Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus

Harold F. Greeney, Jonathan L. Atwood, Susannah Lerman, and Andrew J. Spencer
Version: 2.0 — Published July 16, 2020


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Systematics History

Earlier authors recognized two species in Ramphocaenus, a trans-Andean Ramphocaenus rufiventris (consisting of the currently recognized subspecies rufiventris, ardeleo, sanctaemarthae, and griseodorsalis), and a cis-Andean Ramphocaenus melanurus (consisting the currently recognized subspecies pallidus, trinitatis, albiventris, duidae, badius, amazonum, obscurus, sticturus, austerus, and melanurus) (39, 40, 41). Zimmer (24) provided a rationale for treating these as conspecific, a suggestion that was followed by most subsequent authors for many years (e.g., 42, 6, 43, 44, 45, 4). Subsequently, Harvey et al. (46) proposed that the taxon sticturus (with obscurus) should be treated as a separate species from other Amazonian populations due to local sympatry, without any sign of interbreeding, and also strong vocal and habitat differences. Other authors (47, 48) also have recognized vocal differences between the northern rufiventris group and the melanurus group from east of the Andes. Nevertheless, there appears to be a fair amount of overlap, and distinctions are unclear (47). Most recently, Smith et al. (49) lent weight to this suggestion with molecular evidence, finding that a clade containing sticturus and obscurus was sister to all other Long-billed Gnatwren taxa. Their molecular analysis also recovered two additional clades, one composed of taxa west of Andes (the rufiventris, group) and the other consisting of the cis-Andean melanurus group; however, the phylogenetic position of central Colombian griseodorsalis was not resolved, and coastal Venezuelan pallidus was not sampled. The combination of vocal and genetic evidence led to the recognition of sticturus and obscurus as a separate species, Chattering Gnatwren (Ramphocaenus sticturus) (50). There also is significant evidence supporting the recognition (again) of the rufiventris group as a separate species, although the unresolved position of griseodorsalis, together with still uninvestigated complexities in vocal differences within northern South American populations, has resulted in the taxonomic arrangement used here (50).

Geographic Variation

Subspecies vary slightly in size, richness (warmth) of plumage coloration (faded browns to bright ochraceous or rufescent), and vocalizations.


Twelve subspecies herein recognized. The precise distribution of most subspecies is poorly defined.


Long-billed Gnatwren (rufiventris Group) Ramphocaenus melanurus [rufiventris Group]

Available illustrations of subspecies in this group


Ramphocaenus melanurus rufiventris

Systematics History

Scolopacinus rufiventris Bonaparte, 1838, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, vol. 5, p. 119, Guatemala. Here includes panamensis (51), recognized by some authors (e.g., 44, 52). Subspecies ardeleo is not monophyletic with respect to nominate rufiventris (49), and perhaps is best considered to be a junior synonym.


Subspecies rufiventris is found across much of the lowlands of southern Mexico, such as south-central Veracruz (53, 54), Oaxaca (55), and Chiapas (56, 57, 58, 59, 60). From Belize (61, 62, 63, 64) its range extends west and south through most of Guatemala except northern Petén (65, 66, 67), El Salvador (68), Honduras (69, 70), and eastern Nicaragua (71, 72, 73). It is found on both slopes in Costa Rica (74, 75, 76) and through most of Panama (77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82). Where its range enters South America, it is confined to the west slope of the Western Andes, but its distribution in Colombia is rather unclear. Meyer de Schauensee (83) states that the only Colombian record is from southwestern Bolivar (Quimarí), presumably an error. Hilty and Brown (84) give only two locations for the species west of the Western Andes, the Río Sucio in northern Antioquia and the lower Río Caluma in Valle. It is found in many locations in western Ecuador (41, 85, 86, 87), and reaches extreme northwestern Peru in Tumbes (88, 89, 90).


