6 posts · 4,375 views
The July issue of The Auk contained the AOU North American Checklist Committee's 51st supplement to the AOU checklist (pdf), a variety of splits and changes to taxonomy at the genus level and higher. Sibley handily summarizes the name changes to North American species, and Michael Retter reviews the whole supplement, and I'm sure it has been plastered elsewhere on the blogosphere by now so I am not going into a full review here (plus, I blogged about one of the splits two years ago - everyone el........ Read more »
Lovette, I., Pérez-Emán, J., Sullivan, J., Banks, R., Fiorentino, I., Córdoba-Córdoba, S., Echeverry-Galvis, M., Barker, F., Burns, K., & Klicka, J. (2010) A comprehensive multilocus phylogeny for the wood-warblers and a revised classification of the Parulidae (Aves). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.07.018
A new paper by David Toews and Darren Irwin (2008) finds evidence that there are at least two species of Winter Wren in North America rather than the one we previously assumed. Before you groan and say ‘oh not another split’, you should know that they didn’t split the Winter Wren based on a reading of phylogenetic trees – they split them based on their discovery of a contact zone where the two species don’t hybridize, thus qualifying as species under the strictest B........ Read more »
DAVID TOEWS, & DARREN E IRWIN. (2008) Cryptic speciation in a Holarctic passerine revealed by genetic and bioacoustic analyses. Molecular Ecology, 17(11), 2691-2705. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.03769.x
The Early Bird Assembling the Tree of Life research group just published a landmark study in Science looking at the higher-level relationships among birds (Hackett et al. 2008). I think this is the most comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the avian Tree of Life (TOL) to date, and it confirms and validates many new hypotheses of bird inter-relationships that have been proposed in the past ten years.This work has already hit the blogosphere, with reviews by Grrlscientist, Christopher Taylor, and ........ Read more »
S Hackett, R T Kimball, S Reddy, R C Bowie, E L Braun, M J Braun, J L Chojnowski, W A Cox, K-L Han, J Harshman.... (2008) A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History. Science, 320(5884), 1763-1768. DOI: 10.1126/science.1157704
The biodiversity of this planet is immense, and we are a long, long way from having all of the species out there discovered and described. Systematists, taxonomists, and museum collections have a major, vitally important role in biology (despite this, they are facing major problems). To illustrate this point, I have compiled a list of the new species described in the scientific literature so far in 2008. I have restricted myself to vertebrates, and I have included only species that are newly dis........ Read more »
Aaron Bauer, Todd R Jackman, Ross A Sadlier, Glenn Shea, & Anthony H Whitaker. (2008) A New Small-Bodied Species of Bavayia (Reptilia: Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from Southeastern New Caledonia1. Pacific Science, 62(2), 247. DOI: 10.2984/1534-6188(2008)62[247:ANSSOB]2.0.CO;2
I covered the Central American species in the Aulacorhynchus ‘prasinus’ (Emerald Toucanet) species complex in Part 1. Here, I cover the South American forms.The distribution and relationships of different subspecies populations of ‘prasinus’ toucanets is less well resolved in South America. I have no firsthand experience with the group, but I've done the best I could to sort out these groups based on the literature and present some kind of unified picture here, highl........ Read more »
ADOLFO NAVARRO S., A TOWNSEND PETERSON, ESTEBAN LÓPEZ-MEDRANO, & HESIQUIO BENÍTEZ-DÍAZ. (2001) SPECIES LIMITS IN MESOAMERICAN AULACORHYNCHUS TOUCANETS. The Wilson Bulletin, 113(4), 363. DOI: 10.1676/0043-5643(2001)113[0363:SLIMAT]2.0.CO;2
Many species of birds have significant variation in regional plumage and morphology. Just think of the variation in the Junco, Song Sparrow, or Horned Lark. These example species have broad, continuous ranges across North America, and we can examine the assortative mating and intergradation between the various taxa where they come into contact to justify lumping them into a single polytypic species. In the neotropics, many putative species vary across different allopatric mountain ranges. Bec........ Read more »
Fernando Puebla-Olivares, Elisa Bonaccorso, Alejandro de los Monteros, Kevin Omland, Jorge Llorente-Bousquets, A Peterson, & Adolfo Navarro-Siguenza. (2008) SPECIATION IN THE EMERALD TOUCANET (AULACORHYNCHUS PRASINUS) COMPLEX. The Auk, 125(1), 39-50. DOI: 10.1525/auk.2008.125.1.39
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