Proposal (735) to South American Classification Committee

 

Modify linear sequences to reflect new phylogenetic data

 

A. Placement of Anthocephala in Trochilidae

B. Sequence of families in Suliformes

C. Sequence of species and genera in Cathartidae

D. Sequence of genera in Rallidae

E. Sequence of species in Fulica

F. Sequence of species in Charadrius

G. Invert Laridae and Rynchopidae

H. Sequence of species in Megascops

I. Sequence of families in Coraciiformes

J. Sequence of species in Chloroceryle

K. Sequence of genera in Picidae

L. Sequence of species in Forpus

 

 

         Under the umbrella of this proposal I collected a batch of minor linear sequence changes that need to be implemented to reflect new phylogenetic data.  This is just drudgery bookkeeping that has to be done, but hopefully only once, and so we won’t have to fiddle with it again (the Rallidae a likely exception).  I don’t like the instability, but if we have the rules, we have to follow them.  I restricted this proposal to nonpasserines just to cut it down in size.  I did not present much in the way of methods in each case; these can be found in the cited papers if interested.  In each case, the sequences follows the standard conventions of listing first the branch with the fewest species, and in the case of sisters, the northwestern-most taxon is listed first.

 

I recommend a YES on all of them (unless of course someone finds a mistake), although I’m not 100% certain in the case of the Chloroceryle proposal.

 

A.  Placement of Anthocephala in Trochilidae

         Our current linear sequence of genera in the Trochilidae was based on McGuire et al. (2009), which did not have samples of Anthocephala.  Thus, we left this genus next to Adelomyia, following Schuchmann’s HBW classification.  McGuire et al. (2014) were able to obtain two samples of Anthocephala, and found that this taxon is distantly related to Adelomyia and is sister to Stephanoxis, with strong support, and is a member of a small group of hummingbird genera that seem to have little in common, especially biogeography:

 

 

Therefore, the two species of Anthocephala should be moved in the sequence to precede the two species of Stephanoxis (in sister groups with same species richness, northwestern-most taxon is first).

 

B. Sequence of families in Suliformes

         Our current sequence of families in the Suliformes is Fregatidae, Sulidae, Phalacrocoracidae, and Anhingidae.  A minor correction needs to be made to follow standard conventions for sequencing.  All recent data point to a sister relationship between Phalacrocoracidae and Anhingidae, e.g., here’s the figure from Prum et al. (2015):

 

 

         Anhingidae having fewer species means that it should precede its sister taxon Phalacrocoracidae.  Pretty exciting stuff, I know.

 

 

C. Sequence of species and genera in Cathartidae

         Our current linear sequence is as follows:

 

Cathartes aura Turkey Vulture
Cathartes burrovianus
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Cathartes melambrotus
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
Coragyps atratus
Black Vulture
Sarcoramphus papa
King Vulture
Vultur gryphus Andean Condor

 

         Johnson et al. (2016; MPE 105: 193-199) published a phylogeny of the Cathartidae with the following tree:

 

 

         Converting this to a linear sequence produces the following (treating Cathartes as a polytomy):

 

Sarcoramphus papa King Vulture
Vultur gryphus Andean Condor

Coragyps atratus Black Vulture
Cathartes aura
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes burrovianus
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Cathartes melambrotus
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture

 

 

D. Sequence of genera in Rallidae

         Our current sequence of genera, based mostly on historical momentum, is as follows:

        

RALLIDAE (RAILS)
Coturnicops
Micropygia
Rallus

Aramides

Amaurolimnas
Anurolimnas
Laterallus

Crex

Porzana
Porphyriops
Mustelirallus

Pardirallus
Gallinula
Porphyrio
Fulica

 

         García-R et al. (2014; MPE 81: 96-108) published a phylogeny that lacks a lot of oddball genera, as you can imagine from such a globally distributed family, but included most genera in the SACC area.  The tree is too big to screen-grab (let me know if you need the pdf; also, it is a little confusing because of taxonomic differences).  The big differences from traditional relationships are that Porphyrio is not closely related to Gallinula, and that true Porzana are in the same lineage Gallinula and Fulica.  They found strong support for the following relationships (extralimital taxa pruned), with indentations used to indicate relationships:

 

Crex

Rallus

 

      Porphyrio

                  Anurolimnas

                              Laterallus

                              Coturnicops

      Mustelirallus

      Pardirallus

     

      Amaurolimnas

      Aramides

 

      Porphyriops

      Porzana

 

      Gallinula

      Fulica

 

         They did not have a sample of Micropygia, so we could keep it next to reflect traditional ideas on its relationship.  Because of the polyphyly of genera such as Laterallus, Porzana, and even Gallinula, and the limited number of species sampled, I suspect we may have to do more fiddling with this sequence once the family is more broadly sampled.  Nonetheless, the sequence above will be much closer to the eventual final sequence than our current one.

