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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Sinaloa Crow Corvus sinaloae

Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Guy M. Kirwan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published November 15, 2013


Geographic Variation

Corvus sinaloae is monotypic.

Related Species

Early authors (e.g. Ridgway 1904) used the name Corvus mexicanus for Sinaloa Crow, based on Corvus mexicanus Gmelin 1788. Peters (1929), however, documented that Gmelin's "crow" referred to Quiscalus mexicanus (Great-tailed Grackle), and so the Mexican Corvus lacked a name; Peters (1929) then described the Mexican populations of crow as Corvus imparatus, with a type locality of Rio La Cruz, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

For many years it was believed that there was only taxon of crow in Mexico, occurring in both the northwestern and northeastern regions of the country (e.g. Ridgway 1904, Peters 1929, Miller et al. 1957). Davis (1958) pointed to vocal differences, and slight morphometric differences, between these two populations, and described the crows of western Mexico as a separate species, Corvus sinaloae (Sinaloa Crow). Most authorities have accepted sinaloae as a species, with imparatus (Tamualipas Crow) restricted to northeastern Mexico, although Johnston (1961) recognized sinaloae as only a subspecies of imparatus.

Corvus imparatus long was considered to be a southern representative of Corvus ossifragus (Fish Crow) of the eastern United States (e.g., Hardy 1990). Hellmayr (1934) went so far as to consider imparatus including the populations now known as sinaloae) as "clearly conspecific" with ossifragus, and Blake (1953) also classified the Mexican Corvus as conspecific with ossifragus. Davis (1958), on the other hand, suggested that sinaloae might be more closely related to Corvus caurinus (Northwestern Crow) of northwestern North America. Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data, from both nuclear and mitochondrial genes, confirms that imparatus and sinaloae are sister taxa, and that these two in turn indeed are sister to ossifragus (Jønsson et al. 2012). The ossifragus/ imparatus/sinaloae clade in turn is sister to Corvus palmarum (Palm Crow) of the Greater Antilles (Jønsson et al. 2012).

Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C. I., C. A. Soberanes-González, M. d. C. Arizmendi, G. M. Kirwan, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Sinaloa Crow (Corvus sinaloae), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.sincro1.01