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Red Warbler Cardellina rubra

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Andrew Dreelin


Geographic Variation

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.

Related Species

The placement of Red Warbler was long contested, as it was classified by various authorities in the genera Setophaga, Basileuterus, and Cardellina, until Sclater and Salvin placed it in Ergaticus (type species, rubra) with Pink-headed Warbler (C. versicolor) (Ridgway 1902).

Following the recent molecular phylogeny for Parulidae conducted by Lovette et al. (2010), the genus Ergaticus has been subsumed into Cardellina; thus, Red Warbler becomes Cardellina rubra. Cardellina rubra and C. versicolor are sister species. Additional species in Cardellina are Red-faced Warbler (C. rubrifrons), Canada Warbler (C. canadensis), and Wilson's Warbler (C. pusilla). Within Parulidae, Cardellina is sister to Myioborus.

Recommended Citation

Dreelin, A. (2014). Red Warbler (Cardellina rubra), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.