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Cerylinae
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Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae
Cerylinae

The Cerylinae or water kingfishers, is a subfamily of kingfishers, and are also known as the cerylid kingfishers. All six American species are in this family.

These are all specialist fish-eating species, unlike many representatives of the other two subfamilies, and it is likely that they are all descended from fish-eating kingfishers which founded populations in the New World. It was believed that the entire group evolved in the Americas, but this seems not to be true. The original ancestor possibly evolved in Africa – at any rate in the Old World – and the Chloroceryle species are the youngest ones.

Not longer than 5 million years ago – possibly as recently as 2.9 million years ago – an Old World giant kingfisher became the ancestor of the belted and ringed kingfishers, and later, another species related to the pied kingfisher became the ancestor of the Chloroceryle green kingfishers after colonizing the Americas. While the evolutionary history of the water kingfishers in regard to their internal relationships is well resolved, it is not entirely clear whether they evolved from river kingfishers or tree kingfishers, and whether they immigrated across the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean (though the former seems more likely).

Species

There are 9 water kingfisher species in three genera:

Genus: Megaceryle
 Belted Kingfisher (Linnaeus, 1758) (Megaceryle alcyon)
 Crested Kingfisher (Temminck, 1834) (Megaceryle lugubris)
 Giant Kingfisher (Pallas, 1769) (Megaceryle maxima)
 Ringed Kingfisher (Linnaeus, 1766) (Megaceryle torquata)
Genus: Ceryle
 Pied Kingfisher (Linnaeus, 1758) (Ceryle rudis)
Genus: Chloroceryle (American green kingfishers)
 Amazon Kingfisher (Latham, 1790) (Chloroceryle amazona)
 Green Kingfisher (Gmelin, 1788) (Chloroceryle americana)
 American Pygmy Kingfisher (Pallas, 1764) (Chloroceryle aenea)
 Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (Linnaeus, 1766) (Chloroceryle inda)
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