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A collaboration between Wikispecies and ZooKeys has been announced. PhytoKeys also joined the collaboration in November 2010. Images of species from ZooKeys and PhytoKeys will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and used in Wikispecies.



Distinguished Author

Bocage-JV-Barbosa-du-1823-1.jpg

José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage
  (1823-1907).

A Portuguese zoologist and politician. He was the curator of Zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Lisbon. His work at the Museum consisted in acquiring, describing and coordinating collections, many of which arrived from the Portuguese colonies in Africa, such as Angola, Mozambique, etc. He published more than 200 taxonomic papers on mammals, birds, and fishes. In the 1880s he became the Minister of the Navy and later the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Portugal. The zoology collection at the Lisbon Museum is called the Bocage Museum in his honor. He was responsible for identifying many new species, which he named according to the naturalist who found them.

Species of the month

Pileated Woodpecker

Dryocopus pileatus

Dryocopus pileatus

Some facts on this bird:

Head and body length: 41 to 48 cm.

Wingspan: 66 to 76 cm.

Weight: 250 to 350 gr.

Habitat: Prefers primary, native montane and lowland Atlantic forest.

Range: Across Canada, the eastern United States and parts of the Pacific coast.

Diet: Insects, preferably carpenter ants; occasionally fruits and nuts.

Conservation status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1).

First described: By Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in 1758.


Hammering sounds in the forest may not be wood-cutting. It may be Dryocopus pileatus searching for food. The knocking which it produces carries a long distance and is also used to attract mates, to establish territorial boundaries and to warn off other males. This bird uses its beak to peck and dig under bark to find carpenter ants, beetle larvae, and other insects which are captured using a long, barbed tongue and sticky saliva. Some holes are so big that they weaken young trees, especially if the trees are small. Generally, however, pileated woodpeckers help keep a forest healthy by eating wood-boring insects and keeping insect populations under control. The females usually lay four eggs at a time. It takes about two weeks for the eggs to hatch. The young birds are ready to fly after about a month. Pileated woodpeckers are important to forest ecology. Their abandoned nest cavities provide homes for other animals such as birds and small mammals. Woodpeckers, which include about 180 species worldwide, are near passerine birds of the order Piciformes. They are one subfamily-Picinae in the family Picidae, which also includes the piculets and the wrynecks.

See also: Species of previous months

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