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Asian Short-toed Lark (1 Viewer)

Chris Bell

Well-known member
Hello all,

I've been trawling through the latest version (1.7) of the IOC List of Birds of the world in a Western Palearctic context.

I've noticed that Asian Short-toed Lark (Calandrella cheelensis) is split from Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens).

I know that these two species have recently been lumped by a number of authorities including James F Clements and the AERC.

Traditionally the birds of the central Anatolian Plateau of Turkey were regarded as aharonii which seems to have been regarded as a race of Lesser Short-toed Lark by Clements (at least), and was not regarded as a race of Asian Short-toed Lark.

More recently these birds seem to have been re-classified as neithammeri and placed within Asian Short-toed Lark.

I gather that the IOC list is based largely upon Howard & Moore, though my copy (1994) is obviouly out of date. For instance neithammeri is not even listed as a taxon of either Lesser Short-toed or Asian Short-toed Lark.

How is neithammeri treated in the current version of Howard & Moore?

If Asian Short-toed Lark is still split, then is neithammeri included within it as a valid taxon?

This would have an impact on a IOC based WP list as Turkey is the only place where Asian Short-toed Lark has been thought to occur dependant on your taxonomic point of view.
 

Daniel Philippe

Well-known member
This is what Kirwan et al. 2008 say in "The birds of Turkey":

"In the extensive experience of Alström et al. (in prep.), the only constant characters for separating cheleensis-type and rufescens-complex birds are outer tail-feather pattern and wing formula. Independent specimen study suggests that the characters proposed by Roselaar (1995) for separating cheleensis from rufescens are uncertain and cannot be used in many cases. On the basis of tail pattern and wing formula it is certain that Inner Anatolian birds belong to rufescens and not cheleensis, contre Roselaar (op. cit.). Furthermore, field experience garnered elsewhere in Turkey reveals that these characters are quite probably constant and that no Turkish population can be ascribed to cheleensis. In addition to photographs of the type series (held in Bonn) and broad field experience, including of live birds in the hand, we have examined only two specimens from the range of niethammeri, both taken by Wadley (1951) and held in the Natural History Museum (Tring). These are labelled as C. r. aharonii and, like others (Svensson 1992, Beaman & Madge 1998), we prefer to consider niethammeri as a junior synonym of aharonii, contra Roselaar (1995) who suggested that aharonii must be closer to persica than to niethammeri. Some authors (Dickinson 2003, de Juana & Suárez in del Hoyo et al. 2004) have considered aharonii to be a mere synonym of persica. In practice, aharonii and heinei are not dissimilar, especially in size and overall coloration, based on our examination of specimens held at Tring, but are separable using tail-feather pattern and wing formula. Further field and museum studies are desirable and, given the small sample size, additional specimen material is required."
 
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l_raty

laurent raty
Hi Chris,

Calandrella cheleensis is still split in the 2003 ed. of H&M, with a footnote stating:
"Probably, but not certainly, separate from C. rufescens; the races listed here may not all belong together and may represent two or more species. Dickinson et al. (748) placed persica and by inference niethammeri in C. rufescens."

(In case you need it, Dickinson et al. (748) is: http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/record/219910)

The recognized ssp in C Asia minor (thus presumably Anatolia) is indeed niethammeri.

As noted by Kirwan (see Daniel's post, above), aharonii, "based on winter-taken specimens", is thought to be included in persica (C and E Iran to W and S Afghanistan). The type locality of this taxon is in Syria, thus if aharonii is a synonym of persica, this implies that persica occurs in the WP as well.
As an aside, Cramp treats leucophaea (a.o., W Kazakhstan) as a WP bird too.
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Calandrella cheleensis is recognised by H&M3, IOC, BirdLife, BWPC, DB, OBC, & China OS;
but not by HBW9, HBI, AERC, STC, DOF/Netfugl, OSME, or Rasmussen & Anderton 2005.

As Daniel has related, Guy Kirwan argues that Inner Anatolian aharonii (including synonym niethammeri) and indeed all forms in Turkey should certainly be grouped with rufescens.

As noted already, H&M3 and HBW consider aharonii to be synonymous with persica, strongly suggesting that persica should also be grouped with rufescens in this scenario [as per the proposed split of C cheleensis rejected by AERC]. HBW also notes that sometimes only forms eastwards from Turkmenistan (ie leucophaea) are grouped with cheleensis.

Ref Laurent's comment about the possible occurrence of leucophaea within the WP (ie W Kazakhstan), Wassink & Oreel 2007 (The Birds of Kazakhstan) concludes that the status of Asian Short-toed Lark in Kazakhstan remains uncertain. [A study of skins at the Zoological Institute of Almaty revealed that paler Lesser Short-toed Larks have often been misidentified as Asian Short-toed Lark, and recent trips by Alström, Mild & Svensson to the supposed breeding range in Kazakhstan did not result in finding any.]

So if Kirwan is correct, it would seem that ‘C cheleensis’ does not occur anywhere within the WP.

