Greater Racket-tailed Drongo catches a praying mantis

on 8th May 2010

Jerome Wong a.k.a. broccoli photogrphed a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) in Singapore’s Lower Peirce Reservoir. The drongo caught a large praying mantis, grabbing it around the neck and returned to its perch. The first thing it did was to tear off the mantid’s menacing pair of front limbs (above left). It then ripped off the thoracic portion before attacking the abdominal area (above right).

According to Wells (2007), prey includes alate ants and termites and an occasional small fig. A small tree frog was also reported from stomach content. Rocamora & Yeatman-Berthelot (2009) report this drongo taking nectar from various flowers, grasshoppers, locusts, butterflies, moths, beetles, termites and bees. It also takes tree frogs, small lizards and larvae. Jerome’s contribution is a new food record.

Rocamora, G. J., & D. Yeatman-Berthelot, 2009. Family Dicruridae (Drongos). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 14. Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 172-226.
2. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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