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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Banded Ground-Cuckoo Neomorphus radiolosus

Janice M. Hughes
Version: 1.0 — Published November 10, 2017


Geographic Variation


Described as Neomorphus radiolosus Sclater and Salvin (1898); type locality "Intaj" [= Intag, Imbabura, Ecuador]

Related Species

Banded Ground-Cuckoo is one of five species (but see below) that comprise the genus Neomorphus (meaning “new form”). Neomorphus is classified in the cuculid subfamily Neomorphinae, which contains five genera of terrestrial New World cuckoos. Neomorphus is thought to be most closely related to cuckoos of the genus Geococcyx, which includes the Greater (G. californianus) and Lesser (G. velox) roadrunners of North and Central America. The other members of the Neomorphinae are Morococcyx, a genus that includes only one small non brood-parasitic species (Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, M. erythropygus), and the three obligate brood parasitic species of the genera Tapera and Dromococcyx, which occur in Central and South America. Payne (2005) considers Morococcyx to be the sister taxon to the Neomorphus-Geococcyx clade, with the parasitic Tapera-Dromococcyx clade as sister group to the non-parasitic Neomorphus-Geococcyx-Morococcyx assemblage.

Within Neomorphus, Haffer (1977) allied Banded Ground-Cuckoo most closely with Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (N. geoffroyi) based on their close geographic distribution and their isolation from the other Neomorphus species. Consequently, he placed them in a superspecies. Interestingly, this association between the Banded and Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoos was supported by Sorenson and Payne (2005) based on substantial molecular evidence.

Both Haffer (1977) and Payne (2005) recognized only four Neomorphus species because they considered Scaled Ground-Cuckoo (N. squamiger) to be a subspecies of Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo. However, a more recent study has suggested that the Scaled Ground-Cuckoo should be treated as a species due to differences in mitochondrial DNA and face, neck, and breast plumage between the Scaled Ground-Cuckoo and Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (Firme et al. 2014).

Recommended Citation

Hughes, J. M. (2017). Banded Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.bagcuc1.01