SPECIES

White-crowned Manakin Dixiphia pipra

Guy M. Kirwan, David Snow, and Andrew J. Spencer
Version: 2.0 — Published April 2, 2020

Systematics

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Systematics History

Vocal differences exist in varying degrees among taxa, and a study (20) sampling populations of ten subspecies found at least seven groups differentiated by the vocalizations given during lekking displays, suggesting that they could be different species. Del Hoyo and Collar (21) suggested that the most distinct groups seem to be nominate pipra, whose song has by far the highest maximum and minimum frequencies, and the longest drawn-out buzzy note; and coracina, whose song has the lowest maximum and minimum frequencies, and lowest frequency range (22). Both pipra and coracina have moderately distinctive females, and genetically are relatively distant from each other (23); coracina, moreover, is nearly parapatric with lowland populations, from which it also differs in display behavior (24, 25). Most recently, in the most detailed phylogeographic study of the species attempted to date, Berv et al. (26) recovered five ancient clades encompassing 17 well-differentiated populations separated by physical barriers to gene flow previously associated with avian areas of endemism, and generally coinciding with the boundaries of recognized subspecies; they proposed that as many as 15–17 species might be recognized under some concepts.

Graves (27) identified a male specimen held at the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito (MECN 2748), as a D. pipra × Wire-tailed Manakin (Pipra filicauda). The bird was collected at a locality in Pastaza province, eastern Ecuador, and had a golden-yellow crown and nape, yellow-and-black mottled underparts, dark face patch, glossy black mantle, wings and tail, and shallowly forked tail (11 mm). The bird has broadly rounded central rectrices with tapered outer ones, but no rachi extensions (27, 1).

Geographic Variation

Variation is unusual in manakins in being also detectable in the females of at least some forms. However, it is primarily expressed in the extent of the white on the crown and nape in males, with the extent of the gray on the head in females being another important feature. As a general rule, the white crown more frequently extends onto the nape in the Andean populations as opposed to Amazonian populations (1). The gloss to the black of the male’s plumage also varies to some extent geographically, but is also reported to become ‘richer’ with age (28). Wetmore (5) considered that much of the recognized morphological variation could be regarded as ‘minor’, which seems true of many of the endemic Peruvian forms (several of which Kirwan and Green 1 felt might comfortably fall into synonymy), but recent authors have pointed to the potential to recognize some forms at species level, for example Central American anthracina and East Andean coracina (29, 24, 13, 26).

Subspecies

The following is based heavily on Kirwan and Green (1).


EBIRD GROUP (MONOTYPIC)

White-crowned Manakin (Zeledon's) Dixiphia pipra anthracina

Systematics History

D. p. anthracina (Ridgway, 1906).

Distribution

Central and eastern Costa Rica (in the Cordilleras Central and Talamanca) (Stiles and Skutch 1989) and western Panama through eastern Chiriquí (in the Cordillera de Tolé) and Veraguas on the Pacific slope, and in northern Veraguas and Coclé on the Caribbean slope (west of the Canal Zone).

Identification

Has black bases to the crown and nape feathers, but not those of the forehead, and has velvety black upperparts. Measurements: wing of male (n = 11) 57.0–63.5 mm, wing of female (n = 5) 58–61 mm; tail of male (n = 11) 25–32 mm, tail of female (n = 5) 25.5–28.5 mm; bill of male (n = 11) 9.45–11.15 mm, bill of female (n = 5) 9.3–11.9 mm; tarsus of male (n = 10) 13.60–15.28 mm, tarsus of female (n = 5) 14.9–16.3 mm (30, 1).


EBIRD GROUP (POLYTYPIC)

White-crowned Manakin (White-crowned) Dixiphia pipra [pipra Group]


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra bolivari

Systematics History

D. p. bolivari (Meyer de Schauensee, 1950).

Distribution

Northwestern Colombia (Córdoba east to southern Bolívar).

Identification

This race basically recalls D. p. anthracina but for the slightly blue-glossed black upperparts. It has blackish bases to the white feathers of the crown, affording it a striated appearance (31 ). Measurements: wing of male (n = 3) 59–66 mm, wing of female (n = 4) 64–65 mm (1).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra coracina

Systematics History

D. p. coracina (P. L. Sclater, 1856).

Distribution

Northwestern Venezuela (in the Sierra de Perijá, and southeastern Lara south to southeastern Táchira) south, on the eastern slope of the East Andes, to eastern Ecuador and north-central Peru (north of Río Marañón).

Identification

Compared to other western races, the white crown extends further back on the nape (with gray or black bases) in males, whilst females, versus nominate D. p. pipra, have an entirely blue-gray head, brighter olive-green upperparts, and are pale olive with a slight yellowish tinge below. Hellmayr (32) also considered that D. p. coracina is larger than D. p. pipra, while Zimmer (4) reported that the upperparts of males are more velvet-black than other Peruvian populations, and females are yellower on the belly than other taxa.


