Peach-fronted Parakeet feeding on winged termites

Peach-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea) Science Article 1


Insectivorous habits in parrots are reported for the Australasian genus Culyptorhynchus, which seem to feed habitually on larvae of wood-boring insects in addition to seeds and fruits (Forshaw 198 1). Among Neotropical psittacids insectivory is poorly known, although Forshaw (1981) believes that these birds are far more insectivorous than is generally supposed. The White-eyed Parakeet (Aratingu leucophthalmus) is said to take adult and larval insects (Forshaw 198 l), and the crop and stomach of one specimen of the Peach-fronted Parakeet (A. aureu) contained crushed seeds, a geometrid larva, a beetle pupa, and many fly larvae, the latter possibly due to ingestion of infested fruit (Schubart et al. 1965). Here I report on a flock of Peach-fronted Parakeets feeding on alate termites (Isoptera) in southeastern Brazil. Termites are a proteinrich, but unpredictable and ephemeral food source, opportunistically taken by a number of birds and other vertebrates (Thiollay 1970, Dial and Vaughan 1987).

IVAN SAZIMA, Wilson Bull., 101(4), 1989, pp. 656-651

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