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Andean Swallow Orochelidon andecola

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Hirundinidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Elsie Shogren


Geographic Variation

Two subspecies usually are recognized:

oroyae Chapman 1924, in the departments of Ancash, Lima, and Junín, central Peru (Fjeldså and Krabbe (1990). Upperparts glossed with blue, not green as in andecola; shafts of the primaries whitish, not brownish as in andecola; wing length greater than in andecola (oroyae: wing 123-124.5 mm, n = 3; andecola wing 115-122.2, n = ?; Zimmer 1955).

nominate andecola d'Orbigny and Lafresnaye 1837, occupying the remainder of the range of the species.

Hellmayr (1935) doubted the validity of the subspecies oroyae, but Zimmer (1955) and subsequent authors retained it.

Related Species

The Andean Swallow was described as Hirundo andecola by d'Orbigny and Lafresnaye in 1837. Since then it has been classified among several different genera, e.g. Petrochelidon (Hellmayr 1935, Meyer de Schauensee 1966, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990), Hirundo (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Turner and Rose 1989), Stelgidopteryx (Parkes 1993), and Haplochelidon (Sheldon and Winkler 1993, Jaramillo 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2007).

Recent investigations of swallow phylogenetics, based nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data, indicate that the swallows contain two major clades, the mud nest builders (Hirundo and relatives), and the core martins (Sheldon et al. 2005). Andean Swallow belongs to the core martin clade. The Brown-bellied Swallow (Orochelidon murina) is the sister species to the Andean Swallow; and the Tawny-headed Swallow (Alopochelidon fucata) is the sister to Orochelidon.

Recommended Citation

Shogren, E. (2010). Andean Swallow (Orochelidon andecola), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.