Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

View Passeroidea Tree

There is some question whether Passeroidea includes Promeropidae (shown directly under Passerida), but the rest of the superfamily is clearly monophyletic (Barker et al. 2002, 2004; Ericson and Johansson 2003; Beresford et al. 2005). Nectariniidae (sunbirds) and Dicaeidae (flowerpeckers) are sisters (Barker et al. 2002, 2004; Ericson and Johansson 2003; Beresford et al. 2005), and form a trichotomy with Irenidae (fairy bluebirds) and remaining passeroids (Barker et al. 2002, 2004; Beresford et al. 2005). Peucedramus (olive warbler), previously thought to be either a parulid or basal within 9-primaried oscines (Sibley and Monroe 1990) is instead sister to Prunellidae (accentors) (Ericson and Johansson 2003), and these are sister to the remaining passeroids (Barker et al. 2002, 2004; Ericson and Johansson 2003; Beresford et al. 2005). Passeridae (Old World sparrows) and Motacillidae (pipits and wagtails) are successive sister groups to the nine-primaried oscines (Barker et al. 2002, 2004; Ericson and Johansson 2003). Though this is weakly supported in each analysis, agreement between analyses and a three-codon insertion in the c-myc sequences (Ericson et al. 2000) are conclusive.

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