Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Relationships of some mannikins and waxbills in the estrildidae

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:Baptista, LF, Lawson, R, Visser, E, Bell, DA
Journal:Journal of Ornithology
Date Published:1999
ISBN Number:2193-7192
Keywords:Amadina, Estrildidae, Estrildinae, Euodice, Lonchura, Lonchurinae, Odontospiza, Padda, Spermestes
Abstract:Summary There is disagreement as to the number of genera comprising the mannikins (Lonchurinae). Some authors recognize two to five of the following genera: Lonchura, Euodice, Padda, Spermestes and Odontospiza . Other authors have merged the last four taxa into the enlarged genus Lonchura . We bring together data from downy plumes (neossoptiles), nestling palate markings, begging vocalizations, agonistic behaviour, courtship postures and starch gel electrophoresis of allozymes to solve these taxonomic problems. PAUP analysis of the combined data set indicates that Spermestes and Odontospiza belong to a monophyletic clade separate from Euodice, Padda and Lonchura . We propose merging Odontospiza with Spermestes , which suggests an African radiation of the group, and placing the genera Padda and Euodice in with Lonchura , which represents a mostly Australasian radiation. The genus Amadina has been treated by some as a mannikin (Lonchurinae) and by others as a waxbill (Estrildinae). Our data indicate that Amadina should be assigned to the estrildines rather than the lonchurines. Amadina 's relatively large, mannikin-like conical bill is a result of convergence, probably reflecting selection pressure on bill shape associated with diet specializations.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith