The Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler (Cettia fortipes) probably belongs in another genus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Sylvioidea
Family: Cettiidae
Genus: Cettia
Bonaparte, 1834

Some 15, but see text

Cettia is a genus of small insectivorous songbirds ("warblers") which make up the core of the newly recognized family Cettiidae. They were formerly placed in the Sylviidae, which at that time was a wastebin taxon for the warbler-like Sylvioidea. The range of this genus extends from Europe to the western Pacific. The most recently described species is the Odedi (Cettia haddeni) from Bougainville.

The cettiid or typical bush-warblers share the lifestyle and related adaptations and apomorphies with Bradypterus, the other genus called bush-warblers. However, Bradypterus is related to the grass-warblers of Locustella and Megalurus and is more distant from Cettia. Both "bush-warbler" genera are smallish birds well adapted to climbing among shrubbery. They are markedly long-tailed birds, at first glance somewhat reminiscent of wrens.

These are quite terrestrial birds, which live in densely vegetated habitats such as thick forest and reedbeds. They will walk away from disturbance rather than flush. The plumage similarities and skulking lifestyle makes these birds hard to see and identify.

Cettid bush-warblers tend towards rich or greyish browns above and buffish or light grey tones below. They have little patterning apart from the ubiquitous supercilium. Altogether, they appear much like the plainer species among Acrocephalus marsh-warblers in coloration. Megalurid bush-warblers tend to be somewhat slimmer and have a very long and pointed tail, but are otherwise very similar.


This genus appears to be non-monophyletic. It seems that it will be split eventually. Cetti's Warbler (C. cetti), the type species, seems close to the genus Tesia from Southeast Asia and neighboring regions. Others, such as the famous uguisu (鶯, Japanese Bush-warbler, C. diphone) and the Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler (C. fortipes) belong to a group that might include the aberrant Broad-billed Warbler (Tickellia hodgsoni). This latter species differs wildly in its gaudy colors but in habitus is a typical "bush-warbler".[1]


  1. ^ Alström et al. (2006), Fuchs et al. (2006)


  • Alström, P.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Olsson, U. & Sundberg, P. (2006): Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 38(2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015 PMID 16054402 PDF fulltext
  • del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.) (2006): Handbook of Birds of the World (Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers). Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 849655306X
  • Fuchs, J.; Fjeldså, J.; Bowie, R.C.K.; Voelker, G. & Pasquet, E. (2006): The African warbler genus Hyliota as a lost lineage in the Oscine songbird tree: Molecular support for an African origin of the Passerida. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 39(1): 186-197. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.07.020 (HTML abstract)