Tacarcuna Wood-Quail Odontophorus dialeucos


The monotypic Tacarcuna Wood-Quail was named as recently as the early 1960s, doubtless in large part due to its being confined to a tiny range (less than 100 km2) within the Darién Highlands straddling the border between Panama and Colombia, where it is known from just three peaks, including the Cerro Tacarcuna. Its altitudinal range is also small, spanning just 1050–1450 m. BirdLife International consider the species Vulnerable to extinction, based primarily on its extremely small distribution, although it fortunately does not appear to be subject to significant habitat fragmentation and loss to date, and the few available reports suggest that this wood-quail remains locally numerous. This species is a plump, brown-and-white forest partridge. The upperparts are vermiculated black, becoming buffy over the hindneck. It has a white supercilium, throat and chest, with a black band on the lower throat. These features should distinguish the present species from both the Black-eared Wood-Quail (Odontophorus melanotis) and the Marbled Wood-Quail (Odontophorus gujanenis), both of which occur in eastern Panama, but are probably only found at lower elevations in this region. Given the remote nature of this wood-quail’s range, it is not surprising that little is known about the species; even its calls have not been well described to date, although the available information suggests that they are typical of the genus Odontophorus. Tacarcuna Wood-Quail typically occurs in small parties of up to eight, but nothing is known of its diet, general behavior, or breeding.

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© Euclides "Kilo" Campos

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Recommended Citation

Tacarcuna Wood-Quail (Odontophorus dialeucos), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/tawqua1