Proposal (174) to South American Classification Committee


Treat Synallaxis albilora as conspecific with S. gujanensis


Much as the case I have outlined in my Zimmerius viridiflavus proposal, I propose that recent publications (e.g., Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Remsen 2003) maintaining Synallaxis albilora (including subspecies simonsi) and S. gujanensis as separate species do so in error. Traditionally, albilora has been considered a subspecies of gujanensis (e.g., Zimmer 1936, Peters 1951, etc.). Vaurie (1980) was the first to suggest species status for albilora, presumably based entirely on plumage differences, and Ridgely and Tudor (1994) picked up this baton, offering voice differences as further evidence of the distinctiveness of the species. However, no mention is made in Ridgely and Tudor (1994) regarding from where these voice data were taken. Remsen (2003) reluctantly maintained this taxonomy as it seems to have become status quo, despite admitting that the evidence seemed flimsy and stating that "Similar in voice and plumage to S races of latter species [gujanensis]; thorough analysis of species limits [is] required."


In reality, the "distinct" vocal break that supposedly occurs between albilora and gujanensis actually occurs well away from the geographic range of albilora, rather it is well within the distribution of gujanensis (sensu Ridgely and Tudor 1994). Populations of gujanensis from northern Amazonia (apparently, largely along the Brazilian Amazon itself, but I'm not too clear on the distribution of voice types very far into Brazil. Perhaps Kevin Zimmer is in a better position to say) west to at least the rios Napo and Yavari/Javari sing the two-note (the first note sometimes bisyllabic) song that Ridgely and Tudor (1994) describe as the song for the species (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001; pers. obs.). What was apparently unknown to those authors was that populations of gujanensis to the west, on islands in the middle Rio Maranon (near the mouth of the Rio Morona), and south on the central Rio Huallaga, the Rio Urubamba, and east across southeastern Peru and Bolivia to the Mato Grosso border, actually sing the "albilora" three-note song-type (pers. obs.). Furthermore, whereas albilora is indeed a very rufous-saturated population, it does not look so distinctive when placed at the end of the plumage variation that begins with the very dark gray birds (apparently an undescribed subspecies) on the rain-shadowed middle Rio Huallaga valley, through increasingly brownish birds in southeastern Peru and Amazonian Bolivia, to the decidedly rufous certhiola found in the vicinity of Santa Cruz city, and immediately adjacent to albilora (well illustrated by the LSUMZ series of specimens; Remsen 2003). Thus, Synallaxis albilora appears to be nothing more than the end of a cline in plumage variation among populations of Synallaxis gujanensis.


Again, as with the case of Zimmerius viridiflavus, I do believe that there are more than one biological species (assuming such a vocal break also signals a break in gene flow) within what is now considered Synallaxis gujanesis, regardless of whether one considers albilora conspecific with gujanensis or not. Unfortunately, several snags occur in the immediate attempt to redefine the species limits within the complex:


1) The name "huallagae" has been applied to birds over most of the western Amazonian distribution of gujanensis from eastern Ecuador south to Pando, Bolivia, encompassing both voice types (distribution following Remsen 2003). The type locality of this name is the town of Lagunas on the lower Rio Huallaga. As far as I know, there are no recordings from this area to firmly pin the name to a particular song-type.


2) If "huallagae" rightly refers to two-noted singers, then perhaps the name "inornata" from the Rio Madeira, Brazil, or, less likely, "canipileus" (which sounds pretty distinct in plumage, fide Zimmer 1936) from Puno, Peru, is best applied to the three-noted singers throughout eastern Peru and northwestern Bolivia. If, however, "huallagae" applies to the three-noted singers (as I suspect it will), then two-noted singers in northwestern Amazonia as far west as the Rio Napo (and farther still?) may be best considered columbiana. Or new names may have to be given to one or the other population of these western Amazonian birds. 


3) Fieldwork uncovering the meeting point between the two song types, if there is one, needs to concentrate along the lower stretch of the Rio Maranon/Amazon (and perhaps up the lower Rio Ucayali?) in northeastern Peru to settle the question of the correlation of the song-type and no current gene flow.


4) If so little morphologic distinction accompanies such strong vocal distinction, as is suggested by the "huallagae" problem I give in point 1, then recordings from all type localities may be needed to be certain to what voice type a given name truly refers. There may be other subspecific taxa within gujanensis whose distributions encompass more than one voice type.


