Nectariniidae (nectariniids; sunbirds and spiderhunters)

Phylogenetic placement: Passeri: Passerides: Passerida: Dicaeoidea

Distribution: Africa, Eurasia, Wallacea, Philippines, New Guinea and Australia

Number of extant genera: ~16

Number of extant species: ~143

following John H. Boyd's TIF website (link).


Bowie RCK, Fjeldså J, Kiure J, and Kristensen JB (2016), A new member of the greater double-collared sunbird complex (Passeriformes: Nectariniidae) from the Eastern Arc Mountains of Africa, Zootaxa 4175, 23-42. (abstract) 

Campillo LC, Oliveros CH, Sheldon FH, and Moyle RG (2018), Genomic data resolve gene tree discordance in spiderhunters (Nectariniidae: Arachnothera), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 120, 151-157. (abstract) 

Gregory SMS, and Dickinson EC (2012), An assessment of three little-noticed papers on avian nomenclature by G.N. Kashin during 1978-1982, Zootaxa 3340, 44-58. (abstract)

Hosner PA, Nyári ÁS, and Moyle RG (2013), Water barriers and intra-island isolation contribute to the diversification in the insular Aethopyga sunbirds (Aves: Nectariniidae), J. Biogeogr. 40, 1094-1106. (abstract)

Jønsson KA, and Fjeldså J (2006), A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds (Aves: Passeri), Zool. Scr. 35, 149-186. (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) 

Lauron EJ, Loiseau C, Bowie RCK, Spicer GS, Smith TB, Melo M, and Sehgal RNM (2015), Coevolutionary patterns and diversification of avian malaria parasites in African sunbirds (Family Nectariniidae), Parasitology 142, 635-647. (abstract) 

Lohman DJ, Ingram KK, Prawiradilaga DM, Winker K, Sheldon FH, Moyle RG, Ng PKL, Ong PS, Wang LK, Braile TM, Astuti D, and Meier R (2010), Cryptic genetic diversity in “widespread” Southeast Asian bird species suggests that Philippine avian endemism is gravely underestimated, Biol. Conserv. 143, 1885-90. (journal abstract) (pdf)

Marcaigh FÓ, Kelly DJ, O’Connell, DP, Analuddin K, Karya A, McCloughan J, Tolan E, Lawless N, and Marples NM (2023), Small islands and large biogeographic barriers have driven contrasting speciation patterns in Indo-Pacific sunbirds (aves: Nectariniidae), Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 198, 72-92. (free pdf)

Moyle RG, Taylor SS, Oliveros CH, Lim HC, Haines CL, Rahman MA, and Sheldon FH (2011), Diversification of an endemic Southeast Asian genus: Phylogenetic relationships of the spiderhunters (Nectariniidae: Arachnothera), Auk 128, 777-788. (free 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)

Nyári ÁS, Peterson AT, Rice NH, and Moyle RG (2009), Phylogenetic relationships of flowerpeckers (Aves: Dicaeidae): Novel insights into the evolution of a tropical passerine clade, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 53, 613-619. (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) 

Rahman MA, Gawin DFA, and Moritz C (2010), Patterns of genetic variation in the Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) in Southeast Asia, Raffles Bull. Zool. 58, 381-390. (pdf)

Smith TB, Thomassen HA, Freedman AH, Sehgal RNM, Buermann W, Saatchi S, Pollinger J, Milá B, Pires D, Valkiūnas G, and Wayne RK (2011), Patterns of divergence in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea (Aves: Nectariniidae) across the African rainforest-savanna ecotone, Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 103, 821-835. (free pdf)

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)