Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Greenlet (Pachysylvia decurtata)


French: Viréon menu German: Graukappenvireo Spanish: Verdillo menor

Sylvicola decurtata


, 1838,



S races darienensis and minor have olive-washed vs greyish head and were formerly treated as a separate species, but vocally only a possible minor difference detected; hybridization of darienensis with nominate occurs in overlap zone in C Panama. Publication date of Apr 1851 for race brevipennis supported by Richmond Index#R, although this dating is not universally agreed#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. d. brevipennis (Giraud, 1851) – E Mexico (SE San Luis Potosí, N & C Veracruz, N Oaxaca, S Chiapas).
  • P. d. dickermani (Parkes, 1991) – SE Mexico (S Veracruz E to Tabasco, N Chiapas and W Campeche).
  • P. d. phillipsi (Parkes, 1991) – SE Mexico (E Campeche and Quintana Roo) and N Belize.
  • P. d. decurtata (Bonaparte, 1838) – Grey-headed Greenlet – S Belize and Guatemala S to C Panama.
  • P. d. darienensis Griscom, 1927 – C Panama E to NW Colombia (E to Santander).
  • P. d. minor (Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1884) – Lesser Greenlet – Pacific lowlands from W Colombia S to extreme NW Peru (Tumbes).
  • Descriptive notes

    9·4–10·2 cm; 6·6–10·3 g. Nominate race has top and side of head grey-blue, lores greyish, whitish eyering and often a narrow paler supraloral stripe; upperparts... read more


    Song described as a pleasant, rather quiet series of 2–3 phrases, continuously repeated and... read more


    Humid, evergreen forest, forest edge and semi-deciduous forest, from sea-level to 1000 m;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food mostly invertebrates; some arillate seeds (Alchornea) also taken. Nest­ling diet apparently invertebrates only, i.e.... read more


    Breeding from Mar and nest-building as late as end Jun in Belize; nests Feb–May in Costa Rica; birds in breeding condition in May in... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or abundant over much of its range. Able to adapt to modified habitats, including regenerating forest.

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Lesser Greenlet (Pachysylvia decurtata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 April 2019).