Relationships unclear. Recent study suggested that this species is phylogenetically closely related to largely Middle American M. trichopsis and Neotropical M. albogularis#R. Has in the past included M. roboratus and M. koepckeae as races, but those both clearly distinct in morphology and/or vocalizations. Very dark tepui race duidae distinctive in plumage, and said also to differ vocally from other races#R, but comparative studies of voice currently lacking. Subspecies name uruguaii has been spelt alternatively as uruguaiensis; former spelling selected by First Reviser#R. Name cruciger often given erroneously as crucigerus. Several additional races described, but probably only morphs or result of individual variation: montanus, kelsoi, alticola, caucae, guyanensis and portoricensis synonymized with cruciger; caatingensis with decussatus; chapadensis with nominate; alilicoco with wetmorei. Nine subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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