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Data from: Clade-limited colonization in brood parasitic finches (Vidua spp.)

Cite this dataset

Sorenson, Michael D.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Payne, Robert B. (2018). Data from: Clade-limited colonization in brood parasitic finches (Vidua spp.) [Dataset]. Dryad.


The African brood parasitic finches (Vidua spp.) are host specialists that mimic the songs and nestling mouth markings of their finch hosts (family Estrildidae). Although recent molecular analyses suggest rapid speciation associated with host switches in some members of this group, the association of different Vidua lineages with particular host genera suggests the possibility of cospeciation at higher levels in the host and parasite phylogenies. We compared a phylogeny of all Vidua species with a phylogeny of their estrildid finch hosts and compared divergence time estimates for the two groups. Basal divergences among extant members of the Vidulidae and among Vidua species are more recent than those among host genera and species, respectively, allowing a model of cospeciation to be rejected at most or all levels of the Vidua phylogeny. Nonetheless, some tests for cospeciation indicated significant congruence between host and parasite tree topologies. This result may be an artifact of clade-limited colonization. Host switches in parasitic finches have most often involved new hosts in the same or a closely related genus, an effect that increases the apparent congruence of host and parasites trees.

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