A revision of species limits in Neotropical pipits Anthus based on multilocus genetic and vocal data

Paul van Els*, Heraldo V. Norambuena

*Corresponding author for this work

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Previous investigations of the systematics of Neotropical pipits Anthus revealed multiple cases of paraphyly. We revise the species limits of this group based on sequence data of mitochondrial (ND2) and nuclear genes (ACOI9, MB, FGB5) from 39 tissue samples of all 22 subspecies-level taxa in the New World Anthus clade, as well as analysis of display song. We found that Anthus lutescens peruvianus is not part of Yellowish Pipit Anthus lutescens genetically or vocally; thus, we elevate peruvianus to species rank (Peruvian Pipit). Anthus lutescens abariensis Chubb (1921a) should be placed in synonymy with A. l. parvus (instead of A. l. lutescens), at least until further morphological or vocal data becomes available. Paramo Pipit A. bogotensis is likewise paraphyletic, with meridae sister to all other bogotensis subspecies and also to Hellmayr's Pipit A. hellmayri. However, placement of the taxon is based on a relatively short stretch of mitochondrial DNA, and further data are needed. Andean populations of Short-billed Pipit A. furcatus are split as Puna Pipit A. brevirostris, based on genetic and vocal data. South Georgia Pipit A. antarcticus is, at least genetically, part of Correndera Pipit A. correndera, and we recommend considering it a subspecies of Correndera Pipit, in line with the taxonomy of other morphologically distinct but genetically little-differentiated insular bird taxa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages34
JournalIBIS – International Journal of Ornithology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2018

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