Proposal (727) to South American Classification Committee


Transfer Calyptura from Incertae Sedis to the Tyrannidae



Background: From SACC notes:


“Recent genetic data (Ohlson et al. 2012) indicate that Calyptura is a tyrant-flycatcher, most closely related to Platyrinchus and Neopipo, and this was followed by Dickinson & Christidis (2014).  SACC proposal badly needed.”


New Information: Ohlson et al. (2012) succeeded in sequencing DNA from a 19th century specimen of Calyptura cristata including four nuclear markers used in their previous studies. They confirmed that the sequences obtained were not the result of contamination (at least they didn’t match those of any other species). A concatenated analysis of these sequences placed Calyptura in the Tyrannidae (sensu SACC), with strong support, and the same result was obtained with each marker analyzed separately (although the statistical support diminished). Within the Tyrannidae, Calyptura formed a clade with Neopipo and Platyrinchus.


Analysis and Recommendation: The molecular-phylogenetic results seem robust and they make some sense morphologically (size, general proportions and crown pattern match those of Platyrinchus). Therefore, I recommend placing Calyptura in the Tyrannidae and before Platyrinchus in the linear sequence.


Literature Cited:


OHLSON, J.I., M. IRESTEDT, J. FJELDSÅ & P. G. P. ERICSON 2012. Nuclear DNA from a 180 years old museum skin reveals the relationships of the Kinglet Calyptura Calyptura cristata (Passeriformes, Tyrannides). Ibis 154:533–541.


Santiago Claramunt, October 2016




Comments from Remsen: “YES.  Genetic data seem solid, and as Santiago notes, this makes some ex post facto sense morphologically.”


Comments from Stiles: “YES. The genetic data look solid, and morphologically this species fits better into Tyrannidae than any other family currently recognized -though family-level splits within Tyrannidae haven't been considered yet.”


Comments from Pacheco: “Yes. "Strong support" is the key to this decision.”


Comments from Zimmer: “YES. Genetic data seem solid, and the molecular-phylogenetic placement seems reasonable based on biometric and some plumage similarities to Platyrinchus.”


Comments from Areta: “YES. It is great to see this mystery bird finally placed on the avian tree. Hopefully this will aid in aural searches, now that we know what it is suspected to sound like.”


Comments from Stotz: “YES.  Genetic evidence seems clear, and morphologically seems consistent.  Within Cotingidae, where previously placed always seemed an outlier.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “YES.  Well supported.”