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Yellow-throated longclaw (Macronyx croceus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Macronyx
Swainson, 1827
Type species
Alauda capensis
Linnaeus, 1766

8, see text

The longclaws are a genus, Macronyx, of small African passerine birds in the family Motacillidae.

Longclaws are slender, often colorful, ground-feeding insectivores of open country. They are ground nesters, laying up to four speckled eggs. They are named for their unusually long hind claws, which are thought to help in walking on grass. There are only between 10,000 and 19,000 Sharpe's longclaw left in Kenya.

The genus Macronyx was introduced by the English naturalist William John Swainson in 1827 with the Cape longclaw as the type species.[1][2] The name combines the Classical Greek words makros "long" or "great" and onux "claw".[3]

Species list[edit]

The genus contains eight species:[4]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Macronyx sharpei Sharpe's longclaw west and central Kenya.
Macronyx flavicollis Abyssinian longclaw Ethiopia
Macronyx fuelleborni Fülleborn's longclaw south-central Africa.
Macronyx capensis Cape longclaw Southern Africa in Zimbabwe and southern and eastern South Africa.
Macronyx croceus Yellow-throated longclaw Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Macronyx aurantiigula Pangani longclaw Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia.
Macronyx ameliae Rosy-throated longclaw Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Macronyx grimwoodi Grimwood's longclaw Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.


  1. ^ Swainson, William John (1827). "On several groups and forms in ornithology, not hitherto defined". Zoological Journal. 3: 343–363 [344].
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1960). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 9. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 142.
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Waxbills, parrotfinches, munias, whydahs, Olive Warbler, accentors, pipits". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 2 April 2018.

External links[edit]