Päckert Martin, Feigl A., Wink M. & Tietze D.T., 2011. Molecular Phylogeny and historical biogeography of Swifts (Apodidae: Apus, Tachymarptis). 5th IBS conference, 7‐11.01.2011, Irakleion, Crete, Greece.
We present a near complete swift phylogeny for two closely related genera Apus and Tachymarptis based on mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Each of the two genera represents a monophyletic clade, i.e. neither of the two Tachymarptis species is nested in Apus as previously considered. Genus Apus comprises four major clades two of which comprise both Palearctic and Afrotropic species. One exclusively Asian clade represents a basal split from the Apus tree; its phylogeographic structure contradicts current systematics of Himalayan and Southeast Asian species.
A large second clade comprises all European species together with those of the Macaronesian islands and four further Afrotropical species. Branch lengths are considerably short and two terminal taxa (A. apus and A. pallidus) cannot be reliably distinguished by any of the genetic markers used. Internal topology of the Apus tree suggests multiple events of faunal interchange between the Palearctic and the Afrotropics during a considerably short evolutionary time frame. Discussion of historical biogeography is based on ancestral range reconstructions and molecular dating.