J. F. Gmelin, 1788,
area around Veracruz city, Veracruz, Mexico.
Closely related to Q. major; occasional hybrids between the two reported along coast of S USA (in Texas and Louisiana). Study of mitochondrial DNA revealed two clades with fairly deep sequence divergence (3.1%), one formed by W races nelsoni and graysoni, which is more closely related to extinct †Q. palustris of C Mexican Plateau, the other including all other races; despite this, nelsoni hybridizes freely with monsoni in S USA (California and Arizona) following range expansion in 20th century. In Mexico, nominate race intergrades with obscurus in Guerrero (Balsas Valley), with prosopidicola in S Tamaulipas, and with loweryi in extreme W Campeche. Eight subspecies recognized.
Species is currently spreading N (& E) within USA, having now reached as far N as Oregon, S Idaho, South Dakota and Minnesota; this involves the three N races (nelsoni and monsoni in W, prosopidicola in E), but detailed information lacking as to exact range limits of each race, and situation complicated by extensive intergradation. Also a recent breeding record in Dominican Republic#R.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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