Birds of North and Middle America, part V/Genus 19. Hylophylax Ridgway


Genus HYLOPHYLAX Ridgway.

Hylophylax[1] Ridgway, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., xxii, Apr. 17, 1909, 70. (Type, Conopophaga nævioides Lafresnaye.)

Small Formicariidæ (length about 100 mm.) with second phalanx of middle toe partly united to outer toe, outstretched feet reaching to beyond tip of tail, tail not more than three-fifths as long as wing, planta tarsi fused (nonscutellate) and acrotarsium indistinctly scutellate.

Bill shorter than head (sometimes nearly as long), rather stout, rather broad and depressed basally, with straight or (in part) even slightly convex lateral outlines, its width at frontal antiæ much greater (sometimes twice as great) as its height at same point and equal to from a little less than half to a little more than two-thirds the distance from nostril to tip of maxilla; culmen distinctly ridged, nearly straight basally (sometimes for most of its length), gradually to rather abruptly decurved terminally, the tip of maxilla slightly but distinctly uncinate; maxillary tomium straight or slightly concave, minutely but distinctly notched subterminally; mandibular tomium straight or faintly convex, minutely notched subterminally, the tip of mandible forming a short, more or less recurved, point; gonys more or less strongly convex and prominent basally, more gently convex and more or less decidedly ascending terminally. Nostril exposed, more or less widely separated from feathering of latero- frontal antiæ (nearly in contact with the latter in H. nævioides), longitudinally ovate, more or less pointed anteriorly, margined above (at least posteriorly) by an extension of the membraneous integument of the nasal fossæ an intornal tubercle or facet visible within the posterior portion. Rictal bristles present, but inconspicuous; feathers of chin, malar antiæ, and loral region with distinct terminal setæ. Wing moderate or rather large, with longest primaries extending decidedly beyond secondaries; sixth and seventh, or seventh, primaries longest, the tenth (outermost) three-fifths as long as the longest, or slightly more, the ninth equal to or slightly longer than secondaries. Tail slightly more than one-half to three-fifths as long as wing, slightly rounded, the rectrices (12) rather broad, rounded terminally. Tarsus much longer than whole culmen, a little less than two-fifths as long as wing, the acrotarsium indistinctly scutellate (scutella sometimes obsolete except on lower portion), the planta fused, at least for greater part; middle toe, with claw, much shorter than tarsus; outer toe, without claw, reaching to about middle of subterminal phalanx of middle toe, the inner toe decidedly shorter; hallux equal to or slightly longer than inner toe; basal phalanx of middle toe wholly united, the second phalanx partly united, to outer toe (the adhesion involving the first two phalanges of outer toe), united for half its length or more to inner toe; claws rather large, moderately curved, extremely compressed, that of the hallux shorter than the digit (but sometimes nearly as long). Plumage full, soft, and blended, that of rump and flanks more elongated and lax; feathers of pileum not elongated.

Coloration. — Adult males gray and black above, the back with white spots or lunulate bars, the wing-coverts, tertials, and tail tipped with white; or back rufous or chestnut, with a concealed patch of white, the wing-coverts, tertials, and tail tipped with cinnamon- rufous; throat black, rest of under parts white, passing into gray or buffy on flanks, the chest spotted with black, or whole under parts plain gray. Adult females somewhat like males, but browner above with markings fulvous or bufFy instead of white, the throat whitish, and black markings of chest replaced by brownish, or (in slate- colored species) head and under parts rufescent or the general color of under parts gray, with white throat and dusky flanks.[2]

Range. — Costa Rica to western Ecuadór, Amazon Valley, and Guiana. (Six species?)[3]



Adult male. — Pileum and hindneck grayish brown or olive-brown, passing into gray laterally and on forehead, the feathers usually with darker shaft-streaks and terminal margins; back plain chestnut, the feathers extensively white basally; scapulars, rump, and upper tail- coverts plain russet-brown, the first tinged with chestnut; wing- coverts black, the lesser with terminal spots of white (those along anterior margin mostly white), the middle and greater coverts very broadly tipped with cinnamon-rufous, forming two very conspicuous bands; remiges dull black, the outer web and tip of tertials largely cinnamon (more or less deep) or dull cinnamon-rufous, the secondaries and primaries with outer half or more of outer web light brown or grayish brown; tail grayish brown (deep drab or broccoli brown to sepia), the rectrices tipped with pale cinnamon (sometimes whitish on outermost) and crossed by a band (more or less broad) of dull black; sides of head plain dull slate-gray or slate color, like superciliary region and forehead; malar region, chin, and throat uniform black; rest of lower parts white, passing into buffy gray on flanks and pale brownish buff on under tail-coverts, the latter sometimes brownish beneath surface; upper breast and anterior portion of sides heavily spotted with black, separating the immaculate white jugular and pectoral areas; bill black, the mandible sometimes more brownish; legs and feet light horn color (in dried skins); length (skins), 96-113 (106); wing, 61-65.5 (63.1); tail, 32-36 (35); culmen, 16-17.5 (16.7); tarsus, 21.5-23 (22.4); middle toe, 13.5-16 (14.5).[4]

Adult female. — Above much as in adult male, but pileum and hindneck decidedly browner (deep broccoli brown to prouts brown), back duller chestnut, rump and upper tail-coverts more rufescent brown, and markings on larger wing-coverts and tertials tawny or ochraceous instead of cinnamon-rufous; under parts very different, however, the chin and throat white or buffy, like chest, upper breast spotted (less heavily) with olive or grayish instead of black, and whole sides and flanks olive or buffy olive; mandible dull whitish (in dried skins); length (skins), 98-114 (108); wing, 59.5-64.5 (62.1); tail, 30-35 (33.4); culmen, 16-17 (16.7); tarsus, 21.5-23 (22.4); middle toe, 14-15 (14.6).[5]

Immature male. — Similar in coloration to adult female.

