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Alaudidae (1 Viewer)

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
...but FMNH 352824 is a specimen of Mirafra hova.

Maybe 352844 is a typo in the supplementary data.
Seems likely, thanks. But still doesn't exclude the possibility of e.g. samples getting labelling accidentally switched somehow, somewhere, either at the lab or the museum providing the sample. For the sake of scientific veracity, unexpected results like this need to be repeated for confirmation (or not!).
 

alytothrix

Active member
The sequences from the specimen in question are available on Genbank (where they repeat the voucher code FMNH:352844). Blast searches for all 5 genes have other larks as the top hit, even though Bernieria sequences are available for all genes except 16S. So most likely these are genuinely lark sequences, although there are of course a number of other ways the results could be in error.
 

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
Sabota Lark

Sean M Marr, Mmatjie L Mashao, and G Derek Engelbrecht. Morphological variation in the Sabota Lark Calendulauda sabota in southern Africa. Ostrich, Journal of African Ornithology, Published online: 08 Nov 2016.

Abstract:

Separation of the eight southern African subspecies of Sabota Lark Calendulauda sabota into thick-billed and slender-billed groups has been proposed. This study used biometric data obtained from museum skins in South Africa to evaluate morphological variation in the subspecies as a basis for the delineation of Sabota Lark into the thick-billed, slender-billed and intermediate groups. Six mensural characters were measured by a single researcher. Box plots were used to identify outliers, the 75% rule for diagnostics was applied to determine whether subspecies were distinct, and discriminant function analysis was used to evaluate the validity of the thick- and slender-billed groups, and the existence of a putative intermediate group. The results of this study support the separation of Sabota Lark into slender-billed (C.s. sabota, C.s. sabotoides, C.s. suffusca and C.s. waibeli) and thick-billed (C.s. bradfieldi, C.s. herero and C.s. naevi) groups based on culmen-nare length and bill width. The results failed to provide evidence for an intermediate group. Some C.s. ansorgei specimens had thick-billed characteristics, whereas others had slender-billed characteristics, implying sympatry of the thick- and slender-billed groups in southern Angola and north-western Namibia.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Some C.s. ansorgei specimens had thick-billed characteristics, whereas others had slender-billed characteristics, implying sympatry of the thick- and slender-billed groups in southern Angola and north-western Namibia.
I am curious to know if these otherwise fit the subspecific description or if there really is an overlap between two types as hinted in the last half of this quote.

Niels
 

l_raty

laurent raty
Donald, Alström, Engelbrecht. 2017. Possible mechanisms of substrate colour-matching in larks (Alaudidae) and their taxonomic implications. Viewpoint. Ibis 159:699-702.
[first page]
 

MJB

Well-known member
Donald, Alström, Engelbrecht. 2017. Possible mechanisms of substrate colour-matching in larks (Alaudidae) and their taxonomic implications. Viewpoint. Ibis 159:699-702.
[first page]

Click on 'read article', and then you can download as an ePDF.
MJB
 

jurek

Well-known member
Donald, Alström, Engelbrecht. 2017. Possible mechanisms of substrate colour-matching in larks (Alaudidae) and their taxonomic implications. Viewpoint. Ibis 159:699-702.
[first page]

I suggest precisely the opposite mechanism. Like well-known case how moths find a perch which matches their camouflage pattern. Larks move around the habitat randomly, until they find a territory where they are not disturbed by predators e.g. where their plumage matches the local soil. ;)
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
I suggest precisely the opposite mechanism. Like well-known case how moths find a perch which matches their camouflage pattern. Larks move around the habitat randomly, until they find a territory where they are not disturbed by predators e.g. where their plumage matches the local soil. ;)

Interesting thought - not impossible, but it presumes self-awareness, knowing what their personal colour is, and that to seek the same ground colour brings safety. Could work though, as larks often fly very high, so they can check ground colour over large areas from one location.

But it also conflicts with the hard evidence that washed museum skins change colour when the dust is removed.
 

jurek

Well-known member
Interesting thought - not impossible, but it presumes self-awareness, knowing what their personal colour is, and that to seek the same ground colour brings safety.

It is a cool little trivia topic, which would be a lovely small project - if I had been a field biologist :) .

I meant the opposite. Moths cannot see the color of background nor themselves.

Larks might randomly perch on various backgrounds and be flushed, until by pure chance they perch on a background matching their own. Then the lark is not disturbed anymore and stays there permanently. This does not require a lark to take notice what color it is itself or background is.

I also noticed that most larks seem to like a complex background, not just the right color. That is a background with many stems or stones, which distract the observer from the shape of the lark.
 

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
Eremophila

Ghorbani, F., Aliabadian, M., Olsson, U. et al. Mitochondrial phylogeography of the genus Eremophila confirms underestimated species diversity in the Palearctic. J Ornithol (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-019-01714-2

Abstract:

Phylogeographic analyses of the genus Eremophila (Horned Lark E. alpestris and Temminck’s Lark E. bilopha) were carried out based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND2 genes. Four primary lineages with para-/allopatric distributions were identified: (1) a Qinghai–Tibetan–Himalayan lineage; (2) a North African and Middle Eastern lineage; (3) a northwest African and southeast European/southwest Asian lineage; and (4) a Northern Palearctic and North American lineage. The relationships between these four lineages were poorly resolved. They were estimated to have diverged in the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene, although the dates are uncertain due to topological ambiguity and wide confidence intervals. The sublineages were estimated to have diverged around the Middle Pleistocene (c. 0.8–0.2 mya). A strong signal of population growth and range expansion was observed from the Middle Pleistocene, at least in the North Palearctic subclade (A2). Morphometric analysis of the Eurasian taxa revealed a high degree of overlap among taxa, although E. bilopha and E. a. longirostris stood out from the others. We support a recent suggestion to split E. alpestris into multiple species, although we propose four instead of six species, corresponding to the four primary lineages identified in this study: (1) Himalayan Horned Lark E. longirostris (by priority and on the premise that the genetically unsampled taxon longirostris belongs to this clade); (2) Temminck’s Lark E. bilopha; (3) Mountain Horned Lark E. penicillata; and (4) Common Horned Lark E. alpestris (sensu stricto). Our results illustrate the discrepancy between phylogenetic relationships and phenotype in larks.
 

