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Article
Published: 2018-05-14

A new species of Mexican parrot? Reasonable doubt on the status of Amazona gomezgarzai (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae)

Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. Post. 70-153, Cd. México, México 04510.
Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. Post. 70-153, Cd. México, México 04510.
Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. Post. 70-153, Cd. México, México 04510.
Aves invalid species questionable description Neotropical parrots

Abstract

We present arguments against the recognition of Amazona gomezgarzai Silva et al., 2017 as a valid species. This putative new species was stated to have been discovered in Becanchén town in the central Yucatan Peninsula by a veterinarian, who presented two live individuals to the authors for description. This description has numerous weaknesses, as follows: 1) the Yucatan Peninsula avifauna is well-known, having been extensively explored by collectors and other ornithologists; 2) the authors were never in the relevant field area, nor did they verify that the two individuals obtained for the description came from a natural population; 3) our field trip to the type locality and distribution area failed to verify the existence of the putative new species there; instead, inhabitants of these localities denied that such a person was there and denied having given anyone the birds, nor did they recognize that there were parrots matching the “new” species in the area; 4) the description was prepared without proper voucher specimens; 5) comparisons in existing museum collections were highly inadequate; 6) the characters on which the description is based fail to support that it represents a valid taxon, instead strongly supporting an hypothesis of hybrid origin, which was untested by nuclear DNA markers; and 7) no collecting permits were mentioned in the paper. Although earlier reviewers pointed out weaknesses of the original manuscript, the authors failed to rigorously address these questions and the paper was nevertheless published.

 

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