Blue-capped ifrit

The blue-capped ifrit (Ifrita kowaldi), also known as the blue-capped ifrita, is a small insectivorous bird endemic to the rainforests of New Guinea. It is the only species in the genus Ifrita, which historically has been placed in the family Cinclosomatidae or the Monarchidae. It now appears the bird is more properly placed in its own family, Ifritidae.[2]

Blue-capped ifrit
Ifrita kowaldi 1899
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ifritidae
Schodde & Christidis, 2014
Genus: Ifrita
Rothschild, 1898
I. kowaldi
Binomial name
Ifrita kowaldi
(De Vis, 1890)


They are between 16 and 17cm long and weigh between 34 and 36 g.[3] Their plumage is yellowish brown with a crown that is blue and black.[4] Males of this species have a white streak behind their eyes and the females have a dullish yellow stripe instead.[5]


This bird is one of only a few birds known to have poisonous members, the others being the little shrikethrush (Colluricincla), and several members of the Pitohui, also from New Guinea. It, like the hooded pitohui, sequesters batrachotoxin in its skin and feathers, which causes numbness and tingling to those who handle the bird. The toxin is acquired from part of its diet, specifically Choresine spp. beetles.[6]

Distribution and conservation

They are found on New Guinea and Papua New Guinea. The blue-capped ifrit is evaluated as least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, though there is an unknown number of mature individuals. the range is unfragmented. There are conservation areas in parts of its range.[7]

It is of least concern because is has a large range, seems to have a stable population and is thought to have quite a large population size.[8]

See also


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Ifrita kowaldi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  2. ^ Schodde, R.; Christidis, L. (2014). "Relicts from Tertiary Australasia: undescribed families and subfamilies of songbirds (Passeriformes) and their zoogeographic signal". Zootaxa. 3786 (5): 501–522.
  3. ^ "Blue-capped Ifrit (Ifrita kowaldi)". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  4. ^ "What is Ble-capped Ifrit?". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  5. ^ "Ifritidae - Blue-capped Ifrit". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  6. ^ Dumbacher, J.P.; et al. (2004). "Melyrid beetles (Choresine): A putative source for the batrachotoxin alkaloids found in poison-dart frogs and toxic passerine birds". PNAS. 101 (45): 15857–15860. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407197101. PMC 528779. PMID 15520388.
  7. ^ "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  8. ^ "LC-Blue-capped Ifrita kowaldi". Retrieved 2019-01-27.


External links


Batrachotoxin (BTX) is an extremely potent cardiotoxic and neurotoxic steroidal alkaloid found in certain species of beetles, birds, and frogs. The name is from the Greek word βάτραχος, bátrachos, 'frog'. Structurally-related chemical compounds are often referred to collectively as batrachotoxins. It is an extremely poisonous alkaloid. In certain frogs this alkaloid is present mostly on the skin. Such frogs are among those used for poisoning darts. Batrachotoxin binds to and irreversibly opens the sodium channels of nerve cells and prevents them from closing, resulting in paralysis. No antidote is known.


Choresine is a genus of beetles that belong to the Melyridae family. This genus of beetle is known to have high levels of batrachotoxins and is believed to be a possible toxin source for Pitohui and Blue-capped ifrit birds in New Guinea. Collections from Herowana in the Eastern Highlands Province that tested positive for batrachotoxins included the more abundant C. pulchra, the less abundant C. semiopaca and the two infrequent C. rugiceps and C. sp. A, the latter as yet unnamed. The locals advise against allowing these beetles to touch the eyes or sweaty face as a severe burning sensation can result. These species are all described as having metallic blue-violaceous elytra and a yellow and blackish pronotum. The name "nanisani" is used by villagers in Herowana equally for this group of insects, the numbing, tingling, burning sensation they cause and the Blue-capped ifrit.

The hypothesis that Phyllobates frogs in South America obtain batrachotoxins from related genera of the Melyridae (Choresine does not occur there) has not been tested due to the difficulty of field-work in Colombia.


Cinclosomatidae is a family of passerine birds native to Australia and New Guinea. It has a complicated taxonomic history and different authors vary in which birds they include in the family. It includes the quail-thrushes and jewel-babblers.

Hooded pitohui

The hooded pitohui (Pitohui dichrous) is a species of bird in the genus Pitohui found in New Guinea. The species was long thought to be a whistler (Pachycephalidae) but is now known to be in the Old World oriole family (Oriolidae). Within the oriole family this species is most closely related to the variable pitohuis in the genus Pitohui, and then the figbirds.

