Tyranni: Suboscines

Passeri: Oscines


Muscicapoidea and allies

The 46 Orders







Grallariidae: Ant-pittas Sclater and Salvin, 1873 (1872)

4 genera, 54 species Not HBW Family

The Urrao Antpitta, Grallaria urraoensis, has been named twice. The first formal description was by Barrera and Bartels (2010) using the name Grallaria fenwickorum. The SACC considers this description inadequate, (SACC #479B). They rely on the description by the original discoverers in Carantón and Certuche (2010), who use the name Grallaria urraoensis. There are allegations and controversy surrounding the unfortunate circumstances that led to the two different names. I won't further comment on that. Normally, the name Grallaria fenwickorum would have priority, being published first. However, since the SACC considers the proposed type speciment to be inadequate to identify the bird, they use the second published name, urraoensis. I follow the SACC decision in this matter.

It has been suspected that the Spotted Antpitta is more than one species (Ridgely and Tudor, 1994; Hilty, 2003; Krabbe and Schulenberg, 2003). Carneiro et al. (2012) made a close study of this. Based on their results, three species have been split from Spotted Antpitta, Hylopezus macularius:

The subspecies names differ a bit from Krabbe and Schulenberg (2003). Besides the newly created whittakeri, Carneiro et al. resurrect the name dilutus, previously considered a junior synonym of paraensis. They also submerged diversus into dilutus. Zimmer's Antpitta ranges north of the Amazon from the Rio Negro up into southern Venzuela and west into Colombia and Peru; the Alta Floresta Antpitta is restricted to the Madeira/Xingu area south of the Amazon; the Spotted Antpitta occurs on and around the Guianan shield; finally Snethlage's Antpitta occurs south of the Amazon and east of the Xingu.

Rhinocryptidae: Tapaculos Wetmore, 1926 (1837)

12 genera, 58 species HBW-8

The overall structure of the Rhinocryptidae is a combination of Maurício et al., 2008, Moyle et al. (2009), and Ericson et al. (2010). Only Ericson et al. examined enough taxa to accurately place Psilorhamphus. It is clear from both Ericson et al. and Moyle et al. that Liosceles through Teledromas form a clade (clade 1), as do Merulaxis through Scytalopus (clade 2). What is not clear is where the Scelorchilus/Pteroptochos goes. Moyle et al. place it sister to clade 2, while Ericson et al. prefer a tree with it sister to clade 1. In fact, when you look inside Ericson et al. to examine the individual gene trees, one places it in clade 1, one places it sister to clade 2, and the third puts it in a polytomy with clades 1 and 2. I don't think there is enough information to decide the issue, and have left it unresolved by putting Scelorchilus/Pteroptochos in a trichotomy with clades 1 and 2.

The arrangement of subfamilies, tribes, and subtribes used by Maurício et al. (2012) do not match the phylogeny used here (nor that of Moyle et al., 2009; nor Ericson et al., 2010). I consider that an artifact of their morphological analysis.

In version 2.04, the White-breasted and Bahia Tapaculos were moved out of Scytalopus into a new genus, Eleoscytalopus (see Maurício et al., 2008). The Diamantina Tapaculo was added in 2.05. The composition of Scytalopus is currently very contentious. The SACC discussion of the Diamantina Tapaculo demonstrates how complex the issues are.

Based on Maurício et al. (2014), the Bahian Mouse-colored Tapaculo, Scytalopus gonzagai, has been split from the Mouse-colored Tapaculo, Scytalopus speluncae. For now, the latter takes the name Common Mouse-colored Tapaculo. This may change once the SACC decides on proposal #643.

The Rock Tapaculo, Scytalopus petrophilus, was noted by Bornschein et al. (2007) and included in the genetic analysis of Mata et al. (2009). It was formally described by Whitney et al. (2010). The names of these taxa are in dispute, with some (Raposo et al., 2006, 2008) contending that speluncae does not apply to the Common Mouse-colored Tapaculo, but that it may apply to petrophilus. Raposo et al. (2006) introduced the alternate name notorius for the Common Mouse-colored Tapaculo. Maurício et al. (2010) argue in favor of the standard treatment, which is followed by the SACC and here.

