Inhabiting mossy forest and second-growth woodland, the Purplish-mantled Tanager is a fairly social species that can be found in pairs, mixed species flocks, or individually. With its rich purplish-blue back and contrasting yellow throat, this species is unlikely to be confused with any other tanagers within its range. Traveling individually, in pairs, or small family groups, this species forages mainly on insects; however, there have been observations of these species eating berries as well. Due to this species’ small range, unknown population status, and threats of habitat loss and conversion for cattle-grazing, the Purplish-mantled Tanager has been listed as near threatened on IUCN's Watchlist. The name Iridosornis porphyrocephalus translates as the "purple-headed rainbow bird". Iridosornis derives from Greek, the prefix iris meaning rainbow, and the suffix ornis meaning bird. The specific epithet porphyrocephalus is also Greek, porphureos meaning purple, or dark red and kephalos meaning headed (Jobling 2010). In Spanish the common name for this species is Tangara Capiazul (Hilty 2011, de Juana et al. 2012).