The apalises are small passerine birds belonging to the genusApalis. They are found in forest, woodlands and scrub across most parts of sub-Saharan Africa. They are slender birds with long tails and have a slender bill for catching insects. They are typically brown, grey or green above and several species have brightly coloured underparts. Males and females are usually similar in appearance but the males are sometimes brighter.
Apalises were traditionally classified in the Old World warbler family Sylviidae but are now commonly placed, together with several other groups of mainly African warblers, in a separate family Cisticolidae.
There are at least 21 species of apalis, the exact number varies according to differing authorities. The African tailorbird and long-billed tailorbird were formerly considered to be apalises but are now often placed either with the tailorbirds ( Orthotomus) or in their own genus Artisornis. The red-fronted warbler or red-faced apalis has also been moved into a different genus, either Spiloptila or Urorhipis. Further shuffling may be necessary as a recent study found the genus to be polyphyletic with two species (black-collared and Ruwenzori apalis') only distantly related to the other three tested. Future studies may result in further division of the genus.