Disentangling the taxonomic status and phylogeographic structure of Marmora’s (Curruca sarda) and Balearic Warbler (Curruca balearica): a genetic multi-marker approach

Davide Nespoli, Irene Pellegrino*, Marco Galaverni, Romolo Caniglia, Joseph Sunyer, Chiara Mengoni, Ettore Randi, Andrea Galimberti, Diego Rubolini, Fernando Spina, Gabriel Gargallo, Mattia Brambilla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Marmora’s Warbler (Curruca sarda) and Balearic Warbler (C. balearica) are allopatric sibling species and were recently split mostly based on morphological and ethological characteristics. Here we provide the first phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses of this species complex to support the taxonomic status of C. sarda and C. balearica in light of integrative taxonomy. We sampled the two taxa in most of their breeding ranges and we sequenced three mitochondrial and one nuclear gene region. All C. balearica individuals had private haplotypes for the four markers and formed monophyletic clades. Genetic distances between the two taxa were comparable with those found between other species belonging to the Curruca genus. Furthermore, most of the genetic variance was expressed at the interspecific level, rather than between different populations within taxa or between individuals within populations. Our results strongly support the current taxonomic status of these two warblers as distinct species.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Volume162
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)909-918
Number of pages10
ISSN2193-7192
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • DNA barcoding
  • Endemic species
  • Integrative taxonomy
  • Mediterranean

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