 

 

E. Sequence of species in Fulica

         Our current sequence in Fulica is as follows:

 

Fulica armillata Red-gartered Coot
Fulica rufifrons Red-fronted Coot
Fulica gigantea Giant Coot
Fulica cornuta Horned Coot
Fulica americana American Coot
Fulica ardesiaca Slate-colored Coot
Fulica leucoptera White-winged Coot

 

         García-R et al. (2014; MPE 81: 96-108) had good sampling within Fulica, with strong support for much of the topology – a screen shot of that section of their tree is below.  Of interest is that F. rufifrons is sister to all other coots, and that South America, by traditional biogeographic reasoning, is the center origin for coots.

 

 

Translated this topology to a sequence produces the following:

 

Fulica rufifrons Red-fronted Coot
Fulica cornuta Horned Coot
Fulica gigantea Giant Coot
Fulica armillata Red-gartered Coot

Fulica americana American Coot
Fulica ardesiaca Slate-colored Coot
Fulica leucoptera White-winged Coot

 

 

F. Sequence of species in Charadrius

         Our current sequence in Charadrius is as follows:

 

Charadrius semipalmatus Semipalmated Plover

Charadrius melodus Piping Plover

Charadrius wilsonia Wilson's Plover

Charadrius vociferus Killdeer

Charadrius nivosus Snowy Plover

Charadrius collaris Collared Plover

Charadrius alticola Puna Plover

Charadrius falklandicus Two-banded Plover

Charadrius modestus Rufous-chested Dotterel

 

         Joseph et al. (1999) and Dos Remedios et al. (2015; MPE) produced phylogenies that show that there are two major divisions within Charadrius, and that broadly defined Charadrius is paraphyletic with respect to extralimital, Old World Eudromias.  The tree from the latter is pasted in here:

 

 

         It looks to me that Zonibyx should be resurrected for modestus and that Charadrius should be split into two genera.  Regardless, until such a reclassification is proposed, converting this tree to a linear sequence for just our species produces the following sequence, here with indentations and spacing to try to capture the topology:

 

Charadrius modestus Rufous-chested Dotterel

            Charadrius vociferus Killdeer

                  Charadrius semipalmatus Semipalmated Plover

                  Charadrius melodus Piping Plover

 

            Charadrius wilsonia Wilson's Plover

            Charadrius collaris Collared Plover

           

            Charadrius alticola Puna Plover

            Charadrius falklandicus Two-banded Plover

 

            Charadrius nivosus Snowy Plover

 

 

G. Reverse Laridae and Rynchopidae

         All data indicate that the Laridae and Rynchopidae are sister families.  However, if linear sequences are to follow conventions, rather than tradition, Rynchopidae should clearly precede the much more diverse group Laridae, and the sequence of the two should be reversed.

 

 

H. Sequence of species in Megascops

         Our current sequence in Megascops is as follows:

 

Megascops choliba Tropical Screech-Owl

Megascops roboratus Peruvian Screech-Owl

Megascops koepckeae Koepcke's Screech-Owl

Megascops clarkii Bare-shanked Screech-Owl

Megascops colombianus Colombian Screech-Owl

Megascops ingens Rufescent Screech-Owl

Megascops petersoni Cinnamon Screech-Owl

Megascops marshalli Cloud-forest Screech-Owl

Megascops watsonii Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl

Megascops guatemalae Vermiculated Screech-Owl

Megascops hoyi Montane Forest Screech-Owl

Megascops atricapilla Black-capped Screech-Owl

Megascops sanctaecatarinae Long-tufted Screech-Owl

Megascops albogularis White-throated Screech-Owl

 

         Dantas et al. [including Daniel and Mark] (2016; MPE 94: 626–634) produced a comprehensive phylogeny of the genus, and their tree is below:

 

 

         Converting this to a linear sequence, with extralimital taxa not included, produces the following:

 

