The taxonomy and systematics of the sooty/pale-tailed barbthroat complex has caused much confusion. Some authors consider the sooty barbthroat to be a melanistic variant of the pale-tailed barbthroat (T. leucurus). As T. niger was described first, this scientific name is the valid name for both when they are considered conspecific.
On the other hand, the SACC for example considers T. niger and T. leucurus distinct species, because of insufficient published evidence for their being conspecific. This "combined" species is considered to be of Least Concern by the IUCN.
In addition, some suggest that the bronze-tailed barbthroat (T. n. loehkeni) should also be considered a valid species and include the doubtful Christina's barbthroat (T. n. christinae) as a subspecies. Freire's sooty barbthroat (T. n. freirei) is intermediate between the sooty and bronze-tailed barbthroats however, and thus its status needs to be clarified before the situation is resolved.
- Hinkelmann, Christoph (1999): 8. Pale-tailed Barbthroat. In: del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.): Handbook of Birds of the World (Vol. 5: Barn-owls to Hummingbirds): 539, plate 45. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-25-3
- Mallet-Rodrigues, Francisco (2006): Táxons de aves de validade questionável com ocorrência no Brasil. III – Trochilidae (I) [Questionable bird taxa with occurrence in Brazil. III – Trochilidae (I)]. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 14(4): 475-479 [Portuguese with English abstract]. PDF fulltext
- South American Classification Committee (SACC) (2003): Proposal (# 77) to South American Check-list Committee: Split Threnetes leucurus from Threnetes niger. Retrieved 2008-OCT-31.
- Sooty Barbthroat rangemap
- Stamps: Threnetes niger (misnamed at site), RangeMap
- Sooty Barbthroat photo gallery VIREO
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