Overview

Distribution

Range

Puerto Rico and Vieques I..

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Source: IUCN

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Associations

Known predators

Melanerpes portoricensis is prey of:
Buteo jamaicensis
Buteo platypterus
Diptera
Philornis
Secernentia nematodes

Based on studies in:
Puerto Rico, El Verde (Rainforest)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Waide RB, Reagan WB (eds) (1996) The food web of a tropical rainforest. University of Chicago Press, Chicago
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Known prey organisms

Melanerpes portoricensis preys on:
Scolopendra alternans
Eleutherodactylus coqui
Anolis evermanni
Anolis stratulus
Anolis gundlachi
Araneae
Tityus obtusus
Odonata
Hemiptera
Coleoptera
Formicidae
Orthoptera
Blattellidae
Isoptera
Dermaptera
Lepidoptera
Oniscidae
Stylomatophora
live wood
fruit
seeds

Based on studies in:
Puerto Rico, El Verde (Rainforest)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Waide RB, Reagan WB (eds) (1996) The food web of a tropical rainforest. University of Chicago Press, Chicago
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Melanerpes portoricensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. (1996).

Population Trend
Stable
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Wikipedia

Puerto Rican woodpecker

The Puerto Rican woodpecker (Melanerpes portoricensis) is the only woodpecker endemic to the archipelago of Puerto Rico and is one of the five species of the Melanerpes genus that occur in the Antilles. Furthermore, it is the only resident species of the Picidae family in Puerto Rico. The species is common in the main island of Puerto Rico and rare in the island of Vieques.

Description[edit]

The Puerto Rican woodpecker has a black body and a bright red throat and breast. It has a white patch that runs across the head from eye to eye. Its flanks and lower body have a light tangerine coloration. As with the majority of birds sexual dimorphism is present in this species. The males' throat and breast are more brightly colored than the females' with females tending to be all-around duller in coloration. There is also a substantial (~18%) difference in bill length between sexes.[2]

Puerto Rican woodpecker.
Puerto Rican woodpecker.

Also males are slightly bigger than females. Its average weight is 56.0 grams.[3] Its body length varies between 23 and 27 centimetres.

Distribution[edit]

The Puerto Rican woodpecker is a common and widely distributed species in Puerto Rico, mainly occurring in forests, coffee plantations, mangroves, palm tree groves, parks and gardens. Besides occurring in Puerto Rico it once inhabited the island of St. Croix. This stems from the fact that during the Pleistocene epoch Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, St. Croix and the other Virgin Islands constituted a single landmass. It is believed that at this time the species extended its range to St.Croix and Vieques.[4]

Behavior[edit]

The Puerto Rican woodpecker is said to resemble the behavior and structure of the North American red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus).[4] Like the majority of woodpeckers this species uses its bill to drill holes in trunks in search of prey. The principal component of its diet are insects such as ants, beetle larvae and others. Fruits are also important, composing one-quarter of its diet. Rarely it may eat scorpions, geckos and coquís. Females lay from 1 to 6 white eggs in cavities carved by males. The nests of M. portoricensis are used by other Puerto Rican endemic birds such as the Puerto Rican flycatcher (Myiarchus antillarum) and the yellow-shouldered blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus).[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Melanerpes portoricensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Selander, Robert K. (1966). "Sexual dimorphism and differential niche utilization in birds". The Condor 68 (2): 113–151. doi:10.2307/1365712. JSTOR 1365712. 
  3. ^ Delannoy, Carlos A. and Cruz, Alexander (1999). "Patterns of Prey Abundance and Use by Male and Female Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawks". Caribbean Journal of Science 35 (1–2): 38–45. 
  4. ^ a b Cruz, Alexander (December 1974). "Distribution, probable evolution, and fossil record of West Indian woodpeckers (family Picidae)". Caribbean Journal of Science 14 (3–4): 183–188. 
  5. ^ (Spanish) Oberle, Mark (2003). Las aves de Puerto Rico en fotografías. Editorial Humanitas. ISBN 978-0-9650104-2-9. 
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