New antwren species discovered in Brazil


Sincorá antwren

From BirdLife:

New species of antwren for Brazil

08-10-2007

“It would be sadly ironic if, as soon as it was discovered, Sincorá Antwren became threatened with extinction” —Dr Stuart Butchart, BirdLife International

A possible new species of antwren from Bahia, Brazil has recently been described in the journal Zootaxa.

Sincorá Antwren Formicivora grantsaui is found only in the campo rupestre vegetation of the Serra do Sincorá between 850 m and 1,100 m in the Chapada Diamantina region.

This is an important area that holds other restricted range species such as Grey-backed Tachuri Polystictus superciliaris and Pale-throated Pampa-finch Embernagra longicauda. First observed in 1997, it is closely related to Rusty-backed Antwren Formicivora rufa, with which it sometimes occurs sympatrically. It differs slightly in some plumage characters but more importantly it has quite distinctive vocalisations and each species utilises different habitats. Formicivora grantsaui occurs on rocky outcrops in the campo rupestre and F. rufa in the adjacent savannas.

If confirmed, this discovery highlights the importance of researchers using vocalisations and habitat preference in identifying distinct species.

In the jungles of Central and South America, a group of birds has evolved a unique way of finding food – by following hordes of army ants and letting them do all the work: here.

Rock wren: here.

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