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Sunday, June 3, 2012

White-bellied Erpornis

The White-bellied Erpornis (Erpornis zantholeuca) or simply Erpornis is a species of bird. It is the only member of the genus Erpornis. This bird is found inBangladeshBhutanBruneiCambodiaChinaIndiaIndonesiaLaosMalaysiaMyanmarNepalSingaporeTaiwanThailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitatis subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
Formerly placed in Yuhina and often still misleadingly called "White-bellied Yuhina", it is the most distinct member of this "genus" in its obsolete paraphyleticdelimitation. It is by no means closely related to the Timaliidae (Old World babblers), where most of the former members of Yuhina are still placed. The Timaliidae are members of the superfamily Sylvioidea in infraorder Passeri, whereas the Erpornis is the closest relative of the vireos (Vireonidae), which are a more ancient lineage of songbirds. Indeed, it may eventually be included in the Vireonidae as one of their few Old World representatives.
In its coloration, morphology and acrobatic habits it resembles a vireo quite a lot. However, it has a prominent crest like many "yuhinas", which together with the unusual biogeography has served to obscure its true relationships for long.

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