Zach's focal taxon

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Through DNA analysis it was recently discovered that the bird families Trogonidae, Alcedinidae, Meropidae, Bucerotidae, Ramphastidae, Picidae, along with several other families that are not represented in Southeast Asia, form a monophyletic clade. This discovery has been of great interest in recent years, because these families are extremely diverse and extremely variable both within and between families. Trogons, of the family Trogonidae, are pan-tropical, sexually dimorphic birds that inhabit the interior forest and are known for their extravagant plumage coloration and their elusive behavior.Trogons are predominately insectivorous, but eat fruit at times. These birds have short, broad bills that tend to be of a blue coloration. Most make distinctive monotone calls. 11 species of Trogon are common to the island of Borneo. Kingfishers, of the family Alceninidae, are colorful stocky birds with long straight bills. Larger birds of this family tend to be vocal, noticeable, and associated with water, feeding by diving steeply into water to catch prey. Smaller species tend to shy and elusive and hunt in the forest interior. 11 species of Kingfisher are common to the island of Borneo. Bee-eaters, of the family Meropidae, are colorful insectivores with slender bodies and slender curved bills. These birds are often found in large flocks in open areas, while others seem to be solitary and are found in forest habitats. 3 species of Bee-eater are common to the island of Borneo. Hornbills, of the family Bucerotidae, are a group of large frugivorous birds with extravagantly large bills, noisy and distinct vocalizations, and noisy wing-beats. Most species are predominantly black and white in plumage, and have colorful faces, casques and bills. Hornbills form monogamous pairs during breeding, and are unique in that the female is left to incubate her eggs without leaving, and is fed and cared for by the male until the young are ready to fledge. These birds tend to be associated with large fruiting trees (figs), and are therefore their presence is an indicator of forest health. 8 species of Hornbill are common to the island of Borneo. Barbets, of the family Ramphastidae, are small colorful frugivorous birds, and are therefore often found in the forest canopy. Barbets are characterized by distinct, repetitive, "robotic" vocalizations, thick powerful bills surrounded by bristles at the base, colorful head patterns, and are predominately green. Unlike many bird species of Borneo, Barbets show very little sexual dimorphism. 9 species of Barbet are common to the island of Borneo. Woodpeckers are characterized by long, strong, and sharp bills, utilized to chisel wood. These birds tend to have reinforced skulls, elongated tongues, stiff tails, short legs and strong claws, all which seem to be adaptations for foraging on vertical tree trunks. 18 species of Woodpeckers are common to the island of Borneo.

Contents

Family: Trogonidae

Harpactes kasumba (Indiv116)

Crown Color: Male = Black, Female = Grey/Brown

Nape Color: Male = Red, Female = Grey/Brown

Bill Color and Form: Male & Female = Blue, Short, and Broad

Breast Color: Male = Black, Female = Grey/Brown

Wing Color: Male = Buff, Female = Buff/Yellow

Tail Color: Male & Female =Buff

Color of Underparts: Male = Red, Female = Yellow

Size: Medium

Location: Interior Forest of Maliau Basin

Date: 6 July 2010

Description: Male red nape, black head and throat, blue skin surrounding eye, beak bluish black, breast lined by white, red underparts, upper wing buff, lower wing black and white, long black and white tail with a lattice pattern. Female grey head with buff/yellow nape, grey throat, yellow underparts, buff upper wing with yellow and black lower wing, long tail with black and white lattice pattern. Repetitive monotone call heard from the understory. Male and female observed perched on the same branch in the interior forest.

Family: Alcedinidae

Pelargopsis capensis (Indiv40)

Crown Color: Buffish/Orange

Nape Color: Buffish/Orange

Bill Color and Form: Red, Long, Straight

Breast Color: Buffish/Orange

Wing Color: Blue and Black

Tail Color: Blue

Color of Underparts: Buffish/Orange

Size: Large

Location: Pond adjacent to Lambir Hills Head Quarters, located in Sarawak, Borneo

Date: 11 June 2010

Description: Head, neck and underparts buffish-orange colored. Wings blue with black tips, and tail. Large bill with red coloration. Chin white colored. Feet red colored. Observed perch hunting from a lower branch.

