Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
|Specimen Records:||262||Public Records:||39|
|Specimens with Sequences:||142||Public Species:||17|
|Specimens with Barcodes:||138||Public BINs:||16|
|Species With Barcodes:||44|
The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They can be classified as the family Estrildidae (weaver-finch), or as a subfamily within the family Passeridae, which strictly defined comprises the Old World sparrows.
They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but vary widely in plumage colours and patterns.
All the estrildids build large, domed nests and lay 5–10 white eggs. Many species build roost nests. Some of the fire-finches and pytilias are hosts to the brood-parasitic indigobirds and whydahs, respectively.
Most are sensitive to cold and require warm, usually tropical, habitats, although a few have adapted to the cooler climates of southern Australia.
The smallest species of the family is the Shelley's Oliveback (Nesocharis shelleyi) at a mere 8.3 centimetres (3.3 in), although the lightest species is the Black-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda troglodytes) at 6 g (0.21 oz). The largest species is the Java Sparrow (Padda oryzivora), at 17 cm (6.7 in) and 25 g (0.88 oz).
- Antpeckers, genus Parmoptila
- Nigritas, genus Nigrita
- Olivebacks, genus Nesocharis
- Pytilias, genus Pytilia
- Crimsonwings, genus Cryptospiza
- Seedcrackers, genus Pyrenestes
- Bluebills, genus Spermophaga
- Genus Mandingoa
- Genus Clytospiza
- Genus Hypargos
- Genus Euschistospiza
- Firefinches, genus Lagonosticta
- Bar-breasted Firefinch, Lagonosticta rufopicta
- Brown Firefinch, Lagonosticta nitidula
- Red-billed Firefinch, Lagonosticta senegala
- Black-bellied Firefinch, Lagonosticta rara
- African Firefinch, Lagonosticta rubricata
- Landana Firefinch, Lagonosticta landanae
- Jameson's Firefinch, Lagonosticta rhodopareia
- Mali Firefinch, Lagonosticta virata
- Rock Firefinch, Lagonosticta sanguinodorsalis
- Black-faced Firefinch, Lagonosticta larvata
- Chad Firefinch, Lagonosticta umbrinodorsalis
- Cordon-bleus, genus Uraeginthus
- Genus Coccopygia
- Waxbills, genus Estrilda
- Lavender Waxbill, Estrilda caerulescens
- Grey Waxbill, Estrilda perreini
- Cinderella Waxbill, Estrilda thomensis
- Fawn-breasted Waxbill Estrilda paludicola
- Anambra Waxbill, Estrilda poliopareia
- Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Estrilda melpoda
- Arabian Waxbill, Estrilda rufibarba
- Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Estrilda rhodopyga
- Black-rumped Waxbill, Estrilda troglodytes
- Common Waxbill, Estrilda astrild
- Black-lored Waxbill, Estrilda nigriloris
- Black-crowned Waxbill, Estrilda nonnula
- Black-headed Waxbill, Estrilda atricapilla
- Kandt's Waxbill, Estrilda kandti
- Black-faced Waxbill, Estrilda erythronotos
- Black-cheeked Waxbill, Estrilda charmosyna
- Avadavats, genus Amandava
- Quailfinches, genus Ortygospiza
- Genus Paludipasser
- Genus Emblema
- Genus Stagonopleura
- Genus Oreostruthus
- Genus Neochmia
- Genus Taeniopygia
- Genus Poephila
- Parrotfinches, genus Erythrura
- Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch, Erythrura hyperythra
- Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, Erythrura prasina
- Green-faced Parrotfinch, Erythrura viridifacies
- Tricolored Parrotfinch, Erythrura tricolor
- Blue-faced Parrotfinch, Erythrura trichroa
- Red-eared Parrotfinch, Erythrura coloria
- Papuan Parrotfinch, Erythrura papuana
- Red-throated Parrotfinch, Erythrura psittacea
- Fiji Parrotfinch, Erythrura pealii
- Red-headed Parrotfinch, Erythrura cyaneovirens
- Royal Parrotfinch, Erythrura regia
- Pink-billed Parrotfinch, Erythrura kleinschmidti
- Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae
- Munias, Mannikins and Silverbills, genus Lonchura
- Indian Silverbill, Lonchura malabarica also known as White-throated Munia
- Grey-headed Silverbill, Lonchura griseicapilla
- Bronze Mannikin, Lonchura cucullata also known as Bronze Munia
- Black-and-white Mannikin, Lonchura bicolor also known as Black-and-white Munia
- Red-backed Mannikin, Lonchura nigriceps also known as Brown-backed Munia
- Magpie Mannikin, Lonchura fringilloides also known as Magpie Munia
- White-rumped Munia, Lonchura striata
- Javan Munia, Lonchura leucogastroides
- Dusky Munia, Lonchura fuscans
- Black-faced Munia, Lonchura molucca
