Oriental Darter

Scientific Name: Anhinga melanogaster
Malay Name: Kosa-Ular Asia
Chinese Name: 黑腹蛇鹈

Found from Pakistan to India and Southeast Asia.


Size: 85-97 cm

Distinguished from Cormorant species by the longish slender pointed bill, long thin neck and relatively long tail. Body glossy black with bold white streaks on upper mantle, scapulars and coverts. Head and neck brownish with pale throat and long whitish stripe extending from eye down to neck-side.

Habitat: Lakes, marshes, large rivers and quarry ponds.

Behaviour/Ecology: Hunt for fishes with body fully submerged and only head above water.

Local Status: Rare non-breeding visitor.

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Sighted at Kranji Reservoir, Bukit Gombak, Pulau Ubin and St John’s Island.

Past accepted records in our database: (not a complete listing) Showing the most recent 10 records. See more on our database page.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link
eBird Species page: eBird (Oriental Darter)

BirdLife International. (2016). Anhinga melanogaster. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22696712A93582012.en. Accessed on 19 December 2021

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.