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Citation for Study 11986

About Citation title: "Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Core Babblers (Aves: Timaliidae)".
About Study name: "Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Core Babblers (Aves: Timaliidae)".
About This study is part of submission 11986 (Status: Published).


Moyle R.G., Andersen M.J., Oliveros C., Steinheimer F.D., & Reddy S. 2012. Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Core Babblers (Aves: Timaliidae). Systematic Biology, .


  • Moyle R.G. (submitter) Phone 785-864-1870
  • Andersen M.J.
  • Oliveros C.
  • Steinheimer F.D.
  • Reddy S.


The avian family Timaliidae is a species rich and morphologically diverse component of African and Asian tropical forests. The morphological diversity within the family has attracted interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists, but systematists have long suspected that this diversity might also mislead taxonomy, and recent molecular phylogenetic work has supported this hypothesis. We produced and analyzed a dataset of six genes and almost 300 individuals to assess the evolutionary history of the family. Typical of several recent analyses of large datasets, we encountered issues of unstable taxon placement, unrealistic branch lengths, parameter interaction, and lack of convergence in Bayesian analysis. All of these issues were resolved by identifying and removing rogue taxa, reducing parameterization of among-site rate variation, and adjusting program settings to alter MCMC sampling behavior. The resulting analysis provided strong support for major subclades within the family but extensive paraphyly of genera. Only three genera represented by more than three species were monophyletic. Biogeographic reconstruction indicated a mainland Asian origin for the family and most major clades. Colonization of Africa, Sundaland, and the Philippines occurred relatively late in the family’s history and was mostly unidirectional. Several putative babbler genera, such as Robsonius, Malia, Leonardina, and Micromacronus are only distantly related to the Timaliidae.


Timaliidae; convergence; parameter interaction; rogue taxa; biogeography

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