Tyto delicatula

To: <>
Subject: Tyto delicatula
From: "John Penhallurick" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 18:14:16 +1100
Dear Birding-aussers,

In a chapter in the 2nd edition of Koenig?s book on the Owls of the World,
Wink et al. have proposed Tyto delicatula as a good species with races lulu,
and sumbaensis.  This is incorrect.  In Wink,Sauer-Gürth &
Fuchs,2004,?Phylogenetic Relationships in Owls based on nucleotide sequences
of mitochondrial and nuclear marker genes?. Pp. 517-526  in Chancellor, R.D.
& B.U.Meyburg (eds), Raptor Worldwide, of which I can send a copy to anyone
who wants it. Found that Tyto delicatula formed a sister-clade with Tyto
javanica, with 92% bootstrap support, and that both formed a sisten-taxon
with Tyto sumbaensis, that clade having 95% bootstrap support.  This means
that Christidis & Boles (2008) were correct to treat delicatula as a
subspecies of javanica, as is sumbaensis and luluensis, as can be

 seen on my website:
<> .

In a review of Weick, F., 2006, Owls (Strigiformes) Illustrated and
Annotated Checklist. In Emu, 2007,107,pp.337-337, Stephen Debus stated:

To take the Australasian species, the Australian Barn Owl is correctly
separated as Tyto delicatula (including javanica and sumbaensis, cf. Wink et
al. 2004), but Weick raises the form crassirostris of the Bismarck
Archipelago to species rank on purely morphological grounds while
pronouncing that most other forms in Melanesia and Polynesia are, or
probably are, inseparable from delicatula.

  I am intrigued that Debus thinks that Tyto javanica based on

Strix javanica J.F.Gmelin,1788,Systema Naturae...editio decima
tertia,1,pt.1,p.295;"de Wurmb apud Lichtenberg Magaz.IV.210. ("Habitat in

should be included in Tyto delicatula, based on

Strix delicatulus Gould,1837["1836"],Proceedings of the Zoological Society
of London,Pt.4,no.xlviii(June),p.140.(New South Wales.)

Tyto javanica lulu {New Caledonia,southern Vanuatu,Loyalty
islands,Fiji,Tonga,Samoa,Society Islands}

Based on Strix lulu Peale,1848,United States Exploring Expedition,8,Mammalia
& Ornithology,p.74. (Upolu,and other islands of the Samoan Group;Ovalau,Fiji

Is a valid subspecies, to which I have the following note:

Lulu is treated as a subspecies by Peters,1940,Checklist of Birds of the
World,4,p.79;M.D.Bruce,1999,Family Tytonidae(Barn-Owls) in del Hoyo,Elliott
& Sargatal (eds),Handbook of the Birds of the World,5,p.71,merges island
populations everetti,kuehni,bellonae,lifuensis and lulu with widespread
Australasian delicatula." König,Weick & Becking,1999,Owls: A Guide to the
Owls of the World,p.195, treat the taxon as valid, but without explanation
or justification. Tamura-Nei distances based on cytochrome-b and RAG-1 show
that lulu is distinct from delicatula by 0.251% and 0.352% and deserves
recognition as a subspecies of T.javanica.

I have asked Wink why he ignored Tyto javanica  in his 2008 study but have
had no reply.

John Penhallurick

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