Tyranni: Suboscines

Passeri: Oscines


Muscicapoidea and allies

The 46 Orders














New World Suboscines I: Furnariida Ames, 1971

The latest changes from the SACC have been used in restructuring the Furnariida, although we follow a different ordering based on Chesser (2004; see also Fjeldså et al., 2003; Irestedt et al., 2001, 2002; Moyle et al., 2009; Rice, 2005). The Grallariidae (antpittas) have been separated from the Formicariidae (antthrushes) because the tapaculos are more closely related to the remaining antthrushes than the antpittas are. Similar issues lead to a separation of the Melanopareiidae (crescent-chests) and the Rhinocryptidae (tapaculos). The Pittasoma antpittas have been moved to the Conopophagidae. The tree below shows the basic structure of the Furnariida.


The family structure is based on the tree in Ohlson et al. (2013a). The arrangement of genera within Grallariidae is from Moyle et al. (2009), while that within Rhinocryptidae combines Maurício et al. (2008), Moyle et al. (2009), and Ericson et al. (2010). As Melanopareiidae, Conopophagidae, and Formicariidae each involve only one or two genera, the arrangement there is trival (small genus first). The two large groups, Thamnophilidae and Furnariidae are much more complex, and will be treated separately in detail.

There is still some uncertainty about exactly how these families fit together. Everyone seems to agree that Formicariidae and Furnariidae are sisters, and there is general agreement that Grallariidae (antpittas), Rhinocryptidae (tapaculos), Formicariidae (antthrushes) and Furnariidae (ovenbirds) form a clade, while Melanopareiidae (crescent-chests), Conopophagidae (gnateaters), and Thamnophilidae (antbirds) are more basal. The case for Conopophagidae and Thamnophilidae being sisters is somewhat weaker, with some genes pointing to a different arrangement. As for Melanopareiidae, there are several possibilities. It could be basal in Furnariida, or it could even be sister to the Grallariidae—Furnariidae clade.

Moyle et al. (2009), who consider Xenopinae to be included within Furnariinae, suggest raising both Sclerurinae (leaftossers and miners) and Dendrocolaptinae (woodcreepers) to family rank.

Melanopareiidae: Crescent-chests Ericson et al., 2010

1 genus, 4 species Not HBW Family

Conopophagidae: Gnateaters Sclater and Salvin, 1873

2 genera, 11 species HBW-8


The order within Conopophaga is based on Batalha-Filho et al. (2014) (see also Pessoa, 2007). The branching of the clades following melanops is only weakly supported, and they could be considered a polytomy, with aurita as a separate branch.

Pessoa (2007) and Batalha-Filho et al. (2014) found evidence supporting the split of Ceara Gnateater, Conopophaga cearae, from Rufous Gnateater, Conopophaga lineata. Batalha-Filho et al. noted additional genetic structure within melanops, castaneiceps, lineata (even once cearae is separated), and aurita. With further study, additional splits may be supported.

Thamnophilidae: Antbirds Swainson, 1824

63 genera, 234 species HBW-8

Due to Moyle et al. (2009), the taxonomy of the antbirds has been drastically changed. It was already clear from Brumfield et al. (2007) that changes were needed. Those two papers, with some help from Aleixo et al. (2009) and Irestedt et al. (2004b), drove this reorganization. Moyle et al. (2009) and Brumfield et al. (2007) find the same major clades (designated tribes by Moyle et al.) and many of the same subclades. This has been touched-up some using Belmonte-Lopes et al. (2012), Bravo et al. (2012a, b), and Isler et al. (2013, 2014).

Bravo et al. (2012b) found that Terenura consisted of two unrelated clades. The type species of Terenura is close to the type of the Myrmotherula antwrens, while the other clade is the basal in Thamnophilidae. Bravo et al. (2012b) established the genus name Euchrepomis and subfamily Euchrepomidinae to accomodate the basal clade.

I've split one of Moyle et al.'s tribes into two parts, Pithyini and Drymophilini. This is done to highlight the fact that most of the obligate army ant followers are in Pithyini. Indeed, of the 18 species of olibgate ant followers listed in Zimmer and Isler (2003, p.497), only the Pyriglena fire-eyes are outside of Pithyini. They are also a bit different from the Pithyini ant-followers in that they are sometimes found feeding away from ant swarms. Of the Pithyini, only the two Willisornis antbirds are not obligate ant-followers. Still, they are regular ant-followers (2 of 7 such species according to Zimmer and Isler; the other 5 are in Pyriglenini). In contrast, none of the Drymophilini are either obligate or regular ant-followers. For a fuller discussion of ant-following, see Zimmer and Isler (2003, pp.495-503).

