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Adult Crimson-collared Tanager
Adult Crimson-collared Tanager
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Ramphocelus
Desmarest, 1805
see species list

Ramphocelus is a genus of birds of the tanager family. Most species have enlarged shiny whitish lower mandibles, which are pointed upwards in display.

Ramphocelus tanagers are found in semi-open areas. The nest is a cup built by the female of plant materials such as moss, rootlets, and strips of large leaves like banana or Heliconia, and is often in a fairly open site in a tree. The female usually lays pale blue eggs, with grey, brown or lavender spots, and the young stay in the nest for only about 12 days.

The songs of this genus are repetitions of rich one- or two-syllable whistles

Ramphocelus tanagers hunt at forest edges or in second growth, taking insects in flight or picking them from leaves

Brazilian Tanager
Brazilian Tanager


The Crimson-collared Tanager is sometimes placed in a genus of its own as Phlogothraupis sanguinolenta (Howell and Webb 1994), and a genetic study suggests that it is less closely related to the other Ramphocelus tanagers than they are to each other (Hackett 1996). Its closest relative is Masked Crimson Tanager.

The other species form two superspecies. One includes Crimson-backed, Huallaga, Silver-beaked and Brazilian Tanagers, and the other comprises Passerini's, Cherrie's and Flame-rumped Tanagers.

The northern form of Flame-rumped Tanager is sometimes split as Lemon-rumped Tanager, Ramphocelus icteronotus, and Passerini's and Cherrie's Tanager were formerly lumped as Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Ramphocelus passerinii.

Species in taxonomic order

  • Crimson-collared Tanager, Ramphocelus sanguinolentus
    Masked Crimson Tanager, Ramphocelus nigrogularis
    Crimson-backed Tanager, Ramphocelus dimidiatus
    Huallaga Tanager, Ramphocelus melanogaster
    Silver-beaked Tanager, Ramphocelus carbo
    Brazilian Tanager, Ramphocelus bresilius
    Passerini's Tanager, Ramphocelus passerinii
    Cherrie's Tanager, Ramphocelus costaricensis
    Flame-rumped Tanager, Ramphocelus flammigerus


  • ffrench, Birds of Trinidad and Tobago ISBN 0-7136-6759-1
  • Hilty, Birds of Venezuela, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
  • Morton, Isler & Isler, Tanagers ISBN 0-7136-5116-4
  • Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-0814-9600-4
  • Steve N. G. Howell and Sophie Webb (1994). A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-1985-4012-4.
  • S. J. Hackett (1996). "Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of tanagers in the genus Ramphocelus (Aves)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 5 (2): 368382.

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