Proposal (292) to South American Classification Committee

 

Change linear sequence of species in Veniliornis

 

On proposals 262 and 263, SACC voted to move Veniliornis fumigatus to Picoides and move various former Picoides species to Veniliornis, following Moore et al. (2006). I promised a new linear order proposal to deal with the genus Veniliornis thereafter, depending on the outcomes of the other two votes. The current SACC list reads as follows:

 

 

Veniliornis mixtus Checkered Woodpecker
Veniliornis lignarius Striped Woodpecker
Veniliornis callonotus Scarlet-backed Woodpecker
Veniliornis dignus Yellow-vented Woodpecker
Veniliornis nigriceps Bar-bellied Woodpecker
Veniliornis passerinus Little Woodpecker
Veniliornis frontalis Dot-fronted Woodpecker
Veniliornis spilogaster White-spotted Woodpecker
Veniliornis sanguineus Blood-colored Woodpecker
Veniliornis kirkii Red-rumped Woodpecker
Veniliornis affinis Red-stained Woodpecker
Veniliornis chocoensis Choco Woodpecker
Veniliornis cassini Golden-collared Woodpecker
Veniliornis maculifrons Yellow-eared Woodpecker

 

Moore et al. (2006)'s phylogeny would suggest various changes to the existing linear order. More basal taxa are listed first, with the current order preserved otherwise where possible:

 

Veniliornis kirkii Red-rumped Woodpecker
Veniliornis cassini Golden-collared Woodpecker
Veniliornis spilogaster White-spotted Woodpecker
Veniliornis mixtus Checkered Woodpecker
Veniliornis lignarius Striped Woodpecker
Veniliornis sanguineus Blood-colored Woodpecker*
Veniliornis passerinus Little Woodpecker
Veniliornis frontalis Dot-fronted Woodpecker
Veniliornis callonotus Scarlet-backed Woodpecker
Veniliornis dignus Yellow-vented Woodpecker
Veniliornis nigriceps Bar-bellied Woodpecker
Veniliornis affinis Red-stained Woodpecker
Veniliornis chocoensis Choco Woodpecker*
Veniliornis maculifrons Yellow-eared Woodpecker*

 

* = taxa not sampled by Moore et al. (2006). The placement of V. sanguineus is based on comments by Short (1982), who hypothesized a relation with V. passerinus. V. chocoensis is an SACC split from V. affinis. The position of V. maculifrons is provisional. Short (1982) hypothesized it to form an allospecies with kirkii, cassini and affinis (+ chocoensis); however, affinis is apparently not closely related to the former two species. Moore et al. (2006) hypothesized affinis to be a more plausible relative of V. maculifrons based on their ranges and other factors.

 

References: all on SACC references page.

 

Recommendation: a YES vote. The current linear sequence is inconsistent in many ways with Moore et al.'s recently published molecular phylogeny (and in any event is not fully consistent with certain published hypotheses of relations within the group based on morphological considerations). Although linear orders are not the best way of illustrating relations, the proposed new linear sequence conveys more information than the existing sequence.

 

Thomas Donegan, June 2007

(with minor modification from Doug Stotz, 30 August 2007)

 

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Comments from Stiles: "YES. This proposal accords best with the phylogenetic evidence available."

 

Comments from Jaramillo: "YES - Matches the most recent published data on this genus."

 

Comments from Robbins: "YES. Moore et al.'s (2006) data are quite solid and the sequence in this proposal reflects those findings."

 

Comments from Nores: "YES. Si la secuencia sugerida por Donegan está de acuerdo con el análisis molecular de Moore et al. (2006), que resulta aceptable. Esperamos que no aparezca otro análisis molecular que diga lo contrario."

 

Comments from Pacheco: "YES. Considero que a sequźncia linear proposta representa um avanćo e está em melhor sintonia com os dados moleculares disponíveis."

 

Comments from Zimmer: "YES, primarily because this arrangement is more consistent with the molecular data. However, I'm not sure that I buy the position of V. maculifrons. In fact, when one looks purely at vocal differences and similarities within the genus, several curiosities emerge in this sequence. That said, the molecular evidence is still the best thing we've got to hang our hats on at present, so "YES"."