Pnoepygidae – Wren-babblers

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

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