Genetic differentiation among all three species of Tympanuchus is very weak, suggesting either that they evolved in isolation during Pleistocene but subsequent secondary contact and hybridization have obscured molecular differences, or that the ancestral species subdivided much more recently, e.g. during the Wisconsin glaciation, such that ancestral genetic polymorphisms remain identifiable#R. Present species often considered conspecific with T. pallidicinctus. Hybridizes extensively with T. phasianellus in areas of overlap. Nominate †cupido, extinct since 1932, was more divergent in mtDNA than all other sampled populations of Tympanuchus#R. Two extant subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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