Blue-capped ifrita

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Blue-capped ifrita
Blue-capped ifrita.jpg
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
Superorder Passerimorphae
Order Passeriformes
Sub-order Passeres
Family Information
Superfamily Corvoidea
Family Monarchidae
Sub-family Cinclosomatinae
Genus Information
Genus Ifrita
Species Information
Species I. kowaldi
Population statistics
Population Unknown
Conservation status Least concern[1]

The blue-capped ifrita (Ifrita kowaldi) is a small passerine bird native to the rain forests of New Guinea, and noted as one of the few birds which are toxic to the touch.


Ifritas are small, chunky birds, about 6.5 inches long. Males are brownish in color, and bear a light colored streak behind the eyes. A ring of iridescent blue feathers is on top of the head, hence the name. Females are similar, but more yellowish overall.

Ifritas secrete a toxin through their skin into their feathers, the touch leaving the handler feeling numb. A batrachotoxin, it is similar to secretions by South American poison dart frogs, and has led researchers to believe that the birds diet of certain insects - among them beetles of the genus Choresine[2] - may provide them with the toxin.[3][4]


The IUCN Red Data List has classified the blue-capped ifrita as "Least concern", based on a lack of threats either by humans or other animal species, and in part due to the bird's toxicity. To date, a reliable count of the population has not been made.[5]