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Forskningsartikel2017Vetenskapligt granskad

Phylogenetic relationships, song and distribution of the endangered Rufous-headed Robin Larvivora ruficeps

Zhao, Min; Alström, Per; Hu, Ruocheng; Zhao, Chao; Hao, Yan; Lei, Fumin; Qu, Yanhua


The Rufous-headed Robin Larvivora ruficeps is one of the world's rarest and least known birds. We summarize the known records since it was first described in 1905 from Shaanxi Province, central China. All subsequent Chinese records are from seven adjacent localities in nearby Sichuan Province. We studied its phylogenetic position for the first time using mitochondrial and nuclear markers for all species of Larvivora and a broad selection of other species in the family Muscicapidae. Our results confirmed that L. ruficeps is appropriately placed in the genus Larvivora, and suggested that it is sister to the Rufous-tailed Robin Larvivora sibilans, with these two forming a sister clade to a clade comprising both the Japanese Robin Larvivora akahige and Ryukyu Robin Larvivora komadori. Siberian Blue Robin Larvivora cyane and Indian Blue Robin Larvivora brunnea form the sister clade to the other Larvivora species. In contrast, song analyses indicated that the song of L. ruficeps is most similar to that of L. komadori, whereas the song of L. sibilans is relatively more similar to that of L. akahige, and songs of L. cyane and L. brunnea closely resemble each other. We used ecological niche modelling to estimate the suitable habitats of L. ruficeps based on the records from breeding grounds, suggesting that north and central Sichuan, south Gansu, south Shaanxi and south-east Tibet are likely to contain the most suitable habitats for this species.


Luscinia ruficeps; MAXENT; phylogeny; principal component analysis; taxonomy; vocalizations

Publicerad i

2017, Volym: 159, nummer: 1, sidor: 204-216

      SLU författare

    • Alström, Per

      • SLU Artdatabanken, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
      • Chinese Academy of Sciences
      • Uppsala universitet

    UKÄ forskningsämne

    Biologisk systematik

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