Proposal (297) to South American Classification Committee


Recognize Cnipodectes superrufus as a valid species


Effect on South American CL: This proposal would add a newly described species to the list.


Background: Lane et al. (2007) described a new species of flycatcher in the genus Cnipodectes. The species is clearly differentiated in plumage color, size, and voice from its sole congener C. subbrunneus. It may also be sympatric with C. subbrunneus in some regions but could segregate by habitat, as C. superrufus appears to specialize on Guadua bamboo (Lane et al. 2007, Tobias et al. in press).


Recommendation: I agree with the classification of Lane et al. (2007) of this new species-level taxon. I recommend a "yes" vote to add this newly described species to the South American list following C. subbrunneus.



Lane, D. F., G. P. Servat, T. Valqui H., & F. R. Lambert. 2007. A distinctive new species of tyrant flycatcher (Passeriformes: Tyrannidae: Cnipodectes) from southeastern Peru. Auk 124(3): 762-772.

Tobias, J. A., D. J. Lebbin, A. Aleixo, M. J. Andersen, E. Guilherme, P. A. Hosner, & N. Seddon. 2008. Distribution, behavior, and conservation status of the Rufous Twistwing Cnipodectes superrufus. Wilson Journal of Ornithology: in press.


Daniel Lebbin, August 2007





Comments from Remsen: "YES. Having been aware of this one for a few years and having seen photos of the specimens, I'd say that this might be one of the easiest decisions in a long time."


Comments from Stiles: "YES. The description (and presumably the associated ecological data) leaves little room for doubt."


Comments from Robbins: "YES, nothing but a formality given how distinct this new taxon is."


Comments from Nores: "YES. La coloración descripta en el paper no deja dudas que se trata de una nueva especie, que se afirma en el hecho de haber sido publicada en Auk."


Comments from Cadena: "YES, but in contrast to what Manuel mentions, and despite this being an AOU committee, I think that publication in The Auk is no guarantee of careful taxonomic analyses ­…  anybody interested in writing a proposal on "Thamnophilus capistratus"?


Comments from Zimmer: "YES. All data indicate that this is a morphologically and vocally distinct species (and quite a striking one at that)."