Gnateaters (Conopophagidae)

Black-cheeked Gnateater (Conopophaga melanops) - HBW 8, p. 745

French: Conophage à joues noires German: Rotscheitel-Mückenfresser Spanish: Jejenero Carinegro

Taxonomy: Platyrhynchos melanops Vieillot, 1818, South America; restricted to near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
See page 735. Possibly closest to C. aurita. Races not clearly defined either morphologically or geographically, and taxonomy confused. Contrary to some published statements, black frontal band of male present in all populations; this band perhaps tends to be broader in N than in S, but very variable even at a single locality, and so unreliable for any taxonomic diagnosis; also, variation in other plumage characters, e.g. presence of spots on wing-coverts or extent of grey or white in underparts, shows no apparent geographical pattern. Race perspicillata possibly not tenable. Fu.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Platyrhynchos melanops Vieillot, 1818, South America; restricted to near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
See page 735. Possibly closest to C. aurita. Races not clearly defined either morphologically or geographically, and taxonomy confused. Contrary to some published statements, black frontal band of male present in all populations; this band perhaps tends to be broader in N than in S, but very variable even at a single locality, and so unreliable for any taxonomic diagnosis; also, variation in other plumage characters, e.g. presence of spots on wing-coverts or extent of grey or white in underparts, shows no apparent geographical pattern. Race perspicillata possibly not tenable. Further study, especially of long series of specimens, needed in order to clarify situation. Three subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • nigrifrons Pinto, 1954 - coastal NE Brazil from Paraíba S to Alagoas.
  • perspicillata (M. H. K. Lichtenstein, 1823) - coastal Bahia; recent records in adjacent Sergipe, to N, presumably of this race.
  • melanops (Vieillot, 1818) - SE Brazil from Espírito Santo S to Santa Catarina.