1. bookVolume 30 (2022): Edizione 1 (June 2022)
Dettagli della rivista
Prima pubblicazione
08 Oct 2013
Frequenza di pubblicazione
2 volte all'anno
access type Accesso libero

“Leucism resulting in xanthochroism” – A report on colour aberration in Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus from Asia

Pubblicato online: 30 Jun 2022
Volume & Edizione: Volume 30 (2022) - Edizione 1 (June 2022)
Pagine: 69 - 79
Ricevuto: 12 Feb 2022
Accettato: 24 Apr 2022
Dettagli della rivista
Prima pubblicazione
08 Oct 2013
Frequenza di pubblicazione
2 volte all'anno

Plumage colouration is important for birds as it helps them in camouflage, mate selection, social signalling and various other physiological and behavioural processes. The most common pigments responsible for colouration are melanins and carotenoids. In a few individuals, colouration is disrupted due to various causes. The most common colour aberrations found in birds are leucism, albinism, melanism, carotenism, schizochroism and dilution whereas xanthochroism is a lesser-known phenomenon. In this article, five records of colour aberrant Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemocephalus are reported. The authors along with the help of citizen scientists observed four individuals with disruptions in plumage colouration from different areas of West Bengal and Assam, India and one from Rajsahi, Bangladesh. Due to the lack of melanins, the birds were mostly yellowish and whitish in colouration with or without some normally coloured feathers on the head and wings. The carotenoid deposition was unaffected in the case of the observed adults and juveniles. These records can be cited as xanthochroistic individuals resulting from leucism. This is the first record of such colour aberration for Coppersmith Barbet from the whole of its distribution range.


Adaki, K., Kamakeri, A. & Gunjal, V. 2020. Melanism in Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera. – Indian BIRDS 16(2): 56–57.Search in Google Scholar

Adhikary, A. & Mondal, A. 2019. A leucistic Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris in the Sundarbans, West Bengal. – Indian BIRDS 14(6): 191–192.Search in Google Scholar

Barragán-Farías, K. A., Pérez-Casanova, R. A., Galindo-Cruz, A., Hudon, J. & Rosas-Espinoza, V. C. 2019. Description of a xanthochroic House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) from Jalisco, Mexico. – The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 131(4): 850–855. DOI: 10.1676/1559-4491-131.4.850Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Blaker, R. 1980. Albino Black-collared Barbet. – Albatross 261: 5.Search in Google Scholar

Bostwick, K. 2016. Feathers and Plumages. – In: Lovette, I. J. & Fitzpatrick, J. W. (eds.) Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd ed. – Cornell University, pp. 101–147.Search in Google Scholar

Davies, G. B. P. & Symes, C. T. 2012. First specimen of yellow-faced (xanthochroic) Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus; Aves: Lybiidae) from South Africa. – Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 2: 140–145.Search in Google Scholar

den Tex, R-J. & Leonard, J. A. 2014. The phylogeography of red and yellow Coppersmith Barbets (Aves: Megalaima haemacephala). – Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 2: 16. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2014.00016Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Dickinson, E. C., Kennedy, R. S. & Parker, K. C. 1991. Birds of the Philippines. – British Ornithologists’ Union Checklist No. 12. Tring, British Ornithologists’ UnionSearch in Google Scholar

Dorst, J. 1971. The life of birds, Vol. 1. – Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, UK.Search in Google Scholar

Dyck, J. 1976. ‘Structural Colours’. – Proceedings of the International Ornithological Congress 16: 426–437.Search in Google Scholar

Gómez, R. P., Stefanini, M. I. & Turazzini, G. F. 2013. Carotenismo en un ejemplar de churrinche (Pyrocephalus rubinus) [Carotenism in a specimen of Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)]. – Nuestras Aves 58: 46–48. (in Spanish)Search in Google Scholar

Gonçalves, Junior C. C., Da Silva, E. A., De Luca, A. C., Pongiluppi, T. & De Barros Molina, F. 2008. Record of a leucistic Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris (Passeriformes, Turdidae) in São Paulo city, Southeastern Brazil. – Revista Brasileira de Ornithologia 16: 72–75.Search in Google Scholar

Gross, A. O. 1965. Melanism in North American birds. – Bird Banding 36: 240–242.10.2307/4511208Search in Google Scholar

