Zoological Studies

Vol. 43 No. 3, 2004

Geographic Variation of the Highly Complex Hwamei (Garrulax canorus) Songs

Hsiao-Wei Tu and Lucia Liu Severinghaus*

Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan 115

Hsiao-Wei Tu and Lucia Liu Severinghaus (2004) Different songs in the same species may lead to reproductive divergence and potential speciation. Our aim was to compare the geographic variation of Taiwan and Mainland Hwamei (Garrulax canorus taewanus and G. c. canorus) songs both micro- and macrogeographically. Taiwan Hwamei is found only in Taiwan, while the Mainland Hwamei is found in both southern China and Indochina. We taperecorded 229 songs of 20 Taiwan Hwamei and 227 songs of 20 Mainland Hwamei, and compared them at the note, syllable, song, and syntax levels. Our results show that geographic variation of Hwamei songs mainly occurred at the syllable level and above. Mainland Hwamei shared more syllables and syntax between and among sample locations than did the Taiwan Hwamei. Mainland Hwamei songs were more complex than Taiwan Hwamei songs, containing significantly more syllable types, more variations in syllable changes, larger syntactic combinations, and fewer repeated syllables per song. The simpler songs of the Taiwan Hwamei could be a result of either the founder effect or a vicariant event.

Key words: Taiwan Hwamei, Mainland Hwamei, Bird song, Geographic variation.

*Correspondence: E-mail:wei422.adsl@msa.hinet.net