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Passerellidae (1 Viewer)

Richard Klim

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Klicka, Barker, Burns, Lanyon, Lovette, Chaves & Bryson (in press). A comprehensive multilocus assessment of sparrow (Aves: Passerellidae) relationships. Mol Phylogenet Evol. [abstract]
5. Conclusion
Modern taxonomies need be altered to include the 128 species shown in Fig. 1 as these represent all known extant species within the avian family Passerellidae (Barker et al. 2013). Importantly, this assemblage now includes the two traditionally thraupid genera Chlorospingus and Oreothraupis (although the former is polyphyletic, with C. flavovirens remaining placed among the tanagers). It no longer includes Emberiza and its allies (Urocynchramus, Melophus, Latoucheornis, Miliaria), nor does it include any of the taxa currently recognized as "tanager finches" (see Remsen et al., 2013). The latter includes 15 genera (Volatinia, Sporophila, Oryzoborus, Melopyrrha, Tiaris, Loxipasser, Loxigilla, Euneornis, Melanospiza, Pinaroloxias, Haplospiza, Acanthidops, Diglossa, Sicalis, Emberizoides) still recognized as sparrows in some current taxonomies (e.g. AOU, 1998).
Given the subjective nature of higher-level taxonomy, we focus only on those recommended changes that would eliminate para- or polyphyly within the group as it is currently configured. Ammodramus is polyphyletic; it is our recommendation that Ammospiza (Oberholser, 1905) be resurrected for the leconteii-maritimus-nelsoni-caudacutus clade and Passerherbulus (Stone 1907) for bairdii-henslowi. Pselliophorus (two species) is embedded within an otherwise monophyletic Atlapetes and should be subsumed within the latter genus. Spizella is also polyphyletic. The most efficient and appropriate solution to this problem is to erect a new genus for Spizella arborea.
[See also: Emberizoidea.]
 
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Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Someone really should go back in time and get the authors of Passerherbulus to pick a different generic name...
 

gusasp

Well-known member
C. flavovirens: that's a shocker! Can't be that many examples of congeneric species turning out to belong to completely different families. The American Tree, is it sister to Passerella as in previous studies? And the different parts of Ammodramus, do they still belong to the same clade?
 

l_raty

laurent raty
Someone really should go back in time and get the authors of Passerherbulus to pick a different generic name...
"Likely, some taxonomists would favor merging Xenospiza and Melospiza, resurrecting the genus Passerherbulus (Stone 1907) for henslowii and bairdii, and retaining Passerculus as a monotypic form. Such a taxonomy would be consistent with the relationships depicted in Figure 1. However, Figure 2B indicates that precise relationships within the group remain equivocal. A henslowii–bairdii sister relationship is not certain, nor is the relationship of this putative pair with either Melospiza or Passerculus. To accommodate this uncertainty and reflect the known evolutionary pattern, we advocate merging all these taxa (Fig. 2B) into a single genus. Among the genera listed, Passerculus (Bonaparte 1838) has priority and should be used."
(Klicka & Spellman 2007 [pdf])

This solution is still perfectly valid.
The group is oversplit, so why split it still more?
 

l_raty

laurent raty
C. flavovirens: that's a shocker! Can't be that many examples of congeneric species turning out to belong to completely different families. The American Tree, is it sister to Passerella as in previous studies?
Spizella abrorea is sister to Passerella in the mtDNA tree (BS=90, PP=.99); but this node is unresolved in the nDNA tree and in the combined mt+nDNA analysis. The combined tree has a "tetrachotomy" (if I dare ;)) [Spizella abrorea; Passerella; Zonotrichia; Junco].
 
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Richard Klim

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Passerherbulus

The group is oversplit, so why split it still more?
Klicka et al (in press)...
As a more conservative alternative, bairdii-henslowi may be placed into a more inclusive new genus that includes all additional elements of the subclade (Passerculus, Melospiza, and Xenospiza). From among these genera, Passerculus (Bonaparte 1838) has priority and would be most appropriate.
 

l_raty

laurent raty
And, as a still more conservative alternative, if you accept the combined analysis, leconteii-maritimus-nelsoni-caudacutus can go into Passerculus as well...
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Couple of pretty shocking errors in this paper, hope they can correct them before going to print:

Passerellidae .... no longer includes Emberiza and its allies (Urocynchramus, Melophus, Latoucheornis, Miliaria)
Passerellidae never has included any of those genera; they were, are, and always have been, in Emberizidae. A better wording would be:
Passerellidae .... genera have been split out from their former inclusion in Emberizidae (Emberiza and its allies Urocynchramus, Melophus, Latoucheornis, Miliaria)

And the title
A comprehensive multilocus assessment of sparrow (Aves: Passerellidae) relationships
is also inaccurate and very misleading; sparrows are of course Passeridae, not Passerellidae. Some title editing is badly needed!

