Trilling Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius aenobarbus Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan, Nigel Collar, and Craig Robson
Version: 2.0 — Published May 20, 2022


Systematics History

Allotrius aenobarbus Temminck, 1836, Nouveau Recueil de Planches coloriées d’Oiseaux, livraison 99, pl. 589, fig. 2.—Java, Indonesia. (Date of publication follows Mees 3.)

One syntype, an adult (sex unstated, although the bird illustrated on Temminck’s plate is evidently a male), collector, precise locality, and date of collection all unknown, is held at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden (RMNH 89374) (4).

Traditionally included Clicking Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius intermedius) (and additional taxa therein) as subspecies (5, 6, 7, 8), which arrangement is still adopted by some taxonomies (9). The recent decision by other works (10, 11) to split Pteruthius aenobarbus as a monotypic species rests principally on its divergence in mtDNA (having separating from its mainland congener 3.9–4.5 million years ago) and vocalizations (see 12, 1 for summary). However, del Hoyo and Collar (9) rejected splitting the two, evidencing the lack of vocal material (from only Java and Vietnam at the time). In connection with their decision, Boesman (13) commented that the taxonomic significance of the apparent vocal break was ‘difficult to assess’, since populations have similar single-note and double-note songs, but with no very fast version so far documented for Vietnam.

Geographic Variation




Related Species

There are three major clades within the genus Pteruthius, which has only recently been determined to be part of the largely New World family, Vireonidae (14): one unites the Pteruthius flaviscapis species complex and the Black-headed Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius rufiventer); the second groups the present species (and Clicking Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius intermedius)) along with the phenotypically similar Black-eared Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius melanotis); and the third clade comprises the Green Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius xanthochlorus) species complex (15, 12).


Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler is the name used when this species is treated as conspecific with Clicking Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius intermedius) (e.g., 9), or Trilling Shrike-Vireo in a recent regional field guide (10, 16).

Fossil History

Nothing known.

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., N. Collar, and C. Robson (2022). Trilling Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius aenobarbus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.cfsbab1.02