Oriental Pied Hornbill feeding on pupa

Ria Tan of Wild Singapore LINK came across an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) in Pulau Ubin in early January 2015 LINK.

With the tips of its mandibles, the hornbill meticulously ripped off a pupa attached to a branch of a Perepat tree (Sonneratia alba) (top, above). It then hopped off to a bigger branch where it swiped it against the branch to remove the tough silky cover (below). Only then could it get at the succulent meal inside.

Apparently it was a tedious job as the hornbill dropped the pupa a number of times before finally swallowing the content.

These pupae are possibly from the same caterpillars that defoliated the Perepat trees sometime ago in nearby Pulau Sekudu (above, below). The identity of the butterfly/moth is as yet unknown.

Ria Tan
January 2015

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