Split of Rockhopper Penguin

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Split of Rockhopper Penguin
From: richard baxter <>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 17:56:11 -0800 (PST)
For those on birding-aus interested.

  Richard Baxter

Tony Pym <> wrote:

  A paper in the journal Molecular Ecology by Pierre Jouventin et al has shown, 
as expected, that the Rockhopper Penguin should be split and recognised as two 
species, E. chrysocome and Eudyptes moseleyi .

  For information, here's an abstract:
    The taxonomic status of populations of rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes 
chrysocome) is still enigmatic. Northern populations differ from southern ones 
in breeding phenology, song characteristics and head ornaments used as mating 
signals. We conducted a molecular analysis using mitochondrial DNA sequencing 
to test if there is a gene flow barrier between northern (subtropical) 
populations and southern (subantarctic) populations in relation to the 
Subtropical Convergence, a major ecological boundary for marine organisms. 
Sequences of the control region and the ND2 gene were analysed in rockhopper 
penguins and in the macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus), a closely related 
species. Genetic distances and phylogenetic analyses showed a clear split into 
three clades, two rockhopper clades and the macaroni penguin. Moreover, ÈST and 
gene flow estimates also suggested genetic structuring within the northern 
rockhoppers. Our results add further support to the notion that the two
 rockhopper penguin taxa, often considered as two subspecies, can be recognized 
as two species E. chrysocome and E. moseleyi. The divergence in mating signals 
found between these two taxa seems to have occurred recently and relatively 
rapidly. Thus, the behavioural changes may have been enough to isolate these 
taxa without the need for morphological differentiation. The findings have 
important conservational implications, since E. moseleyi is far less abundant 
than E. chrysocome, but more populations may warrant an uplisting to endangered 
status if full species status should be recognized for more subpopulations.


No need to miss a message. Get email on-the-go
with Yahoo! Mail for Mobile. Get started.

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU