Faecal analysis reveals the insectivorous diet of the Black-breasted Button-quail Turnix melanogaster

The threatened Black- breasted Button-quail Turnix melanogaster is thought to have an omnivorous diet comprising seeds and invertebrates; however, very little study has been undertaken to confirm or refute this claim. A thorough understanding of a species’ diet is required for its effective conservation management. To determine the species’ diet, T. melanogaster faeces were collected from within or near platelets found on Fraser Island and in Yarraman State Forest, two different habitats, and analysed microscopically. Analysis showed that T. melanogaster has a diet comprised almost entirely of invertebrates and that it preferentially preys upon Dermaptera, Pseudoscorpionida and Coleoptera.

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