The Long-tailed Wood-Partridge (Dendrortyx macroura) is distributed in the temperate forests of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, and Sierra Madre del Sur. Populations are geographically isolated throughout their distribution range, which has led to the historical description of 7 subspecies based on morphological differences. Our work analyses the geographic variation of D. macroura based on its morphology and plumage patterns. We measured 121 specimens for morphological traits and assessed differences between sexes. We separated the specimens into Operational Geographical Units (OGUs) and applied multivariate statistical analyses, including principal components analysis, and a clustering method. Then, we carried out a classification analysis of the color and pattern of the chest and belly stripes to determine if there is a relationship between plumage patterns and geography. We found significant differences between males and females in 3 morphological variables. Plumage patterns were similar between the sexes. Our results do not strongly support the distinctiveness of all existing subspecies, but morphological data suggest a distinct group in central Mexico (D. m. macroura and D. m. griseipectus). Our results do not concur with the currently recognized subspecific divisions within this complex, but further genetic data are needed to assess their taxonomic status.

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