Mistletoe Tyrannulet Zimmerius parvus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Andrew W. Jones


Geographic Variation

Mistletoe Tyrannulet is monotypic, with no described geographic variation.

Originally described as Tyranniscus parvus Lawrence 1862. Type locality Isthmus of Panama ("presumably from Lion Hill, Canal Zone", Panama; Traylor 1979: 9).

Occurs in northern Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and a small part of Colombia bordering Panama.

Related Species

All species of Zimmerius formerly were classified in Tyranniscus, but Traylor (1977) partitioned Tyrannicus into two groups; a few species were assigned to Phyllomyias (Black-capped Tyrannulet Phyllomyias nigrocapillus, Ashy-headed Tyrannulet Phyllomyias cinereiceps, and Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet Phyllomyias uropygialis), and for the remaining species, including parvus, Traylor erected the new genus Zimmerius. The genus Zimmerius is monophyletic (Tello et al. 2009; Rheindt et al. 2013).

Zimmerius phylogeny (Rheindt et al. 2013).

The taxonomy of Zimmerius vilissimus sensu lato varies among authorities, recognizing anywhere from one (Traylor 1979), two (Fitzpatrick 2004), three (Dickinson and Christidis 2014), or four species (del Hoyo and Collar 2016). Rheindt et al. (2013) demonstrated that there are at least three non-sister taxa under this name, and suggested several taxonomic adjustments. Their data were less clear on the relationships between parvus and nominate vilissimus (Guatemalan Tyrannulet), sampling just one individual of each taxon and finding that they are in a clade with Zimmerius albigularis (Choco Tyrannulet), and may or may not be sister taxa. Additional sampling is needed, but many authorities recognize vilissimus and parvus taxa as separate species, based on differences in plumage, vocalizations, and habitat.

Recommended Citation

Jones, A. W. (2018). Mistletoe Tyrannulet (Zimmerius parvus), version 2.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.paltyr3.02