(Redirected from Rhyacornis)

Phoenicurus is a genus of passerine birds in the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa. They are named redstarts from their orange-red tails ('start' is an old name for a tail). They are small insectivores, the males mostly brightly coloured in various combinations of red, blue, white, and black, the females light brown with a red tail.[1] A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2010 led to a reorganization of the Old World flycatchers family in which the two species in Rhyacornis and the single species in Chaimarrornis were merged into Phoenicurus.[2][3]

Black Redstart I2 IMG 0862.jpg
Black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Subfamily: Saxicolinae
Genus: Phoenicurus
Forster, T, 1817
Type species
Motacilla phoenicurus (common redstart)
Linnaeus, 1758

The genus Phoenicurus was introduced by the English naturalist Thomas Forster in 1817.[4] The type species (by tautonymy) is the common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus).[5] The name Phoenicurus is from Ancient Greek φοινιξ (phoinix), "(Phoenician) crimson/purple" (see also Tyrian purple), and ουροσ (-ouros) -"tailed".[6]

The genus contains the following species:[3]

Fossil recordEdit

  • Phoenicurus erikai (Pliocene of Csarnota, Hungary).[7]
  • Phoenicurus baranensis (Pliocene of Beremend, Hungary).[7]


  1. ^ Collar, N.J. (2005). "Phoenicurus". In del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D.A. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions. pp. 769–773. ISBN 978-84-87334-72-6.
  2. ^ Sangster, G.; Alström, P.; Forsmark, E.; Olsson, U. (2010). "Multi-locus phylogenetic analysis of Old World chats and flycatchers reveals extensive paraphyly at family, subfamily and genus level (Aves: Muscicapidae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 57 (1): 380–392. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.07.008. PMID 20656044.
  3. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Chats, Old World flycatchers". World Bird List Version 6.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  4. ^ Forster, Thomas (1817). A Synoptical Catalogue of British Birds. London: Nichols, Son, and Bentley. p. 53.
  5. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, eds. (1960). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 10. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 74.
  6. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 304. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4..
  7. ^ a b Kessler, E. (2013). "Neogene songbirds (Aves, Passeriformes) from Hungary". Hantkeniana. 8: 37–149.

Further readingEdit

  • Voelker, G.; Semenov, G.; Fadeev, I.V.; Blick, A.; Drovetski, S.V. (2015). "The biogeographic history of Phoenicurus redstarts reveals an allopatric mode of speciation and an out-of-Himalayas colonization pattern". Systematics and Biodiversity. 13 (3): 296–305. doi:10.1080/14772000.2014.992380.