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Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Aves
Sub-class Neornithes
Infra-class Neoaves
Order Information
Order Accipitriformes
Sub-order Accipitres
Family Information
Superfamily Accipitroidea
Family Accipitridae
Sub-family Harpiinae
Population statistics

Harpinae is a subfamily of eagles of the family of Accipitridae, and found in tropical rainforests of Central and South America, and the island of New Guinea. The name is based upon the harpies from Greek mythology, the half-human, half-bird monsters who tormented the living and carried them off to the underworld[1].

Although not true eagles (Aquilinae), they are among the largest and most powerful birds of prey in the world, and are considered apex predators of the forests. Their diet consists of monkeys, sloths, small deer, large rodents, and smaller game including reptiles and birds.


  • Genus Harpia
Harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja
  • Genus Harpyopsis
New Guinea harpy, or Papuan eagle, Harpyopsis novaeguineae
  • Genus Morphnus
Crested eagle, Morphnus guianensis

A fourth species, the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) has long been placed within Harpiinae due to similarities in size and behavior. However, according to molecular genetic studies, the Philippine eagle is not closely related to them, but to the snake or serpent eagles of the subfamily Circaetinae[2][3].

The species of Harpiinae are endangered or threatened by habitat destruction and/or persecution worldwide.


  1. https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/myths/harpies/
  2. http://globalraptors.org/grin/researchers/uploads/203/lerner.mindell_phylogeny.2005.pdf
  3. https://www.academia.edu/11174175/Genetic_diversity_of_the_Critically_Endangered_Philippine_Eagle_Pithecophaga_jefferyi_Aves_Accipitridae_and_notes_on_its_conservation