- Black-throated Munia, Lonchura kelaarti also known as Jerdon's Mannikin
- Scaly-breasted Munia, Lonchura punctulata also known as Nutmeg Mannikin or Spice Finch
- White-bellied Munia, Lonchura leucogastra
- Streak-headed Munia, Lonchura tristissima
- Chestnut Munia, Lonchura atricapilla
- Tricoloured Munia, Lonchura malacca
- White-capped Munia, Lonchura ferruginosa
- Cream-bellied Munia, Lonchura pallidiventer
- Five-coloured Munia, Lonchura quinticolor
- White-headed Munia, Lonchura maja
- Pale-headed Munia, Lonchura pallida
- Great-billed Mannikin, Lonchura grandis
- Grey-banded Mannikin, Lonchura vana
- Grey-crowned Mannikin, Lonchura nevermanni
- Hooded Mannikin, Lonchura spectabilis
- Grey-headed Mannikin, Lonchura caniceps
- Hunstein's Mannikin, Lonchura hunsteini
- Forbes's Mannikin, Lonchura forbesi
- New Hanover Mannikin, Lonchura nigerrima
- Yellow-rumped Mannikin, Lonchura flaviprymna
- Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Lonchura castaneothorax
- Genus Heteromunia
- Cut-throats, genus Amadina
The phylogeography and possible origin of estrildid finches have been studied. The following scheme may be useful to represent an hypothetical origin in India in the last and stronger Himalayas uplift (16.5 million years ago),when monsoon rains regime established in India (see figure). The conclusions from this study are:
- Estrildids are a monophyletic group with polytomies that may have started evolving by Middle Miocene Epoch (about 16.5 million years ago)
- This proposed timing is coincidental with the Fringillinae finches’ radiation starting time and also with the biggest Himalayan and Tibetan Plateau uplift, triggered by the Indian tectonic plate strongest collision; this established present day southern Asia monsoon regime and other drastic climatic changes, like a dryer weather in Tibetan Plateau and China deserts.
- The Estrildid finches form a monophyletic group which includes several polytomies and comprises African, Asian and Australian birds.
- The most ancient evolutive group comprises African (African silverbill), Asian (Indian silverbill) and Australian (diamond firetail); this suggests that the whole Estrildids radiation might have originated around India.
- The African group Nesocharis is grouped with the African gender Estrilda.
- The Gouldian Finch (Erythrura or Chloebia gouldiae) is definitely included within genus Erythrura with the other species.
- The Java sparrow (Padda or Lonchura oryzivora) is a very modified species from genus Lonchura: bigger size than the rest of Lonchura species, and a noticeable and quite different head pattern. It is endemic from Java, Bali, and Bawean Islands, although escapes from captivity can be seen today in other neighboring islands.
- African munias (Spermestes) belong to a genus totally different to Australian and Asian munias.
- The Australian species Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis), very similar to African common waxbill (Estrilda astrild), is unrelated to it. Their similarities (bill, red brow, etc.) are due to convergent evolution, since their environmental pressures (weather, habitat, feeding) are similar.
- Christidis L, Boles WE (2008). Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. Canberra: CSIRO Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-643-06511-6.
- Arnaiz-Villena,A; Ruiz-del-Valle,V.; Gomez-Prieto,P.; Reguera,R.; Parga-Lozano,C; Serrano-Vela,J.I. (2009). "Estrildinae Finches (Aves, Passeriformes) from Africa, South Asia and Australia: a Molecular Phylogeographic Study"(PDF). The Open Ornithology Journal 2: 29-36. (doi:10.2174/1874453200902010029).
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Gómez-Prieto P, Ruiz-de-Valle V (2009). "Phylogeography of finches and sparrows". Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1-60741-844--3.
- Sibley CG, Monroe BL (1990). Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. Yale University Press
- Arnaiz-Villena,A; Gomez-Prieto,P.; Serna-Ayala; Ruiz-del-Valle,V. (2009). "Origen de los estríldidos".
The Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis is an estrildid finch that inhabits the east coast of Australia. This species has also been introduced to French Polynesia for breeding. It is commonly found in temperate forest and dry savanna habitats. It may also be found in dry forest and mangrove habitats in tropical region.
