Violet Cuckoo feasting on caterpillars

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates, Videography | 2

Jeremiah Looei’s two videos show the Violet Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) feasting on caterpillars. Insects are its favourite food, especially caterpillars. The hairy ones are carefully prepared by swiping on the branch before swallowing LINK 1 and LINK 2.

According to Khew Sin Khoon of Butterfly Circle LINK, the caterpillars are most probably those of a moth. “The urticaceous hairs and the smaller caterpillar heads also strongly suggest that these are moth caterpillars,” wrote Sin Khoon. “Also, from the way the caterpillars are eating, they seem to be taking off the surface of the leaf whilst eating it, unlike most butterfly caterpillars which don’t usually do this.”

Jeremiah Loei & Khew Sin Khoon
January 2015
Note: Image by Melinda Chan-Chan Yoke Meng.


2 Responses

  1. I met those moth caterpillars a few years back, also on a Leea indica, and was impressed by the way they feed on the leaf lamina in a systematic phalanx formation, when undisturbed. Sharing my photo here :

  2. Well organised and disciplined…. like the Roman army of old.


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