Richard

PS: Chris, good to see you back at the top of the Netfugl WP ranking. :t:
 
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l_raty

laurent raty
Wassink & Oreel 2007 (The Birds of Kazakhstan) concludes that the status of Asian Short-toed Lark in Kazakhstan remains uncertain. [A study of skins at the Zoological Institute of Almaty revealed that paler Lesser Short-toed Larks have often been misidentified as Asian Short-toed Lark, and recent trips by Alström, Mild & Svensson to the supposed breeding range in Kazakhstan did not result in finding any.]

...which would then also make one of the main arguments for the split (sympatric occurence of leucophaea and heinei in Kazakhstan) uncertain...

L -
 

Chris Bell

Well-known member
Many thanks for all the input on this matter, though I'm still a little confused.

Am I correct in thinking that ahoronni is now defunct and that persica/neithammeri are included within cheelensis at present by Howard & Moore.

Am I right in thinking that according to recent studies by Kirwan et al, this should probably be revised and that these races really belong within the rufescens group.

This would mean that using the current Howard & Moore Asian Short-toed Lark would currently occur in the WP, though if Kirwan et al was adopted then this (species) would need removing as a WP taxa?

Sorry if I sound a bit thick but I'm not a taxonomist.

Cheers for the thumbs up by the way Richard!
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Am I correct in thinking that ahoronni is now defunct and that persica/neithammeri are included within cheelensis at present by Howard & Moore.

Am I right in thinking that according to recent studies by Kirwan et al, this should probably be revised and that these races really belong within the rufescens group.

This would mean that using the current Howard & Moore Asian Short-toed Lark would currently occur in the WP, though if Kirwan et al was adopted then this (species) would need removing as a WP taxa?

Yes, H&M 3 (2003) included persica & niethammeri within C cheleensis (and relegated aharonii to being a synonym of persica) - so in this arrangement, Asian Short-toed Lark occurred as a WP species.

Kirwan (2008) has argued that niethammeri (and, I suggest by implication/association, persica) should be grouped within C rufescens, rather than within any split of C cheleensis), thus effectively removing Asian Short-toed Lark as a WP taxon. But he prefers to consider niethammeri to be a junior synonym of aharonii - so reinstating the subspecies name aharonii in place of niethammeri for Inner Anatolian populations.

[What's now rather annoying is that my wife managed to get our rental car stuck deep in a muddy track when looking for 'Asian Short-toed Lark' at Hotamış in 2002, requiring rescue by a sympathetic farmer with a tractor - and potentially all for nothing. :C]

Richard
 
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l_raty

laurent raty
There are two entirely distinct problems, in fact - and H&M and Kirwan et al. disagree on both... (Which may be what makes the entire thing appear confusing...?) One problem is strictly nomenclatural, the other is taxonomic.

The nomenclatural problem is due to the fact that three names are available for only two taxa:
- persica, introduced in 1890 to describe birds breeding in Persia, Afghanistan and NW India;
- aharonii, introduced in 1910 to describe birds wintering in the Syrian desert, the breeding range of which was unknown; and
- niethammeri, introduced in 1963 to describe birds breeding in Anatolia.
The populations from Anatolia and those from further east are regarded as two distinct subspecies; the wintering Syrian birds to which the name aharonii is attached are though to have represented one of these, but there is disagreement on which.
If they represented the more eastern race, aharonii is a synonym of persica; of these two names, persica was proposed first and must therefore be used; niethammeri is the only name that applies to the Anatolian race. This is the position adopted in H&M.
If they represented the Anatolian race, aharonii is a synonym of niethammeri; of these two names, aharonii was proposed first and must therefore be used; persica is the only name that applies to the more eastern population. This is what Kirwan et al. suggest.

This question is only about the valid names of the subspecies, not at all about their delimitation, grouping into species, or classification.

The taxonomic problem is about the species limits in the complex. Some recognize one broad species, others two; and, among those who recognize two, there is disagreement about which species the two races discussed above should be attached to.
H&M recognize two species and place the two races in question with the eastern species.
Kirwan et al. are not fully clear about how many species they actually recognize, nor about what to do with persica, but in their view the Anatolian race at least should go with the western part of the complex, not with the eastern part.

This question is only about how subspecies are grouped into species, and is completely independent of the choice of aharonii rather than niethammeri as the name for the Anatolian population.
 
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Erica

Member
What's now rather annoying is that my wife managed to get our rental car stuck deep in a muddy track when looking for 'Asian Short-toed Lark' at Hotamış in 2002, requiring rescue by a sympathetic farmer with a tractor - and potentially all for nothing. :C
...Richard has got rental cars stuck more often than I have!

Erica
 

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
Hi,

I know I am a late comer to ths thread; but I would be interested in some clarification. I recently observed Lesser Short-toed Lark south of Adana at Tuzla Gölü and would like to calrify which supspecies they are likely (on range) to fit into. I assume they are either persica or ahoronii?

Any opinions appreciated!

