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Phylogenetic, Taxonomic and Biogeographical Implications of Genetic, Morphological, and Behavioral Variation in Francolins (Phasianidae: Francolinus)

Timothy M. Crowe, Eric H. Harley, Mariola B. Jakutowicz, Joris Komen and Anna A. Crowe
The Auk
Vol. 109, No. 1 (Jan., 1992), pp. 24-42
DOI: 10.2307/4088264
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4088264
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Phylogenetic, Taxonomic and Biogeographical Implications of Genetic, Morphological, and Behavioral Variation in Francolins (Phasianidae: Francolinus)
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Abstract

We studied restriction-fragment length polymorphisms (RELPs) in mitochondrial DNA for 13 species of African francolins (Francolinus spp.) and the Japanese Quail (Coturnix c. japonica). Phylogenetic analyses of RFLPs for these 14 species and of morphological and behavioral characters for the 41 francolin species and other perdicine taxa do not confirm the monophyly of Francolinus as currently recognized. Analyses of morpho-behavioral characters suggest that Francolinus consists of at least four major assemblages: the five Asiatic species; two groups of African quail-like species; and the African partridge-like species. Within these assemblages, analyses of RFLPs and/or morpho-behavioral characters support the monophyly of six of eight species groups attributed to Francolinus. Assuming the monophyly of currently recognized supraspecific groups of galliform birds, morphometric analyses of galliform skeletons correctly classified 90-99% of specimens to family, subfamily and tribe, as well as 95% of the francolin specimens to genus. Genetic distances derived from RFLP data imply that African francolins diverged from their sister taxa at or before the mid-late Miocene, and that all species studied diverged from their sister-species during the Pliocene or early Pleistocene.

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