Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/52498

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Pelecaniformes
Family:Anhingidae
Genus:Anhinga
Genus species:Anhinga rufa

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:85-97 cm
Weight:1058-1815 g
Identification:The African darter has a long neck and tail and a sharp pointed bill. The crown of the male and the back of his neck is black and chestnut. The rest of his neck is chestnut with a white stripe from gape to mid-neck. His body, wings, and tail is black. The female has a brown crown and upper neck. Her lower neck is fawn and has a less distinct white stripe down her neck.
Habitat:Lakes, pools, lagoons, and marshes
Diet:Carnivore: fish, frogs, crabs, aquatic insects
Reproduction:The breeding season for these birds is prolonged and variable. Nests are built in trees, reeds, or bushes over water in a colony. Three to five eggs are laid in each nest.
African darters do not gather in large numbers but will nest and roost with other water birds.
Behavior:African darters construct substantial nesting structures in trees above water. They will frequently soar in the air and circle high above their colony.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:African darters are also called snake-birds because they often swim with their body fully submerged and their long, thin neck protruding out of the water.

Other Information

Geographic:Sub-Saharan Africa
Middle East
Date:1974-01 Subjects:African darter
gull-like bird
Anhinga
Anhinga -- Infancy
Anhingidae
Pelecaniformes
Birds
Vertebrates
Chordata