Rufous-bellied saltator

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Rufous-bellied saltator
Saltator rufiventris 1847.jpg
Scientific classification (disputed)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae or Cardinalidae
Genus: Saltator, but see text
Species: "S." rufiventris
Binomial name
"Saltator" rufiventris
D'Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837

The rufous-bellied saltator (Saltator rufiventris) is a species of songbird found in a few areas in the eastern Andes of southern Bolivia and extreme northern Argentina. It occurs mostly at altitudes from 3000 m to 4000 m.[2] Its habitat is open land, including cultivated land, that has patches of scrub, alder trees, or Polylepis trees. It is threatened by habitat loss.[1]

It was long placed in the genus Saltator, which is now often classified in the cardinal family though it may belong with the tanagers. However, a 2007 DNA study found that the rufous-bellied saltator was closer to the chestnut-bellied mountain tanager and the buff-breasted mountain tanager than to the true saltators.[3] Because of this result and similarities in habitat and plumage, in 2010 the American Ornithologists' Union's South American Classification Committee proposed moving this species to the tanager family next to those two mountain-tanagers. In this classification, either the present species needs a genus name, or the genus Dubusia (buff-breasted mountain tanager) needs to be expanded to include it and the chestnut-bellied mountain tanager. As of October 2015, nobody has done either, and the rufous-bellied saltator continues to appear on the committee's list with "Saltator" in quotation marks.[4][5]


The plumage is mostly blue-gray with orange underparts from the lower breast to the undertail coverts. There is a long white stripe over the eye. The bill is gray except that the base of the lower mandible is flesh-colored.[2]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Saltator rufiventris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Ridgely, Robert S. (1989). The Birds of South America, Volume 1: The Oscine Passerines. University of Texas Press. p. 389. ISBN 0-292-70756-8. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  3. ^ Klicka, John; Burns, Kevin; Spellman, Garth M. (2007), "Defining a monophyletic Cardinalini: A molecular perspective" (pdf), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45: 1014–1032, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.07.006, retrieved 2010-12-25 
  4. ^ Remsen, J. V., Jr.; Cadena, C. D.; Jaramillo, A.; Nores, M.; Pacheco, J. F.; Robbins, M. B.; Schulenberg, T. S.; Stiles, F. G.; Stotz, D. F.; Zimmer, K. J., A classification of the bird species of South America, American Ornithologists' Union: South American Classification Committee, retrieved 13 October 2015 
  5. ^ Remsen, Van (March 2010), Transfer Saltator rufiventris from the Cardinalidae to the Thraupidae: Proposal to South American Classification Committee, retrieved 2010-12-25 

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