To clarify a bit, regardless of the scientific names, the Common Mouse-colored Tapaculo (aka notorius) is the dark gray species (or species group) of more coastal mountains from Rio Grande do Sul to at least Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, including the Serra do Caparaó, Serra do Mar, and Serra da Mantiqueira, while the Rock Tapaculo (aka petrophilus) is the light gray form in the interior range, Serra do Espinhaço.

The issue concerning the name is that the type specimen of speluncae was supposedly collected at São João del Rei, which is Rock Tapaculo territory. However, there are doubts whether this is correct, and others argue that in fact the specimen is a Common Mouse-colored Tapaculo with the actual collection location unknown. The specimen, collected by Ménétriés, is not in good shape, and access to it has been limited. The issues are whether Ménétriés was in error about the location for this specimen, and whether it is in fact a Common Mouse-colored Tapaculo. I'm following the SACC here, not because I'm entirely convinced they've made the right decision, but because to do otherwise would only futher complicate the issue.

The newly described Junin Tapaculo, Scytalopus gettyae, has been added (see Hosner et al., 2013). This bird has been known of for a while as the Satipo form of Large-footed Tapaculo and is not to be confused with the so-called Millpo Tapaculo, which occurs higher up. It appears to be part of the latrans group.

Formicariidae: Ant-thrushes G.R. Gray, 1840 (1825)

2 genera, 11 species HBW-8

Furnariidae: Ovenbirds G.R. Gray, 1840

68 genera, 308 species HBW-8

Furnariidae At the family level, the taxonomy agrees with SACC, folding the woodcreepers into the Furnariidae as the subfamily Dendrocolaptinae. This was necessary because the woodcreepers are nested within the Furnariidae, as shown on the diagram to the right. If they were separated, the Furnariidae would no longer be monophyletic. The SACC now divides the Furnariidae into three subfamilies: Sclerurinae (leaftossers and miners), Furnariinae (ovenbirds), and Dendrocolaptinae (woodcreepers). I arrange them as Sclerurinae, Dendrocolaptinae, Furnariinae because Furnariinae is much larger than Dendrocolaptinae.


However, as you can see on the diagram, I've included one more subfamily: Xenopinae. This group consists of the three Xenops species. The problem here is that is in unclear whether Xenops is closer to the woodcreepers or true ovenbirds. According to some genes Xenops is sister to Dendrocolaptinae, while others put it sister to Furnariinae (see Fjeldså et al., 2005, 2007; Irestedt et al., 2009b; Moyle et al., 2009b; Derryberry et al., 2011). Fjeldså et al. (2005) tell a nice story that makes Xenops somewhat analogous to a piculet. I have some sympathy for this argument as they sometimes remind me of piculets. Moreover, the nuclear RAG-1 and RAG-2 genes that Moyle et al. rely on may change too slowly to resolve all of the find details of the tree. On the other hand, the other genes used by Derryberry et al. did not change the RAG picture. Further, the cytochrome-b tree in Fjeldså et al. (2005) puts Xenops with the Furnariinae. However, Fjeldså et al. (2005, 2007) both use additional genes and end up with Xenops near the woodcreepers. Irestedt et al. (2009b) agree in their overall tree, but the is considerable disagreement among the individual gene trees. Given the conflicting results, I think the best course of action for now is to put Xenops in its own subfamily to indicate the uncertainty, but put it closer to Furnariinae than Dendrocolaptinae pending further information.

The other complication with Xenops is that the Rufous-tailed Xenops does not belong in Xenops (Moyle et al., 2009b; Irestedt et al., 2009b). Fortunately, there is an available genus name: Microxenops (Chapman 1914). Accordingly, the Rufous-tailed Xenops becomes Microxenops milleri and moves to Pygarrhichadini. Megaxenops was also formerly considered part of this group, but Remsen (2003) had already noted that it is not closely related to Xenops.


The Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Sclerurus mexicanus has been split into Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Sclerurus mexicanus (mexicanus + pullus) and Dusky Leaftosser, Sclerurus obscurior, Andean Leaftosser, Sclerurus andinus, and Amazonian Leaftosser, Sclerurus macconnelli (peruvianus, macconnelli, and bahiae) based on d'Horta et al., (2013). See also SACC Proposal #603


Click for Dendrocolaptinae species
Click for Dendrocolaptinae

We turn to the woodcreepers first. Irestedt et al. (2009b), Derryberry et al. (2011, 2012), and Moyle et al. (2009b) can be read as concurring that there are three clades (A, B, and C on the diagram), plus Glyphorynchus (Wedge-billed Woodcreeper). They agree on the membership and relative position of the three clades (A sister to B plus C). They are all consistent with the same genera, something only accomplished in the last few years. The big disagreement is the position of Glyphorynchus. Irestedt et al. and Derryberry et al. (2012) put it basal to the three clades, while Derryberry et al. (2011), Moyle et al. (2009b), and Ohlsen et al. (2013) have it sister to B plus C. What can one conclude? I gave up and put Glyphorynchus in an unresolved trichotomy with clade A and the combined clades B plus C. Glyphorynchus and A are sometimes characterized as “intermediate”, meaning between the other woodcreepers and the rest of Furnariidae, while B and C are sometimes referred to as “strong-billed” (e.g., HBW-8).

Within clade A, Deconychura has been split into two (Derryberry et al., 2010a). As a result the Spot-throated Woodcreeper is now Certhiasomus stictolaemus. It takes the basal position in clade A. I'm also treated Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Dendrocincla turdina as distinct from Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Dendrocincla fuliginosa (see Weir and Price, 2011; Derryberry et al., 2012). Note that taunayi then becomes a subspecies of Plain-winged Woodcreeper.

The strong-billed woodcreepers divide into a mostly heavy-billed group (B) and a clade contained the curved-billed species, including scythebills (C). In clade B, there's some disagreement about the placement of Dendrocolaptes. Derryberry et al. (2011, 2012) and Irestedt et al. (2009b) sample more taxa, and I follow them. Derryberry et al. (2012) also provide some support for Silva and Oren's (1995) treatment of Hylexetastes as four species. Accordingly, I've split Brigida's Woodcreeper, Hylexetastes brigidai, and Uniform Woodcreeper, Hylexetastes uniformis, from Red-billed Woodcreeper, Hylexetastes perrotii.

In the scythebill clade, the Greater Scythebill, formerly Campylorhamphus pucherani, turns out to be sister to the Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Drymornis bridgesii. Claramunt et al. (2010) established the new genus Drymotoxeres for it. Finally, there is some minor disagreement between Arbeláez-Cortés et al. (2012) and Derryberry et al. (2012) concerning the relationships of the basal three Lepidocolaptes. Derryberry et al. have them as closest relatives (as here), while the combined analysis of Arbeláez-Cortés et al. shows them as successive branches, in reversed order (the cytochrome-b agrees with Derryberry et al.).

Based on Rodrigues et al. (2013) and SACC Proposal #620, the Lineated Woodcreeper, Lepidocolaptes albolineatus, has been is split into 5 species. The others are:

True Ovenbirds

Once we get below the subfamily level, we abandon the early 2011 SACC order. The genera within the Furnariinae and Dendrocolaptinae are arranged quite differently than in the SACC list. The list here follows the recent tour-de-force by Derryberry and 8 co-authors (2011), which sampled all but 13 of the Furnariid species (96%). Before Derryberry et al., I had relied on a synthesis of Chesser et al. (2007), Fjeldså et al. (2005, 2007), Gonzalez and Wink (2008), Irestedt et al. (2004a, 2006a, 2009b), Moyle et al. (2009b), and Claramunt et al. (2010), with the overall arrangement is driven by the recent papers by Irestedt et al. (2009b) and Moyle et al. (2009b). I'm happy to say that I'm able to retain the same tribes (with the same members) as before Derryberry et al. The fact that this structure remains even though a number of new genes have been added to the analysis suggests that it is correct. There remain some minor issues concerning the arrangement of these tribes, both externally and internally, but the overall picture seems stable at this point.

As far as overall structure of the ovenbird subfamily is concerned, the main options are Irestedt et al. (2009b) topology found by Moyle et al. (2009b) and Derryberry et al. (2011). Derryberry et al. use six genes, two of which were previously used by Moyle et al. Irestedt et al. use an entirely different set of six genes and obtain a somewhat different topology. There Pygarrhichadini is the basal group, with Philydorini and Margarornini breaking off successively. A clade containing Berlepschiini, Furnariini, and Synallaxini is well-supported. A clade of Furnariini and Synallaxini get mediocre support, as does a division of Furnariini into two parts which are successively sister to Synallaxini. Except for the Pseudocolaptes, Premnornis, Tarphonomus group, there is agreement on the composition of the clades.

