Striped Sparrow Oriturus superciliosus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Cody Smith and David L. Slager


Geographic Variation

Two subspecies usually recognized (e.g. Dickinson and Christidis 2014), although geographic variation is weak (Paynter 1952, Rising 2011):

palliatus, described as Plagiospiza superciliosa palliata van Rossem 1938

Occurs in northwestern Mexico, from eastern Sonora and Chihuahua south to Nayarit and western Zacatecas (Byers et al. 1995)

The plumage of palliatus is very similar to that of superciliosus, but is slightly paler in overall coloration, with paler and warmer brown tones on the upperparts and paler and grayer (less buffy) on the breast and flanks with a slightly whiter belly (Byers et al. 1995, Rising 2011). Paynter (1952) describes this subspecies as being paler throughout, redder dorsally, and more pure gray ventrally, with a nearly pure white throat and with the central rectrices gray instead of olive or olive-brown laterally. Populations in Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, and Michoacan are intermediate between palliatus and superciliosus (Rising 2011).

superciliosus, described as Aimophila superciliosa Swainson 1838

Occurs on the Central Plateau of Mexico from Jalisco and west central Veracruz southeast to central Oaxaca.

See Detailed Description.

Related Species

Striped Sparrow is the sole member of the genus Oriturus Bonaparte 1851. This species originally was described as a species of Aimophila, and long was considered closely related to that genus due to its similar appearance (Byers et al. 1995). Recent phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data (from both mitochondrial and nuclear genes), however, indicate that this species is not closely related to Aimophila, but rather is basal to a clade that includes the genera Melospiza, Passerculus, a subset of the genus Ammodramus, and the monotypic genera Poocetes and Xenospiza (Klicka and Spellman 2007, Klicka et al. 2014).

Recommended Citation

Smith, C. and D. L. Slager (2016). Striped Sparrow (Oriturus superciliosus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.