RFI: new Australian Zosterops species

To: "Lawrie Conole" <>, <>
Subject: RFI: new Australian Zosterops species
From: "Jon Wren" <>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 00:07:03 +1000
Lawrie stated
"It looks like we now have a species called the Capricornia Whiteye (Z.
chlorocephalus) - the only bird
species endemic to the Great Barrier Reef system.  Nothing in the online
"Aus" to post here.  I'm
just wondering if any "Sunbird" subscribers could tell us more about the
basis on which this
taxonomic decision has been made????????

The Sunbird Vol 33 (2) August 2003. pg 64-76
"The Capricorn White-eye Zosterops chlorocephalus Jiro Kikkawa.

The Capricorn White-eye was first described as Zosterops chlorocephalus in
1910, but since 1926 it has been treated as a subspecies of the Silvereye
Zosterops lateralis in official checklists and monographs. It is restricted
to the wooded coral cays of the southern Great barrier reef, forming a
rapidly differentiating metapopulation. Recent studies revealing its
distinctive morphology, genetic isolation from other forms of Z. lateralis
and unique life history on coral cays, indicate that the treatment of
chlorocephalus as a separate species within the lateralis superspecies may
be appropriate."

Jon Wren

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