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Version 1.0

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Blue Seedeater Amaurospiza concolor

Marîa Félix Ramos-Ordoñez, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Alvaro Jaramillo, and Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published October 25, 2013


Geographic Variation

Three subspecies usually recognized:

relicta, described as Amaurospizopsis relictus (Griscom 1934); type locality "mountains above Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico"

Occurs in southwestern Mexico (Guerrero, Morelos, and Oaxaca).

Similar to concolor, but male more slaty (less blue), with black lores, and female paler cinnamon brown (Howell and Webb 1995). Also slightly larger and longer tailed.

concolor, described as Amaurospiza concolor Cabanis 1861; type locality Costa Rica, restricted to Miravalles, Costa Rica by Griscom (1934: 414) (but Hellmayr [1938: 238] notes that this locality almost surely was not visited by Frantzius, the collector of holotype).

Occurs from southeastern Mexico (Chiapas) south to Panama. Includes the proposed subspecies grandior Griscom (1934: 414) and australis Griscom (1934: 415) (Orr and Ray 1945).

See Detailed Description.

aequatorialis, described as Amaurospiza aequatorialis Sharpe 1888; type locality Pallatanga, Chimboraza, Ecuador.

Occurs in southwestern Colombia, western Ecuador, and northwestern Peru.

Very similar to concolor, but "with smaller bill; coloration of male somewhat paler, particularly the pileum [crown] lighter indigo blue" (Hellmayr 1938: 238).



Amaurospiza concolor relicta


Amaurospiza concolor concolor


Amaurospiza concolor aequatorialis

Related Species

Subspecies relicta of southwestern Mexico is recognized by some authors as a separate species (Griscom 1934, Howell and Webb 1995).

Classification of "finches" has been revised multiple times in recent decades. Early in the 20th century all "finches" were classified in a broad Fringillidae (e.g. Hellmayr 1938), the members of which later were partitioned into several different families. By the late 20th century, Amaurospiza was classified among the Emberizidae (e.g. Paynter 1970). Paynter (1970) also suggested a close phylogenetic relationship between Amaurospiza and Passerina buntings. Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data places both Amaurospiza and Passerina in the Cardinalidae (not Emberizidae), although these two genera are not sister to another. Amaurospiza is a member of a clade that includes several other genera of "blue" seedeaters, including Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea (Glaucous-blue Grosbeak)Cyanocompsa (blue grosbeaks and buntings), Passerina (buntings) and Spiza americana (Dickcissel) (Klicka et al. 2007, Barker et al. 2013). Klicka et al. (2007), using mitochondrial DNA sequence data, placed Amaurospiza and Cyanoloxia within Cyanocompsa. Barker et al. (2013), using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data, identified Amaurospiza and Cyanoloxia as sister taxa.

Recommended Citation

Ramos-Ordoñez, M. F., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, M. d. C. Arizmendi, A. Jaramillo, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Blue Seedeater (Amaurospiza concolor), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.blusee1.01