In summary, I suggest absorbing albilora into Synallaxis gujanensis as nothing more than a subspecies of the latter species. A vote of "yes" supports this lump. Future adjustments to species limits within the enlarged gujanensis will have to await future fieldwork and resultant publications.


Literature cited

Peters, J. L. 1951. Check-List of birds of the world. Volume VII. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Remsen, J. V., Jr. 2003. Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds) in Handbook of birds of the world. Volume 8. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Ridgely, R. S., and P. J. Greenfield. 2001. The birds of Ecuador. Volume 2. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, New York.

Ridgely, R. S., and G. Tudor. 1994. The Birds of South America. Volume II. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Vaurie, C. 1980. Taxonomy and geographical distribution of the Furnariidae (Aves, Passeriformes). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 166: 1-357.

Zimmer, J. T. 1936. Studies of Peruvian birds. Part XX. American Museum Novitates 861: 1-26.


Dan Lane, April 2005





Comments from Remsen: "YES. Returning to previous broadly defined species is better, in my opinion, than maintaining two improperly defined ones, until a thorough analysis is published."


Comments from Stiles: "YES. I agree with both of Dan Lane's proposals regarding lumping unjustified splits. Points up the difficulties and dangers of splitting forms from different areas based on differences, however distinctive, without having experience with the beasties in the intervening regions. The assumption that plumage and vocal differences will sort out together in these regions is not justified in such cases, which may mean that one species or several are really involved - in either case, much more thorough field work and possibly genetic data will be required. (Using genetic data in species-level decisions is risky, but where distributions are continuous such data could well be useful in indicating steps in gene flow, etc.)"


Comments from Zimmer: "My vote would be a somewhat pained YES. "Pained" because I think there are multiple biological species involved, and because I don't think that the situation in Brazil is nearly as murky as it apparently is in Peru. In my experience, birds in Amazonian Brazil, from northern Mato Grosso west to the Rio Javari all give a slowly paced, two-noted "keck kwa". S. albilora, in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, gives a three-noted song that is distinctly different. I would characterize it as "pik-kwek keeew". Note that the phrasing of this is reversed from the voice description for albilora in HBW, which has the song starting with a single note followed by a double-note ("keeuw kit-kweet"). The birds that I am familiar with all give the double note first, followed by an exaggerated pause and then the single note, as if the bird were asking a question and then answering it. This makes me wonder if the differences in phrasing are merely a matter of interpretation, or if there isn't substantial variation in the so-called "three-noted call". In other words, do we know that the Peruvian birds that Dan describes as giving a three-noted call typical of albilora actually sound the same as the birds of the Brazilian/Bolivian Pantanal? I would be curious as to where the recording(s) upon which the HBW description was based were made. Regardless, the Brazilian populations of gujanensis and albilora seem to sort out pretty well vocally. I haven't yet sat down with a big series of specimens to look for evidence of clinality, but I certainly haven't noticed any Amazonian gujanensis that approached the appearance of albilora (extremely rufescent upperparts with contrasting grayish head, white throat and uniformly rich ochraceous buff underparts). Although albilora may represent the end of a morphological cline in gujanensis, we are still left to explain simony (treated in HBW as a subspecies of albilora) of the Araguaia drainage, which occurs east of the range of albilora, but which I would call intermediate in plumage characters (less gray on the head and much less ochraceous on the underparts) between albilora and western populations of gujanensis. The voice of simony is an evenly paced series of upward-inflected "kwep" notes that are not clearly paired. I've also recorded a series of evenly spaced single notes that alternate in a seemingly random manner between "kew" and "keh" notes. Either way, simoni is distinct vocally from both albilora and all other gujanensis populations with which I am familiar. Were I judging the situation based solely upon the Brazilian taxa, I would guess that there were three biological species (albilora, simoni and all other gujanensis). However, Dan raises definite issues regarding Peruvian populations and the lack of congruence between morphology and vocal types. The fact that we can't even be sure of which vocal type matches the type localities for the various subspecies in western Amazonia is a real problem. Based upon these difficulties, and lacking a comprehensive analysis for the entire group, I guess that lumping albilora back into gujanensis is the best course. I'm not sure that there is a compelling reason (other than absence of a published analysis showing otherwise) for including simoni in that lump, given that it occurs disjunctly to the east and south of all other populations of albilora and gujanensis, and that it's voice (at least as far as I can determine) does not approximate that of any of the other taxa." [but see additional comments from Zimmer below]


Comments from Robbins: "NO. As with the Zimmerius proposal, conclusions are being made without having the proper data. As usual, Kevin Zimmer is correct in asking if the Peruvian birds are representative of true albilora (note that the type locality of albilora is from Cuiabá, Mato Grosso). My experience with albilora from northern Paraguay (birds recorded and collected) coincides nicely with Kevin's summary, i.e., the bird there gives a distinct 3 noted call. The only difference is the voice description in HBW more closely fits the northern Paraguayan birds than does Kevin's description ... a very minor difference.


