Hooded Pitohui

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Hooded Pitohui
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pachycephalidae
Genus: Pitohui
Species: P. dichrous
Binomial name
Pitohui dichrous
Bonaparte, 1850

The Hooded Pitohui (Pitohui dichrous) is a songbird of New Guinea with black and orange plumage. Both male and female birds have colored patches in their plumage. This species is sometimes placed in the family Oriolidae.

Toxin[edit]

This species and its two close relatives, the Variable Pitohui and the Rusty Pitohui, were the first documented poisonous birds. A neurotoxin called homobatrachotoxin found in the birds' skin and feathers, causes numbness and tingling in those touching the bird.[2][3]

The Hooded Pitohui may acquire its poison from part of its diet, the Choresine beetles of the Melyridae family.[4] These beetles[verification needed] are also a likely source of the lethal batrachotoxins found in Colombia's poison dart frogs.[5]

Conservation status[edit]

Common and widespread throughout New Guinea, the Hooded Pitohui is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Pitohui dichrous". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ http://fora.tv/2010/03/17/Expedition_Papua_New_Guinea_with_Jack_Dumbacher
  3. ^ Natalie Angier: Rare Bird Indeed Carries Poison in Bright Feathers. New York Times 1992-10-30
  4. ^ http://www.pnas.org/content/101/45/15857.full
  5. ^ Dumbacher et al., PNAS 101(45):15857-15860
  6. ^ BirdLife Species Factsheet

External links[edit]