Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)

OTHER NAMES: Indian Darter, Snakebird
Latin Etymology: Anhinga (Tupi word approximating "Devil bird") melanogaster ("black belly")
Adult non-breeding Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) at Prek Toal, Cambodia - February 2019

Local Name (Khmer): ? 
Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 1-1.8kg
Length: 85-97cm
Wingspan: 120cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Near Threatened

The darter family are an unusual cormorant like group of birds with only four extant species; they are broadly cormorant like, but have a distinctive "spearing" feeding style, and sit very low in the water so only their long serpentine neck emerges above the surface.  The Oriental Darter is widely distributed through India and South East Asia, but is considered to be declining due to human effects on it's aquatic habitats.

Related Species:
Order: Suliformes
Family: Anhingidae
Genus: Anhinga
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
CAMBODIA - A locally common resident.
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: Common at Prek Toal

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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