Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Venezuelan Tyrannulet (Zimmerius improbus) - HBW 9, p. 295

French: Tyranneau trompeur German: Küstenkordilleren-Kleintyrann Spanish: Mosquerito Venezolano

Taxonomy: Tyranniscus improbus P. L. Sclater and Salvin, 1871, Mérida, Venezuela.
Despite superficial resemblance to Phyllomyias, genus appears to be more closely related to Phylloscartes. This species was formerly placed in a separate genus, Tyranniscus, but exhibits plumage and morphological features (wing pattern, proportionally long tail and bill, and derived characters of both syrinx and palate) typical of present genus. Previously considered conspecific with Z. vilissimus, but differs in plumage, voice and habitat. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • improbus (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1871) - N Colombia (Norte de Santander) and NW Venezuela (Táchira, Mérida, Barinas).
  • tamae (Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1954) - N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts) and W Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá and Paramo de Tamá, in Táchira).
  • petersi (Berlepsch, 1907) - N Venezuela from S Lara E to Miranda.