Subspecies rufiventris is similar to the nominate form but is grayer above with a more contrasting crown and more prominent white tips on the tail feathers. Below it is more buffy than nominate melanurus (44). Ridgway (5) provides the following detailed description based on the examination of over thirty specimens from across the Central American range of rufiventris: “Pileum and hindneck plain olive-brown (between prouts brown and raw umber); rest of upper parts (except tail) plain deep grayish olive or olive-slaty, the concealed portion of wing-feathers darker; tail dull slate-black or blackish slate, the three outer rectrices (on each side) with an apical or subapical area of dull white, this most developed on inner web of two outermost, which have a narrow longitudinal area of dusky on terminal or subterminal portion of outer web; sides of head and neck plain cinnamon or russet, broken by an indistinct postocular streak of olive-brownish; chin and throat white, more or less broken by partly exposed dusky basal portion of feathers; rest of under parts plain buff, or pinkish buff, deepest (sometimes nearly ochraceous-buff) laterally, paler medially (sometimes nearly white on abdomen); thighs mostly dusky olive-gray; under wing-coverts pale cream buff or buffy white; inner webs of remiges edged with white or buffy white.”


Ramphocaenus melanurus ardeleo

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus rufiventris ardeleo Van Tyne and Trautman, 1941, Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, no. 439, p. 9, Chichen Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico. The holotype is an adult male (UMMZ 95198) collected 12 March 1936 by Josselyn Van Tyne.


The range of ardeleo is largely confined to the Yucatán Peninsula, in southwest Campeche, Quintana Roo, and northern Petén (Uaxactun) (91, 18).


This subspecies is very similar to rufiventris, but has a smaller bill and is paler overall (especially on the breast, sides of head, and upper parts) (18).


Ramphocaenus melanurus sanctaemarthae

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus sanctaemarthae Sclater, 1861, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, vol. 26, p. 380. Santa Marta, Colombia. When first encountering sanctaemarthae, Sclater (92) felt that it differed insufficiently from rufiventris to warrant separation as a new taxon. After more experience with these and other taxa, however, he later reversed his opinion and described sanctaemarthae in 1861 (93).


Subspecies sanctaemarthae is found along the Caribbean coast of northern Colombia, eastward from the Río Sinú in Cordoba (16), through Magdalena (94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99) to extreme northwestern Venezuela (100, 83). In Venezuela it is found along the western edge of the Maracaibo Basin along the base of the Serrania del Perija (100, 101).


Subspecies sanctaemarthae is overall paler and browner than rufiventris and the nominate subspecies. Particularly when compared with rufiventris, sanctaemarthae is also larger and less rufescent, with the back in particular being browner, not as gray as in rufiventris (93, 40, 16).


Ramphocaenus melanurus griseodorsalis

Systematics History

Rhamphocaenus rufiventris griseodorsalis Chapman, 1912, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, vol 31, p. 145. Miraflores, east of Palmira, west slope of Central Andes, Valle, Colombia. The holotype (AMNH 108936) is an adult female collected 18 April 1911 by F. M. Chapman.


Central Colombia from the upper Rio Sucio in northwestern Antioquia, east to southern Bolivar and Santander. Southward in the Central Andes (102) and in the Cauca Valley to Valle del Cauca and in the Magdalena Valley to Cundinamarca Colombia (103, 83, 104, 105).


Subspecies griseodorsalis is most similar to rufiventris, but has the back slaty gray, the head slightly tinged with cinnamon that is brighter on the forehead, the sides of head paler, and the underparts are a richer ochraceous buff (103).


Long-billed Gnatwren (Long-billed) Ramphocaenus melanurus [melanurus Group]

Available illustrations of subspecies in this group


Ramphocaenus melanurus pallidus

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus melanurus pallidus Todd, 1913, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, vol. 26, p. 172, El Hacha, Yaracuy, Venezuela [c. 10°31’N, 68°52’W; 106]. The holotype is an adult male collected 30 November 1910 by M. A. Carriker, Jr. and housed at the Carnegie Museum (CM 36255) (107). Overall, due to similarities with subspecies trinitatis and the presence of seemingly intermediates in northeastern Venezuela (40, 14), the validity of pallidus, as distinct from trinitatis, deserves further investigation. See discussion under Distribution.


The range of pallidus not well known, but is here considered to extend along the northern coast of Venezuela in the coastal cordillera from Miranda (40, 100, 108), west to Carabobo (12, 109, 110, 33, 111), Aragua, and Falcón and from there southward along the eastern side of the Maracaibo Depression as far as the Zulia Valley in Norte de Santander, Colombia (83, 112).


Subspecies pallidus is, as the Latin name implies, the palest of subspecies. It is most similar to trinitatis, but significantly paler below (almost pure white), with the sides and flanks only very lightly washed with buff. The upperparts are less rufescent, and the mantle is smoky gray (107, 44).


