Skip to main content Accessibility help

Genetic differentiation, taxonomy and conservation of Australasian teals Anas spp.

  • Charles H. Daugherty (a1), Murray Williams (a1) and Jennifer M. Hay (a2)


Australasian teal consist of five taxa (Anas gracilis, A. castanea, A. chlorotis, A. aucklandica and A. nesiotis) whose taxonomic identities and relationships have been uncertain. Analysis of variation at 14 allozyme loci indicates limited but clear divergence of New Zealand taxa (A. chlorotis, A. aucklandica, A. nesiotis), in agreement with previous studies of morphological variation. The New Zealand taxa are “terminal and evolutionarily independent units” that clearly meet the criteria for specific recognition in line with the phylogenetic species concept (PSC). Because each is also geographically restricted and has small world population size, specific recognition supports increased conservation status for each. The three New Zealand species do not form a sister group with A. castanea, as previously hypothesized; instead, A. castanea and A. gracilis are sister taxa.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Genetic differentiation, taxonomy and conservation of Australasian teals Anas spp.
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Genetic differentiation, taxonomy and conservation of Australasian teals Anas spp.
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Genetic differentiation, taxonomy and conservation of Australasian teals Anas spp.
      Available formats



Hide All
Allendorf, F.W., Mitchell, N., Ryman, N. and Stahl, G. (1977) Isozyme loci in Brown Trout Salmo trutta L.: detection and interpretation from population data. Hereditas 86:179190.
Avise, J.C. (1989) A role for molecular genetics in the recognition and conservation of endangered species. TREE 4:279281.
Avise, J.C. and Aquadro, C.F. (1982) A comparative summary of genetic distances in the vertebrates: patterns and correlations. Evol. Biol. 15:151185.
Avise, J.C. and Zink, R. (1988) Molecular genetic divergence between avian sibling species: King and Clapper Rails, Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers, Boat-tailed and Greattailed Grackles, and Tufted and Black-crested Titmice. Auk 105: 516528.
Baker, A.J., Daugherty, C.H., Colbourne, R. and McLennan, J.L. (1995) Flightless brown kiwis of New Zealand possess extremely subdivided population structure and cryptic species like small mammals. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 92: 82548258.
Bell, B.D., Daugherty, C.H. and Hay, J.M. (1998) Leiopelma pakeka, n.sp. (Anura: Leiopelmatidae), a cryptic species of frog from Maud Island, New Zealand, and a reassessment of the conservation status of Leiopelma hamiltoni from Stephens Island. J. R. Soc. N.Z. 28: 3954.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. (1994) The taxonomy and species of birds of Australia and its territories. Melbourne: Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (Monograph 2).
Clayton, J.W. and Tretiak, D.N. (1972) Amine-citrate buffers for pH control in starch gel electrophoresis. J. Fish. Res. Board. Canada 29:11691172.
Collar, N.J. (1996) Species concepts and conservation: a response to Hazevoet. Bird Conserv. Internatn 6: 197200.
Condon, H.T. (1975) Checklist of the birds of Australia, 1 Non-passerines. Melbourne: RAOU.
Cracraft, J. (1983) Species concept and speciation analysis. Pp.159187 in Johnston, R.F., ed. Current ornithology,1. New York: Plenum Press.
Daugherty, C.H., Cree, A., Hay, J.H. and Thompson, M.B. (1990a) Neglected taxonomy and continuing extinctions of tuatara (Sphenodon). Nature 347: 177179.
Daugherty, C.H., Patterson, G.B., Thorn, C.J. and French, D.C. (1990b) Differentiation of members of the New Zealand Leiolopisma nigriplantare complex (Sauria: Scincidae). Herpetol. Monogr. 4: 6175.
Daugherty, C.H. and Triggs, S.J. (1991) Population differentiation in New Zealand birds. Ada XX Congr. Internatn Orn.: 525533.
Delacour, J. (1956) Waterfowl of the world, 2. London: Country Life.
Delacour, J. and Mayr, E. (1945) The family Anatidae. Wilson Bull. 57: 355.
Dumbell, G.S. (1986) The New Zealand Brown Teal 1845–1985. Wildfowl 37:7187.
Falla, R.A. (1953) The Australian element in the avifauna of New Zealand. Emu 53:3646.
Fleming, C.A. (1953) Checklist of New Zealand birds. Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed.
Fleming, C.A. (1982) George Edward Lodge—The unpublished New Zealand bird paintings. Wellington: Nova Pacifica Publishing
Foggo, M.N., Hitchmough, R.A. and Daugherty, C.H. (1997) Systematic and conservation implications of geographic variation in Pipits (Anthus: Motacillidae) in New Zealand and some offshore islands. Ibis 139:366373.
Frost, D.R. and Hillis, D.M. (1990) Species in concept and practice: herpetological applications. Herpetologica 46:87101.
Gorman, G.C. and Renzi, J. (1979) Genetic distance and heterozygosity estimates in electrophoretic studies: effects of sample size. Copeia 1979: 242249.
Hazevoet, C.J. (1996) Conservation and species lists: taxonomic neglect promotes the extinction of endemic birds, as exemplified by taxa from eastern Atlantic islands. Bird Conserv. Internatn 6: 191196.
Highton, R. (1990) Taxonomic treatment of genetically differentiated populations. Herpetologica 46:114121.
Johnsgard, P.A. (1965) Handbook of waterfowl behavior. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Johnsgard, P.A. (1978) Ducks, geese and swans of the world. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Kim, J., Rohlf, J. and Sokal, R.R. (1993) The accuracy of phylogenetic estimation using the neighbour-joining method. Evolution. 47:471486.
