The bird shiny cowbirds (Molothrus Bonariensis) in a relationship interesting of mycophagy with the mushroom Macrolepiota Bonaerensis in the brazilian pampa biome

O pássaro chupim-gaudério (Molothrus Bonariensis) em uma interessante relação de micofagia com o cogumelo Macrolepiota Bonaerensis no bioma pampa brasileiro


  • Alice Lemos Costa
  • Cassiane Furlan Lopes
  • Marines de Avila Heberle
  • Jair Putzke



ecological interactions, avian natural diet, ornithology, mycology


Bird-fungi associations are ecologically important, and the species of these groups that occur in the Pampa biome region have different characteristics. The Shiny Cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis – Icteridae) is a ground foraging bird that cohabits vegetation of grasslands. Some mushrooms of this biome have considerably large and edible basidiomes, such as species of genus Macrolepiota (Agaricaceae). Therefore, the objective of this study was to contribute to the first description of mycophagy for the Pampa biome, including the species Molothrus bonariensis and Macrolepiota bonariensis. Data were submitted to a test of variance ANOVA and Tukey test at a 5% significance level.  For the quantitative multivariate data, the test of Kiviat was elaborated. The test of Schumacher and Eschmeyer was used to determine the degree of interaction of the birds with the mushrooms. 60 hours of observations were realized with a flock of bird containing approximately 76 individuals in the study area. 30 fresh scat samples and 10 mushrooms that showed pecks signals were collected from the area georeferenced. Microscopic analysis of scat of birds revealed basidiospores of mushroom. For the record of foraging events, the mycophagy of birds was higher in zones with more occurrence of mushrooms. The results assist in better understand this important mycophagy interaction between the Shiny Cowbird and the mushroom M. bonaerensis. The study confirms that bird-fungal mycophagy associations are more widespread than previously thought.