[latin] Scytalopus diamantinensis | [UK] Diamantina Tapaculo | [year] 2007 | [status] NEAR THREATENED

Diamantina Tapaculo new species

The Scytalopus populations occupying the Chapada Diamantina, state of Bahia, have been regarded as representing the same taxon found in the southern part of Serra do Espinhaço, in the state of Minas Gerais. However, on the basis of specimens obtained recently at Chapada Diamantina, we found that the local Scytalopus population is a new taxon distinct from any other known tapaculo. The new species is a member of the taxonomically complex S. speluncae group, within which it is most closely related to S. novacapitalis, S. pachecoi, and Scytalopus sp. nov. from southern Serra do Espinhaço. It is diagnosable by vocal, plumage and molecular characters from all other Brazilian taxa. Although its song differs little from those of the closely related species, its calls are notably distinct. Pairwise uncorrected genetic distances between the new species described herein and S. novacapitalis, Scytalopus sp. nov. and S. pachecoi are 3.5, 4.5 and 5.0%, respectively. The new species is presumably endemic to the Chapada Diamantina, where it inhabits forest (c. 10-25 m tall) and both old and very young second growth (c. 2-5 m tall), between 850 and 1,600 m a.s. The Brazilian Scytalopus have been clustered into two discrete complexes, namely the S. indigoticus and S. speluncae species groups, comprising two and four named taxa, respectively (Maurício 2005). The former complex, however, actually comprises a distinct genus (manuscript in prep.), while the latter is composed by typical representatives of Scytalopus. Of the latter group, two species historically or recently misidentified as S. speluncae (Mouse-colored Tapaculo) were described in the last few years: S. iraiensis (Bornschein et al. 1998) and S. pachecoi (Maurício 2005), both from southern Brazil (the second also from adjacent Misiones Province, Argentina). Scytalopus notorius, a name recently proposed by Raposo et al. (2006) for the dark gray birds of the coastal ranges of eastern Brazil (Mantiqueira and Serra do Mar), was based on the supposed historical misapplication of the name S. speluncae to those birds. Those authors argued that this name must be used only for a light gray form known from the Serra do Espinhaço in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia. Surprisingly however, this assumption did not find support in the analysis of the type specimen of S. speluncae presented by the authors, and we argue for the continued application of this name to the dark gray forms occupying the coastal ranges (manuscript in prep.). All populations identified to date as Mouse-colored Tapaculos are under revision and will eventually be split into new species (manuscript in prep.; see Maurício 2005).

Bornschein, M. R., Maurício, G. N., Belmonte-Lopes, R., Mata, H. and Bonatto, S. L. (2007) Diamantina Tapaculo, a new Scytalopus endemic to the Chapada Diamantina, northeastern Brazil (Passeriformes: Rhinocryptidae). Rev. Bras. Ornitol. 15: 151-174

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