Reconstructing the geographic origin of the New World jays

Sumudu W. Fernando*, A. Townsend Peterson, Shou Hsien Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a biogeographic analysis based on a dense phylogenetic hypothesis for the early branches of corvids, to assess geographic origin of the New World jay (NWJ) clade. We produced a multilocus phylogeny from sequences of three nuclear introns and three mitochondrial genes and included at least one species from each NWJ genus and 29 species representing the rest of the five corvid subfamilies in the analysis. We used the S-DIVA, S-DEC, and BBM analyses implemented in RASP to create biogeographic reconstructions, and BEAST to estimate timing of NWJ diversification. Biogeographic reconstructions indicated that NWJs originated from an ancestor in the Eastern Palearctic or Eastern + Western Palearctic, diversified in Mesoamerica and spread subsequently to North and South America; the group has been diversifying in the New World since the late Miocene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-92
Number of pages13
JournalNeotropical Biodiversity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


  • Corvidae
  • New World jays
  • biogeographic origin
  • divergence times

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology


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