Stygian owl

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Stygian Owl
Stygian owl.jpg
Asio stygius siguapa
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Aves
Sub-class Neornithes
Infra-class Neoaves
Order Information
Order Strigiformes
Family Information
Family Strigidae
Sub-family Striginae
Genus Information
Genus Asio
Species Information
Species A. stygius
Population statistics
Conservation status Least concern[1]

The stygian owl (Asio stygius) is a species of owl of the family Strigidae, and found throughout much of Latin America. Despite the name, the stygian owl was named for its "gloomy and dark" color,[2] and not in reference to the River Styx of Greek mythology.


Stygian owls are medium to relatively large in size, with a length of 14.9 to 18.1 inches. Females are larger than males. Like many other owls, it has striking ear tufts; instead of being on the corners of the face, the tufts are rather close together between the eyes. The upper portion of the plumage is a sooty-brown with individual pale patches; the underside is speckled dark brown on the breast, with the belly bearing dark longitudinal and transverse striping. The wings are relatively long, the tail is short. The eyes are yellowish.

Stygian owls are active at night and into the dawn. At rest it seeks seclusion within the dense foliage of trees. Diet includes small animals, generally rodents, bats, birds, as well as lizards. Reproduction is largely unknown; what is know is that these owls lay no more than two eggs, with incubation by the female only.


  • Asio stygius barberoi; Paraguay and northern Argentina.
  • Asio stygius lambi; Mexico: southwest Chihuahua to Jalisco.
  • Asio stygius noctipetens; Hispaniola and Gonâve Islands.
  • Asio stygius robustus; southern Mexico to Venezuela and Ecuador.
  • Asio stygius siguapa; Cuba and Isle of Youth.
  • Asio stygius stygius; eastern Bolivia to northern and southeastern Brazil, and northeastern Argentina.

Range and habitat

Stygian owls are found in northwestern Mexico to Central America, and as far south as northern Argentina. However, their area of distribution is not connected. Their habitat is wet to semi-arid forests at elevations up to 9,100 feet above sea level.