Regards
Tristan
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Niethammeri

Kirwan (2008) has argued that niethammeri ...should be grouped within C rufescens, rather than within any split of C cheleensis)... But he prefers to consider niethammeri to be a junior synonym of aharonii - so reinstating the subspecies name aharonii in place of niethammeri for Inner Anatolian populations.
Alström, Kirwan, Grieve, Lassey, Mild & Svensson, in prep. Calandrella rufescens niethammeri is a synonym of C. r. aharonii, and why it matters, with comments on other closely related Anatolian larks.
www.freewebs.com/guykirwan/papers.htm
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Dunno about H&M, but IOC accept Alaudala rufescens aharonii, with the comment
Includes niethammeri as a junior synonym. Reassigned from A. cheleensis to A. rufescens. Kirwan et al., 2008, Dickinson & Christidis, 2014.
and also accept Alaudala rufescens persica, with the comment
Reassign subspecies persica from A. cheleensis to A. rufescens. Dickinson & Christidis, 2014.
 

acctsmmi

New member
Hello all,

I've been trawling through the latest version (1.7) of the IOC List of Birds of the world in a Western Palearctic context.

I've noticed that Asian Short-toed Lark (Calandrella cheelensis) is split from Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens).

I know that these two species have recently been lumped by a number of authorities including James F Clements and the AERC.

Traditionally the birds of the central Anatolian Plateau of Turkey were regarded as aharonii which seems to have been regarded as a race of Lesser Short-toed Lark by Clements (at least), and was not regarded as a race of Asian Short-toed Lark.

More recently these birds seem to have been re-classified as neithammeri and placed within Asian Short-toed Lark.

I gather that the IOC list is based largely upon Howard & Moore, though my copy (1994) is obviouly out of date. For instance neithammeri is not even listed as a taxon of either Lesser Short-toed or Asian Short-toed Lark.

How is neithammeri treated in the current version of Howard & Moore?

If Asian Short-toed Lark is still split, then is neithammeri included within it as a valid taxon?

This would have an impact on a IOC based WP list as Turkey is the only place where Asian Short-toed Lark has been thought to occur dependant on your taxonomic point of view.


"In the broad experience of Alström et al. (in prep.), the main consistent characters for isolating cheleensis-type and rufescens-complex fowls are external tail-plume example and wing equation. Free example study recommends that the characters proposed by Roselaar (1995) for isolating cheleensis from rufescens are unsure and can't be utilized by and large. Based on tail example and wing equation it is sure that Inner Anatolian feathered creatures have a place with rufescens and not cheleensis, contre Roselaar (operation. cit.). Besides, field experience accumulated somewhere else in Turkey uncovers that these characters are most likely consistent and that no Turkish populace can be attributed to cheleensis. Notwithstanding photos of the sort arrangement (held in Bonn) and wide field understanding, incorporating of live flying creatures in the hand, we have analyzed just two examples from the scope of niethammeri, both taken by Wadley (1951) and held in the Natural History Museum (Tring). These are marked as C. r. aharonii and, similar to other people (Svensson 1992, Beaman and Madge 1998), we want to consider niethammeri as a lesser equivalent word of aharonii, contra Roselaar (1995) who recommended that aharonii must be nearer to persica than to niethammeri. A few creators (Dickinson 2003, de Juana and Suárez in del Hoyo et al. 2004) have considered aharonii to be an insignificant equivalent word of persica. By and by, aharonii and heinei are not disparate, particularly in size and generally shading, in view of our assessment of examples held at Tring, however are divisible utilizing tail-quill example and wing recipe. Further field and exhibition hall considers are alluring and, given the little example size, extra example material is required." i want to show you something : the quantum manifestation code
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
"In the broad experience of Alström et al. (in prep.), the main consistent characters for isolating cheleensis-type and rufescens-complex fowls are external tail-plume example and wing equation. Free example study recommends that the characters proposed by Roselaar (1995) for isolating cheleensis from rufescens are unsure and can't be utilized by and large. Based on tail example and wing equation it is sure that Inner Anatolian feathered creatures have a place with rufescens and not cheleensis, contre Roselaar (operation. cit.). Besides, field experience accumulated somewhere else in Turkey uncovers that these characters are most likely consistent and that no Turkish populace can be attributed to cheleensis. Notwithstanding photos of the sort arrangement (held in Bonn) and wide field understanding, incorporating of live flying creatures in the hand, we have analyzed just two examples from the scope of niethammeri, both taken by Wadley (1951) and held in the Natural History Museum (Tring). These are marked as C. r. aharonii and, similar to other people (Svensson 1992, Beaman and Madge 1998), we want to consider niethammeri as a lesser equivalent word of aharonii, contra Roselaar (1995) who recommended that aharonii must be nearer to persica than to niethammeri. A few creators (Dickinson 2003, de Juana and Suárez in del Hoyo et al. 2004) have considered aharonii to be an insignificant equivalent word of persica. By and by, aharonii and heinei are not disparate, particularly in size and generally shading, in view of our assessment of examples held at Tring, however are divisible utilizing tail-quill example and wing recipe. Further field and exhibition hall considers are alluring and, given the little example size, extra example material is required." i want to show you something : the quantum manifestation code

Not the best translation ever!
 
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