Brown Tanager Orchesticus abeillei



Geographic Variation

There are no subspecies of Orchesticus abeillei; it is monotypic (Hilty 2011, Clements et al. 2014).

Related Species

Orchesticus abeillei is in the order Passeriformes, the family Thraupidae, and the sole member of the genus Orchesticus (Clements et al. 2014). An analysis of DNA sequences by Burns et al. (2014) classified Orchesticus abeillei in the subfamily Orchesticinae along with one other species, Parkerthraustes humeralis (Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak). The two species are different in plumage (most likely due to Orchesticus abeillei mimicry of P. rufum) but have similar body size, form, bill size, and bill shape - both have thick bills (Burns et al. 2014). The close evolutionary relationship between Orchesticus and the differently plumaged Parkerthraustes supports Willis’s (1976) social mimicry hypothesis. Strong selection for similar plumage color for Philydor rufum and Orchesticus abeillei could have masked the shared evolutionary history of Orchesticus and Parkerthraustes (Burns et al. 2014).

Recommended Citation

Brown Tanager (Orchesticus abeillei), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: