Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) - HBW 16, p. 644

French: Jacarini noir German: Jacariniammer Spanish: Semillero Volatinero
Other common names: Blue-black Seedeater

Taxonomy: Tanagra jacarina Linnaeus, 1766, north-eastern Brazil.
Genus sometimes subsumed in Geospiza, but the two appear entirely unrelated. Recent molecular-genetic data indicate that present genus belongs in the tanager family (Thraupidae) and is basal to a clade that includes Lanio, Tachyphonus and Ramphocelus, among others. Proposed race atronitens (described from Campeche, in SE Mexico) is synonymized with splendens. Three subspecies generally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • splendens (Vieillot, 1817) - Mexico (S from S Sonora, Sinaloa, Durango, S Tamaulipas and E San Luis Potosí) and Belize S through most of Central America to Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and the Amazon Basin; also Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada.
  • peruviensis (Peale, 1848) - W Ecuador, W Peru and NW Chile.
  • jacarina (Linnaeus, 1766) - S & E Brazil (S from Mato Grosso and Maranhão) S to SE Peru, E Bolivia, Paraguay and N Argentina (S to Mendoza, Córdoba and N Buenos Aires).