Notes on the vocalizations of White-fringed Antwren (Formicivora grisea)

Author: 
Peter Boesman
Post date: 16 Apr 2016 - 13:02
Species and family accounts: 
Section: 
Systematics
Voice

In the following we briefly analyze and compare voice of the different races of White-fringed Antwren (Formicivora grisea). We also try to quantify the extent of any vocal differences using the criteria proposed by Tobias et al. (2010), as a support for any taxonomic review. We have made use of sound recordings available on-line from Xeno Canto (XC) and Macaulay Library (ML).

The difference in vocalization between 'Northern' and 'Southern' White-fringed Antwren was e.g. discussed in Hilty (2003), but is decidedly more complex than suggested there.

In fact, all races have a comparable 'song' which consists of a single 'note', which is repeated for shorter or longer periods:

hondae: repeated note has the shape of a small letter 'n' 

pace 0.17-0.25
top frequency 2100-2500Hz
note length 0.07-0.09s
freq. range 1100-1300Hz

 

fumosa: repeated note has the shape of a small letter' n' 

pace 0.16-0.22
top frequency 1900-2000Hz
note length 0.06-0.07s
freq. range 1000-1100Hz

 

intermedia: repeated note has the shape of a small letter 'n'  or 'h' (often only a few notes repeated)

pace 0.15-0.17
top frequency 2200-3000Hz
note length 0.06-0.07s
freq. range 1100-1800Hz

 

orenocensis: repeated note has the shape of a small letter 'h'

pace 0.14-0.15
top frequency 2900-3200Hz
note length 0.04-0.05s
freq. range 1300-1600Hz

 

tobagensis: repeated note has the shape of a small letter 'n'

pace 0.22
top frequency 2500-2700Hz
note length 0.06s
freq. range 1100-1200Hz

 

rufiventris repeated 'note' has the shape of a very long 'h' and preceded by a  short sharply downslurred note (inaudible by human ear)

pace 0.29-0.32
top frequency 3600-3900Hz
note length 0.04-0.07s
freq. range 2600-3000Hz

 

grisea: repeated 'note' has the shape of a sharply falling line, barely recognizable as an 'h' and preceded by a  short sharply downslurred note or more complex shape (inaudible by human ear)

pace 0.31-0.46
top frequency 3200-4400Hz
note length 0.06-0.08s
freq. range 2500-3400Hz

 

when grouping the above taxa into two groups (Southern = rufiventris/grisea and Northern: other races) and combining data we get:

 

'Northern' White-fringed Antwren (n>10)

repeated note has the shape of a small letter 'n' or 'h'

pace 0.14-0.25
top frequency 1900-3200Hz
note length 0.04-0.09s
freq. range 1000-1800Hz

 

'Southern' White-fringed Antwren (n>10)

repeated note has the shape of a sharply falling line, somewhat like an 'h' and preceded by a  short sharply downslurred note or more complex shape (inaudible by human ear)

pace 0.29-0.46
top frequency 3200-4400Hz
note length 0.04-0.08s
freq. range 2500-3400Hz

 

The main vocal differences between the two groups are thus frequency range and top frequency of repeated notes (score 2 or 3) and pace (score 1 or 2), leading to a total score of about 4.

Besides this 'song', there are other clear differences in voice. E.g., a very distinct vocalization is 'a long whistle followed by a trill'. This has been documented for hondae, intermedia and orenocensis, and would thus seem unique for 'Northern White-fringed Antwren'. Possibly there are more differences to be found when analyzing the complete vocabulary.

As a final remark, there is no info about albicincta, other than a description like 'repeated chup notes'

This note was finalized on 6th May 2015, using sound recordings available on-line at that moment. We would like to thank in particular the many sound recordists who placed their material on XC and ML.

 

References

Hilty, S.L. (2003) Birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press & Christopher Helm, Princeton & London

Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Pilgrim, J.D., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Collar, N.J. (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152(4): 724–746.

More information: 

Recommended citation

Boesman, P. (2016). Notes on the vocalizations of White-fringed Antwren (Formicivora grisea). HBW Alive Ornithological Note 46. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com/node/931754 on 19 November 2018).