Ramphocaenus melanurus trinitatis

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus trinitatis Lesson, 1839, Revue Zoologique, vol. 2, p. 42. Trinidad [error?: see below]. Hellmayr (40: page 206, footnote b) pointed out that the application of 'trinitatis' to the populations of Trinidad and northeastern Venezuela may be incorrect. Indeed, Lesson’s (113) original description seems to apply better, in some ways, to populations of albiventris. Hellmayr (40), and later Zimmer (14), concluded that there likely is either an error in the designation of the type locality or in the description itself. Determining the correct source of this confusion, however, requires an examination of the type specimen that, apparently has been lost (40, 14).


Subspecies trinitatis is found in Trinidad (114, 17, 115), and on mainland South America from northeastern Venezuela in Sucre and Monagas, westward through tropical central and western Venezuela (100, 116) to Apure and eastern Colombia in western Meta (117).


Subspecies trinitatis is most similar to the nominate form, but differs in the smoky or earthy brown coloration of the back that contrasts with the decidedly rufescent crown, and also by the more richly ochraceous sides of the head and neck (21).

The following detailed description is adapted from Hellmayr (21) and from Herklots (17): The crown is brown, washed with rufous, contrasting with the plain brown mantle. The sides of the head and neck are deep ochraceous, with the ear coverts a slightly paler chestnut-buff, slightly less buffy behind the ears. The remaining upperparts are olive-brown, excepting the rump and upper tail coverts, which are more gray-brown. The tail is black with the outer two rectricies paler near the tip. The wings are dark brown, the feathers edged with olive-brown. It has an indistinct grayish eyering, dirty white lores, and a short, chestnut-buff, post-ocular streak. Below it is pale, palest along the midline. The throat and breast are whitish, the breast washed yellowish buff. The central portions of the belly and the undertail coverts approach pure white. The contour feathers of the underparts have gray bases that occasionally show, especially on the breast and flanks. The underwing coverts and inner margins of flight feathers are whitish.


Ramphocaenus melanurus albiventris

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus albiventris Sclater, 1883, Ibis, 5th ser., vol. 1, p. 95. Surinam. Haverschmidt and Mees (118) suggested a more precise type locality of somewhere near Albina.


Subspecies albiventris ranges from Venezuela in eastern Bolívar, near Cerro Auyantepui, Lema, and the Sierras de Imataca (119.), eastward to Guyana (120, 121, 122, 123, 124) Suriname (37, 125, 126, 127) and French Guiana (128, 129, 130, 131, 132), south to northern Brazil in northern Pará, Amapá (133, 134), and eastern Amazonas (135, 136).


Subspecies albiventris is similar to trinitatis, but differs from both trinitatis and nominate melanurus in having the whole undersurface pure white, with the innermost portions of the flanks pale gray. The sides of the head are whitish with a pale buff wash to the posterior portions of the ear coverts and an ochraceous buff tinge to the sides of the neck (21). Chubb (137) provides a more detailed description: “Head, back, wings, and tail rufous-brown, inner webs of primary and secondary quills darker brown; tail black fringed with russet-brown which increases in extent on the two outermost feathers on each side ; there is a slight indication of a superciliary streak from the lores over and behind the eye ; cheeks, throat, breast, and sides of the body silvery-grey, the middle of the abdomen inclining to silky-white like the under wing-coverts.”


Ramphocaenus melanurus duidae

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus melanurus duidae Zimmer, 1937, American Museum Novitates, no. 917, p. 15. Esmeralda, [near] Mt. Duida, Venezuela. The holotype is an adult male (AMNH 275047) collected 7 October 1928 by the ubiquitous and indefatigable Olalla brothers.


Precise distributional limits not well defined. At present, subspecies duidae is considered to occur in southwestern Venezuela, from the vicinity of Mt. Duida [type locality], northeastward along the upper Orinoco, and in the Caura Valley (14, 138, 100). Also, southward the upper Rio Branco watershed in Roraima (139, 140), to Cerro de la Neblina (141), and to the upper Rio Negro watershed in Amazonas, Brazil (142, 143). Eastward through southeastern Colombia (144) to the base of the Eastern Andes in northeastern Ecuador (145, 146, 147, 148, 149). The extent of its range southward, from the headwaters of the Río Napo, is unclear. Records south of the Rio Napo from the central portion of Ecuador’s Amazonian region (150), here assigned somewhat arbitrarily to badius, may actually represent duidae.