Furnariinae At the tribal level I now follow the topology of Moyle et al. (2009b) and Derryberry et al. (2011). It starts with Berlepschia by itself at the base of the ovenbird subfamily. I distinguish this and the major clades within the ovenbirds by giving them tribal rank. You notice the various genera listed on the tree too. That part of the tree, and the species trees below, are all based on Derryberry et al. (2011).

Berlepschiini is followed by another small tribe, Pygarrhichadini. Next comes the Furnariini-Philydorini group. It's followed by the Margarornini, which has been separated from the traditional Philydorinae. Finally, we have the Synallaxini.

There have also been some changes within these groups, sometimes involving reoganized genera. Note that the species composition of each tribe has remained the same since version 2.13 of this page (June 30, 2009). However, some have been moved to different genera.

The genus Upucerthia has been divided into 4 four parts (Chesser et al., 2007; Fjeldså et al. 2007). Two species are moved to Ochetorhynchus (in Pygarrhichadini), which also absorbs Chilia and Eremobius; two others form the new genus Tarphonomus (Chesser et al., 2007); U. serrana is placed in the new genus Geocerthia (Chesser et al., 2009); the rest remain in Upucerthia, which shrinks a bit with the lumping of Plain-breasted Earthcreeper, Upucerthia jelskii, into Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Upucerthia validirostris (Areta and Pearman, 2013). The last three genera remain with the Furnariini.

This is not the only change in the Furnariini. The arrangement of Cinclodes species follows Derryberry et al. (2011), which is similar to that of Sanín et al. (2009). Sanín et al. presented evidence for splitting the Bar-winged Cinclodes, Cinclodes fuscus, into three species. Jaramillo (2003) suggested the English names Buff-winged Cinclodes for Cinclodes fuscus and Cream-winged Cinclodes for Cinclodes albiventris. SACC has named Cinclodes albidiventris Chestnut-winged Cinclodes. The Chestnut-winged Cinclodes is the northern group, with a range extending into NW Peru (Cajamarca and Piura). It includes subspecies heterurus and oreobates, in addition to albidiventris. The central species is the Cream-winged Cinclodes, ranging from N Peru (Amazonas) to N Chile (Antofagasta) and NW Argentina (La Rioja). It apparently includes the isolated subspecies riojanus, rufus, and yzurietaeof NW Argentina, as well as tucumanus and albiventris. The southern Buff-winged Cinclodes is then monotypic.

There are several changes within Philydorini resulting from Derryberry et al. (2011). This includes the dismemberment of Philydor itself. Only 3 species remain in Philydor. The other 6 are reallocated as follows: The Ochre-breasted and Rufous-tailed Foliage-gleaners move to Anabacerthia, Buff-fronted and Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaners move to Ancistrops, and Rufous-rumped and Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaners move to Megaxenops. The last two pairs of these are a bit unfortunate. The differences between the Chestnut-winged Hookbill and the two foliage-gleaners (Buff-fronted and Chestnut-winged) are fairly large, as are differences between the Great Xenops and Rufous-rumped and Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaners. However, I could not find available genus names belonging to any of the Buff-fronted, Chestnut-winged, Rufous-rumped, or Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaners.

Further, the two recurvebills Simoxenops have been moved into Syndactyla. They sit fairly deeply in Syndactyla, and even though they are distinctive, I don't see any other reasonable way to handle this.

The remaining changes to the Philydorini are confined to the Automolus branch. Chestnut-capped (Henna-capped) Foliage-gleaner is transferred from Hylocryptus to Clibanornis. The monotypic Hyloctistes has been merged into Automolus. Two Automolus species, the Ruddy and Santa Marta Foliage-gleaners, are placed in Clibanornis.

Finally, the newly discovered (and possibly extinct) Cryptic Treehunter, Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti, has been added. See Mazar Barnett and Buzzetti (2014) and Claramunt (2014b).

There were already changes in the Synallaxini prior to Derryberry et al. (2011). For example, Des Murs's Wiretail, formerly Sylviorthorhynchus desmursii, has been moved to the genus Leptasthenura.

