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Maluridae

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Old Wednesday 13th April 2016, 15:02   #51
martin_WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Earp View Post
M. assimilis (Nprth 1901) should presumably read M. assimilis (North 1901)
Well spotted
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Old Saturday 16th April 2016, 19:25   #52
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Originally Posted by Daniel Philippe View Post
Christidis, L., F. E. Rheindt, W. E. Boles & J. A. Norman, 2013. A re-appraisal of species diversity within the Australian grasswrens Amytornis (Aves: Maluridae). Austral. Zoologist 36 (4): in press

Abstract: The Australian grasswrens (Amytornis) comprise a genus of cryptically plumaged species inhabiting the arid regions of southern, western, central, and northern Australia. Isolated, fragmented populations characterise the distributional pattern of several species, whereas others appear to show ecophenotypic clinal variation in plumage patterns. These features have made the species-level taxonomy of the genus a matter of ongoing debate. We undertook qualitative considerations of morphological, biogeographical and ecological features in combination with quantitative DNA distance measures from published studies, to provide a comprehensive species level revision of Amytornis. In addition to the ten species recognised by Schodde and Mason (1999) (housei, textilis, goyderi, purnelli, ballarae, merrotsyi, woodwardi, dorotheae, striatus, barbatus), we also recognise as species the following: modestus, rowleyi, oweni and whitei. These fourteen species are placed into four subgenera: Amytornis, Magnamytis, Maluropsis and Cryptamytis subgen. nov. The latter subgenus is erected for A. merrotsyi. The potential impacts that this new taxonomy will have on the conservation status of the various taxa are canvassed.
John H. Boyd III: Tif Update:

Grasswrens: Pilbara Grasswren, Amytornis whitei, Sandhill Grasswren, Amytornis oweni, and Rusty Grasswren, Amytornis rowleyi, have been split from Striated Grasswren, Amytornis striatus, based on Christidis et al. (2013) (I only recently got a copy of the complete paper). The grasswrens have been rearranged based on Christidis et al. (2010).
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Old Saturday 16th April 2016, 20:01   #53
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Peter Kovalik wrote:

Quote:


Originally Posted by Daniel Philippe View Post

Christidis, L., F. E. Rheindt, W. E. Boles & J. A. Norman, 2013. A re-appraisal of species diversity within the Australian grasswrens Amytornis (Aves: Maluridae). Austral. Zoologist 36 (4): in press

Abstract: The Australian grasswrens (Amytornis) comprise a genus of cryptically plumaged species inhabiting the arid regions of southern, western, central, and northern Australia. Isolated, fragmented populations characterise the distributional pattern of several species, whereas others appear to show ecophenotypic clinal variation in plumage patterns. These features have made the species-level taxonomy of the genus a matter of ongoing debate. We undertook qualitative considerations of morphological, biogeographical and ecological features in combination with quantitative DNA distance measures from published studies, to provide a comprehensive species level revision of Amytornis. In addition to the ten species recognised by Schodde and Mason (1999) (housei, textilis, goyderi, purnelli, ballarae, merrotsyi, woodwardi, dorotheae, striatus, barbatus), we also recognise as species the following: modestus, rowleyi, oweni and whitei. These fourteen species are placed into four subgenera: Amytornis, Magnamytis, Maluropsis and Cryptamytis subgen. nov. The latter subgenus is erected for A. merrotsyi. The potential impacts that this new taxonomy will have on the conservation status of the various taxa are canvassed.

Free pdf: http://publications.rzsnsw.org.au/do...82/AZ.2013.004

Enjoy,

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Old Saturday 16th April 2016, 20:42   #54
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Originally Posted by Richard Klim View Post
Forthcoming...
  • McLean, Toon, Schmidt, Joseph & Hughes (in press). Speciation in chestnut-shouldered fairy-wrens (Malurus spp.) and rapid phenotypic divergence in Variegated Fairy-wrens (Malurus lamberti): a multilocus approach. Mol Phylogenet Evol.
    CSIRO.
The link was broken for me, but currently this seems to work: https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/do...4834&dsid=DS14

This paper seems to pull back on some of the conclusions from the thesis that martin-WA referenced.

