Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Finally the Sao Paulo Marsh Antwren has a proper name!

There has been a great deal of waiting for a decision to be made about the taxonomic status of the marsh antwren that was found in São Paulo State many years ago. Not least as there was some confusion about who actually discovered the thing; but we will not get into that now.

The Paraná Marsh Antwren Formicivora acutirostris, from which the new species has been distinguished, was originally given its own genus Stymphalornis when it was first discovered, but back in the time when we were in Brazil this was given up and the bird was placed in the genus Formicivora along with the new form that had recently been found in São Paulo.

Male São Paulo Marsh Antwren Formicivora paludicola; Biritiba Mirim, São Paulo, Brazil.
This didn't help our new species much, it remained for the entire five years that we were showing it to visiting birders (with a few exceptions, two of whom are now good friends of ours, incredibly, sorry guys!), to be called Formicivora sp. nov. Of course we always referred to it as São Paulo Antwren and always harboured the hope that it'd be accepted as a full species.

Female São Paulo Marsh Antwren Formicivora paludicola; Biritiba Mirim, São Paulo, Brazil.
Well finally that day has come and the bird has been described as a species given the English name of São Paulo Marsh Antwren and the scientific name of Formicivora paludicola. The specific name means marsh dweller. So for those of you who have waited for this day, you now have an armchair tick. We on the other hand jumped the gun somewhat and have already included it on our lists!

Thanks to Tommy Pedersen from bringing this to our attention. Here's the link to the information: