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Tuno Cactus Stenocereus eichlamii Photo of Fruit

Guatemala    © 2010 Peter W. Wendelken

Tuno Cactus Stenocereus eichlamii Photo of Cactus with Ripe Fruit just south of the Río Motagua near Santa Cruz, Departamento de Zacapa, Guatemala. 1984 Photo by Peter W. Wendelken

The fruit of the Tuno Cactus Stenocereus eichlamii possesses a juicy, bright red pulp through which are distributed hundreds of tiny seeds.

Stenocereus eichlamii fruit is consumed by at least 15 species of birds: White-winged Dove, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Groove-billed Ani, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Plain-capped Starthroat, Russet-crowned Motmot, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, White-throated Magpie Jay, Rufous-naped Wren, Tropical Mockingbird, Varied Bunting, Great-tailed Grackle, Streak-backed Oriole, and Altamira Oriole.

Most of the bird species perched on the cactus while eating fruit. However, the Great Kiskadee utilized "flycatcher sallies" to obtain fruit, flying to an open fruit from a perch in an adjacent tree or bush, removing pulp with the bill while hovering briefly, then flying to a perch to swallow.

These data are based on the field study done by Peter Wendelken in Guatemala in 1984 when he lived in Teculután, Departamento de Zacapa. A PDF version of the paper resulting from the study may be accessed via the following link.

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