Western Australia 2nd ed. Western Australian Museum: Perth (Australia).

[WS48] Whittell, H. M., & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1–126.

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