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Ramphastos is a genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of toucan
Toucans are members of the family Ramphastidae of near passerine birds from the Neotropics. The family is most closely related to the American barbets. They are brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills. The family includes five genera and about forty different species...

s, tropical and subtropical near passerine
Near passerine
Near passerine or higher land-bird assemblage are terms often given to arboreal birds or those most often believed to be related to the true passerines due to ecological similarities; the group corresponds to some extent with the Anomalogonatae of Garrod All near passerines are land birds...

Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s from Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, which are brightly marked and have enormous, often colourful, bills.

This genus comprises the largest toucans, ranging from 42 to 61 cm (16.5 to 24 in) in length. All have black wings, tails and thighs, but the colour of the remaining plumage
Plumage refers both to the layer of feathers that cover a bird and the pattern, colour, and arrangement of those feathers. The pattern and colours of plumage vary between species and subspecies and can also vary between different age classes, sexes, and season. Within species there can also be a...

 depends on the exact species involved. All the species are basically fruit-eating, but will take insects and other small prey. They are arboreal and nest in tree holes laying 2–4 white eggs. They are essentially resident birds, but may take part in minor, local movements (e.g., to lower altitudes in the winter).

The ischnocera
The Ischnocera is a large suborder of lice mostly parasitic on birds but including a large family parasitic on mammals. The genus Trichophilopterus is also found on mammals but probably belongs to the "avian Ischnocera" and represents a host switch from birds to mammals...

n louse
Lice is the common name for over 3,000 species of wingless insects of the order Phthiraptera; three of which are classified as human disease agents...

 Austrophilopterus cancellosus is suspected to parasitize all species of Ramphastos toucans. Its presence has been confirmed on all species except the Citron-throated Toucan.

Species list

  • Keel-billed Toucan
    Keel-billed Toucan
    The Keel-billed Toucan , also known as Sulfur-breasted Toucan or Rainbow-billed Toucan, is a colorful Latin American member of the toucan family. It is the national bird of Belize.- Description :...

    , Ramphastos sulfuratus
  • Choco Toucan
    Choco Toucan
    The Choco Toucan is a large, mainly black bird found in humid lowland and foothill forests on the Pacific slope of Colombia and Ecuador...

    , Ramphastos brevis
  • Channel-billed Toucan
    Channel-billed Toucan
    The Channel-billed Toucan is a near-passerine bird which breeds in Trinidad and in tropical South America as far south as southern Brazil and central Bolivia.-Taxonomy:...

    , Ramphastos vitellinus
    • Citron-throated Toucan, Ramphastos (vitellinus) citreolaemus.
    • Ariel Toucan, Ramphastos (vitellinus) ariel
    • Yellow-ridged Toucan, Ramphastos (vitellinus/ariel) culminatus
  • Green-billed Toucan, Ramphastos dicolorus
  • Black-mandibled Toucan
    Black-mandibled Toucan
    The Black-mandibled Toucan is a large toucan from northern South America. Its distribution ranges along the eastern slope of the Andes from Peru, north through Ecuador and Colombia, to Venezuela as far as the coastal ranges....

    , Ramphastos ambiguus
    • Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
      Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
      The Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, or Swainson’s Toucan is a near-passerine bird which breeds from eastern Honduras to northern Colombia to western Ecuador. This subspecies is replaced from southern Colombia to eastern Peru by the nominate subspecies Black-mandibled Toucan, R. ambiguus ambiguus...

      , Ramphastos (ambiguus) swainsonii
  • White-throated Toucan
    White-throated Toucan
    The White-throated Toucan is a near-passerine bird found throughout the Amazon in south-eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, northern Bolivia, southern and eastern Venezuela, northern and western Brazil, including the Amazon Basin's adjacent Tocantins-Araguaia River drainage, and the...

    , Ramphastos tucanus
    • Red-billed Toucan, Ramphastos (tucanus) tucanus
    • Cuvier's Toucan, Ramphastos (tucanus) cuvieri
  • Toco Toucan
    Toco Toucan
    The Toco Toucan is the largest and probably the best known species in the toucan family. It is found in semi-open habitats throughout a large part of central and eastern South America...

    , Ramphastos toco

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