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Comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the grassbirds and allies (Locustellidae) reveals extensive non-monophyly of traditional genera, and a proposal for a new classification
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1680-6861
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2018 (English)In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, E-ISSN 1095-9513, Vol. 127, p. 367-375Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The widespread Old World avian family Locustellidae (‘grassbirds and allies’) comprises 62 extant species in 11 genera. In the present study, we used one mitochondrial and, for most species, four nuclear loci to infer the phylogeny of this family. We analysed 59 species, including the five previously unsampled genera plus two genera that had not before been analysed in a densely sampled dataset. This study revealed extensive disagreement with current taxonomy; the genera Bradypterus, Locustella, Megalurus, Megalurulus and Schoenicola were all found to be non-monophyletic. Non-monophyly was particularly pronounced for Megalurus, which was widely scattered across the tree. Three of the five monotypic genera (Amphilais, Buettikoferella and Malia) were nested within other genera; one monotypic genus (Chaetornis) formed a clade with one of the two species of Schoenicola; whereas the position of the fifth monotypic genus (Elaphrornis) was unresolved. Robsonius was confirmed as sister to the other genera. We propose a phylogenetically informed revision of genus-level taxonomy, including one new generic name. Finally, we highlight several non-monophyletic species complexes and deep intra-species divergences that point to conflict in taxonomy and suggest an underestimation of current species diversity in this group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 127, p. 367-375
Keywords [en]
Systematics, Taxonomy, Incongruence, Species diversity, New genus
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3142DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.03.029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3142DiVA, id: diva2:1271444
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 621-2014-5113Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-12-17 Last updated: 2018-12-18Bibliographically approved

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