"Thus, before albilora is lumped into gujanensis, voice and specimens from the type locality area should be compared with the Peruvian birds. This and the Zimmerius proposal underscore why we should use the same protocol for submerging taxa that we use to recognize species - a peer-reviewed, published article! This proposal should not be accepted."


Additional comments from Dan Lane: "I greatly appreciate both Kevin Zimmer's and Mark Robbins' comments on this proposal. They have added a dimension that was lacking in my original text, primarily regarding the situation in Brazil. However, I am not sure I see the difference in my and their logic to which Mark alludes.


"The differences in Kevin's description of the song of "Synallaxis albilora" and my own is the equivalent of saying that the week begins on Monday rather than Sunday. In both cases, the description is of a 3-noted song. Kevin verbalizes it as "pik-kwek kew" whereas I said "pew pit-weet". The structure is the same, only the order differs. As anyone who listens to these birds knows, the song is not so stereotyped that it *always* starts on one note or the other, this is individually variable, and can even vary among song bouts within an individual's repertoire. Thus, I do not see this as a reason to disagree with my original conclusion.


"Next, I admit to not having any experience or opinion on the status of the taxon simony from the Araguaia drainage, although Kevin and I discussed the point at one point, so I had a fuzzy recollection of its existence. Based on Kevin's comments, I would agree that it may well require species status. However, giving it species status apart from albilora would be a novel taxonomy, so to be SACC-sanctioned it would require a publication. By stark contrast, the lumping of albilora (with simoni included) into gujanensis would *not* be a novel taxonomy (see Peters 1951). Thus, following past SACC protocol, such a move does not seem to necessitate a paper for support.


"Mark says "conclusions are being made without having the proper data." Perhaps, but the conclusion is the conservative one, explicitly states that more study is needed and that the taxonomy will doubtless change in the future. Basically, the only reason for perpetuating the continued maintenance of S. albilora as a species-level taxon is Ridgely's statement in Birds of South America that its voice differs distinctly from gujanensis. Well, my point is that Ridgely's conclusion is being made without having the proper data. I am not suggesting that I am providing the final word here, but what I have provided is enough to show that the current two-species scenario is unsatisfactory. Perhaps I should have cited Sjoerd Mayer's Birds of Bolivia CD-ROM as a publication showing the 3-noted song of the southern populations of S. gujanensis as well as song of S. albilora, allowing the committee to listen to the voices of these taxa for themselves.


"In answer to Mark's statement that I am calling Peruvian birds "albilora," I am confused. I never used that name with reference to Peruvian birds. I merely said that birds in most of the Peruvian range of "gujanensis" sing a 3-noted song (which they do), and thus disagree with the voice distinction that Ridgely uses to separate albilora from gujanensis.


"Again, I am not saying that I believe that there is only one species in this case. I explicitly say that I believe just the that multiple species will eventually come from my expanded gujanensis, but that conclusion cannot be reached based on the current published evidence. As I understand things, there are probably three species involved in this complex, but the distinctions will not fall along the lines of the two species sensu Ridgely and Tudor. [As an aside, this complex, as I see it, does not include S. maranonica. I have never questioned that species' status, although I will point out that it has never officially been separated in a peer-reviewed post-Peters publication; both Peters and J. T. Zimmer considered it a subspecies of gujanensis!] Based on the comments Kevin and I have offered in this discussion, simoni seems to be one distinctive voice type, the "3-noted gujanensis" group, including albilora, may be the second, and the nominate 2-noted gujanensis group would be the third. However, I am *not* proposing this new and novel taxonomy, and indeed, much work needs to be done to show that this is the proper course to take. What I *am* proposing is to revert to the most conservative (and not novel) taxonomy until a clearer picture is published. This, as far as I can tell, is entirely in the established spirit of SACC taxonomic changes."