The present subspecies is most similar to trinitatis, but has darker upperparts. The top of the head is less strongly contrasted with the back, the flanks are deeper ochraceous, and the white central portion of the underparts is more distinctive when contrasting with the darker flanks.

Zimmer’s (14) description of the holotype is as follows: “Top of head dark Snuff Brown × Saccardo's Umber; hind neck a little brighter; sides of neck much brighter, clear Tawny × Cinnamon, including posterior part of auriculars; base of auriculars paler; a postocular stripe the color of the top of the head, from which it is separated by a narrow superciliary stripe the color of the sides of the neck; lores paler and more buffy; mantle Saccardo's Umber × Olive-Brown; rump darker and duller. Chin and throat clear white; breast light Cinnamon-Buff, deepening into Clay Color on the sides of the neck; flanks Clay Color, rather sharply defined from the center of the belly which is white; under tail-coverts buffy. Remiges sooty, with exposed outer margins warm brown; upper wing-coverts similar; under wing-coverts whitish, tinged with buff on under primary-coverts; inner margins of remiges narrowly whitish. Tail black with inconspicuously paler tips on the submedian to the subexternal rectrices; outermost feathers with terminal fourth and outer margins pale, especially near the middle of the outer margin, and with two poorly defined dark cross-bars near the tip.”


Ramphocaenus melanurus badius

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus melanurus badius Zimmer, 1937, American Museum Novitates, no. 917, p. 11. Mouth of of the Río Cinipi [Cenepa], Peru. The holotype is an adult male (AMNH 407242) collected 17 September 1929, by José Schunke (14).


The range of badius is incompletely known, with few specimen records. Zimmer (14) gave its range as northern Peru, north of the Río Marañon, eastward where its ranges apparently crosses to the south side somewhere near the mouth of the Río Huallaga. He further included the lower Ecuadorian portion of the Río Napo, but it is unclear how far into Ecuador it ranges, and if or where its range meets with that of duidae near the headwaters of the Río Napo (see further discussion under Distribution for duidae). Records of this species in extreme southern Ecuador represent badius (151, 4).


Subspecies badius is most similar to amazonum (south of the Amazon River), which also has duller flanks, but those of badius average duller and grayer. The central portions of the under parts of badius are also less purely white and its upper parts are a brighter, warmer brown. The auriculars are darker, more ochraceous or brownish, less whitish than in amazonum (14).

Zimmer’s (14) original description of the holotype is as follows: “Top of head light Argus Brown with a tinge of Auburn; back near Cinnamon Brown. Lores pale brownish buff; a very inconspicuous dull whitish superciliary line, hair-like and even less conspicuous over the eye than over the auriculars; postocular stripe like the top of the head; auriculars light brownish; chin, throat, and belly whitish; breast faintly buffy, deeper on the sides; flanks dull brownish gray. Remiges with exposed outer margins much like the back, somewhat paler on the primaries; upper wing-coverts similarly margined with warm brown; inner margins of remiges narrowly whitish; under wing-coverts dull whitish except the under primary-coverts which have a brownish tinge. Tail largely blackish; outermost pair of rectrices with terminal third of inner web and most of outer web somewhat paler and grayer, but not prominently so; subexternal pair with pale tips all but obsolete.”


Ramphocaenus melanurus amazonum

Systematics History

Rhamphocaenus [sic] melanurus amazonum Hellmayr 1907 (10 : page 66); type locality Teffé, Rio Solimoes, Brazil.


As its Latin name suggests, amazonum is found widely across the Amazon Basin, south of the Amazon River, from the eastern bank of upper Río Ucayali in eastern Peru, to north-central Brazil in western Pará, west of the Rio Tocantins (14). May occur in Acre in western Brazil, although at some records from there (152, 153, 154, 155) may refer to Chattering Gnatwren (Ramphocaenus sticturus); also in southern Amazonian Brazil in southern Amazonas (23, 156), and north-central Mato Grosso, at least as far south as the Alta Floresta and Serra do Cachimbo areas (157, 158, 159, 160, 161), and in northwestern Bolivia in Pando and La Paz (162).


