Proposal (#55) to South American Classification Committee
Recognize (restore) monotypic genus Chlorestes for Chlorostilbon notatus
PROPOSAL: To continue to recognize the genus Chlorestes rather than subsuming it into Chlorostilbon, as suggested in HBW. Universally recognized by previous authors including Hellmayr and Zimmer, Chlorestes was lumped by Schuchmann (1999) citing unspecified "morphological and acoustic" characters. Chlorestes differs from all forms of Chlorostilbon in its rounded rather than forked tail; females lack the distinctive facial pattern of all Chlorostilbon (including russatus, contra Hilty & Brown 1986) of a white postocular stripe over dusky auriculars and have the underparts basically dull green, scaled or mottled with greyish instead of basically grey with variable green speckling laterally (heaviest in C. m. napensis). No Chlorostilbon has a more-or-less distinct blue throat patch, although this is not wholly consistent in Chlorestes, according to Zimmer. When blue is present on the underparts in Chlorostilbon, it is most intense on the breast, or over the entire breast and throat, not limited to the throat. These differences are not especially great, but they do separate C. notatus from all species of Chlorostilbon clearly. Until substantive evidence is published to the contrary (and in particular, a genetic analysis would be illuminating), I recommend continuing to recognize Chlorestes.
Gary Stiles, August 2003
Comments from Remsen: I vote YES on this proposal, for reasons Gary outlines here. The published evidence is insufficient to determine whether Chlorestes is even the sister genus to Chlorostilbon.
Comments from Silva: "Yes. I agree with Gary's comments."
Comments from Nores: "[YES] Si estoy de acuerdo de reconocer el gˇnero Chlorestes. Las razones dadas por Stiles son convincentes, aunque con hummingbirds la cosa no es tan sencilla debido a la variabilidad dentro de los gˇneros y a su vez la semejanza entre gˇneros."