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14 December 2018 The generic taxonomy of the Australian Magpie and Australo-Papuan butcherbirds is not all black-and-white
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Abstract

Recent phylogenetic analyses showing that Australian Magpie and Black Butcherbird are sister taxa and together comprise the sister group of other Australo-Papuan butcherbirds have justified an expanded Cracticus. This treatment reflects earlier arguments that Australian Magpie's distinctive traits are simply adaptations to terrestrialism and not a sound basis for recognition of a monotypic Gymnorhina. Acknowledging the expediency of a broad Cracticus, we reviewed data from anatomy, plumage, nidification and voice to reassess the optimal number of genera for the group, in particular whether Melloria is warranted for Black Butcherbird. Australian Magpie has multiple unique traits, including many without obvious adaptive significance for terrestrial foraging or open habitat. It shares with Black Butcherbird glossy black plumage, long tarsus and deep temporal fossa, and short currawong-like calls. Black Butcherbird's rounded wing is possibly adaptive for closed-forest habitats. We recommend use of Gymnorhina, Melloria and Cracticus to represent this evolutionary diversity within the butcherbird-magpie clade.

© 2018 The Authors; This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Martin Cake, Andrew Black, and Leo Joseph "The generic taxonomy of the Australian Magpie and Australo-Papuan butcherbirds is not all black-and-white," Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 138(4), 346-359, (14 December 2018). https://doi.org/10.25226/bboc.v138i4.2018.a6
Received: 19 August 2018; Published: 14 December 2018
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