Rufous-cheeked Tanager Tangara rufigenis



Geographic Variation

The Rufous-cheeked Tanager is monotypic (Sclater 1856).

Related Species

Rufous-cheeked Tanager is a member of the speciose genus Tangara. This genus includes 49 species, more species than any other genus of exclusively Neotropical birds (Isler and Isler 1987). Isler and Isler (1987) subdivided Tangara into 13 species groupings based on geographic range, appearance, behaviors (with an emphasis on foraging behaviors), vocalizations, and nest sites. The Rufous-cheeked Tanager belongs to Isler and Isler’s species group 7, along with Tangara lavinia and T. gyrola. However, they consider this placement tentative, suggesting it also might belong to group 9 with T. ruficervix, T. labradorides, and T. cyanotis. In addition, when Sclater (1856) first described T. rufigenis, he indicated it was most similar to T. labradorides. DNA sequence data agrees with Sclater’s original opinion and indicates that the closest relative of T. rufigenis is T. labradorides (Burns et al. 2014). There is strong support for this relationship and also some support for grouping these two species with T. cyanotis.

Recommended Citation

Rufous-cheeked Tanager (Tangara rufigenis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: