The classification of New World martins (Progne) has a convoluted history because taxonomists have relied on plumage traits that vary continuously across populations. We estimated the phylogeny of Progne by analyzing mitochondrial cytochrome b DNA sequences of 27 individuals of eight of the nine species (10 subspecies) and nuclear β-fibrinogen intron 7 sequences of 20 individuals of six species (8 subspecies). The Brown-chested Martin (P. tapera) is sister to other Progne species. The Middle American taxa—Sinaloa Martin (P. sinaloae), Cuban Martin (P. cryptoleuca), Caribbean Martin (P. dominicensis), and Central American populations of Gray-breasted Martin (P. chalybea)—form a well supported clade. This group is distinct from Purple Martin (P. subis), which has no particularly close relatives. All four Middle American taxa appear to be good species, although Cuban and Caribbean martins could be merged in view of their similar plumage and low genetic divergence (1.2%). Two of the South American taxa, the Peruvian Martin (P. murphyi) and Southern Martin (P. elegans), are also distinct species. We did not examine the Galapagos Martin (P. modesta) for lack of DNA, but it is likely to be a good species as well. An unexpected result of the study was that Gray-breasted Martin appears polyphyletic; its South American populations are closer to the Southern Martin than to its Central American populations.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 120 • No. 4