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Old Saturday 16th April 2016, 20:54   #55
LeNomenclatoriste
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Ahem, Amytornis merrotsyi is nested (or basal) into Amytornis striatus clade (according to Boyd), so Cryptamytis become a junior synomym of Magnamytis.
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Old Saturday 16th April 2016, 21:58   #56
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This paper seems to pull back on some of the conclusions from the thesis that martin-WA referenced.
Niels my reading of this (since confirmed in correspondence) is that the published paper matches the earlier chapters of the thesis (Ch 3), but the detailed contact zone study (Ch 5) is still to be published - just waylaid as these things often are when a student graduates.
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Old Sunday 17th April 2016, 00:19   #57
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OR, in other words: now we make one paper, and once we have that published, the next paper will be the one really containing what we want to say.

In a way, I feel lucky that most of my papers were published before I defended my PhD, so I did not have to play that kind of games.

Niels
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2017, 11:56   #58
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Medina, Delhey, Peters, Cain, Hall, Mulder, Langmore. 2017. Habitat structure is linked to the evolution of plumage colour in female, but not male, fairy-wrens. BMC Evol Biol 17:35.
[full paper]
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Old Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 20:26   #59
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Malurus lamberti

Alison J. McLean, Alicia Toon, Daniel J. Schmidt, Jane M. Hughes & Leo Joseph. Phylogeography and geno-phenotypic discordance in a widespread Australian bird, the Variegated Fairy-wren, Malurus lamberti (Aves: Maluridae). Biol J Linn Soc blx004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blx004

Abstract:
The Variegated Fairy-wren Malurus lamberti as currently construed occurs across almost all of mainland Australia. If Pleistocene biogeographical barriers limited gene flow in this species, then geographical restriction of haplotypes should mirror those barriers. We used phylogeographic analyses of one mitochondrial and eight nuclear DNA markers to reconstruct the bird’s history, especially for its arid and tropical populations. Robustly supported phylogeographic structure between M. l. lamberti of central eastern Australia and all other populations suggests vicariance by the Great Dividing Range of eastern Australia; time to their most recent common ancestor origin traces to approximately 148 000 years ago (Kya; 95% highest posterior density interval 62–312). Estimates of divergence time for populations of M. l. assimilis east and west of the central southern Australian Eyrean Barrier converged at 86 Kya (45–133), the youngest estimated divergence being between two tropical taxa (14 Kya, 0–30). Taxonomic implications of our data question the current circumscription of M. lamberti, but support taxonomic recognition of structuring east and west of the Eyrean Barrier within what is currently M. l. assimilis. Genetic diversity in two tropical taxa is incompletely sorted or at early stages of divergence with gene flow.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 21:12   #60
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Amytornis modestus

Amy L. Slender, Marina Louter, Michael G. Gardner & Sonia Kleindorfer. Patterns of morphological and mitochondrial diversity in parapatric subspecies of the Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus). Emu - Austral Ornithology Vol. 0 , Iss. 0,0, Published online: 18 Apr 2017.

Abstract:

Divergence is the first phase of speciation and is commonly thought to occur more readily in allopatric populations. Subspecies are populations that are divergent but generally retain the capacity to interbreed should they come into contact. Two subspecies of the Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus) are divergent by 1.7% at the mitochondrial ND2 gene and were previously considered to be allopatric. In this study, we discovered that the subspecies were parapatric. We use a larger sample size than previous studies to examine variation in morphology and mitochondrial haplotype across the distribution of each subspecies and within the region of parapatry. The subspecies occurring to the west, Amytornis modestus indulkanna, had larger body size and longer and narrower bill than the subspecies occurring to the east, A. m. raglessi. Within the region of parapatry, females were morphologically similar to A. m. indulkanna but had eastern mitochondrial haplotypes while males had intermediate morphology and either eastern or western haplotypes. Additionally, haplotypes from the western mitochondrial clade were found in A. m. raglessi. These patterns of morphology and mitochondrial diversity reveal discordance within the region of parapatry and to the east. We suggest that the subspecies have undergone asymmetric expansion from west to east, made secondary contact, and are currently hybridising.
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Old Saturday 3rd June 2017, 01:35   #61
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Reassessment of a possible case of intraspecific gene flow across Australia’s Great Dividing Range in the variegated fairy wren, Malurus lamberti (Aves: Maluridae), and its systematic consequences
Alison J. Mclean, Leo Joseph, Alicia Toon, Daniel J. Schmidt, Alex Dre, Ian J. Mason, Jane M. Hughes
Biol J Linn Soc
Published: 02 June 2017
link

