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Masked mountain tanager

Masked mountain tanager
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Tephrophilus
R. T. Moore, 1934
T. wetmorei
Binomial name
Tephrophilus wetmorei
  • Buthraupis wetmorei

The masked mountain tanager (Tephrophilus wetmorei) is a vulnerable species of bird in the tanager family Thraupidae. It is the only member of the genus Tephrophilus. This large and colourful tanager is endemic to elfin forest, woodland and shrub in the Andean highlands of southern Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru. It is generally rare or uncommon, and is threatened by habitat loss.


The masked mountain tanager was formally described in 1934 by the American ornithologist Robert Thomas Moore from a specimen collected at the base of the Sangay volcano in Ecuador. He introduced a new monospecific genus Tephrophilus to give the binomial name Tephrophilus wetmorei.[2] The generic name combines the Ancient Greek tephra meaning "ashes" (i.e. volcano) and philos meaning "-loving".[3] The specific epithet was chosen to honour the ornithologist Alexander Wetmore.[2] The species was subsequently placed in the genus Buthraupis but when a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2014 found Buthraupis was polyphyletic, the masked mountain tanager was returned to the resurrected genus Tephrophilus.[4][5][6] The species is monotypic: no subspecies are recognised.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Tephrophilus wetmorei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22722616A132155834. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22722616A132155834.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Moore, Robert Thomas (1934). "A new genus and species of tanager from Ecuador". Auk. 51 (1): 1–7. doi:10.2307/4077426. JSTOR 4077426.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 382. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Burns, K.J.; Shultz, A.J.; Title, P.O.; Mason, N.A.; Barker, F.K.; Klicka, J.; Lanyon, S.M.; Lovette, I.J. (2014). "Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 75: 41–77. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.02.006. PMID 24583021.
  5. ^ Burns, K.J.; Unitt, P.; Mason, N.A. (2016). "A genus-level classification of the family Thraupidae (Class Aves: Order Passeriformes)". Zootaxa. 4088 (3): 329–354. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4088.3.2. PMID 27394344.
  6. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2020). "Tanagers and allies". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
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Masked mountain tanager
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