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Volatinia jacarina

Volatinia jacarina (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea

Familia: Thraupidae
Genus: Volatinia
Species: Volatinia jacarina
Subspecies: V. j. jacarina – V. j. peruviensis – V. j. splendens

Synonyms: V. j. pacifica


Volatinia jacarina (Linnaeus, 1766)

Type locality: northeastern Brazil.


Tanagra jacarina (protonym)


Linnaeus, C. 1766. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio duodecima, reformata. Tomus 1 (Regnum Animale), Pars 1: 1–532. Holmiæ [Stockholm]. Impensis Direct Laurentii Salvii. Original description p. 314 BHL Reference page.

Vernacular names
čeština: jakarini modročerný
dansk: Jakarinifinke
Deutsch: Jacariniammer
English: Blue-black Grassquit
español: Semillero Volatinero
suomi: samettisirkkunen
français: Jacarini noir
Avañe'ẽ: Jakarimi, Tisiu
magyar: jakariniai pinty
italiano: Fringuello Negrillo
日本語: シコンヒワ, shikonhiwa
Nederlands: Jacarinagors
norsk: Jakarinispurv
polski: polniczka
português do Brasil: Tiziu
português: Tiziu
русский: Черноспинная овсянка
slovenčina: jakarína tmavá
svenska: Jakarinifink
中文: 蓝黑草鹀

The blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) is a small Neotropical bird in the tanager family, Thraupidae. It is the only member of the genus Volatinia. It is a common and widespread bird that breeds from southern Mexico through Central America, and South America as far as northern Chile, Argentina and Paraguay, and on Trinidad and Tobago.[2]

This species is sexually dimorphic; the male is glossy blue with some white under the wing. The female is brown above and pale buff with darker streaks below.


The blue-black grassquit was described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1766 in the twelfth edition of his Systema Naturae under the binomial name Tanagra jacarina.[3] Linnaeus based his description on the "Jacarni" that was described in 1648 by the German naturalist Georg Marcgrave in his Historia Naturalis Brasiliae.[4][5] The type locality is eastern Brazil.[5] The specific epithet jacarina is derived from the Tupi language and was used for a type of finch.[6] The blue-black grassquit is now the only species placed in the genus Volatinia that was introduced in 1850 by the German naturalist Ludwig Reichenbach.[7][8] The genus name is a diminutive of the Latin volatus meaning "flying".[9]

Within the tanager family Thraupidae the blue-black grassquit is in the subfamily Tachyphoninae and is a member of a clade that contains the genera Conothraupis and Creurgops.[10][11]

The blue-black grassquit was formerly placed with the buntings in the subfamily Emberizinae rather than with the tanagers in Thraupinae within an expanded family Emberizidae.[5][10]

Three subspecies are recognised:[8]

V. j. splendens (Vieillot, 1817) – Mexico to Colombia and east through Venezuela and the Guianas to the Amazon basin; also Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada
V. j. jacarina (Linnaeus, 1766) – southeast Peru to east Brazil and south to north Argentina
V. j. peruviensis (Peale, 1849) – west Ecuador, west Peru and northwest Chile


Adult blue-black grassquits are 10.2 cm (4.0 in) long and weigh 9.3 g (0.33 oz). They have a slender conical black bill. The male is glossy blue-black, with a black tail and wings; the white inner underwing is visible in flight or display. Female and immature birds have brown upperparts and dark-streaked buff underparts.


Social monogamous, extra-pair fertilizations, intraspecific parasitism, and quasi-parasitism are commonly found.[12][13] During the breeding season, males defend small territories, about 13,0 - 72,5 m2, dominant males are normally lighter.[14] The male has a jumping display, often performed for long periods, which gives rise to the local name "johnny jump-up". This is accompanied by a persistent wheezing jweeee call,[15] jumping several times in a minute.[16] The extravagant display also has a cost of call attention of predator, thus displays increase the nest predation.[17] Predation are the main cause of breeding failure,[18] and predator vocalizations can cause immune-related reaction to this species.[19] Nests are small cups of rootlets (diameter about 7.5 cm) found at herbaceous vegetation 10–50 cm high,[20] clustered at landscape,[21] and placed preferably at high complex habitat spots.[22] Nests are built by both sexes.[18][23]

Blue-black grassquits will often form flocks when not breeding. They eat seeds, mostly on the ground.[24]

