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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Short-tailed Nighthawk Lurocalis semitorquatus

Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Hope Batcheller, and Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published January 13, 2012


Geographic Variation

Five subspecies currently recognized:

stonei Huber 1923; type locality Ten miles above the mouth of the Río Banbana, Nicaragua

Resident from southern Mexico south to Nicaragua.

"Possibly smaller than the nominate, with upperparts more brightly spotted cinnamon-rufous, spotting on breast smaller and darker brown, and underparts more densely barred brown" (Cleere 1998).

noctivagus Griswold 1936; type locality Salamanca Hydrographic Station, Río Pequení, Panama

Resident from Costa Rica south to western Ecuador. Perhaps not separable from stonei (Cleere 1998).

"Darker than the nominate, with upperparts more heavily spotted tawny and cinnamon, breast darker, more heavily spotted cinnamon" (Cleere 1998).

schaeferi Phelps and Phelps 1952; type locality Rancho Grande, Aragua, Venezuela

Restricted to northern Venezuela.

"Similar to nominate, but throat and breast blacker, less brownish, with paler buffish speckling" (Cleere 1998).

semitorquatus (Gmelin 1789); type locality Cayenne

Distribution imperfectly known. From northern and eastern Colombia east to the Guianas, and south to eastern Peru. Presumably resident, but seasonal status in Amazonia complicated by overlap with nattereri.

See Detailed Description.

nattereri (Temminck 1822); type locality fixed by Hellmayr as Ypanema, São Paulo, Brazil

Distribution imperfectly known. Present in the austral summer in southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina (e.g., in Rio Grande do Sul, reported 2 October-8 March; Belton 1984), and in the austral winter north to Venezuela. Also occurs throughout central Brazil and in Amazonia, but seasonal status in much of this region is unclear, due in part to overlap with nominate semitorquatus.

"Similar to the nominate, but underparts darker and more densely barred brown" (Cleere 1998).

Related Species

Rufous-bellied Nighthawk (Lurocalis rufiventris) formerly was classified as a subspecies of semitorquatus, but now is recognized as a distinct species (Parker et al. 1991, Cleere 1998).

The southern subspecies, nattereri, sometimes also has been considered to be a separate species (fide Cleere 1998), but most recent authorities include it in semitorquatus.

Phylogenetic analyis of DNA sequence data (from both mitochondrial and nuclear genes) places the genus Lurocalis in a large clade of New World nighjars. Other members of this clade include Nyctiprogne, Hydropsalis, Uropsalis, Eleothreptus, Nyctidromus, and Caprimulgus (in part: cayennensis, maculicaudus, longirostris, whitelyi, parvulus, anthonyi, and nigrescens) (Han et al. 2010).

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. d. C., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, H. Batcheller, and T. S. Schulenberg (2012). Short-tailed Nighthawk (Lurocalis semitorquatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.shtnig1.01