Abstract
Two subspecies of the variegated fairy wren Malurus lamberti, Malurus lamberti lamberti and Malurus lamberti assimilis, are thought to exemplify a surprisingly rare case of intraspecific gene flow across eastern Australia’s Great Dividing Range. We screened 71 individuals within and beyond their putative hybrid zone for diversity in one mitochondrial and two anonymous nuclear loci, four microsatellite markers and diagnostically different plumage traits. Almost all supposed hybrid zone individuals were genotypically and phenotypically M. l. assimilis, but some carried mitochondrial DNA typical of M. l. lamberti. We infer an intermittently ‘leaky’ genetic boundary between the two taxa. Integrating this study with our earlier work on the M. lamberti group, we argue that speciation, albeit with some gene flow, between M. l. lamberti and all other taxa recently assigned to M. lamberti is essentially complete. A two-species taxonomy whereby one species, M. lamberti Vigors and Horsfield, 1827 (variegated fairy wren), comprises only what is currently called M. l. lamberti, and a second species, Malurus assimilis North, 1901 (purple-backed fairy wren), is for all other populations recently assigned to M. lamberti should be adopted and further tested.


In a nutshell, this paper shows limited, one-way mtDNA (but not nuclear) introgression of lamberti into assimilis, but otherwise very weak evidence for an 'intergrade', and as with the previous related paper makes an unusually clear recommendation to split Variegated Fairy-wren into two species (i.e. split M. assimilis Purple-backed Fairy Wren).
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Old Thursday 15th June 2017, 06:09   #62
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Corrigendum

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin_WA View Post
Reassessment of a possible case of intraspecific gene flow across Australia’s Great Dividing Range in the variegated fairy wren, Malurus lamberti (Aves: Maluridae), and its systematic consequences
Alison J. Mclean, Leo Joseph, Alicia Toon, Daniel J. Schmidt, Alex Dre, Ian J. Mason, Jane M. Hughes
Biol J Linn Soc
Published: 02 June 2017
link
Corrigendum
Alison J. McLean Alicia Toon Daniel J. Schmidt Jane M. Hughes Leo Joseph. Phylogeography and geno-phenotypic discordance in a widespread Australian bird, the Variegated Fairy-wren, Malurus lamberti (Aves: Maluridae).
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Old Sunday 18th June 2017, 23:00   #63
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The Variegated Fairy-wren split now posted on PS by IOC

Quote:
PS 7.3 Purple-backed Fairywren Malurus assimilis Variegated Fairywren M. lamberti McLean et al. 2017. M. lamberti would be monotypic. Working hypothesis
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Old Friday 1st December 2017, 12:21   #64
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Yandell, D. D., Hochachka, W. M., Pruett-Jones, S., Webster, M. S. and Greig, E. I. (2017), Geographic patterns of song variation in four species of Malurus fairy-wrens. J Avian Biol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/jav.01446

Abstract:

Geographic variation in song is widespread among birds, particularly in species that learn vocalizations. The relationship between geographic distance and song variation is likely related to the degree of isolation between populations. To assess this effect of geographic isolation on song divergence, we examined patterns of geographic song variation in four species of Australian fairy-wrens (Malurus), two with suspected histories of geographic isolation and two without. Song variation in all four species was consistent with patterns of isolation by distance, and allopatric subspecies in two species were more divergent in song than predicted by distance alone. Each species' pattern was unique, and some interspecific variation could not be explained by geographic distance. These results indicate that patterns of geographic variation can be influenced by more than geographic distance and historical isolation alone. We suggest that morphological constraints, environmental influences, and sexual selection may all contribute to the variation observed for each species.
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Old Sunday 21st January 2018, 11:47   #65
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Malurus assimilis

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin_WA View Post
Reassessment of a possible case of intraspecific gene flow across Australia’s Great Dividing Range in the variegated fairy wren, Malurus lamberti (Aves: Maluridae), and its systematic consequences
Alison J. Mclean, Leo Joseph, Alicia Toon, Daniel J. Schmidt, Alex Dre, Ian J. Mason, Jane M. Hughes
Biol J Linn Soc
Published: 02 June 2017
link
IOC Updates Diary Jan 20

Accept Purple-backed Fairywren
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Old Monday 19th February 2018, 22:41   #66
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Is there anywhere where a reasonably precise map can be found as to where the two Fairywren species (Variegated/Purple-backed) can be found?

