26/02/2014
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Toxic and cryptic

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Hooded Pitohui, also of New Guinea, is toxic, too, and probably obtains its poisons from Melyrid beetles like the others. Photo: markaharper1 (commons.wikimedia.org).
Hooded Pitohui, also of New Guinea, is toxic, too, and probably obtains its poisons from Melyrid beetles like the others. Photo: markaharper1 (commons.wikimedia.org).


Variable Pitohui of New Guinea, one of the world’s two poisonous bird species, has now become three, doubling those toxic taxa to make four species. The three new splits are Southern Variable Pitohui uropygialis, Northern Variable P kirhocephalus and Raja Ampat P cerviniventris Pitohuis; Hooded Pitohui remains monotypic.

Reference
Dumbacher JP. 2013. A taxonomic revision of the genus Pitohui, with historical notes on names; BBOC submitted (IOC reference list).
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