Proposal (632) to South American Classification Committee


Change English name for Choco Sirystes Sirystes albogriseus to

(A) Western Sirystes or (B) Panama Sirystes



With the passing of proposal 610, there is a further decision on English names for this species.


"Choco Sirystes" was adopted with the passing of the proposal.  S. albogriseus occurs in the Chocó of Ecuador through Colombia to Panama and appears to be forest-dependent.  Because Eastern Sirystes is three species, it seems unnecessary to use the insipid name Western Sirystes. Paul Salaman pointed this out to me when reviewing the MS of my recent Sirystes review and should be credited with coming up with this alternate name.


Proposal A: Change to “Western Sirystes”.  This has a lot of traction for the many authors who have followed Ridgely & Tudor (1994)'s West / East split.  However, it is a bit dull.  As a result, it might later be changed to "Northern", "South-eastern" or "Antarctic" if the recent Schiffornis proposals are anything to go by!


Proposal B: Change to “Panama Sirystes”.  Hellmayr's name, but the species also occurs in Colombia and Ecuador, with only a small part of its range in Panama.  This is worse than Ecuadorian or Venezuelan Tyrannulets (each of which have a small range in Colombia but principally occur in the mentioned countries) so not recommended.


The map from the relevant paper and previous proposal is set out below for reference.


Final Sirystes map


Thomas Donegan, May 2014






Comments from Remsen: “NO on both A and B.  “Choco” is the best of the three choices in my opinion, so I favor sticking with it.”


Comments from Stiles: “NO to both A and B. “Chocó” better describes its distribution and avoids compass-oriented conflicts.  My only question on the English names in this complex is that “sibilant” usually calls to mind something like hissing, and sibilator certainly doesn´t hiss! However, I don´t have a brilliant alternative. ”Brazilian” applies equally well to Todd’s Sirystes, “ Southern” gets us back into compass conflicts (as does “Eastern”), “Atlantic” doesn´t recognize that its distribution extends well beyond the Atlantic forest region… etc.  “Austral” might be marginally possible, in that it recalls that at least part of the population consists of austral migrants.  At the least, “Sibilant Sirystes” is nice and catchy!


Comments from Zimmer: “NO” on both A and B.  “Choco” is inspired compared to “Western”, and “Panama” is a bit misleading, since the species’ Panamanian range has contracted over the past few decades, to the extent that Panama is probably the worst place to see the bird!”


Comments from Robbins: “NO, I agree that Choco is much better than the two proposed alternatives.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “NO, Choco Sirystes is good.”