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Subspecies of the Thick-Billed Grasswren Amytornis Modestus (Aves-Maluridae)

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Abstract:

The Thick-billed Grasswren Amytornis modestus once ranged from the central Australian ranges of Northern Territory through the Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Frome Basins of South Australia to north-western New South Wales and the eastern Murray-Darling Basin, but its distribution was a fragmented one of up to eight separate populations. The central Australian population is extinct but another occupies an extensive range south from about the Northern Territory border west of Lake Eyre and Lake Torrens. These, the subspecies Amytornis modestus modestus and A. m. indulkanna respectively are genetically distinct from others from the Northern Flinders Ranges periphery and south-west Lake Frome Basin that are described here as two further subspecies. A population in north-western New South Wales and two further east carry the names A. m. obscurior and A. m. inexpectatus respectively, the latter also extinct. A further population, isolated from others by dune-fields of the Simpson-Strzelecki Desert awaits further evaluation.

Keywords: ALLOPATRIC DIFFERENTIATION; NEW SUBSPECIES; PLEISTOCENE ISOLATION OF POPULATIONS; POLYTYPIC SPECIES; TAXONOMY; THICK-BILLED GRASSWREN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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rssa/trssa/2011/00000135/00000001/art00003
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