Proposal (88) to South American Classification Committee:


Split Hylocharis grayi into two species


Hylocharis grayi (Pacific foothills and drier valleys of Andean Pacific slope in Colombia and N Ecuador) and H. humboldtii (mangroves and adjacent lowlands along Pacific coast from extreme SE Panama to N Ecuador). The two differ in habit, elevation, coloration (especially males) and measurements (not only size but proportions). They were considered separate species for over half a century following their descriptions, until Peters lumped them without explanation - possibly misled by untrustworthy distributional data. The arguments are set forth in more detail in my note in Ornitolog√≠a Colombiana 1:71-73 (see I might note that Ridgely & Greenfield also split them, but got some of the plumage details mixed up and did not present a morphometric analysis.


Gary Stiles, December 2003




Comments from Zimmer: "YES, especially since this is un-doing an unjustified Peters lump."


Comments from Jaramillo: "YES. Seems like a clear one based on plumage differences, habitat differences, measurements etc. Also, given that the original lump was based on no known data, this certainly repairs a poor decision."


Comments from Nores: "YES. Si estoy de acuerdo en separar Hylocharis humboldtii de H. grayi. Las diferencias marcadas por Gary, especialmente medidas y colores, son convincentes."