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Birds of North and Middle America, part V/Genus 12. Terenura Cabanis and Heine


Genus TERENURA Cabanis and Heine.

Terenura[1] Cabanis and Heine, Mus. Hein., ii, July, 1859, 11. (Type, Myiothera maculata Maximilian.)
Phyllobates[2] Bertoni, Aves Nuevas del Paraguay, 1901, 142. (Type, P. erythronotus Bertoni = Myiothera maculata Maximilian.)

Small Formicariidæ (length about 90-100 mm.) with long tail, slender bill, no trace of rictal bristles, and bright coloration.

"This little group leads away from Formicivora [i. e. Microrhopias] to Psilorhamphus and Rhampocænus. The bill is hardly longer than in Formicivora, but smaller; the nostrils are more elongated, and have a slight membraneous operculum as in Psilorhamphus. The tail is rather long, thin, and delicate; the tarsi are more like those of Formicivora, and show the divisions of the scutes."[3]

"Terenura is a peculiar genus of doubtful affinities, but remarkable for the bright colours of its members. These colours (black, bright yellow, chestnut, and olive), it is true, are all to be found in different species of Formicariidæ, but in Terenura alone are they associated in a single bird."

"Cabanis and Heine, who founded the genus, placed it between Rhampocænus and Ellipura (= Formicivora), and in this position it was left by Mr. Sclater. We can not see that it has much in common with either of these forms, which, different as they are, both possess well-defined rictal bristles, not a trace of which can we see in Terenura. Mr. Sclater speaks of the presence in the latter genus of a slightly membraneous nasal operculum such as is found in Rhampocænus, but the specimens of Terenura callinota before us have open nostrils without any overhanging membrane."

"On the whole, and in the absence of any information as to the habits of any species of Terenura, we are inclined to place the genus near Myrmotherula, notwithstanding the difference of coloration and the much longer tail".

"The bill is longer than that of Myrmotherula surinamensis, but is otherwise very similar. The wings are decidedly longer and less rounded. The tarsi are covered behind with large scutella, the sutures of which are, however, rather indefinite".

"Four or five species constitute the genus Terenura, all more or less rare birds. These are distributed over a wide area of Tropical America — one or two in Southeastern Brazil, one in Guiana, one in Eastern Ecuador, and T. callinota, a western and northwestern bird the range of which is given below"[4] [Veragua to Peru].



Adult male. — Above greenish olive; cap black; lores and sides of head whitish; lower back bright chestnut; wings and tail blackish, with olivaceous edgings; wing-coverts black, broadly tipped with white; bend of wing and adjoining coverts bright yellow; beneath pale greenish yellow; throat and breast pale cinereous; under wing- coverts sulphur-yellow; whole length 4 inches, wing 2.2, tail 1.7.[5]

Western Panamá (Calobre, Verágua) through Colombia (Bogotá) and Ecuadór (Nanegál; Pallatanga) to central Peru (Roypaybamba).

Formicivora callinota Sclater, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1855, 89, pi. 96 (Bogotá, Colombia; coll. Brit. Mus.,) 147 (Bogotá); 1858, 242 (Bogotá).
Terenura callinota Taczanowski, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1874, 530 (Roypaybamba, centr. Peru); Orn. du Pérou, ii, 1884, 52. — Taczanowski and Berlepsch, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1885, 118 (Pallatanga, Ecuadór). — Sclater, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, 1890, 257 (Calobre, Verágua; Bogotá; Nanegál, Ecuadór). — Salvin and Godman, Biol. Centr.-Am., Aves, ii, 1892, 213. — Berlepsch and Stolzmann, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1902, 58 (Ropaybamba, Peru).
[Terenura] callinota Sclater and Salvin, Nom. Av. Neotr., 1873, 72. — Sharpe, Hand-list, iii, 1901, 27.

  1. "Von ? (zart) und ? (Schwanz)." (Cabanis and Heine.)
  2. ?, a leaf; ?, one who treads or covers; a climber. (Bertoni.)
  3. Sclater, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, 1890, 257.
  4. Salvin and Godman, Biol. Centr.-Am., Aves, ii, 1892, 213.
  5. Sclater, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, 1890, 257, 258.