|Black kite, Milvus migrans migrans|
(or Accipitriformes, q.v.)
See text for discussion
Milvus is a genus of medium-sized birds of prey. It is an Old World group consisting of three kites that form part of the subfamily Milvinae. Its systematics are under revision; it contains 3 or 4 species.
- Red kite, Milvus milvus
- Black kite, Milvus migrans
- Black-eared kite, Milvus (migrans) lineatus
- Yellow-billed kite, Milvus aegyptius
Allozyme data indicates that the genetic diversity in both black and red kites is rather low. Successful hybridization between Milvus kites is fairly commonplace, making mtDNA analyses unreliable to resolve the genus' phylogeny. Furthermore, there is no good correlation between molecular characters and biogeography and morphology in the red kite due to very incomplete lineage sorting.
The yellow-billed kite is apparently a separate species, as indicated by mtDNA phylogeny showing two supported clades, biogeography, and morphology. The black-eared kite is somewhat distinct morphologically, but is better considered a well-marked parapatric subspecies. The status of the Cape Verde kite is in doubt; while not a completely monophyletic lineage according to mtDNA data, it is still best regarded as a distinct species. Whatever its status, this population is extinct.
|Wikispecies has information related to: Milvus|
- Schreiber, Arnd; Stubbe, Michael & Stubbe, Annegret (2000): Red kite (Milvus milvus) and black kite (M. migrans): minute genetic interspecies distance of two raptors breeding in a mixed community (Falconiformes: Accipitridae). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 69'(3): 351–365. doi:10.1006/bijl.1999.0365 (HTML abstract)
- Johnson, Jeff A.; Rick T. Watson, and David P. Mindell (7 July 2005). Prioritizing species conservation: does the Cape Verde kite exist?. Proc Biol Sci. (The Royal Society) 272 (7): 1365–1371. 
- Crochet, Pierre-André (2005): Recent DNA studies of kites. Birding World 18(12): 486-488. HTML section list
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