Two genera have posed particular problems: Myrmotherula and Myrmeciza. Isler et al. (2013) finished the dismemberment of Myrmeciza, and Myrmotherula will suffer a similar fate. We consider Myrmotherula first. Isler et al. (2006) separated the stipple-throated species from the rest, creating the genus Epinecrophylla for them (Isler and Brumfield, 2006, type haematonota). Within Epinecrophylla, Stipple-throated Antwren, Epinecrophylla haematonota has been split into:

These splits are based on Whitney et al. (2013d). See also the SACC discussion of proposal #589. Although the SACC had originally voted in 7-3 in favor of recognizing the Roosevelt Stipple-throated Antwren, one of the votes was reconsidered and changed, making it 6-4 in favor (i.e., it failed to get the required supermajority). For the present, it is still retained here. Note that the Napo Stipple-throated Antwren, E. haematonota and Brown-backed Antwren / Yasuni Antwren, E. fjeldsaai are quite closely related. An SACC proposal to lump them failed with an evenly split 5-5 vote.

The next change to Myrmotherula was by Bravo et al. (2012a). They established the genus Isleria (type guttata) and moved both Plain-throated Antwren, Isleria hauxwelli and Rufous-bellied Antwren, Isleria guttata from Myrmotherula to the new genus. This was closely followed by Belmonte-Lopes et al. (2012) putting the Star-throated Antwren (formerly Myrmotherula gularis) in the monotypic genus Rhopias (Cabanis and Heine 1860).

The remaining Myrmotherula are still not monophyletic (Hackett and Rosenberg, 1990; Irestedt et al, 2004b; Brumfield et al., 2007; Belmonte-Lopes, 2012; Bravo et al., 2014). These species fall into two broad groups, streaked and gray. The type species of Myrmotherula is in the streaked group, so they are the true Myrmotherula. They unstreaked Myrmochanes is also part of this clade (Bravo et al., 2014).

Many species of the gray group are closely related to Formicivora (Irestedt et al., 2004). However, they form a paraphyletic grade rather than a clade (Bravo et al., 2014). In fact, there are 4 groups that branch off before we get to Formicivora. Two of these have available names (Myrmopagis Ridgway 1909, type axillaris, and Neorhopias Hellmayr 1920, type F. iheringi), the rest are temporarily designated Myrmopagis2 and Myrmopagis3, in order of distance from Formicivora. Thus the branching order is Myrmopagis3, Myrmopagis2, Myrmopagis, Neorhopias, and finally Formicivora, which has absorbed Stymphalornis.

I've separated Ihering's Antwren (formerly Myrmotherula iheringi) and Narrow-billed Antwren (formerly Formicivora iheringi) from Formicivora on the grounds that they are sufficiently distinct. As you can see, there is a name conflict when both are put in the same genus (Neorhopias). The Narrow-billed Antwren has priority, so it gets to keep the name iheringi. Ihering's Antwren has three subspecies: "iheringi", heteropterus, and oreni (for the last, see Miranda et al., 2013). Note that "iheringi" and oreni are sister taxa, and may eventually end up being considered a separate species, although the SACC decided that the current information was insufficient to support a split (SACC proposal #618). If it does get split, the new subspecies name oreni would be promoted to the species name for oreni and "iheringi". For now, they are all grouped as N. heteropterus, which has priority. The subspecies N. h. "iheringi" needs a new name, but it would be at the bottom of the priority list.

For now, I'm treating the recently described Formicivora paludicola (Buzzetti et al,, 2013) as a subspecies of Parana Antwren / Marsh Antwren, Formicivora acutirostris.

The other problem genus is Myrmeciza. One big problem is that the traditional Myrmeciza pop up all over the tree. Brumfield et al. (2007) included 10 of the 22 Myrmeciza species in their study, and they ended up in 5 independent clumps. Irestedt et al. (2004b) identified another clump, and Isler et al. (2013) added a couple more. That gives us eight groups of "Myrmeciza", and Isler et al. (2013) showed us how to split them up.

