Friday, August 31, 2012

[Ornithology • 2010] Willard’s Sooty Boubou | Laniarius willardi • A new species of boubou (Malaconotidae: Laniarius) from the Albertine Rift

Willard’s Sooty Boubou 
Laniarius willardi Voelker, Outlaw, Reddy, Tobler & Bates, 2010
- in a series with other black/sooty boubou shrikes

We describe Laniarius willardi, a new species of boubou shrike (Malaconotidae) from the Albertine Rift of Africa. The most conspicuous, distinguishing morphological feature of the species is a gray to blue-gray iris. his and external morphometric data indicate that L. willardi is diagnosable from other black or sooty boubous. Further, L. willardi is genetically diagnosable, and its closest relative is the Mountain Sooty Boubou (L. poensis camerunensis) from Cameroon. he Crimson-breasted Bush-shrike (L. atrococcineus) and the Lowland Sooty Boubou (L. leucorhynchus) are together the sister clade to L.willardi–L. p. camerunensis. Laniarius willardi and the geographically codistributed L. p. holomelas differ by 11.5% in uncorrected sequence divergence, and elevational data taken from museum specimens suggest the possibility of elevational segregation of the species at ~2,000 m, with L. willardi occurring at lower elevations. Our broad sampling of black and sooty boubou taxa indicate that (1) races of Mountain Sooty Boubou (L. poensis) do not form a monophyletic clade; (2) L. p. camerunensis may represent multiple, nonsister lineages; and (3) at least one race of Fülleborn’s Black Boubou (L. fuelleborni usambaricus) is genetically distinct from other races of that species. 

Key words: Africa, boubou, Laniarius, Malaconotidae, shrikes.

The new species -- Laniarius willardi -- in a series with other black/sooty boubou shrikes, highlighting the overall similarity among them and also the blue eye in the new bird. (Credit: Gary Voelker, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University)

FIG. 1. Distributions of Laniarius atrococcineus, L. poensis, L. leucorhynchus, and L. fuelleborni. Light blue indicates lakes. Inset: distribution of L. willardi, overlaid on the distribution of L. poensis. Red circles indicate general collecting localities of the L. willardi type series; red squares indicate general collecting localities of specimens presumed to be L. willardi on the basis of iris color and morphology.

African bird discovery proves there is something new under the sun: 
Bwindi’s brand-new blue-eyed black Boubou bird – Bwindi Researchers: 

Gary Voelker, Robert K. Outlaw, Sushma Reddy, Michael Tobler, John M. Bates, Shannon J. Hackett, Charles Kahindo, Ben D. Marks, Julian C. Kerbis Peterhans and Thomas P. Gnoske. 2010. A new species of boubou (Malaconotidae: Laniarius) from the Albertine Rift. The Auk. 127 (3). 678-689.