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The diet of Malagasy dry forest understory birds based on faecal samples

Manoa L. Faliarivola
Marie J. Raherilalao
Aristide Andrianarimisa
Steven M. Goodman


This study provides data on the diet of understory birds living in the dry deciduous forests of western Madagascar. Samples were collected at three lowland localities: Ankarafantsika National Park in the northwest, the Kirindy forest (Menabe Antimena Protected Harmonious Landscape) in the central west, and Tsimanampesotse National Park in the extreme southwest. Faecal samples from 160 individual birds were analysed and found to include arthropods, plant materials and sand. The most commonly consumed insect orders were Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Hemiptera, and the most common families were Formicidae (Hymenoptera), Scarabaeidae and Carabidae (Coleoptera). The various bird species showed statistical differences in the families of Insecta represented in their diet, some displaying the dietary regime of specialists and others are generalists.

Keywords: deciduous forest, faeces, insects, spiny thickets, western Madagascar

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525