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Emberizoidea (1 Viewer)

gusasp

Well-known member
Generic revisions

This is fascinating stuff! Fascinating that Pheucticus is nearly as old as Cardinalidae itself and that lineages within Thraupidae are so old, nearly as old as the family itself.

But it also made me wonder about possible generic revisions. I know a genus is a very arbitrary classification unit, but shouldn't at least there be some consistency within families with respect to branch lengths? If so, Barker et als excellent tree gives at hand the following possible splits and lumps:

Splits
* Emberiza into (at least) four genera, very deep splits 8-9,5 MYA
* Amphispiza, the split older than sister clade Chondestes/Calamospiza (among others)
* Arremon into four genera (splits older than Passerella/Spizelloides/Junco/Zonotrichia)
* Myiothlypis (split as old as Cardellina/Basileuterus split)
* Sturnella
* Icterus into two or three genera
* Piranga
* Bangsia
* Tangara

Lumps
* Melospiza/Xenospiza/Baird's Sparrow-clade is younger than several within-genera splits, could also include Henlow's and Passerculus.
* Xanthopsar and Pseudoleistes very closely related
 

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
Zootaxa 3895 (1): 103–116 (12 Dec. 2014)
Analysis of plumage, morphology, and voice reveals species-level differences between two subspecies of Prevost’s Ground-sparrow Melozone biarcuata (Prévost and Des Murs) (Aves: Emberizidae)
LUIS SANDOVAL, PIERRE-PAUL BITTON, STÉPHANIE M. DOUCET & DANIEL J. MENNILL

[Abstract]

[Full PDF]
 

Acanthis

Well-known member
But it also made me wonder about possible generic revisions. I know a genus is a very arbitrary classification unit, but shouldn't at least there be some consistency within families with respect to branch lengths? If so, Barker et als excellent tree gives at hand the following possible splits and lumps:

Yes, this was my thought too after studying the supertree. A little more 'symmetry' of treatment at least within a given clade etc. For example the 'Yellow finches' Sicalis, Phrygilus, & Melanodera (+Rowettia & Nesospiza). The branch lengths within Sicalis are greater than the division between Phrygilus and Melanodera suggesting Sicalis could be further divided (Gnathospiza?). Then again they do seem to form a distinctive, morphologically similar unit so maybe not.

One species Sicalis citrina seems to be closer to Phrygilus/Melanodera than its congeners. Perhaps should be Pseudochloris citrina?

Rowettia & Nesospiza are not apparently part of an island radiation but are very closely related to Melanodera and perhaps should be treated as part of that genus.
They are the result of not one but two!! colonisations by Melanodera, of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago - a mind-boggling 2000 miles from the South American mainland!!! Astonishing!

As this island group is on the African plate these birds must be the only thraupids to colonise any part of the Old World.
And they're British - lol ;)


Splits
* Arremon into four genera (splits older than Passerella/Spizelloides/Junco/Zonotrichia)

Buarremon, Lysurus?


* Sturnella

Leistes for the red species?


* Piranga

Spermagra for the masked species?
 

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