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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga cinerea

Graham Montgomery
Version: 1.0 — Published September 7, 2012


Geographic Variation

Two subspecies of Serpophaga cinerea are recognized:

grisea Lawrence 1871; type locality near San José, Costa Rica

Occurs in Costa Rica and western Panama (Traylor 1979).

Smaller and paler than nominate cinerea, and with less white in the crown (Fitzpatrick 2004).

cinerea (Tschudi 1844); type locality Peru, fixed as from the vicinity of Tarma, Junín by Hellmayr 1927

Occurs in montane regions of western South America from Venezuela and Colombia south to central Bolivia (Traylor 1979).


Related Species

There is no phylogenetic analysis of the genus Serpophaga. Fitzpatrick (2004) suggested that Serpophaga cinerea possibly is most closely related to Serpophaga nigricans (Sooty Tyrannulet).

Phylogenetic analysis of morphological characters, primarily from the nasal septum and syrinx, placed Serpophaga and Anairetes as sister taxa (Lanyon 1988). Two independent studies using phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data, from both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, however, both indicate that Serpophaga is sister to Pseudocolopteryx, and that both genera are nested within a clade of Elaeniine tyrannids that also includes Mecocerculus, Polystictus, Anairetes, Uromyias, Culicivora, and Pseudelaenia (Ohlson et al. 2008, Tello et al. 2009).

Recommended Citation

Montgomery, G. (2012). Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.tortyr1.01