Hellenica World

Jacana jacana

Jacana jacana , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Charadriiformes
Subordo: Charadrii
Familia: Jacanidae
Genus: Jacana
Species: Jacana jacana
Subspecies: J. j. hypomelaena - J. j. intermedia - J. j. jacana - J. j. melanopygia - J. j. peruviana - J. j. scapularis

Name

Jacana jacana (Linnaeus, 1766)

Jacana jacana (*)

Reference

Systema Naturae ed.12 p.259

Vernacular names
Internationalization
Česky: Ostnák jihoamerický
English: Wattled Jacana
Español: Jacana
Português: Jaçanã

The Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana is a wader which is a resident breeder from western Panama and Trinidad south through most of South America east of the Andes.

The jacanas are a group of wetland birds, which are identifiable by their huge feet and claws that enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone.

The Wattled Jacana lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest. The male, as with other jacanas and some other wader families like the phalaropes, takes responsibility for incubation, with two eggs held between each wing and the breast. The females are polyandrous, and will help to defend the nests of up to four mates.

These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds. They are 17-23 cm long, but the females are larger than the males. The adults have a chestnut back and wing coverts, with the rest of the body mainly black. In flight the greenish yellow flight feathers are obvious. The yellow bill extends up as a red coot-like head shield and a reddish wattle, and the legs and very long toes are dull blue-grey. There is a long sharp spur on the bend of the wing.

Young birds initially have entirely white underparts, and can always be identified by the presence of white in their plumage.

There are six races, with the nominate J. j. jacana being the most widespread. Several of the other subspecies are similar, but J. j. hypomelaena of western Panama and northern Colombia has all the chestnut plumage replaced by black, and J. j. scapularis of western Ecuador has some black feathers on its chestnut shoulders, and white outer primary feathers.

This species produces a range of noisy rattling calls.

The Wattled Jacana's food is insects, other invertebrates and seeds picked from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface.

Jacana is Linnæus' scientific Latin spelling of the Brazilian Portuguese jaçanã, pronounced [ʒasaˈnɐ̃], from the Tupi name of the bird.

References

* BirdLife International (2004). Jacana jacana. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

* Shorebirds by Hayman, Marchant and Prater ISBN 0-395-60237-8
* Birds of Venezuela by Hilty, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
* ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.

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