The Scaled Fruiteater is a large, plump, and handsomely-patterned cotinga of the Andes. A surreptitious, canopy-dwelling bird, it easily is overlooked until its loud, hawk-like whistle is learned. Despite its unobtrusiveness, the Scaled Fruiteater can be surprisingly active for a cotinga, and individuals or pairs regularly join mixed species flocks moving through the canopy. It occurs in tall, often rather open forest at middle elevations, and feeds on a combination of fruits and insects. Both sexes are green overall, have white throats, and are heavily patterned with black spots and scales. The male Scaled Fruiteater has a black crown, and the back is more heavily spotted with black than the female.