Proposal (93) to South American Classification Committee

 

Separar Myiopsitta luchsi de Myiopsitta monachus

 

Este taxa es similar a Myiopsitta monachus, pero el gris de la frente es más claro y extendido hasta la mitad de la corona. El gris pálido del pecho carece del efecto escalado ("caly") que le dan los centros de las plumas oscuros. Tiene además la banda que cruza el vientre más amarillo y la barba externa de las primarias todas azules. Nidifica en grietas (crevices) en acantilados y aparentemente también entre bromelias colgando de acantilados, donde construyendo un nido voluminoso de ramas apretadas.

 

Esta especie fue descripta en 1868 por Finsch como Bolborhynchus luchsi, con ejemplares procedentes de Bolivia. Posteriormente la especie fue transferida al género Myiopsitta y el nombre Myiopsitta luchsi fue usado aparentemente hasta 1918 por Cory. A partir de 1943, Bond & de Schauensee ya la tratan como una subespecie de monachus (Myiopsitta monachus luchsi), criterio que ha sido seguido por todos los autores modernos, pero Collar (1997) finalmente considera que los caracteres morfológicos y su modo de nidificar son suficientes para elevarla nuevamente a nivel de especie.

 

Yo voto No a esta propuesta porque considero que ni las diferencias morfológicas ni el modo de nidificar (es similar a monachus pero adaptado al sustrato disponible en su hábitat) son suficientemente importantes como para separarla como especie.

 

Literatura citada

Bond, J. and R. M. de Schauensee. 1943. The birds of Bolivia. Part 2. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia.

Cory, Ch. 1918. Catalogue of birds of the Americas. Chicago. Collar, N. 1997. Handbook of the birds of the world.

 

Manuel Nores, January 2004

 

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Comments from Remsen: "NO. I agree with Manuel that the difference in nest location (luchsi nests on cliffs), emphasized by Collar's English name "Cliff Parakeet," merely reflect a habitat difference; furthermore, lowland monachus itself nests on telephone poles and other structures (in addition to trees) that would seem roughly equivalent to cliff ledges. More intriguing is the difference in nest structure (single-pair nests in luchsi, communal nests in lowland monachus), although the difference seems less, as I read it, than it first might appear: luchsi nests are evidently jammed in next to one another, and such cliff ledges might not have sufficient room for a larger communal nest; also Collar noted that lowland monachus is sometimes a solitary nester; therefore, it is unclear to me whether the differences really represent a hard-wired fixed genetic difference. As for plumage, may taxa of Bolivia's dry montane valleys differ in plumage from their lowland relatives at least as much as in these parakeets yet are treated as conspecific. e.g., Thamnophilus caerulescens, Lepidocolaptes angustirostris. What I need for a YES vote on this is data on voice or on details of nest structure that confirm fundamental differences."

 

Comments from Stiles: "NO I agree that the differences cited do not a species make, at least without more hard data!"

 

Comments from Robbins: "NO, more information on a number of aspects is needed before recognizing "luchsi" as a species."

 

Comments from Zimmer: "NO. Evidence here is suggestive, but still too weak for my liking."

 

Comments from Jaramillo: "NO.  I bet that in the end this form will be elevated to species status, based on good data, it is a gut feeling. However, right now the data is entirely lacking, so it is premature to split this taxon from monachus."