Oriental Magpie Robin takes a termite alate

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates | 2


Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS’s image of the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis musicus) was taken on 21st September 2009 at Canning Garden Home, Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia o 21th September 2009.

The bird appears to have an alate termite in its bill. Obviously there must have been a termite hatch nearby where winged male and female reproductives were released. For a short period these alate termites flutter around in a dense cloud to seek their mates, soon landing on the ground where they shed their wings.

Birds are always attracted to such termite hatches, as they provide ready food. The termites are easily picked off from the air or from the ground. After the feasting is over, the only evidence left is the pile of wings on the ground.

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2 Responses

  1. The insect looks more like an ant. The wings are too deeply veined to be a termite and the gaster is very pronounced.

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  2. Thanks for the note, Godfrey.

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