Ceyx rufidorsa (Indiv29)

Crown Color: Rufous

Nape Color: Rufous

Bill Color and Form: Red, Long, Straight

Breast Color:Orange/Yellow

Wing Color: Rufous

Tail Color: Rufous

Color of Underparts: Orange/Yellow

Size: Small

Location: Secondary Forest surrounding Niah Cave

Date: 9 June 2010

Description: Head, neck, nape and wings rufous colored. Long, straight bill relative to size of a red coloration. Underparts of an orange-yellow coloration. A small and shy forest dwelling species. Observed perched on a branch along the trail.

Ceyx erithacus (Indiv60)

Crown Color: Lilac/Rufous

Nape Color: Lilac/Rufous

Bill Color and Form: Red, Long, Straight

Breast Color:Orange/Yellow

Wing Color: Black and Blue

Tail Color: Lilac/Rufous

Color of Underparts: Orange/Yellow

Size: Small

Location: Trail of Maliau Basin

Date: 2 July 2010

Description: A small species of kingfisher characterized by a rufous coloration. Crown light lilac-rufous colored. Throat white. Cheeks, and forehead orange colored. Side of neck blue with white below. Wings black with blue on the scapulars and wing-coverts. Underparts light orange. Bill reddish/orange. Observed along the trail of Maliau Basin. Upper mandible seemed to be broken, and lower mandible seemed to be curved upward.

Meropidae

Nyctyornis amictus (Indiv120)

Crown Color: Lilac/Green

Nape Color: Green

Bill Color and Form: Black, Slender, Curved Downward

Breast Color: Red

Wing Color: Green

Tail Color: Green, Black, Yellow

Color of Underparts: Light Green

Size: Medium

Location: Flying from tree to tree over a stream located in Maliau Basin

Date: 4 July 2010

Description: Long slender black bill, curved downwards, blue bill base, as well as blue eye ring, purple/lilac crown, bright red chin, throat and breast, green underparts, as well as green upperparts, tail green, and undertail mostly yellow with a black bottom. Species is known to be inconspicuous and solitary, and was observed as so.

Bucerotidae

Anthracoceros albirostris (Indiv34)

Crown Color: Black

Nape Color: Black

Bill Color and Form: Large, Yellow Bill, Curved Downward, with a Large Yellow Casque with a Black Spot at the Front

Breast Color: Black

Wing Color: Black

Tail Color: Black with Broad Outer White Tail Tips

Color of Underparts: White

Size: Large

Location: Flying from tree to tree within the canopy of Gaya Island.

Date: 16 June 2010

Description: Pied coloration. Upperparts black, wings with white tip, upperbrest black, underparts white, black tail with white tail-tips. Bill yellow with large casque with small patch of black on it. Bare bluish-white facial skin around eye. Loud piercing call.

Anthracoceros malayanus (Indiv55)

Crown Color: Black

Nape Color: Black

Bill Color and Form: Large, Yellow Bill, Curved Downward, with a Yellow Cylindrical Casque

Breast Color: Black

Wing Color: Black

Tail Color: Black with White Bar

Color of Underparts: Black

Size: Large

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Maliau Basin Study Center

Date: 6 July 2010

Description: The male of this species is all black, with a long tail with white tips on the outer tail feathers. Bill of a pale yellow color, with a large cylindrical casque of the same color. Usually found in pairs. Feeds on fruits and small invertebrates. Harsh irregular call.

Buceros rhinoceros (Indiv50)

Crown Color: Black

Nape Color: Black

Bill Color and Form: Extremely Large, Mostly Yellow, Orange/Red at the Base. Large Upward Curving Casque Predominately Orange/Red and Yellow at the Front.

