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 acquires 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.
Common and widespread throughout New Guinea, the Hooded Pitohui is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- 1.^ Dumbacher et al., PNAS 101(45):15857-15860
Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pitohui dichrous
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The hooded pitohui (Pitohui dichrous) is a pitohui of New Guinea with black and orange plumage. Both male and female birds have colored patches in their plumage. It is the only known poisonous bird, along with the variable pitohui and the rusty pitohui. This species now usually placed in the family Oriolidae.
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.
The hooded pitohui may acquire its poison from part of its diet, the Choresine beetles of the Melyridae family. These beetles 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 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Natalie Angier: Rare Bird Indeed Carries Poison in Bright Feathers. New York Times 1992-10-30
- Dumbacher et al., PNAS 101(45):15857-15860
- Symons, Mitchell (8 November 2012). The Bumper Book For The Loo: Facts and figures, stats and stories – an unputdownable treat of trivia. Transworld. p. 308. ISBN 978-1-4481-5271-1.
- BirdLife Species Factsheet