Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Foot-Scute Differences among Certain North American Oscines

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1974
Authors:Clark, Jr., GA
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1974
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Aimophila, Aimophila fuscus, Auriparus, Calendula, Cardinalidae, Cardinalis, Cardinalis cardinalis, Cardinalis sinuatus, Chamaea, Chamaea fasciata, Cinclidae, Emberizidae, Icteria, Icteridae, Kieneria, Kieneria fusca, Melospiza, Melospiza melodia, Melozone, Melozone fusca, Mimidae, Passerella, Passerella iliaca, Passerella melodia, Peucedramus, Pipilo, Pipilo fuscus, Pyrgisoma, Pyrgisoma fusca, Pyrrhuloxia, Pyrrhuloxia sinuatus, Regulidae, Regulus, Regulus satrapa, Rhodinocichla, Satrapa, Sturnella, Thryophilus, Thryophilus sinaloa, Thryothorus, Thryothorus sinaloa, Timaliidae, Troglodytes, Troglodytes troglodytes, Troglodytidae, Turdidae, World, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia iliaca, Zonotrichia melodia
Abstract:This study provides new examples of taxonomic variation in foot-scutes. Coexisting, closely related, species sometimes differ significantly in the arrangement of foot-scutes; examples are Thryothorus sinaloa--T. felix, Regulus satrapa--R. calendula, Cardinalis cardinalis--Pyrrhuloxia sinuata, Pipilo fuscus--P. aberti, and Passerella iliaca--Melospiza melodia. Variations in scutellation in some cases possibly correlate with behavioral differences, but marked variation within Cardinalis cardinalis might be functionally unimportant with respect to use of the feet. Auriparus, Peucedramus, and Icteria are distinct in scutellation with respect to the families to which they are currently assigned, at least in North America. Sturnella, on the other hand, seems well-placed in the Icteridae, although it differs in scutellation from other North American members of the family. Chamaea is like many Old World Timaliidae in lacking two narrow scutes at the proximal end of the outer toe, as found in North American representatives of the Cinclidae, Troglodytidae, Mimidae, and Turdidae to which Wrentits have sometimes been linked taxonomically. The scutellation of Rhodinocichla resembles that of the New World nine-primaried oscine assemblage more than that of mimids or turdids, to which relationship has also been suggested. Certain taxonomic interpretations of scutellation are tempting, but without more study of function and of a wider array of species, this must be done with caution, Particularly in view of variation between more clearly related taxa.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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