Proposal (88) to South American Classification Committee:

 

Split Hylocharis grayi into two species

 

Hylocharis grayi (Pacific foothills and drier valleys of Andean Pacific slope in Colombia and N Ecuador) and H. humboldtii (mangroves and adjacent lowlands along Pacific coast from extreme SE Panama to N Ecuador). The two differ in habit, elevation, coloration (especially males) and measurements (not only size but proportions). They were considered separate species for over half a century following their descriptions, until Peters lumped them without explanation - possibly misled by untrustworthy distributional data. The arguments are set forth in more detail in my note in Ornitolog’a Colombiana 1:71-73 (see www.ornitologiacolombiana.org). I might note that Ridgely & Greenfield also split them, but got some of the plumage details mixed up and did not present a morphometric analysis.

 

Gary Stiles, December 2003

 

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Comments from Zimmer: "YES, especially since this is un-doing an unjustified Peters lump."

 

Comments from Jaramillo: "YES. Seems like a clear one based on plumage differences, habitat differences, measurements etc. Also, given that the original lump was based on no known data, this certainly repairs a poor decision."

 

Comments from Nores: "YES. Si estoy de acuerdo en separar Hylocharis humboldtii de H. grayi. Las diferencias marcadas por Gary, especialmente medidas y colores, son convincentes."