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The scarlet-breasted fruiteater (Pipreola frontalis) is a species of bird in the Cotingidae family. It is found in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
Taxonomy and systematics
First described by British ornithologist Philip Sclater in 1858, the scarlet-breasted fruiteater is one of eleven species in the genus Pipreola. Its type specimen is held at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, in Philadelphia. The species is closely related to the fiery-throated fruiteater, but is found at higher elevations. There are two subspecies, which some taxonomists think represent two distinct species.
- P. f. frontalis occurs from central Peru into western Bolivia.
- P. f. squamipectus occurs from northern Ecuador into northwestern Peru. First described by Frank Chapman in 1925, it is smaller and less colorful than the nominate subspecies.
The genus name given to the fruiteaters, Pipreola, is a diminutive of Pipra, which is the genus name Carl Linnaeus gave to the similarly shaped manakins. The specific name frontalis is a Modern Latin word meaning "fronted" or "browed".
Like all Pipreola fruiteaters, the scarlet-breasted fruiteater is a plump, short-tailed cotinga. It is relatively small for a fruiteater, measuring 15.5–16.5 cm (6.0–6.5 in) in length; its mass ranges from 39.5 to 45.3 g (1.4 to 1.6 oz), with an average of 42.4 g (1.5 oz). The species is sexually dimorphic; the male is considerably more colorful than the female. Both sexes have bright green upperparts, with narrow yellow tips to the tertial feathers. The male's throat and upper breast are bright red (less extensively colored in P. f. squamipectus than in P. f. frontalis), while the female's underparts are yellow with green scaling or spots. Its legs and feet are pink or orange.
Distribution and habitat
The scarlet-breasted fruiteater is restricted to the eastern slope of the Andes from northeastern Ecuador through eastern Peru to central Bolivia. It is found in montane forests at elevations ranging from 900–2,000 m (3,000–6,600 ft) above sea level.
The scarlet-breasted fruiteater's vocalizations are generally short, high-pitched and infrequent. The song of the P. f. squamipectus male is sharp and ascending, variously transcribed as "psii" or "tsweeet", while the song of the P. f. frontalis male is longer and more complex—a thin, rising trill that becomes a descending whistle, transcribed as "ti'ti'ti'ti'ti'ti'tseeeeeeeeer". Its call is a very high-pitched pseet.
Conservation and threats
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorizes the Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater as a species of Least Concern, based on its very large range and its status as a fairly common species within its range. However, its population size has never been quantified, and is thought to be decreasing.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Pipreola frontalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Sibley, Charles Gald (1990). Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press. pp. 371–2.
- "ITIS Report: Pipreola". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "Clement B. Newbold (1905–1984)". Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- Ridgely & Tudor, p. 506.
- "ITIS Report: Pipreola frontalis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Jobling, p. 308.
- Jobling, p. 165.
- Ridgely & Greenfield, p. 543.
- Dunning, Jr., John B. (2007). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses (2 ed.). Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press. p. 287. ISBN 978-1-4200-6445-2.
- Ridgely & Greenfield, p. 545.
- Schulenberg, Thomas S.; Stotz, Douglas F.; Lane, Daniel F.; O'Neill, John P.; Parker III, Theodore A. (2007). Birds of Peru. London, UK: Christopher Helm. p. 492. ISBN 978-0-7136-8673-9.
- Ridgely & Tudor, p. 504.
- "Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater Pipreola frontalis". BirdLife International. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, UK: Christopher Helm. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Ridgely, Robert S.; Greenfield, Paul J. (2001). The Birds of Ecuador. London, UK: Christopher Helm. ISBN 978-0-7136-6117-0.