Proposal (895) to South American Classification Committee


Establish English names for newly split Synallaxis stictothorax and S. chinchipensis



Effect on SACC classification: Provide English names for newly split Synallaxis chinchipensis and S. stictothorax.


In light of the swift acceptance of the proposed split of S. chinchipensis from S. stictothorax, the next step is to establish English names for the resulting taxa. As pointed out in the proposal to split the two: S. chinchipensis is not sister to S. stictothorax, and so, by following SACC protocol, it is not necessary to rename both “daughter” species. This is further assisted by the lopsided areas of distribution of the two, with S. chinchipensis only occupying a fraction of the area that S. stictothorax (sensu stricto) does. Thus, I think it is reasonable to retain Necklaced Spinetail for the redefined S. stictothorax.


For S. chinchipensis, the English name Chinchipe Spinetail has been used in the literature for quite some time (e.g., Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001, del Hoyo et al. 2020).  It mirrors the scientific name, and is also descriptive of the lion’s share of the distribution of the taxon (the dry Río Chinchipe basin and the vicinity of its junction with the Río Marañon). It seems wholly appropriate to use this name now.


Recommendation: I think it makes sense to retain Necklaced Spinetail for S. stictothorax and adopt Chinchipe Spinetail for S. chinchipensis. A YES supports this move, a NO would require some alternative.



Literature cited:

del Hoyo, J., J. V. Remsen, Jr., G. M. Kirwan, and N. Collar (2020). Necklaced Spinetail (Synallaxis stictothorax), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Ridgely, R. S., and P. J. Greenfield. 2001. The birds of Ecuador. Status, Distribution, and Taxonomy, vol. I. Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press.

Ridgely, R. S., and G. Tudor. 1994. The Birds of South America, vol. 2. Austin, University of Texas Press.




Dan Lane, Dec 2020





Comments from Remsen: “YES.  There are good reasons why chinchipensis is already referred to as Chinchipe Spinetail, as outlined in the proposal, and Dan makes the case for retaining Necklaced: this is not a parent-daughter split, and even if it were, the range sizes are highly asymmetrical.”


Comments from Donsker: “I would vote yes on Dan's proposal to retain Necklaced Spinetail for S. stictothorax and adopt Chinchipe Spinetail for S. chinchipensis for the clear reasons he stated.


Comments from Zimmer: “ “YES for retaining “Necklaced Spinetail” for redefined, but still distributionally widespread S. stictothorax, and for establishing “Chinchipe Spinetail” for S. chinchipensis, an English name that is geographically appropriate, a direct translation of the species epithet, and, which has been widely used informally in birding circles for more than 20 years (at least that’s the name we were all using back when I was leading N. Peru tours).”