Crows (Corvidae)

Mexican Jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina) - HBW 14, p. 573

French: Geai du Mexique German: Graubrusthäher Spanish: Chara Mexicana
Other common names: Grey-breasted/Ultramarine Jay

Taxonomy: Corvus ultramarinus Bonaparte, 1825, Temascáltepec, Mexico.
Relationships of this species with the A. coerulescens group and A. unicolor yet to be resolved, as recent studies indicate that divergence of these three major lineages within the genus was apparently rapid, leading to conflict among genetic markers. Races traditionally arranged into three geographical groups, but recent genetic evaluation suggests that isolation among rugged mountains of the region has produced four independently evolving clades: "wollweberi" group (includes also gracilis and arizonae), "nominate group" (with colimae), "central grou.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Corvus ultramarinus Bonaparte, 1825, Temascáltepec, Mexico.
Relationships of this species with the A. coerulescens group and A. unicolor yet to be resolved, as recent studies indicate that divergence of these three major lineages within the genus was apparently rapid, leading to conflict among genetic markers. Races traditionally arranged into three geographical groups, but recent genetic evaluation suggests that isolation among rugged mountains of the region has produced four independently evolving clades: "wollweberi" group (includes also gracilis and arizonae), "nominate group" (with colimae), "central group" (potosina) and "eastern group" (couchii). Race wollweberi intergrades gradually with arizonae to N and gracilis to S. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • arizonae ( Ridgway, 1874) - S USA (SE Arizona and SW New Mexico) S to N Mexico (N Sonora and NW Chihuahua).
  • wollweberi Kaup, 1854 - SE Sonora and SW Chihuahua S in Sierra Madre Occidental to W Zacatecas and N Jalisco.
  • gracilis G. S. Miller, 1896 - W Mexico (Nayarit and NW Jalisco).

     See all 7 subspecies
  • arizonae ( Ridgway, 1874) - S USA (SE Arizona and SW New Mexico) S to N Mexico (N Sonora and NW Chihuahua).
  • wollweberi Kaup, 1854 - SE Sonora and SW Chihuahua S in Sierra Madre Occidental to W Zacatecas and N Jalisco.
  • gracilis G. S. Miller, 1896 - W Mexico (Nayarit and NW Jalisco).
  • couchii ( S. F. Baird, 1858) - extreme S USA (Chisos Mts of extreme SW Texas) S in Sierra Madre Oriental to S Nuevo León and N San Luis Potosí.
  • potosina Nelson, 1899 - EC Mexico (San Luis Potosí S to C Hidalgo).
  • colimae Nelson, 1899 - SW Mexico (most of Jalisco and NE Colima).
  • ultramarina ( Bonaparte, 1825) - SC Mexico (SE Jalisco and NW Michoacán E in S plateau region to Veracruz).