Two subspecies are recognized:
ochraceicrista, described as Basileuterus fraseri ochraceicrista Chapman 1921; type locality Chone, Manaví [Manabí], Ecuador
Occurs in coastal western Ecuador, from Manabí at least to southern Guayas, and on Puna Island. The affinities of warblers in El Oro are unclear, with both ochraceicrista and nominate fraseri reported from that region (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a).
This subspecies is similar to nominate fraseri, but "with the center of the crown ochraceous-orange instead of lemon-chrome slightly tipped with chestnut" (Chapman 1921: 11). Intergrades with nominate fraseri (Chapman 1921, Hellmayr 1935).
fraseri, described as Basileuterus fraseri Sclater 1884; type locality Pallatanga and Babahoyo, western Ecuador
Occurs in Andean foothills and adjacent lowlands from central Ecuador (Chimborazo) south to northwestern Peru (Tumbes, Piura, and northern Lambayeque).
See Detailed Description.