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Keywords:

  • biogeography;
  • osteology;
  • phylogenetic classification;
  • syringeal anatomy

The family Rhinocryptidae comprises an assemblage of 12 genera and 55 species confined to the Neotropical region. Here we present the first morphology-based phylogenetic study of the Rhinocryptidae, using 90 anatomical characters (62 osteological, 28 syringeal) scored for all genera of the family and representatives of all families of the infraorder Furnariides. Parsimony analysis of this dataset recovered 7428 equally most-parsimonious trees. The strict consensus of those trees was completely resolved at the genus level, with the topology (Liosceles (Psilorhamphus ((Eleoscytalopus + Merulaxis) (Acropternis ((Teledromas + Rhinocrypta) ((Pteroptochos + Scelorchilus) (Eugralla (Myornis + Scytalopus)))))))). The monophyly of the Rhinocryptidae as presently understood was recovered with strong support [eight synapomorphies and Bremer support (BS) = 6). Strongly supported internal arrangements included the basal position of the Amazonian genus Liosceles relative to the rest of the family (four synapomorphies, BS = 4), a clade containing Acropternis through Scytalopus (six synapomorphies, BS = 4), and other less inclusive nodes. The main points of congruence between the present morphological phylogeny and previous molecular phylogenetic work on the family were clades supported by six or more synapomorphies and Bremer values of 6–7: Eleoscytalopus + Merulaxis (eight synapomorphies, BS = 6), Scelorchilus + Pteroptochos (seven synapomorphies, BS = 7), Rhinocrypta + Teledromas (seven synapomorphies, BS = 7), and Eugralla + Myornis + Scytalopus (six synapomorphies, BS = 6). A classification derived from the morphological phylogeny is proposed, with new suprageneric taxa being named and diagnosed.

© 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 166, 377–432.