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Stagonopleura is an Australian genus of the family Estrildidae. It is sometimes absorbed into Emblema.

Stagonopleura bella male - Melaleuca.jpg
Beautiful firetail (Stagonopleura bella)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Stagonopleura
L. Reichenbach, 1850

S. bella
S. oculata
S. guttata

The genus was established by Ludwig Reichenbach in 1850. The three described species are classified as two subgenera. They are very similar in appearance, with short red bills, brown upperparts, red rumps and uppertail coverts, and barred or spotted underparts. The informal name of firetails refers to the rich crimson colour at the rump, a prominent characteristic of the genus.[1]

The description and arrangement of its infrageneric taxa is:[1]

Subgenus Stagonopleura Reichenbach.

A description of a monotypic subgenus. Marked with the bold patterns of the genus, but distinguished by the lack of fine barring. Sociable, sometimes found in large flocks after breeding. The species drinks by immersing its bill in water and sucking, perhaps a response to the aridity of its habitat (Immelmann, 1982).[1]

Subgenus Zonaeginthus Cabanis.

Patterning is finely barred, and they drink water by taking a sip and tilting the head back. The subgenus classifies a superspecies of two populations with similar appearance and habits, geographically separated in the east and west. Occurs in Southern Australia and Tasmania (S. bella). Individuals generally associate with others in pair bonds or small family groups.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Forshaw, Joseph Michael; Shephard, Mark (2012). Grassfinches in Australia. CSIRO. pp. 48, 76. ISBN 9780643096349.