Motacillidae (motacillids)

Phylogenetic placement: Passeri: Passerides: Passerida

Distribution: cosmopolitan

Number of extant genera: (5 to) 8

Number of extant species: ~66


Alström P, and Mild K (2003), Pipits and Wagtails of Europe, Asia and North America. 496 pages, Christopher Helm, London. 

Alström P, Jønsson K, Fjeldså J, Ödeen A, Ericson PGP, and Irestedt M (2015), Dramatic niche shifts and morphological change in two insular bird species, R. Soc. open Sci. 2, e:140364. (pdf) 

Doniol-Valcroze P, Coiffard P, Alström P, Robb M, Dufour P, Crochet PA (2023), Molecular and acoustic evidence support the species status of Anthus rubescens rubescens and Anthus [rubescens] japonicus (Passeriformes: Motacillidae), Zootaxa 5343, 173-192. (free pdf)

Drovetsky SV, Reeves AB, Red’kin YA, Fadeev IV, Koblik EA, Sotnikov VN, and Voelker G (2018), Multi-locus reassessment of a striking discord between mtDNA trees and taxonomy across two congeneric species complexes, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 120, 43-52. (abstract) 

Harris RB, Alström P, Ödeen A, and Leaché AD (2018), Discordance between genomic divergence and phenotypic variation in a rapidly evolving avian genus (Motacilla), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 120, 183-195. (abstract) 

Kuhl H, Frankl-Vilches C, Bakker A, Mayr G, Nikolaus G, Boerno ST, Klages S, Timmermann B, and Gahr M (2021), An unbiased molecular approach using 3'UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life, MolBiolEvol. 38, 108-127. (pdf)  

Moyle RG, Oliveros CH, Andersen MJ, Hosner PA, Benz BW, Manthey JD, Travers SL, Brown RM, and Faircloth BC (2016), Tectonic collision and uplift of Wallacea triggered the global songbird radiation, Nature Comm. 7, e:12709. (free pdf) 

Ödeen A, and Björklund M (2003), Dynamics in the evolution of sexual traits: losses and gains, radiation and convergence in yellow wagtails (Motacilla flava), Mol. Ecol. 12, 2113-30. (abstract)

Oliveros CH, Field DJ, Ksepka DT, Barker KF, Aleixo A, Andersen MJ, Alström P, Benz BW, Braun EL, Braun MJ, Bravo GA, Brumfield RT, Chesser RT,  Claramunt S, Cracraft J, Cuervo AM, Derryberry EP, Glenn TC, Harvey MG, Hosner PA, Joseph L, Kimball RT, Mack AL, Miskelly CM, Peterson AT, Robbins MB, Sheldon FH, Silveira LF, Smith BT, White ND, Moyle RG, and Faircloth BC (2019), Earth history and the passerine superradiation, PNAS 116, 7915-25. (pdf) 

Outlaw DC, and Voelker G (2006), Phylogenetic tests of hypotheses for the evolution of avian migration: a case study using the Motacillidae, Auk 123, 455-466. (free pdf)

Pietersen DW, McKechnie AE, Jansen R, Little IT, and Bastos ADS (2019), Multi-locus phylogeny of African pipits and longclaws (Aves: Motacillidae) highlights taxonomic inconsistencies, Ibis 161, 781-792. (journal abstract) (author pdf) 

Pirayesh Shirazinejad M, Aliabadian M, and Mirshamsi O (2019), The evolutionary history of the white wagtail species complex, (Passeriformes: Motacillidae: Motacilla alba), ContribZool. 88, 257-276. (free pdf) 

Rancilhac L, Enbody ED, Harris R, Saitoh T, Irestedt M, Liu Y, Lei F, Andersson L, and Alström P (2023), Introgression underlies phylogenetic uncertainty but not parallel plumage evolution in a recent songbird radiation, Syst. Biol. (free pdf) 

Smith P, and Clay RP (2021), The identity of Félix de Azara’s “Alondras” and implications for Neotropical pipit nomenclature (Aves, Motacillidae: Anthus), Zootaxa 4942, 118-126. (abstract)

Stiller J, Feng S, Chowdhury AA, Rivas-González I, Duchêne DA, Fang Q, Deng Y, Kozlov A, Stamatakis A, Claramunt S, Nguyen JMT, Ho SYW, Faircloth BC, Haag J, Houde P, Cracraft J, Balaban M, Mai U, Chen G, Gao R, Zhou C, Xie Y, Huang Z, Cao Z, Yan Z, Ogilvie HA, Nakhleh L, Lindow B, Morel B, Fjeldså J, Hosner PA, da Fonseca RR, Petersen B, Tobias JA, Székely T, Kennedy JD, Reeve AH, Liker A, Stervander M, Antunes A, Tietze DT, Bertelsen M, Lei F, Rahbek C, Graves GR, Schierup MH, Warnow T, Braun EL, Gilbert MTP, Jarvis ED, Mirarab S, and Zhang G (2024), Complexity of avian evolution revealed by family-level genomes, Nature (view pdf)

Tavares ES, and Baker AJ (2008), Single mitochondrial gene barcodes reliably identify sister-species in diverse clades of birds, BMC Evol. Biol. 8, e:81. (free pdf)

Van Els P, and Norambuena HV (2018), A revision of species limits in Neotropical pipits Anthus based on multilocus genetic and vocal data, Ibis 160, 158-172. (pdf) 

Van Els P, Norambuena HV, and Etienne RS (2019), From pampa to puna: Biogeography and diversification of a group of Neotropical obligate grassland birds (Anthus: Motacillidae), J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res. 57, 485-496. (pdf) 

Voelker G (1999a), Molecular evolutionary relationships in the avian genus Anthus (Pipits: Motacillidae), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 11, 84-94. (abstract)

Voelker G (1999b), Dispersal, vicariance, and clocks: historical biogeography and speciation in a cosmopolitan passerine genus (Anthus, Motacillidae), Evolution 53, 1536-52. (abstract) 

Voelker G (2002), Systematics and historical biogeography of wagtails: dispersal versus vicariance revisited, Condor 104, 725-739. (abstract) 

Yang C, Du X, Liu Y, Yuan H, Wang Q, Hou X, Gong H, Wang Y, Huang Y, Li X, and Le H (2022), Comparative mitogenomics of the genus Motacilla (Aves, Passeriformes) and its phylogenetic implications, ZooKeys 1109, 49-65. (free pdf)