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Phylogenetic relationships within the Laridae (Charadriiformes: Aves) inferred from mitochondrial markers
Pons, J.-M.; Hassanin, A.; Crochet, P.-A. (2005). Phylogenetic relationships within the Laridae (Charadriiformes: Aves) inferred from mitochondrial markers. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 37(3): 686-699
In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Elsevier: Orlando, FL. ISSN 1055-7903, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Cytochromes; Phylogenetics; Systematics; Laridae [WoRMS]; Larus minutus Pallas, 1776 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Pons, J.-M.
  • Hassanin, A.
  • Crochet, P.-A.

    Gulls (Aves: Laridae) constitute a recent and cosmopolite family of well-studied seabirds for which a robust phylogeny is needed to perform comparative and biogeographical analyses. The present study, the first molecular phylogeny of all Larids species (N = 53), is based on a combined segment of mtDNA (partial cytochrome b and control region). We discuss our phylogenetic tree in the light of previous suggestions based on morphological, behavioral, and plumage characters. Although the phylogeny is not fully resolved, it highlights several robust species groups and confirms or identifies for the first time some sister relationships that had never been suggested before. The Dolphin Gull (Leucophaeus scoresbii) for instance, is identified as the sister species of the Grey Gull (Larus modestus) and the Ross’s Gull (Rhodostethia rosea) forms a monophyletic group with the Little Gull (Larus minutus). Our results clearly demonstrate that the genus Larus as currently defined is not monophyletic, since current taxonomy of gulls is based on the use of convergent phenotypic characters. We propose a new systematic arrangement that better reflects their evolutionary history.

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