Three currently recognized subspecies:
melanauris, described as Ergaticus ruber melanauris Moore 1937; type locality Trogon Valley, eastern slope of Mt. Mohinora, southwestern Chihuahua, Mexico, 10,000 feet [= 3048 m]
Occurs in northwestern Mexico, in Sinaloa, Chihuahua, and Durango.
Similar to nominate rubra, but the auriculars are slate gray or grayish black.
rubra, described as Setophaga rubra Swainson 1827; type locality woods of Valladolidad [Michoacán], Mexico.
Occurs in Jalisco and Michoacán through northern Oaxaca and Veracruz.
See Detailed Description.
rowleyi, described as Ergaticus ruber rowleyi Orr and Webster 1968; type locality 30 km east of Lachao Nuevo, Oaxaca, Mexico, 8600 feet [= 2621 m]
Occurs in Guerrero and southern Oaxaca.
Similar to rubra, but with even brighter red upperparts than melanauris.