Subspecies amazonum is similar to albiventris, sharing with it the cheeks and ear-coverts pale brownish streaked with whitish. It is larger than albiventris and much darker brown on the upperparts, completely lacking rufous on the nape and sides of the neck, leaving the top of the head a dull sepia brown like the back. The sides of the neck are much paler than in albiventris, approaching creamy buff (10, 21).


Ramphocaenus melanurus austerus

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus melanurus austerus Zimmer, 1937, Amererican Museum Novitates, no. 917, p. 12. Pedral, Baiao, Rio Tocantins (right bank), Pará, Brazil. Holotype is an adult male (AMNH 431327) collected 11 December 1931, by A. M. Olalla (14). The range of this species was known to include southeastern Pará well before the formal recognition of austerus, and birds from this region were commonly referred either to amazonum or nominate melanurus (see Nomenclature).


Subspecies austerus is found in northeastern Brazil, south of the Amazon and east of the Rio Tocantins (14) in eastern Pará (163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169) and northern Maranhão (170, 171, 172).


Closely resembling nominate melanurus, subspecies austerus is similar to that form in having bright ochraceous lateral under parts, but the upperparts are much duller, grayish instead of tawny. Similarly, the present subspecies differs from amazonum in being much grayer above. In addition, the bright flanks of austerus separate it from the duller amazonum (14).

Zimmer’s (14) description: “Top of head hardly brighter than Buffy Brown; hind neck slightly brighter, passing into Light Brownish Olive on the back, somewhat darker on the rump. Lores and an inconspicuous superciliary line whitish; a wider postocular stripe the color of the crown; auriculars dull whitish basally, passing into Tawny-Olive × Sayal Brown posteriorly and on the sides of the neck; chin, throat, and median line of belly white; middle of breast whitish, faintly buffy; sides of breast like sides of neck; flanks Pinkish Buff × Cinnamon-Buff; under wing-coverts white; inner margins of remiges narrowly whitish; exposed outer margins of secondaries much like the back; those of primaries paler, near smoke gray; upper wing-coverts grayish brown, margined with the color of the back. Tail largely blackish, somewhat grayish on bases of lateral margins; outermost rectrices with terminal third of inner webs grayish and most of outer webs the same, becoming whitish in a very narrow marginal hair-line about the middle of the feather; tips of next two pairs narrowly pale, narrower on the antepenultimate feathers.”


Ramphocaenus melanurus melanurus

Systematics History

Ramphocaenus melanurus Vieillot, 1819, Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, Nouvelle Édition, vol. 29, p. 6, Brazil [= vicinity of Rio de Janeiro].


The nominate form is found along the coast in southeastern Brazil, southward from Paraíba, in Pernambuco (25, 173, 174, 175), Alagoas (176, 177), Espírito Santo (178, 157, 179), Rio de Janeiro (180, 181, 182), to eastern Minas Gerais (183), São Paulo (184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189), Paraná (190),and Santa Catarina (191).


In the nominate subspecies, the top of the head and mantle are bright russet brown, the with the back scarcely, if any, paler than the crown. The cheeks and ear-coverts are rufescent-buff, while the sides of the neck are a much deeper ochraceous buff. The sides of the breast and belly are also deep ochraceous buff (21).

Related Species

In the undergrowth of the lowland forests of Central America and northwestern South America lurks a very small bird with a bill of such extraordinary length, for a passerine species, that ornithologists have been perplexed as to its classification.” —Alexander F. Skutch 1960 (7)

Indeed, for many years Ramphocaenus melanurus was bounced around the avian phylogeny by puzzled taxonomists. Originally considered to be true wren (Troglodytidae), Ramphocaenus was moved to Thamnophilidae (then known as Formicariidae) based on external morphology (192, 92). With the universal acceptance of Müller’s (193) division of the passerine families on musculature of the syrinx, the inclusion of Ramphocaenus within the Thamnophilidae was, for almost a century (5, 40), not investigated further. The discovery that Ramphocaenus has feathers with long aftershaft and an oscine syrnx (194) finally led to further investigation, however, and eventually to its removal to the oscine passerines (195), where its wanderings across the taxonomy continued, as a member of the Old World Warblers (Sylviidae) in a New World group along with Polioptila and Microbates (196, 197, 198). This new arrangement was followed for at least a few years (108), despite the fact that external morphology (199) and nest architecture (200) suggested that Microbates and Ramphocaenus were more similar to Old World Macrosphenus than they were to New World Polioptila. Not until the advent of DNA-DNA hybridization techniques were Ramphocaenus, Microbates, and Polioptila finally moved to their current (nearly their original position!) place in the family Polioptilidae, sister to the New World Wrens (Troglodytitdae) (201, 202). Further phylogenetic studies using molecular data have recovered Ramphocaenus as sister to the clade containing Microbates collaris Collared Gnatwren and Microbates ciinereiventris Tawny-faced Gnatwren, with these two genera forming a clade sister to all species of Polioptila gnatcatchers (49).