Comments from Stotz: "NO. This and Prop. 173 are similar cases, and I have a similar response. In both cases vocal evidence suggests at least two species are involved. It looks to me in both cases that the names chrysops/viridiflavus and gujanensis/albilora apply to the distinct vocal types. In both cases Dan believes, and presents evidence to support, that the division between the two vocal types has been drawn in the wrong place. Dan's suggestion is that we return to a classification that is even more wrong (i.e. one species) because of the fact that the separation was not done correctly.


"I have to say I think that is an error. I think we should maintain our current treatment, acknowledging that there are problems with how certain populations are allocated. To go to one species, because there is a problem with how certain populations should be assigned is a step backward I think. To me, this would be like deciding King and Clapper Rail should be treated as one species because we don't really know whether the western populations belong with King or Clapper Rail."


Response from Dan Lane: "Why is lumping all taxa (in both the Zimmerius and Synallaxis cases) involved into one species "wrong" in your view? As the conservative move, it seems like the only logical one, especially since it conforms to the majority of historic taxonomic publications, particularly those explicitly used by SACC as the source of the original baseline list.


From the Home Page of the SACC website: "The primary goal is to provide references for all changes from Meyer de Schauensee's (1966, 1970) foundational classification, as well as the "Peters Checklist" series and the "Cory-Hellmayr" series, so that the user can determine how and why (if known) changes were made..."


"Hellmayr, Peters, and both Meyer de Schauensee (1966, 1970) considered albilora part of Synallaxis gujanensis. In fact, of all these publications, only Hellmayr considers S. maranonica a separate species. So, how did albilora even get onto the baseline SACC list as a separate species from the start? The only publications that predated SACC that consider it a separate species are Vaurie, Ridgely and Tudor, and Sibley and Monroe, and none of these are acknowledged as sources of the SACC baseline list. So, by this logic, my proposal should never have been necessary from the start! It's only because of the erroneous voice information in Ridgely and Tudor that their taxonomy has persisted through recent publications. They made the same case (although lacking a prior publication by another author, largely due to the late description of the form) for separating S. chinchipensis from S. stictothorax, yet in rejected Proposal 37, you have no problem saying that the revision was unwarranted until hard data are published (I'd argue that the case for maintaining albilora is in fact weaker in the current literature!). Also, the same logic as I am using here was used in accepted Proposal 117 lumping Momota aequatorialis with M. momota (although I note that you voted "no" on that particular case, as well).


"In the case of the Zimmerius, of the sources for the SACC baseline list, only Hellmayr regarded chrysops a separate species from viridiflavus, and a footnote there also suggests that it is "probably conspecific." Thus, again, the maintenance of two species here actually should have been the original SACC stance, since it was the overwhelming preferred taxonomy in the source publications.


"Finally, using the King and Clapper rails as a "similar" case to the two above does not really seem similar to me at all. In both of my cases, the population in question is intermediate in geographic distribution, as well as physical or vocal characters. Thus, to make the rails similar, there would have to be a population between the eastern North American salt and fresh water marshes that exhibited the appearance of one, but the voice of the other [as an aside, I am not convinced that intermediate rail populations *don't* exist here on the Gulf Coast. Maintenance of this species pair has always struck me as very poorly supported by real data. We have specimens here at LSU that are unidentifiable. Vocally, there is little support for a consistent species-level distinction. But I suspect a genetic/vocal project truly is needed to see if my gut feeling is borne out or not, especially since the AOU NACC does not operate by outsider proposal as does SACC.].


"In the case of S. gujanensis, about 1/2 of the population currently considered by SACC to be "gujanensis" sings the song Ridgely claims is the decisive character for "albilora." This, to me, suggests that the current taxonomy is very unsatisfactory. How can lumping the two voice types be any "more wrong" than the current situation?


"I do not mean to put you on the defensive about the topic, I am simply very interested in knowing your thinking on it as I greatly respect your knowledge and opinions on taxonomy. If I am overlooking something crucial in my argument, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to further refine my own methods in approaching the topic."


Response from Stotz: "First off, I will say that I knew when I used the King/Clapper Rail as the analogy that there were weaknesses with that as an analogy. Doesn't really matter, although I would say that the fact that the populations that may be misassigned are not geographically intermediate is immaterial. In the two cases in question you aren't claiming that the geographically intermediate populations show signs of intergradation, they just happen to be intermediately positioned geographically [Note in looking back at your comments I see that you do talk about the possibility that the chrysops-plumaged birds with viridiflavus voice are introgressed, so this is not entirely true; I think that is an unlikely explanation for that pattern, but not impossible]. In the Zimmerius case one of the problematic taxa flavidifrons is not geographically intermediate.


