Rufous-winged Tanager Tangara lavinia

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Geramie Grande and Kevin J. Burns


Geographic Variation

Three subspecies of the Rufous-winged Tanager currently are recognized.

T. l. dalmasi is found in western and central Panama in Chiriqui and Veraguas. It is distinguished by a small spot of blue on its chin that does not extend to its breast as it does T. l. lavinia (Wetmore et al. 1984).

T. l. lavinia is found in eastern Panama, western Colombia (including Gorgona Island), and northwestern Ecuador. It is characterized by a long, thin blue stripe extending from the center of its throat to its breast (Wetmore et al. 1984).

T. l. cara is a third subspecies found in eastern Guatemala to Costa Rica (Wetmore et al. 1984). This subspecies is more uncommon and rare than the other two subspecies (Slud 1964). Blue is only present on the belly, not the breast or throat.

Related Species

The Rufous-winged Tanager is classified in the genus Tangara, the largest genus of Neotropical birds. Tangara is divided into 13 species groups based on vocalizations, diet, geographic distributions, behavior, and appearance (Isler and Isler 1987). The Rufous-winged Tanager was assigned to Species Group 7 along with the Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola) and the Rufous-cheeked Tanager (Tangara rufigenis). Molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences confirm that T. lavinia and T. gyrola are sister taxa (Burns and Naoki 2004, Sedano and Burns 2010). However, no phylogenetic study to date has included T. rufigenis.

Recommended Citation

Grande, G. and K. J. Burns (2012). Rufous-winged Tanager (Tangara lavinia), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.