14/04/2015
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New Brazilian Treehunter

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Pale-browed Treehunter is no longer the sole member of its genus. Photo: Hector Bottai (commons.wikimedia.org).
Pale-browed Treehunter is no longer the sole member of its genus. Photo: Hector Bottai (commons.wikimedia.org).

 


The genus Cichlocolaptes was believed to consist of just one Brazilian moist forest species: Pale-browed Treehunter C leucophrus. Now careful measurement of specimens and observation of the rare Alagoas Foliage-gleaner Philydor novaesi in the country’s Atlantic forests has revealed another Cichlocolaptes species that closely resembles the foliage-gleaner almost to the point of mimicry. However, the newly described C mazarbarnetti differs in morphology, measurements, behaviour and voice, being larger, darker and more uniform in plumage tone; its voice is similar to C leucophrus, despite its phydical similarity to the foliage-gleaner, which the only museum specimen had been confused with.

However, it is already highly likely that the new species may already have died out. Its habitat is but a fragment of what it once was, while Philydor novaesi is possibly already extinct, too. Accordingly, it has been immediately classified as Critically Endangered.

Reference
Barnett, J M, and Buzzetti, D R C. 2014. A new species of Cichlocolaptes Reichenbach 1853 (Furnariidae), the 'gritador-do-nordeste', an undescribed trace of the fading bird life of northeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 22: 75-94.

 

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