BirdLife International (2012). "Volatinia jacarina". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
"Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina)". Retrieved 2018-05-14.
Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Volume 1, Part 1 (12th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 314.
Marcgrave, Georg (1648). Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (in Latin). Liber Quintus: Qui agit de Avibus. Lugdun and Batavorum (London and Leiden): Franciscum Hackium and Elzevirium. p. 210.
Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1970). Check-List of Birds of the World. Volume 13. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 132.
Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Reichenbach, Ludwig (1849). Avium Systema Naturale (in German). Volume Abt. 2 Bd. 1. Dresden and Leipzig: Friedrich Hofmeister. Plate LXXIX.
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2020). "Tanagers and allies". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 404. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Burns, K.J.; Shultz, A.J.; Title, P.O.; Mason, N.A.; Barker, F.K.; Klicka, J.; Lanyon, S.M.; Lovette, I.J. (2014). "Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 75: 41–77. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.02.006. PMID 24583021.
Burns, K.J.; Unitt, P.; Mason, N.A. (2016). "A genus-level classification of the family Thraupidae (Class Aves: Order Passeriformes)". Zootaxa. 4088 (3): 329–354. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4088.3.2. PMID 27394344.
Carvalho, Carlos B. V.; Macedo, Regina H.; Graves, Jefferson A. (2006-08-01). "Breeding strategies of a socially monogamous neotropical passerine: extra-pair fertilizations, behavior, and morphology". The Condor. 108 (3): 579–590. doi:10.1650/0010-5422(2006)108[579:BSOASM]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0010-5422.
Manica, Lilian T.; Graves, Jeff A.; Podos, Jeffrey; Macedo, Regina H. (2016-12-01). "Multimodal flight display of a neotropical songbird predicts social pairing but not extrapair mating success". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 70 (12): 2039–2052. doi:10.1007/s00265-016-2208-x. ISSN 0340-5443. S2CID 40033522.
Santos, Eduardo S.A.; Maia, Rafael; Macedo, Regina H. (2009). "Condition-dependent resource value affects male–male competition in the blue–black grassquit". Behavioral Ecology. 20 (3): 553–559. doi:10.1093/beheco/arp031. ISSN 1465-7279.
Manica, Lilian T.; Macedo, Regina H.; Graves, Jeff A.; Podos, Jeffrey (2016-09-20). "Vigor and skill in the acrobatic mating displays of a Neotropical songbird". Behavioral Ecology. 28 (1): 164–173. doi:10.1093/beheco/arw143. ISSN 1045-2249.
Carlos Biagolini-Jr. (2018-04-25), Tiziu - Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina), retrieved 2018-05-14
Dias, Raphael I.; Castilho, Leonardo; Macedo, Regina H. (2010-11-01). "Experimental Evidence that Sexual Displays are Costly for Nest Survival". Ethology. 116 (11): 1011–1019. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2010.01817.x. ISSN 1439-0310.
Carvalho, C. B. V.; Macedo, R. H. F.; Graves, J. A. (May 2007). "Reproduction of Blue-black Grassquits in central Brazil". Brazilian Journal of Biology. 67 (2): 275–281. doi:10.1590/S1519-69842007000200012. ISSN 1519-6984. PMID 17876437.
Caetano, João V.O.; Maia, Maya R.; Manica, Lilian T.; MacEdo, Regina H. (2014-11-01). "Immune-related effects from predation risk in Neotropical blue-black grassquits (Volatinia jacarina)". Behavioural Processes. 109: 58–63. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2014.07.003. ISSN 0376-6357. PMID 25038547. S2CID 5412283.
Almeida, Juliana B.; Macedo, Regina H. (2001-04-01). "Lek-like mating system of the monogamous blue-black grassquit". The Auk. 118 (2): 404–411. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2001)118[0404:LLMSOT]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0004-8038.
Dias, Raphael Igor; Kuhlmann, Marcelo; Lourenço, Luciane R.; Macedo, Regina H. (2009-11-01). "Territorial Clustering in the Blue-Black Grassquit: Reproductive Strategy in Response to Habitat and Food Requirements?". The Condor. 111 (4): 706–714. doi:10.1525/cond.2009.090142. ISSN 0010-5422. S2CID 84877861.
Aguilar, Thais M.; Dias, Raphael I.; Oliveira, Ailton C.; Macedo, Regina H. (2008-03-01). "Nest‐site selection by Blue‐black Grassquits in a Neotropical savanna: do choices influence nest success?". Journal of Field Ornithology. 79 (1): 24–31. doi:10.1111/j.1557-9263.2008.00142.x. ISSN 1557-9263.
Carlos Biagolini-Jr. (2018-04-25), Tiziu - Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina), retrieved 2018-05-14
Ridgely, Robert S.; Tudor, Guy (2009). Birds of South America: Passerines. Helm Field Guides. London: Christopher Helm. p. 630. ISBN 978-1-408-11342-4.

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