Under Construction




John Harshman
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taxon links [up-->]Harpactes [up-->]Apaloderma [up-->]Trogon [up-->]Euptilotis neoxenus [up-->]Apalharpactes [up-->]Pharomachrus [up-->]Priotelus [down<--]'Land Birds' Interpreting the tree
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The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

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Containing group: 'Land Birds'

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Old World trogons (Apaloderma, Harpactes, and Apalharpactes) clearly form a clade (Johansson and Ericson 2004, Moyle 2005; contra Sibley and Ahlquist 1990, Espinosa de los Monteros 1998), though relationships within that clade are not clear, since neither species of Apalharpactes has yet been sampled in a phylogenetic analysis. New World trogons (Trogon, Pharomachrus, Priotelus, and Euoptilotus) may be paraphyletic to the Old World trogons, though these basal relationships have been contradictory among studies (Johansson and Ericson 2004, Moyle 2005). All genera are apparently monophyletic, pending data on Apalharpactes.

Other Names for Trogonidae


Brightsmith, D. J. 2005. Competition, predation and nest niche shifts among tropical cavity nesters: phylogeny and natural history evolution of parrots (Psittaciformes) and trogons (Trogoniformes). Journal of Avian Biology 36:64-73.

Collar, N.J. 2001. Family Trogonidae (Trogons). Pages 80-129 in Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 6. J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and D.A. Christie, eds. BirdLife International and Lynx Editions, Cambridge, UK and Barcelona.

Espinosa de los Monteros, A. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships among the trogons. Auk 115:937-954.

Espinosa de los Monteros, A. 2000. Higher-level phylogeny of Trogoniformes. Mol. Phylo. Evol. 14:20-34.

Johansson, U. S., and P. G. P. Ericson. 2005. A re-evaluation of basal phylogenetic relationships within trogons (Aves : Trogonidae) based on nuclear DNA sequences. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 43(2):166-173.

Johnsgard, P. A. 2000. Trogons and Quetzals of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Moyle, R. G. 2005. Phylogeny and biogeographical history of Trogoniformes, a pantropical bird order. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 84(4):725-738.

Sibley, C. G., and J. A. Ahlquist. 1990. Phylogeny and classification of birds. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Trogon personatus
Location Tandayapa Lodge, NW Ecuador
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Sex Male
Source Masked Trogon (male)
Source Collection Flickr
Copyright © 2007 Jim Scarff
Scientific Name Pharomachrus mocinno
Location Monteverde, Costa Rica
Comments Quetzal on nest
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright © Greg and Marybeth Dimijian
Scientific Name Harpactes oreskios
Location Kaeng Krachan, Thailand
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Orange-breasted Trogon - Harpactes oreskios
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2008 Mike Gillam
About This Page

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to John Harshman at

Page: Tree of Life Trogoniformes. Trogonidae. Trogons. Authored by John Harshman. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Harshman, John. 2008. Trogoniformes. Trogonidae. Trogons. Version 27 June 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Trogonidae/26426/2008.06.27 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

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For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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