Birds of Indian Subcontinent

The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2012
Authors:Zuccon, D, Prys-Jones, R, Rasmussen, PC, ERICSON, PERGP
Journal:Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Date Published:2012
ISBN Number:1055-7903
Keywords:Agraphospiza, Agraphospiza rubescens, Carduelis, Carduelis chloris, Carpodacus, Carpodacus ferreorostris, Carpodacus rubescens, Chaunoproctus, Chaunoproctus ferreorostris, Chloris, Chloris chloris, Chrysocorythus, Chrysocorythus estherae, Drepanidinae, Fringillidae, phylogeny, Serinus, Serinus estherae, Serinus serinus
Abstract:Phylogenetic relationships among the true finches (Fringillidae) have been confounded by the recurrence of similar plumage patterns and use of similar feeding niches. Using a dense taxon sampling and a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial sequences we reconstructed a well resolved and strongly supported phylogenetic hypothesis for this family. We identified three well supported, subfamily level clades: the Holoarctic genus Fringilla (subfamly Fringillinae), the Neotropical Euphonia and Chlorophonia (subfamily Euphoniinae), and the more widespread subfamily Carduelinae for the remaining taxa. Although usually separated in a different family-group taxon (Drepanidinae), the Hawaiian honeycreepers are deeply nested within the Carduelinae and sister to a group of Asian Carpodacus. Other new relationships recovered by this analysis include the placement of the extinct Chaunoproctus ferreorostris as sister to some Asian Carpodacus, a clade combining greenfinches (Carduelis chloris and allies), Rhodospiza and Rhynchostruthus, and a well-supported clade with the aberrant Callacanthis and Pyrrhoplectes together with Carpodacus rubescens. Although part of the large Carduelis–Serinus complex, the poorly known Serinus estherae forms a distinct lineage without close relatives. The traditionally delimited genera Carduelis, Serinus, Carpodacus, Pinicola and Euphonia are polyphyletic or paraphyletic. Based on our results we propose a revised generic classification of finches and describe a new monotypic genus for Carpodacus rubescens.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith