not so long ago, in and around Sangay NP in Ecuador, we used to have two species of Archonias, each one with two subspecies; there were:
- Archonias tereas with subspecies rubrosparsa and critias,
- and Archonias negrina with subspecies negrina and cutila.
nevertheless today we have only one species, Archonias brassolis, with four subspecies.
but it should be noted that:
- there are many instances of sympatry between former A. tereas and former A. negrina,
- former A. tereas subspecies don't show any sexual dimorphism, when former A. negrina subspecies males and females are completely different,
- former A. tereas subspecies have the typical behaviour of guarding forest paths, sitting on a perch about one meter from the ground and checking every passer by, while we never saw former A. negrina subspecies behave like that.
here are phenotypes collected from Mexico to Peru
Vera Cruz/Oaxaca limit, Mexico
Cartago, Costa Rica
Panama/Costa Rica border
Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Lita area, Ecuador
Santo Domingo de los Colorados area, Ecuador
Napo, Ecuador - 500 m
this last female has to be a hybrid between former brassolis and former tereas; we spent years on the field in and around the Andes,
we've seen thousands of Archonias, but this is the one and only hybrid we ever saw.
Sangay NP North East, Ecuador - 1000/1500 m
obviously there are two "subspecies" flying together from, at least, Tena to Puyo - which is seventy kilometers -
and they do not cross-breed?
Sangay NP, Macas, Ecuador - 1100 m
Sangay NP, Sucùa, Ecuador - 1000 m
Sangay NP, Mendez, Ecuador - 700 m
the distribution of the various phenotypes apparently does not make sense;
we need to look for more specimens between Puyo and Mendez
Morona Santiago limit with Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador
Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador
San Martin, Peru
Villa Tunari, Bolivia
Santa Catarina, Brasil
Sao Paulo, Brasil
Pitangui, Belo Horizonte, Brasil