Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Piura Hemispingus (Sphenopsis piurae)


French: Tangara de Piura German: Piurafinkentangare Spanish: Hemispingo de Piura

Hemispingus piuræ


, 1923,

Palambla, 4000 feet [c. 1220 m], Piura, north-west Peru


Usually treated as conspecific with S. melanotis and S. ochracea (see latter); present species exhibits some vocal differences, and limited molecular data suggest that it is at least as distinct from S. melanotis as latter is from S. frontalis; review of group warranted. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. p. piurae (Chapman, 1923) – extreme S Ecuador (S Loja) and immediately adjacent Peru (N end of both slopes of W Andes in Piura and Cajamarca).
  • S. p. macrophrys (Koepcke, 1961) – La Libertad (upper R Chicama Valley, on W slope of Andes), in NW Peru.
  • Descriptive notes

    14·5 cm. Small slender bill. Nominate race has head and throat black, sharply contrasting long, narrow white supercilium from bill to nape, small white arc below eye;... read more


    Not well known. Song similar to that of S. melanotis, but delivery rate somewhat slower.


    Humid montane forest, primarily where dense understorey of Chusquea bamboo present; also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, presumably also some vegetable matter. Usually in pairs, most often independently of mixed-species flocks, although in Peru... read more


    No information.



    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Rare and local in S Ecuador; somewhat more numerous in NW Peru. In Ecuador, known only from S Loja, in extreme S: a specimen and sight records at Utuana, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2020). Piura Hemispingus (Sphenopsis piurae). 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 27 February 2020).