Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Birds » Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Rusty-belted Tapaculo (liosceles Thoracicus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TAPACULOS AND PEOPLE

Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Diet

species eat birds insects

Tapaculos eat mainly insects and spiders. Some species also eat berries. These birds feed by walking or hopping across the forest floor, then scraping their feet against the ground, turning over the moss and leaves with their strong claws to look for bugs. A few species hop through low branches eating the insects they find there.


Tapaculos are some of the hardest birds to classify. Scientists are still not sure exactly how many species there are in this family. New species are being discovered, and in 1997 several species were reclassified. In the past, tapaculos were considered separate species if they had different songs or lived in different environments and did not interbreed. Today genetic and biochemical evidence suggests that some of these classifications may be wrong and the number of tapaculo species may change again.

Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Behavior And Reproduction [next] [back] Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Habitat

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over 10 years ago

The species of Rhinocryptidae family take a variety of food, but mainly feed on insects and spiders. It has recently been found that some add a substantial amount of berries to their diet (Correa et al. 1990), at least seasonally.

Correa A, Armesto JJ, Schlatter R, Rozzi R & Torres-Mura (1990): La dieta del chucao (Scelorchilus rubecula), un passeriforme terrícola endémico del bosque templado húmedo de Sudamérica

austral. Revista Chilena de Historia

Natural 63: 197-202.

On the other hand, the current classification of the chilean representatives of the passerine family Rhinocryptidae includes eight species. Three of them contain subspecies that don't exhibit clear differences. Moreover, differences among two lineages of Scytalopus genera and two species of Pteroptochos are cryptic. We propose a new methodology based on ecological and behavioural patterns in order to understand the concept of speciation in this group of birds. According to our results, we postulate that there is not a cut criteria to establish differences among three sister lineages of current classification. This way the methodology developed by us does not allow to establish divergence for a given common ancestor. Our methodology allows to establish comparison among previously determined phylogenetic lineages. Our results show how when integrating behaviour and ecological terms as biological traits next to morphological characters of the plumage, it allows us to conclude that there is decrease of the distances among sister lineages in the cluster tree (Manuscript N° 2004-09-24200 in Nature).