A molecular phylogeny of the dove genera Streptopelia and Columba.
The Auk 118(4):874-887, 2001
ABSTRACT: Evolutionary history of the dove genus Streptopelia has not been examined with rigorous phylogenetic methods. We present a study of phylogenetic relationships of Streptopelia based on over 3,600 base pairs of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences. To test for monophyly of Streptopelia, we used several other columbiform taxa, including Columba (Old and New World), Macropygia, Reinwardtoena, and the enigmatic Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri). On the basis of our analyses, Streptopelia (as currently defined) is not monophyletic; Nesoenas mayeri is the sister species to S. picturata, resulting in paraphyly of Streptopelia. Three main clades of Streptopelia are identified: (1) S. chinensis plus S. senegalensis, (2) S. picturata plus Nesoenas mayeri, and (3) all other species of Streptopelia. It is unclear whether those clades form a monophyletic group to the exclusion of Old World Columba, but several analyses produce that result. Species of Old World Columba are closely related to Streptopelia, with species of New World Columba clustering outside that group. Taxonomic changes suggested by our results include merging Nesoenas with Streptopelia and changing the generic name for New World Columba species to Patagioenas. Vocal similarities between S. picturata and N. mayeri are striking, given the general diversity of vocalizations in other species.