Chachalacas, Guans and Curassows (Cracidae)

Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) - HBW 2, p. 343

French: Ortalide chacamel German: Blauflügelguan Spanish: Chachalaca Norteña
Other common names: Common/Mexican/Eastern Chachalaca; Northern Chachalaca (mccallii); Utila Chachalaca (deschauenseei)

Taxonomy: Penelope vetula Wagler, 1830, Mexico.
O. poliocephala and O. leucogastra formerly considered races of present species. Population of dry interior valley of Chiapas, S Mexico, was separated in race vallicola, but differences slight and not usually recognized. Isolated population in Costa Rica may represent undescribed race; sometimes assigned to O. leucogastra. In Chiapas, range meets, and may slightly overlap with those of O. poliocephala and O. leucogastra but hybridization not recorded. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • mccallii Baird, 1858 - extreme S Texas (USA) and NE Mexico S to N Veracruz.
  • vetula (Wagler, 1830) - E & S Mexico, Belize, E Guatemala, Honduras, W Nicaragua and NW Costa Rica.
  • pallidiventris Ridgway, 1887 - N Yucatán.
  • deschauenseei Bond, 1936 - Utila I, off N Honduras.