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Hooded Pitohui
E7D 7524H
Information
Range New Guinea
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Oriolidae
Genus Pitohui
Species Pitohui dichrous
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Hooded pitohui (Pitohui dichrous), is a species of pitohui with black and orange plumage. It is found in New Guinea. Both male and female birds have colored patches in their plumage. It is one of the few known poisonous birds. This species now usually placed in the Oriolidae family.

Toxin

This species and its two close relatives, the variable pitohui and the rusty pitohui, were the first documented poisonous birds other than the poisonous common quail that cause coturnism. 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.

Conservation Status

Common and widespread throughout New Guinea, the hooded pitohui is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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