Brahminy starling Temenuchus pagodarum, copyright Mukerjee.

Belongs within: Muscicapida.
Contains: Aplonis, Onychognathus, Lamprotornis, Acridotheres.

The Sturnidae, starlings, are a family of medium-sized omnivorous birds native to the Old World, though the common starling Sturnus vulgaris has also been introduced to North America. Members of the family are often boldly coloured, often with glossy metallic plumage. However, the Philippine creepers of the genus Rhabdornis are brown dorsally with white underparts, and have thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tongues. The hill mynas of the southern Asian genus Gracula are mostly black with white patches on the wings and yellow wattles around the sides and back of the head.

Characters (from Austin 1961): Medium-sized; bill straight or slightly downcurved; plumage generally dark-coloured, often with metallic sheen, moulted annually after breeding; wings with ten primaries, outermost primary greatly shortened; tail commonly short and square (occasionally rounded or long and pointed); legs stout and strong.

<==Sturnidae [Sturnidia, Sturninae]
    |  i. s.: LamprocoliusBF01
    |           |--L. chloropterusBF01
    |           |--L. ignitusD66
    |           |--L. purpureicepsPB27
    |           `--L. splendidusD66
    |         Necropsar rodericanusOF05
    |         Heteropsar acuticaudusRN72
    |--+--Rhabdornis Reichenbach 1853BKB15, B94 [Rhabdornithidae]
    |  |    |--R. grandisJT12
    |  |    |--R. inornatusBKB15
    |  |    `--R. mysticalisBKB15
    |  `--+--+--AplonisBKB15
    |     |  `--+--Scissirostrum dubiumBKB15
    |     |     `--Enodes erythrophrisBKB15
    |     `--+--+--BasilornisBKB15
    |        |  |    |--B. celebensisBKB15
    |        |  |    |--B. corythaixJT12
    |        |  |    `--B. galeatusJT12
    |        |  `--+--‘Basilornis’ mirandusBKB15
    |        |     `--+--Sarcops Walden 1877BKB15, B94 [incl. Gymnops Cuvier 1829B94; Gymnopinae]
    |        |        |    `--S. calvusBKB15
    |        |        `--StreptocittaBKB15
    |        |             |--S. albertinaeJT12
    |        |             `--S. albicollisBKB15
    |        `--+--MinoBKB15
    |           |    |  i. s.: M. coronatusA61
    |           |    |--M. anaisBKB15
    |           |    `--+--M. dumontiiBKB15
    |           |       `--M. krefftiBKB15
    |           `--+--Ampeliceps coronatusBKB15
    |              `--Gracula Linnaeus 1758BKB15, B94 (see below for synonymy)
    |                   |--G. barita Linnaeus 1758L58
    |                   |--G. cristatella Linnaeus 1758L58
    |                   |--G. intermedia Hay 1844 [=Mainatus intermedius]M01
    |                   |--G. ptilogenysBKB15
    |                   `--G. religiosa Linnaeus 1758L58
    `--+--+--+--Cinnyricinclus leucogasterBKB15
       |  |  `--Saroglossa aurataBKB15
       |  `--+--OnychognathusBKB15
       |     `--+--LamprotornisBKB15
       |        `--+--+--‘Lamprotornis’ cupreocaudaBKB15
       |           |  `--‘Lamprotornis’ purpureicepsBKB15
       |           `--+--+--Saroglossa spilopteraBKB15
       |              |  `--Neocichla gutturalisBKB15
       |              `--+--Grafisia torquataBKB15
       |                 `--+--Speculipastor bicolorBKB15
       |                    `--+--PholiaBKB15
       |                       |    |--P. femoralisBKB15 [=Cinnyricinclus femoralisJT12]
       |                       |    `--P. sharpiiBKB15 [=Cinnyricinclus sharpiiJT12]
       |                       `--PoeopteraBKB15
       |                            |--P. lugubrisBKB15
       |                            `--+--P. kenrickiBKB15
       |                               `--P. stuhlmanniBKB15
       `--+--Sturnus Linnaeus 1758BKB15, CC10 [=Sternus (l. c.)B94; incl. Thremmophilus Macgillivray 1837B94; Thremmophilinae]
          |    |--*S. vulgaris Linnaeus 1758CC10
          |    |--S. cinclus Linnaeus 1758L58
          |    |--S. ludovicianus [incl. S. torquatus]J23
          |    |--S. luteolus Linnaeus 1758L58
          |    |--S. predatoriusG42
          |    `--S. unicolorBKB15
          `--+--+--Creatophora cinereaBKB15
             |  `--Pastor Temminck 1815BKB15, B94 [Pastorinae]
             |       |--P. gallaE42
             |       `--P. roseusBKB15 [=Sturnus roseusJT12]
                |  |    |--G. contra (Linnaeus 1758)BKB15, L58 [=Sturnus contraJT12]
                |  |    `--G. nigricollisBKB15 [=Sturnus nigricollisJT12]
                |  `--+--‘Sturnia’ philippensisBKB15 [=Sturnus philippensisJT12]
                |     `--‘Sturnia’ sturninaBKB15 [=Sturnus sturninusJT12]
                   |  `--+--‘Sturnus’ cineraceusBKB15
                   |     `--‘Sturnus’ sericeusBKB15
                      |    |--F. rodericanusFP64
                      |    `--F. variusBKB15
                      `--+--Leucopsar rothschildiBKB15
                              |--S. albofrontataBKB15 [=Sturnus albofrontatusJT12]
                              `--+--S. sinensisBKB15 [=Sturnus sinensisJT12]
                                 `--+--Temenuchus pagodarumBKB15 [=Sturnus pagodarumJT12]
                                    `--+--S. erythropygiaBKB15 [=Sturnus erythropygiusJT12]
                                       `--S. malabaricaBKB15 [=Sturnus malabaricusJT12]
                                            |--S. m. malabaricaP02
                                            `--‘Sturnus malabaricus’ blythiiP02