  1. The Yapacana Antbird, discovered by Friedmann (1945), was previously considered a rather aberrant Myrmeciza . Apparently the type specimen was molting, and Zimmer (1990) tells us that this has led to some inaccurate descriptions and illustrations of the species. Zimmer (1999) questioned whether it belonged in Myrmeczia (or in any currently existing genus). I had previously placed it next to Sclateria as Ridgely and Tudor (1994), Hilty (2003), and Zimmer and Isler (2003) drew attention to their similarity. Isler et al. (2013) included it in their analysis and found it best placed in a new monotypic genus next to Myrmophylax and Ammonastes. They named the genus Aprositornis, so the Yapacana Antbird is now Aprositornis disjuncta (Isler et al., 2013).
  2. The next group is atrothorax and pelzelni. It and Aprositornis belong near Myrmorchilus. I had previously separated these two as Myrmophylax (Todd 1927, type atrothorax). However, Isler et al. (2013) note that the Black-throated Antbird, Myrmophylax atrothorax, and Gray-bellied Antbird are rather different. They created the new genus Ammonastes (Bravo et al., 2013) for the Gray-bellied Antbird, Ammonastes pelzelni.
  3. Most of the "Myrmeciza" are in Pyriglenini, and we now turn to that. I'd previously moved four species: ferrugineus, ruficauda, loricatus, and squamosus to Myrmoderus (Ridgway 1909, type loricatus). Isler et al. (2013) support that decision.
  4. There had previously been some question about whether the Myrmeciza type, longipes was part of the next group or not. Isler et al. (2013) resolved that. They are separate. They also recommended 3 genera for this rather heterogeneous group. The new genus Poliocrania (Bravo et al., 2013) applies to the Chestnut-backed Antbird, Poliocrania exsul, while the new genus Ampelornis (Isler et al, 2013) applies to the Gray-headed Antbird, Ampelornis griseiceps. is the new genus Ampelornis. The others are more similar, and all take the old name Sipia (Hellmayr 1924, type berlepschi). They are the Dull-mantled Antbird, S. laemosticta, Magdalena Antbird, S. palliata, Stub-tailed Antbird, S. berlepschi, and Esmeraldas Antbird, S. nigricauda.
    NB. S. palliata, has been split from Dull-mantled Antbird, S. laemosticta. See Chaves et al. (2010) and SACC #475.
  5. The Plumbeous Antbird, M. hyperythrus, is actually part of the Schistocichla group. This is a little surprising as most of the Schistocichla were formerly classified as a single species. Since hyperythrus is the type of Myrmelastes (Sclater 1858), and it is senior to Schistocichla (WEC Todd 1927), the whole group becomes Myrmelastes.
  6. The White-bellied Antbird, Myrmeciza longipes, is the type species of Myrmeciza. Amazingly, Isler et al. (2013) found that none of the putative Myrmeciza are closely related to it. Thus the former large genus Myrmeciza is reduced to a single species.
  7. The next group had previously been treated as Myrmeciza3 in lieu of a proper name. Well, Isler et al. (2013) gave it two names: Hafferia (Isler et al., type immaculata) and Inundicola (Bravo et al., type melanoceps). Priority goes to Hafferia. I'm not convinced there is so much difference as to justify two genera, so I'm putting them all in one genus. This is not unreasonable. Donegan (2012a) suggested it might make sense to go even further and combine these taxa with Gymnocichla, Percnostola, and Pyriglena.

    There's another complication. As pointed out by Jobling, the name Akletos (Dunajewski 1948, type melanoceps) appears to have priority over Inundicola. Dunajewski named the female as a separate species and genus, not realizing that the male was previously known. The SACC has it listed under “Hybrids and Dubious Taxa”. That Dunajewski named the female should make no difference as far as the Code is concerned, Akletos has priority.

    The members of the Akletos group are White-shouldered Antbird, A. melanoceps, Goeldi's Antbird, A. goeldii (if split into two genera, these would remain Akletos), Sooty Antbird, A. fortis, Zeledon's Antbird, A. zeledoni and Blue-lored Antbird, A. immaculata. The last two are the former Immaculate Antbird, which has been split into Zeledon's and Blue-lored Antbirds. See Donegan (2012a).
  8. Moving to Drymophilini, we find the group I'd formerly labeled Myrmeciza4. This clade now has a name, Sciaphylax (Bravo et al., type hemimelaena). It includes Zimmer's Antbird, Sciaphylax castanea and the Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Sciaphylax hemimelaena.

