Song and molecular data identify congruent but novel affinities of the Green Oropendola (Psarocolius viridis)

J. Jordan Price, Scott M. Lanyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The accuracy with which avian song features indicate phylogenetic relationships has rarely been investigated. In a previous study of vocal evolution in oropendolas (Price and Lanyon 2002a), we estimated the phylogenetic position of the Green Oropendola (Psarocolius viridis) using characters derived from oropendolas' elaborate courtship songs. Here, we test that estimate using mitochondrial DNA sequence data. The position of the Green Oropendola determined from molecular data is remarkably close to that based solely on song characters; both data sets support a close relationship between P. viridis and members of the genus Gymnostinops. Numerous morphological differences yet low genetic divergence among the species in question suggest that rapid diversification has occurred in the group. The fact that this position has not been proposed previously for P. viridis underscores the effectiveness of song characters for phylogenetic reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-229
Number of pages6
JournalAuk
Volume121
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

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