Proposal (649) to South American Classification Committee
Revise the linear sequence of species in the Fregatidae
Effect on SACC: This is a minor proposal, as minor as they get, that I’ve just never gotten around to doing – tweak the linear sequence in Fregata slightly to make our sequence reflect phylogenetic data.
Background: Our current SACC footnote is as follows:
16. Genetic data (Kennedy & Spencer 2004) indicate that Fregata ariel is basal to all other species in the genus. Proposal needed to change linear sequence.
Our current sequence, which follows a traditional sequence of uncertain origin, is:
Fregata magnificens Magnificent
Fregata minor Great Frigatebird
Fregata ariel Lesser Frigatebird
New information: Kennedy and Spencer (2004) sequenced ca. 1750 bp of mtDNA (4 loci) to produce the following tree. As you can see, F. ariel is sister to all other Fregata, with strong support:
Analysis and Recommendation: All we have to do to follow standard conventions of linear sequencing by moving F. ariel to the beginning of the sequence to make it correspond to the only solid phylogenetic data that I’m aware of for the family, so in the interests of proper bookkeeping, I recommend a YES.
Van Remsen, September 2014