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Version 1.0

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Darwin's Nothura Nothura darwinii

Vitor Gomes
Version: 1.0 — Published February 28, 2014


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Geographic Variation

Five subspecies currently recognized:

peruviana, described as Nothura maculosa peruviana Berlepsch and Stolzmann 1906; type locality Santa Ana, Urubamba Valley, Cuzco, Peru

Occurs in the Urubamba Valley, Cuzco, Peru. Intergrades with agassizii.

"Inner webs of primaries immaculate [unbarred] or nearly so. Closely similar to agassizii, but smaller and with darker abdomen. Near boliviana in size and general appearance, but less rufescent above; lower breast and middle of abdomen darker, ochraceous rather than deep buff" (Blake 1977).

agassizii, described as Nothura agassizii Bangs 1910; type locality Moho, northern border of Lake Titicaca, Peru

Occurs in the highlands of Peru and western Bolivia, south at least to Lake Poopó, Oruro; intergrades with peruviana to the north and with boliviana to the south.

"Inner webs of the four outermost primaries immaculate [unbarred] or nearly so. Distinguished from other races primarily by larger size, more decidedly hairlike texture of the feathers of the rump and sides, and more yellowish rufescent coloration of the dorsum, where conspicuously spotted or blotched with dark brown. Differs from salvadorii in less grayish upperparts, larger and more conspicuous dark markings on the back, lower neck, and chest, and heavier barring on the flanks. Much less rufescent above than boliviana, abdomen paler, less ochraceous, and the dark markings above and below larger and more conspicuous" (Blake 1977).

boliviana, described as Nothura boliviana Salvadori 1895; type locality Bolivia; restricted to Tiraque, Cochabamba, by Conover (1950)

Occurs in western Bolivia from Cochabamba south to Tarija; intergrades with agassizii near Lake Poopó, Oruro, Bolivia.

"Characterized by small size, rufescent dorsum, ochraceous abdomen, and sparsely barred flanks. Feathers of rump and flanks decidedly hairlike, and inner webs of the four outermost primaries with little or no barring. Differs from agassizii and salvadorii in smaller size, more rufescent uppersurface, and more ochraceous abdomen; from agassizii, additionally, in much reduced dark markings on the dorsum, neck, and chest, and from salvadorii in having sparser barring on the flanks" (Blake 1977).

salvadorii, described as Nothura salvadorii Hartert; type localitg Arenal, Salta, Argentina

Occurs in western Argentina from Jujuy and Salta south to Mendoza, and east to western Santiago del Estero, western Córdoba, and western La Pampa.

"Closely similar to nominate darwinii, but general tone of the upperparts darker, more ferruginous, less grayish. Dorsum more coarsely vermiculated, and with more numerous and heavier transverse markings of ferruginous and black; dark markings on lower neck and chest more prominent, and generally in the form of longitudinal streaks, rather than transverse bars; dark bars on flanks coarser and abdomen slightly buffier. Distinguished from boliviana by darker and grayer, much less rufescent, upperparts, lower neck and chest; abdomen paler, less buffy; flanks possibly more heavily barred" (Blake 1977).

darwinii, described as Nothura Darwinii Gray 1867; type locality Bahía Blanca, southern Buenos Aires

Occurs in south central Argentina.

See Detailed Description.

Related Species

Earlier authors classified some subspecies (peruviana, agassizii, boliviana) of Nothura darwinii as subspecies of Nothura maculosa (Spotted Nothura) (e.g. Peters 1931), or considered all taxa of darwinii to be subspecies of Nothura maculosa (e.g. Hellmayr and Conover 1942). Conover (1950), however, pointed out that these taxa were locally sympatric, reinstated darwinii as a species, and included the three northern taxa (peruviana, agassizii, boliviana) in darwinii.

Monophyly of the genus Nothura is well-supported by phylogenetic analysis of genetic (mitochondrial DNA sequence data) and morphological characters (Bertelli and Porzecanski 2004). although a phylogenetic analysis limited to morphological characters suggests that Taoniscus nanus (Dwarf Tinamou) may be embedded within Notura (Bertelli et al. 2002). Relationships within Nothura are not well established, but darwinii apparently is not sister to maculosa (Bertelli and Porzecanski 2004).

Recommended Citation

Gomes, V. (2014). Darwin's Nothura (Nothura darwinii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.darnot1.01