Comments on the osteology and systematics of the New Zealand passerines of the genus Mohoua
|Title||Comments on the osteology and systematics of the New Zealand passerines of the genus Mohoua|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1990|
|Type of Article||paper|
The osteology of the New Zealand genera Mohoua and Finschia shows that they are definitely not referable to the Pachycephalinae or any other group within the corvine assemblage. This is in contrast to Sibley and Ahlquist's original interpretation of their DNA-DNA hybridization studies and supports a recent reanalysis of that data by critics, who concluded that these genera belong among the "Passerida". Within that group, the relationships of Finschia and Mohoua remain uncertain. No osteological basis could be found for continuing to separate the genus Finschia from Mohoua. The three species in the expanded genus Mohoua show increasing specialization for use of the hindlimb in foraging and in order of most primitive to most derived should be listed as M. novaeseelandiae, M. albicilla, and M. ochrocephala. The last two species are very distinct from one another osteologically and are not to be regarded as subspecies of a single species.