The inexperienced honeycreeper is a really engaging small species of tanager within the hen household Thraupidae.

This hen is widespread and conspicuous over its vary from southern Mexico to southeastern Brazil.

It feeds largely on nectar, fruit, and bugs, and sometimes frequents feeders supplying fruit.

Its plumage is strikingly sexually dimorphic, females being grass inexperienced, barely paler beneath, whereas males are aqua blue with a black hood, masks, and chin.

Invoice coloration can be sexually dimorphic: males have a brilliant yellow mandible and decrease maxilla, with a black culmen; females have a uninteresting yellow mandible and a black maxilla. Juveniles largely resemble females.

Though males have, on common, barely longer wings and tails than females, there’s appreciable variation inside every intercourse and far overlap.

Equally, there seems to be no important distinction in mass between men and women.

An especially uncommon ‘half feminine, half male’ inexperienced honeycreeper — a phenomenon known as bilateral gynandromorphy — was noticed between October 2021 and June 2023 at a feeding station in Villamaría within the division of Caldas, Colombia.

“Bilateral gynandromorphy is the situation during which one aspect of an organism displays male characters and the opposite feminine,” stated College of Otago’s Professor Hamish Spencer and colleagues.

“The situation is thought in a lot of animal teams, most frequently these which can be sexually dimorphic.”

“In birds, this phenomenon is assumed to come up on account of an error throughout egg meiosis, with subsequent double fertilization by separate sperm.”

“As a consequence, one aspect of the hen has heterogametic (ZW) feminine cells and the opposite homogametic (ZZ) male cells.”

That is solely the second recorded instance of gynandromorphism within the inexperienced honeycreeper in additional than 100 years.

A bilaterally gynandromorphic inexperienced honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) close to Manizales, Colombia, Might 20, 2022. Picture credit score: John Murillo.

“Many birdwatchers may go their entire lives and never see a bilateral gynandromorph in any species of hen,” Professor Spencer stated.

“The phenomenon is extraordinarily uncommon in birds. It is rather placing, I used to be very privileged to see it.”

“Images of the hen make the invention much more important as they’re arguably one of the best of a wild bilateral gynandromorphic hen of any species ever.”

“Gynandromorphs are vital for our understanding of intercourse dedication and sexual conduct in birds.”

The crew’s paper is revealed within the Journal of Area Ornithology.


John Murillo et al. 2023. Report of bilateral gynandromorphy in a Inexperienced Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) from Colombia. Journal of Area Ornithology 94 (4): 12; doi: 10.5751/JFO-00392-940412.

What you are able to do

Assist to avoid wasting wildlife by donating as little as $1 – It solely takes a minute.


This text by Natali Anderson was first revealed by Sci Information on 12 December 2023. Lead Picture: A bilaterally gynandromorphic inexperienced honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) close to Manizales, Colombia, Might 20, 2022. Picture credit score: John Murillo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *