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Buphagus separation ?

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Old Thursday 7th June 2018, 18:36   #1
Valéry Schollaert
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Buphagus separation ?

Hi all,

According to my field records as well as HBW Alive, there is no or very weak differences in habitat, food, breeding and other details of the behaviour of both Buphagus. Some slight animal preferences where both are present, but they often occur on the same (individual) mammal.

The differences are mainly superficial in plumage/bill colour and calls; and, of course, the range. They are locally sympatric and hybrids are very rare.

However, looking at the map, we can see. B. africanus much more widespread in West Africa while B. erythrorynchus is mainly a Southern and Eastern African species.

I didn't find any publication giving the detail of their origin. I guess the common ancestor was widespread, then it was separate geographically in two and both (West / East) long enough to evolve separately in 2 different species although the efficient behaviour didn't have reason to change at all. I wonder what separated them and and more or less when?

Is there any published research that has been done?

Thanks for help
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 07:52   #2
Taphrospilus
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Originally Posted by Valéry Schollaert View Post
I didn't find any publication giving the detail of their origin.
I am not sure if I understood your question correct. If you look for original description, they are Buphagus africanus Linnaeus, 1766 and Buphagus erythrorhynchus (Stanley, 1814). Just klick on the link.
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 09:01   #3
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The question is how did the actual original population speciate?
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 09:10   #4
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The question is how did the actual original population speciate?
Yes, that was an easier way to ask! it

I just felt the need to explain why I ask in that particular case.
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 11:48   #5
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Maybe Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data reveal the major lineages of starlings, mynas and related taxa here of any help?
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 12:05   #6
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Maybe Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data reveal the major lineages of starlings, mynas and related taxa here of any help?
It is a great article, thanks, I managed to find free full pdf online but, unfortunately, it is not replying my questions; informations given are relation between Buphagus and other birds (mainly Mimidae and Sturnidae), but nothing about relation between the 2 Buphagus.
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 12:37   #7
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I can't find any genetic study having used data from more than one bird of each of the two species. (And it's not certain that such a study would easily answer the question, anyway.) Although the morphological and ecological divergence seems indeed very limited, the available data suggest that the genetic divergence is quite deep, suggesting the species diverged quite a long time ago. (See, e.g., Lovette & Rubinstein 2007 [pdf here]. Some birds less divergent from one another than these two species are universally treated as allogeneric.)

The persistence in sympatry of two sister species with such a low level of ecological divergence has been regarded as an enigma. (E.g., Koenig 1997: [here].)

...Can't help much more than this, I'm afraid.

Last edited by l_raty : Friday 8th June 2018 at 14:24.
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Old Friday 8th June 2018, 13:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_raty View Post
I can't find any genetic study having used data from more than one bird of each of the two species. (And it's not certain that such a study would easily answer the question, anyway.) Although the morphological and ecological divergence seems indeed very limited, the available data suggest that the genetic divergence seems quite deep, suggesting the species diverged quite a long time ago. (See, e.g., Lovette & Rubinstein 2007 [pdf here]. Some birds less divergent from one another than these two species are universally treated as allogeneric.)

The persistence in sympatry of two sister species with such a low level of ecological divergence has been regarded as an enigma. (E.g., Koenig 1997: [here].)

...Can't help much more than this, I'm afraid.
Actually, it is a great help Laurent, thanks. This is confirming that my thoughts and questions made sense; and also that my failure of finding an answer is not only due to my limited skills.

Cheers
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 08:59   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_raty View Post
I can't find any genetic study having used data from more than one bird of each of the two species. (And it's not certain that such a study would easily answer the question, anyway.) Although the morphological and ecological divergence seems indeed very limited, the available data suggest that the genetic divergence is quite deep, suggesting the species diverged quite a long time ago. (See, e.g., Lovette & Rubinstein 2007 [pdf here]. Some birds less divergent from one another than these two species are universally treated as allogeneric.)

The persistence in sympatry of two sister species with such a low level of ecological divergence has been regarded as an enigma. (E.g., Koenig 1997: [here].)

...Can't help much more than this, I'm afraid.
I read Koenig paper in detail this is really interesting and surprising. Thanks again Laurent !
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