Gracula Linnaeus 1758BKB15, B94 [incl. Eulabes Cuvier 1817B94, Mainatus Vieillot 1817B94; Eulabetinae, Graculinae, Mainatidae]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Austin, O. L., Jr. 1961. Birds of the World: A survey of the twenty-seven orders and one hundred and fifty-five families. Paul Hamlyn: London.

[BF01] Bochkov, A. V., & A. Fain. 2001. Phylogeny and system of the Cheyletidae (Acari: Prostigmata) with special reference to their host-parasite associations. Bulletin de l’Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique Entomologie 71: 5–36.

[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.

[D66] Dohrn, H. 1866. Synopsis of the birds of Ilha do Principe, with some remarks on their habits and descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 324–332.

[E42] Ewer, W. 1842. List of a collection of birds from India. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 10: 91–93.

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

[G42] Gulliver, G. 1842. Additional measurements of the blood-corpuscles or red particles of Mammalia and birds. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 10: 190–196.

[J23] James, E. 1823. Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819 and ’20, by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, sec’y of war: under the command of Major Stephen H. Long. From the notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and other gentlemen of the exploring party vol. 1. H. C. Carey & I. Lea: Philadelphia.

[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.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[M01] Madarász, J. 1901. Madarak [Vögel]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 21–39. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[OF05] Olson, S. L., R. C. Fleischer, C. T. Fisher & E. Bermingham. 2005. Expunging the ‘Mascarene starling’ Necropsar leguati: archives, morphology and molecules topple a myth. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 125 (1): 31–42.

[P02] Patel, P. 2002. Possible new record of Sturnus malabaricus blythii in Valsad district, Gujarat. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 531.

[PB27] Pilsbry, H. A., & J. Bequaert. 1927. The aquatic mollusks of the Belgian Congo, with a geographical and ecological account of Congo malacology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 53 (2): 69–602, pls 10–77.

[RN72] Rutgers, A., & K. A. Norris (eds.) 1972. Encyclopaedia of Aviculture vol. 1. Blandford Press: London.

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