Saturday, 4 November 2017

Machaeropterus eckelberryi.: A new species of Manakin from Peru.

Manakins, Pipridae, are small Passarine Birds found in the Americas from Mexico south to Argentina. They typically range from 7 to 15 cm in length, and tend to be robust, with stubby tails, short, rounded wings and large heads. Female Manikins are typically dull brown in colour, while the males are brightly patterned, and have highly distinctive calls made up of whistles, trills, and buzzes.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 15 September 2017, Daniel Lane of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science, Andrew Kratter, also of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science, and of the Florida Museum of Natural History, and John O'Neill, again of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science, describe a new species of Manakin from northern Peru.

The new species is placed in the genus Machaeropterus, and given the specific name eckelberryi, in honour of the artist Donald Eckelberry (1921-2001), for his numerous Bird illustrations and help in the establishment of the Asa Wright Nature Center in Trinidad. This is a particularly small species of Manakin with an olive green back ans wings and a pale belly. Males have a red crown, and a yellow chest patch, with darker chestnut stripes on the belly. The males also have a noticeable and persistent song, which has been used to estimate the range of the species, covering an area of San Martín and Loreto departments in northern Peru, in the foothills of the north-central Peruvian Andes in short-stature woodlands on poor, sandy-soil ridges.

Machaeropterus eckelberryi, male specimen. Andrew Kratter/Florida Museum of Natural History.

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