Proposal (527) to South American Classification Committee


Move Philydor ruficaudatum and P. lichtensteini to Anabacerthia


Effect on SACC: P. ruficaudatum and P. lichtensteini would become A. ruficaudata and A. lichtensteini

Background and new information:

A recent phylogenetic analysis (Derryberry et al. 2011, Evolution) of the Furnariidae with nearly complete species-level taxon sampling found that Philydor was polyphyletic, with species occurring in at least four phylogenetically distant places in the tree. The only relevant sample missing from the analysis was P. novaesi.

In the Derryberry et al. tree, Philydor ruficaudatum and P. lichtensteini occurred in a strongly supported clade with all members of Anabacerthia; see figure below. Relationships within the clade were less resolved, but there was some support for sister relationships between P. ruficaudatum and A. variegaticeps and between P. lichtensteini and A. amaurotis.  Although not demonstrated in the paper, Derryberry et al. confirmed the veracity of the relationships by sequencing at least two individuals per species and by checking the voucher specimens.

Other important information:

The type species of Philydor is P. atricapilla.

The type species of Anabacerthia is A. striaticollis.


Literature Cited:

DERRYBERRY, E., S. CLARAMUNT, G. DERRYBERRY, R. T. CHESSER, J. CRACRAFT, A. ALEIXO, J. PÉREZ-ÉMAN, J. V. REMSEN, JR., & R. T. BRUMFIELD.  2011.  Lineage diversification and morphological evolution in a large-scale continental radiation: the Neotropical ovenbirds and woodcreepers (Aves: Furnariidae).  Evolution 65: 29732986.


Robb Brumfield, June 2012



Comments from Stiles: “YES, as the Derryberry et al. phylogeny clearly indicates that these generic changes are necessary.”


Comments from Pacheco: “YES.  The transfer is well justified by the results in the recent phylogenetic analysis.”

Comments from Robbins: “YES.  This is a straightforward decision given the genetic data.”

Comments from Zimmer:  “YES.  The genetic data clearly support this change, and, I would add, this also makes sense from the perspective of vocal characters for both species.  Ecologically, lichtensteini also seems like a perfect fit for Anabacerthia, at least with respect to its foraging behavior.”

Comments from Nores: “YES. The genetic data clearly support moving Philydor ruficaudatum and P. lichtensteini to Anabacerthia. However, by morphology and behavior they are similar to other Philydor.”