- - - -

C. flavovirens: that's a shocker! Can't be that many examples of congeneric species turning out to belong to completely different families.
Just last month, Spelaeornis formosus split out from Spelaeornis to Elachura formosa and placed in monotypic Elachuridae.
 

l_raty

laurent raty
Passerellidae never has included any of those genera; they were, are, and always have been, in Emberizidae.
Agreed that the formulation is poor (even if it is "this assemblage", by which they presumably mean the clade formed by these species, that was though to include Emberiza--the claim is nomenclaturally incorrect, but phylogenetically it may be more defendable).
Btw, Urocynchramus seems quite unlikely to be allied to Emberiza (Gebauer et al. 2006 [1st page], Yang et al. 2006 [pdf]).
 
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Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
The authors are US-based. "Sparrow" is a perfectly okay name to use to refer to members of Passerellidae: Most members of the clade uses sparrow in the common name. I suppose they could use a more exact name like "New World Sparrows", but I don't see an issue. As long as the latin is correct, target readers shouldn't be confused.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
The authors are US-based. "Sparrow" is a perfectly okay name to use to refer to members of Passerellidae: Most members of the clade uses sparrow in the common name. I suppose they could use a more exact name like "New World Sparrows", but I don't see an issue. As long as the latin is correct, target readers shouldn't be confused.
The authors are US-based, but the journal (Mol. Phyl. Evol., published by Elsevier) is a Dutch multinational with a global readership; to make the assumption that 'sparrow' can only refer to Passerellidae is something where I definitely do see an issue.
 

andrew147

Well-known member
"C. flavovirens remaining placed among the tanagers"

They don't elaborate on this further in the paper. Any idea where amongst the tanagers?
 

l_raty

laurent raty
John Boyd has noted that the type of Passerherbulus is lecontei, and that Centronyx (Baird, 1858) applies to bairdii-henslowi – as used in TiF for some time.
www.jboyd.net/Taxo/List30.html#passerellidae

- Centronyx Baird, 1858. [OD]. Type species Emberiza bairdii Audubon, by monotypy.

This one seems easy, indeed. It also seems clear that Passerherbulus applies to the group including leconteii. Which name is valid for this group, though, may be rather less clear...

- Passerherbulus Maynard, 1895. [Richmond Index card]. Type species, fide Richmond, Emberiza leconteii Audubon, by original designation. I don't seem to be able to find the OD on the web right now. (I find the work, but not the right edition, and the name is not there.)
- Ammospiza Oberholser, 1905. [OD]. Type species Oriolus caudacutus Gmelin, by original designation.
- Passerherbulus Stone, 1907. ["OD"].

Oberholser introduced Ammospiza in 1905. Richmond then noted that Passerherbulus Maynard, 1895, already applied to the same group. Stone (1907) published this finding, attributing Passerherbulus to Maynard, 1895, and giving it priority over Ammospiza. Later, Oberholser (1917) argued that Passerherbulus was not available from Maynard (1895) and had to be dated from Stone (1907)--thereby giving priority to the name he had himself proposed. The reasons he cited are however somewhat disputable under the present rules, and Richmond clearly thought the name was available from the original work.

Who was correct...?
 
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l_raty

laurent raty
It is here: Maynard (1896):
I do not include Leconte's Bunting under this head, for I think that it should be placed in a separate genus, for which I propose the name, Passerherbulus; for generic characters of which see the forthcoming appendix.
There is apparently no "forthcoming appendix", hence we are stuck with the above. Oberholser (1917) commented:
[...] the only indication of type is the citation of the name "LeConte's Bunting" without authority or other statement of origin; furthermore, this name does not occur elsewhere in Maynard's book, for on a previous page where the bird is described it is called LeConte's Sparrow.
The absence of included available nominal species does not make a name unavailable--a description or an illustration of the taxon denoted by the name would be enough. In the book, we are given both a description and an illustration of Leconte's Sparrow. Where there is a problem, however, is that what is included in the new genus is not called "Leconte's Sparrow", but "Leconte's Bunting", thus the link between the description or illustration, and the genus name appears broken.

Well, almost broken, actually... In fact, contra Oberholser (1917), "Leconte's Bunting" does occur elsewhere in this book: in the index, pointing to p.507, ie., the description of Leconte's Sparrow.

(Making this name unavailable seems, in any case, a rather subjective decision.)
 
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