Tyrant FlycatchersJohn Harshman
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Discussion of Phylogenetic RelationshipsTello et al. (2009) offer a new classification as well as a phylogeny, from which this page departs slightly for two reasons: acceptance of a more traditional definition of Tyrannidae, and a desire to avoid naming groups that are not clearly monophyletic. Tyrannidae here is their Tyrannoidea; their Tyrannidae excludes Rhynchocyclinae. Tello et al. define a subfamily Tyranninae consisting of Myiarchini, Tyrannini, Attila, and the clade contaiing Ramphotrigon, but that group is not clearly monophyletic. Tello et al. defined a new family, Rhynchocyclidae, but because it is included within Tyrannidae as defined here, it has been demoted to a subfamily, and subfamilies within it are demoted to tribes. Taxonomic ranks being arbitrary, this does no violence to the authors' conception.
My criteria for acceptance of taxa within Tyrannidae is that they must have strong bootstrap support from at least one study and no strong contradiction from any, or must be supported (though not strongly) by at least two studies using independent data. For technical reasons, Bayesian posteriors are not considered strong support. Genera are listed as "not monophyletic" if there is strong bootstrap support against monophyly in any study (e.g. Ramphotrigon), and as "may not be monophyletic" if there is weak support against monophyly in at least one study and no strong contradiction.
Ramphotrigon is paraphyletic, as Deltarhynchus is embedded within it (Ohlson et al. 2008). The probable solution is submergence of the latter.
Piprites is traditionally grouped with the manakins (Pipridae), but both Tello et al. (2009) and Ohlson et al. (2008) place it within Tyrannidae. However, neither study has any support for its position within the family; it's probably somewhere near the base of the family.
Birdsley, J. S. 2002. Phylogeny of the tyrant flycatchers (Tyrannidae) based on morphology and behavior. Auk 119(3):715-734.
Chesser, R. T. 2004. Molecular systematics of New World suboscine birds. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. 32:11-24.
Cicero, C. and N.K. Johnson. 2002. Phylogeny and character evolution in the Empidonax group of tyrant flycatchers (Aves: Tyrannidae): a test of W. E. Lanyon’s hypothesis using mtDNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22:289–302.
Fitzpatrick, J.W., J.M. Bates, K. S. Bostwick, I. C. Caballero, B. M. Clock, A. Farnsworth, P. A. Hosner, L. Joseph, G. Langham, D.J. Lebbin, J.A. Mobley, M.B. Robbins, E. Scholes, J.G. Tello, B.A. Walther and K.J. Zimmer. 2004. Family Tyrannidae (Tyrant-Flycatchers). Pages 289-290 in Handbook of the Birds of the World: Vol. 9 Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails.(J. del Hoyo, A. Elliot and D. A. Christie, eds). Lynx Editions, Barcelona.
Gill, F. and M. Wright. 2006. Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lanyon, W.E. 1986. A phylogeny of the thirty-three genera in the Empidonax assemblage of tyrant flycatchers. American Museum Novitates 2846:1–29.
Lanyon, W.E. 1988a. A phylogeny of the flatbill and tody-tyrant assemblage of tyrant flycatchers. American Museum Novitates 2923:1–41.
Lanyon, W.E. 1988b. A phylogeny of the thirty-two genera in the Elaenia assemblage of tyrant flycatchers. American Museum Novitates 2914:1–57.
McKitrick, M.C., 1985. Monophyly of the Tyrannidae (Aves): comparison of morphology and DNA. Systematic Biology 34:35–45.
Mobley, J. A., and Prum, R. O. 1995. Phylogenetic relationships of the Cinnamon Tyrant, Neopipo cinnamomea, to the Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae). Condor 97: 650-662.
Ohlson, J., J. Fjeldså, and P. G. P. Ericson. 2008. Tyrant flycatchers coming out in the open: Phylogeny and ecological radiation of Tyrannidae (Aves, Passeriformes). Zoologica Scripta 37:315-335.
Rheindt, F. E., J. A. Norman, and L. Christidis. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of tyrant-flycatchers (Aves: Tyrannidae), with an emphasis on the elaeniine assemblage. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46(1):88-101.
Roy, M. S., J. C. Torres-Mura, and F. Hertel. 1999. Molecular phylogeny and evolutionary history of the tit-tyrants (Aves: Tyrannidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 11:67–76.
Tello, J. G. and J. M. Bates. 2007. Molecular phylogenetics of the tody-tyrant and flatbill assemblage of tyrant flycatchers (Tyrannidae). Auk 124(1):134-154.
Tello, J. G., R. G. Moyle, D. J. Marchese, and J. Cracraft. 2009. Phylogeny and phylogenetic classification of the tyrant flycatchers, cotinga, manakins, and their allies (Aves: Tyrannides). Cladistics 25:1-39.
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- First online 28 November 2009
- Content changed 28 November 2009
Citing this page:
Harshman, John. 2009. Tyrannidae. Tyrant Flycatchers. Version 28 November 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Tyrannidae/67998/2009.11.28 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/