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Querula purpurata

Purple-throated Fruitcrow

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Galindo, Elena

Querula purpurata

Zapsurro, Colombia; 3 September 2012 © Juan D Ramirez Rpo

In a family rife with oddities and anomalies, Purple-throated Fruitcrow by plumage alone does not jump out as being a particularly aberrant cotinga. This fruitcrow is size and shape of a small crow with, in males, a deep purple throat. Placed in a monotypic genus, this fruitcrow is the related to several other species of large bodied cotingas, which also partially or completely black: Crimson Fruitcrow (Haematoderus militaris), Red-ruffed Fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus), and the three species of umbrellabird (Cephalopterus). Purple-throated Fruitcrow is the only species of cotinga that is social, occurring in noisy groups of 3-8 birds, and is the only member of its family to breed cooperatively. Cooperative breeding systems tend to be most common when resources are scarce or unpredictable such as in arid regions. In contrast, Purple-throated Fruitcrow is found in humid forest, from southern Nicaragua south to northwestern Ecuador and to Bolivia. The humid lowland forests occupied by the fruitcrow are a habitat that might be expected to provide abundant and predictable resources, particularly insects, on which the fruitcrow, despite its common name, feeds most heavily. Another peculiar feature of Purple-throated Fruitcrow is that its nests are conspicuous and made more so by the constant attendance of the social group, a very different strategy than other members of the family.

Recommended Citation

Galindo, Elena. 2016. Purple-throated Fruitcrow (Querula purpurata), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Sally
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Single-Species Flocks
  • Mating System:Cooperative
  • Nest Form:Platform
  • Clutch: 1 - 1
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern