Markham's Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma markhami
Version: 2.0 — Published October 29, 2020
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Described as Cymochorea markhami Salvin 1883 (7: page 430); type locality "Coast of Peru, lat. 19º 40'S, long. 75º W." It is named for Captain Albert Hastings Markham, who collected the type specimen off southern Peru. It currently is classified in the genus Oceanodroma, meaning "ocean runner". It has been suggested the genus Oceanodroma could be broken into several smaller genera, and that Cymochorea be reinstated along with the genera Thalobata, Halocyptena, and Hydrobates (8). Under this taxonomy, Penhallurick and Wink (8) tentatively placed Markham's Storm-Petrel once again in Cymochorea, along with Leach's (O. leucorhoa), Swinhoe's (O. monorhis), Tristram's (O. tristrami), Ashy (O. homochroa), Guadalupe (O. macrodactyla), and Ringed (O. hornbyi) storm-petrels. However, more recent phylogenetic studies do not support this arrangement (see Related Species; 9). Alternatively, some authorities have instead opted to lump all Oceanodroma storm petrels into an expanded Hydrobates, which has priority (e.g., 10).
Currently considered monotypic. However, there are differences in the breeding phenology between different populations (see Phenology), which could lead to allochronic speciation (11); further investigation is warranted.
Markham's Storm-Petrel is part of the relatively large genus Oceanodroma (12). Within this genus, Markham's Storm-Petrel appears to be sister to Black Storm-Petrel (O. melania), from which it is estimated to have diverged relatively recently (9). These two species appear to be most closely related to another pair of Pacific storm-petrels, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel (O. tethys) and Least Storm-Petrel (O. microsoma; 9). Outside of this well-supported clade of four species, relationships are not well-resolved, although this clade may be most closely related to European Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (O. furcata), suggesting that Oceanodroma is paraphyletic (9). More work is needed to resolve these relationships, which will also likely result in taxonomic changes.