New insights in the classification of the Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis)

In 2012 a paper was published which sheds new light on the place of the Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) among the South American parrot species. DNA was extracted from museum skins and these were compared with  the results from other South American species.  These showed that this extinct North American species can be placed in a clade with Aratinga solstitialis, Aratinga auricapillus and Nandayus nenday.   In phenotype these three species all share having blue primaries with eachother and all have bright yellow and orange feathers on their heads. The only exception is the Nandays nenday in this, who possibly have lost this trait.

A  publication by Joseph and all, 2012 proposed to cancel genus Conuropsis and include the Carolina Parakeet in the genus Aratinga. The publication looking more detailed into this species showed that Conuropsis diverged itself from its closest relatives about 5 million years ago and should be kept in its own genus with its closest relatives being Nandayus and Aratinga.  This  paper shows as well that the species that are now being classified as Aratinga have different ancestors and therefore it is in need of a revision.


Joseph and all , A revised nomenclature and classification for family-group taxa of parrots (Psittaciformes), 2012

Kirchman and all, Phylogenetic relations of the extinct Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) inferred from dna sequence data, 2012.