Neotropical Birds
Version  1.0
This is a historic version of this account.   Current version

Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens

Kadeem Gilbert and Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published December 6, 2013


Geographic Variation

Three recognized subspecies:

purpurascens, described as Penelope purpurascens Wagler 1830; type locality Mexico.

Occurs from Mexico south to Honduras.

aequatorialis, described as Penelope aequatorialis Salvadori and Festra 1900; type locality Foreste del Rio Peripa, western Ecuador

Occurs from Nicaragua south to western Colombia, western Ecuador, and northwestern Peru.

Similar to nominate purpurascens, but differs "in smaller size, more rufescent coloration (especially of rump and abdomen), and absence of white markings on crown, mantle, and scapulars. Closely similar to brunnescens in general appearance, but wings, central rectrices, and rump usually less rufous" (Blake 1977). Intergrades with purpurascens in Nicaragua, and "evidently with brunnescens in several areas of contact" (Blake 1977).

brunnescens, described as Penelope purpurascens brunnescens Hellmayr and Conover 1932; type locality Rio Cogollo, Perija, Zulia, Venezuela

Occurs in northern Colombia and northern Venezuela.

Similar to aequatorialis, but "usually more rufescent, especially on the uppersurface of the secondaries, upper wing coverts, central tail feathers, and rump. Individuals not always separable from extreme variants of aequatorialis. More more rufescent that nominate purpurascens, and without white markings on the crown, mantle, and scapulars" (Blake 1977).


Related Species

The genus Penelope is well defined, but relationships within Penelope have not been resolved (see Vaurie 1968, Delacour and Amadon 1973, Eley 1982). Penelope purpurascens has been considered belong to a species group (Delacour and Amadon 1973) that also includes Penelope jacquacu (Spix's Guan), Penelope obscura (Dusky-legged Guan), Penelope perspicax (Cauca Guan)Penelope dabbenei (Red-faced Guan), and Penelope albipennis (White-winged Guan) (Delacour and Amadon 1973), or to form a superspecies with Penelope perspicax, Penelope albipennis, Penelope jacquacu, and Penelope obscura (del Hoyo 1994).

Recommended Citation

Gilbert, K. and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.cregua1.01
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