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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2007 Jul;44(1):138-53. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

Complex biogeographic history of the cuckoo-shrikes and allies (Passeriformes: Campephagidae) revealed by mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data.

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Département Systématique et Evolution, UMR5202, Origine, Structure et Evolution de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 55 Rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France. <>


The Campephagidae (minivets, cuckoo-shrikes and trillers, seven genera and 81 species) represents an Old World corvid clade of tropical birds with a mixed diet that forage in different manners, i.e., flycatching, foliage-gleaning or shriking. This family has never been the focus of any phylogenetic survey, so their phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history remain largely unknown. To address these questions, we sequenced four loci (ND2, myoglobin intron-2, GAPDH intron-11 and c-mos) for 27 species of Campephagidae. Our analyses suggest that Coracina consists of five unrelated lineages and that Lalage is paraphyletic. Our dating analyses, using a Bayesian relaxed-clock method, indicate that the split between the Indo-Malayan genus Pericrocotus and the remaining Campephagidae occurred synchronously with other splits involving Indo-Malayan corvid lineages, suggesting that several lineages of Indo-Malayan birds were isolated at the same time from their closest relatives. The African stock of cuckoo-shrikes is likely the result of three independent trans-oceanic dispersals from Australasia.

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