Galapagos Species Checklist

Mimus melanotis Gould, 1837

Cucuve de San Cristóbal, San Cristóbal Mockingbird

San Cristóbal Mockingbird, San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos. Photo: CDF Archive.
San Cristóbal Mockingbird, San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos. Photo: CDF Archive.

The smallest mockingbird species (53 gr males, 48 gr females).

Threats Possible threats are diseases and predation by rats and cats.. Impact of Philornis downsi unknown.










Taxon category: Accepted

Syn.: Nesomimus melanotis Gould, 1837 (Integrated Taxonomic Information System, 2021)

Taxon origin

Taxon origin: Endemic




Preference for an altitude zone in Galapagos: Dry zone - humid zone

Habitat preferences: Occupies the whole range of habitats from the coast to the highlands but some woodlands are not used.

Feeding type: Polyphagous

Arthropods, fruits, peck on iguanas for ticks

Feeding preferences: Feeding from arthropods from the ground, centipedes, crabs, lizards, but also observed swallowing a wide variety af fleshy fruits. Seeds in feces make it a possible disperser of Galápagos as well as introduced plants. They occasionally peck on iguanas for ticks.

Trophic role: Omnivorous

Reproduction mode: Exclusively sexual

Reproductive biology: Does not exhibit cooperative breeding. Terr itories are occupied by a single pair, occasionally with another adult.

Distribution origin: In common with all other Mimus, this species is closely related to species from North America and the Caribbean, rather than species from South America, indicating long distance dispersal.


Distribution: Present on San Cristobal Island. An estimated 5000 to 8000 individuals on all the islands but no data available on trends.


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  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Milstead, B., Márquez, C., Zabala, J., Buitrón, P., Llerena, A., et al. (2007) Galapagos vertebrates: endangered status and conservation actions. Galapagos Report 2006–2007. Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, p. 104–110.
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  • Arbogast, B.S. Drovetski, S.V., Curry, R.L., Boag, P.T. & Seutin, G.l (2006) The origin and diversification of Galápagos mockingbirds. Evolution 60: 370-382.
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  • Curry, R.L. (1989) Geographic variation in social organization of Galapagos (Ecuador) Mockingbirds: ecological correlates of group territoriality and cooperative breeding. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 25:147-160.
  • Hoeck, P. Bollmer, J., Parker, P. & Keller, L. (2010) Differentiation with drift: a spatio-temporal genetic analysis of Galápagos mockingbird populations (Mimus spp.). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 365:1127-1138.
  • Nietlisbach, P. Wandeler, P., Parker, P., Grant, P., Grant, B., Keller, L. & Hoeck, P. (2013) Hybrid ancestry of an island subspecies of Galápagos mockingbird explains discordant gene trees. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69:581-592.
  • IUCN (2015) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. <>. Downloaded on 20 November 2015.
  • Freile, J.F. Santander, T., Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Carrasco, L., Cisneros-Heredia, D., Guevara, E., Sánchez-Nivicela, M., Tinoco, B. (2019) Lista Roja de las aves del Ecuador Quito, Ecuador. 97 pp.
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (2021) Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).


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