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Taxonomic revision of the Long‑tailed Rosefinch Carpodacus sibiricus complex (1 Viewer)

Paul Leader

Well-known member

Taxonomic revision of the Long‑tailed Rosefinch Carpodacus sibiricus complex

The Long-tailed Rosefinch Carpodacus sibiricus breeds in two widely disjunct areas in East Asia. Five subspecies are usually recognized. The plumage differences between different subspecies groups within C. sibiricus are notable, suggesting it may actually comprise more than one species. However, proper taxonomic assessment has not been carried out, probably in part due to the scarcity and lack of museum specimens of some of these subspecies. In the current study, we re-evaluated the taxonomy of the C. sibiricus complex using molecular, acoustic and morphological data. Using mitochondrial DNA, the samples formed two clades, a northern clade (C. s. sibiricus, C. s. ussuriensis and C. s. sanguinolentus) and a southern clade (C. s. henrici and C. s. lepidus). We also revealed that C. s. ussuriensis and C. s. sanguinolentus are mostly indistinguishable based on mitochondrial markers. This north/south split pattern is congruent with the pattern of plumage differences among north and south taxa. However, no diagnosable differences were found in their songs. We propose synonymizing C. s. ussuriensis with C. s. sanguinolentus. At the species level, we suggest splitting the complex into two species, with Siberian Long-tailed Rosefinch C. sibiricus comprising C. s. sibiricus and C. s. sanguinolentus, and Chinese Long-tailed Rosefinch C. lepidus comprising C. l. henrici and C. l. lepidus.

James Eaton

Trent Valley Crew
Nice work, Paul, et al. - great to see this split written-up.

I was surprised about how much overlap there is with the vocalisations. I'm not overly familiar with the Siberian birds song.

Best wishes

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