Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)
Palm Tanager

Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)

Ecological relationships between feather mites (Acari) and wild birds of Emberizidae (Aves) in a fragment of Atlantic Forest in northeastern Brazil

Author(s): Rachel M. de Lyra-Neves Angela M. Isidro de Farias & Wallace R. Telino-Junior

Palm TanagerThe objective of this study was to investigate feather mites on birds of the Family Emberizidae, to collect data on the ecological ectoparasite-host relationship and infestation level. A sum of 94 birds of 9 species was captured at the Refúgio Ecológico Charles Darwin, Igarassú, Pernambuco, Brazil, from August 1996 to July 1997. Five genera of mites from the superfamily Analgoidea were identified: Analges Nitzsch, 1818; Mesalgoides Gaud & Atyeo, 1967; Pterodectes Robin, 1877; Proctophyllodes Robin, 1877 and Trouessartia Canestrini, 1899. Among the 94 birds examined, 92 (97,87%) were infested. Regarding the prevalence, it was observed that the genera with higher percentage were, respectively, Pterodectes (88,04%), Proctophyllodes (56,52%) and Trouessartia (45,65%).

Source: Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 20 (3): 481-485, 2003

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The sugar-tasting abilities of four species of tanagers and two species of manakins were tested. Three tanager species were able to detect differences in diets containing 8%, 10%, and 12% sugar. In pairwise choice trials, they preferred the diet highest in sugar. Neither species of manakin discriminated among the three diets. This apparent difference in tasting abilities of tanagers and manakins may be a result of their fruit-handling techniques. Tanagers crush fruits in their bills, thereby releasing juices onto their tongues.

Source: The Auk 104: 173-179

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