Proposal (462) to South American Classification Committee


Change English name of Grallaricula cumanensis to “Paria Antpitta”


With the passing of Proposal 421A, the name “Sucre Antpitta” was provisionally adopted for newly split Grallaricula cumanensis Donegan (2008) stated as follows in relation to the English name for this species:


“Ridgely & Tudor (1994) proposed Paria Antpitta as a vernacular name for G. n. cumanensis. However, the species- group to which it belongs is not restricted to the Paria Peninsula and would not take the name pariae, which is junior to cumanensis. I suggest Sucre Antpitta as a more appropriate name for the cumanensis group given that it is near endemic to that state, extending only marginally into north Monagas and northeast Anzoátegui.”


Those committee members who commented on the matter in Proposal 421 supported the name Sucre Antpitta.  A “NO” vote would have the effect of formally adopt the name Sucre Antpitta.  A “YES” vote would be to change to Paria Antpitta.




Donegan, TM. 2008. Geographical variation in Slate-crowned Antpitta Grallaricula nana, with descriptions of two subspecies, from Colombia and Venezuela. Bull Brit. Orn. Club. 128(3): 150-178.

Ridgely, R. S. & Tudor, G. 1994. The birds of South America, vol. 2. Oxford Univ. Press.


Thomas Donegan, August 2010




Comments from Stiles:  “NO – given the distribution and the fact that the species name is cumanensis and not pariae, and that neither name has much in the way of history, I prefer Sucre Antpitta to Paria Antpitta.”


Comments from Pérez-Emán: “My feeling toward this proposal is that either a NO or YES vote would be inappropriate in this case. Recognizing Grallaricula cumanensis as a valid species invalidates the use of Paria Antpitta, as the species is not endemic to Paria Peninsula. However, I feel the same about Sucre Antpitta. The proposal states “near endemic to that state, extending only marginally into north Monagas and northeast Anzoátegui”. However, this species is found both in Paria Peninsula and Turimiquire Massif (including Turimiquire and Caripe mountains), with Turimiquire Massif including areas in three different states: Anzoátegui, Monagas and Sucre (with Caripe mountains mainly in Monagas). I would even say that Turimiquire areas including potential habitat for this species (based on elevation) might be larger in both Anzoátegui and Monagas than in Sucre, indicating that both states are contributing more than marginally to the geographical range of this species.  Besides, the type locality for cumanensis, Los Palmales and Rincon de San Antonio, are close to the Sucre/Monagas border.  So, I don’t think Sucre Antpitta would be an appropriate name as it does not describe correctly the geographical distribution of this species and we might face a difficult task in finding an English name emphasizing the geographical distribution (unless we call it Venezuelan Antpitta).  It would interesting to find a name that emphasizes some morphological characters but it might be difficult to find an appropriate one.”


Comments from Thomas Donegan: “The map below shows all known specimen or sound recording localities (asterisks for subspecies cumanensis and stars for subspecies pariae) and modeled range (in blue) for cumanensis based on a close-up of the map published in Donegan (2008).  Below that is a Google map on a similar scale showing state boundaries with a white dotted line.  Sucre state includes all the land in the section marked “A”.  As can be seen, a great majority (70-80%?) of the modeled range of cumanensis occurs in Sucre state.  The southern bit of the montane population marked with asterisks falls outside this, and a tiny part of the westernmost range also falls outside the state.  Given that Ecuadorian Tyrannulet and Venezuelan Tyrannulet both also occur in Colombia; and Canada Warbler occurs all over the place, I am not sure that Sucre Antpitta is such a bad geographical name.


“G. cumanensis conceivably could be found in other sites in the lower peaked mountains further West, but there are no G. nana group specimens in the fairly extensive collections from these sites at the Phelps collection, and G. ferrugineipectus is numerous in collections from that region and from all elevations.  The sight record of “G. nana” from that region mentioned in Hilty (2003), was made by a young boy who was out birding with his father, a well-known birder who did not confirm the sighting.  Being based on a single-observer sight record, this range extension requires confirmation.  In addition, it would need to be shown if the record were of G. nana olivascens or of G. cumanensis.  Of course, all geographical names are potentially threatened by range extensions.”


“ ‘Sucre Antpitta’ was adopted with the passing of the proposal on the split, so this proposal is on whether to change it to Ridgely & Tudor’s name of “Paria Antpitta”.  The two votes so far have been against that.  If anyone else would like to propose another name then I would welcome doing so, but I guess it would be a matter for another proposal?”


Comments from Robbins “NO. Nothing is gained by changing the English name of Grallaricula cumanensis to Paria Antpitta. For reasons detailed by Jorge, another English name would be appropriate.”


Comments from Zimmer: “NO.  I really don’t see a compelling reason to change.  Although cumanensis is clearly not restricted to the state of Sucre, the English name of “Sucre Antpitta” still anchors the bird to a particular region of Venezuela, and thus, is still informative.  As Donegan points out, there are any number of birds with geographic modifiers in the English name that are not restricted to the locale/state/country for which they are named – Cape May Warbler and Philadelphia Vireo anyone?”