For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Shrikethrush.


Grey shrikethrush (C. harmonica)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pachycephalidae
Subfamily: Pachycephalinae
Genus: Colluricincla
Vigors & Horsfield, 1827
Type species
Colluricincla cinerea[1]
Vigors & Horsfield, 1827
  • Alphacincla Mathews, 1914
  • Bowyeria Mathews, 1912
  • Caleya Mathews, 1913
  • Collurisoma Rafinesque, 1815
  • Collyriocichla
  • Collyriocincla
  • Conigravea Mathews, 1913
  • Malacolestes Mayr, 1933
  • Myialestes
  • Myiolestes Bonaparte, 1850

A shrikethrush, also spelled shrike-thrush, is any one of eleven species of songbird that is a member of the genus Colluricincla. They have nondescript, predominantly brown or grey, plumage, but are accomplished singers,[2] their calls described as "strong, mellow and beautiful."[3] Shrikethrushes are generally insectivorous, though have been recorded eating molluscs and berries. They build cup-shaped nests in the forks of trees.[4]

Taxonomy and systematics

Nicholas Aylward Vigors and Thomas Horsfield described the genus in 1827, coining the genus name from the Ancient Greek words collurio "shrike" and cinclos "thrush". Noting the beak, they thought it related to shrikes or vangas, though its form was reminiscent of thrushes.[5] Shrikethrushes were commonly known as colluricinclas in the 19th century, but their current name was in use by the late 19th century.[6]

Molecular studies by Norman and colleagues in 2009 and Jønsson and colleagues in 2010 show the shrikethrushes to lie within the whistler family Pachycephalidae.[7][8] Formerly, some authorities classified the shrikethrushes in their own family Colluricinclidae.

Molecular dating suggests the shrikethrushes diverged from the common ancestor of the genus Pseudorectes (their closest relatives) in the mid-Pliocene around 3 million years ago, and that this combined lineage had diverged from the ancestor of the other members of the Pachycephalidae around 5 million years ago in the early Pliocene.[8] The Sangihe whistler was found to be more closely related to the maroon-backed whistler and hence shifted to the genus Coracornis.[8] Genetic investigations of New Guinea populations of the little shrikethrush indicate high levels of genetic divergence, suggesting it may comprise more than one species.[9]

Extant species

The genus Colluricincla contains the following eleven species:

Species of Colluricincla
Common and binomial names Image Description Range
Bower's shrikethrush (Colluricincla boweri) Far North Queensland
Sooty shrikethrush (Colluricincla tenebrosa) Mountains of central New Guinea
Arafura shrikethrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) New Guinea and Australia
Variable shrikethrush (Colluricincla fortis) New Guinea
Waigeo shrikethrush (Colluricincla affinis) Waigeo Island, New Guinea
Mamberamo shrikethrush (Colluricincla obscura) New Guinea
Tagula shrikethrush (Colluricincla discolor) Tagula Island, New Guinea
Sepik-Ramu shrikethrush (Colluricincla tappenbecki) New Guinea
Rufous shrikethrush (Colluricincla rufogaster) New Guinea and Australia
Grey shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica) Throughout mainland Australia and Tasmania
Sandstone shrikethrush (Colluricincla woodwardi) Northern Territory into western Queensland and Western Australia

Former species

Formerly, some authorities also considered the following species (or subspecies) as species within the genus Colluricincla:


  1. ^ "Pachycephalidae". The Trust for Avian Systematics. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  2. ^ Slater, Peter (1974). A Field Guide to Australian Birds: Passerines. Adelaide, South Australia: Rigby. p. 192. ISBN 0-85179-813-6.
  3. ^ Bruce Campbell; Elizabeth Lack (2010). A Dictionary of Birds. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 390. ISBN 9781408138380.
  4. ^ Gould, John (1848). An introduction to the Birds of Australia. Published by the author. p. 38.
  5. ^ Vigors, Nicholas Aylward; Horsfield, Thomas (1827). "A Description of the Australian Birds in the Collection of the Linnean Society; with an Attempt at Arranging them According to their Natural Affinities". Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. 15: 170–331 [213]. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1826.tb00115.x.
  6. ^ Gray, Jeannie; Fraser, Ian (2013). Australian Bird Names: A Complete Guide. Csiro Publishing. ISBN 978-0-643-10471-6.
  7. ^ Norman, Janette A.; Ericson, Per G.; Jønsson, Knud A.; Fjeldså, Jon; Christidis, Les (2009). "A multi-gene phylogeny reveals novel relationships for aberrant genera of Australo-Papuan core Corvoidea and polyphyly of the Pachycephalidae and Psophodidae (Aves: Passeriformes)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 52 (2): 488–97. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.03.019. PMID 19341806.
  8. ^ a b c Jønsson, Knud A.; Bowie, Rauri C. K.; Moyle, Robert G.; Christidis, Les; Norman, Janette A.; Benz, Brett W.; Fjeldså, Jon (2010). "Historical biogeography of an Indo-Pacific passerine bird family (Pachycephalidae): different colonization patterns in the Indonesian and Melanesian archipelagos". Journal of Biogeography. 37 (2): 245–57. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02220.x.
  9. ^ Deiner, Kristy; Lemmon, Alan R.; Mack, Andrew L.; Fleischer, Robert C.; Dumbacher, John P. (2011). "A Passerine Bird's Evolution Corroborates the Geologic History of the Island of New Guinea". PLOS ONE. 6 (5): e19479. Bibcode:2011PLoSO...619479D. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019479. PMC 3089620. PMID 21573115.
  10. ^ "Coracornis sanghirensis - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  11. ^ "Pachycephala phaionota - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  12. ^ "Pachycephala macrorhyncha - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  13. ^ "Pachycephala tenebrosa - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  14. ^ "Pseudorectes incertus - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  15. ^ "Pseudorectes ferrugineus - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  16. ^ "Clytorhynchus vitiensis [vitiensis, incl. fortunae, powelli] - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  17. ^ "Clytorhynchus vitiensis buensis - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  18. ^ "Clytorhynchus vitiensis fortunae - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  19. ^ "Clytorhynchus vitiensis heinei - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?