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Thread: Italian Sparrow recognized as a valid species

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Italian Sparrow recognized as a valid species

    HI ALL:
    I thought someone might be interested in this story:

    Ian Paulsen

  2. #2
    Senior Member Odonate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Not sure that it is quite as clear cut as that. My understanding of the paper is that they have shown that Italian Sparrow seems to have arisen from a hybridisation event between House and Spanish and that, genetically, they cluster right between the two. As Italian can hybridise with House (eg in the Alps) it is not a species according to BSC and since they seem to be able to cluster with either, perhaps not by the PSC either. The story is even more complex when you think about the clinal differences as you move south in Italy within what should be Italian Sparrows (eg the birds from Sicily and surrounding islands that approach Spanish phenotypically).

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    You can get the original paper here (pdf file).

    Treatment as a species is nothing new, it has been done by Denis Summers-Smith for some time, and is followed by both Lynx HBW and IOC.

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