Black-legged Dacnis Dacnis nigripes

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Cathryn O'Hara, Casey H. Richart, and Kevin J. Burns


Geographic Variation

None is described, and Dacnis nigripes has no subspecies; it is monotypic (Dickinson and Christidis 2014, Clements et al. 2015).

Related Species

Described as Dacnis nigripes Pelzeln 1856, on the basis of a male and two females collected at Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Storer 1970).

The genera Dacnis and Cyanerpes previously were considered members of the Neotropical "nectar-feeding family" Coerebidae (e.g., Sclater 1886, Hellmayr 1935), however many of these species have been shown to have converged on a similar morphology due to nectar feeding. Early researchers noticed that some coerebids shared similar morphological features with tanagers, such as horny palettes, skull morphology, jaw muscles, and plumage similarities (Beecher 1951, Tordoff 1954, Storer 1969). Molecular data has confirmed these early hypotheses, and the Coerebidae has been largely rejected, with Dacnis now placed in the Thraupidae (Isler and Isler 1987, Burns et al. 2003, Hilty 2011). The tanager subfamily Dacninae, also known as the “blue tanagers,” contains 14 species that are broken down into 3 monophyletic genera: Cyanerpes, Dacnis, and Tersina, though how these genera are related to each other remains unresolved (Burns et al. 2003, Burns et al. 2014). The relationships of species within Dacnis are still unclear, with the exception of strong evidence placing Scarlet-thighed Dacnis (D. venusta) as sister to the other species of Dacnis, although note that Scarlet-breasted Dacnis (D. berlepschi) was not sampled in that analysis (Burns et al. 2014).

Recommended Citation

O'Hara, C., C. H. Richart, and K. J. Burns (2018). Black-legged Dacnis (Dacnis nigripes), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.