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra minima

Systematics History

D. p. minima (Chapman, 1917).

Distribution

Southwestern Colombia on the western side of the West Andes (in Valle and Cauca).

Identification

Diagnosed on the basis of its smaller size and slightly more velvety black body feathers than D. p. bolivari. The undertail coverts reportedly lack any gray tips. On the other hand, Restall et al. (31) regarded it as being ‘like unica but with shorter nape-feathers’. Chapman (33) had originally called this new subspecies minor but had overlooked the unavailability of that name due to the issue of homonymy with Pipra mentalis minor. Measurements: wing of male (n = 2) 54–55 mm; tail of male (n = 2) 24–25 mm (32).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra unica

Systematics History

D. p. unica (Meyer de Schauensee, 1945).

Distribution

Subtropical zone of north-central and southern Colombia (Magdalena Valley south to Huila).

Identification

Differentiated by its longer white crest and entirely white bases to these feathers. Supposed differences in bare-parts coloration, seemingly postulated by Restall et al. (31), are none (1).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra pipra

Systematics History

D. p. pipra (Linnaeus, 1758).

Distribution

Southern and eastern Venezuela, the Guianas, and lowlands of eastern Colombia (from Guainía south to northern Vaupés and northern Amazonas, at least) and Brazil mainly north of the Amazon (east to Amapá, crossing to south bank at Tefé).

Identification

Described under Plumages.


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra discolor

Systematics History

D. p. discolor (J. T. Zimmer, 1936).

Distribution

Northeastern Peru; perhaps adjacent eastern Ecuador (4).

Identification

Differs in being somewhat bluer on the body feathers and upperparts than D. p. microlopha, with gray bases to the crown and nape feathers. Zimmer (4) considered this race to be nearest to D. p. pipra, but Kirwan and Green (1) also found it difficult to differentiate from D. p microlopha, although its describer regarded the new taxon as ‘glossier’ with the ‘crest usually broader at the posterior end’. Compared to D. p. occulta, Zimmer (4) described discolor as less violaceous and shorter-crested, and against comata ‘much glossier … and crest shorter with darker bases’. The real question, however, seems to be whether it merits distinction from D. p. microlopha: Zimmer (4) himself admitted that some discolor have the crest shape identical to microlopha. Measurements: wing of male (n = 1) 67 mm; tail of male (n = 1) 24 mm; bill of male (n = 1) 11 mm; tarsus of male (n = 1) 14 mm (4).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra occulta

Systematics History

D. p. occulta (J. T. Zimmer, 1936).

Distribution

North-central Peru on the east side of the central Andes (San Martín to Huánuco); recorded in extreme southeastern Ecuador (34, 35).

Identification

Resembles D. p. comata but has a less extensive white crown patch and these feathers have sooty-gray (rather than white) bases, as well as a shorter tail and wings, and females are almost whitish below, except the yellowish breast and flanks. Compared to D. p. microlopha, Zimmer (4) considered male occulta to have a longer crest and weaker bill, and females to be more yellowish green above.


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra pygmaea

Systematics History

D. p. pygmaea (J. T. Zimmer, 1936).

Distribution

Lower Río Huallaga, in north-central Peru.

Identification

Resembles D. p. occulta and D. p. comata, but is smaller with gray bases to the nape feathers (becoming white or slightly ashy on the crown), and the female is reportedly much paler (being more whitish on the throat and belly, and paler green on the back and breast). Females are, however, very similar to those of D. p. microlopha, except apparently in size and their marginally paler plumage on average (4). Measurements: wing of male (n = 7) 58.0–61.5 mm, wing of female (n = 8) 59.0–61.5 mm; tail of male (n = 7) 24–25 mm, tail of female (n = 8) 23.5–27.0 mm (4).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra microlopha

Systematics History

D. p. microlopha (J. T. Zimmer, 1929).

Distribution

Eastern Peru (south of Río Marañón) and western Brazil (south of Río Amazon east to, at least, Rio Madeira).

Identification

Compared to other races found in eastern Peru, this subspecies has shorter nape feathers and a slightly larger bill. The female is sometimes considered duller olive-green or grayish green, with a pale gray nape washed green or olive, with sometimes very little contrast between the crown and the rest of the upperparts (32, 36). However, Zimmer (4) found no features to clearly delineate female D. p. microlopha from adjacent forms, and also noticed the existence of ‘troublesome’ specimens from the upper and lower Ucayali, i.e. inside the range ascribed to D. p. microlopha, which are difficult to assign to subspecies. Measurements: wing of male (n = 3) 64–67 mm, wing of female (n = 4) 63–65 mm; tail of male (n = 3) 29–30 mm, tail of female (n = 4) 28–32 mm; bill of male (n = 3) 9.5 mm, bill of female (n = 4) 9.50–12.04 mm; tarsus of male (n = 3) 12.5 mm, tarsus of female (n = 3) 12–13 mm (37, 1).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra comata

Systematics History

D. p. comata (Berlepsch and Stolzmann, 1894).

Distribution

East-central Peru (southern Pasco south to northern Cuzco).

