Toucans (Ramphastidae)

Yellow-throated Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus) - HBW 7, p. 271

French: Toucan tocard German: Goldkehltukan Spanish: Tucán Pechigualdo
Other common names: Black-mandibled/Yellow-breasted Toucan; Chestnut-mandibled/Swainson’s Toucan (swainsonii)

Taxonomy: Ramphastos ambiguus Swainson, 1823, no locality = Buenavista, Colombia.
No close relatives. Fairly close to R. tucanus, but probably not forming a superspecies; these two constitute the so-called “yelping group” of toucans. Long considered to include R. brevis as race, but they are now generally accepted as distinct species, with different vocalizations. Race swainsonii often treated as a distinct species, but resembles nominate in behaviour, voice and morphology, and they apparently interbred in former contact zone in Colombia (lower Cauca Valley); species treatment of swainsonii presumably based largely on its sympatry with R... View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Ramphastos ambiguus Swainson, 1823, no locality = Buenavista, Colombia.
No close relatives. Fairly close to R. tucanus, but probably not forming a superspecies; these two constitute the so-called “yelping group” of toucans. Long considered to include R. brevis as race, but they are now generally accepted as distinct species, with different vocalizations. Race swainsonii often treated as a distinct species, but resembles nominate in behaviour, voice and morphology, and they apparently interbred in former contact zone in Colombia (lower Cauca Valley); species treatment of swainsonii presumably based largely on its sympatry with R. brevis, when this form was thought to belong within present species. Other described forms include innominatus from Colombia, a synonym of nominate ambiguus, and tocard and tocardus, which are synonyms of swainsonii. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • swainsonii Gould, 1833 - SE Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica S to W Colombia (E to Cauca Valley, formerly middle Magdalena Valley) and S along W Andes to SW Ecuador (El Oro).
  • abbreviatus Cabanis, 1862 - NE Colombia, and NW & N Venezuela (E in mountains to Miranda).
  • ambiguus Swainson, 1823 - SW Colombia (from upper R Magdalena) S along E Andean slopes to SC Peru (Junín).