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. & Inskipp, T. 2011. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, 2nd ed. – London: Oxford University Press & Christopher Helm, pp. 1–528.Search in Google Scholar

Guay, P. J., Potvin, D. A. & Robinson, R. W. 2012. Aberrations in plumage coloration in birds. – Australian Field Ornithology 29(1): 23–30.Search in Google Scholar

Hailman, J. P. 1984. On describing color abnormalities in birds. – Florida Field Naturalist 12: 36–38.Search in Google Scholar

Harrison, C. J. O. 1985. Plumage, abnormal. – In: Campbell, B. & Lack, E. (eds.) A Dictionary of Birds. – Staffordshire, England, pp. 472–474.Search in Google Scholar

Hill, G. E., Nolan, P. M. & Stochar, A. M. 1999. Pairing success relative to male plumage redness and pigment symmetry in the House Finch: Temporal and geographic constancy. – Behavioural Ecology 1: 48–53. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/10.1.48Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Islam, S., Khandakar, N. & Das, D. K. 2020. A leucistic Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto from Cumilla, Bangladesh. – Indian BIRDS 15(6): 188.Search in Google Scholar

Jawor, J. M. & Breitwisch, R. 2003. Melanin ornaments, honesty, and sexual selection. – The Auk 120(2): 249–265.10.1093/auk/120.2.249Search in Google Scholar

Karuthedathu, D., Das, V., Praveen, J., Ramachandran, V., Shrupali, S. & Nair, M. V. 2014. Some significant avian records from Odisha. – Indian BIRDS 9(1): 14–18.Search in Google Scholar

Laczi, M., Hegyi, G., Kötél, D., Csizmadia, T., Lőw, P. & Török, J. 2019. Reflectance in relation to macro- and nanostructure in the crown feathers of the Great Tit (Parus major). – Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 127: 113–124. DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blz016Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Laczi, M., Herényi, M., Hegyi, G. & Török, J. 2020. First record of true albinism in a natural population of Collared Flycatchers Ficedula albicollis. – Ardea 107(3): 340–343. DOI: 10.5253/arde.v107i3.a8Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Mahajan, A. 2016. Sighting of leucistic Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) at Jalgaon, Maharashtra. – Newsletter for Birdwatchers 56(2): 21.Search in Google Scholar

Mayntz, M. 2020. Bird Leucism: About Leucistic Birds and Abnormal Plumages. – https://www.thespruce.comSearch in Google Scholar

McGraw, K. J., Hill, G. E. & Parker, R. S. 2003. Carotenoid pigments in a mutant cardinal: Implications for the genetic and enzymatic control mechanisms of carotenoid metabolism in birds. – The Condor 105(3): 587–592. DOI: 10.1093/condor/105.3.587Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Mills, M. G. & Patterson, L. B. 2009. Not just black and white: Pigment pattern development and evolution in vertebrates. – Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 20(1): 72–81. DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2008.11.012Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Nandy, S. 2019. A leucistic Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus from West Bengal. – Indian BIRDS 15(2): 62.Search in Google Scholar

Olson, V. A. & Owens, I. P. 1998. Costly sexual signals: are carotenoids rare, risky or required? – Trends in Ecology & Evolution 13(12): 510–514. DOI: 10.1016/S0169-5347(98)01484-0Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Pande, S., Pawashe, A. & Mahabal, A. 2005. Melanism in Spotted Owlet Athene brama. – Indian BIRDS 1(4): 86–87.Search in Google Scholar

Parashar, M. & Sharma, S. K. 2010. Sighting of albino Changeable Hawk Eagle Nisaetus limnaeetus in Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary in south Rajasthan. – Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 106(3): 341–342.Search in Google Scholar

Patra, S. 2019. Facebook Report. – https://m.facebook.com/groups/448922215285900/permalink/1287264271451686/Search in Google Scholar

Pawashe, A., Pande, S. & Mahabal, A. 2006. Occurrence of isabelline cum partial albino Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus Scopoli) near Pune, India. – Newsletter for Birdwatchers 46(5): 72–73.Search in Google Scholar

Phalke, M. 2020. Leucism in Brahminy Starling Sturnia pagodarum. – Indian BIRDS 16(3): 96.Search in Google Scholar

Quigley, D. T. J. 2017. Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus (L.) with a typical orange-red flesh. – Bulletin-European Association of Fish Pathology 37: 41–44.Search in Google Scholar

