Cyanistes,

Eck, Siegfried, 2006, The Palaearctic Titmouse Species (Aves: Paridae: Parus sensu lato) — A current survey *, Zootaxa 1325, pp. 7-54: 21

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.174040

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:51B86A2B-78E6-44FC-BB22-BFEC7A933061

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/52524956-FF8D-FFCD-AF14-3BA2FD2AFE37

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Cyanistes
status

 

Subgenus Cyanistes  , type species Parus caeruleus  L., 1758

(Blue Tits)

The subdivision of the Blue Tits into species has also changed recently ( Eck 1988: 1 species; Salzburger et al. 2002 b: 3 species). Traditionally the difference between Blue Tits s.l. and Azure Tits has been thought to be older than that between the European Blue and the North African/Canarian Ultramarine Tits. Evidently the reverse applies, and the blue and ultramarine forms, which seem more similar to our eyes, are the result of an older differentiation. Even between the Blue Tits in central and in southern Europe, the subtle population comparisons made by Taberlet and Bouvet (1990), Blondel et al. (1991) and Kvist et al. (2004) have revealed biological, ecological and genetic differentiations that could not yet have been suspected to lie behind the description of Parus caeruleus ogliastrae  HARTERT 1905.

Blue and Ultramarine Tits are strictly allopatric, and at least since Martin (1988: 136–137) a species distinction between them has been considered. Blue and Azure Tits are not strictly allopatric, and hybridisation occasionally occurs ( Johansen 1952; Vaurie 1957; Meise 1975; Portenko et al. 1982). According to voice and genetic distance (cyt b) they could be subspecies, but there is no population­mixing region! How does the sympatry of these tits prove to be, in concrete terms? If Parus cyanus  only recently split off from caeruleus  , it would not be surprising for there to be no clear molecular­genetic differentiation between flavipectus  and tianschanicus. This is not to say that there are no biological isolating mechanisms between them, but interbreeding of flavipectus  with cyanus  populations is known to occur ( Harrap and Quinn 1996 etc.). On the map by Portenko et al. 1982 the areas of the three southern, yellow­breasted Azure Tits are unfortunately not specially marked.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Aves

Order

Passeriformes

Family

Paridae