The White-bellied Erpornis (Erpornis zantholeuca or simply Erpornis) – formerly known as White-bellied Yuhina – is a species of bird. It is the only member of the genus Erpornis.
This bird is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
This bird species inhabits 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 paraphyletic delimitation. 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 (songbirds), 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 a long.
- Wrentit, New World members of the Sylvioidea which are the closest relatives of (or belong to) the Old World Megaluridae and Sylviidae, respectively
- BirdLife International 2004. . 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 27 July 2007.
- Collar, N. J. and Robson, C. 2007. Family Timaliidae (Babblers) Pp. 70 – 291 in; del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, D.A. eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 12. Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- Photo of a foraging Erpornis on Flickr.