Black-and-gold Tanager Bangsia melanochlamys



Geographic Variation

There are no subspecies for Bangsia melanochlamys; this species is monotypic (Clements et al. 2018, Dickinson and Christidis 2014).

Related Species

Bangsia melanochlamys was originally described by Hellmayr, 1910 with a type locality of La Selva, Rio Jamaraya, San Juan (Storer 1970). All species of Bangsia originally were described as Buthraupis, but the smaller and shorter tailed species were recognized as distinct by Penard (1919), who proposed the genus Bangsia for this group. This classification remained controversial, and Storer (1970) merged Bangsia back into Buthraupis; this classification was accepted by some (e.g., Parker et al. 1996) but not all other authorities (e.g., Monroe et al. 1993). We now know via molecular phylogenetic analyses that Bangsia and Buthraupis in not sister genera (Sedano and Burns 2010, Burns et al. 2014). This hypotheses is corroborated by physical characteristics: Gold-ringed Tanager is more like other species of Bangsia in its smaller size, shorter tail, more uniform plumage, lower elevation preference, and generally less social behavior (Penard 1919, Hilty 2011, Burns et al. 2014). The Moss-backed Tanager is thought to have a discontinuous distribution along the Colombian Pacific Slope and perhaps this is reflected by the high intraspecific divergence of 1% for the mitochondrial locus cyt b (Sedano and Burns 2010).

The genus Bangsia consists of five or six species; four of which are found in the Northern Andes: Moss-backed Tanager (B. edwardsi), Gold-ringed Tanager (B. aureocincta), Golden-chested Tanager (B. rothschildi), and Black-and-gold Tanager (B. melanochlamys). The fifth species, Blue-and-gold Tanager (B. arcaei), is located in Costa Rica and Panama (Clements et al. 2018). The potential sixth species is the nondescript Yellow-green Chlorospingus (Chlorospingus flavovirens) which molecular phylogenetics has recovered within the Bangsia genus, as sister to Bangsia arcaei (AvendaƱo et al. 2016). However, this species name has not been officially transfered to Bangsia in the Clements or eBird checklists, and this treatment is badly needed (Clements et al. 2018, Remsen et al. 2018). Molecular phylogenetic analysis has consistently recovered a monophyletic Bangsia with strong support (Sedano and Burns 2010, Burns et al. 2014). Relationships within Bangsia also are strongly supported via molecular phylogenetics, with the Black-and-gold Tanager sister to the Golden-chested Tanager. In turn, the clade formed by these two species is sister to a clade comprised of the Moss-backed Tanager sister to Gold-ringed Tanager. The clade formed by these four species is sister to a clade that contains the Central American Blue-and-gold Tanager sister to the Yellow-green Chlorospingus (Burns et al. 2014, AvendaƱo et al. 2016). The clade containing the four South American species of Bangsia share the character of having heavier bills than the Blue-and-Gold Tanager (Penard 1919).

Bangsia is a member of a clade of tanagers largely restricted to the Andes, including the genera Wetmorethraupis (the sister genus to Bangsia), Pipraeidea, and Iridosornis, with the clade formed by these genera sister to the mountain tanager clade including Buthraupis, Anisognathus, Calochaetes, Chlorornis, Delothraupis, and Dubusia (Sedano and Burns 2010, Burns et al. 2014). That Bangsia is nested in a group of tanagers largely confined to the Andes Mountains suggests that these tanagers radiated in the Andes of northwestern South America (Sedano and Burns 2010). Like all tanagers, this species is a member of the family Thraupidae, with further genetic analyses showing that Gold-ringed Tanager belongs to the subfamily Thraupinae (Sedano and Burns 2010, Burns et al. 2014).

Recommended Citation

Black-and-gold Tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: