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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Ramphastidae
Genus: Ramphastos

See text.

  • Rhamphastos

Ramphastos is a genus of toucans, tropical and subtropical near passerine birds from Mexico, and Central and South America, which are brightly marked and have enormous, often colourful, bills.[1]

Taxonomy and systematics

See also List of Ramphastos species and subspecies.

Extant species

The genus Ramphastos has eight species considered to belong to the genus:[2]

Former species

Some authorities, either presently or formerly, recognize additional species or subspecies as species belonging to the genus Ramphastos including:


This genus comprises the largest toucans, ranging from 42 to 61 centimetres (17 to 24 in) in length.[1] All have black wings, tails and thighs, but the colour of the remaining plumage depends on the exact species involved.

Diversity of bills

Distribution and habitat

They are essentially resident birds, but may take part in minor, local movements (e.g., to lower altitudes in the winter).[1]

Behaviour and ecology


They are arboreal and nest in tree holes laying 2–4 white eggs.

Food and feeding

All the species are basically fruit-eating, but will take insects and other small prey.[1]


The ischnoceran louse Austrophilopterus cancellosus is suspected to parasitize all species of Ramphastos toucans. Its presence has been confirmed on all species except the citron-throated toucan.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Short, L. L., & Horne, J. F. M. (2002). Toucans (Ramphastidae). pp. 220-272 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Sargatal, J. eds. (2002). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 7 Jacamars to Woodpecker. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-37-7
  2. ^ "Jacamars, puffbirds, toucans, barbets & honeyguides « IOC World Bird List". www.worldbirdnames.org. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  3. ^ "Pteroglossus viridis - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  4. ^ "Pteroglossus azara - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  5. ^ "Pteroglossus aracari - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  6. ^ "Pteroglossus aracari atricollis - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  7. ^ "Pteroglossus torquatus - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  8. ^ "Pteroglossus bailloni - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  9. ^ Price, Roger D. & Weckstein, Jason D. (2005). The genus Austrophilopterus Ewing (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) from toucans, toucanets, and araçaris (Piciformes: Ramphastidae). Zootaxa 918: 1-18. PDF fulltext

External links