Long-tailed finches Poephila acuticauda, photographed by Hans & Judy Beste.

Belongs within: Estrildidae.

The Poephilinae includes the grass-finches of Australia and New Guinea. Members of this group are united by their courtship behaviour, including an extended introductory ‘waltz’. The zebra finches of the genus Taeniopyga are popular cage birds around the world, and have been introduced to parts of the Americas. Members of the northern Australian genus Poephila have a buff or brown back, black facial markings, and a white rump above a black tail.

    |--Neochmia phaetonBKB15
    |    |--N. p. phaeton [incl. N. p. iredalei]M03
    |    `--N. p. evangelinaeM03
       |    |--T. bichenoviiBKB15 [=Stizoptera bichenoviiJF06]
       |    `--T. castanotis (Gould 1837)BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       `--+--Bathilda ruficaudaJF06 [=Neochmia ruficaudaBKB15]
          |    |--B. r. ruficaudaM03
          |    `--‘Neochmia’ r. clarescensM03
          `--+--+--Neochmia temporalis (Latham 1802)BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
             |  |    |--N. t. temporalisM03
             |  |    |--N. t. loftyiM03
             |  |    `--N. t. minorM03
             |  `--Emblema Gould 1842BKB15, B94 [incl. Zonaeginthus Cabanis 1851B94; Zonaeginthinae]
             |       |--*E. pictum Gould 1842G42, JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
             |       |--E. guttataL81
             |       |--E. oculatum (Quoy & Gaimard 1830)SJ85, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
             |       |--‘Zonaeginthus’ phaetonFP64
             |       `--E. temporaleSJ85
             `--Poephila Gould 1842BKB15, B94
                  |  i. s.: P. bichenovii (Vigors & Horsfield 1827) [=Fringilla bichenovii]WS48
                  |         P. gouldiae (Gould 1844) [=Amadina gouldiae; incl. Gouldaeornis gouldiae westra Mathews 1923]WS48
                  |         P. longicaudaR87
                  |         P. mirabilis [incl. P. armitiana]N89
                  |         P. phaeton (Hombron & Jacquinot 1841) (see below for synonymy)WS48
                  |         P. ruficauda (Gould 1837) (see below for synonymy)WS48
                  |--P. personata Gould 1842JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
                  |    |--P. p. personataM03
                  |    `--P. p. leucotisM03
                  `--+--Aidemosyne modestaJF06 [=Neochmia modestaBKB15]
                     `--+--*P. acuticauda (Gould 1839)G42, JT12, WS48 [=Amadina acuticaudaWS48; incl. P. acuticauda heckiM03]
                        `--P. cincta (Gould 1837)JT12, CC10 [=Amadina cinctaCC10]
                             |--P. c. cinctaM03
                             |--P. c. atropygialisM03
                             `--P. c. nigrotectaM03

Emblema oculatum (Quoy & Gaimard 1830)SJ85, WS48 [=Fringilla oculataWS48, Zonaeginthus oculatusWS48; incl. Z. oculatus gaimardi Mathews 1923WS48]

*Emblema pictum Gould 1842G42, JT12, WS48 [=Zonaeginthus pictusWS48; incl. E. picta clelandi Mathews 1914WS48, E. picta conngani Mathews 1912WS48]

Neochmia temporalis (Latham 1802)BKB15, CC10 [=Fringilla temporalisCC10, Aegintha temporalisCC10, Estrelda temporalisCC10]

Poephila personata Gould 1842JT12, WS48 [incl. P. personata belcheri Mathews 1911WS48, Neochmia personata harterti Mathews 1912WS48]

Poephila phaeton (Hombron & Jacquinot 1841) [=Fringilla phaeton; incl. Neochmia phaeton fitzroyi Mathews 1912]WS48

Poephila ruficauda (Gould 1837) [=Amadina ruficauda; incl. Aegintha ruficauda subclarescens Mathews 1912, Ae. ruficauda thorpei Mathews 1912]WS48

Taeniopygia castanotis (Gould 1837)BKB15, CC10 [=Amadina castanotisCC10, Poephila guttata castonotisWS48, L81, Taeniopygia guttata castanotisCC10; incl. Loxia guttata Vieillot 1807 non Shaw 1796WS48, P. guttataH86, Taeniopygia guttataJT12, T. castanotis hartogi Mathews 1920WS48, Zonaeginthus castanotis mungi Mathews 1912WS48, Z. castanotis roebucki Mathews 1913WS48, Z. castanotis wayensis Mathews 1912WS48]

*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.

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[G42] Gould, J. 1842. On new species of birds from Australia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 10: 17–21.

[H86] Harvey, P. H. 1986. Birds, bands and better broods? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 1 (1): 8–9.

[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.

[JF06] Jønsson, K. A., & J. Fjeldså. 2006. A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds. Zoologica Scripta 35: 149–186.

[L81] Long, J. L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the World: The worldwide history, distribution and influence of birds introduced to new environments. Reed: Sydney.

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

[N89] North, A. J. 1889. Gouldian finches. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 4 (1): 188.

[R87] Ramsay, E. P. 1887. Descriptions of Australian birds’ eggs. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1141–1152, pl. 19.

[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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