Berlioz (1959) described Serpophaga griseiceps on the basis of four specimens from Cochabamba, Bolivia, housed at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France). Traylor (1979) subsumed the taxon, without justification, in S. munda after examining other specimens from Cochabamba at the Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH; Chicago, Illinois). Remsen and Traylor (1989) added that S. griseiceps represents the juvenal plumage of S. munda. Straneck (1993) presented new data from central Argentina to revalidate S. griseiceps, and although that account has methodological problems, numerous authors have endorsed its taxonomic conclusions. We re-evaluated the validity of S. griseiceps by examining the type series and specimens deposited at the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and our own field data from Cochabamba, and by critiquing Straneck's taxonomic conclusions. The type specimens of S. griseiceps clearly resemble juvenile S. munda. Photographs of those specimens were compared by T. S. Schulenberg with the FMNH specimens examined by Traylor, confirming that the former are referable to S. munda. Both “forms” differ consistently in plumage coloration from Argentine specimens considered by Straneck to be referable to S. griseiceps. The type series of S. griseiceps coincides with S. munda in wing chord, tail, and tarsus length, and both “forms” have significantly longer wings and tails than Straneck's birds from Argentina. Intensive field surveys in the Cochabamba basin documented the occurrence of only one species of Serpophaga tyrannulet, S. munda. Serpophaga griseiceps should therefore be considered a junior synonym of S. munda, whereas Straneck's S. griseiceps is apparently referable to an undescribed cryptic species of Serpophaga tyrannulet.
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Vol. 121 • No. 2