Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Roger Robb


Geographic Variation

Two subspecies currently recognized:

aurantioatrocristatus, described as T[yrannus] aurantio-atro cristatus (d'Orbigny and Lafresnaye 1837; type locality Valle Grande, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Breeds from Bolivia east to southern Brazil, and south to central Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. After breeding, migrates north to winter in Amazonia, from eastern Colombia and southern Venezuela south at least to central Peru and to central Amazonian Brazil.

See Detailed Description.

pallidiventris, described as Empidonomus aurantio-atro-cristatus pallidiventris Hellmayr 1929; new name for Empidonomus aurantio-atro-cristatus minor Hellmayr 1927 (which is preoccupied by Empidonomus minor Stolzmann 1926); type locality São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil.

Resident in east central Brazil, from Pará east to Piauí, and south at least to Goiás.

This subspecies is similar to nominate aurantioatrocristatus, but is "much smaller, with shorter, weaker bill; back much lighter, pale grayish olive (instead of near hair brown); under parts likewise much paler (light mouse gray instead of mouse gray) and passing into whitish along middle line; under tail coverts naphthalene yellow, with very little grayish brown along the shaft" (Hellmayr 1927: 116-117). This subspecies also has a shorter primary projection (J. Rowlett, personal communication to R. Robb, 2008).

Related Species

This species long has been classified in the genus Empidonomus, together with Empidononus varius (Variegated Flycatcher). Lanyon (1984), while affirming the close relationship between aurantioatrocristatus and varius, proposed that aurantioatrocristatus be placed in a new monotypic genus, Griseotyrannnus, on the basis of three unique characters of the syrinx. Although not all authors recognize Griseotyrannus, that name is adopted by many recent authorities (e.g. Hilty 2003, Mobley 2004, Ridgely and Tudor 2009).

Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data, from both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, also identifies aurantioatrocristatus and varius as sister taxa (Tello et al. 2009). Furthermore, phylogenies based both on morphological characters (Lanyon 1984) and on DNA sequence data (Ohlson et al. 2008, Tello et al. 2009) identity Tyrannus as the sister genus to Empidonomus, and place both of these genera in a clade that also includes the genera Pitangus, Megarynchus, Myiozetetes, Phelpsia, Conopias, Myiodynastes, Legatus, and Tyrannopsis (Ohlson et al. 2008, Tello et al. 2009). The genetic evidence further indicates that Machetornis rixosa (Cattle Tyrant) belongs to this clade as well, although this relationship is not well supported by the morphological characters examined by Lanyon (1984).

Recommended Citation

Robb, R. (2013). Crowned Slaty Flycatcher (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.