Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis) - HBW 16, p. 242

French: Tersine hirondelle German: Schwalbentangare Spanish: Tangara Golondrina

Taxonomy: Hirundo viridis Illiger, 1811, Sandwich Island; error = eastern Brazil.
This species has in the past been placed in its own family, Tersinidae, and in a subfamily Tersininae of present family. Molecular-genetic data indicate that it is embedded within present family, and forms a monophyletic group with Dacnis and Cyanerpes; all three genera have sexually dimorphic plumage, but present genus differs in broad flat bill, skeletal elements of palate and tongue, long wing, hole-nesting behaviour, and migratory habits. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • grisescens Griscom, 1929 - Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.
  • occidentalis (P. L. Sclater, 1855) - E Panama (Darién), Colombia (except Santa Marta Mts), N Venezuela, Trinidad, the Guianas, W & E Ecuador, N & E Peru, N & W Brazil, NW & E Bolivia (except extreme SE) and NW Argentina.
  • viridis (Illiger, 1811) - E & S Brazil (from Pernambuco, Bahia, Goiás and S Mato Grosso S to Rio Grande do Sul), NE Bolivia, Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).