Three subspecies recognized (Paynter 1970, Clements et al. 2010):
C. d. diadema - As in Detailed Description. Distribution: Andes from northwestern Venezuela and Colombia south to southern Ecuador (Paynter 1970).
C. d. federalis - Slightly brighter and paler mahogany-red on lower underparts (crissum and undertail coverts). Forecrown patch smaller and duller. Iris, tarsi and bill gray. The female is slightly smaller and paler, with olive legs and feet. Juvenile like those of C. d. diadema but paler olive brown on underparts (Restall et. al 2007). Distribution: Occurs in the coastal range of northern Venezuela (Paynter 1970).
C. d. citrinifrons - Similar to nominate diadema, but patch on forecrown is paler yellow (Hellmayr 1938), and is bordered behind by a narrow chestnut band; also, these feathers not as stiff and plushlike. The sides of the head and the underparts are paler chestnut brown (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Ridgely and Tudor 1989). Distribution: Andes of Peru, Bolivia, and northwestern Argentina (Paynter 1970).