We describe the juvenile plumages of the Cinereous Mourner (Laniocera hypopyrra) and the Brazilian Laniisoma (Laniisoma elegans). Both L. hypopyrra and L. elegans possess a dramatically conspicuous plumage as juveniles in contrast to the generally cryptic plumage pattern exhibited by most juvenile birds. They are predominantly covered by cinnamon-orange feathers with black terminal spots, contrasting with the nest and the predominant colors of their environment. This colorful plumage presumably makes them more at risk from predation by visually oriented animals (e.g., raptors and primates), during one of the most vulnerable phases of their life, and strongly suggests these plumages function as a true, or false (mimicry), signal of ‘unprofitability’. Previous knowledge concerning the phylogenetic relationships between these two genera, and the juvenile plumage patterns of other species placed in the Tityridae indicate this shared character in L. hypopyrra and L. elegans represents a synapomorphy within this clade, thereby providing additional evidence of their relationship.
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