Phylogeny of the cuckoo genus Coccyzus(Aves: Cuculidae): a test of monophyly

Dark-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus melacoryphus) Science Article 1


Coccyzus comprises nine species of New World cuckoos (Aves: Cuculidae)that breed from southern Canada to central South America. The phylogeny of thisgenus was reconstructed using 2490 base pairs of the mitochondrial genes cytochromeoxidase II and III, and cytochrome b. Maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony,and Bayesian inference approaches produced similar topologies in whichCoccyzus, as currently classified, is polyphyletic. Topological-constraint analysesdemonstrated that trees resulting from this study were significantly better thanthose derived from conventional classifications. Furthermore, results support paraphylyof Piaya, another genus of New World cuckoos. These conclusions reflect someearly classifications of these genera and support the resurrection of Micrococcyx tohouse the ash-coloured (Coccyzus cinereus) and dwarf (C. pumilus) cuckoos, andCoccycua for the little cuckoo (Piaya minuta).

Janice M. Hughes, Systematics and Biodiversity 4 (4): 483-488

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