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The sole member of the genus Neopelma that is currently considered globally threatened, the Wied’s Tyrant-Manakin is confined to lowland and foothill forests in a restricted area of eastern Brazil, between central Bahia and northern Rio de Janeiro states. Much remains to be learned concerning its ecology and life history, like most of its conspecifics. This species sometimes occurs alongside the Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin (Neopelma pallescens) but the latter is larger and paler below, with only a hint of yellow on its underparts. Compared to the even more similar Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin (Neopelma chrysolophum), Wied’s Tyrant-Manakin is best separated by voice, although the two species are generally altitudinally and geographically segregated. This tyrant-manakin prefers the tall understory of undisturbed primary forest or old, well-developed second growth.
13 cm. Dull, rather tyrannid-like manakin with relatively long bill and tail. Has rather small yellow to orange-yellow median crownstripe (absent or vestigial in a minority of individuals, with some yellow only on feather bases of central crown); rest of head and entire upperparts plain olive-green; dull greyish-white throat, greyish-olive upper breast, pale sulphur-yellow lower breast and belly; iris pale greyish-mauve; bill and legs greyish. Distinguished from similar N. chrysolophum by much shorter tail, appreciably longer wing and bill, less conspicuous yellow crownstripe. Sexes alike. Juvenile undescribed.
Patchily in coastal E Brazil from S Bahia S to E Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and (at least formerly) Rio de Janeiro.
Undisturbed or lightly disturbed forest, generally in interior parts, but sometimes foraging near edges. Sea-level to c. 1000 m.
Diet and Foraging
Primarily small fruits, also insects; one individual seen to take a stick-insect (Phasmida). Items plucked or snatched from foliage, mostly within c. 7 m of ground, in short-range flight sallies and hovers.
Sounds and Vocal Behavior
Male advertising call a simple 4-note phrase, repeated at regular intervals, shorter and simpler than that of N. chrysolophum.
Male sings from thin horizontal branch in shaded open area of understorey, generally 3·5–7 m above ground. Nest-site possibly beneath bank or under hanging roots. No other information.
VULNERABLE. Rare, and recorded from few sites; very few records since 1990. Recorded historically in Bahia at six sites (2), but not since 1990, in Chapada Diamantina National Park. Recent observations from only three of ten known localities in Espírito Santo (2), including Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve; uncommon in Sooretama Biological Reserve in 1981, but seen there only once since. Historical records from seven localities in Minas Gerais (2), but few recent records. Known from a single locality in Rio de Janeiro, with last record in 1995; considered Critically Endangered at state level (3). Formerly more widespread within its total E Brazilian range; population greatly reduced by extensive destruction of lowland Atlantic Forest. Projected to lose over 70% of current distribution due to climate change (4). Conservation priorities include establishment of effective protection of the small population found NE of Rio de Janeiro city; field surveys also required in order to determine whether the species survives at other sites within its range. Previously listed as Endangered. Considered Endangered at the national level in Brazil (5).