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Animal Database
Animal Database
Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Cotingidae

Cotingidae or cotingas, is a large family of passerines found in Central America and tropical South America. Cotingas are birds of forests or forest edges, which mostly eat fruit or insects and fruit. Comparatively little is known about this diverse group, although all have broad bills with hooked tips, rounded wings, and strong legs. They may be the most diverse passerine family in body size, ranging from the 8-cm kinglet calyptura to the 50-cm male Amazonian umbrellabird, although the smaller bird may not be a true cotinga.


The males of many species, such as the Guianan cock-of-the-rock, are brightly coloured, or decorated with plumes or wattles, like the umbrellabirds, with their umbrella-like crest and long throat wattles. Some, like the bellbirds and the screaming piha, have distinctive and far-carrying calls. The females of most species are duller than the males.

Most species are polygynous, and only the females care for the eggs and young. Both brilliant male colors and loud vocalizations are the result of sexual selection. Many have striking courtship displays, often grouped together in leks. In such canopy-dwelling genera as Carpodectes, Cotinga, and Xipholena, males gather high in a single tree or in adjacent trees, but male cocks-of-the-rock, as befits their more terrestrial lives, give their elaborate displays in leks on the ground.

On the other hand, the purple-throated fruitcrow lives in mixed-sex groups in which one female lays an egg and the others help provide insects to the chick.


Nests range from tiny to very large. Many species lay a single egg in a nest so flimsy that the egg can be seen from underneath. This may make the nests hard for predators to find. Fruiteaters build more solid cup nests, and the cocks-of-the-rock attach their mud nests to cliffs. The nests may be open cups or little platforms with loosely woven plant material, usually placed in a tree. The clutches comprise of one to four eggs. Incubation typically takes fifteen to twenty-eight days. Fledging usually occurs at 28-33 days.


Deserts, open woodlands, coastal mangroves, and humid tropical forests. Cotingas face very serious threats from loss of their habitats.

Taxonomy and Systematics[]

A number of species previously placed in this family have recently been placed in the family Tityridae (genera Laniisoma, Laniocera and Iodopleura) or incertae sedis (genera Oxyruncus, Phibalura and Calyptura).

Genus: Ampelion
 Red-crested Cotinga (D'Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) (Ampelion rubrocristatus)
 Chestnut-crested Cotinga (Tschudi, 1844) (Ampelion rufaxilla)
Genus: Ampelioides
 Scaled Fruiteater (Gray, 1846) (Ampelioides tschudii)
Genus: Carpodectes
 Yellow-billed Cotinga (Ridgway, 1884) (Carpodectes antoniae)
 Black-tipped Cotinga (Berlepsch, 1897) (Carpodectes hopkei)
 Snowy Cotinga (Salvin, 1865) (Carpodectes nitidus)
Genus: Carpornis (Berryeaters)
 Hooded Berryeater (Swainson, 1821) (Carpornis cucullata)
 Black-headed Berryeater (Wied, 1820) (Carpornis melanocephala)
Genus: Cephalopterus (Umbrellabirds)
 Bare-necked Umbrellabird (Gould, 1851) (Cephalopterus glabricollis)
 Amazonian Umbrellabird (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1809) (Cephalopterus ornatus)
 Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Sclater, 1859) (Cephalopterus penduliger)
Genus: Conioptilon
 Black-faced Cotinga (Lowery & O'Neill, 1966) (Conioptilon mcilhennyi)
Genus: Cotinga
 Lovely Cotinga (Gould, 1857) (Cotinga amabilis)
 Spangled Cotinga (Linnaeus, 1766) (Cotinga cayana)
 Purple-breasted Cotinga (Linnaeus, 1766) (Cotinga cotinga)
 Banded Cotinga (Müller, 1776) (Cotinga maculata)
 Plum-throated Cotinga (Linnaeus, 1766) (Cotinga maynana)
 Blue Cotinga (Boissonneau, 1840) (Cotinga nattererii)
 Turquoise Cotinga (Ridgway, 1887) (Cotinga ridgwayi)
Genus: Doliornis
 Chestnut-bellied Cotinga (Robbins, Rosenberg & F.S. Molina, 1994) (Doliornis remseni)
 Bay-vented Cotinga (Taczanowski, 1874) (Doliornis sclateri)
Genus: Gymnoderus
 Bare-necked Fruitcrow (Linnaeus, 1758) (Gymnoderus foetidus)
Genus: Haematoderus
 Crimson Fruitcrow (Shaw, 1792) (Haematoderus militaris)
Genus: Lipaugus (Typical pihas)
 Dusky Piha (Lafresnaye, 1843) (Lipaugus fuscocinereus)
 Cinnamon-vented Piha (Lesson, 1844) (Lipaugus lanioides)
 Rose-collared Piha (Salvin & Godman, 1884) (Lathria streptophorus)
 Rufous Piha (Sclater, 1859) (Lipaugus unirufus)
 Scimitar-winged Piha (Sclater & Salvin, 1876) (Lipaugus uropygialis)
 Screaming Piha (Wied, 1820) (Lipaugus vociferans)
 Chestnut-capped Piha (A.M. Cuervo, Salaman, T.M. Donegan & J.M. Ochoa, 2001) (Lipaugus weberi)
Genus: Perissocephalus
 Capuchinbird (Müller, 1776) (Perissocephalus tricolor)
Genus: Phoenicircus (Red cotingas)
 Guianan Red Cotinga (Linnaeus, 1758) (Phoenicircus carnifex)
 Black-necked Red Cotinga (Swainson, 1832) (Phoenicircus nigricollis)
Genus: Procnias (Neotropical bellbirds)
 White Bellbird (Hermann, 1783) (Procnias albus)
 Bearded Bellbird (Hermann, 1783) (Procnias averano)
 Bare-throated Bellbird (Vieillot, 1817) (Procnias nudicollis)
 Three-wattled Bellbird (Verreaux and Verreaux, 1853) (Procnias tricarunculatus)
Genus: Rupicola (Cock-of-the-rocks)
 Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Latham, 1790) (Rupicola peruvianus)
 Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (Linnaeus, 1766) (Rupicola rupicola)
Genus: Snowornis (Atypical pihas)
 Olivaceous Piha (P.L.Sclater & Salvin, 1877) (Snowornis cryptolophus)
 Grey-tailed Piha (P.L.Sclater, 1861) (Snowornis subalaris)
Genus: Tijuca
 Black-and-gold Cotinga (Férussac, 1829) (Tijuca atra)
 Grey-winged Cotinga (Snow, 1980) (Tijuca condita)
Genus: Xipholena
 White-winged Cotinga (Wied, 1820) (Xipholena atropurpurea)
 White-tailed Cotinga (Lafresnaye, 1839) (Xipholena lamellipennis)
 Pompadour Cotinga (Pallas, 1764) (Xipholena punicea)