Proposal (828) to South American Classification Committee


Revise classification of Claravinae: (A) transfer Claravis geoffroyi and C. mondetoura to Paraclaravis, and B) modify linear sequence of genera


Background: The proposal below by Nick Mason (included here with his permission) was submitted to the North American Classification Committee and was passed: The change will be in the 60th Supplement --- Chesser at al., in press.


If anyone needs a pdf of Sangster et al. (2018), let me know.  Their key figure is pasted in here, which shows that inclusion of mondetoura and geoffroyi makes Claravis paraphyletic; however, the support for the tree topology is substandard:



As acknowledged by Sangster et al. (2018), stronger support comes from Sweet et al. (2017); their key figure is pasted in here:




This is a follow-up proposal for SACC, modified only to include the type species for the genus, geoffroyi, and to modify the linear sequence of genera according to reflect the phylogeny of Sweet et al. (2017), divided into 2 parts:


A. Transfer Claravis geoffroyi and C. mondetoura to Paraclaravis.

B. Revise the linear sequence of genera as follows, using our ladderization convention:








Recommendation: YES to both; data seem solid.


Van Remsen, May 2019




Original NACC proposal by Nick Mason:



Transfer Maroon-chested Ground-Dove Claravis mondetoura to new genus Paraclaravis


Effect on NACC:


This proposal would revise the generic placement of one species in the family Columbidae. Specifically, Claravis mondetoura would be transferred to the new genus Paraclaravis.


Background and New Information:


A recent molecular phylogenetic study of the columbid subfamily Claravinae revealed the genus Claravis to be polyphyletic (Fig. 1). Sangster et al. (2018) estimated a mitochondrial phylogeny based on ND2, cyt b, COI, and ATP8 as well as a nuclear phylogeny based on beta-fibrinogen intron 7 (FIB7). Their analyses revealed that Claravis mondetoura and C. geoffroyi form a clade phylogenetically distinct from other genera in the subfamily (also see Sweet et al. 2017), but that this clade is not sister to the type species of Claravis, C. pretiosa. Maintaining these three species in Claravis would necessitate a merger of three other genera (Columbina, Metriopelia, and Uropelia) with Claravis (Fig. 1), a lump that would contradict widely recognized ecological and morphological differences, such as those between Columbina and Metriopelia (Gibbs et al. 2001; Sweet & Johnson 2015). Instead, Sangster et al. (2018) recommended transferring C. mondetoura and C. geoffroyi to a different genus. No name was available, so they described the new genus Paraclaravis for these two species, designating mondetoura as the type species. Apart from their molecular distinctiveness, mondetoura and geoffroyi are united by similarities in upperwing coverts and unmarked tertials, among other characters (Sangster et al. 2018).




I recommend that the committee transfer Claravis mondetoura to Paraclaravis.


Literature cited:


Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. & Cox, J. (2001) Pigeons and Doves, a Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, 615 pp. 

Sangster, G., Sweet, A. D., & Johnson, K. P. (2018). Paraclaravis, a new genus for the Purple-winged and Maroon-chested ground-doves (Aves: Columbidae). Zootaxa, 4461(1), 134–7.

Sweet, A. D., Maddox, J. D., & Johnson, K. P. (2017). A complete molecular phylogeny of Claravis confirms its paraphyly within small New World ground-doves (Aves: Peristerinae) and implies multiple plumage state transitions. Journal of Avian Biology, 48(3), 459–464.

Sweet, A.D. & Johnson, K.P. (2015) Patterns of diversification in small New World ground doves are consistent with major geologic events. Auk, 132, 300–312. 


Submitted by: Nicholas A. Mason, UC Berkeley


Date of proposal: 14 February 2019



Comments from Stiles: “YES: recognition of Paraclaravis is clearly required by the genetic evidence.”


Comments from Claramunt: “YES. The phylogenetic evidence is robust, being supported independently by mtDNA and BF5. The alternative of merging most Claravinae into a single genus is unpalatable.”


Comments from Pacheco: “828A. YES; 828B. YES. The adoption of Paraclaravis and the adjustment in sequence are fully supported by the data presented in the two cited articles.”


Comments from Zimmer: “YES” to both.  The data are solid regarding the polyphyly of Claravis as currently constituted.  The mondetoura/geoffroyi pairing relative to the type species (pretiosa) makes sense on several levels:  morphologically (larger size, white outer rectrices, wing pattern), vocally (double-noted calls versus single-noted calls), and ecologically (both mondetoura and geoffroyi are low-density, nomadic species that track episodic bamboo-seeding events).  So this change makes perfect sense, and simultaneously avoids dumping multiple genera into a single heterogeneous mess.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “B YES.  I see no problems or complexities here.”


Comments from Stotz: “YES.  Straightforward and puts us in agreement with NACC.”