Oriental Darter


Conservation status: NEAR THREATENED
Common name: Oriental Darter, Indian Darter
Scientific name: Anhinga melanogaster
Type: bird
Diet: fish
Length: 96 cm
Weight: 10 ~ 18 kg

Description: 91 cm ( 36in ). Long, slender and distinctively kinked snake-like neck with long and pointed yellow bill distinctive. Non-breeding: Head and neck brown with long white streak running from chin down side of neck. Upperparts black, marked with white streaks on wings and long white plumes on wing coverts. Tail blackish brown. Legs, greysh-black. Flight sillhouette distinctive with long outstretched neck and long tail. Voice: No information from review area. Habitat: Inland freshwater swamps, disused tin mining pools. Habits: Where common, occurs in small flocks, roosting communally  in waterside trees and on the ground. Typically sits on exposed branches with fully outstretched wings. Often Soars.

In some parts of northeastern India, darters were (or are) used by tribals to capture fish from streams. A ring is tied around the neck to prevent them from swallowing the prey just as is done with cormorant fishing in parts of Southeast Asia.



  1. A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore By Allen Jeyarajasingam
  2.  BirdLife International (2012). “Anhinga melanogaster“. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  3. Ali, Salim; Ripley, S.D. (1978). Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. 
  4. Stonor, CR (1948). “Fishing with the Indian Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) in Assam”

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