Amir Ben Dov (Israel)
Mars Muusse (Netherlands)
armenicus 2cy Jan
armenicus 3cy Jan
armenicus sub-ad Jan
armenicus adult Jan
Phenotypic characterization, taxonomic rank and phylogenetic relationships of Armenian Gull Larus armenicus
Dorit Liebers & Andreas J. Helbig
published: Limicola 13-6, 1999 (in German, with English summary)
Fig 18: Larus armenicus and michahellis, three types of wing-tip patterns. Illustrations: Dorit Liebers.
The amount of black in armenicus the outer-wing is extensive, and reaches over the outer 7 primaries (but aware of birds in complete moult process by late May 1999, so inner primaries not present in most birds). The wing-tip showed obvious more black than in cachinnans, but it is only slightly more black than is found in michahellis. The inner-web of P10 has no sharply demarcated white or pale grey ‘tongue’ (as is prominent and typical in both cachinnans and barabensis), the base of P10 has black almost reaching the greater primary coverts and the transition is gradually, not sharply defined.
On the inner-web of P9 the grey ‘tongue’ is more obvious, but still not reaching far down to the primary tip as it does in cachinnans and barabensis. In general, the pattern of the outer primaries is similar to that in michahellis, easily distinguished from cachinnans and barabensis.
There is a significant difference in the frequency of occurrence of these three types, when the three interior colonies are compared to michahellis-colonies (chi2, p<0.001). That is, armenicus showed significantly less white in the wing-tip that michahellis (80% of michahellis has a mirror on both P9 and P10 and they more often show a broken sub-terminal band). Barabensis, scored in Lake Tengiz in Kazakhstan, also more often has mirrors on both P9 and P10 (77% of the breeding birds, small sample size, n = 22). All birds were sexed using molecular markers, and there appeared to be no sex-difference in the number of primaries with white mirrors.
The white tips of the primaries were worn by the end of May and early June. Even in fresh feathers, the primary tips are relatively small in armenicus.