More grasswren splits

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Subject: More grasswren splits
From: "Murray Lord" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 20:56:45 +1000
This abstract was posted today on Birdforum:

Christidis, L., F. E. Rheindt, W. E. Boles & J. A. Norman, 2013. A re-appraisal 
of species diversity within the Australian grasswrens Amytornis (Aves: 
Maluridae). Austral. Zoologist 36 (4): in press

Abstract: The Australian grasswrens (Amytornis) comprise a genus of cryptically 
plumaged species inhabiting the arid regions of southern, western, central, and 
northern Australia. Isolated, fragmented populations characterise the 
distributional pattern of several species, whereas others appear to show 
ecophenotypic clinal variation in plumage patterns. These features have made 
the species-level taxonomy of the genus a matter of ongoing debate. We 
undertook qualitative considerations of morphological, biogeographical and 
ecological features in combination with quantitative DNA distance measures from 
published studies, to provide a comprehensive species level revision of 
Amytornis. In addition to the ten species recognised by Schodde and Mason 
(1999) (housei, textilis, goyderi, purnelli, ballarae, merrotsyi, woodwardi, 
dorotheae, striatus, barbatus), we also recognise as species the following: 
modestus, rowleyi, oweni and whitei. These fourteen species are placed into 
four subg
 enera: Amytornis, Magnamytis, Maluropsis and Cryptamytis subgen. nov. The 
latter subgenus is erected for A. merrotsyi. The potential impacts that this 
new taxonomy will have on the conservation status of the various taxa are 

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