Ramphocaenus melanurus rufiventris (Bonaparte, 1838)

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Slud (203, 204), Orians (205), Willis (206), Burton (15), Stiles (207), Wiedenfeld et al. (88), Karr et al. (27)[in part], Parker (208), Berg (86), Palomera-García et al. (209), Howell and Webb (11), Miller (210), Estrada et al. (211), Miller and Miller (212), Pople et al. (213), Vallely and Whitman (214), Whitman et al. (215), Komar (68, 216), Young et al. (217), Blake and Loiselle (218, 219), England (220), Robinson et al. (221), Wood (222), Daily et al. (223), Puebla-Olivares et al. (224), Walker (89), Peterson et al. (225), Anderson et al. (70), Lindell et al. (226), Sánchez et al. (227), Piaskowski et al. (228), Dickerman (229), Garcés (230), Wiersma et al. (231), Angehr et al. (232), Bonham et al. (67), Cerezo et al. (233), Obando-Calderón et al. (75), Angehr and Dean (82), Pearson et al. (234), Ramírez-Albores (235, 236), Redondo-Brenes (237), González-Valdivia et al. (238), Patten et al. (239), Wilsey and Temple (240), Alvarado-Quesada and Bolaños-Redondo (76), González-Valdivia et al. (241), Chavarría-Duriaux and Vallely (242), Dal Zotto et al. (243), Chavarría-Duriaux et al. (244).

Ramphocaenus melanurus panamensis – Atwood and Lerman (44), Boesman (48)

Ramphocaenus rufiventer Karr (245)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris – Sclater (93, 246), Sclater and Salvin (247), Tristram (248), Richmond (72), Griscom (65), Skutch (249), Eisenmann (250), Willis (251), Hartman (252), del Toro (59), Karr (253, 254), Karr et al. (28, 27), Winchell (255), Willis and Eisenmann (256), Nocedal (60) Greenberg and Gradwohl (257), Sada et al. (258), Bider (63), Kricher and Davis (64), Ferro et al. (259)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris rufiventris – Ridgway (5), Chapman (39, 41), Stone (77, 78), Cory and Hellmayr (40), Hallinan (260), Bangs and Peters (53), Peters (261), Naumburg (262), Griscom (80), Aldrich and Bole (81), Van Tyne and Trautman (18), Blake (263), Goldman (264), Rand and Traylor (199), del Toro (57), Edwards and Tashain (54), Land (66), del Toro (58) Russel (62)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris sanctae-marthae – Peters (79), Aldrich and Bole (81)

Rhamphocaenus rufiventris – Sclater (92, 265, 266)[in part], Nutting and Ridgway (71), Ridgway (69), Salvin and Godman (267), Hartert (85), Nehrkorn (268, 269), Salvadori and Festa (270), Bangs (74), Carriker (271), Sousa and Herman (272)

Rhamphocaenus rufiventris rufiventrisChapman (19), Austin (61), Berlioz (56), Beltrán and Pardiñas (273)

Scolopacinus rufiventris – Bonaparte (274)[desc.]

Vernacular names

ENGLISH: Long-billed Antcatcher – Stone (78), Northern Long-billed Ant Wren – Cory and Hellmayr (275), Northern Long-billed Ant-Wren – Stone (77), Hallinan (260), Meyer de Schauensee (83); Santa Marta Long-billed Ant-Wren – Aldrich and Bole (81). SPANISH: Cazajejen Picudo – Chavarría-Duriaux et al. (244); Cazajején Piquilargo – Wetmore et al. (16); Salton Picudo – del Toro (58, 59); Soterillo picudo – Stiles and Skutch (6), Howell and Webb (11), Alvarado-Quesada and Bolaños-Redondo (76), Patten et al. (239); Soterillo piquilargo – Garcés (230).

