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      Phylogeny of long-tailed tits and allies inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear markers (Aves: Passeriformes, Aegithalidae)

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      Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

      Elsevier BV

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          In this paper we provide a molecular phylogeny based on three mitochondrial and three nuclear markers for all long-tailed tit species of the genus Aegithalos including several doubtful subspecies (17 taxa) plus three close allies of SE Asian Leptopoecile and North American Psaltriparus. Genus Aegithalos is divided into three major clades, two of them showing only minor differentiation. Separation of two mitchondrial haploytpe clusters in the N Palearctic Long-tailed Tit, Ae. caudatus, was dated back to the Late Pleistocene, however, descendants from both lineages underwent a rapid post-Pleistocene range expansion and largely mixed over the entire distribution area. The Chinese populations of the glaucogularis subspecies group represent a slightly earlier Pleistocene split from the Ae. caudatus clade. Genetic differentiation among several doubtful SE Asian species taxa on the sister clade of the latter N Palearctic/Chinese clade matches the intraspecific differentiation within Ae. caudatus. Unexpectedly, cytochrome-b distances among Himalayan Ae. iouschistos (including the subspecies bonvaloti from China and sharpei from Myanmar) and the Chinese endemic Ae. fuliginosus range at approximately 0.5% and apparently all these extant populations separated only very recently during late Pleistocene times, too. W Himalayan Ae. niveogularis clearly appeared as the sister species of the latter taxon assemblage. Unlike the two latter major clades, Ae. concinnus shows strong intraspecific differentiation with cyt-b distances as high as 6% among two Himalayan populations of ssp. iredalei, ssp. manipurensis from Myanmar and a fourth lineage from SW and SC China including ssp. talifuensis and nominate concinnus. A sister-group relationship between all Ae. concinnus and Ae. leucogenys was strongly supported. N American bushtits of genus Psaltriparus represent the sister clade to Palearctic genus Aegithalos, including a clear split between the minimus and the plumbeus subspecies group which was again dated back to Pleistocene times. The two tit-warbler species of genus Leptopoecile are strongly differentiated from one another and represent an early split from the Aegithalidae tree. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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          Author and article information

          Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
          Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
          Elsevier BV
          June 2010
          June 2010
          : 55
          : 3
          : 952-967
          © 2010


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