Grallaria gravesi Isler, Chesser, Robbins & Hosner,

Isler, Morton L., Chesser, Terry, Robbins, Mark B., Cuervo, Andrés M., Cadena, Carlos Daniel & Hosner, Peter A., 2020, Taxonomic evaluation of the Grallaria rufula (Rufous Antpitta) complex (Aves: Passeriformes: Grallariidae) distinguishes sixteen species, Zootaxa 4817 (1), pp. 1-74: 17-18

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

taxon LSID

treatment provided by


scientific name

Grallaria gravesi Isler, Chesser, Robbins & Hosner

new species

Grallaria gravesi Isler, Chesser, Robbins & Hosner  , new species

Graves’s Antpitta

Includes population designated obscura  1 in the analysis.

Diagnosis. Upperparts dark reddish yellow-brown; underparts paler, palest on belly and undertail coverts; pale buff eye-ring. Both long songs and short songs are distinguished from those of all other populations except G. oneilli  and G. obscura  by their frequency modulated notes, delivered in a series in long songs and in pairs in short songs ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10). The pace of long songs of G. gravesi  is faster than that of G. obscura  but slower than that of G. oneilli  . Intervals between notes of the long song of G. gravesi  increase and then decrease in duration, whereas intervals of the G. oneilli  long song remain nearly constant, and those of G. obscura  increase in duration throughout. Two additional characters distinguish vocalizations of G. gravesi  from G. obscura  although not from G. oneilli  . Notes in the second half of long songs of G. gravesi  and G. oneilli  rise in frequency, whereas those of G. obscura  decline. In addition, initial notes of short songs of G. gravesi  and G. oneilli  come to a single frequency peak, whereas initial notes of G. obscura  include three peaks (rarely two).

Distribution. Endemic to Peru on east Andean slope in Amazonas and San Martín south and east of the Río Marañón, south to Huánuco north of Río Huallaga, 2400–3900 m.

Holotype. Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science ( LSUMZ) 104488, tissue number LSUMZ B–809. Adult female mist-netted in isolated patch of temperate forest and prepared by S. Allen-Stotz on 5 August 1981 at Puerto del Monte, ca. 30 km NE Los Alisos, San Martín, Peru (approximately 77° 28’ W, 07° 32’ S, elevation 3250 m).GoogleMaps 

Description of holotype. Adult female. Overall plumage of upperparts, including crown, auriculars, nape, back, and uppertail coverts, dark reddish yellow-brown (7.5YR 4/4), shading to underparts color in malar area; eyering pale buff. Rectrices and remiges dark reddish yellow-brown (7.5YR 4/4), primaries edged paler. Throat and breast reddish yellow-brown (7.5YR 5/8), paler on belly and undertail coverts with center of belly whitish; flank coloration intermediate between upperparts and breast. Soft part colors: iris brown, bill slate, tarsi/feet blue-gray. Ovarian mass 5 x 4 mm; skull ossified; mass 33.2 g; insect parts in stomach.

Measurements of holotype. Bill length 10.58 mm, bill width 4.77 mm, wing length 81.66 mm, tail length 45.40 mm, tarsus length 41.69 mm.

Paratopotype. LSUMZ 104491 (female).

Paratypes. LSUMZ 74099View Materials (male)  , LSUMZ 74104View Materials (female)  , ANSP 176470View Materials (male)  , FMNH 296697View Materials (female) (specimen photographs App. 6, Fig. A 24)  .

Etymology. We are pleased to name this species for our friend and colleague Dr. Gary R. Graves, whose ornithological contributions include the field work and subsequent analysis that resulted in the recognition of G. blakei  . After describing G. blakei, Gary Graves  embarked on a study of the taxonomic issues presented by the G. rufula  complex that culminated in this paper, to which he has provided support.

Remarks. Long songs and short songs of G. gravesi  and its sister species, G. oneilli  and G. obscura  , are unique in the complex and set them apart from all other populations at the species level. Although fewer vocal differences distinguish G. gravesi  and G. oneilli  than the substantial vocal differences distinguishing G. obscura  from its sisters, all three taxa are supported at the species level by plumage distinctions. Comparing plumages of the three taxa, the lighter coloration of the underparts of the geographically intermediate G. oneilli  were separable in blind tests from the browner G. gravesi  and G. obscura  . The mtDNA genetic distance was greatest between G. gravesi  and G. oneilli  (~5%) and was least between G. gravesi  and G. obscura  (~3%), but the greatest number of vocal differences were found between G. obscura  and G. gravesi  , as well as between G. obscura  and G. oneilli  .


Louisiana State University, Musuem of Zoology