White-winged Guan Penelope albipennis
Version: 1.0 — Published June 3, 2011
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There is no geographic variation in this species.
Peters (1964) speculated that the White-winged Guan, which he believed was known from a single specimen, was a partial albino of Penelope ortoni. Hellmayr and Conover (1942) pointed out that two specimens of albipennis were known, both with white primaries; that the original observers additionally reported other observations of white-winged guans; and that the measurements of albipennis differed from those of ortoni. Even so, Vuilleumier (1965) also classified albipennis as "a color variant of ortoni". Vaurie (1966, 1968) rejected the hypothesis that albipennis was a partial albino or other color variant of another species, a conclusion that was confirmed a decade later when Penelope albipennis was rediscovered in life.
Eley (1982) studied lowland guans of the genus Penelope (purpurascens group) in South America to determine relationships within the group and present a speciation model for its members, based on morphometric characters. Eley again confirmed that the White-winged Guan is a valid species, and that it is most similar to, and presumably most closely related to, the Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens).