White-ruffed Manakin is the sister-species of White-bibbed Manakin (Corapipo leucorrhoa), and these two are sometimes treated as conspecifics. While the present species is primarily distributed over Central America, reaching south into western Colombia, White-bibbed Manakin is solely found in South America. There is no known overlap between them, and no apparent differences in habitat, behavior and ecology. Most authorities recognize two subspecies of White-ruffed Manakin, which are only marginally differentiated, principally in the throat pattern in males. Although considered resident over much of the species’ range, in southern Costa Rica the nominate subspecies descends to the lowlands and foothills during the non-breeding season, between July and December / January, with females apparently moving on average farther downslope than males.