Description of a new species of Phylloscopus warbler from Vietnam and Laos

Authors

  • PER ALSTRÖM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7007, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
    2. Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Swedish Museum of Natural History, PO Box 50007, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden
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  • PETE DAVIDSON,

    1. Wildlife Conservation Society Lao Program, PO Box 6712, Vientiane, Laos PDR
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    • Present addresses: Bird Studies Canada, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, 5421 Robertson Road, Delta, British Columbia, V4K 3N2, Canada;

  • J. W. DUCKWORTH,

    1. Wildlife Conservation Society Lao Program, PO Box 6712, Vientiane, Laos PDR
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  • JONATHAN C. EAMES,

    1. BirdLife International in Indochina, N6/2 + 3, Lane 25, Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
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  • TRAI TRONG LE,

    1. BirdLife International in Indochina, N6/2 + 3, Lane 25, Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
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  • CU NGUYEN,

    1. Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science & Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Vietnam
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  • URBAN OLSSON,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Göteborg, PO Box 463, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
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  • CRAIG ROBSON,

    1. 63 Stafford Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 3BD, UK
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  • ROB TIMMINS

    1. Wildlife Conservation Society Lao Program, PO Box 6712, Vientiane, Laos PDR
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    • Present addresses: Bird Studies Canada, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, 5421 Robertson Road, Delta, British Columbia, V4K 3N2, Canada;


  • 2313 Willard Avenue, Madison, WI 53704, USA.

Email: per.alstrom@artdata.slu.se

Abstract

A new species of Phylloscopus warbler, which we name Phylloscopus calciatilis Limestone Leaf Warbler, is described from central and northern Vietnam and central and northern Laos; it probably also breeds in southernmost China. In morphology, the new species is very similar to Sulphur-breasted Warbler Phylloscopus ricketti, but it is smaller with a proportionately larger bill and rounder wing. Its song and calls are diagnostic. Based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, the new species is most closely related to P. ricketti and Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator, and it is inferred to be sister to the latter. The mitochondrial divergences between these three species are at the low end of the variation found in other species of Phylloscopus and Seicercus warblers, but greater than in other taxa generally treated as subspecies. Possible introgressive hybridization between the new species and P. ricketti is discussed, but more data are needed to establish whether it does occur and, if it does, to what extent. The new species appears to have a restricted breeding range in limestone karst environments, where it is locally common and therefore not under any immediate threat. In view of the recognition of the new species, all previous records of P. ricketti sensu lato need to be re-evaluated.

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