Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Green Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) - HBW 16, p. 253

French: Tangara émeraude German: Kappennaschvogel Spanish: Mielerito Verde
Other common names: Purplish Honeycreeper (“C. purpurascens”)

Taxonomy: Motacilla Spiza Linnaeus, 1758, Suriname.
Has been placed in family Coerebidae in the past, although more recently in present family on basis of skull morphology. Molecular-genetic data indicate that this species is embedded within the tanagers, but do not support a close relationship to Dacnis or Cyanerpes; genetic evidence does indicate close relationship to C. pulcherrimus (formerly placed variously in Iridophanes and Tangara). Described taxon C. purpurascens, known from one specimen from “Caracas” (Vene­zuela) and once regarded as a distinct species, now believed to be a hyb.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Motacilla Spiza Linnaeus, 1758, Suriname.
Has been placed in family Coerebidae in the past, although more recently in present family on basis of skull morphology. Molecular-genetic data indicate that this species is embedded within the tanagers, but do not support a close relationship to Dacnis or Cyanerpes; genetic evidence does indicate close relationship to C. pulcherrimus (formerly placed variously in Iridophanes and Tangara). Described taxon C. purpurascens, known from one specimen from “Caracas” (Vene­zuela) and once regarded as a distinct species, now believed to be a hybrid Chlorophanes × unknown taxon. Race guatemalensis doubtfully distinct; retained pending review. Seven subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • guatemalensis P. L. Sclater, 1861 - S Mexico (Gulf–Caribbean slope from Oaxaca and Chiapas) S to E Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
  • argutus Bangs & Barbour, 1922 - extreme E Honduras, E Nicaragua, and on both sides of Costa Rica and Panama S to NW Colombia (N Chocó S to Baudó Mts).
  • exsul Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1884 - SW Colombia (Pacific coast from Valle del Cauca) S to SW Ecuador.

     See all 7 subspecies
  • guatemalensis P. L. Sclater, 1861 - S Mexico (Gulf–Caribbean slope from Oaxaca and Chiapas) S to E Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
  • argutus Bangs & Barbour, 1922 - extreme E Honduras, E Nicaragua, and on both sides of Costa Rica and Panama S to NW Colombia (N Chocó S to Baudó Mts).
  • exsul Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1884 - SW Colombia (Pacific coast from Valle del Cauca) S to SW Ecuador.
  • subtropicalis Todd, 1924 - Colombia (on slopes of all three Andean ranges), Sierra de Perijá, and W base of Andes in Venezuela (Táchira and Mérida).
  • spiza (Linnaeus, 1758) - Venezuela (coastal cordillera from Carabobo E to Sucre and N Monagas; E base of Andes from Barinas S to Táchira; and area S of R Orinoco), Trinidad, the Guianas, extreme E Colombia (R Negro–R Guainía) and N Brazil (E from R Uaupés and, S of R Amazon, from middle R Purús E to Pará and coast of Maranhão).
  • caerulescens Cassin, 1864 - Colombia (Cauca and Magdalena Valleys, and E base of E Andes from Arauca) S through E Ecuador and E Peru to C Bolivia, and E in WC Brazil to N Mato Grosso.
  • axillaris J. T. Zimmer, 1929 - coastal E & SE Brazil (Pernambuco S to Santa Catarina).