Thanks
Niels
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 03:14   #67
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There has been a discussion on that issue on the Australian Twitchers Facebook page this week. I haven't read through all the comments, but I don't think anyone knows where the border is exactly. Somewhere to the west of the great dividing range.
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 03:19   #68
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Thank you. How about some places like Hattah-Kulkune (spelling) and little desert in the borderlands between Victoria and Southern Australia, and Sundown NP in Queensland - Can anything be said about which is present at those locations?

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Old Wednesday 21st February 2018, 08:44   #69
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I think Hattah would clearly be Purple-backed (Malurus assimilis). Sundown is in the questionable zone. Schodde and Mason's Directory of Australian Birds, the most comprehensive review of Australian passerine subspecies, had an area around there that they showed as being an intergradation zone between the two. Which of course is hard to reconcile with them being separate species.
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Old Wednesday 21st February 2018, 17:28   #70
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I think Hattah would clearly be Purple-backed (Malurus assimilis). Sundown is in the questionable zone. Schodde and Mason's Directory of Australian Birds, the most comprehensive review of Australian passerine subspecies, had an area around there that they showed as being an intergradation zone between the two. Which of course is hard to reconcile with them being separate species.
Narrow, stable hybrid zones with limitations on gene flow is an argument for species status; wide hybrid zone and gene flow through the zone is an argument against. That is why the details of the study made here are necessary.

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Old Sunday 24th June 2018, 19:07   #71
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Thick-billed Grasswren: Thick-billed grasswren (Amytornis modestus) songs differ across subspecies and elicit different subspecific behavioural responses
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Old Monday 22nd June 2020, 18:06   #72
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Amytornis whitei parvus Black, subsp. nov., Amytornis whitei aenigma Black, subsp. no

Andrew B. Black, Christopher A. Wilson, Lynn P. Pedler, Scott R. McGregor, Leo Joseph. Two new but threatened subspecies of Rufous Grasswren Amytornis whitei (Maluridae). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 140(2):151-163 (2020). https://doi.org/10.25226/bboc.v140i2.2020.a6

Abstract:

Rufous Grasswren Amytornis whitei is the most widely distributed of three species formerly included within the Striated Grasswren A. striatus complex. Included among four phenotypically, geographically and ecologically distinct populations are A. w. whitei of the Pilbara ironstone ranges of Western Australia and A. w. oweni of inland sandy deserts. The other two are the little-known small-billed isolate of the limestone plateau of the Cape Range, North West Cape Peninsula, Western Australia, and a larger form present in the mallee of the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. We present morphometric and other data and describe these two populations as new subspecies; both are of conservation concern.

[full article]
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2020, 20:15   #73
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Andrew B. Black, Christopher A. Wilson, Lynn P. Pedler, Scott R. McGregor, Leo Joseph. Two new but threatened subspecies of Rufous Grasswren Amytornis whitei (Maluridae). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 140(2):151-163 (2020). https://doi.org/10.25226/bboc.v140i2.2020.a6
IOC Updates Diary July 7

Split polytypic Rufous Grasswren Amytornis whitei from Striated Grasswren (Black et al. 2020). English name follows Black et al. (2020). Includes whitei, oweni and newly described parvus and aenigma.