The species is distinguished by the bright red stripe above the eye, and bright red rump. The rest of the body is grey, with olive wing coverts and collar. Juveniles do not have red brow marks, and lack olive colouration on the collar and wing coverts. The adults are 11–12 cm long.
There are three noted subspecies: the nominate species N. temporalis temporalis, in most of the east coast, and inland New South Wales and Victoria; N. temporalis minor, which is distinguished by a white breast, in northern Queensland, and south-east of Australia, and N. temporalis loftyi in the south west corner of South Australia, although the latter is sometimes not listed as a subspecies, as the differences between it and the type species are relatively minor.
The finch is common in the south east of its range, from Brisbane to Melbourne . Subspecies N. minor is common between Cooktown and Townsville. The species is listed as "Least Concern" on the IUCN red list. There are no key threatening processes for N. temporalis, although the Pest Animal Control CRC suggests that the introduced Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata), which currently threatens some native Mannikins through increased competition, may be a minor threat to N. lateralis in northern Queensland.
In regional areas the species needs adequate shrub density to provide cover and foraging places. The species has been noted to decline or even disappear in areas that have been cleared or grazed, especially in combination with drought.
Biology and Ecology
The Red-browed Finch is highly sociable, and is usually seen in small flocks of 10 to 20 individuals. Flocks are sedentary or nomadic in their local area. Flocks prefer semi-open woodland, especially edges of forests, where brushy scrub meets cleared areas, especially near creeks..
The finch makes short, piping high-pitched cheeps. When disturbed, the whole flock will disperse, cheeping, and re-congregate near-by.
N. temporalis is a seed eater, living mostly on grass and sedge seed, but will happily feed on many non-native seeds. Wild birds will even enter large-mesh aviaries in suburban areas to eat seed, given the opportunity.
The Red Browed Finch, like other weaver finches, builds a large domed nest, with a side entrance, out of grass and small twigs. Nests are usually built 2–3 meters above the ground in dense shrubs. Nesting is communal. Both parents share nest building, incubation of the eggs, and feed the young together. 4-6 white eggs are laid per clutch 2-3 times per year, between October and April. Juveniles are fully independent within 28 days.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Neochmia temporalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/106008674. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Morcombe, Michael K. (2003). Field guide to Australian birds (Compact ed. ed.). Archerfield, Qld: Steve Parish Publishing.
- Birds Australia (19 February 2007). "Bird Finder: Red-browed Finch". Birds in Backyards. Sydney: Australian Museum. http://birdsinbackyards.net/species/Neochmia-temporalis. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- Butchart, Stuart; Jonathan Ekstrom, Matt Harding (2009). "Species factsheet: Neochmia temporalis". BirdLife. http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=8674&m=0. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- Norris, Andrew; Tim Low, Iain Gordon, Glen Saunders, Steven Lapidge, Keryn Lapidge, Tony Peacock, Roger Pech (2005-06). "Review of the management of feral animals and their impact on biodiversity in the Rangelands". Pest Animal Control CRC. http://www.feral.org.au/feral_documents/Rangelands.pdf.
- Ford, Hugh A.; Geoffrey W. Barrett, Denis A. Saunders, Harry F. Recher (2001-01). "Why have birds in the woodlands of Southern Australia declined?". Biological Conservation 97 (1): 71–88. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(00)00101-4. ISSN 0006-3207. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V5X-415324B-R/2/dd257c939acf7bf84c35ffe4a5d7ad3d. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- Todd, M. K. (1996). "Diet and Foraging Behaviour of Red-browed Finches Neochmia temporalis Near Newcastle, New South Wales". Emu 96 (4): 245. doi:10.1071/MU9960245. ISSN 0158-4197.
- Birds in Backyards (2007-02-19). "Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis) Fact sheet". BirdsinBackyards.net. http://birdsinbackyards.net/species/Neochmia-temporalis. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- BirdCare (2008-01-29). "Red browed Finch or Aegintha temporalis". BirdCare.com.au. http://www.birdcare.com.au/red_browed_finch.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- DEWHA (2010-12-02). "Neochmia ruficauda clarescens". Species Profile and Threats Database. Canberra: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=67118. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Ruiz-del-Valle V, Gomez-Prieto P, Reguera R, Parga-Lozano C, Serrano-Vela I (2009). "Estrildinae Finches (Aves, Passeriformes) from Africa, South Asia and Australia: a Molecular Phylogeographic Study". The Open Ornithology Journal 2: 29–36. doi:10.2174/1874453200902010029. http://chopo.pntic.mec.es/biolmol/publicaciones/Estrildinae_finches_2009.pdf.
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