"So back to these two cases. First your legalistic argument that we say "The primary goal is to provide references for all changes from Meyer de Schauensee's (1966,1970) foundational classification, as well as the "Peters Checklist" series and the "Cory-Hellmayr" series, so that the user can determine how and why (if known) changes were made..." and that based on that we should never have split these two cases anyway. However, the SACC list does provide the references to publications that make these splits and provide rationales for the splits. There are dozens of such cases, where we adopt treatments different from Meyer de Schauensee, Peters and/or Hellmayr. Would you argue that we need to have proposals for those changes? So, we should go back to Cymbilaimus sanctaemariae as a subspecies of lineatus until somebody does a proposal to change it? In fact our baseline is actually Howard & Moore, which Van put together. He attempted there, and has expanded here on the attempt to indicate the basis for not following Meyer de Schauensee or Peters, but I don't think that Meyer de Schauensee should be the default taxonomy.


"As I stated in my comments, based on voice there do appear to be two species (or more) in each complex and I think you probably agree. Although we may not have proof that vocal data trump other data in suboscines, we sure act like we believe it (think of how many splits we've put into place due to a certain population having a distinct voice, not because of the details of the plumage, although typically in these cases there are plumage characters that line up with the voice. So, to me the problem is that the chrysops south of the Maranon are misassigned based on the vocal information. I fail to see how reverting back to a single species is better than maintaining two species, given that I think we have based on voice at least two species in the complex. It would seem to me that the solution is to maintain the two species we currently have and work on the note that accompanies it to make clear the nature of the problem you raise here, that populations from south of the Maranon that are morphologically like chrysops are vocally like viridiflavus. Resolution of their status awaits further work.


"On albilora, as I stated the situation seems pretty similar to me. We have two vocal types that seem to be pretty clearly separate species. There are a series of taxa south of the Amazon that were placed by Ridgely and Tudor in gujanensis based on plumage, but vocally are related to albilora. Again it seems to me that improving the note in the list to represent the problem better, rather than lumping is the best way of handling this problem.


"A couple of other points are: 1) in both cases the names that we recognize as distinct species are the correct names for vocal types, no matter what the outcome of the placement of the taxa you indicate are misplaced vocally. From the point of view of the list, these issues don't affect the taxa recognized at distinct species nomenclaturally; 2) I am not sure I agree that changing our baseline is a more conservative approach. It recognizes fewer species, but it means a change, and that is inherently not conservative. That is why the committee rules require that changes to our baseline require a supermajority.


"With respect to the case for Synallaxis chinchipensis, my problem there was not the lack of published hard data, but the fact that I have not seen any data indicating vocal differences. Additionally, our baseline list treats chinchipensis as conspecific, and I typically am looking for more data to make a change than to maintain our status quo. I should note that based on comments I have made earlier if Ridgely and Tudor and convincingly described vocal differences, I would have been willing to split chinchipensis. I am not as opposed to "field guide taxonomy" as others on the committee, because there are hundreds of cases of these unrecognized species with distinct voices. I really feel like we will be waiting forever if we require the definitive work on each of these cases. In part, it is also the recognition that for these allopatric forms even the definitive work is likely going to consist of basically publication of sonograms of a couple of songs of each type, along with some arm-waving about plumage differences.


"I did vote to keep M. aequatorialis separate for M. momota. I also consider this a similar case, in that the majority of the committee appears to believe that aequatorialis is a distinct species, but because the re were potentially other species hidden away in momotus, they lumped aequatorialis back into momotus. I think that was a step backwards."


Additional comments from Zimmer: "Based on the exchange between Dan and Doug (regarding proposals 173 & 174), I do have some comments that I would like to add to the discussion, and I would also like to change my votes on both proposals to a "NO". Following are my comments to the committee:


"I've followed the exchange between Dan and Doug with great interest. Both have made cogent arguments for their respective cases, and I can see the merit in both lines of reasoning. However, I find Doug's argument more compelling. I really do think that one purpose of the committee is to move the taxonomy of South American forward, and we're not doing that by reverting to species-limits that we know are wrong just because we don't have enough information to draw all of the limits in the complex correctly. Although I certainly recognize the merit in being conservative as regards change, I also see a danger in this approach. By failing to recognize any change until all information is in, we stifle any progress at all, because few people have the resources, opportunity or desire to tackle broad problems in whole. The reason that some of these species groups such as Sittasomus or Tolmomyias sulphurescens and assimilis have remained static in spite of the fact that everyone knows there are multiple species involved, is because the prospect of tackling such diverse, complex and geographically widespread species-groups in whole is so daunting. If we never accept piecemeal advances, we almost guarantee a status quo that reflects the same level of knowledge that was available to Hellmayr and Zimmer, even though our understanding may have moved far beyond that.


