Proposal (595) to South American Classification Committee

 

Revise sequence of genera in the New World parrots

 

Effect on SACC:  This proposal would rearrange the sequence of genera in to reflect new findings on relationships within the family.

 

Background and New information:  Our current linear sequence is based largely on historical momentum and traditional perceptions of relationships, with more-or-less pointed-tail genera first, square-tailed last.  Fortunately, we now have enough modern phylogenetic data to revise our classification.  Our current Note is as follows:

 

Kirchman et al. (2012) and Schirtzinger et al. (2012) found that a group consisting of Touit, Bolborhynchus, and Psilopsiagon was sister to all other New World parrots, as well as many other differences that would affect the traditional linear sequence of genera.  SACC proposal badly needed on linear sequence of genera.

 

Although we still have a long way to go, enough genera and species have been sequenced that we have a well-supported hypothesis for the phylogeny of the family. 

 

Our current linear sequence is as follows:

 

Anodorhynchus
Cyanopsitta

Ara

Orthopsittaca

Primolius

Diopsittaca

Ognorhynchus

Guarouba

Leptosittaca

Thectocercus

Psittacara

Aratinga

Eupsittula

Cyanoliseus

Pyrrhura

Enicognathus

Forpus

Brotogeris

Myiopsitta

Psilopsiagon

Bolborhynchus

Nannopsittaca

Touit

Pionites

Deroptyus

Pionopsitta

Pyrilia

Hapalopsittaca

Graydidascalus

Alipiopsitta

Pionus

Amazona

Triclaria

 

 

Joseph et al. (2012) distilled the existing studies of the phylogeny of New World parrot genera and recommended at least two Tribes within their subfamily Arinae (New World parrots), but with a number of genera Incertae Sedis.  Schirtzinger et al. (2012) greatly expanded previous taxon-sampling to include most genera in the Arinae.  A miserable screen grab of the relevant section of their tree is pasted in below, hopefully with sufficient resolution to be somewhat legible (and let me know if you need a pdf):

 


 

         Note that a group that consists of Touit, Psilopsiagon Bolborhynchus, and Nannopsittaca is strongly supported as the sister group to all other Arinae (also found by Kirchman et al. 2012).  Within the remaining genera, there is essentially a 4-way polytomy, with 4 well-supported groups: (1) Forpus; (2) Amazona + Graydidasculus + Pionus + Triclaria + Pyrilia + Hapalopsittaca; (3) Brotogeris + Myiopsitta; and (4) almost everything else, e.g. all the macaws, conures, Pionites, Rhynchopsitta, Deroptyus.  Many but by no means all of the nodes within each group received strong support.

 

         Schodde et al. (2013) divided the Arinae into four tribes: Amoropsittacini (for the Touit group), Androglossini (for groups 2 an 3 above), Forpini (for Forpus), and Arini (for group 4).

 

Dickinson & Remsen (2013) translated the Schirtzinger et al. tree into a linear sequence, and interpolated the position of missing genera from a combination of other recent studies (e.g. Kirchman et al. 2012) and traditional perception of relationships.  Using tabs to signal positions of branches and nodes and spaces to signal boundaries between groups, their sequence was:

 

Touit

Psilopsiagon

Bolborhynchus

Nannopsittaca

 

Myiopsitta

Brotogeris

 

Pionopsitta (position derived from Tavares et al. 2006)

Triclaria

Pyrilia

Hapalopsittaca

 

Pionus

Graydidascalus

Alipiopsitta (position derived from Russello & Amato 2004 and Kirchman et al. 2012)

Amazona

 

Forpus

 

Pionites

Deroptyus

 

Pyrrhura

 

Enicognathus

 

Cyanoliseus

 

Anodorhynchus
Eupsittula

Aratinga

Orthopsittaca

Cyanopsitta

Primolius

Ara

 

Leptosittaca

Ognorhynchus (position based on traditional sequences)

Guarouba

Diopsittaca

 

Psittacara

 

 

         Subsequently, Urantowka et al. (2012) provided evidence that the Blue-crowned Parakeet merits resurrecting the monotypic genus Thectocercus described for it by Ridgway, and Remsen et al. (2013) incorporated this into their revision of the Aratinga group.  A proposal to follow Remsen et al. (2013) was accepted by SACC, but we left the three genera excised from Aratinga adjacent to Aratinga with the notation that this would be covered in a subsequent proposal, i.e., the current one.

 

         Urantowka et al. (2012) found that the closest relative of Thectocercus was Diopsittaca. Modifying the sequence from Dickinson & Remsen to accommodate Thectocercus, the sequence I propose is as follows:

 

Touit

Psilopsiagon

Bolborhynchus

Nannopsittaca

 

Myiopsitta

Brotogeris

 

Pionopsitta

Triclaria

Hapalopsittaca

Pyrilia

Pionus

Graydidascalus

Alipiopsitta

Amazona

 

Forpus

 

Pionites

Deroptyus

 

Pyrrhura

 

Enicognathus

 

Cyanoliseus

 

Anodorhynchus

Eupsittula

Aratinga

Cyanopsitta

Orthopsittaca

Primolius

Ara

 

Leptosittaca

Ognorhynchus

Guarouba

Thectocercus

Diopsittaca

 

Psittacara

 

         In the above sequence, I also added two minor tweaks to the sequence in Dickinson & Remsen: I reversed the positions of (a) Cyanopsitta and Orthopsittaca to follow the branching pattern in Schirtzinger et al., and (b) Hapalopsittaca and Pyrilia to follow the convention of least-diverse branch first.

 

Analysis and Recommendation:  The proposed new sequence reflects the findings of several recent papers, especially Schirtzinger et al. (2012), and barring additional tweaks, removes previous misconceptions on relationships in the family; therefore, I recommend a YES.

 

Van Remsen, October 2013

 

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Comments from Stiles: “YES. The accumulated data on genetic relationships of parrot genera are consistent, and make this change a logical one to reflect what we now understand to be their relationships.”

 

Comments from Zimmer: “YES.  This does a much better job of reflecting our revised understanding of relationships within this family.  The positions of the oddballs Triclaria and Deroptyus surprises me, but then again, I don’t have any better ideas about where they fit in the larger scheme of things.”

 

Comments from Pacheco: “YES.  A sequźncia linear sugerida representa um avanćo no tratamento dos gźneros a partir dos vários recentes trabalhos”.

 

Comments from Pérez-Emán:  YES, as this new sequence will include all recent information on the phylogenetic relationships of New World Parrots.”

 

Comments from Jaramillo: “Hold off – review if results “from Diversity versus disparity and the role of ecological opportunity in a continental bird radiation” Manuel Schweizer, Stefan T. Hertwig and Ole Seehausen 2014 confirm these results or introduce changes to the sequence.”