African Darter

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Birds

iAfrican Darter

Conservation status

Least Concern (LC)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Anhingidae
Genus: Anhinga
Species: A. rufa
Binomial name
Anhinga rufa
( Daudin, 1802)

The African Darter (Anhinga rufa ), sometimes called the Snakebird, is a water bird of tropical sub-Saharan Africa.

This species builds a stick nest in a tree and lays 3-6 eggs. It often nests with herons, egrets and cormorants.

It is a cormorant-like fish-eating species with a very long neck which occurs in both saline and fresh water, especially near mangroves. It often swims with only the neck above water.

The male is mainly glossy black with white streaking, but females and immature birds are browner. The African Darter differs in appearance from Indian and American darters most recognisably by its thin white lateral neck stripe against a rufous background colour.

The African Darter is a member of the darter family, Anhingidae, and is closely related to American (Anhinga anhinga), Oriental (Anhinga melanogaster), and Australian (Anhinga novaehollandiae) Darters.

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