Ramphocaenus melanurus ardeleo Van Tyne and Trautman, 1941

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Celis-Murillo et al. (276)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris – Klaas (277)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris ardeleo – Van Tyne and Trautman (18)[desc.], Paynter (29), Russell (26)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris rufiventris – Van Tyne (91)

Ramphocaenus melanurus sanctaemarthae Sclater, 1861

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Strewe and Navarro (98)

Ramphocaenus melanurus sanctamartae – Strewe and Navarro (99)

Ramphocaenus melanurus sanctae-marthae – Zimmer (24, 24), Phelps and Phelps (100), Ginés et al. (101)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris – Sclater and Salvin (247)[in part]

Rhamphocaenus rufiventris – Sclater (92, 265, 266)[in part]

Ramphocaenus rufiventris sanctae-marthae – Todd and Carriker (96), Cory and Hellmayr (275), Darlington (97), Van Tyne and Trautman (18)

Ramphocaenus sanctae-martae – Brabourne and Chubb (278)

Ramphocaenus sanctae marthae – Sclater (93)[descr.]

Ramphocaenus sanctae-marthae – Sclater (246)

Rhamphocaenus rufiventris sanctae-marthae – Bangs (94), Chapman (19)

Vernacular names

ENGLISH: Santa Marta Ant-Wren – Brabourne and Chubb (278); Santa Marta Long-billed Ant Wren – Cory and Hellmayr (275). SPANISH: Chirito Picón de Santa Marta – Phelps and Phelps (100)

Ramphocaenus melanurus griseodorsalis Chapman, 1912

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Donegan and Salaman (279), Castaño-Villa and Patiño-Zabala (280, 281), Salaman and Donegan (282), Verhelst et al. (283), Ocampo-T. (284), Donegan and Huertas (285), Quevedo et al. (286), Donegan et al. (287), Arbeláez-Cortés et al. (102)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris – Sclater and Salvin (288)

Ramphocaenus rufiventris griseodorsalis – Chapman (39), Van Tyne and Trautman (18)

Rhamphocaenus rufiventris – Sclater (266)[in part]

Rhamphocaenus rufiventris griseodorsalis – Chapman (19)

Ramphocaenus melanurus pallidus Todd, 1913

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Sclater and Salvin (289), Thomas (290), Verea and Solórzano (110)

Ramphocenus melanurus – Avendaño-C. (112)

Ramphocaenus melanurus trinitatus – Hellmayr (21), Hellmayr and von Seilern (12), Verea et al. (33)

Rhamphocaenus albiventris – Sclater (265, 266)[in part]

Rhamphocaenus melanurus trinitatus – Hellmayr (10)

Vernacular names

ENGLISH: Pale Long-billed Ant-Wren – Meyer de Schauensee (83); Pallid Straight-billed Ant Wren – Cory and Hellmayr (275). SPANISH: Chirito Picón del Yaracuy – Phelps and Phelps (100)

Ramphocaenus melanurus trinitatis Lesson, 1839

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Hayes and Samad (291), Cadena et al. (117)

Ramphocaenus trinitatis – Lesson (113)[desc.], Brabourne and Chubb (278)

Vernacular names

ENGLISH: Long-billed Antwren – (115); Long-billed Gnatcatcher – (115); Northern Straight-billed Antwren – Cory and Hellmayr (275)[in part]; Straight-billed Gnatwren – (115); Trinidad Ant-Wren – Brabourne and Chubb (278)

Ramphocaenus melanurus albiventris Sclater, 1883

Ramphocaenus albiventris – Brabourne and Chubb (278278)

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Sclater and Salvin (247)[in part], Davis (292), Thiollay (128, 129, 130, 131), Bierregaard and Lovejoy (135), Stotz and Bierregaard (293), Karr et al. (27)[in part], Tostain et al. (294), Parker et al. (120), Stouffer and Bierregaard (295), Mason (296), Cohn-Haft et al. (297), Reynaud (132), Thiollay and Jullien (298), Braun et al. (299, 300), Borges et al. (301), Robbins et al. (121, 122), Naka et al. (140), Barlow et al. (133), Johnson (302), Hohnwald (134), Aleixo et al. (303), Zyskowski et al. (127), Laranjeiras et al. (139), Samuels et al. (304), Milensky et al. (123, 124)

Rhamphocaenus albiventrisSclater (265, 266)[in part], Taczanowski (305)[in part], Salvin (306), Snethlage (307), Chubb (137), Beebe et al. (308)

Rhamphocaenus melanurus albiventris – Hellmayr (10)

Vernacular names

ENGLISH: White-bellied Straight-billed Ant Wren – Cory and Hellmayr (275); White-bellied Ant-Wren – Brabourne and Chubb (278), Chubb (137).

