Potoos (Nyctibiidae)

Northern Potoo (Nyctibius jamaicensis) - HBW 5, p. 299

French: Ibijau jamaïcain German: Mexikotagschläfer Spanish: Nictibio Jamaicano
Other common names: Common(!)/Jamaican/Antillean Potoo

Taxonomy: Caprimulgus jamaicensis J. F. Gmelin, 1789, Jamaica.
Sometimes considered conspecific with N. griseus, with which it forms a superspecies; separation based on distinctly different voices. In Costa Rica, where both occur, there appear to be no consis­tent morphological characters to distinguish the two vocal types. The type specimen of race costaricensis comes from a region in C Costa Rica where it is presumed only jamaicensis vocal type occurs, hence its placement within present species; most specimens previously attributed to costaricensis, however, including those from Caribbean slope of Nicaragua, probably rep.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Caprimulgus jamaicensis J. F. Gmelin, 1789, Jamaica.
Sometimes considered conspecific with N. griseus, with which it forms a superspecies; separation based on distinctly different voices. In Costa Rica, where both occur, there appear to be no consis­tent morphological characters to distinguish the two vocal types. The type specimen of race costaricensis comes from a region in C Costa Rica where it is presumed only jamaicensis vocal type occurs, hence its placement within present species; most specimens previously attributed to costaricensis, however, including those from Caribbean slope of Nicaragua, probably represent the N. griseus vocal type. Mainland races lambi and costaricensis doubtfully valid, probably representing extremes in clinal variation, suggesting synonymy with mexicanus. Race abbotti once proposed to be separate species, based on longer song noted in sample of unspecified number of individuals. Thorough taxonomic revision needed. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • lambi Davis, 1959 - Pacific slope of W Mexico.
  • mexicanus Nelson, 1900 - E & S Mexico to El Salvador and Honduras, including Roatán I.
  • costaricensis Ridgway, 1912 - Pacific slope of N & C Costa Rica, and possibly W Nicaragua.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • lambi Davis, 1959 - Pacific slope of W Mexico.
  • mexicanus Nelson, 1900 - E & S Mexico to El Salvador and Honduras, including Roatán I.
  • costaricensis Ridgway, 1912 - Pacific slope of N & C Costa Rica, and possibly W Nicaragua.
  • jamaicensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - Jamaica.
  • abbotti Richmond, 1917 - Hispaniola and Gonâve I.
  •      No sound recordings available yet