Tag Archives: Schiffornis major ssp. duidae

From seven to thirteen – the genus Schiffornis

The species of the genus Schiffornis inhabit the tropics of northern South America, especially the Amazon region; up to now this genus was thought to contain seven species with several subspecies, however, splitting had already been suggested for some time.:

Foothill Schiffornis (Schiffornis aenea (Zimmer))
Varzea Schiffornis (Schiffornis major Des Murs)
Guianan Schiffornis (Schiffornis olivacea (Ridgway))
Russet-winged Schiffornis (Schiffornis stenorhyncha (Sclater, PL & Salvin))
Brown-winged Schiffornis (Schiffornis turdina (Wied))
Northern Schiffornis (Schiffornis veraepacis (Sclater, PL & Salvin))
Greenish Schiffornis (Schiffornis virescens (Lafresnaye))

Now, a new study found that the diversity indeed is much higher than previously thought, and that this genus actually contains many more, yet very cryptic, species.

One was described as completely new.:

Cracraft’s Schiffornis (Schiffornis cracrafti Lima et al.)

The others have been upleveled from subspecific to specific rank (Unfortunately I cannot properly name them here because I cannot access the paper discussed here.).

Most of these new species cannot really be distinguished by their appearance but differ significantly by their songs and by their DNA. [1]


Brown-winged Schiffornis (Schiffornis turdina)

Photo: edvandroabreuribeiro



[1] Rafael Dantas Lima; Fernanda Bocalini; Luís Fábio Silveira: Integrative revision of species limits in the genus Schiffornis (Aves: Tityridae) reveals cryptic diversity in the Neotropics. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlad108. 2023


edited: 04.10.2023