Megascops clarkii Bare-shanked Screech-Owl

Megascops albogularis White-throated Screech-Owl

Megascops choliba Tropical Screech-Owl

Megascops koepckeae Koepcke's Screech-Owl

Megascops colombianus Colombian Screech-Owl

Megascops ingens Rufescent Screech-Owl

Megascops petersoni Cinnamon Screech-Owl

Megascops marshalli Cloud-forest Screech-Owl

Megascops hoyi Montane Forest Screech-Owl

Megascops guatemalae Vermiculated Screech-Owl

Megascops sanctaecatarinae Long-tufted Screech-Owl

Megascops roboratus Peruvian Screech-Owl

Megascops watsonii Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl

Megascops atricapilla Black-capped Screech-Owl

 

 

I. Sequence of families in Coraciiformes

         Our current sequence of families is Alcedinidae and Momotidae.  The rationale behind this is that the relationship among the three families in the New World was always assumed to be Alcedinidae + (Todidae + Momotidae).  However, all recent data sets e.g. Prum et al. (2015) show that the relationship is Todidae + (Alcedinidae + Momotidae):

 

 

         Therefore, the sequence should be Momotidae, then Alcedinidae (the more diverse family).  Yawn.

 

 

J. Sequence of species in Chloroceryle

         Our current sequence is as follows

 

Chloroceryle amazona Amazon Kingfisher

Chloroceryle americana Green Kingfisher

Chloroceryle inda Green-and-rufous Kingfisher

Chloroceryle aenea American Pygmy Kingfisher

 

         Moyle et al. (2006), however, found the following relationships:

 

 

         Thus, to make the sequence reflect these data, C. aenea needs to be moved, as follows:

 

Chloroceryle amazona Amazon Kingfisher

Chloroceryle aenea American Pygmy Kingfisher

Chloroceryle americana Green Kingfisher

Chloroceryle inda Green-and-rufous Kingfisher

 

 

         Note that support for the americana-inda sister relationship is not rock solid, and so that could be a reason to vote for stability until support for that node solidifies.

 

K. Sequence of genera in Picidae

Our linear sequence of genera in the Picidae is as follows:

 

Picumninae

         Picumnus

Picinae

         Melanerpes

         Sphyrapicus

         Picoides

         Veniliornis

         Piculus

         Colaptes

         Celeus

         Dryocopus

         Campephilus

 

         Benz et al. [including Mark] (2006) published a phylogeny of the Picidae that generated the following tree, which is at odds with the sequence of genera in traditional classifications:

 

 

         To make our sequence reflect these data (accounting for species missing in the tree), the sequence needs to be as follows:

 

Picumninae

         Picumnus

Picinae

         Sphyrapicus

         Melanerpes

         Picoides

         Veniliornis

         Campephilus

         Dryocopus

         Celeus

         Piculus

         Colaptes

 

         Unfortunately, this still keeps Campephilus and Dryocopus adjacent, which perpetuates the misconception that they are related, but that’s the way the sequence works out.

 

 

L. Sequence of species in Forpus

         Our current sequence in Forpus is as follows:

 

Forpus passerinus Green-rumped Parrotlet

Forpus xanthopterygius Blue-winged Parrotlet

Forpus conspicillatus Spectacled Parrotlet

Forpus modestus Dusky-billed Parrotlet

Forpus coelestis Pacific Parrotlet

Forpus xanthops Yellow-faced Parrotlet

 

         Smith et al. (2013) found the following relationships:

 

 

         Converting this to a linear sequence produces the following:

 

Forpus modestus Dusky-billed Parrotlet

Forpus xanthopterygius Blue-winged Parrotlet

Forpus passerinus Green-rumped Parrotlet

Forpus conspicillatus Spectacled Parrotlet

Forpus coelestis Pacific Parrotlet

Forpus xanthops Yellow-faced Parrotlet

 

 

___________________________________________________________

 

Comments from Stiles: “YES to all. Necessary given the evidence now available, while recognizing that for some families (e. g., Rallidae and Trochilidae), further changes might be necessary as further evidence accrues.”

 

Comments from Areta: “YES to all changes. I have not found mistakes.”

 

Comments from Pacheco: “YES to all updates. The small changes in the sequences are corroborated by the most recent phylogenies.”

 

Comments from Jaramillo: “E. YES: rufifrons is the oddball in the field, if you ignore size and horns. It is much more Gallinule-like in behavior, habitat choice, and even overall structure. I am not surprised on its placement.”

 

Comments from Claramunt: “Some relationships are not well resolved (low support) and things may change in the near future but overall, the changes are an improvement. All the changes seem correct according to our (new) sequencing criteria.”