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Rallidae (1 Viewer)

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
TiF Update June 18:
The new Howard and Moore checklist (Dickinson and Remsen, 2013) uses Zapornia for the rail clade that I had labeled Limnocorax. They are correct that Zapornia has priority, and I have updated the TiF list accordingly.
 

l_raty

laurent raty
(This is a response to Peter Kovalik's comment on my earlier Otididae post here. But as it is indeed more about Rallidae than about Otididae, I assumed that it would be more appropriate to have it in a thread about these birds...)
And also a placement of Canirallus beankaensis and C. kioloides in the Laurent's attached file. It seems Canirallus is not a member of the Rallidae family.
I have attached two more files.

The first one is the best resolved tree I can get with data available in GenBank and BOLD, for Rallidae, Sarothruridae and Heliornithidae, with Gruidae, Aramidae, Psophiidae and Otididae acting as outgroups. What I used is basically a cox1 data set (this is the gene that is available for the largest number of species), augmented with cytochrome b, 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and bFib7 sequences, where these were available for the taxa that have had cox1 sequenced. The data set is, quite unavoidably, heterogeneous (not unlike, eg., the data set used to produce the Charadriidae tree recently published by Barth et al. 2013). The data were partitioned by gene and by position in the case of coding genes (ie., 9 partitions in total: 3 for cox1, 3 for cytb, 1 for each rRNA, 1 for bFib7), and analyzed using the maximum likelihood criterion (with Treefinder). For the rRNAs, I retained only the parts of the sequences that I could align with reasonable confidence. Canirallus seems indeed to fall outside the core group of rallids. It is most likely close to Sarothrura indeed, albeit support here remains decidedly poor. See also, in particular, the spreading of Porzana spp.

The other file is a simple bFib7 tree. I have joined this one for two reasons:
- the deeper relationships here have better support than in the multigene tree (there are many more taxa in the multigene tree, and the taxa or clades that have no bFib7 sequence tend to "float" at the divergence levels that are poorly resolved by mtDNA - their position is unstable, they end up in various positions depending on the bootstrap replicate and, as a result, the overall support of the basal nodes decreases);
- this tree includes a couple of species for which there was no cox1 sequence, and that I have not included in the multigene tree at all, because they destabilized it. See, in particular, Himantornis haematopus...
 

Attachments

  • Gruiformes.cox1+cytb-bfib7-16s-12s-as-available.consensus.pdf
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Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
Canirallus seems indeed to fall outside the core group of rallids. It is most likely close to Sarothrura indeed, albeit support here remains decidedly poor. See also, in particular, the spreading of Porzana spp.

:t: Thank you, Laurent. Really interesting. There are a lot of surprises in the Rallidae family (e.g. Porzana albicollis is out of Porzana, Zapornia and Hapalocrex too (by H&M4) or nonmonophyly of Coturnicops)...
 
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l_raty

laurent raty
:t: Thank you, Laurent. Really interesting. There are a lot of surprises in the Rallidae family (e.g. Porzana albicollis is out of Porzana, Zapornia and Hapalocrex too (by H&M4) or nonmonophyly of Coturnicops)...
I wouldn't be too sure about the monophyly of Coturnicops, the node that contradicts it has a too low BS. But in the bFib7 tree, Coturnicops noveboracensis appears to be nested in Laterallus... And there support is high.
Thanks for the interest anyway. |=)|
 

l_raty

laurent raty
Megacrex inepta


The position of the New Guinea Flightless Rail, Megacrex inepta, remains unclear. Kirchman (2012) found it basal to both Rallus and Gallirallus, while Trewick's (1997) results would put it in Gallirallus, which I follow here.

This is an interesting case, and indeed not addressed at all by my previous trees, hence...:

Trewick (1997 [pdf]), and Kirchman (2012 [pdf]) each produced a partial cytochrome b and a partial 12S rRNA sequence of Megacrex; to date, these four sequences are the only available genetic data for this taxon. Within each data set, the signal given by the two genes looks compatible, but the data sets conflict with one another.
I have attached a tree based on cytb+12S sequences, resulting largely from a merging of these two data sets. Trewick's sequences have accession numbers U77###, Kirchman's sequences have accession numbers JQ34#### and JQ36####--so they can easily be identified in the tree.
Kirchman's Megacrex forms the sister group of a clade made of Amaurornis olivacea, A. phoenicurus, and Gallicrex cinerea. Trewick's Megacrex ends up in a completely different place, within the Rallus/Gallirallus clade, and actually appearing nearly identical to Kirchman's Gallirallus lafresnayanus. It seems obvious from these sequences that the samples that Trewick and Kirchman each called Megacrex inepta cannot have been derived from birds belonging to the same species. Nor even to the same genus, actually.

