Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Lettered Aracari Pteroglossus inscriptus

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Ramphastidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Justin Shick

Diet and Foraging


Lettered Aracari apparently is primiarly frugivorous. All stomachs examined by Remsen et al. (1993), for example, contained only fruit (n = 18). There is little information on the range of fruits consumed by this species, but species reported in the diet include Cecropia  and Ocotea (Short and Horne 2001). Willis (1983) observed this species at a swarm of army ants, however, suggesting that it takes arthropods. Small vertebrates also are a part of the diet of Lettered Aracari. Robinson (1997) observed this species successfully predating nests of Pale-vented Pigeon (Patagioenas cayennensis), White-winged Swallow (Tachycineta albiventer), Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla), and Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis), and making unsuccessful attempts to predate nests of Yellow-rumped Cacique (Cacicus cela).

Foraging Behavior

Information needed. Contribute

Recommended Citation

Shick, J. (2014). Lettered Aracari (Pteroglossus inscriptus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.