[Taxacom] Antigone split from Grus (was: "Family" Tetrapterygidae)

Kenneth Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 27 20:49:38 CST 2016

Hi Tony,

      I was a bit shocked to learn that the American Ornithological Union split genus Antigone from Grus just a few months ago.  The more I read, the more I am liking this splitters' phylogenetic classification of Family Gruidae.  However, I wonder if the lumpers might lump Bugeranus into Anthropoides, perhaps as a subgenus thereof.

       Antigone canadensis (for the sandhill crane) has a nice ring to it.  Anyway, here is a weblink to the 2016 AOU Supplement announcing the change:



From: Tony Rees <tonyrees49 at gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2016 5:09 PM
To: Kenneth Kinman
Cc: Taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] "Family" Tetrapterygidae

Also of potential interest, the IOC World Bird List dropped both Anthropoides and Bugeranus in favour of Grus in 2010, as per this extract from http://www.worldbirdnames.org/updates/archives/taxonomy-version-2/ :
Taxonomy Version 2 « IOC World Bird List<http://www.worldbirdnames.org/updates/archives/taxonomy-version-2/>
TAXONOMY UPDATES – v2.11 (Jan 2, 2012) Seq: Previous IOC List: English Name: Updated List (v2.11) Code: Reference: 57: Psittacula echo: Echo Parakeet: Psittacula eques

TAXONOMY UPDATES – v2.6 (Oct 23, 2010)

Seq     Previous IOC  List      English Name    Updated List (v2.6)     Code    Reference
40      Anthropoides virgo      Demoiselle Crane        Grus virgo      TAX, SEQ        Drop Anthropoides, which is embedded in Grus (Krajewski 2010)
40      Anthropoides paradiseus Blue Crane      Grus paradisea  TAX, SEQ        Drop Anthropoides,    which is embedded in    Grus (Krajewski 2010)
40      Bugeranus carunculatus  Wattled Crane   Grus carunculata        TAX, SEQ        Drop Bugeranus,    which is embedded in    Grus (Krajewski 2010)

However if you read Krajewski et al.'s 2010 paper - available at http://www.aoucospubs.org/doi/full/10.1525/auk.2009.09045 - they recommend retention of the generic names Anthropoides and Bugeranus as distinct from (though embedded within) Grus:

"Classification.—Crane classification had been reasonably stable throughout the 20th century until Krajewski (1989) suggested that Grus as constituted by Peters (1934) was not monophyletic, because of the early separation of the Siberian Crane (then “Grus” leucogeranus) from other gruines. Krajewski's remedy was to transfer the species of Bugeranus and Anthropoides to Grus, leaving the latter as the only extant genus within Gruinae. Krajewski and Fetzner (1994) failed to resolve the Siberian Crane as a basal gruine with cyt b sequences and lamented that Krajewski's (1989) lumping expedient may have been premature. Unfortunately, that classification has since been adopted in some prominent tabulations of avian diversity (e.g., Monroe and Sibley 1993, IUCN 2007). Although our mtDNA results confirm Krajewski's (1989) phylogeny, we endorse Livezey's (1998) proposal to recognize the Siberian Crane as a monotypic genus (Leucogeranus) and retain Peters's (1934) other gruine genera (Anthropoides, Bugeranus, and Grus; Table 1). This scheme captures what is well supported by numerous phylogenetic analyses while otherwise maintaining nomenclatural stability. In particular, the position of the Anthropoides genera in relation to Grus (node 11 in Fig. 2) is not highly resolved by mtDNA sequences. A fully satisfactory phylogenetic classification will also require confirmation of the novel mtDNA alliance of the Canadensis and Antigone groups."

So I guess it depends on which way you wish to jump... in any case, Tetrapterygidae would seem to be a non-starter.

Regards - Tony

Tony Rees, New South Wales, Australia

On 28 November 2016 at 07:08, Tony Rees <tonyrees49 at gmail.com<mailto:tonyrees49 at gmail.com>> wrote:
Hi Ken,

I did find this paper online:


The presentation is a bit inconsistent, mixing references to the genus Anthropoides in the text with that of "Grus" (i.e. Anthropoides) paradisea in the tables, also similar for "Grus" (i.e. Bugeranus) carunculatus; at any rate these two appear to group with Grus virgo as a sub-group within a greater Grus. No Tetrapteryx, though...

Regards - Tony

Tony Rees, New South Wales, Australia

On 28 November 2016 at 01:47, Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com<mailto:kinman at hotmail.com>> wrote:

Hi Tony,

      I think that this is a typical case of splitters vs. lumpers, especially lumpers who cannot tolerate paraphyletic genera.  There seems to be no controversy about the two species of Anthropoides being sister taxa.

       However, there are indications that a genus Anthropoides could render genus Grus paraphyletic.  Therefore, those who cannot tolerate paraphyly can either resort to extreme splitting or just lumping them all in genus Grus.  In this case, they have chosen lumping.  Meanwhile, those who aren't bothered by paraphyly, have taken a middle ground approach between lumping and extreme splitting (splitting off Tetrapteryx as a separate monotypic genus from Anthropoides).


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