Feather characteristics of Common Myna Acridotheres tristis (Passeriformes: Sturnidae) from India

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Swapna Devi Ray
Goldin Quadros
Prateek Dey
Padmanabhan Pramod
Ram Pratap Singh


The systematic study of feather microstructure supports species identification, which is important in cases of illegally traded birds and bird-aircraft strikes. Our study focused on morphometric, macro- and micro-characters of feathers of Common Myna Acridotheres tristis from India. Among macro-characters, silver-colored filoplume feathers with pale black pigmentation on the barbs are specific for A. tristis. Morphometric measurements revealed that primary contour feathers (10.8±0.100 cm) were the longest and bristle feathers (1.26±0.051 cm) the shortest among all feathers. The longest (average) barb is found in primary contour feathers (1.875±0.123 cm), and the shortest in filoplume feathers (0.288±0.017 cm). We observed 3 types of nodal structures, and elongated prongs in bristle and filoplume feathers are significant characteristics of A. tristis. These insights into feather microstructures of A. tristis will aid species identification using plumology.

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