Five subspecies are recognized (Storer 1970, Isler and Isler 1999). The four northern subspecies are similar to one another; subspecies brasiliensis of eastern Brazil is distinctly different:
T. m. vieilloti: Occurs on Trinidad (Storer 1970). – Most similar to T. m media, "but still more deeply colored, the blue of the face and throat being darker and of a more purplish hue, and the under parts bright pinard yellow" (Hellmayr 1936: 135).
T. m. media: – Occurs from easternmost Colombia east across Venezuala to northwestern Brazil (Storer 1970). Similar to nominate mexicana, "but median under parts darker, barita yellow instead of massicot yellow; blue of face and throat slightly deeper; humeral patch also somewhat darker, cendre blue rather than calamine blue" (Hellmayr 1936: 135).
T. m. mexicana: Occurs in the Guianas (Storer 1970). This subspecies has a faint turquoise eyebrow, a very narrow yellow patch on the sides of the breast, and a pale yellow belly (Restall et al 2007).
T. m. boliviana: Occurs from eastern Colombia south to northern Bolivia, and east into Brazil (to the Rio Negro and Rio Madeira) (Storer 1970). The lesser wing coverts are more cerulean blue; the scaled appearances seen in other subspecies is lacking (Ingels 1974, Restall 2007).
T. m. brasiliensis: Occurs in the Atlantic forest region of Brazil, from southern Bahia south to Rio de Janeiro (Storer 1970). A very distinctive subspecies, sometimes classified as a separate species (e.g., Hellmayr 1936, Ridgely and Tudor 2009). Large (see Measurements). The blue of the face, wing coverts, breast, flanks, and rump is paler, a pale silvery blue rather than deep turquoise blue; and the belly is white, not yellow (Meyer de Schauensee 1970).