Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Scarlet-thighed Dacnis (Dacnis venusta)


French: Dacnis à cuisses rouges German: Rotschenkelpitpit Spanish: Dacnis muslirrojo

Dacnis venusta


, 1862,

Panama Railroad, Panama


Sister to all other (sampled) members of the genus#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. v. venusta Lawrence, 1862 – NC and extreme S Nicaragua (Reserva de la Biosfera Bosawás, R San Juan Basin)#R, both slopes of mountains in Costa Rica (from Guanacaste and Alajuela) S to C Panama (Canal Zone).
  • D. v. fuliginata Bangs, 1908 – E Panama (Caribbean slope in Darién) E across N base of W & C Andes of Colombia to lower Cauca Valley and middle Magdalena Valley in Antioquia, and S on Pacific coast and slope to NW Ecuador (Pichincha).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 15–17 g. Small dacnis with red eyes and sharp-pointed bill; male unusual in having very dark underparts. Male nominate race has forecrown, lores, ocular area, small... read more


    Calls include thin “woit” or “wheit” with upward inflection, and scratchy “bzik”. Song, in Costa... read more


    Mainly humid to wet forest, forest borders and young to old second growth, including canopy of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits and arthropods. In Costa Rica observed to eat wide variety of berries and arillate seeds, including those of Clusia, ... read more


    Breeding reported Mar–May in Costa Rica. Nest a frail, shallow open cup composed of coarse and tough rootlets, tendrils and fern rachises,... read more


    Significant post-breeding dispersal to lower elevations in Costa Rica and Panama; on Pipeline Road... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally or seasonally common over much of range. Now greatly reduced through forest loss in montane regions of lower Central America. Two... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Scarlet-thighed Dacnis (Dacnis venusta). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 May 2019).