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.
This species and its two close relatives, the Variable Pitohui and the Brown 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.
The Hooded Pitohui may acquire its poison from part of its diet, the Choresine beetles of the Melyridae family. These beetles[verification needed] are also a likely source of the lethal batrachotoxins found in Colombia's poison dart frogs.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Pitohui dichrous". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Natalie Angier: Rare Bird Indeed Carries Poison in Bright Feathers. New York Times 1992-10-30
- Dumbacher et al., PNAS 101(45):15857-15860
- BirdLife Species Factsheet
- The Intoxicating Birds of New Guinea by John Tidwell at wayback machine
- The Pitohui and the Frog by Robert B. Hole, Jr. at wayback machine
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