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Spotted Tanager Ixothraupis punctata

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 5 subspecies
  • Authors: Aileen Pansacula and Kevin J. Burns



Spotted Tanagers are active birds, using quick movements as they forages for fruits, berries and invertebrates (Restall et al. 2007). In Naoki's study in the Serranía Bella Vista, Bolivia, the primary foraging mode for fruit was gleaning (64%), followed by reach-out (10%) and probe (9%). Other fruit foraging modes made up less than 10% of the observations each. Arthropods were also largely taken through gleaning (49%). Other arthropod attack modes included hang-down (16%), reach-up (10%), reach-out (7%), and reach-down (7%). Arthropods were primarily searched for on leaves (83%), but flower bud searches (13%) also made up a large portion of the observations.

When they are not foraging for food, Spotted Tanagers may perch in the open at times to rest and preen (Beebe 1916, cited in Isler and Isler 1987).

Social and interspecific behavior

The Spotted Tanager occurs alone, in pairs, and in small groups of 2-4 individuals (Isler and Isler 1987). Often joins mixed species flocks (Restall et al. 2007), and once up to 8 individuals were seen with a large mixed-species flock (Parker, cited in Isler and Isler 1987). This species also joins feeding aggegrations at fruiting trees (Isler and Isler 1987).

Recommended Citation

Pansacula, A. and K. J. Burns (2012). Spotted Tanager (Ixothraupis punctata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.