near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Thought to form a group with S. cinerea and S. infuscata; previously considered conspecific with latter, but vocal differences indicate that infuscata merits full species rank. Recent analysis, using morphology and vocalizations#R, suggests that, within the group, only present species and S. infuscata should be regarded as valid taxa, and S. cinerea/”S. whitneyi” (see below) synonymized with present species. Alternative view, based on a molecular phylogeny#R, recommends continued recognition of all three species, despite evidence of gene flow between ruficapilla and “whitneyi”; this study also found evidence suggesting that present species comprises two groups (in N and in S), that an undescribed spinetail from E Amazonian Brazil is sister to present species and “S. whitneyi”, and that the group’s closest relative is S. moesta of E Andean foothills. Further in-depth analyses will perhaps help to clarify the true taxonomic situation. Monotypic.
SE Brazil (S Goiás, S Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo S to N Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay (Canindeyú, Alto Paraná, Itapúa) and NE Argentina (Misiones, Corrientes).
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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