We present a phylogenetic analysis of relationships among members of the Amazona ochrocephala species complex of parrots, a broadly distributed group in Middle and South America that has been a “taxonomic headache.” Mitochondrial DNA sequence data are used to infer phylogenetic relationships among most of the named subspecies in the complex. Sequence-based phylogenies show that Middle American subspecies included in the analysis are reciprocally monophyletic, but subspecies described for South America do not reflect patterns of genetic variation. Samples from the lower Amazon cluster with samples collected in western Amazonia—not with samples from Colombia and Venezuela, as was predicted by subspecies classification. All subspecies of the complex are more closely related to one another than to other Amazona species, and division of the complex into three species (A. ochrocephala, A. auropalliata, and A. oratrix) is not supported by our data. Divergence-date estimates suggest that these parrots arrived in Middle America after the Panama land-bridge formed, and then expanded and diversified rapidly. As in Middle America, diversification of the group in South America occurred during the Pleistocene, possibly driven by changes in distribution of forest habitat.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 121 • No. 2