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Scissor-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis torquata

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Max Witynski

Diet and Foraging


Scissor-tailed Nightjar is insectivorous; the diet includes beetles (Coleoptera), moths (Lepidoptera), flies (Diptera), lacewings (Neuroptera), bugs (Hemiptera), ants (Formicidae), cuckoo wasps (Chrysididae), bees, Orthopterans, termites (Isoptera), cockroaches (Blattaria: Blattidae), mantises (Mantodea: Mandidae), and cicadas (Cicadidae) (Schubart et al. 1965, Cleere 1998). Beetles seem to be particularly important elements of the diet. Beetles were found in each of 17 stomachs of Scissor-tail Nightjars examined by Schubart et al. (1965), including representatives of Aphodiidae, Bostrichidae, Brentidae, Carabidae, Cerambycidae, Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae, Ecotylidae, Elateridae, Geotrupidae, Hydrophilidae, Scarabaeidae, and Tenebrionidae.

Foraging Behavior

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Recommended Citation

Witynski, M. (2015). Scissor-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis torquata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.