Genus Pharomachrus mocinno, commonly known as the resplendent quetzal, is the most well-known, named by naturalist Pable de la Llave. Within this species, there are two subspecies: P. m. mocinno and P. m. costaricensis. The second species in , P. antisianus, is commonly known as the crested quetzal. The third species, P. auriceps, is commonly known as the golden-headed quetzal due to its distinctly golden head. This species consists of the subspecies P. a. auriceps and P. a. hargitti. The fourth species, P. pavoninus, is commonly known as the pavonine quetzal or peacock trogon, distinguishable by its red bill. Finally, P. fulgidus, commonly known as the white-tipped quetzal, has two subspecies: P. f. fulgidus and P. f. festatus. All quetzals are distinct due to their combination of vibrant, iridescent colors and their long wing/tail coverts. (Rafael and Sittler, 2019; Solórzano and Oyama, 2001)consists of five species.
Respledent quetzals (P. mocinno) and their subspecies are found throughout southern Mexico, ranging from Guatemala to Panama. They are mainly concentrated in Guatemala and Honduras, with additional populations in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Crested quetzals (P. antisianus) along with golden-headed quetzals (P. auriceps) and their subspecies are found throughout the upper regions of South America, ranging from Venezuela, through Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to Bolivia. Pavonine quetzals (P. pavoninus) are found throughout northern South America, ranging from Colombia through Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia to Brazil. White-tipped quetzals (P. fulgidus) and their subspecies are found in a small region of northern Colombia and small regions of northern Venezuela. All species and subspecies of are native residents to their respective regions - except white-tipped quetzals, which were introduced to Venezuela by humans. (BirdLife International, 2016; Lohnes and Greeney, 2008; Rafael and Sittler, 2019)
Members oftypically live in mountainous/forested areas, specifically in the canopies and sub-canopies of humid montane forests and cloud forests. They prefer regions with ravines as well as cliffs covered with vegetation. Various types of large oak trees (ranging from 100-150+ ft tall) form the forests' canopies. Smaller alders and various laurels, both of which are an important source of fruit for resident birds, also comprise the forests.
Depending on the species, P. pavonius occupies the lowlands. members nest/shelter in cavities within dead tree trunks, and P. moccino have been observed modifying sites abandoned by woodpeckers. Members will often seek out clearings within and beyond the forests to nest and forage. (BirdLife International, 2016; Lohnes and Greeney, 2008; Rafael and Sittler, 2019; Skutch, 1944)can be found at elevations ranging between 900m - 3,200m. While most members of the genus inhabit the highlands of their respective regions,
The relationships between the Trogoniformes are well-understood with multiple, ongoing investigations attempting to better understand their relations. Genus is most closely related to genus g. Euptilotis. Within order Trogoniformes, both genera are considered to be sisters to the rest of the trogons.genus and other genera in order
All species in genusare known for their iridescent/golden-green feathers covering their back, throat, and upper wing coverts. They also have characteristically red feathers covering their bellies as well as their breasts. They have black primaries and secondaries on their wings, along with short yellow/yellow-orange bills and brown/dull green feet.
Male and female members of P. mocinno are sexually dimorphic, with males having distinctly long, iridescent, green tail feathers along with a red breast and a crest on their head. Females have a short white and black tail with a chevron pattern and a gray breast. Juveniles are brown with mottled scapulars and coverts. The upper portion of their breasts are brown and the lower portion is white. Their bellies are white with greyish brown coloration and they have black bills and lead-colored feet.
P. auriceps has a distinct golden brown/bronze head. Females have a brown head and a brownish breast and bill.
P. fulgidus is distinct in having a black upper tail with a white tip. Females differ in having a brown head, breast, and beak.
P. antisianus males have a tuft of feathers forming a crest protruding out of their forehead, similar to P. mocinno, but distinguishable by the lack of long tail feathers and red eyes. P. antisianus females have a brown head and belly with a mostly black tail.
P. mocinno males will use a coouee whistle as a mating call, in which notes rise like a police siren. Before calling out to mates, males will establish a territory and use a two-note whistle, during which they hold their head high and raise their chests with their bill slightly open and their breast puffed out. They repeat this call every 8-10 minutes and use it to advertise their territory. Once a breeding pair is formed, they remain together during the next three breeding seasons, and most likely for the rest of their life. Other species mating systems are understudied. (LaBastille, et al., 1972; Rafael and Sittler, 2019)species typically breed at high elevations where the males find and maintain monogamous relationships.
Due to the elusive nature of, little is known about their lifespans. A major limiting factor on their lifespans, however, is habitat degradation, largely due to anthropomorphic activities causing large portions of cloud forests to be deforested. The unavailability of nesting sites is a consequence of habitat destruction, which ultimately impacts population sizes. In the wild, predators include gray squirrels, ornate hawk-eagles, margays, and green toucanets.
