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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular systematics of the Malagasy babblers (Passeriformes: timaliidae) and warblers (Passeriformes: sylviidae), based on cytochrome b and 16S rRNA sequences.

The phylogenetic relationships of the Timaliidae (babblers) and Sylviidae (warblers) have long challenged ornithologists. We focus here on three Malagasy genera currently assigned to the Timaliidae, Mystacornis, Oxylabes, and Neomixis, and on their relationships with other babblers and warblers using the sequences of two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome b and 16S rRNA). Maximum parsimony analyses show that the Malagasy "babblers" are not related to any of the other African and Asian babblers. The genus Mystacornis is neither a babbler nor a warbler. The other Malagasy "babblers" are members of warbler groups (the monophyly of the Sylviidae is not demonstrated). Oxylabes madagascariensis and Hartertula flavoviridis (we recognize Hartertula as a genus for the species flavoviridis, previously Neomixis flavoviridis) constitute, with two presumed sylviine taxa, Thamnornis chloropetoides and Cryptosylvicola randrianasoloi, a warbler radiation endemic to the island of Madagascar. The other Neomixis species (tenella, striatigula, and viridis) belong to another warbler group comprising cisticoline taxa. These results show that the Timaliidae did not disperse to Madagascar. Rather, the island has been colonized, independently, by at least two clades of warblers, probably originating from Africa, where the Sylviidae radiation has been the most extensive.[1]


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