Pink-throated Becard Pachyramphus minor
Version: 1.0 — Published July 20, 2012
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Monotypic. Hellmayr (1929) suggested that males of populations south of the Amazon "are on average rather paler, more grayish", but no subspecies are recognized.
Pink-throated Becard is considered to be most closely related to Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus algaiae), One-colored Becard (Pachyramphus homochrous) and Crested Becard (Pachyramphus validus). Meyer de Schauensee (1966) suggested that minor, aglaiae and homochrous (but not validus) might be conspecific, but most authors have classified them as full species (Hellmayr 1929, Snow 1979, Fitzpatrick 2004). Snow (1979) suggested that these four constitute a superspecies.
These same four species also formerly were classified in the genus Platypsaris (e.g. Ridgway 1907, Hellmayr 1929), which was distinguished from Pachyramphus by larger body size, more cylindrical shape to the bill, and less extreme modifications to the ninth primary of the male ("ninth primary more obtusely and broadly attenuate at tip, never emarginate nor subfulcate"; Ridgway 1907: 772) (Ridgway 1907, Snow 1973). There also are minor differences in the position of the nest: the nest of "Platypsaris" "is typically suspended from the tip of a drooping branch, while that of Pachyramphus [sensu stricto] is typically supported in a vertical or horizontal branch" (Snow 1973). Snow (1973) did not consider these differences to be very great; he merged Platypsaris into Pachyramphus, a classification followed by subsequent authors. This classification was confirmed by phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data: the four species of "Platypsaris" form a clade that is embedded within Pachyramphus (Barber and Rice 2007). The basal species is validus; minor is sister to the pair aglaiae and homochrous (Barber and Rice 2007).
Pachyramphus has been classified with several different families. It long was included among the cotingas (Cotingidae; e.g. Ridgway 1907, Hellmayr 1929), but Traylor (1977) moved Pachyramphus (and Tityra) to the Tyrannidae, because of similarities in cranial characters between these two genera and tyrannids. Phylogenetic analysis of syringeal characters (Prum 2000) and of DNA sequence data (Barber and Rice 2007, Tello et al. 2009) confirm that Pachyramphus and Tityra are part of the same clade, now recognized as the family Tityridae, and which also includes the genera Schiffornis, Laniocera, Iodopleura, Laniisoma, and Xenopsaris.