Sometimes placed in a separate genus Tripsurus, along with M. flavifrons, M. chrysauchen, M. pulcher and M. pucherani. Thought to be closest to M. flavifrons. Black-headed morph (mostly in S & SE Venezuela, the Guianas and Amazonian Brazil, where it predominates) was formerly considered a separate species, M. rubrifrons, but interbreeds freely with yellow-tufted morph wherever the two co-occur; hence, no grounds even for subspecific division. W & S populations (Colombia to Venezuela and W Brazil, and S of there) described as race extensus on basis of difference in tone and extent of red on belly, but this character varies greatly among all populations, and racial separation considered untenable. Monotypic.
E Colombia and S & SE Venezuela E to the Guianas and NE Brazil (E to Maranhão), S to E Ecuador, E Peru, N & E Bolivia and Mato Grosso.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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