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Articles
Published: 2011-03-02

Plumage variability and taxonomy of the Capped Seedeater Sporophila bouvreuil (Aves: Passeriformes: Emberizidae)

Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 11.461, Cep 05422-970, São Paulo, SP, Brasil e Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 42.494, Cep 04218-970, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 11.461, Cep 05422-970, São Paulo, SP, Brasil e Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 42.494, Cep 04218-970, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Aves taxonomy Sporophila bouvreuil Capped Seedeater Emberizidae

Abstract

The species Sporophila bouvreuil comprises four subspecies: S. b. bouvreuil, S. b. pileata, S. b. saturata and S. b. crypta. The males of each subspecies differ in plumage whereas the females and juveniles are very similar and difficult to identify to subspecies. Here we use external morphological characters, mostly plumage, to examine the validity of the subspecies. A total of 209 specimens was examined (131 S. b. bouvreuil, 29 S. b. crypta, 43 S. b. pileata and 6 S. b. saturata). Although morphological measurements did not separate any taxa, plumage patterns support recognition of two taxonomic units, one of birds having reddish brown male plumage and the other of birds with grayish to white male plumage. Discrete diagnostic characters and sympatry in SE Brazil allow separation of Sporophila pileata (Sclater 1864) from S. bouvreuil (Müller 1776). On the other hand, S. b. saturata Hellmayr 1904 and S. b. crypta Sick 1968 should be considered synonyms of S. bouvreuil.

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