The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Plumage carotenoids in bullfinches



Quick facts

Project title: 
Phylogenetic reconstruction of plumage carotenoid synthesis in bullfinches (Aves: Pyrrhula)
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 


In bullfinches, males of the sexually dimorphic taxa show carotenoid-coloured reddish or orange plumages, while females and monomorphic representatives generally lack such colouration. In this project we combine data on plumage colouration and the respective pathways of carotenoid synthesis with those of the molecular tree. Finally, we aim to draw conclusions on the evolutionary development of the different carotenoid-based colouration patterns in these birds.


Contact person

Head of Section Ornithology
Deputy Head of Department Vertebrata
+49 228 9122-246
+49 228 9122-212
t.toepfer [at]