Cabanis and Heine, 1860,
#R, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Internal taxonomy complex and in need of revision. Nominate race larger and/or darker than most others, also differing vocally. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA#R indicates that nominate is not closely related to other races, and almost certainly represents a separate species; other races appear very closely related to each other (although phaeonotus not included in tested samples), and also closer to M. tuberculifer and M. barbirostris than to all other taxa in genus (as mirrored in voice-playback experiments). Hypothesis that variation between pelzelni and ferocior (possibly including phaeonotus) is clinal, with increase in size and pallor of upperparts from N to S, needs to be tested. Phenotypic intergradation occurs between nominate and ferocior, but at mtDNA level this is unidirectional, and hitherto only mtDNA from latter taxon recorded in zone of morphological intergradation. Field and laboratory studies needed. Birds from N sandy savanna of Suriname described as race albimarginatus, and others from French Guiana as amazonus, but characters appear attributable to fresh-plumaged intergrades between phaeonotus and pelzelni; two such intergrade specimens from nearby Guyanan savannas have highly divergent mtDNA; further study required. Four subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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