Extreme mitogenomic divergence between two syntopic specimens of Arremon aurantiirostris (Aves:Emberizidae) in central Panama suggests possible cryptic species

Krisangel Lopez, Cody Angeli, Celestino Aguilar, Jose R Loaiza, Luis Fernando De León, W Owen McMillan, Matthew J Miller, Mitochondrial DNA Part A 27 :3451-3453 (2016).

Abstract

We report the complete mitochondrial genome of two specimens of Orange-billed Sparrow (Arremon aurantiirostris) from Colon Province, in central Panama. The two specimens were collected on the same day, and at the same locality; however, they showed substantial divergence (6.3% average pairwise divergence among coding genes). A survey of ND2 sequence variation across Panama suggests that this divergence is the result of geographic differentiation and secondary contact. This high level of mitochondrial divergence among co-occurring individuals raises the possibility of multiple biological species in Orange-billed Sparrows. Our results are yet another demonstration that much remains to be discovered regarding avian biodiversity in Panama and throughout the Neotropics.