Oriental Darter

Scientific Name: Anhinga melanogaster

Malay Name: Kosa-Ular Asia

Chinese Name: 黑腹蛇鹈

Range: Found from Pakistan to India and Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 85-97 cm

Identification: 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: Uncommon visitor

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2016)

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

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.


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 1 January 2023

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

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