Nicaragua (Rio Escondido; San Emilis, Lake Nicaragua), Costa Rica (Tucurríqui; Angostura; Pacuare; Jiménez; Rio Reventazón; Rio Sícsola; Sipúrio; Orosí; San Carlos; Volcan de Turrialba; Volcan de Miravalles; Cuábre; Carrillo; Guácimo; Guápiles; La Concepción; La Cristina; La Vijágua; Tenório; Cerro Santa Maria; Panamá (Lion Hill; Paraiso; Chepo; Panamá; Sabana de Panamá), Colombia (Rio Atrato; Rio Truando; Truando Falls) and western Ecuadór (Esmeraldas; Chimbo; Foreste del Rio Peripa; San Javier).[6]

Conopophaga nævioides Lafresnaye, Rev. Zool., 1847, 69 (type locality not given; Bolivia, Colombia, and Panamá.; coll. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad.).
C[onopophaga] nævioides Bonaparte, Consp. Av., i, 1850, 203.
Hypocnemis nævioides Sclater, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1858, 254 (monogr.); 1860, 294 (Esmeraldas, w. Ecuadór); Cat. Am. Birds, 1862, 189 (Esmeraldas, w. Ecuadór); Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, 1890, 293 (Tucurríqui and Angostura, Costa Rica; Paraiso Station, Chepo, and Panamá, Panamá; Esmeraldas, w. Ecuadór). — Cassin, Proc. Ac. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1860, 190 (Rio Truando, Colombia). — Lawrence, Ann. Lyc. N. Y., vii, 1862, 326 (Lion Hill, Panamá); ix, 1868, 109 (Angostura and Turrialba, Costa Rica). — Sclater and Salvin, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1864, 857 (Lion Hill). — Berlepsch and Taczanowski, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1883, 566 (Chimbo, w. Ecuadór). — Salvin and Godman, Biol. Centr.-Am., Aves, ii, 1892, 231. — Richmond, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., xvi, 1893, 502 (Rio Escondido, Nicaragua). — Underwood, Ibis, 1896, 440 (Volcan de Miravalles, Costa Rica). — Salvadori and Festa, Boll. Mus. Zool., etc., Torino, xv, 1899, no. 362, 32 (Foreste del Rio Peripa, w. Ecuadór). — Bangs, Proc. New Engl. Zool. Club, ii, 1900, 24 (Loma del León, Panamá). — Hartert, Novit. Zool., ix, 1902, 613 (San Javier, n. w. Ecuadór). — Thayer and Bangs, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., xlvi, 1906, 217 (Sabana de Panamá).
[Hypocnemis] nævioides Sclater and Salvin, Nom. Av. Neotr., 1873, 74. — Sharpe, Hand-list, iii, 1901, 37.
Hypocnemis naevoides Frantzius, Journ. für Orn., 1869, 306 (Costa Rica).
Hypocnemis nævoides Zeledón, Anal. Mus. Nac. Costa Rica, i, 1887, 115 (Jiménez, Pacuare, and Angostura, Costa Rica).
Hylophylax nævioides Carriker, Ann. Carnegie Mus., vi, "Aug. 29" (= Sept. 7), 1910, 619 (Costa Rica; crit.; habits).
Hypocnemis nævioides capnitis Bangs, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., xix, July 30, 1906, 107 (Volcan de Miravalles, n. w. Costa Rica; coll. E. A. and O. Bangs).

  1. ?, a wood, forest; ?, a watcher, guard, sentinel.
  2. On account of insufficiency of material, I am not able to give the full range of color variation in this group.
  3. Of the species referred to the genus Hypocnemis by Dr. Sclater and other recent authors I have seen in this connection only H. cantator (type of the genus), H. pœcilonota (Cuvier), H. lepidonota Sclater and Salvia, H. leucophrys (Tschudi), H. myiotherina (Spix), H. lugubris (Cabanis and Heine), H. nævia (Gmelin), and H. nævioides (Lafresnaye). The second, third, seventh, and eighth of these I have removed from Hypocnemis on account of the very different amount of adhesion of the anterior toes and other excellent structural characters, while the fourth, fifth, and sixth I also remove as a distinct genus, Myrmoborus Cabanis and Heine. (See p. 14.)
    There is much difference in the form of the bill between the three species of Hylophylax which I now have before me, H. nævia having this member very broad and very much depressed basally, while that of H. pœcilonota is much narrower, less depressed, and with the base of the gonys more prominent, H. nævioides being, however, intermediate between these extremes.
  4. Seventeen specimens.
  5. Fourteen specimens.
    Locality. Wing. Tall. Culmen. Tarsus. Middle
    Six adult males from eastern Panamá 62.9 34.9 16.7 22.3 15.1
    Ten adult males from Costa Rica 63.2 34.1 16.6 22.3 14.1
    One adult male from Nicaragua 64.5 35 - 14.5
    Three adult females from eastern Panamá 62.6 33.8 16.6 22.3 14.1
    Ten adult females from Costa Rica 62 33.1 16.8 22.4 14.5
    One adult female from Nicaragua 62 34 16 23 15
  6. I have not seen a specimen from Ecuadór.