Gross morphology betrays phylogeny: the Scrub Warbler Scotocerca inquieta is not a cisticolid

The Scrub Warbler, which inhabits arid areas from North Africa to western Asia, has long been thought to be closely related to cisticolid warblers. However, analyses based on two mitochondrial and four nuclear loci place this species sister to the mainly Asian Cettiidae (bush warblers, tesias, etc.). Superficial morphological similarity to cisticolid warblers has previously clouded the species true relationship. Detailed morphology, such as facial bristles and claw and footpad structure, also supports a closer relationship to Cettiidae and some other non-cisticolid warblers.