Rahman, K. M. M. 2018. A leucistic Western Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus in Natore, Rajsahi district, Bangladesh. – BirdingASIA 29: 86–87.Search in Google Scholar

Raju, S. 2017. Sighting of leucistic Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha at Karingali Puncha, Pathanamthitta District. – Malabar Trogon 15(3): 38–39.Search in Google Scholar

Rana, M. 2021. Facebook Report. – https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskidsofIndianBirds/permalink/2218427248295969Search in Google Scholar

Sankpal, R., Lonkar, R. & Pande, S. 2019. Sighting of leucistic House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Kolvihire, Taluka Purandar, District Pune, Maharashtra. – Ela Journal of Forestry and Wildlife 8(1–2): 584.Search in Google Scholar

Sathiyaselvam, P. 2003. Sighting of albino Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus on Chilika Lake, Orissa. – Newsletter for Birdwatchers 43(6): 85–86.Search in Google Scholar

Schnell, G. D. & Caldwell, L. D. 1966. Xanthochroism in a Cape May Warbler. – The Auk 83(4): 667–668. DOI: 10.2307/4083162Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Senar, J. C. 2006. Color displays as intrasexual signals of aggression and dominance. – In: Hill, G. E. & McGraw, K. J. (eds.) Bird Coloration, Vol. 2. Function and evolution. – Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, pp. 87–136.Search in Google Scholar

Short, L. L. & Horne, J. F. M. 2001. Toucans, Barbets and Honeyguides. – Oxford University Press, OxfordSearch in Google Scholar

Smith, R. W. 1966. A case of xanthochroism in the Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivacea. – Ibis 108: 627–628. DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.1966.tb07212.xApri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Smith, P. 2016. Striking plumage anomalies in two Tyrannidae (Passeriformes): Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus and Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus from Paraguay. – Ornithologia 9(1): 27–29.Search in Google Scholar

Smith, P. & Rios, S. D. 2017. Novel plumage aberrations in Paraguayan non-Passerine birds, and the definition of a new plumage aberration unique to Psittacidae. – Biodiversity and Natural History 3(1): 24–28.Search in Google Scholar

Stagličić, N., Dragičević, B., Žužul, I. & Šegvić, T. 2019. Anomalous colouration of a Starry Weever, Trachinus radiates (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Trachinidae), from the Adriatic Sea. – Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 49: 177–180. DOI: 10.3750/AIEP/02464Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Sultana, I., Khandakar, N., Ali, M. S. & Das, D. K. 2020. Partially leucistic Common Redshank in Nijhum Dweep National Park, Bangladesh. – Wader Study 127(3): 269–270. DOI: 10.18194/ws.00203Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Taher, H. 2020. Notes on observation of a melanistic Large Grey Babbler in and around Hyderabad. – Pitta 17(10): 17–18.Search in Google Scholar

Thareja, H. & Thareja, K. 2017. Snapshot sightings: A leucistic Kalij Pheasant from Japguda, Uttarakhand. – Indian BIRDS 13(3): 84ASearch in Google Scholar

van Grouw, H. 2006. Not every white bird is an albino: Sense and nonsense about colour aberrations in birds. – Dutch Birding 28: 79–89.Search in Google Scholar

van Grouw, H. 2013. What colour is that bird? The causes and recognition of common colour aberrations in birds. – British Birds 106: 17–29.Search in Google Scholar

van Grouw, H. 2021. What’s in a name? Nomenclature for colour aberrations in birds reviewed. – Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 141(3): 276–299.Search in Google Scholar

Venizelos, A. & Benetti, D. D. 1999. Pigment abnormalities in flatfish. – Aquaculture 176(1–2): 181–188. DOI: 10.1016/S0044-8486(99)00060-5Apri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Wall, L. E. 1967. Xanthochroism in Scarlet Robin, Pteroica multicolour, and Flame Robin, P. phoenicea. – Emu 66(3): 297. DOI: 10.1071/MU966295dApri DOISearch in Google Scholar

Yadav, P. B. S. & Arigela, R. V. 2020. A partially leucistic Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus from Tamil Nadu, India. – Indian BIRDS 16(3): 94–95.Search in Google Scholar

Articoli consigliati da Trend MD

Pianifica la tua conferenza remota con Sciendo