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Taxonomy and biogeography of Myrmoderus ruficauda (Aves, Passeriformes, Thamnophilidae) based on morphological, vocal and molecular characters

Grant number: 20/07690-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 12, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Luís Fábio Silveira
Grantee:Cauã Augusto Martinelli
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/23548-2 - Evaluation, recovering and conservation of endangered animal species from the Pernambuco Centre of Endemism, AP.BTA.TEM


Myrmoderus ruficauda is a passerine belonging to the family Thamnophilidae, and endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. This taxon is considered endangered by IUCN due to the historic devastation of its habitat. Currently, two subspecies are recognized, M. ruficauda ruficauda and M. ruficauda soror, whose populations are disjoint. The first taxon occurs in lowland forests in the eastern region of Brazil, in the southeast of the state of Bahia, east of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. In contrast, M. r. soror, which is larger and paler, occurs in the northeastern region of the country, with coastal distribution in the states of Alagoas, Pernambuco, and Paraíba, in the Pernambuco Endemism Center. Due to the lack of clarity in distinguishing these taxa, this study seeks to review the taxonomy of the species based on morphological, vocal, and molecular characters. The correct definition of taxa can help to understand the natural history of the species, in addition to contributing to elucidate the biogeography and conservation of one of the most endangered taxa in the Atlantic Forest.

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