Breast Color: Black

Wing Color: Black

Tail Color: White with Black Bar

Color of Underparts: White

Size: Large

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Maliau Basin Study Center

Date: 29 June 2010, 6 July 2010

Description: Upperparts deep, glossy black. Underparts white. White tail with black band. Large bill, of a yellow/orange color. Large casque that is curved at the tip. Only Hornbill in Borneo with white tail showing a broad black central band. Usually found in pairs. Feeds mainly on figs.

Rhinoplax vigil (Indiv124)

Crown Color: Black

Nape Color: Black

Bill Color and Form: Predominately Yellow Bill, Orange at the Base. Casque Predominately Orange, with Yellow Front and Blunt End.

Breast Color: Black

Wing Color: Black

Tail Color: White with Black Bar

Color of Underparts: White

Size: Large

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Maliau Basin Study Center

Date: 27 June 2010, 6 July 2010

Description: Bare orange wrinkled skin on neck and head, black crown, yellow and orange bill with a mostly orange casque (yellow at front). Only Hornbill with a solid ivory casque. Black breast, white underparts, black upperparts with white tail tips, white tail with a black band across with long central black tail feathers with white tips. Unique vocalization that carries very far through the forest.

Aceros undulatus (Indiv123)

Crown Color: Black and Chestnut Colored

Nape Color: Black

Bill Color and Form: Predominately Yellow Bill, Ridged at the Base. Ridged at Base of Lower Mandible. Small, Low Casque with corrugations..

Breast Color: White

Wing Color: Black

Tail Color: White

Color of Underparts: Black

Size: Large

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Maliau Basin Study Center

Date: 2 July 2010

Description: Chestnut colored throat, neck and crown. Large yellow bill with with a low ridged casque and ridged lower mandible. Large yellow gular pouch, reddish skin surrounding eye, black upper and underparts, and a white tail. Found in pairs, or groups. Very similar phenotypically to the Wrinkled Hornbill, differing only in casque and gular ouch shape and coloration.

Ramphastidae

Megalaima chrysopogon (Indiv150)

Crown Color': Red

Nape Color: Green

Bill Color and Form: Large Grey/Black Bill with Whiskers at the Base

Breast Color: Green

Wing Color: Green

Tail Color: Green

Color of Underparts:Green

Size: Small

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Lambir Hills Head Quarters

Date: 11 June 2010

Description: Yellow forehead, red crown, blue supercilium, yellow cheek, grey and blue throat, underparts light green, upperparts deeper green, large grey bill, green feet. Diet consists of fruits, predominately figs and berries. Forages for fruits in the canopy of the forest. Rapid repetitive call (tu-tu-tu-tu...).

Megalaima rafflesii (Indiv46)

Crown Color': Red

Nape Color: Red

Bill Color and Form: Large Black Bill with Whiskers at the Base

Breast Color: Green

Wing Color: Green

Tail Color: Green

Color of Underparts:Green

Size: Small

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Lambir Hills Head Quarters

Date: 11 June 2010

Description: Distinct plumage. Red crown, blue chin, throat and blue directly above eye. Partially red cheek. Red coloration on lower portion of the throat. Yellow on side of head. Black ear coverts, with red directly under eye. Large black bill. Behavior is poorly understood, but like all barbets, diet consists predominately of fruits. Song of up to 40 repetitive notes.

Megalaima mystacophanos (Indiv58)

Crown Color': Red

Nape Color: Green

Bill Color and Form: Large Black Bill with Whiskers at the Base

Breast Color: Green/ Blue

Wing Color: Green

Tail Color: Green

Color of Underparts:Green

Size: Small

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Lambir Hills Head Quarters

Date: 11 June 2010

Description: Bird characterized by a yellow forehead, red crown, lores, and throat, as well as blue cheek coloration and a black bill with whiskers at the base. Located in primary and secondary lowland forest. Diet consists of fruits, especially figs. Forages in the canopy of the forest. Irregular high-pitched call (took.....took.....took).

