The strikingly beautiful Wire-tailed Manakin was for a long period placed in the monospecific genus Teleonema, primarily on the basis of its highly modified tail feathers. Only in the early 1970s was it shown that Teleonema could not be upheld because the Wire-tailed Manakin obviously forms part of the Crimson-hooded Manakin (Pipra aureola) superspecies, which grouping also includes the Band-tailed Manakin (Pipra fasciicauda). Genetic data have recently confirmed this relationship. All three species possess largely similar plumage and virtually wholly allopatric ranges, which encompass the greater part of the northern two-thirds of South America. Subsequently, it has also been revealed, especially through studies into the ecology and natural history of the Wire-tailed and Band-tailed Manakins, that all three have generally analogous vocalizations and displays.