Small buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus adult and chick, photographed by Udayan Rao Pawar.

Belongs within: Charadriiformes.

The Turnicidae, buttonquails, are a group of plump-bodied terrestrial birds found in tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World. Buttonquails closely resemble true quails but are not closely related and differ in the absence of a hind toe. Their affinities were long open to question though recent molecular studies have placed them within the Charadriiformes.

Turnicids are divided between two genera with the quail-plover Ortyxelos meiffrenii of northern tropical Africa being smaller with proportionately longer wings than species of the genus Turnix.

<==Turnicidae [Hemipodiidae, Ortygidae, Turnices, Turnicinae]
    |--Ortyxelos Vieillot 1825 [Ortyxelidae]L98
    |    `--O. meiffreniiJT12
    `--Turnix Bonnaterre 1791L98 [incl. Hemipodius Temminck 1815B94, Ortygis Illiger 1811B94]
         |  i. s.: ‘Hemipodius’ andalusicusS66
         |         T. castanotus (Gould 1839)JT12, WS48 [=Hemipodius castanotusWS48; incl. T. castanota magnifica Mathews 1912WS48]
         |         T. everettiJT12
         |         T. maculosus (Temminck 1815)JT12, WS48 [=Hemipodius maculosusWS48]
         |           |--T. m. maculosusWS48
         |           `--T. m. pseustes Mathews 1912WS48
         |         T. melanogasterJT12
         |         T. nigricollisJT12
         |         T. ocellatusJT12
         |         T. oliviiJT12
         |         T. velox (Gould 1841) (see below for synonymy)WS48
         |         T. worcesteriJT12
         |--+--T. suscitatorBKB15
         |  `--T. tankiBKB15
         `--+--T. sylvaticusBKB15
            |    |--T. s. sylvaticusRN72
            |    `--T. s. lepuranaRN72
            `--+--T. pyrrhothorax (Gould 1841)BKB15, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
               `--+--T. hottentottusBKB15
                  `--T. varius (Latham 1802)BKB15, CC10 [=Perdix variaCC10, T. variaCC10]
                       |--T. v. varius [incl. T. varia stirlingi Mathews 1912]WS48
                       |--T. v. novaecaledoniaeS13
                       `--T. v. scintillans (Gould 1845) [=Hemipodius scintillans]WS48

Turnix pyrrhothorax (Gould 1841)BKB15, WS48 [=Hemipodius pyrrhothoraxWS48; incl. T. pyrrhothorax berneyi Mathews 1912WS48]

Turnix velox (Gould 1841) [=Hemipodius velox; incl. T. velox picturata Mathews 1912, T. velox vinotincta Mathews 1912]WS48

*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.

[L98] Livezey, B. C. 1998. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gruiformes (Aves) based on morphological characters, with an emphasis on the rails (Rallidae). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series BBiological Sciences 353: 2077–2151.

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

[S13] Sarasin, F. 1913. Die Vögel Neu-Caledoniens und der Loyalty-Inseln. In: Sarasin, F., & J. Roux (eds) Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1 pt 1 pp. 1–78, pls 1–3. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[S66] Sclater, P. L. 1866. Report on birds collected at Windvogelberg, South Africa, by Capt. G. E. Bulger, C. M. Z. S. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 21–23.

[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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