Rufous-webbed Brilliant Heliodoxa branickii
Version: 1.0 — Published June 27, 2014
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Heliodoxa branickii is monotypic.
Described as Lampraster branickii (Taczanowski 1874); type locality Monterico [Ayacucho], Peru
Heliodoxa branickii usually is considered to be closely related to Heliodoxa gularis (Pink-throated Brilliant) (e.g. Zimmer 1951, Schulenberg et al. 1984, Heynen 1999); a sister species relationship between branickii and gularis is confirmed from starch-gel electrophoresis of proteins (Gerwin and Zink 1989).
A recent phylogenetic survey of the phylogenetic relationships of hummingbirds, based on DNA sequence data from both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, reveals that hummingbirds (Trochilidae) constitute nine major clades, comprising the hermits, mangos, Patagona, topazes, coquettes, brilliants, mountain-gems, bees, and emeralds (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009). Heliodoxa belongs to the brilliant clade, and is sister to the monotypic genus Urochroa; other genera in the brilliant clade are Haplophaedia, Eriocnemis, Aglaeactis, Coeligena, Lafresnaya, Ensifera, Pterophanes, Boissonneaua, Ocreatus, and Urosticte (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009).