The three species in the genus Claravis (Aves: Peristerinae) are unique among members of the small New World ground-dove clade. All three species inhabit forested areas rather than open scrubby habitat, and exhibit obvious sexual dichromatism. However, the phylogenetic relationships within Claravis remain unknown. The only molecular phylogenetic study to include more than one species of Claravis indicated the genus is paraphyletic. Here we include molecular data from all three Claravis species, including sequences from a museum skin of the previously unsampled Claravis geoffroyi (purple-winged ground-dove). Using both mitochondrial and nuclear loci, we estimate phylogenies and divergence times for the small New World ground-dove clade. We also use ancestral state reconstruction methods to infer the evolution of male blue plumage (and thus sexual dimorphism) in the clade. As in the previous study we recover Claravis as a paraphyletic group, but with Claravis geoffroyi as the sister species to Claravis mondetoura (maroon-chested ground-dove). This result has important implications for the evolutionary history of the small New World ground-dove clade. In particular, we recover multiple independent transitions between the monomorphic and dimorphic plumage states, which perhaps indicates sexual dimorphism arose twice in the group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology