Masked Booby
"Parasula" redirects here. The fossil genus established by C.J.O. Harrison is properly called Empheresula.
Masked Booby
Austropacific Masked Booby (S. d. personata) with chick (background)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Sulidae
Genus: Sula
Species: S. dactylatra
Binomial name
Sula dactylatra
(Lesson, 1831)
Subspecies

see text

The Masked Booby, Sula dactylatra, is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. This species breeds on islands in tropical oceans, except in the eastern Atlantic; in the eastern Pacific it is replaced by the Nazca Booby, Sula granti, which was formerly regarded as a subspecies of Masked Booby.[1][2] It is also called the Masked Gannet or the Blue-faced Booby.

A conspicuous and distinct gannet-like species, it was proposed for separation in a monotypic subgenus Pseudosula, but the Nazca Booby and as it seems also the Brown Booby (S. leucogaster) is a quite close relative.

Contents

Classification

First described by French naturalist René-Primevère Lesson in 1831, the Masked Booby is one of five species of booby in the genus Sula. The Nazca Booby (S. granti) was formerly regarded as a subspecies. There are four subspecies, none of which is separable at sea:

  • S. d. personata van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988: Austropacific Masked Booby
Breeds in the central and western Pacific and around Australia, as well as off Mexico and on Clipperton Island. Birds of the latter two locations have been separated as subspecies granti, and the NW Australian population has been named as subspecies bedouti, but neither is usually considered valid.
  • S. d. dactylatra van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988: Atlantic Masked Booby
Breeds in the Caribbean and some Atlantic islands including Ascension Island. It has recently started breeding off Tobago, formerly being known in this area only from a single sight record from an oil rig off Trinidad.
  • S. d. melanops van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988: Western Indian Ocean Masked Booby
Breeds in the western Indian Ocean.
  • S. d. tasmani (including S. d. fullagari) van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988: Tasman Booby or Lord Howe Masked Booby
The form breeding on Lord Howe and the Kermadec Islands. Large prehistoric specimens known from the former and Norfolk Island are sometimes considered a distinct "species" (properly: subspecies). If this is correct, the extant population's name would be S. d. tasmani as S. d. fullagari was described after S. tasmani. Comparison of ancient DNA form tasmani specimens and living fullagari indicates that they are not distinct.

Description

This is the largest booby, at 74–91 cm (29–36 in) long, with a 137–165 cm (54–65 in) wingspan and 1.2–2.35 kg (2.6–5.2 lb) weight.[3] Adults are white with pointed black wings, a pointed black tail, and a dark grey facemask. The sexes are similar, but the male has a yellow bill, and the female's is greenish yellow; during the breeding season they have a patch of bare, bluish skin at the base of the bill. Juveniles are brownish on the head and upperparts, with a whitish rump and neck collar. The underparts are white. Adult plumage is acquired over two years.

The Masked Booby is silent at sea, but has a reedy whistling greeting call at the nesting colonies. While on the breeding grounds, these birds display a wide range of hissing and quacking notes.

Behaviour

Masked Boobies are spectacular divers, plunging diagonally into the ocean at high speed. They mainly eat small fish, including flying fish. This is a fairly sedentary bird, wintering at sea, but rarely seen far away from the breeding colonies. However, Caribbean birds occasionally wander north to warm southern Gulf Stream waters off the eastern seaboard of the United States. More remarkably, there have been three Western Palaearctic records of Masked Booby, presumably dactylatra, all from Spanish waters, although one of these also entered French territorial areas.

Breeding

The Masked Booby nests in small colonies, laying two chalky white eggs on sandy beaches in shallow depressions, which are incubated by both adults for 45 days. In most cases, the first chick will kill its smaller, weaker sibling after it hatches.[4] Siblicide has been well studied in this species; researchers such as David Anderson have demonstrated that while the boobies can manage to feed two chicks if siblicide is prevented, they do so at a steep penalty to health and future reproductive success.[5][6][7]

References

  1. ^ Pitman, R. L.; Jehl, J. R. (1998): Geographic variation and reassessment of species limits in the "Masked" Boobies of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Wilson Bulletin 110(2): 155-70
  2. ^ Friesen, V. L.; Anderson, D. J.; Steeves, T. E.; Jones, H. & Schreiber, E. A. (2002): Molecular Support for Species Status of the Nazca Booby (Sula granti). Auk 119(3): 820–26. [English with Spanish abstract] DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2002)119[0820:MSFSSO]2.0.CO;2 PDF fulltext
  3. ^ [1] (2011).
  4. ^ Mack, Alison. 1997. "Natural born killers." Earth 6, no. 3: 12. General Science Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed May 4, 2007).
  5. ^ Anderson, David J. 1990. "Evaluation of Obligate Suicide in Boobies. 1. A Test of the Insurance-Egg Hypothesis." The American Naturalist 135, vol. 3: 334-350
  6. ^ Anderson, David J. 1990. "Evolution of Obligate Siblicide in Boobies. 2: Food Limitation and Parent-Offspring Conflict" Evolution 44 no. 8: 2069-2082
  7. ^ Alda, Alan (Host). (1999). Voyage to the Galapagos [Television series episode]. Scientific American Frontiers. Arlington, Virginia: Public Broadcasting Service. (transcript here: http://www.pbs.org/saf/transcripts/transcript1001.htm)
  • BirdLife International (2004). Sula dactylatra. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • masked booby — kaukėtasis padūkėlis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Sula dactylatra angl. masked booby vok. Maskentölpel, m rus. голуболицая олуша, f pranc. fou masqué, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – padūkėliai …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Booby — pp semi protected|small=yesTaxobox name = Booby image caption = Blue footed Booby displaying by raising a foot image width = 240px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Pelecaniformes familia = Sulidae genus = Sula genus… …   Wikipedia

  • booby — booby1 boobyish, adj. /booh bee/, n., pl. boobies. 1. a stupid person; dunce. 2. a gannet of the genus Sula, having a bright bill, bright feet, or both: some are endangered. [1590 1600; earlier pooby, appar. b. poop to befool (now obs.) and BABY; …   Universalium

  • Nazca Booby — Adult with chick and unhatched egg Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • Tasman Booby — Taxobox image width = name = Tasman Booby status = EX | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Pelecaniformes familia = Sulidae genus = Sula species = S. dactylatra (but see text) subspecies = S. (d.)… …   Wikipedia

  • pelecaniform — [pel΄ ə kan′ə fôrm΄] adj. of, or having the nature of, an order (Pelecaniformes) of swimming birds having all four toes connected in a webbed foot, including pelicans and cormorants * * * ▪ bird Introduction    any of the relatively large and… …   Universalium

  • List of birds of Peru — This is a list of the bird species recorded in Peru. The avifauna of Peru includes a total of 1879 species, of which 139 are endemic, 3 have been introduced by humans, and 72 are rare or accidental. 91 species are globally threatened.This list s… …   Wikipedia

  • List of birds of Ecuador — This is a list of the bird species recorded in Ecuador. The avifauna of Ecuador includes a total of 1663 species, of which 16 are endemic, 2 have been introduced by humans, and 19 are rare or accidental. 77 species are globally threatened.This… …   Wikipedia

  • List of birds of Colombia — This is a list of the bird species recorded in Colombia. The avifauna of Colombia includes a total of 1895 species, of which 74 are endemic, 2 have been introduced by humans, and 87 are rare or accidental. 1 species listed is extirpated in… …   Wikipedia

  • Clipperton Island — Clipperton Native name: Île de la Passion Clipperton Island with lagoon, showing depths in metres. Geography Location Pacific …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”