King, M. C. and Wilson, A.C. (1975) Evolution at two levels: molecular similarities and biological differences between humans and chimpanzees. Science 188:107118.
Kinsky, F.C. (1970) Annotated checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed.
Kumar, S., Tamura, K. and Nei, M. (1993) MEGA: Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis, version 1.0. University Park: Pennsylvania State University.
Lewontin, R. (1974) The genetic basis of evolutionary change. New York: Columbia University Press.
Livezey, B.C. (1990) Evolutionary morphology of flightlessness in the Auckland Islands Teal. Condor 92: 639673.
McClelland, P. (1993) Subantarctic teal recovery plan. Wellington: Department of Conservation.
McKitrick, M.C. and Zink, R.B. (1988) Species concepts in ornithology. Condor 90: 114.
Madge, S. and Burn, H. (1988) Wildfowl: an identification guide to the ducks, geese and swans of the world. London: Christopher Helm.
Marchant, S., AND Higgins, P., eds. (1990) Handbook of Australian, Antarctic and New Zealand birds, 1 (part B). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Mayr, E. (1970) Populations, species, and evolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press.
Molloy, J. and Davis, A. (1992) Setting priorities for the conservation of New Zealand's plants and animals. Wellington: Department of Conservation.
Murphy, R.W. and Crabtree, C.B. (1985) Evolutionary aspects of isozyme patterns, number of loci, and tissue-specific gene expression in the prairie rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis viridis. Herpetologica 41: 451470.
Nei, M. (1978) Estimation of average heterozygosity and genetic distance from a small number of individuals. Genetics 89: 583590.
Nei, M. (1991) Relative efficiencies of different tree-making methods for molecular data. Pp. 90128 in Miymoto, M.M. and Cracraft, J., eds. Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences. New York: Oxford University Press.
Oliver, W.R.B. (1955) New Zealand birds. Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed.
Ota, T. (1993) DISPAN: Genetic distance and phylogenetic analysis, version 1.1. University Park: Pennsylvania State University.
Prawiradilaga, D.M. (1985) A comparative study of the courtship behaviour of the Grey Teal Anas gibberifrons and the Chestnut Teal Anas castanea. Unpubl. M.Rural Sci. thesis, University of New England.
Preddy, J. (1995) Campbell Island Teal Anas aucklandica nesiotis bred in captivity. Wildfowl 46:6971.
Ripley, S.D. (1942) A review of the species Anas castanea. Auk 59:9099.
Rojas, M. (1992) The species problem and conservation: what are we protecting?. Conserv. Biol. 6: 170178.
Ryttman, H. and Tegelstrom, H. (1981) Low degree of isozyme variation within and between Herring Gull Larus argentatus, Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus and their British and Swedish subspecies. Hereditas 94:161164.
Sarich, V. M. (1977) Rates, sample sizes, and the neutrality hypothesis for electrophoresis in evolutionary studies. Nature 265: 2428.
Saitou, N. and Imanishi, T. (1989) Parsimony, maximum-likelihood, minimum-evolution and neighbour-joining methods of phylogenetic tree construction in obtaining the correct tree. Mol. Biol. Evol. 6:514525.
Saitou, N. and Nei, M. (1987) The neighbour-joining method: a new method for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Mol. Biol. Evol. 4:406425.
Selander, R.K., Smith, M.H., Yang, S.Y., Johnson, W.E., and Gentry, J. B.. (1971) Biochemical polymorphism and systematics in the genus Peromyscus. I. Variation in the old-field mouse (Peromyscus polionotus). Stud. Genet. VI: 49–90 (University of Texas publ. 7103).
Sneath, P.H.A. and Sokal, R.R. (1973) Numerical taxonomy. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.
Swofford, D.L. and Selander, R.B. (1981) BIOSYS-I: a Fortran program for the comprehensive analysis of electrophoretic data in population genetics and systematics. J. Hered. 72:281283.
Tegelstrom, H., Jannson, H. and Rytrman, H. (1980) Isozyme differences among three related Larus species (Aves). Hereditas 92:117122.
Thorpe, J.P. (1983) Enzyme variation, genetic distance, and evolutionary divergence in relation to levels of taxonomic separation. Pp. 131–152 in Oxford, G.S. and Rollinson, D., eds. Protein polymorphism: adaptive and taxonomic significance. London: Academic Press.
Todd, F.S. (1996) Natural history of the waterfowl. Vista, Calif.: Ibis Publishing.
Triggs, S.J., and Daugherty, C.H.. (1996) Conservation and genetics of New Zealand parakeets. Bird Conserv. Internatn 6: 89101.
Turbott, E.G. (1968) Buller's birds of New Zealand. Wellington: Whitcombe & Tombs.
Turbott, E.G. (1990) Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Auckland: Random Century.
Westerskov, K.E. (1960) Birds of Campbell Island. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs.
Williams, M. and Robertson, C.J.R. (1996) The Campbell Island Teal Anas aucklandica nesiotis: history and review. Wildfowl 47: 134165
Williams, M., McKinney, F. and Norman, F.I. (1991) Ecological and behavioural responses of Austral teal to island life. Acta XX Congr. Int. Orn.: 876884.
Young, H.G., Sorenson, M.D. and Johnson, K.P. (1997) A description of the Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri and an examination of its relationships with the Grey Teal A. gracilis. Wildfowl 48:174180.
Zink, R.M. and McKitrick, M.C. (1995) The debate over species concepts and its implications for ornithology. Auk 112:701719.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Genetic differentiation, taxonomy and conservation of Australasian teals Anas spp.

  • Charles H. Daugherty (a1), Murray Williams (a1) and Jennifer M. Hay (a2)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.