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The generic and species relationships of the reputed endemic Malagasy genus Pseudocossyphus (family Turdidae)

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The generic and specific relationships of the Malagasy rock-thrushes, variously placed in the genus Monticola or as an endemic genus Pseudocossyphus, are examined using morphological and molecular characters. On the basis of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequence data it was concluded that all Malagasy rock-thrushes fall between Asian Monticola and a species group of Monticola occurring in numerous Old World areas. It is recommended that all Malagasy species be placed in the genus Monticola. Relationships between various named forms of Malagasy rock-thrushes indicate: M. imerinus is a distinct species, M. bensoni is a synonym of M. sharpei, the subspecies M. sharpei erythronotus should be elevated to a full species, and that no geographic forms of M. sharpei (including interioris and salomonseni) should be recognized on the basis of current evidence. These taxonomic conclusions have important implications for conservation projects currently underway on Madagascar.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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