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Green-headed Tanager Tangara seledon

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Jenelle Agpaoa and Kevin J. Burns


Geographic Variation

Monotypic (Storer 1970).

Related Species

The Green-headed Tanager is part of the genus Tangara, the largest genus of Neotropical birds. Tangara is divided into 13 species groups based on vocalizations, diet, distribution, appearance and behavior (Isler and Isler 1987). Isler and Isler (1987) assigned Tangara seledon to Species Group 3, along with the Seven-colored Tanager (T. fastuosa) and the Paradise Tanager (T. chilensis). Molecular phylogenetic analyses of the relationships of Tangara showed that T. chilensis is only distantly related to T. seledon and T. fastuosa (Burns and Naoki 2004, Sedano and Burns 2010). Thus, the plumage similarities of T. chilensis to the other two species are the result of convergent evolution. Tangara seledon is closely related to T. fastuosa, with strong statistical support. These two species are most closely related to three other species also distributed in the Atlantic Forest, the Brassy-breasted Tanager (T. desmaresti), the Gilt-edged Tanager (T. cyanoventris), and the Red-necked Tanager (T. cyanocephala). Thus, this clade of five species represents a small radiation of tanagers that occurred solely within the Atlantic Forest (Sedano and Burns 2010).

Recommended Citation

Agpaoa, J. and K. J. Burns (2012). Green-headed Tanager (Tangara seledon), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.