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16 cm long and weighs 31g. The adult male mainly black, scarlet rump, silvery bill and dark red iris. The female - grey head, olive upperparts becoming brighter and paler on the rump, brownish wings and tail and ochre underparts.
This species was formerly known as the Scarlet-rumped Tanager, but was renamed when the distinctive form found on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama was reclassified as a separate species, Cherrie's Tanager R. costaricensis.
Semi-open areas including light second growth, woodland edges, gardens and pasture with bushes.
A cup-shaped nest is built up to 6 m high in a tree. 2 pale blue or grey eggs, marked with black, brown or lilac are laid. Sometimes two broods in a season are raised.
The diet includes small fruit, usually swallowed whole, insects and spiders.
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