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Gross morphology betrays phylogeny: the Scrub Warbler Scotocerca inquieta is not a cisticolid

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The Scrub Warbler, which inhabits arid areas from North Africa to western Asia, has long been thought to be closely related to cisticolid warblers. However, analyses based on two mitochondrial and four nuclear loci place this species sister to the mainly Asian Cettiidae (bush warblers, tesias, etc.). Superficial morphological similarity to cisticolid warblers has previously clouded the species true relationship. Detailed morphology, such as facial bristles and claw and footpad structure, also supports a closer relationship to Cettiidae and some other non-cisticolid warblers.
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Keywords: Cettiidae; Cisticolidae; Passeriformes; Sylvioidea; mitochondrial DNA; morphology; nuclear DNA; phylogeny

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark 2: Vogelwarte Hiddensee, Zoological Institute and Museum, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald,17489 Greifswald, Germany 3: Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, Box 463, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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