The Olive-backed Forest Robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus) is a small species of bird found in the Gamba Complex in southwest Gabon. It was described in 2008. As is the case with all members of the genus Stiphrornis, it should possibly be considered a subspecies of Stiphrornis erythrothorax. The Olive-backed Forest Robin can be separated from other species in the genus by the combination of its olive upperparts, bright orange throat and chest, and cream-yellow belly. Females are generally duller than males. It has not been evaluated by IUCN, but has been described as locally common.
Despite being recently described, a juvenile appears to have been collected on 11 November 1953 in Tchibanga, Gabon. The specimen is deposited in Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris. Its identity was confirmed by comparison of the DNA sequence.
A female in hand
All taxa within the genus Stiphrornis were considered part of a single species, S. erythrothorax, until 1999, where it, based on the phylogenetic species concept, was argued that all then recognized taxa should be considered monotypic species. The split was not followed in Handbook of the Birds of the World, where described as "perhaps premature". Comparably, the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group (and consequently IUCN) recommended not following the split, as differences in plumages are relatively small, genetic sampling considered incomplete, and evidence for intergradation or parapatry is lacking. Based on mtDNA, S. pyrrholaemus is placed within S. erythrothorax sensu lato, and consequently is only a species (rather than a subspecies of S. erythrothorax) if at least some of the taxonomy recommended in 1999 is followed. The genetic divergence between S. pyrrholaemus and other members of the genus is comparable to that between some other closely related species.