Evolutionary history and speciation of the genus Tragopan Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8p58pj64k

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  • A study of the phyletic relationships among five species of tragopans and an outgroup, the Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus), was conducted from 1987 to 1991. Biochemical, behavioral, and external morphologic characteristics were compared. A cladistic approach was used to compare the behavioral, biochemical, and external morphologic data collectively, as different phyletic relationships were obtained when each area of investigation was analyzed separately. Although unlike other pheasant species the genera Tragopan and Ithaginis molt their tail feathers centrifugally, study results did not indicate that these two groups were closely related. Based on a compilation of 25 characters, seven possible phylogenetic trees were generated. I rejected six of the seven trees based on current geographical distribution, morphology (size and complexity of lappet in males), behavior (wing coordination during the frontal display of male tragopans), and electrophoretic (number of unique alleles among the different species of tragopans) data. I accepted the tree that grouped Satyr and Western as closely related species and grouped Temminck's, Blyth's, and Cabot's tragopans together, with Temminck's and Cabot's being more closely related to each other than either was to Blyth's. I proposed that the prototype of tragopans probably had their origin in the eastern Himalayas. There were probably two major dispersal events; one population dispersed into central and south-east China and the Himalayas provided a corridor for the dispersal of a second population. Due to geological events in the Himalayas and China, these populations further split and eventually evolved into the extant forms.
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