The biggest changes in the Synallaxini involve the genera Asthenes, Oreophylax, and Schizoeaca. Here the usual generic limits do not reflect the gene tree. The recent paper by Derryberry et al. (2010b) has done much to straighten out the situation. Four of the Asthenes, humicola, patagonica, steinbachi, and cactorum, do not really belong to the group. Derryberry et al. (2010b) created the new genus Pseudasthenes for this clade. They are more closely related to Spartonoica and Pseudoseisura (Derryberry et al., 2010b; Fjeldså et al., 2007; Gonzalez and Wink, 2008; Irestedt et al., 2009b). This is a bit surprising as cactorum has been considered a subspecies of modesta, which is actually not a close relative.

The remaining species of the Asthenes, Oreophylax, and Schizoeaca group form a clade. Derryberry et al. (2010b) suggest treating them all as Asthenes, and I now follow that here.

There are 3 or 4 branches of Asthenes. The basal branch includes dorbignyi, baeri, and probably berlepschi. All of these have previously been considered part of a superspecies. Another supposed member of that group, luizae, appears to form a separate branch that is closer to the other Asthenes than to the dorbignyi superspecies. The dorbignyi group seems to include at least two undescribed taxa. One is the “Ancash” Canastero.

Ancash Canastero Ancash Canastero Ancash Canastero
“Ancash” Canastero

The remaining species of Asthenes are in two clades. The first runs from hudsoni to modesta. The other, which is comprised of the remaining Asthenes, includes the species formerly placed in Oreophylax and /Schizoeaca. Some of the relationships here are rather surprising as all of the old Schizoeaca are sometimes considered conspecific, and because of the geographic separation between the Andean Schizoeaca and Oreophylax of SE Brazil.

The Synallaxini have undergone further changes due to Derryberry et al. (2011). There's some reallocation in the Cranioleuca branch. Cranioleuca loses two species, Sulphur-throated Spinetail moves to Limnoctites and Speckled Spinetail moves to Thripophaga. Conversely, Thripophaga loses Russet-mantled Softtail to Cranioleuca. It also gains the newly discovered Delta Amacuro Softtail, Thripophaga amacurensis (Hilty et al., 2013).

I had previously separated several species of Synallaxis as Poecilurus in an attempt to avoid paraphyly. The more complete analysis of Derryberry et al. showed that this was a failure. According, I have returned the Poecilurus species to Synallaxis. Moreover, I've also merged the monotypic Gyalophylax and Siptornopsis into Synallaxis. Although Synallaxis is a large genus, the differences between the Synallaxis spinetails are small enough that I see no reason to subdivide it.

At the species level, the situation with the Cocoa (Xiphorhynchus susurrans), Buff-throated (X. guttatus), and Lafresnaye's (X. guttatoides) Woodcreepers unsettled (see Aleixo, 2002). The nominate race of guttatus seems more closely related to at least part of susurrans than to the rest of guttatus, with guttatoides (inc. eytoni) more distant. How all of the subspecies fit together remains unclear. Five different groups have sometimes been considered full species, but the information just isn't there to make an accurate call on this.

The Bahia Spinetail, Synallaxis whitneyi, has been merged into the Rufous-capped Spinetail, Synallaxis ruficapilla as the characteristics of whitneyi are all within the variation in ruficapilla (Stopiglia et al., 2013).

Finally, the White-bellied Spinetail has been placed in the new genus Mazaria (Claramunt, 2014a) as Mazaria propinqua. SACC still lists it in Synallaxis, but genetic data (Derryberry et al., 2011) showed it was sister to Schoeniophylax and I moved it there. As Claramunt (2014a) notes, the two species are so different that putting the White-bellied Spinetail in Schoeniophylax makes the genus undiagnosible. He established the new genus Mazaria to solve this problem.

Sclerurinae: Leaftossers and Miners Swainson, 1827

Dendrocolaptinae: Woodcreepers G.R. Gray, 1840

Xenopinae: Xenops Bonaparte, 1854

Furnariinae: True Ovenbirds G.R. Gray, 1840

Berlepschiini: Palmcreeper Ohlson et al., 2013a

Pygarrhichadini Wolters, 1977

Furnariini G.R. Gray, 1840

Philydorini: Foliage-gleaners, Treehunters Sclater & Salvin, 1873

Margarornini: Barbtails and Treerunners Ridgway, 1911

Synallaxini: Spinetails de Selys-Longchamps, 1839 (1836)

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