"It seems to me that part of the reason for assembling a committee of people with great personal experience with the avifauna involved is to apply that collective experience to the difficult problems and try to get the taxonomy to reflect what is currently known. If we rely solely on a dogmatic adherence to previously published compilations, even when we know their taxonomy is wrong, then it seems we could just as easily be replaced by anyone capable of doing a literature search. Mort Isler and I faced a similar dilemma in compiling species accounts for the antbird chapter for HBW. Had we relied solely on published sources, many (perhaps even a majority) antbird species accounts would have contained entries that simply read "nothing known". It seemed criminal to me to write "nothing known" as regards foraging behavior for a species for which I had masses of foraging data, simply because none of that data was already published. To me, the logic behind getting authors that really knew the families they were writing about was to bring that personal experience to the table. Otherwise, again, all we're talking about is a literature search.


"As Doug points out, there are scores, if not hundreds of cases where taxa currently treated as subspecies of geographically widespread, polytypic species, are known (based on distinct vocal differences that also coincide with more subtle plumage differences) to represent good biological species. It will take forever, or at least an exponential increase in the current number of taxonomists working in the Neotropics, to sort this all out in peer-reviewed venues if we adhere strictly to a philosophy of not making any change until the entire picture is clear. I'm not advocating that we cast aside all standards and accept wholesale taxonomic revisions simply because they've been advocated in a field guide-type publication. And there are clearly cases where tinkering with the taxonomy of a complex group based on limited information about one population will create more problems than it solves. But I do think that when there is compelling published information (regardless of whether or not it is peer-reviewed) that coincides with the personal experience and knowledge of the SACC committee members, that we are doing a disservice not to recognize these advances in understanding. By adding a brick here and there, we elevate the entire wall by making it that much easier for others to build upon our changes. Doug's comments about making the Notes section reflect the unresolved problems and uncertainties of any given species group seem right-on to me. I think it is at least as important to point out what isn't known as what is.


"For the above reasons, for reasons stated by Doug and Mark, and because my own field experience clearly indicates that the "single species" approach as regards both the Zimmerius chrysops complex and the Synallaxis gujanensis complex is incorrect, I am changing my votes on Proposals 173 and 174 to "NO".


Comments from Jaramillo: "NO - This is a repeat of the situation in 173 for me, and will copy and paste the same comments below. We need more data to properly answer these questions so right now we have the choice of lumping or keeping split, both choices which are poor as both are likely incorrect (i.e. there may be 3 species in this Synallaxis complex). However, keeping the split as they are now avoids two official changes in nomenclature the lump and the re-split in the future, this is why I vote no. We should make it clear in our notes that none of us are happy with either option and more research is needed to resolve this taxonomic issue.  This was a very interesting series of interchanges to read through. The details of my thoughts are in the notes from Stotz and Zimmer. However, if I had to boil it down it is that I do not think that lumping these taxa is the conservative stance on the matter, as we all seem to agree that more than one species is involved here. Lumping these taxa is historically conservative, it takes us back to another plateau of knowledge and understanding in this group but the move itself causes instability at the present time and that is not a conservative move from the viewpoint of decreasing nomenclatural volatility. This is particularly important when we are pretty sure that the lump will not stand the test of time, as is the case with this issue."


Comments from Pacheco: "[Yes] O meu voto baseia-se nas mesmas razões declaradas na proposta anterior. Acrescenta-se aqui - com mais propriedade - a minha experiência em campo com populações de ambos os táxons. Tenho para mim, que a medida mais apropriada não é tornar a reunir os dois táxons (com tipos vocais distintos), mas buscar redelimitar - com melhores dados - a distribuição destes dois conjuntos."


Comments from Nores: "NO. Las evidencias que existen sobre estas especies son a mi modo de ver tan válidas para juntarlas como para separarlas. Además, si el llamado de albilora es realmente trisilábico como parece, la balanza se inclina hacia separarlas. Como en el caso anterior, pienso que hasta tanto no haya estudios genéticos o comportamentales que demuestren claramente que son la misma especie, es mejor no innovar."