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Estimation of the diet of River Lapwings Vanellus duvaucelii during the breeding season

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Pages
121 – 129

Published
1 August 20

Authors
Vikas Kumar, Himanshu Mishra, Ashish Kumar

DOI
10.18194/ws.00194

Correspondence
Ashish Kumar
adellu111@gmail.com
Animal Diversity & Ecology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow 226007, U.P., India

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We quantified diet of River Lapwings Vanellus duvaucelii at five study sites in northern India during three consecutive breeding seasons (2016–2018). We documented prey remains in fecal samples from four riverine habitats, and compared these with prey abundance measured with pitfall traps and aquatic D-nets. The diet mainly consisted of Coleoptera (32.8%), Trichoptera (17.3%), Diptera (16.8%), and Dermaptera (10.1%), plus smaller numbers of other arthropods and seeds. Both consumed and available prey were predominantly insect larvae during March–April, and predominantly adult insects during May–June. Jacobs’ selectivity index revealed that most prey types were taken approximately in proportion to availability, with the exception of Hymenoptera and Araneae, which were generally avoided. Our study suggests that during the breeding season River Lapwings are generalized and opportunistic feeders, focusing on the most abundant prey, and exploiting a wide range of surface-active and aquatic invertebrates, as well as seeds.