Proposal (425) to South American Classification Committee


Recognize Nephelomyias Ohlson et al., 2009



Effect of Proposal: This would add a new genus to our classification by replacing Myiophobus with Nephelomyias for three species (currently M. pulcher, M. lintoni, M. ochraceiventris).


Background:  Here’s our Note from current SACC classification, which sums it up well:


80. Morphological (Lanyon 1988a) and genetic (Ohlson et al. 2008) data strongly suggest that Myiophobus is a polyphyletic genus. Placement in linear sequence here arbitrarily assigned where type species of the genus falls in Lanyon's (1988a) phylogeny, in which there are three species groups that are each evidently monophyletic but the groups themselves may not be each others' closest relatives: (1) M. flavicans, M. phoenicomitra, M. inornatus, and M. roraimae; (2) M. lintoni and M. ochraceiventris; and (3) M. cryptoxanthus and M. fasciatus; placement of M. pulcher is uncertain (Fitzpatrick 2004).  Recent genetic data (Ohlson et al. 2009) establish that the three groups above are unrelated and that pulcher belongs in group 2; for that group, they described a new genus, Nephelomyias.  Proposal badly needed.



New information:  Ohlson et al. (2009) presented the genetic data that show that Myiophobus is dramatically polyphyletic.  Their tree is as follows:




Recommendation: The genetic data are solid, and there are no realistic options other than naming a new genus; so I recommend a YES.



OHLSON, J., FJELDSÅ, J. & ERICSON, P. G. P. 2009. A new genus for three species of tyrant flycatchers (Passeriformes: Tyrannidae), formerly placed in Myiophobus. Zootaxa 2290: 36-40.


Van Remsen, March 2010




Comments from Stiles:  YES.  Again, a new genus is clearly needed as these three species are not even closely related to Myiophobus sensu stricto…  and unless we favor lumping flavicans, phoenicomitra and roraimae into the very distinctive Ochthoeca, it looks like another new genus must be proposed for them as well.”


Comments from Nores: “YES, del análisis molecular de Ohlson et al. surge claramente que Myiophobus no es un grupo monofilético y que justifica plenamente la separación y la creación de un nuevo género para el grupo de ex- Myiophobus ubicados dentro de Hirundininae. Lo que parece claro también es que los restantes Myiophobus tampoco forman un grupo filogenético, razón por la cual habría también que separarlos. El género Myiophobus fue creado por Reichenbach en 1850 y el tipo designado por Gray en 1855 como Muscicapa ferruginea Swainson=Muscicapa fasciata Müller, de allí que Myiophobus fasciatus tiene prioridad. Por esta razón quedarían Myiophobus fasciatus y Myiophobus cryptoxanthus dentro del género Myiophobus y habría que ver donde se ubican las siguientes especies.”


Comments from Schulenberg: “YES.  Here's a follow-up question or two: is a vote to recognize Nephelomyias also a vote to reposition these taxa in our linear sequence (following Pyrrhomyias and Hirundinacea, I suppose)? I'm in favor of doing so. Left unresolved is the fate of flavicans, phoenicomitra, and roraimae (and I assume also inornatus). Is there a generic name available for these taxa?”


Note from Remsen: Yes, recognizing the new genus implies a shift in linear sequence.  If a name were available for orphaned “Myiophobus,” I assume that Bud Lanyon would have used it or suggested it in his paper on syringeal morphology.”


Comments from Stotz: “YES.  That Myiophobus is polyphyletic has been known for a while, good to get at least part of this fixed.  We also need to get the other orphaned Myiophobus dealt with.  One possibility would be an expanded Ochthoeca.”