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Intra-Island Variation in the 'Elepaio on the Island of Hawai'i
H. Douglas Pratt
Vol. 82, No. 4 (Nov., 1980), pp. 449-458
Published by: Cooper Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1367572
Page Count: 10
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The 'Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis) exhibits great variation in plumage color on the Island of Hawai'i. Analysis of specimens from localities throughout the island reveals that the variation is geographically based, and that three subspecies can be distinguished: C. s. bryani, a pale form found at high elevation on the southwestern slopes of Mauna Kea; C. s. ridgwayi, a dark form found in wet windward forests; and C. s. sandwichensis, an intermediate form found in forests of the Kona region. Several zones of primary intergradation and one of possibly secondary intergradation occur, but appear to be narrow. The forms C. s. sclateri of Kaua'i and C. s. gayi of O'ahu exhibit no similar intra-island variation. Variation among the Hawai'i subspecies probably evolved in response to local variation in rainfall, and follows the predictions of Gloger's Rule, but the selective forces involved are obscure.
The Condor © 1980 Cooper Ornithological Society