Ramphocaenus melanurus duidae Zimmer, 1937

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Willard et al. (141), Canaday (145), Greeney (146), Borges and Carvalhães (309), Borges et al. (310, 311), Santos and Silva (312), Borges and Almeida (313), de Vries et al. (147), Piedrahita et al. (148), Blake and Loiselle (149), Stiles and Beckers (144)

Ramphocaenus melanurus trinitatis – Zimmer (14)[in part]

Ramphocaenus melanurus amazonum Hellmayr, 1907

Ramphocaenus amazonum – Brabourne and Chubb (278)

Ramphocaenus melanurus – O’Neill and Pearson (314), Graves and Zusi (315), Peres and Whittaker (316), Oren and Parker (317), Henriques et al. (318, 319), Pacheco and Olmos (320), Wunderle et al. (321, 322), Fávaro and Flores (323), Guilherme and Santos (154), Aleixo and Guilherme (324), Schulenberg et al. (90)[in part], Dantas at al. (325), Guilherme and Dantas (155), Somenzari et al. (326), Guilherme (152), Lees et al. (327)

Ramphocaenus melanurus amazonus – Pinto and Camargo (158)

Ramphocenus melanurus amazonum – Novaes (328)

Ramphocaenus melanurus austerus Zimmer, 1937

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Oren (170), Almeida et al. (171)

Ramphocaenus melanurus melanurus – Stone (165), Hellmayr (329)[in part]

Vernacular names

PORTUGUESE: balança-rabo-de-bico-longo – Oren (170); chirito – Alteff et al. (172)

Ramphocaenus melanurus melanurus Vieillot, 1819

Ramphocaenus melanurus – Vieillot (330)[desc.], Burmeister (192), Sclater (246), Sclater and Salvin (247)[in part], Ménégaux and Hellmayr (331), Brabourne and Chubb (278)[in part], do Rosário (191), Aleixo and Galetti (185), Pacheco et al. (332), Parker and Goerck (333), Goerck (186), Parrini et al. (334), Buzzetti (180), Marsden et al. (335), Ribon and Maldonado-Coelho (336), Urben-Filho and Abe (337), Vasconcelos (338), Silva et al. (339), Silveira et al. (340), Straube (341), Develey (342, 343), Luiz et al. (344), Lyra-Neves et al. (345), Roda and Carlos (173), Straube and Urben-Filho (346), Sigrist (347), Brandt et al. (348), Cavarzere et al. (187), Jenkins et al. (181), Mallet-Rodrigues et al. (349), Pereira et al. (174, 175), Pimentel and Olmos (182), Scherer-Neto et al. (190), Silveira and Uezu (350), Sebaio et al. (183), Antunes et al. (351), Lobo-Araújo et al. (177), Faria et al. (179), Avilla et al. (188), Guix et al. (189)

Ramphocoenus melanurus – Allen (352)

Rhamphocaenus melanurus – Sclater (92, 265, 266)[in part], von Pelzeln (353)[in part], von Ihering (354, 184), Nehrkorn (355, 269)

Rhamphocoenus melanurus – Salvin (356)

Troglodytes rectirostris – Bonaparte (274)[syn.]

Thryothorus gladiator – zu Wied (357)

Vernacular names

ENGLISH: Straight-billed Ant-Wren – Brabourne and Chubb (278)[in part]. FRENCH: Ramphocene a queue noire – Vieillot (330). GERMAN: Schlüpfer mit der Degenklinge – zu Wied (357). PORTUGUESE: Balança-rabo-de-bico-longo – Pacheco et al. (332), Sigrist (347); bico-assovelado – Silveira and Uezu (350); Chirito – Avilla et al. (188); chirito-bicudo – Straube and Urben-Filho (346)

Fossil History

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F., J. L. Atwood, S. Lerman, and A. J. Spencer (2020). Long-billed Gnatwren (Ramphocaenus melanurus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, B. K. Keeney, and S. M. Billerman, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.lobgna5.02