Identification

Compared to D. p. coracina (or D. p. pipra), this subspecies is longer tailed, and the white on the head of males is the most extensive of any race (with white, not gray or darker, bases to these feathers). Zimmer (4: 8) noted that a male, taken at the mouth of the Río Urubamba, appears intermediate between comata and D. p. microlopha. A female from the same locality, and therefore perhaps not referable to pure comata, was considered by Zimmer to have a whiter throat and belly and less distinctly greenish breast than average microlopha females. Measurements: wing of male (n = 5) 62–69 mm, wing of female (n = 3) 64.0–68.5 mm; tail of male (n = 5) 29–34 mm, tail of female (n = 3) 29.5–32.0 mm; bill of male (n = 5) 10.20–11.51 mm, bill of female (n = 3) 11.6–11.8 mm; tarsus of male (n = 5) 11.25–14.98 mm, tarsus of female (n = 3) 14.33–14.51 mm (1).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra separabilis

Systematics History

D. p. separabilis (J. T. Zimmer, 1936).

Distribution

South side of the lower Amazon from the Rio Tapajós, in southern Pará, east to northern Maranhão.

Identification

Compared to adjacent subspecies, this race is glossed violaceous above but is rather dull and brownish below, with narrow dusky bases to the crown feathers (forehead entirely white). Immature males are apparently unusually distinctive, having the top of the head entirely pale neutral gray, though Zimmer (4) did admit that some young males can have the forehead and part of the crown whitish. Further work is therefore needed to definitely prove the distinctive features of separabilis. Measurements: wing of male (n = 9) 61.5–67.0 mm, wing of female (n = 4) 61.0–65.5 mm; tail of male (n = 9) 27–34 mm, tail of female (n = 4) 26–32 mm; bill of male (n = 8) 10.86–11.72 mm, bill of female (n = 4) 11.42–12.91 mm; tarsus of male (n = 4) 13.51–14.33 mm, tarsus of female (n = 1) 13.48 mm (1). Additional morphometric data for this subspecies were presented by Gomes and Marceliano (19).


SUBSPECIES

Dixiphia pipra cephaleucos

Systematics History

D. p. cephaleucos (Thunberg, 1822).

Distribution

Coastal eastern Brazil (southern Bahia, e.g., around Ilhéus, south to northern Rio de Janeiro, as far as Nova Friburgo) (38, 39).

Identification

Adult males are identical to the previous subspecies, although Zimmer (4) speculated that those of the present subspecies might be duller on the belly, but immature males have a white (not a gray) crown, darker green upperparts, and darker underparts, especially the breast and flanks. Measurements: wing of male (n = 10) 62.5–67.0 mm, wing of female (n = 2) 62.5–64.0 mm; tail of male (n = 10) 26–28 mm, tail of female (n = 2) 26–32 mm; bill of male (n = 10) 11.56–12.79 mm, bill of female (n = 2) 11.30–12.56 mm; tarsus of male (n = 5) 14.23–14.86 mm, tarsus of female (n = 1) 13.87 mm (1).

Related Species

Although long considered to form part of the genus Pipra, authors such as Snow (40) and Prum (41, 42) regarded the White-crowned Manakin as lacking any obviously close relatives, and more recent molecular analyses have confirmed its distinctiveness, but have suggested a relationship with the genus Machaeropterus (43, 44, 45). The authors of one of these studies (44) suggested that, because the Golden-headed Manakin (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) is closer in the phylogeny to the present species than to members of the Crimson-hooded Manakin (Pipra aureola), the entire Ceratopipra erythrocephala group should be transferred to Dixiphia. However, based on morphological and behavioral differences, Ceratopipra and Dixiphia continue to be treated as separate genera (46). This view is also supported by Ohlson et al. (23); they continue to find White-crowned Manakin as closely related to Machaeropterus, but find that it is sister to Ceratopipra, which includes Red-capped (C. mentalis) and Golden-headed manakins (C. erythrocephala), although this relationship did not receive strong support. The clade of White-capped Manakin plus Ceratopipra is in turn sister to Machaeropterus (23).

Nomenclature

Although Prum (41, 42) resurrected the genus Dixiphia Reichenbach, 1850, for this species, following a long history in Pipra, Kirwan et al. (47) demonstrated that Dixiphia is in fact a junior synonym of Arundinicola d’Orbigny, 1840 (as had already been realized 150 years ago), and, in contending that no genus-group name is available for this manakin, provided a new genus name, Pseudopipra. A follow-up contribution provided additional grounding for their opinion that no other genus name is unambiguously available (48), although others have recommended that the name Pythis Boie, 1826, is applicable and available.

Fossil History

Nothing known.

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., D. Snow, and A. J. Spencer (2020). White-crowned Manakin (Dixiphia pipra), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.whcman2.02