Javan Myna caught a Spotted House Gecko

on 22nd May 2015

Chan Yoke Meng’s image of a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) with a Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus) shows a common bird with an “uncommon” prey – uncommon in the sense that very few people are interested in a myna catching a gecko. The myna has the head of the gecko tightly clamped between its mandibles. The gecko will no doubt be thoroughly thrashed before being swallowed, head first.

The Javan Myna is omnivorous, taking animal food like arthropods and road-kill carrion. It also takes plant food like fruits (figs, papaya and banana), flowers and nectar. It regularly scavenges among human rubbish, even following rubbish trucks.

However, in the three most common references on birds (Craig & Feare, 2009; Feare & Craig, 1998; Wells, 2007), there is no mention of lizard/gecko as part of the Javan Myna’s diet.

Obviously being a common bird, Javan Myna is generally ignored by birdwatchers and photographers alike. Thus its feeding behavior as well as other aspects, go undocumented. This reptile may well be a new food record.

Chan Yoke Meng
May 2015

Craig, A. J. F. K. & C. J. Feare, 2009. Family Sturnidae (Starlings). 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. 654-758.
2. Feare, C. & A. Craig, 1998. Starlings and mynas. Christopher Helm (Publishers) Ltd., London. 285 pp.
3. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.

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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