27/02/2014
Share 

Up with the larks

893ab5e3-716c-48f5-9fd6-30f8513c236d
Crested Lark, seen here in Dubai, UAE, has long been mooted for potential splits. Photo: Nepenthes (commons.wikimedia.org).
Crested Lark, seen here in Dubai, UAE, has long been mooted for potential splits. Photo: Nepenthes (commons.wikimedia.org).




A comprehensive study of the Alaudidae has resulted in a radical reshuffling of genera and several potential splits and lumps being revealed.

The long-mooted split between the North African Long-billed and Crested Larks is further supported pending more information, with a similar potential split in Thekla Lark between North African and Horn of Africa forms. Shore Lark appears to be deserving of splitting into several distinct species, but not enough specimens have been assessed in the paper to reach a conclusion as to which; however, at least one of the Central Asian subspecies seems to be closely related to the American clade.

Reference
Alström, P, Barnes, K N, Olsson, U, Barker, F K, Bloomer, P, Khan, A A, Qureshi, M A, Guillaumet, A, Crochet, P-A, and Ryan, P G. 2013. Multilocus phylogeny of the avian family Alaudidae (larks) reveals complex morphological evolution, non-monophyletic genera and hidden species diversity. Molecular and Phylogenetic Evolution 69: 1043-56.
Content continues after advertisements