All of the different troupial populations were formerly regarded as representing a single species, but nowadays three different species are recognized, of which the Orange-backed Troupial is the most widespread and the southern and western representative. It is found over much of the lowlands of northern and western Amazonia, and south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina, and the species is generally found in close proximity to water. Compared to both of the other species of troupial, the adult Orange-backed Troupial differs chiefly in lacking a complete black hood, and a much more extensive orange-colored mantle. It also has significantly less white in the wings than in the Venezuelan Troupial (Icterus icterus). Recent observations in the state of Tocantins, in north-central Brazil, have found some local contact between the present species and the Campo Troupial (Icterus jamacaii), which is endemic to northeast Brazil.