A medium-sized songbird with rich chestnut and black plumage, this species is one of the few known poisonous birds, containing a range of batrachotoxin compounds in its skin, feathers and other tissues. These toxins are thought to be derived from their diet, and may function both to deter predators and protect the bird from parasites. The close resemblance of this species to other unrelated birds also known as pitohuis which are also poisonous is an example of convergent evolution and Müllerian mimicry. Their appearance is also mimicked by unrelated non-poisonous species, a phenomenon known as Batesian mimicry. The toxic nature of this species is well known to local hunters, who avoid it. This species is one of the most poisonous species of pitohui, but the toxicity of individual birds can vary geographically.

The hooded pitohui is found in forests from sea-level up to 2,000 m (6,600 ft), but is most common in hills and low mountains. A social bird, it lives in family groups and frequently joins and even leads mixed-species foraging flocks. The diet is made up of fruits, seeds and invertebrates. This species is apparently a cooperative breeder, with family groups helping to protect the nest and feed the young. The hooded pitohui is common and not at risk of extinction.

Ifrit (disambiguation)

Ifrit is a supernatural creature in Arabic and Islamic cultures.

Ifrit may refer to:

Ifrit (bird), another name for the blue-capped ifrit

Ifrit (Final Fantasy), a recurring character from the Final Fantasy video game series

Ifrit (Sonic the Hedgehog), a character in the video game Sonic Rivals 2

Ifrit, a pair of demonic fiery gauntlets used by Dante in the video game Devil May Cry.

List of bird genera

List of bird genera concerns the chordata class of aves or birds, characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, and a high metabolic rate.

List of birds of Indonesia

Indonesia, with its vast islands, tropical weather and rainforests is one of the world's richest and most important country in term of biodiversity. In addition to the many resident birds, of which the most important are the 380 endemics, a considerable number of migratory species winter in the country to escape their northern breeding grounds.

The list will be growing, since many new species are discovered every year in many unexplored areas of Indonesia. In December 2005, a honeyeater Melipotes carolae was discovered in Foja Mountains among other new animal and plant species.

In June 2011 there are 123 Indonesian bird species threatened, 18 were categorized as endangered while 31 others endangered and 74 vulnerable.

List of least concern birds

As of May 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 8405 least concern avian species. 76% of all evaluated avian species are listed as least concern.

No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of least concern avian species evaluated by the IUCN. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

List of tetrapod families

The page lists all of the families in the clade Tetrapoda, organized by taxonomic ranks. This list does not include families that are extinct.


Melyridae (common name: soft-wing flower beetles) are a family of beetles of the superfamily Cleroidea.

Painted berrypecker

The painted berrypeckers, Paramythiidae, are a very small bird family restricted to the mountain forests of New Guinea. The family comprises two species in two genera: the tit berrypecker (Oreocharis arfaki) and the crested berrypecker (Paramythia montium). These are colourful medium-sized birds which feed on fruit and some insects. These species were formerly included in the Dicaeidae, but DNA–DNA hybridization studies showed these species were related to each other but distinct from the flowerpeckers. Some sources group painted berrypeckers as two genera belonging to the berrypecker family Melanocharitidae.


A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or – less accurately – as songbirds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching, amongst other features specific to their evolutionary history in Australaves.

With more than 140 families and some 6,600 identified species, Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse orders of terrestrial vertebrates. Passerines are divided into three suborders: Acanthisitti (New Zealand wrens), Tyranni (suboscines) and Passeri (oscines).The passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, and the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous, while the shrikes are carnivorous.

The terms "passerine" and "Passeriformes" are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.


Psophodidae is a family of passerine birds native to Australia and nearby areas. It has a complicated taxonomic history and different authors vary in which birds they include in the family. In the strictest sense, it includes only the 5 or 6 species of whipbirds and wedgebills (Psophodes and Androphobus), but some authors also includes at the quail-thrushes (Cinclosoma), 8 species of ground-dwelling birds found in Australia and New Guinea, and the jewel-babblers (Ptilorrhoa), 3 or 4 species found in rainforest in New Guinea. Others place them in their own family, the Cinclosomatidae. The Malaysian rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) was formerly sometimes placed in this family, which would then be called Eupetidae.


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