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Zoologists discover bird species in Indonesia

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A comparison of overall plumage characteristics between male (top row) and female (bottom row) flowerpeckers from mainland Sulawesi (left column) and the Wakatobi archipelago (right column). Kelly et al. 2014
Zoologists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a currently unrecognised bird species in a biodiversity hotspot in Indonesia. They propose that the colourful bird, which is found only on one small chain of islands, should be called the Wakatobi Flowerpecker (Dicaeum kuehni).


After numerous expeditions to South-east Sulawesi and its offshore islands, the zoologists have published evidence stating that a population of birds from the Wakatobi Islands should be recognised as a unique species. Despite looking similar to the Grey-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum) from mainland Sulawesi, Wakatobi Flowerpeckers are significantly larger and genetically distinct. The genetic data from this study revealed that the two flowerpecker species did not mix or interbreed, which in turn suggests that they do not cross the 27 km stretch of ocean between them.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-06-zoologists-bird-species-indonesia.html



Kelly SBA, Kelly DJ, Cooper N, Bahrun A, Analuddin K, et al. (2014) Molecular and Phenotypic Data Support the Recognition of the Wakatobi Flowerpecker (Dicaeum kuehni) from the Unique and Understudied Sulawesi Region. PLoS ONE 9(6): e98694. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098694

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