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Madagascar Scops OWL RWD

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Ordo: Strigiformes

Familia: Strigidae
Subfamilia: Striginae
Genus: Otus
Species: Otus rutilus

Otus rutilus (Pucheran, 1849)

Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliqué (2) 1: 29, note

Vernacular names
čeština: Výreček bělobradý
Deutsch: Madagaskar-Zwergohreule
English: Rainforest Scops Owl
español: Autillo malgache
suomi: Madagaskarinpöllönen
français: Petit-duc malgache
magyar: Madagaszkári füleskuvik
Nederlands: Oostelijke madagaskardwergooruil
svenska: Östlig madagaskardvärguv

The rainforest scops owl (Otus rutilus), also known as the Malagasy scops owl or Madagascar scops owl, is a species of owl in the family Strigidae. It is found in a large part of eastern Madagascar, but the exact distribution limits between it and the Torotoroka scops owl (O. madagascariensis), with which it was long considered conspecific, require further study.


The rainforest scops owl is a relatively small owl with short, rounded wings and short erectile ear tufts on top of the head. There are three morphs recorded from this species a grey plumaged morph, a brown plumaged morph and a rufous plumaged morph. Features which stand out from the main plumage color are the pale eyebrows, light spots on the scapulars and the barring on the wings and outer tail feathers. Sometimes the crown and the underparts are streaked. The bill has a black tip and may be dull green through to yellowish grey and the eyes are yellow. They measure 22–24 cm (8.7–9.4 in) in length and have a wingspan of 52–54 cm (20–21 in).[3]

The typical song of the rainforest scops owl is a series of between five and none short, reverberating, clear hoots which can be rendered as "pu-pu-pu-pu-pu", these are repeated at intervals of several seconds.[4]
Distribution and habitat

The rainforest scops owl is endemic to Madagascar where it is found in the east of the island. As its common name suggests it prefers humid tropical forest and bush.[5]

The rainforest scops owl feeds on invertebrates, such as grasshoppers, beetles, moths and spiders; as well as taking small vertebrates. It hunts mostly at night from a perch but will also catch moths on the wing.[3][4] It roosts during the day, hidden in dense foliage, on a branch or next to the tree trunk. Little is known about the breeding biology of this species, the nest is in a tree hollow and 3-4 white eggs are laid, probably in November - December.[4]

The rainforest scops owl, the Mayotte scops owl Otus mayottensis, the Pemba scops owl Otus pembaensis and the torotoroka scops owl Otus madagascarensis have all previously been lumped as one species. The taxonomy is in state of flux but recent genetic studies have placed the Pemba scops owl closer to the clade containing the African scops owl Otus sengalensis, while the Mayotte scops owl is clearly separate from the remaining two. The status of the rainforest and torotoroka scops owls as separate species is debatable as there may be very little genetic distance between the two taxa.[6][7]

BirdLife International (2016). "Otus rutilus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22735960A95122449. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22735960A95122449.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
"Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
"Malagasy or Rainforest Scops Owls". Retrieved 27 October 2016.
"Madagascar Scops Owl ~ Otus rutilus". The Owl Pages. Deane Lewis. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
"Rainforest Scops-Owl Otus rutilus (Pucheran, 1849)". Avibase. Denis Lepage. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
Fuchs, Jérôme; et al. (2008). "Tracing the colonization history of the Indian Ocean scops-owls (Strigiformes: Otus) with further insight into the spatio-temporal origin of the Malagasy avifauna". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8: 197. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-197. PMC 2483963. PMID 18611281.
Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc; Pasquet, Eric; Raherilalao, Marie Jeanne; Goodman, Steven M. (2007). "Geographical Structure of Genetic Variation in the Malagasy scops-owl inferred from Mitochondrial Sequence Data (abstract)". Condor. 109 (2): 408–418. doi:10.1650/0010-5422(2007)109[408:gsogvi];2.

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