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Birds Guide


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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pipridae
Genus: Chiroxiphia
Cabanis, 1847
  • Chiroxiphia lanceolata
  • Chiroxiphia linearis
  • Chiroxiphia pareola
  • Chiroxiphia boliviana
  • Chiroxiphia caudata

Chiroxiphia is one of several genera of manakins, small song birds of South and Central America.

Manakins of the genus Chiroxiphia have an unusual mating system, based on female mate choice. In order to mate successfully, males have to form partnerships with another male. The two males co-operate in an elaborate courtship dance, and sing a joint song (called a duet) at one of many traditionally fixed mating sites; the area where mating takes place can be described as an exploded lek. Females attend a number of these courtship sites, observing the male displays and eventually allow a male at one of the sites to mate.

Partnerships normally consist of only two males, which can be designated alpha and beta, since there is a clear dominance relationship between them. Only the alpha male is ever seen to mate with the female.

As in other manakins, males play no part in the care of the young.


  • Lance-tailed Manakin, Chiroxiphia lanceolata
    Long-tailed Manakin, Chiroxiphia linearis
    Blue-backed Manakin, Chiroxiphia pareola
    Yungas Manakin, Chiroxiphia boliviana
    Blue Manakin, Chiroxiphia caudata


  • Trainer, J. M., McDonald, D. B., & Learn, W. A. (2002). The development of coordinated singing in cooperatively displaying long-tailed manakins. Behavioral Ecology, 13, 65-69.

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