Journal article

DNA evidence shows vocalizations to be a better indicator of taxonomic limits than plumage patterns in Zimmerius tyrant-flycatchers

Frank E Rheindt, Janette A Norman, Les Christidis

MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS AND EVOLUTION | ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE | Published : 2008

Abstract

We investigated mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in the small tyrant-flycatcher genus Zimmerius (Tyrannidae) and show that molecular data are in strong disagreement with morphology-based taxonomy, but in good concordance with vocal characters. Our molecular data identified two independent cases of well-supported polyphyletic species arrangements within this genus that indicate the following taxonomic changes: elevation of Z. acer and Z. albigularis to species level, separation of northern populations of Z. chrysops as a species and inclusion of southern populations of Z. chrysops into Z. viridiflavus. Although polyphyly has rarely been encountered in bird systematics it has previously been show..

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University of Melbourne Researchers