Gnatcatcher

Taxobox
name = Gnatcatchers


image_caption = "Polioptila californica"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Passeriformes
subordo = Passeri
familia = Polioptilidae
familia_authority = Baird, 1858
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Microbates
Ramphocaenus
Polioptila"
The 15-20 species of small passerine birds in the gnatcatcher family occur in North and South America (except far south and high Andean regions). Most species of this mainly tropical and subtropical group are resident, but the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the USA and southern Canada migrates south in winter. They are close relatives of the wrens.

These dainty birds are intermediate between "Old World warblers" and wrens in their structure and habits, moving restlessly through the foliage seeking insects. The gnatcatchers are mainly soft bluish grey in colour, and have the typical insectivore's long sharp bill. Many species have distinctive black head patterns (esp. males) and long, regularly cocked, black-and-white tails. The skulking gnatwrens are browner, more thickset, and with proportionally shorter tails and longer bills.

The gnatwrens typically occur in the undergrowth of dense, often humid, forest, while gnatcatchers, depending on the species involved, occur in anything from dry scrubby habitats (e.g. the California Gnatcatcher) to the canopy of humid Amazonian forest (e.g. the Guianan Gnatcatcher). The North American species nest in bushes or trees, but the breeding behavior of several of the Neotropical species is essentially unknown.

A species new to science, the critically endangered Iquitos Gnatcatcher "Polioptila clementsi", was first described in 2005. This species is a member of the Guianan Gnatcather "Polioptila guianensis" complex, which recently has been proposed split into three species (four w. the Iquitos Gnatcatcher), but not all authorities have accepted this (e.g. SACC). Furthermore, other groups should possibly be split, notably the Tropical Gnatcather "Polioptila plumbea" and Masked Gnatcather "Polioptila dumicola" complexes, but at present scientific papers on these matters are lacking.

* Family Polioptilidae
** Genus "Microbates"
*** Collared Gnatwren, "Microbates collaris"
*** Tawny-faced Gnatwren, "Microbates cinereiventris"
** Genus "Ramphocaenus"
*** Long-billed Gnatwren, "Ramphocaenus melanurus"
** Genus "Polioptila"
*** Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila caerulea"
*** Cuban Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila lembeyei"
*** California Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila californica"
*** Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila melanura"
*** Black-capped Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila nigriceps"
*** White-lored Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila albiloris"
*** Guianan Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila guianensis"
**** Rio Negro Gnatcatcher, "Poliptila (guianensis) facilis"
**** Para Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila (guianensis) paraensis"
*** Iquitos Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila clementsi"
*** Tropical Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila plumbea"
**** Maranon Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila (plumbea) maior"
**** White-browed Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila (plumbea) bilineata"
*** Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila lactea"
*** Slate-throated Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila schistaceigula"
*** Masked Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila dumicola"
**** Berlepsch's Gnatcatcher, "Polioptila (dumicola) berlepschi"

References

* Atwood, J, and S. Lerman (2006). Family Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers). Pp. 350-377 in: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and D. Christie. eds (2006). "Handbook of Birds of the World" Vol. 11. Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-96553-06-4

* Del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie D. (editors). (2006). "Handbook of the Birds of the World". Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 849655306X.

* Whitney, B., and A. Alonso (2005). "A new species of gnatcatcher from the white-sand forests in northern Amazonian Peru with revision of the Polioptila guianensis complex." Wilson Bull. 117(2): 113-210.

External links

* [http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=140 Gnatcatcher videos] on the Internet Bird Collection


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gnatcatcher — /nat kach euhr/, n. any tiny insect eating, New World warbler of the genus Polioptila, having a long, mobile tail and a slender bill. [1835 45; GNAT + CATCHER] * * * Any of about 11 species of small songbirds (genus Polioptila) often treated as a …   Universalium

  • gnatcatcher — mašalinukai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Polioptila angl. gnatcatcher vok. Mückenfänger, m rus. комароловка, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – mašalinukiniai siauresnis terminas – balsvapilvis mašalinukas siauresnis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • gnatcatcher — noun Date: 1839 any of a genus (Polioptila) of several small North and South American insectivorous oscine birds …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gnatcatcher — noun A member of any of various species of small passerine birds found in North America and South America, close relatives of the wrens …   Wiktionary

  • gnatcatcher — n. small songbird that feeds on insects with a long and thin beak and long tail native to North and South American …   English contemporary dictionary

  • gnatcatcher — noun a tiny grey backed New World songbird with a long tail. [Genus Polioptila.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • gnatcatcher — gnat•catch•er [[t]ˈnætˌkætʃ ər[/t]] n. orn any of various small, insect eating New World songbirds of the genus Polioptila (subfamily Silviinae), having a long, mobile tail • Etymology: 1835–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • gnatcatcher — noun very small North American and South American warblers • Hypernyms: ↑warbler • Member Holonyms: ↑Polioptila, ↑genus Polioptila …   Useful english dictionary

  • Black-tailed Gnatcatcher — Taxobox name = Black tailed Gnatcatcher status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Passeriformes familia = Polioptilidae genus = Polioptila species = P. melanura binomial = Polioptila melanura… …   Wikipedia

  • Tropical Gnatcatcher — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification K …   Wikipedia


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