Curculionids in the diet of the white-quilled korhaan: more than just food?

  • O. B. Kok Departement Dierkunde en Entomologie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat
  • S.v.d. M. Louw Departement Dierkunde en Entomologie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat
  • A. C. Kok Departement Dierkunde en Entomologie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat

Abstract

Analyses of 326 white-quilled korhaan (Eupodotis afraoides) stomach contents collected in the Free State and Northern Cape over a period of 20 years (1984-2004) showed this species to be a mixed feeder concentrating mainly on insects. Based on dry mass prey items of the Isoptera and Coleoptera form the bulk of the diet. According to frequency of occurrence coleopterans, more specifically members of the family Curculionidae, are utilised most often. Indications are that the curculionids, owing to their size and relative hardness of the exoskeleton, fulfil an accessory function with regard to the physical breakdown of coarse food items in the muscular stomach.

Published
2005-09-23
Section
Original Research