Jim LeNomenclatoriste

Taxonomy and zoological nomenclature
France
Ghorbani, F., Aliabadian, M., Olsson, U. et al. Mitochondrial phylogeography of the genus Eremophila confirms underestimated species diversity in the Palearctic. J Ornithol (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-019-01714-2

Abstract:

Phylogeographic analyses of the genus Eremophila (Horned Lark E. alpestris and Temminck’s Lark E. bilopha) were carried out based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND2 genes. Four primary lineages with para-/allopatric distributions were identified: (1) a Qinghai–Tibetan–Himalayan lineage; (2) a North African and Middle Eastern lineage; (3) a northwest African and southeast European/southwest Asian lineage; and (4) a Northern Palearctic and North American lineage. The relationships between these four lineages were poorly resolved. They were estimated to have diverged in the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene, although the dates are uncertain due to topological ambiguity and wide confidence intervals. The sublineages were estimated to have diverged around the Middle Pleistocene (c. 0.8–0.2 mya). A strong signal of population growth and range expansion was observed from the Middle Pleistocene, at least in the North Palearctic subclade (A2). Morphometric analysis of the Eurasian taxa revealed a high degree of overlap among taxa, although E. bilopha and E. a. longirostris stood out from the others. We support a recent suggestion to split E. alpestris into multiple species, although we propose four instead of six species, corresponding to the four primary lineages identified in this study: (1) Himalayan Horned Lark E. longirostris (by priority and on the premise that the genetically unsampled taxon longirostris belongs to this clade); (2) Temminck’s Lark E. bilopha; (3) Mountain Horned Lark E. penicillata; and (4) Common Horned Lark E. alpestris (sensu stricto). Our results illustrate the discrepancy between phylogenetic relationships and phenotype in larks.


I'm interested!
 

Jim LeNomenclatoriste

Taxonomy and zoological nomenclature
France
Fatemeh Ghorbani, Mansour Aliabadian, Ruiying Zhang, Martin Irestedt, Yan Hao, Gombobaatar Sundev, Fumin Lei, Ming Ma, Urban Olsson, Per Alström (2020).
Densely sampled phylogenetic analyses of the Lesser Short‐toed Lark (Alaudala rufescens) — Sand Lark (A. raytal) species complex (Aves, Passeriformes) reveal cryptic diversity.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/zsc.12422

Abstract
The taxonomy of the Lesser/Asian Short‐toed Lark Alaudala rufescens–cheleensis complex has been debated for decades, mainly because of minor morphological differentiation among the taxa within the complex, and different interpretations of the geographical pattern of morphological characters among different authors. In addition, there have been few studies based on non‐morphological traits. It has recently been suggested based on a molecular study of the lark family Alaudidae that the Sand Lark A. raytal is nested within this complex. We here analysed mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) from 130 individuals across the range of this complex (hereafter called Alaudala rufescens–raytal complex), representing all except two of the 18 currently recognized subspecies. We also analysed 11 nuclear markers from a subsample of these individuals, representing all of the clades found in the cyt b tree. Five primary clades were recovered, which confirmed that A. raytal is nested within this complex. Divergence time estimates among these five clades ranged from 1.76 to 3.16 million years (my; 95% highest posterior density [HPD] 1.0–4.51 my) or 1.99–2.53 my (95% HPD 0.96–4.3 my) in different analyses. Only four of the currently recognized subspecies were recovered as monophyletic in the cyt b tree. Our results call for a taxonomic revision, and we tentatively suggest that at least four species should be recognized, although we stress the need for an approach integrating molecular, morphological and other data that are not yet available.
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
The 5 clades are:

heinei clade:

A. r. heinei
A. c. beicki
A. r. pseudobaetica
A. r. aharonii


rufescens clade

A. r. apetzii
A. r. polatzeki
A. r. rufescens
A. r. minor


rayal clade

A. ra. raytal
A. ra. adamsi


cheelensis clade

A. c. cheelensis
A. c. tuvinica


leucophaea clade

A. c. seebohmi
A. c. leucophaea


The cheelensis and leucophaea clades could go either way with spilts


Should these proposals be adopted (pending further work) this means in IOC listing terms (someone who follows other lists more closely can elaborate on that) is:

Sand Lark stays unchanged.
Asian Short-toed Lark looses subspecies beicki and could potentially be split in two.
Lesser Short-toed Lark is split in two with a western species from Iberia to Western Turkey and Arabia and an Eastern species with beicki from Eastern Turkey, through to Iran and Central Asia.
 

Markus Lagerqvist

Well-known member
Horned Lark is split into 3 species by BirdLife Sweden's Taxonomic Committe in its latest report, published yesterday:
  • Berglärka Eremophila alpestris (Common Horned Lark)
  • Orientberglärka Eremophila penicillata (Mountain Horned Lark)
  • Himalayaberglärka Eremophila longirostris (Himalayan Horned Lark)

Full report here.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
"Mountain Horned Lark" is a silly name. Don't most Horned Larks breed in mountains?

They may be resident though rather than migratory?

We saw atlas at Oukameidon in Morocco in March so they are presumably, resident?

Can someone post a breakdown of the races as they will appear within the new species?
 
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