Saturday, November 12, 2016

[Ornithology • 2016] Stiphrornis dahomeyensis, S. inexpectatus & S. rudderi • Three New Species of Stiphrornis (Aves: Muscicapidae) from the Afro-tropics, with A Molecular Phylogenetic Assessment of the Genus


[from top to bottom]    Stiphrornis rudderi, S. dahomeyensis &  S. inexpectatus  
 Voelker, Tobler, Prestridge, Duijm, Groenenberg, Hutchinson,
 Martin, Nieman, Roselaar & Huntley, 2016

 Abstract
We describe three new species of forest robin in the genus Stiphrornis; two from West Africa and one from the Congo Basin. Each species represents a distinct phylogenetic lineage based on genetic analysis. In addition to genetic differentiation, each new species is diagnosable from other Stiphrornis lineages by morphology, and by plumage. One of the new species [Stiphrornis inexpectatus] appears to be restricted to the Central and Brong-Ahafo Regions of Ghana, and another [Stiphrornis dahomeyensis] is restricted to Benin and the Central Region of Ghana. In Ghana, these two new species presumably come into contact with Stiphrornis erythrothorax (Western Region of Ghana and westward), and there is evidence that one of the new species has a distinguishably different song from erythrothorax. The distribution of the third new species [Stiphrornis rudderi] is primarily on the south bank of the Congo River, near the city of Kisangani. Recognition of these species provides additional evidence that Afrotropical forests are harbouring substantial cryptic diversity, and that our knowledge of the drivers of this diversity remains poorly documented across the region.




Key words: Africa, cryptic species, speciation, systematics, tropical forests,


Fig. 1. Visual comparisons of new Stiphrornis taxa and their closest relatives. Column (A) dorsal, lateral and ventral views of (from left to right): erythrothorax, the type specimen of inexpectatus (LSUMZ 168539), the type specimen of dahomeyensis (TCWC 15743) and gabonensis. Column (B) dorsal, lateral and ventral views of (from left to right): the type specimen of rudderi (TCWC 15204) and xanthogaster



Stiphrornis dahomeyensis sp. nov. 
Dahomey Forest Robin

ETYMOLOGY: Named after the Dahomey Gap, that separates the otherwise broadly distributed western and eastern expanses of Guineo-Congolian tropical forests, and in which the isolated Lama Forest is located. The Gap derives its name from the African kingdom of Dahomey, which lasted c. 300 years and was located in the area of what is now Benin.

DISTRIBUTION: The known distributional range of the new species is currently limited to one locality in Benin, the Lama Forest (6 57.61’N, 2 10.12’E) and a second locality from c. 30 km south of Assin Foso, Central Region, Ghana (5 19’59.88“N, 1 13’ 0.1194”E). 


Stiphrornis inexpectatus sp. nov. 
Ghana Forest Robin

ETYMOLOGY:  Named both for the unexpected nature of its distribution, being restricted to two provinces in Ghana, and the fact that there are no obvious geographic barriers that separate it from two other members of the genus.

DISTRIBUTION: The known distributional range of the new species is currently limited to three locations in Ghana, one 30 km south of Assin Foso, Central Region (5 20.300 N, 1 13.58’W), one in Kakum National Park, Central Region (5 210 3000N, 1 230 W) and another 26 km south-west of Goaso, Brong-Ahafo Region (6.71 N, 2.73 W). 


Stiphrornis rudderi sp. nov. 
Rudder’s Forest Robin

ETYMOLOGY: Named in honour of James Earl Rudder, who led the 2nd Ranger Battalion during the invasion of Normandy, and was later President of Texas A&M University; his presidency was a transformative steppingstone in driving A&M’s success.

DISTRIBUTION: The known distributional range of the new species is currently limited to two localities near the city of Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The first is Yoko Forest Reserve, Ubundu District (0.29400 , 25.288917 ), on the south side of the Congo River. The second locality is Turumbu, c. 8 km N of Yelenge, Yawenda District (0.633483 , 25.073933 ), on the north side of the Congo River.

Rudder’s Forest Robin, Stiphrornis rudderi   


Gary Voelker, Michael Tobler, Heather L. Prestridge, Elza Duijm, Dick Groenenberg, Mark R. Hutchinson, Alyssa D. Martin, Aline Nieman, Cees S. Roselaar and Jerry W. Huntley. 2016. Three New Species of Stiphrornis (Aves: Muscicapidae) from the Afro-tropics, with A Molecular Phylogenetic Assessment of the Genus.  Systematics and Biodiversity.  DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2016.1226978

Team discovers three new bird species in Africa http://phy.so/397725009 via @physorg_com

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