Mangrove Pitta swallows a gecko

posted in: Feeding-vertebrates | 2

Zhi Yong’s images posted on Facebook LINK showing a Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) swallowing a gecko adds a new dimension to the food record of this species – even if the gecko was offered as a bait.

The above image (left) shows the pitta with the gecko clamped between its mandibles. Note that the tail has been detached, most possibly a result of the pitta bashing it until it is lifeless – assuming that it had caught it alive. The right image shows the pitta swallowing the gecko head-first, a usual case with large prey. The lower images show the final stages of the gecko being eaten.

In the mangrove environment, the Mangrove Pitta forages among the mangrove roots in the muddy soil looking mainly for crabs LINK, molluscs, frogs LINK and insects like ants. Erritzoe (2003) lists the above (except frogs) as its food range.

Zhi Yong
March 2014

Erritzoe, J. (2003). Family Pittidae (pittas). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 8. Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp.106-160.

2 Responses

  1. Daisy O'Neill

    Nice one Zhi Yong. For a change, I get to read what other fresh upcoming writers have to contribute.

    Me…. having writer’s block and still recovering from my Vietnamese stint of appallingly ill hospitality management from their National Parks-Cuc Phuong NP. to name in particular.

    Cheers and lovely images too!


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