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
1. 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.