P. mocinno has been described as having an apprehensive disposition and calm manner, perching motionlessly on a branch for long periods of time. This perching behavior is assumed to be exhibited throughout the genus. During the mating season, however, P. mocinno is much more active, using a variety of vocalizations. It should be noted that males have distinct, unique calls. Additionally, aerial displays are exhibited, during which the male's tail feathers are fully exhibited. Breeding season is the only time where P. mocinno individuals migrate short distances to lower elevations in search of nest sites and food availability. Females have been seen attacking other quetzals trespassing on their territory. After breeding season, males will molt and their tail feathers will begin to grow again in time for the next mating season. (Cara Grace, 2016; LaBastille, et al., 1972; Rafael and Sittler, 2019)are largely solitary birds until the breeding season, during which they will find and stay with a mate. They will remain with that mate for the next few breeding seasons, at least.
P. mocinno uses many different vocalizations. A two-note whistle is used by males to advertise territory to other males. A recognition call described as a wac-wac sound is also used between mates. When alarmed, P. mocinno uses a monotone note call along with a tail flick and opening their tail feathers like a fan. As a whole, however, species in genus are understudied when it comes to communication and perception. (Daniel, 2007; LaBastille, et al., 1972)
P. mocinno adults have been observed feeding on fruits from 15 different plant species, with 40% of them being laurels. Other consumed plant species included members of families Theaceae (tea family), Myrsinaceae (myrsine family), Araliaceae (ginseng family), Verbenaceae (verbena family), Solanaceae (nightshades), Myrtaceae (myrtle family), Melasomataceae (melastomes), and Mora. These plant families consist of shrubs, trees, herbs, and general flowering plants. It is estimated that species annually feed on a total of ~41 species. They primarily consume large drupes along with smaller, seeded berries. Chicks' diets change after their first 10 days, with 24% of their initial diet consisting of fruits and 76% being insects/small vertebrates, and after the tenth day, their diet consists of 72% fruits and 28% insects/small vertebrates. Members of genus are important seed dispersers, as they have a specialized behavior in which they regurgitate seeds far from the original tree source. The diet of P. auriceps chicks is seemingly less varied in terms of animal matter consumed, as it appears that they are primarily insectivores. P. pavoninus chicks are unique in that they have been observed consuming frogs. (Avila H., et al., 1996; Cara Grace, 2016; Daniel, 2007; Lohnes and Greeney, 2008; Rafael and Sittler, 2019; Wheelwright, 1983)adults are primarily frugivorous. However, chicks are described as having an omnivorous diet consisting of insects and small vertebrates, such as lizards and fruits.
P. pavoninus is a predator to frogs. The eggs and juveniles of species are a food source to a number of different species. The primary ecological role of species, however, is seed dispersal. They typically regurgitate seeds about 15-30 minutes after ingestion and only spend short times at fruiting trees. These factors lend a very high chance that seeds will be regurgitated far away from the original tree, leading to effective dispersal. species also play a key role in the amount of available resources for other species. They are highly selective about the fruits they consume, only selecting fruits that are large and ripe in order to gain the most nutrients for the associated energy cost. This leaves a large selection of small fruits and a small selection of high-quality fruits available for other species. This combination of selectiveness and diet specialization makes species important for the ecological health of cloud forests. (Avila H., et al., 1996; Rafael and Sittler, 2019; Wheelwright, 1983)species are predators to a number of different insects and some small vertebrates such as lizards. Additionally,
The feathers ofspecies were extremely valuable to the Mayan culture because they were used to adorn clothing. The feathers are still highly valuable today; they are sold to tourists and museum collectors along with dried specimens of the birds themselves and some sales of living individuals.
In Guatemala, quetzals are the national emblem, holding great importance to the country's culture. P. mocinno is considered a flagship species, meaning they attract ecotourists wanting to observe the species in protected natural areas. This is considered an important source of income.
There have been many studies on P. mocinno. These studies have provided educational benefits about the birds as well as their cloud forest ecosystems. (Cara Grace, 2016; Rafael and Sittler, 2019; Skutch, 1944)species, with a number of research projects done on
There are no known adverse effects ofspecies on humans.
P. mocinno is considered Near Threatened. This status is mostly due to habitat destruction as well as trapping/poaching. There are a number of ongoing conservation efforts, especially when concerning P. mocinno. Some conservation areas have been set up with protected populations of P. mocinno in order to help preserve them and the cloud forests that they inhabit. There is additional research, monitoring, and planning also occurring in order to better conserve this species since P. mocinno fits the description of being potentially Vulnerable due to their restricted diets and low population densities. (BirdLife International, 2016; Rafael and Sittler, 2019; Wheelwright, 1983)species are largely considered to be of Least Concern when it comes to conservation; however,
The name "Pharomachrus" comes from the ancient Greek words pharos and makros, meaning "mantle" and "long" respectively. This name was likely given in reference to the birds' distinctly long tails and wing coverts. (Rafael and Sittler, 2019)species are culturally important, dating back to the Mayans and Aztecs, and are associated with Quetzalcoatl, a diety. Overall, these birds' feathers were considered to be symbolic/sacred and are still sought after today.
Nathan Hollars (author), Colorado State University, Sydney Collins (editor), Colorado State University.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
to jointly display, usually with sounds, at the same time as two or more other individuals of the same or different species
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
parental care is carried out by males
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
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