Fulvous Antshrike, Frederickena fulva, has been split from Undulated Antshrike, Frederickena unduliger (Isler et al., 2009). Note that Plumbeous Antvireo, Dysithamnus plumbeus, and White-streaked Antvireo, Dysithamnus leucostictus, are now considered separate species here (Isler et al., 2008). The race tucuyensis is considered part of D. leucostictus.

Two newly antwrens have been included. The Aripuana Antwren, Herpsilochmus stotzi, was described by Whitney et al., (2013a). and the Predicted Antwren, Herpsilochmus praedictus, was described by Whitney et al., (2013b).

The arrangement within Thamnophilus is primarily based on Brumfield and Edwards (2007), with Lacerda et al. (2007) providing some additional information. There are two main clades: the first consists of doliatus through palliatus, with the remaining Thamnophilus in the second clade. Surprisingly, the former Western Slaty-Antshrike, Thamnophilus atrinucha, turned out to not be closely related to the other Slaty-Antshrikes. The SACC has renamed it Black-crowned Antshrike (SACC #556, SACC #570).

The Restinga Antwren, Formicivora littoralis, has been lumped into Serra Antwren, Formicivora serrana. See Firme and Raposa (2011).

Isler and Whitney (2011) examined all seven subspecies of Willisornis. Differences between most of the races seemed consistent with their current status. However, they found that vidua exhibited significant vocal differences, and recommended elevating it to species status as Xingu Scale-backed Antbird, Willisornis vidua. I have followed their recommendation.

Aleixo et al. (2009) argued in favor of merging Skutchia into Phlegopsis, which has been done here. Also, the White-lined Antbird, "Percnostola" lophotes, does not seem to belong to Percnostola. Isler et al. (2013) argue in favor of placing it in Myrmoborus, and that has been done here.

Based on Isler et al. (2014), the Lunulated Antbird and White-throated Antbird have been moved from Gymnopithys to the new genus Oneillornis (Isler et al., 2014; type lunulatus) to avoid merging Gymnopithys and Rhegmatorhina.

Based on Brumfield et al. (2007) and discussion in SACC proposal #587, Bicolored Antbird, Gymnopithys leucaspis, has been split into Bicolored Antbird, Gymnopithys bicolor (Central America and NW South America, with subspecies olivascens, bicolor, daguae, aequatorialis, ruficeps) and the cis-Andean White-cheeked Antbird, Gymnopithys leucaspis (with subspecies leucaspis, castaneus, lateralis, and peruanus).

Tello et al. (2014) found that Cercomacra was not monophyletic. They proposed splitting Cercomacra into Cercomacra (type brasiliana) and a new genus, Cercomacroides, type tyrannina. That suggestion is followed here. Within Cercomacroides, the monotypic Riparian Antbird, Cercomacroides fuscicauda has been split from the Blackish Antbird, Cercomacroides nigrescens. See Mayer et al. (2014) and Tello et al. (2014).

The Manicore Warbling-Antbird, Hypocnemis rondoni, has been split from Spix's Warbling-Antbird, Hypocnemis striata. See Cohn-Haft et al., (2013) and SACC proposal #588. The arrangement within Hypocnemis is based on Cohn-Haft et al., (2013).

Finally, following Isler et al. (2012), the former Long-tailed Antbird, Drymophila caudata, has been split into Klages's Antbird, Drymophila klagesi (including aristeguietana), Streak-headed Antbird, Drymophila striaticeps (including occidentalis, peruviana, and boliviana), Santa Marta Antbird, Drymophila hellmayri (monotypic), and East Andean Antbird, Drymophila caudata (monotypic).

Euchrepomidinae Bravo et al., 2012

Myrmornithinae Sundevall, 1872

Thamnophilinae Swainson, 1824

Microrhopiini Moyle et al., 2009

Formicivorini Bonaparte, 1854

Thamnophilini Swainson, 1824

Pyriglenini Moyle et al., 2009

Pithyini: Ant-followers Ridgway, 1911

Drymophilini Swainson, 1826

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