It's probably not possible to be 100% certain without a third study. However:
- It seems rather improbable to me that Gallirallus lafresnayanus and Megacrex inepta, two completely flightless rail species, one restricted to New Caledonia, the other to New Guinea, would appear genetically as close as Trewick's Megacrex sequences suggest.
- However, externally, these two species are both large dull flightless rails with thick bill and legs, hence I presume that they could conceivably be confused for one another in a museum tray.
- Livezey (1998 [pdf]), based on morphological characters, placed Gallirallus lafresnayanus within the Gallirallus/Rallus group (Fig.3), and Megacrex inepta within Amaurornis (Fig.4). Although support was far from high, (1) this result runs nevertheless counter to them being nearly conspecific, and (2) this result is nevertheless strikingly more congruent with the relationships suggested by Kirchman's sequences, than with those suggested by Trewick's sequences.
Thus, if facing a choice, I think that I would tend to accept Kirchman's sequences, while presuming that Trewick's Megacrex might have been a misidentified Gallirallus lafresnayanus.

(I'd rather not bet my hand on this type of thing if I can avoid it, though. ;))
 

Attachments

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Richard Klim

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Megacrex inepta

Thus, if facing a choice, I think that I would tend to accept Kirchman's sequences, while presuming that Trewick's Megacrex might have been a misidentified Gallirallus lafresnayanus.
Perhaps a case of inept sampling of inepta...
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
I do not pretend to understand all of Laurent's post, but anything that leads to the loss of "Megacrex" will be a sad day indeed!

cheers, alan
 

l_raty

laurent raty
Does that change include the extinct Ascension island Rail, Atlantisia elpenor?
If you want to read on this subject:

Atlantisia alpenor was described by Olson (1973 [pdf]), who placed it in Atlantisia together with the smaller Inacessible Island Rail A. rogersi, and the bigger St. Helena Rail (the latter previously classified as Aphanocrex podarces). (This was reviewed by Cracraft, 1974 [pdf]).
Mundia was proposed for elpenor by Bourne et al. (2003 [pdf]), who also returned the St. Helena Rail to Aphanocrex.

In 2002, Slikas, Olson & Fleischer reported having obtained sequences from, ia., Atlantisia rogersi ([pdf]--see #450, p.187), stating that this species "and the Dot-winged Crake, Porzana spiloptera, both fall within a clade including several species in the genus Laterallus". (But, 12 years later, there are still no sequences of Atlantisia in GenBank.)
 
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Richard Klim

-------------------------
Megacrex inepta

Thus, if facing a choice, I think that I would tend to accept Kirchman's sequences, while presuming that Trewick's Megacrex might have been a misidentified Gallirallus lafresnayanus.
John Boyd (TiF):
www.jboyd.net/Taxo/changes.html (16 May 2014)
www.jboyd.net/Taxo/List6.html#rallidae
Raty, in another BirdForum post, found that Trewick and Kirchman used quite different DNA for Megacrex. One of the birds is probably mislabelled. Given the DNA of Trewick's bird is almost identical to other DNA of Gallirallus lafresnayanus, it is probably Trewick who is wrong. Accordingly, Megacrex inepta is placed sister to the Poliolimnas-Amaurornis clade.
 

MJB

Well-known member
If you want to read on this subject:

Atlantisia alpenor was described by Olson (1973 [pdf]), who placed it in Atlantisia together with the smaller Inacessible Island Rail A. rogersi, and the bigger St. Helena Rail (the latter previously classified as Aphanocrex podarces). (This was reviewed by Cracraft, 1974 [pdf]).
Mundia was proposed for elpenor by Bourne et al. (2003 [pdf]), who also returned the St. Helena Rail to Aphanocrex.

In 2002, Slikas, Olson & Fleischer reported having obtained sequences from, ia., Atlantisia rogersi ([pdf]--see #450, p.187), stating that this species "and the Dot-winged Crake, Porzana spiloptera, both fall within a clade including several species in the genus Laterallus". (But, 12 years later, there are still no sequences of Atlantisia in GenBank.)

Thank you, Laurent!
MJB
 

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
I. A. Bogdanovich, 2014. Morphoecological Peculiarities of Pelvis in Several Genera of Rails with Some notes On systematic Position Of The Coot, Fulica Atra (Rallidae, Gruiformes). Vestnik Zoologii. Volume 48, Issue 3, Pages 249–254, ISSN (Online) 2073-2333, DOI: 10.2478/vzoo-2014-0028, July 2014.
Abstract and PDF here
 

Daniel Philippe

Well-known member
García-R JC, Gibb G, Trewick S. Cenozoic origin and diversification of the cosmopolitan land bird family Rallidae. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Revision submitted.

García-R J.C., Gibb G. & Trewick S., 2014. Deep global evolutionary radiation in birds: Diversification and trait evolution in the cosmopolitan bird family Rallidae. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. In press

abstract
 

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