The diet of the White-rumped Swiftlet  (Aerodramus spodiopygius) in Queenslands's savannah.

TARBURTON M.K.

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Abstract:

Homoptera (planthoppers), Diptera (flies), Hymenoptera (social insects), and Isoptera (termites) were the most numerous prey in 45 food boluses being delivered by parent White-rumped Swiftlets (Aerodramus spodiopygius chillagoensisi to their chicks inside six Chillagoe caves. The main food items were planthoppers (47%) and filies (24%), by frequency. The number of insects in each food bolus ranged from 7 to 587 (x = 149). The average weight of a bolus was 0.33 g (range 0.11 - 0.62 g.). The average length of ali prey was 3.6 mrn, which is larger than the average length of available prey (2.2 mrn). The number of.prey "species" ranged from 2 to 83 ex = 40) per bolus. A total of 317 invertebrate "species" were record ed in food boluses. The White-rumped Swiftlet breeds during the wet season, when insects afe generally accepted as being more abundant. However, the density of potenti al prey is shown to be significantly lower than that taken during the breeding season in Fiji.