Spotted Tanager Ixothraupis punctata

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

Diet and Foraging


The Spotted Tanager mostly feeds on fruits, such as melastomes, in small trees and tall shrubs, as well as on arthropods taken mostly from leaves (Isler and Isler 1987). It does so by walking and hopping on tops of leaves and along twigs (Parker cited in Isler and Isler 1987). The species also searches larger leaves picking its prey from the top and bottom surfaces (Remsen cited in Isler and Isler 1987). Spotted Tanagers forage mostly in the crowns of forest trees, and only come down lower to obtain fruits (Isler and Isler 1987). Stomach contents include vegetable matter (n = 4); animal matter (n = 1); fruit pulp, seeds, berries, and a beetle (n = 1) (Isler and Isler 1987). Naoki (2003) quantified the diet and foraging behavior of Tangara punctata. He recorded 232 forgaging observations in Serranía Bella Vista, Bolivia. Of these, 65% involved fruit and 34% involved arthropods. Fruits eaten primarily were from the genera Miconia (86%), and Guettarda (9%).

Foraging Behavior

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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.