Orioles are colourful Old World passerine birds in the genus Oriolus, the namesake of the corvoidean family Oriolidae. They are not related to the New World orioles, which are icterids (family Icteridae) that belong to the superfamily Passeroidea.

Black-naped Oriole.jpg
Black-naped oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Oriolidae
Genus: Oriolus
Linnaeus, 1766
Type species
Coracias oriolus
Linnaeus, 1758
  • Analcipus
  • Broderipus
  • Mimeta
  • Psaropholus
  • Xanthonotus

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The genus Oriolus was erected by Linnaeus in 1766 in the 12th edition of his Systema Naturae.[1] The type species is the golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus).[2] In 1760, French ornithologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in his Ornithologie used Oriolus as a subdivision of the genus Turdus,[3] but the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature ruled in 1955 that "Oriolus Brisson, 1760" should be suppressed.[4] Linnaeus added more than a dozen additional genera when he updated his 10th edition, but he generally based new genera on those that had been introduced by Brisson in his Ornithologie. Oriolus is now the only genus for which Linnaeus's 12th edition is cited as the original publication.[5][6] The name is derived from the old French word oriol, which is echoic in origin, derived from the call of the bird,[7] but others have suggested origins in classical Latin aureolus meaning "golden". Various forms of "oriole" have existed in Romance languages since the 12th and 13th centuries.[8]

Extant speciesEdit


























chinensis (part)

















Relatedness of species within the genus: Two forms that have not been included in the sequencing and analysis are O. crassirostris, which is expected to be close to O. brachyrhynchus, and O. tenuirostris, which is expected to be close to O. diffusus[9]

The genus contains 30 species:[6][10]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Brown oriole Oriolus szalayi New Guinea
Dusky-brown oriole Oriolus phaeochromus North Maluku
Grey-collared oriole Oriolus forsteni Seram
Black-eared oriole Oriolus bouroensis Buru Island
Tanimbar oriole Oriolus decipiens Tanimbar Islands
Timor oriole Oriolus melanotis Timor, Rote and Semau Islands
Wetar oriole Oriolus finschi Wetar and Atauro Islands
  Olive-backed oriole Oriolus sagittatus eastern Australia and south-central New Guinea.
  Green oriole Oriolus flavocinctus Australia and New Guinea
  Dark-throated oriole Oriolus xanthonotus Southeast Asia through Borneo and the Philippines
Philippine oriole Oriolus steerii the Philippines
White-lored oriole Oriolus albiloris Luzon Island (the Philippines)
Isabela oriole Oriolus isabellae Luzon
  Eurasian golden oriole Oriolus oriolus Europe and western Asia, and spends the winter season in central and southern Africa
  Indian golden oriole Oriolus kundoo Indian subcontinent and Central Asia
  African golden oriole Oriolus auratus Africa south of the Sahara desert
  Slender-billed oriole Oriolus tenuirostris eastern Himalayas to Southeast Asia
  Black-naped oriole Oriolus chinensis eastern Siberia, Ussuriland, northeastern China, Korea and northern Vietnam
  Green-headed oriole Oriolus chlorocephalus eastern Africa
São Tomé oriole Oriolus crassirostris island of São Tomé
  Western oriole Oriolus brachyrynchus Africa.
Ethiopian oriole Oriolus monacha north-eastern Africa
Mountain oriole Oriolus percivali Democratic Republic of Congo to central Kenya and western Tanzania
  Black-headed oriole Oriolus larvatus Africa
Black-winged oriole Oriolus nigripennis Sierra Leone and Liberia to southern South Sudan, western Uganda, central Democratic Republic of Congo and north-western Angola
  Black-hooded oriole Oriolus xanthornus tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia
Black oriole Oriolus hosii Sarawak in Borneo
  Black-and-crimson oriole Oriolus cruentus Indonesia and Malaysia
  Maroon oriole Oriolus traillii Southeast Asia
  Silver oriole Oriolus mellianus southern China and winters in mainland Southeast Asia

Former speciesEdit

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

Distribution and habitatEdit

The orioles are a mainly tropical group, although one species, the Eurasian golden oriole, breeds in temperate regions.


  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1, Part 1 (12th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 160.
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-list of birds of the world. Vol. 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 122.
  3. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Vol. 2. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. p. 320.
  4. ^ I.C.Z.N. (1955). "Direction 21: Validation under the Plenary Powers of the generic names Bubo Dumeril, 1806, Coturnix Bonnaterre, 1790, Egretta Forster, 1817, and Oriolus Linnaeus, 1766 (class Aves), by the suppression of older homonyms published by Brisson in 1760 (validation of four erroneous entries on the Official List of Generic Names in Zoology made by the ruling given in Opinion 67)". Opinions and Declarations Rendered by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. 1 (Section C, Part C 12): 161–178.
  5. ^ Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335.
  6. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Orioles, drongos & fantails". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  7. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 284.
  8. ^ "Oriole". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  9. ^ Jønsson, Knud A; Bowie, Rauri C. K; Moyle, Robert G; Irestedt, Martin; Christidis, Les; Norman, Janette A; Fjeldså, Jon (2010). "Phylogeny and biogeography of Oriolidae (Aves: Passeriformes)". Ecography. 33 (2): 232–241. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06167.x.
  10. ^ "Species Updates – IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  11. ^ "Sphecotheres viridis - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  12. ^ "Hypsipetes amaurotis squamiceps - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-11-08.

External linksEdit