Flatbill flycatcher- New Species of Bird Discovered in South America.

8 December 2021.


In South America, a New Species of Bird named Flatbill flycatchers have been discovered.


  • Flatbill flycatcher are members of genus Rhynchocyclusin exclusively New World family Tyrannidae.
  • Four known species in this genus are distributed across southern Mexico to north-eastern Bolivia, Brazil and eastern Venezuela.

Four Species of Genus Rhynchocyclus

  • Genus Rhynchocyclus currently comprises of four species:
  • Olivaceous flatbill (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus),
  • Eye-ringed flatbill (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris),
  • Pacific flatbill (Rhynchocyclus pacificus)and
  • Fulvous-breasted flatbill (Rhynchocyclus fulvipectus).
  • Two of these species, Rhynchocyclus pacificus & Rhynchocyclus fulvipectus are monotypic, while other two are polytypic.

Subspecies of Rhynchocyclus olivaceus

  • There are nine sub-species of Rhynchocyclus olivaceus.
  • All the subspecies are very similar to each other.
  • They have a remarkable constancy in morphometric characters and plumage colour patterns.
  • It evidences their cryptic nature. All the species are large-headed and flat-billed.

About Cryptic flatbill

  • The newly discovered species has been named as cryptic flatbill (Rhynchocyclus cryptus) after its remarkable morphological cryptic nature, it strongly contrasts with its high levels of vocal and genetic differentiation.
  •  The species prefers seasonally flooded floodplain forests (varzea), including degraded patches near to human settlements.
  • It can be found towards south of the Amazon River, banks of Madeira River in Amazonas & Acre in Brazil, west of Maranon River in Peru, and south to north or central Bolivia in the Mamore.

Threats for Rhynchocyclus cryptus 

The main threats for the species are:

  1. Deforestation due to rapid progress of livestock farms
  2. Monocultures and implementation of large hydroelectric dams on the Madeira River. It affects the flow of sediments.

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