Ptilonorhynchidae

Bowersbirds occur in Australia and New Guinea. They are known for their unique courtship behaviour, where males build a structure and decorate it. Hybridization has been documented in four genera (Amblyornis, Sericulus, Ptilonorhynchus and Chlamydera). But only the genus Sericulus has been subjected to more detailed genetic analyses (Zwiers, Borgia & Fleischer, 2008).

On 14 July 1867, Henry Charles Rawnsley shot a bowerbird at his house near Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). This specimen was later used to describe a new species: the Rawnsley’s Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus rawnsleyi). A review of this specimen led to the conclusion that it was a hybrid between Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus) and Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus). Recently, a second specimen of this ‘species’ has been observed at Beechmont (Frith, 2006; Frith, 2016).

Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

References

Frith, C. B. (2006). A history and reassessment of the unique but missing specimen of Rawnsley’s Bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus rawnsleyi, Diggles 1867,(Aves: Ptilonorhynchidae). Historical Biology 18, 57-68.

Frith, C. B. (2016). A second living’Rawnsley’s Bowerbird’-a wild adult male hybrid from a Regent Bowerbird’Sericulus chrysocephalus’ Satin Bowerbird’Ptilonorhynchus violaceus’ cross. Australian Field Ornithology 33, 14.

Zwiers, P. B., Borgia, G. & Fleischer, R. C. (2008). Plumage based classification of the bowerbird genus Sericulus evaluated using a multi-gene, multi-genome analysis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46, 923-931.

Advertisements

One thought on “Ptilonorhynchidae

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s