Megalaima henricii (Indiv129)

Crown Color': Yellow and Blue

Nape Color: Green and Red

Bill Color and Form: Large Black Bill with Whiskers at the Base

Breast Color: Green/ Blue

Wing Color: Green

Tail Color: Green

Color of Underparts:Green

Size: Small

Location: Fruiting Fig Tree Adjacent to Lambir Hills Head Quarters / Maliau Basin

Date: 11 June 2010 , 6 July 2010

Description: Yellow forecrown, blue hindcrown, yellowish green supercilium and cheeks, black bill, blue throat with red spot above breast, red and yellow/green nape, green neck, light green underparts, deep green upperparts, green tail. Feeds on fruits high in the canopy of the forest. High-pitched repetitive call (tuk tuk tuk tuk tkrrrrk).

Megalaima pulcherrima (Indiv33)

Crown Color': Blue and Yellow/Green

Nape Color: Golden Yellow

Bill Color and Form: Large Black Bill with Whiskers at the Base

Breast Color: Green/ Blue

Wing Color: Green / Olive

Tail Color: Green

Color of Underparts:Green

Size: Small

Location: Head Quarters of Mt. Kinabalu Trail

Date: 21 June 2010 , 6 July 2010

Description: Forehead and neck blue, nape gold/yellow, throat blue, yellow on side of head, upperparts dark green, underparts green. Short black bill with whiskers at the base. Located in primary and secondary montane forest from 1,100 to 2,500 m. Tends to be solitary, and feed on fruits and insects of the canopy. Three note call followed by a long 1 to 2 second call (tuk tuk tukrrrk........prrrrt).

300px
Megalaima australis (Indiv57)

Crown Color': Blue/Green

Nape Color: Green

Bill Color and Form: Small Black Bill with Whiskers at the Base

Breast Color: Green/ Blue / Black

Wing Color: Green / Olive

Tail Color: Green

Color of Underparts:Green

Size: Small

Location: Fruiting Tree Adjacent to Lambir Hills HQ

Date: 11 June 2010

Description: Forehead and forecrown black, with a blue hindcrown. Two red spots below the eye, one under the other. Black ear coverts. Blue throat. Underparts and upperparts green, upper of a darker coloration. Small bill with black whiskers at the base. Located in primary and secondary lowland dipterocarp forests. Feeds mainly on fruits, foraging in the canopy of the forest. Rapid repeated call (tuk tuk tuk).

Calorhamphus fuliginosus (Indiv30)

Crown Color': Brown

Nape Color: Brown

Bill Color and Form: Large Black Bill

Breast Color: Redish Brown

Wing Color: Brown

Tail Color: Brown

Color of Underparts:White

Size: Small

Location: Fruiting Tree Adjacent to Lambir Hills HQ

Date: 11 June 2010

Description: Forehead, lores, crown, ear-coverts, nape, mantle, wings, back and tail all dark brown plumage. Throat and breast reddish brown color which slowly fades into white. Black beak curved downwards. Bright red legs and feet. Found in primary and secondary lowland dipterocarp forests, peatswamps and kerangas. Usually found in groups of 6 to 8. Feeds on fruits. HIgh pitched short repetitive call (tseet tseet tseet).

Picidae

Meiglyptes tristis (Indiv48)

Crown Color': Barred

Nape Color: Bared

Bill Color and Form: Small, Long, Slender and Black

Breast Color: Barred

Wing Color: Barred

Tail Color: Barred

Color of Underparts:Barred

Size: Small

Location: Tree outside of Maliau Basin Study Center

Date: 28 June 2010

Description: Small woodpecker. Head brown with mantle and back barred "buffish-brown". Wings black with brown bars. Rump is buff colored. Bill black. Crimson malar stripe. Located in primary and secondary lowland dipterocarp forest. Often found in mixed flocks. Obtains food through gleaning, and probing/hammering trees with their bills.

Dryocopus javensis (Indiv151)

Crown Color': Red

Nape Color: Red

Bill Color and Form: Large, Long, Slender and Black/Grey

Breast Color: Black

Wing Color: Black

Tail Color: Black

Color of Underparts:White

Size: Large

Location: Maliau Basin

Date: 4 July 2010

Description: Large woodpecker with a bright red forehead, nape, crown, crest and malar stripe. Remaining portions of the head,upperparts and breast are black. Belly and the rest of underparts are white. Tail is stiff and black, wings are black, and bill and legs are greyish black. Found in primary and secondary lowland dipterocarp forest, peatswamp, kerangas, and mangroves. Usually found in pairs. Feeds on a variety of insects from a variety of levels of tall trees. Loud accelerated drumming.

