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A multilocus phylogeny of a major New World avian radiation: The Vireonidae

TitleA multilocus phylogeny of a major New World avian radiation: The Vireonidae
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSlager DL, Battey CJ, Bryson RW, Voelker G, Klicka J
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Start Page95
Date PublishedNovember 2014

The family Vireonidae represents one of the most widespread and well-known New World avian radiations, but a robust species-level phylogeny of the group is lacking. Here, we infer a phylogeny of Vireonidae using multilocus data obtained from 221 individuals from 46 of 52 vireonid species (representing all four genera) and five “core Corvoidea” outgroups. Our results show Vireonidae to be monophyletic, consistent with a single colonization of the New World by an Asian ancestor. Cyclarhis and Vireolanius are monophyletic genera that diverged early from the rest of Vireonidae. Hylophilus is polyphyletic, represented by three distinct clades concordant with differences in morphology, habitat, and voice. The poorly known South American species Hylophilus sclateri is embedded within the genus Vireo. Vireo, in turn, consists of several well-supported intrageneric clades. Overall, tropical vireonid species show much higher levels of intraspecific genetic structure than temperate species and several currently recognized species are probably comprised of multiple cryptic species.

Refereed DesignationRefereed