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Ailuroedus catbirds (1 Viewer)

Daniel Philippe

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Biogeography of catbirds (Passeriformes: Ailuroedus) manifests zoogeographical disjunctions on New Guinea

Martin Irestedt, Cees S Roselaar, Henrique Batalha Filho, Leslie Christidis & Per G P Ericson

New Guinea is the largest and highest tropical island in the world and is estimated to host the third-largest “high biodiversity” wilderness in the world. The fauna in New Guinea is characterised by complex distribution patterns where species and subspecies often are replaced by sister-taxa in adjacent regions. One such pattern is that widely distributed lowland species are morphologically variable with distinct, geographically disjunct populations, but in spite of that there are few apparent barriers in the lowland. Today we know that New Guinea has a complicated geological history and that these patterns may reflect past geographical disjunctions.
The avifauna of New Guinea is renowned for its diversity and includes families such as the birds-of-paradise and the bowerbirds. In this study we use catbirds of the bowerbird genus Ailuroedus to investigate past vicariance patterns in the lowlands and lower mountains. Catbirds were chosen as model group since the two species inhabiting New Guinea are found at slightly different altitudes and may thus have responded differently to past vicariance events.
By examining molecular data within a spatio-temporal framework we found three deep genetically divergent populations in the lowland species that corroborate the presence of ancient lowland barriers. In the lower mountain taxa we found a different and more complex population structure. The result supports the hypothesis that taxa inhabiting lowland and lower mountains, respectively, have responded differently to past geological and ecological events in New Guinea. By using integrative taxonomy based on both molecular and morphological data we argue that several subspecies of Ailuroedus catbirds should be upgraded to species rank.

26th International Ornithological Congress 2014, Tokyo
 
Irestedt et al

Forthcoming...

Irestedt, Batalha-Filho, Roselaar, Christidis & Ericson (in press). Contrasting phylogeographic signatures in two Australo-Papuan bowerbird species complexes (Aves: Ailuroedus). Zool Scr. [abstract]
...we suggest a revised classification of the genus Ailuroedus, where we recognize three species within the lowland complex and seven species within the mid-mountain complex.
Frith & Frith 2009 (HBW 14):
 
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Irestedt et al

Forthcoming...
Irestedt, Batalha-Filho, Roselaar, Christidis & Ericson (in press). Contrasting phylogeographic signatures in two Australo-Papuan bowerbird species complexes (Aves: Ailuroedus). Zool Scr. [abstract]
Published online...

Irestedt, Batalha-Filho, Roselaar, Christidis & Ericson (in press). Contrasting phylogeographic signatures in two Australo-Papuan bowerbird species complexes (Aves: Ailuroedus). Zool Scr. [abstract] [supp info]
  • Ailuroedus buccoides - Vogelkop White-eared Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedus geislerorum - Northern White-eared Catbird (incl molestus Rothschild & Hartert, 1929)
  • Ailuroedus stonii - Southern White-eared Catbird (incl cinnamomeus)

  • Ailuroedus crassirostris - Green Catbird (monotypic)

  • Ailuroedus maculosus - Grey-throated Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedus melanocephalus - Black-capped Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedes astigmaticus - Huon Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedus arfakianus - Arfak Catbird (incl misoliensis)
  • Ailuroedus jobiensis - Northern Catbird (monotypic, incl 'guttaticollis')
  • Ailuroedus melanotis - Spotted Catbird (incl joanae, facialis)
 
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joanae is an isolated lowland taxon from Iron Range in far N Queensland, with behaviour very different to the southern maculosus, much more like the lowland NG birds.
facialis is from the Oranje and Nassau Mts, it does seem odd to have this within melanotis of Aru Is and Trans-Fly lowlands.
Not surprised to see it being split up but await HBW/BL verdict with interest
 
You're right. I considered joanae a highland taxon because it is also supposed to live in the McIlwraith Range, although I have never seen nor heard it there and I wonder if anyone else ever has.
Talking about bowerbirds, how is the monograph progressing ?
 
The type area of A. joanae is the Coen area of the Cape York peninsula. Mentioned by Mayr (without naming?) here:
http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/bitstream/handle/2246/2402/N1602.pdf?sequence=1 .
joanae
Female eponym; dedication not given; perhaps after a relative of the collector Dr G. Scott (Mathews 1941, Emu, 40, 384) (OD per Björn Bergenholtz) (subsp. Ailuroedus melanotis).(HBW Alive)
Dr. Scott was the remarkable Gabriele Neuhauser from Germany . In one expedition to Coen she employed two local Aborigines as guides and travelled by packhorse with her future husband John Scott.
 
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You're right. I considered joanae a highland taxon because it is also supposed to live in the McIlwraith Range, although I have never seen nor heard it there and I wonder if anyone else ever has.
Talking about bowerbirds, how is the monograph progressing ?
Coming along, these catbird musings are quite timely!. Bops are well advanced, bowerbirds in the development stage but finding out all sorts of odd things.
 
Published online...

Irestedt, Batalha-Filho, Roselaar, Christidis & Ericson (in press). Contrasting phylogeographic signatures in two Australo-Papuan bowerbird species complexes (Aves: Ailuroedus). Zool Scr. [abstract] [supp info]
  • Ailuroedus buccoides - Vogelkop White-eared Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedus geislerorum - Northern White-eared Catbird (incl molestus Rothschild & Hartert, 1929)
  • Ailuroedus stonii - Southern White-eared Catbird (incl cinnamomeus)

  • Ailuroedus crassirostris - Green Catbird (monotypic)

  • Ailuroedus maculosus - Grey-throated Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedus melanocephalus - Black-capped Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedes astigmaticus - Huon Catbird (monotypic)
  • Ailuroedus arfakianus - Arfak Catbird (incl misoliensis)
  • Ailuroedus jobiensis - Northern Catbird (monotypic, incl 'guttaticollis')
  • Ailuroedus melanotis - Spotted Catbird (incl joanae, facialis)

IOC Update Diary
Apr 7 Revise species taxonomy of Ailuroedus catbirds, including 7 splits
 
Good to see they have left maculosus as Spotted Catbird, and instead changed melanotis to Black-eared, because
"The species maculosus has been known in Australia as the Spotted Catbird for over a century. And melanotis similarly has been known as the Black-eared Catbird forever (R. Schodde)."
A good decision preserving local usage for both, as well as congruence with specific names.
Just a pity we didn't bother to see the damn thing at Iron Range when it was calling near our tent!
 
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TiF Update April 8, 2016

Ailuroedus catbirds: I have accepted a number of splits in the Ailuroedus catbirds that were recommended by Irestedt et al. (2016) and adopted by IOC. They are:

Split Tan-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus geislerorum (inc. molestus Rothschild & Hartert, 1929), and Ochre-breasted Catbird, Ailuroedus stonii (inc. cinnamomeus), from White-eared Catbird, Ailuroedus buccoides.
Split Spotted Catbird, Ailuroedus melanotis into Spotted Catbird, Ailuroedus maculosus, Huon Catbird, Ailuroedus astigmaticus, Black-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus melanocephalus, Black-eared Catbird, Ailuroedus melanotis (inc. joanae and facialis) Arfak Catbird, Ailuroedus arfakianus (inc. misoliensis), and Northern Catbird, Ailuroedus jobiensis inc. guttaticollis.
 
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