Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher catches a prawn

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates, Kingfishers | 2

Johnny Wee was at Singapore’s Lower Peirce Reservoir on 8th February 2009 when he photographed an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Cyex erithacus) catching a prawn.

Dr Khoo Hong Woo identified the prawn as probably a juvenile Macrobrachium rosenbergii, closely related to the edible udang gala we are familiar with.

This kingfisher is an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant and was earlier spotted at MacRitchie Reservoir. Prior to these sighting, there were few records, probably missed by birdwatchers.

An earlier post on the food of the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher was made in nearby Johor, Malaysia.

2 Responses

  1. budak

    I must say that I am no crustacean expert, but it seems quite doubtful to me that M. rosenbergii persists locally, at least so upstream in the catchment area. Peter Ng (Gardens Bulletin, Singapore 49(2) 1997, gives seven species of Macrobrachium (3 considered common and 4 considered endangered) found in the reserves’ shaded forest streams.

  2. YC

    Dr Khoo Hong Woo agrees that budak “could be right if the shrimp is caught in the streams and not near farm ponds. There are a number of freshwater shrimps. I based my guess from the size. Could be a large individual of the other smaller species. Peter Ng and Samuel Chong worked on the freshwater shrimps Taxonomically.”

    Well, I checked with Prof. Peter Ng of NUS who replied, “a common forest species of prawn – Macrobrachium malayanum!”

    Thanks budak for putting us on the right track.

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