Data

The birds identified above were analyzed for specific characteristics that were then used to create a phylogenetic tree. Shown below is the data matrix (made in Mesquite) utilized to create said phylogenetic tree:

20 individuals were analyzed on the basis of 17 labile characters. The above matrix was then utilized to create a consensus tree through the program PHYLIP. The most parsimonious tree can be seen below:

Discussion

The three trees above represent the consensus tree created in Mesquite based on three separate character traits (crown color, presence of casque, cheek color). This consensus tree wis rooted. This tree properly grouped together all the king fishers, and all but one of the horn bills (Helmeted). The majority of the barbets group together as well, except for the brown barbet, which is grouped with the helmeted hornbill. The woodpeckers do not group together either. And those species of which only one individual was observed seem to be dispersed throughout the entire tree. The problems with this tree could be attributed to the fact that the character matrix used to create this tree was based on 17 labile characters. Because labile characters are solely phenotypic, it is understandable that not all species were grouped together perfectly. For example, barbets have distinct skeletal structures that set them apart from all other species within this taxon. Woodpeckers tails are structurally distinct from all other species, adapted to be stiff in order to aid in foraging. If characters similar to these had been used as well as the labile characters that were used, it is probable that there would have been fewer problems with this tree. But regardless, this tree illustrates that by basing a character matrix on numerous phenotypic characters, the majority of this phylogeny remains correct.

Individual Determined by Date Taxon Genus Species Morphotype
Indiv116 Zach 6 July 2010 Harpactes kasumba Harpactes Harpactes kasumba
Indiv120 Zach 4 July 2010 Red-Bearded Bee-Eater
Indiv120 Zach 4 July 2010 Nyctyornis amictus Nyctyornis Nyctyornis amictus
Indiv123 Zach 2 July 2010 Aceros undulatus Aceros Aceros undulatus
Indiv124 Zach 27 June 2010 Rhinoplax vigil
Indiv129 Zach 11 June 2010 Megalaima henricii Megalaima Megalaima henricii
Indiv150 Zach 11 June 2010 Megalaima chrysopogon Megalaima Megalaima chrysopogon
Indiv151 Zach 4 July 2010 Dryocopus javensis Dryocopus Dryocopus javensis
Indiv29 Zach 9 June 2010 Ceyx Rufidorse Ceyx Ceyx rufidora
Indiv30 Zach 11 June 2010 Calorhamphus fuliginosus Calorhamphus Calorhamphus fuliginosus
Indiv33 Zach 21 June 2010 Megalaima pulcherrima Megalaima Megalaima pulcherrima
Indiv34 Zach 16 June 2010 Anthracoceros albirostris Anthracoceros Anthracoceros albirostris
Indiv40 Zach 11 June 2010 Pelargopsis capensis Pelargopsis Pelargopsis capensis
Indiv46 Zach 11 June 2010 Megalaima rafflesii Megalaima Megalaima rafflesii
Indiv48 Zach 28 June 2010 Meiglyptes tristis Meiglyptes Meiglyptes tristis
Indiv50 Zach 29 June 2010 Buceros rhinoceros Buceros Buceros rhinoceros
Indiv55 Zach 6 July 2010 Anthracoceros malayanus Anthracoceros Anthracoceros malayanus
Indiv57 Zach 11 June 2010 Megalaima australis Megalaima Megalaima australis
Indiv58 Zach 11 June 2010 Megalaima mystacophanos Megalaima Megalaima mystacophanos
Indiv60 Zach 2 July 2010 Ceyx Rufidorse (2) Ceyx Ceyx rufidora
Indiv60 Zach 2 July 2010 Ceyx erithacus Ceyx Ceyx erithacus