The order Gruiformes contains the cranes (Gruidae), rails (Rallidae) and several other smaller families, such as trumpeters (Psophiidae), flufftails (Sarothruridae) and finfoots (Heliornithidae).



The Mangrove Rail (R. longirostris) and King Rail (R. elegans) are in a long zone of secondary contact in the eastern USA along which hybridization occurs (Maley & Brumfield, 2013, Olson 1997).

Hybridization between King rail and Clapper Rail (R. crepitans) resulted in introgression. Most admixed birds were backcrosses to Clapper Rail, suggesting that this species is displacing King Rails (Coster et al., 2018).


mangrove rail.jpg

Mangrove Rail (Rallus longirostris)



Several hybrids have been produced in captivity by means of artificial insemination, for example White-naped crane (G. vipio) x Siberian Crane (G. leucogeranus) hybrids (Maksudov & Panchenko, 2002). For experimental purposes (DNA fingerprinting protocol), hybrids were also obtained between Siberian Crane and Sandhill Crane (G. canadensis) (Tokarskaya et al., 1994).

A population genetic study of Sarus Crane (G. antigone) revealed the Indian and eastern subspecies represent major breeding groups and that the Myanmar population probably resides in an introgression zone between them (Jones, Barzen & Ashley, 2005).


sarus crane.jpg

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone)



Coster, S.S., Welsh, A.B., Costanzo, G., Harding, S.R., Anderson, J.T., McRae, S.B. & Katzner, T.E. (2018) Genetic analyses reveal cryptic introgression in secretive marsh bird populations. Ecology and Evolution.

Jones, K. L., Barzen, J. A. & Ashley, M. V. (2005). Geographical partitioning of microsatellite variation in the sarus crane. Animal Conservation 8, 1-8.

Maksudov, G. Y. & Panchenko, V. G. (2002). Obtaining an interspecific hybrid of cranes by artificial insemination with frozen-thawed semen. Biology Bulletin 29, 196-199.

Maley, J. M. & Brumfield, R. T. (2013). Mitochondrial and Next-Generation Sequence Data Used to Infer Phylogenetic Relationships and Species Limits in the Clapper/King Rail Complex. Condor 115, 316-329.

Olson, S.L. (1997) Towards a less imperfect understanding of the systematics and biogeography of the Clapper and King rail complex (Rallus longirostris and R. elegans). In: R.W. Dickmann (ed.) The era of Allan R. Phillips: A festschrift (pp.93-111). Albequerque, NM: Horizon Communications.

Tokarskaya, O. N., Kalnin, V. V., Panchenko, V. G. & Ryskov, A. P. (1994). Genetic Differentiation in a Captive Population of the Endangered Siberian Crane (Grus-Leucogeranus Pall). Molecular & General Genetics 245, 658-660.

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