Original description often erroneously dated to 1776#R. Complex internal taxonomy, a result largely of complicated moults. Many races vary only slightly in colour and pattern of summer plumage, and are sometimes lumped in a variety of ways. Proposed race barguzinensis (NE L Baikal) appears undiagnosable. Study of Aleutian Is and parts of Alaska and Siberia revealed three major phylogenetic lineages, two endemic to Aleutians; molecular variance in Aleutian populations indicated significant genetic structuring and low estimates of gene flow despite small inter-island distances; genetic divergence among lineages was concordant with distribution of plumage types among races#R. Another study, focused on ﬁve insular populations in Aleutian–Commander archipelago and two mainland Alaskan populations, revealed four distinct populations which appear to be entirely isolated and correspond closely to recognized subspecies (the most geographically isolated ones have lowest genetic diversity)#R. Race saturata should perhaps instead be called dispar#R, but validity of latter name disputed#R. Has possibly hybridized with L. lagopus in Sweden#R. Thirty-one subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. Login or Subscribe to get access to a lot of extra features!