Fawn-breasted Tanager Pipraeidea melanonota
Version: 1.0 — Published August 14, 2015
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Diet and Foraging
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Pipraeidea melanonota is a foraging generalist known to consume many food items. The main food taken consists of berries, fruit pulp, seeds, buds, flowers and larvae. Pipraeidea m. venezuelensis and Pipraeidea m. melanonota have been observed to eat moths and ithominid butterflies respectively. When eating the butterflies, they do not eat any part of the exoskeleton or wings, but actually macerate the rear of the butterfly until its innards are extruded and these were eaten; the rest of the butterfly is discarded, and some are even still able to fly before eventually dying (Brown and Neto 1976, Hilty 2011). In a quantitative analysis of 10 stomachs: 6 had vegetable matter, some with animal matter; 4 had berries, fruit pulp, seeds, and larvae (Collins and Watson 1983). They have been observed foraging on the berries of Myrsine coriacea (Myrsinaceae), which they would pick (Basler et al. 2013). Adults and juveniles have been observed foraging on the fruits of melastomes, including the species Cecropia telealba and Miconia notabilis (Kessler-Rios and Kattan 2012). An individual was briefly seen at a swarm of winged termites actively flycatching (Olson and Alvarenga 2013). They have been observed removing the seed aryls, including Cabralea canjerana (Meliaceae), which often have a high lipid content (Pizo 1997, Parrini and Pacheco 2011). In western Colombia, Pipraeidea melanonota was observed joining mixed species flocks foraging on the berries of Conostegia species (Willis 1966). It was noted that no species demonstrated any territorial behavior in protection of this food source, and it was hypothesized that because of the abundance of this temporary food source, no one species would make any true gains by trying to exclude another (Willis 1966).