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Pnoepygidae

Wren-babbler
Taiwan Wren-babbler Pnoepyga formosana ©Francesco Veronesi (Creative Commons) Website

Pnoepygidae is the family to which Pnoepyga, a genus of passerines endemic to southern and south eastern Asia, belong. Its members are known as wren-babblers or cupwings.

The genus contains just five species formerly placed in the babbler family Timaliidae. A 2009 study of the DNA of the Timaliidae and the Old World warblers Sylviidae found no support for the placement of the genus in either family, prompting the authors to erect a new monogeneric family, the Pnoepygidae.

They are diminutive passerines with a mostly montCupwing is found in the mountainous areas of north India eastwards to southern China and northern Vietnam. The Taiwan Wren-babbler or Taiwan Cupwing is endemic to Taiwan, and similarly the Nepal Wren-babbler or Nepal Cupwing has a restricted distribution, mostly occurring in Nepal (also slightly into India). The most widespread species is the Pygmy Wren-babbler or Pygmy Cupwing, which occurs from China and India south through Southeast Asia into the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia as far as Flores and Timor.

The five species are:

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler Pnoepyga albiventer
Chinese Wren-babbler Pnoepyga mutica
Taiwan Wren-babbler Pnoepyga formosana
Nepal Wren-babbler Pnoepyga immaculata
Pygmy Wren-babbler Pnoepyga pusilla

Family Links

Wren-babblers Pnoepygidae

Species Account

Gelang et al (2009) undertook to determine the evolutionary relationships of many babblers by sequencing mitochondrial and nuclear DNA of 59 babbler species in 46 genera; their work did sort out the major lineages. But there was a big surprise. Genetic analysis of the "wren-babblers" in genus Pnoepyga showed that these did not belong within the babbler assemblage.

Wren-babblers Pnoepygidae

Species Account

Pnoepyga is a genus of passerines endemic to southern and south eastern Asia. Its members are known as wren-babblers or cupwings.

Species Links

Chinese Wren-babbler Pnoepyga mutica

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Chinese Wren-babbler Pnoepyga mutica

Species Account

The Chinese wren-babbler or Chinese cupwing (Pnoepyga mutica) is a species of bird in the family Pnoepygidae. It is found in China. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Nepal Wren-babbler Pnoepyga immaculata

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Nepal Wren-babbler Pnoepyga immaculata

BirdLife Species Account

Nepal Wren-babbler Pnoepyga immaculata

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: Pnoepyga immaculata Martens and Eck, 1991, below Lete, Thakkhola, Mustang District, Nepal. Monotypic.

Nepal Wren-babbler Pnoepyga immaculata

Species Account

The Nepal wren-babbler or immaculate cupwing (Pnoepyga immaculata) is a species of bird in the family Pnoepygidae.

Pygmy Wren-babbler Pnoepyga pusilla

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Pygmy Wren-babbler Pnoepyga pusilla

Species Account

The pygmy wren-babbler or pygmy cupwing (Pnoepyga pusilla) is a species of bird in the family Pnoepygidae. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Pygmy Wren-babbler Pnoepyga pusilla

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: [Pnoepyga] pusillus [sic] Hodgson, 1845, Nepal. Has been placed in a monotypic genus, Microura. Was in the past sometimes treated as conspecific with P. formosana. Race timorensis seems to be possibly vocally distinct, may represent a separate species; further study required. Populations in S Laos have not been assigned to race. Seven subspecies recognized.

Pygmy Wren-babbler Pnoepyga pusilla

BirdLife Species Account

Pygmy Wren-babbler Pnoepyga pusilla

IUCN Species Status

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler Pnoepyga albiventer

Species Account

The scaly-breasted wren-babbler or scaly-breasted cupwing (Pnoepyga albiventer) is a species of passerine bird in the family Pnoepygidae.

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler Pnoepyga albiventer

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler Pnoepyga albiventer

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: [Tesia] Albiventer Hodgson, 1837, Ilam District, eastern Nepal. Formerly treated as conspecific with P. formosana. Two subspecies recognized.

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler Pnoepyga albiventer

IUCN Species Status

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler Pnoepyga albiventer

BirdLife Species Account

Taiwan Wren-babbler Pnoepyga formosana

Species Account

The Taiwan wren-babbler or Taiwan cupwing (Pnoepyga formosana) is a species of passerine bird in the family Pnoepygidae. The species is endemic to the island of Taiwan. It was treated for a long time as a subspecies of the scaly-breasted wren-babbler.

Taiwan Wren-babbler Pnoepyga formosana

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Taiwan Wren-babbler Pnoepyga formosana

HBW Species Account

Taiwan Wren-babbler Pnoepyga formosana

IUCN Species Status

Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion.

Taiwan Wren-babbler Pnoepyga formosana

BirdLife Species Account