Ecomorphology and foraging height in the Malagasy endemic Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea)

  • Hajanirina Rakotomanana Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-Oiwakecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan; current address: Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Antananarivo, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar


The ecomorphological adaptations and foraging heights in the endemic Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea) were studied in Ranomafana rain forest, south-eastern Madagascar, from August to November in 1995 and 1996. The external morphology showed a short, slightly decurved, narrow bill, perching feet of moderate length, a short tail, and rounded wings. Data on aerodynamic aspects reveal a high wing loading and a small degree of slotting at the wing tip. Besides, quantitative data from the field indicate that: (1) the forest under-storey was frequently used for all behaviours (foraging, eliminative, and inactive behaviours), and (2) fruits were plucked more efficiently from perches than on the wing.

Ostrich 2007, 78(2): 305–307

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