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First Report of Moth Species of the Family Tineidae (Lepidoptera) in Regurgitated Pellets of Harriers in India

Thalavaipandi S, Arjun Kannan, Prashanth MB, T. Ganesh

Journal Of Threatened Taxa | March 26, 2024

The primary food source for Tineidae family moth caterpillars is keratin, and they need warmth and moisture to emerge. The observation that harriers, diurnal migratory raptors wintering in India, had regurgitated pellets containing larvae, pupae, and adults of the Tineidae moth, raises the possibility of a nutritional relationship and emphasizes the significance of taking related taxa into account when estimating raptor diets. The caterpillars favored the rodent hairs in the pellets above the feathers and remains of arthropods. This is the first time that Tineidae moths have been found on harrier pellets.