Split Opalton Grasswren Amytornis rowleyi from Striated Grasswren (Christidis et al. 2013; Black et al. 2020). English name follows Black et al. (2020).
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Old Tuesday 21st July 2020, 20:52   #74
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Amytornis striatus

Andrew Black, Gaynor Dolman, Christopher A. Wilson, Catriona D. Campbell, Lynn Pedler & Leo Joseph (2020) A taxonomic revision of the Striated Grasswren Amytornis striatus complex (Aves: Maluridae) after analysis of phylogenetic and phenotypic data, Emu - Austral Ornithology, DOI: 10.1080/01584197.2020.1776622

Abstract:

Taxonomy of the Striated Grasswren Amytornis striatus complex has long been contentious and remains incompletely resolved. Its many populations are distributed widely but disjunctly and show only subtle distinction in morphology and plumage. Genetic data are meagre and have not been correlated with phenotype. We conducted a phenotypic analysis across its range and obtained mitochondrial DNA sequences from most populations. We recognise three species: south-eastern Striated Grasswren Amytornis striatus sensu stricto, Opalton Grasswren Amytornis rowleyi in central Queensland and Rufous Grasswren Amytornis whitei in the remainder of the range, with subspecies in the Pilbara and in the central and western deserts. In A. striatus as so circumscribed, we separate allopatric Murray Mallee and central New South Wales populations subspecifically. Isolated populations of Rufous Grasswren, from the North West Cape Peninsula, Western Australia and Eyre Peninsula, South Australia are also distinct. Awareness of such unanticipated diversity within the group has profound implications for conservation.
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Old Wednesday 29th July 2020, 09:54   #75
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Striated Grasswren splits

I’m interested in what everyone thinks of the three way Striated Grasswren split outlined in the two papers above this post, particularly the one in Emu.

The papers show there are no consistent plumage differences between the various forms: “Our review of plumages failed to provide diagnostic criteria for intraspecific division within the Striated Grasswren complex, thus corroborating the observation that plumage patterns are poor indicators of phylogenetic relationships within the genus as a whole (Christidis et al. 2010)“. The 2010 paper is actually entitled “Plumage patterns are good indicators of taxonomic diversity, but not of phylogenetic affinities, in Australian grasswrens Amytornis”. So plumage patterns aren’t a good indicator of taxonomic diversity if the results of these papers are accepted.

The papers show there is significant genetic divergence amongst the various forms, particularly those east and west of the Eyrean barrier. This is similar to the situation with the two Thick billed Grasswrens that were split a few years ago, as well as many other species. The divergence is of a similar level to that between other species, hence tends to support some degree of splitting.

There is a detailed analysis of specimen measurements which is too complex for me to succinctly summarise, but the rowleyi form seems shorter winged and tailed (albeit from a very small sample) and some of the differences are pretty small - for example the differences in bill depth are less than a millimetre. Some forms on each side of the Eyrean divide are dimensionally similar to each other, but others are not.

The paper then says “In proposing the number and rank of taxa to be recognised, we acknowledge debate about the relative importance of phenotypic and molecular data, especially in recognising intraspecific taxa (Sangster 2009; Patten 2015; Burfield et al. 2017; Patten and Remsen 2017). We formulate our discussion in relation to the Phylogenetic and General Lineage Species Concepts (reviews in Hausdorf 2011; Sangster 2014) and approaches outlined by Gill (2014) and Patten and Remsen (2017).” This wording left me unclear as to whether these splits are only being justified from a PSC perspective. Reading the last cited paper didn’t help as it was about how you can’t expect to distinguish subspecies genetically.

It says “Both morphometric and genetic data support species rank” for the forms each side of the Eyrean barrier. And on rowleyi “Though weakly differentiated phenotypically (e.g. deep bill profile, short tail), lengthy independent evolution is shown by substantial genetic divergence, so justifying recognition at species rank.”

I got to the end of the paper and when I tried to summarise it in my own mind I thought:
  • There are significant genetic differences between Striated Grasswren populations, as you’d expect of populations that have been isolated for a long time. The level of divergence is consistent with multiple species. But unlike some other recent Australian splits (eg Golden Whistlers), this is not a case where the traditional species turns out to be non monophyletic.
  • There are no consistent plumage differences.
  • There is no analysis of call differences, but I note previous authors have said calls don't differ across the group. So neither plumage or call can be regarded as a potential isolating mechanism.
  • The only morphological differences are small ones in size and relative shape
Is this really enough to justify splitting these forms on any of the species concepts used by major checklists (i.e. on anything other than the PSC)? Or have I oversimplified their conclusions?
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